28022023-TT-01.qxd 2/27/2023 10:47 PM Page 1 13 CHANDIGARH | GURUGRAM | JALANDHAR | BATHINDA | VOL. 143 NO. 58 | 12 PAGES | ~5.00 | REGD. NO. CHD/0006/2021-2023 ESTABLISHED IN 1881 HIMACHAL PRADESH CHINA CALLS FOR PEACE AFTER US WARNS AGAINST AIDING RUSSIA WORLD /thetribunechd NOT RAISING FUNDS IN NEPAL, OLI’S PARTY PULLS AGAINST ASSETS: ADANI OUT OF PRACHANDA-LED GROUP BUSINESS GOVT BACK PAGE AMID KILLINGS, KPs DEMAND RELOCATION TO JAMMU J&K tuesday | 28 february 2023 /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com BJP, allies to retain Tripura & Nagaland, Sisodia hiked profit margins, says CBI; gets 5-day remand close contest in Meghalaya: Exit polls EXCISE SCAM L-G gave assent: Dy CM’s counsel Tribune News Service New Delhi, February 27 The ruling BJP alliance is set to retain governments in Tripura and Nagaland while the contest in Meghalaya is signalling a hung Assembly, the exit poll results indicated on Monday. All three states have 60member Assemblies with 31 as the majority mark. The aggregate of four exit polls — India Today-Axis My India; Times Now-ETG Research; Zee NewsMatrize and Jan ki Baat — predicted a comfortable majority of 32 for the ruling BJP and Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) in Tripura; and 42 for the ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and the BJP in Nagaland, indicating that the saffron party will further expand its North-East footprint. In Meghalaya, CM Conrad Sangma-led National People’s Party (NPP) appears on course to be the single largest with about 20 seats, but way off the majority mark. The exit polls indicate 6 seats for the BJP in Meghalaya, up from 2 in 2018; and a Saffron party set to expand footprint | Cong may see near-rout in Nagaland, Tripura POLLING PEACEFUL Polling went off peacefully across 3,419 polling stations in Meghalaya and 2,291 in Nagaland. There was no demand for repoll from any of the 5,710 polling stations. EC MEGHALAYA TURNOUT 76% 84% NAGALAND TURNOUT Women show their inked fingers after casting their votes at Ri Bhoi district of Meghalaya on Monday. PTI MEGHALAYA.. Total seats: 60 EXIT POLL BJP India Today Jan ki Baat Times Now Zee News 4-8 6-12 18-24 3-7 6-11 11-16 3-6 2-5 18-26 6-11 3-6 21-26 Cong NPP * Polling held in 59 constituencies massive setback for the Congress, which is expected to win 6 seats. It won 21 last time, emerging as the single largest party. NAGALAND.. Total seats: EXIT POLL India Today Jan ki Baat Times Now Zee News TRIPURA.. 60 Total seats: Cong NPP EXIT POLL 38-48 1-2 35-45 0 39-49 0 35-43 1-3 3-8 6-10 4-8 2-5 India Today Jan ki Baat Times Now Zee News BJP 60 BJP Cong NPP 36-45 29-40 21-27 29-36 0 0 0 0 6-11 9-16 18-24 13-21 * Polling held in 59 constituencies A common takeaway from all exit polls is the rout of the Congress in these northeastern states with the party winning just 1 seat in Nagaland and none in Tripura. The polls indicate that the Left Front which ruled the state for 25 years will be restricted to 15 seats. The Left and Con- gress contested together this time. Tipra Motha, the new party led by erstwhile royal Pradyot Deb Barma in Tripura, continued on page 9 Tribune News Service New Delhi, February 27 A local court today remanded Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in five-day remand of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the excise policy case. Seeking his remand, the investigating agency claimed before Rouse Avenue Court special judge MK Nagpal incriminating documents had been seized from Sisodia’s computer and argued the case pertained to increasing profit margins of liquor manufacturers from the existing 5% to 12%. Also, the eligibility criteria was changed for bidders from the existing Rs 100 crore turnover to Rs 500 crore. “Sisodia has been unable to explain how and why these changes were carried out,” the CBI told the court, adding the entire case pertained to a hike in “profit margins” and is a “conspiracy” hatched in a secretive manner. Denying the charges, the counsel for Sisodia claimed the Lieutenant-Governor (then Anil Baijal) had given his assent to the scheme on May 19, 2021. “No phone calls, MoD rapped over payment ofOROP arrears Tribune News Service The scheme for recruitment in armed forces was announced last June. FILE In nation’s interest: Delhi HC upholds Agnipath’ ‘ Tribune News Service New Delhi, February 27 The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed petitions challenging the Centre's Agnipath scheme for recruitment in the armed forces, saying "it is formulated in the national interest to ensure that the forces are better equipped". "This court finds that the petitioners have no vested right to claim that the recruitment under the 2019 notification and CEE (Combined Entrance Examination) needs to be completed," said a Bench led by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad. The Bench, which had reserved its verdict on the petitions on December 15, 2022, said, "The petitioners have no vested right to seek such recruitment, and secondly, that promissory estop- Junks pleas challenging recruitment scheme pel and legitimate expectation