THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 11 APRIL 2019 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16+4 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P7 SENSEX 38,585.35 -353.87 WEATHER NETANYAHU APPEARS HEADED FOR 5TH TERM AS ISRAEL PM IS NAWAZ POLITICAL PRISONER? ‘I-T RAIDS ON BASIS OF MATERIAL EVIDENCE’ P9 NIFTY 11,584.30 -87.65 ` vs $ 69.11 +11 PAISE MANCUNIANS CRASH TO DEFEAT AS SON ALSO RISES P15 P13 GOLD 30,835.00 +5.00 SILVER 37,850.00 -200.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 70.75 +0.14 SC blow for Centre in Rafale case Partly cloudy sky with possibility of dust storm towards evening. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 40 and 19 degrees Celsius respectively. CJI: ‘We deem it proper to dismiss preliminary objections raised by Union of India questioning maintainability of review pleas’ RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY NEW DELHI, 10 APRIL Max.84% Min. 27% Max: 38.7°C (+3) SUN RISES 06:00 hrs MOON RISES 10:18 hrs Min: 20.0°C (0) SUN SETS 18:44 hrs MOON SETS 0:30 hrs TEMPERATURE THUMBNAILS A photo provided by the European Southern Observatory shows the first photograph of a black hole and its fiery halo, released by Event AFP Horizon Telescope (EHT) astronomers. Black hole: Astronomers on Wednesday unveiled the first photo of a black hole, one of the star-devouring monsters scattered across the universe and obscured by impenetrable shields of gravity. The image of a dark core with a flame-orange halo of gas and plasma shows a supermassive black hole 50 million lightyears away in a galaxy known as M87, they told the media in Brussels, Shanghai, P12 Tokyo, Washington, Santiago, Taipei. Wisden delight for India: It was double delight for India as it swept the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack on Wednesday with Virat Kohli and Smriti Mandhana clinching the 'Leading Cricketer of Year' honours, continuing their award-winning spree. Kohli and Mandhana had won big in the last ICC Awards night too. Indian captain Kohli was named the Wisden Leading Cricketer of the year for the third successive time. Polls in 91 LS seats today: Ninety-one Lok Sabha constituencies spread across 18 states and two UTs, including all in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, will go to polls on Thursday in the first-phase, with Nitin Gadkari, Kiren Rijiju and VK Singh among several Union ministers in the fray. In Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim and Odisha, Assembly polls will be held simultaneP5 ously in the first phase. Alpesh Thakor quits Cong: Prominent OBC leader from Gujarat and MLA Alpesh Thakor quit the Congress Wednesday. Earlier in the day, Gujarat Kshatriya Thakor Sena, an outfit floated by him, decided to sever its ties with the Congress. It also asked Thakor to resign from the Congress. Speculation was rife that Thakor may quit the Congress as he was unhappy with the local party leadership. I n a setback to the Centre, the Supreme Court Wednesday allowed the plea relying on leaked documents for seeking review of its Rafale judgement and dismissed the government's preliminary objections claiming “privilege” over them. The Centre had submitted that the three privilege documents were unauthorisedly removed from the Defence Ministry and used by the petitioners to support their review petitions against the December 14, 2018 judgement of the apex court which dismissed all pleas challenging the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France. A three-judge bench delivered two separate but unanimous verdicts rejecting the objections raised by the Centre that those documents were not admissible as evidence under Section 123 of the Indian Evidence Act, and no one can produce them in court without the permission of the department concerned as those documents are also protected under the Official Secrets Act. The Centre also failed to impress the bench, comprising Chief justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, that the disclosure of those doc- NEW DELHI, 10 APRIL uments was exempted under the Right to Information Act as per Section 8(1)(a) and those who conspired in photocopying the papers committed theft and put national security in jeopardy. CJI, who wrote the judgement for himself and Justice Kaul, noted that all the three documents were in “public domain” and published by prominent daily The Hindu were “in consonance with the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech”. CJI said: “We deem it proper to dismiss the preliminary objections raised by the Union of India questioning the maintainability of the review petitions and we hold and affirm that the review petitions will have to be adjudicated on their own merit by taking into account the relevance of contents of the 3 documents, admissibility of which, in the judicial decision making process, has been sought to be ques- ‘Better scope of peace with India if BJP wins’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA ISLAMABAD, 10 APRIL Pakistan's Premier Imran Khan has said he believes there may be a better chance of peace talks with India and settle the Kashmir issue if Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party BJP wins the general elections. India will go to elections in seven phases beginning from Thursday. “Perhaps if the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party)....wins, some kind of settlement in Kashmir could be reached,” Khan told a small group of foreign journalists in an interview. He said other parties would be afraid of right-wing backlash in case of settlement on the Kashmir issue. Khan said Kashmir was the central issue between the two countries. India maintains that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of the country and Pakistan is in illegal occupation of a part of the state's territory.Tensions flared up between India and Pakistan after a suicide bomber of Jaish-eMuhammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPF personnel in Kashmir's Pulwama. SEE ALSO PAGE 6 tioned by the respondents in the review petitions.” The CJI, who penned the 18-page judgement, said the documents used by former Union ministers Yaswant Sinha and Arun Shourie and lawyer Prashant Bhushan in their plea were published in The Hindu' in February and one of the papers was also published by The Wire'. “The fact that the three documents