TheIndian EXPRESS LATE CITY, 20 PAGES, KOLKATA `4.00 (`12 IN NORTH EAST STATES & ANDAMAN) ● SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE PASSIVE EUTHANASIA, LIVING WILL PERMITTED SC: Terminally ill will be allowed to pull the plug ANANTHAKRISHNAN G BUSINESS AS USUAL NEW DELHI, MARCH 9 INAlandmarkrulingthatmakes itlegalforaterminallyillindividual to decline use of life support measures and allows families of those in incurable coma to withdraw such measures to reduce the period of suffering, the SupremeCourtFridaypermitted passiveeuthanasia.Italsorecognised the right to an advance directive (also called living will), spelling out views and wishes regarding medical treatment in terminally ill cases. A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, ruled that “smoothening” the process of death for terminally ill patients with no chance of recovery was integral to life with dignity. The ruling, which runs into 538 pages, came on a petition filed by NGO Common Cause. “Thisisanimportant,historicdecision which clears the air. Everybody will breathe a sigh of relief because people were earlier apprehensive that if they withdrew life support, they couldbeprosecutedforculpable homicide,” Prashant Bhushan, lawyer for Common Cause, said. The Constitution Bench, interpretingArticle21whichdeals with the right to life or personal liberty, said “it has to be stated without any trace of doubt that the right to life with dignity has to include the smoothening of the process of dying when the person is in a vegetative state or is living exclusively by the administration of artificial aid that prolongslifebyarrestingthedignified and inevitable process of dying”. The judges said that the “right of a dying man to die with dignity when life is ebbing out, and in the case of a terminally ill WEST BENGAL, P 4 ● BJP WORKERS ‘PURIFY’ BUSTS OF SYAMA PRASAD MOOKERJEE ACROSS STATE ● MEGA TALENT HUNT IN DARJEELING HILLS 10 THE EDITORIAL PAGE Changing story of new India By MANISH SABHARWAL BY UNNY There are safeguards, lest it be misused ANANTHAKRISHNAN G NEW DELHI, MARCH 9 patientorapersoninpermanent vegetative state, where there is no hope of recovery, accelerating the process of death for reducing the period of suffering constitutes a right to live with dignity”. “Our directions with regard to the advance directive and the safeguards...shallremaininforce till Parliament makes legislation on this subject,” CJI Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar, who authored the main judgement, said. Justices A K Sikri, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan wrote three separate judgements, concurring with the main verdict. Passive euthanasia refers to speeding up the process of dying by withholding life-prolongingmeasuresandresources.This could be either at the express or implied request of the person (voluntary euthanasia) or in the absence of such approval/consent (non-voluntary euthanasia). On advance directive, CJI Misra said though there was no legal framework in India, the Supreme Court was obliged to protect the right of the citizens enshrinedunderArticle21of the Constitution. “In our considered opinion, advance medical directive would serve as a fruitful CONTINUEDONPAGE2 RECOGNISING THE right of a person to execute an advance directive that would specify his/her choice of medical treatmentincaseof aterminalillness, the Supreme Court also laid down the procedure to be followed, and elaborate safeguards lest the facility be misused. This is what the Constitution Bench said: WHO ■ The advance directive can be executed only by an adult who is of sound and healthy mind and inapositiontocommunicate,relate and comprehend the purpose and consequences of executing the document. ■ It must be voluntarily executed, without any coercion or inducement or compulsion and after full knowledge or information. It shall be in writing, clearly stating when medicaltreatment may be withdrawn or that no specific treatment be given to delay the process of death. ■ In the event of more than one valid advance directive, none of which have been revoked, the mostrecentlysignedadvancedirective will be considered. HOW ■ The document should be signed by the executor in the presence of two attesting witnesses, preferably independent, and countersigned by the jurisdictionalJudicialMagistrateFirst Class. ■ The magistrate shall preserve a copy in his office besides one