Kingfisher Owner, Vijay Mallya’s Extradition Trial to be Held in UK Today

Business tycoon, Vijay Mallya is set to return to Westminster Magistrates’ Court, London today as his trial is set in motion. The liquor baron was granted bail for a hefty sum of 650,000 pounds soon after his arrest by Scotland Yard over fraudulent affairs and money laundering charges earlier this year. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) set off for the Westminster Court where the trial will unfold. India’s pressing case to bring back the defamed businessman, after he fled India in March 2016 due to his inoperative Kingfisher Airlines owing the Indian banks over Rs. 9,000 crore, will be handled by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) of the British Government.

According to PTI, CBI sources confirmed that a team headed by Special Director Rakesh Asthana has left for London and will be attending the trial. During Mallya’s numerous appearances at the London Court over the last few months, he explicitly stated that he had done nothing wrong and presumed the allegations against him to be purely “fabricated”.  New18 stated that the trial will be headed by Chief Magistrate Emma Louise Arbuthnot who mentioned her concerns about prison conditions that were “raised in extraditions to India before”. The trial hearings are slotted for hearings until December 14, with December 6 and 8 being marked as non-sitting days so far. The judgment in his compelling case, however, is not expected until early 2018.

Times Now reported that the judge, if in favor of extradition, the UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd must ensure and instruct the eviction within a period of two months. Nevertheless, extradition might be issued only after a series of court appeals. Mallya, however, responded with a resounding “No” when asked in court if he agreed to be extradited to India based on allegations relating to Kingfisher Airlines.

Sources: News18, Times Now

Bomb Explosion in London Underground Train Confirmed as an Act of Terrorism

On Friday morning, a crudely made bomb exploded on a London Underground train at 8 20 am. The device explosion injured twenty nine commuters. The people were immediately rushed to hospitals for their burn injuries and have been discharged now. A police investigation has begun for the person who detonated the bomb, and evacuation of the station has been completed.

The blast occurred at Parsons Green on a District Line underground train from Wimbledon. Scotland Yard has determined that the incident was of terrorism. A huge number of detectives and MI5 have been deployed to hunt down the person who initiated the act. The bomb had been made in an improvised manner and placed inside a white bucket reportedly with a timer. The bomb was said to not have exploded in the intended manner, which otherwise would have killed all commuters around it and grievously injured all present on the train.
Britain Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the attack heavily and released a statement saying the UK’s terror threat levels would be reviewed again. Scarily, this is already the fifth incident of terrorism happening in the UK this year, and the only one in which all survived. Expert handlers will be looking at the remains of the device which is now in the hands of the police.
News Sources- The New York Times, BBC

Brexit Bill Passed in the British Parliament with the Commons Vote having the Majority

The British parliament has voted for the second time to sever ties with the European Union. This decision was taken after several hours of debates and speeches. The MPs voted 326 to 290 with the Commons  in favour of the EU withdrawal bill. This is seen as the first hurdle of the Brexit process.

This decision was made amidst a lot of resistance from the opposition. The oppositions consisted of seven Labour MPs who are Ronnie Campbell, Frank Field, Kate Hoey, Kelvin Hopkins, Dennis Skinner and Graham Stringer. There were no Conservatives who opposed the passing of the bill.

The bill for the United Kingdom to be part of the European Union was passed in 1972. All the existing EU laws will become UK laws to ensure a smooth legislation on Brexit day. The bill proposes use of the ‘Henry VIII powers’ which allow the ministers to change legislations without the parliamentarian scrutiny.

According to BBC, Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer said, “Labour will seek to amend and remove the worst aspects from the bill but the flaws are so fundamental it’s hard to see how this could ever be made fit for purpose.”

The main reason for the Labour Patry’s opposition of the bill was that they felt that the power which will be given to the government will lead to a ‘dangeorus spiral of autocracy’ according to Labour lawmaker, Chris Bryant.

 

Sources: NDTV, BBC

Theresa May offers to allow EU citizens to stay in UK post Brexit

UK Prime Minister Theresa May offered European Union citizens to stay in UK after Brexit. At an EU leader’s summit dinner in Brussels, May made an offer over the future rights of EU citizens living in Britain.

She proposed that people residing in Britain for five years or more would be granted UK’s ‘settled status’, giving them a chance to get the same rights to education, pensions, healthcare and welfare as British citizens.

EU citizens living in UK for less than five years would be granted the ‘settled status’ after they complete the five-year mark.

