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Supreme Court Grants Trump Over Lawsuits Against “Accepting Foreign Payments” | The State

Trump had been accused of abusing his position to benefit his businesses.

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Olivier Douliery-Pool / Getty Images

The Supreme Court ended lawsuits over whether the former president Donald trump illegally profited from his position.

The judges of the highest court considered that now “The cases are debatable”, since the Republican does not dispatch in the White House.

There are several lawsuits in the Supreme Court involving the former president, but this one – now dismissed – would have allowed certain cases in lower courts to determine whether the former president abused his role as president, to benefit his businesses.

The lawsuits that involve this decision allege that it violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution, since it accepted payments from foreign and national officials who stay in the Trump International Hotel and other businesses of the Trump Organization.

The High Court also ordered the judgments of a lower court and appellate courts in New York and Richmond, Virginia, that dismiss the claims as debatable.

Some of the plaintiffs charged that former President Trump disadvantaged hotel and restaurant owners in Washington, D.C.

To demonstrate this, they asked to review financial reports to determine how much state and foreign governments had paid the Trump Organization for their hotels and restaurants.

There are other pending cases, such as the review of the former president’s financial reports in New York.

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Tech News

Mirzapur Makers, Amazon Prime Video Face Supreme Court Notices in Plea for Ban on Series


The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notices to the makers and producers of the Web series Mirzapur and Amazon Prime Video.

A Bench headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI), Sharad Arvind Bobde, admitted the plea for banning the series and sought a response from the makers of the Web series and over the top (OTT) platform Amazon Prime Video.

The petition sought a direction that the government of India set up a core screening committee for Web series, films, or other programmes that are directly released online platforms.

“Ministry of Information and Broadcasting must make a certificate from a government authority mandatory before releasing any Web series, movies, or program on OTT platforms,” the plea said.

The PIL was filed by Sujeet Kumar Singh, a resident of Mirzapur, who said the Web series makers have shown Mirzapur as a city of goons and adulteress. A police team from Mirzapur led by an inspector took a train to Mumbai to investigate the FIR, as per a report.

The plea has made Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Excel Entertainment, and Amazon Prime Video, as parties in the case.

Recently, another controversy related to Web series Tandav has surfaced for hurting religious sentiments. An FIR has been filed against the makers of Tandav and Amazon’s India Head of Original Content, Aparna Purohit, for allegedly depicting Hindu gods in a manner hurtful to religious sentiments. The FIR against Purohit, and also show’s director Ali Abbas, producer Himanshu Krishna Mehra, writer Gaurav Solanki, and an unknown person was lodged late on Sunday night by senior Sub Inspector Amar Nath Yadav at the Hazratganj Kotwali police station in Lucknow.


Does WhatsApp’s new privacy policy spell the end for your privacy? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.



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Delhi The Buzz

Supreme Court grants bail to Kannada film actor Ragini Dwivedi in drugs racket case


New Delhi, January 21

The Supreme Court on Thursday granted bail to Kannada film actor Ragini Dwivedi in the drugs racket case.

A bench of Justices RF Nariman, Navin Sinha and KM Joseph set aside the November 3, 2020 order of the Karnataka High Court refusing to grant bail to Dwivedi and others in the case registered under various provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

Karnataka Police had arrested Dwivedi and others in the cases in September last year. PTI





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Delhi The Buzz

Traders’ body moves Supreme Court against privacy policy of WhatsApp


Satya Prakash
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 16

Amid demands for the rollback of WhatsApp’s new privacy policy, a PIL was filed in the Supreme Court on Saturday seeking protection of citizens’ right to privacy.

The petitioner, Confederation of All-India Traders (CAIT), sought a direction to the government to restrain WhatsApp and Facebook from storing and utilising the works transmitted through the messaging service for any purpose.

Demands technical audits

  • The PIL has demanded technical audits of WhatsApp and Facebook centres, so as to retrieve users’ data and delete it
  • WhatsApp should be directed to withdraw its controversial privacy policy and frame guidelines to govern its data sharing with Facebook, says the plea

It also urged the top court to direct the two companies to allow the Centre to carry out technical audits of their centres where the data of Indian users are stored, so as to retrieve and delete it.

