DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 28, 2021, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 14 PAGES ‘CAN’T BE MUTE SPECTATOR’ Parties get bonds worth Rs 695 crore for state polls Clarifybasis,rationale ofdifferentialvaccine pricing:SCtellsCentre GEORGE MATHEW MUMBAI, APRIL 27 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 INSIDE EC BANS VICTORY PROCESSIONS ON MAY 2 PAGE 5 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Completely false narrative that it didn't do enough, says Govt affidavit EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Work on a new Covid care centre that’s coming up at the Ramlila Ground, a popular site for demonstrations and political rallies in New Delhi. On Tuesday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal visited the site to review preparations. Praveen Khanna HC slams Delhi Govt for oxygen mess: If you can’t manage, will ask Centre to step in SOFI AHSAN NEW DELHI, APRIL 27 IN A strong indictment of the Delhi government's handling of the Covid-19 crisis in the Capital, theDelhiHighCourtsaiditsconfidence was “shaken” and that if the government cannot manage the situation, the court will ask the Centre to step in. “Set your house in order. Enough is enough. If you cannot manage it, tell us, then we will ask the central government to send their officers in and do it. We will ask them to take over. We cannot let people die like this,” a division bench of Justices VipinSanghiandRekhaPallisaid soon after asking the government to take over Seth Air Products, a cylinder supplying unit in Dwarka, which, it said, could be resorting to black marketing. Hauling up the government for alleged mismanagement in distribution of medical oxygen andblamingitforrampantblack marketing of oxygen cylinders and essential Covid-19 drugs in Delhi,thecourtdirectedthegovernment to inform by Wednesdayaboutstocksheldby gas refillers. It also sought a report from the state government on the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Never sought 5-star Covid facility, says High Court SOFI AHSAN NEW DELHI, APRIL 27 THE DELHI High Court Tuesday said it had not made any request to the Delhi government for settingupa100-roomCovidHealth Centre at Ashoka Hotel, a fivestar facility, for judges and judicial officers and their families. Initiating a suo motu public interestlitigation,theHighCourt issued a notice to the Delhi Chief Secretary and Sub-Divisional E NEW DELHI, APRIL 27 CENTRE’SVACCINE DARWINISM BY PRATAP BHANU MEHTA PAGE 8 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Oxygen crisis: More than supply, lack of tankers and plant location key challenges DEEPTIMAN TIWARY & HARIKISHAN SHARMA THE EDITORIAL PAGE Magistrate, Chanakyapuri, askingthemtofilearesponse.Italso said the media was not wrong in pointing to the order. “Thisisveryverymisleading. (The) High Court has not made anysuchrequestforallocationof any beds in five-star hospitals of this kind. There is absolutely no communication in this regard. We are taking cognisance of this andwehaveissuedanorder.You pleasefilearesponsetothis,”the division bench of Justices Vipin E X P L A I NE D WHENTHEELECTIONprocessin four states and one Union Territorywasinfullswingearlier this month, State Bank of India sold electoral bonds worth Rs 695.34croretodonorsof political parties for funding of elections. SBIsoldthebondsinthe16th seriesfromApril1toApril10this year.Ofthetotalsales,asmuchas Rs671crorecamethroughbonds with a face value of Rs one crore, Rs 23.70 crore bonds with a face valueofRs10lakh,andRs64lakh bonds with a face value of Rs one lakh, SBI said in reply to the RTI application filed by Commodore Lokesh K Batra (Retd). The process of elections for the legislative Assemblies of Kerala, Assam, West Bengal, TamilNaduandPuducherry(under the President’s rule) is currently underway. Voting for five Assembly elections began on March 27, with Assam going to polls first and West Bengal concluding it with its eighth phase of voting on April 29. According to SBI, political partieshavealreadyencashedRs 695.34 crore bonds. Only two bonds worth Rs 2,000 are yet to THE OXYGEN crisis during the second Covid surge has been precipitated by a shortage of tankers and the daunting logistics of transportation from distant locations — not by a dearth of LiquidMedicalOxygen(LMO), which is available in sufficient quantity, top officialsand key industry players told The Indian Express. Official figures show that on April 24, various industries pro- IAF has been airlifting containers from Singapore. PTI duced 9,103 metric tonnes (MT) of LMO against a previously existing capacity of 7,259 MT. On the same day, the sale of LMO stood at 7,017 MT. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was informed during a review meeting that production has increased from 5,700MTperdayinAugust2020 to 8,922 MT on April25thisyear. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Hurdleson ● theway MOST OF the oxygen plants are located in the east, leading to long transportation hauls and a turnaround time of at least 6-7 days for each tanker. Officials estimate that at any given point, there are only 200 tankers in transit to meet a demand of 3,500-4,000 MT. In ‘no shortage’ UP, a 12-hr wait, Allahabad HC steps in: heartbreak over a fallen cylinder judicial officers will track ‘chaotic’ situation in UP AVANEESH MISHRA KANPUR, APRIL 27 ANIL NIGAM, the Chief Medical SuperintendentUrsulaHorsman Memorial (UHM) Hospital in Kanpur Nagar, has his fingers crossed. Come Thursday, the hospital is expected to get an oxygen plant. “So far, by the grace of God, we have never run out of oxygen. But there were times when a 15-minute delay in cylinders would have caused problems. Every hour we need 10-12 cylinders," Nigam says. CONTINUEDONPAGE2 ASAD REHMAN LUCKNOW, APRIL 27 There are long lines outside oxygen supply and refilling stations in Kanpur. Avaneesh Mishra NOTING THAT the overall situation in major cities of Uttar Pradesh has become “very chaotic” due to the Covid surge, the Allahabad High Court Tuesday issued orders for judicial officers to be appointed as nodal officers in nine worst-hit districts who will report every weekend about the prevailing situation. The court said that “those in power must shun the attitude of ‘my way or no way’ and should welcome suggestions from all the quarters”. Hearing a PIL on the pandemic, a bench of Justices Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar said that the reports submitted by the nodal officers will be placed before it during hearings to ensure compliance of directions issued by the court to the state government. “...the ghost of Corona is marching on the roads and CONTINUEDONPAGE2 Delhi magistrate, 32, loses battle to Covid; held virtual hearing day after being discharged PAGE 1 ANCHOR ANAND MOHAN J NEW DELHI, APRIL 27 HE WAS NOT just a “majestic Magistrate”. A 6-feet avid cricketer, jovial and intelligent, KamranKhan,allof 32,wasbold, took quick decisions, and held court with a gentle heart. Metropolitan Magistrate Kamran Khan wouldn’t listen to lawyers at the Dwarka district court who pleaded with him to `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 rest a day after he was dischargedonApril15,havingbeen hospitalisedforCovid-19.Heput hisfoot down,andheld court via avirtuallink.Duringthehearing, he granted bail to a manaccused in an Arms Act case. This would be Khan's last hearing as a Metropolitan Magistrate—hisconditionworsened soon after, and he was shifted to the ICU at Delhi’s VimhansHospitalonApril18.He died early Tuesday morning. Lawyers who attended his court proceedings remember him as a patient judge whose courtroom seldom saw out- Khan was discharged from hospital on April 15 bursts.Hewouldratherhandout advice than chide those present. An avid cricketer who would turn up for practice matches with junior lawyers, Khan took itinhisstridewhenhisteamlost February’s judges versus advocates match. Khan,whocompletedhisLLB (Bachelor of Law) from Delhi University and LLM (Master of Law) from Kurukshetra University, was earlier posted at a local court in Haryana after graduatingfromDelhiUniversity. He is the second judge from Delhi to have died in this wave. On April 20, 47-year-old Delhi Family Courts Judge Kovai Venugopal died due to Covid at Lok Nayak Hospital. Khan made his way to Delhi after he was posted as a MetropolitanMagistrateinSaket district court, and in January this year, was transferred to Dwarka district court. He held court on cases mostly related to Immoral Traffic (Prevention Act), Delhi MunicipalCorporationAct,Delhi DevelopmentActandthosearising from Palam police station and traffic circle of Mayapuri Palam Airport. Advocate Yash Thakur, who CONTINUEDONPAGE2 NEW DELHI, APRIL 27 THE Supreme Court Tuesday flagged differential vaccine pricingduringasuomotuhearingon issues regarding Covid-19 management,askingforaclarification from the Centre on the issue, evenasinanaffidavitthegovernmentchallengedthe“completely false narrative” that it had failed to anticipate the second surge. “The Union of India shall also clarify in its affidavit the basis and rationale adopted in regard to the pricing of vaccines," a Bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud, L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat said. Pointing out that “different CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 INSIDE KERALA HC ISSUES NOTICES ON VACCINATION POLICY PAGE 6 People wait for vaccination, in Kolkata on Tuesday. Partha Paul What rate card does not show: Govt help in developing Covaxin PRABHA RAGHAVAN & ANIL SASI NEW DELHI, APRIL 27 LAST YEAR, Bharat Biotech’s chairman Krishna Ella said that Indian vaccines, including his Covaxin, developed with help from the Government-run Indian Council of Medical Research, would cost less than a water bottle, almost a fifth. Yet,hisratecardSaturdayannounced Rs 600/dose for states and Rs 1,200 for private hospitals.Notjustonpricing, thereare also questions regarding Ella’s claim on ICMR’s role. On April 21, Ella told NDTV Bharat Biotech had not received any government funding for the development of the vaccine. CONTINUEDONPAGE2 In build-up to ceasefire thaw, NSA Doval met ISI chief in UAE last year NIRUPAMA SUBRAMANIAN MUMBAI, APRIL 27 NATIONAL SECURITY Adviser A K Doval and Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt.GenFaizHameedheldatleast onesecretmeeting intheUnited ArabEmirateslatelastyearinthe lead-up to the February 25 joint statement from the militaries of the two neighbours agreeing to strict adherence to the 2003 ceasefire understanding. This is one of the details to emerge from a four-hour-long interactionPakistan’sArmychief General Qamar Javed Bajwa had on April 23 with about 20 top journalists at an official iftar. Held last Friday, the interaction was an “off-the-record” briefing on various issues, including the Covid pandemic, but some details have begun trickling out. The Indian Express has confirmed — from multiple sources aware of that interaction — that queried by the journalists about CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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