DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE SATURDAY, JANUARY 12, 2019, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 28 PAGES THE EDITORIAL PAGE A SUPREME FARCE BY PRATAP BHANU MEHTA PAGE 14 Suspended Pandya, Rahul sent home to face probe DEVENDRA PANDEY MUMBAI, JANUARY 11 CRICKETERS HARDIK Pandya and K L Rahul will be sent back to India immediately to face a committee set up to probe their “inappropriate” comments on women on a television chat show. The quantum of punishment they will face, after being suspended for their remarks on the show Koffee with Karan, will be decided after they present their case to the panel. Earlier, Captain Virat Kohli said the Indian team Will miss does not stand ODI series by Pandya and in Australia Rahul for making “inappropriate” comments on women but insisted that the controversy won’t affect the dressingroommorale.“Fromthe Indian cricket team point of view, any inappropriate comments that are made in that scenarioaresomethingthatwedefinitely don’t support...and that has been communicated (to the two players),” he said at the prematch press conference before the ODI series opener against Australia. Diana Edulji, a member of the Supreme Court-appointed CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 JUSTICE (RETD) A K PATNAIK SUPERVISED CVC ENQUIRY AGAINST VERMA Noevidenceofcorruption,decisionof PM-ledpanelveryhasty:SC’smonitor Asthana plea rejected, HC gives CBI ten weeks to probe ‘What the CVC says cannot be the final word... they (selection panel) should have applied their mind thoroughly’ SEEMA CHISHTI NEW DELHI, JANUARY 11 JUSTICE A K Patnaik, the retired Supreme Court judge who was askedbytheapexcourttosupervise the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) enquiry that eventually led to the ouster of CBI Director Alok Verma, on Friday said there was “no evidence of corruption” against Verma, and “what the CVC says cannot be the final word”. He was critical of “the very, veryhasty”decisionof thePrime Minister-ledselectioncommittee to remove Verma from the CBI Director’s post over charges of corruptionandderelictionofduty Thursday, two days after he was reinstatedbytheSupremeCourt. Of the three members of the selection panel, Prime Minister Modi and Justice A K Sikri were against Verma’s continuance as the CBI chief in light of the CVC report and “the extremely seriousnatureof observationsmade by the CVC against Verma”. Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of CongressinLokSabha,didnotgo with the other two members, contested the CVC report and filed a dissent note. My role was to supervise, says Justice Patnaik PRITAM PAL SINGH NEW DELHI, JANUARY 11 CVC REPORT FINDINGS ARE NOT MINE, HE TOLD SC ■ Justice Patnaik submitted his report to the Supreme Court on November 10, 2018. ■ Made it clear that the CVC report findings are not his, that he merely supervised the process. ■ Statement purportedly signed by Rakesh Asthana on November 9, 2018 was not made in his presence, but forwarded by the CVC. JusticePatnaiktoldTheIndian Express: “There was no evidence againstVermaregardingcorruption.Theentireenquirywasheld CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Alok Verma outside his official residence in New Delhi on Friday, a day after his ouster as CBI Director. Prem Nath Pandey RAHUL TRIPATHI NEW DELHI, JANUARY 11 A DAY after he was removed as CBI Director by the Prime Minister-led selection committee, Alok Verma refused to take charge as Director General, Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards and told the government that he “may be deemedassuperannuated”with immediate effect. He was to complete his fixed two-year tenure on January 31. A 1979-batch AGMUT cadre IPS officer, Verma, in a letter to Chandramouli C, Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training, said the selection committee did not provide him an opportunity to explain details as recorded by the Central VigilanceCommission(CVC) before arriving at the decision to transfer him. “Natural justice was scuttled andtheentireprocesswasturned upsidedowninensuringthatthe undersignedisremovedfromthe post of the Director CBI. The selection committee did not consider the fact that the entire CVC report is premised on charges alluded by a complainant who is presently under investigation by the CBI,” Verma said, referring to his deputy, CBI Special Director RakeshAsthanawhocomplained against him last year. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ABHISHEK SAHA NEW DELHI, JANUARY 11 THE SINHO Commission report of 2010, which the Centre has beencitingasthebasisforitslegislationtogrant10percentreservation to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) mainly among upper castes, never explicitly recommended reservation for EWS but was only emphatic about ensuring that the EWS get access to all welfare schemes. The report noted that economiccriteriacannotbetheindicator for identifying backward classes for reservation and that EWS can be identified by states “for extending welfare measures only”. Rajya Sabha passed The WORLD Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-FourthAmendment)Bill, 2019 forgranting10percentEWS reservation on Wednesday, a day after it was passed by Lok Sabha. The three-member commission,headedbyMajorGen(retd) S R Sinho, was instituted by the UPA government and had submitted its report in July 2010. In the chapter reviewing the history of attempts to extend reservation to EWS, the report stated: “The Commission gathers the Constitutional and legal understanding that ‘Backward Classes’ cannot be identified for providing reservation in employmentandadmissionineducational institutions on the basis CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 RELATED REPORT, P7 KHUSHBOO NARAYAN MUMBAI, JANUARY 11 PAGE 16 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 officer in a coal scam case SUSHANT SINGH NEW DELHI, JANUARY 11 THE ORDER issued Friday by officiating CBI Director M Nageswara Rao to reverse all decisions taken after Tuesday has negated the file signed by then Director Alok Verma in a coal scam case, allegedly involving a senior IAS officer. The CBI order declared four GUWAHATI, JANUARY 11 THE government-appointed high-level committee for implementation of Clause 6 of the AssamAccordsufferedasetback after at least three chosen individuals walked out of it, days after the powerful All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) said it wouldnotsendarepresentative. Nagen Saikia and Rongbong Terang, both former presidents of Assam Sahitya Sabha, and educationist Mukunda Rajbangshi told The Indian Express Friday that they have decided to stay