QBullet: SC Counters Push for Aadhaar; Africans Beaten up in Noida

1. Govt Can Make Aadhaar Mandatory in Non-Benefit Services: SC

Supreme Court. (Photo: Reuters)

In a tacit approval of the government’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for services such as bank accounts, I-T returns and PAN cards, the Supreme Court Monday observed that Aadhaar can be “pressed” for all “non-benefit” plans where questions of entitlements do not occur.

“If we understand the previous orders in the right context, we think you cannot enforce it (Aadhaar) for extending benefits but you can do it otherwise… something like opening a bank account… it is not a benefit, so Aadhaar can be pressed,” said Chief Justice of India JS Khehar.

The bench, also comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and Sanjay K Kaul, said: “Let us take Income Tax returns. Is this a benefit? No, we don’t think so. You can ask someone to have a bank account on the basis of Aadhaar. That is not a benefit. But if you want to make it mandatory for a poor person in a village to get his meagre pension, that could mean extending a benefit.”

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: It Is Ill-Conceived to Blame Aadhaar for Invasion of Privacy

2. Over Half of UP's Licensed Slaughterhouses 'Temporarily Shut'

Five days after the state government began its crackdown on illegal and mechanised slaughterhouses in Uttar Pradesh, more than half of its licensed slaughterhouses have also been “temporarily closed” for not following norms.

While there are 44 licensed slaughterhouses in the state, 26 have been “temporarily shut” for not following basic rules and guidelines laid down for operation, transportation and processing of slaughtered animals.

On 22 March, three days after Yogi Adityanath took oath as chief minister, the state government issued orders to all divisional commissioners, district magistrates, senior police officers and municipal corporations to inspect slaughterhouses.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: In Photos: Noida’s Butchers Who Are Now on a Knife’s Edge

3. Nigerians Beaten up by Locals in Greater Noida, Sushma Swaraj Seeks Report

A Nigerian girl was allegedly abducted and several Africans were assaulted in Greater Noida on Monday as people from a protest march over a teenage boy’s death because of suspected drugs overdose attacked black foreigners in the area.

The peaceful protest march suddenly turned violent and triggered a vicious racial attack as locals have accused Africans living in the area of drugging class 12 student Manish Khari, who died of a cardiac arrest on Saturday.

Most of the victims of the mob attack were doing their evening shopping near Pari Chowk, oblivious to the undercurrent of anger against Africans.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: Accused of Cannibalism, Nigerians Protest Against Racism in NCR

4. Panama Links Italian Currency-Paper Firm to Delhi Businessman

Mossack Fonseca law firm sign is pictured in Panama City, 4 April 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

Fresh leads and offshore entities have emerged from the Panama Papers investigation which lead to Satya Prakash Gupta, a Delhi-based businessman who has for over a decade “represented” Fabriano, the Italian currency-paper major, which has been given several supply contracts in India.

Fabriano was among the nine companies that got contracts for emergency currency-paper supplies in December 2016 after the demonetisation drive.

Gupta was named by The Indian Express (4 May 2016) among the 400 Indians who figured in the Panama Papers. After sending him several summons, the Income Tax Investigation unit conducted searches at his office and residence in New Delhi in December last year.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Panama Papers Case: India’s Strategy to Obtain Relevant Documents

5. Samjhauta Case: NIA Not to Go After LeT

A year after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) requested US authorities for information on a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) link to the 2007 Samjhauta train blast, the agency said it was no longer pursuing the aspect. In 2016, NIA DG Sharad Kumar had raised the issue of LeT financier Arif Qasmani with the US under the MLAT.

A 2009 US charge sheet and 2010 UN citation accused Qasmani of funding both the Samjhauta blast as well as the 2006 Mumbai train bombings.

Kumar had raised the issue of Qasmani under the MLAT or Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) among other pending issues.

(Source: The Hindu)

Also Read: Samjhauta Express Delayed Due to Internal Matter: India to Pak

6. Parliament Passes Bill to Decriminalise Suicide Bid

Survivors of attempted suicide will no longer have to undergo prosecution, with the Lok Sabha on Monday passing the Mental Healthcare Bill 2016, which decriminalises suicide and provisions for right to better healthcare for people suffering from mental illness. The bill, passed by the Rajya Sabha with 134 official amendments in August last year, was passed in the lower House by voice vote as all parties supported the legislation.

PM Narendra Modi had spoken about mental depression in his radio broadcast, 'Mann Ki Baat', on Sunday, maintaining that the disease can be overcome.

Union health minister JP Nadda thanked lawmakers across party lines for supporting the mental healthcare bill.

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read: Lok Sabha Bill Decriminalises Suicide, Addresses Effects of Stress

7. Monsoon Below Normal This Year, Deficient Rainfall for Western India: Skymet

The Monsoon will be below normal this year and western India is likely to experience a deficient rainfall, Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency, said today.

El Nino – a phenomenon associated with warming of Pacific waters – is being attributed as one of the main reasons behind a possibly weak monsoon this year.

Weather Risk, another private forecasting agency, has predicted an El Nino event this year and said it is likely to have a negative impact on the southwest monsoon during the later part of the monsoon period.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) will come out with its monsoon forecast next month.

(Source: The Hindustan Times)

Also Read: India May Face Weak Monsoon Because of El Nino Effect

8. Minister Backs Flying Ban on MP; PMO for Tough Stand

Union Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju Monday backed the decision by airlines not to allow Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad on board their aircraft, saying “an MP is also a passenger” and cannot expect “unequal treatment”. Gaikwad had allegedly assaulted a duty manager on board an Air India aircraft at Delhi airport.

Raju’s refusal to speak in favour of the MP, despite protests from Sena MPs who raised the issue of the “fundamental right to freedom of movement” in Lok Sabha, was in line with the stand taken by the office of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sources said. They said the PM did not want the government to be seen as “supporting unruly behaviour” since it would send “bad signals” about the government, and even the Parliament.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Sena Defends Goon MP; Says “Even Kapil Sharma Is Allowed To Fly”

9. India Seals Cooking Gas Supply Deal with Nepal

Following threats by Nepal to source its cooking gas from China thereby undermining India’s exclusivity since 1974, New Delhi has rushed in to placate its neighbour by promising to meet its entire domestic demand for petro products and adding a few more sweeteners such as product pipelines and storage.

State-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC) on Monday signed a petroleum trade agreement to supply about 1.3 million tonnes of fuel annually to Nepal with a promise to double the volume by 2020. “The supply agreement signed today is for April 2017 to March 2022 and will meet full requirements/demand and quantities of all the major oil products,” announced IOC Chairman B Ashok.

Earlier this month, Nepal Oil Corp (NOC) had warned that it was considering a new clause being inserted in the IOC-NOC agreement, due for renewal this month, to allow Nepal to import fuel from third countries if the IOC was unable to ensure regular supply of petroleum products.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Note Ban Woes Not Limited to India, Nepal’s Economy Too Hit Hard

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