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Saturday, 06 June 2020 - Imphal Times

Disqualification Case: Speaker’s Tribunal dismisses objection plea by 7 MLAs

IT News
Imphal, June 6:

Congress party sees hopes to their struggle for disqualification of 7 Congress MLAs who had defected the party and joined the BJP after the Speaker’s Tribunal of the Manipur Legislative Assembly today dismissed the miscellaneous objection plea filed by the 7 MLAs on the ground that the applications filed by them does not have any merit.

Altogether 15 (fifteen) Disqualification Cases, against Oinam Lukhoi Singh, MLA from Wangoi Assembly constituency, 3 (three) Disqualification Cases, MLA Ksh. Biren Singh, of Lamlai Assembly Constituency, 3 (three) Disqualification Cases against MLA Paonam Brojen Singh, of Wangjing Tentha Assembly Constituency, 3 (three) Disqualification Cases against MLA Sanasam Bira Singhof Kumbi Assembly Constituency and one each case against MLA Ngamthang Haokip of Saitu, MLA Ginsuanhau of Singhat and MLA Yengkhom Surchandra of Kakching respectively, have been preferred before this Tribunal, seeking for disqualification for being members of the 11th  Manipur Legislative Assembly under Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India. The respondent MLAs today submitted objection plea against the petitioners’ application for disqualification of them.

After hearing both the counsels of the petitioners and the respondent, the Speaker’s Tribunal today dismissed the plea on the following ground:-

(a) where it does not disclose a cause of action;

(b) where the relief claimed is undervalued, and the plaintiff, on being required by the Court to correct the valuation within a time to be fixed by the Court, fails to do so;

(c) where the relief claimed is properly valued, but the plaint is returned upon paper insufficiently stamped, and the plaintiff, on being required by the Court to supply the requisite stamp-paper within a time to be fixed by the Court, fails to do so;

(d) where the suit appears from the statement in the plaint to be barred by any law;

(e) where it is not filed in duplicate;

(f) where the plaintiff fails to comply with the provisions of rule 9:

Provided that the time fixed by the Court for the correction of the valuation or supplying of the requisite stamp-paper shall not be extended unless the Court, for reasons to be recorded, is satisfied that the plaintiff was prevented by any cause of an exceptional nature from correcting the valuation or supplying the requisite stamp-paper, as the case may be, within the time fixed by the Court and that refusal to extend such time would cause grave injustice to the plaintiff.

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Manipur COVID-19: 11 more tested positive, 11 infected recovered

IT News

Imphal, June 6:

11 (eleven) more persons who have return from outside the state and have been on quarantine were tested positive with novel Coronavirus late yesterday night. With this the number of people infected by the virus has reached 143. So far  11 (eleven) infected with the virus have been recovered from RIMS today leaving the number of active positive cases to 91.

Of those eleven persons detected with the virus 3 are from Pherzawl district and 8 (eight) are from Churachandpur district.

As recorded today, total confirmed cases with novel Coronavirus in India has reached 2,37,754 and as many as 1,13,524 have been recovered 1,13,567 leaving the number of active case to 1,17,524. Number of death has also reached 6,650 so far.

Maharashtra tops the country with the number of confirmed cases with coronavirus to 80,229. The number of death is recorded at 2,849. As per report number of recovered patient is 35,156 and the active case is 42,224. 

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DIPR staffs donate one-day salary to CM’s COVID-19 relief fund

IT News
Imphal, June 6:

Employees of Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR), Manipur donated their one-day salary, totalling Rs. 1,50,007 (Rupees One lakh fifty thousand and seven) to the Chief Minister’s Covid-19 Relief Fund today. 

On behalf of the employees, Director (IPR) H. Balkrisna Singh, accompanied by Deputy Director (Press) T. Ramesh Singh and Deputy Director (HQ) L. Ashok Kumar Singh, handed over the amount to Chief Minister N. Biren Singh. 

The Chief Minister thanked the officials and staff of the Directorate for contributing their bit in the fight against pandemic Covid-19. He also expressed his gratitude to all other organisations and individuals, who have donated to the Relief Fund so far.

