SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 13 JANUARY 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16+4 |`3|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P7 SENSEX 34,592.39 +89.90 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. Shallow/moderate fog in the morning. Maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to be around 24 and 9 degrees Celsius respectively RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.92% Min. 42% Max: 23.7°C (+4) SUN RISES 07:15 hrs MOON RISES 04:49 hrs Min: 8.0°C (+1) SUN SETS 17:45 hrs MOON SETS 14:58 hrs TEMPERATURE THUMBNAILS Padmaavat banned in Gujarat too: Succumbing to sentiments of the aggrieved Rajput community, the Gujarat Government has decided not to allow the release of controversial film ‘Padmaavat’, the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film which had to drop the “I” from the legendary Rajasthan queen’s name as per the advice of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani told journalists that the film would not be released in the state, where it was disallowed earlier too in view of the Assembly elections. The film has been banned in P7 Rajasthan and MP. NIFTY 10,681.25 +30.50 NRI held for molesting American national: A day after Commissioner of Delhi Police claimed that cases of molestation of women in the Capital were marginally less in 2017 than 2016, a case of molestation of a 52year-old American national came to light. A 25-year-old NRI has been arrested from New Delhi's five star hotel Taj Diplomatic Enclave for allegedly molesting the woman earlier this week. The DCP New Delhi DK Singh identified the accused as Anmol Singh Kharbanda. According to a senior investigating officer, the molestation took place on Monday P3 night. ` vs $ 63.63 +3 PAISE GOLD 28,775.00 +205.00 P16 SILVER 38,900.00 00.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 68.88 -0.38 Four SC judges ‘revolt’ against CJI Say democracy will be at stake if remedial measures are not taken to resolve problems besetting the apex court STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 12 JANUARY I n a stunning, unprecedented development, four top judges of the Supreme Court came out publicly on Friday to express their collective grievances and anguish over the prevailing state of affairs there, taking on Chief Justice Dipak Misra for various "undesirable" things undermining the administration of justice in India's apex judicial institution. They warned that these problems afflicting the functioning of the Supreme Court must be resolved for the sake of India's democracy and Constitution, asserting that if an institution like the apex court is not preserved, democracy will be at stake in India. The four senior-most judges after Chief Justice of India (CJI) Misra ~ Justice J Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice M B Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph ~ jointly addressed a press conference in this regard at Justice Chelameswar's residence here, stunning the government as well as legal and political circles across the country. These judges are part of the (From left) Justice Kurian Joseph, Justice J Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, and Justice M B Lokur during their press conference in the Capital on Friday. Supreme Court's Collegium. The simmering discontent and discord within the top echelons of the apex court boiled over during this unprecedented news event as Justice Chelameswar, flanked by three other judges, accused the CJI of not strictly adhering to rules in assigning cases to appropriate Benches which they said could create "doubt" about the integrity of the top court. They said they had raised their concerns about various serious issues a couple of months ago in a letter to the CJI, which they also released. Even this morning before deciding to hold a news conference, Justice Chelameswar said they had gone to meet the CJI to request him about the redressal of a "specific" issue, but failed to persuade Justice Misra in this regard. Although they did not spell out their concern arising out of the CJI's bid to assign this "specific" issue to any preferred Bench, when asked specifically if they were upset over assigning the issue of the alleged mysterious death of special CBI judge B H Loya ~ who was hearing the sensitive Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case which earlier involved as an SNS accused BJP president Amit Shah ~ to a specific Bench, Justice Gogoi said, "Yes". The judges were at pains to point out how they were "compelled" to take the "extremely painful" decision to hold this "extraordinary event", the press conference, for the sake of a hallowed institution like the Supreme Court as well as Indian democracy. Justice Chelameswar said they were "convinced that unless this institution is protected... democracy will not survive in the country or any country...the hallmark of a democracy is independent and impartial judges". He said, "Unfortunately our efforts have failed in convincing the Chief Justice of India to take remedial steps to protect this institution." Justice Chelameswar also said, "Even this morning, on a particular issue, we, four of us, went and met the Chief Justice with a specific request. Unfortunately we could not convince him. Therefore, we were left with no choice but to communicate with the nation to please take care of the institution and the nation." He said a couple of decades later they should not be accused by "wise men" of having "sold their souls" by remaining silent in the midst of such a state of affairs besetting the apex court. Justice Gogoi ~ who would succeed Justice Misra as CJI in October ~ said they were "discharging debt to the nation that has got us here". Setting out their basic concerns, Justice Chelameswar charged that for some time "the administration of the Supreme Court is not in order" and "many things which are less than desirable have happened in the last few months”. TURN TO PAGE 5 TEXT OF LETTER, P 5 Judge Loya's death: Apex court seeks autopsy report, records from Maha govt PRESS TRUST OF INDIA The Supreme Court on Friday termed as a “serious matter” the issue of the alleged mysterious death of special CBI judge B H Loya, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case, and asked the Maharashtra government to file his autopsy report. The top court asked the state government to file its reply