Here are the top news developments in Kerala for today.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to arrive on Sunday
A spate of political issues awaits Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan as he returns to Kerala on Sunday after a 21-day sojourn abroad.
Mr. Vijayan would possibly require to address dissensions within the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), notably from the Communist Party of India, over the proposed Lok Ayukta amendment ordinance. Mr. Vijayan is likely to meet Governor Arif Muhammad Khan to seek his assent for the executive order.
Mr. Vijayan is likely to chair a Cabinet meeting to draw a timetable for the upcoming budget session of the Assembly. The Cabinet will also finalise the Governor's policy address.
The opposition's attempt to resurrect the UAE gold smuggling case and the gathering anti-K rail agitation by Congress and BJP would possibly rivet Mr. Vijayan's attention.
The Chief Minister was in the U.S. for nearly a fortnight for a medical review. He later went to the UAE to woo investors, inaugurate the Kerala Pavilion in the Dubai world expo and interact with the country's rulers.
Life seemed to edge towards a standstill for the third straight weekend on Sunday, with the State government allowing only essential services in a bid to bridle the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will chair an online pandemic monitoring committee meeting on Monday to further ease restrictions, given the plummetting rate of infections and relatively low number of deaths and hospitalisations.
The committee relies on hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) admissions as the point of reference or baseline for classifying districts into three categories. Currently, the administration has classified Kollam as a category C (threshold-3) district.
The Kollam district administration has limited gatherings at social events to a maximum of 20 people. The administration has also restricted a range of recreational activities for an indefinite period. The constraints have dampened daily life and retarded Kollam's vibrant social tempo.
Cinema theatres, gymnasiums and swimming pools in the district remain closed until further notice. There is also a temporary ban on visitors to religious places of worship in the regions.
High court to rule on Dileep's bail plea.
On Monday, the Kerala High court is likely to rule on the anticipatory bail plea moved by actor Dileep. The Crime Branch police had accused Dileep of plotting the murder of officers who investigated him in connection with the 2017 actor abduction and rape case.
In a related development, Kochi police are investigating K. Balachandra Kumar, a film director, on suspicion of sexually exploiting a cinema hopeful.
Recently, Mr. Balachandran was in the spotlight for his "disclosures" that spurred the Crime Branch to implicate Dileep and his next of kin in the murder conspiracy.
POSCO court appointment challenged
The Kerala Judicial Officers Association moves the Kerala High Court and State government against appointing retired judges to the 28 new POSCO courts.
Synthetic drug racket busted
State Police and Excise Squads in Kozhikode dismantle a clandestine network of synthetic drug smugglers.