A look at the headlines right now:

  1. Former BBC journalist Vinod Verma arrested by Chhattisgarh Police for alleged extortion: He allegedly had several sex tapes involving a minister, and was using them to extort money from him.  
  2. ‘Freedom of expression is for all’, says Madras High Court as it dismisses plea against ‘Mersal’: The petition had sought the revocation of the censor certificate for the film because of its critique of the Goods and Services Tax.  
  3. Catalan Parliament passes motion to declare independence from Spain: After Opposition leaders walked out in protest against the split, separatist lawmakers voted in favour of an independent Catalan Republic.
  4. Half the bench deciding on women’s entry to Sabarimala should be female, says plea in Supreme Court: The application said a special jury comprising people of eminence could be set up to decide on the matter within a specified time frame.  
  5. CM Siddaramaiah defends Karnataka minister accused in police officer’s suicide case: The chief minister accused the BJP of politicising the matter to tarnish the image of the state government.  
  6. Plea filed in Supreme Court to extend firecracker ban in Delhi-NCR: The bench said it will consider whether the matter can be heard urgently.  
  7. You need to get me out, Hadiya says in new video: Her husband Shafin Jahan has written to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, saying her rights were being violated.  
  8. Blue Whale Challenge a national problem, says Supreme Court: The Centre told the bench that it has formed an expert panel to look into the issue and submit a report in three weeks. 
  9. Ready to support Congress in Gujarat Assembly election, Hardik Patel tells HT: His aide releases audio clip as proof of bribe offered to him to join BJP before Gujarat polls
  10. Protest organisers in Jammu and Kashmir to face jail term or fines if they damage property: Governor NN Vohra promulgated an ordinance on Thursday to include these penalties, and it came into effect immediately.