|NEWS TO SHIPS BY NEWS ACCESS INDIA – TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2018
Attempts at a rapprochement emerged in Delhi on Monday hours after the high court frowned on the sit-in led by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal at the lieutenant-governor’s waiting room.
“Who authorised the strike/dharna? You are sitting inside the LG’s office. If it’s a strike, it has to be outside the office. You cannot hold a strike inside someone’s office or residence,” a bench of Justices A.K. Chawla and Navin Chawla said.
The bench was hearing two petitions – one against the sit-in led by Kejriwal on the premises of lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal and another against an alleged strike by IAS officers. The court did not issue any interim directive and listed the next hearing on June 22.
A few hours later, the IAS officers’ association, which had held a rare media conference on Sunday to express concern for their safety, welcomed the chief minister’s assurance that they would be protected.
After a group of IAS officers publicly said on Sunday that they felt threatened and intimidated, Kejriwal had described them in a tweet as “part of my family”.
On Monday, the Association of IAS Officers tweeted: “The office of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi welcomes Hon’ble CM Arvind Kejriwal’s appeal. We reiterate that we continue to be at work with full dedication and vigour. We look forward to concrete interventions for our security and dignity. We are open to formal discussions with the Hon’ble CM on this matter.”
Following this, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, who was on a hunger strike at the LG’s waiting room and was shifted to a hospital, wrote to Baijal, asking him to chair a meeting between ministers and IAS officers.
Barring the Congress, which has attacked both the AAP and the BJP for their dharnas during a water and pollution crisis in the capital, the AAP has drawn support from across the political spectrum, including BJP-ally Shiv Sena, Congress allies JD(S), RJD and JMM and the Left.
The AAP hit out at Congress president’s Rahul Gandhi’s remarks. “@RahulGandhi ji, Instead of listening to @ajaymaken, please talk to ur elected Puducherry CM. We supported ur cause for Arunachal, Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur & Karnataka but ur leaders are very petty. National Parties should have global vision for democratic values,” AAP Delhi unit secretary and MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj tweeted.
Chinese ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui suggested Monday that China, India and Pakistan have a trilateral meet on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meetings.
Raveesh Kumar, official spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, said: “We have seen reports on comments made by the Chinese ambassador in this matter. We have not received any such suggestion from the Chinese government. We consider the statement as the personal opinion of the ambassador. Matters related to India-Pakistan relations are purely bilateral in nature and have no scope for involvement of any third country.”
Luo, who was Beijing’s envoy to Islamabad from 2006 to 2010, floated the trilateral meeting idea at a day-long seminar organised by the Chinese embassy on the theme ‘Beyond Wuhan: How far and fast can China-India relations go’ which was attended, among others, by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, former Indian ambassadors to China Ashok Kantha and Nalin Surie, Russian ambassador Nikolay Kudashev and Bhutanese envoy Vetsop Namgyel.
Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday urged citizens to pay their due share of taxes “honestly” to reduce dependence on oil as a revenue source, and virtually ruled out any cut in excise duty on petrol and diesel saying it could prove to be counter-productive.
“My earnest appeal to political leaders and opinion makers …would be that evasion in the non-oil tax category must be stopped and, if people pay their taxes honestly, the high dependence on oil products for taxation eventually comes down. In the medium and long run, upsetting the fiscal maths can prove counter-productive,” Jaitley said.
In a facebook post, Jaitley wrote: “This government has established a very strong reputation for fiscal prudence and macro-economically responsible behaviour. We know what happened during the Taper Tantrum of 2013. Fiscal indiscipline can lead to borrowing more and obviously increase the cost of debt.
In an apparent dig at senior Congress leader P Chidambaram’s remark that tax on oil should be cut by Rs 25 per litre, Jaitley retorted “this is a ‘trap’ suggestion”.
Without naming Chidambaram, Jaitley noted that the “distinguished predecessor” had “never endeavoured to do so himself.” “It is intended to push India into an unmanageable debt — something which the UPA government left as its legacy.
Asserting that the intent of the government should not be questioned on the issue of appointment of the next Chief Justice of India (CJI), Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday said the Centre would follow the convention.
He was asked whether the government will follow the laid-down conventions to appoint Justice Ranjan Gogoi as the Chief Justice when incumbent Dipak Misra demits office on October 2.
“The question is imaginary… as far as the appointment of the CJI is concerned, the convention is clear… the sitting Chief Justice names the seniormost judge as his successor. When the name comes to us, we will discuss it,” Prasad said, adding that no one had the right “to question our intention”.
Speculation surrounding Justice Gogoi’s appointment emerged following the press conference of four seniormost judges in January when they had criticised CJI Misra.
The Centre had firmed up its views against extending the suspension of operations in Jammu and Kashmir, even before senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari was killed, primarily for two reasons. First, there was no progress on the dialogue with separatists, despite Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s appeal that the Centre is ready to talk to everyone, and the Amarnath Yatra, which begins on June 28, for which routes have to be sanitised beforehand.
