THIRUVANANTHAPURAM l thursday l august 04, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 16 l LATE city EDITION Oppn terms sc’s PMLA VERDICT ‘DANGEROUS’, calls for review In a joint statement on Wednesday, opposition parties expressed “deep apprehensions” about the verdict’s long-term implications File picture of an all-party opposition meeting | ANI Alleges Centre will misuse the judgment Amendments via Finance act route The Supreme Court had on July 27 upheld the core amendments made to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, which gives the Centre and the Enforcement Directorate virtually unbridled powers of summons, arrest, and raids. The Opposition parties said the BJP-led government, which “indulges in political vendetta”, will now increasingly target them | P7 ■ ■ 17 They expressed hope that the “dangerous verdict will be shortlived”, claiming the bench did not examine whether some of the amendments could have been enacted via the Finance Act nO . of opposition parties that signed The Congress, TMC, DMK, AAP, NCP, SP, Shiv Sena, CPI-M, IUML and RJD were among the parties that signed the joint statement the joint statement ON wEDNESDAY CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Better law coming, data protection bill axed Govt will introduce a comprehensive legal framework; big tech won, government lost, says Congress MP Manish Tewari P r eet h a N a i r @ New Delhi THE Union gover nment on Wednesday withdrew the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill 2019 from the Lok Sabha, saying it plans to bring in a comprehensive legislation soon. Announcing the decision, Union Information and Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the Joint Committee of Parliament has looked at the bill in detail and made 81 amendments and 12 recommendations towards a comprehensive legal framework on digital ecosystem. “Considering the JPC report, a comprehensive legal framework is being worked out. We will present a new bill that fits into this framework,” said Vaishnaw. The original bill, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2019, had evoked strong protests from Opposition parties and civil society members who alleged the proposed legislation gave sweeping powers to the government to access personal data of citizens. The bill was later referred to the JPC led by BJP MP P P Chaudhary. Among a slew of recommendations, the panel suggested a single law to deal with both personal and Ashwini Vaishnaw non-personal data. Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi, who is a member of the JPC, told this paper that he has flagged his main concerns as providing the government with powers to give blanket exemption to its probe agencies from the provisions of Act. “When privacy is a fundamental right, how can the government be allowed to exempt themselves from ensuring the privacy of a citizen?” he asked. He also said that the government should bring in the new law at the earliest. “We only hope that the government does not take too long to bring in the new Bill because Indians are still vulnerable to data theft and there is no legal framework to protect the privacy of data,” said Gogoi. Echoing similar concerns, Prateek Waghre, policy director at In- ternet Freedom Foundation, said the government should take JPC’s recommendations into account before bringing in a new bill. Expressing disappointment, Congress MP Manish Tewari said a better legislation could have emerged had the bill been debated in the House. He said he had rejected the original data protectin bill in toto in the dissent note since it split the data universe into government, which was exempt, and the private sector where it would apply with full rigour. “Big Tech never wanted this Law. Big Tech won, India lost,” he said. Move to curtail guv role in VC IMD withdraws red alert, postings: Whistleblower group rain claims 5 more lives experts said. The five deaths reported on the day were of Dasan, 70, from THE Met Department withdrew Vaikom, Amal Mathew, 18, from the red alert issued for Thurs- Manarcaud, Gilbert, 54, and day, but warned of heavy rain Varghese, 46, from Chavakad or isolated heavy rain and Babu, 53, from Puthuacross the state. Five kad. Three houses were more rain-related fully damaged and 72 deaths were also repartly on Wednesday . ported on Wednesday, With this, 30 houses taking the toll to 17. have been fully damThe India Meteoroaged and 198 partly Holiday logical Department since Sunday. T he (IMD) issued an ornumber of people shiftHoliday for all ange alert for 12 dised to relief camps educational tricts and yellow alert crossed 5,000. As many institutions in for Thiruvananas 5168 people have Alappuzha, thapuram and Kollam. Pathanamthitta, been moved to 178 reThe withdrawal of red lief camps opened by Kottayam and alert indicates the the revenue Idukki districts weakening of the curdepartment. rent spell, but the rain MG University has Wat er Res ou rc es postponed all in the coming days Minister Roshy Augusexams would depend on the tine said the water level influence of the cyin