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GS 2 Hearings on Ayodhya title suit to resume, decides SC A three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court, in a majority opinion of 3:1 on Thursday, declined to refer the question if a “mosque as a place of prayer is an essential part of Islam” in the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid appeals to a seven-judge Bench. Adultery is not a crime, rules SC; strikes it off IPC A five-judge Constitution Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, in four separate but concurring opinions on Thursday held that adultery is not a crime and struck it off the Indian Penal Code. Finding an equilibrium The right to privacy was won in K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India (2017), but that nine-judge Bench had left open the question of Aadhaar: whether the “national security” perspective (the vital role of surveillance to curb terror and prevent money laundering and crime financing) and “social welfare state” perspective (Aadhaar ensured that subsidies went to the right people) provided constitutional grounds for “reasonable restrictions” (reasonable because non-arbitrary). A fraught timeline The stage is set for a final hearing on the title suit to the disputed site in Ayodhya Should the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi case be released? Our prison system must ultimately stay loyal to the theory of reformative justice Oil-slicked debt trap Venezuelan President Maduro must first restore confidence in democratic institutions and the rule of law Uzbek President to invite India to join Afghan rail project The rail link of approximately 650 km, connecting the Afghan cities of Mazaar-e-Sharif and Herat, which may later be extended to Kabul, is a major project agreed to by President Ashraf Ghani and President Mirziyoyev last year, and many of the preliminary surveys for the project have already been completed. GS 3 Railways to roll out smart coaches The Indian Railways are set to launch their ‘Make in India’ smart coaches with new features like black box and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered CCTVs, matching international standards. ‘MDR reimbursement pending from banks’ The Payments Council of India (PCI) has said that payment service providers and merchant aggregators are yet to received reimbursement for merchant discount rates from banks even after nine months.