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Do Kendriya Vidyalayas promote Hinduism? SC seeks response from Centre

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New Delhi: Admitting a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) which alleges that school prayers in Kendriya Vidyalayas across the country are promoting Hindu religion, the Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the Centre and sought its response on the matter.

The PIL stated that Hindi prayer songs in KVs across the country promote Hinduism and that these should not be allowed in government-run schools. It was filed by an advocate whose children passed out from KV schools.

Seeking a response from the Centre, the Supreme Court observed that it is a ‘serious constitutional matter’. The apex court will decide on whether indeed Hindi prayer sung in 1100 KVs in the country promote a particular religion and if this violated the Constitution.

 
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Pak committed to implementing ICJ’s decision in Kulbhushan Jadhav case

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Islamabad: Pakistan is committed to implementing the decision of the International Court of Justice in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, a senior Pakistani official said as the country’s delegation left for the Hague on Friday for the oral proceedings in the case that will commence at the world court from February 18.

Indian national Jadhav, 48, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017.

India moved the ICJ in May the same year against the verdict. A 10-member bench of the ICJ on May 18, 2017, had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case.

 

Pakistan’s Attorney General Anwar Man­soor would lead the Pakistani delegation at the ICJ while Director General South Asia Mohammad Faisal would lead the Foreign Office side, a senior official told Dawn.

The ICJ has set a timetable for the public hearing in the case from Febraury 18 to 21 in The Hague and Harish Salve, who represents India in the case, is expected to argue first on February 18. The English Queen’s Counsel Khawar Qureshi will make submissions on February 19 from Islamabad’s side.

Then India will reply on February 20 while Islamabad will make its closing submissions on February 21, the daily said. It is expected that the ICJ’s decision may be delivered by the summer of 2019.

“We are fully prepared with our strongest evidence being the valid Indian passport recovered from Commander Jadhav with a Muslim name,” the official told the Dawn, adding that Pakistan was committed to implementing the decision, irrespective of what decision came from the ICJ.

In reply to a question about Iran, the official said the Pakistan government was convinced that Iran had no role in Jadhav’s episode though he remained there for some time.

“India wants to drag Iran into this dispute but we will not let it happen,” he said. In New Delhi, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Thursday declined to go into the details of the case.

“The oral proceedings on the International Court of Justice are commencing on February 18. India will present its case before the court. Since the matter is subjudice it is not appropriate for me to state our position in public.Whatever we have to do, we will do at the court,” he said in response to a question.

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. India had approached the ICJ for “egregious” violation of the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963, by Pakistan in Jadhav’s case.

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SC to hear plea against 1993 central law on land acquisition near disputed Ayodhya site

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi:The Supreme Court Friday decided to hear a fresh plea challenging the constitutional validity of the 1993 central law by which 67.703 acre land, including the disputed premises of Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid at Ayodhya, was acquired.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan tagged the matter with the main petition in which a constitution bench is dealing with the main title dispute.

“List the matter before the bench already seized with the issue,” the bench also comprising Justice Sanjiv Khanna said.

 
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Will join hands to oust Modi govt: Rahul after Opposition meeting

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New Delhi: Moving forward on a united anti-BJP front for the Lok Sabha elections, top opposition leaders agreed to work together to prepare a common minimum programme to oust the Modi government and to consider forging a pre-poll alliance.

The meeting hosted by NCP president Sharad Pawar also saw Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal coming together for the first time, while West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Andhra Pradesh counterpart N Chandrababu Naidu vowed to work together due to “democratic compulsions to save India”.

After the meeting, which took place hours after opposition leaders shared a dias at an AAP protest on the day of the last sitting of the present Lok Sabha, Gandhi told reporters that opposition leaders agreed to have a common minimum programme.

 

“We will work together to defeat the BJP,” he said.

Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal termed the talks constructive and said the opposition will work together. The meeting indicates that the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party, who have been bitter rivals since the regional party came to power in Delhi in 2015, may forge a tie-up.

Trinamool Congress president Banerjee called the meeting “fruitful” and asserted that “we will do pre-poll alliance if needed”.

Opposition leaders will keep meeting in the coming days for better coordination, she said.

Earlier in the day, she had said, “Any fight with the Congress will remain in the state. At the national level, we will fight together, this I am saying from the heart… For the greater interest of the country, I am ready to sacrifice my life, my party. I am ready to sacrifice everything.” Telugu Desam Party head Naidu said there was a democratic compulsion to save India while Farooq Abdullah of the National Conferences termed the meeting “good”.

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