14032018-TT-01.qxd 3/13/2018 10:21 PM Page 1 13 established in 1881 wednesday, march 14, 2018 ! haryana chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 138 no. 71 | 20 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2018-2020 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd Tillerson’s out, CIA Banks barred from boss Secy of State issuing LoUs by RBI SC: Foreign lawyers, March 31 Aadhaar firms can’t practise deadline extended Haspel to replace Pompeo in CIA Letters of credit to be conditional Allows ‘fly in, out’ on casual basis SC: Till our verdict on validity of Act Washington, March 13 US President Donald Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson today after a series of public rifts over issues including North Korea and Russia, replacing his chief diplomat with loyalist CIA Director Mike Pompeo. The biggest shakeup of Trump’s Cabinet since he took office more than a year ago, which the President announced on Twitter, comes as the administration prepares for an unprecedented meeting with the leader of North Korea. Trump tapped the CIA’s deputy director, Gina Haspel, to replace Pompeo — “the first woman so chosen”, the President tweeted. Tillerson’s departure caps months of tension between Trump and the 65-year-old former Exxon Mobil chief executive. On Monday, Tillerson blamed Russia for the poisoning in England of a former Russian double agent and his daughter. Rex Tillerson Earlier, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders refrained from saying Moscow was responsible. Tillerson was reported to have privately called Trump a “moron” in July after the President suggested a 10-fold increase in the US nuclear arsenal. Tillerson declined to directly address whether he had made the comment, although a State Department spokeswoman later issued a denial. A senior White House official said Trump asked Tillerson to step down on Friday but did not want to make it public while he was on a trip. The official said Trump works well with Pompeo, a former Republican Congressman from Kansas, and wanted him in place before the US President’s planned talks with Kim Jong Un. Tillerson had no diplomatic or political experience before becoming Secretary of State. He appeared out of the loop when Trump announced he would meet Kim. — Reuters Mumbai, March 13 The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today barred banks from issuing guarantees in the form of letters of undertaking (LoU) as it clamped down on the import financing route used by fugitive jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi for allegedly committing India’s biggest bank fraud. The Central bank also banned with immediate effect issuance of letters of comfort, which, like LoUs, are used by importers to fund their overseas purchases. However, letters of credit and bank guarantees will continue upon meeting certain conditions, the RBI said in a statement. Companies belonging to Modi and Choksi allegedly colluded with employees of Punjab National Bank’s Brady House branch in Mumbai to obtain fraudulent LoUs, without providing any margin money as security. They did not have any pre-approved credit limit either. These firms raised short-term credit from overseas branches of other Indian banks based on these LoUs. The fraud, which began in March 2011, is now estimated to have crossed $2 billion (Rs 13,000 crore). “On a review of the extant guidelines, it has been decided to discontinue the practice of issuance of LoUs/ LoCs for trade credits for imports into India” by commercial banks with immediate effect, the RBI said. “Letters of credit and bank guarantees for trade credits for imports into India may continue to be issued subject to compliance with (certain) provisions.” The change in regulations may hit importdependent businesses and trade that are often reliant on LoUs to get bank guarantees. — PTI Satya Prakash Satya Prakash Tribune News Service Tribune News Service New Delhi, March 13 In a setback to foreign lawyers and law firms lobbying for entry into the Indian legal market, the Supreme Court today ruled that they cannot practise law in India either on the litigation or the non-litigation side. A Bench of Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit, however, allowed foreign lawyers to “fly in and fly out” to advise their clients on foreign law on a temporary and casual basis. In 2012, the Madras High Court had ruled that there was no bar for foreign law firms or foreign lawyers to visit India for a temporary period on a “fly in and fly out” basis for giving legal advice to clients regarding foreign law or their own system of law and on diverse international legal issues. Modifying the HC verdict, the top court said, “We hold that the expression ‘fly in and fly out’ will only cover a casual visit not amounting to ‘practice’. In case of a dispute whether a foreign lawyer