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Chidambaram spends restless first night at Tihar jail with no special facilities




New Delhi: P Chidambaram spent his first night at the Tihar jail on Thursday after a CBI court sent the former Union minister and one of the top leaders of Congress to two-week judicial custody in the INX Media case.

Quoting jail sources India Today said that he remained restless throughout the first night.

The veteran Congress leader, who has been a vocal critic of the Modi government till the last few days before a Delhi court rejected his bail plea, will be lodged at jail number 7 at Tihar. This is the usual cell where those accused in Enforcement Directorate (ED) cases are lodged.


On Friday morning, Chidambaram was given tea for breakfast around 6 am along with the prison menu of bread, poha and porridge.

P Chidambaram, who enjoys Z+ security as a former Union finance minister, will get no special facilities at the Tihar jail. He will be allowed to walk outside his prison cell.

The Congress leader had demanded to have access to western toilet facilities and he has been provided with the same, going by the jail manual.

He also wanted to carry his spectacles and medicines to the prison. Chidambaram had a light dinner and medicines on the first night of his 14-day custody.

Among the facilities available to Chidambaram is access to media. Like other inmates, the former minister will have access to the prison’s library and can watch television for a specified period. He will also get newspapers in his cell.

The 74-year-old leader has also been given a pillow and blanket.

Officials said Chidambaram can either drink water from a Reverse Osmosis plant or purchase packaged bottle from the canteen.

In a major setback for one of the most powerful leaders of the UPA era, Chidambaram was jailed on Thursday and sent to judicial custody by the CBI court in the INX Media case. Earlier the Supreme Court dealt a blow and rejected his bail application.

In another case, a Delhi trial court granted him and son Karti Chidambaram bail in the Aircel-Maxis case only to be sent to prison within a few hours in the INX Media case.


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Two hotels sealed in Katra for violating environmental norms

Press Trust of India



The Jammu and Kashmir administration sealed two hotels for allegedly violating environmental norms in Katra, the base camp of Mata Vaishno Devi shrine, in Reasi district, officials said on Wednesday.

Acting on the recommendations of the State Pollution Control Board, Deputy Commissioner Indu Kanwal Chib ordered the sealing of the hotels — New Sham Guest House, Jammu Road, and Hotel Meridian, Panthal Road — for grave violation of environmental norms, an official spokesman said.

Both the hotels were found guilty of not installing sewage treatment plants as required under the Environment Protection Act 1986, and were, therefore sealed, in the presence of SDM, Katra, Ashok Kumar, he said.


The owners of the hotels had been served notices prior to the closure of their establishments, the spokesman said.

Besides, the electricity supply to the hotels has been snapped and they were deregistered by the tourism department, he said.

The hotels shall remain sealed till the time they comply by the laid down environmental norms and install requisite treatment plants.

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Coronavirus in China to make drugs expensive in India




New Delhi: The prices of generic drugs in India are likely to go up due to the country”s excessive dependence on the imports of active ingredients from China, which has been hit by the novel coronavirus epidemic.

While noting that Indian imports are highly dependent on China, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in its report on the impact of ”novel coronavirus in China” has said that the supply chain disruption caused by the lockdown placed in four provinces and around 50 cities of China has “significant ramifications for Indian industry”.

43 per cent of India”s imports from the world coming from China.


India sources about 65-70 per cent of active pharmaceutical ingredients and close to 90 per cent of certain mobile phone parts from China.

The world”s largest manufacturer and exporter, China also accounts for 45 per cent of India”s total electronics imports, one-third of machinery and almost two-fifths of organic chemicals and over 25 per cent of automotive parts and fertilizers.

Though the overall impact on Indian economy so far is “moderate”, the CII has said that sectors like pharmaceuticals, shipping, automobiles, mobiles and electronics have already been or likely to be impacted.

The Indian pharma industry heavily relies on imports of bulk drugs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient and intermediates), with 70 per cent of API coming from China. Imports from China have been on a steady rise over the years due to the low-cost advantage Chinese manufacturers have. India imported around Rs. 249 billion worth of bulk drugs last year, accounting for around 40 per cent of overall domestic consumption. Last year, India imported Rs. 174 billion of API from China while exporting only Rs. 16 billion worth APIs. The value addition in India is mainly through formulation, packaging and distribution.

The coronavirus outbreak has disrupted supplies of pharmaceutical ingredients from China, resulting in shortages and potential price rise of generic drugs in India, the CII has said. “Indian pharmaceutical companies are now running close to exhausting their supply of APIs (usually have up to two months stock) and considering supply from other countries,” the report revealed, adding that the situation has not reached to any crisis yet as stocks and viable alternatives are still available.

Expressing concern about the delays in shipments between India and China, the CII has noted a sharp drop in the dry bulk cargo movement since last month.

“Realisation per day per vessel has declined by more than 75-80 per cent in dry bulk trade,” the report said.

If the shutdown in China persists, the CII predicts an eight to ten per cent contraction of Indian auto manufacturing in 2020.

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Hope to resolve matter soon: SC-appointed panel meets protesters at Shaheen Bagh




A mediation panel appointed by the Supreme Court reached Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh Wednesday to meet women who have been protesting against the amended citizenship law.

Two advocates, Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran, were appointed as interlocutors by the apex court on Monday after it acknowledged people’s right to protest. The panel was deployed with a mandate to persuade the protesters to end their blockade of a public road.

“We have come here according to the order of Supreme Court. We hope to speak to everyone. We hope to resolve the matter with everybody’s cooperation,” Advocate Sanjay Hegde was quoted as saying by ANI.


A bench of Justice S K Kaul and K M Joseph had observed that one set of people taking to public roads to air their grievance can inspire others which will ultimately lead to chaos.

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