20:55 Saif Ali Khan gets bail in assault case:
Bollywood superstar Saif Ali Khan got bail on Wednesday evening after he was arrested at his lawyer's chamber and was produced at the Colaba Police Station in South Mumbai on assault charges.
Saif and his associates, who allegedly bashed Iqbal Sharma, a South African diplomat of Indian origin, and his father-in-law following a heated exchange, were charged under Section 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.
The brawl took place at the Wasabi restaurant in the iconic Taj Mahal Palace hotel in South Mumbai on Tuesday evening, where Saif was present with his girlfriend Kareena Kapoor and other friends. Sharma was dining with his family in the next table at the restaurant.
18:42 Time for apologies over, says victim :
Iqbal Sharma said he complained to the management thrice about the din Saif and his friends were making but they refused to pipe down even after being requested to do so. Sharma said apart from Saif, another person who assaulted him was "somebody called Shaqeel Ladak'.
Ladak, incidentally, is starlet Amrita Arora's husband.
18:39 Do you know who I am? Saif allegedly asked bizman:
Saif Ali Khan is expected at the Colaba police station any moment now. Complainant Iqbal Sharma recounting the incident says Saif told him, "Why are you complaining against me? Don't you know who I am?"
Sharma said the time for apologies were over.
Just in: The government notifies its decision to allow Indian airline companies to
import jet fuel without mediation of state enterprises.
Big relief for Kingfisher Airlines, which has been wrangling for this right since the time news of its financial crisis came to the fore.
18:22 Mamata to PM: What is the need for NCTC now?:
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee addresses the media outside 7RCR after meeting the prime minister a while ago.
She says, "I asked the PM what was the need for the NCTC right nopw. I told him that it disturbs the federal structure and asked him why states were not consulted."
She said the PM told her that "Chidomborom will clear all the concerns and that NCTC will be on hold till consultations are over."
18:13 Photojournalist Remi Ochlik's prize winner...:
This is the picture that won Remi Ochlik the 1st prize in the General News category in the World Press Photo Awards. The picture shows an opposition fighter resting under a rebellion flag in the middle of the battlefield oil town Ras Lanouf in Libya.
Ochlik and Marie Colvin were killed while trying to flee a rocket attack in Homs, Syria.
18:02 Kripashankar resigns as Mumbai Congress chief :
Mumbai Congress president Kripashankar Singh has quit his post following the Bombay High Court directive to the city police commissioner to prosecute him for "criminal misconduct" under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The bench further said that the CP Arup Patnaik shall collect documentary evidence regarding all movable and immovable properties of Kripashankar and his family, including his wife, son and daughter-in-law, who will also be prosecuted for aiding in the crime.
More on rediff.com
17:56 EU court to rule on anti-piracy agreement:
The European Union's highest court has been asked to rule on the legality of a controversial anti-piracy agreement. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (Acta) has been criticised by rights campaigners who argue it could stifle free expression on the internet.
Read the report on the bbc.
17:53 Marie Colvin was killed as she tried to flee rocket attack:
Marie Colvin on war reporting:
"Craters. Burned houses. Mutilated bodies. Women weeping for children and husbands. Men for their wives, mothers, children "Our mission is to report these horrors of war with accuracy and without prejudice. "We always have to ask ourselves whether the level of risk is worth the story. What is bravery, and what is bravado?"
17:46 On Twitter: Doctoratlarge @doctoratlarge Now the AI airhostess can say to the Kingfisher one -"Bitch, I may be fat, but atleast I've got a job"
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has reached 7RCR to meet the PM.
17:29 'Worlds biggest ever strike, India, 28th February' :
On February 28th over 100,000,000 Indian workers will come out on strike. Workers from many unions and sectors are trying to gain improvements in areas such as, pay, pensions, and employment rights.
The strike has been called because workers have said 'enough is enough', after two years of the government refusing to negotiate with unions on any issue. Indian's are sick of the rich getting richer, record economic growth, whilst 400 million people have not got a pot to piss in.
Read more on this blog
17:27 Apple defends rights to iPad name in Shanghai court:
In other news:
Apple Inc. defended itself in a local court in Shanghai today against allegations that it does not own rights to the iPadtrademark in China, a challenge that threatens to prevent the company from selling one of its most popular products in one of its fastest growing markets.
More on the NYT
17:22 Right now: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee leaves for 7 RCR to meet PM Manmohan Singh.
