CMYK THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 12 MAY 2022 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR MARCOS PRESIDENCY COMPLICATES US BID TO COUNTER CHINA MUSK SAYS HE WOULD REVERSE TWITTER BAN ON TRUMP P10 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Rain/thundershower in some areas. Temperature likely to be in the range of 34-26 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: 24.6 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 95% TEMPERATURE BOMMAI-SHAH MEET RAISES CABINET EXPANSION HOPE P9 P4 Supreme Court puts Criminalising marital rape: Delhi High Court sedition law on hold delivers split verdict SNS & AGENCIES Max: 31.2 °C (-4) Min: 25.1 °C(-1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 04:57 hrs 18:08 hrs MOON SETS MOON RISES 02:15 hrs 14:22 hrs Full moon on 16 May THUMBNAILS People throng at Lodhi Colony, in the capital on Wednesday amidst apprehension of the MCD’s demolition drive. SUBRATA DUTTA UP DGP removed for 'dereliction of duty': In a surprise move, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday evening removed state DGP Mukul Goel from his post. In an official statement, the government spokesman said that Goel had been removed for "ignoring his work, not taking interest in departmental work and dereliction of duty". This is the first time that a DGP has been removed on such charges. NEW DELHI, 11 MAY n a significant interim order today, the Supreme Court barred the Central and state governments from using the sedition law until the colonial-era provision that often gets used against those critical of the government, including students, journalists and rights activists, is reviewed. “All proceedings under Section 124A (Sedition Law) shall be kept in abeyance,” the three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana, stated in the order. The 152-year-old law which was used by the British government against Mahatma Gandhi and other leaders during the struggle for Indian independence has been a weapon used by subsequent Indian governments to silence criticism since 1947. Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code says that whoever brings hatred or contempt, or excites disaffection towards the government shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with jail term which may extend to three years. Anyone charged under I COLONIAL-ERA LAW Section 124A of the India Penal Code says that whoever brings hatred or contempt, or excites disaffection towards the government shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with jail term which may extend to three years. The 152-year-old law which was used by the British government against Mahatma Gandhi and other leaders during the struggle for Independence has been a weapon used by subsequent Indian governments to silence criticism since 1947. The Supreme Court, while putting all proceedings under Sec 124A on hold, restrained govts from filing fresh FIRs under the provision, and allowed persons already jailed under the law to approach appropriate courts for bail. the law cannot apply for bail immediately and can be immediately jailed for pursuing anti-India activities. “It will be appropriate not to use this provision of law till further reexamination is over,” said Chief Justice Ramana. Successive reports of the Law Commission of India and the Supreme Court have underlined the rampant misuse of the sedition law. The Supreme Court today granted time to the Centre to reconsider the validity of Section 124A while hearing petitions challenging the validity of the provision. The Bench, also com- prising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli directed that all proceedings going on under section 124A of the Indian Penal Code are to be kept in abeyance. The top court also restrained the Centre and State from filing any fresh FIRs under Section 124A. The Supreme Court said people who are already booked under Section 124A can approach the appropriate court for appropriate remedies and if any fresh case is registered under Section 124A the affected parties are at liberty to approach the appropriate courts. ‘Court order validates Modi govt’s stance’ SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 11 MAY The Supreme Court order on Section 124A is a validation and vindication of the Centre’s stance, said government officials. The SC order is based on the stand of the Union of India and extensively quotes the government’s affidavit, which mentions PM Narendra Modi’s unequivocal views against the colonialera law, officials said. They said the Centre has placed a draft of proposed directives before the Supreme Court, which the Home Ministry will issue to the state governments to prevent misuse of the sedition law. The SC has accepted the proposed draft. Meanwhile, speaking after the apex court order, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said the government respect the court and its independence. “But there's a ‘Lakshman Rekha’ (line) that must be