Kolkata, May 21, 2013: Kolkata Ex-Xavierite – Lakshmi Newas Mittal pledged his support to his alma mater for its expansion in London at a felicitation ceremony held in his honour at the British Museum on May 18 evening in the presence of the British Jesuit Provincial, Indian High Commissioner, Alumni/ae and many distinguished guests. He also invited other Xaverians to generously support St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata in its academic and infrastructure expansion.
The steel tycoon and the richest man in Europe promised to provide funds for the Rajarhat campus of the College. “Fr Felix Raj has shared his dream with me. He has explained to me the SXC Vision 2020. It is my desire to help him and the College to realise the vision 2020″ he said.
He remembered his days at St. Xavier’s. He narrated how he got his admission after waiting for days in front of Fr. Joris’ office. When he topped the university, Fr. Joris asked him to teach at the College. Mr. Mittal said to Fr. Joris, ” Fr, If you begin the classes from 9 am instead of 6 am! “Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been if I had taken up the teaching offer of Fr. Joris?”, he mused.
Mr. Sudhir Maheswari and his team had made elaborate arrangements at British Museum. Mr. Mittal was the focal point of BB IV. Mr. Mittal, his wife, son and daughter in law were highly impressed by the gesture shown by the College and the Alumni Association. Mrs. Mittal particularly thanked Fr. Felix Raj for the honour bestowed on her husband.
Earlier Father Felix Raj had chartered the Vision SXC 2020 to the assembly of 300 Xaverians and guests. Mr. Sudhir Maheswari, Jermey Ghosh and Chiradip responded to the vision. ” To carry forward the vision and to realise it, we need the Xaverians to stand by their alma mater”. Xaverins like Sudhir Maheswari, Prashant Jhawar, Shirish Apte and Ram Chandra Saraf have come forward to pledge a sum of 21,000 pounds each for the development of the College.
About 133 strong team of Alumni/ae went from Kolkata led by Fr. Felix Raj and steered by the Association secretary, Firdausul Hasan in addition to 80 Xaverians from Bangalore, Dubai and Singapore.
New Delhi, May 21, 2013: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has invited applications for the award of 756 fellowships for the year 2013-14 under Maulana Azad National Fellowship (MANF) for the benefit of Minority Students belonging to Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist and Parsi communities. The fellowship will cover the students who are pursuing studies M.Phil/Ph.D degree (full time) in Sciences, Engineering and Technology, Humanities and Social Sciences.
However, the students availing themselves of the benefit of JRF of UGC-NET or UGC-CSIR NET are not eligible to apply.
Selection will be made on the basis of merit. The guidelines of the scheme, detailed terms and conditions of the fellowship, eligibility etc may be seen by logging on to the UGC website www.ugc.ac.in. Applications in the prescribed format may be submitted only through on line mode latest by one month’s time from the date of publication of the advertisement (non-extendable) by logging on to website www.ugc.ac.in/manf. On-line submission interface will be available on 14/05/2013 onwards.
The decision of the Commission with regard to selection of candidates for the award of fellowships shall be final. Some of the important points for the procedure are – the applications submitted only through online mode shall be entertained and no application submitted in hard copy shall be entertained or considered for award of fellowship in any circumstances whatsoever.
The record of the non-selected candidates shall not be preserved beyond three months from the date of declaration of results, which will be notified in the UGC website.
The objective of the Fellowship is to provide integrated five year fellowships in the form of financial assistance to students from minority communities, as notified by the Central Government to pursue higher studies such as M. Phil and Ph.D. The Fellowship will cover all Universities/Institutions recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC) under section 2(f) and section 3 of the UGC Act alongwith those which are not under the purview of UGC and will be implemented by the Ministry of Minority Affairs through UGC for students belonging to the minority communities. The fellowship holders under this Fellowship will be known as Ministry of Minority Affairs scholars.
Maharashtra, May 21, 2013: Muslims of Maharashtra through Muslim Reservation Conference in Aurangabad gave a loud and clear message to all the political parties that “No reservation means No vote”. Organized jointly by Muslim Reservation Front, Awami Vikas Party, JDS, and MIM the Muslim reservation conference attracted huge number of Muslims especially youngsters at the venue, Aam Khaas ground which was packed to limits with swelling crowd.
The star speaker of the conference was Hyderabad MP and president of Majlis-e-Itehadul Muslimeen Asaduddin Owaisi who attacked directly ruling Congress party and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and accused them of emotionally exploiting Muslims of Maharashtra just to gain their votes and power.
