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News of the Day – Rafale review verdict in Supreme Court on April 10
- April 10, 2019
- Posted by: Shivam
- Category: NEWS Worth To Read
News of the Day 10th April 2019
BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi, four security personnel killed in a Naxalite attack in Dantewada
Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Bhima Mandavi and four security personnel were killed on Tuesday when their convoy was attacked by suspected Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district. The attack comes two days before the first phase of the Lok Sabha election begins in the State.
Dantewada falls in the Bastar Lok Sabha constituency, which goes to the polls on April 11.
Poll as scheduled
The Election Commission said the first phase of polling in the State would be held as per schedule.
The ambush occurred at the Shyamagiri hills when the MLA’s convoy was heading to Kuwakonda from the Bacheli area, which is about 450 km from the State capital Raipur. The Maoists blew up a vehicle in the convoy with an improvised explosive device (IED) and opened fire at its occupants. Security forces were rushed to the area, police sources said.
The killed security personnel were identified as driver Danteshwar Maurya and District Force jawans Chhagan Kuldeep, Somdu Kawasi and Ramlal Oyami.
Modi condemns attack
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted condolence messages and paid tributes to those killed.
Mr. Modi “strongly” condemned the attack, saying the sacrifice of those killed would not go in vain.
The Congress condemned the attack, with party president Rahul Gandhi terming it a “very tragic” incident.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has spoken to the DG, Anti-Naxal operations. Former CM Raman Singh said, “I am in contact with Central Ministers and spoke to PM Narendra Modi an hour ago. I will go to Dantewada and meet the families of the deceased.”
For the elections on April 11, a security blanket of over 80,000 personnel, and drones, has been deployed in and around the Bastar region.
Immediately after the Dantewada naxal attack, the State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) held a meeting on video-conferencing with collectors and SPs of the Maoist-affected districts covering Phase-I and Phase-2 elections.
The CEO instructed them to take utmost precaution over the next few days in view of polls that would be conducted as per schedule, said the EC spokesperson.
Preliminary findings suggest that against the advice of an area police station in-charge, Mr. Mandavi had taken a route where there was no road-opening party of security personnel, the Commission was told.
Four Border Security Force (BSF) personnel were killed and two others injured in an encounter with Maoists in Kanker district on Thursday.
Rafale review verdict in Supreme Court on April 10
The Supreme Court will on April 10 pronounce its verdict on five Rafale review petitions, chiefly on two preliminary issues – the admissibility of “stolen” Rafale documents as evidence and the claim of privilege raised on them by the government.
The case was heard by a Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K.M. Joseph. It was reserved on March 14. The causelist shows judgements listed in the names of both Chief Justice Gogoi and Justice Joseph. It is to be seen whether the judgement would concur or dissent with each other.
The review petitions were filed against a December 14, 2018 judgement of the Supreme Court upholding the 36 Rafale jets’ deal.
The government, represented by Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal, had contended that the review petition should be dismissed at the preliminary stage itself because they were based on “stolen” documents published in newspapers like The Hindu.
The government wanted the court to refrain from examining the documents, which have already been published in the media, on the Rafale purchase. It claimed the documents were unauthorisedly photocopied from the originals kept in the Ministry of Defence and sneaked into the public domain.
The government said national security was at stake and the leak of the documents amounted to offences under the Official Secrets Act.
The Centre had explained that the disclosure of Rafale prices had upset a “solemn undertaking” given to France to keep the price of the jets a secret.
But Justice Joseph had countered the government version by drawing the latter’s attention to ask the Right to Information Act (RTI) of 2005. The judge said the information law has revolutionised governance and overpowered notions of secrecy protected under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) of 1923.
On the last day of hearing, Justice Joseph made Mr. Venugopal read out Section 22 of the RTI Act, which declared RTI to have an “overriding effect” over OSA. Then Section 24, which mandates even security and intelligence organisations to disclose information on corruption and human rights violations. Finally, Section 8(2), which compels the government to disclose information “if public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to protected interests”.
Mr. Venugopal had defended that defence purchases dealt with the security of the State, which “supercedes everything else”.
To this, Justice Joseph had said “the Parliament has passed the RTI Act in 2005 and brought about a complete revolution, a complete change, let us not go back to what it was”.
In a Parthian shot as the court finally wrapped up the hearing, review petitioner and former union minister Arun Shourie, who was accompanied by his former colleague Yashwant Sinha, said the government’s claims that the Rafale documents were stolen proved that they were genuine.
Source – The Hindu
News of the Day 10th April 2019