BENGALURU SATURDAY JUNE 12, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 18 LATE CITY EDITION `2,790-CR DODGY TRANSACTIONS PUT HEAT ON CRYPTO BIGGIE The ED is probing if Mumbai-headquartered WazirX, India’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has violated FEMA norms CHINESE NATIONALS LAUNDERED MONEY: E.D. IN COMPLIANCE WITH ALL LAWS: WAZIRX The showcause notice issued by the central probe agency under various sections of FEMA names the exchange and directors Nischal Shetty and Sameer Hanuman Mhatre. The ED issued a statement saying that it stumbled upon the transactions of the exchange during an ongoing money laundering probe into “Chinese-owned” illegal online betting applications ■ ■ ED said Chinese nationals laundered crime proceeds worth B57 cr by converting INR deposits into cryptocurrency and transferring them to Cayman Islands-registered Binance, WazirX’s parent firm However, WazirX’s promoters flatly denied any wrongdoing and claimed they are “in compliance with all applicable laws” | P12 Binance THE GLOBAL CRYPTOCURRENCY EXCHANGE ACQUIRED WAZIRX IN 2019 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 K’taka HC allows CCI probe against Amazon, Flipkart Traders’ body had accused firms of entering into special agreements with select sellers B I S M A H M A L I K @ Bengaluru IN a major win for small retailers, who have been alleging that foreign firms are violating the country’s Competition Act and Foreign Direct Investment Act, the Karnataka High Court on Friday allowed the regulatory body Competition Commission of India (CCI) to probe the anti-competitive practices by e-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart. The high court dismissed the petitions filed by the e-tailers for quashing of a probe ordered by the CCI last January after the Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh had approached the watchdog accusing Amazon and Flipkart of entering into special agreements with select sellers/having stakes in Indian companies selling on their platfor ms and deep discounting. A single-judge bench comprising Justice P S Dinesh Kumar observed that it would be unwise to prejudge the issues raised by the petitioners (Amazon, Flipkart) at this stage KANNADA DALIT POET SIDDALINGAIAH PASSES AWAY JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT June 10 30,32,675 doses June 11 31,50,368 doses TOTAL DOSES: 24,93,16,572 Covaxin’s emergency nod push in US fails S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi COVAXIN manufacturer Bharat Biotech, which is already drawing flak in India for the unusual delay in releasing its final phase 3 clinical trial results, got a fresh jolt as the US drug regulator declined emergency use authorisation (EUA) for the vaccine in its country . Indian authorities, however, claimed the US decision will have no bearing on the nation’s Covid vaccination drive, of which Covaxin — apart from Covishield — is a key element. T h e U S F DA a dv i s e d Bharat Biotech’s US partner Ocugen to take the biological license applications — or full approval — route instead for the approval. Putting it in context, Bharat Biotech said the USFDA has already stopped issuing EUAs, since the country now has good herd immunity and a significant percentage of its population is vaccinated. “Our US partner, Ocugen, has received a recommendation from the FDA to pursue a Biologics License Applications path for Covaxin,” the firm said. It added that for standard approval, data from an additional clinical trial will be required, extending the company’s timelines. CONTINUED ON: P10 and scuttle the investigation. Earlier, the CCI had approached the Supreme Court against the e-commerce giant’s plea, which directed the Karnataka High Court to decide the matter within a period of six-weeks. Amazon told this publication in response to a query that it will review the judgment carefully and decide on the next step. Flipkart didn’t respond to TNIE’s queries. Senior lawyer Abir Roy who , appeared for the Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh, an affiliate of the Confederation of All India Traders, said the regulator can now continue the ongoing probe against the companies as the court rejected their plea to keep the order in abeyance P7 for 15 days. ED LENS ON AMAZON The Enforcement Directorate is also investigating the allegations of violations of Foreign Exchange Management Act by Amazon after the Commerce Ministry had asked the agency to take necessary action. The noted poet succumbed to Covid-related ailments, sources close to him said. He was 67, and is survived by his wife, son and daughter | P7 ROAD TO UNLOCK Optical shops allowed to open from 6 am to 2 pm Street vendors allowed to open from 6 am to 2 pm Weekend curfew will be in effect from 7 pm on Friday to 5 am on Monday Parks can open between 5 am and 10 am on weekdays Movement of individuals prohibited during night curfew 7 pm5 