CMYK WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 06 FEBRUARY 2019 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5.00|LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P7 P10 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Maximum and minimum temperature likely to be around 28-15 degree celsius, respectively. Max: 27.6°C (0) SUN RISES 06:13 hrs MOON RISES 07.10 hrs SC asks Kolkata Police chief to cooperate with CBI SNS & PTI Min. 37% TEMPERATURE Min: 14.6°C (-2) SUN SETS 17.28 hrs MOON SETS 18:43 hrs Next moon quarter on 16 February THUMBNAILS Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the Head of State of the Principality of Monaco, Prince Albert II, at Hyderabad House on Tuesday. SNS Govt expects 7.5% GDP growth in FY 20: The finance ministry expects economic growth to accelerate to 7.5 per cent in 2019-20 from 7.2 per cent projected for the current fiscal. The growth was 8.2 per cent in 2016-17, the year in which the Centre demonetised high-denomination notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. Anna Hazare calls off fast: Activist Anna Hazare on Tuesday called off his fast after a marathon meeting with Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and two Union ministers in Ralegon Siddhi (Maharashtra). Hazare, 81, had started his indefinite fast on 30 January over appointment of anti-corruption watchdogs. NEW DELHI, 5 FEBRUARY he Supreme Court on Tuesday directed Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to appear before the CBI and “faithfully” cooperate into the investigation of cases arising out of the Saradha chit fund scam, while it making it clear that he will not be arrested. The apex court said that “to avoid all unnecessary controversy”, it is also directing the Commissioner of Police to appear before the investigating agency at a neutral place in Shillong, Meghalaya, on such dates as may be fixed by the probe agency. While observing that there is “no reason why he (Kumar) will not make himself available for the investigation,” a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, “We make it clear that no coercive steps including arrest shall be taken against the Commissioner of Police”. The apex court, which on Monday had taken strong note of allegations of tampering with evidence in the Saradha scam by saying that “if the police commissioner is even remotely trying to destroy evidence, we will come down so heavily on him that he will regret”, on Tuesday expressed confidence that he will “faithfully cooperate with the T SC says Centre hell bent on not allowing Assam NRC process PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 5 FEBRUARY The Centre is “hell bent” on stalling the Assam NRC work, the Supreme Court said Tuesday while rapping it for seeking suspension of the process during upcoming Lok Sabha polls citing non-availability of security forces. The apex court got irked when Attorney General K K Venugopal submitted that the process be suspended from the last date of submission of nomination papers till two weeks after the date of upcoming elections in view of the fact that 167 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), engaged in Assam NRC work, would be sent to other parts of the country to maintain law and order during polls. “We are sorry to say this. The MHA (Ministry of P3 Orders no arrest or coercive action; MHA for action against CP over 'indiscipline' RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.88% ‘MAMATA’S DHARNA DISPROPORTIONATE OVER-REACTION’ WAS MAMATA TIPPED OFF ON RAID? TRUMP PREPARES FOR STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS Home Affairs) is hell bent upon not to carry on the NRC process and it is destroying entire efforts being made by this court,” said a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranan Gogoi and Justice R F Nariman. The bench, which reiterated that it would not extend the deadline of July 31 for finalisation of NRC, also directed that 3,457 state government officers be kept free for NRC work and asked the Election Commission to “examine the case of exemption of officers, in the rank of District Magistrates, Additional District Magistrates...from transfers which are likely to be made in view of the elections”. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh asserted that the government is committed to completing the NRC process in Assam within the stipulated time. investigating agency at all times.” When senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for the West Bengal Police, was opposing the order, the bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjeev Khanna, asked “we do not understand why you are opposed to Kolkata Police commissioner's appearance for questioning before CBI?” The bench also directed the West Bengal chief secretary, the director general of police (DGP) and the Kolkata Police Commissioner to file replies to the statements made in the contempt petition filed against them by the CBI on or before February 18. It said on the consideration of their replies the court might prefer personal presence of these three officers on February 20. The court's secretary general will inform them on February 19 whether they are required to be present before the apex court on February 20, the bench said. “We will examine whether there is commission of contempt or not. We have to examine. The other side has to be heard,” the bench observed. During the hearing, which lasted for about 15 minutes, Attorney General (AG) K K Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta alleged that Kumar was not cooperating in the investigation of the chit fund cases which was handed over to the CBI by the Supreme Court. