TheIndian EXPRESS LATECITY, 16 PAGES, JAIPUR, `4.00 ● FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM JOURNALISM OF COURAGE DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA VISVA BHARATI UNIVERSITY President gives in to HRD, withdraws own assent on appointment of V-C Panel of 3 finalists scrapped; search, selection committee disbanded, ministry tells university to pick new members RITIKA CHOPRA NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 22 IN AN unprecedented move, President Ram Nath Kovind has overturned his decision on the appointmentof acentraluniversity Vice-Chancellor (V-C), at the behest of the government. Kovindislearnttohavewithdrawn his assent to appoint The Indian Express report on February 15 EXPRESS NETWORK ● OPPN CORNERS GOVT OVER FARMERS’ ARREST, PAGE 5 9 THEIDEASPAGE In the name of education There is an impressive increase in school enrollment levels but not much thought on what should be taught BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Swapan Kumar Dutta as the head of Visva Bharati University in Santiniketan — the President is its Visitor and the Prime Minister its Chancellor. He has also scrapped the panel of three finalists forwarded by the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry last year. AsfirstreportedbyTheIndian Express on February 15, the HRD MinistryhadaskedthePresident to reconsider his assent to Dutta’s appointment. The government will now launch a fresh search for the V-C’s post. Visva Bharati learnt of the President’s decision on Thursday, when the HRD Ministryaskedtheuniversityadministration to call a meeting of its Court and Executive Council CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CBI arrests Rotomac owner and son over Rs 3,695-cr loan default DEEPTIMAN TIWARY Vikram Kothari arrested after 4 days questioning NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 22 AFTER FOUR days of questioning, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Thursday arrested Rotomac Global owner Vikram Kothari and his son Rahul in connection with the company’s Rs 3,695 crore loan default. Agency sources said the Kotharis were arrested as they did not cooperate with investigations despite four days of sustained questioning in Kanpur. CBI had booked Rotomac Global PvtLtd,Kothari,hiswifeSadhana and son Rahul for allegedly defaulting on Rs 3,695 crore in loans taken from a consortium of seven banks. According to CBI and a complaint filed by Bank of Baroda (BoB), the loans were granted, beginning 2008, for the purported import of wheat among otherproducts,butinmostcases nothing was imported and the money was allegedly diverted. BoBisamongtheconsortium of banks and has an outstanding 8 THEEDITORIAL PAGE of Rs456.63crorefromRotomac. Apart from BoB, the consortium includes, Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, United Bank of India, Allahabad Bank, Bank of Maharashtra and Oriental Bank of Commerce. “The credit sanctioned and disbursed to the company was utilised for purposes other than executingexportorders,”theCBI FIR said. It details that packing credit of Rs 15.50 crore, disbursed on January 25, 2012, to execute an exportorderof $4.18millionwas split and remitted to Rotomac Global (Rs 10 crore) and M/S Madrid Implex (Rs 5.35 crore for purchase of jewellery). Citing another similar transactionasanexampleof thefraud carried out by Rotomac, the CBI FIR said, “Credit sanctioned for CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 How did they ponzi it? BY OMKAR GOSWAMI Cars belonging to Nirav Modi and his companies seized by ED. PTI NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 22 IN A major public relations disasterforvisitingCanadianPrime Minister Justin Trudeau, a Canada-basedKhalistaniactivist, convictedintheattemptedmurder of a Punjab Minister in 1986, wasinvitedtotwoeventsorganisedforTrudeau,inMumbaiand Delhi. As photographs of the Mumbai reception on Tuesday, showing Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, and a Canadian minister with Jaspal Atwal, a known Khalistani activist, kicked up a row, the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi said it had rescinded 7 WORLD Jaspal Atwal with Sophie Gregoire Trudeau. ANI the invitation to the reception in the Capital on Thursday night. Atwal, a former member of the International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF), a proKhalistani outfit that was banned in Canada and designated a terrorist organisation in 2003, was convicted of attempted murder after then Punjab minister Malkiat Singh Sidhu was shot on Vancouver Island in 1986. Atwal and three others were sentenced to 20 years in jail, but he was released early due to his good conduct. Responding to the controversy,TrudeausaidAtwalshould not have received an invitation. “Obviously, we take this extremely seriously. He should never have received an invitation. As soon as we received the information, we rescinded it. A member of Parliament had included this individual,” he said. The Ministry of External Affairs said it did not know how Atwal was granted a visa. “There are two aspects to it, presence CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ABHISHEK ANGAD NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 22 CONTRADICTING HIS earlier stand, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s advisor, VK Jain, in a statement to the investigating officer has said he witnessed the assault on Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash on February 19 during a meeting in Kejriwal’s residence and saw Prakash’s “spectacles fall off”. Jain’sstatement wassubmitted before a Delhi court Thursday while hearing the bail pleas of two AAP MLAs arrested for the assault on Prakash. Jain, in a statement to police on Wednesday had said he was presentattheFebruary19meeting but denied witnessing the assault and said he was in the “washroom” for a few minutes. Additional Public Prosector Atul Srivastava Thursday informedMetropolitanMagistrate ShefaliBarnalaTandonthatJain’s statement was recorded before the before the police. “In his statement under Section 161 of the CrPC (Code of Criminal Procedure),Jainstatedthatheleft home at around 11.30 pm from Maharani Bagh and reached the CM’s residence at midnight.” According to the prosecutor, Jain in the statement admitted that he saw Prakash being assaulted after exiting the washroom.