Idukki and Mullaclonic circulation developed periyar dams was well within near the North Tamil Nadu the limit and there was no need coast in Bay of Bengal, weather to raise the shutters. ● More on P4 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e SUBVERTING CHANCELLOR’S ROLE? 1 Chancellor’s role in VC appointment to be curtailed through ordinance Government 2 over the rightplans to take to nominate the chancellor’s nominee The Young Indian Ltd office within Herald House that was temporarily sealed by the Enforcement Directorate in New Delhi on Wednesday | Shekhar Yadav Government will have the 3 upper hand in search-cum- Flutter as Cong’s Young Indian office is sealed selection committee Congress office and Sonia and Rahul’s residences were later removed. The Enforcement Directorate Reacting to the security covon Wednesday temporarily er, Congress general secretary sealed the office of Young In- Jairam Ramesh tweeted, “Condian Ltd within the premises of gress is under siege. Delhi PoNational Herald, as lice has surrounded part of its action in a our HQ and homes of Protest money laundering INC President and exmarch case for which both President. This is the Congress leaders Soworst form of vendetThe party said nia Gandhi and Rahul ta politics. ...We will all its MPs, Gandhi were previouscontinue to raise our Pradesh ly questioned. voice against injusticCongress chiefs The case pertains to and other senior es and failures of Modi alleged financial irSarkar!” Leader of the leaders would regularities during take part in the Opposition in the Rathe acquisition of As- protest march to jya Sabha Mallikarjun sociated Journals Ltd Kharge termed the ED the prime (AJL) by the Gandhiaction a “tactic to ministers’ Jan owned Young Indian scare people”. Kalyan Marg Ltd in 2010. Clarifying that the residence and The ED action galNational Herald office Rashtrapati vanised a section of within Herald House Bhavan on the Congress leaderwas very much funcThursday ship to hit back against tional, the ED said the the government, since a large Young Indian office alone was police deployment was paral- sealed as a temporary measure lelly noticed at the party’s head- to preserve evidence that could quarters at 24, Akbar Road and not be collected as the authorthe Gandhis’ residences at Jan- ised representative of the compath Road and Tughlaq Lane. pany was not present during Barricades put up around the their raid. member search-cum-selection panel E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi 4 Only panel submitted by majority members of selection committee to be considered Move will silence the 5 nominee in the three-UGC 6 Move will pave way for political interference in vice-chancellor appointment E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram THE government is planning to promulgate an ordinance to strip the chancellor (governor) of his role in the appointment of vice-chancellors to various state universities, Save University Campaign Committee (SUCC) — a whistleblowers’ collective in the higher education sector — has alleged. As per the UGC regulations, the chancellor shall make the appointment of the vice-chancellor from a panel of eminent academics proposed by the search-cum-select committee. The committee is constituted by the chancellor and it includes nominees of the chancellor, the University Grants Commission and the concerned university . In a petition to Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, SUCC said Madhu lynching: Witnesses who turned hostile to face action EXPRESS READ Isaac asked to appear before ED on Aug 11 The ED has issued another summons to former finance minister Thomas Isaac to appear for quizzing on August 11 in connection with a probe into alleged money laundering charge against KIIFB. P4 A Sat i s h @Palakkad Plus-I classes to begin on August 25 The General Education Department intends to begin Plus-One classes on August 25 after completing the admission process, Minister V Sivankutty has said. P5 16 pages, including 4 pages of THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Express EYEING PROSPERITY S Bindu, an employee of the Kerala Agricultural University Integrated Farming System Research Station, Karamana, Thiruvananthapuram, makes kathirkkula on the eve of Thursday’s Niraputhari. The paddy spikes were taken to the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple for the ritual on Wednesday | Vincent Pulickal maan ki baat: luck and pluck f i r oz m i r z a @ Chennai Sometimes providence plays a different sport. Tulika Maan was not supposed to be there at the Commonwealth Games as her weight category was not selected by the federation. She had to deal with fate that had been flirting with her destiny. It was cathartic when the 23-year-old judoka on Wednesday stormed into the +78kg final to assure herself a CWG medal. Tulika was three when her parents separated and then her father was shot dead over business rivalry a few years later. Her mother, Amrita Singh, who is now an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) with the Delhi Police, raised