DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE THURSDAY, JUNE 3, 2021, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 14 PAGES `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 ‘COURTS CANNOT REMAIN SILENT SPECTATORS WHEN RIGHTS BEING INFRINGED’ SC asks govt for a vaccine roadmap, calls policy for 18-44 to pay ‘arbitrary, irrational’ Questions policy of giving free jabs to some people, asking others to pay; seeks detailed affidavit in two weeks ANANTHAKRISHNAN G NEW DELHI, JUNE 2 UNDERLINING THAT “our Constitution does not envisage courts to be silent spectators whenconstitutionalrightsof citizens are infringed by Executive policies”,theSupremeCourtsaid Tuesday that the Centre’s policy of arranging free Covid-19 vaccine jabs for the 45-plus age category, Health Care Workers (HCW) and Front Line Workers (FLW) while asking the 18-44 age group to pay for the vaccination by state and Union territory governments and private hospitals was “prima facie arbitrary and irrational”. Directing the Centre to “undertake a fresh review of its vaccination policy addressing the concerns raised”, the bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud, L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat —the orderinthesuomotu matterof Covid-19management heard May 31 was uploaded Tuesday—soughtdetailedinformationintheformof anaffidavit in two weeks. This is what the bench told theCentreandaskedittoclarify: ■ The concerns of the amici (friends of the court) regarding the vaccine procurement process,theunwillingnessof foreign vaccine manufacturers to negotiate with states and UTs andtheirpreferencetodealwith the federal government, and whether the government can use its monopoly as a buyer to bargain for higher quantities of vaccines at reasonable prices. ■ Whether it will intervene in the vaccination distribution process, whether the pro rata allotment will take into account thequestionof inter-statemigration, healthcare infrastructure and existing capacities of a state/UT,theliteracyrate,ageand overall health condition of its population,sothatstate/UTgovernmentshavearealisticassessment of the assistance they can expect from the Union of India. ■ Provide data on the percentage of rural and urban population vaccinated with one or both doses, as against eligible persons in the first three phases of the vaccination drive; and data regarding the purchase history of Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik V vaccines till date. ■While states need to file affidavits on whether they are vaccinating their population free of cost, the Centre must place on recordaroadmapoftheprojected availability of vaccines until December31,2021;preparedness regarding specific needs of children in the event of a third wave; and the number of crematorium workers vaccinated in Phase 1. ■ Whether, under the policy of theUnionof India,itispermissible for state/UT governments CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 A boy salvages a mattress from his house in Gaza, Wednesday. India abstained at UNHRC over probe into Israel attacks. Reuters Palestine to India: Silence at UN body stifles fight for rights SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, JUNE 2 As cases come down, only one Covid patient is left in a ward of Shaleen Hospital, Ahmedabad, on Wednesday. Nirmal Harindran As Naveen writes to all HC on vaccine shortage: CMs, Kerala House lends Some must be ‘charged heft to ‘free vaccine’ call with manslaughter’ EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, JUNE 2 AS MORE states joined the chorusforfreeuniversalvaccination by the Union government, the demand gained political momentum Wednesday with the Kerala Assembly unanimously passing a resolution that the Centre should make vaccines available free of cost to all states in a time-bound manner. The resolution moved by Kerala Health Minister Veena George said the most suitable preventive step against the pandemicwasuniversalvaccination, but asking states to procure vaccines from the open market was SOFI AHSAN NEW DELHI, JUNE 02 SAYING THERE is a “tearing emergency” to fast-track approvals and “handhold” vaccine manufacturers in the country, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday said some people need to be “charged with CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 manslaughter” for sitting on the “untapped potential” of Covid19 vaccine manufacturing. “What answer will you give forthelossoflivesbecauseoflack of vaccines?”thecourtaskedthe Centre in another strong indictment of its vaccine policy. “There is such an element of palpable disquiet throughout CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 DAYS AFTER India abstained at theUNHumanRightsCouncilon a resolution