Pageloader -->


24 MARCH 2023



A court in Surat in Gujarat on Thursday sentenced Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to two years in jail in a 2019 criminal defamation case filed against him over his “Modi surname” remarks.

The court of Chief Judicial Magistrate HH Varma, which held Gandhi guilty under Sections 499 and 500 of the IPC, also granted him bail and suspended the sentence for 30 days to allow him to appeal in a higher court, the Congress leader's lawyer Babu Mangukiya said.

Rahul Gandhi was present in the court when the verdict was pronounced.

The case was filed against Gandhi for his alleged “how come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname” remarks on a complaint lodged by BJP MLA and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi.

The Lok Sabha MP from Wayanad made the remarks while addressing a rally at Kolar in Karnataka ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

As per Section 8(3) of the Representation of People Act, 1951, “a person convicted of any offence and sentenced to imprisonment for not less than two years shall be disqualified from the date of such conviction and shall continue to be disqualified for a further period of six years since his release.” However, the disqualification can be reversed if a higher court grants a stay on the conviction or decides the appeal in favour of Gandhi.

Chief Judicial Magistrate H H Verma’s decision will have to be first appealed before the Surat sessions court under Section 373(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. A subsequent appeal would be before the High Court which can stay the conviction in exercise of its inherent jurisdiction.

While higher courts routinely suspend the sentence on appeal, a stay on the conviction itself is rare. The Supreme Court, in the landmark 2013 ruling in Lily Thomas Vs Union of India, acknowledged that, quoting a 2007 precedent. “It deserves to be clarified that an order granting stay of conviction is not the rule but is an exception to be resorted to in rare cases depending upon the facts of a case. Where the execution of the sentence is stayed, the conviction continues to operate. But where the conviction itself is stayed, the effect is that the conviction will not be operative from the date of stay,” the Court had said.

The RPA contained a key clause, Section 8(4) that allowed a three-month window from the date of conviction for the disqualification to take effect. However, in the Lily Thomas ruling, the Supreme Court struck down the provision as “unconstitutional.” Without the three-month window, the “seat automatically falls vacant by virtue of Articles 101(3)(a) and 190(3)(a) of the Constitution”, the Supreme Court had said.

In a subsequent decision in 2018, the top court clarified that disqualification “will not operate from the date of the stay of conviction by the appellate court”.





Stating that it would challenge the Surat court’s decision in a higher court, the Congress on Wednesday said Rahul Gandhi’s conviction in the defamation case was an “infirm, erroneous and unsustainable” judgment.

While alleging that the government may move swiftly to disqualify Rahul from Lok Sabha without allowing reasonable time to try and obtain a stay, party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the government’s “efforts to create a chilling effect, a throttling effect, strangulating effect on open, fearless speech relating to public interest will not stop either Rahul Gandhi or the Congress party”.

Soon after the court order, Rahul tweeted in Hindi, quoting Mahatma Gandhi: “My religion is based on truth and non-violence. Truth is my God and non-violence the means to achieve it.” While he was in Surat for the court proceedings, he returned to Delhi later in the day and was received by party leaders at the airport.

Singhvi’s contention was that Rahul’s alleged remarks, made at a poll rally in Kolar (Karnataka) on April 13, 2019, did not have “malicious intent” and was not directed specifically at a particular group. “Why all the thieves have Modi in their names whether it is Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi and Narendra Modi,” Rahul was reported to have said.

“The very context of this speech shows that there could not have been any malicious intent. A leader of a political party of India with a pan-India footprint was speaking about unemployment, price rise, in the course of which there is a sentence which has been found to be offending. The focus of the speech was not these three persons,” Singhvi told a press conference.

Asked if the Congress had no faith in the court, Singhvi said: “We have faith in the judiciary which has in-built corrective systems. We have the right to say this judgment is wrong and it will be corrected.” Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge tweeted in Hindi: “Coward, dictatorial BJP government is incensed at Rahul Gandhi and Opposition because we are exposing their misdeeds and demanding a JPC…We knew such a thing could happen… they kept changing judges. But we have faith in the judiciary and will fight as per the law.”





