11052018-TTC-01.qxd 11-05-2018 01:21 Page 1 13 established in 1881 friday, may 11, 2018 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 2 no. 129 | 16 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2018-2020 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd Curtains down on a bitter, head-to-head campaign Nation’s gratitude President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday visited the Army base camp in Siachen, the world’s highest battlefield. He also undertook an aerial survey of the glacier, visited the Kumar Post and paid his respects at the Siachen war memorial. SC reserves verdict on pleas against Aadhaar New Delhi, May 10 The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its verdict on a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar and its enabling 2016 law. A five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, directed all the parties concerned to file their written submissions to put forth their case. The judgment was reserved after a marathon hearing which went on for 38 days spanning four months. A battery of lawyers, including Attorney General KK Venugopal, who represented the Centre, and senior advocates like Kapil Sibal, P Chidambaram, Rakesh Dwivedi, Shyam Divan, Arvind Datar, Rakesh Dwivedi had appeared for various parties. The Bench also comprised Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan. The Centre had strongly defended its decision to seed Aadhaar numbers with mobile phones, telling the top court that it could have been hauled up for contempt if the verification of mobile users was not undertaken by it. However, the court said the government had misinterpreted its order and used it as a “tool” to make Aadhaar mandatory for mobile users. Former Karnataka HC judge Justice KS Puttaswamy and other petitioners had challenged the constitutional validity of Aadhaar. — PTI The second President to visit Siachen after APJ Abdul Kalam in 2004, Kovind said the bravery and valour of soldiers deployed in Siachen over the past 34 years had given every Indian the confidence that the borders were secure. PTI SC: Open expressway without waiting for PM New Delhi, May 10 Taking exception to the inordinate delay in throwing open the 135-km Eastern Peripheral Expressway for the public, the Supreme Court on Thursday directed the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to open it by May 31. A Bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta wondered why NHAI was waiting for inauguration of the expressway by the Prime Minister. The direction came after the NHAI counsel said the construction work was complete and the expressway was scheduled to be inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi on April 29, but it could not be done because of his prior commitments. “Why don’t you inaugurate it? According to newspapers, the PM will not be here tomorrow and day after,” the Bench said, adding earlier it was informed that it was likely to be inaugurated on or before April 20. Two expressways were planned in 2005 on the Supreme Court’s order for channeling non-Delhi bound traffic with a view to de-congest the national capital. The Eastern Peripheral Expressway envisages providing signal-free connectivity between Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gautam Budh Nagar (Greater Noida) and Palwal, while the Western Expressway connects Kundli to Palwal via Manesar in Haryana. Aparajita Singh, assisting the court as amicus curiae, told the Bench that the people of Delhi were reeling under pollution and traffic problems and the NHAI should open the expressway. The NHAI counsel assured that the expressway would be inaugurated by May 29. The Haryana counsel told the Bench that 81 per cent work of the 135-km Western Peripheral Expressway was complete and the private entity has assured completion by June 30. — TNS Bengaluru, May 10 Extremely shrill and bitter, the campaign for the 224-seat Karnataka Assembly elections came to an end on Thursday. Congress president Rahul Gandhi campaigned in the state for about two months and appeared to have given a headstart to the party, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived to bat in the slog overs, ensured the May 12 contest was more or less even. Karnataka has never voted the ruling party back to power in three decades. Nevertheless, Congress Chief Minister Siddaramaiah hopes to create a record by retaining his position. On the other hand, BJP’s CM-candidate BS Yeddyurappa is making a concerted effort to wrest power after nearly a decade. Most opinion polls have predicted a hung House with the JD(S), the third player, emerging as the kingmaker. But given the people’s aversion to KARNATAKA VOTES TOMORROW RAMAKRISHNA UPADHYA coalitions, the possibility of one of the two big parties surging ahead by garnering floating votes cannot be ruled out. Rahul Gandhi’s description of JD(S) as BJP’s ‘B’ party, which infuriated JD(S) chief HD Deve Gowda, could prove dear, should