thrissur l saturday l march 25, 2023 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION U.S. state limits social media for teens amid mental health crisis Utah governor Spencer Cox signed a sweeping legislation requiring explicit parental consent for anyone under 18 to use social media platforms Bans algorithms that create addiction Law infringes on Minors’ privacy: critics The governor also signed a separate bill prohibiting social media companies from employing algorithms or techniques that would tempt minors to keep scrolling for hours and develop an “addiction” to the platforms. “We’re no longer willing to let social media companies continue to harm the mental health of our youth,” Cox, a Republican, said in a message on Twitter ■ The legislation will give parents full access to their children’s social media accounts, including posts and private messages ■ While parents and mental health experts have welcomed the move, lobbysts and civil liberties groups termed the law unconstitutional, saying it will infringe on teens’ rights to free speech and privacy March 2024 Social media firms are likely to challenge the laws before they kick off 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 Guv loses again, HC quashes his KU order E x p r e ss N e ws S e r v i c e @Kochi In the second major setback in a week for Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, the Kerala High Court on Friday quashed his order withdrawing the nomination of 15 members from the Kerala University (KU) senate. The court also quashed the notification issued by Khan, as the the chancellor of universities in the state, constituting a committee to select the new vice-chancellor of the university, stating the constitution of the committee is not in accordance with the statute. Ju s t i c e S a t h i s h Ninan issued the order on a petition filed by Dr K S Chandrasekhar, professor and head, Institute of Management in Kerala, University of Kerala, and others challenging the notification. The governor, in his notification, said, “The members have failed to discharge their duties and responsibilities as a member of the senate of the university. I hereby withdraw my pleasure from allowing them to continue as members of the senate of the university with immediate effect. They shall cease to be members of the senate of the university with immediate effect.” The court said the orders of the chancellor withdrawing the nominations by invoking the pleasure doctrine, engrained under the 4th proviso to Section 18(3) of the Kerala University Act, cannot be sustained and are liable to be interfered with. The nominee is not a mere mouthpiece or an agent. It appears that the chancellor was under a misconception regarding the role of the nominee, which also contributed to the arbitrary action. Therefore, the order withdrawing the nominated members suffers from the vice of arbitrariness, it said. The High Court had last Friday quashed the governor’s order suspending the resolutions adopted by the Kerala Technical University’s syndicate. No debate. Fin Bill passed with 45 amendments E x p r e ss N e ws S e r v i c e @ New Delhi A day after passing the expenditure budget for 2023-24 without debate, the Lok Sabha on Friday passed the Finance Bill, too, without any discussion amid Opposition uproar demanding a JPC probe into allegations against industrialist Gautam Adani. T he Finance Bill, which gives effect to the tax proposals in the Budget, was passed with 45 changes. One of the key changes is the removal of the tax benefits on long-term investment in debt mutual funds (MFs with over 35% allocation to debt securities). Now, gains from such funds, irrespective of the holding period, would be taxed at slab rates. Long-term capital gains from debt funds would cease to get indexation benefit. “An arbitrage is being created right now where interest income from debt mutual funds is not distributed and converted into long-term capital gains of 20% (with indexation). In some cases, it comes to less than 10% due to indexation. Thus, many taxpayers are able to reduce their tax liability through this arbitrage. This is sought to be addressed,” the finance ministry said. In another setback to investors’ community, the amended Finance Bill has increased the securities transaction tax by 25% on both options and futures trades. On a positive note, the Bill brought relief to tax payers with income marginally higher than `7 lakh with an amendment clarifying that they won’t be unfairly taxed. Kerala connection Kochi: It was the case taken up on the petition filed by a Malayali that acted as precedent in the Surat District Court’s judgment against Rahul Gandhi that ultimately led to his disqualification as MP. Late advocate Lily Thomas had challenged Section 8(4) of the Representation of the People Act that gave a convicted lawmaker the power to stay in office if an appeal was filed within three months of conviction. The case — Lily Thomas Vs Union of India — ended with the SC striking down the section in 2013 | P7 Police baton Youth Cong-KSU march T’Puram: The march taken out by the Youth Congress and KSU to the Raj Bhavan in protest against the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi as MP culminated in violence after the police used iron hands to disperse the agitating party workers | P4 Rahul no longer Wayanad MP, declares LS secretariat; entire Oppn condemns action; Congress plans nationwide ‘save democracy’ protests from Monday P r e e t h a N a i r @ New Delhi How it happened 2019 April 13: Rahul while addressing a rally at Kolar in Karnataka makes the Modi surname slur April 15: Gujarat BJP MLA Purnesh Modi files a complaint in a Surat court June 7: Summons issued to Rahul July 16: Rahul appears in court for the first time. Purnesh Modi’s lawyer argues that CDs and a pen drive on Rahul’s speech establishes he defamed the entire community The hasty move is the latest chapter in the ongoing assault on democracy by the sangh parivar. If a prominent leader of the Opposition is attacked like this, what will be the fate of common people? Democratic forces should stand together and condemn the action against Rahul Gandhi Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister 2021 Oct 29: Rahul in court for the second time 2023 Mar 23: Rahul found guilty, sentenced to two years in prison; gets bail Mar 24: Lok Sabha secretariat disqualifies Rahul as Wayanad MP Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was on Friday disqualified from the Lok Sabha, a day after he was convicted by a Surat court for two years in a 2019 defamation case. The disqualification kicked in from March 23, the day of his conviction, a notice by the Lok Sabha Secretariat said. In his first response, Rahul said in a tweet, “I’m fighting for the voice of