FRIDAY 03 FEBRUARY 2023 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC www.thestatesman.com KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR ‘GOVT HAS TRIED TO SIMPLIFY TAXATION REGIME IN BUDGET’ IT’S VIZAG? P6 WEATHER CLEAR SKY. THE MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM TEMPERATURES WOULD BE AROUND 24 AND 10 DEGREES CELSIUS RESPECTIVELY. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 90% TEMPERATURE Max: 24.3°C (+2) SUN RISES 07:08 hrs MOON RISES 15:49 hrs Min: 08.3°C (0) SUN SETS 18:02 hrs MOON SETS 06:22 hrs THUMBNAILS A skier walks on the snow-covered slope of the ski resort in Kongdoori, Gulmarg, in Baramulla on Thursday. ANI Kendriya Bhandar to sell Atta to consumers at Rs 29.50/kg: The government today reviewed the progress of the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS), particularly the progress in the supply of Atta (wheat flour) @ Rs. 29.50/kg through various outlets in the country for sale to consumers with a view to checking inflationary trend in the food economy. The Committee of Ministers under the chairmanship of Home Minister Amit Shah reviewed the prices of essential commodities on 25 January and decided to release 30 LMT wheat from FCI stock through OMSS. Aggrieved air passengers can lodge their grievances: Aggrieved air passengers can now lodge their grievances through the Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS), an online portal administered by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) and AirSewa Portal managed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.' Pregnant woman, husband charred to death after car catches fire STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, 2 FEBRUARY A pregnant woman and her husband were charred to death when the car in which they were travelling caught fire near in Kerala’s Kannur on Thursday morning.The deceased have been identified as Prajith (32) of Kuttiattur and his wife Reesha (26). They were en route to the district hospital from Kuttiattur when the incident occurred. Witnesses said that the car caught fire near the District Government hospital Kannur.Both Prajith and Reesha were sitting in the front of the car. There were four more passengers including a child sitting in the back seat. P8 P4 Ruckus over Adani issue in Parl; Opp seeks probe Houses of Parliament adjourned over Hindenburg Research’s report Min: 24% Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge with other Opposition leaders addresses media near Parliament on Thursday. SNS STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 2 FEBRUARY oth Houses of Parliament were on Thursday adjourned for the day following a ruckus created by Opposition parties over Hindenburg Research’s report on the Adani Group and other issues. Within minutes of assembly, the Opposition was on its feet in the Lok Sabha and raised a din over its demands. Speaker Om Birla tried to pacify them and wanted to take up the Question Hour. But the Opposition did not relent. The House was adjourned till 2 p.m. At 2 p.m, after the lunch break, the Lok Sabha remained disturbed and the House was adjourned for the day within minutes. The Rajya Sabha too witnessed the Opposition in protest mode, just after an obituary reference was made by Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar regarding the passing away of a former Union law minister Shanti Bhushan.The Chairman said he had received several notices for adjournment of proceedings B under Rule 267 and none of the notices was in order. Therefore, he was rejecting all of them. The Opposition did not however give up its demands. The Chairman therefore adjourned the House till 2 p.m, when the House was adjourned for the day after a short while. In the Lok Sabha, after the first adjournment, members from Congress, TMC, DMK and others trooped into the Well demanding a probe into the Hindenburg report. Samajwadi Party, BSP, Shiv Sena (UBT) and other party members were also on their feet.Amidst noisy scenes, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi urged the protesting members to allow the House to take up discussion on President Droupadi Murmu’s address to the joint sitting of both Hous- es of Parliament. As pandemonium continued, the House was adjourned for the day. In the Rajya Sabha, similar scenes were witnessed when the House reassembled after the first adjournment at 2 p.m. Congress, TMC, DMK, AAP, Samajwadi Party, Left and other Opposition members started raising slogans over the Adani issue. As the ruckus continued, Mr Dhankhar adjourned the House for the day. Addressing a joint Press conference after the two Houses were adjourned, the Opposition parties demanded an investigation by a parliamentary panel or a Supreme Court-appointed committee under the Chief Justice of India into the alleged “economic scam” in connection with allegations by a US-based short seller against the Adani Group. RBI seeks info on banks’ exposure to Adani Group NEW DELHI, 2 FEBRUARY The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has sought details about lenders’ exposures to the Adani Group a day after the conglomerate