vijayawada l tuesday l september 26, 2023 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION ASIAN GAMEs: Shooting stars and golden girls The men’s 10m air rifle team and the women’s cricket side won India the first gold medals in Hangzhou. A look at Monday’s haul World record for shooting team Gold for women’s cricket side The men’s 10m air rifle team kept the hosts at bay with a world record score to win the team gold. Their combined 1893.7 eclipsed the record held by China (1893.3). In fact, all three finished in the top eight in the qualifying but Divyansh didn’t advance as only the top two from each NOC could feature in the final. In the final, Aishwary won bronze ■ Captain Harmanpreet Kaur, back after serving a two match suspension, marshalled the bowling troops well to beat Sri Lanka by 19 runs in the final. Opting to bat first on a tricky surface, they made 116 before restricting the Islanders to 97. For India, Titas Sadhu excelled with the ball, picking 3/6 in her four overs | P11 FIVE Rowers finish on a high with five medals 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 Law panel’s ‘one poll’ report to suggest 2029 rollout P r ee t h a N a i r @ New Delhi Laying the groundwork for the Centre’s ‘One Nation, One Poll’ proposal, the 22nd Law Commission will submit its final report on the feasibility of holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies, according to top sources in the law ministry. The commission headed by Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi has been working on the final re- port since February this year. The first meeting of a highlevel committee on simultaneous polls headed by former President Ram Nath Kovind was held last Saturday . The Justice Awasthiled panel held extensive consultations with political parties, bureaucrats, academicians and experts. “I won’t say that there was consensus among parties on the idea,” an official said, adding that the government may send the Law Commission’s report to the Kovind-led committee for their perusal. Speaking to this newspaper, the official said the law panel would recommend synchronised elections in the next five years so that the simultaneous poll rollout will start in 2029. To synchronise press clusive the elections, the process has to begin from this year, the official said. He also dismissed the possibility of holding simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies in 2024. The commission has drawn most of its recommendations from the draft report of the pre- vious Law Commission led by Justice B S Chauhan, submitted in 2018, said the source. “We have taken many recommendations of the Justice Chauhan committee report into consideration. On the same lines as the previous law commission’s report, we have recommended synchronisation of elections in the next five years,” he said. The suggestions of the previous Law Commission included advancing or postponing elec- tion timings in certain states, such that polls to all state assemblies and the Lok Sabha may be held together. If assembly elections are due before Lok Sabha elections, it said that the term of these assemblies may be extended to synchronise it with the Lok Sabha elections, by amending the Constitution. “We have also made proposals on similar lines. It is up to the government to take the final call,” the official said. Sr IPS officer must probe slapgate: SC S h r u t i K a kk a r @ New Delhi Naidu’s wife Nara Bhubaneswari protesting at Jaggampeta on Monday | Express Court to hear CID custody, Naidu’s bail pleas today CID seeks five-day custody of TDP chief for second time, says latter procastinated probe he would answer only after going through the content of the order. The ACB special court on MonThe state probe agency arday posted hearing of the peti- gued that Naidu did not even tion by Andhra Pradesh CID allow the line of questioning to seeking five-day custody of proceed and insisted on recordTDP chief N Chandrababu ing his own narration. Naidu as well as the bail plea The CID told the court that it filed by the former Chief Min- couldn’t confront the accused ister in the skill develwith the statements givopment cor poration en by another accused, case, to Tuesday . Vikas Khanvilkar, the The court took up director of shell compaCID’s custody petition Attempts are nies, and other princifirst, which was report- being made to pal conspirators, includdrag me into edly objected by Naidu’s ing Ghanta Subba Rao, several advocates insisting that Dr K Lakshminarayana the bail petitions should offences. The and statements of witcall record be heard before the nesses such as Amit Sedetails of the CID’s plea to extend the hgal, the legal counsel CID officials TDP chief ’s custody. of Siemens India, IYR prior to my The cour t then ad- arrest must be Krishna Rao, the then journed the hearing to chief secretary and an, ascertained Tuesday . other IAS officer Naidu’s bail In its custody petiSunitha. petition tion, the CID informed Citing the probe findthe court that Naidu ings, the CID stated sevprevented the investigating