DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE SATURDAY, JUNE 5, 2021, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 16 PAGES BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY 9 pvt hospitals corner 50% doses, raise questions of vaccine equity and access Urban bias: NCR, MMR, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad pick up 80% of stock Juhi Chawla’s 5G case for publicity, HC says; imposes Rs 20 lakh fine Waste of judicial time, says Delhi HC SOFI AHSAN NEW DELHI, JUNE 4 THE DELHI High Court Friday dismissed a suit against the introduction of 5G technology in India, saying it was filed to gain publicity, and imposed a cost of Rs20 lakhonthe three plaintiffs, including actor Juhi Chawla, for “waste of judicial time”. Justice Jag Jivan Ram Midha termed the suit as “defective” and“notmaintainable”,andsaid theplaintincludes“unnecessary, scandalous, frivolous and vexatious averments”, which are liabletobestruckdownunderthe Code of Civil Procedure. “The plaintiffs have abused and misused the process of law, which has resulted in waste of judicial time. The cost of Rs 20 lakh is imposed on the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs are directed to deposit the cost of Rs 20 lakh with Delhi State Legal Services Authoritywithinoneweek,”said the court. It said that if the cost is not deposited within a week, DLSA shall recover it in accordance with law. It directed the DLSA to use the funds for the cause of road accident victims. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 TABASSUM BARNAGARWALA MUMBAI, JUNE 4 IN WHAT both reflects and accentuates the problem of vaccine inequity, just nine corporate hospital groups in big cities have cornered 50 per cent of the Covid-19 vaccine stock meant for the private sector in the month of May. These nine corporate hospital groups cumulatively bought 60.57 lakh doses of the total 1.20 crore doses of vaccines procured by private hospitals in the first fullmonthsincetheCentralgovernment revised its vaccine policy and opened it to the market. The balance 50 per cent of the vaccine stock was procured by 300-odd hospitals, located mostly in the country’s urban centres, with hardly any of them serving regions beyond the Tier-2 cities. The Centre had allowed state governments and private players to buy 50 per cent of total output directly from vaccine manufacturers from May 1. It had confined itself to purchasing 50 per cent of the output from May 1, to be distributed to states to vaccinate the 45-plus age group. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, JUNE 4 THE SUPREME Court Friday declinedtointerfere withtheDelhi High Court order granting anticipatory bail to journalist Varun Hiremath in a rape case, while raisingquestionsregarding“normal human conduct, behaviour and understanding”. It stressed that it was saying so only for the purpose of the bail application. Dismissingthecomplainant’s plea against bail to Hiremath, a Benchof JusticesNavinSinhaand Ajay Rastogi told her counsel, Senior Advocate Nitya Ramakrishnan, “Our question is purely for the purpose of bail only.Thequestionof normalhu- BIG CHAINS AND BIG CITIES Hospital Apollo Hospitals Max Healthcare HN Reliance Medica Hospitals Fortis Hospitals Godrej Memorial Manipal Health Techno India Narayana Hrudayalaya Covishield 13.10 12.90 8.19 6.26 3.92 3.35 0.94 2.26 2.00 Covaxin 3.04 0.07 1.70 – 0.56 – 2.30 – 0.02 Total 16.14 12.97 9.89 6.26 4.48 3.35 3.24 2.26 2.02 All figures in lakh THEURBANSKEW SIX CITIES — NCT, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune — received 97 lakh or 80.30% of the 1.2 crore doses of vaccines supplied to private hospitals countrywide. HOMESTATEBENEFIT TELANGANA & MAHARASHTRA, where Bharat Biotech (Hyderabad) and Serum Institute of India (Pune) are based, got 31.79% of Covaxin and 28% of Covishield supply respectively. