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SC agrees to hear PIL seeking deportation of Rohingyas, Bangladeshi immigrants in four weeks

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear after four weeks a PIL seeking identification and deportation of all illegal immigrants and infiltrators, including Bangladeshi nationals and Rohingyas.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde took note of the submission of lawyer and BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay that the illegal Rohingya and Bangladeshi immigrants "were taking away bread and butter of citizens here".

"List it (PIL) for hearing after four weeks," the bench, which also included justices Sanjiv Khanna and Surya Kant, said.


In his plea, Upadhyay has favoured the Centre's stand to identify and deport to Myanmar around 40,000 illegal Rohingya Muslims staying in India.

The plea has sought a direction to the Centre and the state governments to identify, detain and deport all illegal immigrants and infiltrators.

"The large-scale illegal migrants, particularly from Myanmar and Bangladesh, have not only threatened the demographic structure of bordering districts but have seriously impaired the security and national integration, particularly in the present circumstances," the plea stated.

It alleged there was an organised influx of illegal immigrants from Myanmar through agents and touts who facilitate Rohingyas' entry into India via Benapole-Haridaspur and Hilli (West Bengal), Sonamora (Tripura), Kolkata and Guwahati.

"This situation is seriously harming the national security of the country," it said.


Terror-accused involved in bombing Pragya Thakur nominated to Parliament's defence panel

BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur has been nominated to the Ministry of Defence’s Parliamentary Consultative Committee, The Indian Express reported on Thursday.

According to Indian Express, the 21-member parliamentary consultative committee is headed by Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

The Bhopal MP, who is an accused in the Malegaon blasts case, defeated former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh and Congress leader Digvijaya Singh in the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year. She is an accused in the 2008 Malegaon bombing case, and is facing trial in a National Investigation Agency court. She is facing multiple charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Six people were killed and 100 were injured when an explosive device strapped to a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon in North Maharashtra on September 29, 2008.


Chandrayaan 2: Vikram hard-landed within 500 mts of landing site, says govt

New Delhi: Chandrayaan-2's Vikram lander hard-landed as reduction in velocity during its descent did not match with the designed parameters, the government said on Wednesday throwing more light on ISRO's dashed hopes of making a soft landing on the lunar surface in its maiden attempt.

In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Jitendra Singh, the minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office, who looks after the department of space, said the first phase of descent was performed nominally from an altitude of 30 kms to 7.4 kms above the moon's surface and velocity was reduced from 1,683 metres per second to 146 metres per second.

"During the second phase of descent, the reduction in velocity was more than the designed value. Due to this deviation, the initial conditions at the start of the fine braking phase were beyond the designed parameters. As a result, Vikram hard-landed within 500 metres of the designated landing site," he said.

Singh, however, said most components of technology demonstration, including the launch, orbital critical maneuvers, lander separation, de-boost and rough braking phase were successfully accomplished.

With regards to the scientific objectives, all the eight state-of-the-art scientific instruments of the orbiter are performing according to the design and providing valuable scientific data.

Due to the precise launch and orbital maneuvers, the mission life of the orbiter is increased to seven years, he said.

Data received from the orbiter is being provided continuously to the scientific community, he said, adding the same was recently reviewed in an all-India user meet organized in New Delhi.

The indigenously developed Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft comprising of orbiter, lander and rover was successfully launched on-board the indigenous GSLV MK III-M1 Mission on July 22.

After accomplishing four earth bound maneuvers and trans-lunar injection, the spacecraft was successfully inserted in the lunar orbit on August 20. A series of moon-bound maneuvers were then carried out to achieve a Lunar orbit of 119 x 127 km.

The Lander 'Vikram' was separated, as planned, from the Orbiter on September 2 2019. After two successful de-orbiting maneuvers, powered descent of the lander was initiated on September 7 to achieve soft landing on the moon surface.

The ISRO is planning to launch Chandrayaan-3 probably in November next year.


Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena govt to be formed in Maharashtra before Dec 1, asserts Sanjay Raut

New Delhi: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday exuded confidence that NCP, Congress, and his party will form government in Maharashtra before December 1 and once again asserted that the chief minister will be from Sena.

He also informed that three parties will collectively decide about power-sharing in Mumbai. "The time has come, before December 1 the process of formation of the government will be over and the Chief Minister will also be decided.

Till yesterday, marathon meetings of Congress-NCP were held here at the NCP Chief Sharad Pawar's residence. In the next two days we will move ahead towards government formation," said Sanjay Raut.