Given that the verdict disqualified Gandhi from membership of the House – until a higher court stays or quashes the conviction — BJP leaders held meetings to discuss future steps. So did officials in the Lok Sabha Secretariat.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said: “The reactions of leaders of Congress make it clear they don’t respect the institutions of the country. This is quite evident that they have scant respect for the institutions and they are repeatedly showing it.”

Asked about the impact of the verdict on Gandhi’s Lok Sabha membership, Joshi said: “People concerned will examine it (court order) legally and then we will give a reaction.”

BJP national spokesperson and former Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad asserted it was a judicial process and that the law would take its course if Gandhi abuses people. He rejected the Congress criticism of his conviction and asked whether the Opposition party wants “complete freedom” for him to “abuse” others.

Prasad hit out at Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge for questioning the court’s order. Making such comments show that the party does not believe in the judiciary, he said, and asked, “Does it want to keep even the judiciary even in its pocket?”





Lok Sabha on Thursday approved the Union Budget envisaging an expenditure of around Rs 45 lakh crore for the fiscal year starting April 1 without any discussion, as the Opposition continued to create ruckus over demand for a joint parliamentary committee probe into allegations against the Adani Group.

The Lower House of Parliament took up the Demands for Grants and Appropriation Bills after two adjournments as the ruling and Opposition MPs engaged in a matching duet over demands for an apology by Rahul Gandhi and the Adani issue.

Soon after the Lok Sabha reassembled at 6 pm after two adjournments, Speaker Om Birla put the Opposition's cut motion or amendments to the government spending plan to vote which was rejected by voice vote. This was followed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharman moving the demands for grants for 2023-24 and relevant Appropriation Bills for discussion and voting.

The entire exercise was over in 12 minutes completing two-third of the parliamentary approval for the Budget for 2023-24.

The Finance Bill 2023, which contains tax proposals,, will now be taken up possibly today.









Israel’s parliament on Thursday passed the first of several laws that make up its contentious judicial overhaul as protesters opposing the changes staged another day of demonstrations aimed at raising alarm over what they see as the country’s descent toward autocracy. Thousands of people protested throughout the country, blocking traffic on main highways and scuffling with police in unrest that shows no sign of abating, especially as the overhaul moves ahead.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition approved legislation that would protect the Israeli leader from being deemed unfit to rule because of his corruption trial and claims of a conflict of interest surrounding his involvement in the legal changes. Critics say the law is tailor-made for Netanyahu, encourages corruption and deepens a gaping chasm between Israelis over the judicial overhaul.

The legal changes have split the nation between those who see the new policies as stripping Israel of its democratic ideals and those who think the country has been overrun by a liberal judiciary. The government’s plan has plunged the nearly 75-yearold nation into one of its worst domestic crises.





The CEO of TikTok faced a grilling Thursday from a US congressional committee in a rare public appearance where he made his own case for why the popular video-sharing app shouldn’t be banned. Shou Zi Chew’s testimony came at a crucial time for the company, which has acquired 150 million American users but is under increasing pressure from US officials. TikTok and its parent company ByteDance have been swept up in a wider geopolitical battle between Beijing and Washington over trade and technology.

“Mr Chew, you are here because the American people need the truth about the threat TikTok poses to our national and personal security,” committee chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican, said in her opening statement. “TikTok has repeatedly chosen a path for more control, more surveillance and more manipulation. ”

Chew, a 40-year-old Singapore native, told the House Committee on Energy and Commerce that TikTok prioritises the safety of its young users and denied allegations that the app is a national security risk. He reiterated the company’s plan to protect US user data by storing all such information on servers maintained and owned by the server giant Oracle. “Let me state this unequivocally: ByteDance is not an agent of China or any other country,” Chew said.









Leaders from Opposition parties, including the  AAP, RJD, JD(U), DMK and NCP among others, condemned the Surat court’s verdict against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in a defamation suit, saying it was a “conspiracy to “stifle dissent” and finish off the Opposition”.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “A conspiracy is being hatched to eliminate non-BJP leaders and parties by prosecuting them. We have differences with the Congress, but it is not right to implicate Rahul Gandhi in a defamation case like this. It is the job of the public and the Opposition to ask questions. We respect the court but disagree with the decision.”

