Sun, 19 May 2024
J-K staffer axed, 4 suspended over poll code breach

Timeline  Refresh

23:46   We stand in solidarity with Iranian people: Modi after reports of Prez copter crash
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday expressed deep concern over reports regarding Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi's helicopter flight and said India stands in solidarity with the Iranian people in this hour of distress. 

A helicopter carrying Raisi, the country's foreign minister and other officials apparently crashed in the mountainous northwest reaches of Iran on Sunday, sparking a massive rescue operation in a fog-shrouded forest as the public was urged to pray, according to media reports. 

"Deeply concerned by reports regarding President Raisi's helicopter flight today. We stand in solidarity with the Iranian people in this hour of distress, and pray for the well-being of the President and his entourage," Modi said in a post on X. -- PTI
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22:58   J-K staffer axed, 4 suspended over poll code breach
The Jammu and Kashmir election department has dismissed a government employee from services and suspended four others for violation of Model Code of Conduct, officials said on Sunday. 

The swift action against these employees of different departments of J&K has been initiated in response to the daily online reports being furnished by the district election officers concerned and offline complaints received in the office of J&K Chief Electoral Officer, an official spokesperson said in Srinagar. 

"Four employees have been suspended, disciplinary action has been initiated against one, while one employee has been disengaged from services. Besides, inquiry has been started against 34 employees," the spokesperson said. 

He said the move is aimed to ensure free and fair conduct of ongoing general elections while adhering to zero tolerance policy of the Election Commission of India against such violations. 

Of the four suspended employees, two employees have been placed under suspension in Kupwara, and one each in Ganderbal and Doda districts with initiation of inquiry against them. -- PTI
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22:39   Mercury surges to 47.5 degrees Celsius in MP's Datia
Mercury soared to 47.5 degrees Celsius in Madhya Pradesh's Datia district, while Guna and Gwalior baked at 45.5 degrees on Sunday, an official from the India Meteorological Department said. 

IMD's Bhopal Centre meteorologist Prakash Dhawale said the maximum temperature was a notch less than Najafgarh and Mungeshpur in and around Delhi which were among the hottest places in the country at 47.8 and 47.7 degrees Celsius, respectively. Nowgong in MP's Chhatarpur district registered a maximum temperature of 45.3 degrees Celsius, he said. 

The weather bureau official said Indore, Bhopal and Jabalpur saw mercury climbing to 43.1, 43 and 41 degrees Celsius, respectively. 

Rain or thundershowers are likely at isolated places in the districts of east Madhya Pradesh on Monday Isolated pockets in western and eastern MP could see heatwave conditions. 

Some of these areas might also see wind touching the speed of 40-50 kmph, the official said. -- PTI
Gopi Thotakura/Screen grab
Gopi Thotakura/Screen grab
22:33   Gopi Thotakura becomes 1st Indian space tourist on Blue Origin
Gopi Thotakura, an entrepreneur and a pilot, on Sunday became the first Indian to venture into space as a tourist aboard Amazon founder Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin's NS-25 mission. 

Thotakura was selected as one of the six crew members for the NS-25 mission, making him the first Indian space tourist and the second Indian to venture into space after the Indian Army's Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma in 1984. 

Blue Origin's seventh human flight, NS-25, lifted off from Launch Site One in West Texas on Sunday morning, the company announced on social media. 

This mission was the seventh human flight for the New Shepard programme and the 25th in its history. 

To date, the programme has flown 31 humans above the Karman line, the proposed conventional boundary between Earth's atmosphere and outer space. 

New Shepard is a fully reusable sub-orbital launch vehicle developed for space tourism by Blue Origin. 

According to Blue Origin, "Gopi is a pilot and aviator who learned how to fly before he could drive." -- PTI
22:03   Modi's Punjab LS campaign to begin with Patiala rally on May 23
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will start his poll campaign in Punjab with his first rally in Patiala on Thursday, according to state Bharatiya Janata Party secretary.

Punjab BJP general secretary Rakesh Rathour on Sunday said the prime minister will address three public rallies in the state on May 23 and May 24.

Modi will hold his first rally in Patiala on May 23, followed by rallies in Gurdaspur and Jalandhar the next day, Rathour said.

The BJP has fielded four-time MP Preneet Kaur from the Patiala parliamentary constituency.

Sushil Rinku is the saffron party's candidate from Jalandhar while former MLA Dinesh Babbu has been fielded from the Gurdaspur seat.

Polling for 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab will be held on June 1 in the last plhase of Lok Sabha elections. -- PTI
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21:49   Alert in Mumbai after threat to bomb McDonald's
The Mumbai police control room received a bomb threat call in which the caller informed the cops that there would be a blast at McDonald's located in Dadar, the police said on Sunday. 

The police said the caller mentioned that while travelling in a bus, he overheard a conversation between two people who were talking about "blowing up McDonald's". 

The police further added that they did not find any suspicious objects at the spot. 

Further investigation is underway. -- ANI
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21:46   Over 1,000 Mizoram policemen could not vote in LS polls: Officials
More than 1,000 policemen in Mizoram were unable to cast their votes in the Lok Sabha polls held on April 19, officials of the state election department said.

These personnel were deployed in other states for poll duty several days before April 19, the day when the northeastern state voted, they added.

