A look at the top headlines of the day:

  1. Supreme Court puts sedition law on hold, tells Centre and states not to file new cases under it: A bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli said that if a fresh case of sedition is filed, the accused persons can approach courts “for appropriate relief”.
  2. Delhi High Court passes split verdict on criminalisation of marital rape: Since January 7, a two-judge bench comprising Justices Rajiv Shakdher and C Hari Shankar has been conducting daily hearings on a batch of petitions seeking to remove Exception 2 from the rape law. The exception states that forcible sexual intercourse by a man with his wife is not rape unless the wife is below 15 years of age.
  3. Sri Lankan president says he will appoint new PM, Cabinet this week: In a televised address to Sri Lankan citizens on Wednesday evening, Gotabaya Rajapaksa also said that he was ready to abolish the executive presidency once the situation in the island country stabilises.
  4. Adityanath removes Uttar Pradesh DGP Mukul Goel for ‘inefficiency, negligence in work’: Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar has been given additional charge as the state police chief.
  5. India denies reports of sending troops to Sri Lanka amid violence over economic crisis: The Indian High Commission categorically denied “speculative media reports” about India sending its military troops to Sri Lanka, noting that it is not in line with the position of the government of India.
  6. Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh killed in West Bank while covering Israeli raid: Another Al Jazeera journalist, Ali Samoudi, was also shot in the back, the Palestinian Health Ministry added. Samoudi’s condition is now stable. While Al Jazeera alleged that the Israeli forces deliberately shot Akleh, Tel Aviv denied the claims.
  7. Punjab man arrested for putting up Khalistani flags outside Himachal Pradesh Assembly: Harvir Singh was arrested on Wednesday morning after he confessed to tying the flags and painting pro-Khalistan slogans on the gate and walls of the Assembly complex, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur said.
  8. SC asks Uttar Pradesh to reply to plea on delay in hearing of Azam Khan’s bail petition: The court pulled up the government for repeatedly issuing warrants against the Samajwadi Party leader who has been accused in 89 cases.
  9. Veteran Congress leader Pandit Sukh Ram dies at 94: Sukh Ram represented the Mandi Assembly constituency from 1963 to 1984. From 1993 to 1996, Sukh Ram was the Union Minister of Communications in the Narasimha Rao government.
  10. China’s zero-tolerance policy to curb Covid-19 is unsustainable, says WHO: Under the zero-tolerance policy, strict lockdowns are imposed in several cities. Food is distributed to the residents as they are not allowed to step out of their homes. The policy also includes travel bans and mass testing.