KOCHI l SATURDAY l JULY 11, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l LATE CITY EDITION APEX COURT ALLOWS SERVICE OF SUMMONS VIA WHATSAPP But, the SC refuses to name the service, keen not to repeat its earlier mistake of saying Xerox instead of photocopying E-MAIL, FAX SERVICES CAN ALSO BE USED SC REFUSES TO INTERVENE IN RBI’S DOMAIN “It has been brought to the notice of the court that it is not feasible to visit post offices for service of notices, summons, and pleadings” due to Covid-19, a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde observed. Therefore, they shall be sent through e-mail or fax on the same day along with instant message like WhatsApp and other phone messenger services ■ ■ The bench noted that “two blue ticks on WhatsApp would convey that the receiver has seen the notice” On extension of cheque’s validity, the bench noted, “We don’t consider appropriate to interfere in the deadline prescribed by RBI. If RBI considers to extend, then they can do it” SC HAD TAKEN SUO MOTU COGNISANCE OF THE DIFFICULTIES IN SERVING NOTICES 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 Terror sections invoked in gold smuggling case NIA to dig out entire network, suspects bigger syndicate’s role. Files FIR under UAPA against Sarith, Swapna, Fazil, Sandeep T O B Y A N T O N Y @Kochi Police at the site where ganglord Vikas Dubey was shot dead when he allegedly tried to flee after his car toppled, near Kanpur on Friday | PTI U.P. GANGLORD SHOT DEAD IN ‘ENCOUNTER’ N A M I TA B A J PA I @ Lucknow A day after his dramatic arrest, UP’s most wanted ganglord Vikas Dubey was shot dead at dawn by a state Special Task Force (STF) during an ‘exchange of fire’ while escorting him back to Kanpur from Ujjain on Friday. Dubey was arrested from the Mahakal temple by Ujjain police on Thursday . On the intervening night of July 2-3, Dubey’s henchmen had gunned down eight policemen, including a Deputy Superintendent of Police-level officer, during a raid at his house in Bikru village in Kanpur. The police claimed the gangster was killed when he tried to escape after snatching a pistol from Inspector Ramakant Pachauri, who was escorting him in an SUV that toppled in Barr under Sanchedi police station in Kanpur. The police claimed it had to open fire as Dubey was trying to flee while firing at the STF team accompanying him. Two constables and a sub-inspector were also injured in the firing. All of them were 416 Kochi: The Central government on Friday informed the Kerala High Court that Swapna Suresh, who has gone into hiding after the Customs seized 30kg of gold smuggled through the diplomatic channel, had conspired and actively participated in the illegal activity. She is a pivotal member of the gang engaged in smuggling of large quantities of gold to India. P4 big syndicate operating from the UAE. On Friday, the NIA registered an FIR which was submitted at the NIA Court in Kochi. The agency has charged Sarith P S, Swapna Suresh, Fazil Fareed and Sandeep Nair under Sections 16 (terrorist act), 17 (funding terrorist activity) and 18 (cons p i r a cy f o r t e r r o r i s t activity) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Sarith is currently in the custody of the Customs which is probing the smuggling aspect. Swapna, Fazil and Sandeep have absconded. Fazil who allegedly sent the 30kg of gold from the UAE is a businessman and has been under treatment 6,950 cases have been confirmed so far 3,820 recovered 4 MIGRATED @ T’Puram AS much as 107kg of gold is estimated to have been sneaked in inside diplomatic baggage through Kochi airport this year, with its end destination remaining unclear. This has prompted the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to take over the case, highly placed sources told TNIE. Intelligence sources said the gold arrived in various consignments and it need to be ascerThe central tained whether the booty had agencies felt the ended up with extremist groups case needs or those who are engaged in in-depth probe. floating a parallel economy . It’s not just about 30kg of gold. “The central agencies felt the There are a lot of case needs in-depth probe. It’s other questions not just about 30kg of gold. There that need to be are a lot of other questions that answered need to be answered. Where did this much gold go? Who are the A source end users? Did it go to a single place or multiple destinations? The probe is expected to unravel all these mysteries,” said an intelligence source. The sources added that the seized 30kg was the largest consignment sent via the diplomatic channel and the other consignments were of lesser quantities. The agencies have found out that since January, Swapna Suresh had travelled abroad up to five times and, on two occasions, she was accom● More on P4 panied by a senior bureaucrat. LAC STAND-OFF Another death was reported on Friday, taking the toll to 28. Saifudeen, 67, a native of Manikyavilakom in Thiruvananthapuram, is the deceased. More talks and some sermons on peace 28 PUSHKAR BANAKAR AND M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi DEATHS KERALA moved eerily close to a community spread following an alarming surge in local transmission cases even as the chief minister said the UDF was instigating people to stage protests and scuttle the government’s Covid fight. On Friday, local transmission cases (204) outnumbered imported ones (174) for the first time as the day’s new cases touched 416 in the highest singleday spike since the outbreak. The local spread cases included 35 ITBP personnel, two BSF and one CISF personnel. Of the new cases, 129 were from Thiruvananthapuram. Among them, 112 were in the city corporation limits, with 77 cas- es from Poonthura and 16 f r o m n e a r b y Manikyavilakom. To add to the authorities’ worries, residents of super spread area of Poonthura took to the streets violating triple lockdown and staged a protest demanding the opening