HIGHLIGHTS

New Delhi, Feb 14 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 2100 hours: Top Stories: DEL87 SC-LDALL TELECOM SC threatens contempt against Airtel, Voda over non-payment of dues New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday threatened contempt proceedings against top executives of Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and other telecom firms for failing to comply with its directive to pay an estimated Rs 1.47 lakh crore in past dues, and asked whether there was no law left in the country.

DEL98 MH-LDALL ELGAR Pawar criticises Uddhav for letting NIA probe Elgar; Pune court transfers case to NIA court Kolhapur/Pune: In his first criticism of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray after their government in Maharashtra came to office in November, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar on Friday said the Shiv Sena chief was wrong in letting the NIA take over the probe into the Elgar Parishad case from the state police.

FGN34 CHINA-LDALL VIRUS Coronavirus outbreak death toll spikes to nearly 1,500 Beijing: The death toll in China's novel coronavirus outbreak has spiked to nearly 1,500, including six medical workers, while the confirmed cases of the infection are now around 65,000 even as the cases outside the worst-hit Hubei province dropped for the 10th consecutive day. By K J M Varma LGD66 SC-2NDLD NIRBHAYA Nirbhaya: SC clears way for execution of Vinay, dismisses petition against rejection of mercy plea New Delhi: Clearing the way for execution of Vinay Sharma, one of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case, the Supreme Court on Friday dismissed his plea against the rejection of his mercy petition by the President.

Nation: DEL23 LD PULWAMA-POLITICS Rahul asks who benefitted from Pulwama strike, BJP calls him LeT and Jaish sympathiser New Delhi: The Pulwama terror attack was at the centre of a bitter war of words between the opposition and the BJP on Friday with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi asking who benefitted from the strike and the ruling party accusing him of being a 'known sympathiser' of terror groups LeT and JeM.

DEL89 THALES-LD INDIA Thales to expand presence in India, says France supports company's resolve to share critical technology New Delhi: French defence major Thales has decided to expand its presence in India to exploit billions of dollars of military requirements expected to flow from the India's ambitious plan to roll out theatre commands to deal with evolving security challenges. By Manash Pratim Bhuyan DEL99 AAP-LD EXPANSION AAP will fight all local bodies elections across India to expand base: Gopal Rai New Delhi: Buoyed by its massive victory in the Delhi assembly polls, the Aam Aadmi Party has decided to contest all elections to local bodies across the country as part of an ambitious plan to expand its footprint beyond the national capital. By Bunty Tyagi DEL58 EC-SC-LD CANDIDATES SC order on decriminalising politics will help set new moral yardsticks: EC New Delhi: The Election Commission on Friday said it 'wholeheartedly' welcomes the Supreme Court order on decriminalisation of politics, saying it will go a long way in setting new moral yardsticks for improving electoral democracy.

DEL81 PASWAN-RESERVATION-LD INTERVIEW Govt should bring ordinance to 'rectify' SC order on reservation in jobs: Paswan New Delhi: The government should bring an ordinance to 'rectify' the Supreme Court's recent decision on reservation in jobs for SC-ST communities and all such issues should be included in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution to insulate them from judicial review, Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Friday. By Asim Kamal DEL72 EU-KASHMIR EU calls for swift withdrawal of remaining restrictions in Kashmir New Delhi: The European Union on Friday sought swift lifting of existing restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir but at the same time noted the 'positive steps' initiated by the union government to restore normalcy in the region.

3RDLD NSA Kafeel Khan slapped with NSA over anti-CAA speech at AMU Lucknow: The stringent National Security Act (NSA) has been slapped on Dr Kafeel Khan, who is lodged in Mathura jail, in connection with his anti-CAA speech at the Aligarh Muslim University.

Legal: LGD69 DL-HC-3RDLD BOOKIE Match-fixing: HC sends Sanjeev Chawla to Tihar jail till further orders New Delhi: Sanjeev Chawla, alleged bookie and key accused in one of cricket's biggest match-fixing scandals that involved former South African captain Hansie Cronje, got an interim relief from custodial interrogation with the Delhi High Court Friday sending him to Tihar Jail till further orders.

LGD60 DL-COURT-2NDLD AIRCEL MAXIS Aircel-Maxis cases: ED, CBI file status report of investigation against Chidambaram, son Karti New Delhi: Filing status reports of investigation in the Aircel-Maxis cases involving former finance minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti before a Delhi court on Friday, the ED said active investigation into the matter was going on, while the CBI stated that letter rogatory (LR) has been sent to Malaysia and the response is awaited.

Foreign: FGN24 JAPAN-SHIP-VIRUS-LD INDIANS Third Indian crew on board cruise ship off Japanese coast tests positive for coronavirus Tokyo: A third Indian crew on board a cruise ship off the Japanese coast has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the Indian Embassy in Japan said on Friday as authorities confirmed that 218 people have been infected with the deadly virus on the quarantined ship. PTI AQS