Mon, 09 April 2018
More transparency needed in collegium meetings: Justice Chelameswar

Timeline  Refresh

23:34   Some ICICI board members may not back Kochchar as CEO: Sources
Some members in the ICICI Bank Board may not favour continuation of Chanda Kochhar as CEO and Managing Director of the bank amid allegation of nepotism in the Videocon loan case, said sources.
Kochhar's continuation at the top post may not find favour from some of the independent directors, they said.
According to the reports, Kochhar's husband Deepak Kochhar had formed a joint venture with Videocon promoter Venugopal Dhoot for a business dealing in renewable energy and there were a string of transactions later, which gave him full control of the venture after the exit of Dhoot.
Late last month, the bank admitted that Kochhar did not recuse herself from a credit committee meeting which decided to give a Rs 3,250 crore loan to diversified Videocon Group in 2012.
The Central Bureau of Investigation has initiated a preliminary enquiry into the matter to check any wrongdoing, while other agencies, including the Enforcement Directorate (ED), are also investigating the case.
However, the bank's board has stood firmly behind Chanda Kochhar, saying no wrong was committed by her, and the committee was headed by the bank's then chief K V Kamath.
Global ratings agency Fitch today said it is doubtful about the strength of corporate governance at ICICI Bank.
The ratings agency said allegations against ICICI Bank are coming against a backdrop of high non-performing assets in the banking sector, some of which have been linked to fraudulent lending. -- PTI  
23:33   More transparency needed in collegium meetings: Justice Chelameswar
Batting for more transparency in collegium meetings, the second senior most judge of the apex court, Justice J Chelameswar today said a proper performance assessment of high court judges for elevation to the top court was hardly done.
The judge was speaking during a panel discussion titled 'The Indian Higher Judiciary: Issues and Prospects'.
He said the authorities involved in the process of selection must place their assessment on record to eliminate further problems.
"What exactly goes on in collegium meetings and what is the nature of assessment undertaken at the time of choosing a particular name is required to be a little more transparent.
"An assessment of performance of a high court judge, I am talking about elevation to the Supreme Court, is hardly done. Generally the assessment goes by impression," Justice Chelameswar said.
During a discussion on reforms required in the apex court, the judge on a lighter note said with the sanctioned strength of the top court being 31 judges, each state will stake its claim for a seat in the top court.
"The Supreme Court's sanctioned strength is 31. The moment you create the Supreme Court with 31 judges, the first thing that happens in this country is that every state believes that it is entitled to a seat in it," he said.
The panel discussion followed the release of a book 'Appointment of judges to the Supreme Court of India: Transparency, Accountability and Independence'.
When asked about the need for a permanent constitution bench, Justice Chelameswar said the matter required a re-look.
"It requires a re-look at the jurisdiction of the court. I do not think Dr Ambedkar would have ever dreamt that the Supreme Court would one day hear bail applications. The manner in which the jurisdiction of this court expanded added to the problem. This court was to decide only constitutional issues," he said.
The justice, however, agreed that such a step was required. -- PTI
23:02   2015 IAS topper Tina Dabi marries Kashmiri batchmate
IAS officer Tina Dabi, who topped the UPSC's civil services examination in 2015 has tied the knot to her Kashmiri batch-mate Amir Athar Amirul Shafi Khan, who secured the second rank in the prestigious examination the same year.
The two young IAS officers got married at a ceremony in the picturesque Pahalgam town yesterday. 

A graduate of Delhi's Lady Shri Ram college, Tina Dabi shot into limelight after she became the first Dalit to top the prestigious civil services exam in 2015.
The cupid had struck the two officers reportedly during training at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy for Administration in Mussoorie.

Family and friends of the couple attended the wedding ceremony which was held at a hotel in Pahalgam in south Kashmir's Anantnag District. Khan hails from Devipora village in Mattan area of Anantnag while Dabi is from Delhi. -- PTI

Photograph: Kind courtesy Tina Dabi/Instagram
22:53   BJP may build mosque in Ayodhya in place of Ram temple: Togadia
The Vishva Hindu Parishad's international working president Pravin Togadia today alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party may start a "diluted agitation" for Ram temple merely to grab the majority vote by painting other parties "anti-Hindu."
Togadia made the allegation while also accusing the party of making a volte face on its 1989 Palampur resolution to enact a law to build a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya after securing the majority in Parliament.
Stating that the party instead has decided to wait for the apex court's ruling on the Ayodhya dispute now, he dared the BJP in a news conference, "Now there is a full majority in Parliament. Pass the law on Ram temple without any delay and stop fooling the majority."
Hitting out at both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP, Togadia said neither any development took place, nor the Ram Temple was built in last four years by the government, which, he said, has failed on all fronts.
He also alleged that the ruling BJP may have "some strange plans of building a mosque in Ayodhya" in place of Ram temple.
"Millions of Hindus now fear that despite having full majority, the BJP government in the last four years has not made even an inch of progress on making the law to build Ram Temple in Ayodhya. It indicates some strange plans of building a mosque in Ayodhya instead," Togadia told reporters in New Delhi.
Referring to the BJP national executive's Palampur resolution, Togadia said, "This promise was by an organisation named the BJP, not by an individual. An organization is greater than an individual, as they say."
He wondered if the party has ignored the sacrifices of thousands of Hindus.
The BJP and Modi came to power on back of the hardwork and sacrifice of thousands of Hindus, so they can not ignore their dream of building a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya, he said. -- PTI  
22:20   My mistake, I'm sorry: Zuckerberg's testimony to Congress
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg will accept responsibility for the social network's failure to protect private data and prevent manipulation of the platform, according to testimony released on the eve of his first Congressional appearance.
"We didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I'm sorry," Zuckerberg said in his written testimony released by a House of Representatives panel.
"I started Facebook, I run it, and I'm responsible for what happens here."
Zuckerberg would testify on Tuesday before a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees. 

