10112017-TTC-01.qxd 11/10/2017 1:27 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 friday, november 10, 2017 late city chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 137 no. 310 | 26 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2015-2017 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd ‘Bribe in judge name’: SC notice on SIT probe plea Referred to Constitution Bench; petitioner against CJI on it Satya Prakash Tribune News Service Women in high spirits while on their way to cast their vote at a polling station in Kalpa, close to Reckong Peo in Kinnaur district of Himachal, on Thursday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: S CHANDAN 74% vote in HP notch up from’12 , Queues seen past 7 pm to elect 68 MLAs; Sirmaur district sees highest 82% turnout Pratibha Chauhan Never missed vote since 1951, casts ballot again Tribune News Service Shimla, November 9 Himachal Pradesh registered a heavy turnout for elections to the 68 Vidhan Sabha seats today, with more than 74 per cent of the voters exercising their franchise. The polling was peaceful. With people standing in queues past 7 pm at 435 polling stations, this figure is likely to go up. The polling percentage is marginally higher than that in the 2012 Assembly elections (73.51 per cent). The counting will take place on December 18 along with that in Gujarat. Though a high turnout generally indicates a strong antincumbency sentiment, with GST and demonetisation emerging as key issues, it is hard to say which party will benefit. However, buoyed by the turnout, BJP’s Chief Minister candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal and state party president Satpal Singh Satti claimed that the BJP had won it big in the state. While Sirmaur district recorded the highest polling percentage at 82 followed by 77.9 in Kullu district, Hamirpur saw the lowest turnout at 69.5 per cent, followed by Kangra at 72.4 per cent. The Doon Assembly con- Aadhaar link for insurance policies must Chennai, November 9 The country’s insurance regulator has mandated all insurers — life and non-life — to link the Aadhaar number of policyholders to their policies. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), in a circular on Wednesday, told life, nonlife and standalone health insurers that linking of the Aadhaar number to insurance policies was mandatory under the Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017. It said the amended rules made it mandatory to link Aadhaar, PAN/Form 60 for availing of financial services, including insurance. The IRDAI has, however, not specified any deadline for linking the Aadhaar number with the existing policies. It will be a major task for the non-life insurers to link Aadhaar with motor insurance policies given the huge number of vehicles that get insured every year. — IANS Shimla, November 9 Shyam Saran Negi, the first voter of India, cast his vote for the 15th time for the Assembly elections at Kalpa in Kinnaur district today. Election officials provided him a vehicle to reach the polling booth. Negi is one of Himachal Pradesh’s oldest voters at 100. “I have never missed an opportunity in my life to vote,” Negi told reporters in Kalpa, some 275 km from the state capital. The last time he cast his vote was on May 7, 2014, during the Lok Sabha elections. After casting his vote on Thursday, he appealed to the voters to stituency recorded 88.9 per cent turnout, the highest in any constituency, followed by Nalagarh at 84.2 per cent. Both are in Solan district. Jubbal-Kotkhai in Shimla district recorded 81 per cent polling. The lowest turnout that the state saw was in 1952, a mere 25 per cent, whereas the highest was in 2003 — 74.61 per cent. In the 2012 polls, the Con- gress had won 36 seats and the BJP 26 with five going to Independents and one to the Himachal Lokhit Party. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh cast his vote at his native Rampur in Shimla district with wife Pratibha Singh and son Vikramaditya Singh. The CM is contesting from the Arki seat in Solan. His son is in the fray from Shimla (Rural). Leader of Opposition Dhu- exercise their franchise. “You must vote for a people-friendly government,” he added. His wife Hira Mani, 10 years younger to him, accompanied him to the polling booth, almost a kilometre from their house. The couple was among the first ones to vote. A government school teacher who retired in 1975, Negi was among the first to vote in independent India’s first Lok Sabha elections in October 1951 in Chini constituency, later renamed Kinnaur. At that time, balloting in the snow-bound area was held ahead of other places in the state and the country. — Agencies mal, along with his son Anurag Thakur, Hamirpur MP and other family mem, bers cast his vote at Samirpur in the Bhoranj segment. Congress leader Anand Sharma cast his ballot in Lakkar Bazaar, Shimla. There were reports of malfunctioning of EVMs and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines at a few booths. Voters across