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Lawyer says top corporate behind conspiracy by two sacked SC employees to frame CJI, SC says will get to bottom of case

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Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi

The Supreme Court today (Wednesday, April 24) asked advocate Utsav Bains to file additional affidavit to back his allegation that three former employees of  the apex court conspired to frame the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi in the sexual harassment case and make him resign.

The bench of Justices Arun Mishra, RF Nariman and Deepak Gupta asked the lawyer to file the affidavit by 10.30 am tomorrow when the court is scheduled to take up the matter again.

The court witnessed heated moments when Attorney General KK Venugopal had lengthy wordy duels with Bains.  At one point, Bains accused the AG  of targeting him and doubting his integrity.

At this point, an irked Justice Nariman said, “You have no right to doubt him. He’s the most respectable member of the bar. We all look up to him. If you say doubt, we will throw you out.”

At this, Bains said that he was “walking out of the court on his own”. There were other moments too, particularly when Senior Advocate Indira Jaising said “we the women lawyers are very concerned for the independence of judiciary and the integrity of the court.”

“I have a stake in this, a personal stake,” she said adding, “My only request is to set up an impartial and free inquiry. She said that she is not representing anyone and was is in the court in her own capacity. “Other women of the bar come to me and say we don’t feel safe anymore.”

At this point, Justice Nariman said, “This is not the purpose for which we are here.” He reminded her that the bench has been constituted only to hear Bains’ affidavit and nothing more. “Justice Mishra says this is a very serious issue, and we want to go to the root of the cause and we will inquire and inquire until it reaches a logical conclusion.”

Earlier, advocate Bains who claimed he was offered money to frame the CJI in a sexual harassment case, said the “mastermind behind the conspiracy is one of the biggest corporates in the country.”

Bains went on to file a second affidavit in the hearing. He said he had more crucial evidence and wanted to file another affidavit.

Justice Mishra told him to give a handwritten affidavit and not a typed one so that there is not even the remote possibility of the information being leaked by the typist. “We do not want evidence to be destroyed,” he said.

Bains submitted documentary evidence to the court in a sealed cover, claiming that the CCTV footage would reveal many things. “I have a CCTV footage, which is real evidence. I am submitting this in the court. The accused, the mastermind is very powerful,” said Bains.

Justice Mishra, speaking for the Bench after reading Bains’ fresh affidavit, said if the contents of the affidavits were true, “then this is really very disturbing”.

The court however made it clear that this will not affect the inquiry already set up by the court into charges levelled against CJI Gogoi by a former woman staffer.

“It’s a very serious issue about the independence of system…if it can be controlled from other corners,” said Justice Mishra.

Bains, in his affidavit submitted to the court, had said he “was informed by reliable sources that certain ‘fixers’, who claim to be engaged in illegally managing Judgments in exchange for cash are behind this plot as the Hon’ble CJI has taken decisive action to crack down on such fixers”.

Apparently touching upon this, the bench said it’s “very disturbing” to see the names of two employees who were dismissed from the court figure in connection with the controversy.

Justice Mishra referred to the recent dismissal of court staffers Manav Sharma and Tapan Chakravarthy for doctoring a court order in a contempt case between Anil Ambani and Ericsson in this context.

Referring to their dismissal, Justice Mishra elaborated “this action has been taken by CJI for first time in country. It has been happening before. But no CJI had the courage to it before…If there is collusion of employees, it’s very serious. If he (CJI) is taking action without looking at anyone, it shows his independence”.

The Bench then summoned the CBI, IB and Delhi Police chiefs for an in-chamber meeting to look into the material furnished by Bains.

Explaining why the three top officials have been called, Justice Mishra said “this is not just an inquiry, this is something more… We will not reveal anything. This will be kept totally a secret.”

The Bench ordered the Delhi Police to provide lawyer Utsav Singh Bains “full protection” so that no one approaches him to either influence or threaten him and the evidence he has with him of the conspiracy afoot is kept safe.

The three judges then met the three officers in their chambers at 12.30 pm on Wednesday and subsequently, the court met again at 3 PM.

Before adjourning, the bench made it clear that the in-house probe on allegations of sexual harassment would go on and another independent probe was needed on larger conspiracy on allegation to malign CJI.

At the fag end of the hearing, Bains told the court that he has some more very important and very critical piece of evidence related to the mater and he be allowed to file an additional affidavit. The bench allowed the request of Bains and said, “It should be handwritten and not typed.”

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Bihar IAS triggers outrage after her condom reference to girl’s demand for free sanitary pads | WATCH

After the video of the seminar went viral, social media users slammed the IAS for her condom reference to the valid question.

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Bihar IAS condom

A Bihar IAS officer triggered a massive social media outrage over her response to a girl’s demand for free sanitary napkins during a seminar in Sashakt Beti, Samriddh Bihar in the state capital Patna on Tuesday.

The managing director of Bihar’s Women Development Corporation and IAS, Harjot Kaur Bamhrah was asked by the girl if the government could provide free sanitary pads to girls as it is providing numerous other facilities for free.