The next day, he would appear before another joint hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Here is the full testimony
22:11   Nawaz Sharif's grandson to join politics
Pakistan's ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif's grandson, Junaid Safdar, has decided to join politics, becoming the first member of the third generation of the Sharif family to actively participate in the party activities.
Junaid, son of Maryam Nawaz and Captain Muhammad Safdar, is busy meeting with workers of the Pakistan Muslim League-N these days, the News reported, citing its sources.
The pictures and posters of Junaid can be seen installed in areas surrounding the Sharif's residence, the paper said.
Sources said that Junaid, who is in his 20s, is currently acquiring political training from Sharif who often accompanies him to political rallies too.
Sharif leads the country's most powerful political family and the ruling PML-N party. -- PTI 
22:10   VP, PM condole deaths in HP bus accident
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi today condoled the loss of lives in a bus accident in Himachal Pradesh.
"I am deeply shocked to learn about the tragic bus heart goes out to the family members of the deceased," Naidu tweeted.
In a tweet, the PMO said Modi was deeply anguished over the loss of lives.
"My prayers and solidarity with those who lost their near and dear ones in the accident," the PMO said quoting the prime minister.
Twenty seven children were among 30 killed when a school bus ferrying them back home plunged into a deep gorge near Gurchal village on the Nurpur-Chamba highway, about 100 km from the district headquarters at Dharamshala. -- PTI 
22:10   Axis Bank CEO Shikha Sharma wants new term cut short
The Axis Bank board has curtailed the fourth term of its chief executive officer and managing director Shikha Sharma to seven months following an unusual request from her that she be relieved on December 2018, 29 months ahead of the scheduled term.
The board's decision come amidst the Reserve Bank of India raising questions over her re-appointment for the fourth term as MD and CEO of the third largest private sector lender in the wake of mounting non-performing assets.
Sharma, who would complete her third term on May 31, 2018, has been heading the bank since 2009.
The Axis Bank board accepted her request for a shorter seven-month term (from June 1 to December 31, 2018), subject to the approval of the Reserve Bank of India, the bank said in a regulatory filing.
The bank said on December 8 last year, the board had decided to reappoint Sharma as the Managing Director and CEO, for a period of three years with effect from June 1, 2018, subject to receipt of requisite approvals.
The re-appointment, however, was yet to get the approval of the RBI.
"In this connection kindly note that Shikha Sharma, Managing Director & CEO of the Bank has requested the Board to reconsider the period of her re-appointment as the Managing Director and CEO of the Bank to be revised from June 1, 2018 up to December 31, 2018," it said.
The filing did not elaborate why Sharma wanted her fourth term to be curtailed to seven months from three years.
The board, the filing said, has "accepted" her said request, subject to the approval of the RBI.
According to sources said the Reserve Bank of India has shot off a letter to the Chairman of Axis Bank Sanjiv Misra, who is also a former expenditure secretary, with regard to the board's decision to re-appoint Sharma.
The RBI's letter has also cited the bank's performance and deteriorating asset quality condition over the years.
In July 2017,  the board of Axis Bank had approved re-appointment of Sharma. Her new term will start from June 2018.
As per regulations, appointments of top management personnel at private sector banks require clearance from the RBI.
The private sector lender's NPAs jumped by over five-fold in recent financial years.
The gross NPAs worth Rs 4,110 crore at the end of March 2015 surged to Rs 21,280 crore at the end of March 2017. During the same period, the lender's net profit halved from Rs 7,357.8 crore to Rs 3,679.2 crore.
Recently, the RBI had also penalised the bank for incorrectly reporting bad loans. The asset-class divergence uncovered by the RBI was Rs 9,480 crore in 2015-16 and Rs 5,633 crore in 2016-17. -- PTI
22:04   Defence ministry inks Rs 639 crore contract to procure bullet proof jackets for soldiers
The defence ministry today signed a contract with a defence firm for procurement of 1.86 lakh bullet proof jackets for the army at a cost of Rs 639 crore.
In a statement, the ministry said the contract was finalised after "successful" field evaluation trials.
The contract has been bagged by indigenous defence manufacturer SMPP Pvt Ltd.
"A major contract through capital procurement route, for procurement of 1,86,138 bullet proof jackets has been signed," it said.
It said the new BPJs will provide "360 degree protection" to the soldier in combat, including from hard "steel core" bullets.
"These bulletproof jackets will have 'boron carbide ceramic' which is the lightest material for ballistic protection. This makes SMPP BPJs the best of the class and will be able to provide ballistic protection at the lowest possible weight," Chairman and Managing Director of SMPP S C Kansal said.
The company said the size of the contract is Rs 639 crore.
The defence ministry said the new BPJs will boost the confidence of soldiers.
It said the indigenously developed BPJs will give new impetus to the 'Make in India' initiative of the government and provide confidence that Indian industry is capable of fulfilling the requirements of the armed forces. -- PTI
21:44   Political leaders, media should not 'demoralise' security forces: VP
The security forces should not be "demoralised" by the political leadership and the media of the country, vice president Venkaih Naidu today said, stressing that one should see their "difficult working conditions" before saying anything "adverse".
Speaking at a Central Reserve Police Force event in New Delhi, Naidu said "dissent is agreeable but disintegration can never be acceptable at all" in the country, adding that he had "no qualms in saying that maanav adhikar maanvaon ke liye hotey hain, daanavon ke liye nahi (human rights is for humans and not for demons)".
"People who write articles from Delhi, the leaders who speak negatively about our forces they should understand the adverse conditions and climate that these (security forces) people are operating in," Naidu said at the 'Valour Day' event of the CRPF.
"That (the difficult working conditions of the forces)", the vice president said, has to be kept in mind before saying or doing anything.
"It has become a fashion for some people that without knowing the reality of the situation they condemn (the forces)," Naidu said.
What is happening in this country is that sometimes, some people have the habit of condemning the forces whether the army or the BSF or the CRPF, he said.
"If something goes wrong (in the forces), they have a system to correct itself. We should not demoralise them," Naidu said.
He said the political leadership, whichever party they are from, should speak in favour of the country, its integrity and its unity and they should speak for the forces.
He added that the media has a "sacred responsibility to safeguard the interests of the country."
"You have every right to disagree but the unity of the country is paramount," Naidu said. -- PTI
21:30   Cauvery row: Commandos, RAF deployed for CSK vs KKR match
Amidst threats of protest by Tamil outfits over the Cauvery issue, a strong posse of 2,000 policemen under City Commissioner A K Viswanathan will be deployed for security tomorrow for the  Indian Premier League tie between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders.
One team of commandos and four teams of personnel of the Rapid Action Force, besides a number of senior officials would be part of the security detail that will be put inside and outside the M A Chidambaram stadium, a city police release said.
The fans will be allowed entry only after a thorough check, the release said, adding proper traffic arrangements would also be put in place.
The police move comes in the wake of a Tamil outfit threatening to picket the stadium at Chepauk, which will host its first match featuring Chennai Super Kings since May 2015, on the Cauvery issue.
Pro-Tamil outfit Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi warned of picketing the stadium tomorrow if the IPL stuck to its Chennai calendar.
"If the match is held despite our plea,we will coordinate all democratic forces to stop it by organising a massive picketing protest. Many leaders and organisations will participate," TVK chief T Velmurugan told reporters.
"Cricketers knowing Tamil, please understand our sentiments," he said.
Later, Velmurugan told PTI that his party or outfits that have joined hands with it were not against the players.
Meanwhile, a group of prominent film actors and directors launched a forum to back Tamils' cause in the state and called for "postponement'" of IPL fixtures in the state,saying it was "boiling" over the Cauvery issue.
On February 16, the Supreme Court raised the 270 tmcft share of Cauvery water for Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil Nadu's share while compensating it by allowing extraction of 10 tmcft groundwater from the river basin.
The court had granted six weeks time to the Centre to formulate a scheme to ensure compliance of its 465-page judgement on the decades-old Cauvery dispute, which modified the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal award of 2007.
The apex court had also made it clear that it will not be extending time for this on any ground.
The six-week period ended on March 29. -- PTI
20:55   'Save the girl, get yourself killed': Rahul slams UP govt over custodial death of rape complainant's father
Congress president Rahul Gandhi hit out at the BJP-led government in Uttar Pradesh today over the death of the father of an alleged gang-rape rape victim, after he was taken into custody by the state police, while an MLA of the ruling party, who had been accused of the rape, was still roaming free.
He also took a dig at the BJP's "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao" slogan in support of the girl child.
"Save the girl, get yourself killed. A young girl accuses a BJP MLA of rape. The police, instead of arresting the MLA, take the girl's father into custody. Immediately after that he dies in police custody,"  the Congress president tweeted in Hindi.
"Meanwhile, the accused MLA is still moving around freely," he added.

