TheIndian EXPRESS LATE CITY, 20 PAGES, MUMBAI, `5.00 ● SATURDAY, AUGUST 4, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM ● REG.NO. MCS/067/2018 - 20 RNI REGN. NO. 1543/57 DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE ROW OVER ANTIGUA CITIZENSHIP OF PNB SCAM-ACCUSED Ten months before he fled, Choksi got Mumbai passport office OK for Antigua Officials say there was nothing against him then; yet it took US to tell India about his new passport EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE JNU sexual harassment: Panel clears profs, warns complainants SHRADHA CHETTRI & ARANYA SHANKAR NEW DELHI, AUGUST 3 THE INTERNAL regulator of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) hascleared twoprofessors named together in two different complaintsof sexualharassment lodgedfouryearsapart—andinstead, issued identical warnings to the complainants for “advertising” the issue. In separate recommendations following probes in both the cases, JNU’s Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) concluded that “no case of sexual harassment” could be made out against Mahendra P Lama andRajeshKharat.Lamaisaprofessor at the Centre for South AsianStudies,whereKharatwas former chairperson. However,bothsetsof recommendations contain the same warninginidentical paragraphs. “It was observed during the proceedings that the complainant herself was advertising about her complaint on her Facebook and through other electronic media and informed the public at large. Hence, the complainant should be issued a warning to not indulge in such act in future because this kind of act by any of the complainants, defendants and witnesses damages the inquiry procedure and the effected parties. This kind of a public propaganda also damages the image of the institution,” it reads. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BJP wins 2 civic body elections in Maharashtra SHUBHANGI KHAPRE MUMBAI, AUGUST 3 THE BJP on Friday won the Sangli-Miraj-Kupwada and Jalgaon municipal corporation elections in Maharashtra. Of thetotal78seatsinSangliMiraj-Kupwadamunicipalcorporation, BJP won 41, NCP got 15, Congressgot20,andSwabhimani VikasAghadibaggedoneseat.An independent won one seat. In Jalgaon, of the 75 seats, BJP won 57,ShivSenagot13,MUMbagged three seats and Independents won two seats. In Sangli-Miraj-Kupwada, the Congress and the NCP had forgedanallianceagainsttheBJP. The election result was important for the Congress-NCP that has had an edge in western Maharashtra. FULL REPORT ON PAGE 5 MAHARASHTRA PAGE 5 ● MARKET OPERATOR WHO RAN 212 SHELL FIRMS HELD BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY MUMBAI, NEW DELHI, AUG 3 RAISING QUESTIONS about the alert levels of law enforcement agencies here, Antigua and BarbudasaidMehulChoksi,fugitive jeweller and Punjab National Bank scam accused, had been granted citizenship of the country based on a police clearance certificate issued by the Regional Passport Office, Mumbai and documents received from the Securities and ExchangeBoardof India(Sebi)in May 2017. Confirming that the police Mehul Choksi, nephew Nirav Modi are on the run clearance certificate for Antigua and Barbuda had been granted to Choksi in March 2017 — a full 10 months before he fled India and PNB reported the fraud to CBI — the official spokesperson of theMinistryof ExternalAffairs Friday said: “Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) was issued to MehulChoksibyPassportOffice, Mumbai, for Antigua and Barbuda on March 16, 2017. The PCC was issued on the basis of a clear Police Verification Report (PVR) available on his passport.” “All Passport Issuing Authorities can issue a PCC if thereisaclearPoliceVerification Report (PVR) in the system. In case there is no PVR, then a fresh PVRisobtainedprior toissuance of a PCC. As the PVR of Mehul Choksiwasclearinthesystemat the time of issuance of PCC, the process followed by Passport ESCAPE TO ANTIGUA 2017 ■ MARCH: Mumbai RPO issues police certificate to Choksi for Antigua ■ MAY: Antigua receives Choksi’s citizenship application with all OKs ■ AUGUST: Antigua approves Choksi’s citizenship application ■ NOVEMBER: Choksi is registered as Antigua citizen CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, AUGUST 3 2018 ■ JANUARY 4: Choksi leaves India on Indian passport ■ JANUARY 15: Choksi takes Antigua citizenship oath ■ JANUARY 29: PNB informs CBI about scam ■ JANUARY 31: CBI registers FIR in PNB case ■ JULY 23: US informs India Choksi has left on Antigua passport Quietly, Delhi kept Dhaka in NRC loop: no deportation talk SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, AUGUST 3 WEEKS BEFORE its publication sparkedapoliticalrow,Indiahad quietly and informally briefed BangladeshonthedraftNational Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, it is learnt, and assured them that there was no talk of “deportation” to prevent a slide in bilateral ties. Sources told The Indian Express that Home Minister Rajnath Singh had briefed Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on the “broad contours” of the NRC and the process that was adopted by the Centre. This discussion took place when Singh visited Dhaka on July 13. According to sources, New Delhi conveyed to Dhaka that the process is Supreme courtmandated and that it was a “purely draft” NRC. “They were