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Leave no scope for corruption in sand mining, supply: Andhra Pradesh CM




Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy instructed officials to leave no scope for corruption in sand mining and supply.

He directed them to maintain transparency and reasonableness in the construction material’s supply and price.

Reddy held a review meeting of the new sand policy and highlighted that the state government was implementing the policy leaving no scope for corruption, following environmental protection guidelines.

He said illegal mining was curtailed and buyers were being supplied sand at an affordable price.

“The state should not get a bad name and any lapse in the implementation of the sand policy would not be tolerated,” he said.

Likewise, to better execute the sand policy, Reddy advised officials to increase the number of sand reaches, their capacity, efficiency and supply.

“Building up the capacity can attract large companies or even the central government institutions,” he said.

Reddy observed that the cost of sand transportation is a little too high and told the officials to make it reasonable.

According to the Chief Minister, sand price fixation mechanism should be at the constituency level and if anyone was found to be selling at a higher price than what was fixed, he said the special enforcement branch should interfere to initiate action.

Similarly, to bridge the gap between demand and supply, Reddy directed authorities to introduce a challan system where anybody paying the challan could transport sand.

He said anyone can transport sand from the reaches and provide it to the contractor for transportation.

“For the construction of government projects or housing for the poor, sand should be supplied at a subsidised price through a token system,” he noted.

The CM said locals from the same constituency can avail subsidy through token system for their house constructions and asked officials to take public opinion before finalizing the policy.

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No chance of settlement of Mhadei issue out of court: Goa CM Pramod Sawant




Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday ruled out any possibility of an out-of-court settlement on the ongoing Mhadei interstate river water dispute with Karnataka.

Sawant also said that his government was firm on its contempt petition filed against Karnataka for diverting the flow of the Mhadei river.

“There is no question of an out-of-court settlement. We have already filed a contempt petition. We are firm on it,” Sawant told reporters.

Sawant’s comments come days after overtures by the Karnataka government’s special representative Shankargouda Patil, who had said that the Chief Ministers of both states, namely BS Yediyurappa and Sawant should meet and resolve the river dispute, instead of letting the courts decide on the matter.

Mhadei, also known as the Mandovi river in Goa and Mahadayi in Karnataka, is considered a lifeline in the northern parts of Goa.

It originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji in Goa, while briefly flowing through Maharashtra.

While the river runs 28.8 km in Karnataka, it is over 50 km in length in the state Goa. Goa, Karnataka are battling out a two decade-long dispute over the sharing of the Mhadei waters.

Last month, the Goa government filed the contempt petition in the Supreme Court, alleging Karnataka had illegally diverted water from the Mhadei river basin via the newly constructed Kalasa-Banduri canal.

The Goa government had filed a special leave petition in the apex court last year, challenging the Mhadei Water Dispute Tribunal award in 2018, which allowed Karnataka to divert 13.42 TMC water from the river basin. The SLP had also said that Karnataka was diverting more water than what was allotted.

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New ordinance has been praised by every section of society: UP Law Minister




Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has taken strict measures to curb the incidents of ‘love jihad’ and ‘religious conversion for marriage’ in the state.

As promise of a crackdown on forcible conversions, the UP cabinet has recently passed the UP Unlawful Religious Conversion Prohibition Ordinance, 2020. In this regard, UP Law Minister Brajesh Pathak has said that the new ordinance has been brought in to honour the sisters and daughters in the state.

Speaking to IANS about the ordinance, the Law Minister said that although there is no mention of ‘love jihad’ in this ordinance, it will take strict action against those who ruin the lives of sisters and mothers forcing them to convert in the garb of marriage. The new law has been welcomed by religious leaders too.

Pathak said that in recent years, the state has witnessed scores of incidents of forcible conversion and exploitation. In many instances, the woman has been made to change her name after marriage and then they were deserted. With the enactment of the new law there will no such situation.

He said that this is is a praiseworthy law. Barring exceptions, every section of society has praised it.

“It is the habit of some to oppose every matter. In recent years, this has emerged as a major social issue. Some people use deceitful means or sometimes they hide their religion and marry the girl from another religion. As a result, the girl and her family’s reputation are tarnished.”

Sometimes, such incidents bring social disharmony. The new law will put a brake on such acts. If people of two different religions want to get married through mutual consent, then the District Magistrate has to be informed two months prior to the wedlock.

In case of fraudulent or forcible conversion, the convict will face a sentence of between one and 10 years. This legislation is necessary to keep the law and order situation normal in UP and to ensure justice for women. In this way, everyone’s sisters and daughters will get a chance to lead a life of dignity.

On the question of the Brahmin society being upset with the government, the Law Minister said, the allegations made against the government related to caste are baseless. The results of the recently held Assembly by-elections has exposed the opposition’s allegations.

“Sabka Saath is not only a slogan to us but also a guiding mantra. The government is working accordingly. We consider the entire state as a family.”

On the workers’ displeasure, Pathak said, “Our party believes in taking everyone along. We are with the workers in every happiness and sorrow. No one is angry, everyone is happy.”

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Forgery case: Allahabad High Court rejects bail pleas of Azam Khan, son




The Allahabad High Court has denied bail to senior Samajwadi Party leader and MP Azam Khan and his son Abdullah Azam Khan in two cases relating to alleged cheating and forgery.

The allegations against the applicants were that they had forged PAN to show the wrong date of birth of Abdullah to enable him to contest the UP Assembly elections from the Suar constituency in Rampur in 2017.

Justice Suneet Kumar, who rejected the bail plea on Thursday, asked the trial court to expedite the trial.

He said that the applicants are at a liberty to approach the high court again for bail after the witnesses are examined in the trial.

The court observed, “Having regard to the allegations that the applicants did not cooperate with the investigation and court proceedings, consequently, coercive measures had to be adopted against them.”

“Further, having regard to the position and status of the accused persons, the repetition of the offences, and the deep-rooted and pervasive influence, applicants exercise in the various departments of the state, there is reasonable apprehension of the witnesses being tampered with, and danger to the course of justice being thwarted. In the circumstances, grant of bail at this stage would not be in public interest,” the court added.

It may be recalled that FIRs were lodged against the Azam Khan and Abdullah Azam in 2019 alleging that on January 24, 2017, Abdullah had filed nomination papers for contesting from Suar Assembly constituency.

In the nomination papers, Abdullah Azam’s date of birth was wrongly mentioned as September 30, 1990, to make him eligible for contesting elections, and in support of it, a forged PAN card was also obtained with the help of Azam Khan.

Azam Khan, his son Abdullah Azam and wife Tanzeen Fatima are lodged in Sitapur jail since February this year.

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