Here are the top 5 news updates of May 18, 2022:
Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel today resigned as the Gujarat Congress working president and from the party's primary membership. Before quitting, Patel (28), who had joined the Congress in 2019, wrote a scathing letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi, claiming the Congress "only played to the role of a roadblock" over certain key issues in the country and was "merely reduced to opposing everything". Without taking any name, he said in the letter that whenever he raised issues of the people of Gujarat, senior Congress leaders were busy checking messages on their mobile phones, and some leaders were "enjoying abroad" when the party and the country needed them. Patel had since sometime been critical of the Congress and recently praised the BJP.
The Supreme Court today granted bail to Indrani Mukerjea, the prime accused in the murder of her daughter Sheena Bora, saying that six-and-a-half years years in prison is too long a term and that the trial will not be completed anytime soon. A three-judge bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao noted that Indrani Mukerjea has been in jail since 2015, and said the trial is not going to be completed anytime soon as out of 237 witnesses cited by prosecution only 68 have been examined till date. "We do not intend to make comments on the merits of the case as it might be detrimental to the interests of the parties. Taking into account that petitioner has been in custody for six-and-a-half-years and even if 50 per cent witnesses are given by prosecution, the trial would not be over soon, we are of the considered view that the petitioner is entitled to be released on bail," the bench said.
Invoking its extraordinary power under Article 142 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court today ordered the release of A G Perarivalan, who has served over 30 years in jail in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. A bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao said the Tamil Nadu state cabinet's advice recommending the premature release of all seven convicts in the case was binding on the governor. The apex court also discarded the Centre's argument that the president exclusively has the power to grant pardon in a case under section 302 the Indian Penal Code, saying this would render article 161 (power of governor to grant pardon) functionless. The bench, also comprising Justice B R Gavai, held that states have the power to advise and aid the governor in case of pleas of pardon under article 161 made by convicts in murder cases.
A Thane court today sent Marathi actor Ketaki Chitale to 14 days judicial custody in connection with the case of allegedly sharing an objectionable post on social media about NCP chief Sharad Pawar. Chitale (29), a film and TV actress, was arrested by the Thane police last Saturday over the post she shared on her Facebook page. A court had on Sunday sent her in Thane police's custody till May 18. Today, Thane crime branch officials produced Chitale before a magistrate who remanded her in the magisterial custody. A police official said they had completed the probe into the case registered in Thane. Earlier, cases were also registered against the actor in Mumbai, Akola and Dhule districts in connection with the online post.
Equity benchmarks pared all early gains in highly choppy trade today, with the Sensex falling 109.94 points amid a mixed trend in global markets. The 30-share BSE benchmark settled 109.94 points or 0.20 per cent lower at 54,208.53. During the day, it hit a high of 54,786 and a low of 54,130.89. The broader NSE Nifty dipped 19 points or 0.12 per cent to finish at 16,240.30. From the Sensex firms, PowerGrid, Tech Mahindra, State Bank of India, Bharti Airtel, Larsen & Toubro, Bajaj Finserv, Wipro, NTPC and HCL Technologies were the biggest laggards. In contrast, UltraTech Cement, Hindustan Unilever, Asian Paints, Sun Pharma, ITC and Axis Bank were among the gainers.