He also shared the link of a news article that stated that the father of the alleged rape victim, who had attempted self-immolation outside Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's official residence yesterday, died in police custody. -- PTI
20:40   Jaitley undergoes dialysis, discharged from AIIMS
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, suffering from kidney ailment, underwent dialysis today and was discharged from the hospital after being kept under observation for few hours.
Jaitley, 65, who was admitted to AIIMS on Friday evening, did not undergo any transplant and the advice that he has received from doctors states that he may get better with dialysis and medicines, sources close to his family said.
The doctors, who had kept him under observation for two days before taking him for dialysis, have decided to wait for some time to see if a kidney transplant surgery is essential.
Due to the high risk of contracting infection, the minister would be kept in a controlled environment with barely any visitor being allowed to see him.
It is not yet clear as to when Jaitley will resume office. 

He has not been attending office since last Monday. 

He was unable to take oath of office after being re-elected to the Rajya Sabha.
AIIMS sources, however, said that he is under observation and is likely undergo renal transplant soon.
A series of medical tests were conducted on Jaitley, who is a diabetic, in the last few days.
The minister is under the observation of nephrologist Sandeep Guleria from Apollo hospital. He is also the brother of AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria, who is a family friend of Jaitley.
The minister, who cancelled his scheduled visit to London for the 10th India-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue, had confirmed his illness in a tweet on Thursday.
19:59   Rahul 'mimicking' Modi in visiting temples: UP minister
Uttar Pradesh Transport Minister Swatantra Dev Singh today took a jibe at Rahul Gandhi over his temple visits, saying the Congress president was "just trying to mimic" Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Today Rahul Gandhi is virtually on a temple run, and is seen hopping from one temple to another. Whose inspiration is this? Narendra Modi. Even the foreign heads of states who visit India, head for Ganga Aarti," Singh said.
He also termed the Congress party's nationwide day-long fast a "drama".
"It is a drama. They are just trying to mimic Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Did he (Rahul Gandhi) use to visit temples earlier? Ask him. Earlier it was in Gujarat, and now it is in Karnataka that he is moving from one temple to another," Singh told reporters, claiming that the Congress president was following in on the footsteps of Modi.
Gandhi today led his party in a nationwide day-long fast against caste violence, communalism and the non-functioning of Parliament, for which the UPA major blames the ruling BJP.
Congress workers are observing the fast in all state and district headquarters to voice their protest against the BJP government and to promote communal harmony and peace across the country.
"Congress is the least bothered about the welfare of Dalits, poor and the oppressed sections of the society. Did Congress ever think of providing gas cylinders to the poor? It was done by Modiji. If anyone had thought for the betterment of a rag picker, it is PM Narendra Modi." Singh said.
On a question that the SP is also attempting to widen its Dalit base, Singh said: "It is a drama. As soon as they (SP) come to power, they simply forget the Dalits, and their love for the Dalits virtually vanishes. They cannot live without power." -- PTI  
19:57   27 children dead as school bus falls into gorge in Himachal
Thirty people, including 27 children, were killed when the school bus they were travelling in fell into a deep gorge in Himachal Pradesh's Kangra district, news agency ANI reported.

The bus belonging to a private school overturned as it slipped into the gorge and came to rest in the middle of the hillside, the rescuers said.

A team of the National Disaster Response Force have reached the accident site at Kangra's Nurpur town, 220 kilometres from state capital Shimla. 

Rescue operation is on. 

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur has announced Rs 5 lakhs compensation for the families of the victims.
19:26   Donate to this Mumbai charity as wedding gift to Prince Harry, Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have asked their wedding guests to donate money to seven charities, including Myna Mahila Foundation which supports women in Mumbai's urban slums, instead of traditional wedding gifts.

Myna deals with the issue of menstrual hygiene management at its roots.

Working within Mumbai's Govandi slum dwellers communities, Myna is helping to raise awareness around menstruation and in bringing affordable sanitary products directly to the women in need.

'Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle are incredibly grateful for the goodwill they have received since their engagement, & have asked that anyone who might wish to mark the occasion of their wedding considers giving to charity, instead of sending a gift,' a post shared on Kensington Palace's verified Twitter account read.

The couple, who will marry on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor, have personally chosen the seven charities which support areas they are passionate about.

The Palace said that Harry and Markle do not have any formal relationships with the charities chosen, but they are keen to 'amplify and shine a light on their work'.

'Myna Mahila Foundation is honoured to be one of seven charities chosen to benefit from donations marking the wedding of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle,' the foundation posted on its official website.

The seven charities also include CHIVA (Children's HIV Association), the homelessness charity Crisis, Scotty's Little Soldiers which helps bereaved Armed Forces children, StreetGames which uses sport to change lives, marine conservation charity Surfers against Sewage and The Wilderness Foundation UK, which promotes the enjoyment of wild nature.

Markle, who visited India in 2017, had met the founder of Myna Mahila Foundation, Suhani Jalota.

The two had discussed about empowering and employing poor women in Mumbai. Markle had also listed Suhani, alongside Toni Morrison and Julia Roberts, among the ten women who changed her life.  -- PTI
18:41   Kedar Jadhav ruled out of entire IPL due to injury
Chennai Super Kings all-rounder Kedar Jadhav was today ruled out of the rest of the Indian Premier League, due to a hamstring injury which he suffered in the season-opener against Mumbai Indians on Saturday.

Jadhav has suffered a grade two tear, coach Michael Hussey informed.

'Unfortunately for us, Kedar Jadhav has been ruled out for the rest of the tournament. His hamstring scan didn't come back so good. I believe it is a grade two tear. He is going to be out for some time. We haven't picked a replacement yet, We will go through that process,' Hussey said ahead of clash against Kolkata Knight Riders.

'It is a big loss for us. He is a very good player for us, a key player for us in the middle-order,' Hussey said.

Jadhav returned from the dugout for a final over flourish to seal the game in favour of CSK after Dwayne Bravo set up the win.  -- PTI
18:10   Facebook to tell users if their data was shared with CA
Under fire globally for allowing the data breach, social media giant Facebook will today start alerting the 87 million users, including 5,62,455 in India, whose data may have been compromised as the United Kingdom-based Cambridge Analytica pilfered them through an app.

The United States-based company will send a detailed message at the top of users' news feed, offering information on apps they use and the information they have shared with those apps.

It will also tell people if their information may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica, the data mining firm accused of harvesting personal information of millions of Facebook users illegally to influence polls in several countries.

'As part of this process we will also tell people if their information may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica,' the company said last week.

Facebook users will also have the opportunity to use the link to delete apps and prevent them from collecting more information, CNN reported.

Also, all 2.2 billion Facebook users will receive a link to see what apps they use and what information they have shared with those apps.

Facebook says most of the affected users (more than 70 million) are in the US, though there are over a million each in the Philippines, Indonesia and the UK.

It said the total number of potentially impacted users in India (5,62,455 people) is 0.6 per cent of the global number of potentially affected people.

A Facebook spokesperson last week said privileged data of users who had downloaded the app called 'thisisyourdigitallife', developed by Dr Aleksandr Kogan, may have been compromised.

There are about 200 million Facebook users in India. Of them, 'only 335 people' were directly affected through the installation of the app, while another 5,62,120 people were 'potentially affected' as friends of those users, the spokesperson said.

"Cambridge Analytica's acquisition of Facebook data through the app developed by Dr Aleksandr Kogan and his company Global Science Research Limited (GSR) happened without our authorisation and was an explicit violation of our Platform policies," the spokesperson had said.

The past few days have seen a global outrage over the breach of user data on Facebook, forcing the company to issue an public apology.  --  PTI
18:02   CBSE yet to announce dates of exams postponed due to Bharat bandh
The Central Board of Secondary Education is yet to announce new dates for the Class 10 and Class 12 examinations that were postponed in Punjab in view of the 'Bharat Bandh' on April 2, leaving the students and parents anxious.

At the request of the state government in view of 'Bharat Bandh' called by several Dalit organisations against the alleged 'dilution' of the SCs/STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the CBSE had postponed the exams scheduled on April 2.

"It has been a week and I was completely prepared for the exam and now we don't even know that when the exam will be held," Jaspreet Mehra, a Class 10 student from Bhatinda said.

Supriya Bhatia, an IT professional said, "It's depressing for students to aimlessly prepare for exam without knowing an exact date. It should have been announced that day only."

The board officials, however, said, that the dates will be announced soon.

"The dates will be announced soon, students and parents should not panic," a senior CBSE official said.

While Class 12 students were supposed to appear for the Hindi exam, language exams of French, Sanskrit and Urdu were scheduled for Class 10 on that day.

The board had said that it had received a letter of request, dated April 1, 2018, from the director general (school education) of the Punjab government to postpone all its examinations scheduled to be held on April 2, on account of apprehensions of law and order problems and other disturbances in the day during the 'Bharat Bandh'.

The state government had also taken a decision to keep all schools shut for the day, the CBSE had said referring to the letter of the state government.  -- PTI
17:40   Apple co-founder to quit Facebook
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak will soon be shutting down his Facebook account after the social media giant was hit by the worst privacy crisis in its history.

In an email to USA Today, Wozniak says Facebook makes a lot of advertising money from personal details provided by users. 

In the interview, Wozniak said that the "profits are all based on the users info, but the users get none of the profits back." He said Apple makes money off good products unlike Facebook which makes money off users.
17:14   Salman tweets 'tears of gratitude for being there'
Salman Khan tweets 'tears of gratitude'.

@BeingSalmanKhan tweets, "Tears of gratitude. To all my loved ones who are with me and never lost hope. Thank you for being there with all the love and support. God Bless."

Salman Khan was granted bail in a 1998 blackbuck poaching case on April 7. The judgement came as a relief for the actor who was sentenced to a 5-year jail term on April 5.
17:07   Another gold for India at CWG
India beat Malaysia 3-1 to clinch gold in badminton mixed team event for the first time in the games' history.
16:51   Hong Kong can take decision on Nirav Modi's arrest: China
China today said that Hong Kong can accede to India's request to arrest fugitive Indian diamond merchant Nirav Modi based on local laws and mutual judicial assistance agreements.

