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‘No lawyers, no apology, no fine’: Kunal Kamra on contempt of court case

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Comedian Kunal Kamra facing contempt of court charges over his tweets criticising the Supreme Court, in a statement on Friday said that he did not intend on retracting his words or apologising for them.

The statement comes a day after Attorney General K.K. Venugopal granted his consent to initiate the contempt of court proceedings. It is in connection to a series of tweets by comedian Kamra with respect to the interim bail granted to Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami by Supreme Court.

Comedian Kunal Kamra in a statement addressed to the judges of the apex court and the A-G said, “I don’t intent to retract my tweets or apologise for them. I believe they speak for themselves,”

“The Supreme Court of India hasn’t yet declared my tweets anything as of now, but if and when they do, I hope they can have a small laugh before declaring them contempt of court,” Kamra added.

Republic TV’s anchor Arnab Goswami was granted interim bail by the top court on November 11 in the 2018 abetment to suicide case of architect Anvay Naik and his mother.

The two-judge bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee during the hearing said, “If we as a constitutional court do not lay down law and protect liberty, then who will.”

Stand-up comic Kunal Kamra on this said, “All that I tweeted was from my view of the Supreme Court of India giving a partial decision in favour of a Prime Time Loudspeaker,”

“My view hasn’t changed because the silence of the Supreme Court of India on matters of other’s personal liberty cannot go uncriticised.” he further added.

A-General KK Venugopal, allowing eight people to file criminal contempt cases against Kamra, in a letter said that he had crossed a line.

In the letter he said, “It is time that people understand attacking the Supreme Court unjustifiably and brazenly will lead to punishment.”

The tweets by Kunal Kamra that the A-G was referring to were: “The Supreme Court of this Country is the most Supreme joke of this country,” and “Honour has left the building long back…”

Comedian Kamra in January this year was banned by several airlines after he had heckled Arnab Goswami on a flight from Mumbai to Lucknow.

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Farmers protest: Noida-Delhi border closed for vehicles as farmers from western UP head for Delhi

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Even as more farmers from Punjab and “khaps” from Haryana are making their way to the National Capital to join the protest against the new farm laws, another group of protesting farmers is continuing with its sit-in at the Noida-Delhi border for the second day on Wednesday. This has led to the closure of one of the most important routes that connect Uttar Pradesh with Delhi.

This route is used daily by thousands of commuters by both private vehicles and public transport.

In view of the situation, the Noida Traffic Police has advised commuters travelling to Delhi to avoid the Chilla route and instead take the DND or Kalindi Kunj route.

“The Chilla route is obstructed due to the farmers’ sit-in demonstration at the Noida-Delhi border. Kindly use alternative routes (DND or Kalindi Kunj) to reach your destination,” the Noida Traffic Police tweeted.

The Noida Traffic Police have also shared a Helpline number: 9971009001.

According to the sources, the farmers who are sitting-in at the Delhi-Noida border, belong to various districts of western Uttar Pradesh and have converged to enter Delhi to join the main protest launched by farmers of Punjab and Haryana.

Hundreds of farmers affiliated to the Bharatiya Kisan Union and other groups had gathered at the border Tuesday evening where heavy security has been deployed on both Noida and Delhi sides which has prevented them from proceeding further.

Meanwhile, the Centre, on Tuesday, had sought farmers’ objections and suggestions in writing on the farm laws that are at the centre of the protest.

The first round of talks between the leaders of the farmers’ groups and the government held yesterday was unproductive.

An Agriculture Ministry statement said, “It has been suggested by the government to the representatives of farmers’ union to identify the specific issues related to farm reform acts and share with the government on December 2, 2020 for consideration. These issues will be discussed during the fourth round of meeting to be held on December 3, 2020.

“Various issues related to farm reform acts were discussed at length and talks were held in a cordial atmosphere.”

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Brazil Covid-19 death toll tops 173,000

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With 287 new coronavirus fatalities reported in Brazil in the last 24 hours, the country’s death toll has increased to 173,120, the second highest in the world after the US, according to the Health Ministry.

Besides the new fatalities on Monday, the country also registered 21,138 new cases, which took the overall tally to 6,335,878, Xinhua news agency.

Brazil’s caseload is the third highest after the US and India.

Also on Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) voiced deep concern over a sharp increase in infection and fatality rates in Brazil.

“I think Brazil has to be very, very serious,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press conference in Geneva.

The South American country managed to flatten the curve between September and November, but statistics rose again after lockdown measures were eased.

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Approach with ‘open heart’, not with preconditions: Farmers reject Amit Shah’s proposal for discussion

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The protesting farmers on Sunday have rejected home minister Amit Shah’s proposal for an early discussion on their grievances.

The farmers said the government should have approached with “an open heart” and not put preconditions. The farmers’ decision came after a meeting this morning to discuss the Home Minister’s offer.

It is to be noted that Amit Shah had said that if the farmer unions want talks with the government before December 3, they have to shift to the grounds at Burari to hold their protest in a structured manner.

The farmers’ decision comes hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his Mann ki Baat show said, “The new farm laws have opened the doors of opportunity for the Indian farmers.”

He said that the demands that the framers ‘made over the years’ which every government had promised to meet has ‘finally been met.’

Before the PM’s address, state president of Punjab Kisan Union, Ruldu Singh had said, “We will discuss on how to engage in talks with the centre. We are ready for talks with the centre only if they invite us for the same.”

He added that apart from the farm laws, they also want withdrawal of electricity amendment bill (2020).

“We firmly know that the union government will not agree to all our demands. While getting the three farm laws revoked is our primary demand, we also want withdrawal of electricity amendment bill (2020). If government insists on farm laws, then we will push for legalising MSP for the purchase of every crop,” he said.

A group of farmers, walking with tractors carrying stocks of food and essential supplies, tried to enter Delhi from multiple points, defying barricades.

Haryana police had dug trenches at various crossing points in order to stop the marching farmers.

Delhi Police used water cannon and tear gas shells to disperse protesting farmers at Tikri border near Delhi-Bahadurgarh highway.

Farmers were seen clashing with security forces, as they tried to head towards Delhi as part of their protest march.

Delhi Police had seek permission from Delhi Government to convert nine stadiums into temporary prisons, in view of ongoing protest. However, the permission by denied.

Protesting farmers were allowed to enter the national capital. They will have the permission to protest at the Nirankari Samagam Ground in the Burari area, Delhi Police Commissioner had said.

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