FRIDAY PANT COVID-19 POSITIVE IN UK, THREE OTHERS IN ISOLATION 16 Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant and throwdown specialist Dayanand Garani catch the infection in Britain; Test series vs England starts in August 4 JULY, 2021 CONTACTS PLACED UNDER QUARANTINE Pant, who watched Euro 2020 from the Wembley Stadium tested Covid-19 positive on July 8 and is recovering well. Garani, who joined the team over the weekend after twoweek break, tested positive on July 14. His contacts bowling coach Bharathis Arun and players Wriddhiman Saha and Abhimanyu Easwaran are in isolation and will join the team in Durham next week epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard DOORSTEP SERVICE HOME DELIVERY OF GANGAJAL With Kanwar Yatra cancelled, Uttarakhand govt confirms supply to devotees PAGE 8 A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS NEW DELHI J8.00 PAGES 12 Rishabh Pant posted pictures watching Euro match at Wembley | TWITTER DID THEY LET THEIR GUARD DOWN? A few players and support staff were seen at the Wimbledon and the Wembley watching Euro 2020 matches without masks. This prompted BCCI to send a circular. In the first week of July, the BCCI arranged for the second dose of Covid vaccines for the team members in London | P11 Supreme concern over misuse of sedition law Substantial slack in K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi EXPRESSING concern over rampant misuse of the colonial sedition law, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre why has it not got rid of the legislation, when several other old laws have been repealed. The observation came when a bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana heard a plea by retired Major-General SG Vombatkere, who challenged the Constitutional validity of Section 124 A (sedition) of the IPC saying that it has a chilling effect on free speech. “Dispute is that it is a colonial law used by British to suppress freedom and used against Mahatma Gandhi and Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Is this law still needed after 75 years of Independence?” Justice Ramana wondered. Pointing towards its misuse, the CJI said: “If you see the history of charging under this section, the conviction rate is very low. The enormous power of this section can be compared to a carpenter being given SEDITIONCASE COUNT (2014 to 2019) 559 337 10 73 Arrested Chargesheeted a saw to make an item, (but) uses it to cut the entire forest instead of a tree. That’s the effect of this provision.” The CJI also clarified that he was not blaming any government, but added that the concern was about the “misuse of the law and no accountability Convicted Discharged Source: NCRB CJI Ramana wonders why there has been no government bid to repeal this when many other laws have been axed of the Executive”. According to Section 124 A of the Indian Penal Code, those who attempt to create hatred or contempt against the government shall be punished with imprisonment or fine or both. The offence is not bailable. In 1962, the Supreme Court had upheld it in the Kedar Nath Yadav versus the State of Bihar case. “The government has taken out a lot of stale laws,” Justice Ramana told Attorney General KK Venugopal. The latter suggested that instead of repealing the section, parameters and guidelines could be laid down. However, CJI Ramana emphasised the “gravity of the situation” and said “if a party does not want to hear the voice of the other party, they may use this type of law and implicate other people.” ‘Law of Ruler’ in Didi’s turf, says NHRC report to Calcutta High Court E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kolkata THE situation in West Bengal is a manifestation of ‘Law of Ruler’ instead of ‘Rule of Law’, observed the final report of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on post-poll violence in the state. The report, submitted to a five-judge bench of Kolkata High Court two days ago, also recommended that investigation of grievous offences like murder and rape should be TMC MPs want bypolls In Bengal at the earliest Trinamool Congress MPs (above) visited the Election Commission on Thursday, demanding immediate bypolls in six vacant Assembly seats in Bengal. Mamata Banerjee, who lost in the polls, has to get elected by November 2 to remain the CM handed over to the CBI and tried outside the state. The enquiry committee constituted by the NHRC also felt the spate of violence shows a pernicious ‘politico-bureaucratic-criminal nexus’ which is a deadly combination and has national security implications considering that West Bengal is a border state. The Commission also found that the violence was neither sporadic nor random, instead specific persons were targeted. It also mentioned a list of notorious criminals which include forest minister Jyotipriya Mullick and other Trinamool Congress functionaries. Lambasting the Centre, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee described the NHRC’s report a distorted one and a conspiracy against the state. “There is no rule of law in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh. How many commissions visited UP? Is everything forgiven in UP because it is ruled by BJP?” said the Bengal CM. Responding to petitions on the issue of