Top news of the day: Supreme Court grants interim bail to Congress leader Pawan Khera; Edappadi Palaniswami to remain AIADMK’s leader after Supreme Court verdict, and more

The major news headlines of the day and more.

February 23, 2023 07:39 pm | Updated 07:46 pm IST

Congress members stage a protest at the IGI Airport after party leader Pawan Khera was allegedly deboarded from a plane owing to an FIR against him in New Delhi.

Congress members stage a protest at the IGI Airport after party leader Pawan Khera was allegedly deboarded from a plane owing to an FIR against him in New Delhi. | Photo Credit: PTI

Supreme Court grants interim bail to detained Congress leader Pawan Khera

The Supreme Court, on February 23, ordered the Magistrate to release Congress party spokesperson Pawan Khera on interim bail till Tuesday in a case of denigrating the Prime Minister, a constitutional authority, during a press conference. Mr. Khera was deboarded from a flight from Delhi to Raipur and detained.

AIADMK leadership row | Supreme Court upholds Madras High Court decision, paves way for EPS to be interim general secretary

The Supreme Court on February 23 affirmed a Madras High Court Division Bench decision upholding the conduct of a Special General Council meeting of AIADMK on July 11 last year, which appointed former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami as interim general secretary and expelled rival O. Panneerselvam from the primary membership of the party. A Bench led by Justice Dinesh Maheshwari also directed that an interim order of the apex court on July 6, 2022 in the case was “absolute”. The interim order had permitted the July 11 meeting to be held. It had further directed that no restrictions should be placed on the agenda of an earlier General Council meeting held on June 23, 2022.

MCD House adjourned for the day as AAP, BJP councillors spar

A day after running the House beyond midnight, the MCD assembled on February 23 only to be adjourned for the day, within an hour of assembling after BJP and AAP members had differences over carrying mobiles during voting. While the BJP is protesting against Mayor Shelly Oberoi’s decision to allow members to carry mobile phones to the booth area during the election of the MCD panel, the AAP accused the saffron party of resorting to “hooliganism” because of its defeat in the mayoral polls. On February 23, the House met at 8.30 a.m. but was adjourned for an hour amid sloganeering. As the House reconvened at 9.30 a.m., the ruckus continued and the Mayor adjourned the proceedings.

ED questions Delhi CM Kejriwal’s PA Bibhav Kumar in excise policy money laundering case

The Enforcement Directorate on February 23 questioned Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s personal assistant (PA) Bibhav Kumar in the money laundering case linked to alleged irregularities in the Delhi excise policy, officials said. Mr. Kumar deposed before the federal probe agency in New Delhi and the investigators are recording his statement under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they said.

Above normal temperatures in store for northwest, central, east India for five days: IMD

Northwest, central and east India are predicted to record maximum temperatures three to five degrees Celsius above normal over the next five days, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on February 23. Many parts of the country are already recording temperatures that are usually logged in the first week of March. It has fuelled concerns about an intense summer and heat waves this year. “Maximum temperatures are very likely to be three to five degrees Celsius above normal over most parts of northwest, central and east India during the next five days,” the IMD said in a statement.

Putin’s war a strategic failure for Kremlin, says U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet L Yellen on Thursday said Russia’s economy has become increasingly isolated and the impact of sanctions against that country for war against Ukraine is being seen. “Since the early days of the war, we have partnered with a multilateral coalition of over 30 countries to impose severe economic costs on Russia for its brutal assault. Our twin goals are to degrade Russia’s military-industrial complex and reduce the revenues that it can use to fund its war. We are seeing the impacts of these actions,” Ms. Yellen said.

Afghanistan’s Taliban reopen key trade route with Pakistan

Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers reopened a key border crossing with Pakistan on February 23, allowing thousands of trucks carrying desperately needed food and other items to creep forward for the first time in days, officials said. The jam at the Torkham crossing between the two nations began to ease after Islamabad sent a high-level delegation to Kabul to discuss a range of issues, including the Taliban’s closure of the border on Sunday. Taliban-appointed officials in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province confirmed the reopening of the Torkham border. The Afghan embassy in Pakistan also posted news of the reopening on Twitter.

Malaysia pressed to probe deaths of 150 foreigners in detention last year

Human rights groups have urged Malaysia to investigate conditions at migrant detention centers after the government said 150 foreigners, including seven children, died at the facilities last year. Malaysia routinely detains foreigners without valid permits to remain in the country, including asylum seekers. It is home to millions of undocumented migrants and over 100,000 Rohingya refugees. Its detention centres are crowded and unhygienic, and detainees have inadequate access to food, water, and healthcare, according to activists and Reuters’ interviews with former detainees.

GST revenues grew 12.7% in January

India’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenues grew 12.7% in January 2023 to hit almost ₹1.59 lakh crore, the second highest monthly collections on record, as per revised figures from the Finance Ministry. Earlier estimates of GST revenues for January had pegged collections at about ₹1.56 lakh crore till the evening of January 31 — 10.6% higher than GST receipts in January 2022. Based on the updated GST collections, the Finance Ministry’s monthly economic review released on February 23 said that total GST revenues between April 2022 and January 2023 now stand at ₹14.9 lakh crore, 23.1% higher than the same period of 2021-22.

Measures announced in Budget to promote jobs, spur economic growth: Finance Ministry

The measures like increased capex, boosting the green economy and initiatives for strengthening financial markets announced in the Budget 2023-24 are expected to promote job creation and spur economic growth, the Finance Ministry said on February 23. In its Monthly Economic Review, the Ministry said during the December 2022 quarter, various High-Frequency Indicators (HFIs) pointed towards a slowdown in general, as monetary tightening appeared to have started weakening global demand. “This may continue in 2023 as various agencies have forecasted a decline in global growth. Apart from the lagged impact of monetary tightening, the uncertainties emanating from the lingering pandemic and relentless conflict in Europe may further dampen global growth,” it noted.

IPL 2023 | South Africa all-rounder Aiden Markram to lead Sunrisers Hyderabad

South Africa all-rounder Aiden Markram was on February 23 named as captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad for the upcoming India Premier League (IPL) season, starting March 31. “THE. WAIT. IS. OVER. #OrangeArmy, say hello to our new captain Aiden Markram,” SRH announce on its twitter handle. New Zealand’s Kane Williamson had led SRH in the last season, where they finished a disappointing eighth in 10-team tournament with six wins and eight losses. Williamson was released by SRH ahead of this year’s auction, where Gujarat Titans bought his services.

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