Walayar sisters’ rape-murder: Kerala government announces judicial inquiry against acquittals

The Pinarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government on Thursday announced a judicial investigation into the alleged sexual assault and murder of two minor sisters in Palakkad district in 2017, PTI reported. The announcement came a day after the government filed an appeal in the High Court to challenge the acquittal of the three accused in the case.

J&K: Government tells SC ‘everything is normal’; petitioners are presenting ‘grim picture’

The Supreme Court on Thursday told the Jammu and Kashmir administration that it will have to respond to each and every question raised about the restrictions imposed on the people of the Union Territory following the Centre’s decision to abrogate the special status under Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5, The Hindu reported.

Parliament: Congress says ‘corruption has been made official’ through electoral bonds

The Opposition Congress on Thursday protested in the Lok Sabha against issuance of electoral bonds and privatisation of public sector units, including Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, PTI reported. The Congress alleged that these moves were “scams”.

Kicking off Jharkhand campaign, Amit Shah accuses Congress of delaying Ayodhya case, Kashmir problem

Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said blamed the Congress for delaying the Ayodhya case in the Supreme Court, PTI reported. The home minister also claimed that under the Congress government, the “Kashmir problem” was not dealt with for 70 years.

‘Like cat and mouse living together’: AIADMK on proposed alliance between Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan

The ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Thursday sought to make light of Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan and actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth saying that they would not mind allying in politics for the benefit of Tamil Nadu, PTI reported.

INX Media case: Delhi court allows ED to interrogate P Chidambaram on November 22, 23

A Delhi court on Thursday permitted the Enforcement Directorate to interrogate Congress leader P Chidambaram in Tihar Jail on Friday and Saturday in the INX Media money laundering case, PTI reported. The order was passed by special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar on a plea by the investigation agency.

Maharashtra crisis: Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut claims government will be formed within two days

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday said the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress would arrive at a decision on forming the government in Maharashtra in a day or two, PTI reported. The Rajya Sabha MP told reporters in New Delhi that a new government would be formed in the state before December.

Lok Sabha polls: NGOs urge Supreme Court to order inquiry into ‘discrepancies’ in election data

Non-governmental organisations Association for Democratic Reforms and Common Cause have moved the Supreme Court, seeking an investigation into the alleged discrepancies in voter turnout figures and the number of votes counted in 347 constituencies in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, according to PTI.

Children’s picture book on Sikh turban withdrawn after backlash over wordplay in its title

A children’s picture book titled The Art of Tying a Pug has been withdrawn after its publisher Karadi Tales received abuses and was threatened with legal notices for a pun on the word “pug” – a breed of dog – to describe the turban, or pugdi, worn by Sikhs. The book was authored by Mumbai-based writer Natasha Sharma.

Consumer spending: Angus Deaton, Thomas Piketty, 200 other academics seek immediate release of data

A group of 202 academics from several countries on Thursday issued a statement demanding that the Indian government release the data and reports of all surveys conducted by the National Sample Survey Office, including the one showing that consumer expenditure fell in 2017-’18 for the first time in four decades.

Railway officer objects to Khushwant Singh’s ‘obscene’ book being sold at Bhopal station

A senior railway official on Wednesday ordered a book vendor at the station in Madhya Pradesh’s capital Bhopal to stop selling writer Khushwant Singh’s book Women, Sex, Love and Lust, saying such “obscene” literature may spoil youngsters, PTI reported.

Five non-BJP states urge Centre to clear GST compensation due for two months

Five states ruled by parties outside the National Democratic Alliance on Wednesday complained of delay in Goods and Service Tax compensation by the Centre for August and September, reported PTI. In a joint statement, the finance ministers of Delhi, West Bengal, Punjab, Rajasthan and Kerala said the delay has put them in acute financial difficulty.

TRS MLA Ramesh Chennamaneni’s citizenship cancelled for allegedly concealing facts

The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday cancelled the citizenship of Telangana Rashtra Samithi MLA Ramesh Chennamaneni for allegedly concealing facts about his visits abroad during the one-year period preceding his application for Indian citizenship, PTI reported.