out of the committee. The high-level committee was notified by the MHA on January 5 to work towards implementation of Clause 6, and pitched as a step towards protecting the interests of the Resignations part of trend OPPOSITION TO the Citizenship Bill is growing in the North East, and the resignations are the latest manifestation. Political opposition from its own allies in four N-E states is slowly snowballing into a public movement, a phenomenon the BJP is observing, but not heeding to. Assamese community in terms of reservationof Assemblyseats, protection of Assamese and otherindigenous languages, and job reservations. Clause 6 of the 1985 Assam Accordsays,“Constitutional,legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social,linguisticidentityandheritage of the Assamese people.” The notification of the ninemember committee, however, came days before the BJP-led central government passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Lok Sabha, leading to a series of protests and demonstrations across Assam. The Bill is seen as a violation of the Assam Accord by large sections of the Assamese society. When contacted, Saikia said, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Why multiple agencies are after little known co-op society in Ahmednagar PAGE 1 ANCHOR US TROOPS START LEAVING SYRIA REPORTERS LOSE APPEAL IN MYANMAR REFUSING TO quash the FIR against CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana and three others on charges of bribery and extortion, the Delhi High Court Friday directed the agency to complete its investigation in the case within 10 weeks in the “interest of justice”. The bench of Justice Najmi Waziri held that the allegations of “malafides”raisedagainstformer CBI chief Alok Verma have not been made out and “nor can the allegations against Asthana be conclusively ruled out at this stage”. Justice Waziri also ruled that sanction to prosecute Asthana and CBI Deputy SP DevenderKumarinthecasewas not required. Asthana, Kumar and an alleged middleman Manoj Prasad had moved the HC, seeking the quashingof theFIRagainstthem on October 15, 2018, on charges including extortion and forgery and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Verma refuses to join new posting, CBI reverses Verma orders, tells Govt to consider him retired negates action against IAS 2010 report Govt cited Protesting citizenship Bill, three to push 10% never walk out of govt panel on Assam spoke of EWS quota SHALINI NAIR `6.00 (`8 PATNA & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 A MULTI-STATE cooperative society in Maharashtra has come underthescannerof multipleinvestigating and supervisory agencies such as the CBI, EnforcementDirectorateandthe Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare after a year-long probe by the Income Tax department that began in May 2017 alleged large-scale “hawala and money laundering activities” in the accounts held with the cooperative society. Ahmednagar-headquartered Renukamata Multistate Co-op UrbanCreditSocietyLtd,according to the tax agency, has routed suspicious transactions of over Rs 11,000 crore in the last five years through banks, sources told The Indian Express. The society, according to its website, recorded a turnover of Rs 259.57 crore for the year ending March 31, 2018. It was set up in 2004 and has 47 branches across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Karnataka. It comes under the regulatory purview of the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act. Several phone calls and emails to Prashant Bhalerao, Chairman, Renukamata Multistate Co-op Urban Credit Society, did not elicit a response. On Friday, signalling the unravelling of the society’s functioningoverthelastseveralyears, the Enforcement Directorate arrestedaformerRenukamataemployee following cues provided bythetaxdepartment.Itarrested Machhindra Khade, a former branch manager of Renukamata in Nagpur, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), for allegedly routing about Rs 200 crore illegally through the account holders of the society to shell companies. These shell companies were involvedinaRs2,000-croreimport fraud allegedly perpetrated by Yogeshwar Diamonds Pvt Ltd. Sources said that Renukamata hasviolatedthenormsunderthe Multi-StateCooperativeSocieties Act. Based on the comprehensive findings of the I-T probe, the Ministry of Agriculture and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 office orders issued on Wednesday and Thursday, after Verma was reinstated by the Supreme Court as CBI Director, as non-est (does not exist). It said “consequently,allactionsinpursuance thereof by all concerned are also declared hereby as null and void”. This nullified one of the files signed by Verma on Wednesday which could have led to the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Prime Minister Modi with L K Advani, Rajnath Singh at the BJP national convention in New Delhi, Friday. Neeraj Priyadarshi LS polls like Panipat battle, loss can lead to slavery: Shah to BJP LIZ MATHEW NEW DELHI, JANUARY 11 DRAWING PARALLELS with the thirdBattleof Panipat,whichthe Marathas lost “leading to 200 years of slavery”, BJP chief Amit Shah warned his party Friday that the Lok Sabha elections will be a decisive contest. InauguratingtheBJPnational convention in New Delhi, where party leaders down to the district level will be given clarity on the party’s campaign in the run- up to the polls, Shah listed all the major steps taken by the Modiled government. But it was his reiteration of building the Ram templeatAyodhyathatdrewthe loudest applause from an estimated 12000-strong crowd of party leaders from across the country. “The BJP wants the Ram Mandir at the very spot. We are duty-bound to build the temple and still are. It is the Congress that is creating hurdles in the process. But we are trying to CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Got the maths right, found glue: Akhilesh on eve of BSP tie-up MAULSHREE SETH LUCKNOW, JANUARY 11 ON THE eve of a formal announcement of an alliance with Mayawati’sBSPfortheLokSabha elections,SPchiefAkhileshYadav Fridaysaidhehasnotonlylearnt the “ginti” (maths) which led to the defeat of BJP in the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabhabypollsbuthasalsofound themissing“glue”whichhewas “hesitant” to use earlier. Responding to questions from a village in Kannauj on #Akhileshkichaupal, a Twitter India initiative, Akhilesh said while there is a perception that BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY the BJP is still strong, it is a fact that it draws its strength from its 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.