TheIndian EXPRESS LATE CITY, 20 + 4 (NEWSLINE) PAGES, PUNE, `5.00 ● THURSDAY, AUGUST 2, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE Citing cases of ‘nepotism’, Govt pushes its MoP proposals 40 lakh not in register cannot be called illegal, says Assam official behind NRC KAUNAIN SHERIFF M ‘Whether person is illegal or not can be decided only by judicial scrutiny’ NEW DELHI, AUGUST 1 RAISING SPECIFIC objections to names recommended for elevation by the collegiums of the high courts of Kerala and Allahabad, the government has slipped in some of the key criteria it wants included in the revised Memorandum of Procedure. Citing the proximity of some candidates to sitting judgesandjudicialofficers,ithas suggested the need for a wider pool of names, a stringent scrutiny mechanism, and the need for a dedicated secretariat. The government and the SupremeCourtcollegiumareyet to findcommongroundin drafting the revised MoP. After striking down the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act in October 2015, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre to finalise the existing MoP in consultation with the SC collegium, taking into account issues such as secretariat, transparency and complaint mechanism. TheIndianExpresshaslearnt thatwhileforwardingthenames recommended by the collegiums of the Kerala and Allahabad high courts, the central government has pointed out to the SC collegium instances of proximity between sitting/former judges and the names recommended by the collegiums. Thecommunication,sources said, took place in July. It is learnt that the central government has cited proximity to judicial officers of at least seven of nine persons recommended by the Kerala High Court collegium. These include a son-in-law and relatives of former judges from the state. The government has also citedsimilarinstances,whileforwarding 33 names recommended by the Allahabad High CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 INTERVIEW: PRATEEK HAJELA, NRC STATE COORDINATOR KARISHMA MEHROTRA & RAVISH TIWARI NEW DELHI, AUGUST 1 A DAY after BJP president Amit Shah said the NRC would weed out“ghuspethiye”(infiltrators)in Assam, the Supreme Court-appointedcoordinatorfortheexercise termed such descriptions as “toopremature”andsaidthatall the 40,07,707 people left out of the “complete draft” cannot be clubbed under that description, or as illegal migrants, merely on the basis of the register. “No, we can’t say all these 40 lakh are ghuspethiye,” Prateek Hajela, the NRC coordinator, told The Indian Express in an interview. Hajela was responding to a question on whether those whose names were missing in the final draft could be called infiltrators or illegal migrants. The man at the centre of the NRCexercise saidthatonlya “judicial scrutiny” can establish whether a person can be called an illegal migrant or not. “These people will get another chance to prove their credentials. Then we will come out with a final NRC. The NRC process will be over then. Even afterthat,whetherapersonisan illegal migrant or not is somethingthatcanbedecidedonlyby judicial scrutiny and that is through a certain set of codes, which has been established in Assam... called the Foreigners Tribunal,” Hajela said. Acknowledging that “there could be errors” in finalising the draft NRC, as it is a “manual process”, the coordinator said peoplewillhavetheopportunity to “object to any entry”. “They (those in the draft) have been able to establish their credentials before us during 14 ZIMBABWE’S RULING PARTY WINS MAJORITY, OPP QUESTIONS POLL WORLD MOINUL HOQUE, 47 VIVEK DESHPANDE NAGPUR, AUGUST 1 THE NAGPUR bench of Bombay High Court Wednesday said it was going ahead with constituting a panel of retired judges to monitorallpendinggovernment inquiries into misappropriation of public money. The bench, comprising Justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Justice Zaka Haq, issued the orderin acaseof allegedembezzlementof fundsworthcroresin MNREGA works implemented by the forest department in 2010-11 and 2011-12 in four tehsils of Yavatmal district: Kelapur, Ghatanji, Ralegaon and Zari-Jamni.Apetitionfiledbysocial activist from Ghatanji, MadhukarNistane,inthisregard was disposed of by the bench, saying the panel will now monitortheprobeintothecasealong with all other such cases concerning other government departments. Wednesday’s order comes a daybeforethe samebenchtakes up five PILs in an alleged irrigation scam in Vidarbha. The bench had two weeks ago said it was contemplating setting up a panel of retired judges to monitor the probe by the two AntiCorruptionBureau(ACB)SITsfor Nagpur and Amravati districts. Last Thursday, all defence lawyers, including one for former Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, had stronglyarguedthatconstitution of such a panel was not within CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 HeadConstable,CISF, Guwahati.Two sonsin,he andhiswifeout Prateek Hajela in New Delhi on Wednesday. Ravish Tiwari INAMULHOQUE, 29 BUSINESS AS USUAL MUSABIRUL HOQUE, 29 Govt school teacher, Udalguri. Moinul’s brother, not in draft SADULLAH AHMED, 48 Gazetted officer, Guwahati. Wife in, he and 2 sons out SHAHALAMBHUYAN,50 ASI, Assam Police, Guwahati. 