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Saturday,22-January-2022
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India inches closer to 93L Covid cases

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With 44,489 new cases of Covid infections, India’s total cases reached 92,66,705 on Thursday. It is the 19th straight day when India reported less than 50,000 cases in a day.

The last time daily new cases crossed the 50,000-threshold was on November 7.

According to the data released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 524 new deaths occurred due to the deadly virus in the last 24 hours taking the toll to 1,35,223.

While the active cases stood at 4,52,344, a total of 86,79,138 have recovered from the virus and have been discharged of which 36,367 were discharged in the last 24 hrs.

While the recovery rate stands at 93.66 per cent, the fatality rate is at 1.46 per cent, the Ministry data revealed.

Maharashtra remains the worst-hit state with 84,464 active cases and 46,748 deaths so far. The recoveries in the state stand at 17,95,959.

Apart from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka have reported the highest number of cases.

Crime

2 killed, 13 injured in Mumbai high-rise blaze

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At least two persons were killed and 13 others injured when a blaze engulfed the 18th floor of a building in Tardeo, South Mumbai, on Saturday, the BMC Disaster Control said here.

The fire was noticed at the top part of the 20-storied Kamla Building at around 7.30 a.m.

The Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) rushed with fire tenders as the flames quickly spread to the two upper floors sparking panic among the building residents.

At least 13 injured persons were rescued by the MFB teams, of which four were critical and rushed to the BYL Nair Hospital nearby.

Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar rushed to the spot to supervise the rescue and relief operations.

Two persons succumbed to their injuries and the cause of the fire is being probed.

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Crime

Delhi HC defers till Feb 3, DSLSA’s plea seeking Rs 20 lakh cost imposed on Juhi Chawla

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The Delhi High Court on Friday said it will hear on February 3 a petition by the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) seeking the execution of the order, in which actress-environmentalist Juhi Chawla and two others were directed to deposit Rs 20 lakh for the abuse of the process of law in relation with a lawsuit challenging 5G wireless network technology.

Justice C Harishankar deferred the matter for February 3 after Chawla’s counsel said his client was not served with the petition copy. It was also observed by the court that the appeal in the matter is pending before the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court.

The DSLSA was approaching the Delhi High Court seeking payment of costs of Rs 20 lakh to them by the court. Adv Saurabh Kansal, who appeared on behalf of DSLSA, submitted that the order is yet to be complied with.

On June 4 last year, Justice J.R. Midha had dismissed the lawsuit filed by Juhi Chawla against the setting up of 5G wireless networks in the country. Her plea stated the levels of RF radiation are 10 to 100 times greater than the existing levels. It also claimed that the 5G wireless technology can be a potential threat to provoke irreversible and serious effects on humans and it could also permanently damage the earth’s ecosystems.

The court had held that the suit filed by Chawla and two others was defective, non-maintainable, and also contained unverified and vexatious assertions and also imposed a fine of Rs 20 lakh for the abuse of the process of law.

On June 2, 2021, the High Court had also questioned Chawla as to why she had directly filed a suit against setting up of 5G wireless networks without making any representation to the department concerned in the government, and insisted the plaintiffs, Chawla and two others, should have gone to the government first. The High Court had also expressed dissatisfaction at Chawla sharing the link of virtual hearing on her social media account.

The hearing of Chawla’s suit was disturbed by unknown persons who were singing Bollywood songs of films in which she had acted. The court directed the Delhi Police to identify the people and proceed against them under the law.

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Madras High Court refuses to stay Urban local body polls

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The Madras High Court on Friday refused to grant an interim stay to the conduct of Urban local body elections in the state.

While hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Dr. A. Nakkeeran, Rtd Joint Director of Health Services, the court did not allow a stay to the conduct of elections.

Senior counsel, S. Prabhakaran representing, Dr. A. Nakkeeran said that given the alarming situation of the Covid pandemic, there was no urgency to conduct the Urban local body elections now. He said that nothing would happen if the elections were delayed as these civic bodies were not without any office-bearers for the past several years.

The senior counsel also said that the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission (TNSEC) has not taken stock of the ground situation of the pandemic before preparing for the elections.

He also said that the TNSEC does not seem to be aware of the number of surging Covid cases, deaths or even on the number of containment zones in the state.

S. Prabhakaran said that the election should be postponed by two more months given the situation of the state and that threat to the lives of the people.

Senior advocate SRL Sundaresan, representing another bunch of petitions, said that when the Supreme Court had set the deadline for holding the elections, the situation in the state was not this worse regarding pandemic.

The senior counsel wanted the elections to be postponed in the interest of public health.

Senior counsel, Siva Shanmugam representing TNSEC, informed the court that the poll notification has to be issued by January 27 as per the orders of the Supreme Court.

The counsel of the Election Commission argued that a circular on Covid protocol was issued by the commission and added that all standard operating procedures followed during the rural local body elections would be in place during the Urban local body elections also.

The court adjourned the case to January 24 after hearing the arguments and refused to grant any interim stay.

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