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the West Bengal police, of which Kumar was the functional head, was not handing over the complete documents to the CBI and some of those given by the SIT were doctored, Venugopal and Mehta alleged, adding that SIT had not given the complete call data details and there was serious omission or commission wilfully done by the SIT. “What was given to us were doctored copy of call records,” the attorney general said, mentioning “the chit fund scam concerning the Rose Valley case was a case of cheating, involving Rs 15,000 crore.” Venugopal and Mehta said 25 CBI officials who reached Kolkata Police chief's residence on Sunday for questioning him were bundled into a bus and taken to the police station, and even joint director of CBI Vikas Shrivastav's house was under seige of the West Bengal police and his family kept themselves locked while the police personnel were banging their doors. Such a stand taken by the West Bengal government manifests that there is a total breakdown of constitutional machinery and there will be serious repercussion if such happenings continues, the Attorney General said. However, Singhvi opposed the CBI, saying it is an attempt to harass and humiliate the Kolkata Police Commissioner and was meant to score points as the Sunday events took place two days after a political rally in the state. He even tried to point out an order of the apex court in which he said the role of the SIT was appreciated and it was clearly stated that the probe in the chit fund cases can be transferred to the CBI because it involved multi state operations. Singhvi said till now no FIR has been lodged against Kumar and he has not even been made an accused in any of the chit fund cases. Kumar was served notice three times and there was an intervention of the Calcutta High Court so he has not appeared before the CBI, he said. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked the West Bengal government to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, IPS, for having “sat on a dharna” with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. SNS adds from Kolkata: Calcutta High Court adjourned hearing on the West Bengal government's plea against the CBI's attempt to enter Kolkata Police chief 's residence to question him. Mamata targets Assam Deputy CM over Saradha scam, minister denies charge STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Denying the charge of his involvement in the Saradha scam as frivolous, Assam Deputy Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said he had offered full cooperation in the probe KOLKATA, 5 FEBRUARY Chief minister Mamata Banerjee today lambasted some BJP leaders, including deputy chief minister of Assam Hemanta Biswa Sarma, for receiving money from different chit funds and the CBI for failing to take action against them. Later in the day, the chief minister furnished documents to the reporters against Mr Biswa Sarma who allegedly got funds from Sudipto Sen, the owner of the Saradha Group. Sudipto Sen in his letter to the CBI stated clearly: “Another high level person has dramatically cheated me. He is Hemanta Biswa Sarma. For the last six months he has taken from us not less than Rs 3 crore in cash and vouchers have been signed by his office executives. The Assam deputy chief minister and finance minister Hemanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday termed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's charge that he was involved in the Saradha chit fund scam as “frivolous”, even as the state Youth Congress staged a protest in front of the CBI office here, seeking his arrest. The minister claimed he had offered full cooperation in the ponzi scam case as a witness. “The frivolous & baseless campaign by @MamataOfficial Didi against me is very painful. I am not fortunate enough like your Police Com- missioner. I've joined the investigations and offered my full cooperation as a witness. And all this happened much much before I joined @BJP4India,” Sarma said in a tweet. Miss Banerjee, meanwhile, emphasized that her stand is not against the CBI or any of its officials or agency if they work impartially. “But at present the Prime Minister and Amit Shah are using the Central agencies to fulfil their political vendetta,'’ Miss Banerjee alleged. The chief minister alleged that a parallel administra- tion is being run. “ Many BJP leaders have been given Central force for protection. Several CISF and CRPF personnel are protecting the BJP leaders instead of protecting the country. But this is not a fault of the CRPF but a vindictive attitude of the Modi government that instructs the CRPF to run parallel administration in the Opposition-ruled states. This is a first of its kind incident. I condemn this.” On the involvement of National Security Adviser, Ajit Doval and other BJP leaders in the chit fund case, the Bengal CM said, “There are many people involved in the chit fund case. Even Union minister Babul Suprio had said, “I am the rose of Rose Valley. Was any action taken against him?’’ On the Governor sending a report to the Centre, she said “Whatever the home ministry will say, he will do that’’. ‘KULDEEP IS AHEAD OF THE OTHER INDIAN SPINNERS’ P12 Mamata describes SC order as ‘moral victory’, ends dharna STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 5 FEBRUARY Hours after the Supreme Court direction on the CBIKolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar spat since a dramatic attempt by the CBI on 3 February to enter the latter’s house to quiz him in connection with chit fund scam probe, chief minister Mamata Banerjee today called off her sit-in at Esplanade in protest against the CBI move. Miss Banerjee termed the SC ruling “a moral victory for the people of West Bengal, for democracy and for the force”. "We have great respect for the judiciary and all the institutions. We are so grateful and obliged. The CP has been asked to appear before the CBI office at Shillong. This order was given earlier also that both could sit and meet mutually and today the same verdict has come. The court also said no coercive steps, including the arrest of the CP will take place during , the course of investigation,” Miss Banerjee said. She also claimed the CP had written five letters to the CBI saying he was ready to meet at a mutually agreed place. "We respect All India service officers. But when Central agencies don’t seek state’s permission and go to the residence of an IPS officer to arrest him, it’s against the spirit of the federal structure of the Constitution. The judgement will strengthen the morale of the officer,'' she said. On the question of the case of contempt of court filed by the CBI, Miss Banejee said : "They filed a case of contempt of court, but that hasn’t been entertained. This is a people's movement, not a Trinamul agitation. We are fighting to save India, save the Constitution. This is a fight of crores of people, not Rajeev Kumar alone,” the CM asserted. She said she would strengthen the Trinamul’s ties with other political parties and the Opposition’s slogan would be ~ "Modi hatao, Desh