The Asian Age – Top 5 judge collegium reiterate Justice Joseph’s name for elevation to SC

The collegium had met earlier on Friday to take a call on Justice K M Joseph’s elevation that was rejected by the government in April.

New Delhi – India, 11 May 2018. The Supreme Court collegium headed by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra met at 1 pm on Friday to reconsider the Centre’s stand not to elevate the Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court K M Joseph as a judge of the apex court.

The collegium met for the second time after deferring its decision earlier last week. The meetings come after Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad sent back Justice Joseph’s name and asked the judges to reconsider their choice.

The government had cleared the other recommendation, Indu Malhotra, but said Justice Joseph, the chief justice of the Uttarakhand High Court, was not senior enough for the promotion.

The government also said Justice Joseph is from Kerala, which was already represented in the Supreme Court.

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has denied that the Centre’s decision had anything to do with Justice Joseph’s 2016 verdict cancelling president’s rule in Uttarakhand, which enabled the Congress to remain in power.

At its earlier meeting last week, the country’s five top judges had decided to draft a point-by-point response to the centre’s objections to their choice. But it also discussed names of judges from three other high courts in view of what the court called, was the “concept of fair representation”.

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra’s decision to convene today’s meeting came just a day after Justice Jasti Chelameswar, who ranks after him and retires soon, wrote to him. The letter sought an early meeting of the collegium and said that the judges must be firm on their choice.

While it is not unusual for the Centre to return the collegium’s recommendation for appointment of high court judges, it is rare for the government to return a recommendation for elevation to the Supreme Court.

The only occasion when such a situation arose in recent years was when the NDA government blocked elevation of senior lawyer Gopal Subramanium in 2014.

However, R M Lodh, who was then the Chief Justice, could not pursue the case because Gopal Subramanium withdrew his consent to be a judge.

If the collegium sends back a name a second time, the Centre has no choice but to accept it.

The country’s apex court is already down to 24 judges as against the strength of 31 and five more are slated to retire this year. – Punjab Police arrests two Sikh youths to target Australia based Gurjant Singh

Faridkot – Panjab – India,11 May 2018. The Faridkot police on May 10 arrested two Sikh youths namely Sandeep Singh and Amar Singh by accusing them of being members of a “terror module”.

The police have claimed of having recovered two pistols and 40 cartridges from the duo Sikh youths. Sandeep Singh hails from Bangi Nihal village of Bathinda, while Amar Singh belongs to Chattha village of Sirsa district in Haryana.

Interacting with media, the Faridkot police claimed that the duo arrested Sikh youths have revealed during interrogation that they were in touch with the foreign-based Khalistani handlers on social media and using encrypted VoIP calls.

Interestingly, the Faridkot SSP Dr Nanak Singh claimed that they were provided the weapons to carry out targeted killings assigned to them by their handlers. “A case under Sections 17, 18, 19, 20 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and 25, 54, 59 of the Arms Act has been registered against the duo” he added.

While naming Australia based social campaigner Gurjant Singh, the SSP accused that Gurjant Singh had started “International Sikh Federation”, a radical website some time ago.

He further said that Gurjant Singh was involved in financing some terrorist module that carried out eight incidents of target attacks and killings in Punjab between January 2016 and October 2017.

Meanwhile, it is being said that the Punjab police have indicted these Sikh youths to robust its claims against Gurjant Singh in targeted killings occurred in Punjab during last two years so that Gurjant Singh could be easily extradited to India.

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26 March 2018




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Outlook India – Canada’s Sikh minister Navdeep Bains asked to remove turban at Detroit Airport (USA)

Navdeep Bains is Canada’s minister of innovation, science and economic development

Detroit – Michigan – USA, 11 May 2018. A Canadian Sikh minister was asked to take off his turban at a Detroit airport during a security check despite passing through the metal detector without any problem, prompting senior US officials to apologise, media reports have said.

Navdeep Bains, Canada’s minister of innovation, science and economic development, described the incident in an interview with the French-language paper La Presse on Thursday.

Bains was returning to Toronto after meetings with Michigan state leaders in April 2017 and had already passed through regular security checks at the Detroit Metro Airport, but because he was wearing a turban, a security agent told him that he would have to undergo additional checks, according to La Presse.

“He told me to take off my turban. I asked him why I would have to take off my turban when the metal detector had worked properly,” the minister said.

The US amended its travel policy in 2007, allowing Sikhs to keep turbans on while passing during the security inspection process.

Bains said when he travels, he rarely discloses his identity as a cabinet minister, in order to better understand the travel experiences, and frustrations, of people not afforded similar privileges.

The incident prompted Canada’s foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland to express disappointment to her US counterparts.

Both undersecretaries for the US homeland security and transportation departments apologised for the incident.

Dawn – Punjab Assembly condemns Indian army chief’s statement calling Kashmiri struggle ‘futile’

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 11 May 2018. Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf MPA Shoaib Siddiqui on Friday tabled a resolution in the Punjab Assembly condemning a statement by the Indian army chief in which the military official described the struggle for freedom in India-Held Kashmir (IHK) as “futile”.

The resolution pointed out that the Indian general’s statement was an admission that the Kashmiri people are not terrorists but ordinary people who are fighting for freedom.

The resolution urged Organisation of Islamic Cooperation member states and other international organisations to intervene in the matter and ensure that the Kashmir conflict is solved in accordance with the United Nations’s resolution.

‘Azadi won’t happen’

In an interview to The Indian Express on Thursday, Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat warned Kashmiri youth that “azadi (freedom) is not possible”.

“It won’t happen,” he told the publication. “Don’t get carried away unnecessarily. Why are you picking up weapons? We will always fight those who seek azadi, those who want to secede. (Freedom) is not going to happen, never.”

Held-Kashmir’s new normal: Curfew, search operations and military crackdowns [italics/centre]

General Rawat claimed that the number of ‘militants’ killed in the encounters didn’t “matter to him because […] this cycle will continue”.

The general said that he did not “enjoy” killing innocent people but if Kashmiris wanted to “fight” the Indian army, the latter would “fight back with all [its] force”.

He added that the Indian security forces have not been “so brutal” to the Kashmiris. “Look at Syria and Pakistan,” he insisted. “They use tanks and air power in similar situations”.

He then admitted that the Kashmiri people have grievances but warned that “throwing stones at the forces isn’t the way”.

The Indian general expressed surprise that the Burhan Wani encounter incited so much “anger” in the people of Kashmir.

“(The Burhan Wani encounter) wasn’t the first such encounter in Kashmir,’’ he said. “I am still trying to understand where did all that anger come from. The youth have gotten themselves in Pakistan’s trap. They are being consistently incited to attack us”.

India-held Kashmir has seen an explosion of protests against Indian rule since government forces shot and killed Burhan Wani in 2016.

The death of the charismatic 23-year-old, who had built up a big following on social media, sparked an outpouring of grief and anger that spilled into the streets and led to months of clashes with security forces.

“We had to tell people that azadi isn’t happening,” Rawat insisted. “We had to establish the writ [of the state]”.

He admitted that a military solution to the Kashmir issue was not possible and the army wanted politicians to visit the area and “talk to people”.

“But [the politicians] are scared that they will be attacked,’’ he said.

He also regretted that tourism in the area had been affected due to the Kashmiri struggle.

Separatists have been fighting since 1989 against the roughly half a million Indian soldiers deployed in the territory, demanding independence or a merger of the entire disputed region with Pakistan.

Tens of thousands, mostly civilians, have died in the fighting.