LIVE: I-T dept questions Robert Vadra for second day in benami assets case

Robert Vadra | Photo: Instagram@robert_vadra
Latest live news updates: The Income Tax department questioned Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, for the second consecutive day on Tuesday in connection with its probe against him under the benami assets law.

In a significant development, the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) recommended today that the Budget session of Parliament commence from January 29 and conclude on April 8. According to the Committee's recommendation, while Part 1 of the Budget session would be held from January 29 to February 15, Part 2 would be from March 8 to April 8.

The Supreme Court, in a majority verdict, today allowed the Centre to go ahead with its ambitious Central Vista project. The Central Vista revamp, announced in September, 2019 envisages a new triangular Parliament building, with seating capacity for 900 to 1,200 MPs, that is to be constructed by August, 2022 when the country will be celebrating its 75th Independence Day.

 
Stay tuned for the latest news of the day.

LIVE UPDATES

Issue directions on use of anti-smog guns during construction: SC to govt

The Supreme Court Tuesday asked the Centre to consider issuing directions to ensure adequate use of anti-smog guns and make setting up of smog towers a mandatory requirement during construction of development projects involving government buildings, townships or other major private projects.
 
The apex court said that time has come to advance the intent behind improving air quality a mandatory feature for modern buildings and more particularly during the phase of construction of major projects in the cities most affected by air pollution.
 
The top court said this in its 2:1 majority verdict by which it paved way for the ambitious Central Vista Project, covering a three-km stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate in Lutyens' Delhi. READ ON...

Delhi riots: Prima facie Umar Khalid, others conspired together, says court

There was reasonable ground to prima facie show that former JNU student leader Umar Khalid, suspended AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain and others conspired on north-east Delhi riots last year, a court here said on Tuesday while taking cognisance of the supplementary charge sheet filed in the case.
 
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Dinesh Kumar said there was sufficient material on record to proceed against Khalid in the case related to the communal violence in Khajuri Khas area in February last year.
 
The court said a witness statement was sufficient to show that during the relevant time, Khalid was allegedly in contact with Hussain, accused as the main conspirator who had funded the communal riots and instigated the mob from his house to rob the people and burn down properties. READ ON...

PM-CARES Fund allocates over Rs 201 crore to boost medical oxygen availability across India

A sum of Rs 201.58 crore from the PM-CARES Fund is being allocated for installing 162 dedicated PSA medical oxygen generation plants in public health facilities across the country, the PMO said on Tuesday.
 
It stressed that adequate and uninterrupted supply of oxygen is an essential pre-requisite for managing moderate and severe cases of COVID -19, in addition to various other medical conditions where this need arises.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in March announced the creation of the PM's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES) where people can contribute to help in the government's fight against the coronavirus and similar "distressing situations".

I-T dept questions Robert Vadra for second day in benami assets case

The Income Tax department questioned Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, for the second consecutive day on Tuesday in connection with its probe against him under the benami assets law, official sources said.
 
A team from the Chandigarh investigation unit of the department, that is handling the probe, was seen going inside Vadra's office in the Sukhdev Vihar area of the national capital around 3 PM.
 
Vadra is married to Congress leader and Sonia Gandhi's daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. After he was questioned on the first day on Monday, the 52-year-old had said the aim of the tax department's action was to "digress" from the "real issues" concerning the country like the farmers' agitation. READ ON...

Despite government's nod, theatres remain shut in Kerala

Despite the Kerala government's nod for cinemas to reopen on Tuesday after being shut for months due to the COVID-19 induced lockdown, theatres remained closed as the film industry wanted the authorities to address its demands and concerns before resumption.
 
There are over 1,200 screens in traditional theatres and multiplexes in the southern state, which exhibit movies. Sources at the Kerala Film Chamber and Commerce (KFCC), an apex body of the associations ofproducers, distributors and exhibitors, said it would take a final decisionon reopening of the cinemas after its emergency meeting scheduled to be held in Kochi on January 6.
 
The industry players wanted the government to address a host of demands ranging from waiving entertainment tax to forego fixed electricity charges slapped on theatres even thoughit had remained shut for over 10 months.

United Kingdom PM Boris Johnson cancels visit to India later this month

Amid bird flu scare, alert sounded in Jammu and Kashmir

As neighbouring Himachal Pradesh reported cases of bird flu, Jammu and Kashmir has sounded an alert and started collecting samples to check the health of the winged guests flocking the Union territory during winters.
 