India's Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh told parliament last week that "the ministry has sought the provisional arrest of Nirav Deepak Modi by the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the People's Republic of China."

Asked about India's request, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing in Beijing that "according to the one country two systems and basic law of the HKSAR, under the assistance and authorisation of the central government, the HKSAR can make proper arrangement on judicial mutual assistance with other countries," he said.

"If India makes relevant request to the HKSAR, we believe the HKSAR will follow the basic law and relevant laws and under relevant judicial agreements with India with the relevant issue," he said.

Modi, who is wanted in connection with the 12,700-crore scam at the Punjab National Bank, is reportedly in Hong Kong which is a special administrative region of China. Modi has his shop in Hong Kong besides in Beijing. -- PTI
16:39   SC extends anticipatory bail of Teesta, husband
The Supreme Court on Monday extended the anticipatory bail of noted activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand till May 30 in connection a case filed against them over an alleged misappropriation of funds.

In December last year, the apex Court had dismissed Teesta's petition seeking to activate her bank accounts in the Gulbarg Society fund embezzlement case.

Teesta, her husband and the two NGOs - Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace - had approached the apex court challenging the October 7, 2015, verdict of the Gujarat High Court, which had rejected their pleas for functioning their personal bank accounts. -- ANI
16:13   PM is anti-Dalit, has no place in his heart for Dalits: Rahul
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday led his party in a nationwide daylong fast against caste violence, communalism and the non-functioning of Parliament for which the party blames the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

Speaking to the media, the Congress president took aim at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying, "The PM is an anti-Dalit person. He has no place in his heart for the Dalits. We stand against the government's ideology."

Rahul also exuded confidence, saying that the Congress would defeat the BJP in 2019. 

The Congress day-long fast came under fire earlier in the day when the BJP posted an image of Congress leaders -- AS Lovely, Ajay Maken, Haroon Yusuf -- enjoying a meal of chhole bature on a day the party has called a fast to protest policies of the government and the derailed budget session of Parliament.
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15:52   Inquiry ordered into Indrani Mukerjea's illness
A detailed inquiry has been ordered into Indrani Mukerjea falling sick in Mumabi's Byculla Jail.

Additional Director General, Prisons, Bhushan Upadhyay confirmed that Rajvardhan, Inspector General, Prisons, is directed to have a detailed inquiry about the incident.

Rajvardhan said that he is still to receive formal orders of inquiry and would begin the probe after getting formal communication about this.

He, however, said that a preliminary inquiry is already on, but they are still awaiting the medical reports of Indrani, which will ascertain exact cause of her illness and then they can proceed with inquiry in detail.

Indrani Mukerjea, an accused in the murder case of her daughter Sheena Bora, was admitted to JJ hospital in Mumbai late on Friday night after complaining of uneasiness and difficulty in breathing.

Mukerjea, the co-founder of INX media, is currently lodged in Byculla women's jail. 

-- ANI
15:26   BJP tweets pic of Cong leaders feasting ahead of fast
Cong's AS Lovely on the photograph of him and other leaders (Ajay Maken, Haroon Yusuf, enjoying a meal of chhole bature on a day the party has called a fast to protest policies of the government and the derailed budget session of Parliament.

Lovely clarified, "Photograph is of before 8 am, this is symbolic fast from 10.30 am to 4.30pm,it is not indefinite hunger strike.This is what is wrong with these (BJP) people. Instead of properly running the country, they concentrate on what we eat."

The picture was tweeted by BJP's Harish Khurana. Speaking to ANI, Khurana, said, "This picture (of Congress leaders eating before fast) reveals double-standard of Congress. On one hand they are claiming to observe fast, on the other hand they are seen having food at a restaurant. The picture is authentic. Let them deny it."

Congress president Rahul Gandhi today led his party in a nationwide daylong fast against caste violence, communalism and the non-functioning of Parliament, for which the UPA major blames the ruling BJP.

Congress workers are observing a daylong fast in all state and district headquarters to voice their protest against the BJP government and to promote communal harmony and peace across the country.

Senior Congress leaders Kamal Nath, Sheila Dikshit, P C Chacko, the party's Delhi unit chief Ajay Maken and Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala were among the leaders at Rajghat, where the fast is being observed.
Delhi BJP leader Harish Khurana claims Congress leaders were seen eating at restaurant in Delhi this morning before sitting on a hunger strike at Rajghat over atrocities on Dalits. Picture courtesy: ANI
14:18   Cong hunger strike: Tytler told to leave Rajghat
Congress president Rahul Gandhi and senior party leaders are on a day-long, nationwide hunger strike at Rajghat in New Delhi today to protest against the Narendra Modi government and the derailment of the budget session of Parliament, which ended last week. With party president Rahul Gandhi were Sheila Dixit, Ashok Gehlot, and Mallikarjun Kharge, Ajay Maken, Kamal Nath, P C Chacko, Randeep Surjewala among others.

Party leaders Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler, both accused in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, were asked to not sit on the main stage at the protest venue when Gandhi was about to arrive, party leaders said.

Kumar left the venue immediately after he was told about it. Surjewala was quick to hit out at the BJP over the controversy. "Some conspirators in BJP see meaning in everything,' he added. Tytler and Kumar are charged with having a role in the riots in the aftermath of prime minister Indira Gandhi's assassination by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984.

The Congress hunger strike is also in protest against the Centre's failure to allow a discussion on issues like the CBSE paper leak, the PNB scam, the Cauvery water issue, Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh, the dilution of the SC/ST Act and farm distress.The BJP has released a video to counter Rahul Gandhi's fast, saying 'Rahul Gandhi may choose to go on fast but should refrain from spreading falsehoods.'
13:51   BJP MLA rape case: Father of victim dies
The father of an 18-year-old woman, who alleged that she was raped by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and his brothers, died while in judicial custody in Unnao, UP, today. Pappu Singh, around 50, was rushed to a hospital from the district jail last night and died during treatment today.

District Magistrate Ravi Kumar NG said that the postmortem examination of the victim would be conducted by a panel of doctors to ascertain the cause of death. He said that a probe had been ordered into the matter. Pappu was arrested on April 5 under the Arms Act after he was allegedly beaten up by Anil Singh, the MLA's brother.

