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CJI Misra’s impeachment: Congress MPs withdraw plea challenging RS Chairman’s decision

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CJI Misra's impeachment: Congress MPs withdraw plea challenging RS Chairman's decision

The two Congress MPs challenging Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu’s decision to reject the impeachment notice against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra flopped on Tuesday, May 8 as they withdrew their plea.

The five-judge Bench headed by Justice AK Sikri hearing the plea declared the petition as dismissed as withdrawn after a 45-minute hearing.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, counsel of the Congress MPs Partap Singh Bajwa and Amee Harshadyay Yajnik, said he was withdrawing the petition after the Constitution bench turned down his request for details of the administrative order passed in constituting the bench.

The Constitution bench hearing the petition didn’t include the four senior-most judges of the apex court who in January had gone public with their grievances over CJI Misra functioning and allocation of cases. The five-judge bench, led by Justice AK Sikri, comprised Justices SA Bobde, NV Ramana, Arun Mishra and AK Goel.

The court asked Sibal to argue on merits of the petition, but the Congress leader was adamant that he would first see the order and decide if it should be challenged or not. As the bench also stood its ground, Sibal said he was withdrawing the plea.

During arguments in the case, Attorney General KK Venugopal, said the notice of impeachment motion was signed by 64 MPs from seven political parties but only two MPs of the Congress had approached the court. “How can only two MPs from one political party have a grievance against the Rajya Sabha chairman’s (vice president) order rejecting the notice for removal motion when six other political parties appear to have accepted it?” he questioned.

He said “the presumption is that all others have not supported the stand taken by the Congress to challenge the rejection of impeachment notice by Naidu.”

Sibal retorted that the next time he would come with a petition by 60 MPs. “Hope that will satisfy the AG on question of maintainability,” the Congress leader remarked.

Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu on April 23 rejected the impeachment notice against the CJI given by seven Opposition parties led by the Congress on five grounds of “misbehaviour”. This was the first time that an impeachment notice was filed against a sitting CJI.

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AAP claims Arvind Kejriwal lost 8.5 kg, Tihar jail rebuts

Not 8.5 Kgs but Kejriwal lost around 3.5 Kgs during his incarceration period in prison.

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The authorities in Tihar jail on Monday addressed the accusations of Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that the Delhi Chief Minister has lost 8.5 kg weight through his term of imprisonment, saying not 8.5 Kgs but Kejriwal lost around 3.5 Kgs during his incarceration period in prison.

This was only after one of the confessed BJP’s was planning to destroy Kejriwal’s life by ignoring his medical needs as a diabetic. In contradiction, Tihar prison representatives, according to reports, disclosed that the chief minister has only lost 2 kg of weight from March 30 till now, and he is under the scrutiny of a medical board comprised of doctors from AIIMS.

It all started when AAP leader and Delhi Minister Atishi on Sunday claimed that Kejriwal had a drop in his weight of 8.5 kg after his arrest and his blood sugar continued to be below normal levels several times while in care.

AAP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh painted a picture of doom by stating that Tihar doctors had verified Kejriwal’s weight loss, mentioning the consequences of excessive health complications due to hypoglycemia. However, the Tihar prison administration denied the claims of AAP, which were sent to the home department of Delhi by saying they were misleading and detrimental to the prison, and were crafted to weaken trust in the prison system.

The authority alleged that they see a report each time the measurements are done; it makes them do their work better, as Kejriwal’s doctor uses it to monitor his condition. Prison staff stated that all necessary health care is provided to him, and he is always fed three times a day with home-cooked meals.

They were vociferous in condemning a plot, saying that the aim was to damage the image of the prison with wrong tales. As stated by Tihar-based medical documents, Kejriwal’s weight was 65 kg on April 1, as he got into the prison, and 66 kg from April 8 to 29. After getting back to jail on June 2, following a 21-day intermediary bail, his weight went down to 63.5 kg.

