tirupati l tuesday l july 20, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION Retail sales dip 50% in June despite unlock measures Retail sales continued to be weak last month after the drastic fall in May, according to the Retailers Association of India (RAI) Sports goods, Jewellery, apparel sales hit Food, Grocery among least impacted In its latest business survey, the RAI said the highest drop was witnessed in the sports goods category at 66%, followed by jewellery (64%) and footwear (61%). Similarly, apparel and clothing sales dipped by 52% in June this year. In May 2021, the segment had reported a negative growth of 77%, according to RAI’s monthly update released on Monday ■ ■ Consumer durables and electronics sales dropped 46% in June as compared to the same month in 2019. This shows a feeble improvement as the segment had posted a dip of 71% in May Foods and grocery had the least impact with a decline of just 7% in June 2021 compared to June 2019 figures | P10 80% The decline in retail sales in may 2021 amid the second covid wave 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 No ‘insider trading’ in Amaravati, rules SC E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the Jagan Mohan Reddy government’s special leave petitions (SLPs) challenging the quashing of criminal cases, filed against alleged “insider trading” in land transactions at Amaravati, by the Andhra Pradesh High Court. A bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Dinesh Maheshwari upheld the High Court order delivered on January 19, agreeing with the latter that private sale transactions cannot be criminalised and that insider trading, which is essentially an offence in the stock market, cannot be covered under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) nor read into Section 420 of the IPC or any provisions in the scheme of the IPC. The High Court order was issued in the case of the State of Andhra Pradesh vs C Murali Mohan & others. The State government had filed criminal cases alleging that the respondents had purchased lands in Amaravati as they had prior information from the then TDP government that the new capital would come up in the region, much before its announcement. During the hearing, senior advocate Dushyant Dave, representing the State government, argued that provisions of Section 418 of the IPC read with Section 55(5) of the Transfer of Property Act would be attracted in the instant case, which has been overlooked by the High Court. But, the bench said, “As regards Section 418, we may observe that the said provision would not be attracted in the case. There is no question of loss being caused to any person or to the sellers or of any cheatP4 ing by the buyers.” ‘court can check averments in fir’ The Bench said, “Even considering the law laid down in the State of Haryana vs Bhajan Lal case... in a petition for quashing, the court has to see averments in the FIR to determine if a criminal case is made out or not. There is no perversity or illegality in the findings recorded by the High Court.” Ex-EC Ashok Lavasa’s phone, too, a potential target; Oppn to hold strategy session today Rahul, Kishor, 2 ministers part of Pegasus snoop list E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Hack not established, says govt “The consortium has accessed a leaked database of 40,000 numbers. The presence of a number does not indicate whether there was an attempted hack, or a successful one,” Vaishnaw said ADR founder on list Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) founder Jagdeep Chhokar, associates of Union minister Smriti Irani and former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia, and around 11 mobile phones belonging to a Supreme Court officer who leveled sexual harassment allegations former CJI Ranjan Gogoi were also on the list of potential targets An international collaborative of journalists on Monday continued to reveal more names, including those of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, election strategist Prashant Kishor and two ministers in the Modi government, whose phones were potentially targeted for hacking using Israeli malware Pegasus. The names, which included new IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Prahlad Singh Patel, were revealed hours after the former defended the government in Parliament. Making a suo motu statement in Lok Sabha, Vaishnaw said the report on the government using Pegasus was nothing but an attempt to malign Indian democracy and its well-established institutions. “It is not a coincidence that the reports have been published a day before the monsoon session of Parliament. In the past, similar allegations were made on WhatsApp but there is no factual basis to these and have been categorically denied,” he said. While Union home minister quota question Delay in counselling for NEET-MDS callous, observes SC E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy at the Polavaram project site on Monday | Express no compromise on quality of Polavaram R&R: jagan E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Emphasising the need for completing Polavaram Project on time, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday directed the officials concerned not to compromise on the quality of the Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) colonies being constructed for the displaced families. Reviewing the progress of the project and R&R works with ministers, officials and others at Polavaram after conducting an aerial survey and inspection of the project site, the Chief Minister pointed out that despite financial constraints, the government has not kept pending any bills pertaining to R&R and directed the officials to ensure that in the future too , no such bill was left unprocessed. “Though `2,300 crore bills for Polavaram are pending with the Centre, the State government has not delayed the project and is executing works with its own funds,” he said and instructed the officials to redouble efforts to get outstanding dues cleared. P4 TERMING the Centre’s approach towards conducting the counselling for NEET postgraduate