CMYK WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 06 JUNE 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 34,903.21 -108.68 WEATHER Humid weather. Rain or thundershowers likely in some areas. Temperature will be in the range of 35-28 degrees Celsius RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.89% Max: 34.7°C (N) SUN RISES 04:39 hrs MOON RISES 23.27 hrs P4 NIFTY 10,593.15 -35.35 Min: 28.6°C (+2) SUN SETS 18:22 hrs MOON SETS 11:00 hrs ` vs $ 67.15 -04 PAISE GOLD 29,590.00 -40.00 Moon phase: Third quarter on 7 June THUMBNAILS United Nations environment chief Erik Solheim gestures as he speaks during a plenary session on the occasion of the 'World Environment day' in New Delhi on Tuesday. AFP Mamata drops three ministers: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has dropped three ministers from her cabinet and asked them to concentrate on the Trinamul Congress' organisational works ahead of next year's Lok Sabha polls. Those removed from the cabinet are -- Backward Class Welfare Minister Churamani Mahato, Tribal Development Minister James Kujur and Abani Joardar, who did not hold a portfolio. A ministerial reshuffle is expected soon. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 5 JUNE A out against him, claiming that the prosecution's case was “absurd and preposterous”. “We shall be asking for a copy of the charge sheet and the documents relied upon by the prosecution. After going through them, we shall decide our further course of action. Dr Tharoor will take all legal remedies available to him in law," he said. In a statement he issued later, Tharoor too rejected the charges against him in connection with his wife's death as “preposterous and baseless”, calling them the "product of a malicious and vindictive campaign" against him that he will "vigorously" contest. He said he maintained his "steadfast conviction that ultimately the truth will prevail through the judicial system". The Congress leader said from the very start, he has "fully cooperated" with the investigating team and "continue to maintain that due legal process must be followed in all aspects related to this case". Pointing out that the matter is sub-judice, Tharoor refrained from commenting any further, urging the media to "respect my right to privacy as well as that of my family". On 28 May, Delhi Police had told the court that in an email sent to Tharoor nine days before her death, Sunanda had expressed her desire to die. Delhi Police also claimed before the court that Sunanda's mails and messages in social media before her "suicide" have been taken as her "dying declaration". More than four years after Sunanda was found dead in a five-star hotel in the national capital, Delhi Police had on 14 May 2018 charged Tharoor with allegedly abetting her "suicide", telling a local court that he should be sum- PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 5 JUNE The Supreme Court today gave the go-ahead to the Centre for providing reservation in promotion in government jobs for employees belonging to the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) category in “accordance with law”. In a relief to the Centre, the apex court gave the order after taking into account the government's submissions that the entire promotion process has come to a “standstill” due to the orders passed by various high courts and also direction by the apex court for “status quo” in a similar matter in 2015. A vacation bench comprising Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Ashok Bhushan said the Centre was not “debarred” from making promotions in accordance with law in the matter subject to further orders. “It is made clear that the Union of India is not debarred from making promotions in accordance with law, subject to further orders, pending further consideration of the matter,” it said. Union minister and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) president Ram Vilas Paswan welcomed the court order, saying it will re-open the doors to the members of the SC and ST com- ‘China, India have far more consensus than differences’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA PRETORIA, 5 JUNE China and India have extensive common interests and they have far more consensus than differences, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj as they met here on the sidelines of the BRICS Ministerial Conference. Swaraj and Wang attended the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Foreign Ministers' meeting yesterday. During their meeting, the two leaders discussed ways to maintain the momentum in bilateral and multilateral cooperation. The meeting took place more than a month after an informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan. China and India have extensive common interests, and they have far more consensus than differences, Wang was quoted as saying by Chinese news agency Xinhua. China and India working together will accelerate the common development of the two countries, benefit the entire world, and contribute to the progress of human civilisation, Wang, who is also the Chinese State Councilor, said. The two sides should take bilateral