04072021-TTB-01.qxd 04-07-2021 00:03 Page 1 123 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | vol.141 no.183 | 16 pages | ~6.00 | regd.no.chd/0006/2021-2023 established in 1881 haryana DECISION TO END DURBAR MOVE INSENSITIVE: PDP J&K /thetribunechd WHAT HALLMARKING MEANS FOR GOLD BUYERS, SELLERS, ARTISANS SPECTRUM ITALY, SPAIN ENTER EURO SEMIFINALS BACK PAGE /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com sunday,july 4,2021 Cong, BJP trade charges as France starts judicial probe into Rafale fighter jet deal Tribune News Service New Delhi, July 3 The Rafale fighter jet issue returned to the centre stage on Saturday with the BJP and Congress trading barbs after French prosecutors launched a probe into alleged corruption in the Rs 59,000 crore (7.8-billion euros) deal between India and France. A French judge has been appointed to lead a judicial investigation, French media house Mediapart has reported. It said the “highly sensitive probe” into the inter-governmental deal (for purchase of 36 jets by India) was formally opened on June 14. The media report cited the financial crimes branch of the French public prosecu- MACRON, HOLLANDE’S ROLE UNDER LENS: MEDIAPART CONG CALLS FOR JPC PROBE The probe examines questions surrounding the actions of former French President Francois Hollande, who was in office when the Rafale deal was inked, and current French President Emmanuel Macron. ~59,000cr Deal signed between India & France in 2016 for 36 jets CRIMES BEING PROBED Corruption | Influence peddling Money laundering | Favouritism Undue tax waivers ❝ If France can probe the deal along with the role of its ex-Prez Hollande and sitting Prez Macron, why can’t India, where deal originated, have a JPC probe? Congress BID TO WEAKEN INDIA: BJP ❝ The way Rahul Gandhi is behaving, it will not be an exaggeration to say he is being used as a pawn by rival companies. It’s a bid to weaken the country. BJP tion services, the PNF as hav, ing confirmed the move yesterday in France. The investigation was focussed on alleged crimes of corruption, influence peddling, money laundering, favouritism and undue tax waivers surrounding the deal, the report said. The judicial magistrate will also examine questions surrounding the actions of former French President Francois Hollande, current President Emmanuel Macron (the then Dhami to be new Uttarakhand CM Swearing-in today; 45-yr-old youngest to hold office Compliance by Fb, Google, Insta big step: Prasad New Delhi, July 3 Pushkar Singh Dhami will be the new Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. His name was proposed at the BJP legislature party meeting in Dehradun on Saturday. Dhami, who has the responsibility of leading the factionridden state unit in the Assembly polls due next year, will take oath on Sunday. The 45-year-old will be the youngest CM of the state. He replaces Tirath Singh Rawat, who resigned on Friday night within four months of taking charge from Trivendra Singh Rawat. Speaking to the media, Dhami said he would try to win people’s hearts by serving as the “pratham sewak” of the state. He said he would try to “turn the challenge of 2022 elections into an opportunity” for his party. Dhami represents the Khatima constituency in Udham New Delhi, July 3 Union Minister for Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday praised Google, Facebook and Instagram for publishing their first compliance report on voluntary removal of offensive posts as per new rules governing social media. Incidentally, he used Twitter, which is still to comply with instructions, to convey his message. “Nice to see social media platforms like Google, Facebook and Instagram following the new rules,” he tweeted. He called it a “big step towards transparency”. Meanwhile, Twitter on Saturday, informed the Delhi High Court that it is finalising the appointment of a new resident grievance officer in India. — TNS CHALLENGES AHEAD ■ Dhami takes over at a time when the party is gearing up for the Assembly polls early next year ■ The 45-year-old MLA from Khatima inherits a pile of problems from his predecessors ■ A Covid-hit economy, suspended Char Dham yatra & fake testing scam are challenges to grapple with BJP BETRAYED PEOPLE’S TRUST ❝ The BJP’s lust for power has plunged the state into political instability. Instead of serving people, it is busy distributing power and changing CMs like toys. Congress Singh Nagar district, the “terai” region dominated by farmers, mainly from the Sikh community, and the epicentre of the anti-farm laws protests in the state. He is only the second BJP CM from the Kumaon region. Dhami is believed to be close IN BRIEF PERFORMANCE CARD Deshmukh gets ED summons again 93% effective in severe cases 65% against Delta variant 63% in asymptomatic cases NEW DELHI: The ED on Saturday issued fresh summons to former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, asking him to appear before it on July 5 in a case of alleged corruption and extortion. BACK PAGE Liquor deaths: Bail to accused declined CHANDIGARH: Rejecting the bail plea of an accused in Tarn Taran hooch tragedy case, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has called for an ironhand approach to deal with illicit and spurious liquor trade in Punjab. INSIDE SP cries foul as BJP sweeps ZP elections NEW DELHI: The BJP on Saturday registered a thumping win in the UP zila panchayat elections. It won 67 of the 75 seats. Its main rival SP alleged the BJP used force to stop people from voting. BACK PAGE Teltumbde’s wife moves HC on letters MUMBAI: The wife of Anand