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Decide on merger of 6 BSP MLAs with Congress in 3 months: Rajasthan HC to Speaker

Ashish Sinha

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The Rajasthan High Court on Monday gave three months of time to the state’s Assembly Speaker to decide on the disqualification petition against 6 BSP MLAs who had merged with the Congress party earlier in the state. The High Court also disposed of the plea by BJP MLA Madan Dilawar and the BSP against merger of the 6 MLAs with the Congress.  

 The Supreme Court was informed by senior counsel Kapil Sibal that the HC had delivered its judgement and granted time to the Speaker to decide on merits of the disqualification petition against BSP MLAs. The SC bench said the plea was against an interim order of the High Court, and has now become infructuous. The SC was hearing a plea filed by Dilawar seeking a stay  on the Speaker’s decision that allowed six BSP MLAs to merge with the Congress, in view of the High Court order.

 Earlier on 6 August, the Rajasthan HC had issued notices to six BSP MLAs on petitions filed by BSP and BJP MLAs. But the HC had ruled that notices had to be published in local newspapers in Barmer and Jaisalmer and Jaisalmer district officials had to ensure that notices reached MLAs lodged in a resort. Further on 11th August, a single-judge bench of Rajasthan HC would decide if the merger of these 6 BSP MLAs with Congress was unconstitutional or not.

BSP and BJP legislators had approached the division bench challenging the order of a single-judge bench that refused to stay the membership of the 6 BSP turncoats. The single-judge bench had issued notices to the Speaker, Secretary of the Assembly and 6 MLAs on 30 July, asking them to submit replies by 11 August. However, the Court didn’t grant any interim stay on membership of turncoats.

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Smith won’t be bothered by short-pitch barrage: Andrew McDonald

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Australia’s No.1 batsman Steve Smith won’t be too worried about short-pitch deliveries from Indian fast bowlers during the upcoming tour Down Under, said the hosts’ assistant coach, Andrew McDonald.

“I don’t think it’s a weakness, is it? They’re taking a shot at that area to get him out early and then what you’ll see after that initial potential plan they will go to a more standard try and negate the runs [plan],” McDonald said in a virtual interaction with the media.

“I think they’ve used it before and he’s done well on it before. I’m suggesting that plan hasn’t necessarily worked to its full effect.”

Smith was felled by a short ball from England’s Jofra Archer during the 2019 Ashes, which marked his return to Test cricket after serving a one-year ban. While he missed one Test because of the injury, he scored as many as 774 runs in the series at an average of 110.57.

Smith was then peppered with short deliveries by New Zealand’s Neil Wagner in the Test series between the two sides later in the year.

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PM Modi to inaugurate multi-storeyed flats for MPs

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the multi-storeyed flats for Members of Parliament on Monday at 11 am via video conferencing. The Speaker of Lok Sabha Om Birla will also be present on the occasion. According to an official release, these flats are located at Dr B.D. Marg in New Delhi. Eight old bungalows, which were more than 80 years old, have been redeveloped to construct 76 flats.

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Kerala clears 5-year jail for offensive social media posts

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday clarified that the new amendment made to the Kerala Police Act “will in no way be used to curtail free speech or impartial journalism”. His comments came a day after Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan signed the Police Amendment Act ordinance. As per the ordinance, the law is aimed at stopping cyberbullying, insulting and disgracing individuals on online platforms. Offenders are likely to face a jail term of up to five years or a penalty of Rs 10,000. In some cases, both the jail term and penalty may apply.

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India’s Covid final trials may end in 2 months: Health Minister

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Harsh Vardhan

NEW DELHI: Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday said India’s own Covid-19 vaccine candidate could complete its final trials in a month or two. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and privately-held Bharat Biotech this month started third-stage trials of COVAXIN, in a process that would involve 26,000 volunteers. It is the most advanced Indian experimental vaccine. “We are in the process of developing our indigenous vaccines, in the process of completing our third-phase trials in the next one or two months,” Dr Harsh Vardhan said.

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