DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2019, LUCKNOW, LATE CITY, 22 PAGES DECISION 2019 A daily Explainer on THE QUESTIONS THAT MATTER Why is VHP lowering the Ayodhya heat? PAGE 6 THE EDITORIAL PAGE WHERE’S THE MONEY FOR BUDGET SOPS? BY AMARTYA LAHIRI PAGE 12 UTTAR PRADESH MUZAFFARNAGAR RIOTS CASE: 7 CONVICTED PAGE 4 Fraud Office probe: IL&FS trust took HDFC loan to buy shares from HDFC KHUSHBOO NARAYAN MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 6 THESERIOUSFraudInvestigation Office (SFIO) is probing the role of HDFC Ltd in connection with its ongoing investigations into the alleged fund diversion and mismanagement by InfrastructureLeasing&Financial Services (IL&FS) Ltd and a few of its subsidiaries. The agency recently examinedandrecordedthestatement of a top HDFC executive. It may also examine the former nomineedirectorsappointedbyHDFC on the board of IL&FS, sources told The Indian Express. HDFC has a 9.2 per cent per cent stake in IL&FS. An interim report of the SFIO alleged HDFC indulged in “accommodative lending” to IL&FS Red flags on disclosure, valuation HDFC LTD’S twin transactions of IL&FS share sale and funding its purchase by IL&FS Employees Welfare Trust raises red flags on disclosures and corporate governance, particularly given the relationship between HDFC and IL&FS. Since IL&FS is an unlisted firm, it is critical that the valuation of shares is fair and justified because this acts as a price benchmark for future private placement. Employee Welfare Trust (EWT). The report has referred to a transaction during 2013-14 between HDFC and IL&FS EWT where the trust acquired 8 lakh sharesof IL&FSLtdfromHDFCat Rs 1,184.50 a share. The SFIO al- leged that these shares were acquired at a high price without anyvaluationatatimewhenthe trust was “suffering from fund crunch” as it “not able to generate enough cash flows to service itsowndebtandwastakingnew debt from the group companies to service the existing obligations”. HDFC Ltd did not respond to queries mailed to it Tuesday. Significantly, SFIO alleged these shares were acquired by IL&FSEWTfromHDFCLtdwitha Rs 94.76-crore advanced to it by HDFC Ltd itself. “Theloanof Rs94.76crorereceivedfromHDFCLtdisstilloutstanding in the books of EWT as ondateandforservicingof interest on this debt the EWT is regularly taking debt from IL&FS Ltd or its group companies. The loan taken from HDFC Ltd to finance the transaction has resulted into interest payment of Rs 53.77 crore until June 30, 2018,” said the SFIO interim report. Theprobeagencyhasalleged thatcollateralagainsttheloanof CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 HOUSEFULL School children at Parliament House Wednesday. This is the final session before the Lok Sabha polls. Renuka Puri Sabarimala review pleas: Board that runs shrine changes stand, SC reserves order ANANTHAKRISHNAN G NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 6 THE SUPREME Court Wednesdayreserveditsdecision onpetitionsseekingreviewof its September 28, 2018 order lifting age restrictions on the entry of women to the Sabarimala temple even as the Travancore Devaswom Board, which runs the hill shrine, changed its stand on the ruling. Giving up its opposition, the Board said it was now backing the judgment because “religious practices have to be consistent with the dominant theme... that all are equal and entitled to The SC order on Sabarimala led to protests across Kerala. File equal rights”. AppearingfortheBoard,senioradvocateRakeshDwiveditold thefive-judgeConstitutionBench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan GogoiandJusticesRFNariman,A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra: “Now Board Kerala man cleared of IS charge after 76 days in NIA custody: Stigma ruined my life THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, FEBRUARY 6 IN FEBRUARY last year, Riyaz’s life took a turn for the worse. He was sacked from his managerial job in Saudi Arabia, his family abandoned him and he was placed under arrest for 76 days by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) after his wife al- BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY leged she was forced to convert and he sold her to Islamic State (IS) as a “sex slave”. Almostoneyearsincethe27year-old was arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention)Act(UAPA), the NIA last week cleared him of terror charges and transferred his case to the North Paravur police. “He has been cleared of IS links and NIA has dropped charges against him under the PAGE 1 ANCHOR LUCKNOW, FEBRUARY 6 TEJASHWI TO BEGIN YATRA TODAY PAGE 14 SADAF MODAK MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 6 Priyanka and Robert Vadra outside the ED office. Reuters UAPA. They found no evidence against him. Now, we will probe the alleged crime under Section 498(A)of IPC,(husbandsubjectingawomantocruelty),’’saidan officerof Ernakulamruralpolice. Thechargesbeingdroppedis light at the end of a long tunnel for Riyaz, but he says the IS stigmahasruinedhislifeforever. “AfterIwasarrested,Ilostmy job as a manager in Saudi Arabia. Close family members aban- donedmeaftertheISISlinkswere foisted. I never thought a love marriage with a woman of a differentreligionwouldtriggersuch trouble. I had come from Saudi Arabia to convince people of my innocence, but the NIA arrested and put me in jail,’’ says Riyaz. From New Mahe in Kannur, RiyazwasarrestedonFebruary3 by NIA when he landed from Saudi Arabia. The NIA had taken CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 hastakenadecisiontorespectthe judgment.” The September 2018 judgment was delivered by a bench headed by then CJI Dipak Misra and included the other four judges. CJI Misra has since retired. Justice Malhotra was the sole dissenting judge in the 4-1 majority verdict that sparked protests across Kerala and led to the filing of review petitions. Dwivedi was responding to a specific query from Justice Malhotra who pointed out that he was arguing contrary to what the Board had said when the writ petitions were heard last year.Shesoughttoknowif ithad CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 WORLD PAK SC TO ARMED FORCES, ISI: STAY OUT OF POLITICS TRUMP: SUMMIT WITH KIM IN VIETNAM ON FEBRUARY 27-28 PAGE 16 BUSINESSMAN ROBERT Vadra, brother-in-lawof Congresspresident Rahul Gandhi, was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for over five hoursWednesdayinconnection with a case of alleged money laundering related to properties in the UK. This was the first time Vadra appeared before any central probe agency. He left the ED office at Jamnagar House in New Delhi at 9.40 pm. He will be called for questioning again on Thursday. Vadra’s lawyer Suman Khaitan told reporters that his client had answered all questions and was innocent. “All charges against him are wrong. We will cooperate with the agency 100 per cent,” Khaitan said. Intheafternoon,Vadra’swife Priyanka Gandhi Vadra accom- Chinese parts in Bofors: Officer under probe murdered, says MP police MILIND GHATWAI BHOPAL, FEBRUARY 6 A JUNIOR works manager with the Gun Carriage Factory (GCF), Jabalpur,whowasquestionedby the CBI in January for allegedly passing off China-made parts as those made in Germany, was murdered said Madhya Pradesh police Wednesday. The decomposed body of S C Khatua (44), who was missing since January 17, was found behind a hillock near the He went MES pump missing on house in the facJan 17th tory premises Tuesday and his family members identified Khatua’s clothes and shoes. The police initially believed that the middle-level managementofficialhadcommittedsuicide because he was reportedly depressed after being questionedbythecentralagencythat had carried out searches in the factory premises and also his quarters in the GCF premises. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 panied him to the ED office before heading to her new office at the Congress headquarters — she is now a party general secretary. She told reporters: “I stand by my family... everyone can see what is happening.” The case relates to properties in London which, the ED claims, are linked to Vadra and have been purchased through absconding arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari. In the past, Vadra has denied any association with any property in London. On Wednesday, Vadra was questioned about his association with Bhandari and financial transactions, ED sources said. He was also shown documents which, the ED claims, connect him with certain overseas properties. ED sources claimed the matter is linked to a Petroleum Ministrydealin2009,duringthe rule of the UPA, in which alleged CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 INDRANIMUKERJEA,theformer director of INX Media, has sought to become an approver in the alleged corruption case where her co-accused include Karti Chidambaram, son of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram. Mukerjea recently wrote to Patiala House court in Delhi seekinggrantof pardonasanaccused. The court last month directed that she should be produced before it through video-conferencing on February 7 as she is lodged in a women’s jail in Byculla in Mumbai facing trialfortheallegedmurderof her daughter Sheena Bora. The Delhi court will now determine whether Indrani has made the plea under fear, pressure or under the promise of any favour. As per procedure, the court will seek the response of the investigating agency, the CBI, following which it will then determine whether to allow Indrani’s pleatograntherpardonasanaccused and make her a prosecution witness. Earlier, Indrani had given a statement before a magistrate under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Govt blocks proposal on judge for J&K, SC Collegium asks why Proposal in April 2018 to elevate Senior Additional AG Wasim Nargal KAUNAIN SHERIFF M NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 6 ON APRIL 6 last year, the Supreme Court Collegium, then headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, had cleared the decks for the appointment of Senior Additional Advocate General Wasim Sadiq Nargal as a judge in the J&K High Court. This would have made Nargal the first Muslim judge from Jammu in the High Court. Also, Nargal, who was 49 when recommended by the Supreme Court for elevation, would have had more than 12 years as a permanent High Court judge and, by convention of seniority, would have been a potential Chief Justice of a High Court in the country. The Law Ministry returned the recommendation and a year later, is yet to say why and the current SC Collegium has asked the Government to explain. It is learnt that the Centre, which returned the file to the collegium did not provide any