KOCHI l friday l july 16, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l LATE city EDITION Pant Covid-19 positive in UK, three others in isolation Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant and throwdown specialist Dayanand Garani test positive for coronavirus in Britain Rishabh Pant posted pictures watching Euro match at Wembley | Twitter Three others placed in quarantine Did they let their guard down? Pant, who watched Euro 2020 from the Wembley Stadium tested Covid-19 positive on July 8 and is recovering well. Garani, who joined the team over the weekend after two-week break, tested positive on July 14. His contacts bowling coach Bharat Arun and players Wriddhiman Saha and Abhimanyu Easwaran are in isolation and will join the team in Durham next week ■ ■ A few of the players and support staff were seen at the Wimbledon and the Wembley watching Euro 2020 matches without masks. This prompted BCCI to send a circular In the first week of July, the BCCI arranged for the second dose of Covid vaccine to the team members in London | P11 August 4 date when the five-match Test series versus england begins 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 SC rap for Centre and State: One pulled up for retaining law used for suppressing freedom struggle; other for bid to save MLAs accused of destroying public property Poser to Centre: Why not get rid of ‘misused’ sedition law? K an u Sa r d a @ New Delhi Expressing concern over the rampant misuse of the colonial sedition law, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre why it has not got rid of the legislation when several other old laws have been repealed. The observation came when a bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana was hearing a plea by retired Major-General S G Vombatkere, who challenged the Constitutional validity of Section 124 A (sedition) of the IPC on the grounds that it causes a chilling effect on free speech. “Dispute is that it is a colonial law and was used by British to suppress freedoms and used against Mahatma Sedition case count (2014 to 2019) 559 Arrested 337 Chargesheeted Source: NCRB 10 Convicted 73 Acquitted/ discharged Gandhi and Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Is this law still needed after 75 years of Independence?” Justice Ramana wondered. Pointing towards its misuse, the CJI said, “If you see the history of charging under this section, the conviction rate is very low. The enormous power of this section can be compared to a carpenter being given a saw to make an item, (but) uses it to cut the entire forest instead of a tree. That’s the effect of this provision.” The CJI also clarified that he was not blaming any government but added that the concern was about the “misuse of the law and no accountability of the Executive”. According to Section 124 A of the Indian Penal Code, those who attempt to create hatred or contempt against the government shall be punished with im prisonment or fine or both. The offence is not bailable. In 1962, the Supreme Court had upheld it in the Kedar Nath Yadav versus the State of Bihar case. “The government has taken out a lot of stale laws, I don’t know why they have not looked into this,” Justice Ramana told Attorney General K K Venugopal. ‘Does gun-wielding MLA in assembly have immunity?’ Heated arguments happen in the court too. Does anyone have the right to destroy properties in the courtroom? E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Kerala government if an MLA brandishes a gun in the assembly, will he also get immunity from prosecution available for legislators. Justice D Y Chandrachud posed this question to senior lawyer Ranjith Kumar during the argument on the Kerala government’s petition seeking permission to withdraw criminal cases registered against six LDF leaders, including two sitting and four former MLAs, in connection with the assembly ruckus case of 2015. The government had approached the SC against the Kerala High Justice D Y Chandrachud Court order in this regard. “Heated arguments happen in the court too. Does anyone have the right to destroy properties in the courtroom?” asked the judge. The SC division bench, also comprising Justice M R Shah, repeatedly asked the state what was the public interest in withdrawing the case registered by police under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act. Justice Shah said the government’s argument lacked clarity “The . prosecutor said there was no evi- dence to prove the case. But, there are CCTV visuals of the violence committed by the accused. Had any piece of evidence been destroyed after this gover nment took over, wouldn’t there have been a new case under IPC 201 (related to disappearance