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Election For 18 Rajya Sabha Seats To Be Held On June 19: EC

The voting will begin at 9 am on June 19 and the vote counting will take place at 5 pm on the same day.

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NEW DELHI: The Election Commission (EC) of India on June 1 announced that the Rajya Sabha elections for pending 18 seats will now be held on June 19, 2020. The elections were earlier scheduled to be held on March 26 but were deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The elections will be to fill 18 seats in Rajya Sabha, out of which four each are from Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, one each from Manipur and Meghalaya, three each from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and two from Jharkhand.

In its announcement, Election Commission also mentioned that Rajya Sabha polls for a total of six seats in Karnataka, Mizoram, and Arunachal Pradesh will also be on June 19. With the upcoming elections, a total of 24 Rajya Sabha seats across 10 states will be filled.


Key Points:

• The voting for Rajya Sabha elections will begin at 9 am on June 19 and the vote counting will take place at 5 pm on the day of the election.

• In its statement regarding the polls in 6 other states, EC mentioned that voting to fill the seats will also take place on June 19 as the elected members to these seats will be retiring in June-July 2020.


• The Election Commission announced the dates as the centre had extended the lockdown till June 30 with relaxations in various states.

• The EC also mentioned that the Chief Secretaries have been given the responsibility to depute a senior official to make sure that whether the instructions regarding COVID-19 containment measures have been carried out properly during the election preparations.

• Election Commission also informed that the decision to hold the Rajya Sabha elections was taken after taking all the factors into consideration.

The EC had earlier issued a notification on March 6, 2020, in order to fill 55 seats in Rajya Sabha from 17 states. The commission scheduled the polling for March 26 and the last date for filing the nomination was March 13.

A total of 37 candidates were declared elected after the last date of withdrawal on March 18.


The leaders who made it to the Upper House included Union Minister of State and RPI leader Ramdas Athawale, NCP President Sharad Pawar (both are from Maharashtra), and Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh.

Rajya Sabha elections for the remaining 18 seats, which were scheduled to be on March 26, were then postponed due to the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.

Even with the elections being deferred, the poll panel had made it clear that the completed procedure, including the candidates’ nominations, will remain valid.

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AGENTS OF CHANGE

‘Achche Din’ For You As ‘Consumer Protection Act, 2019’ Comes Into Force

The Act provides for punishment for manufacture or sale of adulterant/spurious goods.

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NEW DELHI: The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 came into force yesterday. Briefing the media about the new law through a video conference in New Delhi yesterday, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said that this new Act will empower consumers and help them in protecting their rights through its various notified Rules and provisions.

He said the Act includes the establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority, CCPA to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers.

The CCPA will be empowered to conduct investigations into violations of consumer rights and institute complaints or prosecution, order a recall of unsafe goods and services, order discontinuance of unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements, impose penalties on manufacturers or endorsers or publishers of misleading advertisements.


Paswan said that the rules for the prevention of unfair trade practice by e-commerce platforms will also be covered under this Act. The gazette notification for establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority and rules for prevention of unfair trade practice in e-commerce are under publication.

Details:

The new Act provides for simplifying the consumer dispute adjudication process in the consumer commissions, which include, among others,  empowerment of the State and District Commissions to review their own orders, enabling a consumer to file complaints electronically and file complaints in consumer Commissions that have jurisdiction over the place of his residence, videoconferencing for hearing and deemed admissibility of complaints if the question of admissibility is not decided within the specified period of 21 days.


The Minister said an Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanism of Mediation has been provided in the new Act.  This will simplify the adjudication process.

A complaint will be referred by a Consumer Commission for mediation, wherever scope for early settlement exists and parties agree for it.

The mediation will be held in the Mediation Cells to be established under the aegis of the Consumer Commissions.  There will be no appeal against settlement through mediation.

The Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Rules, there will be no fee for filing cases up to Rs. 5 lakh.

There are provisions for filing complaints electronically, credit of amount due to unidentifiable consumers to the Consumer Welfare Fund (CWF).  The State Commissions will furnish information to Central Government on a quarterly basis on vacancies, disposal, the pendency of cases and other matters.


The New Act also introduces the concept of product liability and brings within its scope, the product manufacturer, product service provider and product seller, for any claim for compensation.

The Act provides for punishment by a competent court for manufacture or sale of adulterant/spurious goods.

The court may, in case of a first conviction, suspend any licence issued to the person for a period of up to two years, and in case of second or subsequent conviction, cancel the licence.

Under this new Act, besides general rules, there are Central Consumer Protection Council Rules, Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Rules, Appointment of President & Members in State/District Commission Rules, Mediation Rules, Model Rules and E-Commerce Rules and Consumer Commission Procedure Regulations, Mediation Regulations and Administrative control over State Commission & District Commission Regulations.

Paswan said that the Central Consumer Protection Council Rules are provided for constitution of the Central Consumer Protection Council, an advisory body on consumer issues, headed by the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution with the Minister of State as Vice Chairperson and 34 other members from different fields.

The Council, which has a three-year tenure, will have Minister-in-charge of consumer affairs from two States from each region- North, South, East, West, and NER. There is also provision for having working groups from amongst the members for specific tasks.

In his concluding remarks, Shri Paswan said that in earlier Consumer Protection Act, 1986a single-point access to justice was given, which is also time-consuming.

The new act has been introduced after many amendments to provide protection to buyers not only from traditional sellers but also from the new e-commerce retailers/platforms. He said that this Act will prove a significant tool in protecting consumer rights in the country.

