18022018-TTC-01.qxd 2/18/2018 1:18 AM Page 1 123 established in 1881 vol. 2 no. 48 | sunday, february 18, 2018 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | 30 pages | ~5.00 | regd. no. chd/0006/2018-2020 /thetribunechd Kumar won’t join till final HC order April 17. Kumar was the key link between the Chief MinisChandigarh, February 17 ter’s Office and other minRetired bureaucrat Suresh istries as well as the CMO and Kumar, it is learnt, is unwill- Government of India. ing to join as Chief Principal Kumar has all along mainSecretary of the Punjab Chief tained that he would not like Minister despite to join in the same the Punjab and capacity, especially Haryana High because of the failCourt Division ure of the Punjab Bench staying a Advocate GenerSingle Bench al’s office to order quashing his defend his case appointment. “properly”. In a letter to Chief The General Minister Capt Administration Suresh Kumar Amarinder Singh Department (GAD) today, he wrote: “… it will be had in a letter asked him to join appropriate to wait for the the CMO after the stay order. final order in the appeal filed Kumar is learnt to have met by the Punjab Government the CM on Thursday against the Single Bench evening. Though not a order of January 15.” closed-door meeting, he was The CM had visited Suresh to have a one-on-one meeting Kumar’s residence twice to on Friday. But the CM being convince him to join back indisposed because of illafter the stay on February 14. health, the meeting could not The next date of hearing is take place. /thetribunechd Former Deputy Manager of PNB among three held Trudeau touch Ruchika M Khanna Tribune News Service Merged with EPS faction on PM’s suggestion: OPS Tribune News Service Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his wife and children strike a charming “Namaste” pose as they emerge out of the aircraft in New Delhi on Saturday. J&K to book shelling 4 electrocuted in Cylinder blast victims ‘for sedition’ Ludhiana house kills 9 in Ajmer Criticised BJP for ‘abandoning’ them Dinesh Manhotra Tribune News Service O Panneerselvam Theni/Chennai, February 17 Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, who last year merged his faction with that of Chief Minister E Palaniswami, has said that he had acted on a suggestion from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Speaking at a party officebearers’ meeting yesterday, the AIADMK coordinator said the issue came up during a courtesy meeting he had with Modi in New Delhi last year. “He said you (Panneerselvam) could join (merge the faction) to save the party,” the Deputy CM said. The merger took place in August 2016. Panneerselvam, who had become CM following the death of J Jayalalithaa in December 2016, said he told the PM he did not want any Cabinet position and can settle for a party post. But the PM wanted him to join the ministry, he added. AIADMK leader D Jayakumar declined to comment, though he said the party would welcome anyone making suggestions for its wellbeing. The BJP state unit also declined to comment. — PTI During the course of his weeklong stay in India, Trudeau will also visit Agra, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Amritsar. PM Narendra Modi will hold bilateral talks on February 23. PTI Jammu, February 17 Incredible, but true. Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir are preparing the ground to book victims of border shelling for sedition following their outburst against BJP leaders for “abandoning” them at the crucial time. Shockingly, the local police are collecting evidence to book grieving sons of a deceased ex-serviceman who had criticised the saffron party leadership for treating border residents as “cannon fodder to reap political benefits”. Suresh Kumar Choudhary of Kamore Camp in Samba’s Ramgarh sector and son Punit had sustained serious injuries in Pakistan shelling on January 19. Suresh, 50, died on February 5 allegedly because of nonavailability of medical facilities, Overcome by grief, the deceased’s sons Punit and Prashant reportedly made “derogatory” remarks against the BJP leadership while regretting they had voted for the BJP that had promised to restore peace and tranquility in border areas. A video that went viralshowed the mourning family members using abusive continued on page 7 Ludhiana, February 17 Four persons, two of them brothers, were electrocuted when they came in contact with high-tension power supply wires at Ishwar Colony here on Friday night. The deceased were identified as Amarjit (31), his brother Sarbjit (28) and friends Ranjit (30) and Makhanshu (28). Amarjit