18052017-TTC-01.qxd 5/18/2017 1:25 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 thursday, may 18, 2017 chandigarh | gurgaon | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 1 no. 31 | 22 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2015-2017 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd Countdown begins for GST rate bracket Srinagar hosts crucial 2-day Council meet from today Girl students celebrate after breaking their fast in Gothra Tappa Dahina village of Rewari. PTI Rewari girls get their reward School upgraded, principal appointed, admission from today Ravinder Saini Tribune News Service Rewari, May 17 It was a day of triumph for protesting girl students of Government High School, Gothra Tappa Dahina village, Rewari, with Deputy Commissioner Yash Garg and local BJP leaders today handing them over a copy of a government notification, upgrading the school to the senior secondary level (Class XII), as demanded by them. There was jubiliation all around as the 20 girls broke their week-long fast. “Finally, we have achieved our target. The government invariably takes long to implement its announcements. Hence, we had insisted on a written order. Our victory of the ❝ It’s agirls fighting for village their right to education. Now, they will not have to go to neighbouring Kanwali village for postmatric studies❞ — Suresh Chauhan, SARPANCH demand met, we will attend classes from tomorrow,” said one of them, looking rather overwhelmed. Sarpanch Suresh Chauhan called it a victory of girls fighting for their right to education. The girls had launched an indefinite fast to mount pressure on the government to upgrade their school, saying they faced harassment at the hands of anti-social elements on their way to the school at Kanwali. As announced by Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma, not only has their school been upgraded, but a principal too has been appointed. The admission process commences tomorrow. Asked about the “sexual harassment” faced by the girls, PK Das, Additional Chief Secretary, School Education, said: “Besides the government, it is also the responsibility of panchayats and prominent people of the area to confront such antisocial elements.” Meanwhile, welcoming the development, Ved Prakash Vidrohi, former state Congress spokesman, claimed the BJP government had lost credibility and, hence, was forced to issue written orders. Nod to 10 N-power reactors To generate 7,000 MW; Haryana site cleared too Girja Shankar Kaura Tribune News Service New Delhi, May 17 The Union Cabinet today cleared the proposal to build 10 indigenous pressurised heavy water reactors and a new coal linkage policy for thermal power plants in a bid to ramp up power production in the country. The clearance came at the meeting of the Union Cabinet here this morning which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Power for all by 2020 is a major focus area for the NDA government and the decisions are a step towards that direction, officials said. The proposal to build 10 indigenous pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWR) is a move to shore up nuclear power generation in the country. Each reactor will have the capacity to produce 700 MW of electricity. “A total of 7,000 MW capacity will be added. It will help produce clean energy,” Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal said. The reactors would come up at Gorakhpur (Haryana), Mahi Banswara (Rajasthan), Build near monuments ■ Approval to amendments for allowing the construction of “public works of national importance” within the limits of “prohibited area (100 metres)” around protected monuments. At present, 3,686 monuments and sites are protected under the jurisdiction of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Quick eviction now ■ Changes approved in a law that empowers estate officer to fast-track eviction of ministers, MPs and bureaucrats overstaying in residences long after they have ceased to hold official positions Maternity benefit ■ Cabinet gave nod to materni- ty benefit programme applicable only for the first-born — Rs 6,000 for pregnant and lactating mothers Chutka (Madhya Pradesh) and Kaiga (Karnataka). The clearance comes after Parliament held discussions in March where the Lok Sabha was informed that the country’s nuclear power generation capacity was expected to reach almost 15,000 MW by 2024, with the government expediting the process of setting up plants. In 2014, India’s nuclear power generation capacity was 4,780 MW. It currently has an installed nuclear power capacity of 6,780 MW from 22 operational plants. Another 6,700 MW of nuclear power is expected to come on stream by 2021-22. Meanwhile, the new coal linkage policy, which aims to auction long-term coal linkages to the power companies, has been named “SHAKTI” or Scheme to Harness and Allocate Koyla (Coal) Transparently in India. The policy would immediately revive 30,000 MW of power plants, which were awaiting fuel