YK MYK GOVT MAY OPEN CHARDHAM YATRA IN PHASED MANNER INDIAN MEN’S AND WOMEN’S TEAM REACH UK CAPITAL OPINION SPORTS Morning India Rs. 3 KOLKATA FRIDAY, 4 JUNE, 2021 PG-08, YEAR—8, ISSUE—20 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) Mamata seeks help from traders' body for COVID vaccination PRIYANKA AICH BHOWMICK Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held a meeting with the representatives of various Chambers of Commerce on Corona vaccine on Thursday at Nabanna Sabhaghar. She sought financial help from the Merchant Council for vaccination process. "If the money is given to the relief fund, the State Government will make arrangements to vaccinate the workers of the concerned organisations," said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. 'The State is much under control now'. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said this at a meeting with the members of various Chambers of Commerce. She said there was no complete lockdown so that business could remain normal. Strict restrictions have been imposed in some WEATHER TODAY Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at meeting with various Chambers of commerce and Industry representatives at Nabanna Sabhaghar on Thursday. cases. Multiple market opening deadlines have been given. She clearly said that vaccination is the primary issue now. Besides this, Government and private offices are still closed. Factories are also closed. In this situation, if traders can vaccinate their employees and join the work, the risk is greatly reduced. That is why the Chief Minister said if the industrialists give money to the Government's relief fund, the Government will buy the vaccine and vaccinate employees of the company that gave money. She said her Government would take care of vaccination itself. Mamata Banerjee said that 1.4 crore vaccines have already been given in the State. At the meeting, representatives from the tourism and hotel indus- try applied for some concessions. They have asked for permission to open hotel and restaurants. In it, the Chief Minister said that hotel and restaurants can be kept open from 5 pm to 8 pm. However, she said those who would work in the hotel at that time should be vaccinated and tagged Covid-free hotel or restaurant to run the business. The Chief Minister also said that hoteliers should be vaccinated along with their employees. The Chief Minister emphasised on sanitation of markets. She was requested to allow the opening of shopping malls. Though she was reluctant initially, the Chief Minister said that if 25 per cent people have to be allowed to enter, then the State Government can allow the opening of shopping malls from the 18th of this month. FALSE INFO ABOUT CORONIL KIT MAX 35 C MIN 28 C Rainfall may occur. AT A GLANCE MUKESH AMBANI DRAWS NIL SALARY NEW DELHI: Richest Indian Mukesh Ambani drew no salary from his flagship firm Reliance Industries Ltd in the fiscal year ended March 31 as he voluntarily gave up remuneration in light of the pandemic hitting the business and the economy. In its latest annual report, Reliance said Ambani's remuneration for financial year 2020-21 was "nil." In the previous fiscal year, he drew a Rs 15 crore salary from the company - the same as in the previous 11 years. Ambani has kept salary, perquisites, allowances and commission together at Rs 15 crore since 2008-09. WON’T BE EASY TO SECURE PODIUM FINISH AT OLYMPICS: SINDHU SPORTS HC issues summons to Ramdev NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court Thursday issued summons to yoga guru Ramdev on a suit by Delhi Medical Association (DMA) seeking to restrain him from disseminating false information about Patanjali's Coronil kit that it is a cure for COVID-19. The high court orally asked the counsel for Ramdev to tell him not to make any provocative statement till the next date of hearing on July 13 and respond to the suit. DMA, on behalf of its doctor members, said Ramdev's statement affects as that medicine does not cure coronavirus and it is misleading. Meanwhile, India on Thursday again witnessed a slight increase in Covid numbers with 1,34,154 new infections reported in 24 hours and 2,887 more people succumbed to the pandemic, the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry said. On June 1, India reported 1,27,510 cases lowest since April 8. On April 8, India had recorded 1,31,968 cases while on April 7, the country witnessed 1,26,789 fresh cases. MONSOON ARRIVES Dark clouds covering the sky loom over Kochi on Thursday. ANI Modi's call to Mukul Roy creates political buzz MI NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi called up State BJP leader Mukul Roy and enquired about the health of his wife who is in a critical condition and is undergoing treatment in a private hospital. The twominute conversation between Modi and Roy has triggered political speculation because it came after TMC leader and MP Abhiskek Banerjee made a surprise visit to the hospital on Wednesday evening. Sources in BJP said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi called up Roy at around 10.30 am on Thursday and enquired about the health of his wife. He