<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even before the row over appointing Gujarat cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as interim director of the CBI could die down, the Modi government has countered a fresh controversy on its decision to appoint Lt General Bipin Rawat as the new Army chief by superseding Lt General Praveen Bakshi and Lt Genenral PM Harizwas.The Congress and the Left have questioned the Government on its motive behind the appointment of Lt Gen Rawat.Citing the dynamics and hierarchy embedded in every institution, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said, “With all due respect to Gen Rawat’s professionalism and no personal animus towards anybody, there is a legitimate question as to why that supersession has taken place…Did the government have anything against them? Was their professionalism in question? What was the reason and I guess with the army being a public institution, the country deserves those answers.”When reminded of the previous instance of supersession in 1983 by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who gave the reins of the Army in the hands of Gen AS Vaidya, superseding Lt Gen S K Sinha, Tiwari called it “complete nonsense”. “ Every situation has its own context and, therefore nothing can be extrapolated out of context in order to justify a supersession. So, therefore the government needs to answer this legitimate question as to why these senior army commanders were superseded,” he said.CPI leader D Raja and former Army Chief General Shankar Roy Chowdhury have also questioned the appointment.DIFFERENT NOTEFormer Army Chief Gen Shankar Roy Chowdhury said he differs with Defence Minister Parrikar’s assumption that operational experience in one type of terrain was found relevant in Gen Rawat’s case. The BJP, however, lashed out at the Opposition reaction.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Opposition has accused the government of subverting the process of appointment of the chief of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The government recently appointed Rakesh Asthana, a Gujarat cadre officer, as acting chief of the CBI. The Opposition called it an attempt to circumvent the process laid out for such appointments. The appointment of a CBI chief, the Opposition said, has to be approved by a panel, including the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the leader of the largest Opposition party in the Lok Sabha.Mallikarjun Kharge, who is heading the Congress party in the Lok Sabha, on Wednesday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi complaining that “the entire process is being manipulated to pre-empt the decision to be arrived at in the meeting of the selection committee.”Earlier, the Supreme Court also agreed to hear a plea challenging the appointment of Asthana on Friday. The petition, filed by an NGO, alleged that the Centre took a series of steps in a “completely mala fide, arbitrary and illegal manner to ensure that Asthana was given the charge of CBI director”.Kharge also alleged that a meeting of a committee that chooses the CBI chief was deliberately avoided to “ensure that the charge is handed over to a junior officer.”Rakesh Asthana, a 1984 batch officer who is the government’s top choice for the post, is said be too junior to even make it to a panel of possible candidates for CBI chief to replace Anil Sinha who retired last week.Opposition parties say that by appointing Asthana as the interim chief, the government has not only circumvented the need to call a meeting of the selection committee, but also built an opportunity to make the officer CBI chief next year, when he will be senior enough to be part of the panel of candidates. The CBI chief, once appointed remains in the seat for three years. Had the government appointed a full-time chief, Asthana would not be able to make it to the top next year.In his letter to the PM, Kharge has also referred to the sudden transfer of RK Dutta, the senior most officer in line to be the next CBI chief, only three days before Sinha retired. Incidentally, Dutta, who was transferred to the home ministry as special secretary, was investigating the coal allocation case and the 2G case. The Supreme Court had earlier ordered that no officer connected with these two cases should be removed. Congress spokesperson Sushmita Dev said just a year ago the government had amended the procedures through legislation to include leader of largest party rather than the Opposition leader in the panel of selection committee in the name of bringing accountability. “Now the question is when there is an act of Parliament which lays down a procedure, today the government has done exactly the opposite,” she alleged.
On Monday, the juvenile justice board remanded for two days the juvenile behind the wheel of the silver Mercedes that fatally hit a 32-year-old a week ago. On Sunday, the boy was sent to a correctional home after he appeared before a magistrate, offering to surrender.On April 4 in north Delhi’s Civil Lines area, a juvenile, four days short of his 18th birthday, was speeding in his father’s car when he hit Siddharth Sharma as he was trying to cross the road.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Currently in Delhi, the fine charged for a minor found driving is Rs500 and the vehicle is liable to be impounded by the traffic police, while the fine for an over-speeding charge and if the driver is found to be driving dangerously is Rs. 1,400.However, experts are of the opinion that this ‘relaxed’ attitude of the traffic police and the liberal attitude adopted by parents are the main reasons why instances of rash driving in the capital is high. Child rights’ lawyer Ashok Agarwal says, “There are laws already in place for those who are found guilty of an offence. It is a matter of implementation.” Agarwal, a high court lawyer who mostly handles cases involving child’s rights is of the opinion that a change in the attitude of the parents alone is not enough. Agarwal feels, the Delhi and Traffic police need to step up and be more assertive.Anant Asthana, a lawyer for juveniles, has an opinion that is quite similar to Agarwal’s. “The police has been very kind on the society and the parents. The law is there, however, the application of the law is found lacking,” Asthana said. The juvenile justice lawyer feels that, “if the police were to strictly enforce and implement the laws in place, then it would prove to act as a prohibitive tool for the society.””If a parent is conscience and cautious, then automatically, the kid will imbibe similar values and have a healthy respect for the laws of the land,” said Asthana. However, Asthana and Agarwal both vehemently feel that the society and the law – the police in this case, need to work in tandem.Setting a precedent, following Sharma’s accident, the police charged the father of the juvenile of abetment to culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Even though the teenager was apprehended, the police are pressing the courts to hold the father responsible for the son’s action.Asthana and Agarwal, both are of the opinion that the abetment charge is a stretch and may not stick. However, they both feel, the police is taking a very bold stance and a message is being sent out to the society.The Delhi police will continue to question the juvenile in the presence of a juvenile justice officer. “We will question the juvenile along with the six friends who were with him at the time,” said Madhur Verma, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North).Application of law is poor: LawyerAnant Asthana, a lawyer for juveniles, has an opinion that is quite similar to Agarwal’s. “The police has been very kind on the society and the parents. The law is there, however, the application of the law is found lacking,” Asthana said. The juvenile justice lawyer feels that, “if the police were to strictly enforce and implement the laws in place, then it would prove to act as a prohibitive tool for the society.”