HYDERABAD SATURDAY APRIL 17, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY EDITION SC NORMS FOR FAST DISPOSAL OF CHEQUE-BOUNCE CASES 30% NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS ACT TO BE AMENDED EVIDENCE THROUGH AFFIDAVIT The SC on Friday issued a slew of directions for fast disposal of cheque-bounce cases, which have choked justice delivery system The Supreme Court said there should be a single trial in multiple chequebounce cases, if transactions involved are the same. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde asked the Centre to make suitable amendments in the Negotiable Instruments Act and recommended that cases lodged in 12 months time against a person be clubbed into one case ■ ■ The apex court directed all high courts to issue guidelines for trial courts for speedy disposal of cheque bounce cases The court also said the evidence in such cases can now be tendered by filing affidavits, and there would be no requirement to examine witnesses physically SHARE OF CHEQUE-BOUNCE CASES IN TOTAL PENDENCY AT TRIAL COURTS & HIGH COURTS 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 Bid to ramp up oxygen, vax production, supply LAKHS MISS SECOND DOSE DATE DUE TO LACK OF VAX IN TS PM takes stock, urges synergy to ease bottlenecks; Bharat Biotech gets aid to produce more Covaxin; other firms too to manufacture it EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi FACED with an acute shortage of medical grade oxygen and vaccines in the wake of the massive second Covid wave that is nowhere near its peak, the Centre on Friday sought to ease all bottlenecks as part of its crisis management and step up their production. Prime Minister Narendra Modi did a comprehensive review of the oxygen situation and urged Union ministries and state governments to build synergy to address gaps in the system. The meeting came a day after the government decided to import 50,000 metric tonnes of oxygen after first claiming that there is enough production capacity within India to meet the demand. To address vaccine shortage, the government sought to scale up production of the indigenous Covaxin developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, by providing `65 crore aid to the company’s unit in Bengaluru. It has already allowed Mum- bai-based Haffkine Institute to produce Covaxin on technology transfer basis. Covaxin’s share in the current vaccine pool in just about 15%, as the present capacity of Bharat Biotech is about 1 crore doses a month. The Centre plans to increase production to 2 crore doses by May-June and by 6-7 crore by July-August, for which talks are on with at least two more companies - Indian Immunologicals Ltd, Hyderabad and BIBCOL, Bulandshehar. The meeting convened by the PM specifically took stock of the oxygen availability in 12 high burden states, including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths APRIL 15 2,00,739 93,528 1,038 APRIL 16 2,17,353 1,18,302 1,185 VARIANTS OF CONCERN Of about 14,000 Covid samples whose whole genomic sequencing has been carried out, 1,189 tested positive for variants of concern, the Centre said on Friday Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. These states have already been allocated 4,880 MT, 5,619 MT and 6,593 MT for meeting their projected demand as on April 20, April 25 and April 30, respectively . Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Friday wrote to the state chief secretaries, advising free inter-state movement of oxygen carrying vehicles, saying no curb shall be imposed on oxygen manufacturers and suppliers to impose geographical limits on supplies. Meanwhile, a section of the saints camping in Haridwar for the Maha Kumbh were agitated after an akhada claimed the mela would end on Saturday A . final decision will be taken by the Akhada Parishad, the apex body of 13 akhadas. At of now, at least 50 seers have tested positive for Covid 19. They include Mahant Ravindra Puri of the Niranjani Akhada who on Thursday announced that his akhada will consider closure of the mega event on April 17. D O N I TA J O S E @ Hyderabad Covid victims being cremated at Swarnrekha Ghat in Ranchi on Friday | PTI MAHARASHTRA Aurangabad district administration has acquired the oxygen plant of R L Steel in Chitegaon of Paithan to produce nearly 500 medical grade oxygen cylinders per day NEW DELHI IndiGo to waive fee to change time or date on domestic tickets that are booked between April 17 and April 30 due to Covid. However, cancellation fee will be chargeable UTTAR PRADESH Full lockdown across all UP districts this Sunday ANDHRA PRADESH Vaccine stock exhausted, just 4,300 doses could be administered on Friday; CM writes to Modi for 60 lakh more doses O2 STATUS CHECK MADHYA PRADESH Daily supply up from 130 MT to 295 MT. In 34 districts. 1,273 O 2 concentrators installed till date. Air Concentrator Units are being installed in 8 districts BIHAR Govt claims oxygen availability is sufficient for the next 7-10 days. But private hospitals complain of oxygen scarcity JHARKHAND Govt claims there is no shortage, but patients are facing problems in getting oxygen support. A special task force has been formed to address it TS struggles to stop influx of patients from Maha, K’taka EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad THERE seems to be an influx of Covid-19 patients into the State from neighbouring states, particularly Maharashtra. Patients from towns and villages close to the border are arriving in large numbers and seeking treatment at local hospitals because of better medical infrastructure and facilities available in Telangana. Though some districts have taken steps to send back those arriving with Covid-19 symptoms, they have not been effective enough to stop the influx. In fact, many of those who arrived from Maharashtra are undergoing treatment in the State, including hospitals in Hyderabad. For instance, Adilabad is affected by the patients who arrive for treatment at RIMS, which has a fair number of patients from Maharashtra. The district shares border with Chandrapur, Nanded, Gadchiroli and Yavatmal in Maharashtra. Though the district administration has arranged for a thermal screening at Dowllara village on the border, it