Plea to stay electoral bond sale dismissed The plea was moved by the Association for Democratic Reforms, alleging lack of transparency in funding of political parties. The NGO claimed the sale of electoral bonds before assembly polls will increase illicit funding of parties. Dismissing the plea, a bench said there is no evidence that electoral bonds would adversely impact elections. thrissur l saturday l march 27, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 22 l 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 With own probe, LDF gets back at Centre’s agencies Cabinet decides to launch judicial probe, awaits EC’s nod to appoint panel; it’s likely to examine Swapna’s statement against Pinarayi LDF govt’s move to order judicial probe against central investigation agencies joke of century, says Union Minister V Muraleedharan Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala terms the decision a publicity stunt, calls it an absurd act meant to hoodwink people Raid on KIIFB: CM criticises I-T Dept ELSEWHERE T’Puram: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan unleashed a scathing attack on the I-T for its search at KIIFB office. Terming the raid on KIIFB by Income Tax officials as a violation of federal principles, Pinarayi said the agencies could do no harm to KIIFB. “Do not try to intimidate the government with such petty acts,” warned Pinarayi. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram In an unprecedented move, the state government on Friday decided to launch a judicial inquiry against the central agencies investigating the gold smuggling and related cases. The cabinet meeting decided to appoint retired High Court judge K V Mohanan as the chairman of the commission. The surprise decision has come when only 10 days are left for the assembly elections. The government hardened its stance against central agencies after the Crime Branch registered a case against the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The commission will have the mandate to inquire if the central agencies’ probe into various cases have gone astray or beyond their mandate. It will also consider the cases related to the voice clip purportedly of gold smuggling accused Swapna Suresh, a letter by Sarith P S and three other issues. EC says no to rice subsidy scheme HC seeks poll panel view on bogus voters T’Puram: The State Election Commission has put a stop to the LDF government’s EasterVishu-Ramzan scheme to provide 10kg rice at `15 for blue and white ration card-holders. Kochi: The High Court on Friday directed the Election Commission to respond to the Opposition leader’s plea, seeking a directive to delete or freeze 4.3 lakh bogus names in the voters’ list for the assembly polls. The state government move is clearly aimed at ED officials involved in the investigation. The voice clip had revealed that Swapna was arm-twisted by ED sleuths to implicate the chief minister in the case. The commission will examine if anyone had forced Swapna to give a statement against the CM. If yes, who had exerted pressure on her, what was their motive and whether there was any conspiracy The . commission will file its report to the state government suggesting the steps to be taken against them in case there was a conspiracy behind the episode. The state will have to seek permission from the Election Commission to appoint the commission chairman as the code of conduct is in force. Hence, the order appointing the commission will be issued only after receiving the EC’s permission. If the EC denies permission, the state will explore other ways to take on the agencies. INTERVIEW ‘JOKE OF THE CENTURY’ ‘Sabarimala used as diversionary Tactic’ T’Puram: The Opposition was using Sabarimala as a diversionary tactic, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran said in an interview with TNIE. The state won’t make any change in its Supreme Court affidavit, he said. P2 ‘Didn’t let Students lose a year’ E x p r e s s ne w s s e r v i c e @ Chennai Much like everything else, the biggest education conc l ave, T h i n k E d u , went virtual this year. Union minister for education Ramesh Pokhriyal, in his inaugural address, elaborated on his vision for the National Education Policy and the way ahead. He also spoke about how India was among the very few countries in the world that didn’t let students’ year go waste. “Even when the rest of the world had foregone a year, India ensured that its students didn’t waste it. Around 33 crore students were given education online. Provisions were made for those who couldn’t come online through mediums like radio,” said Pokhriyal. TNIE Editorial Director Prabhu Chawla kicked off the ninth edition of ThinkEdu, saying: “This year, we have brought illuminating discussions and conversations about new Day 1 of B’desh visit: Modi hails Bangabandhu 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 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 express read Drug gangs shoot at cops in Manjeshwar Kasaragod: Singed by a police crackdown, drug gangs of Uppala and Paivalike opened fire at police officers in Manjeshwar. The incident happened on Thursday afternoon, following which a combing operation was launched to nab the gangsters. Karnataka police have arrested three suspects, from whom a gun and live rounds were seized. P u s h k a r B a n a k a r @New Delhi Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday began his two-day 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 anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence, I salute him and the contributions of the Indian armed forces, mukti jodhas in Bangladesh’s war of independence,” Modi said in Dhaka. Saying that India and Bangladesh’s future together has a lot in store, he said it is important that New Delhi and Dhaka progress together. Meanwhile, a protest by a mob against Modi’s trip got violent, leaving four perP9 sons dead with bullet injuries. 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.” Patients being shifted after a fire broke out at the Covid-dedicated Sunrise Hospital in Mumbai on Friday | PTI 10 perish in Mumbai Covid hospital fire Mumbai: At least 10 Covid-19 patients died and several others were injured in a major fire at Sunrise Hospital in Mumbai on Friday. The hospital is situated 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. SC upholds decision to sack Mistry as Tata chief New Delhi: In a major victory for Tata Group, the Supreme Court on Friday set aside appellate tribunal NCLAT’s order restoring Cyrus Mistry as the executive chairman of the Tata Sons Pvt Ltd (TSPL). Mistry had succeeded Ratan Tata as the chairman of TSPL in 2012, but was ousted four years later.
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