relations and people's fundamental interests as a starting point at all times, properly handle problems and differences, and prevent the interests of one party from affecting the overall interest, he said. China and India should earnestly safeguard peace and tranquillity in the border areas in accordance with the consensus reached by their leaders and avoid taking actions that might complicate and aggravate the situation, Wang said. munities for promotion in government jobs. “I thank the Supreme Court for its verdict on reservation in promotion to the SC/ST employees in government jobs. The doors that were closed will now re-open,” the Dalit leader said. The government said there were separate verdicts by the high courts of Delhi, Bombay and Punjab and Haryana on the issue of reservation in promotion to SC/ST employees and the apex court had also passed different orders on appeals filed against those judgements. “We will say you (Centre) can go ahead with promotion in accordance with law,” the bench told Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Maninder Singh, representing the Centre. During the hearing, the ASG cited the case laws on the issue of quota in promotion in government jobs and stated that the apex court's 2006 judgement in M Nagaraj case would be applicable. The M Nagaraj verdict had said that creamy layer concept cannot be applied to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for promotions in government jobs like two earlier verdicts of 1992 Indra Sawhney and others versus Union of India (popularly called Mandal Commission verdict) and 2005 E V Chinnaiah versus State of Andhra Pradesh, which dealt with creamy layer in Other Backward Classes category. Singh said the petition before the bench was the Centre's challenge to the Delhi High Court's August 23 last year verdict quashing government's order extending reservation in promotion to employees belonging to the Sched- NEW DELHI, 5 JUNE SHASHI THAROOR CONGRESS MP moned as an accused in the case as there was "sufficient evidence to proceed against him". In the nearly 3,000-page charge sheet in Sunanda's mysterious death, Delhi Police named Tharoor as the only accused, concluding that it was a case of suicide. It is another matter that an FIR was registered by Delhi Police on 1 January 2015 against unknown persons under Section 302 (murder) of the IPC in this case. Sunanda was found dead in a suite in a south Delhi hotel on the night of 17 January 2014. The police charge sheet, which has several annexures, noted that Sunanda died within four years of her marriage. The couple had married in August 2010. uled Castes and Scheduled Tribes beyond five years from November 16, 1992. At the outset, the ASG referred to orders passed by the apex court earlier, including a reference made to a five-judge constitution bench, and contended that one of the orders says there would be “status quo” as far as reservation in promotion to SC/SC employees was concerned. He referred to a May 17 order passed by a bench headed by Justice Kurian Joseph in a similar matter in which it was said that pendency of petition before it shall not stand in the way of the Centre taking steps for the purpose of promotion. “How is the promotion taking place as of now?,” the bench asked. Responding to the query, the ASG said, “They are not. It is all standstill. This is the problem”. Amit Shah reaches out to NDA allies, to meet Badal, Thackeray PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI/MUMBAI, 5 JUNE Reaching out to NDA allies ahead of the 2019 general elections, BJP chief Amit Shah will meet Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai tomorrow and Shiromani Akali Dal supremo Parkash Singh Badal in Chandigarh the following day, party leaders said today. On June 3, Shah met LJP chief and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who raised the issue of special status for Bihar. The series of meetings are being seen as an attempt by the BJP to reach out to allies who have either been criticising or expressing their dissent against the party and also to strengthen the National Democratic Alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha polls next year. “Amit Shah sought time to meet Uddhavji. Accordingly, an appointment for tomorrow evening has been given to him,” Sena MP Sanjay Raut told PTI in Mumbai. However, he questioned the need for Shah to meet Thackeray after a gap of four years. Shah, who will meet Thackeray at his Mumbai residence tomorrow, will travel to Chandigarh the day after that to call on Badal and his son, Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal, a BJP leader said. While the BJP president travels to Mumbai and Chandigarh, he has also instructed that a “mahabhoj” (grand dinner) be held for all NDA allies on June 7 in the Bihar capital Patna. It will be attended by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi and Union ministers Paswan and Upendra Kushwaha. The BJP general secretary and the party's Bihar incharge Bhupendra Yadav, state party BJP president Nityanand Rai and another NDA ally Arun Kumar will also attend the event, a party leader said. Invitations