QBullet: Voter IDs for Rs 100 in K’taka; Mallya Now a ‘Fugitive’

1. In Poll-Bound Karnataka, Voter ID Cards Bought for Rs 100

Over 9,746 voter IDs were found in a Bengaluru flat on 8 May.

Enticing voters not to exercise their franchise is the new trend that is fast catching up in poll-bound Karnataka. The seizure of 10,000 voter ID cards from an apartment at RR Nagar in Bengaluru on Tuesday, 8 May, seems to be an indication of this “new craft.”

This is how the racket works: candidates bribe registered voters, who they believe would not vote for them for ideological reasons, in exchange for their electors photo identity cards (EPIC).

The price of EPIC cards varies from place to place. It is just Rs 100 in a Lambani tanda (cluster) in a remote assembly segment of north Karnataka but could go up to Rs 2,000 for slum dwellers in Bengaluru.

“I was approached by supporters of a BJP candidate who asked me if I wanted to get Rs 1,000 for not voting,” Arbaz Khan (name changed), a carpenter in Hebbal, said. “And I said, ‘yes.’ Some of other absentee voters in my colony got a pint of whiskey along with cash,” he claimed.

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read: Countermand Election in RR Seat: BJP Delegation Appeals to EC

2. Vijay Mallya Can Be Regarded as ‘Fugitive from Justice’: UK High Court

File photo of Vijay Mallya.

A UK High Court on Wednesday, 9 May, concluded that liquor baron Vijay Mallya, wanted in India to face charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crore, can be regarded as a “fugitive from justice.” This comes a day after he lost a lawsuit filed by 13 Indian banks in the UK High Court seeking to collect more than $1.55 billion from him.

Judge Andrew Henshaw, who upheld the worldwide freeze order and ruled in favour of 13 Indian state-owned banks, took note of the fact that the 62-year-old businessman is contesting his extradition to India relating to “alleged financial misconduct”.

“In all these circumstances, and even taking account of the fact that Dr Mallya is contesting the alleged grounds for extradition, there are grounds for regarding Dr Mallya as a fugitive from justice,” the judge said as part of his ruling.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Vijay Mallya Can Be Regarded Fugitive From Justice: UK High Court

3. Amid CJI Row, Judge Says Lawyers on TV are ‘Killing’ Supreme Court

Senior Supreme Court Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph called an unprecedented press conference on 12 January.

Justice Arun Mishra, who suffered collateral damage in two recent controversies concerning the Supreme Court, on Wednesday, 9 May, lashed out at advocates who, he said, were targeting apex court judges within the court as well as on TV debates, thereby “killing the institution.”

In January, Justice Mishra found himself to be collateral damage when four senior judges held a press conference in January to speak out against the alleged arbitrary allocation of cases by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. They claimed that sensitive matters were being allocated to junior judges.

When asked whether the marking of a petition seeking an independent enquiry into special judge BH Loya’s death to a bench headed by Mishra prompted them to come out in the open, one of the four answered in the affirmative.

He was critical of lawyers participating in panel discussion on TV channels. “They discuss court proceedings on TV. We are abused like anything,” the judge said.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: CJI Impeachment: Sibal Asks Who Passed Order to Form 5-Judge Bench

4. Concerns Over Aadhaar Authentication Failure Must Be Taken Seriously: SC

Does the Aadhaar scheme violate the Constitution?

The Supreme Court said on Wednesday, 9 May, that an Aadhaar authentication failure could lead to a denial of benefits to the needy and this concern raised by the petitioners challenging the unique identification scheme would have to be taken seriously.

Justice Chandrachud, a member of a Constitution bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra that is hearing a clutch of petitions against the validity of Aadhaar, said the issue raised by the petitioners was genuine.

Responding to a submission by advocate Shyam Divan, who represents petitioner Kalyani Shankar Menon, that people would be refused benefits if they fail to authenticate their Aadhaar numbers, the judge said: “It’s not largesse, it’s not charity. We have to find answers for this.”

Divan also urged the court to exclude all programmes related to children, rehabilitation and food-related schemes from the requirement of Aadhaar authentication.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: 9 Questions to the Election Commission on Aadhaar-Voter ID Linking

5. Archaeological Survey of India Failed, Explore Tasking Taj Mahal Upkeep to Another Body: SC to Centre

File photo of the Taj Mahal.

Expressing concern over blue and green patches on the Taj Mahal, the Supreme Court on Wednesday, 9 May, slammed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for 'failure' to protect it from rising pollution and even wondered whether the body should be relieved of the task to manage the affairs of the world heritage site.

