11012019-TTC-01.qxd 11-01-2019 01:13 Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | vol.3 no.11 | 16 pages | ~4.50 | regd.no.chd/0006/2018-2020 established in 1881 | friday, january 11,2019 SHEILA DIKSHIT BACK AT HELM IN DELHI PAGE 7 TATA’S JLR TO SLASH 4,500 JOBS GLOBALLY PAGE 12 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com CBI chief gets marching orders NEWS ANALYSIS SC verdict itself Cong’s Kharge objects to ouster I Rao again given interim charge sealed Alok Tribune News Service on Wednesday over Verma’s and his deputy, Special Director Verma’s fate New Delhi, January 10 The high-powered selection committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today gave the marching orders to controversial CBI Director Alok Verma after a marathon meeting. The other members on the panel were Justice AK Sikri of the Supreme Court and Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge. The latter opposed the move. Sources said Verma, a 1979batch AGMUT-cadre IPS officer, was removed from the Verma has been posted as DG, Fire Service, Civil Defence, till his retirement on Jan 31 post on charges of “corruption and dereliction of duty”. He is the first CBI chief to face such an action, they said. This was the panel’s second meeting as deliberations fate had remained inconclusive with Kharge seeking documents, including the inquiry report by the Central Vigilance Commission. Additional Director M Nageshwar Rao has been given interim charge till the appointment of a new Director. Kharge is learnt to have given his dissent note on Verma’s ouster, arguing that sent on “forced leave”, Verma be given an extension of 77 days for the period he was not allowed to attend office. Verma was sent on forced leave on October 23, 2018, in the wake of a feud between him Rakesh Asthana. The Supreme Court set aside Verma’s “forced leave” but restrained him from taking any major policy decisions till the time the CVC concluded its probe into the charges against him. The apex court said any further decision on Verma would be taken by the highpowered committee. The Supreme Court, in the Vineet Narayan judgment, had fixed a minimum tenure of two years for the CBI Director. Through the Lokpal Act later, the selection process was handed over to a committee. Kharge’s dissent note page 7 GST exemption limit doubled to~40 lakh New Delhi, January 10 In a “massive relief” to small businesses, the GST Council today doubled the limit for exemption from payment of goods and services tax (GST) to Rs 40 lakh and announced that the higher turnover cap of Rs 1.5 crore for availing composition scheme of paying 1 per cent tax will be effective from April 1. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the taxpayers with an aggregate turnover of Rs 40 lakh would now be exempted from GST. The earlier limit was Rs 20 lakh. For the northeastern states, the exemption limit has been hiked to Rs 20 lakh from earlier Rs 10 lakh. KEY COUNCIL DECISIONS ■ The limit for exemption from payment of goods and services tax has been raised to ~40 lakh from ~20 lakh ■ For north-eastern states, the limit has been hiked to ~20 lakh from ~10 lakh ■ Turnover limit for businesses availing composition scheme raised to ~1.5 crore from ~1 crore at present ■ Service providers and suppliers of goods and services havThe annual revenue loss on account of doubling exemption limit, considering that all states implement it, is Rs 5,200 crore. ing turnover of ~50 lakh eligible for GST composition scheme by paying 6% tax ■ Kerala allowed to levy 1% calamity cess on intra-state sales for two years to meet rehabilitation cost following last year’s floods Jaitley said the GST Composition Scheme, under which small traders and businesses pay 1 per cent tax based on turnover, can be TRUMP HEADS TO BORDER WITH MEXICO PAGE 13 availed by businesses with a turnover of Rs 1.5 crore, against the earlier Rs 1 crore, with effect from April 1. Businesses opting for the scheme would have to file just one return annually and pay taxes once every quarter. Free accounting and billing software will be made available to small assessees up to Rs 1.5 crore turnover. Meanwhile, the GST Council constituted a seven-member group of ministers (GoM) to look into the issues of GST rates for the real estate sector. Another GoM will look into uniformity of tax rates in case of lotteries. — PTI Satya Prakash Tribune News Service New Delhi, January 10 Two days after the Supreme Court ordered reinstatement of Alok Verma as the CBI Director, he has been unceremoniously removed. The decision by a committee comprising the Prime Minister, Supreme