“Whenhecameoutof the washroom, he saw two MLAs had surrounded the Chief Secretaryandwereassaultinghis and that is when his spectacles felloff,”Srivastavatoldthecourt. Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash Jain’s first statement, which wassubmittedtothecourtaday earlier, was reproduced by defence counsel BS Joon Thursday. In this statement, Jain recounted the February 19 incident in a document titled: “Examination of Vinod kumar Jain”. According to this document, whichrecordingJain’sstatement beforepolice,aquestionwasput to Jain: “Kya aap ke samne CS sahab ke saath kisi parakar ki badshuluki ya haatha paai hui thi?” (Was the CS assaulted in front of you?) To which, Jain replied : “Mein meeting ke dauraan kuch samaykeliyewashroomgayatha. Ussdauraankyahuathamainkeh nahi sakta. (During the meeting, I went to the washroom. I do not know what happened during that time).” Joon told court: “There is another statement of Jain which the police has not supplied to court. The prosecution is hiding Jain’searlierstatementtothepolice.” To this, Srivastava said the prosecution had submitted the document to court on Wednesday. During the hearing the prosecution filed a fresh application seeking police custody of the two MLAs while opposing bail. The court reserved its order on bail for Friday and sent both MLAs to judicial custody for 14 days. Nine firms linked to Nirav Modi did no business, shut in 2 years Hooda dropped land KHUSHBOO NARAYAN MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 22 AT LEAST nine firms associated with billionaire diamond jeweller Nirav Modi were incorporated in 2010 but did not carry out any business before all of them were shut down in 2012, records investigated by The Indian Express show. An analysis of the 41 companiesassociatedwithModi,inthe wake of alleged fraudulent transactions involving three of his companies and Punjab National Bank, shows that these nine firms were incorporated between March and August 2010. Records show that Modi’s brother Neeshal Modi, who has been named by the CBI as an accused in the alleged Rs 11,400crore PNB fraud, was a director in all these nine firms. Thesefirms,accordingtotheir statement of accounts, did not show any business in the two yearsoftheirexistenceandatleast sevenof themfiledforclosureon June21,2012.Theothertwowere also shut down that year. In their board resolutions, each of these firms cited the same reason for winding up: they foresee “no sustainable commercialactivity”andarenot in a position to “generate any revenue surpluses”. These nine firms are: Punarvasu Consultants Pvt Ltd, Ananthnath Valuers Pvt Ltd, Neminath Consultants Pvt Ltd, Vashupujya Valuers Pvt Ltd, Moola Consultants Pvt Ltd, Sambhavnath Consultants Pvt Ltd, Suvadhinath Consultants Pvt Ltd, Moon Valuers Pvt Ltd and Supasvanath Consultants Pvt Ltd. However, sources familiar with the case said it is possible that not all of the 41 companies linked to Modi that are under probebytheCBI,Income-Taxdepartment and Enforcement Directorate are “shell firms”. “The complete picture will emerge only after the investigation is complete,” said sources. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Khalistan activist with Trudeaus 3-judge vs 3-judge: Debate intensifies, two benches ask CJI to step in leaves Canada, India red-faced SHUBHAJIT ROY & RAHUL TRIPATHI Kejriwal aide to police: Saw Chief Secy being assaulted, glasses fall ANANTHAKRISHNAN G NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 22 WITH A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court triggering a debatebyoverturningtheruling of another three-judge bench in a land acquisition case, two separate benches, hearing related matters Thursday, turned to Chief Justiceof IndiaDipakMisra to constitute an “appropriate” or “larger”benchtosettletheissue. On Wednesday, the bench of Justices Madan B Lokur, Kurian Joseph and Deepak Gupta virtually stayed operation of a February 8 order by a bench of Justices Arun Mishra, A K Goel and Mohan M Shantanagoudar which ruled that compensation notavailedof withinastipulated five-year period could not be ground for cancellation of land acquisition. In reaching this conclusion, the Justice Mishra-led bench, by a majority of 2-1, also held that a 2014 verdict in a case related to the Pune Municipal Corporation was “per incuriam” (passed without due regard to the law). That 2014 verdict was also by a three-judge bench, comprising thenChief JusticeRMLodhaand JusticesLokurandJoseph,which said that non-payment of compensation could be a ground to cancel land acquisition. On Thursday, Justices Mishra and Goel, sitting on separate benches, referred the matter to the CJI after being told that the three-judge bench headed by JusticeLokurhadvirtuallystayed the February 8 order a day earlier. Justice Mishra, who was sitting with Justice Amitava Roy, said: “We consider it appropriate that these matters be referred to the Hon’ble the Chief