Formerly an ally of Congress now its nemesis, Owaisi even alleged that Congress party hatched a conspiracy to deny Muslims their right to live with self-respect in this nation. Owaisi urged Maharashtra Muslims to give evidence that they are a dynamic community, he urged them to stand up and fight for their rights and stop voting for the parties which claimed to be secular but deny Muslims their basic rights.
Known for his articulated style of argument Asaduddin Owaisi lambasted ruling Congress and NCP government in Maharashtra by quoting statistics from different government conducted surveys on the condition of Muslims in the state. Quoting National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (NMDFC) he said 6.8% Muslims in Maharashtra hold bank accounts, but only 0.2% was able to get bank loans.
He even alleged that NMDFC is not doing its job properly in the state, he said its micro credit scheme of 350 crores didn’t yield any result and 3311 labors from other minority communities were allotted loans but loan application of traditional weavers of Malegaon and Bhiwandi were rejected.
Asaduddin Owaisi, going by his emotional slang charged the crowd on every occasion asking them to introspect the reason for their under representation in Govt. jobs. Speaking on representation of Muslims in Maharashtra police he said out of 1, 80,000 personnel only 1,945 are Muslims. He then made contentious remarks saying if Muslim representation would have been there in Maharashtra police, Dhule town police firing in which six Muslims were brutally killed w wouldn’t had taken place, than he also requested media not make a post mortem of his words.
Mr. Owaisi was recently banned by Aurangabad police from entering the city after hate speech controversy of his brother, and he had to go to High Court to quash that ban. Now charged with thousands of crowd listening to him, he slammed former Maharashtra CM and present Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde for giving “promises as toffee” to the Muslims but not doing any ground work.
He said Home Minister promised fast track court for Muslims, but not implementing the same in the states where his party is ruling. Quoting a survey Owaisi said 23% (5,600) of jail inmates in Maharashtra are Muslims, out of which 65% are between the age group of 18-35.
He also added that central UPA Government is not implementing its schemes properly in four minority concentrated districts of Aurangabad, Hingoli, Prabhani, and Nanded of Maharashtra. Quoting figures on housing scheme he said the target of the scheme was 11,670 houses, out of which only 3,265 was built, and only 20% of those houses were allotted to Muslims.
Owaisi stressed that both state and central government failed to provide opportunities to Muslims, he said if Muslims of Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh can get OBC reservation than there is no reason why they should be deprived of the same quota in Maharashtra, by Government which is ruled by parties who claim to be secular.
Sushila Morale, President of OBC Sangharsh Samiti in her bold speech said that as opted from judicial decisions, central government should make constitutional changes to facilitate the way for Muslim reservation in OBC category. She also added that politicians and policy makers should stop playing the card of refusing Muslim OBC reservation on procedural and constitutional grounds.
Amid huge applause Convener of the Muslim Reservation Conference, and Janta Dal (secular) leader Ajmal Khan, threatened fast unto death, a state wide agitation to campaign for Muslim OBC reservation in Maharashtra, he said to create awareness among Muslim community in the state there is a need to intensify the agitation.
Meanwhile Aurangabad city police booked convener of the conference Ajmal Khan for violating the norms of the permission granted, police alleged that permission was granted for conducting a conference but program turned out to be a political function.
Pakistan, May 20, 2013: A Christian village named Khushpur in sub-district Samundari of Faisalabad district came under attack of Muslims on May 19, 2013, killing one Christian student of 10th Grade and injuring many Christian by firing.Father Felix, a European missionary who established a number of villages like Mariamabad in Shekhupura district, Francisabad in Shorkot, Jhang district in Pakistan. “Felix” is the Latin word for “happy”. The village was thus given the name of “Khushpur” in Urdu, the “land of Fr Felix” or “land of Happiness”.
Many important Catholic public figures come from the village in government records shown as Chak Number 451/GB; people like Bishop John Joseph, Bishop Rufin Anthony, Ilama Paul Ernest, and Shahbaz Bhatti were born and raised in this remote village;On informations of Muslims attack, contingents of police reached to village and prevented further killing by Muslims.Faisal Patras, a Christian student of class 10th of High School was killed by firing of Muslims while Danish Masih who is brother of Faisal Patras and Patras Masih father of deceased was seriously injured with bullet wounds when trying to safe Faisal Patras.
After agricultural revolution in Pakistan, many Christians peasants of these Christian villages in Punjab province of Pakistan which were distributed without any cost by Catholic and other missionaries moved to cities and sold this gifted land to Muslims.
