DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2018, AHMEDABAD, LATE CITY, 20 PAGES ALLEGED MIDDLEMAN IN CHOPPER DEAL TO BE QUESTIONED OVER 5 DAYS EXPLAINED SIMPLY PUT PAYING FOR THE CLIMATE CLEAN-UP PAGE 12 CBI gets Michel custody: Need to show him papers, get details of money trail Bank linked to payoff taken over, account details are missing PRITAM PAL SINGH & RAHUL TRIPATHI NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 5 ECONOMY RBI KEEPS RATES SAME, CUTS INFLATION FORECAST PAGE 15 Gujarat may soon declare its first biodiversity heritage sites PARIMAL DABHI GANDHINAGAR, DECEMBER 5 THE STATE government is working towards declaring two sites — an indigenous mango forest in Chinchli village of Dangs and an inland mangrove site in Guneri village of Kutch — on the Western Indo-Pakistan border as Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHS), owing to their unique natural status. The sites, proposed by the Gujarat Biodiversity Board (GBB), will be the state’s first biodiversity heritage sites. According to a GBB expert, Guneri, nearly a hundred years old, is a natural inland mangrove site spread over 33 hectares CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 A DAY after he was extradited from the UAE to India in connection with the probe into the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, alleged middleman Christian Michel James was sent to CBI custody for five days by a Delhi special court Wednesday. CBI Special Judge Arvind Kumar asked the CBI to produce Michel (57) on December 10 after the agency said it needed his custody to not only confront him with available evidence, but also to obtain details of the money trail and people involved in the deal which is being probed for alleged irregularities. “Keeping in view the facts and circumstances, submissions made by the parties, I deem it fit to grant five days police (CBI) remand of accused,” the judge said. In his order, the judge said that the accused shall be entitled to assistance from his advocate during questioning. Officials later said the CBI will question Michel on his 25 visits to India, before and after the signing of contract between India and AgustaWestland. The agency, officials said, had in its possession the audit documents filed by Michel before the UAE authorities as part of the annual audit of his companies being operated from Dubai. “These documents were made available as part of the letter rogatory which was also used to secure Michel’s extradition,” an official said. RAHUL TRIPATHI NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 5 WHILE IT has secured the extradition of Christian Michel James, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, the CBI probe faces a hurdle. Officials aware of the investigation have told The Indian Express that there is a problem in obtaining the statements of Michel’s UAE bank account which was allegedly used by the British national to transfer money to India, and subse- Christian Michel was extradited from the UAE on Tuesday night. Praveen Khanna Earlier, CBI personnel encircled Michel and led him to the court room. His lawyers Aljo K Joseph and Vishnu Shankar opposed the remand application, saying there was no need for CBI remand since none of the documents, as claimed by the agency, have been produced in any international court. Michel’s lawyers also said they were filing his bail application. But they did not press the matter after the judge asked whether they wanted the bail BUSINESS AS USUAL EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 5 MOMENTS AFTER the Congress went on the offensive against the BJP, accusing it of weaving a “web of lies” in the AgustaWestland case, the party was left red-faced when a lawyer from its youth wing appeared in the CBI court for Christian Michel James, the alleged middleman in the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 5 ENDING THE country’s long wait for a programme to ensure safety of witnesses, the Supreme Court Wednesday approved a Witness Protection Scheme drawn up by the government and asked the Centre, states and Union Territories to “enforce” it “in letter and spirit”. The court held that the right to life would include the right of witnesses to testify freely in courts. Approving the Scheme, a bench of Justices A K Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer said: “The right to testify in courts in a free and fair manner without any pressure and threat whatsoever is under serious attack today. If one is unable to testify in courts due to threats or other pressures, then it is a clear violation of Article 21 of the Constitution. The right to life guaranteed to the people of this country also includes in its fold the right to live in a society, which is free from crime and fear, and the right of witnesses to testify in courts without fear or pressure.” The court said “it shall be the ‘law’ under Article 141/142 of the EXPLAINED ANANTHAKRISHNAN G E Making it effective ● is key