YK MYK WEATHER TODAY MAX 29 C MIN 22 C PAKISTAN MAY FACE BIG REFUGEE CRISIS AS TALIBAN FORCES ADVANCE OPINION Rainfall may occur. Rs. 3 KOLKATA THURSDAY, 15 JULY, 2021 PG- 8, YEAR— 8, ISSUE— 61 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) INDIA IN SRI LANKA: HALF A DOZEN DEBUT HOPES SPORTS Morning India Union Cabinet approves increase in DA, DR to 28% Mamata meets Dhankhar amid tense ties Suvendu Adhikari moves SC B MI NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA: Amid the ongoing tussle between Raj Bhawan and the State government, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar Wednesday held an hour-long meeting and discussed various issues related to the State. Dhankar said in a tweet the meeting was held without the presence of aides. "Hon'ble Chief Minister @MamataOfficial called on Hon'ble Governor Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar at Raj Bhavan today. The two had an hour-long interaction without aides." he tweeted. According to sources, the two discussed the resolution passed by the State Assembly seeking creation of a legislative council. The Bengal Assembly had passed a reso- AT A GLANCE TELL POLICE NOT TO FILE CASES UNDER AXED IT ACT SECTION, MHA TO STATES NEW DELHI: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has asked states and Union Territories to direct all police stations under their jurisdiction not to register cases under the repealed Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000. It has also asked the states and the UTs to sensitise law enforcement agencies for the compliance of the order issued by the Supreme Court on March 24, 2015. The MHA has also said that if any case has been booked in states and the UTs under Section 66A of the IT Act, 2000, such cases should be immediately withdrawn. CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 30,913,995 TOTAL DEATHS: 409,338 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 188,259,124 TOTAL DEATHS: 4,058,480 lution last week supporting an ad hoc committee report that favoured creation of a legislative council despite strident opposition by the BJP. "A lot of issues related to the State were discussed in the meeting, which was held in a very cordial atmosphere," an official said. The meeting came amid growing animosity between Dhankhar and Banerjee, who recently said she has thrice written to the Centre demanding the Governor's recall. The face-off between Dhankhar and Banerjee intensified last month when the Chief Minister accused the Governor of being a "corrupt man" and claimed he was named in the Jain Hawala case. Dhankhar remonstrated, accusing her of propagating "lies and misinformation". JP leader Suvendu Adhikari Wednesday moved the Supreme Court seeking transfer of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's election petition challenging his win in Assembly polls from Nandigram constituency outside Bengal. The BJP leader seeks transfer of Banerjee's plea, pending in the Calcutta High Court, outside the State, lawyer Kabir Bose said. Adhikari, a former close aide of the Chief Minister, who joined BJP, is presently holding the post of the leader of opposition in the State Assembly after defeating Banerjee in a closely-contested polls by the margin of 1,956 votes. Meanwhile, Bengal CID officials on Wednesday visited house of Suvendu Adhikari in Contai in connection with the probe into death of his security personnel around three years ago, a senior officer said. Besides, talking to the two security personnel who were former colleagues of AdhikarI's ex-bodyguard Subhabrata Chakraborty, and are still posted there, the CID sleuths also talked to the BJP leader's younger brother Dibyendu Adhikari, he added. Adhikari's personal security guard had allegedly shot himself dead with his service revolver in 2018 in a police barrack in Kanthi in Purba Medinipur district. Earlier, in the morning, the CID officers went to Contai police station and went through the documents related to the investigation carried out by police in the matter. On the other hand, the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday admitted for hearing a petition by BJP leader Jitendra Kumar Tiwari challenging the election of Trinamool Congress candidate Narendranath Chakraborty from the Pandabeswar Assembly constituency. Justice R K Kapur directed issuance of notice to Chakraborty in connection with Tiwari's election petition. The matter will be taken up for hearing on August 9. Dhankhar and the Mamata Banerjee government have been at loggerheads ever since he assumed office over a year ago. The Governor has India’s June WPI inflation eases on lower food prices NEW DELHI: Lower food prices aided in sequentially lowering India's annual rate of inflation, based on wholesale prices, in June. However, the inflation rate alarmingly remained above the 12 per cent mark. The WPI rose by 12.07 per cent in June from a rise of 12.94 per cent in May. The monthly rate of inflation, in June 2020, stood at (-) 1.81 per cent. On a sequential basis, the month over month change in WPI index for June 2021 as compared to May, was 0.75 per cent. "The high rate of inflation in June 2021 is primarily due to low base effect and rise in prices of mineral oils viz. petrol, diesel (HSD), naphtha, ATF, furnace oil etc, and manufactured products like basic metal, food products, chemical products etc as compared the corresponding month of the previous year," a Ministry of Commerce and Industry statement said. The low base effect has been attributed to last year's full nationwide lockdown which was imposed to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. On segment wise basis, prices of primary articles, which constitute 22.62 per cent of the WPI's total weightage, rose at a slower rate of 7.74 per cent last month from 9.61 per cent in May 2021. Similarly, WPI food index rose by 6.66 per cent from 8.11 per cent reported for May. The prices of manufactured items rose by 10.88 per cent from 10.83 per cent. On the same note, the prices of fuel and power, with a weightage of 13.15 per cent, remained at an elevated 32.83 per cent from 37.61 per cent. Diesel prices rose at a slower rate of 59.92 per cent in June against 66.30 per cent during May. During the same period, petrol prices rose by 59.94 per cent in June from 62.28 per cent. key consumables