have been extended to all NDA MLAs, MLCs and MPs from Bihar for the dinner. The outreach programme is aimed at reinforcing the unity of NDA at a time the entire opposition is trying to come together to stitch an alliance for the 2019 elections. CMYK SILVER 39,600.00 -100.00 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA I would like to reiterate my position that I find the charges preposterous and baseless, the product of a malicious and vindictive campaign against myself. I will continue to vigorously contest these charges and maintain steadfast conviction that ultimately the truth will prevail through the judicial system that we are privileged to have in our country SC clears hurdles to reservation in promotions P11 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 74.10 -1.19 No unprovoked attack shall go unanswered: Sitharaman Court summons Tharoor as accused Delhi court on Tuesday summoned Congress MP Shashi Tharoor as an accused in connection with his wife Sunanda Pushkar's death, asking him to appear before it on 7 July. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal took cognisance of the offences of abetment of Sunanda's "suicide" and cruelty towards her against Tharoor, which have been brought against him by Delhi Police under Section 306 (abetment of suicide) and Section 498 A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) of the Indian Penal Code. “I have heard the prosecutor. I have gone through and perused the charge sheet and the documents filed along with it. On the basis of police report (charge sheet), I take cognisance of offence of abetment of suicide of late Sunanda Pushkar and committing cruelty upon her by Dr Shashi Tharoor,” the judge said. “There exists sufficient grounds to proceed against Tharoor for commission of offences of Section 306 and 498 A of IPC. Issue summons to him for appearance for July 7,” the court added. Tharoor's lawyer Vikas Pahwa told media persons that "no offence" was made TIME FOR BUTTLER TO REAP THE WHIRLWIND P10 Cong MP told to appear before court on 7 July in Sunanda Pushkar case Min. 56% TEMPERATURE BRITISH VOTERS ARE TURNING AGAINST BREXIT, POLL SHOWS MODI PROMISES HOUSING FOR ALL BY 2020 IRAN FOR URANIUM ENRICHMENT CAPACITY BOOST Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said the Army will continue to respect the ongoing Ramadan ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir but asserted that no unprovoked attack from across the border will go unanswered as the forces have been given the right to hit back. Sitharaman, addressing a press conference on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the NDA government, said the Army was given the right to adequately respond to any cross border attacks or unprovoked firing. Notwithstanding India's announcement of a Ramadan ceasefire and talks between the Director General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of the two countries, there have been incidents of cross border firing along the Line of Control and International Border in Jammu and Kashmir and nearly a dozen grenade attacks by militants within a week in the Valley. “It is our duty to keep our borders safe.We shall be alert and ensure that no unprovoked attacks go without us responding. It is the duty of the defence ministry and the forces to keep India safe,” Sitharaman said. She was responding to questions on the firing along the IndoPak border despite the two sides agreeing for a truce. Sitharaman said the Army was taken on board before the Home Ministry India to go ahead with S-400 deal with Russia NEW DELHI, 5 JUNE India has very clearly conveyed to the US that the “time-tested” Indo-Russian cooperation in the defence sector will continue, including the deal for S-400Triumf air defence missile systems for the IAF, notwithstanding the American sanctions against Moscow. Sources said India wants its defence transactions with Russia to be insulated from the purview of stringent American law CAATSA and is likely to raise the issue with the US when the two sides meet in Washington for the 2+2 talks next month. “In all our engagements with the US, we have clearly explained how India and Russia's defence cooperation has been announced the ceasefire in the troubled state. “We honour the ceasefire. We have been given room to hit back when there is unprovoked attack. The Defence ministry's role is not to assess whether ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir has been successful or not,” she said in response to another question. The government had announced suspension of operations against militants during Ramadan, which started from May 17. Chidambaram appears before ED, grilled for 6 hours PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 5 JUNE Former Union minister P Chidambaram was today questioned in the AircelMaxis case for the first time by the Enforcement Directorate, a department which was under him during his tenure in the finance ministry. The senior Congress leader, who was considered one of the most powerful ministers in the previous UPA government, was questioned by the agency for over six hours. The agency recorded his statement