TheIndian EXPRESS LATE CITY, 22 PAGES, NEW DELHI, `6.00 (`8 PATNA & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) ● TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA ANSWER: HIKE NON-OIL TAX-GDP RATIO CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE ALLEGATION Govt rules out cuts in fuel taxes, looks at NRI bonds for rupee Facing FIR, Johnson & Johnson waved clean chit it obtained from Judge Srikrishna KAUNAIN SHERIFF M NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 10 JOHNSON & JOHNSON, indicted by the Government’s expert panelforallegedly“suppressing” key facts on the faulty hip implants it manufactured and imported in India, had obtained an opinionasearlyasFebruary2014 fromretiredJusticeBNSrikrishna giving itself a clean chit. The company was then underinvestigationbytheMumbai Police. Acting on a complaint by the Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration, the police had filed an FIR against Johnson & Johnson under Sections 320 (grievous hurt), 321 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 328 (causing hurt by means of poison, etc., with intent to commit an offence) of the IPC. However,thefirmsoughtthe opinion of Justice Srikrishna regarding Section 328 IPC which entailsa maximumpunishment of 10 years in prison. Justice Srikrishna’s 10-page opinion, accessed by The Indian Express, says the police are on a “wrong footing,” revision surgeries are “routine,” no case under Section 328 IPC was made out; there was no evidence to show that cobalt and chromium — the two metals ions that leaked as a result of the faulty 12 THEEDITORIAL PAGE After NC, PDP too decides to boycott local polls in J&K CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Blasphemy a foreign offence BY VINAY LAL BASHAARAT MASOOD SRINAGAR, SEPTEMBER 10 FARE(VERY)WELL ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU England’s Alastair Cook, in his last Test, walks off the field at the Oval Monday after scoring 147. On Day 4 of the fifth Test match, chasing 464, India were 58 for 3. AP REPORT, PAGE 20 THE CENTRE on Monday ruled out an immediate reduction in excise duty on petrol and diesel but indicated that it could consideroptionsof sellingNRIbonds ordepositschemestoforeigners to stem the slide in the rupee. Two senior Finance Ministry officialsemphasisedthatthegovernment is conscious, worried andvigilantaboutthefallingvalue of rupee but is not alarmed, and said that markets need not panic about the depreciating rupee. On Monday, while the rupee hit an all-time low of 72.67 against the dollar before closing the day at 72.45, petrol and diesel prices in Delhi also hit their all-time highs. Petrol price in Delhi hit Rs 80.73 per litre Monday while that of diesel touched Rs 72.83 a litre. These comments from government officials came on a day when Opposition parties held nationwide protests against the surge in fuel prices. As calls for a cut in taxes imposed by the CentreandStatesgrewlouder,in NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 10 NATIONAL HERALD CASE Setback for Sonia and Rahul, HC dismisses their tax pleas EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 10 THE DELHI High Court Monday dismissed pleas by Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi against the Income Tax department’s decision to re-open their tax assessments for the financial year 2011-2012 in connection with the National Herald newspaper case. The “writ petitions have to fail,” a bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and A K Chawla said while clarifying that the observations in the order with regard to the contentions of the Congress leaders is not conclusiveandhavebeennotedonlyfor Sharad Pawar, Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Sharad Yadav at a protest in New Delhi on Monday. Anil Sharma the purpose of disposing of their pleas.Thebenchalsodismisseda similar plea by Congress leader Oscar Fernandes. Reacting to the ruling, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra described it as a “victory of the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 In Sohrabuddin case, HC upholds discharge of Vanzara and four other police officers SAILEE DHAYALKAR & SADAF MODAK MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 10 ‘Atmosphere of fear and apprehension’ Cut will deepen deficit, states have little fiscal room Justice B N Srikrishna device — were toxic. Three months later, in May 2014, once again based on complaintsbypatientswhoweresuffering after J&J hip implant surgeries, Maharashtra FDA asked the state government to recommendaCBIinvestigationintothe criminal case filed by Mumbai police against Johnson & Johnson. In July 2015, the Centre decided against a CBI probe. Significantly,the clean chitto the firm by Justice Srikrishna came just months after Johnson & Johnson, in November 2013, had agreed to pay $2.5 billion to settle thousands of consumer lawsuits in US. Also, the company submitted the opinion of theformerSCjudgetothepolice, after it withdrew the criminal applicationfromtheBombayHC seeking quashing of FIR on October 14, 2013. In fact, by the time Justice Srikrishna gave his opinion, the followingfactswereinthepublic domain: J&J had withdrawn the device in India, its licence was cancelledin2013,itsdirectorand THE BOMBAY High Court Monday upheld the discharge granted to five police officers, includingformerGujaratATSchief D G Vanzara, by a sessions court in the alleged fake encounter case of Sohrabuddin Shaikh, his wife Kausarbi and aide Tulsiram Prajapatiin 2005-06 on grounds of insufficient evidence and lack of sanction for prosecution. Justice