Thu, 11 May 2017
Dec 16 gang rape convicts in 'depression', lawyers want review

Timeline  Refresh

23:25   Dec 16 gang rape convicts in 'depression', lawyers want review
The four convicts in the December 16 Delhi gang rape case are fighting 'depression' since the confirmation of their death sentence by the Supreme Court, even as their lawyers are pinning hopes on review petitions to be filed in the court.

The apex court had last week upheld the conviction and death penalty to Mukesh, Pawan, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Kumar Singh awarded to them by the Delhi high court court on March 13, 2014.

"I will be filing the review petition before the Supreme Court next week, perhaps on Monday or Tuesday," said Mukesh's advocate M L Sharma.

A P Singh, the lawyer of the other three convicts, said he it would take him some time before filing the review petitions.

"We are preparing the petitions, but chances are it will take some time," he said.

The four convicts are being provided counselling by the authorities in Tihar jail where they are lodged since their arrest in the horrific gang rape of a 23-year-old woman in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012.

"They are under depression and being given expert counselling," said a source in Tihar. They have also been freed from the jobs assigned to them in the jail to keep them relaxed, the source said.

The jail authorities have kept Vinay in Jail number 4, the remaining three Mukesh, Pawan and Akshay are in jail number 2.

They are also being watched round the clock with the help of CCTV cameras and jail staff to ensure that they do not take any extreme step under depression, said the source.

Upholding the HC verdict in the matter, Justice R Banumathi, the lone woman judge in the Supreme Court, had said that if at all there is a case warranting death sentence, it is the December 16, 2012 gang-rape-cum-murder case which 'shocked the collective conscience of the society'. -- PTI
Tarek Fatah tweets:

After @Facebook suspends me, @YouTube does one better: Shuts my YouTube channel. White Guilt + Islamist mafia at work.
22:11   Army brings back CASO as part of counter-terror ops in Kashmir
Signalling an aggressive stance, the Army has decided to re-introduce cordon and search operations as a 'permanent feature' of its campaign against terrorists, nearly 15 years after the practice was abandoned.

Army sources said CASO will be carried out in a major way in militancy-hit areas of Kulgam, Pulwama, Tral, Budgam and Shopian in south Kashmir.

"CASO will be a permanent feature as part of counter- terror operations after a gap of 15 years," sources said.

The Army had discontinued CASO following stiff opposition from the local population and after 2001 launched cordon and search operations only on specific intelligence-based inputs.

The security establishment felt that CASO had alienated the local population from the armed forces due to difficulties people faced during such operations.

The decision to re-introduce CASO as a major feature of the counter-terror operations comes against the backdrop of anger over the recent killing of young and unarmed Kashmiri Army officer Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz in Shopian by terrorists.

The armed forces had carried out a major operation involving 4,000 troops in south Kashmir last week to flush out terrorists, indicating a change in strategy.

The Army has also been strongly retaliating against Pakistani firing along the LoC after the beheading of two Indian security personnel.

"The fatality on the Pakistani side in the last three months was eight, while 17 others were injured," sources said.  -- PTI
21:33   Tribunal upholds govt ban on Zakir Naik's NGO
A special tribunal, headed by Justice Sangeeta Dhingra of the Delhi high court, on Thursday upheld the government's decision to ban controversial preacher Zakir Naik's NGO Islamic Research Foundation.

The presiding officer of the tribunal found that IRF was involved in activities threatening sovereignty, unity, integrity and security of India.

"The entire material placed on record shows that the IRF was involved in activities which not only incite and encourage the youth to under take the unlawful activities with and intent to threaten the sovereignty, unity, integrity and security of India.

"It also cause disaffection against India, which leaves no doubt that the ingredients of section... of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 are met and there is every reason to conclude that the IRF be declared as an unlawful association," the tribunal said.

On March 16, the Delhi high court had also held that the Centre's decision to ban the IRF was taken to safeguard national security.

It had dismissed IRF's plea challenging the ban. The IRF had challenged the November 17, 2016, notification of the Ministry of Home Affairs which had imposed an immediate ban on the organisation under the UAPA.

It has been banned for five years.  -- PTI
20:21   6 terrorists involved in Lt Fayaz's killing identified
Six terrorists involved in the abduction and killing of young Army officer Ummer Fayaz in Shopian district of Kashmir have been identified, defence sources said today.

They said the terrorists are from Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen.

A massive manhunt has been launched to catch the terrorists involved in killing of Fayaz, who was abducted and shot dead by the terrorists.  -- PTI
19:45   Maya demanded Rs 50cr from me, insulted Muslims: Expelled leader
A day after he was expelled from the Bahujan Samaj Party, Naseemuddin Siddiqui on Thursday alleged that Mayawati had demanded Rs 50 crore from him while also accusing her of having made objectionable remarks against Muslims.

