NEW DELHI 14 FEBRUARY 2021 SUNDAY `9 PAGES 24 facebook/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard https://epaper.morningstandard.in PLUS: 12 PAGES MAGAZINE The Moving Finger Writes EXCLUSIVE VOICES PRESENTING THE PAST SHOT OF HEALTH A healthcare worker gets his second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at a hospital in Daryaganj, New Delhi on Saturday | PTI Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Bhartruhari Mahtab questioned the government coming with the ordinance when the budget session of parliament was set to commence in a few days. The Bill, which has already been approved by the Rajya Sabha, will replace the ordinance promulgated on January 7 this year. “Full statehood for J&K will definitely be granted, but first the task is to put the development work back on track,” said Shah in his reply to the discussion. Shah rejected the contention of the J&K National Conference member Hasnain Masoodi that constitutional morality warranted the government refraining from bringing an amendment bill to the J&K Reorganisation Act since the matter was sub-judice. The minister said the Supreme Cour t hasn’ t stayed the 2019 Act. He wondered why a Hindu official cannot serve in areas of Muslim population or vice versa. Shah defended the legislation saying that it’s meant to meet the shortages of officials in the UT. Earlier, taking part in the discussion, Chowdhury asked the reasons for the continued high level of militancy. He said the premise of the J&K Reorganisation Act enacted in 2019 was that it would eliminate militancy He also rued that the people . in the UT continue to live amid heavy deployment of security personnel. The Congress leader stated that while industries were being given land in the UT, the government was yet to fulfill the promise to resettle Kashmiri Pandits. THE Uttar Pradesh government has announced the withdrawal of cases registered against the public for violation of lockdown rules during the Covid-19 pandemic. The move is likely to give respite to around 2.5 lakh people. The government decision was made after demands from different sections of people, including traders. Law minister Brijesh Pathak said the process to withdraw the cases had been initiated. Uttar Pradesh is the first state to withdraw such cases. The cases relate to not wearing masks, violation of physical distancing rules etc. Initially, the decision was taken to withdraw the lockdown violation cases against traders only but this has been extended to the general public. The cases were lodged under Section 188 of the Epidemic Act. Though the government justified the decision saying it would reduce the burden on the courts, it issued an advisory asking people to take all , precautions and to not let their guard down. OVERHAUL SYSTEM Judiciary ramshackled, going to court is useless: Gogoi E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi EXPRESSING concern over the increasing pendency of cases that is clogging the Indian judicial system, former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi termed the situation as “ramshackled” and added that even he would not go to the courts. “Who goes to the court? You go to the court and regret,” Gogoi said, adding that it is those who can afford to take chances, such as the big corporates, who approach the courts. Gogoi, who was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in March 2020 after his retirement as the CJI in November 2019, was speaking at an event at Kolkata. “If you go to the court, you would be washing dirty linen in the court. You will not get a verdict,” the former CJI said in reply to a question if he would take legal action against Trinamool Congress member of parliament Mahua Moitra over her statement in the Lok Sabha that Gogoi discredited the judiciary by deciding the sexual harassment allegations against himself. Without naming Moitra, Gogoi said the “lady politician” did not have her facts right as he did not decide the case against him. Gogoi said he had handed over the file to Justice S A Bobde, who was the next senior judge then, who in turn constituted an inquiry panel as per the in-house procedure. Gogoi stressed the need for a roadmap to overhaul the judicial system. “You want a 5 trillion dollar economy but you have a ramshackled judiciary ,” he commented, adding that dur- ing the pandemic, 60 lakh cases were added at the trial courts, 3 lakh in high courts and nearly 7,000 in the apex court. “The road map is to have the right man for the job. You don’t appoint judges as you appoint officers in the government. To be a judge is a full time commitment. It is a passion. There are no working hours,” he said, stressing that the training of judges should be robust. 