The joint teams of Animal Husbandry and Wildlife departments on Tuesday visited Gharana wetland in the outskirts of Jammu and collected 25 bird droppings for testing to ascertain whether any of the birds is infected with the dreaded avian influenza, the officials said.
 
The J&K government has sounded an alert following reports of bird flu cases in Himachal Pradesh and issued certain guidelines as a precautionary measure, Wildlife Warden, Jammu, Anil Atri told PTI.

CCPA recommends Parliament's Budget session from Jan 29

The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) has recommended that the Budget session of Parliament commence from January 29 and conclude on April 8. According to the Committee's recommendation, while Part 1 of the Budget session would be held from January 29 to February 15, Part 2 would be from March 8 to April 8.
 
President Ram Nath Kovind would address the joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament on January 29, a Friday, and the Union Budget wold be presented on February 1, sources said citing the CCPA recommendations.
 
All COVID-related protocols would be followed during the session, PTI report said. The final decision on the commencement of the session will be taken by the Union Cabinet of Ministers.

All Covid-related protocols to be followed during the Budget session of Parliament

All Covid-related protocols to be followed during the Budget session of Parliament, reports PTI.

LIVE: Union Budget on Feb 1, Parliament session starts Jan 29, reports PTI

Indo-Pacific region needs stability and democratic governance, that's why India important: US envoy Ken Juster

I-T dept officials at Robert Vadra's home to record statement in 'benami' case

A team of Income Tax department sleuths on Tuesday arrived at the residence of Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra here for the second consecutive day to record his statement in connection with 'benami' properties case. According to I-T department sources, the team arrived around 2.45 p.m. at his Sukhdev Vihar residence here. The team would be questioning Vadra on his business dealings.
 
On Monday, the I-T team had recorded the statement of Vadra for over nine hours. The team is questioning Vadra as he was unable to join the probe during the Covid pandemic. Vadra is married to Sonia Gandhi's daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is General Secretary of the Congress.
 
Vadra on Monday had described the I-T department questioning as "vendetta politics" and said that he will be cooperating with any of the investigative agencies and truth will prevail. He is being probed by the I-T department in connection with the benami properties.

Heavy rains lash Chennai, surplus from Chembarambakkam Reservoir to be released

Heavy rains lashed Chennai and its suburbs since early Tuesday, prompting authorities to gear up for releasing surplus water from the Chembarambakkam Reservoir here and alert people living on the banks of Adyar river to be on the vigil.
 
The incessant rains, which returned to the city after a break of several weeks, led to water logging in several roads and motorists and others faced a tough time reaching their destinations. The Met office here issued an alert for heavy rain (7 cm to 11 cm) at isolated places over Villupuram, Chengalpattu, Chennai, Kancheepuram, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and Tiruvannamalai districts in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Tuesday.
 
Officials said about 500 cusecs of surplus water would be released from Chembarambakkam Reservoir, one of the major sources of the metropolis' water requirements, into Adyar River.

Income Tax Department officials reach Robert Vadra's residence

Donald Trump says he'll 'fight like hell' to hold on to presidency

With mounting desperation, Donald Trump has declared he would "fight like hell" to hold on to the presidency and appealed to Republican lawmakers to reverse his election loss to Joe Biden when they convene this week to confirm the Electoral College vote.
 
Electoral voters won by President-elect Biden are "not gonna take this White House! he shouted as supporters cheered at an outdoor rally in Georgia on Monday night.
 
Trump's announced purpose for the trip was to boost Republican Senate candidates in Tuesday's runoff election, but he spent much of his speech complaining bitterly about his election loss which he insists he won by a lot. READ ON...

Sensex up by 36.05 points, currently trading at 48,212.85

Sensex up by 36.05 points, currently trading at 48,212.85

Donald Trump says he'll ''fight like hell'' to hold on to presidency

With mounting desperation, Donald Trump has declared he would "fight like hell" to hold on to the presidency and appealed to Republican lawmakers to reverse his election loss to Joe Biden when they convene this week to confirm the Electoral College vote.
 
Electoral voters won by President-elect Biden are "not gonna take this White House! he shouted as supporters cheered at an outdoor rally in Georgia on Monday night. Read on...

