Committee considering restoring 4G internet in 1 district each of Jammu, Kashmir on trial basis: Centre tells SC

News Network
August 11, 2020

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New Delhi, Aug 11: The Central government on Tuesday submitted before the Supreme Court that the Committee, set up to review the restoration of 4G internet service, is considering to allow the same in one district each of Jammu and Kashmir on a trial basis.

"The Committee is considering as to whether to allow 4G internet access on a trial basis in one district in Jammu and one in Kashmir or not," the Centre told a three-judge bench headed by Justice NV Ramana.

Attorney General KK Venugopal, a top law officer representing the Union of India (UOI), told the apex court that an additional affidavit was now being filed in the 4G internet restoration matter.

Venugopal said that the special committee convened the third meeting on August 10 and consulted with local agencies in the Union Territory.

"Various options considered keeping in mind border security. The committee is of the view that the threat perception in Jammu and Kashmir continues to be high. Internet restrictions are not posing any hindrance to COVID care, education or business," he said.

The Attorney General said that given the current security scenario, the situation is not yet conducive to restore high-speed internet access to mobile phones.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that these are issues on a day-to-day matter.

Do you have the orders in the public domain? Justice Ramana asked Mehta.

Advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, appearing for the petitioner, added to the same and said that whatever review was done or will be done must be in the public domain. "The order in review is not in the public domain," Huzefa said and questioned the way the orders are "not being complied with".

"Today is a great day, and I thank there is a step forward in restoring the 4G internet connectivity," Huzefa said expressing happiness over the submission that the Committee is considering restoration of high-speed internet on a trial basis in the two districts.

In the last hearing, the Central government had told the top court that the directions issued by the Supreme Court for the review of restoration of 4G internet services in Jammu and Kashmir are being complied with and that a Committee was set up to review the same.

The apex court was hearing a contempt petition filed by an NGO named Foundation for Media Professionals seeking the restoration of 4G internet services in Jammu and Kashmir and alleged that the top court's earlier orders are not being complied with by concerned authorities.

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News Network
September 18,2020

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Thiruvananthapuram, Sept 18: Asking citizens to be cautious while being online, National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval said on Friday financial frauds have seen an exponential increase due to greater dependence on digital payment platforms following the Covid-19 pandemic.

He also said the Centre was coming up with the National cybersecurity strategy-2020 which envisions the safe, secured, trusted, resilient and vibrant cyberspace for India's prosperity.

He was delivering a lecture on Cybersecurity virtually at the COCONXIII-2020, data privacy and hacking conference hosted by the Kerala Police and the Society for the Policing of Cyberspace and Information Security Research Association. According to him, there is a change in the work environment that has been brought upon by the pandemic.

"There is a greater dependence on digital payment platform due to reduced cash handling and greater data sharing is happening online and presence on social media has also increased.

While we are able to manage our affairs online to a certain extent, malicious actors also found in it, a new opportunity," Doval said.

Doval said there was an increase of 500 per cent in cybercrimes due to limited awareness and cyber hygiene.

"Financial frauds have seen an exponential increase due to greater dependence on digital payment platforms.

The adversaries are tempted to exploit the crisis situation through various misinformation, fake news etc.

The huge cyber data floating in the cyberspace is a gold mine for extracting information that can undermine the privacy of our citizens..," Doval said.

He cautioned citizens while being online and said a responsible approach should be there while using the internet. The NSA complimented the state government and the Kerala police for the initiative. Inaugurating the conference, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan said with the increased reliance on the internet becoming a permanent feature of people's lives due to Covid-19, citizens need to be extra cautious while being online.

This edition of the conference was on the virtual platform this year due to the pandemic scenario.

"Various types of cybercrimes are happening in our country and it's high time that we take proper precautions against such crimes...," Khan said. Senior police officials, including state police chief Loknath Behera, participated on the first day of the two-day conference.

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News Network
September 15,2020

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Bengaluru, Sept 15: Sharing pictures of Revenue Minister R Ashoka with an accused in a drugs case, the Congress in Karnataka said there is a need for leaders from the ruling BJP, who are making allegations against those from other parties, to face the inquiry first.

In a tweet, the state Congress said: "The pictures of R Ashoka with drugs scandal kingpin Rahul Thonshe suggests that it was not a casual meeting, but a close association. There is a need for leaders from the ruling BJP, who are making allegations against those from other parties to cover up their scandals, to be made to face inquiry first."

In the pictures shared along with the tweet, R Ashoka can be seen posing for a picture with Rahul Thonshe along with others at some function.

There are also pictures showing the two sharing sweets with each other.

The Minister had on Monday denied any links with Rahul Thonshe. "I had gone to a naming ceremony function relating to a party worker in my constituency, when a celebrity goes to such events normally several people take such pictures.... it is common such pictures are taken during public functions, so can we be linked? If I had gone to his house it is a different thing," he said.

Mr Ashoka said the photo might have been taken some four years ago and since the coronavirus outbreak, he had not attended any such events recently.

Earlier, Congress MLA Zameer Ahmed Khan's name has been linked to the drugs case, following his photos with one Shaik Fazil, who is linked to a casino in Colombo where allegedly such activities take place, emerged.

Mr Khan, who has denied his involvement, has said he knew Shaik Faizal like several other people, but was unaware of his activities.

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Agencies
September 25,2020

New Delhi, Sept 25: The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Friday launched the Centre's much-publicised reform measure of faceless income tax appeals. Under faceless appeals, all income tax appeals will be finalised online under the faceless ecosystem with the exception of appeals relating to serious frauds, major tax evasion, sensitive and search matters along with international tax and the Black Money Act.

On August 13, while launching the Faceless Assessment and Taxpayers' Charter as part of "Transparent Taxation - Honoring the Honest" platform, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the launching of 'Faceless Appeals' on September 25.

"From now on in income tax appeals, everything from e-allocation of appeal, e-communication of notice/questionnaire, e-verification/e-enquiry to e-hearing and finally, e-communication of the appellate order, the entire process of appeals will be online, dispensing with the need for any physical interface between the appellant and the department," said the statement.

There will be no physical interface between the taxpayers or their counsel/s and the Income Tax Department, it said, adding that the taxpayers can make submissions from the comfort of their home and save their time and resources.

According to the CBDT, the faceless appeal system will include allocation of cases through data analytics and artificial intelligence under the dynamic jurisdiction with central issuance of notices which would be having Document Identification Number (DIN).

As part of dynamic jurisdiction, the draft appellate order will be prepared in one city and will be reviewed in some other city resulting in an objective, fair and just order.

As per the CBDT, the faceless appeal will provide not only great convenience to the taxpayers but also it will ensure that it will ensure just and fair appeal orders and minimise any further litigations. The new system will also be instrumental in imparting greater efficiency, transparency and accountability in the functioning of the Income Tax Department, it said.

As on date, there is a pendency of almost 4.6 lakh appeals at the level of the Commissioner (Appeals) in the Department.

Out of this, about 4.05 lakh appeals, or about 88 per cent of the total appeals, will be handled under the faceless appeal mechanism and almost 85 per cent of the present strength of Commissioners (Appeals) shall be utilised for disposing off the cases under the faceless appeal mechanism.

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