am on weekdays Travel for medical or vaccine purposes permitted with minimal proof CURBS ON TRAVEL BETWEEN DISTS TO CONTINUE A N U S H A R A V I @ Bengaluru THE Karnataka Government on Friday issued guidelines for relaxation of lockdown norms in 19 districts, starting Monday While Chief Minis. ter B S Yediyurappa announced most of the key relaxations on Thursday after a meeting of ministers and officials, the official guidelines listed out additional relaxations. Existing restrictions on inter-district passenger travel will continue. Currently inter-district , and inter-state travel is allowed only for prescheduled trains and flights or in the case of emergencies and no travel pass is required for it. Movement of goods, however, can continue unhindered. “Movement of trains and air travel are permitted. Movement of public transport, private vehicles and taxis to and from airports, railway stations and bus terminals/stops/stands is allowed for facilitating the movement of air, rail and road passengers. The movement will be allowed only on displaying valid travel documents/tickets,” FULL REPORT: P4 the order said. EXPRESS READ Lakshadweep filmmaker says she will ‘keep fighting’ for her land KOCHI: Filmmaker Aisha Sulthana, who has been booked on sedition charges by the Lakshadweep police, said on Friday that she will “keep fighting” for her native land and her voice will only “grow louder”. Sulthana was on Thursday booked for sedition, following a complaint by BJP Lakshadweep unit president Abdul Khader that she spread false news about the spread of Covid-19 in the Union Territory during a TV debate | P7 Ghar wapsi for old-timer Mukul Roy, back in TMC P R A N A B M O N D A L @ Kolkata THE BJP which is still smarting , from the poor show in the recently held Assembly election in West Bengal, on Friday received another jolt as its national vicepresident Mukul Roy and his son Subhrangshu deserted the saffron party to rejoin the Trinamool Congress. Roy met West Bengal chief minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and her nephew Abhishek, the party’s national general secretary at the party’s head, quarters Trinamool Bhavan. “Mukul is an old member of the TMC family and old is gold. The BJP had threatened and tortured him using central agencies. After coming back to the TMC, mental peace has returned to him. No one in Bengal can survive in the BJP. Mukul’s return is a reflection of the BJP’s intra-party oppression,’’ said Mamata. Roy was TMC’s national secretary and the second-in-command when he switched over to the BJP in 2017 after he was interrogated by the CBI and the ED in connection with the KARNATAKA Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths JUNE 10 11,042 15,721 194 JUNE 11 8,249 14,975 159 Now, buzz on Cabinet expansion at the Centre too M A N I S H A N A N D @ New Delhi Mukul Roy with TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee in Kolkata on Friday | PTI Saradha chit fund scam and the Narada sting operation case. Roy’s return to the TMC was not entirely unexpected. Mamata’s soft stance on Roy during the election campaign had triggered speculation. While addressing a rally in Nandigram, from where Mamata contested and lost to Suvendu Adhikari, she said Roy was much better than Suvendu. Roy, too, refrained from launching a frontal attack against the TMC. Endorsing the speculations, Mamata said, “Many others attacked the TMC and showed their cheap mentality but Mukul , P9 was not like them.’’ NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths JUNE 10 JUNE 11 94,052 91,702 1,51,367 1,34,580 6,148 3,403 THE BJP’s attempts to energise its organisation and governments at the Centre and Lucknow gained pace on Friday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi holding extensive discussions with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and party national president J P Nadda. They got into a huddle after UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath met Modi and Nadda separately, amid indications that the party brass will take full command of the poll preparations in the battleground state. The much delayed Cabinet expansion at the Centre, filling of vacancies in the BJP Parliamentary Board and organisational issues in the specific context of UP were learnt to be on the meet, ing agenda. The BJP’s attempt to make course corrections by wooing smaller parties that were previously allies but drifted away due to differences with Adityanath, could be reflected in the Cabinet expansions both at the Centre and Uttar Pradesh, sources said. While the Prime Minister’s Office completed its performance appraisal of the Union ministers early last year, the expected shake-up in the team was put off primarily because of the Covid challenge, said sources. They added that the BJP is n o w k e e n t o g ive v i s i b i l i t y t o P10 NDA allies.
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