kOCHI l Saturday l November 21, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l LATE city EDITION Axe remdesivir from covid treatment protocol: W.H.O. The UN health body said on Friday there’s no evidence that the drug improved the prospects of hospitalised patients May still benefit a subgroup of patients Experts divided over its effectiveness The new guidelines come a month after results of WHO’s multi-country Solidarity Trial revealed that the antiviral drug had no significant positive outcome on the chances of survival, the need for a ventilator, or the length of hospital stay in patients with severe Covid-19. The WHO, however, said there could still be a potential small benefit in a subgroup of patients ■ ■ Reactions to the WHO trial’s findings have been mixed with many health experts welcoming it while others expressing reservations A recent study by a group of doctors in Bengaluru found that the drug improved patients’ survival chances if given early. A US govtapproved study had also come out with a similar finding in April A24,000 The cost of a course of remdesivir treatment in India 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 Actor abduction: HC ‘no’ to court transfer RBI open to letting large E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi THE Kerala High Court on Friday dismissed the petition filed by the survivor and the state government seeking to transfer the trial in the actor-abduction and sexual assault case involving actor Dileep to another court. Soon after the pronouncement of the judgment, state public prosecutor Suman Chakravarthy sought to stay the order so as to enable the government to approach the Supreme Court, but the court declined it. With this order, the trial in the case will resume on Monday . Dismissing the pleas, Justice V G Arun observed that the reasons cited by the petitioners seeking transfer of the trial were unsustainable. A mere allegation of apprehension of bias is not enough to accept the plea to transfer the case. The instances pointed out by the petitioners are not sufficient to conclude that the apprehension of bias is reasonable. The prosecution produced the affidavit of the special prosecutor and deposition of the survivor in a sealed cover. The survivor submitted that Special prosecutor may quit With the HC dismissing the request to transfer the actor abduction and rape case trial to another sessions court, the prosecution fears that Special Public Prosecutor A Sureshan may resign from the post. she was subjected to cross-examination for nine days by the counsel of eighth accused Dileep and on many occasions, scandalous questions were asked, challenging her credibility and even attacking her character. In spite of the prosecution raising objections against such questions and the mode of examination, the special judge refused to intervene, thereby permitting her to be harassed and vexed, resulting in the survivor breaking down on more occa● More on P5 sions than one. AMMA soft on Bineesh. Not to oust him now, decides to seek explanation E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi Movie by AMMA The ExCom also decided to produce a movie — similar to Twenty-20 — next year to raise funds for the association. The new movie will also be a multi-starrer The insurance cap of AMMA members will be increased from J3 lakh to J5 lakh and accident claim from J10 lakh to J12 lakh THE executive committee of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA), which met here under president Mohanlal on Friday, decided against suspending Bineesh Kodiyeri, one of the accused in the Bengaluru drug case. Instead, the association decided to seek an explanation from him. AMMA, however, chose to accept the resignation of actor Parvathy Thiruvoth, who had expressed her intention to leave the organisation last month in protest against the remarks made by secretary Edavela Babu against the survivor in the actor abduction case. Bineesh, son of CPM leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, is a life member of the association, having joined it in 2009. At Friday’s meeting, a majority of members, including Siddique, Rachana Narayankutty and Honey Rose, were vocal in demanding Bineesh’s ouster. However, K B Ganesh Kumar and Mukesh — both Left MLAs — countered it, saying the bylaw should be followed in the case. They also referred to the criticism the association had faced for suspending Dileep after being accused in the actor abduction case, without seeking his explanation. ● More on P5 The final decision will be taken based on the recommendations of the disciplinary committee. The general body’s approval is needed to oust a member — Edavela Babu, AMMA secretary companies own banks Regulator feels private lenders will drive future growth; wants to expand banking sector after strengthening supervisory oversight Se s a Sen @ New Delhi It is time to open up India’s banking sector to allow large companies to own banks, according to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). In its report released Friday, an internal RBI panel headed by RBI Central Board Director P K Mohanty said industrial houses can be allowed to promote banks after the Banking Regulations Act is amended to this effect. The supervisory wing of the regulator must also be strengthened to prevent connected lending and exposures between banks and other financial and non-financial group entities, the internal group report noted. The suggestions are significant as the central bank has in the past been firmly opposed to allowing large corporate entities to own banks. The working group also suggested that large nonbanking financial companies (NBFCs) with asset size of `50,000 crore and above, including those owned by corporate entities, be converted Court rules Jose faction official Kerala Cong (M) location of symbols to political parties has already been upheld by the In a major setback for the Kerala Supreme Court. Congress (M) P J Joseph faction, The court observed that as there which is part of the UDF in the state, is no statutory provision regulating the Kerala High Court on the allocation of symbols Friday dismissed the petito political parties and tions challenging the Eleccandidates in elections, tion Commission of Inthe duty and power to do dia’s order declaring the so would vest with the EC. group led by Jose K Mani Under the circumstances, as the official party and the court is not inclined to granting it the official accept the arguments ‘Two Leaves’ symbol. raised by the petitioners, it Big boost to Joseph has decided to file said. Jose faction an appeal before the diviThe EC applied the ‘test sion bench of