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In HC for hearing on 2002 election plea, Captain Amarinder faces questions on drug menace

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Chandigarh: Amid the ongoing outcry over suspected drug overdose deaths in Punjab, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday had to personally face questions on the issue during his rare presence in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Amarinder was in the High Court on Wednesday afternoon during the hearing of a election petition against him. The plea against his election to the Assembly in 2002 has remained pending for the past 16 years. The plea filed by a Patiala resident had alleged that Amarinder resorted to corrupt practices during the polls.

Though the hearing in the courtroom of Justice Daya Chaudhary lasted only few minutes, the judge took the opportunity to remind the Chief Minister about the police failure in the implementation of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act in the state. After recording his statement in the election case, Amarinder had taken a seat when Justice Chaudhary, while addressing him and state Advocate General Atul Nanda, said that she wanted to comment about the NDPS Act since the CM was himself was present in the court.

The judge said though the final reports were presented in the NDPS cases, there was a delay in submission of FSL reports before the courts. Justice Chaudhary said the provisions of NDPS Act were not being followed in the state and stressed on the need of submitting the FSL reports along with the final probe reports in drugs cases. Stating that many false cases and instances of drug implanting had also come to the fore in recent times, Justice Chaudhary said it was important that the forensic labs were strengthened for timely detection of false cases. The judge asked the CM to ensure strict implementation of the provisions of NDPS Act.

While Justice Chaudhary observed that the situation was comparatively better in Haryana and UT Chandigarh, Amarinder assured the court he would personally look into the matter and hold meetings in this regard. The hearing in the election petition lasted only few minutes as the counsel of petitioner Harkirat Singh was not available during the hearing.

Amarinder had become the Chief Minister of the state after 2002 elections.

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Guess who uses hatred, fear to maintain power: Rahul

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New Delhi:A day after social activist Swami Agnivesh was attacked in Jharkhand by a group, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday attacked the government using a pop quiz that asked people to the name the “perpetrator of hatred and fear”.
“I bow to the most powerful in the line. A person’s strength and power are all that are important to me. I use hatred and fear to maintain the hierarchy of power.
“I seek out the weakest and crush them. I rank all living beings based on their usefulness to me. Who am I?” Gandhi said on twitter attaching the video of Agnivesh being attacked in Jharkhand’s Pakur.
The 78-year-old activist was assaulted by suspected Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) activists shouting “Jai Shri Ram” slogans.
The incident happened on Tuesday when the group pounced on Agnivesh as he stepped out of a hotel to get into a car to take part in the 195th Damin Mahotsav at Littpara.
At least three persons have died in a twin-building collapse in Uttar Pradesh’s Greater Noida area, police said on Wednesday.

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Pak files second counter-memorial on Jadhav’s case in ICJ

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Islamabad :Pakistan filed its second written reply to India’s arguments in the International Court of Justice on the conviction of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism.
The ICJ on January 23 gave a timeline to both Pakistan and India for filing another round of memorials in the case.
Foreign Office Director General for India Dr Fareeha Bugti submitted the second reply today, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said.
“Director India Dr Fareha Bugti submitted the dossier, along with Waseem Shahzad, an officer of the Embassy of Pakistan in The Hague,” he said.
Pakistan in its rejoinder, gave detailed answers to India’s submissions to the international court, the spokesperson said, adding that Pakistan also responded to Indian objections in over 400 pages reply.
Pakistan’s counter-memorial was in response to pleadings filed by India in the Hague-based ICJ on April 17.
The ICJ will now fix the matter for hearing.
India had moved the ICJ in May last year after Jadhav, 48, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism.
A 10-member bench of the ICJ on May 18, 2017 had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case.
In its written pleadings, India had accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention by not giving consular access to Jadhav arguing that the convention did not say that such access would not be available to an individual arrested on espionage charges.
In response, Pakistan through its counter-memorial on December 13 told the ICJ that the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963 applied only to legitimate visitors and did not cover clandestine operations.
Pakistan had said that ‘since India did not deny that Jadhav was travelling on a passport with an assumed Muslim name, they have no case to plead’.
Pakistan said that India did not explain how ‘a serving naval commander’ was travelling under an assumed name. It also stated that ‘since Jadhav was on active duty, it is obvious that he was a spy sent on a special mission’.
India has been maintaining that the trial of Jadhav by a military court in Pakistan was ‘farcical’.
Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran.
However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.
Jadhav’s sentencing had evoked a sharp reaction in India.

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After ‘Hindu Pakistan’, now Tharoor slams BJP with ‘Taliban in Hinduism’ jibe

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New Delhi :Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who earlier triggered a controversy after his “Hindu Pakistan” comment, has once again hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party Centre and questioned whether they are trying to start Taliban in Hinduism.
“They are asking me to go to Pakistan. Who has given them the right to decide that I am not a Hindu like them and I don’t have the right to stay in the country? Have they started a Taliban in Hinduism?” Shashi Tharoor said while addressing a public gathering in Thiruvananthapuram .
Tharoor’s new remarks came after he alleged on Monday that the Bharatiya Janata Party Yuva Morcha workers vandalised his office in Thiruvananthapuram.
Tharoor alleged that offensive slogans were raised against him; asking him to go to Pakistan.
Last week, the Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram triggered a huge controversy with his remarks that if voted to power again, the BJP will rewrite the Constitution and pave the way for creation of a “Hindu Pakistan”.
The comments sparked demands from the BJP for an apology from Congress president Rahul Gandhi for the “attack on Indian democracy and Hindus” while his party voiced its disapproval and cautioned its leaders to exercise restraint in their response to what it called the saffron party’s “hatred”.
“If they (BJP) win a repeat in the Lok Sabha our democratic constitution as we understand it will not survive as they will have all the elements they need to tear apart the constitution of India and write a new one. That new one will be the one which will enshrine principles of Hindu Rashtra, that will remove equality for minorities, that’ll create a Hindu Pakistan,” Tharoor had said.

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