chennai l thursday l june 24, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l vellore EDITION powerful blast outside Hafiz Saeed’s house kills 3 The car bomb blast at a checkpoint near the Mumbai attack mastermind’s Lahore residence on Wednesday also injured 20 Attackers got too close to his house Six others critical, toll could go up There is no clarity yet on whether Saeed was at his residence at the time of the blast. But heavy security presence in the area led to conjecture of his possible presence. It was unclear whether the car, packed with explosives, was remotely detonated or if a suicide bomber was behind the blast. A preliminary probe found that over 30 kg of explosives were used ■ ■ The impact of the blast shattered the windows of several nearby ■ houses. At least six of the injured are in critical condition Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Inam Ghani claimed that hostile intelligence agencies could be behind the blast Pakistan’s Counter Terrorism Department will take over the probe 17 of the 20 injured have been hopsitalised 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 Recovery PSU banks get back 40% dues from Mallya, Nirav & Choksi E x p r e s s Ne w s S E r v i c e @ New Delhi After facing a lot of flak over fugitive businessmen Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallaya, the Centre on Tuesday managed to score a big political point by announcing that `9,042 crore worth of attached assets of the trio have been transferred to the PSU banks defrauded by them. According to an Enforcement Directorate statement, Mallya, Modi and Choksi defrauded PSU banks causing a total loss of `22,586 crore to the banks. So, `9,042 crore works out around 40% of the total loss suffered by the banks. So far, the ED has attached assets worth `18,170 crore of the three absconders. These include assets worth `969 crore located in foreign countries. Of the `9,042 crore, `5824 crore has been recovered by sale of shares of United Breweries to Heineken NV Debt Re. covery Tribunal on behalf of SBI-led consortium sold shares of United Breweries Limited. The Dutch liquor company acquired 3.96 crore shares, or 15% in United Breweries. According to ED, further realisation of `800 Crore by sale of shares is expected by 25 June. Public-sector banks have already recovered `1,357 crore by selling the shares. According to the annual report of United Breweries, equity shares accounting for 16.15% held by a few promoter companies promoted by Mallya constituting had been transferred to the demat account of ED, Mumbai . The ED, acting on the FIRs by the CBI, has detected a number of domestic and international transactions and assets stashed abroad. The ED has also filed prosecution complaints against all the three accused after completion of money laundering investigation. Forty Delta Plus cases in 5 states; don’t panic: govt Pondy Cabinet to be sworn in on June 27 D E BJANI D UTTA @ Puducherry Genome sequencing shows first occurrence in a sample taken in Maharashtra on April 5 S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi A day after the Centre issued an alert after the detection of a Delta Plus variant of Covid-19 in three states, scientists associated with the government’s genomic surveillance project said it is a matter of concern but there is no reason to panic yet. The Union health ministry while issuing a statement on INSACOG’s report on the Delta variant with K417N mutation — also being called B.1.617.2.1 or AY.1 or Delta Plus — said this was first detected in India in a sample collected on April 5 in Maharashtra. AY.1 has been found in two more states, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, apart from Maharashtra, MP and Kerala. About 40 such cases have been detected so far. INSACOG is a consortium of labs for genomic and epidemiological surveillance of Covid19. It has so far carried out whole genome sequencing in about 45,000 virus samples collected from across India. The government as well as scientists associated with the project said there is no evidence yet to suggest that this variant is more transmissible or increases disease severity But the . K417N mutation, which has previously been seen in the South African and Brazilian variants, has been known to evade immune response, raising worries against possible reduced effectiveness of existing vaccines. “The government has done a good thing by issuing an advisory said a scientist with CSIR,” Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology “But we are yet . to understand whether the effects of mutations are neutral, additive, or even bigger than the sum of individuals muta- tions because of small number of cases,” he added. An independent virologist said that in the wake of the new finding, the government should also reveal its future strategy. “In my view, a test like the one developed in the UK which is faster and cheaper than whole genome sequencing in detecting the mutation should be urgently considered and deployed here in order to understand the First case in TN Chennai: A staff nurse in a cancer hospital in Chennai is the first known case of Delta Plus in Tamil Nadu, Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said. The patient’s sample tested positive after genome sequencing at InSTEM, a lab in Bengaluru. The patient has since recovered and all contacts tested negative for Covid, he added | p2 characteristics and progression of this variant,” he said. Worldwide, 205 cases with AY.1 have been reported from nine countries. AY.1 was first reported by the Public Health England bulletin on June 11. A retrospective analysis of samples by