Monthly Archives: JANUARY 2017
Bengaluru again: Stalker molests, bites girl near bus stop, flees
A woman was allegedly molested after being pinned to the ground near her home in Bengaluru early on Friday, an incident that sent shock waves across the IT city which was reeling due to allegations of mass molestation on New Year’s Eve and the subsequent public outrage.
A young woman wearing a burqa was reportedly attacked by a man early morning on Friday in North Bengaluru's KG Haali residential area as she was walking on her way to work.
It is believed that the man followed her, grabbed her and pinned her to the ground as she screamed for help. She received abrasions on her legs, arms and her tongue.
The attacker reportedly ran away when the barking of street dogs raised an alarm. Residents then rushed to the help the woman and took her to a Hospital.
The incident comes within 24 hours of police commissioner Praveen Sood announcing the arrest of four men for allegedly molesting a woman in Kammanahalli on January 1, and warning `potential molesters' of serious consequences.
The survivor of Friday morning attack, a private firm employee, was on her way to her workplace in Koramangala, when the incident took place. The culprit is said to have been stalking her, and followed her before attacking her.
The woman, a resident of Shivajinagar, was staying at a relative's house in north Bengaluru as her mother was travelling, and her family thought it wouldn't be safe for her to be alone at home. She was to reach her workplace at 7am.
Police booked a case under IPC sections 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 354 (outraging the modesty of the woman). "Based on the complaint registered by the woman, we have taken up a case and senior officers are personally monitoring the progress of the investigation," a senior officer said.
Although no CCTV footage of the attack is available, police recovered CCTV clips from a textile shop near the scene of crime. The clips show the alleged molester following the woman.
The city police has been facing a storm of criticism after a group of men groped, stalked and harassed women on New Year's Eve, as thousands of people were partying in the city's biggest commercial stretch. Forty-five security cameras recorded the crowd and video footage circulated on social media had showed women crying and seeking help.
Shiv Sena terms Centre Government as 'Worst Govt In 10,000 Years'
The Shiv Sena attacked its ally BJP over the issue of notes ban and described it as the "worst regime in 10,000 years". In an editorial, the Sena claimed that instead of eradicating black money, the notes ban measure has only caused distress to the middle class, poor and unemployed.
Referring to a report of a woman stripping off in anger in front of the RBI regional office in Delhi after failing to get some old notes exchanged, the Sena said the plight of the hapless mother looked like a "government-sponsored Nirbhaya tragedy".
The woman, who was with her child, was in tears on Wednesday when turned away by guards after repeated requests to exchange her junked notes. When the guards tried to forcefully move her away from the entrance, the woman in disgust took off her clothes and sat topless in front of the iron gate, stunning the onlookers as well as the security personnel.
"When a woman in distress sits on a street in Delhi and condemns the government, it is like government-sponsored Nirbhaya tragedy," the Shiv Sena said through an editorial in their newspaper, 'Saamana'.
"If the government cannot see and understand the suffering of this woman, then such a ruthless and deaf regime would not have been in existence in the last 10,000 years," said an editorial in Saamna.
"If you term the act of this woman as nationalism, you need a Talibani doctor to treat your brains. Such atrocities against women happen only in Talibani regimes," the Sena said.
The Shiv Sena also attacked Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and said, "We want to ask the Chief Minister, whose side are you on; demonetisation or this helpless woman."
Training its guns on Mr Fadnavis for supporting demonetisation, the ally said, "The CM’s argument was perfect. But if his stomach does not churn on seeing the plight of the woman before RBI then it is his helplessness. Just making noise against corruption and exploiting the poor is not eradicating corruption,” it said.
Sena was referring to the CM’s statement in which he said demonetisation should not be criticised as only a few with black money were suffering because of the decision.
Relations between the BJP and Shiv Sena soured ever since the parties clashed over seat sharing in the 2014 Maharashtra assembly polls. The Shiv Sena had also marched with Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and other opposition parties on November 16 against the notes ban.
EC asks Govt to respond to Opposition’s Budget delay demand
The Election Commission has sought government's reply on opposition's demand to postpone the Budget, which is set to be presented just three days before five states including Uttar Pradesh start voting on February 4.
The EC has written to Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha seeking the government's reply by January 10.
The ECI’s missive to Sinha, aims to get the Centre’s views and reasons for rescheduling the Budget session and, therefore, the Budget presentation, before taking a decision on the matter.
Presentation of budget is a legislative exercise and the poll panel can't direct the government to postpone it but only persuade it, it would be up to the centre then to take a call.
The Opposition parties had earlier this week petitioned the Commission asking that the Central government should defer the Budget presentation on account of the upcoming Assembly elections in five States.
Representatives of the Congress, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Janata Dal (United), Rashtriya Janata Dal and DMK had met Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi.
While the EC is examining the petitions, Commission sources said the date for Budget presentation was not likely to change in case the Centre chose not to defer it.
However, as per the Model Code of Conduct, the government cannot make any specific Budget announcement pertaining to the poll-bound States which may amount to influencing voters.
