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Will attempt to repatriate pregnant woman from US on May 13: Centre to SC

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New Delhi, May 12 (IANS) The Supreme Court Tuesday asked the Centre to examine the plea of a pregnant woman seeking immediate repatriation via a scheduled May 13 Air India flight. The Centre told the apex court it will seriously attempt to assist the family of the woman to board the flight from San Francisco to Bangalore on May 13.

A bench of Justices Nageswara Rao, Abdul Nazeer and Sanjeev Khanna asked the Centre to act on the petition, but did not pass any order.

Advocate Anand Sanjay Nuli, representing the petitioners, contended before the bench that his client is in an advanced stage of pregnancy and she is stuck in the US along with her 18-month-old daughter and husband, and any delay in her repatriation is likely to have an adverse effect on her health.

The plea contended that the petitioner is in the third trimester of her pregnancy and is living in an extreme state of uncertainty and in a condition proving fatal to herself and the fetus.

Last week, while hearing a plea on behalf of many pregnant Indian women seeking return from Saudi Arabia, the apex court observed that women who are in the final stage of pregnancy must be given top priority during repatriation.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta contended that taking note of the health condition of the petitioner, a serious attempt is being made to assist her to board the flight from San Francisco to Bangalore scheduled to leave on Wednesday.

The petition contended Pooja Chaudhary and her family had return flights to India after a composite business trip on April 6. However, due to restrictions imposed by the Director General of Civil Aviation on the operation of international flights, the petitioner and her family have been stranded in the US.

The petitioner sought “appropriate arrangements” for the family”s travel to India via “Air India Flight No. AI 174 which is scheduled to depart from San Francisco on May 13 or at the next earliest possible opportunity. The petitioner also sought direction from the top court to ensure that she has access to proper medical facilities. The apex court has been taking up petitions of several stranded Indian citizens, in various countries, since the lockdown was imposed and international cross-border air travel was also closed.

–IANS

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Travancore royal family’s rights in Padmanabhaswamy temple affairs upheld

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New Delhi, July 13 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the rights of the Travancore royal family in the affairs of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple of Thiruvananthapuram.

A bench headed by U.U. Lalit said the administrative committee will manage the temple affairs while the district judge of Thiruvanathpuram will be the chairperson of the committee.

According to a lawyer associated with the matter said the shebaitship survives on the death of the ruler as per custom, and a committee under the chairmanship of district judge, who was the executive officer appointed by the apex court, has been constituted.

“Death of ruler does not result in escheat in favour of government despite 26th amendment of Constitution,” said the lawyer, who represented the devotees.

The apex court verdict has come on a dispute over management of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, one of the richest temples in the country. For nearly nine years, the issues in connection with the administration and management of the historic temple have been pending in the top court.

These issues were raised following alleged charges of financial irregularities. In April last year, a bench of Justices Lalit and Indu Malhotra had reserved the verdict on the petitions challenging the January 31, 2011 verdict of the Kerala High Court.

The high court had directed the state government to take steps to constitute a trust or a body to take control of the temple, its assets and management. The High Court also directed the state government to run the temple complying with the traditions.

In May 2011, the top court had stayed the high court”s direction.

–IANS

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Gunfight on between terrorists & security forces in J&K

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Srinagar, July 13 (IANS) An encounter between terrorists and security forces broke out in South Kashmir”s Anantnag district on Monday, the police said.

The encounter started after security forces got a specific input about the presence of terrorists in the Srigufwara area of Anantnag.

As the security forces zeroed in on the spot where the terrorists were hiding they came under a heavy volume of fire triggering the encounter.

Two to three terrorists are believed to be holed up.

It is a joint operation by the police and the army.

“Encounter has started at Srigufwara area of Anantnag. Police and security forces are on the job,” police said in a statement.

–IANS

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India records 28,701 Covid-19 cases, 500 deaths in 24 hours

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New Delhi, July 13 (IANS) India recorded its highest single-day spike of 28,701 coronavirus cases and 500 deaths in the last 24 hours, pushing the total tally to 8,78,254 cases with a total of 23,174 deaths, the Health Ministry”s data stated on Monday.

According to the data, of the total cases, as many as 5,53,470 patients have recovered, over twice the number of active patients which stand at 3,01,609.

The rate of recovery of the Covid-19 patients has touched 62.93 per cent. India, however, remains the third worst-affected country after the US and Brazil.

During the last 24 hours, 2,19,103 samples were tested, as the testing lab network continues to expand. As on date, more than 1,194 labs have enabled people to undergo coronavirus tests.

Maharashtra remained the worst-hit state, with 2,54,427 cases and 10,289 casualties followed by Tamil Nadu with total 1,38,470 cases, including 1,966 deaths.

With 1,573 new coronavirus cases and 37 deaths in the last 24 hours, the national capital recorded a total tally of 1,12,494 cases, including 3,371 deaths.

States with more than 10,000 cases included Gujarat (41,820 cases), Uttar Pradesh (36,476), Rajasthan (24,392), Madhya Pradesh (17,632), West Bengal (30,013), Haryana (21,240), Karnataka (38,843), Andhra Pradesh (29,168), Telangana (34,671), Assam (16,071), and Bihar (16,642).

On the global front, the overall number of global Covid-19 cases was nearing 12.9 million, while the deaths have increased to more than 5,68,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

–IANS

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