by 15 January and said“this matter requires bi-parte hearing rather than ex-parte”. “This is a serious issue. We would like counsel for state of Maharashtra to seek instructions and file the post mortem report and other relevant documents by January 15,” a Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and M M Shantanagoudar said. At the outset, senior advocate Dushyant Dave representing Bombay Lawyers' Association said the high court was already seized of the matter and the top court should refrain from hearing the issue. The Bench asked Dave to specify why the apex court should not hear the petition. To this, he said, “The Bombay High Court is seized of the matter and in my opinion the Supreme Court should not hear this matter. If the court goes ahead with the hearing, it may have implications before the high court.” Dave said he has been representing Bombay Lawyers' Association before the high court. Senior advocate Indira Jaising, who was also present in the courtroom, said she also had instructions from Bombay Lawyers' Association to pray that this matter should not be heard by the top court. She said that two orders have already been passed by the high court with one regarding issuing of notice and the other for listing of matter on 23 January. Hence the top court should not hear the matter. “We will see. We will take into consideration your objections. This is a serious issue,” the Bench said. AdvocateVarinder Kumar Sharma, appearing for Congress leader Tehseen Poonawalla, said this was a case where a mysterious death of a judge, who was hearing a sensitive case, had taken place on 1 December 2014, and it needed to be investigated independently. “Let the state government file its reply by January 15.Then we will see what can be done,” the Bench said and listed the matter for further hearing. Judge Loya had allegedly died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on 1 December 2014, when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague's daughter. The apex court had on Thursday agreed to hear two separate pleas filed by Poonawalla and Maharashtra-based journalist B R Lone, seeking independent probe into the death of Loya. Army Chief talks tough on China STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 12 JANUARY Talking tough ahead of Army Day on 15 January, Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Friday said India will not allow its territory to be invaded by anyone. Maintaining that the numbers of Chinese troops in Doklam had thinned, he said China may be a powerful country but India is not a weak nation either. Addressing the media here, Gen Rawat said the time had come for India to shift focus to its northern border and the country was capable of handling China's assertiveness along it. He said Chinese troops have maintained their presence in Doklam on the border though their numbers have thinned. He said the road construction had been on in Doklam since 2000 but the Chinese soldiers had come close to Tosa Bala, dividing north and south Doklam in June last year DAUNTING TASK FOR INDIA TO STAY AFLOAT IN SA SERIES P13 P10 NEW DELHI, 12 JANUARY IIP growth at 17-mth high, inflation a dampener: m A robust performance by the manufacturing sector took the industrial production growth to 17-month high of 8.4 per cent in November, but retail inflation at 17-month high of 5.2 per cent in December dampened the euphoria. The continuous rise in consumer inflation may prompt the Reserve Bank, which is aiming to keep it within 4 per cent, to hold the interest rate at its next month's policy review meet, which will be held within days of the presentation of the P11 Union Budget on February 1. UN URGES RICH COUNTRIES TO ACCEPT MIGRANTS NAIDU URGES MODI TO FULFIL PROMISE TO DEVELOP ANDHRA NITISH’S CONVOY ATTACKED BY ANGRY DALIT VILLAGERS just before the India-China standoff started. General Rawat said the Chinese had come with large manpower and equipment. “We felt they will try to claim the whole Doklam… It was also posing a threat to us as it was changing the status quo,” he said. Gen Rawat said the Chinese presence in the northern part of Doklam continued but has thinned out and the level of activity has also gone down. “We have focused too long on the western side,” the Army chief said. On the increasing border transgressions and contact between Indian and Chinese soldiers, he said the numbers have gone up as India had deployed more troops in more forward positions along the border. Amid aggressive Chinese efforts to increase its influence in the region, the Army chief said India cannot allow its neighbours to drift away to China. “China is a powerful country but we are not a weak nation,” General Rawat said. Referring to the US warnings to Pakistan over its handling of terrorism, he said India will have to wait and see its impact. Terrorists are a disposable commodity in Pakistan and the Indian Army approach has been to ensure that it feels the pain, he said. The government said Indian and Chinese troops have resolved through established mechanism the issue related to China's attempt to build a road in the Tuting area of Arunachal Pradesh. The issue has been resolved through established mechanism, spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar said yesterday. On December 28, Indian troops foiled attempts by Chinese road building teams to construct a track around 1 km inside the Indian territory in Tuting, government sources had said. They had said the civilian teams went back when confronted by the Indian troops, but left behind two excavators and some other equipment. The issue was amicably resolved at a Border Personnel Meeting between the two sides in Arunachal on January 6. Replying to a question on whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos later this month, Kumar said details of the PM's engagement will be known only two-three days before the visit. It will not be proper to comment on the issue, he said. PTI adds from Beijing: All wings of the Chinese military have stepped up drills at home and abroad focusing their training on the plateau region post Dokalam, the official media reported today. The PLA has been executing military training instructions issued by President Xi Jinping on January 3. Press conference could have been avoided, says AG NEW DELHI, 12 JANUARY Attorney General K K Venugopal said the unprecedented move by the four senior Supreme Court