also told that nobody is talking about deportation,” the source said. “WehadkepttheBangladesh government in the loop about the NRC process, although the outcome was not known. We worked assiduously to contain the fallout, and have been in close touch with the Bangladesh government, even before the re- With Bangla counterpart in Dhaka last month lease of the NRC this week.” The draft NRC was published Tuesday, in which more than 40 lakhpeopleinAssamfoundtheir names excluded. After the draft was made public, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Harshvardhan Shringla met BangladeshForeignministerAH Mahmood Ali and Bangladesh’s ruling party, Awami League’s general secretary Obaidul Quader, who is also the Transport Minister. Minister of State (External Affairs) V K Singh is also likely to meet Ali on the sidelines of the ASEAN ministerial meetings in Singapore, which is to be held in the next few days. Whencontacted,Bangladesh Envoy Syed Muazzem Ali told The Indian Express, “This is an CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SANTOSH SINGH PATNA, AUGUST 3 MADHUKUMARI,awomansuspect in the Muzaffarpur shelterhome case, and absconding since the police registered a case onMay31against11people,was one among three “ati vishisht (very special)” women recommended by the district administration for the Zila Mahila Samman in October 2015. She claimedtobeasocialworkerand was a key functionary in the NGOpromotedbymainaccused GOINGBACKonitsplantosetup a Social Media Communications Hub after its widespread criticism, the Centre told the SupremeCourtFridaythatithad withdrawn the proposal. Attorney General K K Venugopal told a bench led by Chief JusticeDipakMisrathatthe government had withdrawn the RequestForProposal(RFP)inviting tenders for supply of software tools for setting up the hub and was reviewing the entire programme. The court was hearing a petition by Trinamool Congress legislator Mahua Moitra who contended that the project was intended “to monitor social media content”. When the matter came up forhearingfirstonJuly13,Justice D Y Chandrachud had observed that “we will be moving to a surveillance state” if every tweet andWhatsAppmessagewasgoing to be monitored. On Friday, the AG said the government had “taken advantage” of Justice Chandrachud’s words. The Bench recorded the AG’s submissionsand disposedof the petition. Meanwhile, a withdrawal document on Broadcast EngineeringConsultantsIndiaLimited (BECIL), a public sector unit attached to the Union Ministry of 10 THEEDITORIAL PAGE Information and Broadcasting, stated that the Request for Proposal issued on April 25 “is hereby...cancelled and withdrawn with immediate effect”. The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, when headed by Smriti Irani, had issued two RFPs to set up a specialisedentitytotrawlthesocial media. Before the RFP in April, BECIL has issued a similar tender in January but it was scrapped because the ministry did not get enough bids. The deadline for the second RFP was August 20. The petition had pointed out thatthegovernmenthadalready issued the Request For Proposal (RFP). Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi who appeared for Moitrasaidthetenderswouldbe opened on August 20. The petition said that BECIL had invited proposals to select a bidderfortheSupply,Installation, Testing and Commissioning (SITC) of a software tool for the Hub of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Moitra submitted that she was active on several social media platforms, had a “large social mediafollowing”andcontended that the Hub was “being set up with the clear objective of surveillance of activities of individuals like herself on social media platforms”. The petition alleged that though the stated aim of the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Why we need a new state By MANISH SABHARWAL Finally, order’s out: Justice K M Joseph in Supreme Court EDGE-BASTON Chasing 194 for a win the first Test against England in Edgbaston, India were 110/5 at the draw of stumps Friday. Virat Kohli was batting on 43, Dinesh Karthik on18. Reuters Third in warrant after Justices Indira Banerjee and Vineet Saran EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, AUGUST 3 Bihar abuse: One of key accused was in line for state award Brajesh Thakur. In a February 22 letter to the social welfare department secretary, accessed by The Indian Express, the Muzaffarpur District Magistrate wrote: “... In the wake of a decision taken by the district level committee, I am hereby sending three entries for Zila Mahila Samman. They are Rajkumari Devi (Kisan Chachi), Madhu Kumari and Malti Singh.” The Zila Mahila Samman is awarded to one woman from eachdistrictforoutstandingcontribution in social service. The Facing flak over surveillance fears, Govt drops its plan for social media hub Army court of inquiry set to indict Major Gogoi in Valley woman case SUSHANT SINGH I am anguished over the shameful incident in Muzaffarpur... What types of perverts inhabit our society... people of Bihar feel a sense of shame NITISH KUMAR CHIEF MINISTER, BIHAR award this year was eventually received by Rajkumari Devi, a rural entrepreneur, for her CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, AUGUST 3 THE ARMY’s Court of Inquiry (CoI) into the incident where Major Leetul