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BJP’s Amit Malviya Files Rs 10 Crore Defamation Suit Against RSS Activist

BJP leader Amit Malviya files Rs 10 crore defamation suit against RSS activist Santanu Sinha over false sexual misconduct allegations. Malviya demands an apology.

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BJP's Amit Malviya Files Rs 10 Crore Defamation Suit Against RSS Activist
Photo: Amit Malviya

Amit Malviya, the BJP’s IT cell chief, has taken legal action against Santanu Sinha, who claims to be an RSS activist, by filing a defamation suit worth Rs 10 crore. The lawsuit arises from allegations made by Sinha, accusing Malviya of sexual exploitation of women, which Malviya vehemently denies. The legal notice issued by Malviya seeks the removal of what he describes as false and derogatory social media posts.

BJP’s Amit Malviya

Malviya’s legal notice asserts that the accusations are not only false but also severely damaging to his dignity and reputation. As a public figure, such allegations, according to Malviya, can have far-reaching negative impacts on his professional and personal life. The notice emphasizes that the claims are baseless and have been made with malicious intent to tarnish his image.

RSS sources have distanced themselves from Sinha, stating that he has never been officially associated with their organization. This disassociation further complicates the narrative around the allegations, raising questions about Sinha’s motivations and affiliations.

In his social media post, Sinha alleged that Malviya was involved in the sexual harassment of women during his time in West Bengal. He claimed that political positions in Bengal BJP were being secured through the exploitation of women, although he later clarified that he was merely raising questions rather than making direct accusations. Sinha referenced past incidents where non-political figures were given political tickets, suggesting a pattern of unethical behavior within the party.

Malviya’s legal notice demands an unconditional apology from Sinha and the removal of the defamatory posts within three days. Failure to comply, the notice warns, will result in further legal actions, including both civil and criminal defamation proceedings, along with a demand for Rs 10 crore in damages.

The controversy has also drawn the attention of the Congress party. Congress leader Supriya Shrinate has called for Malviya’s removal from his position pending an independent investigation into the allegations. Shrinate accused Malviya of engaging in nefarious activities and called for justice for the alleged victims. She insisted that a fair and unbiased investigation is only possible if Malviya steps down from his role.

This case highlights the volatile intersection of politics and social media, where allegations can spread rapidly and have serious consequences. Malviya’s decision to pursue legal action underscores the high stakes involved for public figures accused of misconduct, as well as the challenges of addressing such claims in a politically charged environment.

The outcome of this legal battle could set a significant precedent for how defamation cases involving public figures and social media are handled in India. It also raises broader questions about accountability, the spread of misinformation, and the responsibilities of individuals when making public allegations.

As the situation unfolds, the political landscape in West Bengal and beyond will be closely watching the developments. The case not only affects the reputations of the individuals involved but also has potential implications for political dynamics within the BJP and its relationship with the RSS.

The demand for an apology and the threat of a substantial defamation suit serve as a stark reminder of the potential consequences of making unverified allegations in the digital age. Whether Sinha will retract his statements and issue an apology, or whether the matter will proceed to court, remains to be seen. In the meantime, the accusations have already sparked significant public and political debate, underscoring the sensitive nature of such claims and the importance of handling them with care and due process.

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India

Supreme Court declines to hear plea against ‘Hamare Baraah’.

Following the court’s observation, Basha chose to withdraw the plea, which the top court allowed.

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Supreme Court declines to hear plea against 'Hamare Baraah'.
Hamare Baraah

The Supreme Court of India on Friday declined to entertain a plea questioning the alleged derogatory dialogues and scenes in the Annu Kapoor-starrer movie ‘Hamare Baarah‘. The court noted that the film was being released with necessary cuts. A bench consisting of Justices Vikram Nath and S V N Bhatti observed that they were not inclined to hear the plea on its merits, which was filed by Syed Ahamed Basha.

High Court

The bench emphasized that the movie had been screened and reviewed by the judges of the Bombay High Court. They had directed the deletion of a few scenes, shots, and dialogues which were deemed objectionable. Consequently, the court found no reason to consider the plea further. Following the court’s observation, Basha chose to withdraw the plea, and this withdrawal was permitted by the top court.

