Morning Brief: SC To Resume Hearing On Ayodhya Case Today; Sonia Gandhi’s Top Aide Ahmed Patel Asked To Face Trial In RS Election Case; And More
Good Morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news brief for today.
SC To Resume Hearing On Ayodhya Case Today’
The Supreme Court (SC) will resume hearing on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case today. The apex court had on 29 October last year fixed the matter in the first week of January before an "appropriate bench". It had also turned down requests for an early hearing on the issue. In September, the court had refused to refer to a larger bench its 1994 judgement which holds that a mosque was not integral to the practice of Islam. This decision had cleared the deck for the court to continue hearing the title dispute.
The apex court will hear at least 14 appeals filed against the 2010 judgement of the Allahabad High Court which had divided land equally among three parties—the Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and the ‘Ram Lalla’, represented by the Hindu Mahasabha. The court’s verdict is unlikely to be out before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, which are expected to take place around April-May.
Sonia Gandhi’s Aide Ahmed Patel Asked To Face Trial In RS Election Case
The Supreme Court (SC) has asked the closest aide of United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Ahmed Patel, to face trial in connection with his election to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat, which has been challenged by his rival candidate from the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Times of India has reported. "The High Court shall proceed with the trial of the Election Petition,” the SC said.
This comes after Gujarat High Court said on 26 October last year that trial was needed. It had also rejected Patel’s plea in the case on 20 April 2018. The BJP candidate has challenged the Election Commission's decision to invalidate the votes of the two MLAs. He argues that Patel would have lost if the votes were not invalidated.
Rajya Sabha Amends RTE Bill, Scraps No-Detention Policy
The RTE Amendment Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, giving states the option to detain students of Class V and Class VIII if they fail to pass annual exams. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, introduced the Congress-led UPA government, did not permit detention. The move is expected to impact more than 180 million students across 1.4 million schools.
The ‘no-detention policy’ has been criticised for deteriorating learning outcomes. At least 25 states had demanded its reversal. Under the new policy, students will get two chances to pass the examination and will be detained if they fail in both. However, the states can chose to continue with the no-detention policy.
Sonia Gandhi Stops Sabarimala Protest By Congress MPs
UPA Chiarperson Sonia Gandhi stooped a black band protest on the Sabarimala issue by Congress MPs on Thursday saying the party stands for “gender equality and women’s rights.” According to reports, she told the members that the party can continue protesting in Kerala as part of their local politics but not at the national level. While the Congress has opposed the entry of women of reproductive age into the shrine in Kerala, the national leadership has not stated its stand publicly so far.
Those who disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision have argue that the objective of the practice is to honour the celibacy of the deity, Lord Ayyappa. During the hearing in the case in the case, lawyer J Sai Deepak, representing ‘People for Dharma’, stated that the charge of discrimination against women would’ve been justified if the objective of the practice was to keep “all women” out, but that’s not the case.
Bulandshahr Violence: Accused Bajrang Dal Activist Held
A Bajrang Dal activist, who is one of the main accused in the Bulandshahr violence in which a police officer and a civilian were killed, has been arrested by the UP police. The activist, identified as Yogesh Raj, was nabbed after the police laid a trap. While in hiding, Raj had made and circulated multiple videos with co-accused Shikhar Agarwal claiming they were innocent. Raj is accused of being the mastermind behind the violence in that erupted in Bulandshahr after reports of cow slaughter.
Rahul Gandhi’s volubility on Rafale is easier to understand, and the ‘Goebbels’ technique used by him suggests that there may be nothing behind this belligerence, no proof, no ground reality.
Terror operations of the kind busted by NIA recently are to be taken seriously even if they don’t immediately come across as especially threatening or dangerous. Lieutenant General (retired) Syed Ata Hasnain explains.
If, and when, Sonia Gandhi does sit down for a serious interview, here are 12 questions she must be asked.
We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!
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