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What we’re reading: Deaths rise in coronavirus outbreak; GOP doesn’t have the votes to block witnesses
Facebook Linkedin Previous articleWhat we’re reading: survivors return to Auschwitz, coronavirus outbreak sparks global economic fearsNext articleListening sessions follow filing of lawsuit Kai Grady RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR + posts FILE – In this July 8, 2019, file photo, national security adviser John Bolton speaks at the Christians United for Israel’s annual summit, in Washington. A single paper copy in a nondescript envelope arrived at the White House on Dec. 30. Four weeks later, news of John Bolton’s book manuscript about his time as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser has exploded into public view, sending a jolt through the president’s impeachment trial. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File) Kai Gradyhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/kai-grady/ What we’re reading: Former Vice President dies at 93, Chad President killed on frontlines ReddIt Kai Grady is an FTDM and Journalism double-major from Arlington, Texas. He currently works at KTCU as a Hip-Hop DJ. After graduating, he hopes to pursue a career in both sports and popular culture writing. ReddIt Kai Gradyhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/kai-grady/ Kai Grady Twitter Kai Gradyhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/kai-grady/ Open House: Finale Twitter Open House Episode 13: Liliana Ogden Facebook Kai Gradyhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/kai-grady/ Abortion access threatened as restrictive bills make their way through Texas Legislature Open House Episode 14: Delaina Bellows Linkedin What we’re reading: Chauvin found guilty in Floyd case, Xi to attend Biden’s climate change summit Open House Episode 15: Alexis Berry printDeaths rise in China due to coronavirusThe death toll from the rapidly spreading coronavirus reached 132 Tuesday as the total number of people infected approached 6,000, according to AP News.Numerous American citizens have begun to leave Wuhan — the Chinese city most impacted by the deadly virus.Chinese authorities have quarantined Wuhan and a number of other cities to help eliminate the potential spread of the virus.The north terminal at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Anchorage, Alaska, where a flight plane carrying U.S. citizens being evacuated from Wuhan, China, is expected later Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)GOP doesn’t have the votes to block witnessesSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a private luncheon Tuesday that Republicans don’t currently have the votes to block witnesses from appearing in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, according to The Washington Post.McConnell’s remarks come after a leak of the unreleased manuscript from former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s new book.Bolton wrote that Trump told him he wanted to withhold military aid from Ukraine until officials there began investigations of his political opponents. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the chamber as defense arguments by the Republicans resume in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, at the Capitol in Washington Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)Earthquake in the Caribbean leads to evacuationsA magnitude 7.7 earthquake occurred in the sea between Cuba and Jamaica Tuesday, according to NBC News. Despite being miles away from the United States, the earthquake led to the evacuation of several buildings in Miami, Florida.The forceful quake occurred at 2:10 p.m. 86 miles northwest of Jamaica and almost 90 miles southwest of Cuba.This map courtesy of AP/ABC news shows the location of the Tuesday’s earthquake. NFL Twitter accounts hacked prior to the Super Bowl A Saudi hacking group called OurMine claimed responsibility for the social media hacks of several NFL teams this week, according to NBC News.OurMine said it wanted the hack to showcase its cybersecurity prowess and prove that anything can be hacked.The Super Bowl-bound Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers were among those affected by the breach of security.Workers clean outside of Hard Rock Stadium, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla., in preparation for the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)That’s all we have for you today, check back tomorrow for what we’re reading.
