Monthly Archives: DECEMBER 2016
SC dismisses plea against Justice Khehar’s appointment as next CJI
The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a petition filed by a group of lawyers against elevation of Justice J S Khehar as Chief Justice of India, saying that the plea has become infructuous as the President of India has already cleared his appointment as head of the judiciary and notification has been issued.
The lawyers’ body- National Lawyers’ Campaign for Judicial Transparency and Reforms- had moved the apex court seeking a stay on the appointment of next CJI, Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar.
The lawyers' body contended in its plea that Justice J Chelameswar, who is now the fourth senior-most judge in the apex court, should be elevated by doing away with seniority rule-- as per which the senior most judge of SC to be appointed as CJI.
The petitioner alleged that Justice Khehar should not be appointed as CJI as he had virtually paved the way for himself to be elevated as CJI by quashing the NJAC Act and reviving collegium system of appointment of judges.
"In other words, while deciding the NJAC case Justice Khehar certainly was deciding a case where his Lordship's own appointment as the CJI was involved - a case of manifest conflict of interest," the petition said.
Justice Chelameswar had given a minority dissent judgement in NJAC case by upholding its constitutional validity and favoured scrapping of collegium system for appointment of judges in higher judiciary.
The petition also argues that Khehar is harsh on the smallest of mistakes by lawyers and openly favors high-profile lawyers.
However, the petition said Justice Khehar was "undoubtedly one of the most upright judges of the Supreme Court" and "nobody could ... point a finger at Justice Khehar when it comes to honesty, integrity and uprightness".
On December 19, President Pranab Mukherjee had cleared the name of Justice Khehar as the next CJI. Justice Khehar to take charge as Chief Justice of India after the present CJI Justice T S Thakur demits office on January 3 next year.
Rajasthan Police officer shoots woman dead, kills self
An additional superintendent of police (ASP) of the anti-terrorist squad (ATS) in Rajasthan has allegedly committed suicide after killing a woman. Before killing himself from his service revolver, Ashish Prabhakar also allegedly shot dead a woman in his car. The bodies were recovered from his car last night in Shivdaspura area in Rajasthan, police said.
The sources said Prabhakar had left a two-page suicide note in which he apologised to his wife for having chosen "the wrong path”. Without naming Poonam, he said she was "blackmailing” him.
Prabhakar also mentioned a few mobile numbers and Facebook profiles in the note, alleging some people were harassing him, the sources said without revealing much.
He had also made a call to the police control room, saying two bodies were lying in a car, before taking the extreme step.
Preliminary investigation revealed that Prabhakar might have had a heated exchange with the woman, following which he pulled out the service revolver and opened fire. Two bullet marks were found on the car gate mirror and one on the roof.
Ashish Prabhakar was known as a shy yet honest and devoted police officer by fellow police officers.However, some months ago, he had suddenly gone missing while he returning from a training camp. "He was supposed to reach home at 2.30pm. However, when he did not reach home, his family members had asked Jaipur police to enquire about him," said a senior officer.
One more Shocker: Now you CAN'T Deposit above Rs5000 more than once
On the 41st day of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 50-day promise to get back normalcy in common man’s life post 8 November demonetisation announcement, yet another promise is broken.
The government has in new restrictions said that deposits of more than 5,000 rupees in old 500 and 1,000-rupee notes can be made in a bank account only once from now till December 30, the deadline for depositing old notes.
The Reserve Bank of India or RBI has also said more than Rs. 5,000 in old notes will be credited into accounts only after customers have given a "satisfactory explanation" to two officials on why they had not deposited old notes earlier.
"Even when tenders smaller than Rs 5,000 are made in an account and such tenders taken together on cumulative basis exceed Rs 5,000 they may be subject to the procedure to be followed in case of tenders above Rs 5,000, with no more tenders being allowed thereafter until December 30, 2016," RBI said.
The question arises what happened to PM Modi’s promise (read the full text of PM Modi’s 8 November speech here) to the nation that, "Persons holding old notes of 500 or 1,000 rupees can deposit these notes in their bank or post office accounts from 10th November till close of banking hours on 30th December 2016 without any limit. Thus you will have 50 days to deposit your notes and there is no need for panic. Your money will remain yours. You need have no worry on this point.”
There will be no restriction on amount deposited towards the new black money disclosure scheme the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, according to the new set of rules notified by finance ministry on December 17.
Demonetisation story is taking new turns rapidly with changing goal posts and theories of as yet uncertain gains in the long term. But, no matter what the final gains of the demonetisation are, both the RBI and the government will have to answer the common man on the repeated breach of promises while executing a ‘well planned operation’ and fight a growing trust deficit that’ll also have likely political implications.
Buying petrol, insurance via digital mode to be cheaper: Arun Jaitley
In bid to promote less-cash economy, the government today announced discount on an array of services from buying petrol to insurance and railway tickets through the digital mode and waived service tax on card transactions of up to Rs 2,000.
The government said for those using cards and e-wallets, Petrol and Diesel purchases will now attract a 0.75% discount.
All transactions under Rs. 2,000 through digital methods will also not attract service tax, or transaction charges, as Parliament has already been informed, Jaitley added, and finally, he also said that toll plazas on national highways that use fast tags and RFID cards will also offer a 10 percent discount to users who buy the cards using digital payment methods.
He also added that those availing insurance policies from public sector insurance companies will get a discount of 10 percent for general insurance, and 8 percent for life insurance, if they make the payments through digital means.
Announcing decisions to promote digital transactions, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that monthly and seasonal suburban railway tickets purchased through digital mode will get 0.5 per cent discount from January 1. Online booking of railway tickets will get Rs 10 lakh accident insurance. Those using digital mode to pay for railway catering, accommodation, retiring room will be entitled to discount of 5 per cent.
He also announced that all those who pay toll tax through RFID (Radio-frequency identification) or FASTag procured through digital payment will get 10 per cent discount.
These decisions will go into action right away, with no planned end-date at present.
Arun Jaitley said one lakh villages in India whose population is about 10,000 will be given two Point of Sale or swipe machines each to encourage digital transactions. The government is focused on addressing rural distress amid the cash crunch that has followed the notes ban.
The government's aim, Arun Jaitley said, was to reduce the use of cash as the economy bears both "visible and invisible" transaction costs for these. "So we are using this opportunity to move towards digitisation," the minister said, adding that the cost for these would be borne by the central government and the PSUs participating.
In another move to encourage digital transactions, the Reserve Bank of India had recently doubled the allowed balance in prepaid wallets from 10,000 rupees to 20,000.
Modi inaugurates Heart of Asia confrence
PM Modi addresses the inaugural function of the 6th ministerial 'Heart of Asia conference - Istanbul Process on Afghanistan' in this Punjab city being attended by leaders from south and central Asia and several western countries.
Modi said that the flow of trade, people and ideas through the region has often intersected in Amritsar on one of Asia's oldest and longest surface arteries the Grand Trunk road.
He defined residents of the city as people with spirit of enterprise, creativity and hard work.
Modi begin his inaugural speech with "Namaskar and Sat Sri Akal", the traditional Sikh greeting.
Welcoming the delegates to the holy city, he said that Amritsar is blessed with simplicity, beauty and spirituality, and is abode to the Golden Temple, the holiest shrines of Sikhs.
It is a place made sacred by Sikh Gurus who meditated here, he said adding that it embodied peace and humanism, and was open to all people and religions.
"Its streets and parks tell stories of great valour and immense sacrifice," he said.
Talking about Amritsar, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said the city used to be a centre of commerce and business which connected India to Central Asia, Russia and beyond.
Mr Ghani visited the Golden temple last evening with Mr Modi.