Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur said the Centre failed
to deliver on its assurance that filling judicial vacancies is its “topmost
priority”, accusing the government of trying to choke justice by not
In an open court hearing, a three-judge Bench led by
Chief Justice Thakur accused the government of trying to “decimate the
judiciary and lock justice out.”
“In Karnataka HC, an entire floor of courts are locked
[up] because there are no judges. Once we had a situation where we had
judges but no court rooms. But now there are court rooms but no judges,”
Chief Justice Thakur said.
He said no action had been taken for the past nine months
since a Constitution Bench scrapped the NJAC law and asked the government to
frame a new Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) for Judicial Appointments.
CJI said that in Allahabad HC, the Collegium had
recommended 18 judges for appointment; the government chose eight out of
them and now wants only two of those.
The judicial strength is now 464 out of a total
sanctioned strength of 1079 judges in 24 High Courts.
In the Supreme Court, the number of judges is down to 26
out of a total sanctioned strength of 31. With Justices Anil R. Dave and S.K.
Singh retiring in November 2016, the number would again come down to 24.
The GRAPES-3 experiment is a special telescope-array
established in Ooty to detect muons from cosmic ray showers.
The experiment has detected a surge in muon intensity
correlated with a weakening of the earth’s magnetic field due to a solar
storm that hit the earth on June 22, 2015.
An Indo-Japanese collaboration, this experiment is unique
in that it can be used to study solar storms and space weather at distances
up to two times the earth’s radius.
A coronal mass ejection (CME) left the sun on June 21,
2015 and, along with two such others that left the sun on June 18 and 19,
reached earth on June 22, 2015.
Solar flares are often followed by CMEs which are nothing
but giant clouds of plasma which also contain embedded magnetic fields.
This CME was associated with a solar flare from the
sunspot region 12371 near the central disc of the sun. This caused a solar
storm and ensuing radio blackouts and Aurore Borealis.
Analysing data from the GRAPES-3 muon-tracking telescope,
scientists have inferred that while it lasted, the CME resulted in weakening
the earth’s magnetic field, allowing high energy cosmic rays to burst
The earth’s atmosphere provides a shield against UV rays
and other incident particles. But its protection stretches to less than 100
km around the earth.
The stronger protection comes from the earth’s magnetic
field which stretches to around 10 times the radius of the earth — about
60,000 km beyond the surface.
The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act will
come into force on November 1, 2016, the Central Board of Direct Taxes said
Following this, the existing Benami Transactions
(Prohibition) Act will be renamed as the Prohibition of Benami Property
Transactions Act (PBPT Act).
The PBPT Act defines benami transactions, prohibits them
and further provides that violation of the PBPT Act is punishable with
imprisonment and fine.
The PBPT Act prohibits recovery of the property held
benami from benamidar by the real owner. Properties held benami are liable
for confiscation by the Government without payment of compensation.
According to the new law, people caught with 'benami'
properties could serve up to seven years of rigorous imprisonment and have
to pay a significant fine.
Additionally, the properties will be confiscated. Under
the Act, a transaction is named ‘benami’ if property is held by one person,
but has been provided or paid for by another person.
A person could also face rigorous imprisonment for up to
five years for knowingly giving false information and will have to pay a
fine of up to 10 per cent of the market value of the property.
The PBPT Act provides for the creation of an appellate
mechanism called the Adjudicating Authority and Appellate Tribunal.