Top news of the day: ED initiates probe into BBC India’s alleged foreign exchange violations; Surat court to pronounce order in Rahul Gandhi case on April 20, and more

The major news headlines of the day and more.

April 13, 2023 07:22 pm | Updated 07:22 pm IST

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s lawyer argued that the trial in a defamation case over the Congress leader’s “Modi surname” remark was “not fair” and there was no need for maximum punishment in the case. File Photo

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s lawyer argued that the trial in a defamation case over the Congress leader’s “Modi surname” remark was “not fair” and there was no need for maximum punishment in the case. File Photo | Photo Credit: PTI

Surat court to pronounce order on April 20 on Rahul Gandhi’s plea to stay conviction in defamation case

A sessions court in Surat on April 13 said it would pronounce on April 20 its order on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s plea for a stay to his conviction in a criminal defamation case over his “Modi surname” remark. After hearing arguments from both sides, additional sessions judge R. P. Mogera said he will pronounce the order on April 20. Mr. Gandhi’s lawyer argued that the trial in a defamation case over the Congress leader’s “Modi surname” remark was “not fair” and there was no need for maximum punishment in the case.

ED initiates probe into BBC India’s alleged foreign exchange violations

The Enforcement Directorate has initiated an inquiry into the BBC India under the Foreign Exchange Management Act for suspected violations. It is learnt that the agency has also asked some BBC India functionaries to submit the documents which it has to scrutinise as part of the proceedings. On Thursday, one functionary appeared before the investigators.

U.P. STF kills gangster Atiq Ahmed’s son, another accused in encounter

Gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed’s son Asad, and another accused Ghulam were killed in an encounter by the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) in Jhansi on April 13 according to officials. “Asad and Ghulam were wanted in the Umesh Pal murder case of Prayagraj and were carrying a reward of ₹5 lakh each. They were killed in an encounter with the U.P. STF team,” Special Additional Director General (Law and Order) Prasahant Kumar said.

Attack on Christians | Exaggerated and wrong impression, says Centre to Supreme Court

The Centre on April 13 said petitions filed in the Supreme Court alleging increasing incidents of attacks on Christians are devised to keep the “pot boiling” and give an “exaggerated” and wrong impression. Appearing before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, for the Centre, said statistics given by the petitioners to prove their case of attacks on the religious community was wrong.

Another soldier dies of gunshot wound at Bathinda Military Station: Army

An Army soldier died of gunshot injuries at the Bathinda military station in Punjab on April 12, around 12 hours after four personnel from an artillery unit were killed in a firing incident. Army officials further said the deceased jawan’s service weapon went off accidentally in Punjab on April 12 night. The jawan has been identified as Laghu Raj Shankar: Gurdeep Singh, SHO, Bathinda Cantt Police Station. Although he was immediately evacuated to the Military Hospital he succumbed to his injuries.

ED questions Lalu Prasad’s daughter Chanda in land-for-jobs case

The ED on April 13 recorded the statement of RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s daughter Chanda Yadav in a money laundering case linked to the alleged land-for-jobs scam in the railway, sources said. Chanda Yadav deposed before the agency and her statement was recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. She is the fourth child of the RJD chief, a former railway minister, to have deposed before the ED in this case till now.

IMD issues heatwave warning for parts of West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar

Parts of Gangetic West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar may experience heatwave conditions over the next three to four days, the India Meteorological Department said on April 13. Earlier this month, the Met office predicted above-normal maximum temperatures for most parts of the country from April to June, except parts of the northwest and the peninsular regions. Above-normal heatwave days are expected in most parts of central, east, and northwest India during this period.

Donald Trump set to give second deposition in New York fraud lawsuit

Former President Donald Trump was expected to visit the offices of New York’s Attorney General on April 13 for his second deposition in a legal battle over his company’s business practices. The Republican was scheduled to meet with lawyers for Attorney General Letitia James, who sued Mr. Trump last year. Her lawsuit claims Mr. Trump and his family misled banks and business associates by giving them false information about his net worth and the value of assets such as hotels and golf courses.

China blames ‘negative impact’ of U.S. military drills for North Korea tensions

China on April 13 blamed the “negative impact” of US military drills for tensions on the Korean peninsula, after Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile that prompted Japan to briefly issue a seek shelter warning. South Korea’s military said it had detected one “medium range or longer” ballistic missile from the Pyongyang area on Thursday morning, adding it was likely a “new type” that may have used advanced solid fuel. Japan briefly issued the seek shelter warning to residents of the northern Hokkaido region, but later said the missile had not fallen within the country’s territory and posed no threat.

Norway expels 15 Russian diplomats suspected of spying

Norway’s government said on April 13 that it was expelling 15 Russian diplomats from the country, saying they were suspected of spying while working at the Russian Embassy in Oslo. Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt said the move was “an important measure to counter and reduce the scope of Russian intelligence activities in Norway, and thereby secure our national interests.” The Russians declared persona non grata “must leave Norway within a short time,” Huitfeldt said, adding, “We will not grant visas to intelligence officers who apply for a visa to Norway.”

India’s exports up 6% to reach $447.46 bn in 2022-23: Commerce Secretary

India’s goods exports rose by about 6.03% to reach $447 billion during the last financial year, while imports jumped to a record $714.24 billion, registering a 16.5% growth. Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal on India’s foreign trade in 2022-23 said, “Based on services exports estimates and actual numbers of goods exports, we have surpassed our target of $750 billion dollars to hit $770.18 billion. Last year also, we achieved highest exports of $676 billion and this is $94 billion higher.”

IPL 2023: KKR vs SRH | High-flying Kolkata faces Hyderabad, eyes hat-trick of wins

On a high after Rinku Singh’s phenomenal knock, Kolkata Knight Riders will be gunning for a hat-trick of victories when they face a resurgent Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League in Kolkata on April 14. Having started off their campaign with a reversal against Punjab Kings at Mohali, KKR found two unlikely heroes in two matches to get their campaign up and running.

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