Kerala HC directs PFI to pay Rs 5.20cr to KSRTC for damages caused during ‘hartal’

News Network
September 29, 2022

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The Kerala High Court on Thursday observed it would be directing banned outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) to deposit with the state government over Rs 5 crore in compensation sought by the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) for causing damages during the statewide ‘hartal’ , PTI reported.

Several state-run buses were damaged during the 12-hour hartal called by the Kerala unit of PFI on September 23 against the nationwide NIA raids and subsequent arrests of PFI cadre, leaders and office-bearers, a day earlier.

A division bench of Justices A K Jayasankaran Nambiar and Mohammed Nias C P ordered that the amount of Rs 5.20 crore be deposited within two weeks.

Advocate Deepu Thankan, who appeared for KSRTC, said that the court also ordered that the outfit’s former state general secretary, Abdul Sattar, be made a party in all the criminal cases registered across the state in connection to the hartal and the destruction of properties.

The bench also said that none of the accused will be granted bail until they deposit the cost of the damages allegedly caused by the banned outfit.

In its pleas, the KSRTC contended that the hartal was called without any prior notice, which is in violation of the Kerala High Court’s 2019 order which made flash hartals/strikes illegal, and had said that a seven days prior notice must be given ahead of calling any hartals.

The transport authority claimed that about 58 buses were damaged, and 10 employees and a passenger were injured in the violence.

The plea further said that while it was already in severe financial crisis, the repair cost of its buses, the loss due to their inoperability during repairs and the reduction in service on September 23 due to the hartal has caused it an overall pecuniary loss of Rs 5,06,21,382.

“It is submitted that the massive loss incurred by the KSRTC is liable to be recovered from the perpetrators as the same was a result of their highly illegal and terrorizing act against the hapless general public. The KSRTC is entitled to get its loss from those who called for the hartal and they cannot wash their hands from the responsibility of payment of damages to KSRTC,” the plea read, as quoted by PTI.

On September 23, the Kerala High Court had initiated a suo motu case against the PFI and Sathar, who called for the state-wide hartal.

Multi-agency teams, spearheaded by NIA, along with the Enforcement Directorate, on September 22, carried out raids at 93 locations in 15 state, and arrested over 100 PFI leaders for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country. Kerala accounted for the maximum arrests at 22.

Meanwhile, the Centre on Wednesday, banned the PFI and eight of its affiliates or fronts under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) alleging “terror links”. The PFI Kerala state general secretary Sathar, later in the evening, informed that the outfit has been dissolved in view of the central government’s decision to declare it illegal, and that they will abide by the decision.

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News Network
November 15,2022

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As the world population touched 8 billion on Tuesday, India was the largest contributor to the milestone, having added 177 million people, while China, whose contribution to the next billion in the global population is projected to be in the negative, the UN said.

India is expected to surpass China as the world’s most populous nation by next year.

The UN Population Fund (UNFPA), in a special graphic to mark the global population reaching eight billion, said Asia and Africa has driven much of this growth is expected to drive the next billion by 2037, while Europe's contribution will be negative due to declining population.

The world added a billion people in the last 12 years. UNFPA said that as the world adds the next billion to its tally of inhabitants, China’s contribution will be negative.

"India, the largest contributor to the 8 billion (177 million) will surpass China, which was the second largest contributor (73 million) and whose contribution to the next billion will be negative, as the world's most populous nation by 2023,” UNFPA said.

The UN said that it took about 12 years for the world population to grow from 7 to 8 billion, but the next billion is expected to take about 14.5 years (2037), reflecting the slowdown in global growth.

World population is projected to reach a peak of around 10.4 billion people during the 2080s and is expected to remain at that level until 2100.

For the increase from 7 to 8 billion, around 70 per cent of the added population was in low-income and lower-middle-income countries.

For the increase from 8 to 9 billion, these two groups of countries are expected to account for more than 90 per cent of global growth, the UN said.

Between now and 2050, the global increase in the population under the age 65 will occur entirely in low income and lower-middle-income countries, since population growth in high-income and upper-middle income countries will occur only among those aged 65 or more, it said.

The World Population Prospects 2022, released in July this year said that India’s population stands at 1.412 billion in 2022, compared with China’s 1.426 billion.

India is projected to have a population of 1.668 billion in 2050, ahead of China’s 1.317 billion people by the middle of the century.

According to UNFPA estimates, 68 per cent of India’s population is between 15-64 years old in 2022, while people aged 65 and older were seven per cent of the population.

The report had said that the global population is growing at its slowest rate since 1950, having fallen under 1 per cent in 2020.

