THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 25 OCTOBER 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 ‘EXPLOSIVES’ SENT TO CLINTONS’, OBAMAS’ HOMES MODI AWARDED SEOUL PEACE PRIZE P10 SENSEX 34,033.96 +186.73 NIFTY +77.95 ` vs $ 73.15 P12 GOLD 31,727 -182.00 SILVER P15 38,542 -21.00 BRENT OIL (IN $) 71.47 0.50 CBI’s feuding two stripped of charge WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Mist in the morning. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 32 and 17 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 92% Min. 35% Max: 32.5°C (+1) SUN RISES 06:29 hrs MOON RISES 18:18 hrs Min: 16.1°C (-1) SUN SETS 17:42 hrs MOON SETS 07:48 hrs TEMPERATURE P12 10,224.75 RONALDO SEALS IT WITHOUT GETTING ON SCORESHEET ‘KHASHOGGI KILLING WORST COVER-UP IN HISTORY’ THUMBNAILS Honduran migrants heading in a caravan to the USA, climb on a truck in Huixtla on their way to Mapastepec, Chiapas state, Mexico, on Wednesday. as they continued their march to (P12 ) the US after a day’s rest in Huixtla. AFP Maharashtra boat capsizal: A man drowned Wednesday when a boat carrying 25 people, including a couple of Maharashtra government officials, capsized in the Arabian Sea off the Mumbai coast, police said. Initially, the Navy said Maharashtra Chief Secretary D K Jain was on the ill-fated boat but the official later denied it, saying he was travelling by another boat. The accident occurred when officials and some others were on their way in four boats to the site of the proposed memorial of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, where work was to begin Wednesday. One of the boats hit a rocky patch and capsized. In midnight 'coup', Modi govt sends Verma, Asthana on leave, appoints interim CBI chief; Verma challenges it in Supreme Court STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 24 OCTOBER A mid the extraordinary crisis gripping the country's premier investigative agency Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the wake of a raging war centred round corruption within the agency's top echelons, its feuding Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana have been stripped of their charge and sent on compulsory leave by the Narendra Modi government. This unprecedented move was taken by the government in a midnight "coup" of sorts with the operation continuing till the wee hours Wednesday during which it appointed a CBI Joint Director M Nageshwar Rao as the agency's interim chief. Addressing a press conference later in the day, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the government's move to remove the CBI's two top officers as an interim measure was based on the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC)'s recommendation that was made yesterday evening following its meeting. Late last night, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by PM Modi, also decided that during the period of such interim measure Nageshwar Rao, a 1986-batch Odisha cadre IPS officer, will "look Yashwant, Shourie, Bhushan move SC for FIR in Rafale deal PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 24 OCTOBER Former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie and activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court seeking registration of an FIR into the Rafale fighter jet deal between India and France alleging “criminal misconduct” by high public functionaries. They have sought a direction to the CBI to investigate the offences mentioned in their complaint in a “time-bound” manner and submit periodic status reports to the apex court. The complaint was filed on October 4 with the CBI after their meeting with CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma, who was late Tuesday night directed by the Centre to proceed on leave in the wake of feud with the second-in-command in the agency Rakesh Asthana. The petition by the trio came two weeks after the court had on October 10 asked the Centre to provide details of the decision- making process in the Rafale deal with France in a sealed cover by October 29. It had clarified that it does not want information on pricing and technical particulars. The court's order had come on two PILs filed by advocates M L Sharma and Vineet Dhanda. India signed an agreement with France for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft in a fly-away condition as part of the upgrading process of the IndianAirForceequipment.The Rafale fighter is a twin-engine MediumMultiRoleCombatAircraft (MMRCA) manufactured by French aerospace company Dassault Aviation. IN THE HOT SEAT M Nageshwar Rao, the new interim director of the CBI is a 1986 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the Odisha cadre. Prior to his present posting, he was Joint Director of CBI Southern Zone, Chennai He supervised the probe into the chit fund scams and the Saradha scam in Odisha and West Bengal. He also has counter-insurgency experience in Manipur and took part in anti-Maoist operations in Bengal’s Lalgarh as a CRPF officer. after the duties and functions of Director, CBI with immediate effect". Verma and Asthana had been locked in an escalating battle of attrition, accusing each other of being allegedly involved in various corruption and bribery cases. The CBI recently registered an FIR against Asthana, CBI DSP Devender Kumar and others over their alleged involvement in bribery in a matter related to the meat exporter Moin Qureshi case. Asthana has levelled counter-allegation of bribery against Verma in this case too. Justifying the government's midnight operation, Jaitley said it was "essential to restore the institutional integrity and credibility of the country's premier investigative agency". The trading of serious M Nageshwar Rao After his midnight appointment, it was reported, Delhi police cordoned off the CBI headquarters, and Rao went there under escort to take charge. corruption charges