CMYK THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 25 MARCH 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR GANDHI AND POLITICS NETANYAHU FALLS SHORT OF MAJORITY AMID VOTE COUNT P9 WEATHER Hot and discomfort weather. Maximum and minimum temperatures to be around 37 °C and 26 °C respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 88 % TEMPERATURE P6 Max: 37.2 °C (+3) Min: 26.6 °C (+3) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:37 hrs 17:49 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 13:25 hrs 02:21 hrs Full moon on 29 March THUMBNAILS Gardeners check flowers, a day before the opening of the Tulip garden, in Srinagar, on Wednesday. AGENCIES Vexed Delhi Bill clears RS hurdle: After two back-to-back adjournments as Opposition members trooped in the well of the House raising slogans, Rajya Sabha passed the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 while the Congress staged a walkout. Lok Sabha had passed the Bill on March 22nd. The Bill seeks to make it clear that the “government” in Delhi means the “Lieutenant Governor” and mandatory for the Delhi government to take the opinion of the L-G before any executive action Bengal security advisor removed: Three days prior to Assembly elections, the West Bengal government on Wednesday removed state security advisor Surajit Kar Purkayastha, a retired IPS officer. He was appointed as the state security advisor in 2018. The move comes on a day when tension erupted after BJP leader's body was found hanging in Dinhata with the party workers blaming TMC for murdering the worker. Stop mass gatherings: Centre to states, UTs The Supreme Court on Wednesday said there was no doubt that the issues raised by former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh in his plea against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh were “quite serious”, but asked him to approach the Bombay High Court with his grievances. The court allowed Singh to withdraw his plea seeking direction for an “impartial and fair” CBI probe into alleged corrupt practices of Deshmukh. A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and R S Reddy granted liberty to Singh to approach the Bombay High Court with his grievances. There is no doubt that the matter is quite serious, the bench observed. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Singh, NEW DELHI, 24 MARCH mid a spike in Covid-19 infections in some parts of the country, the Centre onWednesday asked states and union territories to consider imposing local restrictions in public observance of the upcoming festivals and limit or do away with mass gatherings for effective control of the pandemic. Additional Secretary in the Health Ministry Arti Ahuja, in a letter to state chief secretaries and union territory administrators, stated that the battle against Covid is at a critical juncture with rising number of cases and deaths being reported from many parts in the recent past. “...in view of upcoming festivals such as Holi, Shabe-Barat, Bihu, Easter and Eid-ul-Fitr, etc., it is strongly advised that states may consider imposing local restrictions in public observance of these festivals and limit/do away with mass gatherings in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 22 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005,” the letter read. Ahuja asked states to refer to the order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on March 23 for effective control of Covid-19, and also attached the order issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority for reference. “Any laxity at this point in ensuring strict adherence to various SOPs issued by A 1,17,34,058 BENGALURU, 24 MARCH Karnataka health minister, K Sudhakar called for a monogamy test for all the state legislators to check how sincere they were to their spouses, thus creating a stir. He said an appropriate probe would help expose their private lives and illicit affairs. His demand did not go down well with most of the legislators, including some from his own party. One of his party colleagues said the minister should immediately withdraw his statement. It would have been appropriate if he had taken specific names instead of generalising, he added. Modi sounds ‘real parivartan’ bugle in Contai, attacks Didi said they would file a petition in the high court today itself and the apex court can say that the high court should take it up on Thursday. At the outset, the bench told Rohatgi that there are two preliminary questions, one is why Article 32 petition has been filed in the top court and the petitioner has not approached the high court under Article 226, and why Singh has not impleaded the state home minister as a party in his plea. Rohatgi said that he will implead Deshmukh as a party in the matter and the application in this regard is ready. The bench said the court is of the view that the petitioner should approach the high court and if he wants investigation by an independent agency, the high court can deal with this. Rohatgi submitted that there was evidence in the form of CCTV footage, which The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday said that about 88 per cent of all Covid-19 deaths in the country are in the age group of 45 years and above, making them the most vulnerable section that needs to be protected The case fatality rate in this age group is 2.85 per cent, States having a larger pool of susceptible population are prone to witness rise in cases RAJESH BHUSHAN UNION HEALTH SECRETARY the Ministry of Health to contain the spread of Covid may result in losing the impetus and benefits that our