Muslim attack was on a petty dispute on a piece of land which Christian of Khushpur have sold to Muslims.
According to Samundari Social Media Network, there was killing of one Christian in other Christian village Chack Number 468/GB in this district one months ago by firing of Muslims and killers are at large, this other killing happened.
Mr. Khalid Gill, Chief Organizer of All Pakistan Minorities Alliance APMA have strongly condemned attack on village Khushpur and killing of a Christian student.
Mr. Gill have demanded immediate arrest of killers and security of the Christians which are under constant attack of Muslims in Punjab province of Pakistan.
While senior Congress legislator Qamar-ul Islam will head the Municipal Administration, Public Enterprises, Minorities Welfare, and Haj & Wakf ministry, UT Khader will be in charge of the Health & Family Welfare portfolio.
Of the total 34 ministerial berths, the Chief Minister himself will be in charge of 11 key departments, including the Finance Department, Energy, Large & Medium Scale, Industries, Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms, Cabinet Affairs, Planning and Statistics, Intelligence Wing, Bangalore City, Mines & Geology, IT, BT and Science & Technology Department and Sericulture.
Qamar-ul Islam, or Qamar Saab as he is referred as is a six-time MLA from the Gulbarga-North constituency. A powerful orator, Muslim groups in Hyderabad Karnataka region have demanded the government to appoint him as a deputy speaker of the state. He has served as the Cabinet Minister for Housing and Labour in the Veerappa Moily cabinet in the past.
U T Khader is a three-time MLA from Mangalore (Ullal) and enjoys a huge following among all religious sections.
Though there were huge expectations that, five times MLA and former Home Minister R Roshan Baig will be inducted in the ministry, the Congress party, however, decided not to include any tainted ministers in the new cabinet.
R Roshan Baig is one of the many ‘Muslim leaders’ of the state named in the two-lakh crore Wakf land scam.
Over 70,000 Christians have died and over a million forced to flee to neighboring countries since the beginning of civil war in Syria.
Over 70,000 Christians have died and over a million forced to flee to neighboring countries since the beginning of civil war in Syria.
The Syrian civil war is an ongoing armed conflict in Syria between forces loyal to the Syrian Ba’ath Party government and those seeking to oust it. The conflict began on 15 March 2011, with popular demonstrations that grew nationwide by April 2011.
The strife has become increasingly violent and left most of the churches and Christian properties in Syria damaged.
The decision to collect the money was taken at a meeting of vicars and trustees of the churches held on Sunday.
The congregation of each church has been asked to contribute as much as they can to the fund. The amount thus collected would be handed over to the Catholicos Baselios Thomas I by June 10.
The amount would be taken to Syria by a team of metropolitans, said church spokesperson Fr Varghese Kallappara.
“They have not sought any help, but we thought it was our duty to support them in this time of crisis. At least 40-50 percent of the Christian population in Syria has been wiped out by the violence. There would be only 20 percent living in the country. This is the first time we are offering such a help to Syria,” said Fr Kallappara.
A bishops’ synod will be held to decide on the metropolitans who would go to Syria with the collected amount.
Mathews Mor Themothios, the metropolitan secretary of the Patriarch of Antioch, will lead the team.
- times of india
Madhya Pradesh, May 20, 2013: Bilauha, a Bajrang Dal activist, and the two accomplices were transporting over 150 cows and calves for slaughter from Badagaon to Ganiyari when they were stopped about 35 km from Katni.
In an embarrassment for the ruling BJP, one of its leaders who was till recently an active member of its cow protection cell, has been booked under a legislation that prohibits cow slaughter. Former district convener of BJP’s cow cell Vipin Bilauha, who lives in Katni’s Gayatrinagar area, and his two accomplices, M L Jain and Kandhi Yadav, have been charged under sections 4, 6, and 9 of the MP Prohibition of Slaughter of Cow-progeny Act.
Katni SP Rajesh Hingankar told The Indian Express that the trio had fled after abandoning the cattle and were likely to be arrested soon. He said they were involved in facilitating illegal transport of cattle across borders.
Not so long ago, Bilauha and other Bajrang Dal members used to regularly raid vehicles to check if they were carrying cattle meant for cow slaughter. There were complaints that they were involved in irregularities like charging money to allow passage of cows meant for slaughter. Bilauha had been removed from the post following such complaints.
