Muslim scholar’s call for 'Dharam Sansad' against hate speeches gets support

News Network
January 6, 2022

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Founder of Ittehad-e-Millat Council Tauqeer Raza Khan's call for a 'Dharam Sansad' on Friday has got support from All India Tanzeem ul Islam, which on Thursday asked the community members to gather in large numbers. The protest has been called to offer 'mass sacrifice' in protest against hate speeches delivered in Haridwar.

Raza Khan appealed to muslims of Uttar Pradesh to gather in large numbers at the Islamia School in Bareilly on Friday for "mass sacrifice" in protest against recent hate speeches made in Haridwar.

The announcement was made on Saturday where he said, "the recent Dharam Sansad against which objections were raised by our community was not the first one but it has been happening for many months, but the present government was never ready to hear anything."

"Our ulemas have conducted three meetings but we never called it Dharam Sansad, but the language used in Haridwar can never be used by our ulemas and the ulemas show the path of peace, patriotism and love to disciples," he added.

The cleric said that the hate mongers want to kill 20 lakh Muslims. "We have decided that we are ready for it. I urge the government that they can send their people to kill us and on Friday at least 20,000 Muslims will surrender before them. The best way is that Muslims sacrifice their lives to ensure peace in the country."

Khan has got support of Tanzeem which recently advocated united India as it was in medieval period. Mujahid Hussain Qadri of Tanzeem said that people want to create disharmony between Hindus and Muslims but they will not succeed.

The hate speech was reportedly made during an event in Haridwar held from December 17 to 20. Video clips of the event, circulated on social media, say that "Hindus should arm themselves like those seen in Myanmar, every Hindu must pick up weapons and conduct a Safayi Abhiyan."

The event was organised by Yati Narasimhanand, a controversial religious leader who has been accused in the past of inciting violence.

The Uttrakhand Police have lodged an FIR in the case against Jitendra Narayan Tyagi -- former Shia Waqf board chairman, who recently converted to Hinduism.

In a similar incident, Chhattisgarh Police had arrested Kalicharan Maharaj for allegedly using derogatory language against Mahatma Gandhi from Madhya Pradesh's Khajuraho.

The police had registered an FIR and arrested the religious leader and others for allegedly making derogatory comments on Mahatma Gandhi and praising Nathuram Godse.

The Congress is criticising the delay in action against the accused in Haridwar.

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News Network
January 28,2023

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Index provider MSCI said on Saturday, January 28, it is seeking feedback on Adani Group and associated securities and is aware of a report issued by short-seller Hindenburg Research.

The US short-seller said on Wednesday it held short positions in the Indian conglomerate, accusing it of improper use of offshore tax havens and flagging concerns about high debt, leading to a massive sell-off of India-listed shares of the conglomerate's companies.

"MSCI is closely monitoring publicly available information regarding the situation and the factors that may impact the eligibility of those relevant securities for the MSCI Global Investable Market Indexes," it said in a statement. 

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News Network
January 31,2023

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The PM CARES Fund is not a government fund as donations to it do not go to the Consolidated Fund of India and no third party information can be parted with irrespective of its status under the Constitution and the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the Delhi High Court was informed on Tuesday.

An affidavit filed by an under secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), who is discharging his functions in the PM Cares Trust on honorary basis, has said the trust functions with transparency and its funds are audited by an auditor -- a chartered accountant drawn from the panel prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

It contended that irrespective of the status of Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund) under the Constitution and the RTI Act, it is not permissible to disclose third party information.

The affidavit was filed in response to a petition seeking a direction to declare the PM CARES Fund a 'State' under the Constitution to ensure transparency in its functioning.

The same petitioner has also filed another petition to declare PM CARES as a "public authority" under the RTI Act, which is being heard together with this plea.

A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad heard the arguments advanced on behalf of petitioner Samyak Gangwal and asked the office of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to inform the court about his availability to argue the case.

The affidavit filed by Pradeep Kumar Srivastava, Under Secretary at the PMO, said the prayers made in the present petition are not maintainable as PM CARES does not constitute a "public authority" under the provisions of RTI Act.

“I reiterate and submit that the PM CARES Fund has been set up as a Public Charitable Trust. This Trust is not created by or under the Constitution of India or by any law made by the Parliament or by any State Legislature.

“This Trust is neither intended to be or is in fact owned, controlled or substantially financed by any government nor any instrumentality of the government. There is no control of either the Central government or any state government/s, either direct or indirect, in functioning of the Trust in any manner whatsoever,” the official said.

The affidavit added that the composition of the Board of Trustees consisting of holders of 'Public Office ex-Officio' is merely for administrative convenience and for smooth succession to the Trusteeship.

