Top news of the day: India celebrates 77th Independence Day; CJI announces plan to expand Supreme Court with 27 additional courts and 51 judges’ chambers, and more

The major news headlines of the day and more.

August 15, 2023 07:06 pm | Updated 07:06 pm IST

NCC cadets listen to the speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during the celebrations of 77th Independence Day, at Red Fort in Delhi on August 15, 2023.

NCC cadets listen to the speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during the celebrations of 77th Independence Day, at Red Fort in Delhi on August 15, 2023. | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Independence Day 2023 | India celebrates 77th Independence Day

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke for nearly 90 minutes in his 10th Independence Day address on August 15 where he highlighted his government’s achievements as well as various challenges and opportunities before the nation. Addressing the nation on the 77th Independence Day, the Prime Minister urged fellow citizens not to lose the opportunity to realise the country’s potential as the decisions and sacrifices made in this period will impact the country for the next 1,000 years. Mr. Modi attacked the opposition over issues of corruption, dynastic politics and appeasement. The other States and Union Territories celebrated the 77th Independence Day on August 15, 2023.

On I-Day, CJI announces plan to expand Supreme Court with 27 additional courts and 51 judges’ chambers 

Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud on August 15 announced a plan to expand the Supreme Court with 27 additional courts and 51 judges’ chambers. Currently, the Supreme Court has 16 courtrooms and two registrar courts. Its judicial strength is 32. In his address at the 77th Independence Day celebrations at the Supreme Court lawns, Chief Justice Chandrachud said an “overhaul” of the court infrastructure was necessary on a priority basis to make courts more accessible and inclusive. The top judge said the emphasis of the new project would be on modernising the judicial infrastructure.

A view of the 77th Independence Day celebrations in Kolkata on August 15, 2023.

A view of the 77th Independence Day celebrations in Kolkata on August 15, 2023. | Photo Credit: Debasish Bhaduri

Donald Trump indicted in Georgia over 2020 election meddling 

Donald Trump and 18 allies were indicted in Georgia on Monday with scheming to overturn his 2020 election loss in the state, with prosecutors turning to a statute normally associated with mobsters to accuse the former president, lawyers and other top aides in a sweeping criminal conspiracy aimed at keeping him in power.

Helping the world during and after COVID has established India as a friend, says PM Modi

COVID-19 has taught us that development of the world is not possible without a human centric approach, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the occasion of Independence Day celebrations on August 15. As part of the celebrations, fifty nurses along with their family members from across the country were invited as special guests to witness and participate in the celebrations.

Himachal rains | Two more bodies recovered from debris of Shiv temple in Shimla, death toll reaches 53 

Two more bodies were pulled out of the rubble of a collapsed Shiv temple in Shimla on August 15 and rescuers feared 10 more bodies are still trapped there as the death toll in the rain fury in Himachal Pradesh since Sunday night rose to 53, officials said. The number of deaths in the twin landslide sites in Shimla’s Summer Hill and Fagli has risen to 16, they said.

We pledge to uphold freedom of democracy, Constitution for unity, integrity of nation: Kharge 

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on August 15 pledged to uphold democracy and the Constitution which he alleged were in danger. On Independence Day, he saluted the sacrifices of innumerable Indians who gave up their lives during the freedom struggle, and said they not only made contribution to the national movement but also laid a strong foundation of India.

Came to power in 2014 with a promise of change, in 2019 on performance, shall return in 2024 to give report card: PM Modi at Red Fort

Delivering what is his last Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort in Delhi before the general elections of 2024, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a strong pitch for his return next year, stating that he came into power in 2014 promising change, was elected back in 2019 on his government’s performance, and he would present a report card of his achievements in 2024, at the Red Fort. “Next time, on August 15, at this very Red Fort I will speak of the achievements of our country, the potential and resolve of our people and their success and self-confidence,” said Prime Minister Modi in a speech lasting 89 minutes (his fourth longest in 10 years).

Sulabh International founder Bindeshwar Pathak passes away at 80 

Sulabh International founder, Padma Bhushan recipient and social worker Bindeshwar Pathak died of a cardiac arrest on August 15 at AIIMS Delhi soon after he was rushed into the hospital, said sources. He was 80-years-old. Pathak was the founder of Sulabh International, an India-based social service organisation which works to promote human rights, environmental sanitation, waste management and reforms through education.

Nagaland village councils pledge to stir against Forest (Conservation) Amendment Act  

 Four village councils in the Sendenyu area of Nagaland’s Tseminyu district have initiated a movement against the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Act, 2023, passed in Parliament on August 2. These village councils (VCs) of the Rengma Naga community have appealed to the VCs of all Naga tribes across Nagaland to take up the matter of “great urgency and imminent crisis” to create pressure on the State government so that the 60-member Assembly rejects the Act. 

Jadavpur University anti-ragging committee submits report to UGC on student’s death 

The anti-ragging committee of Jadavpur University (JU) has submitted a report to the University Grants Commission (UGC) on preliminary findings of its inquiry into the death of an undergraduate student, an official of the institution said. The panel members have spoken to the students, hostel- and the university authorities before compiling the report on the death of the 17-year-old boy who was found dead in the main hostel on August 10. Another internal inquiry committee, formed by the university in the wake of the incident, has also recorded the statements of all stakeholders.

