CHENNAI WEDNESDAY JANUARY 09, 2019 `5.00 PAGES 30 LATE CITY EDITION TRUMP ADMIN DOWNGRADES EU STATUS, DOESN’T TELL BRUSSELS The diplomatic status of the EU mission in Washington was lowered from ‘member state’ to ‘international organisation’ RUDE AWAKENING AT BUSH’S FUNERAL ■ 2016 E.U. IN TALKS WITH U.S. OVER MOVE The lowering of the EU mission’s status only came to light when the EU ambassador in Washington didn’t receive an invitation to former US President George HW Bush’s funeral in December, as per a report by German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. EU diplomats reportedly said it was unlikely the bloc would retaliate, in the interest of good relations ■ “We are discussing with the relevant services in the administration possible implications for the EU delegation,” said a spokeswoman for European Commission’s diplomatic service The bloc expected “the diplomatic practice established some P17 years ago to be observed”, she added WHEN THE U.S. ADMIN UNDER OBAMA UPGRADED THE E.U. TO ‘MEMBER STATE’ CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI CJI Gogoi and successors to hear Ayodhya case tomorrow EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE SC uncages parrot, puts CBI chief in saddle. Wait begins for power to fly Panel comprising PM, CJI and Kharge to meet in a week to decide on CVC probe against Verma @ New Delhi K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Tuesday set up a five-judge Constitution Bench to hear the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land title dispute case. Interestingly, the composition of the Constitution bench, which will be led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, will also have four future CJIs in line of seniority to hear the batch of appeals. Apart from the CJI, the bench comprising Justices S A Bobde, N V Ramana, U U Lalit and D Y Chandrachud is scheduled to hear the matter on January 10. The composition indicates that the case would now be long-drawn as the CJI has chosen not to include the other two judges — Justices Abdul Nazeer and Ashok Bhushan — who were a part of the three-judge bench that heard the case earlier. The bench will be headed by CJI Gogoi. On January 4, the court said further orders in the matter would be passed on January 10 by “the appropriate bench, as may be constituted”. As many as 14 appeals have been filed in the court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgement delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77acre land be partitioned among the three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. A three-judge bench of the top court, by a 2:1 majority on September 27, 2018, refused to refer to a five-judge Constitution Bench the issue of reconsideration of the observations in its 1994 judgement that a mosque was not integral to Islam. The matter arose during the hearing of the Ayodhya land dispute. IN a landmark judgment with wide ranging ramifications for the Centre and the CBI, the Supreme Court on Tuesday reinstated the probe agency’s director Alok Verma but restrained him from taking major policy decisions till a high-powered committee takes a call on the alleged charges of corruption against him that are being probed by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). Setting aside the government’s order divesting Verma of his powers as the CBI director and sending him on leave, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said protection to the CBI director under the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act was absolute. Under the DSPE Act, there was no provision for interim suspension or removal of the CBI director, the SC pointed out, adding any change can be made only by the selection committee comprising the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha. Verma’s two-year term ends on January 31. While he cannot take any major policy decision for now, there is no bar on him registering any preliminary enquiry, and carrying forward investigations into ongoing cases, including filing of chargesheets. Congress president Rahul Gandhi is hoping Verma will use this wriggle room to open probe into the Rafale deal. “The NO FRESH INITIATIVE “The role of Alok Kumar Verma as the Director, CBI during the interregnum and in terms of this order will be confined only to the exercise of the ongoing routine functions without any fresh initiative, having no major policy or institutional implications,” the verdict said CBI chief was ousted at 1 am because he was about to begin a probe into the Rafale deal. He has been reinstated. Let’s see what happens now,” he said. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called the verdict balanced, saying the Centre’s decision to send Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana on leave based on the CVC’s report. Verma’s fate lies in the hands of the panel comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the CJI, and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, which has been directed by the SC to decide within a week if the allegations against him need a full probe. If the committee rules in favour of Verma, he will retire with his honour intact. Else, he can be investigated and, if found guilty, will face serious consequences. The 44-page judgment was authored by the CJI but was pronounced by Justice S K Kaul as Gogoi was on P13 leave on Tuesday . Will Verma open Rafale probe? No change in the CBI director’s status. While divested of powers, he remained CBI director but on leave without powers other than guiding dayto-day routine administrative decisions TAPAS RANJAN EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the 124th Constitution amendment bill, paving the way for 10 per cent quota for economically weaker sections in government jobs and avenues of education. Rejecting the contention that the bill could be challenged in the Supreme Court, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Constitution amendments to Article 15 and 16 rule out such apprehensions, unlike M A B D U L R A B I @ Tirunelveli Shilpa’s daughter along with her friends at the anganwadi | EXPRESS since she started going to the anganwadi. It’s a gesture that has warmed many hearts. What prompted Shilpa to do so? “I want my daughter to mingle with people from all I want my daughter to mingle with people from all sections of the society and learn how to get along with others. That’s why I chose this instead of nursery schools - Shilpa Prabhakar Satish on previous occasions when the SC nixed similar attempts. “The Indira Sawhney judgment of the Supreme Court had ruled that 50 per cent cap on reservation was only for caste based quota provisions in educational institutions and public employment,” Jaitley said during discussions on the bill, while making an intervention. Against the existing social and educational backwardness criteria in the Constitution, which empowers Centre and states to take affirmative ac- tion, the bill adds economically backwardness in Article 15 and 16 of the Constitution. “The Supreme Court had quashed the notifications issued by the P V Narsimha Rao government in 1991 for 10 per cent reservation for economi- BILL TO FACE RAJYA SABHA TEST TODAY The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha with a thumping majority of 323 votes in favour and three against. AIADMK members staged a walkout. The bill will come up in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday cally weaker sections since the move lacked source of power to enable the government to take such an affirmative action. With this bill amending Article 15 and 16, source of powers have been provided to the government at the Centre and states to take affirmative action for the economically weaker sections of the society,” said Jaitley, while reminding the Congress that the Opposition party in its 2014 manifesto had promised to bring a law for 10 per cent reservation for the economically weaker sections. Jaitley added there is no sections of society and learn how to get along with others. That’s why I chose this instead of a nursery school,” says Shilpa. “The centre is near the Collectorate and equipped with all facilities. The teachers are all very active,” adds Shilpa. Anganwadi centres in the district, indeed, have quality infrastructure and trained staff. “Every anganwadi centre in Tirunelveli has a smart phone, using which they measure the height and weight of children to ensure dietary intake. We have further plans to develop these anganwadis, which play an important role in early childhood care and development,” says Shilpa, the first woman Collector of Tirunelveli. @ Chennai IN a setback to the State government, the Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stay the order of the National Green Tribunal allowing mining giant Vedanta Ltd. to reopen its Sterlite copper smelter in Thoothukudi. The NGT, in its December 15 judgement, directed the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) to pass fresh orders within three weeks, renewing the Consent to Operate the plant. After hearing the State government’s appeal, a bench of Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman and Navin Sinha said the directions passed by the NGT “will continue to subsist and will be subject to the ultimate outcome of the appeal”. A notice was served to Vedanta, seeking response on the gover nment’s appeal against the tribunal order. The Supreme Court also imposed a stay on the impugned order passed by the Madurai bench of Madras High Court, which had said that status quo would continue till January 21 and ordered the State government to inform it by then as to whether it intended to file an appeal against the NGT verdict. ‘Going back to TNPCB’ Speaking to Express, Sterlite need for 50 per cent of the states to ratify the bill since the amendments affect the fundamental rights in the part III of the Constitution. Earlier, Union Minister for Social Justice Thawar Chand Gehlot, while moving the bill, stated that 21 private member bills had been brought in Lok Sabha to demand