QBullet: Govt Approves SC/ST Act Amendment; Mamata Meets Gandhis

1. Government Set to Undo ‘Dilution’ of SC/ST Law by Supreme Court

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. 

Moving to placate angry Dalit and Adivasi outfits which have called a Bharat bandh on August 9 over the alleged dilution of the SC/ST law, the Union Cabinet Wednesday approved an amendment to The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act which, official sources said, would “nullify” the 20 March Supreme Court order and “remove any room for interpretation” by the courts.

No formal announcement on the amendment was made by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who cited the ongoing session of Parliament. He merely said: “The Narendra Modi government cares about the development of our Dalit and Adivasi brothers and will strive in that direction. We have done that before, and will do so going ahead.”

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Dear Supreme Court, Where Are Your Numbers on the SC/ST Act?

2. 40 Lakh Not in Register Cannot be Called Illegal, Says Assam Official Behind NRC

A day after BJP president Amit Shah said the NRC would weed out “ghuspethiye” (infiltrators) in Assam, the Supreme Court-appointed coordinator for the exercise termed such descriptions as “too premature” and said that all the 40,07,707 people left out of the “complete draft” cannot be clubbed under that description, or as illegal migrants, merely on the basis of the register.

“No, we can’t say all these 40 lakh are ghuspethiye,” Prateek Hajela, the NRC coordinator, told The Indian Express in an interview. Hajela was responding to a question on whether those whose names were missing in the final draft could be called infiltrators or illegal migrants.

The man at the centre of the NRC exercise said that only a “judicial scrutiny” can establish whether a person can be called an illegal migrant or not.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Assam NRC Final Draft: A Démarche on the Way Forward is Essential

3. Mamata Banerjee Meets Gandhis, Talks of ‘Collective Leadership’

West Bengal chief minister met Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday, 1 August. 

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced on Wednesday that the Opposition parties would face next year’s Lok Sabha elections under a “collective leadership” as they aim to oust the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from power.

Banerjee, who is playing a key role in trying to unite several regional parties, met United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi to talk about the current political situation and the 2019 election. “We discussed how we can work together,” Banerjee said.

When asked about the possibility of an alliance in 2019, Banerjee, standing outside Sonia Gandhi’s 10 Janpath residence, said: “All Opposition parties will come together. Our priority is to defeat the BJP. We will fight under a collective leadership.”

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: Assam NRC: Case Against Mamata Banerjee For ‘Civil War’ Comment

4. Imran Invites Kapil, Sunny, Sidhu & Aamir; No Decision Yet on Modi

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Wednesday sent out invitations to actor Aamir Khan and cricket stars Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar and Navjot Singh Sidhu for the oath-taking ceremony of PM-elect Imran Khan on 11 August. The party said it would like to invite PM Narendra Modi and other heads of Saarc countries too and has asked the Foreign Office to confirm if they can be invited to the event in Islamabad.

Sources said the invitations to the Indian celebrities were sent out on the basis of the good rapport Khan shares with them. In his victory speech following the 25 July polls, Khan reminded his critics in the media that his connection with India and Indians went back to his days as a cricketer.

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read: PM Imran Khan: Celebration in Islamabad To Be Tough Without Punjab

5. Govt May Clear 2 Names for SC, Sit on Joseph File

CJI Dipak Misra (L), who heads the Collegium, and Justice KM Joseph (R).

The government is planning to clear the appointment of two high court chief justices, Indira Banerjee and Vineet Sharan, to the Supreme Court in the coming week, but not that of Justice KM Joseph , a top government functionary said on Wednesday on condition of anonymity. The SC collegium recommended the two new names and sent its recommendation again on Joseph to the law ministry on 16 July.

A second government functionary, while confirming the development, said the law ministry had moved the file of the two judges to the Prime Minister’s Office for final clearance. While Justice Banerjee heads the Madras HC, Justice Sharan is the CJ of the Orissa HC. Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad declined to comment.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: Collegium Finally Reiterates KM Joseph’s Name for Elevation to SC

6. Adultery Law Violates Right to Equality: SC

Image used for representational purposes. 

