Top news of the day: December 15, 2022 – The Hindu

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December 15, 2022 07:19 pm | Updated 07:19 pm IST
Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi. File | Photo Credit: PTI
Supreme Court to decide if electoral bonds plea should be heard by Constitution Bench in last week of January
The Supreme Court on December 15 agreed to examine in the last week of January a plea to refer to a Constitution Bench a series of petitions accusing the electoral bonds scheme of illegally facilitating anonymous donations to political parties days before polls are due. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for petitioner NGO Association for Democratic Reforms, requested the Court for an urgent hearing, saying the question of reference to a Constitution Bench could be heard and decided quickly at an early date.
Public servants can be convicted in corruption case on circumstantial evidence basis, says Supreme Court
A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on December 15 held that the demand and acceptance of bribe or illegal gratification by a public servant can be inferred by a court on circumstantial proof in the absence of direct evidence. The Bench led by Justice S. Abdul Nazeer said the “stink of corruption” has a “pervasive impact” on the efficient administration and governance of the country. Corrupt officials have a demoralising effect on honest public servants. Corruption by public servants has become a “gigantic problem”. Large-scale corruption retards nation-building activities and everyone has to suffer on that count, the Court observed.
Supreme Court grants bail to convict in Godhra train coach burning case
The Supreme Court on December 15 granted bail to a convict serving life imprisonment in the 2002 Godhra train coach burning case, noting that he has been in jail for the last 17 years. A Bench comprising Chief Justice D. Y. Chandrachud and Justice P. S. Narasimha took note of the submission of a lawyer, appearing for one of the convicts, Faruk, that he be granted bail considering the period undergone till now.
Nirav Modi loses bid to take extradition fight to U.K. Supreme Court
Nirav Modi, the fugitive diamond merchant wanted in India to stand trial on fraud and money laundering charges, on Thursday suffered another setback in his legal battle against his extradition as the High Court here denied him permission to appeal against the move in the U.K. Supreme Court. In a ruling delivered speedily within just over a week of the U.K.’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) submitting its response to the 51-year-old diamantaire’s permission to appeal application on behalf of the Indian Government, the judges also ruled that the “certification of a point of law be refused” that would have allowed his plea to progress to the higher court.
Bihar hooch tragedy: toll goes up to 26, CM Nitish Kumar says, ‘those who consume liquor, will die’
The toll of deaths in the hooch tragedy in dry Bihar went up to 26 on December 15 while villagers said over 40 people have died so far. Reacting over the incident, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar said, “those who consume liquor, will die. There is nothing new in it”. The Opposition BJP legislators made a ruckus in the Bihar legislature and demanded CM Nitish Kumar’s resignation over the tragedy.
Lok Sabha clears Bill to include Narikoravan and Kurivikkaran tribes in ST list of Tamil Nadu
Lok Sabha on December 15 passed the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Second Amendment) Bill, 2022 to include the Narikoravan and Kurivikkaran hill tribes of Tamil Nadu in the Scheduled Tribes list of the State through a voice vote after the discussion on the Bill was concluded and Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda moved a motion for the House to pass it.  VCK MP D Ravikumar had moved an amendment to the Bill to change the names of the tribes to “Narikoravar” and “Kuruvikkarar”, which was supported by DMK MP DNK Senthilkumar, CPI member K Subbarayyan. But when put to voice vote, this amendment was defeated.
Delhi HC reserves judgement on pleas challenging Agnipath scheme
The Delhi High Court on December 15 reserved its judgement on a batch of petitions challenging the Centre’s Agnipath scheme for recruitment in armed forced. Besides pleas directly challenging Agnipath, the high court also reserved its verdict on petitions concerning the recruitment processes for the armed forces under certain previous advertisements.
Bones found in Mehrauli forest area belong to Shraddha Walkar, DNA matches with her father
DNA extracted from bone pieces recovered in the Mehrauli forest area by the Delhi Police in connection with the grisly Shraddha Walkar murder case has matched with samples of her father, police sources said on December 15. The police had recovered 13 bone pieces from the area while searching for Walkar’s body parts. She was allegedly strangled and her body sawed into 35 pieces and disposed of in various parts of the national capital by her live-in partner Aaftab Amin Poonawala.
IAF carries out air exercise in Northeastern region; gets last of 36 Rafale jets
The Indian Air Force, bolstered by its full complement of Rafale combat jets, on Thursday launched a major exercise covering the Northeastern region amid a fresh spike of border tension with China along the Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh. The two-day mega exercise is involving almost all its frontline fighter jets and other assets deployed in the region, people familiar with the drill said.
Iran removed from UN women’s rights body after protest crackdown; India abstains on resolution
India has abstained in the UN Economic and Social Council on a draft resolution to oust Iran from the principal global intergovernmental body dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and women empowerment. The Economic and Social Council adopted on December 14 the draft resolution, introduced by the U.S., on the removal of Iran from the membership of the Commission on the Status of Women for the remainder of its 2022-2026 term, citing its oppression of women and girls in the Islamic Republic.
Two killed in Russian shelling in Kherson, says Ukraine
Russian shelling on December 15 killed two people in the southern city of Kherson, the Ukrainian presidency said, in the latest such bombardment since Kyiv’s forces recaptured it last month. “The enemy hit the centre of the city again. One hundred metres from the Kherson region administrative building,” the deputy head of the president’s office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said on social media. “There is information about two people killed. Emergency services are on site.”
‘U.S. created Indo-Pacific concept to bring in India to contain China,’ says Chinese official
“In fact, there is no such concept as an ‘Indo-Pacific in geopolitics,” Chinese diplomat and Ambassador to France Lu Shaye said in an interaction with French journalists. “It is a concept created by the U. S.”, he added. “In the past, we used to talk about the Pacific or the Asia-Pacific region, never about the Indo-Pacific. Why did the Americans include the Indian Ocean? It is because they believe their Asia-Pacific allies alone are no longer enough to contain China, they want to bring in India and other U. S. allies, such as France, which considers itself an Indo-Pacific country. This is wrong.”
U.K. nurses join wave of strike action to demand better pay
Thousands of nurses walked off their jobs in England on December 15, escalating a wave of industrial unrest in the U.K. this month as ambulance and postal workers, bus drivers and airport baggage handlers all stage strikes to demand better pay amid a cost-of-living crisis. Emergency hospital care will continue as normal, and nurses will still staff chemotherapy and neonatal and pediatric intensive care units, the Royal College of Nursing said. But many less urgent hospital treatments were expected to be affected across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Ban vs Ind First Test, Day 2 | India reduce Bangladesh to 133 for 8 at stumps
India reduced Bangladesh to 133 for eight at stumps after posting 404 in their first innings on day two, taking control of the first Test in Chattogram on December 15. Mohammed Siraj (3/14) rattled the Bangladesh top order with three wickets before Kuldeep Yadav (4/33) joined the party with four wickets as India put Bangladesh on the mat. Umesh Yadav (1/33) also took a wicket. Earlier, Ravichandran Ashwin (58) and Kuldeep Yadav (40) produced a lower-order fight back to help India go past the 400-run mark after starting the day at 278 for six.
laws / Gujarat / PNB-Nirav Modi case / Bihar / parliament / Parliament proceedings / Delhi / Iran / Rafale deal / Russia-Ukraine Crisis / Ukraine / Russia / United Kingdom / China / cricket
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