reservation for economically weaker sections of the society. “This is a historic step taken by the government to ensure social amity which will also allow state governments to make similar provisions,” Gehlot added. NEW TN DISTRICT ANNOUNCED Villupuram to be bifurcated with Kallakurchi as the headquarters of the new district, the CM said | P4 Alliance manager Naidu back at work in Capital cance, keeping in mind the announcement of an alliance by PUSHING for an opposition al- the BSP and SP and its decision liance ahead of the Lok Sabha to keep the Congress out of it. elections, Andhra Pradesh CM According to sources, Naidu N Chandrababu Naidu on Tues- met Rahul at the latter’s residay met Cong ress dence and discussed President Rahul Ganalliance formation, dhi and other opposifollowing the decision tion leaders on Tuesof BSP-SP in UP. The day to work out the rift between Congress modalities to expedite and the two UP parties the formation of reresulted after the Congional alliances. gress’ failure to knit Naidu also met NCP an alliance in the Aschief Sharad Pawar, Chandrababu Naidu sembly elections in Delhi CM Arvind KeChhattisgarh, Madjriwal and PDP’s Farooq Abdul- hya Pradesh and Rajasthan. lah, among others. He disThe opposition leaders are cussed plans to unite all expected to share the stage at a opposition parties and iron out rally called by West Bengal CM differences among regional Mamata Banerjee on January parties. 19 in Kolkata as a show of The meeting holds signifi- strength of opposition unity P13 . R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi NORTHEAST ON THE BOIL Activists of various student unions protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Khumulwng, West Tripura, on Tuesday, when the bill, which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangaldesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, was passed in the Lok Sabha | PTI | P11 SC refuses to stay NGT order on Sterlite; CM says fight still on EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE The high-power committee comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, CJI Ranjan Gogoi and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge has to decide within a week Lok Sabha passes quota bill for upper caste poor TN COLLECTOR ADMITS CHILD IN ANGANWADI, WINS HEARTS PUTTING your child in a proper playschool to begin h i s / h e r e d u c at i o n i s a thought that comes naturally if you live in urban India. But Tirunelveli District Collector Shilpa Prabhakar Satish is different. She chose to admit her daughter to an anganwadi centre in Palayamkottai. For the uninitiated, an anganwadi is a government-run child care centre for the poor. Yet, Shilpa, who hails from Karnataka, didn’t mind. In fact, she’s happy her daughter’s Tamil has improved No bar on Verma to register any preliminary enquiry or carry forward ongoing investigations. The big question is will he open the Rafale probe. Rahul Gandhi hopes he will He cannot take any major policy decisions till a highpower committee takes a call on the CVC probe against him CEO P Ramnath said that by virtue of the order, the State government should allow the reopening of the Sterlite plant. “The deadline set by NGT to renew the CTO ended on January 5. With Supreme Court lifting the status quo order, government is bound to renew the CTO. We will approach TNPCB immediately he said. ,” CM vows permanent closure Meanwhile, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami vowed to take appropriate legal steps to ensure “permanent closure” of the plant. Turning tables, he accused the DMK of being the “root cause for all the problems being faced currently.” It was, indeed, during the DMK regime that the plant was given permission to operate. Notwithstanding, DMK president MK Stalin raised the issue during the zero hour in the Assembly and later staged a walkout with his colleagues over the issue on Tuesday P8 . EXPRESS READ Pongal vacation just got longer Schools, colleges and government offices in the State can enjoy a long weekend as the government on Tuesday declared January 14 (Monday) a holiday. Earlier, January 15-17 was declared as Pongal holidays. In compensation, offices will remain open on February 9. Nilekani to head RBI committee The Reserve Bank of India has formed a high-level committee under Aadhaar architect Nandan Nilekani to suggest measures to strengthen the safety and security of digital payments in India. The fivemember panel has been constituted to enhance financial inclusion through digitisation | P19
Express Publications (Madurai) Limited publishes the prestigious English language newspaper The New Indian Express from 21 centres in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Orissa.
Express Publications (Madurai) Ltd. also publishes the Tamil daily Dinamani, Cinema Express (Tamil) and Malayalam Vaarika (Malayalam). Through a sister company, Kannada Prabha Publications Ltd., it publishes the Kannada daily Kannada Prabha.
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