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Bombay HC orders RT-PCR test for Vidarbhas frontline staff; terms NMC’s stand ‘ridiculous’

In a landmark judgment, the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court comprising Justice Ravi Deshpande and Justice Amit Borkar on Monday directed the Maharashtra government to conduct RT-PCR test of all frontline warriors including doctors, nurses, pharmacist and policemen working in Vidarbha with immediate effect. The court was hearing a petition filed by Nagpur-based NGO ‘Citizen Forum for Equality’ that sought COVID-19 tests to be conducted on frontline workers.

The State government counsel argued that no policy was framed for frontline health workers and police personnel for COVID-19 testing. Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe had filed an affidavit by resisting the testing of frontline health workers on three grounds:

  • The health workers conduct their job with protection and hence there is no threat to them.
  • If orders to test front line health workers were given, then there would be huge burden on the state exchequer.
  • There is no express policy of ICMR to test them.

The High Court slammed the ridiculous and ?contemptuous stand taken by the NMC as per the fundamental rights of citizens under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

The High Court relied upon two landmark judgments of the Supreme Court

  1. i) State of Punkab Vs Ram Bagga -1998-4-SCC-117
  2. ii) Navtejsingh Johar Vs Union of India -2018-10-SCC-1

It was held that the right to health and health care is the right to life under Article 21 of Constitution of India. The HC held that it was the duty of the state to protect the ?frontline warriors and get them tested them under Article 47 of the Constitution of India.

As per the court, the entire frontline staff in Vidarbha is entitled to get tested for COVID-19 through RT-PCR method provided they express their willingness to undergo the test. The court said it didn’t agree with the state government as well as the Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) stand that the guidelines of ICMR does not cover frontline workers for RT-PCR testing.

The court directed the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to frame guidelines for periodic check up of the frontline warriors of Vidarbha within one week as they are the ?direct and high-risk contacts of COVID-19 positive patients. The court said that the frontline workers, who are performing a herculean? task, fall under the definition of suspected cases and hence should be tested. The court further said there’s no guarantee that the frontline workers using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits or wearing gloves, masks or coats are safe from COVID-19 infection.

The court said that the lives of frontline workers are precious as they are warriors who have been putting their lives at risk to save others. The court said, We can’t afford to lose them. There can’t be any compromise on this.

While advocate Dr Tushar Mandlekar argued for petitioner  Citizens Forum for Equality, Nagpur, Assistant Solicitor General of India advocate Ulhas Aurangabadkar argued for ICMR and Union of India. Advocate Sumant Deopujari argued for State Government and advocate Sudhir Puranik argued for NMC.

Check the High Court’s order below:

Also read: Nagpur: Four, including dreaded goon, booked for raping 16-year-old girl

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Nagpur News

Dance enthusiasts, friends pay tribute in loving memory of Tiki Peters in Nagpur




Radhika Dhawad | Nagpur

Dance enthusiasts, friends and students came together and paid a heartfelt tribute in the loving memory of renowned western dance teacher late Benedict Peters fondly called as Tiki Peters. Moreover, the get-together also gave a chance to enthusiasts who wished to express their love for dance. The get together was held at Money Plant Terrace in Laxmi Nagar on March 13.

Hosts – businessman Dhananjay Sakharkar and Deputy Executive Editor at ABP Majha Sarita Kaushik – along with other guests, reminisced some memorable anecdotes of Tiki that lifted spirits of all as they went down the memory lane. 

Fondly remembering Peters, Sarita Kaushik told Nation Next, “Tiki was a dear friend for whom Dhananjay and I arranged this small get-together. He was a gifted teacher who danced like no one else. His moves were fabulous; no body could teach better than him. He had a commendable sense of aesthetics when it came to dance. I’m glad his elder sister and brother are equally talented and will continue Tiki’s legacy of excellence.”

