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Loss Of Face For Rahul & Co. As SC Vindicates Govt, Again, On Rafale

The SC also rejected the contention that there was a need for registration of FIR in connection with the deal.

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today rejected a batch of review petitions seeking a court-monitored probe into the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets, saying the pleas were without merit.

The rejection of review petitions is tantamount to the apex court giving the clean chit to the Narendra Modi government for the second time.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph pronounced verdicts on three review petitions filed by the trio, lawyer Vineet Dhandha and Aam Aadmi Party lawmaker Sanjay Singh.

A three-judge bench also rejected the contention that there was a need for registration of FIR in connection with the deal.

We had concluded that other than the three aspects — Decision-Making Process, Pricing and Offsets — that too to a limited extent, this Court did not consider it appropriate to embark on a roving and fishing enquiry.


“We were, however, cautious to note that this was in the context of the writ petition filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, the jurisdiction invoked,” said the bench, also comprising Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph.

About the allegation of irregularities on the pricing of the jets, the top court said that it satisfied itself with the material made available and it is not the function of this court to determine the prices and act on mere “suspicion” of certain persons.

The internal mechanism of such pricing would take care of the situation. On the perusal of documents, we had found that one cannot compare apples and oranges. Thus, the pricing of the basic aircraft had to be compared which was competitively marginally lower.



“As to what should be loaded on the aircraft or not and what further pricing should be added has to be left to the best judgment of the competent authorities,” the bench said.

The pleas had sought re-examination of Apex Court’s  14th December 2018 verdict which said there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process.

The three-judge bench stated there is no merit in the review petition and no probe required in the purchase deal. The petition is dismissed on the grounds that it is not within the purview of judicial review under Article -32 of the Constitution.

A batch of petitions, including those filed by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, and lawyer Prashant Bhushan had sought a review, alleging that material facts were suppressed and a criminal investigation should be filed in the case.

The SC termed Rahul Gandhi’s statements against Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “unfortunate” but let him off saying no further contempt proceedings needed to be pursued against the Congress leader.

Gandhi had repeatedly said “chowkidaar chor hai” (the security guard is a thief) in an apparent reference to Modi who calls himself “desh ka chowkidaar” (the nation’s security guard).


Centre has welcomed the Supreme Court decision. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh welcomed the dismissal of the review petitions in the Rafale case.  Mr Singh said the NDA Government stands vindicated with this pronouncement.

The Defence Minister said the issues pertaining to defence preparedness and national security should never be politicised. He said that the allegation of corruption in Rafale deal was nothing but an attempt to malign the clean and honest image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and NDA government.

BJP said Congress and party leader Rahul Gandhi must apologise to the country after Supreme Court rejected a batch of review petitions seeking probe into Rafale deal.

Briefing media in New Delhi, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, Mr Gandhi deliberately misquoted Supreme Court and attributed ‘chowkidar’ remark to the apex court.

Party spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said the petitions were politically motivated and an attempt to tarnish the reputation of BJP and NDA government. He said that by dismissing the review petitions, the Supreme Court has given a clean chit to the entire Rafale deal.

On the apex court’s decision regarding Congress leader Rahul Gandhi wrongly attributing the apex court his “chowkidar” remark in Rafale case, the BJP spokesperson said, Congress now stands exposed in front of the whole country. He said the Supreme Court admonished Gandhi for dragging the Court in political discourse. He said Rahul Gandhi’s credibility has gone down after this.

On the other hand, Congress said the Supreme Court has opened the way for a comprehensive criminal investigation in the Rafale case.

Briefing media in New Delhi this evening, party Spokesman Randeep Surjewala said, BJP is celebrating the case without analyzing it. He said, the Supreme Court has clearly said their hands can be tied due to the limitations and rights of the constitution, but the hands of an investigation conducted by an impartial agency are not tied and that can happen.

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India Trends

Judiciary Shown Mirror As Nation Celebrates Police Encounter Of Hyderabad Rapists

The woman’s sister hoped the encounter killing would scare others indulging in such crimes against women.

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HYDERABAD (Telangana): All four accused in the rape-and-murder case of a 25-year-old woman veterinarian near here last month were killed in an exchange of fire with police on Friday morning, police said. The incident took place around 5.30 am when the accused were taken to the site of the offence for the reconstruction of the scene of the crime as part of the investigation, a senior police official said.

