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Wednesday,12-May-2021

Crime

Maharashtra accounts for 63% of daily Covid-19 cases

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With India on Thursday recording highest single-day rise since December, the cases in Maharashtra accounted for 63.21 per cent of the daily new cases, followed by Kerala and Punjab.

The country recorded 35,871 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours. A single-day spike of 36,011 new infections were recorded on December 6.

According to the Health Ministry, Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu continue to report a surge in the COVID daily new cases. 79.54 per cent of the new cases are from these five states.

Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 16,620, accounting for 63.21 per cent of the daily new cases. It is followed by Kerala with 1,792 while Punjab reported 1,492 new cases.

A rising trajectory of daily new cases is also visible in eight states. These are Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka and Haryana. Kerala is reporting a consistently declining trend over last one month.

With death of 172 people in the last 24 hours, the fatality toll has reached 1,59,216 in India. The active caseload in country has mounted to 2,52,364, rising by over 17,958 cases from previous day.

Five States account for 84.88 per cent of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (84). Punjab follows with 35 daily deaths and Kerala reported13 deaths in the last 24 hours.

As the number of Covid-19 cases is rising across the country, the Centre has sounded a word of caution for states. The Central Government said that the pandemic seems to be shifting to Tier II, Tier III cities and closer to rural areas.

Health Ministry Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that 70 districts in 16 states have witnessed an increase of cases by more than 150 per cent from March 1 to march 15.

So far, 3.7 crore doses of corona vaccine have been administered in the country since the drive began on January 16 after approval for ‘Covishield’ and ‘Covaxin’.

More than 14 lakh doses were administered on a single day on Wednesday.

Crime

Bhima Koregaon case: SC dismisses activist Gautam Navlakha’s bail plea

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Supreme-Court

The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea by activist Gautam Navlakha, who sought bail in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist link case of Maharashtra’s Bhima Koregaon.

Navlakha had challenged the Bombay High Court’s February 8 order, which declined to grant him bail, holding that the alleged illegal detention period cannot be considered to compute maximum 90 days’ time, which is mandatory to file charge sheet, or the accused could get statutory bail.

A bench comprising Justices U.U. Lalit and K.M. Joseph dismissed Navlakha’s appeal. The top court on March 26 had reserved its verdict on Navlakha’s plea. Pronouncing the verdict, Justice Joseph said it is dismissing the appeal filed by Navlakha against the High Court order.

On March 3, the top court had sought reply from the NIA on Navlakha’s plea where he argued that the charge sheet was not filed within the stipulated time period and hence, he was entitled for default bail. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Navlakha, had contended before the top court that his client should be released on default bail, as the charge sheet was filed after 93 days of his custody. Sibal had also submitted before the top court that two days period of transit from Delhi to Mumbai should also be counted in 90 days period.

The top court had on March 16 last year declined anticipatory bail to Navlakha and asked him to surrender within three weeks before the NIA. On April 8, last year, the top court gave Navlakha one more week to surrender in the case. The FIR against him was re-registered in January 2020, and he surrendered before the NIA on April 14 last year. Navlakha had spent 11 days in the NIA’s custody till April 25, and since then, he is in judicial custody.

The High Court on February 8 had dismissed Navlakha’s plea saying, “it sees no reason to interfere with a special court’s order”, which earlier rejected his bail plea.

Navlakha had moved the high court last year, against the special NIA court’s order of July 12, 2020, which rejected his plea for statutory bail.

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Crime

Grenade attack on police party in Jammu and Kashmir

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Unidentified persons hurled a grenade at a police party engaged in checking vehicles in J&K’s Samba district, which exploded without causing any damage.

Mukesh Singh, IGP (Jammu zone) confirmed to reporters that a grenade was hurled during the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday in Nud area of Samba-Mansar road in Samba district.

Police said the grenade missed the target and exploded on the road without causing any damage.

Hurling a grenade at the security forces is an unusual incident in the Jammu division.

Police has started a manhunt to trace those responsible for the grenade attack.

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Crime

Tarun Tejpal rape trial: Judgement postponed due to lack of staff

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The judgement in the rape case filed against former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal may now be pronounced on May 19, the defence counsel in the case said on Wednesday.

“The judgement has been postponed because the court is understaffed due to the new SOPs and the high rise in infections,” prosecution lawyer Francis Tavora told reporters.

The state is currently under a two-week Covid curfew.

The judgement was originally scheduled to be pronounced on April 27, but was adjourned to May 12.

The former editor-in-chief of the Tehelka investigative magazine was accused by a junior colleague of sexually assaulting her at a five star resort in Goa.

Tejpal has been booked under sections 376 (rape), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement) 354A (sexual harassment) and 354B (criminal assault), of the Indian Penal Code.

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