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HP Cabinet gives nod for conducting Municipal Corporation polls on party symbols

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Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) [India], February 23 (ANI): The Cabinet has decided to amend the Himachal Pradesh Municipal Corporation Act and the Himachal Pradesh Municipal Corporation Elections Rules for conducting elections on party symbols and provision of reservation for OBCs and disqualification on grounds of defection.
The State Cabinet in its meeting held here on Tuesday under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur decided to carry out amendments in Himachal Pradesh Municipal Corporation Act, 1994 and Himachal Pradesh Municipal Corporation Elections Rules, 2012, according to an official release by the state government.
These amendments would pave way for conducting elections to Municipal Corporations on party symbols, provide reservation for Other Backward Class (OBCs), provision of disqualification on grounds of defection, and strengthen provisions of the no-confidence motion.
It also gave its nod to the Governor’s address to be delivered during the budget session of the Vidhan Sabha.
The Cabinet gave its approval to provide government land on a lease basis at the rate of Rs 1 per month for a period of 99 years in Mauja Dhaulakuan Tehsil Paonta Sahib district Sirmaur for the benefit of the farmers.
It gave its consent to construct additional accommodation at Rest House Sundernagar in Mandi district at a cost of Rs 3.90 crore to provide better boarding and lodging facilities to the employees and general public during official tours.
The Cabinet also decided to extend the special land acquisition unit at Nalagarh in Solan district and engage staff on a re-employment/fixed emoluments basis for a period of one year from January 1, 2021.
To ensure the safety of the people by motivating the people to adopt safe driving, the Cabinet approved the proposal to modify penalties/fines under Section 210A of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 as well as to specific authorities competent to compound the offences under Section 200 of the Act. It also agreed to extend the engagement of 2,555 School Management Committee (SMC) teachers already engaged under SMC teachers Policy in Elementary and Higher Education Departments for the academic session 2021-22.
The Cabinet gave its consent to rename Government Senior Secondary School Manoh in Hamirpur district as ‘Shaheed Ankush Thakur Government Senior Secondary School, Manoh’ as a mark of respect to the Galwan ‘martyr’ Ankush Thakur.
Moreover, it has decided to implement Mukhya Mantri Krishi Kosh Scheme for Farmer’s Producer Organisations (FPOs)-2020 for providing incentives, concessions, and facilities for eligible FPOs of the State. Under the scheme, FPOs could avail seed money upto 30 percent of the total project cost with a maximum ceiling of Rs 6,00,000 or one and half times of equity raised by the FPOs, whichever was less. The scheme would also ensure credit guarantee cover for bank loan, interest subsidy etc. (ANI)

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Delhi HC says weight in claim for declaring persons associated with judicial functioning as frontline workers to receive COVID-19 vaccination

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By Amiya Kumar Kushwaha
New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): Taking suo-motu cognisance of demand for inclusion of all associated with judicial functioning as frontline workers, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to Secretary, Principal Secretary of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the Government of National Capital Territory (GNCT) of Delhi, Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech.
“There is weight in a claim made by Bar Council of Delhi for declaring all associated with judicial functioning including Judges, Court Staff and lawyers as frontline workers so they could receive COVID-19 vaccination on priority, without limitations of age/physical condition,” the Delhi HC said.
A Division Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli took this decision while initiating a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) of its own.
The court took this decision after receiving communication by Ramesh Gupta, Chairman, Bar Council of Delhi.
The court listed the matter for today for further hearing.
The Chairman, Bar Council of Delhi has sent a communication to the Chief Justice on March 1 requesting that appropriate directions be issued to the concerned authorities to make available necessary infrastructure on Court premises.
The Full Court of the Delhi High Court has already taken a decision to re-open the full-fledged physical functioning of the Delhi High Court and all Courts subordinate to it from Monday (March 15).
The Court said that there is a clear pattern emerging that the number of COVID-19 positive cases increase with greater intermingling and congregation of people.
The HC observed that the need of the hour is to vaccinate the masses, in view of the raging pandemic, on a war footing so as to secure the life and health of all those who step out of their homes to attend to their avocations and professions.
Courts, by their very nature, are places which have very high density congregations of people on a daily basis. Thousands of cases are listed in any given court complex every day. Apart from judges, the court staff and advocates, a large number of litigants visit Courts in which their cases are listed, on a daily basis, the Delhi High Court said in its order.
In fact, the number of persons visiting a Court complex -Tiz Hazari Courts on any given day, may well be in excess of the number of persons visiting and thronging the hospital for treatment of patients, the Court also noted. (ANI)

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Inspired by PM Modi’s vision, Srabanti Chatterjee says will now work for BJP’s ‘Sonar Bangla’

