LIVE! In open letter, 4 former judges call for transparency in allocation of cases

17:02  Sherin’s foster father may face death sentence:  

Prosecutors in Texas will decide in the coming weeks whether to seek the death penalty against the Indian-American adoptive father of 3-year-old toddler Sherin Mathews whose decomposed body was found in a culvert,

according to US media reports.

A grand jury in Dallas County, Texas, on Friday returned several charges, most notably capital murder, against Sherin’s foster father Wesley Mathews.

The 37-year-old man from Kerala is accused of killing Sherin in October last year.

The indictment says Wesley killed Sherin “by a manner and means unknown to the grand jury,” court records show.

Wesley was arrested on October 7 and charged with felony injury to a child, which carries a sentence of up to life in prison, after Sherins body was found on October 22 in a culvert in suburban Dallas by a cadaver dog after an intense search.

— PTI

16:47  In open letter, 4 former judges call for transparency in allocation of cases:  

Four retired judges — one from the Supreme Court and three from the High Court — have written to the Chief Justice of India, asking for a “rational, fair and transparent” process of allocation of cases that would assure people that there was no “misuse of power” to “achieve a particular result in important and sensitive cases”.

The distribution of cases by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had been flagged by the four most senior judges of the Supreme Court on Friday at a press conference, uncovering a rift within the judiciary that had sent shock waves through the nation.

“We agree with the four Judges that though the Chief Justice of India is the master of roster and can designate benches for allocation of work, this does not mean that it can be done in an arbitrary manner such that, sensitive and important cases are sent to hand-picked benches of junior judges by the Chief Justice,” Retired Justices PB Sawant, AP Shah, K Chandru and H Suresh wrote in their open letter.

This, the letter said, was necessary to convince people that the “power of the Chief Justice as master of roster is not being misused to achieve a particular result in important and sensitive cases”.

On Friday, the four dissenting judges — Justice J Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice M B Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph — had expressed concern about the assignment of sensitive cases and what they said was a lack of transparency in the process. As the “Master of the roster”, the Chief Justice decides on the allotment of cases. The judges said the Master of the Roster is only the “first among equals”.

16:21  ‘Credibility of the Supreme Court ruined’:  

Responding to the press conference held by four judges of the Supreme Court earlier in the week, Justice RS Sodhi (Retired)  claimed the credibility of the Supreme Court has been ruined, adding that the faith of the nation upon this needs to be reinvented.

“All judges are of very high integrity, but saying only we should get all cases and not others is wrong. I don’t need to mention to what extent the credibility of the Supreme Court has been ruined. This faith needs to be reinvented,” Sodhi said.

In a press conference on Friday, Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph alleged that the CJI had violated the conventions in his role as the master of the roster.

The judges further appealed the nation to save their institution if they wanted democracy in the country to survive.

Following this, the Bar Council of India on Saturday formed a seven-member delegation to resolve the issue between the two parties.

The delegation arrived at the residence of Justice Chelameswar on Sunday, ahead of their meeting with CJI Dipak Misra and the four senior Supreme Court judges that rebelled against him. 

15:58  Madurai celebrates Jallikattu:  

The controversial bull-taming sport, Jallikattu was held in Tamil Nadu on Sunday, after a gap of three years in view of the ban.

The excitement was palpable in Madurai’s Avaniapuram where the sport was being organised. As per tradition, a bull was released into the crowd of contestants enclosed within a fence, and each tried to grab the hump of the bull and tried to ride it as long as possible.

The sport is considered a form of animal cruelty apart from being hazardous to human life by animal rights activists, which led to its ban in 2015.

The ban resulted in protests across the state, following which the Tamil Nadu state assembly unanimously passed an amendment bill on January 23, 2017, clearing the path for the conduct of the sport.

Ahead of the festival this year, the Animals Welfare Board of India constituted a six-member committee to monitor Jallikattu and asked the state government to conduct the same with 20 guidelines.

The guidelines require for the animals to be subjected to nicotine and cocaine tests before they are declared fit to participate in the event, and also call for a “compulsory” one-day insurance for the event.

Calves below the age of three and above 15 years are not allowed to be used for the event.