17:22 RIP Marie Colvin:
Nilanjana Roy @nilanjanaroy RT @PatrickFrench2: The ongoing bravery of war reporters is a lesson to those of us who sit at home and write.
17:20 On Twitter: Salman Rushdie
@SalmanRushdie Marie Colvin killed in Homs. Dreadful news. A great reporter, fine writer and fearless woman is gone. Her many friends are devastated.
17:19 CBI denies shunting of officer probing NRHM scam:
Our Delhi correspondent reports that the CBI today denied reports of its ace investigating officer AGL Kaul, an additional superintendent of police (ASP), had been shunted out of the Rs 10,000-crore NRHM (National Rural Health Mission) scam in Uttar Pradesh he was probing.
The CBI clarified that Kaul was "not connected with the investigation of NRHM irregularities, but with the deaths of the then Chief Medical Officers/Dy.Chief Medical Officer in Uttar Pradesh."
Moreover, he was moved from the case "as per his own willingness and as per official exigency in a normal and routine manner."
Media reports had claimed that Kaul's withdrawal from the NRHM probe can slow down investigations into the mega scam.
17:16 IPL GC ask Sahara to get consent of all franchises:
The IPL governing council today asked Sahara Pune Warriors to get the consent of all the franchises for fielding five foreign players in the fifth
edition of the tournament. Indian Premier League Governing Council chairman Rajiv Shukla said all the issues discussed with Sahara, have been ratified by the GC.
"On the five foreign players issue, Sahara has to get the consent of all other franchises and that matter will be put before the working committee, which will take the final call. "All the things which were decided with Sahara were
ratified by the Governing Council," Shukla said after the Governing Council meeting here today.
16:53 Patrick French: RIP Marie Colvin. At Sunday Times Mag 50th party a few weeks ago she looked magnificent with her eye patch. (Sri Lankan army took her eye.)
16:52 India to withdraw additional TADA charges against Abu Salem:
Meanwhile, The government has reportedly decided to withdraw additional charges slapped by a TADA court against underworld don Abu Salem. The CBI decided to withdraw the charges after holding consultations with home ministry and external affairs ministry officials. The charges are expected to be withdrawn in about a week.
The charges go against the terms and conditions under which the underworld don was extradited from Portugal. The government, however, said it will continue to oppose Salems extradition to Portugal. The Supreme Court had while staying the TADA proceedings had observed that the Portugal courts order has to be respected.
16:43 'Saif punched my father-in-law, abused, beat me':
Iqbal Meer Sharma, the man who filed a complaint with the Colaba police against Saif Ali Khan spoke to Times Now.
Sharma says Saif called him an idiot, pushed him and abused him. The actor also hurled verbal abuses and punched Sharma's father-in-law who fell down the stairs.
Sharma says it is unacceptable bheaviour and he cannot misbehave with a senior citizen and would take this case to the fullest extent of law.
Sharma is the deputy director general, department of of trade and investement, South Africa.
16:31 Insomnia gene 'discovered':
On the pill? The sleeping pill? Read this.
Scientists claim to have discovered an "insomnia gene", a major finding which may pave the way for an effective treatment for the sleep disorder.
A team at Rockefeller University in New York says its has identified the genetic mutation in fruit flies -- it found that those the gene slept two thirds less than normal and also had much shorter lifespans. The scientists believe the gene works by eliminating specific proteins within brain cells that help in the onset of sleep.
16:26 Darul Uloom Deoband: The Indian source of the Taliban:
The Taliban learned their interpretation of Islam while studying at Deobandi seminaries in Pakistan. Mullah Omar, for example, the leader of the Taliban, attended the Deobandi Darul Uloom Haqqania madrassa in Akora Khattak, in Peshawar, Pakistan. So many Taliban leaders were educated at this same school that its head cleric, Maulana Sami ul-Haq, has been called the father of the Taliban. Read
16:19 Ramdev did NOT incite communal passion: Cops:
Baba Ramdev and Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy did not incite any communal passion, leading to the beating up of a man by their followers for throwing black ink on yoga guru's face in a press meet here, the city
police told a Delhi court today.
In a report to the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Jasjeet Kaur, police said, "During the press conference, Baba Ramdev neither spoke against the Muslim community nor abetted the supporters to assault him (Kamran Siddiqui). Subramanian Swamy was also with Baba Ramdev and he also did not incite any person to assault Siddiqui."
