05022019-TTC-01.qxd 05-02-2019 01:22 Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | vol.3 no.35 | 16 pages | ~4.50 | regd.no.chd/0006/2018-2020 established in 1881 | tuesday, february 5,2019 DISSENT ON FLOUTING NORMS: KHARGE PAGE 7 PUNJAB DEBT-WAIVER SCHEME: LOANEES OF COMMERCIAL BANKS BENEFITTED MOST PAGE 12 /thetribunechd Sukna scam: SC relief to former military secy New Delhi, February 4 In a major relief to former military secretary Avadhesh Prakash, the Supreme Court has set aside the General Court Martial (GCM) order dismissing him from service for alleged involvement in the 2008 Sukna land scam in West Bengal, terming its proceedings as “vitiated”. The top court held that the GCM was not “validly constituted” as it consisted of members below his rank of Lt Gen, and refused to remit back the case for a fresh GCM. It also set aside the order of the AFT holding him guilty of “unbecoming conduct” with punishment that he need not be given arrears of pension from the date of dismissal of service till the date of passing of order. The Sukna land scam had surfaced in 2008 and involves the transfer of land next to the Army’s 33 Corps Headquarters in Siliguri. — PTI A-G contempt plea against Bhushan Attorney General KK Venugopal on Monday filed a contempt petition in the Supreme Court against activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan for allegedly scandalising the court with his recent tweets on the appointment of former interim chief of CBI M Nageswara Rao. — PTI NEW DELHI: 10 EU NATIONS RECOGNISE VENEZUELA PREZ PAGE 13 /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com At Centrestage, Mamata fights on UK orders Mallya’s extradition to India Rajnath: West Bengal developments indicative of breakdown of Constitution Kolkata/New Delhi, Feb 4 A political firestorm raged today as Mamata Banerjee’s sit-in against CBI’s bid to question the Kolkata police chief in chit fund scam cases entered the second day, with the West Bengal Chief Minister declaring her agitation to save the “Constitution and country” will go on till Friday and she was ready to face the consequences. The ripple effect of political tremors in West Bengal were felt in New Delhi and several state capitals, as Banerjee’s combative posturing on the issue drew support from several regional satraps trying to sew up an anti-BJP alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. “This is a satyagraha and I’ll continue (it) till the country is saved...Constitution is saved,” the firebrand TMC boss said, as she escalated her confrontation with the Modi government. As Trinamool Congress workers took to the streets, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh called the developments “unfortunate and unprecedented” and indicative of a “breakdown of the Constitution”. “Under the Constitution, the Centre has been vested with the power to maintain normalcy,” Singh told the Lok Sabha. He also sought a TOP COP ROW CBI says Rajeev Kumar needs to be questioned regarding missing documents of Saradha and Rose Valley scams, but he has not responded to notices to appear before the agency ON CBI OFFICIALS West Bengal government claims CBI had no warrant and move was part of a ‘secret operation’. CBI refutes the charge TURF WAR TRIGGER ■ Mamata has blocked attempts CM Mamata Banerjee with Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar at an investiture ceremony at the dharna site on Monday. PTI HONEST LABELLED AS THIEVES: DIDI If you are labelling people who are honest as thieves without proof, I will definitely stand by their side. And for that, if I need to give up my life, I’m ready. Mamata Banerjee, WB CM ❝ in recent past by BJP to take out roadshows and denied permission to top leaders to land their choppers at rally sites ■ She accuses BJP of going after her administration with greater verve after her mega rally of 23 Opposition parties in Kolkata last month ■ BJP is demanding President’s rule in the state, alleging that Mamata is creating a constitutional crisis to shield her corrupt accomplices EDIT: BATTLEFIELD KOLKATA | POLITICAL STORM BREWS PAGE 7 report from Governor KN Tripathi, which was promptly sent. Its contents were, however, not known. “I do not have any grudge against any individual. But I am angry over the way institutions are being destroyed and misused,” Banerjee said. She added it was her government that arrested Saradha group chairman Sudipta Sen and claimed Rs 250-300 crore was returned to the depositors who were duped. “Today you are labelling those who helped arrest the culprits as thieves. You are calling Rajeev Kumar (Kolkata Police Commissioner) a thief! Whose money has he taken? You are calling me a thief! Whose money have I taken? I have fought all through my life but never given up. I am ready to face any consequences.” — PTI/TNS Kolkata CP will regret if proof destroyed: SC Satya Prakash Tribune News Service New Delhi, February 4 The Supreme Court today warned Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar of strict action if it was found that he tried to destroy evidence relating to the Saradha chit fund scam case in West Bengal after the CBI said it apprehended “destruction of electronic evidence”. “If the police commissioner is even remotely trying to destroy evidence, we will come down so heavily on him that he will regret,” said a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta demanded urgent hearing citing apprehension of destruction of evidence. “You (SG) show us evidence,” the court said. The Bench, however, turned down Mehta’s request to take up CBI’s plea against Kumar today itself and instead posted it for hearing tomorrow. The Bench, which also included Justice Sanjiv Khanna, noted that there was no shred of evidence in the agency’s applications about continued on page 7 Has 14 days to appeal in High Court London, February 4 In a major setback to fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya, the UK Home Secretary has given the green signal to his extradition. On December 10, 2018, a UK court ruled Mallya guilty and ordered his deportation to India. Now, the UK Home Office has upheld the lower court ruling. “On February 3, the Secretary of State, having carefully considered all relevant matters, signed the order for Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India. Mallya is accused in India of conspiracy to defraud, making false representations and money laundering offences,” a UK Home Office spokesperson said. Mallya now has 14 days to apply for leave of appeal to the UK High Court. In a tweet, Mallya said he would initiate the appeal process. Welcoming the extradition order, Indian government sources said, “We have taken a note of the decision of the UK Home Secretary to sign on the order for Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India. While we welcome the decision, we await the early completion of the legal process for his extradition.” The move comes at a time when the government faces the Opposition’s wrath following the CBI raids in TYCOON TO FUGITIVE ■ 2013: Banks seek ~6,493-cr loan payback taken for KFA ■ Mar 3, 2016: Mallya flees India, takes refuge in London ■ Feb 2017: India sends extra- dition request to UK ■ Dec 4, 2017: Extradition trial begins ■ Dec 10, 2018: Magistrate court orders extradition ■ Feb 3, 2019: UK Home Secy orders extradition Kolkata against the city’s police commissioner. Taking a jibe at political opponents, Union Minister Arun Jaitley said, “The Modi government clears one more step to get Mallya extradited while the Opposition rallies around the Saradha scamsters.” Official sources had earlier said what helped push India’s case was PM Narendra Modi taking up the issue personally with his counterpart Theresa May. — TNS Choose DGPfrom 3 Gangster who tried to eliminate Match 50% EVMs with on panel, Punjab told Patiala SSP held with two aides paper trail: Oppn to EC Mustafa, Gupta or Goel to be police chief Jupinderjit Singh Tribune News Service Chandigarh, February 4 The Union Public Service Commission today shortlisted three DGP-rank officers — Samant Goel, Mohd Mustafa and Dinkar Gupta — for the post of Punjab Director General of Police. The ball is back in the court of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, who will make the final selection. The UPSC panel, which besides the UPSC officials included Punjab Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh and incumbent DGP Suresh Arora, finalised the three names. Earlier, following the Supreme Court orders, the state government had sent a panel of more than 30 officers, including nine DGPrank officers and several ADGPs, who had completed 20 years of service. DGP (Special Task Force) Mohd Mustafa and DGP (Intelligence) Dinkar Gupta are the frontrunners for the post. The incumbent DGP , Suresh Arora, is on a oneyear extension till September 30, but doesn’t want to continue, thus necessitating the need to choose a new DGP . Mohd Mustafa, a 1985batch IPS officer, is second in seniority to 1984-batch officer Samant Goel, who is on Central deputation. He is considered a dark horse for the post. Mustafa’s wife Razia Sultana is a Punjab minister. DGP (Intelligence) Dinkar Gupta is a 1987-batch IPS officer who has busted several terror modules. He is included on the panel over three seniors — Hardeep Dhillon, Jasminder Singh and Sidharth Chattopadhaya. Aman Sood Tribune News Service Patiala, February 4 The local police today arrested gangster Navpreet Sandhu alias Nav Lahoria — believed to be a thread between criminals of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and wanted in over a dozen cases of robbery, murder and attempt to murder — from Samana along with two aides. The other two arrested are Ankur Singh, alias Mani, and Prashant Hindrav, both from Uttar Pradesh. Investigators claim Lahoria, who tried to eliminate Patiala SSP Mandeep Sidhu when a police team was fired upon on February 2, is one of only a few gangsters from the Malwa belt, with a majority belonging to the border districts of Punjab. The three had escaped while two of their associates were arrested. “Lahoria would have shot Navpreet Sandhu BISHNOI CONFIDANT DABBLED IN MUSIC ■ Lahoria took to crime after getting in touch with notorious gangsters Lawrence Bishnoi and Sampat Nehra ■ Fond of Punjabi songs, he acted in and produced song “Midnight tears”, which was appreciated on the social media ■ He was planning to produce another song and had finalised lyrics. He used to spend the loot on liquor and to support a lavish lifestyle the Patiala SSP but his weapon misfired and he fled the scene,” said the investiga- tors. The police desisted from firing indiscriminately to avoid collateral damage. SSP Sidhu said Lahoria first went to jail in 2016 in an attempt-to-murder case where he met gangster Lawrence Bishnoi and later got in touch with another gangster, Sampat Nehra. “Thereafter, Lahoria was regularly in touch with the two, facilitating their stay while evading the police. He won their trust and got involved in the crime world,” he said. Facing 20 cases in all, Lahoria got involved in over a dozen cases of attempt to murder, murder, extortion and robberies in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh in the past three years. A diploma-holder in electronics, Lahoria earned notoriety after the broad daylight murder of an Ambala City jeweller, Sunil Jain (45). continued on page 7 Says goal is to return to paper ballot New Delhi, February 4 A united Opposition today petitioned the Election Commission for matching EVM results with paper trails in 50 per cent cases instead of the existing 2.5 per cent. Leaders of 21 Opposition parties, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu and TMC’s Derek O’ Brien, said recent