Also Read:
(1) Hyderabad Veterinarian Priyanka Reddy Murdered, Burnt; Rape Suspected
(2) Parliament Expresses Outrage Over Hyderabad Gang Rape, Murder Case

They (accused) snatched weapons from police and fired on police and tried to escape… police fired in retaliation in which the four accused died,” a senior police official told media in Hyderabad. Two policemen were also injured, he said.


The four persons — Mohammed Areef, Jollu Shiva, Jollu Naveen and Chennakeshavulu — were accused of gruesome rape and murder of 26-year-old Priyanka Reddy.

Reddy Family, Nirbhaya’s Family, Telangana Celebrities, Nation Celebrate:

The father of the woman veterinarian said he was very happy that all the four accused were killed in an encounter and thanked the police and Telangana government for it.

We watched on TV that they were killed in an encounter. We are very happy. Even people are happy. I thank the Telangana government and police for the encounter. I thank everyone who stood by us,” the woman’s father said.



The woman’s sister hoped the encounter killing would scare others indulging in such crimes against women.

We are happy. We did not expect this (killing in the encounter). We thought they would be hanged through courts,” she said. “We thank everyone who stood by us. With this incident people should be scared to do such crimes (against women)” she told media.

Nirbhaya’s parents were the first to welcome the action. The mother of Nirbhaya, the 23-year-old paramedic student who died days after being gang-raped in December 2012, appealed to authorities to not punish the policemen involved in the encounter.

Nirbhaya’s father also welcomed the encounter and said the family’s wait for justice ended early. “The family of the Hyderabad doctor will not have to wait for justice for seven years like us. Police did the right thing,” he said.

Police Version Challenged In Court:

Following a writ petition by civil rights activists seeking judicial intervention into the reported encounter of the four accused in the rape of murder of a Hyderabad vet, the Telangana High court on Friday directed the government to preserve the bodies of the four men till Monday, December 9.


Responding to the writ petition, which suspected foul play in the incident, the High Court directed officials to submit a video recording of the post-mortem in a CD to the Principal District Judge, Mahaboobnagar for all the accused.

The Court has also further directed that the dead bodies of the four deceased be preserved till 8 pm on Monday.

The Principal District Judge, Mahaboobnagar will receive and submit the CD of the post-mortem to Registrar General of the HC Telangana by Saturday evening as directed by the HC.

The activists in their writ petition stated that the police’s version of events has raised serious concerns.

It would be a fallacy to even imagine that some kind of justice has been served by abandoning all due process and committing such killings. Is it permissible for police personnel to play judge, jury, executioner and mete out fatal justice in this manner? Is the ‘satisfying of the collective conscience’ in such a brazenly unlawful and murderous way healthy for a democracy? This is absolute violation of rule of law and constitutional guarantees,” the petition noted.

Citing media reports, the activists said, “It is clear that all the four accused/suspects were in police custody, thus completely unarmed, and in all probabilities handcuffed. The recreation of the events at the crime scene at 3 am in the morning raise further serious concerns into these extra-judicial killings.”

Cyberabad Commissioner VC Sajjanar, however, clarified on Friday that the accused were not handcuffed.

The postmortem of the bodies was conducted at Mahaboobnagar District Hospital under the supervision of the Superintendent of the Hospital and a team of forensic experts from Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad.

On Friday, the four accused were killed when they were taken to Chatanpally to recover the phone, wallet and power bank of the victim, Disha. Disha’s burnt body was found close to the spot of the reported encounter near the underpass of Shadnagar Outer Ring Road (ORR) on November 27.

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AGENTS OF CHANGE

The Final Peak? Google CEO Sundar Pichai Named CEO Of Google’s Parent Company Alphabet

An alumnus of Wharton, Stanford and IIT Kharagpur, Pichai was born in Madurai, Tamil Nadu.

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SAN FRANSISCO (United States): Google’s India-born Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai will assume the leadership role at its parent firm Alphabet after the internet giant’s co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped down from its active management, making him one of the most powerful corporate leaders of the world.

Page and Brin stepped down as CEO and president, respectively, of Alphabet, the company announced on Tuesday. Pichai, 47, the current CEO of Google and a longtime executive at the company, will take over as CEO of Alphabet in addition to his current role.

Considered as a significant shakeup in the Silicon Valley company, the shuffle comes at a time when Google is facing mounting scrutiny over its size, data privacy practices and potential impact on society.


With Alphabet now well-established, and Google and ‘Other Bets’ operating effectively as independent companies, it’s the natural time to simplify our management structure, the two Google co-founders wrote in a public letter.