withdrew the Rs 20,000-crore follow on public offer (FPO) of its flagship firm Adani Enterprises amid the steep fall in its stock prices. On Wednesday, Swiss lender Credit Suisse stopped accepting bonds by Adani group companies as collaterals for margin lending.The going has been tough for the diversified conglomerate over the past week ever since US-based short seller Hindenburg Research levelled a slew of allegations about the group's operations. The Ahmedabad-headquartered group has denied the allegations but failed to convince analysts and investors. The country's largest lender SBI had said its exposure to Adani group is fully secured by SNS cash generating assets. Interest of my investors is paramount: Gautam Adani SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 2 FEBRUARY A day after deciding not to goahead with the fully subscribed Follow-on Public Offer (FPO), Adani Enterprises Ltd chairman Gautam Adani on Thursday said it would not be “morally correct” to go ahead with the Rs 20,000-crore share in the current market condition. “After a fully subscribed FPO, yesterday's decision of its withdrawal would have surprised many. But considering the volatility of the market seen yesterday, the board strongly felt that it would not be morally correct to proceed with the FPO," Adani said in his address to investors after withdrawal of the fully subscribed FPO (in photo).Adani said in his humble journey of over four decades as an entrepreneur, "I SEHRAWAT WINS BRONZE MEDAL AT ZAGREB OPEN RANKING SERIES BUDGET IRE: BRS ON POSTER OFFENSIVE AGAINST CENTRE have been blessed to receive overwhelming support from all stakeholders, particularly the investor community. It is important for me to confess that whatever little I have achieved in life is due to the faith and trust reposed by them. I owe all my success to them." “For me, the interest of my investors is paramount and everything is secondary. Hence to insulate the investors from potential losses we have withdrawn the FPO," he said. This decision, he said "will not have any impact on our existing operations and future plans. We will continue to focus on timely execution and delivery of projects." “The fundamentals of our company are strong. Our balance sheet is healthy and assets, robust. Our EBIDTA levels and cash flows have been very strong and we have an impeccable track record of fulfilling our debt obligations. We will continue to focus on long term value creation and growth will be managed by internal accruals,” Adani said. “Once the market stabilizes, we will review our capital market strategy,” he said. (See also Page 8) P12 ‘No decision as of now on implementation of Uniform Civil Code’ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI , 2 FEBRUARY The Centre has not taken any decision as of now on the implementation of a Uniform Civil Code in the country, Union law minister Kiren Rijiju informed Rajya Sabha on Thursday. The minister was responding to a query regarding "whether Government has any plan to pass the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) Bill". "As per the information received from the Law Commission, the matter related to the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) may be taken up by the 22nd Law Commission for its consideration. Therefore, no decision on the implementation of a uniform civil code has been taken as of now," said Rijiju. He further responded that the government had requested the 21st Law Commission of India to undertake an examination of various issues relating to UCC and to make recommendations thereon. However, the term of the 21st Law Commission ended on August 31, 2018, informed the Law Minister. On the queries regarding "whether the government is heading towards appointing its representative in the process of appointment of judges" and "whether the Government is considering setting up an independent regulator like Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for appointment of judges?", the Law Minister informed the Parliament that in its recent communication dated January 6, 2023, to Supreme Court of India, the Government has emphasized the need to finalize the MoP in view of various judicial pronouncements and inter-alia suggested that the Search-cum-Evaluation Committee in respect of appointment of Judges in the Supreme Court and Chief Justices of High Courts should consist of a representative nominated by Government of India.For the appointment of Judges in the High Courts, the Committee should consist of a rep- resentative nominated by the Government of India and a representative of State Government(s) under the jurisdiction of the High Court as nominated by the Chief Minister(s). It has been proposed that for appointment and transfer of Chief Justices and Judges of High Courts, the names recommended by the Chief Minister can be received by the Search-cum-Evaluation Committee along with the names taken from senior Judges outside the Collegium and eligible candidates taken from the database (Judicial Officers and Advocates) as maintained by the proposed Secretariat. The High Court Collegium may deliberate upon a panel of names