Newsletter April 27, 2018










The government Thursday returned for reconsideration the Collegium’s recommendation to elevate Uttarakhand Chief Justice K M Joseph to the Supreme Court even as it notified the appointment of senior advocate Indu Malhotra as a judge of the apex court. Her name had been recommended along with that of Justice Joseph on January 10.

In a letter to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad underlined that “this proposal for reconsideration of the case of Shri Justice K M Joseph has the approval of the Hon’ble President and the Hon’ble Prime Minister” and listed reasons why his appointment “at this stage does not appear to be appropriate” — Justice Joseph is at serial number 42 in the All India High Court Judges’ Seniority List; his parent High Court of Kerala has “adequate representation in the Supreme Court”; several High Courts are “not represented in the Supreme Court at present”; and, “there is no representation of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe communities in the Supreme Court since long”.

There was no indication if and when a meeting of the Collegium would be called by the CJI to discuss the matter — besides CJI Misra, the Collegium comprises Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph.

Reiteration of a name by the Collegium makes it incumbent upon the government to issue a warrant for the appointment.

On January 10, the Collegium recommended that Malhotra and Justice Joseph be elevated as judges of the apex court. The government took its time in processing the file, giving rise to speculation that it is not in favour of elevating Justice Joseph who in 2016 struck down imposition of President’s rule in Uttarakhand.

Reacting to the detailed govt’s letter, senior jurist Fali Nariman said that the “government was entitled to the view it had taken. They have given reasons which are quite cogent. They may be right or wrong. Whether this meets with the approval of the collegium is quite another matter.”

“The collegium has to say whether they insist that despite this letter Justice Joseph should be appointed or not. The Collegium is the last word,” Nariman said, pointing out that according to the 1993 judgement delivered by Justice J S Verma, the collegium’s word was final, “that this is the law.”

Asked why the government had split the decision to elevate Justice Indu Malhotra to the Supreme Court and not Justice Joseph, he said “They are entitled to do that…Judges don’t go in pairs. They are not husband and wife.”

Nariman added that a majoritarian government is “always a potential danger to the judiciary. Always. They want to control.”





Thirteen children were killed when a train rammed into their school van at an unmanned crossing in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar district on Thursday morning. With four children battling for life, the toll is expected to rise.

Prima facie it appears the van driver, reportedly a minor, was wearing earphones and did not hear the Gorakhpur-Barhni train approach the Dudhi-Bahpurwa railway crossing even as terrified students, all aged between 7 and 11 years,  screamed to alert the driver. So did a group of women standing near the crossing, said witnesses. Railway’s ‘Gate Mitra’ Arvind Kumar Bhartiya posted at the unmanned crossing reportedly signalled the driver to halt.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath faced protest by people when he went to Kushinagar, where 13 children were killed in a train-school van collision on Thursday. An angry Adityanath asked protesters to stop the drama. “Narebaazi band karo, nautanki band karo (stop raising slogans, stop this drama), I have come here to express my sympathies,” Adityanath told the agitated protesters.

Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani on Friday said all unmanned crossings will be eliminated by March 2020, but asserted the primary responsibility lay with road users and not with the railways.

“We will eliminate all UMLCs (unmanned level crossings) by March 31, 2020,” he said, adding that till then, people need to be careful while crossing tracks. “There was no substitute to that. Railways cannot take any step that is completely foolproof against negligence,” he added.





Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s flight from New Delhi to Hubli developed a technical fault on Thursday. Gandhi was scheduled to visit Hubli for his election campaign in Karnataka. However, alleging conspiracy behind the technical fault, the Congress has registered a complaint with the DGP of Karnataka. In the complaint, Gandhi’s office stated that several “unexplained technical errors” happened during the course of the two-hour morning flight and demanded a thorough investigation.

According to reports, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called up Gandhi to inquire about his well-being in the afternoon.

