CMYK FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 26 OCTOBER 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P2 SENSEX 33,690.09 -343.87 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. Maximimum and minimum temperature will be around 34 and 21 degrees Celsius respectively RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Min. 23% Max: 34.1°C (+2) SUN SETS 17:03 hrs MOON RISES 18.32 hrs Min: 20.9°C (-2) SUN RISES 05:39 hrs MOON SETS 06:54 hrs Moon phase: Third quarter on 31 Oct THUMBNAILS A Sikh priest carries the Guru Granth Sahib during a procession at the Golden Temple in Amritsar on Thursday. AFP AIADMK MLAs’ disqualification upheld: In a huge relief to the AIADMK government, the Madras High Court Thursday upheld the disqualification of its 18 rebel MLAs loyal to sidelined leader TTV Dhinakaran by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly last year. NIFTY 10,124.90 -99.85 NEW DELHI, 25 OCTOBER The BCCI Committee of Administrators Thursday formed a three-member panel to probe the allegation of sexual harassment against board CEO Rahul Johri but chairman Vinod Rai stood in the way of his sacking which was demanded by his fellow COA member, among others. The Rai-led COA, which has former women's captain Diana Edulji as the only other member, said that Johri has submitted his response to the show-cause notice issued against him after an anonymous account of the alleged incident came up on social media. The panel set up by the COA comprises former Allahabad High Court judge Justice Rakesh Sharma, who has been named chairman, Delhi P9 ` vs $ 73.27 -11.00 PAISE GOLD 30,645.00 -160.00 CBI chief's benching panic reaction: Rahul STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 25 OCTOBER A day after the Narendra Modi government stripped the feuding CBI director Alok Verma and special director Rakesh Asthana of their powers and sent them on indefinite leave, Congress president Rahul Gandhi ramped up his onslaught on PM Modi on Thursday, accusing him of jettisoningVerma "in panic" in a bid to preempt and scuttle a CBI probe into the alleged multi-billion Rafale fighter jet deal scam. Addressing a news conference here this evening, Gandhi claimed that Verma was all set to initiate a probe into the Rafale deal, which, the Congress chief charged, would have been "suicidal" for PM Modi. Gandhi maintained that the Modi government's midnight move divesting the CBI director of his powers was "illegal, criminal and unconstitutional" and that it was an "insult" to the Chief Justice of India (CJI), Leader of Opposition (LoP) and the people of India as the CBI chief cannot be appointed or removed without the clearance of a three-member high-powered committee comprising the PM, the CJI and the LoP . Panel to probe #Metoo charge against Johri PRESS TRUST OF INDIA P10 Bid by PM to preempt a CBI probe into Rafale deal, says Congress chief Max.89% TEMPERATURE SHINZO ABE IN CHINA AFTER LONG GAP SAUDIS SAY KHASHOGGI KILLING PLANNED RELIEF FOR KEJRIWAL, AAP Commission forWomen chairperson Barkha Singh and former CBI director P C Sharma. It has been given 15 days to submit a report and will also examine “all allegations of sexual harassment against Johri while he was employed with the BCCI”. Edulji and seven BCCI state units wanted Johri to be sacked but Rai said a probe is necessary before a call is taken on that. The post by the accuser, who claimed to be Johri's excolleague at a previous job, has been deleted by the twitter handle that originally shared it. The COA said that Johri submitted his explanation on October 20 denying that the alleged incident ever took place. The COA met on October 20 and 22 to consider the matter where Edulji demanded Johri's removal. "Rafale is an open and shut case, the moment the CBI inquiry begins, the Prime Minister is finished. It was suicidal for the PM to allow an inquiry. So to prevent the suicide he removed the CBI chief," Gandhi said, sticking to his allegation that Modi had “illegally” benefited his industrialist friend Anil Ambani by ensuring a Rs 30,000 crore offset contract for him from the Rafale deal, bypassing due process and ignoring the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s interests. Pointing out that the CBI director was divested of his powers at 2 a.m. on Wednesday night, Gandhi asked why he was not removed at 9 or 10 in the morning. "The main reason was that the CBI was going to start the investigation into the role of Prime Minister and his corruption in the Rafale deal. In panic at 2 a.m. he removed the CBI director. If probe was ordered truth would have come out and the country would have known that Prime Minister had been involved in corruption in the Rafale deal," he alleged. He said Verma's room in the CBI headquarters was subsequently sealed and documents considered "incriminating" were taken away. That is why he was removed in the middle of night, he added. "You understand the PM's mental state. He told the country that he wants to