The Indian Express | 1 month ago | 03-07-2022 | 11:40 am
The four-day old Shiv Sena-BJP government will face the floor test on July 4 during the special two-day session of the Legislative Assembly beginning here Sunday.The election to the post of the Speaker of the House will be held Sunday after the House proceedings begin at 11 am, an official said.Sena MLA and Uddhav Thackeray loyalist Rajan Salvi is the candidate of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine for the Speaker’s election. He is pitted against first-time BJP legislator Rahul Narvekar.Rebel Shiv Sena MLAs who support Shinde returned to Mumbai from Goa on Saturday evening on the eve of the Assembly session, and were lodged in a luxury hotel in south Mumbai, where Vidhan Bhavan, venue of the floor test, is located.NCP chief Sharad Pawar claimed that Narhari Zirwal, the deputy Speaker, can perform officiating Speaker’s duties even though a no-confidence motion is pending against him. The post of Speaker is vacant since February last year after Nana Patole of Congress quit.As many as 50 MLAs who support Shinde, including 39 rebel legislators of the Shiv Sena, on Saturday evening flew to Mumbai from Goa by a chartered flight. Shinde, who had flown to Goa in the morning, accompanied them back.Shinde has the support of 10 legislators of smaller parties and independents and 106 MLAs of the BJP in the 288-member House.Following is the party position in the Assembly: Shiv Sena 55, NCP 53, Congress 44, BJP 106, Bahujan Vikas Aghadi 3, Samajwadi Party 2, AIMIM 2, Prahar Janshakti Party 2, MNS 1, CPI (M) 1, PWP 1, Swambhimani Paksha 1, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha 1, Jansurajya Shakti Party 1, Krantikari Shetkari Party 1, and Independents 13.There is a vacancy due to the death of Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke last month.Two NCP members – Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Food and Civil Supplies Minister Chhagan Bhujbal – have tested COVID-19 positive, while two other party legislators – Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik – are currently in jail.
PANAJI: A Mapusa court has dismissed the application of former Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Girish Chodankar who was seeking directions for an FIR to be registered for cheating and forgery against 10 of its former MLAs who merged with BJP in 2019. Chodankar had alleged that they forged documents for the purpose of producing it in a disqualification petition which was then pending before the speaker of the legislative assembly. The court relied on the order passed by the high court in a writ petition between the same parties in which the order of the speaker was maintained by the high court. “Thus, there is no element of forgery for which no direction can be given to the respondent to register the FIR,” stated Shilpa S Pandit, JMFC, A-Court, Mapusa. “Merely because the letter head and the seal of the said committee is used for preparing the resolution, it cannot be said that the persons named therein have committed any forgery in creating the said resolution. That being so, no cognisable offence is made out in the complaint of the applicant. Hence, no FIR can be registered for any such offence alleged in the application,” the court added. The court observed that on July 10, 2019, when the resolution was passed to merge with BJP, all the persons who allegedly committed forgery were members of the GPCC and that being so had access to the letter head and seal of the committee. Public prosecutor R Barreto contended that none of them have alleged that their signatures on the resolution are forged. “That being so, it is an admitted position that said letter is signed by them all. Hence, there is no question of any forgery for which the complaint can be registered,” the court held. Chodankar had lodged a police complaint on April 20 last year alleging that the 10 MLAs conspired and fraudulently created a false document claiming to be a resolution of the GPCC and purportedly passed in the meeting of the GPCC held on July 10, 2019 to merge GPCC with BJP. He alleged the resolution was falsely created using counterfeit letter head and counterfeit seal of GPCC. Despite Chodankar’s complaint no FIR was registered, his counsel S Vaingankar submitted to the court.
PANAJI: A delegation of Congress called on governor P S Sreedharan Pillai on Tuesday and submitted a memorandum seeking his immediate intervention with regards to important public issues which the party alleged have been neglected by the government. The delegation led by Goa Congress president Amit Patkar requested the governor to inspect the illegal constructions done by Karnataka on River Mhadei to divert water, and assess the situation. The party has also requested the governor to allow representatives of political parties and voluntary organisations to accompany him during the inspection. “The people of Goa have the right to know the nature of work done by Karnataka on Mhadei River. People are worried by the government’s failure to take proactive steps,” stated the memorandum. Other issues that were highlighted were wastage of tur dal and rising unemployment among others. It has demanded a high level inquiry under the supervision of a high court judge about the wastage of 242 metric tonne of tur dal and 10.3 metric tonnes of sugar. It wants an immediate action to be taken against those responsible for the wastage. Referring to reports indicating high unemployment rate of Goa, the memorandum said that chief minister Pramod Sawant’s promise to create thousands of jobs was misleading. It has demanded that the government release a “white paper” on the unemployment scenario.