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Extraordinary measures during extraordinary time

As per the statement of the Chief Minister of Manipur, so far over 35,000 Manipuris who were stranded in various parts of the country have returned and among them being quarantined at various designated centres for a mandatory 14 day period. Many more are expecting to be on the wait for their turn to return to the state. These are certainly trying times, both for the common public as well as the administration. And though certain oversights and loopholes are expected to emerge, there are more serious and deliberate sounding blunders committed which has come to light that reeks of opportunism and self-serving motives. Among those returnee 143 have been tested positive and so far 11 have been recovered. Active cases of coronavirus stand at 91. Accept for the nurse from Churachandpur who got infected by the virus while contacting with a patient. That means the number of people infected by the virus still manageable. Saying so the state needs extra-ordinary measures to make sure that the virus didn’t spread at local level.
The entire world is getting preoccupied with the battle against the raging Covid-19 pandemic which has been eluding a definite cure to this day despite the best efforts of the best minds and unlimited resources combined with cutting edge technology at the disposal of the experts.
With the battlefield expanding with each passing day, our little state has joined the fray and today, the rising sense of insecurity and concern amongst the public is getting more intense and vocal. On the other hand, there are reports of increasing pressure on the health workers due to the lack of manpower and equipments to handle the increasingly worsening situation in the state.
The need of the hour which should be considered as important if not more, as keeping the people safe from the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic is to provide a sense of fairness and empathy of the uncertainties and psychological challenges of the common public. Addressing any grievance, however trivial it might seem at the very onset should help in preventing issues from blowing up and adding to the crisis.
The mark of a true leader is to display the ability to rise over petty politics and individual concerns and commit to the good of the people. This is the perfect opportunity to shine, and the people are expectant.

Keeping the flames burning: the message of Humanity

By - Janghaolun Haokip

Humanity cannot die as long as mankind exists. It is the essence of our beings and the one thing on which our entire existence hangs on, because, if Humanity were to wholly disappear than the survival of mankind would be no less a pie in the sky.
Today, in the wake of the immeasurable adversities that befall us, the brutalities that we are faced with, the message of Humanity has become a thing of utmost importance, or much in the same manner, a thing for life. It is the only instrument with the power to lighten our burdens, to give us hope, and to keep us alive as we fight the deadly and the deadlier.
Today, as the world fights the covid-19 pandemic, and we as individuals and leaders contribute little and big as we can, we are faced with the challenge of Humanity. We are consistently and rather harshly questioned by how much more adversities we can handle for Humanity, for our love of the people and the world, in exchange with the physical and mental comfort our human nature desires. The challenge is stronger every day after day and will continue to be so. What then should be our stand?
Today, to make a right stand, we need to cogitate on the essence of our existence, on the supreme goal of human life, and on the imperatives of survival as human beings. Just as it is said that even the strongest man, in the core is driven by love, we, with or without our consciousness; are driven by love in the deepest of our selves as human beings. Love then becomes important –Love that is driven by Humanity –Love that does not discriminate but accepts and appreciate –Love that is boundless and endless –Love that endures and ensures, with goodwill and hope, by humility and benevolence, the peace of the soul for another.
Today, then, we need to make our stand, either we should come together and fight it together or drift apart and fight ourselves. It is our choice to make of what we shall stand for or what we shall advocate, keeping in mind that with these choices, there is peace and tranquillity, and confusion and chaos. Your conscience hence should be put to work, not alone, but listening to who you really are within and what really your heart truly desires –to be humane being or just a human being, and also reckon with what the world truly needs and what you can give to the world.
Today, as the threat has become clearer each day, the necessity to be prepared has grown greater than ever. Long days through this deadly war have mentally and physically wearied us. Many men and women, especially the old and young, have lost the battle against the pandemic, and unfortunately many more will. The pandemic will stay longer than most of us have anticipated. Our front-liners are at increasing risk even as many have lost their lives. The government institutions are at a constant war with no end in sight. The people are at a dilemma of fear and helplessness with the government little prepared to help albeit with all they can. Meanwhile the patients, isolated and becoming loners without a chance of choice, must be living with empty thoughts.
Today, we must make a right stand. As the situation worsens and the voices for help sharpen, we need to find the “messiah” to pave the way forward. It is ostensible now that there is already anguish in our land, frustrated voices of complaints and blabbering echoing through our streets, and with people protesting for food and amenities and other discrepancies. The message is clear: we are almost out of control –the exodus that happens of migrants in big numbers fighting their way home, or the food and other supplies often running late till midnight, or the government failing to harness enough volunteers. The government with its best can do so little. The CSO’s with all their time and energy can change so little, and the volunteers, more or less the same –NOTHING CAN BE DONE is the poor message.
Today, in the light of the dilemma that we are in, we, the people, need to understand that the transition will take time. Changes will happen slowly, meaning, even if the situation can be changed, it cannot be an immediate change, thus implying that we need to suffer somehow, willingly or unwillingly. The question then is what you make of that suffering? Like earlier mentioned, you again get to choose what you want. It could either be to live with the adversity, hoping for a change somehow, or throw at someone else our frustrations clinging out of the inimical situations. With what then do you stand?
Today, as the threat is imminent, and the danger is inevitable, our only “Messiah” is HUMANITY. To love people as much as ourselves, to be compassionate to people keeping in mind the love, care, and concern that we desire for ourselves, and to be considerate of what point people are at, emotionally, mentally, and physically among others. This is to put ourselves in the shoes of another. And when we do so, we will feel what we haven’t felt for so long, and maybe, then, we will learn to be compassionate and considerate, sympathising and empathising with others –the government with the people, and the people with the government.
Today, we must come together, as leaders and common people. We must come together for change. The government must listen, and the people must be patient. We must all understand that we are not just going through a pandemic; but we are at the making of a future that generations will remember through history books. Let them read that we have boldly overcome the challenges that we, as one, even as some of us are buried with agony have braved through the tragedy. Let us give HOPE to our future generations, a Hope of Humanity, a Hope that we are never alone, but will always stand together as the same Human Kind.
Today, even as if there is, and are people who distrust and undermine Humanity, we can help them understand and help them change, as Mahatma Gandhi, one greatest humanist had said, “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty,” let Humanity –to love and be loved –be our greatest goal of life.

