Morning briefing: Sonia, Rahul Gandhi to appear before court today, security up

sonia gandhi, rahul gandhi, national heralad, subramanian swamy, information commission, delhi rape, juvenile convict

GN Staff | December 19, 2015



Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi are set to appear  in Delhi's Patiala House court in connection with the National Herald case at 3:00 pm today.The mother-son duo was summoned by a trial court on the charges of cheating in the National Herald case, on a criminal complaint lodged by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy for alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds in acquiring ownership of now-defunct daily National Herald.The trial court then issued summons to the two leaders among others in June 2014, but they approached the Delhi High Court seeking a stay. On Monday this week, the high court refused to stay the summons, and asked all of the accused to appear for a hearing on December 19.

Meanwhile,  security has been beefed up in the court complex. Special Protection Guard (SPG) and senior Delhi Police officials visited the court premises and inspected security arrangements. As many as 16 new cameras have been installed in the court premises to keep a vigil on movement inside and outside the complex.The SPG also inspected the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen, where case hearing will take place on Saturday. According to sources, paramilitary forces will be deployed as part of beefed up security. Movement outside the court will be restricted as part of the security drill.

Former defence secretary R K Mathur is new chief information commissioner

Former defence decretary R K Mathur has been appointed as chief information commissioner (CIC). The post had fallen vacant after Vijai Sharma completed his tenure on December 1. 62-year-old Mathur, a retired IAS officer of Tripura cadre, will have tenure of about three years, till he attains the age of 65 years.Mathur, who did his graduation from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and post graduation from IIT, Delhi, has held various positions in his cadre state and at the Centre. He had been secretary in both ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises, and defence production and supplies.

Uttar Pradesh to ban polythene
Seeking to make Uttar Pradesh an environemt-friendly place, the government on Friday decided to enforce the ban on the use of polythene across the state, a month after the Allahabad High Court's direction to prohibit its usage. "We have banned polythene and its carry bags across the state. There was a court directive for making UP environment friendly. We are also looking at alternative material that we can distribute to the people," chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said.On November 18, the Allahabad High Court had directed the state government to issue a notification enforing complete ban on the sale of polythene across the state by December 31 this year.

No country liquor from April in Bihar, IMFL sale at govt shops
Enforcement of prohibition of alcohol in Bihar would be in phases as part of which there would be total ban on country liquor from April 1 next year Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) to be sold only at government outlets. Initially there would be total ban on sale of country liquor from new financial year starting from April 1, 2016, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said after a special cabinet meeting in Patna on Friday.

From that date onwards, limited shops run by government body Bihar State Beverages Corporation Limited (BSBCL) will sell IMFL in municipal and town council areas.nHe said after BSBCL takes up the job of IMFL sale, almost 90 percent of present liquor outlets would be shut down thus minimizing the ill effect of alcohol consumption in the state.The Chief Minister, who had called the special cabinet meeting to approve the new Excise Policy, said his government decided to go phase-wise in enforcing prohibition in Bihar to make it "more effective."

AAP leaders get legal notice over baseless allegations in DDCA saga
Lokesh Sharma, managing director of a company AAP had accused of taking huge commissions in the DDCA affair, on Friday issued a legal notice on the party seeking unconditional apology, failing which criminal defamation proceedings will be initiatied against it.
The notice served by Sharma, Managing Director of 21st Century Media Private Limited, served the notice on AAP leaders Ashutosh and Sanjay Singh accusing them of making allegations against him and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley which are baseless and defamatory and are factually false.The notice referred to the allegation made by the two leaders that illegal corporate boxes were constructed and were sub leased to 10 corporate houses by a company close to Jaitley and his family.

They also alleged that 21st Century Media (TCM) was tasked to sell and sub-lease the boxes for 10 years at Rs 36 crore for which a commission of Rs 5.4 crores was paid to the company and insinuated that Jaitley knew why the commission was paid to TCM."At the outset, not only are your allegations baseless and defamatory but are factually false. You have stated that a sum of Rs. 5.4. crores was paid to us as commission. The said statement is completely false."It is pertinent to point out that the commission that we received from the sale of 35 boxes and management of services of those boxes for a period spread over 10 years was a sum of Rs 1,24,15,410 which was from the sale of boxes and in addition a sum of Rs 63,16,630 was paid to us from the sale of Ends, Stands, Pavilions and Management of services again for a period of 10 years," said the notice drafted by Karanjawala & Co. The notice has warned that failure to comply with their demand, Sharma would be compelled to initiate stringent and appropriate legal proceedings at any place, in or outside India.

Gujarat Congress objects govt ‘spending’ Rs 31 lakh on Modi’s tent
Gujarat Congress alleged that the state government spent Rs 31 lakh on raising a lavish tent for Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Dhordo in Rann of Kutch, where he will stay during the ongoing meeting of country’s top police brass.The annual three-day conference of directors general of police and inspectors general of police organised by the Intelligence Bureau was on Friday launched in the presence of Modi and union home minister Rajnath Singh.“Prime minister describes himself a Pradhan Sevak but improper expenses have been made to build a tent for him. The money spent is huge,” state Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki alleged on Friday. “We are not against the conference as such, they should meet and discuss national security but our problem is the expense done behind it,” Solanki added.Meanwhile, the opening discussion at the conference touched on the possibility of registering first information reports (FIRs) in all cases. At present, the police just take a note or application from the complainant instead of registering a formal FIR in many cases. Modi is expected to deliver the concluding speech on the final day of event on Sunday.

DCW chief seeks Prez, CJI’s intervention to stall juvenile’s release
Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal on Friday sought the intervention of the chief justice and president Pranab Mukherjee against the release of the juvenile convict in the December 16 gangrape case, saying he must be kept in an observation home until his reformation is ascertained.Terming the Delhi high court’s refusal to stay the release of the juvenile as a “dark day” in the history of the country, Maliwal shot off letters to Mukherjee, chief justice TS Thakur and the principal magistrate of the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB), Murari Prasad Singh.“In light of the particularly heinous nature of the crime executed by this boy, the DCW requests your Hon’ble self to kindly intervene in the matter and ensure that the boy be kept in the observation home at least until his mental frame of mind and reformation is properly ascertained (sic),” she wrote in the letter.“If your Hon’ble self deems fit, a committee may be set up consisting of the DCW and the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) with directions to create a team of the best counsellors from across the country to visit the boy at the home and assess the current mental state of the boy and the quality of reformation that he has undergone,” she added.

Subramanian Swamy allotted govt accommodation due to ‘security threat’

Following a recommendation by the home ministry, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has been alotted a government accommodation for five years because he “faces a security threat”. Swamy, a private citizen who lives in Nizamuddin East, is not entitled to a government bungalow under the criteria for allotment of such accommodation. According to the Union urban development  ministry’s allotment norms, which were amended earlier this year, the only ‘private persons’ entitled to government accommodation are those who face a security threat and are covered under the Special Protection Group (SPG).The BJP leader enjoys Z-category security under the central protectee list. Swamy gets around 40 CRPF commandos and there is no place at his present place of residence for deployment of armed guards.At present, Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka Vadra – a private person and an SPG protectee – is allowed to have government accommodation.

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