LATE CITY, 20 PAGES, AHMEDABAD, `4.00 ● FRIDAY, AUGUST 3, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM TheIndian EXPRESS DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE KEY JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS MUZAFFARPUR ABUSE COUNSELLORS Deadlock set to end, Govt clears Supreme Court Collegium’s move to elevate Justice K M Joseph ‘We take each day as it comes... to help the girls fight trauma’ Also cleared: Justice Indira Banerjee, Justice Vineet Saran to SC; many HC CJs RAVISH TIWARI NEW DELHI, AUGUST 2 CJI Dipak Misra with Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. File PUTTING AN end to the protracted deadlock with the judiciary, the Government has agreed to the Supreme Court Collegium’s decision reiterating its recommendation to elevate Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph to the Supreme Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph Court along with the elevation of Madras High Court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Orissa High Court Chief Justice Vineet Saran to the Supreme Court. The process towards the issuance of presidential warrants for their appointment to the Supreme Court has been set in motion, sources confirmed to The Indian Express. This move assumes significance in the wake of the public standoff between the Government and judiciary over the issue of appointments in the higher judiciary. Justice K M Joseph’s name was recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium on January 10 this year along with the name of senior counsel Indu Malhotra. However, the government while agreeing to the elevation of Malhotra to the Supreme Court, returned the Justice Joseph recommendation on CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Those out of register can provide new papers as proof: NRC official Will alert those in first draft, not in second: Registrar General KARISHMA MEHROTRA & RAHUL TRIPATHI NEW DELHI, AUGUST 2 THE 40,07,707 people left out in the final draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam will get an opportunity to provide fresh sets of documents to present their credentials during the upcoming claims-and-objections process. This is unlike the process adopted so far where the first choice of documents could not be changed. “If you choose a particular document, or I would rather say, a particular legacy at one time, then during (the past) procedure, you (couldn’t) change that. However, at the time of claims Prateek Hajela, NRC state coordinator and objections, we will start afresh again and we will allow any fresh document to be submitted completely or partly,” Prateek Hajela, the Supreme Court-mandated state coordinator of the NRC, told The Indian Express. Hajela’s remarks hold significance given that the Supreme Court has asked the Government to provide by the middle of this month the standard operating procedure for the claims-and- When Advani praised Buddha & Mamata hit Left on Bangla illegals Swiss court allows India to access bank data in tax dodge case “THEY ARE filled with anger and aggression. It’s much better now... When they came here on May 30, they were continuously fighting, abusing each other or crying. Even amongst themselves, they are barely cordial. They keep to themselves, and when they do interact, it is mostly fighting.” This is one of the counsellors working with 10 of the 34 girls rescued from a shelter home in Muzaffarpur in Bihar on May 30 after allegedly being sexually abused. The girls have been staying at three institutions across the state. Last week, police arrested Brajesh Thakur, owner of the NGO that ran the shelter home in Muzaffarpur, after filing a 16page chargesheet in the POCSO Court. Nine others have been arrested and another accused is on the run. The case came to light following a report by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in April which said that the shelter was being run in a “highly question- able manner” and that “several girls (had) reported about violence and being abused sexually”. Last week, The Indian Express reported on a string of alleged irregularities at the NGO — how Thakur got another contract from the government despite the TISS report, how he allegedly inflated his newspaper figures to get state government advertisements and how his NGO had a “ghost” secretary no official had interacted with. The Indian Express spoke to officials and counsellors — who are working with the girls — to piece together how they are grappling with the trauma of what the chargesheet paints as Extremely disturbed, says SC, notices to Bihar, Centre EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI,AUGUST 2 40,07,707 OUT OF NRC REFLECTION THE UNCOUNTED Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Parliament House. WHAT NEXT-III Brajesh Thakur, main accused in the Muzaffarpur case. Lokesh Bihari Renuka Puri 14 WORLD INDIAN AMONG 3 FOREIGNERS ABDUCTED, KILLED IN KABUL THE SUPREME Court on Thursday took suo motu cognizance of the alleged rape and sexual abuse of girls at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur in Bihar and issued notices to the state government and Union Ministry of Women and Child Development. The court also restrained media from telecasting morphed images saying the victims cannot be forced to “relive the trauma”. A bench of Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta took cognizance of the incident following a letter from a Patna resident. The letter referred to the situation in the shelter home where over 30 inmates were allegedly sexually abused over several years. The bench said it was “extremely disturbed” by the contents of the letter and asked “is this the way we are treating our girls?”