“The UK’s position represents a fair and serious offer, and one aimed at giving as much certainty as possible to citizens who have settled in the UK, building careers and lives and contributing so much to our society”, The Guardian quoted May as saying.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel described May’s move as a “good start” but other problems regarding Britain’s exit needed to be addressed.

Theresa May’s proposals came under attack from other European Union leaders warning it could worsen their situation. Donald Tusk, the EU council’s president told Independent, “The UK’s offer is below our expectations and risks worsening the situation of our citizens”.

 

Sources: The Guardian, Independent.uk.net

Image source: Reuters

UK all set to welcome Baby Brexit

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, in her speech today, spoke about policies and new laws designed to prepare UK for its departure from the European Union.
 
The speech mentions the eight bills related to Brexit and its connotation for key industries. It also addressed key issues and incidents in the UK such as the terror strikes on Manchester and London and the last week’s Grenfell Tower fire. 
 
Many manifesto plans of the Conservatives are either being axed or delayed or watered down to the least. The manifesto is said to be the main reason for the loss of party’s majority in the parliament, reported CNN
 
In her speech, the Queen mentioned that the Great Repeal Bill is to be introduced to convert all laws of the European Union into laws for the UK which include measures on trade, agriculture, nuclear safety, immigration, fisheries and sanctions. This enables the UK to decide which laws to retain and which ones to scrap. 
 
With Brexit, now Britain will also try striking new deals with other nations that they were unable to negotiate with while being a part of the European Union. 
 
Immigration took center stage as an issue in the campaign to leave the European Union. According to BBC, “A bill will legislate for the end of free movement from the European Union and make the status of the European Union nationals and family members subject to the UK Laws.”
 
On the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London, existing laws to counter terrorism have been revised to ensure that the police and other security services have all the equipment and power and the length of custodial sentence for such offenses to keep the population safe. 
 
The Queen was accompanied by her son Prince Charles as  Prince Philip was unable to make a presence as he was hospitalised for a certain infection. 
News sources- CNN, BBC

Britain’s Supreme court backs minimum income rule to bring Non-European spouses to UK.

Theresa May’s extremely harsh rule stating £18,600 of a minimum income for UK citizens to bring non-European spouses into Britain was approved by the Supreme court on Wednesday.

In light of this decision, the government faced flak from all quarters on the grounds that the minimum requirement is extremely high and families may be forced to leave behind spouses.

The ruling also comes as a blow to campaigners who ascertain that this rule would mean that British families have either two choices- live together or live in exile. They have also pointed out the current scenario where up to 15,000 British children have in actuality grown up as “Skype kids” to keep in contact with one of their parents since the rule was introduced.

The £18,600 minimum income threshold for British citizens to bring non-European spouses was introduced by Theresa May when she was home secretary in 2012. This was done as a part of her campaign to cut to size the net migration to below 100,000.

However, the ruling doesn’t deny its deficiency and condemns the lack of focus on the treatment of children and the ability of Home Office staff to take into account the alternative assets when they evaluate the earning capacity of the spouse in Britain.

“This is central to building an immigration system that works in the national interest,” a spokesperson for the Home Office said.

Sources: The Guardian, Politico.eu

Image Source: Fiona Hanson/PA

Brexit vote leads to surge in hate crime by 42%

Ever since England voted out of the European Union on June 23, the country has witnessed an unprecedented rise in hate crimes and racial attacks on ethnic minorities and immigrant families. A staggering 289 incidents were reported on June 25 alone, a day after the results were announced.

According to The National Police Chief’s Council, a total of 3,076 incidents were reported between June 16 and June 30, as compared to 915 cases during the same period in 2015. The 42% increase in such crimes has become a cause of concern for the government and its people. The majority of offences are related to physical assault, racial slur and other violence committed against immigrant communities.

A Polish community centre, in Hammersmith, West London, was covered in racial graffiti and placards reading “Leave the EU- no more Polish vermin” were hung in Huntingdon, directed towards the Polish community. The Polish embassy expressed its concern saying that it was “deeply shocked and concerned” at the brazen incidents of abuse towards the Poles and other Eastern Europeans living in England.

Newly elected London Mayor Sadiq Khan has condemned these acts, calling upon Londoners to remain united against racism. He said he took seriously his “responsibility to defend London’s fantastic mix of diversity and tolerance.”

Khan has ordered the city’s police force to be extra vigilant in the wake of such incidents and has urged citizens to come forward and report any such hate crime that they might witness on public transport or otherwise.

Read more at: NDTV, Independent