MADURAI THURSDAY APRIL 25, 2019 `6.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY EDITION SEBI BARS LEELA FROM SELLING HOTELS TO CANADA’S BROOKFIELD ITC GETS ITS FOOT IN THE DOOR Cash-strapped Hotel Leelaventure said on Wednesday that Sebi has barred it from selling its four hotels and other assets CHENNAI PROPERTY, TOO, ON HOLD Sebi in its letter to Hotel Leelaventure said it has received representations from the ITC group, which has moved the National Company Law Tribunal against Leela alleging “oppression and mismanagement”, and minority shareholder LIC. Sebi asked the hotel chain not to proceed with the sale till further directions ■ On March 18, Hotel Leelaventure had announced sale of its four hotels located in Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Udaipur, and a property it owns in Agra to Canadian investment fund Brookfield ■ It has sought shareholders nod and voting is scheduled to end on April 24. It plans to use proceeds of the sale to repay debt A3,950 crore THE VALUE OF LEELA GROUP’S DEAL WITH CANADA’S BROOKFIELD 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 THE NUMBERS GAME THREE SCENARIOS 1 Parties led by Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati, Mamata Banerjee, Naveen Patnaik, K Chandrashekar Rao and Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy taken together are expected to get at least 20% of the total LS seats in India. Can they build the chemistry to leverage the math advantage? Some among the six biggies going towards the NDA if it has the best chance to form new govt 2 All of them preferring to go with the UPA to keep the BJP “out of power” if the saffron group does not cross 200 3 All six forming a front and seeking support of one of the bigger parties, most likely Congress - a repeat of the 1990s scenario SIX REGIONAL BIGGIES MAY DECIDE THE DYNAMICS G S VASU W ith neither the NDA nor the UPA touching the magical halfway mark becoming a real possibility after three phases of Lok Sabha elections, six leaders from five states in North, East and South could emerge as the key players when the question of gover nment for mation arises. Between them, the six – Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati in UP, Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal, Naveen Patnaik in Odisha, K Chandrashekar Rao in Telangana and Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh – are expected to notch up at least 20% of the total seats. That they are currently not part of the two big pre-poll alliances gives them the flexibility to call the shots. Going by current calculations, KCR and Jagan, be- tween them, are likely to end up with 30-35 seats of the total 42 in the two states put together and both have dropped sufficient hints that they shall sail together insofar as their role in government formation at the Centre is concerned. Though unlikely to do a repeat of 2014 in Odisha, Naveen Patnaik might still end up with at least 14-15 of the total 21 seats in the bag. Of the other two key states, Mamata may not suffer severe bruises though the BJP by all , accounts, is expected to perform better than in the past, but this could be at the expense of the Congress and the Left. According to political watchers, the TMC is more than likely to retain 34 out of the 42 seats or might just end up losing a couple of them in the worst-case scenario. In UP, the Maya plus Akhilesh combination is clearly seen as @ Chennai/Madurai EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi TWO weeks after the Supreme Court ordered the Election Commission to increase the random matching of paper trail machine slips with the EVM (Electronic Voting Machine) count in each Assembly segment to five booths, 21 opposition parties on Wednesday approached the court seeking review of its order. The parties reiterated their request for matching of at least 50 per cent of the voterverifiable paper trail (VVPAT) slips, saying the order on five booths was grossly insufficient. “The petitioners submit that the aforesaid increase to a mere 2 per cent is not sufficient and will not make any substantial difference to the situation that existed prior to the passing of the impugned order.” The petition argued that Indian democracy could not be left at the mercy of EVM programmers, adding there were reports of large-scale tampering and selective malfunctioning of EVMs in the first two phases of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. As per procedure, after votes are cast, the polling station where VVPAT slips would be matched with EVM results would be decided by a draw of lots in the presence of candidates. The April 8 Supreme Court order meant that five polling stations, instead of one, will be picked for random matching. It could delay in the announcement of results by an hour, the Election Commission said. LOK SABHA ELECTION tion is doubtful. KCR and Jagan appear to be the ones to have kept all options open while Naveen Patnaik remains as unpredictable as always. In UP, having struck a pre-poll alliance, the natural expectation would be that the SP and the BSP together take whatever decision when the time comes, but there could be an outside chance of their drifting apart. If the six are able to pick a leader from among them- selves, the clout of this group will enhance significantly but , whether they will be able to manage that is unsure. Three scenarios emerge as of now (see box). Since many months, KCR has been openly advocating the need for a Federal Front, which has neither the BJP nor the Congress. He is said to be planning a tour to Delhi and some key states before the results are out to explore the scope for such a formation. Special bench to Illegal mining: Daya’s firm faces ED action go after ‘fixers’ targeting the CJI EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Review plea filed in SC on VVPAT slip matching having the potential to win at least 40 out of the 82 seats, if not more. In the event of a hung Parliament, (taking into account pre-poll allies), it throws the door open for all options depending on