supply. Major beneficiaries would be Reliance Power, Adani Power, Bajaj Hindustan, Lanco, Jindal Power, CESC, KSK Energy etc. Coal linkages would be awarded to state-owned power distribution companies (discoms). These will assign these linkages to state/central generation companies. A girl carries stones during a clash with police outside a college in Srinagar. PTI Jaitleyreviews J&K security Srinagar, May 17 Amid a spurt in ceasefire violations along the Line of Control, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat held a security review here today and discussed measures for countering the street violence in the Valley as well as militancy. Jaitley, who also holds Finance portfolio, is on his first visit to Kashmir after taking over the additional charge from Manohar Parrikar. “The Defence Minister was apprised of measures to strengthen the robust counter-infiltration grid along the LoC. He was briefed on the close coordination among all agencies towards bringing back normalcy in the region,” defence spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia said. Also at the security review meeting were Sanjay Mitra, Defence Secretary-designate, and top Army officers. Lauding the valour, sacrifice and patriotic fervour of soldiers, Jaitley urged them to ensure safety of the innocent. — TNS New Delhi/srinagar, May 17 The tax that 1.3 billion Indians will pay on buying salt to luxury cars and on services like phone calls to dining out will be decided at the GST Council meet starting tomorrow in Srinagar, where a tight security cover has been thrown in view of recent protests. Srinagar has been chosen as the venue for this crucial GST Council meeting, which will have in attendance Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and his ministry officials as well as representatives of 29 states and union territories, to send out possibly a message to the people of Jammu and Kashmir on the importance it holds for the country. The Council, over the next two days, will fit most of goods and services in either the 5, 12, 18 or 28 per cent tax bracket. The rates thus fixed will be charged from July 1, the scheduled date for rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) — Tribune News Service Chandigarh, May 17 The Punjab and Haryana High Court has decided to take up more than 17-yearold cases during the summer break beginning next month. An order issued by Joint Registrar, Judicial, says: “All regular cases pertaining to years prior to 2000 will be taken up for hearing during the summer vacation subject to all parties consenting for the same and intimating the Registrar, Judicial, in writing on or before May 20.” The note comes at a time when 19 judges of the Supreme Court are hearing cases on triple talaq, WhatsApp privacy, etc, during the New Delhi, May 17 Three days after hearing arguments from both India and Pakistan over the death sentence handed to Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) will announce its verdict in The Hague tomorrow. The verdict is likely at 3.30 pm. For both India and Pakistan, the verdict will go a long vacation. The Punjab and Haryana HC, like other courts across the country, has been struggling to bring down the pendency of cases. As of now, the court with 46 judges (against the sanctioned strength of 85) is reeling under pendency of more than two lakh cases. It is among the top three courts in terms of vacancies; the other two being Allahabad and Madras High Courts. Chief Justice Shiavax Jal Vazifdar has already made it clear that cases up to 1990 will be taken up on priority. But the situation is not expected to register much improvement with no less than five judges retiring this year. Triple talaq not majority vs minority: Govt in SC Satya Prakash Tribune News Service New Delhi, May 17 Seeking to allay fears of the Muslim community about possible interference in their religion by the state, the NDA government today told the Supreme Court that the case against triple talaq should not be seen as a majority-minority tussle or as an attempt by the Hindu majority to “swamp” the Muslim minority. On the fifth day of arguments on petitions challenging triple talaq, Attorney Gen- eral Mukul Rohatgi told a fivejudge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar that declaring triple talaq invalid would not alter Islam as the practice was not essential to the religion practised by Muslims in India and other countries. “This is not a tussle between the majority and the minority of the country. The real tussle is between the Muslim men and women. Muslim women have questioned centuries of hegemony they suffered at the hands of the men of their community,” Rohatgi said. Responding to All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) senior counsel Kapil Sibal’s contention that triple talaq was a 1,400-yearold practice and a matter of faith for millions of Muslims, Rohatgi said: “This is a cry of Muslim women for justice against the men of their own religion and… against 