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There cannot be complete ban on protests at Jantar Mantar: SC

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi:The Supreme Court today said there cannot be a “complete ban” on holding protests and sit-ins at places like Jantar Mantar and Boat Club here and asked the Centre to frame guidelines for according sanctions to such events.
A bench comprising justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said there was a need to strike a balance between conflicting rights such as the right to protest and the right of citizens to live peacefully.
“There cannot be a complete ban on holding protests at places like Jantar Mantar and Boat Club (near India Gate),” the bench said, while directing the Centre to frame guidelines on the matter.
The verdict came on a batch of petitions, including one filed by the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, challenging the decision of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to ban all kinds of protests at the said places.
The NGT had, on October 5 last year, banned all protests and dharnas around the historic Jantar Mantar here, which has been a hotspot of many agitations over the past decades, saying such activities violated environmental laws.
The green panel had said the State had totally failed to protect the right of a citizen to enjoy a pollution-free environment at the Jantar Mantar Road area, which is located close to Connaught Place at the heart of the national capital.
It had added that it was the duty of the State to ensure that the rights of the people to live a peaceful and comfortable life were not infringed by those who created noise pollution in the name of their right to freedom of speech and expression, which could never be unlimited.
The tribunal had directed the authorities to shift the protesters to an alternative site at the Ramleela Grounds in Ajmeri Gate “forthwith”.
“The environmental condition at Jantar Mantar Road in relation to noise pollution, cleanliness, management of waste and public health has grossly deteriorated. Besides, constant dharna, slogans, noise pollution, health problems due to unhygienic conditions generated by the agitators round-the-clock is unique in the instant case,” the NGT had said.
It had also said those participating in protests and raising slogans through loudspeakers had no right to compel the petitioner and others living in the area to tolerate it day and night.
The NGT verdict had come on a plea moved by one Varun Seth and others, alleging that processions and agitations held by social groups, political parties, NGOs at Jantar Mantar Road were a major source of noise pollution in the area.


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National

210 candidates declare criminal cases in fourth phase

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New Delhi: A total of 210 candidates out of 928 candidates, contesting in the fourth phase of Lok Sabha election 2019, have declared criminal cases against them, according to Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) data published.

Another, 158 candidates have serious criminal cases, 12 candidates have declared convicted cases against themselves, five candidates have declared cases related to murder, 24 candidates have declared cases related to attempt to murder, four candidates have declared cases related to kidnapping, 21 candidates have declared cases related to crime against women and 16 candidates have declared cases related to hate speech against themselves.

Of these candidates, 25 (44 per cent) out of 57 candidates from BJP, 18 (32 per cent) out of 57 candidates from Congress, 11 (20 per cent) out of 54 candidates from BSP, 12 (57 per cent) out of 21 candidates analysed from SHS, and 60 (17 per cent) out of 345 independent candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.

 

Also, 20 (35 per cent) out of 57 candidates from BJP, 9 (16 per cent) out of 57 candidates from Congress, 10 (19 per cent) out of 54 candidates from BSP, 9 (43 per cent) out of 21 candidates analysed from SHS, and 45 (13 per cent) out of 345 independent candidates have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.

The National Election Watch and ADR have analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 928 out of 943 candidates, who are contesting in the Lok Sabha phase four. There are 15 candidates who have not been analysed due to unavailability of their properly scanned and complete affidavits.

A total of 37 out of 71 constituencies are red alert constituencies. Red alert constituencies are those constituencies where three or more contesting candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.

Amongst the candidates, 306 (33 per cent) have assets worth Rs 1 crore and more. Fifty (88 per cent) out of 57 candidates from Congress, 50 (88 per cent) out of 57 candidates from BJP, 20 (37 per cent) out of 54 candidates from BSP, 13 (62 per cent) out of 21 candidates from SHS and 8 (80 per cent) out of 10 candidates from SP have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore.

As many as 404 (44 per cent) candidates have declared their educational qualification to be between 5th and 12th, while 454 (49 per cent) candidates have declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above. 34 candidates have declared to be just literate and 9 candidates are illiterate.

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National

Feed husbands if they vote as per your wish, else make them fast:Nitish tells women

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PATNA: Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) chief Nitish Kumar made a strange appeal to women voters during a recent Lok Sabha election campaig rally.

Speaking on Wednesday at an election rally in Madhubani, Nitish addressed the women and said, “If men of the house vote as per your choice, give them food and feed them with love. And if they fail to vote according to you, make them fast for the whole day.”

Nitish was campaigning for the NDA candidate Ashok Yadav, son of sitting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Hukumdeo Narayan Yadav, when he made the statement. The Bihar Chief Minister also asked women to cast their votes early in the morning.

 

JD(U) is a part of BJP-led NDA and has fielded Kavita Singh from Siwan constituency, while the BJP has nominated Rama Devi from the Sheohar seat and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) has put up Veena Singh from Vaishali.

Nitish also addressed a rally in Darbhanga, where he highlighted the benefits reaped by the common people from central and state governments schemes.

Nitish has assiduously tried to create women vote bank by implementing several schemes for them like bicycles for the girl students, a ban on liquor, Mukhya Mantri Napkin Yojana as well as Kanya Vikas schemes.

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‘Failed politician’ now seeks career in Bollywood: Cong on PM interview

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New Delhi: Taking a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his interview to actor Akshay Kumar, the Congress said it seems a “failed politician” who is about to be rejected by the people on May 23 is looking for an alternative employment avenue in Bollywood.

The Congress’s jibe at Modi came after channels aired the Prime Minister’s interview with the Bollywood star, who described it as a “candid and completely non political” chat.

Reacting to the interview, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said: “Akshay Kumar ji is a great actor and we like him. He is a very successful actor. An unsuccessful politician who has decimated India’s economy, who has decimated India’s jobs, who has made life hell for India’s farmers and the poor, is now trying to become a better actor than Akshay Kumar ji.” “It seems a failed politician who is about to be rejected on May 23, 2019, is looking for an alternative employment avenue in Bollywood, but I don’t think so, a failed politician like Modi ji will be a successful actor in Bollywood. Akshay Kumar will remain Akshay Kumar,” he told reporters.

 

To another question on the interview, Surjewala said Prime Minister Modi is trying to “become a better actor than Akshay Kumar but he has again failed miserably like he has failed India”.

Asked about Modi’s remarks in the interview that other prime ministers left early, but he works till 11 pm, Surjewala asked if he used to work in the Prime Minister’s Office or he used to do PM’s scheduling.

Surjewala alleged that the Prime Minister makes a joke of everything.

“You looted the entire currency of this country and were clapping and laughing during demonetisation. Is the PM’s job to make fun of people, make fun of institutions, make fun of people whom the country feels proud of, or will he do some work also,” he said. In the interview, which aimed to unveil “some lesser known facts” about Modi, the prime minister touched upon various aspects of his childhood and his journey before he came to power.

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