proposing to set up a Commission of Inquiry into violations related to the latest round of violence in Gaza, the foreign minister of the Palestinian National Authority hascomplainedthatNewDelhi’s abstention“stiflestheimportant work of... advancing human rights for all peoples, including those of the Palestinian people”. “Indiamissedanopportunity tojointheinternationalcommunity at this turning point, both crucial and long overdue, on the path to accountability, justice and peace,” Riyad al-Maliki has written in a sharply worded letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. India was among 14 countries that abstained on the proposal for an inquiry into the alleged human rights violations around theIsraeli action in Gaza, and the “systematic” abuses in thePalestinianterritoriesandinside Israel. Diplomatic tightrope INDIA IS walking the diplomatic tightrope between Israel and Palestine, but has made neither side happy. The Palestinian National Authority has expressed disappointment, and Israel has not thanked India. Besides the abstention, Ramallah is upset that New Delhi did not refer to “the just Palestinian cause”. Twenty-fourmembersvoted in favour, and nine against the resolution that was adopted in Geneva on May 27. Importantly, in its statement attheCouncil,Indiadroppedthe stock phrase from itsstatements CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Five senior AI pilots die of Covid in New pension rules are a May, vaccine drive hit by scarcity gag order, say rattled IN THE utility vehicle segment, the fastest growing car category in India, Hyundai Motor Company, with its two brands, hascomprehensivelyedgedpast Maruti Suzuki, the segment and market leader. Hyundai Motor India, alongside group company Kia Motors, accounted for one in every three vehicles sold in April in the highly-competitive UV market. INSIDE KERALA BJP IN NEW POLL FUNDS STORM; OFFERED MONEY, ALLY SAYS ON TAPE COURT HEARS CHOKSI PLEA AGAINST DEPORTATION PROACTIVE CHECKS WILL IMPACT FREE SPEECH: GOOGLE P 5, 6 PAGE 1 ANCHOR MAY: ■ Personalvehiclesales Maruti Suzuki Hyundai Motor Kia This segment, which saw cumulative sales of a million units in 2020-21, is the biggest driver ■ Utilityvehiclesales M&M N.A NEW DELHI, JUNE 2 15,181 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 TURN OF THE WHEELS SANDEEP SINGH & ANIL SASI 7,748 compile all the negative feedback (collected from MLAs) and give it to a senior minister. Then ex-security, intel officers DEEPTIMAN TIWARY NEW DELHI, JUNE 2 THE CENTRE’S amendment to pension rules for civil servants, prohibitingretiredofficialsof intelligencesecurityorganisations from publishing anything pertaining to their workplace, including information relating to their experience and expertise, withoutclearancefromthehead, has rattled the security communitywithmanycallingitavirtual gag order and “retrogressive.” Powered by sale of utility vehicles in May, Hyundai duo beat Suzuki for the first time 8,004 PAGE 6 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 11,050 DOCTOR HIT, SARMA PUTS OUT 24 NAMES 11,050 ASSAM CHIEF MINISTER Himanta Biswa Sarma said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has advised him to introduce a concept like the ‘Zero Hour’ during Cabinet meetings where he will get to hear only the negative feedbackabout thegovernment. SarmametthePrimeMinisterin New Delhi on Wednesday. “IntheCabinet,ministerswill Tiwary, 37, died on May 30 and was a first officer on the Boeing 777 aircraft. All of them 12,367 GUWAHATI, JUNE 2 An Air India special flight during Covid curbs. ANI file 25,001 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE AT A time when Air India’s pilots have repeatedly demanded vaccination for crew and their families, it has emerged that at least five senior pilots with the national carrier succumbed to Covid during May. Official sources in Air India and the pilots’ union identified the pilots who died as Captain Prasad Karmakar, Captain Sandeep Rana, Captain Amitesh Prasad, Captain G P S Gill and Captain Harsh Tiwary. 