be its watchman. But he has done corruption in the Rafale deal and he knows that the day CBI starts investigation into it he will be finished. So, he made such an irrational move in panic," Gandhi said. Gandhi also attacked Modi for appointing joint director M Nageshwar Rao as the agency's interim chief. "Rao is himself facing corruption charges. PM has appointed a pliable person as the interim CBI chief who can be controlled by him," he said. “Prime Minister Modi is not going to leave any institution in a bid to save himself. But people will eventually find out the truth about his involvement in the Rafale scam," Gandhi said. Asked how he knew that Verma was going to order a probe into the Rafale deal, Gandhi said the whole country knew that a CBI probe into the Rafale deal will take place. “And, it was a logical conclusion after the complaint lodged with the CBI on Rafale byYashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie,” he said. The ruling BJP hit back, rejecting these allegations. “Congress has lost all hopes to become relevant and Rahul Gandhi is manufacturing lies every day about the Rafale jet deal,” Union minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters. He said that Gandhi was "living in hallucination" and that "Indian citizens are more mature than him". BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 76.34 +0.17 Drama as IB men ‘caught’ outside CBI chief’s home PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 25 OCTOBER As the CBI deals with an unprecedented internal crisis, all eyes are on the Supreme Court tomorrow when its director Alok Verma's plea against the Centre's order divesting him of duties and sending him on leave is slated to come up, amid high drama Thursday over the presence of IB officers outside Verma’s official residence here. Ahead of the hearing in the apex court, the CBI clarified that Verma and Rakesh Asthana, who are locked in a bitter feud that triggered the crisis, will remain its director and special director, stressing that they were not removed from their posts. Both Verma and Astana were stripped of their powers and sent on leave by the Centre on Wednesday night. The CBI spokesman also said the appointment of joint director M Nageshwar Rao to discharge the duties of the agency director was only an interim arrangement. The spokesman said the arrangement will continue until the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) decides on its probe into graft allegations against the CBI's top two officers. In a related development, the Supreme Court said it would consider according urgent hearing to a PIL seeking court-mon- Outside CBI director Alok Verma’s residence. SNS itored SIT probe into the allegations of corruption against various CBI officials, including Asthana. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi considered the submission of lawyer Prashant Bhushan, appearing for NGO 'Common Cause' that there were wider issues of corruption affecting the probe agency and the PIL needed to be heard urgently. Verma's petition is listed for hearing before a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph. It will come up along with the petition filed by 'Common Cause'. Verma contended that the decision taken "overnight" by the Centre and the CVC to divest him of his role as the head of the CBI was "patently illegal" and such interference "erodes" the independence and autonomy of the institution. A row also broke out after four men belonging to the Intelligence Bureau (IB) were picked up outside Verma's official residence. While home ministry officials said the four men were on "routine, covert" duties in the high security area outside Verma's 2 Janpath residence, sources said they were taken away by police and questioned. The IB is entrusted with the responsibility of collecting intelligence on situations that may affect public order and internal security. Among other things, its units are routinely deployed in sensitive areas, a home ministry official said. “One unit, in the early hours of today, halted at Janpath where there was an unusual collection of people," the official said. This was with a view to check why people had collected at the location. “Unfortunately, their presence was projected otherwise," another official said. ED files fresh charge sheet against PC YSRC chief Reddy PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 25 OCTOBER The Enforcement Directorate Thursday tightened its noose around former Union minister P Chidambaram by filing a charge sheet against him in a Delhi court in the AircelMaxis money laundering case, accusing him of conspiring with foreign investors to clear their venture. The agency also named S Bhaskaraman (chartered accountant of Chidambaram's son Karti) in the charge sheet. Chidambaram and his son have both denied the allegations levelled against them by the CBI and the ED. The others named in the charge sheet filed before Special Judge OP Saini are: V Srinivasan (former CEO of