At a crowded press conference here, an angry Siddiqui levelled a allegations against his former political boss Mayawati and some other BSP leaders claimed that he had so much material that it could cause an 'earthquake'.

He also claimed that there was a threat to his life.

Rebutting point-wise the charges levelled against him by at the time of his expulsion on Wednesday, Siddiqui played six audio clippings of his telephonic conversations with Mayawati to back his allegation that money had been demanded from him.

Siddiqui said he possessed 150 such audio clippings.

"She (Mayawati) was sore after the dismal showing of the BSP in the recent Assembly elections and termed Muslims as betrayers for not voting for the party," Siddiqui alleged.

Accusing Mayawati of having referred to 'bearded Muslims as dogs', Siddiqui claimed he had objected to the remark.

He also attacked BSP general secretary Satish Misra, alleging he was trying to weaken the party.

"BSP is being knowingly weakened by Mayawati and Anand Kumar (her brother) under a conspiracy by Satish Mishra and Company...people are also of the view that since Mayawati has attained the height which she wanted to reach, she herself wants to end BSP so that no other among the Dalit Samaj could reach this far," a visibly angry Siddiqui said.

The former BSP leader said that he had 'solid evidence' against Mayawati but would only speak about the charges levelled against him as of now.

"I have so much material that if I open my mouth it can cause an earthquake....I know her more than anyone else...if I give the proof against Mayawati, Anand and Mishra it will be a big 'tamasha'," he said.

The BSP is totally under the grip of Mishra and company, Mayawati is being blackmailed by them, he claimed. Continuing his tirade, Siddiqui alleged that Mayawati had a criminal gang who could set any leader's house on fire or even get someone murdered.

During the April 19 party meeting she also tried to belittle Kanshi Ram by comparing party's showing in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab assembly polls, Siddiqui said.

He appealed to Dalits and 'Sarvsamaj' to save the party and the mission of Kanshi Ram and Baba Saheb which had been crushed by Mayawati.

Naseemuddin alleged that all BSP MLAs had to pay Mayawati. He claimed that even his wife, who was a BSP MLC had given money to her.

To a question about BJP leader Swati Singh against whom Siddiqui had raised derogatory slogans after her husband Daya Shankar Singh's adverse comments against Maywati, he said that his video clippings could be checked as he never said anything wrong against her.

Siddiqui said he faced a threat to his life from Mayawati. Referring to the various charges levelled against him at the time of his expulsion, Siddiqui said they were baseless.

On Wednesday, the BSP had expelled Siddiqui, its most prominent Muslim face, and his son from the party for carrying out 'anti-party' activities.  -- PTI
18:49   Google booked for 'derogatory' search result on Modi
A first information report has been lodged against Google under the Information Technology Act for an alleged derogatory search result in 2015 involving Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Superintendent of Police (City) Kamal Kishore today said the FIR was registered under various sections of the IT Act on a complaint of lawyer Nand Kishore.

When contacted, a Google spokesperson said, "We have not received any notice of this complaint and are unable to comment."

In the complaint lodged yesterday, Kishore said that while surfing national news on Google, he had come across a list that mentioned Modi in a derogatory manner.

He said it caused hurt to him and others. -- PTI
18:14   It's official: Malaika-Arbaaz divorced
The Bandra family court in Mumbai on Thursday passed the divorce of Malaika Arora and Arbaaz Khan.

The couple has been grabbing headlines from quite a long time after their separation last year.

Surprisingly, the duo arrived together at Justin Bieber's concert yesterday with their son Arhaan.

The former husband and wife looked comfortable with each other. -- ANI
18:09   UP govt refuses sanction to prosecute Adityanath in 2007 riots case
The Uttar Pradesh government today informed the Allahabad high court that it has refused to grant sanction for the prosecution of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in a decade-old communal riots case.

An affidavit stating that sanction has been 'refused' for prosecuting Adityanath in the case related to the Gorakhpur riots of 2007 -- when he was the local MP -- was filed before the court by Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar.

The chief secretary had been asked to appear in person by an order dated May 7 by a division bench comprising justices Ramesh Sinha and Umesh Chandra Srivastava.

In his affidavit, Bhatnagar also stated that the CB-CID, which has been investigating the case registered in connection with the riots, has proposed to submit its closure report and it will be submitted before the trial court.

"We challenged the state government's stand and submitted before the court that the chief secretary happens to be a subordinate of the chief minister, who is himself an accused. The refusal to grant sanction tantamount to an accused declining to prosecute himself, which has no parallel in the world," the petitioners' counsel S F A Naqvi said.

He said, "We also pointed out that Yogi Adityanath has himself, in an interview to a private news channel, which is available on YouTube, admitted to having made the incendiary speeches for which he has been named in the FIR lodged at Gorakhpur. We requested that the court summon the video recording to get a first-hand impression."