16:15 CBI enqiry against Maya man:
Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta Justice N K Mehrotra recommends CBI inquiry against Naseemuddin Siddiqui cabinet minister and close confidant of Chief Minister Mayawati.
16:10 Editors-PMO meet today:
Our Delhi correspondent says that editors of TV news channels are to interact at 4 pm with PMO officials in Delhi. Issues like NCTC, right wing extremism, petition on 2G, and the ensuing budget session will all be deliberated. This is the first time that Pankaj Pachauri as a Communication Consultant is organising this media event. Pulok Chatterjee Principal Secretary is expected to meet the editors.
On Twitter: Billy Crystal @BillyCrystal First rehearsal: They said keep it "fresh and new." This from an industry that just brought us Fast & Furious 5 and Harry Potter 7, part 2.
Billy Crystal will host the Oscars on February 26.
15:57 HC: File FIR against Kripashankar, attach assets :
Rediff.com's Toral Varia reports that the Bombay High Court has directed the police to register an FIR against Mumbai Congress president Kripashankar Singh under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The HC has also directed that his immovable properties be attached and has sought a sanction from the government for his prosecution.
The case is being heard on the basis of a PIL filed by activist Sanjay Tiwari, who alleged that the Congress MLA had amassed wealth disproportionate to his disclosed sources of income. The court was told that Singh, a former minister of state, had close ties with Jharkhand's tainted ex-CM Madhu Koda, booked in a Rs 4,000 crore money laundering scam in 2009.
15:44 India: The world's baby factory:
It's already the world's second-most populous country. So why is India turning grandmothers into mothers?
Read the story on Foreign Policy
15:38 Iran not seeking atomic weapon: Supreme leader:
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei today insisted that his country is not seeking an atomic weapon, following an unsuccessful visit to Tehran by UN
nuclear watchdog officials.
"We are not after an atomic weapon. We want to break the supremacy (of the world powers) that relies on nuclear weapons. God willing, the nation will reach this goal," he told a meeting with Iranian nuclear scientists, according to an official government statement.
"Despite what the enemy (the West) says, nuclear energy is directly linked to our national interests," Khamenei said, urging the scientists to "continue the important and substantial" nuclear work.
15:23 Sunday Times scribe killed in heavy shelling in Syria:
Tragic story on the Daily Mail.
Sunday Times war reporter Marie Colvin has been killed in heavy shelling in Syria. The news comes just hours after the foreign correspondent reported on 'sickening' scenes in the war-torn city of Homs. French photographer Remi Ochlik, 28, also died in the attack on a building in Homs, where they were sheltering with activists. Read
15:19 RBI not opposed to SBI lending more money to Kingfisher: DyGov:
In other news of the more prosaic variety:
The Reserve Bank is not opposed to the State Bank of India extending support to the cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines, its Deputy Governor K C
Chakrabarty said today.
"Absolutely not," he told reporters when asked to comment on reports suggesting that SBI has agreed to pump more money into the airline. RBI does not oppose "professional decision" of the bank, Chakrbarty said. He further said if the bank felt that by giving a little more money, it could get back the entire money, "that's what they will do".
"Banks are commercial entities. If they feel by supporting a unit, if the unit can survive, they must explore that possibility," Chakrabarty said.
"Banks are risk-taking entities". Kingfisher, which has an outstanding debt of over Rs 7,057.08 crore (according to the latest figures), has requested a consortium of lenders, led by SBI, for a working capital support of Rs 200-300 crore.
The TOI says that Saif faces seven years in prison under section 325 of the IPC. Read
15:13 Twitter on SAK:
Fake News @Ohfakenews Saif ali khan beats up a guy named iqbal sharma in Wasabi restaurant in taj yesterday night who asked 'Is kareena your Daughter'.
Miss DD @DheeliDhakkan Punching a man in the pub. Saif Ali Khan outclassed Aamir Khan in the publicity & marketing of his film
Rohit Chandavarkar @RohitChanda Colaba police say Saif Ali Khan will be placed under arrest and released on bail till the first hearing on the matter.
15:09 Saif missing from Bandra residence:
Inspector Mandlik of Colaba police station says he had gone to Saif's Bandra residence to look for him, but the actor wasn't there. He reiterates that he had been sent to enquire into the complaint filed by Iqbal Sharma, but he had no orders to arrest him.
