HYDERABAD THURSDAY AUGUST 4, 2022 `9.00 PAGES 16 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 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 AMENDMENTS VIA FINANCE ACT ROUTE ■ 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 E E T 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 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 Ashwini Vaishnaw NEW BILL LIKELY IN WINTER SESSION The government is likely to hold wide public consultation before bringing the new legislation to Parliament in the Winter session, sources said. There could be multiple bills dealing with privacy and cyber security 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 Internet Freedom Foundation, said the government should take JPC’s recommendations into account before bringing in a new bill. “The problem is that while on the one side we are debating the bill, the government is pushing ahead with a lot of other frameworks and digitisation programmes in the absence of a data protection regime,” he said. . 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. JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT Aug 2 19,90,703 doses Aug 3 34,67,924 doses TOTAL: 2,05,20,24,790 NATIONWIDE AUG 2 AUG 3 TELANGANA AUG 2 AUG 3 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 13,734 17,135 17,897 19,823 34 47 1,054 795 0 992 852 0 The aim is to make I-Day celebrations Revanth’s jibe misdirected, Telangana-specific, memorable: KK should apologise: Cong MP TRS MP K Keshava Rao releases the 75th Independence Day celebrations logo that has the Tricolour, Ashoka Chakra and Kakatiya Kala Thoranam, at Ravindra Bharathi in Hyderabad on Wednesday | JWALA V V B A L A K R I S H N A @Hyderabad The Young Indian Ltd office within Herald House that was temporarily sealed by the Enforcement Directorate in New Delhi on Wednesday | SHEKHAR YADAV Flutter as Cong’s Young Indian office is sealed lice has surrounded our HQ and homes of INC President and ex-President. This is the THE Enforcement Directorate worst form of vendetta politics. on Wednesday temporarily ...We will continue to raise our sealed the office of Young In- voice against injustices and dian Ltd within the premises of failures of Modi Sarkar!” National Herald, as part of its Leader of the Opposition in action in a money laundering the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun case for which both Congress Kharge termed the ED action a leaders Sonia Gandhi and Ra- “tactic to scare people”. hul Gandhi were preClarifying that the viously questioned. Kharge tied National Herald office The case pertains to within Herald House to sealing alleged financial irwas very much funcMallikarjun regularities during tional, the ED said the Kharge, the the acquisition of AsYoung Indian office principal officer alone was sealed as a sociated Journals Ltd (AJL) by the Gandhi- of the premises, temporary measure to briefly visited owned Young Indian preserve evidence that Herald House Ltd in 2010. could not be collected The ED action gal- during Tuesday’s as the authorised repraid but left vanised a section of resentative of the comthe Congress leader- without getting pany was not present the search on ship to hit back against during their raid. Young Indian the government, since Meanwhile, the Cona large police deploy- done. Whenever gress said it had rehe presents ment was parallelly ceived a Delhi Police himself, the seal letter saying its pronoticed at the party’s headquarters at 24, will be lifted, the test scheduled for AuED said Akbar Road and the gust 5 against price Gandhis’ residences at rise and the Agnipath Janpath Road and Tughlaq defence recruitment scheme, Lane. Barricades put up around would not be allowed. However, the Congress office and Sonia the party said all its MPs, and Rahul’s residences were Pradesh Congress chiefs and later removed. other senior leaders would take Reacting to the security cov- part in the protest march to the er, Congress general secretary prime ministers’ Jan Kalyan Jairam Ramesh tweeted, “Con- Marg residence and Rashtrapagress is under siege. Delhi Po- ti Bhavan. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi CELEBRATING Raksha Bandhan with tricolour rakhis, screening Gandhi, one of the most iconic movies of all time in 562 theatres and, possibly, Oscar award winning music director AR Rahman’s concert these are some of the programmes the State government wants to organise as part of the “Swatantra Bharata Vajrotsava Dwi Saptham” to mark the 75th Independence Day . After his relations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi soured, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has come up with his own plans to celebrate the Independence Day rivalling the Centre’s Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. Initially, when the Modi government announced nationwide Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to commemorate 75 years of Independence, the State government had thought of conducting different programmes for 75 weeks. But, now it has chalked out plans with specific reference to Telangana. The interesting part is the decision to celebrate Raksha Bandhan on August 12, which falls amid