by the agency's two top officers had led to a “bizarre and unfortunate” situation, Jaitley said. An agency team supervised by the CVC would now probe the charges against Verma and Asthana during a period when both officers will “sit out”, he said, claiming that the government's move was in sync with highest standards of fairness and in accordance with the provisions of the CVC Act and the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act. It was another matter that eyebrows were raised in various quarters over the manner in which the government carried out the operation vis-a-vis the CBI top brass through the night in which National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval was said to have played a Immediately after taking charge Rao sealed the offices of both Verma and Asthana. He then reportedly went on to effect mass transfers of officers, especially "purging" those considered to be in the Verma camp and probing Asthana. The new interim director also overhauled the CBI team probing allegations of corruption against Rakesh Asthana, bringing in new faces from the investigation officer to the supervisory level officer. key role. It was reported that Delhi Police had cordoned off the CBI headquarters in New Delhi during the night and that Nagheshwar Rao had to be escorted by policemen as he went there to take charge as its interim director. It was also reported that immediately after taking charge Rao sealed the offices of both Verma and Asthana. He then reportedly went on to effect mass transfers of officers, especially "purging" those considered to be in the Verma camp and probing Asthana. Rao overhauled the CBI team probing allegations of corruption against Asthana, bringing in new faces from the investigation officer to the supervisory level officer. TURN TO PAGE 6 Govt, Opposition duel over removal of CBI director STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 24 OCTOBER The Congress-led Opposition today unleashed a blistering onslaught against the Narendra Modi government over CBI Director Alok Verma's removal and the appointment of an interim CBI chief M Nageshwar Rao in a controversial last night operation. Led by its president Rahul Gandhi, the Congress alleged that this decision was taken due to the Modi government's 'Rafale-o-phobia' as Verma was purportedly collecting documents relating to the alleged Rafale jet deal scam. The government, however, strongly defended its move, with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley asserting that it was “absolutely essential” to maintain the CBI's institutional credibility and integrity. Jaitley also maintained that the government's decision to send Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana on leave was based on the Central Vigilance Commissioner's recmmendations as per the law. In his tweets and public rally, Gandhi went after KOHLI FASTEST TO 10,000 ODI RUNS Virat Kohli on Wednesday became the fastest to score 10,000 runs in One-day Internationals, rewriting the iconic Sachin Tendulkar's record. Tendulkar took 259 innings to get there, while Kohli has so far batted in 205 innings. Kohli became the 13th batsman to reach the milestone with an unbeaten 157 off 129 balls, his 37th ODI hundred. In the process, he also became the fastest to 1,000 runs in a calendar year India captain Virat Kohli raises his bat after completing 10,000 runs, surpassing Sachin Tendulkar, in the ODI format, during the second ODI against West Indies in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday (P16) that ended in a tie. AFP Besides Tendulkar and Kohli, Sourav Ganguly, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Rahul Dravid are the other Indian cricketers to cross 10000 runs in the format. SC bars sale, regn of BS-IV vehicles after March ’20 I SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 24 OCTOBER In a move to enforce cleaner fuel across the country, the Supreme Court today ruled that no Bharat Stage (BS) IV vehicle shall be sold across the country with effect from 1 April 2020. The BS IV norms have been enforced for a few years now in Tier 1 cities across the country since April 2017. No BS-IV vehicle would be sold or registered in India from 1 April 2020, the apex court ruled, saying any extension of time in introducing the new emission norms would adversely impact the health of citizens as pollution has reached an “alarming and critical” level. BS emission norms are standards set by the government to regulate output of air pollutants from motor vehicles. In 2016, the Centre had announced the country would skip the BS-V norms altogether and adopt BS-VI norms by 2020. The top court said there cannot be any compromise on citizens' health which has to take precedence over the “greed” of few automobile manufacturers. Noting that India has the “dubious distinction” of having 15 out of the 20 most pol- luted cities in the world, a Bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur said the effect of pollution on the environment and health was so huge that it could not be compensated in the marginal extra profits that manufacturers might make. “Therefore, if there is a conflict between health and wealth, obviously, health will have to be given precedence,” said the Bench also comprising Justice S A Nazeer and Justice Deepak Gupta. “We are dealing here with a situation where children and unborn children suffer from pollution and issues of inter-generational equity are involved,” the Bench said noting that there was more than sufficient time for manufacturers to make BS-VI compliant vehicles. “They (manufacturers) already have the technology to do so. The automobile industry must show the will, responsibility and urgency in this regard,” the top court said in its order while deciding if BSIV compliant vehicles should be permitted to be sold in India after 31 March 2020. The apex court described