LATE CITY, 20 PAGES, AHMEDABAD, `4.00 ● WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM TheIndian EXPRESS DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE NO. 1 VERSUS NO. 2 Asthana stripped of all responsibilities at CBI, probe against him continues BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Maintain status quo on Asthana until October 29, HC tells CBI Day after arrest, Dy SP Devender Kumar is sent to CBI custody for seven days SUSHANT SINGH NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 23 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Top law firm withdrew its clean chit to Kochhar: ICICI Bank ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU MUMBAI, OCTOBER 23 THE ICICI Bank Tuesday said one of India’s top law firms recently withdrew its investigative report of 2016 that had given its former MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar a clean chit. While the bank did not name the law firm, sources confirmed that the board of ICICI Bank had engaged Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas to investigate allegations of nepotism made by a whistleblower pertaining to loans extended by the bank to the Videocon Group. “There was a media report in 2016 which alleged nepotism and conflict of interest on the part of Chanda Kochhar, the then MD & CEO of ICICI Bank, while sanctioning loans to a corporate group,” the bank said in a stock exchange filing. “When further media reports surfaced in March 2018 on the same matter, the board of directors, inter alia, basis the inquiry report of the law firm, issued a statement expressing confidence in Kochhar,” it said. “The law firm submitted its report in December 2016 stating that it had found no evidence of nepotism and conflict of interest on the part of Kochhar and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 14 WORLD KHASHOGGI KILLING: ERDOGAN SLAMS SAUDIS IN A new twist to the ongoing battle in the CBI between its two top officers, Special Director Rakesh Asthana, booked by the agency in an alleged case of bribery, was stripped of all responsibilities at the agency Tuesday. “The Special Director Shri Rakesh Asthana is divested of all supervisory charges with immediate effect,” said the order which was issued by CBI Tuesday. As Special Director and No. 2 at the CBI, Asthana was heading a Special Investigation Team (SIT) which was responsible for some high-profile and sensitive cases. These include the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter case, the Vijay Mallya case, coal-scam related cases, Robert Vadra case, former Haryana CM Bhupinder Hooda’s land allocation case and the Dayanidhi Maran case. CBI sources told The Indian Express that “the taking away of cases was prompted by developments during the day, as CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 23 ● GROUNDNUT PROCUREMENT TO BE RECORDED ON CAMERA, P3 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CBI Director Alok Verma at the Home Ministry in New Delhi, Tuesday. Tashi Tobgyal Before businessman turned complainant in Asthana FIR, CBI wanted to arrest him RITU SARIN & SREENIVAS JANYALA NEW DELHI, HYDERABAD, OCTOBER 23 DAYS BEFOREthe CBI filed an FIR against its Special Director Rakesh Asthana and Deputy SP Devender Kumar on a complaint from Hyderabad businessman Sana Sathish Babu who accused the two officers of seeking a bribe, the agency had in fact backed a proposal to arrest Sana. In a statement to a Delhi magistrate on October 4, Sana alleged that Rs 5 crore had been demanded from him on behalf of Asthana and Kumar — the Dy SP was the investigating officer in the Moin Qureshi case and was arrested Monday. But CBI internal file notings of October 3, a day before Sana’s statement, called for his arrest along with three others. Records show that an earlier Smriti Irani has a question: Will you take sanitary pads steeped in menstrual blood to friend’s home? SRINATH RAO MUMBAI, OCTOBER 23 At the Mumbai event Tuesday. Amit Chakravarty UNION TEXTILES Minister Smriti Irani Tuesday weighed in on the ongoing protests in Kerala against the Supreme Court’s verdict allowing women of all age to enter the Sabarimala shrine. In response to a question about the government’s stand on the verdict, Irani said, “I am nobody to speak on the Supreme Court verdict because I am a current serving Cabinet Minister. But just plain common sense. Would you take sanitary napkins steeped in menstrual blood and walk into a friend’s home? You will not. And do you think that it is respectful to do the same when you walk into the house of God? So that is the difference. I have a right to pray. I do not have SABARIMALA: PLEAS TO BE HEARD NOV 13 THE SUPREME Court will hear on November 13 pleas seeking a review of its verdict lifting age restrictions on the entry of women to the Sabarimala shrine. P 12 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Top court goes for balanced approach: Charges fly as Two-hour window for Diwali crackers war within EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 23 TAKING A “balanced approach” to tackle air pollution ahead of Diwali, the Supreme Court Tuesday restricted the use of fireworks during all festivals and events across the country to a window between 8 pm and 10 pm. And while ruling out a complete ban, the Court also im- posed stringent conditions on the manufacture and sale of firecrackers. Applying the “precautionary principle” of environmental law, a bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan ordered that only crackers with reduced emission and “green crackers” can be manufactured and sold. They will also have to stick to permissible noise emission standards. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE PANAJI, OCTOBER 23 rary campus located alongside the busy road left for home on Tuesday. The students have threatened that they would continue to boycott the lectures till the “unsafe”, “ill-equipped” campus is shifted from its present location along NH-58 in Srinagar Garhwal town. FAULTLINES IN the Goa BJP unit widened Tuesday after state BJP president Vinay Tendulkar accused his colleague and former Goa chief minister, Laxmikant Parsekar of hurling abuses at BJP president Amit Shah and CM Manohar Parrikar. On the sidelines of a security conclave in Panaji, Tendulkar, when asked about Parsekar’s recent outbursts on a Congress MLA being inducted into the BJP, said: “Avoi-voilean zo odheox galli marta ni, hanv nav uchar korit ni hangasor, mhajer ietle. Avoi voilean galli marlea amchea odheox-ak. (One who utters an abuse in the name of the mother... If I say it here, it will reflect badly on me. He has abused our president in the name of his mother).” CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Seeking safer campus, students empty out of NIT Uttarakhand, leave for home KAVITA UPADHYAY ON STRIKE since October 4, when a B.Tech student was critically injured after being hit by a car on National Highway-58, over 900 students of the National Institute of Technology Uttarakhand’s (NITUK) tempo- Goa BJP out in the open CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Outside a closed fireworks shop, Ghaziabad. Abhinav Saha DEHRADUN, OCTOBER 23 GUJARAT allegation Sana faced was that he had paid Rs 2 crore to meat exporter Moin Qureshi in November 2012 and phone recordings, obtained by the CBI, revealed that their talk pertained to the bail matter of another CBI accused, Hyderabad businessman Sukesh Gupta. A note from a CBI Joint Director on the subject of the proposed arrest of Sana (along with Moin Qureshi, Pradeep AS THE battle between the two top officers of the CBI raged, the Delhi High Court Tuesday directed the agency to maintain “status quo” until October 29 on proceedings against its Special Director Rakesh Asthana who sought directions for no coercive steps and quashing of an FIR lodged against him in connection with a case of alleged bribery. “Do not disturb the equilibrium today,” Justice Najmi Waziri said, adding that “the petitioner (Asthana) is before the court now”. Asthana has been at loggerheads with CBI Director Alok Verma, and both have levelled serious charges at each other. On Monday, the CBI arrested its own Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar for “falsification of records” in connection with bribery allegations involving Asthana. Students were on strike since October 4. Express ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR HARYANA HUNTS FOR MYSTERY CALLER WHO TRIED TO EXTORT USING CMO LANDLINE SUKHBIR SIWACH CHANDIGARH, OCTOBER 23 SEVEN DAYS ago, a BJP leader from Karnal received a string of calls on his mobile phone from a Chandigarh landline number and on WhatsApp. In one call, the caller claimed to be a cousin of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. In another, he tried to pose as Khattar’s media advisor. All the calls to Chander Prakash Kathuria conveyed the same demand — and a threat: Deposit 60,000 Dirhams (approximately Rs 12 lakh) in a Dubai account number or “face dire consequences”. Kathuria, a seasoned politician who heads the Haryana State Federation of Co-operative Sugar Mills Ltd (Sugarfed), immediately smelt a scam and alerted a senior police officer. What happened next took Staff deny involvement, Khattar monitoring case. Express both by surprise. The landline did indeed belong to the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) on the fourth floor of the Haryana Civil Secretariat in Chandigarh. Today, the calls, the demand and the threat are the subject of a police investigation being monitored by Khattar himself. “It is a serious matter. The landline number is of the CM’s office. The Chief Minister is CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 10 THE EDITORIAL PAGE Sabarimala aftermath BY PRATAP BHANU MEHTA Disappointed over denial of eminence tag: IIT-M to HRD Chairman conveyed board’s concerns to Minister month after release of list RITIKA CHOPRA NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 23 IIT-MADRAS has written to Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar expressing “deep disappointment” at not being selected as one of India’s six Institutions of Eminence (IoEs) despite a recommendation from the UGC-mandated selection panel. Industrialist and IIT-Madras chairman Pawan Goenka is learnt to have conveyed the concerns of the Board of Governors (BoG) to Javadekar almost a month after the IoE announcement was made on July 9. The Empowered Expert Committee (EEC), which was entrusted by the UGC to find 20 IoEs out of 114 applicants, had recommended the names of 11 institutions for ‘eminence’ status. The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), IIT-Madras, IIT-Kharagpur, IIT-Bombay, IITDelhi, Delhi University, Jadavpur University and Anna University were recommended under the public category, in that order. BITS-Pilani, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) and Was recommended for tag by UGC-mandated panel GOVT PANEL ON AUTONOMY FOR IITs New Delhi: Eight months after the IIMs were granted unprecedented autonomy, the HRD Ministry has set up a seven-member committee to explore the feasibility of diluting government control over the 23 IITs. P 8 Reliance Foundation’s proposed Jio Institute were suggested under the private category. The UGC, however, forwarded just six names to the government on July 9 — three 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.