CMYK THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 5 JULY 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 35,645.40 +266.80 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. One or two spells of rain/thundershower likely. Max-min temperature 32-26 degree celsius, resp RAINFALL: 8.9 mm upto 8.30 p.m. RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.93% Min. 71% Max: 32.2°C (-1) SUN RISES 04:57 hrs MOON RISES 23.17 hrs Min: 27.3°C (+1) SUN SETS 18:25 hrs MOON SETS 10:44 hrs TEMPERATURE First quarter of moon on 10 July THUMBNAILS Sonali Bendre diagnosed with cancer: Bollywood actor Sonali Bendre Behl on Wednesday revealed she has been diagnosed with “high grade” cancer and is currently undergoing treatment in New York. The 43-year-old actor called the diagnosis a “curveball” but said her family and close friends have rallied around her and they remain “optimistic” in this difficult time. “Sometimes, when you least expect it, life throws you a curveball. I have recently been diagnosed with a high grade cancer that has metastised, which we frankly did not see coming. “My family and close friends have rallied around me, providing the best support system that anyone can ask for’’, Sonali said. Amarnath Yatra suspended, death toll 11: The Amarnath Yatra in south Kashmir Himalayas was suspended on Wednesday from both Pahalgam and Baltal routes due to landslides even as the death toll during this year's yatra rose to 11 , an official spokesperson said. “The yatra via both Baltal as well as Pahalgam routes remained suspended because of landslides and shooting stones between Railpathri and Brarimarg and continuous rains in the yatra area,” he said. He said, however, limited helicopter services functioned from both the routes. Meanwhile, the death toll during this year's yatra reached 11 as a woman pilgrim died in stone-throwing. Lucknow University teachers attacked, varsity closed: Lucknow University was closed on Wednesday till further orders after a group of students protesting over admission to the new academic session attacked teachers, injuring over a dozen of them, officials said. LU vice chancellor S P Singh said the youths claimed they were from the Samajwadi Party. “Over a dozen teachers were injured in the incident. I might have also been attacked by them but my colleagues saved me and I reached my office, he told reporters. All those involved in the incident were not LU students, and were anti-social elements and outsiders P5 claiming to be SP workers,” he said. LEFT TURN IN MEXICO ARE US SANCTIONS NOW A ROGUE PROCESS? MERKEL WARNS TRUMP OVER TRADE WAR P7 NIFTY 10,769.90 +70.00 A MATCH-WINNER COUNTED ON TO SCRIPT A TRIUMPH P6 ` vs $ 68.74 -17 PAISE GOLD 29,450.00 +215.00 P12 SILVER 39,600.00 +200.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 78.02 +0.26 After SC order, Apex court defines limits Delhi govt gives of Delhi LG’s power powers to CM In victory for AAP, Supreme Court rules real power vests in elected government PRESS TRUST OF INDIA SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 4 JULY NEW DELHI, 4 JULY The Delhi government today introduced a new system for transfers and postings of bureaucrats, making Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as the approving authority, hours after the Supreme Court verdict on its long-running fight with the L-G on administrative and other powers. So far, the Lieutenant Governor has been the approving authority for transfers and postings of the IAS and DANICS (Delhi, Anadaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Services) officers. However, a top official said the bureaucrats have “clearly” conveyed to the deputy chief minister that the new order will not be followed as they found it to be “legally incorrect”. A senior official, who did not want to be named, said the services matter is still pending before the regular bench of the Supreme Court and hence, political executive should wait for the order. Other senior bureaucrats working with the Delhi government also claimed that 'services matter' still lies with the office of Lt Governor because Delhi is a Union territory, and services matter does not fall under the concurrent and state lists. Another officer claimed that the apex court, in its today's order, has not set aside the May, 2015 notification of the Ministry of Home Affairs, according to which services matter lies iving a major shot in the arm to the Arvind Kejriwal government, which has been locked in a bitter power tussle with the Lieutenant Governor (LG) in Delhi right from the beginning, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that the LG has no independent decision-making power and is essentially bound by the aid and advice of the elected Delhi government. The landmark judgment by a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra laid down broad parameters for the governance of the national capital, which has been witnessing an unrelenting conflict and power struggle between the Centre and the Delhi government since the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) formed its government in February 2015. The apex court stipulated clear guidelines for the LG's conduct, defining the limits of his powers in Delhi ~ which does not have the status of a full state but elects its own MLAs and government. It said the Delhi LG is an "Administrator in a limited sense". It asserted that barring three issues ~ public order, police and land ~ the Delhi government has the power to legislate and govern on other issues. The top court made it clear that the real powers for Delhi's governance are vested in the elected rep- G with the L-G. As per an order issued by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Delhi Administrative Subordinate Services (DASS) GradeI, II, principal secretary and private secretary will come under the Deputy CM, who will be responsible for their transfer and posting. The minister-in-charge will have a say in transfer and posting of other officials such as stenos. Addressing a press conference here, Sisodia said the Central government and lieutenant governor had “misinterpreted” rules by adding services matter in “reserved subjects” and they should “apologise” for this. Sisodia said the Delhi government doesn't need to get its decision approved by the L-G. PTI adds from Puducherry: CM V Narayanasamy today said the Supreme Court judgment curtailing the powers of the Delhi LG was “totally applicable” to Puducherry as well and threatened contempt proceedings if it was not followed in the Union territory. “I myself would file contempt petition against those failing to act in consonance with the SC verdict,” he said, without naming LG Bedi. Aam Aadmi Party members Rahul Mehra, Nagendra Sharma with advocates celebrate the verdict of the Supreme Court on the power tussle between the Delhi government and the LG. Outside the Supreme Court in the Capital on Wednesday. SNS resentatives and government. It ruled that in case of difference of opinion with the Council of Ministers, the LG has to refer the matter to the President for a binding decision. It however said the provision that the LG can refer "any matter" under Article 239 to the President does not mean "every matter". It asserted that the decisions of the Council of Ministers have to be communicated to the LG but that does not mean that the Cabinet requires his concurrence. “The LG has not been entrusted with any independent decisionmaking power. He has to either act on the 'aid and advice' of the Council of Ministers or he is bound to implement the decision taken by the President on a reference being made by him,” CJI Misra, who wrote the 237-page lead verdict for himself and on behalf of Justices A K Sikri and A Inter-faith couple’s passports cleared, ‘officer exceeded brief’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI/LUCKNOW, 4 JUL An internal government probe has found that a Lucknow passport officer and the police exceeded their brief, asking irrelevant questions from an interfaith couple whose travel documents have now been approved, officials said. “The passports of Tanvi Seth and Anas Siddiqui have been cleared, Regional Passport Officer (RPO) Piyush Verma told PTI in Lucknow today. The probe found that department official Vikas Mishra was wrong in asking the couple questions about their religion when they visited his office with their passport applications, sources said today. They said the police in Uttar Pradesh were also wrong in seeking details about their residence while conducting the verification process required for issuing a passport. The couple had alleged harassment by a passport officer, saying they were targeted because of their interfaith marriage. RPO Piyush Verma said there was no adverse report from the police after the verification of the couple under the Ministry of External Affairs guidelines. He said under the new Ministry of External Affairs rules which came into force in June, the police report only on six points related to criminal antecedents and citizenship. In an attempt to ease the police verification process, the MEA had reduced the number of questions applicants have to answer from nine to six, restricting the focus on any criminal antecedents, he said. The controversy arose on June 20 when Tanvi Seth and Mohammad Anas Siddiqui, who have been married for 12 years, wrote on Twitter that they were humiliated at the passport office in Lucknow. They had alleged that official Vikas Mishra asked Siddiqui to convert to Hinduism and pulled up Seth for marrying a Muslim. On June 21, the RPO transferred Mishra to Gorakhpur and issued passports to the couple. The couple had tagged External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and following the official's transfer the minister was trolled on Twitter, which sparked a controversy. M Khanwilkar, stated. Their verdict however highlighted that Delhi cannot be accorded the status of a state under the current constitutional scheme. “It is clear as noon day that by no stretch of imagination, NCT of Delhi can be accorded the status of a state under our present constitutional scheme,” the verdict said. “The status of NCT of Delhi is sui generis, a class apart, and the status of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi is not that of a Governor of a state, rather he remains an Administrator, in a limited sense, working with the designation of LG,” the Bench said. Observing that the Constitution was “constructive”, it also said “there is no room for absolutism. There is no space for anarchy". The verdict answered contentious issues involving interpretation of Article 239 AA of the Consti- tution dealing with the status of Delhi, which would now be considered by a smaller bench of two or three judges to adjudicate specific matters on which there has been a tug of war between the AAP-led Delhi government and the BJP-ruled Centre along with its representative, the LG. The Bench, which expressed its opinion on the constitutional provisions referred to it by a smaller bench, said now the batch of appeals arising out of the 4 August 2016 verdict of Delhi High Court in which it was held that the LG was Delhi's administrative head, would come up before an “appropriate regular bench”. It held that though the LG was not a "titular head”, he should not emerge as an “adversary having a hostile attitude” towards the government but act as a facilitator. The differences of opinion between them MSP of various crops hiked STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 4 JULY Less than a year before the general election in 2019, the Union government on Wednesday approved a steep increase in the minimum support price (MSP) of all Kharif crops for the 2018-19 seasons, with special emphasis on less water consuming nutri-cereal crop. The total increase in the MSP which is more than , 50 % of the cost of production, would cost the exchequer more than Rs 15,000 crore, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said while announcing the new MSP price list. The decision was taken by the Cabinet Commit- tee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The new initiative is in line with the Modi government's promise in the 2018-19 budget, in which Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that the government would fix MSP for all crops at least 150 % the cost of production. The step is going to be a major boost for farmers’ income in the country. “The CCEA decision is a historic one ...The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) has already recommended MSPs for all kharif crops broadly in line with the announced principle,” said a senior official of the Agriculture Ministry. WhatsApp accountable for fake messages: Govt PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 4 JULY The government today termed as “unacceptable” any misuse of WhatsApp