The petitioner demanded that WhatsApp should be directed to withdraw its controversial privacy policy and frame guidelines to govern its data sharing with Facebook. Due to this updated policy, the users will now have to compulsorily share all information that WhatsApp collects, which includes information about the user’s activity on their services, like service-related, diagnostic, and performance information, it pointed out.

WhatsApp has already announced delaying by three months the implementation of its new privacy policy that has caused concern among millions of users, many of whom started to move to its rivals, such as Signal and Telegram. It was originally scheduled to come into effect on February 8.

The petitioner accused the Centre of failing to discharge its constitutional duty of protecting the privacy of citizens.

“The Centre has failed to impose necessary and restrictive conditions in the case. On the proposed policy of WhatsApp, European Union’s Antitrust Authority had imposed serious restrictions and fines of 110 million euros in 2017,” read the CAIT petition.

In 2016, Germany, England and the entire European Union had prohibited similar action of Facebook, which was also asked to delete all data relating to WhatsApp users, it said.





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Canada

Pandemic: British Supreme Court obliges insurers to compensate SMEs

The British Supreme Court ruled on Friday when the financial regulator, on behalf of many SMEs, was contesting the decision not to compensate them for forced business interruptions suffered as a result of the pandemic.

“The Supreme Court allows the appeal of the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority, editor’s note) and rejects the appeals of the insurers”, according to a statement from the highest British court.

This decision, which will have consequences for around 370,000 companies, could generate compensation of up to 1.2 billion pounds.

The FCA launched the business interruption insurance case after thousands of SMEs were denied compensation.

Some insurers claimed that the Covid-19 pandemic was not among the cases covered by their policies.

In September, a court had largely ruled in favor of the FCA in a first trial which denounced “the lack of clarity” of the policies in question.

The companies concerned are those which are out of business due to restrictions linked to the pandemic, such as shops, pubs, restaurants and the nightlife (bars, nightclubs, concert halls).

In a statement released after the Supreme Court’s ruling, the FCA said thousands of businesses will now be able to obtain compensation for losses suffered.

“We will be working with the insurers to make sure they move quickly to pay out the claims as ordered, with interim payments where possible,” said Sheldon Mills, an FCA official.

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Delhi The Buzz

Supreme Court Bar Association president Dushyant Dave resigns


New Delhi, January 14

Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Dushyant Dave resigned from his post with immediate effect on Thursday saying he has forfeited his right to continue.

Acting SCBA Secretary Rohit Panday confirmed the development that the senior advocate had resigned with immediate effect.

Dave, in his brief letter, stated that the tenure of the Executive Committee of the SCBA had already ended and it might not be possible to hold virtual elections as per schedule “due to reservations held by some lawyers”.

“Following recent events, I feel that I have forfeited my right to continue at your Leader, and so I hereby tender my Resignation from the post of the President of the SCBA with immediate effect. Our term has already come to an end,” he said in his letter.

“We sincerely decided to hold virtual election to elect a new body. Now I find it may not be possible to hold them as per the schedule declared by the Election Committee due to reservations held by some of you. I understand their position and have no quarrel with it but to me any further continuation as the President in these circumstances will be morally wrong,” the letter further read.

Dave also expressed his gratitude to all members of the SCBA.

“I must place on record my deep gratitude to each of you for being part of this EC and contributing immensely during COVID-19, perhaps the greatest challenge to mankind we will ever see in our lifetime. You have done proud to this Institution, the SCBA. It was a privilege to be with you. I wish you all lots of good luck for a better future,” Dave said in his letter. PTI





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Govt misleading country, Supreme Court on farms laws: Congress


New Delhi, January 13

The Congress on Wednesday accused the government of misleading the country and the Supreme Court by claiming that pre-legislative consultations were held prior to the passage of the three farm laws and claimed this amounted to contempt of court.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi at a press conference alleged that the government changed its stand from “having no information” on pre-legislative consultations to suddenly claiming the laws were a result of two decades of deliberations.

He said while the government has now claimed two-decades of consultations, in response to an RTI on the issue on December 22, 2020, it was stated that “this CPIO does not hold any record in this matter”.

“This is a serious example of the Central government misleading the apex court and misrepresenting the people of India. The passage of legislations is an act of deception and defrauding,” he alleged.

