EC REMOVES KAMAL NATH FROM STAR CAMPAIGNERS’ LIST New Delhi: The Election Commission on Friday removed Congress leader Kamal Nath from star campaigners’ list over repeat violation of the model code of conduct. It referred to his recent remarks, calling BJP leader Imarti Devi an “item”, and his use of adjectives like “mafia” against Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan CHENNAI SATURDAY OCTOBER 31, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 20 LATE CITY EDITION 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 Guv clears quota Bill after $1.2 billion blow to Antrix in nixed Devas deal TN finds NEET alternative EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bengaluru Purohit says the delay was because he had sought legal opinion of the Solicitor General; new Bill in accordance with Constitution T M U R U G A N A N D H A M @ Chennai A DAY after the State government issued an Order allocating 7.5 per cent reservation to government school students for admissions to undergraduate medical courses in the State, Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Friday gave his assent for a Bill pending with him for over 40 days allowing the same. A release from the Raj Bhavan attributed the delay to the time taken to obtain a legal opinion from the Solicitor General of India (SGI), Tushar Mehta. As per the release, an opinion was sought on September 26 and a reply was received only on October 28. “As soon as the opinion was received, the Governor gave his assent,” it said. The new reservation is likely to benefit gover nment school students aspiring to study medicine, who, according to reports, have been negatively impacted since the launch of NEET, the common medical entrance test. In the evening, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami met the Governor at his Raj Bhavan residence and thanked him for clearing the Bill. The release issued by the Governor’s office said that he had sough clarifications re- EMBATTLED city-based startup Devas Multimedia got a billion dollar lifeline as a US court ordered Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO’s) commercial arm Antrix Corporation to shell out $1.2 billion (`8,952 crore) as compensation for the messy scrapping a satellite deal six years after it was struck in 2005. However, the order may not enforceable as Antrix does not EXPRESS READ 14 killed as strong quake rocks Turkey, Greece Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami meets Governor Banwarilal Purohit at Raj Bhavan on Friday to thank him for giving his assent to the reservation Bill ‘G.O. WAS PASSED DUE TO DELAY IN CONSENT’ Speaking earlier in the day in Ramanathapuram, CM Palaniswami said that the G.O. was issued owing to the delay by the Governor. “The decision was made considering issues faced by government school students. I am a government school student myself.” | P4 garding the Constitutional viability of the Bill, especially in light of Article 14 and 15. Quoting several legal aspects, the SGI had conveyed to the Governor that the Bill was in accordance with the Constitution. “Article 15 (5) of the Constitution specifically provides that the State is empowered to make a special provision by law for the advancement of any socially or economically backward classes of citizens insofar, as such special provisions related to admission to educational institutions including private educational institutions whether aided or unaided by the State,” the SGI had said. The opinion of the State as to what constitutes socially and economically backward classes of citizens, while extending benefits, is a matter within the purview of judicial review by constitutional P4 courts, the SGI said. Istanbul: A strong earthquake rattled Turkey’s west coast and parts of Greece on Friday, killing at least 14 people and injuring more than 400. The 6.9 magnitude quake that struck at 1.51 pm (local time) knocked down several buildings in Turkey’s Izmir. Many are feared trapped. Rescuers were digging through heavy blocks of concrete looking for survivors | P12 ED links Kerala leader’s son to drug peddler Bengaluru: The Enforcement Directorate probing the financial aspects of a drug trafficking case on Friday said Bineesh Kodiyeri, the son of Kerala CPI(M) leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, credited “huge amount of unaccounted funds” into the bank accounts of drug peddler Anoop Mohammed. The latter was a “benamidar” of Bineesh, the agency alleged | P7 have any assets in the US, a senior official informed on condition of anonymity. “There is nothing which the (US) court can attach. However, any decision in India’s Supreme Court will be binding,” the official said. The Devas-Antrix case is still in the Supreme Court, which had earlier directed a tribunal to hear it. The 2005 deal pertained to Antrix launching and operating two satellites and making 70 MHz of S-band spectrum available to Devas to enable it to provide communication services across India. However, in 2011, Antrix issued a termination notice to Devas, invoking force majeure (unforeseeable circumstances Matter of jurisdiction Two years ago, Antrix sought the dismissal of the suit citing jurisdiction as the agreement and its termination occurred in India. But Devas said the US court had jurisdiction as Antrix conducted business across the US that prevent fulfilling a contract) and justifying it saying that it was a policy decision of the Union government in its sovereign capacity . The order of the US district judge, Wester n District of Washington, Seattle, which came on October 27, directed Antrix to pay $562.5 million (`4,196 crore) plus interest to Devas, totaling $1.2 billion. When contacted, Antrix Chairman and Managing Director Rakesh Sashibhushan refused to offer any comment. Cong sets process in motion to bring back Rahul as party chief EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi WITH chorus growing for former Congress president Rahul Gandhi to come back, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) will soon call a session to elect a new chief. All state units have been asked to send details of members who are eligible to vote. “This is to inform you that AICC intends to convene its meeting as soon as possible, and you will be intimated as soon as dates and venue are finalised,” said a note sent to state units by Congress’ Central Election Authority headed by Madhusudan Mistry . According to party sources, the session will be held by the end of the year or early next year. It would be a day-long affair, they added. “Rahul is most likely to take over the reins of the party and his coming back has been planned ahead of the Assembly election in five states, including Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, next year. He is already part of all key decisions made by the party and it will be just an official comeback for him,” said a leader. ORGANISATIONAL REVAMP There is, however, no clarity on if and when elections to the Congress Working Committee, the party’s powerful decision-making body, would be held In August, Congress’ interim president Sonia Gandhi had said a new president would be elected by February 2021. The move came after 23 senior party veterans including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Shar ma, Kapil Sibal and Shashi Tharoor wrote to her seeking organisational elections and a new leader. While the letter questioned Rahul Gandhi’s style of functioning, other leaders such as Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Bhagel, several state Congress chiefs and all Lok Sabha MPs belonging to the party had beseeched Rahul to take over the reins if Sonia wants to step down.
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