Daily Bulletin: SC to announce judgments on women's entry into Sabrimala, Rafale verdict review plea today; day's top stories

FP Staff

Sabarimala verdict: Five-judge constitution bench of SC set to pronounce judgment on women's entry today

The Supreme Court is scheduled to pronounce on Thursday its verdict on a batch of petitions seeking re-examination of its decision to allow entry of women of all age group in Kerala's Sabarimala Temple.

The apex court will deliver its judgment on as many as 65 petitions €" including 56 review petitions and four fresh writ petitions and five transfer pleas €" which were filed after its verdict sparked violent protests in Kerala.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had reserved its decision on 6 February after hearing various parties including those seeking reconsideration of the 28 September 2018 judgement.

Other members of the bench are justices RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.

The apex court, by a majority verdict of 4:1, on 28 September 2018, had lifted the ban that prevented women and girls between the age of 10 and 50 from entering the famous Ayyappa shrine in Kerala and had held that this centuries-old Hindu religious practice was illegal and unconstitutional.

The five-judge constitution had heard the pleas in an open court and reserved its decision after hearing the parties, including Nair Service Society, thantry of the temple, Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) and the state government, in favour and against the review plea.

SC to pronounce verdict on pleas seeking Rafale judgment review today

The Supreme Court is scheduled to pronounce on Thursday its verdict on petitions seeking a review of its judgment giving a clean chit to the Modi government in the Rafale fighter jet deal with French firm Dassault Aviation.

On 10 May, the apex court had reserved the decision on the pleas, including one filed by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan, seeking a re-examination of its findings that there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph is likely to pronounce verdicts on three review petitions with the other two filed by lawyer Vineet Dhandha and Aam Aadmi Party lawmaker Sanjay Singh respectively.

On 14 December 2018, the apex court dismissed the petitions seeking an investigation into alleged irregularities in the Rs 58,000 crore deal.

However, while reserving the judgement on the review petitions, the apex court had posed searching questions to the Centre on its deal with France to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets on issues like "waiver of sovereign guarantee" and the absence of technology transfer clause in the IGA pact.

JNU partially roll-back fee hike for BPL students without scholarship, students dub it as 'eyewash', continue to strike

Facing intense agitation for over two weeks, JNU on Wednesday rolled back the hostel fee hike partially for BPL students not availing any scholarship, a move which failed to satisfy agitating students who dubbed it as an "eyewash", and decided to continue with the strike.

The decision was taken at the varsity's 283rd Executive Council (EC) meeting, HRD secretary R Subrahmanyam announced while asking the protesting students to resume classes.

The students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) have been demanding the withdrawal of service charges of Rs 1,700 which were introduced from next session and the one-time mess security fee, which is refundable, has been hiked from Rs 5,500 to Rs 12,000.

As per the decision, there is no change in the fee for non-BPL category students as well as BPL students availing a scholarship. However, the students' union of the varsity rejected the move as "sham propaganda" and "selective usage of facts".

"We reject this sham propaganda and selective usage of facts which is an eyewash. The HRD secretary while announcing the so-called rollback has the arrogance to advise us to: 'go back to classes'. With the fee hike still in place, not only students will be going out of classes but also out of JNU," the students' union said in a statement.

The agitation will continue, it added.

Delhi air pollution: SC-mandated body orders closure of schools in Delhi-NCR on Thursday, Friday as AQI touches emergency levels

The schools in the national capital will be closed on Thursday and Friday, the Delhi government announced on Wednesday following an order from the Supreme Court-mandated anti-pollution authority EPCA as the air quality hovered close to 'emergency' levels.

The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority also extended the ban on hot-mix plants and stone-crushers in Delhi-NCR till 15 November.

The apex court had on 4 November banned construction and demolition activities in the region till further orders.

All coal and other fuel-based industries, which have not shifted to natural gas or agro-residue, will remain shut in Faridabad, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Noida, Bahadurgarh, Bhiwadi, Greater Noida, Sonepat and Panipat till 15 November it said.

India, Bangladesh lock horns again as Test series begins in Indore

After a come-from-behind victory by the Indians in the T20I series against Bangladesh at home, the Test match action begins between the two nations today at Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The anticipation among the fans is building up for the first day-night night Test at Kolkata on 22 November but Indian captain Virat Kohli has said that the team will is focusing entirely on the first Test, the immediate challenge. India have a dominant home record and Bangladesh, without the services of banned Shakib Al Hasan, will find it very difficult to be even challenging. The match starts at 9.30 am.

India take on Afghanistan in must-win World Cup qualifier

The Indian team has impressed and exasperated in equal measure over the course of the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers. The Blue Tigers began their campaign with a narrow defeat to Oman, before earning a massive point against Asian powerhouses Qatar. Their next result, however, was not quite as promising, ending in a 1-1 draw against underdogs Bangladesh, making Thursday's match against Afghanistan a must-win fixture. While it looks like a relatively uncomplicated assignment for India on the face of it, the match will be played on artificial turf and in frigid conditions, which will give Afghanistan a slight edge. The match begins at 7.30 pm.

Google could enter the banking sector with 'Project Cache'

It's being reported that Google is possibly eyeing the banking and financial sector with a new project codenamed 'Cache'. The company is reportedly partnering with CitiGroup and Stanford Federal Credit Union to offer to check accounts. This could be a direct competitor to the Apple Card that will likely function via the Google Pay app.

 

With inputs from agencies

Also See: Air quality in Delhi-NCR remains in 'severe' category; likely to improve by Friday, says SAFAR

Delhi air pollution: SC-mandated body orders closure of schools in Delhi-NCR on Thursday, Friday as AQI touches emergency levels

Review of Sabarimala verdict: Five-judge constitution bench of SC set to pronounce judgment on women's entry today; Kerala on edge

Read more on India by Firstpost.