bachao.'' The chief minister lashed out at the BJP and said, "I am not taking the names but I was called by two, three ministers of the party asking me not to say anything against Modiji, but I said it is my right and freedom to decide in whose favour or against I will speak.'' Miss Banerjee alleged that whoever is arrested by the CBI is being sent to Odisha This is a sheer harassment . "They have done the same thing to our Lok Sabha leader Sudip Bandopadhyay. He has to travel to Odisha every seventh day while spending money on conveyance and lodging.'' Citing an example she said, "even Laluji was not kept in Bihar jail but was sent to Jharkhand.'' Explaining her stance on the chit fund case Miss Banerjee said : "The scam was carried not during our tenure, but during the Left Front regime and the CPI-M is responsible for it. The CPI-M-led government did not take any action, but we arrested Saradha chief Sudipto Sen and his associates and returned Rs 300 crore to the investors.” The BJP on Tuesday projected the apex court order directing Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to make himself available before the CBI as a blow to the Mamata Banerjee-led government in West Bengal and a moral victory for the investigating agency. BJP says SC order a blow for Mamata, victory for CBI: Senior BJP leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad welcomed the order and said it's a blow to the Mamata Banerjee government and a victory for the CBI. It also showed that nobody is above the law, including the police commissioner, he added. The Kolkata CP will appear before the CBI in Shillong as the environment is not conducive in West Bengal, Prasad said. Describing the order as a “slap on the face” of the Mamata Banerjee government, top functionries in the Central government said,”on a careful consideration of the court's order. It is quite apparent that the court has taken a dim view of the CP and the top bureaucracy of the Mamata government.” Delhi HC seeks ED’s response on Talwar’s plea challenging detention PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 5 FEBRUARY Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought ED's response on a plea by alleged lobbyist Deepak Talwar challenging his detention by Indian agencies after he was deported from the UAE last week in connection with a money laundering case. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has alleged that Talwar, who is in its custody, acted as middleman in negotiations to favour foreign private airlines causing the loss to national carrier Air India. A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal issued notice to the ED and directed it to file a response to the petition by February 11. The court listed the matter for further hearing on February 12. In his habeas corpus petition, Talwar claimed that his arrest and custody from January 30 onwards was illegal detention for which affirmative orders deserve to be passed to secure his personal life and liberty. He alleged that his fundamental rights have been grossly violated by the authorities. “He has been illegally picked up from a foreign country and brought to India without initiating any extradition proceedings despite the fact that there exists an extradition treaty between India and the said foreign country, i.e. UAE,” the petition said, adding that he was not even given an opportunity to comply with the summons issued by the ED in the proceedings. It claimed that when Talwar was in Dubai, a travel ban was imposed in him by a court in Dubai in a commercial dispute due to which he could not return to India despite repeated requests. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Talwar, contended before the that his client was picked up from Dubai and handed over to Indian authorities. “Government of India abducted my client. More so when there was summons for him to appear on February 4. There was no extradition and they picked him up,” he argued. The ED was represented by Central government standing counsel Amit Mahajan who sought time to respond to the plea. “It is pertinent to mention that no extradition procedure or procedure known to law was followed while picking up the petitioner from Dubai/UAE and he has been practically abducted/ kidnapped by unknown agencies claiming to be Indian law enforcement authorities in collusion with CMYK Dubai authorities,” the petition said. It said no reasons for arrest were furnished to him at the time of deportation and added that he be released from the illegal custody of ED and the proceedings emanating from the FIR be quashed. A habeas corpus petition is a writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court, especially to secure his release unless lawful grounds are shown for their detention. Talwar, who is in ED custody, was deported from Dubai on January 30 and was arrested by the agency after landing here. He has sought quashing of the FIR against him in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and also to declare some provisions of the Act as unconstitutional and in violation of fundamental rights. ED had earlier said before a trial court that it needed to interrogate Talwar to get the names of officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, National Aviation Company of India Ltd and Air India, who favoured foreign airlines, including Qatar Airways, Emirates and Air Arabia. The agency had claimed entities directly or indirectly controlled by the accused received exorbitant amounts from Qatar Airways, Emirates and Air Arabia and submitted a chart of total USD 60.54 million received by firms directly or indirectly owned by Talwar between April 23, 2008 to February 6, 2009. He has been accused for the offences of criminal conspiracy and forgery under the IPC and under various other sections of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) for allegedly diverting Rs 90.72 crore worth of foreign funds meant for ambulances and other articles received by his NGO from Europe's leading missile manufacturing company. His role in some aviation deals during the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance's (UPA) regime at the Centre is under the scanner as well. Talwar was booked by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in criminal cases of corruption, while the Income Tax Department charged him with tax evasion.
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