Sitting and former MPs and MLAs face trial in 4,442 criminal cases, and in 2,556 cases sitting legislators are among the accused. Offences in 413 cases are punishable with life imprisonment and in 174 of these, sitting MPs or MLAs are accused. This according to a compilation of reports sent by various high courts to the Supreme Court.
Uttar Pradesh topped with 446 cases pending against sitting MPs/MLAs. Kerala came next (310 cases), followed by Bihar (256); Maharashtra (222), Odisha (220), Tamil Nadu (139), Madhya Pradesh (125), Karnataka (107) and West Bengal (101).
UP also tops the table of sitting legislators accused in offences punishable with life sentence: 35. Bihar follows with 30, Karnataka (27) and Maharashtra (17).
In 2015, the SC had mandated completion of trial against sitting and former legislators in criminal cases within a year. Finding that the judgment has not been implemented in letter and spirit, the SC in December 2017 had directed the states to set up special courts for the purpose.
In many of the cases even charges have not been framed. The never-ending criminal trials against politicians ensure they not just continue being MPs and MLAs but also keep getting elected.
SC hearing on airlines tickets refunds case; PM Modi to hold ‘Svanidhi Samvaad’ with MP street vendors; Review of order on restoration of 4G in J&K; EPFO Central Board of Trustees meeting; US Open quarterfinals
Shots fired: India and China on Tuesday accused each other of firing shots in the tense Chushul sector in eastern Ladakh, in what would be the first bullets fired along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in 45 years.
China, in a late-night statement on Monday, said Indian troops crossed the LAC and “outrageously fired warning shots” at the Chinese border defence patrol officers. The Indian army countered that the People’s Liberation Army personnel “fired a few rounds in the air” after Indian troops dissuaded them from approaching its forward positions.
The confrontation began when the PLA approached the Indian position at the Mukhpari Top at 6:15 pm on Monday, TOI reported. Top government sources said Indian troops responded to Chinese firing with “a couple of warning shots”. The PLA soldiers were reportedly armed with assault rifles as well as spears and machetes.
Moscow talks: This comes even as foreign minister S Jaishankar is scheduled to meet his Chinese counterpart in Moscow on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit tomorrow. Though the confrontation highlights the need for talks, the discussions may not deliver immediate results.
Russia will encourage every opportunity and effort for a dialogue between India and China to sort out their differences, said Roman Babushkin, Russia’s deputy chief of mission in Delhi. The SCO charter doesn’t allow for “any bilateral dispute to be involved” but it provides a comfortable platform for building mutual trust and finding “common ground”, he added.
Also: Union minister of state Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday tweeted that the PLA has confirmed the presence of five missing Arunachali youths on its soil. Indian Army said the five had “inadvertently crossed the LAC”.
After three days of questioning, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Tuesday arrested actor Rhea Chakraborty on charges of allegedly arranging and financing consumption of marijuana by her boyfriend and deceased actor Sushant Singh Rajput with the help of her brother, Showik, Sushant’s house manager Samuel Miranda and cook Dipesh Sawant. She is the tenth person to be arrested in the NCB’s probe into drug use involving Rajput.
Rhea has been booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act under sections 8 (c) which deals with possession and purchase, 20B (II) for possession, purchase and transporting, 27 for financing illicit traffic, 28 for attempt to commit offences, and 29 for abetment and criminal conspiracy.
Also: Trouble mounted for actor Kangana Ranaut as Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh said on Tuesday that the Mumbai police would probe allegations that she took drugs.
Further, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued a 24-hour notice to the actor seeking a reply on alleged “illegal alteration and construction” on the premises of her recently renovated bungalow at Pali Hill in Bandra. If Kangana fails to reply, the BMC will demolish the unauthorised portion of the bungalow, it added.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave its final seal of approval to the Char Dham National Highway project to provide all-weather connectivity to four holy towns of Uttarakhand — Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath — but restrained the Centre from widening roads in the hills beyond 5.5 m as mentioned in the 2018 circular of the road transport and highways ministry.
