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CPI-M urges NDA government to commute Yakub Memon’s death sentence

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New Delhi: The CPI-M on Wednesday urged the government to commute the death sentence of Mumbai blasts accused Yakub Menon, saying he had chosen to surrender and cooperate with Indian authorities.

While describing the 1993 blasts as “a heinous terrorist attack” that killed 257 innocents, the CPI-M said that Memon’s death sentence would not serve the interests of justice.

“Yakub Memon was part of the conspiracy. But unlike the main actors, he chose to surrender before the Indian authorities and stand trial,” the Communist Party of India-Marxist said in a statement.

“He also brought his family back to India to stand trial.

“He has provided information to the authorities about the involvement of Pakistani personnel in the attack and the shelter given to the terrorists and is therefore also the only witness available to the government.

“Yet, he was singled out for the death sentence while the main perpetrators are at large,” the statement said.

It said it would serve the ends of justice if Yakub Memon’s death penalty was commuted to life sentence.

“Even those convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case with the death sentence have had their sentences commuted to life.

“The CPI-M has been in principle advocating the abolition of the death penalty. Hence Yakub Memon’s mercy petition, which has been filed, should be accepted,” it said.

The CPI-M said it was imperative that the criminals responsible for the deadly Mumbai attack should be brought to book and punished.

“There is ample evidence that the main culprits have escaped the law with the help of agencies across the border.  Every effort has to be made from all forums available to bring them back to India to stand trial and consequent punishment under law.” (IANS)

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Why Does 45th Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra Need ‘Z’-Category Security of Armed NSG Commandos?

Jjustice Depak Misra, who had been recommended as a successor by Justice J.S Khehar in July, becomes the 45th Chief Justice of India and was administered the oath of office by President Ram Nath Kovind.

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Chief Justice of India.
The swearing in ceremony of Justice Dipak Misra as the 45th Chief Justice of India. Twitter
  • Justice Dipak Misra was sworn in as the 45th Chief Justice of India
  • His tenure will span for the next 14 months until his retirement in October 2018
  • Justice Misra is the only CJI to have armed protection of black commandos

New Delhi, August 29, 2017: The Chief Justice of India (CJI) J.S Khehar demitted office on August 27. The next in line was Justice Dipak Misra, who was sworn in on August 28 as the 45th Chief Justice of India at a ceremony held at the Darbar Hall of the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath taking ceremony of Misra, who had been recommended as a successor by Justice J.S Khehar in July this year.

In his career spanning 40 years, Justice Dipak Misra ventured into most realms of the law- civil, criminal, constitutional, revenue services and matters concerning sales tax, proving his grit to take over the new position. But that is not the only intriguing aspect of his career.

Justice Deepak Misra is the first ever Chief Justice of India to have a ‘Z’-category security cover.

The 45th CJI was provided with an upgraded security cover in 2015 after he had received a death-threat letter from terrorist organizations.

Why Would A Supreme Court Judge Need Security Cover?

On July 30, 2015, Justice-Misra headed the three-judge bench in a hearing when Yakub Memon, convicted in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, pleaded for a 14 days’ stay on his death penalty just hours before he was to be hanged. The pleas were starkly dismissed in an incomparable 2:30 am hearing and the judgment went on to become a landmark in the Indian legal history.

However, shortly after the hearing, an anonymous letter enclosed in an envelope threatening Misra of dreadful consequences was delivered at his official residence following which he was provided with a ‘Z’ security cover which remains till date.

ALSO READ: Threat letter to judge who rejected Memon’s mercy plea

A protectee under ‘Z’ category gets security cover from armed commandos of the National Security Guards (NSG) along with an escort vehicle and a pilot vehicle, each having three armed personnel, for the protection of his official vehicle.

Today, Justice Misra is the only top judge to ever use a bullet-proof ambassador car supplemented with a police escort.

Chief Justice of India
CJI Dipak Misra, seen here with Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, President Ram Nath Kovind and PM Narendra Modi. Twitter

However, death threats never stalled the 63-year old Justice Dipak Misra from taking monumental judgments and he has been at the forefront of some of the landmark judgments in the recent history. We take a look at the highlights from his career,

1. In May 2017, Justice Misra doctored the long-awaited landmark ruling and confirmed death penalty of the four convicts in the monstrous 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape that shook the entire world.

2. Justice Dipak Misra also headed the bench that mandated to play the National Anthem in cinema houses before the start of every movie for which he received a lot of flak. He also ordered for the viewers to stand up in “committed patriotism and nationalism” every time the National Anthem and/or the National Flag are featured in the theatres.