"The court responded to our submission by asking the state government to file an affidavit on the next date of hearing explaining why a recording of the said interview not be summoned," he said.

"We also sought permission to file an application challenging the state government's order refusing to the grant sanction for prosecuting Yogi Adityanath. The court gave permission to do so by the next date of hearing on July 7," the counsel added.

The petition was filed by Parvez Parwaz, the complainant in the FIR lodged in connection with the riots at Cantt police station of Gorakhpur; and Asad Hayat, a witness in the case in which the then city Mayor Anju Chaudhary and BJP MLA Radha Mohan Das Agrawal have also been named as accused.

The petitioners have moved the high court seeking an investigation into the case by an independent agency.  -- PTI
JUST IN: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Sri Lanka on a two-day visit.
17:51   Court seeks Dinakaran's reply on cops' plea seeking voice samples
A special court today directed All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (Amma) faction leader T T V Dinakaran and an alleged middleman, arrested in an Election Commission bribery case, to respond to Delhi Police's plea for voice samples.

Special Judge Poonam Chaudhry asked the counsel for Dinakaran and Sukesh Chandrashekar to file their replies on May 15.

Delhi Police's Crime Branch submitted before the court that they needed the voice samples for their probe into the Rs 50-crore graft case.

It said they had a CD containing audio recordings of phone conversations between Dinakaran and Chandrashekar and others, and they wanted to compare the audios with the voice samples.

After the counsel for the two accused sought time to go through the application, the court listed it for May 15.

Dinakaran and Chandrashekar were also brought to the court from judicial custody in pursuance to its production warrants issued earlier.

Meanwhile, the court also extended till Monday Chandrashekar's judicial custody, which would have expired tomorrow.

Dinakaran, his close aide Mallikarjuna and alleged hawala operator Nathu Singh are also in judicial custody till May 15.

Dinakaran was arrested here on the night of April 25 after four days of questioning for allegedly attempting to bribe an unidentified EC official to get the undivided AIADMK's 'two leaves' election symbol. -- PTI
17:31   AAP seeks access to EVMs used in polls to prove tampering
The Aam Aadmi Party today demanded that an all-party committee under the Election Commission be formed to look into allegations of EVM manipulation.   

The party will approach the commission tomorrow seeking access to electronic voting machines (EVMs) that were used in the recently held assembly polls.   

AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj, who had showed a live demonstration of how an EVM look-alike could be tampered with in the Delhi assembly on May 9, told a press conference that the committee must have representatives of all the political parties.   

The Election Commission has called an all-party meeting on the raging issue tomorrow at its headquarters in New Delhi.   

AAP has vociferously raised the issue after its disappointing performance in Punjab and Goa assembly elections and the recent MCD polls.   

Hundreds of its workers today demonstrated outside the Election Commission headquarters demanding that voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT)-equipped EVMs be used in future elections.   

"Why is it that all the technical defects in EVMs that have come to light recently, say in Bhind or Dholpur, favoured only the BJP?" Bhardwaj asked.   

The AAP is deputing Bhardwaj along with two technical experts to the meeting called by the EC tomorrow.
17:29   EVM manipulation: AAP asks EC to form all-party probe panel
The Aam Aadmi Party today demanded that an all-party committee under the Election Commission be formed to look into allegations of electronic voting machine manipulation.

The party will approach the commission tomorrow seeking access to EVMs that were used in the recently held assembly polls.

AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj, who had showed a live demonstration of how an EVM look-alike could be tampered within the Delhi assembly on May 9, told a press conference that the committee must have representatives of all the political parties.

The Election Commission has called an all party meeting on the raging issue tomorrow at its headquarters in New Delhi.

The AAP has vociferously raised the issue after its disappointing performance in Punjab and Goa assembly elections and the recent Municipal Corporation of Delhi polls.

Hundreds of its workers today demonstrated outside the Election Commission headquarters demanding that voter-verifiable paper audit trail -equipped EVMs be used in future elections.

"Why is it that all the technical defects in EVMs that have come to light recently, say in Bhind or Dholpur, favoured only the BJP?" Bhardwaj asked.

The AAP is deputing Bhardwaj along with two technical experts at the meeting called by the EC tomorrow.  -- PTI
17:25   'Ramayan' to be made as live-action feature film
Indian epic Ramayan is heading to the big screen with three producers planning a big budget tri-lingual film series on Valmiki's greatest work.   

Producers Allu Aravind, Namit Malhotra and Madhu Mantena have joined hands to bring the movie adaptation of the ancient Indian epic on screen as a live-action feature film.   

The film will be a three part project and will be released in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu.   

When contacted, Mantena confirmed the news saying, "Yes I am (doing it)."   

