CMYK SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 29 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 P7 SENSEX 36,227.14 -97.03 WEATHER Sultry weather. Rain/thundershower likely. Maximum-minimum temperature will be around 35-27 degree celsius, respectively. RAINFALL: 0.1 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY P10 NIFTY 10,930.45 -47.10 THE COACH WHO WANTS HIS OWN PLAYER FOILED P2 ` vs $ 72.48 +11 PAISE GOLD 29,320.00 -175.00 P11 SILVER 37,350 -200.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 82.13 +0.41 Apex court declines to SC opens Sabarimala interfere with arrest of temple to all women activists, says no to SIT Apex court rules women can't be repressed for physiological reasons Max.95% Min. 64% Max: 34.6°C (+2) SUN RISES 05:28 hrs MOON RISES 20.36 hrs Min: 27.1°C (+1) SUN SETS 17:27 hrs MOON SETS 09:02 hrs TEMPERATURE KEJRIWAL CLEARED IN 2014 LS POLL RALLY CASE TESLA WITHOUT MUSK AT THE WHEEL? ‘INDIA WILL BENEFIT FROM CRUISE TOURISM’ Third quarter of moon on 5 October THUMBNAILS India retain Asia Cup: India beat Bangladesh by three wickets in a last-ball thriller in Dubai on Friday to retain the Asia Cup. Put in to bat, Bangladesh were all out for 222 with Liton Das scoring 121 runs, his first ODI hundred. In their chase, India suffered a middle order slump, but the lower-order batsmen held their nerve for the team to win by three wickets in a lastball finish. The winning run came in the form of a leg-bye off the last ball of the match. (P12) Skipper Rohit Sharma scored 48. China not seeking to displace US as top power: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi dismissed fears that his country was seeking to overtake the US as the pre-eminent world power, saying Beijing wants global harmony. Pointing to recent works of US scholars who say China is stepping up efforts for hegemony, Wang said: “I want to tell you very clearly that this is a serious strategic misjudgment.” “It is a misguided anticipation that will be extremely detrimental to US interests’’. Putin on 2-day India visit from 4 October: d Russian President Vladimir Putin will be on a two-day visit beginning 4 October to hold the annual India-Russia summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with a focus on further boosting bilateral ties and deliberate on a range regional and global issues including US sanctions on import of Iranian crude oil. Besides a host of other issues, the two leaders are likely to review bilateral defence cooperation in the wake of the US sanctions against P3 Russian defence majors, sources said. Facebook breach: Facebook announced on Friday that up to 50 million accounts were breached in a security flaw exploited by hackers. The social network said it learned this week of the attack that allowed hackers to steal “access tokens,” the equivalent of digital keys that enable them to access accounts. “It's clear that attackers exploited a vulnerability in Facebook's code,” VP of product management Guy Rosen said in a blog post. “We've fixed the vulnerability on Thursday night,” P10 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 28 SEPTEMBER The Supreme Court today, in a majority verdict, declined to interfere with the arrest of five leading human rights activists and lawyers, who had been arrested by the Maharashtra police on 28 August for their alleged links with Naxals. A Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, in a 2:1 verdict, turned down the plea ~ filed by five eminent citizens including historian Romila Thapar, economists Prabhat Patnaik and Devaki Jain, sociology professor Satish Deshpandey, and human rights lawyer Maja Daruwala ~ seeking the immediate release of these human rights activists and other activists arrested in June. The majority verdict of Chief Justice Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar also declined to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe, under the supervision of the apex court, their arrests and the entire Koregaon-Bhima episode. The top court, however, ruled that the five arrested activists ~ Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha ~ will continue to remain under house arrest for four more weeks during which they could avail legal remedies in appropriate courts which can consider their cases on merits. The five activists have been under arrest at Tatas retain Taj Mansingh their respective homes since 29 August. The top court held that the accused persons cannot choose which investigating agency should probe the case, ruling that the “accused cannot ask for changing the investigating agency or to do investigation in a particular manner including for court-monitored investigation.” It said further proceedings against them would be decided on the merits of the case without being influenced by its observations. The apex court also said this was not the stage where the “efficacy of the material or its sufficiency” can be evaluated nor it is possible to enquire whether it is genuine or fabricated as it would cause prejudice to the parties, adding the accused can opt for discharge at an appropriate stage if there is no evidence against them. “We are of considered opinion that it is not a case of arrest because of mere dissenting views expressed or difference in the political ideology of the named accused, but concerning their link with the members of the banned organisation and its activities,” the majori- ty verdict written by Justice Khanwilkar for himself and Chief Justice Misra said. Justice Khanwilkar said except pointing out some circumstances to question the manner of arrest of the five accused, no specific material facts and particulars are found in the petition about the alleged mala fide exercise of power by the investigating officer. He said a vague and unsubstantiated assertion