CMYK THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 11 OCTOBER 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 IVANKA WOULD BE DYNAMITE AS UN ENVOY: DAD P10 P10 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. Some heavy spells of rain likely. Temperature will be in the range of 29 to 24 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: 14.3 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Min. 66% Max: 30.1°C (-2) SUN SETS 17:15 hrs MOON RISES 07.23 hrs Min: 26.1°C (+1) SUN RISES 05:32 hrs MOON SETS 19:05 hrs Moon phase: First quarter on 16 October THUMBNAILS The storm surge and waves from Hurricane Michael batter beachfront homes on Wednesday in the Florida Panhandle community of Shell Point Beach, Florida. AFP New Solicitor General: Senior advocate Tushar Mehta was on Wednesday appointed the Solicitor General of India, the second highest ranking law officer, almost a year after the post fell vacant, according to an official order. Mehta is at present the Additional Solicitor General. Criminal records: The Election Commission on Wednesday made it compulsory for candidates contesting polls to advertise their criminal antecedents in TV and newspapers at least three times during electioneering. Political parties too will have to give publicity to the criminal records of candidates fielded by them. P9 How did you decide on Rafale: SC to govt STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 10 OCTOBER he Supreme Court today directed the Centre to provide in sealed covers the "details of the steps in the decision-making process" leading to the Rafale fighter jet deal between India and France, even as the central government sought the dismissal of PILs on the matter calling them “political petitions”. The apex court made it clear that that the information it sought from the Union government would "not cover the issue of pricing or the question of technical suitability of the equipment for purposes of the requirement of the Indian Air Force”. Terming the claims made in the petitions as “grossly inadequate”, a Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asserted that the court was not issuing notice on the two PILs, but wanted to satisfy itself about legitimacy of the decisionmaking process in the Rafale deal. “We would like to be apprised by the Government of India of the details of the steps in the decision making process leading to the award of the order for the defence equipment in question i.e. Rafale Jet-Fighters (36 in number),” the Bench, comprising also Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, said. P11 Five killed as New Farakka Express derails in UP T ‘Dassault saw Reliance pick as mandatory’ KOLKATA, 10 OCTOBER Dassault Aviation, the makers of the Rafale jets, saw the offset partnership with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence as imperative and mandatory, a French media report said today. French independent investigative journal Mediapart cited an internal Dassault document to conclude that the company saw the Ambani partnership as an essential trade-off for the deal. The document is a report based on a meeting on 11 May 2017, at which chief operating officer Loik Segalen is said to have told staff representa- tives that it was “imperative and mandatory” for Dassault Aviation to accept Reliance Defence as a counterparty to obtain the contract for Rafale India. Former French president Francois Hollande had claimed in an interview to the same journal last month that the Indian government had proposed Reliance Defence as the partner in the Rafale deal and France did not have a choice. Dassault had then said that the decision to partner with Reliance Defence was their own. The fresh allegations come on a day when defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman is headed to France where she will visit a Dassault factory where the Rafale aircraft are being manufactured for India. Ms Sitharaman will also meet her French counterpart, Florence Parly. SNS/AGENCIES “We also make it clear that while requiring the Government of India to act in the above terms we have not taken into account any of the averments made in the writ petitions which appear to be inadequate and deficient. Our above order is only for the purpose of satisfying ourselves in the matter,” the Bench said. The top court asked the Centre to provide the information it sought by 29 October in three separate sealed covers with its Secretary General instead of the registry, fixing the hearing on the PILs, filed by lawyers Vineet Dhanda and M L Sharma, for 31 October. As the hearing started, the Bench asked Attorney General K K Venugopal, “Suppose we ask you to give the details of the decision-making process only to the judges, how will you react.” Venugopal said it cannot be shown to anyone in the interest of national security and other issues involved in the defence procurement process. The Bench also asked, “What if we ask you to give details without technical details of aircraft?” The AG claimed that the petitions have not raised any public interest and rather they are “political interest petitions” and that the petitioners have selectively quoted the questions answered in Parliament. “This is a political petition and not a public interest litigation and is part of bitter fight going on between ruling and Opposition party. If notice is issued, it will go to the Prime Minister... Please don't entertain such petitions,” he pleaded. The court was hearing three petitions seeking several directions, including for a court-monitored probe into the deal. It's quite simple really... The PM decided. The processes to justify his decision are yet to be invented. But work has begun. Ps. In this connection, Raksha Mantri is leaving for France tonight RAHUL GANDHI AICC PRESIDENT Titli: 3 lakh people shifted in Odisha STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE BHUBANESWAR, 10 OCTOBER Coastal Odisha districts, particularly Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur were put on red alert and evacuation of people from low-lying areas initiated as cyclonic storm Titli, formed over the Bay of Bengal, intensified into a very severe cyclone and approached the Gopalpur-Kalingapatnam coast. The landfall at Gopalpur will take place around 5.30 a.m. tomorrow. Red colour messages were sent out by the IMD with the forecast stating that the wind speed will touch 145 to 165 kmph. Tidal waves are likely to rise to one metre and inundate