Jallikattu is usually held during the harvest festival of Pongal in mid-January. 

— ANI

15:30  Nariman House, witness to 26/11 attacks, to be turned into memorial:  

The Nariman House in Mumbai, that was under siege during the 26/11 terror attacks, is being converted into a ‘living memorial’ dedicated to those killed in the carnage.

A formal announcement on the setting up of the memorial will be made during the Mumbai visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week.

Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, the Jewish couple who served as directors at the Nariman House, also known as the Chabad House, were killed along with six others when the place came under attack by 10 Pakistani terrorists during the November 2008 attacks.

The couple ran a cultural and outreach centre for the Chabad-Lubavitch movement in the five-storey landmark building in south Mumbai’s Colaba area.

The couple’s son Moshe Holtzberg, who was two years old then and was saved by his Indian nanny, will return to the Nariman House this week for the first time since the tragedy struck the family more than nine years ago.

The memorial, being set up by Jewish organisation Chabad-Lubavitch, will be formally announced at an event during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit on Thursday, Rabbi Israel Kozolovasky, who heads the Nariman House at present, said.

The “living memorial” has been designed to educate and inspire people of all faiths to act for the betterment of themselves, their communities and the world, he said.

— PTI

15:08  Teen Murti Chowk is now Teen Murti Haifa Chowk;:  

The iconic Teen Murti Chowk has been renamed after the Israeli City Haifa, a year after the plan was put on hold by the NDMC.

The announcement comes after the scheduled visit of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to India.

The idea of renaming Teen Murti road and chowk after Haifa was proposed in the New Delhi Municipal Council council during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel last year.

The Teen Murti Chowk will be renamed as Teen Murti Haifa

Chowk, in the centenary year of the Battle for Haifa as a

symbol of friendship between the people of India and Israel.

The Israeli city was liberated from Ottoman occupation by Indian soldiers during World War I.

A large number of Indian soldiers of the 15th Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade died during the battle to free the city and nearly 900 were buried in Israel.

14:24  Modi, Netanyahu pay homage to soldiers at Teen Murti Chowk:  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu attend a solemn ceremony at the Teen Murti Memorial to mark the formal renaming of Teen Murti Chowk as Teen Murti Haifa Chowk.

The two leaders laid a wreath and signed the visitor’s book at the memorial, official sources said.

The three bronze statues at Teen Murti represent the Hyderabad, Jodhpur and Mysore Lancers who were part of the 15 Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade.

The brigade carried out the victorious assault on the fortified city of Haifa on September 23, 1918, during World War I.

There are various accounts of this battle – all narrate the valour with which the lancers undertook the assault on the garrisoned city protected by a joint force of Ottomans, Germany and Austria-Hungary. The liberation of Haifa cleared a supply route for the Allies to the city through the sea.

Forty-four Indian soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice during the liberation of the city in World War I.

Till date, the 61 Cavalry celebrates September 23 as its Raising Day or “Haifa Day.”

14:01  PM Modi welcomes “friend” Netanyahu at airport:  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi receives Benjamin Netanyahu at the Delhi airport this afternoon as the Israeli prime minister arrives on a six-day visit, hoping to deepen ties in trade and defence. 

Netanyahu is accompanied by a 130-member delegation of businessmen involved in technologies related to agriculture, water, cyber and defence industries. 

During the trip, the Israeli PM will hold comprehensive talks with PM Modi and also visit his home state Gujarat, where the two leaders will hold a joint road show on Wednesday. 

Netanyahu’s visit will begin in New Delhi where he will have dinner with PM Modi and meet Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj. The following day he will call on President Ram Nath Kovind then have more talks with PM Modi. On Tuesday, Netanyahu will visit the Taj Mahal and then attend the annual “Raisina Dialogue” geo-political conference.

The visit comes days after India voted against Israel at the UN on the Jerusalem issue. India had last month joined 127 other countries to vote in the UN General Assembly in favour of a resolution opposing the recent decision of US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. 

The status of Jerusalem is one of the biggest obstacles to a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.

