CHENNAI THURSDAY NOVEMBER 14, 2019 `5.00 PAGES 26 LATE CITY EDITION JNU ANNOUNCES PARTIAL ROLLBACK IN FEE HIKE The university’s Executive Council meeting on Wednesday decided to make major concessions in the revised hostel fees STUDENTS UNION TO CONTINUE PROTESTS CONCESSIONS FOR POOR STUDENTS The climbdown by the Jawaharlal Nehru University comes after over two weeks of agitation by students. The JNU students’ union said it will continue its protests till all its demands are met. “If it has passed the IHA Manual without consultation, which includes curfew timings, permission for adult students for going out for a day... we reject it,” it said ■ ■ ■ The room rent which was raised to `600 from `20 for single occupancy will now be `300 for students from BPL category For double occupancy, the rent was hiked from `10 to `300; The amount will now be `150 for BPL students JNU also rescinded earlier note on dress code and hostel timings 50% COST OF ELECTRICITY AND WATER WILL BE PAID BY THE STUDENTS CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI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 NCP forms panel, Sena shares its formula A B H I J I T M U LY E @ Mumbai WITH President’s rule giving Maharashtra parties ample breathing space, the Congress-NCP combine and the Shiv Sena held a series of meetings on Wednesday to evolve a broad consensus on sharing power. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray acknowledged that things were moving in the right direction. The day began with the NCP forming a five-member team to hold talks with the Congress on all aspects, including drawing up of a common minimum programme (CMP). The panel comprises Ajit Pawar, Jayant HIGH PRICES Retail inflation breaches RBI’s comfort zone, zooms to 4.62% Patil, Chhagan Bhujbal, Nawab Malik and Dhananjay Munde. The Congress is yet to officially announce its negotiating team, though it held talks with the NCP and the Sena separately . Later, Maharashtra Congress president Balasaheb Thorat, former chief minister Ashok Chavan and senior party leader Manikrao Thakre held talks with Uddhav on various aspects, including the CMP, at a suburban hotel. The CMP would largely focus on the farm crisis, it is learnt. At a late night meeting Uddhav had with senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Tuesday the Sena suggested , that it could share the chief minister’s post with the NCP for 2.5 years while giving the Congress the post of one deputy chief minister for full five years. On ministerial berths, its formula was 14 each to the Sena and the NCP and 11 to the Congress. The Congress is now expected to drop its demand to keep the Thackerays away from the CM or deputy CM’s post. As for the BJP, its president Amit Shah spoke for the first time, trying to clear the air on rotational chief ministership. He said the Sena never objected when he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi repeteadly harped on making Devendra Fadnavis the CM again during the poll campaign. P11 E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Bengaluru/New Delhi Skips mention before SC bench The Sena opted out of mentioning its petition against the Governor’s refusal to give it three more days to finalise its plans to form the new government, in the Supreme Court Landmark verdict as CJI’s office now under RTI Act But judicial independence has to be kept in mind while disclosing information in public interest, five-member Constitution bench rules E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Hyderabad K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi IT’s as if dismal economic indicators have lined up to upstage each other. The latest disappointing data set is retail inflation, which surged to 4.62% in October, breaching RBI’s mandated medium-term 4% target for the first time in 15 months. It was 3.99% in September and 3.38% in October 2018. The spike was due to high food prices, which shot up 7.89% from 5.11% the previous month. Though the rise is seasonal and due to low base effect (food inflation last year was negative at 0.86%), it should put the central bank on a policy tightening course. Many believe food prices will continue to rise at least till March 2020. But experts say weak economic growth concerns outweigh rising inflation pangs and will compel the RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee to further cut rates when it meets next month. “ G row t h c o n cerns have become far more important than inflation in the current context. We expect growth in Q2FY20 to come in at 4.5%,” said Anagha Deodhar, economist, ICICI Securities. Echoing similar views, Devendra Pant, chief economist at India Ratings and Research, said, “We believe growth concerns will dominate in RBI’s monetary policy review and expect further rate cut.” Monetary stimulus that began in February was supposed to work its way to economic growth, but even a cumulative 135-basis point repo rate reduction failed to charm either demand or private investments. Predictably, almost all ratings agencies have lowered GDP forecasts for both Q2 (at 4.2-4.5%) and for full fiscal FY20 at 