. It also sought assitance from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). The incident came to light following an audit of the shelter home by TISS, Mumbai. The audit report was submitted to the state government in April last and said that many girls at the shelter home had complained of sexual abuse. Advocate Aparna Bhat has been made amicus curiae in the matter. The apex court is already looking into matters of orphanages and observation homes across the country. The bench asked the media not to conduct interviews with the victims and restrained them CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ABHISHEK SAHA GUWAHATI, AUGUST 2 People wait to check their names on the NRC draft list in Nagaon district, Assam. Reuters LALMANI VERMA ZURICH, AUGUST 2 NEW DELHI, AUGUST 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 MUZAFFARPUR, PATNA, AUGUST 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Women left out: Teacher, former PRO, researcher MICHAEL SHIELDS SWITZERLAND’S HIGHESTcourt has allowed tax authorities to turn over bank account details of two Indian citizens who had fought the release on the grounds that India’s request for assistance in a tax-dodging probe arose from stolen bank data. The case involved information leaked by whistleblower Herve Falciani, a French citizen who worked for HSBC’s Swiss private bank and in 2008 disclosed details on thousands of clients he suspected were using accounts to evade tax. The information (investigated in India by The Indian Express) sparked investigations in several countries and put Swiss banking secrecy in a harsh spotlight. Swiss courts have objections process scheduled from August 30 to September 28. In a separate interview to The Indian Express, Registrar General of India (RGI), Sailesh, said that the 1.5 lakh people whose names figured in the first draft released on December 31, 2017, but were dropped in the final draft will be informed by mail about the cancellation. This, he said, is aimed at alerting those whose names were dropped. “We want to ensure that the person is informed in a timely manner about his non-inclusion,” the RGI said. Over the past three years, applicants in Assam submitted documents in two categories: one to prove the presence of ANKITA DWIVEDI JOHRI IF THERE’S one leader who has taken the lead in criticism of the exclusion of 40 lakh people in Assam from the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC), it’s TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. But 13 years ago, as the lone Lok Sabha member of her party from West Bengal which was then ruled by the Left Front, Banerjee raised the issue of “infiltration into Bengal” 14 times within 22 minutes in the House. Lok Sabha records show that on August 4, 2005, Banerjee told the House that it was “a very serious matter” which had acquired the proportions of a “disaster” since there were “Bangladeshis as well as Indian names in the voter lists”. She was being repeatedly in- terrupted by Basudeb Acharia, CPM MP from West Bengal whose party was backing the UPA-I government. When Deputy Speaker Charnjit Singh Atwal did not let her raise the matter saying her notice had already been disallowed by Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, A RESEARCH scholar is worried about getting a visa to attend conferences abroad. An ex-serviceman’s daughter who was born in Gujarat is the only one in her family to be left out. And, a retired school teacher is hoping against hope that her claim would be validated by officials in another state. The “draft” of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, which was released four days ago and aims to weed out illegal migrants from Bangladesh, has left in its wake fear and apprehension among the “most vulnerable” of those under the radar — women. Lawyers say that among the 40 lakh people left out ofthe draft, are several married women who had submitted Gram Panchayat (GP) certificates as their sole document for NRC verification. In many cases, those were rejected. Last year, the Gauhati High Court ruled that such documents, certified by the GP secretary, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY No foreign leader for Imran Khan’s swearing-in, want India talks: Pak SAJJAD HUSSAIN ISLAMABAD, AUGUST 2 PAKISTAN THURSDAY said that no foreign leader will be invited to the oath-taking ceremony of Imran Khan as the prime minister in-waiting wants to keep the event “simple and dignified”. It said, however, that it Takes oath on Aug 11 welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s congratulatory phone call to Khan and that it wants resumption of bilateral talks, which were halted in 2015. Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-iInsaf (PTI) emerged as the single largest party in the elections held on July 25. The 65-year-old leader is expected to take the oath on August 11. Foreign Office (FO) spokesman Dr Mohammad 10 THE EDITORIAL PAGE What I saw in Pakistan BY S Y QURAISHI CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 The Accidental Prime Minister director held for GST fraud KHUSHBOO NARAYAN MUMBAI, AUGUST 2 VIJAY RATNAKAR Gutte, director of the film, The Accidental Prime Minister, and son of sugar baron Ratnakar Gutte, has been arrested by the Directorate General of Goods and Services Tax Intelligence (DGGSTI) in Mumbai for alleged Goods and Services Tax (GST) fraud of at least Rs 34 crore, according to court documents seen by The Indian Express. Vijay Gutte’s firm, VRG Digital Corp Pvt Ltd, has been accused of taking “fake invoices” involving GST of Rs 34 crore for animation and manpower services received from Horizon Outsource Solutions Pvt Ltd, a company that has come under the scanner of the government agency for GST fraud of over Rs 170 crore. According to court documents, VRG Digital Corp has also wrongly claimed a cash refund of Rs 28 crore from the government against CENVAT (Central Value Added Tax) credit received for these fake invoices since July 2017. Vijay Gutte has been booked under Section 132 (1)(c) of the CGST Act, which pertains to “wrongful availment” of input tax credit using bills and invoices that have been issued without CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR HIT BY FLOOD LAST YEAR , BANASKANTHA FARMERS PRAY FOR RAIN NOW AVINASH NAIR BANASKANTHA (GUJARAT), AUGUST 2 A YEAR AGO, ravaging floodwater and a major breach in the Narmada Main Canal in Banaskantha district of Gujarat, had swept away homes as well as the top fertile soil of farms belonging to the Vaghela family. This monsoon, the family at Khariya village is struggling to keep their cotton crop alive on two of their 20 bighas farmland which they have managed to clear off gravel and sand dumped during the deluge. The district — where farmers have already sown 4.04 lakh hectares of Kharif crop — has received just 24 per cent of its annual rainfall, this year. “The lone borewell of our farm continues to remain immersed under the gravel deposited by the floodwater last year. As we do not have money to set up a new borewell, we have re-laid a new pipeline to draw water from the Narmada Main Canal. The old one was cut off by the state government two months ago when it became strict about directly drawing water from the canal,” says 25yearold Shravan Vaghela, referring to the state government’s move to stop Narmada canal water pilferage due to water shortage in Sardar Sarovar dam this summer. The Vaghela family consisting of three brothers have shifted from tents — where they lived eight months after the floods swept away their homes — to newly built concrete structures. “Before the floods, we used to sow cotton and bajra and earn close of Rs 60,000 from the Kharif harvest. But now, with gravel occupying maximum portion of our farm, we have planted cotton crop in only two bighas. But even they are struggling due to paucity of rainfall,” says Sharvan who has Desaraji Thakor, who lost 17 members of his family in last year’s flood, has sown cowpea instead of cotton. Avinash Nair to pump out water from the Narmada canal for three hours every four days to keep the cotton crop alive. In the adjoining farm, Dhansang Vaghela has planted castor crop instead of cotton. “The rainfall has been scarce this year and castor does not need much water,” he said when asked why he chose castor over other crops. This year, Banaskantha has received only 152 mm rainfall, which is just 24 per cent of the seasonal average. In talukas like Kankrej — where the Vaghela family resides — the recorded rainfall this monsoon is mere 12 per cent, so far. In comparison, by the end of July 2017, Banaskantha had received more than 1,000 mm of rainfall, which was twice more than the longperiod average rainfall for the district where the average rainfall is 632 mm. Despite the poor rainfall, the sowing pattern in Banaskantha district is similar to last year when over 4.47 lakh hectares was sown during the Kharif season. This year, as on July 30, farmers have sown 4.04 lakh hectares — which is only about 10 percent less than last year — - and the crops include groundnut on 1.15 lakh hectares, bajra in 63,400 hectares and cotton in 45,800 hectares. Seventy-year-old Desaraji Thakor, who lost 17 members of his family in last year’s floods that hit Khariya village, is busy clearing his farm to plant cowpea instead of cotton that he had been sowing on his six bighas. “This year due to the delayed monsoon, we only planted cotton on one bigha. The rest two bighas were used to plant CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 13 OF 33 DISTRICTS RAIN DEFICIT PAGE 3
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