the High of majority’ in the numeriThe High Court’s Court on Monday . order has come as cal strength of rival While dismissing the pegroups, both in the legislaa major boost to tition filed by Joseph and Jose K Mani as well tive and organisational others, Justice N Nagaresh wings of the party. To deas the LDF in the said the conclusions ar- run-up to the local cide the majority in the orrived at by the Election body polls, reports ganisational wing, the Commission (EC) were commission prepared a Abhilash based on the materials list of 305 common names Chandran. P4 available before it. Hence, in the lists submitted by it cannot be said to be perverse. The either side. The commission held court cannot, in the exercise of the that the list of 305 is undisputed. jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Based on this, the commission found Constitution, interfere with the find- that the group led by Jose is the ing of the commission. KC(M) and is entitled to use its name The EC submitted that the com- and its reserved ‘Two Leaves’ mission’s power in the matter of al- symbol. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Kochi Back in action A leopard walks inside its cage at the Thiruvananthapuram zoo. The parks and zoos in the state are witnessing a rise in domestic tourist inflow following their opening a week ago | vincent pulickal Husband’s income data just an RTI question away Data sought The CIC rubbished the argument that seeking such information is out of the ambit of the RTI Act It directed Jodhpur’s I-T department to provide the data to Bano within 15 days K a n u S a r d a @ New Delhi If you suspect your estranged husband is concealing the size of his gross income to avoid paying maintenance, just file a Right to Information (RTI) application with the income tax department to ferret out the data. The central information panel recently upheld the right of a spouse to get the data through the RTI mechanism. The order came as a huge relief for women, as in most matrimonial disputes, husbands understate their income, but are called out in court due to lack of proof. The order came on an appeal filed by Rahmat Bano wherein the panel rejected the I-T department’s spin of her being a third party to block information. sobha stays away from BJP office-bearers’ meeting in kochi The ongoing factional feud in the state unit of the BJP did find its resonance at the meet on Friday with Sobha Surendran staying away despite state in-charge C P Radhakrishnan urging her to attend. P4 fresh goals Sheffield Calicut Quartz’ new owner, Kerala Utd name E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Kozhikode ENGLISH Premier League Club Sheffield United have taken over Kozhikode-based I-League Second Division side Calicut Quartz and rebranded it as Kerala United FC. United World Group, the umbrella firm holding Sheffield, said in a statement that it envisages to make Kerala United a competitive, community-focused football club playing at the highest level possible in Indian football. “Kerala is known to be the heart of Indian football and when it comes to passion and support, no fan base in India comes close to their love for the beautiful game. Our focus will be on cementing and strengthening the foundations of the club, building an academy and developing homegrown players,” said United World Group CEO Abdullah Al-Ghamdi. The club unveiled its logo, the great hornbill which is also the state’s official bird. Sheffield United is owned by Saudi Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who also has stakes in Al Hilal United Club of the UAE, Beerschot VA of Belgium and Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia. Kerala United will be led operationally by local managers in alignment with the philosophy and vision of the United Group, the statement said. P Haridas, who owned Calicut Quartz FC and is also the president of the Kozhikode District Football Association, said a Premier League club coming to the state will bring major changes to Kerala football. Company director Akshay Das P said: “We’re looking for an overall development in the state, especially in Malabar.” Established in 1976, Quartz FC remained an amateur club till 2011. The club played in I-League Second Division in 2012. They finished as runners-up in the 2018 Kerala Premier League. Higher promoter stake l Promoters’ stake be raised to 26% from the current 15% over 15 years, the report suggested l It also recommended minimum initial capital requirement for licensing new banks be doubled to I1,000 crore for universal banks and enhanced to I300 crore from I200 cr for small finance banks into banks subject to completion of 10 years of operations. This could benefit industrial houses such as Aditya Birla, Bajaj, Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Sons that already have large NBFCs with more than a decade of operations. Back in the 1990s, when RBI doled out its first set of licences for private banks, it had left out industrial houses. However, the P K Mohanty panel, whose brief was to review the extant ownership guidelines and corporate structure for Indian private sector banks, said private banks will be crucial for the future growth of the banking sector, which is currently dominated by governmentowned lenders. Fourteen licences for universal banks have been issued in the private sector since 1993, out of which only 10 are operational now. While private banks recorded sustained growth over the years, there’s a long way to break into the global top 100. Currently only the govern, ment-owned State Bank of India figures among the top 100 global banks by size. Large private banks including ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank have sizes lower than that of Spanish Banco de Sabadell, which ranks 100th. RBI has sought comments from stakeholders on the internal group’s report by January 15, 2021, after which it will P10 take a final call. E X P RESS REA D Sivasankar files bail plea in HC, says ED failed to find evidence KOCHI: M Sivasankar, the main accused in the gold smuggling case, filed bail plea before the High Court on Friday. He stated that the ED failed to unearth any evidence to substantiate its findings that he had called up Customs officers to clear the diplomatic baggage. P5 Swapna’s audio clip: Police not to start probe after legal advice T’Puram: The state police have reportedly received legal advice to not initiate a probe into the complaint regarding an alleged voice clip of Swapna Suresh. It said probe will not be feasible. P5 16 pages, including 4 pages of KOCHI Express
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