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SC Directs Parties To Publish Details Of Pending Criminal Cases Against candidates

The top court also ordered them to upload on website reasons for choosing candidates with pending criminal cases.

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today directed political parties to upload on their website details of pending criminal cases against candidates contesting polls.

An order was passed in response to a contempt plea, which has raised the issue of criminalisation of politics and claimed that the directions given by the apex court in its September 2018 verdict relating to disclosure of criminal antecedents of political candidates were not being followed.

A bench headed by Justice RF Nariman also directed that political parties will publish these details on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and in one local vernacular and one national newspaper.

The court directed political parties to submit a compliance report in this regard to the Election Commission within 72 hours of selecting candidates having pending criminal cases against them. In case of failure, the EC shall bring it to the notice of the apex court, the SC added.


If parties fail to comply with its directions on candidates with pending criminal cases, Election Commission (EC) shall bring it to notice of apex court,” the top court said while adding that there has been an alarming increase in criminalisation of politics in last four general elections.

“The reason to select candidates should be based on merit and not winnability. Winnability can’t be the only justification,” the apex court added.

The apex court further said that parties will have to submit a report of compliance to EC within 74 hours of selecting a candidate with pending criminal cases.

It also directed that the EC shall bring it to the notice of the apex court in case of failure of political parties to comply with its directions.


The Election Commission had earlier told the apex court that 24 per cent of MPs had a criminal record in 2004 which had gone up to 34 per cent in 2014.

A study by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a non-government organisation working on electoral reforms, had shown that nearly 43% of the members of the Lok Sabha face criminal charges.

The study showed that a total of 462 more candidates contesting in Lok Sabha elections 2019 had declared serious criminal cases, including cases related to rape, murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, crimes against women, as compared to 2009.

Out of the 7,928 candidates analysed in Lok Sabha 2019, 1,500 candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves,” the report had stated.

In September 2018, a five-judge constitution bench had asked the central government to immediately enact laws to ban those involved in serious crimes from contesting elections and becoming party officials.

BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay had filed a contempt petition against the central government and the Election Commission, alleging that no serious efforts were made to stop the criminalization of politics despite the court order.


The Election Commission had said during arguments that the court order to publish criminal details of the candidates was not having any impact and political parties must be directed not to give tickets to people with criminal cases.

The court had earlier even ordered that candidates publish their criminal details in the newspaper thrice after filing their nomination. The petitioner had alleged that the Election Commission had not attempted to implement this order effectively.

It is hard to tell whether today’s order on “merit over winnability” can be realistically enforced, say political leaders, referring to years of attempts to clean up politics.

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AGENTS OF CHANGE

Bhagwan Ram A Common Thread Of Unity In Diversity In India: PM Modi

PM Modi drew an analogy between the Ram Mandir Karsevaks and soldiers of the struggle for independence.

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PAAVAN NAGRI AYODHYA (Uttar Pradesh): Recounting the different Ramayans written in various languages, Prime Minister noted that Shree Ram is the common thread of unity in diversity in the country. He said that Lord Ram is a symbol of strength and unity for all religions, irrespective of religion.

PM Modi repeatedly said that Ram “belongs to the whole country”. He also made timely references to coronavirus saying it has shown how everyone has to work together and cooperate.

During his historic address at Ayodhya, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that it is an emotional moment for the entire country and construction of Ram Temple will also pave way for the development of Ayodhya and open up several opportunities across sectors which will change the economy of the region.


The Bhoomi Poojan ceremony started at sharp 12.30 afternoon and culminated at 12.45 pm. Watch the ENTIRE Bhoomi Poojan Ceremony here:

The prime minister arrived in Ayodhya in a helicopter where Adityanath among others received him.

Before the function to lay the foundation stone of the ‘Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir’, the prime minister took part in prayers at the Hanumangarhi temple.


From there, he travelled to the ‘Shree Ram Janmabhoomi’ where he performed prayers at the ‘Bhagwan Shree Ramlala Virajman’.

