Live: Somnath absent from Women's Panel Office, creates stir again

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 24, 2014 10:41 hrs

4.00 pm:

Somnath absent from Women's Panel Office, creates stir again

Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti ruffled more feathers when he sent his lawyer to the Women's Panel Office where he was summoned. A war of words broke out between the panel and Bharti's lawyer with the former demanding Bharti's resignation. 

The panel said it does not entertain lawyers and had anyone with an authorization letter from Bharti had come, they would have considered the Delhi Law Minister 'represented'.

2.50 pm:

Singapore riot: Indian to plead guilty to lesser charge

A 32-year-old Indian national, one of the 25 people accused of taking part in Singapore's worst riots in over 40 years, is expected to be the first person to plead guilty to a reduced charge, a media report said on Friday.

Chinnappa Vijayaragunatha Poopathi is among 25 Indian nationals facing charges relating to last month's riot which left 39 police officers and civil defence staff injured and 25 vehicles, including 16 police cars, damaged.

The prosecution told the court today that it has agreed to reduce the charge against Chinnappa to allegedly being involved in an unlawful assembly of at least five persons despite having been ordered to disperse.

This came about after Chinnappa's lawyer Sunil Sudheesan made representations to the Attorney-General's Chambers.

Some 400 migrant workers from South Asia rioted on December 8 when an Indian was killed in a bus accident at the Little India, precinct of Indian-origin businesses, eateries and pubs where foreign workers from South Asia spend their day off.

2.14 pm:

HC refuses to stay CAG audit of discoms

The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to stay the Delhi government's order for a CAG audit of the national capital's three power discoms' finances since their inception. However, Justice Manmohan said: "CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) will not submit its report till the next date of hearing." He posted the matter for March 19.

The court also issued notice to Delhi government and CAG to file their detailed response on the petitions filed by the discoms alleging that the audit order was passed by the government with a "predetermined mind". The three discoms - Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd, BSES Rajdhani and BSES Yamuna - supply power to consumers in Delhi.

They moved the high court challenging the CAG's authority to audit their finances.

2.00 pm:

Obama extends Republic Day greetings to India

US President Barack Obama on Friday extended Republic Day greetings to India, expressing the hope that both the countries will be able to fulfill people's expectations and aspirations for "this truly global partnership". In his congratulatory message to President Pranab Mukherjee on the occasion of India's 65th Republic Day, Obama said the people of America join the people of India in celebrating its inspiring democratic heritage.

"Our partnership has always been guided by our shared values and interests. I look forward to working with you in the year ahead to fulfil our people's expectations and aspirations for this truly global partnership. In the warm spirit of friendship and partnership, and on behalf of the American people, I congratulate you on this anniversary and share my warmest wishes for continued prosperity and peace," the US President was quoted by as saying by Mukherjee's Press Secretary Venu Rajamony in Delhi.

12.45 pm:

SC notice over Kejriwal protest

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice on a PIL seeking action against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for violating the law while holding a constitutional position. 
An apex court bench headed by Justice R.M. Lodha issued notice to the centre through the home secretary and also to the Delhi government after petitioner M.L. Sharma contended that a law maker cannot be a law breaker at the same time. This invited an observation by Justice Lodha that there cannot be a dual personality. 

Kejriwal had staged a 36-hour sit-in earlier this week in the heart of the capital to seek action against the Delhi Police for not heeding the orders of his ministers. The stir ended after two police officers were sent on leave. 

12.20 pm:

Kejriwal an item girl, says Uddhav Thackeray 

Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray Friday joined the anti-Aam Aadmi Party chorus labelling Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal "item girl, madari, joker". In a scathing editorial Friday in the party mouthpiece "Saamana", Thackeray said over the years, Indian politics has witnessed many "jokers"; starting with Raj Narain, later the antics of Lalu Prasad Yadav, and many others. 

"However, all of them are left way behind by this mob of mad people, led by Arvind Kejriwal, who have stormed the country's political scene," Thackeray, also the publication's editor, wrote. "The antics of AAP and its leaders, including Kejriwal, have shamed every person calling themselves politicians," he added.

He said Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti carried out illegal raids in the city and gave unauthorised orders to the police which started the entire fracas in the national capital earlier this week.

Later, Kejriwal staged a dharna which created huge public inconveniences in Delhi; "With such antics, Kejriwal wants to spread chaos around the country; It appears that there could be the involvement of some disruptive forces behind the agitation," he said.

11.28 am:

Supreme Court orders probe in tribal gangrape case

The Supreme Court has stepped in after an outrage over the gangrape of a tribal woman in the Birbhum district of West Bengal following orders by a kangaroo court. 

