Times Top10: Today’s Top News Headlines and Latest News from India & across the World

5 THINGS FIRSTSupreme Court to hear plea against anti-encroachment drive in riots-hit Jahangirpuri; UK PM Boris Johnson begins two-day visit to India; PM Modi’s address from Red Fort on 400th Parkash Purab; IPL (MI vs CSK); Creditors of Future Retail meet to approve asset sale to Reliance1. Before Supreme Court stopped the bulldozers …An order
The Supreme Court on Wednesday stopped the ‘anti-encroachment drive’ by municipal authorities in violence-hit Jahangirpuri area of Delhi and agreed to hear a petition challenging the action allegedly aimed against the riot accused.The area had witnessed violent clashes between two communities during a Hanuman Jayanti procession on Saturday. Eight police personnel and a local resident had sustained injuries.According to police, 25 people have been arrested and two juveniles apprehended in connection with the clashes.The hurry
The apex court was hearing a petition of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind alleging that the demolition, which was to start at 2 pm, began at 9 am and no mandatory notice for demolition was served on the alleged violators.The delay
The petitioners told the court that despite its order, the demolition wasn’t stopped with the authorities saying the order has not been communicated to them.The top court then directed its secretary-general to convey its order to the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) mayor and the Delhi Police commissioner immediately. In the one and a half hours that it took the order to finally reach it, the civic body had bulldozed a number of temporary shops and structures.The plan
The drive was undertaken a day after the Delhi BJP chief wrote to the party-ruled NDMC to identify illegal constructions of ‘rioters’ and demolish them using bulldozers.“Our JCBs (excavators) and staff will go to Jahangirpuri to remove illegal encroachment from roads and government land. It is our routine exercise,” the mayor had said. Delhi Police deployed security personnel to maintain law and order.The template
Bulldozers have been similarly used to raze properties in Khambhat in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone and Sendhwa of those accused of involvement in rioting on Ram Navami. Bulldozers were projected as a metaphor for ‘tough on criminals’ by the ruling BJP during the Uttar Pradesh elections though the opposition had said it was a symbol of the government’s high-handedness.2. Verdict delayed is verdict stayedWhat: An unreasonably long time gap between passing an operative order and the reasoned judgement could result in quashing of the verdict as the Supreme Court has set aside Allahabad high court’s acquittal order in a murder case. The HC had delivered its reasoned verdict five months after passing the short operative order to acquit the accused.Why: The apex court deprecated the practice of the HC for delay in pronouncing a reasoned order and said that such practice has to be stopped and discouraged. It said that the apex court had in 1984 held such practice as judicial indiscipline and that judicial discipline requires promptness in delivery of judgments.So what? The problem is compounded as the result is known but not the reasons and it deprives any aggrieved party of the opportunity to seek further judicial redressal in the next tier of judicial scrutiny.What next? “From the record of proceedings, it appears that the reasoned judgment was pronounced and uploaded after a period of almost five months. Therefore, applying the law laid down by this court in the decisions referred to hereinabove, we set aside the impugned judgment and order passed by the high court without further entering into the merits of the case nor expressing anything on merits in favour of either party. We remand the appeals to the high court to decide the same afresh in accordance with law and on its own merits,” the bench said.3. Naga peace talks hang fire, but ceasefire extendedAmid uncertainty over the Naga peace talks, the Centre has extended ceasefire agreements with three rebel factions for one more year, up to April 27, 2023. These groups include the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-NK or NSCN-(NK), NSCN (R) and NSCN (K-Khango). All three are breakaway factions of the dominant groups, NSCN (I-M) and NSCN (K).No headway
The development comes amid protracted negotiations between the BJP-led Centre and the NSCN (I-M), headed by octogenarian rebel leader Thuingaleng Muivah.The Centre had signed a “framework agreement” with NSCN (I-M) in 2015, after over 80 rounds of negotiations spanning 18 years. The first breakthrough was made in 1997 when a ceasefire agreement was signed after decades of insurgency in Nagaland which started soon after India’s Independence in 1947.However, there has been a deadlock in the Naga peace process as the group has been insisting on a separate flag and constitution, a demand rejected by the Modi government.What’s Centre doing?
