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[Breaking] SC Dismisses Plea To Transfer PM CARES Funds To NDRF; Says Fresh National Disaster Plan For COVID-19 Not Needed [Read Judgment]

first_imgTop Stories[Breaking] SC Dismisses Plea To Transfer PM CARES Funds To NDRF; Says Fresh National Disaster Plan For COVID-19 Not Needed [Read Judgment] LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK17 Aug 2020 10:23 PMShare This – xThe Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition which sought transfer of the funds from PM CARES to National Disaster Rel Fund.The Court also held that there was no need for a fresh national disaster relief plan for COVID-19, and that the minimum standards of relief as issued under the Disaster Management Act prior to COVID-19 were enough.The bench also clarified that the Centre will be free…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition which sought transfer of the funds from PM CARES to National Disaster Rel Fund.The Court also held that there was no need for a fresh national disaster relief plan for COVID-19, and that the minimum standards of relief as issued under the Disaster Management Act prior to COVID-19 were enough.The bench also clarified that the Centre will be free to transfer the funds to NDRF as it deems appropriate and that individuals are at liberty to donate to NDRF.A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah was disposing of a PIL filed by Centre for Public Interest Litigation which sought directions for evolving a new national plan under Section 11 of the Disaster Management Act to deal with COVID-19, and also the transfer of funds from PM CARES to NDRF.The bench formulated the following questions :Whether Union of India is obliged to make a National Plan to prepare for COVID 19?‬‪Whether UOI is obliged to lay down a minimum standard of relief under National Disaster Management Act?‬Whether there is any prohibition to make contributions to PM CARES?‬Whether all contributions should be credited to NDRF‬‪Whether all PM CARES Funds to be directed to NDRF.The bench answered the questions as follows :‪The National Disaster Plan is sufficient for COVID 19‬‪The minimum standards of relief as laid down prior to COVID 19 is enough to deal with COVID-19‪The Centre can utilise NDRF ‬for providing assistance in the fight of COVID-19 pandemic by way of releasing fund on the request of the States as per new guidelines.‪Any contribution, grant of any individual or institution is not prohibited to be credited into the NDRF and it is still open for any person or institution to make contribution to the NDRF in terms of Section 46(1)(b) of the Act, 2005. The contribution by any person or by any institution in PM CARES Fund is voluntary and it is open for any person or institution to make contribution to the PM CARES Fund.‪The funds collected in the PM CARES Fund are entirely different funds which are funds of a public charitable trust and there is no occasion for issuing any direction to transfer the said funds to the NDRF.The Court clarified that : (i) there is no statutory prohibition for the Union of India utilizing the NDRF for providing assistance in the fight of COVID-19 in accordance with the guidelines issued for administration of NDRF; (ii) there is no statutory prohibition in making any contribution by any person or institution in the NDRF as per Section 46(1)(b)of the Act, 2005.Existing National Disaster Plan sufficient to take care of COVID-19 pandemicThe Court noted that “the National Disaster Management Authority was well aware of the epidemics and had issued guidelines in the year 2008 itself which has been further detailed in Plan-2019. All aspects of the epidemics, all measures to contain an epidemic, preparedness, response, mitigation have been elaborately dealt in Plan, 2019”. “COVID-19 being a Biological and Public Health Emergency, which has been specifically covered by National Plan, 2019, which is supplemented by various plans, guidelines and measures, there is no lack or dearth of plans and procedures to deal with COVID-19″, the judgment addeed.Therefore, the Court held that the petitioners are not right in their submissions that there is no sufficient plan to deal with COVID19 pandemic.”We do not find any merit in the claim of the petitioner that Union of India be directed to prepare a National Plan under Section 11 for COVID-19. National Plan, 2019 have already been there in place supplemented by various orders and measures taken by competent authorities under Disaster Management Act, 2005, there is no occasion or need to issue any direction to Union of India to prepare a fresh National Plan for COVID-19″, the bench said.The bench further observed that the Government of India vide order dated 14.03.2020 has decided to treat COVID-19, the pandemic, as a notified disaster for the purpose of providing assistance under State Disaster Response Fund, norms of assistance for ex-gratia payment to families of deceased persons, norms of assistance for COVID-19 positive persons requiring hospitalization and some other assistance to be provided from State Disaster Response Fund have been notified by the Government of India. Therefore, the Court held that Union of India is not obliged to lay down minimum standards of relief under Section 12 of the Act, 2005 for COVID-19 and the guidelines issued under Section 12 providing for minimum standards of relief holds good for pandemic COVID-19 also. Not for the Court to sit in judgment over the financial decisions of the governmentThe bench rejected the arguments of Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, who appeared for the petitioner, that there is an embargo on donations to the NDRF.”The submission that after the new guidelines(of 2015-16), it is not possible for any person or institution to make any contribution to the NDRF is, thus, misconceived and incorrect. According to the statutory provisions of Section 46 as well as new guidelines enforced with effect from financial year 2015-16 any person or institution can still make contribution to the NDRF”, the Court said.Based on the documents submitted by the Centre, the Court noted that the Centre has disbursed its share to State Disaster Response Funds in the wake of COVID-19.”It is for the Central Government to take the decision as from which fund what financial measures are to be taken and it is neither for PIL petitioner to claim that any financial assistance be made from particular fund nor this Court to sit in judgment over the financial decisions of the Central Government”, the judgment stated. PM CARES a public charitable trust”The PM CARES Fund is a charitable trust registered under the Registration Act, 1908 at New Delhi on 27.03.2020. The trust does not receive any Budgetary support or any Government money. It is not open for the petitioner to question the wisdom of trustees to create PM CARES fund which was constituted with an objective to extend assistance in the wake of public health emergency that is pandemic COVID-19″, the Court further observed. “The NDRF and PM CARES Fund are two entirely different funds with different object and purpose”, the bench remarked.It was on July 27 that a bench comprising Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy & MR Shah reserved judgment on the issue of transfer of funds from PMCARES Fund to National Disaster Relief Fund et up under the National Disaster Management Act. Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave appeared for Centre For Public Interest Litigation and submitted that the setting up of the PMCARES Fund was in fact, a “Fraud Upon the Constitution”. The plea sought transfer of all funds from PM CARES Fund which was set up to combat the COVID-19 pandemic to National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) and setting up of a National Plan under Section 11, read with Section 10 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, in order to deal with the current pandemic and, to lay down minimum standards of relief under Section 12 of DMA. The plea further contends that the NDRF is not being utilized by the authorities, despite the looming health crisis, and that the setting up of the PM CARES Fund is outside the scope of the DM Act. It further raises the issue of lack of transparency with regard to the PM Cares Fund, stating that it is not subject to CAG Audits and has also been proclaimed to be outside the purview of the RTI Act by not being under the definition of “public authority”. Click Here To Download Judgment[Read Judgment]Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. 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Rep. Lee Zeldin Joins Tea Party’s Ted Cruz to Bash Obama Over Israel

