Here are the top 5 news updates of August 18, 2021:
A Delhi court today discharged senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor in a case related to his wife Sunanda Pushkar's death in a luxury hotel in the national capital. Special Judge Geetanjali Goel pronounced the order in a virtual hearing. After the order was pronounced, Tharoor, who had joined the proceedings, thanked the judge and said "it was an absolute torture for last seven-and-a-half year" and that the order was "a great relief". Later he released a statement, saying that the justice has been done, which will allow everyone in the family to mourn Sunanda in peace. "In our justice system, the process is all too often the punishment. Nevertheless, the fact that justice has been done, at last, will allow all of us in the family to mourn Sunanda in peace," Tharoor said in the statement released on Twitter.
In a big development, the Supreme Court today passed an interim order allowing women to take the admission exam to National Defence Academy (NDA) where only men can join. Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, representing the Centre, argued that it is a policy decision of the government. Disagreeing with Centre's contention, a bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy observed, "This is a policy decision based on gender discrimination...respondents (Centre), must take a constructive view." The top court also pulled up the Army for resisting opportunities to women, and asked it to change its attitude and not wait for judicial orders to be passed in such matters.
The Supreme Court today dismissed a plea of the Maharashtra government seeking to set aside two paragraphs related to transfer and posting of police officers, reinstatement of an officer from the CBI's FIR against former state home minister Anil Deshmukh. A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah said that it is not inclined to interfere with the July 22 order of the Bombay High Court. The top court said that it cannot dilute the direction of a constitutional court ordering a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe by drawing a line for the agency on which aspect the investigation should be done. "CBI has to investigate all aspects of the allegations and we cannot limit them. This will be like denuding the powers of a constitutional court," the bench said.
Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar today announcing a relief for shopkeepers, businessmen, traders said that district level banks will provide loans to these people at very low interest rates who are affected due to floods and landslides. This facility will be provided to shopkeepers, traders and businessman of Pune, Satara, Kolhapur, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts. Notably, the state government has already taken an important decision to provide assistance of Rs. 50,000 to the above eligible victims. Meanwhile, the decision will benefit the flood-hit shopkeepers, traders in the state and they will get loans at an interest rate of only 5 to 6 percent.
Equity benchmark Sensex dropped 163 points in a volatile session today, tracking losses in index majors ICICI Bank, HDFC and Kotak Bank amid mixed cues from global markets. After scaling a lifetime high of 56,118.57 during the session, the 30-share index turned negative to end 162.78 points or 0.29 per cent lower at 55,629.49. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty declined 45.75 points or 0.28 per cent to 16,568.85. It touched a record intra-day peak of 16,701.85. Kotak Bank was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding over 2 per cent, followed by ICICI Bank, PowerGrid, HDFC, IndusInd Bank and Axis Bank. On the other hand, UltraTech Cement, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv, Nestle India and Bajaj Auto were among the gainers.
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