Tue, 02 November 2021
Chargesheet against actor in Rs 200cr cheating case
23:29 Mapped: Bypoll results
The bypolls to 30 assembly states and three Lok Sabha seats across 14 states and one Union Territory resulted in a mixed bag for the two national parties even as regional parties emerged triumphant.
23:00 Chargesheet against actor in Rs 200cr cheating case
The Delhi police on Tuesday filed a charge sheet before a court here against actor Leena Maria Paul and her husband and alleged conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar in a case related to allegedly duping the wife of the former promoter of Ranbaxy of Rs 200 crore.
The final report, which was filed by the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police, also named 12 others.
Paul and Chandrashekhar are currently in judicial custody along with some other co-accused in the case for allegedly duping Aditi Singh, wife of Shivinder Singh.
Additional Sessions Judge Praveen Singh put up the charge sheet for consideration on December 1.
The accused are charged with cheating, criminal conspiracy, and other offences punishable under IPC and the provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
According to the EOW, Paul and Chandrashekhar, along with others used hawala routes and created shell companies to park the money earned from proceeds of crime.
Sukesh Chandrashekhar and other are also recently arrested by Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in the case.
21:59 Financial compliance calendar for Nov 2021
Here is the complete financial compliance calendar for November 2021, courtesy Dr Raj Chawla, CA.
21:48 Shiv Sena dedicates first LS win outside Maharashtra to founder Bal Thackeray
First win for Shiv Sena outside Maha as it bags Dadra and Nagar Haveli LS seat; dedicating it to Bal Thackeray, says Raut
For the first time since its inception in the 1960s, the Shiv Sena will have an MP from outside Maharashtra with the party nominee Kalaben Delkar, wife of independent MP late Mohan Delkar, winning the bypoll to the Dadra and Nagar Haveli (ST) Lok Sabha seat on Tuesday with a margin of 51,269 votes by defeating her nearest BJP rival Mahesh Gavit.
Riding on a sympathy wave post the death of her husband, who allegedly hanged himself in a hotel in Mumbai in February, Kalaben Delkar (50) bagged 1,18,035 votes. Gavit has polled 66,766 votes.
Congress candidate Mahesh Dhodi has polled 6,150 votes, said a statement by the Election Commission at the end of the counting on Tuesday evening.
In Mumbai, Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP and spokesperson Sanjay Raut dedicated the party's first "historic" Lok Sabha victory outside Maharashtra to the late Bal Thackeray, the founder of the saffron party headquartered in Mumbai.
Counting of votes was held in Silvassa city of the Dadra and Nagar Haveli district, which is a part of the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.
Kalaben maintained the lead since the counting of votes began in the morning.
A voter turnout of nearly 75 per cent was recorded in this byelection held on October 30.
Notably, Kalaben is a third member of the influential Delkar family to be elected as MP from the UT.
While late Mohan Delkar had won the polls seven times during his political career, his father Sanjibhai Delkar was the first MP from the Dadra and Nagar Haveli Lok Sabha constituency, which came into existence in 1967.
Mohan Delkar had won the 2019 election by defeating then sitting BJP MP Natubhai Patel by a thin margin of 9,001 votes.
The late MP, who had been a member of Congress and BJP at different times of his political career, was elected in 1989, 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2019.
Prima facie, factors like "sympathy wave" and the loyal vote bank went in the favour of Kalaben.
The poll outcome came as an embarrassment for BJP which had left no stone unturned to win the seat. The saffron party had sent a host of Union ministers, including Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav, Smriti Irani, Bharati Pawar and Parshottam Rupala, to campaign for Gavit.
Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had also visited the constituency to support the BJP candidate.
No prominent leader from Congress visited the UT during campaigning. The Shiv Sena had sent Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray and party MP Sanjay Raut to campaign for Kalaben.
After winning the bypoll, Kalaben thanked the people of the UT and said her fight for "justice" will continue.
"I am thankful to my people as they stood by my family when we needed their support the most. I want to assure them that I will fight for the rights of the people of this region. Our fight to get justice for Mohanbhai will also continue," said Kalaben.
In Mumbai, Raut said, It is a historic win for Shiv Sena. We would like to dedicate this victory to the late Balasaheb Thackeray. He always wanted to take Sena to other states and I can firmly say that this is a major first step in that direction.
He recalled that late Bal Thackeray had unsuccessfully campaigned in 1998 for a candidate from Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
"With this victory, Shiv Sena will march ahead strongly in other states," Raut added.
21:42 Puri Jagannath Temple approves Rs 190 cr budget
The Shree Jagannath Temple managing committee on Tuesday approved Rs 190 crore annual budget for the 12th century shrine for 2021-22 fiscal.
The chief administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Krishan Kumar said there is a plan to generate revenue of Rs 106 crore from earning and peg the budgetary expenditure at Rs 85 crore.
The temple managing committee chaired by Dibya Singh Deb, the Gajapati Maharaja or titular king of Puri, approved the actual receipt and expenditure for 2020-21 and also cleared the budget estimate for 2021-22 fiscal, Kumar said.
The temple authorities have planned to generate income of around Rs 37 crore from interests.
We expect the corpus fund amount to be around Rs 750 crore during 2021-22, he said.
The SJTA chief said the administration has obtained cluster environmental clearance for stone quarries in Tapang and Khurda areas, which are owned by the Shree Jagannatha Temple.
Individual environmental clearance for stone quarries is expected before March 2022, he said.
The SJTA will soon sign an MoU with state-owned Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) for the production of Khondalite stones which are in high demand.
An income of around Rs 60 crore is expected to be generated from the execution of land deeds and acquisitions.
The temple authorities also decided to reassess the land leased to Cashew Development Corporation.
The quality and quantity of materials used for rituals was also taken up for discussion, he said.
The temple is planning to launch some donation schemes during Makar Sankranti' (January 14), the online portal for which will be unveiled soon, the SJTA chief administrator said.
21:20 'Suicide bomber' arrested for threatening to blow up Connaught Place
The Delhi Police on Tuesday apprehended a person from Connaught Place for allegedly threatening to blow up the area, officials said.
