madurai l saturday l April 17, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l late city EDITION SC norms for fast disposal of cheque-bounce cases The SC on Friday issued a slew of directions for fast disposal of cheque-bounce cases, which have choked justice delivery system Negotiable instruments act to be amended Evidence through affidavit The Supreme Court said there should be a single trial in multiple chequebounce cases, if transactions involved are the same. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde asked the Centre to make suitable amendments in the Negotiable Instruments Act and recommended that cases lodged in 12 months time against a person be clubbed into one case ■ ■ The apex court directed all high courts to issue guidelines for trial courts for speedy disposal of cheque bounce cases The court also said the evidence in such cases can now be tendered by filing affidavits, and there would be no requirement to examine witnesses physically 30% Share of cheque-bounce cases in total pendency at trial courts & high courts CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Bid to ramp up oxygen, vax production, supply Short supply? TN Vax lines getting longer EX P RE S S NEW S S ERV I CE @ Chennai/Coimbatore/Salem/Erode PM takes stock, urges synergy to ease bottlenecks; Bharat Biotech gets aid to produce more Covaxin; other firms too to manufacture it E x p r e ss N e w s S e r v i c e @ New Delhi Faced with an acute shortage of medical grade oxygen and vaccines in the wake of the massive second Covid wave that is nowhere near its peak, the Centre on Friday sought to ease all bottlenecks as part of its crisis management and step up their production. Prime Minister Narendra Modi did a comprehensive review of the oxygen situation and urged Union ministries and state governments to build synergy to address gaps in the system. The meeting came a day after the government decided to import 50,000 metric tonnes of oxygen after first claiming that there is enough production capacity within India to meet the demand. To address vaccine shortage, the government sought to scale up production of the indigenous Covaxin developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, by providing `65 crore aid to the company’s unit in Bengaluru. It has already allowed Mum- bai-based Haffkine Institute to produce Covaxin on technology transfer basis. Covaxin’s share in the current vaccine pool in just about 15%, as the present capacity of Bharat Biotech is about 1 crore doses a month. The Centre plans to increase production to 2 crore doses by May-June and by 6-7 crore by July-August, for which talks are on with at least two more companies - Indian Immunologicals Ltd, Hyderabad and BIBCOL, Bulandshehar. The meeting convened by the PM specifically took stock of the oxygen availability in 12 high burden states, including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths April 15 April 16 2,00,739 93,528 1,038 2,17,353 1,18,302 1,185 Variants of concern Of about 14,000 Covid samples whose whole genomic sequencing has been carried out, 1,189 tested positive for variants of concern, the Centre said on Friday Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. These states have already been allocated 4,880 MT, 5,619 MT and 6,593 MT for meeting their projected demand as on April 20, April 25 and April 30, respectively . Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Friday wrote to the state chief secretaries, advising free inter-state movement of oxygen carrying vehicles, saying no curb shall be imposed on oxygen manufacturers and suppliers to impose geographical limits on supplies. Meanwhile, a section of the saints camping in Haridwar for the Maha Kumbh were agitated after an akhada claimed the mela would end on Saturday A . final decision will be taken by the Akhada Parishad, the apex body of 13 akhadas. At of now, at least 50 seers have tested positive for Covid 19. They include Mahant Ravindra Puri of the Niranjani Akhada who on Thursday announced that his akhada will consider closure of the mega event on April 17. Covid victims being cremated at Swarnrekha Ghat in Ranchi on Friday | PTI Maharashtra Aurangabad district administration has acquired the oxygen plant of R L Steel in Chitegaon of Paithan to produce nearly 500 medical grade oxygen cylinders per day New Delhi IndiGo to waive fee to change time or date on domestic tickets that are booked between April 17 and April 30 due to Covid. However, cancellation fee will be chargeable Uttar Pradesh Full lockdown across all UP districts this Sunday Andhra Pradesh Vaccine stock exhausted, just 4,300 doses could be administered on Friday; CM writes to Modi for 60 lakh more doses express read UK home secy clears Nirav’s extradition London: UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has signed off on the order to extradite fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi, wanted in India on fraud and money laundering charges. Modi has a 14-day window to appeal against the decision | P9 US keeps India in currency watch list Washington: The US on Friday placed 11 countries, including India, China, Japan, South Korea, Germany and Italy in the currency practices monitoring list. The other countries are