Court Judge AK Sikri as the CJI’s nominee and Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge has surprised many. But those who read the January 8 verdict meticulously had kept their fingers crossed as Verma had not been given a clean chit. His fate had already been sealed by the top court, which had also perused confidential documents submitted by the Centre which were not shared with Verma’s counsel. The reinstatement order was rather based on legal technicalities. A three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had held that neither the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) nor the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) had powers to remove or transfer the CBI Director. It had given a broader meaning to the expression “transfer” and accordingly set aside the October 23, 2018, orders divesting Verma of his powers. The Bench had also ruled that the power to take such a decision under the amended Delhi continued on page 7 HC holds Dhingra panel report invalid Bans publication, reprieve for Cong Tribune News Service ‘NOTICE NOT ISSUED’ Chandigarh, January 10 In a reprieve for the Congress months before the parliamentary polls, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today held the Dhingra Commission report “non est” or invalid, putting a bar on its publication. The commission was set up in May 2015 to look into the Gurgaon land deals, including those involving Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s brother-inlaw Robert Vadra. Disposing of a petition filed by former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, a Division Bench of Justices Ajay Kumar Mittal and Anupinder Singh Grewal said the report did express opinion on Hooda’s conduct, affecting his reputation. It also held that ample objective material was available with the state government for the commission’s appointment. With the Bench differing on whether further proceedings should be carried out by the same or a different commission, the matter was referred to Chief Justice Krishna Murari “for appropriate orders”. It will now go to a third judge, and the majority opinion will prevail. The original record and the commission’s report in a sealed cover were directed to be returned to Haryana Advocate General Draft ruling said that notice under Sec 8-B of Commission of Inquiries Act was essential as the report affected Hooda’s reputation. But it was not done. for producing it as and when required by the court. The 80-page draft judgment authored by Justice Mittal asserted that issuance of notice under Section 8-B of Commission of Inquiries Act was essential as the report affected Hooda’s reputation. But the same was not done. The notice issued did not fulfill the required conditions. Accordingly, the report submitted by the commission was held to be “non est”. Section 8-B requires a commission to give a person reasonable opportunity of being heard and to produce evidence in his defence. Justice Mittal left it to the commission to proceed further from the stage notice under Section 8-B was required to be issued before submitting a fresh report in accordance with the law. In a separate judgment, Justice Grewal differed on the issue continued on page 7 IN BRIEF Rathore replaces Sukhu as Himachal Cong chief New Delhi: Kuldeep Singh Rathore, 57, on Thursday became the first non-MLA to become Himachal Congress president, replacing Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu. The appointment of Rathore, an organisation man, was cleared by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi after all factions of the state Congress backed him. PAGE 10 Cabinet nod to two AIIMS for Jammu and Kashmir New Delhi: The Union Cabinet has approved a proposal for establishing three new AIIMS, including two in Jammu and Kashmir and one in Gujarat. The All India Institutes of Medical Sciences will come up at Vijaynagar, Samba (Jammu), at a cost of Rs 1,661 crore; at Awantipura in Pulwama (Kashmir) at a cost of Rs 1,828 crore and in Rajkot. TNS Chhatrapati murder case verdict by CBI court today Chandigarh: Haryana Police are on high alert ahead of Special CBI Court’s verdict in Panchkula on Friday against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati murder case. Gurmeet, lodged in Rohtak jail, will appear through video-conferencing. Chhatrapati was shot at in Sirsa in October 2001 by two dera followers. He died in November 2002. TNS Rawat: Talks with Taliban, Ayodhya hearing on separatists not same issue 29th as judge recuses NGO moves SC against 10% reservation Bill Quota will have little impact in Punjab Says India must