Although arrangements were supposed to be made for the police personnel to vote at facilitation centres, no such provision was made as they had to leave the state before candidates could be finalised, officials said.

Despite requests made to the Election Commission on two occasions to allow the police personnel to cast their votes, the appeals were allegedly rejected by the central poll panel, officials added.

In response to this, the People's Conference party wrote to Election Commission principal secretary SB Joshi urging the poll panel to permit 1,047 policemen from Mizoram to exercise their franchise before the counting of votes. -- PTI
21:21   Key international drug smuggler arrested in Bengaluru
The Kerala police, with the assistance of its Karnataka counterpart, have arrested a 29-year-old Congolese national, in connection with an international drug smuggling ring.

Rengara Paul was apprehended in Madiwala, Bengaluru, by a team led by Ernakulam rural police chief Vaibhav Saxena and the Bengaluru Mico Layout police, according to a statement issued by the police here on Sunday.

Paul's arrest follows the detention of Vipin, who was found with 200 grams of MDMA in Angamaly last month.

The investigation into Vipin's activities led the police to arrest Paul, who had been living in Bengaluru since 2014 on a student visa.

Instead of pursuing his education, Paul became heavily involved in the narcotics trade.

Known as "Captain" among drug smugglers, Paul is suspected to be a major supplier of drugs to Kerala.

He allegedly manufactured a synthetic drug known as "cook" and was involved in illegal drug transactions worth crores of rupees.

Paul's gang operated in a highly secretive manner. 

Transactions were conducted online, and the drugs were left at predetermined locations without human presence for customers to collect. -- PTI
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21:06   Three injured as big drill machine head hits moving train in Chhattisgarh
Two passengers and a sanitation staffer were injured after the head of a big drilling machine crashed into a moving train on the outskirts of Chhattisgarh's capital Raipur on Sunday, officials said. 

The incident took place around 10 am when the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (Mumbai)-bound Shalimar-LTT Express was passing through Urkura railway station ahead of the Raipur station, a railway public relations official in Raipur said. 

The railway has ordered a senior administrative grade level inquiry into the incident. 

Earlier, officials had said that a pole located near the tracks fell on the train. 

The piece of metal was later found to be a drill machine reamer which looks like a pole, the official said. 

As the train reached Raipur station, rail personnel, including doctors rushed to the affected coach and administered first aid to the injured passengers, the official said. 

Injured passenger Devari Dhivar (30) and sanitation staffer (from on-board housekeeping service) Narayan Chandra Bag (30) were then admitted to a private hospital here. The second injured passenger, Somil Mandal (12), was administered first-aid at the station, he said. -- PTI
Telangana CM A Revanth Reddy/ANI Photo
Telangana CM A Revanth Reddy/ANI Photo
20:43   As EC grants permission, Telangana Cabinet to hold meeting tomorrow
The Telangana government will hold its cabinet meeting here on May 20 as the Election Commission has given its permission, after previously denying sanction for the meeting that was to be held on Saturday, official sources said.    

The meeting of the Council of Ministers will be held at 3 pm on Monday at the Cabinet Meeting hall in B R Ambedkar Telangana state secretariat.       

Though it was scheduled for Saturday, the meeting could not be held as the EC did not give its nod in view of the poll code.

Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy and his cabinet colleagues, who waited for the green light from the EC till 7 pm on Saturday to conduct the meeting, left the Secretariat as the EC did not grant permission. -- PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi/ANI Photo
Prime Minister Narendra Modi/ANI Photo
20:17   Bihar teacher jailed for saying 'don't vote for Modi'
A government school teacher in Bihar has been arrested and sent to jail for allegedly telling children in his class "nobody should vote for Modi", an official said on Sunday.

According to Muzaffarpur SSP Rakesh Kumar, the teacher has been booked for violating the election model code of conduct, after an FIR lodged by the district education officer.

DEO Ajay Kumar Singh said teacher Harendra Rajak's conduct was brought to his notice by family members of a number of students of the government secondary school at Amrakh in Kurhani block.

"A written complaint was submitted by the family members that children were being told by the teacher that nobody should vote for Modi since foodgrains unfit for human consumption were being distributed under the free ration scheme", the DEO said.

He added, "a number of boys and girls from the class also confirmed that Rajak had been saying such things inside the classroom. Prima facie it was a violation of model code of conduct which forbids any government employee from trying to influence poll outcome by speaking for or against any political party. Hence, the FIR was lodged against the teacher for needful action". -- PTI
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20:01   Three jailed in Patanjali Soanpapadi case in Uttarakhand
A court in Pithoragarh has sentenced three people to six months' imprisonment for violating food safety standards in making Patanjali Elaichi Soanpapadi.

Assistant prosecution officer Ritesh Verma said that Pithoragarh chief judicial magistrate Sanjay Singh on Saturday also imposed fines of Rs 5,000 to Rs 25,000 on them, besides the jail sentence.

Verma said that the court sentenced Leeladhar Pathak, a shopkeeper from the Berinag town of Pithoragarh, to six months' imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 for selling the product.

The court sentenced Ajay Joshi, assistant manager of Patanjali's authorised representative Kanhaji Distributors Pvt Ltd located in Nainital's Ramnagar, to six months' imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 10,000.

