TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 06 JULY 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR LALU SLAMS MODI FOR DESTROYING INDIA’S SOCIAL FABRIC ‘AMERICA COMING BACK TOGETHER BUT COVID NOT YET OVER’ P10 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky with possibility of thundery development. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 40 and 29 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 62% Min: 28.0°C (-2) SUN SETS 19:23 hrs MOON SETS 16:20 hrs THUMBNAILS Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee activists protest against the rising prices of petrol near SNS Delhi CM’s residence on Monday. Mamata writes to PM on fuel price hike: Censuring the soaring fuel prices that has amplified people's distress, Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday urged Prime Minister Modi to slash taxed levied by the Centre and diesel to temper its inflationary trend. She clarified that her government has voluntarily given a rebate P4 to both petrol and diesel. Tremors in Delhi-NCR: A medium-intensity N earthquake hit Jhajjar in Haryana on Monday night, tremors of which were felt in Delhi and nearby areas, the National Centre for Seismology (NCS) said. According to the NCS, the earthquake of magnitude 3.7 occurred at a depth of 5 kilometres at 10.36 pm. P6 P12 SC had scrapped Section 66A of IT Act in the 2015 Shreya Singhal judgment T he Supreme Court Monday said it is amazing and shocking that people are still being booked under Section 66A of the Information Technology Act that was scrapped by the apex court verdict in 2015. Under the scrapped section a person posting offensive messages could be imprisoned for up to three years as also fined. A bench of Justices R F Nariman, K M Joseph and B R Gavai issued notice to the Centre on an application filed by an NGO, ‘People’s Union for Civil Liberties’ (PUCL). Don’t you think this is amazing and shocking? Shreya Singhal judgment is of 2015. It’s really shocking. What is going on is terrible, the bench told senior ‘SCRAPPED’ ONLY IN FOOTNOTE Under the scrapped section 66A of the Information Technology Act, a person posting offensive messages could be imprisoned for up to three years as also fined. Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, said that on perusal of the IT Act it can be seen that section 66A features in it, but in the footnote it is written that the provision has been scrapped. advocate Sanjay Parikh, appearing for PUCL. Parikh said that despite directions of the court in 2019 that all state governments should sensitise police personnel about the 24 March, 2015 judgment, thousands of cases have been registered under the section. The bench said, “Yes, we have seen those figures. Don’t worry we will do something.” Parikh said there has to be some kind of method to handle the matter as people are suffering. Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, said that on perusal of the IT Act it can be seen that section 66A features in it, but in the footnote it is written that the provision has been scrapped. Now when a police officer has to register a case, he sees the section and registers the case without going through the footnote. Instead what can be done is that we can put a bracket just after section 66A and mention that it has been scrapped. We can in the footnote put the entire extract of the verdict, Venugopal said. Justice Nariman said, You please file counter in two weeks. We have issued a notice. List the matter after two weeks. The top court was hearing a fresh application of PUCL saying, “shockingly, despite the order dated February 15, 2019 and steps taken towards compliance thereof, the Applicant discovered that Section 66A of the IT Act has continued to be in use not only within police stations but also in cases before trial courts across India. The PUCL also sought direction to top court registry to communicate to all the District Courts throughout the country to take cognizance of the 2015 judgment. Twitter failed to comply with IT Rules, could lose immunity, Centre tells HC PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Pranab Mukherjee's son joins TMC: Former President Pranab Mukherjee's son and former Congress MP Abhijit Mukherjee joined TMC on Monday. The former two-time lawmaker from Jangipur LS constituency in Murshidabad district of Bengal had been in talks with the TMC P4 leadership over the past few weeks. ‘INDIAN REVELRY WILL DESTROY CUP PITCHES’ ‘Shocking, people still Elgar case accused Stan Swamy dies in custody booked under Sec 66 A’ waiting for medical bail NEW DELHI, 5 JULY TEMPERATURE Max: 39.5°C (+3) SUN RISES 05:30 hrs MOON RISES 03:04 hrs P5 SNS & PTI Min: 40% XI’S SCRIPT NEW DELHI, 5 JULY The Centre on Monday told the Delhi High Court