13092017-TTC-01.qxd 9/13/2017 1:36 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 wednesday, september 13, 2017 late city chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 1 no. 148 | 26 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2015-2017 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd Centre decides Absolutely ready’ for executive role, says Rahul ‘ to raise gratuity Politics or business, dynasties fact of life in India, says Cong V-P | Attacks PM Modi’s fiscal moves, J&K policy ❝ tax cap to ~20L New Delhi, September 12 The Centre today approved an amendment Bill to double taxfree gratuity for formal sector employees to Rs 20 lakh. “The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to introduction of the Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017, in Parliament,” an official statement said. The amendment will put the maximum limit of gratuity for employees of the private sector, public undertakings and autonomous organisations under the government who are not covered under Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, on a par with Union Government employees at Rs 20 lakh. The current upper ceiling on gratuity under the Act is Rs 10 lakh. The provisions for Central Government employees under the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972, with regard to gratuity are also similar. Before the implementation of the 7th Central Pay Commission, the ceiling under the CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972, was Rs 10 lakh. Considering inflation and wage increase even in case of employees engaged in the private sector, the government is of the view that the entitlement of gratuity should be revised for staff covered under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972. Accordingly, it initiated the process for amendment to 1% HIKE IN DA ■ The Union Cabinet on Tuesday raised by 1 per cent dearness allowance for its staff and dearness relief to pensioners ■ “Release of additional instalment of DA is an increase of 1 per cent over the existing rate of 4 per cent of the basic pay/pension,” an official statement said ■ The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by PM. The new rate, applicable from July 1, will benefit nearly 49.26 lakh employees and 61.17 lakh pensioners ■ The impact on the exchequer on account of both DA and DR will be ~3,068.26 crore per annum and ~2,045.50 crore in the financial year 2017-18 (July 2017 to February 2018) Washington, September 12 Brushing off suggestions that the Congress was synonymous with dynastic politics, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi said today that dynasties were a fact of life in India, whether it be in politics or business, and insisted that the real test of a person was not pedigree but ability. His comments in the US set off a chorus of protest by the BJP in India with Union Minister Smriti Irani calling him a “failed dynast” and a failed politician. Speaking at the University of California, Berkeley, Gandhi hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of divisive politics, creating space for terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and ruining economy. Responding to a question from students, Rahul said he was “absolutely ready” to take up an executive responsibility, if the party asked him to do so. To another question whether the Congress was more associated with dynastic politics, he argued that India was being run by dynasties. “Most parties in India have that problem So...Mr Akhilesh Yadav is a dynast. Mr Stalin (son of M Karunanidhi of DMK) is a dynast... even Abhishek The central architecture they (BJP) borrowed from us. But that architecture does not work. Because we know it Somewhere around 2012, a certain arrogance crept into the Congress. They stopped having conversation with people Rahul Gandhi, CONGRESS VICE-PRESIDENT Bachchan is a dynast. That’s how India runs. So don’t get after me because that’s how India is run. By the way, last I recall, the Ambanis are running the business. That’s also going on in Infosys. So that’s what happens in India,” he Rallying behind Rohingya Family courts free to waive 6-month waiting period: SC Satya Prakash the Gratuity Act that applies to establishments employing 10 or more persons. The main purpose for enacting this Act is to provide social security to workmen after retirement, whether due to superannuation, physical disablement or impairment of vital body parts. Therefore, the Gratuity Act serves as a key social-security legislation to wage-earners in industries, factories and establishments. — PTI Tribune News Service Muslims hold a march to protest alleged persecution of Rohingya by the Myanmar Government, in Ludhiana on Tuesday. HIMANSHU MAHAJAN Why not law for speedy trial of criminal cases against MPs & MLAs, it suggests Tribune News Service New Delhi, September 12 Highlighting the need to probe sudden rise in wealth of elected representatives, the Supreme Court today said disclosure of legitimate sources of income by legislators was not enough and something more required to be done. “It is not enough that a legislator discloses his legitimate sources of income. It is important to inquire how the person got in that position to earn that kind of money,” a Bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar said while hearing a PIL filed by Lok Prahari, an NGO, on disclosure of sources of income by candidates when filing nomi- nations for elections. The Bench said the government should consider bringing in a law on setting