The daughter of the deceased had yesterday tried to immolate herself near the chief minister's residence in Lucknow, alleging that she was gang-raped by the BJP MLA and his brothers.

The immolation bid was, however, foiled by the police. Gautampalli police station inspector Vijaysen Singh said, "The incident took place outside the Golf Club gate (near the official residence of the chief minister), where the girl from Unnao alleged that she was raped. She also alleged that the Unnao police had not registered a case against the BJP MLA despite her complaint and no action was taken."

Sengar represents the Bangermau constituency in Unnao district, around 90 km from the state capital. The police inspector said the girl was made to appear before Rajiv Krishan, the Additional Director General of Police, Lucknow, who ordered a probe by the Lucknow police.

When contacted, Sengar refuted the allegations against him and said, "It is a conspiracy hatched by my political opponents to tarnish my image and damage my reputation...I have no problem with any probe. Let a probe be conducted, and the guilty be given the stringent punishment. If I am found guilty in the probe, I am ready to face punishment." PTI
13:11   Rajnath Singh to open new NSG complex in Hyderabad tomorrow
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will inaugurate the regional hub complex of the elite anti-terror force National Security Guard at Ibrahimpatnam near Hyderabad tomorrow. The construction of the state-of-the-art regional hub complex by the Central Public Works Department commenced in 2013 and the total project cost was Rs 157.84 crore.

The 200-acre complex will have residential and office accommodation and modern training facilities such as Baffle firing range, indoor shooting range, 26 obstacles, swimming pool, sports complex, and artificial rock craft wall, a senior NSG official said. It will house about 600 trained commandos. "Our endeavour has been to develop this complex as a green campus," he added.

The 28 Special Composite Group (SCG) Complex of NSG is among the four regional hubs in the country and it has been set up to reduce the response time.

"28 SCG complex has become a model regional hub of the NSG, which will help in honing the professional acumen of the NSG commandos and also contribute significantly in capacity building of the first responders, the police forces of the states," the official added. -- PTI
Chhattisgarh: Exchange of fire took place between CRPF's 85 battalion and Maoists in Bijapur, 2 IED blasts also took place. No injuries or casualties reported.
12:39   In a first, Pak diplomat in NIA 'wanted' list
The National Investigation Agency on Monday put a former Pakistani diplomat on its wanted list and released his photo, seeking information.

During the investigation, the NIA had found that the diplomat, Amir Zubair Siddique, while working in Sri Lanka from 2009 to 2016, engaged people to indulge in espionage and terror activities in India.

Nicknamed as 'Boss' in the NIA list, he was charge-sheeted in February, along with two others, for plotting 26/11 type attacks in southern India.

He was a visa counsellor at the High Commission of Pakistan in Colombo, Sri Lanka. -- ANI
12:33   Delhi Court defers order in Abu Salem extortion case
The Patiala House Court on Monday deferred order in the 2002 extortion case, due to unavailability of the concern judge.

This comes nearly two weeks after the final arguments were presented before a Delhi Court in the aforementioned case against noted gangster Abu Salem.

Although Salem had earlier claimed that the prosecution did not have enough evidence against him in the case, a fresh production warrant was issued against him in February.

Through his lawyer, the gangster had also claimed that his trial in the case violated an order by which he was extradited to India from Portugal in 2005.

On a related noted, Salem is facing trial for allegedly demanding Rs 5 crore as protection money from Delhi businessman Ashok Gupta in 2002.

While he has already been granted bail in the case, he continues to be in jail for his involvement in various other cases, including the serial blasts which rocked Mumbai in 1993. -- ANI
11:45   The unravelling of BJP has begun: Salman Khurshid
With just a year left to go for general elections in India, senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid says the "unravelling" of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has begun and the popularity wave on which it came to power in 2014 is waning. Against the backdrop of the Dalit protests, the farmers' agitation and high profile fraud cases, he said "we need to look at whether with this performance should (the BJP) be coming back" to power in 2019.

"On that the clear answer is a no."
"I think that the unravelling of the BJP has begun and frankly I wouldn't be complacent but I think they have a very, very, very tough 2019," Khurshid told PTI.

The former Minister of External Affairs was in the city to address the 14th Annual India Business Conference at Columbia Business School hosted by the South Asia Business Association at the school. He said that there are "many big questions" about "social disharmony" in the country.

"The manner in which the Dalits have reacted, now becoming more acceptable parts of an argument, people have become very self-conscious because of the manner in which the BJP had pushed Muslims to a corner on the minority issue," he said, adding that the Dalit protests have really caught the people's attention.

"It is very clear that the popularity wave on which they came to power in 2014 is no where near where it was in 2014. That is more than clear but it hasn't waned completely," he said.

He said the Congress has a "very good fight" in the upcoming "critical" elections in Karnataka, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. "If Karnataka goes our way as we hope it will, Rajasthan goes our way as we hope it will and Madhya Pradesh too, I think that will make a massive difference. However, we cannot take things for granted. It is important for 2019 for a united front to be up against the BJP," he said.

Khurshid added that UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi is working very hard for a combination of parties coming together for the 2019 elections. "It is work in progress but I think we shouldn't get complacent too soon." In his address to the conference, attended by students, academicians, entrepreneurs and executives, Khurshid said the problem in India today is that people have been given a lot of promises but governments have not been able to deliver on those promises. -- PTI
Unnao: Father of the woman who said that she was raped by a BJP MLA & his accomplices, passed away, allegedly in police custody, after he was arrested yesterday. The woman & her family had attempted suicide outside CM residence in Lucknow yesterday.
11:29   SC/ST Act: Dalit factions in Kerala stage protest
Amid the ongoing furore over the alleged dilution of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Dalit organisations staged a protest in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday morning.

A number of Dalit Organisations held protests and demanded the SC/ST Act be reinstated, along with the cancellation of the Supreme Court's order in the matter.

For those unversed, the top court on March 20 had introduced the provision of anticipatory bail in the SC/ST Act, while directing that there would be no automatic arrest on any complaint filed under the law.

Following this, various Dalit groups called for a 'Bharat Bandh' to demand restoration of the Act to its original form.Agitators halted railway traffic, forced shops to shut down and made their presence felt in at least 10 states including Punjab, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan. Protests subsequently turned violent, with clashes erupting between police and protestors in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and five other states.

