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QBullet: Govt Accepts Justice KM Joseph’s Elevation to SC & More 

Find the top headlines of the day on QBullet. 

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India
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1. Govt Clears SC Collegium’s Move to Elevate Justice KM Joseph

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The Supreme Court of India
(Photo: Reuters)

Putting an end to the protracted deadlock with the judiciary, the government has agreed to the Supreme Court Collegium’s decision reiterating its recommendation to elevate Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice KM Joseph to the Supreme Court along with the elevation of Madras High Court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Orissa High Court Chief Justice Vineet Saran to the Supreme Court.

The process towards the issuance of presidential warrants for their appointment to the Supreme Court has been set in motion, sources confirmed to The Indian Express.

This move assumes significance in the wake of the public standoff between the government and judiciary over the issue of appointments in the higher judiciary. Justice Joseph’s name was recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium on 10 January this year, along with the name of senior counsel Indu Malhotra.

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2. Sixteen Parties Join Hands to Make Anti-­EVM Case

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Image used for representation. 
(Photo: Reuters)

Sixteen opposition parties have come together to make a fresh, concerted demand that voters in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections exercise their franchise by stamping the ballot paper, not pressing the button, according to leaders of several parties familiar with the development.

Contending that electronic voting machines (EVMs), even those with voter verifiable paper audit trial, would not be acceptable, the parties – led by the Congress – will first hold a joint meeting on Monday, then push a discussion on the issue in parliament, followed by a fresh appeal to the Election Commission of India (EC) over the next week, the leaders added.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

3. Those Out of Register Can Provide New Papers as Proof: NRC Official

The 40,07,707 people left out in the final draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam will get an opportunity to provide fresh sets of documents to present their credentials during the upcoming claims-and-objections process. This is unlike the process adopted so far where the first choice of documents could not be changed.

“If you choose a particular document, or I would rather say, a particular legacy at one time, then during (the past) procedure, you (couldn’t) change that. However, at the time of claims and objections, we will start afresh again and we will allow any fresh document to be submitted completely or partly,” Prateek Hajela, the Supreme Court-mandated state coordinator of the NRC, told The Indian Express.

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4. TMC Team Detained at Airport, Didi Cries ‘Super Emergency’

An eight-member Trinamool Congress delegation that went to Assam following the exclusion of 40 lakh names from the final draft of the NRC was detained at Silchar airport moments after the leaders landed there on Thursday, 2 August.

Starting 2 pm, what unfolded was an eight-hour-long fracas packed with bitter exchanges between Assam Police and the TMC leaders. At the time of going to the press, the delegation members were still at Silchar airport.

The incident evoked strong responses from Trinamool and BJP. Mamata held that the country was passing through a “super emergency” in which Trinamool MPs were being “beaten up” inside the airport.

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5. SC Says Section 497 ‘Archaic’, Signals It May Go

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Image used for representational purposes. 
(Photo: iStock/Altered by The Quint)

The Supreme Court on Thursday, 2 August, indicated that it would soon put an end to the 158-year-old provision in the law on adultery, which punishes a married man for having sex with a married woman without the consent or connivance of her husband.

The provision punishes an adulterous man with imprisonment up to five years while specifying that the woman cannot be even booked as an abettor.

A bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra said the provision appeared more discriminatory towards a woman as it treated her as a “chattel” of her husband even if she was not charged for the crime of adultery, amid signs that the court was veering around to holding the “archaic” Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) unconstitutional while allowing adultery to remain a valid ground for men and women to seek divorce.

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6. Indo-US Trade Breakthrough Soon?

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PM Narendra Modi (L) and US President Donald Trump
(Photo: AP/Altered by The Quint)

India and the US have moved a step closer to resolving their outstanding trade issues, with India considering accepting some US demands regarding medical devices and electronics (IT) products. An announcement is likely before the so-called two-plus-two talks between the two countries scheduled to be held in New Delhi on 6 September.

According to two people familiar with the matter who briefed Hindustan Times separately, India and the US have discussed medical devices, dairy, and IT products – the three areas where US President Donald Trump was keen India make some concessions.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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7. Muzaffarpur Shelter Sexual Abuse: SC Extremely Disturbed, Issues Notices to Bihar, Centre

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RJD, Congress and Communist Party of India legislators stage a protest against the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case, during the ongoing Monsoon Session, outside Bihar Assembly in Patna on 26 July. 
(Photo: PTI)

The Supreme Court on Thursday, 2 August, took suo motu cognisance of the alleged rape and sexual abuse of girls at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur in Bihar, and issued notices to the state government and Union Ministry of Women and Child Development.

The court also restrained media from telecasting morphed images saying the victims cannot be forced to “relive the trauma”.

A bench of Justices MB Lokur and Deepak Gupta took cognisance of the incident following a letter from a Patna resident. The letter referred to the situation in the shelter home where over 30 inmates were allegedly sexually abused over several years.

The bench said it was “extremely disturbed” by the contents of the letter and asked “is this the way we are treating our girls?”.

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8. Opposition May Write to Naidu, Accusing Him of ‘Unfairness’

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Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu. 
(Photo: PTI)

With communication between Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu and some opposition leaders at a new low, a section of non-National Democratic Alliance (NDA) parliamentarians has drafted a letter to protest against some of his actions. The members are also mulling other ways to convey their anguish.

The list of grievances mentions “no space for opposition parties for debate, favouring ruling party members and adjourning the house according to his whims and fancies,” said an opposition leader who asked not to be named. Other opposition leaders alleged that two questions on demonetisation and their answers were removed from the Rajya Sabha website.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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9. NBCC to Complete Amrapali Projects

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Image used for representation
(Photo Courtesy: www.amrapali.net.in)

There was good news on Thursday for around 43,000 homebuyers who have invested their hard-earned money in Amrapali Group projects with the Supreme Court asking public sector construction company National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) to take over the controversial realtor’s unfinished schemes and complete them in a time-bound manner.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and UU Lalit, which on Wednesday, 1 August, hauled up the NBCC chairman and the housing secretary for taking up Amrapali projects without its permission and even summoned them, came to the conclusion that NBCC was best placed to protect investors.

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