Special CBI Court Exempts Advani, Joshi, Uma From Personal Appearance

BJP stalwarts Advani, Joshi and Uma Bharathi have been exempted from personal appearance before the Lucknow CBI case.

Lucknow: Bharatiya Janata Party veteran leaders L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Union Minister Uma Bharti were relieved from personal appearance by a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in connection with the Babri demolition case.

The Special CBI Court in Lucknow framed charges against 12 people, including the trio on May 30.

The court had also asked BJP leader Vinay Katiyar, VHP’s Vishnu Hari Dalmia and Sadhvi Ritambara to present themselves before the court in person.

While directing the accused to present themselves in person, the judge had earlier said that no application for adjournment or exemption from personal appearance shall be entertained.

The Supreme Court had ordered the restoration of a conspiracy charge against them.

The apex court’s April 19 directive that the special court “complete the trial and deliver the judgment within a period of two years” from the date of the judgment may overlap with the holding of the 2019 general election when the temple plank is likely to emerge as an emotive issue.

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Advani, Joshi Out Of Presidential Race

The decision of the SC to order Advani to face trial on the charges of criminal conspiracy in Babri case reduces his chances of becoming the next president of India almost to zero.

New Delhi: Senior BJP leader LK Advani is out of the race for the post of President of India since the Supreme Court has allowed the petition of the CBI on Wednesday. It also directed the Lucknow court to conduct the trial of Advani and others in the charges of criminal conspiracy. The apex court has made it clear that Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharati will have to face the trial. The SC has given two years time for the Lucknow court to dispose the case. I

This development removes Advani and Joshi from the list of the persons to be considered for the top position in the country. There were reports earlier saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in a private gathering that he would pay his ‘Guru Dakshin’ to Advani by making him the president of the republic.

Advani never indicated his willingness to accept such an offer if it is made. But his name is invariably mentioned in every news story on presidential election. The decision of the Supreme Court is a rude shock to many BJP law makers.

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Supreme Court Asks CBI To Speed Up Babri Case Disposal

New Delhi: The apex Court on Monday felt that the Babri demolition case may be revived including the conspiracy charges against BJP senior Leader L.K.Advani. It has asked the CBI to help in speedy disposal of the case.

After hearing CBI’s appeal for dropping charges against Advani along with other BJP leaders like Uma Bharathi, Murali Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh, Supreme Court said it will finalise on March 22nd about these leaders who are facing charge in 25 years old case.

VHP, RSS, Sangh Parivar, along with senior leaders brought down Babri masjid of 16th century claiming it as Ram Janna Bhoomi. The Supreme Court expressed its concern in the delay in disposing of the case.

Bench of justices which include Justice P.C. Ghosh and Justice Nariman urged CBI officials to speed up the process.

Allahabad High Court’s decision of acquitting these top BJP leaders was challenged by CBI in Supreme Court earlier.

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Upset Advani says he feels like quitting Parliament

New Delhi: Veteran leader of the ruling party at the Centre, and member of BJP’s Marg Darshan Mandal, LK Advani spoke of resigning from Lok Sabha after witnessing the near washout of the winter session of Parliament.

He found fault for the second time with Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan for not being able to run the House. The senior most leader had asked Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to convey his anguish to the Speaker. He remained seated for a while after the House was adjourned on Wednesday and members had left. He urged the Home Minister to try to see that the House functions at least on Thursday.  He also asked Rajnath Singh to talk to the leaders of the opposition parties. 

On coming out of the House after it was adjourned, Advani has expressed his desire to quit. He spoke of the way the Parliament used to function during Atal Behari Vajpayee’s regime. Had Vajpayee been in Parliament today, he would have been very sad, said Advani. “Disruptions are so disappointing that I wonder if I should resign from the Lok Sabha,” he told Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani. Tomorrow (Thursday) is the last day of the winter session. If there is no debate tomorrow also, the winter session would be considered a washout,” Advani commented when the BJP and Trinamool Congress MPs came up to him to greet.

The winter session which began on November 16 had 22 sittings with many of the ten important bills that the government had listed to be discussed and passed remaining on the paper. The most important legislation waiting for Parliament’s nod is Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill. The Parliament has cleared only four bills so far in this session.

The government’s decision to ban Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes received flak from the opposition with people standing in  serpentine queues across the country for days together. The essentially cash-based economy has come to a standstill with the invalidation of big currency and in the absence of alternative arrangement. Retail businesses, small industries and construction activity have suffered rendering lakhs of people across the country jobless. 

More than 90 deaths have been reported because of cashless misery. The Trinamool Congress and the Aam Admi Party were the first to raise the banner of revolt followed by the Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party. There have been allegations and counter allegations flying across the floor of Parliament with the Prime Minister spending a short time on two days in the proceedings.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi thought it was better to speak to the people directly rather than facing the opposition in Parliament. Both the sides accused each other of obstructing the proceedings. President Pranab Mukherjee had intervened to ask the members, “For God’s sake, do your job.” But the plea of the head of state had no bearing on the lawmakers.

 Meanwhile, both the Houses of Parliament were adjourned yet again on Thursday without transacting any business. Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress MP in the Upper House, said it was for the first time in independent India that the treasury benches had obstructed the functioning of Parliament.

In turn, aggressive BJP members started attacking the opposition parties in general and the Congress in particular, saying that the opposition had been obstructing debate in the Parliament for almost two weeks. Armed with the copies of a newspaper from India Today group which published the details of the expose that the reporters of Aaj Tak, Hindi channel from the group, have done through a sting operation, BJP members hit out at Congress allegations.

