WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 31 OCTOBER 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR TRUMP PLANS TO END BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP GUARDED OPTIMISM INDIA, ITALY TO EXPAND DEFENCE TIES P6 SENSEX 33,891.13 -176.27 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. Mist in the morning. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 31 and 17 degrees Celsius respectively. NIFTY 10,198.40 -52.45 P8 ` vs $ 73.68 -23 PAISE GOLD 30,575.00 -110.00 Max. 92% PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Max: 30.8°C (0) SUN RISES 06:33 hrs MOON RISES 23:47 hrs Min: 16.5°C (+1) SUN SETS 17:37 hrs MOON SETS 13:38 hrs THUMBNAILS Revellers dressed as skeletons pose for a picture during Halloween festival celebrations in AFP Amritsar on Tuesday. SC modifies timing for bursting firecrackers on Diwali: The Supreme Court on Tuesday modified its order which had fixed 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. as slot for bursting firecrackers on Diwali and other festivals, saying that authorities in states are at liberty to change the timings but the duration will not exceed two hours a day. The apex court also said that its directions on “green crackers” was meant only for Delhi-NCR. The court was hearing a plea by Tamil Nadu government which sought its nod for bursting of crackers on Diwali P7 morning Top court pulls up Bihar Police over shelter home scandal: The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up Bihar Police for not arresting former state minister Manju Verma, who had stepped down in the wake of the Muzaffarpur shelter home scandal, in a case related to recovery of ammunition from her possession. The top court said even after her anticipatory bail application was dismissed by the Patna High Court on 9 October, the police has not P7 been able to arrest her. SBI cuts ATM withdrawal limit: The State Bank of India has halved the daily cash withdrawal limit from ATMs for certain debit card holders to Rs 20,000 from Wednesday. The withdrawal limit has been curtailed on Classic and Maestro debit cards, held by a large number of the bank customers. However, customers with other variants of SBI debit card can continue to enjoy higher daily withdrawal P11 from ATMs. NEW DELHI, 30 OCTOBER The Supreme Court on Monday quashed the Centre's decision to appoint Air Marshal Rajvir Singh as director general of medical services (Army) and asked it to appoint Lt General Manomoy Ganguly to the post. A bench of justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said the case pertaining to Lt Gen Ganguly has had a “chequered history” as he had to initially fight for the promotion and then for the post of DGMS (Army). “As a result, we allow this writ petition (of Ganguly) and quash orders dated 10 August, 2018 (to appoint Rajvir Singh) and issue mandamus directing the respondents (Centre and others) to appoint petitioner (Ganguly) as DGMS (Army),” the bench said. The bench reproduced the findings of the Armed Forces Tribunal which had said, “There has been some attempt (though we are not suggesting as to whether it was deliberate or bona fide) in denying the respondent his claim for promotion to the rank of Lt. General.” The bench also said its verdict had asked the Defence Minister to consider the The remarks by Jaitley came amid reports of mounting tension between the finance ministry and the central bank NEW DELHI, 30 OCTOBER I n his strongest criticism of the RBI yet, finance minister Arun Jaitley Tuesday hit out at the central bank for failing to check indiscriminate lending during 2008-2014 that has led to the present NPA crisis in the banking industry. The remarks by Jaitley came amid reports of mounting tension between the finance ministry and RBI after the central bank's deputy governor Viral V Acharya in a speech on Friday warned that undermining autonomy and independence of RBI could be “potentially catastrophic”. This was seen as a veiled reference to RBI pushing back hard against the government pressure to relax its policies and reduce its powers. “You see (between) 2008 to 2014, after the global economic crisis, to keep the economy artificially going, banks were told open your doors and lend indiscriminately,” Jaitley said at the BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 75.73 -1.61 India Leadership Summit organised by the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum. “The central bank looked the other way, there was indiscriminate lending,” he said. “I am surprised that at that time the government looked the other way, the banks looked the other way. I don’t know what the central bank was doing (because) it was the regulator of these. They kept pushing the truth under the carpet.” The government of the day, he said, was pushing banks to lend which resulted in credit growth in a year shooting up to 31 per cent from the normal average of 14 per cent. Jaitley said banks went into projects of demerit which did not have the capacity to sustain the cap- ital. “Total bank credit in India from Rs 18 lakh crore in 2008, by 2014 went up to Rs 55 lakh crore. And this is something the banks couldn’t sustain, the borrowers couldn’t sustain and you had the NPA problem,” he said. The non-performing assets or NPAs were put at Rs 2.5 lakh crore during those times but when an asset quality review was ordered by the new government in 2014, it was discovered that bad loans were of the order of Rs 8.5 lakh crore, he said. Delivering the AD Shroff Memorial Lecture in Mumbai on Friday, Acharya called for greater powers for RBI to regulate public sector banks as it seeks to clean up the banking system. This independence, he said, was necessary to secu-re greater financial and macroeconomic stability. Neither the finance ministry nor Jaitley has so far responded officially to the comments. Jaitley, who had previously stated that politicians have to unfairly take the blame for any wrongdoing while supervisors get away relatively easy, did not refer to Acharya's speech or the reported tension between his ministry and RBI during his comments at the event Tuesday. Sources in the finance ministry said differences between the central bank and the ministry are not new and several Governors in the past have had run-ins with the government over various issues. Accepting this, former RBI governor Y V Reddy in his autobiography has said the differences with the then finance minister P Chidambaram reached a level where he wanted to quit mid-way. The differences between former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan and the present government were an open secret. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Two Maoists were also believed to be killed in retaliatory action by the security forces after the ambush RAIPUR/NEW DELHI, 30 OCTOBER Two policemen and a cameraperson of Doordarshan were killed and two others were injured in a deadly Maoist attack on Tuesday in Maoist-affected Dantewada district of poll-bound Chhattisgarh where voting is scheduled next month. Two Maoists were also believed to be killed in retaliatory action by the security forces after the ambush in a forest area near Nilawaya village, around 450 kms from Raipur, the police said. While naxals have given a boycott call for the elections, voting is scheduled in the area for 12 November in the first phase of the state assembly polls. The incident took place at around 11 a.m. when a squad of local police was carrying out patrolling on motor cycles from Sameli camp towards Nilawaya on Tuesday morning, Deputy Inspector General (anti-naxal operations) Sundarraj P said. A three-member team of Doordarshan was travelling for election-related news coverage at the same Achyutanand Sahu time and was caught in the cross-fire, he said. In the attack, sub-inspector Rudra Pratap Singh, assistant constable Mangalu and DD News cameraman Achyutanand Sahu were killed, Sundarraj said. Sahu had come from New Delhi for coverage of Assembly elections to be held next month, he said. Sahu's colleagues in the national capital described him as a go-getter with a penchant for challenging assignments, as a pall of gloom descended on the newsroom of the public broadcaster as reports of his death came in. Several of his colleagues recalled how the 34-year-old would make them smile with his lighthearted quips. Other two members of the DD team, including a journalist, were safe, the police officer said. Malegaon blast: Seven to face terror trial PRESS TRUST OF INDIA MUMBAI, 30 OCTOBER A special court Tuesday framed terror charges against Lt Col Prasad Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur (photo) and five other accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, setting the stage for their trial that will commence on Friday. Observing that the organisation named Abhinav Bharat was formed by the accused with the common object to “spread terrorism”, the court here also framed charges of criminal conspiracy and murder, among other offences. Six people were killed SC quashes Centre’s decision on DGMS PRESS TRUST OF INDIA SILVER 38,300.00 -300.00 Jaitley launches salvo Cops, DD cameraman killed in Maoist attack at RBI over bad loans RBI looked other way when banks lent freely, ran up NPAs: FM Min. 39% P16 P12 RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY TEMPERATURE BCCI NEEDS OMBUDSMAN, SAYS COA plea of Ganguly seeking appointment as DGMS (Army) “objectively” and “dispassionately”. “We may point out at the outset that case of the petitioner (Ganguly) is that in spite of judgment of August 01, 2018 passed by this court ..., the matter has not been examined dispassionately and objectively keeping in view the law laid down therein as well as the spirit behind the said judgment,” said Justice Sikri, who wrote 39page verdict for the bench. According to the petitioner, the government and other authorities are finding one or the other excuse to deny him the post of DGMS (Army), it said. The court however added that the exercise undertaken by the Union defence minister in the matter did not suffer from “any element of unfairness”. “At the same time, we are constrained to remark that the decision making process suffers from some significant errors and it cannot be said to be unblemished.” The bench took note of the submission of Ganguly that Singh was already posted as DGMS (Air) and his“lateral shifting” to the post of DGMS (Army) by the government was not justified. and over 100 injured when an explosive device strapped on a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon, about 200 km from Mumbai in north Maharashtra, on 29 September, 2008. Judge Vinod Padalkar, presiding over the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court, framed charges against all the seven accused under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and Indian Penal Code (IPC). After framing of the charges, the court posted the case on 2 November for the trial to commence. Framing of charges is a process after which the trial in a criminal case starts. Apart from Purohit and Sadhvi, the other accused are - Major (retired) Ramesh Upadhyay, Ajay Rahirkar, Sudhakar Dwivedi, Sudhakar Chaturvedi and Sameer Kulkarni. All the accused were present in the court when the judge read out the charges against them. They pleaded not guilty in the case. The accused were charged under sections 16 (committing terrorist act) and 18 (conspiring to commit terrorist act) of the UAPA. Under the IPC, they were charged under sections 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 153 (a) (promoting enmity between two religious groups). If convicted under these sections, the maximum punishment can be life imprisonment or death. The accused were also charged under the Explosive Substances Act. The judge said, “The Abhinav Bharat organisation was formed with the common object to spread terrorism and a bomb with RDX was planted on a motorcycle in Malegaon that killed six persons and injured 101 others.” Purohit told the court he never expected the charges to be framed against him and said, “No one can doubt my honesty, integrity and service record.” On 27 December last year, the special NIA court had dismissed pleas filed by Purohit, Thakur and others seeking to be discharged from the case. The NIA, after taking over the case, filed a charge sheet in 2016 giving a clean chit to Sadhvi and three others, Shyam Sahu, Praveen Takalki and Shivnarayan Kalsangra. But the court absolved only Sahu, Kalsangra and Takalki, and said Sadhvi will have to face the charges. Constable Vishnu Netam and Assistant Constable Rakesh Kaushal sustained injuries in the gunfight, he added. The injured have been admitted to Dantewada district hospital, he said, adding that if required, they would be airlifted to Raipur for further medication. Political parties across the spectrum condemned the attack while the Congress termed the Raman Singh government in the state as “incompetent and worthless”. The Editors Guild of India urged law enforcement agencies in the state to provide necessary security to media professionals, particularly when they are covering elections. The first phase of polls will cover 18 constituencies of eight Maoist-affected districts Bastar, Kanker Sukma, Bijapur, Dantewada, Narayanpur, Kondagaon and Rajnandgaon. 60% wildlife wiped out, warns WWF NEW DELHI, 30 OCTOBER Over-exploitation of nature has wiped out about 60 per cent of the wildlife and 87 per cent wetlands since 1970, and ours is possibly the last generation of humans with a chance to act and reverse this trend, warns the WWF's Living Planet Report-2018. The biannual report mapped serious threats to pollinators like bees, soil ecology and wetlands which have direct repercussions on human food security and IANS health. DETAILS ON PAGE 7
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