Kareena's statement will also be recorded.
15:02 Cops to question Saif, arrest 'baad ki baat hai':
More updates on the assault case against Saif Ali Khan.
Rediff.com's Toral Varia speaking to Colaba ACP Iqbal Shaikh reports.
"Yesterday, Saif Ali Khan and his friends (there were 10 people with him) were at a restaurant in Colaba. Kareena Kapoor and Amrita Arora were with him," said Shaikh.
"Iqbal Sharma was dining there as well. There was an argument (kaha suni) between them. We are now trying to trace Saif and ask him questions.
"Arrest toh bahut baad ki baat hai," said Shaikh.
Just in: A model code of conduct on polls is not part of the GoM on corruption and was not discussed today: Minister V Narayanasamy. He said the GoM on corruption approves basic principles of public procurement bill.
14:30 Saif may be arrested in assault case: Colaba cops:
A senior police inspector of Colaba police station, Vinod Sawant said that the 41-year-old actor is likely to be arrested, says PTI.
We told you a while ago, that a posse of policemen were on their way to Bandra.
So, Vinod arrests Agent Vinod?
The actor and his friends have been booked under IPC 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention). Saif will next be seen in home production 'Agent Vinod' with girlfriend Kareena Kapoor. The film will release on March 23.
14:24 'Obama world's greatest gun salesman':
The election of President Barack Obama in 2008 has apparently led to a dramatic increase in the sale of guns and applications for concealed handgun permits. As a result, Obama has been labeled the "greatest gun salesman in America," by online gun and ammunition retailer Ammo.net.
On the Huffington Post:
14:13 Violent Afghan protests spread over Koran burning:
Time for headlines of turbulence...
Hundreds of Afghans threw stones, shouted "death to America" and torched tyres, pouring onto streets today for a second day of angry protests against NATO troops for burning copies of the holy Koran.
About 500 protesters threw stones at a US military base in Kabul, while in the eastern city of Jalalabad more than 1,000 demonstrators blocked the highway shouting "Death to Americans, Death to Obama", AFP journalists said.
Afghanistan is a deeply religious country where slights against Islam have frequently provoked violent protests and Afghans were incensed that any Western troops could be so insensitive, 10 years after the 2001 US-led invasion.
14:10 Saif assault case: Colaba cops on their way to Bandra:
Toral Varia adds that a team from the Colaba police station has just left for Bandra. While the cops are mum on the reason, it is believed they are on their way to meet Saif Ali Khan.
An assault case was registered against the Bollywood actor at the Colaba police station for "causing grievous hurt" under setion 325 of the IPC.
See our 13:08 pm post.
14:02 DGCA gets new flight schedule from KF:
By the way, the DGCA has been given a new copy of Kingfisher Airlines flight schedules as promised. KF is operating only 28 aircraft out of a total of 64, with 20 flights cancelled today.
13:56 Will follow Indian law in fishermen case: MEA:
MoS External Affairs Preneet Kaur after the meeting with Italy's deputy foreign minister says Indian courts are free and fair and will follow the Indian law in the fishermen case. She added that Indian officials will meet authorities in Kerala soon.
13:46 Samjhauta accused Aseemanand denies knowing Kamal Chauhan:
Samjhauta train bombing case accused Aseemanand today denied knowing Kamal Chauhan, a disgruntled RSS worker arrested by the NIA recently in
connection with the case.
"I don't know Kamal Chauhan," Assemanand told reporters outside the special NIA Court here. Assemanand, who had earlier pleaded that he was not involved in the bombings, when asked if he knew Chauhan, claimed that he does not know who he is. "It's a conspiracy of the NIA," he alleged.
NIA's Special Prosecutor R K Handa said outside the court that the hearing in the Samjhauta case had been adjourned for March 7.
13:42 Italy envoy: Diplomatic solution to fishermen deaths:
Right now, Stefan de Mistura, Italy's deputy foreign minister is addressing the media over the fishermen deaths. Immediately after meeting with officials from the MEA, Mistura said that the incident needs to be analysed and a solution needs to be worked out diplomatically.
"We believe the incident happened in international waters," he reiterated. If Italy gets its way, the navy men have to be released and cannot be tried in an Indian court.
The incident so far
13:36 Kevin Rudd's Indian connection:
Kevin Rudd was in the news in Indian newspapers last year over Australia's sale of uranium to India.