up of new fast- track courts to expedite criminal case trials against parliamentarians and legislators. “With regard to MPs and MLAs, it falls under the domain of Parliament. It has the necessary competence to come up with a law. Make law and create the necessary infrastructure,” it said. Referring to the 1993 Vohra Committee report and various reports on the nexus between politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen and criminals, Justice Chelameswar expressed disappointment over lack of measures to check criminalisation of politics. “What happened after that? Isn’t it high time we did something about it?” the Bench asked the attorney General while reserving its verdict on the PIL. The petitioner NGO alleged substantial increase in assets of 26 Lok Sabha MPs, 11 RS MPs and 257 MLAs, as reflected in election affidavits. It sought a column in the nomination form to list details of a candidate’s sources of income. Attorney General KK Venogopal told the Bench that 98 MLAs and seven Lok Sabha MPs, whose assets witnessed a multi-fold increase in a short span, were under investigation. He submitted a bulky sealed cover report containing names of politicians and the status of probe against them. After the probe, CBI might register disproportionate assets case against them, Venogopal told the Bench. Pointing out that the probes were under the IT Act or anticorruption laws, the Bench said there should be amechanism to deal with the issue under the Representation of People Act, 1951. as demanded by the petitioner. Favouring a thorough probe, the Bench said: “Income under each head should be probed. The public needs an answer. People should get to know the state of affairs. It is not enough that a legislator discloses a legitimate source of income… Something more needs to be done.” G’gram schoolboy Gurugram, September 12 The seven-year-old boy, found murdered in his school, was not sexually assaulted and he died of excessive bleeding, the doctor who conducted the postmortem said today. Dr Deepak Mathur said there were two cuts on the boy’s body and a nerve was slashed, due to which he could not cry out for help when he was attacked. A fact-finding three-member committee, constituted by the Gurugram district administration, has submitted its report to District Commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh. Meanwhile, two women lawyers today moved the Supreme Court, demanding “non-negotiable” child safety guidelines Gurdaspur LS bypoll on October 11 Abducted Kerala priest rescued New Delhi: The Gurdaspur LS bypoll will be held on October 11. The seat fell vacant after the death of BJP MP Vinod Khanna. The notification will be issued on Sept 15. Sept 22 will be the last date for nominations. The scrutiny will be held on Sept 25 and the last date of withdrawal is Sept 27. The result will be out on October 15. TNS Thiruvananthapuram/ New Delhi, September 12 Kerala Catholic priest Tom Uzhunnallil, abducted by terrorists in Aden in March last year, has been rescued from captivity from an undisclosed location in Yemen, thanks to the intervention of the Sultanate of Oman. The Gulf nation helped to find and rescue Uzhannalil— an employee of the Vatican. “In response to the Royal Orders of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and as per a request from the Vatican to assist in the rescuing of a Vatican employee, the authorities concerned in the Sultanate, in coordination with the Yemeni authorities, have managed to find a Vatican government employee. He was shifted to Muscat this morning in preparation for his return home,” the Times of Oman quoted the Oman Government as ~100, ~5 coins to mark MGR anniv New Delhi: The government will issue ~100 and ~5 coins to commemorate the birth centenary of Bharat Ratna awardee and late Tamil Nadu CM MG Ramachandran. They will weigh 35 gm and 6 gm, respectively, and will bear MGR’s portrait along with the inscription “Dr MG Ramachandran Birth Centenary” on the lower periphery. PTI lem with any party in power for 10 years, he remarked. “The vision that we laid out in 2004 was designed at best for a 10-year period. And it was pretty clear that the vision that we laid out in 2004 by the time we arrived in 2010-11 was not working anymore. “Somewhere around 2012, a certain arrogance crept into the Congress. And they stopped having that conversation.” Asked if he wanted to take up an executive role in the Congress, he responded, saying, “I am absolutely ready to do that”. continued on page 7 Rahul failed dynast: BJP P7 Edit: a different rahul DIVORCE BY MUTUAL CONSENT Wealth disclosure by netas won’t do: SC No ‘sexual assault’ on Satya Prakash said as he listed several prominent Indians born into famous families. He also pointed out that a large number of people in the Congress were not from dynastic families. “And I can name them in every state. There are also people who happen to have a father, or a grandmother or a great grandfather in politics. The real question is whether the person is capable and a sensitive person,” the 47-year-old leader said. He admitted that around 2012, the Congress “stopped having conversations with the people”. This could be a prob- saying in a statement. According to the report, Uzhunnalil expressed thanks to God and to Sultan Qaboos, and wished him good health and wellness. “He also thanked his brothers, sisters and all relatives and friends, who prayed for his safety and release,” the statement added. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted about the release of the Catholic priest. “I am happy to inform that Father Tom Uzhunnalil has been rescued,” she said. According to reports reaching Kerala, after his release, the priest was flown from Yemen to Muscat. He later took a chartered flight and reached the Vatican. The media in Oman confirmed the news of the release. — IANS to protect schoolgoing children from sexual abuse and murder across the country. Petitioners Abha R Sharma and Sangeeta Bharti demanded strict implementation of the existing guidelines on safety of schoolchildren. A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra agreed to hear the plea on September 15. It said it had already issued a notice on a similar petition filed by the slain child’s father. The petitioners suggested additional guidelines to ensure that the responsibility was fixed on schools with regard to safety of children from the moment they boarded the school bus. — TNS & Agencies More on page 6 Dera computers tampered with, cops arrest IT head Sushil Manav Tribune News Service Chandigarh, September 12 Computers of Dera Sacha Sauda were tampered with and hard disks removed or altered before the sect’s headquarters at Sirsa were searched under the supervision of a court commissioner appointed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The Sirsa police seized 60 such hard disks on the information provided by Vineet Kumar, the dera’s IT head, who was arrested today. While accompanying the search teams earlier, he had been evasive in his replies, rousing suspicion. He was summoned by the police for questioning on Monday. Priest Thomas Uzhunnalil in Muscat after his release. AFP Today’s issue is of 26 pages, including four-page Jobs and Careers and four-page Bathinda Tribune. New Delhi, September 12 Family courts are free to waive the six-month statutory waiting period for considering divorce by mutual consent pleas under the Hindu Marriage Act, if the parties have lived separately for 18 months before moving the court, efforts to reconcile their differences have failed and claims of alimony and custody of children are already settled, the Supreme Court said today. “The object of the cooling off period was to safeguard against a hurried decision... The object was not to perpetuate a purposeless marriage or to prolong the agony of the parties when there was no chance of reconciliation,” said a Bench headed by Justice AK Goel. “Though every effort has to be made to save a marriage, if there are no chances of reunion and there are chances of fresh rehabilitation, the court should not be powerless in enabling the parties to have a better option,” the Bench noted. The ruling — which smoothens the process of divorce by mutual consent — came in a case from Delhi in which parties filed a plea for divorce by mutual consent eight years after they started living separately. It also allowed family courts to use video-conferencing for the divorce proceedings and permitted parties to be represented by “close relations, such as par- ents or siblings” if they were “unable to appear in person for any just and valid reason...” According to clause (1) of Section 13B, a petition for divorce by mutual consent can be filed only if the parties have been living separately for at least a year. Clause (2) of Section 13B says the court cannot grant divorce before the end of six months from the date of filing of the petition. So far the statutory period under clause (2) has been treated as mandatory. But the new ruling relaxes it and leaves it to the family court concerned to exercise discretion, depending on the facts of each case and a decree of divorce by mutual consent can be granted even before six months from the date of filing of the petition. The Bench said the family court can take a decision to waive the six-month waiting period if the husband and wife had lived separately for more than 18 months before filing the plea for divorce by mutual consent, efforts to reconcile their differences had failed and claims of alimony and custody of children were already settled. The Bench said courts can consider the fact that the statutory period of six months specified in section 13B(2) in addition to the statutory period of one year under section 13B(1) of separation of parties was already over before the first joint motion for divorce was moved. “During interrogation, he spilled the beans, confessing that the dera authorities had changed several hard disks before the search operation. A bag containing 60 such disks was found on the basis of inputs provided by him,” said a senior police officer. ADDL CHIEF SECRETARY (HOME) SHIFTED PAGE 6 The police also arrested the driver of the Lexus SUV car belonging to the dera that was torched near Phoolkan village on the evening of August 28, the day dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment for rape. “Harmel Singh, who was arrested from Rajasthan, has been booked him under Sections 435, 201 and 120-B of the IPC for causing damage and destroying evidence,” police sources said. He tried to mislead the police, claiming the SUV had caught fire because of a chemical kept inside. Meanwhile, a family belonging of Tiwala village in Charkhi Dadri which had alleged their daughter Shradhha was being illegally detained at the dera, met the girl today in the presence of senior district officials. “The girl lost her parents and her uncle left her with the dera orphange. She refused to go with her cousin, choosing to go to Ratia with a woman devotee,” said SDM PS Chahal.
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