Congress, Uddhav-led Sena begin review of Maharashtra Lok Sabha seats, with uncertainty over Sharad Pawar’s NCP faction 

With a cloud hanging over the future of the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) faction, Mr. Pawar’s allies in the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) — the Congress and the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) — have respectively begun taking stock of all 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra. Mr. Pawar’s repeated meetings with his nephew, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, despite the latter splitting the NCP last month to align with the ruling BJP-Eknath Shinde government, has prompted the Sena (UBT) and the Congress to suspect that Pawar senior’s faction may ally with the BJP in the future, despite his denials of it.

FIFA Women’s World Cup | Carmona’s fires Spain into first-ever final with 2-1 win over Sweden 

Olga Carmona struck late to lift Spain to a thrilling 2-1 win over Sweden on Tuesday and send the Iberians into a first Women’s World Cup final. Carmona’s 90th-minute strike from long-range pinged off the crossbar and into the goal two minutes after Rebecka Blomqvist had levelled the match for Sweden in front of a baying crowd of 43,217 at Eden Park.

Russia launches Luna-25 in a bid to return to the moon 

Russia is once again foraying into lunar exploration with the much-anticipated launch of the Luna-25 which took off on August 11.  If successful, this will be the first lunar mission by Russia to touch down on the moon’s surface in 47 years.  The launch comes nearly a month after the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) sent its own moon lander, Chandrayaan-3, which is supposed to land on August 23. 

‘Nothing clandestine about my Pune meeting with Sharad Pawar,’ says nephew Ajit 

Clearing the air over his recent meeting with uncle, and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar in Pune, Deputy CM and rebel NCP leader Ajit Pawar on August 15 categorically denied there had been anything “clandestine” about the meet. “I am not a person who attends meetings in a surreptitious manner. There is no need to read too much into my meeting with Sharad Pawar. Pawar saaheb himself has said he is the father-figure of the Pawar family. I am his nephew by relation. Despite meeting someone in my own family, the media gives it a different colour and creates misunderstandings,” said Mr. Ajit Pawar, speaking in Kolhapur where he attended the flag hoisting ceremony on occasion of Independence Day.

Independence Day address | With an eye on Lok Sabha polls, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal lays down blueprint to fix India’s schools, health care, make Bharat ‘Vishwa Guru’ 

With an eye on the 2024 Lok Sabha election, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on August 14 laid down a blueprint for fixing the country’s schools and health care system, and also giving free electricity up to 200 units a month for all citizens, while delivering his Independence Day address.  Training his guns on the BJP, the AAP supremo said that in the past few years, some selected billionaires’ — ₹12 lakh crore — debts were waived off. 

Karnataka High Court refuses to quash abetment case against colleagues of LGBT employee who ended life allegedly due to harassment 

Observing that the precious life of a 35-year-old man, who belonged to the LGBT community, was lost owing to remarks of his sexual orientation, the High Court of Karnataka refused to quash, at this early stage of the probe, a criminal case registered against three of his colleagues for alleged abetment of suicide. Justice M. Nagaprasanna passed the order while rejecting petitions filed by Deputy General Manager (Marketing) Malathy S.B., Vice-President (Human Resources) Kumar Suraj, and Manager (Marketing) Nitish Kumar, at Lifestyle International Private Limited, Bengaluru.

‘Fighter’: Hrithik Roshan, Deepika Padukone, Anil Kapoor unveil motion poster 

On occasion of Independence Day, the makers of Fighter unveiled a motion poster featuring Hrithik Roshan, Deepika Padukone and Anil Kapoor’s first look as Indian Air Force pilots. The clip opens with a runway shot and then Hrithik comes into view. The actor looks dapper in his pilot G-suit. Next, we are introduced to Deepika Padukone and Anil Kapoor. They are also dressed in pilot uniforms. All three of them are seen holding helmets and wearing sunglasses.

ISRO achieved record high in last one year, says Chairperson S. Somanath 

ISRO Chairperson S Somanath said the space agency has achieved a record high in the last one year, not only in terms of launching satellites, but also with regard to the uniqueness of the missions. Speaking at the celebration of 77th Independence Day at ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru on August 15, Mr Somanath said, “Between the previous Independence Day and now, we’ve been very, very successful in achieving many missions. Let me thank all of you all across ISRO centres, Department of Space for the wonderful accomplishment you have made in the last one year. Launching satellites, building rockets and launching in numbers, and the numbers are really a record high this year. It is not only the record that we are trying to break, it is the uniqueness of the missions that have been accomplished.”

Let’s rise above divisions for better, brighter INDIA: Mamata Banerjee 

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on August 15 called for rising above divisions, casting aside differences, for a better and brighter INDIA. In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo laid stress on the word I.N.D.I.A., the name of the Opposition bloc forged to take on the BJP in next year’s Lok Sabha elections. “The chapters of our history are written in courage and resilience. As we hoist the tricolour, let’s remember the sacrifices of our freedom fighters and pledge to uphold the values they fought for,” she said.

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