Ireland, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Mexico Monsoon to be normal this year, says IMD New Delhi: The Southwest monsoon, which brings nearly 75% of rainfall to the country, is expected to be normal this year, the India Meteorological Dept said on Friday. The 50-year average will be 98% with an error margin of 5%, it added Vivekh Suffers heart attack The actor was hospitalised with a 100% blood clot a day after taking the Covid vaccine, but the two may not be related, said the vice-president of SIMS hospitals | P4 Long trip ahead? A group of flamingoes flies in Rameswaram. The birds can fly hundreds of kilometres in a night | Express Reputation can’t be inherited, HC tells Jayalalithaa’s niece EX P RE S S NEW S S ERV I CE @ Chennai A person’s privacy or reputation earned during their lifetime is extinguished with their death, and this reputation can’t be inherited like a movable or immovable property, the Madras High Court ruled on Friday dismissing an appeal from , former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s niece J Deepa. A division bench of Justice R Subbiah and Justice Sathikumar Sukumara Kurup said this while hearing Deepa’s plea seeking to restrain the makers of a movie on Jayalalithaa’s life. Deepa said the makers of the movie, Thalaivi, planned to produce and release a film on Jayalalithaa for commercial benefits, without consent from her, a family member. “The life story of Dr J Jayalalithaa cannot be filmed without adding the life of her relatives as part of the film. In such an event, the same would amount to invading our privacy,” Deepa’s petition stated, and contended that her part in the life story may also be depicted in a certain way by the filmmakers, which may affect the family’s privacy . The court said Thalaivi is yet to be released, and till then, Deepa is not entitled to seek an injunction on the grounds that her aunt has been depicted badly and the movie attempts to lower her reputation. ‘Can’t force filmmakers to only show some facts’ “The right of freedom of speech and expression is not conditioned/ restricted on the premise that a filmmaker must only portray one particular version of facts,” the court said, adding that the only remedy Deepa can seek is for the damages caused EC bans rallies from 7pm to 10am in Bengal P r o n a b M o n d a l @ Kolkata In the all-party meeting called by the Election Commission on Friday there , were no takers for the TMC’s suggestion to club the remaining phases of the polls. However, keeping in view the serious Covid situation, the EC asked parties to religiously follow protocols. The poll panel warned them of criminal action in case of violation of Covid guidelines. “Candidates and political parties shall ensure absolute, repeat absolute, adherence to Covid guidelines...” the poll panel said in its order. It asked star campaigners to tell their audience to wear masks in the beginning of the event itself and directed political parties to provide masks and sanitisers to all those who come to attend rallies. The EC cut short the time given for rallies and public meetings by banning them from 7 pm to 10 am. It also extended the silence period from 48 hours to 72 hours for the remaining three phases scheduled to be held on April 22, 26 and 29. Bengal reported 6,747 new cases in the past 24 hours. O2 status check Madhya Pradesh Daily supply up from 130 MT to 295 MT. In 34 districts. 1,273 O 2 concentrators installed till date. Air Concentrator Units are being installed in 8 districts BIHAR Govt claims oxygen availability is sufficient for the next 7-10 days. But private hospitals complain of oxygen scarcity JHARKHAND Govt claims there is no shortage, but patients are facing problems in getting oxygen support. A special task force has been formed to address it Thousands of anxious people gathered in long queues across the State on Friday, hoping to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Most of them feared a shortage of vaccines would mean their wait was in vain. At Chennai’s Omandurar Hospital, more than 1,000 people gathered under the scorching sun, hoping to receive a token at least. But not all were that lucky Even among those . who received tokens, there was uncertainty . “I arrived at 10 am, and got token number 598. Now, at 3 pm, only 250 people have been vaccinated. I don’t even know if I’ll get the shot today com,” plained a 66-year-old who arrived from T Nagar. He came to the hospital as he heard it was the only place where Covaxin was being administered. About the same time, another man in line, a 49-year-old from KK Nagar, pointed out that he hadn’t eaten lunch. “I arrived at 11 am and got token number 601,” he explained. At least 20 people said they came to Omandurar Hospital because it offered Covaxin, and others said they visited the facility because it was popular. People wait to get the vaccine at Omandurar Hospital | R Satish Babu STATE WIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths April 15 7,987 4,176 29 April 16 8,449 4,920 33 Of the at-least 700 people who received tokens, many were told to return the next day Similar crowds were wit. nessed at the RGGGH and Stanley Hospital in Chennai, even to receive OP (out patient) tokens.Continued on P4
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