as “very vague” a sub-rule inserted in the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 by the government as per which grace period of three and six months respectively were given for sale of BS-VI compliant vehicles manufactured before 1 April 2020. Acording to the subrule, time till 30 June 2020 was given to automobile manufacturers to sell their BS-IV compliant four-wheelers manufactured till 31 March 2020. Similarly, according to the sub-rule, grace period till 30 September 2020 was given for sale of BS-IV compliant heavy transport vehicles manufactured till 31 March 2020. “This rule, in our view, is violative of Article 21 of the Constitution (protection of life and personal liberty) in as much as it extends time for registration of vehicles beyond 31 March 2020 and must be accordingly read down,” the Bench said. “Any extension of time in introducing the new norms which is not absolutely nec- essary adversely impacts the health of the citizens and is, therefore, violative of Article 21 of the Constitution of India,” it said. The apex court said the subrule shall be interpreted to make it clear that no motor vehicle conforming to BS-IV norm shall be sold or registered in the entire country with effect from 1 April 2020. It noted that Europe had introduced Euro-VI standards way back in 2015. “We cannot afford to fall back further even by a single day. The need of the hour is to move to a cleaner fuel as early as possible,” the Bench said. It said the Centre was proactive in spending money to switch to the BS-VI technology but the automobile industry was coming up with a “variety of untenable excuses” just to delay its introduction. PM Modi, alleging that Verma was "illegally" shunted to "stop him from probing the Rafale deal". Jaitley dismissed such allegations as “rubbish”. "The fact that Opposition parties are saying we know what agency was going to do next itself casts a doubt on the fairness process," he said. Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters at the party's press briefing that "An illegal, unconstitutional and illegitimate coup in the CBI by PM Modi-Amit Shah (BJP chief ) duo has shamed India, has shamed all Indian institutions." Singhvi alleged, "It is clear that PM Modi is experiencing Rafale-ophobia. This terror of the Rafale scam has led to the demolition by this Modi government of the pillars of India's premier investigating agency." Congress's chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala alleged: "Modi government drives the last nail into the CBI's independence. Systematic dismantling and denigrating of CBI is now complete. Once a premier investigating agency, PM ensures that CBI's integrity, credibility and reliability is buried and dead." WHAT THEY SAID CBI Chief Alok Verma was collecting documents relating to the Rafale scam... The PM’s message is very clear that whoever comes near Rafale (issue) will be removed, wiped out RAHUL GANDHI CONGRESS PRESIDENT CBI has now become so called BBI (BJP Bureau of Investigation) - very unfortunate! MAMATA BANERJEE WEST BENGAL CHIEF MINISTER Director Alok Verma being sent on leave at a crucial time appears motivated with #RafaleScam under the scanner. The appointment of a corrupt officer as interim head of #CBI is equally questionable MK STALIN DMK PRESIDENT The illegal removal of CBI chief by Modi government to protect their own handpicked officer... points to attempts at a serious cover-up SITARAM YECHURY CPI-M GENERAL SECRETARY TURN TO PAGE 6 #MeToo: GoM set up to look into workplace sexual harassment STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 24 OCTOBER The central government today constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) to examine in three months the existing legal and institutional frameworks for dealing with matters of sexual harassment of women at the workplace. The government set up this GoM in the wake of #MeToo movement where a slew of women have publicly named men who had allegedly harassed or assaulted them sexually. The editor-turned-politician M J Akbar had to recently resign as Minister of State for External Affairs following allegations of sexual harassment or assault against him by many former colleagues. The GoM will recommend action required for effective implementation of the existing provisions, as well as for strengthening the legal and institutional frameworks for addressing issues related to the problem. The Group of Ministers has been constituted in view of the need for broader consultation on this issue, from the point of view of developing appropriate suggestions and laying down a comprehensive plan of action and for ensuring its time bound implementation, Home Ministry said. The Group of Ministers will be chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and its members are Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and Women & Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi. The Home Ministry said the Government is com- The government set up this GoM in the wake of #MeToo movement where a slew of women have publicly named men who had allegedly harassed or assaulted them sexually mitted to ensure the safety and dignity of women in the workforce. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act is the key legislation for preventing and protecting women against sexual harassment in the workplace and to ensure effective redressal of the complaints. The Ministry of Women & Child Development has launched an Electronic Complaints Box that enables women, irrespective of their work status, to raise their voice against sexual harassment at workplace. Once a complaint is submitted to the ‘SHe-Box’, it is directly sent to the concerned authority having jurisdiction to take action into the matter. A mechanism will be put in place to regularly monitor the action taken on the complaints.
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