1,38,391 Congress MP T N Prathapan has submitted a notice of breach of privilege against the finance minister for insulting the party leader. The notice said Sitharaman accused Gandhi of having joined fringe elements and demeaning the country. N A M I TA B A J PA I @ Lucknow Jammu & Kashmir statehood will be restored: Shah UNION minister for home affairs Amit Shah told the Lok Sabha on Saturday that statehood to Jammu and Kashmir would be restored but only after development is put back on track. The Lok Sabha passed the J&K Reorganisation (Amendment) Act, which seeks to merge the existing cadre of the Union territory with AGMU (Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and UT). Congress floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and the CONGRESS MP MOVES PRIVILEGE NOTICE UP drops cases for violation of lockdown rules NOT JUST A LAW ENFORCER E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi The FM alleged that Gandhi’s policy was to constantly say things that will demean and insult India. “When there was a crisis on the border, instead of talking to us, they were talking to the (Chinese) Embassy and inquiring about the border.” RELIEF GUIDE In Nagaland, an IPS officer helps students prepare for civil services exams, counsels drug addicts and their families | P5 ‘HE DEMEANED INDIA DURING LAC CRISIS’ CHANDIGARH TAWANG: The late Major Ralengnao Bob Khathing, instrumental in bringing Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh under the Indian Union, will be honoured for the first time on Sunday in presence of CDS General Bipin Rawat, two CMs, a central minister and a governor. Nirmala Sitharman, Finance Minister 3,10,015 Forgotten Tawang hero to be honoured today The same party in the Rajya Sabha takes part in Budget discussion, why doesn’t that happen in the Lok Sabha? IN a scathing counter-attack on Rahul Gandhi for his relentless targeting of the government over the farm laws and the LAC standoff with China, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman on Saturday dubbed the former Congress president “doomsday man for India”. During her reply to the Budget discussion in the Lok Sabha, Sitharaman said the former Congress chief was constantly insulting constitutional functionaries and institutions and creating fake narratives on various issues, betraying a lack of belief in a democratically elected parliamentary system. Responding to the allegations of the government promoting ‘crony capitalism’, the minister asserted that the “Hum Do, Hamare Do” jibe that Gandhi had been taking on the government was more apt for his family. “In banks, you did phone banking and left huge NPAs. This is one tendency cre, ate institutions and use them for ‘Hum Do Hamare Do’ and at the end of the day keep accusing others” said a combative Sitharaman. “Who are our cronies? Our cronies are the com- PUDUCHERRY EXPRESS READ Address Individual, not the Ultimate mon people of this country… Where are the cronies? They’re hiding probably in the shadow of that party which has been rejected by the people.” The Congress “makes allegations, use abusive language, but when under parliamentary procedure they have to respond to... they only shout and walk out,” the minister added. The Congress strongly objected to some of the remarks made by the minister indirectly referring to Gandhi’s family members which were later expunged by the Chair. A Congress MP also moved a breach of privilege notice over the “doomsday man” remark. Sitharaman said the Congress leader has been in the habit of insulting the institution of the prime minister, recalling that he had torn off a copy of an ordinance promulgated by his own party’s government led by the then PM Manmohan Singh. “I wanted to know from the Congress why it took a U-turn on the farm laws but no reply came,” she said. Gandhi did not say why Congress governments in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh did not waive farm loans as promised in their manifesto, she said. 75,886 The order on the review petitions appears to be at variance with what the court held on the farm protests outside Delhi, which have been going on for over two months now. During the hearing, Chief Justice of India S A Bobde vouched for the right to protest and had in its order said: “We clarify that this court will not interfere with the protest in question. Indeed the right to protest is part of a fundamental right and can as a matter of fact, be exercised subject to public order. There can certainly be no impediment in the ex- E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi 57,460 T HE Republic Day violence has only strengthened the farmers agitation, said Punjab Chief minister Amarinder Singh and blamed anti-social elements for instigating the violence. Why would farmers who had been agitating peacefully, first in Punjab for months and then for two months at the Delhi borders, suddenly resort to violence, he questioned. The very