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By Ujjwal Roy
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 4 (ANI): The game is afoot for actor Srabanti Chatterjee, who recently made her political debut in West Bengal politics by joining BJP.
Chatterjee, who was once seen to be close to the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and had campaigned for several state government schemes said she joined BJP as she was inspired by the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and wanted people in the state to give a chance to the party in the forthcoming Assembly polls.
On sharing the same dias with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on different occasions, she said: “I have never got any proposal from the TMC. But yes, I respect Didi (Mamata Banerjee). I have been on the same platform with her. I went with her many times during campaigns. When it comes to ideology, I support BJP. This is the party, I can work with. I like the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
The 33-year-old who entered Bengali film industry at the age of 10 said: “People have seen me on the silver screen till today and have given me their love. Now, I want to work for the people on the ground. I want to work for the development of Bengal. BJP has worked for the development of the country. People across the nation support the party.”
BJP has been aggressively campaigning in the state, which has been governed predominantly by the Left Front and the TMC .
Chatterjee said the Left party had ruled West Bengal for 34 years and the TMC was in power for another 10 years. “There has not been as much development as it should have been in Bengal. There should be one government at the Centre and in the state to have more development.
“People should give a chance to BJP. Bengal requires a change. Being a Bengali, I feel there has been no development in the last ten years. Now, the people and the BJP will transform Bengal into ‘Sonar Bangla’,” she told ANI in an interview.
For the ensuing polls, the TMC has released the slogan ‘khela hobe’ (Game on) slogan, which Chatterjee said is quite catchy and the game is on for everybody in the political arena.
“I really like the slogan. See, we all are playing. Be it politics, acting or sports, everyone is playing in their fields. So ‘khela hobe’,” the actor said.
While Chatterjee has expressed her keenness to contest elections, she said she has left it to the party to decide. “I would like to contest elections. Whatever responsibility is given to me by the party and organisation, I will do that. The people of Bengal have given me a lot of love. Wherever the party gives me a ticket, I will contest from there.”
The actor said she was offered a chance to contest the Lok Sabha elections in 2019 by the BJP but she could not make her mind at that time.
On TMC’s slogan “Bangla Nijer Meyeke Chaye” (Bengal wants its own daughter), the actor said, “I am also a daughter of Bengal. I believe people will stand by me. They will stand by BJP to bring ‘Parivartan’ in Bengal.”
The actor further asserted that slogan ‘Jai Shri Ram’ offers her peace of mind. “I would like to say that I am a Hindu, I worship lord Ram. I worship Krishna. I like the slogan very much. It offers peace of mind. I do not think anyone should angry on ‘Jai Shri Ram’,” said Chatterjee.
The actor also commented on the raging ‘outsiders’ versus ‘insiders’ debate in the state which Mamata Banerjee has dismissed the BJP as a “party of outsiders” and the latter countering her by alleging that she favours “illegal immigrants” over Indians in Bengal for vote bank politics.
“Our Indian tradition has been of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. I think the word ‘outsider’ is not right. It should not be spoken for anyone, I go to other states and countries for shooting. I still get the same love as I have received from the people of Bengal and the country. I think that we are all one, we are all Indians, everyone is welcome in Bengal,” Chatterjee said.
The actor had joined the BJP in Kolkata on March 1 in the presence of West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh and party’s election in-charge in the state, Kailash Vijayvargiya.
Elections for the 294 Assembly seats in West Bengal will begin on March 27. The state is set to witness eight-phase Assembly polls this year. (ANI)

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CBDT issues clarification on residency under Income Tax Act

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New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Wednesday issued a clarification in respect of residency under the Income Tax Act, 1961 vide Circular No.2 of 2021 dated March 3. If any individual is facing double taxation even after taking into account the relief provided by the relevant Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), they now have a solution.
According to a statement issued by CBDT, “The Central Board of Direct Taxes has received various representations for relaxation in the determination of the residential status of previous year 2020-21 from individuals who have come on a visit to India during the previous year 2019-20 and intended to leave India but could not do so due to suspension of international flights. The matters have since been examined by CBDT.”
In this context, Circular number 2 has been issued by CBDT which stated that if any individual is facing double taxation even after taking into account the relief provided by the relevant Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), he/she may furnish the specified information by March 31, 2021 in Form -NR annexed to the circular.
As per the CBDT, this form is to be submitted electronically to the Principal Chief Commissioner of Income-Tax (International Taxation). The circular can be accessed on the Income Tax Department official website.
Meanwhile, the re-appointment of Pramod Chandra Mody as Chairman of the CBDT has been extended for a further period of three months. Mody is a 1982-batch Indian Revenue Service officer, was appointed as the CBDT chief in February 2019. (ANI)

