THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 27 SEPTEMBER 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16+4 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR DALAI LAMA RETURNS TO DHARAMSHALA SENSEX 36,542.27 -109.79 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky with a few spells of light to moderate rain/thundershowers. One and two spells may be intense. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 33 and 23 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: 0.2mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 98% Min. 54% Max: 32.4°C (-2) SUN RISES 06:12 hrs MOON RISES 19:52 hrs Min: 22.0°C (-2) SUN SETS 18:12 hrs MOON SETS 08:57 hrs TEMPERATURE THUMBNAILS Farmers harvest paddy crop in a field in Ziro valIANS ley of Arunachal Pradesh on Wednesday SC verdict on Ayodhya matter today: The Supreme Court is likely to pronounce Thursday its verdict on pleas by Muslim groups on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute seeking reconsideration by a larger Bench, the observations made by it in a 1994 verdict that a mosque was not integral to Islam. A Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer P10 will deliver the verdict. SC allows live-streaming of proceedings: The s Supreme Court Wednesday took a major leap in imparting transparency in the functioning of the judiciary by allowing live-streaming of court proceedings, saying this openness was like “sunlight” which is the “best disinfectant”. It said as a pilot project, only a specified category of cases which are of constitutional or national P10 importance should be live-streamed. BRITAIN STILL DOGGED BY BREXIT P5 NIFTY 11,053.80 -13.65 P9 P12 ` vs $ 72.74 GOLD 30,699 -29.00 SILVER 37,489 +404.00 P15 BRENT OIL (IN $) 81.06 -0.20 SC upholds Aadhaar, with riders Constitution Bench rules Aadhaar not needed for bank accounts, mobile connections and school admissions STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 26 SEPTEMBER I n a landmark, balanced judgment, the Supreme Court today upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhaar but sharply narrowed the scope of this controversial biometric identity project, ruling that it is not mandatory for bank accounts, mobile connections or school admissions. The apex court, however, held that Aadhaar will remain mandatory for filing of Income Tax (IT) returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN). Seeking to balance serious concerns about individual privacy with the need to ensure proper targeting of government's subsidies, services and benefits to a large number of underprivileged and vulnerable people, a five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, in a majority 4-1 verdict, cleared the use of Aadhaar for welfare schemes after a protracted legal battle against the Centre's ambitious project involving the world's largest biometric ID database comprising fingerprints and iris scans of over a billion people. Aadhaar is a unique12digit identification number issued to individuals by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) after availing their biometric data. Significantly, the top court struck down Section India and G-4: India and the G4 nations voiced 4 concern over the lack of substantive progress in the long-pending Security Council reform, saying it is time to finally initiate text-based negotiations to safeguard the legitimacy and credibility of the powerful UN organ. The G4 nations, India, Brazil, Germany and Japan, have P4 been calling for the reform of the UNSC. 57 of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 as "unconstitutional" that permitted private entities like telecom companies or other corporates to avail of the Aadhaar data. Asserting that the Aadhaar authentication data cannot be stored for more than six months, the apex court also declared metabase relating to transaction to be "impermissible". Justice D Y Chandrachud gave a remarkable, dissenting judgment in which he ruled that the Aadhaar Act 2016 should not have been passed as a Money Bill, saying it amounts to a "fraud on the Constitution". He held the Aadhaar Act to be "unconstitutional". But the majority verdict by Chief Justice Misra, Justice A K Sikri, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice A M Khanwilkar upheld the passage of the Aadhaar Bill as a Money Bill by the Lok Sabha. Observing that the Aadhaar scheme was envisaged to ensure that the government's welfare benefits reach the marginalised sections of society effectively, the Bench's majority verdict said the scheme takes into account the dignity of people not only from personal but from the community point of view and serves the larger public interest. "Aadhaar means unique and it is better to be unique than being best," it said. “Aadhaar gives dignity to the marginalised. Dig- The judgment is historic. The SC has barred usage of 12-digit unique identification number by private entities in absence of a legislative backing. ‘Aadhaar means unique and it is better to be unique than being best... The scheme takes into account the dignity of people not only from personal but from the community point of view and serves the larger public interest’ - Supreme Court Bench’s majority verdict APPLICABLE PAN Income Tax returns For availing welfare schemes and subsidies by the govt NOT APPLICABLE School admissions Mobile connections & new SIM cards Opening bank accounts For appearing in CBSE, NET, UGC exams Private companies nity to the marginalised outweighs privacy,” Justice Sikri reportedly said while reading out the operative part of the majority judgment in the packed courtroom of Chief Justice Misra. Justice Sikri wrote the judgment on behalf of himself, Chief Justice Misra, and Justice Khanwilkar. “One can't throw the baby out with the bath water,” he ruled. The Bench held that it will not be mandatory to link Aadhaar to bank accounts and that the telecom service providers cannot seek its linking for mobile connections. The top court ruled that it will also not be mandatory for school admissions as well as for the examinations conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE), National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), and