According to police, Kamal Arya (32), a resident of Faridabad, entered the showroom of Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer 前neplus' near Rajiv Chowk at around 4.15 pm. He later threatened to blow up the place.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Deepak Yadav said police rushed to the spot and apprehended Arya. He was taken into custody for interrogation.
The officer said Arya claimed that he was a suicide bomber. He carried a bag and threatened to blow up the area by pressing a button. His bag was later checked where no bomb was found.
The area is being screened by bomb disposal squads as a precautionary measure, Yadav said.
Joint interrogation of the man is being carried out by security agencies and police, he added.
20:36 Rupee gains 19 paise to end at 74.68 against US dollar
The rupee gained 19 paise to close at 74.68 against the US dollar on Tuesday, supported by foreign capital inflows into local IPOs amid a lacklustre trend in the domestic equity market.
At the interbank forex market, the domestic unit opened at 74.83 against the greenback and witnessed an intra-day high of 74.66 and a low of 74.86 during the day's trade. It finally ended at 74.68 a dollar.
On Monday, the rupee had settled at 74.87 against the US dollar.
The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, advanced 0.06 per cent to 93.94.
"After two days of lacklustre movements, the rupee has appreciated quarter percentage points backed by inflows from IPOs. While overseas markets traded sideways ahead of the US Fed and Bank of England policy meeting this week," said Dilip Parmar, Research Analyst, HDFC Securities.
Dollar supply remained high on the back of IPOs, while traders may remain light in holiday truncated weeks, Parmar said, adding "Spot USD/INR is expected to trade in a tight range of 74.50 to 75".
On the domestic equity market front, the BSE Sensex fell 109.40 points or 1.18 per cent to end at 60,029.06, while the broader NSE Nifty declined 40.70 points or 0.23 per cent to 17,888.95.
"Rupee traded strongly near 74.70 amid dollar weakness and Crude price holding below USD 85.00. Strong vaccine numbers in India give economic support keeping the rupee fall limited. Going ahead rupee can be seen in the range of 74.50-75.10," said Jateen Trivedi, Senior Research Analyst at LKP Securities.
Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.27 per cent to USD 84.94 per barrel.
According to Sriram Iyer, Senior Research Analyst at Reliance Securities the rupee appreciated against the US dollar supported by continued foreign inflows into local IPOs.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Monday, as they offloaded shares worth Rs 202.13 crore, as per exchange data.
Meanwhile, traders will also be eyeing the US Fed's policy decision on Wednesday.
"A Fed taper is priced in, the market will like to know more on the commentary from the US Fed Chair Jerome Powell.
"Technically, the USD/INR Spot pair ended below 21-Daily Moving Average at 74.785 levels, and another sustained trade below could pull the pair to the support zones at 74.66-74.50. A trade above could push the pair back to the Resistance zones at 74.88-75.10 levels," Iyer said.
20:12 Less than 300 Covid cases in Mumbai for 2nd day
Mumbai on Tuesday reported 228 COVID-19 cases and three deaths, taking the tally to 7,56,442 and the toll to 16,254, a civic official aid.
It was the second day in a row when the metropolis recorded less than 300 fresh cases, with Monday seeing an addition of 267 to the tally. On August 23, the city had witnessed the lowest number of cases at 226, the civic official added.
The discharge of 420 people during the day increased the recovery count to 7,34,212, or 97 per cent of the overall tally, leaving Mumbai with 3,439 active cases, he added.
With 29,093 samples being examined in the last 24 hours, the number of tests in Mumbai went up to 1,15,14,445.
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation data showed the city's case doubling time was now 1,596 days and the average growth rate between October 26 and November 1 stood at 0.04 per cent.
It also revealed that the metropolis has 28 sealed buildings, while there have been no containment zones since mid-August.
19:23 15 awarded life term, 44 jailed for 10 yrs in murder-rioting case in Guj
A sessions court in Nadiad in Gujarat on Tuesday sentenced 15 persons to life imprisonment and 44 others to ten years rigorous imprisonment in a 2016 case of murder of a woman at Bhilodra village in the state's Kheda district, which had led to rioting between members of two communities. The court of Nadiad sessions judge DR Bhatt sentenced 15 persons, including accused Mafatbhai Bharwad, his brother and others from their community, to life imprisonment under Sections 302 (murder) of IPC for killing one Kesarben Sodha on August 28, 2016 and injuring 14 others in the clash that ensued between members of the two communities.
The court also sentenced 44 members of another community from the village, including the complainant in the murder case Harisinh Sodha and others, to 10 years rigorous imprisonment for rioting under IPC sections 436 (mischief by fire to destroy house, etc.), 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt) and 395 (dacoity).
One person was given the benefit of doubt and acquitted by the court.
Two cross FIRs were filed at Nadiad rural police station following the murder of Sodha.
While 15 people from one community were arrested on charges of murder, 45 others were held for alleged arson and dacoity.
The court took into account 70 documentary evidences and 49 witnesses accounts to pass its order in the murder case, while 17 documentary evidences and as many witnesses were examined in the dacoity and arson case, said public prosecutor PR Tiwari. -- PTI
19:08 Faizabad Jn renamed as Ayodhya Cantt
The Indian Railways on Tuesday changed the name of Faizabad Junction railway station to Ayodhya Cantt with immediate effect.
Earlier last month, the Uttar Pradesh government had decided to rename the Faizabad railway station.
It is notified for the information of the general public that the name of Faizabad railway station in Lucknow division of Northern Railway has been changed to Ayodhya Cantt (station code: AYC) with immediate effect, Northern Railway PRO Dipak Kumar said in Lucknow on Tuesday.
A tweet by the chief minister's office had said Faizabad station will be called the Ayodhya Cantt railway station.
In another tweet, the CMO had said the Centre too has granted its consent to the decision and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has given the green signal to issue a notification in this regard. -- PTI
18:41 Delhi's air quality in red zone for first time this season
Air quality in the national capital entered the 'very poor' category for the first time this season on Tuesday due to unfavourable conditions for dispersion of pollutants, authorities said.
Stubble burning accounted for six per cent of PM2.5 pollution in Delhi.