of evidence)?” Shah asked. State’s counsel Ranjith Kumar clarified that he hadn’t mentioned the name of the then finance minister in the court. Referring to the controversy regarding the LDF government arguing that the assembly ruckus was a protest against the then finance minister who had been corrupt when the case was taken up first on July 5, Ranjit Kumar said he had only read out what was in the ● More on P4 court documents. Failed in SSLC exams? Free Kodai vacation beckons you State walks tightrope, to rejig scholarship ratio for minorities A at h i r a Ha r i d a s @T’Puram with the latest population census available with the State Minority Commission. The state cabinet on Thursday decided As per the cabinet decision, the state to restructure the minority scholarship would restructure the ratio based on the ratio in accordance with the 2011 census with no eligible 2011 population census. communities losing their due L6.2 crore The decision was taken after share. A sum of D23.51 the Kerala High Court struck As per the census, the state crore is required down the 2015 Kerala governhas a minority population of for distributing ment order allocating the merit26.56% Muslims, followed by cum-means scholarship for mi- scholarships and 18.38% Christians, 0.01% Budthe cabinet nority communities to Muslims, dhists, 0.01% Jains and 0.01% and Latin Catholic Christians meeting decided Sikhs. Since there would be apto sanction a and Converted Christians toplicants from these communinon-budgetary gether in the 80:20 ratio, stating ties, the scholarship ratio will allocation of the ratio was legally be restructured without the eliD6.2 crore. unsustainable. gible sections losing the number The court had also directed and amount of scholarships. A the state government to pass appropriate sum of `23.51 crore is required for disorders for providing the scholarship to tributing scholarships and cabinet meetthe members of the notified minority ing decided to sanction a non-budgetary ● More on P4 communities equally and in accordance allocation of `6.2 crore. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram Fret not if you haven’t cleared the SSLC examinations. It’s time to forget all the stress and relax yourself at Kodaikanal. Malayali Sudheesh K, who is settled in the famous Tamil Nadu hill station, is offering a fully paid vacation to you and family . EXPRESS READ 4 choke to death in well at Kundara Kollam: Four men died of asphyxiation while digging a deep well at Kundara in Kollam on Thursday. The mishap occurred while they were preparing to lower a ring into the 80-foot-deep well. Fire and rescue employee Varninath who collapsed during the rescue operations was hospitalised. He is out of danger. P5 State to get L4,122 as GST compensation T’Puram: Kerala will get I4,122.27 crore from the I75,000 crore that the Union finance ministry has released to states and union territories as compensation for the shortfall in GST revenues. The fund comes under the backto-back loan facility in lieu of GST compensation. It is in addition to the normal GST compensation released every two months out of the actual cess collection. P4 JEE-main 4th edition postponed The fourth edition of engineering entrance exam JEE (Main) has been postponed to August 26-September 2 to give aspirants a four-week gap between two sessions of the crucial exam, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Thursday. 16 pages, including 4 pages of KOCHI Express Jab-o-meter July 14 Take 32,10,451 doses your July 15 shot 35,15,093 doses Total doses: 39,49,78,565 NATIONWIDE july 14 july 15 Fresh cases 38,792 41,806 Recoveries Deaths 41,000 39,130 624 581 stateWIDE july 14 july 15 Fresh cases 15,637 13,773 Recoveries Deaths 12,974 12,370 128 87 To help students who failed in the class 10 examinations deal with the stress and get refreshed, Sudheesh, who is fondly called Sudhi, is offering free accommodation at his homestays and properties in Kodaikanal. Students can arrive with their parents and spend two days at any of his prop- erties free of cost. It’s Sudhi’s way of extending moral support to students going through a crisis. Ever since Sudhi shared his unique initiative on social media on Wednesday, his phone has been ringing non-stop. Students, educationists and families are calling him from across the state to learn more about his initiative. “Ever since the Class 10 results were announced, there has been a lot of victory sharing in social circles. What we often do not see is the other side of this. There is a segment that is being ostracised and ridiculed for having failed,” says Sudhi who runs ‘Hammock’ in Ko● More on P4 daikanal.
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