CHENNAI TUESDAY OCTOBER 27, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 VELLORE EDITION POLLUTION LAW IN THE WORKS, SC PUTS LOKUR PANEL ON HOLD Monday’s decision by the apex court came after Centre said it’s creating a permanent body to tackle air pollution in Delhi-NCR NEW LEGISLATION IN THREE-FOUR DAYS: CENTRE PEOPLE ARE CHOKING, SAYS CJI BOBDE Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that the Centre will come out with a comprehensive legislation to address air pollution in Delhi, including the issue of stubble burning in neighbouring Punjab, Haryana and UP. He didn’t spell out details of the new law, but said it will be brought in three to four days, and will put in place a permanent body to tackle air pollution P7 ■ ■ Welcoming the proposal, CJI S A Bobde said, “The only issue is people are choking because of pollution, and it must be curbed” On October 16, the court had appointed a one-man panel comprising retired SC judge Madan B Lokur to monitor steps taken by govts of Punjab, Haryana, UP to prevent stubble burning Oct 29 WHEN THE COURT WILL HEAR THE MATTER AGAIN CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI India, US to ink 2 key deals today Allahabad HC calls out cow slaughter ban law’s abuse, framing people in UP S A N A S H A K I L @ New Delhi Jaishankar, Rajnath hold talks with Pompeo, Esper ahead of the 2+2 ministerial dialogue P U S H K A R B A N A K A R & M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi SETTING the stage for the signing of two crucial defence and information-sharing deals in the third 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark Esper held bilateral talks with their respective counterparts, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, here on Monday . “The two ministers (Singh and Esper) reviewed bilateral defence cooperation spanning military to military cooperation, secure communication systems and information sharing, defence trade and industrial issues and also discussed ways to take bilateral cooperation forward. The two ministers expressed satisfaction that agreement of BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for geo-spatial cooperation) will be signed during the visit,” read a Ministry of Defence statement released after the meeting. Mike Pompeo Mark Esper The top US officials are in India for the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue during which BECA and MISTA (Maritime Information Sharing Technical Arrangement) will be signed. While BECA gives India access to accurate US satellite data for navigation and precision military targets, MISTA will help in enhanced information and intelligence sharing between the two countries. The 2+2 dialogue comes amid border tensions with China. The US has condemned China’s aggressive actions along the LAC and the South China Sea and the two US officials will likely be canvassing their antiChina stance when they visit Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Indonesia on their way back to CONTINUED ON: P7 the US. THE Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act is being “misused” to implicate innocent persons, the Allahabad High Court recently observed, putting the state’s law enforcement machinery under intense scrutiny . In a recent order, the single judge bench of Justice Siddharth observed, “Act is being misused against innocent persons. Whenever any meat is recovered, it is normally shown as cow meat (beef) without getting it exam- ined or analyzed by the Forensic Laboratory .” In most cases under this law, meat is not sent for analysis and accused persons continue to be in jail for an offence they may not have committed, Justice Siddharth said. He added that offences under this law have a maximum sentence of seven years. The court was hearing a bail application of one Rahmuddin, accused of cow slaughter and sale of beef under sections 3, 5 and 8 of the Act. The judge made the scathing SC rejects TN’s plea for 50% OBC quota in medical entry EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai/New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Monday rejected Tamil Nadu’s interim prayer seeking implementation of 50 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes in the State’s medical colleges on seats contributed to the All-India Quota this academic year. Both the Dravidian parties had approached the apex court after the Centre made it clear that it was not possible to implement the quota for OBCs this year. A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi dismissed the pleas. In July, the Madras High Court directed the Centre to constitute a panel – with representatives from