ColumnsFirst Among Equals Gautam Khazanchi29 April 2020 9:29 PMShare This – xAs a member of the legal fraternity, I find it my responsibility to seek clarity over the lightening speed in which a matter appears to have been listed.In the late evening on 21st April 2020, Arnab Goswami, the Editor-in-chief of Republic TV, in purported exercise of his right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India, made certain comments against former Congress President, Sonia Gandhi. He stated that Mrs. Gandhi is “happy” and will be sending a “report to Italy” in order to…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginIn the late evening on 21st April 2020, Arnab Goswami, the Editor-in-chief of Republic TV, in purported exercise of his right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India, made certain comments against former Congress President, Sonia Gandhi. He stated that Mrs. Gandhi is “happy” and will be sending a “report to Italy” in order to gain “praises” as she has gotten “saints” killed in a State which is governed partly by the political party she belongs to. The tirade by Mr. Goswami led to a multitude of FIR’s being filed across various States including Maharastra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telengana, Jharkhand and the freshly made Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, alleging, to put it simply – the spreading of fake news. On 23.04.2020, Goswami chose, as is his right, to approach the Supreme Court directly instead of the Bombay High Court due to the multiplicity of proceedings arising out of the same incident in various states and prayed that all such complaints/FIRs lodged against him be quashed. The Indian Judicial system, like all other institutions around it has met with an unprecedented challenge due to the pandemic created by Covid-19 and has adapted its system of justice delivery to meet the omnipresent need of society to seek recourse to legal remedies. However while doing so, and in due deference of the need for social distancing, only the most urgent and pressing cases are being heard through video-conferencing. The papers pertaining to each case, that is, the legal brief / petition / application is accepted in paperless formats after following a Standard Operating Procedure established by each Court, which applies to all litigants equally. In the case of the Supreme Court of India, the names of cases found important enough to be heard on a given day are released in the form of a list on the preceding evening by the Supreme Court of India through its official website. Bear with me as I take you through the following chronology of events that appear to have transpired in the evening of 23rd April 2020: On 23.04.2020, around 4:20-5:30 PM in the evening, the Supreme Court published its main list of matters requiring urgent and imminent hearing for 24.04.2020.On 23.04.2020, around 6:20-6:50 PM in the evening, the Supreme Court published its Supplementary (read additional) list of matters requiring urgent and imminent hearing for 24.04.2020.At no point till this time, did the case titled ‘Arnab Ranjan Goswami v. Union of India’ reflect in the information available in the public domain vis-à-vis hearing of urgent matters on 24.04.2020 by the Supreme Court. As per the information available on the website of the Supreme Court, the case titled ‘Arnab Ranjan Goswami v. Union of India’ was filed at 8:07 PM on 23.04.2020.Approximately an hour later, around 9:07 PM, an additional page was published and uploaded subsequently on the Supplementary List of matters for 24.04.2020 by the Additional Registrar of the Supreme Court intimating that the case titled ‘Arnab Ranjan Goswami v. Union of India’ was listed at 10:30 AM on the following day before the Court. Let us for a minute ignore the Standard Operating Procedure published by the Supreme Court on 15.04.2020 which states that in all matters involving extreme urgency, where an Application is submitted by 5 PM on a given day, the matter shall be processed for two days after such date and any Application received post 5 PM, for another extra day thereafter. Let us also ignore the circular issued by the Supreme Court on 17.04.2020 making two officials responsible for dealing with queries on matters pertaining to urgent hearing between 10:30 AM till 5 PM on working days. Let us instead follow the facts as presented to us by the information made available by the Supreme Court and understand that between 7-9 PM on 23.03.2020, Mr. Goswami was able to file a Petition and make an Application for urgent listing and obtain approval of the urgency by the “Competent Authority” and convince the concerned officials of the Registry to jump the queue by not listing it in due course as per the SOP, but the very next morning. Being in practice, I have first hand experience of how difficult and cumbersome this process can be. One needs to constantly follow up with the registry and push for processing of the case incessantly with officers who are generally recalcitrant that one feels one is arguing the case before the Judge himself. As to whether the statements made by Goswami during his telecast are an abuse of that very constitutional right he claims to have exercised and form the ingredients of several offences under the Indian Penal Code is a matter for a competent court to decide. At the same time, as a member of the legal fraternity I find it my responsibility to question and seek clarity over the lightening speed in which a matter appears to have been filed, mentioned for urgency, evaluated, allowed and listed within a span of 14 odd hours. Let me reiterate that I have absolutely no qualms about Goswami being able to seek recourse in our judicial system. I do however wonder whether the same judicial system is open to giving an equal chance to those similarly placed or rather, in much worse conditions. The Petition filed by Goswami is in the public domain as well and