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Kerala: 136 children fall ill after consuming meal at Thiruvananthapuram school

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Thiruvananthapuram: Nearly 136 children suffered from suspected food poisoning after having a meal at a school here and admitted to a hospital.

The children were from a lower primary school at Thonnakel in the district.

Though the condition of the none of the affected children was serious, they would be discharged only after monitoring their health condition, a release from the Medical College Hospital stated on Friday.

Parents rushed their children to local medical centres initially as they complained of uneasiness after they had noon meal served in school on Wednesday.

Later, they were admitted to the hospital. Samples of the food the students had been sent for examination.

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Record 608 new corona cases in Kerala

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 14 (IANS): A record 608 new coronavirus cases were detected in Kerala on Tuesday, taking the state’s total such cases to 8,930 and active cases to 4,454, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

“Things are serious… in Thiruvananthapuram district itself there were 201 cases on Tuesday , of which 158 are local infectees. The total number of local infectees for the day in the state is 396. The state also registered one COVID death — a 47-year-old man who had returned from Saudi Arabia,” said Vijayan.

“According to WHO, the fourth stage is community spread. As things stand, we are now in the third stage of cluster spread, especially in Thiruvananthapuram and Malappuram. Hence from now on, all of us have to ensure that we should do everything to check the community spread. It’s now going to be six months since we have been fighting COVID and we have to continue our caution,” he added.

As of date, the southern state has 227 corona hotspots.

Vijayan said that drones have been put into service to help the police. Besides, 14 IAS officers have been given charge to oversee Covid operations in all the districts in the state.

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Ousted Kerala CM’s secy appears before Customs officials

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Pinarayi Vijayan

Thiruvananthapuram, July 14 (IANS) M. Sivasankar, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s secretary and IT secretary who was removed, here on Tuesday, presented himself before the top Customs and Central Excise officials.

A three-member Customs officials team had gone to Sivasankar’s house in the afternoon to serve a notice upon him. Sivasankar, present at the house, said he was ready to appear before the officials during the day itself.

Swapna Suresh, a former employee of the UAE Consulate, here, is among the four booked by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for allegedly facilitating smuggling of 30 kg gold in the diplomatic baggage to Thiruvananthapuram from Dubai on July 5.

Sivasankar, a senior IAS officer, ran into trouble after his alleged links with Swapna surfaced. She was on the run after the arrest of her friend and former colleague P.S. Sarith by the Customs.

Later, it was revealed that Swapna and Sivasankar were close and had attended several Kerala government events.

According to Swapna’s call records, which are in possession of the media, she was in touch with Sivasankar and Kerala Higher Education Minister K.T. Jaleel.

Reacting to this, Jaleel said he always believed she was secretary at the UAE Consulate General and the calls made was never in untimely hours.

“I received a message from the UAE Counsel General on May 27 to discuss handing over of Ramadan kits. He said Swapna would get in touch for further discussion.

“Now that the NIA is probing the case, my doors are open for them. If any staff member of mine had any contact with her, it’s their responsibility. I am not responsible for that,” said Jaleel.

The NIA arrested Swapna and Sandeep Nair from Bengaluru on Saturday for alleged role in the Kerala gold smuggling case.

On Sunday, the NIA brought them by road on a transit remand and presented them at an NIA court in Kochi, which remanded them to the custody.

The NIA had taken over the case on Friday and filed a FIR against the accused under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

–IANS

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‘Recommend your case for reinstatement’: SC to MP woman judge

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Madhya Pradesh High Court to reconsider the issue of reappointment of a former woman judicial officer who had resigned following an inquiry into her allegations of sexual harassment against a Madhya Pradesh High Court judge.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said it “would strongly recommend” the case of the judicial officer to the high court for reconsidering the appointment.

The bench also comprising Justices R Subhash Reddy and A S Bopanna assured senior lawyer Indira Jaising, appearing for the former judicial officer, that it would hear her plea in case the present order of the reconsideration does not yield result.

The apex court, on February 12, had observed that it may consider reappointing the former woman judicial officer and had asked the high court to deliberate on it.

Senior advocate Ravindra Srivastava, appearing for the High Court, said the issue of re-appointment was placed for the third time before the full bench of the High Court in February this year and it was turned down.

“She is seeking to be reinstated in MP with seniority and then transfer. The Full Court had held the acceptance of her resignation in 2014 as final,” he said.

“Why is the High Court not open to our suggestion. You (lawyer) please communicate our views,” the bench observed and granted four weeks’ time to the parties for taking a decision which has to be communicated to it in a month’s time.

Earlier, the Madhya Pradesh High Court had told the top court that the former woman judicial officer cannot be reinstated.

The high court judge, against whom sexual harassment complaint was made by her, was later given a clean chit in December 2017 by a Rajya Sabha-appointed panel which had probed the allegations.

In the hearing conducted on Tuesday through video-link, Jaising said that she was seeking an early hearing on the plea as her client was willing to work and should be accommodated in some other state on the same post and with same seniority.

The counsel for the High Court said that it was the case of voluntary resignation which was accepted in 2014 and besides the job, she also wanted the seniority.

The apex court then suggested Srivastava to consider the case as a fresh appointment. However, the suggestion was opposed by Jaising.

“She was a direct recruit in 2011, I do not remember her age…she aspires to be a HC judge and then become SC judge. How can I ask her to give up her aspirations,” Jaising said.

In response to the bench”s suggestion that she should be willing to give up seniority if the priority was work, the senior lawyer said, “she is 48, how can she start from bottom”.

Earlier, the top court had asked the MP High Court to mull over the possibility of reinstating the former woman judicial officer within four weeks.

The woman had moved the apex court seeking that the administrative order of January 11, 2017, passed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court dismissing her application for reinstatement into the Madhya Pradesh Higher Judicial Services, should be set aside. PTI SJK ABA MNL MNL RKS RKS

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