there be no clear verdict on May 15. Wrapping up the election campaign, PM Modi chose to reach out to a whopping 25 lakh people in Karnataka through several video interactions on the ‘NaMo’ app, accusing the Congress of betraying the Dalits and OBCs. Rahul Gandhi, who addressed a media conference here, criticised the PM for raking up UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin, saying “my mother is Italian but she is more Indian than many Indians”. He ridiculed the PM for not holding a single press conference in four years. Siddaramaiah, besides banking on several pro-poor measures initiated by his government, is hoping that the decision to accord “separate religion” status to the Lingayats will pay off. Significantly, Yeddyurappa belongs to the Lingayat community. Only six months ago, the BJP in Karnataka was in complete disarray with internal squabbles and the Congress mocking it for projecting Yeddyurappa, who had undergone a brief jail term on corruption charges, as its CM candidate. BJP president Amit Shah made several visits to Karnataka in the last three months, talked tough with local leaders and got them battle-ready. continued on page 7 more on page 7 Centre ‘not too keen’ on Namaz at 13 designated sites J&K’ ceasefire proposal s in G’gram today Rajnath: Will talk to Mehbooba on issue Gurugram: Amid ongoing row over offering of Friday prayers at open sites, Muslim and Hindu groups on Thursday agreed to namaz at 13 locations here. After a three-hour meeting with Police Commissioner Sandeep Khirwar, the Muslim groups, which had sought protection and permission for prayer meetings at 15 places, were asked to restrict namaz to 13 locations. Muslim leaders issued an advisory to members of the community to stick to the 13 designated sites or offer prayers in nearby mosques or homes. The police force, meanwhile, has been put on alert. The approved sites will be heavily guarded. New Delhi, May 10 The Centre seems not too keen on initiating a unilateral ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir as of now as the situation is not conducive and such an exercise in 2000 did not give the desired results, officials said here. They said there was no guarantee that the Pakistanbased terrorist groups would reciprocate if the Centre agrees to the state government’s request for a truce. Recalling the Non Initiation of Combat Operations (NICO), announced by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2000, a government functionary said there was a major terror attack at the Srinagar airport during the four-month period 18 years ago, and the announcement of such a decision now may be termed a “weakness”. “Almost all terrorist groups operating in the Valley in 2000 had rejected the government offer. Many still recall that during the four-month period, terrorists were roaming freely in Kashmir. Is there any guarantee that such a situation would not repeat now?” said the official. Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said he had not been directly apprised of J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti’s appeal for a ceasefire starting from Ramazan in mid-May to completion of Amarnath Yatra, and that he will talk to her about it. — PTI Edit: ‘ceasefire’ offer in J&K Norms eased, more medical HSSC cash-for-job scam: Court PG seats from next session seeks all call records of accused Aditi Tandon Tribune News Service Mahathir is world’s oldest leader at 92 Kuala Lumpur: Ninety-two-yearold Mahathir Mohamad was on Thursday sworn in as the world’s oldest elected leader after a stunning election win that swept Malaysia’s establishment from power after more than six decades. Mahathir previously ruled the country with an iron fist for 22 years. REPORT ON PAGE 13 New Delhi, May 10 MBBS students can look forward to many more postgraduate seats from the next academic session. The Medical Council of India (MCI) has relaxed teaching norms for postgraduate education for private medical colleges, allowing professors and associate professors to coach more PG students than at present. The newly notified PG Medical Education Regulations of the MCI will, however, apply to only those private colleges that have been running PG courses for 10 years. The fresh notification says one professor in a private college (which has PG courses running for 10 years) will be able to supervise three students for postgraduation, instead of two in the past. Likewise, an associate professor heading a hospital unit will be allowed to supervise two PG students instead of one earlier. The rationalisation of student-teacher ratio at the PG level will create at least 2,000 to 3,000 additional PG seats, according to the Ministry of Health. A similar teacher-student rationalisation principle was earlier applied to government medical colleges. India faces an acute shortage of specialists. While there are 60,845 MBBS seats, there are only 20,000 PG seats. continued on page 7 Rajinder S Nagarkoti Tribune