Elections will be held in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur from February 4 to March 8. Counting of votes will take place on March 11.
Opposition parties say the government can sway voters with populist announcements if the budget is presented as scheduled on February 1.
In 2012, when the same states were up for election, the budget, usually shared on the last working day in February, was moved to mid-March after voting was completed. But this was a decision taken by the Congress-led UPA government.
The Budget session of the Parliament will begin from February 1 if the government has its way.
The session is being advanced as the government wants early allocation of funds for various schemes-- from April 1, the beginning of the financial year.
The ruling BJP says there is no reason to postpone the budget as "every year, some election or the other takes place."
"Even in 2014, the budget was presented before the polls," said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley this Wednesday.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had already said that the government would present the Union Budget on February 1 to ensure proposals take effect from April 1.
The first part of the budget session of parliament will start on January 31. The cabinet decided last September to merge the railway budget with the annual budget, ending a nearly century-long practice.
Markandey Katju issues unconditional apology to SC; it closes contempt proceedings against him
Former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju today tendered unconditional apology to the Supreme Court over his contemptuous remarks in his blog. The Court has accepted the apology and closed the contempt proceedings against him.
"I offer my unconditional apology for publishing the above captioned writings and have deleted the same from my blog entries on Facebook," Katju said, in his apology, read out in court by senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan. "I express my respect for the judicial appointment process and for the judiciary as an institution of governance," he said.
Urging the court to take his unconditional apology on record, Katju told the court: "I am prepared to read it in open court if I am called upon to do so." In their order, the bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit said: "In view of the apology tendered, we accept and close the proceeding."
The apex court had issued a suo moto contempt notice to a former judge for the first time in India's judicial history. Justice Katju faced contempt notice for allegedly using "intemperate" language and "scandalising" the judiciary in one of his Facebook posts.
He had criticised the judgment that commuted to life term the death sentence awarded to Govindachamy, a Kerala resident. Govindachamy had not murdered but only raped 23-year-old sales representative Soumya, the court ruled while dismissing petitions filed by the Kerala government and victim’s mother against a high court order clearing Govindachamy of the murder charge.
In his Facebook post, Katju said the judgement was laden with fundamental flaws. Katju, in his Facebook post, had said: "The Supreme Court judgment in the Soumya case is wrong… I submit that the Supreme Court has erred in law in not holding the accused guilty of murder, and its judgment needs to be reviewed to this extent."
The Supreme Court described the post as "a serious assault on judges, not on judgements" and initiated a contempt case.
A bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, issuing the notice to Katju on 11 November, said: "He is a respected gentleman. We request him to come in person and debate his Facebook post criticising the judgment. Let him come to the court and let's debate over the fundamental flaws in our verdict."
Soumya, an employee of a Kochi shopping mall, was assaulted by Govindachamy, a serial offender in an empty ladies' coach of Ernakulam-Shoranur passenger train on February 1, 2011.
Govindachamy grabbed her by the hair and hit her head repeatedly against the wall of the coach. After she was thrown off the moving train, he jumped after her, hit her with a stone and raped her in her wounded state.
She died five days after the savage attack.
Govindachamy was sentenced to death by a trial court and the order was confirmed by the high court in 2013. In September, the Supreme Court cancelled Govindachamy's death sentence saying there was no evidence that he had caused Soumya's death or had intended to kill her.
In November, the top court dismissed petitions to review its judgment
Commenting that there had been a "gross error of judgement", Justice Katju wrote that the court had relied on hearsay.
President Mukherjee says demonetisation may lead to temporary slowdown of economy
In his first remarks after the 50-day deadline to deposit old notes lapsed on December 30, President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday warned that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation drive may lead to a temporary slowdown of the economy. "Demonetisation, while immobilising black money and fighting corruption, may lead to temporary slowdown of the economy,” said President Pranab Mukherjee.
Mr. Mukherjee, who was a former Union Finance Minister, was delivering his New Year message to Governors and Lt. Governors through video conferencing from the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
"We all will have to be extra careful to alleviate the suffering of the poor which might become unavoidable for the expected progress in the long term," Mr Mukherjee said.
He said that while he appreciates the thrust on transition from entitlement approach to an entrepreneurial one for poverty alleviation, he is not too sure that the "poor can wait that long".
"They need to get succour here and now so that they can also participate actively in the national march toward a future devoid of hunger, unemployment and exploitation," the President said.
The recent package announced by the Prime Minister would provide some relief, he added.
The 50-day deadline set by the Centre for depositing of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, ended on December 30, and the Reserve Bank of India is yet to make public the amount of money that made its way back to its coffers.
On November 9, a day after PM Modi’s announcement, President Mukherjee welcomed the move saying that it "will help unearth unaccounted money”. "President Mukherjee welcomed the bold step of the Government of India which will help unearth unaccounted money & counterfeit currency,” said a statement from Rashtrapati Bhavan.
In the Parliament Winter Session, former prime minister Manmohan Singh termed the demonetisation drive as "organised loot and legalised plunder”. He predicted that it would bring down the country’s GDP by at least 2 per cent.