He had said that the sale "would not start automatically" after the Labor government's reversal of a ban against its export to the country. Stating that the policy change was aimed at cultivating good ties with India, Rudd had said that it "won't automatically translate into a beginning of sales.
13:27 Australian foreign minister Kevin Rudd resigns:
Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd resigned today amid growing speculation that he and his backers in Parliament were seeking to topple Prime Minister Julia Gillard and regain for him the country's leadership role.
More on the New York Times.
13:16 Not the first case of assault against Saif:
This is not the first case of assault against the actor. In 2008, a case was filed against him for allegedly assaulting a photojournalist in Patiala during a film shoot.
In this instance last night, no arrests have been made so far as it is believed that a compromise has been worked since the actor apologised later.
13:08 Told to pipe down, Saif breaks diner's nose:
Rediff.com's Toral Varia reports that a case has been registered against Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan at the Colaba police station for "causing grievous hurt" under setion 325 of the IPC.
According to sources at the Colaba police station the complaint was registered late last night.
It said that Saif and his girlfriend Karina Kapoor were having dinner at Wasabi, the Taj Hotel's Japanese restaurant.
The complainant, Iqbal Sharma, a resident of Juhu was also having dinner with his family at an adjoining table.
When Sharma complained to Saif about the noise, the actor allegedly told him to go to the library if he wanted peace.
Following this, a scuffle broke out between the two. In his complaint, Sharma said that Saif and his two associates assaulted him and fractured his nose.
The Colaba police station has registered the case and investigations are on.
More of that in a bit.
12:50 Should India liberalize its baby market?:
Economists generally like markets and distrust government regulation. But even economists tend to get uneasy when it comes to markets that seem to infringe on human autonomy.
That's the story on the Wall Street Journal.
12:45 How long can someone survive without food?:
You must've read this story of how aSwedish man, found in a car buried under snow, says he survived for two months without food by eating handfuls of snow.
The question the bbc is asking is, how long can people go without food?
12:41 Bachchan will miss 'gentle care' of medical staff :
Amitabh Bachchan, who will be discharged from the hospital in the next few days post his abdominal surgery, says he would miss the "gentle care and
smiling attention" of the medical staff.
"There is a strange withdrawal symptom that begins to creep in before a 'discharge' from the hospital environment. Suddenly the dependency on the staff, the facility and attendance medically, which operates automatically through doctor advise and instruction shall come to a halt," Bachchan wrote on his blog last night.
"The gentle care and smiling attention of the nurses shall create a void when away from it. The regular and short at call doctors on standby at every indication of discomfort shall stop, and most of the battle shall be with yourself and your repaired body to deal with," he said.
Bachchan was operated on February 11 at the Seven Hills hospital and was to be discharged last week. But since he was in acute pain following the surgery his stay was extended.
"A shower in the morning avoiding all the intricately placed 'kites' and needles and wires, can become arduous and one that involves great calisthenics. The course of injections and medications need the services of the 'central line'. Once
that is removed, many hurdles shall become clear and resolved," Bachchan said.
12:25 Why are mercy petitions delayed? SC asks govt:
Just in: The Supreme Court expresses displeasure over the delay in handling mercy petitions of death row convicts by the Centre and the states. The SC directs all state home secretaries to send records of mercy petitions dealt with by them within three days to the Centre.
12:20 Anna to meet core body in Delhi to discuss future strategy:
Social activist Anna Hazare is expected in New Delhi today to a strategy to revive the anti-graft movement with his core team members. Hazare told media in Ralegan Siddhi, Maharashtra, that there was a need to reignite the fire among people so that they can root out corruption.
"Today, there is a meeting in Delhi. The main motive behind this is to decide how the movement would take place in the near future. We have to formulate a strategy for the movement. The people of the country think that the movement has died out. We have to ignite the movement till the corruption is totally rooted out from this country," said Hazare.
12:19 PMEAC projects 7.5-8 pc growth rate for 2012-13:
The Prime Minister's economic advisory panel today projected 7.5 - 8 per cent growth rate for the next fiscal and said the country can achieve a higher
economic expansion if the global environment turns favourable.
"We might be able to achieve 8 per cent growth on our esteem ... if the world environment is favourable, we will be able to achieve high growth rate," the Chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC), C Rangarajan, said.