"The three parties will collectively decide on power-sharing in Mumbai," he added. "The chief minister will be of Shiv Sena. People want Uddhav Thackeray to be the Chief Minister," said Raut.

A meeting of Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders was held at NCP chief Sharad Pawar's residence on Wednesday over the government formation in Maharashtra.

Leaders from both the parties were present including Ahmed Patel, KC Venugopal, Mallikarjun Kharge, Jairam Ramesh, Supriya Sule among others.

Maharashtra came under President's Rule after all the parties failed to form a government in the state.BJP, which emerged as the single largest party, could not stake claim to form a government as its ally Shiv Sena remained firm on rotating the chief minister's post and equal sharing of Cabinet berths.

Shiv Sena parted its ways with BJP only to explore ways to form a government. It, however, failed to prove the support of the required number of MLAs in the time given by Governor BS Koshyari.

The Governor had then invited NCP, the third-largest party, to prove its ability to form the government failing which President's Rule was imposed in the state.

The Shiv Sena is now in parleys with the Congress and NCP to form a government in the state.The BJP won 105 seats in the 288-member assembly followed by Shiv Sena 56, NCP 54 and Congress 44.


Sensex hits lifetime high, soars 300 pts; Nifty reclaims 12,000 mark

Mumbai: Equity benchmark BSE Sensex rallied over 300 points to hit its lifetime high on Wednesday, enthused by gains in Reliance Industries which also scaled a fresh peak in morning session.

After hitting a high of 40,816.38, the 30-share index was trading 321.20 points, or 0.79 per cent, higher at 40,790.90.

Similarly, the broader Nifty reclaimed the 12,000 mark. It was quoting at 87.25 points, or 0.73 per cent, up at 12,027.35.

Shares of Reliance Industries (RIL) rallied nearly 4 per cent to hit their lifetime high of Rs 1,571.85 (intra-day), inching closer to the Rs 10 lakh crore market-capitalisation level, after the company's telecom arm, Reliance Jio, announced tariff hikes in the next few weeks in compliance with rules, as it followed similar announcements by Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea.

Other gainers in the Sensex pack included IndusInd Bank, Sun Pharma, Bharti Airtel, L&T, Asian Paints, Yes Bank and Maruti.

Meanwhile, Bajaj Auto, Kotak Bank, NTPC, HCL Tech, SBI and Hero MotoCorp were trading in the negative terrain.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo were trading in the red after US President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned that failure to get a trade deal with China will prompt more tariffs.

On the currency front, the rupee appreciated marginally against the US dollar to trade at 71.69 in morning session.

Brent futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 0.31 per cent to USD 60.72 per barrel.


Shiv Sena CM-led Maha govt to be in place by December 1st week: Sanjay Raut

New Delhi: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said here on Wednesday that the clouds over the government formation efforts in Maharashtra shall clear within a couple of days or so.

"There are certain internal processes of the different parties -- Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress -- which are currently on. A Sena-Chief Minister-led government will assume office by the first week of December," Raut asserted.


Replying to a question that attempts are being made to lure legislators on different sides, Raut dismissed the contentions saying such theories are a conspiracy of those who don't want to see a Shiv Sena government.

"In the Sena, the decision making is faster as it comes from the top to bottom, in NCP, the chief sounds out the party on taking a certain decision democratically and takes a little longer.

The Congress has its own century-plus old traditions of arriving at any decision. The picture will start clearing from tomorrow," Raut assured.

To a question whether Sena President Uddhav Thackeray will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Sena MP said "for the cause of the farmers, he will go and meet anybody" to ensure that the state's disaster-hit peasantry gets maximum help and relief.

Political sources in Mumbai indicate that despite speculation and impatience in some circles, most issues have been finalized among the three parties, and it is only a matter of time before they announce their alliance and complete the government formation process.


NCP, Congress leaders to meet at Sharad Pawar's residence in Delhi at 5 pm

New Delhi: A meeting between the top leaders of NCP and Congress will be held on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing political crisis in Maharashtra.

The meeting will take place at the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar's resident at 6 Janpath in the national capital at 5 pm.

Speaking to ANI, NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said, "Today, there is a meeting of the Congress and NCP leaders at 6 Janpath in Sharad Pawar's residence."


In that meeting, leaders of both the parties from Maharashtra and Delhi will discuss the current political situation in Maharashtra. "There is a presidential rule in Maharashtra. People and farmers are suffering.

The administration has been collapsed. There should be an alternative government. There is a meeting between the two parties to find a solution," he said.

