Scrap 5% 4-6% Manufacturer discount that pays A voluntary scrappage scheme for personal vehicles from 2024 and heavy commercial vehicles from 2023 promises discounts on new buys. A look made 100 Scrapping centres to betwo years operational in the next ■ toll booths to make way for GPS-based collection Physical plazas will be done away with in a year as Centre will use GPS imaging to collect highway levy through FASTag While new vehicles are FASTag-enabled by the manufacturers, the older ones would get the RFID tags for free from the Centre, said transport minister Nitin Gadkari. He said 93% users were paying the levy through the tag ever since it was made mandatory on February 16. Those not complying will face the heat for toll theft and GST evasion, he added Steep hike in FCs for vehicles that are older than 15 years ■ old vehicles to get free FASTag A GST cut on new vehicles, whose buyers have scrapped their old cars ■ KOLLAM l friday l march 19, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l city EDITION Road tax rebate of up to 25% for personal vehicles and up to 15% for commercial vehicles by states proposed Registration fees may be waived for the new vehicle against the scrapping certificate ■ Of ex-showroom price of a new car as scrap value for the older one Scrap centres must ■ Comply with environmental and pollution norms and with all applicable Acts ■ Have adequate parking facility, de-pollution equipment for air, water and sound pollution and adequate facilities for hazardous waste disposal 35,000 jobs likely to be created due to the scrappage policy 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 LOOKING FORWARD Kannur DCC secretary C Raghunath files his nomination papers as UDF candidate after K Sudhakaran opts out National leadership yet to confirm Raghunath’s candidature Some of the Congress workers in Kannur expect Sudhakaran to make last-minute entry Pinarayi Vijayan (CPM) and C K Padmanabhan (BJP) are in fray E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kannur THE state Congress leadership’s plan to see popular leader K Sudhakaran making a mass entry as the UDF candidate in Dharmadom almost ended on Thursday with local leader C Raghunath filing his nomination papers. Congress was aiming to project the contest against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at the national level other than tying to his home constituency for con- siderable time. With the national leadership yet to confirm Raghunath’s candidature, Congress remains optimistic going into the final day of nomination filing. Congress workers eagerly waited for Sudhakaran to enter the fray and neutrals expected an intriguing contest involving him, Pinarayi and former BJP president C K Padmanabhan. Though senior leaders A K Antony and Oommen Chandy tried to persuade him to contest and Congress chief Mullappally Ramachandran tried to put pressure on him in his own right, Sudhakaran stood firm. During the last elections, Pinarayi had defeated Mambaram Divakaran by 36,905 votes in Dharmadom but Sudhakaran had trailed CPM leader P K Sreemathy by only 4,000 votes in the constituency while contesting from Kannur in the last Lok Sabha elections. Sudhakaran has been vehemently attacking the state Congress leadership during the finalising of candidates and had he decided to contest, it would have given them some respite. ● More on P7 Is there any problem in Congress that can’t be solved via discussion between Oommen Chandy and us? The mere presence of him will help resolve the Irikkur stalemate amicably. Sudhakaran, MP Prime Minister recalls Mamata’s critical take on the Army during the Pulwama blast in J&K in 2019 and the Balakot counterattack; slams her for calling the 2008 Batla House shootout as a fake encounter Modi’s nationalism pitch to attack Didi P r o n a b M o n d a l @ Kolkata Reviving the BJP’s nationalism plank, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday cited the Pulwama terror attack in J&K and the subsequent airstrike deep inside Pakistan’s Balakot to put West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the back foot for criticising the Army earlier. Modi also recalled Mamata pitching the Batla House shootout in 2008 as a fake encounter, a narrative that was negated by a Delhi court convicting a terrorist and awarding capital punishment in the case recently . “The people of Bengal have not forgotten who you stood with after the Pulwama attack and criticised the Army No one . has forgotten how Mamata Didi and a few other parties reacted when the Batla House encounter took place. These people stood with the terrorists at that time and raised questions on the encounter. A court recently convicted one of the terrorists and sentenced him to capital punishment,’’ said Modi, while addressing a rally in Junglemahal’s Purulia district. Turning to the alleged extortion and cut money issues that have smeared the reputation of the ruling Trinamool Congress, Modi said, “BJP believes in DBT, which stands for direct bank transfer, whereas Didi believes in TMC, which is transfer my commission. TMC’s days are numbered in Bengal.” Referring to the foot injury Mamata sustained while on her campaign trail in Nandigram, the PM said, “Like millions of Future tense as Delhi HC judge validates S’pore deal verdict The Trinamool has created a new breed of Maoists in Bengal who loot public money. The money is meant for poor people. Didi’s government has patronised Maoist violence Narendra Modi, Prime Minister other women, for