Haren Pandya murder: Supreme Court rejects review petitions, upholds conviction of 10 accused

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the conviction of 10 men in the 2003 murder case of former Gujarat Home Minister Haren Pandya, reported ANI. A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Vineet Saran dismissed the review petitions filed in the case against the court’s July 5 judgement.

‘Selling the country’: Congress criticises Centre for decision to divest stake in Bharat Petroleum

The Congress on Thursday criticised the Narendra Modi-led central government for its decision to sell stakes in five state-run companies, including oil refiner Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited. Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala in a tweet said: “They did not create anything, but will sell everything. This is what one means by ‘selling the country’. When there is Modi, it is possible.”

Consumer expenditure: Expert panel didn’t suggest withholding findings, reports Business Standard

An expert panel set up to review the 2017-’18 consumer expenditure survey suggested ways to improve such reports in future, as claimed by the government, but did not recommend junking the report it was asked to examine, Business Standard reported on Thursday. The newspaper had earlier claimed that the government had withheld the report due to its adverse findings.

Winter Session: Congress protests in Lok Sabha over electoral bonds, Rajya Sabha adjourned till noon

The Congress on Thursday raised the matter of electoral bonds in Lok Sabha. The party has alleged that the scheme resulted in money laundering and destroyed transparency in the funding of political parties.

Activist Medha Patkar gets passport office’s notice for allegedly not disclosing cases against her

The Regional Passport Office in Mumbai has asked Narmada Bachao Andolan activist Medha Patkar to explain why her passport should not be impounded after she allegedly failed to disclose information about criminal cases pending against her, The Times of India reported on Thursday. Patkar was reissued a passport in March 2017.

WhatsApp spyware: House panel agrees to discuss matter after Tharoor’s tie-breaker vote, say reports

A Parliamentary standing committee on Wednesday decided to hold discussions on the WhatsApp security breach after much dilly-dallying, reported PTI. While the Bharatiya Janata Party members of the panel were against taking up the matter, legislators of parties such as Lok Janshakti Party and YSR Congress Party were keen on a discussion.

Malegaon blasts accused Pragya Singh Thakur nominated to parliamentary panel on defence: Report

Bharatiya Janata Party MP Pragya Singh Thakur has been nominated to the Ministry of Defence’s Parliamentary Consultative Committee, The Indian Express reported on Thursday. The committee is headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

US approves sale of 13 naval guns worth over $1 billion to India

The United States on Wednesday approved the sale of 13 MK-45 naval guns and related equipment to India for an estimated cost of $1.02 billion (approximately Rs 7,331.76 crore). However, no delivery date has been announced yet. The gun system will provide India the capability to conduct anti­-surface warfare and anti-air defence missions.

Chandrayaan-2: Vikram hard-landed within 500 metres of target site, says Centre

The lander of the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft had made a hard landing on the moon as its velocity reduced during descent, the government told Parliament on Wednesday. The Vikram lander had attempted a soft landing on the moon on September 7, but lost communication with the Indian Space Research Organisation minutes before touchdown.

Telecom companies to get two-year relief in spectrum payments: Cabinet

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Wednesday provided relief to the financially-stressed telecom sector by deferring spectrum auction payments for two years till 2022. However, the companies will have to pay applicable interest on the deferred spectrum payments.

Cabinet approves sale of government stakes in Bharat Petroleum and four other public sector units

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Wednesday approved the strategic divestment of the government’s 53.29% stake in oil refiner Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, and four other state-run companies. The Bharat Petroleum sale will not include the strategic Numaligarh Refinery Limited in Assam. This is reportedly the biggest ever privatisation drive by the government.

Maharashtra impasse: Congress meets NCP leaders in Delhi, says government will be formed soon

The Congress on Wednesday said a stable government would be formed soon in Maharashtra, NDTV reported. The comment was made after a meeting with Nationalist Congress Party leaders at their leader Sharad Pawar’s home in Delhi. Hours earlier, Pawar held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament about an agrarian crisis in Maharashtra.