alleged post-poll violence, the Kolkata High Court on July 2 had directed NHRC to constitute a committee and submit a report. “The situation in West Bengal is a manifestation of Law of Ruler, instead of Rule of Law. The spatio-temporal expanse of violent incidents with little efforts of state machinery to prevent or control or rectify the same is actually a large picture of organised violence by supporters of the ruling party in retribution against persons who dared to support the other major party which lost the recent Assembly elections. While some organs or personnel of the state government remained mute spectators, some others were apparently complicit,” the report mentioned. The committee made 311 spot inquiries and found that in 60 per cent of cases, FIRs were not registered, while the police resorted to dilution in 27 per cent of cases by using milder sections of law. Citing data received from the Director General of Police (DGP), the report said 1,934 complaints were lodged with police stations and 1,168 of them were treated as FIRs. “Out of the 9,304 accused cited in the FIRs, only 1,354 (14%) have been arrested and out of these arrested, 1,086 (80%) are already out on bail. ALL PRAISE FOR YOGI PM Narendra Modi greets Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath while inaugurating different projects in Varanasi on Thursday | PTI RICHA SHARMA AND HARPREET B A J W A @ New Delhi/Chandigarh THE Congress seems to have worked out a peace deal in Punjab, with cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu set to be named president of the party’s Punjab unit. Amarinder Singh will remain the chief ministerial candidate in Assembly elections next year. According to the truce formula, the state unit will also have two working presidents, one a Hindu and the other a Schedule Caste face. Also, Ama- rinder might be appointed chairman of the party’s campaign committee, while his bete noire Partap Singh Bajwa is likely to be the manifesto committee chairman. Congress general secretary in-charge of Punjab, Harish Rawat, said the decision will be announced in two-three days. “The party will go into the elections with Amarinder Singh as the chief minister. Sidhu is the future of the state.” The decision by the Congress high command is not expected to go down well with Amarind- EXPRESS READ JEE (Main) Edition 4 postponed to Aug 26-Sept 2 New Delhi: The fourth edition of engineering entrance exam JEE (Main) has been postponed to August 26-September 2 to give aspirants a four-week gap between two sessions, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Thursday. The fourth edition was scheduled to be held from July 27 to August 2. A total of 7.32 lakh candidates have already registered for the fourth edition. er. During his meeting with Sonia Gandhi on July 6, Amarinder had reportedly made it clear that nominating Sidhu as PCC chief could turn out to be disastrous for the party, though he told the media later that he RISE IN ACTIVE CASES AFTER NEARLY TWO MONTHS Health ministry warns states against complacency in following Covid protocol | P7 AUTHORITIES in the Jammu and Kashmir government are set to launch a luxury bus-boat service on river Jhelum to revive water transport in Srinagar and attract more tourists. The trial run of the bus-boat was conducted successfully by a private company called Sukhnag Enterprises under the supervision of marine engineers on Thursday . Director of Sukhnag, Imran Malik told this daily that the specially designed boat has been procured from a European country and fulfils all the security and safety criteria. “It has a carrying capacity of 35 seats — 30 passengers and five crew members. Of crew members, IT’s said all’s well that ends well. With the unpleasantness surrounding the second Covid wave declining, economic indicators are ‘brightening’ prospects. But, one may have to wait for that perfect ending. At least RBI believes so. In its monthly bulletin released on Thursday RBI not, ed that the gradual decline of infections and an aggressive vaccination push have brightened the near-term prospects for the economy But, . there will be a substantial slack in the economy and demand pressures may take some more time to become evident. This is notwithstanding the projected 9.5% GDP growth rate this fiscal. Aggregate demand is the cleanest guide to recovery, but as the central bank noted, consumption is not at full-throttle. “While several high frequency indicators of activity are recovering, a solid increase is aggregate demand is yet to take shape,” it noted. would accept what the high command decides. Leaders from the state wondered how well the peace formula would work since Sidhu and the CM do not see eye-toeye on most issues. Some said if the party goes ahead with the proposed decision despite Amarinder’s strong disapproval of Sidhu, he may decide not to contest the elections. For now, Sidhu seems to have had his way. He had hinted at joining the AAP if he was not made the PCC chief. Sources said his candidature got strong Several mobility indicators shot up in June, so did attendance at workplaces, power consumption and digital transactions — all of which are considered forerunners to a revival in business and consumer confidence. In fact, RBI’s 27-factor