5%. According to Aditi Nayar, principal economist at Icra, the extent to which the Q2 GDP growth reading falls will influence the MPC’s decision on whether to cut rates further and by how much. EMPHASISING that transparency doesn’t undermine judicial independence, a five-judge Constitution bench on Wednesday rejected a challenge to a Delhi High Court judgment that brought the Chief Justice of India’s office under the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The judgment saw detailed views from three future chief justices of India — N V Ramana, D Y Chandrachud and Sanjiv Khanna. With the CJI’s office coming under the RTI Act, any citizen can now seek information regarding assets of the judges and also the reason for their appointment. Only seven out of the 34 judges in the SC, including Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, have declared their assets in the public domain. Writing the majority judgment, Justice Sanjiv Khanna said, “Judicial independence and accountability go hand in hand as accountability ensures, and is a facet of judicial independence.” He, however, added that judicial independence has to be kept in mind while disclosing information in public interest. The Supreme Court through its Central Public Information Officer had approached itself after receiving two setbacks from the Delhi High Court in 2009 and 2010 over an order by the Central Information Commission in the RTI case. Cases where the SC itself is litigant are rare. Pointing towards disclosing details regarding the collegium appointments, the bench said, “Transparency and openness in judicial appointments juxtaposed with confidentiality of deliberations remain one of the most delicate and complex areas. Clearly the position is progressive as , well as evolving as steps have been taken to make the selection and appointment process more transparent and open.” However, “there has been a change after concerns were expressed on disclosure of the names and the reasons for those who had not been approved. The position will keep forging new paths by taking into consideration the experiences of the past and the aspirations of the future,” the bench held. Justice Chandrachud said the judiciary cannot function in total insulation. “The legitimacy of the institution... is a function of an assurance that the judiciary and the people that work it are free from bias and partialP11 ity his verdict read. ,” As a shield, the judicial independence is the basis with which judiciary has maintained its trust reposed by the citizens. In light of the same, the judiciary needs to be protected from attempts to breach its independence - Justice N V Ramana Med info, income out of the ambit Details about judges’ medical data, personal relations, employee records, professional income can be classified as personal, said Justice Chandrachud On Thursday, the Supreme Court will pronounce its verdict on a batch of petitions seeking review of its decision to allow entry of women of all ages in Kerala’s Sabarimala temple. The SC will also give its verdict on petitions seeking review of its Rafale judgement giving a clean chit to the Modi government New beginning Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami opened a pedestrian plaza, under smart city mission, built at a cost of `39.86 crore, in T Nagar on Wednesday. He also opened 23 streets redesigned at a cost of `19.11 crore in Kodambakkam | P3 DAYS after an IIT-Madras student committed suicide over alleged religious discrimination, a professor from the institution was summoned for inquiry by the Chennai police. Meanwhile, a suicide note purportedly written by the student has gone viral on the social media, sparking outrage and protests. Parents of Fathima Latheef, the deceased girl, had sought the intervention of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, alleging religious discrimination and humiliation by a faculty member. A senior police of- ficer in Chennai acknowledged that they had received a complaint from Fathima’s parents, and were beginning their inquiry with faculty and inmates of Sarayu hostel in the cam- Students staging a protest in Chennai on Wednesday | EXPRESS pus. “The professor concerned has been summoned for inquiry on Thursday The girl’s parents will be reach. ing the city on the same day said the ,” officer. Though IIT sources said the professor was also questioned on Wednesday, the institution issued no statements about the development. The purported suicide note has provoked protests, with student activists terming her death as ‘institutional murder’. Speaking in Kerala, Fathima’s father said the police had taken her phone for forensic investigation, and he was concerned that they could tamper with the evidence to protect P2 IIT’s image. IN a major relief to the ruling BJP and the 17 disqualified legislators who had aided the formation of its government in Karnataka in July the Supreme Court on , Wednesday allowed them to contest the December 5 bypolls, but, at the same time, upheld the Assembly Speaker’s decision to disqualify them. The Speaker had disqualified and barred the Congress and JDS MLAs