KOLLAM l saturday l may 01, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION Former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee passes away Distinguished jurist and ex-Attorney General Soli Sorabjee, who appeared in many historic cases like S R Bommai, passed away on Friday Soli Sorabjee 9 March 1930 30 April 2021 Was admitted in hospital for covid Appeared in many historic cases He was admitted to a private hospital in South Delhi after getting infected with Covid-19. He is survived by wife, a daughter and two sons. A recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award of the country, the renowned human rights lawyer served as the Attorney General for India from 1989-90 and then from 1998-2004 ■ ■ Born in a Parsi family in 1930, Sorabjee enrolled at the bar in 1953 and was designated senior advocate by the Bombay HC in 1971 He appeared in many important cases including the Kesavananda Bharati matter on basic structure doctrine and the S R Bommai matter relating to invocation of President’s rule in states 2000-2006 Sorabjee Served as a member of the u.n. world court at The Hague for six years 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 FIR on oxygen appeal to draw contempt: SC NATIONWIDE Jab-o-meter Take your shot Govt’s special role to help Delhi Delhi represents people from the entire country, the bench said. “Centre has a peculiar role. Forget if someone wasn’t able to lift oxygen; you (Centre) have to push through to protect lives.” 10 l Mechanism to show real time data on oxygen allocation to hospitals doable? l Restrictions to curb spread of Covid; measures to ensure tankers and cylinders reach destination? l How to enable vax registration for illiterates or those without internet access? l Will one state get priority access over another to get jabs? How will manufacturers ensure equity? l Has Centre considered invoking Section 92 of the Patents Act to grant compulsory licenses in the face of an emergency like this? l New variant isn’t getting detected in RT-PCR test. Medical centres are driving away patients without positive report or charging high sums. What’s the policy in place? l How have testing labs been directed to track second mutant variant? How is reasonable time frame met for reports? l What steps to regulate very high hospital bills? l What about shortage of med staff? How are docs safeguarded and treated for Covid? l How much oxygen will be made available to critical states? express read Non-food bank loans hit all-time low of 4.9% in FY2020-21 Non-food bank credit growth plunged to an alltime low of 4.9% in FY21, according to RBI data. This is the first time growth touched such a low since 1971 when RBI began publishing data separately for food and non-food credit. Non-food credit includes loans given to industries, services sector, retail loans and agriculture and allied activities. P10 Cinematographer & filmmaker K V Anand dies of cardiac arrest Chennai: Noted Tamil film director and cinematographer K V Anand died here early on Friday due to cardiac arrest. He was 54. He was tested positive and was cremated maintaining Covid protocol. Anand began his career as a cinematographer in Malayalam movie ‘Thenmavin Kombath’ in 1994 and made his directorial debut with Tamil flick ‘Kana Kanden’ (2005). P5 Pinarayi orders to arrange swearing-in event on May 3 T’Puram: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has directed General Administration Department to arrange the swearing-in ceremony on Monday in case the LDF government returns to power. The results of assembly polls will be announced on Sunday and the directive to hold the ceremony the next day was necessitated by the worsening Covid situation in the state. P4 April 30 3,86,452 2,97,540 3,498 April 29 20,84,931 doses April 30 26,08,948 doses Our IPL Space K a n u S a r d a @ New Delhi point poser 3,79,257 2,69,507 3,645 Total doses: 15,48,54,096 Hearing must make a difference, says bench Coming down heavily on states that had ordered registration of FIRs against individuals appealing for help or sharing grievances on social media or elsewhere during the ongoing Covid pandemic, the Supreme Court on Friday warned that any such action will be treated as a contempt of court. A three-judge bench comprising justices D Y Chandrachud, L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhatt said, “We will treat this as contempt of our court. Let us hear the voices of our citizens and not clampdown.” The bench was hearing a suo motu case on the national plan to manage the Covid surge. The Uttar Pradesh government had recently ordered civil and criminal action against those making false appeals over social media seeking help for Covid-19. Regarding the situation in Delhi where there is an acute paucity of oxygen and ICU beds, the bench urged the Centre to expedite plans to save lives. It also asked the AAP government to adopt a cooperative attitude and a spirit of dialogue with the Centre. The bench posed 10 questions to the Centre, adding: “Our hearing must make a difference.” A detailed order will be available on Saturday The next hearing is slated for May 10. . The judges questioned the national vaccination programme with Justice Bhat asking Solicitor General Tushar Mehta why the Centre cannot buy 100% of the requirement. Sharing concern over the possible exclusion of the marginalised communities from the drive, the court said, “Fifty-nine crore Indians in 18-45 age group constitute a large segment. How will the poor and marginalised people find money to get vaccinated? We cannot have this private sector model.” Turning to the procurement policy, the bench said the jabs the states have to procure are overpriced. “AstraZeneca is providing vaccines at a far lower price to the US. Then why should we be paying so much? Manufacturers are charging you `150 but `300 or `400 to states. Why should we as a nation pay this? The price difference becomes `30-40,000 P7 crore,” Justice Ravindra Bhat asked. April 29 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths A Covid-19 patient awaits admission for treatment at Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital in Ajmer, Rajasthan on Friday | pti Sedition law under apex court lens E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Amid rising instances of state governments slapping charges of sedition against dissenting individuals, the Supreme Court on Friday sought response from the Centre on a plea challenging the Constitutional validity of the law. A bench justices U U Lalit, Indira Banerjee and K M Joseph were hearing a plea challenging section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, which penalises sedition. The plea, filed by journalists Kishorechandra Wangkhemcha and Kanhaiya Lal Shukla — working in Manipur and Chhattisgarh, respectively — have urged the top court to declare Section 124-A as unconstitutional. The SC will give a detailed hearing in July. This comes months after a similar plea was dismissed by the court. The plea claimed section 124-A infringes the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression, guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. FIRs were registered against them under Section 124A for comments and cartoons shared by them on Facebook. There is frequent misuse, misapplication and abuse of Section 124-A since 1962, the petition said, adding that the abuse of a law, in itself, may not bear on the validity of the law but clearly points to the vagueness and uncertainty of the current law. The petition also argued that the vagueness of Section 124-A exerts an unacceptable chilling effect on the democratic freedoms of individuals who cannot enjoy there legitimate democratic rights and freedoms for fear of life imprisonment. A government school in Edamuri, Pathanamthitta (Kerala) is taking up veg cultivation to feed nearby villagers. The headmaster, teachers & staff have been cultivating vegetables in the one acre free land in the campus | P11 India to get 5 mn doses of Sputnik by June India will get 5 mn doses of Russian Covid vaccine Sputnik V by June, India’s ambassador to Russia Bala Venkatesh Varma said on Friday. “We expect 1.5-2 lakh readymade vaccines to be available in the early part of May. This will be increased by the middle and the latter part of May. It is likely that by May, total sputnik V doses will be probably more than 3 million,” he said HC: Ensure O2 supply, no crowding & hosp cheating E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi WITH Covid cases continuing to surge and the state government and other stakeholders involved in the pandemic management being pushed to the limits, the Kerala High Court stepped in on Friday “reminding all to act responsibly and with extreme care” and calling for “swift and unreserved action to prevent any violation of orders”. Considering a public interest litigation, the court directed the state government to take steps to avoid crowding and celebration before and after the counting of votes. In another petition, the HC asked the gover nment to ensure continuous supply of oxygen from the state-run Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited in Kollam, with the hospitals desperately needing oxygen. Meanwhile, observing that the spike in the number of Covid cases in the state is mind-boggling and terming the situation grave, the court said while hearing another plea that the state has an irreplaceable role to control profiteering and the chase of money by all stakeholders, including private hospitals. The court directed the state government, state police chief and district electoral officers to take effective steps to ensure that no social or political gathering, meeting, procession or parade of any kind, be it celebratory or otherwise, is held in violation of Covid protocol between May 1 and 4. The division bench comprising Justice Devan Ramachandran and Justice M R Anitha issued the order on a PIL seeking to declare illegal all kinds of gatherings in the name of election-oriented and organisational activities by political parties at a time when the Covid pandemic is raging. The court also called for swift and unreserved action under laws including Epidemic Diseases Act and Disaster Management Act to prevent any violation of these orders. The case has been posted again on May 4. The upward curve of the pandemic statistics is climbing by the day remind, ing all to act responsibly and with extreme care, the ● More on P4 court said. WHAT THE COURT SAID HC asks the government to ensure continuous supply of oxygen from the state-run KMML 1 Directs the state govt, police chief and district electoral officers to take steps to ensure that no gathering is held in violation of Covid protocol between May 1 and 4 2 Says the state has the role to control profiteering and the chase of money by all stakeholders, including private hospitals 3 The upward curve of the pandemic statistics is climbing by the day, reminding all to act responsibly and with extreme care Kerala High Court Govt ponders full lockdown in dists with big caseload E x p r ess N e ws Se r v i c e @ T’Puram ON A day when the state reported 37,199 new Covid cases, CM Pinarayi Vijayan warned that full lockdown may have to be imposed in districts with alarming infection rate. Speaking to reporters after chairing a review meeting of the Covid situation here on Friday Pinarayi said the state , would adopt more stringent restrictions from May 4. Banks will function till 2pm and the public will be able to avail of banking services till 1pm. Only those government offices handling emergency services will function. Shops selling essential items will remain open, and only takeaway and home delivery will be allowed from hotels and restaurants. Pillion rider will be allowed on two-wheeleers only if the person is a family member. Double masking has been made compulsory for two-wheeler ● More on P4 riders. STATEWIDE Apr 29 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 38,607 21,116 48 Apr 30 37,199 17,500 49
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