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Technical glitch grounds West Bengal’s plea against Aadhaar-Mobile linking in SC

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Supreme Court raps Mamata Banerjee’s government for challenging Parliament’s mandate, says the chief minister can file a petition as an individual citizen

The Supreme Court, on Monday, pulled up Mamata Banerjee’s West Bengal government for directly approaching the apex court against the Centre’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing the benefits of various social welfare schemes.

The West Bengal government had filed a writ petition before the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution. The specific Article can only be used by individual citizens to approach the Supreme Court against state actions which violate their fundamental rights. Article 32 cannot be agitated by a State against the Centre, a technicality that the state government’s counsel, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, seems to have overlooked while moving the apex court which in turn led the top court to rap Banerjee’s government.

The West Bengal government’s plea had come up before the Supreme Court days after a defiant Banerjee had declared that she would not link her mobile phone with her Aadhaar number – something that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made mandatory for all citizens – and dared telecom companies to disconnect her cell phone connection if they so wished.

After the top court pointed out the technical issues that prevented the West Bengal government from moving the writ petition in its current form, the petition was withdrawn. Justice AK Sikri did, however, note that chief minister Mamata Banerjee can file a petition on the issue as an individual citizen.

At the same time, the Supreme Court bench of Justices AK Sikri
and Ashok Bhushan, accepted a plea by advocate Raghav Tankha (filed against the Union of India) seeking a direction to the Department of Telecom and to various telecom operators to stop misleading the public as to the requirement of Aadhaar being the only means of authentication for proof of address by an erroneous and mala fide interpretation of the Supreme Court order in the Loknithi Foundation Case.

The bench issued notice to the government on Tankha’s plea.

When Sibal – a veteran of many legal battles – appeared as an intervenor for West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and the government, Justice Sikri, raised an objection, saying: “This is a matter of the State of West Bengal. The State cannot challenge the law on its own. The Secretary for the State should come as the party and more specifically, Ms Mamta Banerjee should file the petition.”

Justice Sikri asked Sibal: “In a federal structure, how can a State file a plea challenging Parliament’s mandate? We know it is a matter which needs consideration, but you satisfy us how a state can challenge it (sic)?”

Expressing its displeasure over the West Bengal government’s plea, Justice Sikri asked Sabil: “How can a State challenge a law passed by the Centre? Tomorrow the Centre will come against laws by the States” and then told the senior counsel: “let an individual come to us… Mr. Sibal, you know this… you are more mature than us.”

Sibal argued, saying: “This petition from my side is on the behalf of the labour department of West Bengal. It raises a public interest issue in regards to distribution of subsidies to targeted children.”

Sibal also requested the court for time to file an amended petition. A bill for Aadhaar seeding with PDS distribution is to be tagged along with this amended application.

The bench said that the issue of linkage of Aadhaar with mobile number will be considered at the end of the board.

The petition filed by advocate Tankha also seeks a direction to the Telecom Service Providers to stop advertisements as well as SMS, thereby misleading the citizens by misinterpreting the Supreme Court order.

The petition has been filed through advocate Pragya Baghel against the telecom operators Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, Idea, Reliance, Department of Telecommunication and Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).[/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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