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Monday,25-October-2021

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Supreme Court moved against Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand’s ‘love jihad’ laws

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A plea has been moved in the Supreme Court challenging the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion Of Religion Ordinance, 2020 and the Uttarakhand Freedom Of Religion Act, 2018.

The plea moved by advocates Vishal Thakre and Abhay Singh Yadav and law researcher Pranvesh, states that the UP ordinance disturbs the basic structure of the Constitution. “The most important issue was whether the Parliament has the power to amend the fundamental rights enshrined under Part III of the Constitution,” said the plea.

The petitioners contended that the Parliament has no power to amend the fundamental rights, and if this ordinance is implemented, it will harm public at a large and will create a chaotic situation in the society.

“It is also pertinent to mention herein that the ordinance is passed by the state government/s of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand is against the provisions of Special Marriage Act, 1954 and it will create fear in the society who is/ are not part of Love Jihad… they can be falsely implicated in the ordinance,” the plea said.

Citing the landmark Kesavananda Bharti case, the plea said “the court held that the Parliament can amend the Constitution but the Parliament cannot change the basic structure of the Constitution”.

The petitioners contended they are aggrieved by the ordinances passed by the state governments and prayed before the top court that the law passed by Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand should be declared ultra vires and null and void, as they “disturb the basic structure of the Constitution and also are against the public policy and society at large”.

“This ordinance can become a potent tool in the hands of bad elements of the society to use this ordinance to falsely implicate anyone,” it argued, adding that there are probabilities of “falsely implicating persons who are not involved in any such acts and it will be a grave injustice if this ordinance is passed”.

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India logs 14,306 fresh Covid cases, 443 deaths

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 In the last 24 hours, India registered 14,306 new Covid-19 cases and 443 deaths, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday.

The new fatalities have increased the death toll to 4,54,712.

The recovery of 18,762 patients in the last 24 hours has increased the cumulative tally to 3,35,67,367. Consequently, India’s recovery rate stands at 98.18 per cent, currently at its highest peak since March 2020.

The active caseload stands at 1,67,695, which is the lowest in 239 days.

Active cases presently constitute 0.49 per cent of the country’s total positive cases, the lowest since March 2020.

Also in the same period, a total of 9,98,397 tests were conducted across the country.

India has so far conducted over 60.07 crore cumulative tests.

Meanwhile, the weekly positivity rate at 1.24 per cent has remained less than 2 per cent for the last 31 days now.

The daily positivity rate stands at 1.43 per cent, which has also remained below 2 per cent for last 21 days and less than 3 per cent for 56 consecutive days now.

With the administration of 12,30,720 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s Covid inoculation coverage has reached 102.27 crore as of Monday morning,

This has been achieved through 1,01,52,393 sessions.

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One falls to death as fire breaks out in 61-storey Mumbai building

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 A fire erupted on the 19th floor of a 61-storey residential building in south Mumbai, sending panic waves among the residents and resulting in the death of one person, here on Friday, officials said on Friday.

The blaze broke out in the Avigna Park building in Currey Road around noon, with thick clouds of smoke billowing out, sending the residents scurrying out to safety.

One panicky man was seen coming out of the burning floor, hanging onto a ledge, losing balance and falling to his death below. He was identified as Arun Tiwari, 30, according to the BMC Disaster Control.

At least 15 fire-tenders rushed to the spot and battled the conflagration, attempting to stop the flames from spreading to the higher floors, while Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar went and oversaw the rescue operations.

A majority of the residents managed to evacuate themselves, including several senior citizens and children, though two persons are feared trapped inside.

The cause of the blaze, tentatively believed to be due to a short-circuit, is being probed and the building reportedly has all fire-safety measures in place, said the residents.

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India achieves major milestone of ‘one billion’ vaccinations

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India on Thursday achieved the major milestone of 100 crore vaccination-mark, nine months after the nationwide inoculation programme was started to protect the people against Covid-19.

The CoWin portal mentioned that a total of 100 crore vaccine doses has been administered so far to the eligible population under the vaccination drive in India.

India’s vaccination drive against the Covid pandemic was launched on January 16, 2021. The healthcare workers were the first ones to get ones. Later, the frontline workers were also included in the drive from February 2. The state and central police personnel, Armed Forces, Home Guards, Civil Defence and others were included in the vaccination drive.

The vaccination drive was expanded from March 1 to include people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years with associated specified comorbidities. From May 1, the vaccination drive was thrown open to all above 18 years of age.

Prime Minister Modi said in a tweet, “India scripts history. We are witnessing the triumph of Indian science, enterprise and collective spirit of 130 crore Indians. Congrats India on crossing 100 crore vaccinations. Gratitude to our doctors, nurses and all those who worked to achieve this feat.

Congratulating the nation on this historic moment, the Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in his tweet, “Congratulation India! Under the visionary Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it has been achieved”.

As India has achieved this historical landmark, the health ministry has planned several events to mark the occasion. The Health Minister will release a song and an audio visual film to celebrate the milestone of administering 100 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses. Mandaviya will release the film and song at the Red Fort later in the day. In another event, Modi will visit the centre-run Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi.

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