EC hits back at reports of softer line on roaming

first_imgHome EC hits back at reports of softer line on roaming EC moves forward with 5G spectrum plan The European Commission has denied that a delay is being contemplated to the current policy to end roaming rates in the EU.Earlier in the week, two media reports said a leaked paper from the Italian presidency of the EU moderated the current stance on retail and wholesale rates.“The Italians are not suggesting a delay to ending roaming charges,” the commission responded.“They are just trying to move the other elements of the package forward as details of how to end roaming are worked out, it is normal that not every detail would be on paper at this stage.”The Italian document made no mention of the 15 December 2015 end date proposed by the European Parliament, which was viewed as significant.The Italian paper also seemed to contain a new measure – a fair use allowance for roaming. If a user exceeded the allowance then they would be charged extra, which was presented as a concession to operators.“The existence of a ‘fair use’ clause is not a loophole – it has always been in the proposal and does not mean you would pay extra to roam except in extreme circumstances, and even then that clause would only exist temporarily,” added the commission.The commission said all three EU institutions – commission, parliament and national governments – are united in calling for an end to roaming charges.“They will soon begin negotiations on how to end them,” it said. Negotiations are expected to be completed this year.Finally, the commission denied a link between roaming income and broadband investment.“Even if roaming was ten times as expensive there still would not be nearly enough roaming income to pay for those upgrades. Meanwhile current roaming income is not used to pay for those upgrades – it is mostly used to pay dividends to shareholders.” Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including… Read more Apple hits back in Spotify spat Previous ArticleHuawei reveals how to build the world’s best 4G network in 4 easy stepsNext ArticleOrange set to appeal French network sharing ruling AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 26 SEP 2014 Related EC puts people in driving seat of AI ethics Richard Handford Tags Author ECRegulatorylast_img read more

Aberdeen raises $80m for Asian purse

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Call for more mall security

first_imgThe Athlone Community Police Forum (CPF) has called for rigorous security to ensure the safety of shoppers at Vangate Mall this coming festive season after Clicks was robbed of R80 000 last Sunday.Athlone police confirmed the robbery took place just before 7pm on Sunday November 20.Four unknown armed men entered the store and two of the men went to the back office where the big safe is located and removed R60 000 worth of coins, while the other two jumped over the front counter and ordered the two cashiers to empty their registers into black bags which amounted to R20 000.The manager told them that she did not have access to the drop safe where the notes are kept. They then ushered the employees into the back room and left the scene.Sergeant Zita Norman, Athlone police spokeswoman, said no shots were fired and no injuries were sustained.Aziza Kannemeyer, chairperson of the Athlone CPF, said mall owners need to provide sufficient security, especially with the upcoming festive season when shoppers carry more cash on them. “Not enough is being done in terms of security. Irrespective if the area has a high crime rate, quite a few communities still shop at the mall because there are no other malls in the area. Vangate Mall is a prime spot for hijacking and robberies of shoppers inside the mall. “People are getting good returns on their investments so surely they can invest in extra security for the shoppers,” said Ms Kannemeyer.“The businesses in the mall deserve security and the shoppers also deserve more, if it were not for them the mall wouldn’t make money. This is the beginning of the festive season. What can people expect from the mall that will ensure their safety? The mall owners have a role to play,” she said.However, Gouwa Waja-Stemmet, Vangate Mall marketing manager, assured customers that their safety remains the highest priority and that they will continue to ensure that all security measures are in place. “Security procedures are constantly being evaluated and tenants and staff are being educated accordingly. Mall management and security personnel are working closely with SAPS to ramp up security during the festive season. “SAPS will provide additional manpower during this period, while working closely with a local neighbourhood watch group. Various other neighbourhood watch groups will also participate in a festive season awareness campaign. Private security will be substantially increased over the period, while the mall’s hi-tech CCTV surveillance equipment will continue to play a vital role towards enhancing safety and security,” said Ms Waja-Stemmet. Ms Kannemeyer warned shoppers to be alert when visiting malls and business hubs.last_img read more