Senior BJP ministers Venkaiah Naidu and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi alleged that the first family of the Congress party (meaning Sonia Gandhi’s family) was the beneficiary in the Agusta deal in which hundreds of crores of rupees were paid as bribe to get the order. They repeatedly accused the Congress party of indulging in scams and laundering black money.

The Congress, on its part, accused the Prime Minister of running away from debate. Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said he had a bombshell with him which he would like to explode in Parliament. He alleged that he was not being allowed to speak in the House because, “The Prime Minister is personally terrified. I have information which shows that Modi is personally corrupt.” The BJP leaders retorted saying that Rahul Gandhi was making a joke of himself and he had no evidence against the PM.

1 Response

  1. kushal1948@gmail.com says:

    It seems the incident of 15 December 2016 to say that veteran Parliamentarian expressed his feeling to resign from Parliament reported in the news could also , like many other incidents round the year , suggest to the relevance or accuracy of this Vedic astrology writer’s predictive article ” 2016 – a woeful year for India with slight cheer at the end” published as early as on 18 January 2016 in online magazine thesop.org

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Debate, yes; confrontation, no

S Madhusudhana Rao

Often, India is described as the largest functional democracy in the world. The tag has been stamped, and endorsed, by successive American presidents for whom it’s a catch phrase to heap praise on this country. Indeed, it is, when compared to other countries surrounding us. The real meaning of ‘functional’ sinks into our minds when we look at the chaos, bedlam and shouting matches that have become hallmarks of parliamentary sessions.

The first thought that crosses an observer’s mind is how can the lawmakers, irrespective of their political affiliations, representing a billion plus population, behave like unruly schoolchildren in a classroom? Individually, many of these honourable members of parliament are intellectuals in their own way but collectively their intellect goes for a toss when they are sharpening their knives to attack the ruling party.

smr

S. Madhusudhana Rao

One could argue, in defence of raucous debates and unruly behaviour of members, that it’s the sign of our vibrant democracy: Sound and fury, with few results at the end. Contrast it with the mother of all parliaments, Westminster, where members rarely give a free reign to their base emotions; if they have to lash out at the ruling party, the opposition takes euphemistic cover. It’s a question of decorum and decency, and the legacy of centuries-old system which we have adopted.

Six decades later, with minor modifications, the system, despite its inherent flaws and drawbacks, is proving resilient in a country that elects lawmakers largely on the basis of caste and creed rather than on merit. After having legitimized the political expediency to make the Indian Westminster model work as a ‘functional democracy’ it often faces a threat of becoming ‘dysfunctional.’  The last few months of UPA government’s tenure was marred by opposition protests in and outside of parliament. By that time scams of mega proportions had started rocking the Manmohan Singh government. For the main opposition party BJP, Congress-led coalition government was game.

A year later, with the reversal of roles, Congress is preparing to turn the tables on the saffron party at the monsoon session of parliament opening tomorrow (Tuesday). The ammunition is ready in the form of Sushma Swaraj-Vasundhara Raje-Lalit Modi links and the mysterious deaths and government jobs-college admissions scam in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh. Topping them is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence despite opposition clamour to open his mouth and demands for the resignation of two chief ministers and one key union cabinet minister.

More significant is, for the first time after Congress’s ignominious defeat in Lok Sabha polls in 2014, the party without an official status of opposition in parliament, has found a gunner in Rahul Gandhi. The young Congress vice-president, fully charged after his political sabbatical, has already fired the first salvo saying the House will not be allowed to function (over the contentious Land Acquisition Bill).

Addressing farm leaders and his party men in Jaipur last week, Rahul hit out at the way the Modi government had resorted to ordinance method to introduce laws. Referring to the land acquisition laws the BJP government has been struggling to pass, Rahul thundered, “It lacked guts to enact through the parliament. The 56-inch-chest will be reduced to a 5.6-inch-chest; this will be done by the people of Hindustan. Not an inch of farmers’ land will get acquired. We will not let these (bills) get passed in the parliament.”

It’s a different matter whether Rahul is now talking street language or playing to the gallery to grab public and party leaders’ attention to prove he graduated to plunge into the rough and tumble of politics. But the message is clear: With just 44 seats in the Lok Sabha and 65 in the Rajya Sabha, Rahul is going to take on formidable BJP and its leader Modi in the monsoon session.

It will be good to see him speak up since a healthy democracy needs strong opposition. But it doesn’t mean adopting an obstructionist policy or denouncing everything what the government wants to do to fulfill an agenda or settling political scores on the floor of the House. On many occasions, BJP had done the same under the stewardship of LK Advani, creating a situation where it had become a tug of war between ruling Congress and opposition BJP. The result was an impasse and waste of time and taxpayers’ money. If such a situation returns, for whatever reason, the monsoon session will be a washout. While the elected representatives engage themselves in testing their vocal power, the people will remain mute witnesses to verbal duels in the House. We, the people, are losers.

There is nothing wrong in venting out one’s own or party’s views in parliamentary democracy. A healthy functioning of the system can be ensured only when different opinions are coalesced. That is possible only when the ruling class and its opponents allow respective members to express their opinions without indulging in slanging matches or personal attacks.

 As it is said, “your opinion is valuable, but I have the right to dissent,” is applicable to both sides in politics. Shunning the other view and suppressing dissent is not the spirit of democracy, nor is it in the best interest of upholding the values of an institution that is expected to represent the will of the people and fulfill their dreams of a prosperous nation. By stalling the legislative proceedings, be at the national or state level, nobody achieves anything except boosting one’s ego.

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