From the Newsroom: Former Prez Pranab Mukherjee no more

DH Radio | From the Newsroom: Former President Pranab Mukherjee passes away

Former President Pranab Mukherjee. Credit: Reuters Photo

In your evening news brief, From The Newsroom, Former President Pranab Mukherjee passes away at 84; Supreme Court imposes fine of one rupee on advocate Prashant Bhushan in contempt case; The Chinese PLA carries out "provocative military movements" to "unilaterally" change the status quo on the southern bank of Pangong Tso lake and Supreme Court dismisses a review petition filed by Vijay Mallya against his conviction in a contempt case in 2017.

That was former President Pranab Mukherjee’s address to the Nation on the Eve of Independence Day on August 14, 2015

Former President Pranab Mukherjee died on Monday in an army hospital here, his son Abhijit said. He was 84.

Mukherjee was admitted to hospital on August 10 and a health bulletin this morning said he was in a deep coma and on ventilator support.

"With a Heavy Heart, this is to inform you that my father Shri Pranab Mukherjee has just passed away in spite of the best efforts of Doctors of RR Hospital and prayers duas and prarthanas from people throughout India! I thank all of You Folded hands," his son Abhijit Mukherjee tweeted.

The former President was admitted to the hospital in Delhi Cantonment on August 10 and was operated the same day for removal of a clot in his brain.

He later developed a lung infection.

Mukherjee was the 13th President of India from 2012 to 2017.

Here are the top news of today, Monday: August 31, 2020:

The Supreme Court on Monday imposed a token fine of Re one on advocate Prashant Bhushan in a contempt case for his tweets, failing which he will be sentenced to three months in jail and suspension of his practice for three years.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra, B R Gavai and Krishna Murari pulled up Bhushan for trying to influence the court proceedings through media.

Pronouncing the sentence, the bench said court's decisions can't be influenced by publications or opinions in the media.

"Bhushan's statements to press even before they were considered by this court was to influence the proceedings," the bench said.

The court said judges are not supposed to go to press, it is not  permissible to rely on what is said by them outside the court.

In the instant matter, the bench said we have not only have given Bhushan an opportunity but also directly and indirectly persuaded him to express regret, which was not heeded to by him.

"We have considered the sane advise given by the Attorney General, and have concluded that the conduct of present contemnor also needs to be taken into consideration," the bench said.

The court gave him time till September 15 to deposit the fine, otherwise he would have to serve three months in jail and he would be debarred from practice for three years.

Bhushan is expected to address a press conference at 4 pm on Monday.

The top court had on August 14 held Bhushan guilty of contempt for "false, malicious and scurrilous" tweets made on June 27 and 29 on "distorted facts", to scandalise the entire institution of judiciary.

The court had offered him to tender unconditional apology but Bhushan remained adamant saying an apology for expression of bona fide beliefs would be insincere and would amount to the contempt of his conscience and of an institution.

Attorney General K K Venugopal asked the court to let off Bhushan without any punishment due to his work in public interest.

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a review petition filed by fugitive industrialist Vijay Mallya against his conviction in a contempt case in 2017.

A bench of Justices U U Lalit and Ashok Bhushan found no merit in the plea by the promoter of defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

On May 9, 2017, the court had held beleagured promoter of Kingfisher Airlines guilty of contempt of court for transferring 40 million USD to his children's accounts despite an order against it. The court, however, had not imposed any sentence on him as he remained elusive.

The court has on August 27 wrapped up its hearing in the review petition filed by him.

The court has earlier also noted "lapses" on the part of its registry for not listing the review petition for three years.

In June, this year, the court has sought an explanation from its registry as to why a review petition filed by Mallya against his conviction in a contempt case in 2017, was not listed before it for consideration in last three years.

It has directed the officials to furnish all the details including names of the people who had dealt with the file concerning the review petition for last three years.

In a fresh incident in eastern Ladakh, the Chinese PLA carried out "provocative military movements" to "unilaterally" change the status quo on the southern bank of Pangong Tso lake but the attempt was thwarted by the Indian troops, the Army said on Monday.

Army Spokesperson Col Aman Anand said troops from China's People's Liberation Army(PLA) "violated" the previous consensus arrived at during military and diplomatic engagements on the ongoing standoff in eastern Ladakh, and carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo on the night of August 29/30.

A brigade commander level flag meeting is currently in progress at Chushul to resolve the issues, he said.

"On the night of 29/30 August 2020, PLA troops violated the previous consensus arrived at during military and diplomatic engagements during the ongoing standoff in Eastern Ladakh and carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo," Col Anand said in a statement.

"Indian troops pre-empted this PLA activity on the Southern Bank of Pangong Tso Lake, undertook measures to strengthen our positions and thwart Chinese intentions to unilaterally change facts on ground," the Army spokesperson said.

He said the Indian Army is committed to maintaining peace and tranquility through dialogue, but is also equally determined to protect India's territorial integrity.

It is the first major incident involving the troops of the two countries after the Galwan Valley clashes on June 15 in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed. China also suffered casualties but it is yet to make the details public but according to an American intelligence report it was 35.

India and China have held several rounds of military and diplomatic talks in the last two-and-half months but no significant headway has been made for a resolution to the border row in eastern Ladakh.
Snapping its six-session winning run, the BSE benchmark Sensex plummeted 839 points on Monday as fresh India-China border tensions triggered a broad-based selloff in domestic equities.

Profit-booking at higher levels and weak macroeconomic data also fuelled the crash, traders said.

After rallying 543 points in the morning session and touching the 40,000-mark, the BSE Sensex surrendered all gains to close at 38,628.29, showing a loss of 839.02 points or 2.13 per cent.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty tanked 260.10 points or 2.23 per cent to end at 11,387.50.

A section of Congress leaders belonging to the Dalit (Left) communities on Monday mounted pressure on the B S Yediyurappa-led BJP government to implement internal reservation for scheduled castes as recommended by the A J Sadasahiva Commission

The government should take it up in the upcoming legislature session, former union minister K H Muniyappa told a news conference.

Hailing the recent Supreme Court rules that states can provide internal reservation, Muniyappa said doing so would ensure social justice to oppressed groups within such communities. "There are 101 sub-castes in the SC community. The A J Sadashiva Commission submitted a scientific report recommending reservation to these communities based on population," he said.

In 2012, the A J Sadashiva Commission submitted its report recommending that the 15% SC quota be divided into 6% for SC (Left), 5% for SC (Right), 3% for 'touchables' and 1% for other SCs.

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