Solicitor fined £7.5k – with four times that in costs

first_imgA solicitor has received a £7,500 fine, but four times that amount in costs, for his ‘sloppy’ conduct in a property transaction.The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal said Daniel Mun Kin Tang’s work on the transaction in 2012 ‘was more than sloppy’, in a judgment published on its website.Tang, a partner at north London firm Christopher Mathew Solicitors and admitted to the roll in 2006, acted for TP Ltd in relation to the purchase of three flats. He was instructed to prepare and execute an investment agreement to part-fund the £252,000 purchase. Tang denied the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s allegation that the transaction had ‘a number of dubious features’. The judgment states that he ‘accepted that he was “sloppy” in the way that he handled the transaction and ought to have satisfied himself that certain features of the transaction were not dubious, but that did not mean that the features were dubious’.Tang, who had acted for the parties previously, said he had ‘not been on such guard as he would have been if this was the first time he acted for them’.However, the tribunal identified ‘red flags’ that ‘merited further investigation and enquiry’. The tribunal said it was not within Tang’s remit to advise Ms FA, a third party part-funding the transaction, to seek independent financial advice – ‘but, as he accepted, he should have advised her to [seek] independent legal advice’. He did not take unfair advantage of her, the tribunal said.Tang admitted he lodged an application to register a charge on the property without Ms FA’s written consent when he ‘ought to have known’ this was required.The tribunal said Tang ‘appeared to have fallen into a trap where he failed to distinguish between the personal and professional when he was doing business with a family with whom he was acquainted’.The tribunal found that Tang made an error in the way he completed a MGO1-particulars of a mortgage charge form. ‘The tribunal accepted that this was a genuine mistake but having made the mistake and knowing that he had made the mistake the respondent did not rectify it or advise TP Ltd of the error and what could be done to rectify it,’ the judgment states.In mitigation, Tang ‘acknowledged that this was not a shining example of his work’ and that he had been far too “sloppy” in his approach’. The ‘minimal’ harm caused was ‘due to luck and not the respondent’s judgement’, the tribunal said, assessing the conduct to be ‘at the higher end of moderately serious’.Counsel for Tang argued that the SRA’s claim for £34,760 costs was ‘manifestly excessive for a one transaction case’, reminding the tribunal ‘that costs should not be a penalty and if they were disproportionately larger than the sanction they could be seen as a penalty’.However, the tribunal concluded the allegations were properly brought. Tang was ordered to pay a £7,500 fine and £32,469 costs.Tang has been approached for comment.last_img read more

ASH’s Antoine commits to play softball for LSU

first_imgTaryn Antoine, a sophomore shortstop for Alexandria Senior High, has committed to play collegiate softball at LSU.A versatlle athlete, Antoine made the All-Cenla Track and Field girls team last spring in the 400-meter run, and she was first in the state and second nationally in powerlifting in the 132-pound female weight class, even breaking a national record in the dead lift (353 pounds) for the 14-15 age division.“She has a great work ethic and is a great athlete,” said first-year ASH softball coach Gary Parnham, who is just becoming familiar with Antoine in preseason small-group practices. “You can tell she’s at a high skill level.”Antoine played in only a few softball games for ASH early last season before quitting “because I didn’t feel the coaching was very good,” but she played in the late spring and in the summer for the Wichita Mustangs, one of the elite amateur travel softball teams in the nation, according to Triple Crown Sports.“Taryn is an extremely gifted athlete,” said Mark Griggs, her Wichita coach who discovered her at an LSU camp a few years ago and has coached her for two summers. “She can run. She has slapper type speed and corner type power and she is extremely coachable.“When I found her she was hitting right-handed,” said Griggs, “and now she is our starting left-handed slap hitter.”The 5-foot-5, 15-year-old Antoine has been recruited by many major universities, Grigg said.Antoine said there are a few reasons she decided to commit with LSU.“I thought of a school I’d be able to start at, and the coach (Beth Torina) liked me,” said Antoine, the daughter of Travis and Robertha Antoine. “I went there to visit and, my God, it was so pretty, and I thought about how my family could watch me play there. I thought about how I could win a national championship for my home state.”In two of her first three years as LSU’s softball coach, Torina has guided the Lady Tigers to 40-win seasons, and in her first season, 2012, led LSU to a berth in the women’s College World Series.last_img read more