the two-week long IDay fete from August 8 to 22. Raksha Bandhan is one of the main festivals observed by the RSS to foster community bonding. Releasing the logo for the Swatantra Bharat Vajrotsavalu, K Keshava Rao, chairman of the committee set up for overseeing the arrangements, said, “We are focusing on Raksha Bandhan as part of the 75th I-Day fete to improve human reINTERVIEW ON P4 lations.” EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad A day after his brother and Munugode MLA Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy resigned from the Congress, the party’s star campaigner Komatireddy Venkat Reddy on Wednesday demanded an apology from TPCC chief A Revanth Reddy for his “unsavoury remarks”. Speaking to the media, Venkat Reddy took strong exception to the language used by Revanth during his press conference in Delhi on Tuesday where he slammed Rajagopal. Revanth had used words like “Meeku and Meeru” (roughly translated as ‘to you people’) which could refer to both the Komatireddy brothers. “You are claiming Komatireddy to be a brand and owe your brand 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 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 Guv holds students’ darbar, assures solution to woes 2-yr-old son of councillor EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad GOVERNOR Tamilisai Soundararajan on Wednesday held a ‘darbar’ with students from various universities across the State, including from IIIT-Basara which has of late been in the eye of a storm. The Governor, who is also the Chancellor of all State universities, assured the students that she would bring all their grievances to the notice of the authorities concerned and find solutions. About 30-40 students from five different educational institutes, universities and colleges across the State submitted their representations and narrated the problems they are facing. “There are no facilities, no academic excellence, no research facilities in the university. Research scholars do not get any fellowship or stipend from the government. We want laboratories for science and technology to be set up,” said Lokanayak, a student of Kakatiya University in Warangal. Other students accompanying him com- plained about the mess food and hostel facility a common griev, ance of almost all those who met the Governor. Students of Osmania University complained about pigs and rats roaming in the classroom. “There are only 1,200 sanctioned professors. However, only 200-300 professors are actually working because of which the quality of research has declined. There are issues with hostel facilities, mess food as well, said Mallesh Yadav, who is pursuing PhD from OU. Tamilisai said that students should have amenities like food and accommodation of minimum standards to enable them P4 to pursue their studies. Students should have amenities like food and accommodation of minimum standards to enable them to pursue their studies. A good job or a vocation after education should also be ensured to the students Tamilisai Soundararajan, Telangana Governor swept away in open drain E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Jagtial A two-year-old boy was washed away in a drain in Raikal mandal headquarter on Wednesday . According to sources Md Afsar, son of Raikal municipality second ward councillor Najma Khatoon, wandered out of the house and fell into the drain that was gushing following a heavy downpour. The toddler was swept away , even as horrified locals tried to save him. By the time they could reach the boy to pull him out of the water, he had died. The body was shifted to the district hospital for postmortem examination. Jagtial MLA M Sanjay Kumar visited the grieving family and consoled them. image to the Congress as you claim it. If Congress had not supported you, you wouldn’t be able to work even in a brandy shop,” Revanth had fumed. However, Venkat Reddy construed the word “Meeku or Meeru” (you and your) was aimed at him and his brother as well. He said that he was pained by Revanth’s remarks. “ Rev a n t h s h o u l d h ave slammed Rajagopal alone. Why did he include me by saying ‘Meeru’? He insulted me,” the MP said. He said that he wouldn’t keep quiet if the TPCC chief utters one more word against him. “To gauge the brand image, one should look at how many corporators were elected in Malkajgiri and Bhongir,” Venkat Reddy said. He added that he was a steadfast Congress karyakarta. SC seeks ideas to set up panel on curbing freebies EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Wednesday sought suggestions from all stakeholders, including the Centre, Niti Aayog, Finance Commission and the RBI on the formation of a panel to 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 that 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 disaster and the voters also cannot exercise their right to make as an informed, wise decision.” The Centre had earlier said the question of freebies needs to be dealt with by the EC. The court, while listing the PIL of lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay for 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.
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