13:38  JUST IN: Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu arrives in Delhi

13:23  Aziz Ansari accused of sexually assaulting woman:  

A Brooklyn-based photographer has accused comedian and actor Aziz Ansari of sexual assault. The woman, who goes by the name Grace provided a graphic account of her experience, which began with meeting Ansari, star of Netflixs Master of None, at the 2017 Emmys and ended with her crying alone in an Uber. 

She described the encounter, according to a report published in Uproxx, as the worst experience with a man Ive ever had. The first-hand account was first published on Babe.net, under the title, I went on a date with Aziz Ansari. It turned into the worst night of my life.

Grace also shared the alleged text messages that she shared with Aziz the next day, when the actor asked her how the date was for her. Last night mightve been fun for you, but it wasnt for me. You ignored clear non-verbal clues; you kept going with advances. She continued, I want to make sure youre aware so maybe the next girl doesnt have to cry on the ride home. Ansari purportedly replied, Clearly, I misread things in the moment and Im truly sorry.

Aziz has not responded to the allegations. He recently won a Golden Globe for his performance in Master of None, which included an episode featuring a prominent celebrity being accused of sexual harassment.

12:52  PM Modi spends on his own clothing, reveals RTI response:  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spends on his own clothing- response to an RTI query has revealed.

RTI activist Rohit Sabharwal had sought information about the government’s expenditure on attires of Prime Ministers namely Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Manmohan Singh, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In response, PMO said that the query is personal in nature and that the information does not form part of the official records of PMO. 

Sabharwal said that many people assumed that humongous amounts were spent by the central government on the clothing of prime ,inisters.

He, however, said that the response to the RTI query makes it clear that the government does not spend any money on Prime Minister’s attire.

The RTI response comes on the backdrop of a series of allegations by political opponents, who have attacked Prime Minister Modi over his wardrobe. Last year, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had alleged that PM spent Rs 10 lakh per day on his clothes. 

12:37  Israel PM Netanyahu leaves for ‘historic’ visit to India:  

 Keen to strengthen bilateral relations “even more”, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today left for India on a six-day visit along with the largest business delegation that has ever accompanied an Israeli premier on an overseas tour.

“This evening I am leaving on an historic visit to India. I will meet with the Prime Minister, my friend Narendra Modi, with the Indian President and with many other leaders. We will sign very many agreements,” Netanyahu said in statement.

“We are strengthening ties between Israel and this important global power. This serves our security, economic, trade and tourism interests, as well as many other areas. This is a great blessing for the State of Israel,” he said.

“Indian Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi is a close friend of Israel and of mine and I appreciate the fact that he will accompany me on extensive parts of my visit,” Netanyahu said just before leaving for New Delhi.

The visit marks 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and takes place about six months after Modi’s trip to Israel, the first by an Indian prime minister to the Jewish state.

Netanyahu’s visit to India is only the second one by an Israeli prime minister and comes after a gap of 15 years.

Former prime minister Ariel Sharon visited India in 2003.

— PTI

12:23  We don’t intend to ban Padmaavat: Himachal CM:  

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur has said the state does not intend to ban Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film Padmaavat if there is nothing controversial in it.

“I had said earlier that I respect art. As far as Padmaavat is concerned, Himachal government doesn’t intend to ban it in the state. If there’s nothing controversial in it, we have no objection in releasing it here. I want the film to be screened in theatres,” Thakur said

On the other hand, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had said that despite the clearance from Central Board of Film Certification, Padmaavat will not be released in the state.

Gujarat is the second Indian state after Rajasthan to have banned the screening of the controversial flick.

Other states, including Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, which had indicated that the film will not be allowed to be released in November — are yet to announce their final decisions.

The magnum opus, based on the legend of Rani Padmini, a 13th century Hindu Rajput queen, mentioned in Padmavat, an Avadhi poem written by Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi in 1540, has been facing protests from various groups, particularly the Shri Rajput Karni Sena, for allegedly tampering with historical facts.

— ANI

11:59  Change in passport’s colour reflects BJP’s discriminatory mindset: Rahul:  

Congress president Rahul Gandhi today objected to the government’s decision to issue orange-coloured passport to people with Emigration Check Required status and called it a result of “BJP’s discriminatory mindest”.

“Treating India’s migrant workers like second class citizens is completely unacceptable. This action demonstrates BJP’s discriminatory mindset,” he said in a tweet.