Abhishek Kumar, assistant general manager of the company, has been sentenced to six months' imprisonment with a fine of Rs 25,000.

He said that the three were convicted under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006. -- PTI
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19:44   Three terror associates detained under PSA in J-K's Poonch
Three men alleged to be overground workers of terrorists were detained under the Public Safety Act in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday.

Terming the action necessary to maintain public order, police said the three men were were assessed to be posing a significant threat to the safety and security of the state.

Poonch and adjoining Rajouri district have witnessed some deadly terror attacks over the past two years, resulting in the killing of a number of security personnel and civilians.

Poonch and Rajouri are part of the Anantnag parliamentary constituency which is going to polls in the sixth phase on May 25.

The detainees were identified as Iftar Ahmed alias Kaka, Khurshid Ahmed and Ghulam Abass, all residents of Gursai village of Mendhar, a police spokesperson said. -- PTI
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi/Majid Asgaripour/WANA via Reuters
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi/Majid Asgaripour/WANA via Reuters
19:20   Chopper carrying Iranian Prez suffers 'hard landing'
The helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was involved in a "hard landing" on Sunday afternoon, The Jerusalem Post reported citing Iranian media.  

The details of the incident remain unknown as of now, however, initial reports suggest that the accident involved the president's helicopter and foggy weather.  

According to Iran's Tasnim News Agency, emergency services were conducting searches to try and find the president's helicopter, but the foggy weather in the area was complicating search efforts.  

The foreign minister of Iran, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and the representative of the Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist in East Azerbaijan, Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem, and the Imam of Friday Prayer in Tabriz, were reportedly in the helicopter with Raisi, as per The Jerusalem Post.  

According to Iranian official media, the convoy consisted of three helicopters, two of which made a safe landing and one of which crashed.  

This information was provided by the Deputy Coordinator of Civil Affairs for East Azerbaijan.  

The accident comes hours after Raisi had met with Azerbaijani Elham Aliyev earlier on Sunday on the Azerbaijani-Iranian border.  

Further details are awaited. -- ANI                       
19:12   Advocate finds copy of century-old Maha court order in mango theft case
An advocate has stumbled upon a copy of an order pronounced by a court in Maharashtra's Thane 100 years ago in a case of theft of mangoes, providing a glimpse of the legal proceedings at that time.

In the order dated July 5, 1924, the then magistrate TA Fernandes convicted four persons of mango theft and released them after admonition, considering they were all young men and he did not want to ruin their life by sentencing them.

Advocate Poonit Mahimkar told PTI on Sunday that while shifting from his previous house in Thane city, he found a bag lying unattended in the mezzanine for years, possibly left by the earlier house occupants.

When he opened the bag, he found some old property papers and a copy of the magistrate's order.

The order was pertaining to the case titled 'Crown Vs Anjelo Alwares and 3 others', charged under sections 379/109 of the Indian Penal Code for the theft of '185 green mangoes.'

The judgement, by magistrate Fernandes, recounted the prosecution's case alleging the accused were caught red-handed while plucking mangoes from a field belonging to Bostiav Ellis Andraden. -- PTI
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge
19:03   Kharge's posters defaced in WB after snub at Adhir
A day after he snubbed West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury for questioning Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee's loyalty to the INDIA bloc, several posters and hoardings of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge were defaced with ink in front of the party's state headquarters in Kolkata on Sunday. 

Unidentified persons also wrote 'agent of Trinamool Congress' on Kharge's posters and hoardings. 

Sources in the Congress said that Chowdhury, who is in his hometown Baharampur, expressed displeasure over the incident and asked party workers to lodge a police complaint, which was registered, and the defaced posters were also removed. 

"The incident might have happened on Saturday night. This is the handiwork of the TMC which wants to create differences between senior Congress leaders and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury," a party leader alleged. 

Kharge had on Saturday snubbed Chowdhury while responding to a query on Mamata Banerjee's comment that if the INDIA bloc forms the government, she would support it from outside, and Chowdhury's remark that she cannot be trusted and that she might go with the BJP. -- PTI
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18:37   J-K's Darhal forest fire was intentional, claims forest official
A forest fire that broke out three days ago in the 148th compartment of Dodaj village forests in Darhal block of Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir was set intentionally, according to a forest department official. 

However, with the unprecedented efforts of the department and various teams, the fire is under control now. 

Forest department officials conveyed that such fire incidents are increasing rapidly during the summer. 

Forest range officer Nasir Hussain said, "The fires were set intentionally and I urge people to provide any information about the perpetrators, if they have." 

He warned that the police will take strict action against those responsible. 

While applauding the team efforts, Hussain stated, "Our various teams, including Giant Teams, Protection Staff, and Territorial Staff, have been deployed in the area for the past three days and through their unprecedented efforts, almost all the fires are now under control." 

He also explained that the fires persisted due to the peak summer season and the presence of dry forest and litter. -- ANI
18:18   CISF jawan on way to K'taka home dies after gun goes off in Chennai
A 37-year-old Central Industrial Security Force jawan hailing from neighbouring Karnataka died after the firearm he was carrying went off, the police said on Sunday.