3. One of the most noteworthy decisions by Justice Misra include directing all State and Union Territories to upload all FIRs registered on their websites within 24 hours of registration at the police station. The move has made the entire process transparent, allowing the accused to download complaints and seek redressal of their grievances.

4. Justice Misra was also one of the seven judges of the special bench set up by the Supreme Court for a contempt of court hearing against Justice C.A Karman who had levied corruption charged on 20 judges of the High Court. The bench defended the constitutionality of the 150-year old law on criminal defamation and sentenced Karnan to six months in jail.

5. In 2015, a Justice Misra-led bench stayed the Maharashtra government’s ban on dance bars that had mushroomed in Mumbai and other parts of the state during the 90s. However, it maintained that the government must take steps to protect and uphold the dignity of women who performed at these bars.

6. Justice Misra is also known for his strict stand against frivolous litigations. He previously rejected one such appeal that had objected to the use of the term ‘Dhobi Ghat’ in a film’s title and had warned the petitioner.

7. He was also part of the bench that rejected the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to allow for reservations in promotions and asserted that this can only be allowed if there is sufficient supportive data and evidence to justify the decision.

8. Holding chair as the executive chairperson of the National Legal Services Authority, Justice Misra introduced the facility of Legal Assistance Establishment or Nyay Sanyog in states to simplify activities to provide free and faster legal aid to the deprived people.

9. Justice Misra also headed the three-judge bench that instructed the Centre in April 2017 to conduct NEET examination in Urdu from academic year 2018-2019 onwards. NEET examinations are held for students who wish to pursue a graduate medical course or a post-graduate medical course in private or government colleges.

Justice Dipak Misra’s tenure as the 45th Chief Justice of India will span for the next 14 months until he retires in October 2018 and is expected to see judgments in some high-magnitude issues like the validity of the Aadhaar card, the special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir and the Ayodhya land dispute.


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PM Modi pays tribute to Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his 72nd Birth Anniversary

Rajiv Gandhi, born on August 20, 1944, served as the sixth Prime Minister of India from 1984 to 1989

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Mani Ram Bagri with Rajiv Gandhi and others. Source: wikimedia commons

NEW DELHI, August 20, 2016: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday paid tribute to former premier Rajiv Gandhi on his 72nd birth anniversary.

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“Remembering former PM Rajiv Gandhi Ji on his birth anniversary,” Modi tweeted.

Rajiv Gandhi, born on August 20, 1944, served as the sixth Prime Minister of India from 1984 to 1989. He took office after the assassination of his mother, then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984.

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Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in a suicide bombing at Tamil Nadu’s Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991. (IANS)

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AAP, BJP Sikh leaders release Rajiv Gandhi’s video ‘justifying’ 1984 riots

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New Delhi: Demanding that former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s Bharat Ratna award be withdrawn, AAP leader and senior advocate HS Phoolka and BJP’s RP Singh on Thursday released the old video of the former wherein he can be seen justifying the 1984 anti-Sikh riots following the assassination of his mother Indira Gandhi saying “when a big tree falls, the earth shakes”.

The video was released by Phoolka and Singh on Indira Gandhi’s birth anniversary on Thursday during a press conference in New Delhi.

Phoolka has been fighting for securing justice for 1984 Sikh riots victims. He demanded that Rajiv Gandhi’s Bharat Ratna Award be withdrawn for his provocative remarks, accusing him of justifying the 1984 ‘genocide’, The Indian Express reported.

“In 1984, on this day, nation’s prime minister had justified the killing of 3, 000 Sikhs in his address at the boat club in the national capital. He had said that when a big tree falls then the earth shakes. Instead of punishing the culprits of such mass murder, he was justifying it,” said Phoolka.

“A Prime Minister who takes three years even to count the dead bodies of innocent citizens killed in open broad daylight in the capital, a Prime Minister whose party was responsible for a massacre, cannot be a Bharat Ratna. We demand Rajiv Gandhi’s Bharat Ratna’s be taken back,” he said.

Meanwhile, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday said Indira Gandhi taught the nation to stay united and people must follow that path.

“We must learn as much as we can from the life of Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and Maulana Azad…Indira Gandhi taught us how to stand united,” the Congress president said in her speech to commemorate the 98th birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi at the Indian Youth Congress convention here.

“She dedicated her life to the unity of our country,” she said.

Sonia Gandhi said the late prime minister always stood for inclusion and equality, and lauded her for her farsightedness and ushering in Green Revolution in India.

(With inputs from IANS)