Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, who had represented Amit Shah in fake encounter case, appointed 49th CJI

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August 10, 2022

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New Delhi, Aug 10: Justice Uday Umesh Lalit was on Wednesday appointed as the 49th Chief Justice of India after President Droupadi Murmu signed his warrant of appointment.

He will assume charge on August 27 after incumbent N V Ramana demits office the day before.

"In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint Shri Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, judge of the Supreme Court, to be the Chief Justice of India with effect from 27 August, 2022," a law ministry notification said.

Justice Lalit will have a brief tenure of less than three months. He will turn 65 on November 8 when he demits office.

Lalit is the second judge elevated directly from the bar to become chief justice of india. Justice SM Sikri was the first.

Maharashtra-born Lalit began his legal career in 1983. He practised in the Bombay High Court till 1985 and moved to Delhi in 1986.

In 2004, he became a senior Supreme Court advocate. Having experience in criminal law, he handled many high-profile cases. He has represented Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter case.

Lalit has also served as the special public prosecutor in the 2G scam case.

He was appointed a Supreme Court judge in August 2014.

As an apex court judge, Lalit's landmark hearings include the "triple talaq" case. He was part of a five-judge bench that by a 3-2 majority in 2017 ruled that the practice was "illegal" and "unconstitutional".

He recused himself from the Ayodhya hearing because he had appeared for former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh in a case related to the Babri Masjid demolition.

Last year, a bench led by Lalit had reversed the Bombay High Court's controversial "skin to skin" ruling.

The High Court had held that “skin-to-skin contact” between an accused person and a child was required to make a case under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.  The Supreme Court had said the judgement would set a dangerous precedent.

In July this year, a bench comprising Justice UU Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat and PS Narasimha had sentenced fugitive tycoon Vijay Mallya to four month jail in contempt of court case. Mallya was held guilty of contempt for disbursing $40 million to his family members in violation of the court orders.

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News Network
October 2,2022

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BJP is likely to romp home comfortably in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections later this year as the AAP is unlikely to be a big factor, according to ABP-CVoter survey on Sunday. The survey also predicted that the Congress' numbers may further diminish.

In Gujarat, the ruling BJP is likely to improve its numbers from the current 99 to 135-143 seats out of 182 seats at the cost of Congress. Congress, which has 77 seats, is likely to get only 36-44 seats.

AAP, which has been spending considerable time in Gujarat after its impressive victory in Punjab, is unlikely to win more than two seats, according to the survey. However, it may garner 17.4 per cent vote. 

Both Congress and BJP appear to be losing votes to AAP but the largest chunk is from the former. Congress which garnered 41.4 per cent votes may have to settle for 32.3 per cent, while the BJP which got 49.1 per cent may get only 46.4 per cent, according to the survey.

In Himachal Pradesh, the survey has projected that BJP can get 37 to 45 seats out of 68 seats, followed by the Congress with 21 to 29 seats. AAP is unlikely to have an impact in the state though it may garner 9.5 per cent votes.

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News Network
September 28,2022

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The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government of India on Wednesday, September 28, banned Popular Front of India (PFI) and its seven affiliates for five years charging it of being involved in "several criminal and terror cases" and having links with the terror outfit Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued the notification at 5:43 am based on recommendations from BJP-ruled states Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat. The move comes days after multi-agency raids led by NIA led to the arrest or detention of over 350 activists and leaders.

Besides PFI, the affiliates that were banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 are Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CFI), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation (NCHRO), National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab India Foundation.

The Centre justified its ban in the notification, saying that if there is "no immediate curb or control of unlawful activities of the PFI and its affiliates or fronts, the PFI and its associates, it will use the opportunity to "continue its subversive activities" disturbing the constitutional set up of the country.

If there is no ban, the notification said, it will also encourage and enforce terror based regressive regime, allow propagating anti-national sentiments and radicalise a particular section of society with the intention to create disaffection against the country and aggravate activities which are detrimental to the integrity, security and sovereignty of the country.

The PFI and its affiliates "operate openly as socio-economic, educational and political organisations but they have been pursuing a secret agenda to radicalise a particular section of the society working towards undermining the concept of democracy and showing sheer disrespect towards the constitutional authority and constitutional set up of the country", it said.

With funds and ideological support from outside, it said, it has become a "major threat" to internal security. The PFI’s founding members were the leaders of banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

The notification cited a number of incidents of "violent and subversive acts" carried out by the PFI, including that of chopping off the hands of Prof TJ Joseph in Kerala and cold blooded killings of a college student Abhimany in Kerala and youths Sharath, R Rudresh, Praveen Pujari and Praveen Nettaru, all from Karnataka between 2016 and 2022.

"Criminal activities and brutal murders have been carried out by PFI cadres for the sole objective of disturbing public peace and tranquility and creating reign of terror in public mind," the notification said.

The MHA also spoke about PFI's links with global terrorist groups and instances of its activists joining ISIS and participating in terror acts in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Some of these PFI cadres linked to ISIS have been killed in these conflict theaters and some have been arrested by state police and central agencies while the PFI also has links with Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), a proscribed terrorist organization.

The leaders and cadres of the PFI are also accused of conspiring and raising funds from within the country and abroad through the banking channels, and the hawala, donations, etc. as part of a "well-crafted criminal conspiracy, and then transferring, layering and integrating these funds through multiple accounts to project them as legitimate and eventually using these funds to carry out various criminal, unlawful and terrorist activities".

The notification also said the sources of deposits on behalf of PFI were not supported by the financial profiles of the account holders and the activities of PFI were not being carried out as per their declared objectives. It noted that the Income Tax Department had cancelled the registration granted to PFI and Rehab India Foundation.

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News Network
September 30,2022

Mangaluru, Sept 30: Sleuths of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday raided the freedom community hall at Mittur in Bantwal taluk of Dakshina Kannada district on the suspicion that PFI workers were trained in its premises.

One of the trustees of the trust which runs the hall, Ayub Agnadi was arrested by NIA officials, while another trustee Masood Agnadi is missing, police sources said. 

NIA suspects that training was given to activists of the PFI in isolated areas at Bantwal, Puttur and Sullia to carry out terrorist activities. Many youths from across the state are suspected to have been trained at the freedom community hall at Mittur, which was opened by the trust in 2007.

Search is on for the absconding trustee Masood, sources said. NIA had earlier raided the hall on September 6 in connection with the probe into the murder of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha leader Praveen Nettar.

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