Investigating Officer M P Patel said the police had been tipped by a current member of the cow protection cell about Bilauha’s activities. The impounded cattle have been kept at a nearby village.
MP last year amended the legislation making cow slaughter punishable with a seven year jail term and shifting the burden of proof to the accused.
Though the law had been amended to plug loopholes exploited by the accused to make conviction difficult, there had been several complaints against right wing activists that they harassed cattle owners and raided even authorised vehicles. In fact, the idea behind the country’s first cow sanctuary, whose foundation was laid in Shajapur district recently in the presence of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, was first mooted in 2008 to shelter cattle ‘freed’ after raids by right wing organisations.
- indian express
Savio Dominic Fernandes to serve, by the grace of God
Mumbai, May 16, 2013: “I feel God’s love poured onto me and my response to it will be service with love in response to God’s love,” Mgr Savio Dominic Fernandes said. “Christ called me to serve as a priest, and with His Grace, I shall serve him as a bishop,” he told AsiaNewsafter Pope Francis yesterday appointed him and Mgr John Rodrigues as auxiliary bishops of Mumbai.
“It came as a complete surprise,” the new bishop said. “I feel very humble. I never expected to be a bishop. I remember the days when I felt called by God to the priestly vocation.
The two bishops-elect were also given respectively to the titular sees of Cozila and Deulto.
Chancellor of the Archdiocese, Mgr Fernandes was also in charge of the Women Commission of the Archdiocese of Mumbai. Now his priority will be “to serve God by serving the most vulnerable, the weakest, the needy and downtrodden.”
“In our country,” he explained, “women and girls are the most vulnerable. Regrettably, the patriarchal mindset does not consider women as equal, beginning with the sanctity of the home. This mindset has to change and doing so will be a significant part of my service. I shall defend the sacredness of life, teach values, and teach the dignity of girls.”
For him, “Parents must learn that girls and boys are equal in dignity and should have equal rights and opportunities.”
The new auxiliary bishop wants to focus on the religious sphere. “I find,” he said, “that spirituality has been relegated to the background and it has all become materialistic.”
“I plan to increase my personal holiness and through that, people may also be affected and gain holiness. I plan to be a good spiritual leader. This is what, according to me, Bombay and the whole country need”.
From a large family of five children, Mgr Fernandes lost his father a few years ago. His 92-years-old mother is still alive. “It never dawned on her that I could become a bishop,” he said, but “she always prayed for me, ever since I entered the seminary, that I might be a good priest.”
John Rodrigues: “Building the Body of Christ in the Year of Faith”
Mumbai, May 17, 2013: Building the Body of Christ. This will be the Episcopal motto of Msgr. John Rodrigues, appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Mumbai on May 15 by the Pope. In an interview with AsiaNews, the bishop speaks of the challenges and hopes for this new mission: “I am happy and I thank God for this gift, which allows me to carry on His ministry with greater force.”
Msgr. Rodrigues is currently the coordinator of the Archdiocese for the Year of Faith: “This is a happy moment for everyone, because the appointment of a bishop is also an opportunity to renew their faith in God. It’s also a time to trust in God and I trust that God will give me the strength, with faith I take up this responsibility. I haven’t really thought about my motto but I think it will be to build up the body of Christ in the work of service. The whole church is called to be the body of Christ and continue to do the work of Jesus inspired by his spirit. ”
In Mumbai the Year of Faith is lived with particular spirit: “The Church in this year of faith needs to get back to its roots. Faith is a personal aspect of each person and it is also shared in the community. As we share our faith experiences we strengthen each other’s faith. In Mumbai there is a need for adult faith formation. There are many who want to know more about the faith and have a great interest also in the scriptures and church’s teaching”.
For this, the Archdiocese has chosen a particular road: “Instead of having a centralized system, each commission plans something. For this month there is a vigil for the parishes planned by the liturgical centre, for June there is a Triduum, in August it is faith in the Indian context. In September we have the children’s novena at the cathecatical centre. In October we will focus on missions. ”
But one of the most important moments will undoubtedly June 2: “The festival of Corpus Christi we will have Eucharistic adoration in communion with that of the Holy Father in St. Peter’s. It is significant that we will be in union with the universal church as it is also a sign of our union with Pope Francis and with all the other churches of the world, each going through different situations, some are struggling, some moving forward. To remind us that Christ is here with us, that we form the body of Christ in the world. The sense of unity which comes through this prayer is very important”.
