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Sasikala takes over Amma’s mantle, nominated gen secy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>VK Sasikala, who was denied a party post all along by Jayalalithaa, was on Thursday unanimously nominated as the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general secretary in the name of the departed Amma.Her nomination will be followed by a formal election at a general council (GC), but the die has been cast. Party seniors do not expect any other nomination for the post.The general council, which met at Vanagaram in suburban Chennai, was attended by over members, and nominated Sasikala as the interim leader till she is formally elected.Sasikala, as was expected, did not attend the meeting. Chief minister O Panneerselvam, who, along with senior leaders handed over the resolution to Sasikala, said she had accepted the request of the party.The council resolved that Jayalalithaa should be given the Bharat Ratna, the Magsaysay Award, and that her statue should be unveiled in Parliament. However, the focus was not on Jayalalithaa but her aide, Sasikala.Party presidium chairman E Madhusudhanan and former minister C Ponnaiyan were among those who spoke briefly on the resolutions. Ponnaiyan said there will be no contest for the post of general secretary.The elevation of Sasikala has come as a well-orchestrated puppet show, with her family members pulling all the strings in her favour. The Poes Garden will continue to be a power centre in Tamil Nadu, Amma or no Amma.At the moment, Sasikala is sitting pretty, having assumed all the powers of the general secretary. The next few steps would now be easier for her now that she is in full control of the party apparatus.With all district units, ministers and MLAs supporting her election, it is clear that her writ will run.However, on the day of her elevation, a shocker came from the Madras High Court, as a Bench observed that there were many unanswered questions surrounding the death of Jayalalithaa, which was a “mystery”. “The state government has failed to clear the doubts even after her death. Should her body be exhumed to know the truth?” they asked.Justice S Vaidyanathan and V Parthiban were hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition seeking the appointment of a commission comprising three retired Supreme Court (SC) judges to probe into the “mysterious” death of Jayalalithaa.The Bench ordered notice to the Centre, the Prime minister’s Office and the Tamil Nadu government, and censured the Union government for not revealing any information on the ”mystery” surrounding her death.”Representatives of the central government visited the hospital. Counsel for the Union government claims to know the details of the incidents. But still the authorities have not conveyed or brought out anything to the people, for reasons best known to them,” the petition of PA Stalin, a primary member of the AIADMK, said.He referred to the precedent of the Calcutta High Court in 1999, directing the constitution of a one-man commission of a retired apex court judge to probe into the death of Netaji Subhash ChandraBose.Stalin also wanted the court to pass interim order to the state authorities and the Apollo Hospitals calling for all official and other relevant records and documents in connection with the death.The judges referred to doubts mentioned in the media over the death of Jayalalithaa.”After the demise, everybody has a right to question. I personally have a doubt,” Justice Vaidyalingam said, adding, “One day it was told that she is walking, another day you said that she will come out and suddenly what happened. Even with regard to the health of late Chief Minister MGR, a video was released,” Justice Vaidyanathan said.When a special mention was made by senior counsel K M Vijayan, advocate general Muthukumaraswamy said there was no mystery in the death. The Bench referred the PIL to the Chief Justice to list the plea in an appropriate Bench.On a day when Sasikala assumed control of the party, the observations of the bench must have come as a shock to the Sasikala family.

India: Madras high court questions Jayalalitha death cause

Court asks why the body of former chief minister J Jayalalitha cannot be exhumed for investigation.

Watch: Suspended AIADMK MP Sasikala Pushpa’s lawyer attacked outside party office

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Suspended AIADMK MP Sasikala Pushpa’s lawyer was attacked outside the party office in Chennai on Wednesday afternoon.According to initial reports, the attack took place when four lawyers from Pushpa’s team had gone to AIADMK headquarters to submit a letterOn December 18, Pushpa had moved Supreme Court seeking a CBI probe or a judicial investigation by an apex court judge into the death of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.In her petition, Pushpa alleged that Jayalalithaa’s death was “suspicious” as her actual medical condition was not disclosed, no one was allowed to visit her, her funeral photographs showed embalming marks and everything, from her hospitalisation to her death, “was kept under wraps”. Meanwhile, though the Madras High Court rejected Pushpa’s bail plea, the Supreme Court gave her protection from arrest and on September 26, directed her to join the police investigation.A case was recently registered against Pushpa and some of her family members for alleged sexual harassment of their maids in 2001. The domestic servants, who reportedly worked at Pushpa’s house in Tamil Nadu, had filed a police complaint alleging that they were tortured.

Cannot ban all ‘Sharia courts’ that have legal existence: Haji Ali petitioner

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After the Madras high Court put an end to the menace of illegal ‘Sharia courts’ functioning from various mosques across Tamil Nadu, the Haji Ali petitioner Noorjehan Safia Niaz on Tuesday cited a Supreme Court judgement which pronounced that one cannot ban all ‘Sharia courts’ that have a legal existence.”There is a Supreme Court judgement that says that you cannot ban all the Sharia courts that exist and have a legal existence. The Supreme Court has also said that any decision taken by the Sharia court will not be binding and they can be challenged in the regular court of law. But the fact that they are legal, the Supreme Court has already passed the judgment few years back,” Safia Niaz said.Directing the Tamil Nadu government to curb unauthorised ‘Sharia’ courts, the Madras High Court on Monday, declared all Sharia courts working out of mosques as illegal. The High Court made it clear that religious places are meant to be used only for religious purposes.The High Court bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M Sundar also ordered the Tamil Nadu government to file a status report within four weeks regarding the same.

Chennai: Madras HC bans ‘Sharia’ court in mosque, directs Tamil Nadu govt to ensure implementation

Directing the Tamil Nadu government to curb unauthorised ‘Sharia’ courts, the Madras High Court on Monday, declared all sharia courts working out of mosques as illegal, reported ANI.

The High Court made it clear that religious places are meant to be used only for religious purposes.

The High Court bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M Sundar also ordered the Tamil Nadu government to file a status report within four weeks, The Times of India reported.

The court passed the order after hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a Non-Resident Indian (NRI), Abdur Rahman, senior advocate A Sirajudeen told IANS.

The petitioner, an England-based NRI had first sought the intervention of a Shariat Council functioning from the Makkah Masjid in Chennai to reunite him with his wife. However, the Council forced him to divorce his wife following which he decided to approach the High Court.

The litigant’s senior counsel, however, said that the PIL was filed to in larger public interest to safeguard the interests of large number of Muslims who suffered due to the Islamic courts, according to The Times of India. 

The Makkah Masjid is located on Anna Salai, Chennai’s main arterial street.

With inputs from IANS

First Published On : Dec 19, 2016 18:23 IST

Madras HC adjourns hearing in Jayalalithaa’s ‘forged signature’ against Ponnaiyan, Apollo Hospital

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court adjourned hearing on a PIL on Friday, which sought a direction to police to register a case against AIADMK leader Ponnaiyan and Managing Director of Apollo Hospitals here in connection with a press statement released on behalf of late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, alleging that her signature was forged.The PIL was filed by activist ‘Traffic’ Ramaswamy. When it came up, Fathima, said to be a student of Ramaswamy, appeared before the court and said due to some illness he was unable to be present and she was representing him. The First Bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M Sundar, observed that it cannot entertain any arguments put forth by the student of the petitioner since the PIL is filed by ‘party-in-person’. It then adjourned the matter to January 9.In his complaint to police, Ramaswamy had stated that a press report released on November 13, in the name of Jayalalithaa by AIADMK leader Ponnaiyan carried no signature of the late leader. He further alleged that in another press release issued later, Jayalalithaa’s signature varied raising doubts.Ramaswamy also claimed that the signature of the AIADMK supremo was forged by someone and wanted police to send the press release for forensic analysis. As the press report was released with the help of the Hospital Management, the petitioner sought action against the Managing Director of the Hospital besides Ponnaiyan and others for allegedly committing forgery. The petitioner had moved the court claiming the authorities had failed to respond.

Calcutta, Madras, Bombay High Courts to retain their names in the near future

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The names of iconic high courts of Madras, Calcutta and Bombay may not be changed in the near future as a bill moved in this regard has run into trouble and the revised one has to be introduced in Parliament. The High Court (Alteration of Names) Bill, 2016, was introduced in the Lok Sabha on July 19 to allow the names of the Calcutta, Madras and Bombay High Courts to be changed to Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai respectively.But, now the Tamil Nadu government has asked the Centre to rename the Madras High Court as ‘High Court of Tamil Nadu’ instead of ‘High Court of Chennai’ as proposed in the bill. While the West Bengal government wants the Calcutta High Court to be renamed as Kolkata High Court, the high court itself “not agreed for revised nomenclature.” Minister of State for Law PP Chaudhary said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday that the old bill will have to revised and a new bill will have to be introduced.”The central government has sought views from the concerned state governments and the respective high courts for finalising fresh bill. No time frame can be fixed for finalising of the fresh bill and its introduction in Parliament,” he said.The Calcutta High Court has the distinction of being the first high court and one of the three chartered high courts to be set up in India, along with the high courts of Bombay, Madras. It was formally opened on July 1, 1862. ‘Indian High Court Act’ of 1861 vested in the Queen of England to issue letters patent to establish high courts of Calcutta, Madras and Bombay.The Bombay High Court was inaugurated on August 14, 1862. The high court today has three benches at Nagpur, Aurangabad and Goa. Bombay HC is one of a few institutions in Maharashtra that continue to carry the old name of the city. The state government renamed Bombay as Mumbai in 1995 and all institutions under it altered names accordingly.The Madras High Court, which came into being around the same time, has one bench in Madurai.

Turning to dust

How young volunteers and social media are helping revive India’s 204-year-old Madras Literary Society.

Universities, protests and dissent: The importance of ‘quiet’ politics must also be considered

Student-led agitations grew by over 148 percent in the five-year period between 2009 and 2014, an analysis from the Ministry of Home Affairs data on police organisations shows. In general, the country witnessed a 55 percent rise in protests in the same period, amounting to an average of 200 protests each day.  The analysis posits a correlation between literacy rates and incidence of protests, with Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra accounting for more than half of the protests. The ‘underdeveloped’ states such as UP and Bihar, on the other hand, account for less than one percent of the protests in the five-year period.

What stands out from these numbers is the rise in student-led protests. The data seems to have captured the rumblings of a phenomenon that exploded post the 2014 general elections, especially with Narendra Modi government’s interventions in the arena of higher education. It is only over the last two years that we have come to realise the full force of this movement, from Hokkolorob protests at Jadavpur University, Occupy UGC movement to the protests in wake of Rohith Vemula’s suicide, and subsequently, the response to the crackdown on JNU students. However, the surge in the number of student-led agitations in the preceding years points to much deeper socio-economic causes, to which adequate attention has not been paid. The unfolding of student politics in India in recent times, especially now in the much more dramatic context of global politics, warrants careful analysis.

In April 2015, when a fledgling student group at IIT-Madras issued a pamphlet announcing a lecture to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, little did they know that it will attract national limelight (the institute student body recently banned the distribution of pamphlets in the campus ostensibly due to environmental reasons). Quoting from Annihilation of Caste, it said, “Ambedkar proposed to annihilate caste by destroying Hinduism. He says, ‘You must destroy the Religion of the Shrutis and the Smritis. Nothing else will avail’. ‘Hinduism is a veritable chamber of horrors and it must die for caste to vanish’”. Consequently, an anonymously written letter undersigned by ‘Students, IIT Madras’ reached Smriti Irani-led MHRD. The letter accused the concerned student group Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle (APSC) of “creating hatred among student in the name of caste and trying to polarise the ST, SC students (sic)” and “trying to create hatred against the Honourable Prime Minister and Hindus”. The ministry swung into action and sought comments from the institute in an official letter, which included handwritten notes, as reported by The Telegraph: “Unfortunate. IITs were never used for such purposes. Pl get comments”.

File image of Kanhaiya Kumar. PTI

File image of Kanhaiya Kumar. PTI

Ideologically on the same page as the ruling dispensation, the Dean of Students acted to “de-recognise” the student group. In the days that followed, the IIT-M campus resembled a fortress with protests by students inside as well as different ideological groups outside. The de-recognition of APSC led to the group being catapulted to the centre of a sharply polarised national discourse. Similar groups sprang up at other universities overnight, in solidarity, and much of this battle was waged on social media. It is important to note that this happened at an institution which takes pride in its “apolitical” credentials. Politics of any sort indeed triggers deep anxiety among the IITs which have constantly sought to distance themselves from the political spaces that exist in institutions such as JNU, with the underlying assumption that they somehow exist outside politics.