Aircel), Augustus Ralph Marshall (associated with Maxis), Astro All Asia Networks Plc Malaysia, Aircel Televentures STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 25 OCTOBER saw the file and when I reached the conclusion that something is wrong in it, it did not take me a minute to cancel it,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a function in Srinagar on Thursday. Earlier, in an interview with a New Delhi-based TV channel aired last night, Malik said he has "almost terminated" the contract after an investigation. "It will take couple of days for the official cancellation order," Malik said. He said,"I studied it myself. P11 SILVER 38,750.00 -50.00 Ltd, Maxis Mobile Services Sdn Bhd, Bumi Armada Berhad, and Bumi Armada Navigation Sdn Bhd. The court has fixed November 26 for consideration of the charge sheet. The ED has charged the accused under sections 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. If found guilty, they would be liable to a jail term of up to seven years along with fine. The nine are accused of money laundering of Rs 1.16 crore in lieu of illegal approval by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) allegedly accorded by the former minister in March 2006. The approval was given to the foreign investor Global Communication and Services Holdings Limited, Mauritius in alleged violation of the various rules and regulations governing FDI policy in India. “As per rules and FDI policy of Government of India in 2006, Chidambaram, the then Finance Minister was empowered to give approval of the foreign investment to the proposals involving foreign investment up to Rs 600 crore only. The foreign investment proposal of Global Communication and Services Holdings Limited was of USD 800 million which amounts to Rs 3,560 crore approximately (when 1 USD was Rs 44.5),. “The foreign investment proposal of Global Communication and Services Holdings Limited should have been referred to Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) but it was not done and approved by Chidambaram under a conspiracy,” said the ED, filing the second supplementary charge sheet. ED had filed the first charge sheet in the case against Karti; later, a supplementary charge sheet was also filed against him. It said the charge sheet is based on adequate material evidence which are in the form of email communications retrieved from the seized digital devices from Karti and his associates. The material evidences reveal routing of proceeds of crime in the guise of bonafide business deals by the beneficiaries of illegal FIPB approval in the companies of Karti. The investigation has revealed the financial linkage of Karti Chidambaram and P Chidambaram with these companies, the ED said. J&K govt cancels insurance tie-up with Reliance Following detection of glaring “irregularities” in awarding the contract for a group health insurance scheme for the nearly 4 lakh employees and pensioners of the Jammu and Kashmir government to Anil Ambani’s Reliance General Insurance, state Governor Satyapal Malik (photo) has “cancelled” the contract. The step has come almost a month after the scheme was rolled out as mandatory for the serving government employees, and employees of PSUs and Vaishnodevi Shrine Board. It was optional for pensioners and accredited media persons. Employee organisations had raised doubts about the fairness of tying up with Anil Ambani’s Reliance right from the beginning when some patients’ claims were rejected by certain hospitals. “The employees wanted it to be cancelled because there was some bungling in it. I BARCA GOOD ENOUGH WITH RAFINHA AS LEADING LIGHT The issue is that the government had not issued any tenders. A private company had asked for tenders on behalf of another company. Those bids were not displayed anywhere on our (government's) website. The tenders were changed to suit a particular company," Malik said in the interview. "It was full of frauds. I discussed the issue with the chief secretary and made it clear that such things can't happen in my presence. So we decided to cancel it.” The Governor’s administration had rolled out the scheme with much fanfare on 20 September this year. An order issued by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir in September this year, read, “The policy has been tied with M/s Reliance General Health Insurance Company Ltd on annual premium of Rs 8,777 and Rs 22, 229 for employees and pensioners respectively.” Ignoring the warnings of lack of transparency in the scheme, the finance department of the state government had justified the tie-up with Reliance. Previous Governor NN Vohra had been cautious in approving contracts with any health insurance company but the officialdom allegedly rushed the process to sign the contract with Reliance when Vohra was removed from the post. The issue had taken a serious turn when Congress president Rahul Gandhi, while attacking the Modi government having allegedly favoured Anil Ambani over the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in