Daily Bulletin: SC to hear plea of rebel Karnataka MLAs today; over 70 lakh hit by floods in Bihar and North East; day's top stories

Karnataka crisis: SC agrees to hear plea of five more rebel Congress MLAs today

The Supreme Court Monday agreed to hear a plea of five more rebel Congress MLAs along with the pending petition of 10 legislators seeking a direction to the Karnataka Assembly speaker to accept their resignation.

 Daily Bulletin: SC to hear plea of rebel Karnataka MLAs today; over 70 lakh hit by floods in Bihar and North East; days top stories

Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy with other coalition members during the Assembly session on 15 July. PTI

The matter is expected to be heard at 10:30 am.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi took note of the submission of senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for the rebel MLAs, that they also be made parties to the pending petition, which is to be heard on Tuesday.

The rebel Congress MLAs from Karnataka had moved the Supreme Court on 13 July against the speaker not accepting their resignation.

These MLAs are: Anand Singh, K Sudhakar, N Nagaraj, Munirathna and Roshan Baig.

The apex court on 12 July restrained Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar from taking any decision till 16 July on resignation and disqualification of 10 rebel MLAs of the ruling Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition.

The 10 rebel MLAs, who moved the Supreme Court earlier alleging that the speaker was not accepting their resignation, were: Pratap Gouda Patil, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Byrati Basavaraj, BC Patil, ST Somashekhar, Arbail Shivaram Hebbar, Mahesh Kumathalli, K Gopalaiah, A H Vishwanath and Narayana Gowda.

Nearly 70 lakh affected by floods in Bihar and Northeast, toll mounts to 44

The flood situation remained grim in parts of northeast and Bihar as the death toll mounted to 44, with nearly 70 lakh people affected, even as north India witnessed widespread rainfall.

The national capital's long wait for monsoon rains also ended Monday as it received 28.8 mm precipitation, the maximum in July this year, and more rains are expected over the next two to three days.

In Assam, the deluge spread to 30 of the state's 33 districts, affecting nearly 43 lakh people and claiming 15 lives, besides submerging rhino habitats at the Kaziranga National Park, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and the Manas National Park.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal over the phone and discussed the prevailing condition on Monday.

Altogether, 42.87 lakh people in 4,157 villages are reeling under the impact of the floods that have overrun 1,53,211 hectares of farmland with standing crops, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said.

Pakistan opens its airspace for Indian operators for the first time since Balakot strike

Pakistan opened its airspace for all civilian traffic on Tuesday morning, removing the ban on Indian flights that were not allowed to use majority of its airspace since the Balakot air strikes in February, sources told PTI.

The move is expected to give relief to Air India, which had to re-route its international flights due to the closure of Pakistani airspace.

"Pakistan has permitted all airlines to fly through its airspace from around 12:41 am today. Indian airline operators will start using normal routes through Pakistan airspace soon," the sources told PTI.

Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority issued a notice to airmen (NOTAM) at around 12:41 am, stating that "with immediate effect Pakistan airspace is open for all type of civil traffic on published ATS (air traffic service) routes".

Pakistan had fully closed its airspace on 26 February after the Indian Air Force (IAF) struck a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist training camp in Balakot in retaliation to the Pulwama attack on  14 February.

Rahul Gandhi to appear before two Gujarat courts over defamation cases

Rahul Gandhi was issued summons by two Gujarat courts on last Tuesday, 9 July, in criminal defamation complaints filed by BJP leaders for allegedly calling Union Minister Amit Shah a "murder accused" and saying that "all thieves have Modi as the surname".

Chief Judicial Magistrate BH Kapadia in Surat asked Gandhi to appear on 16 July, while an Ahmedabad court ordered the Congress leader to appear on 9 August. In both the cases, the court has issued summons holding that prima facie there was a case of criminal defamation against Gandhi under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code.

Gandhi is facing several cases of defamation. Last week, he appeared in courts in Mumbai and Patna and was granted bail. He had alleged that the cases were filed by his political opponents to "harass and intimidate" him.

IOC threatens to cut fuel supply to Air India at some airports from today for 'non-payment of dues'

State-owned Air India's flights' services are likely to be hit partially as public sector oil marketing firm Indian Oil Corporation has threatened to cut fuel supply at some of the airports from today (16 July) evening over non-payment of bills, according to a source.

The disinvestment-bound carrier, which is incurring Rs 15 crore loss per day, has huge dues towards oil companies and Airports Authority of India, among others.

"Indian Oil Corporation has threatened to stop fuel supply at certain airports such as Patna, Pune, Chandigarh, Cochin, Visakhapatnam and Ranchi for non-payment of dues from 4 pm Tuesday," the source said.

In the eventuality of the oil firm implementing its notice to Air India, there will not be fuel available to flights operating out of these airports and may impact operations as well, the source added.

In view of the IoC notice, the airline has asked its flight crew and dispatchers that they "must carry fuel for next sector or alternative re-routing to be planned to maximise the payload, until the situation is normalised," as per the source.

Lunar eclipse to take place on today

On 16 and 17 July, many parts of the world will be able to witness a partial lunar eclipse including India. Apart from India, the partial lunar eclipse is going to be visible in most regions of Asia and Europe, Africa, Australia, and South America.

In India, people will be able to witness the penumbral lunar eclipse starting from 12.13 am on 17 July. At 1.31 am, it will transition into a partial lunar eclipse and it will reach maximum eclipse at 3 am. Followed by that, it will again enter into penumbral lunar eclipse after the partial lunar eclipse ends at 4.29 am. Finally, the penumbral lunar eclipse will end at 5.47 am.

The entire lunar eclipse will be active for 5 hours and 34 minutes while the partial lunar eclipse will be running for a total duration of 2 hours and 58 minutes.

India to take on Syria in a league match of Intercontinental Cup today

India aims to end their Intercontinental Cup campaign with some pride when they face Syria in the last league match in Ahmedabad on Tuesday. After North Korea beat Tajikistan 1-0 on Monday, the match between India and Syria on Tuesday has been rendered inconsequential as far as the home side is concerned. The match will begin at 8 pm IST.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jul 16, 2019 08:14:54 IST