New Delhi: India recorded the lowest number of coronavirus fatalities in over eight months with 131 more deaths being recorded, the Health Ministry said on Monday.

The COVID-19 caseload rose to 1,06,67,736 with 13,203 more infections. There are 1,84,182 active cases, which is 1.73 per cent of the caseload and it remained below 2 lakh for the sixth consecutive day, according to the ministry data.

As many as 1,03,30,084 people have recuperated, taking the recovery rate to 96.83 per cent,.

The fatality rate rose to 1.4 per cent and 131 more deaths include 45 from Maharashtra, 20 from Kerala, nine from Delhi and eight each from Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.

A total of 1,53,470 deaths have been reported so far in the country, including 50,785 from Maharashtra, followed by 12,316 in Tamil Nadu, 12,197 in Karnataka, 10,808 in Delhi, 10,115 in West Bengal, 8,617 in Uttar Pradesh and 7,147 in Andhra Pradesh.

According to the ICMR, 19.23 crore tests have been conducted so far with 5,70,246 samples being tested on Sunday. The ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.

"Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research," the ministry said on its website, adding that statewide distribution of figures was subject to further verification and reconciliation.

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Mumbai: A Mumbai court on Monday issued a bailable warrant against actor Kangana Ranaut after she failed to appear before it in connection with a defamation complaint filed against her by lyricist Javed Akhtar.

The Andheri metropolitan magistrate's court issued a summons to Ranaut on February 1, directing her to appear before it on March 1.

However, Ranaut failed to appear on Monday following which Magistrate R R Khan issued a bailable warrant against her and posted the matter for further hearing on March 26.

A lawyer in the case had earlier informed March 22 as the next date of hearing.

Ranaut's advocate Rizwan Siddiquee argued in the court that the summons and process were issued against Ranaut without following the procedure laid down in law and hence, were "bad in law".

Siddiquee said a petition would be filed in the Bombay High Court challenging the process issued by the magistrate.

Akhtar's advocate Vrinda Grover, however, argued that even if the process is being challenged, Ranaut has to appear before the court as directed, in the absence of any stay on the summons by a higher court.

"It is the accused's right to appeal against the order, or even challenge the proceedings, that no one can deny and no one can stop, not even this court. However, she (Ranaut) has failed to comply with the order of this court and there is also no stay obtained from a higher court,"the lawyer argued.

Grover then filed an application seeking a non- bailable warrant to be issued against the actor. This was opposed by Siddiquee.

Magistrate Khan observed that Ranaut was at the liberty to approach a higher court to challenge the process issued against her, but that would not absolve her from appearing before this court.

The court issued a bailable warrant against Ranaut and posted the matter for hearing on March 26.

Last month, the Mumbai police submitted a report to the court, saying an offence of defamation was made out against the actor.

Akhtar filed the complaint against Ranaut in November last year for allegedly making baseless and false statements against him which, according to him, damaged his reputation.

In his complaint, the lyricist claimed Ranaut had made defamatory comments against him in an interview by dragging his name while referring to a "coterie" existing in Bollywood, following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June last year.

Akhtar in his plea claimed the baseless comments made by Ranaut had caused damage to his reputation.