Read The Hindu Important Articles 16 November 2018
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# SC pulls up States for delay in recruitment of judges
CJI-led Bench takes note of over 5,000 vacancies in subordinate judiciary
The Supreme Court on Thursday pulled up various State governments and the administrative side of the High Courts for delay in filling vacancies in subordinate judicial services.
A Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, had taken suo motu cognisance of more than 5,000 vacancies in subordinate judicial posts even as pendency touched crores.
It found the source of the problem lay in poor infrastructure, from courtrooms to residences for judges, and a sheer lackadaisical approach to conducting the appointment process on time.
“We want our judges. We will put them in their posts, and if they cannot work, it is because the government is not giving them the infrastructure… Enough is enough,” Chief Justice Gogoi said.
The Supreme Court had earlier warned of centralising appointments to the subordinate judiciary.
U.P., West Bengal amiss
The court found there were more than 1,000 vacancies in Uttar Pradesh alone.
It discovered that a lack of infrastructure and staff plagued the West Bengal judicial services.
“We will get the Chief Secretary and pin him down. The State should tell us why courtrooms and residential houses are not being provided for judges and support staff. Is it not their duty to do so?” the Chief Justice asked.
The court took note of an undertaking given by the Uttar Pradesh government that it would provide adequate housing arrangements for judicial officers.
The Bench found that the recruitment process was under way for only 100 vacancies in Delhi, which has over 200 vacancies.
The move taking suo motu cognisance of the chronically ailing condition of the lower judiciary was only recently highlighted by Chief Justice Gogoi as one which required immediate attention. More than three crore cases are pending in the lower courts.
In a five-page order earlier, the Supreme Court had recorded that there were a total of 22,036 posts in the district and subordinate judiciary, ranging from district judges to junior civil judges, across the States.
It said 5,133 out of the 22,036 posts were vacant.
# U.K. faces a new crisis as Ministers quit over Brexit
Deal in doubt as PM May faces no-confidence move
Hopes that Britain’s course to Brexit was finally on track were dashed on Thursday as several ministerial resignations — including of Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab — and a push for a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Theresa May triggered a new political crisis, threatening the future of the deal thrashed out earlier this week.
Following the epic five hour-long Cabinet meeting, during which up to 10 Ministers were said to have expressed reservations about the deal, Ms. May announced she had secured Cabinet backing for the deal on Wednesday.
The move was welcomed by European Union leaders, and the 585-page text of the deal had been published, with explanatory notes, offering politicians in both Britain and on the continent the opportunity to make informed assessments of what had been agreed on.
A summit for EU leaders to finalise and formalise the deal would take place on November 25, “if nothing extraordinary happens”, EU President Donald Tusk said earlier on Thursday.
This process is now mired in uncertainty as Mr. Raab and Esther McVey, the Work and Pensions Secretary, both stood down alongside junior Ministers Shailesh Vara, Suella Braverman, Ranil Jayawardena and Ann-Marie Trevelyan. All pointed to concerns that the U.K. would be locked in a customs arrangement, with no way of a unilateral decision to exit.
# All set for F1H2O powerboat race in Krishna from today
Spectacular road show of catamarans evokes huge interest
District Collector B. Lakshmikantham said on Thursday the stage had been set for the India leg of the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) F1H2O World Championship Grand Prix of Amaravati, the fifth round of powerboat racing from Friday in the Krishna river.
Mr. Lakshmikantham told the media here that all arrangements related to the race and the audience were in place. The river had been kept clean and the water level raised as per the standards and seating arrangements for thousands of visitors made at all the ghats.
Friday would see only practice sessions and the next day the practice and selections.
On Sunday, the Formula 1 and Formula 4 racing would be conducted from 3 pm. In all nine teams with 19 powerboats would compete for the championship.
The event was open for all at any ghat any time. However, those who would like to view the racing on Sunday from the Bhavani Island must pay Rs. 7,000 per person for entry ticket which would be taken care of by the Tourism department, Mr. Lakshmikantham said.
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu would officially open the paddock at the Punnami Ghat on Friday at 3 pm after which the drivers would practice for two hours.
A green channel from the Prakasam Barrage to the Manipal Hospital would be established for emergency medical help.
Teams of the NDRF and the SDRF would be stationed at the island.