country has gained so far in managing the virus. Strict adherence to Covidappropriate behaviour in public places and gathering is the key to break the chain of transmission and reduce the incidence of cases in the country,” the letter stated. Meanwhile, India on Wednesday recorded 47,262 fresh coronavirus cases in a day, the highest single-day rise so far this year, taking the nationwide Covid-19 tally to 1,17,34,058. The active caseload registered an increased for the 14th day in row and was recorded at 3,68,457, comprising 3.14 per cent of the total infections, while the was in the possession of ATS and that has not been handed over to the NIA. NIA is probing the case related to the February 25 incident in which a car with explosives was found outside the house of India's richest man Mukesh Ambani leading to a bomb scare. “In view of the aforesaid, the petitioner seeks to withdraw the petition with liberty to approach the High Court,” the bench said while grating liberty to Singh to approach the high court. On Rohatgi's submission that the high court be asked to take up Singh's plea on Thursday, the bench said the petitioner can make this request before the high court. Singh has also sought quashing of the order transferring him from the post of Mumbai's Commissioner of Police alleging it was arbitrary and illegal. CONTROVERSIAL The health minister was responding to Opposition Congress’ demand for his resignation, along with that of his five colleagues, after they had approached the court for an injunction against any defamatory publication or broadcast against them The plea came after a sex tape, allegedly involving their former colleague and water resources minister, Ramesh Jarkiholli, was released The health minister was responding to Opposition Congress’ demand for his resignation, along with that of his five colleagues, after they had Double trouble: New mutant Covid variant creates concern NEW DELHI, 24 MARCH recovery rate further dropped to 95.49 per cent, Union Health ministry data updated at 8 a.m. said. The daily rise in infections was the highest recorded in 132 days, while the country's death toll increased to 1,60,441, with 275 new fatalities, the highest in around 83 days. As many as 47,905 new infections were recorded in a span of 24 hours on November 12 last year, it said. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,12,05,160, while the case fatality rate stands at 1.37 per cent, the data stated. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, 23,64,38,861 samples have been tested till March 23, with 10,25,628 SC dismisses complaint of Andhra CM against judge 3,68,457 47,262 23,907 1,60,441 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. WED 24 MARCH 2021 samples tested on Tuesday. Out of the 275 new fatalities, 132 deaths were reported from Maharashtra, 53 from Punjab,20fromChhattisgarh and 10 from Kerala. A total of 1,60,441deaths have been reported so far. Bengal logs 462 cases: West Bengal today registered 462 fresh cases, which is the highest single-day cases this year, and 2 deaths due to infection. The total Covid case count is 5,81,865 and death toll is 10,312 till now while there are 3,782 active cases. Kolkata recorded 156 cases and 1 death in the last 24 hours. approached the court for an injunction against any defamatory publication or broadcast against them. The plea came after a sex A new “double mutant variant” of SARS-CoV2 has been detected in India in addition to the several “variants of concern” that have already been found in at least 18 states, the Union Health Ministry said. Some of these “variants of concern” had earlier been detected abroad. The ministry, however, said it could not be sufficiently established yet if these variants were behind the recent spike in Covid19 cases in some states. It said genome sequencing by Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG) has identified variants of concerns (VOCs) in several states and a new double mutant variant. Genomic sequencing and epidemiological studies are continuing to further analyse the situation. The Ministry of Health had established on December 25 INSACOG, a grouping of 10 national laboratories for carrying out genomic sequencing and analysis of circuPTI lating viruses. Prime Minister Narendra Modi with other leaders during a rally at Contai in East Midnapur on Wednesday. SNS BISWABRATA GOSWAMI CONTAI, 24 MARCH With the high-voltage political campaign gaining momentum, Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was back in West Bengal on Wednesday attacked Trinamul Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee at an election rally in Contai and said, “2 May, Didi jachhe,asol parivartan asche (On 2 May, Didi will go, real change will come in).” Amid a large crowd, Mr Modi said, “Didi is talking about ‘duare sarkar (government at your doorstep), but she will be shown the door on 2 May.” Expressing “wonder” over the ‘outsider’ terminology used by Mamata Banerjee to refer to the saffron leaders, Modi said, “Bengal has brought together the nation through ‘Vande Mataram’ and on this very land CM Mamata Banerjee is terming people ‘Bahiragoto (outsiders). No Indian is an outsider here, they are children of Bharat Mata.” Bengal was the land of icons like Bankim Chan- dra Chattopadhyay, Rabindranath Tagore and Subhas Chandra Bose and on this land, no Indian was or will be an outsider, he said. He said that if voted to power, “a son of the soil” will be made the BJP chief minister of the state. The prime minister said that Mamata insulted the people of Nandigram with false accusations, and people would give her