Rahul Gandhi’s plane, VT- AVH, was a Falcon 2000 woned by Religare Aviation limited. A DGCA source said it appears to be a snag of autopilot which led to this incident, but the regulator will investigate in detail.

‘What happened to his plane is a serious case of aviation mechanics failure. A complaint letter has been written to the DGCA to look at all aspects of the matter, including that of possible foul play,’ Congress party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said,









With a single step over a weathered, cracked slab of concrete, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made history Friday by crossing over the world’s most heavily armed border to greet South Korean President Moon Jae-in for talks on North Korea’s nuclear weapons. Kim then invited Moon to cross briefly back into the north with him before they returned to the southern side.

Those small steps must be seen in the context of the last year — when the United States, its ally South Korea and the North seemed at times to be on the verge of nuclear war as the North unleashed a torrent of weapons tests — but also in light of the long, destructive history of the rival Koreas, who fought one of the 20th century’s bloodiest conflicts and even today occupy a divided peninsula that’s still technically in a state of war.

Beyond the carefully choreographed surface, however, it’s still not clear whether the leaders can make any progress in talks on the nuclear issue, which has bedeviled U.S. and South Korean officials for decades.

Kim’s news agency said that the leader would “open-heartedly” discuss with Moon “all the issues arising in improving inter-Korean relations and achieving peace, prosperity and reunification of the Korean peninsula” in a “historic” summit.

With a giant TV screen in its capital, and a break from classes for students to watch live coverage, much of South Korea hit the pause button today to watch history unfold.

It is only the third time the leaders of the countries have met, the previous summits were in Pyongyang. If the summit goes well, perhaps people in Washington may be more optimistic that Kim’s meeting with US President Donald Trump, expected in May or June, will go well.





France’s Emmanuel Macron has defended discussions with U.S. President Donald Trump for a new plan to curb Iranian nuclear weapons.

Speaking to reporters before leaving Washington on Wednesday night, the French President said the new four-pronged agreement would be a “very important complement” to the existing 2015 accord.

Mr. Trump calls the 2015 accord flawed.

Iran’s President insisted the deal cannot be changed or built on.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will discuss Iran with Mr. Trump during a visit today.





Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif was today disqualified from holding public office for life by the high court here for concealing details of his UAE work permit while contesting polls in 2013, in another major blow to the ruling PML-N party ahead of General Election.

In a unanimous verdict, a three-member special bench of the Islamabad High Court ruled that Asif was not “truthful” and “honest” and disqualified him under Article 62 (1) (f) of the Constitution.

Article 62, which sets the precondition for a member of parliament to be “sadiq and ameen” (honest and righteous), is the same provision under which former PM Nawaz Sharif was disqualified on July 28, 2017, in the Panama Papers case.









The Congress on Thursday stopped short of naming a Chief Ministerial candidate for the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, appointing old warhorse Kamal Nath as the new president of the state unit and handing over the reins of the campaign to the young Jyotiraditya Scindia in a delicate balancing act.

Scindia had been demanding that the party announce a CM candidate in Madhya Pradesh, but the high command has virtually made Nath, the nine-time Lok Sabha MP from Chhindwara, the front-runner for the post by naming him as the state unit chief.

While Scindia was keen to have a central role for himself, Kamal Nath emerged as the choice for the party president’s post after former chief minister Digvijaya Singh threw his weight behind him. The realisation that he as the senior-most leader from the state could be better equipped to manage factional feuds was another reason which went in his favour.





After his “Internet in the Mahabharata era” remark, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Thursday claimed that the international beauty pageants were a farce and questioned the rationale behind crowning Diana Hayden “Miss World” 21 years ago.

The BJP leader, however, was all praise for Aishwarya Rai, who won the Miss World crown in 1994, saying she “represents the Indian women” in the true sense. “Whoever contested the international beauty pageants won. For five consecutive years, we won the Miss World/Miss Universe awards. Diana Hayden won it too. Do you think she should have won the title?” Deb said.

