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# L-G bound by ‘aid and advice’ of Delhi govt., says Constitution Bench
Disputes should be referred to President: SC
A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court unanimously held on Wednesday that Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal is bound by the “aid and advice” of the Arvind Kejriwal government.
In case of difference of opinion, the L-G should straightaway refer the dispute to the President for a final decision without sitting over it or stultifying the gov- ernance in the National Capital, the Bench said. It concluded that the governance of Delhi cannot rest upon the whims of one functionary — the Lieutenant-Governor.
“The Lieutenant-Governor has not been entrusted with any independent decision-making power. He has to either act on the ‘aid and advice’ of the Council of Ministers or he is bound to implement the decision taken by the President on a reference being made by him,” Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra held in his opinion, shared by Justices A.K. Sikri and A.M. Khanwilkar.
Chief Justice Misra, along with Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan in their separate but concurring opinions, cautioned the L-G against sending every “trivial” dispute with the government to the President.
The judgment came on appeals filed by the NCT government against an August 4, 2016, verdict of the Delhi High Court, which had declared that the L-G has “complete control of all matters regarding the National Capital Territory of Delhi, and nothing will happen without the concurrence of the L-G.”
Chief Justice Misra said the “L-G must work harmoniously with his Ministers”.
# Wenlock to have exclusive clinic for treating diabetes, hypertension
NCD Clinic to start operation in the hospital in another 10 days
The NCD Clinic, an exclusive unit meant for early detection of diabetes and hypertension, will start its operation at the Government Wenlock Hospital in another 10 days.
The NCD clinic at the Wenlock Hospital is among the clinics sanctioned last year in the second phase of the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stoke (NPCDCS).
The NCD Clinic has been operating in the Government Hospital in Udupi for the last four years.
According to B.V. Rajesh, Dakshina Kannada District Programme Officer of NPCDCS, the clinic will be located near the Malaria clinic on the first floor of the Wenlock Hospital (out-patient block side).
Apart from screening for diabetes and hypertension for those aged above 30, people can get medical treatment. Screening and treatment will be done free. Dr. Rajesh said that the State government has recruited a medical officer and two staff nurses for the clinic. They have to get a laboratory technician, a counsellor, a physiotherapist and a data entry operator. The BP measuring apparatus, ECG machine and other machines for the clinic have been procured.
The government has also provided insulin and other medicine that are required. Now, work on interiors is on, he added.
The NCD Clinic will be in addition to the medicine OPD of the hospital where screening and treatment facility for non-communicable diseases, respiratory disorders, diabetes and hypertension was available, Dr. Rajesh said.
Dr. Rajesh said that facility for detection and treatment of diabetes was available in 78 primary health centres and 10 urban health centres.
He said that the district cell of the NPCDCS has been compiling data of detection and treatment of diabetes from PHCs and UHCs and sending reports on a monthly basis to the NPCDCS national cell.
# Unable to find doctors, Jaya panel looks outside T.N.
Medical professionals required to examine documentsrelated to treatment at Apollo Hospitals
Unable to find doctors willing to join its expert team, the Commission of Inquiry looking into the death of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa is scouting for medical professionals based in other States.
The Justice (Retd.) A. Arumughaswamy Commission was given permission by the State government in late April to form a panel of doctors to examine the documents related to Jayalalithaa’s treatment.
The Commission wants these doctors to examine the 30-volume set of documents submitted by Apollo Hospitals in January. According to a source at the Commission, the doctors may also be required to sit in during depositions by medical personnel associated with Jayalalithaa’s treatment as independent expert witnesses.
However, the Commission has been unable to constitute the panel even after two months of trying. A source in the Commission said that doctors were “fearful” of being associated with the investigation.
“When we talk to them in private, senior doctors are willing to give their opinion on the treatment provided to the former Chief Minister. However, when we suggest that they come on board in an official capacity, they turn us down,” said another source associated with the Commission.
The Commission is now sounding out doctors from outside Tamil Nadu.
The State government’s approval does not mention a budget for the expert panel; it will have to bear the additional costs of hiring doctors from outside the State.
On Wednesday, the Commission’s lawyers S. Parthasarathy and R. Niranjan examined former assistants to Jayalalithaa, S. Poongundran and K.T. Karthikeyan.
The legal team of V.K. Sasikala, jailed aide of Jayalalithaa, opposed to the line of questioning against Mr. Karthikeyan, saying that the questions implied that their client was somehow a guilty party.
Mr. Karthikeyan had been asked if Sasikala had appointed him to replace Mr. Poongundran.
# ‘Solution to wild elephant issue soon’
Following complaints that jumbos destroyed crops in the region
Listing out steps taken to prevent wild elephants from entering agricultural fields in Thevaram region, Collector Pallavi Baldev appealed to the public to cooperate with the forest officials in this exercise.
Following complaints that elephants destroyed crops in the region at regular intervals, the Collector assured the people that she would inspect and convene a meeting with the officers and find a permanent solution to this problem.