And yet, it ought to be recognised that one would be hard-pressed to find one singular imagination of student protests or student movements. Even in institutional spaces that are deemed explicitly political and within movements deemed explicitly progressive, new arrangements, alliances, and tensions have taken shape. For instance, the Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA) at JNU was born out of the failure of organisations such as SFI and AISA to take up issues around caste. However, even amidst the fragmented landscape of social movements, student groups have found common ground to express their political creativity and unsettle totalising narratives.

What the APSC case does is that it provides an instance of the polarising context that set in leading up to the 2014 general elections and thereafter, and against which we could read the data on student protests. Interestingly, the 2014 Lok Sabha elections witnessed increased voting by young people. The turnout among the ‘first-time voters’ (18-22) and ‘other young voters’ (23-25) was 68 percent, 1.4 percent above the national voter turnout, a Centre for the Study of the Developing Societies (CSDS) analysis shows. The number is significant as the turnout among young voters remained below the national average in the past. It would, however, be naïve to treat the polarised context in itself as a possible cause. The history of social movements in India that drew heavily on student politics — ranging from the anti-Hindi struggle to the anti-Emergency movement — point to the layered socio-economic circumstances that resist easy reductions. It is then pertinent to look at some of the characterisations of student politics in the country in recent times.

An important strand of argument looks at student politics primarily in response to the “neoliberal” reconfiguration of our universities and the economy at large. It is a structural feature of the Indian economy that sectors that contribute the most to productivity in terms of GDP do not provide the proportionate number of jobs. Unemployment, and youth unemployment in particular, has been a persistent feature of the economy with successive governments failing to address the issue. This is in addition to cuts in public sector jobs. There could be as many as 10000 applications for a single government job, as Craig Jeffrey reports, as part of his research, published in The Guardian. With the continued prioritisation of capital intensive industries accompanied by the agrarian crisis, the problem is unlikely to go away, says Delhi based researcher, Thomas Crowley in Jacobin Magazine. Economic instability, the arguments goes, does not only have a bearing on youth aspirations, unemployment and access to education, but it also compels the state to engage in repressive measures to create distractions. These measures include the kind of crackdown on student leaders like Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid. Student politics in this sense comes to be defined as a response to a repressive state.

Additionally, the changed composition of universities following the implementation of affirmative action policies is treated as an opportunity, even though they remain inherently exclusionary as argued by Satish Deshpande and Mary E John in The Hindu. Furthermore, the “neoliberal university” becomes “less a space for critical engagement, debate and inquiry, and more a skills factory for the technocratic workplaces owned by transnational capital.” The administrators act in nexus with state-capital to discipline different forms of activism. The reconfiguration of spaces of learning then generates disillusionment, and such spaces are to be rescued through student activism. As an example, the Occupy UGC movement sought to protest the discontinuance of fellowships for MPhil/PhD — among the reasons for the move are budgetary cuts for higher education and the likely opening up of education to international trade, as pointed out by Ayesha Kidwai.

I would argue that looking at student politics solely in terms of a “neoliberal” development is an easy critique, one that we must stretch. This has implications for how we look at student protests in contested times. First, taking the incidence of protests as the sole indicator of political dynamism risks reducing the nature of our political engagements to some predetermined schema. It also implies that we contest correlations such as that between ‘underdevelopment’ and protests, and go beyond them. Bihar and UP may account for only one percent of the registered protests between 2009-2014, but ethnographic literature has mapped the complex linkages between larger macroeconomic shifts, gendered youth cultures, and students’ political engagement — sometimes good, sometimes bad. The lack of protests doesn’t take away from the political richness of the dynamics in the region which could be as potent as any protests.

Second, while overt crackdown on dissent is a feature of the current political regime, we should also remember that a lot of our institutional spaces are interstitial in nature. It means that spaces for negotiation and engagement do exist albeit in the interstices of power and surveillance. We should, therefore, also consider the importance of ‘quiet’ politics in addition to protests and demonstrations.

Finally, as a conceptual alternative, the notion of ‘precarity’ offers a useful way of looking at student politics, and here I draw on Wanda Vrasti’s essay, Struggling with Precarity: From More and Better Jobs to Less and Lesser Work, The Disorder of Things.  Precarity usually refers to a sense of uncertainty mixed with anxiety. It is usually used to denote some sense of betrayal, either by the state or the society. However, as different scholars have argued, precarity is a consistent feature of life under capitalism. This is a problem as well as an opportunity. In terms of the latter, it is imperative that we re-appropriate ‘precarity’. We then look at precarity not just in terms of loss and betrayal but as a series of contingencies that offer opportunities to build solidarities and seek common ground, however shifty it may be.

The author is a fellow at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS), Bengaluru. 

First Published On : Dec 7, 2016 13:19 IST

Remembering Amma: The Life and Times of J Jayalalithaa

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Six-time Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, fondly known as ‘Amma’ passed away in Tamil Nadu on December 5, after suffering a cardiac arrest a day before. She had been admitted in Apollo Hospitals since September when she had first collapsed at her residence in Poes Garden. She was initially diagnosed with fever and dehydration, and was later being treated for sepsis. BirthJayalalithaa was born on February 24, 1948, at Mysore, Karnataka.FamilyShe belonged to a Tamil Iyengar family. Her father, Jayaram, a lawyer by profession, passed away when she was young. Consequently, Jayalalithaa had to shift to Bengaluru first and then to Chennai with her mother, Vedavathi (known as Sandhya in the South Indian film industry), and brother. AcademicsShe completed her matriculation in 1964 and took up a career in films, following her mother’s footsteps, after that.
ALSO READ Jayalalithaa (1948-2016): A life called Puratchi ThalaiviFilm Career► She acted in 130 films between 1964 and 1980.► In 1964, ‘Chinnada Gombe’, her first film (in Kannada) was a major hit.
ALSO READ AIADMK chief and Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa passes away► In 1965, she made her debut in the Tamil film ‘Vennira Aadai’ directed by CV Sridhar.► Tamil actor Maruthur Gopala Ramachandran (popularly known as MGR) was her mentor. They acted in 28 films together. MGR founded the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam​ (AIADMK) in 1972.► Her last film was ‘Nadhiyai Thedi Vandha Kadal’ in 1980. Jayalalithaa had also acted in a few Bollywood films during the span of her film career.Political Career► She joined the AIADMK in 1982, at the age of 34 years, and quickly rose through the party ranks. In 1983, she was made the propaganda secretary of the party, and was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1984. She completed her five-year term in the upper house.► After the death of her mentor MGR in 1987, the AIADMK was split into two, with one faction supporting MGR’s widow, Janaki Ramachandran, and the other, Jayalalithaa who claimed political legacy of MGR.► However, the two factions of the party reunited in February 1989 after Janaki left politics. Later, Jayalalithaa was unanimously elected as the General Secretary of the AIADMK.► In 1991, Jayalalithaa became the chief minister for the first time. She won her second term in 2001, third in 2011. And in 2016, she broke the three-decade pendulum swing of voters alternately choosing the AIADMK and the DMK, by winning 134 of 232 seats.Controversies► December 7, 1996: Jayalalithaa was arrested on charges of corruption, including accumulation of disproportionate assets, follows. These charges were levelled by Subramanian Swamy in 1996, when he accused her of amassing wealth worth Rs 66.65 crore disproportionate to her known sources of income during 1991 and 1996. ► April, 1997: DMK Government sets up three special courts to try 47 corruption cases against Jayalalithaa, her former cabinet colleagues and others. Prosecution was launched against Jayalalithaa, her close friend Sashikala, and two others a Chennai Court in DA case. ► In 1999, she was discharged in coal import deal case by special court; Upheld by Madras High Court. ► She was convicted in the Pleasant Stay Hotel case in February 2, 2000, related to permission granted for construction allegedly flouting rules.► In October, 2000, a special court in Chennai convicted her in the TANSI land deal case.► On September 27, 2014, a trial court convicted and sentenced Jayalalithaa to four years in jail along with a penalty of Rs 100 crore in the 18-year-old disproportionate assets case. She challenged the decision in the Karnataka High Court and was acquitted of all the charges in May 2015. Awards and Honours► The Government of Tamil Nadu honoured her with the Kalaimamani Award in 1972.► The University of Madras conferred her with the Degree of Doctor of Literature (LittD) in 1991.► Dr MGR Medical University conferred her with the Degree of Doctor of Science in 1992.► Tamil Nadu Agricultural University conferred her with the Degree of Doctor of Science in 2003.► Honoured with the Golden Star of Honour and Dignity Award by the International Human Rights Defence Committee, Ukraine in 2004.► She was invited by the House of Lords, London, to receive the ‘Woman Politician of the Decade’ award from the Asian Guild Awards in 2004.► The New Jersey General Assembly passed a Resolution commending her service and exemplary dedication to the people of Tamil Nadu, in 2011.Trivia► Jayalalithaa was fluent in English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Hindi.► She was trained in classical dance forms like Bharatnatyam, Mohini Attam, Kathak and Manipuri.► She is said to have been the first to wear skirts on screen in Tamil films.► She was an avid reader and had a large private library with a huge collection of books.(With agency inputs)

Madras HC stops water to Coke, Pepsi plants citing shortage

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a major development Indian High Court has ordered that water from the river Tamirabarani in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu must not be diverted to Coca-Cola and Pepsi producing plants in Gangaikondan due to the severe water shortages in the area.The Madras High Court passed the interim injunction disallowing river water to the bottling plants for two months on November 21, 2016. The order was obtained by India Resource Center this week.The court order came as the result of a public interest litigation filed by FEDCOT, a statewide consumer organization, which had sought to stop the use of river water for production of Coca-Cola and Pepsi product because water scarcity has diminished both drinking water as well as water for irrigation in the area.Acknowledging the ongoing water crisis and taking note of a decision made by the Indian Supreme Court, the Madras High Court in its November 21, 2016 order noted that, “It is the duty of the State as well as this Court to ensure the livelihood and the welfare of the general public, by making these natural resources available to them, instead of diverting the same for commercial purpose.”The High Court order is a major setback for Coca-Cola and PepsiCo in India and signals the emergence of new challenges the companies will face even when using surface water. So far, both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have faced significant setbacks for using groundwater, including plant closures, denial of licenses for operating new plants, restrictions on the amount of groundwater used, and more stringent regulations on groundwater usage.As a result of the widespread campaigns against Coca-Cola and PepsiCo for their mismanagement of groundwater resources, both companies planned to increase reliance on surface water for their bottling plants.In April 2015, Coca-Cola’s plans to set up a new bottling plant in Erode using water from river Cauvery was also rejected by the state government due to immense community opposition.The Coca-Cola and PepsiCo producing bottling plants that have been denied river water in Gangaikondan are operated by co-packers for Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, and the co-packers have entered into contracts to manufacture the respective companies? products exclusively.Dr. D.A. Prabakar, Chairman of FEDCOT who has led the legal efforts, was pleased with the interim injunction although he also expected a legal challenge by the soft drink producers in the Supreme Court. FEDCOT has also plans to crate public awareness among the banks of river Tamirabarani.The India Resource Center has worked with communities across India to stop bottling operations in water stressed areas, and the campaigns have succeeded in forcing the beverage industry to become more water efficient in its operations in India and internationally.However, the beverage companies continue to operate in water stressed areas, prioritizing proximity to markets over availability of water and hardships caused to the community as a result of operating water intensive industries in water stressed areas. The campaign has called for an end to all bottling operations in water stressed areas regardless of whether groundwater or surface water is used.”As long as Coca-Cola and Pepsi continue to operate in water stressed areas in India, they will continue to face opposition from the community and farmers. We need to ensure adequate water for drinking, which is a fundamental human right, as well as for farming which is the source of livelihood for most Indians, before water can be diverted for unnecessary and unhealthy products such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi,” said Amit Srivastava of the India Resource Center, an international campaigning organization.

Cannot disclose details on release of new Rs 500 notes due to security reasons: RBI

Fri, 18 Nov 2016-05:25pm , Chennai , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Reserve Bank of India on Friday informed the Madras High Court that it cannot disclose details regarding the release of new Rs 500 denomination currency to the banks for distribution due to security reasons.The submission was made by the counsel for RBI on a petition seeking a direction to the Registrar of Co-operative Societies to follow procedures laid down by RBI relating to demonetization and permit cash withdrawal and exchange of old currencies in the societies. After recording the submission, the court posted the matter for further hearing to November 28.The High Court had on November 16 adjourned for today the hearing in the case after it sought to know from the RBI when new Rs 500 denomination currency would be made available in Tamil Nadu to ease the present cash crunch following demonetization. RBI had then submitted that it faced practical difficulties in transporting currency in view of seizure of over Rs 500 crore by poll authorities in Tamil Nadu two days before the 16 May Assembly election in three constituencies.On permitting District Central Cooperative Banks to exchange the demonetised currencies, the counsel had submitted that “the decision to ban DCCBs from exchanging notes was made apprehending malpractices”.

