Your Daily Wrap: SC relief for Nupur Sharma, Britain records hottest day ever; and more

Your Daily Wrap: SC relief for Nupur Sharma, Britain records hottest day ever; and more

India News

The Supreme Court today directed that “no coercive action” can be taken against suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma till the next date of hearing in connection with the complaints filed against her in several states over her remarks on the Prophet during a television debate show. A bench of Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala posted the matter for hearing on August 10, and said it never intended the BJP leader to visit every court for relief in the hate speech cases against her. The same bench had on July 1 declined to entertain Sharma’s plea, saying she has a “loose tongue” and is “single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country”.

Twelve of the 19 Shiv Sena MPs in the Lok Sabha have written to Speaker Om Birla, requesting him to make Rahul Shewale their leader while retaining Bhavana Gawali as the chief whip, sources in the Lok Sabha secretariat said. Another letter from the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, which claims to be the original Shiv Sena, has reached the Speaker’s office removing Gawali from the post of chief whip and replacing her with Rajan Vichare. The move comes almost a month after a revolt in the Shiv Sena ranks saw over two-third MLAs joining rebel leader and now Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, paving the way for a new alliance government with the BJP.

A 59-year-old deputy superintendent of police (DSP) posted in Haryana’s Nuh district was allegedly run over by a dumper truck in Tauru. Officials said they were probing the role of the ‘mining mafia’ in the case. According to the police, DSP Surender Singh went to inspect the truck after receiving information regarding illegal mining near a hillock area in Pachgaon. As Singh and other staff alighted from the police vehicle, the truck driver suddenly ran over the DSP. The police said Singh was crushed underneath the dumper and succumbed to injuries.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman shared a list of food items that are exempted from GST, provided they are sold loose and not pre-packed or pre-labeled. These include items such as pulses/daal, wheat, rye, oats, maize, rice, aata/flour, suji/rawa, besan, puffed rice and curd/lassi. In a series of tweets, Sitharaman defended the imposition of 5 per cent GST on food articles in her tweets and said that the decision was unanimous by the GST Council and all states were present in the GST Council meeting. The state,ent comes after Lok Sabha proceedings were adjourned on Tuesday amidst opposition protests over GST rates and price rise.

The father of the 17-year-old who has claimed she was forced to remove her inner wear for taking the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test Sunday said his daughter had to borrow his wife’s stole to cover up. Speaking to The Indian Express over the phone, the father, a local businessman, said the “traumatic experience” compelled him to file an FIR with the local police, and he didn’t want any other person to go through such “humiliation”. Navmi Krishna reports.

Britain recorded its highest ever temperature of 39.1C (102.4F) on Tuesday, according to provisional data from the Met Office, which forecast even hotter weather to come from a heatwave that has already damaged airport runways and rail tracks. The country has been put on a state of “national emergency” over the unprecedented temperatures. Meanwhile, Spain, Portugal, France and Greece are witnessing multiple forest fires. The arrival of a searing heatwave has turned the spotlight on climate change and “net zero” pledges made by the candidates running to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister.

Political Pulse

By reversing an MVA government decision and going in for direct election to heads of local bodies, the Eknath Shinde-led government has its eye on politics at the grassroot level where the Congress and NCP continue to have a hold. The Shinde government announced last week that presidents of nagar panchayats and nagar parishads, and sarpanchs of gram panchayats, will be elected directly, instead of by members of the respective local bodies. Defending the move, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said it would bring “transparency and accountability”. However, the Congress and NCP see a simpler reason: that at least 55-60% of the state’s rural bodies are politically inclined towards them, an association built courtesy the Congress and NCP’s hold on the wider cooperative network. Shubhangi Khapre reports.

From the Urdu Press: As the polling for the Presidential election concluded, the stage was set for NDA’s candidate Droupadi Murmu to become the first tribal President of India. Battle lines were also drawn for the upcoming Vice Presidential poll, with the joint Opposition pitting Congress veteran Margaret Alva against the NDA’s pick Jagdeep Dhankhar. Meanwhile, the Monsoon Session of Parliament got underway on the expected stormy note, with both the government and the Opposition bracing for a bristling, protracted showdown. The Urdu dailies were packed with these reports even as they unpicked their different strands and multiple layers to give their readers perspectives too.

Express Explained

Indian rupee breached the psychologically significant exchange rate level of 80 to a US dollar in early trade on Tuesday. It depreciated 7 paise to an all-time low of 80.05 against the US dollar. But why is the rupee weakening against the dollar? Is the rupee the only currency to depreciate? We explain.

NASA’s Perseverance Rover has beamed back from Mars a picture of a “strange tangle” — an object that looks like a partially uncoiled ball of string or, in the imagination of some, a rather long and thin noodle. What’s this picture? Why is the picture odd? Read here.

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