It said PM CARES is not a “public authority” within the meaning of Section 2(h)(d) of the RTI Act and as such provisions of the Act cannot be made applicable on the trust and added that on this preliminary issue the petition deserves to be dismissed.

“The PM CARES accepts only voluntary donations by individuals and institutions. Contributions flowing out of budgetary sources of government or from the balance sheets of the public sector undertakings are not accepted. Conditional contributions, where the donor specifically mentions that the amount is meant for a particular purpose, are not accepted in the Fund,” it said.

The affidavit further said that the cause for which PM CARES Fund was created and exists is purely charitable and neither the funds of this trust are used for the government projects nor is the trust governed by any of the government policies, so it cannot be labelled as "public authority".

It said PM CARES does not get any budgetary support from the Consolidated Fund of India and the assumptions of the petitioner regarding arbitrariness or non-transparency are devoid of merit.

“The benefit of the objects of the Trust have been made available to the general public irrespective of caste, creed, sex, region, language and religion. Moreover, Trust Deed of the PM CARES Fund along with grants sanctioned from the fund are available in public domain on the website pmcares.gov.in. Audit reports of the PM CARES Fund are already available on the website…,” it said.

The affidavit also raised objection over locus standi of the petitioner to file the petition and said he has taken upon himself to espouse a cause which is intended to be created in a manner which ex-facie is guided by an ulterior motive to find his place in the public eye.

“The present case is a classic case of a busy body attempting to gain publicity under the garb of public interest litigation,” it said, adding that the plea was preferred with oblique motives and it be dismissed with exemplary costs.

It also said that the petition has attracted a lot of traction in the media houses via online reporting and through other means, which seems to be the end goal of the petition, that is, to agitate a publicity interest litigation in the garb of public interest litigation.

“It will not be out of place to state that the petitioner being proxy is a means for unscrupulous hands to further their personal causes,” the affidavit said.

It further said that the petition has been preferred in vacuum, by way of clever drafting, attempts to espouse and agitate a cause of “certain groups with vested interest for extraneous reasons”.

“I state that when the petitioner is claiming to be a public-spirited person and seeking to pray for various reliefs only for transparency, it does not matter whether PM CARES is a ‘State’ within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution of India,” the officer said in the affidavit.

It said that all donations received by the trust are received via online payments, cheques or demand drafts and the amount received is audited with the audited report and the expenditure of the trust fund displayed on the website.

“The Trust functions on the principles of transparency and public good in larger public interest like any other charitable trust and, therefore, cannot have any objection in uploading all its resolutions on its website to ensure transparency,” it said, while reiterating that “the trust’s fund is not a fund of Government of India and the amount does not go in the Consolidated Fund of India.”

The officer said he is discharging his functions in the PM CARES Trust on an honorary basis which is a charitable trust not created by or under the Constitution or by any law made by the Parliament or by any state legislature.

In his plea, petitioner Gangwal has said that the PM CARES Fund is a 'State' as it was formed by the prime minister on March 27, 2020 to extend assistance to the citizens of India in the wake of the public health emergency -- the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

His counsel told the court that if it is found that the PM CARES Fund is not 'State' under the Constitution, usage of the domain name 'gov', the prime minister's photograph, state emblem, etc has to be stopped.

The petition said that the trustees of the fund are the prime minister, defence minister, home minister and finance minister and immediately after the formation of the fund, the Centre through its high government functionaries represented that the fund was set up and operated by the Government of India.

To ensure transparency and accountability, the plea has sought a direction for periodic auditing of PM CARES website and disclosure of the details of donations received by it.

In his alterative prayers, Gangwal has sought to direct the Centre to publicise that the PM CARES Fund is not a fund of the Government of India and to restrain PM CARES from using 'Prime Minister of India' or 'Prime Minister', including its abbreviations and name, on its website, Trust Deed and other official or unofficial communications and advertisements.

The petition challenges a June 2, 2020 order of the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), PMO, refusing to provide documents sought by him on the ground that PM CARES Fund is not a public authority under the RTI Act.

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News Network
January 26,2023

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Mangaluru, Jan 26: Dakshina Kannada district has so far not gained pace in the administration of booster dose of covid-19 vaccine, according to in-charge DHO Dr Rajesh. 

Only 16 per cent of the targeted population have been administered with the booster dose of vaccine in the coastal district, he told media persons. 

The district has 9,000 doses of Covaxin vaccine which will expire on January 31. There are 38,000 doses of Covishield vaccine which will expire on February 9.

Vaccination camps are held in various places in addition to a vaccine mela on every Wednesday in the district, taluk hospitals, CHCs and PHCs in the district.

Not many people have come forward for the booster dose vaccine in the district, he said.

Among the 16 per cent who were administered with the booster dose are above 60 years old, frontline workers and healthcare workers, he said.

The department has given a few doses for private hospitals for administering it to their healthcare workers. 

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