Hate politics practised in south India: Madras High Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court on Thursday observed that politics of hate is practised by parties in south India without being cordial and friendly unlike politicians of the north.The observation was made while hearing a plea by president of Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam, Logu Iyyappan of Puducherry related to bypoll campaign.He had sought quashing of an Election Officer’s order disallowing his outfit to campaign against Congress nominee and Puducherry Chief Minister V Naryanasamy who is contesting from Nellithope Assembly segment.”Only hate politics is practised by political parties in the south unlike the north politicians. The contention of the petitioner that they intend to make campaign against the Congress itself is an exhibition of hate politics,” the court said.It also said that if the petitioner intended to favour any political party, “they are at liberty to do so, but aversion to a political party is not good for our democracy.” Bypoll is scheduled to be held on November 19 and the plea was filed challenging rejection of his petition to undertake campaign against Narayanasamy.Dismissing the plea, the high court said according to clause 5.4 of Hand Book of Candidates, permission for election campaign should be obtained only through the candidate or his agent. The court in its order said, “The petitioner cannot be independently allowed to campaign for any candidate.” Further, it said if independent campaigners were allowed to campaign, the candidates would be excluding such campaign from their poll expenditure.Holding that in such a scenario, the very purpose of clause 5.4 will be frustrated, the court said, “Therefore, permission has been rightly denied by the authority.” Giving liberty to the petitioner to apply through candidate in whose favour he intends to campaign, the court said, “The politics in our states and Union Territories is not cordial and friendly and that has been exhibited in various incidents.”The present proceedings were the result of hate politics, the court said, adding it was constrained to incidentally consider that aspect.”The political parties can be opposing parties and they cannot be enemy parties. Such animosity is being cultivated…losing sight that they represent people’s cause.” On the petitioner’s claim that his outfit was apolitical, fighting religious superstitions in a secular fashion, the court said in reality, they do not give such an impression.

Madras HC rejects PIL against Jayalalithaa’s thumb impression on AIADMK poll papers

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Monday dismissed a PIL challenging affixing of thumb impression of ailing Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on nomination papers of AIADMK candidates for the 19 November bypolls, saying it is for Election Commission to verify authenticity of the papers.

Madras High Court. IBNlive

Madras High Court. IBNlive

“In our view, it is for the ECI to verify the authenticity of the papers so far as the assignment of scrutiny is concerned and if there are any infirmities in the election process which makes the election capable of being challenged that is a matter of election petition,” the court ruled.

Noting that the election symbols had already been alloted, the court said it was not inclined to interfere in the matter and dismissed the PIL, filed by social activist Traffic K Ramaswamy.

AIADMK candidates in Aravakurichi, Thanjavur and Thirupparankundram assembly segments had filed Forms A and B, required under the symbols order rules, with the left thumb impression of Jayalalithaa, hospitalised since 22 September last, instead of her signature.

Her thumb impression was attested by a government doctor with a note saying Jayalalithaa had an ‘inflamed right hand’. The petitioner had contended that taking the thumb impression instead of signature was a gross violation of election procedure and sought to declare it as illegal and ultra vires of the Constitution.

When the matter came up for hearing on Monday, the Additional Solicitor General, who appeared on behalf of the EC, produced a 27 October communication addressed to the Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer, specifying the process for attestation of the thumb impression.

In response to a representation by the AIADMK for allowing thumb impression of Jayalalithaa in the forms, the EC had specified medical officer of any government hospital as the officer before whom the thumb impression may be affixed and who may attest such thumb impression.

The ASG further submitted that such an attestation had been done and the nomination papers filed. Recording the submission, the court said the petitioner was not a contesting candidate in the election but seeks to obligate himself such kind of general public scrutiny merely because in various PILs he had been entertained.

Modi’s projects to make India a different nation: Taiwanese official

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Projects launched by the Narendra Modi government since 2014 have the potential to transform India into a different country and enhance its confidence and stature at the global stage, a senior Taiwanese official has said.”In 2014, there were two developments that changed the impression about India. First, people elected an able leader (Modi) to lead this country and elevate it to another level,” James Tien, Trade Representative of Taiwan in India, said. “Second, launching of projects like Make in India, Start up India and Smart Cities which would eventually transform India into a different country,” he said.He was speaking, on Sunday, at the ‘India Ideas Conclave 2016’ currently underway in Goa. “He (Modi) elevated the confidence level of India domestically and internationally,” Tien said, addressing the plenary session of the event. “Taiwan is not as lucky as other countries like India and US. It does not have natural resources. We have worked very hard to reach where we are now,” he said. “I’m always impressed with the economic miracle in Taiwan. Miracle will not happen just like that. In the last six decades, we have worked hard,” the official said. “Over the past 20 years, we are doing a wonderful job between our countries (India and Taiwan). Our trade volume has increased 600%.”We have also established 11 training centres, language training centres in some of the prominent universities and institutes–IIT Bombay, IIT Madras, IIT Delhi, JNU, you name it,” he said. “We would also like to provide scholarships for talented young Indian students to study in Taiwan. At this moment, we have 1,443 Indian students in Taiwan, of which over 200 have received scholarships,” Tien said.

Social activist moves Madras HC on Jaya affixing her thumb impression in poll papers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Social activist Traffic K Ramaswamy on Thursday filed a petition in the Madras High Court, seeking to declare as “illegal and ultra vires of the Constitution” Chief Minister Jayalalithaa affixing her left thumb impression on poll papers.He claimed that affixing the thumb impression was a violation of the election code. The petition is, however, yet to be taken up by the court. AIADMK candidates in Aravakurichi, Thanjavur and Thirupparankundram assembly segments had filed Forms A and B, featuring the left thumb impression of hospitalised party general secretary Jayalalithaa, instead of her signature. All three constituencies go to the polls on November 19.AIADMK had sought permission from Election Commission, allowing Jayalalithaa to put her thumb impression in view of her health and the poll body had given its nod. Her thumb impression was attested by Professor of Minimal Access Surgery, Madras Medical College, Dr P Balaji and Dr Babu K Abraham of Apollo Hospitals who had signed the papers as a witness.Jayalalithaa was admitted to the Apollo Hospital on September 22 after she complained of fever and dehydration. Later the hospital said she was being treated for infection with respiratory support, among others.

Plea seeking to declare Jayalalithaa’s election void: Madras HC directs issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court directed the court registry on Tuesday to serve a fresh notice to Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer on a plea by an independent who unsuccessfully fought the May 16 Assembly polls from RK Nagar, from where Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa won, seeking to declare the poll “null and void”.Petitioner G Pravina had moved the High Court on August 18 challenging Jayalalithaa’s election, following which the court had ordered issue of notice to the CEO. Pravina today submitted that the notice was yet to be served to the CEO, following which the court ordered issue of fresh notice. When she sought a direction to adjourn the matter till the ailing Chief Minister recovered, Jayalalithaa’s counsel submitted that there was no need for it as he represents her. Pravina contented that that her right to equality under Article 14 of the Constitution was infringed upon as the Election Commission had not acted on her complaints and sought a direction to hold a fresh poll in R K Nagar. She submitted that the constituency’s Returning Officer had not even permitted her to go for campaigning, including using vehicles for the purpose. Pravina said she had submitted a complaint to the Election authorities on May 15 against “not giving permission for campaigning”, but no action was taken. She had made a telephone call to Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi, who even after assuring action, had “not acted” on her complaint wherein she had sought either countermanding or postponement of the polls, she charged. She claimed that the vehicles used by her were detained at “gunpoint” by police.Also, the pot symbol allotted to her was not as per the specification of ECI, she contended. The Judge directed issue of a fresh notice to the CEO and posted the matter for further hearing to November 29.

Jayalalithaa’s illness brings to fore the issue of rudderless governments, order of succession

The prolonged hospitalisation of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minster Jayalalithaa has brought to fore once again the question of rudderless states, the question that has neither been addressed by the Indian constitution nor by the Supreme Court even though the answer has never brooked any delay. She is reportedly under life support system in Chennai’s Apollo hospital which routinely gives a laconic bulletin about her fast recovery. And to make matters worse, there are credible reports of extra constitution persons like ex chief secretary issuing orders from the chief minister’s bedside. One wonders how the one under life support system can be consulted. Naturally, someone had to file public interest litigation (PIL) before the Madras High Court. File he did but the Court threw it out contemptuously whereas it deserved to be heard in all earnestness if only to bring the issue centrestage. In fact the Madras High Court ought to have commended the matter to the Supreme Court with a prayer that it be considered by a constitution bench.

Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa. AFPTamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa. AFP

Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa. AFP

It is amazing that our constitution makers who took elaborate pains in framing it thought nothing of this seminal issue though in all fairness they cannot be accused of sweeping it under the carpet when the founding fathers of the US constitution squarely addressed the issue. Under the US Presidential Succession Act, 1947, Jayalalithaa-like situation has been envisaged and answers. Should the US President die in harness or take ill or is otherwise unfit to carry out the humungous responsibilities of his office, the Vice President takes over and in his absence, speaker of the House of Representative and so on. To be sure, the US has adopted a presidential form of democracy unlike India’s Parliamentary but that hardly is a handicap for us in not addressing the issue of temporary vacuum in the office of chief minister or prime minister.

The Indian company law is only a shade better than the Indian Constitution in this regard. It says the Board of Directors of a company can appoint an alternate director when a director of a company is absent from India for a period of 3 months or more. In other words it too fails miserably in addressing the issue of line of succession. To be sure, it contains provisions for disqualification and removal of directors. For example a person of unsound mind cannot be appointed a director and should he subsequent to his appointment become imbecile, he must vacate the office forthwith. But this is neither here nor there. Imbecility is not an issue as much as dereliction of duty willy-nilly on health and other grounds is. But then listed companies are constantly under the watch of vigilant shareholders and in any case Boardrooms abhor vacuum so much so that vacancies are bound to be filled up sooner than later.
Politics however is less tolerant and indulgent of those in power, with opposition relishing the prospect of sniping at the alleged delinquent as is happening in Tamil Nadu where the opposition DMK is darkly hinting at the CM already being brain dead.

The issue has graver ramifications for the central government. The former prime minister Deve Gowda acquired the reputation of sleeping prime minister with the appellation going beyond mere figurative speech. He actually used to doze off. In the US, judges do not retire but can go on. However they are removed at the first hint of senility. Levity apart, we do not have any concrete guidelines on the issue of who steps into the shoes of the prime minister though the incumbent prime ministers take care to make their own arrangements like the former prime minister handing over the reins to the senior most minister Pranab Mukherjee whenever he was admitted into hospital for treatment. But then this is not one is asking for. When the prime minister Shastri died in Tashkent, the void was temporarily filled in by the supposedly docile Guzarilal Nanda and when prime minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated, her son Rajiv Gandhi was sworn in as the prime minister, unmindful of the raised eyebrows and hackles.

The political parties got together to pass the GST bill, a seminal piece of enabling constitution amendment. They must similarly get together to provide for a structured regime of succession and not leave it to chances and whims of politicians.

It’s a publicity stunt: Madras HC dismisses petition seeking govt statement on Jayalalithaa’s health

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition seeking information on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s health, calling it a ‘publicity stunt’.The remarks were made by a division bench while hearing a PIL by social activist ‘Traffic’ Ramaswamy, who sought a detailed report from the government on the health condition of Jayalalithaa.The petition had also sought release of photographs of the meeting she is said to have had with her cabinet colleagues and officials at the hospital.Earlier, the court had asked the state government to inform it about the health condition of the AIADMK supremo as Jayalalithaa has been in the hospital for nearly two weeks.The court had also observed that an official release with regard to the health condition of 68-year-old Jayalalithaa, who has been undergoing treatment at a hospital in Chennai since September 22, would reduce the anxiety of the people.The court asked Tamil Nadu’s Additional Advocate General C Manishankar to get back to it after consulting the government on the health condition of the chief minister.A day ago, opposition party DMK said that it was “regrettable” that the Tamil Nadu government had not given details on the health condition of Jayalalithaa despite their request in this regard.

15 judges sworn in to Madras HC, total strength rises to 54

Chennai: Fifteen judges of the Madras High Court were on Wednesday sworn in with the Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul administering the oath of office to them.

Representational image. News18Representational image. News18

Representational image. News18

Newly-appointed Registrar General Sathish Kumar read out the warrant of appointments issued by the President of India.

Six of the judges are from the subordinate judiciary — S Bhaskaran, Bhasheer Ahmed, G Jaichandran, Ravindran, Velmurugan, CV Karthikeyan while nine from the Bar — V Parthiban, R Subramanian, M Govindaraj, M Sundar, R Sureshkumar, Ms Nishabanu, M S Ramesh, S M Subramanian, Anitha Sumanth.

With this, the total strength of judges has risen to 54 against the sanctioned strength of 75.

