It is not every day that a corporate group threatens a politician with a Rs 5,000-crore defamation suit. The politician in question is a top lawyer himself. The Reliance Anil Ambani Group said it would file a Rs 5,000-crore suit against Abhishek Singhvi for making false statements. Singhvi had named the group during a Congress press conference on Thursday while questioning Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s statement that no loans of big defaulters have been waived. He said three big corporate groups, one of them Reliance, together owe Rs 3 lakh crore. He then argued that one of the companies has declared it is shutting its telecom business worth over Rs 45,000 crore. Congressmen wondered whether Rs 5,000 crore will be any relief for a group that is neck-deep in debt of over Rs 25,000 crore.
Babri Case Decks Clear
The decks have been cleared for the final hearing of the title suit in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid case by the Supreme Court on December 5. The court will be going through voluminous case documents ahead of the hearing. The UP government has completed translating nearly 90,000 pages of oral evidence as well as 533 documentary exhibits running into 9,000 pages. Many of the documents are in Sanskrit, Persian and Urdu. The court had in August given the state government the gargantuan task of translating the documents within three months for the benefit of both the parties.
Is Shehzad Poonawalla an office-bearer of Maharashtra Congress or a media panelist of the party? Well, as is the Congress tradition, the party has disowned him after his statement that the process of organisational elections is rigged and manipulated to favour Rahul Gandhi’s election as party president. Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan says Poonawalla is not even a Congressman and there has hardly been any involvement from him in any party issue in the last two-and-a-half years. Poonawalla, on the other hand, is brandishing an April 2016 press release issued by the Congress on the appointment of office-bearers of the Maharashtra Congress in which his name is there as secretary. The party also says he is neither its spokesperson nor media panelist.
Farmer Suicide Jitters?
Every year, the National Crime Records Bureau generally releases data on farmer suicides before releasing data on crimes across the country. However, for the past two years, the suicide data has been given out after the crime data release. Interestingly, the release of the suicide data was curiously timed after the session of Parliament was over. Sources said this was because in its first year, the farmer suicide data right on the eve of a Parliament session gave the government a lot of grief in the House.