“It is thus clear that there are serious attempts at prevarication, distortion, misrepresentation and misleading the nation, the apex court and all relevant stakeholders, apart from indulging in blatantly contumacious conduct. Not even perfunctory, much less any meaningful pre legislative consultation was attempted, much less done by the Modi government,” he also alleged.

Singhvi said the government has stated in its affidavit in the Supreme Court that the laws were made after 20 long years of deliberations with the states, whereas there were no consultations and the laws “were rammed through in Parliament”.

The Centre said it is filing this affidavit “to remove deliberate wrong perception created by non-farmer elements present at the protest site and using media and social media and to apprise this Court with true facts”.

As part of the consultation process, the Centre cited in its affidavit the Guru Committee in 2000, the Model Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act in 2003, the Empowered Committee of some state ministers in 2013, the Working Group on agricultural production in 2010 and another Model law in 2017.

“However, these evil laws were rammed down the throat of Parliament and all discussion, analysis and interaction was guillotined in the temple of democracy,” Singhvi alleged.

He said it is thus clear that the government has attempted to “fool” all the people of India all the time by practising “falsehoods on stilts” and it has not even spared the court.

“Can discussions held 20 years ago by some committee qualify as pre legislative consultation for laws passed in 2020,” he asked.

“Aware of their legislative incompetence in the matter, past governments have sufficed to draft model laws leaving the choice to states. These model laws are way different from the black farm laws rammed down Parliament’s throat last September,” Singhvi said. — PTI





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Son of Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge who was seen in fur pelts at Capitol riot arrested in New York

The son of a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge was released on a $100,000 bond after having been arrested by the FBI on four federal charges in connection with the riot at the US Capitol last week.

FBI agents arrested Aaron Mostofsky, 34, who is the son of Judge Shlomo Mostofsky, in New York Tuesday morning. He faces up to 10 years behind bars.

The younger Mostofsky, who dubbed himself a ‘caveman’, has been hit with multiple charges, including theft of government property for allegedly stealing a police riot shield and bulletproof vest, unlawful entry and disorderly conduct, knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and knowingly, with intent to impede government business or official functions, engaging in disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. 

Mostofsky made a virtual appearance before US Magistrate Judge Sanket Bulsara at 3pm on Tuesday. 

Bulsara, who called the charges ‘quite grave’, approved Mostofsky’s release on a $100,000 bond along with other restrictions that include GPS monitoring. The bond was to be secured by real estate. 

The judge ordered him upon his release to reside with his brother, Nachman Mostofsky.

FBI agents arrested Aaron Mostofsky (right), who is the son of Judge Shlomo Mostofsky, in New York Tuesday morning

Video of Mostofsky's arrest showed agents walking out of a home carrying the fur pelts that he wore while inside the Capitol on Wednesday

Video of Mostofsky’s arrest showed agents walking out of a home carrying the fur pelts that he wore while inside the Capitol on Wednesday

Authorities were also seen carrying the wooden walking stick Mostofsky was seen holding at the time

Authorities were also seen carrying the wooden walking stick Mostofsky was seen holding at the time

The government, which is being represented by Josh Hafetz, Assistant US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, asked for the travel restrictions to ensure Mostofsky doesn’t flee the jurisdiction or participate in any other political protests, especially ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week. 

Hafetz told the judge: ‘It is important that Mr Mostofsky not engage in the behavior that he engaged in last week.’

Mostofsky’s travel has been limited to New York City. If he needs to travel outside the jurisdiction, he will need to acquire permission. He was also told to surrender his passport and he will be under a curfew. 

He was also ordered not to have contact with co-defendants or co-conspirators involved in the riot on the Capitol. 

His attorney, Jeffrey Schwartz, told the court: ‘I believe evidence will show that he was not part of the mob, he was not rampaging, he got caught up in it.’

‘He will stay far away from Washington, any political rallies, he will have nothing to do with any of that stuff,’ Schwartz added. 