Margao: President of BJP’s Margao mandal, Rupesh Mahatme, on Monday said that the speculations about Margao Congress MLA Digambar Kamat joining BJP were just that, speculations, and that such “rumours” were being spread by Kamat’s own workers.“Kamat doesn’t dare to join BJP. No leader from Goa, not even from Margao, has any knowledge about Digambar joining BJP. If he does join BJP, we will declare our stand at that time,” Mahatme said. He said that four councillors of the Margao Municipal Council were likely to join BJP any time. “Two councillors joined BJP soon after the civic polls, and four more are likely to join soon. Once that happens, the strength of BJP councillors ill go up to 13 and come into majority,” Mahatme said. The development has come at a time when a change of guard in the council is due soon as chairperson Lyndon Pereira’s term, as per an unwritten agreement among councillors, ends this month.In the civic polls held last year, Margao Civic Alliance, a coalition between GFP and Model Margao propped up by Margao MLA Digambar Kamat, had won 17 of the 25 seats, defeating BJP’s panel which had to contend with just seven seats.
Panaji: A cabinet note from April 2020 pertaining to the purchase of tur dal surfaced online on Monday prompting Congress and GFP to turn the heat on the government. GFP president Vijai Sardesai and state Congress chief Amit Patkar accused chief minister Pramod Sawant and former civil supplies minister Govind Gaude of denying their role in the fiasco that saw more than 200 tonne of tur dal getting rotten in a government godown.The cabinet note, which was signed by then civil supplies secretary Isha Khosla, states that Sawant and Gaude approved the purchase of 408 tonnes of tur dal for public distribution at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.“The chief minister cannot distance himself from this scam and say that he did not want the dal to be procured,” said Sardesai. “I am going to write to the PM because this scam happened during the lockdown and the guilty have to be brought to book.”Sawant said that the state vigilance department will investigate why over 200 tonne of rotten tur dal that have been lying in the godowns of the department of civil supplies since the start of the pandemic were allowed to rot. Sawant said that, after the inquiry, those found responsible will be punished.“He should not try to make some government officer a scapegoat. There is a procurement scam here and he needs to go in depth into this through an SIT,” said Sardesai. State civil supplies director Gopal Parsekar said 400 tonne of tur dal had been delivered to the department’s godowns at the start of the pandemic for distribution in containment zones through fair price shops. Of this, 242 tonne of the pulses valued at Rs 1.5 crore remained unsold at the godowns.The pulses were procured at Rs 79,000 per tonne and were to be sold to ration card holders at Rs 83 per kg over a period of two months.Congress said that BJP’s lies are unravelling.
The Delhi High Court on Monday sought union minister Smriti Irani’s response to an application moved by Google stating that it cannot remove the alleged defamatory content against her in connection with Silly Souls Café and Bar on Youtube on its own without it being provided the links of those videos.Justice Mini Pushkarna in the order passed last month had directed Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh, Pawan Khera and Netta D’Souza to delete and remove their posts on social media against Irani. The court had further directed Google, Twitter and Meta to remove such content “or anything similar thereto” from their platforms.Senior advocate Arvind Nigam along with advocate Mamta Jha, appearing for Google, Monday submitted that the plaintiff needs to provide it the URLs of the content, which is required to be taken off from YouTube in accordance with the court order. “If we have doubts [about content removal request], we will inform the plaintiff and then the plaintiff can approach the court [for clarification],” submitted Jha, while presenting to the bench previous court orders where such procedure has been followed.Jha contended that social media intermediaries “are not adjudicating bodies” and cannot decide what is “similar content”. She further argued that the plaintiff is under an obligation to give links to Google for further action. The application was opposed by Irani’s lawyer.Nigam told the court that only one URL was provided to Google and the same has been disabled in accordance with the court order. The court was told that Irani may provide more URLs to Google and action shall be taken as and when they are received. Google’s counsel further told the court that it should be saved from any contempt action.In the order directing the Congress leaders to delete the alleged defamatory content including the video of the press conference held on July 23, the court had observed that neither the restaurant nor the land on which it exists is owned by Irani and her daughter.“Considering the documents on record it is clearly seen that there was no licence which was ever issued in favour of the plaintiff or her daughter. The plaintiff or her daughter are not the owners of the restaurant. It has also been established by the plaintiff prima facie that the plaintiff or her daughter never applied for licence,” said the court in the order dated July 29.It further said, “Neither the restaurant nor the land on which the restaurant exists is owned by the plaintiff or her daughter even the show cause notice issued by the Government of Goa is not in the name of the plaintiff or her daughter. All these facts have also been affirmed in the affidavit by the plaintiff.”In their press conference last month, the Congress accused Irani’s daughter of running the restaurant in Goa “illegally”, with the bar licence procured “fraudulently” in the name of a deceased person. The Congress also had demanded the resignation of Irani from the Union Cabinet.Irani’s suit alleges that the Congress leaders “conspired with each other and with unknown individuals/ organisations to launch a tirade of false, scathing and belligerent personal attacks” against her and her daughter “with the common motive to malign, defame and injure” their reputation, moral character and public image.