FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 25 JANUARY 2019 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |`5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P5 SENSEX 36,195.10 +86.63 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. Rain/thunderstorm with isolated hail. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 19 and 10 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: 3 MM RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.100% Min. 73% TEMPERATURE Max: 22°C (+1) SUN RISES 07:12 hrs MOON RISES 22.36 hrs Min: 9.7°C (+2) SUN SETS 17:55 hrs MOON SETS 11:01 hrs THUMBNAILS LS Speaker says Priyanka’s entry shows Rahul can’t handle politics alone: Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Thursday said Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's entry into politics shows that Congress chief Rahul Gandhi cannot handle politics alone and needs his sisters' help. The veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader representing Indore in the Lower House of Parliament since 1989 further said that talented people must be given an opportunity to come forward. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra formally entered politics on Wednesday. Miner’s body retrieved: The Indian Navy and the NDRF on Thursday retrieved the body of one of the 15 miners trapped since December 13 inside a 370-foot deep coal mine in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills district, officials said. They said that a search operation for the other missing miners continued using an underwater robotic vehicle. Fifteen diggers had got trapped inside the flooded mine on December 13. The incident had caught the nation's attention to illegal coal mining in Meghalaya at the cost of human lives. P8 NIFTY 10,849.80 +18.30 ` vs $ 71.07 +26 PAISE 6 killed in Gurgaon building collapse: At least six labourers were killed after an under-construction, four-storey building collapsed in a village in Gurgaon on Thursday morning. Some more persons are feared trapped in the rubble of the building in Ullawas village near Sector 65 of Gurgaon, officials said. “Six bodies have been retrieved from the accident site so far. The rescue teams are still on the job,” a National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) P3 spokesperson said. GOLD 31,135.00 -85.00 P15 SILVER 39,000.00 00.00 No decision taken on CBI chief during talks, PM-led panel to meet again SNS & PTI The meeting convened to decide on the CBI chief was inconclusive. A list of eligible officers was shared with panel members. But no decision has been taken, an official said NEW DELHI, 24 JANUARY NEW DELHI, 24 JANUARY J laid-down norms. It was also alleged that Rs 64 crore were invested by Dhoot through one of the companies, Supreme Energy, founded by him, which was alleged as quid pro quo in the complaint that triggered the preliminary enquiry. During the course of the preliminary enquiry registered in December, 2017, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) found alleged irregularities in sanctioning six loans worth Rs 1,875 crore to Videocon Industries Limited, Videocon International Electronics Ltd and four other companies associated with the Videocon group between June, 2009 and October, 2011, the officials said. Chanda Kochhar was on the sanctioning committee deciding two loans - Rs 300 crore to Videocon International Electronics on August 26, 2009 and Rs 750 crore to Videocon Industries Limited on October 31, 2011, they said. The loans were issued in the alleged violation of the laid-down policy and regulations of the bank, they said. Most of these loans became non-performing assets over the BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 60.59 -0.55 Justice Sikri recuses from hearing Rao case PRESS TRUST OF INDIA The CBI has booked former ICICI bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kocchar andVideocon group MD Venugopal Dhoot for alleged cheating and corruption in sanctioning loans to the company, which caused a loss of Rs 1,730 crore to the bank, officials said Thursday. Some top names in the banking industry - present CEO of ICICI bank Sandeep Bakshi, Sonjoy Chatterjee, Zarin Daruwala, Rajiv Sabharwal, K V Kamath and Homi Khusrokhan - have also come under the scanner as they were part of the ICICI bank committees clearing some of the six loans worth Rs 1,875 crore given to the Videocon group and associated companies, they said. Following the registration of the FIR late Wednesday night, the agency officials swooped down at four locations in Mumbai and Aurangabad early morning Thursday - offices of the Videocon group, Nupower Renewables -- the company run by Deepak Kochhar and Supreme Energy -- once promoted by Dhoot. The agency had registered a preliminary enquiry on the allegations that Rs 3,250 crore worth of loans were sanctioned by the bank to companies associated with the Videocon group in violation of the WHY INDIA MUST WIN DAVIS CUP TIE NEXT MONTH P12 CBI books Kochhar, Dhoot in ICICI Bank Videocon loan case course, causing a loss of Rs 1,730 crore to the bank, they said. The term loan of Rs 300 crore sanctioned to Videocon International Electronics Ltd was disbursed on September 7, 2009. Next day, Dhoot transferred Rs 64 crore to Nupower Renewables Ltd, through Supreme Energy founded by him. The amount was transferred through a “circuitous route” using company Supreme Energy Limited founded by Dhoot, the CBI alleged. “This was the first major capital received by NRL to acquire first power plant. Thus Chanda Kochhar got illegal gratification through her husband from VIL/V N Dhoot for sanctioning a loan of Rs 300 crore to VIEL,” it alleged. In addition to the loans to VIL and VIEL, four loans were issued to Millenium Appliances, Sky Appliances, Techno Electronics and Applicomp India to repay the unsecured loan availed by these companies from VIL, the FIR alleged. The FIR has alleged that these loans have turned NPA resulting in wrongful loss to the ICICI Bank and wrongful gain to the borrowers. ustice A K Sikri, the second senior-most Supreme Court judge, today recused himself from hearing a plea filed by an NGO Common Cause, which has challenged the central government's10 January order appointing M Nageswara Rao as the CBI's interim director. Justice Sikri had represented Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi at the 10 January meeting of the high-powered