Aravind said, "It's a huge responsibility but the Ramayan needs to be told on the big screen in the most magnificent way possible. We are committed to delivering a spectacular extravaganza."    

A source close to the development shared that the trio has been working on the script for over a year and the film is expected to be made on a budget of Rs 500 crore.

Image from Telugu film Sri Ramarajyam
17:15   Vinay Mohan Kwatra named as India's envoy to France
Seasoned diplomat Vinay Mohan Kwatra, currently a joint secretary in the Prime Minister's Office, has been appointed as the next ambassador to France. 

Announcing his appointment, the external affairs ministry said Kwatra is expected to take up his assignment shortly.

A 1988 batch foreign service officer, Kwatra will succeed Mohan Kumar, who is retiring.

Apart from having experience of dealing with UN organisations such as International Labour Organisation and World Health Organisation, he has served in Indian diplomatic missions in China and the US.

He has also held the position of joint secretary incharge of the counter-terrorism division in the MEA.
Just in: The apex court will hear Justice Karnan's plea on Monday. 
16:27   Justice Karnan moves SC challenging jail term
Just in: Calcutta High Court Judge, Justice CS Karnan moves the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of the court order and asks it to recall the order.

In an unprecedented order, the Supreme Court on Tuesday held the controversial Calcutta high court judge guilty of contempt of court and sentenced him to jail for six months, ordering that he be taken into custody forthwith.

A seven-judge constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar, said We are of the unanimous view that Justice C S Karnan committed contempt of court, contempt of judiciary and the process.

This is the first time that a sitting high court judge is being sent to jail by the Supreme Court on charges of contempt.

The bench, which also comprised Justices Dipak Misra, J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur, P C Ghose and Kurian Joseph, said it was satisfied that Justice Karnan be sentenced for six months in jail.

The sentence shall be executed and he be taken into custody forthwith, the bench said.

16:13   Buck up! Recover Rs 500-cr dues on VVIP flights, CAG tells Air India
The Comptroller and Auditor General asks the government and Air India to to make more efforts to recover money spent on VVIP chartered flights.

India's top audit body has pulled up Air India for not recovering crores of rupees owed to the national carrier for special flights used by the president, vice-president and the prime minister.

In its latest report, released in March this year, CAG noted that that the total unpaid dues as on March 31, 2016, stood at Rs 513.27 crore. Of this, Rs 472.09 crore were spent on the operation of VVIP flights and Rs 41.18 crore for the External Affairs Ministry.

A RTI application by activist Lokesh Batra disclosed that on March 31, 2017, Air India had dues worth Rs 451.74 for the use of chartered flights by the president, vice president and prime minister, besides special missions.
IFS officer Vinay Mohan Kwatra appointed as the next ambassador of India to France.The lucky man gets to meet Emmanuel Macron.
15:28   Arvind Subramanian slams rating agencies for not upgrading India 'despite improvements'
India's chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian today slammed global rating agencies for not upgrading India "despite clear improvements in economic fundamentals", reported PTI.

He also expressed annoyance at what he said is differing treatment meted out to India as compared with China. "Rating agencies are inconsistent in their treatment of China and India," Subramanian added to PTI.

The government's 'Economic Survey 2017' too slammed the agencies for following "inconsistent" standards while rating India vis-a-vis China.

It said these agencies didn't take into account reforms measures like the Goods and Services Taxes (GST) Bill. The Survey said it was a "poor" reflection of rating agencies' credibility. Subramanian today didn't name names, but earlier this month, US-based agency Fitch kept India's sovereign rating at 'BBB-' - it's a rating India was assigned more than a decade ago, PTI reported earlier this month. 'BBB-' is the lowest 'investment grade with stable outlook'.

Fitch had last upgraded India's sovereign rating from BB+ to BBB- with stable outlook on August 1, 2006. Later, it changed the outlook to negative in 2012 and then again to stable in the following year, though it kept the rating unchanged at the lowest investment grade.
15:15   Russian blogger found guilty for playing Pokemon Go in church
A Russian blogger has been found guilty of inciting religious hatred and insulting believers for playing Pokmon Go in church.

Ruslan Sokolovsky was given a three-and-a-half year suspended sentence after he posted a video of him playing the game in an Orthodox church supposedly built on the spot where the last Russian tsar Nicholas II and his family were killed. Read more
14:56   NGT raps DDA for questioning findings on AOL's green damage
The National Green Tribunal on Thursday rapped the Delhi Development Authority for casting aspersions on the findings of its expert committee on damage caused to the Yamuna floodplains because of the 3-day cultural event organised by Art Of Living (AOL).

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar took exception to the submission of the counsel for DDA, who questioned the conclusions of the seven-member expert panel.

"It is not fair. You cannot make sweeping comments on people who have devoted their life to environment. We are warning you people that if anybody passes strictures, we will not hesitate to take action against them," the bench said.

