New Delhi: The Delhi police on Thursday gave a clean chit to Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar in two complaints over his alleged derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and meeting with Pakistani officials here without following protocol.The police in its separate Action Taken Reports(ATR) sought dismissal of the two complaints filed against the former union minister by advocate and politician Ajay Agrawal. It told a court that mere uttering of a derogatory word without a more “overt act” against the prime minister does not constitute an offence of sedition against Aiyar. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”Mere uttering a derogatory word, without more overt act, against PM of India did not constitute an offence under section 124A (sedition) and 153 A (promoting enmity) of Indian Penal Code,” the police told Metropolitan Magistrate Vasundhara Azad. Aiyar was suspended by the Congress in a damage control exercise hours after he called Modi a ‘neech aadmi”(lowly person) on December 7, 2017, sparkinh a political storm ahead of the Gujarat Assembly polls. His suspension was revoked on August 18, 2018. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KIn criminal law, an overt act is the one that can be clearly proved by evidence and from which criminal intent can be inferred. The police also contended that even if Aiyar broke the protocol by hosting Pakistan officials, it does not attract any penal provision under the Indian Penal Code(IPC). “As far as the allegations of conspiring against India by these persons matter, the complainant is only assuming this and no such evidence has come on record to show conspiracy till now,” it added. Agrawal had filed a plea against Aiyar in 2017 for lodging a sedition case against Aiyar for allegedly using derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Modi and hosting a meeting with Pakistani officials. He alleged that the meeting posed a threat to national security. The court has put up the matter for further hearing on December 16. Agrawal said the meeting was held at the south Delhi residence of Aiyar and attended by the then Pakistan’s high commissioner and an ex-foreign minister of the neighbouring country among others. In his plea, Agrawal claimed that “derogatory” words were also used against Modi at the meeting held on December 6, 2017 which was also attended by former prime minister Manmohan Singh and ex-vice president Hamid Ansari. The petitioner has sought the court’s direction to the Delhi Police to book Aiyar and others present under conspiracy and sedition charges, and investigate the matter.
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday tweeted on World Pharmacists Day, stating how the health service scenario has evolved in Bengal in the past few years, giving a major boost to the government-run hospitals.Taking to Twitter, Banerjee said: “Today is World Pharmacists Day. You will be happy to know that for the people of #Bangla, treatment, diagnostics, and drugs are now completely free in all govt hospitals. Also, 115 Fair Price Medicine Shops are functional in #Bangla, providing discounts up to 77% on MRP.” Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaProviding health services to the patients in all the state-run hospitals completely free of cost has been one of the most significant milestones achieved by the Mamata Banerjee government so far, with crores of people reaping benefits of the scheme. Most of the people in Bengal depend on the government hospitals and the health service schemes have been designed in such a manner so that the marginalised people, especially in the districts, can avail services without spending a penny from his/her pocket. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe budgetary allocation for the health sector in Bengal has gone up from Rs 682 crore in 2011 to Rs 9,552.70 crore in the current fiscal, clearly indicating the emphasis and impetus given by the Mamata Banerjee government to this sector. The main objective of the project was to make health services accessible to the poorest sections of people, who cannot afford to go to private hospitals. The success of the project has gone to the extent where a large number of people even from outside Bengal visit the medical colleges in the city, to avail quality treatment. Following the implementation of the free health service schemes, a section of doctors and paramedical staff at some government hospitals allegedly tried to oppose the project, as it would hurt their interests. This section of people in the hospital used to get benefits out of recommending expensive drugs, surgical equipments, orthopaedic implants and stents. It was often alleged that they used to get commission from the diagnostic centers against each clinical test performed on the patients. The Chief Minister has made all the diagnostics and expensive drugs available at all the hospitals, free of cost. Medicines are available at the fair price medicine shops at heavily discounted rates.