drawn up by the Searchcum-Evaluation Committee and recommend the names of the most suitable candidates for appointment of Judges in the Supreme Court, Chief Justices and Judges High Courts. The Collegium at the appropriate level may address the above requirements of drawing up a panel of eligible candidates from the aforementioned sources and draw up their proceedings by rendering requisite reasons and thereafter send the proposal to the Government with relevant documents.Law and Justice Minister while responding to queries in parliament stated that the appointment of judges of the Supreme Court and High Court is made under Articles 124, 217 and 224 of the Constitution of India which do not provide for reservation for any caste or class of persons. SC rejects plea seeking to bar candidates After 27 months, Kappan walks out of jail from contesting poll from multiple seats STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 2 FEBRUARY The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a PIL seeking to restrict candidates from contesting elections for Parliament or the State assemblies simultaneously from more than one constituency, saying the issue is a policy matter that comes under the domain of Parliament. A Bench of Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justices P.S. Narasimha and J B Pardiwala declined to quash, as sought by the PIL petitioner, the provision of the Representation of People Act that allows candidates to simultaneously contest from two constituencies during general elections to Parliament or State assemblies.“Absent any manifest arbitrariness for violation of Arti- STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE The Supreme Court Bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud chose to leave the issue to the wisdom of Parliament cle 14 and 21 it is not for this court to strike down the provision as unconstitutional. This issue lies in the domain of parliamentary sovereignty. It is a matter for Parliament to decide if such a choice should be made available”, the court said in its order. Stating that the issue relates to “political democracy”, the court said this is for Parliament to decide whether to act on the recommendations of the Law Commission and the Election Commission of India for restricting a candidate from contesting from more than one constituency and not for the court to issue direction as sought by the PIL petitioner. The court said that permitting a candidate to contest from more than one seat is a matter of legislative policy since ultimately it is Parliament’s will to decide whether the political democracy is furth ered by granting such a choice. Observing that a leader may contest from two different regions of the country to project his pan-India acceptance, the court said that a candidate may contest from different seats due to a variety of reasons and whether this would further the course of democracy is up to Parliament to decide. Saying that it cannot strike down the provision as unconstitutional, the SC said legislative mandate is a matter ofparliamentary sovereignty. LUCKNOW, 2 FEBRUARY Kerala-based journalist Siddique Kappan, arrested on charges of inciting violence and sedition after the Hathras incident in Uttar Pradesh, was released from jail on Thursday morning. Kappan was released from jail 27 months after his arrest and more than a month after he was granted conditional bail in the two cases against him. He was released after a special court in Lucknow signed the order for releasing Kappan, who was booked by the UP government under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Kappan after emerging from jail here said to the media that he will continue his fight against unlawful laws. “They kept me in jail even after my Journalist Siddique Kappan with his wife and son as he was released from the Lucknow district jail on Thursday. ANI bail. I don't know who's benefiting from my being in jail. These two years were very tough, but I was never afraid,” he said. On 23 December 2022, the High Court granted conditional bail to Siddique Kappan. Following the High Court’s order, Special Judge of PMLA Court Sanjay Shankar Pandey ordered Kappan to be released on bail on furnishing two sureties of Rs 1 lakh each and a surety of the like amount. On behalf of Kappan, bail bonds were filed in the court on 9 January last. On this, the court ordered the verification of the status of the sureties. On Wednesday, the sureties and the documents filed by them were verified after which the court ordered the release of the accused.Kappan was arrested in October 2020 when he was on way to Hathras to report on the alleged gang rape and death of a 20-year-old Dalit woman, which had triggered protests across the country. The journalist was accused of sedition and charged under the tough anti-terror law UAPA. In February 2022, the ED filed a money laundering case against him, accusing him of receiving money from the banned People's Front of India.In September last year, the Supreme Court granted him bail after observing that no formal charges were filed against him and a document named “Toolkit” recovered