Market update: Sensex up by 36.05 points, currently trading at 48,212.85

Sensex up by 36.05 points, currently trading at 48,212.85

Sourav Ganguly stable, cardiologist to meet team of docs treating him

BCCI president and former Team India captain Sourav Ganguly, who underwent angioplasty after suffering a mild heart attack, is in a stable condition, and his vital health parameters are normal, a doctor at the hospital where he is admitted said on Tuesday.
 
Noted cardiologist Dr Devi Shetty, who reached the city early on Tuesday, is scheduled to meet the team of nine doctors attending to the former batting great, and take a call on his further course of treatment and subsequent discharge from the hospital. Read on...

Gas-based economy crucial for Atmanirbhar Bharat, says PM Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that a gas-based economy is crucial for Atmanirbhar Bharat and work is being done in the direction of "One Nation, One Gas Grid".
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also inaugurated the Kochi-Mangaluru natural gas pipeline, via video conferencing today. Read on...

8,927 hrs of blackout: Worst internet shutdowns cost India $2.8 bn in 2020

Internet shutdowns cost India $2.8 billion, putting the South Asian nation at the top of a list of 21 countries that curbed citizens’ web access in 2020.
 
India -- the second-worst-hit nation by the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of overall confirmed infections -- accounted for about three-quarters of the $4 billion lost worldwide to internet curbs. It’s losses more than doubled compared to 2019, a report from a U.K.-based digital privacy and security research group showed. Read on...

PM's energy roadmap: Double natural gas share, diversify energy sources

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday set out his government's energy roadmap, envisaging more than double the share of cleaner natural gas in the consumption basket, diversifying sources of energy, connecting the nation with one gas pipeline grid and bringing affordable fuel to people and industry.
 
Inaugurating a 450-km natural gas pipeline between Kochi in Kerala to Mangaluru in Karnataka, he said India under his government is seeing unprecedented work on highways, railway, metro, air, water, digital and gas connectivity which will aid economic development. Read on...

We welcome SC judgement giving go-ahead to Central Vista project: Hardeep Singh Puri

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday welcomed a Supreme Court judgement giving a go-ahead to the Central Vista redevelopment project, and asserted that the government has always been sensitive to environmental concerns.
 
The Union Housing and Urban Affairs minister, whose ministry is executing the ambitious project, said the government would continue to adhere to the highest standards during the period of construction. Read on...

Environmental hazards kill 3,000 people yearly in Israel

Some 3,000 people die in Israel every year as a result of exposure to environmental hazards, said a report issued by the Ministry of Health.
 
The report, written by the Ministry and the Israeli Environment and Health Fund, said on Monday that the deaths are caused by exposure to air pollution, radon gas and environmental tobacco smoke, reports Xinhua news agency.
 
"There is also evidence that exposure to environmental pollutants increases susceptibility to coronavirus and affects the severity of the disease," the report added.

Delhi on course to becoming world-class capital city: Union Minister Puri on Central Vista Project

Delhi on course to becoming world-class capital city: Union Minister Puri on Central Vista Project

India seeking unprecedented work on highway, railway, metro, air, water, digital and gas connectivity: Modi

India seeking unprecedented work on highway, railway, metro, air, water, digital and gas connectivity; to aid economic development: PM

CNG stations to be raised to 10,000 from current 1,500, says PM Modi

Natural gas pipeline network to be doubled in 5-6 yrs; CNG stations to be raised to 10,000 from current 1,500, says PM Modi

In recent years, India has increased its speed, scale, and scope of development: PM Narendra Modi

I do not want to talk about the reasons behind the rate of India's progress in previous decades. India cannot develop slowly now. In recent years, the country has increased its speed, scale, and scope of development: PM Narendra Modi

PM Modi inaugurates 450-km Kochi-Mangaluru natural gas pipeline

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates 450-km Kochi-Mangaluru natural gas pipeline built at cost of Rs 3,000 crore

National capital gets rains for 3rd straight day even as minimum temp rises

Sporadic rains lashed the national capital for the third consecutive day on Tuesday, even asthe minimum temperature rose to 13.2 degrees Celsius, six notches more than normal, the India Meteorological Department said.
 
The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for the city, recorded 4.7 mm rainfall between 8:30 am on Monday and 8:30 am on Tuesday.
 
The weather stations at Palam, Lodhi Road, Ayanagar and Ridge recorded 12 mm and 4.8 mm, 8.9 mm and 6.2 mm rainfall, respectively, during the period. Read on...

SC upholds environmental clearance, govt notification on Central Vista

In a majority verdict, the Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld theenvironmental clearance and notification for change in land use for the Central Vista Project.
 
