From the Newsroom: Sasikala initiates her release

From the Newsroom: Sasikala initiates release by depositing Rs 10 crore; BSE touches lifetime intra-day high

Sasikala.

 In your evening news brief, From The Newsroom, Sasikala initiates release by depositing Rs 10 crore; Vedanta Group expresses interest to buy government's stake in Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd; BSE touches lifetime intra-day high; third phase of the trial of Covaxin will begin in Haryana on November 20; A K Antony tests positive for Covid-19; Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa says government will not allow 'bandh' on December 5 and new Karnataka district Vijayanagar to carved out of from Ballari.

 Here are the top news of November 18, 2020:

Jailed AIADMK leader V K Sasikala on Wednesday initiated the process for her release from Parappana Agrahara prison in Bengaluru by depositing fine amount of Rs 10 crore before the 34th city civil court in the Karnataka capital. The fine amount was paid by four of her extended family members in demand drafts drawn from various bank accounts.

Sasikala, a close friend of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, is serving her four-year imprisonment in a disproportionate assets (DA) case and her jail term ends in February 2021. However, Sasikala's legal team has been pushing for her early release contending that she is entitled for ordinary remission by persuading the jail authorities to count all her non-availed leaves.

The prison administration had also told an RTI applicant in September that Sasikala can walk out of the prison on January 27, 2021 if she pays the fine of Rs 10 crore

Vedanta Group on Wednesday confirmed putting in a preliminary expression of interest (EoI) for buying government's stake in Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL).

Vedanta's interest in India's second-largest fuel retailer is because of synergies with its existing oil and gas business. The government is selling its entire 52.98 per cent stake in BPCL and the last date of putting EoI was November 16.

T N Manoharan, the RBI-appointed administrator of Lakshmi Vilas Bank, on Wednesday said that depositors' money is safe and expressed confidence of completing the lender's merger with DBS Bank India within the deadline set by the regulator.

On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) appointed former non-executive chairman of Canara Bank T N Manoharan as the administrator of Lakshmi Vilas Bank after superseding the board of the crippled private sector lender.

A moratorium has been imposed on the bank and cash withdrawals have been capped at Rs 25,000 per account.

Talking to reporters, Manoharan said that he is confident of the timely merger of the bank with DBS Bank India before the December 16 deadline. RBI will issue the final merger draft on November 20.

The BSE Sensex jumped 227 points to finish above the 44,000-mark for the first time on Wednesday, tracking gains in financial stocks amid largely positive cues from Asian markets and persistent foreign fund inflows.

After touching its lifetime intra-day high of 44,215.49, the 30-share BSE benchmark ended 227.34 points or 0.52 per cent higher at its record closing of 44,180.05.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty advanced 64.05 points or 0.50 per cent to end at its all-time high of 12,938.25. It had touched an intra-day record of 12,948.85.

Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij on Wednesday said the third phase of the trial of Covaxin, a potential vaccine against Covid-19, will begin in the state on November 20 and offered to be the first volunteer to get vaccinated.

Covaxin is being developed indigenously by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Senior Congress leader AK Antony has tested positive for Covid-19 and was admitted to a hospital in the national capital on Wednesday.

Antony (79) is the latest Congress leader to get infected by the virus infection after Ahmed Patel and Manish Tewari.

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday said the government will not allow 'bandh' on December 5 called by pro-Kannada organisations opposing the state government's decision to set up Maratha Development Board.

"The government will not allow any bandh in Karnataka on the issue. I am requesting pro-Kannada organisations to withdraw the call for bandh," the CM told media.

Karnataka is all set to get its 31st district as the Cabinet on Wednesday gave ‘in principle’ approval to carve out a new Vijayanagar district from Ballari. The decision was taken during an informal discussion on the subject, Law Minister J C Madhuswamy said.  Forest Minister Anand Singh, who is also the minister in charge of Ballari, called it a “historic decision” and thanked Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa.

Yadgir was the last district created in Karnataka when it was carved out of Kalaburagi in 2009.