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SC Refuses To Quash Charge Against Nirmal Yadav

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          SC Refuses To Quash Charge Against Nirmal Yadav New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday declined to quash the charge sheet filed against former Punjab and Haryana High Court judge Nirmal Yadav who was allegedly involved in a multi-million rupee “cash at door” corruption case. “At this stage we are not prepared to quash the charge sheet,” ruled the apex court bench of Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice C.K. Prasad while not accepting pleas of senior counsel K.T.S. Tulsi, who appeared for Yadav.

However, the court permitted Yadav to raise all her contentions before the trial court which would decide them on merit without being influenced by the observations of the high court. The high court had earlier rejected her plea for quashing the charge sheet.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court was hit by the “cash at door” scam after a packet containing Rs.15 lakh was placed Aug 13, 2008 outside the residence of another newly-appointed high court judge Nirmaljit Kaur in Chandigarh.
Yadav challenged an high court order not permitting her to inspect the government records that were relied upon by it (high court) while rejecting her plea for the quashing of the charge sheet.
She also asked the high court to summon the records of the apex court, including the opinion rendered by then attorney general and then chief justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan.
Tulsi, who appeared for Yadav, assailed the high court order saying that it was in the breach of principle of natural justice as she was not permitted access to the material that the court had relied upon in rejecting her plea.
He told the court that opinion given by then attorney general said that there was no shred of evidence in the allegation of any wrongdoing by Yadav. He said that even Balakrishnan said that no action was required to be taken, for now, when the law and justice ministry sought his opinion. “Liberty of a person (Nirmal Yadav) is at stake. All the material, whatever may be their nature, had to be disclosed. Liberty is given top priority,” Tulsi told the court.
The court was also told that the incident related to August 2008, and the day after the cash was recovered all judicial work was withdrawn from Yadav. Subsequently, the work was restored and she was transferred to the Uttarakhand High Court in Nanital.
The CBI filed the closure report in the case Dec 17, 2009.

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SOUTH ASIA

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

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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

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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

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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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