Babri case: SC restores criminal conspiracy charges against Advani, Joshi

Senior BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and others will be tried

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BJP leaders L K Advani, M M Joshi and Uma Bharti will face trial in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case as the Supreme Court today allowed the CBI plea and restored criminal conspiracy charges against them.

The court also clubbed the trial in the matter pending against the leaders and ‘karsevaks’ and said the proceedings should be completed in two years.

“We have allowed the CBI appeal against the Allahabad High Court judgement with certain directions,” a bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and R F Nariman said.

The apex court, however, noted that Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh enjoys Constitutional immunity and can be tried only after he ceases to hold the office. Kalyan Singh was the chief minister of UP in 1992.

Also Read : Babri masjid: SC rules Advani, Joshi to be tried under criminal conspiracy

The court also gave significant directions including that separate trials being conducted in trial courts at Raebareli and Lucknow will be clubbed and conducted in the capital of Uttar Pradesh only.

It also said that the trial judge of Lucknow “shall not be transferred” till conclusion and delivery of judgement in the sensational case.

The court further said that no party shall be granted adjournment without the sessions judge being satisfied of the reasons for it and conduct day-to-day trial which should be concluded within two years.

It also directed probe agency CBI to ensure that prosecution witnesses appear on each and every date for recording of evidence in the case and the trial court should start the proceedings within four weeks from today.

It, however, clarified that there would be no de novo (fresh) trial in the matter.(readmore…)

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IPL 2017: RCB beats Gujarat by 21 runs; Chris Gayle, Yuzvendra Chahal shine

Chris Gayle also completed his 10,000 runs in twenty20 cricket

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Swashbuckling West Indies opener Chris Gayle smashed a blistering half-century before Yuzvendra Chahal returned with a three-wicket haul as Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated Gujarat Lions by 21 runs in their IPL 2017 encounter here today.

Gayle slammed a 38-ball 77-run innings, while skipper Virat Kohli produced a superb 50-ball 64 to guide RCB to a massive 213-2 after Gujarat skipper Suresh Raina won the toss and elected to field.

Opener Brendon McCullum then played a superb 72-run off 44-ball innings, studded with two fours and seven sixes but he didn’t get the support from the other end as RCB restricted the Lions to 192-7 to snap their three-game losing streak.

Yuzvendra Chahal (3/31) was the pick of the bowlers for RCB as he picked up three crucial wickets — Dwayne Smith (1), Suresh Raina (23) and McCullum — in his four overs to derail Gujarat’s runchase.

Chasing 214 to win, Gujarat lost their opening batsman Smith early when he was caught at the boundary line by Mandeep Singh off Chahal’s bowling at deep square-leg.

Skipper Raina then slammed a quick-fire 8-ball 23 which included two fours and two sixes before becoming the second wicket of Chahal.

Coming down the pitch, Raina tried to play a sweep shot which went straight to Shane Watson at short fine leg.

McCullum (72) and Aaron Finch (19) then stitched a 66-run innings off 34 balls for the third wicket to take Gujarat across the 100-mark in 10th over.

McCullum also added 31 off 22 balls with Ravindra Jadeja (23) before becoming the third victim of Chahal in the 15th over as Lions looked down the barrel.

Jadeja then was run-out after a mix-up with new batsman Ishan Kishan in the 18th over. Kishan then hit a 16-ball 39, laced with four sixes and two four but it was too late in the end.(readmore)

Nation wants to know: Arnab Goswami gets a legal notice for the phrase

Goswami says the phrase belonged to the people and not to any media group

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Who owns “nation wants to know”? That seems to be the question that will probably be answered by the courts. The catch-phrase popularised by former Times Now anchor, Arnab Goswami has become a bone of contention now.

According to a report in the newspaper Mint, Times Group has sent a legal notice to Arnab Goswami asking him not to use the phrase on his own news channel “Republic TV”. Arnab Goswami’s new channel has been in the news ever since it was announced late last year but its much anticipated launch has been delayed due to unspecified reasons.

Times Now is a channel owned by the Times Group and they contend that “nation wants to know” is their intellectual property. Goswami became synonymous with the use of this phrase.

Arnab has released an audio clip on YouTube informing people that he has received this notice. He has not revealed the name of the group that has sent him the notice. “A media group has sent me a six-page letter threatening me with imprisonment if I ever use the phrase ‘Nation wants to know’. They say that they own the phrase.”

He further explained that the phrase belongs to “you, to me and to all of us, every citizen of this country. Every Indian has a right to use that phrase. And this phrase comes from the heart. Every Indian, through his or her questioning spirit, can use the phrase Nation Wants to Know.”

He says the media group has been trying to delay the launch of Republic TV.

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Samsung to launch Galaxy S8 in India on April 19: Key facts to know

Samsung revealed Bixby, a smart voice assistant to rival Apple’s Siri at the US event.

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Almost three weeks after its initial launch in the US, South Korean giant Samsung will launch its flagship device Samsung Galaxy S8 in India on April 19.

Samsung launched S8 and S8 Plus on March 29 in the US. The devices come in two variants with different screen sizes — the 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 and 6.2-inch Galaxy S8 Plus.

On Monday, the company said in an invitation: “Samsung India cordially invites you to the launch of its next Galaxy series”.

Also Read : Update details to link PAN and Aadhaar, mismatch leads to failure

Samsung revealed Bixby, a smart voice assistant to rival Apple’s Siri and Google’s Assistant at the US event.