Advocate General R Muthukumaraswamy were among those who welcomed the newly-appointed judges.

Inform us of Jayalalithaa’s health status by tomorrow: Madras HC tells Tamil Nadu govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court on Tuesday instructed the concerned officials of Tamil Nadu to inform it about Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa’s health by Wednesday.A petition was filed by an activist named T. Ramasamy to prevent rumours spreading about her health.The PIL sought a direction to the state principal secretary, Governor, chief secretary, home secretary, Apollo Hospitals and others to file a health status report along with photographs in the court.The Apollo Hospital where Jayalalithaa is currently being treated on Monday said that she was recovering fast and continued to improve and was responding adequately to the comprehensive treatment being given to her.A statement from the hospital said, “The Honourable Chief Minister of Tamil, who is undergoing treatment at Apollo Hospital, Greams Road, continues to improve.””The Honourable Chief Minister is responding adequately to the comprehensive treatment being given to her,” the statement added.Jayalalithaa has been hospitalised since September 23 after she complained of fever and dehydration.The day since the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has been admitted, special pujas for her speedy recovery are being performed by the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) cadres and her supporters in various parts of the state.

SC asks expelled AIADMK MP Sasikala Pushpa to join probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Supreme Court on Monday asked expelled AIADMK Rajya Sabha member L Sasikala Pushpa to join the probe into two criminal cases of alleged sexual harassment of her family maids and forging of documents in her anticipatory bail petition lodged by the Tamil Nadu police.The apex court, which continued with its order of August 26 granting protection from arrest to the MP, said she will appear on October 3 at a police station in Thoothukudi where a case has been lodged against her and some of her family members for alleged sexual harassment of their maids under the Indian Penal Code and the stringent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, claiming that the victims were minor.A bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice A M Khanwilkar said Sasikala will have to appear on October 7 before K Pudur police station in Madurai where a case has been registered for alleged forging of documents that were filed before the Madras High Court while seeking anticipatory bail in the sexual harassment case.Taking note of the submission of her counsel that there was threat to her life, the bench directed Tamil Nadu police to ensure full protection to her so that no harm is caused when she appears before the investigating agencies.During the hearing, senior advocate Meenakshi Arora appearing for the MP, contended that the victim is presently 24-year of age but police has added POCSO claiming that when the offence was committed in 2011 the victims were minor. She assured the bench that the expelled AIADMK leader will join the investigation before the all-women police station at Thoothukudi.Senior advocate Haren Raval, appearing for the state government, said the state will ensure protection provided she joins the investigation. Sasikala had approached the apex court against the order of the Madras High Court rejecting her plea for anticipatory bail in the sexual harassment case and registration of the case on the order of the High Court for allegedly forging documents while filing anticipatory bail plea.Acting on directions of Madras High Court bench, police registered cases against expelled AIADMK member and her two family members for allegedly submitting forged documents while filing anticipatory bail petitions in the case pertaining to ill-treatment and sexual abuse of two women domestic aides. Police had registered cases under IPC Sections 193 (punishment for false evidence), 466 (forgery of record of court or of public register), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged {document or electronic record). The cases were registered against Pushpa, her husband R Lingeswara Thilagam and son Pradeep Raja.On September 14, court had dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of Sasikala Pushpa and her three family members, including her mother, on a complaint filed by the two women domestic aides. They are facing charges under various IPC sections and also POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act for allegedly sexually harassing the domestic women aides.On August 26, the Supreme Court had granted protection from arrest to Sasikala for six weeks in the case and said the High Court would expeditiously decide her anticipatory bail application, uninfluenced by its decision.Sasikala was expelled from AIADMK after an alleged altercation with DMK MP Tiruchi Siva at the Delhi airport. Since then she has alleged that she was being threatened to resign from her post.

SC asks sacked AIADMK MP Sasikala Pushpa to join probe in criminal cases against her

New Delhi: Supreme Court on Monday asked expelled AIADMK Rajya Sabha member L Sasikala Pushpa to join the probe into two criminal cases of alleged sexual harassment of her family maids and forging of documents in her anticipatory bail petition lodged by the Tamil Nadu police.

File image of Sasikala Pushpa. CNN-News18

File image of Sasikala Pushpa. CNN-News18

The apex court, which continued with its order of 26 August granting protection from arrest to the MP, said she will appear on 3 October at a police station in Thoothukudi where a case has been lodged against her and some of her family members for alleged sexual harassment of their maids under the Indian Penal Code and the stringent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act, claiming that the victims were minor.

A bench comprising Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justice AM Khanwilkar said Sasikala will have to appear on 7 October before K Pudur police station in Madurai where a case has been registered for alleged forging of documents that were filed before the Madras High Court while seeking anticipatory bail in the sexual harassment case.

Taking note of the submission of her counsel that there was threat to her life, the bench directed Tamil Nadu police to ensure full protection to her so that no harm is caused when she appears before the investigating agencies.

During the hearing, senior advocate Meenakshi Arora appearing for the MP, contended that the victim is presently 24-year of age but police has added Pocso claiming that when the offence was committed in 2011 the victims were minor. She assured the bench that the expelled AIADMK leader will join the investigation before the all-women police station at Thoothukudi.

Senior advocate Haren Raval, appearing for the state governmment, said the state will ensure protection provided she joins the investigation. Sasikala had approached the apex court against the order of the Madras High Court rejecting her plea for anticipatory bail in the sexual harassment case and registration of the case on the order of the High Court for allegedly forging documents while filing anticipatory bail plea.

Tamil Nadu: MK Stalin moves Madras High Court against removal of his PA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>DMK treasurer and Leader of Opposition in Tamil Nadu Assembly MK Stalin has moved the Madras High Court, challenging the Assembly Secretary’s order, removing a Deputy Secretary-level officer who was appointed as his Special Personal Assistant.When the petition came up for hearing before Justice R Subbaiah, Advocate General R Muthukumaraswamy took notice on behalf of the Assembly Secretary.Stalin submitted that the Leader of Opposition was entitled to have a Personal Assistant, a post created vide a December 12, 1970 Government Order (GO), and extended from time to time.As per the GO, the appointing authority is the Secretary of the Assembly and the choice of the candidate for the post is made by the Leader of Opposition.Accordingly, after Stalin became the Leader of Opposition earlier this year, M Athiseshan was appointed as his Special Personal Assistant by upgrading the post vide an order dated August 8.In the backdrop of the en-masse suspension of DMK MLAs, including himself, on August 22 for a week, the Assembly Secretary repatriated Athiseshan back to his parent department by downgrading the upgraded post.Stalin’s counsel submitted that the Assembly Secretary’s order was ‘illegal, arbitrary, unreasonable and tainted with mala fide’.Once the person was selected by the petitioner and appointed by way of deputation as a Special Personal Assistant, the Assembly Secretary had no authority to remove him unilaterally from the post or alter his conditions of service, he contented.The counsel prayed for quashing of the order of repatriation of the Special Personal Assistant and placing him status quo ante.

Judges split over Ramkumar’s post-mortem plea; appeal placed before Chief Justice

Chennai: A division bench of the Madras High Court referred to the Chief Justice an appeal filed by the father of the sole accused in the murder of a woman techie, challenging a single judge’s order, rejecting the plea for a doctor of his choice to be present during the autopsy of his son, who allegedly committed suicide in prison.

The bench of Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and Justice S Vaidyanathan, who differed in their views on the prayer of appellant R Paramasivan, father of P Ramkumar, directed that the appeal be placed before the Chief Justice for getting the opinion of a third judge.

Justice TS Sivagnanam had on Tuesday turned down the plea of the petitioner and appointed a panel of four government doctors to conduct the autopsy on the body of Ramkumar, who died on 18 September after reportedly biting a live wire at Puzhal Central Prison, where he was lodged.

Challenging the order, Ramkumar’s father filed the appeal seeking a direction that one of the doctors during the post-mortem should be of his choice to ensure transparency since it was a custodial death.

Ramkumar. PTIRamkumar. PTI

P Ramkumar. PTI

He wanted Dr P Sampathkumar, Vice Principal and HoD, Ramachandra Medical College, Porur, to be present during the post-mortem.

When the bench said the doctor was from a private institution, the appellant’s counsel cited Supreme Court judgments, allowing the presence of a doctor of the victims’ choice.

Opposing this, Additional Advocate General Mani said the government had nominated reputed doctors. If the appellant had any doubt, he could challenge the post-mortem report but could not seek a doctor of his choice on “mere apprehension”.

Besides, he said, the appellant had not questioned the competency of the doctors appointed by the government.

After the submissions, the judges expressed a difference of opinion on allowing a doctor of the appellant’s choice.

Justice Ramesh was for allowing an independent forensic expert to be present during the autopsy, saying it would be in no way prejudicial to the case of the prosecution and would, in effect, fortify the stand of the state about its fairness.

However, Justice Vaidyanathan, concurring with the view of the AAG, said an independent person with forensic knowledge would, in fact, lead to creating a doubt in the minds of the public about the arbitrary nature of the conduct of the state machinery. He suggested one more government doctor in the panel, instead of an independent person of the appellant’s choice.

“Since there exists a difference of opinion with regard to appointment of an independent person to be present at the time of autopsy, between us, Registry is directed to place the matter before the Hon’ble Chief Justice for listing it before a third Hon’ble judge for his opinion,” the bench said.

It also ordered that the autopsy be not conducted till the decision was taken by the third judge.

Ramkumar was arrested for allegedly hacking to death Swathi, a software engineer, on 24 June at Nungambakkam suburban railway station.

Madras HC helps 12 year old victim of physical abuse reunite with her mother

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thanks to the efforts of the Madras High Court, a 12-year-old girl, subjected to physical abuse by her relatives, has been reunited with her mother, a widow who had remarried.Earlier the girl was rescued by the Thanjavur district child welfare committee on a complaint from neighbours.A division bench of the court’s Madurai bench, comprising Justice M. Sathyanarayanan and Justice V.M. Velumani, disposing of habeas corpus petition filed by the mother, directed the District Child Welfare Officer to relieve the girl from the Government Orphanage, where she had been lodged.The woman had earlier approached her relative Rakinai in Thanjavur and sought help to get her daughter school admission in Papanasam. Rakinai, who took custody of the girl, and her daughter Saranya allegedly abused the girl physically.An FIR was registered against the two under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and section 75 (punishment for cruelty to child) of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015 on a complaint lodged by the child welfare officer.The officer submitted that the girl had sustained injuries all over her body and hence she was immediately shifted to the government orphanage to protect her from being subjected to further abuse.The bench directed the officer to hand over the girl’s custody to the petitioner. It also directed the school in Papanasam to issue Transfer Certificate and give back the original birth certificate and other relevant certificates of the child if the petitioner wanted to shift her to some other institution.

Author Perumal Murugan ends self-imposed exile with 200 new poems

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Contemporary Tamil author Perumal Murugan on Monday ended a self-imposed literary exile of 19 months with a new book – a collection of 200 poems “A Coward’s Song”. Threatened by protests from Hindutva activists against his Tamil novel “Madhorubagan” (One Part Woman), which they deemed offensive, a dismayed Murugan had announced in a Facebook post in December 2014 that the writer in him was dead. “Author Perumal Murugan is dead,” he had written.In July, the Madras High Court had dismissed a plea seeking prosecution of the author and ban of his “offensive” book in Tamil, besides forfeiting all the copies of its English translation “One Part Woman” saying there was nothing obscene in the book. Dressed in a white shirt and dhoti, Murugan, speaking in Tamil read out a powerful statement after the launch of his new book at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, which was translated and read out in English. The 50-year-old author also recited two poems “Hometown” and “A Coward’s Song” before that.Describing the first three months after he had declared his “death”, Murugan said he did not want to “even write one word”. He said during that time he felt like a like “a walking corpse”, and “like a rat in a burrow”. “It was poetry that saved me. My mind has now attained a state of being able to write poetry,” he said, adding now when he writes he feels a censor seated within him and “unable to shake him off”.”My writing will do little to change the world so let me be quiet and speak through my writings,” said the author, who began writing poetry when he was a child.In the discussion with Nilanjana Roy following the reading statement, Murugan said he believed “No writer can write a single work in defence of caste.””In my perception caste is ubiquitous but present subtly in society. Why caste exists and why is so divisive is a question that plagues me,” Murugan said.The author was introduced by poet Ashok Vajpeyi, who said it was “encouraging for poets like us that he is alive and that he chose to write poetry instead of prose”. Refusing to delve into the dark days following his self- imposed exile, the author, who is also a professor of literature, said he never believed he would be able to write again.”Today is a happy day for me. My book of poems has been published and released in Delhi. I don’t want to relive my dark days of 2015,” he said. Murugan, who has previously written six novels, four collections of short stories and four anthologies of poetry, said he doubts whether he can continue to write in his usual realist mode. “I doubt whether I can continue to write in future in the realist mode. I might have to resort to other techniques. Only time will tell on that,” he said.

