CMYK THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 01 NOVEMBER 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 34,442.05 -550.92 WEATHER Temperature will be in the range of 23-32 degree Celsius. RAINFALL: 2.0 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.93% Max: 30.8°C (0) SUN SETS 16.59 hrs MOON RISES 23.11 hrs P6 NIFTY 10,386.60 +188.20 ` vs $ 73.95 -27 PAISE Min: 22.4°C (0) SUN RISES 05:42 hrs MOON SETS 12:42 hrs New moon on 7 November THUMBNAILS Former President Pranab Mukherjee pays homage during a prayer meeting at the memorial of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on her 34th death anniversary at Indira Gandhi Memorial, in the Capital on Wednesday. SNS Pak court overturns blasphemy death sentence: Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned the conviction of a Christian woman who was on death row for eight years for blasphemy, a landmark verdict that sparked nationwide protests, death threats from hardline groups and cheers from human rights advocates. (P9) NEW DELHI, 31 OCTOBER The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to place before it in a sealed cover within 10 days the pricing details of 36 Rafale fighter jets India is buying from France. A Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi also said that details, including the steps in the decision making process for the procurement of jets, which could “legitimately” be brought into public domain, be made available to the parties who have filed petitions before it in the matter. After the court dictated the order, Attorney General K K Venugopal told the Bench that pricing details of these jets were not even shared with the Parliament. RBI autonomy essential: Govt PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 31 OCTOBER he government has for the first time used a provision of law to ask the RBI for resolution of differences between them on stressed loans in power sector and other issues, sources privy to the development said. Without acknowledging the notices sent to RBI under Section 7 of the RBI Act, the finance ministry in a statement said, autonomy was “essential” but its functioning must be guided by public interest and needs of the economy. Amid a standoff between the ministry and RBI over the central bank’s handling of weak public sector banks, tight liquidity in the market and ways of resolving bad loans in the power sector, unconfirmed reports claimed that RBI governor Urjit Patel was considering stepping down if the government were to issue an unprecedented direction. T “The autonomy for the central bank, within the framework of the RBI Act, is an essential and accepted governance requirement. Governments in India have nurtured and respected this,” the ministry said in a brief statement. Sources in the know of the development said the government has sent at least three letters on different issues under Section 7 (1) of the RBI Act that gives it powers to issue any direction to the central bank governor on matters of public interest. They, however, insisted that the government has not taken any action of issuing any specific direction and has only initiated consultations with the central bank on unresolved issues. Without making any reference to the letters, the ministry statement said, “Both the government and the central bank, in their functioning, have to be guided by public interest and the requirements of the Indian economy.” The government, it said, has never made public the subject matter of those consultations. Sources said, the finance ministry wrote three separate letters in the past few weeks to the RBI on issues ranging from Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework to liquidity management and sought consultation under RBI Act Section 7. The government wants RBI to carve out exemption for power companies under the PCA framework that outlines triggers for declaring a loan account as stressed or NPA, sources said, adding that the second letter pertained to use of RBI’s capital reserves for providing liquidity to the market and a third letter was for relaxing constraints on banks for loans to SMEs. The Bench made it clear that at this stage, details which might be considered to be “strategic and confidential” by the govt need not be shared with petitioners The Bench which also comprised Justices U U Lalit and K M Joseph told the Attorney General that if the pricing detail was “exclusive” and it could not be shared with the court, the Centre should file an affidavit in this regard and say so. The Bench made it clear that at this stage, details which might be considered to be “strategic and confidential” by the government be placed before the court and might not be given to the advocates appearing for the petitioners. The court noted in its order that pursuant to its 10 October direction, the government has placed before it in a sealed cover a note giving the “details of the steps in the decision making process leading to the award of 36 Rafale jet-fighters/fighter aircrafts”. “At this stage, we would not like to record any finding or views with regard to the contents of the said report. Rather, we are of the opinion that such of the core information conveyed to the court in the aforesaid confidential report which can legitimately be brought into the public domain