log on to thegoan.net @thegoaneveryday THURSDAY MAY 12, 2022 12 pages PRICE ` 6 The Idea of Ram IN SHORT >> One month’s DSSS stipend on Friday PANAJI: The stipend of one month for senior citizens, widows and persons with disabilities (PwD) under the Dayanand Social Security Scheme will be released on Friday, assured Social Welfare Minister Subhash Faldessai. Kiosks for verification of tenants in S Goa MARGAO: Dedicated kiosks are set up at every police station in South Goa district for verification of tenants, servants, migrants and foreigners under ‘know your neighbour’ initiative, stated SP South, Abhishek Dhania. >> See pg 2 Maintenance works: Govt for PPP mode PANAJI: Goa government will be outsourcing the maintenance of road safety, directions and other signages in the state for a period of 10 years to private agencies through Public Private Partnership mode, informed PWD Minister Nilesh Cabral. Pothole-free roads by August: Govt PANAJI: PWD Minister Nilesh Cabral said that all major roads and state highways will be made pothole free by August. Short tenders have been issued to expedite the process, he informed. Zuari bridge section gets new deadline Facebook.com/thegoaneveryday 8 The Goan (Playstore) PANAJI MARGAO GOA VOLUME VII, NO. 324 GOA Inspection unearths unhygienic state of Margao old bus stand 2 Instagram.com/thegoaneveryday RNI: GOAENG/2015/65729 GOA 15 years later, fresh lease of life for Dona Paula convention centre ■ DIRECTS STATES NOT TO FILE FRESH FIRs OR CARRY OUT OTHER PROCEEDINGS TILL GOVT RE-EXAMINES IT ■ THOSE ALREADY FACING SEDITION CHARGES UNDER 124A CAN NOW APPLY FOR BAIL, SAYS APEX COURT PTI NEW DELHI In a path-breaking order, the Supreme Court on Wednesday put on hold the colonial-era penal law on sedition till an appropriate government forum re-examines it and directed the Centre and states to not register any fresh FIR invoking the offence. Besides the lodging of FIRs, ongoing probes, pending trials and all proceedings under the sedition law across the country will also be in abeyance, a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana ruled. In its significant order on the law that has been under intense public scrutiny for its use as a tool against expressions of dissent, including on social media, the bench spoke of the need to balance the interests of civil liberties and citizens with that of the State. This court is cognizant of the security interests and integrity of the State on one hand, and the civil liberties of citizens on the other. There is a requirement to balance both BIG BOOST FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES Court asserts rigours of Section 124A (sedition) of the IPC are not in tune with the current social milieu It said any affected party is at liberty to approach concerned courts, which are requested to examine the reliefs sought taking into the consideration of the present order The order said the interim stay granted to some petitioners by the apex court would continue to operate till further orders Adjudication with respect to other Sections, if any, could proceed if the Courts are of the opinion that no prejudice would be caused to the accused, it said The order referred to the Centre’s affidavit, which accepted there were divergent views on the law and had also quoted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s favour in protection of civil liberties and respect for human rights sets of considerations, which is a difficult exercise. The case of the petitioners is that this provision of law pre-dates the Constitution itself, and is being misused, the bench, also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, said. The court listed the matter in the third week of July and said its directions shall continue till further orders. Sedition, which provides a maximum jail term of life under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code for creating “disaffection towards the government”, was brought into the penal code in 1890, 57 years before Independence and almost 30 years after the IPC came into being. In the pre-Independence era, the provision was used against freedom fighters, including Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi. Over the years, the number of cases has been on the rise, with Maharashtra politician couple Navneet and Ravi Rana, author Arundhati Roy, student activist Umar Khalid and journalist Siddique Kappan among those charged under the provision. CJI Ramana, writing the order, referred to the attorney general earlier giving instances of glaring misuse of this provision, like in the case of the recital of the Hanuman Chalisa. Taking note of the concerns of the Centre, the apex court said the rigours of Section 124A (sedition) of the IPC are WEATHER >> Max: 36 C Min: 25.1 C Humidity: 91% TIDES Low: High: 2.03/13:38 08.01/20:02 The order said the interim stay granted to some petitioners by the apex court would continue to operate till further orders. All pending trials, appeals and proceedings with respect to the charge framed under Section 124A of IPC be kept in abeyance. Adjudication with respect to other Sections, if any, could proceed if the Courts are of the opinion that no prejudice would be