while I claim to be no legal luminary, or substitute my wisdom for the registry of the Supreme Court, I have not found any “urgency” in the averments made therein to indicate that Goswami was about to be imminently arrested and the only legal recourse available to him was an urgent hearing before the Supreme Court failing which there would be a grave miscarriage of justice. Are the doors of justice flexible enough to be opened beyond ‘office hours’ where the need so arises? I would certainly hope so. An excellent example of such a situation was seen recently when the Delhi High Court convened a special sitting at beyond midnight at the residence of a Judge to ensure safe passage for riot victims stuck in an injured condition in a Hospital. The Court was primarily concerned with ensuring the safety of lives of injured persons needing immediate medical attention during the riots that were occurring in the North Eastern district of Delhi. There have been numerous other instances of near instantaneous hearings by the Supreme Court and various High Courts in our country, which have reassured the citizens that where the facts so strongly warrant judicial intervention, time creates no hindrance. It is also the same Supreme Court where a petition that was filed on 17.04.2020 was not heard till 27.04.2020, a full ten days later. The petition had sought directions to the Central Government to allow migrant workers to return to their native places, after testing them for Covid, and to the concerned authorities to ensure their safe transportation. Print, Broadcast and Social media is bursting with heartbreaking stories that have emerged since the lockdown, showing migrant workers taking on the onerous journey to their homes on foot. Amartya Sen, Raghuram Rajan, Abhijit Banerjee warn us that it may be inevitable that ‘a huge number of people will be pushed into dire poverty or even starvation by the combination of the loss of their livelihoods and interruptions in the standard delivery mechanisms’ unless steps are not taken to address the issues faced by them. The Government lost no time in organizing special flights with dedicated medical teams to evacuate expats and other Indian citizens from China and Europe during the lockdown. All of us rightly commended the fast response to provide relief to our citizens at that time. The very same Government has also left a majority of its population stranded on the road having to find their way home with no food or water. Do migrant workers, the most vulnerable and underprivileged strata of our society, who are being forced to stay away from their families and who continue to live in unpredictable and arduous conditions, not deserve access to justice with the same lightening speed as any other citizen? Can we afford to be so unkind and look the other way? Do we not realize the hypocrisy in blaming these migrant workers for wanting to go home when we want our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters to be safe and at home in these distressing times? Do Article 14 (the right to equality) and 21 (the right to life) of the Constitution of India not apply equally to these citizens as they apply to an influential head of a media conglomerate? The Central Government not only opposed the plea filed on behalf of migrant workers in the Supreme Court on a specious ground such as it would send a ‘wrong message’ but also sought two weeks to file a reply. Better sense seems to have prevailed finally as it appears that the Government has woken up to their plight issuing guidelines today to permit their movement Another lawyer, who had filed a case on 17.04.2020, six days before Arnab Goswami, whose matter was in ‘process’ and finally listed and disposed off on 27.04.2020 has already raised his grievance regarding the ‘pick and choose’ policy of the registry of the Supreme Court with a letter to the Secretary General of the Court. As a matter of propriety and transparency one hopes that his legitimate concerns are addressed as one remembers Martin Luther King Jr.’s profound words in a ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail’, that ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’Views are personal only(Author is practicing Lawyer at Delhi) Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Story
One student who attended the protest, Isobel Innes, explained that the protest “was specifically against the direct involvement and culpability of banks in the climate crisis”. Image credit: Feng Ho Image Credit: Feng Ho On Thursday the 1st of April, protesters from Extinction Rebellion (XR) Oxford gathered outside Barclays bank to protest the bank’s heavy investment into fossil fuels. Around fifteen individuals marched up and down Cornmarket Street beating their signature drums and holding placards that read “This bank funds climate chaos” and mock caution tape that displayed the words “Climate crime scene”. A Barclays spokesperson told Cherwell: “We have made a commitment to align our entire financing portfolio to the goals of the Paris Agreement, with specific targets and transparent reporting, on the way to achieving our ambition to be a net zero bank by 2050. We believe that Barclays can make a real contribution to tackling climate change and help accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.” Innes added, “As a low income student, I’m not ready to just lay down and die. Minority communities are going to be the hardest hit by the climate crisis. And that’s my friend, that’s my neighbour. They’re not millionaires and neither am I so of course I’ll help them.” Image Credit: Isobel Innes Extinction Rebellion is an international non-violent direct action movement, demanding urgent action in the face of the climate emergency. The protest in Oxford was also followed by one at the Barclays Headquarters in London where several windows were smashed by Extinction Rebellion activists. Image Credit: Feng Ho Image Credit: Feng Ho