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Big Stories Today: Supreme Court says Pegasus snooping needs to be probed, Delhi schools reopening soon, Amarinder talks of BJP seat-share deal

Top News Today: From political to entertainment news, you will get your daily dose of news here. Stay tuned for latest updates.

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Bombay High Court adjourns Aryan Khan’s bail hearing to Thursday

Bombay High Court on Wednesday adjourned the hearing of bail pleas filed by Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchantt and Munmun Dhamecha for Thursday. Appearing for Aryan Khan, Mukul Rohatgi argued that the NCB’s arrest memo failed to give correct grounds for arrest. 

Pegasus ordered by either PM Modi or Home Minister, says Rahul Gandhi in first major political reaction to Supreme Court order

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday welcomed that the Supreme Court formed a panel to look into the allegations of Pegasus spyware. 

He said that buying the Pegasus software was an attack on the ‘vibrancy of Indian democracy’. 

He also said that the product was either bought by the Prime Minister or the Union home minister.

Aryan Khan’s bail plea hearing begins in Bombay HC

The Bombay High Court resumes hearing Aryan Khan’s bail plea in connection with the alleged seizure of drugs on a cruise ship. Khan’s bail hearing was adjourned on Tuesday after several hours of argument by the defence team headed by former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi.

NIA Court convicts 9 out of 10 accused in 2013 Gandhi Maidan blasts case

A special NIA court convicted nine of the 10 accused in the 2013 Patna serial blasts case on Wednesday. One accused, named Fakruddin, was acquitted. The quantum of sentence for the accused will be announced on November 1.

The blasts took place at Gandhi Maidan during the Hunkar rally of the then prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, killing five persons and leaving over 70 injured.

Delhi schools to reopen from November 1 with physical attendance voluntary

Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Wednesday said that all schools in Delhi can be reopened from Monday (November 1) for students of all classes. He said this after a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA). Physical attendance will be voluntary and parents will not be forced to send their children to school as classes will be held in a hybrid mode with both in-person and online classes being held simultaneously, he said.

Read Also: Big Stories Today: Aryan Khan yet to get bail, Sonia Gandhi wants discipline in Congress

No nod for Covaxin yet, WHO seeks clarifications from Bharat Biotech

The World Health Organisation’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Tuesday sought additional clarifications from Bharat Biotech for its Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin to conduct a final risk-benefit assessment for emergency use listing of the vaccine.

The WHO said that the TAG for Emergency Use Listing (EUL) has decided that additional clarifications from Bharat Biotech are needed to conduct a final EUL risk-benefit assessment for global use of Covaxin. 

The technical advisory group will now meet on November 3 for a final assessment.

Amarinder Singh says will form new party ahead of Punjab polls, will have seat sharing deal with BJP

Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has announced on Wednesday that he will form a new political party in Punjab ahead of the assembly elections in the state next year. However, he refused to divulge any more details about it. He said that the new party will contest on all 117 assembly seats in Punjab. 

On an alliance with the BJP, Singh said that his party will look for a seat-sharing arrangement.

Supreme Court orders independent probe into Pegasus snooping

The Supreme Court on Wednesday has formed an expert panel to probe into allegations of unauthorised surveillance using Pegasus software. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana and comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli asked a three-member committee, supervised by retired judge Justice R V Raveendran, to examine the allegations thoroughly and expeditiously and place a report before the court.

2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Voter turnout of 56.68% recorded till 5pm in 5th phase of Lok Sabha elections

Elections are being held in 49 constituencies across eight states and Union Territories in the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections 2024.

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A voter turnout of 56.68 % was recorded in phase 5 till 5 pm as per the Election Commission’s Voter Turnout App, with the highest voting percentage in West Bengal (73 %) and the lowest in Maharashtra (48.66 %). Lok Sabha elections are taking place in 49 constituencies across 8 states and Union Territories in the 5th phase of Lok Sabha elections 2024.

Voter turnout of 56.68% was recorded till 5pm. The breakup is as follows: J&K: 54.21%, Bihar: 52.35%, Ladakh: 67.15%, Jharkhand: 61.90%, Maharashtra: 48.66%, UP: 55.80%, Odisha: 60.55% and West Bengal: 73%. The fate of 4 Union ministers, including Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani, as well as Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will be decided in the ongoing Lok Sabha election. Former UP CM Mayawati, BJP’s Rae Bareli candidate Dinesh Pratep Singh, Smriti Irani were among the early voters today who cast their vote in the morning.

