DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2018, AHMEDABAD, LATE CITY, 22 PAGES `4.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 BOARD MEETING: INTERNAL PANEL TO DECIDE ON PCA; EXPERTS ON RBI’S RESERVES DEAR READER Govt and RBI break the ice as central bank agrees to help ease lending to small business EXPLAINED E RBI climbed down, digging heels in is no longer an option ● THE VERY fact that the RBI management and government nominees, including some aggressive part-time directors, could sit at the table for nine hours is an achievement. Especially, when the build-up was so openly fractious. The central bank has been responsive to the government’s concerns and the government, in turn, has respected the bank’s independence. The possibility of the RBI Governor being forced to resign has been averted. However, it is the RBI that climbed down and if it didn’t lose face, credit goes to the government. For the central bank now, board meetings won’t be business as usual. The government’s voice will be loud and the RBI digging heels in — in the name of autonomy — may not be an option. GEORGE MATHEW BUSINESS AS USUAL MUMBAI, NOVEMBER 19 THE GOVERNMENT and the Reserve Bank of India on Monday pulled back from the brink after a public spat over the last few weeks with the central bank and the board reaching an agreement on providing relief to small and medium firms and easing lending restrictions on some state-owned banks. At the nine-hour board meeting, one of the longest in recent years, the RBI agreed to work out a loan restructuring scheme for SMEs for a loan exposure of up to Rs 25 crore in line with the advice of the board. The board advised that the scheme should be subject to such condi- BY UNNY N Chandrasekaran, Tata Sons chairman, leaves after the board meeting. PTI tions as are necessary for ensuring financial stability. The RBI was earlier unwilling to consider any loan recast scheme for small units as the banking sector is already reeling under the impact of a huge pile of bad loans. An existing committee of the RBI, the Board for Financial Supervision (BFS), will now review the Prompt Corrective Action or PCA frame work — which imposes restrictions on lending on banks which have been hit by bad loans and weak capital. This is expected to ease curbs — and so boost lending — for a few of the 11 PSU banks which have been placed under this framework. Sources said that the BFS is expected to release some of the banks from the PCA framework in the wake of improvement in their operations. The board also decided to form an expert committee to fix the appropriate capital framework or the capital which is needed to shield or protect the central bank from future losses. This will be applicable for CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 PETITION IN SC AGAINST TRANSFER 10 YEARS ON NSA interfered in probe against Asthana: CBI DIG THE QUESTIONS THAT REMAIN Complainant in Asthana case claimed AN IDEAS SERIES PART 1 PAGE 11 Sabarimala board goes to SC: Need time to implement your order ANANTHAKRISHNAN G NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 19 CITING INFRASTRUCTURE and law and order issues, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which administers Kerala’s Sabarimala temple, Monday approached the Supreme Court, seeking extension of time to implement its September 28 order allowing women of all age to enter the hill shrine. In an application filed in the Supreme Court in the wake of protests by devotees across Kerala, the Board said the court verdict had “evoked a strong response from certain people and political parties which has led to severe law and order problems in the State of Kerala and particularly in the areas around the Sabarimala temple”. It said that on November 11, a few women tried to enter the temple but could not do so “on MoS took a few crores of rupees: Sinha DEEPTIMAN TIWARY EXPLAINED NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 19 THE INTERNECINE battle within the CBI reached the doorsteps of the Prime Minister's Office on Monday when agency DIG Manish Kumar Sinha, moving a petition in the Supreme Court, alleged that National Security Adviser Ajit Doval interfered in investigations against Special PAGE 13 Director Rakesh Asthana and stymied a search of his residence. Mentioning his plea before and sent on leave October 23. the bench of Chief Justice of India Both officers have approached Ranjan Gogoi and the Supreme Court. Justices S K Kaul and Claiming that his K M Joseph, Sinha subsequent transfer to sought urgent hearing Nagpur was the fallof his petition but it out of the investigawas declined. On tion against Asthana Tuesday, the bench is