Where All the Employees Blend Together

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TUESDAY PUZZLE — Sporting events aside, it’s not often that you feel the urge to cheer on someone that you don’t even know. I mean, you would, because you’re a nice person. But it’s rare.

I met Adam Wagner a few years ago on Twitter — you can chat with a lot of people in the community under the hashtag #NYTXW — and he’s been a welcome presence there for me ever since. I think I sort of knew that Mr. Wagner had tried crossword constructing. One day, I sat down to tackle the week’s puzzles and there he was. Well, not him, mind you, because that would be disturbing, but that was definitely his byline on my screen.

Mr. Wagner and I will have to jokingly agree to disagree on the theme, however. As a dedicated 63D person, I feel as if this theme is unfair to 63Ds. You can’t see me, but I’m actually sitting here right now, staging a one-woman protest and holding a sign that says “Adam Wagner Unfair to 63Ds.” The descriptions do not include the unconditional love one receives from 63Ds, nor do they even hint at the snuggling or the kisses. Instead, they focus on the sounds that 63Ds make.

Mr. Wagner even admits that he is not much of a 63D person in his notes below, laying bare his obvious and heinous contempt for 63Ds. It’s enough to make a 63D lover cry.

All terrorists are criminals but not all criminals are terrorists: Delhi HC

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Court urges caution in use of the term for conventional crimes

Notwithstanding the fact that the definition of ‘terrorist act’ in Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) is “wide and even somewhat vague”, the phrase ‘terrorist act’ cannot be permitted to be casually applied to criminal acts that fall squarely within the definition of conventional offences, the Delhi High Court remarked on Tuesday.

A bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Anup Jairam Bhanbhani said the word ‘terrorism’ or ‘terror’ has nowhere been defined in the UAPA.

Hence, the court must be careful in employing the definitional words and phrases used in section 15 (of the UAPA that defines ‘terrorist act') in their absolute literal sense or use them lightly in a manner that would trivialise the extremely heinous offence of ‘terrorist act’, without understanding how terrorism is different even from conventional, heinous crime, the bench said.

The High Court’s observation came while granting regular bail to JNU students Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, and Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha, arrested in connection with the north-east Delhi riots.

UAPA’s origin

The ‘terrorist act’, including conspiracy and act preparatory to the commission of a terrorist act, were brought within the purview of UAPA by an amendment made in 2004, on the heels of Parliament repealing Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).

POTA’s precursor, the Terrorist & Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) was repealed in 1995.

The High Court said the phrase ‘terrorist act’ must get its colour and flavour from the problem of terrorism as was earlier addressed by the Parliament under TADA and POTA.

Defining ‘terrorism’

To understand the concept and construction of ‘terrorism’, the High Court referred to various judgments of the Supreme Court where the issue has already been dealt with.

“Terrorism is one of the manifestations of increased lawlessness and cult of violence… A ‘terrorist’ activity does not merely arise by causing disturbance of law and order or of public order. The fallout of the intended activity must be such that it travels beyond the capacity of the ordinary law enforcement agencies to tackle it under the ordinary penal law,” the Supreme Court had said in Hitendra Vishnu Thakur versus State of Maharashtra case.

In the same judgment, the Supreme Court said, “Every ‘terrorist’ may be a criminal but every criminal cannot be given the label of a ‘terrorist’ only to set in motion the more stringent provisions of TADA.”

The High Court said, in its opinion, “The intent and purport of the Parliament in enacting the UAPA, and more specifically in amending it in 2004 and 2008 to bring terrorist activity within its scope, was, and could only have been, to deal with matters of profound impact on the ‘Defence of India’, nothing more and nothing less.”

“Foisting extremely grave and serious penal provisions engrafted in sections 15, 17 and 18 UAPA frivolously upon people, would undermine the intent and purpose of the Parliament in enacting a law that is meant to address threats to the very existence of our Nation,” the court cautioned.

It reminded that a sacrosanct principle of interpretation of penal provisions is that they must be construed strictly and narrowly, to ensure that a person who was not within the legislative intendment does not get roped into a penal provision.

“Also, the more stringent a penal provision, the more strictly it must be construed,” the High Court remarked pointing at the use of the stringent provision under UAPA against the three students in the north-east Delhi riots case.

‘Crimes reduced by 16% from 2019’

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Cybercrimes went up during pandemic, show police data

Crime in the Capital reduced by nearly 16% in 2020 as compared to 2019, showed data released by Delhi Police on Friday. However, cases of snatching and robbery witnessed an increase.

According to the data, 2,66,070 Indian Penal Code cases were registered in 2020 as against 3,16,261 in 2019, showing a decline of 15.87%. Police Control Room calls in 2020 were 18,08,384 calls as compared to 29,25,531 in 2019, showing a decline of 38.19%, the data stated.

While all the reported crimes saw a decline last year, snatching and robbery cases increased by 27.11% and .36% respectively. A total of 1,963 robbery cases were registered in 2020 as opposed to 1,956 in 2019. A total of 7,965 snatching cases were registered in 2020 as opposed to 6,266 in 2019.

Motor vehicle theft saw a decline of 24.23% with 35,019 cases registered in 2020 and 46,215 registered in 2019. Dacoity witnessed a decline of 40% with nine cases registered last year as opposed to 15 in 2019.

The numbers of heinous cases have also gone down as murder cases have reduced by 9.40% with 521 murders reported in 2019 and 472 in 2020 and attempt to murder reduced by 9.1% with 1,634 cases reported in 2020 and 1,799 in 2019.

Delhi Police Commissioner S.N. Shrivastava mentioned that these included north-east riots cases — 53 murders and 26 attempts to murders.

Data stated that 44% murders were a result of personal enmity or dispute and 21% were out of sudden provocation. According to the data, kidnapping for ransom has been reduced by 26.67 %, burglary by 27.33 %, motor vehicle theft by 24.23 % and other theft by 30.52%.

The police said cybercrime had peaked during the pandemic-induced lockdown. Financial fraud accounted for 62% of complaints received by the cyber cell.

Special Commissioner of Police Neeraj Thakur said new modus operandi was used like fake government websites offering financial assistance, subsidies and jobs because a lot of unemployed people.

“QR code-based payment manipulation on online markets, hacking fraud in the name of KYC verification among others were the most used,” Mr. Thakur said.