a befitting reply. “You are maligning Nandigram and its people before the entire country. This is the same Nandigram that gave you so much. The people of Nandigram will not forgive you,” he said, apparently referring to the 10 March incident in which Mamata was injured. Modi said that if voted to power, the BJP would make every scheme in the state scam-free and bring in transparency. “The relief for Amphan was looted through the ‘bhaipo (nephew) window’,” he alleged, slamming the TMC over ‘cut money’, ‘tolabaji’ (extortion) and ground-level corruption. Give three-day notice to Arnab in case of arrest: HC to police ROUSING RECEPTION MUMBAI, 24 MARCH NEW DELHI, 24 MARCH The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it has dismissed the complaint of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy against a senior top court judge after giving it “due consideration”. It said however that all the matters dealt with under the in-house procedure being “strictly confidential in nature, are not liable to be made public”. On October 6, in an unprecedented move Reddy wrote a letter to Chief Justice of India Bobde alleging that a senior Supreme Court judge has been influencing the sittings of Andhra Pradesh High Court and acting in the interests of Telugu Desam Party. Reddy had requested the CJI to look into the matter. PTI Artists perform during Union Home Minister Amit Shah's election campaign for the upcoming state Assembly elections, at Thripunithura in Kochi on Wednesday. AGENCIES Karnataka minister seeks monogamy test for legislators STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE P12 VULNERABLE LOT SNS & PTI Issues raised in plea against Deshmukh quite serious: SC NEW DELHI, 24 MARCH P4 Directs states and UTs to impose local restrictions in public observance of festivals Min. 27 % SNS & PTI QUESTION: JUST HOW FRIENDLY WILL OMAN BE? LDF/UDF MADE KERALA A ‘DEN’ OF CORRUPTION tape, allegedly involving their former colleague and water resources minister, Ramesh Jarkiholli, was released. The minister told newsmen that he wanted to expose those who were projecting themselves as ‘saints’, and so wanted a monogamy test. He also lashed out at the Opposition for not allowing the Assembly to function properly and claimed that the Opposition parties are not interested in development and did not have any concrete agenda. Today’s development followed the ensuing controversy over a sex scandal allegedly involving Ramesh Jarkiholli and the Opposition’s demand for a probe into the matter by a judge of the high court. The state government has defended its move to set up a Special Investigation Team even as the minister concerned resigned from his post, which chief minister B S Yediyurappa claimed, was on moral grounds. Referring to former chief ministers, Siddaramiah of Congress, H D Kumaraswamy of JDS, besides D K Shivakumar, state Congress president, the minister said that as they “embodied the idea of truth”, they should accept the challenge. This drew a quick reaction from D K Shivakumar, who said, “I have one wife and one family”, adding that the matter would be discussed in the Assembly. CMYK CJI Bobde recommends Justice NV Ramana as his successor STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 24 MARCH Chief Justice of India SA Bobde has recommended seniormost judge Justice NV Ramana as his successor and the 48th Chief Justice of India in keeping with convention and norms of seniority, according to sources. CJI Bobde, who is set to retire on April 23, has sent the recommendation to the government and handed over a copy to Justice Ramana, the sources said. As per norms, a written communication from the incumbent Chief Justice is sent a month before his retire- ment. If the recommendation is approved by the government, Justice Ramana till take charge as the next Chief Justice of India on April 24. He is set to retire on August 26, 2022. CJI Bobde's recommendation, which marks the start of process for appointment of the next Chief Justice of India will be forwarded to the President by the government for approval. The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the Mumbai Police to give the advance notice of three days to Republic TV's editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami if it wanted to arrest him in the Television Rating Point (TRP) scam case. A bench of Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale also dismissed the submission of state counsel Deepak Thakre that Goswami had to face the investigation and could not claim any special status. The bench noted the police had been investigating the case for three months now and was yet to name Goswami as an accused in the case. Goswami is named as a suspect in the chargesheet, and therefore, the “sword” of impending arrest is left hanging over his head, it said. Goswami's counsel Ashok Mundargi had argued that the criminal law in the country did not provide for the police to name someone merely as a suspect and not name him or her as an accused in chargesheet. He had said the probe by the police against Goswami and other employees of ARG Outlier Media, which runs all Republic TV channels, was malafide. In the chargesheet, the police had named Goswami and all owners, managers, and all persons associated with Republic TV or ARG media under the category of “suspects”, Mundargi had said. Mundargi said the police had reopened a 2018 (Anvay Naik) suicide case in which Goswami had been named as an accused and arrested him last year. Goswami was released on bail by the Supreme Court, he said. PTI
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