TheIndian EXPRESS LATE CITY, 18 PAGES, KOLKATA `5.00/EX-KOLKATA `6.00 (`12 IN NORTH EAST STATES & ANDAMAN) ● TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA WEST BENGAL ● TMC PRESIDENT SHOT AT IN BIRBHUM DIES ● TWO ARRESTED IN JALPAIGURI RAPE CASE, CONDITION OF VICTIM STABLE PAGE 5 Sabarimala: SC to decide today on listing review petitions ANANTHAKRISHNAN G & SHAJU PHILIP NEW DELHI, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, OCTOBER 22 THE SUPREME Court will decide Tuesday when to list for hearing petitions seeking review of its September 28 verdict that allowed women of all age to enter the Sabarimala temple. A bench of Chief Justices of India Ranjan Gogoi and S K Kaul said this Monday when two fresh writ petitions, challenging the findings in the Sabarimala verdict, came up before it. These petitions were filed by the National Ayyappa Devotees Association (NADA), a voluntary outfit which was not a party to the original case, and by a devotee Jaya Rajkumar. As soon as the counsel appearing for the NADA told the bench that it related to Sabarimala, CJI Gogoi went into a discussion with Justice Kaul. After some time, the bench asked the counsel to hand over the registration number of his petition to the court master. Pointing out that he too had filed a petition, Jaya Rajkumar’s counsel requested the court to tag the two pleas with the review petitions already pending NO. 1 VERSUS NO. 2: ASTHANA TEAM MEMBER ARRESTED CBI goes after CBI SUSHANT SINGH & DEEPTIMAN TIWARY THEONGOINGwarbetweenCBI Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana has escalated with the agency searching its own premises in New Delhi and placing under arrestitsDeputySuperintendent of Police, Devender Kumar, for “falsification of records” in connection with bribery allegations involving Asthana. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Verma Sunday evening to discuss the case. He also separately met R&AW chief Anil Dhasmana the same evening since Samant Kumar Goel, Special Secretary of R&AW, has been named in the FIR, although he is not an accused in the case. Devender Kumar, who was Investigating Officer in the Moin Qureshi case as part of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed byAsthana,wasarrestedaround 2 pm Monday. The CBI had earlier searched Kumar’s office in the CBI building Friday. Kumar CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CBI vs CBI Its past record shows that it is incapable of resolving its own problems. The SC should step in. THEEDITORIALPAGE 8 KAMALDEEP SINGH BRAR NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 22 Outside the CBI headquarters in New Delhi on Monday. Abhinav Saha Probing Asthana daughter’s wedding in Vadodara, CBI gets replies from 4 hotels DEEPTIMAN TIWARY & AISHWARYA MOHANTY NEW DELHI, VADODARA, OCTOBER 22 INVESTIGATING THE 2016 weddingof thedaughterof itsSpecial Director Rakesh Asthana in Vadodara, the agency has questioned close to a dozen people andreceivedrepliesfromatleast four hotels on expenses made and facilities provided. Aperusalof theserepliesand CBI documents shows that several venues were availed by the Asthana family on “complimentary” basis. However, catering and other services at the venues were paid for in cheques or through credit cards. Thecaseisbeinginvestigated 61 people were mowed down by a train Friday other on how these events were allowed to take place without the requisite clearance. Officials said that according to norms, Dussehra committees need to obtain approvals from the MCA, police and the departments of Public Works and Health, with the district magistrategranting“finalpermission”. However, Amritsar Deputy Commissioner Kamaldeep Singh Sangha told The Indian Express that the district administration had “no role” to play in suchcaseswherethepolicehave CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE CENTRAL Vigilance Commission (CVC) finds itself at the centre of the row in the CBI between Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana,afteritdeclinedtoshare details of Asthana’s complaint with the investigation agency. The Indian Express has learnt thatquestionswereraisedbyCBI inanofficiallettertotheCVCearlier this month as the CVC “declined to share the complaint or details” of the complaint made by Asthana “against CBI officers investigating his cases”. This lettercameinresponsetolettersby CVC seeking files from CBI on a complaint filed by Asthana against Verma and some other officers of the agency. “In the interest of fairness and the legal sanctity of investigations, it is important that CVC CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Govt measures, I-T efforts raise tax-GDP ratio to 10-year high Number of individual taxpayers with over Rs 1 cr income up 68% in 3 years 2016-17 from Rs 46,377 in 201314, according to data released Monday by the Central Board of Direct Taxes. The Tax Department data also show better compliance among salaried taxpayers vis-àvis non-salaried taxpayers. During the three-year period (2013-14 to 2016-17), the number of salaried taxpayers increasedfrom1.70croretoto2.33 crore, a growth of 37 per cent. The average income declared by salaried taxpayers rose by 19 per cent to Rs 6.84 lakh from Rs 5.76 lakh during the same period. The number of non-salaried individualtaxpayersgrew19per centto2.33crorefrom1.95crore and the average non-salary income declared increased by 27 per cent to Rs 5.23 lakh in 201617 from Rs 4.11 lakh in 2013-14. ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 22 A SHARP rise in the number of Income-Tax returns filed and an increase in the number of taxpayers have widened and deepened the tax base during the last three assessment years, which in turn has seen the direct taxGDP ratio touch a decadal high of almost 6 per cent. Legislative and administrative measures, combined with enforcement efforts by the Tax Department to check tax evasion, have meant that the average tax paid by corporates has jumped 55 per cent to Rs 49.95 lakh in 2016-17 compared with Rs 32.28 lakh in 2013-14. In the case of individuals, the average tax paid has increased by 26 per cent to Rs 58,576 in CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE NET WIDENS 2017-18 DirectTaxGDPratio 2016-17 2015-16 2014-15* 5.98% 5.57% 5.47% 5.55% TaxpayersshowinggrosstotalincomeaboveRs1crore** BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Alltaxpayers Individuals Companies 1,40,139 81,344 39,753 1,20,103 67,783 36,179 1,08,333 59,830 33,705 88,649 48,416 28,367 *Financial year; **Assessment year Verma (seated), Asthana have been at loggerheads by a team under Additional Director A K Sharma who, like Asthana, is a Gujarat cadre officer. The hotels and venues probed by his team include The 8 LaxmiVilasPalace,HotelExpress Towers, Suncity Club and Resort and Surya Palace Hotel. The investigations also THEEDITORIAL PAGE CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Energy agenda for growth BY NEELKANTH MISHRA Witness in nun rape case found dead Paytm chief’s ex-secy ANJU AGNIHOTRI CHABA & SHAJU PHILIP HOSHIARPUR, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, OCTOBER 22 A WITNESS in the rape case filed by a nun against Bishop Franco Mulakkalof theJalandhar-based Missionaries of Jesus was found dead Monday at a school complex in the Dasuya sub-division of Punjab’s Hoshiarpur district, police said. Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, 62,wasfoundunconsciousinhis AMRITSAR, OCTOBER 22 WORLD SUSHANT SINGH NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 22 Amritsar: 25 of 29 Dussehra events did not have clearances 15 For fairness sake, share Asthana letter with us: CBI writes to CVC Dy SP probing Moin Qureshi case held for ‘falsification of records’ CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 TWENTY-FIVE OF the 29 DussehraeventsheldinAmritsar on October 19, including the one at Dhobi Ghat in which 61 peoplewerekilledbyapassingtrain, did not have the mandatory clearance from the city’s municipal corporation, official sources told The Indian Express. When contacted, Sushant Bhatia, Estate Officer, MCA, said that only four functions — at Chheharta, Bhadar Kali, Focal Point and Haripura — had the “required approvals” from the corporation. According to MCA norms, a clearance from the Estate Officer is mandatory for such events. ” e will take action against W allDussehracommitteesthatorganised these events without the approval of the MCA, including the organisers of the Dhobi Ghat function,” Municipal Corporation Amritsar (MCA) commissioner Sonali Giri said. However, local officials and police pointed fingers at each JOURNALISM OF COURAGE roomataround9amandrushed to the civil hospital where doctors declared him dead on arrival, police said. Hoshiarpur SSP J Elanchezhian said that “preliminary investigations suggest it was a natural death”. But the priest’s brother and supporters of the nun demanded a probe while claiming that Kattuthara had faced threats to his life for his involvement in the rape case. Kattutharawasaprosecution witness for Kerala Police in the case and had told investigators that he was aware of various Fr Kattuthara (left) had deposed against Mulakkal complaints against Bishop Mulakkal. Mulakkal, who was arrested in the case, returned to Jalandhar last week after being released on bail. “Father Kuriakose was one of thewitnessesinthecase.Hehad no direct knowledge of the crime,whichweareprobing.His statement did not have a direct bearing on the crime. But he had given us details about the character of the accused Bishop,’’ Kottayam SP Hari Shanker said. Hoshiarpur SSP Elanchezhian said the “exact cause of death shall be clear after post-mortem”. “A board of doctors will be conducting it on Tuesday. There were no visible injury marks on the body. