kottayam l friday l January 20, 2023 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION Culture ministry looking into rAM sETU: cENTRE to SC The Centre told the Supreme Court that the process to declare Ram Setu as a national heritage monument is underway Swamy turns down court’s suggestion It’s a simple ‘YES’ OR ‘NO’ question Following the Centre’s submission on Thursday, a bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice J B Pardiwala, which was hearing a PIL by BJP’s Subramanian Swamy, suggested he could make a representation to the government if he wished so. Swamy said: “I do not want to meet anybody... We are in the same party, it was there in our manifesto...” ■ ■ “They (govt) have to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’,” Swamy added. Solicitor general Tushar Mehta said the government is looking into it Ram Setu is a 48-km-long chain of limestone shoals between Pamban Island, off Tamil Nadu, and Mannar Island, off Sri Lanka. Legend has it that Lord Ram’s army had built it | P7 18,400 yrs AGe of Ram Setu, say researchers of Anna and Madras Universities 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 Culling of tigers ‘mere proposal’, but not rejected Saseendran says govt may approach Centre seeking amendments to the Wildlife Act K S S R E E J I T H @ T’Puram Under attack from all corners, Forest Minister A K Saseendran on Thursday sought to play down his statement on culling of tigers, saying it was a mere suggestion. However, the government has not rejected the idea fully, and may approach the Union government seeking amendments to the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 so as to make culling and shifting of wild animals that cause threat to human life legal. Kerala is of the view that states which have good track record in forest and wildlife conservation should be given flexibility in dealing with new issues. “As a state where the number of wild animals has re gistered a phenomenal growth, Kerala wants a leeway in dealing with the human-animal conflict,” Saseendran said. The minister said his office plans to invite suggestions from people and organisations to solve the wild animal attack on humans. An expert committee will vet the suggestions and summarise them to submit be- State for population control of jumbos T’Puram: In a crucial move to address the increasing incidents of man-animal conflict in the state, the forest department has decided to adopt various means, including contraceptive methods, to curb the population of wild elephants and monkeys. fore the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests. A decision in this regard will be taken after consultation with the Advocate General and the law department. The final call will be of the Chief Minister, he said. “The Wildlife Protection Act is no longer useful in dealing with the issues that arise now like human-wild animal conflict. It was drafted and enacted at a time when there were no cases of wild animals attacking humans and farmland,” Saseendran said, and pointed out that noted environmentalist Madhav Gadgil has also said the same. ● More on P4 Edit: Culling a betrayal of conservation efforts | P6 Jacinda Ardern to Quit as New Zealand prime minister Ardern said she would step down by February 7, less than three years after winning a landslide election to secure her second term in office | P9 SC collegium reiterates five names S H R U T I K A K K A R @ New Delhi AMIDST the ping-pong battle between the judiciary and the executive on reiterations for elevation as judges, the Supreme Court collegium in its resolutions uploaded on Thursday again reiterated five names of advocates for judgeship in different high courts. The five names are Saurabh Kirpal, son of former Chief Justice of India B N Kirpal (for Delhi High Court); Amitesh Banerjee and Sakya Sen (Calcutta High Court); Somasekhar Sundaresan (Bombay High Court) and R John Sathyan (Madras High Court). Saurabh Kirpal, who is openly gay was first recommended by the , Delhi High Court collegium in 2017. His elevation was objected to by the Centre due to the Swiss nationality of his partner as well as his intimate relationship and openness about his sexual orientation. Rejecting them, the SC collegium’s resolution said, “The fact that Mr Saurabh Kirpal has been open about his orientation is a matter which goes to his credit. As a prospective candidate for judge- The chosen ones Saurabh Kirpal for Delhi High Court R John Sathyan for Madras HC Amitesh Banerjee & Sakya Sen for Calcutta HC Somasekhar Sundaresan for Bombay HC EXPRESS READ DCW chairperson Maliwal molested by drunk driver New Delhi: Out on inspection to check the dark spots of the national capital at night, Swati Maliwal, chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), allegedly became the victim of molestation in the wee hours of Thursday. Maliwal alleged she was molested by a drunk man and was dragged by his car for 10-15m with her hand stuck in vehicle’s window. P7 K V Thomas named govt’s spl representative in Delhi T’Puram: Former Union minister K V Thomas, who was expelled from Congress for attending rival CPM’s events against the party’s orders, has been named the special representative of the state government in New Delhi. P5 Girl students in varsities to get ‘menstruation benefits’ T’Puram: The state government has issued an order directing universities under the Higher Education Department to allow girl students to claim an additional condonation of 2% of the attendance in each semester as ‘menstruation benefits’. P5 ship, he has not been surreptitious about his orientation. In view of the constitutionally recognized rights which the candidate espouses, it would be manifestly contrary to the constitutional principles laid down by the Supreme Court to reject his candidature on that ground.” As for R John Sathyan, the collegium rejected the Centre’s objections to an article critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi published in a news portal, which he had shared as also a social media post regarding the death of a medical aspirant by suicide in 2017. The resolution on Kirpal pointed out that he possesses competence, integrity and intellect. Sunak defends Modi against BBC’s TV series Y eshi S e l i @ New Delhi Controversial documentary The documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’ was aired by BBC Two on Jan 17. Its second part is scheduled to be broadcast on Jan 24 British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Thursday defended his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in the UK Parliament over a recent BBC documentary titled ‘India: The Modi Question.’ Sunak also snubbed Pakistan-origin Labour Party MP , Imran Hussian, who asked if he agreed with claims in the BBC show that some UK foreign office diplomats believed that “Modi was directly responsible” for the 2002 riots in Gujarat. “The country doesn’t tolerate persecution where it appears anywhere. T h e U K g o ve r n m e n t ’s position on this has been clear and long-standing and hasn’t changed, but I am not sure I agree at all with the characterisation the gentleman has put forward to,’’ Sunak said. The documentary aired by BBC Two on January 17 sparked outrage in India. It has since been removed from Youtube and its second part is scheduled to be broadcast on January 24. “This has not been screened in India, so I am only going to comment in the context of what I have heard about it and what my colleagues have seen. Let me just make it very clear that we think this is a propaganda piece designed to push a particular discredited narrative. The bias, the lack of objectivity and frankly a continuing colonial mindset is blatantly visible,’’ said Ministry of External Affairs s p o ke s p e r s o n A r i n d a m Bagchi.
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