the Rafale deal with France’s Dassault Aviation, in a tweet last month took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for favouring another Anil Ambani company for the health insurance scheme for Jammu and Kashmir government employees. "When your BFF is the PM, you can get the 1,30,000 Cr. Rafale deal, even without relevant experience. But wait. There's more! Apparently, 400,000 JK Govt staff will also be arm twisted into buying health insurance ONLY from your company!" he tweeted. Gandhi's attack came in the wake of the Governor's administration through an order No 406-FD dated September 20, 2018, choosing Reliance General Insurance as the company for implementing the group health insurance policy with a coverage of Rs 6,00,000 for individual and family members on floater basis. Faced with criticism, Reliance General Insurance had CMYK earlier this month claimed that it has won the contract to provide health insurance cover to Jammu and Kashmir government staff after a "rigorous and transparent competitive tender process." A spokesman of the state government had also rejected the criticism as “unwarranted” and said that all public sector undertakings as well as top private insurance companies were contacted to participate in the bidding process. Reacting to the development, former chief minister Omar Abdullah said the governor should order an inquiry headed by the chief secretary to establish who was behind allotment of the insurance contract to the Reliance group. “The Hon @jandkgovernor now needs to order an inquiry headed by the Chief Secretary to establish who was behind the allotment of the insurance contract. The sums of money involved are too big for this to have been a straight forward mistake,” he tweeted. injured in knife attack at airport STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE HYDERABAD, 25 OCTOBER In a glaring lapse of security, YSRCP chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy was attacked today by a waiter of a restaurant with a small knife on the pretext of taking a selfie while he was at the VIP lounge of Vizag airport and sustained a minor injury. According to police, the 30year-old man described himself as a fan of Mr Reddy and was looking for publicity but YSRCP accused the police of trying to shift the blame on airport security even before conducting a proper inquiry. Mr Reddy, the leader of the Opposition in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly, was on his way to Hyderabad prior to his weekly court appearance on Friday from Viziangaram district where he was leading a Prajasankalpa yatra. The incident occurred at 12:40 p.m. when the assailant, J Srinivas, went to serve coffee to the YSRCP leaders seated in the lounge after clearing security check. He asked for a selfie, and when Mr Reddy obliged, he took out a sharp weapon from his pocket with his right hand while holding the phone in his left hand. He stabbed Mr Reddy on the upper part of his left arm. He tried to stab Mr Reddy a second time but was overpowered by YSRCP leaders who were nearby as well as the personal security officer of Mr Reddy. While Srinivas was handed over to CISF and then to local police, a bleeding Mr Reddy was given first aid by a doctor at the airport and later departed for Hyderabad on his flight. After landing in Hyderabad he was admitted to a private facility but later issued a statement saying he was safe. He added,“Such acts of cowardice will not dissuade me but strengthen my resolve to work for the people of my state.” Union minister for aviation Mr Suresh Prabhu expressed shock and said investigations were already under way. He stated, “All agencies (are) to investigate thoroughly, including CISF. Secretary, civil aviation will fix responsibility.” According to police, a letter 9-10 pages long was found in Srinivas’ pocket. Apparently he was looking for publicity and had chosen to stab Mr Reddy on his left arm. AP DGP RP Thakur said: “Inside the airport, security is purely the responsibility of the CISF. Inside the airport it is supposed to be a sanitised area; no weapon except those carried by CISF should be allowed. We will definitely unearth the reason behind this attack. As of now he is claiming to be Jagan’s fan.” Senior YSRCP leaders like Vijay Sai Reddy lambasted the DGP for making statements with pre-conceived notions. They blamed the TDP government and alleged that the restaurant at the airport where Srinivas was employed was run by a TDP supporter, Harsha Vardhan, indicating a conspiracy by the ruling party. Taking umbrage after Governor ESL Narasimhan enquired about the attack on Mr Reddy from the DGP chief minister , N Chandrabindu Naidu blamed the Centre over the attack, pointing out that it took place outside the jurisdiction of state police. He asked why Mr Reddy leftVizag with the injury and sought treatment at a private hospital in Hyderabad instead of a Vizag hospital.
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