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Why Kunal Kamra’s Contempt Of Court Is Different? Here Is The Answer

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Why Kunal Kamra’s Contempt Of Court Is Different? Here Is The Answer

Kunal Kamra’ and ‘controversy’. This pair is not new in the political market, and neither is the practice of slapping contempt charges on somebody. But when a Contempt charge is put against a comedian, who has been a vocal critic of the government, then it raises questions on the “intent of the move”.

Recently, the comedian attracted contempt charges against him after he posted a series of tweets on Supreme Court’s decision on Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami’s bail plea.

Over the years, many individuals, media houses and others were charged with Contempt of Court, but a wave of criticism wasn’t experienced as in the case of Mr Kamra. Here, many top BJP leaders tried to acknowledge the “unlawful act” and demanded strict action against the Mumbai-based stand-up comedian.

Here’s a list of incidents where individuals, institutions and people in legal affairs were slammed with contempt of Court:

Contempt Of Court Over Years

  1. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of India noted that the tweets made by Mr Bhushan on current and four previous chief justices of India amounted to criminal contempt of Court. Mr Bhushan was held accountable for the tweet about a picture of Chief Justice S A Bobde sitting on a high-end bike without wearing a mask during the lockdown. In the subsequent tweet, Mr Bhushan suggestively commented on the role played by the last four Chief Justices of India in lieu of the country’s current situation.
  2. Back in 2001, the Delhi High Court issued a notice to the editor and journalist Madhu Trehan as well as four other people, in relation with an article published in their magazine, Wah India. The paper had asked senior advocates in Delhi to anonymously rate state High Court judges on varied grounds, including their honesty. The Delhi High Court found these advocates as guilty of contempt, but accepted an apology and did not penalize the offence.
  3. In 2015, Madras High Court judge, C S Karnan, kept in touch with the Supreme Court, showing that he would start contempt of court procedures against the then-Chief Justice of India, H L Dattu, with regards to a dispute about the treatment of Dalit judges in the judiciary. The Supreme Court thus, started contempt of court procedures against Justice Karnan, condemning him to a half year’s detainment. Justice Karnan at first would not acknowledge the warrant for his arrest yet was later held in custody and served the time of detainment.
  4. In 2003, the Karnataka High Court started contempt procedures against 56 people, including publishers, editors, and writers, from 14 publishers. They had conveyed reports about a supposed sex scandal in Mysore, in which few High Court judges had been trapped. An investigation cleared the appointed authorities from deviant behaviour, and the disdain procedures ultimately remained.
  5. In 2002, author Arundhati Roy was arrested and accused of contempt of Court by the Supreme Court of India, after she had written an article where she scrutinized one of the Court’s decisions concerning the Narmada Dam, and took an interest in a dissent for this outside the Court. Following her arrest, Ms Roy offered a further expression scrutinizing the Supreme Court’s initiation of contempt procedures against her. She turned down the Court’s proposal to permit her to get away from punishment with an apology. She was imprisoned for one day and fined 2,000 rupees. In 2016, Ms Roy faced contempt of court procedures again after she criticized the capture of Delhi University professor G N Saibaba, who was imprisoned for supposed connections to Maoists in India.

Recent Case Of Kunal Kamra

It was on November 12 that Attorney General KK Venugopal gave his consent to eight people who objected the tweets made by Mr Kamra and desired to sue him for criminal contempt. Mr Kamra is famous for his political comedy which is usually filled with satire and sarcasm; this has landed him into the wrong places.

This time, he is said to be guilty of putting out a series of tweets on November 11, in which he targeted the Supreme Court and called it as a joke for granting interim bail to Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami a week after his arrest over the suicide of an interior designer, Anvay Naik, and his mother back in 2018. The statements by him looks offensive in the legally according to many lawyers.

A bench of two-judge Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Indira Banerjee pulled up the Maharashtra government over the journalist’s arrest. It said: “If we as a constitutional court do not lay down the law and protect liberty, then who will?” adding to it Justice Chandrachud also remarked, ‘If you don’t like his channel, don’t watch it.’ Many eminent personalities and people also quoted Justice Chandrachud and tried to highlight the irony present concerning the allegations on Mr Kamra.

After the whole fiasco, Mr Kamra took to Twitter and wrote “No lawyers, No apology, No fine, No waste of space” following this tweet was a three-page long response to everything that happened around the whole contempt of court matter.

Contempt Of Court in India 

In the Constitution of India, contempt of Court holds an important place, as a rule-abiding citizen of the country; every individual is expected to obey it.

According to the Contempt of Court Act of 1971, “Contempt of court is an offence of disobedience or disrespect towards a court of law and its officers in the form of conduct that opposes or challenges the authority, justice and dignity of the court.” Contempt of Court is a constitutional power placed in the hands of the Supreme Court of India.

