LIVE! Sabarimala case: SC refers matter to 5-judge Constitution bench

10:51  Sabarimala case: SC refers matter to 5-judge Constitution bench:  

The Supreme Court has referred the issue of restrictions on entry of women to Sabarimala temple to a five-judge Constitution bench. 

The top court has been hearing a Public Interest Litigation challenging the ban on entry of women into the Sabarimala hill temple.

The temple, situated in Pathanamthitta district, restricts women aged between 10 and 50 from taking the pilgrimage to Sabarimala temple.

In January 2016, the court had questioned the ban, saying this cannot be done under the Constitution. 

Image: Devotees gather at the Sabarimala temple. 

10:32  #WomenBoycottTwitter is trending. Here’s why:  

Several Twitter users have called for an organised boycott of Twitter on Friday after the social media platform partially suspended actress Rose McGowans account for violating its terms and policies amid her sexual abuse allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

On Thursday, McGowan said on Instagram that Twitter had limited her access to her account, preventing her from tweeting, re-tweeting and replying to posts. She said was still allowed to send direct messages or read Twitter.

Twitter users urged others on the platform to use #WomenBoycottTwitter while protesting the websites move to restrict McGowans account.

Several users also said Twitters action against McGowan was not justified because US President Donald Trumps account remained active despite his tweets that they found offensive.

The 44-year-old McGowan has emerged as one of the most vocal in Hollywood about sexual abuse and harassment in the industry. She has pushed for the remaining board members of The Weinstein Co to resign in the wake of the allegations against Weinstein. 

She also this week called Ben Affleck a liar on Twitter, suggesting the actor knew about Weinsteins conduct. (She and Affleck co-starred in 1997 Going All the Way and 1998s Phantoms.)

10:07  Talwars likely to walk out of jail at 4 pm today:  

Rajesh and Nupur Talwar are likely to walk out of Ghaziabads Dasna Jail today at 4 pm, a day after being acquitted in the 2008 murders of their 14-year-old daughter Aarushi Talwar and domestic help Hemraj. 

The Allahabad High Courts 263-page verdict ended a nine-year ordeal of the Noida couple who were sentenced to life by a Ghaziabad CBI court on November 28, 2013 for the double murder that not only transfixed but also shook the nation with its element of filicide.

Pushpa Sharma, security in-charge at Dasna jail, said she met Nupur Talwar in her barracks after the Allahabad HC acquitted her and husband Rajesh Talwar in the murders. 

Speaking of Nupurs conduct in jail, Sharma says she never fought or argued with anyone.

Asked about their release, authorities said that they haven’t received the order copy. However, the Talwars’ lawyer said the release papers will be sent by fax. 

09:41  Nanded civic polls: Cong wins 73; NCP, MIM draw blank:  

The Congress has won 73 of the 81 seats in the civic polls in Nanded, the home turf of state party chief Ashok Chavan, as per the final results declared early today.

Denting the BJP’s bid to wrest power, the Congress was successful in limiting the saffron party’s tally to six in the elections to the Nanded-Waghala Municipal Corporation. 

The results of four seats were kept pending yesterday due to technical reasons and were declared today, an official of the State Election Commission said.

Chavan yesterday attributed the party’s win to non-tampering of the electronic voting machines and claimed that the BJP’s “return journey” has started.

As per the final tally of the total 81 seats, the Congress won 73, followed by the BJP which bagged six seats. The Shiv Sena just about managed to open its account with one seat. An independent candidate also won a seat.


09:26  Talwar case judge acted like film director: HC:  

Exonerating Rajesh and Nupur Talwar of their teen daughter Aarushis murder in 2008 by overruling an earlier verdict, the Allahabad High Court has scathingly likened a lower court judge to a “math teacher” and a “film director trying to thrust coherence into scattered facts”.

“The learned trial Judge cannot act like a math teacher who is solving a mathematical question by analogy after taking certain figure for granted… Like a film director, the trial judge has tried to thrust coherence amongst facts inalienably scattered here and there but not giving any coherence to the idea as to what in fact happened,” the judgment says according to a report by NDTV.

The Talwars will walk out of jail today, four years after they were arrested for the killing of Aarushi and their domestic help Hemraj at their apartment in Noida near Delhi.

The verdict also strikes down the 2013 trial court order by stating that “the entire judgment is on the whole creation of fanciful reasoning with pick and choose, presuming facts with indomitable obstinancy and taking things for granted, thus, basing conclusion on unfounded evidence.”

09:02  Don’t deport Rohingyas: Citizens write to Modi ahead of SC hearing:  

The Narendra Modi government must lead a “global response” to the “humanitarian tragedy” that is unfolding in Myanmar’s Rakhine and prepare a “bold vision” that addresses the needs of thousands of Rohingya who have fled their homes in the wake of violence that has gripped the state.

