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4 senior justices of India’s Supreme Court revolt against CJI

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NEW DELHI — Four senior judges of India’s Supreme Court on Friday alleged that the administration of the country’s top court was not in order.

In an unprecedented event in the history of Indian judiciary, four senior most judges — Kurian Joseph, J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi and Madan Lokur — in apress meet alleged that Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra did not listen to them.

In a letter released subsequently, they pointed that rules are often not followed when cases are being allocated and that departure from rules will hurt the integrity of the top court.

Stating that certain concerns were raised with the CJI and remedial measures were suggested, the four judges accused that cases with far-reaching consequences are being assigned selectively.

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Justice J Chelameswar, who is also the second senior judge after the Chief Justice of India, even said that democracy comes under threat if judiciary loses its freedom.

“Four of us are convinced that for the survival of democracy, an impartial judge and judiciary is needed,” Justice J Chelameswar said.

“… sometimes administration of the Supreme Court is not in order and many things which are less than desirable have happened in the last few months,” Chelameswar said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, moments after their press conference, summoned Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to discuss the matter at hand.

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9 Syrians freeze to death while crossing to Lebanon

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BEIRUT — At least nine Syrians froze to death crossing into Lebanon when an icy storm hit a smuggling route in the mountains near a border post with Syria in the early hours of Friday, Lebanon’s army says.

Military officials said in a statement the Syrians, including two children and six women, were caught in a strong snowstorm while trying to cross the mountainous frontier between the two nations.

The military said in a statement that the bodies were found on a people-smuggling route in the early hours of Friday after a snowstorm hit the Masnaa area, where Lebanon’s largest official border crossing with Syria is located.

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“The army saved six other displaced Syrians, one of whom died later in a hospital from frostbite,” the statement added, raising the death toll to 10.

“The bodies were taken to the hospitals in the area, and the army continues to search for other displaced people trapped in the snow, in order to evacuate them and provide medical treatment for them.”

The army arrested two Syrians on smuggling charges and is still searching for others lost in the snow.

Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan have now all closed their border crossings to Syrian refugees.

Syrians wishing to enter Lebanon must prove to Lebanese authorities they have reason to be in Lebanon, such as property ownership, an embassy appointment, or a residency permit.

Reuters/AP

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