instances of EVM malfunctioning had led to grave suspicions about the fairness of elections. “The ultimate goal of signatories is to seek an expeditious return to physical paper ballots,” they stressed. The Opposition memorandum to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said: “It is imperative that the EC should ensure that sample, physical countercheck of the paper trail and matching it with the electronic vote should happen mandatorily in all, if not, in at least 50 per cent of all EVMs.” The Opposition lamented that despite 100 per cent voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) facility, the matching is happening only in 2.5 per cent cases. “The object of such VVPAT facility is to provide a muchneeded partial reassurance… its non-use in over 97 per cent cases renders it cosmetic, ornamental and meaningless,” the Opposition said. The parties said after the government released funds for 100 per cent VVPAT facility, the EC was “good enough to officially guarantee such VVPAT availability in 100 per cent EVMs for 2019 polls”. The memorandum said the continued on page 7 Fund crunch in Army, 2,524 Punjab schools turn ‘smart’ with NRI, public help no TA/DA for officers SEEING A SEA CHANGE Sanjeev Singh Bariana Tribune News Service New Delhi, February 4 The Ministry of Defence has no money to pay for the transportation of armed forces officers who have been transferred to various places of postings and also to those being attached on temporary duty for field exercises or for attending courses. The Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (PCDA) has said on its website that due to insufficient funds available under temporary duty and permanent duty, no advances and claims can be processed till further receipt of funds. A defence official late on Monday evening said shortfalls were temporary and resolved routinely through re-appropriations (from existing budget allocations). It costs around ~4,000 crore per annum to pay for transportation and allowances for officers who are transferred from one station to another and also those going to attend courses or to take part in exercises. Sources said an additional sum of ~800 crore has been sanctioned, which may help tide over some of this difficulty for now. There are nearly 40,000 Army officers. With tenures being just twothree years at one station, postings are a frequent reality. Also, during military exercises — conducted every year — a huge body of troops moves. continued on page 7 Chandigarh, February 4 As many as 2,524 government schools in Punjab have been transformed from dilapidated infrastructures to exemplary complexes of educational activities in the past one year. Without any government aid, the change has been ushered in by the school staff with the help of NRIs, corporate settings and public. Reflecting the impact of the change, Government Senior Secondary School, Dhada Fateh Singh in Hoshiarpur, added 150 students in the current academic session. Principal Salinder Singh said: “Besides, at least 102 students have already enrolled for the next academ- ■ Govt Sr Sec School, Dhada Fateh Singh, Hoshiarpur ■ Govt Sr Sec School, Bhaini Baringa, Ludhiana ■ Govt Sr Sec School, Boha, Mansa ■ Govt Primary School, Chahilawali, Mansa ■ Govt Primary School, Bada Bhaike, Ferozepur ■ Govt Primary School, Rattoke, Sangrur ■ Govt Primary School, Takarla, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar ■ Govt Primary School, Bihla, A smart classroom in Govt Primary School, Thathia Mahantan, Tarn Taran. ic session (2019-2020).” He said he started meeting eminent people from his village in January last year. “I got financial aid of ~70,000 on the very first day. I was informed about the way to contact NRIs and more mon- Barnala ey came. We could manage bathroom tiles for ~1.75 lakh, bathroom repairs for ~80,000, water coolers for ~35,000 and a revamp of the electricity system for over ~1.25 lakh. We were able to give uniform to girls and also started two school buses,” he said. Manju Bhardwaj, principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Bhaini Baringa (Ludhiana), said: “There has been over 15 per cent increase in the number of students in the past one year. The parents of more than 100 students have already expressed interest in getting their wards enrolled for the next session.” She said the school had enough public participation in the past too. “They had got 20 rooms constructed. The interest is more visible in the context of financial aid and continued on page 7 No simultaneous polls in Haryana, says CM Khattar Tribune News Service NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 4 Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday scotched speculations on simultaneous Lok Sabha and state Assembly elections, saying both elections will happen at their scheduled time. Khattar said this after a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament House complex where he had come to call on the PM after the party’s crucial win in the Jind Assembly byelection. Assembly election ‘at scheduled time’ “It has been decided now that the Lok Sabha election will happen at its scheduled time. State election will happen at its scheduled time. There is no possibility of simultaneous LS and Assembly polls,” Khattar told reporters after the meeting. He said the party was confident of a good show in the LS elections after the Jind and the MC poll victories. “The PM was very happy with our back-to-back wins in Haryana, first the MC elections and then the Jind byelection. Going by the trends, we are confident of a great show in the Lok Sabha elections. We also discussed the February 12 programme of PM Modi in Haryana where we plan to organise a major programme targeted at women. Women from across the state are expected to attend,” Khattar said.
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).