(The writer can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Private hospitals make hay, while patients suffer in Maharashtra; Complaints of shortage of beds, ventilators are common

IT News
Mumbai, June 6:

Despite a price cap imposed by the state government on private hospitals treating Covid-19 patients, some of the hospitals in Maharashtra have been charging exorbitant rates from patients, making their relatives run from the pillar to the post.
As per notification issued by Maharashtra government, private and charitable hospitals can  charge up to R 4,000 for general ward and isolation, Rs 7,500 for ICU( without ventilator and isolation), and Rs 9,000 for ICU with ventilator and isolation. The services include nursing and bed charges, drugs consultation, tests like 2D Echo, X ray, bed charges among others. 
However there are many examples of the exorbitant charges collected from patients by the private hospitals: Dr Vijaykumar S Gupta (57) was admitted to Ridddhi Vinayak Multi Speciality Hospital, Nalasopara (near Mumbai) on 7 May. He died on 19 May. The hospital presented him a bill of Rs. 9,61,729/- After a lot of arguments, the matter was settled for Rs.7.50 lakh.
Other cases- Shabana Ansari(61), basically a Parkinson’s patient, underwent treatment for COVID-19 in Saifee Hospital, Mumbai from 23April 23 to 03 May. The hospital handed over a bill of Rs 2.60 lakh to her brother M M Koor. The bill included Rs 27,000 for three PPEs (personal protective equipment) per day, meaning Rs 9,000 for one PPE. But a PPE kit does not cost more than Rs 1,000/-.
Some time back, Mumbai’s Nanavati Hospital had charged between Rs 8,000 and Rs 9,800 for a PPE unit from Covid-19 patients. Usually, a PPE unit costs between Rs 350 and Rs 1,000, depending on its quantity. In another case, a person had complained that the same hospital charged Rs 16 lakh for the treatment of his father for 15 days, who later died of Covid-19.
Nuruddin Shaikh( 49) admitted to Noble Hospital, Hadapsar, Pune, from 25 April to 14 May, died on 14 May. The hospital initially charged Rs 7.90,406 and collected Rs.1,46,448 from his son Danish Shaikh on the spot. Remaining Rs.6,43,458 remained unpaid. Subsequently the hospital waived Rs 2.90 lakh, after Danish complained to Pune Collector and the state Health Department. Now the hospital is expected to collect balance bill from the medical insurance company.
Besides these complaints of over- charging by the hospitals, the complaints of the patients not getting admitted to the nearest hospital and even if are admitted, they not getting  ventilators facilities are common. In a recent case, an aged woman Mangal Tajane, residing at Badlapur in Thane district, could not be admitted to any of the nearby hospitals in Badlapur, Kalyan and  Dombivli area. Eventually after a lot of efforts she was admitted to BMC’s LTMG Hospital at Sion in Central Mumbai. By the time she was admitted several hours were lost. She was put on ventilator support but eventually succumbed on 3 June.
Under “Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojna” announced by the Government on First May this year, all COVID-19 patients across the state are supposed to get free treatment. But only 1000 hospitals fall under this scheme.
In the meanwhile the COVID-19 Response Task force,set up by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), an association of business organisations in India,  with representatives from leading private hospitals in India, has suggested that the patients should be categorised as: those who do not require intensive care but must be kept in isolation (Isolation ward), Patients requiring intensive care but are not ventilated (ICU without ventilator) and Patients requiring intensive care and ventilator support (ICU with ventilator).
The Taskforce has recommended that a patient who is paying from out of pocket should pay Rs.17,000 per day for treatment in an isolation ward and Rs.45,000 per day for ICU (with ventilator). These rates include medicines, consumables and basic diagnostics, but exclude PPE costs, high end drugs and any co-morbidities. Also, these are indicative rates and there may be individual variations to the extent of 5-10 per cent.