The DDA counsel said he did not intend to cast aspersions and was just questioning the basis of the findings and technology used by the experts panel.

Earlier, an expert committee had told the NGT that a whopping Rs 42.02 crore would be required to restore Yamuna floodplains which was ravaged due to a cultural extravaganza organised by AOL last year.
Another image of Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi meeting J-K CM Mehbooba Mufti today. Pic: Umar Ganie 
14:00   Day after Army officer's murder govt hotfoots it to Srinagar
Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi today met Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in Srinagar and discussed the security situation in the state. Mehrishi, who arrived in Srinagar this morning a day after a young Kashmiri Army officer was abducted and shot dead by militants in Shopian district, is also scheduled to call on Governor N N Vohra later in the day. He will also chair a meeting of senior security officials, including Director General of Police S P Vaid, to get a first-hand information about the security scenario in the state, particularly in Kashmir Valley.

"During the meeting, the Union home secretary discussed the overall situation in the state with the Chief Minister," an official spokesman said.

Jammu and Kashmir had witnessed violence during the April 9 bypoll to the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat in which eight people lost their lives in more than 200 incidents.

The Election Commission had also cancelled the May 25 bypoll to Anantnag Lok Sabha seat, saying situation there was not feasible for holding election.

There have been protests by students in the Valley last month against alleged police excesses. Students, including girls, were seen pelting stones on security personnel in these incidents.

Image: Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi meets J-K CM Mehbooba Mufti in Srinagar and discussed the security situation in the state.
13:50   I-T dept launches new facility to link Aadhaar with PAN
The Income Tax department has launched a new e-facility to link a person's Aadhaar with the Permanent Account Number (PAN), a mandatory procedure for filing IT returns now.

The department's e-filing website-- has created a new link on its homepage making it "easy" to link the two unique identities of an individual. The link requires a person to punch in his PAN number, Aadhaar number and the "exact name as given in the Aadhaar card".

"After verification from the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India), the linking will be confirmed. In case of any minor mismatch in Aadhaar name provided, Aadhaar OTP (one time password) will be required," the department said in its advisory to taxpayers and individuals. The OTP will be sent on the registered mobile number and email of the individual.
Turns out, 'Farrago of distortions and misrepresentations' is not a Tharoor original. Read
13:24   Sonia's health stable, likely to be discharged soon
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, hospitalised for food poisoning, is progressing well and is likely to be discharged in a day or two, authorities at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said today. Gandhi, 69, who underwent a shoulder surgery in the same hospital last year, had been admitted on May 7.

"The health condition of Sonia Gandhi who was admitted on Sunday for food poisoning is stable. She is progressing well and may be discharged in a day or two," said Dr D S Rana, Chairman, Board of Management, Ganga Ram.
13:21   No brides for men in this MP village without water
Water scarcity in Madhya Pradesh's Chhatarpur district has created an unforeseen problem for young lads as families are not willing to marry their daughters in the village.

"A wedding was lately cancelled as there was an acute water problem in the area. Nobody is ready to marry off their daughters here," a Buxwaha resident.

Buxwaha village of Chhatarpur district is facing a severe water crisis. A village with population of 1000 has no water pipelines. People therefore, have to travel far to get water. The place earlier had two hand pumps that have run dry.

Jassu Ahriwar' son's wedding was called off due to water scarcity.

Ahriwal told ANI, " The girl's family liked the boy and the family, but given the state of water supply, things did not work out between the two sides and wedding was cancelled."

Panchayat Head Rajesh Prajapati blamed it on the policies of the state government and cited the dropped water levels in the area as two reasons for acute water shortage.

"Besides, this region is mountainous and has already been declared parched. It might be happening that young lads are facing issues with respect to marriages as you guys have reported. We will take care of it and ensure that the issue is resolved and people live a happy life thereafter," Prajapati added.

Image: A resident said a wedding was fixed but cancelled after the bride's family realised the village had no water.
13:11   How to get caught for murder. Throw severed head at police station
In a gruesome incident, a 17-year-old youth was decapitated and his head thrown into the premises of a police station here, the police said today.

After going through the CCTV footage of cameras near the police station, three persons in the age group of 20-24 years were arrested today in connection with the incident, they said.

Interrogation revealed that the youth was hacked to death and beheaded by one of the accused at Bahour in Puducherry, last night, due to previous enmity, police said.

After decapitating him, they travelled on a two-wheeler with the head wrapped in a gunny bag before throwing it into the premises of the Reddichavavadi police station last night, the police said.

The police managed to track them down after going through the CCTV footage. The decapitated body was found near the Bahour lake, they said.
12:52   Macron's wife's to take a Michelle Obama style role in France
Emmanuel Macron's wife will break with tradition and take on an official role as First Lady in France's government.Although Brigitte Macron will not be paid for her job in the incoming administration, the 64-year-old will have a formal position and head up an office with its own budget, in contrast with her predecessors, reports the Independent.

