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Lawyers, judges rise above differences in quest for justice: CJI

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Hyderabad, March 27 (IANS) Chief Justice of India Justice D.Y. Chandrachud on Wednesday said that he feels social media exacerbates differences between people but lawyers and judges rise above the differences in the common quest for justice.

In his address after laying the foundation stone for the new Telangana High Court complex, to come up adjacent to the Prof Jayashankar Telangana State Agriculture University at Rajendranagar here, the CJI mentioned that lawyers belong to different ideologies, different regions, come from different cultural backgrounds, and belong to different religions.

“But the most important thing that marks out all of us lawyers is the great syncretic tradition in India which is that in the work that we do, we rise above our birthmarks which define our existence. Our birthmarks are our reason for existence but as lawyers and as judges who come from the bar, we rise above those birthmarks in the sense that our identity is universal identity which is the quest for justice in the framework of the Constitution governed by the rule of law,” he said.

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“In the world around us, as we find so many differences, I think technology and social media exacerbate those differences between people but something that stands out within our institution is our universality, our ability to stand with each other and our ability to pursue a common quest for justice. That is truly the hallmark of the judiciary and of the bar which is one of the richest tributaries of the judiciary in our country,” he added.

The CJI noted that the high court is a public space for the contestation of ideas, values, rights, duties and obligations and above all, it represents the supremacy of the judiciary.

“The High Court represents not only a public space for contestation but also represents a public space where reason, dialogue and the art of persuasion and traditions are still valued,” he said.

He termed the new High Court building a watershed in the history of Telangana.

“The dignity with which judges work and lawyers can work defines the dignity of the institution itself,” he observed.

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Recalling that he, as the administrative judge, worked in many district courts, he said many district courts lacked even a common washroom for young women and young women judges.

Citing the report on the state of the Indian judiciary recently put out by the Supreme Court through the Centre of Research and Planning, he said that reports show and demonstrate a significant deficit in infrastructure not merely in district judiciary but in high courts as well.

“Our judges must have a sense of belonging. They must have a sense of self-worth and lawyers must have a sense of self-worth. Creating new chambers for lawyers, creation of areas where judges and lawyers can interact, areas where young members of the bar are trained are crucial to the evolution of the institution of judiciary,” he said.

CJI Chandrachud also asserted that public spaces often reflect pre-existing social inequalities in society and called for creating new infrastructure intended to reach out to the broader cross-section of society. He observed that the creation of infrastructure plays a significant role in the mainstreaming of communities and groups in society who have been traditionally excluded from the judicial process.

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“We must all remember that public spaces often reflect pre-existing social inequalities in our society. Our infrastructure sometimes reflects subtle signs of exclusion, such as lack of washrooms for women, which I referred to earlier, ramps for the disabled or differently-abled, creches and lactating rooms for young mothers,” he said.

The CJI said though India is a fast-growing economy and market, today there is an internet divide in the country even now as not everyone has access to the internet, not every lawyer has access to a smartphone, and not every citizen has a laptop.

He also digitally launched 32 eSewa kendras of the district judiciary of Telangana.

Supreme Court judges Justice P.S. Narasimha, Justice P.V. Sanjay Kumar, and Justice S.V. Bhatti and Telangana High Court’s Chief Justice of Justice Alok Aradhe attended the event.

–IANS

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Woman ends her life after poisoning minor sons in UP

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Hamirpur, June 23 (IANS) In a shocking incident, a woman allegedly poisoned her two minor sons to death and then committed suicide after a fight with her brother in Muskara in the Hamirpur district of Uttar Pradesh.

According to the family members, Mohini, 26, had a love marriage against the wishes of her family, but was presently living separately from her husband.

Recently, following a fight, her brother had rebuked her and asked her to go back to her husband’s place.

On Saturday evening, she forcibly fed eatables laced with poison to both her sons and then committed suicide by consuming the same.

Police, on being informed, rushed to the spot and shifted all three bodies to the mortuary for post-mortem examination.

Her family members said that Mohini had a love marriage with Hemant, a resident of Kachhuwa village in the Rath area, ten years ago.

“It came to fore that due to frequent disputes between the husband and wife, she had been staying in Noida for the last two years with her two children Gautam, 5, and Harsh, 3, and was earning her living by working as a daily-wager. Last week, she came to her parents’ house in Bandwa from Noida,” the family members said.

