Defamation case: 2-year jail for Rahul, gets bail

The legal tangle increased for Congress leader Rahul Gandhi as a court in Gujarat's Surat district on March 23 ‘convicted’ Congress leader and MP Rahul Gandhi in a defamation case.


The legal tangle increased for Congress leader Rahul Gandhi as a court in Gujarat’s Surat district on March 23 ‘convicted’ Congress leader and MP Rahul Gandhi in a defamation case for his alleged remark “why all thieves share the Modi surname” made during a political campaign in Karol in April 2019. The court of Chief Judicial Magistrate HH Varma sentenced him to two years in jail.

He has, however, received bail for appeal at a higher court, which has to be done in 30 days.

The magistrate also imposed a fine of Rs. 15,000 after finding him guilty.

The complaint had been filed by BJP MLA and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi under IPC Sections 499 (defamation: Whoever by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person, is said, except in the cases hereinafter excepted, to defame that person.) and 500 (punishment for defamation: Whoever defames another shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.) against Rahul Gandhi for his alleged remarks stating that it has defamed all people with the ‘Modi’ surname while addressing a rally at Kolar in Karnataka ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The remarks had been video graphed by the video surveillance team and video viewing team duly notified by the office of Deputy Commissioner and District Election Officer, Kollar District. The Gujarat High Court had vacated the stay on trial in the criminal defamation case in February this year.

Rahul Gandhi remained present in the court when the court pronounced its verdict. On earlier three occasions too, he was present before the Court.  

ICC judges issue arrest warrants against Putin for crises in Ukraine

Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court issued warrants of arrest for two individuals in the context of the situation in Ukraine: Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova.

The ICC says it has issued an arrest warrant for Russian Putin for war crimes because of his alleged involvement in abductions of children from Ukraine. The court said in a statement that Putin is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.

It also issued a warrant on Friday for the arrest of Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, the Commissioner for Children’s Rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation on similar allegations.

Ukraine’s human rights chief, Dmytro Lubinets, has said that based on data from the country’s National Information Bureau, 16,226 children were deported. Ukraine has managed to bring back 308 children.

In WashingtonPresident Joe Biden called the ICC’s decision “justified,” telling reporters as he left the White House for his Delaware home that Putin “clearly committed war crimes.” While the US does not recognize the court either, Biden said it “makes a very strong point” to call out the Russian leader’s actions in ordering the invasion.

SpaceX launches 40 OneWeb internet satellites to orbit, lands rocket

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched 40 broadband satellites to orbit for the UK company OneWeb on Thursday (March 9) and came back to Earth for a pinpoint touchdown. 

The two-stage Falcon 9 lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida Thursday (March 16).

The rocket’s first stage came back to Earth right on schedule, touching down on a landing pad at Cape Canaveral about 7 minutes and 50 seconds after launch. 

It was the 13th launch and landing for this particular booster, according to a SpaceX mission description(opens in new tab). Among those previous flights were SpaceX’s two private astronaut missions, Inspiration4 and Ax-1, which launched in September 2021 and April 2022, respectively.

The rocket’s upper stage, meanwhile, continued making its way to low Earth orbit (LEO). The OneWeb satellites were deployed in small batches beginning about 59 minutes after liftoff. All 40 had been successfully deployed by T+96 minutes.

ATK Mohun Bagan snaps up ISL crown

Kolkata’s super football team Mohun Bagan is again on top of the world, at least in India. Recently, ATK Mohun Bagan won the 2022-23 Indian Super League, defeating Bengaluru FC on penalties (4-3), after the game ended 2-2 after extra time. Bruno Ramires and Pablo Perez missed the decisive penalties for BFC, with Dimi Petratos, Sunil Chhetri and Roy Krishna finding the net in normal time.

This is the first ISL title for the ATK Mohun Bagan in their new guise, with ATK and Atletico de Kolkata winning three titles together. Sanjiv Goenka also announced that the club would be known as Mohun Bagan Super Giants going forward.

Bengaluru FC’s final started off with an ill-omen as Sivasakthi Narayanan went off injured, replaced by Sunil Chhetri in the fourth minute. As both teams adjusted to the change in personnel, there were a couple of half-chances made at either end.

Simon Grayson’s night went from bad to worse after Roy Krishna handled in the box while challenging Ashique Kuruniyan for a header, with the referee pointing to the spot. Dimi Petratos stepped up, and despite Gurpreet Singh Sandhu diving the right way, the penalty was struck too well, giving ATK Mohun Bagan the lead in the 14th minute.

In extra time, Udanta Singh and Rohit failed to hit the target with their respective chances, while Manvir missed from a few yards out for ATKMB. Towards the end of extra time, Sandhu spilt Petratos’ long-range strike, but it bounced out for a corner that led to nothing before the game headed into penalties.

In the nervy penalty shoot-out, Golden Glove winner Kaith stepped up for his team for the second game in a row, while no one missed from the spot in a game dictated by penalties throughout. As the winners, ATKMB took home prize money of Rs 6 crore, while runners-up Bengaluru FC were awarded Rs 2.5 crore.

Final score: ATK Mohun Bagan 2 (Petratos 14’-p, 85’-p) Bengaluru FC 2 (Chhetri 45+5’-p, Krishna 78’).