FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 13 OCTOBER 2017 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |`3|LC KOLKATA|NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR MULAYAM, AKHILESH SHARE PUBLIC SPACE P5 SENSEX 32,182.22 CONNECT WITH LEGISLATORS, PREZ TELLS GOVERNORS P6 +348.23 WEATHER Clear sky. Mist in the morning. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 35 and 22 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.89% Min.29% +111.60 ` vs $ 65.06 GOLD Min: 22.0°C (+1) SUN SETS 17:54 hrs MOON SETS 13:44 hrs Ghana players celebrate after their win over India during the FIFA U-17 World Cup match at the JLN Stadium in the Capital on Thursday. (REPORT ON PAGE 16) Airtel to acquire Tata Tele: Bharti Airtel will acquire Tata Group's loss-making mobile telephony business, almost for free, boosting its spectrum holding and raising subscriber base while saving the Tatas from the prospect of having to shut down the unit. Airtel will from Nov 1 take over 4 crore customers of Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTSL) and Tata Teleservices Maharashtra Ltd (TTML) in 19 telecom circles or P11 zones on “a debt-free cash-free basis”. Soldier, porter killed in Pakistan firing on LoC: An Indian soldier and a civilian porter were killed on Thursday as Pakistani Army opened fire on Indian positions on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district, police said. Police sources said the soldier and porter, working for the army, were killed in the firing in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch. Defence Ministry sources said that Indian troops IANS “retaliated strongly and effectively”. Bambawale appointed envoy to China: Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Gautam Bambawale was on Thursday named the next Ambassador to China. An IFS officer of the 1984 batch, Bambawale replaces Vijay Gokhale, who has already taken charge as Secretary (Economic Relations) in the External Affairs Ministry. Bambawale, who speaks fluent Mandarin, had earlier also dealt with China in his capacity as Joint Secretary in the ministry. SNS India 100th on global hunger index; trails N Korea, B’desh: Terming India’s hunger problem “serious”, data from a recent report ranks the country 100th out of 119 countries on the global hunger index, putting it behind North Korea, Bangladesh and Iraq but ahead P10 of Pakistan. ALLAHABAD, 12 OCTOBER A llahabad High Court on Thursday acquitted Nupur and Rajesh Talwar in the 2008 murder of their teenage daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj, saying that neither the circumstances nor the evidence was enough to hold them guilty. The verdict ends, at least for now, the nineyear ordeal of the Noida couple who were sentenced to life by a Ghaziabad CBI court on November 28, 2013 for the double murder that not only transfixed but also shook the nation with its element of filicide. The Talwars, who are both dentists, are expected to be freed tomorrow from Ghaziabad's Dasna jail after the completion of paperwork. The CBI did not immediately say if it would appeal the High Court verdict. It said it would study the order and decide the future course of action. “I am grateful to the judiciary for the verdict,” said B G Chitnis, Nupur Talwar's father and a former Group Captain in the Indian Air Force. “They have really suffered. They are emotionally drained. At my age it was very trying to see my daughter behind bars,” he told reporters in New Delhi. “It's been an exhausting journey for us. We are really grateful to the High Court for having aquitted and ending the injustice meted out to them,” said Vandana Talwar, an aunt of Aarushi who was 14 when she was killed. A division bench comprising justices B K Narayana and A K Mishra upheld the Talwars' appeal against the CBI court verdict, holding that the cir- cumstances of the case and the evidence on record did not established a chain showing their involvement in the murders of Aarushi and Hemraj. Pronouncing the verdict in a packed court room, the bench said that it is a fit case where benefit of doubt can be given to the appellants and set aside the judgement of the CBI court convicting the Talwars who were arrested in May 2008. The CBI court had relied on circumstantial evidence to convict the couple in the absence of any motive. In his judgement, Additional Sessions Judge Shyam Lal has cited judgements of the Supreme Court to say that +73.00 the mere fact that the prosecution had failed to “translate that mental disposition of the accused into evidence does not mean that no such mental condition existed in the mind of the assailant.” He said “in a case of circumstantial evidence motive