The rest of the pollution is due to local sources, said Gufran Beig, the founder project director of SAFAR, a government framework for air quality forecasts.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board, the capital recorded a 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) of 303.
It was 281 on Monday, 289 on Sunday and 268 on Saturday.
The neighbouring cities of Faridabad (306), Ghaziabad (334), and Noida (303) also recorded very poor air quality.
"It is (very poor air quality) a result of accumulation of pollution from local sources due to low temperature and low mixing height,' Beig said. -- PTI
18:34 CBI charges 2 commanders, 4 others in Navy leak case
The Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday filed its first charge sheet in the case pertaining to arrest of Navy officers handling sensitive submarine retro-fitting project for allegedly leaking confidential information in return of pecuniary gains, officials said.
In its charge sheet filed before special CBI judge in Rouse Avenue court, the CBI booked six persons including two serving Navy commanders -- one of them named Ajeet Kumar Pandey, a commodore-ranked retired officer Randeep Singh, another commander ranked retired officer SJ Singh working for a Korean submarine company, a director of a private company and an alleged hawala operator.
The CBI had arrested two retired officers and during searches, the agency recovered Rs 2 crore from the residence of one of them.
The agency has booked the six individuals for charges of criminal conspiracy under Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act, they said.
It is alleged that the serving naval officers were allegedly leaking confidential information to the retired officers in return for pecuniary gains.
After getting the information, the CBI had carried out a raid in September in which the two retired officers were arrested, the officials said.
Sources said further probe is continuing and the role of some foreign nationals is under scanner. -- PTI
17:47 Amarinder quits Cong, floats Punjab Lok Congress ahead of assembly polls
Former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh resigned from the Congress party and announced a new party namely the Punjab Lok Congress ahead of the assembly elections in the state.
"I have today sent my resignation to @INCIndia President Ms Sonia Gandhi ji, listing my reasons for the resignation. 'Punjab Lok Congress' is the name of the new party. The registration is pending approval with the @ECISVEEP. The party symbol will be approved later," Amarinder Singh tweeted.
Singh had resigned in September as the chief minister and had announced that he will be quitting the Congress after months of a rift with Congress state chief Navjot Singh Sidhu. -- ANI
17:24 Deeply hurt: Amarinder's resignation letter to Sonia
Former Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh resigns from the Congress party in a letter to Sonia Gandhi.
In his letter, the former Punjab CM writes, "Despite my profound reservations and over the unanimous advice of almost all the MPs from Punjab, you chose to appoint an acolyte of the Pakistani deep state Navjyot Singh Sindhu who had publicly hugged the Pakistan Army Chief Gen Bajwa and Prime Minister Imran Khan, as the President of the Punjab Congress Committee.
"Sidhu's only claim to fame was that he would abuse me and my govt. He was patronised by Rahul and Priyanka, while you chose to turn a blind eye to the shenanigans of this gentleman who was aided and abetted by Harish Rawat, perhaps the most dubious individual.
"I actually felt deeply hurt by your conduct and that of your children who I still deeply love as much as my own children, having known their father, since we were in school together since 1954, which is for 67 years now," he noted in the letter.
17:01 Sensex declines 109 points on profit booking
Benchmark BSE Sensex declined by 109 points on Tuesday due to losses in index major Reliance Industries, Tata Steel and ICICI Bank amid a muted trend in global markets.
The 30-share index ended 109.40 points or 0.18 per cent lower at 60,029.06 with 16 of its constituents closing in red.
The broader NSE Nifty fell by 40.70 points or 0.23 per cent to 17,888.95 as metal, IT and energy stocks declined.
Tata Steel was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding around 3 per cent, followed by Tech Mahindra, HCL Tech, IndusInd Bank and Reliance Industries. On the other hand, Maruti, NTPC, Titan, SBI and L&T were among the gainers.
16:49 Modi meets Bill Gates
Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in Glasgow. Modi is in Glasgow for the COP26 Climate Summit.
16:32 Anil Deshmukh sent to ED custody till Nov 6
Special PMLA court sends former Maharashtra Minister Anil Deshmukh to ED custody till November 6 in connection with the extortion and money laundering case.
Deshmukh was on Tuesday produced before a special court here by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) following his arrest in a money laundering case.
Deshmukh was arrested by the ED late Monday night after over 12 hours of questioning in a money-laundering case linked to an alleged extortion racket in the state police establishment.
The politician arrived at the ED office in the Ballard Estate area of south Mumbai around 11:40 am, accompanied by his lawyer and his associates and was soon after put under grilling sessions with some breaks in between, sources said.
The ED's case is that Deshmukh, while serving as the state's home minister, misused his official position and through dismissed cop Sachin Waze collected Rs 4.70 crore from various bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
NSA Ajit Doval
16:12 Pak to skip NSAs' meet in India on Aghanistan
Pakistan has declined the invitation to the regional countries' national security advisors (NSAs) meeting on Afghanistan being hosted by India.
Pakistan's NSA Dr Moeed Yusuf confirmed this news during the signing of the security agreement with Uzbekistan, Pakistani financial newspaper Business Recorder reported.
Answering a question whether Pakistan has accepted India's invitation to attend the conference, Pak NSA said, "I will not go."
Earlier, the Pakistan Foreign Office had confirmed that India had invited Pakistan to attend a conference.
16:08 TMC wins all 4 seats in West Bengal bypolls
Update: TMC wins all 4 seats in West Bengal by-polls
The TMC won Dinhata with a margin of 1,64,089 votes, BJP 2nd
The ruling party in the state won Santipur with a margin of 64,675 votes, Khardaha with a margin of 93,832 votes, and Gosaba with a margin of 1,43,051 votes.
15:49 TMC wishes BJP
TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee reserves this taunt for the BJP. "A cracker free Diwali in true sense. Wishing folks at @BJP4India a very Happy Diwali!"
The TMC won all two bypolls seats and is leading in the other two seats in West Bengal.
15:44 Mapped: Vaccination numbers in states
UP leads the pack with the most number of vaccinations, Lakshwadeep has the lowest. However, it's not an apple to apple comparison since UP is the most populous state, while Lakshwadeep is the least populous.