the state could be seen reaching polling stations even before the polling started at 8 am. Women, who form 19 lakh of the over 50 lakh voters, turned out in strength in rural areas. In the first two hours, the state recorded a 13.72 turnout, but by 4 pm, nearly 64 per cent of votes were cast. A total of 337 candidates, 19 of them women, are in the fray. More on page 10 New Delhi, November 9 The Supreme Court today issued notice to the Centre and the CBI on a petition seeking a probe by a special investigation team (SIT) headed by a former Chief Justice of India into alleged corruption in medical admissions in connection with which a retired judge of the Odisha High Court was arrested. A two-judge Bench of Justices J Chelameswar and S Abdul Nazeer referred the petition to a Constitution Bench comprising five seniormost judges — which will take it up on Monday. It asked the CBI, which is probing the matter, to seal the documents recovered during the probe and produce all material on Monday. Appearing for the petitioner, senior counsel Dushyant Dave submitted that since Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra-led Bench heard medical admission cases, the CJI Tribune news Service Gurugram, november 9 A Plus One student of Ryan International School may have “confessed” to killing Pradyuman Thakur, a Class II student, for getting the examination and the parentteacher meeting postponed, but the CBI plans not only to fill all gaps in its investigation but also get the answer to the key question: why did conductor Ashok Kumar confess to the crime and how could the accused go scot-free posing as a witness for this long? “The way the conductor confessed with a convincing motive and near-perfect sequential recreation hints at a bigger conspiracy. We are questioning the accused to know what transpired that led the conductor to take the blame,” said a CBI official. Conductor Ashok Kumar, who was arrested within days of Pradyuman’s murder in the school toilet on September 8, had not only confessed to the crime but also given convincing statements and evidence, including the murder weapon. The accused boy was taken to several crime-related spots today for recreation of the crime. CBI investigators said there were many blanks in the sequence of events that hinted at the possibility of a co-accused in the case. The CBI also took the murder accused to a utensil shop in Sohna from where the boy claimed “having bought the murder weapon from”. In Rohtak, conductor Ashok Kumar’s family said it will file a law suit against the school management and police for defamation and torture. His Rohtak-based counsel Mohit Verma said Ashok was framed and tortured to confess to the crime that he never committed. Meanwhile, the Congress has asked the Haryana Government to take action against the Haryana Police. “What is more unfortunate is that the CM supports this inefficiency,” they said. SMOG-LADEN DAYS NHRC, NGT take govts to task Vibha Sharma Tribune News Service New Delhi, November 9 As Delhi-NCR witnessed its third consecutive smogladen day, watchdogs NHRC and NGT took to task the Centre and the governments of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi on the steps taken so far. Heavy pollution prompted the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi Government to announce its oddeven car formula for a five-day period from November 13, even as the BJP-led Central Government constituted a seven-member committee headed by the Union Environment Secretary to monitor and suggest shortterm and long-term solutions to curb air pollution in the Capital. The committee decided to ask the governments to fully implement the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), CONSTRUCTION BAN TILL NOVEMBER 14 You (officials) go to the hospital and see what kind of trouble people are facing. You kept playing with people’s life. Right to life has been infringed with impunity by the authorities and other stakeholders… No construction activity will be carried out on structures until further orders... all industrial activities in Delhi-NCR will also not be allowed till November 14. NGT Bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar ❝ including control of road and construction dust, garbage burning, control of power plants and industrial emissions, entry of vehicles and several other related factors. It was also decided to ensure that apart from other directions, closure of brick kilns, hot-mix plants, stone crushers, intensification of public transport, sprinkling of water and mechanised sweeping of roads, ban on Labouring for rights In a show of strength, workers from across the country converged for a three-day dharna outside Parliament on Thursday to protest against the Centre’s alleged anti-labour policy and to press for acceptance of their charter of demands. The call for the stir was given by 10 central trade unions. PHOTO: MUKESH AGGARWAL Armed forces’ no to civilian appointments Ajay Banerjee Tribune News Service New Delhi, November 9 The