find themselves severely restricted by the overarching concerns of public interest." The Bench also rejected the petitioners' contention that those who took part in the regular recruitment process should be placed on a par with individuals who were recruited through rallies, saying the argument did not hold water. Under the Agnipath scheme announced in June last year, youth aged between 17-and-ahalf and 21 years would be inducted into the armed forces for four years and 25 per cent of them would be retained for 15 more years. Later, the government extended the upper age limit for recruitment to 23 years. New Delhi, February 27 The Supreme Court on Monday took strong exception to a communication issued by the Ministry of Defence for payment of One Rank, One Pension (OROP) arrears in four quarterly instalments to eligible pensioners of the armed forces. “You tell the Secretary we are going to take action against him for that January 20 communication. Either he withdraws it or we are going to issue a contempt notice to the Ministry of Defence. The sanctity of the judicial process has to be maintained,” a Bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandra- SANCTITY OF JUDICIAL PROCESS VITAL: CJI We are going to take action against the Secretary for the Jan 20 communication. Either he withdraws it or we are going to issue a contempt notice to MoD. The sanctity of judicial process has to be maintained.Bench led by CJI DY Chandrachud NEXT HEARING AFTER HOLI FESTIVAL ❝ ■ Additional Solicitor General urged the Bench to post the matter in April, saying the MoD needed more time to chud told Additional Solicitor General N Venkataraman. The Bench asked the Secretary in the Defence Ministry overseeing the work of the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare to file a personal affidavit explaining his posi- carry out the exercise ■ The Bench, however, post- ed the matter for hearing after Holi vacation tion. Venkataraman urged the Bench to post the matter for further hearing in April, saying the Ministry needed more time to carry out the exercise as per the court’s order. However, the Bench posted the matter for hearing after Holi vacation. On behalf of the petitioners, senior counsel Huzefa Ahmadi alleged that around four lakh pensioners had already died waiting for the OROP benefits and the government had unilaterally extended the payment deadline fixed by the court. The petitioners should be paid 9 per cent interest on the amount due to them, he demanded. The Supreme Court on January 9 granted time till March 15 to the Centre to clear the OROP dues of all eligible pensioners of the defence forces. “I will personally look into it…. By March 15, the money will start flowing into the continued on page 9 2021 POLICY: Proposed in 2020, policy came into effect in Nov 2021. Delhi was divided into 32 zones with each zone having 27 liquor vends, allowing only private liquor shops to run in city ‘UNDUE BENEFITS’ TO VENDORS ■ In July 2022, L-G recommends CBI probe into Excise Policy 2021-22 based on Chief Secy’s report finding ‘lapses’ in extending ‘undue benefits’ to vendors ■ Sisodia made changes to policy without L-G’s nod, cited ~144.36-cr waiver to liquor cartel in the guise of Covid pandemic, it claims ■ Increased profit margins of liquor makers from existing 5% to 12%; changed eligibility criteria for bidders from ~100 cr to messages or meetings (between liquor manufacturers and officials) are relatable to Sisodia. The profit margin was approved by the LG… the Tribune News Service Tribune News Service PUT ON ALERT Shimla, February 27 With the hill state witnessing a deficit rainfall this winter season, the government has pressed the alert button over an impending water crisis. The departments concerned have been told to chalk out a strategy to mitigate the drought-like situation the state is currently experiencing. The deputy commissioners have been ■ Dept heads told to chalk out a strategy to mitigate drought-like conditions ■ DCs told to preserve and rejuvenate traditional water bodies like baolis, ponds told to preserve and rejuvenate traditional water bodies like baolis and ponds.In a review meeting on the matter today, which was continued on page 9 RULES NOT FRAMED New Delhi, February 27 The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to list for hearing a PIL seeking directions to states and UTs to frame rules for the registration of Sikh marriages under the Anand Marriage Act, 1909. “Yes, we will list it,” said a three-judge Bench led by CJI DY Chandrachud after the petitioner’s counsel mentioned it with a request to list ■ Amended in 2012, Act to allow Sikh couples option to register marriages under it ■ State governments were supposed to frame rules, but it was not done it for hearing. “This Act is concerning a century-old law,” the petitioner’s counsel told the Bench, alluding to the Anand Marriage Act, continued on page 9 5 gangsters eliminated, 564 arrested in past 10 months: Police PATIALA: A student of Punjabi Tribune News Service University here was reportedly stabbed to death on Monday. Navjot Singh, a third-year