CHENNAI TUESDAY NOVEMBER 05, 2019 `5.00 PAGES 26 LATE CITY EDITION NO PRIMA-FACIE EVIDENCE AGAINST CEO, SAYS INFOSYS A group of anonymous whistle-blowers had accused the IT major’s top management of indulging in unethical practices ‘NOTHING TO CORROBORATE ALLEGATIONS’ U.S., INDIAN REGULATORS KEEPING TAB “There is no prima-facie evidence that the company has received until date to corroborate any of the allegations made,” Infosys informed the National Stock Exchange on Monday. It said it has roped in law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co to investigate the matter and it has also started consultations with independent internal auditor EY ■ ■ The whistle-blower complaint dated September 20 alleged CEO Salil Parikh and CFO Nilanjan Roy had forced the company’s accountants to tinker with financial records to show profit US market regulator SEC and Indian regulator Sebi have shot off notices to the company seeking explanation | P19 3.23% INFOSYS SHARES ROSE ON MONDAY TO CLOSE AT `710.10 APIECE ON THE NSE 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 Modi shuts the door on skewed RCEP deal Current form of agreement not in India’s best interests, says PM J AYA N TA R O Y C H O W D H U R Y & M A N I S H A N A N D @ New Delhi JUNKING years of negotiations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced India was pulling out of the much hyped Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) — touted to be the world’s largest trade bloc, comprising 30% of global GDP and half of the world’s population. “The present form of the RCEP agreement does not fully reflect the basic spirit and the agreed guiding principles of RCEP. It also does not address satisfactorily India’s outstanding issues and concerns. In such a situation, it is not possible for India to join RCEP Agreement,” Modi said, adding that whichever way he looked at it, he wasn’t convinced how joining the bloc would benefit the poorest of the poor in the country . After India opted out, the leaders of 15 RCEP countries reportedly issued a statement resolving to sign the free trade pact next year. While the Prime Minister said the deal does not address India’s concerns about protecting its domestic industry — without which the pact would adversely impact the On a day the odd-even vehicle norm was rolled out, civic workers with masks on spreading awareness in Delhi to combat vehicular pollution | PARVEEN NEGI SC saves Delhi, bans stubble burning K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi TEARING into the political class for its inaction in dealing with pollution in Delhi, the Supreme Court on Monday summoned chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana to explain why they had failed to curb stubble burning, whose fumes have made the Capital a gas chamber. A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said, “Stubble burning must stop immediately Both the Centre and the state . must do this. People are dying. The sad thing is everyone in this country is interested in all sorts of gimmicks. This is worst than Emergency now. That Emergency was better than this emergency .” The observation came while hearing a petition from the Environment Pollution Control EXPRESS READ India’s Davis Cup match shifted out of Pakistan CHENNAI: The Davis Cup tie between India and Pakistan has finally been shifted out of Islamabad following security concerns. The International Tennis Federation, in a release, agreed with India’s concern that Pakistan was unsafe for its players. “Following a review of the latest advice given by the ITF’s independent security advisors, the Davis Cup committee has taken the decision that...tie..must be played at a neutral venue. The ITF’s...priority has always been safety of athletes, officials and spectators,” ITF said. Pakistan will choose the venue | P20 Authority (EPCA) on stubble burning in states like Punjab and Haryana. The chief secretaries will appear before the bench on Wednesday . “Delhi is choking while the Delhi government and Centre are simply passing the buck. People aren’t safe even inside their houses. This can’t happen in a civilised country. The time has come to fix responsibility for the situation that is destroying the Right to Life of citizens in gross violation of Article 21. Everybody is answerable - from the state to the gram panchayats. Life span of people is being reduced in the Capital.” Holding the governments responsible for the Delhi’s pollution, the bench said, “They are interested in electioneering only and they are answerable. We will not tolerate this.” The bench ordered that all officers right from chief secre- VIOLATORS WILL NOT BE SPARED, WARNS COURT Stop stubble burning immediately. Every official from village level upwards will be held accountable if it happens in future, warns SC Garbage burning banned. Violators must pay `5,000 penalty Ensure no power cuts in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, UP to avoid gensets Give wide publicity to the