was a contractor. Ranjit and Makhanshu worked for him, said sources. Celebrating the birthday of Amarjit’s eightyear-old daughter on the second floor of his residence, they reportedly entered into a spat. Station House Officer Amandeep Singh Brar claimed all of them had consumed alcohol. “One of them reportedly came in contact with overhead electricity wires and the other three died rescuing him,” he said. Amarjit's family members and guests claimed to have heard a blast-like sound. When they went upstairs, they found charred bodies lying on the floor. The police have begun investigations. — TNS Jaipur, February 17 At least nine persons were killed and 19 injured when a couple of cooking gas cylinders exploded and brought down a three-storeyed building during a wedding function at Beawar in Rajasthan’s Ajmer district last night. Three children and as many women were among the victims and the toll could increase as rescue teams were clearing debris at the site in Nand Nagar locality, said Ajmer SP Rajendra Singh Choudhary. According to some eyewitnesses, a cook was trying to refill an empty LPG cylinder from other cylinders, which caused a fire and resulted in the explosion. They said there was a loud blast, which brought down the entire building — occupied mostly by the bridegroom’s guests — like a pack of cards. Two cars, some motorcycles and over 10 houses were damaged. A large number of policemen and National Disaster Response Force personnel have been pressed into service for the rescue operation. — TNS/PTI Lawmaker lawyers: SC seeks AG help 2 councils to replace Bond for docs doing Z security for SA’s Ambala civic body MD/MS goes in HP Guptas in Doon New Delhi: The Supreme Court has sought the assistance of the Attorney General (AG) on a plea seeking a ban on legislators from practising as advocates. A Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice AM Khanwilkar sought the assistance of AG KK Venugopal on a plea which alleged that parliamentarians and legislators practising as lawyers pose a “conflict of interest” and violation of provisions of the Advocates Act and the Bar Council of India Rules. PTI Chandigarh: The Haryana Cabinet on Saturday abolished the Ambala Municipal Corporation and decided to replace it with two municipal councils. Ambala City and Ambala Sadar will now have separate municipal councils. Local MLA and Health Minister Anil Vij was pushing for two councils in place of the existing corporation. The Cabinet also approved the enhancement of petty grant of the Council of Ministers from Rs 6 lakh to ~25 lakh. PAGE 4 Shimla: In a major relief to MBBS doctors pursuing higher studies, the Himachal Pradesh Government has decided to waive the bond norm. The decision was taken by the Cabinet at its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur here on Saturday. The relief will be for doctors pursuing higher courses like MD/MS degree or diploma, superspecialty DM/MCH courses, DNB courses, Master’s courses within and outside the state. TNS Dehradun: Controversial businessmen brothers Atul Gupta and Ajay Gupta — facing a barrage of corruption charges in South Africa — have been provided Z security in Dehradun. While the South African authorities are on the hunt for the Gupta brothers, it is rumoured that one of them (Ajay Gupta) was in Dehradun on Thursday. He is said to have left under the Z security cover to an undisclosed destination. TNS Fake med council stayed afloat for over a decade Govt did precious little as Mohali-based fraudsters made crores, sold degrees, diplomas Vishav Bharti Tribune News Service Chandigarh, February 17 More than 6,000 fake degrees, each sold for anywhere between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 2 lakh. That was the “business” the Council of Paramedical, Punjab, a fake body being run in Mohali’s Phase VII, did in just one course. It is turning out to be a fraud worth hundreds of crores. The council, that offered degrees/diplomas in 41 courses, managed to evade action for 10 years. As per eight registers confiscated by Punjab’s Board of Ayurvedic and Unani Systems of Medicine (BAUSM), a government body with which all ayurvedic doctors are registered, the fake council issued 6,136 BAMS degrees. A white coat hides the board of the office of Council of Paramedical, Punjab, in Mohali. TRIBUNE PHOTO Sanjeev Goyal, Registrar, BAUSM, said: “The fraudsters charged about Rs 1 lakh for diploma and Rs 2 lakh for a degree certificate, as alleged by the complainants. As per conservative estimates, the BAMS fraud comes to Rs 60 crore.” The BAUSM had conducted a surprise check on