CMYK WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 05 DECEMBER 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 P10 P7 Mainly clear sky with morning fog or mist most likely. Max and min temp likely to be around 28 and 16 degree celsius, resp RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.90% Min. 35% Max: 27.8°C (0) SUN RISES 06:03 hrs MOON RISES 03.57 hrs Min: 16.1°C (0) SUN SETS 16:52 hrs MOON SETS 15:36 hrs THUMBNAILS Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba along with Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat and Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate. SNS Telangana Cong candidate detained ahead of poll: With just two days left before election Revanth Reddy, working president of the Telangana unit of the Congress and the party candidate from Kodangal was taken into preventive custody after he threatened a total shutdown in the area ahead of CM’s rally. Umna Bharti not to contest LS poll: Union minister Uma Bharti on Tuesday said she won't contest the next LS elections. The BJP leader's announcement came days after her Sushma Swaraj said she won't contest the next LS polls. Bharti said she will instead concentrate on the issues of Ram temple. Police in Bulandshahr hunting for principal suspect Bajrang Dal district convener In a decision that “anguished” the Army, the government has rejected a long-standing demand of the armed forces for higher Military Service Pay (MSP) for over 1.12 lakh military personnel, including Junior Commissioned Officers, official sources said Tuesday. They told PTI that the Army headquarters was very upset over the decision of the Finance Ministry, and will seek its immediate review. Around 1.12 lakh military personnel including 87,646 JCOs and 25,434 personnel of equivalent rank from the Navy and the Indian Air Force will be impacted by the decision. The proposal for higher MSP for JCOs and equivalent rank of the Navy and IAF has been rejected by the Finance Ministry, sources said. The three services, particularly the Army, was pressing for increasing the monthly MSP of JCOs from Rs 5,500 to Rs 10,000. The total annual financial outgo would have been Rs 610 crore if the government had accepted the demand, the sources said. The MSP for the military personnel was introduced in 2008, recognising their unique service conditions and hardships. At present, the MSP has two Govt is considering setting up a special operations division comprising the best talents from the three services. categories -- one for officers and another for JCOs and jawans. The seventh Pay Commission had fixed Rs 5,200 as MSP per month for JCOs and jawans while putting it at Rs 15,500 for officers between Lieutenant-rank and Brigadier-rank. The Army has been pressing for granting an MSP of Rs 10,000 for the JCOs, arguing that they are gazetted officers (Group B) and play a very vital role in command and control structure of the force. The Army headquarters is “very anguished” over the rejection of higher MSP to JCOs. The defence ministry is also miffed over it, the sources said. “Since JCOs are Group B gazetted officers and also have considerable length of service, it is incorrect to grant them MSP on par with the jawans. It is very unfair,” said a military officer who wished not to be named. In 2016, the three service chiefs had taken up salary related issues including the “anomalies” in MSP with the 7th Pay Commission as well as with the top echelon of the government. Priority to criminal cases against lawmakers: SC PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 4 DECEMBER IL&FS Group and its subsidiaries, including ITNL, are facing liquidity crisis and have defaulted on various debt payments. eight employees who were not held captive, he said. Local workers are allegedly holding them in captivity in protest for not having paid salaries since the past two months. ITNL, through its whollyowned subsidiary, Elsamex SA, has been executing road projects across three sites in Ethiopia. IL&FS Group and its various subsidiaries, including ITNL, are facing liquidity crisis and have defaulted on various debt payments. As of October 8, 2018, the total debt of the group stood at Rs 94,215.6 crore. The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed that criminal cases against present and former Parliamentarians and state legislators involving offences punishable with life imprisonment or death should be taken up by the special or designated courts on priority. The SC directions came on a petition by BJP leader Ashwini Kumar seeking a lifetime ban on politicians, convicted for criminal offences, from contesting elections. A CJI headed bench said the cases allocated by the High Courts to designated courts involving the offences "punishable with imprisonment for life/death against sitting MPs or MLAs as well as former MPs or MLAs would be taken up on SNS first priority..." PRESS TRUST OF INDIA BULANDSHAHR (UP), 4 DEC olice arrested four people on Tuesday and were hunting for a Bajrang Dal activist in connection with mob violence here that left an inspector and a passerby dead, as angry families demanded action amid criticism of the UP chief minister and suggestions of conspiracies. Tears rolled down the eyes of family, friends and colleagues of slain Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh when the body was consigned to flames in a state funeral in the evening. After initial protests, the family of the other victim, 20-year-old Sumit Kumar, agreed to conduct his last rites. Sumit Kumar was also named as one of the accused in the FIR registered early Tuesday morning. The local residents wanted his name struck off from there. A mob of some 400 people, including rightwing activists, fought pitched battles with police on Monday in Siana area of Bulandshahr district, apparently after right-wing activists were angered by the discovery of cow carcasses strewn in a nearby jungle. They set fire to dozens of vehicles, hurled stones and also fired at police who retaliated with P Whose father is next, asks slain cop’s son in tears BULANDSHAHR, 4 DEC As police continued their investigations, emotions ran high with the families preparing for the last rites. The dead policeman's son Abhishek said his father wanted him to be a good citizen who doesn't incite violence in the name of religion. “My father has lost his life in this Hindu-Muslim dispute. Whose father is next?” he asked tearfully. Abhishek said he last