1,400 years of deprivation and discrimination.” He said: “The men are strong, dominant, educated and probably the sole breadwinners while the women are weak and have no public employment. This is a battle between the haves and the have-nots within the Muslim community. The battle is intra-minority.” Senior advocate Indira Jaising, who appeared for Bebak Collective, a women’s rights group, said the “hands-off” approach of courts would help as the matter related to right to equality and non-discrimination under Articles 14 and 15 which were not subject to any restrictions. If personal laws clashed with fundamental rights of citizens, the latter Today’s issue is of 22 pages, including four-page Jalandhar Tribune. India will join a select league of nations with a goods and service tax. France was the first to implement GST in 1954. Since then, Germany, Italy, the UK, South Korea, Japan, Canada and Australia have implemented GST. China implemented it in 1994. Russia in 1991. India’s biggest tax overhaul since Independence. The GST will be a national sales tax that will be levied on consumption of goods or use of services. It will replace 16 current levies — seven central taxes like excise duty and service tax and nine state taxes like VAT and entertainment tax — thereby creating India as one market with one tax rate. Around 1,000 security personnel will be pressed into service for sanitising the conference venue and the hotels the officials will be staying. Another 400 men Jadhav case verdict at 3.30 pm HC summer vacation task: 17-year-old cases Saurabh Malik SELECT GROUP will be deployed for the security of the delegates. The GST is a destinationbased single tax on the supply of goods and services from the manufacturer to the consumer and is one indirect tax for the entire country. Meanwhile, a preparatory meeting of Fitment Committee of Finance Secretaries of different states was held in Srinagar this evening. On the first day, the participants would be creating groups for classifying different commodities to be included in the GST. J&K Minister for Finance Haseeb Drabu visited Sher-e-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) to take stock of the arrangements. Jammu and Kashmir would be having its own GST law in accordance with the state’s constitutional position. A special session of the Assembly is expected next month to pass the legislation. — PTI/TNS must prevail, she said. Jaising said marriage and divorce were merely “practices associated with religion” as distinguished from religious belief and practices and should be dealt with as civil matters. The Attorney General said at best the AIMPLB could argue that it’s an essential practice in Islam, and therefore, protected under Article 25 (right to religion). “But Article 25 is subject to public order, morality, health and all other fundamental rights,” he said. continued on page 10 way in determining the future course of action as far as bilateral ties are concerned. India argued that Pakistan had violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by refusing access to Jadhav, despite 16 such requests. Pakistan, meanwhile, maintained that consular access could not be granted as the person in question was a “spy” and “terrorist”. Pakistan suffered a minor setback when the court refused it permission to play out the “confessional” video of Jadhav. India approached the ICJ on May 8 claiming that the life of an Indian national was at stake. Pakistan, in its arguments, questioned the “urgency” on the Indian side arguing that Jadhav has been given 150 days of clemency even after the sentence was announced. — TNS Justice CS Karnan Karnanfiles mercy plea beforePrez Satya Prakash Tribune News Service New Delhi, May 17 Convicted of contempt of court and sentenced to a sixmonth jail term, controversial Calcutta High Court Judge CS Karnan today filed a mercy petition before President Pranab Mukherjee, seeking suspension of sentence. Filed through Justice Karnan’s counsel Mathews J Nedumpara under Article 72 of the Constitution, the petition alleged that he had been denied justice by “the highest court of the land”. It read: “The concept of justice is divine; it is his birthright and when justice is denied by the highest court, the only authority which the petitioner could think of to seek justice is Your Excellency, the President of India...” The plea comes after the counsel’s failed attempts to get an urgent hearing of his petition, seeking that the May 9 order, sentencing him, be recalled. The petition alleged that the SC had assumed the power to remove a HC judge through provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act without discussing if such a jurisdiction was vested in it. “The petitioner’s case is no longer of an individual convicted and sentenced without a charge-sheet, trial, without even a judgment... but one concerning the very right of freedom of speech,” Justice Karnan submitted.
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