3 Nominees for both Galway hurling and football manager positions

first_imgInterviews for the next Galway football and hurling managers positions will be held next Monday night. After last weekend’s nomination deadline the three candidates for the football job are Padraig Joyce, Liam Kearns and Matt Duggan while outgoing hurling selectors Noel Larkin and Frannie Forde and former Galway U21 manager Tony Ward are in the running to become hurling manager. print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Emaillast_img

Galaxy’s Edge Store Preview: Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities

first_imgShare This!We’re counting down the days until the official opening of Walt Disney World’s Galaxy’s Edge with a look at some of the sights that you’ll see in this new land. Shopping is a major part of this new land. Next up, we’re showing you some of the merchandise you can find at the Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities.This store is truly the ultimate wow factor in shopping at Galaxy’s Edge. Walking in for the first time, you just look up and around and then pick your jaw up off the floor. Yes, it’s a store, and so there’s plenty of merchandise to see, but the shop itself is its own attraction. There’s so much to see in every corner of the store. From the murals when you walk in to the collection of antiquities high up on the upper level of the store, every inch of this store offers more to look at. The merchandise that really draw people’s eyes are the legacy lightsabers wielded by a variety of characters in the Star Wars universe and the collection of holocrons and kyber crystals. But the store holds a lot more, from jewelry to statues to a mishmash of items that just don’t fit anywhere else but are too cool not to sell. Prices can range from a few dollars for “wisdom stones” up to several hundred dollars for certain pieces of jewelry. (And you thought a $200 lightsaber was expensive?) It would be impossible for me to show you everything that you can find in this store, but I hope these photos give you a glimpse into what you might find. Even if you don’t plan to buy anything in Batuu, you won’t want to skip this shop.last_img read more

Marshfield softball rips Tomah in season opener

first_imgTigers have 16 hits in road winBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterTOMAH — The Marshfield softball team began its 2016 season with a bang, routing Tomah 14-3 in a nonconference game Tuesday afternoon.Megan Donahue was 4-for-5 with two doubles and four RBIs and also struck out nine batters in 3 2/3 innings on the mound for the Tigers.Emily Draeger also went 4-for-5, Jenna Jakobi hit a two-run home run, and Maddie Mews drove in a pair for Marshfield.Kaitlyn Konrardy earned the win for Marshfield, allowing two runs in 2 1/3 innings.Eight of the Tigers’ nine starters had at least one hit.Marshfield will head to Illinois to play three games later this week. The Tigers will take on Hersey High School in Arlington Heights on Friday and will play a doubleheader at Ottawa on Saturday.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)Tigers 14, Timberwolves 3Marshfield 405 113 – 14 16 3Tomah 101 010 – 3 4 2WP: Kaitlyn Konrardy. LP: Reis Dermossean.SO: Konrardy (2 1/3 inn.) 3, Megan Donahue (3 2/3 inn.) 9; Dermossean (4 inn.) 0, Morgan Wright (2 inn.) 0. BB: Konrardy 3, Donahue 3; Dermossean 6, Wright 0.Top hitters: M, Jenna Jakobi HR, 2 RBIs; Emily Draeger 4×5, 2 2Bs, 3 runs; Donahue 4×5, 2 2Bs, 4 RBIs; Morgan Nordbeck 2 runs; Konrardy 2×3, 2 runs; Alyssa Ede 2B, 2 runs; Maddie Mews 2B, 2 RBIs; Melissa Roberts 2×4. T, Makayla Hove 2×4.Records: Marshfield 1-0; Tomah 0-1.last_img read more

