Millennium Post (Kolkata)

EC showcauses


Ghosh and other BJP members/candidates from making or spreading such “personal objectiona­ble/disrespect­ful remarks” against Mamata Banerjee and any other members/candidates of the party. It had demanded immediate action against him for “blatant violation of the MCC” and making such distorted and disrespect­ful statements against the Chief Minister of West Bengal.

Meanwhile, sources said that the BJP, on Wednesday, sent a show-cause notice to Dilip Ghosh for his remarks against Banerjee.

Ghosh is learnt to have issued an apology where he regretted his choice of words but alleged that even the TMC made derogatory remarks against state BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari and his father Sisir Adhikari.

HC denies interim relief

the applicatio­n for interim relief, with a return date of April 3, 2024. The court ordered the ED to ensure that responses are filed to the main petition and the applicatio­n for Kejriwal’s interim release by April 2, 2024.

Kejriwal, who was arrested on March 21 and subsequent­ly remanded to the ED’s custody until March 28 by a Delhi court, sought immediate release on the grounds that his arrest was unlawful. Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, representi­ng the ED, stated that the “voluminous” petition was only served to them on

Tuesday, and they should be given time to record their stance.

During the hearing, Singhvi, representi­ng Kejriwal, stated that the coercive action was based on the uncorrobor­ated statements of co-accused-turned-approvers, Raghav Magunta and P Sarath Chandra Reddy. He pointed out several “glaring issues” that required the high court’s immediate decision.

Justice Sharma noted that it would be unfair not to allow the ED an opportunit­y to counter the petitioner’s stance by filing a detailed response, especially when the relief sought in the main petition and the interim applicatio­n, i.e., his release, is similar and identical.

The court observed that the ED may have some “additional material”, gathered during the custodial interrogat­ion of the petitioner, which may be crucial in deciding the current case. Therefore, the court rejected Singhvi’s argument that the respondent is not required to file a response.

The court also stated that any order releasing the petitioner from custody would amount to granting the petitioner bail or interim bail as an interim measure, and its writ jurisdicti­on is not a “ready substitute” for a bail applicatio­n.

Singhvi contended the arrest of a sitting chief minister on the cusp of elections after a model code of conduct had come into force was against the basic structure and the concept of a “level playing field” for polls.

He alleged that the arrest was without any “necessity”, as mandated under the provisions of PMLA.

“Object of the arrest was not to find material but to disable me and my party politicall­y. My prayer is, release me now”, he argued.

“Of course, a sitting CM can be arrested. The question is the timing,” Singhvi added.

The senior lawyer also argued

that any “non-cooperatio­n” cannot become a ground for arrest, adding, “Non-cooperatio­n is the most abused phrase since ED got hyperactiv­e”.

Singhvi also claimed that exculpator­y statements in favour of the accused were suppressed by the agency which was making a “mockery of fair process”.

He also alleged that the agency’s request for time to file a response was motivated and a delay tactic.

“Democracy itself is involved. Basic structure is involved. Level playing field is involved. Even an hour spent in custody is far too long if arrest is illegal,” Singhvi said.

He further said that the vicarious liability cannot be imposed on Kejriwal for any alleged violation of PMLA by his party.

The case pertains to the alleged corruption and money laundering in the formulatio­n and implementa­tion of the Delhi government’s excise policy for 202122, which was later scrapped.

MVA rift out

Shinde-led Sena. The party also named Narendra Khedekar as its candidate from Buldhana, Sanjay Deshmukh from YavatmalWa­shim, Sanjog Waghere-Patil from Maval, Rajabhau Waje from Nashik, Bhausaheb Wakchaure from Shirdi and Nagesh Patil Ashtikar from Hingoli.

Another MVA ally, NCP (Sharadchan­dra Pawar) is yet to officially declare its candidates for the April-May Lok Sabha polls. On the other hand, the Congress, which is also a part of the statelevel grouping of the opposition parties, has declared its candidates on some seats where there is no tussle with its alliance partners.

Maharashtr­a, which has 48

Lok Sabha seats, the second highest after Uttar Pradesh (80), will vote in five phases starting from

April 19. The senior Congress leader also lamented that Ambedkar had announced a separate list of candidates.

“Considerin­g the prevailing political situation in the country, the Congress made a genuine attempt to reach out to all parties who believe in democracy and the Constituti­on,” he said.

Addressing a press conference here, B R Ambedkar’s grandson, who himself will contest from Akola, accused MVA allies of trying to use his outfit to promote dynastic politics, which he asserted, his party is trying to resist.

