Proposed changes to ganja lawThe Coalition Government is now urging Magistrates to take notice of the proposed changes to the ganja law when imposing sentences in such matters.Though the Bill is still in its preparatory stage, Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon on Thursday said that since Government’s decision on the matter is clear, that is that custodial sentences for persons found with 30 grams or below of marijuana cannot be incarcerated, all Magistrates in Guyana should take note.“But in the interim, since it is clear what Government’s position is on this matter, I believe that there is some High Court ruling which says that Magistrates can take notice of situations like this and to exercise that discretion even now before the law becomes put into place so that it affects everybody. So I believe that it is something which our judiciary can take notice of, we are not saying that they have to do it but they can take notice of it and so the guidelines which they used for sentencing that this can be taken into consideration and the fact that the law is moving” Harmon said.According to Harmon, since Guyana’s prisons are filled with people being penalized for petty possession offenses, the National Assembly is seeking to have the new Bill read as quickly as possible.“In the present system under the Anti-Narcotics and Psychotropic substances act, a magistrate does not have a discretion, once you are found guilty, they have to sentence you and so this is why many of our prisons are piled up with young men who could have been doing something a bit more beneficial to society but they are piled up in there because of this. So we are hoping to have this matter dealt with in the National Assembly as quickly as possible…” Harmon assured.The existing Narcotic Drugs Act of 1988, which criminalizes marijuana use, does not have discretion when dealing with matters above a certain level. It mandates a three-year jail sentence for persons caught with the substance.Over the past few months however, several groups including politicians have called for the removal of custodial sentencing for small amounts of marijuana.This had stemmed from the sentencing of a 27-year-old man to three years for having eight grams of cannabis in his possession.The AFC had called on all legislators to move with alacrity in upgrading the laws of Guyana to ensure that custodial sentences for small quantities of marijuana are removed from the books in their entirety.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had also rallied around this proposal but maintained that he is not in favour of the legalisation of marijuana for commercial purposes.Jagdeo is however now slamming contending that the move – at this point – is in breach of the Constitution and the Caribbean Chief Justice (CCJ) ruling.According to the CCJ, the government should be in caretaker mode, since it was defeated by a no-confidence motion last year.At his press conference held on Thursday, Jagdeo, insisted that an illegal cabinet cannot approve the removal of custodial sentences for small amounts of marijuana.“We made it clear at the beginning, we said that the PPP would allow a conscience vote on the matter, we put it in our 2015 manifesto…we have been urging them, they had a bill from 2015 in Parliament and we are now in 2019, and they didn’t find time to discuss any of it and to bring it forward but they find time to increase their salaries and perks by 50-100% but now we are approaching elections suddenly marijuana become decriminalized” Jagdeo pointed.The Opposition has already condemned this move, saying that it is illegal and an attempt to mislead the public.Furthermore, the Opposition noted that the Coalition had four years to address the issue of removing custodial sentences for possession of small quantities of marijuana but failed to do so.
Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. AjaxCesar Azpilicuetachelseadraw First Published: November 6, 2019, 8:55 AM IST London: Frank Lampard believes his Chelsea side are going places after summoning the spirit to fight back from 4-1 down to salvage a 4-4 draw against nine-man Ajax on what he described as a “mad” night at Stamford Bridge.The Blues seemed destined for a defeat as first half own goals from Tammy Abraham and Kepa Arrizabalaga added to Quincy Promes’ header and predatory finish from Donny Van der Beek handed the Dutch champions a 4-1 lead. However, after Cesar Azpilicueta brought Chelsea back into the game at 4-2, the visitors were reduced to nine men by second yellow cards for Daley Blind and Joel Veltman in the move that led to the hosts being awarded their second penalty of the night.Jorginho scored his second spot-kick before Reece James levelled and only VAR denied Chelsea a famous victory when Azpilicueta’s strike was ruled out for a handball by Abraham.”I had some mad nights over the years and some great nights, but it’s certainly right up there,” said Lampard, who won the Champions League with Chelsea in a glorious 13-year playing career.”The spirit we showed and the character is something that I loved and I think our fans loved. We need to tighten up for sure, but with that sprit we can go places.”Both sides are now locked on seven points at top of Group H with Valencia, who were 4-1 winners over Lille, and host Chelsea next on November 27.”I always felt this group could be quite tight. We are in it but we certainly have a lot of work to do,” added Lampard.The former England international hailed his side’s 1-0 victory in Amsterdam two weeks ago as the best of his Chelsea tenure to date for the way they added a defensive resolve to their attacking verve.CHELSEA DEFENSIVE LAPSESTwo weeks on, they were easily undone from crosses as Ajax went in front inside two minutes when Promes’ free-kick flicked off Abraham and into his own net.Chelsea responded immediately as Christian Pulisic’s promising form of recent weeks continued