Citizens' Issues
Blackbuck case: Supreme Court sets aside HC order on Salman Khan

Setting aside Rajasthan High Court's order keeping in suspension the conviction of Salman Khan in the blackbuck hunting case, the apex court said the HC would consider the actor's plea afresh

 

The Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside Rajasthan High Court's order keeping in suspension the conviction of Bollywood actor Salman Khan in the blackbuck hunting case in which he was awarded five-year jail term by a trial court.
 
A bench of justices SJ Mukhopadhyay and AK Goel said that the High Court would consider his plea afresh in accordance with the law.
 
On 5th November, the bench had reserved its judgement after raising question on the Rajasthan High Court's decision staying the mega star's conviction without going into the merits of the case and just to pave the way for him to get visa to travel to the UK for professional reasons.
 
Salman had submitted that he would have faced hardship if his conviction would not have been stayed by the High Court as it adversely affected his right to travel abroad.
 
The state government had approached the apex court against the high court order, which had, on 12 November 2013 stayed his 2006 conviction in the case and paved the way for him to get a British visa.
 
Earlier, the Court, however, had agreed that age was one of the important factors in life of an actor and it would be harsh if one is not allowed to go abroad till final verdict comes.
 
Under British immigration rules, any person convicted for more than four years is not eligible for a visa. Since the actor was convicted for five years, he was denied visa by the British Embassy. The passports of Indian convicts are stamped with the word "convict."
 
Blackbuck is a protected animal and its hunting is a punishable offence.
 
Khan was convicted and sentenced to one-year and five-year prison terms in separate cases of poaching of two Chinkaras at Bhawad and one black buck at Ghoda Farm (Mathania) on the intervening night of 26-27 September 1998 and 28-29 September, 1998 respectively.
 
The actor had approached the High Court in 2007 seeking a stay on his conviction by a trial court so that he could file a fresh application for a British visa.
 
Besides Khan, actors Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam were accused of poaching near Jodhpur during the shooting of the film 'Hum Saath Saath Hain'.
 

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BlaBlaCar reaches India for intercity rides

BlaBlaCar will compete directly with buses and taxis by filling up empty seats. How? 

 

BlaBlaCar is making its first foray outside Europe with India. India country marks the 14th market for the company. According to Nicholas Brusson, co-founder of the company, the new service in India will connect people looking for a city-to-city travel solution with car-owners so that the journey and its cost can be shared. 
 
BlaBlaCar is a marketplace for city-to-city rides. The passenger should browse the platform to find a driver who is driving from one city to another and book a seat in advance. Drivers can make a bit of money while riders can travel for cheap. 
 
BlablaCar has the same business model as Airbnb — one pays or gets money every time one rides or drives, and the company takes a 10% cut on average. 
 
While many people living in India rely on trains and buses to go from one city to another, trains are nowhere as efficient as in other countries. BlaBlaCar will compete with existing buses by filling up empty car seats. It will be a nice alternative when the buses are fully booked and will be cheaper than taxis for those who travel regularly. France-based BlaBlaCar will initially focus on north India. 
 
How the company takes care of the serious issue of safety remains to be seen.
 

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Italian marine gets three months extension on health ground

The SC allowed the plea of Massimiliano Latorre, who had recently undergone heart surgery in Italy after the Indian government said there was no objection to allow his plea on humanitarian ground

 

The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted three months extension to Italian marine Massimiliano Latorre to stay in his country on medical grounds. Latorre is one of the accused of killing Indian fishermen in 2012 near Kerala coast.
 
A bench headed by Justice AR Dave allowed the plea of the marine, who had recently undergone heart surgery in Italy after the Centre said there was no objection to allow his plea on humanitarian ground.
 
The Bench also comprising justices Kurian Joseph and Shiva Kirti Singh permitted a plea of the Marine after Italian ambassador gave an identical undertaking which was given by him on 12 September 2014, when Latorre was allowed to go to his country last year for four months for medical treatment after he suffered a stroke on 31st August.
 
Additional Solicitor General PL Narasimha told the bench that he has an instruction that the Marine be considered for his plea provided the Italian ambassador furnishes the identical undertaking.
 
Senior advocate Soli Sorabji, appearing for the Marine, said that the ambassador is ready with the undertaking on the same terms and conditions.
 

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