He also planted a Parijat (Indian night jasmine) sapling.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath were among those who attended the event at the site where a large number of devout Hindus believe Lord Ram was born.

The guest list, including religious leaders who formed part of the movement that started in the 1980s, was restricted to 175 in view of the COVID-19 crisis.

Many Saints, spiritual leaders and other leaders associated with Ram Temple movement were present at the ceremony. Mahesh Bhagchandka and Pawan Singhal from the family of late Ashok  Singhal, Former President of Vishwa Hindu Parishad were Mukhya Yajman in Bhumi Pujan function.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi became the first Prime Minister to have Darshan at Ram Janmbhumi and Hanumangarhi temple of Ayodhya and after planting a sapling of Parijat Tree he took part in the Bhumi Poojan ceremony.

PM Modi was one of the organizers of the 1990 nationwide campaign for a temple at the site where the symbol of religious violence in the name of cruel Mughal invader Babar stood.

Prime Minister also released postage stamps on the model of Ram Temple and on Ramayana encyclopedia on this occasion.

A wooden Kodand Ram Statue was presented as a souvenir to Prime Minister by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

On the occasion Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath said that it was a dream which is became reality after a long gap of almost 5 centuries.

PM Modi performed the Bumipoojan for the temple of Ramlala amidst chanting of Slokas, Blowing of conch shells and renditions of Jai Shri Ram.

Clad in traditional Indian attire of Dhoti Kurta prime minister bowed down in front of Ramlala, performed pooja, accepted the Mukut or the crown and turban given by priests of Hanuman Garhi and did Parikrama also. He became the first Prime Minister to do so.

The city of Lord Rama was reverberating with the sound of Ramdhun on this occasion.

Although lanes of Ayodhya took a deserted look because of the security reasons but in the houses and temples of the city people were doing  Ramkeetran and recitation of Rancharitmanas.

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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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Covaxin, India’s First COVID-19 Vaccine Gets DCGI Approval For Human Trials

This marks the first regulatory approval for India’s domestic vaccine to enter trials.

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HYDERABAD (Telangana): India-based biotechnology company Bharat Biotech has secured regulatory approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to advance its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, Covaxin, into human clinical trials.

The Drug Controller General of India CDSCO (The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare granted permission to initiate Phase I & II Human clinical trials after the company submitted results generated from pre-clinical studies, demonstrating safety and immune response. Human clinical trials are scheduled to start across India in July 2020, the release said.

This marks the first regulatory approval for India’s domestic vaccine to enter trials. DCGI’s approval will enable the company to conduct Phase I and II studies, which are set to begin next month.


Covaxin has been developed in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Institute of Virology. The inactivated vaccine was manufactured in Bharat Biotech’s facility at Genome Valley in Hyderabad, India.

Bharat Biotech chairman and managing director Krishna Ella said: “We are proud to announce ‘Covaxin’, India’s first indigenous vaccine against Covid-19.

“The collaboration with ICMR and NIV was instrumental in the development of this vaccine. The proactive support and guidance from CDSCO have enabled approvals to this project.”


Bharat Biotech’s track record in developing vero cell culture platform technologies has been proven in several vaccines for Polio, Rabies, Rotavirus, Japanese Encephalitis, Chikungunya and Zika. The company is proficient in conducting extensive multi-centre clinical trials, having completed more than 75 trials in over 300,000 subjects globally, the release said.

In April this year, Bharat Biotech partnered with FluGen and University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW-Madison) to develop and evaluate a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, CoroFlu.

CoroFlu will be administered intranasally with an aim to induce multiple immune responses.

Later in May, Bharat Biotech entered into an exclusive agreement to develop a Covid-19 vaccine candidate created at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, US.

Thomas Jefferson professor developed this vaccine candidate in January using an existing deactivated rabies vaccine as a vehicle for coronavirus proteins.


Besides Bharat Biotech, at least five other Indian companies are working on a vaccine for the deadly coronavirus while similar efforts are underway in different countries.

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