villupuram l saturday l March 27, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l city EDITION S.C. dismisses plea to stay sale of electoral bonds The plea was moved by the Association for Democratic Reforms alleging lack of transparency in funding of political parties ‘No evidence of adverse impact on polls’ The NGO had claimed that the sale of electoral bonds before the Assembly elections would “increase illicit funding of political parties through shell companies”. Dismissing the plea, a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said there is no evidence that electoral bonds would adversely impact elections. The SC said fresh electoral bonds can be issued from April 1 ■ `1 crore Transactions via banking channels ■ “The purchase as well as encashment of the bonds, happening only through banking channels, is always reflected in documents that eventually come to the public domain,” the order stated Donors can buy e-bonds from SBI and donate to political parties, which can encash them through their accounts within 15 days Is The highest denomination value of electoral bonds 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 No Statehood, BJP manifesto promises Pondy special status D E B J ANI DU T TA @ Puducherry Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at BJP manifesto launch on Friday | g pattabi raman Taking a leaf out of the 2019 Jammu & Kashmir chapter, the BJP on Friday promised a special Union Territory status for Puducherry in its election manifesto. The party promised to increase devolution of funds from 25 per cent to 40 per cent as done in the UT of Jammu & Kashmir, to ensure development. The manifesto, prepared after taking suggestions from 50,000 people, was released by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday. There was no mention of State- ‘Didn’t let Students lose a year’ “Even when the rest of the world had foregone a year, India ensured that its students Much like everything else, didn’t waste it. Around 33 the biggest education con- crore students were given edclave, ThinkEdu, went ucation online. Provivirtual this year. Unsions were made for ion minister for educathose who couldn’t tion Ramesh Pokhriycome online through al, in his inaugural mediums like radio,” address, elaborated on said Pokhriyal. his vision for the NaTNIE Editorial Ditional Education Polirector Prabhu ChawMarch 26-30, 7 PM cy and the way ahead. la kicked off the He also spoke about ninth edition of how India was among the ThinkEdu, saying: “This very few countries in the year, we have brought illuworld that didn’t let students’ minating discussions and year go waste. conversations about new Express news service @ Chennai ideas from India’s finest thinkers — scientists, businessmen and storytellers.” In a different session, Subhash Kak was in conversation with Indic scholar Dushyanth Sridhar and senior journalist Kaveree Bamzai. Kak spoke about how he sifted through various layers of Sanskrit literature to find a lot of subjects, including astronomy , that had been lost for thousands of years. “It opened a whole Prime Minister Narendra Modi handing over the Gandhi Peace Prize conferred upon Mujibur Rahman, to his daughters Sheikh Rehana (L) and PM Sheikh Hasina, in Dhaka on Friday Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday began his twoday trip to Bangladesh by hailing the contributions of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Indian armed forces in Bangladesh’s war of liberation. “Bangabandhu gave up his life for the people of Bangladesh. Today on the 50th anni, versary of Bangladesh’s independence and Bangabandhu’s birth centenary celebrations, I remember and salute his contribution and the contributions of the Indian armed forces, mukti jodhas in Bangladesh’s war of independence,” Modi said at the Nationa l D ay c e l e b r a t i o n s o f Bangladesh in Dhaka. Saying that India and Bang- HC rings alarm bells on TN Covid scenario E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ Chennai “BRACE up for a worst-case scenario,” warned the Madras High Court on Friday, while directing the Election Commission of India to ensure strict compliance of Covid protocol, even at polling booths. The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy also directed the Tamil Nadu government to assist the ECI in ensuring compliance with safety measures. The orders were passed while disposing of a plea moved by Thondan Subramani, a lawyer seeking direction to the ECI to follow Covid proFresh cases recorded in tn tocol during the entire election process. “All political parties and candidates should exercise a degree of responsibility and ensure that campaign meetings and gatherings, active cases even limited to private groups, in the state maintain Covid-19 protocol,” the court said. The use of masks is mandatory and vio, lators would be imposed fine. The distancing norms also must be maintained at all times and measures such as sanitisation should be resorted to frequently the judges added. , Political parties and leaders have been attracting large crowds to their rallies across the State, even as the number of Covid cases is on an upward swing. On Friday as many as 18 persons working at , the National Skill Training Institute in Guindy tested positive for Covid. 