The device has a bezel-less curved edge “infinity display” covered with pristine glass and a 12MP rear camera with multi-frame processing and optical image stabilisation. It has an 8MP auto-focus front shooter.

The device is IP68 rated, meaning it is water and dust resistant. The company has also upped the security feature with iris scanner, face recognition and fingerprint scanner – moved to the back of the device – to unlock the device.

The home button has been shifted beneath the “infinity display”. (readmore)

Netflix, YouTube & more: Airtel Internet TV launched at Rs 7,999 annual pay

It comes preloaded with Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Music, Google Play Games, Airtel Movies

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Airtel Digital TV, the direct-to-home arm of Bharti Airtel, on Wednesday launched ‘Internet TV — powered by Android TV, which brings online content to the TV screen along with a bouquet of over 500 plus satellite TV channels, the company said.

Airtel ‘Internet TV’ transforms any TV into a Smart TV and enables users to switch seamlessly between online and linear TV content with a single device.

It is priced at Rs 4,999 with three month Digital TV subscription. Also, for a limited period, customers can pay Rs 7,999 and get the Airtel Internet TV with one year subscription.

Airtel ‘Internet TV’ will be available exclusively on Amazon India starting on Wednesday.

It will be available through Airtel Digital TV touch points — retail stores/website/contact centres soon after online launch, a company statement said.

“Customers can stream and cast their favourite content directly on to their TV as well download their favourite apps and play games. All of this along with the best satellite TV experience with 500 plus channels offers the complete Home entertainment experience,” the statement said.

“Growing broadband penetration is driving the popularity of online content, particularly in urban homes, and with Airtel ‘Internet TV’ we are bringing world-class content from the web and much more to the TV screen,” said Sunil Taldar, CEO & Director of DTH, Bharti Airtel.

Airtel ‘Internet TV’ comes preloaded with Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Music, Google Play Games, Airtel Movies and more. It also comes with access to Google Play Store that allows users to download their apps, content and games on to their TV.

“This latest innovation has been designed keeping in mind the needs of Indian homes and it bridges the gap between online and offline worlds to enable an end-to-end entertainment experience with the convenience of a single device.ReadMore

Also Read:

Google disables Burger King’s ad after it hijacked Google Assistant

Google app for food delivery, home services live in Bengaluru, Mumbai

United Airlines could have avoided PR nightmare by following economics 101

According to reports, airlines routinely overbook their flights leading inconvenience to passengers

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On April 9, a passenger was forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight from Chicago O’Hare to Louisville after the carrier was unable to find volunteers to accommodate four of its employees on standby.

Dramatic videos of the incident have gone viral on YouTube and social networks, and I reckon the resulting cost of this PR disaster will likely make United’s CEO wish he had sent in a private jet to ferry those employees to Louisville (which the airline could easily have afforded, given its net income of US$2.3 billion in 2016).

ALSO READ: United shares fall after worldwide backlash over dragged passenger

Many articles have reported that airlines routinely overbook their flights, and sometimes passengers have to accept (voluntarily or not) the inconvenience of getting to their destination later than planned.

As an airline economist, I do not recall, however, such a situation ever escalating to the level it did on that United flight. The incident raises many questions, including why airlines overbook and what the carrier could have done differently.

Airline economics 101: Why they overbook

Overbooking is indeed something that the airlines routinely do, and it represents a rational behavior for a carrier that sells some of its tickets as fully refundable contracts (mostly to business customers who pay the highest rates).

While the last few years have generally been good for airline profitability, the brutal truth is that profit margins have been rather low historically. Airlines rank below most other industries in terms of return on invested capital, according to the International Air Transport Association. readmore

Eicher CEO downplays Bajaj claims, says not easy to unseat Royal Enfield

Enfield enjoys almost the entire 250-350 cc motorcycle market in country

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Royal Enfield, well known for its bullets, said it is not going to be easy for any new entrant to unseat the company. Bajaj Auto, which entered the 350-500cc motorcycle segment in December, claimed to have overtaken Royal Enfield in February in volumes.

“If you look at the 250 cc plus motorcycle market in India, every 19 of 20 products are sold by us…that is a reality. It is not that easy to unseat someone who is doing this,” Siddhartha Lal, managing director and chief executive officer of Eicher (which owns Enfield) told Business Standard. Bajaj’s claim was based on one month’s performance of the Dominar, its new 373cc premium sports motorcycle.

Also Read: Not worried about Bajaj, says Royal Enfield chief

Japanese two-wheeler major Honda is also reported to be working on a motorcycle to cater to this segment. “It is very clear. There will be people entering. There is no doubt about it. Just that it is still a very small segment. If more players enter it may help grow the segment,” said Lal.

Enfield enjoys almost the entire 250-350 cc motorcycle market in the country, estimated at close to 50,000 units a month. This is where it gets the lion’s share of its sales. It controls 80 per cent In the 350-500 cc market (data for the first 11 months of FY17). This is a much smaller segment, with monthly volume of 5,300 units.

Lal added that the company is doing lot of things on and off product. “Our dealerships are unique and don’t cater to mass products. It is not like a factory shop. We are working to improve and enhance the experience. And on the product side lot of things will happen. I am sure there will be good and interesting motorcycles from others. But we don’t want to cater to everything. If somebody comes and creates a new segment, good for them. We want to stick to our core and do what we do well,” said Lal. (readmore…)