Nation
Manmohan Singh thanks Congress, Sonia Gandhi for showing solidarity
Sonia Gandhi led a march to show solidarity to Singh’s residence in which several of former ministers Chidambaram, Anand Sharma, Ambika Soni, Veerappa Moily and K Rehman Khan were present
 
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday thanked the Congress and party Chief Sonia Gandhi for showing solidarity with him and said he was grateful to them.
 
Shortly after the Congress President and other top leaders marched to his residence to show their support to him, he said he was “more than pleased and grateful”.
 
“The Congress party, Soniaji and all members of the working committee and senior leaders have come to my residence, expressed solidarity with me and that we will fight this case to the best of our ability,” said the former Prime Minister, who has been summoned as an accused in a coal scam case.
 
Earlier in the day, Sonia Gandhi chaired a meeting of the CWC at Congress headquarters and immediately led a march to Singh’s residence about half a km away in the heart of the capital in which several of Singh’s Cabinet colleagues P Chidambaram, Anand Sharma, Ambika Soni, Veerappa Moily and K Rehman Khan were present.
 
The Congress leaders also attacked the government accusing it of maintaining a “studied silence” after the CBI had told the court that there was no criminality involved in the allocation of Talabira coal blocks II to Hindalco company of Aditya Birla group in Odisha in 2005 when Singh also held the portfolio of coal. Gandhi declared that they would fight the case with all legal means at their command
 
“I was outraged at the news that summons had been served to Manmohan Singh,” the Congress President said.
 
“The former Prime Minister is known not only in our country but throughout the world as being a person of integrity and probity. We are here to offer our unstinted support, our solidarity.
 
“The Congress party is fully behind him. We shall fight this legally and with all our means at our command. We are sure, we are convinced that he will be vindicated,” she told reporters at Singh’s residence. 
 
A special court had summoned Singh along with industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla, ex-coal secretary PC Parakh and three others as accused in a case pertaining to allocation of Talabira-II coal block in Odisha in 2005 and asked them to appear before it on 8th April. 

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BBC Nirbhaya documentary: Delhi HC says media trials tend to influence judges
The HC said prima facie it is not opposed to airing of BBC's Nirbhaya documentary, it should be released after the Supreme Court decides the appeals of the convicts
 
Media trials tend to influence judges by subconsciously creating a pressure, the Delhi High Court observed Thursday while hearing a petition on the airing of the controversial documentary on 16th December gangrape case.
 
A bench of justices BD Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva said although it is prima facie not opposed to airing of the documentary, it should be released after the Supreme Court decides the appeals of the convicts in the matter.
 
"Media trials do tend to influence judges. Subconsciously a pressure is created and it does have an effect on the sentencing of the accused/ convict," it said in support of its observation.
 
The bench was of the view that the documentary could "interfere with the justice system" but refused to pass any interim orders saying it has to be decided by an appropriate bench of Chief Justice.
 
"We are prima facie not opposed to airing of the documentary, but only after the Supreme Court decides the appeals."
 
"Had it been originally placed before us, we would have asked you to place material before us on why ban be lifted. But it has come here from the roster bench of Chief Justice, so we will not pass any interim orders. Let the roster bench decide it," the court said and listed the matter for hearing on 18th March.
 
Observing that airing of the video could make or ruin the case of one of the rape convicts, Mukesh, it said, "Whether he has shown remorse or not would be considered at the time of his sentencing. Why not wait till the Supreme Court decision?"
 
On the contention that ban on airing of the video till apex court judgement could also lead to gag on reporting of all sub-judice matters, the bench said,"We agree."
 
It said that earlier media had a self-imposed code of not reporting sub-judice matters, but now "media has thrown it (the code) to the winds".
 
The Central government, represented by advocate Monika Arora, opposed airing of the documentary saying it would give a platform to the convict to air his views and that it also contains derogatory statements against the victim.
 
She also said that Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry only issued an advisory to cable TV networks to abide by the magisterial court's order banning airing of the documentary.
 
The petitioners, on the other hand, claimed that as the government failed to control spread of the documentary via Internet and since its viewing by lakhs of people caused no untoward or law and order situation there are no grounds for banning the video.

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Unreasonable to expect big bang reforms in India, says Arvind Subramanian

According to the Chief Economic Advisor although it was unreasonable to expect big bang reforms announcement in annual Budget, the Narendra Modi government is moving ahead slowly but steadily

 

In vibrant democracies like India, with multiple veto centres, it is “unreasonable” to expect “big bang reforms”, feels Arvind Subramanian, the country’s top economist.
 
In his maiden public appearance in Washington after being appointed as India’s Chief Economic Advisor last year, Subramanian, also told a top American think-tank this week that India is “still very much a recovering economy, not a surging economy“.
 
He said though it was unreasonable to expect big bang reforms announcement in annual budget, the new “government is moving ahead” slowly but steadily with a series of key policy and fiscal reforms that “would change” the face of India in the years to come.
 
“This budget maintains and accelerates the reform momentum,” he said.
 
“Big bang reforms in robust - what I say frustratingly vibrant democracies such as India - are the exception, rather than the rule. In countries like India power is so dispersed, there’s so many veto centres - the Centre, the states, different institutions.
 
“You know, the power to do, undo, block, is so extensive, that, you know, it’s a bit unreasonable,” Subramanian said in his address to the prestigious Peterson Institute for International Economics.
 
“India is neither in crisis or was neither in crisis. I mean, nor is it one of those places where you can just pull these levers and expect a big bang reform. So the argument we were making is this is just a completely unreasonable standard to apply to India,” Subramanian told the global financial think-tank, where he worked before being appointed as India’s Chief Economic Advisor.
 
In his power-point presentation on the annual Indian budget presented by the Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, he said it focusses on key areas including push for public investment.
 
“We are pushing growth via public and private investment. It is not coming at the cost of fiscal consolidation. It’s accompanied by an improvement in the quality of fiscal consolidation. So this is a big part of the budget,” he said.
 
“The impulse to growth has to come in the short run from public investment. And that’s going to depend to a great extent upon implementation capacity in the public sector,” he said. 
 

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COMMENTS

vishal

2 years ago

the reforms are taking place in a snail pace not solving any major problem we are facing. Plenty of scope is still allowed due to rampant corruption in Government circles. Poor mans money is wasted for inefficiency in PSUs for supporting organised workers. Every one knows, big bang reforms will be stopped by the process of elections and votes in our system. When will the Indian people will see the light of hope.

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