Delhi police issue advisory to 20 more farmer leaders
On Thursday, Delhi police issued notices to 20 more farmer leaders for defying terms and conditions agreed for the tractor rally. DCP (Headquarters) Chimoy Biswal confirmed that notices had been sent to the peasant leaders who met the police for the demonstration.
- In the letter, leaders were asked to explain why no legal action should be taken against them and other members of their organizations. They were told to submit a response within three days. The letter further stated that despite their acceptance of the mutually agreed terms and conditions for the protest, peasant leaders acted irresponsibly on January 26.
- Militant elements occupied the stage and delivered provocative speeches from the early hours of the day. Meanwhile, the Ghaziabad administration issued an ultimatum to farmers who were protesting to leave the U.P. Front door on January 28 at midnight or he will face forced removal, authorities said.
- In response to allegations that peasant organizations are responsible for the violent turn of events on Republic Day, one of the protesting unions, All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) posted a series of tweets raising questions about the government version of what happened that day of the tractor rally.
16 opposition parties to boycott President Ram Nath Kovind’s joint speech in Parliament
The leaders of 16 opposition parties, in a joint statement on Thursday, announced their decision to boycott President Ram Nath Kovind’s speech at a joint session of Parliament on Friday because of the “non-democracy” attitude of the Union government towards farmers.
- The budget session begins on Friday, and President Kovind will address the first session of both chambers this year. But opposition leaders set the tone for a stormy session by announcing their decision to skip the presidential speech due to the Centre’s refusal to repeal the three farm laws and its handling of the farmers’ unrest.
- These leaders also asserted that “an impartial investigation will reveal the harmful role of the central government in the orchestration of these events”.
- Signatories include representatives of Congress, NCP, Trinamool Congress, Shiv Sena, National Conference, DMK, Samajwadi Party, RJD, CPI, and CPI-M.
- BSP, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, YSR Congress, Biju Janata Dal and AAP did not sign the joint declaration despite some of them protesting against agricultural laws when they were passed in parliament last September. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi called on opposition leaders to drop their plans to boycott President Ram Nath Kovind’s joint speech.
Stopping hate on television is as essential as police lathis, barricades to prevent riots – Supreme Court
The Supreme Court said on Thursday that ending hatred on television was also essential for the law and the order to arm the police with lathis and erect barricades to prevent the spread of violence and riots. CJI said the government-controlled court did not intend to restrict freedom of expression on television.
Another POCSO fiasco at Bombay High Court
Nagpur Court of Bombay High Court ruled that a man who takes a minor’s hand and unzips his pants does not fall under “sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault ” under the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO). The sighting was made by a single judge from the Pushpa Ganediwala Bench of Justice on January 15, as she approved an order on an appeal by a 50-year-old man challenging a Sessions Court order convicting him of sexual assault and sexual abuse on him of one year old girl.
- The convict, Libnus Kujur, was sentenced in October 2020 under Articles 354-A (1) (i) (scandalous modesty) and 448 (burglary) of the ICC, and Articles 8 (sexual assault), 10 (sexual assault). ) and 12 (sexual harassment) of the POCSO law. He was sentenced to five years in prison.
- In her sentence, Judge Ganediwala stressed that although the prosecution established that the accused entered the victim’s home with the intention of insulting her modesty or sexually harassing her, she was not able to prove the charge of ‘sexual assault’ or ‘aggravated sexual assault’.
- This decision recalls another verdict, delivered on January 19, also by a single judge, Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court. She had acquitted a man charged under the POCSO Act, which ruled that the mere act of touching or squeezing a child’s clothed body without “skin-to-skin contact” did not amount to sexual assault. Subsequently, the Supreme Court suspended this verdict.
New Zealand and Vietnam lead the Covid-19 performance index; India 86 out of 98 countries
New Zealand and Vietnam were among the best performing countries in their response to the pandemic, according to a Covid-19 “performance index” compiled by the Lowy Institute, an Australian think tank, which sought to assess the impact of geography, political systems and economic development on the evaluation of results.
- The index, which was based on six different indicators, including confirmed cases, deaths per million people and the test scale, sought to “assess the relative performance of countries” and assessed 98 countries for 36 weeks after their 100th case.
- India ranked 86th out of 98 countries, while the United States ranked 94th and Brazil at the bottom of the index.
- New Zealand and Vietnam top the list, followed by Taiwan, Thailand and Cyprus in the top five. Sri Lanka was the best performing country in South Asia, ranking 10th, while the Maldives was 25, Pakistan 69, Nepal 70 and Bangladesh 84.
Biden overturns Trump’s decision on H-1B for spouses
A week after his inauguration, United States President Joe Biden withdrew a Trump-era rule that revoked work authorization for H4 visa holders, they are the spouses of those who have H-1B work visas, with most of them highly qualified Indian women.
- The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues an H-4 visa to the immediate family members (spouse and children under the age of 21) of H-1B visa holders, most of whom are professionals of the IT from India.
- The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in skilled occupations that require theoretical or technical experience.
- Tech companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year in countries like India and China. The H4 visa is normally issued to those who have already begun the process of seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident status in the United States.
- The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) said Monday that the rule titled “Withdrawal of H-4 dependent spouses from the category of aliens eligible for employment authorization” was withdrawn. The spouses of Indian professionals holding H-1B visas, mostly women, are the biggest beneficiaries of the Obama-era rule that issued employment authorization cards.
Covid Watch: The number of reported coronavirus cases in India was 1.07,13,640 at the time of publication of this newsletter, with a balance of 1.54,031.
The government announced Thursday that a fifth of the districts in the country had not reported any new cases for a week. Meanwhile, the Covid-19 vaccination campaign has covered 2.4 million people.
- “India has successfully contained the pandemic,” Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said, noting that fewer than 12,000 cases have been reported in the past 24 hours. He said 146 out of 718 districts in India had no new cases for one week and 18 districts for two weeks. “India has flattened its Covid-19 chart,” added Dr. Vardhan.
- With the fall in infections, the government said that as of February 1 it would lift restrictions on the use of public swimming pools, allow cinemas and movie theaters to sit at more than 50% of their capacity and allow all types to work of showrooms.