On one hand it is seeking monetary relief from the Centre from a supposed debt trap, on the other, the TMC can’t resist boasting its government’s financial performance in West Bengal. Speaking in Rajya Sabha Wednesday on the Finance Bill, TMC MP Derek O’Brien “advised” the Modi government to follow only one model: the Bengal model. This is because, he said, the state has had an 87-per cent increase in tax collection since 2012. A BJP MP in the corridors was heard saying the TMC should first decide whether it wants to project Bengal as poor or rich.
A new ride
Exploring ways to cut down on vehicular traffic inside its compound, the Supreme Court Wednesday wondered if lawyers could ride bicycles to the court instead of cars and SUVs. Chief Justice R M Lodha asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, who represented the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), if bicycles could help in reducing traffic and consequent pollution inside the “virtually choked” court complex. While Kumar cited how lawyers travelled from far flung places to the court, the CJI gave the example of a former judge, who was to join the International Court of Justice. The ex-judge was asked whether he would prefer a “new or old cycle” for commutation in the Hague. The court was hearing a plea by SC lawyers who wanted directive to CPWD to create additional parking space expeditiously.
Legal stalwarts Harish Salve and K T S Tulsi have joined the long list of senior advocates trying to get Sahara chief Subrata Roy out of Delhi’s Tihar jail. Roy was sent to the prison almost five months back for failing to comply with the court orders. He was then being represented by lawyers like Ram Jethmalani, Rajeev Dhavan, C A Sundaram and S Ganesh. Later, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Rakesh Dwivedi and Abhishek Manu Singhvi also entered the fray. After Dhavan’s persistent attempt to get Roy released on bail failed on July 22, the group engaged Salve and Tulsi for getting the job done.
Participating in the debate on the Finance Bill in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, JD(U) MP K C Tyagi referred to the poverty figures in the country and pointed out that there is a “hair training saloon” in Delhi where young people pay Rs 1,000 each to get their hair straight like “rats”. BJP MP V P Singh Badnore, who was in the chair, immediately responded to Tyagi’s quip, pointing to himself as well as the JD(U) MP’s bald head and said, “We both don’t need to go to such saloons.”
Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s wife Reena is being seen in Parliament quite often these days. Having made an appearance in the beginning of the current session, where she accompanied Paswan till Central Hall, Reena was there Wednesday to witness Lok Sabha proceedings from the visitor’s gallery, with Paswan occupying one of the front seats on the treasury benches.