THIRUVANANTHAPURAM l friday l march 26, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 18 l LATE city EDITION Army’s criteria for womAn officers discriminatory: SC The Supreme Court asked govt to grant permanent commission to woman officers who were excluded on grounds of fitness standards file photo Fitness standards created for men The court observed that these fitness standards were created by male officers for male officers and, hence, were discriminatory towards women. The verdict came on a batch of pleas which said the Indian Army had not granted permanent commission to even 50% of women Short Service Commission officers despite a Supreme Court order mandating the same ■ Feb 2020 Superficial equality: Chandrachud The judgment quoted Justice R B Ginsburg of US Supreme Court, “I ask no favour for my sex. All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks.” Justice D Y Chandrachud in his judgment When THE S.C. directed army to grant said, “A superficial sense of equality is not in the true spirit of the Constitution and attempts to make equality only symbolic.” womAn officers permanent commission 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 Freeze or delete 4L bogus voters: Chennithala at HC Seeks directive to poll panel, wants criminal action against officials for manipulation PETITION POINTS Final electoral rolls contain a duplication of names, fake entries and enrolment of one voter in many booths in various constituencies As many as 3,24,441 duplication of names and 1,09,601 bogus votes have been detected Manipulations were possible because of an organised move of government employees Manipulated votes will have a very significant impact on election results More bogus voters spotted T’Puram: Ramesh Chennithala has given a fresh complaint. The latest findings reveal there are 7,600 more bogus voters in T’Puram, 6,360 more in Nemom and 8,400 more in Vattiyoorkavu E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi OPPOSITION leader Ramesh Chennithala approached the Kerala High Court on Thursday seeking a directive to the election commission and the chief electoral officer to delete or freeze 4,34,042 bogus and multiple entries of names in the electoral rolls published for assembly polls. He also sought a directive to the poll panel to initiate criminal action against those responsible for the preparation and revision of such electoral rolls. “Unless those fake voters are restrained from participating in the polls and criminal action is initiated against those who are responsible for the entries as per the law, the electoral system will have to face far-reaching consequences,” Chennithala said in his petition. He said a physical survey of residences of voters and an in-depth study of the final electoral roll published on January 20, 2021 were conducted by an expert team of his party fol, lowing large-scale complaints of bogus voters. The study had found that the final electoral rolls contained a duplication of names, fake entries and enrolment of one voter in many booths in various constituencies. As many as 3,24,441 duplication of names and 1,09,601 bogus votes were detected by the expert team. The manipulations were possible not because of isolated acts of any individuals. It was understood that an organised move of government employees was behind the manipulation to make undue political advantage in the assembly elections. In the state, where the government changed every five years, the voting difference between the two coalition fronts was very negligible. Therefore, the manipulated 4,34,042 lakh votes would have a very significant impact on the election results, Chennithala said. He said though he had given a complaint to the CEO in this regard, the official was keeping idle ● More on P7 on his complaint. Edit: Bogus voters put Kerala poll under a cloud P8 Modi to reach state on March 30, April 2 Rahul to visit Erumeli temple, Vavar mosque T’Puram: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in the state to address election rallies in Palakkad on March 30, and in Thiruvananthapuram and Konni on April 2. Announcing this in the capital on Thursday, BJP prabhari (state in-charge) C P Radhakrishnan said the state government had not given a proper reply to the party’s request to hold Modi’s rally at the Central Stadium in the capital city on April 2. He alleged the government’s delaying tactic was a plan to deny the venue at the last minute. “This attitude is an example of the LDF’s anti-democratic policies,” he said, and added that the party wanted to hold the event in Central Stadium taking into account the PM’s security. T’Puram: Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi will arrive in the state on Friday for his second leg of campaigning. During his two-day stay, he will campaign in Palakkad, Malappuram, Pathanamthitta and Idukki. He will also visit the Ayyappa temple and Vavar mosque at Erumeli on Saturday afternoon. After reaching Palakkad from Coimbatore via a helicopter at 11.40am, Rahul will tour Palakkad, Malampuzha and Chittur constituencies. He will also attend meetings at Koottanad, Ponnani and Perinthalmanna. On Saturday, Rahul will travel to Kochi and from there, will take a chopper to Konni and attend meetings in that constituency and in Pathanamthitta. He will also campaign in Udumbanchola and