WEDNESDAY 22 MARCH 2023 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC www.thestatesman.com KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR PUNJAB IN SAFE HANDS: MANN KAVITHA SUBMITS PHONES TO ED, ALLEGES MALICE P4 WEATHER PARTLY CLOUDY SKY. THE MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM TEMPERATURES WOULD BE AROUND 28 AND 15 DEGREE CELSIUS RESPECTIVELY. RAINFALL: 10.4 Mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 100% Max: 25.8°C (-5) SUN RISES 06:22 hrs MOON RISES 07:23 hrs P3 P10 Parl logjam continues; LS, RS adjourned till 23 March STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 21 MARCH Min: 14.1°C (-2) SUN SETS 18:33 hrs MOON SETS 19:20 hrs he meeting convened by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to end the stalemate in the House ended without any result as none of the parties refused to give up their positions. Amidst continuing disruptions, both the Houses of Parliament were adjourned to meet next on 23 March. According to sources, during the all-party meeting convened by the Speaker, both the Congress and BJP refused to soften their stand. Leaders of all parties were present in the meeting.Though Mr Birla T THUMBNAILS is said to have appealed to both the parties to allow the House to function, neither the BJP nor the Congress showed any signs of softening their stance. While the BJP has been stalling the Lok Sabha proceedings, demanding Congress MP Rahul Gandhi's apology over his remarks in the UK on democracy in India, the Congress-led Opposition too has been protesting, seeking a probe by a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) into allegations of irregularities and market manipulation levelled against the Adani Group of Companies. Proceedings of both the Houses have been washed out for the past seven days owing to protests by both sides. Owing to the disruptions, the discussion and passage of the Union Budget (Finance Bill) is yet to be taken up. Earlier, both Houses were adjourned early amidst continued disruptions. Amidst the din, the Lok Sabha took up financial business and passed the Budget of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir 2023-24 along with Supplementary demands for grants for the UT for 2022-23. The Lok Sabha was adjourned till 2 pm, after the Opposition MPs raised slogans demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee inquiry into the Adani issue. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla thereafter convened a meeting of leaders of all parties in his chamber at 1 p.m. The Rajya Sabha was also adjourned amid disruptions, and Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar called two meetings of floor leaders of different political parties in an attempt to break the logjam. The first meeting was held at 11.30 a.m. in which leaders of the BJP, YSRCP, BJD and TDP were present. However, floor leaders of many parties did not attend this meeting, and another was held at 2.30 p.m. The Congress Party, the main Opposition party, did not attend either of the two meetings. ‘Everyone has right to be heard’, Rahul cites Art. 14, 21 Commuters seen beside a mural on a wall, in New Delhi on Tuesday. ANI Indian diaspora in Britain comes out in solidarity with Tricolour: The Indian community held a large gathering in front of the Indian High Commission in London against the "disrespectful act" of Khalistan supporters towards the Indian flag and demanded that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and the British government act against the perpetrators at the earliest. The desecration of the Indian Flag this past Sunday has led to an unprecedented outpouring of support from the diverse Indian community settled in London, Britain. SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 21 MARCH Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has sought Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla's permission to speak in the House to clear the air around his “Democracy” remark in London. In a letter written to the Speaker on 18 March, he said Parliament like any other institution is bound by the rules of natural justice contained in Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution. “They are a guarantee against administrative arbitrariness and ensure that every person has a right to be heard in a cause with which they are concerned. CBI in communication with Interpol over removal of Choksi’s Red Notice SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 21 MARCH The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday said that it remains in active communication with Commission for Control of Interpol’s Files (CCF) and other bodies in Interpol after the latter removed the Red Corner Notice against Mehul Choksi.The Red Corner Notice removal indicates Mehul Choksi is no longer wanted by Interpol, and will have no bearing on the Punjab National Bank scam case, which is already in an advanced stage. The 63-year-old diamantaire is wanted in India in con- MGNREGA funds row: Mamata to go on 2-day dharna STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 21 MARCH Trinamul Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee will take part in a two day dharna on 29 and 30 March to protest against the Centre’s deliberate refusal to clear the state’s dues, state minister Dr Shashi Panja said today. Addressing a Press conference this afternoon, Dr Panja said the Centre has made it clear that it would not give funds under MNREGA for West Bengal in 202324. She said funds amounting to Rs 7,000 crore meant for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme wer-e being held up. P12 Delhi people urge you, with folded hands, don’t stall budget: CM to PM Speaker's meeting with leaders fails to end LS logjam as none of the parties refused to give up their positions Min. 60% TEMPERATURE ‘SCORING CENTURY GAVE ME A SENSE OF CALMNESS’ JAPAN PM KISHIDA MAKES SURPRISE VISIT TO UKRAINE Kharge attacks govt: Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge today sharply attacked the government for fugitive jeweller Mehul Choksi's removal from the Interpol database of Red Corner Notices, even as he accused the government of targeting Opposition leaders through the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate. “ED-CBI for