"When you're elected president of the Republic, you live with someone, you give your days and nights, you give your public life and your private life,' Mr Macron told French broadcaster TF1.

"So the person who lives with you must have a role and be recognised in that role.'
12:35   Make no mistake, we are at war!
"India has both the wherewithal and the will to fight the enemy, but is living in a make believe world of its own since it is yet to accept that it is indeed at war," says military historian Colonel Anil A Athale (retd). Read the column on
12:26   Fugitive Justice Karnan may have crossed Indian border today
Controversial Calcutta high court judge C S Karnan who was found guilty of contempt of court and sentenced to jail for six months has seemingly gone missing.

A five-member team of Kolkata Police is in search

Justice Karnans close aide and his legal adviser told the Indian Express that Justice Karnan is evading arrest and may have left the country this morning and will return only if the President of India gives him an appointment.

The Chennai Police were told that Justice Karnan had left the Chepauk government guest house on Wednesday morning to visit Kalahasti, a temple town. However, when his cellphone was tracked, it had indeed gone to Kalahasti, but not the judge. The Express reports that the judge headed north.

Justice Karnan's aide Kumar told the Indian Express that he may have crossed the Indian border to Nepal or Bangladesh. However, a road route from Chennai to any Indian border will take a minimum journey of 36 hours.

On Wednesday evening, a five-member Kolkata Police team, that arrived from Kolkata, travelled from Chennai to Kalahasti in search of Justice Karnans whereabouts and reportedly came back as the Andhra Police was also unable to help them track the convict judge anywhere in the state borders.
11:58   Triple Talaq case: SC bench likely to hold hearings on Sat, Sun
The triple talaq hearing assumes significance as the apex court has decided to hear the case during the summer vacation and is likely to sit on Saturdays and Sundays to expeditiously decide the contentious and sensitive issues arising in the matter.

It holds importance as the Allahabad High Court in its verdict pronounced in the last week of April, had held the practice of triple talaq as unilateral and bad in law.

The High Court verdict had come while dismissing a petition filed by one Aaqil Jamil whose wife had filed a criminal complaint against him alleging that he had tortured her for dowry and when his demands were not met, he gave her triple talaq.

The apex court had on March 30 said that the Muslim practices of triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy are issues that are "very important" and involve "sentiments".

Influential Muslim organisations like the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) have opposed court's adjudication of these matters, maintaining these practices stemmed from the Holy Quran and were not open to a court of law.

The Muslim women, who have filed the petitions, have challenged the practice of triple talaq in which the husband, quite often, pronounces talaq thrice in one go, sometimes even by phone or text message.

Nikah Halala is a practice intended to curb the incidence of divorce under which a man cannot remarry his former wife without her having to go through the process of marrying someone else, consummating it, getting divorced, observing the separation period called 'Iddat' and then coming back to him again.
AAP workers block road outside Election Commission over issue of alleged manipulation of EVMs.
The five-judge bench has started to hear the first petition which is of Shayara Banu, who suffered instant, oral and unilateral triple talaq in October last year after 15 years of marriage. She went ahead and challenged the very provision of instantaneous triple talaq (talaq-e-bidat) and polygamy and nikah halala.
11:27   SC will NOT hear polygamy issue in triple talaq case
Supreme Court makes it clear that it is not going to hear polygamy issue in the triple talaq case.
11:25   SC to examine if triple talaq is fundamental to Islam
Chief Justice of India JS Khehar asks if triple talaq is an enforceable right or a sacrosanct part of Islam.  The CJI asked whether triple talaq is in fact a fundamental part of Islam and if so it will not interfere. The SC said that it will keep the matter limited to the issue, whether triple talaq and halala are fundamental to the religion or not.

The All India Muslim Personal Board has said any hearing on triple talaq, halala or polygamy is not maintainable and is outside the purview of courts.

The practice is vociferously opposed by womens organisations across the country who complain of abuse and exploitation by their husbands.

At the same time, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) backs the practice saying it is a valid way to end a marriage even though it may be wrong. After an executive meeting last month in Lucknow, AIMPLB president Maulana Rabey Hasani Nadvi said Muslims have complete constitutional right to practise their personal law, which also put the responsibility on the community to protect it by fully adhering to it.

Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mehal says triple talaq is a part of Muslim personal law; Constitution gives the right to practice personal laws.

Image: BR Chopra's acclaimed eighties film Nikaah dealt with the triple talaq.
10:55   SC to examine if triple talaq is fundamental to Islam
Just in: The SC has said it will examine if triple talaq is fundamental to Islam.

Farzana Faiz, a petitioner in the case says they will accept Allah's Sharia, not the Mullah's sharia.

