Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi resigns as Union minister after PM Modi praises him

News Network
July 6, 2022

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New Delhi, July 6: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Wednesday resigned as Union Minister of Minority Affairs, reported news agency ANI.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is learnt to have lauded Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi's contribution to the country and the people during the Cabinet meeting.

Soon after the Cabinet meeting, Naqvi met BJP president J P Nadda at the party headquarters in the national capital.

Recently, several BJP leaders were elected to Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan. However, the party did not give a Rajya Sabha ticket to Naqvi.

His term as Rajya Sabha MP set to end on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Naqvi's name is doing the rounds for the post of the second highest constitutional position, the Vice President.

The Election Commission has already issued a notification for the August 6 polls to elect the 16th Vice President, setting in motion the process of filing nominations by candidates.

M Venkaiah Naidu's term as Vice President ends on August 10. 

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News Network
August 19,2022

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Ahmedabad, Aug 19: Some of the convicts in the Bilkis Bano case of the 2002 Gujarat riots are “Brahmins” with good ‘sanskaar’ or values and it is possible they may have been fixed due to their past family activities, a BJP MLA, who was a part of the state government panel that recommended remission to all the 11 men found guilty, said on Thursday.

C K Raulji, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Godhra, said he does not know whether the convicts, released after spending more than 15 years in jail, were involved in the crime.

On August 15, all the 11 convicts sentenced to life imprisonment in the 2002 case of Bilkis Bano’s gang rape and murder of her seven family members during the communal riots walked out of the Godhra sub-jail after the BJP government in Gujarat allowed their release under its remission policy.

“We took the decision on the basis of a Supreme Court order. We were asked to look at their (convicts’) behaviour and decide (on their early release),” Raulji, who was one of the members of the government-appointed committee that recommended granting of remission to the convicts, told a news portal.

“We asked the jailer and learnt that their behaviour was good in the prison…also (some of the convicts) are Brahmins. They have good ‘sanskaar’ (values),” said the ruling party legislator.

The Gujarat government’s decision has invited sharp criticism from the opposition parties who have said the move was against the Centre’s guidelines.

However, Raulji said the convicts may have been fixed.

“It is possible that they (the convicts) might have been fixed in the case due to their past family activities. When such riots take place it happens that those who are not involved are named. But I don’t know if they committed the crime, we decided (on remission) based on their behaviour,” he said.

Asked about the welcome accorded to the 11 men after their release from prison, he said they had not welcomed them.

The Gujarat government released the 11 convicts after the Supreme Court directed it to consider their plea for relief under the state’s 1992 remission policy.

A special CBI court in Mumbai had on January 21, 2008, sentenced to life imprisonment all the 11 accused in the case for murder of seven family members of Bilkis Bano, a riots survivor, and her gang rape. Their conviction was later upheld by Bombay High Court.

These convicts served more than 15 years in prison after which one of them approached the Supreme Court with a plea for his premature release.

The apex court had directed the Gujarat government to look into the issue of remission of his sentence as per its 1992 policy on the basis of the date of his conviction. Thereafter, the government formed a committee which took the decision to allow release of all the convicts.

On March 3, 2002, Bilkis Bano’s family was attacked by a mob at Randhikpur village in Limkheda taluka of Dahod district. Bilkis, who was five months pregnant at the time, was gang raped and seven members of her family were killed during the BJP backed riots. 

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News Network
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
August 9,2022

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Break-ups and alliances are not new for Janata Dal (United) chief and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who has once again ended alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party after the Bihar opposition — Congress, RJD and Left — declared open support for him. 

A look at Kumar’s allies over the years and his blow hot, blow cold equation with the BJP:

1989: In the initial years in Janata Dal, Kumar backed Lalu Prasad as leader of the opposition in Bihar Assembly in 1989.

1994: Kumar fell out with Prasad, floated the Samata Party with George Fernandes.

1996: Kumar joined hands with the BJP and was a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet. Then Janata Dal president Sharad Yadav and Lalu Prasad had a spat and the latter broke away and formed the RJD

2000: Kumar was first elected to office, however, he resigned days after he took oath. NDA and allies had 151 seats, Prasad’s RJD had 159, both falling short of the required 163 seats.

2003: The Samata Party merged with Sharad Yadav’s Janata Dal, while continuing its alliance with the BJP. The Janata Dal (United) was formed, with Kumar at the helm.

2005: Kumar’s JD(U), in alliance with the BJP, came back to power as an NDA member, ending the “Lalu era”.

2010: Kumar’s party swept back to power along with ally, the BJP, and he again became the CM.

2013: He snapped his party’s 17-year-old ties with the BJP in 2013, when Narendra Modi was anointed the BJP’s campaign committee chief for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. After parting ways with the BJP, he won a trust vote with support from the Congress, but stepped down in 2014, owning moral responsibility for the JD(U)’s tally of two in the Lok Sabha elections.

In less than a year, Kumar was back as the chief minister, pushing out his rebel protégé Jitan Ram Manjhi with support from the RJD and the Congress.

2017: The Grand Alliance of the JD(U), Congress and RJD won the 2017 assembly polls, but collapsed in just two years, as Kumar insisted that Lalu’s son and deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav, whose name had cropped up in a money laundering case when RJD supremo was the railway minister, “come clear" on the issue.

He broke the alliance, resigned as the chief minister as the RJD refused to budge, only to be back in the office in less than 24 hours with the BJP’s support.

2022: He joined hands with the RJD again, breaking ties with the BJP.

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