1,958 11,318 10 DAyS TO GO Postal ballot voting begins for those aged above 80 years and persons with disabilities | P2 Complaint filed against DMK’s Udhayanidhi for taking brick from AIIMS construction site in Madurai | P4 Full coverage: P7 We successfully conducted JEE and NEET amid the pandemic, which are the country’s largest competitive exams - Ramesh Pokhriyal, Union education minister Modi hails Bangabandhu, announces scholarship on Day I of B’desh visit P u s h k a r B a n a k a r @ New Delhi new horizon to me,” he said. S Vaidhyasubramaniam, Vice-Chancellor, SASTRA Deemed-to-be University was in conversation with Makarand Paranjape, Director, Indian Institute of Advance Study, who spoke about Swami Vivekananda and AI replacing human teaching. “Swamiji is so important because he takes us beyond the idea of education being some sort of livelihood training.” ladesh’s future together has a lot in store, he said it is important that New Delhi and Dhaka progress together. “The youth of both the countries need to be connected for better ties. I hence announce the setting up of suvarna jayanti scholarships for Bangladeshi students and also invite 50 entrepreneurs of Bangladesh to visit India,” he said. Earlier, Modi presented the Gandhi Peace Prize 2020 awarded posthumously to Mujib, to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Modi also recalled how he had participated in Bangladesh’s struggle for independence by holding a satyagraha. Meanwhile, a protest by a mob against Modi’s trip got violent, leaving four persons dead with bullet injuries. P9 Why should polls in Pondy not be deferred? asks HC E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ Chennai TWO days after the Madras High Court pulled up the Election Commission of India over allegations of Puducherry BJP unit accessing private details of voters, the court on Friday questioned why shouldn’t elections in the UT be deferred until the investigation on the matter was completed. During the hearing, the ECI’s counsel submitted before the first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy that a show-cause notice was issued to the BJP’s Puducherry unit seeking a reply. The ECI also said that the cyber crime police are also investigating the matter. The bench directed the ECI to file a detailed report with the queries by March 31. P4 hood in it. Interestingly, the promise comes even as the neighbouring State of Andhra Pradesh’s demands of a special category status has been put on hold by the Centre. Besides promising special status, the BJP manifesto also promises to revise cost sharing of projects under Centrally sponsored schemes in a 70:30 ratio, the majority being from the Union government, as opposed to the current 30: 70 ratio. With women constituting 51 per cent of the UT’s population, special focus has been given to them as well. The BJP has Mistry’s ouster kosher, says SC Upholds Tata Sons’ decision to sack him as chairman; Dec 2019 NCLAT order set aside K a n u S a r d a @ New Delhi In a huge win for Tata Sons, the Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the ouster of former Tata Sons executive chairman Cyrus Mistry was legal, setting aside a 2019 National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) order that directed his reinstatement. A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice S A Bobde said, “There was no oppression of the minority shareholder (Mistry). There was no mismanagement by Tata Sons.” The apex court, however, added it was open for Tata and Mistry to work out their terms of separation. The court answered all the legal questions arising out of this dispute in favour of Tata Sons bringing an end to one of the biggest corporate battles in recent times. “If someone, aggrieved after his removal from office can engage in shadowboxing through the companies controlled by him, he cannot accuse the very same person who chose him as successor to be a shadow director. Someone who gained entry through the very same door, cannot condemn it when asked to exit,” promised to waive off all loans availed by Women Self Help Groups, that were impacted due to Covid. Women employees would also be provided 50 per cent reservation in all government and public sector institutions in Puducherry . continued on: p7 10 perish in Mumbai Covid hospital fire E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ Mumbai Cyrus Mistry Ratan Tata the 282-page judgment read. Welcoming the verdict, Ratan Tata said the order validated the values and ethics that had always guided the Tata Group. “It is not an issue of winning or losing. After relentless attacks on my integrity and the ethical conduct of the group, the judgment upholding Tata Sons is a validation or the values and ethics that have always been the guiding principles of the group. It reinforces the fairness and justice displayed by our judiciary he said in a statement. ,” The ruling came on a plea that challenged the December 18, 2019 NCLAT order which reinstated Shapoorji Pallonji Group scion Cyrus Mistry as the executive chairman of Tata Sons. The Tata-Mistry dispute began when Mistry who succeed, ed Ratan Tata in 2012, was ousted four years later. ‘Fair compensation’ not adjudicated The bench refused to entertain Cyrus Pallonji Mistry’s plea for fair compensation for his 18.5% stake in Tata Sons saying “the valuation of the shares of SP Group depends upon the value of the stake of Tata Sons in listed equities, unlisted equities, immovable assets etc... Therefore, we cannot adjudicate on the fair compensation”. | P12 AT least 10 coronavirus patients died and several others were injured in a major fire at Sunrise Hospital in Mumbai on Friday The hospital is situ. ated on the top floor of Dreams Mall at Mulund. According to the BMC, the blaze was noticed around midnight on Thursday on the first floor, and it quickly spread to the upper floors. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray visited the spot and ordered an inquiry. Thackeray apologised for the incident and said the guilty won’t be spared. “In view of rising Covid-19 cases, permission was given to start new Covid treatment centres or hospitals in Mumbai. It seems there were lapses in fire safety he said ,” Thackeray also announced `5 lakh as financial help to the families of the deceased. Congress minister Aslam Sheikh said he was surprised to see a hospital inside the mall. “The Dream Mall itself has not even got the occupation certificate (OC). Then how was the hospital set up inside the mall? Strict action will be taken against the guilty he added. ,”
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