*Uttar Pradesh minister Sharda Pratap Shukla has been sacked from the Akhilesh Yadav ministry; Shukla is contesting assembly elections on an RLD ticket
*The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till noon after the Opposition demanded an apology from PM Narendra Modi for his remarks against Dr Manmohan Singh in the House on Wednesday; the Upper House was adjourned once again till 2 pm after continuing uproar by Opposition, including those from AIADMK demanding VK Sasikala be sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
Uphaar tragedy: SC directs Gopal Ansal to serve 1-yr jail term
The Supreme Court today directed real estate baron Gopal Ansal to serve a one year jail term in connection with the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy case in which 59 people had died. The apex court, in a majority verdict of 2:1, asked Gopal Ansal to surrender within four weeks to serve the remaining jail term of the one year punishment. However, the apex court gave relief to elder brother Sushil Ansal considering his advanced age by giving him the jail term already undergone by him, including the remission, in the case. The majority verdict pronounced by Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Kurian Joseph said that fine of ₹30 crore each imposed on Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal by the apex court earlier was "not excessive".
59 people had died of asphyxia when a fire broke out during the screening of Bollywood movie 'Border' in Uphaar theatre in Green Park area of South Delhi on June 13, 1997. Over 100 were also injured in the subsequent stampede.
Tamil Nadu Governor to fly to Chennai
Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, who had kept away from Chennai for the last three days amid a bitter war of words between AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala and caretaker Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, will leave for the state capital this afternoon. The governor's decision to return to Chennai has triggered speculation about whether he will swear in Sasikala after she mustered an overwhelming majority of AIADMK MLAs against a rebellious Panneerselvam, who claimed he has their backing. "The Governor will be taking the 1.25 pm Jet Airways flight to Chennai from Mumbai," a Raj Bhavan official told PTI. The official, however, declined to comments on reports that Rao will meet legislators after landing in Chennai. Sasikala was elected leader of the AIADMK legislature party on Sunday, clearing the decks for her elevation as the chief minister.
Repolling underway in 48 polling stations of Punjab
Repolling was today underway at 48 polling stations under Amritsar Lok Sabha constitutency and five assembly segments of Punjab. The repoll was ordered by the Election Commission following malfunctioning of Voter-Verified Audit Paper Trail (VVPAT) and Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in these stations during the February 4 elections. Repolling was ordered at 12 polling stations of Majitha Assembly seat, nine each of Muktsar and Sangrur, one each of Moga and Sardulgarh and 16 polling stations of Amritsar Parliamentary constituency.
Will work to develop 'constructive relationship': Trump to Xi
US President Donald Trump has told his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in a letter that he looks forward to developing a "constructive relationship" that benefits both countries, days after his remarks questioning the decades-old 'One China' policy riled Beijing. Trump wrote the letter to President Xi who had written a congratulatory letter to him after he was sworn in as US President on January 20. Trump, after his election, had stated that the 'One-China' policy on Taiwan is up for negotiation and that he is not fully committed to it. China had hit back saying one-China policy which stipulates that Taiwan is part of Chinese mainland is "non-negotiable". China regards Taiwan as a breakaway province and insist all countries having bilateral ties with it to abide by the 'One-China' policy.
Service Tax Department summons Sania Mirza for alleged tax evasion
Tennis player Sania Mirza has been issued notice by the Service Tax department in connection with alleged non-payment or evasion of service tax. The Principal Commissioner of the Service Tax office here issued the summons to the tennis star on February 6, asking her to appear before it in person or through an authorised agent on February 16.