Corpus Christi and the Year of Faith have a particular relevance in India, where religious intolerance is on the rise: “It’s a joy that we share the good news of Christ with others. We have the right to do it and we continue doing it. While we pray for the people who are intolerant towards the Good News – either because of misinformation, suspicion or any other false propaganda – we continue to share the Joy of the Gospel with our lives, our service and through preaching the Word of God. While we continue to pray and work with Spirit of Truth and Faith to build the Body of Christ, we also speak up for the right of religious freedom. ”
New Delhi, May 19, 2013: In a joint statement signed by several eminent personalities and civil rights activists, including Teesta Setalavad (activist, Mumbai); Shabnam Hashmi (ANHAD), Kavita Srivastava (PUCL); Ahmed Sohaib (JTSA); Mansi Sharma (activist, Delhi); Mahtab Alam (activist, Delhi); Manisha Sethi (JTSA), Mukul Kesavan (Historian), and Swami Agnivesh among others have condemned the ‘custodial killing’ of Khalid Mujahid and demanded time bound CBI enquiry and arrest the guilty Police officers without delay.
Khalid Mujahid, proclaimed by the police as one of the executors of the serial blasts that rocked UP courts in November 2007, died in police custody yesterday (18th May 2013). This young man, with no past medical record, the police claim died of sudden medical complications, on his way back to Lucknow prison, having made his appearance in court in Barabanki in connection with the serial blasts case. In 2011, a report, Torture in India, had documented how custodial killings were rampantly passed off as sudden medical complications and natural deaths (ACHR, p. 8).
Foul Play Obvious:
- The DIG, Faizabad, Dharmendra Singh Yadav, first announced that his death had been caused by ‘heat wave’ and then the story quickly changed to ‘heart attack’.
- His lawyer, Md. Shoaib, who met Khalid in the court, and in fact was with him till 3 in the afternoon, had found him to be normal, healthy and in high spirits. Eyewitnesses who saw the body before it was sent for autopsy found signs of bleeding from his mouth and ear.
- Moreover, Advocate Md. Shoaib has pointed out that whilst he was wearing a kurta pyajama in the court appearance earlier in the day, the dead body wore lowers and T-shirt, clearly indicating foul play.
- Why was the inquest conducted in such a hurried manner without the presence of Mujahid’s family and lawyer? Indeed, had it not been for the large public mobilization, the police and local administration were planning to conduct the autopsy quickly and secretively.
It may be recalled that while the UP STF had claimed to have arrested Mujahid and Qasmi from the Lucknow Charbagh railway station 22 December 2007, the two has actually been picked up days before in full public view, triggering fears of abduction. There had been demonstrations at the local administration demanding for their release as well as filing of a missing persons complaint before the sensational press conference by the STF announcing their arrests.
The long struggle by the democratic forces in UP against the blatant framing of Khalid Mujahid and Tariq Qasmi in the serial court blasts case, which led to the institution of R.D. Nimesh Commission, and the subsequent dismissal of the police claims about the timing and place of arrest of Mujahid and Qasmi, had made the police establishment in UP very nervous. It was obvious that the public pressure was not simply to release the duo but also to seek the prosecution of those policemen, then in the STF, who had falsely framed them.In these circumstances the ‘heart attack’ theory looks implausible and a brazen attempt to hide a blatant case of custodial killing.
We reject the UP Chief Minister’s announcement of a High powered enquiry committee packed with senior bureaucrats and high ranking UP police officers.
We demand that:
- Khalid Mujahid’s death be treated as a case of custodial killing and a case of murder be booked against those police officers escorting him;
- Those policemen named in the FIR filed by Khalid Mujahid’s family in the early hours today, should be arrested without delay
- The CBI enquiry be made time-bound;
- The post mortem report and the videography of the postmortem be made public;The Chief Minister should assure the safety and protection of Tariq Qasmi and other accused in the case;
- The Chief Minister should immediately order compensation to the family of Khalid Mujahid.
