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No Indian in ICC's 2015 cricket World Cup team
No Indian features in the 2015 International Cricket Council's (ICC) World Cup team, according to a release by the sport's governing body on Monday.
 
India were defeated by eventual champions Australia in the semi-finals of the competition. India remained unbeaten till the tournament's last-four stage, bowling out opponents in seven consecutive matches alongwith some strong performances by a powerful batting order.
 
According to the release, the names of Indian bowlers Umesh Yadav (18 wickets), Mohammad Shami (17 wickets) and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (13 wickets) were discussed as possible selections in the team but ultimately they didn't make it due to superior individual performances by others.
 
Pacer Umesh Yadav finished as the third-highest wicket taker in the tournament with 18 wickets behind Man-of-the-Tournament Australia's Mitchell Starc (22 wickets) and New Zealand's Trent Boult (22 wickets).
 
"There were a number of other players that were discussed as possible selections in the team. These included batsmen Mahmudullah Riyad (Bangladesh) and Shaiman Anwar (the United Arab Emirates), Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami (India), Wahab Riaz (Pakistan) and spinners Imran Tahir (South Africa) and Ravichandran Ashwin (India)," Geoff Allardice, ICC general manager of cricket and chairman of the selection panel, said on Monday.
 
"But there were so many brilliant individual performances during the tournament that it was not possible to fit them into the team. The panel eventually came up with this side, which, in their view, was the most balanced outfit that is capable of beating any side on any given day," Allardice said.
 
Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan who scored 412 runs in the tournament with two centuries also couldn't find a place in the team.
 
New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum was chosen as the captain following his aggressive leadership during the tournament that was the cornerstone of his team's progression to the final where it lost to Australia by seven wickets.
 
In addition to McCullum, the side includes four New Zealanders -- all-rounder Corey Anderson, pacer Trent Boult, opener Martin Guptill and spinner Daniel Vettori.
 
Australia has three players in the squad, all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, batsman Steven Smith and pacer Starc.
 
Two South Africans, skipper AB de Villiers and seamer Morne Morkel, with Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara as wicketkeeper-batsman have been selected.
 
Zimbabwe batsman Brendan Taylor, who finished with 433 runs in six matches, was named as the 12th man.
 
The team:
Brendon McCullum (New Zealand, captain), Martin Guptill (New Zealand), Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka, wicketkeeper), Steve Smith (Australia), AB de Villiers (South Africa), Glenn Maxwell (Australia), Corey Anderson (New Zealand), Daniel Vettori (New Zealand), Mitchell Starc (Australia), Trent Boult (New Zealand), Morne Morkel (South Africa), Brendan Taylor (Zimbabwe) (12th man).

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Flood horror haunts Srinagar, people abandon homes, shops
Nisar Hussain, 65, who lives in the Gogjibagh residential area of Srinagar, repents his decision to have come back home after three months. For his 60-year-old wife and 27-year-old daughter, this has been the second uprooting after unprecedented floods hit Jammu and Kashmir last year.
 
When flood waters rose to the second floor of his house in September 2014, Nisar and his family remained trapped in the attic for three days before the army's rescue team came to move them out in motor boats.
 
He and his family moved to a relative's house in old city area of Habba Kadal for two months. And then in December, after locking his flood ravaged house, Nisar shifted with family to Delhi where he lived for three months at a rented accommodation.
 
"I came back to my home after over three months. We started living on the first floor of our home as the ground floor still smells of flood and fungus," he told IANS.
 
A worried Nisar said that on Sunday night he had to quickly shift his family to Habba Kadal after flood alert was sounded by the authorities. 
 
"This is a trauma. My daughter simply refused to live at Gogjibagh after the news about the water level rising in the Jhelum river was flashed on the TV news channels," he said.
 
"I would not have come back, had my daughter not to report for duty early this month. It is simply intolerable. What is this? We had floods in autumn, we have them in the spring now. Summers are otherwise also known for floods in Kashmir," he said.
 
Nisar is one of dozens of other families who have moved during the past three days in areas like Rajbagh, Jawahar Nagar, Wazir Bagh, and Gogjibagh. These localities bore the brunt of flood devastation in September 2014. Any downpour has been bad news for thousands of residents in these areas since September.
 
Ghulam Rasool, 56, another local who had come back to live in his flood hit home in Rajbagh, did not even wait for the authorities to warn him.
 
"I left everything behind and shifted out of my home along with my family hardly four hours after it looked the rain was unending during Saturday night," he recalled.
 
Shopkeepers in the once posh and fashionable Residency Road, Lal Chowk and Maisuma commercial hubs started shifting their merchandise since Sunday morning, loading goods on big and small load carriers depending on the stocks in their shops.
 
These commercial areas of the city had remained submerged under flood waters for over 20 days in September 2014 even after the water level had receded to normal in the Jhelum river.
 
"Once bitten is twice shy. But I don't think there is a proverb about somebody's state of mind who is bitten twice. I have still been redoing the windows and showcases of my shop and here is another disaster staring straight into my eyes. This is maddening," said Altaf Ahmad, 54, who owns a shop on Residency Road in Srinagar.
 