A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said ASI was not properly discharging its duty in maintaining the beauty of Taj Mahal and asked the Centre to consider whether some other agency be given the responsibility to protect and preserve the 17th century world heritage site.

Advocate ADN Rao, appearing for ASI, told the bench that it was doing whatever is required to protect the monument. He said the patches on Taj were because of insect-breeding in the stagnated water on the Yamuna river bed.

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read: SC slams ASI for not protecting Taj Mahal

6. Bhim Army Leader’s Brother Killed in UP, Police Remains Clueless

The incident comes after the Bhim Army had objected to a Maharana Pratap procession in the area. 

Tensions escalated in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur district after the Bhim Army regional president’s brother Sachin Walia (26) was shot dead on the occasion of Maharana Pratap Jayanti on Wednesday, 9 May.

Sachin was shot on the Malipur road in Ramnagar, following which he was rushed to a district hospital, but succumbed to his injuries.

The incident comes after the Bhim Army had objected to the Maharana Pratap procession passing through Dalit-dominated areas in the town, in what seemed to be reminiscent of last year when a dispute arose over a similar procession. The dispute in 2017 quickly snowballed into clashes, which led to the death of one Dalit man and many houses being burnt.

However, while denying that violent clashes took place in the area this time around, the police remains clueless as to who could be behind the fatal attack on Walia.

Read the full story on The Quint.

Also Read: Bhim Army Leader’s Brother Killed in UP, Police Remains Clueless

7. Walmart Buys 77 Percent Stake in Flipkart

Walmart Inc on Wednesday, 9 May, announced that it would pay $16 billion for an initial stake of approximately 77 percent in e-commerce company Flipkart.

Walmart Inc on Wednesday, 9 May, announced that it would pay $16 billion for an initial stake of approximately 77 percent in homegrown e-commerce company Flipkart. The deal values Flipkart at $20.8 billion, according to sources.

“India is one of the most attractive retail markets in the world, given its size and growth rate, and our investment is an opportunity to partner with the company that is leading the transformation of e-commerce in the market,” said Doug McMillon, Walmart’s president and chief executive officer, in a statement.

“Our investment will benefit India, providing quality, affordable goods for customers while creating new skilled jobs and fresh opportunities for small suppliers, farmers and women entrepreneurs,” he said.

The remainder of the business will be held by some of Flipkart's existing shareholders, including Binny Bansal, who co-founded Flipkart along with Sachin Bansal in 2007.

(Source: The Hindu)

Also Read: Walmart Sheds $10 Bn in Market Cap After Flipkart Deal

8. In One Voice, Political Parties Call for Ceasefire in Kashmir

Representative image.

All mainstream parties of Jammu and Kashmir, including the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the BJP, on Wednesday, 9 May, asked the Centre to declare “a unilateral ceasefire for the month of Ramzan and the period of the Amarnath Yatra.”

“There was a unanimous decision of all the parties at the meeting that the Government of India consider a unilateral ceasefire in view of the coming month of Ramadhan and Amarnath Yatra to extend relief to the masses. The parties suggested that the Centre offer the ceasefire as former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee did in [November] 2000,” Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said after the meeting of all regional parties at Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre in Srinagar.

She had called for an all-party meeting in the wake of growing encounters and civilian casualties in street protests, especially in the past 40 days, leaving 69 people, including 28 civilians and a Chennai tourist, dead.

(Source: The Hindu)

Also Read: 5 Killed in J&K, India Summons Pakistan Dy High Commissioner

9. Justice Chelameswar to Skip His Own Farewell Function

Supreme Court judge Jasti Chelameshwar.

Justice Jasti Chelameswar, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court who retires on 22 June, has declined an invitation from the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) for his farewell function citing personal reasons.

Justice Chelameswar had recently courted controversy by holding a press conference along with other three senior-most SC judges, Justices Ranjan Gogoi, MB Lokur and Kurian Joseph, on 12 January in which a litany of allegations were made against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.

SCBA president Vikas Singh said the bar body had met him last week to invite him for the farewell on 18 May.

“He declined the invite for the farewell function,” Singh told PTI. He said the members of the executive committee of SCBA on Wednesday once again tried to persuade him to attend the farewell function but the judge did not agree, citing personal reasons.

Read the full story on The Quint.

Also Read: Justice Chelameswar to Skip His Own Farewell Function

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