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CBI director Alok Verma case: Acted to save CBI’s reputation, Centre tells Supreme Court

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cbi director alok verma case

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Claiming that the Centre had not violated any law in divesting CBI Director Alok Verma of his powers and sending him on leave, the Centre told the Supreme Court today (Wednesday, Dec 5) that it stepped in to save the agency’s reputation in view of extraordinary situation where the two top officers were “fighting like cats”.

Attorney General (AG) KK Venugopal was arguing on behalf of the Central government before the Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph which resumed hearing on Verma’s plea challenging Centre’s decision of Oct 24 to divest him of duties and sending him on leave.

The bench had, on Nov 29, heard submissions from lawyers of parties who have challenged the Centre’s decision, including senior advocate Fali Nariman (for Alok Verma), and posted the case for further submissions on Wednesday (December 5).

Presenting the Centre’s case, the AG said that the spat between the CBI director and his deputy, special director Rakesh Asthana was tarnishing the reputation of the country’s premier investigation agency.

It became essential for the government to step in when the two top officers of the CBI were “fighting like cats”, he said. “Government of India was watching with amazement as to what the top officers were doing, they were fighting like cats,” news agency PTI quoted him as saying.

“Dispute between CBI Director and Special Director was pulling down integrity and respect of the premier institution..Our main aim is to see that confidence of the public in this premiere institution (CBI) is restored,” he told the bench.

The apex court on Nov 29 had said it would first consider whether the government has the power to divest the CBI director of his duties under whatever circumstances or whether the selection committee headed by the Prime Minister should have been approached before moving against Verma on corruption allegations against him.

The court had made it clear that for now it was not going into the allegations and counter-allegations involving Verma and CBI’s No.2 officer Asthana, both of whom have been stripped of their powers and sent on leave following their bitter feud.

Today, KK Venugopal reiterated his assertions made during the last hearing in the case, that the Centre had not violated any law while sending Verma on leave.

During the last date of hearing, Venugopal had proceeded on the premise that the selection committee for appointing the CBI director was mandated to recommend names for the post of the agency’s chief or transferring him but it was the Centre that was the final appointing authority.

Venugopal argued that the central government had taken the decision to send Verma on leave after “due application of mind” and concluding that “a situation had arisen wherein the CBI director had to be divested of his responsibilities.”

The AG, however, insisted that by not referring the matter to the CBI director’s selection committee before acting against Verma, the Centre had not erred because the selection panel must be asked to carry out an inquiry only if the government wishes to transfer the CBI chief. He said, in Verma’s case, there was no transfer and that the petitioner continued to enjoy the perks of office.

Submitting that the Centre’s powers of superintendence, in its role as the appointing authority of the CBI director, Venugopal concluded his arguments.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), picked up from where his senior law officer left off. Mehta emphasized on the CVC’s power of superintendence over the CBI director and said that the vigilance panel is mandated to oversee CBI cases registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act. He added that the Centre too was free to ask the CVC to initiate investigations against CBI officials if needed.

The bench posted the matter for next hearing on Thursday, December 6. Verma’s two-year tenure ends on January 31.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi reveals plan for ambitious 2047 Viksit Bharat project, says work for the project has been ongoing for last 2 years

The Prime Minister said that he does not mean to scare or suppress anyone, but rather has plans to make India a developed nation by 2047.

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A day after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released its election manifesto, which aims at building a Viksit Bharat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an interview with the media, outlined his vision for India’s development by 2047. He also addressed concerns raised by the opposition parties, who suggest that the BJP might seek to amend the Constitution if re-elected in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave his assurance to the people that they do not need to fear when he said that he has big plans for the country in his election speeches. Explaining statement, the Prime Minister said that he does not mean to scare or suppress anyone, but rather has plans to make India a developed nation by 2047.

Speaking to the media, PM Modi said, when he says that he has big plans, no one should be scared. He said he does not take decisions to scare or run-over anyone, he takes decisions for the wholesome development of the country. He added the government always says they have done everything.  He said he did not believe that he had done everything. He added he had tried to do everything in the right direction, yet there is so much he needed to do, because he saw that his country has so many needs.