The world’s population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050.

China is expected to experience an absolute decline in its population as early as 2023, the report had said.

At the launch of the report in July, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Liu Zhenmin had said that countries where population growth has slowed must prepare for an increasing proportion of older persons and, in more extreme cases, a decreasing population size.

“China provides a clear example. With the rapid ageing of its population due to the combined effects of very low fertility and increasing life expectancy, growth of China’s total population is slowing down, a trend that is likely to continue in the coming decades," Liu said.

The WHO pointed out that China has one of the fastest growing ageing populations in the world.

“The population of people over 60 years in China is projected to reach 28 per cent by 2040, due to longer life expectancy and declining fertility rates," the WHO said.

In China, by 2019, there were 254 million older people aged 60 and over, and 176 million older people aged 65 and over.

In 2022, the two most populous regions were both in Asia: Eastern and South-Eastern Asia with 2.3 billion people (29 per cent of the global population) and Central and Southern Asia with 2.1 billion (26 per cent).

China and India, with more than 1.4 billion each, accounted for most of the population in these two regions.

More than half of the projected increase in the global population up to 2050 will be concentrated in eight countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United Republic of Tanzania.

Countries of sub-Saharan Africa are expected to contribute more than half of the increase anticipated through 2050, the report added. 

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News Network
November 16,2022

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New Delhi, Nov 16: UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has given the go-ahead to 3,000 visas for young professionals from India to work in the UK each year.

The British government said that India is the first visa-national country to benefit from such a scheme, highlighting the strength of the UK-India Migration and Mobility Partnership agreed last year.

"Today the UK-India Young Professionals Scheme was confirmed, offering 3,000 places to 18-30-year-old degree-educated Indian nationals to come to the UK to live and work for up to two years," the UK Prime Minister's Office said in a tweet.

This announcement from the Downing Street readout came hours after Sunak met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the 17th edition of the G20 Summit. This was their first meeting after the first Indian-origin British PM assumed office last month.

"Prime Ministers @narendramodi and @RishiSunak in conversation during the first day of the @g20org Summit in Bali," PM Modi's Office said in a tweet.

Under the new UK-India Young Professionals Scheme, the UK will offer 3,000 places annually to 18-30-year-old degree-educated Indian nationals to come to the UK to live and work in UK for up to two years. The scheme will be reciprocal.

"The launch of the scheme is a significant moment both for our bilateral relationship with India and the UK's wider commitment to forging stronger links with the Indo-Pacific region to strengthen both our economies," Downing Street said in a statement.

It said that the UK has more links with India than almost any country in the Indo-Pacific region. Nearly a quarter of all international students in the UK are from India, and Indian investment into the UK supports 95,000 jobs across the UK.

The UK is currently negotiating a trade deal with India — if agreed, it will be the first deal of its kind that India has made with a European country. It would build on the UK-India trading relationship — already worth £24 billion — allowing the UK to seize opportunities presented by India's growing economy.

In parallel to the mobility partnership with India, the British government said it is also strengthening its ability to remove immigration offenders.

"A landmark Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the UK and India in May 2021 aimed at increasing mobility between our countries, returning those with no right to be in the UK and India respectively and sharing best practice on organised immigration crime," the UK PMO added. 

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News Network
November 19,2022

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New Delhi: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MLA poaching case summoned BJP National General Secretary (Organisation) BL Santhosh to appear on November 21, failing which he will be arrested.

This comes after the Telangana High Court on Tuesday rejected the BJP’s plea to hand over MLAs’ poaching case to the CBI and made the SIT probing the case independent. The court also ruled that a judge will monitor the investigation into the case.

The court has also asked the SIT to submit a report on November 29 on the progress of the probe.

Notably, the Telangana government formed the SIT on November 9 to investigate the case. The SIT has six police officers and is headed by Hyderabad Police Commissioner.

It is to be noted that Ramachandra Bharati alias Satish Sharma, Simhayaji and Aand Nandakumar were arrested by the Cyberabad police from a farmhouse at Moinabad near Hyderabad on the night of October 26, when they were allegedly trying to lure four TRS MLAs with offers of money.

Cyberabad police conducted the raid on a tip-off by Pilot Rohit Reddy, one of the MLAs, who alleged that the accused offered Rs 100 crore to him and Rs 50 crore each to three others.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao had called a press conference on November 3, where he showed videos that he claimed backed up the TRS charges of poaching against the BJP. He had also linked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah with the alleged poaching bid.

However, refuting the claims, the BJP had said the allegations are "staged" and that the videos are "recordings with hired actors".

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