Selection Committee, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which had controversially removed CBI director Alok Verma. As soon as the plea was taken up for hearing today, Justice Sikri reportedly told senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the petitioner NGO, that he would not like to hear the matter and was recusing himself. "We get a feeling that this court does not want to hear the matter," Dave reportedly told the Bench also comprising Justice S Abdul Nazeer and Justice M R Shah. "Your participation in the last meeting has nothing to do with it. We have no objection to you hearing the matter," Dave told Justice Sikri. "It suits the government," Dave said, pointing at the way the proceedings were progressing. "It is sending wrong signals. It is becoming personal." Dave said, “It is becoming very frustrating....Earlier also the CJI had recused when the matter was listed for hearing. Now your Lordship (Justice Sikri) is also recusing from the matter”. On 21 January, CJI Gogoi had recused himself from hearing this plea, saying that he will be part of the Selection Committee to choose the CBI's new director. Maintaining his position to recuse himself, Justice Sikri said the petition raised "interesting and important issues", but he cannot hear the matter. The Bench ordered the matter to be listed next week before a Bench of which Justice Sikri is not a member "after obtaining orders from the CJI". The petition has reportedly sought laying down of specific mechanisms to ensure transparency in the process of the CBI director's appointment. It has pointed out that Rao's appointment was not made on the basis of recommendations of the Selection Committee which also comprises of the CJI or an apex court judge nominated by him, and leader of the single largest Opposition party in the Lok Sabha. The plea stated that the Centre's 23 October 2018 order appointing Rao as the acting CBI director was quashed by the apex court on 8 January, but the government “acted in a completely mala fide, arbitrary and illegal manner” to appoint him again in “complete contravention” of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act two day later. The petition has sought a direction to the Centre to appoint a regular CBI director forthwith by following the procedure laid down in accordance with the provisions of the DSPE Act, as amended by the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013. The plea has also sought a direction to the Centre to ensure that “all records of deliberations and rational criteria related to short-listing and selection of the director, CBI, be properly recorded and made available to citizens in conso- Deadline to finalise Assam NRC not to be extended: SC No going back to era of ballot papers: CEC PRESS TRUST OF INDIA PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 24 JANUARY CBI arrests Mohta in Rose Valley scam: The CBI on Thursday arrested renowned Bengali film producer Shrikant Mohta in connection with the Rose Valley chit fund scam, sources said. Mohta allegedly duped the Rose Valley of Rs 25 crore, CBI sources said. Mohta was served a notice by the investigating agency regarding “acceptance of money from Rose Valley” and CBI sleuths questioned him in his office at a shopping mall in south Kolkata. Later they took him to the CBI office in Salt Lake for further interrogation. MADURO RALLIES MILITARY SUPPORT KAYO-PUNCH OR PANIC? TDP TO GO IT ALONE IN LOK SABHA POLLS The Supreme Court on Thursday said the July 31, 2019 deadline to finalise the National Register of Citizens for Assam cannot be extended and asked the state government, the NRC co-ordinator and the EC to ensure that the upcoming general elections do not slow down the process. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked the NRC state coordinator Prateek Hajela, Secretary of the Election Commission and the Assam chief secretary to conduct a meeting within a week to ensure that the NRC finalisation process and the upcoming parliamentary elections go “hand-in-hand” and there is no dearth of govern- ment officials for either process. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Assam Government, told the bench, also comprising Justice R F Nariman, that such a meeting would be held and the court would be apprised of the deliberations. The draft National Register of Citizens for Assam was published on July 30, 2018 in which the names of 2.89 crore of the 3.29 crore people were included. The names of 40,70,707 people did not fig- ure in the list. Of these, 37,59,630 names have been rejected and the remaining 2,48,077 are on hold. Hajela said that out of about 40 lakh persons, who were left out of draft NRC, 36.2 lakh persons have filed claims with the authorities for inclusion of their names in the final NRC. He said that around 2 lakh objections have been received against those whose names have been included in the draft NRC. Referring to upcoming general elections, Hajela said that there could be difficulties in finalising the NRC by July 31 as government officials would be required by the Election Commission also for the poll duty. “The publication of final NRC for Assam should in no circumstance stretch beyond July 31. In elec- tions many employees will be required. The NRC process must continue. You have to work it out,” the bench said. “We do not want this to extend beyond July 31,” it said, adding that everybody has to be reasonable and “one cannot suffer at the expense of other”. The bench said initially that it may ask the Secretary of the poll panel, Hajela and the state chief secretary to conduct a meeting to find a solution to ensure that there was adequate work force for both, the NRC and the poll process. The bench asked Hajela to take “just, proper and appropriate” steps in dealing with claims and objections of people with regard to inclusion or exclusion in final NRC. NEW DELHI, 24 JANUARY Amid renewed demands against the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs), Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Thursday asserted that the Election Commission will not be “intimidated or bullied” into giving up the machines and going back to the era of ballot boxes. He also lamented that EVMs are being used as a “football” and some sections are doing a “motivated slugfest” over their use. “However, I would like to make it very, very clear once more. In fact, it is not I, it is