The Prime minister asked how did he fulfill the dreams of every family? He said this is the reason why he said this has been a trailer. PM Modi said he had been working on the ambitious 2047 Viksit Bharat project for the past two years. And for that, he asked for opinions and suggestions from people across India.  He said he had taken suggestions from more than 15 lakh people on how they want to see India in the coming 25 years.

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Kangana Ranaut meets Dalai Lama in Dharamshala shares pictures on social media ahead of Lok Sabha elections, post goes viral

The Bollywood actor met Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama in Himachal Pradesh’s Dharamshala and said it as one of the most memorable moments of her life.

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The Bollywood actor and BJP candidate for the Mandi Lok Sabha seat met Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama in Himachal Pradesh’s Dharamshala on Monday. She said it as one of the most memorable moments of her life. Kangana Ranaut also shared pictures on social media.

The Lok Sabha elections in Himachal Pradesh are scheduled for June 1, marking the seventh phase of elections to elect four members of the 18th Lok Sabha. As the voting day is still over a month away, candidates contesting in the 4 constituencies are actively participating in various campaign activities. Among them, the BJP’s star candidate Kangana Ranaut, who is contesting from Mandi against Congress’s Vikramaditya Singh, is leaving no stone unturned to win the votes of the people.

Kangana Ranaut also shared what Dalai Lama told her during the meeting. She said, his Holiness ji said that he enjoys being in Himachal Pradesh and absolutely loves Bharat. She said this is such a privilege and such an honour. After her meeting with the spiritual leader, the actor told the media that it was divine. She said it was an experience which she will cherish all her life. She thought it is exceptional to be in the presence of such a being who has sheer divinity around him. She said it was very emotional for her and ex-CM Jairam Thakur. She added she will cherish this experience all her life.

Earlier, Kangana Ranaut slammed Himachal Pradesh minister Vikramaditya Singh for calling her the queen of controversies while she was addressing a poll rally in Mandi. She said, Yeh tumhare baap-dada ki riyasat nahin hai, ke tum mujhe dara, dhamka ke vapis bhej doge. She further added this is the new Bharat of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where a small, poor boy who used to sell tea is the biggest hero and pradhan sevak of the people.

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Election Commission records highest inducement seizure of Rs 4,650 crore ahead of Lok Sabha election

The Election Commission of India records highest inducement seizure of Rs 4,650 in 75-years of history.

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The Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Monday that the upcoming Lok Sabha elections are expected to witness the highest ever seizures of inducements.

According to a notification from the poll board, enforcement agencies had already seized a record Rs 4,650 crore before the first round of polling, which is yet to start. This was a significant increase over the Rs 3,475 crores seized during the entire Lok Sabha election in 2019.

As part of a level playing field, the Election Commission said that the enhanced seizures reflect ECI’s unwavering commitment to monitor inducements and curb electoral malpractices, particularly in favour of smaller and less resourceful parties.

Significantly, narcotics and drugs, which are the Commission’s main focus, account for 45% of the seizures. The poll body continued, the seizures have been made possible by thorough planning, increased cooperation and coordinated deterrent action by agencies, proactive public participation, and optimal use of technology.

The commission also made statistics on the distribution of inducements that were seized available for public consumption by state. With a seizure of over Rs 778 crore, Rajasthan topped the list. Gujarat came in second with Rs 605 crore, and Maharashtra came in third with roughly Rs 431 crore.

When announcing the polls last month, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar highlighted money power as one of the 4M challenges, along with money, muscle, misinformation, and Model Code of Conduct violations.

Use of black money, over and above political financing and accurate disclosure thereof, may disturb the level playing field in favor of a more resourceful party or candidate in specific geographies, the panel stated in its statement released on Monday.

The poll authority claims that the seizures are an essential part of the ECI’s resolve to hold fair elections for the Lok Sabha that are free from electoral malpractices and inducements.

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