The Centre had told the court that widening of the road had strategic significance as it would allow easy movement of army vehicles towards international borders.
A high-powered committee was appointed by the SC last year to assess the environmental impact of the project to connect the four sites with an all-weather road. However, the panel was split with some members pitching for a 5.5 m road and others recommending a 10 m road.
Some in the committee had raised concerns over the Centre’s decision to divide the entire stretch to 53 smaller projects to avoid conducting Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) study despite the hills being contiguous. Each divided stretch is less than 100 km as norms make it mandatory for linear projects of more than 100 km to go for an EIA study.
The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Tuesday arrested and handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) activist Jyoti Jagtap, a member of the Kabir Kala Manch, a Pune-based social activist group, in the Elgar Parishad case. On Monday, the NIA had arrested two other Kabil Kala Manch members, Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor.
A special NIA court in Mumbai on Tuesday sent the three to custodial remand for four days after NIA charged them with “propagating Naxalite activities and Maoist ideology” and “conspiring with the other arrested accused”. Jagtap, Gorkhe and Gaichar were also members of the Bhima Koregaon Shaurya Din Prerna Abhiyaan, a collective that had organised the Elgaar Parishad event on Dec. 31, 2017, a day before violence broke out in Bhima Koregaon in Pune.
So far, 15 people, including activists, writers and professors, have been arrested in the case. NIA has also summoned K Satyanarayana, a professor at the English and Foreign Language University, Hyderabad, and senior journalist KV Kurmanath to appear before it today. The two are also sons-in-law of arrested revolutionary Telugu poet Varavara Rao.
According to the Centre’s SOPs for partial reopening of secondary and senior secondary schools from September 21, released on Tuesday, students from class IX onwards would be allowed to visit schools on “voluntary basis for taking guidance from their teachers”. The visit will be subject to consent from parents and that teacher–student interaction must be organised in a staggered manner.
No sharing of objects, separate timing slots, to allow for adequate physical distancing and disinfection of classroom premises were also among the measures suggested by the ministry.
Also, assemblies, sports and events, which can lead to overcrowding, are strictly prohibited in the schools that are opting to start operations. Students, teachers and employees living in containment zones will not be allowed to attend the school.
The health ministry also issued preventive measures to contain the spread of Covid in skill or entrepreneurship training institutions, higher educational institutions conducting doctoral courses and postgraduate studies. Details here and here.
Two Myanmar soldiers have confessed to their crimes against the persecuted Rohingya minorities in a video testimony to the International Criminal Court, the New York Timesreports. This is the first time members of Myanmar’s military have openly confessed to taking part in what UN officials say was a genocidal campaign against the Rohingya Muslim minority.
“Shoot all you see and all you hear,” a commanding officer instructed in August 2017, one soldier said in his testimony. He said he massacred 30 Rohingya Muslims and buried them in a mass grave near a cell tower and a military base. “Kill all you see, whether children or adults,” a commander instructed, said the other soldier; “we wiped out about 20 villages,” he said, adding that he dumped bodies in a mass grave.
“India’s local products are going global. India’s voice is also becoming more global. The world listens to India more intently. India has a strong presence on every international platform. In such a situation, the Indian media also needs to go global.
“Our newspapers and magazines should have a global reputation. We should reach digitally across the world in this digital age. Indian institutions should give away literary awards like they are given in different parts of the world. This is the need of the hour and necessary for the country.”
Tencent Holdings. Chinese gaming company Tencent Games (the Chinese conglomerate’s gaming arm) will no longer be able to distribute PUBG Mobile in India. In an announcement, PUBG Corporation, the South Korean developer and owner of the battle royale game, said that moving forward, it “will take on all publishing responsibilities within the country”.
Follow news that matters to you in real-time. Join 3 crore news enthusiasts.