According to Home Ministry officials, the level of violence was not the reason for revoking the suspension order.
Despite calls from Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for a dialogue, it became evident that even if the suspension of operations is extended, the separatist groups will not come forward for a dialogue, ministry officials said. In addition, they said, there was no let up in infiltration and ceasefire violations from across the border.
Britain’s House of Lords inflicted another defeat on the government on Monday over its flagship Brexit Bill, sending it back to MPs and setting up a fresh showdown between Prime Minister Theresa May and her pro-European rebels.
Unelected peers in the Upper House voted by 354 to 235 to support a rebel amendment on the role Parliament should play if the government fails to secure a deal with the European Union before Britain leaves the bloc in March 2019.
The amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill was drawn up in consultation with pro-European MPs in the lower House of Commons, who will have a chance to vote on it themselves on Wednesday.
May earlier warned that any attempt by Parliament to take control of the Brexit negotiations would weaken her hand. “Of course we have been listening to concerns about the role of parliament,” she told reporters.
The Trump administration on Monday defended its hardline immigration policy at the U.S.-Mexico border as furor grew over the separation of immigrant parents and children, including video of youngsters sitting in concrete-floored cages.
Democrats blasted such treatment as “barbaric,” while a few of President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans also voiced concern as the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives moved toward voting later this week on two pieces of immigration-related legislation.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, appointed by Trump, told reporters at a White House briefing that the administration was only strictly enforcing the law. “This administration did not create a policy of separating families. … What has changed is that we no longer exempt entire classes of people who break the law,” she said.
The outcry over the detained children resulted from the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which provides for the arrest of all adults caught trying to enter the United States illegally, including those seeking asylum.
Meanwhile, Trump blamed migrants in Europe for violently changing the culture and for what he inaccurately described as a rise in crime in Germany as he sought to defend his administration’s policy on illegal immigration. “We don’t want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!” he said.
In another tweet on Monday, Mr. Trump said Democrats were “weak and ineffective with Boarder (sic) Security and Crime.”
“Tell them to start thinking about the people devastated by Crime coming from illegal immigration. Change the laws!” he said.
Mr. Trump’s tweet about Germany referred to a political dispute over immigration that is threatening German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing coalition.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi refers to the northeastern states as ‘Ashta Lakshmi’ (eight forms of the goddess of wealth) and with development, the region will make a big contribution to the country’s GDP, BJP president Amit Shah said on Monday.
“The Prime Minister always says that Northeast is the roop of Ashta Lakshmi for India…With development this Ashta Lakshmi will contribute largely to India’s GDP,” he said.
Speaking at a ceremony for laying foundation stone for a three-level cancer care grid in Guwahati, Shah said, “For the last two years, there has been a BJP government in Assam. Before that for 15 years there was Congress government. And in the entire Northeast, for most of the time after Independence, there was Congress government. I have no hesitation in saying that at the time of Independence the then united Assam was probably the largest contributor to India’s GDP. That went down.
“Now time has again come for the contribution of Assam and other northeastern states to increase in the country’s GDP,” he added.
Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel has asked universities and colleges in the state to observe International Yoga Day on June 21 and send photographs and videos of the events organised on the occasion to the Raj Bhavan Secretariat as ‘evidence’.
In a circular, issued on June 6, Patel has instructed all universities and affiliated colleges to organise daylong programmes on International Yoga Day and ensure maximum participation of teachers and students. She has also sought details like photographs, CDs of the function and number of participants.
In another circular, issued on June 12, she appointed the Rajiv Gandhi Technological University as the coordinator of the event and directed universities and colleges to submit videos and photographs of the June 21 events by 4 pm on the same day.
Congress has criticised Patel’s directives. “Has she shown the same alacrity in seeking reports about matters concerning education,’’ asked Congress spokesman Manak Agrawal.
Congress’ social media head Divya Spandana provoked extreme reactions on Twitter on Monday when she posted an old picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to accuse him of non performance.
Tagging the image of a smiling Modi, Spandana invited the twitterratti to caption the frame. “Caption Contest: Here’s mine: When you know you’ve lied to the country and they still vote for you!” said Spandana in a jibe at PM Modi. The responses to the post ranged from extreme to offensive with people attacking Congress president Rahul Gandhi on a range of his pictures and even trolling former Congress president Sonia Gandhi citing her past in Italy.
Some Congress leaders said Spandana’s latest tweet on Modi was avoidable given Gandhi’s constant stress on “propriety in politics and his urge for respecting the rival”.
With questions being asked in India on how absconding jeweller Nirav Modi, wanted in the Punjab National Bank fraud case, had managed to travel multiple times after the government revoked his passport in February, the CBI Monday said it had not only informed Interpol about the revocation of the passport, but had written to six major countries and reminded them on “almost weekly basis” to be on the lookout for him.