A probe has been initiated to ascertain whether the deceased Ravi Kiran shot himself or if the weapon went off by accident when he was traveling in a bus to Karnataka on Saturday.

"Ravi Kiran hails from Karnataka and was going to his hometown Bengaluru from Kalpakkam when the incident occurred on Saturday," a senior police officer said.

"Only after the report we receive on the condition of the weapon, will we be able to ascertain the cause of death," the officer said. -- PTI
Jailed radical preacher Amritpal Singh
Jailed radical preacher Amritpal Singh
17:55   Jailed radical preacher Amritpal gets 'mike' as poll symbol
Jailed radical preacher Amritpal Singh, who is contesting from the Khadoor Sahib seat in Punjab as an Independent candidate, has been allotted the poll symbol of 'mike'. 

He was among the 169 Independent contestants, out of total 328 candidates who have been allotted election symbols. Amritpal, the chief of the 'Waris Punjab De' outfit, is lodged in Assam's Dibrugarh jail under the National Security Act. 

Sarabjeet Singh Khalsa, who is contesting from the Faridkot (reserve) constituency as an Independent, has been allotted the poll symbol of 'Ganna Kisan' (sugarcane farmer). 

Khalsa is the son of Beant Singh, who was one of the assassins of late prime minister Indira Gandhi. 

Beant Singh and Satwant Singh, who were Gandhi's bodyguards, killed her on October 31, 1984 at her residence. 

Meanwhile, Punjab chief electoral officer Sibin C on Sunday said 328 candidates contesting for the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab have been allotted election symbols by the district election officers as per the instructions of the Election Commission of India. -- PTI
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17:51   Heavy rains set off flash floods in northern Afghanistan, killing at least 47
More heavy rains in Afghanistan have triggered flash floods, raising the death toll to 47 in the country's north following weeks of devastating torrents that had already left hundreds dead and missing, a Taliban spokesman said Sunday.

The new round of heavy rains and floods hit three districts in Faryab province Saturday night, destroying houses and farmlands, said Shamsuddin Mohammadi, the provincial director of information. 

Earlier reports from Faryab put the death toll at 18 but officials said they were still preliminary figures.

Afghanistan has been witnessing unusually heavy seasonal rains.

In the hard-hit western province of Ghor, 50 people were reported dead from Friday's floods, according to Abdul Wahid Hamas, spokesman for the provincial governor.

The UN food agency said Ghor was the most affected by the floods. 

Last week, the World Food Program said the exceptionally heavy rains in Afghanistan had killed more than 300 people and destroyed thousands of houses, mostly in the northern province of Baghlan.

Survivors have been left with no home, no land, and no source of livelihood, WFP said, adding that most of Baghlan was inaccessible by trucks. -- PTI
Kunar Hembram/Courtesy X
Kunar Hembram/Courtesy X
17:24   Jolt to BJP as party MP joins TMC at Abhishek rally
Jhargram Bharatiya Janata Party MP Kunar Hembram joined the Trinamool Congress in the presence of party national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee at an election meeting on Sunday. 

Soon after joining the TMC in West Bengal's Jhargram, Hembram said he will work for the development of the state under the leadership of TMC chief Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee. 

In a brief statement, the TMC said, "On the day Narendra Modi is holding sabhas in Bengal, BJP's outgoing MP Kunar Hembram joins TMC in the presence of Abhishek Banerjee." 

BJP state spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya downplayed the significance of Hembram's decision to quit the party, saying, "His departure will not affect the BJP in any way. We welcome people who work for the masses, not for tickets. Nominating anyone is the party's decision." -- PTI
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17:08   33,000 security personnel for May 20 LS, assembly polls in Odisha
Around 33,000 security personnel, including 102 companies of Central Armed Police Force and 66 platoons of Odisha Armed Police, have been deployed for the May 20 simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly elections in the state. 

In the second phase, the fifth at the national level, five parliamentary constituencies Aska, Kandhamal, Bargarh, Bolangir, and Sundargarh and 35 associated assembly seats will vote. 

These are spread across nine districts, including Maoist-hit areas of Kandhamal, Boudh, Bolangir, and Baragarh. 

The first phase of elections, covering four parliamentary and 28 assembly constituencies, was conducted peacefully on May 13. 

Despite six Maoist-hit districts falling within the polling zones, no Maoist-related violence occurred during the polls due to robust anti-Maoist operations and real-time intelligence, DGP Arun Sarangi said on Sunday. 

"A total of 9,162 polling stations at 7,339 locations, including 556 booths in Maoist-hit areas, will be used. To ensure security, 102 CAPF companies and 66 platoons of Odisha Armed Police, supported by 47 additional SPs, 88 DSPs, 236 inspectors, and 2,000 sub-inspectors are on poll duty," Sarangi said. -- PTI
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16:47   Another mix-up in surgery at Kerala hospital, patient says wrong implant inserted in hand
Allegations of medical negligence continued to haunt the Government Medical College Hospital in Kozhikode, with a man lodging a complaint with the police on Sunday alleging that an implant meant for another patient was wrongly inserted into his broken hand.   

The fresh allegations surfaced just days after a doctor was suspended for allegedly operating on the tongue of a four-year-old girl, instead of surgically removing the child's sixth finger.   