step in if it feels has stake in Afghanistan Justice Lalit appeared as lawyer in ’97 New Delhi, January 10 A day after Parliament passed a constitutional amendment to provide for 10 per cent reservation to economically weaker sections of the General Category in government jobs and educational institutions, an NGO today challenged its validity in the Supreme Court, contending it violated the basic structure of the Constitution. The Bill, awaiting President’s assent, provides for a maximum of 10 per cent of seats/posts in addition to the reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs, taking the total reservation to 59 per cent. Youth for Equality has challenged Articles 15(6) and 16(6) added by the amendment on the grounds that economic criterion could not be the sole basis for reservation and that the law exceeded the 50 per cent ceiling fixed by the SC. Imposing quota on unaided institutions was manifestly arbitrary, it contended. — TNS SCs, OBCs are 63.2% of population New Delhi, January 10 Army Chief General Bipin Rawat today made a fine distinction between India joining the group of nations that would talk to the Taliban and demands to hold talks with separatists in Kashmir, saying talks could not be conducted if there was violence. Addressing a press conference here ahead of Army Day (January 15), he said the suggestion of talks with the Taliban did not fit into the Jammu and Kashmir scenario. On Kashmir, he said, “Come to the negotiating table, we can talk. But you have to shun the gun. But the number of conditions laid down for talks makes it difficult to hold talks.” He said some nations had moved to speak to the Taliban. “If India thinks it has a stake in Afghanistan, we must step in,” he added. “I am not saying take the lead. But at least General Bipin Rawat ‘NO GAY SEX IN ARMY’ On recent SC verdict on decriminalisation of adultery and homosexual relations, General Rawat said, “We will continue to charge people under the Army Act for both acts. Sorry, the Army is conservative and intends not to change on these issues.” go and listen to what is being discussed in Afghanistan. The government sent somebody to listen at the meeting.” The same does not apply to J&K “as it’s a bilateral issue with the western neighbour. People are saying let’s tone down operations, can anyone give a guarantee that no convoy will be attacked in Kashmir?” he questioned. As regards the border, he said, “The situation is well on our western and northern fronts. There is no cause for concern.” About changes in the strategy in tackling China after the Wuhan summit, he said, “We are maintaining peace and tranquility of the kind that we wish.” He said the proposed restructuring of the Army headquarters would commence in mid2019. The setting up of the Integrated Battle Group (IBG) would be tested on ground in May and then the Army would move to implement it. The IBG would not be a “mini Strike Corps”, he said. continued on page 7 Satya Prakash Tribune News Service New Delhi, January 10 The hearing in the politically sensitive Ayodhya dispute was deferred to January 29 after Justice UU Lalit, part of a five-judge Constitution Bench set up to decide the case, today recused himself. The development took place after senior counsel Rajiv Dhavan, representing a Muslim party in the case, pointed out that Justice Lalit had as a lawyer represented a contemnor in a contempt matter relating to the Ayodhya case against former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh in 1997. While pointing out the possible conflict of interest at the outset of the hearing, Dhavan said he was not seeking Justice Lalit’s recusal. But the judge showed “disinclination” to participate in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case hearing any further. Led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, the Bench had Justice SA Bobde, Justice NV Ramana and Justice DY Chandrachud on it. “We, therefore, have no option but to adjourn the case to another date for the same purpose i.e. to fix a date of hearing and to draw up a time schedule for hearing,” the Bench said, posting the matter for January 29. The Bench also clarified that setting up of a five-judge Bench to hear the vexed issue was in tune with Supreme Court Order-VI Rule-1, which only says the minimum number of judges on a Bench has to be two. The top court also ordered its registry to physically examine the records stored in 15 sealed trunks and also verify if voluminous records/documents in six languages were translated or not. Ruchika M Khanna Tribune News Service Chandigarh, January 10 The Bill passed by Parliament