Teltumbde, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, has moved the Bombay HC alleging jail superintendent was withholding letters written by her husband. —PTI to former CM and currently Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. Dhami will be the third BJP CM during the present BJP regime after Trivendra Singh Rawat and Tirath Singh Rawat. — TNS 44,111 FRESH CASES TOTAL DEATHS ACTIVE CASES 4,01,050 4,95,533 738 DEATHS IN 24 HOURS Ph 3 trials show Covaxin has 78% overall efficacy Tribune News Service New Delhi, July 3 Covaxin has been found to be 78 per cent effective against overall Covid-19 disease and 93 per cent against severe infections. Bharat Biotech today announced safety and efficacy analysis data from Phase 3 clinical trials of Covaxin, a whole virion inactivated vaccine against SARS-CoV2, developed in partnership with the ICMR-National Institute of Virology, Pune. Announcing the summary of trials, Bharat Biotech said the vaccine significantly cut hospitalisation and showed potential to limit infection and transmission. The analysis demonstrated Covaxin to be 77.8 per cent effective against symptomatic Covid-19, through evaluation of 130 confirmed cases, with 24 observed in the vaccine group versus 106 in GATHERING NORMS EASED IN HIMACHAL Shimla: The Himachal Government has announced more relaxations in restrictions following decline in the positivity rate to 1.3 per cent. Now, a maximum of 250 persons can attend outdoor functions, while 150 persons can participate in functions held indoors. INSIDE the placebo group. The efficacy was 93.4 per cent in severe symptomatic cases. Safety analysis demonstrated that adverse events were similar to placebo with 12 per cent of subjects experiencing commonly known side-effects and less than 0.5 per cent feeling serious adverse events. “Covaxin demonstrated 63.6 per cent protection against continued on page 6 Finance Minister) and Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (then Defence Minister). Based on previous news reports by Mediapart, a French anti-corruption NGO, Sherpa, had filed a complaint with the authorities concerned. “In 2019, PNF former head Eliane Houlette dismissed an initial complaint filed by Sherpa, justifying her decision to preserve the interests of France,” the media report said. Two years later, her successor Jean-François Bohnert has decided to support the opening of a probe. “In 2019, PNF former head Eliane Houlette dismissed an initial complaint filed by Sherpa, justifying her decision to preserve the interests of France,” the media report continued on page 6 Satya Prakash Tribune News Service New Delhi, July 3 The Congress may be feeling vindicated at the appointment of a French judge to lead a judicial investigation into alleged “corruption and favouritism” in the Rafale jet deal with India, but the Supreme Court has already put the controversy to rest. In its December 14, 2018 verdict, a three-judge Bench led by the then CJI Ranjan Gogoi had dismissed a petition seeking probe into IndiaFrance deal for procurement of 36 jets, holding there was no commercial favouritism and occasion to “really doubt the decision making process” warranting setting aside of the contract. On November 14, 2019, it had dismissed petitions seeking review of its verdict, saying they were continued on page 6 Govt speeds up policy to plug e-com ‘loopholes’ New Delhi, July 3 After seeking to tame foreign social media giants with the IT Rules, 2021, the Centre will be seeking to check the “predatory instincts” of their e-commerce peers. The long-delayed plan to issue clarifications to ensure that fair trade practices are followed in the FDI policy for e-commerce sector is being fast-forwarded owing to distress among the ruling party's core base of small shopkeepers and retailers, who have been hit hard by lockdowns. The clarifications would ensure that neither should ecommerce firms become part of the transactions nor should they promote any product. Sources said the extent of the clarifications might not be as deep as those sought by the pro-RSS Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), Baddi firm gets nod to produce Sputnik V solan, July 3 The state drug licensing authority on Saturday gave approval to Panacea Biotech to manufacture Sputnik V at its Baddi facility, the first Covid vaccine to be manufactured in Himachal Pradesh. The firm was earlier inspected by the officials of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation and the State’s Drug Control Administration earlier. Deputy Drug Controller Manish Kapoor said the first batch of Sputnik V doses produced by Panacea Biotec would be shipped to Russia’s Gamaleya centre of epidemiology for quality control. INSIDE SC had ruled out corruption, given clean chit in 2018 DEEP DISCOUNTS UNDER SCANNER ■ The rules aim at ensuring that e-commerce MNCs operate only as a marketplace to connect buyers and sellers ■ Such firms won't be allowed to promote select sellers and offer deep discounts which claimed to represent country's 8.5 crore small traders and shopkeepers. The Centre has sought to keep small traders and shopkeepers politically aligned with the BJP by promising them Rs 3,000 per month pension and including them in the SME sector for availing benefits. They continued to bleed because of lockdowns and deep discounts offered by ecommerce companies. — TNS Police use water cannons on AAP workers protesting power cuts at Siswan near CM Amarinder Singh’s farmhouse. TRIBUNE PHOTO: VICKY Ill-conceived Badal era PP under review: CM As Tribune