15:24 MNF wins Mizoram polls
Mizo National Front wins the lone Assembly seat in Mizoram that went to by-polls on October 30th.
15:22 LIVE! Congress wins all 3 Assembly seats in Himachal
A show of hands for the Congress party and a win. The Congress wins all three Assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh that went to by-polls on October 30th.
In the Lok Sabha by-elections, an emotional connect seemed to give an edge to candidates in Mandi in Himachal Pradesh.
Pratibha Singh, late chief minister Virbhadra Singh's wife, won against her nearest rival, Kargil war hero and BJP candidate Brigadier (retd) Khushal Thakur in Mandi.
In Fatehpur, Bhawani Singh Pathania won the seat against the BJP.
In Jubbal-Kotkhai, Rohit Thakur won against Independent candidate Chetan Singh Bragta and BJP's Neelam Seraik.
15:07 TMC wins 2 seats, leads in 2
West Bengal bypolls update: West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday claimed victory of all four party candidates in by-elections on Tuesday.
The Election Commission of India has declared results of only two constituencies-- Dinhata and Khardah.
According to official data of ECI, TMC's Sovandeb Chattopadhyay has won the Khardah assembly seat by a margin of over 93,000 votes, while in Dinhata constituency, TMC's Udayan Guha won by a margin of over 1.6 lakh votes.
The TMC is also leading in Gosaba and Santipur constituencies with 1,60,231 votes and 1,10,907 votes respectively.
15:01 K'taka bypolls: BJP wins 1 seat, Cong leads in 1
In what is being seen as a bittersweet result for the ruling BJP in Karnataka, the saffron party has won the Sindgi assembly segment, while it is trailing behind the Congress in Hangal.
The Election Commission of India has declared results for Sindgi, while it is yet to be officially declared for Hangal. Both assembly segments had gone for bypolls on October 30.
According to results announced by the Election Commission of India, Ramesh Bhusanur of BJP has won in Sindgi seat by a margin of 31,185 votes, by securing 93,865 votes, while his closest rival Congress' Ashok Managuli has secured 62,680 votes.
In Hangal, Congress' Srinivas Mane is leading by a margin of 7,272 votes, securing 83,514 votes so far, while his closest rival Shivaraj Sajjanar of BJP has secured 76,242 votes. JD(S)' Naziya Shakeel Ahmed Angadi from Sindgi and Niyaz Shaikh from Hangal are in a distant third position by securing 4,353 and 870 votes respectively.
14:22 Assam bypolls: BJP wins 1 seat, NDA leads in all others
Assam by-polls: BJP wins in Thowra Assembly constituency, counting underway on the remaining 4 Assembly seats. The ruling BJP and its allies look set to win the other four assembly seats as well.
14:20 TMC heads for 4-0 sweep in Bengal bypolls
The ruling Trinamool Congress on Tuesday wins the Gosaba Assembly constituency, and is headed for a clean sweep as it took massive irreversible leads in all the other bypoll seats.
The bypolls were held last Saturday.
The counting of votes to Khardah, Santipur, Gosaba and Dinhata which began at 8 am amid tight security showed that the TMC was set for a landslide wins in two constituencies including Dinhata which had returned BJP's Minister of State for Home Nisith Pramanik in elections held earlier this year, where the leads were over 1.4 lakh and respectable wins in two others.
Although the EC is yet to announce the final results, West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee quickly congratulated her party candidates for the "victory".
"My heartiest congratulations to all the four winning candidates! This victory is people's victory, as it shows how Bengal will always choose development and unity over propaganda and hate politics. With people's blessings, we promise to continue taking Bengal to greater heights!" she said in a twitter post.
In Dinhata in Coochbehar district, TMC's Udayan Guha was way ahead of his nearest rival, BJP's Ashok Mandal, by a massive margin of 1,40,326 votes.
14:15 Team Punjab in Kedarnath
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and Congress state unit president Navjot Singh Sidhu offer prayers at the Himalayan shrine of Kedarnath, amid reports of unease between the leaders. Senior Congress leader Harish Chaudhary, who is the party's Punjab affairs in-charge, also accompanied them.
Abhay Singh Chautala
14:08 Ellenabad bypoll: INLD leader Abhay Chautala lead narrows
INLD secretary general Abhay Singh Chautala's lead thinned over his nearest rival Gobind Kanda of the BJP in the Ellenabad assembly constituency in Haryana, according to latest trends for bypolls.
Counting of votes for the October 30 bypoll to the seat is in progress.
While Chautala maintained a consistent lead during the first seven rounds of counting, the margin dropped from 8,180 votes to 2,985 in the subsequent rounds. There are 16 rounds of counting of votes.
The bypoll was necessitated after Chautala in January resigned as the MLA from the seat in protest against three central farm laws and to stand in solidarity with the farmers who are protesting against these legislations since the past one year.
The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) candidate is leading over Gobind Kanda by a margin of 2,985 votes, according to trends available at 1 pm. While BJP-JJP combine candidate Gobind Kanda is giving a fight to Chautala, opposition Congress' candidate Pawan Beniwal is trailing at third spot.
13:31 Crowds throng jewellery shops on Dhanteras
That's people at a jewellery shop in Nagpur on the occasion of Dhanteras today.
"For our generation buying gold is an investment but for our parents it is an emotion and a tradition," a customer said.
Jewellery store owners say all the branches are full of customers today.
13:28 Sushant Singh death case: Thousands of crores extorted, says Malik
Maharashtra Cabinet Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik on Tuesday questioned the drug case related to the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput and said that it's been 14 months but the case is not concluded yet and that thousands of crores have been extorted in this time span.
"Shraddha Kapoor, Sara Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone etc were called in the case pertaining to drugs. Not even a single charge sheet has been filed in the case. According to the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, a charge sheet is supposed to be filed within six months of the case. However, neither a charge sheet had been filed, nor any arrest had been made in the case. Extortion from Bollywood people was done in Maldives when Sameer Wankhede visited there" Malik told the media.
"It is quite evident that thousands of crores have been extorted in the time span of 14 months," he added.