A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday said making only men liable for punishment for adultery appeared to violate the right to equality before law under Article 14 of the Constitution.

Commencing hearing on a PIL filed by one Joseph Shine, a bench of CJI Dipak Misra and Justices RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra initially contemplated referring it to a seven-judge bench, but later decided to continue with the hearing.

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read: Kama Sutra vs Mangalsutra: Our Adultery Law Doesn’t Get Consent

7. Naroda Gam Massacre Case: Discard Amit Shah’s Statement Defending Maya Kodnani, SIT Tells Court

BJP chief Amit Shah. 

In the trial of the Naroda Gam massacre case of the 2002 post-Godhra riots, the Supreme Court appointed-Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Wednesday argued before a special court that the deposition of BJP president Amit Shah “should be discarded” as it was done merely to “support” key accused former BJP minister Maya Kodnani.

Special Public Prosecutor Gaurang Vyas, while reading out the statement recorded by Shah in the court in September 2017, said that “Amit Shah recorded the statement 15 years after the incident which is not relevant now. It was done only to support Maya Kodnani as both were MLAs back then.”

Vyas argued that “Amit Shah’s presence at Sola Civil hospital is also doubtful as despite being an MLA (back in 2002) nobody, even the accused like Babu Bajrangi, Jaideep Patel ever mentioned his presence.”

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: In Kolkata Rally, Shah Likely to Bring up Assam-Like NRC in Bengal

8. UP Set to Beat Maharashtra, Karnataka & TN to Emerge as Medical Edu Capital

Image used for representational purposes.

For long, the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, followed by Maharashtra, were the top destinations to pursue a medical degree. Not only did these states have the largest count of medical schools, their all-India quota seats would also get lapped up fast, pointing to the top quality of education and facilities there.

When Andhra Pradesh split, Maharashtra moved to the second spot, while Karnataka led the way with 57 colleges offering undergraduate medical education. But that is about to change.

Uttar Pradesh is likely to become the medical capital of India with 12 proposals sent to the Medical Council of India (MCI) to start new colleges. Tamil Nadu has sent proposals for eight medical schools. Maharashtra, on the other hand, is lagging behind.

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read: Bengal’s Top Medical College Has Dirty Toilets & Unlivable Hostels

9. SC Orders Attachment of Bank Accounts of 40 Amrapali Firms

The Supreme Court of India. 

The Supreme Court on Wednesday struck a blow for around 42,000 homebuyers who bought flats in projects being developed by the Amrapali Group by ordering the immediate attachment of the accounts and immovable properties of 40 subsidiary companies of the real estate conglomerate for allegedly diverting Rs 2,765 crore of homebuyers’ money to other group companies and delaying the delivery of flats.

In its order, a bench of Justices Arun Mishra and UU Lalit said: “Since there was diversion of funds, it amounts to an offence of criminal breach of trust under the IPC. Besides attachment of the properties of the 40 group companies, let the names Charted Accountants associated with the companies be placed before us.”

The bench also froze the accounts and immovable properties of individual directors.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: CBI Books Unitech Founder in Bribery Case, Lawyer, SHO Arrested

More From The Quint

150 Years of Solitude — and a Funeral in Gujarat to End it

3 Reasons 2019 Could Cook a Khichdi That’s a Political Delicacy

North Karnataka’s Demand for a Separate State Has Fizzled Out

Got Permit to Drink in Guj? They’re Trying to Make You Go to Rehab

Moment of Magic From Kohli Helps India Reduce England to 285/9

. Read more on India by The Quint.No, Imran Khan’s Ex-Wife Reham Did Not Kiss an American Man on TV!QCrime: Mayo College Student Sexually Abused by Seniors & More  . Read more on India by The Quint.