A M Badar pronouncedthe judgmentinsixapplications: Three filed by DAYS AFTER the National Conference (NC) decided to boycott the municipal and panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir,thePeoplesDemocratic Party (PDP) announced on Monday that it would also “stay away from the electoral exercise at this juncture”. Announcing the decision after a meeting with party leaders at her residence here, PDP president Mehbooba Muftisaid: “The situation created by linking panchayat polls with the case pending in Supreme Court on Article 35A has created apprehension in the minds of the people, who see an assault on the specialconstitutionalpositionof the state... It was unanimously resolved that the party would stay away from the electoral 5 THECITY Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubabuddin Shaikh challenging the discharge of Vanzara and IPS officers Dinesh M N and Rajkumar Pandiyan, and two by the CBI against Rajasthan Police constable Dalpat Singh Rathod and Gujarat Police officer N K Amin. The court also discharged Gujarat IPS officer Vipul Aggarwal, whose application was rejected by the trial court in November2017.Thetrialagainst AggarwalwasstayedbytheHigh Court until his application challenging the sessions court’s decision was decided. Picking holes in some of the Sohrabuddin; Vanzara RELATED REPORT PAGE 7 CBI’s key contentions, the court discarded the statement of the keywitness,statingthatitis“not gaining any corroboration from...other witnesses” to pro- NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 10 ● DOORSTEP DELIVERY: DAY 1, 1,200 CALLS, P3 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ceed against Vanzara and Pandiyan, the former Gujarat SP. The court ruled that there was no other evidence to prove the presence of Vanzara and Pandiyan at Illol village, when the body of Kausarbi was allegedly burnt in November 2005, days after Shaikh was killed, according to the CBI. The court also held that a meeting of Vanzara and Dinesh, two months prior to the alleged encounter killing of Shaikh, was “not clandestine” and “reflected in the official documents”. The court observed that if Prajapati was really abducted CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 China watching, India cautious to US move on talks with Japan and Australia SHUBHAJIT ROY FIVEWORKERDEATHS, NOAGENCYIS ACCOUNTABLE JOURNALISM OF COURAGE WITH BEIJING watching the India-US engagement closely, India decided to cautiously approach its engagement with the quadrilateral countries — including Japan and Australia — intheIndo-Pacificregion,where an increasingly proactive and assertive China is active in the maritime domain. Sources told The Indian Express that the United States wanted to upgrade the level of engagement between the 2+2 discussed ‘credible alternative to BRI’. Express quadrilateral grouping to the level of foreign secretary, but the Indian side politely told them to keep it to the joint-secretary level — which is at least two steps lower than the proposed engagement. In November last year, the quadrilateral grouping was revived after a decade, and a meeting of joint secretary-rank officials — directors general in Japan and Australia, and assistant secretary-rank in the US — was held in Manila, on the margins of the ASEAN and East Asia summit. This was followed by a second round of meeting in Singapore in June this year. “The Americans wanted to upgrade the level of engagement, but we asked them to CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BHARAT BANDH PAGE 6 14 WORLD Markets plunge as rupee falls, all eyes on RBI’s next review ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 10 A SUSTAINED fall of the rupee — it dropped another 72 paise Monday to a record low of 72.45 againsttheUSdollar—roiledthe financial markets with the BSE’s Sensex shedding 488 points and theyieldon10-yeargovernment paper touching a four-year high of 8.15 per cent. The rupee has fallen over 13 per cent to the US dollar since January 2018, making it one of the worst performing currencies in Asia this year. Two key worries that a sharply depreciating rupee pose for the government are the rising cost of raising funds abroad for Indian companies and the risk of expensive imports, especially petroleum products, feeding domestic inflation. ThismayprompttheReserve Bank of India to increase policy ratesinitsOctoberpolicyreview. Higher interest rates will moderate demand at a time when GDP growth rates are gaining momentum, which the government may not desire in a year leading up to national elections. Besides a hike in interest rates, markets are speculating CHINA-PAK ECONOMIC CORRIDOR: ISLAMABAD RETHINKS PROJECTS UP readies Rs 5,535-cr package to clear cane dues to farmers HARISH DAMODARAN NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 10 WITH CRUSHING of cane for the 2018-19 sugar season (OctoberSeptember) set to begin in just over a month, the BJP governmentinUttarPradeshissettoapproveaRs5,535-crorepackageto helpmillscleartheiroutstanding paymentduestogrowers,which arenowalmostatRs10,000crore. The Rs 5,535-crore amount wouldincludeRs1,010croretobe disbursed to 24 cooperative factories and Rs 25 crore to the sole state corporation-owned mill. ThebalanceRs4,500crorewillbe given to private sugar mills — Rs500croreasgrantandRs4,000 crore in the form of soft loans. “Theentiremoneyisgoingto be used for clearing cane arrears of farmers for the current (201718) season. We have already made budgetary provision towards this through a supplementary demand for grants last month.Thestatecabinetwillfor- mallyapprovethepackageinthe