On Tuesday, the Centre’s interlocutor A K Mishra met Muivah at the outfit’s headquarters, Camp Hebron, near Dimapur. Mishra, a former special director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), replaced R N Ravi as the government’s representative for the Naga peace talks last year.During his week-long stay in Nagaland, Mishra is expected to hold discussions with Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) as well as the state government’s core committee on the Naga issue, headed by chief minister Neiphiu Rio.4. When SC bent rules, but achieved littleThe result
The recent exercise of powers under Article 142 of the Constitution by the Supreme Court to order an unprecedented special counselling for 146 PG medical seats under All India Quota (AIQ), ostensibly to benefit meritorious MBBS doctors, turned out to be much ado about nothing.Additional solicitor general Aishwarya Bhati on Wednesday informed the Justice DY Chandrachud-led bench that of the 146 PG seats, 141 were allotted to various MBBS doctors through the special counselling ordered by the SC. But, only two candidates of the 141 actually joined the course, she said.The rule tweaked
The apex court last month took up a bunch of petitions by MBBS doctors who had already secured admission into what they termed as less preferred postgraduate medical seats and argued that depriving those with higher ranks to compete for better courses available in the vacant 146 seats would be plain and simple cheating.These 146 seats fell vacant after the completion of the second round of counselling for the pandemic-delayed NEET-PG 2021-22. Finding the government reluctant to conduct a fresh round of counselling for these vacant seats, Justice Chandrachud had remarked, “We will not allow 146 PG seats to go to waste. It will be a criminal waste considering the fact that many of these seats are in government medical colleges where the fees are very reasonable and quality of education is high. If we were parents instead of being judges, we would have asked why the Supreme Court is not intervening.”NEWS IN CLUES5. Which famous Indian billionaire’s middle name is ‘Shantilal’?Clue 1: As a teenager, he dropped out of Gujarat University while studying commerce and moved to Mumbai, where he worked in the diamond trade.Clue 2: He was abducted and held hostage for ransom in 1998, but was released without collecting the money.Clue 3: Born in Ahmedabad, he is the founder of the country’s largest port operator.
Scroll below for answer
6. After contractor’s death, a ‘clean-up’ moveIn what seems to be a fallout of the death of a civil contractor, who levelled bribery allegations against a former state minister, the Karnataka government on Wednesday announced forming a three-member commission led by a retired high court judge to clear tender proposals for all public projects worth Rs 50 crore and above. Why: The move is aimed at checking malpractices in awarding contracts. The government has also ordered a total ban on initiating works based on oral instructions of ministers or higher officials.The panel: The commission will be formed under the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement Act (KTPPA). The panel headed by a retired HC judge will also comprise a financial expert and a technical expert as its members.Patil’s death: Contractor Santosh Patil, who allegedly committed suicide on April 11 in an Udupi hotel, had accused the then rural development and panchayat raj minister K S Eshwarappa of demanding 40 per cent commission on a public work carried out in Belagavi district.Resignation: Eshwarappa, MLA from Shivamogga, had maintained that he was not at all involved in the issue but resigned from his ministerial post on April 14 following mounting pressure from the opposition.CM order: “A government order has been passed and in a few days, the commission will be set up. This will be a deterrent against corruption. The members will be named in a week. Every estimate has to be cleared in 15 days,” chief minister Basavaraj Bommai said.