the council after it received queries from various government departments on the authenticity of the degrees/diplomas submitted by job aspirants. A senior health official said there had been numerous instances where job applicants had submitted fake certificates. Besides the BAMS, the council had been offering courses in nursing, dentistry, veterinary sciences and for lab technicians. It was offering MBBS (biochemic systems) that could be done in just two years. The fraud was going on over a decade. Except issuing public notices that the council was not recognised Today’s issue is of 30 pages, including eight-page Spectrum. by the Punjab Government, the Department of Medical Education and Research (DMER) did nothing to stop it from issuing fake certificates. It was only last year that the DMER sent a detailed report to the state DGP and sought action against the fraudsters. But the police failed to act and the fraud continued for yet another year. It was last month that the state police’s Special Operations Cell, acting on a fresh complaint, conducted a raid at the council’s office in Phase VII, Mohali, and arrested one of the accused. When contacted, Varinder Pal Singh, Assistant Inspector General of the cell, said the scam was widespread and they were on the trail of the kingpin. New Delhi, February 17 The CBI today arrested three persons, including former Deputy Manager of the Punjab National Bank (PNB) Gokulnath Shetty, in the Rs 11,400-crore banking fraud in which billionaire diamantaire Nirav Modi is the prime accused. Nirav, along with his family, has fled the country. The bank’s single window operator, Manoj Kharat, and the authorised signatory of the Nirav Modi group of firms, Hemant Bhat, too have been arrested. A special court in Mumbai today remanded them to CBI custody for a fortnight (till March 3). The scam has “consequences for the economy of the nation”, special CBI judge SR Tamboli observed. Sources said a CBI team visited Shetty’s flat at Rustomjee Ozone Complex in West Mumbai’s Malad on Thursday and Friday and questioned his family members on when the flat was purchased, the mode of payment and the source of funds. They also sought to know about his bank accounts, lockers and other assets. In an FIR, the CBI has alleged that Shetty and Kharat, in connivance with the accused companies and others, defrauded the PNB of Rs 4,886.70 crore. It has accused the officials of issuing fraudulent and unauthorised letters of undertakings (LoUs) in favour of foreign branches of various India-based banks. The officials allegedly omitted entries of LoUs in the core banking system of the bank issued on behalf of the accused companies to avoid being caught, the sources said. More raids, assets worth ~5,674 cr seized, says ED New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday raided 21 places across India in connection with the PNB scam. “The ED conducted further searches at 21 locations in the Nirav Modi case and seized diamonds, gold, precious stones, and jewellery worth Rs 25 crore (book value). The total seizure till now is Rs 5,674 crore,” ED spokesman Anil Rawal said. IANS Now, fraud at pvt bank New Delhi: Chennai-based private sector City Union Bank on Saturday said it suffered three fraudulent remittances of nearly $2 million (about Rs 12.8 crore). Like the PNB fraud, no entries of remittances were made in the ledgers and transfers were pushed through the SWIFT financial platform. PTI In the new FIR, among the accused are Mehul Choksi (MD- Gitanjali Gems), Gokulnath Shetty, Manoj Kharat, companies Gitanjali Gems Limited, Gili India Limited, Nakshatra Brand Limited and directors Krishnan Sangameshwaran, Nazura Yash Ajaney, Dinesh Gopaldas Bhatia, Aniyath Shivraman Nair and Dhanesh Vrajlal Sheth. The CBI had earlier filed a separate case regarding a Rs 280-crore fraud, which has now been expanded to cover LoUs worth Rs 6,498 crore issued to Nirav Modi and Choksi companies. In a complaint to the CBI last month, the PNB had alleged that 293 LoUs worth Rs 11,400 crore were fraudulently issued to these companies from one of its branches in Mumbai.
The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
The Tribune, the largest selling daily in North India, publishes news and views without any bias or prejudice of any kind. Restraint and moderation, rather than agitational language and partisanship, are the hallmarks of the paper. It is an independent newspaper in the real sense of the term.
The English edition apart, the 133-year-old Tribune has two sister publications, Punjabi Tribune (in Punjabi) and Dainik Tribune (in Hindi).