the NDA or the UPA’s final tally There . are tricky questions, though. Mamata may be open to taking support but whether she 2019 will extend support to even a UPA-led forma- Chiefs of the CBI, IB and Delhi Police asked to meet the three judges in their chambers two court masters sacked for tampering with an order in connection with a case related T H E S u p r e m e C o u r t o n to industrialist Anil Ambani Wednesday said it will not stop had hatched a conspiracy with until it gets to the bottom of the the former woman employee sensational claims made by a who has accused the CJI of sexlawyer that the sexual harass- ual harassment. “This is a seriment allegations against Chief ous matter that needs to be Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi looked into,” the bench said could be part of a larger adding that it will take conspiracy by vested up the matter for hearinterests. ing on Thursday . A three-judge special On the request of senbench headed by Jusior advocate Indira tice Arun Mishra said Jaising that this hearif ‘fixers’ are indeed ing shall not have any able to manipulate the bearing on the in-house Accuser judiciary as alleged, committee probe, the wants then neither the institu- Ramana out bench said, “We clarify tion nor any of the judgthat the exercise which The former es will survive. is undertaken by the SC staffer “This institution of jucourt on the judicial who made diciary is greater than allegations of side is outside the scope all of us. If any fixing of the said matter, the sexual circle is operating here, harassment correctness of which the entire country will against Chief has to be looked into on lose faith in judiciary we , the administrative side Justice of want to go to the root of India Ranjan by the appropriate aualleged conspiracy,” Justhorities. We are taking Gogoi has tice Mishra observed. up the matter so as to asexpressed The hearing comes a certain the correctness concerns day after the apex court of the averments made about the constituted a threein the affidavit, to ascerpresence of judge in-house committain the various aspects Justice N V tee to examine allegawhich have been menRamana in tions of sexual tioned which cannot be the inquiry harassment raised by a panel saying done without proper informer woman employ- he is a close vestigation and any oree against CJI Gogoi. friend of the der passed on judicial Lawyer Utsav Singh side by this Court shall CJI Bains, who made the not affect the matter on conspiracy claim, on Wednes- administrative side.” day submitted the evidence to Earlier in the day, the court substantiate his claims and asked the chiefs of the CBI, IB said that he has some more ma- and Delhi Police to meet the terial to place before the court. judges in their chambers. It, The bench asked him to file an- however, rejected request of Atother affidavit by Thursday torney General K K Venugopal morning with full details. and Solicitor General Tushar The court also asked him to Mehta to order a court-monicorroborate charges that the tored SIT probe. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday attached properties worth `40 crore belonging to a granite firm linked to Dayanidhi Alagiri, son of former Union Minister and expelled DMK leader MK Alagiri. The ED has attached 25 movable and immovable properties of Olympus Granites, of which Dayanidhi is a promoter, director and share-holder. EXPRESS READ 737 MAX crisis cost $1 billion Boeing said Wednesday 737 MAX crisis cost $1 bn in the first quarter as it withdrew its 2019 profit forecast on continued uncertainty about when the grounded jets will fly again after two crashes No NIA court bar on Pragya Mumbai: In a relief for Malegaon blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur, an NIA court here Wednesday rejected a plea to prohibit her from contesting elections BACK IN INDIA Ban lifted as Tik Tok assures crackdown E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Madurai AFTER much drama, the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Wednesday lifted the ban it had imposed on the download of Chinese mobile application Tik Tok. A division bench comprising Justices N Kirubakaran and S S Sundar passed the order after the company filed a counter-affidavit. In it’s counter petition, the company said it had implemented solu- tions of industry-standard to address problems of pornography and illegal behaviour. “The community guidelines educate users not to post, share or promote any obscene, harmful or misleading content,” it said. “The guidelines are available in several languages, including Tamil.” “We also have the ‘report content’ feature for users to report any objectionable content,” the company said, adding that such reported content would be taken down within 15 minutes, on an average. “The complaints would be handled by a grievance officer appointed as per Information and Technology Act.” The company also submitted that it has two types of mechanisms — Artificial Intelligence (AI) and human moderation —to filter out violent and obscene content. Recording these submissions, the bench lifted the ban. The properties attached include lands and buildings in Madurai and Chennai, apart from the `40.34 crore worth fixed deposits. The action pertains to an illegal granite mining case filed against the firm. “S Nagaraj and Dayanidhi Alagiri, along with other accused, criminally conspired and indulged in illegal mining activities in the TAMIN leased land, causing loss to the government and wrongful gain to parties involved,” said a state- ment released by the ED. The State police had, earlier, filed an FIR and charge sheet against the company, its promoters, directors and other individuals, based on which the ED has been probing Olympus Granites in Madurai for violating the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The company, according to the charge sheet, has committed various offences, including under the Explosive Substances Act.
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.
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