nowcasting model estimated Q1 real GDP growth at 21%. Adjusted for Q1’s 5.5% inflation, nominal growth is pegged at 17.5%. While on the supply side, agricultural conditions are turning buoyant with the revival in the monsoon, the recovery of manufacturing and services sectors has been interrupted by the second wave. Likewise, specific demand-supply mismatches too exist, such as proteinrich food items, edible oils and pulses, which were being addressed by specific supply-side measures, according to the report. RBI also stressed inflation will persist at elevated levels for some months before easing in Q3 of FY22 when the kharif harvest reaches markets. JAB-O-METER July 14 TAKE 32,10,451 doses YOUR July 15 SHOT 35,15,093 doses TOTAL DOSES: 39,49,78,565 NATIONWIDE JULY 14 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths JULY 15 38,792 41,806 41,000 39,130 624 581 DELHI Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths JULY 14 77 71 01 JULY 15 72 88 01 A luxury bus-boat during a trial run on river Jehlum in Srinagar on Thursday | PTI 40 minutes. According to him, roads are already congested and need maintenance. Water transport will help in easing the hardship commuters face. Sukhnag will hand over the fleet of five boats including one bus-boat, two 20-seater taxi boats, one leisure boat and one rescue boat to the Tourism Department. The department will operate the boats to revive water transport in Srinagar. “The formal launch of the luxury boat-bus will be decided by the Tourism department,” Imran said. Operator and the marine engineers of the company would train government personnel. The seven-day training programme for government personnel will start from Saturday officials informed. , backing from former Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who had convinced brother and former party chief Rahul Gandhi to meet him earlier this month. With both Amarinder and Sidhu being Jat Sikhs, the names of Vijay Inder Singla and Santokh Singh Chaudhary as working presidents are being seen as a balancing act since Punjab has a sizeable Hindu and SC population. Singla is a minister and Chaudhary is the MP from Jalandhar and a known Dalit leader. TC not needed for shift to government school from private: Deputy CM of Education has been asked to ensure that provisional admisSTUDENTS moving to govern- sion is granted to students. Ofment schools in Delhi from pri- ficers of DoE should directly vate institutinos will not re- secure the TCs from the conquire a transfer certificate cerned private school. Parents (TC). Anouncing this on Thurs- need not worry about TC anyday, Deputy Chief more,” said Sisodia Minister Manish The decision has Sisodia said no chilcome as a major redren from private lief to hundreds of schools will be denied parents who are facadmission for not ing this issue. Many having a TC and govhave had to face a hue r n m e n t s ch o o l s miliating situation should will enroll while wanting to them on the basis of move their child from other documents. private to gover nSisodia, who is also ment schools. the Education MinisStudents who could Directorate of ter of Delhi, said Education has been not apply online for many parents have asked to ensure that admission in Class lost their jobs or sufVI and XI, can apply provisional admission is fered losses in busiin the second round granted. Officers ness. Hence they are between July 23 and should directly unable to pay fees for August 6. Last date secure TCs from the last one year due for online application private schools. the Covid pandemic. for admission in Parents need not “ S o m e p r iv a t e Class X and XII is worry schools are holding July 20. Schedule for Manish Sisodia back transfer certifiClass XI admission cate and asking parwill be released after ents to deposit the full fee first. Class X board results. Besides, Due to this many parents are about 28,000 applications have unable to get their children out been received for nursery, KG of private schools and take and Class I in Delhi Governthem to government schools. ment’s Sarvodaya Schools. The Taking cognisance of this after admission list will be issued on receiving complaints from July 20. Process of school allomany parents, the Directorate cation is underway . EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi Bus-boat service on Jhelum to revive water tourism one will be operator and four will be rescuers,” he said. Imran said all passengers boarding the bus-boat will be given life jackets and will have to wear it during the journey. “Life jackets will be available on every seat and after boarding, passengers will have to necessarily wear them.” The government has decided tht the route will be from Pantha-Chowk (south of Srinagar) to Veer Chattabal in downtown Srinagar. The bus-boat will stop at seven points — Pantha Chowk, Rajbagh, Peerzo, Polo View, Amira Kadal, Khankahi Moula and Veer Chattabal. The luxury bus-boat is equipped with an air-conditioner and an LCD television. Imran said it will cover 16 kms in EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad Cong truce formula: Sidhu Punjab chief, Amarinder CM face RIVER CRUISE F AYA Z W A N I @ Srinagar economy even with 9.5% growth: RBI
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