DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE FRIDAY, JANUARY 11, 2019, JAIPUR, LATE CITY, 16 PAGES `5.00 WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 Fired, ceremoniously OUT, IN, OUT: ALOK VERMA MOVED TO DELHI FIRE SERVICES & HOME GUARD EXPRESS NETWORK GOVTIGNOREDRULES ONSUMMONING SESSIONOFNEW HOUSE:MEGHWAL BABY’SBODYSPLIT INTO2,HOSPITAL STAFFBOOKEDIN JAISALMERDISTRICT PAGE 3 Mamata pulls out of PMJAY, says Centre taking credit West Bengal was one of the better performing states SANTANU CHOWDHURY & ABANTIKA GHOSH KOLKATA, NEW DELHI, JANUARY 10 WEST BENGAL Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced Thursday that her government will pull out of the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat scheme saying that the Narendra Modi-led BJP government has been taking credit for the scheme, which is funded by state governments. “Today we are withdrawing from the Ayushman Bharat scheme. Now, the Centre will havetobeartheentirecostof the scheme as we will no longer pay our share of the money. Why shouldwepayif it(Centre)takes all the credit?” Banerjee said at a rally at Krishnanagar in Nadia district. Her government then sent a letter to the Centre of its intent to pull out of the scheme CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 MANOJ C G, RITU SARIN, RAHUL TRIPATHI NEW DELHI, JANUARY 10 TWO DAYS after CBI Director Alok Verma was reinstated by the Supreme Court, the highpowered selection committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi removed him from the post over charges of corruption and dereliction of duty in a 2-1 decision Thursday evening. He is the first CBI chief to be ousted from the post. Shortly thereafter, the AppointmentsCommitteeof the Cabinet put out an order saying Verma had been “transferred fromthepostof Director,CBIand posted as Director General, Fire Services, Civil Defence & Home Guards for the residual period of his present term ending on 31.01.2019”. The ACC said “as per the earlierarrangement”,MNageswara Rao, Additional Director, CBI “will look after the duties of the Director,CBItilltheappointment of anewDirector,CBIoruntilfurtherorders,whicheverisearlier”. Of the three members of the selection panel, Prime Minister Modi and Justice A K Sikri were against Verma’s continuance as CBI chief in light of the Central Vigilance Commission’s report and “the extremely serious natureof observationsmadebythe CVC against Verma”. RAIPUR, JANUARY 10 THECOMPTROLLERandAuditor General has red-flagged the eprocurement process of tenders in Chhattisgarh between April 2016 and March 2017, when the Raman Singh-led BJP government was in power. According to the CAG, it found that 74 common computers were used by 477 bidders for 1,971 tenders across 17 government departments, worth a total of Rs 4,601 crore, which indicated that “bidders and officials were in close touch” even before the bidding process. The CAG has recommended WORLD AMITAV RANJAN NEW DELHI, JANUARY 10 WITH ITS legislation on a 10 per cent quota for the general category poor in jobs and education gettingparliamentarybackingin therun-uptotheLokSabhaelections, the BJP-led government is now exploring the possibility of providingdirectbenefittransfers to those below the poverty line (BPL) through a universal basic an “investigation from the vigilance angle” and said the inbuilt “business intelligence module” to detect such “collusive bidding” was completely bypassed. TheCAG,whichtableditsaudit report before the Chhattisgarh Assembly Thursday, also said that there were violations of the Income TaxActbecausemultiplebidders withcommonemailIDsandfive tenders worth Rs 15.44 crore were given to ineligible contractors. Addressing a press conference, B K Mohanty, Accountant General (Audit) Chhattisgarh, said that the e-procurement system, by the Chhattisgarh CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 PAGE 1 ANCHOR BENGALURU, JANUARY 10 PAGE 7 NEW DELHI, JANUARY 10 Alleyeson panel’snext choice CLEARLY, THE Supreme Court decision to reinstate Alok Verma as CBI Director two days ago was more about process than the merits of his case. The fact that Justice A K Sikri agreed to his removal today limits how far the Opposition can push its political point. All eyes are now on how this selection panel decides on Verma’s successor. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, the third member, who gave a dissent note, objected to Verma’s removal “simply on the basis of the CVC report”. Two days ago, when it set aside the October 23, 2018 orders of the CVC and the government divesting Verma of his CBI house at janpath road on thursday. Amit Mehra BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY powers and functions pending inquiry,theChief Justiceof Indialed bench had made it clear that the issue of his divestment was “still open”. It asked Verma to confine himself to routine functionsandnottakeanymajorpolicy decision till the high-poweredcommitteetookacallonhis future. Justice Sikri, who was asked by CJI Ranjan Gogoi to represent him on the panel, was said to be of thefirmviewthatsincetheallegationsagainsttheCBIDirector were technically “pending