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After coming to her maternal home, she had a fight with her brother Golu who asked her to leave the house and go back to her husband’s place.

On Saturday evening, she told her mother and other siblings that she was going to Noida with her two children but instead of going to Noida, she along with her children committed suicide by consuming poison near the premises of Bank of Baroda in the area.

Police station in-charge Shashi Pandey said, “The matter is being investigated thoroughly. Action will be taken against the culprits on the basis of a complaint and autopsy report.”

–IANS

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BJP activist’s body with multiple injuries found in Bengal’s Birbhum

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Kolkata, June 23 (IANS) Tension prevailed in the Birbhum district of West Bengal on Sunday after the body of a local BJP activist with multiple injuries was found on the railway tracks between Nalhati and Chatra railway station.

The deceased activist has been identified as Pradip Mal, a resident of Paikpara village under Nalhati Police station and a Toto-driver by profession. His family members have informed the local police that the deceased person went out of his residence early in the morning without telling anyone where he was going.

As hours passed and he did not return, the family members started searching for him and finally his body was recovered from the railway tracks. His body has been sent for post-mortem while the police have started the investigation.

The local police said that there is a possibility of his death after being hit by the passing train however BJP’s Birbhum district president Dhruba Saha has demanded a proper investigation.

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“There was tension in the area where he lived before the Lok Sabha polls. He was a very active and dedicated party worker. I heard that the local Trinamool Congress leadership is trying the spread information that the death was a result of suicide. I am demanding a thorough investigation in the case,” Saha said.

–IANS

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Yogi Adityanath pays floral tribute to Shyama Prasad Mukherjee on his death anniversary

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Lucknow, June 23 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday said that BJP ideologue Shyama Prasad Mukherjee made the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of a united India, advocating for one nation, one leader, and one law.

Paying floral tribute to Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, the founder President of Bharatiya Jana Sangh on his death anniversary at the Civil Hospital premises, Hazratganj, the Chief Minister said: “Following the country’s independence in 1947 and the implementation of the constitution in 1950, the Congress-led government attempted to undermine national integrity by introducing Article 370.”

He said that in response, Mukherjee, who was then serving as the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, resigned from his post and launched a massive movement to abolish Article 370 in Kashmir, for the prestige of the country.

The Chief Minister said that Mukherjee, along with thousands of workers of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, launched a campaign for the Kashmir Satyagraha and sacrificed his life.

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“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the NDA government has honoured the sentiments of one nation, one leader, and one law by abrogating Article 370 in Kashmir,” the Chief Minister said.

He said that this is a true tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for Kashmir, the country’s integrity, and border security.

–IANS

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War of words hots up between TDP, YSRCP over 'illegal’ party offices

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Amaravati, June 23 (IANS) The war of words between the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) intensified on Sunday after demolition of the latter’s central office in Guntur District and notices to two more offices in Visakhapatnam.

While YSRCP has termed the action of the NDA government-led by TDP as political vendetta, the latter defended its action on the ground that the party offices were being built ‘illegally’.

Launching a fresh attack on YSRCP, state minister and TDP General Secretary, Nara Lokesh on Sunday posted on his ‘X’ handle pictures of YSRCP offices being built at various places in Andhra Pradesh and alleged that the previous government led by former Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy allotted 42 acres in 26 districts for 33 years for a nominal lease of Rs.1,000 per acre.

“Jagan, is Andhra Pradesh your grandfather Raja Reddy’s property,” asked Lokesh, who is son of Chief Minister and TDP President, N Chandrababu Naidu.

Lokesh alleged that Jagan was constructing ‘palaces’ with Rs.500 crore ‘looted’ from the people.

“On these 42 acres worth more than Rs. 600 crore, grabbed for your land thirst, 4,200 poor can be given house sites. With Rs.500 crore being spent on your luxurious palaces, houses can be constructed for 25,000 poor,” posted Lokesh.

“What is this madness for palaces? Is there no end to your thirst for money,” asked Lokesh.

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The TDP alleged that Jagan Mohan Reddy built ‘palaces’ for himself in nine cities including Hyderabad and Bengaluru and he was now building ‘palaces’ for his party offices with public money and without approvals from authorities concerned.

It alleged that 42.24 acres of government land in 26 districts was allotted for YSRCP’s offices for a 33-year lease at a nominal cost of Rs.1,000 per acre.

“The value of the 42.24 acres land is Rs.688 crore while more than Rs.500 crore of public money is being spent to build these palaces,” it said.