orders through all audio-visual media WOMAN TAHSILDAR BURNT ALIVE AT OFFICE tary to the gram sarpanch will be held accountable for even a single incident of stubble burning. They will be prosecuted for contempt of court, it warned. The Delhi government was also ordered to submit data on its odd-even vehicle scheme by Friday “What will you achieve? . You are stopping private cars, but autos and taxis can ply... they will ply more now and pollute equally the court said. ,” The bench puts a halt on all construction and development work in the Delhi/NCR area and directed a fine of `1 lakh on violations. IIT Delhi Prof Mukesh Khare, who appeared before the court, said, “We need to address four major factors stubble burning, spraying water to suppress dust, stop burning of waste and addressing dust P9 from unpaved roads.” IN RARE ACTION, AP CHIEF SECY SHUNTED E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Hyderabad E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Vijayawada A woman tahsildar was burnt alive by a man at her office at Abdullahpurmet in Telangana’s Ranga Reddy district on Monday The culprit, who is a tenant farmer, had . gone to meet tahsildar Vijaya Reddy to discuss details of a land dispute case. Amid the meeting, an argument broke out between the duo over the ownership of a parcel of land. The man then took out a bottle of petrol, poured its contents over her and set her ablaze. He too suffered burn injuries. Vijaya cried for help and ran towards the exit door, but collapsed midway and died, eyewitnesses say. Two of her staff members, who tried to douse the flames, sustained serious inP6 juries and are being treated at a local hospital. THREE days after he issued a show-cause notice to Andhra Pradesh Principal Secretary Praveen Prakash alleging grave misconduct and violation of government business rules, the state’s Chief Secretary (CS) LV Subramanyam was transferred by the Andhra Pradesh government. In the notice, Subramanyam had charged Praveen, handpicked by Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy for the position, with issuing orders without bringing them to his notice. The decision comes amid signals that the equation between Chief Minister Reddy and Subramanyam, a 1983-batch IAS officer, had frayed in recent times. Transfers of officers holdP6 ing such high posts are rare. Outrage as Thiruvalluvar statue desecrated EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Thanjavur/Chennai AFTER Periyar and Ambedkar, it’s the turn of Thiruvalluvar. A statue of the poet-philosopher in Pillayarpatti, near Thanjavur, was desecrated on Sunday night. The statue was smeared with mud, and its eyes covered with paper. On Monday morning, passersby noticed it and informed the Tamil University police. The statue was cleaned, garlanded, and given police protection.Tamil enthusiasts staged protests later in the day . The statue in Pillayarpatti now has police protection | EXPRESS In Chennai, DMK chief MK Stalin condemned the incident. “There’s doubt if there are links between the desecration and BJP posting a portrait of the poet-philosopher in saffron robes,” he said. CPI, MDMK, and AMMK also condemned the incident. Four special teams have been formed by the police to nab the culprits. Ruling out a ‘communal motive’, Inspector General V Varadharaju said: “CCTV visuals show a middle-aged man clad in veshti passing through the road at 11pm. Efforts are on to trace him.” P5 MAKE WAY As many as 16 earth movers were engaged on Monday in desilting the Adyar River, ahead of the monsoon rains | DEBADATTA MALLICK livelihood of millions of Indians — the door is technically still open for India to sign the free trade agreement before it becomes a reality next year. Sources said the core issues raised by India includes the threat of circumvention of Rules of Origin. India also pushed for a better pact addressing the issues of trade imbalance and opening of trade in services. It also wanted the right to raise customs duties in case of an unexplained surge in imports. Sources said India also raised the unviability of MFN (Most Favoured Nation) obligations. Under this, India would have to extend MFN status to all RCEP partners if it has given investment or services-related concessions to a trading partner. Signs of discord emerged when China refused to accept India’s demands on back-loading tariff reductions on a host of products ranging from textiles to automobile parts to electronics. New Zealand sought access to the dairy sector, but India wanted to shield it from competition. “There was also no credible assurance for India on market access and non-tariff barriers,” sources added. CONTINUED ON: P19 The sticky points India wanted an auto-trigger mechanism that will allow charging higher import duty if there is a suspicious surge in import of any product India wanted to protect its dairy and farm sectors from foreign competition but Australia and New Zealand wanted full access to these lucrative markets If MFN