QBullet: India talks to US About Maldives; Modi to Visit Palestine
1. Modi, Trump Discuss Maldives; China Says in Touch with India, Don't Want New Flashpoint
India and the US have expressed concern on the “political crisis in the Maldives” and underlined “the importance of respect for democratic institutions and rule of law”, the White House said in a statement after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump spoke to each other on the phone Thursday night.
On Friday, Chinese official sources told PTI that Beijing and Delhi were in touch over the ongoing crisis in the Maldives and did not want it to become another “flashpoint” in bilateral ties. But late evening, in a statement from Amman in Jordan, where Prime Minister Modi stopped on his way to Palestine, the spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs said: “China has said that the Maldives government has the ability to protect the security of Chinese personnel and institutions in the Maldives. We hope that all countries can play a constructive role in the Maldives, instead of doing the opposite.”
2. Modi in Ramallah Today, to Discuss Peace Process
Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his three-nation West Asia tour on Friday with a stopover in the Jordanian capital, Amman, where he met King Abdullah II.
On Saturday, Modi will travel to Ramallah in the West Bank, the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority, where he will hold talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Modi is the first Indian prime minister to visit Ramallah.
(Source: The Hindu)
3. Judge BH Loya Was Transferred to Pune Before Sohrabuddin Trial: Maharashtra Govt Tells SC
Countering claims that CBI Special Judge BH Loya was transferred to Pune while conducting the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter trial more than three years ago, in violation of a Supreme Court order, the Maharashtra government told the Supreme Court Friday that the trial had not begun when the judge was shifted. The assertion was made by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi during a hearing on a petition seeking a probe into the death of Loya in 2014. According to official records, the judge died of a heart attack in Nagpur on 1 December 2014.
Questioning the transfer, the petitioners had cited a Supreme Court ruling, directing one judge to conduct the entire fake encounter trial.
4. Seedfund MD Mahesh Murthy Booked After Woman Alleges Sexual Harassment
The Mumbai Police registered a case against angel investor and managing partner of Seedfund, Mahesh Murthy, on 29 December after it received a complaint from a woman alleging sexual harassment.
On 17 November last year, the National Commission for Women (NCW) had written to the Director General of Police (DGP), Maharashtra, regarding the “usage of objectionable, derogatory, sexual remarks and obscene signs on social media” allegedly by Murthy, based on a complaint filed by a woman in Delhi.
5. 'Honey-Trapped' IAF Officer Was Posted in Sensitive Defence Unit
Group Captain Arun Marwaha, arrested for leaking secret information on national security, was posted in one of the most sensitive units of the defence ministry in an earlier assignment, people familiar with the matter said on Friday .
Marwaha is said to have told police that he worked in the Aerial Delivery Research and Development Division (ADRD) till March 2016. The ADRD, under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), is involved in the highly sensitive airborne warning and control system for the Indian Air Force (IAF), said a defence analyst who did not wish to be named.
6. Woman Denied Ultrasound Test for Not Carrying Aadhaar Card, Delivers Baby in the Open
A 25-year-old woman delivered a baby girl outside the emergency ward of Civil Hospital Gurgaon on Friday after she was allegedly denied an ultrasound test before the delivery due to lack of Aadhaar card.
Munni had her Aadhaar card number, however, the hospital administration insisted on a copy of the card which is mandatory for admission for an ultrasound test. Bablu, the husband of the woman, alleged that the doctors denied admission to his wife because she did not carry the card.
The baby girl was delivered without any medical support near the parking lot outside the emergency ward of the hospital, said Bablu.
7. Judge Loya Death: Rahul Gandhi Leads 114 Opposition MPs to Meet President Kovind
Congress president Rahul Gandhi led a delegation of Opposition MPs to Rashtrapati Bhavan on Friday, demanding a Supreme Court-monitored investigation into the 2014 death of CBI special Judge BH Loya.
The delegation, which gave a memorandum signed by 114 MPs from 15 parties to President Ram Nath Kovind, said it had no faith in the investigations by government agencies because of their “track record”.
“Many MPs feel suspicious and uneasy. They also want the matter to be probed by an independent SIT (special investigation team) but not by the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) or the NIA (National Investigation Agency),” Gandhi told reporters after meeting Kovind.
8. Negligence, Oxygen Shortage Did Not Kill Kids at Gorakhpur Hospital: Ministry in LS
Responding to two separate questions in Lok Sabha on Friday, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare told the House that there was no indication that death of more than 60 children at a Gorakhpur hospital last August was a result of negligence. The ministry also said there was no information that any newborn had died for lack of oxygen.
More than 60 children had died at BRD Medical College Hospital in Gorakhpur between 7 and 11 August last year.
9. Government Mops up Rs 26,500 Crore from Those Who Didn't File Tax Returns
The government's drive, through a non-filer monitoring system, to target those who indulge in high value transactions but don't pay enough taxes has forced the filing of at least Rs 1.7 crore extra returns and helped the Centre mop up close to Rs 26,500 crore till December.
In a written reply, finance minister Arun Jaitley told Parliament on Friday that for the past few years, the tax department has been identifying non-filers by tracking in-house information and tallying it with data on high-value transactions received from external agencies along with TDS and tax collected at source (TCS).
(Source: The Times of India)