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Delhi Court Dismisses Bail Plea Of Journalist Rajeev Sharma In Espionage Case

Freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma was arrested under the Official Secrets Act on September 14.

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A Delhi court has dismissed the bail application of freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma, arrested in an espionage case under the Official Secrets Act.

Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana denied relief to Sharma on Monday, saying there was sufficient grave and incriminating material available on record against him. “I am satisfied that there is sufficiently grave and incriminating material available on record against the applicant/accused. Upon perusal of the telegraph chat, statement of witnesses recorded under Section 164 CrPC, information retrieved from the email account of the applicant accused and the nature of documents seized from the possession of the accused, I am of the considered opinion that the allegations against the applicant accused are well founded,” the judge said in an order passed on October 19.

The judge further noted that recovery of sensitive documents from Shrama’s flat viewed against the receipt of money by the accused from tainted sources and his relationship with the foreign agents goes a long way against the plea of his innocence.

“Further, from the conduct of the family members of the applicant accused, it is evident that they are attempting to influence the witnesses. Such an approach is really a cause of serious concern,” the judge said.

While opposing the bail application, police said that the accused was having links with foreign intelligence officers and had been receiving funds from his handler through illegal means and was being paid to convey sensitive information regarding India’s national security and foreign relations.

“Considering the seriousness of allegations, enormity of charges and the crucial juncture of the pending investigation, I am of the opinion that applicant/accused does not deserve the indulgence of the court and his bail application is bereft of merits… The application is accordingly dismissed,” the judge said.

The accused, represented by senior advocate Adish Aggarwala, had approached the sessions court after a magisterial court on September 28, rejected his bail application.

Delhi Police Special Cell had said that Sharma, arrested on September 14, was “found to be in possession of some defence-related classified documents.”

India

Don’t want food from Badal’s supporter: Farmers tells Sirsa at Tikri

As the situation tensed up a bit, Shiromani Akali Dal’s (SAD) leader Sirsa beat a hasty retreat. The protesters soon calmed down and got busy with their other activities.

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Farmers Delegation

New Delhi: SAD’s Delhi leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa on Saturday faced embarrassing situation when he went to offer ‘langar’ or community kitchen food to farmers rallying at Tikri on the Delhi-Haryana border, as protesters dubbed him a ‘chamcha’ or obsequious supporter of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

As soon as Sirsa, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) President, moved towards the protesting farmers, they protested his presence and climbed on the concrete block and police barricades to raise slogans against him as he stood there with folded hands.

“Badal de chamcheyan da langar nahi chahida (we don’t want to eat langar handed over by Badal’s obsequious follower),” the farmers shouted amid sloganeering against the Centre’s farm policies.

As the situation tensed up a bit, Shiromani Akali Dal’s (SAD) leader Sirsa beat a hasty retreat. The protesters soon calmed down and got busy with their other activities.

On Saturday, a day after their stand-off with security forces over entry into Delhi, farmers from Punjab and Haryana continued to rally and shout slogans at the Tikri interstate border entry/exit point, without any interference from the policemen who preferred to look on.

Various farmer leaders addressed the protesters even as the situation was more relaxed compared with what was witnessed on Friday, as policemen armed with a water cannon and tear-gas shells remained stationed in vicinity.

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Business

Manufacturing GVA growth in Q2 ‘surprising’: SBI Report

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New Delhi, Nov 28 : The manufacturing sector played a major role in narrowing down the India’s GDP contraction in Q2 of FY21. An SBI Ecowrap report, however, dubbed the growth in manufacturing GVA as “astonishing” as the IIP manufacturing for the same period declined by 6.7 per cent.

India’s GDP in the July-September period contracted 7.5 per cent, compared with 23.9 per cent in the preceding quarter.

The GVA in Q2 2020-21 from the manufacturing sector grew 0.6 per cent, as compared with a degrowth of 0.6 per cent in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal.

The report by Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Adviser, State Bank of India, said: “Though the whole press release is full of surprising numbers, the most astonishing number is the positive growth in manufacturing in Q2.”

He noted that despite being the worst affected sector in Q1 (due to lockdown), it is quite puzzling how manufacturing turned itself around.

The IIP manufacturing and manufacturing GVA growth are highly correlated (almost more than 0.90) and this correlation collapsed in Q2 when IIP manufacturing declined by 6.7 per cent (average of July/August/September) while manufacturing GVA grew by 0.6 per cent.

He said that one possible reason for this could be stellar corporate GVA numbers in Q2 on the back of massive purge in costs.

Further, he said that small companies, with turnover of up to Rs 500 crore, are more aggressive in cutting cost, displaying reduction in employee cost by 10-12 per cent.

“This could turn a potential headwind in future in terms of a drag on consumption. Additionally, there is evidence of inventory build-up that could act as a drag on future manufacturing growth,” said the report.

“Interestingly, government consumption expenditure has also nosedived in Q2, that is difficult to explain, as such expenditures are typically pro cyclical.”

During the July-September period, agriculture sector continued to perform well with its growth pegged at 3.4 per cent. Services remained in the negative territory, although the decline was contained as trade, hotels, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting showed recovery.

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Cities

We’ve resources to undertake coronavirus vaccination within 3-4 weeks: Delhi govt

Health and Family Welfare Minister Satyendar Jain made this announcement in at a press conference called to update Delhi’s daily health bulletin.

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Vaccine Covid

The Delhi government on Saturday said it has infrastructure to undertake coronavirus vaccination among all city residents within three-four weeks, adding that it was only waiting for the vaccine to be made available.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Satyendar Jain made this announcement in at a press conference called to update Delhi’s daily health bulletin. He gave the updates on Covid-19, decreasing positivity rate, availability of beds, and preparations for vaccination.

He said that the government had enough resources like Mohalla Clinics, polyclinics, dispensaries and hospitals to administer coronavirus vaccine across Delhi. Jain asserted that there will be no issues about the optimal storage of the vaccine as well.

“We are only waiting for the vaccine to be made available. Delhi has the infrastructure to roll it out and make it accessible to all city residents within 3-4 weeks. Delhi is equipped with the latest infrastructure to facilitate the rollout of the vaccine to Delhi’s population.

“For application, there are Mohalla Clinics, hospitals etc. It depends on how soon we get it from the central government. As far as storage is concerned, all amenities have been taken care of,” Jain said.

The Delhi government’s response comes amid Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Saturday visit to Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Pune where vaccine development process is going on.

Modi had recently held discussions with states and union territories on vaccine distribution once it is formulated.

Pointing out that there were 5,482 new cases in Delhi on Friday, the Minister said that the positivity rate had however come down to 8.51 per cent from 15.26 per cent. It has become less than half since November 7, 2020.

The Minister said that more than 50 per cent beds for coronavirus patients are available in Delhi hospitals at present. “Total bed available is more than 9,500. The occupancy rate is therefore steadily decreasing. In terms of ICU beds, more than 1,200 are available.”

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