CMYK SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 15 SEPTEMBER 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 P4 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky with 1/2 spells of rain/thundershower likely. Max-min temperature likely to be 34-22 degree cels, resp RAINFALL: 5.6 mm (till 8.30 p.m.) RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.95% Min. 64% Max: 34.5°C (+2) SUN RISES 05:24 hrs MOON RISES 10.33 hrs Min: 25.8°C (0) SUN SETS 17:41 hrs MOON SETS 21:57 hrs TEMPERATURE First quarter of moon on 20 September THUMBNAILS Rupee recovers: The rupee on Friday surged by another 34 paise to close at a one-week high of 71.84 against the US dollar on positive macro data and hopes of policy intervention by the government to defend the volatile curP8 rency. Case against Missionaries: Kerala police on Friday registered a complaint against the Missionaries of Jesus hours after the congregation released a photograph of the nun, who has accused a bishop of the religious order of rape, seated with her alleged tormentor in violation of the law. CYNTHIA NIXON LOSES NY GOVERNOR PRIMARY ‘OVERCAME CHALLENGES IN TRIBAL AREAS’ ARREST WARRANT AGAINST NAIDU P7 P10 Majerhat: Inquiry report indicts PWD Bengal CM insists Metro work may have caused the bridge collapse STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 14 SEPTEMBER engal chief minister Mamata Banerjee today admitted that the state public works department (PWD) was responsible for the Majerhat Bridge collapse on Diamond Harbour (DH) Road on 4 September in which three persons had been killed and 25 others injured. The disclosure was made in the preliminary probe report submitted to the government. In the same breath she continued to insist the Metro Railway's ongoing construction work might also have contributed to the collapse. The day after the incident Miss Banerjee had contested the claim by the Metro Railway authorities that the collapse had nothing to do with its construction near the portion of the bridge that caved in. The state government has decided to build a new bridge at the same site within one year after dismantling the collapsed structure. Miss Banerjee asserted PWD officials won’t be spared if they are found negligent in duty. However, she gave a clean chit to the PWD minister Arup Biswas, one of her lieutenants. Earlier in the day, the state chief secretary (CS) Malay De submitted to the chief minister the preliminary report of the inquiry into the mishap. While speaking to the media at the state secretariat B Mamata slams Centre KOLKATA, 14 SEPTEMBER Chief minister Miss Mamata Banerjee today lambasted the Centre and said “ Come 2019 polls, the BJP here in West Bengal will get a big zero. They will get nothing here out 42 seats. In other states too they have come to realise they stand no chance there. So, they are out to queer the pitch for the Opposition by trying to create a fissure within the ranks of other Opposition political parties Nabanna this afternoon Miss Banerjee said : "The Chief Secretary has submitted a preliminary inquiry report after holding 30 to 40 meetings during the past three to four days. He has pointed out three important issues in his inquiry report. The PWD can't deny its responsibilities for the collapse of the bridge which was over 50 to trigger a rift between them to reap the benefits of political opportunism. But that will not work this time around. Training her guns at the Centre yet again, she said the BJP govt at the Centre was trying to bully her and other state governments by threatening to gag their voices. “It is the beginning of the end of the BJP at the Centre. They will not return to power at the Centre in 2019’’, the Bengal CM SNS added. years old . Concerned officials of the PWD were dillydallying with files since 2016 causing unnecessary delay for the maintenance of the bridge. They could not take precautions and we have seized files relating to the bridge." "Necessary steps would be taken against the concerned officials and the Chief Secretary has correctly pointed this out," she added. Trying to defend the PWD minister, who had come under severe Opposition criticism for “gross negligence of duty”, the chief minister said : "Arup (PWD minister) did not know anything about it and the officials did not even send him files in connection with the Majerhat Bridge." "According to the inquiry report, vibrations caused by the Metro Railway's ongoing Joka project might also have been responsible for the accident, but it requires more investigations. We have decided to construct a new bridge at the same site pulling down the old one. It will take one year to complete the project. The construction will begin within a month. Our Chief Secretary will himself look after this and he will decide on which construction agency will be given the work," the chief minister added. "I know people in the southern part of the city are in trouble owing to the inconvenience in traffic movement after the bridge collapsed. We are working out how to build alternative roads in the area to reduce the plight of the commuters. I have already spoken to Delhi and the general manager of the Eastern Railway here in Kolkata for setting up of