QBullet: Cong Sniffs Corruption in Rafale Deal; Odd-Even Plans
1. Cong, BJP Spar Over AgustaWestland Scandal, Rafale Fighter Aircraft
The Congress on Tuesday accused the government of compromising national security and interest in the purchase of 36 Rafale aircraft, a charge dismissed by the BJP as an attempt to divert attention from the AgustaWestland chopper scandal.
Although the then Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had signed a deal with Dassault Aviation in 2012 for the purchase of 126 aircraft, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) said it was not viable and structured to fail. The NDA bought 36 Rafale fighters in a so-called G2G (government to government) deal.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a press briefing that the new deal meant each fighter would cost Rs 1,570 crore as against Rs 526 crore under the older deal. A spokesperson for India’s defence ministry didn’t respond to a request seeking comment.
2. Delhi Has a New Idea: Apply Odd-Even Scheme to Neighbours
The Delhi government on Tuesday filed a fresh application before the National Green Tribunal (NGT), continuing to seek exemption for two-wheelers and women drivers from the odd-even scheme. It also sought that directions be issued to governments of states adjacent to Delhi for implementing the car-rationing scheme, sources said.
This will include cities within the NCR where pollution levels have been high – at times higher than Delhi – such as Ghaziabad and Noida in Uttar Pradesh, Gurgaon and Faridabad in Haryana, and parts of Rajasthan.
Sources said the issue of including other state governments, in the national capital region, was suggested earlier this week to the government’s legal team by the Aam Aadmi Party.
3. CJI Gets to Decide Who Hears Case Even If Charge Against Him
Moving to end a raging courtroom debate over a plea seeking an SIT probe into alleged judicial corruption in a case involving a blacklisted Lucknow medical college, the Supreme Court dismissed the petition Tuesday, saying the CBI FIR in the matter was not against any sitting judge of the court.
The controversy, a three-judge bench ruled, also settled the legal position that the Chief Justice of India (CJI) alone had the power to assign a case to a bench even if there were allegations against him in the matter.
Dismissing a plea by advocate Kamini Jaiswal, the bench of Justices RK Agrawal, Arun Mishra and AM Khanwilkar said:
4. Alwar Killing: Arrested Men Identified as 'Gau Rakshaks'
The two men arrested for assaulting three villagers who were transporting cows in Govindgarh area early on Friday – one of them, Ummar, 42, died in the attack – have identified themselves as “gau rakshaks” and have confessed to the assault as well as mutilation of Ummar’s body, the Alwar police said on Tuesday.
The police also claimed that Ummar and his two companions, Tahir and Javed, were “habitual” cattle smugglers and were using a stolen pickup truck to transport cows.
“We have arrested Ramveer Gujjar and Bhagwan Singh, both in their 30s, who have confessed to the assault. They are residents of villages which are near the village where the assault took place,” said Alwar Additional Superintendent of Police Mool Singh Rana.
5. Caught in 'Sex CD' War, Hardik Patel Gets Support From Congress
The social media war in the run-up to the December assembly elections in Gujarat got murkier on Tuesday as a fresh set of videos showing Patidar leader Hardik Patel with a woman went viral.
The three clips surfaced on Tuesday – authenticity of which could not be verified – reportedly show the 24-year-old Patidar quota crusader with a woman in a room. They are accompanied by two other men, allegedly co-conveners of Patel-led outfit Patidar Anamat Aandolan Samiti (PAAS).
In the clips, recorded through a hidden camera and dated 22 May, all three men have their heads tonsured. The alleged get-together happened a day after Nyay Yatra in Botad when PAAS members tonsured their heads in protest ahead of the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
6. Ryan Murder: CBI Told My Son They'd Kill Us, Says Father of Accused
Two days after members of the juvenile justice board said he had admitted to killing Pradhyumn Thakur and even explained how he had done so, the Class 11 Ryan International School student held for the 8 September murder told a child protection officer (CPO) he was being framed and hadn't killed anyone.
In a separate interaction with TOI on Tuesday, the student's father accused the CBI of torturing and scaring the boy to own up to a crime "he hasn't committed". "CBI officers had threatened to shoot his entire family if he didn't confess to the murder. It was after this threat that he admitted to the murder," he said.
7. 'Role of Judges' in Medical Admissions: SC Junks Plea With a Rap on Knuckles for Advocate
The tumult in the country's top court over the alleged role of judges in admissions to private medical colleges ended on a rather tame note on Tuesday, with a three-judge bench rejecting the petition seeking an SIT probe into the matter, while limiting itself to merely "deprecating" the conduct of advocate-petitioner Kamini Jaiswal as "unethical, unwarranted and contemptuous".
Just a day after the court repeatedly warned the petitioner against committing contempt, the bench decided to exercise restraint in order to not deepen the crisis within and the split in the bar. It said the power to initiate contempt called for extreme care and caution for securing public respect and care for the judicial process.
The reluctance to take action notwithstanding, the bench minced few words in delineating the offence it found the petitioner guilty of.
8. Yogi: Hindutva Is Development
Hindutva and development are synonymous and those opposed to Hindutva are "against the nation", Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath told reporters on Tuesday.
"Hindutva and development are the same thing; those who oppose Hindutva are against development; those who are against Hindutva are against the nation," he said before leaving for Ayodhya to kick off the BJP's campaign ahead of statewide civic polls.
In the run-up to and the immediate aftermath of the 2014 general election, the frenzy around Narendra Modi was projected as an endorsement of the development agenda, papering over the contentious issues usually associated with the Sangh parivar's brand of Hindutva.
Source: The Telegraph
9. Suresh Prabhu Signals Focus on New Sectors to Boost Manufacturing, Exports
Commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu has signalled a shift in India's manufacturing and export strategy, with a focus on new emerging sectors such as genomic, while giving a thrust to export of goods that are not currently among the top 10 items shipped out of the country. The new man in Udyog Bhawan is also banking on India's political relationships with countries such as Cuba and many in Africa to push exports to new markets.
Prabhu told TOI that India has to put in place its own model as it seeks to increase the share of manufacturing in GDP from the current level of under 20 percent to increase employment and also help agriculture in segments such as food processing.
"If India has to have a competitive advantage, we can't keep copying others because that has already been used and become redundant. We have to find India's own model and we are identifying that in consultation with global experts and our own industry.
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