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York East End freshman Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) has written a joint letter with Tea Party ultra-conservative Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to slam President Obama for letting his former campaign field director get involved with Israel’s upcoming elections.Signed by both men, the Jan. 29 letter criticizes the role of Jeremy Bird, who worked on both Obama’s successful presidential campaigns, for helping organizers of V15 or “Victory 2015” in their fight to replace Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, the right-wing leader of the Likud government. The two politicians also sought to make an issue of V15’s partnership with OneVoice, a nonprofit group that twice got grants from the U.S. Department of State last year. In a recent article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, cited by Cruz and Zeldin, Bird was mentioned for having brought in a research team that “has really ignited sparks” in V15’s effort.“Of course private American citizens are free to engage in political activities according to their inclinations,” write Zeldin and Cruz, “but given the overtly partisan nature of this particular case, we are deeply concerned by the relationship that also exists between OneVoice and the U.S. Department of State.”Titled “Has President Obama Launched a Political Campaign Against Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu,” this letter marks the first time Zeldin has signed on with a senator to weigh in on a hot-button issue. Cruz may not be a household name on Long Island because he did not appear with Zeldin as he campaigned in the East End’s First District. But as long-time political observer Elizabeth Drew wrote recently in The New York Review of Books, “Ted Cruz has set himself up as the leader of the handful of Tea Party members in the Senate but he also brought pressure on House members last year to back the government shutdown.”Cruz and Zeldin, the only Jewish Republican in the House, are calling upon Secretary of State John Kerry to make “a thorough investigation.” They say they’re worried that U.S. taxpayer funds “are being used to directly shape the outcome of the upcoming Israeli election—and specifically to campaign against Prime Minister Netanyahu—something all would agree would be highly inappropriate.”But when Republican House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress next month, weeks before the Israeli election on March 17—and did so without informing the White House or the State Department—the administration and Democrats on Capitol Hill were quick to call it a direct interference in that country’s election. They pointed out that the surreptitious invitation was orchestrated by the current Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer, a former Republican political operative, born in America, who is so close to Netanyahu that he is known as “Bibi’s brain,” according to The New York Times. Dermer cut his teeth in GOP politics starting in 1994 during the Republican takeover of Congress under Rep. Newt Gingrich.In the November elections, Zeldin, a major in the Army Reserve who served in Iraq, rode a nationwide Republican wave to victory over six-term incumbent Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) by a margin of 54 percent to 45 percent. In 2008, when the two men first ran against each other, Bishop handily defeated Zeldin 58 percent to 42 percent, but that was a presidential election year when turnout was high, especially for Democrats.In the 2014 mid-terms, only 28.8 percent of the eligible population voted in New York—the fourth lowest in the country in a year that saw the lowest voter turnout in 70 years, according to The New York Times—when Gov. Andrew Cuomo was on the top of the ballot running for re-election. Cuomo, a lifelong Democrat, apparently had very short coattails. By contrast, Zeldin may have benefited in his race from Speaker Boehner, who made two campaign appearances for him: a fundraiser in Bridgehampton and another in Farmingville.Maybe when Zeldin’s up for re-election in 2016, some observers wonder, he’ll be spending time on the campaign trail with Cruz.last_img read more