We’ve never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there’s a better way to run the company,” they said. “And Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a President. Going forward, Sundar will be the CEO of both Google and Alphabet. He will be the executive responsible and accountable for leading Google, and managing Alphabet’s investment in our portfolio of Other Bets,” said Page and Brin.

The co-founders will continue to serve on Alphabet’s board of directors. “We are deeply committed to Google and Alphabet for the long term, and will remain actively involved as Board members, shareholders and co-founders. In addition, we plan to continue talking with Sundar regularly, especially on topics we’re passionate about!” they wrote.



Page and Brin, who founded the internet giant over two decades ago, took lesser roles in day-to-day operations in the company in 2015 when they turned Google into Alphabet.

In his statement, Pichai made it clear that the transition will not affect the Alphabet structure or the work they do day-to-day.

I will continue to be very focused on Google and the deep work we’re doing to push the boundaries of computing and build a more helpful Google for everyone,” he wrote. “At the same time, I’m excited about Alphabet and its long term focus on tackling big challenges through technology,” he said in his email.

Pichai took over as CEO of Google in 2015 as part of the company’s broader corporate restructuring to create Alphabet.

Prior that, Pichai had held a variety of roles at the company, including overseeing Chrome, product chief of Google and head of the Android operating system. Endorsing the leadership role played by Pichai ever since he was made Google CEO, Page and Sergey said the Indian-American brings humility and a deep passion for technology to their users, partners, and employees every day. “He’s worked closely with us for 15 years, through the formation of Alphabet, as CEO of Google, and a member of the Alphabet Board of Directors.


He shares our confidence in the value of the Alphabet structure, and the ability it provides us to tackle big challenges through technology,” they wrote. “There is no one that we have relied on more since Alphabet was founded, and no better person to lead Google and Alphabet into the future,” they said.

Pichai was born in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. He is an alumnus of Wharton business school, Stanford University and Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur.

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AGENTS OF CHANGE

NASA Locates Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram Lander On Moon

The three largest pieces of debris are each about 2×2 pixels and cast a one-pixel shadow.

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WASHINGTON D.C. (United States): High-resolution images captured by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) during its flyby of the lunar region has located the debris of ISRO’s Chandrayaan-2 Vikram Lander. The images suggest that Vikram Lander, as assumed, had a hard landing.

The area with debris belonging to the vehicle is visible in the image. It is visible in the image that debris scattered at more than a dozen places for several kilometres. According to NASA, Indian engineer Shanmuga Subramanian gave evidence related to the wreck to the agency.

The debris of Vikram Lander is outlined with green dots in the picture. At the same time, the blue dots show the difference in the moon’s surface after the crash.


The letter ‘S’ shows the debris of the lander identified by scientist Shanmuga Subramanian.

Shanmuga Subramanian reviewed Vikram Lander’s last known velocity and position; he changed the location of debris as per the previous images are shown. A white dot appeared just a short distance from where Chandrayaan-2’s hard landing was being anticipated. He said that in some earlier photographs this point was not clear. It is quite possible that the Lander may have penetrated the surface of the moon.

The Chandrayaan 2 Vikram lander was targeted for a highland smooth plain about 600 kilometres from the south pole; unfortunately, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) lost contact with their lander shortly before the scheduled touchdown on September 7.

Despite the loss, getting that close to the surface was an amazing achievement.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera team released the first mosaic (acquired Sept. 17) of the site on Sept. 26 and many people have downloaded the mosaic to search for signs of Vikram. Shanmuga Subramanian contacted the LRO project with positive identification of debris.



After receiving this tip, the LROC team confirmed the identification by comparing before and after images. When the images for the first mosaic were acquired the impact point was poorly illuminated and thus not easily identifiable. Two subsequent image sequences were acquired on Oct. 14 and 15, and Nov. 11.

The LROC team scoured the surrounding area in these new mosaics and found the impact site (70.8810°S, 22.7840°E, 834 m elevation) and associated debris field. The November mosaic had the best pixel scale (0.7 meters) and lighting conditions (72° incidence angle).

The debris first located by Shanmuga is about 750 meters northwest of the main crash site and was a single bright pixel identification in that first mosaic (1.3-meter pixels, 84° incidence angle). The November mosaic shows best the impact crater, ray and extensive debris field.

The three largest pieces of debris are each about 2×2 pixels and cast a one-pixel shadow.

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