Peermade. CM promises vax for orphanages, EC serves notice Vamanapuram NDA candidate Thazhava Sahadevan seeks the vote of coconut tree climber Manikandan at Erumala colony in T’Puram on Thursday | Vincent Pulickal No proof Chandy abused woman: Crime Branch S h a n A S @T’Puram E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kannur THE state election commission has issued a notice to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for violating the election code of conduct. Collector T V Subhash, who is also the district election officer, issued the notice. The notice was issued based on a complaint that Pinarayi attended a news conference recently, where his election symbol was displayed, and announced that Covid-19 vaccine would be brought directly to orphanages and old age homes. Election officials, who did not disclose the identity of the complainant, handed over the notice to CPM’s election committee office at Dharmadom. Pinarayi has been asked to give an explanation before the Commission with sufficient documents within 48 hours. ‘Amit Shah frustrated as his agencies couldn’t find proof’ Kollam: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday said Union Home Minister Amit Shah is frustrated that the central probe agencies under him couldn’t unearth any evidence. P5 I have been hunted for about a decade in this case. My public life is transparent. I feel neither happy nor relieved on the report of the Crime Branch that there is no evidence against me Oommen Chandy I-T search at KIIFB; hooliganism, says FM E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram A 15-member team from the Income Tax (I-T) Department carried out an inspection at the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) headquarters on Thursday in , connection with the institution’s alleged violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). Terming the raid ‘hooliganism’, Fi- Bobde suggests ad-hoc judges to cut pendency nance Minister T M Thomas Isaac said the Centre was trying to tarnish KIIFB’s image with an eye on the assembly elections. KIIFB officials handed over details of projects implemented over the past five years, funds allotted to various contractors and tax-related documents to the I-T team. The department had recently served a notice on KIIFB directing it to submit the said EXPRESS READ CPM criticises move to freeze RS polls T’Puram: Criticising the Election Commission’s (EC) decision to put on hold the polls to three Rajya Sabha seats, the CPM secretariat said the move was antidemocratic. EC should not be influenced by external factors as that will cast aspersions on constitutional bodies, said the CPM. P5 E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Thursday said ad-hoc judges can be appointed in high courts to clear pending S A Bobde cases. “There are suits pending for 30 years which also include criminal trials. It is not a matter of opinion but fact that judges who have been there for 15 to 20 years can continue to dispose of matters,” said a bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde. The bench was hearing a PIL filed by NGO Lok Prahari seeking appointment of retired judges to clear pending cases. The bench said the Constitution allows appointment of adhoc judges and taking that route has become a necessity in view of the out-of-hand pendency . The Centre’s counsel Additional Solicitor General R S Suri said ad-hoc appointments can be made after vacancies for regular posts are filled. To this, CJI Bobde said, “We are not sure how much cooperation we are receiving from you regarding that. But ad-hoc judges are not a threat.” The ad-hoc judges would be considered the junior-most so that they don’t become a ‘threat’ to anybody in terms of seniority the CJI added. , The Crime Branch team that probed the allegations of rape and sexual abuse filed by the solar scam accused woman against Congress stalwart Oommen Chandy has intimated the CBI, which is probing the case now, that it could not gather any evidence against the leader during the course of its investigation. The Crime Branch in its proforma report submitted to the central agency said it had failed Three jawans die in Rajasthan accident Fire and Rescue Services personnel remove a tree that was uprooted during heavy rain near the Ambedkar Stadium in Kochi on Thursday evening | A Sanesh Heavy rain in Kochi Two hurt as tree collapses Heavy rain and strong wind lashed Kochi on Thursday evening, disrupting traffic at a few main roads in the city. Train services and power supply were also affected by the rain. Two youngsters were injured after a tree, under which they took shelter from the rain, got uprooted near Ambedkar Stadium. The injured are Athirav, 14, and Arun, 20, of Madurai. Thunderstorm likely today The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast partly cloudy sky with possibility of moderate rain or thunderstorm in Kochi on Friday. People are warned to avoid parking vehicles under the shade of trees. Jaipur: Three soldiers were killed and another five injured on Thursday when the Army vehicle they were travelling in overturned and caught fire in Rajasthan’s Ganganagar district, police said. The team was on a night training task. 18 pages, including 4 pages of THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Express India reports highest global