Perumal Murugan in first interview after Madras HC ruling: ‘I am thinking of slowly writing again’

Acclaimed writer Perumal Murugan has said that the Madras High Court order that quashed criminal proceedings against him, for allegedly hurting the sentiments of the people of Tiruchengode with his novel Madhorubagan (One Part Woman), was like a “personal note” to him.

Perumal Murugan. Image courtesy FacebookPerumal Murugan. Image courtesy Facebook

Perumal Murugan. Image courtesy Facebook

The order, passed by Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Pushpa Sathyanaraya on 6 July, said a ban against Murugan’s 2010 novel was unconstitutional.

The judgment was summarised with the words:

“The author, Prof Perumal Murugan, should not be under fear. He should be able to write and advance the canvass of his writings. His writings would be a literary contribution, even if there were others who may differ with the material and style of his expression… Time is a great healer and we are sure, that would hold true for Perumal Murugan as well as his opponents; both would have learnt to get along with their lives, we hope by now, in their own fields, and bury this issue in the hatchet as citizens of an advancing and vibrant democracy. We hope our judgment gives a quietus to the issue with introspection on all sides… Time also teaches us to forget and forgive and see beyond the damage. If we give time its space to work itself out, it would take us to beautiful avenues. We conclude by observing this – ‘Let the author be resurrected to what he is best at. Write’.”

Read: Madras High Court ruling in Perumal Murugan case deserves to be read. Here’s why

Murugan said that the it was this conclusion that spoke to him [“let the author be resurrected to do what he is best at — write”]:

“As an author, it made me feel more responsible, that I should write again. Let the public discuss this court order and the value of justice in it. As an individual, I am still recovering from what I experienced. I am thinking of slowly writing again,” Murugan told The Indian Express in his first interview after the judgment was announced.

Murugan had famously proclaimed his “death” as a writer when controversy around Madhorubagan erupted in 2015 (this was after its English translation was published). The novel tells the story of a childless couple in Tiruchengode, and described a 100-year-old temple festival on the night of which, men and women were allowed to copulate free of any qualms. It was this depiction that caused trouble with several groups, which demanded that the “offensive portions” be removed from the novel, and that Murugan issue a public apology.

While his supporters wanted Murugan to protest against these demands, the writer chose instead to withdraw from the literary scene, and figuratively put down his pen. He, however, continued to write poems occasionally.

However, the judgment in July revived his intention to write.

“The judgement gives me much happiness. It comforts a heart that had shrunk (and) wilted. I am trying to prop myself up holding on to the light of the last lines of the judgement,” Murugan had said in a statement at the time.

“I will get up. It is just that my mind wishes to spend a little time in the joy of this moment. My thanks to friends who stood by me. My thanks also to friends who stood against me,” he had added, sharing a short verse to mark the occasion:

A flower blooms/ after the big bang/ Sharp fragrance/ Sweet countenance/ Shining Splendour/ The flower would/ take up and establish/ everything.

In the interview with The Indian Express, Murugan touched on why he didn’t feel protesting against the demands to ban his work was the right course of action. He said:

“Many expected me to fight back with statements and protests — in that typical manner… But I didn’t want to handle things in that manner as I didn’t know who my enemy was. I didn’t know whom to testify against.”

The writer also admitted that he wasn’t given to making speeches or living in the public eye — even a paper presentation, he said, took him “two months to prepare”.

Asked to describe the hurt he felt when the people of Namakkal, his homeland, turned against him, Murugan said simply:

“I am neither an orator nor a loud thinker to describe my plight. All I have to tell, you may find in my poems.”

Also on Firstpost — A haunting tale of dangerous inter-caste love: Read Perumal Murugan’s ‘Pyre’

Madras University Results 2016: University of Madras UG & PG results declared on unom.ac.in

Students from BA, BCom, BSc, BCA, BBA who had given the Madras University’s November-December 2015 semester examination can breathe a sigh of relief. The results have been declared on the university.Here’s how you can check your results:-Go to the official website-Click on Results tab-Click on UG / PG / Professional Degree Examination Results<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>-Enter your Register Number-Click on ‘Get Marks’-Download/Take a printout of the resultsAbout Madras University:The University of Madras was established in 1857 by an Act of Legislative Council of India. It is oldest university of South India. The university is commonly known as UNOM and Located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The university imparting various UG and PG Education through the affiliated colleges which are spread over the districts of Chennai, Thiruvallur and Kancheepuram.University has been growing from strength to strength while widening its teaching and research activities. The university conducts examination twice a year. First examination is conducted in April and second one is in November / December. This year the examination has been conducted successfully in the month of April-May 2015.

Techie’s murder in Chennai has shattered the city’s ‘safe’ narrative

Over the last couple of days, at least once every day, I have had a conversation with someone — family, acquaintance, friends — about the recent murders in Chennai. In particular, the murder of a young woman in a central part of the city, inside a railway station, has made almost all of us uncomfortably aware of just how vulnerable we are. This was not a murder involving gangs, caste fanaticism, or honour — none of those would have shocked us because they happen routinely in Tamil Nadu.

This was a young woman working in IT just waiting for the train.

Safety is a relative word

Women who regularly use public transport in Chennai will tell you that some form of ‘discomfort’, for lack of a better word, is natural to feel in buses and trains, and generally while we walk on the streets. I started using public transport in Chennai when I was in class four. From school to college, and later, for work, the one story of solidarity I have with friends who identify as women, is the various experiences of harassment, and that feeling of being exposed and vulnerable, while on the streets.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Crime, especially in public spaces, transcends class. Representational image. Reuters

We must come to terms with the fact that ‘safety’ is simply relative in our city. My husband feels safer than me. I feel safer than the girl who goes on a train or bus, on the days I drive. And so on and so forth.

Often, when I talk about the experience of feeling ‘unsafe’ on the streets, I have been shut down by people who think, perhaps because of their own class bias, that I am being classist. I would like to reiterate that some of the worst things I have seen in buses over the years were perpetrated by men dressed in ‘formals’. (The least gruesome of them is this: one guy in formals flashed tiny girls in uniforms and tried to rub up against them in a not-so-crowded bus.)

Crime, especially in public spaces, transcends class.

Women who use public transport will tell you that you are being naive if you think a man wearing a shirt, trousers and a backpack does not look like a criminal. (This is what the video released in the news shows; that the man who is wanted in this case wearing).

When fear transcends gender

Safety in public transport has been a matter of concern for mostly women and the vulnerable (sexual minorities, children) until now, because of the nature of the crimes (except for maybe pickpockets). But this time, it’s not harassment. It’s not eve teasing. It’s not flashing. It’s not cat calls. It’s not frotteurism. It’s not pickpocketing. It’s a gruesome murder — in the presence of others who were mute spectators. This time a human life has been taken away. This has made us all painfully aware of the flaw in the ‘safe’ narrative of the city.

When a murder like this happens, it is a reminder that our safety is not absolute. This murder has scared us all a little. That when it wants to, this city can let someone bleed to death is unsettling.

Recently, a few lawyers (all men) were murdered by ‘gangs’ in the streets of Chennai on various days. Dalit men being murdered for marrying Hindu women of different castes in public spaces are routine occurrences in Tamil Nadu.

We all need better policing and safer public spaces. And that young woman, who should not have lost her life, deserves justice. We need an alert civic society that demands all of this.

The author is a Chennai-based writer and founder-editor of The Madras Mag.

Rajiv Gandhi assassination case: TN govt says it is yet to take a decision on Nalini’s release

Chennai: Tamil Nadu government on Friday told the Madras High Court that it was yet to take a decision on the premature release of Nalini Sriharan, the life convict in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case since her case with other co-convicts are pending before the Supreme Court.

File photo of Nalini. PTI

File photo of Nalini. PTI

The government said this in its counter affidavit in response to a petition by Nalini seeking premature release.

The case is expected to come up before Justice M Sathyanrayanan on Monday.

Nalini submitted that she had spent quarter of a century in jail though the legal requirement was only 20 years to be eligible for premature release.

The counter said the state had written to the Centre in March 2016 itself seeking its concurrence for release of all seven convicts. “So far, no reply has been received from the government of India in this regard,” it said

The Supreme Court had awarded death penalty to four of the 26 persons found guilty in the case, including Nalini and her husband Murugan. It awarded life to three others.

Nalini’s sentence was commuted to life after Tamil Nadu government invoked Article 161 of the Constitution, which made the then Governor pass relevant orders in April 2000.

The death penalty of the three others, Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan was commuted to life by the apex court on February 18, 2014 on the ground of inordinate delay in disposing of their mercy petitions by the President.

Nalini filed a fresh petition seeking premature release stating that her representation on 20 February, 2014, should be considered as she had completed more than 20 years in jail.

She referred to a 2011 Government Order which facilitated the release of life convicts who served 20-year jail term.

Since the case was probed by a central agency, the state government is obliged to ‘consult’ the Centre in the case of premature release of convicts. The state government wrote to the Home Ministry on 19 February, 2014 seeking its views on the proposal to release all seven life convicts.

The Centre had moved the Supreme Court to quash Tamil Nadu government’s proposal.

The apex court had in July 2014 restrained the state government from offering remission to life convicts. It was later modified a little.

On Dec 2, 2015, the apex court ruled that the term ‘consultation’ in Sec 435(1) of CrPC implied ‘concurrence’. Only after that did the state government seek a clarification from the Centre, which is still awaiting reply.

The counter said the three-member bench of the Supreme Court had on 18 April, 2016 decided to hear the Centre’s case every Monday and Friday and added that the case had so far not been listed for hearing.

Tamil Nadu government detailed all correspondence between the state and the Centre in the counter.

Madras High Court issues notice to govt, Coca Cola on pricing of beverages in cinema halls

The Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered issue of notice to Tamil Nadu government, soft drink giant Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd and others on a PIL seeking to prohibit the sale of beverages and snacks at exobitant rates in cinema halls in the city.Hearing the petition by one G Devarajan, Justice M Sathyanarayana ordered issue of notice to Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Private Limited, S2 Cinemas and Special Government Pleader P Sanjay Gandhi on behalf of the Commissioner of Food, Civil Supplies, Consumer Protection and Price Control Protection Department, the Secretary, Food, Civil Supplies Consumer protection and price control, along with other authorities.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The petitioner submitted that the theatre owners prevented the movie-goers from bringing food from outside outside, thus leaving the audience with no other option but to purchase them from the stalls inside the halls, which were sold at exorbitant rates. Alleging that the Hindustan Coco Cola colluded with cinema theatres to swindle the public of their money, he prayed to the Court to direct the concerned authorities to take action against overcharging customers for products and initiate action against them.

2004 Kumbakonam fire tragedy: Parents of victims seek higher compensation

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the state government on a petition seeking higher compensation to families of children who died in the Kumbakonam school fire accident in 2004.

The First Bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice R Mahadevan, which heard the plea by one of the deceased’s father, K Inbaraj, issued notices to the Chief Secretary and the Secretary, State School Education Department, and posted the matter to 13 July for further hearing.

Madras HC. Image: News18Madras HC. Image: News18

Madras HC. Image: News18

The bench also directed the petitioners’ counsel to serve notice on the schools where the tragedy occurred.

The matter relates to the fire tragedy that had occurred on 16 July, 2004 at the compounds of Sri Krishna School and Saraswathi Nursery school where 94 children and a teacher were killed and several others were injured.

Earlier, the court had appointed a retired High Court Judge, Justice K Venkatraman, as one-man commission to determine the compensation to the victims’ families.

The commission fixed the compensation as Rs five lakh each to the families of the deceased. With respect to the injured children, the commission found it very difficult to find out the injuries/scars at a later stage.

Apart from Rs 25,000 already paid by the government, the commission fixed an amount of Rs 50,000 more to them.

The petitioner had filed the petition, aggrieved by the compensation, and sought a direction to enhance it to Rs 25 lakh to each deceased’s kin, and Rs 20 lakh, instead of Rs six lakh, recommended by the commission, to six seriously injured students, and Rs five lakh from Rs 50,000 to those who suffered minor injuries.

The petitioner prayed that a direction may be issued to the state government to grant the relief within a reasonable time, including nine per cent interest from the date of occurrence of the tragedy.