Malik further alleged, "I would like to bring attention towards the recent case where 51 tonnes of Poppy seeds are kept at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) for the last 15 days, why the case is not registered ?"
"I ask DRI why have you not registered a case. In the last 10-12 days, one case of drugs came that was highlighted after eight days," he added.
Virat, Anushka and Vamika in Dubai
13:23 DCW asks for report on rape threat to Kohli's child
The Delhi Commission for Women takes suo-motu cognisance on reports of online rape threats to Virat Kohli's 9-month-old daughter following India's defeat in the India vs Pakistan match.
The DCW asks the Deputy Commissioner of Police to provide them with a copy of the FIR, details of accused identified and arrested, detailed action taken and file a report by November 8.
A twitter account, now deleted, issued a rape threat to nine-month-old Vamika Kohli, daughter of Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma and India men's cricket team captain Virat Kohli.
While the identity of the person who tweeted the rape threat is yet to be verified, the screenshot has been amplified several times by right-leaning handles.
The tweet comes at a time when captain Kohli is facing vitriolic trolling for speaking in support of his Muslim teammate Mohammed Shami who was attacked online after the cricket team faced a 10-wicket defeat against Pakistan in the ongoing Men's T20 World Cup.
13:18 The Prejudice & The Pride
What does it mean that the Narendra Modi ecosystem routinely lambasts Jawaharlal Nehru but remains in awe of Indira Gandhi, whose death anniversary it is today? Read more
12:34 Rs 1000-cr assets linked to Ajit Pawar siezed
Assets worth over Rs 1,000 crore have been seized by the Income Tax Department in raids allegedly linked to Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.
Five properties, including Nirmal Tower at Nariman Point in Mumbai, have been seized. A sugar factory and a resort have also been seized.
Ajit Pawar and (his) family are the "beneficiaries of the above Benami properties," the Income Tax Department said, invoking the Anti-Benami Act and alleging that the properties were not bought illegally.
Last month, tax searches were conducted at the houses and firms owned by Pawar's sisters. Responding to the searches and raids, Mr Pawar had insisted that "all the entities" linked to him have regularly paid taxes.
12:30 Here's to you SRK!
Shah Rukh Khan's co-star in several superhit films, Madhuri Dixit Nene wishes him on his 56th birthday. "Happy birthday to the most humble and ever charming @iamsrk. May you live a long and happy life. (Face with heart eyes, birthday cake emojis)."
12:22 Congress candidates leading in Rajasthan bypolls
Congress candidates Nagraj Meena and Preeti Shaktawat are leading in Dhariawad and Vallabhnagar Assembly constituencies of Rajasthan on Tuesday, according to trends available for the bypolls.
Nagraj Meena is leading by a margin of 7,528 votes over BJP candidate Khet Singh Meena in Dhariawad.
In Vallabhnagar, Shaktawat is ahead of Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) candidate Udailal Dangi by a margin of 4037 votes.
Transport Minister Pratap Singh Khachariawas expressed confidence that the Congress will win both the bypolls.
12:18 When I got 'Fauji' SRK's autograph
Rediff.com Reader Amit Vashisht, 40, recalls meeting Shah Rukh Khan at the actor's Delhi home in Gautam Nagar way back in 1989-1990.
Shah Rukh was just starting out in his career and had gained popularity with his television serial, Fauji. Read more here.
Shah Rukh Khan, who has spent almost three decades in Bollywood, has turned 56 on Tuesday. It's rare to witness the kind of success in the Hindi film industry which the actor has achieved throughout his career.
Do share your experience of meeting Shah Rukh Khan. A photograph with him would be even better. Mail us at email@example.com (subject: When I met Shah Rukh Khan) along with your NAME, AGE, LOCATION.
11:56 Wankhede hits back at Malik's 'Rs 70K shirts' claim
NCB officer Sameer Wankhede hit back at Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik after comments about expensive clothes - "shirts worth Rs 70,000" - and allegations of a WhatsApp chat link between his sister (a lawyer) and a now-jailed drug smuggler.
Wankhede said a drug peddler had approached his sister, Yasmeen Wankhede, for legal representation, but was told that she did not handle cases under the NDPS, or the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
Malik claimed the officer wore trousers worth a lakh, and a shirt costing over Rs 70,000 and watches worth Rs 25-50 lakh.
The NCB officer slammed Malik for making "false allegations".
Intensifying his attack on Sameer Wankhede, Nawab Malik on Tuesday accused the Narcotics Control Bureau zonal director of extorting crores and wearing expensive clothes beyond the reach of an honest and an upright officer.
11:48 Facebook seeks time from Delhi govt
Facebook India seeks 14-day time from Delhi Legislative Assembly's committee on 'Peace & Harmony' to appear before them and give them a statement. In an email sent to Committee, they say they are selecting an appropriate officer for it. Committee asks them to appear before them on 18th November.
11:25 Congress leads in all seats in Himachal
The Congress is leading in Himachal Pradesh's Mandi parliamentary seat and three assembly seats of Fatehpur, Arki and Jubbai-Kothkai, according to available trends for the bypolls.
In the Mandi parliamentary seat, late chief minister Virbhadra Singh's wife Pratibha Singh of the Congress is leading with 1,316 votes over her nearest rival Kargil war hero Brigadier (retd) Khushal Thakur of the BJP.
In Jubbal-Kotkhai Assembly seat after second round of counting, Rohit Thakur (2,825) of the Congress is leading with 248 votes over his nearest rival Chetan Singh Bragta (2577), a rebel BJP candidate contesting as an independent candidate.
BJP candidate Neelam Seraik has so far got only 302 votes. In Fatehpur, Bhawani Singh Pathania of the Congress is leading with a thin margin of 47 votes over his nearest rival Baldev Thakur (1972) of BJP.
In Arki, Congress candidate Sanjay (2510) is leading with 943 votes over BJP's Rattan Singh Pal (1567).
11:20 Deglur Assembly bypoll: Congress candidate leads
Congress candidate Jitesh Raosaheb Antapurkar was leading over BJP's Subhash Pirajirao Sabne by 1624 votes after the first round of counting of votes in Maharashtra's Deglur (SC) Assembly bypoll, an official said on Tuesday.