status was given to an RCEP member, the trade incentives under the scheme would be automatically extended to all other RCEP partners. India did not agree to this India wanted to backload tariff reductions which are expected to reduce duties on 74% of India’s imports to nil over a 20-year period When I measure the RCEP Agreement with respect to the interests of all Indians, I do not get a positive answer. Neither the Talisman of Gandhiji nor my own conscience permit me to join RCEP Narendra Modi, Prime Minister MAHA MIND GAMES BJP adds key ministries to no-go basket for Sena EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi WITH options shrinking for the Shiv Sena, the BJP appears on course to stake its claims to form the new government in Maharashtra. Also, the BJP brass has added more elements to its no-negotiation list with the Sena. Apart from the chief ministership, key portfolios of home, finance and public works department, too, won’t be on the table whenever the Sena climbs off its high horse and goes for negotiations. The hardening of stance coincided with NCP chief Sharad Pawar meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi here on Monday, after the Sena tapped the former for an alliance. According to indications from the Congress camp, it is not keen to back the Sena and will wait for the NCP to make the first move. While both the Congress and the NCP agree the mandate for them is to sit in the opposition, neither has rejected any future possibility of backing the Sena if it decides to break its alliance with the BJP . A top Congress leader said PWD, home, finance out of deal zone With Sena’s NCP gambit bombing, it’s losing leverage with the BJP Apart from CM’s post, BJP adds home, finance and PWD portfolios to its no-negotiation list Sena asks Guv to call party with majority to form govt the Sena’s gesture is part of its pressure tactics to bargain hard with the BJP and both would reach an accord soon. Parallelly, incumbent Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited Delhi and consulted BJP chief Amit Shah, Union minister Nitin Gadkari and the party’s national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav. Fadnavis later told reporters he was confident of forming the government soon. Shah, however, will stay away from the negotiations with the Shiv Sena. Sources said the BJP brass has asked Fadnavis to not allow the Sena to dictate terms on government formation. P7 JUST FOR FUN Food security act: Attracted by free meals in jail, man makes hoax bomb threat calls Depressed E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Erode Santhosh Kumar was depressed after his wives walked out on him, and that he was stuck in a boring job. He left Mettupalayam on October 31 HE married twice, but both his wives eloped. He had a job, but he quit as it was highly stressful. Finally, it came to a point where he had no place to stay and no food to eat. Then, R Santhosh Kumar decided the best way to get free food and lodging is by going to jail. The result of that decision was a bomb threat to the Erode Railway Station. R Santhosh Kumar Around 5pm, Sunday, the railway police control room in Chennai received a call. In keeping with stereotypes on terrorism, the caller identified himself as ‘Ibrahim’. The caller said a bomb had been planted at the Erode station and would go off shortly. A little later, the police control room received a similar call about bombs being planted at the Erode bus stand. The police swung into action. Bomb squads rushed to the bus stand and railway station. Meanwhile, police tracked down the address of the mobile from which the call came. Records said the number belonged to one M Sivakumar from Karungalpalayam. Police swooped down and detained the man. He claimed to have given his phone to his brother-in-law, S Lingaraj. Then Lingaraj was held, who said his phone was stolen two days back. Searches continued. Around 2am, Monday, police found a man sleeping at the railway station. We picked him up from the railway station on sheer suspicion. On examining his phone, we realised it was him who made the calls Police official Smelling something fishy, they took him into custody He . identified himself as R Santhosh Kumar of Mettupalayam. They checked his phone and found out that he had made multiple calls to control room. It dawned much later that all of this, even the arrest, was part of an elaborate plan sketched by Santhosh Kumar himself. He told police that he was married twice, but both his wives abandoned him. He was working with a mill in Mettupalayam, but did not like the job. Santhosh was depressed. On October 31, he called it quits and moved to Erode. As he had no home or food, he decided the best way to secure both was to go to jail. On November 1, he stole the mobile phone from Lingaraj, and made hoax calls. It worked. Santhosh Kumar is now under arrest.
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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