From self-styled godman Asaram Bapu’s verdict to the Union Cabinet’s ordinance on death penalty for child rapists, here’s a look at the past week in pictures:
Asaram Bapu verdict
Self-styled godman Asaram Bapu was held guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl by a Jodhpur court on April 25, and sentenced to life imprisonment. In 2013, a 16-year-old girl had accused Asaram Bapu of rape on the intervening night of August 15 and 16 at an ashram of Asaram Bapu in Jodhpur. A case was lodged against Asaram and four others – Sanchita alias Shilpi, Sharad Chandra alias Sharat Chandra, Prakash and Shiva alias Sava Ram Hethvadiya who were associates of Asaram at that time. Prakash and Shiva have been acquitted, Shilpi and Sharat Chandra have been awarded a 20-year jail term.
CJI Dipak Misra impeachment
On April 20, seven opposition parties submitted to Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, chairman of Rajya Sabha, a notice for a motion of impeachment against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra. On April 23, Naidu rejected the notice submitted by seven opposition parties for an impeachment motion of Chief Justice of India citing “absence of credible and verifiable information”. The decision was arrived at after extensive consultations with legal luminaries, government law officers and former Rajya Sabha secretaries general.
Elevation of Indu Malhotra as SC judge
Senior advocate Indu Malhotra on Friday took oath of office as a Supreme Court judge, becoming the first woman lawyer to be elevated to the post directly from the Bar.
The Centre, however, kept on hold Justice Joseph’s name despite the Collegium recommending both names for appointment in January. Justice K M Joseph had struck down the Centre’s order to impose President’s Rule in Uttarakhand in 2016. Ever since, the Collegium’s recommendation for Justice Joseph’s transfer to Andhra Pradesh and then his elevation to the Supreme Court has been blocked by the central government.
Union Cabinet clears ordinance awarding death penalty for child rapists
A day after the Union cabinet cleared the Ordinance for death penalty for those convicted of raping children below 12 years of age, President Ram Nath Kovind promulgated the criminal law amendment ordinance, paving the way for the stringent punishment. On April 20, the government had informed the Supreme Court that it is actively considering amending the penal law to introduce death penalty to the accused.
Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal ended her indefinite hunger strike on April 22 after the Union Cabinet approved an ordinance to give stringent punishment, including the death penalty, to those convicted of raping girls below 12 years. Maliwal was protesting against the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua, Jammu, and the alleged rape of a 17-year-old in Unnao, UP.
Aadhaar mobile linkage
The Supreme Court on April 25 questioned the Centre’s decision to link mobile numbers to Aadhaar card citing its February 2017 order in a PIL, and said that the order did not contain any such direction. “In fact there was no such direction from the Supreme Court, but you took it and used it as tool to make Aadhaar mandatory for mobile users,” a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra remarked.
When Kim Jong Un took that small yet historic step
Kim Jong Un became the first North Korean leader since the 1950-53 Korean War to set foot in South Korea after shaking hands with his counterpart Moon Jae-in over a concrete curb marking the border in the heavily fortified demilitarised zone between the two countries.
Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in embraced each other after pledging on April 27 to work for the “complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula,” punctuating a day of smiles and handshakes at the first inter-Korean summit in more than a decade.
2002 Naroda Patiya massacre case
Former BJP minister Maya Kodnani was on April 20 acquitted by the Gujarat High Court in the 2002 Naroda Patiya riots case in which 97 people were killed by a mob. A division bench of Justices Harsha Devani and A S Supehiya said the charges against Kodnani, who was earlier sentenced to life imprisonment by a trial court, could not be established.
The court was hearing 11 appeal petitions moved by the convicts, the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) and the families of the victims of the riots.
PM Modi meets Chinese President Xi Jinping
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in Wuhan on April 27 for a two-day informal summit. During the ‘heart-to-heart’ meeting, they held one-on-one conversations focussing on bilateral, global and regional issues. Modi, who had arrived in Wuhan province of China on April 26 met Xi for the first time after his re-election to the office following the end of the Constitutional term limit.
The Chinese President has not hosted any leader in an “informal summit”, which is how the Xi-Modi meeting has been described. In fact, Xi has travelled out of Beijing to central China to spend over two days with the Indian PM, the first time he is extending such a gesture to a visiting foreign leader.
Royal baby- It’s Prince Louis Arthur Charles
The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth on April 23 to a baby boy, a third child for her and Prince William and a younger brother to Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate have named their newborn son Louis Arthur Charles, who will be known as His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge, Kensington Palace said on April 27.