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5 THINGS FIRST

Euro 2020 semifinal (Italy vs Spain, 12:30 am, Wednesday); EC’s delimitation commission to see J&K; SC to hear plea on resumption of mining in Goa; Delhi HC hearing in Twitter and new IT rules case; Cannes Film Festival begins

1. Stan Swamy dies at 84 as an undertrial in state custody

Father Stan Swamy, the Jesuit priest and Adivasi rights activist who has been doing custody for nine months, died at 84 in Mumbai’s Holy Family Hospital on Monday, a day after being placed on life support.

  • Swamy’s lawyers had moved the Bombay High Court on Monday morning, seeking an urgent hearing on his medical bail plea; Swamy has had Parkinson’s and tested positive for Covid on May 30.
  • Ian D’souza, Holy Family Hospital’s medical doctor, informed the High Court that he suffered from a cardiac arrest on July 4 at 4:30 am. He was placed on a ventilator and never regained consciousness.

He was one of the 16 activists, academics, and lawyers arrested and charged with anti-terror law UAPA for instigating violence and conspiring with the Maoists.

  • Swamy’s lawyers had moved the Bombay High Court on Monday morning, seeking an urgent hearing on his medical bail plea; Swamy has had Parkinson’s and tested positive for Covid on May 30.
  • Ian D’souza, Holy Family Hospital’s medical doctor, informed the High Court that he suffered from a cardiac arrest on July 4 at 4:30 am. He was placed on a ventilator and never regained consciousness.
  • Five of the 16 have spent over four years in jail without trial. Seven have tested positive for Covid-19 at the time of June. Swamy was arrested on October 8, 2020, by the NIA.
  • Co-accused Varavara Rao, 81, was granted bail for six months in February this year. Courts have repeatedly denied bail to the others.

The case: On January 1, 2018, the annual commemoration (200th) of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon, viewed as a victory of Dalits — who fought as British soldiers — against Peshwas, was held near Pune. It turned violent: some other group clashed with the attendees.

  • The initial FIR,registered at Pimpri police station on January 2, was named Samstha Hindu Agadi’s Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide for instigating the violence.
  • An additional FIRwas registered on January 8 by Pune police alleging the violence was instigated at an Ambedkarite event two days before, on December 31, 2017, at Shaniwar Wada in Pune, called Elgar Parishad.
  • Maharashtra then was governed by BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis. The case was later utilized in the NIA. All 16 arrests are related to the second FIR.

The charges: The NIA (and initial Pune Police inputs) accuse the 16 of inciting violence and conspiring with the Maoists on a plan to assassinate PM Narendra Modi. The charges have not been proven; they remain in jail as provisions for bail under UAPA are stringent.

But… A third-party forensic analysis of co-accused Rona Wilson’s laptop, conducted with a US-based cybersecurity firm, had revealed that crucial evidence, including an alleged correspondence with Maoists on the supposed want to assassinate Modi, was planted through malware by a not known attacker.

2. What they said on Swamy’s death…

  • “Stan was a great individual and an exemplary citizen. His death is the culmination of a series of acts of terrible cruelty.” — Jean Dreze, economist.
  • “The news from #India today is devastating. Human Rights Defender & Jesuit priest Fr Stan Swamy has died in custody, nine months after his arrest on false charges of terrorism. Jailing HRDs is inexcusable.” — Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on the specific situation of human rights defenders.
  • India: I’m very saddened to hear that Fr #StanSwamy has passed away. A defender of indigenous peoples’ rights. He was held in detention for the past nine months. The EU have been raising his case repeatedly with authorities.” — Eamon Gilmore, EU Special Representative for Human Rights.
  • “Deeply pained & outraged at the death of Father Stan Swamy. A Jesuit priest & social activist, he tirelessly helped the marginalized. Draconian UAPA custody, inhuman treatment since October 2020 with no charge established. Accountability must be fixed because of this murder in custody.” — Sitaram Yechury, leader, CPI(M)
  • “A ruthless & callous government that deprived him of dignity even while he was alive has blood on its hands. Shocked & appalled. May his soul rest in peace.” — Mehbooba Mufti, president, JKPDP
  • “Let’s not discuss this as mere death. This can be a judicial murder, and everyone is complicit.” — Meena Kandasamy, poet.
  • “Unjustifiable a man who fought during his life for our society’s most downtrodden had to die in custody. Such travesty of justice should haven’t any invest our democracy.” — Pinyari Vijayan, Kerala CM.
  • “Who in the apparatus of the Indian state will undoubtedly be held responsible because of this tragedy? It is the Indian suggest that killed Fr. Stan Swamy, who was simply this kind of passionate crusader for social justice.” — Jairam Ramesh, Rajya Sabha MP.

