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Bagga gets reprieve from Punjab and Haryana High Court

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In a major reprieve to BJP leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday ordered continuation of his interim protection.

But Justice Anoop Chitkara questioned Punjab on filing of a habeas corpus plea in the case.

The case will come up for final hearing on July 5 after the summer break.

Additional Solicitor General Satya Pal Jain refuted the allegations of illegal detention and said not even a single officer was detained.

An affidavit in this regard has already been filed by the Delhi Police.

The High Court last week stayed the arrest of Bagga and directed the Punjab government to not take any coercive action against him until the next hearing which was scheduled for May 10.

The BJP leader moved the High Court while challenging a non-bailable arrest warrant issued against him by a Mohali Court on May 7.

The Punjab government, in its habeas plea, had moved two applications: one for making the Centre a party to the case and the second for direction to Delhi and Haryana Police to preserve the CCTV cameras.

The state had filed the habeas corpus petition against the Haryana government, alleging that 12 Punjab Police officers involved in the arrest of Bagga have been detained by Haryana police in Kurukshetra.

Punjab also sought the custody of Bagga, the national secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, who was held in connection with a case registered against him in Mohali last month.

In its plea, the Punjab government had alleged that when Punjab Police was taking Bagga to SAS Nagar (Mohali) to produce him before the area magistrate, the Haryana Police stopped them midway and brought them to the Kurukshetra where his custody was given to the Delhi Police.

Delhi Police, which reports to the Union Home Ministry, on May 6 took Bagga’s custody and later released him after legal process.

It also lodged two cases against Punjab Police in connection with Bagga’s arrest.

Punjab Police, while taking Bagga to Mohali from Delhi, was stopped midway by the Haryana Police after Delhi Police registered a kidnapping case on the complaint of father of the BJP leader.

Maharashtra

Western Railway extends trips of 2 pairs of special trains

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For the convenience of passengers and with a view to meet the travel demand, the Western Railway has extended the trips of 2 pairs of special trains.

According to a press release issued by Sumit Thakur, Chief Public Relations Officer of Western Railway, the train services which are extended are as follows.

Train No. 09435 Ahmedabad – Okha Weekly Superfast Special has been extended upto 25th March, 2023.

Train No. 09436 Okha – Ahmedabad Weekly Superfast Special has been extended upto 26th March, 2023.

Train No. 09007 Valsad – Bhiwani Weekly Special which was earlier notified up to 23rd February, 2023 has been extended from 02nd March to 30th March, 2023.

Train No. 09008 Bhiwani – Valsad Weekly Special which was earlier notified up to 24th February, 2023 has been extended from 03rd March to 31st March, 2023.

The booking of extended trips of train Nos. 09435, 09436 & 09007 will open from 30th January, 2023 at PRS counters and on the IRCTC website, the WR said.

For detailed information regarding timings of halts and composition, passengers may please visit www.enquiry.indianrail.gov.in, the WR said.

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Maharashtra

BJP may lose K’taka in next Assembly polls: Sharad Pawar

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Karnataka is slipping out of the ruling BJP’s control and may see a change of power after the next Assembly elections, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar said here on Saturday.

“There are clear indications that the BJP will not retain power in Karnataka after the upcoming state electionsa We are making attempts to unite the Opposition parties and forge a united front, but all states have different local issues which need to be tackled,” said Pawar.

Addressing mediapersons in this erstwhile royalty town, Pawar said that the results of a recent public opinion survey have revealed that the mood of the masses is going against the BJP and it could suffer major setbacks in the next elections.

“The people will no longer vote on religious issues. The masses are being divided on religious lines, which will not work anymore.”

Commenting on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra (BJY), Pawar pointed out that it has secured the support of the ordinary citizens, as can be seen from the response he is getting.

Besides, the misleading image of the Congress leader (Rahul) that was sought to be created has been shattered through the nationwide march, he said.

Slamming the Centre’s decision to ban the BBC documentary, the NCP supremo and the leading light behind the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) termed it as an “assault” on democracy.

Referring to the comments of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) President Prakash Ambedkar that the Centre is not misusing federal probe agencies like ED, CBI, Pawar countered that the government is targeting Opposition leaders and peoples’ rights are being crushed.

Reacting to the VBA, which recently allied with the Shiv Sena (UBT), having any talks on joining the MVA, Pawar shot back, saying that as “there’s no proposal, where’s the question of holding any discussions”, and reiterated that the MVA will contest the upcoming elections unitedly.

Pawar added that with Parliament session starting in New Delhi next week, the efforts to forge a national united Opposition front will resume with all the leaders.

“I am personally in touch with many Opposition leadersa There are some ticklish aspects issues as the different parties are on opposing sides in some states owing to their local or regional issues. We have to sort them out first.”

He made it clear that the MVA is fighting the upcoming MLC biennial elections and the MLA bypolls unitedly in the state and will continue in the same spirit in future.

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Maharashtra

Mumbai: Estimated hike in electricity rates Proposal to increase electricity rates around 40% (MSEDCL)

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The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has proposed a 30%-40% tariff hike for residential and commercial consumers,

This means that consumers in the city are likely to pay more for electricity in the coming financial year.

A petition filed by MSEDCL before Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) to propose the hike for customers across the state from April 1 was made public recently.

Electricity consumers to pay more

At present, MSEDCL’s residential consumers currently pay a fixed cost of ₹105 per month, which is proposed to be hiked by ₹13.

The company has also suggested increasing the wheeling charge (the fees paid to transport electricity from a power plant to end customers) for residential consumers from ₹1.25 per unit to ₹1.43 per unit.

President of the state electricity consumers’ organisation Pratap Hogade said the main reason behind the tariff hike is the increase in thermal power costs.

The MERC has invited objections and suggestions to through a public notice.

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