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Tuesday,31-January-2023
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‘Mann Ki Baat’: Narendra Modi urges people to overcome vaccine hesitancy

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In his 78th edition of the monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday appealed to people to shun Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy and ensure jabs to them and their family members to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

Allaying fears among countrymen, the Prime Minister clarified that people should not follow the rumours being spread against Covid-19 vaccine, and that “don’t believe in such rumours and make people aware of the benefit of the drive being run by the government to contain the spread of the deadly disease”.

The Prime Minister said that the aim should be that every citizen in every village of the country is administered Covid-19 vaccine.

Noting that India is now able to administer lakhs of vaccine doses everyday, the Prime Minister warned “avoiding vaccine jabs may be very dangerous and such act will not only push every individual’s life in danger but that of the family members as well”.

In a live telephonic conversation with some groups of people belonging to Madhya Pradesh’s Betul district during ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme, the Prime Minister advised them to shun the vaccine hesitancy and accept the shots offered to them by the government for their safety.

“Those who are spreading rumours on vaccines, let them be. We all will do our work and ensure people around us get vaccinated. The threat of Covid-19 remains, and we have to focus on vaccination as well as follow Covid-19 protocols,” the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister urged the countrymen to “trust” science and not believe in negative rumours related to the vaccine.

“I urge you all-trust science. Trust our scientists. So many people have taken the vaccine. Let us never believe in negative rumours relating to the vaccine.”

While appealing to people, the Prime Minister said he himself has received Covid vaccine and his elderly mother too has taken the jab.

“I have taken both doses. My mother is almost hundred years old; she has taken vaccine too. Please do not believe any negative rumours relating to vaccines,” said the Prime Minister.

Modi further said that India’s fight against Covid will continue and the next phase of the world’s largest vaccination exercise began on June 21 when a record over 86 lakh people were administered shots.

India’s Covid vaccination drive began on January 16 this year with Prime Minister himself taking the first dose of Covaxin — India’s indigenous vaccine being manufactured by Bharat Biotech.

More than 31.51 crore (31,51,43,490) vaccine doses have been provided by the Central government to states and Union Territories (UTs) so far, through free of cost channel and through direct state procurement category.

Of this, the total consumption, including wastages is 30,35,97,466 doses, mentions Minstry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) latest report received at 8 a.m. on Sunday.

More than 1.15 crore (1,15,46,024) balance and unutilized Covid vaccine doses are still available with the states and the UTs to be administered. Furthermore, more than 20,48,960 vaccine doses are in the pipeline and will be received by the states and the UTs within the next three days.

Crime

‘Used money for personal enjoyment’, ED to SC on Rana Ayyub’s plea in money laundering case

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday said journalist Rana Ayyub received money through a crowdfunding platform for the purpose of slum dwellers, Covid relief, and some work in Assam, however she diverted the money and used it for “personal enjoyment”.

Ayyub had moved the apex court against the summons issued by a Ghaziabad court in connection with a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case.

Advocate Vrinda Grover, representing Ayyub, contended before a bench of Justices V. Ramasubramanian and Justice J.B. Pardiwala, “can her client be deprived of personal liberty by a procedure not authorised by law?”

Grover said the ED has attached her client’s personal bank account in a bank at Navi Mumbai in which around Rs 1 crore was lying. She pressed that the Ghaziabad court has no jurisdiction to try the offence as the alleged act is claimed to have been committed in Mumbai.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the ED, submitted that Ayyub raised funds of three aspects — slum dwellers, Covid, and for some work in Assam — on Ketto, which is a crowdfunding platform. He added that nearly Rs 1 crore was collected and Rs 50 Lakh was transferred to a personal account in fixed deposit, and after the first campaign was over she kept receiving money. “We found that money was diverted…used for personal enjoyment…people were donating crores without knowing where money was going…,” said Mehta.

He further submitted that a prosecution complaint was filed in the Ghaziabad court by the agency as part of the cause of action had arisen in Uttar Pradesh, where many people, including from Ghaziabad, donated money for her crowdfunding campaign.