the entire ECI, it is the ECIs of the past, and it will be the ECIs of the future... we are not going back to the era of bal- lot papers,” Arora said. “We are not going back to that era where we have ballot papers being lifted, musclemen being employed besides the delay in the counting and also too much harassment of polling staff on the ground,” he added. The CEC made the remarks at an international conference on 'Making our Elections Inclusive & Accessible' here ahead of National Voters Day on Friday. “We are open to any criticism, any feedback, from any stakeholders, including political parties, because they are the biggest stakeholders. But at the same time, we are not going to be intimidated or bullied or pressurised or coerced into giving up these (EVMs). ‘World risks losing fight against climate change’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA DAVOS, 24 JANUARY United Nations chief Antonio Guterres on Thursday cautioned that the world risks losing the race against climate change and the political will seems to be slowing down in this fight. “I think the climate risk is the most important systemic risk for the near future,” he said in a special address at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting here. “I believe we are losing the race. Climate change is running faster than we are... We are moving dramatically into a runaway climate change if we are not able to stop it, and at the same time, I see the polit- ical will slowing down,” he said. “This when technology is on our side and we see more and more the business community ready to respond in a positive way and the civil society more and more engaged, but the political will is still very slow, and we see lots of subsidies to fossil fuels, we see carbon pricing in a very limited way, and we see many still putting into doubt whether climate change is a threat. “In my opinion, it's the most important global systemic threat in relation to the global economy,” Guterres said. On globalisation, he said with all its fantastic improvements in the world and the technological progress, it has increased inequality at the The UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres said: “I think the climate risk is the most important systemic risk for the near future.” He said this during a special address at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos country level. “There are people that were left behind ... that has created a sense of frustration in the rust belts of these world and this has been a factor of reducing confidence, trust in governments, in political establishments, and in inter- national organisations like ours,” he said. He also warned that the political mega trends show that we are witnessing a multiplication of conflicts, more and more interrelated and related to a threat of global terrorism but at the same time the response is more and more fragmented. “We no longer live in a bipolar or unipolar world but we are not yet in a multipolar world. We are in a kind of chaotic situation of transition. “The relationship between the three most important powers, Russia, the United States and China, has never been as dysfunctional as it is today and this is true for the economy, but it's also true in the paralysis of the Security Council in many very important aspects,” he said. He also said the global economy faces two major risks. “The first risk is probably trade tensions, and trade tensions are today essentially a political problem. “A second risk of course related to the debt that is much higher than in the last financial crisis, and which is limiting the capacity to respond to any potential emerging cri- sis, and also limiting the capacity of states to implement the projects that would be necessary to achieve the sustainable development goals,” he said. “Then we have the instability in financial markets, and clearly it's a matter of confidence, so political events have an influence on that. “...if one looks at the shutdowns and the Brexit saga, there is a certain sense that political systems do not know exactly what to do when dealing with problems that have strong economic impacts, and so that is a factor of lack of confidence and a factor of lack of confidence creates or increases instability in the markets,” Guterres said. nance with the provisions of the RTI Act”. Referring to the sequence of events relating to Rao's appointment as acting CBI chief, the plea charged that the entire process was “mala fide” as the government wanted to “appoint its own choice as CBI director in the interim”. Meanwhile, the meeting of the PM-headed Selection Committee to decide on the next CBI director remained inconclusive today, officials said. They said no decision on the CBI chief was taken at the meeting. “A list of eligible officers along with their dossiers was shared with the panel members. But no decision has been taken so far,” an official said requesting anonymity. He said another meeting of the panel will be held soon to finalise the name. The meeting, which was held at the PM's official residence, was attended by CJI Gogoi and leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge. Talking to reporters after the meeting, Kharge said names of officers were shared. “There was discussion on the names. There was no mention of their career details including relevant experience. We (referring to CJI Gogoi) have asked them to provide all the necessary details. The next meeting will be convened maybe by next week,” he said. Suspensions on Pandya, Rahul lifted Hardik Pandya K L Rahul NEW DELHI, 24 JANUARY The suspensions on Indian cricketers Hardik Pandya and K L Rahul were Thursday lifted by the Committee of Administrators (CoA), two weeks after they were sent home from the tour of Australia due to their sexist comments on a TV show. The 25-year-old Pandya is expected to take the earliest available flight to join the team in New Zealand for an ongoing limitedovers series, while Rahul might play in either the domestic circuit or show up for India A in the home series against England Lions, a BCCI source told PTI. “The above matter and decision has been taken with the concurrence of the Learned Amicus Curiae, Mr. P.S. Narasimha. In view of the above, suspension orders dated 11.01.2019 is immediately lifted pending appointment and adjudication of allegations by BCCI Ombudsman. PTI SEE PAGE 16
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.