State and Central governments apart from the Medical Council of India – to decide on the issue of providing OBC reservations in the AIQ seats. Regional parties have expressed disappointment over the ruling, and urged the State to take immediate steps to secure reservations. The DMK attacked the ruling governments at State and Centre for “jointly shattering” WHAT WILL BE THE NEXT MOVE? DMK president Stalin called upon the State government to exert political pressure on the Centre to implement the reservation. The SC decision comes at a time when TN Governor has sought 3-4 weeks time to decide on the 7.5% horizontal reservations Bill of State govt SOAKED IN RAIN the dreams of several backward caste candidates. “The rights of over 10,000 students have been affected,” he said, while calling upon the State government to exert political pressure on the Centre to implement the reservation. This comes at a time when the Tamil Nadu Gover nor has sought 3-4 weeks time to decide on the 7.5 per cent horizontal reservations Bill of the State government. Previously, the OBCs were THOOTHUKUDI HAIRDRESSER GETS PM’S APPLAUSE Farmers in tears as paddy not procured EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE R S I V A K U M A R @ Ranipet FARMERS who have brought their paddy to a Direct Procurement Centre in Ranipet are caught in a precarious position as officials have not been procuring their produce for days now. With tonnes of their produce – and months of toil – being wasted in the open, exposed to unpredictable spells of rain, farmers are crying for a speedy resolution of the matter. “I have brought 100 bags of paddy (80kg each). They have not even weighed by bags yet,” says farmer R Manikandan, who visited the centre in S Kolathur village. “They are not even explaining the reason for the delay .” Around Manikandan sit several other farmers, busy trying to find measures to avoid their produce from getting wet. Some are seen unpacking the paddy, drying it in sunlight, and repacking the bags. Farmers claim a senior politician is behind the delay in procurement. “There is an attempt to shift the DPC to another village,” allege a few farmers. KM Mohan, State president of Uzhavar Perunthalaivar Vivasayigal Sangam believes attempts are being made to shift the centre P3 to Thennal village. remarks after learning that the accused had been in jail for over a month even when there was no allegation against him in the first information report. Rahmuddin’s lawyer also claimed that his client was not arrested from the spot of the alleged crime. The court granted bail to Rahmuddin on certain conditions such as not tampering with evidence. In its order on October 19, the court also made observations on the menace of abandoned cattle and stray cows in Uttar CONTINUED ON: P7 Pradesh. @ Thoothukudi HANDREST French-Swiss artist Saype lies on his biodegradable land-art painting in Istanbul on Monday. It’s part of his “Beyond Walls” project in which he paints giant intertwined hands to symbolise “the largest human chain” around the world | AP TN POSITIVE CASES LAST WEEK 3,536 3,094 3,086 19 Oct 20 21 3,077 22 3,057 23 2,886 24 2,869 25 Oct MINISTER STILL CRITICAL Minister for Agriculture R Doraikkannu, who is being treated for severe Covid-19 pneumonia at a private hospital, continues to be critically ill. A bulletin issued by Kauvery Hospital on Monday said maintaining the functions of his vital organs continues to be a challenge. His response to treatment over next 24 hours will determine the prognosis, it said | P4 Improving situation Stats show that for the first time in almost four months, all the 15 zones in Chennai corporation are having cases lesser than 1,000 The city, after witnessing three Covid-19 peaks, during July, August and October, is seeing a downtrend in cases| P2 IT might take the fragrance of shaving cream and the sound of snipping scissors to wake you up to the reality that you are indeed inside a salon, for a ‘library’ of nearly 1,500 books and tomes inside it casts a spell not so easy to shake off. That is where 39-year-old P Pon Mariappan makes his living. His little salon at Millerpuram became the talk of the town in November last when he started offering discounts to customers who spent their waiting time reading a book from his library which he established back in 2015. However, little did the man know that his good deed would bring him on the radar of the prime minister of the country . Mann ki Baat When the Doordarshan staff invited him to the studio to speak on a ‘radio programme,’ on Thursday, Mariappan did not know that the said programme was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Manathin