dental surgery courses ‘callous’, the Supreme Court on Monday told the Central government to complete the process without further ado. After additional Solicitor General K M Nataraj said the Committee that finalises recommendations on OBC reservation in All India Quota (AIQ) needs more time in view of the Covid situation and other ad- ‘OBC quota ministrative difficulties, the not a choice’ court granted one week to Chennai: The move an application for exten- Madras High sion of time. Court on Monday “We will hear the matter af- observed the ter two weeks, so we can be ap- Centre’s attempt prised of what has been done,” to not enforce noted the bench of justices D Y OBC quota in Chandrachud and M R Shah. respect of the All The bench was hearing a plea India Quota filed by dental graduates seats for medical against the inordinate delay in admission was announcing the counselling “contumacious”. date for NEET-MDS 2021. The SC had on July 12 directed the Union health ministry to announce the counselling dates for NEET-MDS 2021 within a week, noting the results were announced on December 31, 2020. The Union health ministry said it was not dillydallying but, rather, was awaiting the SC’s clarification on OBC reservation in AIQ. spin-off effect Jadhav’s village will win if archers hit bullseye S u d h i r S u r ya w a n s h i @ Mumbai When Pravin Jadhav, a member of the Indian men’s archery team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, used to join his parents as a farm labourer during his boyhood, he was not doing anything very unusual. Hundreds of other children in Sarde, a hamlet of around 1,100 in the drought-prone Satara district of Maharashtra, did the same. Acute poverty forces boys/ girls of Jadhav’s village to join their parents as daily wage earners to supplement their family income. Vikas Bhujbal, a school teacher who taught the archer, said while the elders are paid `300 a day to work in the bajra and jowar farms, the children who join their parents get half the sum. Bhujbal said Jadhav’s parents come from a less than humble background with no house or land of their own. “They work in the farms of others as daily wage workers. There are days they do not get work and struggle to meet daily expenses. But poverty did not stop Pravin from chasing his dream,” he said. Jadhav’s village lacks basic facilities. It depends on wells and bore wells for water, P a r the potholed roads have puddles of water in the monsoon, there is no primary health centre and the single local school is up to Class VII only Beyond this, the children of . Sarde have to walk a fair distance to attend school. But the years of neglect appears to be slowly changing. The village has seen a steady flow of visitors, including the local MLA and MP to , meet the rising star. They presented flower bouquets to his parents and Bhujbal noticed that some of these visitors have shared those photographs on social media. Like other fellow villagers, Bhujbal thinks if Jadhav does t - 2 well at the Olympics, the village will draw attention and things will take a turn for the better. “Mere wishes are not enough to change the lives of people in our vilContinued on P7 lage,” he said. Amit Shah called it a ‘report by disrupters for obstructers’, the Congress sought his resignation and a probe into the role of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the matter. The Opposition will hold a strategy session on Tuesday on how to corner the government in Parliament on Pegasus. West Bengal Chief Minister ‘Report by disrupters’ Union home minister Amit Shah called it a ‘report by disrupters for obstructers’ and said they have been amplified by a few whose only aim is to do whatever is possible to humiliate India on world stage | P7 Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee, renowned virologist Gagandeep Kang, India head of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Hari Menon and former election commissioner Ashok Lavasa’s names also featured on the potential list of targets. Over 1,000 Indian phone num- bers were on the list of potential targets of which 300 were verified by the collaborative following which technical forensic analysis was performed on 22 smartphones. The portal claimed that traces of the malware were found in Kishor’s smartphone. According to the portal, the list of around 50,000 phone numbers across the world was obtained through leaked data by Amnesty International and Parisbased Forbidden Stories. The use of the malware could be confirmed on the smartphones only after forensic analysis. Some smartphones do not leave its traces and hence the potential hack could not established. Israeli company, the NSO group, which owns Pegasus, claims only ‘vetted governments’ are part of its clientele. Monday’s list came a day after it was revealed that the malware was used to hack into the phones of around 40 journalists and activists critical of the government. While Lavasa’s phone was added to the list after he faulted prime Minister Modi for poll code violations, Kang’s was added in 2018 and Menon’s around 2019. express read YSRC MPs raise SCS, Polavaram issues in LS New Delhi: The YSRC MPs on Monday raised the issue of special status to the State in the Lok Sabha. They served a notice for discussion on the same and trooped into the well of the House to demand SCS, and approval for Polavaram revised estimates | P4 SC orders release of Manipur activist New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the release of Manipur-based political activist Leichombam Erendro, booked under the stringent National Security Act for his criticism of BJP leaders, by 5 pm Monday, saying he cannot be put in jail for even a night | P8 Jab-o-meter July 18 Take 51,01,567 doses your July 19 shot 47,77,697 doses Total doses: 41,13,55,665 NATIONWIDE july 18 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths july 19 41,157 38,164 42,004 38,660 518 499 statewide july 18 july 19 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Samples tested 2,974 3,290 17 1,05,024 1,628 2,744 22 71,152
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