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It is in touch with India for a dialogue on the situation

All for talks: European Union diplomats at a meeting in Srinagar on Wednesday. PTIPTI

The European Union (EU) has called for a swift removal of communication and political restrictions in Kashmir and is in touch with the Indian authorities for a continuing dialogue on the situation in Kashmir, a spokesperson said.

“Some restrictions remain, notably on Internet access and mobile services, and some political leaders are still in detention. While we recognise the serious security concerns, it is important that the remaining restrictions are lifted swiftly,” said Virginie Battu-Henriksson, EU Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

The statement was issued a day after a delegation of 25 diplomats, which included EU Ambassador to India Ugo Astuto and several other European envoys, returned from a visit to Jammu and Kashmir on February 12 and 13. The delegation was not part of the earlier team of diplomats that visited Kashmir in January as they had insisted on meeting the jailed political leaders.

Furious Bench issues show-cause notice to DoT for letter ‘staying’ judgment

The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the managing directors and directors of companies, including telecom majors Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, to show cause why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them for failing to pay even a “single penny” to the government in Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dues, worth ₹1.47 lakh crore, despite an October 2019 judgment.

A three-judge Bench, led by Justice Arun Mishra, called the non-compliance with the judgment a “very disturbing scenario”. It also drew contempt proceedings against a Department of Telecom (DoT) officer responsible for issuing an order to the Accountant General, a constitutional authority, on January 23, 2020, to desist from taking any coercive action against the defaulting companies.

Following the strictures, the DoT began issuing notices to the telcos to pay the AGR dues as early as midnight of February 14 (Friday).

Failure to comply with the orders would entail company heads appearing in person in court at the next hearing on March 17, the court said.

For making ‘inflammatory’ comments

The Uttar Pradesh government has invoked the National Security Act (NSA) against Dr. Kafeel Khan of Gorakhpur for his alleged inflammatory comments against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) at Aligarh Muslim University recently.

Dr. Khan was booked on the day he was expected to be released on bail from the Mathura jail, where he had been lodged after his arrest on January 29.

His family said he was being targeted by the Yogi Adityanath government for his activism, as despite being granted bail by an Aligarh court on February 10, he continued to languish in jail.

SP (Crime) Arvind Kumar said Dr. Khan was booked under the NSA by the district administration.

District Magistrate Chandrabhushan Singh said it was necessary to book Dr. Khan under the NSA to prevent him from doing acts against “maintenance of public order”.

He made the announcement in court during the course of a hearing

Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari

In an unprecedented move, Justice Satyaranjan C Dharmadhikari, the most senior judge after the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court, told an advocate appearing before him on Friday that he had demitted his office.

Advocate Mathews Nedumpara told The Hindu that when he was mentioning a matter before him in the morning, Justice Dharmadhikari said, “I cannot grant you any relief as today is my last day”. Mr. Nedumpara asked, “Is your Lordship being elevated?” to which Justice Dharmadhikari said, “I am demitting my office.” He later told journalists in his chamber that his resignation was because of “family reasons and purely personal”.

When asked about being elevated as the Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court and the discussions that had started in 2019, he said certain developments happened in between, which were not known to him. As a result, he was left with an option either to shift to Odisha or resign, and that he was reluctant to move to Odisha because of the short tenure.

Had he not put in his papers, Justice Dharmadhikari would have been the acting Chief Justice after current Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog retires on February 24. His father, the late Chandrashekar Dharmadhikari, had held the post of Chief Justice.

Justice Dharmadhikari, who did not want to move out of Mumbai for personal reasons, said he had hoped to be in the city but that the Bombay HC was not an option. He added that while he did not mind the expectations and the work pressure, he felt bad when the expectations were not fulfilled.

This will help understand its habits: experts

Pangolins are among the most trafficked animals in the world.

Forthe first time, scientists have radio-tagged the Indian pangolin, an endangered animal that is rarely sighted in forests here.

The Indian pangolin, which dons a thick scaly skin, is hunted for meat and used in traditional Chinese medicine. Researchers say tagging the animal will help understand the habits of the reclusive, nocturnal animal.

Radio-tagging involves attaching a transmitter to an animal to monitor its movement.

“In recent years, we have successfully busted pangolin-smuggling syndicates that involved poachers and smugglers from more than nine States,” said Rajesh Shrivastav, Chief Wildlife Warden of Madhya Pradesh.

Pangolins are among the most trafficked wildlife species in the world. The projected population declines range from 50% to 80% across the genus.

Out of the eight species of pangolin, the Indian and the Chinese pangolins are found in India. Both these species are listed under Schedule I Part I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

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