of shops selling essential items. “The rise in local contact cases in proportion to the total number will lead to a dangerous situation. This is very alarming and it won’t take l o n g fo r c o m m u n i t y spread to happen if we err in precaution,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said at the media briefing. The surge in local spread is driven by the primary and secondary contacts of NRK patients who returned from other states and countries. ● More on P5 16 PAGES, INCLUDING 4 PAGES OF KOCHI EXPRESS The quantity and the modus operandi adopted for the smuggling prompted the NIA to launch a probe. “First, the incident is related to diplomatic relations with a friendly country which also has asked the Government of India to conduct a thorough probe. No ordinary smuggler can bring in gold or any other contraband through the diplomatic channel,” an of● More on P4 ficer said. S H A N A S @ T’Puram 204 local spread cases. UDF inciting people to scuttle Covid fight: CM EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE under the radar of multiple agencies for smuggling activities. “The Customs probe will continue to look into the smuggling of gold in the particular incident. The NIA probe will be into the smuggled gold being used for funding of terrorist activities. We will coordinate with the Customs and other agencies which are also tracking the incident,” a source in the MHA said. 107kg gold sneaked in via Kochi airport this year in diplomatic bags taken to Lala Lajpat Rai hospital in Kanpur where the doctors declared Dubey dead upon arrival. He had received four bullet shots — three in his chest and one in the arm — doctors later informed. His body was then sent for post-mortem, which was conducted by a team of three doctors while two videographers recorded it. While the parents of the gangster disowned him and refused to accept the body, his brother-in-law performed the last rites in the presence of his wife and son in the evening. Later in the day the STF , released a detailed account of the circumstances leading to Dubey’s killing, to counter allegations of it being a fake encounter, as the gangster knew too much and could have revealed the police-criminalpolitician nexus. It tried to explain off the SUV’s accident to an attempt by its ‘tired’ driver to swerve to avoid colliosion with a herd of cows and buffaloes that had suddenly come running across the highway . CONTINUED ON: P7 KERALA CASE DIARY cases reported on Friday 3,098 THE National Investigation Agency (NIA), which has registered a case in connection with the gold smuggling through the diplomatic channel in Thiruvananthapuram, has been directed by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to unearth the entire smuggling chain in Kerala and abroad. The agency suspects the involvement of a Swapna member of gang: Centre to HC AMID a fresh round of diplomatic engagement by the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) on Friday, Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong said both countries need peace rather than confrontation. However, status quo will continue in Ladakh as for now, sources said. “The militaries of India and China have disengaged about 2km from their stand-off positions. The next Corps Commander meeting is scheduled in the coming week to discuss the disengagement from Depsang Bulge and total retreat from the Finger-4 area at Pangong Tso,” sources said. Referring to the violent face-off between Indian and Chinese troops on June 15 in Galwan Valley, Sun said, “The right and wrong of what recently happened at the Galwan Valley is very clear. China will firmly safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity .” Earlier in the day, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke with his counterparts in the United States and South Korea. India’s GDP to take `15 lakh crore dent from pandemic R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi INDIA’S overall GDP will take a `14.88 lakh crore hit from Covid-19, which will have a huge impact on employment across sectors, a white paper by the Ministry of Science and Technology says. The document titled “Focused Interventions for ‘Make in India’-post COVID-19” by the Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), an autonomous body under the Department of Science & Technology, analysed the pandemic’s impact on various sectors. “The expected import from China to India in FY20 is approximately five per cent of India’s GDP, value amounting to `8.5 lakh crore. If a major portion of this import is replaced with indigenously developed products, it would significantly reduce SECTORS EXPECTED TO TAKE A BIG HIT Sectors Apparel/Textiles Auto Aviation and Tourism Building and Construction Retail Education and Skilling Financial Sector (Incl. Insurance) Food and Agriculture MSME % of Employment Covid-19 impact (2018-2019) GDP in 2020-2021 2 45 Million Med-High 7-8 40 Million High 11.4 43 Million High ~10 High 10 10% of total workforce Med-High 3 Medium 9 Medium 15 43% of total workforce Medium 30 11.4 crore (99% Micro) High the expected GDP loss. The same can be done by following China plus one policy, strengthening the ‘Make in India’ initiative in identified sectors,” the document concluded. The global shutdown and quarantine because of the pandemic has severely affected the supply side of the economy without collateral damage to the demand side and has impacted most sectors, noted the 84-page document. “The supply side in the sectors of mining, manufacturing, construction, food, entertainment and recreation has been badly impacted whereas in sectors like agriculture, textile, electrical equipment, education and healthcare services, the demand is not so affected,” it said, adding that in order to calculate the impact on demand, correlations between demand, lockdown and spread were taken into account. P10
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