Vellore Lok Sabha election cancelled
The Lok Sabha elections to the Vellore Lok Sabha constituency, scheduled on April 18, has been cancelled, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has said. On April 15, The Federal had reported that the election was likely to be countermanded and that the EC had sent a report to the President for his approval. Reports said the President had given his assent on April 16 after the EC took cognisance of the recent cash seizures in the district. Incidentally, the cancellation comes hours after the campaign got over in Tamil Nadu. On April 15, Tamil Nadu chief electoral officer Satyabrata Sahoo had told The Federal that a report had been sent to the Election Commission in Delhi and a decision was awaited.
Supreme Court to hear plea seeking women’s mosque entry
The Supreme Court on April 16 agreed to hear a petition seeking permission for Muslim women to enter mosques to offer prayers. A bench headed by Justice S A Bobde issued notice to the Centre and asked it to respond to the plea filed by a Pune-based couple. The bench told the counsel appearing for the petitioners that it will hear the matter because of the apex courts judgment in the Sabarimala temple case. “The only reason we may hear you is because of our judgment in the Sabarimala temple case,” it said.
Civil Aviation minister calls for review of struggling Jet Airways
Civil Aviation minister Suresh Prabhu on April 16 called for a review of issues related to the struggling Jet Airways, including rising fares and flight cancellations. Prabhu also asked civil aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola to take necessary steps to protect the rights and safety of passengers. Shares of Jet Airways slumped over 3% in morning trade on bourses on April 16, ahead of the meeting where the management was to seek guidance from the board on the next steps forward for the airline. Jet Airways is grappling with acute financial crunch and is operating less than 10 planes besides temporarily suspending international operations.
EC pulls five campaign videos of AIADMK off air citing poll rule violation
In a major setback to the ruling AIADMK party, the Election Commission (EC) on April 15 banned the telecast of two of the party’s Lok Sabha campaign advertisements targeting the DMK. The EC so far has pulled five of AIADMK’s poll advertisements off air, citing that they were based on unverified allegations or distortions. Besides banning the campaign videos, chief electoral officer Satyabrata Sahoo also warned political parties of taking disciplinary action as per the Cable Television Network Rules 1994, if advertisements also violated norms.
Notre-Dame fire extinguished, but steeple destroyed
Firefighters on April 16 won a long battle to save the main structure of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, after a colossal fire ripped through the historic edifice, causing its spire to crash to the ground. Inspections have revealed that the cathedral is still structurally sound. Investigations into the cause of the fire have begun. The fire destroyed the roof of the 850-year-old UNESCO world heritage landmark, whose spectacular Gothic spire collapsed before the eyes of horrified onlookers.
Govt asks Google, Apple to comply with court order prohibiting TikTok download
The central government has asked tech giants Google and Apple to comply with the Madras High Court’s order that had asked for a ban on popular mobile app TikTok, according to sources. Sources said instructions in this regard were sent to the two American companies on April 15 after the Supreme Court refused to stay the April 3 order of Madras High Court that had directed the Centre to ban Tiktok over concerns about access to pornographic content through it.