WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 20 JULY 2022 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P5 WEATHER GENERALLY CLOUDY SKY. MODERATE RAIN/THUNDERSHOWERS WITH HEAVY RAIN AT ISOLATED PLACES. THE MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM TEMPERATURES WOULD BE AROUND 32 AND 28 DEGREES CELSIUS RESPECTIVELY. P7 After Opp alleges that recruitment was done on the basis of caste & religion SC transfers pleas challenging Agnipath Scheme to Delhi HC Max.89% Min. 58% Max: 37.7°C (+3) SUN RISES 05:37 hrs MOON RISES 00:00 hrs Min: 29.2°C (+2) SUN SETS 19:19 hrs MOON SETS 12:16 hrs AGENCIES NEW DELHI , 19 JULY STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 19 JULY THUMBNAILS D An artist gives finishing touches to an idol of Goddess Durga being made to send to Manchester at the Kumartuli in Kolkata. SNS ED arrests ex- Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday arrested former Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey in National Stock Exchange (NSE) co-location scam case.Pandey was arrested under provisions of the Money Laundering Act after his day-long questioning at the agency's headquarters here, an official said.Pandey, who retired as Mumbai Police Commissioner recently, was earlier questioned by the ED in the case. Rupee depreciates to 80 against US dollar: As predicted earlier, the Indian rupee on Tuesday crossed Rs 80 for a US dollar. The fall in rupee's value is owing to multiple factors like Russia-Ukraine war, outflow of foreign institutional investors and others, said experts. Experts also said though the rupee has depreciated against the dollar, it has appreciated against other currencies. Global risk aversion has led to rupee depreciation against the dollar; howPg8 ever, the decline is pretty tolerable. Govt briefs Opposition on Lanka crisis STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 19 JULY External affairs minister S Jaishankar is believed to have stated that the situation in Sri Lanka was unprecedented and India was worried about it but dismissed suggestions about such a situation arising in India. He was addressing an allparty meeting on the crisis in the island nation at the Parliament in New Delhi. Jaishankar said the matter pertained to a very close neighbour and it was natural to worry about consequences and spillover. However, Jaishankar added that misinformed comparisons in the Lankan context have come to light as people asked if such a situation could occur in India. “The reason we took the initiative to request you all to join an all-party meeting was...this is a very serious crisis and what we are seeing in Sri Lanka is in many ways an unprecedented situation,” external affairs minister said. National Conference MP Farooq Abdullah, DMK's TR Baalu, MDMK's Vaiko, CPI's Binoy Viswam, Congress MP P Chidambaram, YSRCP's Vijayasai Reddy, AIADMK's M Thambidurai, among other those who attended the meeting. From the government side, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi was also present. The meeting had been called as many parties wanted to know the exact situation in the island nation. There were also demands that India should intervene in the crisis surrounding the neighbouring country. efence minister Rajnath Singh today clarified that no change had been made in the Agnipath scheme for recruitment in the armed forces after allegations by some Opposition leaders that the recruitment under it was being done on the basis of caste and religion. “This is just a rumour. The earlier system, existing since the pre-Independence era, is going on. No change has been made. The old system is being continued,” he told reporters at the Parliament House when asked about the charge that caste and religion certificates were now being sought for recruitment under the new scheme. Army sources, meanwhile, said the requirement for aspirants to submit caste certificates and, if required, religion certificates was always there. No change has been made in this regard for the Agnipath recruitment scheme, they clarified. The BJP also hit out at those spreading rumours. Party spokesperson Sambit Patra said the practice had been followed for decades and pertained to administrative and oper- The Supreme Court on Tuesday transferred various pleas challenging the Agnipath Scheme to the Delhi High Court. A Bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud directed the Registrar General to transfer these matters to the Delhi High Court. The Supreme Court also clarified that as other similar petitions challenging the Agnipath Scheme are pending in other various HCs, the concerned High Courts should either give an option to the petitioners to either have their petitions transferred to the Delhi HC or to keep their petitions pending with liberty to petitioners to intervene in the Delhi HC. The top court said it cannot pass the buck and deprive itself of the reasoning of the High Court.The Court also requested the Delhi High Court to take up the matter and dispose of it ational issues. “If a soldier is martyred, it should be known how to conduct his last rites,” he said, accusing the Opposition of trying to incite youth and bring them onto the streets. Mr Patra said the Army, in an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court in 2013, had expeditiously. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta apprised the court that various petitions challenging the Agnipath Scheme have been filed before various High Courts. The top court noted a consolidated chart of High Court cases presented by SG Tushar Mehta. The High Courts of Delhi, Kerala, Punjab and Haryana, Patna and Uttarakhand are hearing matters connected to these schemes.The Court directions came after hearing advocates Kumud Lata Das and ML Sharma for petitioners and SG Tushar Mehta for respondents. Various petitions were filed before the top court challenging the Agnipath recruitment scheme. The Central government has also filed a caveat application in the Supreme Court urging it to hear the government in the petitions filed before the top court challenging the Agnipath recruitment scheme for defence forces. made it clear that it did not recruit on the basis of caste, region, and religion. “It, however, justified grouping of people coming from a region in a regiment for administrative convenience and operational requirements,” he said. The clarifications came after the Aam Aadmi Big blow to Uddhav, 12 Sena MPs join CM camp AGENCIES MUMBAI/NEW DELHI, 19 JULY Exactly a month after a rebellion among Shiv Sena MLAs on 20 June , 12 party MPs on Tuesday expressed support to Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde’s group, dealing another massive blow to party president Uddhav Thackeray. Speaking to mediapersons in New Delhi, Shinde said that the 12 MPs have joined him in the interest of the state. He said the MPs met Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and submitted a letter to be recognised as the Shiv Sena group in the Lower House.. “While Rahul Shewale is the new Shiv Sena Group Leader, Bhavana Gawali is One of the MPs, Hemant Godse said that they have urged the Speaker to recognise them as a group and allot the Shiv Sena office in Parliament House to them the Chief Whip of the party in Lok Sabha,” said Shinde. One of the MPs, Hemant Godse told mediapersons that they have urged the Speaker to recognise them as a group and allot the Shiv Sena office in Parliament House to them. They also requested the Speaker to approve the name of MP Bhavana Gawali as the new Chief Whip in Lok Sabha and MP Rahul Shewale as the party leader in place of current Shiv Sena Party leader and MP Vinayak Raut -- who is still with Thackeray. Among the MPs who are said to be with the Shinde camp include -- Shrikant Eknath Shinde, Rahul Shewale, Bhavana Gawali, Hemant Godse, Sadashiv Lokhande, Hemant Patil, Sanjay Mandlik, Dhairyasheel Mane, Shrirang Barne, Krupal Tumane and Prataprao Jadhav. The developments came a month after a Shinde-led revolt by around 40 Shiv Sena MLAs plus 10 independents and others on June 20, which brought down the Maha Vikas Aghadi government of Shiv SenaNationalist Congress PartyCongress headed by then chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. SIMMONS ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT P12 P10 Agnipath recruitment process same: Rajnath RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY TEMPERATURE RUSSIA POUNDS UKRAINE AS PUTIN HOLDSTALKS IN TEHRAN COULD NEPAL GO THE SRI LANKA WAY? MARGARET ALVA FILES NOMINATION FOR VICE-PRESIDENTSHIP Party’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh criticised the central government for asking for caste and religious certificate in order to register for the Agnipath programme. Tweeting in Hindi today, the AAP leader alleged that for the first time in the history of India, candidates have been asked to mention their caste in the Army recruitment, and hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him if he does not consider Dalits, backwards and tribals eligible for serving in the Army. Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav similarly slammed the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for having caste and religion section under the documents required during the recruitment of Agniveers. “Don't ask the caste of the monk But ask the caste of the soldier. The BJP government of the Sangh runs away from the caste census but asks for caste from Agniveer brothers who gave their lives for the service of the country. These castes are being asked because the country's largest casteist organization RSS will later sort out Agniveers on the basis of caste,” tweeted Yadav. Meanwhile, RJD MP Manoj Kumar Jha and Communist Party of India MP Binoy Viswam have separately moved suspension of business notices in the RS under Rule-267 to discuss the Agnipath scheme and its “disastrous implications”. GoAir flights grounded after technical glitches SC grants ‘protection’ to Nupur Sharma in Prophet remark row AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 19 JULY The Supreme Court on Tuesday said no coercive action should be taken against suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma in FIRs registered so far and also cases, which could be registered in the future in connection with her remarks on Prophet Mohammad during a TV debate. A bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and J.B. Pardiwala said: “Meanwhile, as an interim measure it is directed that no coercive shall be taken against Nupur Sharma pursuant to the impugned FIRs.” Senior advocate Maninder Singh, representing Sharma contended that new FIRs are being registered, and say they will pick her up. The bench said: "No coercive action to be taken against present or future FIRs in relation to the same telecast.." The top court also issued notice to Delhi, Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh Police and oth- FACT FILE TOTAL CASES 4,37,83,062 ACTIVE CASES 1,43,654 NEW CASES 15,528 NEW RECOVERIES 16,113 TOTAL DEATHS 5,25,785 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. TUESDAY 19 JULY 2022 Delhi recorded 585 cases and 2 deaths ers on Sharma’s plea for clubbing of multiple FIRs. Singh said after the top court’s 1 July order, the petitioner has received life threats and it is not possible for her to travel outside Delhi to pursue these cases. The bench noted that in her support, the petitioner in the miscellaneous application has stated that after 1 July order of this court, various incidents, like threats have been made by one by Salman Chishti claiming to be Khadim of Ajmer Dargah who has called upon to cut her throat, and another by a man from Uttar Pradesh, who made a viral video threatening to behead her. During the hearing, Singh Russia seeking oil payments in Dirhams, India denies reports AGENCIES NEW DELHI , 19 JULY India has denied media reports thatRussiaisseekingpayments in United Arab Emirates Dirhams for oil exports to some Indian refiners. Sources told ANI that there is no such specific currency payment demand from Russia. Petroleum Ministry sources clarified to ANI that they are not aware of any such demand by Russia. No govt-owned refineries have paid oil Bill in NEW DELHI, 19 JULY The occurrence of technical snags in Indian civil aircraft refuse to cease. In two separate cases on Tuesday, GoAir flights, also known as Go First, were diverted to Delhi and Srinagar due to technical glitches in the engines. GoAir A320 aircraft VT-WGA flight G8-386 from Mumbai to Leh was diverted to Delhi, and GoAir A320 aircraft VT-WJG flight G86202 from Srinagar to Delhi was turned back to Srinagar due to EGT over-limit in the engine. The first plane was diverted to Delhi due to an EIU (Engine Interface Unit) fault in engine number 2. A senior official said that Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is investigating the incidents and both the planes have been grounded and will fly only when cleared by the regulator.IANS dirham to any Russian company. Sources said that if any Middle Eastbased trading company sells oil to any private refiners and settles the payments in Dirhams then this is between the two companies doing business at their own term. This has nothing to with Indian govt or Indian govt owned oil companies. Sources from Govt owned oil marketing companies has also denied any such payment mechanism. Govt has received proposal to change name of West Bengal toBangla:MHA AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 19 JULY cited an order by another bench of the top court, where it had granted the ad interim relief by staying the similar FIRs. Sharma, suspended BJP spokesperson, has once again moved the Supreme Court seeking stay on her arrest in the nine FIRs against her for her remarks on Prophet Muhammad during a TV debate and also sought clubbing of the FIRs with the FIR registered at Delhi. In the fresh plea, Sharma cited the top court's judgments saying that a person cannot be subjected to multiple FIRs in several parts of the country for the same offence. On July 1, the same bench of the top court had minced no words in slamming Sharma, whose remarks on Prophet Muhammad sparked a controversy. The top court said her loose tongue has set the entire country on fire and her irresponsible remarks shows that she is "obstinate and arrogant". The Central government has received a proposal from the Government of West Bengal for renaming the State “Bangla”, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) informed the Parliament on Tuesday. “A proposal has been received from the government of West Bengal for renaming the State as Bangla in all three languages ie. Bengali, English and Hindi,” he informed the parliament. Minister of State in MHA Nityanand Rai (in photo)in a written reply to the Lok Sabha said that MHA has given a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to the proposals received during the last five years, for changing the name of cities across the country.All India Trinamul Congress (AITC) MP Saida Ahmad had asked about the details and the number of proposals received by the Ministry of Home Affairs for getting approval for the change of names of cities across the country, and whether the Government has revamped the guidelines for changing the names of heritage