Indian media: Ruling to 'clean up' politics

Indian parliament
Image caption Newspapers feel the court's ruling will clean-up Indian politics

Media in India feel Wednesday's court order disqualifying lawmakers convicted of serious crimes will "clean up" politics in the country.

Federal and state assembly members would be barred from elections and removed from office if found guilty of offences carrying a jail term of at least two years, the Supreme Court said in a ruling on Wednesday.

The Asian Age says the "hugely significant" ruling "could cleanse Indian politics of legislators with criminal antecedents".

The judgement has "the potential to cleanse parliament and assemblies of criminals in a big way", says The Tribune.

The Indian Express feels the court's ruling is "a big leap towards cleaning up Indian politics".

Newspapers, including Hindi daily Jansatta and The Hindu, are also welcoming the court's criticism of the federal government over its failure to formulate a sales policy to reduce acid attacks on women.

"Horrific instances of acid violence against women have failed to stir the government to act on the one single factor that is aiding the perpetrators - the easy availability of the chemical, at throwaway prices," says The Hindu.

Meanwhile, China has denied any incursion by its troops into the disputed territory near the two countries' de facto border in the Ladakh region.

"Chinese defence forces have been patrolling along the Chinese side of the LAC (Line of Actual Control) of the China-India border. The general situation in the border areas is stable," the CNN-IBN website quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying as saying.

Reports in the Indian media on Wednesday suggested Chinese soldiers allegedly crossed into the disputed territory on 17 June and took away an Indian surveillance camera after dismantling it.

Moving on to some business news, top jewellery retailers and bullion traders across the country have decided to suspend sales of gold coins and bars for six months in what is seen as "an unprecedented move" to support the government's efforts in reducing the current account deficit.

"If the sale of coins and bars is stopped, it will restrict imports significantly," industry expert Ashok Minawala told The Times of India.

Meanwhile, the annual Ratha Yatra Festival (chariot festival) has begun in the coastal town of Puri in eastern Orissa state amid tight security, the paper reports.

The festival attracts pilgrims and tourists from all over the world because of its colour and enthusiasm, reports say.

Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims, has also started in India and shops are busy stocking food items people use to break their fast in the evenings, The Hindu reports.

In sports, Olympian Maharaj Krishan Kaushik has been appointed as India's interim coach of the hockey team after his predecessor Michael Nobbs was sacked on Tuesday due to a string of bad performances in international tournaments, The Indian Express reports.

Nobbs, however, insists that he was not sacked, but quit due to his deteriorating health, the paper adds.

Elsewhere, a new sports bill has been drafted to bring India's sports federations under the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) law, which allows Indians to access information held by the government, the Hindustan Times reports.

The sports ministry's proposed bill is likely to make sports bodies like The Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India answerable to the public.

The BCCI is registered in India as a private body and has been resisting attempts to bring it under the RTI.

And finally, 12-year-old girl Rosy Ara showed "exemplary courage" to save five children from drowning in a pond in Katihar district of the eastern state of Bihar, the Mail Today reports.

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