A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court has begun the hearing on a clutch of petitions on triple talaq, polygamy and 'nikah halala'.
10:46   5-judge SC bench begins hearing in triple talaq case
The five-judge bench of the Supreme Court has begun the hearing on a clutch of petitions on triple talaq, polygamy and 'nikah halala'.

The five judges belong to five different religions indicating religious diversity in the apex court.

The bench will be led by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar, the first Sikh to hold the post. Justice Kurian Joseph, only the sixth Christian to be elevated to the Supreme Court, Justice Uday Umesh Lalit of the Hindu community, Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman of the Parsi community and Justice Abdul Nazeer, a Muslim, are the other four judges on the Bench.

The practice is vociferously opposed by womens organisations across the country who complain of abuse and exploitation by their husbands.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) backs the practice saying it is a valid way to end a marriage even though it may be wrong.
10:34   Sensex scales another peak of 30,346.69; Nifty at 9,450.65
The BSE Sensex continued with its record setting spree to quote at an all-time high of 30,346.69 while the NSE Nifty scaled a new peak of 9,450.65 in opening trade today on sustained fund inflows, largely driven by forecast of a normal monsoon, amid positive Asian cues. The 30-share index rallied by 98.52 points, or 0.32 per cent, to hit a new peak of 30,346.69, breaking its previous record of 30,271.60 points (intra-day) touched in yesterday's trade.
10:32   Wedding hall collapse: CM Vasundhara Raje likely to visit Bharatpur
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is likely to visit the wedding hall that collapsed last night killing 25 people and injuring 28 in Bharatpur.

District Magistrate N.K. Gupta said that the incident was triggered due to a thunderstorm and rainfall in the district.

"To protect themselves from the rain, some guests tried to stand under a wall, which subsequently collapsed, killing 22 and injuring over 28 people, out of which two have been critically injured. They have been hospitalised and are being attended to by a team of doctors," he said.

The incident took place in Annapurna Marriage Home located on Sewar road in Rajasthan's Bharatpur.
10:04   Ahead of triple talaq hearing, Muslim women chant Hanuman Chalisa for help
Proving yet again that India's 'unity in diversity' is intact, Muslim women in Varanasi were seen reciting the Hanuman Chalisa ahead of the Supreme Court's hearing of the batch of pleas filed to end triple talaq.

The women said they are praying to Hanuman ahead of the hearing, so that they get rid of this custom.

One of the Muslim women, Shabana said God and Allah both are same, it is the people on earth who have divided it.

"We are praying to Hanuman-ji to get rid of triple talaq, which is a trouble for us. We are praying so that the decision is taken in our favour. Everybody is same. We on earth have divided people. Ishwar, Allah all are same," she told ANI.

Another victim of triple talaq, Nagma while narrating her ordeal said how her husband denied to give any money for her daughter after giving her divorce.

"I want my husband to be punished so that other men think twice before doing so," she said.

One of the priests of the temple here said the victims of triple talaq are praying before Lord Hanuman to end 'malpractice' of the custom.

"The victims of triple talaq have faith in Hanuman-ji. They are in a very bad shape. In such a situation, they have prayed before Lord Hanuman that the Supreme Court ends this custom of triple talaq. May Lord Hanuman protect them," he told ANI.

PM Modi asks Muslim community not to politicise triple talaq issue, urges them to initiate reform.

The apex court is set to begin its marathon hearing tomorrow over the batch of pleas by Muslim women condemning the custom.

Shayara Banu, the first petitioner to challenge the Muslim personal law sparked the fight amongst Muslim women against instantaneous triple talaq (talaq-e-bidat), polygamy and nikah-halala.

Her rights and of many others remain to be recognized as the apex court prepares for the hearings.
09:51   With Republic TV, only the Opposition is being chased
"First on Times Now'; "First on Republic'."Super (Mega) Expose' (Times Now); "Super Exclusive' (Republic).
"The nation wants to know' (Times Now); "Why should the nation not know' (Republic).
"Shashi Tharoor is on the run' running away from us' (Republic); "Are they running away from answers?' (Times Now, #GandhiVIPSaas).
"Sensational impact' (Times Now); "Arvind stunned', "Tharoor ratttled' (Republic) -- so is the writer, hence the spelling error, but never mind that.
You see how little separates them?

Shailaja Bajpai's excellent piece for the Indian Express. Do read
09:41   PM to visit Lanka today, says it reflects strong relationship
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his visit to Sri Lanka beginning today is a sign of a "strong relationship" between the two countries and brings to the fore the shared heritage of Buddhism. During his two-day visit, he will participate in the International Vesak Day celebrations, the biggest festival of Buddhists, inaugurate a hospital built with Indian assistance and address the Indian-origin Tamil community, besides attending some other programmes.