fact that the Union government is ready to bring amendments in the three laws proves that the legislations are flawed. “As for the way forward, dialogue is the only way to resolve any issue in a democracy so the two sides should continue talking,” Amarinder said. P7 REITERATING that prolonged protests cannot be at the cost of continued occupation of public spaces as they affect the rights of others, the Supreme Court has dismissed the review petitions challenging its October 2020 verdict on the Shaheen Bagh protests. A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Aniruddha Bose and Krishna Murari rejected the review plea filed by 12 individuals seeking a review of its October 2020 judgment, which had held that public spaces cannot be occupied indefinitely . “(The) constitutional scheme comes with a right to protest and express dissent but with an obligation to have certain duties. The right to protest cannot be anytime and everywhere. There may be some spontaneous protests but in case of prolonged dissent or protest, there cannot be continued occupation of public place affecting rights of others,” the bench held. ercise of such rights as long as it is non-violent and does not result in damage to the life and properties of other citizens. We are of the view at this stage that the farmers’ protest should be allowed to continue without impediment and without any breach of peace either by the protesters or the police.” The October ruling came in the context of the protests held against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in South Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh area. The protests started on December 15, 2019, and ended only after the government ordered a lockdown on March 24 last year in order to curb the spread of Covid-19. “We have to make it unequivocally clear that public ways and public spaces cannot be occupied in such a manner and that too indefinitely Democra. cy and dissent go hand in hand, but then the demonstrations expressing dissent have to be in designated places alone,” the top court’s October 2020 judgment stated. LADAKH ‘VIOLENCE HAS ONLY BOOSTED FARM STIR’ E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi SADHGURU SPEAKS Steady Wins the Race DADRA & NAGAR HAVELI AND DAMAN & DIU Court’s dismissal of plea is at variance with its order on farm protest AMARINDER SINGH Punjab Chief Minister Fantasy Weaver FM calls Rahul a Doomsday Man, Congress objects Protest is a right but not anytime, everywhere: SC 2,04,353 INTERVIEW Ayes for the Eyes Anand Neelakantan Shinie Antony Sheila Kumar Sathya Saran ANDAMAN & NICOBAR ISLANDS Royal Revivers Prabhu Chawla TJS George Shankkar Aiyar Ravi Shankar 19,569 The X Factor Not Worth Having LAKSHADWEEP TOTAL 8,05,674 H E A LT H I D s C R E AT E D T I L L F E B 8 VERY FEW TAKERS FOR NATIONAL HEALTH ID PLAN SUMI SUKANYA DUTTA @ New Delhi THERE seems to be a less than enthusiastic response to the Centre’s plan to create national health identities under the National Digital Health Mission with only 8 lakh IDs being created in the nearly six months of its launch on a pilot basis. In the six UTs where the initiative was star ted, 8,05,674 health IDs had been created till last week, said a reply by the union ministry of health and family welfare to a question in the Lok Sabha. This means that on an average only 4,475 people have come forward to get themselves registered to digitally record their health details every day . The reply also shows that the highest number of IDs was created in Puducherry and only about half the fund of `1 crore, allocated for the initiative in the current financial year, had been spent so far. The mission was announced by PM Narendra Modi on August 15 year. Among other things, the plan is mainly aimed at providing easy access to elec- tronic health records to citizens, generating longitudinal health record data and also ensuring privacy of personal health data along with consent-based access to electronic health records. According to officials, health IDs can be created by providing basic information that includes full name, year of birth, gender, and either a mobile number or an Aadhaar number. As per the NDHM policy document, the objective of the mission is “to create a system of digital personal and medical health records which is easily accessible to individuals and health service providers and is purely voluntary in nature, based on the consent of individuals.” The ministry’s response also added that this system can be used to create personal health records for each individual wherein records generated by various health information providers like doctors, healthcare facilities and laboratories can be collated and viewed by that individual and by healthcare providers with the consent of the individual only .
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