Oops!

It is not that the Delhi High Court dismissed Subramanian Swamy’s PIL seeking a court-monitored SIT investigation into the death of Sunanda Pushkar, though there is that.

It is not that an acerbic, and clearly annoyed, high court called out the PIL as a “political interest litigation” — though there is that, too.

What should make you sit up and take notice is this:

The court also said Swamy appears to have concealed data or information which he should have disclosed at the first instance. The central government, as well as the Delhi Police, told the high court that they did not subscribe to the views expressed by Swamy that the probe in the case has been influenced by Tharoor.

And this:

It was also observed by the Court that Swamy, on being specifically asked about the basis of his allegations, says that he shall file another affidavit regarding the same, thus admitting that he has information that was not filed before and which ought to have been filed.

Which is to say, having first filed a PIL where facts in his position relevant to the case were not disclosed, and having been pulled up severely by the court, Swamy now wants a do-over.

All that has been achieved so far, meanwhile, is that the new lexicon for a New India acquires another phrase: political interest litigation.

Update, 6:45 PM: Here in PDF form is the full order by the Delhi High Court. Elsewhere, predictably:

 

 

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Fighting corruption by embracing it

#1. The 1995 winter session of Parliament was among the least productive on record (constant disruptions resulted in only 36% of the total time being productive, according to Parliamentary records).

The constant stoppage of play was led by the BJP, which was protesting the continued presence in the PV Narasimha Rao cabinet of Telecom Minister Sukh Ram, against whom charges of taking a bribe and favoring HTL in the awarding of cable supply contracts had begun to surface.

The BJP kept the pressure up — until, in 1997, he broke from the Congress and founded the Himachal Vikas Congress — at which point the BJP sought and obtained his support for the Prem Kumar Dhumal-led BJP government in Himachal Pradesh. Ram joined the government — and was persuaded to quit in March 1998 when charges were finally framed against him. The story of how he finally relented is a classic case study of realpolitik.

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From the dept of ‘Hamam mein sab…’

The story, in brief: In 2014 the Delhi High Court ruled that both the BJP and the Congress were in violation of the FCRA when the parties accepted contributions from Vedanta, the London-based MNC.

The government appealed; the case is now in the Supreme Court. And meanwhile, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley slipped a clause into the latest Finance Bill by which he — with retrospective effect — changed the definition of ‘foreign companies’, so that Vedanta is now an ‘Indian company’. In other words, he changed legal definitions in order to make kosher what the court said is a criminal act.

The full details here, as reported in The Wire.

Keep this story and the implications in mind when you next wonder why the BJP, having made the many scams of the Congress its main election issue, is now dragging its collective feet on every single one of them.

I deny that I had my foot in my mouth

That is to say, Ghulam Nabi Azad denies he compared RSS to IS. Or at the least, that his statement was “taken out of context”.

That’s precisely the trouble — there is no possible “context” for such a comparison. Worse, you show the paucity of your political intellect when you fall back on such meaningless tropes, and end up giving your opponents another stick to beat you black and blue with.

Seriously, aren’t politicians’ brains connected to their mouths, like is true for the rest of us?

 

Mind your language

This might seem an odd thing to fixate on, on a Monday morning, but there it is: this is the thing that stuck in my craw while scanning the media. So read the clip below, slowly, as many times as it takes, and then tell me what it means:

“In that comes the very strange pretext of a cover-up about departure on the basis of incorrect or illegal lookout notice and the totality of such circumstances raise serious question marks”, he said.

On the question of a farmer in Tamil Nadu, who took loan of Rs 3 Lakh for tractor, being attacked by cops and bank employees, he condemned the “highhandeness”.

“We do believe that highhandedness, throwing the rulebook and all kinds of procedures for a miniscule amount for a common man and allowing elephants to be swallowed as far as big people are concerned is a systemic problem”, he added.

 

Why is it so hard to understand that the key to politics is communication — simple, straight, to the point, intelligible?

In other news, seems a quiet sort of news day for now. Will be back later in the day with reading lists and suchlike.

Do as I say, not as I do

Dismissing the Congress president’s accusation that the NDA government was showing “obstinate arrogance” in Parliament and that it was a government by “one person”, Modi said, “Perhaps, she is referring to the fact that earlier extra-constitutional authorities were the ones really wielding power.”

He went on to say that power was now “wielded only by constitutional means”. If the charge is that “we are working through constitutional channels and not listening to any extra constitutional authorities, then I plead guilty to that charge”, he said.

Asked about the criticism that all powers were concentrated in the PMO, Modi responded, “Your question is loaded. It would have been better if this question had been asked when an unconstitutional authority was sitting above the constitutional authority and exercising power over the PMO.”

He emphasised that “the Prime Minister and the PMO are very much part of the constitutional scheme, not outside it”.

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A plague on both your houses

A worker of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS was pulled out of the autorickshaw he was driving in Kerala’s Kannur this morning by a group of men, who then attacked him with sharp weapons.

Huddled inside the autorickshaw and watching in fright were four children from class 1 and 2 who the RSS worker, AV Biju, drives every morning to school. Mr Biju was driving down the route that he usually takes, a short-cut between two main roads, when he was attacked.

It is barbaric (doubly so, given that that act of violence was perpetrated in full view of young children), it is horrific — and I don’t give a flying fuck.

Because who does?

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