QBullet: CJI Calls For More Judges, PM Pitches for Water Campaign

Read the latest news from the publications this morning.

5 min read
Narendra Modi shakes hands with Chief Justice of India TS Thakur during the inauguration of Joint Conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices. (Photo courtesy: PTI)

1. PM Modi Pitches for Water Campaign

With several parts of the country reeling under severe drought, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called for water conservation through a mass movement. According to an Asian Age report he expressed optimism on an above normal monsoon, which is predicted to bring up to 110 percent of normal rainfall this season.

In his monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat, he also talked about efforts to clean the Ganga and Yamuna rivers, hoping that these would show results soon. During his 30-minute broadcast, Modi also expressed gratitude to one crore households which gave up LPG subsidy in response to his call and exhorted the media to highlight the positive news.

2. Burden on Judiciary: What Forced CJI Thakur to Break Down Before PM

According to the Hindustan Times report Chief Justice of India TS Thakur on Sunday broke down at a meeting in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, lamenting the government’s “inaction” in increasing the number of judges from the present 21,000 to 40,000 to handle the “avalanche” of litigations, saying,

You cannot shift the entire burden on the judiciary. “Nothing has moved” since 1987 when the Law Commission had recommended increase in the number of judges from then 10 judges per 10 lakh people to 50.

3. Memory of Witnesses Weakened: NIA Chief

In the eye of a storm for “weakening terror cases” involving the extreme right wing groups, Sharad Kumar, Director-General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), said in an interview to The Hindu that the agency was handed over the cases after a delay of three or four years, and the memory of most witnesses had weakened over time.

The extreme right wing groups, including Abhinav Bharat, have allegiance to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP.

The agency had “no control over the memory of witnesses” who were turning hostile in hordes, and most of them were either close friends or relatives of the accused. The cases were handed over to the NIA after three to four years, when other investigating agencies like the CBI and the Maharashtra ATS had already done their investigations. The cases were already under trial. By the time we took over, most of the evidence had been collected and there was not much scope. The memory of witnesses has weakened over time.
Sharad Kumar, Director-General, NIA

4. BJP to Go All Out, Hit Back Over Uttarakhand

Opposition parties are planning to corner the government over issues, including the imposition of President’s rule in Uttarakhand in the second half of the Budget Session, reports The Asian Age.

The government’s floor managers have decided hit back at the Congress on the Uttarakhand issue by citing specific cases of the use of Article 356 by successive governments in the past. The Congress has made it clear that it would seek a discussion on the contentious issue despite the government’s claim that the matter, being sub-judice, cannot be deliberated upon.

Also Read:
Uttarakhand Row: The Sordid Tale of a Govt’s ‘Constitutional Sin’
Centre’s Action in Uttarakhand is a Throwback to Congress Culture

5. No Water, No Weddings in Parched Bundelkhand

As 50 districts of Uttar Pradesh reel under severe drought, the situation in Kapsa is critical, reports The Hindu. The village has no tube well or canal close by. Its five ponds have all dried up, and of the 20 hand pumps, only seven are functional but high salinity makes this water non-potable.

The only relief has come from two water tankers that supply a limited quantity of water at intervals.

While caste, class and religion are routine factors in any arranged marriage, proximity to the nearest well in the groom’s village has become a crucial element in deciding nuptials in drought-hit Bundelkhand.

6. Odd-Even Shadow on Parliament, Some MPs Want Exemption

With the upcoming Budget session that begins on Monday, some MPs are seeking exemption from the odd-even policy. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan called an all-party meeting on Sunday to discuss the agenda.

Volunteers stand on Delhi roads holding placards during Odd-Even Phase 2. (Photo: IANS)
Volunteers stand on Delhi roads holding placards during Odd-Even Phase 2. (Photo: IANS)

Jithender Reddy of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen’s Asaduddin Owaisi demanded that the Lok Sabha secretariat write to the Delhi government to keep members of Parliament out of the plan, reports the Hindustan Times. Parliament was not in session when the odd-even plan was introduced in January.

Also Read: Odd-Even: Govt to Run 6 Special Buses to Ferry MPs to Parliament

7. Kanhaiya Wrongly Labelled ‘Anti-National’, Says Uddhav Thackeray

President of Shiv Sena, Uddhav Thackeray said, on Sunday said it was wrong on the government’s part to label JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar as “anti-national”.

Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Photo: PTI)
Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Photo: PTI)
Who gave birth to Kanhaiya Kumar in the first place? The government should think over this. It is wrong to label him anti-national.
Uddhav Thackeray

If youth were branded “anti-national” in this manner, they would not be able to work freely for the country and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would forfeit the support of the youth, he warned.

8. Vijay Mallya’s Passport Revoked, But Bringing him Back a Long Shot

The Ministry of External Affairs revoked erstwhile liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s passport on Sunday as the government stepped up efforts to bring him back from the UK to face investigation in India, where he is wanted for alleged bank loan default and money laundering.

The ministry was not satisfied with the 60-year-old Rajya Sabha MP’s response to a show cause notice that asked why his diplomatic passport should not be revoked or impounded. The government had earlier suspended his travel document.

Besides, the enforcement directorate (ED) investigating his case had approached the ministry to initiate the deportation process after a Mumbai court issued a non-bailable warrant against him on 18 April.

Also Read: Non-Bailable Warrant Issued Against Vijay Mallya – What Next?

9.Bomb Banane ka Asaan Tarika: How ‘ISIS Recruits’ Got Tips Online

According to report in The Indian Express, a document titled ‘Bomb banane ka asaan tarika (Easy way to make a bomb)’ posted on the website justpaste.it, with instructions on how to make bombs using household materials like matchsticks, was shared among suspected Indian recruits of the Islamic State (ISIS), security agencies have found.

Instructions to access the nearly 12-page document were sent to several suspected recruits through secure messaging platforms like Kik, investigations by agencies such as the NIA into the activities of those arrested from across the country for alleged IS links have shown.

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