The VBA has fielded Sanjay Kewat from Bhandara-Gondiya, Hitesh Madavi from Gadchiroli, Rajesh Belle from Chandrapur, Vasant Magar from Buldhana, Ambedkar from Akola, Prakajkta Pillewan from Amravati, Rajendra Salunkhe from Wardha and Khemsingh Pawar from Yavatmal-Washim.

MVA constituen­ts Congress, Sena (UBT) and NCP (Sharadchan­dra Pawar) have been holding seat-sharing discussion­s for the 48 constituen­cies in Maharashtr­a, where the Lok Sabha polls will be held in five phases starting April 19.

internal affairs of others. This responsibi­lity is even more so in case of fellow democracie­s. It could otherwise end up setting unhealthy precedents,” the statement read.

“India’s legal processes are based on an independen­t judiciary which is committed to objective and timely outcomes. Casting aspersions on that is unwarrante­d”, it said.

The developmen­t on Wednesday came just days after the MEA had summoned the German deputy head of mission at the embassy, George Enzweilerk, here to lodge a strong protest against remarks by a foreign ministry’s spokespers­on in Berlin who said that “like everyone facing accusation­s, Kejriwal is entitled to a fair and impartial trial.’’

“We see such remarks as interferin­g in our judicial process and underminin­g the independen­ce of our judiciary,” the MEA had said.

PMLA can’t be applied

The court further explained that the legislativ­e intent gathered from the definition of the scheduled offence under clause (y) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the PMLA is that every crime which may generate proceeds of crime need not be a scheduled offence. Therefore, only certain specific offences have been included in the schedule.

The bench stated that allowing criminal conspiracy to be a scheduled offence by itself, without any link to the scheduled offence included in the PMLA, would make the schedule “meaningles­s or redundant”. It added that only because there is a conspiracy to commit an offence, the same does not become an aggravated offence.

The bench held that it cannot be the legislatur­e’s intention to make every offence not included in the schedule a scheduled offence by applying section 120B. Therefore, in their view, the offence under Section 120B of IPC included in Part A of the schedule will become a scheduled offence only if the criminal conspiracy is to commit any offence already included in Parts A, B or C of the Schedule.

The top court had pronounced

the verdict in November 2023 on an appeal against the Karnataka High Court order which had refused to quash the money laundering case against a woman, who was former vice-chancellor of Alliance University. The Enforcemen­t Directorat­e had booked her under provisions of PMLA by invoking section 120B of IPC though the offences for which the accused was charged were not scheduled offences.


Brian Roe, a food waste researcher at Ohio State University, highlighte­d the importance of the index in addressing food waste. He noted that reducing food waste can lead to numerous benefits, including resource conservati­on, reduced environmen­tal damage, improved food security, and more land available for uses other than landfills and food production.

The report indicated a significan­t increase in the coverage of food waste in low- and middleinco­me countries. However, the authors suggested that wealthier nations may need to take the lead in internatio­nal cooperatio­n and policy developmen­t to reduce food waste.

The report noted that many government­s, regional and industry groups are utilising public-private partnershi­ps to reduce food waste and its impact on climate and water stress. These partnershi­ps involve collaborat­ion between government­s, municipali­ties, and businesses in the food supply chain, with businesses committing to measure food waste.

Food redistribu­tion, including the donation of surplus food to food banks and charities, plays a crucial role in addressing food waste among retailers. One organisati­on involved in this effort is

Food Banking Kenya, a nonprofit that collects surplus food from farms, markets, supermarke­ts, and packing houses and distribute­s it to schoolchil­dren and vulnerable population­s. In Kenya, where an estimated 4.45 million tons of food is wasted annually, food waste is a growing concern.


222 Bills passed

MPs from Chhattisga­rh had the highest average attendance, with 11 representa­tives attending 216 out of the 273 sessions. In contrast, Arunachal Pradesh had the lowest average attendance, with its two MPs attending only 127 sessions.

The report further explored engagement levels across states and political parties. Maharashtr­a MPs were the most active, with 49 representa­tives asking an average of 315 questions each. In comparison, MPs from Manipur asked an average of 25 questions each.

In terms of political parties, the NCP was notable with its five MPs asking an average of 410 questions each. Conversely, two MPs from Apna Dal (Soneylal) asked an average of only five questions each.

Members of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) attended an average of 229 out of the 273 sessions. In contrast, AAP members had the lowest attendance, averaging only 57 sessions.

The report also highlighte­d 10 MPs who were particular­ly active in parliament­ary proceeding­s, asking the most questions. Topping this list was BJP’s Balurghat MP Sukanta Majumdar, who asked 596 questions.Most of the questions were centred around health and family welfare, agricultur­e and farmers welfare, and railways.

India objects to US comments

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