12:11 Italy calls on Vatican for bailout in fishermen deaths:
The New Delhi-Rome standoff over the killing of two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast is not over yet with the detention of two marksmen, although the two sides are trying to isolate the incident from their "multi-faceted'' bilateral tie,
Read the report on the Hindu.
12:05 Inside Google and Facebooks India courtroom:
The court room itself is hard to find. It is only roughly 40 feet long and 25 feet wide. The room is basic: tiled floor, whitewashed walls, a false ceiling and more than a dozen wooden chairs.
Anyone with an 'entry pass' to the Delhi High Court can stroll into the court room -- if you manage to find the correct one. The court room is tucked away in a far corner of a giant 'waiting room', which is typically packed with lawyers, petitioners and defendants.
Read the report on the Wall Street Journal.
12:03 Adarsh scam: Maha govt seeks interim report from inquiry panel:
A year after an inquiry commission was set up to probe the scam-tainted Adarsh Housing Society, the Maharashtra Government has sought an interim report from the panel.
The state government has filed an application before the two-member inquiry commission, seeking an interim report on two of the 13 issues being looked into by the judicial panel.
The two issues include ownership of the land in south Mumbai, on which the 31-storey Adarsh building stands and secondly, whether the land was reserved to house the Kargil war widows and their relatives.
The commission, headed by retired Justice J A Patil, will hear the application on February 24.
11:59 Govt can't bailout KF, but banks can: Ajit Singh:
Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh on Wednesday said the government cannot bailout private airlines like beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines.
"The government is not going to bailout, but we hope Kingfisher can mobilize resources and survive," Singh told media here. He further said that that passenger safety issue would not be compromised at any cost.
On reports in the media that the State Bank of India (SBI) is lending over Rs 1600 crores to Kingfisher Airlines, Singh said: "We have said it before that banks will decide on it. If they are satisfied with the business plan, then they can lend the money."
Singh was speaking to media after a meeting with officials of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in Delhi. The DGCA yesterday gave Kingfisher Airlines time till today to come up with a revised and a clear schedule for the aircraft that it is still operating.
11:57 Indian B-Schools climb rankings:
Indian business schools are becoming more highly regarded by employers, according to a recent report, which selects four Indian business schools among the top-10 in the Asia-Pacific region.
Read the WSJ report.
Chetan Bhagat @chetan_bhagat: Funny how nationalized banks can't save farmers from committing suicides, but wants to save never-made-money Kingfisher
Chetan Bhagat @chetan_bhagat: Run an airline. If you make money, it is all yours. If you lose, SBI will rescue you. Shame if SBI rescues Kingfisher.
And here's the Reuters story that has fuelled rumours that SBI may offer a Rs 16.5 billion bailout to KF
A rush of reads coming up...
Investing in dragons and tigers: The allure of China and India. Read
11:42 US moves in India ambassador:
Last Tuesday, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved President Barack Obama's nominee as US ambassador to India, all but ensuring that Washington will soon have a permanent representative in New Delhi after a lengthy vacancy.
In other news: Russian Nuclear Sub to arrive in India on March 30-31. Read
11:39 26/11: SC to hear intercepted conversations:
Update on the Ajmal Kasab story.
The intercepted conversation will be heard on Thursday by justices Aftab Alam and CK Prasad in presence of counsel for Ajmal Kasab and Maharashtra government.
The Maharashtra government last week opposed 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks accused Ajmal Kasab's plea for leniency in the Supreme Court.
Placing arguments in the court, the Maharashtra government said, "Kasab's rights have not been violated."
The Maharashtra government also said that death was a permissible means of punishment. It also claimed that his latest request was a conspiracy.
"Kasab has been dealt with as fairly as possible. He didn't have to go through any torture or wrong treatment," the Maharashtra government said.
Former Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam, appearing for the state government, contended that Kasab was never tortured or maltreated and there has been no violation of his constitutional rights. "At no point of time he was tortured or maltreated by the authorities and there has been no failure of constitutional rights given to him," he submitted before a bench comprising justices Aftam Alam and CK Prasad.
Subramaniam also submitted that death sentence, which has been awarded to Kasab, is a permissible means of punishment.
11:30 Omar backs state-centre dialogue over NCTC :
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has came out in the favour of having a dialogue with the Central Government over the formation of the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).
Talking to reporters here, Abdullah said that mutual dialogue between state chief ministers and the Central Government was needed to put a rest on the controversy over the setting up of NCTC to rest.