by the state police only propagated a call for justice in the rape case. 4,004 child marriage cases SC okays adoption of 20-yr-old’s child who sought abortion of 29-wk pregnancy In the circumstances, having regard registered in Assam: Sarma to the late stage of the pregnancy, STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE SNS & AGENCIES GUWAHATI, 2 FEBRUARY Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday said that a total of 4,004 child marriage cases have been registered across the state, adding that “more police action is likely in days ahead” Sharing a report of the Assam Police on Twitter, Sarma said: "Assam Govt is firm in its resolve to end the menace of child marriage in the state. So far @assampolice has registered 4,004 cases across the state and more police action is likely in days ahead. Action on the cases will begin starting February 3 (Friday). I request all to coop- NEW DELHI, 2 FEBRUARY erate." According to the report, the highest number of cases at 370 were registered in Dhubri district, followed by Hojai (255) and Udalguri (235).At least 192 cases were registered in the Guwahati police Commissionerate. At 24, Dima Hasao district in the state logged lowest number of child marriage cases. Meanwhile, the Chief Minster had already ordered the state police to begin a severe crackdown on child marriages."Marrying a minor girl is not only against the law, but it also breaches the fundamental rights of a girl child and is quite dangerous to her health. The Supreme Court on Thursday permitted the adoption of the child of a 21-year-old girl who had earlier sought abortion of her 29-week pregnancy but now has agreed to deliver the child. The court asked the AIIMS, where the girl who was earlier seeking termination of pregnancy was referred to for an opinion, to ensure that all necessary facilities are made available so that the delivery can take place in a safe environment. A Bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala permitted the adoption of the child invoking the ple- nary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution considering the extraordinary situation “which has emerged before the Court involving a young woman in distress, who moved this Court at a late stage of her pregnancy.” The court passed the order after hearing lawyers representing the parties including the government in the chamber of the Chief Justice of India. The court said that the delivery of the child by the petitioner shall take place at AIIMS. The court requested the Director, AIIMS, to ensure that all necessary facilities are made available without the payment of fees, charges or expenses of any nature so it has been considered in the best interest of the mother and the fetus that the child, upon delivery, may be given in adoption. The request for adoption has been suggested by the petitioner since she would not be in a position to care for the child THE SUPREME COURT that the delivery can take place in a safe environment at AIIMS. “The privacy of the petitioner shall be maintained and all steps shall be taken to ensure that the identity of the petitioner is not divulged in the course of the hospitalisation at AIIMS,” the court said by way of caution. The court also granted permission for adoption and said: “Permission is granted for the adoption of the child by the prospective parents whose details have been set out in the CARA registration form. CARA shall take all necessary steps to facilitate the implementation of this order.” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati have apprised the Court that an effort has been made to facilitate the process of adoption of the child after delivery, by prospective parents who are registered with the Child Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) under the auspices of the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development. The court was also informed of the fact that two prospective parents who have been registered under CARA are ready and willing to adopt the child. The adoption situation was taken care of after the court noted that the petitioner does not wish to retain the child with her after delivery and would not be in a position to care for the child. “In the circumstances, having regard to the late stage of the pregnancy, it has been considered in the best interest of the mother and the foetus that the child, upon delivery, may be given in adoption," the court said. The petitioner is reported to have lost her father during the Covid-19 pandemic and has a mother, who is unwell. The petitioner also have a married sister who is about ten years older than her. ASG Aishwarya Bhati has informed the Court that she has also interacted with the sister of the petitioner to explore whether she would be willing to take the child in adoption; however, the sister expressed her inability to do so for a variety of reasons. The Supreme Court had earlier asked the director of AIIMS, Delhi, to constitute a team of doctors on Friday to examine whether the termination of the 29 weeks pregnancy can be conducted safely.
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