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Daily briefing: SC on Bilkis, PMLA, Pegasus; EC calls for Hemant Soren’s disqualification as MLA; and more

Top news, August 26: Nepal stalls for now the recruitment of Gorkhas into the Indian Army under the Agnipath scheme; India upstages China as the largest nationality sending its students to the UK; and more.

Top news on August 26, 2022.Top news on August 26, 2022.

In today’s edition: SC on Bilkis, PMLA, Pegasus; EC calls for Hemant Soren’s disqualification as MLA; Nepal halts Gorkha recruitment in Indian Army; and more

Big Story 

On the penultimate working day of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, the Supreme Court heard a number of high profile cases, including — the remission of Bilkis Bano’s convicts, Pegasus spyware, and the review petition against the PMLA judgment. Here’s what happened: 

🔴 Bilkis Bano: Agreeing to hear a plea challenging the Gujarat government’s decision to grant remission to 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case, the Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the state government. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana allowed the released convicts to be made parties to the case. The bench, also comprising Justices Ajay Rastogi and Vikram Nath, posted the matter for hearing after two weeks.

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🔴 PMLA: Underlining its support for a law against money laundering, the Supreme Court Thursday agreed to reconsider its verdict upholding key provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2005. And flagged, for reconsideration, issues that have been criticised as possible violations of due process: reversal of the presumption of innocence and disclosure of information.

🔴 Pegasus: The Supreme Court-appointed technical committee, which probed allegations of unauthorised use of Israeli NSO Group spyware Pegasus software for surveillance, examined 29 phones and found some malware in 5 of them, said a bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana Thursday. CJI Ramana also said the government had not cooperated with the committee and had adopted the same stand that it had taken before the SC, in the panel’s proceedings too.

Only in the Express 

In a major setback for the JMM-led Jharkhand regime, the Election Commission (EC) on Thursday recommended the disqualification of Chief Minister Hemant Soren as MLA under the Representation of the People Act, 1951, The Indian Express has learnt. Sources said the Commission, in its opinion shared with Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais, found Soren guilty of misusing his position to allot a stone mining lease to himself last year.

From the Front Page 

🔴 Every year since 1947, Nepal-domiciled Gorkhas have been recruited in the Indian Army. But with Nepal raising concerns about the new Agnipath recruitment scheme, the future of the practice now hangs in the balance. Days before the scheduled arrival of Indian Army Chief, Gen Manoj Pande, to receive the ‘Honorary General’ rank of Nepal Army, Kathmandu has for now stalled the recruitment of Gorkhas in the Indian Army. 

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🔴 Citing a November 27, 2020, SEBI order, NDTV Ltd told stock exchanges Thursday that Adani Group-owned Vishvapradhan Commercial Private Ltd (VCPL) will have to seek the market regulator’s approval before it acquires 99.5 per cent stake in RRPR Holding Pvt Ltd, which in turn holds 29.18 per cent shares in the television media company. But security law experts say the SEBI order may not be an obstacle. 

Must Read

India has upstaged China as the largest nationality for sending students to the United Kingdom, as per the Immigration Statistics Report. After a Covid-induced lull, there is an increase in study visas as compared to the pre-pandemic years, the report shows. The number of Sponsored study visas granted in the year ending June 2022 is the highest on record since this time series began in 2005. Before 2022, the highest number of student visas granted was 307,394 in the year ending June 2010.

A year after the Taliban returned to power in Kabul, The Indian Express travelled to Afghanistan to report on what has changed on the ground since the time they were last in power, what’s on their minds and that of the Afghan people, and where India and China stand in the country today — and for the foreseeable future. 

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In our opinion section today, Nandan Kamat writes on how we can democratise sports governance: “Athletes might end up as effective sports administrators. There is an equal chance that they will not. Their eminence on the playing field does not increase the odds of them being in either bucket. While “correcting” the rot in Indian sports governance, “quick fix” solutions might further muddy the waters.”

And Finally

When it was first launched, the humble Maruti 800 hatchback set off a rare and enduring Indian manufacturing success story. But a little known fact is that at the time, state-owned Maruti Udyog Ltd was also considering launching the Renault 18 — a mid-sized sedan. Market surveys, however, found that Indians wanted a low-cost and fuel-efficient car. And that 40-year-old consumer survey endures even to this day, testified by the eventual success found by Maruti Udyog’s first car that the company didn’t even bother to badge. Today, Maruti Suzuki has only intensified its focus on the small car market and keeps its lead in this high-volume, low-margin segment.

Until tomorrow, 

Rahel Philipose

First published on: 26-08-2022 at 07:57:06 am
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