No action against advocates, Madras High Court CJ tells BCTP

The Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Wednesday said the Chief Justice of Madras High Court has assured it that no action would be taken against advocates following amendments to the Advocates Act, till a decision is taken on suggestions made by various bar associations. “The Chief Justice of Madras High Court has assured the office bearers of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry that no action will be taken against the advocates in pursuant to the amendments introduced by the High Court to Advocates Act, till a decision is taken on the suggestions from bar associations,” BCTP Chairman D Selvam told reporters. The officer bearers had met Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul yesterday and submitted a memorandum seeking reconsideration of the amendments to the Advocates Act. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to a release from BCTP, the High Court has invited suggestions from all the bar associations on the changes to be made to the Advocates Act. They may be submitted through BCTP which will be placed before the High Court rule Committee for its reconsideration, it said. The release said the Chairman of Bar Council of India has also requested the Chief Justice to reconsider the amendments made to the rules through discussions and also advised all the bar associations to resolve the issues by way of dialogue and not by resorting to rallies and boycott. The bar associations have been requested to furnish their suggestions to BCTP by June 17. The matter relates to recent amendments that were introduced by the High Court to Section 34(1)of Advocates Act against which various advocates associations took out a rally on June 6. In a notification, the high court had said that the court has power under 14-A of Advocates Act to debar advocates who indulge in activities such as trying to influence a judge or participates in a procession inside court campus or holds placards inside the court hall, among others. Such advocates shall be debarred from appearing before the high court or subordinate courts permanently or for such period as the court may think fit and the Registrar General shall thereupon report it to the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu, it said.

Judges argue in open court over bail to Kolkata flyover incident

Two judges of a division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday argued with each other in open court on Tuesday over granting bail to some accused persons in connection with the Vivekananda Road flyover collapse. Justice CS Karnan, who had earlier been in news for staying his transfer order from the Madras High Court to the Calcutta High Court by the Supreme Court, differed with brother judge Justice Ashim Kumar Roy over bail to ten accused persons after earlier holding concurrence in refusing bail to them. The bench, comprising Justice Roy and Justice Karnan, had refused bail to the ten accused on May 20. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Justice Karnan, however, had a change of mind later and signed in favour of granting bail to the accused yesterday, 18 days after the bail prayers were refused by the division bench. Justice Roy objected to Justice Karnan’s decision as they sat in the court together as part of the division bench today. While Justice Roy said such orders were always passed in open court room, Justice Karnan said after going through the papers relating to the case afresh in his chamber, he felt bail should be granted to the ten accused and as such decided in favour of granting of bail. Following arguments over the legality of the order of Justice Karnan, the judges left the court room and retired to their respective chambers. The bail prayers of the ten accused are likely to be referred to the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court on whether it should be sent to a third judge owing to the disagreement. The Calcutta High Court Bar Association held an urgent general body meeting later in the day and decided not to attend the court of Justice Karnan. “We held a general body meeting wherein a majority decision was taken not to participate in any judicial proceedings before the court of Justice Karnan,” Bar Association General Secretary Suranjan Dasgupta said alleging “misbehaviour” by the judge.

Kiran Bedi takes oath as Lt Governor of Puducherry

Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi on Sunday assumed charge as the 23rd Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry. Senior judge of the Madras High Court Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh administered the oath of office and secrecy to 66-year-old Bedi at Raj Nivas.Bedi is the fourth woman Lt Governor of the Union Territory, a post which was under the additional charge of Lt Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Island for nearly two years. Chief Secretary to Puducherry government Manoj Parida earlier read out the her warrant of appointment issued by President Pranab Mukherjee.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister designate V Narayanasamy, former Chief Ministers N Rangasamy, R V Janakiraman and M D R Ramachandran, PCC president A Namassivayam, elected legislators, Member of Lok Sabha Radhakrishnan, N Gokulakrishnan (Rajya Sabha), French Consul General Philippe Janvier Kamiyama and former Ministers were among those who witnessed the ceremony.The LG’s post in the Union territory had been lying vacant after the Narendra Modi Government removed UPA nominee Virendra Kataria on July 12 barely a year after he had been appointed. Lt Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Island Lt Gen Ajay Singh had been given additional charge of Puducherry.Born on June 9, 1949, Bedi, the country’s first woman IPS officer, had led the BJP campaign in the 2015 Delhi Assembly elections but had to face the worst defeat in her maiden political innings with Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP winning 67 of the 70 seats.An IPS officer of 1972 batch, Bedi had sought voluntary retirement from the service in 2007. She was then posted as Director General, Bureau of Police Research and Development. A sports lover and an author, Bedi is a recipient of Ramon Magsaysay Award as well as UN Medal for outstanding service. She was one of the pioneers of anti-corruption movement in 2011 along with Anna Hazare and Kejriwal.Chandrawathi was the first woman Lt Governor and she held office for a short period from February to December 1990. The next woman LG was Rajendra Kumari Bajpai who held the office from 1995 to 1998 and she was followed by Rajani Rai from 1998 to 2002.

Madras HC asks Tamil Nadu govt to teach Tamil at nominal cost

Observing that conducting world Tamil conferences spending crores of rupees and terming Tamil as a classical language would not serve any purpose unless it is passed on to the next generation, the Madras High Court has directed Tamil Development Department to start correspondence course to teach Tamil at a nominal cost.A division bench, comprising Justice V Ramasubramanian (now transferred to Hyderabad) and Justice N Kirubakaran, gave the direction recently on a plea by one R Lakshminarayan seeking a direction to the government to take steps to teach Tamil language through correspondence course to non-Tamils. The bench also directed the Department to sanction Rs 37,36,300, or more if required, to start the course. The bench suggested government interact with various Tamil organisations active in various parts of the world and make arrangements to teach Tamil in those countries so that the language would be passed on to the next generation.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stating that in Ontario, Canada, the month of January has been declared as “Tamil Heritage Month”, the bench said approximately one per cent of the world’s population speaks Tamil, the petitioner submitted. Stating that Sri Lankan Tamils settled in various countries, including the U S, Netherlands and France, are evincing keen interest to teach Tamil to their children, the bench said adding however that in Tamil Nadu, Tamil is not passed on to the next generation.The petitioner submitted that the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development is offering Hindi Certificate and Diploma Correspondence Course at a nominal cost for all Indians whose mother tongue is not Hindi as well as to foreigners and Non-Resident Indians. The bench also suggested that the state should come forward to fund translation of Tamil literature in other languages and great literature of other languages to Tamil.The bench also said the state government should fund and promote Tamil language by awarding scholarships to scholars and for their research work and for books.

J Jayalalithaa to be sworn in as Tamil Nadu CM today for second consecutive term

All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) chief J Jayalalithaa will be sworn in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on Monday.This is for the first time since the death of former chief minister MG Ramachandra Menon, who is popularly known as MGR, in 1987 that a party will return to power for a consecutive second term in Tamil Nadu.The swearing in ceremony will be held at the Centenary Auditorium at the Madras University at 12 noon.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah will administer the oath of office to the Chief Minister and 28 members of the cabinet. AIADMK MLA and former MP Semmalai will be the pro term speaker for the 15th Assembly.Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu will be attending the ceremony on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Central Government. Invitations have been sent to various dignitaries throughout the country.For the first time, the main opposition, DMK Party’s treasurer MK Stalin will also be attending the ceremony. Earlier on May 21, Jayalalithaa met state Governor K. Rosaiah on where she staked the claim to form the government. The century old auditorium of the Madras University is all decked up for the swearing in ceremony of the Chief Minister and her cabinet colleagues.Workers of the party have been streaming in to the city in large numbers to get a glimpse of their favorite leader today. Security has been tightened in and around the university and large LED TV screens and loud speakers have been placed at Kamarajar salai for the public to witness the function. The ceremony will also be relayed live in all the districts through the mobile vans with digi screens by the Information and Public relation department.

Tamil Nadu Elections 2016: This ‘grandmom’ stars in campaign videos for both DMK and AIADMK!

67-year old GT Kasturi has now become a celebrity in Tamil Nadu. So what is her claim to fame? Well, she features in promotional ads for two different political parties – the DMK and the AIADMK!In the ad for the AIADMK, Kasturi paati (grandmother) is seen sitting in a temple, welling up and saying that when her children didn’t feed her, it was the government that did. On the other hand, in the ad for the DMK, she is seen saying that leaders need to know the ground reality of the people and those who did not know their suffering, should not be voted to power.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Hindu reports that Kasturi paati now has memes, videos and articles dedicated to her, stating how she is the ‘favourite model’ for the DMK and the AIADMK. The daily quoted her as saying that an agent approached her to act in the promo for the AIADMK. “At that time, I didn’t know it was an election promo, but thought it was for a short film. A few days later, another agent approached me asking me to say a dialogue for an advertisement and I didn’t know it was for the DMK’s election promo,” she tells the daily. It’s reported that she was paid Rs 1,500 for the AIADMK promo and Rs 1000 for the DMK promo.Kasturi paati says she used to do plays on All India Radio and has acted in over 300 films in the last 25 years in small roles. Mayakkam Enna, Sagaptham and Madras are some films you would have seen her in.She has told the daily that she has no political preferences or affiliation but she admires Karunanidhi’s determination to contest and win, and Jayalalithaa for her welfare schemes. Kasturi paati adds that she is not wealthy, but just manages to get by with these small acting assignments and her pension. Watch Kasturi paati in the AIADMK promo:

Madras HC directs TN govt to include Thirukkural in class 6 – 12 curriculum

Chennai: Observing that moral values are more important than other values, the Madras High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to take appropriate action on inclusion of 108 chapters of Tamil treatise Thirukkural in the curriculum of class VI-XII from next academic year.

Justice R Mahadevan of the court’s Madurai bench was hearing a plea filed by retired government official S Rajarathinam, who sought a direction to government to reframe the syllabus from the next academic year so as to ensure that students studied all the 1330 couplets of Thirukkural.

Special government pleader informed the court that the syllabus is determined by a committee appointed by the government.

“If Thirukkural is taught with all its avenues and dimensions elaborately, students would be equipped with all the facets of life, the probable problems and the solutions. The couplets about friendship, hard work, good character, patience, tolerance and confidence will guide them through, even the most difficult of times. Thirukkural will give them the inner strength to withstand any storm,” the judge said.

A file photo of madras High Court. Image credit: Wiki commonsA file photo of madras High Court. Image credit: Wiki commons

A file photo of Madras High Court. Image credit: Wiki commons

The judge, who allowed the petition, said various adaptations and stories are associated with Thirukkural in the form of ‘Thirukkural kathaigal’.

“Therefore, it can be taught to the students without causing burden. Moral values are more important than other values. Once, the moral values are lost, it is only a matter of time before the person falls, despite possessing all other qualities, which may earn in name, fame, power and money.”

“Therefore, this court commends that appropriate action must be taken by the government through the committee which decides the syllabus, considering the noble objective and the demanding situation and finalise syllabus for next academic year by including 108 chapters/adhigarams of Thirukkural (Arathupal and Porutpal) in curriculum of students between VI to XII standard, keeping in mind that the purpose of education must be to build a nation with moral values,” the judge said.

“Once a policy is framed, then it is a matter of accommodation. If there is a will, there would be a way. It will be the greatest contribution to the society and to the language itself by the government,” the court said.

According to the petitioner, in recent times, moral values have declined in society and need of the day is to inculcate moral values and ethics by way of education and one way of bringing about this change is by making them follow the principles in Thirukkural, authored by great saint Thiruvalluvar.