me, Didi is also a daughter of the nation. When she got injured, I was worried. I pray for her speedy recovery .” Referring to the khela hobe (there will be a game) one-liner Mamata is making at every public rally, Modi said, “Didi bole khela hobe, BJP bole chaakri hobe. Didi bole khela hobe, BJP bole shiksha hobe. Didi bole khela hobe, BJP bole vikas hobe. Khela sesh hobe, vikas aarambh hobe (Didi says there will be a game. BJP says, there will be employment, education, development and education. The game will over over and development will begin.” Modi also accused Mamata of encouraging West Bengal’s Maoists, who have waged war against the country for her po, litical gain. Castigating her for playing the politics of religion, Modi said, “After practicing politics of appeasement in Bengal, suddenly there seems to be a change in Didi. This is not transformation of the soul. This is fear of defeat.” Debt-riddled Future Group led by its embattled founder Kishore Biyani suffered a major setback after the Delhi High Court upheld an emergency arbitration (EA) award delivered by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre last year. The EA had put on hold a `24,713-crore deal between Reliance and Future Group. Delivering the verdict on an appeal filed by e-commerce giant Amazon, a single judge bench of Justice J R Midha on Thursday issued a show-cause notice to Biyani and other FRL promoters, asking them why they shouldn’t be detained in prison for violating the EA order. Ordering the attachment of their assets, the HC directed Biyani and others to furnish additional details of their assets. Maintaining that the EA order was enforceable under Section 17(2) of the Indian Arbitration and Conciliation Act, Justice Midha criticised Biyani and other promoters for wilfully disobeying it. While directing the Biyani to appear in person for the next hearing in April, the HC said that the Singapore’s emergency arbitrator had rightly invoked the group of company doctrine and restrained Future Group from selling its assets to Reliance. Biyani and FRL have been directed to stop further action in seeking regulatory approval to the RIL-FRL deal and bring on record all the actions taken for furtherance of the deal after the EA order was passed in October last. Asserting the Trinamool would never allow the enumeration of the National Population Register in Bengal, Mamata said, “The BJP will omit names of voters if they are not found at home during the visit of enumerators. But we will not allow them to do the exercise in Bengal.” the “prevailing circumstances” led to his exit. “The decision to leave The faculty and students at the Ashoka was not an easy one, Ashoka University issued especially because of the exstrong statements in support of ceptional quality of students I political commentator Pratap have been privileged to teach,” Bhanu Mehta, who resigned he wrote. “But after discussions from the university two days with the university about the ago citing infringement on aca- prevailing circumstances, it became clear to me that demic freedom, and it was best to move on. demanded that the inHence, I took the decistitution ask him to sion to resign.” join back. The faculty of the A day after Mehta’s university, in a letter exit, noted economist to the chancellor Malaand former chief ecobika Sarkar on Thursnomic advisor Arvind Subramanian put in Pratap Bhanu Mehta day said, “it is not only an occasion for sorrow his papers, ruing that the institution “even with its over the departure of a deeply private status and private capi- respected and admired coltal, can no longer provide space league, it also raises urgent for academic expression and questions about the university’s commitment to academic freedom”. Mehta, who quit as the uni- freedom as well as the internal versity’s vice-chancellor two processes.” It is plausible that Mehta’s years ago, in an email to his students on Wednesday evening resignation was a consequence — a day after he resigned — of his role as a public intellechad hinted that a discussion tual and a government critic, with the university regarding the faculy said. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e A DAY after CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury gave Opposition parties the ammunition by defending the state government’s action at Sabarimala following the apex court verdict on women’s entry Chief Minister Pinarayi , Vijayan tried to calm down the situation. Pinarayi refused to comment on Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran’s statement that the incidents related to the temple should not have happened, but said the government would discuss the apex court’s final order with all people concerned. “Now, people and devotees are well aware of the fact that the matter is unKERALA der the consideration of the Supreme ASSEMBLY Court. At present, there is no need for ELECTIONS a debate on issues related to Sabarimala. The temple is being run normally and the rituals are conducted regularly . When the court pronounces the final verdict in the case, the government will discuss the order with all people concerned before its implementation. Till then, the temple will be run normally the CM said on the sidelines of the LDF’s election cam,” paign in Malappuram. He slammed the Congress and the BJP for raising the issue for electoral gains. “The Opposition tried to use the Sabarimala issue earlier during the local body elections, but the strategy didn’t yield them any positive result,” Pinarayi said. Replying to questions on RSS ideologue R Balashankar’s allegation of a CPM-BJP nexus in this elections, Pinarayi said the CPM does not need any help from communal forc● More on P7 es to win polls. 