is not very effective and as a result, people have no difficulty in sneaking into Telangana. There is no check on passengers coming in private vehicles and buses since inter-state travel is not CONTINUED ON P4 banned. Covid-19 grips top officials E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Hyderabad THE rapid and untamed spread of Covid-19 is now finding its prey among top bureaucrats and administrators in the State. On Friday, several of them tested positive for the virus which is not only spreading like wildfire but also claiming lives. Amongst those who tested positive was the topmost health official of the State, Dr K Ramesh Reddy, who handles the Directorate of Medical Education and Vaidya Vidhana Parishad. Along with him, the District Collectors of Bhadradri-Kothagudem and Yadadri-Bhuvanagiri also tested positive. While MV Reddy , Kothagudem’s Collector and Dr K Ramesh Reddy had taken the Covid-19 vaccine, it remains unclear whether the Yadadri Collector was vaccinated. In Dr Reddy’s case, it has already been a month since he took both shots. The Additional Collector of Sangareddy and district Police Superintendent also tested positive. Meanwhile, Andole MLA Kranti Kiran took to his Facebook page to inform about Sangareddy Panchayat Raj Department’s Executive Engineer’s death. The EE, Bharat Raj passed away due to Covid-19, informed the MLA. EXPRESS READ UK home secy clears Nirav’s extradition London: UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has signed off on the order to extradite fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi, wanted in India on fraud and money laundering charges. Modi has a 14-day window to appeal against the decision | P7 Monsoon to be normal this year, says IMD SAFE FOR WORSHIP In view of rising Covid cases, the water tank at Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad has been emptied in an attempt to prevent spread of Coronavirus infections during Ramzan | VINAY MADAPU New Delhi: The Southwest monsoon, which brings nearly 75% of rainfall to the country, is expected to be normal this year, the India Meteorological Dept said on Friday. The 50-year average will be 98% with an error margin of 5%, it added EC bans political rallies from 7pm to 10am in Bengal P R O N A B M O N D A L @ Kolkata IN the all-party meeting called by the Election Commission on Friday, there were no takers for the TMC’s suggestion to club the remaining phases of the polls. However, keeping in view the serious Covid situation, the EC asked par- ties to religiously follow protocols. The poll panel warned them of criminal action in case of violation of Covid guidelines. “Candidates and political parties shall ensure absolute, repeat absolute, adherence to Covid guidelines...” the poll panel said in its order. It asked star campaigners to tell their audience to wear masks in the beginning of the event itself and directed political parties to provide masks and sanitisers to all those who come to attend rallies. The EC cut short the time given for rallies and public meetings by banning them from 7 pm to 10 am. It also extended the silence period from 48 hours to 72 hours for the remaining three phases scheduled to be held on April 22, 26 and 29. Bengal reported 6,747 new cases in the past 24 hours. ALL SET FOR BYPOLL IN NAGARJUNA SAGAR The stage is set for the Nagarjuna Sagar bypoll, which takes place on Saturday. Over 2.2 lakh voters are expected to exercise their franchise | P2 THE State’s Covid vaccination drive is taking a hit due to uncertainty over the availability of doses. In the last one week, lakhs of individuals who were due for their second dose of vaccine were turned back, citing lack of availability of vaccine. Several people complained that even after booking their slots for second shots several times, they were being cancelled. “The first dose was given to my mother in March first week. But the government recommended to delay the second dose by 6 to 8 weeks. Now, we are entering the eighth week. Every time we book on Cowin, the appointment is cancelled automatically asking us to reschedule. We enquired with the local PHC and they inform us that Covishield vaccine is not in stock for a week and may be for another few days. What do we do now?” Achyuth Jagirdar, a city resident, wondered. Several others are concerned over cancellation of their vaccination slots only after arriving at the hospital. “We are worried because we are unnecessarily getting repeatedly exposed to the conditions at the hospital. So far, I have been forced to bring my 80-year-old mother to the hospital three times,” said another resident from Ameerpet. Hospitals are also helpless. “We had a robust vaccination programme going on. But now both first and second dose are not available,” informed an official of a hospital in Banjara Hills. An analysis of the data given on the Cowin dashboard shows that between April 10 and April 15, only 50,557 doses were administered as the second shot. While 6,40,458 doses were given as first dose. TELANGANA Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths APRIL 14 3,307 897 8 APRIL 15 3,840 1,198 9 It was only three days ago that the State received 4.6 lakh doses of the vaccine as against the 30 lakh it had demanded. It is learnt that only about four lakh doses are currently available. Meanwhile, state health officials note that the State has received 32 lakh doses until now and is due to receive 2.7 lakh doses on Saturday With . this, around six lakh doses will be available to vaccinate the individuals, informed Dr G Srinivasa Rao, Director of Public Health. Gandhi again turned into exclusive Covid-19 hosp As the State continues to see a massive surge in Covid-19 cases, Gandhi Hospital has once again been declared as an exclusive hospital for critical and terminally ill Covid patients. An order to this effect was issued on Friday evening by Director of Medical Education Dr K Ramesh Reddy. It is learnt that the decision was taken after nearly 150 serious cases came to the hospital late on Thursday night. The non-Covid patients who are currently undergoing treatment in Gandhi Hospital will now be shifted to Osmania and other hospitals.
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