IITs could admit foreign students from 2017

It was reported earlier that the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) wanted foreign students to enrol and were seeking the help of the external affairs ministry. Now, in all likelihood, the IITs in India will admit foreign students for their undergraduate and postgraduate studies from next year.A report in The New Indian Express states that a final decision is likely to be taken in the next IIT Council meeting regarding this. Replying to a question as to whether this will limit the number of seats for Indian students, Professor Bhaskar Ramamurthi, director of IIT Madras, was quoted by the daily as saying, “Of course, we can’t take away the seats of Indian students to bring in foreign students. What the Central government is contemplating is to increase the number of seats by 100 to 200. The number may vary between IITs. Foreign students who seek admissions will be charged the full course fees. The government may consider giving scholarships to students of certain countries, but in general, the public money will be used.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The daily adds that for UG courses, the Joint Entrance Exams (JEE) will be conducted in various countries and for PG courses, the Graduate Aptitude Tests in Engineering (GATE) is a must for candidates. As admissions to IITs are decentralized, they are free to take students from different countries.
ALSO READ IIT admission tests to be held in 8 countries abroad to attract foreign students: PanelRamamurthi was also quoted as saying that the demand for IIT seats depends on pricing and that the government will have to decide the cost of courses. At present, IITs spend around Rs 5 lakh per student. IIT Madras is more cost effective as it spends only around Rs 4 to 4.5 lakh per student.While speaking about the logistics of the international students, the director was quoted as stating that at any point there are at least 100 foreign students as part of their the exchange programmes. “The institute has a separate office, which takes care of immigration and other paper work. We are not going to build separate hostels for them. They will be living alongside the Indian students. We can have a Western mess, which should not be a problem. Already, we have 9 different cuisines,” the IIT director was quoted as saying.
ALSO READ IITs want more foreign students to crack their entranceThe IIT Madras director was speaking to the media at an event organised by IIT Madras where it signed an MoU with ABB for R&D cooperation in microgrids, energy storage solutions and green energy projects

Madras HC sets aside single judge’s order for dress code for devotees

The Madras High Court on Monday set aside the order of a single judge prescribing a dress code for devotees visiting temples in the state to offer worship. The matter relates to a petition that was filed before the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court seeking a direction to authorities concerned to grant permission and police protection for “Gramiya Adal Padal Vizha” that was scheduled to be held at Sri Shenbaga Vinayagar temple premises in Trichy district on November 23, 2015.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When the matter came up before the Madurai Bench, the single judge, while passing orders on the petition, suo motu impleaded the state HR and CE board as a party and prescribed a dress code for men, women and children as follows: for men, dhoti or pyjamas with upper cloth or formal pants and shirts and for women, saree or half saree with blouse, churidars with upper cloth and for children any fully-covered dress.In addition, the judge directed police to prevent devotees, who wear Bermudas, shorts, mini skirts, midis, sleeveless tops, low waist jeans and short t-shirts, from entering any Hindu temple. However, a division bench, comprising Justices V Ramasubramanian and K Ravichandra Babu, while going through the verdict of the single judge, in its order, today said “we are of the considered view that the reasons stated by the single judge run contrary to the word of caution sent by the Supreme Court in various cases.””First of all, prescribing a dress code for the devotees worshipping in temples was not an issue, which arose directly or indirectly in the writ petition.””Secondly, there was no prayer by the petitioner seeking the prescription of a dress code for the worshippers in Hindu temples.””Thirdly, the prayer of the writ petitioner had practically become infructuous as the main relief claimed by him was granted by the interim order itself and that order had also been complied with and therefore, there was nothing in the writ petition to be further adjudicated.””Hence, the directions issued by the learned Judge beyond the scope of the litigation that was before him cannot be approved,” the bench said.

dna Afternoon Must Reads: From details of Panama Papers to Priyanka Chopra’s invitation to the White House

1. India has missed many chances to lead global economy: Arun JaitleyFinance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said that India has missed many chances in past to be the leading global economy, so its important for the country to continue its pace of reforms. Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. IIT Madras and IIM Bangalore top the list of best Indian universitiesIT Madras and IIM Bangalore have topped the list of top educational institutes unveiled by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development. Read more here3. Mehbooba Mufti sworn in as Jammu and Kashmir’s first woman CM; BJP gets more Cabinet berthsJammu and Kashmir got its first woman chief minister on Monday in PDP President Mehbooba Mufti who was sworn-in here along with 22 ministers. Read more here4. Priyanka Chopra invited to Barack Obama’s last White House Corrospondents dinner!With her face splashed all across the biggest billboards in America, Quantico star and international icon, Priyanka Chopra may now set foot into the White House. Read more here5. Watch: After World T20 final, Marlon Samuels blasts Ben Stokes and Shane WarneMarlon Samuels was hardly magnanimous in victory as the temperamental West Indian batsman sat down to face the media after his team’s World Twenty20 victory — feet on the table, batting pads still on. Read more here6. All you need to know about Panama Papers and Indians found on the listPanama Papers have leaked the significant documents about Mossack Fonseca firm in Panama which has helped investors around the world to evade tax, launder money, among others. Read more here

JAM 2016 result declared; check – joaps.iitm.ac.in

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has announced the Joint Admission Test for MSc – JAM 2016 Results.The candidates who appeared for the exam on February 7, 2016, can check their results on the official website.To check the result, candidates can click on the direct link or enter http://joaps.iitm.ac.in/ in the web browser.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Once you are directed to the home page of the site, insert your enrolment ID/Registration and then enter your JOAPS password and click on submit button.The result will be displayed on the screen. You can take a print copy of your results for future reference.The candidates who have successfully passed the test will have to submit their admission form on the official site of JAM 2016 from April 15 to 27, 2015. The first admission list will be declared on June 3, 2016.

2000 Dharmapuri case: SC commutes death sentence to life imprisonment of three convicts

The Supreme Court on Friday commuted to life imprisonment the capital punishment awarded to three convicts in the case relating to burning to death of three college girls in Dharmapuri in Tamil Nadu in 2000 following former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s conviction in a graft case.A bench, headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi, commuted the capital punishment observing that the incident had happened in a flash during mob frenzy and it was not pre-meditated.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The apex court had earlier stayed the execution of the capital punishment for three convicts C Muniappan, Ravindran and Nedunchezhian on their pleas seeking a review of the apex court’s verdict upholding death penalty awarded to them.The apex court had on August 30, 2010 upheld the death penalty for the trio, rejecting their pleas for leniency.The three victims of the infamous Dharampuri bus burning incident — Kokilavani, Gayathri and Hemalatha — were students of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore.The bus in which they were travelling along with 44 other students and two teachers was torched on February 2, 2000 following Jayalalithaa’s conviction in the Pleasant Stay Hotel case.On February 16, 2007, a trial court in Salem had awarded death sentence to the three accused after finding them guilty of murder, attempt to murder and other charges under IPC and gave varying sentences of two months to two years to 25 others.The Madras High Court had on December 6, 2007, confirmed the capital punishment and the sentence of six months to two years imprisonment imposed on 25 others.

Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict Nalini Sriharan granted 1-day parole

Nalini Sriharan, serving a life sentence in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, has been granted a 24-hour parole by the Madras High Court, CNN-IBN reported. She had asked for the parole to attend her father’s memorial prayer.

Nalini being escorted by police personnel. File photo. PTINalini being escorted by police personnel. File photo. PTI

Nalini being escorted by police personnel. File photo. PTI

Nalini had moved the Madras High Court seeking three days leave starting from Tuesda for attending the 16th day prayer of her father, who passed away last month, to held in Chennai on 9 March.

In her petition, Nalini submitted that she had made a representation on 2 March to the Superintendent of Special Prison for Women in Vellore, where she is lodged, seeking three days leave but the official had not responded so far.

She said she was granted parole for 12 hours on 24 February to attend the cremation of her father Sankaranarayanan. The 16th day obsequies of her father was scheduled to be held on 9 March in Kottur here and sought three days’ leave from tomorrow to enable her participate in it.

Nalini was sentenced to death by a trial court in the case on 28 January, 1998. Her sentence was commuted to a life term by the Tamil Nadu Governor on 24 April, 2000.

With inputs from PTI

Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict Nalini gets 24-hour parole to attend father’s memorial

Nalini Sriharan, serving life sentence in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, was on Tuesday granted 24-hour parole to attend her father’s memorial.Nalini had moved the Madras High Court seeking three days leave from Tuesday for attending the 16th day obsequies of her father, who passed away last month, to held in Kottur on March 9.In her petition, Nalini had submitted that she had made a representation on March 2 to the Superintendent of Special Prison for Women in Vellore, where she is lodged, seeking three days leave, but the official had not responded so far.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She said she was granted parole for 12 hours on February 24 to attend the cremation of her father Sankaranarayanan. The 16th day obsequies of her father was scheduled to be held in Kottur.Nalini was sentenced to death by the trial court in the case on January 28, 1998. Her sentence was commuted to life term by the Tamil Nadu Governor on April 24, 2000.

Rajiv Gandhi assassination: Convict Nalini Sriharan’s parole plea to be heard today

Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict Nalini Sriharan’s parole plea will on Tuesday be heard at 10:30 am in the Madras High Court.The Tamil Nadu Government has last week sought the opinion of Ministry of Home Affairs seeking its opinion on releasing all the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi Assassination case, after which one of the convicts, Nalini, had moved the court seeking three days parole to attend post funeral rituals of her father Sankaranayanan.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nalini, on February 24, got a 12-hour emergency leave to attend her father’s funeral rites in Chennai. Now she says she wants to take part in the 16th day ceremony for her father.The seven convicts which the state government wants to release include the three who were awarded death sentence but later remitted to life imprisonment by the apex court.

National anthem should be sung in all private schools in Tamil Nadu: Madras HC

Chennai: The Madras High Court has made it clear that the national anthem should be sung in all private schools in Tamil Nadu during the morning assembly.

Schoolkids singing national anthem on Independence Day. GETTY IMAGES

Schoolkids singing national anthem on Independence Day. GETTY IMAGES

A bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M M Sundresh gave the direction on a petition seeking that singing of national anthem be made mandatory in schools.

“Private schools must follow such singing of national anthem as part of their curriculum,” the bench said disposing a PIL by N Selvathirumal, an ex-service man, seeking a direction to authorities to make it mandatory for all private schools in the state to sing the national anthem during the assembly.

The bench while recording the stand of the authorities including Union of India that national anthem ought to be sung, in its order directed Central and State Departments of Secondary Education and the Union Human Resources Department to make endeavours to verify weather national anthem was sung in all private schools in the state.

Selvathiurumal submitted that national anthem was not sung in various private schools in Tamil Nadu while it was sung in central Government Schools such as Kendriya Vidyalaya and all the state government schools daily during the morning assembly.

A citizen should have adequate knowledge of the national anthem and the national flag, the petitioner submitted.

“In pursuance to a RTI reply, I was informed that the Government of India has released an advisory for all the schools that the day’s work may start with with community singing of the national anthem and adequate provisions should be made in the programmes for popularising the singing of the anthem and promoting respect for the national flag,” he said.

The CBSE submitted that “a circular was issued to schools on November 10, 2015, stating that the second descriptor out of the 10 principles entails singing of national anthem with decorum, where as the first one is to abide by constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and National Anthem in compliance of the direction given by the Hon’ble High Court of Calcutta on 22.09.2014. It is notified that the schools must strictly comply the orders”, it said.

“We would expect that keeping in mind the mandate of the Constitution of India, the respect for the National Anthem and the National Flag, the circular issued by the CBSE and other authorities, singing of the national anthem would be taking place in various institutions”, the bench said. PTI

Money demanded by man for business will not come under dowry: Madras HC

The Madras High Court on Wednesday ruled that money demanded by a man from his in-laws for doing business does not come under the category of ‘dowry’.Disposing of a petition filed by the man’s family against a complaint of dowry harassment, Justice CT Selvam of the Madurai bench said money demanded by a person from his wife and in-laws for investing in business cannot be construed as dowry demand and tried under Section 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said it was necessary for a complainant to prove that money was demanded only as dowry. The Judge accepted the petitioner’s submission that money had been demanded for conduct of business, but that the same was not demanded as dowry.Such a demand for money for conduct of business would attract IPC Section 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty), the judge said and ordered that the petitioners be prosecuted under this provision, apart from IPC Sec. 506(I) (criminal intimidation).The Judge exonerated the complainant’s father-in-law, saying he was in no way connected with the case.He directed the Judicial Magistrate in Tiruchirapalli, where the case was filed in December last year, to prosecute the victim’s husband, mother-in-law and two sisters-in-law alone.

Had issued erroneous order due to frustration: Justice CS Karnan

Justice C S Karnan of the Madras High Court, who courted controversy by staying the CJI’s order transferring him to Calcutta High Court, on Tuesday admitted that he had issued an “erroneous” order due to his “mental frustration resulting in the loss of his mental balance.”In a letter to the Chief Justice of India and two Supreme Court judges – Justices J S Khehar and R Banumathi- Justice Karnan claimed he was “disturbed” due to various incidents where he was “ridiculed” by some judges due to which he was frustrated.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”On February 15, 2016, I had sent an erroneous order due to my mental frustration resulting in loss of mental balance since I was disturbed through various incidents,” Justice Karnan said.In his letter, he also said that “hereafter, I will still continue to foster a harmonious attitude to one and all, and will appreciate your kind reciprocation and oblige.” He gave two instances of harrassment and “ridicule” against him to buttress his point and said he had sent a complaint to the Chairman of National Commission of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and other high dignitaries three years ago.The media had reported the incident and “urged me to reveal the names of the Judges who indulged in such ugly pranks but I refused to do so only to uphold the sanctity of the judiciary and also maintain communal harmony,” he said.Justice Karnan had on February 15 stayed his transfer order, a development which took place after the apex court had asked the Chief Justice of Madras High Court not to assign any judicial work to him.The same day the apex court had suspended Justice Karnan’s order and made it clear that all administrative and judicial orders passed by him after the issuance of proposal of his transfer from Madras High Court to Calcutta High Court shall remain stayed till further orders.The apex court had passed the directions on an application moved by the Registrar of Madras High Court, who is also private secretary to the Chief Justice, seeking an order to restrain Justice Karnan from doing any judicial work.

