QBullet: Govt Presents Union Budget; Nageshwar Rao Shunted Out

1. Union Budget 2019-2020: Rights, Duties and 5 Trillion Hopes

The Union Budget for 2019-2020 followed the prescription detailed in the Economic Survey presented on 4 July and focused on boosting investment to create a virtuous cycle to power growth, but steered clear of embarking on a rash of spending that could have bloated the fiscal deficit.

Many of the spends, including those on defence, have been retained at the same level as in the interim budget presented in February, and overall, the increase in expenditure is 13.4 percent over the revised estimates (RE) for 2018-19.

This was done by announcing several measures to boost private investment even as the government prioritised its own spending in the creation of rural and urban infrastructure that could drive growth, and without rolling back any of the farm and middle-class friendly measures announced in the interim budget in February.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: Aadhaar for PAN, Rs 20 Coin & More: Key Highlights of Budget 2019

2. Top CBI Officer Nageshwar Rao Shunted Out

The government removed CBI Additional Director M Nageshwar Rao.

M Nageswara Rao, who was made interim chief of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for a short period last year, has been moved out of the premier investigative agency.

The order on the 1986-batch IPS officer was cleared by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet which has Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi as its members. Rao has been made Director General of Fire Services, Civil Defences and Home Guard, till he retires next year.

Rao hit the headlines last year after being picked as interim chief to replace Alok Verma amid an unprecedented tussle between Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: Govt Curtails Tenure of CBI Additional Director M Nageshwar Rao

3. Budget 2019: Can Use Aadhaar Card or PAN for Filing Taxes

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 5 July proposed to make the permanent account number (PAN) card and Aadhaar interchangeable, effectively allowing those not possessing a PAN to file income tax returns by quoting their Aadhaar number.

The proposal will come into effect 1 September. Prevailing income tax laws mandate tax filers to quote a PAN number. Additionally, from 1 April this year, the government made it mandatory to quote Aadhaar number and link it to PAN while filing income-tax returns.

“More than 120 crore Indians now have Aadhaar. Therefore, for ease and convenience of taxpayers, I propose to make PAN and Aadhaar interchangeable and allow those who do not have PAN to file Income Tax returns by simply quoting their Aadhaar number and also use it wherever they are required to quote PAN,” said Sitharaman, while delivering her maiden Budget.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Budget 2019: ITR Filing Made Easier; PAN, Aadhaar Interchangeable

4. SC Restores Conviction of 12 People for Haren Pandya’s Murder

Former Gujarat Home Minister Haren Pandya. 

The Supreme Court on Friday, 5 July reversed the Gujarat high court’s decision to acquit all the 12 accused in the murder of BJP leader and former state home minister Haren Pandya in 2003 and upheld the trial court verdict convicting all and sentencing nine of them to life imprisonment.

After minutely examining all the evidence, the bench of Justices Arun Mishra and M R Shah allowed the appeal by CBI against the Gujarat HC verdict and held that evidence produced by the agency was sufficient to hold the accused guilty in the murder case.

There were 12 accused and the trial court had convicted all and awarded life imprisonment to nine. Three convicts were awarded jail terms of seven years, which they had undergone by the time the HC passed the verdict.

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read: Haren Pandya Murder: SC Sets Aside Gujarat HC Order, 7 Convicted

5. Jaishankar Gets Cong Votes Too, Enters Rajya Sabha

External Minister Secretary S Jaishankar.

BJP comfortably won the two Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat, the voting for which was held in the state Assembly on Friday, 5 July. Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who won his maiden election to the Upper House, said with his victory, he has established a special relationship with Gujarat. While Jaishankar got 104 votes, the second BJP candidate, Jugalji Thakor, got 105.

With Friday’s victory, BJP’s tally in 245-member Rajya Sabha has reached 78. There are still four vacancies, which bring down the half-way mark to 121. The total NDA tally with the two victories has reached 115, still six short of the current halfway mark.

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read: BJP's Jaishankar, Jugalkishor set to bag both Gujarat RS seats

6. SC Judge Hits Out at Stay on Demolition in Kochi by Another Bench

File photo of Supreme Court of India in New Delhi. 

A Supreme Court bench on Friday, 5 July, expressed strong displeasure over another bench of the court staying action ordered by it against apartment complexes built in violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms in Kochi.

The bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Navin Sinha said the petitioners and their counsel had “suppressed facts” and committed “fraud” to secure the relief.

“We have serious objection about this… this cannot be allowed to happen… heights of judicial impropriety… That bench should not have passed any order. We are saying this with full responsibility,” Justice Mishra said as soon as senior counsel Kalyan Banerjee, who was representing the apartment owners, stood up to present his case.

On 8 May, the bench of Justices Mishra and Sinha had ordered the demolition of five apartment complexes — with over 300 units — in Maradu municipality area of Kochi for flouting CRZ guidelines. The court directed that the structures should be demolished within a month.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Kochi demolition: SC says fraud played on court

7. HC Raps CBFC for Refusing to Issue ‘U’ Certificate to Kids’ Film

CBFC chairperson Prasoon Joshi.

Bombay High Court on Friday, 5 July, chastised Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for refusing to issue a U certificate to a children’s film, saying it had no intellectual or moral authority to decide what people can see and listen.

“It is like saying, you are all of sub par intelligence, and only we in this world know what’s good for you. That takes us through to an authoritarian stage,’’ said a bench of Justices Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and Gautam Patel. It heard a petition by Children’s Film Society, a nodal agency under ministry of information & broadcasting, to direct the CBFC tribunal to hear its appeal.

In January, CBFC directed the society to mute a word and delete a scene from Chidiakhana, or it will get a U/A certificate that required children below 12 to see it under parental guidance.

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read: Madras HC Issues Notice to CBFC Against ‘Bigg Boss Tamil’ Telecast

8. Country’s Highest Effective Income Tax Rate Touches 42.7%

Nirmala Sitharaman stepped into the shoes of Arun Jaitley, who opted out of Modi 2.0 Cabinet.

India’s top marginal income tax rate touched 42.7 percent, the highest since 1992 when taxes were lowered as part of the first wave of economic reforms, after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced a surcharge on income tax for people earning more than Rs 2 crore.

The move is expected to result in incremental tax revenue of approximately 12,000 crore.

In an interview, Sitharaman said she saw the increased taxes not as something that penalised those who were already compliant with the tax system, but as a duty of those who have benefited the most from the country’s economic growth.

With the surcharges and 4 percent cess (which is not new), the effective tax rate becomes 39 percent for someone earning between 2 crore and 5 crore and 42.7 percent for those earning above 5 crore.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: Budget 2019: Relief for Startups From ‘Angel Tax’ and IT Scrutiny

9. Quack Lynched After Woman, Minor Allege Rape in Assam

Representational image.

A mob, largely comprising women, lynched a quack at a remote village in Assam’s West Karbi Anglong district on Thursday, 4 July after a 22-year-old woman and her 16-year-old relative claimed he raped them under the pretext of conducting a puja on them, police said on 5 July.

“After the puja, he allegedly asked that a separate ritual has to be carried out on the 22-year-old woman and she has to be alone in the room with him,” the SP said.

“According to the family’s allegation, he raped the woman inside the room and then threatened that her family would be killed if she disclosed the incident to anyone,” the SP said.

The officer said that the police rescued the accused as soon as they received information of the mob assault on him. “He was taken to a hospital but succumbed to his injuries. Two cases, one for the murder of the accused and the second, regarding the alleged rapes have been registered,” said the SP.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Hindu Man Lynched On Suspicion of Stealing Cattle in Tripura

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