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POSTED BY Buzz ON Dec 16, 2013 AT 22:20 IST ,  Edited At: Dec 16, 2013 22:20 IST

The Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising, in a lead, front-paged, article in the Indian Express today, revealed details from the affidavit filed by the law intern, who had accused ex-SC judge A.K Ganguly of sexual harassment, in front of a court-appointed panel.  Ms Jaising wrote:

The intern gave her statement to the committee, provided the affidavits of witnesses to whom she spoke immediately after the incident, gave all the mobile phone numbers of witnesses and of Justice Ganguly, and stood by her statement. Justice Ganguly was also called and his statement was video recorded. Apart from denying the allegations, he said the new law of 2013 making sexual harassment an offence did not apply to him as the alleged incident was of 2012, forgetting that outraging the modesty of a woman was always an offence, a law under which K P S Gill was prosecuted successfully by Rupan Deol Bajaj. 

...Justice Ganguly continues to hide behind the presumption of innocence and to get vocal support from powerful members of the judicial and legal fraternity since the details of the incident are not in the public domain. It is in these circumstances that I am compelled to make public the details of the incident as outlined in the victim's sworn affidavit before the Supreme Court committee, which the three-judge committee found prime facie to be established.

Since then, the affidavit has also become available in the public domain, with the complainant law intern's explicit consent.

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Dec 16, 2013 AT 22:20 IST, Edited At: Dec 16, 2013 22:20 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 23, 2013 AT 18:47 IST ,  Edited At: Oct 23, 2013 18:47 IST

Since Monday, when news of Mr Siddharth Varadarajan's resignation from the Hindu broke on Twitter, there have been charges and insinuations about the newspaper's coverage of BJP's prime-ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. The Mint had quoted Mr N. Ravi as saying:

N. Ravi, the new editor-in-chief, said that the “news desk was given standing instructions not to take any stories on Narendra Modi on page one. The Hindu has always been anti-Hindutva, but it was always kept out of our news judgement”.

Mr Varadarajan has denied this but since the disinformation has persisted, we made some enquiries and managed to obtain a copy of an email where he spelt out the Hindu's editorial policy to his colleagues:

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 23, 2013 AT 18:47 IST, Edited At: Oct 23, 2013 18:47 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 14, 2013 AT 23:17 IST ,  Edited At: Oct 14, 2013 23:17 IST

Way back in 2011, Rohit Mahajan provided a the background as to why Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri seemed so constrained in telling the complete truth when it came to reporting on the Indian cricket team.

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 14, 2013 AT 23:17 IST, Edited At: Oct 14, 2013 23:17 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 14, 2013 AT 22:19 IST ,  Edited At: Oct 14, 2013 22:19 IST

By now the whole country has acknowledged the stellar role played by the Odisha state government in dealing with the challenges of Cyclone Phailin.

Those familiar with BJD's Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda were therefore not surprised by his gracious acknowledgemet, in his column in the Indian Express today, of "the efforts and contribution of various other national authorities ... including the Indian Meteorological Department, the National Disaster Rapid Action Force, and the defence forces, which positioned and kept ready helicopters and other resources for deployment as necessary."

The favour was characteristically not returned to the state auhorities by any of the UPA ministers who scrambled to take credit for their government's role, or in any of the three press releases issued by the defence ministry today: 1, 2, 3.

While that was par for the course, Mr Panda's column explained how this was not just a fortuitous development or a fluke or that the state administration just lucked out:

While Odisha's preparations for cyclone Phailin seem to have come as a pleasant surprise to many around the country, the people of Odisha had come to expect it. During several major, middling, and minor natural disasters during the last 14 years, Naveen Patnaik has not only led by example, but has gradually honed the state administration's disaster management capabilities to a very high standard

Take, for instance, the flooding of August and September of 2011. While not as devastating as Phailin, it was nevertheless very major, causing immense damage in 19 districts, with about 100 casualties. Yet, flooding of a similar magnitude in the early 1980s had killed thousands, and that too on a much smaller denominator of the total population.

The reasons behind the dramatic drop in casualties in 2011 will be familiar to anyone who has followed Odisha's efforts now for Phailin: constant monitoring of weather patterns and warnings, early reviews with and instructions to district authorities, positioning of relief materials and teams well in advance, coordination with the Central government for defence and other agencies' assistance, and most important of all, evacuation of large numbers of vulnerable citizens to safe locations.

Here's to hoping then that this experience will "indeed prove to be a turning point":

The successful containment of casualties, and the attention and all round kudos that the preparations for Phailin received, have set a high standard for what governmental authorities can do when they apply themselves. Even more importantly, it serves as a benchmark for what citizens throughout the country can, and indeed should, expect of their government.

Read the full column at the Indian Express: Turning point Phailin

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 14, 2013 AT 22:19 IST, Edited At: Oct 14, 2013 22:19 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 08, 2013 AT 23:41 IST ,  Edited At: Oct 08, 2013 23:41 IST

Rasheed Kidwai, the biographer of Sonia Gandhi, whose book on Congress party 24 Akbar Road (Hachette India), has recently been updated, has revealed that senior leaders in Congress party were rattled last December 9, which happens to be Congress President Sonia Gandhi's birthday, when she told them that she wishes to retire when she turns 70. 

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 08, 2013 AT 23:41 IST, Edited At: Oct 08, 2013 23:41 IST
     
 
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