respected by all organs of the state in letter and spirit,” he said. Modi a phenomenon, even detractors agree: VP STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 11 MAY Asani weakens, likely to become depression NEW DELHI, 11 MAY The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Wednesday said that severe Cyclonic Storm Asani weakened into a 'cyclonic storm' and is likely to become a depression by Thursday morning. "The Severe Cyclonic Storm Asani over west central Bay of Bengal moved west-northwestwards with a speed of 12 kmph during the past 6 hours, weakening into a Cyclonic Storm," said IMD. Asani is very likely to move nearly northwestwards for the next few hours and reach west-central Bay of Bengal close to Andhra Pradesh coast. "Thereafter, it's very likely to recurve slowly north-northeastwards... and emerge into west-central Bay of Bengal off North Andhra Pradesh coast by today evening," said IMD. It said that the cyclone is likely to move north eastwards thereafter and to weaken gradually into a depression ANI by May 12 morning. P12 All proceedings under IPC Sec 124A to be kept in abeyance, no fresh FIRs to be filed Min. 80% Prime Minister Modi is a phenomenon and even his detractors agree with that, said vice president M Venkiah Naidu at the release of the book titled Modi@20 Dreams Meet Delivery in New Delhi. The Vice President further said that while Mahatma Gandhi made the freedom struggle a mass movement, Mr Modi has converted development into a mass movement. Mr Naidu also said that Mr Modi put to effective use his learning to script development in his home state Gujarat as chief minister and scaled up the same at the national level as prime minister. Addressing the gathering at the release of the book Naidu said Modi’s vision, his dreams, and his Mission have been shaped by his extensive travels and insightful, experi- ITALIAN OPEN: RAFAEL BEATS ISNER TO REACH THIRD ROUND ential journey. “This is the fundamental differentiator that makes Mr Modi unique in several ways. There is probably no other public figure in contemporary times that have had a comparable experiential journey as Mr Modi,” Mr Naidu said. The vice president said that Mr Modi was the first prime minister born after Independence, and has, over the last 20 years, carved out a unique place in the history of postindependent India. “He is a phenomenon, whether you like it or not, at the national level and even at the international level also. We are all seeing reports of a person who previously had no administrative experience earlier, becoming a chief minister doing wonderful work, and then becoming a prime minister. In the international arena also, he is recognized and respected, India also is respected and recognized,” Mr Naidu added. Talking about the book that celebrates twenty years of Narendra Modi in administrative posts, first as CM of Gujarat and then as Prime Minister, Mr Naidu spoke about his approach and leadership qualities. “The book presents different facets of the distinct thought process, the pioneering, proactive approach, and the quintessential, transformational leadership style that Narendra Modi has come to be so closely identified with,” he said. The Rupa Publications book is a collection of writeups edited and compiled by Blue Kraft Digital Foundation. Its chapters have been compiled and authored by eminent intellectuals and domain experts. “The book attempts a definitive and expansive exploration into the fundamental transformation of Gujarat and India over the ‘No dope tests in major Indian tournaments’ PULAKESH MUKHOPADHYAY KOLKATA, 11 MAY “Things have come to such a pass that India's major tournaments in the most popular disciplines are held these days without any dope tests though it is for Nada to make sure that all sport and sportspersons in the country stay clean,” Dr Shanti Ranjan Das Gupta, veteran expert and senior East Bengal official, told The Statesman today. Asked if he included the Indian Premier League of Twenty20 cricket and football's Indian Super League in the extensive territory his complaint spanned, Dr Das Gupta said: “Let there be no doubt about it. I haven't heard of any ISL footballer being tested and, basically, football or cricket, they're only making a show of dope tests nowadays. There's a room for samples to be taken, with a piece of black cloth strung around a marked area, but no one knows what happens there. Who is tested by whom is apparently a secret. I knew of dope tests during continental football matches some years ago, when the samples were supposed to be taken to Kuala Lumpur for analyses. Where they ended up was much more than I knew. I've absolutely no doubt that dope tests are a makebelieve sideshow today." Dope tests are sought to be bypassed because of the huge expenses they entail but regulatory authorities at global and national levels are required to keep tabs by means of in-competition and random tests. Some of the World Anti-Doping Agency's recent reports have