The petitioner, Basha, represented by his counsel Syed Mehdi Imam, had challenged the certification granted to the film by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). The plea asserted that the director and producers of ‘Hamare Baarah’ had targeted a specific community, portraying Muslim women in a demeaning manner as slaves and chattels exploited by male members of the community.

The plea also highlighted a specific grievance regarding the misinterpretation of Chapter 2 of the Holy Quran. It argued that the film projected a distorted view, suggesting that the Quran ordained Muslim males to treat Muslim females as chattel and exploit them in any manner. This portrayal, according to the plea, was not only a gross misrepresentation but also intended to malign the religion of Islam and the Muslim community as a whole.

Certain Muslim intellectuals had voiced their objections to the film, arguing that it grossly misinterpreted Islamic teachings and aimed to damage the reputation of the religion and its followers. The Bombay High Court had intervened on June 19, directing the producers to remove the objectionable content after they agreed to delete the controversial portions from the film.

‘Hamare Baarah’, featuring notable actors such as Annu Kapoor and Ashwini Kalsekar, was released in theatres across India on Friday, June 21. Despite the controversies surrounding it, the film hit the screens after complying with the directives of the Bombay High Court, which had seen the expunging of the disputed scenes and dialogues.

The refusal of the Supreme Court to entertain the plea signifies the judiciary’s stance on respecting the due process followed by the CBFC and the High Court in addressing concerns about the film. It underscores the balance between creative expression and sensitivity towards community sentiments.

The controversy around ‘Hamare Baarah’ brings to light the broader debate on freedom of expression versus the need to avoid content that can potentially hurt religious or community feelings. While filmmakers are entitled to their creative freedoms, they must also navigate the complex landscape of societal values and legal regulations that aim to maintain communal harmony.

As ‘Hamare Baarah’ continues to screen in cinemas, it will be seen whether the controversy affects its reception among audiences. The film industry and audiences alike will watch closely how such issues are handled in the future, setting precedents for both artistic expression and the respect for religious sentiments. The outcome of this case may influence future decisions regarding the portrayal of sensitive subjects in Indian cinema.

In conclusion, the Supreme Court’s decision to decline the plea against ‘Hamare Baarah’ while noting the corrective measures taken highlights the judiciary’s role in balancing the scales of justice, ensuring that neither creative freedom nor community sentiments are unduly compromised. This case serves as a reminder of the intricate dynamics at play in the world of film and the ongoing dialogue between art, law, and society.

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NEET-UG row: Supreme Court refuses to defer counselling

The Supreme Court rejects deferment of NEET-UG 2024 counselling despite ongoing controversies and petitions over alleged exam irregularities and paper leaks.

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NEET-UG row: Supreme Court refuses to defer counselling
(Supreme Court of India | Representational Image)

The Supreme Court of India, on Friday, refused to defer the counselling date for the NEET-UG 2024 examination, scheduled to commence on July 6. The apex court emphasized that the counselling process is not an “open and shut” procedure and needs to proceed as planned to avoid further delays.

Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court issued notices to the National Testing Agency (NTA), the Central Government, and other involved parties, seeking their responses to a petition calling for the cancellation of the NEET-UG 2024 exam due to alleged irregularities during the exam held on May 5.

A two-judge vacation bench comprising Justice Vikram Nath and Justice SVN Bhatti presided over the hearing on three pleas related to the alleged NEET UG exam irregularities. These pleas were filed by individuals named Hiiten Singh Kashyap, Floral Vyas, and Sunil Jain. They sought a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the alleged paper leak, the cancellation of the NEET-UG 2024 exam, and a postponement of the counselling process, among other requests.

During the hearing, a lawyer representing one of the petitioners requested the postponement of the counselling scheduled to start on July 6. The lawyer pointed out that the Supreme Court had already scheduled a hearing for the batch of petitions challenging the NEET-UG exam on July 8. However, the court refused to delay the counselling process, emphasizing its procedural nature.

“Counselling is not open and shut. It is a process. That process commences on 6th (July). It may be for four days or five days, or a week. But, afterwards, within that week, applicants have any number of options to amend/modify etc. We are allowing time not to be lost, either by this side or that side,” the Supreme Court stated in its order.