Even as the Centre filed a review petition in the top court, the outrage over the ruling engulfed numerous parts of the country, claiming at least 11 lives.

However, the Supreme Court refused to put a stay order on its March 20 ruling, despite the filing of the review petition against the same.

On Thursday, members of the Bhartiya Dalit Panthers Party wrote a letter in blood to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind against the alleged dilution of the Act.
11:02   SC refuses to interfere in Bengal panchayat polls
The Supreme Court today refused to extend the last date for the filing of nominations for panchayat polls in West Bengal, saying it could not interfere with the election process. The top court, however, granted liberty to all candidates to approach the West Bengal State Election Commission for appropriate relief.

"We have not interfered with the election process but we have granted liberty to all candidates to approach State Election Commission today itself for necessary relief," a bench of Justices R K Agrawal and A M Sapre said.

The BJP had on March 6 told the apex court that "democracy is being murdered" in West Bengal as the ruling Trinamool Congress was engaged in large scale poll violence and not allowing its candidates to file nominations for the upcoming panchayat polls. It had also alleged that the assistant panchayat electoral registration officers appointed by the West Bengal State Election Commission were refusing to give nomination forms to BJP candidates.

The West Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party sought availability of nomination papers online, extension of the last date for filing these papers and deployment of paramilitary forces in the state in the run-up to the polls scheduled in the first week of May.

The panchayat polls are scheduled to be held on May 1, 3, and 5. The votes will be counted on May 8. According to the notification, the last date for filing of nominations is April 9 and the last date of scrutiny of the nominations is April 11. -- PTI
10:53   Bomb explosion in Kolkata, 1 injured
Explosion on Kolkata's Dum Dum cantonment railway line. Ten crude bombs recovered at the spot of the explosion, police and railway police present at the spot. One person critically injured.
10:36   SC to hear plea seeking SIT probe in PNB scam case
The Supreme Court on Monday will hear the plea filed by a lawyer seeking SIT probe into the alleged Punjab National Bank scam case.

Yesterday, the CBI issued Non-Bailable Warrants against celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle and business partner, Mehul Choksi, in connection with Punjab National Bank scam.

The warrants were issued after a special CBI court in Mumbai allowed it.The PNB in February detected the multi-crore scam, wherein Modi and Choksi had allegedly cheated the bank to the tune of Rs 114 billion, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.

The scam, which reportedly began in 2011, was detected in the third week of January this year, after which the PNB officials reported it to the concerned agencies.

The Enforcement Directorate registered a money laundering case against Modi and others on the basis of a Central Bureau of Investigation FIR.

Currently, the probe agencies are investigating the matter and have also seized many properties of Modi and Choksi. -- ANI
10:19   Court orders in Abu Salem, Rohingyas cases today
Two important verdicts today:

-- The Patiala House Court is likely to pronounce the order in the 2002 extortion case on Monday. This comes nearly two weeks after the final arguments were presented before a Delhi Court in the aforementioned case against noted gangster Abu Salem.

Although Salem had earlier claimed that the prosecution did not have enough evidence against him in the case, a fresh production warrant was issued against him in February.

Through his lawyer, the gangster had also claimed that his trial in the case violated an order by which he was extradited to India from Portugal in 2005.

And the Rohingyas' deportation case:

The Supreme Court will take up the case regarding the deportation of Rohingyas, for final disposal on Monday. A top court bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, will be hearing the case, wherein the Centre has questioned the credentials of the petitioners seeking to block the deportation of Rohingya refugees, saying the genesis of the PILs threaten to change the country's demography and destabilise it.

In August, the Central Government had announced it was planning to deport Rohingya refugees living in the country, citing they were a threat to the country's security.

The Rohingya immigrants, who fled to India after violence in the Rakhine state of Myanmar, have settled in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan.
10:03   Mehuli wins silver in 10 air rifle, bronze for Chandela
Young Mehuli Ghosh settled for the silver medal after forcing a shoot-off in the women's 10m air rifle event with a perfect final shot of 10.9 while Apurvi Chandela secured bronze in the Commonwealth Games today. The 17-year Ghosh shot an excellent 10.9 to take the finals into a shoot-ff with Singapore's Martina Lindsay Veloso, the eventual gold medallist with a games record score of 247.2. Ghosh also aggregated a record 247.2 but a 9.9 in the shoot-off put paid to her hopes of claiming the top prize, as Veloso shot 10.3. Defending champions Chandela totalled 225.3 to finish third on the podium.

Chandela had earlier smashed her own Commonwealth Games qualifying record from four years back by scoring 423.2. Chandela's sequence of scores over four series in the qualifying read a very impressive 105.7 105.2 106.1 106.2.

While Ghosh was fifth in the qualifying with 413.7 following scores of 104.3 103.7 102.2 and 103.5 over four series.

However, Ghosh, a bronze medallist in her maiden ISSF World Cup outing in Mexico last month, produced a better performance to topple her more experienced compatriot. Trained by Olympian Joydeep Karmakar, Ghosh showed her fighting abilities all through but fell short by just .4 in the end. -- PTI
10:01   Mumbai airport to shut operations for 6 hours today, tomorrow
Runway at Mumbai airport to remain closed between 11 am and 5 pm for maintenance work today and tomorrow. No flights have been scheduled in this period to or from Mumbai airport.

The routine exercise is being done to remove rubber deposits on the runway, a regular pre-monsoon maintenance practice.

Jet Airways on Sunday announced a list of rescheduled and cancelled flights on its website.

Passengers travelling on these two dates will have to check with the airlines to know about the changed timings.

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport is the only airport in the world with a record of handling 935 flights on a single-day in a single-runway operation.

Representational image.
India's Mehuli Ghosh wins women's 10 air rifle silver medal while Apurvi Chandela bags bronze in Commonwealth Games. PTI
09:42   Is Queen Elizabeth a descendant of Prophet Muhammed?
In one of the most bizarre research findings of recent years, a Moroccan newspaper has claimed it has traced the Queen's lineage back to the founder of Islam, Prophet Muhammad.

