YK MYK WEATHER TODAY MAX 33 C MIN 23 C BANK CREDIT DEPLOYMENT NOT ENOUGH FOR ECONOMY REVIVAL OPINION Rainfall may occur. TOKYO OLYMPICS: IOC ISSUES GUIDELINES FOR MEDAL CEREMONY SPORTS Morning India Rs. 3 KOLKATA FRIDAY, 16 JULY, 2021 PG-08, YEAR—8, ISSUE—62 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) SUPREME COURT ON SEDITION LAW ‘Why keep colonial law used to silence Gandhi, Tilak?’ NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday questioned the Centre on the utility of having a sedition law even after 75 years of gaining independence from the British, and also frowned on the misuse of law by the police against people. A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana said: “It is a colonial law used by the British to silence Mahatma Gandhi, (Bal Gangadhar) Tilak. Still, it is necessary after 75 years of independence?” “I am indicating what I am thinking,” the Chief Justice told Attorney General K.K. Venugopal AT A GLANCE IMA OPPOSES AYUSH TRAINING FOR MEDICAL STUDENTS NEW DELHI: Indian Medical Association (IMA) has raised objection to the provision of including the AYUSH into the modern medical system during the training of medical students, saying “it is contrary to the established norms, superfluous and an attempt to initiate mixopathy”. In a letter to National Medical Commission (NMC), the IMA said, “It is not prudent for an Intern trained in modern medicine to partake and practice a system of medicine which he has not learned in under graduation with knowhow and show-how paradigms.” CBSE TO OPEN PORTAL FOR CLASS 11, 12 MARKS MODERATION TODAY NEW DELHI: Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Thursday informed that tabulation portal for the moderation of Class 11 and 12 marks will be opened from July 16. The board in a letter to affiliated schools said the portal will be closed on July 22 for declaration of results by July 31. MORE ON PG 5 CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 31,007,870 TOTAL DEATHS: 412,204 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 189,383,935 TOTAL DEATHS: 4,077,612 Citing the example of continued usage of Section 66A of IT Act, which was quashed, but abused to arrest thousands for airing their views, the top court pointed out that sedition law (Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code) is also not immune to misuse by police to fix persons who speak against the government. “It is like you give a saw to carpenter and he will cut entire forest. This is the impact of this law,” the Chief Justice said. He noted that police officers in a village can invoke the sedition law, and all these issues are required to be examined. “My concern is the misuse of law. There is no accountability of executing agencies. I will look into it,” he said. “The government has already taken out several stale laws, why don’t you look into this,” the CJI told Venugopal, adding that “everybody is a little scared when this section is invoked”. The AG replied that he completely understands the concern of the top court and submitted the court can lay down fresh guidelines to restrict the use of the sedition provision only for protection of nation and democratic institutions. The Chief Justice said the situation on the ground is grave, and if one party does not like what the other is saying, Section 124A is used. “It is a serious threat to the functioning of individuals and parties,” he added. As this, the AG reiterated that the top court can lay down the parameters on the usage of the law, instead of taking out the entire law. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that once the Centre files its counter affidavit on the PIL by Maj Gen S.G. Vombatkere (retd), the court’s task will be easier. On the AG’s request, the Chief Justice said pending petitions challenging the validity of sedition law will be tagged together and issued notice to Centre on Vombatkere’s petition. He pointed that Vombatkere had served the country for very long and the petition cannot be termed motivated. The bench, which also comprised Justices A.S. Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy, also pointed out that if one examines the history of use of Section 124A, it will be apparent that the conviction rate is very low. The top court observations came on plea by Mysuru-based Vombatkere’s plea challenging the constitutional validity of Section 124A which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Mamata to visit Delhi amid fresh buzz over anti-BJP front MI NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA: Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to visit New Delhi later this month where she will hold talks with leaders of non-BJP parties, TMC sources said on Thursday, amid the renewed buzz over formation of an anti-BJP front ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. According to some reports, she will head to the national capital on July 25. Sources in Bengal's ruling TMC said the party supremo's Delhi visit could happen any day after the Martyr's Day rally in Kolkata on July 21. The TMC holds a rally every year to commemorate the killing of 13 people in police firing on Youth Congress workers on July 21, 1993, during a protest led by Banerjee, who was then its leader. The talk of an anti-BJP front got revived after leaders of various parties and prominent individuals congregated at NCP chief Sharad Pawar's New Delhi residence last month. However, there was no tangible movement forward in that direction