Allegations against CJI are “scurrilous and per se contemptuous”
The allegations levelled against Chief Justice Dipak Misra are
“scurrilous and per se contemptuous”, observed one of the judges hearing
petitions by the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms and
advocate Kamini Jaiswal in the Supreme Court in the medical college bribery
These petitions have caused damage to the court, said Justice Arun
Mishra in an oral observation during the hearing by a three-judge Bench
“The petitions [have] scandalised this great institution. The damage has
already been done. Everybody is doubting the Supreme Court that too, merely
on the basis of rumours spread. How do we repair this damage?” he said.
Justice Mishra is part of a Special Bench led by Justice R.K. Agrawal,
and also comprising Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, which heard Ms. Jaiswal’s
petition for an SIT investigation into an alleged conspiracy to bribe
Supreme Court judges for a favourable outcome in a pending case of a
debarred private medical college. Ms. Jaiswal’s petition draws its facts
from an FIR registered by the CBI in the case.
“The court is in a crisis,” Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal agreed with
Justice Mishra. Clarifying that he represented neither the Centre nor the
CBI, Mr. Venugopal said the petitions have caused deep distress in the
Supreme Court. They have created a split in the judiciary and in the Bar.
“There is a crisis of confidence,” he said.
The only way to repair the damage, he added, would be for Ms. Jaiswal to
apologise and withdraw the petition. The Bench reserved its order on the
maintainability of Ms. Jaiswal’s petition and indicated it would pass an
order on November 14 itself.
The week-long Lakshadeepotsava celebrations were off to a colourful
start at the temple town of Dharmasthala in the Hosakatte Utsava.
The entire Dharmasthala was illuminated to celebrate the festival even
as a troupe of 10,000 devotees reached the abode of Manjunatha by Padayatra
Liquor sale ban exemption applies to all municipal areas too
The Supreme Court orally observed that its July 11 order exempting the
December 2016 ban on sale of liquor within 500 metres along national and
States highways applies to all municipal areas across the country.
The court was hearing a plea by the Tamil Nadu government for
clarification on the ambit of the July 11 order of the apex court. The SC
had explained in the July 11 order that the ban only extended along and in
proximity of highways which provide connectivity between cities, towns and
The State government had come to the apex court after the Madras High
Court raised doubts whether the exemption granted to municipal areas in the
July 11 order pertained to only municipal areas in Chandigarh and none
The question had popped up in the HC because the petitioner in the case
was an NGO based in Chandigarh called Arrive Safe Society.
::INDIA AND WORLD::
India is the largest contributor to global peacekeeping-Modi
Highlighting India’s role in the Indo-Pacific region, Prime Minister
Narendra Modi spoke of Lord Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi’s tradition of peace,
a day after Indian officials joined the quadrilateral grouping that includes
Australia, Japan and the United States.
In a meeting with the non-resident Indian community, Mr. Modi said that
India has sacrificed lives for the peace of the world even as he informed
U.S. President Donald Trump that India will play a role for the welfare of
“History does not show us a single incident in which India has done bad
things to anyone. During the World War I and the World War II, we did not
have any territorial ambition, yet more than 1.5 lakh soldiers of my country
sacrificed lives in quest for peace. Because of this sacrifice, any Indian
can say with pride that we contribute to the world and do not take anything
from the world. For India, the land of Buddha and Gandhi, peace is not just
a word, peace is in our veins. And, we certainly have never snatched
anything from anybody in the past,” said Prime Minister Modi.
Mr. Modi’s comment sets the backdrop of the quadrilateral dialogue that
is being interpreted as a move to counter China’s growing might, though
Indian officials have strongly stated that they do not wish to target any
country through this mechanism.
Mr. Modi indicated India’s growing ambition to emerge as a global
peacekeeping and peace-enforcing power reminding that India recognises the
need for peace in the global order.
“If any country in the world is the largest contributor to global
peacekeeping, then it is India. In many restive areas of the world, Indian
peacekeepers are present,” he said. Interacting with the media, the Foreign
Secretary said that peacekeeping in the Southeast Asian region is for the
United Nations to decide.
China expresses its willingness for an inclusive dialogue
China proposed an inclusive dialogue among all countries in the
Indo-Pacific area, following fledgling attempts to form a quad group
comprising India, the United States, Australia and Japan.
Rejecting a Cold War mindset, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng
Shuang said: “I think all relevant parties can put forward their vision and
proposal on how to develop cooperation between the countries and regions. I
hope this kind of proposal and vision can correspond to with the trend and
correspond with the trend of the world.”
“The relevant proposal (of forming the Indo-Pacific quad) should be open
and inclusive and... avoid politicising or excluding some relevant parties,”
Mr. Geng observed.
During a visit to China, U.S. President Donald Trump had rejected the
doctrine of ‘containment’ of China, and signalled that Washington and
Beijing will be the main pillars of a more inclusive international system.
Difficulty in conceiving, miscarriages, malformed babies, and an overall
poor outcome in pregnancies, are the major impacts of diabetes in women.
With a very evident neglect of health issues faced by women, experts say
that gestational and pre-gestational diabetes thus presents a much greater
Given the need of the hour to put forth this issue, this year’s theme
for World Diabetes Day is fittingly ‘Women and Diabetes — Our Right to a
According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), one in 10
women are living with diabetes, many of whom do not have access to
healthcare and lack awareness about the disease.
