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Get Wired 25/8: Marines’ Case Held, Essar v. Caravan, Secretive Politics, and More

Get Wired 25/8: Marines’ Case Held, Essar v. Caravan, Secretive Politics, and More

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

UN court asks India and Italy to suspend all proceedings concerning Italian marines case

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) has put a “status quo” in the Italian marines case and asked both countries to suspend all court proceedings and refrain from initiating new ones that might “aggravate or extend” the dispute. ITLOS president Vladimir Golitsyn has asked the two countries to submit the initial report on the entire incident by September 24. The case of the two Italian Marines that opened fire and killed two fishermen from Kerala on board, has become a diplomatic tussle as the dispute is over whether or not the incident took place on “international waters”.

Gujarat Governor bans use of hall for anti-government activity

The Medhi Nawaz Jung Hall in Ahmedabad has been made out of bounds on the grounds that no “anti-government” activity can be held there. The hall has been used by several civil rights organisations in the past. Following an oral order from governor O P Kohli stating that there would be no anti-government activity, a written order has been made mandatory for anyone that wishes to use the hall. The hall has been used for several meetings concerning the 2002 riots in the state. Most recently, the hall was used by organisations that backed Teesta Setalvad, the activist and head of Citizens for Peace and Justice).

Court gives magazine time to file reply in defamation case

A city court in Ahmedabad granted The Caravan and six others time to reply to the defamation suit filed against them by the Essar group Yesterday. The suit against the story, published by the magazine in its August 2015 edition, has named printer and publisher Delhi Press Patra Prakashan Limited, its Editor-in-Chief Paresh Nath, Editor Anant Nath, Executive Editor Vinod Jose, Political Editor Hartosh Singh Bal and the author of the piece Krishn Kaushik as defendants in addition to the magazine itself. The magazine had published a detailed report that exposed malpractice of the company, which the company in return has alleged is defamatory. The Caravan’s digital exclusive Vantage had also published leaked emails between Essar executives that listed the names of politicians, journalists and bureaucrats who were allegedly gifted iPads.

Javadekar dismisses Subramanian’s views on climate change

Dismissing chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian’s views, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that India would continue to ask developed countries to meet their obligations and provide finance and technology to developing countries. Subramanian had earlier recommended that India drop its demand for climate finance, ask for clean coal and stop focusing on adaptation. He had also suggested India move away from poor countries like the Africa group and other developing country blocks such as BASIC, LMDC and BRICS and build closer coalitions with coal-bearing countries such as Poland and Australia.

Change in Factories Act may anger workers’ unions

The government may soon officially redefine the word “factory” in order to enable their owners to file for exemption from social security and other obligations. This could worsen simmering strains between the government and workers’ unions. The labour ministry has said that the word “factory” should mean “any premises… wherein 40 or more workers are working or were working on any day of the preceding 12 months and in any part of which manufacturing process is being carried on”

More than 30,000 LPG consumers giving up subsidy daily

Between 30,000 and 40,000 households have given up LPG subsidy daily in response to a countrywide door-to-door campaign launched by the oil marketers. The campaign followed the Prime Minister’s speech where he called on the country to give the subsidy up. Within a day of the speech, the number rose by more than a lakh to 21.26 lakh and has further gone up to 22.57 lakh. Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan told Parliament that nearly 13.87 lakh consumers had given up subsidy as of July 28. Mumbai-based NGO ‘Watchdog Foundation’ quoted a reply to an RTI query saying 7.77 lakh households had forgone subsidy as of July 1. This indicates that the number of people that have given up the subsidy has doubled in 27 days.

Youth in Mangalore stripped and beaten by moral police

Suspected members of a Hindutva vigilante group stripped a youth, tied him to an electric pole and assaulted him in full public view at Babugudde near Attavar in the city of Mangalore on Monday evening. The young man named Shakeer was a muslim who was targeted allegedly because he was found in the company of a Hindu girl. The Mangalore Police stated that 13 arrests have been made with respect to this case and that some of the members have been identified as members of the Bajrang Dal.

Centre tells SC that political parties are out of the RTI’s ambit

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has said the Central Information Commission (CIC) erroneously ruled that political parties are public authorities under the RTI Act in June 2013.  The DoPT’s affidavit stated “If political parties are held to be public authorities under RTI Act, it would hamper their smooth internal working, which is not the objective of the RTI Act and was not envisaged by Parliament.”

IS destroys ancient Syrian temple in Palmyra

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has reportedly destroyed a 2,000-year-old temple in the UNESCO-listed Syrian city of Palmyra. Maamoun Abdulkarim, Syria’s antiquities chief, said the group placed a large quantity of explosives in the temple of Baal Shamin on Sunday.

CBI given three weeks for Vyapam cases

The Supreme Court agreed to the CBI’s request for a three-week time period t take charge of the 212 cases identified to have links to the Vyapam scam. The CBI stated that they would appoint special prosecutors so as to ensure the pace in court is not lost.

News channels respond to I&B’s notice on coverage of Yakub’s hanging

ABP, Aaj Tak and NDTV have responded to the I&B Ministry’s notice relating to the coverage of Yakub Memon’s hanging that the ministry said was unnecessarily communal. Sources said that the channels had pointed out that the remarks should not be seen in isolation but as part of a larger narrative where several points of view were put across. Channels have also stated that they are protected by the freedom of speech and if at all there were concerns they should be addressed by the News Broadcasters Association.

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