Dhananjay, who had known Peters for nearly four decades, said, “My association Tiki dates back to over 40 years. He taught  us many dance forms including Jive, Salsa, Disco, Ballroom, Waltz, Cha Cha Cha. More than anything else, Tiki was an exceptional human being – with amazing sense of humour! When Tiki passed away, Sarita and I arranged a small party where we served everything that he loved  – veg puff, macarons, cakes, soft drinks and of course music to dance! This was our small gesture for our dear friend who, I’m certain, was smiling from the heavens that evening!”

Tiki Peters, who was brought up in an Anglo-Indian culture – something that was predominant in city’s Mohan Nagar area, passed away in November last year. 

Also read: Inside the famous ₹1.3 crore worth gift bag given to Oscar nominees this year…

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Never thought I’d get such warmth, love after leaving Congress, says Ghulam Nabi Azad




Radhika Dhawad | Srinagar

Never thought I’d get such warmth, love after leaving Congress, says Ghulam Nabi Azad…

DPAP Chief and ex-Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said he never imagined he would receive such love and warmth after quitting Congress.

Ghulam Nabi Azad addressing public meeting at Banihal

Chairman of Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said he never imagined he would receive such love and warmth after quitting the Congress party. Azad, on Saturday, remarked, “I had never thought that after leaving Congress, the people of Jammu and Kashmir would receive me with this kind of warmth and love.”

Azad said that after quitting the grand old party, more and more people were joining his new party; they have faith in him. He said, “It gives me more responsibilities and challenges to meet the expectations of people. People feel dejected and disappointed with the present governing system.” 

Azad said he aimed to build a better and progressive Jammu Kashmir where the future of youth is secure. He said if his party came to power, he would bring the massive developmental revolution across the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Azad also asserted that his politics was based on inclusiveness, development and peace. Speaking at the public meeting in Eidgah at Srinagar, Azad, said that unlike other parties who try to divide people for political benefit, he aimed to develop Jammu and Kashmir inclusively where each person irrespective of religion, caste and creed felt politically and socially empowered.

Azad concluded, “Be it statehood, land or jobs, I will lead my people from the front to secure their rights. My people are my priority. I have come back to Jammu Kashmir only for my people otherwise, I had all the opportunities I could desire ever in my life.” 

Also read: Gadkari again receives death threat calls from same caller

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Nagpur News

BREAKING: Gadkari again receives death threat calls from same caller




Radhika Dhawad | Nagpur
The Public Relations Officer of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari again received two death threat calls  today morning (March 21).

Nitin Gadkari

In a rather shocking incident amid the high security C20 conference in Nagpur, the Public Relations Office of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari again received two death threat calls  today morning (March 21). According to the information received, once again there have been threatening calls received in the name of a criminal named Jayesh Pujari alias Jayesh Kantha.

Employees of the senior BJP leader’s office alerted Nagpur Police and security has been beefed up outside the office in Khamla and the leader’s residence on Wardha Road. However, cops are yet to ascertain whether the call was actually made by the same person who had issued death threats to Gadkari in January. 

On January 14 this year, an unidentified extortionist, claiming to speak on behalf of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, threatened to kill Gadkari in an explosion if he didn’t pay him ₹100 crore.

The caller threatened Gadkari though a phone call on the landline number of his Public Relations Office (PRO) at Khamla in Nagpur (around one kilometre away from his residence) at 11:25 am, 11:32 am, and 12:30 pm.

The employees of the office alerted the police after the threat call, where in the caller also threatened to blow up Gadkari’s office. Nagpur Police immediately beefed up the security outside Gadkari’s office and residence. 

It was later revealed that a notorious gangster named Jayesh Pujari had threatened to kill Gadkari by allegedly making the three threat calls illegally using a cellphone while he was lodged in Belgaum Jail at Karnataka. 

In 2016, Pujari had even escaped after breaking the jail. The gangster, in the past too, had threatened several senior officers and other people in a similar manner. 

Also read: NMC spends ₹20 crore on lighting trees for C20 in Nagpur

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