caused to the accused, it said. If any fresh case is registered, the affected parties are at liberty to approach the courts for appropriate relief and the courts are requested to examine the reliefs sought, taking into account the present order passed as well as the clear stand taken by the Centre, it said. The bench did not agree with the Centre’s suggestion that a superintendent of police ranked officer be made responsible for monitoring the registration of FIRs for the offence of sedition. MARITAL RAPE NOW IN SC 1 Delivering a 1:1 split verdict on the issue of criminalisation of marital rape, the Delhi HC on Wednesday said that the matter will have to be considered by the Supreme Court of India 2 The two-judge bench of justices Rajiv Shakdher and C Harishanker gave dissenting opinions on the issue of whether the exception granted to the sexual acts done by a husband on his wife can be considered valid under the Constitution The petitioners had challenged the constitutionality of marital rape on ground that it discriminated against married women sexually assaulted by their husbands 3 >> See report on pg 6 >Continued on P5 Porvorim clinic fails to produce permits for sale THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI: Town and Country Planning Minister Vishwajit Rane said that several wrongdoings were highlighted during the ongoing scrutiny of ODPs. “It’s interesting to compare Calangute-Candolim ODP to newly created ODP. These irregularities are shocking to say the least,” Rane lamented. >> See pg 3 >> See pg 3 not in tune with the current social milieu and permitted reconsideration of the provision. We expect that, till the re-examination of the provision is complete, it will be appropriate not to continue the usage of the aforesaid provision of law by the Governments, it said. Any affected party is at liberty to approach concerned courts, which are requested to examine the reliefs sought taking into the consideration of the present order, the apex court said. The order referred to the Centre’s affidavit, which accepted there were divergent views on the law and had also quoted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s favour in protection of civil liberties and respect for human rights. In view of the above, it is clear that the Union of India agrees with the prima facie opinion expressed by this Court in light of the same, the Union of India may reconsider the aforesaid provision of law, it said. Cannabis-laced medicines worth ` 2.13 lakh seized DOWN THE DRAIN Several wrongdoings in ODPs, says Rane 12 Jadeja ruled out of remainder of IPL, goes home with rib injury SC PUTS SEDITION LAW ON HOLD PANAJI: The government on Wednesday said the target for commencing four lanes of new Zuari bridge is set for August-September 2022. It, however, said due to technical difficulties it may or may not be possible to complete the work by then, the PWD Minister said. Monsoon woes: Will history repeat this year in Guirim? 3 SPORTS One of the pipelines supplying water to Panaji ruptured at the Patto area on Wednesday morning prompting the contractor to get into action mode to plug the leakage. Narayan Pissurlenkar Challaning of tourists under scanner THE GOAN I NETWORK MAPUSA Working on a fresh tourism approach for next season, Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte on Wednesday said the government’s focus will be on action against illegalities along the coastal belt and ensure clean and safe beaches for tourists visiting the State. Khaunte also said the impression of harassment of tourists by traffic police has to be stopped and they have to be made to feel at home. “We will ensure proper monitoring, action against illegalities and use of technology in the next few weeks so that in the coming season we are able to create an impression of safe and clean beach- es,” said Khaunte, after holding a review meeting with the Director General of Police and the police officials concerned. Khaunte said one of the problems tourists faced on roads >Continued on P5 PORVORIM In a first in Goa and a case which could put to the test the extent to which the country’s laws permit the use of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes, the police raided a clinic in Alto-Porvorim on Tuesday night and seized medicines laced with cannabis worth Rs 2.13 lakh. Acting on information that medicines made from cannabis were being sold in the clinic, a Porvorim police team raided the premises and found various medicinal products containing cannabis being displayed for sale. The staff at the clinic could not produce any permission or documents from authorities concerned for the sale of the products. Police said, they seized 83 boxes and two bottles, all weighing a combined 7 kgs and valued at Rs 2.13 lakh, from the clinic. According to sources, a doctor would visit the clinic twice a month to check patients. Police have registered an offence under the NDPS Act UNDER PURVIEW AGAIN The case is expected to evince keen interest among a growing constituency of ‘legalise cannabis’ protagonists The Centre is on record in a 2020 affidavit it filed before the Delhi HC that cannabis for medical and scientific use is allowed under the law