indigitalformatandforwardone MUMBAI, MARCH 9 UPACHAIRPERSONSoniaGandhi Friday said the BJP had managed to “convince” people that the Congress was a “Muslim party” andindicatedthatCongresspresident Rahul Gandhi’s visits to temples was an attempt to shed that perception. “The BJP has managed to, I don’t say brainwash because that is a rude word, but it has managed to convince people, to persuade people that the CongresspartyisaMuslimparty. In my party, the great majority is Hindu. Yes, there are Muslims too. So I fail to understand this branding us as a Muslim party,” she said at the India Today Conclave in Mumbai. She also said the Congress hadbeen“pushedintoa corner” and so felt the need to draw attention, rather than keeping quiet,toRahul’sfrequenttemple visits before the Gujarat assembly elections in December 2017. WHEN ■If theexecutorbecomesterminally ill and is undergoing treatment with no hope of recovery, the physician, on being made aware about the advance directive, will ascertain its authenticity from the JMFC before acting upon it. ■If thephysiciantreatingthepatient is satisfied, he shall inform the executor or his guardian/close relative, as the case may be, about the nature of illness, the availability of medical care and consequences of alternative forms of treatment, and the consequences of remaining untreated. ■ The physician must also ensure that he believes on reasonablegroundsthatthepersonunderstands the information provided, has cogitated over the options and has come to a firm view that the option of withdrawal or refusal of medical treatment is the best choice. WHAT NEXT ■ The physician/hospital where the executor has been admitted shall then constitute a medical board. If the board certifies that theinstructionscontainedinthe advance directive ought to be CONTINUEDONPAGE2 Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Manik Sarkar, former Left Front chief minister, at the swearing-in ceremony of the BJPled government in Agartala, Friday. Abhisek Saha Tripura govt for those who voted for us and those who didn’t: PM ESHA ROY BJP’s Biplab Deb becomes CM, ends 25 years of Left rule AGARTALA, MARCH 9 MINUTESAFTERBiplabDebwas sworn in as the first BJP Chief Minister of Tripura on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi walked across the stage to greet Manik Sarkar, the CPM leader who headed the state government for the last 20 years. Later, Modi returned and walkedSarkaroff thestageatthe Assam Rifles grounds, all the while holding his hands. Right before Sarkar made his exit, Deb touchedSarkar’sfeet,seekinghis blessings.Onthedais,theformer chief minister was seated between the two veteran BJP leaders L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi. Biplab Kumar Deb takes oath in Agartala. Abhisek Saha As these images, capturing the political transition in the northeasternstate,playedouton stage, thousands of BJP supporters gathered below burst into cheers. Sarkar, still a popular leader despitehisparty’sdefeatafter25 years in power, had decided to attend the ceremony after being personally invited by Deb and BJP general secretary Ram Madhav. On Friday, he looked on as seven MLAs were sworn in, includingtwofromtheIPFT—its president N C Debbarma and generalsecretaryMevarJamatia. After the ceremony, the Prime Minister addressed a rally at the venue and called the Tripura elections “nothing short of historic”. “There are some elections in Trinamool to support Cong’s Singhvi in Rajya Sabha elections from Bengal Sonia: BJP managed to convince people we are a Muslim party EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE copy to the registry of the jurisdictional district court. ■ The magistrate shall inform immediate family members of theexecutor,if notpresentatthe time of execution, and make themawareaboutit.Acopyshall be handed over to the competent officer of the local government or the municipal corporation or municipality or panchayat. Then,hisvisitshadsparkedadebate on whether the Congress party was resorting to ‘soft Hindutva’. Gandhi said that as a family, theyhavealwaysvisitedtemples but never made it a spectacle. “We have always been to temples. When I used to travel with Rajiv, wherever we went, we would visit at least one major, important temple. We never made a show of it. It was quite a natural thing. Rahul has gone to temples before,” she said. Asked if Rahul’s temple visits were aimed at not