with a powerful run into the box before he was brought down by Veltman and Jorginho coolly slotted home the resulting spot-kick.Just as Chelsea were beginning to wrestle control, Ajax retook the lead with a wicked cross from Hakim Ziyech picking out Promes to head home.Ziyech was the creator once more 10 minutes before half-time when his sensational free-kick from near the right touchline came back off the post and rebounded in off goalkeeper Arrizabalaga’s face.Any hope of a comeback appeared to have gone 10 minutes into the second half when Van de Beek, who scored a number of vital goals on Ajax’s run to the last four last season, rifled home another Ziyech assist.But Azpilicueta sparked the fightback by prodding in at the back post after Abraham had flicked Pulisic’s low cross goalwards.Then a minute of madness turned the game on its as Ajax had Blind and Veltman sent-off and conceded a second penalty.Blind was shown a second yellow card for bringing down Abraham and, as the advantage was played, Veltman handled Callum Hudson-Odoi’s shot inside his own box and was also booked for the second time.”We are controlling the game then in one moment everything changed,” said Ajax manager Erik ten Hag, who felt Blind had been fouled before diving in on Abraham.”From our performance we deserved to win tonight with 11 and also with 9.”We are still top of this pool and it is still in our hands. When we perform like this we can justify that I am positive.”Jorginho calmly sent Andre Onana the wrong way from the spot to make it 3-4.Three minutes later, Chelsea were level when James smashed home after Kurt Zouma’s header came off the bar.After VAR ruled out Azpilicueta’s second goal, Hudson-Odoi fired inches wide and Onana made a brilliant save to deny Michy Batshuayi a winner in a frantic finale, but Ajax held out for what in the end was a welcome point.
Virat Kohli batted himslef at No.3 in the India’s ODI batting line-up, but former skipper Sourav Ganguly feels KL Rahul should bat at that position and the current Indian captain should come down at four in the line-up.Ganguly advised Kohli to bat at crucial number four position to provide solidity to the India’s batting line-up in the three-match ODI series against England, which starts on Thursday.Since the tour of Sri Lanka in July-August 2017, India have tried as many as six different batsmen – Rahul, Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik and Ajinkya Rahane – at the number four position but Ganguly feels Kohli is the best bet for the crucial slot.”If you look at this T20I series, I think they have formed the proper batting line-up. With Rahul at number three, and Virat Kohli batting at number four, I think the problem has been sorted out. And I firmly believe it is also the right thing to do in the ODI format as well,” Ganguly said after the UK launch of his book ‘A Century is Not Enough’.”I think that’s what Kohli is going to do (in the upcoming series) as well,” the former skipper opined.Ganguly was of the opinion that England lack firepower in their bowling line-up, which will give the visitors an edge in the ODIs.India started off the English summer with a bang, winning the three-match T20I series 2-1.”England are a good side. They are a very good batting unit but bowling is the weaker part of their game. The way India won (easily) in Bristol when chasing 200 (in a T20 game), they will fancy their chances against this English bowling line-up in the ODI series,” he said.advertisementHe, however, cautioned Kohli and Co. against taking England lightly in the long series.”Off late, the Indian team has been doing well in T20Is. I have enjoyed their performance in this England series as well. But they have to be mindful that it is only the start of a long summer with ODIs and five Tests to follow,” Ganguly said.”They have set the tone for the latter contests with this win, but different formats will present different challenges for them. India should also know that they are a good unit and they can do well here.”Asked about India’s strengths ahead of what should be another keenly contested series between both the sides, Ganguly said, “At the moment, India are a very good and well-rounded limited-overs’ side.”A lot of good Indian sides have been tested in England and some of the better ones have done well here and won before. I think this Indian team can be like that, they can definitely win here this summer, definitely the ODIs and possibly the Tests too.”Ganguly rated India as one of the most talented batting units in the game at present.”It is one of the most talented batting units in limited-overs’ in world cricket at the moment. The top-order is brilliant with Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, and if they continue to score more runs at the top, they can challenge my partnership records with Sachin Tendulkar soon.”Rohit, in particular, is a terrific player in the limited overs’ arena and will probably end up as one of the greats in white-ball cricket,” he said.Gangulys comments should come as a boost to India, who are starting their preparations for the 2019 ODI World Cup in England which is less than a year away.While the teams readiness seems on schedule in most areas concerning batting and bowling, there is a gaping hole in the middle order despite the experience of MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina and the new-found exuberance of Hardik Pandya.The former captain was also mighty impressed with wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadavs showing on this UK trip so far.Conditions in England can vary vastly from wicket to wicket and so every game is a different challenge. You need wicket-taking spinners on these English wickets even as they change from game to game. Kuldeep is already in the Test squad when playing at home, but he should be in the first-eleven for all formats for the Indian team, Ganguly signed off.(With inputs from PTI)