3. SC’ distressed overuse of scrapped Sec 66A… again

  • The Supreme Court on Monday expressed shock and dismay over continuing countrywide application of Section 66A of Information Technology Act to arrest persons for social media posts even six years after the SC had erased it from the statute book for being violative of the right to free speech guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution.
  • Appearing for People’s Union for Civil Liberties, senior advocate Sanjay Parikh informed the court that overzealous police throughout the states had booked more people under Section 66A after the SC quashed it.
  • Maharashtra, which had registered 349 cases before the judgment, registered 381 more FIRs invoking Section 66A. Uttar Pradesh had recorded just 22 cases before 2015, but its police filed 245 more points after the decision. Jharkhand had just 43 FIRs before the judgments but proceeded to register 291 FIRs after March 2015. Rajasthan had 75 cases but proceeded to record 192 more FIRs post-judgment.
  • Not only that, abuse of the provision has continued even after the apex court in 2019, answering a PUCL petition, asked the principal secretaries to sensitize the police against utilizing the section.
  • The Centre offered a plausible explanation: “All post-judgment publications of the Information Technology Act contained section 66A with a footnote in small font that the Supreme Court has struck it down. Seldom a policeman reads the footnote. That is probably why this struck-down section continued to be invoked.” The SC asked the Centre to file its response in two weeks.
  • “What’s going on is terrible and distressing,” the court observed. “Shocking is the best word to use,” it said and asked the Centre to file an answer to the PUCL plea, which requested the court to direct the Centre to get data about all cases under Section 66A and tell all trial courts and police to close them.

 

4. Restore statehood before J&K elections: Gupkar Alliance

Any assembly election in Jammu and Kashmir should be held only after the restoration of full statehood, the Gupkar Alliance said in a record on Monday, a week after the amalgam leaders sat down with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an all-party meeting in New Delhi.

  • “All members of PAGD expressed their disappointment at the results of the Delhi meeting, especially at the absence of any substantial Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), including the release of prisoners and taking concrete steps to finish the siege and atmosphere of suppression that’s choked J&K since 2019,” it said in a statement.
  • The statement followed after leaders of the alliance, including vice-chairperson Mehbooba Mufti of PDP, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami of CPI(M), Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi of JKNC, and Muzaffar Ahmed Shah of ANC, met at the residence of Farooq Abdullah, the chairman of the amalgam on Sunday.

The Delimitation Commission is expected to meet the mainstream leaders from Jammu and Kashmir today. The Commission will be in the Kashmir valley on July 6 and 7 and Jammu on July 8 and 9.

  • At the all-party meeting on June 24, PM Modi had pressed for the early conduct of delimitation so that assembly elections could be held in the union territory, suggesting the union government wants to consider the restoration of statehood — as was promised by Union home minister Amit Shah in the Parliament last year — only after the exercise.

5. Which politician founded the Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress party?

Clue 1: He became India’s youngest finance minister in 1982, aged 47.

Clue 2: He entered politics in 1969, having successfully managed the election campaign of VK Krishna Menon in Midnapore, West Bengal.

Clue 3: His memoirs are titled The Presidential Years: 2012–2017.

6. CBSE splits boards into two parts from the current session

  • The CBSE will conduct the Class X and XII board exams in two parts from the current 2021-22 academic session in a significant overhaul of its examination scheme. The initial term questions are objective and subjective second term exams. You will have no overlapping of the syllabus, and the final marks will be given on the foundation of performance in both these exams, which will carry equal weightage.
  • The board issued the detailed guidelines for the pandemic-hit academic session on Monday. However, according to a senior CBSE official, the scheme will continue while the board’s new assessment system.
  • For the current session, the initial term objective exam will be held in November-December 2021, while the second term exam with subjective questions will need to devote March-April 2022. “When the specific situation normalizes, the board will conduct the Term I exam in October-November and Term II in February-March and for the full syllabus,” said the official.
  • The term I: Per the CBSE’s guidelines, the board will organize Term I exams in a flexible schedule with a screen amount of 4-8 weeks for schools situated in different areas of the nation and abroad. The question paper may have multiple-choice questions with a time limit of 90 minutes, and for the pandemic period, it will cover only the rationalized syllabus of Term I.
  • Term II: At the end of the second term, the board will organize Term II. The paper is going to be of 120-minute duration and may have subjective questions of different formats. “However, because of Covid-19, if the specific situation remains not conducive for normal descriptive examination, a 90-minute MCQ-based exam is going to be conducted after Term II as well,” said the official.

7. Who pays for breaking furniture in Parliament and assemblies?

india

india

On Monday, the Supreme Court decided to examine the liability of people’s representatives underneath the Prevention of Destruction of Public Properties Act.

