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Morning Digest | Ghulam Nabi Azad declines offer to head Congress’ J&K campaign committee; SC to examine validity of child gangrape law, and more

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi at Parliament House complex, in New Delhi. File photo

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi at Parliament House complex, in New Delhi. File photo | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

PM Modi, French Prez Macron discuss geopolitical challenges, cooperation in civil nuclear energy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron on August 16, 2022 reviewed ongoing bilateral initiatives, including defence collaboration projects and cooperation in civil nuclear energy. During their telephonic conversation, they also discussed important geopolitical challenges, including those related to global food security, a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said

Gujarat freed Bilkis Bano convicts as per 1992 policy

The Gujarat government released 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case of the 2002 Gujarat riots, relying on a 1992 policy following the direction of the Supreme Court, while the State government’s revised policy of 2014 would have made them ineligible for remission.

The 2014 policy bars out-of-turn release of prisoners convicted for rape and murder. A State government official said the decision to release the prisoners was taken as per the 1992 policy based on the Supreme Court’s order on May 13.

SC to examine convict’s plea on validity of child gangrape law

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to examine the validity of a law which sends a guilty man either to a lifetime in prison or to the gallows for gangraping a child under 12 years without affording him a chance to atone for his crime or reform.

The petition was filed by a 29-year-old man, Nikhil Shivaji Golait, who is serving a prison sentence which would last till the end of his natural life for the gangrape of a nine-year-old in Maharashtra in 2019.

BJP chief meets over party’s Bihar core committee, chalks out road ahead

On a day when Janata Dal (U)–Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) alliance swore in its council of ministers in Bihar, the BJP, left out in the cold after the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar broke their alliance, got into a huddle to discuss the future course of action for the party in the State, with the immediate resolve that the General Elections in 2024 are to prioritised.

BJP president J.P. Nadda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah as well as 20 other leaders of the BJP in Bihar, including State unit president Sanjay Jayaswal and former Union Minister Ravi Shankar, met in New Delhi over the party’s rather lonely predicament.

Ghulam Nabi Azad declines offer to head Congress’ J&K campaign committee

Hours after being appointed as campaign committee head of Congress’ Jammu and Kashmir unit on August 16, Ghulam Nabi Azad resigned from the post.

The party had also named Mr. Azad, who was part of the Group of 23 leaders who wrote to Sonia Gandhi in 2020 seeking a large-scale organisational overhaul, the head of the campaign committee in the Union Territory (UT).

Seven ITBP personnel killed as bus falls into gorge in J&K

Seven security personnel died on Tuesday after a bus carrying Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) men met with an accident near Pahalgam in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag. 

The bus, which was carrying 39 ITBP troopers returning from Amarnath Yatra duty, fell in a river near the Chandanwari area of Pahalgam. The bus was on its way from Chandanwari to police control room in Srinagar.

SC to hear bail plea of activist Teesta Setalvad on August 22

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a plea for bail filed by activist Teesta Setalvad, who is accused of fabricating evidence to frame high functionaries of the Gujarat government in a case related to the 2002 riots.

The CJI listed the case before a Bench led by Justice U.U. Lalit on August 22.

BJP silent, VHP condemns attack on Salman Rushdie

BJP continues to maintain a studied silence over the attack on author Salman Rushdie last week, with spokespersons and leaders of the party only referring to a response by Minister for External Affairs S. Jaishankar over the issue, which basically acknowledged that the government had noted the matter and the response of other countries.

Accelerate coverage of precautionary dose, says Health Minister

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, on August 16, urged States and Union Territories to accelerate coverage of precaution dose for COVID-19 among population aged 18 years and above, while advising that availability of heterologous precaution dose of Corbevax vaccine be widely publicised.

Child mortality has dipped to 35 per 1,000 live births: Minister

India has taken rapid strides in reducing child mortality since 2014 from 45 per 1,000 live births to 35 per 1,000 live births in 2019, Union Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar said on Tuesday.

Kenya’s Raila Odinga vows to pursue ‘legal options’ over vote defeat

Kenya’s defeated presidential candidate Raila Odinga vowed on Tuesday to pursue “all constitutional and legal options” after rejecting the outcome of elections that awarded victory to his rival William Ruto.

The 77-year-old veteran politician branded the result of the August 9 race a “travesty” but stopped short of explicitly announcing that he would mount a challenge at the Supreme Court.

Delhi HC forces Sports Code on Indian Olympics Association

Compliance with the Sports Code is non-negotiable, the Delhi High Court said on Tuesday while reigning in a slew of reforms for the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) including appointing a three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) to take over its affairs.


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