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Pooja Chavan death case: Police register non-cognisable offence against BJP leaders, activist Trupti Desai

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Washim (Maharashtra) [India], March 3 (ANI): Washim Police in Maharashtra on Wednesday registered a non-cognizable offence against a few Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and activist Trupti Desai for allegedly defaming members of the Banjara community.
“Washim Police in Maharashtra has registered a non-cognizable offence under sections 500 and 501 against BJP leaders and women activist Trupti Desai for allegedly defaming deceased popular social media celebrity Pooja Chavan, her family and Banjara community,” read the statement by police in Marathi.
The persons named for the offence were National Banjara Council’s Washim district youth president Shyam Sardar Rathod, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and BJP leaders including Pravin Darekar, Chitra Wagh and Ashish Shelar, the statement read.
The statement alleged that the former Chief Minister hindered the investigation process despite ordering an inquiry into the matter.
After Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Rathod resigned from the Maharashtra cabinet over his alleged involvement in the death case of 22-year-old girl Pooja Chavan, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on February 28 said that everyone should get justice adding that the matter is under investigation.
On February 27, BJP District Women’s Front staged a “Rasta Roko” Andolan at Mumbai’s Goregaon, demanding a probe in the Pooja Chavan suicide case and the resignation of Maharashtra Forest Minister Sanjay Rathod, who is allegedly involved in the death of the 22-year-old woman.
On February 8, Chavan had allegedly jumped off a building to end her life. Hailing from Parli town in Beed, Pooja had gone to Pune for an English speaking course. She lived in Heaven Park society along with two persons, who are reported to be her brother and one of his friends.
A couple of days after her death, some of her audio clips went viral on social media which the opposition took up and pointed accusing fingers at the Maharashtra Forest Minister Sanjay Rathod, demanding an investigation into the case.
The BJP has alleged that Rathod is connected with the mysterious death of the woman in Pune. However, Rathod has denied all allegations.
As per procedure, an accidental death (AD) case was registered with the Wanawadi police station in Pune. No complaint has so far been registered by Chavan’s family. (ANI)

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Tejashwi Yadav calls IT raids at properties of Anurag Kashyap, Taapsee Pannu a ‘political vendetta’

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Patna (Bihar) [India], March 3 (ANI): After the Income Tax Department conducted raids at the properties of film director Anurag Kashyap and actor Taapsee Pannu in Mumbai on Wednesday, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav slammed the Centre saying “it is a political vendetta”.
“BJP misuses institutions like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED), and IT Department for political benefits. It is a political vendetta. There is a dictator who does not want to listen to voices against him. He destroyed all institutions,” Yadav told ANI.
Earlier today, Income Tax officials conducted raids at the properties of film director Anurag Kashyap, film producer Vikas Bahl and actor Taapsee Pannu in Mumbai, sources said.
Offices and residences of Kashyap, Bahl and Pannu were searched in the raids, sources in the Income Tax Department added. (ANI)

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J-K police organises ‘play for peace’ cricket tournament in Srinagar

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Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], March 3 (ANI): With an aim to boost the fitness level of youth and promoting sports activities in the Kashmir valley, Jammu and Kashmir police on Wednesday organized a ‘play for peace’ cricket tournament.
Speaking to ANI, District Inspector General of Central Kashmir Range, Amit Kumar told ANI: “The basic theme for carrying out this initiative is to do talent hunting and talent sporting. 3 teams from 6 were finalists. It includes winners and runner-ups. After evaluating the performance of players, the select committee will encourage these players to participate in cricket at the district and national levels. We have provided a different avenue for youth to showcase their talent.”

Afaan Ayoub, a player told ANI: “It is a great opportunity for youngsters like us. Under-19 cricket teams were playing these matches. Ganderbal, Balgam, Srinagar were the 3 districts that participated. Two teams each from three districts participated. I thank the Jammu and Kashmir police. We are happy.”
Shahnawaz, another player said, “I played for Gandherbal team. I thank the Ganderbal police. The matches were well organized. The cricket ground was well maintained. We enjoyed playing the match. We are working towards developing our physical fitness.”

Gowhar Hussain, a player told ANI: “Despite such heavy snowfall, the ground was well maintained. Also, these matches give us a chance to work upon our fitness. We enjoyed playing the match. I thank the efforts of the police.”
On November 24, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha attended the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council with cricketer Suresh Raina to set up Cricket Academy in the Union Territory.
Speaking to the media, Raina, who had announced his retirement from international cricket on August 15 this year, said that the opening of the new academy was a good opportunity for youths to showcase their skills. (ANI)

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