 The Lucknow East Lok Sabha seat will also hold a bypoll on the same day. The Lok Sabha seats which are participating in this phase include Rae Bareli, Mohanlalganj, Jalaun (SC), Amethi, Hamirpur, Jhansi, Banda, Kaushambi (SC), Fatehpur, Faizabad, Barabanki (SC), Gonda  and Kaisarganj. The candidates also include and minister of state of consumer affairs Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti (Fatehpur) and minister of state for housing and urban affairs Kaushal Kishor (Mohanlalganj). Rahul Gandhi is contesting from Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat which was previously held by his mother and former Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

 The total number of voters expected to cast their vote in this phase is over 2.68 crore voters, with 144 candidates looking for their support. 11 BJP incumbent Lok Sabha MPs are contesting in this phase, while nominating new candidates in Kaisarganj and Barabanki (SC) Lok Sabha seats.

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Minor crashes Porsche killing two in Pune, granted bail in 15 hours, asked to write essay

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Tragedy struck in Kalyani Nagar, Pune during the early hours of Sunday when a speeding Porsche collided with a two-wheeler, resulting in the immediate deaths of two motorcyclists. Police officials have confirmed that the luxury car involved in the horrific accident was being driven by a juvenile. 

The juvenile court has granted bail to the 17-year-old after 15 hours with specific conditions. The bail terms included working with Yerawada traffic police for 15 days, writing an essay on the accident, seeking treatment from a doctor for alcohol cessation, and undergoing psychiatric counselling with a report submission.

The victims, a man and a woman, died on the spot after the speeding Porsche Taycan crashed into them from behind. Soon after the accident, the police arrived at the spot and booked the minor for rash and negligent driving, endangering life, and causing harm under IPC Sections 304A, 279, 337, 338, 427, and relevant sections of the Maharashtra Motor Vehicle Act at Pune City’s Yerwada Police Station.

The victims have been identified as Anis Avlia (24), and Ashwini Kosta (24). Both the victims hailed from Madhya Pradesh and were employed in Pune as engineers. Anis Avlia, a graduate in computer science, was employed at a multinational company situated in Kalyani Nagar, while Ashwini had been working alongside him at the same company until recently, before opting for a break.

Meanwhile, concerned authorities said that they have dispatched the minor’s blood samples for analysis to determine potential alcohol influence, with the results pending at the time of press. Reportedly, the accused is the son of renowned builder and Brahma Realty and Infrastructure owner, Vishal Agarwal. The Porsche involved in the accident was an unregistered vehicle.

It is reported that when the Pune police produced the minor in front of the magistrate, they requested the court to treat him as an adult. Nonetheless, the request was rejected and the court granted bail under the Juvenile Justice Act, imposing a few conditions along with the bail.

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Messages threatening Arvind Kejriwal appear on walls of Delhi metro station, inside trains, AAP blames BJP

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs has a letter sent to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday and demanded prompt and severe action in response to graffiti that had appeared on the Rajiv Chowk and Patel Nagar stations of the Delhi Metro.

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Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal recieved threating messages today, May 20, which were witten on a poster. These posters were found at two metro stations of Delhi and inside the metro coaches.

Images of the statements appeared on social media, with at least two of them appearing on signboards carrying the names of the Patel Nagar and Rajiv Chowk metro stations, and several of them sticked on the walls of metro stations. However, it is yet to confirm that who did this.

According to a senior police officer, the incident has been brought to their attention and an inquiry has been started.

Following the appearance of threatening graffiti within the metro stations of Rajiv Chowk and Patel Nagar in the nation’s capital, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP were preparing an attack on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

AAP MP Sanjay Singh claimed claimed that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) was the hub of the purported plot to target Arvind Kejriwal.

The BJP has been in a panic since Arvind Kejriwal’s release from jail. Right now, the BJP is preparing to strike Arvind Kejriwal with deadly intent. The prime minister’s office is the direct source of this plot. At the Metro stations in Rajiv Chowk and Patel Nagar, an attack threat against Kejriwal ji has been inscribed, according to Sanjay Singh’s statement today.

There have also reportedly been threatening messages scrawled inside metro trains.

AAP leader Atishi said the BJP is afraid of losing the next Lok Sabha elections in Delhi.  She claimed Arvind Kejriwal was targeted by the BJP through Swati Maliwal.

Meanwhile, the MLAs of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has a letter sent to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday and demanded prompt and severe action in response to graffiti that had appeared on the Rajiv Chowk and Patel Nagar stations of the Delhi Metro.

Social media users have also posted pictures of the graffiti. Security guards are stationed 24/7 and these stations are covered by CCTV. Why don’t the cops take any action? The Cyber Cell is where? This indicates that the BJP is behind this, she claimed.

In light of the Lok Sabha elections, Kejriwal was granted interim relief by the Supreme Court earlier this month. On March 21, Kejriwal was taken into custody in relation to his purported involvement in the Delhi excise policy case.

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