17022018-TTC-01.qxd 2/17/2018 1:23 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 saturday, february 17, 2018 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 2 no. 47 | 26 pages | ~5.00 | regd. no. chd/0006/2018-2020 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd List sources of income, SC tells poll candidates French connection Information disclosure to include family members Satya Prakash Tribune News Service A worker places oranges on a sculpture of Lord Ganesha, made of lemons and oranges, on the eve of the 85th Lemon Festival, in Menton, southeastern France, on Friday. The Bollywood-themed festival runs from February 17 to March 4. AFP New Delhi, February 16 As lawmakers keep getting richer, the Supreme Court on Friday ordered that all candidates contesting elections would have to disclose sources of their income along with that of their family members. The landmark verdict came from a Bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar on a petition filed by an NGO, Lok Prahari, which wanted candidates to declare sources of their income, including those of their family members/close relatives. While filing nomination papers, candidates have been disclosing their assets, assets of their spouses, children and other dependents, but they were not revealing the sources of income, SN Shukla of Lok Prahari had contended. The petitioner had demanded inclusion of a column in the nomination form to list details of a candidate’s sources of income. Allowing the petitioner’s No state has exclusive ownership of river waters SC says river a national asset as it raises K’taka share in Cauvery waters, modifies tribunal award New Delhi, February 16 The Supreme Court today raised the 270 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) share of Cauvery waters for Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil Nadu’s share while compensating it by allowing extraction of 10 tmcft groundwater from the river basin, saying the issue of drinking water has to be placed on a “higher pedestal”. The court, which referred to international rules of Helsinki, Compione and Berlin on equitable distribution of river waters passing through various nations, said that river was a nation- al asset and no state could claim “exclusive ownership” of such waters. “The waters of an interstate river passing through the corridors of riparian states constitute national asset and cannot be said to be located in any one state. Being in a state of flow, no state can claim exclusive ownership of such waters or assert a prescriptive right so as to deprive the other states of their equitable share,” a three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said. The Bench justified the increase in Karnataka’s Trudeau arrives on weeklong visit today New Delhi, February 16 In probably one of his longest trips to any country, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would arrive in India tomorrow to reinforce the strong and strategic partnership between the two countries while seeking to expand commercial and investment opportunities. During the weeklong sojourn, Trudeau will be accompanied by six ministers, including all four Sikh members — Navdeep Bains, Bardish Chhagar, Amarjit Sohi and Harjit Sajjan. MPs and business delegations would separately be in India. The trip comes in the backdrop of concerns over activities of Sikh radicals in Canada amid reports that several gurdwaras had banned the entry of Indian officials. MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said all issues of interest would be on the agenda. The official talks are to be held on February 23. The Canadians are keen to conclude negotiations towards the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, citing that the latter would facilitate greater investment. At present, Canada esti- Canadian PM Justin Trudeau mates an investment in the range of Canadian $14-16 billion and senses that funds, including pension accruements, could come in greater measure as a way of investments into India. In 2017, two-way merchandise trade amounted to $8.4 billion, split equally between exports to and imports from India ($4 billion each). That year, India was Canada’s eighth largest destination for merchandise exports. Trudeau will visit Agra, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Amritsar and Delhi. He is scheduled to pay a visit to Akshardham Temple in Gandhinagar, the Golden Temple and Jama Masjid, besides packing his itinerary with meetings with business and trade delegations, and outreach to the student community and academia. — TNS ‘CAN’T BE SAID TO BE LOCATED IN ONE STATE’ ❝ The waters of an inter-state river passing through the corridors of riparian states constitute national asset and cannot be said to be located in any one state. — Supreme Court Bench share taking note of the principle on drinking water and the “global status” acquired by the state capital and the IT city of Bengaluru. “Drinking water requirement of the overall population of all the states has to be placed on a higher pedestal as we treat it as a hierarchically funda- mental principle of equitable distribution,” it said. The Bench gave six weeks to the Centre to formulate a scheme to ensure compliance of its 465-page judgment, modifying the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal (CWDT) award, and made it clear it would not extend time on any ground. It said the order on Cauvery water allocation would continue for the next 15 years. Karnataka would now have to release 177.25 tmcft of water at the inter-state border with Tamil Nadu. The Bench rejected the Centre’s contention that the court should not issue any direction, keeping in mind the bar imposed under Article 363 which deals with restrictions on courts in interfering in disputes arising out of “certain treaties, agreements”. The apex court had on December 9, 2016, upheld the maintainability of appeals filed by riparian states, saying it had the “jurisdiction to decide the parameters, scope, authority and jurisdiction of the tribunal”. The court had rejected the Centre’s objection that the CWDT award amounted to a final decree and it had no jurisdiction to hear appeals against the award. — PTI TOP COURT: HAVE PERIODIC CHECK OF ASSETS ■ SC has asked the Centre to put in place a mechanism to periodically collect data of elected representatives, spouses and dependents to examine whether there was any “disproportionate increase” in their assets and recommend appropriate action in such cases. ■ Top court has said that details regarding any disproportionate hike in assets should be placed before the “appropriate legislature: to consider the eligibility of such lawmakers to continue as members of Parliament and assemblies. have ❝ Democracies with higher levels of energyin our already... addressed problem. Unfortunately, country, neither Parliament, nor EC has paid any attention to the problem so far. — SC Bench prayer, the Bench said, “Only those which require amendment to the law are not ■ The Income Tax Department has booked Nirav Modi under the new Anti-Black