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India Trends

“Sachin Pilot Nikamma Hai, Nakaara Hai… Kuchh Kaam Nahin Kar Raha Hai”: Ashok Gehlot

CM Gehlot alleged that Pilot along with the BJP had been conspiring for the last six months to topple his government.

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JAIPUR (Rajasthan): Days after Sachin Pilot and his rebel camp declared an open rebellion against Ashok Gehlot, the Rajasthan chief minister described his former deputy as a “worthless” person and alleged that he backstabbed Congress by conspiring with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to dislodge his party’s government in the state. He also said that never in the history of the Congress has a party chief indulged in toppling his own government.

“Rajasthan is the only state in the country where no demands were raised from any quarter to change the Pradesh Congress Committee president in the last seven years. We knew that no work is happening. We knew he is nikamma and nakaara (useless). We still didn’t question him keeping the party interest in mind,” said Gehlot to the media.

The chief minister alleged that Pilot along with the BJP had been conspiring for the last six months to topple his government.


“Nobody believed me when I used to say that a conspiracy is being hatched to topple the government. I am not here to sell vegetables, I am the chief minister,” Gehlot said.

Ashok Gehlot’s no holds bar personal attack at Sachin Pilot did not end here as he added, “Masoom Chehra, Hindi-English Mey Command. Media ko impress Kar Rakha tha Pure Country Ke Andar. Bahot Mehnat Kari Rajasthan ke Andar government, Girane Ki.”  [He managed to impress national media with an innocent face backed by his command over English and Hindi language.]

“People of Rajasthan know his contribution to the state. I never questioned him [Sachin Pilot] and his actions for the larger interest of the party,” Gehlot told reporters in Jaipur.


Earlier in the day, the Rajasthan High Court began hearing on the writ petition filed by rebel Congress leader Sachin Pilot and 18 other dissident party MLAs from Rajasthan, challenging the disqualification notices issued to them by the state Assembly speaker. The petition was taken up by a bench of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Prakash Gupta on Friday and arguments were heard.

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COVID19

COVID-19 Unblock 2.0: Metro Rail, Schools, Colleges, Cinemas, Gyms To Remain Shut

International air travel of passengers has been permitted in a limited manner under the Vande Bharat mission. 

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NEW DELHI: The Centre has issued new guidelines for Unlock -2 to open up more activities in areas outside the Containment Zones. The new guidelines will come into effect from tomorrow and the process of phased re-opening of activities has been extended further. As per the new guidelines, the lockdown will continue to be implemented strictly in the Containment Zones till July 31.

The Home Ministry has said that the new guidelines are based on feedback received from States and UTs, and extensive consultations held with related Central Ministries and Departments.

Under the new guidelines of Unlock -2, Metro Rail service, operation of Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places will not be allowed.


Salient features of the new guidelines for Unlock 2

  • Domestic flights and passenger trains have already been allowed in a limited manner. Their operations will be further expanded in a calibrated manner.
  • Night curfew timings are being further relaxed and curfew shall be in force from 10.00 pm to 5.00 am. Further, relaxations in night curfew have been given for the seamless operation of industrial units in multiple shifts, movement of persons and goods on National and State Highways, loading and unloading of cargo and movement of persons to their destinations after disembarking from buses, trains and aeroplanes.
  • Shops, depending upon their area, can have more than 5 persons at a time. However, they have to maintain adequate physical distance.
  • Training institutions of the Central and State Governments will be allowed to function with effect from July 15, 2020.  SOP in this regard will be issued by the Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India.
  • After extensive consultation with States and UTs, it has been decided that schools, colleges and coaching institutions will remain closed till July 31, 2020.
  • International air travel of passengers has been permitted in a limited manner under the Vande Bharat mission.  Further opening-up will take place in a calibrated manner.
  • All activities, except the following, shall be permitted outside containment zones:
  1. Metro Rail.
  2. Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places.
  3. Social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions and other large congregations.

Dates for the opening of these will be decided separately, based on the assessment of the situation.

  • Lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the Containment Zones till July 31, 2020. Containment Zones are required to be carefully demarcated by the State/ UT Governments with a view to containing the spread of COVID-19, after taking into consideration the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW).  Within the containment zones, strict perimeter control shall be maintained and only essential activities allowed.
  • These Containment Zones will be notified on the websites of the respective District Collectors and by the States/UTs and information will also be shared with MOHFW.
  • Activities in the Containment Zones shall be monitored strictly by the State/UT authorities, and the guidelines relating to containment measure in these zones shall be strictly implemented.
  • MOHFW will monitor the proper delineation of Containment Zones and the implementation of the containment measures.

States to decide on activities outside Containment Zones


  • States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the Containment zones, or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary.
  • However, there shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods.  No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit will be required for such movements.

Night curfew

  • Night Curfew shall continue to remain in force, between 10.00 pm and 5 am, except for essential activities and other relaxation given in Unlock 2.

National Directives for COVID-19 management

  • National Directives for COVID-19 management shall continue to be followed throughout the country, with a view to ensuring social distancing.  Shops will need to maintain adequate physical distancing among customers. MHA will monitor the effective implementation of National Directives.

Protection for vulnerable persons

  • Vulnerable persons, i.e., persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, are advised to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes.

Use of Aarogya Setu

  • The use of Aarogya Setu mobile application will continue to be encouraged.
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