had been published in the Hindu and were thus available in the public domain has not been seriously disputed or contested by the respondents. “No question has been raised and, in our considered opinion, very rightly, with regard to the publication of documents in The Hindu' newspaper. The right of such publication would seem to be in consonance with the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech,” Justice Gogoi said. Senior advocate Vikas Singh, who appeared RATHIN DAS JUNAGADH, 10 APRIL in the point. Sardar Patel, Morarji Desai and Narendra Modi all faced the wrath of the Congress because they belonged to Gujarat, said the Prime Minister seeking votes in the name of time-tested formula of ‘son of the soil’. Activists in Gujarat had already predicted that Modi would invoke the ‘son of the soil’ sentiment as his last weapon during the election campaign in the state. But he did so during the first elec- tion rally in Gujarat today. Further invoking local sentiments, Modi asked the audience whether they have faith in a ‘son of the soil’ or the Congress which had always conspired against Gujaratis at the Centre. Modi said that the BJP has a track record of welfare of people but the Congress has a tape recorder which plays only one tune --- “remove Modi”. The Congress does not for another petitionerVineet Dhandha, said today's judgement makes it clear that during the hearing of the review petition the bench will look into various issues on the Rafale jet deal including the question of pricing and also selection of Indian offset partner of Dassault. The two judges also noted no law enacted by Parliament specifically barring or prohibiting the publication of such documents on any of the grounds mentioned in Article 19(2) of the Constitution has been brought to its notice. “In fact, the publication of the said documents in The Hindu' newspaper reminds the Court of the consistent views of this Court upholding the freedom of the press in a long line of decisions,” the judges said. SC said there is no provision in the Official Secrets Act and no such provision in any other statute has been brought to its notice. The petitioners in the Rafale deal case are using certain documents with the intention to present a selective and incomplete picture of internal secret deliberations relating to national security, the Defence Ministry said, in its reaction to the Supreme Court's order on the contentious issue. The apex court on Wednesday rejected the government's contention that sensitive documents accessed by the media on the Rafale deal can't be evidence and said it will examine the papers while reviewing its order of December 14 last year when a clean chit was given to the deal. The top court said review petitions against its earlier verdict dismissing all petitions against procurement of Rafale jets will be decided on merit. “It is reiterated that the petitioners are using documents with the intention to present a selective and incomplete picture of internal secret deliberations on a matter relating to national PTI security’’. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE LUCKNOW/DELHI, 10 APRIL Within minutes of filing his nomination from the Amethi Lok Sabha seat, Congress president Rahul Gandhi today thanked the Supreme Court for its order on the Rafale judgement review petition and challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi for an open debate on the Rafale issue and demonetization. “I want to thank the SC. It's a very happy day. The SC has talked about justice. Justice has prevailed. Mr Modi has been claiming that the SC gave him a clean chit on the Rafale deal”.,” Mr Gandhi said. “Debate on Rafale, corruption,note ban and (BJP president) Amti Shah's son,” Mr Gandhi threw the challenge to Mr Modi. “Now the SC has made it clear that 'chowkidarji' has committed a theft. (It has) accepted that there is some corruption in Rafale. I have been saying so for months if investigation is done there are two names - Narendra Modi and (Anil) EC stalls Modi biopic screening STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI,10 APRIL The Election Commission (EC) today banned the screening of the biopic about Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the current poll period, invoking its powers under Article 324 of the Constitution to prohibit display in electronic media including cinematograph of any biopic or publicity material in the nature of biography/hagiography sub-serving the purposes of any political entity or any individual connected to it. There was however confusion whether the EC's order banning the screening of the biopic, "PM Narendra Modi", would also be applicable to Modi invokes Gujarat’s pride - at first rally in home state Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday invoked ‘Gujarati Asmita’ (Gujarat’s pride), a campaign weapon that used to be the last in his arsenal during earlier elections. Addressing his maiden election rally in his native state at the Junagadh Agriculture University (JAU) ground here today, Modi raised his favourite topic of the Congress always conspiring to oust a Gujarati from power in Delhi. Aware that raking up ‘Gujarati Asmita’ works wonderfully during elections, Modi recalled that the Congress led by Nehru-Gandhi family had ignored and sidelined Sardar Patel and later ousted Morarji Desai as Prime Minister. The aim of the Congress now is to oust another Gujarati this time too, said Modi to rub SC has ‘accepted’ there was corruption: Rahul ‘Petitioners present selective documents’ SNS & PTI have any other agenda except “remove Modi”, said the Prime Minister as the huge crowd burst into laughter. In a veiled reference to recovery of huge amount of cash in raids on the house of OSD of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, Modi said that it has now become clear that the Congress, which earlier used Karnataka as its ATM, is also using their Madhya Pradesh government for the same purpose. Modi also alleged that the Congress was supporting those who talked about separation of Kashmir and the gangs which shouted slogans about breaking up India. Alleging that the Congress was supporting the separatists, Modi said that it was Sardar Patel who had unified the problematic princely states like Junagadh and Hyderabad with India through his tough stance. NaMoTV ~ a 24-hour channel dedicated to broadcasting PM