inquiry”, his position had become untenable. “There were simultaneous discussions but when the view of two members was that the CBI chief should be moved out pending inquiry, then the points raised by Kharge, such as extension of tenure of Verma, took a backseat. The assessment given in the CVC report that the allegations faced by Verma were of se- income (UBI) and for farmers through direct investment support. According to sources, the government may announce a UBI of Rs 2,500 per month initially to families below the poverty line. The money would be directly transferred to this section while ending other sops such as food and LPG subsidy to them, the sources said. The UBI dole is expected to take care of half the nutritional EXPRESS NETWORK requirements of a family of five in rural areas and one-third requirement of those who make theurbanpoor.Thegovernment is expected to budget around Rs 32,000 crore for April-June 2019s. Sources said the actual number of beneficiaries would depend on the funds that the Reserve Bank of India transfers to the national exchequer. Persons below poverty line are CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE EDITORIAL PAGE QUOTAS,THEIRS ANDOURS BY SATISH DESHPANDE PAGE 8 rious nature sealed his fate,” sources said. A copy of the CVC report and Verma’s response to the vigilance body had earlier been circulated among the three members. What tilted the balance against Verma was the observation in the CVC report that while some allegations against the CBI Director had been “established” and found to be prima facie correct, other “grave allegations” needed further probe and for this, the continuation of the officer on the post was undesirable. As first reported by The Indian Express last October, it was CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana who shot off a missive toCabinetSecretaryPKSinhaon CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONGRESS LEADER Mallikarjun Kharge,thelonedissentingvoice in the high-powered selection committee that decided to oust CBI Director Alok Verma, appeared for Thursday's meeting with a "note" questioning the findings of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) report against Verma and arguing why he should be restored with "full extent and authority of powers" under his office. In the note, Kharge also demanded that Verma be allowed tocontinueasCBIDirectorforan additional period of 77 days to make up for the days lost when he was sent on leave. Kharge'snoteincludedapurported sequence of events (see page 7) that, he alleged, showed how the Prime Minister's Office and the National Security Advisor played a role in the eventsthattookplacebetween8 pm on October 23 and the early hours of October 24, 2018, during which Verma was divested of his powers and M Nageswara Rao asked to charge as interim chief. The Congress leader demanded an investigation into the sequence of events and ex- pressed the fear that there was a "conspiracy at the highest levels of the Government with statutory authorities being found complicit". which appears to be part of a "pre-meditated decision" to remove Verma "with reasons and processes being manufactured as an afterthought." Kharge'snotestates:"Having examined the contents of the CVC report, it is my considered opinion that Alok Verma be allowed to explain himself before this Committee, along with the charges made against him, prior to any decision being taken." However, Kharge's note includes a summary of the CVC's charges and findings against shows that while six out of the ten allegations in the CVC report against Verma are "unsubstantiated/false", four were found to be "prima facie substantiated and on the basis of circumstantial evidence, found to be unflattering to Alok Verma". In the summary of the CVC's charges and findings in Kharge's note, the four cases "found to be unflattering" to Verma include: "exclusion of a suspect from being named as accused in an FIR IRCTCcase";"inordinatedelayin finalizing investigation report in bank fraud case against main CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Breather for small businesses: GST exemption cap doubled to Rs 40 lakh ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU NEW DELHI, JANUARY 10 IN A bid to provide relief to small taxpayers, especially micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council Thursday decided to double the exemption threshold to Rs 40 lakh and hike the limit for composition scheme to Rs 1.5 crore from Rs 1 crore with effect from April 1. The threshold will be Rs Jaitley after the GST Council meet, Thursday. Renuka Puri 20 lakh for “some hilly/northeastern states”. In its 32nd meeting, the Council also provided relaxation to composition scheme registrants to pay taxes quarterly and file a single annual return, along with extending the scheme to service providers and suppliers of goods and services up to a turnover of Rs 50 lakh with tax rate of six per cent. States will have the option to choosebetweenthetwoexemption thresholds — Rs 20 lakh and Rs 40 lakh — within a week’s time.Withthehikeinexemption CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Ayodhya: Justice Lalit recuses, Manifesto release new bench meets January 29 72 hrs before poll begins: EC panel ANANTHAKRISHNAN G NEW DELHI, JANUARY 10 SHEILA DIKSHIT IS NEW DELHI CONGRESS CHIEF PAGE 2 EXPRESS NETWORK GEN RAWAT RULES OUT SAME-SEX RELATIONS IN ARMY PAGE 3 HEARING OF appeals in the Ram Janmabhoomi-BabriMasjidtitle dispute case failed to start Thursday and the Supreme Court adjourned the matter until January 29 after Justice U U Lalit,oneof thefivejudgesonthe designated Constitution Bench, recusedhimself sincehehadappearedasalawyerinanAyodhya related matter in the past. A reconstituted bench will now take up the appeals challenging the September 30, 2010 verdict of the Allahabad High Court on January 29 to fix the schedule for hearing. The High Court had ordered a three-way division of the disputed 2.77 RITIKA CHOPRA NEW DELHI, JANUARY 10 Supporters of the Ram Temple outside the Supreme Court in New Delhi , Thursday. Tashi Tobgyal acres site between the Nirmohi Akhara sect, the Sunni Central Wakf Board, Uttar Pradesh and Ramlalla Virajman. JusticeLalitdecidedtorecuse after senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, representing one of the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE MODEL Code of Conduct (MCC)shouldbeamendedtoensurethat political parties release their manifesto at least 72 hours before voting ends in the first phase of polls, a committee set up by the Election Commission has recommended. The panel has also suggested thattheprovisionof “electionsilence”beextendedtocoverprint and social media, internet, cable channels and online version of print media. And that social mediaagenciesbeaskedtolabelpo- litical advertisements to separate them from other content, and maintain an account of expenditure incurred by political partiesandcandidatesforadvertising on their platforms. These recommendations were made by the 14-member committee set up by the EC last year to revisit the MCC, Section 126 of the Representation of the People(RP)Actandotherrelated provisions in the wake of rapid expansion in the media, The Indian Express has learnt. The report was submitted to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 DNA From Toothbrush Ties Shooter To Lankesh Murder JOHNSON TA BORDER WALL: TRUMP THREATENS TO DECLARE EMERGENCY YEMEN’S HOUTHI DRONES STRIKE MILITARY PARADE MANOJ C G After 10% quota, Govt plans basic income for poor, aid for farmers CAG red-flags Raipur tenders: 74 computers for 477 bids worth Rs 4601 cr DIPANKAR GHOSE Kharge dissents, seeks probe into events of October 23 night Majority decision by 3-member panel makes Verma first CBI chief to be removed over corruption charges A DNA match from a toothbrush left behind at a hideout by ParashuramWaghmore(26),accused of shooting Gauri Lankesh at her home on September 5, 2017, is among the key pieces of evidenceintheKarnatakapolice Special Investigation Team chargesheet filed in the case. The DNA profile of Waghmore is “identical and matching with the DNA profile result of epithelial cells detected on toothbrush sent in item No. 6 of DNA 376/2018” states a November 16, 2018, report from the DNA section of the Karnataka Forensic Science Laboratory, which is part of the 9,235-page chargesheet filed against 18 people. Waghmore, a former activist of the Sri Rama Sena, who was recruited and trained in using guns by an extreme right-wing group linked to the Sanatan Sanstha, has been identified by the SIT as the man who shot Lankesh. The toothbrush with Wagmore’s DNA was among material dumped following the murder by a suspect — a building contractor H L Suresh, whose house was used as a hideout for planning and executing the murder. The SIT recovered a bag containing toothbrushes, clothes and other material like fake vehicle number plates in August 2018 following the arrest of Suresh—anactivistof theHindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) — who was allegedly tasked with disposing material left behind at the hideout by the others in- Amol Kale, alleged mastermind of the murder of Gauri Lankesh, in custody. File volved in the killing. He was also allegedly asked to hide the guns used in the murder until it was retrieved by one of the killers. The SIT has also matched DNA strands from hair found on ablanket at the hideout with the DNA profile of the alleged mastermind of the murder Amol Kale (39), a former Pune convenor of the HJS. The SIT has also placed in court a report from the Gujarat Directorate of Forensic Sciences comparing video footage of the murder, captured on a CCTV camera at her house, with a Jaipur recreation of the shooting that was conducted after Waghmore’s arrest in June 2018. The gait analysis report suggests that Waghmore’s profile and mannerisms closely match that of the person seen gunning down Lankesh. The analysis of call data reports(CDR)ofmobilesphonesallegedlyusedbythemainsuspects is also among the circumstantial evidencetheSIThaspresentedin the chargesheet. The SIT has found that the main suspects attemptedtomakeitseemlikethey CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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