TheIndian EXPRESS LATE CITY, 16 PAGES, KOLKATA `5.00/EX-KOLKATA `6.00 (`12 IN NORTH EAST STATES & ANDAMAN) ● WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM 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 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 withdrewitsinvestigativereport of 2016 that had given its former MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar a clean chit. Whilethebankdidnotname 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 partof ChandaKochhar,thethen MD & CEO of ICICI Bank, while sanctioning loans to a corporate group,” the bank said in a stock exchange filing. “Whenfurthermediareports 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 13 WORLD CHINAOPENS LONGESTSEA BRIDGE ERDOGAN SLAMS SAUDIS; MBS AIDE WAS ON SKYPE AT TIME OF KHASHOGGI KILLING 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 supervisorychargeswithimmediateeffect,”saidtheorderwhich was issued by CBI Tuesday. AsSpecialDirectorandNo.2at the CBI, Asthana was heading a Special Investigation Team (SIT) which was responsible for some high-profile and sensitive cases. TheseincludetheAgustaWestland 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 DayanidhiMarancase. CBI sources told The Indian Express that “the taking away of caseswaspromptedbydevelopments during the day, as CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 23 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 DAYSBEFOREtheCBIfiledanFIR against its Special Director Rakesh Asthana and Deputy SP DevenderKumaronacomplaint 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 allegationSanafacedwasthathe had paid Rs 2 crore to meat exporter Moin Qureshi in November 2012 and phone recordings, obtained by the CBI, revealedthattheirtalkpertained 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 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 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 UNIONTEXTILESMinisterSmriti Irani Tuesday weighed in on the ongoing protests in Kerala againsttheSupremeCourt’sverdict allowing women of all age to enter the Sabarimala shrine. In response to a question aboutthegovernment’sstandon the verdict, Irani said, “I am nobodytospeakontheSupreme CourtverdictbecauseIamacurrent serving Cabinet Minister. But just plain common sense. Wouldyoutakesanitarynapkins 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 5 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 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 soughtdirectionsfornocoercive steps and quashing of an FIR lodged against him in connection with a case of alleged bribery. “Do not disturb the equilibriumtoday,”JusticeNajmiWaziri 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 seriouschargesateachother.On Monday,theCBIarresteditsown DeputySuperintendentof Police Devender Kumar for “falsification of records” in connection with bribery allegations involving Asthana. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 8 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) despitearecommendationfrom 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),whichwasentrusted 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,ManipalAcademyof 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 7 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 Top court goes for balanced approach: Charges fly as war within Two dead, 14 injured in stampede on Santragachi Two-hour window for Diwali crackers Goa BJP out in the open station footbridge EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 23 SWEETYMISHRA 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- KOLKATA,OCTOBER23 TWO PEOPLE died and 12 others were injured in a stampede on a footbridgeattheSantragachirailway station in Hooghly Tuesday evening. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who reached the spot with senior administrative and policeofficershourslater,accused the Railways of "callousness and negligence".TheRailwayssaidthe mishap took place due to overcrowding,butorderedaninquiry. The stampede allegedly took placebecausepassengersofeight trains -- some of which were abouttoleavethestationandothers which had just left -- were present at the spot at the same time. The deceased were identified as Kalakant Singh (32) of Midnapore and Taser Sardar (61) ofMurshidabad.Thestategovern- At Santragachi station. Express ment announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh for the families of each ofthedeceasedandRs1lakheach for the critically injured. The Railways also announced compensationofRs5lakheachforthe deceased's kin, Rs 1 lakh for victimswithgrievousinjuriesandRs 50,000 for those who sustained minor injuries. "At around 6 pm, there was a heavy rush of passengers on the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Outside a closed fireworks shop, Ghaziabad. Abhinav Saha posed stringent conditions on themanufactureandsaleof firecrackers. Applying the “precautionary principle”of environmentallaw, a bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan ordered that onlycrackerswithreducedemission and “green crackers” can be manufacturedandsold.Theywill also have to stick to permissible noise emission standards. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Seeking safer campus, students empty out of NIT Uttarakhand, leave for home KAVITA UPADHYAY DEHRADUN, OCTOBER 23 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- Students were on strike since October 4. Express 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. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 PANAJI, OCTOBER 23 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-voileanzoodheoxgalli marta ni, hanv nav uchar korit ni hangasor,mhajerietle.Avoivoilean 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).” “Can one who utters such abuses about our national president be made the chief minister? He abused Manohar-bhai Parrikar, state president (refer- ring to himself) and national president.Heaskedmetorecord (the abuse) and to make them listen to it.” Parsekar denied hurling abuses at Shah and said he had only spoken about Tendulkar. Tension within the party has risen since the state core committee inducted two Congress MLAs last week, including Dayanand Sopte who had defeated Parsekar in the 2017 assembly election from the Mandrem constituency. The conversation Tendulkar referred to took shape after Parsekar was informed of Sopte being inducted in the party. Two others — Rajendra Aklekar and Dayanand Mandrekar - also from the core committee have expressed regrets on inducting the two Congress MLAs into the BJP. The BJP cadre in Mandrem and few other constituencies also stand exposed with Sopte asking Parsekar to ask his supporters to vote for him. Parsekar, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR HARYANA HUNTS FOR 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 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. Staff deny involvement, Khattar monitoring case. Express 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.TheChief Ministerismonitoring the investigation’s progress. It seems the landline number may have been hacked. Butif thatisthecase,itisaneven more serious issue that needs to be investigated,” Rajiv Jain, Khattar’smediaadvisor,toldThe Indian Express. According to police, staff at the CMO have denied making thosecalls—theWhatsAppcalls were traced to a UK number. “We have questioned 7-8 officials at the CMO, one after the other. All of them have denied making any phone call to Mr Kathuria,” a police officer investigating the case told The Indian Express. “On October 16, I received four calls on my mobile from a landline. It was followed by two WhatsApp calls from a mobile number. The caller asked me to deposit 60,000 Dirhams in a bank account in Dubai or face dire consequences. The caller alsosentmeanaccountnumber on WhatsApp,” said Kathuria, a former BJP district chief who contested unsuccessfully from Karnal in the 2009 assembly polls. “Inonecallfromthelandline, the caller introduced himself as Vishnath Yadav Khattar and claimed to be the Chief Minister’s cousin. I asked him how could he be both — Yadav and Khattar. But he insisted that it was his correct name. In another call, the caller introduced himself as Rajiv Jain, the CM’s media advisor. But I replied that I knew Rajiv and that it was not his voice. The caller than disconnected the line. Then, I received twoWhatsAppcallsinwhichthe same demand was reiterated... a bank account number was also sent,” he said. According to Kathuria, he alertedKarnalSPSurenderSingh Bhoria and informed Khattar about the calls. On October 17, based on Kathuria’s complaint, a case was registered at Karnal’s Civil Lines police station against unidentified persons on charges of extortion, criminal CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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