Haren Pandya murder: SC upholds conviction of 10 culprits | The Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of 10 men in the March 2003 murder of former Gujarat Home Minister Haren Pandya.

Haren Pandya murder: SC upholds conviction of 10 culprits

Haren Pandya murder: SC upholds conviction of 10 culprits

Haren Pandya murder: SC upholds conviction of 10 culprits

Haren Pandya murder: SC upholds conviction of 10 culprits

Haren Pandya murder: SC upholds conviction of 10 culprits

Haren Pandya murder: SC upholds conviction of 10 culprits
Haren Pandya murder: SC upholds conviction of 10 culprits
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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of 10 men in the March 2003 murder of former Gujarat Home Minister Haren Pandya.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Vineet Saran dismissed the review petitions filed by 10 of 12 convicts in the case. “We have perused the Review Petitions and record of the appeals and are convinced that the order, of which review has been sought, does not suffer from any error apparent warranting its reconsideration. The Review Petitions are, accordingly, dismissed,” the bench held.

The review petitions did not mention any error apparent on the face of record in its judgment, the bench said.

In July 5, the apex court had sentenced nine out of 12 convicts to life imprisonment after setting aside their acquittal by the Gujarat High Court. Others were sentenced to varying jail terms as was awarded by a POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act) court in 2007.

Pandya, who was a minister in the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat, was shot dead on March 26, 2003, in Ahmedabad while he was out on a morning walk.  According to the Central Bureau of Investigation, Pandya was killed to avenge the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat.

“We restore the conviction and sentence imposed by the trial court on Mohmed Asgar Ali, Kalim Ahmed, Anas Machiswala, Mohmed Yunus Sareshwala, Rehan Puthawala, Mohmed Riyaz alias Goru, Mohmed Parvez Sheikh, Parvez Khan Pathan and A’11 Mohmed Faruq under POTA and IPC as ordered by the trial court,” the apex court had said in its July 5 verdict.

Congress ups the ante on poll bond in Lok Sabha

Congress ups the ante on poll bond in Lok Sabha

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Thursday mounted an offensive against the government over the issue of electoral bonds, alleging they were introduced to legitimise corruption, and sought a JPC probe. The BJP rejected the charges, saying the electoral bond had allowed the use of clean money in elections in a transparent manner.

Raising the issue in the Lok Sabha during Zero Hour, Congress MP Manish Tewari said the government had overruled the RBI’s reservations regarding the electoral bonds. The party pressed for an adjournment motion to discuss the issue. Its members trooped into the well of the House after Speaker Om Birla rejected the adjournment motion.

Shashi Tharoor said his party had serious objections about the electoral bond as it could become a channel for the rich and corporate entities to influence political parties, including the ruling dispensation. Amidst a din in the House, Birla warned the MPs against raising slogans. Later, the Congress MPs staged a walkout.   

Addressing the media in Parliament, Tewari said the “completely opaque nature” of electoral bonds was “a fundamental threat to democracy”. He accused the ruling BJP of trying to make the country’s democracy “hostage to the influence of big money”. 

Speaking to reporters at the BJP headquarters, Union minister Piyush Goyal dismissed the allegations as baseless and said the Congress was raising the issue because the Modi government had curbed the use of black money in elections. “The government had accepted the recommendations of the Election Commission before coming up with the electoral bond, besides providing for the KYC norms and use of the bond within 15 days of the issuance by the bank,” said Goyal.  

The minister said that the unveiling of the electoral bond has also put to an end to the old practice of accepting cash donations, which at times didn’t reach even the party coffers. 

Trying to convince US that tapping into Indian talent will benefit both countries: Jaishankar

Trying to convince US that tapping into Indian talent will benefit both countries: Jaishankar

NEW DELHI: India is trying to convince the Unites States that encouraging talent is mutually beneficial for both countries, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told Parliament on Thursday.

“Issuing visas is the sovereign prerogative of other states. But at the same time there are very important economic and business and social interests...We are constantly in touch with the American system, the American government, members of the Congress to convince them that tapping into the Indian talent pool is for our mutual benefit,” the minister said.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in Parliament House | Shekhar Yadav

Saying that the number of H1-B visas has been on the rise in the past few years and the rejection rates are dwindling, Jaishankar said that India has been successful in convincing the US ‘to a large extent’.

The minister was replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha on whether seven Indian IT companies were disqualified for H1-B visas. “With regard to seven major Indian employers there is no disqualification on any of them. The number of visas for which they have applied to has come down in the last two years. Denial rates have also gone up,” he said, adding it is not only the Indian companies but also others which have seen denial rates increase.

As regards to the seven companies, they got 3,828 new visas and 15,230 renewals of H1-B visas last year. About the spouses of the Indians, Jaishankar said, H4 visa was introduced in 2015 for them to work in the US. “Indian’s today account for 93 per cent of the total number of visas issued in this category,” the minister told the House.

SC asks RO manufacturers to approach govt over NGT's order on water purifiers

SC asks RO manufacturers to approach govt over NGT's order on water purifiers

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the RO Manufacturers Association to approach the government on the National Green Tribunal's order prohibiting use of reverse osmosis (RO) purifiers where total dissolved solids (TDS) in water are below 500 mg per litre.

The apex court said this while hearing a petition filed by Water Quality India Association, representing the RO manufacturers, challenging the NGT's order which had directed the government to regulate the use of purifiers and sensitise public about the ill effects of demineralised water.

A bench of justices R F Nariman and S Ravindra Bhat said the association can approach the concerned ministry within ten days with relevant materials in this regard and the government will consider it before issuing a notification as per the NGT's direction.

During the hearing, the counsel representing the association referred to a recent BIS report on standards of water in various cities across the country and said that it points out presence of heavy metals in Delhi's groundwater.

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