DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA ● REG.NO. MCS/067/2018 - 20 RNI REGN. NO. 1543/57 JOURNALISM OF COURAGE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 28, 2021, MUMBAI, LATE CITY, 14 PAGES `5.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 ‘CAN’T BE MUTE SPECTATOR’ Clarifybasis,rationale ofdifferentialvaccine pricing:SCtellsCentre ` 75 per kilo ` 103 per kilo ` 126 per kilo ` 60 per Dozen Parties get bonds worth Rs 695 crore for state polls MUMBAI, APRIL 27 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 be encashed by the parties. SBI’s Kolkata Main branch issued bonds worth Rs 176.19 crore,NewDelhiMainbranchRs 167.50 crore, Chennai Main CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 MAHARASHTRA BHARAT BIOTECH RESPONDS, SAYS CAN SUPPLY 85LAKH DOSES IN 6 MONTHS STATECABINET TO DECIDE ON FREE VACCINATION, LOCKDOWN EXTENSION TODAY PAGE 4 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY 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 Vaccination for 18-44 group only in private centres: BMC SANJANA BHALERAO MUMBAI, APRIL 27 INOCULATION AGAINST Covid19 for the 18 to 44 age group will be carried out only at private vaccination centres in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announced on Tuesday. Itisunclearyetif thedecision means that all people in the age group will have to pay for the vaccination. The state government may take a call in the regard at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. For now, only those in the 45 BY PRATAP BHANU MEHTA PAGE 8 PAGE 1 ANCHOR CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SOFI AHSAN NEW DELHI, APRIL 27 IN A strong indictment of the Delhi government's handling of the Covid-19 crisisin theCapital, 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. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 E DEEPTIMAN TIWARY & HARIKISHAN SHARMA NEW DELHI, APRIL 27 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 produced 9,103 metric tonnes (MT) of LMO against a previously existing capacity of 7,259 MT. On the same day, IAF has been airlifting containers from Singapore. PTI 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 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. 5,700MTperdayinAugust2020 to 8,922MTonApril25thisyear. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 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 7 People wait for vaccination, in Thane on Tuesday. Deepak Joshi 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 HC to Centre: Why are individuals getting remdesivir from firms OMKAR GOKHALE MUMBAI, APRIL 27 THE BOMBAY High Court on Tuesday sought to know from theCentreastowhyprivateindividuals were getting Covid-19 drugssuchasremdesivirdirectly from pharmaceutical companies,whilethecompaniesarerequired to provide their entire production to the Centre, which enablesdistributiontothestates. A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni was hearing a PIL filed by city-based lawyer Sneha Marjadi alleging improper management of Covid-19 treatment in Maharashtra and seeking direc- tions pertaining to shortage of remdesivir and oxygen supply among others. The court took serious note of alleged distribution of over 10,000 vials of remdesivir by the Ahmednagar MP by procuring it from Delhi, and said that its Aurangabad bench had already takencognizance of thesame on Monday. The plea before the Aurangabad bench had alleged illegal procurement by the AhmednagarMPandsoughtactionagainst him, along with confiscation of such injections by authorities. Dr Sujay Vikhe Patil, BJP MP from Ahmednagar, had last week procured and distributed 10,000 remdesivir injections. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 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 Allahabad HC steps in: judicial officers will track ‘chaotic’ situation in UP ASAD REHMAN LUCKNOW, APRIL 27 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”. CONTINUED ON PAGE 6 In build-up to ceasefire thaw, NSA In ‘no shortage’ UP, a 12-hr wait, Doval met ISI chief in UAE last year heartbreak over a fallen cylinder MUMBAI, APRIL 27 CENTRE’SVACCINE DARWINISM The BMC said it was in touch with vaccine manufacturers to procure vaccine doses directly for the city. Chahal told The Indian Express: “BMC will manage (procurement of vaccines) for the private hospitals”. But even as the BMC has given private hospitals the goaheadfor vaccination in the new age group, the centers are waiting for a word on vaccine supplies. People in the know of the matter said it seems unlikely that the phase 3 of the national vaccination programme, targeted at the 18-44 age group, Oxygen crisis: More than supply, lack of tankers and plant location key challenges NIRUPAMA SUBRAMANIAN THE EDITORIAL PAGE and above age group will be vaccinated at the 63 government andBMC-runcentres,wherethe vaccine is free. Municipal Commissioner IS Chahal said the decision to separate the age groups has been taken to manage the crowds at the hospitals. “Given the increasing scope of vaccination and to ensure that there is no crowdingandcitizensarenotinconvenienced, the decision has been taken to vaccinate those in the age group of 18-44 at private centres.” Thedecisionwastakenatthe meeting headed by the municipal commissioner on Tuesday. HC slams Delhi Govt for oxygen mess E X P L A I NE D GEORGE MATHEW Completely false narrative that it didn't do enough, says Govt affidavit NATIONAL SECURITY Adviser A K Doval and Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt.GenFaizHameedheldatleast onesecretmeetingintheUnited 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 the backchannel process with India, the Pakistan Army chief said there had been a meeting between Lt Gen Hameed and Doval. He also mentioned meetings betweenthe“intelligencechiefs” of the two countries. Due to the pandemic, he said, these meetings were held in “nearby countries”.TheISIchief,whoissaid to be close to Bajwa, was not presentattheinteraction,butseveral others in the Army hierarchy were, including the head of military intelligence. Bajwa said contact between intelligence agencies of two unfriendly nations was not excep- tionalorextraordinaryandIndia andPakistanwerenodifferentin thisrespect.Hesoughttoportray the latest meetings as part of a processofsuch contactsfromthe time of the PML(N) government inlate2017underPrimeMinister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. That year, Doval and his counterpart in Pakistan, Lt Gen Naseer Khan Janjua, met more than once in a third country. Explaining that this process was interrupted for various reasons, he said it got legs again in December 2020. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 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 There are long lines outside oxygen supply and refilling stations in Kanpur. Avaneesh Mishra Delhi magistrate loses Covid battle; held virtual hearing day after discharge 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 rest a day after he was dischargedonApril15,havingbeen hospitalisedforCovid-19.Heput his foot down,and held 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 outbursts.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,wasearlierpostedata localcourtinHaryanaaftergraduating from Delhi University. 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 used to appear at Khan's court Khan was discharged from hospital on April 15 every morning at 10 am, would besurprisedtofindthejudgesitting on his chair at the right time for every hearing. “He would tower over everyone else in the courtroom. He used to dispose of all the day’s work and stay till the court closed. There were some who would not appear post lunch, but Khan was always there.” Jai Singh Yadav, Secretary at DwarkaBarAssociation,saiddespite being a Magistrate, Khan found it difficult to find a hospital bed. He discovered he was sick in April beginning and was admitted to Max Hospital. “Senior judges at the Dwarka district court had to intervene to findhimabed.Herecoveredand held court for a day when he granted bail to an accused. His condition deteriorated, he was admitted to the ICU unit where he died,” Yadav said. Khan was “of a judicious mind, an intelligent judge”, said YP Singh, President of the Dwarka Court Bar Association. Rueing the loss of a “young, good-natured judge”, Rajesh Kumar Kaushik, Vice-President of the association, said, “He was so fit. That is thesad part.He was a very avid cricketer.” Lawyers who knew Khan said unlike many metropolitan magistrates,hewouldtakequick decisions, sometimes granting bail in criminal cases the very sameday.“Inmyposition,weget many complaints against judges… In his tenure, not once did a lawyer say his order was unreasonableorthathebehaved rudely,” Yadav said. The information of Khan’s death stunned Dhir Singh Kasana, Secretary, Saket District CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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