THE WITNESS Protection Scheme approved by the Supreme Court is a much needed step to strengthen the criminal justice system. India now joins a select league of countries. In August 2017, the Centre and the Court set the ball rolling by agreeing to widen the scope of a petition. What remains to be seen is how effectively do stakeholders implement steps like giving a new identity to a witness in need of protection. Constitution, till the enactment of suitable Parliamentary and/or State Legislations on the subject”. The question of witness protection had come up in a PIL that sought protection for witnesses in cases against Gujarat-based preacher Asaram Bapu. The Scheme was drawn up CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Outside the BJP office in Jaipur on Wednesday. Rohit Jain Paras Campaign winds up in Rajasthan, rebels give both sides the jitters DECISION 2018 DEEP MUKHERJEE, HAMZA KHAN & APURVA JHALAWAR, SIKAR, TONK, DECEMBER 5 FROM A former UPA Union Minister to an ex-Congress Governor and from four sitting BJP ministers to former state BJP leaders, the top echelons of both national parties scrambled to shift focus to rebel candidates across Rajasthan Wednesday as campaigning for the December 7 Assembly polls closed. Disgruntled leaders from both parties are contesting as Independents in more than a third of the 200 seats across Rajasthan and the Congress and RAJASTHAN DECEMBER 7 BJP want to leave little to chance. While both parties sought to play down the effect rebels may have on the outcome, the Congress has expelled 35 party leaders for filing nominations against official candidates and the BJP 11. Rebel candidates, around 34 for the Congress and almost 30 for the BJP, have turned CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ‘ Being with Sindhu doesn’t mean it is to beat Saina’ EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, DECEMBER 5 SAYING THAT it was unlikely that he would be able to devote the same time to his daughter, Gayatri, as he had to Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu at an earlier stage of his coaching career, India’s badminton national coach Pullela Gopichand took on the question of an imminent conflict at the Express Adda on Tuesday. “It’s important to keep things in perspective and to ensure that me being with Sindhu and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Pullela Gopichand and P V Sindhu at the Express Adda in Mumbai on Tuesday. Prashant Nadkar quently paid to Indian politicians and bureaucrats. Because the bank, officials said, was later taken over, and the account statements relating to that period are unavailable — at least, until now. On Wednesday, the CBI told a Delhi court that Michel transferred 37 million euros (then nearly Rs 240 crore, now Rs 300 crore) to India using 12 sham contracts. Officials said Michel operated a Lloyds TSB, UAE bank account in the name of Global Services FZE (GSF), Dubai. According to CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Michel lawyer is Youth Cong leader, red-faced party throws him out BY UNNY India now has a witness protection programme in place PAGE 1 ANCHOR `4.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 Rs 3,600-crore chopper deal. The party quickly swung into damage-control mode with the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) announcing that it has expelled the lawyer, Aljo K Joseph, “with immediate effect”. Joseph, meanwhile, told ANI that his ties with the party and his profession are “separate”. Claiming that Joseph appeared for Michel “in his CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 The police chowki that was targeted by a mob in Bulandshahr district on Monday. Reuters SHO’s murder: Key accused cites cow to reopen old wounds Names manager of a mosque; four arrested on cow slaughter charges DEEPTIMAN TIWARY & ABHISHEK ANGAD THE EDITORIAL PAGE BULANDSHAHR, DECEMBER 5 A LONG-STANDING dispute over a mosque, simmering tension over the use of loudspeakers and the rise of the Bajrang Dal since Yogi Adityanath took charge as UP Chief Minister form the backdrop of the mob violence in which an Inspector was killed in Bulandshahr two days ago. The manager of the Nayabans village mosque, Mohd Sarfuddin, was among four arrested Wednesday after they were named in a complaint of cow slaughter filed by Yogeshraj Singh, the main accused in the killing of Station House Officer Subodh Kumar Singh. Yogeshraj is on the run after police arrested four others Tuesday over the killing of the SHO. According to police officers, Yogeshraj had first led protests against the use of loudspeakers in the mosque and complained THE DEATH OF A POLICE OFFICER BY ABHINAV KUMAR PAGE 10 INSIDE UP CM, DGP SEE A LARGER CONSPIRACY BJP MP BACKS MAIN ACCUSED PAGE 6 to police during the Ramzan of 2016. Yogeshraj complained that loudspeakers should not be used 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.
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