first_imgAhmedabad: A court here issued fresh summons to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday directing him to appear on August 9 in a criminal defamation suit filed against him by a local BJP leader for allegedly calling Union Home Minister Amit Shah a “murder accused”. Additional chief metropolitan magistrate D S Dabhi re-issued the summons after the one issued on May 1, which was to be served through Lok Sabha Speaker as Gandhi is a Member of Parliament, was returned. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! The Speaker returned the summons saying he has no locus standi in the matter, the complainant’s lawyer Prakash Patel said. The fresh summons asking Gandhi to appear on August 9 will now be served directly to the Congress leader at his residence in New Delhi. The court earlier held that prima facie there was a case of criminal defamation against Gandhi under Indian Penal Code Section (IPC) section 500. Krishnavadan Brahmbhatt, a local BJP corporator, alleged that Gandhi made the objectionable comments at an election rally in Jabalpur on April 23. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed Brahmbhatt contended that Gandhi’s remark was defamatory as Shah was acquitted by a CBI court in 2015 in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case. Neither the high court nor the Supreme Court entertained the challenge to Shah’s acquittal, he said. “Gandhi (thus) committed an offence of defamation as per Sections 499 and 500 of the IPC,” he said. The CBI court’s January 2, 2015 order acquitting Shah got wide publicity and was well known “in all political circles including that of the Congress”, the complaint said. After Gandhi’s remark at the rally, Shah hit back at him, pointing out that he had been acquitted in the case, and questioned Congress president’s “legal knowledge”. In 2015, a special court discharged Shah in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati encounter cases, holding no case existed against him and that he had been implicated for political reasons. Earlier, another magistrate’s court here also issued summons to Gandhi and Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala in a criminal defamation suit filed by the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank and its chairman. Amit Shah is a director of the bank. The matter will come up for hearing on July 12 when Gandhi is likely to appear. The suit alleged that the Congress leaders falsely claimed the bank was involved in a scam to swap Rs 750 crore in scrapped notes with valid currency within five days of demonetisation in 2016. Last week Gandhi had appeared in courts in Mumbai and Patna in connection with two cases of alleged defamatory remarks against the RSS and BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi respectively.last_img read more

The OMP took the decision to observe the handing over process in order to ensure the chain of custody, as this is an important on-going case that is under investigation, and to minimise concerns that have been raised in similar instances where human remains from other mass grave sites were sent for carbon dating.The OMP sees transparency as an important issue to ensure the confidence of families of the missing and disappeared and the general public, in the investigation of the Mannar mass grave. Commissioner of the OMP, Mirak Raheem and two lawyers representing families of the missing and disappeared from Mannar, S. Niranjan and Ranitha Gnanarajah, also witnessed the handing over of the bone samples. The OMP was established under the Office on Missing Persons (Establishment, Administration and Discharge of Functions) Act, No. 14 of 2016 (OMP Act), and has a primary mandate to search for and trace missing persons. Under its investigative powers, the OMP has the authority to apply to a Magistrate’s Court to act as an observer at excavations and exhumations of suspected grave sites (Section 12(d), OMP Act). The OMP’s application to act as an observer was accepted by the Honourable Mannar Magistrate on 4th June 2018 and has been observing the process of excavation since. Following the testing of the samples, the results will be submitted by the laboratory in February 2019. The Office on Missing Persons (OMP) observed the process of handing over six bone samples obtained from the Mannar mass grave, located at the SathosaBuilding in the Mannar town (Case No B/232/2018), for radiocarbon dating, to BetaAnalytics in Miami, Florida, USA.The samples were handed over by Consultant Judicial Medical Officer, District General Hospital Mannar, Dr Saminda Rajapaksha who is heading the investigation team at the site. A preliminary combined investigation report including the test results and other findings will be submitted by the investigation team to the Mannar Magistrate’s Court.Beta Analytics was selected as the laboratory as it is a recognised and accredited institution that specializes in bomb pulse carbon dating. Radio carbon dating calculates the amount of Carbon-14 in bone and teeth samples and establishes the approximate time when an animal or plant was alive.It is a form of testing used in archaeology and forensic science for dating human remains. Where the skeletons are of persons who died after World War II, bomb pulse carbon 14 dating can provide a narrower range of time period in which the deaths occurred. The report from the laboratory, along with results from other examinations carried out by the investigation team headed by Dr Rajapaksa, will help address key questions, including if these human remains, numbering over 300 skeletons as of 22 January, are from one ormultiple historical periods. The OMP provided the finances for carrying out the tests at Beta Analytics, in addition to covering the travel expenses of the JMO and OMP Commissioner.Since July 2018, the OMP has been supporting the costs of food, lodging and other miscellaneous costs of the excavation team and provided additional funds for tarpaulin covers to protect the grave site from the monsoon rain.The radiocarbon test of the human remains is being carried out under an order by the Mannar Magistrate, Honourable T. Saravanaraja made on 18 January based on a collective decision by the investigation team. The sampling was conducted under the auspices of the Magistrate from 18-20 December 2018, at which the OMP was an observer. read more