An officer of the Medical College police station said an FIR is being lodged over the alleged mix-up that took place at the Medical College Hospital on Saturday.   

"The man has raised some suspicions regarding his surgery. A detailed investigation is required to ascertain the claim in the complaint," the officer said. -- PTI
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16:26   IMD issues red alert for Delhi; temperature likely to touch 44 degrees C
The India meteorological department on Sunday held out no immediate respite from the searing and scalding heatwave as it issued a red alert in Delhi informing that the temperatures can range between 28 to 44 degrees Celsius. 

Senior IMD scientist Naresh Kumar said that the current situation will prevail for the next week. 

"Generally, May is considered the hottest month. If there is no rainfall activity in North India, then the temperature normally crosses 45 degrees Celsius. It is forecast that this situation will prevail for the next week. This scenario will continue for the next 5 days in Rajasthan, Punjab, and Haryana. We have issued a red alert. A heatwave situation will exist in UP for the next 3-4 days. Heatwaves will also prevail in North MP. We have issued an orange alert for the region," he said. 

One of the tourists, Kavinder Beniwal, who came to Panipat to visit India Gate said that the children are getting irritated due to the prevailing heat. 

"The situation is quite bad (due to excessive heat). I came here with my children to tour. The children are also getting irritated. I have come here from Panipat," he said. -- PTI
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal/File image
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal/File image
16:01   Police seize CCTV video recorder from Kejri's house
A Delhi police team reached the official residence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal here on Sunday in connection with its investigation in the alleged assault on Aam Aadmi Party Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal, sources said. 

They said the police team collected electronic devices including CCTV DVR (digital video recorder) to potentially get the footage of the alleged assault on Maliwal on May 13 when Bibhav Kumar, Kejriwal's close aide, allegedly attacked her at the CM's residence. 

Maliwal has alleged that the CCTV footage of the CM's residence was being tampered with. Kumar was arrested on Saturday and produced in a court which remanded him in five-day police custody. 

The sources said Kumar is evasive in his replies during his interrogation. 

The Delhi police booked Kumar for molestation and attempted culpable homicide after Maliwal's complaint. -- PTI
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15:46   SC to hear tomorrow plea against new criminal laws passed by Parliament
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Monday a petition challenging the enactment of three new laws that seek to overhaul India's penal codes claiming that they suffer from many "defects and discrepancies". 

A vacation bench of Justices Bela M Trivedi and Pankaj Mithal is likely to hear the matter. 

The Lok Sabha, on December 21 last year, passed three key legislations -- the Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita and the Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill. 

President Droupadi Murmu gave her assent to the bills on December 25. 

These new laws -- the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita and the Bharatiya Sakshya Act -- will replace the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Indian Evidence Act respectively. 

Seeking a stay on the operation of the three new laws, the PIL filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari has said they were enacted without any parliamentary debate as most of the opposition members were under suspension. 

The plea has sought directions from the court for the immediately constitution of an expert committee that will assess the viability of the three new criminal laws. -- PTI
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15:11   Rains continue to lash parts of TN
Rains continued to lash many parts of Tamil Nadu, as the regional weather office on Sunday forecast extremely heavy rain in Tenkasi, Tirunelveli and Theni districts. 

Jamunamarathur (Tiruvannamalai dt) and Pechiparai in Kanniyakumari received 12 cm and 10 cm rainfall, respectively, during the 24-hour period ending 8.30 am on Sunday.

The Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority has asked tourists visiting places like Udhagamanadalam (Ooty), Tenkasi, Hogenakkal (Dharmapuri dt) and others in the western ghats to follow safety instructions and precautions. 

The regional meteorological centre in Chennai issued a "red alert" for Tenkasi, Tirunelveli and Theni districts on Sunday and Monday.                   

A red alert indicates extremely heavy rain of over 20 cm in 24 hours. -- PTI
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15:04   Heroin worth Rs 105 cr seized in Assam
Heroin worth Rs 105 crore has been recovered in Assam's Cachar district, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Sunday. 

The contraband weighing over 10 kg was being transported from a neighbouring state, he said. 

"Massive drug haul of 105 cr. In a major crackdown on the drugs network, @cacharpolice conducted a special operation and confiscated 10.333kg heroin transported from a neighbouring State," Sarma wrote on X. 

He reiterated the government's commitment to continue the drive against drug trafficking and ensure that the youths do not fall into such a trap. 

The chief minister shared a photograph of the seized drugs along with two accused persons on social media. -- PTI
Union Home Minister Amit Shah
Union Home Minister Amit Shah
14:49   PoK belongs to us, will take it back: Amit Shah
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday asserted that Pakistan occupied Kashmir belongs to India, and "we will take it back". 

Shah was addressing an election rally in Prayagraj to seek votes for BJP candidate Neeraj Tripathi. 

"Farooq Abdullah and Mani Shankar Aiyar say give respect to Pakistan because it has atom bomb...Rahul baba, today from the sacred land of Prayagraj I will say this PoK is ours, will remain ours, and we will take it back," he said while referring to Aiyar's atom bomb remark that has sparked a political row. 

In a purported video clip that has gone viral on social media, Aiyar was heard saying that India should give respect to Pakistan as it is a sovereign nation and engage with it as it also possesses the atom bomb. 

