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Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi furious about CBI ‘leak’ to the press

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CJI Gogoi on leak of Alok Verma’s reply to CVC

Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi has made the front page in several newspapers, with headlines highlighting his fury about ousted CBI director Alok Verma’s reply to the central vigilance commissioner being allegedly “leaked” to the press, notably to the web portal TheWire. “This is not right. We intend to set it right,” The Indian Express quotes him as saying.

TheWire tweeted in its defence, “This is to clarify that @thewire in stories were on Alok Verma’s responses to questions the CVC put to him. These were not in a sealed cover and were not meant for the SC. As for his response to CVC’s final report, handed over to SC in sealed cover, we haven’t seen/reported that.”

Nonetheless, it was enough for Justice Gogoi to declare, “None of you deserve a hearing,” pushing the hearing to 29 November.

Editorial pages are less than impressed with CJI Gogoi’s outburst, especially since, as the Express notes, his “appearance in the January press conference was a powerful statement on the public’s right to know”.

“In the CBI case, the court has its work cut out. The media doing its job only contributes to, not takes away from, the quality of justice,” the Express adds.

Anti-Sikh riots

The Times of India leads with a report on the first death sentence handed out for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as a result of the inquiry conducted by the special investigation team set up three years ago.

Yashpal Singh, 55, was sentenced to death for killing two Sikh youths, while co-accused Naresh Sehrawat, also in his 50s, was awarded life imprisonment. Hindustan Times puts the news on its front-page flap, quoting the brother of one of the victims as saying, “It is a big victory for humanity. We are satisfied with the judgment though we wanted court to award deaths to both the convicts.”

RBI

Continuing the analysis of the Monday meeting of the RBI board, The Times of India headlines its piece “RBI meet marks clear shift of power to govt”, and writes within, “It appears, at least on the evidence of the meeting, that the central bank will henceforth need to be more empathetic to the concerns and suggestions of the board”.

Section 7 of the RBI Act, which allows the government to issue directions to the RBI, may not have been enforced but “hangs like Delhi’s smog over the RBI”, it adds.

Meanwhile, The Hindu’s editorial suggests the meeting was mutually beneficial, writing, “Clearly, there was enough give-and-take in the meeting that left both sides with the feeling that they had gained something”.

“Differences between the Centre and the central bank must be thrashed out in such a setting, rather than in the media or in public speeches,” it adds.

The Times of India, which in any case buries its edit pages, simply forgets that there’s a problem between the RBI and the government.

Farmers, Mary Kom, and Mann ki Baat

The Hindu is the only paper to feature on its front page a union agriculture ministry report that notes “millions of farmers in India were unable to buy seeds and fertilisers for their winter crops because of demonetisation”. The report has been submitted to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, The Hindu adds.

The Times of India reports Mary Kom’s success at the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship, where she registered her seventh win.

Is this really the readers’ Mann ki Baat? In an unusual piece of journalism, Hindustan Times has chosen to alert readers to the fact that the Prime Minister’s monthly radio chat cum live TV broadcast will complete 50 episodes this weekend: “Mann ki Baat to turn 50”, it informs readers. What can one say but congratulations?

Prime Time

There was no one report that dominated the daily panel debates on news channels, not least the CJI’s fury over alleged leaks in the CBI inquiry.
Aaj Tak discussed AIMIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi’s allegations that the Congress offered him Rs 25 lakh to cancel a rally. The panel included four members, none of them from the Congress: They were Varish Pathan, member of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen, Tasleem Rehmani, president of Muslim Political Council of India, and two other guests invited for their expertise on the RSS.
In the three-way debate, host Rohit Sardana was seen attacking Rehmani for suggesting that the BJP could have paid Owaisi to neutralise votes in Hyderabad. Due to the accusatory tone of the anchor, a fight broke out between Pathan and Rehmani.
Pathan was of the opinion that the Bhartiya Janta Party would never do that, saying the Congress alone had been using Muslims as a votebank.
Times Now, meanwhile, debated whether Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey should be blamed for holding the “Smash Brahminical Patriarchy” placard.
Film-maker Ashoke Pandit, one of the panelists, asked “why these pseudo-liberal journalists” were “trying to break the country”.
Karuna Nundy, a prominent lawyer, was of the opinion that Dorsey was misunderstood, saying the phrase in question only sought to attack the ‘privileged upper caste male system’ and not against Brahmins as a whole.
Sonam Mahajan, a social media commentator, said there was no term like ‘Brahminical patriarchy’ and that Jack Dorsey had been in bad company. According to Mahajan, he was surrounded by journalists of only one ideology and did not have the complete picture.
She also accused Dorsey of trying to instigate a communal divide among people right before elections.

News it’s just kinda cool to know

According to a study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the last ice age, which began about 3.2 million years ago, may have been a result of changes deep within the planet. The study is based on a detailed analysis of fossil signatures from deep ocean sediments, the magnetic signature of oceanic crust, as well as the position of the mantle “hot spot” that led to the birth of Hawaiian Islands, reports PTI.

With inputs from Ratnadeep Choudhary

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