Bafana frenzy grips the nation

first_imgBafana Bafana has captured the hearts ofSouth Africans.(Image: Bongani Nkosi)  Vuvuzelas blared from the residential block of flats in Sunnyside, Pretoria’s lively, cosmopolitan suburb. South Africans hung out of their windows and burst from the corridors to celebrate and blow their favourite plastic trumpets. It was a short-lived moment, but one I had been expecting.South Africa’s national football squad Bafana Bafana was playing Denmark in a friendly match that day, 5 June, and I had decided to go loll at a park in nearby Troy Street – I was against the idea of being glued to a television screen.I knew the noise made by the throng of football fans in the area would be a pretty good indication of the score: I anticipated a spirited round of vuvuzela toots for every Bafana goal, and a collective sigh of “aaaaahs” if our opponent scored.I was kept in suspense for some time, but eventually I heard the eruption of noise. I knew very well our boys had scored a critical goal – the only one of the match. It came in the 76th minute from striker Katlego “Killer” Mphela.The celebrations went on for about three minutes at that stage, but the lasting sense of excitement came as the referee blew the final whistle. We had won.The vuvuzelas were out again, and the hubbub resonated throughout central Pretoria. Masses of young football fans, clad in their Bafana gear, celebrated the victory with their trumpets, song and dance. And cars whizzing past showed their support too, with mini South African flags attached to their roof tops.It’s scenes like these that show the pride in the 23-man national squad, which will play the opening match of the 2010 Fifa World Cup in a few days’ time.“We’re very elated and excited about what see throughout the country every day. Scores of people are wearing the Bafana jersey,” the team’s media officer Matlhomola Morake said.“[South Africans] are giving us courage,” Morake added. “We’d like to thank them and hope that this support will continue throughout the World Cup.”Support for Bafana is streaming in through various channels countrywide, as fans’ good-luck wishes are publicised on television, radio, newspapers, online social network sites and mobile phones. “That’s ayoba,” my colleague, Lesego Madumo, would say.‘We’re behind you’A day before the Demark clash, friends Mzukisi Zuzile and Masanda Nomeva joined hundreds of other South Africans outside Luthuli House in Johannesburg to show their confidence in Bafana Bafana. And they weren’t shy about where their allegiances lay: “We’ll support them up until the end of the World Cup. South Africans will stand by them,” Nomeva said.“Bafana Bafana must play their hearts out, knowing very well that the nation is behind them,” Zuzile added.The team has gone without a loss in its last 12 matches, making the craze well-deserved. Notable wins include the 5 June Denmark friendly and a 5-0 record defeat of Thailand a few days’ before.The group stage matches involving Bafana were sold out even before World Cup ticket collection centres were opened, another indication of strong belief in the national side.This also means that vuvuzelas will be out in full force. “We need the vuvuzela – it is our 12th man, and it will help us a lot,” Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira said during his announcement of the final player selection on 1 June.The national team has been drawn into Group A to face Mexico, France and Uruguay. It’s been tipped to pick up at least six points, but must win the first clash against Mexico to achieve this, experts say.Promise of victoryPresident of the South African Football Association Kirsten Nematandani has promised the nation that Bafana will make it proud. He is confident that the team is well-prepared and ready to tackle the stiff competition.“The boys are ready … they will make us proud,” he said during the celebrations at Luthuli House.“Come the 11 June, Mexico won’t know what hit them.”South African politicians are showing they’re not immune to the Bafana frenzy either, with the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and official opposition, the Democratic Alliance, both sending out messages of support.“Bafana, you carry the hopes and aspirations of all South Africans …” said ANC chairperson Baleka Mbethe, on behalf of her party. “We have complete confidence and trust in you.”Good dose of Madiba MagicPresident Jacob Zuma and Fifa head Sepp Blatter are among the legions of World Cup fans who are hoping that Nelson Mandela will make it to the tournament’s opening ceremony at Soccer City on 11 June.It’s still not entirely clear whether the frail, 91-year-old statesman will be there, but Zuma has said it will be a bonus if he is.“We have hope that Mandela will be there,” said Mbethe.Mandela’s presence will undoubtedly give Bafana Bafana a good dose of “Madiba Magic” ¬– a term coined during the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa, when the then-president donned a replica of the captain’s jersey to spread national pride and show his support for the host team.He did the same during the African Cup of Nations a year later, and many say this helped inspire the South Africans to win both tournaments. In recent years South Africans have increasingly used Madiba, Mandela’s clan name, as a fond term of reference.The Bafana World Cup squad was introduced to their former president on 3 June at a gathering at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton, Johannesburg. On this day too, Mandela chose to wear the captain’s jersey.last_img read more

