Wednesday, February 8, 2023
HomePlugged InPlugged-In: Impeachment motion rejected, Manu Sharma's fate, and AFSPA curtailed

Plugged-In: Impeachment motion rejected, Manu Sharma’s fate, and AFSPA curtailed

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The only thing that got impeached was the motion itself, as Rajya Sabha chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu rejected the petition submitted by seven opposition parties seeking CJI Dipak Misra’s impeachment. In his order, Naidu cited the “absence of credible information”, and said the MPs were “unsure of their own case” and acting on “mere suspicion”, The Indian Express reports.

Venkaiah Naidu
Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu | PIB

The Congress, which led the calls for impeachment, evidently isn’t pleased, and Kapil Sibal called the order “unprecedented, ill-advised and illegal” at a press conference Monday. He said that the party would challenge the order in the Supreme Court, The Hindu reports.

However, the order is “entirely tenable legally”, former law secretary P.K. Malhotra, one of the people consulted by the Vice-President, told Sanya Dhingra of ThePrint. “Section 3 of the Judges Inquiry Act of 1968 specifically empowers the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha to take a call when such a motion is received,” Malhotra said.

The Centre has withdrawn AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) entirely from Meghalaya as well as from eight of 16 police station jurisdictions in Arunachal Pradesh, with effect from 31 March 2018. This is because “insurgency-related incidents in the northeast region have come down by 85 per cent from the levels recorded at the peak of militancy two decades ago”, The Times of India reports front page.

Indian Army
File photo of Indian Army | Commons

A judge, a top policeman, Delhi’s home minister and four senior government officials are meeting to decide the fate of 90 prisoners who have either served their time in prison or are up for early release. The list includes Manu Sharma and Sushil Sharma, murder convicts linked with the high-profile Jessica Lall and tandoor murder cases, respectively. Manu has served 15 years in prison, while Sharma has served over 23, Hindustan Times reports.

Legal experts say Sabrina Lall’s letter ‘forgiving’ Manu Sharma, who killed her sister Jessica 20 years ago, is unlikely to have any direct impact on his chances of release or remission, The Times of India reports.

Protest and candlelit march at India Gate against the Verdict of the Jessica Lal murder case in New Delhi
A candlelight march at India Gate after a lower court’s acquittal of Manu Sharma in 2006. The Delhi HC had subsequently convicted him. | Getty

The news of Naxalites killed in Sunday’s encounter has been relegated to small corners of the national dailies today, except for The Times of India that carries a substantial front-page story. Eleven decomposed bodies of slain Maoists were spotted floating in the Indravati river in Gadchiroli by TOI reporters, bringing the encounter’s toll to 27.

Is death a deterrent? This seems to be the question many are asking after the union Cabinet child rape ordinance. Now, the Delhi High Court has questioned the government on the logic of the move. “Have you (Centre) conducted any scientific assessment or study before passing of your ordinance?” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar said, The Indian Express reports.

Delhi High Court, Acting Chief Justice, Gita Mittal
Delhi High Court Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal | Jindal Global Law School Youtube page

Befriending the bully: As Modi heads to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on 27-28 April, the government has sent out a note asking senior leaders and government functionaries of the Centre and states to stay away from events that seek to observe the upcoming 60th anniversary of Dalai Lama’s exile. All this for Beijing, who was informed of New Delhi’s move by the South Block, The Indian Express reports.

Rahul Gandhi launched the Congress’ ‘Save the Constitution’ campaign Monday with a tirade against Modi. The Congress president said the “only one interest” Narendra Modi has is in himself and in becoming PM again, and he doesn’t care about atrocities against minorities. “…Rahul also accused the government of packing institutions with RSS men,” Business Standard reports.

In ThePrint

BJP needs to gets its house in order in Rajasthan. Ashok Parnami’s resignation as state BJP chief last week triggered infighting over his likely successor, and the matter has now reached national president Amit Shah’s door. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, tipped to be the strongest contender for the post, faces “severe opposition from a section of MPs and MLAs, who claim to have the support of the all-powerful chief minister Vasundhara Raje”, Pragya Kaushika reports.

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat
File photo of Gajendra Singh Shekhawat | Gajendra Singh Shekhawat Facebook

A Congress MP has claimed that the BJP is trying create unrest in Assam through the controversial citizenship amendment bill. Makepeace Sitlhou reports that “the bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to illegal immigrants belonging to certain minority communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan”. But the issue has already sparked a huge backlash in Assam. To know more, read her article.

Business Class

As early as next week, global retail giant WalMart Inc could hold an 86 per cent stake in India’s largest online retailer, Flipkart, reports The Economic Times.

Logo of Flipkart
Flipkart logo| Bloomberg

Former foreign secretary S. Jaishankar was appointed president for global corporate affairs at Tata Group Monday. According to sources, the year-long cooling-off period bureaucrats have to serve before they can join the private sector has been waived for Jaishankar, Kaveesha Kohli reported for ThePrint Monday.

A file image of former foreign secretary S Jaishankar
A file image of former foreign secretary S. Jaishankar | Ajay Aggarwal/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd became India’s first $100 billion company in a decade, reports Bloomberg. It writes “…Company achieved that milestone after gaining as much as 4.6 per cent Monday in the wake of better-than-expected earnings.”

Former RBI chief Raghuram Rajan as Bank of England governor? The renowned economist is said to be among the candidates in the running for the post, with the incumbent, Canada-born Mark Carney, the first foreigner to hold the post in three centuries, set to step down in June 2019, The Times of India reports.

News it’s just kind of cool to know

Honey, I shrunk the apartment. In Mumbai, houses have now moved from small to ‘nano’ sized, thanks to a number of residential projects that “now offer micro-flats as tiny as 189 sq ft, with space-saving designs, in-house amenities and a central location”, The Times of India reports. The concept will give people a better shot at buying a home in one of the world’s densest cities.

Photo for representation (Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)

A billion-dollar airport is set to come up on the outskirts of Greater Noida. The aviation ministry has given its go-ahead for the project, which will be the second civilian airport in the National Capital Region, The Economic Times reports.

Point of View

The rape law has become tougher, with the provision of death penalty for raping a child below 12 years of age. The Times Of India, in its editorial, criticises the demand for ‘tough laws’ and puts emphasis on making laws reasonable and practical.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan on 27 April. The Indian Express, in its editorial, welcomes the move, writing, “Both leaders must now be congratulated for agreeing to meet face-to-face and talk about their differences and disagreements, and decide on how to resolve them.”

PM Modi with China President Xi Jinping

All eyes will be on the Modi-Xi informal summit later this week. Carnegie India director C. Rajamohan writes in his column in The Indian Express, “At Wuhan, Modi and Xi have an opportunity to better appreciate each other’s concerns and interests, reflect on the multiple problems between the two nations, imagine a redirection of the relationship, set practical goals…”

Dalit discontent is on the rise. Senior Supreme Court advocate Sanjay Hegde, in his column in The Hindu, writes about the historical context of the Dalit movement and the need for an “attempt… to bring about a far more equitable distribution of political and social power than has hitherto happened”.

Members of the Dalit community stage a protest during 'Bharat Bandh' call by Dalit organisations against the alleged dilution of SC/ST act | Representational Image | K Asif/India Today
Members of the Dalit community stage a protest during their recent ‘Bharat bandh’ | K Asif/India Today Group/Getty Images

Jobs, or the lack thereof, are a real concern for young India. Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien, in his column in The Times Of India, criticises the BJP for peddling ‘fake’ date about job creation in the country.

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