which he was overscheduled to take up seeing, Sinha sought CBI Director Alok that the transfer order Verma's plea. In M K Sinha, be quashed. His petiresponse to the Chief DIG CBI tion levelled serious Vigilance charges against the Commissioner's rePMO, Minister of State port on charges against him, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Verma filed his reply Monday. Verma and Asthana, who had been at loggerheads, were di- RELATED REPORT vested of their responsibilities PAGE 9 THE OTHER OFFICERS IN CBI WAR WORLD CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 22 accused didn’t have motive to kill Grenade used in Amritsar blast Sohrabuddin: chief has Pak signature, says Punjab CM investigating officer A camera trap shows the tigress, whose three cubs were crushed by a train in Maharashtra’s Chandrapur last week, with a cub that survived near the site, Monday. Maharashtra Forest Department KAMALDEEP SINGH BRAR AMRITSAR, NOVEMBER 19 A DAY after three persons were killed in a grenade attack on a Nirankari sect congregation at Adliwala village, on the outskirts of Amritsar, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Monday that the attack “seemed to carry Pakistan’s signature”. He said initial investi- DUBAI, NOVEMBER 19 SABARIMALA: SC WRIT IS AT STAKE BY CHRISTOPHE JAFFRELOT PAGE 10 PAGE 1 ANCHOR MALDIVES SET TO PULL OUT OF CHINA FREE TRADE DEAL TRUMP DOESN’T WANT TO HEAR KHASHOGGI TAPE PAGE 14 Amarinder Singh at the blast site on Monday. PTI KICKBACKS IN VVIP CHOPPER DEAL was arrested and sent into custody pending the legal and judicial procedure in the UAE. The Dubai Court of Cassation dismissed the two objections gations indicated that “the grenade used was similar to the ones being manufactured by the Pakistan Army Ordnance factory”. “Punjab police have recovered a similar HG-84 grenade from another terror module busted last month. It indicates a high probability of involvement of inimical forces from across the border,” said Singh. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Report says Dubai court clears Michel extradition, Delhi waits A TOP Dubai court Monday upheld a lower court’s order to consider the possibility of extraditing British national and alleged middleman Christian Michel, who is wanted by Indian investigative agencies in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP choppers deal case, according to media reports. Michel, 54, is currently behind bars in Dubai since he Y THE SURVIVOR PRESS TRUST OF INDIA THE EDITORIAL PAGE OU ARE one in over 75 million — that’s the size of the growing community of readers, every month, of The Indian Express’s unique brand of journalism, investigative and explanatory, across Print, Mobile and Desktop. This is more than ever before and we are committed to serving every one of you in a way that best meets your news needs. Beginning Monday midnight, The Indian Express substantively expands and enriches its experience across print, browsers and the app. By furthering our powerful, original journalism and making it come alive through images, audio and video across diversifying coverage. As a reader of our journalism, as a user of the Express brand, you will see three focus areas across browsers and the app: LOOK AND FEEL: As we did with The Indian Express App, we have chosen a typography to communicate our core values of fairness, independence and transparency. Without “yelling”, we have used typography to produce clarity through useful direction. NAVIGATION: Clearly defined showcases for breaking news stories, photography, long-form, video, and opinion. These will signal the different contexts to the story. MORE CONTEXT: The Home, Section, and Rediscovery experiences have been widgetized to change according to the time of day, week and news context. 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Welcome. filed by Michel’s lawyers and upheld the Appellate Court’s decision to consider the possibility of extraditing him to the competent Indian authorities. Judge Abdelaziz Al Zarouni, who headed a bench, pronounced the decision in the presence of member judges Musabeh Thaaloub, Mostafa Al Shinawi, Mahmoud Sultan and another judge, the Khaleej Times reported. However, there was no immediate official confirmation about the court’s ruling in New Delhi. GUJARAT WILL STUDY REPORT ON MARATHA QUOTA: CM ON PATIDARS P3 SIX ‘LOST’ PILGRIMS RESCUED IN RANN P4 WOMAN JAIN MONKS GET TRAINING FOR SELF DEFENCE PAGE 4 SADAF MODAK MUMBAI, NOVEMBER 19 THE CHIEF investigating officer of Sohrabuddin Shaikh encounter case on Monday told the special court that the 22 accused currently facing trial in the case did not have a motive to kill him. The CBI