Both Indian benchmark indices nosedived to their worst fall in history on Thursday, tracking a crash in global markets as governments introduced stringent measures to tame the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.The Indian rupee on Thursday hit a 17-month low as it fell past the 74-mark at the open session. It later recovered to 74.21.
The Supreme Court on Thursday observed that there was no law to support putting up hoardings with names, photographs and addresses of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protestors. A two-judge vacation bench was hearing a special leave petition filed by the Uttar Pradesh government against the Allahabad High Court order to remove the hoardings in Lucknow. The court refused to stay the Allahabad High Court order, but referred the matter to a three-judge regular bench.
The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued notices to the Delhi Police and the Aam Aadmi Party-led government seeking their response on a plea against alleged hate speech by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, party leader Salman Khurshid, and Bharatiya Janata Party’s Anurag Thakur and Kapil Mishra.
The Delhi Police on Thursday said that the law and order situation in the Capital has been brought back to normal after large-scale communal violence in North East district last month left 53 people dead and injured over 500.
The Bharatiya Janata Party in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday said it will seek a floor test on March 16 after the resignations of 22 Congress MLAs left the Kamal Nath-led government on the verge of collapse, PTI reported. Long-time Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia on Wednesday joined the BJP, and several members of his faction also quit the Congress.
The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Centre to contact the Indian students stranded in Iran amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and give assurances to them. Iran is the epicenter of the outbreak in West Asia, with more than 9,000 cases and 354 deaths. There are about 6,000 Indians stranded in Iran, according to the government.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday told the Lok Sabha that the government was making efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus and there had been no lapse in screening of people entering the country.
The Delhi Police on Thursday arrested two members of the Popular Front of India for their alleged role in funding protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The group has also been accused of sponsoring large-scale communal violence in Delhi last month that left 53 people dead.
The Supreme Court on Thursday observed that there was no law to support putting up hoardings with names, photographs and addresses of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protestors, reported Live Law. A two-judge vacation bench was hearing a special leave petition filed by the Uttar Pradesh government against the Allahabad High Court order to remove the hoardings in Lucknow.
The court refused to stay the Allahabad High Court order, but referred the matter to a three-judge regular bench.
Actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth announced a vague roadmap for his political plans on Thursday but stopped short of launching a new party a year before Assembly elections are due in Tamil Nadu. He said he was not interested in the post of chief minister.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday said Union Home Minister Amit Shah openly “defended” the Delhi Police in the Lok Sabha while replying in the debate on last month’s violence in the national Capital. The Hyderabad MP said no justice will be done to the Muslims after the response Shah gave.
Taking its cue from a global rout, the Indian benchmark indices nosedived in the opening session on Thursday. Globally, stock markets tumbled after United States President Donald Trump announced a 30-day ban on travel from Europe and the World Health Organization officially declared coronavirus a pandemic.
At 9.35 am, the Sensex was down 1,656.48 points at 34,051.32 and the Nifty tumbled 519 points to 9,939.40. This is the first time since March 2018 that the Nifty has plummeted below the 10,000-mark.
The Congress has asked Madhya Pradesh Assembly Speaker NP Prajapati to disqualify six state ministers of the Kamal Nath Cabinet as MLAs, who along with 16 others, had resigned on Tuesday, NDTV reported on Thursday. The Kamal Nath-led Congress government is facing upheaval after former party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia resigned, following which 22 MLAs also quit.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said the coronavirus outbreak is matter of concern and said the government suspended the vast majority of visas to the country as “exceptional situations need exceptional response”.
An Indian novelist said in a Facebook post on Wednesday that she was stranded in Rome with little help forthcoming from the Indian embassy amid the coronavirus pandemic. Janice Pariat, who wanted to return to India, said the Indian embassy in Rome has suspended functions due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The government on Wednesday said all existing visas to India – with some exceptions – stand cancelled till April 15 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The government said the regulations will come into effect at 5.30 pm on March 13 from the port of departure.
The exceptions include diplomatic visas, official visas, visas by the United Nations or other international organisations, and employment and project visas. The decision was taken at a meeting of a Group of Ministers headed by Minister of Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan.
The State Bank of India on Wednesday cut interest rates on all savings bank accounts to a flat 3% and also waived minimum balance requirements. Till now, the interest rate on savings bank accounts was 3.25% for deposits up to Rs 1 lakh, and 3% for deposits above Rs 1 lakh.
Earlier in the day, SBI reduced its fixed deposit rates and marginal cost of funds-based lending rates on various tenors.
Pawan Gupta, one of the four death-row convicts in the 2012 Delhi gangrape and murder case, on Wednesday moved a Delhi court seeking the filing of cases against two constables for allegedly assaulting him in jail, PTI reported. Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Singh and Pawan Gupta are scheduled to be hanged at Tihar Jail in Delhi on March 20 at 5.30 am.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday claimed in the Lok Sabha that last month’s violence in Delhi was a “well-planned conspiracy”, and lauded the Delhi Police for containing it “within 36 hours”. Shah was speaking in the House while replying to a discussion under Rule 193.