Daily Bulletin: Nirmala Sitharaman to begin pre-Budget consultations; SC to hear plea against Prashant Kanojia's arrest; day's top stories

Centre to take stock of water crisis, begin preparations for Budget today

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday will begin to hold meetings with economists and executives of banks, financial institutions and industry chambers, as part of pre-Budget consultations ahead of the Parliament session that begins 17 June. The finance minister is likely to hold meetings with representatives from associations working in the fields of agriculture and rural development, as well as industry and trade associations.

The Union Budget is likely to be presented on 5 July.

Moreover, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, who is handling a newly-formed ministry dedicated to water conservation and related issues, is also to hold meetings with state water resources ministers to discuss the crisis that several parts of the country are currently facing. Shekhawat is expected to appeal to the states to cooperate to overcome the crisis.

 Daily Bulletin: Nirmala Sitharaman to begin pre-Budget consultations; SC to hear plea against Prashant Kanojias arrest; days top stories

File image of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. PTI

Plea against Prashant Kanojia's arrest may come up in SC today

The Supreme Court is likely to hear a plea challenging the arrest of journalist Prashant Kanojia in connection with an alleged defamatory post on Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath. A vacation bench, comprising Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Ajay Rastogi agreed to hear the plea moved by Kanojia's wife Jigisha.

Senior lawyer Nitya Ramakrishnan, who appeared for the petitioner, submitted that the Uttar Pradesh Police did not follow the due procedure while arresting the journalist.

Kanojia was arrested on Saturday for making certain "objectionable comments" against Adityanath on social media and for "spreading rumours". He was taken into custody from Delhi after a case was registered at Hazratganj Police Station in Lucknow.

"The arrest was made on the basis of evidence and after interrogation. He confessed to his crime," a press note issued by the police had said.

Kanojia has been booked under sections 500 (defamation) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of the Information Technology Act.

On Sunday, the Editors Guild of India had condemned the arrest of Kanojia, as well as those of Eshika Singh, head of Noida-based new channel Nation Live, and Anuj Shukla, an editor of the channel, in connection with the case.

Priyanka Gandhi to visit Raebaraeli for review meetings

Congress general secretary in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will visit party bastion Raebareli in the state on Tuesday. This will be her first visit to Raebaraeli since the Rahul Gandhi-led party faced a massive defeat in the Lok Sabha election.

Priyanka is scheduled to participate in review meetings with party workers over the course of her two-day visit, during which, sources said, district presidents from the eastern region of Uttar Pradesh and other senior leaders will attend marathon meetings with her.

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi retained the Rae Baraeli Lok Sabha seat by defeating BJP's Dinesh Pratap Singh by over 1.67 lakh votes. Rahul lost the Nehru-Gandhi family stronghold Amethi to BJP's Smriti Irani by over 55,000 votes.

On 4 June, a meeting was held at Priyanka's New Delhi residence. President of Uttar Pradesh Congress Raj Babbar and other general secretaries, including Jyotiraditya Scindia, attended the meeting, at which they discussed ways to rebuild the party at the block level after its defeat in the elections.

Meanwhile, Congress general secretary in-charge of western Uttar Pradesh Jyotiraditya Scindia will also hold review meetings in Delhi on Tuesday and in Lucknow on Friday.

Mumbai receives pre-monsoon showers, flights affected

Mumbai and its suburbs witnessed pre-monsoon showers Monday night, bringing people some respite from the sweltering heat. It was the first instance of pre-monsoon rains in the South Mumbai region, said an IMD official. Eastern parts of the city had already witnessed light showers and drizzle.

Areas such as Colaba in South Mumbai, the western suburbs of Santacruz, Malad, Kandivali and Borivali, along with Kurla, Ghatkopar and Vikhroli, also received heavy rain on Monday, which was accompanied by thunder and lightning.

The rain affected both train and flight services. Movement of Mumbai's suburban local trains was affected near Kopar station due to technical issues triggered by the showers. Flight operations at the Mumbai airport were also put on hold temporarily after the heavy rain reduced visibility below the required limit.

A Newark-bound United Airlines flight from Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport was diverted to Delhi, an airport spokesperson said.

Three convicts get life sentence in Kathua rape and murder case

A court in Punjab's Pathankot on Monday sentenced to life the three main accused in the case of gangrape and murder of an 8-year-old nomadic girl in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua. The court also sentenced three others to five years in jail for destruction of evidence.

After a year-long trial, the court held the six guilty in the case, which had sparked nationwide outrage. However, it acquitted another accused, Vishal Jangotra, son of mastermind Sanji Ram, giving him the "benefit of doubt", according to Mubeen Farooqi, who represented the victim's family in the court.

Sanji Ram, the caretaker of the temple where the crime took place, Special Police Officer Deepak Khajuria, and Parvesh Kumar, a civilian, were convicted under sections of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) that pertain to criminal conspiracy, murder, kidnapping, gangrape, destruction of evidence, drugging the victim and common intention, said prosecution lawyer Santokh Singh.

The prosecution had sought capital punishment for the men.  The three sentenced to life imprisonment were also fined Rs 1 lakh each after being convicted for criminal conspiracy and murder, the prosecution lawyer said.

Life imprisonment will mean they will be in jail till the end of their natural life, he explained, adding that they had also been handed over different jail terms for various offences under the RPC, which will run concurrently with their life term.

World Cup: Bangladesh aim to bounce back against Sri Lanka in Bristol

After suffering consecutive defeats, Bangladesh will be looking to get their World Cup campaign back on track when they take on an inconsistent Sri Lankan side in Bristol. Both teams have won one out of their first three games, but the Lankans are in a slightly better position, having gained one point from the washout against Pakistan.

Former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar skips ED questioning

Former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, on Monday, skipped her scheduled appearance before the Enforcement Directorate in an alleged case of money laundering, citing bad health. The probe involves the bank and the Videocon group.

Kochhar is expected to be asked to depose later this week. She had not appeared before the agency last week, as well, citing health reasons.

The central probe agency is now considering calling a few more bank officials to confront them with the statements made by Kochhar and obtain further leads. The ED is also preparing ways to analyse the details of the assets of the Kochhars and others so they can be provisionally attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Steven Spielberg working on new horror series

Veteran filmmaker Steven Spielberg is writing a horror series for the forthcoming digital platform Quibi. According to Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, users will only be able to watch the show when their phones know it is dark outside.

"Steven Spielberg has a super scary story. He's actually writing it himself. Getting him to write something is fantastic," Katzenberg said.

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Updated Date: Jun 11, 2019 08:06:19 IST