Coronavirus in India: 20 Delhi Metro employees test positive for COVID-19
Around 20 staff members of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on Friday tested positive for COVID-19.
As per a report news agency ANI, the DMRC in a statement said, "Along with the rest of the country, DMRC is also fighting the battle against COVID-19. Delhi Metro's employees have shown exemplary resilience in reporting back to their duties to keep the Metro system in all readiness for the eventual resumption of services."
Around 20 staff members of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) have tested positive for #COVID19. All of them are asymptomatic and are doing well: DMRC officials
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10:33 PM - Jun 4, 2020
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"Some employees, scattered across the NCR have unfortunately been infected by the virus as well. They are all safe and recovering gradually. However, in this hour of crisis as well, the spirit of Delhi Metro continues to be high," the DMRC stated.
On Friday, India saw a record single-day jump of 9,851 coronavirus cases and 273 deaths on Friday, pushing the nationwide infection tally to 2,26,770 and the death toll to 6,348, according to the Union health ministry. India stood seventh among the nations worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic after the US, Brazil, Russia, the UK, Spain and Italy. The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 1,10,960 while 1,09,461 people have recovered and one patient has migrated, it said.
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Kerala Elephant Death: State Forest Minister says one arrested, probe still on
On Friday, Kerala Forest Minister K Raju said that one accused in connection with the death of the pregnant elephant has been arrested. Another one has been detained, he said.
As reported by the Hindustan Times, the arrested has been identified as P Wilson who works at an estate that cultivates cash crops and spices.
While questioning them, the duo said that they set up the fruit filled with fire crackers to scare the wild boards away.
A Kerala forest department team probing the killing of a pregnant elephant is leant to have taken two persons into custody. The forest officials are tight-lipped on the progress of their investigation.
The elephant's habitat was in the Silent Valley National Park in Palakkad district. The local Manarakadu police station on Wednesday registered a case in the gruesome incident.
"The forest department and the police are probing the incident and we are confident of finding the villains behind this crime," said Sub Inspector of Police T.K. Ramachandran.
According to veterinarians who treated the 15-year-old pregnant elephant, some miscreants while chasing away the elephants who occasionally stray into the agricultural land had kept fire crackers inside a pineapple.
When the elephant started eating it, the crackers burst, seriously injuring its upper and lower jaw and tongue. The injured elephant, according to forest officials, was first spotted by locals near a water source on May 23. Two days later an elephant expert after a medical assessment said things were bad for the animal.
On May 25, the elephant was found dead in slushy water. "Despite our best efforts to get the elephant out of water, it did not come out and died," said a local villager.
A post-mortem conducted on the elephant two days later revealed that the elephant was two-month pregnant. Experts pointed out that this was the elephant's first pregnancy.
On Thursday, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar took to twitter to show his displeasure. "The government has taken a very serious note of the killing of an elephant in Mallapuram, #Kerala. We will not leave any stone unturned to investigate it properly and nab the culprit(s). This is not Indian culture to feed firecrackers and kill," he wrote.
On Wednesday, the Environment Minister sought a report on the death of the elephant and said stern action would be taken against the culprits.
Kerala Elephant Death: Postmortem report out; CM Pinarayi Vijayan says 'investigation underway, focus on three suspects'
The preliminary postmortem report of the pregnant elephant who died on May 27 after eating the pineapple stuffed with crackers was released by the Thiruvizhamkunnu Forest Station on Wednesday.
According to the report, the inhalation of water as a result of drowning was the immediate cause of death. "Water filled condition of lungs is an indication of drowning. Inhalation of water leading to respiratory failure, is the immediate cause of the death of the elephant."
It added, "The major and incapacitating wounds that led to localised sepsis in the oral cavity are evidences for severe traumatic injury and have most likely occurred following an explosive blast in the mouth. This has prevented the animal from taking food and water for several days and led to severe debility and weakness."
Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday said that an investigation is underway with focus on three suspects in the incident of killing of the pregnant elephant in Palakkad.
In a series of tweets, he said, "In a tragic incident in Palakkad dist, a pregnant elephant has lost its life. Many of you have reached out to us. We want to assure you that your concerns will not go in vain. Justice will prevail."
"An investigation is underway, focusing on three suspects. The police and forest departments will jointly investigate the incident. The district police chief and the district forest officer visited the site today. We will do everything possible to bring the culprits to justice," he added.
In a tragic incident in Palakkad dist, a pregnant elephant has lost its life. Many of you have reached out to us. We want to assure you that your concerns will not go in vain. Justice will prevail.
An investigation is underway, focusing on three suspects. The police and forest departments will jointly investigate the incident. The district police chief and the district forest officer visited the site today. We will do everything possible to bring the culprits to justice.
3:27 AM - Jun 4, 2020
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SC extends its order on no coercive action against employers for not paying full wages for lockdown till June 12
The Supreme Court on Thursday extended till June 12 the operation of its May 15 order asking the government not to take any coercive action against companies and employers for violation of its March 29 circular on payment of full wages to employees for the lockdown period. The Ministry of Home Affair (MHA), in its circular, had asked all employers to make payment of wages to their workers without any deduction for the period their establishments were under closure during the lockdown to contain COVID-19.
The Secretary (Labour & Employment) had also written to chief secretaries of states to advise employers not to terminate employees from job or reduce their wages amid the challenging situation of the pandemic.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, S K Kaul and M R Shah expressed its concern over the MHA's circular, saying that 100 per cent wage payment has been ordered with the direction that there would be prosecution of offending employers.
"We have reservations over this. Some discussion should be held to work out some solution for this period of time," the bench said, adding that a balance has to be struck between wage payment for the lockdown period and protecting the industries.
"State may have to give small industries owners a hand. Negotiations need to be held industry to industry, workmen to workmen," the bench said while reserving the verdict on batch of petitions.
In the proceedings conducted through video conferencing, the bench said there was a concern that workmen should not be left without pay, but there may be a situation where the industry may not have the money to pay and hence, the balancing was needed.
Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, said as the people were migrating after the lockdown, the government came out with the notification to ensure that the workers are paid to help them in staying put at the work places.
The top law officer referred to the provisions of the National Disaster Management Act to argue the validity of the March 29 circular.
The bench asked the Centre whether it has the power to prosecute the employers for non-payment of 100 per cent wages to the employees in view of the fact that certain provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act have not been invoked, "Some.negotiations have to happen between employers and workmen to iron out what to be done for the salary for these 54 days (of lockdown)," it observed.
One of the firms, Ficus Pax, said that the work of the company has come to down to ten per cent and it has become an impossibility to pay the full wages.
The government could have utilized the ESI fund for paying entire minimum wages to all workforce in the country, a lawyer said.
Venugopal replied by saying that the money can be borrowed from the ESI fund, but cannot be redirected to pay the workers.
Senior lawyer Indira Jaising, appearing in one of the cases, said that the MHA's direction should not be quashed and the workers needed to be paid full wages for the period of the lockdown.
The principle of no work no pay is not applicable in the present circumstances, especially when there is lockdown, she said.
At the end of the hearing, the apex court asked the parties to file written submissions in support of their claims and granted three days time to the Attorney General to submit a short note on the validity of the MHA"s notification.
The Centre also filed an affidavit justifying its March 29 direction saying that the employers claiming incapacity in paying salaries must be directed to furnish their audited balance sheets and accounts in the court.
The government has said that the March 29 directive was a "temporary measure to mitigate the financial hardship" of employees and workers, specially contractual and casual, during the lockdown period and the directions have been revoked by the authority with effect from May 18.
The top court, on May 15, had asked the government not to take any coercive action against the companies and employers who are unable to pay full wages to their employees during the nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The bench was hearing pleas including the one filed by Small Scale Industrial Manufacturers Association against the Centre's direction.