FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 02 MARCH 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |`3|LC KOLKATA|NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR WINDS OF CHANGE HAVE STARTED BLOWING: RAHUL ‘NATION MUST BE SECURE FROM EXTERNAL, INTERNAL THREATS TO WOO FDI’ P5 SENSEX 34,046.94 -137.10 NIFTY P7 10,458.35 -34.50 ` vs $ 65.20 being a holiday in the offices of The Statesman, there will be no issue of this edition dated 03 March 2018 GOLD 30,294 Mainly cloudy sky. Mist/ shallow fog in the morning. Maximum and minimum temperatures likely to be around 31 and 16 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.96% Min. 36% Max: 30.1°C (+3) SUN RISES 06:44 hrs MOON RISES 18.49 hrs Min: 14.9°C (+3) SUN SETS 18:21 hrs MOON SETS 07:40 hrs THUMBNAILS The 60-foot tall effigy of Nirav Modi that will be burnt as part of 'Holika Dahan' ritual, in IANS Mumbai on Thursday Maharashtra to start counselling helpline for women from 8 March: The Maharashtra State Commission for Women (MSCW) will launch a special counselling helpline on 8 March for women in distress. The helpline, said to be the first such service by a state in the country, will be launched on the occasion of PG 7 the International Women's Day. SBI, PNB hike lending rates: Two major staterun banks, State Bank of India and Punjab National Bank, on Thursday raised their lending rates by up to 20 basis points, a move that will increase the interest rates on home, auto loans and personal loans. While the country's largest lender SBI raised its one year MCLR by 20 basis points to 8.15 per cent, PNB increased its loan prices by 15 bps to 8.30 per P 11 cent. India names new envoy to Afghanistan: The government on Thursday named Vinay Kumar, Joint Secretary in the External Affairs Ministry, as the new Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan. Kumar, an IFS officer of the 1992 batch, will succeed Manpreet Vohra who has completed three years in the war-torn nation. 38,037 -152.00 BRENT (OIL IN $) $48.38 -0.16 AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 1 MARCH A Delhi court on Thursday allowed custodial interrogation of Karti Chidambaram by the CBI for five days, saying there was a need to unearth the larger conspiracy in the INX Media case and that his presence would serve some significant purpose relating to the agency's probe. The court said Karti's CBI custody was necessary to confront him with documents and co-accused, as well as to probe the role of others involved in the case. The CBI said three mobile phones have been recovered from him which needed to be examined. The agency said Karti has to be confronted with the statement of various witnesses including former RBI governor D Subba Rao, who had then headed a committee which dealt with the FIPB issue of INX Media before the approval was granted. The son of ex-Union Minister P Chidambaram, Karti was produced before the special CBI judge. Both his parents, Chidambaram and Nalini Chidambaram, were present in the courtroom. Special Judge Sunil Rana noted that the case was at an initial stage of investigation, which is a crucial stage, and the CBI claimed that there were prima facie material showing his involvement that required further probe. Karti Chidambaram being produced at a Patiala House court in the AMAN KUMAR Capital on Thursday. "I am of the view that the police custody of accused Karti Chidambaram is necessary to confront the accused with documents, co-accused and to unearth the larger conspiracy and role of other accused persons involved in the case. Hence, it would be appropriate to grant further cus- tody to CBI. Accordingly, accused Karti Chidambaram is remanded to five-day police custody," the judge said. The court directed that Karti be produced before it on 6 March and asked the investigating officer to get him medically examined every 24 hours during custody. Karti was arrested on Wednesday by the CBI at Chennai airport on his return from London in connection with the FIR registered on 15 May 2017 alleging irregularities in Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds worth about Rs 305 crore in 2007 when his father was the Union Finance Minister. The fresh evidence in the case, which led to Karti's arrest, was based on the statement of Indrani Mukerjea, ex-director of INX Media (P) Ltd, who recorded it under section 164 of CrPC before a magistrate on February 17. Karti was brought here yesterday itself and produced before a duty magistrate who had remanded him in one-day custody which expired today. The court gave its ruling on Karti's remand today after highvoltage arguments lasting over three hours during which the probe agency contended that there were "very shocking evidences" of what he has done when he went abroad and alleging "when he went abroad, he closed bank accounts in which funds were received". Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for CBI, maintained that this was "not a case of political vendetta" and the investigation was going on in accordance with Article 21 of the Constitution. AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 1 MARCH The CBI on Thursday questioned Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh's son-inlaw Gurpal Singh in connection with the alleged bank fraud case of Rs 97.85 crore by Simbhaoli Sugars Ltd, officials said. Former chief executive officer G S C Rao has also been quizzedbytheagency,theysaid. The CBI had registered a case against the sugar mill, its chairman Gurmit Singh Mann, the then (in 2015) deputy managing director Gurpal Singh (now director) and others in connection with the alleged bank loan fraud case. Simbhaoli Sugars Ltd is one of the largest sugar mills in the country. Rao, the then CFO Sanjay Tapriya, the then executive director Gursimran Kaur Mann and five non-executive direc- assets under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The attached assets include 15 flats and 17 office premises in Mumbai, a mall in Kolkata, a four-acre farm house in Alibaug and 231-acres of land at