What to Watch Out For
Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case to be heard by Constitution bench today
A five-judge Constitution bench led by Chief Justice Gogoi will be deliberating on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute today. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court registry issued a notice about Gogoi’s unprecedented move to set up a Constitution bench. The bench also consists of Justices SA Bobde, NV Ramana, Uday U Lalit and DY Chandrachud. The conflict over the land began after Babri Masjid was burnt down by right-wing Hindu groups in 1992.
Selection panel to meet today to discuss CVC report against Alok Verma
A day after the Supreme Court reinstated Alok Verma as the Central Bureau of Investigation chief, a selection panel is set to meet today to discuss the Central Vigilance Commission’s (CVC) report on the bribery and graft charges against him. Verma was sent on forced leave by the Centre in November last year, following a feud with his deputy, Special Director Rakesh Asthana who he accused of accepting bribes from a businessman. Asthana, in return, charged Verma with similar acts of corruption following which the apex court ordered a CVC inquiry. The selection committee comprises of PM Narendra Modi, leader of opposition Mallikarjun Kharge and Justice A.K. Sikri.
GST council to meet today to discuss hiking exemption threshold for enterprises, lowering of construction tax
The General Goods and Services Tax Council, headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, is slated to meet today to discuss the lowering of GST on under-construction flats and houses from 12 percent to 5 percent bringing relief to homebuyers. On Wednesday, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) sent a letter to Jaitley in which they suggested that a "three-stage" GST instead of the current multi-stage tax system be levied. According to the trader’s body, the taxes subsumed in value of the goods will encourage consumers to obtain bills. The GST council will also be looking to hike the exemption threshold for small and medium enterprises.
What you may have missed
Quota bill passed by Rajya Sabha passed unanimously, waits President’s nod
The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday passed a bill allowing 10% reservation for economically weaker sections within the general category. The bill was passed with a near unanimous vote, as 165 of the present 172 members voted in favour of the bill. Questions were however raised about the benefits of the bill. “This bill is an acknowledgment of the fact that we haven’t created enough jobs. The only thing that this bill will do is redraw poverty lines. The new poverty line is Rs 2,100 per day,” said Trinamool Congress leader Derek O Brien. The bill will now go to the President for his approval upon which it will become law.
Naveen Patnaik quashes alliance hopes, Mahagathbandhan no longer in the horizon for BJD
Biju Janata Dal chief Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday said that he will not be joining the grand opposition alliance. Patnaik’s decision came at a time when several parties including the Congress, Bihar’s Rashtriya Janata Dal, Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular), West Bengal’s Trinamool Congress, UP’s Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party and Telangana’s Telangana Rashtriya Samiti are forging alliances for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The Odisha CM however, chose to remain distant from the possibility of an alliance despite being critical of the Modi government’s policies in regard to the farmers.
BCCI expected to take action barring cricketers from making appearances after Pandya’s sexist comments
Cricketer Hardik Pandya on Wednesday offered his "regrets" in response to the comments on women he made in the show ‘Koffee with Karan’ which sparked a massive outrage. Pandya was slammed for the 'misogynistic', 'sexist', and 'racist' remarks that he made in the episode. What is interesting though, is that this might prompt the Board of Control for Cricket in India to bar players from making such appearances.
Delhi’s annual crime data out, no change in number of rape cases in crime capital
Delhi Police on Wednesday released the annual crime data according to which there was a decline in heinous crime while arrest rates have increased. Delhi reported a total of 23 riot cases in 2018, a 54% decline from 2017. However, the number of murders in Delhi saw a 3.25% increase and there’s been only a minimum change in the number of reported rape cases. Delhi ranks highest among all metropolitan cities for the number of crimes, contributing to 38.8% of all metropolitan crimes as per National Crime Records Bureau 2016 data.
The upcoming elections will see many new alliances, amongst which might be the Aam Admi Party and Congress’ alliance for the seven parliamentary seats from Delhi. What will this rumoured alliance mean for the BJP?