Mostofsky, shown in a court sketch, appeared virtually before US Magistrate Judge Sanket Bulsara on Tuesday

Mostofsky, shown in a court sketch, appeared virtually before US Magistrate Judge Sanket Bulsara on Tuesday

Shown crying in court, Mostofsky was ordered released on $100,000 bond along with other restrictions that include GPS monitoring. Mostofsky also must surrender his passport

Shown crying in court, Mostofsky was ordered released on $100,000 bond along with other restrictions that include GPS monitoring. Mostofsky also must surrender his passport

Magistrate Judge Sanket J. Bulsara, seen in a court sketch, called the multiple charges that Mostofsky faces 'quite grave'

Magistrate Judge Sanket J. Bulsara, seen in a court sketch, called the multiple charges that Mostofsky faces ‘quite grave’

‘He understands how the thing in Washington got out of hand… I can ensure the court that his only interests now is to address the charges against him.’

If convicted on the theft of government property charge, Mostofsky faces a maximum of 10 years in prison. 

Mostofsky was later seen leaving the courthouse clad in a windbreaker and Star Wars pajama pants.

Mostofsky leaves Brooklyn federal court wearing a windbreaker and Star Wars pajama pants

Mostofsky leaves Brooklyn federal court wearing a windbreaker and Star Wars pajama pants

He was ordered to reside with his brother, Nachman Mostofsky, upon release

He was ordered to reside with his brother, Nachman Mostofsky, upon release

Mostofsky's lawyer promised the judge he will 'have nothing to do with' any political rallies upon being released on bond

Mostofsky’s lawyer promised the judge he will ‘have nothing to do with’ any political rallies upon being released on bond

Mostofsky’s arrest comes nearly a week after he was pictured walking down the stairs outside the Senate Chamber dressed in fur pelts and a bullet proof vest and carrying a wooden walking stick.   

Video of Mostofsky’s arrest showed agents walking out of his brother’s home carrying the fur pelts that Mostofsky wore while inside the Capitol on Wednesday. 

Authorities were also seen carrying the wooden walking stick Mostofsky was seen holding at the time.  

Mostofsky was seen walking just ahead of a man carrying the confederate flag during the riot. He told the New York Post at the time: ‘The election was stolen.’  

His brother, Nachman Mostofsky, who also attended the rally but claimed he did not enter the Capitol building said his brother ‘did nothing illegal’ and ‘was pushed inside’. 

Other images of Aaron Mostofsky showed him holding a police shield that he claimed he found on the floor. 

A spokesman for Shlomo Mostofsky, told the New York Post: ‘Justice Mostofsky has no knowledge of these unfortunate events.’

Court documents released on Tuesday revealed that investigators received a search warrant for Aaron Mostofsky’s Instagram account, where officials say he ‘confirms’ that he is the person seen wearing and holding property of the Capitol Police. 

In one exchange on Instagram, a user send a photo showing Mostofsky in the Capitol and says: ‘Your famous.’

According to court documents, Mostofsky says in response: ‘IK unfortunately.’

During the conversation, Mostofsky also describes his presence in the Capitol, authorities said. 

Authorities said when Mostofsky (pictured) tried to coordinate meeting up with a friend, he told him: 'If we find each other look for a guy looking like a caveman'

Authorities said when Mostofsky (pictured) tried to coordinate meeting up with a friend, he told him: ‘If we find each other look for a guy looking like a caveman’

‘But it was like I’m here now how did I get there,’ the complaint reads. Officials said he also talked about being on a bus to Washington, DC, just after 6am on January 6. 

Authorities said he then tried to coordinate meeting up with a friend, saying: ‘If we find each other look for a guy looking like a caveman.’ 

‘He later states, in a likely reference to the presidential election: “Even a caveman knows it was stolen”,’ the complaint alleges.  

During the riot, protesters attacked police with pipes, sprayed irritants and even planted live bombs found in the area.  

The younger Mostofsky has been hit with multiple charges, including theft of government property for allegedly stealing a police riot shield and bulletproof vest

He is expected to appear in Brooklyn federal court on the charges Tuesday afternoon

The younger Mostofsky has been hit with multiple charges, including theft of government property for allegedly stealing a police riot shield and bulletproof vest

Mostofsky was photographed sitting inside the Capitol building during the riot on Wednesday

Mostofsky was photographed sitting inside the Capitol building during the riot on Wednesday

His arrest comes nearly a week after he was pictured walking down the stairs outside the Senate Chamber dressed in fur pelts and a bullet proof vest and carrying a wooden walking stick

His arrest comes nearly a week after he was pictured walking down the stairs outside the Senate Chamber dressed in fur pelts and a bullet proof vest and carrying a wooden walking stick 

Mostofsky, 34, who is the son of Judge Shlomo Mostofsky (pictured), was released on $100,000 bond on Tuesday afternoon

Mostofsky, 34, who is the son of Judge Shlomo Mostofsky (pictured), was released on $100,000 bond on Tuesday afternoon 

The FBI has continued its search for those who violently and illegally entered the Capitol. 