officer, Amitabh Thakur, who probed and supervised the case in 2010, also named discharged accused Amit Shah, the then Gujarat Minister of State for Home; IPS officers Rajkumar Pandiyan, D G Vanzara, Dinesh M N; and police officer Abhay Chudasama, claiming that the five were “political and monetary beneficiaries” of the alleged killing, as per the chargesheet filed by him. He, however, said that there was no specific evidence to show it. Defence lawyers representing the accused on trial cross-examined Thakur, currently posted in Odisha as Inspector General (Law and Order), for over six hours. Of the 22 accused, 21 are policemen from Gujarat, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. Responding to a question during cross-examination by Sohrabuddin Shaikh was killed on November 26, 2005 lawyer Wahab Khan, representing Rajasthan Police’s Inspector Abdul Rehman, Thakur said as per the chargesheet filed by him, there was a dual motive for the encounter of Sohrabuddin — political and monetary. “None of the accused present before me (police officials currently facing trial) were political or monetary beneficiaries of the alleged killing,” Thakur said. He told the court that they (21 accused policemen) had “carried out their jobs as part of a larger transaction and not as part of individual motives”. Thakur said that all 21 were on duty during the relevant period when the alleged offence took place in 2005. “It is correct to say that all of them were supervised by superiors of their respective departments. All their superiors, either by instructing or personally ONTINUED ON PAGE 2 In Jaipur, A Question For WhatsApp: How To Track The Source? KARISHMA MEHROTRA JAIPUR, NOVEMBER 19 THE QUESTION came up again and again. “If a WhatsApp message comes to the police, how can we find the original sender of the message?” asked Naveen Rana, an IT cell member from the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police in Jaipur. “If we don’t have the data, how can we share it?” Pragya Misra Mehrishi, WhatsApp’s India policy communications manager, responded. After being informed about “encryption,” which prevents the company from seeing the content of WhatsApp messages, Rana asked: “Isn’t there any other option?” Mehrishi replied: “Sir, I’m trying to help you understand. We can’t see the content. It’s not that we don’t want to give it.” On Monday, in a two-hour workshop conducted in Jaipur, the company’s local NGO partner Digital Empowerment Foundation presented the WhatsApp-developed “fake news curriculum” to an audience of around 100 police offi- cers, IT professionals, law students, and community members. They discussed verification methods through news searches, reverse image searches and fact-checking organisations as well as technical features. Launched in September, the partnership has conducted 18 workshops funded by WhatsApp for a total of 1,300 people in at least two districts each of the five election states: Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana. They aim to expand to states that “have seen disturb- At the WhatsApp-funded workshop in Jaipur. WhatsApp/DEF ing incidents of fake news”, such as Assam, Maharashtra and Karnataka, by March, said DEF founder Osama Manzar. In a survey with over 1,000 respondents across rural India released this month, DEF found that over half of them believed that viral WhatsApp messages could lead to incidents of violence. Less than five per cent said they question the sender about information in messages labelled as “Forward”. And over 60 per cent said there is rarely ever a source mentioned for the news they receive on WhatsApp. “They understand the concept of fake news but there is still a vacuum (in understanding) the gravity that news can have,” DEF media and communications head Ravi Guria, who is heading the partnership with WhatsApp, said. “It’s not just about one person forwarding a message.” WhatsApp came under the spotlight when a spate of lynchings across the country, killing at least 33 people, were linked to rumours circulating on the platform. Over the summer, the IT Ministry urged the company to take action in two separate let- ters, to which the company replied with product and organisational changes, including campaigns like this. After Monday’s session, Mehrishi faced more questions about finding the culprit of “fake news”. She encouraged the police officers to establish a WhatsApp business account to get official messages from the public, and to share fact-checks on their own social media accounts. Some in the audience, including DCP Mahaveer Singh, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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