News Service Chandigarh, July 3 Facing criticism from within his party as well as the Opposition, Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh on Saturday said the “ill-conceived” power purchase agreements (PPAs) with private thermal plants signed by the SAD-BJP government were being reviewed and his government would soon announce a legal strategy to counter the PPAs that had burdened the state exchequer. The CM, who chaired a meeting to review the power situation in Punjab, later said a “carefully charted legal course of action” was being Aman Sood Tribune News Service Patiala, July 3 Even as Congress MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu has blamed “faulty” power purchase agreements for the current situation in the state, experts, while backing the leader, accused the PSPCL of failing to assess peak power demand. They said the state’s trans- Mukesh Ranjan A motorcyclist drives on a waterlogged road after rain in New Delhi. PTI 12% DEFICIENT RAINFALL IN PB ■ After surplus rain in the early stages of the season, the western monsoon over the region has slipped into the negative zone ■ Cumulative rainfall is less by 17% in Himachal, 12% in Punjab and 8% in Haryana New Delhi, July 3 The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today said it had arrested freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma under the criminal provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in connection with a case relating to his alleged involvement in the leak and supply of sensitive information to Chinese intelligence officers. Officials said, after the arrest, which took place on July 1, Sharma was produced in a special local court here, ❝ Capt Amarinder Singh formulated to save the state from further financial losses. Of the 139 PPAs signed during by the SAD-BJP government, 17 were enough to continued on page 6 Power experts back Sidhu, say ‘faulty’ pacts led to crisis ED arrests journalist in money laundering case Tribune News Service LEGAL STRATEGY SOON The government will soon announce a legal strategy to counter the agreements with thermal power plants that have burdened the state exchequer. ‘Supplied’ confidential info to Chinese officials which granted the agency seven-day custody of the accused. The ED later said its probe found that Sharma (62) “had supplied confidential and sensitive information to Chinese intelligence officers, in exchange for remuneration, thereby compromising the security and national interests of India”. “It was further revealed that cash for remuneration of Sharma and continued on page 6 mission grid capacity was enhanced temporarily to 7,400 MW. A former chief engineer said just ahead of the paddy season, the PSPCL had claimed to have arranged ample power. “Now, it is blaming the high demand on delayed monsoon. It admitted that Punjab is seeing over 15,000 MW demand. continued on page 6 HP plans special e-vehicle zones Shimla, July 3 The Himachal Government plans to promote electric vehicles by creating zero or lowemission zones in Shimla, Baddi, Dharamsala and ecosensitive areas at all tourist destinations where only battery-operated emission-free vehicles will be allowed. The Himachal Electric Vehicle policy is in the process of formulation. With prices of most electric vehicles being on the higher side, the government is keen on providing some subsidy or incentives, but this might be difficult in view of the severe financial constraints being faced by the state. INSIDE F’bad, Charkhi Dadri govt schools see 12% rise in admissions Ravinder Saini Tribune News Service Rohtak, July 3 Government schools across Haryana have recorded 7 per cent more Class I-XII admissions compared to last year. The top achieving districts are Faridabad and Charkhi Dadri with an increase of 12 per cent, followed by Panchkula at 10 per cent. Compared to 21.78 lakh students in the previous academic session, 23.35 lakh students have enrolled themselves up to July 2 this year. Around 1.57 lakh more students have sought admissions in government schools this year even as the admission process is still underway. Rewari is at the bottom with 2 per cent admissions while the count is 4 per cent for Rohtak, Sirsa and Mahendragarh districts. Faridabad had a total of 1,08,748 students last year, a count that has gone up to 1,22,005 this year, an increase of 13,257. The corresponding figures for Charkhi Dadri are 35,091 and 39,315, a rise of 4,224 students. Similarly, TOP 3 DISTRICTS DIST INCREASE* F’BAD 13,257 DADRI 4,224 P’KULA 5,948 % 12 12 10 BOTTOM THREE DIST INCREASE* REWARI 1,557 ROHTAK 2,608 SIRSA 5,129 % 2 4 4 *Difference in 2020, 2021 admissions | 1.57 lakh more admissions across Haryana Panchkula saw an increase of 5,948 students. With 9 per cent increase each, Nuh has registered 17,334 more admissions, Karnal 10,912, Kaithal 10,158 and Bhiwani 9,102, said sources. Sources said the state authorities had given every district a target to increase the number of students in government schools. Jhajjar, Rewari and Mahendragarh were asked to ensure at least 10 per cent more admissions. Among the three, Jhajjar has registered the highest increase of 6 per cent. Rewari had a total of 63,978 students last year while the number has now risen to 65,535, up 1,557. Mahendragarh has registered an increase of 2,208, Rohtak 2,608 and Sirsa 5,129, the sources said. Jhajjar DEEO Diljeet Singh said the count had gone up following doorto-door surveys and motivation programme for parents conducted by schoolteachers.
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).