So far, at least 82 people have been arrested and more than 55 have been charged over the insurrection. Hundreds more are being hunted by the authorities but are yet to be found, including 25 people who are being investigated on terrorism charges.

The acting US attorney for the District of Columbia, Michael Sherwin has called the scope of the multi-agency hunt for the rioters ‘unprecedented’.

He has also fumed at Capitol Police for letting so many of them get away, saying it now makes the task of tracking them down more difficult.

He told NPR that staffers are now working round-the-clock to try to identify the criminals from photos and videos taken on the day. 

‘I don’t want this tyranny of labels saying this was sedition, this was a coup. But what I will say is, it was criminal,’ he said. 

There is no running list of all those charged because the investigation into what happened is being handled by multiple authorities; the DC Metropolitan Police, Capitol Police and the FBI are all running probes, along with prosecutors from the Justice Department.

Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died on Thursday after he was struck in the head by a fire extinguisher.  

A second member of the Capitol Police, Howard Liebengood, was on duty on Wednesday and died by suicide on Saturday. 

Four rioters also died – one woman was shot by Capitol Police, and three others died during medical emergencies. 

One of those was apparently trampled in the melee.

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The Buzz

Supreme Court upholds NGT ruling, orders illegal hotel on Mcleodganj’s forest to be torn down within the month


Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service
Dharamsala, January 12

 The Supreme Court has upheld the National Green Tribunal’s 2016 ruling ordering the demolition of a hotel built for Himachal Pradesh Bus Stand Management and Development Authority on forest land.

A Bench of DY Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee said allowing the structure, a hotel and restaurant that a private entrepreneur built for Himachal Pradesh Bus Stand Management and Development Authority, to stand on forest land would be legalising the illegal.

The structure was built on the basis of Build Operate and Transfer (BOT).

Himachal Pradesh Bus Stand Management and Development Authority has two weeks to begin the demolition and a month to complete it. The chief conservator of forest can step in if there’s any default, demolish the structure, and recover costs from the bus stand authority.

The court has also upheld the NGT’s original order that the bus stand authority could continue to use the land as parking space and as part of the bus stand complex, but for no other purpose, and that the authority must strictly adhere to the Environment and Forests Ministry’s March 1, 2001, orders.

In 2016, the NGT’s ordered Rs 15 lakh in damages for the illegal structure—the private contractor who built the structure was asked to pay Rs 10 lakh and the Himachal

Government, specifically its tourism department, had to be the remaining Rs 5 lakh.

The Himachal Pradesh Bus Stand Management Authority had appealed the order in Supreme Court.

 





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Clarence Thomas, Justice of the Supreme, in trouble for support of his wife to supporters of Trump | The State

Clarence Thomas, Justice of the Supreme.

Photo:
Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images

Donald Trump supporters’ assault on Capitol Hill has one of the most conservative justices on the US Supreme Court in trouble.

Ginni thomas, wife of Judge Clarence Thomas, the only African-American in the Supreme Court, posted on Facebook messages of support for the people who gathered in Washington on January 6.

Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Justice Clarence Thomas.
Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Justice Clarence Thomas. Getty Images

I love MAGA peopleGinni Thomas wrote on her profile. “God bless you go out to defend or pray.”

The messages were written before the outgoing president gave a speech to the crowd and the mob stormed the building that houses the nation’s Congress. The posts were later deleted and the magistrate’s wife has not posted anything since.

Background

Ginni Thomas’ messages on January 6 are not the first to show her sympathy for Trump. According to Slate, women often publish conspiracy theories about a coup against Trump financed by magnate George Soros.

The magistrate’s wife has also reproduced false information about the role of Bill gates, founder of Microsoft, on the coronavirus vaccine. According to the New York Times, Ginni Thomas made lists of federal officials who were not loyal enough to Trump. It has also condemned to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Personalities in social networks have requested the resignation of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme for open support for Trump and his supporters.

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