providing 10 per cent reservation for economically backward upper castes is unlikely to have any impact in Punjab, when made a law. At 63.2 per cent, Punjab has the highest concentration of Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes in the country. With just over 7 per cent jobs in the organised sector (private and public) and no fresh jobs being created in the wake of the economic downturn, the quota for the poor among the upper classes will not impact the remaining 36 per cent population in Punjab. The Punjab Government, which is the biggest employer in the state (3.5 lakh jobs), made no recruitments for over a decade until 2016 and even after that these have been minuscule. The reservation for economically weaker sections, if and when it clears the legal hurdle, is likely to benefit Christians and Muslims more than upper caste Hindus or Jat Sikhs, most of whom do not meet the norms for quota in terms of landholding (5 acres) and annual income (up to Rs 8 lakh). The SAD-BJP government made a feeble attempt to include Jat Sikhs in the OBC category in 2014 prior to the parliamentary elections. A resolution was passed in the Assembly. But the matter ended there. The then government realised that in a state with 31.9 per cent SCs and 31.3 per cent OBCs, it would be politically “damaging” to reduce the quota for Dalits to benefit the Jats. Prof Manjit Singh, an eminent sociologist, dismissed the Centre's move as vote bank politics. continued on page 7 Chhattisgarh village sheds tears for croc Another online game life threatening Seen as protector, ‘Gangaram’ given emotional farewell; memorial planned Police say suicide by Patiala teen may be linked to ‘Momo Challenge’ Raipur, January 10 An entire village in Chhattisgarh assembled to bid an emotional adieu to a crocodile that they used to worship as their protector after the reptile was found dead in the village pond. For residents of Bawa Mohtara village in Bemetara district, the crocodile that they fondly called ‘Gangaram’ was next to God. The grief-stricken residents took out a funeral procession and did not cook food that day. They have now decided ‘Gangaram’ before the burial. to set up a memorial on the pond’s bank where ‘Gangaram’ was buried, according to sarpanch Mohan Sahu. Believed to be over 100 years old, the 3.4 metre-long crocodile was found dead on Tuesday. Locals informed the Forest Department and the carcass was taken out of the pond. At least 500 villagers performed the last rites. “They touched the carcass for blessings. They used to worship him as a deity and the village protector,” the sarpanch said. Sahu claimed ‘Gangaram’ lived in the pond for over 100 years. “Villagers, including children, would bathe in the pond every day but the reptile never harmed them, even when they swam close by. ‘Gangaram’ crawled over to some nearby villages a couple of times and we had to bring him back to the pond,” the sarpanch reminisced. Praising the villagers’ affection, SDO (Forest) RK Sinha said they had set a good example in humanbeast co-existence. He said the postmortem showed the reptile, weighing 250 kg, had died of natural causes. — PTI Aman Sood FIRST DEATH IN ARGENTINA Tribune News Service Patiala, January 10 After the ‘Blue Whale’ game that goaded teens into taking their lives a year ago, another online game is targeting kids. Called ‘Momo Challenge’, a person in a creepy avatar contacts children and sets tasks for them — dangerous ones too. The name comes from Japanese doll ‘Momo’ that has scary features and protruding eyes. Till date, there have been two deaths in India linked to ■ First ‘Momo Challenge’ death took place in Argentina last year with 12-yr-old girl filming the tasks on phone before ending life. ■ Game involves challenges that encourage teens/children to engage in violent acts. The players are threatened with violent images, audios and videos if they do not follow instructions. Momo Challenge. “A suicide in Patiala recently is suspected to be linked to the game,” said a police officer. In an advisory to DCs, district police chiefs, Director Education, education board and panchayats, the cyber crime cell has asked for issuing instructions to parents to keep a watch on wards. “Mood swings, loss of interest in activity and any visible cut/wound on the child’s body must be viewed seriously,” reads the advisory. In February last, a 17-yearold girl went missing from Patiala. Her body was found in Bhakra canal. Video footage showed her jumping into the canal. The case, suspected to be linked with gaming, is yet to be cracked.
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).