Strategic employee reviews

first_imgAs a leader, when you make it a goal to gain relentless feedback a new culture starts to develop, says Peter Myers, vice president of CUES Supplier member and strategic partner DDJ Myers, Ltd., Phoenix.He suggests that strategic planning must be at the heart of employee performance reviews. “Not only should business goals shape the strategic planning process, but performance management and succession planning.”Myers recommends engaging staff with questions like, “Where do you want to go?” This helps foster a speculative conversation, which is much more valuable than a tactical conversation, especially as it relates to performance management. “Speaking tactically has the drawback of being too narrow or more externally focused, which is a detriment to the employee’s chance to develop,” adds Myers. (Note: “tactical talk” can also center on specific topics, logistics, or create a conversation that is less free-flowing or be more deliberate in its intention. It may even seek a predetermined result.)Myers adds that strategic learners, those who continually seek and integrate new concepts, crave regular feedback, which is self-motivating and assists in keeping goals in focus. Touchpoints should be used to evaluate employee skills, goal tracking, and leadership attributes. But it’s imperative to solicit feedback and have the employee contribute with a self-assessment. “When an employee grades themselves they are also forced to assess how they’re impacting the credit union in many domains,” continues Myers. For example, he or she may consider: continue reading » 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Broome County crime low, but drug-related crimes remain stable

first_imgMeanwhile, Korchak says he and his office will continue to crack down on cases to keep lowering the numbers. However, at the Broome County Sheriff’s Office, officials there say they still see a lot of calls regarding other types of emergency responses. Broome County District Attorney, Michael Korchak, says there’s no direct link to the decline, but says his office’s prosecution has made a difference. According to the Department of Criminal Justice, records show from 2015 to 2018, violent and property crime went down 20 percent. However, drug-related crimes remain stable. “We’re dealing with small numbers when you look at the totality of everything, so just because you go a couple months with fewer crimes, doesn’t mean you’re not going to have a big spike down the road,” said Undersheriff Eric Janis. “I think vigorous prosecution has a lot to do with it, because you want to send a message out in the community that we are going to go after the drug dealers,” said Korchak. “We’re going to vigorously prosecute the violent criminals and send them to prison.” (WBNG) — The Broome County District Attorney’s Office is reporting the area has seen a decline in crime in recent data.last_img read more