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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Daily briefing: Centre broke the law on GST funds, says CAG report; advocate shot dead in Srinagar

From the rising Covid cases in Kerala to the murder of a prominent advocate in Srinagar, read the top stories from print editon today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | September 25, 2020 8:32:56 am
top news briefing today, top news today, india latest news today, india covid vaccine, bihar assembly elections 2020, republic tv mumbai policeOctober 24, 2020: A look at the top news today.

Good morning Readers,

We are covering the Centre’s violation of the GST compensation law, glaring gaps in the Delhi Police’s response during the February riots and former Australian cricketer Dean Jones’ double century in the exhausting Madras heat of 1986.

The Big Story

For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, the number of recoveries exceeded active cases for the sixth consecutive day and the reproduction number, or R-value, has fallen below 1. Though these are some promising signal, the trend has to hold for several weeks to convey something more meaningful 

From The Front Page

As many as 607 transactions ($14.9 million) in 2014 of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) were red-flagged by Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas (DBTCA) in its Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) filed with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

To bypass the Centre’s farm Bills, the Punjab government is “seriously contemplating” a move to amend its APMC Act and declare the entire state as a Principal Mandi Yard, The Indian Express has learnt. This ensures that farmers do not get a price less than the MSP, and the state gets its mandi fee.

During 2017-18 and 2018-19, in violation of the law, the Centre short credited the GST Compensation Cess Fund, retained the amount, and used it for other purposes. The CAG found that this “led to overstatement of revenue receipts and understatement of fiscal deficit for the year”.

The Pandemic

Kerala, once feted for its effective Covid-19 containment measures, has currently been adding cases at a rate faster than every other state, except Chhattisgarh. The state also has been witnessing more new cases than recoveries for the last several weeks consistently.

“We need religious and political leaders to help.” More than six months into the pandemic, the stigma or the fear of the unknown continues to keep several villagers in Maharashtra away from doctors and Covid testing, refusing to visit hospitals until they turn critical.

Beyond Covid-19

Prominent advocate Babar Qadri, who had taken up many cases concerning human rights and juvenile justice in Kashmir, was shot dead by militants in Srinagar on Thursday. “He was shot as he was stepping out of his house. He tried to run inside and was shot again,” police sources said.

On the first day of the Northeast Delhi riots, several frantic calls were made to Delhi Police from people belonging to both the communities. And it is these calls which show the glaring gaps in the police response and are part of the technical evidence in the chargesheet related to the murder of 20-year-old waiter whose body was found mutilated and charred later.

Five years ago, retail prices of arhar/tur dal scaled to levels of Rs 180-200 per kg towards October, and was seen to have contributed significantly to the BJP’s defeat in Bihar Assembly polls. This time round, the Narendra Modi government is taking no chances, especially with heavy rain in north Karnataka.

ICYMI

  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Thursday listed cross-border terrorism, blocking of connectivity and obstruction of trade as the key challenges confronting SAARC.
  • A CAG audit survey of toilets built for schools by seven Central Public Sector Enterprises has revealed that 72 per cent did not have running water. 
  • Motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson, which was at the centre of US President Donald Trump’s repeated criticism of India’s “high” tariffs, is officially shuttering operations here. 
  • The Supreme Court on Thursday turned down activist and UAPA accused Sudha Bharadwaj’s plea for interim bail on medical grounds.
  • The opposition Congress in Karnataka on Thursday gave a notice to initiate a no-confidence motion against the B S Yediyurappa-led BJP government.

And finally

Former Australian cricketer Dean Jones passed away after a cardiac arrest. He was 59. Our cricket writer Sandip G recollects Jones’ sweat-drenching double hundred in the exhausting Madras heat of 1986. “The Chepauk effort was his defining effort, his ticket to immortality, but Jones was more than that,” he writes. 

Delhi Confidential: Is the Rajya Sabha website not accessible abroad? Well, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh says it is not.

🎧 In today’s episode of Three Things Podcast, we discuss how a piece of iconic cricketing memorabilia that was lost in the 2011 World Cup final has been found again, and the role Sunil Gavaskar played. 

Until tomorrow,

Leela Prasad and Liu Chuen Chen

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