Responding to the question, which got applauded by the audience, the IAS said today she asked for sanitary pads and in future, she will also ask the government for free condoms. She further questioned why people need everything for free and said ‘this mentality is incorrect.’

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Watch the viral video here:

After the video of the seminar went viral, social media users slammed the IAS for her condom reference to the valid question.

One user wrote being an IAS officer the behaviour was insensible. Another user demanded the IAS termination from her position with immediate effect. Yet another user called her as shameless as present-day politicians.

Have a look at Twitter reactions here:

Following the incident, the National Commission for Women sought an explanation from Bamhrah for her remarks. NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma wrote to Harjot Kaur and the reply must be communicated to the Commission within seven days.

Bihar’s Social Welfare Minister Madan Sahani also criticised the IAS remarks and said the officer should not have discouraged the girls.

Bamhrah on Wednesday responded to the criticism she has been facing online and claimed that there was a deliberate attempt to malign her during the seminar.

Speaking to NDTV, Bamhrah said she is known to be one of the most vociferous champions of women’s rights and empowerment and some mischievous elements against whom stringent actions have been taken by WCDC have now resorted such low attempts to malign her reputation.

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Bihar IAS triggers outrage after her condom reference to girl’s demand for free sanitary pads | WATCH

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Bihar youth addicted to online gaming fakes own kidnapping, demands Rs 50,000 ransom from family | WATCH

After losing a lot of money in cricket betting on the online betting app, when Nandan did not understand anything, he planned to kidnap himself.

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Bihar youth addicted to online gaming

A bizarre incident has come to light in Bihar’s Bhagalpur, where a youth created a fake story of his kidnapping and then demanded a ransom from his family members. Believing the story to be true, his father reached the Ghogha Police Station and informed them about the incident. After losing a lot of money in cricket betting on the online betting app, when Nandan did not understand anything, he planned to kidnap himself.

Narrating the incident, his father told the police that his son, Nandan Kumar, went for a morning walk at around 4 am and didn’t return for a while. They tried calling him, but his phone was switched off. He further said that he then received a call from Nandan from an unknown number. Nandan told his father to transfer Rs 50,000 as a ransom amount as he was kidnapped by three people.

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Soon after, an alert was issued everywhere regarding the abduction of Nandan, a resident of NH 80-Phulkiya in the Ghogha police station area. After getting instructions from the senior police officer, prompt action was taken under the leadership of Kahalgaon SDPO Shivanand Singh. The police were conducting raids at suspicious places. Within two and a half hours of the complaint, the police safely found the allegedly abducted youth near the Mamalkha railway station.

The SHO of Ghogha police station, Mohd. Dilshad, SI Ajay Mishra, Jokhan Ram and Hareram Chaudhary, Kanhai Kumar of Rasalpur police station, and PSI Chandan Kumar of Sanhola police station took the matter into their hands.

During the interrogation, the youth told the officials that he created a fake story of three motorcyclists kidnapping him and blindfolding him to mislead the family members on the phone. On asking why he did this, Nandan told the police that he wanted the money for online gaming and that’s why he fabricated his kidnapping.

The officials said the youth is currently in police custody. Further action is being taken on this matter.

Bihar youth addicted to online gaming fakes own kidnapping, demands Rs 50,000 ransom from family | WATCH

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Supreme Court says all women, married or unmarried, have right to safe and legal abortion

The Court held that the marital status of women cannot be ground to deprive them right to abort unwanted pregnancies.

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have right to safe and legal abortion

The Supreme Court of India on Thursday held that all women, irrespective of their marital status, have the right to safe and legal abortion. The Apex Court held that the marital status of women cannot be ground to deprive them right to abort unwanted pregnancies.

Under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, both single and unmarried women have the right to abort the foetus till 24 weeks of pregnancy.

A bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala, and Justice AS Bopanna made the ground-breaking judgement. Justice Chandrachud said if Rule 3bc was to be interpreted that it applies to married women it would mean that unmarried does not involve in sex.

The bench also stressed recognising marital rape though purely within the ambit of abortion. The court said under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, the definition of rape must include marital rape.

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He further said the artificial distinction between married and unmarried women cannot be sustained.

Highlighting differences in circumstances, he said a woman in a situation of emergency or disaster may decide to have the child but it may also impact the choice of a woman who may think pregnancy is not viable to keep.

While talking about reproductive autonomy being closely linked to bodily autonomy, the Apex Court ruled that the right to choose contraception, the number of children and whether or not to abort have to be taken without the influence of social factors.

The ground-breaking judgement by the Supreme Court of India comes after the court allowed a pregnant unmarried woman to abort her 24-week foetus in July this year. The court had sought a report from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on safe abortion of the girl’s circumstance and directed the hospital to form a team of two experts to report on whether abortion is possible without harming the girl.

The girl moved to Supreme Court after the Delhi High Court refused to grant her permission to terminate the pregnancy that was 23 weeks.

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