eral crores of rupees were deagency from eliciting details posited in cash in the bank regarding the case by employ- accounts of TDP between 2018 ing dilatory tactics. and 2020. “Naidu admitted that “Naidu stonewalled the que- he was the authorised signatories of the investigating officer ry for these bank accounts but by questioning the police cus- he demanded that he be shown tody issued by the court,’’ the the proof of the cash deposits CID said, adding that the made,” the CID informed the P5 former CM was adamant that court. E x p r ess N e w s S e r v i c e @ Vijayawada THE Supreme Court on Monday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to appoint a senior IPS officer to monitor the probe into the Muzaffarnagar incident where a Muslim student was slapped by his classmates, on the instruction of the class teacher, as a punishment for poor performance. Terming the incident as serious, a bench of Justices A S Oka and Pankaj Mithal remarked that the UP government prima facie failed to comply with the provisions of the Right to Education Act and the Uttar Pradesh Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules. ‘Ensure Professional Counselling’ The SC took exception to the fact that counselling of the victim was done by the district welfare officer, saying this should have been done by a professional counsellor and that too for all the students involved “If allegations made by the victim’s parents are correct, this is the worst kind of physical punishment imparted by the teacher… There can’t be any quality education if a student is sought to be penalised only on the ground that he belongs to a particular community There is a prima facie fail. ure on part of the state to comply with RTE Act & rules framed there under,” the bench said in its order. The court also directed the UP government to provide counselling to the victim as well as the other students involved in the incident. The SC’s order came on a plea by Mahatma Gandhi’s great grandson Tushar Gan- s v i s w a n at h @ Vijayawada The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) felt that the for mation of Ward Secretariat system in the State is against the spirit of the Constitution. In its performance audit report on efficacy of implementation of 74th Constitutional Amendment Act, which was tabled in the AP Legislative Assembly on Monday, the CAG mentioned that the formation of Ward Secretariats at the ward-level without formation of Ward Committees diluted the spirit of the Constitution as envisaged for local self-governance. Observing that Ward Committees were not formed and instead, the State government introduced the system of Ward Secretariats in July 2019 with an intention of decentralised gover nance, the CAG explained that the Ward Secretariats were formed without the participation of elected representatives at ward level. It recommended the State government to form Ward Committees and integrate Ward Secretariats with Ward Committees and Area Sabhas to realise self-governance. The audit body observed that the State government had been overriding the powers over Urban Local Bodies (ULBs). P3 Auspicious beginning Union defence minister Rajnath Singh draws an Om as part of the puja ceremony to induct the first C-295 MW transport aircraft into the Indian Air Force at Hindon Air Force station on Monday | Parveen negi Leopard scare leads to fall in Tirumala trekkers pawan to begin vaarahi yatra on oct 1 The fourth phase of the Vaarahi Yatra will commence from Avanigadda in Krishna district on October 1 | P5 There has been a significant decline in the number of pilgrims trekking to Tirumala along Alipiri and Srinivasa Mangapuram walkways for the ongoing annual Brahmotsavams, even as the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) and the forest department intensified efforts to capture more leopards moving along the pathway and the ghat roads. Congress is now run by urban Naxals, says Modi Bhopal: PM Narendra Modi on Monday tore into the Congress, likening it to ‘rusted iron’ and alleging that its functioning has been outsourced to ‘urban Naxals’. He said Congress is no longer run by its leaders | P8 Will do caste census if Cong wins, says Rahul Raipur: Congress MP Rahul Gandhi said PM Modi is denying SCs, STs & OBCs their fair share by refusing to do the caste census. He said Cong will do it if voted to power | P8 It may be recalled that a total of six leopards were captured in a span of three months, since a six-year-old boy was attacked by a wild cat while walking along the Alipiri footpath along with his parents on June 22. With the latest leopard being caught on the first day of the annual fete, the fear of wild animal attack has increased even more among the devotees. The pilgrims visiting the hill shrine via the pedestrian route has come down by more than half when compared to previous years. The decision by the TTD to issue Divya Darshan tokens in Tirupati has brought a much-needed relief to the pilgrims as they need not climb 20 km for free darshan any more. T M u r u g a n a n