HUBBALLI SATURDAY APRIL 17, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 12 CITY EDITION SC NORMS FOR FAST DISPOSAL OF CHEQUE-BOUNCE CASES The SC on Friday issued a slew of directions for fast disposal of cheque-bounce cases, which have choked justice delivery system 30% NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS ACT TO BE AMENDED EVIDENCE THROUGH AFFIDAVIT 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 Govt bid to ramp up oxygen, vaccine production, supply CM back in hospital with reinfection of Covid-19 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE A day after he returned midway from campaigning for the Belagavi Lok Sabha seat bypoll, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa was admitted to a private hospital in Bengaluru on Friday following re-infection of Covid-19. Incidentally, just hours before he tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus, the 78-year-old CM had chaired an emergency meeting to discuss the Covid-19 situation in Karnataka. Yediyurappa had been campaigning for the upcoming bypolls in Karnataka till Thursd ay a f t e r n o o n . H e h a d developed fever and fatigue three days ago during campaigning and had tested negative for Covid-19 two days ago, but continued to have fever. Following the CM’s hospitalisation, the all-party meeting on the Covid-19 situation, scheduled for Sunday, has been cancelled. “Upon having mild fever, I got tested for Covid-19 today and my report has come out positive. Although I am doing fine, I am being hospitalised on the advice of doctors. I request all those who have come in my contact recently to be observant and exercise self-quarantine,” Yediyurappa tweeted. He was first taken to M S Ramaiah hospital on Friday morning and later shifted to Manipal Hospital. “ medical board of cliniA @ 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 Mumbai-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, 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. Some 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. As of now, at least 50 seers have tested positive for Covid. They include Mahant Ravindra Puri of the Niranjani Akhada, who had announced that his akhada will consider closure of the event on P7 April 17. 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 Hours earlier, he chaired emergency meet; was due for 2nd vax dose A N U S H A R A V I @ Bengaluru 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 Lancet study recommends localised, phased curbs E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Bengaluru CURBS ON PUBLIC GATHERINGS Mandatory implementation of 3.25 sqft distance per person Events Indoors Outdoors Weddings 100* 200 Birthdays 25 50 Funerals and related events 25 50 * Number of people allowed Other private Political events- Not events- 200 more than permitted 50 persons outdoors Religious and cultural events are prohibited cal experts has been instituted and currently he is being evalu, ated and treated for respiratory symptoms,” a statement said. In August last year, Yediyurappa was hospitalised for a week due to Covid-19. He had taken the first dose of vaccination in March and was due for his second dose next week. “The CM seemed normal and enthusiastic in the morning meeting. We were to take the next vaccine dose in two or three days. He perhaps got reinfected during the poll campaign. We needed his leadership in the current situation but, unfortunately he , had to be hospitalised. He will continue to guide us from the hospital,” said Dr K Sudhakar. SENIOR MINISTERS WILL HOLD FORT THE Lancet Covid Commission India Task Force, in a report titled ‘Managing India’s Second Covid-19 Wave: Urgent Steps’ released on Friday suggested localised, phased restrictions or closures in , the country while not recommending a blanket national or state, wide lockdown. It suggested that the next two months can be used to prepare the education sector for safe opening of schools, colFULL REPORT: P4 leges in July 2021 for the next academic year. With Yediyurappa in hospital, Health minister Dr K Sudhakar said all meetings on Covid-19 etc., will be held under the leadership of senior ministers like Basavaraj Bommai, R Ashok and others. The CM will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation from the isolation ward and will be in touch with the ministers and the chief secretary. Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar, as ordered by Yediyurappa earlier this month, will sign and announce all orders on restrictions, Covid-19 protocols, etc. KARNATAKA Fresh cases Active cases Deaths Recoveries Fresh cases in B’luru Urban APRIL 15 APRIL 16 14,738 96,561 66 3,591 10,497 14,859 1,07,315 78 4,031 9,917 K’taka now has over 1L active cases EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bengaluru WITH Karnataka recording its highest every single-day addition of Covid-19 cases with 14,859 fresh cases, the number of active cases in the state has breached the one lakh mark and now stands at 1,07,315. This is a 11.13 per cent jump from the 96,561 active cases on Thursday . Karnataka is now ranked fourth among states with the highest number of active cases after Maharashtra (6,38,034), Uttar Pradesh (1,50,676) and Chhattisgarh (1,21,769). The state also recorded its highest number of deaths in a day with 78 added to the toll, taking it to 13,190 now. Karnataka had last seen over one lakh active cases on October 21, 2020. The number had remained above that mark for 30 days from September 10, with only some days when it dipped marginally . CONTINUED ON: P3 EC bans rallies from 7pm to 10am in WB Now, ICSE defers examinations for Classes 10, 12 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 parties to religiously follow protocols. The poll panel warned them of criminal ac- tion 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. EXPRESS READ SHROUDED IN MYSTERY UK approves Nirav’s extradition to India Covid slams brakes on probe into sisters’ deaths 