While Aiyar has said the video was old and dredged up now as the BJP's election campaign is faltering, the Congress had said it totally disagreed with the remarks made by Aiyar some months ago. -- PTI
Samir Ranjan Dash/Courtesy X
Samir Ranjan Dash/Courtesy X
14:21   Boost to BJP as BJD MLA Samir Dash joins saffron party
In a boost to the Bharatiya Janata Party in Odisha, Biju Janata Dal Nimapara MLA Samir Ranjan Dash on Sunday joined the saffron party after quitting the regional outfit.

BJP Odisha unit president Manmohan Samal, party's Odisha in-charge Vijay Pal Singh Tomar and other leaders welcomed Dash at the party headquarters in Bhubaneswar.

Dash had earlier in the day resigned from the regional outfit. 

The three-time legislator was annoyed after being denied a party ticket to contest the 2024 assembly elections.

"I have joined the BJP after losing confidence in the BJD leadership. I will ensure that BJP candidate Pravati Parida wins elections in Nimapara assembly segment," Dash told reporters.

Dash tendered his resignation letter to BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik conveying his decision to quit the primary membership of the regional party. -- PTI
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14:07   GDP growth likely to be 6.7% in Q4; 7% in FY24: Ind-RA
India Ratings and Research expects the country's GDP growth rate for the March quarter at 6.7 percent and around 6.9-7 percent for the 2023-24 fiscal, its principal economist Sunil Kumar Sinha said.

The GDP numbers for the fourth quarter (January-March 2024) and the provisional estimates for the 2023-24 fiscal are scheduled to be released by the government on May 31.

The Indian economy grew 8.2 percent in the June quarter, 8.1 percent in the September quarter and 8.4 percent in the December quarter of 2023-24.

"We are expecting the fourth quarter growth to be 6.7 per cent and the overall GDP growth for FY24 to be around 6.9-7 per cent," Sinha told PTI Videos in an interview.

He said the growth rate in the first two quarters benefited from a low base, though the 8.4 percent growth rate in the third (October-December 2023) quarter was surprising. -- PTI 
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal's aide Bibhav Kumar/File image/PTI
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal's aide Bibhav Kumar/File image/PTI
13:43   Bibhav sent to 5-day police custody in Maliwal case
A Delhi court allowed five-day custodial interrogation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's aide Bibhav Kumar in the Swati Maliwal assault case, sing the police remand was a "necessity" in the matter. 

Metropolitan magistrate Gaurav Goyal was hearing the application of Delhi police which was represented by additional public prosecutor Atul Srivastava. 

The police had sought seven day custody. 

It is alleged that Kumar, who is Kejriwal's personal assistant, assaulted AAP MP Swati Maliwal at the CM's residence on May 13. 

"Considering the submissions made on behalf of both the parties, I find there is a necessity of police custody remand in the present case. Accordingly, the application moved by the investigating officer is partly allowed and the accused is remanded to police custody for five days," the court said in its order passed around 12:45 am Sunday. -- PTI
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13:37   Southwest monsoon makes onset over Nicobar Islands: IMD
Southwest monsoon, the lifeline of India's farm-based economy, on Sunday made its onset over the Nicobar Islands, the southernmost region of the country, the India meteorological department said in New Delhi. 

"Southwest monsoon has advanced into some parts of the Maldives, and the Comorin area and some parts of the South Bay of Bengal, Nicobar Islands and South Andaman Sea on Sunday," the weather office said. 

The annual rainfall phenomenon is expected to reach Kerala by May 31. 

The date of monsoon onset over Kerala has varied widely over the last 150 years, the earliest being May 11 in 1918, and the most delayed being June 18 in 1972, according to IMD data. 

The rain-bearing system arrived in the southern state on June 8 last year, May 29 in 2022, June 3 in 2021 and June 1 in 2020. 

Last month, the IMD had forecast above-normal rain in the monsoon season in India with favourable La Nina conditions, cooling of equatorial Pacific Ocean, expected to set in by August-September. 

La Nina conditions help in a good monsoon season over India. -- PTI
Ex-CM Kavinder Gupta/File image
Ex-CM Kavinder Gupta/File image
13:25   BJP leader alleges Pak hand in terror attack on tourist couple in J-K
A day after a former panchayat official was shot dead by terrorists in South Kashmir's Shopian and a tourist couple from Rajasthan injured in a separate terror strike in Anantnag, former deputy chief minister of the erstwhile state, Kavinder Gupta, said on Sunday said the attack was aimed at disturbing and hurting tourism in Jammu and Kashmir.  

The senior BJP leader said, "There was a record tourist footfall in Kashmir last year, with the number of visitors estimated at 1,70,00,000. Hence, at a time when tourism is looking up and local businesses and livelihoods are booming, the attack was aimed at bringing back the dark days of terror in the region. It was intended to hurt the tourism prospects at a time when there is prosperity all around in Kashmir. I strongly suspect Pakistan to be behind this attack." 

"However, the nefarious designs of people, who carry out terror hits in exchange for money and at the behest of their handlers (across the border) wouldn't succeed. Their bid to bring back the reign of terror in the Valley will never succeed," he said.  

