chennai l thursday l may 5, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 18 l late city EDITION Supreme Court to examine legality of sealed covers The court said it will look into the practice of judges accepting confidential documents from authorities in a sealed cover case related to mediaone’s telecast ban Against transparency, critics say A bench led by Justice D Y Chandrachud was hearing a case related to the Centre’s telecast ban on MediaOne, a Kerala news channel. Kerala High Court upheld the ban after the Union home ministry submitted a sealed envelope containing evidence that the channel posed a threat to national security. Sealed covers were used in the Rafale case too ■ MediaOne’s advocate Dushyant Dave sought an authoritative pronouncement by the court on the use of sealed covers. The bench assured him that it will examine sealed cover jurisprudence ■ Critics say the widespread practice of judges accepting sealed covers stands against the principle of judicial transparency 2 weeks time for Centre to explain its action against mediaone CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI RBI suddenly wakes up to inflation Rate at which it lends to commercial banks up by 40 bps, be prepared to pay more as EMI 4.40% 4.40% 5 4.00% 5.40% 6 5.15% 6.00% R a m S a h g a l @ Mumbai 5.75% 6.50% 6.25% 6.25% 6.25% 6.00% 6.75% 7.50% 7.25% 8.00% 7.75% 7.75% 7.50% 6.50% 7 7.25% 8 6.75% t h e r e p o r at e c u r v e 4 3 2 1 04-May-22 27-Mar-20 22-May-20 07-Aug-19 06-Feb-20 06-Jun-19 04-Apr-19 07-Feb-19 01-Aug-18 06-Jun-18 02-Aug-17 04-Oct-16 05-Apr-16 29-Sep-15 02-Jun-15 04-Mar-15 15-Jan-15 28-Jan-14 29-Oct-13 20-Sep-13 17-Mar-11 03-May-13 0 P o s s i b l e fa l l o u t Retail loan rates Real estate prices Home loan rates Auto sector Personal loans Are linked to repo rates, so they may see immediate increase by 40 basis points. One basis point is onehundredth of a percentage point They have already risen by 5-10% across different markets in India due to raw material inflation. Expect them to go up further Are currently in the range of 6.65%7.15%. Banks will immediately pass on the rate hike to consumers, so expect them to jump 50% of passenger vehicle sales and 90-95% of commercial vehicles are financed by loans. Auto loans are at 7.358.05%. Vehicle sales will now take a bigger hit Used for financing purchase of consumer durables. They are currently available at 10.5-13%. Rate hike will make them pricey In a sudden announcement on Wednesday the Reserve Bank of , India (RBI) increased the repo rate — the rate at which it lends to banks — by 40 basis points one month ahead of its scheduled Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting where such decisions are normally taken. It comes as an acknowledgement of the fact that the RBI has been late in increasing interest rates ignoring tell-tale signs of nontransitory inflation. In what looks like a correction of its February and April policy ‘mistakes’, when it ignored rising inflations and let the policy rates stay unchanged, the Central bank on Wednesday said inflation is rising alarmingly and spreading fast amid a prolonged conflict in Europe. It cited rising crude, fertiliser and other input costs having a direct impact on food prices in India. The MPC also pointed to the rising pace of policy nor malisation across advanced economies and Covid related lockdowns impacting supplies as having “ominous implications for emerging economies, including India.” “In the MPC’s view, monetary policy response at this juncture would help preserve macro-financial stability amidst increasing volatility in financial markets,” governor Shaktikanta Das said. So what changed between April and now that forced the RBI to take such an extreme step? Analysts suggest the April inflation reading was much higher than both the RBI and the market’s expectations. The general consensus is that inflation in April could be around 7.5%, and they are hoping there is no major upside surprises. Also, rising pump prices since the second fortnight of March are feeding into core inflation prints. They are expected to have intensified in April. The second reason could be the RBI has pre-empted a similar move by US Federal Reserve. Some analysts also believe that The risks of unprecedented input cost pressures translating into yet another round of price increases for processed food, non-food products and services are now more potent than before - Shaktikanta Das As expected, US Fed raises rate by 0.5% The US Federal Reserve raised the benchmark shortterm rate by 0.5%, its most aggressive intervention since 2000. It also announced shrinking of its $9 