Counting for the bypoll, necessitated by the death of Congress MLA Raosaheb Antapurkar due to coronavirus, began at 8 am.
The constituency is in Nanded district, from where state public works department minister Ashok Chavan hails. The BJP fielded Sabne, a former Shiv Sena MLA.
Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma
11:16 Assam Assembly bypolls: NDA leads in all five seats
The ruling BJP and its allies are leading in all the five assembly constituencies in Assam, where bypolls were held on October 30, according to the latest update of the counting trends put on the Election Commission of India (ECI) website.
BJP candidates Phanidhar Talukdar, Rupjyoti Kurmi and Sushanta Borgohain are leading in Bhabanipur, Mariani and Thowra seats respectively.
All the three BJP nominees were elected to the assembly in the general elections in March-April this year on tickets of opposition parties but resigned and joined the saffron party.
Talukdar had won as an AIUDF candidate, while Kurmi and Borgohain were Congress lawmakers.
11:14 MP bypolls: BJP leading in Khandwa LS and 3 Assembly seats
The BJP was leading in the Khandwa Lok Sabha constituency and three other Assembly constituencies in Madhya Pradesh as counting of votes for bypolls to the four seats was underway on Tuesday.
The bypolls, necessitated due to the death of sitting MLAs and an MP, were held on October 30, and the counting of votes began at 8 am on Tuesday amid tight security, an official said.
In the Khandwa Lok Sabha seat, BJP candidate Gyaneshwar Patil was leading by 14,365 votes over his Congress rival Rajnarayan Singh Purni, the official said.
In the Raigaon Assembly seat (reserved for SC) in Satna district, BJP candidate Pratima Bagri was leading by 220 votes over Congress' Kalpana Verma.
In the Prithvipur Assembly seat in Niwari district, BJP's Shishupal Singh Yadav was ahead of his Congress rival Nitendra Singh Rathore by 430 votes.
In the Jobat (reserved for ST) seat of Alirajpur district, BJP's Sulochana Rawat was leading by 1,956 votes over Congress' Mahesh Patel, as per the latest trends.
A total of 48 candidates contested the bypolls to the four seats.
11:12 Ex-Maha HM taken for medical check-up after arrest
Former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh, arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a money-laundering case, was on Tuesday taken to the state-run JJ Hospital in south Mumbai for a medical check-up, an official said.
Deshmukh was arrested by ED late Monday night after over 12 hours of questioning in a money-laundering case linked to an alleged extortion racket in the state police establishment.
After spending the night in the ED office, Deshmukh was brought out at 10.15 am and taken to the hospital, after which he will be produced in a special court here for remand, the official said. PTI
11:09 KFC, Pizza Hut operator Sapphire Foods sets IPO price band of Rs 1,120-1,180/share
Sapphire Foods India, which operates KFC and Pizza Hut outlets, on Tuesday said it has fixed a price band of Rs 1,120-1,180 a share for its Rs 2,073-crore initial public offering (IPO).
The initial share-sale will open on November 9 and conclude on November 11. The bidding for anchor investors will open on November 8, the company announced. The IPO will be entirely an offer for sale (OFS) of 1,75,69,941 equity shares by promoters and existing shareholders.
Priyanka at Pitambara Peeth temple
10:43 Gandhis trying to encash temple visits: MP HM
Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra on Monday attacked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for paying visits to temples ahead of crucial polls.
Bypolls for one Lok Sabha seat and three Assembly seats including Prithvipur, Raigaon (SC), Jobat (ST) were held on October 30. A day before the scheduled polls,
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra offered prayers at Pitambara Peeth temple in Madhya Pradesh's Datia. Reacting on their temple visit, Mishra said that he welcomes the two political leaders to the state but also urged them to pay a visit before and after the elections."I welcome Priyanka ji to Datia. But sometimes they should visit after the elections as well. They always visit temples around the elections. They are welcome to Madhya Pradesh but they should visit before as well as after elections. I believe, taking support of the temples only during elections, is not good," he told reporters on Monday.
10:27 Modi tosses a coin at Rome's Trevi fountain
World leaders toss a coin at the Trevi fountain in Rome, presumably for good luck fighting the climate emergency.
The Trevi Fountain is one of the oldest water sources in Rome. The fountain dates back to ancient Roman times, since the construction of the Aqua Virgo Aqueduct in 19 B.C. that provided water to the Roman baths and the fountains of central Rome.
Legend says that if you toss a coin at the fountain you will return to Rome. There are hundreds of coins in the almost-clear waters of the fountain, proof that tourists want the legend to come true.
10:21 Active Covid cases in country lowest in 250 days
India added 10,423 new coronavirus cases, the lowest in 259 days, while the active cases declined to 1,53,776, the lowest in 250 days, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday.
With the fresh cases, India's tally climbed to 3,42,96,237.
The death toll climbed to 4,58,880 with 443 fresh fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am.
The daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been below 20,000 for 25 straight days and less than 50,000 daily new cases have been reported for 128 consecutive days now.
The active cases comprise 0.45 per cent of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.21 per cent, the highest since March 2020, the ministry said.
10:18 Deshmukh's arrest politically motivated: Nawab Malik
Former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh's arrest is politically motivated and aimed at maligning the image of the state's Maha Vikas Aghadi government leaders, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said on Tuesday.
Hitting out at the Centre, Malik, a minister in the Maharashtra government, said scaring leaders by abusing power should be stopped.
"The entire action (of arresting Deshmukh) is politically motivated. It is aimed at scaring the leaders of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance)," Malik told reporters.
Deshmukh was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) late Monday night after over 12 hours of questioning in a money-laundering case linked to an alleged extortion racket in the state police establishment.
10:16 Share your moment with SRK on his birthday today
Have you ever met Shah Rukh Khan?
Not the man in the movies, but the superstar himself.
Even if you meet Shah Rukh Khan at almost midnight, like we did during a Rediff Chat many years ago, when he was really busy in the midst of a movie promotion, he will reserve a little bit of himself for you.
On SRK's birthday today, share your experience of meeting King Khan.
And yes, a picture with him would be even better!