under the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) with some specific queries on the circumstances and procedures adopted by the now-defunct Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) while giving approval to the AircelMaxis deal during his tenure. Chidambaram's son Karti has already been questioned by the ED twice in this case. Soon after leaving the ED office, Chidambaram tweeted to say that all the answers he gave to the probe agency were already recorded in government documents. Chidambaram arrived at the agency's headquarters annexe office here around 10:58 am accompanied by a lawyer, even as a strong contingent of police and CRPF personnel set up a security cordon at the office. The question session lasted till around 7.00 p.m. with a twohour break for lunch. It is expected that the agency may call him again. The ED had issued a fresh summons to him yesterday to appear before the investigating officer of the case. Chidambaram, also a former home minister, had last week approached the court of special judge O P Saini seeking relief from arrest by the ED in the case. The same court today directed the ED not to take any coercive action or arrest him till 10 July in connection with the case. The ED had first asked him to appear before it on May 30 and on the same day, Chidambaram knocked on the court's door. The Aircel-Maxis cases pertains to grant of Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to firm M/S Global Communication Holding Services Ltd in 2006 for investment in Aircel. The Supreme Court had on March 12 directed investigating agencies ~ the CBI and the ED ~ to complete their probe into the 2G spectrum allocation cases, including the Aircel Maxis alleged money laundering case, in six months. The agency had said that the FIPB approval in the Aircel-Maxis FDI case was granted in March 2006 by Chidambaram even though he was competent to accord approval on project proposals only up to Rs 600 crore and beyond that it required the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). “In the instant case, the approval for FDI of USD 800 million (over Rs 3,500 crore) was sought. Hence, the CCEA was competent to grant the approval. However, the approval was not obtained from the CCEA,” the ED had alleged. The agency said its probe revealed that the case of the said FDI was “wrongly projected as an investment of Rs 180 crore so that it need not be sent to the CCEA to avoid a detailed scrutiny”. going on for a long time and that it is a time-tested relationship. We have mentioned that CAATSA cannot impact the IndiaRussia defence cooperation,” defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. She said the defence the cooperation between India and Russia will continue. In January, the US announced sanctions against Russia under its Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for Moscow's alleged meddling in the US presidential election. PTI On the possibility of engaging Pakistan in dialogue, Sitharaman reiterated external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj's comments that talks and terror cannot go hand-in-hand. The LoC has been witnessing increasing hostilities in the last few months. A total of 908 incidents of ceasefire violations by Pakistan Army were reported till last week in the current year as against 860 incidents during 2017, defence sources in New Delhi said. Senior IAF officer killed in jet crash AHMEDABAD, 5 JUNE A very senior officer of the Indian Air Force (IAF) was killed this morning as the Jaguar fighter aircraft he was flying crashed at a village in Kutch district of Gujarat. Air Commodore Sanjai Chauhan is the senior-most IAF officer to have died in a flying accident so far. The Jaguar plane had taken off from Jamnagar Air Force base, of which Air Commodore Chauhan was the Commanding Officer, on a routine sortie and crashed in Barej village in Mundra taluka at around 10.30 a.m. About a dozen cattle grazing in the fields nearby were killed as the debris of the crashed aircraft flew all over the place. The debris of the aircraft were strewn all over, local sources said. Chauhan, commissioned in the fighter stream of the IAF in December 1989, was a Qualified Flying Instructor and Experimental Test Pilot with over 3,800 hours of service flying, officials said. Chauhan, who was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal, had held several important posts such as the Commanding Officer of the Test Pilots' School. He also commanded a fighter squadron of the IAF, an official said. “He was an ace fighter pilot with a vast flying experience and had flown 17 types of aircraft of the IAF including Jaguar, Mig-21, Hunter, HPT32, Iskara, Kiran, Avro-748, AN-32 and Boeing 737,” he said. Chauhan also had the unique experience of flying modern foreign fighter jets such as Rafale, Gripen and Euro Fighter as the leader of evaluation for the Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft selection, the officials said. Defence spokesman Lt Col Manish Ojha said that a Court of Inquiry (CoI) has been ordered to investigate the cause of the crash. SNS
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