CMYK TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 08 MAY 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5.00|LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P9 SENSEX 35,208.14 +292.76 WEATHER Sultryweather. Rain/thundershower with gusty wind likely. Max and min temp likely to be around 35 and 28 degree celsius, res RAINFALL: Trace RELATIVE HUMIDITY SOUTH INDIA MAY LOSE ITS VOICE, WARNS NAIDU PUTIN SWORN IN FOR 4TH TERM AS RUSSIA PRESIDENT AMID TENSIONS ISRAEL WARNS OF ELIMINATING ASSAD P10 NIFTY 10,715.50 +97.25 P2 ` vs $ 67.13 -26.00 PAISE GOLD 30,105.00 +115.00 SC shifts Kathua case to Pathankot Max.83% Min. 69% Pathankot court directed to hold in camera, daily trial in rape-murder Max: 34.6°C (-1) SUN RISES 05:00 hrs MOON RISES 00.09 hrs Min: 28.2°C (+2) SUN SETS 18:06 hrs MOON SETS 11:34 hrs STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 7 MAY TEMPERATURE Third quarter of moon today THUMBNAILS Protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 proposal to provide citizenship or stay rights to minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan AFP and Afghanistan in India. In Guwahati. Weather alert: The Delhi government has put search and rescue teams on standby and the traffic police have alerted their field formations to be ready for removal of obstacles after the MeT department on Monday issued a warning of heavy rain and thunderstorm. The traffic police has asked commuters to check weather conditions before travelling while the Delhi Metro too has decided to exercise extreme caution in running of trains. Kashmir shutdown: Normal life came to a standstill in Kashmir on Monday on a call for shutdown by separatists to protest the deaths of five civilians near an encounter site in Shopian district on Sunday. Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), an amalgam of separatist groups, spearheaded by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, called for a complete strike to protest against the deaths of the civilians. n a significant decision, the Supreme Court on Monday vacated the stay on trial of the horrific Kathua gangrape-and-murder case and transferred it outside Jammu and Kashmir to Pathankot in Punjab. A Bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, ordered that the trial be held in camera and be fasttracked and that it be conducted on a day-to-day basis. The apex court also directed that the trial should be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Ranbir Penal Code, which is applicable in Jammu and Kashmir. The Bench asserted that the trial must be fair to the victim's family as well as the accused. It also ordered continuation of security for members of the victim's family, their friends and lawyer, while adding that the security provided to the juvenile accused ~ one of the eight accused, who include a retired government official Sanjhi Ram, the prime accused, and a few police officials ~ will also continue. The Bench, also comprising Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Indu Malhotra, directed the J & K government to provide transport to Pathankot and other facilities for witnesses and the accused besides ensuring translation of statements and records from Urdu to English. The Bench ordered that the Pathankot Dis- I 5-judge Const Bench to hear CJI impeachment issue today SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 7 MAY A five-judge Constitution Bench was today constituted in the Supreme Court to hear tomorrow the petition moved by two Congress MPs challenging the rejection of the impeachment notice against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra by Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu. The list of business for the Supreme Court showed that the petition, which was mentioned today, would be heard tomorrow by a bench comprising Justices A K Sikri, S A Bobde, N V Ramana, Arun Mishra and A K Goel. While Justice Sikri, who will head the bench, is number six Mehbooba welcomes decision in the seniority list, others follow him in the sequence of seniority. It is significant that the matter has not been listed before the judges who are number two to five in the seniority. These judges -- Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Jospeh -- had held the controversial January 12 press conference in which they had virtually revolted against the CJI by raising a litany of allegations against him. Earlier in the day, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who was one of the signatories to the impeachment notice in the Rajya Sabha, had mentioned the matter for urgent listing before a bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar. JAMMU, 7 MAY Deepika Singh Rajawat, the lawyer of Kathua rape case victims, at the SC lawn during a media briefing. SNS trict and Sessions judge will hold the trial, allowing the J & K government to appoint public prosecutor for it. The J & K government would also provide security to the victim's family, their lawyer, witnesses and others. The top court said it would monitor the case, directing that no court will entertain any petition regarding it. It posted the matter for next hearing on 9 July. The victim, an eightyear-old girl, was allegedly abducted, drugged and gangraped inside a temple before being brutally killed by several accused in Kathua in Jammu region in Janu- REAL'S RONALDO WORRY AHEAD OF BIG BATTLE ary, according to the charge sheet filed by the J & K police's Crime Branch, which also stated that the conspiracy for the chilling crime was hatched to terrorise and drive out her nomadic Muslim community from the area. The Kathua incident sparked massive outrage across the country and even abroad. The victim's father had moved the apex court, seeking the transfer of the trial from Kathua to Chandigarh since the incident had led to polarisation with rallies being held in Jammu, involving the ruling BJP's MLAs and even ministers, allegedly in sup- CM Mehbooba Mufti on Monday welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court that rejected the demand for handing over investigation of the rape-murder of a minor girl in Kathua to the CBI and ordered transfer of the case from Kathua to the Pathankot court in Punjab. Soon after the SC’s order came, Mehbooba tweeted; “I welcome today’s decision of the Hon’ble Supreme ourt in the Kathua case. This will go a long way to boost the morale of our @JmuKmrPolice force who in the face of great adversity have left no stone unturned to ensure that the