The CBI said it had written to the United States, United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Singapore and United Arab Emirates. The agency said information about Modi’s passport was even updated by Interpol in its central database.
“After getting diffusion notice against Modi issued through Interpol on February 15, we also got information about his revoked passport updated in Interpol’s database. Following this, we identified six countries where we suspected he could move. We kept in touch with all these countries through their Interpol offices. We kept writing to them, reminding them on almost weekly basis, “ the CBI’s official spokesperson said.
The agency said it wrote to these countries on April 25, May 22, May 24 and May 28. In all communications, the CBI said, the countries were reminded that there was diffusion notice pending against Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi and that their passports had been revoked.
Apparently, barring the Red Corner Notices, which mandates Interpol to arrest a fugitive after locating him, honouring of other notices or requests depends a lot on the diplomatic heft of the requesting country. “Why these countries did not honour India’s request, only they can answer,” a CBI official said.
India’s largest private sector bank ICICI Bank Monday said its Managing Director and CEO Chanda Kochhar, who is facing allegations of quid pro quo and non-adherence of code of conduct and conflict of interest, will go on leave till an independent probe against her is completed.
The board of directors of the bank, which met in Mumbai, decided to appoint Sandeep Bakhshi, who is currently MD and CEO of ICICI Prudential Life, its life insurance subsidiary, as Wholetime Director and Chief Operating Officer designate of the bank.
It was reported that Videocon group promoter Venugopal Dhoot provided crores of rupees to NuPower Renewables Pvt Ltd (NRPL), a firm he had set up with Chanda Kochhar’s husband Deepak Kochhar and two relatives six months after the Videocon group got Rs 3,250 crore as loan from ICICI Bank in 2012. He transferred proprietorship of the company to a trust owned by Deepak Kochhar for Rs 9 lakh, six months after he received the loan from ICICI Bank. The Videocon account was declared an NPA or a bad loan in 2017.
Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler was arrested on Monday in connection with parent company Volkswagen’s “dieselgate” emissions cheating scandal, with prosecutors saying they feared he might try to destroy evidence.
Stadler is the most senior executive yet to be detained in the dieselgate crisis, which started when the VW group admitted in 2015 to installing so-called “defeat devices” in some 11 million diesels worldwide.
A different kind of demonetisation struck Assam’s Tinsukia district when a group of mice allegedly tore to shreds notes worth Rs 12 lakhs inside an ATM belonging to the SBI.
The SBI ATM (DFBK – 000196116) in Laipuli area has been shut due to technical failure since May 20. However, behind closed doors, unknown to the world, it was hosting an army of four-legged guests: Mice. On June 11, when a few repairmen visited the outlet to get the machine fixed, they were surprised to find heaps of 500 and 2,000 rupee notes shredded into tiny pieces.
“We have been able to salvage about Rs 17 lakhs,” a bank official confirmed to a local news channel on Monday morning. “We have been able to salvage about Rs 17 lakhs,” a bank official confirmed to a local news channel on Monday morning.
According to bank officials, notes worth Rs 12,38,000 have been destroyed by the mice. A Guwahati-based financial company named FIS: Global Business Solutions, which runs the ATM, had reportedly deposited Rs 29 lakhs inside the machine on May 19. The ATM had stopped working the following day. People are suspicious as to why it took so long for the mechanics to arrive.
With lakhs being shredded under mysterious circumstances, it is not surprising that everybody smells a rat.
Twice wrestled to the ground during the match, England captain Harry Kane finally evaded the Tunisian defense just as time was running out. Kane found an open area of space at the far post and used his head to meet Harry Maguire’s flick-on, scoring the winning goal Monday in a 2-1 victory at the World Cup.
It was relief for Kane and Gareth Southgate, who leapt into the air in delight as his World Cup debut as a coach got off to a winning start.
England shouldn’t have found it so tough in its Group G opener against such opposition. Not after Kane got England off to a perfect start with an 11th-minute tap in. But after Kyle Walker softly conceded a penalty that Ferjani Sassi converted in the 35th, many of the fouls went against England.
At the last World Cup, England couldn’t even win a game. Euro 2016 ended in humiliation for Kane and England with a loss to Iceland in the last 16, but the team has been transformed by Southgate. For all the placidness and togetherness within the group, Southgate has added persistence and doggedness.
In the two other matches yesterday, Sweden beat South Korea 1-0 and Belgium beat Panama 3-0
A goal is a dream with a deadline. – Napoleon Hill
One of the British national daily newspapers is asking readers “what it means to be British?”
“Being British is about driving in a German car to an Irish pub for a Belgian beer, then travelling home, grabbing an Indian curry or a Turkish kebab on the way, to sit on Swedish furniture and watch American shows on a Japanese TV.
And the most British thing of all? “Suspicion of anything foreign.”
Newsletter 19th June, 2018
June 19, 2018