7. Third judge recuses from hearing Elgar caseJudge 3
Justice Sadhana Jadhav of the Bombay High Court has recused herself from hearing a bunch of petitions about the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, the third judge of the HC to do so this year. She did not assign any reasons for her decision to recuse herself.Judges 1 & 2
Earlier this year, Justice SS Shinde had recused himself from hearing the pleas arising from the Elgar case. Incidentally, he had been presiding over these matters between 2019 and 2021. The matters had then been transferred to a bench led by Justice PB Varale, who too recused from hearing them.The high court then assigned a special bench led by Justice SB Shukre to hear the matters. Earlier this month, Justice Shukre was shifted to the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court, following which the matters were referred to Justice Sadhana Jadhav. Why
Generally, judges refrain from hearing a matter if they have any personal interests, associations, or stakes in a matter, or, if they have legally represented any of the accused persons in the past.The case
The case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at the ‘Elgar Parishad’ conclave, held at Shaniwarwada in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the police claimed triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon Bhima war memorial located on the city’s outskirts. The accused in the case include 16 scholars and activists, including the late Jesuit priest Stan Swamy.What next?
The petitioners’ lawyers will now have to move an application before the high court chief justice seeking that a special bench be assigned once again.8. US concerned about Russian ASAT missilesUS Vice President Kamala Harris, who chairs the National Space Council, announced that Washington has decided not to conduct “destructive direct-ascent anti-satellite (ASAT) missile testing”, in what seems to be a direct message to arch-rival Russia. Terming these tests as “dangerous”, she also called upon all nations to follow in the US’ footsteps in banning such exercises.Why
The first-of-its-kind move is primarily aimed at preventing further militarization of outer space as the US seeks to demonstrate “norms for the responsible and peaceful use” of the increasingly contested domain. This comes amid increased US intelligence cooperation with Ukraine as Russia’s invasion drags on and concerns that its spy satellites could be shot down by Moscow.The White House argues that the debris created by ASAT tests threaten satellites and other space objects that are vital to all nations’ security, economic, and scientific interests, and increases risk to astronauts in space.
In her speech at Vandenberg Space Force Base on April 18, Harris specifically mentioned ASAT tests conducted by Russia and China.In November 2021, Russia test-launched an ASAT missile that struck a defunct Soviet-era spy satellite in low-Earth orbit, creating at least 1,632 pieces of space debris. Washington then condemned Russia’s action as “reckless and irresponsible”. Besides Russia, the US, China and India have also tested ASAT weapons in the past, with China’s lone demonstration in 2007 spawning the largest swarm of debris.
Russia said on Wednesday it had test-launched its Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, a new addition to its nuclear arsenal which President Vladimir Putin said would give Moscow’s enemies “food for thought”.Moscow also claimed its forces hit 1,053 Ukrainian military facilities overnight, destroying 106 firing positions.More than five million Ukrainians fled the country since the Russian invasion began on February 24, according to the UN refugee agency.9. Assange moves another step closer to extraditionA UK court on Wednesday issued a formal order to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States to face trial over the publication of secret files relating to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.The decision now rests with interior minister Priti Patel, although Assange may still appeal within 14 days of any decision to approve the extradition. Assange’s lawyers have until May 18 to make representations to Patel and could potentially launch further appeals on other points in the case.The case has become a cause celebre for media freedom, with Assange’s supporters accusing Washington of trying to muzzle reporting of legitimate security concerns. Assange is wanted in the US to face trial for violating the Espionage Act by publishing military and diplomatic files in 2010. He has been held on remand at a top-security jail in southeast London since 2019 for jumping bail in a previous case accusing him of sexual assault in Sweden.That case was dropped but he was not released from prison after serving time for breaching bail on the grounds he was a flight risk in the US extradition case.Assange spent seven years at Ecuador’s embassy in London to avoid being removed to Sweden. He was arrested when the government changed in Quito and his diplomatic protection was removed.Answer to NEWS IN CLUESGautam Adani. The Adani Group has committed to invest Rs 10,000 crore in West Bengal over the next decade, its group Chief Gautam Adani announced on Wednesday at the inaugural session of Bengal Global Business Summit 2022. Adani said the group will invest in port and infrastructure such as data centre, undersea cable, centre of excellence, warehousing and logistic parks.Follow news that matters to you in real-time.
Join 3 crore news enthusiasts.Written by: Rakesh Rai, Tejeesh Nippun Singh, Jayanta Kalita
Research: Rajesh Sharma