Although, according to the Daily Mail, the findings were first published in 1986 by Burke's Peerage, a British authority on royal pedigrees, the Morrocan newspaper has claimed to have traced back 43 generations of her family tree, asserting that the Queen is a distant descendant of the Prophet.

According to the findings, Elizabeth II's bloodline runs through the Earl of Cambridge in the 14th century, across medieval Muslim Spain, to Fatima, the Prophet's daughter.

Disputed by some historians, genealogical records of early-medieval Spain support the claim, which has also been verified by Ali Gomaa, the former grand mufti of Egypt.

"It is little known by the British people that the blood of Mohammed flows in the veins of the queen. However, all Moslem religious leaders are proud of this fact," wrote Burke's publishing director, in a letter to the-then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1986.

"The royal family's direct descent from the prophet Mohammed cannot be relied upon to protect the royal family forever from Moslem terrorists," he added.

The study by Burke's Peerage suggested that the Queen descended from a Muslim princess called Zaida, who fled her home town of Seville in the 11th century before converting to Christianity.

Zaida was the fourth wife of King Al-Mu'tamid ibn Abbad of Seville. She bore him a son Sancho, whose descendant later married the Earl of Cambridge in the 11th century.

However, historians contest over Zaida's origins, some claiming she was the daughter of a wine-drinking caliph descended from the Prophet, while others say she married into his family. -- ANI
09:37   Village where Naxals killed 76 CRPF men gets electricity after 15 years
A village in the Maoist-hit district of Sukma is getting re-electrified after the ultra-left rebels destroyed the power supply infrastructure 15 years ago.

The light vanished from the Chintalnar village when Maoists, in a bid to disrupt the development activities in the district, uprooted electricity poles.

Located about 80 kilometres from the district headquarters of Sukma district, the village once deprived of basic amenities due to the strong foothold of the Maoists is now slowly getting back to the path of development.

Talking to ANI, the residents of the village expressed happiness over the electrification of the area.

"Electrification of this area is a major relief for all of us. It will be easier for children to study at night. It has been more than ten years since the Naxals uprooted the (electricity) poles. We had solar light, but that only fulfilled our basic necessities," said a villager.

The electrification of the village is in line with the Chief Minister Raman Singh-led government's mission to ensure power supply in all the village of the state by June 2018.

"The Naxals kept people deprived of electricity. Our jawans sacrificed their lives for this (electrification) and now it is our responsibility to provide them (villagers) with all the facility. By June 2018, we will provide electricity to every village," the chief minister had said.

The Chintalnar village first came into the spotlight in the summer of 2010 when in an ambush Maoists killed 76 security personnel, who were on an area domination exercise near the village. -- ANI

Image: Electricity poles being laid in the village. Pic: ANI
09:08   Congress to stage nationwide fast against Modi govt's failure today
Congress president Rahul Gandhi will lead a protest at the Raj Ghat in Delhi on Monday as part of a nationwide "fast" of the party to protest against the Narendra Modi government and non-functioning of Parliament.

Congress workers will hold a day-long fast at all state and district headquarters to protest against the BJP government and promote communal harmony and peace across the country. 

In the national capital, Gandhi will sit with Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken and party workers to protest against the government and its failure to hold discussion in Parliament on key issues such as the CBSE paper leak, the multi-crore PNB scam, Cauvery issue and Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh.

The Congress will also take up issues related to alleged dilution of the SC/ST Act, farm distress and disillusionment among the youth. The BJP has also announced that its MPs will observe a fast on April 12 to protest the impasse in Parliament. 

Newly appointed All India Congress Committee in-charge for Bihar Shaktisinh Gohil on Sunday said that party would stage the fast on Monday in the state to expose BJP's "lies and cheating".

The Congress' Maharashtra unit will observe a token fast on Monday to protest against the "vicious stand" of the BJP government that has "threatened harmony in society", the party's state chief Ashok Chavan today said.

"BJP government's vicious stand has threatened the harmony in the society across the country. To maintain it, Congress leaders will observe token fast at party's respective district head quarters across the state. I will personally observe fast in Parbhani district" he tweeted on Sunday.
08:37   Facebook to send Cambridge Analytica data-use notices
Get ready to find out if your Facebook data has been swept up in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Starting today, the 87 million users who might have had their data shared with Cambridge Analytica will get a detailed message on their news feeds.

Facebook says most of the affected users (more than 70 million) are in the US, though there are over a million each in the Philippines, Indonesia and the UK.

In addition, all 2.2 billion Facebook users will receive a notice titled "Protecting Your Information" with a link to see what apps they use and what information they have shared with those apps. If they want, they can shut off apps individually or turn off third-party access to their apps completely.

Reeling from its worst privacy crisis in history --allegations that this Trump-affiliated data mining firm may have used ill-gotten user data to try to influence elections -- Facebook is in full damage-control mode.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that he made a "huge mistake" in failing to take a broad enough view of what Facebook's responsibility is in the world. He's set to testify before Congress next week.

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie previously estimated that more than 50 million people were compromised by a personality quiz that collected data from users and their friends. In an interview aired Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Wylie said the true number could be even larger than 87 million.

That Facebook app, called "This is Your Digital Life," was a personality quiz created in 2014 by an academic researcher named Aleksander Kogan, who paid about 270,000 people to take it.

Zuckerberg said Facebook came up with the 87 million figure by calculating the maximum number of friends that users could have had while Kogan's app was collecting data. The company doesn't have logs going back that far, he said, so it can't know exactly how many people may have been affected.
07:57   After Rahul's jibe at PM, BJP says Cong president, Sonia will lose LS seats
Hitting back at Rahul Gandhi for claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi may lose from Varanasi in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP said the Congress president and his mother, Sonia Gandhi, will lose from their respective constituencies due to the people's growing "disappointment" with them.

BJP spokesperson Anil Baluni said Rahul Gandhi should not worry about Modi and should rather be concerned about his and Sonia Gandhi's electoral fate in 2019.

"In the kind of circumstances prevailing today, both Rahul and his mother, Sonia Gandhi, will lose from their seats, Amethi and Raebareli, respectively. They have done nothing in their constituencies and the people's disappointment with them is growing," he said.

The comments came in the backdrop of Rahul Gandhi's claim that Modi may lose from Varanasi against a united opposition in 2019.