QBullet: No Stay on CAA; Centre Seeks Limit For Execution Pleas

1. SC Refuses to Stay CAA

The Supreme Court on Wednesday, 22 January, refused to stay the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) but indicated that the matter would be referred to a Constitution bench.

The court, which issued notice to the central government on 18 December last year, gave it four more weeks to respond, after a request by Attorney general KK Venugopal.

Venugopal pointed out that there were only 60 petitions when the case was first heard on 18 December but at least 144 petitions have been filed as on Wednesday and copies of the fresh petitions had not been supplied to the central government yet.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: CAA Protests: What Did Supreme Court Say and What Happens Next?

2. Centre to Supreme Court: Set 7-Day Limit for Death Row Convicts to File Mercy Plea

Convicts on death row cannot be executed for at least 14 days after their mercy petitions are rejected.

On the backdrop of the 2012 Delhi gang rape case, the Centre on Wednesday, 22 January, moved an application before the Supreme Court, seeking to modify “convict-centric” guidelines in death penalty cases and to make them “victim-centric”.

The government also asked the SC to introduce a seven-day deadline for death row convicts to file mercy petitions besides introducing a time limit for filing of review and curative petitions in such cases.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has also asked the apex court to mandate a stipulated time period for convicts to file curative petitions after the rejection of review petitions to speed up the process of execution in death penalty cases.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Centre Seeks Time Limit on Final Pleas by Death Row Convicts

3. Capital Call: Govt Set to Allow Firms to Directly List Overseas

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

The government is expected to allow direct listing of Indian companies abroad as part of a plan to allow them to access a larger pool of capital and enable the move towards fuller capital account convertibility.

While detailed discussions on the proposal have taken place, a formal decision is awaited, sources told The Times of India, adding that the idea is meant to help Indian startups and unicorns access a larger pool of investors to raise capital and at the same time, allow exits by existing investors.

The government is hoping that the move, along with the decision to reduce the corporate tax rate to 15 percent for new manufacturing companies, will help Indian companies go global and also ensure that they do not register in foreign locations such as Singapore.

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read: India Slowdown Main Factor in Global Downgrade: Gita Gopinath

4. Mystery Virus Toll Rises, Mutation Fears Emerge

Staff move bio-waste containers past the entrance of the Wuhan Medical Treatment Center, where some infected with a new virus are being treated on Wednesday, 22 January.

A new virus that has killed 17 people in China could be adapting and mutating, top Chinese officials said on Wednesday, 22 January, while warning that it could spread further amid worldwide efforts to contain a possible wider outbreak.

China has confirmed over 500 cases of the previously unknown strain of coronavirus across more than 17 provinces, most of them in the country’s heavily populated central, southern and eastern regions.

The first suspected cases of the infection were reported from Hong Kong and Macau, both special administration regions (SAR) of China, and as far as Mexico on Wednesday. Over 100 people are under observation in Hong Kong.

Cases of the virus have also been detected in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States, causing widespread alarm because of its similarity to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed nearly 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: Indian Students in Wuhan Wait Anxiously as Coronavirus Spreads

5. Jharkhand: CM Hemant Soren Orders SIT Probe After ‘Pathalgarhi Supporters’ Kill 7 Villagers

Hemant Soren, Jharkhand Chief Minister. Image used for representational purpose.

Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Wednesday, 22 January, ordered a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the killing of seven villagers allegedly by supporters of the “Pathalgarhi” movement in West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand.

The decision to order an SIT probe was made by Soren at a high-level meeting with Director General of Police (DGP), and other top officers, ANI reported. “The government doesn’t give the right to anyone to take law in their hands. Lots of rumours are being spread but government will take strict and unbiased action,” ANI quoted Soren as saying.

Earlier in the day, police said supporters of the ‘Pathalgarhi’ movement, armed with lathis and axes, kidnapped seven villagers and later killed them for allegedly opposing their stir on Tuesday night.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: ‘Pathalgarhi Supporters’ Kill 7 Villagers, J’khand CM Orders Probe

6. Third Party Has No Role in J&K: India on Trump Offer

US President Donald Trump waves as he leaves the White House.

The Indian government on Wednesday pushed back against US President Donald Trump’s latest offer, his seventh, to help resolve the Kashmir issue, with people familiar with development saying there was “no role” for a third party in the matter.

Despite India’s persistent spurning of his offers to mediate or assist in handling the Kashmir issue, the US president raked up the matter ahead of his meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum at Davos on Tuesday.

“Our position on the Kashmir issue has been clear and consistent. There is no role for any third party in this matter,” said an Indian government official who asked not to be named.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: ‘Closely Following Kashmir, Can Help’: Trump Meets Imran at Davos

7. Democracy Index: India Falls 10 Spots to 51st Rank

Image used for representational purposes.

India plummeted 10 places to 51st position in the latest Democracy Index released by the Economist Intelligence Unit. In the report, the “erosion of civil liberties” in the country has been attributed as the primary cause for the downtrend.

Included in the “flawed democracy” category, India’s overall score slipped from 7.23 in 2018 to 6.90 in the Index that provides a snapshot of the current state of democracy worldwide for 165 independent states and two territories.

This report comes even as India witnesses nationwide protests against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC). At least 25 people have died (mostly from Uttar Pradesh) due to bullet injuries from firearms with serious questions being raised concerning the conduct of the UP police and the state administration.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Civil Liberties Eroding: India Slips 10 Spots in Democracy Index

8. Jamia Police Action: Court Seeks Report

Jamia Millia Islamia.

A Delhi court on Wednesday, 22 January, asked Jamia Nagar police to file an action taken report (ATR) on a complaint filed by Jamia Millia Islamia alleging unauthorised entry and excessive force used by police personnel on its campus on 15 December 2019.

Judge Rajat Goyal was acting on the university’s plea, filed by advocate Asghar Khan, seeking registration of an FIR against “accused persons”. The court ordered the area SHO to inform by 16 March whether police had received any complaint from the university.

“If yes, whether any action has been taken on the said complaint. Whether any investigation or inquiry has been conducted in this regard, and if yes, what is its status? If any cognisable offence is made out, and whether any FIR has been registered or not,” the court asked.

(Source: PTI)

Also Read: Jamia to Move Court for Filing FIR Against Police Action on 15 Dec

9. Interpol Issues Blue Notice for Nithyananda

Self-styled godman Nithyananda had fled India last year amid allegations of rape and sexual abuse.

The Interpol has issued a Blue Corner Notice seeking information about controversial self-styled godman Nithyananda, who fled the country amid allegations of rape and wrongful confinement of children.

A Blue Corner Notice is issued by the international police cooperation body to collect additional information from its member countries about a person’s identity, location or activities in relation to a crime.

Earlier, the Gujarat Police had sent a request to the Central Bureau of Investigation, the nodal body for Interpol matters in India, seeking a Blue Corner Notice against Nithyananda, who is facing a rape case in Karnataka and a case pertaining to the illegal confinement of children and minors in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

(Source: The Hindu)

Also Read: Interpol Issues Blue Corner Notice Against Godman Nithyananda

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