Karnataka HC abolishes ACB; transfers pending cases to Lokayukta

News Network
August 11, 2022

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Bengaluru, Aug 11: The Karnataka High Court on Thursday abolished the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) constituted by the state government in 2016.

A division bench of Justices B Veerappa and KS Hemalekha pronounced the order while allowing the public interest litigations filed by advocate Chidananda Urs, Advocates' Association of Bangalore and Samaja Parivarthana Samudaya challenging the constitution of ACB.

The petitioners have challenged the notifications issued by the state government in March 2016 constituting ACB and withdrawing the powers of the Prevention of Corruption Act from Karnataka Lokayukta.

Quashing both the notifications, the division bench directed the ACB to transfer the cases and officers under its ambit to Karnataka Lokayukta which will have to take up those cases further and utilise those officers' services to strengthen Lokayukta institution to eradicate corruption.

Further, the high court directed the state government to maintain transparency and appoint a competent person as Lokayukta and Upa Lokayukta in the interest of the public.

The court observed that the state government has failed to justify why the notification was issued to create Anti-Corruption Bureau and also why it has withdrawn powers from Lokayukta to investigate cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The Siddaramaiah- led Congress government created ACB in 2016. Though the BJP promised to restore the powers of the Prevention of Corruption Act with Lokayukta in its manifesto, the BJP government failed to keep up its promise.

On the other hand, the JD (S), which had promised to restore the power to probe corruption cases with Lokayukta if it comes to power, did not do it since it formed a coalition government.

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News Network
September 26,2022

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Former Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad announced his new political party ' Democratic Azad Party' on Monday and also released his party flag. The development comes a month after the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister broke ties with the Congress.

Addressing a press conference, he said, "I wish to express my gratitude to the local and national media. We will have independent thinking and ideology and it will be a democratic party."

"Around 1,500 names for my new party were sent to us, in Urdu, Sanskrit. The mix of Hindi & Urdu is 'Hindustani'. We want the name to be democratic, peaceful and independent," Azad said in Jammu.

Ghulam Nabi Azad held a press conference today to unveil his new political outfit. On Sunday, he held meetings with his workers and leaders. Our politics won't be based on caste or religion."

He said, "We haven't consulted any other party for floating a new party. My party's will have Gandhiji's ideology.

Earlier, Azad, in his first public meeting in Jammu after quitting Congress, had announced to launch of his own political outfit that will focus on the restoration of full statehood.

Azad, 73, quit Congress on August 26, terming the party "comprehensively destroyed". He also lashed out at Rahul Gandhi for "demolishing" the party's entire consultative mechanism.

In his resignation letter to Sonia Gandhi, he had targeted the party leadership, particularly Rahul Gandhi, over the way the party has been run in the past nearly nine years.

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News Network
October 2,2022

New Delhi, Oct 2: The Maharashtra government on Sunday launched a campaign appealing to people to say “Vande Mataram” while receiving phone calls instead of “Hello”.

“Vande Mataram means we are bowing before our mother. Hence, it is our appeal to the people to say Vande Mataram instead of Hello,” state cultural affairs minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said at a rally held in Wardha district on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

A Government Resolution (GR) issued on Saturday appealed to Maharashtra government employees and officers to greet people by saying “Vande Mataram” instead of “Hello” during official or personal phone calls.

It is not mandatory, but the heads of departments should encourage their staff to do so, the GR said.

It said ‘hello’ is borrowed from Western culture and the word did not have any specific meaning. “The word is just a formality which does not arouse any emotion,” the GR said.

Greeting people by saying “Vande Mataram” will create a feeling of affection, it said, adding that an awareness campaign should be conducted to promote it.

At the event in Wadha on Sunday, Mungantiwar said, “If people want to say ‘Jai Bhim’ or ‘Jai Shri Ram’, or even mention their parents’ names while answering a phone call all forms are ok with us. Our appeal is to avoid saying Hello while receiving a call.”

During the independence movement, a slogan like “Inquilab Zindabad” (long live the revolution) was banned by the British rulers, he said.

“But, it inspired many people to join the (freedom) movement and eventually we got independence. Even Mahatma Gandhi had supported (chanting of) Vande Mataram and he had written so in a column published at that time,” he said.

The proposal was first made by Mngantiwar soon after being sworn in as a minister in August.

Mungantiwar also said the state government will come up with an audiobook on 850 key personalities from Maharashtra who played a major role in the formation of the state.

“Like the audiobook, we will also come up with MaharashtraTel, where stories and information about key personalities and their contribution will be available in audio format. People can listen to it while travelling as well,” he said. 

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News Network
October 3,2022

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A 7-year-old child died when an electric scooter battery, which was being charged at home, exploded in Maharashtra's Palghar. 

The boy, identified as Shabbir Ansari, breathed his last during treatment after getting critically injured in an e-scooter blast. "Case registered; further investigation initiated," Manikpur Police Station stated. 

The boy had sustained over 70 percent burns when the scooter’s battery exploded at his home. The boy and his grandmother were sleeping in the hall when the explosion took place. 

Ansari's father plugged in the EV battery for charging and woke up to shock as the battery exploded. The EV battery fire incident took place at around 4:30am on September 23. Grandmother suffered minor injuries while Ansari had over 70 percent burns and was rushed to hospital. He breathed his last on October 2.  

The media reports further claim that it was detachable 24 Ah Lithium Ferro Phosphate (LFP) battery. However, Ansari's family blames EV scooter manufacturer for 'faulty' battery.

India has been witnessing electric scooter battery fires since the onset of 2022. A few months ago, an EV fire occurred in Andhra Pradesh, where the battery of an electric two-wheeler detonated in a house, killing one person and injuring three others. The event occurred in Vijayawada, when the detachable battery of the vehicle was kept on charging in his bedroom and it suddenly exploded in the early hours when all were fast asleep.

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