Speaking about the plan of NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena to form government in Maharashtra, Malik said, "When Sena and BJP have taken a decision not to form the government, three parties have to come together to form the government.

We have to take everyone into confidence before making a decision. A process is underway. Without Sena, there cannot be an alternative government." Maharashtra came under President's Rule after all the parties failed to form a government in the state.

BJP, which emerged as the single largest party, could not stake claim to form a government as its ally Shiv Sena remained firm on rotating the Chief Minister's post and equal sharing of Cabinet berths.

Shiv Sena parted its ways with BJP only to explore ways to form a government. It, however, failed to prove the support of the required number of MLAs in the time given by Governor BS Koshyari.

The Governor had then invited NCP, the third-largest party, to prove its ability to form the government failing which President's Rule was imposed in the state on Tuesday.

The Shiv Sena is now in parleys with the Congress and NCP to form a government in the state.The BJP won 105 seats in the 288-member assembly followed by Shiv Sena 56, NCP 54 and Congress 44.


IT parliamentary panel headed by Shashi Tharoor to examine WhatsApp snooping

The IT Parliamentary panel will meet on Wednesday to examine the WhatsApp snooping, in which the 31 members would seek details from top government officials on the steps the centre is taking to prevent such incidents.

According to NDTV, the panel is headed by Congress leader and MP Shashi Tharoor. Tharoor is learnt to have told the panel members that alleged use of technology for snooping on Indian citizens was a matter of "grave concern" and it would be discussed at length at the committee's next meeting on November 20. "Representatives of Ministry of Electronics, Home Affairs and Atomic Energy would brief the standing committee on Citizens data security and privacy issues," a senior functionary in the government told NDTV.

WhatsApp has already said it was suing NSO Group, an Israeli surveillance firm, which is behind the technology that helped unnamed entities hack into phones of roughly 1,400 users. Union Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has asked WhatsApp for a report on the allegations. Facebook-owned WhatsApp on October 31 said that Indian journalists and human rights activists were among those globally snooped upon by unnamed entities using an Israeli spyware, Pegasus. WhatsApp has over 1.5 billion users globally, of which India accounts for about 400 million.


Government informs Lok Sabha that stone-pelting in J&K down since Aug 5, but data differs

Security forces have arrested 765 people in Jammu and Kashmir in 190 cases related to "stone-pelting/ law and order" since the repeal of Article 370, the Home Ministry said on Tuesday. But a report has surfaced saying that, the data provided by the government shows a marginal increase in such incidents.

Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply that "765 persons have been arrested in 190 cases registered relating to stone pelting/ law and order" from August 5 to November 15 this year. He said that 361 such cases were registered from January 1 to August 4 this year. The minister said that the government has initiated multipronged policies to check the stone-pelting menace and has succeeded in curbing it to the extent.

According to Indian Express, These arrests don’t include those held in preventive detention under CrPC and the Public Safety Act (PSA) after August 5. While replying to to a written question by Rajasthan BJP MP Kanak Mal Katara on whether scrapping of J&K’s special status had led to a decrease in stone-pelting incidents, Reddy said: “Yes, sir.” However, analysis of the data shows that from January to August 4, there were about 50 incidents of stone-pelting or law and order issues on an average every month. This increased to an average of about 55 such incidents every month after August 5.

Sources in J&K told the Indian Express, that there were more than 400 detentions under PSA, while political leaders and party workers remained under house arrest or detention. These include former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.


HC dismisses plea challenging Fadnavis' election; Rs 2 lakh fine imposed on petitioner

On Monday, the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh on the petitioner challenging the election of former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

According to a report in a leading daily, petitioner Suresh Rangari, through counsel Ashwin Ingole, had claimed Fadnavis had concealed information regarding an alleged atrocity complaint filed against him at Wardha district. The court held that there was no substance in the allegations and imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh. The court asked Rangari to deposit the amount with High Court registry by November 29. The court also said that if Rangari failed to do so, a non-bailable warrant against him will be filed.


Earlier, a court on November 4 issued notice to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on a plea alleging non-disclosure of two criminal cases by him in an election affidavit. The development came after the Supreme Court, on October 1, directed the magistrate's court to go ahead with the application filed by city-based lawyer Satish Uke seeking initiation of criminal proceedings against Fadnavis in the matter.

The magistrate's court on November 4 said the case would be held as a summary criminal case, and issued notice to Fadnavis. The chief minister has been given time till December 4 to respond to the notice.