The Supreme Court on Thursday refused Rajasthan Assembly Speaker CP Joshi’s plea to stop the Rajasthan High Court from deciding on the validity of the anti-defection notices he had issued to Sachin Pilot and 18 other rebel MLAs.
- Rajasthan Speaker C.P. Joshi, who served the notices last week, had argued that the dissident MLAs cannot petition the High Court at this stage, and that the High Court cannot “interfere” in a matter that was strictly within the domain of the legislature.
- The Rajasthan High Court’s ruling will, however, be subject to the final order of the Supreme Court, which will take up the case on Monday.
- The High Court’s order is expected to be out by 10.30 am tomorrow, interestingly, during the hearing today, the three-judge Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra invoked the importance of dissent. “In this case, it seems party members cannot raise their own voice against their own party. The voice of dissent cannot be suppressed. They had all been elected by the people. Can they not express their dissent?” Justice Mishra observed.
Laying the foundation stone for the Rs. 3,054-crore “Manipur Water Supply Project” in Imphal today through video-conferencing, Prime Minister Modi said there will be no shortage of potable water once this project is commissioned. He said the country is saddened by the report of flash floods in Assam at a time when there is shortage of water for drinking and agriculture elsewhere. All help will be extended to the people of Assam and other north-eastern States, he said.
The Independence Day celebrations at Red Fort this year will be limited to the Prime Minister’s speech, a 21-gun salute, unfurling of national flag, national anthem, and release of tricolour balloons “keeping in view the limitations and precautionary steps” in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Home Affairs has said.
- The MHA has issued detailed guidelines for the Independence Day celebrations at the State, district and panchayat level. The guidelines suggest inviting “Covid warriors” such as doctors, health workers, and sanitation workers as a recognition of their service in fight against the pandemic. “Some persons cured from Covid-19 may also be invited,” the guidelines said. Noting that large congregations should be avoided, it suggested that events could be webcast.
The number of reported coronavirus cases from India stood at 12,85,589 at the time of publishing this summary, with the death toll at 30,639. The Union Health Ministry continues to aggressively push the country’s recovery rate as a positive even as there appears to be no sign of the infection curve flattening any time soon.
- As many as 29,557 Covid-19 patients have recovered in the past 24 hours, the highest recorded in a day so far, taking the recovery rate to 63.18%, the Ministry said. According to data updated at 8 a.m., total recoveries have surged to 7,82,606 and exceeded the active cases of Covid-19 by 3,56,439.
A meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on India-China border affairs is likely to be held tomorrow, ANI reported. This comes against the backdrop of a slowing down of the troops demobilisation process on the part of the Chinese, in certain areas of the Eastern Ladakh region. The U.S. does not rule out the possibility of closing more Chinese diplomatic missions in the country, President Donald Trump said hours after Washington ordered the closure of Beijing’s consulate in Houston to “protect American intellectual property and private information.”
In an ambitious step towards planetary exploration of the solar system, China successfully launched its first Mars probe on Thursday, aiming to complete orbiting, landing and roving in a single mission. A Long March-5 rocket, carrying the spacecraft with a mass of about five tonnes, soared into the sky from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on the coast of southern China’s island province of Hainan, the official Xinhua news agency reported.