Karnataka assembly passes 3 Bills. Here're details

News Network
September 17, 2021

Bengaluru, Sept 17: The Karnataka assembly on Friday passed the 'Identification of Prisoners (Karnataka Amendment) Bill,' which seeks to include collection of blood, DNA, voice and iris scan samples as "measurements" of offenders for effective surveillance and prevention of breach of peace and crime.

The bill, which amends the Central act of Identification of Prisoners with respect to its application to Karnataka, also empowers Superintendent of Police or Deputy Commissioners of Police, in addition to the judicial magistrate first class, to order for collection of measurement to avoid delay and workload.

Piloting the bill for the consideration of the House, Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said "till now foo-print impressions were collected. Now we have added blood, DNA, voice, and iris scan samples to it. Earlier the measurements were collected for those with rigorous imprisonment for a term of one year, now it has been changed to a term of one month."

He said the bill empowers SPs and DCPs to order destruction of measurement after a period of 10 years, unless otherwise directed by the court or any other competent authority.

Participating during the discussion on the Bill, Congress MLA Tanveer Sait sought to know whether collecting measurement was necessary when such details are available in an individual's Aadhar data. Another Congress MLA Priyank Kharge said the government intends to create a database of biometrics and forensic tools needed for investigation and also sought to know whether the necessary infrastructure was in place.

"Also, has the government thought about the right to privacy?"

Responding to the queries, the Minister said, measurements were collected for those with Rigorous Imprisonment for a term of one month and above and it will be stored in the criminal tracking system in Bengaluru, so there will be concerns of any breach.

He said it would also be helpful in identifying habitual offenders.

Also passed was a bill providing for the constitution of the Karnataka Prison Development Board for strengthening prisons and initiating correctional administrative measures. Titled 'Karnataka Prison Development Board Bill', it also provides for initiating measures for skill improvement, welfare of prisoners and prisons' staff and expanding prison industries.

The bill, in its statement of objects and reasons, said "it is considered necessary to provide for the constitution of the prison development board for development of modern prison industries and formulate a plan for job oriented technical programmes in different areas, to earn incentives."

The board can suggest ways and means for improving coordination between different stakeholders, examine the present setup of prison industries and formulate a plan for modernisation and to start job oriented programmes including technical oriented ones, keeping in view the needs of prisoners after release, it said.

Participating during the discussion on the bill, several legislators, including Congress' U T Khader said reforms are needed, but prisons should also be a place of deterrent for prisoners, while highlighting several illegal activities taking place in them.

Pointing out that the Minister for Prisons and other members of the board were all officials, some MLAs wanted non-official members like representatives of social organisations or journalists to be made members to have effective reforms, while others questioned powers of acquisition, maintenance and disposal of land and building given to the board.

The Minister, in his reply said the board has been constituted for all-round reforms of prisons and representatives from various departments will be its members and added that experts can be invited for its meetings to take inputs.

"States like Haryana are generating revenue of about Rs 600 crore from Prisons. Manpower at prisons should not go to waste," he said.

He also made it clear that there should be no doubts about disposing of immovable properties, as it cannot be done without clearance from the government, and there is a clause for it.

"The committee will rather look into effective utilisation of prison lands that have been lying unused."

Another bill passed today is 'The Code of Criminal Procedure (Karnataka Amendment) Bill' that provides for recording of the evidence of the witness by audio-video-electronic means in the presence of the advocate of the person accused of the offence.

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News Network
October 23,2021

Jammu, Oct 23: Security has been beefed up across Kashmir ahead of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s maiden visit to the Valley after the abrogation of Article 370 on Saturday, officials said.

They said a thick security cover has been thrown around the BJP office at Jawahar Nagar in the city where Shah is likely to pay a visit.

Similarly, roads leading to Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) have been made off-limits for three days from Saturday as the Union home minister is expected to attend an event there, they added.

It will be Shah’s first visit to Kashmir after the Centre revoked J-K's special status and bifurcated the erstwhile state into union territories in August 2019.

The officials said additional deployment of security forces has been made across the valley, especially in Srinagar.

Official sources said 50 companies of additional paramilitary forces are being inducted into the valley in the wake of the recent spate of civilian killings.