Covid contact rate R i c h a S h a r m a @ New Delhi Amid the galloping Covid-19 cases, it turns out that India is witnessing the world’s highest coronavirus contact rate, whereby an infected person is infecting another one every two days. What is worrying is the massive jump in contact rate this month, according to the Indian Supermodel for Covid-19. The latest analysis through the model, initiated by the Department of Science of Technology, predicts the peak of the second wave by mid-April, when daily infections will be between 70,000 and 80,000, primarily driven by Maharashtra. Scientists analysing the model say the cause of this unexpected jump in contact rate is likely to be a combination of more crowding in public spaces like schools and colleges, 3,95,192 India’s total active Caseload markets and public places and public transport and faster spreading mutations. “The contact parameter seen in India is reported nowhere in the world and a massive jump in contact rate is causing the sharp rise in cases all over. Early March, it was around 0.24 (an infected person infect- 1,00,738 Fresh cases in just 2 days to unearth any evidence against Chandy, giving the veteran leader a huge relief in the runup to the assembly polls. It is learnt that the Crime Branch has given similar reports on AICC general secretary K C Venugopal, Congress MPs Hibi Eden and Adoor Prakash, former minister A P Anil Kumar and BJP national vicepresident A P Abdullakutty . “All aspects and facts mentioned by the petitioner in her statement and the complaints were verified. Evidence to cor- 53,476 Fresh cases recorded in the last 24 hours ing another in four days) and today it stands at 0.48 (every second day). The spike in many states is primarily due to a significant increase in contact rate,” said Manindra Agrawal, Deputy Director at IIT, Kanpur, who is part of the supermodel study . Agrawal expects the second wave peak around April 15-25. “In Maharashtra, the contact rate has been high for a while (0.38 now though it was around 0 . 4 5 wh e n t h e re w a s n o lockdown). roborate the alleged offence could not be obtained so far,” the report read. One of the reasons for not being able to substantiate the allegations raised by the woman was that the call detail records (CDRs) of Chandy’s mobile phone could not be retrieved as the offence had allegedly occurred seven years ago. “It’s informed by the service providers that the CDRs are not available with them since more than seven years have elapsed,” ● More on P7 the report said. I n t er v ie w documents before March 25. Lashing out at the I-T department soon after the incident, Isaac said the inspection was carried out because the state’s assembly elections were round the corner. “They had even informed the media in advance. This is hooliganism. KIIFB was willing to hand over all documents,” said Isaac. The search continued past Thursday midnight. Sitaram Yechury, CPM general secy ‘Kerala will buck poll trend’ CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury tells TNIE that Kerala will elect LDF again this time, bucking its trend of alternately electing LDF and UDF to power. P5 bigger, better & virtual ThinkEdu E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Chennai It was this time last year that our world changed forever. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a nationwide lockdown and we were all confined to our homes, grappling with a new reality But amid such uncer. tainties, there’s one thing you could always rely on to happen like clockwork — the TNIE’s ThinkEdu Conclave. Over the past eight years, The New Indian Express has brought you a niche, curated and thoughtprovoking event in Chennai with some of the biggest names in the Indian education space and beyond in the form of the ThinkEdu Conclave. This year, with the pandemic refusing to recede, we’ve taken ThinkEdu virtual. We will bring 35 speakers streaming directly to your homes with some of the most vital and stimulating conversations around education, jobs, life after a pandemic, the new National Sari row escalates as Dilip Ghosh defends sexist remark Education Policy and so much more that centres around this year’s theme Lessons for a new world. This year, we have Union ministers Ramesh Pokhriyal and Nitin Gadkari, Infosys Co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan, Education Secretary Amit Khare, intellectuals like Makarand Paranjape, AICTE Chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe, CSIR’s DG Dr Shekhar C Mande, among others talking about how the country can be truly Atmanirbhar. We also have authors like Amish, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and Anuja Chauhan discussing their books and offering lessons for our young. ThinkEdu kicks off on March 26 at 7 pm. And this year, instead of two days, we have extended the event to five days — till March 30. You can catch the sessions live at newindianexpress. com, edexlive.com, eventxpress.com and our social media channels — Facebook, T w i t t e r, L i n ke d I n a n d YouTube. The West Bengal BJP chief said a woman in a sari flaunting her leg is not a reflection of Bengali culture, justifying his controversial remarks against CM Mamata Banerjee
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26-03-2021 of The New Indian Express-Thiruvananthapuram