India. I’m ready to pay any price.” Shocked by political earthquake, the Congress decided to hit the streets and take the matter to the people. At a high-level meeting, the party decided to hold mass agitations across the country from Monday “From Monday, par. ty workers will hold protests to ‘save democracy’ across states, districts, block and panchayat levels,” said Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. While the top brass of the party came out all guns blazing against the BJP the mood , was aptly captured by its national spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi who said the issue before the Congress was more political than legal. “It is a political issue because it signifies the systematic, repetitive emasculation of democratic institutions by the ruling party. It signifies the strangulation of democracy itself,” he said. Rahul won’t be able to fight elections for eight years unless he gets a stay on conviction. “We are confident we will get a stay on conviction and will remove the very ba- E X P R ESS R EAD Kumkis, team await MVD draws flak for verdict to nab tusker I1,000-crore target Idukki: With the HC staying the mission to capture tusker Arikomban temporarily, it has been decided that both the Rapid Response Team and kumki elephants, which have arrived to execute the operation, will stay back until a final verdict is issued | P5 RECORDED VIDEO COURSES for IIT JEE + CBSE + NEET Physics Maths Chemistry Biology th Class 7 to 12 BUY NOW! Learn from India’s Best Teachers to Register disqualified T’Puram: The decision by the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) to collect an additional J1,000 crore has drawn flak. Many, especially those in transport’s organised sector, see this as an excuse to impose unnecessary fines on motorists | P4 Death penalty to kin for couple’s murder E x p r e ss N e ws S e r v i c e @Kottayam An Additional Sessions Court in Kottayam on Friday awarded the death penalty to a 39-year-old man in the sensational Pazhayidom double murder case of 2013. Terming the crime a ‘rarest of rare incident’, Judge J Nasser sentenced Arun Sasi, a native of Pazhayidom near Manimala in Kottayam, to death and also slapped a fine of `2 lakh on him for the murder of his aunt Thankamma, 69 and her husband N Bhaskaran Nair, 75. Arun Sasi outside As per the prosecution, Arun the court | Express murdered Bhaskaran, a retired 38 witnesses PWD superintendent hailing from The prosecution Theembanal (Choorappadi) house examined 38 in Pazhayidom, and Thankamma, a witnesses and retired KSEB officer, by bludgeonproduced 52 ing them in the head with a hammer documents and on August 28, 2013, for monetary 30 material gain. objects during The prosecution successfully the trial. proved charges under IPC Sections 302 (murder), 449 (trespassing) and Arun found 397 (robbery). The court observed guilty under IPC that the case was a rarest of rare inSections 302 cident and accepted the prosecu(murder), 449 tion’s demand for maximum punish(trespassing), ment to the convict. 397 (robbery) “The victims were close relatives of the convict. The convict, who was supposed to protect the elderly couple, committed a gruesome crime which cannot be justified in any ● More on P5 manner,” Judge Nasser said. Political challenges do not end with the hijacking of the membership of Parliament. The biggest movements are won on the streets, not in Parliament Akhilesh Yadav, SP In PM Modi’s New India, opposition leaders have become the prime target of BJP! While BJP leaders with criminal antecedents are inducted into the Cabinet, opposition leaders are disqualified for their speeches Mamata Banerjee, TMC It’s not just a fight of the Congress or Rahul Gandhi, it’s a fight of the entire opposition Arvind Kejriwal, AAP Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge chairing a meeting at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi on Friday to chalk out their response to Rahul’s disqualification Focus back on ‘vacant’ wayanad seat If Rahul does not get a favourable verdict from a higher court, his Wayanad constituency in Kerala would witness a bypoll, as general elections are more than a year away. If the Election Commission of India decides to hold by-elections in Wayanad, it could be along with the Karnataka Assembly polls, the announcement of which is expected in April. Wayanad is a safe seat for the Congress, which is why Rahul switched to it from Amethi in UP. Though neither the LDF nor the UDF have started discussions on candidates, the seat would witness a strong fight if the bypoll is held | P4 sis of this disqualification, said Singhvi. It takes time to draft and file the appeal, he said, adding “They (govt) are taking advantage of that time through these disqualification notices but we have full faith in the law.” Singhvi pointed to some disturbing features in the disqualification. “Though the conviction is by a court, in Rahul’s case, the disqualification under Article 103 of the Constitution has to be by the President of India and under 103, the President has to first get the recommendation from the EC before disqualification. Admittedly, it was not done,” he said. Echoing him, Ramesh said, “Rahul is paying the price for the success of the Yatra and for questioning Adani’s corruption and Modi government’s misdeeds.” In his pushback, BJP leader and I&B minister Anurag Thakur called Rahul a habitual loose cannon, recalling he had submitted a written apology in the Supreme Court for his intemperate remarks in 2018. Thakur went on to allege that Rahul considers himself above Parliament, the government, the judicial system and the country He added that the Gandhi . scion is on bail in as many as P7 seven cases. Sri Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification is an attack on democratic principles and Constitutional values of India. It reflects the autocratic and egoistic personality of Sri @ narendramodi K Chandrashekar Rao, BRS This intimidating tone sends a message that even the leader of the national party does not have the right to express his opinion M K Stalin, DMK Totally Disappointing. First P P Mohammed Faizal, Now @RahulGandhi Supriya Sule, NCP This is the murder of democracy. All agencies are under pressure. This is the beginning of the end of the dictatorship. The battle only needs a direction (now) Uddhav Thackeray, Sena Rahul must see this as a well thought-out conspiracy inside the Congress to oust him... Was he intentionally misled? Anurag Thakur, BJP I’m stunned by this action and by its rapidity, within 24 hours of the court verdict and while an appeal was known to be in process. This is politics with the gloves off and it bodes ill for our democracy Shashi Tharoor, Cong MP
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