Watch proceedings live
The general public could view the proceedings live on the LED screens in various areas of the city.
A spectacular road show on the ‘smaller versions of catamarans’ all set to fly across the river raised a great deal of interest among the citizens.
Andhra Pradesh Tourism Authority CEO Himanshu Shukla and Mr. Lakshmikantham flagged off the show of the nine powerboats that arrived in the city in containers from the Krishnapatnam port and placed on semi-trailer trucks that moved at a slow pace, providing people a clear view of the drivers and the crew.
# TDP to field Harikrishna’s daughter
N. Suhasini meets Naidu, accepts party’s offer to contest from Kukatpally
The unrest in the TDP Telangana state unit over allotment of seats is continuing as the party leadership has reportedly decided to field N. Suhasini, granddaughter of TDP founder N.T. Rama Rao, from Kukatpally assembly seat.
Ms. Suhasini called on TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu at Amaravati on Thursday and was understood to have accepted the party’s offer to contest from Kukatpally. This has, however, angered several other aspirants including the corporator M. Srinivas who had been nursing hopes to contest from the segment. The same was the case with LB Nagar Assembly constituency where the party’s senior leader Sama Ranga Reddy who had been actively working for the last few years with the hope that he would get an opportunity to contest, had been asked to file nomination from Ibrahimpatnam.
Mr. Ranga Reddy rushed to Amaravati where he met Mr. Naidu and explained to him about the ground work that had been made in LB Nagar constituency where the TDP had an edge over others. Mr. Naidu, however, is understood to have told him about the coalition compulsions. The TDP leaders, according to party insiders, were cut up with the Congress for not announcing the full list of constituencies that would be allotted to the TDP.
The confusion worse confounded with the other alliance partners, the CPI and Kodandaram-led Telangana Jana Samiti already announcing candidates for seats in which they intended to field their nominees. There was no clarity on the Huzurabad constituency for instance where the TDP contemplated to field senior leader E. Peddi Reddy while the TJS had announced its resolve to field its nominee.
# Talks to end Sabarimala impasse end in failure
Govt. and Opposition parties stick to their positions
The State government’s attempt on Thursday to end the impasse over implementing the Supreme Court’s verdict granting entry for all women into Sabarimala through talks with the Opposition, the erstwhile royal family of Pandalam and the tantris failed.
No consensus could be reached at the all-party meeting as the government and the Opposition stuck to their guns.
Briefing reporters, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the government was not for diluting the Supreme Court verdict and the sole option before it is to provide entry for all women.
Entry on specific days
Mr. Vijayan mooted a plan for women’s entry into Sabarimala on specific days during the festival season.
He said the government would hold discussions with the stakeholders to explore various options. The government was committed to protecting the interest of the faithful, he said but reiterated that constitutional values were not above fundamental rights. He said the Left Democratic Front governments in 1996, 2006 and now had implemented the Kerala High Court order that barred entry of women aged between 10 and 50 years. It never went on appeal against the verdict.
Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said the United Democratic Front walked out of the meeting as the government refused to respond to their suggestion to seek more time from the Supreme Court and put in abeyance the implementation of the verdict till it heard the review petitions on January 22, 2019. He described the meeting as a farce and alleged that the government was prejudiced.
BJP president P.S. Sreedharan Pillai termed the meeting a farce and accused the CPI(M) of wreaking vengeance on the faithful.
Tantri (head priest) Kandararu Mohanararu said that they raised their concerns over women’s entry but Mr. Vijayan had expressed his limitations. The talks were cordial but did not yield any positive outcome, he said.
# Tower of ‘Mother Cauvery’
A fortnight after criticising the world’s largest ‘Statue of Unity’ (182 metres) of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel — which was built by the BJP government in Gujarat and inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi — the Congress-JD(S) government in the State has announced a proposal to build a 38.1-metre (125 ft) tower of ‘Mother Cauvery’ at the KRS reservoir in Mandya.
# ‘Inefficient government taking nation backwards’
Centre making a mockery of institutions, says CM
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday said the Modi government had made a mockery of government institutions like the CBI, the RBI, the Income Tax and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) by using them to target those who would not toe its line.