As per TV reports, the apex court has sought a report from the Birbhum district magistrate and has also ordered a probe by the district judge who should submit the report within a week.

Taking suo motu cognisance of the gangrape, the court also issued a notice to the West Bengal government.

11.00 am:

Sania Mirza enters Australian Open mixed doubles final

Sania Mirza cruised into the Australian Open mixed doubles final after she and her partner Horia Tecau of Romania beat local pair of Jarmila Gajdosova and Matthew Ebden 2-6, 6-3, 10-2.

The Indo-Romanian duo play the winner of the match between Jie Zheng (China)-Scott Lipsky (USA) and Kristina Mladenovic (France) and Daniel Nestor (Canada).

10.30 am:

Omar Abdullah disappointed with Pathribal closure

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has expressed his disappointment over the Army’s decision to close the Pathribal fake encounter case. The latest development gives clean chit to five army personnel indicted by the CBI in 2006 regarding the incident. The CM, however, will ask the Law Department and Advocate General to consider other options.

9.40 am:

Barca prez Rosell resigns following row over Neymar deal

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has reportedly resigned following a Spanish court's decision to investigate alleged misappropriation of funds in the 48.6 million-pound deal with Brazilian side Santos for footballer Neymar.

Rosell, who insisted that the club acted correctly in the Neymar deal, will be succeeded by vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

According to the BBC, the Spanish court accepted a lawsuit from a Barcelona club member, who has alleged that the amount paid was more than the reported fee, although Rosell said that Neymar's signing has caused despair and envy in some of the club's adversaries for which he has been recklessly and unfairly accused of misappropriation.

Stating that he and his family have suffered threats and attacks in silence for some time, Rosell further said that these have made him wonder if being president means having to jeopardise his family, adding that he also does not want the attacks on him to negatively affect the management or image of the club, for which he has resigned.

9.00 am:

Army closes Pathribal fake encounter case

In a significant development which would boost the morale of the forces present in the Kashmir Valley, the high profile Pathribal fake encounter case was closed by the Army on Friday citing lack of convincing evidence after 14 years. 

"The evidence recorded could not establish a prime facie case against any of the accused persons," a defence spokesman stated in Jammu, adding that, it was ‘clearly established that it (the encounter) was a joint operation by police and the Army based on specific intelligence’. 

In 2006, the CBI had indicted five army personnel for staging the fake encounter even as the state police was let off.

8.30 am:

30 missing in fire at Canada senior home

Police in the Canadian province of Quebec said on Thursday that an estimated 30 people remain missing after a fire in a home for seniors in the town of L'Isle-Verte. At least three people are known to have died in the blaze.

Quebec police spokesperson Guy Lapointe said at a press conference that rescue efforts are being made difficult by the low temperatures that have caused the water sprayed by firefighters on the ruins of the building to freeze.

The fire broke out about 12:30 a.m. when temperatures were minus 19 degrees Celsius and the fact that they have remained quite low throughout the day has forced rescue teams to work in shifts of just one hour each.

Lapointe said the bodies of the victims that might be found among the ruins are trapped in the frozen water there and the priority now is to "take care of the victims" more than to quickly recover the bodies.

8.00 am:

Snowden sees no chance of fair trial in US

Edward Snowden, a former US defence contractor who revealed the US secret surveillance programmes, wrote Thursday in an online chat that it is "not possible" for him to return to the US under current whistleblower protection laws and he sees "no chance" to have a fair trial in his home country.

"Returning to the US, I think, is the best resolution for the government, the public, and myself, but it's unfortunately not possible in the face of current whistleblower protection laws, which, through a failure in law, did not cover national security contractors like myself," Xinhua quoted Snowden as saying on the website of advocacy group "Free Snowden".

"This is especially frustrating, because it means there's no chance to have a fair trial, and no way I can come home and make my case to a jury," Snowden added.

7.30 am

17th Karmapa to open medical camp for animals at Bodhgaya today

The 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, would open a 10-day medical camp for animals in Bodhgaya today.

BJP MP and animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi would be the chief guest at the function to be held at the Kagyu Monlam Pavilion of Tergar Monastery in Bodhgaya.

The camp, organised by Kagyupa International Monlam Trust, will be held from January 24 to February 2, with financial assistance from Brigitte Bardot Foundation and technical support from Sikkim Anti-Rabies Animal Health Division of the Government of Sikkim and Tibet Charity Animal Care Centre and Dharamsala Animal Rescue organisation.

More from Sify: