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Supreme Court issues notice to Centre over delay in judicial appointments

The bench also highlighted that Senior Advocate Aditya Sondhi’s elevation to the Karnataka High Court was reiterated in September 2021.

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Supreme Court judicial appointments

The Supreme Court on Friday sent a notice to the Union Law Secretary for delayed or withheld appointment of judges to the apex court and the High Courts. A petition was filed over the delay in clearing the names approved by the Collegium for judicial appointments.

A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay Sreeniwas Oka said the government had not made any judicial appointments on several occasions despite the approval of the names by the Apex Court Collegium.

The bench argued that after a second reiteration, the Centre only needed to issue an appointment. The court termed the delay in judicial appointments not acceptable and wondered if the inaction was a ploy to compel eminent persons onto the Bench.

The bench also highlighted that Senior Advocate Aditya Sondhi’s elevation to the Karnataka High Court was reiterated in September 2021. Sondhi withdrew his consent for the judgeship in February this year after no approval regarding his appointment was made.

The bench also said one of the names reiterated Jaytosh Majumdar who was to be elevated to Calcutta High Court has now passed away.

Further, Senior Advocate Vikas Singh who appeared for the petitioner stressed that the Centre has not approved the recommendation regarding the elevation of Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta, whose name was proposed five weeks ago, to the Supreme Court for the past weeks.

Singh also pointed out that the Apex Court itself has seven judicial vacancies out of 34 judges. The vacancies in 25 High Courts number 335 out of a total sanctioned strength of 1108 judges, as of November 1.

The Court also highlighted the 11 names in the petition which include Jaytosh Majumdar (Advocate), Amitesh Banerjee (Advocate), Raja Basu Chowdhury (Advocate), Lapita Banerji (Advocate), Moksha Kazmi (Advocate), Rahul Bharti (Advocate), Nagendra Ramachandra Naik (Advocate), Aditya Sondhi (Advocate), J Umesh Chandra Sharma (Judicial Officer), Syed Waiz Mian (Judicial Officer), and Sakya Sen (Advocate).

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Calcutta High Court suggests changing name of Sita, Akbar lions

Justice Saugata Bhattacharyya asked AAG whether he had any pets and if they were named after national heroes.

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The Calcutta High Court on Thursday suggested to the Bengal government that the names of lioness Sita and lion Akbar, who were placed in the same enclosure at the Bengal Safari Park in Siliguri, could be changed.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had filed a petition in the High Court to change the name of the lioness Sita, who was recently brought to West Bengal from Tripura.

Hearing a petition, the Single-Judge Bench of Justice Saugata Bhattacharyya orally directed the State to avoid controversy and consider renaming the big cats.

Questioning the intention of the State, Justice Bhattacharyya asked the government if it would name a lion after a Hindu deity, a Muslim prophet or Christian god, a freedom fighter or a Nobel laureate. Generally, anyone who has been revered or respected by the people of our country, Justice Bhattacharyya further asked.

On this occasion, the Additional Advocate General (AAG), appearing for the State, submitted that the naming of the lions took place in Tripura, and it was the responsibility of the Tripura Zoo authorities. Counsel further told the Court that the State itself was already considering changing the name of lions.

Upon hearing the arguments, the Bench also questioned the logic behind naming the lions after a god, freedom fighter or Nobel laureate and further asked why the State did not challenge the names given by Tripura.

The Court further noted that the petition filed by VHP espoused the rights of a large section of people and said that naming a lion after Sita, a largely worshipped by Hindus would hurt their religious sentiments.

During the exchange with AAG, Justice Bhattacharyya also stated that the animals could not be named after respected figures. He further asked AAG whether he had any pets and if they were named after national heroes.

The Bench had directed the petition by VHP to be reclassified as a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) and redirected it to a regular Bench that can hear the same.

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Congress slams Govt over X blocking accounts linked to farmers protest on Centre’s order, says democracy is being murdered

X disagreed with these actions and maintain that freedom of expression should extend to these posts.

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The Congress party on Thursday slammed the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government over the action of microblogging platform X blocking accounts and posts linked to the ongoing farmers’ protest and called it a murder of democracy.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh, taking to X, said that the action taken by the social media platform on the Centre’s order was a murder of democracy in India.

The Elon Musk-led X, sharing a post on its platform in response to the IT ministry’s order asking it to temporarily block 177 accounts linked to the farmers’ protest, said that the Indian government has issued executive orders requiring it to act on specific accounts and posts, subject to potential penalties, including significant fines and imprisonment.

The X’s Global Government Affairs team further stated that it complied with the orders and they would withhold these accounts and posts in India alone, however, they disagreed with these actions and maintained that freedom of expression should extend to these posts.

Consistent with their position, a writ appeal challenging the Indian government’s blocking orders remains pending. X has also provided the impacted users with notice of these actions following their policies.

Due to legal restrictions, they were unable to publish the executive orders, but they thought that making them public was essential for transparency. This lack of disclosure can lead to a lack of accountability and arbitrary decision-making, the X’s Global Government Affairs said in a post on its platform.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also hit out at the Modi government and termed it a murder of democracy. Taking to X, he raised several questions and said if farmers ask for MSP, shoot them. Is this the Mother of Democracy? Gandhi further said that when the youth ask for the appointment, the Centre refuse to even listen to them, if the former governor tells the truth, then they send CBI to his house.

He also attacked the Modi government for freezing the bank accounts of the most prominent opposition party. He added, saying that Section 144, internet ban, sharp wires, and tear gas shells on farmers are not justified in the democracy. He further attacked the Centre for suppressing the voice of the people. He charged on Centre, saying Modi ji public knows that the government have murdered democracy and they will answer it.

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PM Narendra Modi says his Govt leaving no stone unturned to ensure farmer welfare

Meanwhile, SKM called a meeting to address the situation at the Shambhu and Khanauri border between Punjab and Haryana.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that his government has left no stone unturned to ensure the welfare of farmers.

While addressing farmers at the golden jubilee celebration of the Gujarat Cooperation Milk Marketing Federation in Ahmedabad, PM Modi said that his government has built 60,000 Amrit Sarovars across the country.

This initiative will not only benefit farmers but will also strengthen the rural economy, he added. The central government aims to provide modern technology and its know-how even to the small farmers of the country, PM Modi further added.

Asserting that, PM Modi said that his government has been focusing on improving the life of small farmers, increasing the scope of animal husbandry, improving the health of animals, encouraging animal husbandry as well as pisciculture and beekeeping in the village.

PM Modi further said that the Centre has provided the farmers with modern seeds to combat climate change.

He threw light on the Kisan Credit Card facility and said that his government, for the first time, provided it to cattle farmers and fish farmers. Adding that he said farmers have been provided with such modern seeds which can combat climate change.

During the address, he also highlighted the Nari Shakti drive and called them the main force behind the flourishing dairy sector in the country. He declared the government’s commitment to stepping up the economic power of women.

PM Modi also lauded the growth of Amul and said that it has become a symbol of the strength of the nation’s cattle rearers.

Later in the day, PM Modi also visited an exhibition by Amul on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the GCMMF.

Meanwhile, SKM called a meeting to address the situation at the Shambhu and Khanauri border between Punjab and Haryana, where farmers have been camping as part of the Delhi Chalo movement. Leaders from various states including Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal were present at the meeting.

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