WEDNESDAY NO SEPARATE LAW TO CHECK VIOLENCE AGAINST DOCTORS 08 The Centre has decided not to go ahead with a legislation to protect healthcare professionals from physical violence FEBRUARY, 2023 facebook.com/TheMorningStandard In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Union health minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya said a draft of the Healthcare Services Personnel and Clinical Establishments (Prohibition of Violence and Damage to Property) Bill, 2019 was circulated for consultations. However, the government decided not to enact a separate law to protect healthcare professionals and institutions twitter.com/TheMornStandard FRANCE PROTESTERS HOLD MORE STRIKES Thousands of demonstrators take to streets across nation to protest against govt pension reform plans PAGE 9 3 months Bill withdrawn after consultations epaper.morningstandard.in A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS NEW DELHI J8.00 PAGES 12 JAIL TERM AND FINE OF `50,0002,00,000 FOR OFFENDERS UNDER EPIDEMIC ACT 2020 Epidemic diseases act to protect docs The minister said the matter was further discussed with all stakeholders and an The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 was promulgated on April 22, 2020 ■ Later, the govt passed the Act on September 28, 2020 under which violence against doctors are cognizable and non-bailable offences ■ SC junks plea, Victoria Gowri sworn in additional HC judge S H R U T I K A K K A R & R S I VA K U M A R @ New Delhi/Chennai Rahul Gandhi displays a poster showing Prime Minister Narendra Modi sitting with billionaire industrialist Gautam Adani in what looks like a chartered plane | PTI Rahul questions Adani-Modi link Accuses BJP govt of tweaking rules to help the conglomerate win mega projects Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha had not transacted FRESH from his five month- any business till this debate in long cross-country march, sen- the ongoing Budget session as ior Congress leader Rahul Gan- the Opposition stuck to its dedhi on Tuesday launched a mand for a Joint Parliamentary blistering attack on the Naren- Committee or Supreme Courtdra Modi government and its monitored probe into allegaalleged links with the Adani tions against Adani. Rahul Gandhi’s fiery speech group, which is facing allegations of stock manipulation drew strong protests from BJP ministers and MPs, who and fraud. Rahul’s all-out offensive asked the Congress leader to against the government came substantiate his ‘wild allegaon a day when Opposition par- tions’ with proof. The for mer Conties decided to end the gress president, then, three-day logjam in displayed a photoParliament and take graph of Prime Minpart in the motion of ister Narendra Modi thanks to the PresiIn 2014, Adani’s and Adani in an airdent’s address. position was 609 craft together, wonThe Wayanad MP on the list of the dering how many alleged that the Modi world’s richest. Now he is in the trips the duo must government has been second place. It is have taken together. favouring the Adani sheer magic “Modi goes to Ausgroup since it came to tralia and the next power in 2014. He also Rahul Gandhi day SBI gives a $1 bilaccused the Centre of lion loan to Adani. He changing rules to help goes to Bangladesh and the Adani acquire airports. “There was a rule that only a Bangladesh Power Developcompany or person with expe- ment Board signs a 25-year conrience in airports be given the tract with Adani,” he alleged, responsibility of developing demanding answers to his quesairports. But, the government tions from the PM in his speech . changed the rules for the Adani on Wednesday In his 40-minute-long speech group and six airports were handed over to him. Adani now in the Lok Sabha, Rahul also dominates several sectors such sought to know how much monas ports, airports, cement, me- ey Adani has given to the BJP P7 in the past 20 years. dia and defence,” he added. P R E E T H A N A I R @ New Delhi LEKSHMANA Chandra Victoria Gowri was sworn in as additional judge of the Madras High Court on Tuesday amid protests outside the court and minutes before the Supreme Court dismissed two pleas against her appointment, saying a “consultative process” had taken place before her name was recommended by the collegium for the appointment. Acting Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, T Raja, administered her oath of office at the swearing-in ceremony held on the high court premises. Four others—Pillaipakkam Bahukutumbi Balaji, Kandhasami Kulanthaivelu Ramakrishnan, Ramachandran Kalaimathi and Govindarajan Thilakavadi—were also sworn in as additional judges. All new additional judges will hold their posts for a period of two years from the date of taking oath. “We are not entertaining the writ petition. Reasons will follow,” said a special Supreme Court bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and B R Gavai, which assembled at 10.25 am to hear the pleas against her elevation, five minutes before the scheduled time of the court on Tuesday . The bench told senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, who appeared for the petitioners, that there have been cases where people with political backgrounds have taken oath as judges of the Supreme Court and high courts. Underscoring the fact that Gowri was taking oath as an additional judge of the Madras HC and her appointment won’t be made permanent in case she’s not true to her oath, Justice Gavai said that directing the collegium to reconsider would result in showing lack of respect for it and would also set a wrong precedent. “There are instances