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Soz always opposed anti-India voices in Kashmir, free him, wife tells SC

The petitioner urged the top court to issue a writ in the nature of habeas corpus or any other appropriate direction to the Centre to produce Soz, before the court.

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Saifuddin Soz

New Delhi, May 29 : Octogenarian Congress leader Saifuddin Soz’s wife has moved the Supreme Court challenging his house arrest since August 5 last year.

Mumtazunnisa Soz said ten months have passed since his first detention, and he is yet to be informed of his grounds of detention. She said her husband has always supported the Union of India and consistently upheld the constitutional principles, respect for the nation and vehemently opposed and separatist or anti-India voices in Jammu and Kashmir.

In the petition filed through advocate Sunil Fernandes, she said her husband’s detention is wholly contrary and perverse to the constitutional safeguards laid down under Article 21 and 22 of the Constitution, as well as the law on preventive detention.

She insisted that her husband has consistently demonstrated an unwavering loyalty to the Constitution even in the face of separatist threats, and therefore cannot be considered by any stretch of imagination to be a threat to public safety.

“Not only does it attract the vice of unconstitutionality, it is also in stark contravention of the statutory scheme of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Act’), under which the detention has purportedly been made,” the plea said.

The petitioner urged the top court to issue a writ in the nature of habeas corpus or any other appropriate direction to the Centre to produce Soz, before the court.

The petitioner argued that her husband has not committed any breach of peace, neither has he disturbed the public tranquility, nor likely to do any wrongful act that may lead to breach of peace or cause any disturbance of public tranquility.

“However, Prof. Soz has been detained and put under house arrest since August of 2019 and the reasons for detention and arrest have never been informed till date, thereby making his detention not only illegal, malafide and unconstitutional, but also extremely appalling,” she contended.

Detailing the reason to move the apex court, Soz’s wife said grounds for arrest have not been furnished even till date, and he has been kept under detention for an indefinite period. “For someone who has been following constitutional methods for his entire long and storied career, cannot at this advanced stage, even be suspected of having any intention whatsoever to do anything against Constitutional values,” said the petition.

Cities

Supreme Court declines to interfere with Uttarakhand HC order on school fees

It also noted that children who do not participate in the online course, should not be asked to pay the tuition fee.

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Supreme Court of India

New Delhi, July 6 : The Supreme Court on Monday declined to interfere with an order of Uttarakhand High Court, which noted students of unaided private schools cannot be compelled to pay fees during the period of nationwide lockdown to contain the outbreak of Covid-19.

The schools have moved the top court challenging this order.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde said they are not keen to entertain the matter at this stage and asked counsel representing a large number of schools to challenge the orders issued by the state government.

The appeal challenging the High Court order was filed by the Principals Progressive Schools Association and St. Jude’s, Dehradun.

The High Court had observed that the students, who make use of online course rolled out by the private educational institutions, should be required to pay the tuition fee, if they choose to do so.

It also noted that children who do not participate in the online course, should not be asked to pay the tuition fee.

Advocate Zoheb Hussain, representing the schools, argued that schools imparting education through online means should not be restrained from charging fees, and asked the court to take into account the expenses involved in online education. He informed the court that attendance was 100 per cent in online classes, but only 10 per cent students were paying the fees.

The state government order said that private schools, which have rolled out online classes or other communication modes, during the lockdown, will be allowed to charge only the tuition fee. The order also said that a student cannot be removed if he or she does not pay the fee.

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India

Chinese troop withdrawal ‘positive’ but need ‘eternal vigil’: Congress

The disengagement between Indian and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops happened as per the agreed terms in the corps commanders’ meeting.

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Anand Sharma

New Delhi, July 6 : Amid reports of Chinese troops’ withdrawal from the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh, former Union minister and Congress leader Anand Sharma termed it as a “positive” development and insisted that there is a need for “eternal vigil”.

“Disengagement and de-escalation on LAC is a priority. India must insist for pull back at Pangong Tso. There is need for eternal vigil,” said Sharma.

The head of foreign affairs department of the Congress also said that China needs to “realise that stability” and peace at the borders and restoration of status quo ante is a must to “rebuild trust.”

The Congress which has been critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his handling of the Chinese transgressions at LAC and has accused him of misleading the nation, gave credit to the Indian Army for the Chinese pull back.

“Proud of our Army for standing firm in nation’s defence,” said Sharma.

Indian and Chinese troops have retreated two kilometres each along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Galwan Valley, where 20 Indian and an unknown number of Chinese soldiers were killed in a violent face-off last month.

Top official sources told IANS that both sides retreated two kilometres simultaneously on Sunday, following several rounds of talks which had begun after the clash on June 15.

The disengagement between Indian and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops happened as per the agreed terms in the corps commanders’ meeting.

With the retreat from both sides, a four kilometre no-man zone has been created. “Four kilometres in the highly mountainous terrain like Galwan valley, deprives both sides to see each other’s installations and reinforcements,” sources said.

The two sides have also agreed, sources said, not to do any aerial surveillance of the retreated area, to rebuild trust which was badly damaged due to the June 15 clash.

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Cities

MahaJobs to play match-maker between Maha employers, jobless

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Uddhav Thackeray

Mumbai, July 6 : Amid spiralling unemployment in the Covid-19 pandemic, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday unveiled the ”MahaJobs” portal intended to connect employers and those looking for jobs.

However, with a key condition of ”Domicile Certificate”, a majority of the jobs are likely to go to the locals, in tune with the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government”s sons-of-the-soil policy for employment.

“It”s a major step that will bridge the gap between the employers and those needing jobs, including skilled, semi-skilled or unskilled workers. All companies or employers and the job-seekers can register on the portal for their requirements,” Thackeray said.

He pointed out that during lockdown, many migrant workers have left for their home states, though some are now returning in trickles to various industrial centres.

“This implies that there is work and jobs are available, but the workers are not. This is where the MahaJobs portal will be helpful to all in a transparent manner,” the CM said.

Thackeray reiterated his appeal to companies and industries not to effect layoffs or pay-cuts, especially when the government is striving to create more employment opportunities, laying out the red-carpet for investors and industries in the state.

Industry Minister Subhash Desai said that job-seekers will provide all their relevant information, their qualifications and skills, required documentation including Domicile Certificate and the employers shall provide details of their requirements.

Unlike the erstwhile employment exchanges, the MIDC will ensure full help to both till the final process is completed with full transparency.

The MIDC has already identified 950-plus trades/skills for 17 sectors including IT, medicine, engineering, logistics, chemicals, etc. and the Skill Development Department will start short-term courses for those who desire to develop skills.

MahaJobs is a joint venture between the departments of Industry, Labour and Skill Development/Entrepreneurship intended to respond to the current crisis hitting both employers and job-seekers after the pandemic and lockdown.

Present on the occasion were Thackeray, Desai, ministers Dilip Walse-Patil, Nawab Malik, Aditi Tatkare, top officials like B. Venugopal Reddy, Dr. P Anbalagan, Harshdeep Kamble, officers from other departments and a large number of unemployed youngsters.

An MIDC official said that since several lakhs of migrants have left for their home states, there are huge job opportunities now available for the local people in the state and the portal – https://mahajobs.maharashtra.gov.in/ – will match the job-seekers with the job-givers for mutual benefit.

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