On Friday, the ministry of external Affairs had in a statement announced that those with ECR status would be issued orange passports.

11:34  JUST IN: Bar Council members including Chairman Manan Mishra meet Justice Chelameswar at his residence


11:17  Visit to Taj with wife on Israeli PM’s itinerary:  

Six months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic visit to Israel, first ever by any Indian prime minister to the Jewish nation, his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu is arriving in India today for a six-day state visit.

The Israeli prime minister, who is the second prime minister from his country after Ariel Sharon to visit India in the last 25 years of a diplomatic relationship, will be accompanied by a 130-member delegation from various sectors including cyber, agriculture and defence.

Later in the day, he will call on External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

The visiting dignitary, on Monday, will be given a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhawan which will be followed by the wreath laying at the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi.

Netanyahu will also meet his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and hold delegation level talks.

The two sides will sign agreements and also issue a joint press statement. The Israeli prime Minister will call on President Ram Nath Kovind later in the day.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu, accompanied by his wife Sara, will leave for Agra to see Taj Mahal. On the same day, he will visit Delhi and participate in the Raisina Dialogue, where he is scheduled to deliver an inaugural speech.

Netanyahu will leave for Ahmedabad on the fourth day of his tour and visit Sabarmati Ashram. The minister will also attend an event at the International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology (iCreate).

He will later visit the Centre of Excellence, Vadrad. On the same day, the minister will leave for Mumbai.

On Thursday, Netanyahu will have a power breakfast with Indian CEOs and attend a business seminar. He will also lay a wreath at Taj Hotel Mumbai and pay a visit to Nariman House – Chabad Centre.

He will also reach out to Bollywood personalities in an exclusive ‘Shalom Bollywood’ event, that aims at exploring business opportunities for Indian filmmakers in Israel.

11:11  Chelsea Manning files for US Senate bid in Maryland:  

Chelsea Manning intends to run for the US Senate in Maryland, returning the transgender former soldier to the spotlight after her conviction for leaking classified documents and her early release from military prison. Manning, 30, filed her statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission, listing an apartment in North Bethesda as her address.

She is running as a Democrat and will likely challenge two-term Senator Ben Cardin in the primary. The states senior senator is an overwhelming favorite to win. 

Known as Bradley Manning at the time of her 2010 arrest, the former Army intelligence analyst was convicted of leaking more than 700,000 military and State Department documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. Shes been hailed as a traitor as well as a courageous hero.

Manning came out as transgender after being sentenced to 35 years in prison. President Barack Obama granted Manning clemency before leaving office last year.

10:50  Delhi landmark to be renamed Teen Murti Haifa chowk:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu will attend a solemn ceremony at the Teen Murti Memorial in New Delhi today to mark the formal renaming of Teen Murti Chowk as Teen Murti Haifa Chowk. 

The two leaders will also lay a wreath and sign the visitor’s book at the memorial, official sources said.  

Netanyahu is arriving in India on a 4-day visit today. 

The three bronze statues at Teen Murti represent the Hyderabad, Jodhpur and Mysore Lancers who were part of the 15 Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade.  

The brigade carried out the victorious assault on the fortified city of Haifa on September 23, 1918, during World War I. 

There are various accounts of this battle — all narrate the valour with which the lancers undertook the assault on the garrisoned city protected by a joint force of Ottomans, Germany and Austria-Hungary. 

The liberation of Haifa cleared a supply route for the Allies to the city through the sea. Forty-four Indian soldiers made the ultimate sacrificeduring the liberation of the city in World War I. 

Till date, the 61 Cavalry celebrates September 23 as its Raising Day or “Haifa Day.”

10:41  Kalam’s thoughts may soon feature in school textbooks:  
English language textbooks may soon have passages from the autobiography of late President APJ Abdul Kalam.  

The Central Advisory Board of Education, the highest body to advise the central and state governments in the field of education, is meeting tomorrow to discuss this and other items.  

“To include passage from the autobiography of Bharat Ratna Dr APJ Abdul Kalam in the English language textbooks prescribe by the SSC and HSC boards as per the suggestions noted in the meeting held on August 19 last year,” reads the agenda item.  