Terming the arrest “highly deplorable and unprecedented”, his Tamil Nadu counterpart, M K Stalin,  said, “BJP’s targeting of Opposition parties has now landed in trampling of democratic rights and such atrocities will see its end. I spoke with brother #RahulGandhi and conveyed my solidarity. I’m confident that justice will win ultimately!”

RJD national spokesperson Subodh Kumar Mehta said, “The BJP thinks they are trying to create a vicious environment against Opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi. Writing is on the wall for the BJP…They are losing the 2024 national election. The verdict is also questionable and will be challenged by a third party in the higher court.”

Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said Gandhi’s conviction was “excessive and will have far reaching consequences”. “This non-stop targeting of Opposition leaders is condemnable & it won’t silence the voices who speak for the people & refuse to be ji huzoor of the government,” she said.





The court in Gujarat's Surat city which on Thursday sentenced Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to a two-year jail term in a criminal defamation case noted that the seriousness of his crime increased because a speech delivered by a MP has a "very wide impact on the public."

The chief judicial magistrate H H Varma observed that if the accused was given a lesser punishment it would send the wrong message to the public, and the purpose of defamation law would not be fulfilled.

The court also mentioned the criminal contempt proceedings initiated against Gandhi by the Supreme Court in 2018 over his "chowkidaar chor hai" remark, and noted that the apex court had then asked him to remain "alert" in the future after he tendered unconditional apology.

"Even though the accused was advised by the Supreme Court to remain alert, there does not seem to be any change in his conduct," the magistrate's court observed.

Gandhi had tendered an unconditional apology in the Supreme Court for wrongfully attributing to the apex court the "chowkidar chor hai" remark in its Rafale verdict.





The police have arrested a 30-year-old woman from Haryana for allegedly providing shelter to Amritpal Singh, the Waris Punjab De chief who has been on the run for six days, at her home in Kurukshetra (Haryana), Punjab IG Sukhchain Singh Gill said.

Police identified the woman as Baljit Kaur, and said that Amritpal stayed at her under-construction house in Sidhartha Colony in the Shahbad Markanda area on the night of March 19 — a day after evading arrest in Punjab.

Police sources said Baljit’s brother Harvinder, who works at the Sub-Divisional Magistrate’s Office at Shahbad, alerted police on Wednesday evening about Amritpal’s visit. The brother was questioned but not arrested.





A new Covid-19 sub-variant is on the rise. Four of the five states that have detected XBB.1.16 have reported an increase in their case count over the last three weeks.

Health Ministry officials said they have no evidence of any increase in disease severity, hospitalisation and mortality.

XBB.1.16 is being considered a variant of interest, as its increased transmissibility allows it to replace other dominant variants.

Data from India’s Covid-19 genome sequencing consortium, INSACOG, shows that the variant was found in 204 patient samples in March, up from 138 in February and just two in January.

Of the total 344 XBB.1.16 sequences isolated so far, the highest number (105) has been reported from Maharashtra, with cases of the new variant being reported from Pune, Mumbai, Thane, Sangli, Ahmednagar, Amravati, and Nandurbar.

This was followed by 93 sequences from Telangana, 57 sequences from Karnataka, 54 from Gujarat and 19 from Delhi. Two other sub-variants — XBB.1.5 and XBB.2.3 — are the ones with the highest presence among patient samples after XBB.1.16, INSACOG data shows.

The current increase in Covid-19 cases is being reported from eight states — Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi.





After sparking a price war in the carbonated beverages market through Campa Cola, Reliance Consumer Products has taken the pricing battle to the other segments in the fast-moving consumer goods market.

Reliance is following the challenger strategy like in the telecom space, said Devangshu Dutta, founder at Third Eyesight. He said this is the fastest way to acquire market share, and since Reliance has deep pockets, it can easily fund market share acquisition by launching its products at a significant price difference compared to rivals. “Customers will move at least to try the product and if they end up liking the product they will stick to it. This strategy is best suited for market share acquisition,” Dutta explained.