was not enough and the plea of the petitioners of lack of evidence against the accused has been seriously disputed by the investigating agency. Justice Chandrachud delivered a minority, dissenting judgment, asserting that dissent is a symbol of “vibrant democracy”. Disagreeing with the majority judgment, Justice Chandrachud, said that individuals asserting causes which might be unpopular to the echelons of power were entitled to the freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution. “Dissent is a symbol of a vibrant democracy. Voices in opposition cannot be muzzled by persecuting those who take up unpopular causes. Where, however, the expression of dissent enters upon the prohibited field of an incitement to violence or the subversion of a democratically-elected government by recourse to unlawful means, the dissent ceases to be a mere expression of opinion,” he reportedly said. SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 28 SEPTEMBER n a landmark verdict that gave a boost to gender equality, the Supreme Court on Friday threw open the doors of Sabarimala temple in Kerala to girls and women of all age groups by lifting the ban on the entry of those between the age of 10 and 50, holding this centuriesold Hindu religious practice as illegal and unconstitutional. Women activists hailed the judgement though some women in Kerala, who did not want to be identified, said they would not like to offer prayers violating the tradition and Hindu custom. The temple barred women of a “menstruating age”-- defined as between the ages of 10 and 50--from entering. A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra in its 4-1 verdict held “the devotees of Lord Ayyappa are just Hindus and do not constitute a separate religious denomination” and the rule that stipulates exclusion of entry of women of the age group of 10 to 50 years, is a clear violation of the right of such women to practise their religious belief. The top court in its 411-page verdict said the practice of exclusion of women of a particular age group being followed at the shrine cannot be regarded as an essential religious practice as claimed by the I Travancore Devaswom Board(TDB), which administers the temple. “Any rule based on discrimination or segregation of women pertaining to biological characteristics is not only unfounded, indefensible and implausible but can also never pass the muster of constitutionality,” a verdict pronounced by Justice Misra for himself and Justice A M Khanwilkar said. The views of Justice Misra, who penned his last verdict of a five-judge Constitution bench before he demits office on October 2, were shared by Justices R F Nariman and D Y Chandrachud. The verdict is expected to add force to the clamour for equality for women of other religions. The path-breaking three concurring verdicts, giving religious rights to female devotees of Lord Ayyappa, was not accepted by the lone woman judge, Justice Indu Malhotra, who dissented and said “right to equality conflicts with right Senate panel backs Trump’s SC pick Quake, tsunami hit Indonesia NEW DELHI, 28 SEPTEMBER MAKASSAR(INDONESIA), 28 SEPTEMBER The Tata group retained Taj Mansingh Hotel in Lutyens' Delhi as it emerged as the highest bidder for the iconic luxury hotel in an e-auction conducted by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) today after years of litigation. The lease for Taj Mansingh Hotel will be granted to the Tata group for 33 years at double the earlier licence fees.The Tata group beat ITC in the auction which continued from 11 am to 4 pm. The hotel's auction had been pending since 2011, when its lease had expired. The Tata group had been operating the property on extensions since then. "The Tata group's Indian Hotels Company Limited has retained the property at a licence fee of Rs 7.03 crore per month. SNS to worship of devotees of Lord Ayyappa”. Justice Malhotra said the judicial review of religious practices ought not to be undertaken as courts cannot impose its morality or rationality on the form of worship of a deity. The court in the majority verdict said the repression of women under the garb of “physiological factors” cannot be legitimised and patriarchy in religion cannot “trump over” devotion. Sabarimala is a prominent Hindu temple which attracts tens of millions of pilgrims every year. The hill-top shrine remains open only for a little over four months in a year and the approach is through a forested area that involves an arduous 5km trek from the Pampa river base camp. Describing the verdict as “unfortunate”, Rahul Easwar, the president of the Ayyappa Dharma Sena and grandson of a former Sabarimala priest the late Kandararu Maheswararu, said the organisation would file a review petition against the judgement. “Until October 16, the Sabarimala temple is closed. So, we have time.” The shrine's head priest Tantri Kandararu Rajeevaru said though the verdict was “disappointing”, the management accepted it. The TDB said it was bound to implement the judgement. Mariam Dhawale, general secretary of the The All India Democratic Women's Association, called the verdict another step that would help in bringing equality. The CJI, in the lead verdict, said the dualism that persists in religion by glorifying and venerating women as goddesses on one hand and by imposing rigorous sanctions on the other hand in matters of devotion has to be abandoned. “The notions of public order, morality and health cannot be used as colourable device to restrict the freedom to freely practise religion and discriminate against women of the age group of 10 to 50 years by denying them their legal right to enter and offer their prayers at the Sabarimala temple for the simple reason that public morality must yield to constitutional morality,” the CJI said. The verdict further said