Modi's rallies and speeches, which was recently launched just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. A senior EC official was intially quoted as having said that the EC's order will also be applicable to NaMo TV. The official referred to a paragraph in this order which stated, "That any poster or publicity material concerning Mamata copter late as pilot ‘fails to locate site’ KOLKATA, 10 APRIL The helicopter carrying chief minister Mamata Banerjee to a public meeting in North Dinajpur lost its way leaving it to hover in the sky for half an hour. An inquiry has been ordered. Miss Banerjee’s helicopter took off from Siliguri at around 1.05 pm and was supposed to reach Chopra in North Dinajpur at around 1.27 pm but it finally reached the rally venue after 2 pm. Addressing a public meeting at Chopra, Miss Banerjee, said, “I am sorry I am late because the pilot was unable to locate this venue. He lost the direction. I was supposed to be here in 22 minutes (from Siliguri) but it took nearly 55 minutes for me to reach here.” Sources said the helicopter had mistakenly entered Bihar but after several rounds of communication and with the help of a coloured smoke gun, the pilot managed to land. SNS any such certified content, which either depicts a candidate (including prospective) for the furtherance (or purported to further) of electoral prospect, directly or indirectly, shall not be put to display in electronic media in the area where MCC (Model Code of Conduct) is in operation". The official however said later in the evening that the EC was yet to take a call on the issue of NaMo TV. The PM Modi biopic was set to be released tomorrow, coinciding with the first phase of the polling in the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections. In a six-page order, the entire Commission including Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioners, Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra, maintained that any biopic material or "political content" in the nature of biography or hagiography, which has the potential to disrurb the level-playing field or undermine the EC's MCC could not be allowed until the conclusion of the elections. "Any biopic material in the nature of biography/hagiography sub-serving the purposes of any political entity or any individual entity connected to it... which has the potential to disturb the level playing field during the elections should not be displayed in electronic media including cinematograph during the operation of MCC," the EC's order said. TURN TO PAGE 7 Rahul slams Mamata, Modi at Raiganj rally RADHAMADHAB SAHA RAIGANJ, 10 APRIL In his sharpest ever attack on Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, Congress president Rahul Gandhi today said the Congress had “never joined hands with the BJP , but Miss Banerjee had “done so.” He also bracketed Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Miss Banerjee for “not delivering” on their promises of job creation. Addressing an election rally in support of Congress candidate for the Raiganj constituency, Deepa Dasmunshi, at Karandighi in North Dinajpur district, Mr Gandhi was responding to the Trinamul chief’s charge that “the Congress and the CPI-M were hand in glove with the BJP in Bengal.” “Mamata Banerjee is saying that the Congress is encouraging the BJP to grow. Is it so ?We never joined hands with the BJP in the past 70 years. But Mamata Banerjee has Addressing an election rally in Raiganj, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said PM Modi and Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee failed to create jobs done so,” he said. The Congress president said Miss Banerjee should be reminded that it was the Congress that first took up the Rafale scam, demonetization, and stoking communal passion among the people in the country by the BJP The party also . raised its voice against Nirav Modi scam, he asserted. “The Rafale case was examined in the Supreme court today, and the court has said the matter should be investigated.We are sure that the scam will be unearthed. If the Congress comes to power at the Centre, we will take steps and see to it that the offenders are sent to jail,” he added. Ambani. “I am happy and I have been saying so for months that the PM has given air force money to Anil Ambani and the SC has accepted it. The SC is going to investigate it,” the Congress president said. The Congress on Wednesday said the Supreme Court's interim order has blown the lid off the “lies” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Rafale deal, and termed it as the first step towards justice with the last being a joint parliamentary committee probe. Party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told media the layers of corruption in the Rafale fighter aircraft deal are now out in the open and that justice will be done as the PM can no longer hide behind the veil of “Official Secrets Act”. Jallianwala Bagh tragedy shameful scar: British PM LONDON, 10 APRIL Theresa May onWednesday described the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar as a “shameful scar” on British Indian history but stopped short of a formal apology sought by a crosssection of Parliament in previous debates. In a statement, marking the 100th anniversary of the massacre, at the start of her weekly Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, she reiterated the“regret” already expressed by the British Government. The massacre took place in Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar on Baisakhi in April 1919 when the British Indian Army troops, under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer, fired machine guns at a crowd of people holding a pro-independence demonstration. According to the British government records, 379 people, including men, women and children were killed and around 1200 injured in the firing. “The tragedy of Jallianwala Bagh of 1919 is a shameful scar on British Indian history. As Her Majesty the Queen (Elizabeth II) said before visiting Jallianwala Bagh in 1997, it is a distressing example of our past history with India,” she said in her statement.“We deeply regret what happened and the suffering caused. I am pleased that today the UKIndia relationship is one of collaboration, partnership, prosperity and security.’’ AGENCIES (SEE ALSO PAGE 5)
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.