judges in holding a press conference “could have been avoided” and the judges would now have to act in “statesmanship” to ensure complete harmony. Venugopal, who had a meeting with Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra after the press conference, expressed the hope that all judges, including the CJI, would rise to the occasion and “wholy neutralise” the “divisiveness”. “This is what all of us at the bar want and I am sure that the judges, including the CJI, will rise to the occasion,” he said, but declined to come out with details of his deliberations with PTI the CJI and others. Modi govt in wait and watch mode, Rahul calls it extremely serious STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 12 JANUARY The four top Supreme Court judges' stunning bid on Friday to publicly question the administration and functioning of the apex court and to virtually raise a banner of revolt over it against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra stunned the legal and judicial circles as well as the government and political parties throughout the country. Rahul Gandhi, president of the principal Opposition Congress, described the concerns expressed by four Supreme Court judges ~ Justice J Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice M B Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph ~ over the top judicial institution's functioning as "extremely important", even as he also sought investigation into the death of the special CBI judge B H Loya by the "highest level" of the apex court. Making a brief statement at a press conference here, Rahul said the judges' statement that democracy will not survive in the country if the Supreme Court is not preserved, was "extremely serious" that "needs to be looked into carefully". Rahul also referred to the judges' reference to judge Loya’s case, saying this matter also needs to be "investigated properly". "This type of thing has never happened before. It is unprecedented and I think all the citizens, who love the idea of justice, who believe in the Supreme Court, are looking at this issue closely and I think it is important to be addressed," he said. Judge Loya, who was hearing the sensitive Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case, had allegedly died under mysterious circumstances in 2014. BJP chief Amit Shah had earlier been an accused in this case. Adopting a wait-andwatch and cautious position, the Narendra Modi government indicated that it would not intervene in the top court's internal issues and the face-off between the CJI and his four senior-most judges. "Our judiciary is reputed all over the world, is independent and will sort out the matter itself," Union Minis- ter of State for Law P P Chaudhury said. In a statement, the Congress party described the issues raised by four judges as "extremely disturbing" which, it said, have "farreaching consequences for the values that we hold sacred: safeguarding democracy and preserving the independence of the judiciary". The Congress said : "The judges have specifically highlighted two issues: (1) The long silence of the Government of India to the Memorandum of Procedure that was finalised by the Supreme Court and (2) the assignment of cases in the Supreme Court to what is described as 'selectively to the benches of their preference without any rational basis for such assignment'." The Congress said it was "deeply perturbed" by these developments. "The country holds the judiciary in the highest esteem and millions of people knock on the doors of the courts seeking justice. The non-finalisation of the Memorandum of Procedure has left nearly forty per cent of the sanctioned posts of the judges vacant, leading to delay in justice delivery," the party stated. The Congress appealed that the "Full Court of the Supreme Court should take up the issues raised by the four judges and find solutions that are consistent with the traditions and conventions of the judiciary pointed out by the four judges and that will preserve the independence of the judiciary." As regards the PIL concerning the death of judge Loya, the Congress said, "The matter should be entrusted to the senior-most judges of the Supreme Court who should ensure that under their supervision there is a thorough and impartial investigation of the case by an independent SIT." Isro launches 100th satellite along with 30 other spacecraft PRESS TRUST OF INDIA SRIHARIKOTA (AP), 12 JANUARY India on Friday reaffirmed its space prowess and commercial launch capabilities as it successfully launched its 100th satellite along with 30 other spacecraft including weather observation Cartosat 2 series onboard the Polar rocket from here. This was PSLV's longest-ever mission. With the successful launch, including 28 satellites from foreign countries, by the Polar Satellite LaunchVehicle (PSLV), ISRO put behind a rare failure it encountered four months ago.The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had suffered a setback after the failure of the earlier PSLV-C39 mission in August last year. The previous mission to launch backup navigation satellite IRNSS-1H on board PSLV-C39 had failed after the heat shield did not separate in the final leg of the launch sequence, with the satellite getting stuck in the fourth stage of the rocket. Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed ISRO scientists for the successful PSLV C-40 mission. ”The launch of the 100th satellite by @isro signifies both its glorious achievements, and also the bright future of India's space programme,” he said a tweet. A visibly relieved ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar, on his final mission as the chief of the space agency, said he was happy to provide Cartosat 2 Series as a New Year gift for the country. “ISRO is starting 2018 with the successful launch... all satellites have been released. So far Cartosat performance is satisfactory,” he said at the mission control room. He said the previous launch faced a heat shield problem and an ISRO committee has addressed it and taken steps to ensure the vehicle was 'robust'. Today's mission marked a milestone in ISRO's annals with a micro satellite, among the three Indian spacecraft launched, becoming the 100th to roll out through ISRO Satellite Centre Complex (ISAC). The 100 satellites included nano and micro spacecraft made by educational institutions.
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