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Thursday,22-October-2020

National News

Multiplexes to reopen with 50% seating from October 15

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In its latest guidelines for further reopening, the Union Home Ministry has allowed certain activities such as functioning of cinemas, theatres and multiplexes with 50% seating capacity from October 15.

However, cinema halls, theatres and multiplexes will have to strictly adhere to standard operating procedures (SOP) issued by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.

Meanwhile, Business to Business exhibitions will also be permitted to open from October 15, for which SOP will be issued by the Department of Commerce.

In what can be a breather for professional swimmers, swimming pools being used for training of sportspersons have been permitted to open from October 15. However, they must adhere to certain SOP to be issued by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports.

In news that is certain to bring cheer to many, entertainment parks will also be permitted to open from October 15, said the MHA. These too will have to follow SOP which will be issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

However, the MHA has asserted that these activities will only be allowed in areas outside Containment Zones. “The new guidelines, issued today, are based on feedback received from States and UTs, and extensive consultations held with related Central Ministries and Departments,” said the MHA in a statement.

Meanwhile, the lockdown will continue to be implemented strictly in Containment Zones till October 31.

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PM Narendra Modi lauds Amit Shah on his birthday

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday lauded the “dedication and excellence” of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in India’s progress.

The Prime Minister expressed his views while extending wishes to Shah on his 56th birthday.

“Birthday wishes to Amit Shah ji. Our nation is witnessing the dedication and excellence with which he is contributing towards India’s progress,” the Prime Minister tweeted.

The Prime Minister recalled Shah’s “noteworthy” efforts to make the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stronger and wished: “May God bless him with a long and healthy life in service of India”.

Shah, who is currently serving as the Union Minister of Home Affairs, served as the President of the BJP from 2014 to 2020. He was elected to the Lower House of Parliament in the 2019 Indian general elections from Gandhinagar constituency.

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Lalu Prasad hits out at Nitish and Sushil Modi again

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Neither can you take Lalu Prasad out of Bihar politics nor Bihar out of the RJD supremo, who though in Ranchi jail has been closely monitoring and directing the action in the Assembly poll campaign.

On Thursday, he slammed Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi as Mukhya Mauka Mantri (Chief Opportunist Minister) and up-mukhya dhokha mantri (Deputy Chief Deceive Minister) while referring to a cartoon uploaded from his tweeter handle.

“People have given many opportunities to you but you have only deceived them,” he said.

In the cartoon, Nitish Kumar and Sushil Modi can be seen urging voters to give them one more chance and the public saying: “how many more you need?”

Four days back, Lalu Prasad had taken another jibe at the Nitish Kumar government in a similar Twitter post in which the Chief Minister had tried to make an excuse of the fact that Bihar is not a maritime state and hence misses out on trade and commerce.

He also suggested that Nitish Kumar should retire and call it quits as he has toiled enough.

Like in 2019 parliamentary elections, the Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo is not present in person to campaign for his party in the Bihar assembly election starting October 28, but is monitoring every single step his son Tejashwi Yadav is taking.

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Delhi High Court slams AAP government over fund scarcity in district courts

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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday slammed the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government for not providing funds to meet the basic requirements of the lower courts, which, it said, generate huge revenues through collection of fines, court fees and traffic challans.

“What do you want? You want to kill the goose that lays golden eggs,” a division bench of the high court comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad asked the Delhi government.

The question came in after the bench was informed that in the year 2018-19, the district courts had collected fines to the tune of Rs 80 crore, which was remitted to the Delhi government, and court fees worth Rs 96 crore was sold in the said year.

“In the year 2019-20, fines worth Rs 89 crore was collected by the district courts and court fees worth Rs 102 crore was sold. Between 01.07.2019 and 12.10.2020, traffic fines to the tune of Rs 115 crore have been collected by the virtual traffic courts and deposited with the Delhi government,” officer on special duty (OSD), Reetesh Singh, said while appearing before the bench.

Following these submissions, the bench said, “Despite the aforesaid revenues generated by the district courts over the past three years, they are being starved of finances for the basic facilities required to run the courts efficiently, which cannot be countenance. Any obstruction in the discharge of constitutional function of the courts must be viewed seriously.”

In order to meet the requirements of the 119 cars pending at the end of the Delhi government, the bench directed it to start with releasing funds for purchasing 20 per cent of the required pool cars, which will come to 23 cars, within three months from Wednesday.

The bench further noted that as 150 judicial officers are due to be posted in the next couple of months and their courts cannot be made functional without adequate support staff, it directed the Delhi High Court to release the required sum of Rs 2,52,10,178 from its budget to the district courts without any delay.

However, the same was done with a condition that the said amount shall be returned to the Delhi High Court immediately using funds being made available by the Delhi government to the district courts, an exercise to be completed on or before December 31, 2020.

The bench said, “Thank god we have our own funds. You (Delhi government) are making the subordinate judiciary run from pillar to post.”

The court was hearing a petition seeking to enlarge the functioning of the courts, particularly family courts, in the prevalent times.

The petition sought direction to all the family courts to allow recording of evidence via video conferencing during the restricted functioning of the courts owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, either by the presiding judge of the family court or by a commission.

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