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CJI HL Dattu refuses to comment on intolerance debate


New Delhi: Outgoing Chief Justice of India HL Dattu on Tuesday refused to join the ongoing debate on intolerance saying that as the chief of country’s judiciary, it would not be proper for him to comment on this issue.

There is a debate going on in parliament and other places. As the head of an institution, if I say anything it would not be proper,

Interacting with media persons a day before his last working day, Chief Justice Dattu, who retires on December 3 and will be succeeded by Justice T.S.Thakur, described his tenure as the CJI and earlier as an apex court judge as “satisfactory” and said he did the best he could do for the institution.

If it happens, it is OK, if it does not happen, even then it is OK. There are so many things to do in the life.

He evaded a question about his possible appointment as National Human Rights Commission head.

The best I could do I have done. I have answered my conscience. I have answered my Guru and I have answered my God,

Reiterating the position he had articulated in the court on Monday on the nature of public interest litigation, Chief Justice Dattu said: “PIL should be for a cause and not which I had dealt yesterday (seeking CBI probe into the nationality of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi).”

Making it clear that PILs should not be politically-inspired and individual-centric, he said that they should address the larger issue of concerning common man like old age homes.

“There is a lot to be done in this area, otherwise it will make no sense to the people at large and it would be a nuisance,” he said, noting that during his tenure as CJI, the number of PILs came down “drastically” from eight to nine PILs to just one and two now. He said that every PIL should not be before the apex court only and should be before the high courts too.

On criticism of judicial functioning including judicial overreach, he said: “A judge should not be bothered about what others say but must be answerable to his conscience, Guru and God.”

Saying that judgments should be delivered in a reasonable time after being reserved, he said that at times. there are delays as ticklish issues are involved and there is a differing perception among the judges who have heard the cases.

With his tenure seeing pendency of cases coming down from 64,000 to 58,000, he expressed general satisfaction on the working of the taxation bench, social justice bench and the two benches dealing with criminal cases.

Expressing concern over the long pendency of cases, he said cases before the apex court had come down, but 220 new cases were filed every day.

He said that many cases involving hearing by five judges could not be taken up as it was not possible to spare that many judges as it affected other cases. Even a bench of three judges was a difficulty, he said.

Chief Justice Dattu had no regrets that during his tenure he could not appoint judges saying that litigation involving a challenge to the validity of the NJAC took a bit longer.

Whatever foundation I have laid for improvement will be taken forward and I have no doubt about it,


He also added that today Supreme Court looks “good and clean”.

On a personal note, he said that it was a misnomer that the judges enjoy their holidays saying that most of the times they are engaged with the cases and during holidays, they focus on writing judgments of the matters on which orders have been reserved.

“It is a misnomer that judges enjoy their holidays,” he said pointing out that during his tenure, he had never ventured beyond Connaught Place or Khan Market.

(Inputs from IANS)

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Dadri lynching: ‘Government is prepared for CBI investigation’


New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said anyone seeking to disturb communal amity will not be spared and that the government was prepared for a CBI probe into the lynching of a Muslim man in Dadri so that the truth comes out.

Replying to a debate in the Lok Sabha on intolerance, Rajnath Singh said the allegations against the government over intolerance started with the lynching.

He said the preliminary report of the Uttar Pradesh government did not mention communalism, beef, or any planned murder.

He said the initial investigation by Uttar Pradesh did not reach a conclusion and the matter can be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation if the state government wanted it.

The central government is prepared (for a CBI probe) so that the truth comes out,

As Rajnath Singh talked about differences between Islamic sects in countries such as Iraq and Bahrain, opposition members protested and asked him to focus on the situation in India and controversial remarks of some ministers.

He said, “India is, was, and will be tolerant“, and the subject of the debate was “dangerous and self-destroying“.

Rejecting charges of intolerance hurled at the government, he said the BJP and Prime Minister Modi were the worst victims of intolerance in politics.

The country will decide who is intolerant. As far as the government is concerned, we will not allow intolerance in any circumstances,

He reached out to the opposition and promised that mistakes, if any, would be rectified by the government.

If anybody tries to disturb communal amity, he will not be spared,

The home minister said he was prepared to meet the intellectuals who have returned awards. “Let’s talk,” he said, adding that the government was willing to take any step towards harmony and correct mistakes if any.

Rajnath Singh said an attempt was made to defame the Modi government by returning literary and other awards.