Block Inc. co-founder Jack Dorsey's net worth was hammered after Hindenburg Research's latest report, which alleged the payments company ignored widespread fraud.

Dorsey's fortune plunged by $526 million on Thursday, his worst single-day decline since May. He's now worth $4.4 billion after the 11% drop, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Hindenburg released a report Thursday claiming Block had inflated user metrics, and that the stock has downside of 65% to 75% "on a purely fundamental basis." The company denied the allegations and said it plans to explore legal action against the short-seller.

Block fell as much as 22% on Thursday, before closing down 15%.

Dorsey, who also co-founded Twitter, has most of his personal fortune tied up in Block. The Bloomberg wealth index estimates his stake in the firm is worth $3 billion, while his position in Elon Musk's social media company is valued at $388 million.





India can play archrivals Pakistan and other teams at a venue outside of Pakistan during the Asia Cup. This is according to a proposal of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the hosts of the tournament. PCB came up with the proposal during last week’s Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meeting in Dubai.

ACC president Jay Shah, also the BCCI secretary, was present at the meeting while Arun Dhumal, the IPL chairman, represented India. However, no decision has been taken yet about the venues for the India games. The BCCI had made it clear after last year’s Annual General Body Meeting that the Indian team will not travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup because the central government would not give clearance.

If India reaches the final, the game will also have to be held outside of Pakistan





Sensex 57,925 (-290), Nifty 17,077 (-75), Trading Value NSE (Rs.crores) 42,355

Nasdaq 11,787 (+117) Dow 32,105 (+75), S&P 3,949 (+12)

(US$-Rs. 82.24 GBP-Rs. 101.18, Euro-Rs. 89.46, UAE Dhm-Rs. 22.38, Can$-Rs. 60.09, Aus$- Rs. 55.20

GBP 0.81 /US$, Euro 0.91 /US$, Jap.Yen 130.91 /US$, Aus$ 1.48 /US$, Sing 1.32 /US$, Bang Taka 103.90 /US$, Can$ 1.36 /US$, Mal Ring 4.41 /US$,

Pak Re 281.85 /US$, Phil Peso 54.32 /US$, Russian Rouble 76.30 /US$, NZ$ 1.59 /US$, Thai Baht 34.03 /US$, Ukraine Hryvnia 36.57 /US$)

Bitcoin - USD 28,353

Dollar Index 102.28 Brent Crude 75.39 BDI 1456

Gold world Spot Price USD/aoz 1,993 India (Rs. per gm 24k/22k) 5,978 / 5,480, Silver (Rs. Per KG) 75,400





People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. - Audrey Hepburn





A man who is a manager in a 5-star hotel calls his wife.

Husband: Aaj khaane mein kya pakaya hai?

Wife: Steamed fine long grain white rice, hand-picked in the emerald green lap of the Vindhyas, accompanied by a golden lentil soup that was gently simmered over the smouldering kisses of angels and served with dollops of fragrant clarified butter.

Husband: Aaj phir Daal-Chawal!!


Comments (0)

Hi Jenna! I made a new design, and i wanted to show it to you.
It's quite clean and it's inspired from Bulkit.
Oh really??! I want to see that.
FYI it was done in less than a day.
Great to hear it. Just send me the PSD files so i can have a look at it.
And if you have a prototype, you can also send me the link to it.

Hey Jenna, what's up?
Iam coming to LA tomorrow. Interested in having lunch?
Hey mate, it's been a while. Sure I would love to.
Ok. Let's say i pick you up at 12:30 at work, works?
Yup, that works great.
And yeah, don't forget to bring some of my favourite cheese cake.
No worries

Hello Jenna, did you read my proposal?
Didn't hear from you since i sent it.
Hello Milly, Iam really sorry, Iam so busy recently, but i had the time to read it.
And what did you think about it?
Actually it's quite good, there might be some small changes but overall it's great.
I think that i can give it to my boss at this stage.
Crossing fingers then