that in no scenario, it can be said that exclusion of women of any age group could be regarded as an essential practice of Hindu religion. AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE A powerful earthquake hit central Indonesia on Friday, causing a tsunami that slammed into a city on Sulawesi island with officials saying the tremor had levelled “many” buildings. The shallow 7.5 magnitude quake sparked terror among locals who fled into the streets and raced to higher ground fearing tsunami waves. The disaster agency briefly issued a tsunami warning before lifting it. But video footage filmed from the top floor of a parking ramp spiral in Palu showed a churning wall of whitewater mow down several buildings and inundate a large mosque. A small jolt earlier killed one person in the S-E Asian archipelago. JAKARTA POST/ANN WASHINGTON, 28 SEPT The US Senate Judiciary Committee approved Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump's pick for the Supreme Court, on Friday, one day after he fought off allegations of sexual assault at a dramatic daylong public hearing. The panel split along strict party lines with the 11 Republican members backing Kavanaugh and all 10 Democrats voting against the president's controversial nominee. The nomination of the 53-year-old conservative judge will now go to the full Senate, where Republicans hold a slim 51-49 majority. In a last-minute move, Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona asked for a delay of up to a week before the full vote takes place to allow for an FBI investigation into the allegations against Kavanaugh. President Donald Trump on Friday reaffirmed support to his embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and asked the senators to confirm him, after a gripping Senate hearing in which the judge dismissed the allegations of sexual assault made by a clinical psychology professor as a “calculated and orchestrated political hit.” SEE ALSO PAGE 10 Swaraj snubs Qureshi at SAARC ministers’ meeting STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 28 SEPTEMBER With India-Pakistan relations at a new low, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj avoided any contact with her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi as the two leaders attended a meeting of the SAARC Council of Ministers in New York on the margins of the UN General Assembly. She left the meeting for her next engagement even before Qureshi could make his statement. There was speculation in media circles that the two ministers would at least exchange pleasantries when they come face-to-face at the meeting but India refused to budge from its position that there would be no interaction with Islamabad until it took steps to check cross-border terrorism. The SAARC foreign ministers' meet had suddenly become important last week when Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and proposed that the foreign ministers of the two countries meet in New York. India readily accepted the proposal in the larger interest of peace in the region but called off the meeting between the two foreign ministers within 24 hours, expressing outrage over the killings of Indi- an security personnel by Pakistani entities. The SAARC meeting in New York, held at the Westin Grand Central Hotel, was presided over by Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali as Nepal is currently the chair of the eight-nation grouping. Swaraj was accompanied to the meeting by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and other senior officials. She read out her statement at the meeting and left just before her Pakistani counterpart was to make his statement. Even the Afghan foreign minister left after reading out his statement. This upset Qureshi as he blamed India for blocking the progress of SAARC. "She (Swaraj) left mid-way. Maybe she wasn't feeling well. I listened to her statement. She talked of regional cooperation. How is regional cooperation possible, when everybody is ready to sit and talk and you (India) are blocking that?" he said. Pakistan has been keen to host the SAARC Summit since 2016 but India and some other countries have refused to attend it in Islamabad on the ground that the security situation in the region was not ripe for holding the meeting. In her statement at the SAARC meeting, Swaraj singled out terrorism as the biggest threat to peace in the region. She said regional cooperation in South Asia was not possible without an environment of peace and security. CMYK Peace along border essential, India tells China STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 28 SEPTEMBER India has firmly told China that peace and tranquility along border areas was an important prerequisite for smooth development of bilateral relations. The two countries concluded the 12th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on Border Affairs (WMCC) at Chengdu in Sichuan province of China on Thursday night. The talks were led by Pranay Verma, Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs, and by Yi Xianliang, Director General, Department of Boundary and Oceanic Affairs in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “They discussed ways to effectively manage border areas in accordance with the strategic guidance provided by the leaders of the two countries at the Wuhan Summit and explored various confidence building measures with a view to further enhance mutual trust and understanding,” the External Affairs Ministry said. Established in 2012, WMCC is an institutional mechanism for “consultation and coordination for management of India-China border areas”. It is a forum to exchange views on strengthening communication and cooperation, including between border security personnel on both sides.
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