(Inputs from IANS)

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Mehbooba Mufti: ‘Indian Muslims follow real Islam’


New Delhi: Referring to Muslims who rejected the two-nation theory to stay back in India, Mehbooba Mufti, PDP MP and BJP alliance partner, told Lok Sabha on Friday, that “nobody can ask them to leave. For, this country owns them and they own this country.”

Mufti, who still has an opposition bench seat, said that though tolerance may be lacking in “politicians who are only concerned about elections”, it still exists among the people of India.

“Let us make our country a showcase window of harmony and what true Islam is all about,” said Mufti, quoted TOI.

In an obvious reference to the attacks faced by Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan for the comments on intolerance, Mufti said, “To those who ask (Muslims) to go to Pakistan, I want to say that the country owns us and we own the country.”

“The system may have failed but the people have never failed,” Mufti said in her impactful speech regarding the spirit of tolerance in the nation. She added that the fact that India is a tolerant nation was “proved every time, whether it is after Dadri recently, or Bhagalpur or Gujarat or any other riots…”

Mufti said that the reason behind this was “also because the Hindu majority (community) is very tolerant. Babasaheb (Ambedkar) must have taken tolerance from Hinduism. The way Hinduism has tolerance, perhaps no one has it. The way historians, authors and scientists have been protesting and returning their awards… the way they came out in protest keeps the nation alive. I salute that India,” she said.

“In Pakistan or Syria even if a Muslim is killed one cannot open their mouth,” she added.

Mufti praised Ambedkar extensively on his foresight when preparing the Constitution. She said that “unlike the present day politicians who think about next election”, Ambedkar’s “thought about future generations while drafting the constitution” is evident in its inclusiveness.

“He gave us an inclusive Constitution… Jammu and Kashmir was the only Muslim majority state which was part of India…” said Mufti, citing that the Article 370 of the Constitution which grants special autonomous status to J&K was formulated “with understanding and sensitivity”. It is steps like this which go to show “our nation is the most tolerant nation”, remarked Mufti.

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Intolerance: Media conspiracy to manipulate elections, says VK Singh

VK Singh
MoS External affairs General VK Singh

The intolerance debate in India was termed as “the unnecessary creation of very imaginative minds who are being paid with a lot of money” by Union Minister V K Singh, who called the entire hoopla a political move created to affect the Bihar assembly elections.

Singh was attending the two-day Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Los Angeles in place of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who had to return mid-way from Dubai due to the Paris terror attacks.

Speaking on the intolerance issue, the former army chief, Singh said that he didn’t want to comment on “how the Indian media works”. Citing “all the funny things that are being talked about intolerance”, he brought to notice the fact that just “when the Delhi (Assembly) elections took place, suddenly we found a spate of articles and a lot of hysteria that was created that churches are being attacked, the Christian community is being isolated etc.”

“A small incidence of theft in a church was depicted as an attack on church. Why? Because there was somebody who was trying to garner votes; and the media was playing the ball. Whether it was being paid or not paid, I do not know. That’s a decision or opinion that you have to make,” he added.

“I am just giving you the facts. The day that election was over all the hoopla was gone,” he alleged.

The media plays a huge role in directing the angle that a nation takes in viewing certain events. Singh drew comparison between this issue and that of the intolerance debate fizzling out after the Bihar polls.

“Same is (the case with) this intolerance debate. The moment Bihar elections are over, everything is gone! All these people who were talking of intolerance and I would like you to put it down in your papers about what happened when a Gandhian (Anna Hazare) in his 70’s protesting against corruption was picked up in the middle of a night and put into Tihar (Jail). Which was the government in place at that time?” he asked.

“Have these people got any moral authority to even speak on anything? So let’s not unnecessarily confuse ourselves with what is actually happening and the lesson is for the Indian media,” said Singh.

Singh, in his keynote address to the Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Los Angeles, said that the Modi Government had made “inclusiveness” its hallmark.

“Things in India have changed. Inclusiveness has become the hall mark of the government policies. The present climate that is being created in India is investor friendly, to ensure people feel confident in investing and to ensure that you reap the benefit of investing in India,” Singh said.

While the rising protests on the grounds of “growing intolerance” in India, along with the number of awards returned by various intelligentsia members speak about the fear of the Indian democracy “coming apart” in the present atmosphere, the BJP-led government has dismissed the issue as  “politically” motivated and a “manufactured rebellion”.

(Inputs from PTI, Indian Express)