her alone. Given her round-theclock job, she was forced to send Tulika to a hostel in Rewari. “I am in police, and be- cause of my job I can never be sure when I will retur n home,” mother Amrita, who is posted with Crime Branch, Fingerprint Bureau of Delhi Police, told this daily . Time passed and Tulika started practising judo and later trained with coach Yashpal Solanki. However, her choice of sport was bound to burn a deep hole in her mother’s pocket. “Most of the time, I sponsored her foreign trips. Those events were ranking tournaments and she had to compete there to earn points. My GPF (general provident fund) is already finished financing her the proposed ordinance aims to modify the University Acts to empower the government to recommend the nominee of the chancellor. It will also ensure the chancellor can only make appointment from a panel submitted by the majority members of the search-cum-select committee in case a member has a difference of opinion. “This is clearly a move to silence the opinion of the UGC nominee in the committee,” the SUCC said in the petition. It asked the governor to be vigilant against such moves and to ensure that the provisions of the UGC Regulations 2018, in letter and spirit, are preserved in the appointments of the vice-chancellors. This would facilitate a selection process that is transparent and free from political interference, ● More on P4 the SUCC said. @T’Puram trips,” said the mother. Amrita still rues that she couldn’t see her daughter grow up. “I was not there when she needed me the most.” With the Games round the corner, the weight category in which Tulika competes was not included in the six quotas (3 men and 3 women). After a long fight, Tulika’s weight category was included and she cleared the selection trials. As fate would have it, she won India a silver at the Games. More on: P11 lovely moments boxing Medals assured Nitu Ganghas beat Nicole Clyde in women’s 48kg to assure India first boxing medal. Mohd Hussamuddin ensured one more later weightlifting Medal for Lovepreet India’s Lovepreet Singh won a bronze in men’s 109 kg to continue the country’s medal rush in weightlifting Shuttlers win silver India lose to Malaysia in the mixed team event final SC seeks ideas to set up panel on curbing freebies E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @New Delhi The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought suggestions from all stakeholders, including the Centre, Niti Aayog, Finance Commission and the RBI on the form at i o n o f a p a n e l t o brainstorm on curbing freebies announced by parties in the run up to the polls. A bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana and justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli said, “The Election Commission and the government cannot say we cannot do anything about this.” The Centre, through Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, changed its position and supported the ban on freebies. He said, “The distribution of freebies inevitably leads to future economic dis- aster and the voters also cannot exercise their right to make as an informed, wise decision.” The Centre had earlier sought to pass the buck to the poll body, saying the question of freebies needs to be dealt with by the EC. The court, while listing the PIL of lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay for further hearing on Thursday, said all stakeholders should think on it and give suggestions. The PIL opposes the practice of parties promising freebies during elections and demands that the EC invoke its powers to freeze their election symbols and cancel their registration. During the hearing, the bench said no political parties would like to debate it in Parliament as everybody wants this practice to continue. As 11 of the prosecution witnesses in the Madhu lynching case have turned hostile during trial in the Special Court for Scheduled Castes and Tribes in Mannarkad, the police have initiated efforts to take action against them. In the latest case, another witness, Veeeran, turned hostile on Wednesday . The police have started collecting evidence of them being influenced by the accused and will submit a report in this regard to the government pleader who will produce it in the court. “The accused are using all their means to influence the witnesses. Some of the witnesses had contacted us and demanded money to say that they had seen the youths hitting Madhu. But we told them that we did not have any money. Moreover, a person, who lives nearby, came to our house with his driver on behalf of the accused and offered to construct a house costing `35-40 lakh for us if we withdrew the case,” said Sarasu, sister of the tribal youth of Kadukumanna who was lynched by a crowd at Mukkali in Attappadi on February 22, 2018. She added now the accused were trying to accuse the police of killing Madhu. “But it was not the police who brought him from Ajumudi forest to Mukkali,” she said. ● More on P4
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04-08-2022 of The New Indian Express-Thiruvananthapuram