student of Computer Science Engineering at the University College of Engineering, died of multiple stab injuries in the stomach. Another student sustained a head injury. Officials said a spat between two groups apparently led to the incident. — TNS Chandigarh, February 27 While the bloody clash between members of the Lawrence Bishnoi and Jaggu Bhagwanpuria gangs inside the Goindwal Sahib Central Jail in Tarn Taran district on Sunday has once again brought to the fore the menace of gang war in Punjab, the police claim only 73 gangsters are currently active (not 73 ACTIVE IN PUNJAB, 4,000 HIDEOUTS RAIDED, SAYS REPORT ■ As many as 73 gangsters are currently active (not caught yet) in state, suggest police records, adding their number had gone up to 2,000 in 2020-21 caught yet) in the state. The sheer number of gangs and their hideouts, as per the police record, reflects the deep reach these criminals ■ As many as 4,000 suspected hideouts of members linked to Bhagwanpuria (2,371) and Bishnoi (1,490) gangs have been raided in February have, though police officials claim the number of active gangsters has dropped below 100 for the first time in the state. Police records suggest a high number ❝ Suchshows how deepof hideouts gang culture has permeated. We have been able to keep it in check now. A police official five gangsters have been eliminated and 564 arrested since May last year when the Bhagwant Mann government formed the Anti-Gang- ster Task Force. Among those neutralised is Teja, killed in a police encounter last week. Besides, the police had in July last year killed Mannu Kusa and Roopa, both alleged shooters of singer Sidhu Moosewala. The police had this month only identified and raided more than 4,000 possible hideouts of the Bhagwanpuria and Bishnoi continued on page 9 G’s nod and were attempted to be legalised by getting stamp of a post-facto Cabinet decision ■ Excise Dept refunded earnest money of ~30 cr to lowest bidder of licence of Airport Zone, when it failed to obtain NOC from airport authorities ■ CBI books 15 individuals, including Excise Minister Manish Sisodia, for extending undue favours to liquor vendors LG had given some suggestions that were incorporated in the policy,” the counsel continued on page 9 Edit: Sisodia’s arrest EPFO sets May 3 deadline for higher pension option NEW DELHI: The EPFO has set May 3 as deadline for subscribers to opt for higher pension. The SC had given a four-month window. PTI SC extends Pawan Khera’s interim bail till Friday NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday extended till Friday the interim bail granted to Congress leader Pawan Khera in a case related to his remarks against PM Narendra Modi. TNS SC turns down plea for ‘renaming commission’ NEW DELHI: The apex court on Monday dismissed a PIL seeking a direction to the Centre to set up a ‘renaming commission’ to restore “original” names of ancient historical, cultural and religious places. TNS Murder suspect Monu flees to Nepal, calls intercepted One suspect remanded in custody Tribune News Service 36% rain deficit, HP readies SC to list plea on enforcing for looming water scarcity Anand Marriage Act,1909 ~500 cr turnover ■ Some decisions made without L- IN BRIEF Sumedha Sharma University student stabbed to death Jupinderjit Singh Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia being produced in a court Monday. PTI Gurugram, February 27 While the Rajasthan Police have been on their toes to make arrests in the February 16 Junaid-Nasir murder case, key suspect Monu Manesar has already crossed over to Nepal. According to a senior Rajasthan police official, four suspects in the Bhiwani double murder case, including Monu Manesar, have fled to the neighbouring country. The police got this major lead while intercepting calls that Monu made to his accomplices under surveillance and recording their financial transactions. Sources said some of his accomplices had gone into hiding in UP Reportedly, a . few well-connected right wing people have helped the suspects escape Haryana. “We have got intel inputs in the matter but can’t reveal much at this stage,” said a senior official. The revelation has yet again brought the Rajasthan Police investigation under scanner. The police failed to issue a red-corner notice in time, which reportedly helped the suspects escape, said the sources. According to an investigation by the Haryana Police in a related matter, a majority of the suspects, including BHIWANI MURDERS CALL FOR PROTEST ON MARCH 1 As the Internet ban continued for second day in Nuh, the situation remained peaceful in the district. Supporters of Nasir-Junaid have called for a massive protest in Utawar village of Palwal on March 1. Monu, were in their houses even 24 hours after the abduction complaint. Rajasthan IG Gaurav Shrivastav said the report of forensic science laboratory had confirmed that the charred bodies found in the SUV at Loharu in Bhiwani were of Junaid and Nasir. Arrested in the case, the police produced Rinku Saini, in a local court, which sent him to custody till March 2.
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).