After laying the foundation for the Sujala Sravathi project here, he addressed a public meeting. Mr. Naidu alleged that the ‘inefficient Modi government’ had taken the nation backwards with its lopsided policies. Demonetisation was used to convert black money to white, the GST had not benefited traders and there was a steep hike in the prices of essential commodities like petrol, diesel and fertilizers. The rupee lost to the dollar as never before.
Referring to his efforts at uniting the Opposition at the national-level, Mr. Naidu said: “The TDP stands for the development of the nation and the State but has no selfish interest. We fought the Congress for 40 years but now since the BJP is not implementing the Special Category Status and the Congress is promising it and other promises made in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, we are supporting it.”
# Cyclone Gaja yet to make landfall
Widespread rainfall would continue over the State on Friday under the influence of Cyclone Gaja which was yet to make a landfall at the time of going to the press, according to India Meteorological Department.
While a few places in north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry may experience heavy rains, several parts of south Tamil Nadu may get heavy to very heavy rainfall of upto 20 cm as the system moves inland.
S. Balachandran, Deputy Director General of Meteorology, Chennai, said the severe cyclonic storm was 125 km east of Nagapattinam and 126 km east of Karaikal around 8.30 p.m. The cyclone was approaching the coast at a wind speed of 11 km per hour. The outer band of the cyclone had already touched the coast and Karaikal started receiving rains around 7 p.m.
Given the wind speed, it may take 3-4 hours for the cyclone to cross the Tamil Nadu coast near Nagapattinam. The eye of the cyclone measures about 20 km in diameter. The system was expected to cross the coast by 11 p.m. and gale winds with a speed of 90 km per hour gusting up to 100 km per hour may prevail during the landfall.
Some parts of Chennai received light rains on Thursday.
# Beheading: PUCL team wants FIR altered
Says that 3 close relatives of the accused were involved
A six-member fact finding team of the Peoples Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) claimed that there was prima facie evidence of the involvement of three close relatives of the accused Dineshkumar, including his wife, in the beheading of a Dalit schoolgirl at Thalavaipatti village near Attur and demanded the inclusion of their names in the list of accused in the First Information Report (FIR).
The team, led by Gana. Kurinji, state president of the PUCL – Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, visited Thalavaipatti village on November 8 and met the parents of the victim and also the police and government officials.
The team in its findings claimed that the family of the accused were practising untouchability.
The team also claimed that the accused attempted to sexually abuse the minor girl sometime before the crime. She did not entertain him and managed to escape from him. He had made similar attempt a few days ago too. Enraged by this, the accused allegedly beheaded the girl before her mother.
The team said that Sarada, wife of Dineshkumar, his brother Sasikumar and brother-in-law Venkatesh were waiting in a couple of two-wheelers a little distance away from the spot of crime. Sarada had shouted at the accused for carrying the head of the victim when he moved towards them and this was confirmed by the mother and uncle of the girl.
“The FIR should be altered and the names of all the three should be included in it”, the team said.
The team suggested investigation by a woman IPS officer.
The team also called upon the National and State Human Rights’ Commission, National Commission for Women, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to monitor the case and ensure suitable punishment to the accused.
Apart from the Victims’ Assistance Fund, the government should come forward to provide additional assistance.
The government should also provide land to the victim’s parents and also government job to a member of the family.
The team said that AIADMK and DMK were avoiding meeting the affected Dalit families whenever violence was unleashed against.
The accused has been saying that he committed the crime after witnessing a movie. The concerned should avoid scenes of sexual abuse and violence in the films and social media.
# Sabarimala: Shah’s ‘advice’ to cadre
BJP president Amit Shah, who attended a meeting of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh here on Wednesday, is said to have instructed party leaders to keep the Sabarimala agitation alive and also chalk out a different plan soon to fight on the issue.
Before leaving Mangaluru on Thursday, he is said to have instructed party leaders in Kerala to plan different strategies to exploit the Sabarimala issue in favour of the party in the next year’s Lok Sabha polls. Sources told The Hindu that Mr. Shah had long discussions with RSS top leaders.
# AAI bails out of Krishna event in Delhi
The Airports Authority of India bailed out of a two-day music and dance festival being organised by Spicmacay after right-wing trolls began attacking featured Carnatic singer T.M. Krishna, who is known to have strong views against religious chauvinism. After the event scheduled for November 17-18 was put off, the AAP government contacted Mr. Krishna offering to host his concert…