It has been proposed by CABE member Latif Magdum, who also suggested setting up of an institute of medical science to run short term certificate courses in first aid, hospital management, ward management and other such areas. 

BB Kumar, chairman of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), a body under the HRD ministry, has recommended a regular policy update in the sphere of education, linking manpower planning and educational planning.  

Extension of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 to pre-school education and secondary education; mainstreaming of school children and taking measures to bring them into the fold of education system; improving quality and accountability in school education are among other issues which will be taken up during the two-day meeting.

09:53  Humans vs leopards: Whose home is it?:  As a leopard entered a Mumbai home on  Saturday, setting off panic among residents, Rajesh Karkera/Rediff.com offers an insight into the so-called man vs animal conflict facing many urban centres that have expanded uncontrollably, here.

08:57  Madras HC grants okay to hold cock fight:  The Madras high court has directed the police to grant permission and provide security to conduct a ‘cock fight’ at nearby Thiruvallur as part of an event from January 17 to 19 while imposing certain conditions. 

Justice R Suresh Kumar gave the directive while passing orders on a petition from one M Munuswamy, seeking a direction to police to grant permission and protection to conduct a ‘cock fight’ in Vilakkamampoodi Pudur village as part of the centenary celebrations of late Chief Minister M G Ramachandran and the birth anniversary celebrations of late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.  

The petitioner submitted that he along with a group of persons constituted a committee, which conducts the birth anniversary celebrations of MGR every year. As part of the function, they organise ‘cock fights’, which is the traditional sport during the temple festival, he said.

08:41  Maha ATS arrests 6 suspected Maoists, probes link to Koregaon violence:  The Anti Terrorism Squad of the Maharashtra police has arrested seven suspected Maoists, working for the Golden Corridor Committee, formed to spread their ideology in Maharashtra and Gujarat.  

According to an official, the arrests were made after raids were conducted in the eastern suburbs of the city late Friday night.  

Banners related to the Bhima Koregaon event held recently to mark the 200th anniversary of the Bhima Koregaon battle in Pune district were seized from two of the accused, sources said. 

According to sources, the ATS will probe if the arrested accused were involved in the violence in Mumbai and suburbs.  

“Based on specific information in connection with the movements of members of the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist, the Kalachowki unit of the ATS initially nabbed one suspect from the Kalyan railway station on Friday,” the official said. 

During interrogation, he revealed he and his colleagues from the Kamraj Nagar, Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar and Vikhroli areas of suburban Mumbai were working for the CPI-Maoist. 

After getting vital information, the ATS formed special teams and raids were carried out in Ramabai Nagar, Kamraj Nagar and Vikhroli, during which seven Maoists were arrested. All the arrested persons were from Telangana and working for the CPI-Maoist, he said.  

ATS sleuths seized incriminating documents related to the banned organisation, he added. 

An offence under sections 20, 38, 39 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act has been registered at ATS Kalachowki and a probe is underway. 

The arrested persons were produced before court, which sent them to ATS custody till January 16, the official said.  

During investigation, it came to light that the arrested main accused and his accomplices had been working for the Golden Corridor Committee and were in touch with Left Wing Extremism cadres from the forest divisions, he said. 

Image used for representational purpose.

— PTI

08:15  6 bodies found, search on for one missing in ONGC chopper crash:  Six bodies have been recovered after a Pawan Hans helicopter carrying five senior officials of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and two pilots crashed off the Mumbai coast minutes after it took off yesterday.  

“Out of six bodies, five has been identified. The search for one missing is still underway”, a senior police inspector said. 

Currently, four Indian Naval ships (Teg, Tarasa, T 11 and T 45) are undertaking the search in the area. INS Teg also has Chetak helicopter and diving teams embarked onboard to augment the search efforts. 

One Dornier aircraft has completed the search and one P8I Long Range aircraft has conjoined the search with two search and rescue kits. Further, Indian Coast Guard ships and aircraft are also deployed for SAR. 

Additional ships and aircraft are being kept ready at Mumbai for deployment as and when required.

Source From: http://www.rediff.com/rss/inrss.xml

— Besttopic

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