"I have no doubt that in the days and months ahead the central government will as a result of the recent controversy that has arisen over the issue of NCTC call the state governments for a consultation.
"I believe that consultation is essential and during the course of that consultation we will share the thoughts of the state government with the centre," Abdullah added.
11:12 Will Islamists take over Maldives?:
Shashi Tharoor @ShashiTharoor Maldives off the front pages, but this sobering analysis by@ishaantharoor remains valid.
Ishan, incidentally, is Shashi Tharoor's son from his first marriage.
11:08 Beti B's name to be announced soon:
Since we've promised to tell you all the news as it happens -- Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan have finally zeroed in on a name for their newborn daughter.
The name apparently begins with 'A', but the formal announcement will be made only after grandfather Amitabh Bachchan returns home on being discharged from the hospital.
However, there would be no 'naamkaran' ceremony for naming the baby, as the family doesn't believe in any such rituals.
Yesterday, various posts on Twitter seemed to indicate that the name will be Abhilasha.
11:03 The intercepted conversation will be heard tomorrow by justices Aftab Alam and C K Prasad in presence of the counsel for Ajmal Kasab and the Maharashtra government.
11:01 2G: Loop, Essar promoters fail to appear before SC:
A Delhi court has granted exemption from personal appearance to the promoters of Essar and Loop who were summoned as accused in the 2G case. Essar Group Director Vikas Saraf appears and moves a bail plea in the court which seeks response from the CBI on March 17.
However, the promoters of Loop Telecom and Essar Group today failed to appear before the Supreme Court in connection with a summons related to the 2G spectrum scam case. According to reports, I.P. Khaitan, Kiran Khaitan, Anshuman Ruia and Ravi Ruia sought exemption from attending the apex court proceedings scheduled for today.
The Supreme Court had last week refused to grant an interim stay on summons issued against Loop Telecom and the Essar Group.
10:57 Kasab's diary with SC:
It may be recollected that a diary, which sailed with Ajmal Kasab and nine other terrorists from Karachi and provided them with crucial sea coordinates to reach Mumbai on November 26, 2008 along with locations to attack, ended its eventful journey last week when it finally landed on the table of two Supreme Court judges, who will take the final call on award of death sentence to the lone surviving gunman.
10:50 Chaos continues as Kingfisher cancels 20 flights:
Good morning. Kingfisher Airlines cancelled about 20 flights today even as the DGCA was set to brief the Civil Aviation Minister on the ailing carrier's plans to
restore its services.
The airline is expected to submit a fresh flight schedule to the DGCA which had asked it to come up with a "realistic" schedule which can be operated by 28 out of its 64 aircraft. DGCA chief E K Bharat Bhushan would meet Civil Aviation
Minister Ajit Singh today to brief him about the discussions he had with the Kingfisher top brass yesterday and the airline's plan to restore its schedule over the next few days.
Among the flights cancelled this morning were 14 from Mumbai and two from Delhi.
10:48 Headlines this morning:
Secret note blows cover of govt move to shackle Election Commission (Indian Express)
In denial: Govt denies The Indian Express report but agenda note of GoM confirms it. Read
Kingfisher cancels 20 flights, DGCA to brief minister (The Times of India)
The airline is likely to submit a fresh schedule to DGCA which had asked it to come up with a "realistic" schedule which can be operated by 28 out of its 64 planes. Read
Italy works back channels, sea law to get marines off Indian hook (The Hindu)
Besides engaging diplomatically, Italy is working the Catholic channels via the Vatican to allow the two marines to leave for Rome after paying some compensation to the families of the killed fishermen. Read
No statutory backing for model code: Ministry (The Hindu)
Reacting to a news report suggesting that the government wanted to give the Model Code of Conduct statutory backing, Chief Election Commissioner Quraishi said it is an attempt to curb the ECI's powers. Read
Kingfisher Airlines to submit revised schedule to DGCA (Hindustan Times)
Beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines will submit revised flights schedule to DGCA by 12 pm today according to reports, after it was given a 24-hr deadline by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to come up with a "realistic" flight schedule on Tuesday. Read
Anti-NCTC chorus grows, Centre says don't politicise issue (Hindustan Times)
Chief ministers of Tripura and Uttarakhand today joined the anti-NCTC chorus taking to 12 the number of opposing states even as their Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi accused UPA of "attacking" the country's federal structure. Read