at the meeting hosted by Pawar and called by former union minister Yashwant Sinha, who is now in the TMC. Sinha, a former BJP stalwart, is a strident critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The speculation about an anti-BJP coalition grew again after election strategist Prashant Kishor held a string of meetings with Pawar and the Gandhis, including the one he had with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, former party chief Rahul Gandhi and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra together. Though what exactly transpired at the parleys is not known yet, media speculated a broadbased coalition against the Centre's ruling NDA might have been on the agenda. "Banerjee is likely to visit New Delhi after the 21st July Martyr's Day rally. She may give details about her visit during her speech. The date is yet to be fixed but it will be after the rally," sources said. Banerjee, who is likely to spend a few days in the national capital, has apparently timed her visit to coincide with the monsoon session of Parliament as senior leaders of opposition parties will be in town. The sources said Banerjee may visit some other States as well. On her part, Banerjee told a press conference that there was nothing unusual in her visit. "Everytime after elections I visit Delhi to meet old and new friends. So, this time too, I would be going to Delhi for a few days as the COVID19 situation is presently under control," she said. "Mamata didi has further grown in stature after defeating the BJP in the Assembly elections. She now wants to reach out to anti-BJP and non-BJP parties at the national level ahead of the 2024 general elections," a TMC leader said. He said Banerjee will, in all probability, meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, her Delhi counterpart and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal and Sharad Pawar during the visit. Kishor, who crafted Narendra Modi's 2012 Gujarat Assembly campaign and devised his successful prime ministerial bid in 2014, is also being hailed for drawing up the TMC's strategy that saw Banerjee triumph over the formidable BJP in the Bengal Assembly polls. The astute election manager also rendered his services to AAP in Delhi, Jaganmohan Reddy's YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh and, more recently, M K Stalin's DMK in Tamil Nadu with great success. Binoy Tamang likely to join GJM MI NEWS SERVICE DARJEELING: President of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM-2) Binoy Tamang on Thursday resigned from all portfolios of the party and announced the decision at a press conference. According to sources, he is likely to join Bimal Gurung's Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM). Speaking to the media after his resignation, Tamang said, "I've resigned from the party. I'm not going to quit politics right now. We'll see how my political journey goes. I want to start a new political journey. It will be in the interest of the people of Darjeeling and Gorkhas." Following the resignation of Tamang, General Secretary of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, Anit Thapa called an emergency meeting of Central Working Committee members on Friday, at 11 am. "Binoy Tamang, president of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has resigned from all portfolios of the party through a press conference. I hereby call an emergency meeting of Central Working Committee members. All the members of Central Working Committee, office bearers of Central frontal organisation are hereby asked to attend the meeting," said Thapa in a statement. A separate state of 'Gorkhaland' has been a long-standing demand of Nepali-speaking Gorkhas since 1907 on the grounds that they are culturally and ethnically different from Bengal. Cong MP writes to WB CM PM IN KASHI Prime Minister Narendra Modi planting a sapling at the inauguration of the International Cooperation and Convention Centre—Rudraksh, in Varanasi on Thursday. KASHI EMERGING AS ONE OF BIGGEST MEDICAL HUBS OF PURVANCHAL: PM VARANASI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that Kashi is emerging as one of the biggest medical hubs of Purvanchal, with facilities being made available for the treatment of those diseases for which people had to go to Delhi and Mumbai earlier. PM Modi said, “Kashi is becoming one of the largest medical hubs of Purvanchal. Today facilities are being made available in Kashi too for diseases for the treatment of which one had to go to Delhi and Mumbai earlier.” ANI KOLKATA: Congress Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi has written to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to take stern action against the kidney smuggling racket. The letter was sent by a Congress MP from Kaliabore in Assam on Thursday. In the letter, he wrote, "Various media outlets have reported that human organ trafficking has been active in various districts of Assam." According to the villagers, the traffickers mainly targeted the poor people of the village. Their kidneys are being taken away for 3-4 lakh rupees. 