where persons (additional judges) have not been confirmed,” Justice Gavai said. “How can we act on conjectures and surmises? There are two consultee judges from Tamil Nadu. We’ll be setting a very wrong precedent,” he added. The SC bench also said that getting into this was akin to opening up new jurisdiction which courts have refrained from doing so. SOURAV ROY RESCUE RACE ON, TOLL 7,100 11 achievers to get Indian field hospital Y E S H I S E L I & M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi WITH the toll crossing 7,100 a day after a 7.8 pre-dawn earthquake shook up Turkiye and Syria, Turkiye President Recip Tayyip Erdogan declared a state of emergency for three months in 10 of the worst-hit provinces in his country . Amid temperatures below freezing point and over 200 aftershocks, rescuers raced against time as nearly 6,000 buildings collapsed in Turkiye alone. Not all buildings have been accessed by the rescuers yet. In the Hatay province in Turkyie where 1,500 buildings were destroyed, rescue effort was yet to begin. But in areas where teams worked, occasional cheers broke out through 4 IAF C17 aircraft carrying Indian relief and rescue personnel sent to Turkiye and one to Syria Field hospital sent to Turkiye to establish a 30-bed medical facility. 45-member medical team accompanying it. It has X-ray unit, ventilators, OT and other equipment the night as survivors were brought out of the rubble. There were also reports of people stuck in the rubble sending videos and voice messages requesting urgent assistance and rescue. So far, over 8,000 people have been pulled from the debris in Turkiye. Amid a global scramble to rush humanitarian support, India on Tuesday sent five aircraft full of relief and rescue equipment, which includes NDRF search and rescue teams, medical equipment for creating a 30-bed makeshift hospital, drilling machines and dog squads. Out of the five IAF C17 aircraft, four have been sent to Turkiye and one to Syria. “PM Modi gave immediate instructions to build a crisis centre and all relevant Indian authorities had a meeting. This is an example of good friendship and we really appreciate it. We are in touch with the Indian Embassy in Ankara along with Indian authorities in Delhi,’’ Turkiye envoy Firat Sunel said. “We really appreciated the Indian heart,” Syrian envoy Bassam P9 Seifeddin Alkhatib said. With you, dear: Dad holds hand of dead daughter Mesut Hancer in an orange jacket sitting on a pile of rubble, holds the hand of his dead daughter Irmak, 15, who lies on a mattress, crushed by a huge concrete block, in Kahramanmaras, close to the quake epicentre in Turkyie | AFP Devi Awards today T E A M I N D U LG E @ Chennai The New Indian Express’ most anticipated event of the year, the Devi Awards is back! The ceremony, which is returning to Chennai after four years, will honour 11 Devis who have made excellent contributions in different fields, including sports, medicine, dance, history, music, and literature. Some of the awardees this year include professional squash player Joshna Chinappa, Bharatanatyam dancer Priyadarsini Govind, author-historian Dr Nanditha Krishna, vocalist Vidya Subramanian, and medical professional Dr P Poorna Chandrika. Former Puducherry L-G Kiran Bedi will present the awards to the guests at the 23rd edition of the Devi Awards to be held at ITC Grand Chola on Feb 8. Dr Nanditha Krishna Historian & author Vidya Subramanian Vocalist Vishakha Hari Singer Dr Gagandeep Kang Physician & scientist Radhika Santhanakrishnan Philanthropist Anuradha Krishnamoorthy & Namrata Sundaresan Entrepreneurs Dr P Poorna Chandrika Medical professional Vijayalakshmi Nachiar Entrepreneur Priyadarsini Govind Dancer Joshna Chinappa Sportswoman Dr Ramya S Moorthy Entrepreneur VODAFONE-IDEA ALLOTS 33.44% STAKE TO GOVERNMENT Allotment of equity shares in lieu of interest dues of adjusted gross revenue, spectrum auction payments SC agrees to form special bench to hear Bilkis Bano plea Shraddha chargesheet: Face disfigured, bones crushed with grinder S H R U T I K A K K A R @ New Delhi UJ WA L JA L A L I @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to constitute a special bench to hear the pleas challenging the Gujarat government’s order allowing premature release of 11 convicts sentenced to life in the Bilkis Bano case. During the 2002 Gujarat riots, Bano, who was five months pregnant, was gangraped and seven members of her family killed. Urging the bench headed by CJI DY Chandrachud to list the plea, advocate Shobha Gupta said Justice Ajay Rastogi was continuously sitting in a combination of himself and Justice Bela Trivedi, who had recused herself from the matter. The bench, also comprising judges PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala, told Bano that new bench will be formed at the earliest. The SC had earlier clarified that objections pertaining to locus of pleas filed by third party petitioners by one of the convicts Radhey Shyam and state government didn’t arise anymore. It said it would take up Bano’s plea as lead matter. “After victim’s plea comes, the issue of locus goes... In these cases no technicality has to follow,” Justice Rastogi said while posting the pleas for February . AAFTAB Amin Poonawala, who allegedly killed his 27-yearold live-in partner, had confessed to the police that in a bid to hide the gruesome murder, he had burnt and disfigured the head and torso of the victim woman with a blowtorch, charred her body parts after pouring petrol and tur ned bones into powder with a marble grinder. The stomach-churning details of the murder are