Money Act for alleged possession of illegal assets abroad, said officials ■ Attaches 29 properties, 105 accounts of Modi, companies ■ ED has made fresh seizure of ~549 cr worth of gold, jewellery and directed Nirav’s firm not to transact business in any foreign outlet till probe is on not be revoked. The Enforcement Directorate also summoned the two under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and asked them to appear within a week, while the CBI registered a fresh FIR against Gitanjali Group promoted by Choksi and carried out searches on its premises at 20 places. Sources said the CBI approached Interpol yesterday with a request for issuing a Diffusion Notice aimed at locating an individual. “This (diffusion) is less formal than a notice but is also used to request the arrest or location of an individual or additional information in relation to a police investigation.” The CBI is also ascertaining the reason behind PNB’s failure to file a comprehensive complaint. The bank has claimed in three complaints to the CBI that it has so far detected 150 Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) fraudulently issued by its officials in connivance with the accused. An LoU is a letter of New Delhi, February 16 In a significant verdict, the Supreme Court today held that the courts can scrutinise the rates of interest being charged by banks from farmers in states where debt relief laws are in place to deal with rural indebtedness. The verdict by a Bench of Justices RF Nariman and Navin Sinha came on a PIL challenging the constitutional validity of Section 21A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, which says a transaction between a bank and debtor shall not be reopened by any court on the ground that the rate of interest is excessive. The peitioners claimed that comfort issued by one bank to branches of other banks, based on which foreign branches offer credit. The PNB has suspended eight more officials, including one at the general manager level, for suspected involvement in the scam Meanwhile, MEA said it was unaware of the whereabouts of the accused. It reiterated that the photograph showing Nirav as part of a group in Davos was an “impromptu” event. — TNS/PTI more on page 9 Edit: Davos snapshot I-T raids on former minister Rana Gurjit’s offices Mohit Khanna Tribune News Service Chandigarh, February 16 The Income Tax Department today conducted raids on the corporate offices of companies owned by the family of former Punjab Cabinet Minister Rana Gurjit Singh. A team led by Additional Director, Income Tax (Investigations), Manish Sareen and comprising 200 officials, searched at least 10 establishments, including Rana Gurjit’s local residence and the house and office of chartered accountant Triloki Nath Singla. The latter handles the accounts of the Rana Group of Companies. The raiding team, supervised by Parneet Sachdev, Principal Director, I-T Investigation (Punjab and J&K), came from Ludhiana in 70 taxis this morning and carried out searches till late in the evening. Sources said besides Chandigarh, raids were also conducted on Rana’s business establishments in Amritsar and Kapurthala. Employees and officials of Rana Sugars, Rana Polycot, Policemen outside a Rana group firm in Chandigarh on Friday. Today’s issue consists of 26 pages, including four-page The Tribune Trends. Rana Distilleries and Rana Informatics were not allowed to enter the premises. When contacted, Rana Gurjit refused to comment. His son Rana Inder Pratap Singh, questioned by the Enforcement Directorate recently for raising funds abroad without the requisite permission of the RBI, said he was busy. Considered close to CM Capt Amarinder Singh, Rana Gurjit had last month resigned as Power and Irrigation Minister following a series of reports by The Tri- allowed as it is up to Parliament to take a decision.” continued on page 9 Courts can examine farm loan interest: SC PNB FRAUD Passports of both suspended; Interpol approached to locate jeweller, kin BOOKED UNDER BLACK MONEY ACT and the sources of income of the candidates and their “associates”, which include their spouses and dependents, would constitute a “corrupt practice” under provisions of the Representation of People (RP) Act, 1951, the SC Bench ruled. PTI ‘PARLIAMENT, EC FAILED TO ADDRESS PROBLEM’ ED summons Nirav, Choksi; raids by CBI New Delhi, February 16 The Ministry of External Affairs today suspended with immediate effect the passports of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, both sought in connection with the Rs 11,400-crore Punjab National Bank scam, even as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) approached Interpol to locate the billionaire jewellery designer and his family, who fled the country in the first week of January. The MEA asked the two to respond within a week as to why their passports should ■ Non-disclosure of assets bune on sand mine auctions. In its report on May 25, 2017, The Tribune had highlighted how four employees of the minister had bagged mines. While his cook Amit Bahadur had got a mining site at Saidpur Khurd village in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr) for Rs 26.51 crore; Kulwinder Pal Singh, a deputy general manager, had got the Mehadipur quarry for Rs 9.21 crore. Rana Gurjit had then claimed they were his former employees who had quit prior to the auctioning. 2,56,913 farmers had committed suicide during 1995-2010 because of “usurious rates of interest being charged from them by banks”, and which cannot be interfered with by the courts due to the provision in the banking law. On the clash between a Central law provision and the states’ power to deal with the issue of farm loan and reliefs, the top court said, “Article 246 only states that where two entries in the Union List and the State List, respectively, have a head-on collision and are irreconcilable, then, as a last resort, the entry in the State List is to give way to the Union List entry.” — PTI No Oppn unity, Cong, BSP, SP to go it alone Tribune News Service New Delhi, February 16 There are no signs of Opposition unity as parties finalise their strategy for the March 11 Phulpur and Gorakhpur Lok Sabha bypolls. The Congress tonight announced its candidates on both seats — Manish Mishra for Phulpur and Dr Sureetha for Gorakhpur. Both are local leaders. The BSP is expected to field its national president Mayawati from Phulpur, while the Samajwadi Party has also said it will fight the seat. Non-alignment of nonNDA parties may well benefit the BJP in Phulpur, an important segment once represented by India’s first PM Jawaharlal Nehru. Byelections to the two UP parliamentary constituencies were necessitated after the BJP MPs from here — Yogi Adityanath in Gorakhpur and Keshav Prasad Maurya in Phulpur — contested the UP elections and won. Adityanath went on to become the UP CM. It remains to be seen whether Gorakhpur, a segment held by local “mahants” for over 30 years, will see any change this time around. Elections will be held on March 11.
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