4 children and wife in, he is out NRC field officer not in NRC draft, also out CISF constable, Armyman 11 ABHISHEK SAHA GUWAHATI, AUGUST 1 EXPLAINED Questions of citizenship NRC raises rounds of verification that we have carried out. But again, somebody might object to any entry, which he or she thinks is not correct,” Hajela said, while responding to a query on CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THREE YEARS ago, Moinul Hoquewasdeployedbythegovernment as a Field Level Officer to help compile and verify names for the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam. Today, the 47-year-old government school teacher from Udalguri district finds himself among the 40 lakh people whose names are missing from the “complete draft”. On Wednesday, a day after the draft was released, The Indian Express reported on the fear and uncertainty gripping 40,07,707 OUT OF NRC THE UNCOUNTED WHAT NEXT-II 12 THE EDITORIAL PAGE The missing BY SANJIB BARUAH the state in the wake of this exercise to weed out illegal migrants from Bangladesh — families split, siblings out, children’s names missing. Hoque was among the over 55,000governmentofficialsand contract workers drafted by the state to complete the NRC updation process. And yet, he says, he is among the uncounted. “I will ask senior officials what the problem is, and I am sure we can find a way out. We are genuine Indians,” he says. Hoque is not the only one on the government’s rolls who are missing from the NRC draft. There’s an Armyman, a CISF AANCHAL MAGAZINE ONEINeveryfouritemshasseen a cut in tax rates over the thirteen months since the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST),triggeringconcernamong revenue department officials over its impact on overall government finances. Officials assert thatwhilethe NEWSLINE of fiscal slippage at both the Centre and state levels, saying it could have “adverse implicationsformarketvolatility,crowd out private investment and impact the outlook for inflation”. Finance Minister Piyush Goyal,however,counteredthese apprehensionsWednesday,saying that higher compliance and increased market demand will ensure that there won’t be “any revenue shortfall”. MUMBAI, AUGUST 1 100PROTESTERS INVOLVEDINCHAKAN VIOLENCEIDENTIFIED ● CHIEF OF SNBP GROUP BOOKED Aseniorrevenuedepartment official said: “Rate cuts are expected to further simplify GST, boostcompliancebutthesehave been more of a political call. If seen from revenue perspective, itwillbecometoughtomeetcollection targets as we inch closer to the end of this financial year.” The rate cuts on over 350 items out of total 1,211 items in the five broad categories of zero, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 2nd time in two months, RBI increases interest rate, cautions on fiscal front ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU THE MONETARY Policy Committee or MPC of the Reserve Bank of India Wednesday raised its key policy rate — the repo rate — by 25 basis points for the second time in two months to contain inflation in a year leading up to general elections. Indicating that the RBI is takingalong-termviewoninflation “while supporting growth” and RBI Governor Urjit Patel in Mumbai. Pradip Das PROMOTION QUOTA: SC TO EXAMINE OWN ORDER OF 2006 MOVING TO placate angry Dalit and Adivasi outfits which have called a Bharat bandh on August 9 over the alleged dilution of the SC/ST law, the Union Cabinet Wednesday approved an amendment to The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act which, official sources said, would “nullify” the March 20 Supreme Court order and “remove any room for interpretation” by the courts. Noformalannouncementon the amendment was made by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who cited the ongoing sessionof Parliament.Hemerely said: “The Narendra Modi government cares about the development of our Dalit and Adivasi brothers and will strive in that direction. We havedonethatbefore,andwilldosogoingahead.” Governmentsourcessaidthe amendment has been approved. “ThegovernmentandParliament New Delhi: AConstitution Bench of the Supreme Court will examine whether its 2006 decision in the M Nagaraj & Others vs Union Of India & Others on reservation for SC/ST in promotions needs to be revisited. REPORT, PAGE 5 have full power to undo any Supreme Court judgment. On that basis, we are undoing the wrong,”sourcessaid.Thisiscontrary to the earlier stand of the government that it will wait for the decision on the review petition in the Supreme Court and then decide a course of action. Sources said the SC/ST Act would be amended “so as to CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 To simplify process, 1 in 4 items has seen GST rate cut but revenue worries mount cut in rates — done over four rounds — is expected to result in procedural simplification, the prospect of meeting the average monthly collection of Rs 1 lakh crore in this fiscal is being seen as an uphill task, with the resultant cascading impact on the budget math for the full year. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in its third bi-monthly monetary policy statement on Wednesday,alsoflaggedtherisk Amendment cleared to ringfence law from judicial interpretation NEW DELHI, AUGUST 1 PAGE 8 BY UNNY Govt set to undo ‘dilution’ of SC/ST law by apex court SHALINI NAIR Sepoy, Barpeta. His parents, 4 siblings are in, he is out FULL INTERVIEW NEW DELHI, AUGUST 1 Bombay HC to go ahead with monitoring panel for all govt inquiries OSMAN GANI, 51 Govt school teacher, Udalguri. He is out, siblings, parents too AFTER DALIT PROTESTS retainingits“neutralstance”,the central bank, in its third bimonthly monetary policy of the current fiscal, raised the repo or therateatwhichitlendstoother banks, by 0.25 per cent to 6.5 per cent which is expected to lead to higher interest rates on housing, auto and other personal loans. The rate hike in June was the firsttimethebenchmarklending ratewasraisedinoverfouryears. This is now the first time since October 2013 that the central bank has raised the repo rate at CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Piyush Goyal in New Delhi on Wednesday. Praveen Jain NARODA GAM 2002 CASE Discard Amit Shah’s statement defending Kodnani, SIT tells court SATISH JHA AHMEDABAD, AUGUST 1 IN THE trial of the Naroda Gam massacre case of the 2002 postGodhra riots, the Supreme Court appointed-Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Wednesday argued before a special court that the deposition of BJP president AmitShah“shouldbediscarded” as it was done merely to “support” key accused former BJP minister Maya Kodnani. Special Public Prosecutor Gaurang Vyas, while reading out the statement recorded by Shah in the court in September 2017, said that “Amit Shah recorded the statement 15 years after the incident which is not relevant now. It was done only to support He had been called for deposition Maya Kodnani as both were MLAs back then.” Vyas argued that “Amit Shah’spresenceatSolaCivilhospital is also doubtful as despite being an MLA (back in 2002) nobody, even the accused like Babu Bajrangi, Jaideep Patel ever mentioned his presence.” Sola civil hospital is the place where the bodies of karsewaks had been brought from Godhra. In her defence, Maya Kodnani has said that she was at CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR TEXT FROM UNDER BED BUSTS GANG TARGETING DMK MEN AT HOSPITAL ARUN JANARDHANAN CHENNAI, AUGUST 1 IT WAS a text message from under the bed that did them in. The message just said “come” andwassentbyaChennaiPolice officer who was searching the hideout of three suspected pickpocketswhentheyreturned.The officer hid under the bed, overheard the conversation of the pickpockets and texted a team waiting outside. Minutes later, the Chennai Police had arrested three membersof agangthattargetedDMK supporters and the public gath- ered outside the Kauvery Hospital, where DMK president M Karunanidhi is being treated since Friday. Hundreds have stayed on the road at the hospital since then often chantingslogans and wishes for ‘Kalaignar’. On questioning the three, police found that a gang of men —wearingdhotisandcoordinatingonWhatsApp—hadtargeted crowds outside the hospital for four days. In the end, police announced they had made 14 arrests, including the alleged kingpin and recovered several stolen wallets and mobile phones. The same gang was allegedly involved in similar thefts in November and December 2016, when late chief minister J Jayalalithaa was admitted to Apollo Hospital. According to a senior police officer who coordinated the operation, police started receiving complaints on Sunday. “We formed a team of six officers trained to probe such crimes. Most complaints were about losing cell phones and wallets. On Monday, six officers in plain clothes were deployed at the hospital and they narrowed it down to three suspects,” he said. What made the police team suspicious was that some men, DMK cadre have been thronging the hospital where Karunanidhi is undergoing treatment in Chennai. PTI dressed in dhotis like DMK leaders,walkedaroundaloneanddid not raise any slogans when the rest of the crowd did. AroundnoononMonday,the three suspects left and four officers followed them to a lodge in Koyambedu some 10 km away. Sources said that the suspects entered a room and left again without locking the door. One of the officers entered the lodge to search the room. “But the three returned soon and our officer managed to hide under the bed. He overheard their conversations and noted other details and texted his colleagues who were waiting out- side.Immediately,apolicepatrol team was called and they raided the room. All three were arrested,” an officer said. After recovering several phones and 10 wallets from the room,questioningthethreesuspects led police to the alleged kingpin, Amir Basha (51), a native of Dindigul. Police then waited for the others toreturnto their rooms late in the evening, and another 11, including Basha, were arrested. “SIM cards in all cellphones were missing. Other than Basha, Arumugam (43) from Trichy, Annadurai (31), Jeevarathinam (55), Manikandan (32) from Vellore were among the major arrests on Monday night. Basha always waited in the room and coordinated the operation. He never went out and only coordinated with the others on a WhatsApp group,” a senior police officer said. He also said the gang worked in teams of five and were each paid Rs 1,000 a day. A K Viswanathan, Chennai Police Commissioner, told The Indian Express: “There were similar cases in the past but I am happy that we arrested them immediately because their strategies and style of functioning were surprising.”
Indian Express Limited is an Indian news media publishing company. It publishes several widely circulated dailies, including The Indian Express and The Financial Express in English, the Loksatta in Marathi and the Jansatta in Hindi.