comingweek,”SureshRana,UP’s Minister of Sugar Industry and Cane Development, told The Indian Express. The minister stated that the Rs 500-crore grant to private mills would go towards making cane payment to farmers at the rate of Rs 4.50 per quintal. “The interestratetobechargedonthe Rs 4,000-crore soft loan and the various conditions for availing it will be decided at the cabinet meeting,” he added. According to data from the Cane Commissioner’s Office at Lucknow, mills in UP bought sugarcane worth Rs 35,458.28 crore at the state government’s advised price (SAP) of Rs 315325 per quintal during the 201718 season. Out of that, they paid Rs 25,492.11 crore as on September 10, leaving arrears of Rs 9,966.17 crore. The latter sum is mainly owed by private mills (Rs 8,770.19 crore), followed by CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY 11 EXPLAINED Fuel duty cuts: Why it’s easier said than done fresh liquidity injection to preventtherupeefromfallingtothe 75-level and an NRI bond issue to raise $25-30 billion. In the absence of support from the RBI, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Babri trial has stalled my promotion: Judge to SC EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 10 THESUPREMECourtMondayissued notice on a plea by Surendra Kumar Yadav, the CBI judge hearing the Babri Masjid demolitioncase,thathispromotion has been stalled after the apex court directed that the CBI judge should not be transferred till the trial is completed. On April 19, 2017, the SupremeCourt hadrevivedconspiracy charges against top BJP leadersincludingL K Advani and MurliManoharJoshiamongothers and transferred the case, pending before a Magistrate Court in Rae Bareli for allegedly giving provocative speeches, to a Lucknow court, which is hearing the main matter of the December 6, 1992, demolition. “There shall be no de novo (fresh) trial. There shall be no transfer of the Judge conducting thetrialuntiltheentiretrial concludes. The case shall not be adjourned on any ground except when the sessions court finds it impossible to carry on the trial for that particular date,” the Supreme Court had said. In his plea to the Supreme Court, Yadav requested that he be allowed to file an application seeking cancellation of the notification that has stalled his CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR DEATH IN SWACHH BHARAT SCUFFLE: POLICE CLEAR ALL CIVIC OFFICIALS 53-year-old man had objected to officials taking photographs of women defecating in the open; police say heart attack was cause DEEP MUKHERJEE JAIPUR, SEPTEMBER 10 MORE THAN a year after a 53-year-old man died in Rajasthan’s Pratapgarh following a scuffle with local civic officials engaged in the Swachh Bharat campaign — he objected to them taking photographs of women defecating in the open — police have concluded that the death was caused by a heart attack. In their final report submitted to a local court, Pratapgarh police stated that they have not framed any charge against the four civic officials involved in the scuffle against whom an FIR under IPC Section 302 (murder) had been registered hours after the death of Zafar Hussain on June 16, 2017. “A final report has been sub- mitted to the court in the case and it has been concluded in the investigation that Hussain died of heart attack,” Babulal Murariya, station house officer, Pratapgarh, and investigating officer in the case told The Indian Express. Officials said a separate report had been submitted in another FIR that was lodged against Hussain, a member of the CPI (ML), by the civic Zafar Hussain died on June 16, 2017 officials under IPC Sections 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of duty). Shivraj Meena, SP Pratapgarh, said no charges could be framed against Hussain, either. “An altercation happened during the incident. Following this, he (Hussain) went home. It has been found that he died later because of a heart attack. In both the cases, final reports have been submitted in the court by police, as no charges could be proved,” said Meena. Police said the report in the case lodged by Hussain’s family members, against the then municipal council commissioner Ashok Jain and employees Kamal Harijan, Ritesh Harijan and Manish Harijan, was submitted at the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Pratapgarh, on September 4. The incident at Mehtab Shah Kutchi Basti had caused nationwide outrage with activists severelycriticisingtheRajasthan government after it cited the preliminarypost-mortemreport toclaimthatHussaindieddueto cardio-respiratory failure. Subsequently, organ samples of Hussain were sent to the forensic science laboratory for further tests. “We have lodged a protest petition in the court against the final report submitted by the police,” Amjad Khan, counsel of Hussain’s family, said. Hussain’s family members alleged that police were shielding the accused. “We hoped that the police will conduct a fair investigation. As is clear from the final report, they have shielded the accused. My brother was murdered and we will approach the judiciary for action. We want justice,” Noor Mohammed, Hussain’s brother, said. Jain, however, maintained that the civic officials didn’t assault Hussain. “Hussain misbehaved with us. It’s a completely baseless allegation that he was assaulted by civic officials. He walked home in perfect condition and it was only later that we came to know about his death. Even after he left, we counselled local residents about sanitationrelated issues,” Jain claimed.
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.