QBullet: SC Sends Contempt Notice to Rao; Modi Mocks Cong in Pitch

1. SC Says CBI’s Nageswara Rao in Contempt of Court

The Supreme Court on Thursday, 7 February, summoned senior CBI officer M Nageswara Rao over the transfer of officer AK Sharma, who was probing the Bihar shelter home cases, calling it a contempt of court.

The court has asked Rao, the former interim director of CBI, and other officers to be present on February 12 and directed the agency to identify officers who were involved in the transfer of Sharma.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: ‘God Help You’: SC Raps Ex-CBI Interim Chief In Shelter Home Case

2. Modi’s Lok Sabha Pitch Mocks Congress

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaking in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi. 

In what should be his penultimate speech in the 16th Lok Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly defended his government’s achievements and launched an attack on the Congress party and the Opposition, pitching his tenure as “55 months of service to the nation” against “55 years of enjoyment of power of the Congress”.

Replying to the debate on the motion of thanks to President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to Parliament, Modi used his hour-long speech to reach out to key constituencies — from first-time voters who will cast their ballot for the first time in the upcoming general election this summer, the middle class, traders, the poor, and farmers.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: Why PM’s Last LS Speech Won’t Lead to Chants of ‘Modi Dobara’

3. Congress’ Unease Over NSA in MP for Cow Case

Rahul Gandhi (R) with newly-sworn in Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath (L) and party MP Jyotiraditya Scindia. 

There is considerable unease in the Congress leadership over the party’s government in Madhya Pradesh invoking the stringent National Security Act against three persons arrested on charges of cow slaughter.

Speaking to The Indian Express, former Union minister Salman Khurshid said “prima facie it does not seem the right thing” and demanded that the Kamal Nath government clarify the move. Former Karnataka minister Roshan Baig asked what message was the state government trying to send. Former MP CM Digvijaya Singh said he didn’t think NSA should apply to cases of cow slaughter.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: After NSA On 3 Accused, is the Cong Mirroring BJP Tactics in MP?

4. CBI to Question Kol Top Cop in Shillong on 9 Feb

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar.

The CBI will question Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in Shillong on 9 February in connection with the Saradha case, PTI quoted officials as saying.

The apex court had earlier issued a notice to Kumar on a contempt plea filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam but restrained the agency from initiating any coercive action against the officer or arresting him.

The Kolkata top cop had headed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by Mamata in April 2013 to investigate the Saradha case.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Kolkata Police Chief Rajeev Kumar Summoned by CBI on 9 February

5. Shaktikanta Das Debuts as RBI Guv with Surprise Rate Cut

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das

Unveiling his maiden monetary policy on Thursday, 7 February, RBI governor Shaktikanta Das announced a quarter percentage point rate cut, citing lower-than-expected inflation. It was the first rate cut in 18 months, and came after two rate increases in the interim period.

Of the six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), four, including Das and RBI ED Michael Patra, voted in favour while deputy governor Viral Acharya and external member Chetan Ghate voted against cutting rates.

However, a change in policy stance from "calibrated tightening" to "neutral" was approved unanimously by the members. The decision to reduce rates was a split one. Of the six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), four, including Das and RBI ED Michael Patra, voted in favour while deputy governor Viral Acharya and external member Chetan Ghate voted against cutting rates.

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read: Who is Shaktikanta Das? The New RBI Governor on the Block

6. Kartarpur: Pakistan Team to Visit on 13 March

File image of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Pakistan.

In the first set of bilateral meetings on activating the Kartarpur corridor, a Pakistani delegation will visit India on 13 March to discuss the modalities for the cross-border pilgrimage. Pakistan has also proposed a reciprocal visit by an Indian delegation 15 days later to “finalise the draft agreement”.

The meetings will be held to facilitate the travel of Sikh pilgrims to Darbar Sahib Kartarpur Gurudwara in Narowal, nearly 4 km from the Gurdaspur border.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Pak Delegation to Visit in March to Finalise Kartarpur Modalities

7. ED Quizzes Robert Vadra for Second Day, Karti Too

Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law Robert Vadra.

Enforcement Directorate officials on Thursday, 7 February, questioned Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi’s spouse Robert Vadra and former finance minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti about the source of funds they allegedly used to acquire expensive properties in the country and abroad, with sources claiming that the two high-profile accused were evasive in their replies.

Sources said that Vadra was questioned about links to a Rs 19 crore London flat as well as a few other expensive properties. In the case of Karti, ED team asked him about the source of money he used for allegedly buying properties worth Rs 54 crore in UK, Spain and India

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read: Didn’t Receive Any Kickbacks in Defence Deal: Robert Vadra to ED 

8. Rahul Gandhi Dares PM Modi to a Debate

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a coward and challenged him to a debate on Rafale and national security.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday, 7 February, called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a coward and challenged him to a debate on Rafale and national security even as he cautioned the bureaucracy not to toe the RSS-BJP line.

Addressing a convention organised by his party’s minority affairs department at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi, Gandhi launched one of his fiercest attacks on the Prime Minister and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), the ideological mentor of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: Challenging PM Modi to Debate, Rahul Gandhi Calls Him ‘Darpok’

9. Act Against IPS Officers at Rally, Centre Tells WB

Mamata Banerjee sitting on a dharna in Kolkata. 

In what could intensify the face-off between the Centre and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Union Home Ministry on Thursday, 7 February, asked the West Bengal Chief Secretary to take action against five IPS officers, who shared the stage with Banerjee during her sit-in protest against the CBI.

Home Ministry sources said that it is also considering punitive action, including stripping meritorious awards or barring them from central deputation, against the police officers.

The move comes two days after Banerjee ended her three-day dharna in Kolkata against the recent attempt of CBI officials to raid Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar’s residence in connection with a chit fund case probe.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Five IPS Officers Who Took Part in Mamata’s Dharna to Lose Medals

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