2021 At present, there is no need for a debate on issues related to Sabarimala. The temple is being run normally and the rituals are conducted regularly Pinarayi Vijayan, CM CPI secy, NSS lock horns Sabarimala issue is a closed chapter and the NSS that lost the case is trying to discredit the government by mobilising people, said CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran. NSS said the case is still under the consideration of the SC. P5 KCBC takes open stand towards political parties Deadline for filing of nominations today Kochi: The Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) on Thursday issued a press release urging the faithful and society to vote for ideal candidates after analysing their development plans. KCBC also said that it has taken an open stand towards political parties. P5 T’Puram: With the deadline for filing of nominations for the assembly polls ending on Friday, 1,016 sets of nominations were filed across the state till Thursday. Some of the candidates filed three sets of nominations. The last date for withdrawal of candidature is March 22. ‘Troubling he felt compelled to leave’ “That someone of such integrity and eminence, who embodied the vision underlying Ashoka, felt compelled to leave is troubling,” Arvind Subramanian said in his resignation letter to vicechancellor Malabika Sarkar Judicial sensitivity SC slaps high court on wrist on rakhi-for-bail order K a n u S a r d a @ New Delhi Terming the Madhya Pradesh High Court order last year that had asked a man accused of sexual assault to have a rakhi tied by the victim to get bail, as a judicial stereotype, the Supreme Cour t on Thursday set it aside and issued a slew of guidelines on gender sensitivity in judicial approach. A bench comprising justices A M Khanwilkar and S Ravindra Bhatt said, “Judges play — at all levels — E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Malappuram Ex-CEA too resigns, pressure on Univ to take back Mehta @ New Delhi B i s m a h M a l i k @ Bengaluru Won’t let NPR, says Mamata ‘Govt will discuss final SC order with all concerned’ elsewhere Sudhakaran opts out, Dharmadom expects late twist CM on SABARIMALA a vital role as teachers and thought leaders. It is their role to be impartial in words and action, at all times. If they falter, especially in gender related crimes, they imperil fair- ness and inflict great cruelty in the casual blindness to the despair of the survivors.” The judgment came on a plea filed by nine woman lawyers who had challenged the high court’s directive saying such bail orders have the effect of trivialising sexual offences. “Using rakhi tying as a condition for bail, transforms a molester into a brother, by a judicial mandate,” the judgment read. “This is wholly unacceptable, and has the effect of diluting and eroding the offence of sexual harassment. The act perpetrated on the survivor constitutes an offence in law, and is not a minor transgression that can be remedied by way of an apology, rendering community service, tying a rakhi or presenting a gift to the survivor, or even promising to marry her, as the case may be,” the 24-page judgment stated. The bench also stressed the need to include gender sensitisation in the curriculum. making an entry Rajya Sabha MP Suresh Gopi, who contests from Thrissur as an NDA candidate, arrives at the Sobha City Mall on Thursday to file nomination papers | Express E X P RESS RE A D Kerala Cong leader Skaria Thomas dies Kochi: Two-time MP and veteran Kerala Congress leader Skaria Thomas, 74, died at a hospital here on Thursday. He was the chairman of Kerala Congress Scaria group, a constituent of the ruling Left Democratic Front in the state. Skaria was undergoing treatment for post-Covid health complications at a private hospital here. P6 Drugs, arms seized from 3 Lankan boats Kochi: The Indian Coast Guard intercepted three Sri Lankan fishing boats near Lakshadweep islands and seized a huge cache of drugs from them. As per preliminary information, heroin, an AK 47 rifle and 1,000 rounds were seized. The operation was held in coordination with Lakshadweep administration. P6 After fresh charges, poll panel to screen voters’ list in all dists E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram THE Election Commission has decided to extend the screening of voters’ list to all districts after Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala made a fresh bout of allegation that election ID card fraud has been detected across the state. Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena on Thursday directed the district collectors and polling officers of nine more districts to file reports within Saturday on whether there were any irregularities in the voters’ list as alleged by Chennithala. The officers of Kasaragod, Kozhikode, Alappuzha, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram districts were asked to file the reports on Wednesday itself after the Congress leader lodged a written complaint with the commission alleging that multiple voter ID cards were issued to several people. On Thursday, Chennithala filed another complaint alleging that manipulation was rampant in other constituencies such as Kannur, Kalpetta, Pattambi, Vaikom, Adoor and ● More on P7 Udumbanchola.
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