02032018-TTC-01.qxd 3/2/2018 1:30 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 friday, march 2, 2018 ! late city chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 138 no. 60 | 32 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2018-2020 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd Economic fugitive Bill okayed Karti in custody of HAPPY HOLI TO OUR READERS To be tabled this session; oversight body for auditing profession too Sanjeev Sharma PRADEEP TEWARI Tribune News Service HOLIDAY NOTICE: The offices of The Tribune will remain closed today on account of Holi. There will, therefore, be no issue of the paper tomorrow (March 3). Lokpal meet: No-go over ‘special invitee’ Aditi Tandon Tribune News Service New Delhi, March 1 Miffed at the “special invitee” invitation for its Lok Sabha leader Mallikarjun Kharge, the Congress today boycotted the meeting of the Lokpal selection committee, saying Kharge’s presence without any right to vote meant nothing. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kharge declined the invitation of February 22 that addressed him as “special invitee”. “My mere presence without rights of participation, recording of my opinion and voting would be a mere eyewash, ostensibly aimed at showcasing the participation of Opposition in the selection process… The special invitee invitation is a concerted effort to exclude the independent voice of the Opposition altogether from the selection process of the most important anti-corruption watchdog. It negates the letter and spirit of the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013,” Kharge said. The Act provides for inclusion of the Leader of Opposition in the selection panel. The government defence is that Kharge is not the Leader of Opposition as the Congress did not get enough Lok Sabha MPs to win it that slot in the 2014 election. But the Congress today argued that continued on page 7 New Delhi, March 1 Following an outrage over economic offenders like Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya and others looting banks and then fleeing the country, the Union Cabinet today cleared the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018, to be introduced in Parliament allowing confiscation of such offenders’ property. The Cabinet also cleared the setting up of the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA), which will be an oversight body for the auditing profession and will have jurisdiction over all list- WHO IS A FUGITIVE ECONOMIC OFFENDER... A fugitive economic offender means a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued in respect of a scheduled offence and who has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution, or being abroad, refuses to return to face criminal prosecution. A scheduled offence refers to a list of economic offences contained in the schedule to the Bill. ed companies and large unlisted companies. The cases where the total value involved in economic offences, such as fraud or loan defaults, is Rs 100 crore or more will come under the purview of this Bill. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said this had been done to prevent overcrowding so that only the big cases were taken up under this law. Jaitley said the Bill would be tabled in Parliament for approval in the second half of the Budget session beginning March 5. The Bill seeks to address the lacunae in the present laws and lay down measures to deter economic offenders from evading the process of law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts. Bank ex-CMD booked in assets case New Delhi, March 1 The CBI has booked former Chairman and Managing Director of the United Bank of India Archana Bhargava for amassing assets worth over Rs 3.6 crore, allegedly disproportionate to her known sources of income. The agency has alleged that during her tenure at various banks on senior positions between 2004 and 2014, Bhargava amassed assets worth Rs 4.89 crore and incurred an additional expenditure of Rs 1.47 crore against the income of Rs 2.73 crore. In its FIR, the agency has pegged the alleged illegal assets at Rs 3.63 crore, 133.23 per cent over and above her known sources of income. Bhargava became a Deputy General Manager of Punjab National Bank in 2004 and General Manager in 2008. She worked as the Executive Director of Canara Bank from April 1, 2011, to April 22, 2013. She joined the United Bank of India on April 23, 2013, as its Chairman-cum-Managing Director, a position she held till February 20, 2014. The root of the present case lies in a corruption case registered in 2016 where the CBI had alleged that she obtained “certain amounts” for herself or for a firm, owned by her husband and son, from the companies to which various credit facilities were extended by banks where she had worked. The agency found jewellery worth Rs 2.85 crore, besides Rs 10.5 lakh in cash, from the bank lockers. In addition, deposits of Rs 5.42 crore in her name and family members, Rs 2.26 crore in her bank accounts, documents of a three-storey bungalow at Noida and a flat at Vasant Kunj, and two properties in the name of her family members in Delhi and Mumbai, were found, the CBI said, after filing the case in 2016. — PTI Today’s issue is of 32 pages, including eight-page Chandigarh Tribune and six-page Life+Style. The Bill makes provisions for a court (Special Court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002) to declare a person as a fugitive economic offender. Jaitley said all assets, not just proceeds of crime, would be confiscated of an offender fleeing the country and the offender could not pursue any civil case in the country. He said the next phase would be of international cooperation to confiscate assets abroad, but that would require an arrangement between various countries. Jaitley said an announcement was made in the Budget 2017-18 that the government continued on page 14 SBI, PNB make loans costlier Mumbai, March 1 In a move that will make home, auto and personal loans costlier, country’s largest lender SBI today raised its lending rates by 20 basis points to 8.15 per cent with immediate effect. Scam-hit PNB followed suit, raising its lending rate by 15 basis points to 8.30 per cent. This is the first lending revision by the SBI since April 2016 and comes a day after it massively raised the retail and bulk deposit rates. The PNB has also increased its retail and build deposit rates by up 45 basis points on various maturities. — PTI CBI till March 6 New Delhi, March 1 A Delhi court today allowed custodial interrogation of Karti Chidambaram by the CBI for five days, saying there was a need to unearth the larger conspiracy in the INX Media case and his presence would serve some important purposes connected with the investigation. The court said Karti’s CBI custody was necessary to confront him with documents and the co-accused, as well as to probe the role of others involved in the case, while the agency maintained that three mobile phones had been recovered from him which needed to be examined. The CBI claimed Karti was to be confronted with statements of various witnesses, including former RBI Governor D Subba Rao, who had then headed a committee that dealt with the FIPB issue of INX Media before the approval was granted. He was produced before the Special CBI Judge, who allowed him to meet his parents, P Chidambaram and Nalini Chidambaram, both senior advocates, and his lawyers who were present in the courtroom. The court’s decision came after over three hours of proceedings. Special Judge Sunil Rana noted that the matter was at an initial stage of investigation, which is a very crucial stage, and as per the case Nalini Chidambaram, Karti’s mother and senior advocate, at Patiala House Courts. PTI diary and day-to-day reports of the probe, the CBI’s claim was based on the ground that there was prima facie material showing his involvement that required further investigation. The Judge directed that Karti be produced before the court on March 6 and asked the investigating officer to get him medically examined every 24 hours. Further, Karti would be at liberty to seek assistance of his counsel. — PTI long battle awaits page 7
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).