Morning briefing: Land acquisition bill ordinance lapses today

GN Bureau | August 31, 2015



The land acquisition ordinance lapses today, a day after prime minister Narendra Modi's announcement during his radio address 'Mann Ki Baat' on Sunday that the government will not renew it. Modi had said that a statutory order would ensure that farmers get higher compensation for their land under 13 other central acts including those for highways and railways. The PM said rules would be changed to give farmers higher benefit under existing laws.

Modi to launch digital version of epic 'Ramcharitmanas' today
A special "digital" version of epic 'Ramcharitmanas' prepared by All India Radio (AIR) will be released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today. The 'Ramcharitmanas' was composed and recorded for the first time in 1980 at Akashvani Bhopal under the guidance of then station director Samar Bahadur Singh. The recordings of Goswami Tulsidas' work, sung by leading singers of Bhopal 'gharana', have been done by the AIR over several years. It is part of AIR's attempts to go digital in a big way so that the public broadcaster can reach audiences globally.

Police to seek extension of remand of Indrani Mukerjea, her ex-husband and driver
The Mumbai Police will on Monday will produce Indrani Mukerjea, her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna and driver Shyam Rai before the Bandra magistrate's court as the police remand of the trio ends today. The police will seek further remand of the accused. The sensational Sheena Bora murder case took another turn yesterday when police seized a suitcase that was purportedly meant for packing the body of her brother, whom Indrani Mukerjea had allegedly planned to kill. Officials were tightlipped about the progress in the probe amidst reports that Indrani and her former husband Sanjeev Khanna had been making contradictory claims about who killed her daughter Sheena three years ago.

Sensex down over 100 pts, Nifty below 8,000
The S&P BSE Sensex slipped over 100 points in trade on Monday following muted trend seen in other Asian markets. The 50-share Nifty index broke below its crucial psychological level of 8000, weighed down by losses in capital goods, FMCG, banks, power and realty stocks. At 9.20 am the 30-share index was trading at 26296, down 96 points or 0.37 per cent. It touched a high of 26,469.42 and a low of 26,245.09 in trade today. The Nifty was at 7966 down 35 points or 0.4 per cent. It touched a high of 8009.25 and a low of 7961.05 in trade today.

Incentives for e-payment customers soon
Consumers and merchants can look forward to availing fee waivers and tax benefits on cashless payments. The proposal will be presented before the union cabinet after finance ministry incorporates comments and suggestions made by various ministries and departments on the draft policy that contains as many as 30 measures to encourage the e-payments. As per the proposal, all high value transactions exceeding Rs 1 lakh will have to be made through electronic mode and the utility service providers will be encouraged to give incentives for card payments.

Incentives would also be given to shopkeepers accepting major portion of their payments through plastic money.

Skill development scheme for madrasa students to be launched today
Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla and Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh will on Monday in Patna jointly launch the first pilot project as part of a skill development programme for madrasa students. The project will be inaugurated on the same day in two madrasas in Motihari district as well via remote video link side by side with the main launch event in Patna, which will take place in Idara-e-Shar'iya at Sultanganj.

Hardik Patel heckled at Gujjar felicitation
Patel quota stir leader Hardik Patel, who said he wants to include castes like Kurmis and Gujjars in his agitation for reservation, on Sunday faced opposition from a section of Gujjar leaders here during an event held to felicitate him. As Hardik began his address to the gathering, a Gujjar leader, Rajendra Mawi, who claimed to be president of Akhil Bhartiya Gujjar Mahasangh, interrupted him by accusing him of extending support to the demand for Jat reservation. He said that Hardik was supporting the Jat cause even after their demand had been struck down by courts on the basis of petitions filed by different OBC communities, including Gujjars.

Karnataka's scholar and rationalist MM Kalburgi shot dead
Noted scholar MM Kalburgi, known for his rationalist views, was shot dead at the doorstep of his home in Dharwad, Karnataka, on Sunday morning. The 77-year-old scholar had received many threats to his life, but he had never taken them seriously. He had allegedly been threatened by Hindu rightwing groups who opposed his writings and speeches and called them "anti-Hindu." Dr Kalburgi, the former vice chancellor of Hampi University, answered the doorbell at around 8.40 am and had just opened the door when he was shot in the forehead and chest. In August 2013, anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar was shot dead in Pune while he was out for a morning walk.

Indian social worker seeks custody of Geeta who is stuck in Pakistan, court hearing today
An Indian social worker has filed a petition in a court in Karachi to seek the custody of Geeta, a deaf and mute Indian girl stuck in Pakistan for more than a decade. The petition was filed by Momineen Malik with the district and sessions court (south) which summoned Abdul Sattar Edhi, the chairman of Edhi Foundation -- a charity which is taking care of her, others as respondents in the application. Judge Ahmed Saba issued notices to the respondents with direction to appear in court along with Geeta today (Monday).

Law Ministry wants action against officials who fail to file timely replies in courts
The Law Ministry has sought "appropriate action" against officials of departments who are negligent in handling court matters. In a strongly-worded letter to all union government secretaries, Law Secretary P K Malhotra has said that he has been informed by his field officers and government counsels appearing on behalf of Union of India before courts and tribunals that "many a time" replies and counter-affidavits are not filed in the court within the time granted. He said it causes inconvenience to the courts, delays proceedings and leads to "unnecessary embarrassment" to the government. Meanwhile, the government is working on a 'National Litigation Policy' as part of its efforts to streamline governance and reduce burden on courts.

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