Please mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org (subject: When I met Shah Rukh Khan) along with your NAME, AGE, LOCATION.
09:58 TMC leads in all four bypoll seats in Bengal
The Trinamool Congress was leading on Tuesday in all four assembly seats where bypolls were held on October 30, as per the initial trends.
The counting of votes to Khardah, Santipur, Gosaba and Dinhata began at 8 am amid tight security. After the first round of counting, the TMC was leading in all the seats, Election Commission officials said.
"Counting of votes is happening smoothly. There is no report of any untoward incident till 9 am," an official of the poll panel said.
Besides imposing section 144 on a 100 metre radius of counting venues, there is a tight three-tier security layer around them, he said. The bypolls were necessitated as the BJP MLAs of Dinhata and Santipur resigned to retain their MP seats, while the TMC legislators of Kharadah and Gosaba died. PTI
09:39 BJP, RJD, Cong score early leads in bypolls
Early leads in the bypolls of Assembly constituencies across 14 states:
BJP leading in 1 out of 5 seats in Assam.
RJD in 1 out of 2 seats in Bihar
Congress in 1 out of 3 seats in Himachal Pradesh
BJP and Congress on one each in Karnataka.
TMC leading on 1 out of 4 seats in West Bengal.
Counting of votes has begun for three Lok Sabha constituencies and 29 Assembly constituencies across 13 States and one Union Territory, where by-polls were held on October 30.
The Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Madhya Pradesh's Khandwa and Himachal Pradesh's Mandi, are the three parliamentary constituencies that held by-polls on October 30.
As far as the assembly constituencies are concerned, five assembly constituencies of Assam that held elections earlier include Gossaigaon, Bhabanipur, Tamulpur, Mariani and Thowra. Dinhata, Santipur, Khardaha and Gosaba (SC) assembly seats in West Bengal hled polls on October 30. Madhya Pradesh held elections on Prithvipur, Raigaon (SC), Jobat (ST) seats.
09:33 Modi to review Covid vaccination in districts with low coverage
Returning to India after attending the G20 Summit and COP26, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will virtually hold a review meeting with districts having low COVID-19 vaccination coverage at noon tomorrow.
The Prime Minister's Office said that the meeting will include districts with less than 50 per cent coverage of the first dose and low coverage of the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
The Prime Minister will interact with District Magistrates of over 40 districts in Jharkhand, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, and other States with districts having low vaccination coverage.
09:17 'Conspiracy' to defame Savarkar going on for many years: Information Commissioner
A "conspiracy" is going on for several years to defame Veer Savarkar, Information Commissioner and author Uday Mahurkar claimed on Monday, saying it was one of the "biggest controversies ever witnessed in the world when it comes to demonising a patriot".
He said if people look at Savarkar's contribution, it is felt that he was a prophet and unifier.
Mahurkar was in Jaipur to attend a session on his new book "Veer Savarkar - The Man Who Could Have Prevented Partition" in conversation with politician and author Seshadri Chari.
"A conspiracy is going on to defame Veer Savarkar for several years. It is one of the biggest controversies ever witnessed in the world when it comes to demonising a patriot," Mahurkar told reporters.
He said the book has been written to prevent a "second partition of the country" and is a guide on how to fight divisive forces.
He said Savarkar had said that the situation of the country and its Hindus will become critical if partition of the country happens.
Replying to a question on Savarkar being targeted by Congress, Mahurkar said, "Such people who are dependent on vote bank politics, Savarkar is the biggest opponent. Savarkar was against vote bank politics and Muslim appeasement. He was in favour of unity of the country."
He said Savarkar is the biggest enemy of those who run their shop on fragmented politics.
On a question on conferring Bharat Ratna to Savarkar, Mahurkar said it will be good if the man gets it but even if he does not it will not be a problem.
He said the personality of Savarkar cannot be analysed by conferring the Bharat Ratna award and his personality is not bound by any honour.
Politician and policy analyst Seshadri Chari said ideology of Savarkar is questioned when questions are raised on him.
He said Mahatma Gandhi also used to talk about Hindutva and Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar had also advocated for saffron flag for the country.
He also said that Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a tuberculosis patient and the British knew it very well.
"Even if Jinnah was made PM then we would have prayed to God that he lived for 100 years but he could not have lived long. British knew it that he is a TB patient and he is on death bed. Unfortunately, our then leaders did not think on making him PM. Who Could Have become next that is a different issue but partition could have been prevented," Chari said. -- PTI
08:42 Counting of votes to 3 LS, 29 assembly bypolls begins
Counting of votes is underway in three Lok Sabha and 29 assembly constituencies spread across 13 states and the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli where by-elections were held on October 30.
INLD leader Abhay Chautala, who quit the Haryana assembly in protest against the three new central agri laws, Congress' Pratibha Singh, wife of late chief minister Virbhadra Singh, former national footballer Eugeneson Lyngdoh and ex-minister from Telangana Eatala Rajender are among the prominent candidates whose fate will be decided.
The assembly by-elections which saw a high turnout were held in five seats in Assam, four in West Bengal, three each in Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, two each in Bihar, Karnataka and Rajasthan and one seat each is in Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Mizoram and Telangana.
Out of the 29 assembly seats, the Bharatiya Janata Party had won in around half a dozen constituencies earlier, the Congress had nine, while the rest were with the regional parties.
The seats where Lok Sabha by-elections were held are Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Mandi in Himachal Pradesh and Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh.
In all the three Lok Sabha constituencies, the sitting members had died.
The Mandi seat fell vacant after the death of Ramswaroop Sharma (BJP) in March. The bye-election to the Khandwa parliamentary constituency was necessitated following the death of BJP member Nand Kumar Singh Chauhan while in Dadra and Nagar Haveli, it was due to the demise of Independent Lok Sabha member Mohan Delkar.
In Mandi, Pratibha Singh is pitted against BJP's Khushal Singh Thakur, a Kargil war hero.
In Meghalaya, former national footballer Eugeneson Lyngdoh is contesting the election from Mawphlang on a United Democratic Party ticket.
He is up against former Congress MLA Kennedy C Khyriem and a sitting member of the district council from the NPP, Lamphrang Blah.