"This will be my second bilateral visit there in two years, a sign of our strong relationship," he said in a Facebook post, hours before travelling to Sri Lanka.

"During my visit, I will join the International Vesak Day celebrations in Colombo on 12th May, where I will interact with leading Buddhist spiritual leaders, scholars and theologians," Modi wrote.

He said it was an honour for him to join these celebrations with President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. "My visit brings to the fore one of the most abiding links between India and Sri Lanka - the shared heritage of Buddhism," he said.

Image: Prime Minister Narendra Modi offers prayers at the Mahabodhi tree in Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka during his 2015 visit.
09:25   Encounter on between BSF and Naxals in Chhattisgarh
Weeks after 25 CRPF men were killed by Naxals, an encounter has broken out between the Maoists and the Border Security Force personnel in Chhattisgarh's Pankhajur. 

On April 25, Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed and six wounded in Chhattisgarhs Sukma district in what was known as the deadliest attack by Naxalites targeting security forces this year.

The Naxalites mounted the assault around 12.25 pm in Kalapathar area of south Bastar region, one of the worst-hit by Left-wing extremism in the country.

The incident occurred near Burkapal village within Chintagufa police station limits, Sukma Additional Superintendent of Police Jitendra Shukla said.
JUST IN: Justice C S Karnan, sentenced to six months for contempt, likely to move SC today seeking recall of the conviction order
08:48   PM Modi to begin his two-day Sri Lanka visit today
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will begin his two-day Sri Lanka visit today to attend International Vesak Day celebrations in Colombo with President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the chief guest.

This will be Prime Minister Modi's second Sri Lanka visit.

He had toured Sri Lanka in March 2015. However, this visit will be apolitical.

During his visit, the PM will also be attending the lamp lighting ceremony at Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple in Colombo. He will also be unveiling a plaque commemorating the foundation laying of the faculty of the Kandyan dance, which is being constructed with India's grant assistance.

The PM will also be visiting the hilly regions of Sri Lanka that host tea plantations. He will be inaugurating a 150-bed multi-specialty hospital at Dikoya.
08:34   'Important announcement at 9 am', tweets AAP's sacked minister Kapil Mishra
Sacked AAP minister Kapil Mishra, who is on a hunger strike since yesterday, tweeted this morning: "Important announcement at 9 am."

Mishra was attacked on Wednesday evening by a man who arrived around 5.30 pm at his residence in Civil Lines, where the party rebel is on an indefinite hunger strike over corruption charges he has levelled against chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his party colleagues.

The sacked minister is demanding that the Aam Aadmi Party divulge details of foreign tours undertaken by five leaders of the party. 

Mishra, who kicked up a storm when he said he'd seen Kejriwal "accept Rs 2 crore in cash" from Public Work Department Minister Satyendra Jain, had on Tuesday submitted three complaints to the Central Bureau of Investigation about AAP leaders indulging in graft and other irregularities.
08:24   Yes, have been spoken to: Gopal Gandhi on Opposition hunt for President
Former administrator, diplomat and Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi Wednesday said that Opposition leaders have reached out to him with a proposal to field him as the joint Opposition candidate for the forthcoming Presidential elections. Gandhi is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. Yes, I have been spoken to. But the conversations have been of a very preliminary nature. It would not be right for me to say anything beyond that, Gandhi told The Indian Express.

Sources in the Opposition said a broad consensus is emerging on two names: Gandhi and that of former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar. But many Opposition parties are not keen on a Congress nominee as the presidential candidate.

Read full story HERE
07:58   Woman killed as Pakistan violates ceasefire along LoC
A woman has died and another man was injured in Pakistani firing along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir's Nowshera sector on Wednesday night.

Pakistani Army initiated indiscriminate firing from small arms and mortars along the Line of Control in Nowshera sector in Rajouri district around 10.30 pm yesterday.

This comes a week after an Army officer and a Border Security Force constable were killed in firing after Pakistan violated the ceasefire by firing rockets along the Line of Control in Poonch district. A head constable and Junior commissioned officer were also seriously injured in the attack.

At least one incident of ceasefire violation by Pakistan has been reported daily along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir in 2015 and 2016, with 23 security personnel being killed in the two years, the Home Ministry said in a Right To Information or RTI reply last week.
01:01   FBI director fired after seeking wider Russia probe: Report
FBI Director James Comey sought to expand his agency's probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 United States election before President Donald Trump fired him on Tuesday, Reuters reported quoting a congressional source.

Facing criticism from members of Congress, the Trump administration denied the firing was related to the FBI probe of the Trump 2016 presidential campaign's possible collusion with Moscow to sway the election.

The Republican president, who met Russia's foreign minister at the White House on Wednesday, defended his decision to abruptly fire Comey from a law-enforcement post he had held since 2013.