Justicetoconstituteanappropriatebenchandtoseewhetherwe can proceed with the hearing or not. Since a larger issue is involved, we refer the matters to the Hon’ble Chief Justice to be dealt with by an appropriate bench, as His Lordship may consider appropriate.” AndJusticeGoel,whowason a bench with Justice U U Lalit, was of the view “that having regard to the nature of the issues involvedinthematter,theissues need to be resolved by a larger CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 takeover after request from Azad, says CBI J&K asked Haryana to leave site for housing complex for its officers VARINDER BHATIA & MANOJ C G CHANDIGARH, NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 22 THE CBI has informed a Panchkula court that Bhupinder SinghHooda,whenhewasChief Minister of Haryana, agreed to leave out 13.74 acres in Manesar fromthelandacquisitionprocess in 2007 and issued licence to a developerforagrouphousingsociety on the site following a request from Ghulam Nabi Azad, then Chief Minister of J&K. In its chargesheet on the Manesar land scandal, the CBI said Anil Goswami, then Principal Secretary to Azad, wrote to S S Dhillon, then Director, Town and Country Planning, Haryana, on July 26, 2007 “requesting for release of land of M/s Conway Developers Pvt Ltd from the acquisition process and to issue them a licence for a Group Housing Project as officers of All India Service of J&K cadre are interested to purchase flats in the applied site”. Goswami’s letter stated that “the issue had already been taken up with Sh. Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Hon’ble Chief Minister, Haryana by Ghulam Nabi Azad, Hon’ble Chief Minister, J&K in the larger interest of the All India service offi- CBI has named Hooda in its Manesar chargesheet cers of J&K cadre”. The letter named an IAS and IPS officer of the J&K cadre who had been “asked to pursue the case with Government of Haryana”. Within four months of the request, the land was dropped fromtheacquisitionprocessand Hooda approved the grant of licence to the developer on November 25, 2007. The licence, the CBI said, was issued to the developer on May 7, 2008. AccordingtotheCBI,Chhatar Singh, then Additional Principal SecretarytoHooda,sentanoteto the Town and Country Planning Department — it was dated August 10, 2007 — in the matter of Conway Developers Pvt Ltd. On August 17, 2007, Anil Batra, Director, Conway Developers, sent a request to Hooda for releaseof landfromtheacquisition process and grant of licence. The Town and Country PlanningDepartmentprocessed the application and Chhatar Singh passed an order on November 25, 2007 saying “CM has approved”. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR FORDOUSTS INDIAN-ORIGIN OFFICIALFOR ‘SEXUAL MISCONDUCT’ SAUDI, CHINA, TURKEY BLOCK US FROM PUTTING PAK ON TERROR WATCHLIST MONTH ON, RAPE & MURDER SPLIT A VILLAGE DOWN THE MIDDLE NIRUPAMA SUBRAMANIAN KATHUA, FEBRUARY 21 IT’S BEEN over a month but the chalk marks outlining the spot where the small body lay face down between trees have not yet faded. And so is the grief and despair at the home of the seven-year-old girl who was found dead that morning in the woods behind Rasana village in Kathua near Jammu. “Iadoptedherfrommysister when she was just two months old, and brought her up as my own. She was a part of my fam- ily for seven years,” says her father, who hails from the Bakherwal, a Muslim community of nomadic grazers. The girl’s body was found on January 17, seven days after she went missing. She had been allegedlyrapedandstrangled,said police.Withinaday,aminorboy living with his uncle in Rasana was arrested and placed in a juvenile home. This month, two Special Police Officers from the area, Deepak Khajuria and Surinder Verma, were held on charges of rape and murder. With the crime and the arrests widening communal fault linesacrossKathua,ontheinter- The storeroom where the victim was allegedly held national border with Pakistan, prohibitory orders were quickly put in place. Today, the divide is all too apparent in Rasana, where 13 Brahmin households stay in closely packed homes on either side of a 200-m-long, eight-ft-wide lane. What is under severe strain here are links that go back at least 40 years, between the residents and the Bakherwal, who annually set up camp on the forest and private land around the village in winter. “Now people are floating all kinds of stories, that she was not mydaughter,thatthiscrimewas committed by Bakherwals themselvesbecauseof afightbetween us. They are all lies,” says the girl’s father. Located on a rise off NH 44, the“Srinagar-Kanyakumarihighway”, Rasana is part of Kootah panchayat.KantKumar,Kootah’s ex-sarpanch,saystherewas“alittle tension” over where the girl’s bodywastobeburied.“Thefamily wanted to bury her in Kootah. It was private land, but I helped defuse the matter, and managed the funeral in a graveyard in nearby Kanah village,” he says. Both Kumar and the girl’s father deny rumours of a “social boycott” of Bakherwals in the area.Butclearly,theincidenthas Jaipur left an indelible scar. “Rasana has never known a crime like this... When I heard aboutwhathadbeendonetothe girl, I cried. Girls that age, whatever their religion, are deviroop (like Goddesses), we pray to them,” says the aunt of the teenager who was arrested. Itwasfromaround200ftbehind her house that the girl’s body was discovered. “But he is innocent. He is too small to have taken part in something so brutal, he was even scared of stepping out in the dark,” she says. Theauntsaystheboywasleft in her husband’s care by his CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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