d h a m @ Chennai THE uneasy relationship between the AIADMK and BJP, which had endured for four years due to various political compulsions, came to an end on Monday with the Dravidian major unambiguously calling it quits. The AIADMK also announced that it had exited the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and would form its own alliance to face the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The AIADMK’s decision, just seven months before the parliamentary polls, is seen as a setback for the BJP at the national level as it was one of the few key allies of the saffron party . “The decision to leave the NDA was taken unanimously and in deference to the views and feelings of more than two crore AIADMK cadre who were outraged by the continued criticisms of the BJP’s state leadership. The AIADMK will face the Lok Sabha elections by forming an alliance with likeminded parties” the party’s deputy general secretary KP Munusamy told reporters after Will form pacts with like-minded parties: BJP Senior BJP leaders in Tamil Nadu reacted to the AIADMK’s decision with caution, although certain younger functionaries made sharp comments on social media. BJP state general secretary Raama Srinivasan told TNIE that though the AIADMK’s decision was unfortunate, the BJP would form its own alliance by joining hands with like-minded parties the meeting chaired by general secretary E Palaniswami. Munusamy said the resolution adopted by the meeting said that for the past year the BJP’s state leadership, with ulterior motives, has been criticising the AIADMK’s ideals and leaders, including CN Annadurai, and J Jayalalithaa. Besides, the BJP’s state leadership belittled the AIADMK’s historic state-level conference held on August 20 and has been criticising the party’s general secretary. BJP state president K Annamalai said his party’s national leadership would respond to the development. SC hears arguments from deaf lawyer S hru ti Kakkar @ New Delhi low turnout at brahmotsavams B M u r a l i @ Tirumala express read Ward Secretariat system in AP against AIADMK snaps ties with BJP-led NDA, to form the spirit of Constitution, says CAG own alliance for LS polls SC to hear Naidu’s plea to quash FIR The Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider a plea by Naidu against his arrest in the skill development corporation case. A top court bench asked senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, appearing for Naidu, to approach the court on Tuesday with his plea. “This is a case related to Andhra Pradesh where the Opposition is being curbed,” the counsel said. “Come tomorrow,” the bench told the counsel. dhi, who sought an independent, time-bound probe and registration of FIR. In his plea, Gandhi alleged the child’s family is under pressure to strike a compromise with the offender. He told the court that the police charged the teacher only under Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act, and Sections 323 and 504 of the IPC that deal with cruelty to child and intentionally causing hurt, and not Section 153A of the IPC for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, caste and language. The bench said the IPS officer nominated by the state shall decide on invocation of Section 153A in the FIR. If simultaneous elections cannot be conducted, all elections falling due in a calendar year should be conducted together, the panel had suggested. It would require at least five Constitutional amendments. The official further said, “The previous commission gave suggestions for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. We have considered its suggestions on hung House and no-confidence motion, etc,” he said. According to the vigilance and security wing of the TTD, the number of devotees who trekked to Tirumala was 9,000 and 8,480 on September 18 and 19 respectively . The pilgrim footfall further slumped to 6,480 and 6,000 on the respective days of September 20 and 21. “There was a marginal increase in footfall on September 22 owing to the Garuda Vahana Seva,” an ofP3 ficer on duty said. FOR the first time, a deaf lawyer argued her case before the Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud, paving the way for more physically-challenged lawyers to defend their cases. Sarah Sunny on Friday argued her case with the help of an Indian sign language interpreter. Senior advocate Sanchita Ain made a plea to Chief Justice Chandrachud to let Sarah argue her case with an interpreter. He immediately gave his assent. This historic moment would not have taken place as the control room responsible for managing virtual hearings hesitated to accommodate Sarah and her interpreter. With the CJI’s approval, the control room accommodated Sarah, who is based in Bangalore, and her interpreter, Saurav Roychowdhury, too appearing virtually. As Sarah’s turn came, her interpreter stepped forward and acted as a bridge between her and the world. He received praise from Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.
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