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SC gives ‘loud, clear’ message, says only concerned with judge Loya’s death

Monitor News Bureau

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court sternly said that it was concerned only with the death of special CBI judge BH Loya, and would not go into other aspects including BJP chief Amit Shah’s discharge in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.
The top court, which is hearing petitions seeking an independent investigation into Judge Loya’s death in 2014, made it clear that the issue before it was whether further probe should be ordered into it or not.
Judge Loya, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case, died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on December 1, 2014, when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague’s daughter.
After his death, special judge MB Gosavi, who took over the trial, had discharged Amit Shah and some other accused.
When the petitions seeking an independent probe into Judge Loya’s death came up for hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, one of the advocates said he had filed a plea in the Bombay High Court, which has now been transferred to the Supreme Court. He said he had made Amit Shah one of the respondents.
When the lawyer sought that notices should be issued on his plea, the bench said, “We will permit you to argue. There is no question of issuing notice.”
“We are only concerned with the death of the judge. We are not on other cases at all. This message must go loud and clear,” the bench, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, said.
When Amit Shah’s name was raised, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the Maharashtra government, said, “This is the real purpose of these petitions”.
Senior counsel Dushyant Dave, representing Bombay Lawyers Association, said it was a “very serious matter” and it would be proper if pleadings in the case were completed first.
Referring to a report by Commissioner of Intelligence (CID) of Maharashtra, Mr Dave said an independent probe was required as it contained “bundle of discrepencies” and “contradictions”.
At the last hearing, Dave was warned by the top court against casting aspersions on Shah in the case, and on Friday he said that the same set of advocates, who had defended the BJP chief in the matter, were now appearing for the state.
Senior advocate V Giri, representing Congress leader Tehseen Poonawalla, who has also sought a probe into Judge Loya’s death, raised questions about the veracity of reports filed by the state, and said the records must be placed before the court.
Rohatgi countered the submissions, saying “Except for maligning the judiciary and have (media) glare, there is something more to it. We have given the entire records, please see that,” Rohatgi told the bench.
To this, the bench told Dushyant Dave, “Let us have a bird’s eye view of your case and let us see what the documents are.”
Dave narrated the sequence of events prior to and after Judge Loya’s death, and said serious questions have been raised about what had really happened since there were “overwritings” on several crucial documents.
Dave wanted to know how special judge JT Utpat, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case before Judge Loya took over, was transferred, and said the circumstances warranted an independent probe.
He said the CBI had not appealed against the discharge of Amit Shah, while it did move court to challenge the discharge of some police officials.
When he said a “third person” accompanied Judge Loya’s body to his native place, Rohatgi referred to the statements of district judges that said two judicial officers had gone with his mortal remains.
Dushyant Dave, however, insisted that family members of Judge Loya were “kept in the dark”, and claimed that statement of Judge Loya’s wife was taken under pressure.
“Please call his wife, father and sister, and talk to them in chamber. If they say that they do not want any probe then we will not say anything,” he said, and alleged that Judge Loya’s son was also under pressure.


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National

Next war with indigenised weapons: Army chief

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New Delhi, Oct 15: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Tuesday said the Defence Research and Development Organisation has made strides in ensuring that requirement of the country’s defence services are met through home-grown solutions, adding that the next war will be fought and won through indigenised weapons systems and equipment.

Speaking at the 41st DRDO Directors Conference, Rawat said: “The DRDO has made strides in ensuring that requirements of the services are met through home-grown solutions. We are confident that we will fight and win the next war through indigenised weapons systems and equipment.”

With a network of 52 laboratories, the government agency DRDO is charged with the military’s research and development covering various fields like aeronautics, land combat engineering, armaments, electronics, missiles, and naval systems.

 

The Army chief said that the Defence industry of India is a budding industry and the time has now come to look at the development of systems for future warfare and start preparing for “non-contact warfare.”

Rawat asserted that along with artificial intelligence, the future lies in the development of cyber, space technology, laser, electronic warfare and robotics.

