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Supreme Court dismisses new petition on verifying all votes with VVPAT, says ‘let country elect its government’

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a new petition that sought matching of all voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips with electronic voting machines (EVMs) during the counting of votes on May 23.

Calling the petition a “nuisance”, the court said, “We won’t entertain such a plea over and over again. Can’t come in the way of people electing their representatives. Let country elect its government.”

A vacation bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra refused to entertain the plea filed by a Chennai-based organisation ‘Tech for All’ saying that a larger bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had already dealt with the matter and passed an order, news agency PTI reported.

The apex court had on May 7 dismissed a review plea filed by 21 Opposition leaders led by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu seeking that random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs be increased to 50 per cent.

The top court had on April 8 directed the Election Commission to increase random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs from one to five polling booths per assembly segment in Lok Sabha polls, saying it would provide greater satisfaction not just to political parties but also to the entire electorate.

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Delhi continues to sizzle today as IMD predicts 46 degree Celsius

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Delhi and its nearby areas such as Noida, Gurugram, Faridabad and Ghaziabad continue to experience heat wave on Tuesday, with India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicting the maximum temperature at 46 degree Celsius.

However, the weather forecasting agency predicted that tomorrow (June 12), the capital will be hit by thunderstorm or dust storm.

Besides, the heatwave in many parts with a severe heatwave in isolated pockets over East Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are also predicted.

“Heat wave to severe heat wave in isolated pockets over Uttar Pradesh; heat wave in isolated pockets over Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi, Vidarbha, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Gangetic West Bengal, Odisha, Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Rayalaseema and Tamilnadu,” the IMD stated in its all India weather warning bulletin.

Gale winds speed reaching 90-100 kmph gusting to 115 kmph very likely to prevail over East-Central and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea; 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph over Lakshadweep area, Kerala, Karnataka and south Maharashtra coasts, it added.

Fishermen have been advised not to venture into these areas.

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Cyclone Vayu to turn into severe storm today, may bring heavy rain to southern coast

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A deep depression formed over the Arabian Sea, around 760 km south-southwest of Mumbai, on Monday afternoon, which is likely to bring heavy to very heavy rain in parts of Kerala, coastal and south interior Karnataka, Konkan region, Goa and the Lakshadweep islands, a bulletin of the India Meteorological Department stated Monday.

The system will intensify into a cyclonic storm by Tuesday afternoon and a severe cyclonic storm with wind speed of up to 115 kmph in the next 24 hours, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) warned.

“The deep depression is currently away from the coast and travelling north-northwestwards. It is being closely monitored by IMD and might make landfall in Gujarat, but even if it does not, it is close enough to the landmass that the impact of cyclone will be felt along the Western coast,” said Dr K Sathi Devi, a scientist at the IMD.

Under the influence of the low-pressure system, monsoon advancement will be delayed once it intensifies into a cyclonic storm, she said.

Monsoon hit Kerala on Saturday after a week-long delay.

“When such an intense low-pressure system forms, it pulls in all the moisture-bearing winds towards it, changing the course of the monsoons. Because of the changes in the wind directions, most of the rain from the southwest monsoon will be over the oceans and some areas in the western coast,” Devi said.

The cyclone is likely to be named on Tuesday as it develops into a storm.

Monsoon activity in the southern peninsula will pick up once the low-pressure system moves towards the Gujarat coast. “The cyclonic storm forming over the Arabian Sea will bring heavy rainfall to the Western coastal areas. But, it has affected the progress of monsoon, which was delayed anyway this year. By now, it should have reached Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The monsoon rains in the interior of the peninsula should pick up after about 48 hours when the cyclonic storm moves towards Gujarat,” said Mahesh Palawat, vice-president, meteorology and climate change at Skymet.

Skymet has reiterated that farmers in southern peninsula and central India should delay sowing for Kharif crops.

The wind speeds will also increase over the next three days. This will result in rough seas along and off the coast of Kerala, Karnataka, south Maharashtra, and south Gujarat.

The IMD has advised fishermen to not venture into Arabian Sea and asked those in deep-sea areas to return to the coast. The rain brought on by the low-pressure system is unlikely to offer any respite from the heatwave to severe heatwave conditions over Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha, southern parts of Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh.

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2-year-old Punjab boy, stuck for 110 hours in borewell, dies after being pulled out

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A two-year-old child, who had fallen into a 150-foot-deep unused borewell in Punjab’s Sangrur, has been declared dead. He was pulled out of the borewell on Tuesday morning after a rescue operation of over 110 hours.

Fatehvir Singh was rushed to PGI Chandigarh where doctors declared him dead.

The child was rescued around 5:30 am by National Disaster Response Force personnel. “Fatehvir has been pulled out of the borewell and he is being taken to hospital in an ambulance,” Sagrur Deputy Commissioner Ghanshyam Thori said.

A team of doctors had been stationed at the site of the accident to provide medical assistance along with an ambulance equipped with a ventilator..

The toddler was stuck in the seven-inch wide borewell at a depth of 125 feet. The only child of his parents who had turned two on Monday, he fell into the borewell in a field when he was playing in Bhagwanpura village around 4 pm on Thursday.

The borewell was covered with a cloth and the boy accidentally stepped on it. His mother tried to rescue him, but failed, officials said.

A massive rescue operation was launched to bring the child safely out of the borewell. Officials managed to supply oxygen but no food or water could be provided to him. A parallel borewell of 36 inches in diameter was dug to rescue the child.

On Monday, there was anger among people against the district administration and the state government over the delay in rescuing Fatehvir.

A large number of people had assembled around the accident site and several of them raised slogans against the government. Villagers had also held protest and blocked the Sunam-Mansa road.

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