An even bigger problem is diabetes during pregnancy or uncontrolled
diabetes before pregnancy — one is seven births is affected by gestational
diabetes. Diabetes is also the ninth leading cause of death in women
globally, causing 2.1 million deaths per year.
Most experts observe that women seek help only when complications arise.
Environment friendly use of Stubble
With stubble burning being held responsible for raising pollution to
dangerous levels in the National Capital Region, over 50 villages in Meerut
in western Uttar Pradesh have started an environment-friendly initiative.
They have stopped burning crop residue, paddy waste and sugarcane
leaves; and instead have started making organic manure from the remains. In
the process, in the past one year alone, they prevented 2,250,000 kg of
carbon dioxide from being released in the environment.
Over 250 farmers from 50 villages in Meerut division came up with a
model that uses large quantities of paddy waste and sugarcane leaves to make
rich quality of organic manure in a compost pit.
Climate changes takes toll on many UNESCO natural sites
Climate change imperils one in four UN-listed natural heritage sites,
including coral reefs, glaciers, and wetlands — nearly double the number
from just three years ago, a report said on Monday.
The number of UNESCO natural sites at risk has grown to 62 from 35 in
2014, when one in seven were listed, according to the International Union
for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which released the report at UN climate
talks in Bonn, Germany.
Among the ecosystems most threatened by global warming are coral reefs
which bleach as oceans heat up, and glaciers which melt.
The report found that 29% of UNESCO natural sites faced “significant”
threats, and 7% — including the Everglades National Park in the United
States and Lake Turkana in Kenya — had a “critical” outlook.
Three World Heritage-listed coral reefs — the Aldabra Atoll in the
Indian Ocean, the Belize Barrier Reef in the Atlantic, and Australia’s Great
Barrier Reef, the biggest on Earth — have been affected by “devastating”
bleaching events over the last three years, said the IUCN report.
::BUSINESS AND ECONOMY::
Brexit will affect the Indian firms
Indian businesses based in the U.K. and looking to do business in Europe
must be prepared for additional tariffs, customs duties and product
specification due to the repercussions of Brexit, according to a Belgian
Mr. Bourgeois said that he was more optimistic about the India-EU Free
Trade Agreement finally being signed since the high-level negotiators are
now meeting to hammer out the details, and added that the policy environment
in India was favourable.
Agriculture is very sensitive for India, and India wants Europe to open
its market for the labour force.
Another sensitive issue was that of investment and arbitration, he said.
India-EU could model itself on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade
Agreement (CETA) between Canada and Europe, he said.
For SMEs, if they have to pay a lot to get their rights, it can be a
very serious hurdle for them,” he added. “If Indian companies want to invest
in Europe or vice versa, it’s a risk, of course, but you should create at
least an environment so that if there is a dispute, you have a system of
equal protection. This is also a point of discussion.
India could benefit from a technological transfer that would enable it
to fully exploit its inland waterways without having to go through the
expense and effort of dredging the rivers.
Centre says to Record diplomatic bodies’ UIN
The government has clarified that sales or supply to foreign diplomatic
missions or UN organisations will not have any additional effect on the
supplier’s tax liability and so such supplies must be recorded along with
the Unique Identification Number (UIN) of the recipient.
This clarification follows several foreign diplomatic missions
complaining that their suppliers are refusing to record their UIN during
“Recording of UIN while making such sales will enable foreign diplomatic
missions/UN organisations to claim refund of the taxes paid by them in
India,” the government added. “Therefore, it is advised that under no
circumstance any supplier should decline to record the UIN of the
diplomat/official on the tax invoice.”
Foreign diplomats posted in New Delhi have complained to the Ministry of
External Affairs that the Goods and Services Tax regime had modified the
tax-exempt status of the foreign missions, and also that the UIN system
meant that a country with an embassy as well as a consulate would have to
acquire different UIN numbers for the embassy as well as the consulates.
The diplomats also complained that the UIN system infringed on the
confidentiality of diplomatic practices and privacy of foreign diplomats
posted in India.
SEBI, banks in talks on debt default
The Securities and Exchange Board of India is in talks with banks to
reach accord on getting listed corporates to disclose debt default, less
than two months after it withdrew a circular mandating compulsory
In August, SEBI said companies must disclose instances of principal or
interest default within a day of such default. But on September 30, a day
before implementation, SEBI deferred the move
“Banks need further time to examine... because there are various types
of debts they give. There’s term loans, working capital loans etc. so they
just need some more time to examine it,” said Mr. Tyagi.
ICICI MF unveiled Bharat 22 ETF
ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company Ltd. has unveiled Bharat 22
ETF, an open-ended exchange traded fund, part of the Centre’s disinvestment
The new fund offer will be open Nov. 14-Nov. 17 and aims to raise an
initial amount of Rs. 8,000 crore. A discount of 3% on the reference market
price of underlying constituents is being offered to all categories of
The ETF mirrors the S&P BSE Bharat 22 Index, which comprises select
government-owned companies, stakes held under the Specified Undertaking of
the Unit Trust of India (SUUTI) and public sector banks. The total expense
ratio of the fund is up to 1 basis point, the lowest in the Indian ETF
market, a statement said.