Freedom ‘is our common heritage’

first_img25 September 2013Telling the country’s history in an all-encompassing way shows us that the freedom we now enjoy is not “the exclusive preserve of any one social grouping but a proud heritage of all South Africans,” Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Tuesday.Motlanthe was addressing a Heritage Day rally at Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane township outside East London.The Deputy President said that South Africans marked the national holiday “with the conscious understanding that there is a great deal about our history that is bad and hurtful, yet we must accept it as part of the growing pains of the free society we set out to create in 1994; a society that is united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and just.”Tuesday’s occasion also marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Mdantsane. Home to more than 500 000 South Africans, Mdantsane is one of the oldest townships in South Africa, and was a hotbed of political activism against apartheid.Earlier in the day, Motlanthe unveiled an upgraded memorial and laid a wreath at the site of the Egerton Massacre. In 1983, communities from East London and Mdantsane had embarked on a boycott to protest an unannounced five cent increase in bus fares.The boycott culminated on 4 August in what was later called the Egerton Massacre, which claimed 11 lives, with a further 36 commuters injured. The massacre took place at Egerton Railway Station outside Mdantsane, where police officials from the apartheid bantustan of Ciskei shot and beat residents.Motlanthe said that the struggle for South Africa’s liberation was waged by “the broadest cross-section of the people of our country and was not just about political freedom, but also about social, cultural, psychological and economic freedom”.Mdantsane, he said, had to be “supported with the necessary socio-economic infrastructure to realise its full reintegration into all avenues of South African life, and not continue as a reserve for the abode of the poor, the unemployed and the disenfranchised”.The Mdantsane heritage project, like all others in South Africa, should be “inclusive of the names, languages, places, people and cultures that were manipulated and falsified to bring about divisions,” Motlanthe said.“Unity of all South Africans is a guiding principle which should never be undermined by sectarian and parochial interests.”SAinfo reporter and SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Weekly White Paper: Curbing Skyrocketing IT Energy Costs

first_imgalex williams A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Switch on a server and you’ve just doubled its cost. According to Gartner, between 2007 and 2012 most U.S. enterprise datacenters will spend as much on power and cooling as on the hardware itself.Gartner predicts that energy costs for IT operations could also double by 2012 due to the volume of data that will flow through organizations and the expected increase in utilities.The answer? Consolidate your servers and optimize them as best as possible.Download White Paper PDFcenter_img Tags:#cloud#RWCloudSponsored Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

DJ Must-Have: The All-New Rich Medina 45 Bag

first_img DJs are not known for packing light. Between records, turntables, headphones and other equipment, things can get heavy very easily. But no biggie now that our very own DJ Rich Medina has teamed up with Tucker & Bloom, a Nashville based bag company, for the all-new, swagged out Rich Medina 45 Bag. Sleek and compact, the bag is the perfect accessory whether you’re a stylish mixer or just someone who tends to take a lot on the go. DJ Medina kept in mind both the average spinner who lugs around 45 RPM records  and the everyday professional on-the-go for the creative collab. The result is a “durable, high quality shoulder bag to add to [your] tool kit or traveling luggage.” Be ahead of the game and place your pre-order now before the official bag release on July 22. Rich Medina 45 Bag And, check out our video with Rich below.last_img read more