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Overseas Indians contributed less than 2% to Clean Ganga Fund, 86% from govt entities SHYAMLAL YADAV NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 22 OVER 86 PER CENT of contributions to the Clean Ganga Fund (CGF) since 2015, totalling Rs 189.17 crore, were made by government entities while those from NRIs and PIOs were less than two per cent, according to records obtained by The Indian Express under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW E AN XPRESS RTI APPLICATION According to records provided by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, under the RTI Act, contributions from CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Fund is managed by the National Mission for Clean Ganga among 3 held for data theft, blackmail: Police MAHENDER SINGH MANRAL & AMIL BHATNAGAR NOIDA, OCTOBER 22 TWOPAYTMemployees,including a vice-president who earlier served as secretary of the company’s founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, were among three people arrested by Noida police on Monday for allegedly trying to extort Rs 10 crore from him by threatening to leak his stolen personal data and confidential informationaboutthecompany. According to officers, Vijay’s elder brother Ajay Shekhar Sharma had already paid the accused Rs 69 lakh through two transactions (Rs 67 lakh and Rs 2 lakh), after he first received a call on September 20. A fourth accused, who is believed to have made the calls, is on the run, police said. The three arrested accused were identified as Sonia Dhawan, who started as Vijay’s secretary and is currently vicepresident, corporate communications/PR; her husband Rupak Jain; and Devendra Kumar, an employee with Paytm’s administration department. “A case was filed against them on Monday morning by Ajay,allegingpersonaldatatheft and extortion. Another accused is still at large and a hunt is on to nab him. We are trying to ascertain the nature of data leaked,” SSP (Gautam Budh Nagar) Ajay PalSharmasaid.Accordingtothe FIR, Ajay’s complaint was filed at 11.52 am. While a probe is on to ascertain the nature of the information the accused possessed, an officer said it comprised the inner workings of the company as well as personal information about its founder. According to police, Ajay named four accused in his complaint. The absconding accused, Kolkata resident Rohit Chomal, allegedly made the extortion calls from his phone, police said. “Rohit made the first call to Ajay on September 20, and then a WhatsApp call to his brother Vijay. He informed them that he has their personal data and secretinformation,anddemanded CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR HOW CAN I BE A TRAITOR,WE LEFTINDIAFOR PAK:SHARIF TRUMP ACCUSES SAUDIS OF DECEPTION AND LIES VILLAGE LOST 15 IN CYCLONE, ASKS: WHY DIDN’T GOVT WARN US? SAMPAD PATNAIK GAJAPATI, OCTOBER 22 “A MOUNTAIN collapsed on me last week,” says Pramila Behera, 45. Running a few feet behind her husband and five-year-old son who, like many others from the village, had taken shelter in a mountain cave as they fled Cyclone Titli, she saw the cave collapse as soon as they entered, instantly burying them. Close to two weeks after Cyclone Titli ravaged southern OdishaandnorthcoastalAndhra Pradesh, Baraghara village, in Gangabada panchayat in the state’s Gajapati district, remains inshock.Onthenightof October 10, 15 people, including three children,wereburiedaliveinthe cave as the cyclone triggered a landslide. The death toll across the state stood at 52. In Manikapatna, a mere six kilometers down the mountain villageof Baraghara,areprivately owned pucca houses and community buildings, including a building of the Odisha Forestry Sector Development Project, a primaryschoolandachurch.Yet, villagers say, none from the government alerted them of the cyclone or moved them to these places from their kutcha houses Cyclone Titli claimed 52 lives in Odisha earlier this month that stood no chance against the cyclone. “We didn’t know a cyclone would hit us. Nobody told us,” weeps Jagabandhu, a 64-yearold villager. “Why did no one from the district administration warn us?” The wind that day, he says, was like a “cruel God”. “As it grew fiercer, it started tearing down houses. My wife and I used a rope to tie ourselves to a broken wall and prayed through the night,” says Jagabandhu, adding he was thankful that his son was in Bhubaneswar when the cyclone hit. In 2013, the BJD government led by Naveen Patnaik had received praise from the United NationsandWorldBankforevacuatingnearly10lakhpeoplejust before Cyclone Phailin hit the state.Thistime,thestate’sSpecial Relief Commissioner declared immediately after the cyclone had dissipated that the government had achieved “Mission Zero Casualty”. But as reports of death began coming in from the state’s southern coastal districts, with the Baraghara incident sending shockwaves, the state government came under fire from the BJP and the Congress. While the Gajapati district administrationwasnotavailable for comment, a high-ranking official from the Office of the Special Relief Commissioner, Odisha’s highest disaster management authority, conceded that the state should have prepared a vulnerability map on populatedareasthatarelikelyto experience landslides. “While there are Government of India guidelines on mapping landslides, we did not prepare such a map because Baraghara-like incidents have never happened before in the state,” he said, requesting anonymity. According to the Home Ministry’s National Disaster CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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