be made available to the counsels for the petitioners in all the cases, as well as, the peti- tioners-in-person,” the Bench said. It said, further details that could legitimately come in public domain with regard to induction of Indian offset partner, if any, be also furnished to the petitioners. “The court would also like to be apprised of the details with regard to the pricing or cost, particularly the advantage thereof, if any, which again will be submitted to the court in a sealed cover,” the Bench said. When Venugopal told the Bench that report which the Centre has already placed before the court was covered under the Official Secrets Act and could not be shared, the Bench made it clear that confidential and strategic information need not be shared. Hashimpura case: Life term for 16 former cops PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 31 OCTOBER The Delhi High Court today sentenced 16 former policemen to life imprisonment for killing 42 people of a minority community in Hashimpura locality of Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut in 1987. A Bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel reversed a trial court’s verdict which had acquitted the accused. The high court termed the massacre “targeted killing” of unarmed and defenceless people by the police. It convicted the 16 former Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel for murder, kidnapping, criminal P9 GOLD 30,610.00 +35.00 Rafale deal: SC seeks price details of 36 fighter jets PRESS TRUST OF INDIA ANOTHER ONE-DAY SERIES IS RIPE FOR THE PICKING P2 SILVER 38,400.00 +100.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 75.46 -0.45 IRON MAN Seeks consultation with RBI on some issues under Section 7 Min. 55% TEMPERATURE ‘NORTH KOREA READYING N-SITE FOR INSPECTORS’ MR ABE’S NEW TEAM LOANS ALONE WOULD NOT HELP conspiracy and destruction of evidence under the Indian Penal Code. While sentencing all the convicts to life imprisonment, the court said that the families of the victims had to wait 31 years to get justice and monetary relief cannot compensate their loss. The high court directed the convicts to surrender on or before 22 November. The high court’s verdict came on pleas challenging a trial court’s decision to acquit 16 policemen of charges of murder and other crimes in the case. “We have proceeded to reverse the trial court judgement and holding the 16 accused guilty for the offences of criminal conspiracy, kid- napping, murder and destruction of evidence under the IPC,” the Bench said. It said the evidence against the PAC personnel is “clinching” in nature and the charges against them stand true beyond reasonable doubt. The high court had on 6 September reserved its verdict on the appeals filed by Uttar Pradesh, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and some private parties including a survivor of the massacre, Zulfiqar Nasir. It had also reserved its judgement on BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s plea seeking further probe to ascertain the alleged role of then minister of state for home P Chidambaram in the case. The court had on 17 Feb- ruary, 2016, tagged Swamy’s plea with the other petitions in the matter. On 21 March, 2015, a trial court here had acquitted the 16 former PAC personnel giving them benefit of doubt, saying their identification could not established due to lack of evidence. Nineteen people were named as accused and charges were framed against 17 of them for offences of murder, attempt to murder, tampering with evidence and conspiracy, by the court here in 2006. The case was transferred to Delhi on a Supreme Court direction in September 2002 following a petition by the families of the massacre victims and survivors. Of the 17 accused, the trial court had acquitted 16, while one died during the trial. The NHRC has intervened in the matter seeking further probe into the massacre in the Hashimpura locality of Meerut in Uttar Pradesh. A trial court had on 8 March, 2013, dismissed Swamy’s plea for further probe to ascertain the role of Chidambaram, who was a Union minister between 1986 and 1989, in the incident, saying that he has no locus standi and it is only the police who can move an application for further probe. Thereafter, Swamy had approached the high court with the appeal. CMYK India ranks 77th in ease of business WASHINGTON/NEW DELHI, 31 OCTOBER India has jumped 23 places to the 77th position in theWorld Bank’s ‘ease of doing business’ ranking released today, a development that could help the country attract more foreign investments. India was ranked 100th in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report last year. The ranking comes as a shot in the arm for the Narendra Modi government which faces strong dissenting voices from Opposition ahead of general election next year.In its annual report ‘Doing Business’ 2019 report, World Bank said India improved on six of the 10 parameters relating to business. PTI IAF helicopters shower rose petals on the "Statue Of Unity", the world's tallest statue dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, overlooking the Sardar Sarovar Dam near Vadodara in Gujarat on Wednesday. The statue was formally unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AFP
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.