deceased’s famSNS ily gets justice”. port of the accused.The girl's father had also apprehended threat to their family, friends and their lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat. The Crime Branch had even allegedly faced resistance from protesting Kathua lawyers when they had gone to the court. SILVER 39,700.00 +100.00 KOLKATA, 7 MAY Making stinging observations on the state election commission’s (SEC) conduct of the poll process so far, the Division Bench of Justice Biswanath Somaddar and Justice Aniruddha Mukherjee of Calcutta High Court today asked the SEC counsel whether the commission had woken up after the court had given the “wake-up call” last week. The commission has been mired in a controversy with the Opposition accusing it of acting at the behest of the ruling Trinamul Congress which “prevented” thousands of Opposition candidates from filing nominations for the panchayat poll. The state election commissioner AK Singh during the day denied he had received any threats on his life from some state ministers and top Trinamul leaders or his telephones were being tapped as had been alleged yesterday by the BJP national president Rahul Sinha. He said anyone doing so would be brought to book by the commission. But, Mr Sinha insisted Mr Singh’s denial only reinforced his allegations as the commissioner had kept mum throughout yesterday when the allegations were made at a meet-the-Press programme. “The commissioner has opened his mouth only today, 24 hours after Trinamul secretary general Partha Chatterjee told the media yesterday that Mr Singh should deny the allegations.” “I will have to verify the election model code of conduct before taking any actions BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 75.81 +0.94 Singh blastsModi govt for ‘economic mismanagement’ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE BENGALURU, 7 MAY Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today launched a scathing attack on the Narendra Modigovernment for its “economic mismanagement” and falling growth rate and charged it with “peddling conspiracy theories” instead of adopting “prompt corrective actions”. “It pains me to see how, rather than standing up to all the challenges, the Modigovernment’s response has been to stifle dissent each time deficiencies are pointed out. Innovation needs support and an environment where ideas can be discussed and debated without apprehension or inhibitions,” Mr Singh told reporters at the Karnataka Congress headquarters in Bengaluru. “Today, neither are banks lending money nor is the private sector borrowing in order to make new investments. The growth engines of the economy are spluttering. Perhaps, it is here that the mismanagement of the Modi government is most evident,” he said. The former PM said: “The economic mismanagement of the Modi- government, I say this with great care and responsibility, is slowly eroding the trust of the general public in the banking sector. Instead of taking prompt corrective action, the government is busy providing excuses and peddling conspiracy theories.” Raising the issue of rising fuel prices, Mr Singh said the Centre was “punishing the people” by levying “excessive excise taxes”. “Petrol and diesel Siddu files legal notice against PM Former Prime Minister and Congress leader Manmohan Singh addresses a press conference at the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee office in Bangalore on Monday. AFP BENGALURU, 7 MAY prices are at a historic high. This, in spite of lower international crude oil prices, because the Modi-government chooses to levy excessive excise taxes. Instead of passing on the benefits of low prices to the people, the government has decided to punish the people,” he said. On the farmers’ crisis Mr Singh said : “Our farmers are facing an acute crisis and the economy is growing below its potential. Each of these crises was entirely avoidable. Mr Modi forgets to mention that the policies of UPA I & II led to lifting of 140 million people above the poverty line during 2004-2014.” Demonetisation and GST, he added, had “hurt the medium, small and micro enterprises and resulted in the loss of tens and thousands of jobs. True leadership creates opportunities, it does not destroy them”, he said. Referring to the PNB scam Mr Singh said : “It was obvious that in 2015-16 something was going around with the affairs of Nirav Modi. Yet, the Modi government didn’t do anything. The PM was in Davos in the company of Nirav ’’. Chief minister Mr Siddaramiah has sent a legal notice for criminal and civil defamation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP national president Amit Shah, state unit president B S Yeddyurappa, and the party itself for allegedly casting aspersions on his personal, political integrity and honesty. He has threatened to seek damages worth Rs 100 crore unless they issue a public apology. According to the notice,released here today by the Karnataka PCC, Mr Siddaramiah has sought an immediate apology from the three BJP leaders for “jointly and severally committing libel and offences punishable under Sections 499,500,501 and 502 of the IPC. He has also called upon the three leaders to desist from making “such statements forthwith and give an unconditional public apology immediately through electronic ,print and social SNS media. Apex court nullifies law on ex-CMs’ bungalows Arms supply to SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 7 MAY Former Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh cannot retain government accommodation after demitting office, the Supreme Court held today, saying a Chief Minister was at par with a common man once his or her term ends. Observing that a Chief Minister cannot continue to occupy public property like government bungalows which belong to people of the country, a bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi struck down an amendment in a state legislation allowing them to retain government accommodation even after demitting office. The bench said the provision, which was struck down, has the effect of creating a sep- The Supreme Court held that former CMs of UP can’t retain govt bungalows after demitting office arate class of citizens for conferment of benefits by way of distribution of public property on the basis of the previous public office held by them. “Natural resources, public lands and the public goods like government bungalows/ official residence are public property that belongs to the people of the