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Prashant Bushan pays up Re 1 fine, seeks review of contempt conviction

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NEW DELHI: Advocate

Prashant Bhushan

deposited Re 1 fine amount in the

Supreme Court

on Monday to escape default punishment of three months imprisonment and three years debarment from practice in SC, but sought review of the August 14 judgment convicting him of

contempt

for tweeting ‘false and malicious’ statements against SC and CJIs, present and former.

Though on August 31, when he was sentenced by a bench of Justices Arun Mishra, B R Gavai and Krishna Murri, he had posed for photograph with a one rupee coin in hand along with his counsel and senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, Bhushan on Monday deposited a bank draft for Re 1 with SC registry in compliance with judgment which had asked him to deposit the fine amount by September 15 to avoid going to jail and getting debarred from practicing in SC.

Simultaneously depositing the bank draft, dated September 11 and drawn on ICICI Bank, Bhushan filed a petition seeking review of the August 14 judgment convicting him of contempt. The SC in its 108-page judgment had found him guilty of criminal contempt of court for his two ‘false and malicious’ tweets scandalising the CJI and the SC.

It had said Bhushan’s both tweets – one, accusing the CJI of riding a 50 lakh bike while keeping the Supreme Court closed and the second, accusing present and four former CJIs of having a role in the destruction of

democracy

in last six years – a calculated attempt to scandalise the CJI and the Supreme Court and denigrate the institution of judiciary in the eyes of general public to shake their intrinsic faith in it.

Bhushan said he would file another petition seeking review of the August 31 judgment which sentenced him. He has already filed a writ petition seeking a mechanism of appeal against SC’s suo motu contempt verdicts holding any one guilty. He said the right to file appeal against any judgment is intrinsic to any justice delivery system, which is not available when the court resorts to Article 129 powers and initiates suo motu contempt proceedings.

He said days after the SC took cognisance of his tweets and initiated contempt proceedings, he had on July 26 written a letter to the CJI seeking posting of the proceedings before a bench of which Justice Arun Mishra was not part of while pointing out “specific reasons and apprehensions” to support his request.

Bhushan said he did not raise this plea before the bench headed by Justice Mishra during the suo motu contempt proceedings, as the Judge had in an earlier proceeding had indicated that filing an application seeking recusal of a judge would amount to contempt of court.

He said he has been convicted by the three-judge bench without considering his defence of truth and bona fide opinion which was part of his fundamental right to free speech and expression. he said that the SC convicted him even when attorney general

K K Venugopal

was of the firm view that it was not a fit case for imposition of any punishment.

The AG had suggested to the court that the proceedings should be dropped if Bhushan expressed regret. But, Bhushan had refused to express regret and brushed aside re-think opportunities given by the court saying he stood by what he had tweeted.

The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper owned by The Times Group. It is the third-largest newspaper in India by circulation and largest selling English-language daily in the world. according to Audit Bureau of Circulations.

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INDIA

PM Modi speaks to Japan’s Yoshihide Suga

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to his Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga and said they agreed that stronger India-Japan ties would help meet the challenges of the current regional and global situation.

“Had a very good conversation with PM Suga Yoshihide. We exchanged views on the tremendous progress in our relationship in the last few years, and the future direction of our Special Strategic and Global Partnership. @sugawitter,” Modi tweeted on Friday.

We agreed that stronger India-Japan ties would help meet the challenges of the current regional and global situatio… https://t.co/9PJijcN4jA

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 1601034901000

He added, “We agreed that stronger India-Japan ties would help meet the challenges of the current regional and global situation. I look forward to working with PM Suga to further strengthen our all-round partnership.”

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INDIA

Opposition members boycotted last day of session due to some political compulsions: Om Birla

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NEW DELHI: Opposition members boycotted the last day of the Monsoon Session due to some “political compulsions,” Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said on Friday, noting that they conveyed they have no issues with him.

Birla said he called the floor leaders of all opposition parties for a meeting over a cup of tea and requested them to attend the valedictory proceedings of the house.

“The opposition leaders boycotted the last day of the session due to some political compulsions, while they conveyed to me that they had no issues with me,” the speaker said.

Birla was addressing a press conference here on the conclusion of the Monsoon Session.

Underlining that the productivity of the Lok Sabha was at a historic 167 per cent, he said that despite the threat of Covid-19, the average attendance of MPs in the Lower House, during this session, was more than 300 which sends a very positive message and strengthens peoples’ faith in democratic institutions.

He credited the cooperation from all political parties for higher productivity of the Lower House.

“The Lok Sabha sat for 60 hours instead of the allotted time of 37 hours. In fact, despite the curtailment of the session due to Covid-19, the Lok Sabha was able to function optimally with minimal loss of productivity,” Birla said.

Describing unruly scenes on the last day of the Rajya Sabha as “unfortunate,” Birla said he doesn’t want to comment on the proceedings of the other House and efforts should be made to further strengthen the democratic institutions.

On the issue of the Question Hour, Birla said that members were given ample opportunities to raise matters concerning peoples’ welfare through written questions and the Zero Hour.

Highlighting the enhanced participation of members during the Zero Hour, Birla said it shows that they were given enough opportunities to express their views and were encouraged to participate in the discussions.

Talking about curtailment of the session, Birla said the decision was taken with a consensus in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Monsoon Session of Parliament, which started on September 14, concluded on September 23, eight days before the scheduled end on October 1.

When asked about new Parliament building, Birla informed that the construction work has started and it will be completed within 21 months.

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DNA samples of 3 men killed in Shopian encounter match with families from Rajouri: J&K Police

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SRINAGAR: The DNA samples of three men who were killed in an alleged fake encounter with the Army in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district in July have matched with their families from Rajouri, a senior police officer said on Friday.

Asked whether the three men were indeed labourers, as claimed by their families, and not involved in terrorist activities, he said it is a matter of further investigation.

On July 18, the Army had claimed three terrorists were killed in Amshipura village in the higher reaches of south Kashmir’s Shopian. It initiated an inquiry after social media reports indicated that the three men were from Rajouri and had gone missing in Amshipura.

The families of the three men claimed they worked as labourers in Shopian and lodged a police complaint.

The police also launched an investigation and collected the DNA samples of the three families from Rajouri to match with the slain men.

“The DNA report has come and matching has taken place,” inspector general of police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar told reporters here.

Asked if he meant that the DNA samples of the three men have matched with the families from Rajouri, he said, “There is positive matching with the families from Rajouri.”

On whether it had been established that the three men were labourers and not involved in any militant activities, Kumar said, “The police are now taking up further investigations in the case.”

The Army completed its inquiry into the matter in a record four weeks.

On September 18, the force said it had found “prima facie” evidence that its troops “exceeded” powers under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) during the encounter and has initiated disciplinary proceedings.

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