low-lying areas. Flights from Bhubaneswar have been cancelled. Train services on the southern section toward Vijayanagaram have BUCK UP BALL KIDS! VERDASCO REAPS THE WHIRLWIND Court directs govt to provide details of decision-making process Max.93% TEMPERATURE CHINA LAUNCHES ANTI-HALAL CRACKDOWN ‘TRADE TENSIONS WILL HARM GLOBAL GROWTH’ also been cancelled. Very heavy rainfall in coastal Odisha districts over the next two days may cause floods, warned official sources. The Navy, Coast Guard and Army have been put in readiness, said officials here. At least three lakh people have been evacuated by late evening, officials said. Titlihas a striking similarity to Phailin, the cyclonic storm that had hit Gopalpur on 13 October 2013. This time the cyclone has come two days earlier and the intensity is only marginally less; Phailin had a wind speed of over 200kmph. The other aspects – landfall, districts to be affected (13), very heavy rainfall, floods and damage are predicted on the same lines. The Odisha government had earned international accolades for its successful handling of Phailinand in evacuating lakhs of people. Today, chief minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed preparedness and asked the collectors of Ganjam, Puri, Khurda, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts to evacuate people in the low-laying areas in the coastal belt. Chief secretary A P Padhi said the district administrations of Ganjam, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara have already started evacuating people. Padhi said immediate evacuation was being launched in view of the India Meteorological Department forecast of a tidal surge of about 1 m during landfall of the cyclone. He said National Disaster Response Force and Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force personnel have been positioned in vulnerable districts. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE LUCKNOW, 10 OCTOBER At least five persons were killed and several others injured when the engine and eight bogies of the Malda Town-Delhi New Farakka Express derailed near Harchandpur railway station in Rae Bareli onWednesday. The accident took place at around 6.05 a.m. when the ill-fated train was approaching Harchandpur railway station on its journey towards Delhi. The exact cause of the accident is not officially known; an inquiry has been instituted by the railways ministry. Railways minister Piyush Goyal has ordered that the inquiry will be conducted by the commissioner, railway safety, northern circle. The accident occurred when most of the passengers were asleep but were The derailment is the second major rail accident this year, which has so far registered the best safety figures in the past five years, according to official data. jolted from their slumber when the engine and eight bogeys derailed. While the engine and three general compartments overturned, five sleeper coaches derailed. Over three dozen people are reported to have been injured. They have been admitted to the Rae Bareli district hospital. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and railways minister Piyush Goyal condoled the loss of lives in the mishap. The railways minister SC orders sealing of nine properties of Amrapali Group PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 10 OCTOBER The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the sealing of nine properties of embattled real estate company Amrapali after its three directors, who are in police custody, said that the documents related to the group's 46 firms were stored there. The three directors moved an application before a bench comprising Justices U U Lalit and D Y Chandrachud stating that they were willing to hand over all the documents but the police was unaware about which one needed to be seized. The court's order came a day after three directors of the group ~ Anil Kumar Sharma, Shiv Pria and Ajay Kumar ~were ordered to be taken into police custody and the firm was castigated for playing “hide and seek” with the court by not complying with its orders to hand over all the documents to the forensic auditors. The directors told the bench that documents related to Amrapali's 46 group companies were kept in seven locations at Noida and Greater Noida and two premises ~ Rajgir and Buxar districts ~ in Bihar. “We direct the concerned police, Superintendent of Police of Noida and Greater Noida to seal all the seven pre- mises in the presence of these directors,” the bench said. The bench also made it clear that only the courtappointed forensic auditors ~ Ravi Bhatia and Pawan Kumar Aggarwal ~ and persons authorised by them would enter these premises after they were sealed. Following the court order, the three directors were onWednesday night brought to Noida, as police started seizing their documents and sealing offices. The group's corporate office in Sector 62, other premises in Sector 76, Sector 45 besides properties in Greater Noida were being sealed, a senior Uttar Pradesh police official said. “The operation could continue till late in the night,” another senior official said. #MeToo: Cong seeks Akbar's resignation Puja grants: Court STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 10 OCTOBER Amid growing allegations of sexual harassment or sexual assault against Union minister of state for external affairs, M J Akbar, the Narendra Modi government today continued to keep mum on these serious charges ~ levelled so far by at least seven women journalists against Akbar relating to his stint as a newspaper editor ~ even as the principal Opposition Congress sought a probe into the allegations and Akbar's resignation. As the #MeToo campaign intensifies in India, a number of women journalists have come out and spoken up about their ordeals, accusing Akbar of sexually harassing or even assaulting them when he worked as their boss and editor. Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who briefed reporters M J Akbar. AFP FILE PHOTO about the decisions of the Union Cabinet this afternoon, refused to answer any question relating to Akbar's alleged sexual misconduct as well as the #MeToo campaign. "Today the issue is Cabinet decisions, please concentrate on that," Prasad told reporters when asked about allegations against Akbar. "The issue is Cabinet decisions," Prasad repeated when reporters pressed for an answer on the matter. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had yesterday not answered reporters' persistent queries about serious allegations against her junior minister. The Congress today asserted that Akbar must either offer a "satisfactory explanation" on the allegations or resign immediately. The party has also demanded an inquiry into the charges against him. Congress spokesman S Jaipal Reddy told a press conference that "I think Mr M J Akbar must either offer a satisfactory explanation or resign forthwith. How can he be in the ministry with serious allegations being levelled against him by responsible journalists who worked with him. Let there be an inquiry into it. We demand an inquiry into M J Akbar's conduct.” Reddy also questioned Swaraj's silence on the issue, accusing her of "evading responsibility" over the trauma suffered by Akbar's junior women colleagues over a long period. “It is an extremely serious matter and the minister concerned needs to speak up. Silence cannot be a way out. This matter should be investigated. We would like to hear from both the minister in question and the Prime Minister on this issue,” another Congress spokesman, Manish Tewari, had told reporters yesterday. Like the government, however, the ruling BJP has also maintained a silence on the allegations engulfing Akbar. Amid the snowballing outrage on the matter, it is being perceived in various quarters that Akbar's position in the Union ministry has become "untenable". Given the #MeToo movement's global spread and resonance, Akbar's role as India's junior foreign minister might turn out to be a liability for New Delhi abroad. Women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi has said the allegations of sexual harassment against anybody should be taken seriously and that action should be taken in every such allegation. “Men who are in positions of power often do this. And it applies to the media as well as to politics or senior personnel in companies,” Gandhi reportedly said. “Women are scared to speak out because they think people would make fun of them and doubt their character but now when they are speaking out we should take action in each and every allegation,” she added. CMYK declines to interfere STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 10 OCTOBER A Division Bench of acting Chief Justice Debasis Kar Gupta and Justice Sampa Sarkar of Calcutta High Court today refused to interfere in the state government’s decision to give Rs 10,000 each to 28,000 Durga puja committees in the state. But even as it appeared that all hurdles on the way of disbursal of funds from public exchequer to the puja committees have been removed, the petitioners were learnt to have decided to challenge the Divison Bench order before the Supreme Court. An interim stay granted by the court on disbursal of funds stands vacated as the court disposed of the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the state government’s decision to give funds to the puja committees. The legislature is the appropriate forum to decide on expenditure by the state government, the court held. While the court does not want to interfere in the government’s decision to disburse funds to Durga puja committees at this stage, the Division Bench, however, said that the court can interfere at a later stage when the scope arises. Advocate general Kishore Dutta had submitted before the Division Bench that the funds are to be used for assisting police under its traffic safety campaign and not for any religious purpose. The petitioners had challenged the government’s decision to disburse funds to the tune of Rs 28 crore, claiming that it was a dole to the puja committees and had no public purpose. Details on Page 13 has sanctioned an ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the next of the kin of the deceased, Rs. 1 lakh to the seriously injured persons and Rs. 50,000 to those with minor injuries. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has directed the district police and administrative officials to speed up relief and rehabilitation measures at the accident site. The chief minister has sanctioned Rs. 2 lakh to the next of the kin of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 each to the injured persons. Following the early morning mishap , which has hampered the movement of trains on one of the busiest rail routes in Uttar Pradesh five trains have either been fully or partially cancelled by Northern Railway. The routes of nine other trains have been diverted. Khaleda’s son gets life term for Hasina kill bid; death for 19 DHAKA, 10 OCTOBER Opposition BNP chief Khaleda Zia's fugitive son and political heir Tarique Rahman was sentenced to life and 19 others, including a former home minister, were given death penalty by a Bangladesh courtWednesday for their role in a plot to assassinate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2004. An attack on an Awami League rally on August 21, 2004 targeted Hasina, the then opposition leader, when she was about to finish a speech in front of thousands of supporters. While Hasina survived the attack with a partial hearing loss, her party's women front chief and former president Zillur Rahman's wife Ivy Rahman was killed in the blasts. Special court Judge Shahed Nuruddin awarded the death penalty to 19 people including former junior home minister Lutfuzzaman Babar, ex-deputy education minister Abdus Salam Pintu and several former army intelligence officers. Rahman and 18 others were sentenced to life. Eleven others were jailed for different terms. “They (who are sentenced to death) will be hanged by neck until they are dead,” Justice Nuruddin said. Thirty-one of the 49 convicts were present in the court while others including 51-year-old Rahman, now the acting BNP chairman as his mother is serving a fiveyear imprisonment in a graft case, are on the run abroad to evade justice. Rahman was tried in absentia with the court declaring him a “fugitive”. He now lives in London where he is believed to have sought asylum, though the UK authorities have declined to reveal his immigration status. PTI Details on Page 9
The Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Kolkata in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman Weekly is a compendium of news and views from the Kolkata and Delhi editions. Printed on airmail paper, it is popular with readers outside India. The Statesman (average weekday circulation approximately 180,000) is a leading English newspaper in West Bengal. The Sunday Statesman has a circulation of 230,000.