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE CHANDIGARH, JUNE 4 CORNERED OVER selling Covid vaccines to private hospitals at a profit,thePunjabgovernmenton Friday ordered that the doses be returned with immediate effect. The government had sold 42,000dosesof Covaxin—outof manconduct,behaviourandunderstanding. If a man and woman are in a room, the man makesarequestandthewoman complies with it... do we need to sayanythingmoreatthisstage?” Ramakrishnanrepliedthatas per the IPC, there has to be unequivocal consent to each act. “Let’s assume a situation where I disrobe myself. There is a particular activity a man wants to indulge in and I say no to it, and it’s a penetrative act, then it becomes an offence,” she said. The Bench responded that what she was saying “is a much larger question, which will be decided later”, adding “we have repeatedly emphasised that whateverwearesaying isforthe CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ANURADHA MASCARENHAS PUNE, JUNE 4 THE MASSIVE surge in coronavirus infections in Delhi in April wascausedbytherapidspreadof B.1.617.2,asub-lineageofthevariantfirstfoundinMaharashtralast year and recently named Delta, according to a new study. Scientists have found this variant to be much more transmissible than other variants in the national capital, the study shows. This is the first time that asurgeinanyregionhasbeendirectly linked to the circulation of a particular variant of the virus. In the study, scientists from the National Centre for Disease Control(NCDC)andDelhi-based Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) assessed the Delta variant to be at least 50 per cent more transmissible than the Alpha variant, 30,000 20,000 Vaccination in progress at Max Multi Speciality Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi, last month. Express Archive the1.14lakhitboughtonMay27 from Bharat Biotech at Rs 420 per dose — to over 20 private hospitals for Rs 1,060 each. The hospitals had, in turn, charged recipients Rs 1,560 for a dose. The government had thus made a profit of Rs 5.28 crore — buying the vaccines for Rs 3.20 crore, and selling them for Rs 8.48 crore. THE EDITORIAL PAGE POPULATIONPOLICY REVERSALINCHINA BY SONALDE DESAI PAGE 10 WORLD As the issue snowballed into a controversy, Nodal Officer for VaccinationVikasGargissuedan order asking private hospitals to return the vaccines. “The order providing one-time limited vaccine doses to 18-44 years age group population through privatehospitalshasnotbeentaken in the right spirit, and is hereby CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 PAGE 14 0 Jan1 Feb1 Mar1 INSIDE THEDEFENCEAcquisitionCouncil (DAC) gave the Indian Navy the go-ahead Friday to select an Indian strategic partner company which, in collaboration with a foreign Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), will build six conventional attack submarines in the country. Project 75 India or P75I will be the first under the strategic partnership model, promulgated in 2017 to boost indigenous defence manufacturing. The first submarine built under the project is likely to be delivered by 2030. PAGE 1 ANCHOR PRANAV MUKUL NEW DELHI, JUNE 4 THE JET (right), left Dominica at 5.09 am IST Friday; arrived in Madrid at 12.58 pm. It departed at 2.29 pm; landed in Delhi at 10.57 pm. Flight path from Flightradar24; photo ANI While a debate rages on how ChoksilandedinDominica—his family has alleged abduction — and Antigua wants him de- ported to India, a chartered jet operated byQatar Executive, the private arm of Qatar Airways, to likely fly him out returned to Delhi Friday night after waiting at theDouglas-Charlesairportin Dominica for more than a week. It flew 7 hours to Madrid 487 Jun3 Apr1 May1 where it made a 90-minute halt on its way to Delhi where it landed around 11 pm IST. The 13-seater Bombardier Global jet, which landed in Dominica at 1.15 pm local time on May 28, was said to have carried a team of eight officials to secure Choksi’s deportation to India — hearing of his case has CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 WILL APPEAL TO QUEEN ELIZABETH FOR JUSTICE, SAYS CHOKSI’S WIFE PAGE 7 KHUSHBOO NARAYAN & GEORGE MATHEW MUMBAI, JUNE 4 WITH FOCUS on reviving the country’s Covid-hit economy, the Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) Friday slashed its growth projection, kept main policy interest rates unchanged, and unleashed a host of measures to support businesses and ensure their access to liquidity. Unveiling the bi-monthly monetary policy, the RBI unveiled a Rs 15,000-crore liquiditywindowforcontact-intensive sectors like hotels and tourism, and announced securities purchases of Rs 40,000 crore in June and Rs 1.2 lakh crore in the September quarter. Italsoincreasedthecoverage of borrowers under the onetime debt resolution framework scheme by enhancing the maximumexposure limit from Rs 25 crore to Rs 50 crore for micro, small and medium enterprises Cautiousbut optimistic GIVEN THAT it has been conservative in