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Existence of NDR fund does not prohibit PM-CARES: Centre to Supreme Court

The petitioner argued that the entire funds collected in PM-CARES till date may be directed to be transferred to the NDRF.

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New Delhi, July 9 : The Centre has informed the Supreme Court that there are several funds which were either established earlier or now for carrying out various relief works, and PM-CARES is one such fund with voluntary donations.

The affidavit filed by the Ministry of Home Affairs said “It is submitted there exists a fund stipulated under section of the DMA (Disaster Management Act) which is called NDR fund. However, mere existence of a statutory fund would not prohibit in creation of a different fund like PM-CARES fund which provides for voluntary donations.”

The Centre contended that the petition seeking a direction that the funds received by PM-CARES to be credited to NDRF (National Disaster Response Fund) is neither maintainable on merits nor is maintainable under Article 32 as all funds other than the funds stipulated under section 46 of Disaster Management Act, 2005 are separate, different and distinct, created separately under separate provisions.

On June 17, the apex court issued notice to the Centre on a PIL seeking to transfer funds from PM-CARES to National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).

A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M R Shah asked the Centre to file a response within four weeks. Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), in the plea claimed that in the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic, NDRF is not being utilised by the authorities, and establishing the PM-CARES fund is outside the scope of the Disaster Management Act.

The petitioner argued that the entire funds collected in PM-CARES till date may be directed to be transferred to the NDRF.

“Centre may be directed to utilise National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for the purpose of providing assistance in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic in compliance with Section 46 of the DM Act, all the contributions/grants from individuals and institutions shall be credited to the NDRF in terms of Section 46(1)(b) rather than to PM-CARES fund and all the funds collected in the PM-Cares till date may be directed to be transferred to the NDRF”, said the PIL.

The petition argued that there is need to put in place a broader and well thought out national plan outlining inter alia a detailed coordination mechanism between the Centre and states. “Section 11 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 (hereinafter referred to as the “DM Act”) makes it mandatory for a national plan to be drawn up for disaster management for whole of the country but currently, there is no such national plan in place to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic”, argued the plea.

India

Doctor dies by suicide at AIIMS Delhi hostel, fifth such death at hospital in 2 months

In the last two months, AIIMS-Delhi has registered five deaths by suicide – three by patients and two by doctors.

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Asecond-year medical student has died by suicide at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi. The student, identified as Vikas, jumped off the roof of hostel number 19 at around 6 pm.

The police, in a statement, said that they received a call about a person jumping off the hostel roof at about 6 pm. “Upon reaching the spot, the injured person was promptly moved to the trauma centre and was given treatment. He was declared dead during treatment.”

The police identified the deceased as Vikas – a 22-year-old medical student from the 2018 batch. Vikas was a permanent resident of Bangalore.

According to the police, the doctor was earlier admitted to a psychiatry ward as a patient as he was experiencing some mental health issues.

The police also revealed that Vikas on duty on Monday and had taken a one-hour leave from the ward. During this break, he allegedly came to the hostel and jumped off the roof. Further inquiry is underway.

This is the fifth case of death by suicide at India’s premier medical institute since June 5.

On July 17, a 32-year-old man was found dead in the bathroom of the hospital’s emergency wing. A resident of Satna in Madhya Pradesh, he had come to the hospital for a follow up on his intestinal surgery conducted last year.

On July 10, a 25-year-old junior doctor had died by suicide at AIIMS-Delhi by jumping off the 10th floor of the hospital building. According to sources, the doctor was suffering from depression.

On July 6, a 37-year-old journalist, who was undergoing treatment for Covid-19 at AIIMS Delhi, had died after he jumped off the fourth floor of the hospital.

A month before that, on June 5, a 22-year-old man was found hanging from the railing of the second-floor staircase at AIIMS-Delhi. He was suspected to be suffering from depression.

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India

Yogi invokes NSA against Peace Party leader Dr Ayub

He was arrested from Gorakhpur on August 1, for issuing an advertisement with derogatory content in a newspaper.

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Dr Ayub Khan Peace Party

LUCKNOW: The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has invoked the National Security Act (NSA) against Dr Ayub, president of the Peace Party.

Ayub will not get bail for at least 12 months.

He was arrested from Gorakhpur on August 1, for issuing an advertisement with derogatory content in a newspaper. A complaint against him had been registered at the Hazratganj police station in Lucknow.

Ayub, who is the founder of the Peace Party and was elected to the Vidhan Sabha in 2012, is now in Lucknow jail.

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Jitin Prasada urges Yogi to restore Parshuram Jayanti holiday

Parshuram Jayanti had earlier been declared a public holiday but when the Yogi government came to power, the holiday was cancelled.

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Jitin Prasada Congress UP

Former Union minister and senior UP Congress leader Jitin Prasada has written a letter to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, urging him to declare a holiday on Parshuram Jayanti.

Parshuram Jayanti had earlier been declared a public holiday but when the Yogi government came to power, the holiday was cancelled.
In April 2017, the chief minister had cancelled 15 public holidays, including Parshuram Jayanti. The government also cancelled the birth and death anniversaries of several eminent people.

In his letter, Jitin Prasada, who has been leading a campaign against atrocities on the Brahmin community, said that Parshuram is revered as the Lord of Justice and is also seen as the sixth avatar of Lord Vishnu.

He said that Parshuram is held in high esteem by the Brahmin community. Prasada has urged the chief minister to restore the holiday on Parshuram Jayanti.

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