does not have extreme significance. In the absence of motive, the conviction based on circumstantial evidence can in principle me made.” Dadhiram Maurya, the jailor of the Dasna prison where the Talwars are lodged, said the couple felt they have got justice. “After having breakfast they were praying. Their schedule was normal. She said they got justice today and had tears of joy. “Any person after spending this amount of jail (time) will feel happy to get freedom. So they were happy after they were told about the news,” he said. Lawyer Rebecca John, who was part of Talwars' legal team, said she was relieved by the judgement. She claimed the whole case was based on “innuendos” and would “not HP Assembly polls on 9 Nov SNS & AGENCIES Himachal Pradesh Assembly Poll Schedule 2017 NEW DELHI, 12 OCTOBER The Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls will be held in a single phase on 9 November, which is set to be a fierce battle between the ruling Congress and the Opposition BJP . Declaring the election schedule for the 68-member Himachal Pradesh Assembly here on Thursday, the Election Commission (EC) said the counting of votes will take place on 18 December. The EC sprang a surprise by not announcing the dates for the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections simultaneously, but Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) A K Joti said the Gujarat polls will be held before 18 December when the Himachal results will be declared. "This is being done to ensure that the voting pattern of one state does not affect the other state...polling in Gujarat will be held before December 18," Joti told a press conference. He was flanked by Election Commissioners, O P Rawat and Sunil Arora. The terms of Himachal and Gujarat Assemblies end on 7 January 2018 and Total electors Polling stations 49,05,677 7,479 Seats 68 Issue of notification Oct 16 Last date for nominations Oct 23 Scrutiny of nominations Oct 24 Last date for withdrawal Polling date Counting Oct 26 Nov 9 Dec 18 SILVER 39,785 22 January 2018 respectively. The Model Code of Conduct came into force in Himachal Pradesh immediately. Replying to questions on why elections in Gujarat were not announced simultaneously, Joti said the imposition of Model Code with EC’s silence on Guj poll dates sparks row NEW DELHI, OCT 12 one week to file an appeal against the penalties imposed on each of them. Thereafter, the appellate authority shall hear each of the students and subsequently, after considering the appeals filed by them, “pass a reasoned order as expeditiously as possible”, preferably within six weeks from the date of hearing, the court said in its judgement. It also clarified that the students would abide by their undertakings given earlier to the court that “they shall not indulge in any strike or 'dharna' or agitation or coercive action in future in connection with the issue, till such time the proceedings between the parties attain finality”. The verdict came on the pleas of the students, also including Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya who had claimed that JNU did not give them due opportunity to defend themselves against the charge of indiscipline, as all of them were only given a few hours to inspect the records containing the allegations against them. Apart from the charge of indiscipline against them, the students in their pleas had also challenged their punishment, which ranged from rustication for a few semesters to withdrawal of hostel facilities and fines. The appellate authority had rusticated Umar from JNU for one semester, while Bhattacharya was rusticated till July 15, 2016 and then declared out of bounds from the entire varsity campus from July 25, 2016 for a period of five years. Kanhaiya was slapped with a fine of Rs 10,000 for being part of the February 9, 2016 event on the campus against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru during which antinational slogans were allegedly raised. After the event, the varsity had set up a High Level Enquiry Committee (HLEC) which had recommended disciplinary action against the 15 students. The students had contended that the HLEC gave its findings without hearing them and later based on its recommendations, the university had imposed the punishments. BRENT (OIL IN $) $51.07 +0.15 GST slabs will not be changed for now: Adhia PRASHANT MUKHERJEE NEW DELHI, 12 OCTOBER have carried through”. John hoped that the Talwars, who have been in media spotlight for over nine years, will be allowed privacy after their release from the jail. Aarushi was found dead inside her room in the Talwars' Noida residence with her throat slit in May 2008. The suspicion initially fell on 45-year-old