a level crossing that will be run manually at Majerhat station. We will bear the cost and if necessary man it," she added. See also inside pages Govt unveils steps to check ` fall Rahul guns for PM over Mallya flight Court orders framing of charges against Pachauri PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 14 SEPTEMBER PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 14 SEPTEMBER The government Friday decided to relax norms for raising overseas borrowing and impose restrictions on the non-essential imports as part of efforts to check rising current account deficit (CAD) amid falling rupee. These decisions were taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the state of the economy. Modi was briefed by Reserve Bank Governor Urjit Patel and officials of the Finance Ministry, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters here after the meeting. The decisions are aimed at checking the CAD and increase foreign exchange inflows, Jaitley said. The government would also take steps to promote exporters and restrict nonessential imports, he added. Jaitley, however, did not disclose items on which import The govt has decided to impose restrictions on non-essential imports to check current account deficit amid falling rupee. restrictions would be imposed. “To address the issue of expanding CAD, the government will take necessary steps to cut down non-essential imports and increase exports. The commodities of which imports will be cut down will be decided after consultations with concerned ministries and will be WTO-compliant,” he said. The rupee touched an alltime low of 72.91 against the US dollar on September 12 and it closed at 71.84. The domestic currency has declined around 6 per cent since August and touched an all-time low of 72 level this week. Petrol and diesel prices have also touched record highs. NEW DELHI, 14 SEPTEMBER Training his guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya's flight from India under controversial circumstances, Congress president Rahul Gandhi today again asked how could the CBI's "detain" Lookout Circular (LOC) dated 16 October 2015 against Mallya was diluted to a mere "inform" LOC dated 23 November 2015 that facilitated his fleeing away from the country on 2 March 2016. "Mallya’s Great Escape was aided by the CBI quietly changing the 'Detain' notice for him, to 'Inform'," Gandhi tweeted before gunning for PM Modi over the episode."The CBI reports directly to the PM. It is inconceivable that the CBI, in such a high profile, controversial case, would change a lookout notice without the approval of the PM," he SNS charged. A Delhi court Friday ordered framing of molestation charges against former TERI chief R K Pachauri in a case of alleged sexual harassment lodged by his former colleague. Metropolitan Magistrate Charu Gupta ordered framing of charges under sections 354 (outraging modesty), 354 A (making physical contact, unwelcome and sexually coloured remarks) and section 509 (teasing and using vulgar gesture and actions) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). “I order framing of charges under these sections. Let the charges formally be framed on Oct 20,” the judge said. The court discharged him of certain other sections including criminal intimidation (506 of IPC) and wrongfully restraining a person (341 of IPC), saying “prima facie” these charges were not made out. The complainant said she was relieved after hearing the order. “Chuffed to bits. This has not been easy. This is a big big leap towards the truth. I am relieved, and exhausted fighting Pachauri,” she said. Advocate Ashish Dixit, who represented Pachauri, said however that there was no case against his client and he will fight the charges during the trial. On February 13, 2015, an FIR was registered against Pachauri and he was granted anticipatory bail in the case on March 21. Pachauri earlier secured an interim order from Additional District Judge making it mandatory for media houses to publish or telecast the coverage of the case with a title which says -- “In any court, the allegations have not been proved and they may not be correct.” This order also said that “when such info is published in any page of a magazine or report, then it should be in middle of the page in bold letters and it should be five times larger than the font in which the article is being published”. SC order to govt to end leprosy stigma PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 14 SEPTEMBER In a bid to remove centuries old stigma attached to leprosy patients, the Supreme Court Friday directed the Centre to consider framing separate rules for issuing them disability certificates so that they can avail of reservation and various other welfare benefits. The apex court said that acceptability of leprosy patients in the society would go a long way in reducing the stigma attached to the disease and passed a slew of directions to the Centre and the state governments for launching massive awareness programmes. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said due attention must be paid to ensure that leprosy affected persons are issued Below Poverty Line cards so they can avail of benefits under Antyodaya Anna Yojana and other similar schemes which would enable them to secure their right to food. The top court said: “The Union and the State Governments must pro-actively plan and formulate a comprehensive community based rehabilitation scheme which shall cater to all basic facilities and needs of the leprosy affected persons and their families. The scheme shall be aimed at eliminating the stigma that is associated with persons afflicted with leprosy. “The Union Government may consider framing separate rules for assessing the disability quotient of the leprosy affected persons for the purpose of issuing disability certificate in exercise of the power granted under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.” It further said that awareness campaigns must inform that a person affected by leprosy is not required to be sent to any special clinic, hospital or sanatorium and should not be isolated from family members or the community. It said that awareness campaigns should also inform that a person affected with leprosy can lead a “normal married life, can have children, can take part in social events and go to work or school as normal”. The court asked the Centre and states to consider the possibility of including leprosy education in school curriculum to give correct information about leprosy. CMYK THE ALL-ROUNDER WHO HAD INDIA ON THE ROPES P11 Dowry cases: SC removes immediate arrest buffer `50-l relief for scientist NEW DELHI, 14 SEP NEW DELHI/THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, 14 SEPTEMBER The Supreme Court Friday removed the buffer against immediate arrest in dowry harassment cases by modifying its earlier order to set up a committee to examine the complaints of married women before taking coercive action against the husband and the in-laws. The top court said the direction to create family welfare committees in every district and the power conferred in them was “not in accord with the statutory framework”. A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said “the courts have ample power to grant pre-arrest bail, popularly called anticipatory bail, and even quash the criminal proceedings totally to stabilize the lawful balance, because no court of law remotely conceives of a war between the two sexes.” The bench also modified a direction of its earlier verdict by which it was directed that if a settlement was reached between parties embroiled in a matrimonial dispute, the trial judge could close the criminal case. The court had in July last year directed the creation of Family Welfare Committees in every district, which would verify the allegations of dowry harassment received by the police or magistrate. The arrest of a person could only be made after the report of the committee is received, it had then said. PTI SNS & PTI Twenty-four years after he was wrongfully arrested in the ISRO espionage case, space scientist Nambi Narayanan was Friday awarded Rs 50 lakh as compensation by the Supreme Court for suffering “immense humiliation” at the hands of the Kerala police whose action was dubbed by the court as “psycho-pathological treatment”. The apex court while directing the Kerala government to pay the compensation amount within eight weeks also ordered a high-level probe into the role of the erring cops in arresting and causing “tremendous harassment” and “immeasurable anguish” to the 76-year old former scientist of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The three-member probe panel will be headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice D K Jain. The Centre and the Kerala government were also asked by the court to nominate one officer each to the panel. The seat of the committee would be at New Delhi. Pulling up the Kerala police, a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra held that Narayanan was “arrested unnecessarily, harassed and subjected to mental cruelty”, adding his “liberty and dignity”, basic to his human rights, were jeopardised as he was taken into custody and, eventually, despite all the glory of the past, was compelled to face “cynical abhorrence”. I am happy that a (three-member) committee, and not a commission, has been formed to conduct an inquiry. The fight is over. I want to live for myself now. Enough is enough NAMBI NARAYANAN SPACESCIENTIST (EX-ISRO) The espionage case, which hit the headlines in 1994, pertained to allegations of transfer of certain confidential documents on India's space programme to foreign countries by two scientists including Narayanan and four others, including two Maldivian women. Narayanan had to spend close to two months in jail before the CBI concluded the allegations against him were false. Narayanan approached the apex court against the judgement of the Kerala High Court, which said no action was required to be taken against former DGP Siby Mathews and two retired superintendents of police K K Joshua and S Vijayan, who were later held responsible by the CBI for the scientist's illegal arrest. Welcoming the court order, Narayanan said the espionage case was fabricated and insisted that the technology he was accused to have stolen and sold did not even exist at that time.
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