locations like Nashik, Nagpur, Panvel and Villupuram in Tamil Nadu. A 170-acre park in Hyderabad's Ranga Reddy district valued at over Rs 500 crore has also been attached, it said. Four flats in Borivali (east) area of the Maharashtra capital and nine others in Kheni Tower in Santacruz (east) have also been attached as part of the action. “The total value of the 41 assets attached today, which are controlled by Choksi, is estimated at Rs 1,217.2 crore,” the ED said. tors were also booked by the agency. The CBI had carried out searches at eight premises including residences of the directors, factory, corporate office and registered office of the company in Delhi, Hapur and Noida. The probe focuses on two loans ~ Rs 97.85 crore which was declared fraud in 2015 and another corporate loan of Rs 110 crore which was used to repay the previous loan. The second loan was declared Non Performing Asset (NPA) on 29 November 2016, about 20 days after scrapping of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes was announced, according to the CBI FIR. The bank was allegedly cheated to the tune of Rs 97.85 crore, but the loss incurred by the bank was Rs 109.08 crore, the FIR stated. The lender, Oriental Bank of Commerce, complained to the CBI on 17 November 2017, but the agency registeredacaseofcriminalconspiracy and cheating under the Prevention of Corruption Act only on 22 February. According to the FIR, OBC sanctioned a loan of Rs 148.60 crore to the company in 2011 for financing 5,762 sugarcane farmers based on a tie-up agreement under an RBI schemeforsupplyingsugarproduce to the company from 25 January 2012 to 13 March 2012.The loan money was“dishonestly and fraudulently diverted by the company for its own needs”, the CBI alleged. The account turned NPA on March 31, 2015 and was declared alleged fraud by the bank to RBI on 13 May 2015 for an amount of Rs 97.85 crore. OBC alleged that in addition to the existing NPA, the bank, under multiple banking arrangements, sanctioned another corporate loan of Rs TURN TO PAGE 5 To tighten noose around fugitives like diamond czar Nirav Modi and liquor baron Vijay Mallya, the Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill that provides for confiscating all assets of absconding fraudsters and loan defaulters to recover dues. The Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also approved setting up of a National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) as an independent regulator for the auditors. The proposed fugitive law aims to impound and sell assets of Nirav Modi-type escapees with a view to quickly recover dues. It also will apply to defaulters who have an outstanding of Rs 100 crore or more and have escaped from the country. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Bill, which will be taken to Parliament for approval in the second half of the Budget session beginning 5 March, defines a fugitive offender as someone against whom a court has issued an arrest warrant for a scheduled offence and who leaves or has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution, or refuses to return to India to face trial. The new law is different from the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, which also provides for confiscation of assets of economic offenders, Jaitley said. Under PMLA, only profit of crime is confiscated and that too upon conviction. The new law extends to all assets irrespective of whether it is acquired as a result of crime or not, he said. “This is triggered by the offender being a fugitive”. “A trial of fugitive will never be complete,” he said, explaining why confiscation of assets has been provided for. The new law will apply “the moment warrant is issued (and) the court decides the man is not submitting,” the FM added. The proposed legislation provides for an application being made before a special court for a declaration that an individual is a fugitive economic offender, attach and confiscate his properties in India and abroad, including benami property, and disposing them off to recover dues. It provides for disentitlement of the fugitive economic offender from defending any civil claim. Cong boycotts Lokpal selection panel meet CBI quizzes Amarinder’s son-in-law in sugar scam ED attaches Choksi’s Rs 1,217crore assets The Enforcement Directorate (ED) Thursday said it has attached 41 properties, valued at over Rs 1,200 crore, in connection with its money laundering probe in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam against Gitanjali Gems and its promoter Mehul Choksi. It also examined PNB's Managing Director and CEO Sunil Mehta at its zonal office in Mumbai today. The ED had early this week examined the state-owned bank's Executive Director K V Brahmaji Rao to understand how the alleged fraud was detected and other banking procedures. It issued a provisional order for attachment of SILVER Cabinet approves Bill to impound fugitives’ assets SNS & PTI WEATHER MUMBAI/NEW DELHI, 1 MARCH -104.00 INX Media case: CBI gets Karti's custody for 5 days NEW DELHI, 1 MARCH PTI P15 P13 This is needed to unearth larger conspiracy, says court after high-voltage arguments Today , Holi, TEMPERATURE NEYMAR GOES UNDER THE KNIFE, MISSES REAL CLASH TUSK ‘ABSOLUTELY SURE’ EU WILL ACCEPT BREXIT DRAFT AGENCIES 110 crore to the company on 28 January 2015 to pay its outstanding loan of Rs 97.85 crore. The bank adjusted the total liability of Rs 112.94 crore towards the company through deposit of the new corporate loan. “The corporate loan, too, turned NPA on 29 November 2016,” the CBI said. Meanwhile, the ED also registered a money laundering case against Simbhaoli Sugars and itsexecutivesinconnectionwith the alleged bank loan fraud under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED also conducted searches inHapurandNoidaonWednesday. “Some documents have been recovered and seized by the sleuths during the raids. Financial details about the company and its officials has also been obtained by the ED from various banks,” an official said. NEW DELHI, 1 MARCH The Congress on Thursday decided to boycott the meeting of the Lokpal selection committee, with leader of the party in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge refusing the governments offer to attend it as a special invitee. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kharge has said that a special invitee invitation is a concerted effort to exclude the voice of the opposition in Lokpal selection. As per the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013, only the leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha is a member of the selection committee and since Kharge does not have that status, he is not a part of the panel. The Government had invited him for Thursday’s meeting of selection committee as a special invitee. "At the outset let me state on behalf of myself, my party and the entire opposition that 'Special Invitee Invitation' is a concerted effort to exclude the independent voice of the opposition altogether from the selection process of the most important anti-corruption watchdog. It negates the letter and spirit of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act 2013 in toto,” Kharge said in his letter to the Prime Minister. The Congress leader has said that this negates the letter and spirit of the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013, and accused the government of adopting this route as a mere paper formality rather than seek any meaningful and constructive participation. Kharge said that if the government is serious about the appointment of the anti-corruption watchdog, it must bring an ordinance in the shape of an amending Bill, which he also sent along with his letter. He alleged that while the Government has brought out amendments in other Acts to replace the Leader of Opposition to the leader of single largest party in opposition, it has not done so in the Lokpal Act. Fight against terror not against any religion: PM STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 1 MARCH Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jordan King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein on Thursday expressed their firm resolve to combat terrorism and radicalisation as their two countries signed a dozen agreements, including one for cooperation in the key area of defence. The fight against terrorism was not against any religion but against a mindset that misguided the youth, PM Modi said as India rolled out a red carpet for the King, who is respected globally for maintaining the stability of Jordan in a volatile region and for promoting inter-faith dialogue and a moderate understanding of Islam. The visiting leader delivered a special address on "Islamic Heritage: Promoting Understanding and Moderation" at a function here where PM Modi also was present. "Today's globalwaragainstterrorisnotafightbetween different religions or people. It is Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Jordanian King AbdulAFP lah II prior to a meeting in New Delhi on Thursday. between moderates of all faiths and communities against extremism, hate and violence," the King said. "What is heard in the news and what is shown about religion is what separates people," he said, adding that around the world suspicions were inflamed by what different groups don't know about others. "Such ideologies of hate distort the word of God ~ to stir up conflicts and justify crimes and terror," he said. The Jordanian King said faith should hold humanity together. "We need to recognise and reject the misinformation groups promote about Islam, or indeed any religion. We need to take back the airwaves and Internet from the voices of hatred, those who have victimised our world not only with bombs and terror but also with ignorance and lies," he said. Inclusion is the path to the co-existence, the King said, stressing the need to build strong, successful countries. Hesaiditwouldbeourstrongestdefence against turmoil and our greatest promise of our future and prosperity, security and peace. The PM said action against terrorism and radicalisation is not against any religion, but aimed at countering a mindset that leads the young to inflict atrocities on innocents. Complete welfare and inclusive development are possible only when Muslim youths have a Quran in one hand and computer in the other, PM Modi said. He underlined India's ancient traditions of peace and tranquility. "Those who attack against humanity probably do not understand that they are ultimately harming the same religion which they claim to stand for. In India, it's our belief that everyone must progress together," the PM said. "Whether it was Lord Buddha 2,500 years ago or Mahatma Gandhi in the last century, the peace and tranquility is spread all over the world by the charm of India. All world religions prosper in India," he said. The global fight against terrorism also figured prominently during the official-level talks between the two leaders, T S Tirumurti, Secretary (Economic Relations) in the External Affairs Ministry told reporters. He said the two leaders observed that terrorism posed a serious threat to both countries and expressed their keenness to intensify security cooperation, especially in cyber security. The King spoke about India’s growing role in global affairs. He also appreciated the PM’s stand-alone visit to Palestine last month. Tirumurti said the defence agreement was aimed at making provisions for cooperation in areas like training, defence industry, counter-terrorism, cyber security, military medical service and peace-keeping. The other pacts are in areas like health, culture, customs and mass communication.
The Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Kolkata in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman Weekly is a compendium of news and views from the Kolkata and Delhi editions. Printed on airmail paper, it is popular with readers outside India. The Statesman (average weekday circulation approximately 180,000) is a leading English newspaper in West Bengal. The Sunday Statesman has a circulation of 230,000.