specific information as to why it wants the collegium to recon- CJI-led Collegium asks Govt for information sider its April 2018 decision recommending Nargal’s elevation. Nargal submitted his resignationtothegovernmentinJune 2018 and is now an advocate in Jammu. The Jammu and Kashmir High Court is functioning with just nine judges against the approved strength of 17. AtitslastmeetingonJanuary 16, the collegium headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi said : “As regards Shri Wasim Sadiq Nargal, Advocate, consideration of the proposal for his elevation is deferred for the present. Meanwhile, Department of Justice be requested to furnish specific information in detail on the basis of which the proposal for elevation of Shri Nargal has been referred back for reconsideration by the collegium.” In April 2018, the collegium CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 UP stray cattle crisis: Police closing cases against angry farmers MANISH SAHU EXPRESS NETWORK INX Media case: Indrani seeks to turn approver NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 6 NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 6 SHAJU PHILIP EDquestionsVadraover his‘links’toarmsdealer andLondonproperties DEEPTIMAN TIWARY AANCHAL MAGAZINE CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ALL CHARGES ARE WRONG, SAYS LAWYER Called again today; Priyanka drops him at ED office, says I stand by family Note ban: 6-fold jump in tax returns under scanner THE INCOME Tax Department haspicked1.34lakhcasesspecifically related to demonetisation for scrutiny in 2018-19, an over six-foldincreasefromthe20,088 cases that came under the scanner in 2017-18, according to Finance Ministry data. Taxofficialssaidamajorityof the 1,34,574 cases picked for scrutiny were for revising Income Tax Returns (ITRs) for 2015-16, the year prior to demonetisation. “It has been found through data analysis that many taxpayers went back to revise their tax returns for 2015-16, the year before demonetisation. Many such taxpayers have revised details such as cash in hand and other details for 2015-16 in an effort to conceal the detection of cash post-demonetisation,” a senior tax official said. Separately, 2,99,937 notices were sent by the department during 2017-18 to those who deposited large sums during demonetisation but did not file incometaxreturns,thedatatabled in Parliament show. “Those notices were mainly sent to depositors who deposited huge amountsof cash,evenexceeding Rs10lakh,anddidnotfileincome tax returns,” the official said. A region-wise break-up of the data shows that Gujarat topped the list of states where cases related to demonetisation have been selected for scrutiny in 2018-19, with 11,769 such cases.Itisfollowedbythenorthwest region (Punjab, Haryana `5.00 WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 SO DIRE IS the stray cattle crisis in Uttar Pradesh that in several districts,casesfiledagainstfarmers for abandoning their cattle are hitting a roadblock of public resentment and anger. From Auraiya to Shamli, Shahjahanpur to Hathras, the police are filing closure reports in cases filed against farmers, witnessesarenotturningupand in many cases, “informal” arrangements are being struck to ensure that farmers don’t face penal action. An illustrative example is from Auraiya where a case was quietly buried. OnJanuary26,Auraiyapolice closed a case against villagers in Dakilpur for assaulting a school principal and staff who objected tothemleavingstraycattleinthe premises.Theclosurereportwas filed after the principal of the government junior high school withdrew his complaint following a “compromise” meeting. Speaking to The Indian Express, the principal, Tara Chand, said: “On January 19, the villagers had assaulted me and a teacher, Yogendra, when we tried to stop them from herding cattle inside the school and creating a ruckus. Yogendra suffered an injury on his right hand. Police recorded our statements the same day when I lodged the complaint.” What followed, however, was a meeting between the staff and the villagers organised by police. “The next day, police called the villagers and held a meeting with the school staff. The vil- Compromise meetings held, many suspects untraced lagers claimed they were not involved and that those who had assaulted the staff were from neighbouringareas.Buttheyadmitted to having herded the cattle to the school and apologised. Since they apologised, the issue was resolved there itself. Police from the local (Phaphund) station, including the station incharge and the investigating officer, were present at the meeting,” said Chand. Whencontacted,theinvestigating officer, Sub-inspector MohammadShakir,claimedthat he closed the case after the prin- cipal “himself gave in writing that he did not want any action”. The FIR on Chand’s complaint had been lodged against nineunidentifiedpersons under IPC sections 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servantfromdischargeof duty),353 (assault or criminal force to deterpublicservantfromdischarge of duty) and 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of peace). According to the FIR, a group of farmers from the village carrying sticks herded the straycattle into the school. The group CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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