country. The Doctrine of Equality' which emerges from the concepts of justice, fairness must guide the State in the distribution/allocation of the same,” the bench, which also com- prised Justice R Banumathi said. “The CM, once he/she demits the office, is at par with the common citizen, though by virtue of the office held, he/she may be entitled to security and other protocols. But allotment of government bungalow, to be occupied during his/her lifetime, would not be guided by the constitutional principle of equality,” the bench observed. SC was hearing a petition filed by an NGO Lok Prahari challenging the amendments made by the erstwhile Akhilesh Yadav government to the 'UP Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981'. The court, in its 29-page order, said once such persons demit public office held by them, there is nothing to distinguish them from the common man. The apex court also said it was a legislative exercise based on irrelevant and legally unacceptable considerations, unsupported by any constitutional sanctity. “The public office held by them becomes a matter of history and, therefore, cannot form the basis of a reasonable classification to categorise previous holders of public office as a special category of persons entitled to the benefit of special privileges. The test of reasonable classification, therefore, has to fail,” the bench said. The apex court also said in a democratic republican government, public servants, entrusted with duties of public nature, must act in a manner that reflects that the ultimate authority is vested in the citizens. HC raps SEC; poll panel chief denies life threat STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE P11 against the party for making such false allegations,” Mr Singh said. The Division Bench asked the commission to produce by tonight details of complaints it had received from candidates alleging they hadn’t been allowed to file their nominations for the state panchayat election. The commission counsel NC Behani submitted to the court documents on charges given by CPI-M without checking the e-mails received by the com- mission from candidates unable to file nominations. Flaying the commission, the court pointed out : "Did the court ask the commission to perform a Herculean task by asking it to go through and sort out from the list of those who appealed by electronic mode to submit their nomination within stipulated time ? We are going by what your records show and not the appellant claims." The court said if it found that the SEC had not taken into account the court's observations, it would have to consider the poll panel's actions. SEC counsel NC Behani told the court that 340 complaints, some along with the copies of nominations, were received by the commission on the last day of filing papers ~ April 23. Asked by the Division Bench what it had done with the complaints, the commission counsel submitted that it forwarded those to the district magistrates and superintendents of police concerned. Producing the papers of over 800 intending candidates, who were allegedly denied the chance to file nominations by “hooligans” at different government offices in the state, CPI-M's counsel Bikash Bhattacharya alleged that the figures provided by the SEC were not true. CMYK He submitted that when the SEC had allowed nine candidates to file their nominations through WhatsApp, it should also allow others, who were unable to file their papers physically at the designated government offices, to do so through various electronic modes available. The commission counsel opposed the prayer, saying the West Bengal Panchayat Act did not envisage electronic filing. Nominations of nine candidates were accepted pursuant to a specific order of a Single Bench of this court, it was submitted. The BJP national secretary said the only way to know the truth about how the state election commissioner was being treated by the ruling party is to get a secret statement by the commissioner before the court. Maoists: 2 RFI officials held STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 7 MAY Six persons, including two Ishapore Rifle Factory (RFI) officials, were arrested by the Kolkata Police from the Babughat area here for their alleged involvement in smuggling arms to Maoists, the DC STF said today. In a major breakthrough, the Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police today unearthed an arms racket involving employees of the Ishapore Rifle Factory and arrested six persons in connection with supplying arms and ammunition to various terrorist outfits including Maoists. Seven rifles including 4 Insas rifles and ten bullets have been seized from them. “Among the six held, two are residents of Bihar and the rest are from North 24 Parganas. Among them, the two claimed to be the “workshop managers” of the factory suspected to be involved in the armsgate, the DC STF Murli Dhar said. Acting on a “tip-off” and armed with specific “intelligence input” a team of the city police’s STF wing today picked up six persons from Babughat in connection with the alleged supply of arms and ammunition to the suspected terrorist outfits including the Maoists from the North-east. The officer said the STF arrested alleged arms smugglers Ajay Kumar Pandey and Jayasankar Pandey from Bihar's Nalanda district and Umesh Roy and Kartik Shaw of Ichhapur in West Bengal's North-24 Parganas district. The DC STF said after interrogation of Ajay and Jayasankar, STF sleuths arrested RFI junior works managers Sushanta Basu and Sukhda Murmu from their Nawapara residences in North 24 Parganas district. They were arrested late last night for allegedly supplying the revolvers to them, he added. “Based on the information by our source about a possible arms deal in the city, we had laid a trap and arrested four people from the Babughat area last evening,” he said. Preliminary investigation revealed that the arms were smuggled out of the Ishapore Rifle Factory with the help of its two officers, he said. Elaborating on their modus operandi, the DC STF Murli Dhar said the racket was probably active since 2008 and was supplying arms and ammunition to Maoists in Bihar. “They (the arrested) used to smuggle out parts of the arms scrapped by the rifle factory and these smugglers used to mend and sell them to Maoists in Bihar,” he said Sleuths are also probing whether they had supplied arms to insurgent groups in Nepal, the officer said. TURN TO PAGE 2
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