also assured all possible assistance to the BJP national vice-president. Though Mukul Roy said that it was a courtesy call but it has triggered speculation among political circles in the State. The call assumed significance because on Tuesday evening on his way back from the cyclone ravaged South 24 Parganas, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew and Trinamool Congress (TMC) youth unit president Abhishek Banerjee made a surprise visit to the private hospital to check on the ailing wife of former party colleague Mukul Roy. It added to speculation about the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) vice-president's next move. In the hospital Abhishek Banerjee briefly met Roy's son Subhranshu and inquired about his mother's health. But the visit nevertheless created a buzz about the 67year-old Roy's next move. Abhishek Banerjee, 33, spent about 10 minutes at the east Kolkata hospital where Mukul Roy's wife Krishna Roy is being treated for Covid-19. Though the young Lok Sabha MP did not speak to the media, the visit of Abhishek Banerjee who was once considered to be a strong opponent of Roy when he was in the Trinamool Congress was enough to create speculation about the changing equation of Roy with the Trinamool Congress. The party, however, rubbished all such speculation and termed it a courtesy call. As the rumours swirled, Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh too dropped by two hours later. Speaking to the media after his visit the state BJP President said, "He (Abhishek Banerjee) is previously known to him (Mukul Roy) and so it is not surprising that he has come to see his ailing wife. I don't feel there is anything to speculate about." 624 DOCTORS DIED IN 2ND COVID WAVE, HIGHEST IN DELHI 'Funds for building embankments in Purba Medinipur misused, action to be taken' NEW DELHI: At least 624 doctors died in the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic across the country, with the national capital losing the most. According to the latest report of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), so far 109 doctors have lost their lives in Delhi alone in the second wave. The IMA's latest data revealed that a total of 1,362 doctors have died so far since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. In the first wave as many as 748 doctors lost their lives. Delhi is followed by Bihar where most doctors' deaths have been recorded. A total of 96 doctors have lost their lives in Bihar. KOLKATA: In a veiled attack on Leader of Opposition in the Bengal Assembly, BJP's Suvendu Adhikari, and his father Sisir Adhikari, TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee on Thursday said funds allotted for building embankments were "misused" in Purba Medinipur, where people were recently rendered homeless due to flooding caused by cyclone 'Yaas'. Sisir Adhikari, who is the Lok Sabha MP from Contai, however, claimed that almost 90 per cent of the work was undertaken during his tenure as the chairman of DighaSankarpur Development Authority (DSDA), and the rest was slated to be completed by the end of the coming winter season. He was removed from the post earlier this year by the TMC, and shortly after he followed in his son's footsteps and joined the BJP. The TMC MP, without naming the TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee father-son duo, said it was "amply clear" who helmed the DSDA, when a road along the sea-shore was built. People also know well that who was in charge of the Irrigation Department which built the guard wall along the coast and beefed up embankments to stop sea water from gushing in, he stated. Suvendu Adhikari, who joined the BJP last December, had held the transport, irrigation and waterways portfolio in the Mamata Banerjee's previous Cabinet. Cyclone 'Yaas', which struck Bengal on May 25, left behind a trail of destruction in Purba Medinipur and South 24 Parganas among other places. "Money was misused... not utilised properly. This resulted in shoddy work. Those in charge of such work have minimum concern for the people. Did they leave the party anticipating their shoddy work will come to light one day?" Banerjee, who represents the Diamond Harbour seat, said. He further underlined that "all corrupt leaders will be tracked and held accountable for the sub-standard work undertaken by them". Slamming the BJP MLA for describing him as a "minor whose statements don't matter", Banerjee, who is also the TMC youth wing president, retorted, "This minor has come to visit the cyclonedamaged areas of Purba Medinipur, where shoddy work by the DSDA aggravated the situation." The "adult, on the other hand, was caught cash-wrapped on camera", the TMC leader said, probably alluding to the Narada sting operation. Banerjee, who interacted with villagers during the onsite inspection of the affected areas in Tajpur, asked them to submit details of the damage caused to their households and properties at the local panchayat office, ahead of the rollout of the Duare Traan (relief at doorstep) project. He also distributed relief materials at the temporary camps set up in Contai constituency. "This is not the time