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SC asks government to clarify on interest on loans during moratorium

By IT Correspondent

NEW DELHI, June 6:

The Supreme Court has asked the union finance ministry to reply, whether the interest on the Equated Monthly Installments (EMIs) of loans, pending during lock down, can be waived or it will continue to be charged even for the period of moratorium allowed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). 

While hearing a petition, a bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M.R. Shah said that it is a serious issue that while a moratorium was granted on EMI payment by the RBI, the interest is being charged on loan amount for that period. There are two issues—”No interest during moratorium period” and “no interest on interest”, said Justice Bhushan. The bench directed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, to file a reply on or before 12 June 2020 in this regard. 

The bench was dealing with a petition filed by Gajendra Sharma, a resident of Agra in Uttar Pradesh, seeking waiver of interest on bank loan, for the period of the moratorium prescribed by the RBI.  He informed the court that he had taken a home loan of Rs 37 lakh from ICICI Bank, and that due to the lockdown, he had no income and was unable to pay the EMIs.

He demanded that interest on loan be waived for the period of the moratorium prescribed by the RBI. 

“The interest charged during moratorium period would be added up into the EMIs at the end of three-month forbearance and he will have to pay this additional interest in one go. Even if the additional interest burden for three months moratorium period is equally divided in all future EMIs, the monthly bill for customer will increase.” The RBI’s decision to delay EMI payments but allowing interest on accumulated amount negates the relief provided”, the petitioner explained. 

As the country grappled with Covid-19, on 27 March, the RBI had prescribed a three-month moratorium on EMIs, which was extended for another three months. The moratorium exempted borrowers from paying their EMIs for a specific period of time and this deferment of payment provided relief to borrowers. However the notification stated that the interest will continue to be charged on accumulated amount. 

During the hearing of Sharma’s petition, the RBI stated that the waiver of interest charges on EMIs during moratorium will lead to loss of one per cent of the GDP and as such it was not feasible to waive the interest. 

However Sharma’s counsel, senior advocate Rajeev Dutta, told the court that RBI’s 27 March  notification should be treated as ultra wires since it permits, collection of interest on the loan amount during the moratorium period. He said that the Centre was looking at the profitability of the banks. However in the matter of repatriation of Indians stranded abroad, under “Vande Bharat Mission”, the SC has directed the Air India to keep middle seats vacant on non-scheduled flights, to avoid the spread of infection. This was despite the fact that the airline was losing a sizable revenue.  Justice Bhushan said the court is well aware, and the economic aspect is not greater than the health of the people.

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