6,355 PM told me to have ‘Zero Hour’ in Cabinet to hear negative feedback: Sarma NEW DELHI, JUNE 2 32,903 Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma at the Adda, moderated by National Opinion Editor Vandita Mishra. Express wereoperatingwide-bodiedaircraft being flown for overseas flights, and were a part of Vande Bharat Mission. On May 4, following a threat by its pilots to stop flying if not vaccinated, Air India had said it would organise camps to inoculate all of its employees by the end of the month. However, three of its camps were cancelled due to non-availability of vaccines, and the drive commenced with a delay on May 15. The airline had earlier held vaccination camps for its employees aged over 45 years. PRANAV MUKUL Tata Motors of growth for India-based automakers. In May, as lockdowns im- pacted sales across the country and companies shut down production at many of their plants, Hyundai and sister brand Kia — both owned by South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Company — togetherovertookthetotalpassenger vehicle sales of Maruti Suzuki for the first time ever. While Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) sold 32,903 units in the domestic market in May, the Korean players, riding largely on SUV sales, recorded combined sales of 36,051 units. It remains to be seen if this CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Notifying the Central Civil Services (Pension) Amendment Rules, 2020,, the Department of Personnel and Training introduced this condition as a substitute clause in rules on pension subject to future good conduct. This amendment to Rule 8 meansthatpensioncanbewithheld or withdrawn if the pensioner disobeys the rules – the retired official will have to sign an undertaking to this effect. Thisislikelytoimpactretired officials of security and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Rakesh Pandita (left) with BJP J&K chief Ravinder Raina Another BJP councillor shot in Valley, was without PSOs BASHAARAT MASOOD SRINAGAR, JUNE 2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY ONLY ONE OF B.1.167 STRAINS A VARIANT OF CONCERN: WHO PAGE 12 ABJPCOUNCILLORwasshotdead andawomaninjuredinanattack bymilitantsonWednesdaynight in South Kashmir’s Tral. Rakesh Pandita,whowasthe chairman of the Tral Municipal Committee, stayed at a governmentaccommodationundersecurity in Srinagar due to militant threat, and had been assigned two Personal Security Officers (PSOs). Police said Pandita had left his security officials behind on his visit to Tral, a militant stronghold and his hometown. Policesaidthreeunidentified terrorists opened fire at Pandita, killing him on the spot. The injured woman was the daughter of a friend whom he had gone to visit. “He succumbed to injuries CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 In Nashik’s Buddhist caves complex, a chance new find VALLABH OZARKAR MUMBAI, JUNE 2 ALMOST TWO centuries after a British military officer documented the Trirashmi Buddhist caves — also known as Pandav Leni — in a hill in Nashik, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)hasfoundthreemorecaves in the same area. The antiquity of the caves — which may have been dwellings of Buddhist monks — is yet to be established; archaeologists studyingthem,however,believe they could be older than the Trirashmi caves. TheTrirashmiorPandavLeni cavesareagroupof 25cavesthat werecarvedoutof TrirashmiHill betweenthe2ndcenturyBCand 6th century AD. The caves complexwasdocumentedin1823by oneCaptain JamesDelamaine;it is now an ASI protected site and a tourist destination. Salim Patel, a ‘multi-tasking staffer’ at the ASI’s Nashik division, stumbled upon two of the caves on May 22. Following the chancefinding,awider searchof the area by Senior Conservation Assistant Rakesh Shende, who heads ASI Nashik, led to the discovery of the third cave. ASI officials said the first two caves were discovered during the annual pre-monsoon cleaning of a drainage line on the hill. Patel was looking for a place to dump the soil, dry grass and dry wood that had been removed, when he spotted a cavity. “I went closer and removed the tree branches covering the cavity. I saw two cave-like structures that had been carved out of the rock. I immediately informed my seniors, including The caves could be older than the Trirashmi Buddhist caves in a hill in Nashik, dated to 2nd century BC-6th century AD Shende sir, who were at the spot,” Patel said. “Iwasthrilled. Thisis thefirst time something like this has happened to me in 25 years of my service,” he told The Indian Express. Shende said immediately after the discovery, the site was cleanedandsecured.“Wewillbe documenting the three caves, and send the details to our head office for notification in the gazette. The public can’t reach the caves now, since there are no pathways or safety railings. We will make the necessary arrangementsoncethecavesare notified,” Shende said. AtulBhosekar, director of the Mumbai-based Trirashmi Research Institute of Buddhism, Indic Language and Scripts, who has been studying the caves for nearlythreedecades,saidhehad visited the site of the new discovery. The third cave, located closetothefirsttwo,wasdiscoveredwhenhewastherewiththe ASI team, Bhosekar said. “These caves are on the opposite side of the current complex, and 70-80 feet above the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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