DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE MONDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2018, AHMEDABAD, LATE CITY, 18 PAGES `4.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 REPORT HIGHLIGHTED BOGUS PURCHASES, OVER-VALUATION OF STOCKS AN ICIJ-EXPRESS INVESTIGATION Nirav Modi scam: IT report waved red flags 8 months earlier, was not shared Law on medical devices has waited 12 years MUMBAI, DECEMBER 2 BOGUS PURCHASES, huge overvaluation of stocks, suspicious payments to relatives, dubious loans — all these and more were red-flagged more than eight months before the Nirav ModiPNB scam broke, in a crucial Income Tax investigation report that was not shared with any other agency. The Income Tax probe report on fugitive diamond jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, running into about 10,000 pages, was finalised by the agency on Choksi, Modi left India in first week of January 2018 June 8, 2017. It was not shared with other agencies like the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) until February 2018, when the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam became public. Sources said the tax department, before February 2018, also did not share its findings through the Regional Economic Intelligence Council (REIC), a mechanism for sharing of information between various law enforcement agencies. Modi and Choksi, and their three partnership firms, Diamond ‘R’ US, Solar Exports and Stellar DIamonds, are accused of routing Rs 13,500 crore worth of fraudulent transactions through state-owned PNB. Both E EXPLAINED KHUSHBOO NARAYAN Delayed sharing of information left escape route open ● OVER TEN months after the PNB fraud was first reported by the bank, the Indian government and its agencies are desperately trying to get Nirav Modi to face trial in India. So far, all such attempts have been unsuccessful, as in the case of two other economic offenders — Vijay Mallya and Mehul Choksi. Clearly, if the findings of the Income Tax investigation had been flagged to the various agencies at an early stage, it could have acted as a better check on such offences. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Gujarat police recruitment exam called off after paper leak, govt orders probe WORLD EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE GANDHINAGAR, DECEMBER 2 IN AN embarrassment for the Gujarat government, the recruitment examination of Lok Rakshak Dal (LRD) in the state police was cancelled hours before it was set to begin on Sunday, following reports of a paper leak. Chairman of Lok Rakshak Recruitment Board (LRRB) and Additional Director General of Police Vikas Sahay said that fresh examination will possibly be held in a month’s time. Following the cancellation of the exam, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani ordered the Home CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 GUJARAT Candidates burn question papers in Ahmedabad, Sunday. There were reports of students’ protests across the state. Javed Raja CONGRESS DEMANDS CM’S RESIGNATION, PAGE 3 JHUNJHUNU, BHATERI, DEC 2 PAGE 3 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY India players celebrate their second goal against Olympic silver-medallists Belgium, who fought back for a 2-2 draw at the Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar on Sunday. PTI P15 In election time, where MeToo sits uneasy with Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao VANDITA MISHRA CONG FIELDS FORMER AIDE AGAINST BAVALIYA IN JASDAN ASSEMBLY BYPOLL FOUR SANITATION WORKERS DIE CLEANING TANK IT’S A DRAW IN RAJASTHAN, the search for the “women’s vote” can be a zigzag journey where every signpost of change is also a pointer to that which has not changed. Come to Jhunjhunu, where in March this year, the second phase of the national “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” campaign was launched. Or come to Bhateri, a village about 55 km from Jaipur, to meet DECISION 2018 RAJASTHAN DECEMBER 7 Bhanwari Devi. Her rape in 1992 while working in the government campaign against child marriage had became a trigger for the Vishakha guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in 1997 and NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 2 IF BJP COMES TO POWER, OWAISI WILL HAVE TO FLEE: YOGI P5 CONTINUED ON PAGE 5 Under fire, NITI Aayog says was told to look at GDP back series data SUNNY VERMA INSIDE the law against sexual harassment at the workplace in 2013 — both form the backdrop for the current MeToo movement. But first, to Jhunjhunu and its resident incongruity: In this district, even as the child sex ratio dipped very low (it has shown an improvement in recent years), female literacy indicators have remained relatively high. That is, the district has been doing well in girls’ education even as it lagged FACING CRITICISM over the NITI Aayog’s presence at the release of the GDP back series data by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) last week, Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar said his department was asked to “have a look” at the data before it was released. He also said the government was open to making any improvements if factual and methodological errors were pointed out in the calculation of data. NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar Many economists have questioned the NITI Aayog’s role in the release of the statistical exercise of CSO, which comes under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI). “Everybody knows that until not too long ago, the Department of Statistics was part of the Planning Commission. There have always been close links between the two, simply because we use data so extensively and we work together. For example, the task force on employment statistics was chaired by my predecessor. Its recommendations are now being implemented by the CSO. In this case also, when they were about to release the back series, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 INTERVIEW PAGE 12 Parched Until Year Ago, Village Digs Deep Into Resolve To See Water Table Rise TRACKING CHANGE» PAGE 1 ANCHOR EVERY MONDAY VIVEK DESHPANDE For all Change stories, log on to www.indianexpress.com/change Witness Change? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org GANESHWADI (YAVATMAL), DECEMBER 2 LAST YEAR in November, Ganeshwadi, a hamlet of Kolam tribals in Maharastra’s Yavatmal, was the first in the district to get water supply through tankers. This year, the village doesn’t need tankers — it has enough water to last this season and next summer. What made this possible was A reservoir in Ganeshwadi that was recharged. Deepak Daware a unique inter-departmental initiative of the Maharashtra government under the Maharashtra Village Social Transformation Mission (MVSTM). The village sits on a water- shed in the hilly forested patch of Kalamb tehsil, as a result of which rainwater runs down the slopes, leaving Ganeshwadi, a village of 803 people, dry. Villagers had to walk several kilometers for water. Not anymore. With five CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 FRANCE MULLS EMERGENCY AFTER WORST UNREST IN DECADES KHASHOGGI: SAUDI PRINCE WAS IN TOUCH WITH KILL TEAM, SAYS REPORT PAGE 11 NITI Aayog meeting notes it will bring in ‘more control, curb growth’ RITU SARIN NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 2 SUCCESSIVE GOVERNMENTS in India have neglected the medical devices sector. For over 12 years, a proposed legislation, the Medical Device Regulation Bill, has awaited enactment. The Bill was first drafted in 2006 when the UPA was in power. It was never legislated. Under the NDA, a Group of Ministers (GoM) was constituted under Finance Minister Arun Jaitley but in 2016, a decision was taken to postpone its legislation and introduce instead the Medical Device Rules and Regulations. For the government, this seemed adequate for the sector. As recently as July this year, at a NITI Aayog Committee of Secretaries (CoS) meeting chaired by CEO Amitabh Kant, it was noted how views have been expressed by some Secretaries who felt there was no need to bring in an exclusive piece of legislation to govern medical devices. Their logic: having a separate legislation will bring in “more control” and “curtail growth and innovation” in the fast-expanding medical devices industry. The new Rules were circulated in 2017 and notified on January 1, 2018. The 241-page guidelines laid down the fundamental design and manufacturing requirements for 594 medical devices, and classified them into four categories (A,B,C and D) depending on their being highrisk or low-risk. A statement from the Health Ministry stated that the new Rules brought medical devices in conformity with the framework of the Global Harmonization Task Force (GHTF) and did away with the system of periodic renewal of licences for medical device manufacturers or importers. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 At a NITI Aayog meeting in July, it was felt that a separate medical device Bill would ‘curtail innovation’
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