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 related to the estimated $2-billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam case. Ajay Seth is new Economic Affairs Secy New Delhi: Ajay Seth, a 1987 batch IAS officer of Karnataka cadre, on Friday assumed charge as Secretary Economic Affairs at a time when the economy is being threatened by the second wave of Covid. Seth replaces Tarun Bajaj, who moved as Revenue Secretary in the Ministry of Finance. US keeps India in currency watch list Washington: The US on Friday placed 11 countries, including India, China, Japan, South Korea, Germany and Italy in the currency practices monitoring list. The other countries are Ireland, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Mexico M A N J U S H E T TA R @ B e n g a l u r u THE Covid-19 pandemic may have played spoilsport with the investigation into the suspicious deaths of two elderly women siblings at their residence in Gopalapura on Magadi Road on Thursday. The women had no external injuries and nothing was stolen from their house. Jamuna (62) and Raani (59) were found dead on Thursday evening after their worried younger sister Prema rushed to their house when her repeated calls went unanswered. But the cause of their deaths may remain unsolved as they were found to be Covid-19 positive due to which an autopsy was not conducted. Only the food particles collected from their home have been sent for forensic analysis to check whether they had committed suicide by mixing poison in their food or not. The preliminary investigation have revealed that no external injuries on them and even valuables, including cash and gold, were found intact, a police officer said. Strangely, both women were found dead in two different rooms with no hint of an attack. When their bodies were shifted to Victoria Hospital, their swab samples were first collected for Covid-19 tests. They were both found to be positive for Covid19 and the hospital authorities did not conduct a postmortem as per the protocol. Besides, the doctors have not ruled out that the siblings may have died due to the disease itself -- a strange possibility considering that both , were found dead in different rooms of their house. However, that cannot be verified now because they have already been cremated. CONTINUED ON: P3 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi TWO days after the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) cancelled its Class 10 board exams and deferred the Class 12 board exams, the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CICSE) on Friday deferred the board exams of both Classes 10 and 12 in view of the rise in Covid-19 cases across the country . The Class 10 and 12 exams, which were to be held from May 4, have been deferred In the light of the nationwide surge in coronavirus cases, the CICSE chief executive and secretary Gerry Arathoon said. “We will closely monitor the situation and review it in the first week of June to take a final decision on the conduct of examination,” he said. “While Class 12 exams will be conducted at a later stage, Class 10 students will get an option to either appear for offline exams later or get evalu- ated on the basis of fair and unbiased criteria to be developed by Board,” Arathoon added. Several state boards too have already postponed or cancelled their exams. Chief ministers of many states had been pushing for postponement of the examinations in the light of t h e p reva i l i n g C ov i d - 1 9 situation. ILLEGAL FIREARMS IN KUDREMUKH FOREST AREA A BIG WORRY FOR POLICE IN MALNAD M E E R A B H A R D W A J @ Bengaluru Police at the spot where a hunter left behind his firearm; (Right) The muzzle-loader, like the one recovered, is preferred for hunting We need to recover such country-made illegal arms and ammunition. The easy availability of such guns has not only increased wildlife hunting, but also given a fillip to crime A police officer THE rampant use of illegal and licensed weapons for hunting wildlife has become a major headache for both the police and the forest department in the Malnad region. Even as seizures and arrests continue in areas around national parks and sanctuaries, 8-10 cases have been registered by the police in Chikkamagaluru district alone and illegal arms recovered from hunters. In a recent incident, the Kudremukh police stumbled upon a person with firearms which was being used for wildlife hunting. However, the offender managed to escape. Lakshman, son of Alagaiah, was chased by the police when he was found hunting near S K Meglan Koonekudge village. The police team seized a muzzle-loader gun and also recovered other materials used for hunting. A case was registered at Kudremukh police station under the Indian Arms Act. According to police sources, the use of illegal arms for hunt- ing is widespread in the Western Ghat districts. This is a sensitive district as, in the past decade, as many as 13-15 Naxals have surrendered and laid down ar ms before the Chikkama g alur u district police. A police official said, “We need to recover such countrymade illegal arms and ammunition. The easy availability of such guns has not only increased wildlife hunting, but also given a fillip to criminal activity .” The Kudremukh National Park authorities are having a tough time dealing with such illegal activities in the surrounding areas. According to G Veeresh, Chikkamagaluru honorary wildlife warden, in the Western Ghat-bound Malnad areas, such locally made muzzle-loading guns are specially used for wildlife hunting. “They use traditional methods for making them — gun powder, metal balls, blades, wires, nails, etc. Under the Indian Arms Act, this is illegal and authorities should seize all illegal and unlicensed firearms.” Local activists further add that these easily available cheap guns are a boon for hunters and hunting groups from Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Hyderabad, etc.
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