Teesta Setalavad (activist, Mumbai); Shabnam Hashmi (ANHAD), Kavita Srivastava (PUCL); Ahmed Sohaib (JTSA); Mansi Sharma (activist, Delhi); Mahtab Alam (activist, Delhi); Manisha Sethi (JTSA), Sangahmitra Misra (JTSA), Mukul Kesavan (writer and historian, Delhi), Ajit Sahi (journalist, Delhi), Prof. Harbans Mukhia (Academic, Delhi), Prof. Shohini Ghosh (filmmaker and academic, Delhi), Harsh Kapoor (SACW.net, Delhi), S R Darapur (Retired IPS), Saba Naqvi (journalist, Delhi), Panini Anand (journalist, Delhi), Pervez Bari (journalist, Bhopal), Trideep Pais (lawyer, Delhi), Mayur Suresh (Lawyer), Dr Zafarul Islam Khan (Senior Journalist, Delhi), Asad Zaidi (writer and publisher, Delhi), Sukla Sen (Ekta, Mumbai), Prof. Anuradha Chenoy (Academic, Delhi), Prof. Kamal Mitra Chenoy (Academic, Delhi), Prof. Mohan Rao (Academic, Delhi), Anuradha Bhasin (Senior Journalist, Jammu), Dr. Lubna Sawarth (Hyderabad Aman Manch, Hyderabad), Iqbal Ahmed (journalist, Delhi), Zafarullah Khan, Kamayani Bali Mahabal (Lawyer, Mumbai), Wilfred D’Costa (Insaf, Delhi), Subhash Gatade (New Socialist Initiative); Himadri Mistry (Delhi School of Economics); BRP Bhaskar (senior journalist), Arundhati Dhuru (NAPM), Aijaz Zaka Syed, (Columnist and Writer), Dr. Sandeep Pandey (Magsaysay Awardee), Areeb Rizvi (Student, Jamia), Uma V Chandru (WSS and PUCL-Bangalore), Md Shadab Ansari (lawyer, Jharkhand), Gauhar Iqbal (Activist, Delhi) Atanu De, Faizullah, (Academician, TISS Mumbai), Himanshu Bhagat ( Freelance journalist), Syed Hassan Kazim (Journalist , New Delhi), Kumar Sundaram, (Researcher and Activist, Delhi), Madhumita Dutta (activist, Chennai, Tamilnadu), Musab Iqbal (Journalist, Bangalore), Amalendu Upadhyaya, (Senior Journalist, Ghaziabad, UP),Arshad Ajmal (Activist, Patna), Abu Zafar (journalist, Delhi),Kundan Panday (Journalist), Salar Khan (lawyer, Delhi), Swami Agniwesh (Activist, Delhi), AarizMohammed (Muslim Empowerment Movement, Hyderabad), M Siddiqui (United Kingdom), Ovais Sultan (activist, Delhi) and many others.
New Delhi, May 17, 2013: In what could give rise to a fresh controversy, the government Thursday pushed the candidature of former Supreme Court judge Cyriac Joseph for the post of Member, National Human Rights Commission, ignoring the BJP’s concerns over his “integrity and competence”.
The post is reserved for a former SC judge and is vacant since Justice G P Mathur completed his term in January.
It is learnt that at Thursday’s meeting of the selection committee, chaired by PM Manmohan Singh, Leaders of Opposition in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, respectively, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley gave written reasons for opposing Joseph’s name and walked out of the meeting. But the government is likely to use its majority on the panel, which also has Speaker Meira Kumar, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien, to clear his name.
Last month also, the government had ignored the BJP leaders’ opposition to the candidature of then NIA chief, S C Sinha, and appointed him Member, NHRC.
The Indian Express had first reported on April 8 that the government planned to use its majority in the selection panel to appoint Justice Joseph to the post despite an adverse report from the Intelligence Bureau. The report had scuttled his chance of being made chairperson of the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal.
In his dissent note, Jaitley said of the three ex-judges proposed for the post — Joseph, B Sudershan Reddy and V S Sirpurkar — Joseph was “completely unsuitable”.
“He has been, even during his tenure as a judge, perceived to be close to certain political and religious organisations. His close proximity to religious organisations is evident from the fact that media reports have indicated that when certain nuns were sexually assaulted, as a sitting judge of SC he visited the institutions where narco analysis of the accused was being carried out in Karnataka… He was quoted in the media as having stated that for him his religious affinity was more important that his commitment as a judge,” Jaitley’s note said.
Jaitley also cited Joseph’s poor track-record as a judge. “He was known for not writing judgments. As against a few hundred judgments authored by every judge of the SC, during his tenure Justice Cyric Joseph is believed to have written only six judgments,” the note said.
Since there were other “eminent retired judges” eligible for the post, including Justices Reddy and Sirpurkar, Jaitley said he was “unable to persuade myself to concur to the appointment” of Joseph.
In her note, Swaraj wrote, “Integrity and competence are essential for a public office. The proposed name lacks both. Therefore, I disagree.”
- indian express