INSACOG revealed the first occurrence of this lineage from a sample collected from Maharashtra in early April. Kyle Jamieson celebrates Virat Kohli’s wicket on Wednesday. He ended up scalping seven wickets in the match | AP Black Caps shine in whites E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e NEW ZEALAND has a population of roughly three million. The player pool they have at their disposal is less than a 100. The revenue New Zealand Cricket earns from the game is miniscule, nothing compared to the Indian cricket board. Yet, these disparities didn’t count for much as the Black Caps engineered a sensational eightwicket win to claim the inaugural World Test Championship. After a few days of a dank and gloomy start to the final, the last day proved to be a beehive of action. Under good batting conditions, India’s famed batting cracked under pressure. The fabled New Zealand attack made hay when the sun shone, literally on the final day . A collapse was the last thing Virat Kohli and his team needed. But when the skipper walked back for not much in the morning, it was always on the cards. After bowling India out for 170, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, steadied the ship, bided their time and took the Kiwis home for only their second ICC title (they won the first in 2000). For a side that had to wait 26 years for a Test match win — the longest in history — the WTC title has been made possible by an ecelctic bunch of cricketers that is considered as the best team to take the field for the country Not even their . team of the 1980s comprising HC itself files 11 cases against jagan! Express news service @ Vijayawada The Andhra Pradesh High Court has registered 11 suo motu revision petitions on the closure of cases, pertaining to certain comments made by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy when he was in the Opposition, by lower courts. Justice Kanneganti Lalitha, who heard the petitions on Wednesday, however, refrained from issuing notices to police, original petitioners, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and others, who were made respondents, following strong objections from Advocate General Subramanyam Sriram. The unprecedented suo motu action was based on the recommendation of the high court’s administrative committee. When he was in the Opposition in 2016, YSRC chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy made certain comments against the then chief minister and TDP supremo U’khand HC rips apart Covid death audit, calls it sham VIN E E T UPA D HYAY @ Dehradun The Uttarakhand High Court on Wednesday came down heavily on the state government over the botched-up Covid death figures, terming it “totally vague, sham, misleading and not acceptable”. The division bench comprising Chief Justice R S Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma blamed the officials’ lacklustre attitude for the ‘bureacratic mess’. Dushyant Mainali, one of the petitioners, said, “In most cases, the cause of death is posted as ‘cardiopulmonary arrest’ to which court raised questions.” Tearing apart the death audit submitted by the state health department, the bench said, “Whenever we ask about pre paredness, you (health secretary) use terms like adequate, sufficient, tre- mendous efforts, etc. Sorry this , is not a meeting chaired by Hon’ble Chief Minister where you will project anything/ something and that will be accepted. This is the High Court and if you will paint a rosy picture and say ‘it’s Ramrajya and we are in heaven’, we will not believe because we rely on facts and evidences and we are aware of the ground reality of this hill state.” Visibly angry at the health department officials, the court remarked, “All these vague terms being used by you are bureaucratic cobweb and a coverup to bureaucratic mess. We want bureaucracy of this state to work overnight on war footing and not to make decisions overnight instead of halting them.” The bench also stated that the affidavit by the health department is totally silent on the The Madras High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Central government in a plea moved by the Digital News Publishers Association, comprising 13 media outlets, challenging the constitutional validity of the Information Technology Rules, 2021. The first bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, admitting the plea, tagged the present petition along with a pending plea moved by Carnatic musician TM Krishna, who had approached the court a few weeks ago. The bench also granted interim re- lief for the association to approach the court if any coercive and arm-twisting action is taken under the rules, particularly under provisions 12, 14 and 16 of the new Rules. Senior advocate PS Raman, appearing for the petitioners, contended that two provisions of the rules immediately offended the association. “Particularly, Rule 16 is an omnibus provision giving power to the secretary of the Union Ministry of Information & Broadcasting to block public access to any digital information,” he said, while also seeking an interim order, restraining the Union from taking any action under the rules pending disposal of the plea. P3 steps taken in compliance of the recommendations of the high powered committee of paediatric experts. After the health department officials tried to explain how the government is in the process of procurement, issuing tenders etc, the court dismissed these submissions as an ‘eyewash’. The court was hearing combined petitions regarding the Covid-19 situation in the state. Nara Chandrababu Naidu and the alleged Amaravati land scam. Subsequently, a few