Mehta said the money laundering offence is not an independent offence and is always connected to a scheduled offence for which an FIR was lodged in Indirapuram police station of Ghaziabad. He added that money was shown by fake bills, groceries, among others, and was used for personal luxury items and consumption.

Citing Ayyub’s counsel arguments, Mehta emphasized that if a person chose to launder money in Singapore or Thiruvananthapuram, the agency has to go there and lodge a case. He said, “this is not the scheme…”

After hearing arguments, the apex court reserved its verdict on a plea by Ayyub challenging the summonses issued by a special court in Ghaziabad in the money laundering case.

Last week, the apex court had asked the Ghaziabad court to adjourn the proceedings in the money laundering case against Ayyub scheduled for hearing on January 27 to a date after January 31.

The ED, in October last year, had filed a charge sheet against Ayyub, accusing her of cheating the public and utilising charity funds worth Rs 2.69 crore for creating her personal assets, and also violating the foreign contribution law.

Ayyub moved the apex court seeking quashing of the proceedings initiated by the ED in Ghaziabad. The plea contended that the alleged offence of money laundering occurred in Mumbai, while citing lack of jurisdiction.

A special PMLA court in Ghaziabad, in November last year, had taken cognizance of the prosecution complaint filed by the Enforcement Directorate and summoned Ayyub. The special court said that from the perusal of the entire record there is sufficient evidence as to a prima facie case for taking cognizance against Rana Ayyub with regard to commission of offence.

The special court has noted the alleged offence is connection with obtaining illegally money from the general public in the name of charity via ‘Ketto’ platform, which is an online crowdfunding platform, in three campaigns without any kind of approval, raising huge amounts in the bank account of her sister and father and later transferring the same to her own bank account which was not used for the intended purpose.

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National News

Prez Murmu to address joint sitting of Parliament first time

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President Droupadi Murmu will address the joint sitting of Parliament for the first time since being elected to the post. She will outlay the government’s vision for the current year.

The Parliament Budget session will commence from Tuesday and the Finance Minister will table the Economic survey. She will present the Union budget on Wednesday.

President Droupadi Murmu, in her first Republic Day-eve speech, hailed India’s G-20 presidency, saying it is an opportunity to promote democracy and multilateralism, and also the right forum for shaping a better world and a better future.

“India holds the presidency of the Group of 20 nations. With our motto of universal brotherhood, we stand for peace and prosperity of all. Thus, the G20 presidency is an opportunity to promote democracy and multilateralism and the right forum for shaping a better world and a better future. Under India’s leadership, I am sure, the G20 will be able to further enhance its efforts to build a more equitable and sustainable world order.”

She said the ultimate goal is to create an environment in which all citizens can — individually and collectively, realise their true potential and prosper.

The President had also commended the roles of farmers, workers, scientists and engineers in the nation’s development and also praised the armed forces and paramilitary forces.

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Maharashtra

Pawar meets LS Speaker to revoke disqualification of Lakshadweep MP

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 Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar on Monday met Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and urged him to revoke the disqualification of party’s Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal whose conviction has been suspended by the Kerala High Court.

Pawar said, “As the Kerala High Court suspended the conviction and sentence of the former Lakshadweep MP and hence we appealed to the honourable speaker to consider the matter of suspension.”

He said that he met with the Lok Sabha speaker and requested him to revoke the disqualification of the NCP’s MP.

The Election Commission (EC) on Friday informed the Supreme Court that it will consider the Kerala High Court order, which suspended the conviction of Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal in an attempt to murder case, and take action in accordance with the law.

Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Faizal, submitted before a bench headed by Justice K.M. Joseph that the by-election cannot go on as the high court has suspended the conviction of his client.

Faizal’s conviction had resulted in his disqualification from the Lok Sabha. The bypoll was announced by the EC after Faizal was disqualified following his conviction in the case.

Senior advocate Maninder Singh, representing the EC, contended before the bench, also comprising B.V. Nagarathna, that the action will be taken in accordance with law against the backdrop of the high court order.

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