Gogoi was seen with a local Kashmiri woman in a Srinagar hotel on May 23, is likely to indict the controversial Army officer. The findings of the CoI could lead to disciplinary action against Major Gogoi. Sources told The Indian Express that the findings of the CoI had been submitted to the XV Corps and were being stud- iedbeforebeingprocessedasper military law. The CoI, sources said, indicted Major Gogoi guilty on at least two counts: being away from the place of duty while on active service in an operational area and for violating the official Armypolicyonfraternisingwith a local woman “source.” On May 23, Major Gogoi, along with a local Kashmir womanandoneSameerAhmed, who was also in the Army, were questioned at a police station in Srinagarfollowinganaltercation at the Hotel Grand Mamta after CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE PRESIDENT of India on Friday appointed Madras High Court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee, Orissa HC CJ Vineet Saran and Uttarakhand HC CJ K M Joseph as judges of the Supreme Court. Sources said the order of their elevation was according to the all-India seniority of HC judges. Which effectively means that Justice Banerjee and Justice Saran will be senior to Justice Joseph in the SC. ThePresident,undertheprovisions of Article 124 of the Constitution, issued the warrant of appointment for the three judges. At present, the SC has 22 judges. With Friday’s appointments, it will have six vacancies. With the elevation of Justice Banerjee, the SC will have a total of three woman judges, that includes Justices R Bhanumathi and Indu Malhotra — the most woman judges the apex court has had. Justice Joseph is, currently, the longest serving Chief Justice of a HC in the country and has served as CJ of Uttarakhand for a little over four years. Justice Joseph will have a longer tenure as SC judge as compared to Justices Banerjee and Saran. The appointments end the six-month-long standoff between the judiciary and the executive over the elevation of Justice Joseph. The SC collegium, headed by CJI Dipak Misra, had on January 10, recommended the elevation of Justice Joseph along with senior advocate Indu Malhotra. However, the government while agreeing to the elevation of Malhotra, returned the Justice CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SC COLLEGIUM REITERATES 3 NAMES PAGE 9 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR QUESTIONS OVER BCCI SECY’S TA/DA: 110 DAYS, RS 25 LAKH SHAMIK CHAKRABARTY & SANDEEP DWIVEDI NEW DELHI, AUGUST 3 110 DAYS, Rs 25 lakh. That’s the number of days spent on official travel in India and abroad by BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary from January to June this year, and the amount he claimed from the cricket board as “TA/DA” reimbursement. During the same period, acting president C K Khanna and acting treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry took home Rs 6 lakh and Rs 15 lakh, respectively, in similar benefits. The BCCI travel policy allows its office-bearers $750 per day overseas and Rs 20,000 in India — apart from other perks such five-star accommodation, vehicle for local travel and first-class air-travel.Anexecutiveassistant, who travels with BCCI officials abroad, gets $350 per day. The Indian Express accessed a detailed half-yearly official expense sheet, and emails of foreign exchange and air travel approvals, of the BCCI, which show that the board spent nearly Rs 1 crore on official engagements of its top three office-bearers, of which 50 per cent was spent on TA/DA allowance. To put that figure in perspective, the world’s richest sports body, Fifa, paid its council members $150 per day during the recent football World Cup in Russia. The records show that last month,secretary Choudharygot $6,000 for his 8-day trip to the UK, after the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) approved the BCCI CFO’s mail that listed the per diem entitlement. “Received revised ticket for AS (acting secretary). Leaving India on 26 June 2018 and returning on 5 July 2018 (leaving UK on 4 July 2018). FX (forex) for BCCI Acting Secy Amitabh Choudhary: $750 a day overseas 8 days @750 USD = 6,000 USD ... Seek your approval,” the CFO wrote. CoA chairman Vinod Rai had recently raised the issue of allowances paid to office-bearers, and linked it to the reluctance displayed by office-bearers to implement the Lodha reforms. Speaking to The Indian Express, he had said, “I did not ever believe the vested interest would be so deep. To take on the might of theapexcourtmeansrunning the risk of contempt of court. There must be something very deep... since they are taking this big a risk.” Rai had said: “A Virat Kohli gets $125 perdiemwhiletheexecutive assistant of BCCI officebearers gets $350. How is this fair, office-bearers can decide how much they should get but how can executive assistant of office-bearer get more than players.” The office-bearers, however, link Rai’s remarks to the Supreme Court hearing on the BCCI case on August 8, when the bench is expected to finalise the board’s constitution. Speaking to The Indian Express, secretary Choudhary said:“Whyisitthatthishappens only when the date of hearing CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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.