opposition leaders, but release from Interpol for 'our Mehul Bhai' of Modi ji! When Parliament can be stalled for ‘best friend’, So the ‘old friend’ who had absconded 5 years ago, Well how to refuse him help? Thousands of crores of the country drowned, and ‘Na Khane Dunga’ became a unique phrase!” Mr Kharge tweeted, adding “we demand JPC” into the Adani issue. nection with a Rs 13,000crore fraud in the Punjab National Bank (PNB). The CBI in its statement said that it remains committed to returning fugitives and criminals to India to face the process of criminal justice. “CBI has already filed two charge sheets in the case against wanted criminal Mehul Choksi and others under sections 120-B r/w 409, 420, 477A, 201 of IPC and section 7 and 13(2) r/w 13(1)(c)&(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988," the release stated. Subsequently in 2022, CBI registered five more criminal cases against Mehul Choksi and others for defrauding banks and financial institutions. CBI as National Central Bureau for INTERPOL had issued a diffusion to locate absconding criminal Mehul Choksi in February 2018. The movements of the criminal were tracked by CBI in close direct coordination with foreign law enforcement agencies and he was geolocated to Antigua and Barbuda. Surely, you would agree that Parliament of all institutions cannot abdicate the responsibility to respect this right when it doesn't suit the ruling regime.” the letter stated. He also cited Ravi Shankar Prasad's case which invoked the rule to give an explanation regarding comments made by Jyotiraditya Scindia in relation to him in Parliament.“There are several examples available on the Lok Sabha Digital Library which show that this right isn't restricted to responding to statements made within Parliament but extends to allegations made in the public domain as well,” he said.Mr Gandhi has insisted on speaking in the Lok Sabha as he is a member of the House. The BJP is demanding an apology from him but Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday said in the Rajya Sabha that the question of apology does not arise. Earlier, calling Rahul Gandhi the “present-day Mir Zafar”, the BJP said the senior Congress leader would have to apologise for his remarks on democracy during his recent visit to the UK.“Rahul Gandhi will have to apologise...he always defames the nation. He is the present-day Mir Jafar of Indian Polity,”BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal greets at the Budget Session of the Delhi Legislative Assembly on Tuesday. SUBRATA DUTTA STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 21 MARCH Delhi chief ministerArvind Kejriwal today wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to “not stall the Delhi Budget” after the latest clash between his government and the Centre erupted on Monday. The Centre, however, blamed the Delhi chief minister for “misrepresenting facts”.The Delhi Budget was reportedly cleared by Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena late last night, after a back-andforth with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, and sent for President Droupadi Murmu's assent.Sources in the Lieutenant Governor's office said the Delhi Budget was approved by the Home Ministry and “conveyed to the AAP government”. Arvind Kejriwal said the Budget was to be announced this morning and accused the Centre of blocking it, calling it “gundagardi (hooliganism)”. “It is the first time in the country's 75-year history that a state budget has been stopped. Why are you angry with the people of Delhi,” Mr Kejriwal wrote in a letter to PM Modi. “The people of Delhi urge you, with folded hands, to pass their Budget," he said. His finance minister, Kailash Gahlot, said in the Delhi Assembly: “There can be nothing more unconstitutional than stopping an elected government from presenting its Budget. The Centre knew it was listed for the 21st.” The Centre had asked the Kejriwal government to resend the Budget after addressing concerns flagged by the Lieutenant Governor. The AAP government was asked to explain the high allocation to advertisements and the relatively low funds assigned to infrastructure and other development initiatives, according to sources. The AAP said the allocation on advertisements had not been raised and was the same as last year. In the Rs 78,800crore budget, Rs 22,000 crore was assigned to infrastructure spending and Rs 550 crore on advertisements, said Delhi's ruling party.The Home Ministry, claimed sources, had waited for a reply from the Delhi government for four days. Rebutting the Delhi government, the Lieutenant Governor's office said the Centre's queries were communicated to the Delhi government in time, with “certain observations”, on 9 March. How is everyone arrested, except Amritpal, asks HC BLOOMING TULIPS SNS & AGENCIES CHANDIGARH, 21 MARCH Women dressed in traditional Kashmiri attire pose for a photo at Siraj Bagh Tulip Garden in Srinagar on Sunday. ANI The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday asked the state government that “how is everyone arrested, except Amritpal Singh”, adding that "if he has he escaped, this is an intelligence failure". The High Court continued hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by the legal advisor of Waris Punjab De, requesting the court to direct the respondents to produce the fugitive self-styled Sikh preacher before it. A Bench of Justice N.S. Shekhawat asked Advocate General Vinod Ghai: "How did he (Amritpal Singh) escape?" At this, he replied: "We have arrested other accused in the case."The Bench further asked how everyone, except Amritpal Singh, has been arrested. “You have 80,000 police. How has he not been arrest- RAF and police personnel conduct a flag march to maintain law and order after the arrest of associates of Waris Punjab De chief Amritpal Singh, in Jalandhar. ANI ed? If he escaped, this is an intelligence failure. The entire police force is after him,” said the Bench.Explaining further, the Advocate General said: "It happens sometimes. The G20 summit was also going on." The High Court appointed advocate Tanu Bedi as amicus curiae in the case and adjourned the hearing for four days. It has also sought a status report sought from the Punjab government. The Advocate General further