LATECITY, 22 PAGES, AHMEDABAD, `5.00 ● SATURDAY, AUGUST 4, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM TheIndian EXPRESS DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA 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 MUMBAI, NEW DELHI, AUG 3 RAISING QUESTIONS about the alert levels of law enforcement agencies here, Antigua and Barbuda said Mehul Choksi, 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 Exchange Board of 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 the Ministry of External Affairs Friday said: “Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) was issued to Mehul Choksi by Passport Office, 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 there is a clear Police Verification Report (PVR) in the system. In case there is no PVR, then a fresh PVR is obtained prior to issuance of a PCC. As the PVR of Mehul Choksi was clear in the system at the time of issuance of PCC, the process followed by Passport ESCAPE TO ANTIGUA 2018 2017 ■ JANUARY 4: Choksi leaves India on Indian passport ■ 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 ■ 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 America on Antigua passport CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Quietly, Delhi kept Dhaka in NRC loop: no deportation talk SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, AUGUST 3 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 WEEKS BEFORE its publication sparked a political row, India had quietly and informally briefed Bangladesh on the draft National 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. “We had kept the Bangladesh 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 lakh people in Assam found their names excluded. After the draft was made public, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Harshvardhan Shringla met Bangladesh Foreign minister A H 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. When contacted, Bangladesh Envoy Syed Muazzem Ali told The Indian Express, “This is an CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY QUESTIONS OVER BCCI SECY’S TA/DA: 110 DAYS, RS 25 LAKH SHAMIK CHAKRABARTY & SANDEEP DWIVEDI NEW DELHI, AUGUST 3 13 WORLD TWIN SUICIDE BLASTS KILL 20 INSIDE MOSQUE IN AFGHANISTAN 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. An executive assistant, BCCI Acting Secy Amitabh Choudhary: $750 a day overseas who travels with BCCI officials abroad, gets $350 per day. The Indian Express accessed a detailed half-yearly official expense sheet, and emails of for- eign 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 Choudhary got $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 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 the apex court means running 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 per diem while the executive 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 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 JOURNALISM OF COURAGE Bihar abuse: One of key accused was in line for state award SANTOSH SINGH PATNA, AUGUST 3 MADHU KUMARI, a woman suspect in the Muzaffarpur shelterhome case, and absconding since the police registered a case on May 31 against 11 people, was one among three “ati vishisht (very special)” women recommended by the district administration for the Zila Mahila Samman in October 2015. She claimed to be a social worker and was a key functionary in the NGO promoted by main accused Brajesh Thakur. In a February 22 letter to the social welfare department sec- retary, 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 each district for outstanding contribution in social service. The award this year was eventually received by Rajkumari Devi, a rural entrepreneur, for her innovative ideas in field of agriculture. The shelter home came un- Facing flak over surveillance fears, Govt drops its plan for social media hub EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, AUGUST 3 GOING BACK on its plan to set up a Social Media Communications Hub after its widespread criticism, the Centre told the Supreme Court Friday that it had withdrawn the proposal. Attorney General K K Venugopal told a bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that the government had withdrawn the Request For Proposal (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 for hearing first on July 13, Justice D Y Chandrachud had observed that “we will be moving to a surveillance state” if every tweet and WhatsApp message was going to be monitored. On Friday, the AG said the government had “taken advantage” of Justice Chandrachud’s words. The Bench recorded the AG’s submissions and disposed of the petition. Meanwhile, a withdrawal document on Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited (BECIL), a public sector unit CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 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 der the spotlight following a social audit report by TISS which detected large-scale complaints from inmates of sexual exploitation. Medical examination of the inmates confirmed sexual CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Army court of inquiry set to indict Major Gogoi in Valley woman case SUSHANT SINGH 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 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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