vijayawada l saturday l may 01, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late 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 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 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 licences 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? CM to write to PM on AP’s priority to give jabs to 45 plus E x pre s s Ne w s Ser v i c e @ Vijayawada Andhra Pradesh will not go for vaccination of people in the age group of 18-44 from May 1 as it has decided to complete inoculation of beneficiaries of above 45 years first owing to limited availability of Covid vaccine in the State. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy will be writing a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday explaining his government’s decision to complete the vaccination of 45 plus category first. He will also furnish details of the vaccination drive and Covid-19 situation in the State. Disclosing this to mediapersons here on Friday, Principal Secretary (Health) Anil Kumar Singhal said as per the vaccine availability through other than the government channel for May, made known to the State, a total of 9,91,700 Covishield doses and 3,43,930 Covaxin doses will be available for purchase. The Centre on its part, will continue to allocate vaccine for the vaccination of 45 plus age group, which is a few lakh doses per week. “As 13 lakh doses will not be sufficient to take up a drive to vaccinate 2.04 crore population in the age group of 18-44 in the State, which requires 4.08 crore doses (two doses per beneficiary), the Chief Minister opined that instead of going for vaccination of a very small section of that category, it is better to use the vaccine to complete the inoculation of 45 plus group. Vaccine to be allotted for this category in the future will be used for 18-44 group,” he explained. Meanwhile, the State government is holding talks with vaccine producers over price and delivery of vaccine. The schedule for vaccination drive will be finalised soon after vaccine is made available. P4 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 April 30 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. The price difference becomes `30,000-40,000 crore. Why should we as a naP9 tion pay this?” Justice Bhat asked. April 29 A grief-stricken family of a Covid-19 victim at Government General Hospital in Vijayawada on Friday | P Ravindra Babu Sedition law under apex court lens E x pre s s Ne w s Ser v i c e @ New Delhi Amid rising instances of state governments slapping sedition charges against dissenting people, the Supreme Court on Friday sought response from the Centre on a plea challenging the Constitutional validity of the law. A bench of 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 petition claimed that Section 124-A infringes the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression, guaranteed by 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 freedom of individuals who cannot enjoy their legitimate democratic rights and freedom 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 AP to airlift two empty tankers to odisha today Andhra Pradesh will airlift two empty cryogenic tankers to Bhubaneswar in Odisha from Vijayawada or Tirupati airport on Saturday to get liquid medical oxygen from Angul. Covid Special Officer MT Krishna Babu held talks with the Centre in this regard. The State is also making efforts to get one of ISO tank containers imported by the Centre for its oxygen requirements Reconsider call on exams: HC E x pre s s Ne w s Ser v i c e @ Vijayawada The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Friday directed the State government to reconsider its decision to conduct SSC and Intermediate examinations in the wake of surge in Covid-19 cases. The HC questioned the government as to how students, who tested positive for Covid and are under home isolation, can write examinations. Dealing with PILs filed challenging the conduct of exams amid spike in Covid-19 cases, the HC sought to know the precautions to be taken by the government to prevent the spread of Covid to students and their parents. It observed that nearly 30 lakh people, including students and their parents, teachers, police and other staff, will be directly or indirectly involved in the exam process. When the HC asked as to how a Covid positive student can write the exams, the government pleader said special arrangements will be made for such students. The HC felt that Covid symptoms may not show up in some students and if a student shows symptoms of the virus while Govt fixes rates for treatment in pvt Covid hosps to avoid fleecing Exams will benefit students, enable them get seats in good colleges: CM Vijayawada: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has reiterated that the conduct of SSC and Intermediate examinations is only for the benefit of students. “We are conducting SSC and Intermediate exams keeping in mind the future of students. Cancellation of exams is easy, but conducting them is a challenging task. The States which are not conducting exams, are issuing pass certificates. The certificates with just pass marks will not enable students get a seat in a good college. If students appear for exams, they will get good marks and will be better placed in the competitive world,” he said. Asserting that the government is going to conduct the exams in the best interest of students, Jagan said teachers should understand the objective and explain the importance of writing exams to parents for the bright future of students STATEWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths April 29 14,792 8,188 57 April 30 17,354 8,468 64 writing the exams, what is the guarantee that the virus will not spread to others. The HC also asked as to how a student can mentally prepare for the examinations when he is under constant fear of contracting the virus. E x pre s s Ne w s Ser v i c e @ Vijayawada The State government has fixed rates to be charged by private hospitals for treating Covid cases. Following complaints by patients that some private hospitals were charging exorbitant rates, the government constituted an expert commit- The government pleader said students can get ranks only of exams are held, which fetch them seats in reputed colleges. He assured that all precautions will be taken during the conduct of exams. While dealing with another PIL filed by students for cancellation of exams, the HC asked Advocate General S Sriram to consult the government and inform its stand to the court. The matter was posted to May 3 for further hearing. tee to fix rates for Covid treatment. The committee held deliberations with experts and recommended the rates to be charged for Covid treatment. Based on its recommendations, the government issued a GO on Friday night mentioning the rates to be charged by private hosP4 pitals for Covid treatment.
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