What has made matters worse is anti-social elements posting last year's flood pictures showing inundated homes and areas. These posts on social networking sites, claiming these pictures were recent, have caused panic.
 
Authorities have asked people living close to the Jhelum to exercise extreme caution. The massive waterlogging in the city has created a flood like situation in roads, bylanes and markets.
 
People wading in knee-deep water and vehicles suffering mechanical failure is a common sight in the city.
 
Naeem Akhtar, a senior minister in the ruling coalition, says the water table is already high due to last year's floods and a downpour is enough to choke the drainage system in Srinagar.
 
It stopped raining in the state since Monday morning and the weather office has said there would be decrease in precipitation.
 
"But, another Western Disturbance is likely to hit the state on April 3 although it would not be so active as the present one that resulted in heavy rainfall during the last three days," Sonam Lotus, director of the local weather office told IANS on Monday.
 
Authorities have said there has been no breach in the river embankment anywhere in the valley and since the rainfall has stopped, water levels in rivers and streams would start coming down from Tuesday.
 
These assurances, however, mean little to people who have been living on the edge since the September 2014 floods ravaged their lives as another is looming large over them.

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COMMENTS

Deepak R Khemani

2 years ago

If this is the condition of people living in Srinagar one shudders to imagine the plight of people living in far away rural areas who have been affected by the floods.

Beyond Section 66A: Draconian Laws & Their Implementation Need Review
Section 66A, is only one of many ways in which the State and its entities can unjustly curtail individual freedom. Here is one more example—of SEBI
 
The social media erupted in jubilation over the Supreme Court (SC) of India’s judgement scrapping Section 66A of the Information Technology Act (IT Act). The elation is well warranted. After all, the 2008 amendment to Section 66A allowed the police, and everyone who could influence them, to arrest, victimise and terrorise us, based on the most specious interpretation of “grossly offensive or menacing messages.” 
 
Unfortunately, this celebration ignores the fact that a nasty government has many more such weapons in its arsenal. Also, many people with power—netas, babus, cops, regulators, investigation agencies, journalists and corporate houses—will ruthlessly curtail the liberty and freedom of ordinary persons, if they can get away with it.
 
One of the many cases against Section 66A before the SC was filed by www.mouthshut.com, a popular site which allows individuals to post frank reviews of brands, products and services. Its founder, Faisal Farooquie, was forced to approach the apex court to put an end to threats, defamation notices and over 800 ‘takedown orders’ to remove negative content. Many notices demanded the IP addresses of reviewers. Mr Farooquie says, “We were forced to remove content; else we risked exposing our reviewers to potential arrest.” The threats were from businesses whose CEOs usually present a benign face while their legal teams play dirty. Following the SC judgement, courts will determine the content that must be removed. 
 
The Section 66A judgement has, indeed, overturned one of the worst curbs on freedom of expression; but it is just the first step towards undoing the many damages caused by the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government.
 
Two other orders, in March 2015, demonstrate the dangerous portends of empowering the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) with draconian powers to jail individuals, or to destroy companies and shareholder wealth, through capricious actions. Worse, SEBI’s badly conceived actions have probably let off two sets of entities that deserve severe punitive action.
 
Let’s start with DLF Ltd, where the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) overturned SEBI’s order barring the company and its chairman, KP Singh, and key directors from the capital market for three years. As I have pointed out earlier, SEBI’s investigation dragged on for seven years, when DLF was perceived to be close to the UPA high-command. Once the Modi government came to power, SEBI got cracking on a complaint about misstatements in DLF’s initial public offering (IPO) prospectus of 2007. Its October 2014 ban on DLF was geared to cripple the company at a time when the realty market was saddled with unsold inventories and banks were trying to recover over Rs20,000 crore from DLF. The stock crashed 28% on SEBI’s order. 
 
We have no sympathy for DLF’s arrogant promoters and their attempts to short-change investors. But that is precisely why one expects the regulator to ensure that its enforcement actions stand the scrutiny of legal appeals. 
 
Instead, SEBI repeatedly misled investors by being soft on DLF, even supporting its obfuscation of facts in court. The SAT order, correctly, says that SEBI “cannot suddenly be allowed to take a somersault after 7 years and come to a contrary view,” particularly, at the instance of a complainant who had his own vested interest in the matter and is not even an investor. SAT has also noted the losses caused to investors after the SEBI order and called it a ‘grave miscarriage of justice’. Ironically, it will be a grave miscarriage of justice if DLF promoters get away with their shenanigans and SEBI’s top brass is not held accountable for dragging its feet and its multiple somersaults. 
 
It is pertinent to note that even when Indian courts strike down controversial, or vindictive, orders of regulators or investigation agencies, they rarely pin accountability on specific officials, or question the process of supervision and governance. Payment of costs and damages to those affected by such actions are  niggardly, usually. On the other hand, the regulator uses taxpayers’ money to hire the best legal firepower (often a solicitor general or attorney general) and can choose to appeal, or drop cases, without serious accountability.
 