University of Madras results to be declared on February 18

All students who are waiting for their University of Madras exam results need wait no longer. The UG, PG courses and semester exam results are to be declared on February 18.The University of Madras had conducted exams for BA, BCom, BCA, BBA, MCA, MA, M Com, Msc and other exams in November 2015. Those who have written the exams can access the results by logging any of the following websites: http://www.results.unom.ac.in or http://www.ideunom.ac.in and egovernance.unom.ac.in<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>If any student wants a re-evaluation of their exam paper, they can apply for this from February 19 onwards.

Justice CS Karnan’s order stayed by Supreme Court

Justice CS Karnan of the Madras High Court on Monday courted yet another controversy by “staying” CJI’s order transferring him to Calcutta High Court, which was suspended late in the evening by the Supreme Court with a direction that he will not be assigned any judicial work.On a day of fast-moving developments, the news of Justice Karnan taking on the CJI came after an apex court court bench asked the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court not to assign any judicial work to him. The bench comprising Justices J S Khehar and R Banumathi had stopped short of directing that Justice Karnan would not take suo motu cognizance of his transfer and pass judicial order. The bench passed the order after it was brought to its notice by High Court’s senior advocate K K Venugopal that the controversial judge has listed the issue of transfer before him.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The bench had restrained itself from passing any such specific order but after the lunch recess, Justice Khehar who was sitting in another bench of five judges, was informed about the development prompting him to remark that the order would be modified in consultation with Justice Banumathi. The late evening order made it clear that all administrative and judicial orders passed by Justice Karnan after the issuance of proposal of his transfer from Madras High Court by February 12 letter shall remain stayed till further orders.”Having taken note of the situation, in our view it would be appropriate that Justice C S Karnan should hear and dispose of only such matters as are specially assigned to him by the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court.”It will be open to the Chief Justice of the High Court, not to assign any further administrative/judicial work to him. This would imply, that no other orders shall be passed by Justice C.S. Karnan, suo-motu or otherwise, in any matter not specially assigned to him,” read the final order of the two-judge bench of Justice Khehar and Justice Banumathi.The bench also said “The operation of all or any administrative/judicial order(s) passed by Justice C S Karnan, after the issuance of the proposal of his transfer from the Madras High Court dated February 12, 2016.(unless specially assigned to him, by the Chief Justice), shall remain stayed till further orders.It also said that the instant order shall be furnished to Justice C S Karnan, by the Registrar General of the High Court and “It shall be open to the Judge to enter appearance before this Court, in case he is so advised (in respect of the instant/pending matter).

Manohar Parrikar says he was aware of possible avalanche risk in Siachen glacier

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday said his ministry was aware of the possible risk of avalanche at Siachen glacier but not of the exact spot where the snow slide struck killing ten soldiers earlier this month.”We had the information about the risk of avalanche in Siachen glacier. However, this information was not meant for this particular place (where the disaster occurred),” Parrikar said while addressing media on the sidelines of ‘Make In India’ event in Mumbai.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ten soldiers, including a junior commissioned officer (JCO) of Madras Regiment, were trapped under tonnes of snow after their post was hit by avalanche at the altitude of 19,000 feet close to the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan on February 3.While all of them were confirmed dead earlier, the rescuers found Lance Naik Hanmanthappa Koppad alive under snow after six days. However, he died on February 11.”Still, I am personally monitoring each and every case relating to the battle casualty on monthly basis so as to ensure that the families of the victims get all the relief in time,” Parrikar said.Replying to a query on the report of supply of F-16 planes by the US to Pakistan, the minister said, “Only a notification for the proposed supply of F-16 planes to Pakistan is issued by the US Congress. However, we have already raised an objection to the US’ move on the issue”.India had already conveyed its “displeasure and disappointment” over the Obama administration’s decision to sell eight F-16 jets to Pakistan worth nearly USD 700 million.

Madras High Court judge CS Karnan ‘stays’ CJI order on his transfer

Known for his penchant for controversies, Justice CS Karnan of Madras High Court on Monday “stayed” the order of the Chief Justice of India transferring him to Calcutta High Court.Under law, a lower court cannot sit in judgment over an order of higher court, more so the Supreme Court. In a suo motu order, Justice Karnan said, “Your Lordship’s proposal for my transfer to the Calcutta High Court, citing better administration, has already been answered on an initial xerox copy of the present hard copy sent by Your Lordship.” Referring to judgment by a nine-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Justice S Ratnavel Pandian in 1993, he said the CJI’s proposal of transfer goes against this judgement.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Besides the CJI’s order is indicative of being an administrative order.” While referring to the order, he said he was staying the February 12 2016 order of the CJI, recommending his transfer to the Calcutta High court.Justice Karnan also requested the CJI to submit a written statement on the issue through his subordinates by April 29.”Till such time, this interim order may be operated upon.” He also requested the CJI “not to interfere” with his jurisdiction. Justice Karnan sent a copy of the judicial order to the President, Prime Minister, Union Law Minister and to other political leaders, including Sonia Gandhi, Ram Vilas Paswan and Mayawati, as well as National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Siachen Braveheart: 5 caricatures paying tribute to Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad

The 33-year-old Siachen braveheart, Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad, fought the odds for six days buried deep under snow. He took his last breath on Thursday morning and heart of the nation stopped for a while.People were praying for the recovery of soldier of 19th Battalion of Madras Regiment. Those same praying hands are now paying tribute.Creative minds of the country took to their canvases and poured their heartflet messages.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Manjul for dna – Satish Acharya – Subhani for Deccan Chronicle – Amul – Neelabh Banerjee –

Nation mourns as Siachen hero loses final battle, last rites in Karnataka today

Unaware that her father refused to entertain one more miracle and left to another world to rest in peace, Netra, the year and a half old daughter of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Kopad asked for the notepad of a fellow reporter and played with it while hundreds, with moist eyes, paid their tributes to the brave-heart at Brar Square in Delhi Cantonment here on Thursday.Kopad, who was miraculously pulled out alive on Monday night from under the 25-30ft debris of an avalanche, six days after getting buried, breathed his last at 11.45 am at the Army Research & Referral (R&R) Hospital here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He died despite being put to “maximal life support with aggressive ventilation and dialysis” at R&R, where round-the-clock efforts were being made by a panel of Army doctors and specialists from AIIMs to resuscitate him since Tuesday morning, after being flown in there from Siachen Glacier.He suffered from kidney and liver dysfunction since the day of arrival at the hospital and kept sinking. On Wednesday, chances of his survival dropped when doctors found oxygen deprivation in his brain.Kopad’s shattered wife Mahadevi and 62-year-old mother Basamma, who had flown in from his home district of Dharwad in Karnataka, were by his side when he breathed his last. When the news of Kopad being alive had first come, even as nine of his fellow soldiers from 19 Madras Regiment died in the February 3 avalanche, his family had called it a ‘miracle’ and ‘rebirth’ for him.On Thursday, as a hearse carried his body out of the hospital to Brar Square, an inconsolable wife and mother followed in another vehicle. “He had spoken over the phone to us in the village and enquired about our well-being just a day before the avalanche,” one of his relative, who too came to Delhi to be by his side said.Kopad was serving in Siachen, the world’s highest battlefield, since December 2015. The post that he and his fellow soldiers were guarding was at 19,600 feet and faces temperature well below minus 40 degrees Centigrade and winds up to 100 km and hour.While Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his grief on the Siachen miracle man’s death, defence minister Manohar Parrikar and three services chiefs laid wreaths on his mortal remains wrapped in Tricolour.Kopad’s body was flown to his home state in an Indian Air Force special aircraft later in the evening. His funeral will take place before sunset on Friday.The soldier, who cleared Army recruitment board’s selection in his fourth attempt to join the 19 Madras Regiment, served 10 out of his 13 years of service in difficult and challenging terrains.Meanwhile, efforts to bring out mortal remains of nine others from Siachen base camp, who died in the avalanche, was hampered on third consecutive day on Thursday due to bad weather. According to the forecast, weather will clear only after another 4-5 days.

Villupuram suicides: Madras HC allows second post mortem of girl students

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Thursday allowed a second post mortem on the body of one of the three girl students of a college in Villupuram who allegedly committed suicide recently.

Representational image. IBNLive

Representational image. IBNLive

The court gave the order while allowing an appeal by the father of Saranya against the 9 February order of a single judge, dismissing his petition, seeking a fresh autopsy on the body of his daughter.

The division bench, comprising Justices Satish K Agnihotri and M Venugopal which gave the order, directed that doctors of Government Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, Chennai, conduct the post mortem in this city if it was possible, based on the condition of the body.

If it was not possible to bring the body to Chennai, a team of doctors should go to the place where the body is buried, exhume it and conduct the post mortem at a nearby hospital.

The bench directed RGGGHC doctors to do the post mortem in the presence of Dr Sampathkumar, Head of Forensics Department and vice-principal of Sri Ramachandra Medical College and submit a report to the state CB-CID, probing the case, within two days from date of receipt of the order.

The bench, before which the appeal by Saranya’s father came up, said that after careful consideration and taking note of his plea and the fact that he ought to have subjective satisfaction on the facts of death of his daughter, it was of the view that “no serious prejudice will be caused to anyone by ordering re-postmortem and directing the second post mortem on the body of the appellant’s daughter.”

On 9 February, Justice R Mala had dismissed the petition by the father of Saranya, a student of SVS Naturopathy and Yoga Medical Sciences College, who sought a second post-mortem.

The three students had allegedly committed suicide by jumping into a farm well, unable to bear ‘harassment” by the college management which was accused of demanding “exorbitant” fees.

The court had in January allowed the plea of the father of another student, Monisha, seeking a fresh post-mortem on her body as he expressed doubts over the college’s claim that the students committed suicide.

The petitioner’s counsel had argued that as most internal parts of Monisha had been removed and the body embalmed, the real cause of death of the students would not be known. As all internal parts of Saranya were intact, a second post mortem would establish the real cause of death, he said.

Rejecting this, the judge had pointed out that internal body parts of Monisha were removed and sent for forensic and chemical analysis and a report was awaited. Another post mortem on Saranya’s body could not be ordered merely because internal parts of Monisha had been removed, she said.

The judge directed the Public Prosecutor to file on Friday the status report in the case.

The CB-CID had on 8 February submitted in the court that the autopsy report on Saranya’s body showed the death was not due to drowning.


RIP Siachen braveheart Lance Naik Hanamanthappa; you will live in our hearts

Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad, the Siachen braveheart who defied death for six days buried under snow, passed away on Thursday morning.”Lance Naik Hanamanthappa is no more. He breathed his last at 11:45 am,” a senior army official said.The 33-year-old soldier of the 19th Battalion of Madras Regiment is survived by his wife Mahadevi Ashok Bilebal and two-year-old daughter Netra Koppad.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A medical bulletin released by Army’s Research and Referral Hospital had said that Hanamanthappa had slipped into deep coma despite maximal life support with aggressive ventilation and dialysis.This assessment was made after Hanamanthappa’s condition was reviewed by a team of Critical Care specialists, comprising of HoD of Medicine, Senior Nephrologist, Senior Neurologist and a panel of experts from AIIMS, New Delhi.
ALSO READ Siachen Miracle: A look at Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad’s illustrious careerHanamanthappa was evacuated by a helicopter from the site of the avalanche that hit his post on Siachen Glacier before being shifted to Delhi in an IAF aircraft accompanied by a critical care specialist of the force and a medical specialist from the base camp.
ALSO READ Sand sculpture at Puri beach to pray for Siachen braveheartPrime Minister Narendra Modi, along with Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, had visited the hospital earlier on Tuesday.Modi had said Koppad is an “outstanding soldier” whose “endurance and indomitable spirit” cannot be described in words.”33-year-old Hanamanthappa Koppad was enrolled in 19th Battalion of the Madras Regiment on 25 Oct 2002. The individual displayed high degree of initiative and has served 10 years in difficult and challenging areas out of 13 years of total service.

Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad has served in many difficult terrains

33-year-old Hanamanthappa Koppad was enrolled in 19th Battalion of the Madras Regiment on 25 Oct 2002. The individual displayed high degree of initiative and has served 10 years in difficult and challenging areas out of 13 years of total service. During his illustrious career the individual has served in Mahore (J&K) from 2003 to 2006 where he was actively involved in counter insurgency operations. He again volunteered to serve with 54 Rashtriya Rifles (MADRAS) in J&K from 2008 to 2010 where he displayed indomitable courage and gallant in fighting terrorism during his tenure.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Koppad also volunteered to serve in the North East from 2010 to 2012 where he actively participated in successful operations against NDFB and ULFA. He was serving in the super high altitude areas of Siachen Glacier from Aug 2015 and was chosen for deployment on one of the highest posts at an altitude of 19600 feet since Dec 2015, encountering temperature well below minus 40 degrees Centigrade and winds up to 100 km/hr. He is happily married to Smt Mahadevi Ashok Bilebal and is blessed with a two year old daughter (Netra Koppad).

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