such as potato became a bit inexpensive. Its prices deflated by (-) 30.97 per cent against (-) 27.90 per cent. Vegetable prices fell by () 0.78 per cent against (-) 9 per cent. Prices of pulses rose by 11.49 per cent last month from 12.09 per cent. often expressed concern over the law and order situation, including the violence that followed the Assembly polls held earlier this year. LAND DEALER SHOT DEAD IN HINOO RANCHI: Armed criminals on Wednesday morning shot dead a land dealer Altaf Ansari in the busy Hinoo area under the Doranda police station area. The criminals shot at the victim several times causing fatal injuries. Even though local people tried to rush the victim to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, he succumbed to the injuries on the way. Notably, Altaf was waiting in his car in Hinoo when the criminals attacked him. The incident sent shock waves in the locality. Several senior police officers, including city SP Saurav and the ASP Hatia, rushed to the spot and carried out the preliminary investigation. The relatives of the victim were yet to register the case by late evening regarding the incident. Police said that investigation has started in connection with the crime. Meanwhile, police said that it was examining the closed circuit television cameras and call details of the victim. Free judiciary can be sustained via fair service conditions: SC NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday said the independence of the judiciary can be sustained when incumbents are assured a fair and reasonable conditions of service, as it declared provisions in the Tribunals Reforms Ordinance 2021, fixing a minimum age of 50 years, and four-year tenure of Chairmen and members of various tribunals, as unconstitutional. It held that these provisions were "contrary to the principles of separation of powers, independence of judiciary, and rule of law". Three separate judge- ments were delivered by a bench of Justices L. Nageswarao Rao, Hemant Gupta, and Ravindra Bhat on a plea by the Madras Bar Association, challenging the Sections 12 and 13 of the ordinance by which Sections 184 and 186(2) of the Finance Act, 2017 was amended. In a majority judgment, Justices Rao and Bhat held that four-year tenure violated the express direction given in an earlier judgment that term of tribunal members should be five years. This bench set aside those provisions. However, Justice Gupta delivered a dissenting judgment and dismissed the petition. Justice Rao said: "Independence of the judiciary can be sustained only when the incumbents are assured of fair and reasonable conditions of service, which include adequate renumeration and security of tenure." He emphasised that tribunals, constituted as an alternative mechanism for speedy resolution of disputes, have become non-functional due to the large number of posts which are kept unfilled for a long period of time. "Tribunals have become ineffective vehicles of administration of justice, resulting in complete denial of access to justice to the litigant public," he added. Justice Rao noted: "The main reason for tribunalisation, which is to provide speedy justice, is not achieved as tribunals are wilting under the unbearable weight of the exploding docket." He added the conditions of service for appointment to the posts of Chairpersons and members have been mired in controversy for the past several years, thereby, adversely affecting the basic functioning of tribunals. MONSOON SESSION: LS SPEAKER CALLS ALL-PARTY MEET ON JULY 18 NEW DELHI: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has called an allparty meeting of all floor leaders on July 18 to discuss issues related to the upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament. The meeting is likely to begin from 11 a.m. at Parliament premises, said sources. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi will also interact with the floor leaders during the meeting and take their views before the session starts its 19day business from July 19, said sources. The meeting has been called a day before the Monsoon Session, which will run between July 19 and August 13. NEW DELHI: The Cabinet Committee chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved an increase in Dearness Allowance (DA) to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners. As per an official release, the increased DA and DR, which will come into effect from July 1, will be 28 per cent representing an increase of 11 per cent over the existing rate of 17 per cent of the Basic Pay/Pension. In view of the unprecedented situation which arose due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cabinet has also decided to freeze three additional instalments of DA to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief DR to pensioners, which were due from January 1, 2020, July 1, 2020, and January 1, 2021. "Now, the government has decided to increase the Dearness Allowance to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief to pensioners with effect from July 1 to 28 per cent representing an increase of 11 per cent over the existing rate of 17 per cent of the Basic Pay/Pension," the release said The increase reflects the additional instalments arising on January 1, 20202, July 1, 2020, and January 1, 2021. The rate of Dearness Allowance/Dearness Relief for the period January 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021, shall remain at 17 per cent," it added. DONATION TO PATANJALI RESEARCH FOUNDATION TRUST NOW TAX DEDUCTIBLE The Centre has accorded 'Research Association' tag to Baba Ramdev-led Patanjali Research Foundation Trust, Haridwar, thereby exempting donations made to the trust from income tax. The notification would be applicable on donations made during 2021-2022 to 2026-27 and businesses can claim tax deduction for the same period. "In exercise of the powers conferred by clauses (ii) of sub-section (1) of section 35 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961) read with rules 5C and 5D of the Income-tax Rules, 1962, the Central Government hereby approves M/s Patanjali Research Foundation Trust, Haridwar under the category 'Research Association' for Scientific Research for the purposes of clauses (ii) of sub-section (1) of section 35 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 read with rules 5C and 5D of the Income-tax Rules, 1962," said the notification of the Central Board of Direct Taxes. "This Notification shall apply with effect from the date of publication in the Official Gazette (i.e from the Previous Year 20212022) and accordingly shall be applicable for Assessment Year(s) 2022-23 to 2027-28." As per the Income Tax norms, while computing the income under head of 'business and profession', a taxpayer is permitted to deduct there from, any amount paid to an 'approved scientific research association' for undertaking scientific research. Will work for State’s Bengal extends COVID development: Governor curbs till July 30 MI NEWS SERVICE RANCHI: Ramesh Bais on Wednesday took over as the 10th Governor of the state in a function held in Birsa Mandap in Raj Bhawan. Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court Ravi Ranjan administered the oath of office to him. The function, which had a limited number of guests due to the Covid pandemic, was attended by Chief Minister Hemant Soren, his cabinet ministers, Speaker Rabindra Nath Mahto, BJP leaders and administrative and judicial officials. Chief Secretary Sukhdev Singh read out the warrant issued by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind relat- ed to the appointment of the Governor. Speaking to media persons after taking the oath the Governor saluted the land of Birsa Munda and said that his focus would be on the development of the state. He expressed confidence that he would be able to work with the government in this regard. He said he would try to seek maximum support from the Centre in the implementation of various schemes. He said,” Party feelings are limited to fighting the elections. After that, we all focus on development.” The CM said, “ The new Governor has assumed office. We would work together to take the state forward. MI NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA: Keeping in mind the warning of experts about a possible third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bengal government on Wednesday extended the ongoing restrictions till July 30, but also announced certain relaxations. Metro Railway services are allowed to resume operations with 50 per cent seating capacity on weekdays, a government order said. The local train services, however, will continue to remain suspended except the staff special trains. The restrictions, imposed on May 16, were last extend- ed till July 15. The order stated that public buses, taxis, auto rickshaws have been permitted to operate with 50 per cent capacity. Banks and financial institutions shall remain open for restricted hours between 10 am to 3 pm and for operations of ATMs. All schools, colleges and universities shall continue to remain closed. Offices, both government and private, are also allowed to function with half the manpower, it said. Gymnasiums and beauty parlours can also operate with 50 per cent strength from 11 am to 6 pm. Only 50 people will be allowed to attend social gatherings such as weddings. Adhir Chowdhury to continue as Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha: Congress sources Bengal Congress Gen Secy resigns MI NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI/KOLKATA: Contrary to speculation that the Congress might replace Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury as Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, party sources indicated that he is likely to stay in this position. "There is no change in the post of Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha at present. In this session, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury will remain the Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha," Congress sources said. Earlier, rumour mills were abuzz that the Congress might replace Chowdhury. Besides deliberating on the issues to be taken by Congress during the Monsoon session of the Parliament commencing July 19, Chowdhury's fate is also likely to be discussed. Moreover, sources indicated that it was poll strategist Prashant Kishor who asked for an appointment with the Congress high command. "There was no talk about the Punjab Congress controversy, though Prashant Kishor discussed the prospects of Congress in the upcoming Assembly elections. There was no discussion about pushing Sharad Pawar for president's post (from UPA)," sources said. Bengal Congress General Secretary Rohan Mitra on Wednesday resigned from his post stating that he was "humiliated" by State party president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and his "Adhir Sena clique". In the resignation letter, he severely criticised Chowdhury stating that the latter's attitude towards him had "always been pathetic". "The sycophants surrounding you have not only brought your downfall but also led to the ultimate downfall of the party in the State with no visible signs of revival in near future," said Mitra in his letter to Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. Mitra put the blame on Chowdhury's choices of recruiting the Congress face at Nadia and Central Kolkata for the party's loss in Behrampur in the recent polls. "The people you brought in and put in the position of leadership show how incapable you are as the face of West Bengal Pradesh Congress," Mitra wrote. He accused Chowdhury of hypocrisy. He wrote, "The change in your tone and narrative towards the incumbent Trinamool Congress and Chief Minister of Bengal is a proof of that". Mitra also hit out at Chowdhury for the alliance with the Furfura Sharif cleric Abbas Siddiqui's Indian Secular Front (ISF) ahead of the recent Assembly polls. "Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi was also connected online during the meeting of Prashant Kishor, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. KC Venugopal was also present. The meeting lasted about one hour. Kishor had asked for an appointment," they added. A day earlier, Kishor met the Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi at his residence in the national capital in the presence of Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. In the meeting which lasted for about an hour, it was not clear what was discussed and speculations were being made about the agenda. After Congress failed to open its account in the Bengal Assembly polls, Adhir Chowdhury has come under fire.