This is best exemplified by how SEBI exercised its newly acquired power to arrest and jail. This power was granted through a hasty amendment of the SEBI Act at the end of the UPA government’s term. On 18 December 2014, 58-year old Vinod Hingorani, non-executive chairman of Adam Comsoft and Kolar Biotech, was sent to jail for failing to pay a Rs1.10-crore penalty. 
 
The case pertains to three companies that indulged in outrageous market manipulation and cheated investors; these were: Kolar Biotech, Adam Comsoft India and Soundcraft. This is probably why there was no comment or support from industry chambers and law firms over about the manner in which SEBI exercised its powers. All three companies are connected to Raj Kumar Basantani. After a slow, dragging investigation, SEBI ordered a penalty of Rs1.10 crore for fraudulent activities which was not paid for over four years. So, SEBI went after Vinod Hingorani to recover the money (Mr Hingorani is the brother of Raj Basantani’s wife, but claims that he was only an employee). 
 

SEBI first attached his demat and bank account but found just Rs5,160 there. Then, he was issued two quick show-cause notices, on 21 November 2014 and 10 December 2014, asking why he should not be jailed for failing to pay. His passport had already been impounded. After rejecting several other pleas by Mr Hingorani, including one for legal representation, SEBI decided to detain him in its office on 27th December until he submitted a proposal to pay.  On 28th December, it sent him to jail when he failed to come up with a payment plan. SEBI’s speed of action would have been highly commendable, only if it had shown the good sense to follow the tax-recovery rules (under which it exercises power of arrest and imprisonment), because it is playing with the life and liberty of an individual.
 
Mr Hingorani approached the Bombay High Court (HC) which first decided on the jurisdiction issue and then ruled that SEBI had exercised “the power of arrest in total contravention of the provisions” and that the order was “arbitrary, illegal and void.” The HC also noted that SEBI had failed to show that Mr Hingorani had concealed, transferred or removed his property. In a stinging indictment, the HC said, “Rule 73 does not confer power on the Tax Recovery Officer to arrest and detain the defaulter for not giving a proposal for payment of dues. Ordering arrest and detention for not giving a proposal of repayment is a sheer abuse of power. Similarly, in the absence of the finding that the petitioner had means to pay, the mere non-payment of dues does not constitute neglect or refusal to pay.” 
 
Ironically enough, nobody has any sympathy for Raj Kumar Basantani and his fraudulent companies that have cheated a large number of investors. He surely needs to face punitive action. But why did the regulator act with such obscene haste, chase the wrong target and damage a perfectly good case, when thousands of others (such as the Reliance insider-trading case) are allowed to drag for decades? Isn’t it commonsense that you exercise utmost caution while using the power to arrest for the first time? Especially when the law prescribes an elaborate procedure to ensure that the power of arrest is not applied recklessly and vindictively. Unfortunately, such arrogance had become a norm with the UPA government, its regulators and investigation agencies.
 
Nowhere in the world are regulators allowed to arrest people without intervention from courts. SEBI’s hasty action shows that India, too, needs to put in place some checks & balances to ensure that the regulator exercises its powers in an accountable manner and after following due process. Will the Modi sarkar work to scrap these draconian amendments, or, as in the case of Section 66A, go along with the mess that the UPA-2 has left us in? 
 

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COMMENTS

Shri Gopal Soni

2 years ago

Organisations,in India, have learnt the fine art of legal jugglary.
The writ petition is basically a protection of law to a citizen whose fundamental rights are affected by order of a Government agency/state. However,consequent to the 29.4.2008 directions of Central Vigilance Commission "to ensure that no harassment is caused to
complainant" I am slapped with two stay orders from two different high courts filed on
behalf of an agency of state to deny fundamental rights to an honest citizen. https://twitter.com/revribhav

MG Warrier

2 years ago

Exactly. Section 66A and its dropping attracted attention because of the ‘social media’ implications. There are several pieces of obsolete laws being ‘selectively’ used/abused from time to time. Apex Court or the Law Ministry should cause a review of laws applicable to each sector. The purpose will be served only if the review is comprehensive, focused and done by experts who do not have ‘constituency’ interests.

SuchindranathAiyerS

2 years ago

All of Indian law is "theoretical", contradicting itself, constructed to prevent the crimes portrayed on Film Theater and TV screens by a bunch of Ball Beaters, Bollywoodies and Criminals. The laws were constructed since inception of the Indian Republic to make the ruling scum wealthy have lots at the expense of the haves and have nots while suppressing and oppressing them. The laws are used as and when convenient to maintain this tradition. India has achieved the impossible and transported an entire nation back across time and space to medieval Europe! That said, create a fit for purpose Judiciary Police Force and enforce equality under law and rule of law without exception to proactivey eliminate the thousand rebellions that thrive across India. But that may never happen for a century after introducing universal primary and secondary education AND doing away with reservations and extortion (aka corruption)

S Hariharan

2 years ago

We're concerned that the Aadhaar project itself may curtail the civil liberty. Besides, doubts have been raised on the feasibility of such a huge project. Supreme Court too has put down heavily that it cannot be mandatory. UID is criticised as an infringement of civil liberties. The UK government cited higher costs, impracticality and ungovernable breaches of privacy as reasons for the cancellation of the National ID project.

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