21 year old Gulnaz who was raped in 2009 and then jailed for adultery would be released from jail. The Afghan president Hamid Karzai had earlier pardoned her on the condition that she would marry her attacker. But the victims lawyer clarified that there were no such conditions put forward for her release and that she is free to marry whomever she wants.
The anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare has held the intervention by Rahul Gandhi responsible for the exclusion of the lower bureaucracy from the ambit of the Lokpal bill draft. Anna Hazare has accused Mr. Gandhi of meddling with the Parliamentary Committee which has allegedly caused the Committee to reverse its earlier decision to include Group C staff under the ambit of Lokpal. He has admitted that he does not possess any evidence to prove this allegation against Rahul Gandhi but also stated that there cannot be smoke without any fire when asked by the media.
The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York refused to allow bail to the Galleon Group hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam. On October 16, 2009 he was arrested by the FBI on charges of insider trading. This had caused Raj Rajaratnam’s company Galleon Group to close down. On May 11, 2011 he was found guilty of 14 counts of conspiracy and securities fraud. On October 13, 2011 Raj Rajaratnam was sentenced to prison for a term of 11 years by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. This is the longest jail term ever awarded for insider trading.
The Gujarat High Court has ordered the CBI to investigate the fake encounter case, where a college girl Ishrat Jahan and four others were killed in cold blood by the Gujarat Police. This is the fourth case after the Sohrabuddin, Tulsi Prajapati and the Sadik Jamal encounter case that has been handed over to the CBI for investigation by the High Court. The Gujarat High Court by rejecting the state governments appeal to hand over the investigation to the Gujarat Police has created a dent on the already tarnished image of the police.
Lok Pal Committee makes Last minute reversal of its decision by excluding Group C government employees. Lok Pal Committee is back to the starting point yet again. They have refused to include Group C employees within the ambit of the Lok Pal. A day ago the Committee had recommended the inclusion of almost 70 per cent of the government employees under the Lok Pal but it has suddenly taken a U-turn and now does not advocate the inclusion of Group C employees but only the Group A and B employees which consist of only the top-most bureaucrats. It is significant to note that these Group C staffs constitute 60 per cent of the government employees. Without the inclusion of this section of government officials, the Lok Pal will remain as a meaningless and toothless weapon in the hands of the people. The Committee reversed its decision within 24 hours of its last recommendation to include the Group C staffs.
The US Senate in an effort to make the sanctions on Iran stringent, has unanimously passed measures which ban foreign firms from having any transactions with the Central Bank of Iran. It has declared that any foreign firm indulging in a transaction with the Bank will have to face consequences. For this to become a law it needs to be passed by the House of Representatives and gain the consent of President Barack Obama. The new sanctions were drafted by Democrat Robert Menendez and Republican Mark Kirk of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee in an attempt to prevent Iran from pursuing its alleged nuclear ambitions. These new sanctions were passed following the sanctions passed by the EU against Iran.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has initiated trial against the former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo. This will be the first trial to be initiated by the ICC, since its initiation, against a former head of the state. Last month the Judges of the ICC gave the go-ahead to prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo to conduct investigations into the post-election war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Laurent Gbagbo during the four-month conflict at the Ivory Coast which was set off by Laurent Gbagbo’s refusal to surrender power to Alassane Ouattara in the elections last year. The capture of Laurent Gbagbo in April 2011 by the pro-Ouattara forces had marked the end of the long drawn-out civil war that killed more than 3000 people and displaced more than a million. Gbagbo has been taken to The Hague from Kohorgo in the northern Ivory Coast where he was under house arrest since his capture.