"It should be kept in mind in this context that these people (terrorists) no longer enjoy local support as they used to earlier," the former deputy CM said.  

A tourist couple from the Rajasthan capital, Jaipur, were injured in a terror attack in the Yannar area of South Kashmir's Anantnag district on Saturday night.  

"Terrorists fired upon and injured a woman, Farha, a resident of Jaipur, and her spouse, Tabrez, at Yannar in Anantnag. The injured were evacuated and rushed to a nearby hospital," a police officer said.  

The condition of the injured tourists was said to be stable. -- ANI
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12:59   Dalit couple beaten, made to wear garlands of shoes in MP; 10 booked
An elderly Dalit couple has been allegedly beaten up and made to wear garlands of shoes in Madhya Pradesh's Ashok Nagar district, police said on Sunday.

The couple's son had allegedly been involved in an eve-teasing incident, they said.

A case has been registered against 10 persons who were at large in connection with the incident of thrashing the couple which took place on Friday in Kilora village under Mungaoli police station limits, an official said.

The couple's son had been allegedly involved in eve-teasing the wife of one of the accused following which the Dalit family left the village, Mungaoli police station in-charge Gabbar Singh Gurjar said.

The couple came to the village recently, he said.

On Friday, the accused allegedly tied the 65-year-old man Dalit man and his wife aged 60 to a pole, beat them up and made them wear garlands of shoes, the official said. -- PTI
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12:21   AAP sought justice for Nirbhaya but today....: Maliwal
Aam Aadmi Party Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal, who has been accused by her party of being part of a conspiracy to frame Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a false case, on Sunday said her party colleagues once sought justice for Nirbhaya but today they are supporting a person accused of assaulting her. 

She said if AAP leader and former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, who is in jail in connection with the Delhi excise police case, had been here "maybe things wouldn't have been so bad for me!" Maliwal has alleged that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's aide Bibhav Kumar assaulted her on May 13 when she went to the CM's residence to meet him. 

The Aam Aadmi Party has trashed her allegations and claimed Maliwal was acting at the behest of the BJP to frame Kejriwal in a fake case. Maliwal, who has been associated with the AAP since its inception more than 10 years ago, said on Sunday there was a time when "we all used to come out on the streets to get justice for Nirbhaya". 

"Today, 12 years later, we have come out on the streets to save the accused (Bibhav Kumar) who made the CCTV footage disappear and formatted the phone? I wish they had used this much force for Manish Sisodia ji. Had he been here, maybe things wouldn't have been so bad for me!" she wrote. -- PTI
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11:55   BSF seizes gold worth Rs 36 lakh, arrests one in Tripura
Border Security Force foiled a gold smuggling attempt in West Tripura's Nischintapur area and arrested one person, an official said on Sunday.

Based on specific inputs, BSF jawans laid a trap in different locations under the Nischintapur Border outpost on Saturday and observed the movement of two suspects near the border.

"They were moving from Bangladesh side to the Indian part, negotiated the border fence and entered the nearby forest area but alert BSF jawans successfully apprehended one suspected smuggler while another fled away taking advantage of dense vegetation," said a senior BSF official.                 

During the search, four gold bars amounting to Rs 36.6 lakh were seized from the arrested Prashant Rai, a resident of Kishmatkuri under Amtali police station, he said.

The official said the arrested person admitted his involvement in trans-border smuggling of gold and revealed the consignment was handed over to him by one Bangladeshi man identified as Iqbal, a resident of Brahmanbaria in Bangladesh. -- PTI
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11:38   Heavy rains prompt warnings and travel bans in many Kerala districts
As rains lashed many parts of Kerala, authorities on Sunday urged people, particularly those living in hilly and coastal areas, to exercise vigil. 

The meteorological department has issued red alerts for Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, and Idukki districts for Sunday and Monday, and sounded orange alerts for four other districts, including Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, and Ernakulam, for these days. 

The Met office predicted thunderstorms with moderate rainfall and gusty winds reaching speeds of 40 km/h at one or two places in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Kannur and Kasaragod districts of Kerala till 1 pm on Sunday. 

The Idukki district collector has ordered a ban on night travel through the hilly areas of the district from Sunday until the red and orange alerts are withdrawn. 

"Strict instructions have been issued to the district superintendent of police, sub divisional magistrates, regional transport officers, and tehsildars to implement the ban effectively," an official statement said. -- PTI
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Image only for representation
11:18   Sandeshkhali TMC worker held for 'molesting' minor
A Trinamool Congress worker has been detained for allegedly molesting a minor girl in West Bengal's Sandeshkhali area, police said.

According to the complaint lodged by the girl's mother, the accused 'somehow' entered their house on Friday night and molested the minor.

The riverine Sandeshkhali area   situated on the borders of the Sundarbans, about 100 km from Kolkata had been on the boil in February with protests over allegations of sexual abuse and land grab against now-arrested TMC leader Shajahan Sheikh and his supporters.

The girl, a Class-8 student, managed to escape and started shouting for help as family members and neighbours came out, police said, quoting the complaint.

An officer of Basirhat Police District said the accused, around 20-years-old, is being questioned.