“We are looking at systems for future warfare. We have to start looking at development of cyber, space, laser, electronic and robotic technologies and artificial intelligence,” he said.

The Army chief said that if the timeline between the design development and production of any weapon system of equipment is to be reduced then it would be better to embed the service officers along with Research and Development.

Calling for joint research by Army officials and DRDO, he said: “In a joint project, the success and failures will become a joint responsibility and we will not start pointing fingers at each other.”

On the occasion, Rawat recalled APJ Abdul Kalam on his birth anniversary stating that the late President had set benchmarks and standards for the Defence Research and Development (R and D) community, which is a challenge for scientists who are now emerging.

“I am quite sure the scientists will live up to those expectations,” he said.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval were also present at the event. (IANS)

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Major shift in govt’s way of handling ‘terrorism’: IAF chief on Balakot

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New Delhi: The strategic relevance of Balakot air strikes is the resolve of the political leadership to punish the perpetrators of terrorism, Air Chief RKS Bhadauria said on Tuesday.

In his Air Force Day message, the Air Chief said, “The strategic relevance of this (Balakot air strikes) is the resolve of the political leadership to punish the perpetrators of terrorism. There is a major shift in the government’s way of handling militant attacks.”

Stressing that the present security environment in the neighbourhood is a case of serious concern, the Air Chief said Pulwama attack is a stark reminder of the persistent threat to defence installations.

 

Earlier, the Chiefs of three services paid floral tributes at the national war memorial on the occasion of 87th Air Force Day.

“On February 26 this year, the IAF successfully struck camps located at Balakot. On the next day, the IAF successfully thwarted Pakistan Air Force’s attempts to attack our military establishments. In the aerial engagement that followed we shot down a PAF F-16 fighter aircraft and lost a MiG-21,” the IAF chief said in his remarks during Air Force Day press conference on October 4.

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RSS chief says lynching a ‘western construct’ being used to defame India

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Nagpur: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday said lynching is a “western construct” and should not be used in the Indian context to defame the country.

Addressing the Vijayadashmi function of the RSS at Reshimbagh ground in Maharashtra’s Nagpur city, he said the word ‘lynching’ does not originate from Indian ethos but comes from a separate religious text, and such terms should not be imposed on Indians.

He also lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah over the government’s move to abrogate Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, but said some vested interests do not want the country to be strong and vibrant.

 

Voicing his displeasure over several incidents of mob violence in the country, he said, “Lynching is not the word from Indian ethos, its origin is from a story in a separate religious text. We Indians trust in brotherhood. Don’t impose such terms on Indians.”

“Lynching itself is a western construct and one shouldn’t use it in the Indian context to defame the country,” he said.

Bhagwat urged citizens to create harmony, and that everyone should live within confines of law. “Swayamsevaks are brought up with that sanskar,” he said.

He said in the past few years, there has been transformation in “direction of thought process of Bharat”.

“There are many people in the world and in Bharat as well, who don’t want this. A developed Bharat creates fear in the minds of vested interests…such forces will also not want Bharat to be strong and vibrant,” the RSS chief said.

Even well-meaning policies, statements from persons in government and administration were being misused to benefit nefarious designs by vested interests, he rued.

“We must be alert in identifying these plots and counter them on intellectual and social levels,” he said.

Bhagwat said the world was eager to know if the 2019 elections in such a huge country will be conducted smoothly.

“Democracy in India is not something imported from any country, but a practice which has been prevalent here since centuries,” Bhagwat said.

He said India’s borders were now safer than ever, and more focus was needed on coastal security.

“The number of guards and check-posts on land borders and surveillance along the maritime border, especially on islands, have to be increased,” he said.

On concerns over the economic sector, he said the slowing down of world economy has left its impact everywhere.

“The government has taken initiatives to tide over the situation in the last one-and-a-half months. Our society is entrepreneurial and will overcome these challenges,” he added.

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