letting the BJP monopolise the Hindutva movement, she said, “There is a bit of that because we have been pushed into a corner. Perhaps rather than going to a temple quietly, may be, a little more public focus on that.” In her address, Gandhi, a Member of Parliament from Rae Bareli, also took on the Narendra Modi-led NDA government. She said India’s liberal and open democracy was giving way CONTINUEDONPAGE2 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, MARCH 9 WITH AN eye on Opposition unity ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, West Bengal Chief MinisterMamataBanerjee on Friday said her party TrinamoolCongresswillsupport Congress’ Abhishek Manu Singhvi in the March 23 Rajya Sabha polls from the state. While the Congress is yet to officially announce the name of Singhvi as its candidate from Bengal, state Congress president Adhirchowdhuryconfirmedthe same. “Singhviji has been nominated by Sonia Gandhi herself,” he told The Indian Express. Mamata,meanwhile,named Dr Shantanu Sen, Subhasish Chakraborty, Abir Biswas and Nadimul Haque as the Trinamool candidates for the elections from the state. Speakingatanextendedcore committee meeting of the party at Nazrul Mancha in Kolkata, Mamata said: “Today, we have taken the decision for a better cause. We have been requested Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at a party meeting in Kolkata on Friday. Subham Dutta to support the fifth Rajya Sabha candidate from West Bengal, fielded by the Congress. Therefore, we have decided to supportAbhishekManuSinghvi, the Congress’ Rajya Sabha candidate.” “We are supporting him because he had fought several (legal) cases on behalf of the state government. Singhvi and Kapil Sibal usually fights cases on our behalf.So,wearesupportingthe Congress candidate, as the CPM didnotfieldacandidatefromthe state,” she added. On March 23, five Rajya Sabha candidates would be elected from West Bengal. By its strength in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly, Trinamool will get to elect four candidates while the Opposition will get to field the fifth candidate. With Congress fielding Singhvi, Trinamool has not fielded a candidate for the fifth seat. Among the four candidates fielded by Trinamool, only Nadimul Haque has been renominated. Among those from the Trinamool whose terms in the Rajya Sabha would end in April are Kunal Ghosh and Mukul Roy. While Ghosh, an accused in the Saradha chit fund scam, had been indefinitely suspended by the party, Roy had quit his seat and left Trinamool to join BJP. The other two Trinamool MPs set to retire are Vivek Gupta and Nadimal Haque. The fifth seat is being vacated by Tapan Sen of the CPM. Without naming Roy and Ghosh, Mamata said: “This time, we are not fielding anyone whosetenureasRajyaSabhaMP has ended... One of them betrayed the party and resigned from the post. Another had the opportunity to remain a Rajya Sabha member for six years. Instead of making party leaders candidates, this time we are making party workers our candidates.” India’s political history that are forever remembered. These handful of elections are discussed and analysed for years aftertheytakeplace.Thiswasone such election. Tripura’s election this year has been one of extreme importance in India’s democracy. And this is how Tripura’s election will go down in India’s history — as history having been created,’’ he said. “Today, Diwali will be celebratedinTripuraoncemore.The people of Tripura can expect withnewhopeandrenewedenthusiasm, Tripura’s march toward development,” said Modi. Against the backdrop of CPM CONTINUEDONPAGE2 Trump stuns world: I plan to meet Kim STEVE HOLLAND WASHINGTON, MARCH 9 US PRESIDENT Donald Trump said he was prepared to meet North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in what would be the first face-toface encounter between leaders from the two countries and could mark a breakthrough over the North’s nuclear weapons. Kim had “committed to denuclearisation” and to suspendingnuclearandmissiletests,said South Korea’s National Security Office head Chung Eui-yong after briefing Trump on a meeting South Korean officials held with Kim earlier this week. “Ameetingisbeingplanned,” Trump said on Twitter after speaking to Chung, setting up what would be his biggest foreign policy gamble since taking office in January 2017. REUTERS FULL COVERAGE PAGE 14 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR MP RELEASED SURGE OF WATER FOR NARMADA DAM INAUGURATION, THEN SHUT TAP NEW DELHI, MARCH 9 ON SEPTEMBER 17, 2017, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Narmada district’s Kevadia, the water level in the reservoir was 129.58 m, just one metre short of the all-time high it has ever reached. It was five weeks before the Gujarat elections. Official records show the high level that day was achieved mainly because BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh released an unusual amount of water from upstream dams over five days until the inauguration. In fact, on three of those five days, records show, the rate of flow into the reservoir was five times the limit — “0.3 metres in 48 hours” for initial filling — set bytheCentralWaterCommission (CWC),theapexwaterregulatory body. The surge stopped the day of the ceremony (see charts). While a former chairman of the CWC described the unprecedented release of water over those five days as optics for the inauguration ceremony, officials associated with the dam said it waspartof adamsafetyexercise and that the timing was just “a coincidence”. Today,withGujaratstaringat a harsh summer, the state gov- IN 5 DAYS, WATER LEVEL ROSE BY 3.39 METRES WATER LEVEL (METRES) SOWMIYA ASHOK 132 128 129.58 126.19 124 120 September12-17 116 August1,2017 AugustDecember 2017 December31,2017 Source: Narmada Control Authority ernment has announced that it will stop supplying water from the dam for irrigation of crops from March 15. Now consider what official records of the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) show about the unusual surge in flow of water from September 12-17, 2017: ■ Levels swelled by 3.39 m in those five days. In contrast, it took 28 days, from August 1-28, 2017,fortheleveltorisebyabout 2 m. It then took 15 days, from August28-September12,forthe reservoir to swell by 3.24 m. ■ The live storage of the reservoir gained 777 million cubic metres (MCM) of water. MP released720.8MCMinthisperiod. Live storage is the portion of water that can be released for irrigation, and supply through power stations. ■Onaverage,19,31,400litresper secondflowedintothereservoir, as compared to an average of 3,63,300 litres per second the previous week — a nearly sixfold jump. ■ The level began declining a week after, touching a peak of 130.75 metres on September 25— the full reservoir level (FRL) is 138.68 metres. When contacted, a senior official of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNNL) said the water was re- leased for safety inspections — the first time since the gates were lowered on June 17, 2017. “Dam safety inspections were necessary by maintaining reservoir levels as per Indian Standard Codal provisions for the first-time filling of the dam and as decided in the 51st meeting of the Sardar Sarovar ReservoirRegulationCommittee held on June 27, 2017, in New Delhi,” said SSNNL’s general managerin-charge(techandcoord) A K Sharma. “Therefore, Gujarat had requestedtoreleaseitsshareof the utilisable water in the Narmada Basinsothattestingcouldbeundertaken,” he said in an emailed response.Thespikeisjustacoin- cidence, said an official of the Narmada Control Authority (NCA), set up to monitor the sharing of Narmada water. “The dam was filled in accordance with a filling schedule to conduct a dam safety exercise to check inundation levels,” said the official, who did not wish to be identified. Despite repeated attempts by The Indian Express, Lal Singh Arya, MP Minister of State for Narmada Valley Development, were not available for comment. Rajneesh Vaish, vice chairman, Narmada Valley Development Corporation,declinedcomment. In a statement Friday, Nitin Patel, Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister and in-charge of Narmada, acknowledged that the allocation of the river’s water to Gujarat is not linked with what is available in the Sardar Sarovar dam, but on the total available in the entire basin, particularly in MP. “In the current year, due to installation of gates, the storage of water in Sardar Sarovar dam has increased. However, due to less rainfall, other dams of Madhya Pradesh, like Indirasagar,Bargi,Tavaandother medium-size dams, have witnessed significant reduction of water storage... This makes it clear that our share of water depends on the storage of water by MP,” Patel said. CONTINUEDONPAGE2
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