from contesting elections for the remaining term of the current Assembly for violating the whip issued by their parties. They had abstained from the session when the then Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had moved a confidence motion. It resulted in the fall of the JDS-Congress coalition government and subsequent formation of the BJP-led government. The disqualified MLAs had challenged the Speaker’s order Disqualified on the ground that he had not MLAs to join considered their resignation and BJP today: BSY took the decision based on the petitions by Congress and the JDS Karnataka Chief legislature party leaders. Minister B S Expectedly, the disqualified Yediyurappa said the legislators and the BJP welcomed disqualified MLAs have expressed their the verdict. Within hours after getting relief from the court, the intention to join the BJP on Thursday and rebels held meetings with senior BJP leaders in the national capithat they would be given membership of tal and announced their decision to join the party on Thursday . the party “We welcome the Supreme Court decision. They (the disqualified MLAs) will join the BJP tomorrow,” Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said after the party core committee meeting in Bengaluru. “We have not discussed it yet. The party state president and other leaders will discuss it,” the CM said when asked if all the disqualified MLAs will be given party tickets. Sources said the party is likely to declare the disqualified legislators as its candidates after they formally join the party November 18 is the last date for . CONTINUED ON: P8 filing nominations. Money bill ‘dodge’ goes to larger bench EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi A five-member Constitution bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday sent the question of testing if the passage of Finance Act 2017 as a Money bill was valid, to a seven-judge bench. The government had taken the money bill route to allegedly duck Rajya Sabha’s scrutiny as the numbers were stacked against it. The court indicated the new bench could also revisit the Aadhaar verdict, which had okayed its passage as a Money bill. While upholding Section 184 of Finance Act 2017 — which enabled the Centre to frame rules on hiring and firing of tribunals — the court struck down the P11 current set of rules. BAIL FOR ACTIVIST MUGILAN The Madurai Bench of the Madras HC says explanation given for his disappearance is a ‘cock and bull story’ | P4 Sabari, Rafale verdicts today IIT-M suicide: Prof named in note to be quizzed E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kollam/Chennai K’TAKA REBELS LIVE TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY WITH SC RELIEF ‘Evidence may be tampered’ While Fathima’s father is afraid the police might tamper with the suicide note owing to pressure from IIT, police said the girl was homesick and the note could be fake. The phone will be opened and checked only after Fathima’s parents reach Chennai on Thursday, police added. BEYOND AN EYESORE Garbage washed ashore at the Foreshore Estate beach in Chennai is likely to pose a major threat to marine life and ecology, if not cleared soon | ASHWIN PRASATH Aavin ghee no more Agmark; Centre cracks whip on 66 brands B A N B U S E LV A N @ Chennai AS many as 66 brands of 33 companies, including Aavin and Hatsun, have been refrained from using the ‘ gmark’ quality certification mark, while selling their A food products in the State. In a notification issued last week, the Directorate of Marketing and Inspection (DMI), functioning under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, warned of legal action against any of these companies using Agmark on their products. Aavin and Hatsun have been barred from using the trademark for their ‘ghee’ as the ‘ gmark’ validity cerA tificate, which is issued once in every five years, expired on March 31. ‘TWO FIRMS APPLIED FOR RENEWAL’ Official sources said the ‘Agmark’ certification issued for 35 firms expired and two of them had applied for renewal. “The remaining firms should not use ‘Agmark’ on their products,” sources said. Refute notification However, both of them refuted the Centre’s notification saying they have valid certificates to use the trademark. Similarly as many as 37 ‘rice’ brands of 17 com, panies located in Chennai, Erode, Kallakuruchi, Salem, Tiruvannamalai and Tiruppur districts have also been directed not to use the ‘ gmark’ brand. A The ‘Agmark’ certificate is being issued by DMI for 225 agricultural products across the country for foodgrains and allied products, vegetable oils, fats, edible nuts, spices and condiments as mark of quality. While the certificate for food products is issued for trade and export purpose, based on the companies’ request, the quality certificate is mandatory for selling P2 blended edible vegetable oils and fat. ‘OUR CERTIFICATES STILL VALID’ Responding to the notification, the Hatsun agro products said the ‘Agmark’ certificate for ghee is valid till March 2020 and Aavin said its certificate is valid till 2023
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