to spread fake messages designed to “provoke” and “instigate” people and said finding technological solutions to detect such content cannot be “rocket science” for digital giants who reap benefits from the Indian market. A day after the government shot off a notice to WhatsApp over a spate of lynching incidents purportedly triggered by provocative messages circulating on the platform, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today made it clear that WhatsApp - being the creator of the messaging platform - cannot absolve itself of its responsibility and accountability. “WhatsApp needs to recognise that India offers a huge market for them and they are making good money out of Indian operations. So they must focus on security aspect in India in particular, and if it requires creation of more avenues of technology for safety, they must do it soon,” the minister said on the sidelines of a conference organised by Common Services Centres. Not mincing his words, Prasad said that detecting the en masse circulation of a particular message in one area and on a particular subject cannot be “rocket science” and asked ‘WhatsApp needs to recognise that India offers a huge market and they are making good money out of Indian ops. They must focus on security’ WhatApp to take such instances seriously. “If in any state, any part, on a particular subject, if there is a circulation of large volumes of messages on WhatsApp, it is not rocket science that can't be discovered by application of technology,” Prasad said. Rumours on WhatsApp have triggered a spate of incidents involving mob fury, the latest being lynching of five men on the suspicion of being child lifters in Maharashtra's Rainpada village of Dhule district. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology wrote to WhatsApp asking it to take urgent steps to prevent the circulation of false information and provocative content. Prasad said the government had taken note of the prompt response of WhatApp (to its notice) listing out the measures to deal with the issue, but added that the tech giant needs to follow it up with concrete action on ground. “If they've created platform, they have to ensure it is not misused. You can't say I have created it... what shall I do now...We have made it clear. You cannot evade accountability and responsibility. Abuse and misuse of your platform particularly leading to killing of innocent people is not acceptable,” the minister said. The US-based social media platform in its response to IT Ministry's notice has said fake news, misinformation and CMYK hoaxes can be checked by the government, civil society and technology companies working together. Outlining steps, it has taken to curb abuse of its platform, WhatsApp -- in the response to the IT Ministry - said it has the ability to prevent spam but since it cannot see the content of private messages, blocking can be done only based on user reports. WhatsApp also said it is “horrified by these terrible acts of violence” and its strategy to deal with the situation involves giving people the controls and information they need to stay safe, while working proactively to prevent misuse of the service. Prasad asserted that safety of Indians is “paramount” and the government is well aware of its “powers” to tackle any abuse. “(I) am not supposed to look into their defence...safety of Indians is paramount and if there is misuse, we know our powers...,” he said. The IT minister emphasised that India is emerging as a major digital power and offers a big market to WhatsApp and other tech companies. “We welcome companies like WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter to be a part of India's digital story and making commercial success...but they must remain accountable responsible and vigilant,” Prasad said. should have a “sound rationale” and there should be no role for an "obstructionist". The apex court said the LG should not act in a “mechanical manner” without due application of mind so as to refer every decision of the Council of Ministers to the President. “The LG and the Council of Ministers must attempt to settle any point of difference by way of discussion and dialogue.” It said although the decisions of the Council of Ministers must be communicated to the LG, it did not mean that his concurrence was required in every case. It stated that the LG must work “harmoniously” with the state government and not seek to “resist them every step of the way”. Justice D Y Chandrachud, who wrote a 175-page separate concurring judgment, stated that "The LG must bear in mind that it is not he, but the Council of Ministers which takes substantive decisions and even when he invokes the proviso, the LG has to abide by the decision of the President.” He also ruled that the provisions of Article 239 AA(4) must be applied in a manner which facilitate and do not “obstruct” governance in Delhi. Justice Ashok Bhushan, who wrote a separate123page concurring verdict, said as the Delhi Assembly represents the elected representatives, “their opinion and decisions have to be respected in all cases, except where LG decides to make a reference to the President”. Media watchdog warns India over spike in journos’ killings India may slip further from its current 138th place in World Press Freedom Index: RSF LONDON, 4 JULY India may slip further from its current 138th place in the World Press Freedom Index as four journalists were murdered in less than six months amidst a sharp rise in hate speech, a global media watchdog warned today in its first report on the country. The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said it had come out with a report exclusively on India in view of the “increase in breaches of press freedom” in India in the past six months. In the 2018 Index, published in April this year, India was ranked at the 138th position out of 180 countries, two places lower than in 2017, and the situation has continued to deteriorate. “As a result, the Abuses and Environment indicators, which contribute to the country's evaluation for the Index, show a negative trend and point to another decline in its ranking in the 2019 edition unless the authorities take steps to rectify the situation,” it said.On July 3, RSF secretary-general wrote to PM Modi telling him that the first Incident Report had been issued in relation to press freedom in the country. AGENCIES
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