That is the crux of a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and signed by 51 eminent citizens. The two-page letter was released by human rights organisation Amnesty International India and deals exclusively with the Rohingya crisis and the Indian government’s response to it.

The letter was released yesterday, a day before the Supreme Court takes up a petition filed by Rohingya living in India against the government’s decision to deport them. The Modi government has told the Supreme Court that the Rohingya are staying in India illegally and are a security threat.

The letter asks the Modi government to reconsider its approach to the Rohingya issue. It has been signed by a cross-section of politicians, human rights lawyers and activists, artists and artistes, entrepreneurs and journalists.

Some of those who have signed the letter include ex-finance minister P Chidambaram, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, lawyer Prashant Bhushan, former union home secretary GK Pillai, MP Majeed Memon, former Army officer and columnist Ajai Shukla, activist Teesta Setalvad, and actress Swara Bhaskar.

08:57  Trump begins Obamacare dismantling with executive order:  

US President Donald Trump took his first steps toward fulfilling his vow to dismantle Obamacare, signing an executive order that he says will bring affordable health insurance to millions more people.

The order broadly tasks the administration with developing policies to increase health care competition and choice in order to improve the quality of health care and lower prices.

However, it could also destabilize Obamacare by siphoning out younger and healthier Americans from the exchanges.

The order, Trump said from the Roosevelt Room of the White House, would give “millions of Americans with Obamacare relief.” It would “cost the United States government virtually nothing and people will have great great health care. And when I say people, I mean by the millions and millions.”

Specifically, the President is directing the Labor Department to study how to make it easier for small businesses, and possibly individuals, to join together and buy health insurance through nationwide association health plans. The department could give employers in the same industries more flexibility to offer group coverage across state lines, providing them with a broader range of policies at lower rates.


08:30  SC to hear traders’ plea on cracker ban in Delhi-NCR:  

The Supreme Court will on Friday hear traders’ plea, seeking modification of the October 9 order banning sale of firecracker in the Delhi-National Capital Region till November 1.

The top court on October 9 imposed a blanket ban on sale of firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR in the run-up of Diwali to check the alarming pollution level.

A three-judge bench of the apex court had on Monday restored its November 2016 order, banning sale of crackers in NCR and suspended its September 2017 order – which allowed limited sale but banned imports from other states.

Following the order, the traders mentioned the matter before the court for an urgent hearing.

They said their licences were revived in pursuance of the apex court’s September order and that they had procured firecrackers for the sale during Diwali.

The traders told the Supreme Court that the latest order would cause huge loss to them as they have already invested huge amount of money after their licences were revived.

08:01  JUST IN: Ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Poonch, Jammu-Kashmir. Indian army retaliates. This is the third ceasefire violation in last 24 hours.

07:57  Women hopeful for landmark judgment in Sabarimala Temple case:  

As the Supreme Court is set to pronounce its verdict on the ban on women’s entry into Kerala’s Sabarimala Temple, women’s rights activists on Friday expressed hope for a positive and landmark judgment in the matter.

Activist Brinda Adige said, “For the last last couple of months, we have been seeing that the Supreme Court is bringing out several progressive and landmark judgments. I am hoping that the entry of women in Sabarimala would be positive. I am sure the judgement will also be very positive and landmark.”

Another women right activist Saswati Ghosh also pinned her faith on the apex court’s decision.

“I hope it will allow women to enter the temple otherwise we cannot say it is secular country. The restriction will be removed hopefully,” Ghosh said.

Earlier, in February, the top court had reserved an order on referring the case to a constitution bench.

The apex court has been hearing a Public Interest Litigation challenging the ban on entry of women into the Sabarimala Hill Temple.

The temple, situated in Pathanamthitta district, restricts women aged between 10 and 50 from taking the pilgrimage to Sabarimala Temple.

In January 2016, the court had questioned the ban, saying this cannot be done under the Constitution.


00:10  After US, Israel too walks out of UNESCO:  Walking the footsteps of the United States, Israel has withdrawn from the Paris based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Nenanyahu has announced that his country will follow the United States in pulling out of the United Nations’ cultural and education agency.

Earlier, the Trump administration withdrew from UNESCO post Washington purported and perceived UNESCO as ‘anti-Israel bias’.

The Israeli leader called the US decision to exit UNESCO ‘brave and moral’, according to a statement.

UNESCO director general Irina Bokova said in a statement: ‘After receiving official notification by the United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, as UNESCO Director-General, I wish to express profound regret at the decision of the United States of America to withdraw from UNESCO.’  — ANI

IMAGE: A Bauhaus building at 56, Lavanda Street in Tel Aviv is called ‘the boat’ house and was built by Arie Cohen in 1934. The ‘White City’ of Tel Aviv-Jaffa is a UNESCO world heritage site. Photograph: Nir Elias/Reuters

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