The Article 129 of the Indian Constitution of India says “The Supreme Court of India shall be a court of record and shall have all the powers of such a court including the power to punish for contempt of itself.”

Superior courts of record have the forces to rebuff scorns identifying with the judges of those courts and the procedures of the same. The chief point of the ward is to protect the dignity of the Court and the due organization of equity.

However, constructive criticism is the spine of a democracy. From the surface it looks like, the top judges of the country have failed to be open-minded in initiating contempt proceedings and have profoundly used their complete discretion to take action against comments that might have hurt their sentiments which may not necessarily affect the public opinion of the Court altogether.

In doing so, it has only gone on to hinder the civil liberties guaranteed under the Constitution and has affected a massive blow to India’s already shattering democratic foundations.

The judges need to distinguish between statements that result in hurting of personal sentiment and those that malign the image of the Court before initiating contempt proceedings.

Moreover, the courts must become broad-shouldered and adopt a liberal approach to criticisms to avoid the risk of shaping into an authoritarian regime, where it is above all criticism. On the other hand, where the country’s image is being compromised, strict actions should be taken democratically without being biased towards either one.

A girl with aspirations and desires skyrocketing yet likes to keep it lowkey—also a political enthusiast with the zest of bringing a change. I always like to be indulged in good conversations with a hot cup of coffee. I am an avid reader with a habit of binge-watching movies and shows.

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All You Need To Know About National Institute Of Food Technology Entrepreneurship And Management Bill 2021

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National Institute Of Food Technology Entrepreneurship And Management Bill 2021

On July 26, 2021, Lok Sabha passed a bill under the ministry of Food Processing Industry. The bill is titled as National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2021. The main motive of this bill is to address issues with the Food Processing Industry, Entrepreneurship and one Institution for National Importance. With the passing of this bill, the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) and National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) is now merged as Institutions of National Importance, and it aims at providing various research and advancement in learning about the Food Industry and its associated branches. The bill was first introduced in the house in February 2019 but was pending due to protest by the opposition.

Significance of Institutions of National Importance (INI)

With the passing of this bill, the institutions enjoy greater autonomy through which they can carry out various courses, research attracting skilled faculties and students from all over the country and overseas. Good standards in education will be adopted to improve the present and future of education in this branch and sector, overcoming the technological gap in the country. This law aims to improve and introduce new changes in food, bio-nanotechnology, cold chain technology etc. The desired efforts will be taken in terms of human resources and infrastructure developments, labs for research etc. Liberty to open centres anywhere in India is also granted to INI and include courses regarding food technology certification and improving the workforce of the country.

Some other important features of this act are the Institution has been authorized with the Board of Government, Senate and other acting Authorities. The Council of Board will include 16 members from different branches from the same field. The Head will be Chairperson, who will be a skilled person from the Food Industry, the Director, Dean and Registrar. Members appointed from Centre and State Governments, Members from FSSAI and Council of Agriculture Research, as mentioned in the bill. The 16 members of the board will carry out work of taking administrative decisions, creating annual budgets and paths for institution progress as an organization, establishing departments, their appointment terms of services, faculties etc. The Board of Council also holds power to grant Honorary Degrees and Diplomas. The Senate shall be the principal academic body of the Institute, consisting of the people such as Director as the Chairperson; Registrar; Full-time skilled level Professor; and Three academically skilled Individuals nominated by the board from the field.

The Union Minister of Food Processing Industry, Mr Pashupati Kumar Paras, expressed his gratitude to PM Modi for this landmark step in this industry from his Twitter handle, indicating new opportunities in Food Technology Industries. Therefore, this Act looks promising on paper with new opportunities and in Educational Development. Amidst the Pegasus Spyware and repeal of the farm laws, this looks positive from the Modi Government.

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Fake News: Accountability Of News Organisations

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Fake News II News Aur Chai

Fake news is false news stories or hoaxes, which are deliberately released to misinform and to create chaos in society or among readers. Fake news is one of the main reasons behind the disruption of peace in society and it becomes more dangerous in volatile places. Fake news is generally shared with propaganda to mislead the audience by hiding or twisting the truth. However fake news isn’t new to the web, it recently became an enormous problem in today’s digital world. Fake news mostly comes from sites that are bogus or have sensationalized stories.

Most of the users do not check the facts before sharing the information on their social media, which can be a reason for widespread fake news. So, it is important to differentiate between fake news and authentic news to maintain harmony in society and to avoid false news and its repercussions.