the University Grants Commission (UGC). The Bench also quashed Section 33(2) of the Aadhaar Act in the present form that allowed collection of the Aadhaar data of an individual on grounds of national security, saying an officer higher than the rank of a joint secretary should be given such a power to give approval in this regard. In his sharp, minority verdict, Justice Chandrachud reportedly said it was now impossible to live in India without Aadhaar which was viola- We welcome the verdict. It is a victory of the people of this country and we are very happy. Days of the BJP government are over. Thank you Supreme Court for supporting the Congress vision and protecting India. For Congress, Aadhaar was an instrument of empowerment. ARUN JAITLEY MAMATA BANERJEE RAHUL GANDHI West Bengal Chief Minister Congress President Rivals claim victory STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 26 SEPTEMBER The ruling BJP and the principal Opposition Congress welcomed the Supreme Court Constitution Bench's judgment upholding the constitutional validity of Aadhaar today, with both parties claiming victory on the contentious issue which triggered nationwide debate on privacy concerns. The BJP described the top court's judgment as a "big victory" for the “pro-poor” Narendra Modi government. The Congress, however, said the apex court's verdict striking down several provisions of the Aadhaar Act 2016 dealt a blow to the Modi government. The apex court's verdict restricted the government's push to make Aadhaar mandatory for various services including opening of bank accounts, obtaining mobile phone connections and securing school admissions. Hailing the top court's judgment as “historic”, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Congress has cut “a very sorry figure” and that the Modi dispensation's efforts on the Aadhaar front has helped the government save Rs 90,000 crore every year by plugging leakages in the targeting of subsidies and welfare schemes to the people. TURN TO PAGE 10 SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 26 SEPTEMBER owner Dharmender, his business partner Sachin, and Sachin's father Roshan Lal, who had rented it out. All the accused were absconding. While police said the building was inspected three weeks ago following complaints to the tive of Article 14 of the Constitution and that if it got seeded with every database, there was a possibility of infringement of the right to privacy. Justice Chandrachud said that bypassing the Rajya Sabha to pass the Aadhaar legislation amounted to "subterfuge" and that the Aadhaar law is liable to be quashed as violative of Article 110 of the Constitution. Article 110 has specific grounds for a Money Bill and the Aadhaar law went beyond this, he asserted. Justice Sikri said a robust data protection regime has to be brought in place as early as possible, noting that the attack on Aadhaar by the petitioners was based on perceived violation of rights protected by the Constitution, which they felt led to a "surveillance state". The top court asked the central government to bring a data protection law on the basis of Justice B N Srikrishna Committee's report. Justice Ashok Bhushan gave his separate but concurring verdict, agreeing broadly with the majority judgment. The three separate judgments ran into altogether 1448 pages. The Bench gave the verdict on a batch of 31 petitions, including one by former High Court judge K S Puttaswamy, after concluding on 10 May a marathon hearing that went on for 38 days spanning four-and-half months. The Aadhaar case hearing was said to be the "second longest" one after the historic Kesavananda Bharati case of 1973. The verdict was welcomed by the Narendra Modi government and the ruling BJP as well as the Opposition led by the Congress, with both sides claiming victory while projecting their respective takeaways from it. The activists did not seem to be enthused, but they noted the "curbs" imposed by the top court on the Aadhaar project's "overreach". They also sought to highlight Justice Chandrachud's judgment to iterate their concerns. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad hailed the Constitution Bench's verdict as "historic", saying it “empowered technologybased good governance and democracy”. The Congress also welcomed the verdict. “Glad that the UPA's policy has been vindicated. The NDA tried to convert Aadhaar into a monster that will rule every aspect of a person's life," said ex-Union minister P Chidambaram. Union Finance Minister Seven , including 4 kids, killed in Delhi building collapse At least seven people, including four children and two women, were killed after a five-storey building collapsed near Sawan Park in northwest Delhi's AshokVihar this morning.The disaster occurred three weeks after the building was “inspected” by a municipal team following complaints. Six others residents of the "dilapidated" building were rescued from its rubble.The condition of some of the injured people were said to be critical. The Delhi government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident, and police registered a case under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC against the building's ANAND SHINES AS INDIAN MEN CRUSH AUSTRIA TRUMP TRYING TO TOPPLE IRAN GOVT: ROUHANI North Delhi Municipal Corporation that it was in “dangerous” condition, the BJPruled civic body denied these claims. There were 12 people inside the building when the disaster struck. Its 11 other residents, including 7 children, were outside their homes. “My wife Seema and my children, Ashi and Shaurya, are gone,” said a grieving Umesh, whose family lived on the building's second floor. The ground floor of the building housed a shop, while the second, third and fourth floors were occupied by tenants. The first floor had been vacated by the tenants a month ago since they felt the building was unsafe.The injured were rushed to Deep Chand Bandhu Hospital. Bimlesh, who was present at the hospital, lost his sons, Rajnesh and Sumnesh. He said,“As soon as I left home and had barely walked a few metres, I heard a loud noise.When I turned back, I saw the building collapsing like a pack of cards.” A senior municipal official said the building was about 20-year-old, adding that its structure was weak and in a dilapidated condition.The teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), police and Delhi Fire Services along with local residents undertook rescue work for several hours and used cranes to pull out the people from the building's rubble. The residents of the Sawan Park area were in a state of fear, saying many of them have been living in similar dilapidated buildings. The North Delhi civic body came under fire from the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress following the incident. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who visited the site, blamed it for not ensuring safety of buildings in its areas. SEE ALSO PAGE 2 No need to collect quantifiable data for SC/ST promotions: SC STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 26 SEPTEMBER Paving the way for quota in promotions in government jobs, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said there is no need to review the 2006 Nagaraj judgment or referring it to a seven-judge constitution bench. A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said that states need not collect quantifiable data on backwardness for giving quota in job promotions to SC/ST employees. The apex court verdict clearly indicates that “Centre or state governments can provide reservation if they want". The judgment was reserved on 30 August. The apex court by its 2006 judgment, also known as Nagaraj case, had said: "...state will have to show in each case the existence of compelling reasons, namely backwardness, inadequacy of representation and overall administrative efficiency, before making provision for reservation in promotion." The 19 October 2006 judgment, pronounced by a fivejudge Constitution Bench comprising then Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal and Justices K G Balakrishnan, S H Kapadia, C K Thakker and P K Balasubramanyan, had said that the concept of creamy layer within the SC/STs is not the issue. The bench, also comprising Justices Kurian Joseph, Rohinton Fali Nariman, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Indu Malhotra had earlier said: "There may be individuals (within SC/ST) who might have overcome the stigma, but the community continues to face the stigma." New telecom policy eyes $100 b investment, 4 million jobs PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 26 SEPTEMBER The government expects to attract USD 100 billion in investments and generate four million jobs in the telecom sector as it on Wednesday approved a new policy for the industry. The policy also envisages 50 Mbps of broadband connectivity to every citizen in five years. “Cabinet has approved National Digital Communications Policy today,” Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said Wednesday. He said things have very rapidly evolved in the telecom sector and hence new policy has been made to address emerging technology areas like 5G, Internet of Things and machine to machine communication. The minister said the government wants to focus on socio-economic growth of the country with the help of the telecom sector instead of seeing it as source of revenue generation. The NDCP proposes to adopt “Optimal Pricing of Spectrum” to ensure sustainable and affordable access to digital communications. High spectrum price and related charges have been the main concern of the telecom services segment, which is reeling under a debt of around Rs 7.8 lakh crore. Some of the objectives of the NDCP 2018 include providing broadband access to all, creating 40 lakh new jobs, and increasing India's ranking in the global ICT Index to 50th spot. “We also expect GDP contribution of telecom sec- tor, which has been around 6 per cent, to grow to 8 per cent... and expect USD 100 billion investment to come in,” he said. The global average of telecom sector contribution to GDP is 4.5 per cent. The sector at present contributes around 6.5 per cent to India's GDP The government expects . to decide on most of the promises made under NDCP 2018 in a year, Sinha said. “We will decide on most of the things in a year,” Sinha said in response to a query on by when the government will be ready with a roadmap. The last national telecom policy was issued in 2012. “We have also changed the name of Telecom Commission to Digital Communication Commission. We will work inclusion of other ministry representatives into it,” Sinha said. The minister said the policy has been formulated after it was felt that a “consumer-centric and applicationdriven policy” be brought in. The vision, Sinha said, is to have robust communication infrastructure and broadband for all. The policy promises to promote domestic telecom products and equipment manufacturing with preference to indigenous manufacturers and encourage participation of technology start-ups in the sector. Industry body COAI said the implementation of NDCP 2018 will have a positive, longterm impact on the sector. It also hoped that the DoT will closely monitor the timely implementation of this policy so that the industry can recuperate from the deepening financial stress. AC, fridge dearer Sugar package NEW DELHI, 26 SEPTEMBER NEW DELHI, 26 SEPTEMBER The government on Wednesday raised import duties on 19 items, including jet fuel and air conditioners, as it looks to check the widening current account deficit resulting from high crude oil prices and the rupee dipping to a historic low. The import duty on ACs, household refrigerators and washing machines (less than 10 kg) doubled to 20 per cent. The basic customs duty on compressors, speakers and footwears raised to 10 per cent, 15 per PTI cent and 25 per cent. The Union government on Wednesday announced a Rs 5,500 crore package for the sugar industry, including a twofold jump in production aid to cane growers and transport subsidy to mills for exports. The measures have ranged from higher price for ethanol extracted from sugarcane to financial aid to sugar mills to create ethanol capacity and are aimed at helping the cashstarved mills clear Rs 13,000 crore they owe to farmers PTI before 2019 polls. 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