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India's Supreme Court on Saturday ruled in favor of a Hindu temple on a disputed religious ground in the country's north and ordered that alternative land be given to Muslims to build a mosque ? a verdict in a highly contentious case that was immediately deplored by a key Muslim body.

The dispute over land ownership has been one of India's most heated issues, with Hindu nationalists demanding a temple on the site in the town of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh state for more than a century. The 16th century Babri Masjid mosque was destroyed by Hindu hard-liners in December 1992, sparking massive Hindu-Muslim violence that left some 2,000 people dead.

Saturday's verdict paves the way for building the temple in place of the demolished mosque. As the news broke, groups of jubilant Hindus poured into Ayodhya's streets and distributed sweets to celebrate the verdict, but police soon persuaded them to return to their homes. As night fell, a large number of Hindus in the town lit candles, lamps and firecrackers to celebrate, and police faced a tougher time in curbing their enthusiasm.

The five Supreme Court justices who heard the case said in a unanimous judgment that 5 acres (2 hectares) of land will be allotted to the Muslim community to build a mosque, though it did not specify where. The court said the 5 acres is "restitution for the unlawful destruction of the mosque."

The disputed land, meanwhile, will be given to a board of trustees for the construction of a temple to the Hindu god Ram.



The International Criminal Court passed its highest ever sentence Thursday, sending a Congolese warlord known as “The Terminator” to prison for 30 years for crimes including murder, rape and sexual slavery.

Bosco Ntaganda was found guilty in July of 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role as a military commander in atrocities during a bloody ethnic conflict in a mineral-rich region of Congo in 2002-2003.

Ntaganda showed no emotion as Presiding Judge Robert Fremr passed sentences ranging from eight years to 30 years for individual crimes and an overarching sentence of 30 years.

The court’s maximum sentence is 30 years, although judges also have the discretion to impose a life sentence. Lawyers representing victims in the case had called for a life term.

Fremr said despite the gravity of the crimes and Ntaganda’s culpability, his convictions “do not warrant a sentence of life imprisonment.”

Ida Sawyer, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Africa division, welcomed the ruling.



The International Criminal Court passed its highest ever sentence Thursday, sending a Congolese warlord known as "The Terminator" to prison for 30 years for crimes including murder, rape and sexual slavery.

Bosco Ntaganda was found guilty in July of 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role as a military commander in atrocities during a bloody ethnic conflict in a mineral-rich region of Congo in 2002-2003.

Ntaganda showed no emotion as Presiding Judge Robert Fremr passed sentences ranging from eight years to 30 years for individual crimes and an overarching sentence of 30 years.

The court's maximum sentence is 30 years, although judges also have the discretion to impose a life sentence. Lawyers representing victims in the case had called for a life term.

Fremr said despite the gravity of the crimes and Ntaganda's culpability, his convictions "do not warrant a sentence of life imprisonment."

Ida Sawyer, deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Africa division, welcomed the ruling.  "Bosco Ntaganda's 30-year sentence sends a strong message that even people considered untouchable may one day be held to account," Sawyer said.

Jolino Makelele, a spokesman for the government in Democratic Republic of Congo, or DRC, said: "We think that justice was done for the victims."

Ntaganda, who has insisted he is innocent, became a symbol of widespread impunity in Africa in the seven-odd years between first being indicted by the global court and finally turning himself in in 2013 as his powerbase fell apart.




Georgia's highest court on Thursday affirmed a lower court dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the outcome of last year's race for lieutenant governor in a case that put a spotlight on the outdated voting machines the state is in the process of replacing.

The lawsuit alleged that an undercount of tens of thousands of votes in the lieutenant governor's race was likely caused by problems with the state's paperless touchscreen voting machines that either caused voters not to vote in that race or those votes to go uncounted.

That assertion is "wholly unsupported" by the record in the case, so the trial court wasn't wrong to conclude that the plaintiffs "failed to meet their burden of showing an irregularity in Georgia's electronic voting system sufficient to cast doubt on the 2018 election," Georgia Supreme Court Justice Sarah Warren wrote in the unanimous opinion.

Republican Geoff Duncan beat Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico by 123,172 votes to become lieutenant governor. Amico is not a party to the lawsuit, which was filed in November by the Coalition for Good Governance, an election integrity advocacy organization; Smythe Duval, who ran for secretary of state as a Libertarian; and two Georgia voters. It was filed against Duncan and election officials.

Senior Superior Court Judge Adele Grubbs dismissed the lawsuit in January. In their appeal to the high court, the plaintiffs argued that Grubbs erred by not allowing discovery prior to trial.





An appeals court in New York says the former lawyer of a notorious pharmaceutical executive was properly convicted in a financial fraud case.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected Evan Greebel's challenge to his December 2017 conviction at a Brooklyn trial.

Prosecutors say Greebel helped Shkreli (SHKREL'-ee) steal millions of dollars when he was chief executive of biopharmaceutical company Retrophin.

Greebel's lawyer declined to comment. Greebel was the company's outside counsel from 2011 to 2014.

Shkreli was dubbed Pharma Bro and is perhaps best known for boosting the price of a life-saving drug and trolling his critics on social media.

He was convicted in 2017 of fraud for looting Retrophin of $11 million to pay back investors in failed hedge funds he operated. Shkreli is serving a seven-year prison sentence.



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