Top news of the day: AAP ends BJP’s 15-year rule in Delhi civic body; Supreme Court asks Centre, RBI to produce records on demonetisation, and more

The major news headlines of the day and more.

December 07, 2022 07:28 pm | Updated 07:28 pm IST

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and other leaders celebrate AAP’s victory in the MCD elections at the party’s headquarters in New Delhi.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and other leaders celebrate AAP’s victory in the MCD elections at the party’s headquarters in New Delhi. | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

MCD election | AAP ends BJP rule in Delhi civic body

The Aam Aadmi Party recorded its maiden victory at the Municipal Corporation of Delhi elections after winning 134 seats out of 250, putting an end to the BJP’s 15-year term at the civic body. The saffron party secured 104 seats out of 250, a massive dip from its 2017 civic poll total of 181 seats. The Congress continued to see a dip in its seat share after winning only nine seats. In the 2017 and 2012 civic polls, the Congress had won 77 and 31 seats, respectively.

Demonetisation | Supreme Court directs Centre, RBI to produce records relating to 2016 decision

The Supreme Court on directed the Centre and the RBI to place on record the “relevant records” relating to the government’s 2016 decision to demonetise currency notes of ₹1,000 and ₹500 denomination for its perusal. Reserving its verdict on a batch of pleas challenging the Centre’s decision, a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Justice S.A. Nazeer heard the submissions from Attorney-General R. Venkataramani, RBI’s counsel, and the petitioners’ lawyers, including senior advocates P. Chidambaram and Shyam Divan. The Attorney-General said that the documents will be handed over in a sealed cover.

Parliament Winter session | Lok Sabha discusses the Anti-Maritime Piracy Bill, Rajya Sabha the Wildlife Protection (Amendment) Bill

Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha conducted business as usual on the first day of the 2022 Winter Session, as opposed to a turbulent previous session. On day one, Rajya Sabha discussed the Wildlife Protection (Amendment) Bill 2022, and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar responded to queries on India’s foreign policy. The Lok Sabha discussed The Anti-Maritime Piracy Bill, 2019. Proceedings will resume at both Houses at 11 a.m. on Thursday.

Doctrine of separation of powers among government’s three organs must be respected: Dhankhar

Rajya Sabha chairperson Jagdeep Dhankhar said that any incursion by the three organs of the government into each other’s domains has the potential to upset the governance apple cart and asserted that all should respect the “laxman rekha”. His maiden comments in the Parliament’s Upper House came in the backdrop of recent run-ins between the government and the judiciary over the appointment of judges. Democracy blossoms and flourishes when its three facets — the legislature, the judiciary and the executive — scrupulously adhere to their respective domains, Mr. Dhankhar said, adding that the doctrine of separation of powers must be respected.

Sensible to get best deal in interest of Indian people: Jaishankar on oil import from Russia

The government does not ask Indian companies to buy oil from Russia but it is a sensible policy to get the best deal in the interest of Indian people, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. Responding to questions from members in the Upper House, the minister said it is his duty to put the interest of the Indian people first to ensure that they do not pay the cost of some other countries’ actions or some other region’s actions for fertiliser, food, etc. “We do not ask our companies to buy Russian oil. We ask our companies to buy oil what is the best option that they can get. Now it depends on what the market throws up,” he said.

EWS reservation | Backward Classes Federation files review petition against majority-verdict of Supreme Court

The All India Backward Classes Federation has filed a review petition against a majority judgment of the Supreme Court which upheld the 10% reservation in government jobs and institutions for economically weaker sections, including forward castes, of the society. The review petition, settled by Professor G. Mohan Gopal, said EWS reservation was for a social- and educational class, the forward class amongst them, with a creamy layer cut-off.

Delhi riots | Court to pass order on Umar Khalid’s interim bail plea on December 12

A Delhi court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on an interim bail plea of former JNU student Umar Khalid who is an accused in a 2020 northeast Delhi riots case. Mr. Khalid has moved the plea seeking two-week interim bail for his sister’s marriage. Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat will pass the order on December 12. During the hearing, counsel for Mr. Khalid cited various judgments where the accused booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act were granted interim bail.

Border dispute | Buses between Karnataka and Maharashtra stopped

Movement of buses across the Karnataka-Maharashtra border was stopped on Wednesday, following protests by activists on both sides over the border dispute. A KSRTC official said that services of as many as 250 buses of Chikkodi depot and 80 from Belagavi depot were stopped. NWKRTC officers say around 150 buses from Maharashtra had not crossed into Karnataka. Most of the MSRTC buses from Maharashtra to Belagavi were stopped too.

China announces rollback of strict anti-COVID-19 measures

China’s announcement includes limiting the scale of lockdown to individual apartment floors and buildings, rather than entire districts and neighbourhoods. People who test positive for the virus will be able to isolate at home rather than in overcrowded and unsanitary field hospitals, and schools where there have been no outbreaks must return to in-class teaching. The announcement follows recent street protests in several cities over the strict “zero-COVID” policy now entering its fourth year, which has been blamed for upending ordinary life, travel and employment while dealing a harsh blow to the national economy.

Taliban carry out first public execution since Afghan takeover

The Taliban authorities on Wednesday executed an Afghan convicted of killing another man, the first public execution since the former insurgents took over Afghanistan last year, a spokesman said. The execution took place in western Farah province before hundreds of spectators and many top Taliban officials, including from the capital of Kabul and the province, according to Zabihullah Mujahid, the top Taliban government spokesman.

Suicide bomber hits Indonesian police station, killing 1, wounds 11

A Muslim militant and convicted bomb-maker who was released from prison last year blew himself up on Wednesday at a police station on Indonesia’s main island of Java, killing an officer and wounding 11 people, officials said. The attacker entered the Astana Anyar police station with a motorcycle and detonated one of two bombs he was carrying as police were lining up for a morning assembly, said Bandung city Police Chief Aswin Sipayung. The other explosive was defused. A video that circulated on social media showed body parts near the damaged lobby of the police station, which was engulfed in white smoke as people ran out of the building.

RBI increases key lending rate by 35 bps, pegs GDP growth at 6.8%

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday increased the repo rate by 35 basis points to 6.25%, and the Standing Deposit Facility stands raised to 6%. The MPC’s majority view was to withdraw accommodative stance, said RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das. The focus on inflation control continues and there will be no let-up in our efforts to bring down inflation, first below 6% and then closer to the 4% target, the Governor said.

Eden Hazard retires from international football after Belgium’s World Cup exit

Belgium captain Eden Hazard announced his retirement from international football aged 31 on Wednesday after his second-ranked team’s World Cup campaign ended in a disappointing group stage exit. Hazard, the anchor of Belgium’s “golden generation”, played in all three games but did not score as Belgium beat Canada, lost to Morocco and had to settle for a goalless draw with Croatia to finish third in Group F.

Steve Smith back as Australia Test captain after Cummins ruled out due to injury

Steve Smith on Wednesday, returned as Australia captain after Pat Cummins failed to recover from an injury and was ruled out of the second Test against the West Indies beginning on Thursday. The Aussie pace spearhead had suffered a quadricep strain and was out of action on the final day of the first Test that the hosts won by 164 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

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