Hemraj, who at the time was missing. But his body was recovered from the terrace of the house a day later. As the Uttar Pradesh Police drew flak over shoddy investigation into the case which was making national headlines, the then chief minister Mayawati recommended a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The night of May 14, 2008 changed the fate of L-32 Jalvayu Vihar, Noida, forever, bringing the twobedroom flat under an oppressive media glare. Nine years later, on a day the couple who owned the flat was cleared of the ignominy of being their daughter's murderers, Aarushi remains a forbidden topic for residents. Notwithstanding pressures from industry bodies, experts and even the Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to bring fuel products such as diesel and petrol under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, Hasmukh Adhia, Revenue Secretary, Union Finance Ministry, indicated, in an interview with The Statesman, that it would take at least six months before having any discussion on this demand. Adhia said there have been reservations from various quarters over this demand. "If the states want petroleum products under GST, we will be happy to discuss it. But they may not like to take it up immediately. So, the issue can be discussed when trends of revenue stabilises, which will happen only after six months," he said. When asked whether there would be further "rationalisation" of GST rates, Adhia said the GST Council has approved an approach paper for the Rates Fitment Committee to begin a rationalisation exercise on changing rates across all prod- THE INDEPENDENT NEW YORK, 12 OCTOBER AHMEDABAD, 12 OCTOBER The Election Commission (EC) not announcing the dates for the Gujarat assembly elections has sparked off a row here, with Opposition alleging that the BJP has been given more time to declare some lastminute schemes and benefits for the voters. Suspicion of the Opposition leaders about EC’s motive may not be wrong as within minutes of the Chief Election Commissioner’s press conference came the news that the PM would inaugurate a project in Gujarat MORE ON PAGE 7 on 17 October. immediate effect would stop all government work and there was no need to prolong it beyond the required period. The CEC said elections to Himachal and Gujarat were announced separately in the past too, including in 1993, 1994 and 2002. TURN TO PAGE 4 uct categories. "The Committee will re-look at all the rates." However, on whether there was any scope for merging GST slabs to make them fewer, the Revenue Secretary made it clear that "tax slabs will remain the same for now". "Certainly the slabs will not be changed. This is not the time to change the tax slabs, it will be discussed in future. But, certainly it will not happen before one year," he said. A large section of businesses had complained about monthly filing of their returns on the GSTN which had witnessed many glitches. With the GST Council in its recent 22nd meeting relaxing the norms to quarterly filing, Adhia said based on businesses' feedback the government is willing to rationalise this process even further. SEE ALSO PAGE 10 The United States has withdrawn from Unesco over what it claims is the organisation's "continuing antiIsrael bias". The US State Department recently announced its intention to withdraw from the UN's cultural, scientific and educational organisation and become a permanent observer instead. "This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects US concerns with mounting arrears at Unesco, the needforfundamentalreform in the organisation, and continuing anti-Israel bias at Unesco," the State Department said in a statement. The country hopes to remain a non-member observer state, in order to contribute US opinions and expertise on issues like press freedoms and protecting world heritage, according to the Department. The decision will take effect at the end of 2018. The US helped found Unesco in the wake oftheSecondWorldWar,with the aim of ensuring peace through the free flow of ideas and education. The country's withdrawal marks yet another move by the Trump administration to distance itself from global organisations. US Secretary of State RexTillerson made the decision to pull out several weeks ago, and announced it to French President Emmanuel Macron in a meeting with DonaldTrump late last month, according to Foreign Policy. The State Department hoped to delay the announcement until after Unesco selects a new Director General this week. The current Director General, Irina Bokova, expressed her "profound regret" at the US's decision. "Universality is critical to UNESCO’s mission to strengthen international peace and security in