that social media giant Twitter Inc has failed to comply with India’s new IT Rules, which could lead to losing its immunity conferred under the Information Technology Act. The Centre, in an affidavit filed in the high court, said as per the details obtained from Twitter’s website or mobile application, as an interim, the grievances from India are being handled by the platform’s official in the US which amounts to non-compliance of the IT Rules, 2021. The IT Rules, 2021 are the law of the land and Twitter is mandatorily required to comply with the same, said the affidavit filed in response to a plea by lawyer Amit Acharya, in which he claimed non-compliance of the Centre’s new IT Rules by the microblogging platform. The matter is scheduled to come up for hearing on Tuesday. The Centre’s affidavit, filed by N Samaya Balan, working as Scientist-E in the Cyber Law Group with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY), said that inspite of the three months’ time granted to all SSMIs to comply with the IT Rules 2021 having expired on 26 May, Twitter has failed to fully comply with the same. TMC MPs meet Kovind over SG NEW DELHI, 5 JULY A delegation of Trinamul Congress MPs on Monday met President Ram Nath Kovind and sought the removal of Tushar Mehta as the Solicitor General of India, alleging that his reported meeting with Bengal BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari raised serious doubts of impropriety. TMC MPs Sukhendu Sekhar Ray and Mahua Moitra also submitted a letter to the president. SNS DETAILS ON PAGE 4 SNS & PTI MUMBAI, 5 JULY Jesuit priest Stan Swamy, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, died on Monday while waiting for an interim bail on medical grounds. Dr Ian D’souza, director of the Mumbai-based Holy Family Hospital, the private facility where Swamy was undergoing treatment, and the tribal rights activist’s lawyer Mihir Desai informed a bench of the Bombay High Court of his death following cardiac arrest. The bench, comprising Justices S S Shinde and N J Jamadar, expressed shock over the news and said it was at a loss of words and hoped Swamy’s soul would rest in peace. Meanwhile, the Jesuit Provincial of India released a statement expressing grief over Swamy’s death. It said the priest had worked all his life for the “Adivasis, Dalits, and marginalised communities”. Senior counsel Desai told the HC that he had no grievances against the HC and the private hospital where Swamy was treated, but he could not say the same for the National Investigation Agency, which is conducting a probe into the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, and the state prison authorities. Desai claimed the NIA had been negligent in providing timely and adequate medical aid to Swamy, and urged the HC to initiate a judicial inquiry into the circumstances that led to the undertrial activist's Civil rights activist Jesuit priest Stan Swamy in a file photo from 28 Aug, 2018 death. He said Swamy was taken to the state-run J J Hospital 10 days before his admission to the Holy Family Hospital (on May 29 this year). But, he was not tested for Covid-19 at the J J Hospital, he said. Swamy’s report came out positive for coronavirus when tested at the private hospital, the lawyer said. About the probe agency, Desai said, “The NIA did not seek Swamy’s custody even for a single day, but kept opposing his bail pleas.” The court directed that the state authorities complete all formalities and hand over Swamy’s body to his associate, Father Frazer Mascarenhas. The bench was presiding over an urgent application moved by Desai to hear Swamy’s medical bail plea. The bench began the hearing asking for Swamy's latest medical reports from the hospital authorities, when the NIA intervened The Bombay High Court bench, comprising Justices S S Shinde and N J Jamadar, expressed shock over the news and said it was at a loss of words and hoped Swamy’s soul would rest in peace. The tribal rights activist’s lawyer Mihir Desai claimed the NIA had been negligent in providing timely and adequate medical aid to Swamy, and urged the HC to initiate a judicial inquiry into the circumstances that led to Swamy’s death objecting to the urgent mentioning. The court was then told that Swamy suffered a cardiac arrest on4 July early morning. He had approached the HC earlier this year, challenging the order of a special court from March last year that denied him bail both on merits and medical grounds. He had told the HC that he suffered from advanced stages of the Parkinson’s disease and various other ailments.The NIA, however, had filed an affidavit in the HC last month opposing his bail plea. The Elgar Parishad case is related to inflammatory speeches made at a conclave held in Pune on 31 December, 2017, which, the