The controversy surrounding the NEET-UG 2024 examination arose from allegations of a paper leak, irregularities, and other malpractices. Various students and educational institutions approached the Supreme Court and several State High Courts, seeking directions and orders against the NTA. On Thursday, the Supreme Court stayed proceedings on related pleas filed before various State High Courts, consolidating them with pending pleas before the apex court. The consolidated matters are scheduled for a hearing on July 8, after the court’s summer vacation.

More than 35 petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court, including a recent one by a group of 20 students who took the NEET-UG exam. These petitions demand the cancellation of the NEET-UG 2024 exam and call for an apex court-monitored probe by the CBI or another independent agency into the alleged irregularities.

In response to the allegations, the NTA recently informed the Supreme Court that the scorecards of 1,563 candidates who received “grace marks” in the NEET-UG 2024 will be annulled. These students will be given the opportunity to retake the exam. The NTA explained that a committee had been formed to review the results of these candidates, who were awarded grace marks to compensate for time lost during the exam.

The Supreme Court’s decision to proceed with the counselling as scheduled highlights the importance of maintaining timelines in the admission process while also addressing the serious allegations surrounding the NEET-UG 2024 exam. As the apex court prepares to hear the consolidated pleas on July 8, the outcome will significantly impact the future of the students involved and the integrity of the examination process.

The controversy and subsequent legal proceedings underscore the critical need for transparency and fairness in national-level entrance examinations like NEET-UG. Ensuring that the examination process is free from irregularities and malpractices is essential to maintain the trust of students, parents, and educational institutions in the system.

As the situation unfolds, the Supreme Court’s forthcoming decisions will be crucial in addressing the grievances of the petitioners and determining the course of action for the NEET-UG 2024 examination. The integrity of the examination process and the future of thousands of aspiring medical students hang in the balance.

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North India Heat Wave: 143 Lives Lost, 42,000 Heat Stroke Cases

Severe heat wave in India has resulted in 143 deaths and 41,789 suspected heat stroke cases from March 1 to June 20, 2024, according to Health Ministry sources.

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North India Heat Wave: 143 Lives Lost, 42,000 Heat Stroke Cases
(Representational Image)

A severe heat wave has swept through large parts of India, resulting in a tragic toll: 143 deaths and 41,789 reported cases of suspected heat stroke from March 1 to June 20 this year, according to sources from the Health Ministry.

Impact of Severe Heat Wave

The situation escalated dramatically on June 20 alone, with 14 confirmed deaths and nine suspected deaths due to heat stroke. These numbers reflect a significant increase from the earlier reported toll of 114 deaths for the same period.

The worst affected states include Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Bihar, and Rajasthan, as per data collected under the National Heat-Related Illness and Death Surveillance by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). Uttar Pradesh recorded 35 deaths, followed by Delhi with 21, and Bihar and Rajasthan each reporting 17 deaths due to heat stroke.

In Delhi, hospitals such as RML and Safdarjung reported approximately 17 fatalities within a 24-hour period, all suspected to be related to heat-induced illnesses. Officials caution that these numbers are preliminary, as data from various states is still being compiled and verified, potentially leading to higher casualty figures.

Responding to the crisis, Union Health Minister JP Nadda conducted a review meeting where he instructed all states and union territories to submit daily reports from health facilities detailing suspected heat-related deaths. This directive comes in light of the absence of comprehensive national data on heat stroke cases and fatalities.

Furthermore, Minister Nadda emphasized the importance of disseminating timely heat wave warnings issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD). These warnings, provided daily after 4 p.m., include forecasts for the next four days and are crucial for alerting health facilities and vulnerable populations.

To address the escalating health crisis, the Ministry of Health has issued an advisory to all state health departments for the ‘Heat Wave Season 2024’. The advisory mandates thorough investigations of suspected heat-related illnesses and deaths by qualified medical officers or epidemiologists for each case.

In addition, Minister Nadda proposed the establishment of special heat wave units within central government hospitals to provide immediate care to individuals affected by heat stroke.

As northern and eastern India continue to endure scorching temperatures, the number of heat stroke casualties is expected to rise. The ongoing heat wave underscores the critical need for proactive measures and robust healthcare responses to mitigate the impact on public health.

In conclusion, while efforts are underway to monitor and manage the heat wave’s effects, vigilance and swift action remain imperative to safeguard vulnerable populations during Heat Wave Season 2024.

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