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QBullet: Nirbhaya Convicts Hanged; MP Floor Test by 5 pm Today

Catch all the top headlines of the day.

Published
India
6 min read
Nirbhaya’s Mother Asha Devi
i

1. Delhi 2012 Gang Rape Convicts Hanged Shortly After SC Rejects Last Plea

After the Supreme Court rejected the last petition by one of the four convicts in the 2012 Delhi gang rape and murder case to stop their execution, they were hanged as scheduled at 5:30 am on Friday, 20 March, at Tihar jail.

AP Singh, the lawyer for the convicts, had approached the Supreme Court to seek the late-night hearing. Three judges of the Supreme Court held a special sitting to hear the petition and rejected it.

“We are not inclined to entertain the plea,” the bench comprising Justice R Banumathi, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice AS Bopanna said.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

2. SC Orders Floor Test in MP Today: End State of Uncertainty

Moving to end the “state of uncertainty” in Congress-ruled Madhya Pradesh following the resignation of 22 MLAs that plunged the Kamal Nath government into crisis, the Supreme Court, overruling objections Thursday, ordered a floor test in the state Assembly with the direction that it must be concluded by 5 pm on Friday, 20 March.

The bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta directed that the test be by show of hands, and that the 16 rebel Congress MLAs and six ministers who had resigned earlier and late Thursday be provided security if they wished to participate in the proceedings and that the resignations of the remaining 16 too were accepted by the Speaker. It also ordered that the proceedings be videographed.

(Source: The Indian Express)

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3. ‘Janata Curfew’ on Sunday, No Need to Hoard, Don’t Cut Wages, Says PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, 19 March, rallied the nation for the fight against coronavirus, calling on citizens to observe a “Janata curfew” by staying indoors on Sunday between 7 am and 9 pm as an expression of resolve to emphasise the need to reduce public interaction to the very minimum.

In his much-awaited televised address, the PM minced no words in underlining the gravity of the threat and said there was no room for complacency as the seeming normalcy could be deceptive. “We have been tracking the trend of COVID-19 and have seen how the number of cases in other affected countries exploded after the initial trickle,” he said, making it clear that India should brace for the long haul.

(Source: The Times of India)

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4. Gogoi Takes Oath, Opposition Walks Out

Former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi on Thursday, 19 March, took oath as a nominated member of Parliament’s upper House or Rajya Sabha even as members of opposition parties shouted slogans against his nomination and staged a walkout.

As his name was called for oath-taking, lawmakers from the Congress, Left parties, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, and Rashtriya Janata Dal shouted slogans and disrupted the House proceedings.

Rajya Sabha chairman intervened and cautioned the lawmakers against sloganeering and expunged the slogans from the record. “It is very unbecoming of members of Parliament. No, this is not the way. Nothing will go on the record... very unfair, very unfair,” Naidu said.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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5. India Not to Let Flights Land for a Week Starting Sunday

As India reported its fourth novel coronavirus (COVID-19) death and the total number of cases climbed to 173, the government Thursday, 19 March, tightened the lockdown further, banning the landing of all international commercial passenger flights for a week from 22 March.

In Punjab, a 70-year-old man who had returned from Germany via Italy on 7 March and died at a hospital in Nawanshahr district on Wednesday, tested positive. Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said the man had a history of diabetes and heart disease.

The Ministry of External Affairs also confirmed the death of an Indian patient in Iran. The government said on Wednesday that 255 Indians in Iran were infected.

(Source: The Indian Express)

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6. Rupee Breaches 75 Against Dollar For First Time Ever

Rupee. 
Rupee. 
(File Photo: IANS)

The rupee hit a new low on Thursday, 19 March, closing below 75 against the US dollar for the first time, as foreign institutional investors stampeded out of emerging markets.

The rupee opened weak at 74.96, in line with the gap opening in equity markets and crashed to 75.30 against the dollar, losing more than a rupee against its previous close of 74.23 before firming up to close at 75.12.

“The FIIs have sold nearly USD 10 billion. The speed of the sales does not look like they are taking a view on companies; the sales appear to be triggered by trading algorithms or exchange-traded funds,” said Harihar Krishnamoorthy, treasurer, FirstRand Bank.

(Source: The Times of India)

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7. No More Dining at Delhi Restaurants; Only Takeaways

Image for representation.
Image for representation.
(Photo: PTI)

The Delhi government on Thursday, 19 March, stepped up sweeping restrictions to prevent community spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by prohibiting gatherings of more than 20 people and ordering the closure of all dine-in restaurants in the capital till 31 March.

To ensure isolation compliance from people who have either tested positive or are suspected being infected, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also announced that the administration has started stamping the hands of those mandated to be in quarantine.

The decisions, which are in addition to the government’s orders of shutting all educational institutions, weekly markets, cinema halls, gyms, nightclubs and spas, were taken in a meeting chaired by lieutenant governor Anil Baijal on Thursday to review the preventive measures taken by the city administration against the spread of the virus.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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8. Anil Ambani Quizzed by ED for 9 Hrs, Denies Exposure to Kapoors

Anil Ambani, chairman of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group during a news conference in Mumbai. 
Anil Ambani, chairman of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group during a news conference in Mumbai. 
(Photo: Reuters)

Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani was questioned for over nine hours by the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday, 19 March, in connection with a Rs 12,500-crore loan extended by Yes Bank to Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) companies, which went bad. Sources said he may be called for further questioning by March-end.

It is alleged that at the same time it received the loan, ADAG had given Rs 1,100 crore as loans to firms owned by Yes Bank promoter Rana Kapoor’s family members, a move that is suspected to be a quid pro quo arrangement.

A Reliance Group statement said Ambani met ED officials to clarify on the group’s exposure to Yes Bank. He reiterated that the Reliance Group’s entire exposure to Yes Bank was fully secured, and in compliance with laws and financial regulations.

(Source: The Times of India)

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9. One More Positive Case in Kerala, Left Govt Announces Rs 20K Cr

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
(Photo: PTI)

One more person tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday, 19 March, taking the total number of cases to 25, as the Left government announced a Rs 20,000 crore financial package to tide over the present crisis being faced by the southern state in the wake of the virus outbreak.

The multi-crore special package includes Rs 500 crore health package, Rs 2,000 crore loans and free ration. The man who tested positive had returned from Dubai and hailed from the northern Kasaragod district, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters after a COVID-19 review meeting. He said 65 people were hospitalised on Thursday.

"At least 31,173 people are under surveillance, of whom 237 are in observation in hospitals across the state" he said.

(Source: PTI)

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