QBullet: CBI Chief, Deputy Sent on Leave; PM’s ‘Tax-Plus One’ Move

1. In Night Operation, CBI Loses Verma, Asthana

CBI Headquarters. 

In an unexpectedly swift predawn move to end a potentially destructive internecine war in the country’s premier investigating agency, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government removed the two principals of CBI, Director Alok Kumar Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana, an order immediately challenged by Verma in the apex court, which will hear the appeal on Friday.

The government asked M Nageswar Rao, a 1986-batch Orissa cadre officer and the senior-most joint director of the Central Bureau of Investigation, to look after the duties and functions of the CBI director. Rao, officials familiar with the development said, reached the CBI headquarters at around 11pm on Tuesday, 23 October, and left at 2 am on Wednesday, 24 October, after receiving the order in a shakeup of the investigative agency’s ranks.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: CBI vs CBI: All About the Govt’s Midnight Order & What Followed

2. Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie & Prashant Bhushan Seek FIR in Rafale Deal, Move SC

Arun Shourie, Yashwant Sinha and Prashant Bhushan. 

Former union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie and activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan moved the Supreme Court on Wednesday, 24 October, seeking registration of an FIR into the Rafale fighter jet deal between India and France alleging “criminal misconduct” by high public functionaries, reports PTI.

This comes after CBI Director Alok Verma was removed with the government saying that the officer did not cooperate with the CVC in the probe against him. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has accused PM Modi of removing CBI Director Alok Verma in a bid to stop him from investigating the Rafale “scam”.

“The CBI director was removed last night because the agency was raising questions over Rafale,” Gandhi alleged.

Sinha, Shourie and Bhushan have sought a direction to the CBI to investigate the offences disclosed in their complaint in a “time-bound” manner and submit periodic status reports to the apex court.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Yashwant, Shourie, Bhushan Move SC Seeking FIR in Rafale Deal

3. Four Women Move Kerala HC Seeking Protection to Enter Sabarimala Temple

Sabarimala Temple in Kerala had previously denied entry of women and girls between 10-50 years into the temple.

Four women, including two lawyers, approached the Kerala High Court on Wednesday, 24 October, seeking protection to pray at the temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappa in Sabarimala, which witnessed clashes and protests over the entry of female devotees last week.

Lawyers Maya Krishnan and H Rekha, Jeejapol PS and Jalajamol PS said in their petition they were in the 10-50 age group and wish to offer prayers at the temple according to the recent verdict of the Supreme Court that permitted women of all ages to worship at the shrine in the state Pathanamthitta district.

They also named 14 respondents, including the hilltop shrine’s tantri or the supreme priest Rajeevaru Kandararu and the presidents of the state units of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress, saying they were instigating violence in the name of an “unfounded ritual” held unconstitutional by the highest court of the country.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: Sabarimala: CM Blames RSS for Unrest, Pleas To Be Heard on 13 Nov

4. Bishop Franco Mulakkal Harassed Father Kuriakose, Alleges Kin

Father Kuriakose Kattuthara (L), one of the prime witnesses who had testified against rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal (R), was found dead in Jalandhar on Monday, 22 October.

The brother of Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, who was found dead in Punjab’s Hoshiarpur on Monday, 22 October, has lodged a police complaint alleging the priest was being harassed by controversial former Jalandhar bishop, Franco Mulakkal, and his supporters.

Kattuthara, 62, had testified against Mulakkal, who was arrested last month on allegations of raping a Kerala nun repeatedly over a period of two years. Kattuthara had alleged there were attempts by the church to hush up the sexual assault complaint by the nun against Mulakkal.

His brother, Jose Kattuthara, cousin, John Thomas, and nephew, Jojo Thomas, reached Dasuya in the morning from Kerala to lodge the police complaint. Dasuya police initiated inquest proceedings following the complaint and the body was handed over to the family after the post-mortem examination.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: Father Kuriakose’s Death: Natural or Pre-Planned Conspiracy?

5. Govt Clears Appointment of Chief Justices for Five High Courts

Bombay High Court. Image used for representation.

The central government has cleared the appointment of new Chief Justices for High Courts of Bombay, Calcutta, Uttarakhand, Gauhati and Sikkim. Bombay High Court judge N H Patil has been appointed as the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court. Patil was elevated as a judge of the Bombay High Court in October 2001.

Similarly, Calcutta High Court judge Justice D K Gupta has been appointed as the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court. Justice Gupta, a member of the bar, was elevated as a permanent judge of the Calcutta High Court in June 2006. He has been serving as the Acting Chief Justice of the High Court since 25 September this year.

Karnataka High Court judge Justice Ajjkuttira Somaiah Bopanna has been appointed as Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court. He was appointed as permanent judge in March 2007.

(Source: The Indian Express)

6. Modi Calls for ‘Tax-Plus One’ System, Urges Citizens to Help Build Nation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, 24 October, called for a ‘tax-plus one’ approach for citizens to do more for the society besides honestly paying taxes. He said more people were paying taxes because they have faith that their money is being utilised.

“Paying tax is ‘prakriti’ (natural), not paying tax is ‘vikriti’ (deformity). But paying tax plus doing more is ‘sanskriti’ (culture),” he said in his address to IT professionals and tech honchos at a town hall. “I appreciate honest taxpayers whose numbers have increased. But the tax that is paid is part of the system. Social service is tax-plus something. We need to create that,” Modi said.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: Modi calls for 'tax-plus one' system of honest tax payment, doing extra for society

7. BJP Pressuring Manohar Parrikar to Remain CM: Goa RSS Ex-Chief

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. 

Former Goa RSS chief Subash Velingkar on Wednesday, 24 October, accused the BJP central leadership of putting pressure on an ailing Manohar Parrikar to keep him continuing as the chief minister in the BJP-led government in Goa at the cost of his deteriorating health.

Maintaining that there is a growing anger among the cadre, Velingkar said, “There is restlessness in the RSS. The entry of two (Congress MLAs) has triggered disgust in RSS. The decision was taken from the top without consulting grassroots workers..”

Velingkar was addressing an RSS meet in Mandrem, north Goa, the constituency which will go to the bypolls after Congress MLA Dayanad Sopte quit and joined the BJP.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Goa Congress Writes to Prez Kovind to Dissolve Parrikar-Led Govt

8. PM Modi Wins 2018 Seoul Peace Prize

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be honoured with this year’s Seoul Peace Prize for his contribution to world peace through his economic vision. Prime Minister Modi will become the 14th recipient of this coveted award. The Seoul Peace Prize is awarded biennially to individuals who have made significant contribution to the harmony of mankind, reconciliation between nations and to world peace.

Other awardees include former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and international relief organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Oxfam.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: PM Modi Conferred with Seoul Peace Prize for ‘Modinomics’

9. Lt Col Prasad Purohit Moves Bombay HC Against Prosecution Nod Under Uapa

Photo of 2008 Malegaon blast case accused Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit.

Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit, facing trial in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case, has moved the Bombay High Court, challenging the order of the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court, that had last week rejected the pleas of the accused questioning the applicability of the anti-terror law against them.

Purohit has sought stay on the hearing and directions to the special judge not to frame charges till the appeal, filed on Wednesday, is decided by the High Court. Purohit has urged the court that the order passed by the special NIA court should be “quashed and set aside”.

The matter was mentioned on Wednesday, 24 October, before the division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice A S Gadkari, and is likely to be heard on Thursday, 25 October.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Malegaon Blast: NIA Court Rejects Lt Col Purohit’s Plea 

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