The case

  • The secretary of the Kerala assembly had sent a criticism to police after Vaikom CPI MLA K Ajith threw a mike and broke furniture in the House on March 13, 2015, to protest the presence of the budget.
  • The secretary quantified the expense of the damage at Rs 2.20 lakh. The authorities lodged an FIR under the Prevention of Destruction of Public Property Act.
  • In 2018, the trial court rejected their state government’s plea to withdraw the case. On appeal, the Kerala High Court upheld the trial court’s decision.
  • Once the SC took up the Kerala government’s appeal, it said, “If the MLAs throw mike and destroy public property, let them face trial underneath the law. What message are you sending to the general public whom you represent? If they are not held accountable fotheirer unruly and violent acts, there will be no deterrence to this sort of behavior.”
  • The Kerala government said it was a matter for the House to decide and that the courts are barred from interfering in the situation that the Speaker could deal with, who it said hadn’t sanctioned lodging of the FIR against Ajith. It claimed that withdrawal of prosecution against the MLA was in the public interest. Their state government also said it was a political protest. At the same time, the MLA had to protest within the House without being subjected to persecution being protected under Article 194(2) of the Constitution.
  • While adjourning the hearing of the case to July 15, the apex court said, “What’s the larger public interest the general public prosecutor felt when the case related to obstruction of presentation of the finance bill, that is of utmost importance. It said, “Some modicum of decorum must be maintained in the temple of democracy. Such incidents are on the rise in the Assemblies and even witnessed inside Parliament.”

The debate

  • When the Kerala government’s appeal was taken up by the SC, it said, “If the MLAs throw mike and destroy public property, let them face trial beneath the law. What message are you sending to the public whom you represent? If they’re not held accountable for their unruly and violent acts, there will be no deterrence to this sort of behaviour.”
  • The Kerala government said that it was a matter for the House to determine and that the courts are barred from interfering in the situation which could be dealt by the Speaker, who it said hadn’t sanctioned lodging of the FIR against Ajith. It claimed that withdrawal of prosecution from the MLA was in public areas interest. Their state government also said it absolutely was a political protest since the MLA had a to protest inside the House without having to be subjected to persecution being protected under Article 194(2) of the Constitution.
  • The apex court, while adjourning the hearing of the case to July 15, said, “What’s the more expensive public interest the public prosecutor felt once the case linked to obstruction of presentation of the finance bill, which will be of utmost importance. It said, “Some modicum of decorum should be maintained in the temple of democracy. Such incidents are on the rise in the Assemblies and even witnessed inside Parliament.”

8. Jabeur stands out on Manic Monday.

A trailblazer:

  • Tunisian Ons Jabeur made history on a Monday speckled with high-quality tennis ahead of the clouds opened as much as disrupting the proceedings at Wimbledon.
  • Jabeur, 26, became the initial Arab woman to attain the Wimbledon quarterfinals with a stunning 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 victory over seventh seed and 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek.
  • Gifted with a gamut of tennis shots, Jabeur has beaten three Grand Slam champions to date here, taking out five-time Wimbledon winner Venus Williams and Spain’s Garbine Muguruza during her impressive run.

The stars

  • Roger Federer did short Lorenzo Sonego 7-5, 6-4, 6-2 after the roof was drawn in at the Centre Court to allow the game to carry on amidst the rain.
  • Top seed Novak Djokovic dismantled Chile’s Cristian Garin 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 to attain his 50th Grand Slam quarterfinal; only Federer has reached more. Djokovic next faces unseeded Hungarian Marton Fucsovics, who ousted Russian fifth seed Andrey Rublev 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3.
  • World number one Ashleigh Barty reached the Wimbledon quarters for the first time beating reigning French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-3.
  • Former champion Angelique Kerber, 33, halted teenage sensation Coco Gauff 6-4, 6-4 in a challenge of the generations to attain her first Grand Slam quarterfinal since winning the title within 2018.

9. Afghan troops flee to Tajikistan as Taliban advance

More than 1,000 Afghan security personnel have fled throughout the border into Tajikistan since the Taliban marched through northern Afghanistan, the Tajik border guard service said on Monday. The insurgents captured dozens. “Guided by the principles of humanism and good neighborliness,” the Tajik authorities allowed the retreating Afghan National Defense and Security Forces to cross into Tajikistan, said the statement.
The crossings underscore a rapidly deteriorating situation in the united states as foreign troops near a complete withdrawal after 20 years of war in Afghanistan and peace negotiations stalled.
The Taliban took over six critical districts in the northern province of Badakhshan, which borders both Tajikistan and China. It now controls roughly a third of most 421 communities and district centers in Afghanistan.

10. You share your b’day with…

Pranab Mukherjee. The former President’s son Abhijit Mukherjee, a former Congress MP from Jangipur, joined Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Monday.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Abhijit’s joining Trinamool comes in front of the Jangipur Assembly by-poll, due alongside five other Assembly bypolls, sparking speculation that TMC might offer him a ticket for the seat.

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