clubbed India with the worst offenders, including Russia and Italy, in recent times, on the basis of positive test counts. It is said that a quartet of Indian cricketers was on one of Wada's annual list of dope cheats. Consumption of last 20 years due to Modi’s unique model of governance,” according to the publisher. Mr Naidu said the book encompasses the experiential journey of Mr Modi since he left his house at the age of 17 and set out on a mission of knowing himself, and his country and finally defining the mission of transforming India. Mr Naidu said Mr Modi is impatient of slow progress and wants everything to be accelerated “because after 70 years of independence, still there are problems for the country”. The vice president hailed the prime minister’s communication skills. He said that despite demonetization, Mr Modi was able to win polls due to his communication skills as he communicated with the people and they had trusted in him. Besides, as he was born into a working-class family, Mr Modi is fully conversant with the struggles of the poor, he added. ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL NEW DELHI, 11 MAY A two-judge bench of Delhi High Court on Wednesday delivered spilt judgment on a batch of petitions seeking the criminalisation of marital rape. The Bench of Justices Rajiv Shakdher and C Hari Shankar had kept the order reserved in February earlier this year. Justice Rajiv Shakdher ruled in favour of criminalising marital rape while Justice C Hari Shankar disagreed with the opinion and held that Exception 2 to Section 375 does not violate the Constitution as it is based on intelligible differences. According to the order passed by Justice Rajiv Shakdher, husbands can be held criminally liable for sexual relations without the consent of the wife. Justice Hari Shankar expressed disagreement with this view. The high court was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations filed in 2015 by non-profit RIT Foundation, All India DemocraticWomen's Association and two individuals who sought striking down the exception in Indian rape laws on the grounds that it discrimi- Justice Rajiv Shakdher ruled in favour of criminalising marital rape while Justice C Hari Shankar disagreed with the opinion and held that Exception 2 to Section 375 does not violate the Constitution as it is based on intelligible differences. The matter has been referred to the Supreme Court nated against married women who were sexually assaulted by their husbands. Advocate Juhi Arora, an activist in legal issues related to women, said the High Court delivered a split decision on criminalising the issue of marital rape and referred the case to the Supreme Court. The Centre had earlier stated that considering the social impact involved, intimate family relations being the subject matter and this Court not having the privilege of being fully familiarised with ground realities prevailing in different parts of society of the large, populous and diverse country, taking a decision merely based upon the arguments of a few lawyers may not serve the ends of justice. The Centre had also said that it is committed to fully and meaningfully protecting the lib- erty, dignity and rights of every woman who is the fundamental foundation and a pillar of a civilized society. The matter, therefore, needs a comprehensive approach rather than a strictly legal approach, the government had said. The Central government in a 2017 affidavit opposed the plea demanding criminalisation of marital rape. In its fresh affidavit filed on January 12, 2022, the government said they have sought suggestions from various stakeholders as the government is in process of making comprehensive amendments to criminal laws. Amicus and Senior Advocate Rebecca John had told Delhi High Court that if a married woman can be subjected to sexual intercourse without her consent, then Exception 2 must be viewed as an instrument of oppression. PM to participate in global Covid summit on Thursday STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 11 MAY Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the 2nd Global Covid Virtual Summit tomorrow at the invitation of US President Joe Biden. The summit intends to galvanise new actions to address the continued challenges of the pandemic and build a stronger global health security architecture. The PM will deliver his remarks in the opening session of the summit on the theme ‘Preventing Pandemic Fatigue and Prioritising Preparedness’. The session will be livestreamed from 1830 to 1945 hrs. Other participants are cohosts of the event - Heads of state/government of Belize in its capacity as Chair of CARICOM, Senegal as Chair of African Union, Indonesia as president of G20 and Ger- many as president of G7. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Director-General of the World Health Organisation and other dignitaries would also participate. Mr Modi had also participated in the first global Covid Virtual Summit hosted by President Biden on 22 September 2021. India is playing a key role in ongoing global efforts to combat the pandemic by supplying safe and affordable vaccines and medicines, developing low-cost indigenous technologies to test and treat, genomic surveillance, and capacity building for health care workers. India is also proactively engaged in multilateral fora with the objective of strengthening and reforming the global health security architecture with WHO at its centre. The country reported 2897 FACT FILE TOTAL CASES 4,31,10,586 ACTIVE CASES 19,494 NEW CASES 2,897 2,986 NEW RECOVERIES TOTAL DEATHS 5,24,157 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. WEDNESDAY 11 MAY 2022 Bengal recorded 25 cases and no deaths fresh infections in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Gotabaya ‘ready to end exec presidency’ India denies sending troops STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE banned substances is not always aimed at enhancing performance: Maradona's 1994 World Cup expulsion resulted from his alleged reliance on proscribed, weight-reducing drugs. Stimulants are different. Dr Das Gupta, though, agreed that dope disclosures were much less frequent now than positive tests even at the highest levels, given that organisers were chary of revelations that could rub imageconscious sponsors up the wrong way. New Delhi-headquartered National Anti-Doping Agency (Nada), spoken to, called for an e-mail, graciously saying that the reply would be prompt if the urgency was mentioned in the request. Not that a response came even after a patient, six-hour wait. One of two questions it was asked was about the IPL'sWest Asia chapter the last time around. Word is Nada sent nobody there. Amid worsening economic and political crises in Sri Lanka, India today rejected reports that it was sending its troops to the island nation. In a tweet, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said it “would like to categorically deny speculative reports in sections of media and social media about India sending her troops to Sri Lanka. These reports and such views are also not in keeping with the position of the Government of India.” The Indian mission also drew attention to the statement made by the Ministry of External Affairs yesterday on the developments in Sri Lanka. ''The Spokesperson of (the) Ministry of External Affairs of India clearly stated yesterday that India is fully supportive of Sri Lanka's democracy, stability and economic recovery,” it noted. The high commission had yesterday denied rumours circulating in sections of the media that certain political persons and their families have fled to India. ''These are fake and blatantly false reports, devoid of any truth or substance. High Commission strongly denies them,'' it tweeted in the wake of reports that former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family members had fled to India. Wickremesinghe and President Rajapaksa. Sri Lanka's parliamentary group of Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) last month had come up with a private member's bill to scrap the 20th amendment and remove the powers of the executive presidency. Sri Lankan MP Harshana Rajakaruna had said a constitutional amendment will be brought in to scrap the powers of the President. Sri Lanka's economic sit- NEW DELHI, 11 MAY ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL COLOMBO, 11 MAY Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday announced that he is ready to abolish the executive presidency after discussing the issue with the Opposition regarding the formation of the new government. Gotabaya said he is ready to abolish the executive presidency once the country stabilises and will also appoint a new PM and cabinet this week, Sri Lanka's Newswire reported. He also said that he will empower the parliament, bringing back the 19th amendment. This development comes after a meeting was held between UNP Leader Ranil CMYK uation will worsen if political stability is not achieved, the country's Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe warned on Wednesday as the island nation continued to witness large-scale violence. Addressing a media briefing in Colombo, Weerasinghe said he has conveyed to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and other political leaders that he would step down from the post, if the current political crisis is not solved in the coming weeks. The central bank chief said that it was challenging to revive an economy in a country where law and order were not maintained. Sri Lanka Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned on Monday as violence erupted in the country. A number of violent incidents have taken place in the country after progovernment groups clashed with anti-government protesters on Monday, leaving eight people dead and over 200 others injured. Sri Lanka has been suffering from the worst economic crisis in the country's history.
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