places. Rai replied that the MHA has no such guidelines for the change of names of heritage places. In 2017, Andhra Pradesh’s Rajahmundry’s name was changed to Rajama- hendravaram. In 2018, Jharkhand's Nagar Untari's name was changed to Shri Banshidhar Nagar. During the same year, the Madhya Pradesh Nagar Panchayat town Birshingpur Pali became Maa Birasini Dham. In the same year, Uttar Pradesh's Allahabad was renamed Prayagraj. In 2021, Madhya Pradesh's Hoshangabad Nagar's name was changed to Narmadapuram and Babai city's name was changed to Makhan Nagar. In 2022, Punjab’s city Shri Hargobindpur was renamed Shri Hargobindpur Sahib. Rai further informed that a proposal for changing the name of Nasrullaganj Nagar to Bhairoonda has been received by the MHA on April 25, 2022, from the Government of Madhya Pradesh. ‘No GST on certain daily use items when sold loose’ DSP crushed to death by STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 19 JULY Amid nationwide uproar over the imposition of five per cent GST on pre-packaged and pre-labelled items, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman today clarified that items like pulses/daal, wheat, rye, oats, maize, rice, atta, suji/rawa, besan, puffed rice, and curd/ lassi, when sold loose, and not pre-packed or pre-labelled, would not attract the GST. In a series of tweets, the minister said items like pulses, cereals like rice, wheat, flour, etc, earlier attracted GST @ 5 per cent when branded and packed in a unit container. From 18 July, these items would attract GST when “pre-packaged and labelled”. She asserted that the decision on levying 5 per cent GST was taken unanimously by the GST Council. All states were present in the GST Council when this issue was presented by the Group of Ministers (GoM) on rate rationalisation in the 47th meeting held in Chandigarh on 28 June, she added. Sitharaman said the GoM that recommended the GST changes was composed of members from West Bengal, Rajasthan, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Goa, and Bihar and was headed by the chief minister of Karnataka. It carefully considered this proposal, taking into account the tax leakage. She recalled that when the GST was rolled out, a GST rate of 5 per cent was made applicable on branded cereals, pulses, and flour. Later, this was amended to tax only such items which were sold under a registered brand or brand on which enforceable right was not foregone by the supplier. “However, soon rampant misuse of this provision was observed by reputed manufacturers & brand owners and gradually GST revenue from these items fell signif- icantly,” she added. This, she said, was resented by suppliers and industry associations who were paying taxes on branded goods. They wrote to the government to impose the GST uniformly on all packaged commodities to stop such misuse. This rampant evasion in tax was also observed by the states. She noted that a fitment committee, consisting of officers from Rajasthan, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Haryana, and Gujarat, had also examined this issue over several meetings and made its recommendations for changing the modalities to curb misuse. “It is in this context that the GST Coun- cil in its 47th meeting took the decision. With effect from July 18, 2022, only the modalities of imposition of GST on these goods was changed with no change in coverage of GST except 23 items,'' she added. It has been prescribed that the GST on these goods shall apply when supplied in "pre-packaged and labelled" commodities attracting the provisions of the Legal Metrology Act. “To conclude: this decision was a much-needed one to curb tax leakage. It was considered at various levels including by officers, the Group of Ministers, and was finally recommended by the GST Council with the complete consensus of all members,” she wrote. mining mafia in Haryana STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE CHANDIGARH, 19 JULY A DSP-rank officer of the Haryana police was crushed to death by the mining mafia in Nuh district of the state on Tuesday. The officer, Surender Singh (in photo), who was posted as DSP, Tauru (Mewat), had gone to the Panchgaon area near Tauru to investigate an incident of illegal mining this morning. When he spotted a suspicious dumper and signaled it to stop, the driver sped up and tried to run Singh and his men. While Singh’s driver and gunman managed to escape, the DSP was hit. He was rushed to hospital where doctors declared him brought dead.Police later said they have arrested one of the people involved in the mur- der of the officer. The man, identified as Ikkar, was a cleaner on the dumper and is a resident of Panchgaon village, police said. State chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said strict action will be taken against those found guilty for the killing of the officer. Announcing a relief of Rs 1 crore and job to one of the family members of the DSP, the CM said the state government is standing with the bereaved family in this hour of grief. (with agency inputs)
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