New Delhi [India], February 9 (ANI): The Uttar Pradesh government on Monday raised the question before the Supreme Court on why the Punjab government was defending gangster Mukhtar Ansari and claimed that he is ‘enjoying’ in the jail there.
Appearing before the bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath government argued that Ansari is being “vociferously defended by the state of Punjab”.
“How can the state of Punjab support Ansari so much? Affidavit of Punjab has much to be desired. It says that Ansari is suffering from depression. He is enjoying in Punjab jail,” Mehta said.
Solicitor General said that the Punjab government is “supporting a terrorist”.
“He (Ansari) says he belongs to a family of a freedom fighter. He is a gangster. There are very serious cases pending and the trial of the same is pending in Uttar Pradesh. It’s a question of serious significance. He has been facing serious charges where summons were issued. He got an FIR filed in Punjab and did not even file for bail there and is enjoying in Punjab,” he added.
The top court now posted the matter for hearing on February 24.
The Bench was hearing a plea filed by the Uttar Pradesh government seeking transfer of custody of mafia don and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA Mukhtar Ansari, from Punjab to UP to face trial in as many as 14 cases pending over there.
Recently, Punjab asked the apex court to reject the request of the UP government to shift Ansari while citing that he is suffering from hypertension, diabetes, depression, back pain, and skin allergy.
The Bench had earlier sought the Punjab government and gangster Ansari’s response on the plea. It had also asked the Punjab government and Ansari to file a detailed reply on a pending case against the politician turned gangster, the status of the trial and his medical condition.
Yogi Adityanath government had earlier told the top court that serious charges are pending in Uttar Pradesh against Ansari. He has remained in Punjab for two years in a “minor case”.
Uttar Pradesh government had also said that either Ansari should be transferred to UP to face trial, or the case in Punjab to be transferred to a UP court if a chargesheet has been filed. The Yogi Adityanath government had alleged that no chargesheet has been filed in Punjab so far.
“Ansari trying to “play with the federal structure” and misuse provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure,” the plea said.
The Yogi Adityanath government had approached the Supreme Court to bring Ansari to the state for appearance before a UP court. Ansari’s name is involved in many criminal cases involving murder and Gangster Act among other charges.
Ansari, MLA from Mau remained lodged in a Ropar jail in Punjab since January 2019 where he was named in an extortion case. Since then Ansari has not applied for bail in the FIR registered in Punjab and the police have also not filed any charge-sheet against him.
Earlier, several production warrants were issued against Ansari but Punjab Police did not allow him to be shifted to Uttar Pradesh on the grounds of ill health.
On his part, Ansari has apprehended a threat to his life in Uttar Pradesh and sought to appear in cases through video conferencing only.
The Yogi Adityanath government has taken tough measures against Mukhtar Ansari and people running illegal businesses under his name. Alleged illegal properties worth crores of rupees related to Ansari in Lucknow, Mau and Ghazipur have been demolished by the state agencies. (ANI)
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CBI probe into WB coal mining scam: SC asks Centre to respond on plea challenging Calcutta HC order
New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): Supreme Court has on Monday sought response of the central government within a week on a plea challenging the order of the Calcutta High Court that allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe a case pertaining to illegal mining and transportation of coal through Railways in West Bengal, without the state’s consent.
A bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Dr D Y Chandrachud, asked the Solicitor General (SG), Tushar Mehta, to file a detailed report within a week and posted the matter for further hearing to March 10 after going through the appeal filed by the prime accused, Anup Majee.
In this particular illegal coal mining case, in West Bengal, the CBI had already interrogated Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of State Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee.
On the appeal of Majee, the state government had filed an affidavit and stated that the CBI didn’t have the jurisdiction to probe this case, as the state had not given its consent to CBI to go ahead with its investigation. But the same case is still being investigated by the CBI, the state government said in its reply. (ANI)
Six states contribute to 87 per cent of new COVID-19 cases in India
New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday said six states in India continue to report an increased number of daily new cases and have contributed 87.25 per cent of the fresh infection in the country.
The ministry said Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, have shown a surge in new cases in the last 24 hours.
“15,510 new cases were registered in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra continues to report the highest daily new cases at 8,293. It is followed by Kerala with 3,254 while Punjab has reported 579 new cases,” it said.
According to the health ministry, the eight states are displaying an upward trajectory in the daily new cases.
Meanwhile, India’s total active caseload is 1,68,627 today and the present active caseload now stands at 1.52 per cent of total positive cases.
Five states account for 84 per cent of total active cases in the country.
Maharashtra alone accounts for 46.39 per cent of India’s total active cases, followed by Kerala with 29.49 per cent.
Total 21 states and UTs have reported less than 1,000 active cases whereas Arunachal Pradesh has reported no active cases in the last 24 hours.
Fifteen states and UTs have registered more than 1,000 active cases.
Also, Kerala and Maharashtra are the two states with more than 10,000 active cases, while the rest of the 13 states and UTs have between 1,000-10,000 active cases.
“So far, a total of 1,43,01,266 vaccine doses have been administered to beneficiaries through 2,92,312 sessions. These include 1st dose of 66,69,985 HCWs, 2nd dose of 24,56,191 HCWs and 51,75,090 FLWs who have taken the 1st dose,” it said.
The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination has commenced from today for those who are over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions.
A simplified process of registration has been set up, whereby potential beneficiaries can have the option of advance self-registration, on-site registration or facilitated cohort registration.
More than 1.07 crore (1,07,86,457) people has recovered so far. 11,288 patients have recovered and got discharged in the last 24 hours.
The ministry said 85.07 per cent of the new recovered cases are observed to be concentrated in six states.
