CMYK SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 07 APRIL 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 20 |` 5.00|LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P10 SENSEX 33,626.97 +30.17 Partly cloudy sky with rain or thundershower with gusty winds. Max and min temp will be 33-26 deg celsius, resp RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY TEMPERATURE Max: 33.2°C (-2) SUN RISES 05:23 hrs MOON RISES 23.12 hrs P7 NIFTY 10,331.60 +6.45 Min. 54% Min: 24.6°C (-1) SUN SETS 17:54 hrs MOON SETS 10:22 hrs ` vs $ 64.97 00 PAISE GOLD 29,355.00 -75.00 Third quarter of moon on 11 April THUMBNAILS Soumitra Chatterjee, who has been appointed chief adviser of the committee set up by the West Bengal government to commemorate hundred years of Bengali cinema. US imposes sanctions against Russian oligarchs, govt officials: The US on Friday imposed new sanctions on Russian oligarchs, including President Vladimir Putin's son-in-law, and several entities accused of supporting and profiting from the Russian government's efforts to undermine western democracies. The measures announced by the Treasury Department were also aimed at 17 senior Russian government officials. The stateowned Russian weapons trading company, Rosoboronexport, which has long-standing ties to Syria and its subsidiary, Russian Financial Corporation Bank were also trageted under new santions. The action targets Russian oligarchs including Putin's son-in law. SC reserves order on BJP plea on panchayat polls: The Supreme Court on Friday reserved its order on a BJP's plea seeking that its candidate for the West Bengal panchayat elections be allowed to file their nomination papers and re-scheduling of the election. A bench of Justices R K Agrawal and Abhay Manohar Sapre reserved the order for 9 April as the BJP sought the deployment of paramilitary forces alleging that its candidates were being denied nomination papers by the Block Development Officer and were being targeted by the ruling party workers. The Block Development Officer has been designated Assistant Panchayat Electoral Registration Officer for giving and accepting the nomination papers. India on a medal winning spree: There was no stopping the Indian weightlifting juggernaut with Sanjita Chanu and Deepak Lather adding a gold and bronze to the team's tally, while the shuttlers and boxers continued to be unbeaten on the second day of the 21st Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast on Friday. If Mirabai Chanu was the toast of the nation on Thursday, it was the turn of Sanjita Chanu to hog the limelight on Friday, claiming a gold and a Games' snatch record in the 53kg category. The diminutive Manipuri lifted a total of 192kg (84kg+108kg) to claim the gold and broke down in tears on the podium. Lather became the youngest Indian weightlifter to claim a CWG bronze in the 69kg category. P12 Defence Ministry’s website hacked, Wake-up call: Experts Park jailed for 24 years for graft South Korea's former President Park Geun-hye has been sentenced to 24 years in jail after she was found guilty of corruption. Park, the country's first ever woman leader, was impeached and arrested in March 2017 over a wide-ranging corruption scandal that exposed shady links between big business and politics and prompted massive street protests. She has since largely boycotted her own highprofile, 10-month corruption trial. The spectacular fall from grace of a former conservative icon who cast herself in the role of an incorruptible “Daughter of the Nation” has captivated South Koreans either side of the political divide. For her opponents, Park has become a figure of public fury and ridicule. She stands accused of colluding with her secret confidante and long-time friend Choi Soon-sil in taking tens of millions of dollars from conglomerates in return for policy favours. The case reignited public anger over the cosy and often corrupt ties between top officials and the powerful, family-run conglomerates -- called “chaebol” -- that dominate the world's 11th-largest economy. Choi was tried separately and sentenced to 20 years in prison in February by the same court. Prosecutors demanded a harsh jail AGENCIES sentence. In what could be a threat to national security, the official website of the Defence Ministry was hacked on Friday. Chinese characters appeared on the home page giving rise to suspicion that it has probably been hacked by Chinese hackers. Coming just ahead of the Indian Air Force announcing the start of the largest war games focusing on the dual threat of China and Pakistan, experts said “it is time to strengthen our cyber security system specially of the three wings of the armed forces”. “This is indeed a wake up call for our defence forces considering that future wars will be fought on cyber space. There is need to have a strong firewall system. If the website of a sensitive ministry like Defence can be hacked, than others too face similar threat,” said former Defence Secretary Yogendra Narain. He said China is constantly gauging India's cyber command and it is imperative to protect cyber space since almost all ships, aircraft and other platforms are dependent mostly on cyber commands. The Defence Ministry tweeted to say, "Issue with the MoD website has been taken note of. Appropriate action has been initiated." Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the website will be restored shortly. "Action is initiated after the hacking of MoD website. The website shall be restored shortly. “A wake-up call for our defence forces considering that future wars will be fought on cyber space. A strong firewall system needed’ Needless to say, every possible step required to prevent any such eventuality in the future will be taken," she tweeted. Even as a probe is on to trace the source of these attacks, sources said the National Informatics Centre, which maintains all government websites, has been asked to investigate. Indian government websites have often come under attack from suspected Pakistani hackers. In January, suspected Pakistan-based operatives had hacked the website of National Security Guard (NSG) and defaced it with anti-India content and comments against the Prime Minister. Earlier this year, the government informed the Lok Sabha that over 700 websites linked to the central and state governments were hacked in the past four years. This frequent hacking of Indian websites has been attributed by security experts to lack of adequate security measures in the virtual world. SINGH FINDS NEW KINGDOM AS IPL COMES BACK P3 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 6 APRIL WEATHER Max.90% SALMAN SPENDS ANOTHER NIGHT IN JAIL ‘ERA OF FILM STARS IN TN IS OVER’ TRUMP FOR MORE TARIFFS ON CHINESE GOODS SEOUL, 6 APRIL SILVER 38,100.00 00.00 Blaming each other, PM and Rahul declare their members’ protest fast STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 6 APRIL s both Houses of Parliament were adjourned sine die on Friday, the fierce and no-holds-barred confrontation between the ruling BJP-led NDA and the Congress-led Opposition ~ which ensured a virtual washout of the Budget Session ~ has now spilled onto the streets, with both camps announcing agitation programmes in coming days while blaming each other for the Parliament gridlock during this entire Session. Their conflict is expected to intensify and turn more bitter and hostile, given that this is an election year in several major states leading up to the general elections next year. Charging the Congress with taking parliamentary proceedings to a "new low" with its conduct, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today declared a fast by BJP MPs in their respective constituencies on 12 April to protest against the logjam allegedly caused by the Opposition party in Parliament. Addressing the party MPs on the BJP's foundation day, Modi trained his guns on the Congress, asking his party Ministers and parliamentarians to reach out to villages with substantial Dalit and tribal population to propagate the implementation of his government's seven key welfare schemes. A Prime Minister Modi interacts with BJP leader L.K. Advani as Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh looks on during BJP Parliamentary Party meeting in Delhi on Friday. SNS Briefing media persons on the BJP Parliamentary Party meeting, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar reportedly quoted the PM as saying that while the BJP's strength has been rising, the Opposition, especially the Congress, has resorted to "divisive and negative" politics. PM Modi charged the Congress with paralysing Parliament during the Budget Session, alleging the latter was "throttling" democracy and "abusing" people's mandate. He asked his party MPs to "expose" Opposition parties who were resorting to disrupting Parliament, he charged, after being left with no issues against his "inclusive" government. The PM also stressed on the need for all BJP MPs to organise events to mark the birth anniversary of Bhimrao Ambedkar, a Dalit icon, on 14 April. He made this pitch at a time when the Irani refuses comment KOLKATA, 6 APRIL Police action on BJP activists (not in pic) during filing of nomination for rural poll at Nalhati on Friday. RAJA BHAKAT Union information and broadcasting minister Smriti Irani today said the media has incomplete knowledge regarding the controversial PIB circular calling for punitive action for disseminating fake news. Irani came to Kolkata to participate in the foundation day programme of the BJP Addressing a Press . conference at the saffron brigade's state headquarters she said the government related matter should not be discussed in a political platform. “I won't comment on a government policy matter in political briefing,” she said. Irani's recent move to stop fake news triggered SNS a controversy. Plea against Pranab’s book: Judge recuses herself NEW DELHI, 6 APRIL A Delhi High Court judge today recused herself from hearing a suit seeking deletion of some references to the 1992 demolition of the Babari Masjid in Ayodhya from former President Pranab Mukherjee's 2016 book on the ground that they have hurt Hindu sentiments. Without citing any reason, Justice Pratibha M Singh in an order said “subject to the orders of the acting Chief Justice, list this matter before another bench.” A group of lawyers and a social worker had moved the plea against the book 'Turbulent Years 1980-1996'. Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, appearing for the plaintiffs, told reporters that “at 3:15 p.m., the judge had called him in her chamber and said that she is recusing herself from the matter without assigning any reason.” The matter, which was initially set to be heard on July 30, is now going to be placed before another bench on April 9. The judge, who had heard the matter during the first half of the day and orally issued notice to Mukherjee, passed a written order few hours later recusing herself. The court in September last year had called for the trial court records of the suit after the plaintiffs moved an appeal against a lower court order of November 30, 2016 rejecting their plea to delete certain portions of the book of the then President. The plaintiffs' advocates had claimed before the trial court that a civil suit can be filed against the President during his tenure in respect of any act done by him in his “personal capacity”. The President's counsel had opposed the plea before the trial court, asserting that it was not maintainable. Apex court’s no to immediate reference of Ayodhya case to larger bench PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 6 APRIL The Supreme Court today did not agree to the fervent plea of an original litigant that the Ayodhya land dispute should be immediately referred to a larger bench as the issue