Onion prices to calm down in next few days Tomar

first_imgNew Delhi: Onion prices, which are ruling as high as Rs 70-80 per kg in some parts of the country, will calm down in the next few days with supply being boosted through agencies like Nafed, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Tuesday. Onion prices have gradually increased in the last one month due to supply disruption from flood-hit onion-growing states like Maharashtra. Last week’s rainfall has further affected the supply, due to which onion prices have surged up to Rs 70-80 per kg in the national capital and other parts of the country, as per trade sources. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra Singh “Onion situation will improve in the next few days. Cooperative Nafed is releasing stock from the central buffer at a lower price. We have enough stock of onions,” Tomar told reporters after the launch of two mobile apps for farmers. The government is aware of the onion situation and taking measures to balance in the interest of both farmers and consumers, he said. “At times, consumers have to pay high price for farm items; and at times, farmers get less price for their produce. Our role is to balance this. We are aware of it and are taking several measures,” Tomar added. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroad Right now, stored onions are sold in most parts of the country, as fresh Kharif (summer) crop will hit the market from November onwards, traders said. Traders further said that there is enough supply of stored onion of the previous year’s crop in the country, but its transportation has been affected because of heavy rains. The centre has taken several measures to arrest the prices of onion in Delhi and other parts of the country. It is offloading onion from its buffer stock through agencies like Nafed and National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India (NCCF) which are selling at around Rs 22/kg and state-run Mother Dairy at Rs 23.90 per kg in the national capital. The state governments have been asked to boost supply in their states lifting central buffer stock. Some states like Delhi, Tripura and Andhra Pradesh have shown interest so far. The centre has a buffer stock of 56,000 tonnes of onion, of which 16,000 tonnes has been offloaded so far. In Delhi, 200 tonnes a day is being offloaded. Besides, the centre has discouraged export of onion by increasing the minimum export price and withdrawing incentives. It is also cracking down on black marketers. Besides rains, prices are under pressure on likely fall in Kharif production of this year owing to the less planted area under onion on account of excess rains, the sources added.last_img read more

Telangana IMS director arrested in multicrore drugs scam

first_imgHyderabad: Telangana’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Friday arrested Insurance Medical Service (IMS) Director Devika Rani and five others in a multi-crore- scam in supply of medicines to dispensaries and hospitals under the Employees State Insurance (ESI) scheme. After simultaneous raids at 23 places in Hyderabad and Warangal, the ACB sleuths took Devika Rani into custody from her residence in Hyderabad and later shifted her to the ACB office for questioning. Five other officials and pharmacists were also taken into custody. The arrested are likely to be produced in a court later in the day. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra Singh The director and other officials allegedly caused losses to the government exchequer by purchasing medicines through special medical drug dispensing units instead of ‘rate contract’ firms during 2017-18. IMS director allegedly diverted several crore rupees by purchasing drugs and surgical kits from unauthorised firms under the guise of emergency. They are facing charges of making false indents, falsifying records and violating rules in purchasing medicines. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroad The anti-graft agency launched an inquiry into the scam following directions from the state government. The Vigilance and Enforcement wing had earlier conducted a probe into the allegations that Devika did not follow the eligibility criteria in selection of firms for supply of medicines. The probe found that the medicines were brought at exorbitant prices, in violation of the procurement procedures and e-tender process.last_img read more

