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Pune ‘shutdown’ to protest slurs on Chhatrapati, other icons



 Large parts of Pune, including several wholesale markets, observed a ‘shutdown’ on Tuesday to protest against the repeated vilification of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and other icons, with renewed calls for the ouster of Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.

The Maha Vikas Aghadi allies Congress, Shiv Sena (UBT), Nationalist Congress Party, several Marath organisations and the royal descendent Chhatrapati Udayanraje Bhosale took part in a ‘silent march’ from the Deccan to Lal Mahal areas of the city.

The processionists sported saffron flags and black banners, posters condemning the continuous insults of the Chhatrapati and other great personalities even as the ruling Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party and Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena kept off the agitation.

The leaders of the marchers like Bhosale, Sushma Andhare and others demanded the removal of the Governor and action against all those who keep referring to the great icons in a derogatory manner hurting the sentiments of the people.

Wending its way peacefully through various residential and commercial areas of the city, the processionists condemned the Governor and others who speak ill of the revered personalities in various fora.

The MVA has also rejected the Governor’s letter (December 6) clarifying his position to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and said he has not apologised for his remarks against Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj or Mahatma Jyotirao Phule and has lost the moral right to continue in his post.

Among other things in his letter, Koshyari said that he “cannot even dream” of insulting the great personalities as contended and sought Shah’s “guidance” in the matter.

The state has been rocked by a series of agitations and protests against the Governor for his recent utterances that riled the state polity and top leaders also objected to him sharing the stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Nagpur on Sunday.

Besides the Governor, other BJP leaders like state ministers Chandrakant Patil, Mangal Prabhat Lodha, Union Minister Raosaheb Danve, have been accused of making objectionable statements against the state’s icons, though Lodha subsequently retracted his utterances while and Patil apologised.


Navi Mumbai Congress hits road against Rahul Gandhi’s jail sentence




The Navi Mumbai unit of the Congress party took out a protest march and raised slogans ‘Jail Bharo’ to condemn the two-year jail sentence given to Congress MP Rahul Gandhi by a Surat court.

The protest march was taken under the guidance of the district president of the party Anil Kaushik.

Party leaders, former corporators, office bearers of various cells, and activists participated in the demonstrations and agitations were held all over the country to protest against the sentence.

Navi Mumbai Congress under the guidance of district president Anil Kaushik started their protest by staging a demonstration outside the Vashi Police Station. They alleged that the central government is acting with malice.

The party workers expressed their determination to intensify the agitation in the future.

Other leaders present at the protest included Jawaharlal Manch Cell Maharashtra Pradesh President Nila Limaye, Regional Spokesperson Nasir Hussain, and former corporator Meera Patil.

The protest was attended by a large number of Congress workers, including Navi Mumbai District Congress Secretary Vidya Bhandekar, Sandhya Kokate, Rakhi Patil, Cell President Ritesh Tandel, Ex-Corporator Babasaheb Gaikwad, Gyandeep Singh Chandok, Sunil Parkar, Vinod Patil, Vijay Patil, Dilip Nagpal, Balaji Salve, Bharat Malve, Abhijit Kakade, Sonwane, and Surendra Prasad

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Mumbai: Decision on information commissioner appointment after budget session




Eknath Shinde (1)

Mumbai: The decision on appointment of chief information commissioner and information commissioners will be taken after the budget session, said senior Mantralaya officials. The government, they said, will be considering applications of candidates other than administrative background as envisaged under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. 

Additional Chief Secretary (ARO&M), general administration department, Sujata Saunik said that the Chief Minister will decide on the date. “We will be filling up all vacancies. There is no decision at present on increasing the number of benches. Vacancies of only the existing benches will be filled,” she said.

Only 8 posts created in Maharashtra

The RTI Act provides that people of “eminence” in public life can be appointed as commissioners. In Maharashtra, only eight posts have been created, including that of the chief commissioner. However, the post has mainly been occupied by bureaucrats. 

As of now, four posts of information commissioners are vacant and that of chief commissioner will become vacant after April 13 when chief information commissioner Sumit Mullick retires. Manu Kumar Srivastava is said to be among the contenders for the post. 

The state government in February this year had issued an advertisement for three vacancies. “I have applied but we are yet to hear anything on it,” said Mohammed Afzal, one of the applicants from non-administrative background.  

Shailesh Gandhi, former central information commissioner, said, “I think they should be appointing people before they retire. It is too little too late to fill vacancies when posts have been vacant for long. Some activists should also get selected and the government should consider selecting some younger.”

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Bombay HC asks police to take down obscene video made public by Rakhi Sawant during press meet




Observing that ethical standards have to be maintained, the Bombay High Court reprimanded model actor Rakhi Sawant and asked the Mumbai police to take necessary steps to delete obscene videos made public by the actor of a fellow actor in a press conference.

Justice Anuja Prabhudessai questioned Sawant’s advocate as to why the actor indulged in such an act. “Why should you indulge in these things of showing such videos? Why should it be done for another lady? Some ethical standards have to be maintained,” said Justice Prabhudessai.

HC directs Mumbai Police to delete the videos

The judge has also asked Mumbai police to inform on March 28 whether such videos are available on any websites. Also, they have to inform the steps they propose to take to delete these videos.

The HC is hearing a pre-arrest bail plea filed by Sawant after the same was rejected by the sessions court. An FIR was registered against Sawant last October after she called a press conference and allegedly showed obscene video of a fellow actor and made defamatory statements.

Seeking relief, her advocate said that Section 67A, which was imposed on the actor, was non-bailable. The section deals with the offence of transmitting obscene videos.

Justice Prabhudessai questioned whether Section 67A would be applicable since the actor has denied transmitting any obscene video. According to the FIR, Sawant showed the video to media persons. Besides, the punishment for this, if found guilty, is only five years.

Further, the FIR does not say that the media has circulated all this. Also, the FIR states that the video is already available online.

The victim’s advocate pointed out that the video shown by Sawant was a private one which is not available online. She defamed the victim and showed the video, which is viral now.

The court then asked the police to check whether the video was deleted. If it is displayed then the same should be deleted.

The HC has kept the matter for hearing on March 28.

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