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QBullet: SC Judges Call for a Full Court; New Restrictions on H-1B

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1. Call Full Court to Discuss SC Future: Justices Gogoi, Lokur Write to CJI Dipak Misra

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CJI Dipak Misra.
(Photo: The Quint)

Two days after seven Opposition parties gave notice for impeachment of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, two senior judges of the Supreme Court, Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Madan Lokur, wrote to the CJI that he call a “full court” to discuss “institutional issues” and “future” of the apex court.

The Opposition notice for impeachment was rejected Monday morning by Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu. Justice Gogoi is expected to succeed CJI Misra who demits office in October.

In a brief two-sentence letter delivered to CJI Misra on Sunday, Justices Gogoi and Lokur, who are members of the Collegium, demanded that he call a “full court” on the judicial side to discuss “institutional issues” and the “future” of the court.

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2. Call on CJI Notice Not Hasty: Naidu

A day after he rejected the Opposition’s notice seeking the Chief Justice of India’s impeachment, and came in for criticism for the alacrity with which he did so, Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday defended his “timely, not hasty” decision and finance minister Arun Jaitley wrote in a blog that the Congress is trying to intimidate India’s judiciary.

At a meeting with Supreme Court lawyers here on Tuesday, Naidu said: “Some Hon’ble Members of the House had a point of view and the right to express it while I had a responsibility cast on me. I have done my job and am satisfied with it”.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

3. India Won’t Soften on Terror From Pak During Modi-Xi Talks

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India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) and China’s President Xi Jinping.
(Photo: Reuters)

The meeting between PM Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping may not see them getting into specifics of prickly issues but this does not mean India will soften its position on Pakistan and cross-border terrorism.

Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj in her address at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation foreign ministers meeting, also attended by Pakistan foreign minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, reiterated India’s position directly. “Our fight against terrorism should not only seek to eliminate terrorists but should also take strong measures against states that encourage, support and finance terrorism and provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups,” Swaraj said in Beijing.

The reference to Pakistan, though not named, was clear enough. “Terrorism is an enemy of the basic human rights: of life, peace and prosperity,” Swaraj said.

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4. US to Junk Startup Visas, Work Permits for Spouses of H-1B Holders

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Image used for representational purposes.
(Photo: Rhythum Seth/The Quint)

It is the end of the road for many spouses of H-1B workers in the US. They will no longer be able to seek employment, or set up their own business, which for many was something as simple as setting up a crèche, tutoring, conducting yoga classes or supplying desi home-cooked food to nearby offices.

It is now certain that a policy which enables them to obtain an employment authorisation document (EAD) will be revoked. This move would impact nearly a lakh Indian spouses, most of them women, and dent the future aspirations of many more.

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5. Row over Saroj Khan’s ‘Casting Couch’ Remark

With her brazen comments in defence of the “casting couch” syndrome in Bollywood, veteran choreographer Saroj Khan sparked outrage on social media, and unwittingly blew the lid off sexual exploitation in the film industry.

She made the remark in Sangli on Monday in reference to the stir that Telugu actor Sri Reddy caused recently when she sat semi-naked on a road in Hyderabad to protest against the prevalence of the casting couch in the film industry.

Yeh toh chala aa raha hai Baba Adam ke zamaane se. Abhi se thodi? Har ladki ke upar koi na koi haath saaf karne ki koshish karta hai. Government ke log bhi karte hain. Tum film industry ke peeche kyun pade ho?

Defending the existence of the casting couch in the movie business, she said, “Woh (film industry) roti toh deti hai. Rape karke chhor toh nahi deti.

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6. Congress Hands Stained With Muslim blood: Salman Khurshid

Triggering a controversy, senior Congress leader and former Union minister Salman Khurshid, while responding to a question on the communal riots that took place when the Congress was in power, admitted that “there is blood on our hands”.

Khurshid made the remarks while addressing students at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on Sunday. While Khurshid on Tuesday accused the media of distorting his reply, the Congress said it “completely disagrees” with his statement.

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7. Maoists’ Toll Rises to 37 in Gadchiroli Encounter

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Security personnel show the guns recovered from the Naxals killed in an encounter at Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra on Sunday, 22 April. 
(Photo: PTI)

The police said they had gunned down 37 armed Maoists in 48 hours in two gunbattles in Maharashtra’s south Gadchiroli.

At least six Maoists were killed in a gunfight in Nainer jungle near Jimalgatta village on Monday evening and 15 more bodies were recovered from the site of Sunday’s shootout in which 16 rebels had died.

The police said that among the bodies recovered initially from the Rela-Kasnasur forest, two were senior members of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), identified as Srinu alias Srikant, who was in charge of the south Gadchrioli division of the extremist organisation, and Sainath, alias Dolesh Madhi Atram. Srinu and Sainath carried a reward of ₹20 lakh and ₹12 lakh on their heads.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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8. RSS Says Workers Should Desist From Using Term ‘Dalit’

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RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.
(Photo: PTI)

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) wants its volunteers to avoid the using the word ‘Dalit’, which it considers a colonial appendage with derogatory connotations, senior functionaries from the group said.

A senior RSS official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the RSS brass now wants its volunteers and those associated with its many affiliates to opt for the “constitutionally approved terms, Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST)” instead.

Alok Kumar, the international working president of the RSS offshoot, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) said the Sangh feels the terms SC and ST are more appropriate as it has constitutional sanction. “SC/ST is a term that has no castigation and is not derogatory,” he said.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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9. Rid Delhi of Roadside Encroachments: SC

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The Supreme Court of India. 
(Photo: Reuters)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered an immediate stay on all construction activities in 1,797 unauthorised colonies in the national Capital that do not adhere to municipal laws and asked the Centre to constitute a special task force (STF) immediately to remove encroachments from public roads, streets and pavements within two weeks.

The court also refused to modify its order that put on hold a Delhi Development Authority (DDA) move to amend the Master Plan of Delhi-2021 that would have provided relief to shopkeepers and commercial establishments from a sealing drive initiated by apex court-appointed monitoring committee in some of the most popular markets of the city.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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