SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 28 NOVEMBER 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 MUSICAL THEATRE MASTER STEPHEN SONDHEIM DIES AT 91 ‘CONSPIRACY TO FRAME ME IN ANIL DESHMUKH-STYLE’ P5 WEATHER Mainly clear sky.Temperature most likely to be in the range of 28-18 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 92 % TEMPERATURE Max: 28.2 °C(0) SUN RISES 05:57 hrs MOON RISES 23:35 hrs New moon on 04 P10 Min: 18.2 °C(+1) SUN SETS 16:51 hrs MOON SETS 12:02 hrs December THUMBNAILS Kashmiris at the floating vegetable market at Dal Lake in Srinagar on Saturday. MOHAMMAD AMIN WAR Tripura cops to review UAPA cases against journalists, lawyers: Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Saturday directed DGP V.S. Yadav to review the UAPA cases lodged against journalists and lawyers, after some communal incidents were reported in the state in October this year. A Tripura Home Department official said that the DGP, following the directions from the CM, has asked Puneet Rastogi, ADGP, Crime Branch, to review the cases. Paytm’s Q2 revenue up by 64% to ` 10.9 bn : India's leading digital ecosystem for consumers and merchants, Paytm announced its second quarter earnings report. The digital payments and financial services platform saw its revenue from operations grow by 64 per cent year-onyear to Rs 10.9 billion in Q2 FY 2022, driven by 52 per cent growth in non-UPI payment volumes and more than 3 times growth in finanPG8 cial services and other revenue. Opp leaders to meet an hour before start of winter session: Opposition leaders have planned to meet in Parliament on Monday, an hour before the winter session of Parliament begins, to finalise the strategy for both Houses to highlight the "failure of Centre especially on farm laws" , rising inflation and others issues. A Congress leader said, "Our strategy is to speak in 'one voice' in Parliament by entire opposition and like-minded parties and want to raise the issues related to the common man”. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 27 NOVEMBER mid rising global concerns over a new Covid variant detected in South Africa, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday chaired a highlevel meeting for a comprehensive review of the public health preparedness and vaccination related situation in the country. At the meeting, the Prime Minister highlighted the need for monitoring all international arrivals in the view of the new Omicron variant and asked officials to review plans for easing international travel restrictions in light of the emerging new evidence. At the two-hour meeting, Modi was briefed about the global trends on Covid infections and cases. The PM also reviewed the national situation relating to cases and test positivity rates. A Maha back to pre-pandemic days, lockdown curbs lifted INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE In a significant decision, the Maharashtra government on Saturday lifted all lockdown restrictions with conditions, allowing economic, social, cultural, sports and entertainment activities as before the pandemic days, with major emphasis on full vaccination, an official statement said here. As part of the easing, strict Covid appropriate behaviour will remain mandatory as per the rules, said Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte in his 5-page order. The government has decreed that all public transport will be permitted only for the fully-vaxxed as also for entry to malls, shops, establishments, ticketed or non-tickets events, programmes, shows, public gatherings, where all the organisers shall also be fully vaccinated. All fliers to Maharashtra from any international destination shall be governed by the Central government rules but all domestic passengers must either be fully vaccinated or carry an RTPCR test report with 72 hours' validity. Officials briefed him on the new variant of concern ‘Omicron’ along with its characteristics and the impact seen in various countries. Its implications for India were also discussed, a statement issued by the PMO said. Modi spoke about the need to be proactive in the light of the new variant. He laid stress on the MUMBAI, 27 NOVEMBER With the assembly elections likely to be held by May-June next year, various political parties in Jammu and Kashmir have started increasing their footfall on the ground first time after August 5, 2019 when article 370 was scrapped. Top sources indicate that the delimitation commission has completed its draft report of new and re-alignment of some old assembly seats in J&K. The commission is headed by retired Supreme Court judge, Ranjana Desai. “The draft report is ready. It will now be shared with the associate members, including three Lok Sabha members from the National Confer- need for monitoring all international arrivals, their testing as per guidelines, with a specific focus on countries identified ‘at risk’. He also asked officials to review plans for easing of international travel restrictions in the light of the emerging new evidence. Modi was also apprised of the progress in vaccination and the efforts being made under the ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ campaign. He directed that there was need to increase the second dose coverage and that states need to be sensitised on the need to ensure that all those who have got the first dose were given the second dose timely. The PM was also given details about the seropositivity in the country from time to time and its implications in public health response. The PM was given an overview of the sequencing efforts in the country and the variants circulating in the country. P12 Beware of Omicron, warn health experts PM seeks review of plans to ease int’l flight curbs STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHII, 27 NOVEMBER In view of the World Health Organisation (WHO) classifing the new Covid variant-Omicron ~ detected in southern Africa as the ‘Variant of Concern’, the scientists and health experts in India have said that new waves of infection are anticipated and unless we act quickly and efficiently, the country will possibly see repeat waves. On Technical Advisory Group recommendation, the variant has been declared as a variant