'Gaurav also claimed in the letter that the sources of those traffickers were found in Kolkata. He wrote, 'The links of the racket have been traced to Kolkata. According to an established newspaper, all activities happened at the Rabindranath Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences, Kolkata.' He urged Bengal Chief Minister to take stern action against the smuggling ring. Pant, Dayanand test COVID-19 positive; Saha and bowling coach Arun self-isolating IND VS ENG DURHAM: Wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant nears completion of his self-quarantine period while training assistant/net bowler Dayanand Garani has tested positive for COVID-19, informed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday. Team India (Senior Men) were on a three-week break after the conclusion of the ICC World Test Championship final held in Southampton against New Zealand. “Pant, who had not stayed in the team hotel during the break period, tested positive on July 8. He is asymptomatic and Rishabh Pant Dayanand Garani currently undergoing self-isolation at the place where he reported positive. He is being closely monitored by the BCCI Medical Team and is on his way to recovery. He will be able to join the squad in Durham after returning two negative RT-PCR tests,” stated an official BCCI release. The BCCI Medical Team have identified B. Arun, Bowling Coach, Wriddhiman Saha and Abhimanyu Easwaran as close contacts of Garani, who was in the team hotel when he tested positive following RT-PCR tests on July 14. The four personnel will undergo 10-day isolation and will remain in their respective rooms in the team hotel in London. The entire Indian contingent including travelling family members and caretakers were administered the second dose of the COVID vaccine earlier this month in London. To mitigate any further risks, the Indian contingent is taking the Lateral Flow Test on a daily basis. Team India will begin their preparations for the upcoming five-match Test series against England with a three-day warm-up game at Emirates Riverside against County XI starting on Tuesday. ‘EARLY STAGES’ OF COVID’S THIRD WAVE, WARNS WHO CHIEF GENEVA: The world is now in the early stages of a third wave, amid rising cases of Covid’s Delta variant, World Health Organisation Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said. The spread of the Delta variant, along with increased social mobility and the inconsistent use of proven public health measures, is driving an increase in both case numbers and deaths, he said at the 8th meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on Wednesday. “And after 10 weeks of declines, deaths are increasing again. The virus continues to evolve, resulting in more transmissible variants. Unfortunately, we are now in the early stages of a third wave,” Ghebreyesus said. “The Delta variant is now in more than 111 countries and we expect it to soon be the dominant Covid-19 strain circulating worldwide, if it isn’t already,” he added. At the same time, there is “shocking disparity” in the global distribution of vaccines, and unequal access to life-saving tools, he lamented. Many countries still have not received any vaccines, and most have not received enough. Covax, the international vaccine-sharing initiative -- led by the WHO) and other international organisations -- has shipped just over 100 million doses, so far. Ghebreyesus stated that inequity has created a two-track pandemic -- namely, one track for countries with the greatest access to vaccines, who are lifting restrictions and reopening their societies, and a second track for those without vaccine access who are left “at the mercy of the Beneficiaries wait to get a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Shri Krishna Memorial Hall, in Patna on Thursday. ANI virus”. He reiterated WHO’s appeal for a massive push to vaccinate at least 10 per cent of the population of every country by September, at least 40 percent by the end of 2021, and at least 70 per cent by mid-2022. Emphasising that vaccines alone will not stop the pandemic, he also called upon countries to persist with a “tailored and consistent approach”. This includes using the full array of public health and social measures, and a comprehensive risk management approach to mass gatherings. “So many countries around the world have shown that this virus can be stopped and contained with these measures,” he stressed. The global health agency is also reviewing options to digitalise the International Certificate for Vaccination and Prophylaxis, THE SPREAD OF THE DELTA VARIANT, ALONG WITH INCREASED SOCIAL MOBILITY AND THE INCONSISTENT USE OF PROVEN PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES, IS DRIVING AN INCREASE IN BOTH CASE NUMBERS AND DEATHS, HE SAID AT THE 8TH MEETING OF THE INTERNATIONAL HEALTH REGULATIONS EMERGENCY COMMITTEE ON WEDNESDAY. to support a harmonised approach for recording vaccination status. Meanwhile, India’s cumulative Covid-19 vaccination coverage has crossed the landmark of 39 crore that includes 34,97,058 shots administered across the country in the past 24 hours. Cumulatively, 39,13,40,491 vaccine doses have been administered through 49,41,567 sessions, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) citing the provisional report received till 7 a.m. on Thursday. In the ongoing massive vaccination coverage, 1,02,59,902 Healthcare Workers (HCWs) have been so far administered first dose of the anti-Covid jabs and 74,67,814 of them have been provided second dose. A total of 1,77,49,670 Frontline Workers (FLWs) have received first dose of the vaccine and 1,01,08,761 have been administered the second dose. The vaccination exercise, which is claimed to be world’s largest drive, has so far covered 11,80,17,979 people aged between 18-44 who have got their first dose and 42,03,947 have received their second dose.