photo-article-logo Thursday, 07 December 2023

News of the day: SC's hearing on same-sex marriages, SC questions parole granted to Bilkis Bano convicts and many more

Here are the latest developments from India and abroad

Our Web Desk Published 18.04.23, 06:58 PM
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The Supreme Court on Tuesday began hearing arguments on a batch of pleas seeking legal validation of same-sex marriages, an issue that has wide societal ramifications and has sharply divided opinion.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud told Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, that the nature and tenability of the preliminary objection will depend on the canvass the petitioners open up and the court wants to have a view of their argument.

Mehta told the bench, also comprising Justices S K Kaul, S R Bhat, Hima Kohli and P S Narasimha, the petitioners can advance their submissions on what they want and also an overview confined to the preliminary objection raised by him.

"I am sorry Mr solicitor, we are in charge,” the CJI told Mehta, adding the court will hear the petitioners’ side first.

Questioning the maintainability of the petitions, the Centre has said that legal validation for same-sex marriages will cause complete havoc with the delicate balance of personal laws and accepted societal values. 

Later on, the Supreme Court made it clear that it will not go into the personal laws governing marriages while deciding the pleas seeking legal validation for same-sex marriages and asked the lawyers to advance arguments on the Special Marriage Act. 

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The Centre and the Gujarat government on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that they may file a plea seeking a review of its March 27 order asking them to be ready with original files on the grant of remission to the convicts in the Bilkis Bano case.

A bench of Justices K M Joseph and B V Nagarathna questioned the paroles granted to 11 convicts during their incarceration period and said the gravity of the offence could have been considered by the state.

It said, "A pregnant woman was gang-raped and several people were killed. You cannot compare victim's case with standard section 302 (murder) cases. Like you cannot compare apples with oranges, similarly massacre cannot be compared with single murder. Crimes are generally committed against society and the community. Unequals cannot be treated equally." "The question is whether government applied its mind and what material formed the basis of its decision to grant remission," the bench said.

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear on April 24 a plea seeking an independent probe into the killing of gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmad and his brother Ashraf in Uttar Pradesh's Prayagraj.

A bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud took note of the submissions of advocate Vishal Tiwari who mentioned the matter seeking urgent hearing. The plea has also sought an inquiry into the 183 encounters that have taken place in Uttar Pradesh since 2017.

A letter by Atiq Ahmad with instructions to send it to the Uttar Pradesh chief minister and the chief justice of India in case of his death is being dispatched to them, the slain gangster-turned-politician's lawyer said on Tuesday.

"Atiq Ahmad had said that if there were any mishap or if he was murdered, the letter in the sealed envelope should be sent to the chief justice of India and Uttar Pradesh chief minister," Mishra told PTI.

On the other hand, A crude bomb was hurled in a bylane near the residence of lawyer Vijay Mishra on Tuesday, police said.

And finally, internet services have resumed in Prayagraj after remaining suspended for two days in the wake of killing of gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmad and his brother Ashraf, officials said Tuesday. The services were suspended by authorities on Sunday.

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Senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar on Tuesday said he would work for his party till he is alive and scotched speculation that he and a group of MLAs loyal to him might align with the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party.

"We (party MLAs) are all with the NCP. I will work for the NCP till I live," Pawar added.

Pawar dismissed reports that he had taken the signatures of 40 of 53 MLAs of NCP amid a buzz about his rumoured alliance with the BJP.

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Iconic consumer technology company Apple's first retail store in the country became operational on Tuesday with chief executive Tim Cook opening its doors for customers.

Excitement levels were already very high over the last fortnight since the Cupertino, US-based company announced its store opening at a mall in the Bandra Kurla Complex business district here.

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The Mumbai-bench of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has extended the deadline for completing the resolution process of Reliance Capital by three months to July 16 as lenders have agreed to hold a second round of auction to maximise their recovery.

The earlier deadline of April 16 has already ended.

The 90 days deadline extension was necessitated as the lenders decided to hold a second round of auction on April 26 in order to maximise the recovery from the sale of Reliance Capital assets, sources said.

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Baljeet Kaur, a 27-year-old leading Indian woman climber was found alive today, reports PTI.

The Indian woman climber, went missing near Camp IV of Mt Annapurna while descending from the summit point, an official of the expedition organiser said on Tuesday, a day after another Indian climber died after falling from 6000m into a crevasse.

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Nine people were still undergoing treatment in different hospitals after suffering from sunstroke at a mega award function in Navi Mumbai, a civic official said on Tuesday.

Thirteen people had died after attending the event held in Kharghar area of Maharashtra's Raigad district neighbouring Mumbai on Sunday.

“The death toll stands at 13 as no fresh fatality has been reported. We discharged eight persons yesterday after treatment. Besides, five persons are recuperating at the MGM Hospital (Kamothe), three in a Vashi civic hospital and another patient at Medicover Hospital in Kharghar,” Panvel Municipal Corporation's deputy commissioner Vitthal Dake said.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had termed the deaths as "very unfortunate" and said the kin of the deceased will be given a compensation of Rs 5 lakh.

Furious at the government, Maharashtra opposition leader Ajit Pawar on Tuesday demanded the registration of a culpable homicide case against the Maharashtra government over the deaths due to sunstroke at the state award event held in Navi Mumbai on Sunday.

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A 85-year-old white man in Kansas, Missouri was charged Monday with two felony counts after shooting a Black teenager who rang his doorbell.

Prosecuting Attorney Zachary Thompson said at a news conference that there was a "racial component" to the incident Thursday night in which Andrew Lester twice shot 16-year-old Ralph Yarl.

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Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batter Virat Kohli has been fined 10 per cent of his match fee for breaching the Indian Premier League (IPL) Code of Conduct during the team's eight-run loss to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

A statement said that Kohli had breached the rules under Article 2.2 of the IPL Code of Conduct.

"Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batter Virat Kohli has been fined 10 percent of his match fee for breaching the IPL Code of Conduct during the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 match against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru," said the IPL statement.

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