police claimed, triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial located on the outskirts of the western Maharashtra city. MORE ON PAGE 5 India records sub-40k new cases CoWIN will be available to all countries: PM SNS & PTI STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE adding that the number of people who have recuperated from the disease has risen to 2,97,00,430. The case fatality rate stands at 1.32 per cent, the data stated. The cumulative vaccine doses administered has reached 35.28 crore under the nationwide vaccination drive, the ministry said. NEW DELHI, 5 JULY India saw a single-day rise of 39,796 new Covid infections, which took the tally of cases to 3,05,85,229, while the death toll climbed to 4,02,728 with 723 more fatalities, the lowest in around 88 days, according to Union Health Ministry data on Monday. The active cases have further declined to 4,82,071 and comprise 1.58 per cent of the total infections, while the national Covid recovery rate has improved to 97.11 per cent, the data updated at 8 am showed. It said that there has been a decline of 3,279 active cases in a span of 24 hours. The ministry said that 15,22,504 tests were conducted on Sunday, taking the total cumulative tests conducted for detection of Covid in the country to 41,97,77,457. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 2.61 per cent. It has been less than five per cent for 28 consecutive days, it said. The weekly positivity rate has declined to 2.4 per cent, according to the health ministry. Recoveries continue to outnumber daily cases for 53 consecutive days, it said, Delhi logs 54 cases: Delhi today recorded 54 fresh Covid cases — the lowest since 15 April last year — and 2 coronavirus-linked deaths while the positivity rate slumped to 0.09 per cent, according to the Delhi government’s latest health bulletin. The city has logged 14,34,608 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began early last year. Of this caseload, over 14.08 lakh patients have recovered so far, the health bulletin stated.(SEE P2) 3,05,85,229 4,82,071 39,796 42,352 4,02,728 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. MONDAY 05 JULY 2021 ‘Siege, suppression continue in J&K’: PAGD upset with PM’s all-party meeting outcome STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 5 JULY Expressing disappointment over the outcome of the 24 June all-party meeting on Jammu and Kashmir chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Monday said there was lack of substantial confidence building measures (CBMs) to end the siege and atmosphere of suppression that has choked J&K since August 2019. The PAGD spokesman and CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said that “the CBMs would have initiated the much-needed process of reaching out to the people of J&K who are the biggest stake- holders and sufferers of the Jammu and Kashmir problem.” The meeting that was presided by the National Conference chief Dr. Farooq Abdullah at his residence in Srinagar on Sunday night was attended by alliance vice-chairperson and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, Tarigami, NC leader Hasnain Masoodi, Peoples Movement chief Javed Mustafa Mir and Awami National Conference senior vice president Muzaffar Ahmed Shah. “All members of the PAGD expressed their disappointed at the outcome of the Delhi meeting especially at the absence of any substantial CBMs such as releasing political and other prisoners from jails and taking concrete steps to end the siege and atmosphere of suppression that has choked J&K since 2019. This would have initiated the much needed process of reaching out to the people of J&K.” The PAGD reiterated its commitment to fight together to reverse the unconstitutional and unacceptable changes foisted on the peo- Right from the beginning of the pandemic, India has been committed to sharing all our experiences. Luckily, software is one area in which there are no resource constraints. That’s why we made our Covid tracking and tracing App open source as soon as it was technically feasible. NEW DELHI, 5 JULY ple of J&K on 5 August 2019 using all constitutional, legal and political means at its disposal. The PAGD’s struggle for undoing these changes will continue as long as it takes while striving to achieve this objective as early as possible”, said Tarigami. The PAGD constituents stressed that as far as restoration of statehood is concerned, it has been BJP’s commitment on the floor of the Parliament and they must honour their word. So any Assembly election must be held only after restoration of full statehood for J&K. To this end, the PAGD has decided to reach out to other political parties in J&K on the issue”, the spokesman added. Prime Minister Narendra Modi today called upon