Fake News Stories

  • On 2nd April, a team of doctors, health workers, and revenue officials were attacked by the family members of a 65-year-old man who died of COVID-19 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh because of the fake video which claimed that healthy Muslims were being injected with the virus, reiterating the risks and physical manifestations of misinformation.
  • On March 22, 2020, Mr. Modi’s new term ‘Janta curfew’ has sparked a buzz on the Internet. Social media users started interpreting PM Modi’s concept of ‘Janta curfew’ in their own ways. Social media was flooded with a certain ‘scientific explanation’ behind the curfew as to how it will break the chain of transmissions of the deadly coronavirus infection. The claim was found out to be misleading. PM Modi, while announcing the curfew, didn’t mention this particular ‘scientific’ logic behind it.
  • Rumours were circulated on WhatsApp groups about a kidnapping gang operating in India’s western state of Maharashtra in 2018. The rumors eventually cause a mob lynching, that killed five migrant workers because they were suspected of being kidnappers.
  • On November 13, 2016, when the government of India has demonetized Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes and planned to replace them with new Rs 500 and Rs 2000 notes, rumors were spreading about Rs 2000 notes. Rumors claimed the new higher denomination currency comes with a Nano-GPS chip which acts as a reflector, giving precise location coordinates of the currency to permit every note to be tracked. However, the RBI officials had dismissed these as false and said the new Rs 2000 note does not have a Nano-GPS chip as is being claimed on social media, WhatsApp.
  • In the pandemic situation, where vaccination has become crucial, in a series of viral videos it was seen that people are claiming that magnet was attracted to the arms of alleged COVID-19 vaccinated recipients. This kind of fake news can create misconceptions about vaccines and people may not take their jab of vaccines. The Centre has declined the claims that Covid-19 vaccines can make people ‘magnetic’. It has also dismissed theories about microchips in coronavirus vaccines.

Need of Accountability

False information on social media can cause huge problems. It is often done to influence political processes. Need for Accountability increases in such situations because the false information provided by certain news organizations can create a ruckus in society. Before publishing the news, it is necessary to check the facts.

If the news organizations, shared misinformation unintentionally they must remove the content right away and they should apologize to the readers. If fake news is spread with propaganda to create chaos in society, then the news organization should be punished under the law. The information must be checked before sharing it with other people.

 

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Curious Case Of Pegasus: Explained

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Pegasus II News Aur Chai

Pegasus is a spyware that can hack the victims’ mobile phones and read their SMS messages and emails. The Pegasus spyware is owned by an Israeli software company named NSO Group. According to the various reports, this company has targeted more than 50,000 phone numbers at the Global level, of which 300 are in India for surveillance.

The news broke out after the 17 media partners investigated. This investigation brought into the picture information about a leaked database of mobile telephone numbers of Indian Ministers, Opposition leaders, journalists, the legal community, business people, government officials, scientists, activists and many influential personalities of the nation.

Pegasus Spyware and India

According to the report by the agency, the Israeli company which sells Pegasus around the world says that its clients are confined to ‘vetted governments”, believed to number 36. The NSO Group also says that ‘the target list in India is not ours, never was.’ Their refusal of the leaked database has created a loophole in understanding this case.

This whole case has violated the integrity of democratic institutions. According to the report by the agencies, after the mobile phones of the opposition leader Rahul Gandhi and various other leaders were hacked under the Pegasus spyware surveillance. Multiple tweets were made against the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) government in India. This whole case has become one of the major threats in the political arena and the Indian Democracy.

Though at the start, it was used for national security purposes. The explosive expansion of surveillance technology vendors has become a vast human rights and a global security issue. If such surveillance technologies increase, it might cause a lot of problems to countries around the globe. Hence, as a precaution, all these countries need to work on regulating this technology.

According to the reports by the agency, one of the targeted phones by the Pegasus spyware was of the former election commissioner of India, Ashok Lavasa. Various such people and such opposition leaders were somehow against the BJP government having their phones hacked with the NSO-owned spyware. All these instances and the names in the leaked list have pointed figures towards the Modi Government.

The Modi government’s stand on this case was put forward in Lok Sabha by two serving ministers, Ashwini Vaishnaw and Prahlad Singh Patel. These two leaders were also featured in the leaked database. The recent Information Technology Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw defended the BJP government in the parliament by saying, “the expose was an attempt to malign Indian democracy and its well-established institutions.” She even said, ‘any form of illegal surveillance is not possible with the checks and balances in our laws and robust institutions.’

This case has adjourned the parliament proceedings due to the protests inside and outside the house of parliament by the opposition party.

Pegasus Spyware and World.

 In the statement given to the agency, Access Now, an organisation defending the digital rights of global users, said it was outraged that products sold by NSO were allegedly “used to hack and invade the private communications” of thousands of people across the globe.

At a global level, France’s Emmanuel Macron was targeted in the Pegasus spyware case. As the phone of French President Emmanuel Macron was hacked, the investigation was carried out and later on was published which was directed by the Paris-based non-profit journalism group Forbidden.  After this case came in front of the whole world, the Pegasus spyware surveillance came into the picture.

If this continues for some more time, it will ruin India’s Democratic values at a global level. As well as this might become a huge technological threat between the different nations around the globe.

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