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Never ordered Aadhaar-mobile number linkage: Supreme Court

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday clarified that it never ordered mandatory linkage of Aadhaar card with the mobile phone number rather the government misinterpreted its February 6, 2017, observation and insisted on doing it.

During the hearing, Justice D Y Chandrachud said “In the Lokniti Foundation case, the SC has not directed linking of SIM with UID. But the Union government’s circular says so. There was no direction by the court…” The bench included Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar and Justice Ashok Bhusan.

In its order of February 6, 2017, the Supreme Court hardly recorded the submission of Former Attorney General  Mukul Mukul Rohatgi that Aadhaar was one of the documents used for verification of subscriber identity, clarified  CJI-led bench.

Senior advocate Rakesh Dwedi who was representing UIDAI agreed with the bench and said the government appeared to have taken the SC’s observations for verification of mobile phone subscribers seriously.

Further, the bench said the court merely recorded the AG’s submission that “an effective programme for the same would be devised at the earliest and the process of identity verification will be completed within one year”.

The SC on March 13 had indefinitely extended the deadline for linkage of Aadhaar with mobile numbers and bank accounts of individuals and asked the government to wait till the constitution bench decided the validity of Aadhaar to take further steps in this regard.

 The Centre had in the interim agreed to extend the deadline for bank account linkage with Aadhaar till March 31.

 

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Amarnath Yatra: Security forces asked to maintain synergy

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Jammu | Ahead of the annual Amarnath yatra, security forces have been asked to maintain “highest level of alertness” and “synergy,” police said today.

The two-month long pilgrimage to the 3,880 metre high cave shrine of Amarnath will commence on June 28.

All border police stations , posts and check-points have also been directed to be strengthened and activated to neutralize any attempt of infiltration by terrorists from across the International Border (IB) and the Line of Control (LoC), a police spokesman said.

He said the directions were passed at a high level meeting chaired by Inspector General of Police, Jammu, S D Singh Jamwal here last evening and attended among others by senior police, Army, paramilitary forces and state and central intelligence agencies.

The meeting was convened to discuss and review security arrangements for the pilgrimage.

“All officers have been directed to maintain highest level of alertness and synergy among themselves and also to share intelligence on real time basis so that nefarious designs of anti-national elements and their mentors can be thwarted, the spokesman said.

He said a detailed briefing was given by officers of Intelligence agencies and Army and police with regard to security arrangements to ensure smooth and peaceful conduct of the pilgrimage.

Addressing the meeting, the IGP stressed upon the need to organise night patrolling on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway regularly and maintain close cooperation with all forces deployed in their area of jurisdiction.

Singh asked senior superintendents of police to ensure adequate security in their respective districts particularly at base camp Bhagwati Nagar here, the spokesman said.

The Jammu police chief stressed upon officers of border districts to lay joint check points and ensure patrolling on all probable infiltration routes.

He also directed that all border police stations, posts and check-points should be strengthened and activated so as to neutralize any attempt of infiltration by terrorists from across the IB and the LoC.

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Subramanian’s resignation no surprise; experts fed up by financial anarchy: Congress

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The Congress today said the resignation of Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian has not come as a surprise as all ‘financial experts’ in Modi government are fed up of its ‘colossal economic mismanagement” and are stepping down.

Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala cited examples of ex-Niti Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya and former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan in this regard.

“Financial experts’ of Modi government are completely fed up by its colossal economic mismanagement, tepid economic reforms and financial anarchy,” he said on Twitter.

“CEA, Arvind Subramanian’s resignation after the stepping down of Niti Aayog’s Arvind Panagriya and RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan comes as no surprise!” he said.

Subramanian will be leaving the finance ministry after nearly 4 years because of “pressing family commitments” and return to the US,” Union minister Arun Jaitley said today.

He was appointed as the CEA to the finance ministry on October 16, 2014, for a period of three years. In 2017, his term was extended by a year.

“A few days ago Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian met me over video conferencing. He informed me that he would like to go back to the United States on account of pressing family commitments. His reasons were personal but extremely important to him. He left me with no option but to agree with him,” Jaitley wrote in a Facebook post.

The minister, however, did not say as to when Subramanian will relinquish the office.

“Profoundly grateful & humbled by these extraordinarily generous words by Minister @arunjaitley announcing my decision to return for personal reasons-to researching & writing. CEA job most rewarding, fulfilling, exciting I have ever had. Many many to thank,” Subramanian tweeted minutes after Jaitley’s post.

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Saradha scam: Nalini Chidambaram fails to appear before Enforcement Directorate

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Chennai | Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s wife Nalini Chidambaram on Wednesday failed to appear before the Enforcement Directorate after she was summoned for questioning in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam in West Bengal.

Nalini Chidambaram was given interim relief by the Madras High Court bench of justices Anand Venkatesh and MM Sundresh after it reserved its order. Nalini Chidambaram had earlier challenged the April 24 order of the court which had rejected her petition against ED’s summon asking her to appear personally as a witness in its money laundering probe in the Saradha chit fund case.

The Enforcement Directorate had first summoned Chidambaram in September 2016 as a witness in the Saradha chit fund scam case. KTS Tulsi who appeared for Nalini Chidambaram accused the ED of “political vendetta”, Tulsi argued that no other advocate appearing for Saradha group had been summoned by the central agency so far.

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