Covishield lands in Hyd, 3.4 L to get jab Ahead of Telangana’s vaccine rollout from January 16, a consignment of 3.64 lakh doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield vaccine arrived at the Hyderabad airport from Pune on Tuesday. The vaccine is manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. The State government has identified nearly 3.4 lakh healthcare workers for the vaccination, including 25,000 to 30,000 from Central government hospitals | full coverage: p5 HYDERABAD l wednesday l january 13, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l LATE CITY EDITION 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 tense tuesday Govt quietly accepts CJI’s formulation in contrast to its stiff opposition on Monday; no-show by three senior advocates on the farmers’ side; tractor rally on R-Day will be peaceful, say unions Saina tests +ve, forced to sit out, reinstated SC sets up panel, pauses farm laws K A NU S A R D A @ New Delhi The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued an “extraordinary order” to stay the implementation of the three disputed farm laws and set up a panel of four agriculture experts to talk to all stakeholders and report back to the court within two months. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde stayed till further orders the Farmers (Empower ment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act; Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Act; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act. “We are of the view that the constitution of a committee of experts in the field of agriculture to negotiate between the farmers’ bodies and the Gover nment of India may create a congenial atmosphere and improve the trust and confidence of the farmers... a stay of implementation of all the three farm laws for the present may assuage the hurt feelings of the farmers and encourage them to come to the negotiating table with confidence and good faith,” the 11-page order by the three-judge bench read. The court’s order comes a day after pulling up the Centre for its poor handling of farmers’ agitation. The bench also said that while the court doesn’t want to stifle a peaceful protest, “the extraordinary order of stay of implementation of the farm laws will be perceived as an achievement” and will encourage the agitating farmers to end their protest. Unlike on Monday, the Centre represented by Attorney General K K Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta did not oppose the staying of the laws or formation of a committee. The SC rejected the submission by advocate M L Sharma, one of the petitioners questioning the laws, that the farmers are unwilling to appear before the panel. “If you want to agitate indefinitely, you can. Every person who is genuinely interested in solving the problem is expected to go before the committee. The committee will not punish you or pass any orders. It will submit a report to us,” it said. The bench said it will protect farmers’ land only if they participate in the proceedings before the panel. “We are concerned about the validity of the laws and also about protecting the life and property of citizens affected by protests,” it said. The bench turned down farmers’ demand that the Prime Minister should approach them to hold negotiations and said, “We cannot ask the Prime Minister... he is not a party here.” The bench was surprised to learn that none of the three senior counsel appeared for the farmer unions Tuesday . “Where is (Dushyant) Dave? Yesterday he said he will get back today with the views of farmers unions. They have not logged in P7 also,” the CJI remarked. A n m o l G u r u n g @ Chennai meet The Four Wise Men Who: Bhupinder Singh Mann is the national president of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Mann) and All India Kisan Coordination Committee View: Was among a group that met minister Tomar and backed the new laws, but with some amendments; wants MSP ensured Who: Dr Pramod Kumar Joshi is an agricultural economist and director (South Asia) for International Food Policy Research Institute View: Votary of legalising MSP; on contract farming; feels it’s not govt’s job to buy/sell produce; market should determine prices Who: Ashok Gulati is an agricultural economist and former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices View: Supports farm reforms. Has urged govt to address concerns on contract farming and assurance that MSP and APMC systems will continue Who: Anil Ghanwat is the president of Shetkari Sanghatana, a Maharashtra-based organisation founded by Sharad Joshi View: Has sided with the government but agrees it did not hold proper discussions with farmers’ organisations before bringing the new farm laws Unions to stay away, see govt ploy H a r p r ee t B a j w a @ Chandigarh Terming the four-member expert committee set up by the Supreme Court on Tuesday as progovernment and pro-agri reform laws, farmer leaders refused to appear before it and decided to continue their protests. The decisions were taken at a meeting of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of around 40 protesting farmer unions, following the SC order. Balbir Singh Rajewal, president of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, Punjab (Rajewal) said, “The committee members are pro-government and thus not dependa- ble. We never asked the court to form a committee; the government is behind all this.” Calling it a government ploy, Rajewal said, “our only demand is repealing the farm laws.” He, however, said the farmer unions will attend the ninth round of talks with the government on January 15 “as we do not want to give them any excuse”. He also assured that the proposed tractor march on January 26 will be peaceful. The All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee said: “We had already said that we will not accept any committee formed by the SC for mediation.” breaking the ice MAUD Minister KT Rama Rao shares a light moment with an elderly woman after launching the Telangana government’s 20 KL free drinking water scheme, at Rahmath Nagar in Hyderabad on Tuesday | P3 I-T raids on Three infra firms in TS E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ Hyderabad The Income Tax Department on Tuesday carried out searches on the premises of civil contractors of three firms over tax evasion. Officials seized documents evidencing accommodation entries amounting to more than `160 crore. Further investigations are in progress, the department said in a press statement issued on Tuesday . The civil contractors, who belong to Karimnagar district, have worked on some major irrigation projects. The development comes after an investigation into an alleged income tax evasion by the firms using bogus sub-contractors and shell entities. Inquiries were made into the entities flagged for providing fake input tax credit. The department conducted searches on 19 premises across Hyderabad on January 7 and found that one of the contractors had been generating CONTINUED ON P4 cash illegally . dirty money The raid comes after a probe into an alleged income tax evasion by the firms using bogus subcontractors and shell entities. The search covered a network of people running the racket of generating cash through fake billing IN what was supposed to be a return to action for some of the elite Indian shuttlers, it turned out to be a controversial drama-filled day, both on and off the court. Saina Nehwal tested positive for Coronavirus, so did HS Prannoy It looked like . their Thailand Open campaign would end even before take off. In fact, Saina, who was supposed to play on Tuesday, was forced to sit out. But after both of them cleared their IgG antibody tests, K Srikanth they were cleared to participate from Wednesday . Kidambi Srikanth, after his nasal swab test, posted a picture of his bloodied nose on social media. He termed it ‘unacceptable’. It looked like doom and gloom for Indians at one point with the BWF, putting them in the ‘high risk’ category Continued on P11 . social BOYCOTT of family in K’nagar village A family in Challur village was socially boycotted over an inter-caste marriage last month | P2
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