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Lokpal selection panel to meet on March 1: Centre tells SC

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Supreme Court

A panel comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and the Chief Justice of India among others, will meet on March 1 to discuss names of probable candidates for the position of the Lokpal, the Centre informed the Supreme Court on Friday (February 23).

The Lokpal, an office created after the passage of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act by the Parliament in 2013, is mandated to inquire into allegations of corruption against public functionaries, including those holding high offices.

However, the Act requires the Lokpal to be selected by a 5-member panel that comprises of the Prime Minister, Lok Sabha Speaker, Chief Justice of India, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and an eminent jurist. Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi helped the BJP ride to power in May 2014, the office of Lokpal has been lying vacant.

The government had on several earlier occasions informed the Supreme Court that since there is no Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, the panel for appointing the ombudsman cannot meet. The Congress is the largest opposition party but since its strength is short of 10 percent of the total strength of the Lower House, it was denied permission to nominate a LoP by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan as per parliamentary norms.

The government’s refusal to nominate a Lokpal by citing that there was no LoP in the Lok Sabha and its reluctance in amending the Lokpal Act to state that the search committee for the ombudsman should have the leader of the largest opposition party and not the LoP had led NGO Common Cause to file a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court in 2014 through advocate Prashant Bhushan. The PIL had challenged the constitutionality of the search committee rules for the appointment of Lokpal.

In April last year, the top court had told the government that the anti-corruption body should be set up without delay and the lack of a Leader of Opposition should not hold up the process. The ruling meant that the government can select a Lokpal without taking the Congress, the main opposition group, on board.

On Friday, as the matter came up for hearing before the bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R Banumati, the Centre submitted that a meeting had been convened between the Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India, Lok Sabha Speaker and leader of the largest party in opposition (the Congress) to discuss the appointment of a Lokpal on 1 March. While the leader of the Congress parliamentary party in Lok Sabha is Mallikarjun Kharge, the Centre has not revealed who the eminent jurist on the search committee would be.

The top court has directed the Centre’s Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to file an affidavit by March 5 indicating the steps taken with regard to the appointment of the Lokpal.

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Madhya Pradesh: Girls standing at liquor shops cannot be Indore’s daughter, says Katha Vachak Pradeep Mishra

He said, “Yaha Chhoro se Zyada Chhoriya Dikhi (more girls queue up at liquor shop than boys).”

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Madhya Pradesh: Girls standing at liquor shops cannot be Indore's daughter, says Katha Vachak Pradeep Mishra

Religious storyteller Pandit Pradeep Mishra’s has made remarks regarding the girls standing at the liquor shops in Indore. During his narration, he also made statements on girls’ dress.

The video of the incident has gone viral on social media and has sparked a debate.

Watch the viral video here:

Notably, Pandit Pradeep Mishra had come to Dalal Bagh to perform Shiv Puran. Pandit Pradeep Mishra said to the devotees here that when he had left for some work in Indore, he saw a liquor shop near the Shaadi Chauraha from Vijay Nagar. He said, “Yaha Chhoro se Zyada Chhoriya dikhi (more girls queue up at liquor shop than boys).”

Pt Pradeep Mishra further said that these girls who were seen standing at the liquor shop, cannot be the daughters of Indore.

He added that the atmoshphere of Indore, the air here is not so impure. These girls come from another place and take admission in the Indore colleges. Their parents send them after on their trust. By renting rooms, these girls are spoiling the atmosphere of Indore, he is seen saying in the video.

This is the land of Maa Ahilya even today and will remain so. No one can deny it. Even today Mother Ahilya walks with Shivling in her hands, Pt Mishra adds.

The girls of Indore cannot push their limits so much so that they buy liquor by queuing up at the liquor shops. These cannot be the daughters of Indore. The daughters here still wear modest clothes, but girls from outside come here and tease them. They dresses in a way that provokes the girls of the city as well.

Pandit Mishra came to visit Congress MLA

In Indore, Congress MLA Sanjay Shukla had organised Pandit Pradeep Mishra’s Shiv Puran session at Dalal Bagh, which concluded on Wednesday. This video of Pandit Pradeep Mishra has gone viral on social media. While talking to the media, Pandit Pradeep Mishra had talked about reducing crime through rituals.

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Madhya Pradesh: MBA student gatecrashes wedding, ends up washing dishes | WATCH

Reports said the youth hails from Jabalpur and is pursuing an MBA from a private university in Bhopal.

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Gatecrashing weddings is one of the longest-standing traditions in India. People often joke about ending up washing dishes and utensils if caught. But for an MBA student in Madhya Pradesh, the joke turned real after he was caught eating at a wedding to which he was not invited.

A video of the incident is doing rounds on the internet and has left the users amused. In the viral video, the student could be seen washing dishes while the organisers interrogate him. The person behind the camera could be heard saying this is what you have to repay if you gatecrash a wedding and have a plate of food.

At the end of the video, the person asked how he felt after washing the dishes to which he replied he had had free food and this was his repay.

Watch the viral video here:

Reports said the youth hails from Jabalpur and is pursuing an MBA from a private university in Bhopal. He attended the uninvited wedding and was caught red-handed.

Soon after the video went viral, internet users reacted to it. While some slammed the organisers for forcing the student to wash dishes, others laughed it off. One user called it disgusting as such humiliation was not required for just one plate of food. Another user called it insanity at its peak.

Yet another user related the incident with Rajkumar Hirani’s film 3 Idiots starring Aamir Khan, R Madhavan, and Sharman Joshi.

Check out Twitter reactions here:

In another incident of gatecrashing a wedding that took place in May this year, a former boyfriend of the bride entered the wedding in Patna’s Bihar and applied vermillion on her forehead.

The jilted lover also snatched the varnmala from the groom’s hand and put it around the bride’s neck forcefully. Later, the wedding was called off.

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Sunanda Pushkar death case: Delhi Police challenges discharge given to Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, Delhi HC issues notice

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Sunanda Pushkar death case: Delhi Police challenges discharge given to Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, Delhi HC issues notice

The Delhi High Court on Thursday has taken notice of a petition from the Delhi Police that contested the lower court’s decision to release Congress MP Shashi Tharoor from prosecution in the death case involving his wife Sunanda Pushar.

Regarding the Delhi Police’s request for a delay pardon, the Single-Judge Bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma issued Tharoor a notice and scheduled a follow-up hearing for February 7.

Senior Counsel Vikas Pahwa, who was representing Tharoor, said that the Delhi Police had moved the High Court after more than 15 months had passed.

The lawyer claimed that they had not received a copy of the petition and that the petitioner had purposefully used a suspended email address.

He added that due to fears of a media trial, both the lower court and the High Court had issued orders stating that no outside party should have access to the case’s records.

The Delhi Police’s claim that the case’s records would not be given to anyone who was not a party to the case was also highlighted by the High Court. The body of the Congress MP’s wife was discovered in a hotel room in the nation’s capital in suspicious circumstances in January 2014. He was charged with aiding and abetting her death.

The case was initially handled by the Delhi Police as a murder, and an FIR was filed under Section-302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Later, Sections 306 and 498-A charges were brought against Tharoor.

Tharoor was exonerated by Special Judge Geetanjali Goel in August 2021 after finding no evidence that the Congress MP had acted in a way that may have provoked, encouraged, or incited his wife Sunanda to commit suicide.

The court had stated that the charge against Tharoor had nothing in the record to support it.

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