was limiting himself to ‘fly in and fly out’ on a casual basis... or whether in substance he was doing practice which is prohibited can be determined by the Bar Council of India.” It said the BCI and the Centre “will be at liberty to make Rules, including extending the Code of Ethics being applicable even to such cases.” The Bench also modified the Madras HC’s direction allowing foreign lawyers to come to India to conduct arbitration proceedings. “We hold that there is no absolute right of the foreign lawyer to conduct arbitration proceedings in respect of disputes arising out of a contract relating to international commercial arbitration. If the Rules of Institutional Arbitration apply or the matter is covered by the provisions of the Arbitration Act, foreign lawyers may not be debarred from conducting arbitration proceedings arising out of international commercial arbitration in view of Sections 32 and 33 of the Advocates Act. “However, they will be governed by code of conduct applicable to the legal profession in India.” New Delhi, March 13 The Supreme Court today extended the March 31 deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts, mobile phone numbers and various services/welfare schemes till its Constitution Bench delivered its verdict on the validity of the Aadhaar Act and the 12-digit unique biometric identification number. The top court had on December 15, 2017, extended the deadline for linking of Aadhaar with mobile phones and opening of new bank accounts to March 31. The deadline is also applicable to Central and state government schemes. On Tuesday, the Bench also ordered that the government cannot insist on production of Aadhaar number for issuance of passports under the Tatkal scheme. The five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, is hearing petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act. Last week, it indicated that it would extend the deadline in view of confusion in banks and financial market at the end of the financial year. The Centre, too, had said it was ready to extend the March 31 deadline but wanted the court to wait further. Last week, the top court had ordered the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) not to make Aadhaar mandatory for enrolment of students appearing in NEET 2018 and other all-India examinations. FM: 1,213 FRAUD GUARANTEES GIVEN New Delhi: Fugitive jeweller Nirav Modi obtained his first fraudulent guarantee from PNB’s Brady House branch in Mumbai on March 10, 2011, and managed to get 1,212 more such guarantees over the next 74 months, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. Security personnel inspect the site of an IED blast where nine CRPF men were killed in Sukma district. PTI 9 CRPF men die in Chhattisgarh blast Mine-protected vehicle blown up Raipur/New Delhi, March 13 Nine Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed and two injured after Maoists blew up their mine-protected vehicle (MPV) in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma, a year after a dozen jawans were killed in a similar ambush in the district. Officials said the incident took place around 12.30 pm along the 5-km under-construction Kistaram-Palodi road when the troops of CRPF’s 212th Battalion were out for an operation. Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the incident was “deeply distressing” and asked CRPF Director General RR Bhatnagar to rush to Chhattisgarh. Over 50 kgs of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), concealed under the track, were used in the blast. The armoured MPV went 10 feet into the air before crashing, officials said. Those killed have been identified as Assistant Sub-Inspector RKS Tomar, Head Constable Laxman and Constables Ajay K Yadav, Manoranjan Lanka, Jitendra Singh, Shobhit Sharma, Manoj Singh, Dharmendra Singh and Chandra HS. “The troops were going towards a new post in Palodi. Naxals were first spotted in the area at 8 am and the CoBRA teams retaliated and broke the ambush. However, when a convoy was crossing the area in the noon, the second mine-protected vehicle got caught in the blast,” the DG said. — PTI Lecturer shot dead CBItoprobetwomore in Sonepat college Hoodagovtlanddeals Sonepat, March 13 crime was committed” and Rajesh Malik, an Assistant the accused’s uncle Dinesh, Professor at Shaheed Dalbir whose licensed revolver was Singh Government College, used — have been arrested. Kharkhoda, was shot dead in Sitender said he had the college staff room, dropped Rajesh (his sister’s allegedly by college student husband) and Rajesh’s Jagmel Singh, today. daughter Lalita to the college Police said the stuin his car this morndent, who fired ing. He was waiting three rounds, manfor Lalita to return aged to escape. so that they could Malik, who hailed go to Delhi when he from Sardhana vilheard shots being lage, was residing in fired and