spoke to his father when he phoned him to inquire whether he had studied and eaten. Demanding “martyr” status for the slain inspector, who was one of those who initially probed the 2015 lynching of Mohammed Akhlaq, his sister alleged his killing was a conspiracy of the police. “My brother was killed in a police conspiracy as he was probing a cow slaughter case... He should be given martyr status and a memorial should be constructPTI ed in his name’’. gunfire. In the violence, Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, the station house officer of Siana, and Sumit Kumar were killed. A video emerged Tues- day showing a young man with his hand over a bleeding wound near the abdomen, being helped by other people as they all run. Someone is heard say- Michel taken to Dubai airport for extradition PRESS TRUST OF INDIA DUBAI, 4 DECEMBER British national Christian Michel, wanted by Indian investigative agencies in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP choppers deal case, was taken to the Dubai International Airport on Tuesday to be extradited to India, according to a media report. The Court of Cassation last month upheld a lower court order which said that Michel could be extradited. Michel, 54, was taken to the Dubai International Airport from where he will be extradited to India later in the day, Khaleej Times reported. The extradition procedure happens in coordination with the Interpol and the CID. The development comes on a day when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held exhaustive discussions with her UAE counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi. India officially made the request to the Gulf nation in 2017 for his extradition, based on the criminal investigations conducted in the case by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The ED, in its chargesheet filed against Michel in June 2016, had alleged that he received ?EUR 30 million (about Rs 225 crore) from AgustaWestland.The money was nothing but “kickbacks” paid by the firm to execute the 12 helicopter deal in favour of the firm in “guise of” genuine transactions for performing multiple work contracts in the country, according to the chargesheet. Michel is one of the three middlemen being probed in the case, besides Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa, by the ED and the CBI. Both the agencies have notified an Interpol red corner notice (RCN) against him after the court issued a nonbailable warrant against him. The ED investigation found that remittances made by Michel through his Dubaibased firm Global Services to a media firm he floated in Delhi, along with two Indians, were made from the funds which he got from AW through “criminal activity” and corruption being done in the chopper deal that led to the subsequent generation of proceeds of crime. Ex-Info Com alleges victimisation by govt PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 4 DEC Former Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu on Tuesday alleged that the Central Information Commission was facing threats of litigations filed against it by the government and sought President Ram Nath Kovind's intervention. In a letter to the President, he highlighted a global trend of Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) and said it is a “type of frivolous lawsuit, not undertaken to be won, necessarily, but to intimidate the target into ceasing public activities such as speaking out against an organisation or a person”. He cited two orders related to the RBI to drive home his point. “Here the target is the CIC and the citizens. Unfortunately the govern- P12 Four held for UP violence, main accused on the run 3 Indian officials of IL&FS held in Ethiopia Even as five IL&FS employees continue to remain in captivity of unpaid staff in Ethiopia, the police there have taken into custody three Indian officials of the infrastructure company over nonpayment of taxes and workers' salaries, a source said. Late last month, seven Indian workers of an IL&FS subsidiary - IL&FS Transportation Network (ITNL) were taken hostage at three of its sites in Ethiopia's Oromia and Amhara states by unpaid local staff. The source said IL&FS had 15 Indian employees in Ethiopia, seven of whom were held captive by the local staff. Of the seven, two were released last week on medical ground. The three employees taken into custody after out of the P7 Army anguished as govt rejects higher MSP demand NEW DELHI, 4 DECEMBER New moon on 7 December MUMBAI, 4 DECEMBER KOHLI HAS TO MAKE SURE HIS PEERS WON’T LET HIM DOWN PRESS TRUST OF INDIA WEATHER TEMPERATURE A SAFE SEAT FOR MANMOHAN RACE TREATY DIVIDES MALAYSIA FRANCE HALTS FUEL TAX HIKE TO CALM PROTESTS ment bodies are SLAPPing writ petitions right, left and centre against the Respondent No. 1 - CIC and Respondent No. 2 - the Citizen who were asking for information as empowered by RTI Act,” he said. Acharyulu, who had delivered some path-breaking orders including directions to the RBI to comply with the Supreme Court orders in disclosing wilful defaulter, approached Kovind saying the RBI has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court making the CIC as a party in two separate cases. He had also issued a show cause notice to RBI Governor Urijit Patel for defiance of Supreme Court upholding the orders of former Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi asking it to disclose wilful defaulters. The RBI has also challenged another order of the CIC on July 4 in which CPIO of RBI was issued show cause notice by Information Commissioner Sudhir Bhargava for not disclosing details of foreign donors of local NGOs. Government offices want their “rights” to be protected from the Information Commission created by the Union of India as per the will of the Parliament, Acharyulu said. “CIC is supposed to act as Information Tribunal to adjudicate second appeals without fear or favour. But I would like to bring it to your Excellency's notice that Informa- tion Commissioners are feeling 'legally' intimidated from discharging their legal duties,” he said. Citing example of notices being sent to him in three capacities--as individual, as Information Commissioner, and as a person representing the Central Information Commission-- by the Gujarat High Court on a plea of Gujarat University against his order of disclosing degree details of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said as he is respondent number one, two and three, how does he defend in three capacities. “The Union of India, in which CIC is a part, challenges order of CIC saying that educational qualifications of a public servant as his private information and its disclosure will cause unwarranted invasion of his privacy,” he said. Is it not 'legal' intimidation against functioning of a statu- tory body created to enforce constitutional right to information, which is proclaimed to be part of fundamental right under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, he questioned.