The Central Vista revamp, announced in September, 2019 envisages a new triangular Parliament building, with seating capacity for 900 to 1,200 MPs, that is to be constructed by August, 2022 when the country will be celebrating its 75th Independence Day.
 
A three-judge bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar, by 2:1 majority, held that the grant of the environmental clearance and the notification for change in land use for the project was valid. Read on...

KL Rahul ruled out of Border-Gavaskar Trophy due to wrist injury

KL Rahul sprained his left wrist while batting in the nets at the MCG during Team India’s practice session on 2nd Jan. The wicketkeeper-batsman won't be available for the remaining 2 Tests of Border-Gavaskar Trophy as he will need about 3 weeks time to recover completely: BCCI

SC says Heritage Conservation Committee approval needed for construction work to begin

Supreme Court directs project proponents to get approval from the Committee.

Central Vista project case: SC calls upon Ministry of Environment to install smog towers in future projects

SC called upon the Ministry of Environment to install smog towers in future projects, particularly in those cities where pollution is an issue.

All permissions proper, govt can go ahead with Central Vista protest, says SC

All permissions proper, govt can go ahead with Central Vista protest, says SC

SC verdict in Central Vista project case: We hold that exercise of the Central govt under DDA Act is legal

Justice Khanwilkar: We hold that the exercise of the Central Government under DDA Act is legal and valid and the impugned notification stands confirmed. 
Recommendation by Environmental Committee is just and legal and uphold the same.

The Supreme Court had, on November 5, 2020, reserved judgment on the Rs. 20,000 crore Central Vista project

The court had, on November 5, 2020, reserved judgment on the Rs. 20,000 crore Central Vista project, involving renovation and redevelopment of approximately 86 acres of land in the heart of Lutyens Delhi.

Central Vista project case LIVE updates: A bench of Justices to shortly deliver verdict

A bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari & Sanjiv Khanna to shortly deliver verdict.

A thick blanket of fog engulfs Kanpur leading to poor visibility

India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicts a partly cloudy sky with a minimum temperature of 14 degrees celsius for today in Kanpur.

Obama warns of threats to fundamental principles of US democracy

Former US President Barack Obama has warned of threats to the fundamental principles of America's democracy, a day after the emergence of the leaked audio in which President Donald Trump was heard telling Georgia's top election official to find over 11,000 votes to reverse President-elect Joe Biden's win in the November 3 poll.
 
Obama's remarks came on the eve of the crucial Senate election in Georgia wherein both the seats are up for grab. Read on...

Google workers form small union, eyeing more protests over work conditions

More than 200 workers at Google and other Alphabet Inc units on Monday formed a labor union for U.S. and Canadian offices, building on years of protests over working conditions and business practices but falling far short of the support needed to force the tech giant to the bargaining table.
 
Backers believe the "Alphabet Workers Union," which evolved from an informal group of activist employees, will better shield members from firings or other forms of retaliation. It will also enable the group to collect dues to hire support staff and attack the company more aggressively than in the past, internal leaders and outside labor experts said. Read on...

External Affairs Min Jaishankar to begin 3-day visit to Sri Lanka today

External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar will begin his three-day visit to Sri Lanka on Tuesday and is expected to discuss the bilateral issues with his Sri Lankan counterpart Dinesh Gunawardena, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
 
During his visit, the Minister will hold a discussion with his counterpart Dinesh Gunawardena and Sri Lanka's leadership on the entire gamut of bilateral relations, the MEA said in a statement.
 
"At the invitation of the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka Dinesh Gunawardena, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar will pay an official visit to Sri Lanka from 5-7 January 2021," the statement read. Read on...

Asian stocks fall amid concern about Georgia Senate vote

Asian shares fell on Tuesday amid uncertainty about Senate runoffs in Georgia, which could have a big impact on incoming U.S. President Joe Biden's economic policies.
 
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.34%, pulling back from a record high hit in the previous session. Australian stocks fell 0.44%. Chinese shares erased early losses and rose 0.26%.
 
Japanese shares lost 0.25% after a media report that the government will curb business hours in Tokyo and surrounding cities from Thursday.
 
U.S. S&P 500 stock futures edged up 0.24%.

Supreme Court will pronounce its verdict on the petitions challenging the validity of Central Vista project

Supreme Court will pronounce its verdict on the petitions challenging the validity of the Centre's plan for the redevelopment of the Central Vista area, today.

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