Deb’s comments came days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi cautioned the BJP leaders to steer clear of controversies and not offer “masala” to the media by making irresponsible statements.

Going further, he said: “We see women as goddess Laxmi, Saraswati. Aishwarya Rai represents the Indian women. She became the Miss World and that’s all right. But I do not understand the beauty of Diana Hayden.”





Women who became pregnant after being raped by Asaram Bapu were given medicines for abortion, the self-styled godman would hurl abuses at his associates if he was not ‘satisfied’ with the women who were sent to him and he believed that rape was not a sin for ‘brahmagyanis’ (enlightened individuals), according to testimonies of prosecution witnesses part of the 453-page judgment.

Asaram was on Wednesday sentenced to life imprisonment by a Jodhpur court for raping a 16-year-old girl.

“What will you do by studying and if you are with me, then I will make people worship you and they will fall at your feet. I have studied only till class 3 but even judges, IPS officers and politicians bow down to me,” Asaram told the women, according to a witness.





The economy added 2.2 million formal jobs between September 2017 and February 2018, the payroll data released by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) and the National Pension System (NPS) suggests.  This is the first time that such data has been released by a government body.

According to The Economic Times, the EPFO data overall showed 3.1 million new additions across age groups over the six month time frame. Of this, those in the 18-25 age group – considered a proxy for new jobs – amount to 1.85 million. It could be more because according to EPFO, “the data for most recent months are provisional as updation of employees records is a continuous process and are likely to be updated in subsequent month/s”.

In the case of NPS, the new accounts opened in the central and government sector stood at 350,000 during this period, corresponding to new jobs and taking the total to 2.2 million. This is welcome news indeed for the current government long criticised for jobless growth, especially after making it a key electoral promise back in 2014.

Excluding the 18-25 age band, additions in the higher age groups suggest greater formalisation of the economy, experts said.





Bill Cosby was convicted Thursday of drugging and molesting a woman, completing the spectacular late-life downfall of a comedian who broke racial barriers in Hollywood on his way to TV superstardom as America’s Dad.

Cosby, 80, could end up spending his final years in prison after a jury concluded he drugged and violated a 45 year old woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He claimed the encounter was consensual. It was the only criminal case to arise from a barrage of allegations from more than 60 women who said the former TV star drugged and molested them over a span of five decades.

The verdict came after a two-week retrial in which prosecutors put five other women on the stand who testified that Cosby, married for 54 years, drugged and violated them, too. One of those women asked him through her tears, “You remember, don’t you, Mr. Cosby?”

Cosby’s retrial took place against the backdrop of (hash)MeToo, the movement against se.xual misconduct that has taken down powerful men in rapid succession, among them Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Kevin Spacey and Sen. Al Franken.

The jurors all indicated they were aware of (hash)MeToo but said before the trial they could remain impartial. Cosby’s lawyers slammed (hash)MeToo, calling Cosby its victim and likening it to a witch hunt or a lynching.





Riding on wonder spinner Rashid Khan’s brilliant effort, Sunrisers Hyderabad produced an inspired bowling display to eke out a 13-run win over in-form Kings XI Punjab in a low-scoring IPL match in Hyderabad yesterday.

Rashid (3/19)) turned out to be the star for Sunrisers once again as he, along with Shakib (2/18), turned the game around for the hosts in the middle overs.

Earlier, young Kings XI pacer Ankit Rajpoot (5/14) registered his career-best bowling figures to restrict Sunrisers to 132/6.

Chasing the modest target, openers KL Rahul (32) and Chris Gayle (23) got Kings XI off to a great start as the duo stitched 55 runs in 47 balls. But just when it looked as if Kings XI would run away with the game, Afghan leg-spinner Rashid got the big breakthrough when he cleaned up Rahul with a gem of a delivery.