In Haryana, the by-election to Ellenabad Assembly constituency was necessitated by the resignation of Indian National Lok Dal leader Abhay Chautala as MLA in protest against the Centre's new farm laws.
08:10 Ex-Maha HM Deshmukh arrested by ED
Former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate late Monday night after over 12 hours of questioning in a money-laundering case linked to an alleged extortion racket in the state police establishment, officials said.
They said Deshmukh, 71, was arrested under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
They claimed the senior NCP leader was evasive during questioning and the agency will seek his custody after they produce him before a local court here on Tuesday.
The politician arrived at the ED office in the Ballard Estate area of south Mumbai around 11:40 am, accompanied by his lawyer and his associates and was soon after put under grilling sessions with some breaks in between, sources said.
Deshmukh appeared before the agency after the Bombay high court last week refused to quash ED summonses against him. He had skipped at least five ED notices.
The money laundering case against Deshmukh and others was made out after the CBI booked him in a corruption case related to allegations of at least Rs 100 crore bribery made by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh.
The federal probe agency recorded the statement of the Nationalist Congress Party leader under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in connection with the criminal investigation being carried out by it in the alleged Rs 100 crore bribery-cum-extortion racket in the Maharashtra Police establishment that led to Deshmukh's resignation in April.
The questioning and recording of statements sessions went for long as officials said Deshmukh was a "key person" in this case and needs to be grilled on a number of subjects including the disclosures made by suspended Mumbai Police officer Sachin Waze during ED questioning. -- PTI
00:18 Australia formally recognises India's Covaxin
Australia's medicines and medical devices regulator on Monday formally recognised India's Covaxin, a vaccine against the coronavirus as the country's border was reopened for the first time in nearly 20 months.
Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, and AstraZeneca and Oxford University's Covishield are the two widely used vaccines in India.
Australia has already recognised Covishield.
"Today, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) determined that Covaxin (manufactured by Bharat Biotech, India) and BBIBP-CorV (manufactured by Sinopharm, China) vaccines would be 'recognised' for the purpose of establishing a traveller's vaccination status," Australia's medicines and medical devices regulator TGA said.
This recognition is for travellers aged 12 and over who have been vaccinated with Covaxin, and those 18 to 60 who have been vaccinated with BBIBP-CorV.
Welcoming Canberra's decision, Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison for the recognition of Covaxin.
"I thank my dear friend @ScottMorrisonMP for Australia's recognition of India's COVAXIN. It is an important step forward in the post-COVID partnership between India and Australia," Modi, currently in Glasgow to attend the COP26 Climate Summit, tweeted.
In recent weeks, the TGA has obtained additional information demonstrating these vaccines provide protection and potentially reduce the likelihood that an incoming traveller would transmit COVID-19 infection to others while in Australia or become acutely unwell due to COVID-19.
The supporting information has been provided to the TGA from the vaccine sponsor and/or the World Health Organisation.
"Importantly, recognition of Covaxin, and BBIBP-CorV, along with the previously announced recognition of Coronavac (manufactured by Sinovac, China) and Covishield (manufactured by AstraZeneca, India), means many citizens of China and India as well as other countries in our region where these vaccines have been widely deployed will now be considered fully vaccinated on entry to Australia.
"This will have significant impacts for the return of international students, and travel of skilled and unskilled workers to Australia. TGA's updated report on its advice about vaccines not registered in Australia but in use internationally can be found at: COVID-19 vaccines not registered in Australia but in current international use - TGA advice on "recognition"," the TGA said in a statement.
In addition, with input from the TGA, Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) have determined that those who have received two doses of a TGA-approved or recognised vaccine at least 14 days apart are regarded as fully vaccinated from 7 days after the second dose (with the exception of Janssen vaccine, where they are regarded as fully vaccinated 7 days after the single dose), it said.
This includes homologous (two doses of the same vaccine) and heterologous (two doses of two different TGA-approved or recognised vaccines) schedules, it added.
"Today, the @TGAgovau determined that Covaxin (manufactured by @BharatBiotech,) vaccine would be 'recognised' for the purpose of establishing a traveller's vaccination status," Australia's High Commissioner to India Barry O'Farrell AO said on Twitter.
"Importantly, recognition of #Covaxin, along with the previously announced recognition of #Covishield (manufactured by @AstraZenecaIn), means many citizens, as well as other countries, will now be considered fully vaccinated on entry to Australia," he said in another tweet.
Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, which has developed Covaxin, had submitted EOI (Expression of Interest) to the World Health Organisation on April 19 for the vaccine's Emergency Use Listing (EUL).
India's Bharat Biotech has been submitting data on the EUL of Covaxin "regularly and very quickly" to a technical committee which hopes to have a final recommendation to the WHO next week, a top official of the global health agency said on Thursday, stressing that the UN body "trusts" the Indian industry that manufactures high quality vaccines.
The WHO has so far approved Covid-19 vaccines of Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca-SK Bio/Serum Institute of India, Johnson & Johnson-Janssen, Moderna, and Sinopharm for emergency use.
Meanwhile, Australia's international borders reopened on Monday, ending nearly 20 months of tough restrictions and sparking emotional scenes at Sydney and Melbourne airports as people reunited with their loved ones.
At Sydney airport, passengers on flights from Singapore and Los Angeles were met with hugs and tears, the Australian media reported.
Australia was one of the first countries to shut its borders to international travel in March 2020 after the pandemic, which was first reported in central China's Wuhan city, peaked.
Shortly after the start of the pandemic, the government said only citizens and permanent residents would be allowed to enter, and they would have to undergo two weeks of hotel quarantine. A quota system also severely limited the number of people who could arrive each day.
But as Australia's vaccination rollout accelerated in recent months, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said citizens and permanent residents who had received both their shots would be allowed to travel internationally and return home from Monday -- with arrival quotas also lifted.
So far, only the highly-vaccinated states of New South Wales and Victoria -- home to Australia's largest cities of Sydney and Melbourne -- have relaxed restrictions on international arrivals. More than 80 per cent of the adult population in both states is now fully vaccinated, media reports said.