cases were booked against him in Anantapur, and Guntur districts. Police, who looked into the same, filed final reports reportedly in the absence of actionable evidence. The petitioners too reportedly infor med the magistrate courts concerned they had no objection for closure of the cases. Following this, the low- Jab-o-meter Take your shot June 22 52,12,628 doses June 23 63,26,649 doses Total doses: 30,09,69,538 NATIONWIDE june 22 june 23 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 42,640 81,839 1,167 50,848 68,817 1,358 tamil nadu june 22 june 23 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 6,895 13,156 194 6,596 10,432 166 er courts had closed the cases. The court’s administrative committee found fault with it and took an ‘administrative’ decision to take up the issue suo motu. Advocate General Sriram argued that the HC cannot take up ‘administrative’ suo motu action using its powers under Sections 397, 401, 482 and 483 of the CrPC. He said it’s the first time in the history of judiciary that suo motu action was being taken based on an administrative decision. Continued on: P5 express read Housing sales fall 58% sequentially in June qtr New Delhi: The second Covid-19 wave and regional lockdowns pulled down housing sales during the April-June 2021 quarter by 58% to 24,570 units compared with 58,290 units in the previous quarter, showed data released by real estate consultancy Anarock on Wednesday. However, Q1 sales perked up 93% annually, as only 12,740 units were sold in the yearago period, when a nationwide lockdown was on | P10 ‘Ondriyam’ implies federalism, will continue to use the term: CM Stalin Notice issued to Centre on plea challenging new IT rules E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ Chennai Richard Hadlee and Martin Crowe has been this competitive and invincible. For India, this is an opportunity lost. Easily the best side in , the WTC cycle, all they needed was one good session with the bat. Instead, from the moment Kyle Jamieson removed Kohli in the sixth over of the day and Cheteshwar Puajra two overs later, their fate was all but sealed as they could just manage a lead of 138. Conditions were in New Zealand’s favour but India might have given themselves a better chance by playing an extra batsman. Or perhaps, they erred in playing two spinners. But playing a pacer could have extended the tail a bit more. P11 After over a month-and-ahalf since Chief Minister N Rangasamy took the oath of office, the new Puducherry Cabinet is finally set to swear in on Sunday. This, after the CM handed over a list of five ministers to Lt Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan at Raj Nivas on Wednesday. “We have forwarded the list to the Ministry of Home Affairs. The inauguration ceremony will be held on June 27 after receiving approval from the President,” Soundararajan said in a statement. The portfolios will be decided after the swearing-in ceremony , said the CM. It is to be noted that BJP’s leader in-charge of UT, Nirmal Kumar Surana, had voiced a similar opinion earlier this week. Sources said the House will be convened after ministers are inducted and the Deputy Speaker will be elected. Among the five ministers, three are from the AINRC and the remaining from BJP as per , the agreement between the two parties. While BJP’s A Namassivayam, J Sai Saravana Kumar, and AINRC’s K Lakshminarayanan have made the cut, other names are yet to be known. It would be released only after the presidential assent. P4 E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ Chennai India-us drill Indian Air Force’s P8I and MiG 29K aircraft participate in a passage exercise with US Navy Carrier Strike Group Ronald Reagan during its transit through Indian Ocean on Wednesday. The two-day exercise aims to strengthen bilateral ties. Two Indian Navy ships, too, were part of the bilateral exercise | special arrangement The State Assembly on Wednesday witnessed a short debate on the use of the phrase ‘Union government’ by the DMK government and leaders of the party. Chief Minister MK Stalin said there was nothing wrong in the usage since ‘Ondriyam’ implied federalism. “No one needs to get frightened at the word ‘Ondriyam’. It implies federalism, and so we will continue to use it,” he said responding to remarks made by BJP floor leader, Nainar Nagenthran, who criticised the DMK’s new-found interest in ‘Ondriya Arasu’ (Union government), instead of ‘Central government’. Nagenthran asked the CM to explain why this new usage has been reiterated now and the ulterior motive behind it. It has created a suspicion among people whether the gover nment has some other motive, he said. “A few feel that using the phrase ‘Union government’ is a social crime. That is totally wrong. We say what is said in the Constitution of India. The first sentence of the Constitution says India shall be a Union of States,” he explained. Referring to Nagenthran’s contention that the present-day DMK has ‘invented’ something new, which even late leaders CN Annadurai and M Karunanidhi did not do, Stalin said, “Decades ago, the DMK’s election manifesto used the phrase ‘Union of India’. Further, Anna, speaking in the Rajya Sabha on January 25, 1963, explained that the Preamble to the Constitution says political sovereignty rests with the people. Legal sovereignty is divided between the Federal Union and the constituent units.” He also recalled that freedom fighter MP Sivagnanam had used the word ‘samashti’ (federal) while Rajaji spoke against piling up of powers with the Union government and ushering in true federalism.
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