“My only question is, when I, as CIC, was part of Union of India, and when Union of India itself fights my order, who will defend me,” he asked. The Additional Solicitor General travelled all the way from Delhi to Ahmedabad, not to defend him, but to contest his order, he said. “It appears to me as writing on wall- 'Mr Commissioner, don't order for disclosure of information: You will be slapped with case thrice for one order,” he said. Acharyulu said there are “around 1,700 writ petitions filed, most of them, surprisingly and sadly by government and its institutions like the RBI CMYK etc, impleading the Information Commission or Commissioner for acting under RTI Act”. “I agree that the constitutional courts do have authority of judicial review of the orders of the CIC. But can the government routinely make the CIC a respondent number one in every such writ petition,” he said. Taking a dig at the RBI, he said he had ordered disclosure of names of wilful defaulters as per the directions of the Supreme Court and in a separate case another commissioner had ordered disclosure of the list of foreign donors of local NGOs. He said the RBI filed a suit against him and the Commission making them respondent number 1 to protect the names of those “rich men and bodies, who duped India and Indians to the tune of lakhs of crores of rupees”. ing the man has been shot. It was not clear if the man is Sumit Kumar. The National Human Rights Commission issued notices to the state government and the director general of police over the incident, officials said. Police said on Tuesday four persons were arrested, but the main suspect, Bajrang Dal district convenor Yogesh Raj, was on the run. They said 27 people have been named in the FIR while cases have been lodged against 50-60 unidentified people. Of the 27, at least four are workers and functionaries of right-wing organisations such as Bajrang Dal, the officials said. There was heavy deployment of security forces in the area and tension spiralled as angry families demanded justice for their kin. There was confusion about the number of those arrested with police officials first saying four, then three and finally four again. Additional DGP (Law and Order) Anand Kumar told reporters that six police teams were working on the case and trying to identify the accused by monitoring video footage. “Tension has eased in strife-torn Bulandshahr and efforts are on to ensure there is no trouble in future,” he said in Lucknow. Opposition slams CM for staying away LUCKNOW, 4 DECEMBER Opposition parties attacked Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday, saying he was “enjoying” a laser show and presenting kabaddi prizes in Gorakhpur when Bulandshahr was rocked by violence. Demanding Adityanath's resignation, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Congress deplored him for attending the events rather than promptly reviewing the law and order in the state in the wake of the violence on Monday. Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, who had probed the Akhlaq lynching case initially, and a 20-year-old local had died of gunshot injuries on Monday as a rampaging mob protesting alleged cow slaughter torched a police post and clashed with the cops in Bulandshahr. UPCC spokesperson Ashok Singh said, Adityanath should have been in Lucknow. PTI SC nod for I-T dept to re-assess Sonia and Rahul tax in NH case PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 4 DECEMBER The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the Income-Tax Department to re-assess the tax of top Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi for 2011-12 in connection with the National Herald case. The apex court, however, restrained the department from “giving effect” to its order in the proceedings against Rahul, who is the Congress President, and his mother Sonia till the pendency of the matter before the court. A bench of Justices A K Sikri, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer said that it is not going into the merit of the case but passing an interim order as the limitation period for completing the assessment is expiring. “Since the limitation period for completing the assessment is expiring, in the meantime, it would be open to the Assessing Officer to complete the assessment and pass the assessment order as well. However, till the next date of hearing that would not be given effect,” the bench said. The limitation period was to expire on December 31 and assessment has to be completed before that. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Income Tax department, said the court should not restrain it from implementing the assessment orders against the Gandhis and others. He said the court should hear the matter and pass appropriate orders. To this, the bench said, “It is just an interim order which should be equitable to both the parties.” It further said: “We make it clear that since the matter is still at the preliminary stage and limitation is expiring, aforesaid course of action is adopted without going into the merits of the case.” The court noted in the order that due to certain reasons it was not possible to take up the matter for hearing and the bench was not sitting in the afternoon session. It adjourned the matter for further hearing on January 8, 2019. The tax matter is related to the National Herald case in which the Congress leaders are also facing criminal proceedings. The Gandhis and senior Congress leader Oscar Fernandes have challenged the Delhi High Court's September 10 verdict which dismissed their plea against the re-assessment of their tax for 2011-12. The apex court on November 13 had said it would hear final arguments on December 4 on the matter as it required “consideration”. It had not issued formal notice on the petitions filed by Rahul, Sonia and Fernandes as the I-T department was represented by its counsel.
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