Daily bulletin: Delhi HC verdict on Rakesh Asthana's plea today; BJP national council meeting begins in Delhi; day's top stories

CBI director Alok Verma ousted by selection committee

Alok Verma was on Thursday removed unceremoniously as the CBI director after a high-powered panel led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi found that he had not been functioning with the integrity expected of him.

Verma, whose fixed tenure of two years was to end on 31 January, is the first chief in the 55-years of the CBI's history to face such action. He has been posted as Director General of Fire Service, Civil Defence and Home Guards, under the Union home ministry.

The charge of the CBI has been given to Additional Director M Nageshwar Rao.

The panel which comprised Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Justice AK Sikri met in New Delhi on Thursday evening, after which a decision for Verma was taken. Kharge has expressed his dissent to the decision, which was taken by a majority of 2:1.

Reacting to the development, the Congress said, "By removing Alok Verma from his position without giving him the chance to present his case, Modi has shown once again that he's too afraid of an investigation, either by an independent CBI director or by Parliament via JPC."

HC verdict on pleas of Rakesh Asthana, others for quashing FIR

The Delhi High Court is scheduled on Friday to pronounce the verdict on pleas of CBI special director Rakesh Asthana and others seeking quashing of FIR against them on bribery allegations.

Justice Najmi Waziri had reserved the judgement on 20 December, 2018 on various petitions after hearing submissions of the counsel for CBI, the Centre, Asthana, Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar, former CBI chief Alok Verma and Joint Director AK Sharma.

File photo of Rakesh Asthana. PTI

File photo of Rakesh Asthana. PTI

The court would pronounce its verdict on the petitions of Asthana, Kumar and alleged middleman Manoj Prasad seeking quashing of the FIR. Additional Superintendent of Police SS Gurm has also filed a plea in the court to be impleaded as a party.

Bandh in Assam against bill to grants ST status to ethnic groups

A conglomerate of tribal bodies in Assam has called a 24-hour bandh on Friday to protest a bill that seeks to grant Scheduled Tribe status to six ethnic groups of the state.

The bandh by the Coordination Committee of the Tribal Organisations of Assam (CCTOA) comes close on the heels of an 11-hour strike called on Tuesday against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

"The Central and state governments have hatched a plot to eliminate the genuine tribals of the state," Aditya Khaklary, convenor, CCTOA, said.

The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Amendment Bill seeks to accord ST status to six ethnic groups — Koch-Rajbongshis, Tea Tribes/Adivasis, Tai Ahoms, Morans, Motoks and Chutia — was tabled in Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

BJP's two-day national council meeting to begin today

The Narendra Modi government's "social justice" plank with its outreach to Dalits, backward classes and the general category is likely to be a key theme at the BJP's two-day national council meeting starting on Friday, as the party looks to set the tone for its Lok Sabha poll campaign.

BJP president Amit Shah will inaugurate the meeting — the biggest ever for its national council with the party expecting participation of close to 12,000 members — while Modi will deliver the concluding speech on Saturday, laying down the agenda for the general elections.

Sources told PTI the council may pass three resolutions, highlighting the government's "successes" on various fronts ranging from economy to social justice and also dwell at length on the prevailing political scenario.

Rahul Gandhi in UAE

Congress president Rahul Gandhi will interact with the Indian diaspora during his maiden visit to the UAE on Friday. He is also set to meet some UAE ministers during his two-day visit to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Rahul, who reached Dubai on Thursday evening, was accorded a warm welcome by the Indian diaspora at the Dubai airport.

The Congress president would also be the "official chief guest" at the 'Indo-Arab cultural programme' at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Thursday. The programme would also celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

The two-day trip has been planned by Indian Overseas Congress (IOC) and it is his first international tour of 2019.

EC to review poll preparedness for Lok Sabha polls

The Election Commission is holding a two-day meet of Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) to review preparedness for Lok Sabha polls, due in April-May this year.

During the conference beginning on Friday, the commission will discuss key issues related to poll preparedness such as updating of electoral rolls, functioning of ERO Net, polling station arrangements and EVM-VVPAT, a statement said.

Apart from reviewing poll preparedness, the commission will also discuss the takeaways and learnings from the recent Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Telangana.

During the conference, the CEOs will make their comprehensive presentations of their poll preparedness on all important parameters.

BEST strike to continue on Day 4

The indefinite strike by employees of the Mumbai's civic transport undertaking Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) will continue on Friday, as talks between union leaders and officials remained inconclusive.

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, whose party controls the BMC, met the BEST union leaders in the presence of Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta and the BEST commissioner Surendra Kumar Bagde on Thursday. The negotiations went on for nearly seven hours but failed to break the deadlock.

"The officials have refused to relent on our demands to merge the budget of BEST with that of the BMC. Therefore, the strike will continue. They did not agree to even give us a written assurance about our other demands," BEST workers' union president Shashank Rao told reporters after the meeting. Nearly 32,000 BEST employees are on indefinite strike since Tuesday over various demands, including higher salaries and merger of budgets.

Infosys Q3 results today

IT bellwether Infosys will release its December quarter earnings results today (11 January). "Infosys will announce its results for its third quarter ended 31 December 2018 on 11 January 2019 around 4.15 pm IST," the country's second largest software exporter said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Infosys is expected to post a net profit of Rs 4,088.60 crore and revenue of Rs 20,292 crore in the December quarter, according to analysts polled by Reuters.

Infosys said its board will consider a buyback programme and payment of special dividend, among other proposals, at its meeting today, according to a BSE filing

Samuel L Jackson has no plans of retiring his role of Nick Fury

Veteran actor Samuel L Jackson says he is no mood to hang up his boots as Nick Fury and he can play the S.H.I.E.L.D director for another 10 years. Marvel next offering Captain Marvel marks the end of the actor's nine-picture deal with the studio.

And Jackson, 70, says he is ready to play even into his '80s. "I could be the Alec Guinness of Marvel movies," he told The Hollywood Reporter, referring to the British veteran actor, known for playing the iconic role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars trilogy among many others.

Jackson will be seen sporting Fury's younger look, created with make-up and CGI in Brie Larson-led Captain Marvel, which is set in 1995. The new old look is modelled on the actor's face from 1998's The Negotiator. He has already finished shooting for Spider-Man: Far From Home, which is slated to be released on 5 July.

Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.

Updated Date: Jan 11, 2019 07:54:15 IST

Also See