of concern by the WHO. In a communication to all states and Union Territories, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said India's National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has informed the government that "multiple cases of Covid variant B.1.1529 have been reported in Botswana (3 cases), South Africa (6 cases) and Hong Kong (1 case)". “This variant is reported to have a significantly high number of mutations, and thus, has serious public health implications for the country, in view of recently relaxed visa restrictions and opening up of international travel," Bhushan said. “lt is there- B’luru: Two South African nationals test Covid positive BENGALURU, 27 NOVEMBER Two South African nationals have tested Covid positive at the Kempegowda International Airport here, creating panic among the health authorities over the new Omicron variant. Bengaluru Rural Deputy Commissioner K. Srinivas said further test reports would ascertain whether the nationals are infected with the Omicron variant. The test results will take another 48 hours to arrive, the Health Department said. Both have been sent to quarantine centres, and they will stay there till their test results confirm about the new variant. Srinivas said that as many as 584 people, so far, have arrived here from 10 "high-risk" nations, and as many as 94 individuals have come from South Africa alone so far. Centre is decriminalising stubble burning: Agri minister ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL NEW DELHI , 27 NOVEMBER Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Saturday informed that the Centre has decriminalized stubble burning as per the demand of the farmers' organizations. This comes ahead of the scheduled tractor march on 29 November towards the Parliament announced by BKU leader Rakesh Tikait. The government had earlier announced that the bill to repeal the three farm laws will be tabled in the Parliament on the first day of the winter session. “After the announcement of the repeal of the three farm laws, there is no point in continuing farmers' agitation. I urge farmers to end their agitation and go home," the Agriculture Minister said. “Farmer organizations had demanded to decriminalize stubble burning by farmers. The government of India has accepted this demand as well," Tomar said. “PM Narendra Modi has announced to constitute a committee to deliberate on the issues of crop diversification, zerobudget farming, and making the MSP system more transparent and effective. This committee will have representatives from farmers' organizations. With the constitution of this committee, farmers' demand on Minimum Support Price (MSP) stands fulfilled," he said. Farmers have been protesting against the farm laws on various borders of Delhi since November 26, 2020. Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the Centre will bring necessary bills in the winter session of Parliament beginning later this J&K assembly polls likely before Amarnath Yatra SRINAGAR, 27 NOVEMBER P11 Modi also reviewed the national situation relating to cases and test positivity rates Min. 42 % INDO ASIAN NEWS SERVICE PATEL PICKS UP FIVE WICKETS VS KIWIS JAPAN PM VOWS TO UP DEFENSE AMIDST CHINA, NK THREATS Top sources indicate that the delimitation commission has completed its draft report of new and re-alignment of some old assembly seats in J&K. ence (Farooq Abdullah, Hasnain Masoodi and Akbar Lone) and the BJP's Jitendra Singh and Jugal Kishore Sharma", top sources told IANS adding that the commission has already been communicated that there would be no further extension of its time period which ends in March 2022. All major political players including leaders of the National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), BJP , Indian National Congress (INC), J&K National Panthers Party (JKNPP), J&K Apni Party, Peoples Conference (PC) and other smaller groups have started public interactions through meetings and rallies. Close on the heels of PDP chief, Mehbooba Mufti's visit to the Chenab Valley, NC Vice President, Omar Abdullah started his visit of the region on Saturday. The BJP has already told its party cadre that the assembly elections would not be deferred further and these are being held next year before the annual Amarnath Yatra. Sources close to the senior leaders of NC, BJP, PDP, Congress and others indicate that none of these parties believes that it could get the majority in the new assembly of its own. After the fresh delimitation, the assembly is likely to have 90 seats. In the previous assembly there were 87 seats, four of which belonged to the Ladakh region which is a separate UT now. The Valley had 47 and the Jammu region had 36 seats. Sources indicate that at least 6 seats would be added to the Jammu region and 2 new assembly constituencies would be carved out of the existing ones in the Valley. In addition to this, assembly constituencies would be reserved in J&K for tribals, scheduled caste etc which is likely to throw up a different political map for the UT. In the last state assembly, PDP had 28, BJP 25, NC 15 and the INC 12 seats. Govt to introduce Bill in LS on Monday to repeal farm laws: The government is all set to bring in the Lok Sabha on Monday, the first day of the Winter Session of Parliament, a bill to repeal the three contentious farm laws. The Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 will be tabled by agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar, according to the list of business of the Lower House.The legislation aims to repeal the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 and to SNS amend the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. month to repeal the farm laws. The Prime Minister also said that the government will constitute a committee to work on a new framework for MSP The Farm . Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 has been listed for introduction and pas- sage. It is among 26 new bills on the agenda of the government. However, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait said that farmers will go home after the government accepts their demand for a law on MSP . ICONIC VIEW Tourists in huge numbers visit the Taj Mahal, in Agra on Saturday. ANI 3,45,63,749 1,07,019 8,318 10,967 4,67,933 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SATURDAY 27 NOVEMBER 2021 Bengal registered 701 cases and 11 deaths fore imperative that all international travellers travelling from and transiting through these countries, (they are part of the "at risk" Country Category of international travellers coming to lndia) are subjected to rigorous screening and testing", the communication said. “The contacts of these international travellers must also be closely tracked and tested as per MoHFW guidelines.” SKM suspends tractor march to Parliament on 29 Nov NEW DELHI, 27 NOVEMBER The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, umbrella body of farmer bodies protesting against the three farm laws, has suspended its planned 29 November tractor march to Parliament, farmer leaders said on Saturday. The decision to suspend the march comes two days ahead of the commencement of the Winter Session of Parliament, during which a bill to repeal three central farm laws is slated to be introduced. The SKM also said it wants an assurance in Parliament on their demand for a legislation guaranteeing farmers Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their crops. SKM leader Darshan Pal, while addressing a press conference, said, "We are suspending the Parliament march on Monday. We had written to the prime minister for withdrawal of cases against farmers, allotment of land for building a memorial for farmers who lost their lives (during the protest), suspension of Ajay Mishra ‘Teni’ from the Union Cabinet over the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, along with other issues." He said that a reply is awaited and SKM will hold another meeting on 4 December. The SKM also demanded that the government should initiate a dialogue with them in a respectful way.AGENCIES No study done to assess impact of laws passed: CJI Kovind calls upon judges to ‘exercise STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 27 NOVEMBER In India no study is conducted to assess any impact of the laws that the legislature passes, and this sometimes leads to big issues, Chief Justice of India N V Ramana said here on Saturday. Speaking at the second day of the valedictory ceremony of Constitution Day celebrations organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association, Justice Ramana said: "The legislature does not conduct studies or assess the impact of the laws that it passes. This sometimes leads to big issues. The introduction of Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act is an example of this. Now, the already burdened magistrates are further burdened by thousands of these cases". He added that rebranding the existing courts as commercial courts, without creating a special infrastructure, will not have any impact on the pendency. "Therefore, the issue of pendency is multifaceted in nature. I hope the government takes into consideration the suggestions received during these two days and resolves the prevailing issues", said Justice Ramana. He said president Ram Nath Kovind has constantly encouraged the entry of women into the profession and also called for increased representation of women in the judiciary. He added that the Attorney General K K Venugopal's suggestions on the first day of the event, were also enlightening. “While highlighting the issue of judicial pendency, he proposed the restructuring of the judicial system and altering the hierarchy of the Courts. This is something that merits consideration by the Government”, he said. Citing law minister Kiren Rijiju that government has been allocating substantial amounts for development of judicial infrastructure, Justice Ramana added that funds are not the problem, instead the problem is with some of the states not coming forward to match the grants. “As a result, the central funds largely remain unutilised. That is the reason why I am proposing a special purpose vehicle of Judicial Infrastructure of Authority. I beseech the Minister to take this proposal to logical conclusion. I also urge the minister to expedite the process of filling judicial vacancies", said Justice Ramana. He emphasized on clearing misconceptions that many people in this country believe that it is the courts which make the laws. “Another set of misunderstandings relate to the belief that the Courts are responsible for liberal acquittals and adjournments. However, the truth is that the public prosecutors, advocates and parties - all have to co-operate with the judicial process. Non-cooperation, procedural lapses and faulty investigation cannot be blamed on Courts", he added. utmost discretion’ inside courtroom STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 27 NOVEMBER President Ram Nath Kovind said on Saturday that it is incumbent upon the judges to exercise utmost discretion in their utterances inside courtrooms, as indiscreet remarks, even if made with good intention, can give space for dubious interpretations to run down the judiciary. He was delivering the valedictory address at the Constitution Day Celebrations, organised by the Supreme Court of India to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India.He said that in the Indian tradition, judges are imagined as a model of rectitude and detachment more akin to ‘sthitpragya’. The country has a rich history of legions of such judges known for their utterances full of sagacity and conduct beyond reproach, which have become hallmarks for the future generations. The President said the Indian judiciary was adhering to those highest standards. He said that there is no doubt that the judiciary has set for itself a high bar. “Hence, it is also incumbent upon the judges to exercise utmost discretion in their utterances in the courtrooms. Indiscreet remarks, even if made with good intention, give space for dubious interpretations to run down the judiciary,” he said. Kovind said the Indian Constitution is “the roadmap of our collective journey,” and it has at its core the principles of Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. The Preamble expands the notion of justice to include its social, economic and political aspects, he said.
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