Kerala has reported the maximum number of single-day recoveries with 4,333 newly recovered cases. 3,753 people recovered in Maharashtra in the past 24 hours followed by 490 in Tamil Nadu.
106 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.
“Five states account for 86.79 per cent of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (62). Kerala follows with 15 daily deaths and Punjab has reported 7 deaths in the last 24 hours,” it added.
Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry, Assam, Manipur, Sikkim, Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Lakshadweep, Meghalaya, Ladakh (UT), Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Uttarakhand and Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli have not reported any COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours.
The Centre is continuously engaging with the states and UTs manifesting a higher caseload of active cases and those reporting a rise in the daily new COVID cases.
All the states and UTs have been advised to maintain a continued rigorous vigil for containing the spread of COVID-19. The need for effective testing, comprehensive tracking, prompt isolation of positive cases and quick quarantine of close contacts are strongly emphasised. (ANI)
PM Modi’s COVID-19 vaccination will help us in getting over hesitancy: AIIMS Director
New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi undergoing COVID-19 vaccination will go a long way in getting over vaccine hesitancy in the country, said All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Monday.
“PM Modi took the COVID-19 vaccine and showed the nation that we must do the same when our turn comes. It will go a long way in getting over vaccine hesitancy. I request all those over 60 years of age and those above 45 with comorbidities to register soon and get vaccinated,” the AIIMS Director told ANI.
“It is the only way to come out of the pandemic, bring mortality down and get the economy back on track… This will be a gamechanger and will motivate more people to come out and get vaccinated,” he added.
Guleria further said that by taking the Made in India, Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN vaccine, the Prime Minister showed the nation that both vaccines were safe.
“He (PM Modi) took the Made in India, Bharat Biotech COVAXIN, and showed that both vaccines are safe and efficacious. We must come forward and take whichever vaccine is available. The controversy about the efficacy of one of the vaccines has also been laid to rest today,” the AIIMS Director said.
He further lauded the Prime Minister’s calm demeanour which put the nurses at ease.
“The Prime Minister wanted to put the nurses at ease so he talked and joked with them. This really helped in a big way because the nurses were not aware of who they were going to vaccinate and were a little tense. The Prime Minister’s attitude put the nurses at ease,” he added.
Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the first dose of Covaxin, India’s homegrown coronavirus vaccine developed by biotechnology firm Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research, addressing the hesitancy over the COVID-19 vaccine.
Soon after receiving the first dose of the vaccine, Prime Minister tweeted, “Took my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS,” PM Modi tweeted with his picture of receiving the jab. Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19.”
The Covid-19 vaccines – Covaxin and Covishield, will be made available to the general public from today. As many as 1,43,01,266 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered so far. (ANI)
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar gets first dose of covid-19 vaccine on his birthday
Patna (Bihar) [India], March 1 (ANI): Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday, who turned 70 on Monday, took first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Patna and assured the people of the state that his government will provide vaccination free of cost.
“Vaccination will be absolutely free in the entire Bihar state. Such facility will be made available even at private hospitals, it will be facilitated by the state government,” Nitish Kumar said on Monday.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the first dose of Covaxin, India’s homegrown coronavirus vaccine developed by biotechnology firm Bharat Biotech and Indian Council of Medical Research, addressing the hesitancy over the COVID-19 vaccine.
PM Modi took the first dose of the vaccine at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi.
“Took my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS,” PM Modi tweeted with his picture of receiving the jab.
“Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19,” the Prime Minister added. (ANI)
No death has occurred due to Covid-19 vaccination, says Harsh Vardhan
New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on Monday stated that no death has occurred due to Covid-19 vaccination in the country so far.
Talking about the side effects of the Covid-19 vaccines, he said to ANI, “The side effects are minimal like swelling or fever. This sometimes happens during normal vaccination too. Hospitalisation due to vaccination is 0.0004 – it’s negligible. No death has occurred due to vaccination.”
The Union Health Minister further said, “If someone dies 4 days or 10 days after inoculation, you can’t link it to vaccination. Every death has been scientifically investigated. High powered experts committee evaluate it, no case has come yet that death is vaccine-induced.”
He also said that more than one crore frontline workers have been vaccinated so far and more than 20 countries are using our vaccines and added that questioning of the vaccines is politically motivated.
The second phase of the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive for age-appropriate population groups began on Monday with the Union Health Ministry calling out eligible people to get an appointment at respective hospitals in the country. (ANI)
No direct negotiation with ISF, want to finish seat sharing matter with Left soon, says Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury
By Joymala Bagchi
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 1 (ANI): West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Monday said there was no direct negotiation with Indian Secular Front (ISF) yet and they want to finish seat-sharing matter with Left at the soonest.
“Talks with Left party on alliance is on. We want to finish the seat-sharing matter with the Left soonest. In 2016 we came into an alliance and this time also things are in the same continuation,” said Chowdhury.
Asked about ISF’s alliance, he said, “No direct negotiation with ISF, meeting is continuing with Left. However one of our leaders spoke to them (ISF) but there has been no direct negotiation with our party.”
Yesterday while addressing the public at Brigade ground, ISF chief and Furfura Sharif cleric Abbas Siddiqui indirectly hinted at Congress saying “you may ask why I spoke about Left only and not Congress, the door is open.”
Meeting on seat sharing between Left and Congress is undergoing.
State of West Bengal would see Assembly elections in eight phases starting from March 27 and concluding on April 29 for its 294 Assembly seats. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
Importantly Model Code of Conduct (MCC) comes into force immediately after the announcement of the election dates. The commission has made adequate arrangements to ensure effective implementation of MCC guidelines. (ANI)
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