News Service Panchkula, May 10 Additional Sessions Judge Narender Sura on Thursday directed the special investigation team (SIT) handling the Haryana Staff Selection Commission (HSSC) cashfor-job scam to submit the entire transcripts of cellphone conversations of those accused in the case. The SIT had submitted only selective portions during resumed hearing on the bail application of one of the accused, Subhash Sharma, who headed the confidential branch of HSSC when the alleged scam took place. The SIT admitted it had yet to collect the entire transcripts from the DSP concerned. Sharma submitted that a fair investigation was the right of every citizen. Even if it was taken that there was an examination scam, this was not possible without the role of officers of the HSSC and its members, who were decision-makers. Some had been specifically referred to by the co-accused in the transcripts, yet no police action had till date been initiated against any senior officer, politician, member or chairman of the HSSC, Sharma contended. The petitioner also submitted that the investigation team had so far not collected the CDR (call detail record) of any HSSC member, chairman or secretary. continued on page 7 Really sad to see Sachin leave Flipkart, says co-founder Binny Kim Jong-un Donald Trump Trump to meet Kim in S’pore on June 12 Washington: US President Donald Trump will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on June 12 in Singapore for a historic meeting to discuss the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. The announcement came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo returned home from North Korea with three detained Americans. REPORT ON PAGE 13 New Delhi, May 10 They were considered the Jai-Veeru of the Indian startup panorama, and when one decided to finally exit the company they founded 11 years ago, it was really a sad moment for the other. Sachin Bansal’s decision to exit Flipkart after its takeover by Walmart was a “very emotional moment”, said the company’s co-founder Binny Bansal. Asked if he didn’t try and convince Sachin to stay on, Binny, 35, said: “That’s an understatement.” As US retailer Walmart acquired a majority stake in Flipkart, Sachin sold his 5.5 per cent stake for about $1 billion and exited the company. The two Bansals, both from Chandigarh, are not related but came to know each other as they were passing out of Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, in 2005 and decided to move to Bangalore, now known as Bengaluru. They launched Flipkart in 2007 as the ‘Amazon of India’. It was valued at close to $21 billion as Walmart on Wednesday bought 77 per cent stake in it for $16 billion. While Binny decided to continue with the company, Sachin, 36, exited. Flipkart founders Sachin Bansal (R) and Binny Bansal. “Sachin and I met in 2005 when we were passing out (of IIT, Delhi). Both of us moved to Bangalore. We were a group of eight friends from IIT-Delhi and we used to hang out together all the time,” said Binny. “I think both of us have been sort of a pillar of support to each other.” In a Facebook post, Sachin said his work at Flipkart “is done” and “it’s time to hand over the baton and move on”. After moving to Bangalore, Sachin joined Amazon and recommended Binny, earning an employee recommendation bonus. He, however, had to soon return it as Binny left Amazon in just eight months. The two then started a company together with Rs 4 lakh capital. Just like Amazon, it start- ed with selling books online. “He and I would ride my bike for 40-50 km every day, picking up books from distributors, coming back, packing them (for dispatch to customers),” Binny said. The company crossed 100 million registered customers in 2016. “Through the last 10 years, one thing which really held both of us together was the shared values and making sure we do the right thing for the customer,” he said, adding that both ensured that they thought big and audacious. — PTI more on page 12 Edit: Flip side of Flipkart Vinay Bansal PWD scam: Kejri’s nephew held, AAP fumes New Delhi, May 10 Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s nephew Vinay Bansal was arrested on Thursday by an anti-graft body in connection with alleged financial irregularities in a drainage project for the PWD, prompting AAP to allege a conspiracy to malign the party chief’s image. While Bansal was sent to one-day judicial custody by a Delhi court, his arrest triggered a political slugfest, with the BJP’s Delhi unit demanding Kejriwal’s resignation and Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia alleging that the Centre was using Delhi Police and the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) only “to harass and trouble” AAP leaders and their relatives. The ACB claimed Bansal was a 50 per cent stakeholder in Renu Constructions that was allegedly involved in financial irregularities in laying a drainage system. — TNS
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