A medical test has been conducted on the girl, he said, adding that its report is awaited.  -- PTI
10:41   AAP protest: Security beefed at BJP headquarters
The Delhi Police has beefed up security at the Bharatiya Janata Party headquarters in New Delhi in view of a protest announced by Aam Aadmi Party's national convenor and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal there on Sunday, officials said.

The traffic police has also issued an advisory in view of the protest planned outside the BJP office on the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg.

'In view of the proposed protest by a political party at DDU Marg Delhi, Traffic will remain heavy at DDU Marg, IP Marg, Minto Road and Vikas Marg. DDU marg may be closed for traffic movement between 11 am to 2 pm. Kindly avoid these roads and plan your journey accordingly,' the traffic police in a post on X.

A senior police officer said security at the BJP headquarters has been heightened as a precautionary measure.

"An adequate number of police personnel has been deployed and the area has been barricaded," said the police officer.

On Saturday, addressing a press conference, Kejriwal accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of 'playing the game' of sending AAP leaders such as Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain, and Sanjay Singh to jail.

"They are after our party and sending our leaders in jail one after another... Today you have sent my PA (Bibhav Kumar) to jail," he said, adding the BJP is saying they will send AAP MP Raghav Chadha and Delhi ministers Atishi and Saurabh Bharadwaj to jail too.

"I along with my MLAs and MPs would go to the BJP office at noon tomorrow so that the prime minister can send anyone he wants to jail," he said.   -- PTI
10:26   Search operation launched after suspicious movement near IB
Security forces have launched a massive search operation after picking up movement of three suspicious persons, believed to be terrorists, near the International Border in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said on Sunday.

A Special Police Officer (SPO) reported the movement of suspected persons in Tarnah nallah near Jangi chak in Hiranagar sector during the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday, the officials said.

An alert was immediately sounded in the entire area of the border police post Sanyal and reinforcements from the police, army and BSF were rushed for a joint search and cordon operation, they said.

The searches are underway in Tarnah nallah and adjoining villages, including Rakh Sarkar Palhi and Pathwal when last reports were received, the officials said.  -- PTI
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Image only for representation
10:00   Horse injured, vehicles damaged as billboard collapses in Pune
A horse was injured and a few vehicles were damaged after a hoarding collapsed due to strong winds in Maharashtra's Pune city, police said.

The billboard crashed to the ground between 5 pm and 6 pm on Saturday outside a wedding hall near Kavdi Pat toll booth on the Pune-Solapur Highway, an official said.

The incident comes days after a giant illegal billboard in Mumbai's Ghatkopar area collapsed on a petrol pump due to gusty winds and unseasonal rains, killing 16 persons and injuring 75.

Citing preliminary information about the incident in Pune, the police on Saturday said the hoarding collapsed due to strong winds and it fell on a horse, and a few vehicles, including one brought by a band party, outside the Gulmohar Lawns wedding hall.

The injured horse was rescued and taken for treatment, the official said.  -- PTI
09:48   AI Express flight makes emergency landing in Bengaluru
An Air India Express flight from Bengaluru to Kochi made an emergency landing at Bengaluru after a fire was noticed in one of the engines, the Bangalore International Airport Limited said on Sunday.

All the passengers and crew were evacuated and no one was injured, Air India Express said in a statement.

According to sources, the fire was noticed minutes after the take off.

The crew members alerted the Air Traffic Controller and a full scale emergency was declared.

Soon after emergency landing at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) in Bengaluru, the fire was extinguished.

'On May 18, 2024, IX 1132 from Bengaluru to Kochi made an emergency landing at BLR Airport at 2312 hrs, due to a reported fire in one of the engines,' a spokesperson of the BIAL, which manages KIA, said in a statement.

A full-scale emergency was declared, and the fire was promptly extinguished upon landing.

All 179 passengers and six crew members have been successfully evacuated from the aircraft, the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) spokesperson said.

An Air India Express spokesperson said that due to suspected flames from the right engine after takeoff, the Bengaluru- Kochi flight 'elected' to return and carried out a precautionary landing at Bengaluru . The ground services also reported flames, resulting in an evacuation.

'The crew accomplished an evacuation with no injuries to any guests. We regret the inconvenience this has caused and are working to provide alternative arrangements for our guests to reach their destination as soon as possible,' it said.

'A thorough investigation with the regulator shall be accomplished to establish the cause,' it said.  -- PTI
08:34   Arrest warrant issued against Prajwal Revanna
A special court for MPs and MLAs in Bengaluru has issued an arrest warrant against Janata Dal-Secular MP Prajwal Revanna in the sexual assault case. 

The court issued the warrant in connection with the sexual assault case registered against Prajwal on Saturday in which his father and Holenarasipura MLA H D Revanna is also an accused.

Revanna, son of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, is on bail after spending seven days in jail after four-day police custody for allegedly kidnapping a woman.

There are three cases of sexual assault registered by three women against Prajwal, the National Democratic Alliance's Hassan Lok Sabha candidate who is at large.

A blue corner notice has been issued against him by the Interpol.

Trouble started for Prajwal after large number of explicit videos showing women being sexually assaulted allegedly by him became public. 

Subsequently, the Karnataka government constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) on the recommendations of Karnataka State Commission for Women chairperson Nagalakshmi Chowdhary to probe Prajwal's alleged atrocities on women.   -- PTI