New Delhi The Supreme Court Tuesday fixed Novembe

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday fixed November 14 to commence hearing on a batch of petitions challenging constitutional validity of the Centre’s decision to abrogate the provisions of Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. A 5-judge Constitution bench, headed by Justice N V Ramana, allowed four weeks to the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir administration to file counter-affidavits on the petitions. It refused the petitioners’ request that not more than 2 weeks be given for filing of counter-affidavits. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework The apex court also put an embargo on filing of any fresh writ petition challenging the constitutional validity on abrogation of Article 370. The bench said that it has to give a “reasonable time” to the Centre and J&K administration to file their affidavits as it is necessary that pleadings are completed so that hearing could commence. “We have to allow the Centre and the J&K administration to file counter-affidavit otherwise we can’t decide the matter,” said the bench, also comprising justices S K Kaul, R Subhash Reddy, B R Gavai and Surya Kant. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygen The top court said that after filing of the counter affidavits, the petitioners would file replies on them within a week thereafter. “We can’t have an unending process of filing of writ petitions in the matter. Whatever has been filed, has already been filed. It (filing of fresh petitions) must stop,” the bench said, adding, “We have to give them (Centre and J&K) reasonable time to file their counters.” The bench also told advocates representing the petitioners raising objections to Attorney General K K Venugopal’s seeking four weeks to file counter affidavit, that “it is unreasonable to think that any decision or order will be passed before October 31”. The petitioners submitted that under the new legislation, the state of J&K would become two separate Union Territories on October 31 and thus there was a need for an urgent hearing as also granting status quo. Venugopal, who was appearing for the Centre, and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing J&K, submitted that they needed four weeks to file counter affidavits to 10 writ petitions and averments are different in each of them. When senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, appearing for one of the petitioners, raised objection to the submissions of AG and SG, the bench said, “In this type of matter, how can we proceed without counter affidavits being filed?” While refusing the petitioners’ submission that the Centre and J&K would have filed their replies in pursuance of the August 28 hearing, the bench said, “We have to allow government to file the counter affidavits”. When the petitioners’ counsels were insisting that enough time was with the Centre and J&K to file counter affidavits, the bench said, “In these matters, we cannot go ahead without the filing of counter affidavits.” “If the petitions are allowed, can’t the clock be put back?,” the bench said. At the outset, the hearing witnessed raking up of writ petitions filed before the Centre decided to scrap provisions of Article 370 on August 5. Some of the petitioners said that they have filed pleas challenging the existence of provisions of Articles 370 and 35-A according special status to J&K before the Centre came out with the decision to abrogate them. The bench called registrar (judicial) Surya Pratap Singh and asked him to verify pending petitions on the subject and inform it. When some of the advocates sought intervention in the matter, the bench said, “If everybody wants to file writ petitions, there will be one lakh petitions. It will not work. Please don’t try to do this. This will unnecessarily delay the matter”. The bench also pulled up advocate M L Sharma, who was first to file the writ petition, a day after the Centre’s decision. The bench said there was nothing in his petition and it was without any substance or ground. “You played the fastest finger first. That does not mean that you will be heard first. There is certainly nothing in your writ petition but because you came within 72 hours of the Centre’s decision, does it mean we have to hear you first,” the bench told Sharma. Several political parties including the National Conference (NC), the Sajjad Lone-led J&K Peoples Conference and CPI (M) leader Mohd Yousuf Tarigami have filed pleas, challenging Centre’s August 5 decision . The petition on behalf of NC was filed by Lok Sabha MPs Mohammad Akbar Lone and Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi. In 2015, Justice (retd) Masoodi had ruled that Article 370 was a permanent feature of the Constitution. A plea was also filed by a group of former defence officers and bureaucrats–professor Radha Kumar, ex-member of Home Ministry’s Group of Interlocutors for J&K (2010-11), former J&K cadre IAS officer Hindal Haidar Tyabji, Air Vice Marshal (retd) Kapil Kak, Major Gen. (retd) Ashok Kumar Mehta, ex-Punjab-cadre IAS officer Amitabha Pande and ex-Kerala-cadre IAS officer Gopal Pillai. A plea has also been filed by bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal, along with his party colleague Shehla Rashid.last_img read more