paring growth, the RBI expects that economic activities are unlikely to be severely dented despite the severe second wave. The inflation outlook amidst the potentially good farm output, but rising global commodity prices, is more finely balanced. (MSMEs), small businesses and business loans to individuals. The RBI also announced a fresh Rs 16,000-crore liquidity line to Small Industries CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Vaccine and death: Govt rebuts claim, Facebook takes it down, then restores it (PIB), in which it had rebutted a TwoIndiancompaniesshortlisted as strategic partners, Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) and Larsen & Toubro, will have to respond, in partnership with one of the five OEMs, to the Request for Proposal (RFP). The five OEMs are Rosoboronexport (ROE) of Russia, ThyssenKrupp of Germany, Naval Group of France, Navantia of Spain and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering of South Korea. These companies were shortlisted by an empowered committee last year. The project had been approvedin2007,butremainedon thebackburneruntil2019when, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Liquidity window of Rs 15,000 cr for hard-hit sectors like hotels, tourism Jun1 ‘SUBSTANTIAL’ DOSES OF VACCINES FOR INDIA, SAYS US P8 ‘CATTLE SMUGGLERS’ AASHISH ARYAN NEW DELHI, JUN 4 ATTACKED IN UP, 1 KILLED, 6 INJURED P9 TRIGGERING ANOTHER showdown between the Centre DIFFERENCES OUT IN social media platforms, lateand last OPEN, CONG WORRY month, Facebookand Instagram IN PUNJAB: MORE took down a fact-check post by HARM THAN GOOD P 6 the Press Information Bureau First under strategic partnership model; purchase of air defence guns also gets nod NEW DELHI, JUNE 4 AT US COLLEGES, JAB CONDITIONS ARE A HURDLE FOR INDIANS AFTER TRUMP BAN, FACEBOOK TO END SPECIAL TREATMENT FOR POLITICIANS 10,000 Apr20 585 After a week-long wait for Mehul Choksi in Dominica, jet back in Delhi via Madrid FROM THE time he showed up bruised and battered in Dominica police custody, the story of fugitive jeweller Mehul Choksi, a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda who is wanted by India for his alleged role in the PNB scam,hasbeenoneof twistsand turns, and many unanswered questions. which was first seen in the UK and was predominant in the region in February and March. ByApril,thestudyshows,the DeltavarianthadreplacedAlpha as the most common variant in Delhi’s population, and accounted for nearly half of all the new infections. “Detection of B1.1.7 (Alpha variant) was minimal (in Delhi population) till January2021,increasingtoabout 20 per cent in February and 40 percentinMarch,”thestudysaid. “(Thepresenceof)B.1.617lineages (Delta is a sub-lineage) increasedfrombelow five percent in February 2021 to about 10 per cent in March before overtaking B.1.17 in April and rising to about 60 per cent of all samples. The sub-lineage B.1.617.2 (Delta variant)...showedthemaximumrise going from less than 10 per cent of B.1.617 (parent lineage) to about 80 per cent,” it said. Thestudyalsosaidthatwhile CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Peak: 28,395 Govt clears building of 6 attack submarines KRISHN KAUSHIK FOCUS ON REVIVAL No change in Delta variant behind rates, growth April wave in Delhi, pared, sops shows NCDC study for more: RBI DELHI: DAILY CASES SINCE JANUARY Found selling Covaxin to pvt hospitals, Punjab govt now wants doses returned SC rejects plea against bail to Hiremath, talks of ‘normal conduct’ EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 false claim linking Covid vaccinations to death. The post was restored on both platforms following the government’s intervention. On May 25, the ‘PIB Fact Check’ handle shared a post on Facebook and Instagram, in which it had debunked a claim attributed to French Nobel Prize winner Luc Montagnier that people getting vaccinated against Covid-19 would die within two years. Attaching an image of the alleged claim, the post said, “An imageallegedlyquotingaFrench Nobel Laureate on #COVID19 vaccines is circulating on social media... The claim in the image is #FAKE... #COVID19 Vaccine is CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
Indian Express Limited is an Indian news media publishing company. It publishes several widely circulated dailies, including The Indian Express and The Financial Express in English, the Loksatta in Marathi and the Jansatta in Hindi.