Kural (Mann ki Baat) radio programme. His heart swelled with happiness when the prime minister lauded his efforts to inculcate reading habit among people. “I feel encouraged and rejuvenated after speaking with the prime minister,” said Mariappan. When the prime minister asked him what inspired him to establish a library inside his shop, Mariappan told him how poverty made him drop out of school after Class VIII and how he regretted it everyday He also expressed his love . for Thirukkural, his favourite book. He established the library P Pon Mariappan at work in his salon cum library in Millerpuram | EXPRESS to give others an opportunity to read, a luxury he could not afford once, Mariappan told Express. Owing to the pandemic, Mariappan had to close his salon for nearly six months. Even after reopening it, the low customer turnout has had him concerned, he said. During such a crisis, he said, the conversation with the prime minister has encouraged him to be zestful. being provided reservation only in central universities. However, several activists and politicians had argued that since the States were allotting such a large margin of seats to the AIQ, the OBCs were losing out on seats that they could avail in non-central universities. It was estimated that the OBCs had lost out on over 10,000 seats in the last three years because the Centre had failed to implement reservation in the AIQ. EXPRESS READ BJP wins first Ladakh polls since bifurcation New Delhi: In the first elections to the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC)Leh since Ladakh was made a Union Territory last year, the BJP retained its control over the body, winning 16 of the 26 seats. The Congress got nine seats. Independents won two seats. The AAP, which had contested for the first time, failed to open its account. The turnout was 65.07 per cent In a 1st, Guj HC streams hearings on YouTube New Delhi: The Gujarat High Court on Monday became the first in the country to live-stream its proceedings on YouTube. Though the Gujarat High Court, like other courts, switched to virtual hearings amid the pandemic, YouTube streaming marked the first instance of a court proceeding available for viewing by anyone. About 1,500 people watched the proceedings on the first day Daily spike in virus cases hits 3-month low New Delhi: India on Monday recorded its lowest single-day spike Covid-19 cases and fatalities in the last three months. There were 45,149 fresh cases in the 24 hours till Monday morning, according to the Union health ministry. During the same period, about 480 fresh deaths were recorded. The total number of cases stood at 79.09 lakh and deaths at 1.19 lakh WAY TO GO A ride to remember: To surprise birthday boy, parents travel 1,400 km by scooter S O W M YA M A N I @ Pudukkottai SOME parents can go any distance to ensure their children have memorable experiences in life. Selvam and Sangeetha went, in literal terms, a whopping 1,400km by road on their two-wheeler – all the way from Mumbai to Pudukkottai – to ensure they are physically present for their 6-year-old ’s birthday . The couple, who have been living in Sion area of Mumbai since their marriage, had dropped off their two kids with Sangeetha’s parents living in Pudukkottai in March so that they can enjoy a vacation with their grandparents. The parents promised the kids that they would return soon to pick Two stops & 37 hours It took them 37 hours to cover 1,400km. “We halted at Kolhapur on day-1 and Bengaluru on day-2. We stayed at lodges to cut costs. At Bengaluru, the bike had to be serviced to ensure a smooth ride,” says Selvam them up, and that was when the lockdown began. “I had not spent even seven days away from my kids, and now it has been seven months,” says Sangeetha. “We decided to surprise my son Yogeshwar by being there for his sixth birthday As there are no trains to .” Tiruchy yet, and with airfares soaring higher than aircraft, the couple decided to hit the road on their scooter, Activa. It took them 37 hours to cover 1,400km. “We halted at Kolhapur on day-1 and Bengaluru on day-2. We stayed at lodges to cut costs. At Bengaluru, the bike had to be serviced to ensure a smooth ride. On the first day we covered 300km and on subsequent days we covered 800km and 398km,” says Selvam, who has a grocery shop in Mumbai. The entire trip cost them close to `7,000. “My daughter Veni is 13 and son Yogeshwar is 6. They have been wanting to come back to Mumbai since April,” adds Selvam. The couple are currently placed in quarantine and will meet the children on Tuesday .
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