informed the court that the stringent NSA has been invoked against Amritpal Singh. Punjab police spokesperson and Inspector General of Police (headquarters) Sukhchain Singh Gill, meanwhile, told the Press today that fugitive Amritpal Singh had hid in a gurdwara at Mangal Ambian village in Jalandhar district before fleeing on a motorbike in western attire during the crackdown against him and his supporters on Saturday. Releasing Amritpal’s photos in different attire and form, Gill said the 'Waris Punjab De' head swapped his traditional Sikh religious clothes for shirt and trousers and also switched his turban in the same gurudwara before making his getaway on a motorbike. SC mulls panel to examine less painful method of execution Govt releases guidelines STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE The Bench further added NEW DELHI, 21 MARCH The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Central government to furnish information on whether execution of a death sentence by hanging was cruel and offending to human dignity along with information on alternative and less painful methods of carrying out death sentence by lethal injunctions, or through electrocution. Seeking information on different methods of execution of death sentence, a Bench comprising Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice P.S. Narasimha indicated that they may constitute a committee having representation from National Law University, Delhi, National Law School, Bengaluru or Hyderabad, doctors from AIIMS or other medical institutions and scientists. The court also sought material from the point of view of science and technology. Executions are carried out by hanging as the primary method of execution as given under Sec 354(5) of the Criminal Code of Procedure, 1973 is ‘Hanging by the neck until dead’, and is awarded only in the 'rarest of cases' The court asked whether today's science suggests that hanging is the best method or there are other methods which are more conforming to human dignity while carrying out a death sentence. “There are two perspectives to look at, one, is there any alternate method, which is more consistent with human dignity so as to render this method of execution as unconstitutional. Two, even if there is no alter- that change in technology or availability of better science is a ground for relooking at hanging, and in order to do so, the court must have some underlying data The Chief Justice queried if there was a method which is consistent with human dignity and socially acceptable, based on today's knowledge of technology and science nate method, does this method satisfy the test for proportionality so as to be upheld,” the Chief Justice told Attorney General R Venkataramani. Initially, the court posted the matter for consideration next week but after Mr Venkataramani told the court that he would like to have a look at the issue, the court said that matter would be listed on 2 May thereby giving sufficient time to the Attorney General to go into the matter. In the course of the hearing PIL petitioner advocate Rishi Malhotra, who has challenged the provision allowing for the execution of death sentence by hanging, described it as inhuman and cruel and favoured death sentence by administering lethal injection or by electrocution in electric chair. Mr Malhotra’s reference to the execution of a death sentence by shooting was dismissed by the court as barbaric. Chief Justice Chandrachud referred to the material raising questions about administering lethal injection, citing the instances where a person undergoes sufferings when lethal injection does not succeed in carrying out the death sentence. Mr Malhotra was seeking a direction for quashing of the provision contained under Section 354(5) of the Criminal Procedure Code as ultra vires the Constitution and especially Article 21 being discriminatory and also in contravention of the Constitution Bench judgment in Gian Kaur's case. During the hearing, the Bench told Mr Malhotra that it is in the domain of the experts in the field of medical and science to determine which method is less painful and humane. As far as courts are concerned, they can only look into the validity of the statutory provisions. Chief Justice Chandrachud said that there has be material on record to justify displacing the 1983 judgment that had upheld the existing provision of executing death sentence by hanging. Interestingly, the 1983 judgment was authored by then Justice Y V Chandrachud who later went on to become the Chief Justice of India. Justice Y V Chandrachud was father of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud. for HWC mitigation STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 21 MARCH The government today released 14 guidelines to address Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC), which aim to facilitate a common understanding among key stakeholders on what constitutes effective and efficient mitigation of HWC in India. The guidelines are advisory in nature and will facilitate in further development of sitespecific HWC mitigation measures.The 14 guidelines released by Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav include ten speciesspecific guidelines, relating to human conflicts with species such as elephant, gaur, leopard, snakes, crocodile, rhesus Macaque,wild pigs, bears, blue bull and blackbucks. Four guidelines relate to cooperation between the Forest and Media sector, occupational health and safety in the context of human-wildlife conflict mitigation, crowd management in human-wildlife conflict-related situations; and health emergencies and potential health risks arising out of human-Wildlife conflict situations.The development and intended implementation of these guidelines is driven by a harmonious-coexistence approach to ensure that both humans and wild animals are protected from the negative impacts of HWC. They provide a framework to take a holistic approach, viz., not only addressing the emergency situations arising due to immediate HWC situations but also addressing the drivers and pressures that lead to HWC,guidance on establishing and managing prevention methods and reducing the impact of conflict both on humans and wild animals.
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