the global community to “work together and move ahead together” in fighting Covid-19, saying no nation, however powerful it is, could solve a challenge like this pandemic in isolation. “There is no parallel to such a pandemic in hundred years,” he pointed out addressing via video conferencing the “Global CoWIN Conclave” at which India offered the CoWIN platform as a digital public good to the world to combat Covid-19. Ministers, top officials and health and technology experts from a number of countries participated in the event. Modi said different countries have to learn from each other and guide each other about their best practices in fighting Covid-19. “Right from the beginning of the pandemic, India has been committed to sharing all our experiences, expertise and resources with the global community in this battle. Despite all our constraints, we have tried to share as much as possible with the world. And, we remain eager to learn from global practices,” he added. Technology, the Prime Minister said, was integral to the fight against the pandemic. “Luckily, software is one area in which there are no resource constraints. That’s why we made our Covid tracking and tracing App open source as soon as it was technically feasible.” He noted that with nearly 200 million users, the ‘Aarogya Setu’ app was a readily available package for developers. “Having been used in India, you can be sure that it has been tested in the real world for speed and scale.” Modi was of the view that vaccination was the best hope for humanity to emerge successfully from the pandemic. And right from the beginning, India decided to adopt a completely digital approach while planning its vaccination strategy. “In today’s globalised world, if the post-pandemic world has to return to normalcy, such a digital approach is essential. Afterall, people must be able to prove that they have been vaccinated. Such proof must be safe, secure and trustworthy,” he said. Given how precious each dose of the vaccines was, governments were also concerned about making sure that each dose was tracked and wastage minimised. All of this was not possible without an endto-end digital approach. 12 BJP MLAs in Maha suspended for one year over ‘unruly behaviour’ CBSE divides 2021-22 session into two terms SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 5 JULY MUMBAI, 5 JULY Twelve BJP MLAs were suspended from the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for one year after the state government accused them of “misbehaving” with presiding officer Bhaskar Jadhav in the Speaker’s chamber today. Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis termed the allegation as false and said Jadhav's account of the incident was “one-sided”. However, Jadhav sought a probe into the allegation that some Shiv Sena members and he himself made uncharitable remarks, and said he was ready to face any punishment if it was proven true. The motion to suspend the The BJP members are accused of “misbehaving” with presiding officer Bhaskar Jadhav in the Speaker’s chamber on Monday. Objecting to the decision, BJP members, led by Fadnavis, said the Opposition would boycott House proceedings. MLAs was moved by state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anil Parab and passed by a voice vote. The 12 members are- Sanjay Kute, Ashish Shelar, Abhimanyu Pawar, Girish Mahajan, Atul Bhatkhalkar, Parag Alavani, Harish Pimpale, Yogesh Sagar, Jay Kumar Rawat, Narayan Kuche, Ram Satpute and Bunty Bhangdia. Parab said during the period of suspension, the 12 legislators will not be allowed to enter the Legislature premises in Mumbai and Nagpur. Objecting to the decision, BJP members, led by Fadnavis, said the Opposition would boycott the House proceedings. “This is a false allegation and an attempt to reduce the numbers of Opposition benches, because we exposed the government’s falsehood on the OBC quota in local bodies,” Fadnavis said. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court today has said it has to take a strict view of unruly behaviour of lawmakers in Parliament and Legislative Assemblies as such incidents are “increasing now-a-days”. MORE ON PAGE 5 The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Monday announced a special assessment scheme for class 10 and 12 board exams for next year in view of the Covid, splitting the academic session into two terms. The board has also announced plans to rationalise the syllabus for 202122 academic session and to make the internal assessment and project work more “credible” and “valid”. As per an official order by Joseph Emmanuel, Director, CBSE, the term one exams will be held in November-December, 2021 while the second term exams in PTI March-April, 2022.
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