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Karnataka HC Reserves Verdict On MLAs’ Plea



The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday reserved the verdict on a writ petition challenging disqualification of 11 BJP MLAs and adjourned the hearing into a plea by the 5 independent legislators till October 18.

Karnataka HC Reserves Verdict On MLAs' PleaThe division bench of Chief Justice KS Khehar and Justice Manjula Chellur had taken up the cases on an urgent basis, after the rebel MLAs sought quashing of Speaker KG Bopaiah’s order of disqualifying them under anti-defection laws.

The 16 dissident legislators, 11 BJP and five Independents, were disqualified ahead of the trust vote on the floor of the house.

Arguments into the writ petition by the BJP legislators were over and the court has reserved its verdict. However, the court allowed the independent legislators to amend their petition after day-long hearing into the case.

PP Rao, the counsel for MLAs, had challenged the show-cause notices claiming that rebels were not given seven days to reply as per the rules of state legislative assembly.

“The speaker served the notice on the rebels October 8 and asked them to reply by 5 pm, October 10, giving only two days to reply instead of seven days in violation of the rules,” he said, and contending that the disqualification was pre-emptive, he added the rebels did not violate any rule before the trust vote.

Under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution, pertaining to the anti-defection law, legislators can be disqualified only if they defied the ruling party’s whip and voted against it, Rao said.

Soli Sorabjee, counsel for the government, defended the govt by saying that the seven day notice was not applicable as the chief minister had announced plans to prove majority in the Assembly on October 11, a day before the governor’s deadline expired. The rebels were asked to reply ahead of the trust vote.

He defended speaker’s action by saying that the disqualification of the rebels, including the independents was in conformity with the Anti-Defection Act, 1985. Independent MLAs were cabinet ministers and also identified with the BJP during last 29 months.

“As per the provisions of the anti-defection law, independents identifying with the ruling party and being part of the government as minister for more than six months become liable to be disqualified as much as the ruling party’s legislators,” Sorabjee argued.

The disqualified BJP rebels include, Gopalakrishna Beluru, , Balachandra Jarkiholi, , Bharamgowda Kage, M.P. Renukacharya, G.N. Nanjundaswamy, M.V. Nagaraju, B.N. Sarvabhouma Shivan Gowda Nayak, Anand Asnotikar, Y Sampangi and H.S. Shankaralinge Gowda.

The five independents are P M Narendra Swamy,, Venkataramanappa, D. Sudhakar, S. Tangadagi and Goolihatti Shekar.


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Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin



Nawaz sharif

Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.

The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.

Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.

Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.

Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.

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Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told




The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.

The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.

Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.

“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.

Islamabad and its nuclear-armed neighbour India “continue to engage in a quantitative build-up and a qualitative improvement” of their atomic stockpiles, added Tony deBrum, a Marshallese government minister.

DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.

The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.

The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.

But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.

Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.

It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.

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Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus



Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.

Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.

The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.

According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.




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