Bunkers manned by paramilitary CRPF have come up in several areas of the city as well in other parts of the valley, the officials said.

They said the aim of constructing new bunkers and putting more personnel on the ground was to cut the free movement of militants.

The officials said barricades have been put up on the roads across the valley, especially in the city, while frisking and checking of people has been intensified.

The mobile internet services on a dozen towers -- mostly in the areas where non-local labourers were killed in the past week -- were snapped three days ago as part of the security measures, they said.

The officials said police have started stringent checking of documents of two-wheelers plying on the roads and many have been seized by police.

However, IGP, Kashmir zone, Vijay Kumar had said these steps were purely related to terror violence.

"Seizing some bikes and shutting down of internet of some towers is purely related to #terror #violence. It has nothing to do with visit of the Hon'ble HM," he tweeted on Thursday. 

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News Network
October 28,2021

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Bengaluru, Oct 28: Software exporter Wipro's Azim Premji donated Rs 9,713 crore or Rs 27 crore a day to retain his top rank among Indian philanthropists in FY21.

Premji, the founder chairman of the company, increased his donation by nearly a fourth during the pandemic year, as per the Edelgive Hurun India Philanthropy List 2021, which had HCL's Shiv Nadar at second place with contributions of Rs 1,263 crore towards upliftment causes.

Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries, India's richest man by a distance, came third on the list with a Rs 577 crore contribution and was succeeded by Kumar Mangalam Birla with Rs 377 crore. The second richest Indian Gautam Adani is eighth on the givers' list with a donation of Rs 130 crore towards disaster relief.

Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani's ranking improved to fifth with a Rs 183 crore donation with “societal thinking” being identified as the primary cause.

“At present, most of the money is going to fundamental aspects like education and healthcare because of the requirements on the ground. Nilekani has indeed made interesting contributions, and in 10 years, we will have broader civil society issues feature as primary causes,” Hurun India's managing director and chief researcher Anas Rahman Junaid said.

He said as the age profile of the givers shifts to those under-40, and many of them being self-made ones also presents a hopeful picture.

There are a few new entrants into the list, including the largest stocks investor Rakesh Jhunjunwala, who donated a fourth of his overall earnings or Rs 50 crore in FY21 with efforts on education. Jhunjunwala, who recently had a private meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is among the backers of Ashoka University, as per a statement.

Brothers Nithin and Nikhil Kamath committed $100 million (Rs 750 crore) over the next few years to support individuals, organisations and companies working on solutions for climate change and are 35th on the list.

Former chairman of engineering major Larsen & Toubro, A M Naik, is 11th on the list with a donation of Rs 112 crore, it said, adding that he has pledged to give away 75 per cent of his income for charitable purposes.

Others in the top ten givers include the Hinduja Family, Bajaj Family, Anil Agarwal and the Burman family.

Nine women find their place in the list led by a Rs 69 crore donation by Rohini Nilekani of Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies and, followed by Leena Gandhi Tewari of USV who donated Rs 24 crore, and Anu Aga of Thermax donated Rs 20 crore.

Based on the place of residence, Mumbai led with 31 per cent of the list and was followed by New Delhi 17 per cent and Bengaluru 10 per cent.

The pharma industry has the largest number of philanthropists followed by automobile and auto components and software and services.

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News Network
October 18,2021

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Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and four others have been sentenced to life imprisonment in the murder case of a former dera manager, Ranjit Singh.

Ranjit Singh, who was also a follower of the dera, was shot dead in 2002. He was murdered for his suspected role in the circulation of an anonymous letter, which narrated how women were being sexually exploited by the dera head.

A special CBI court in Panchkula, Haryana, on Monday, also imposed a fine of Rs 31 lakh on the dera chief.

The others convicted along with the self-styled godman are: Krishan Lal, Jasbir Singh, Avtar Singh and Sabdil.

The dera chief had pleaded leniency, citing the welfare works carried out by the dera. However, the CBI opposed it and demanded the "maximum punishment" under the IPC Section 302.

The court had, on Friday, convicted the five for the murder.

Over two years ago, the godman was also awarded life imprisonment for the murder of a journalist, Ram Chander Chhatrapati.

Meanwhile, prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC have been imposed in Panchkula.

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