On Wednesday, the Collector visited some areas and interacted with forest officers.
During a briefing, the officers told the Collector that mostly single elephants, which entered residential areas in search of food, were being monitored from specially erected watch towers by the forest personnel and safely moved back to the forests. As the elephants moved for 25 to 30 kilometres daily, it was a Herculean task to chase them back into the for est, they said. For sharing information about the movement of elephants, a special committee comprising forest and revenue officials had been formed.
District Forest Officer Gowthaman and Assistant Director of Panchayats Sethuraman and other officials from the revenue department participated in the meeting.
Earlier, the public submitted petitions to the Collector seeking basic amenities and welfare assistance.
# Din in Council over CM’s remark on Ram temple
Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who is facing criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party for not being able to implement all the pre-poll promises made by his party, launched a counter-attack by wondering why the BJP did not keep up its main poll promise of constructing a Ram temple in Ayodhya. He also sought accounts on the funds and bricks collected for construction of temple.
“You (BJP) have set me a deadline for implementing poll promises. But what have you done on your main poll promise of constructing a Ram temple,” the Chief Minister remarked in the Legislative Council while replying to a motion of thanks to the Governor’s address to the joint session of the legislature.
Seeking accounts for the funds collected from the public, Mr. Kumaraswamy alleged that the BJP had failed to honour its promise of constructing the temple.
At this juncture, a remark by him that the bricks collected from the general public for temple construction had been dumped in garbage bins angered the BJP members. They trooped into the well of the House, demanding that he should withdraw the remarks.
Asserting that the BJP had not dropped its agenda of building the temple, Ayanur Manjunath demanded that the Chief Minister take back his remarks on the dumping of bricks.
Finally, to ensure the smooth functioning of the House, Mr. Kumaraswamy withdrew his statement by saying that the BJP had kept the bricks at a safe place. “Let them build the temple with the same at least in the next 20 years,” he remarked.
# High Court clears decks for appointment of director for Jipmer
The case was a stumbling block stalling the selection process over four months
The Madras High Court on Wednesday cleared the decks for filling up the post of Director of Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (Jipmer) in Puducherry. The court dismissed a writ petition which remained a stumbling block to filling up the post for nearly four months and permitted the Centre to go ahead with the selection process.
A Division Bench of Justices Huluvadi G. Ramesh and M. Dhandapani concurred with Additional Solicitor General G. Rajagopalan, representing the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, that Jipmer was an institute of national importance, and therefore, the director’s post could not be kept vacant for long even if it was due to pending litigation.
The judges also recorded the submission of ASG that two of the five doctors who had jointly filed the present petition had already been shortlisted for the post, and hence, there was no point in stalling the entire selection process any further. The present writ petition was the second round of litigation that the litigants had initiated before the High Court against the selection.
The first writ petition was filed in March this year by senior faculty members R. Raveendran, Gopal Krushna Pal, Ashok S. Badhe, Abdoul Hamide, Surender Kumar and Sunil K. Narayan, alleging various irregularities in the constitution of the screening committee for the selection and the way in which the candidates were being shortlisted for interview.
Passing an interim order in that case, Justice T. Raja had ordered maintenance of status quo. Subsequently, the petition was withdrawn with liberty to approach the Central Administrative Tribunal, which also on April 20 granted an interim order of status quo. However, the order got vacated on April 27 at the instance of the Centre, and hence, the present petition.
# Police come under fire after suicide by couple
They were subjected to prolonged questioning in a theft case
The State police came in for fresh attack from diverse quarters on Wednesday following the suicide by a couple at Changanassery near here after they were subjected to prolonged questioning as part of the investigation into the disappearance of 75 sovereigns of gold from a jewellery where the man worked.
Sunil Kumar and his wife Reshma of Puzhavath were found dead in their house around 3.30 p.m. by relatives who had received a phone call from him stating that he had been beaten up badly by the police personnel at the Changanassery station.
Sunil Kumar was an employee in a jewellery run by Sajikumar, a councillor in the Changanassery municipal council. According to Sunil Kumar’s relative Anil Kumar, the councillor had threatened Sunil Kumar with dire consequences if he did not produce the gold or paid Rs. 8 lakh by 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
According to Anil Kumar, Sajikumar, a CPI(M) councillor, was present at the police station when Sunil Kumar was questioned by the police for 12 hours. However, the police authorities said all that they had done was to follow the normal procedures.
However, the couple took the extreme step immediately on returning home and telling relatives over phone that the police had subjected Sunil Kumar to torture. Although relatives spoke of Sunil Kumar having spoken about a suicide note, the police said no such note had been found from the couple’s home.
The couple’s death led to tension in the town with United Democratic Front (UDF) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists laying siege to the police station. The UDF and the BJP leadership also announced a dawn-to-dusk hartal on Thursday. Inspector General of Police (Central Range) Vijay Sakhare ordered transfer of Changana- ssery sub-inspector Shameer Khan pending inquiry.
Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala called for stern action on the matter and said murder charge should be brought up against the police personnel.
# Centre dodging rail zone for last four years: MP
TDP stages deeksha; asks Opposition to join fight
The TDP held a day-long deeksha seeking announcement of the new railway zone with headquarters in Visakhapatnam here on Wednesday in which Ministers, MPs, MLAs and senior leaders from all over the State participated.
Vizianagaram MP and former Union Minister P. Ashok Gajapati Raju said one should safeguard the interests of the State while ensuring the development of the nation. There should be no conflict of interest. He said India could develop as one of the best democracies only when the State and Central governments worked together.
He took potshots at YSR Congress president Jagan Mohan Reddy and Jana Sena Party (JSP) president Pawan Kalyan saying they had no interest in the development of the State. “If we work unitedly, we can achieve not only the railway zone but all other 18 promises made in the AP Reorganisation Act.”
Srikakulam MP K. Rammohan Naidu said in the past the three MPs from Srikakulam — himself, Mr. Ashok Gajapti Raju (Vizianagaram ) and Srinivasa Rao (Anakapalle) — had been fighting for the zone but today MPs from other parts of the State had come in support of the agitation.
Mr. Rammohan Naidu said the Centre had been dodging the issue for the last four years in the name of committees and other flimsy reasons. He wondered what committee had the Prime Minister appointed before taking the decision on demonetisation, which had resulted in severe hardship to the people.
The people of the region had been demanding the zone for the past three decades but the NDA government had failed to keep its promise. The YSR Congress party and the JSP presidents should pull up the Centre on the zone, he said.
Anakapalle MP Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao presided.
Ministers Nimmakayala Chinarajappa, Ch. Sujoy Krishna Ranga Rao, Ganta Srinivasa Rao and Ch. Ayyanna Patrudu, MPs Murali Mohan, Nimmala Kishtappa, Thota Narasimham, JC Diwakar Reddy and Ravindra Kumar and MLAs participated.
# Schools get a warning on coaching classes
Forcing students will attract penal action, says govt. circular
The School Education Department has warned private schools against coercing students to join coaching classes for competitive examinations. Such an act could lead to losing recognition, a circular from the Director of Matriculation Schools (DMS) has said.
The three-page circular titled ‘proceedings of the DMS’ sent to all chief educational officers has advised the private schools to comply with the government’s instructions “scrupulously”.
It also “strictly prohibited” schools from “collecting any fee other than the tuition fee under the guise of conducting special coaching classes”.
Any violation of the instructions will warrant stringent penal action by the department as contemplated by the Tamil Nadu Recognised Private Schools (Regulation) Act, 1973, including withdrawal of recognition, if necessary, S. Kannappan, Director of Matriculation Schools, has warned.
The directorate had learnt that some schools were offering integrated coaching for competitive examination from Class 6 and that the instructors were from commercial institutions who did not possess professional qualification and were permitted to take classes during school hours, Mr. Kannappan said.
Series of rules
He has cited a series of rules that govern tuition fee and teachers’ qualifications and recognition, and said private schools shall not engage private agencies on commercial terms or have any kind of tie-up with private agencies on commercial terms to conduct special coaching classes during school hours on the school premises.
The proceedings point out that such action would violate the purpose of the education agency — a trust or a society — which should at no point resort to profiteering, directly or indirectly. Schools must also abide by the National Council for Teacher Education rules. Failure to do so will be violative of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE).
“It is expected that the teaching should not promote one particular career option without realising the aptitude of students,” the circular read.
One of the conditions stipulated for grant of recognition is that the school shall not collect fees or donations compulsorily other than those permitted by the competent authority.
This means the schools cannot collect fee in excess of what is fixed by the Private Schools Fee Determination Committee or notified by the schools, it has pointed out.
# MSP for paddy hiked by Rs. 200
Historic increase, says Prime Minister
In keeping with the promise made in this year’s Budget speech, the Union Cabinet has approved a hike in minimum support prices (MSPs) for kharif crops so that they are 50% higher than the cost of production, not including land costs.
This includes a Rs. 200 per quintal increase in the MSP for paddy, which is likely to inflate the food subsidy bill by over Rs. 15,000 crore.
The decision was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who tweeted that this was a “historic increase.”
In a press briefing, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the hike would boost farmers’ income and purchasing capacity, and have a positive impact on the wider economy, even as he played down fears of rising inflation due to higher food prices.
Jowar, cotton also in list
MSPs were announced for 14 commodities, with major hikes being seen in cereals such as bajra, jowar and ragi, as well as cotton.
Mr. Singh said the Rs. 200 per quintal increase in the MSP for paddy was the highest ever such year-on-year hike in absolute terms.
However, in percentage terms, this year’s MSP of Rs. 1,750 per quintal is only a 12.9% increase from last year’s MSP of Rs. 1,550 per quintal.
Source:- The Hindu