saw a Sector 23, Sonepat. youth coming out In his thirties, he is of the staff room. Rajesh Malik survived by his wife He claimed an and two children. employee told him that On the complaint of the vic- Yogesh was also involved in tim’s brother-in-law Sitender, the murder. There had been a case has been registered reports of molestation and against Jagmel and a college eve-teasing against Jagmel. woman staff member, Yogesh. In January, a Class XII The police said three per- Yamunanagar student had sons — Akash and Amit, killed the school principal with “who kept vigil when the his father’s revolver. — OC Chandigarh, March 13 In more trouble for former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar today said his government has decided to hand over to the Central Bureau of Investigation two more cases of land deals related to the previous Congress regime. “Our government has decided to recommend a CBI probe into Uddar Gagan land case of Rohtak district and another case of controversial land deal in Sonepat that has come to notice recently,” Khattar announced in the state Assembly. Sources said the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) first said it was acquiring 850.88 acres of land in Sector 27-28, Rohtak, vide a notification issued on April 11, 2002, for residential/com- mercial purpose. However, the final notification of April 8, 2003, under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act was in respect of 441.11 acres. On March 21, 2005, a private builder, Uddar Gagan Properties Limited, submitted its applications to the Town and Country Planning Department for licences to develop a colony across 280 acres of the released land and the licence was granted. Details of the Sonepat land are, however, not immediately available. Khattar said the BJP government had already ordered a CBI probe into three cases related to the previous Congress government — re-allotment of a plot to Associated Journals Limited in Panchkula, allotment of HUDA industrial plots in Panchkula and Manesar land case. — TNS ED moves SC against HC relief to Karti Liquor to be cheaper in Punjab New Delhi, March 13 The Enforcement Directorate today approached the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court order giving relief to Karti Chidambaram till March 20 from arrest in the INX Media money-laundering case. In an interim relief to Karti Chidambaram, 46, son of Congress leader P Chidambaram, the High Court had on March 9 asked the ED not to take “any coercive action” against him till the next hearing of the case slated for March 20. Meanwhile, Karti’s chartered accountant S Bhaskararaman was on Tuesday granted bail in the money laundering case, as “there were no specific allegations against him”. — PTI Chandigarh, March 13 The Congress government today announced the breaking of monopoly of big distillers-cum-contractors in Punjab’s booming liquor trade, besides reducing the quota of country-made liquor, Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) and beer to be sold in the state by 32 per cent. As a result, the Capt Amarinder Singh government hopes to see a correction in the prices of liquor, which had increased substantially last year after the entire business was monopolised by the powerful liquor lobby. From the next fiscal, rural consumers will have to pay levy (@ Rs 5 per proof litre) on country-made and IMFL for upkeep of cows in urban areas and welfare of livestock Ruchika M Khanna KEY DECISIONS IN EXCISE POLICY Tribune News Service ■ ~6,000-cr excise collection COST PER BOTTLE Beer Old New ~180 ~140 Country-made ~250 ~200 IMFL ~600 ~550 in rural areas. Till now, the cow cess was levied only in urban areas. To break the monopoly in liquor trade, the government has increased the number of groups (licensing units) from 84 this year to 900 in the com- Today’s issue is of 20 pages, including four-page Jobs and Careers. target for 2018-19 against ~5,150 cr in 2017-18 ■ Vends to be allotted through draw of lots; number down to 5,700 from 5,870 ■ Shift from fixed to minimum guaranteed quota. Can seek more if quota exhausted ■ Excise duty to replace licence fee, special development fee and extra licence fee ■ L2 licencees can get wholesale licence (L1) ing fiscal. The size of the group has been fixed at a maximum of Rs 5 crore (excise collection in a year) with variation of up to 25 per cent. Each group will have a maximum of two liquor vends. continued on page 7 ADVISER TO DELHI CM QUITS New Delhi: VK Jain, Adviser to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, has resigned citing personal reasons and family commitments. The move came days after he was questioned by the police in connection with the alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash. Jain was present when the alleged incident took place. PTI
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