to indulge in politics. Everyone should come forward, rising above political differences to be on the side of people during crisis and calamities," he said. "I wonder where are those leaders who flew to Bengal from Delhi to have postor-bora (poppy seed fritters) at households. Where are they at this time of crisis?" he said, taking a dig at BJP heavyweights who had visited the State for campaigning ahead of the Assembly elections. Replying to Banerjee's charges, the Contai MP said several projects along the coastal belt by DSDA were set to be completed in the coming winter. "Almost 90 per cent of the work along the belt is complete. The cyclone struck before the rest could be taken care of. Also, keep in mind that those seen with Abhishek Banerjee during his visit are also responsible for the work that was being undertaken..." the veteran leader claimed. The Diamond Harbour MP, when also asked about his visit to the hospital to enquire about the health condition of BJP leader Mukul Roy's COVID-positive wife, said not all relationships involve politics. SC for protecting scribes against sedition unless reports incite violence NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday said every journalist should be granted protection against prosecution under penal provisions of sedition, barring when his/her news report either incited violence or disturbed public peace. In a 117-page judgment, a bench of Justices U.U. Lalit and Vineet Saran relied upon decision in Kedar Nath Singh versus State of Bihar (1962), which upheld validity of sedition provision but with riders, to quash an FIR against senior journalist Vinod Dua registered on May 6, last year by Shimla police. Dua was represented by senior advocate Vikash Singh along with advocates Varun Singh and Nitin Saluja. Holding that every journalist will be entitled to protection in terms of Kedar Nath Singh case, the bench observed that a citizen has a right to say or write whatever he likes about the government, or its measures, by way of criticism or comment, so long as he does not incite people to violence against the government established by law or with the intention of creating public disorder. Citing the contents of the FIR lodged by a local BJP leader, the bench said statements that the Prime Minister had used deaths and terror attacks to garner votes were not made by Dua in the talk Show. Also, on the content of Dua's show on lockdown 2020, the bench noted: "The situation was definitely alarming around March 30, 2020, and as a journalist, if the petitioner showed some concern, could it be said that he committed offences as alleged?" The bench noted that Dua's comments were certainly not made with the intent to incite people. "The petitioner was within the permissible limits laid down in the decision of this Court in Kedar Nath Singh," said the top court. The bench added Kedar Nath Singh judgment shows that a citizen has a right to criticise or comment upon the measures undertaken by the government and its functionaries. "It is only when the words or expressions have pernicious tendency or intention of creating public disorder or disturbance of law and order that Sections 124A and 505 of the IPC must step in," said the bench. "In our view, the statements by the petitioner as mentioned hereinabove, if read in the light of the principles emanating from the decision in Kedar Nath Singh and against the backdrop of the circumstances when they were made, can at best be termed as expression of disapprobation of actions of the government and its functionaries so that prevailing situation could be addressed quickly and efficiently." However, the top court rejected Dua's plea to lay down that no FIR be lodged against a journalist with 10 years' experience unless approved by a committee at state level. IN A 117-PAGE JUDGMENT, A BENCH OF JUSTICES U.U. LALIT AND VINEET SARAN RELIED UPON DECISION IN KEDAR NATH SINGH VERSUS STATE OF BIHAR (1962), WHICH UPHELD VALIDITY OF SEDITION PROVISION BUT WITH RIDERS, TO QUASH AN FIR AGAINST SENIOR JOURNALIST VINOD DUA REGISTERED ON MAY 6, LAST YEAR BY SHIMLA POLICE. Meanwhile, The Supreme Court on Thursday said, it is happy that the board exams have been cancelled and emphasized that the interest of students will be protected, as it asked the Centre to submit the objective criteria to assess Class XII students in two weeks. At the beginning of the hear- ing, the Attorney General K.K. Venugopal submitted he had circulated a letter by the government in the matter. A bench comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari told the AG, "We are happy with the Centre's decision to cancel the board exam (CBSE and ICSE boards). But what is the objective standard principle you will apply? The criteria have not been given in the letter." The AG replied to the bench that the objective criteria will be determined by CBSE and sought time to place it on record before the court. The AG submitted the petition seeking cancellation of board exams may be disposed and an application could be filed in the matter. The bench replied that it will only dispose off the matter after the objective criteria is placed on record.