The TDP claimed that permissions were not taken for YSRCP offices, except in Prakasam District.

The YSRCP has hit back at the ruling party, reminding it that between 2014 and 2019, the TDP government had allotted government lands in 10 districts on lease for 33 to 99 years for Rs.1,000 per acre.

“If you do it, it’s politics and if we do, it’s land grabbing,” reads a post on YSRCP’s official handle on ‘X’.

“Have you not issued a GO and built TDP offices across the state,” the Opposition party asked.

It claimed that the land for NTR Bhavan (TDP office) in Hyderabad was also allotted in the same way.

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Alleging that its central office, which was nearing completion, was demolished in an act of political vendetta, YSRCP said if its government had resorted to a similar act, no TDP office would have remained in the state.

The under-construction office building of YSRCP at Seethanagaram of Tadepalli Mandal in Guntur District was demolished by the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) and Mangalagiri Tadepalli Municipal Corporation (MTMC) authorities in the early hours of Saturday.

The APCRDA had issued a notice on June 10 to the YSRCP for taking up construction on the ‘illegally occupied’ land of 870.40 square meters within the boat yard compound of the irrigation department.

The APCRDA stated that the previous government leased the two acres of land, which was a boat yard and water body, to the YSRCP on lease at Rs 1,000 per acre, per annum for 33 years for their party office.

It was also alleged that the party undertook construction without getting approvals from the irrigation department and the MTMC.

The YSRCP had filed a writ petition in the High Court, seeking orders to the CRDA and MTMC not to take any coercive action against the building structure, until hearing was completed.

Claiming that the High Court had ordered a halt on any demolition activity, the Opposition party has slammed the government for violating the court’s order.

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YSRCP plans to approach the court on Monday, seeking criminal action against those who carried out the demolition.

YSRCP leaders termed it a ‘destructive’ vendetta of the TDP-led NDA government.

Jagan Mohan Reddy alleged that Chandrababu Naidu had taken vendetta politics to another level. He interpreted the demolition as a signal of the government’s aggressive stance for the next five years.

Even as a war of words erupted over the demolition, the Town Planning wing of the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) issued show-cause notices to YSRCP seeking an explanation over ‘unauthorised construction’ of the party offices at Yendada and Anakapalli.

It was alleged that YSRCP proceeded with the construction of G+1 building over a stretch of two acres at Yendada without permission from the authorities concerned.

Similarly, construction of the YSRCP office at Anakapalli was taken up allegedly without approvals.

YSRCP leader and former minister Gudivada Amarnath removed the notice pasted on the office at Yedanda.

He claimed that the land was allotted in 2022 and the construction work began in March 2023.

He also stated that around Rs. 13 lakh and Rs. 30 lakh were paid to the government as taxes for plan approvals for the party offices at Yendada and Anakapalli respectively.

–IANS

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SC to hear issue of tree felling in Delhi's Ridge area

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New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) Supreme Court (SC) will hear the issue of tree felling in Delhi’s Ridge area where a suo moto notice of criminal contempt was issued to the Vice Chairperson of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).

As per the causelist published on the website of the apex court, a special vacation bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan will hear the matter on June 24.

In the previous hearing, the top court had asked the DDA Vice Chairperson why he should not be prosecuted for criminal contempt of court for wilful breach of its orders prohibiting the felling of trees.

“We are not prepared to believe that the contractor entrusted with the work of widening the road has indulged in cutting trees of his own volition. Obviously, it has to be on the basis of the instructions from the officers of the DDA,” it had said.

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Further, the Supreme Court had said that the DDA Vice Chairperson misled the Lt Governor, who is the ex-officio Chairperson, by forwarding a proposal to set up a committee of experts to minimise the trees felled.

“We hope and trust that the Hon’ble Lt. Governor will take this issue very seriously, not only in his capacity as the Lt. Governor of Delhi but also in his capacity as the Chairman of the DDA,” it had added.

The top court was of the view that apart from the statutory requirement of compulsory afforestation, 100 new trees per every tree felled must be planted by the DDA.

It was dealing with contempt pleas alleging that a large number of trees in the ridge had been felled there by the DDA to construct an approach road between the Chhattarpur Road and the SAARC University near Maidan Garhi.

In an earlier order, the SC had said that other areas having morphological ridges were required to be protected and no permission for construction should be given there.

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–IANS

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