Top news of the day: Ashok Gehlot says ‘traitor’ Sachin Pilot cannot become Rajasthan CM; Jama Masjid bans entry of girls except those visiting to pray, and more

The major news headlines of the day and more.

November 24, 2022 07:25 pm | Updated 07:25 pm IST

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot addresses a press conference at the Congress office in Jaipur on November 23, 2022.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot addresses a press conference at the Congress office in Jaipur on November 23, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

‘Traitor’ Sachin Pilot cannot be made Chief Minister: Ashok Gehlot

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot called Sachin Pilot a “gaddar” (traitor) and said he cannot replace him as he had revolted against the Congress in 2020 and tried to topple his own government. The remarks have further widened the fissures in the Congress party in Rajasthan, where Assembly polls are slated next year. Mr. Gehlot also alleged that Union Home Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Amit Shah was involved in Mr. Pilot’s rebellion, when some Congress MLAs loyal to him were holed up in a Gurugram resort for more than a month and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan visited them often, claiming that he has proof that an amount of ₹10 crore was paid to each of those legislators, including Pilot.

Delhi’s Jama Masjid bans entry of ‘girls’, Shahi Imam says doesn’t apply to those offering prayers

The administration of Delhi’s famed Jama Masjid has put up notices outside the main gates banning the entry of girls or women, whether alone or in groups. As the issue led to outrage in some quarters, the Shahi Imam stepped in to say the order is not applicable to those coming to offer prayers. According to Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the decision was taken after some “incidents” were reported on the premises of the heritage structure. “Jama Masjid is a place of worship and people are welcome for that. But girls coming alone and waiting for their dates... this is not what this place is meant for. The restriction is on that,” he said.

Supreme Court questions ‘lightning speed’, 24-hour procedure appointing Arun Goel as Election Commissioner

The Supreme Court, after inspecting official files on November 24, said the appointment of Arun Goel as Election Commissioner was done with “lightning speed”, the procedure taking less than 24 hours from start to finish on November 18. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, for the petitioner, said that Mr. Goel was a Secretary in the government on Friday. He took voluntary retirement that day and was appointed as Election Commissioner on Saturday and took charge on Monday. “It was done with such haste… with a tearing urgency… You did not require time to contemplate?”  Justice K.M. Joseph asked the government side.

Mukroh clashes | Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma to discuss border situation with Home Minister Amit Shah

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma will lead a Cabinet delegation to New Delhi to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah and discuss the tense border situation between Assam and the hill State following clashes in Mukroh village, and also demand a federal probe into the violence. The meeting comes a day after the Assam Cabinet announced that it will hand over the probe into the violence to the CBI, and asked the State police to show restraint while dealing with civilian disturbances.

Gujarat polls | 21% candidates in first phase facing criminal cases; AAP tops list, followed by Congress, BJP: Report

A total of 167 candidates, out of the 788 contesting the 89 seats in the first phase of Gujarat Assembly election, have criminal cases against them, with 100 of them facing serious charges like murder and rape, a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms said. The AAP, which is contesting 88 seats out of the total 89, tops this list among major political parties in the fray with 36% of its candidates having criminal cases. 30% of its candidates are facing serious cases such as murder, rape, assault, kidnapping, among others. The number of candidates having criminal cases fielded by the AAP is 32.

BJP committed to bring Uniform Civil Code once democratic discussions are over: Amit Shah

“Not only the BJP, the Constituent Assembly had also advised the Parliament and States to bring UCC at an opportune time, because for any secular country, laws should not be on the basis of religion. If nation and State are secular, how can laws be based on religion? For every believer, there should be one law passed by Parliament or the State Assemblies,” Union Home Minister Amit Shah said. “Except the BJP, no other party is in favour of the Uniform Civil Code. In a democracy, healthy debate is a necessity. There is a need for open and healthy debate on the issue,” he added.

Nirav Modi seeks permission to appeal extradition in U.K. top court

Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi has filed an application in the High Court in London, seeking permission to appeal against his extradition order in the Supreme Court. Nirav, who remains behind bars at Wandsworth Prison in London, had two weeks to file an application seeking an appeal on the grounds of a point of law of general public importance, which according to experts is a high threshold that is not met very often. It is unknown if and when extradition may take place as Nirav Modi still has legal challenges open to him, U.K. Home Office sources said. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), acting on behalf of the Indian authorities, is now expected to respond to the latest application, following which a High Court judge is to give a ruling on paper – without a full hearing.

Pakistan PM picks Lt. Gen. Asim Munir as new Army chief

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on November 24 chose Lt. Gen. Asim Munir as the new Army chief to succeed incumbent General Qamar Javed Bajwa, ending the suspense over the key appointment. Gen. Bajwa, 61, is scheduled to retire on November 29 after a three-year extension. He has ruled out seeking another extension.

Malaysia king names reformist leader Anwar Ibrahim as Prime Minister

Malaysia’s king named reformist opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim as the country’s Prime Minister on Thursday, ending days of uncertainties after divisive general elections produced a hung Parliament. Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah said Mr. Anwar will be sworn in later on Thursday. Mr. Anwar’s Alliance of Hope led Saturday’s election with 82 seats, short of the 112 needed for a majority. Former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s right-leaning National Alliance won 73 seats, with its ally Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party emerging as the biggest single party with 49 seats.

Full-fledged crisis underway in Iran, says U.N. human rights chief

The U.N. human rights chief made a strong appeal to Iranian authorities to stop their “unnecessary and disproportionate” use of force against protesters in Iran in a speech to the Human Rights Council on the ongoing crisis. The body is debating a motion brought by a group of some 50 countries led by Germany and Iceland to create a new investigative fact-finding mission to probe alleged abuses since a wave of protests began over the death in custody of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini on September 16. “We are now in a full-fledged human rights crisis,” High Commissioner of Human Rights Volker Turk said in his first address to the council since starting last month.

India to grow at ‘moderately brisk rate’, inflation to ease: Finance Mnistry

India is well placed to grow at a “moderately brisk rate” in the coming years on the back of macroeconomic stability, despite global monetary tightening, a Finance Ministry report said. The ‘Monthly Economic Review for October 2022’ also cautioned that the US monetary tightening is a “future risk” which could lead to dip in stock prices, weaker currencies and higher bond yields, resulting in higher borrowing costs for many governments around the world. It said a rapid deterioration in global growth prospects, high inflation, and worsening financial conditions have increased fears of an impending global recession.

About ₹400 crore tax deposited by filing updated ITRs so far

The recently introduced provision for allowing taxpayers to update their tax returns has seen as many as five lakh re-filings with about ₹400 crore additional tax coming in, a senior government official said. “Data showed that one company has filed an updated return and the amount of tax paid is ₹1 crore. This shows that there is voluntary compliance now and people want to pay tax and stay clean,” the official added.

FIFA World Cup 2022 | Switzerland beats Cameroon Group G opener

An apologetic Breel Embolo scored the winner against the country of his birth to hand Switzerland a 1-0 victory over Cameroon in their FIFA World Cup 2022 Group G clash at the Al Janoub Stadium. Embolo swept home a low Xherdan Shaqiri cross after 48 minutes and then stood still with a rueful frown on his face as his teammates celebrated around him. Cameroon was the better side in the opening half and might have had the lead as Karl Toko Ekambi, Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting and Martin Hongla all missed good chances against a lacklustre Switzerland side that battled to get out of first gear. But the Swiss were much improved in the second period and took the lead through Embolo’s well-worked goal.

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