revealed in the 6,636-page chargesheet filed by Delhi Police in a local court, 73 days after Poonawala was arrested. The 27-year-old Mumbai suburb woman Shraddha Walkar was allegedly strangled on May 18 last year. Her body was chopped into several pieces and tossed around at various locations for several months by Aaftab, who was arrested on November 12. The chargesheet, accessed by this paper, reveals the extent of the barbarity of the crime. “To rid of Shraddha, once and for all, I sat on her chest and choked her till she was dead. Then I hid her body in the bathroom and planned to dispose it of by chopping it into several pieces for which I Court takes cognisance of chargesheet A Saket court took cognisance of the chargesheet filed by Delhi Police on Tuesday against Aaftab Amin Poonawala. The court listed the matter for its scrutiny on February 21. The police alleged that she was killed as she had gone to meet a friend against the wishes of her live-in partner Aaftab. The chargesheet was submitted at the Saket Court 73 days after Aaftab was arrested. bought a saw, three blades and a hammer from a shop in Chattarpur Pahadi,” Aaftab’s confession read. Aftab stated that he had been possessive in nature and used to have frequent fights with P4 Shraddha. No mayor, MCD may clear budget without debate A S H I S H S R I VA STAVA @ New Delhi THE absence of mayor in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi has put many principal tasks of the civic body in jeopardy. The corporation is just a week away from the deadline to pass this year’s budget, and if the mayor and the standing committee are not elected by then, the special officer of the corporation will be mandated to pass the budget without a debate or discussion. Officials said they are in a wait-and-watch mode because only a week remains to clear the budget. Meanwhile, AAP has said it will move the Supreme Court for a court-monitored election of the mayor. “As the mayor has not been elected nor the House constituted, we will wait how the scenario unfolds. We have to meet in the next few days to follow AAP moves SC seeking early mayor election ‘How can we make officers responsible?’ The Supreme Court will hear on Wednesday a plea filed by the Aam Aadmi Party’s mayor candidate Shelly Oberoi and others seeking early holding of mayoral election for the MCD. The party moved the SC on Tuesday, a day after the MCD House failed to elect a mayor for the third time following a ruckus. Atul Goel, president of United Residents Joint Action, a group of over 2,500 RWAs, says if passed through bureaucratic channel, the MCD budget will have a huge gap in fulfilling the aspirations of citizens. “We can put our councillors accountable but how are we going to make the officers accountable?” he asked. the procedures of clearing the budget. In case the court directions don’t come by February 15, the Special Officer may have to take the call,” said a senior MCD official. As per the provisions of the Delhi Municipal Act, the budget for the upcoming financial year has to be cleared by February 15. Officials say the budget passed through the administrative route may have a big impact on the citizens. “In that case, policies concerning the citizens which could have been included in the budget through public discourse would not feature in the budget,” said an official. “The MCD budget goes through a series of processes before it is passed by the House. After the draft is prepared, it is brought before the standing committee for approval. The committee puts the draft before the House for discussion. Many amendments also get incorporated during the process and then it is cleared by the Mayor,” said Anil Gupta, former Chief Law Officer of MCD. “The whole mechanism is paralysed in the absence of the mayor and the committee,” said Gupta. The civic body conducted a meeting last week to discuss the budget proposal for 2023-24 for various provisions, including the funds allocated for various works and the tax slab rates. The municipal commissioner presented the budget proposals worth `16,023 crore to the special officer on DecemP3 ber 8 last year. EXPRESS READ Thorat quits as LoP in Maha, says humiliated Left wing extremism finished in 3 states: Shah Jobs on compassionate ground changed in MP In a setback to Congress in Maharashtra, the party’s legislative wing leader Balasaheb Thorat resigned from his post on Tuesday citing factionalism within the state party. In his resignation letter to Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge, Thorat said he was not able to work in a “vicious atmosphere where his loyalty to the party has been questioned.” He asked his leader to appoint someone else in his place | P8 In the wake of the policies adopted by the government and consistent efforts of the security forces, success has been achieved against Left wing extremism, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Tuesday. States like Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha have been almost freed from the left ultras, he said during a meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the home ministry in New Delhi. Sons and daughters (including married daughters) of government employees will have equal right to appointment on compassionate grounds in the event of their parent’s death, the MP Cabinet approved on Tuesday. The Cabinet decided that after the death of RS Rathore, (additional director, Economics and Statistics) in 2021 due to Covid, his married daughter should be given appointment on humanitarian grounds.
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