was far more important than that of polygamy among Muslims, for which a constitution bench was constituted. A special bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, made it clear to senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, repre- CMYK BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 68.01 -0.32 BJP-Congress battle spills on to streets POWER FLOWS FROM... PRESS TRUST OF INDIA P11 senting M Siddiq, that it will decide whether to send the matter to the larger bench only after hearing all parties to the litigation. Siddiq, now deceased, is one of the original litigants in the Babari Masjid-Ram Temple land dispute. “You (CJI) sent pleas to strike down polygamy immediately to the Constitution Bench, but you are reluctant to send the Babari Masjid case to the Constitution Bench. Is polygamy more important than the right of Muslims to worship in a mosque,” Dhavan posed before the bench which also comprised Justices Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer. Former Attorney General and senior advocate K Parasaran, appearing for a Hindu group, opposed the plea and said it was the prerogative of the apex court to decide on which bench would hear the case. Parasaran referred to the decision of the apex court that a five-judge bench would hear the petitions against the National Judicial Appointment Commission (NJAC). Congress and other Opposition parties have accused the BJP and his government of being allegedly "anti-Dalits and anti-tribals". Hitting back at the PM over his recent comment that no government had honoured Ambedkar as much as his government has done, Congress president Rahul Gandhi alleged that the "oppressive BJP/RSS ideology" PM Modi belonged to "could never respect Dalits and Ambedkar". In his Twitter post, Gandhi also cited "some examples of RSS/BJP ideology respecting Babasaheb (Ambedkar)" sarcastically, tagging a collage of pictures of alleged desecration of Ambedkar's statues in BJPruled states ~ including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand ~ as well as the AIADMK-ruled Tamil Nadu. Meanwhile, signalling the upcoming bitter polit- ical battle, a slew of Union Ministers and BJP/NDA MPs, carrying placards, staged a demonstration outside Parliament in front of Mahatma Gandhi statue to protest against the Congress for the continued disruption of Parliament during the Budget Session. Leading the demonstration, Ananth Kumar squarely blamed the Congress for the washout of the second half of the Session that began on 5 March. The protesting Ministers included J P Nadda, Uma Bharti, Biredra Singh, Jitendra Singh, Maneka Gandhi, Ram Vilas Paswan, S S Ahluwalia, and Vijay Goel. Launching a counteroffensive, the Congress announced that Rahul Gandhi has directed party leaders and workers to hold a fast in all states and district headquarters across the country on 9 April to "expose the BJP's politics of hate and divisions and its lies on various issues" and to "promote peace, fraternity and harmony" in society. The Congress's Lok Sabha leader Mallikarjun Kharge slammed the Modi government for "orchestrating continued disruptions" through "friendly parties" in Parliament in a bid to "thwart" the noconfidence motion moved by the Opposition parties daily. A group of Congress MPs were also said to have today protested against the government near the Mahatma statue in the Parliament premises. Bhushan files PIL seeking clarification on CJI’s power PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 6 APRIL Senior advocate and former law minister Shanti Bhushan today filed a PIL in the Supreme Court for clarification on the administrative authority of the chief justice of India (CJI) as the 'master of roster' and seeking laying down of principles and procedures to be followed in preparing the roster for allocation of cases to benches. He filed the PIL through his advocate and son Prashant Bhushan, who also wrote a letter to the apex court's secretary general stating that the matter should not be listed before a bench that includes CJI Dipak Misra.The letter also said that it would be appropriate that the plea be listed before three seniormost judges of the top court for allocating it before an appropriate bench. In the petition, the CJI has been named as one of the respondents along with the registrar of the top court. Shanti Bhushan stated the “master of roster” cannot have unguided and unbridled discretionary powers, exercised arbitrarily by the CJI by handpicking benches of select judges. The PIL said the CJI's authority as the master of roster is “not an absolute, arbitrary, singular power that is vested in CJI alone and which may be exercised with his sole discretion” and such an authority should be exercised by him in consultation with senior judges. This petition assumes significance as on January 12 four senior- PIL assumes significance as on 12 January 4 SC judges had called a press conference and said the situation in the SC was not in order most judges of the Supreme Court had called an unprecedented press conference and had said that the situation in the top court was “not in order” and many “less than desirable” things had taken place. They had also raised the issue of allocation of important and sensitive PILs before “junior judges” of the apex court. Bhushan sought a direction prohibiting the CJI and the registrar from listing any matter contrary to the Supreme Court Rules, 2013 and Handbook on Practice and Procedure and Office Procedure or picking and choosing benches for the purpose of listing contrary thereto, with the modification of replacing CJI with the collegium of five senior-most judges. The petition also sought a direction that any consultation on listing of matters by the Supreme Court Registry with the CJI must include consultation with such number of senior-most judges as the court may fix.
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