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Uproar in Parliament over cow vigilantes, Supreme Court on privacy: Top stories to bring you up to date

A news digest of important stories in the last 24 hours.

india Updated: Jul 20, 2017 08:22 IST
HT Correspondent
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad speaks in the Rajya Sabha in New Delhi on July 19.
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad speaks in the Rajya Sabha in New Delhi on July 19.(PTI Photo)

From Supreme Court observation on right to privacy to discussions in the Parliament on lynchings and anti-Dalit attacks, here are the top news stories to bring you up to date

1- Right to privacy can’t be absolute, may be regulated: Supreme Court

A rare 9-judge bench of the Supreme Court said the right to privacy is not absolute, making its first observations on Wednesday as it began hearing on an issue that could have a sweeping impact on issues such as the Aadhaar scheme and the law criminalising homosexuality. Led by the Chief Justice of India JS Khehar, the Constitution bench said that if right to privacy is defined as a fundamental right, the top court’s 2013 ruling upholding Section 377 — which criminalises homosexuality — “falls”. “How do we define privacy? What are its contents? Its contours? How can the State regulate privacy? What obligations does the State have to protect a person’s privacy?” Justice Chandrachud asked the lawyers representing petitioners in Aadhaar case. An attempt to define the right to privacy may cause more harm than good, the bench said. The observations may or may not be a part of the court’s final ruling.

Read the story here.

2- Monsoon session: Parliament uproar over cow vigilantes, anti-Dalit attacks

The Congress led the Opposition charge against the government over cattle-related lynchings and anti-Dalit attacks in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, leading to noisy scenes and repeated adjournments through the day. “Mob lynching cases in the name of cow protection have increased across the country in the last three years. Those involved in the lynchings are being protected by the ruling party,” Ghulam Nabi Azad, party leader and head of the Opposition in the upper house, alleged. Minister of state for parliamentary affairs Muktar Abbas Naqvi countered the allegations. Opposition leaders Sitaram Yechury and Derek O’Brien also spoke out against vigilantism.

Read the story here.

3- Pakistan not taking substantial action, terror groups continue to operate from its soil: US

Pakistan remained in the dock in the Trump administration’s first worldwide assessment of terrorism and related threats, released on Wednesday, for not doing enough to combat terrorist groups and individuals operating from its soil. The state department’s 2016 Country Reports on Terrorism named Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad(JeM), the two groups behind most terror attacks in India, and the Haqqani network, which has attacked US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan, as organisations that operate from Pakistan havens. In language lifted almost word-for-word from its previous iterations, the latest report said, “Pakistan did not take sufficient action against other externally focused groups, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad in 2016, which continued to operate, train, organise, and fundraise in Pakistan.”

Read the story here.

4- No resolution after Nitish-Tejashwi meet, JD(U) insists deputy CM ‘come clean’

The much-talked about meeting between chief minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy, Tejashwi Yadav, doesn’t seem to have resolved the crisis facing the ruling alliance in Bihar. The 45-minute meeting was being watched closely as Tejashwi was supposed to explain the corruption charges against him, which have worsened the ties between Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal led by Lalu Prasad, the deputy chief minister’s father. Both the parties are silent on the outcome but the JD(U) on Wednesday said the RJD would have to come clean. “The RJD would have to clear itself in public domain. Our stand has not changed,” party spokesperson Ajay Alok said, suggesting the crisis was far from over.

Read the story here.

5- Sasikala was allowed 23 visits, instead of 8, during four months in prison: RTI

Even as a controversy over undue privileges accorded to AIADMK leader VK Sasikala at the Bengaluru Central Prison continues to rage on, a Right to Information (RTI) response has revealed that she was allowed a whopping 23 visits from February 16 – the date of her incarceration – to June 16. She met as many as 48 visitors during these visits. This is in violation of prison rules, which clearly stipulate that a convict is allowed just one visit in a fortnight. Ideally, Sasikala should have benefited from just eight visits till June 15.

Read the story here.

6- Doctor abducted in Delhi by Ola driver found after 12 days in Meerut

Police rescued on Wednesday a Delhi doctor who was kidnapped by an Ola cab driver and held hostage by a gang for nearly two weeks in Meerut. Srikanth Goud, who works at the Metro Hospital in east Delhi’s Preet Vihar, was rescued from an under-construction building where he was being held, and four members of the gang that kidnapped him were arrested from Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar after a gunfight with the police. Goud took an Ola cab from the hospital on the night July 6 to go to south Delhi, but the driver took him to Dadri, where other suspects joined them.

Read the story here.

7- US Supreme Court exempts grandparents, grandkids from Trump’s travel ban

The US Supreme Court rejected on Wednesday a bid by President Donald Trump to include grandparents and other relatives in his travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority countries. But in a partial win for Trump, the court gave the government more leeway to enforce a separate ban on refugees that was included in a March 6 executive order the president said was necessary for national security. A federal judge had ruled against the government on the scope of both bans last Thursday, prompting the administration to seek Supreme Court intervention.

Read the story here.

8- EU will ‘wither and die’ if it does not change policy on Israel: Netanyahu

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has launched a withering attack on the European Union at a closed-door meeting of eastern European leaders in Budapest, saying the political grouping would wither and die if it did not change its policy towards Israel. The remarks, caught on an open microphone, underlined Netanyahu’s often barely disguised contempt for the European political union, which has criticised Israel – and his government in particular – over issues including Jewish settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories and the peace process.

Read the story here.

9- Ravi Shastri takes subtle dig at Sourav Ganguly-led Cricket Advisory Committee

There seems to be no thaw in the feisty relationship between Ravi Shastri and Sourav Ganguly. After the new India coach Ravi Shastri had his own way with the appointment of Bharat Arun as the bowling coach, the former India skipper fired another salvo at the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), which in all likelihood was aimed at one of its members, Ganguly. “I have matured since I last went to Sri Lanka and I have matured immensely in the last two weeks. Mine will be a refresh button that will be pushed. I carry on from where I left. I don’t come with any baggage. The team has done exceedingly well over three years and they are the people who deserve the cricket more than anybody else,” Shastri said while responding to the two-year contract that will be in place till the 2019 World Cup. Read the story here.