rank-parity issue continues to simmer. In the latest round, the armed forces have refused to accept senior appointments made to the civilian cadre and no cognisance is being taken of letters making such appointments. Rank-parity norms for the armed forces and the civilians employed in the Armed Forces Headquarters, called the AFHQ cadre, have been causing much friction. The Tribune was the first to report the matter in October. The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), who heads the AFHQ cadre, had issued a letter dated October 5, addressed to the Chiefs of the three services. It listed the additional posts and appointments at the level of Additional Director General in five separate wings of the armed forces. The forces shot back with two letters on November 2, stating that “the office of the Today’s issue is of 26 pages, including six-page Chandigarh Tribune and four-page Life+Style. government to use it for armtwisting the judiciary.” Justice Chelameswar commented, “The charges are not only serious but also sensitive… not only for the judiciary but for the entire nation.” Besides an SIT probe, the petition has demanded its monitoring by the top court. Earlier, Dave and advocate Prashant Bhushan mentioned the petition filed by Kamini Jaiswal before Justice Chelameswar’s Bench and sought urgent hearing into allegations of fixing an SC Bench. The CBI had arrested former Odisha High Court judge IM Quddusi in September in connection with an alleged “cash-for-judicial relief scam” involving a Lucknow-based medical college. He was later granted bail by a Special CBI court in Delhi. The probe agency, which accused Quddusi of trying to influence a “public servant”, has recorded conversations between various accused. Odd-even in Delhi for 5 days, Central panel to list solutions CBI to find why Ryan conductor owned up Sumedha Sharma should not be a part of the five-judge Bench that would take up the matter. “We will see when the Bench is set up,” said Justice Chelameswar. A Constitution Bench headed by the CJI — which was hearing the issue of a power tussle between the Delhi Lt Governor and the elected government of NCT — abruptly rose at noon to reassemble at 2 pm. Later, an order uploaded on the court’s website read that “Dushyant Dave makes submissions highlighting various aspects of the matter, the details of which we do not propose to make. But, at the same time, we are also dutybound to place the developments that when the hearing was in progress, the officer of the Registry placed a xerox copy of the proceedings purportedly issued by the CJI, a copy of which is annexed”. During the hearing, Dave said, “Allegation of fixing judges through illegal gratification is too serious a charge to permit the CBI and the CAO has been issuing letters as instructions to the three Chiefs. No cognisance is being taken”. The forces have written that the five appointments have been made arbitrarily without consulting the service headquarters. The Principal Personnel Officers Committee (PPOC), a body of the three armed forces, in a letter on September 22, pointed out that its charter cleared by the Union Cabinet mandates policy matters of the AFHQ cadre. The PPOC argued that the AFHQ cadre has made various communications regarding status equivalence based on ‘non-existent’ precedence. “Gross misrepresentation seems to have been made regarding equivalence, cadre restructuring and creation of higher posts,” the letter suggests while seeking that all such letters be examined for their appropriateness. The AFHQ cadre was set up in the mid-1960s to provide only secretarial support, without executive authority or powers. construction, ban on use of pet coke and furnace oil be fully implemented. The committee, which also includes the Delhi Chief Secretary, will meet regularly to ensure enforcement. In a severe commentary on the prevailing situation in Delhi, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today questioned the Centre and states concerned continued on page 7 R’sthan HC stays OBC quota Bill Jaipur, November 9 A Division Bench of the Rajasthan High Court today stayed a Bill providing 5 per cent quota to five OBCs (Other Backward Classes) and six sub-castes, including Gurjars, raising the reservation in the state to 54 per cent. Justices KS Jhaveri and VK Vyas asked the Rajasthan Government to maintain status quo on the Supreme Court order on Special Backward Classes (SBC) after the High Court struck down the SBC quota for Gurjars in 2015 on the grounds that it would take the total reservation to 55 per cent, violating the 50 per cent ceiling by the apex court. Despite a protest by Congress and BSP MLAs, the Assembly had on October 26 passed a fresh Bill to provide 5 per cent quota to five communities — Banjara, Gadiya Lohar, Gurjar, Raika, and Gadaria — raising the quota limit from 21 to 26 per cent. Minister Arun Chaturvedi said the judgment would be contested after a careful perusal. — OC
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