the face of hatred and violence, to defend human rights and dignity," she said in a statement. The US has withdrawn from the organisation once before, during the Reagan administration. PresidentGeorgeWBushrejoined the organisation in 2002, but the US pulled its funding less than 10 years later, after the organisation accepted Palestine as a member. Israel recalled its ambassador to Unesco last year, following the passage of several resolutions that Israelis claim erased their cultural and religious ties to Jerusalem. SC forms panel to designate lawyers PTI NEW DELHI, 12 OCTOBER PTI 0.00 US withdraws from Unesco I over ‘anti-Israel bias’ KBK Pollgraphics Delhi HC sets aside JNU disciplinary action against Kanhaiya, 14 others In a relief to former JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar and 14 other students, the Delhi High Court Thursday set aside the disciplinary action taken against them by the university in connection with an event organised there in February last year. Justice V Kameswar Rao said the Jawaharlal Nehru University's ( JNU) orders imposing varying punishments on the students was issued without following the principles of natural justice, as they were given limited time to inspect the records based on which the punitive actions were taken. The court sent the matter back to the varsity's appellate authority, the Vice Chancellor, to be decided afresh after giving two days to each student to inspect the records and 29,732 Talwars to walk free 4 yrs after Aarushi conviction PTI THUMBNAILS SUBRATA DUTTA 10,096.40 P15 P12 Allahabad High Court says neither circumstances nor evidence enough to hold them guilty TEMPERATURE Max: 35.0°C (+2) SUN RISES 06:21 hrs MOON RISES 00:50 hrs NIFTY INDIA HOPE TO BOUNCE BACK IN T20 SERIES DECIDER SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE ON N KOREA:TRUMP The Supreme Court on Thursday laid down guidelines for itself and 24 High Courts to govern the exercise of designating lawyers as seniors and ordered setting up of a committee headed by the Chief Justice of India, which would be assisted by a secretariat. A bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi, however, rejected the plea that section 16 of the 1961 Advocates Act, which empowers the apex court or a High Court to designate senior advocates, should be held as unconstitutional. “It is not an uncontrolled, unguided, uncanalised power, though in a given case its exercise may partake such a character. However, the possibility of misuse cannot be a ground for holding a provision of the Statute to be constitutionally fragile... “Possible consequences arising from a wrong/improp- er exercise of power cannot be a ground to invalidate the provisions of Section 16 of the Act,” the bench, which also comprised Justices R F Nariman and Navin Sinha, said. Disposing four petitions including one filed by senior advocate Indira Jaising, the bench, in its 112-page judgment, laid down as many as 11 guidelines to effectively deal with the process of designating lawyers as seniors. “All matters relating to designation of senior advocates in the Supreme Court and in all the High Courts of the country shall be dealt with by a Permanent Committee to be known as ‘Committee for Designation of Senior Advocates’,” it said. The panel will be headed by the CJI and consist of two senior-most Judges of the apex court or “High Court(s), as may be,” and the Attorney General or the Advocate General of a state in case of a High Court will be its member, it said. On giving the Bar representation, it said “the four Members of the Permanent Committee will nominate another Member of the Bar to be the fifth Member of the Permanent Committee.” The committee shall have a permanent Secretariat, the composition of which will be decided by the CJI or “the Chief Justices of the High Courts, as may be, in consultation with the other Members of the Permanent Committee”, it said. The pleas on designating a lawyer as senior would be sent to the secretariat which would compile relevant data and information with regard to “the reputation, conduct, integrity of the Advocate(s) concerned including his/her participation in pro-bono work; reported judgements in which the concerned Advocate(s) had appeared; the number of such judgements for the last five years,” it said. It said the secretariat would collect the data and their sources for perusal and decision by the CJI-led committee. “The Secretariat will publish the proposal of designation of a particular Advocate in the official website of the concerned Court inviting the suggestions/views of other stakeholders in the proposed designation,” it said.
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