Big-hitting Gayle then miscued a short delivery from Basil Thampi in the next over and the pacer accepted the chance with a simple catch. The two wickets derailed Kings XI’s chase.





The International Cricket Council yesterday confirmed the schedule of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, which will be staged in England and Wales from 30 May to 14 July.

Eleven world-class venues will be used in the 46-day tournament in which each of the 10 teams will play every other team once in a single-league format with the top four sides after 45 matches progressing to the semi-finals.

The 10 teams are: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, S Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies

The ICC has finally scrapped the Champions Trophy, which India won in 2013 and lost in the final to Pakistan in 2017. The 50-over tournament, scheduled to be held in India in 2021, will be replaced by the T20 World Cup; this means that there will be two T20 World Cup tournaments in consecutive years — in Australia in 2020 and in India the following year. India will also host the 50-over World Cup in 2023.

The Champions Trophy, which included only the top-8 teams in the world, had been immensely popular because of its shorter duration and lack of lopsided contests between top teams and ‘minnows’. However, as the relevance of 50-over tournaments came to be questioned over the last 10 years, the existence of the Champions Trophy has been in doubt right since 2009.





The BCCI has recommended India captain Virat Kohli for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna honour and Rahul Dravid for the prestigious Dronacharya Award. Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has been recommended for the Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dravid has been nominated for successfully guiding the India U-19 team to the World Cup title earlier this year. Under his guidance, the Indian colts had finished runners-up in the 2016 edition of the tournament. Dravid works with India A teams as well.

BCCI had stopped sending nominations for the Dronacharya Awards because of multiple coaches claiming credit for a player’s success. “For someone of Rahul’s stature, we have decided to depart from convention,” said a BCCI official, explaining Dravid’s nomination for the award.

Kohli has been nominated second time for the highest sporting award. His name was recommended in 2016 but as it was an Olympics year, the award was given to three Rio Olympics stars — PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik and Deepa Karmakar





Sensex 34,714 (+213), Nifty 10,618 (+48), Trading Value NSE (Rs.crores) 41,585

Nasdaq 7,119 (+115) Dow 24,322 (+239), S&P 2,667 (+28)

US$-Rs. 66.76 GBP-Rs. 93.04, Euro-Rs. 81.10, UAE Dhm-Rs.18.17, Can$-Rs. 51.94, Aus$- Rs. 50.50

GBP 0.71 /US$, Euro 0.82 /US$, Jap.Yen 109.30 /US$, Aus$ 1.32 /US$, Sing 1.32 /US$, Bang Taka 83.51 /US$, Can$ 1.28 /US$, Mal Ring 3.91 /US$,

Pak Re 115.35 /US$, Phil Peso 52.05 /US$, Russian Rouble 62.59 /US$, NZ$ 1.41 /US$, Thai Baht 31.54 /US$, Ukraine Hryvnia 26.11 /US$

Bitcoin – USD 8,881

Dollar Index 91.36 Brent Crude 74.46  BDI 1376

Gold world Spot Price USD/aoz 1,316 India (Rs. per gm 24k/22k) 3188 / 2990, Silver (Rs. Per KG) 43,000





Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs. – Henry Ford





Two friends meet in the street. The one man looked rather forlorn and down in the mouth. The other man asked, “Hey, how come you look like the whole world caved in?”

The sad fellow said, “Let me tell you. Three weeks ago, an uncle died and left me ten thousand dollars.”

“I’m sorry to hear about the death, but a bit of good luck for you, eh?”

“Hold on, I’m just getting started. Two weeks ago, a cousin I never knew kicked the bucket and left me twenty thousand, free and clear.”

“Well, you can’t be disappointed with that!”

“Yep. But, last week my grandfather passed away. I inherited almost hundred thousand dollars.”

“Incredible… so how come you look so glum?”

“Well, this week…nothing!”



Any suggestions, comments or queries? Or need more information on any particular news story? Or wish to receive a list of our free additional services? Write to us at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar