Up to 10 years jail: Karnataka govt likely to promulgate ordinance against religious conversion

News Network
May 12, 2022

Bengaluru, May 12: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said his Cabinet will today decide on promulgating an ordinance to give effect to a controversial law against religious conversions.

The Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill was passed in the Legislative Assembly in December last year. It is pending passage in the Legislative Council, where the ruling BJP is one short of majority. 

“Because the Assembly and Council got prorogued, we are placing a proposal to promulgate an ordinance in the Cabinet today,” Bommai told reporters. 

The controversial bill aims to prohibit religious conversion by way of marriage or inducements such as free marriage, employment among others. 

The bill proposes imprisonment of 3 to 5 years with a fine of Rs 25,000 for “forced” conversion. Converting a minor, woman or an SC/ST person will attract a jail term of 3 to 10 years, with a Rs 50,000 fine. Mass conversions will attract 3-10 years of jail time, with a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh.

Under the proposed law, any person wanting to convert into another religion must intimate the authorities one month in advance.

Karnataka will become the ninth state to enact the anti-conversion law. 

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News Network
June 27,2022

rebelsinde.jpg

Mumbai, June 27: There was jubilation in the rebel Shiv Sena legislators' camp after the Supreme Court proceedings on Monday while hectic politicking started in the Bharatiya Janata Party and the mood turned sombre in the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadig.

Rebel leader Minister Eknath Shinde tweeted, "This is the victory of Hindu HridaySamrat Balasaheb Thackeray's Hindutva and the ideology of Dharmveer Anand Dighe."

The faction - currently in a Guwahati hotel - erupted into joy and celebrations after the apex court ruling and also expressed gratitude to the Centre for providing security to the rebel MLAs and their families.

Shinde is reported to have initiated the process to finalise and send a letter to the Maharashtra Governor that they have withdrawn support to the MVA government of Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress.

On the Opposition side, the BJP's core committee meeting got under way with top leaders present to finalise their strategy to form the next government in the state, possibly with the help of the rebel group.

Shinde has claimed the support of 39 Sena MLAs, and 11 independents or other parties, totalling to 48, and the group is likely to extend its sojourn in Assam by a few more days.

Several leaders joining the meeting were seen beaming in anticipation and some flashed the 'V' sign, indicating an upbeat mood.

Hitting out again, MVA Minister Aditya Thackeray alleged that many of the MLAs were misled or abducted to join the rebel group and the party is ready to take them back.

"If the rebels had courage, they would have first resigned and faced the electorate instead of all this," said Thackeray Jr.

Sena chief spokesperson and MP Sanjay Raut said that "this a legal battle and will continue" and said the party will fight it out.

Court Relief For Rebel Sena MLAs

The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday virtually kept the disqualification proceedings initiated against 16 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde in abeyance, by extending the time for them to file their response to the notice issued by the Deputy Speaker, till July 12.

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala said the status quo needs to be maintained in the matter, in order to decide the competing claims. The 16 MLAs were given time to file their response by 5:30 pm Tuesday.

"We have to decide very competence of the Deputy Speaker if he is entitled to proceed with the matter. Today, we have to ensure that the matter does not become infructuous," the bench said.

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News Network
June 29,2022

New Delhi, June 29: The rupee depreciated 11 paise to a record low of 78.96 against the US dollar in opening trade on Wednesday, weighed down by persistent foreign capital outflows.

At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened on a weak note at 78.86 against the American dollar, then lost ground to quote at 78.96—its all-time low level, registering a fall of 11 paise from the last close.

On Tuesday, the rupee plunged by 48 paise to close at record low of 78.85 against the US dollar.

The rupee opened weaker against the dollar on Wednesday as renewed focus on the weak economic outlook prompted losses on Asian currencies and shares, said Sriram Iyer, Senior Research Analyst at Reliance Securities.

"The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) could be present to curb volatility, but the strength of crude oil could cap appreciation bias," Iyer said, adding that the range for the rupee on Wednesday is 78.50-79.10.

The rupee has lost 1.87 per cent so far this month and has eroded a staggering 6.28 per cent since the start of this year.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude futures fell 0.88 per cent to $116.94 per barrel.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, was trading 0.08 per cent lower at 104.42.

On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share Sensex was trading 474.05 points or 0.89 per cent lower at 52,703.40, while the broader NSE Nifty declined 137.75 points or 0.87 per cent to 15,712.45.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Tuesday as they offloaded shares worth ₹1,244.44 crore, as per stock exchange data.

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News Network
June 21,2022

Bengaluru, June 21: Karnataka police have intensified investigations into the drugs case involving Siddhanth Kapoor, the son of actor Shakti Kapoor.

Notices have been served to foreign and Indian models who participated in the rave party organised in a luxury Bengaluru hotel with Siddhanth Kapoor in connection with use and consumption of drugs.

According to police, 150 models and celebrities attended the rave party and notices have been issued to 40 foreign and Indian models. They have been asked to appear for the investigation within a week.

Six female models have already appeared for the investigations and got their statements recorded. The transactions and connections of models and celebrities are found to be suspicious and is being probed, sources say.

The probe has revealed that the foreign nationals who participated in the rave party were staying illegally in the country even after expiry of visa period.

The rave party in which drugs were found was attended by many celebrities and models. The police are still investigating the source of drugs. Though CCTV footage is verified, the police are yet to locate the persons who dumped drugs near the dustbin.

On June 12, the Halasuru police of Bengaluru city conducted raids on a luxury hotel following a tip-off about a rave party where drugs are circulated.

The police had detailed 35 persons, including Siddhanth Kapoor -- also the brother of actress Shraddha Kapoor -- and conducted medical tests. The tests have confirmed consumption of drugs by six persons, including Kapoor.

Later, the accused were released on station bail. Siddhanth Kapoor had told police during the inquiry that someone had given him water and cigarettes laced with drugs. He had also told the investigators that he did not know about it.

Bhimashankar Guled DCP (East) had stated that Siddhanth Kapoor has not agreed that he had consumed drugs. "Kapoor is claiming that it was mixed in his drinks offered by someone and that he did not know about drugs. He said that he had come to Bengaluru 40 times and attended parties as DJ. This was the fourth time he had come to the hotel and was arrested," DCP Guled had said.

"We have taken a guest list and suspicious persons will be called for questioning," he had stated.

The police have sent the mobiles of the accused to the Forensic Science Laboratory for data retrieval. The police are investigating the nexus of Siddhanth Kapoor and others with drug peddling.

The police have also sent notice to the luxury hotel owner and organisers of the rave party. The event management company representatives are also called for investigations.

A case has been registered under IPC Sections 20 A, 22 B, 27 B. The police had arrested Akhil Soni, Business Manager of Mind Fire Solutions, Harjoth Singh, an industrialist, Hani, a digital marketing entrepreneur and Akhil, a photographer.

The police had taken 7 grams of MDMA crystals and 10 grams of Ganja into custody after conducting a raid on a rave party organised at the luxury hotel The Park in Bengaluru on June 12. 

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