On July 14, his weight reduced further to 61.5 kg. Thus, a total of 2 kg was lost during his detention. The health condition of Kejriwal is still monitored by the AIIMS medical board, and updates on his health are being regularly given to his wife, Sunita Kejriwal.

However, there is the AAP that is adamant about their affirmative claims, stating that the act of reporting the documents without his go-ahead is illegal and also gives the impression that there are activities going on with the ultimate goal of getting rid of him.

This was followed a few months later by his arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation on June 26 in a corruption case that revolved around the same case. Although he was granted anticipatory bail by possibly the apex court filed in the case of money laundering, he is still detained due to the ongoing corruption case.

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Hemant Soren meets PM Modi in Delhi, first meeting after release from jail

He secured bail and became chief minister again on July 4.

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Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday in Delhi. This was his first meeting with the Prime Minister after he was released from jail where he spent around five months.

Taking to X, Jharkhand Chief Minister said that the meeting was a courtesy call. Notably, he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on January 31 this year in connection with a money laundering case related to an alleged land scam.

The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) executive president had spent around five months in prison, he secured bail and became chief minister again on July 4.

On July 3, JMM leader and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Soren stepped out of the Birsa Munda Jail in Ranchi Friday following the grant of bail by the Jharkhand High Court.

A single-judge bench of Justice Rongon Mukhopadhyay, while granting bail, noted that the Court’s findings satisfy the condition that there exist reasons to believe that Soren is not guilty of the PMLA offence he has been accused of.

Following Soren’s bail on July 3, the outgoing Chief Minister Champai Soren had said that the party alliance decided to elect Hemant Babu (Hemant Soren) as leader, after which he resigned from his post. Champai Soren tendered his resignation to Governor C P Radhakrishnan and soon after Hemant Soren staked a claim to form the government. Soren along with alliance party leaders met the Governor after he reached Ranchi on July 3 evening from outside. Hemant Soren took oath as the 13th Chief Minister of the State on July 4 again.

Meanwhile, earlier today, BJP leader Deepak Prakash claimed that Hemant Soren’s government of 4.5 years has been one that wreaks havoc on the public, one that takes away employment from the youth. Hemant Soren’s government is a synonym for corruption. The government has been involved in a mining scam, a tender scam and one that has brought jungle raj in the state, he added.  

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NDA numbers drop below Rajya Sabha majority mark, can impact passage of bills

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With the completion of the term of four Rajya Sabha MPs, the BJP’s number fell by the same number.

Since the current strength of the Upper House is 225, the BJP’s numbers now stood at 86 and the National Democratic Alliance led by it has 101 members, which is less than the majority mark of 113.

The members whose term ended on Saturday are Rakesh Sinha, Ram Shakal, Mahesh Jethmalani and Sonal Mansingh. They had been chosen by President Droupadi Murmu on the advice of the BJP as non-aligned members and later joined the party cohort.

The Congress-led INDIA bloc has 87 members, the Congress with 26, Trinamool Congress 13, AAP 10, DMK 10. The remaining members are from parties that are not in either camps.

What this means is that the BJP will need the help of other unaligned parties to get bills passed. These range from Tamil Nadu’s AIADMK and the YSRCP and the Biju Janata Dal. Both the governments of the YSRCP and the BJD were voted out in the recent assembly elections.  While the BJD has earlier lent issue based support, it has announced it will not return similar favours now, especially after the BJP won the assembly election.

The AIADMK had split from the NDA ahead late last year in anticipation of the Lok Sabha elections. It had claimed its continuance in the NDA would hurt its Lok Sabha prospects from the state.

Similarly, the Bharat Rashtra Samithi of K Chandrashekhar Rao also can help the BJP. With so much dependent on parties that have bene sidelined in recent polls, the BJP has a bigger job of coralling the numbers in the Upper House than running the NDA coalition, which is purring along since the election victory.

Some 20 seats are vacant in the House and elections to these will fill the total number of Rajya Sabha seats.

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