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SC directs all political parties to furnish receipts of donations received to EC

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday ordered all political parties to submit in sealed-cover details of donations received by them through Electoral Bonds till May 15 to the Election Commission.

In an interim order, a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi asked them to furnish names of donors, the amount received through Electoral Bonds along with their bank accounts to the poll panel by May 30.

It said the petition filed by Association for Democratic Reforms challenging validity of Electoral Bonds scheme will be heard in detail later.

 

The Centre had on Thursday defended before the Supreme Court donors’ anonymity under electoral bonds scheme, saying the new method political funding was a “policy decision” even as the Election Commission questioned it for lack of transparency.

Attorney General KK Venugopal had told a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi that the purpose behind the electoral bonds was to eliminate use of black money in elections.

“So far, as the electoral bond scheme is concerned, it is the matter of policy decision of the government and no government can be faulted for taking policy decision,” Venugopal said. The court can scrutinise it after polls, he had added.

Venugopal had earlier told the Bench, “We have no policy of state funding of elections. Funds are received from supporters, affluent persons and companies. They all want their political party to win. If their party does not win then they apprehend some repercussions and hence secrecy or anonymity is required.”

Venugopal’s submissions were contested by senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, representing EC, who had said secrecy in the electoral bonds scheme legalised anonymity.

“Anonymity must go. We want transparency. We want reforms. We cannot go one step forward and two steps backwards. We want free and fair polls,” Dwivedi had said.

He, however, had clarified that the EC was not against the scheme as such, but it had opposed anonymity in it.

ADR counsel Prashant Bhushan had termed it a “retrograde” step as it was against the concept of free and transparent elections. Electoral bonds may be the “kick backs” to the ruling political parties and referred to the replies of the poll panel underlining that the changes made in the law will have serious repercussions on the transparent funding of political parties, he had said.

The petitioner has questioned the validity of various amendments made through Finance Act 2017 and Finance Act 2016 in Companies Act, Income Tax Act, Representation of People Act, Reserve Bank of India Act and Foreign Contribution Regulations Act.


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3 killed, 11 injured as landslide hits mini-bus in JK’s Doda

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Jammu, April 24: At least three persons were killed and 11 injured when a mini-bus came under a huge boulder after a landslide hit a stretch of road in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir Wednesday, officials said.

The mini-bus was on its way to Gandoh from Thathri, when a big rock hit it at Piyakul belt in the afternoon, they said.

Sub-Divisional Police Officer of Gandoh Bhallesa, Nawaz Khanday confirmed the casualties.

 

Thathri Sub-Divisional Magistrate Mohd Anwar Banday said preliminary reports suggest that the mini-bus, which was crossing the muddy patch, apparently came under debris and rocks due to the landslide.

Locals and police immediately reached the spot and after rescuing the passengers, shifted the injured ones to Primary Health Centre (PHC) Kahara.

The identification of those dead or injured in the incident is not known yet.

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No one ready to take over JeM leadership in Kashmir: Army

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Calling it a healthy sign, the Army on Wednesday said that there has been a decline in the recruitment of local Kashmiri people in militant outfits after the recent crackdown by the forces.

Addressing a joint press conference of the state police and the Army, Director General of Police in Jammu & Kashmir Dilbag Singh said, “Recruitment of local youth continues to be low, it is a healthy sign. 272 militants were eliminated in the state during 2018 and a large number were apprehended.”

 

Elaborating further on the numbers, KJS Dhillon, GOC 15 Corps, said, “Total 69 militants have been killed and 12 have been apprehended this year. Post Pulwama 41 militants have been killed and out of them 25 belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammed, 13 of them were Pakistanis.”

Dhillon added that the operations against the militants will continue with full vigour and we will not let militancy rise up.

Talking about how the forces have suppressed the Jaish-e-Mohammed, the outfit behind the Pulwama attack, Dhillon said, “We have targeted Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leadership, the situation now is that no one is coming forward to take over the leadership of JeM in the valley. Even after Pakistan’s best efforts, we will continue to suppress JeM, specially after Pulwama attack.

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Baramulla youth goes missing, family seeks help

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Baramulla, April 24 : Family members of 18-year-old missing youth here have urged their son to return home and appealed government to help them in tracing him. A youth identified as Adnan Ali Chanan, son of Mohammed Ali Chanan of Arampora Baramulla district is missing since April 14.
His father Mohammad Ali Channa told KNO that soon after he left home, they tried to call him several times but “his phone was switched off. “We called our relatives and his friends but could not find him,” he said, appealing his son to return home.

After failing to trace him, the family has filed a missing report in Police station Baramulla. Meanwhile, police officials told KNO that family have lodged a missing report and further investigation have been taken up to trace out the missing youth.(KNO)

 
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