In Goa, a proposal to enact a law regulating the cultivation of cannabis was mooted by the Health Ministry in December 2020 against the owner of the clinic, who is a native of New Delhi and is presently absconding. Further investigations are being carried out by Police Inspector Anant Gaonkar and closely guided and supervised by DySP Vishwesh Karpe and the North Goa SP Shobit Saxena, IPS. The Clinic -- Cannadoc Clinic -- is owned by Delhi-based Arjun Khanna and was launched just three weeks ago with a jaw-dropping beachside party. Meanwhile, the case as it progresses through the prosecution process in the courts, is expected to evince keen interest among a growing constituency of ‘legalise cannabis’ protagonists. It could be a test case for India’s nascent attempt at permitting the use of cannabis for scientific and medical purposes, said a leading lawyer conversant with NDPS law who wished not to be identified. The Central government is on record in a 2020 affidavit it filed before the Delhi High Court that cannabis for medical and scientific use is allowed under the law. In the same affidavit, the Centre had also said it had empowered State governments to permit, control and regulate the cultivation of any cannabis plant, production, manufacture, possession, transport, inter-state import and export, sale, purchase, >Continued on P5 ODF? 19% households don’t Can work continue beyond Castlerock-Kulem section? use toilets, reveals survey Railways asserts it can continue double-tracking, but activists say a firm ‘no’ PTI NEW DELHI Even though India was declared Open Defecation Free by the government in 2019, the latest NFHS survey conducted in 2019-21 showed that 19 percent of households do not use any toilet facility. However, the report said the percentage of households practising open defecation decreased from 39 percent in 2015-16 to 19 per cent in 201921. Access to a toilet facility is lowest in Bihar (62 per cent), followed by Jharkhand (70 per cent) and Odisha (71 per cent). The NFHS-5 found that 69 percent of households use an improved sanitation facility that is not shared with other households and eight percent use a facility that would be considered improved if it was not shared. “Nineteen percent of households have no facility, which means that the household members practice open defecation,” the report said. “Eighty-three percent of households have access to a toilet facility. Sixty-nine percent of Indian households use improved toilet facilities, which are non-shared facilities that prevent people from coming into contact with human waste and can reduce the transmission of cholera, typhoid, and other diseases,” it said. The survey found that 11 percent of urban households use a shared facility, compared with seven percent of rural households. Access to a toilet facility ranges from 69 percent among scheduled tribe households to 93 percent among households which are not scheduled caste, scheduled tribe, or other backward class households. GKN DIFFERS THE GOAN I NETWORK MARGAO wo days after the Supreme Court affirmed the recommendations of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) on the double-tracking project through the Western Ghats, work on the double line outside the Castlerock-Kulem section continues unabated, only throwing up a moot question – whether the Supreme court verdict empowers the Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL) to continue ongoing work on the project outside the Castlerock-Kulem section? A firm no came from the activists and groups waging a sustained battle against the controversial project. The RVNL, however, said the The railways should not interpret the order from a narrow point of view The double-tracking was not ordinary work, but a linear project passing through two states Can this linear project ever see the light of day in the event the railways do not get any permission in future on the controversial Castlerock-Kulem section? T Workers engaged in the construction work of a footbridge on the Chandor-Guirdolim stretch where double-tracking has been undertaken. Santosh Mirajkar Supreme Court verdict does not bar the railways from going ahead with the ongoing work on the project outside the Castlerock-Kulem section. The contentious question has come to the fore after villagers of Guirdolim pointed out that they spotted workers engaged in the project. Workers were seen working on a footbridge at the Chandor-Guirdolim railway station, indicating that work has not stopped on the controversial project. After RVNL officials declined to comment on the ongoing work on the project despite the Supreme Court verdict, The Goan called up Chief Public Relations Officer, Anis Hegde, to shed light on the contentious question. Hegde asserted that the Supreme Court verdict has not barred the railways from continuing the ongoing work outside the Castlerock-Kulem section. “Our railway officials are busy studying the Supreme Court order. It is clear that the court has revoked the approval granted by the Standing Committee of NBWL for doubling the railway line between Castlerock to Kulem. This only goes to show that the >Continued on P5
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