trillion balance sheet to slow down the economy and ease prices RBI officials’ recent meetings with World Bank and IMF economists might have led to the decision to hike rates. Their feedback on the stance, the hawkishness of global central bankers and the realisation how much behind the RBI is in its response, could have also caused this sudden move, says Arvind Chari, CIO, Quantum Advisors. In his speech, the governor has specifically quoted the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which in its World Economic Outlook of April 2022, noted that the economic effects of the war are spreading far and wide — like seismic waves that emanate from the epicentre of an earthquake — mainly through commodity markets, trade and financial linkages. The seismic effect of RBI’s Talks time in Paris sc: Won’t wait for Prez to take call on Perarivalan mercy plea EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Supreme Cour t on Wednesday said it does not agree with Centre’s suggestion to wait for the decision of the President in deciding the mercy plea of A G Perarivalan, one of the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The court said it would hear the matter on Tuesday . A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and B R Gavai, which said the Governor was bound by the aid and advice of the Tamil Nadu Council of Ministers under Article 161 of the Constitution, asked the Centre to put the document on record on the referral order by the Governor. “AG Perarivalan isn’t interested in the question of law; he is concerned with his liberty the top court said, add,” ing it cannot shut its eyes to into this,” the bench told Adsomething that is against the ditional Solicitor General K Constitution. M Nataraj, counsel for the “There’s a hanging sword Centre, who argued there is on his head. He has had good no question of Perarivalan’s conduct too... We had asked liberty being curtailed as he you about the reference being is out on bail. correct. There is no question “Reference has been made of discriminating one by the Governor to person against the the President. The other. Why don’t we President has the oprelease him? We don’t tion to send it back to find it reasonable. It the Governor or take is not about what the a decision. The file President has to do on has been sent to him the reference. It is recently he said. ,” about the issue of the Senior advocate AG Perarivalan Governor’s power to Rakesh Dwivedi, aprefer the Cabinet’s decision to pearing for TN, said the queshim,” the judges said. tion is not for the President to “It is a matter to be decided decide. “...The President has by the court, the decision of an independent power under the Governor was not even Article 72 of the Constitution, needed; he is bound by the de- how can he come in Article cision of the council of min- 162 (Gover nor’s power)?” isters. We will have to look Dwivedi asked. P5 Prime Minister Narendra Modi embracing French President Emmanuel Macron (pic) in Paris on Wednesday. The two leaders discussed issues of bilateral interests as well as regional and global developments, including Ukraine war. This was their first meeting after Macron won the presidential elections Earlier in the day, Macron spoke with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and urged him to rise to the level of its responsibility as a permanent member of the UN Security Council by ending the invasion of Ukraine PM @narendramodi and President @ EmmanuelMacron meet in Paris. This meeting will add momentum to the India-France friendship -Prime Minister's Office End to standoff? Guv forwards NEET Bill to Centre for President’s assent EXP R E SS NEWS S E R VI C E @ Chennai express read Dean of Madurai Medical College reinstated P Chidambaram being heckled by Congress lawyers in Kolkata | special arrangement PC heckled for defence of Didi govt in case brought by Cong E x p r e ss N e ws S e r v i c e @ Kolkata Former Union minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram was on Wednesday heckled and chased away by lawyers belonging to his own party after he defended the Trinamool Congress government and a private firm at the Calcutta High Court in a case brought by the state Congress unit. State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had filed the case challenging the decision of the Mamata gov- ernment to sell shares of the state-run Metro Dairy to agroprocessing firm Keventer, alleging corruption worth several crores in the deal. Chidambaram fought the case on behalf of Keventer, triggering protests by lawyers from the Congress’ legal cell. “The former Union minister was shown black robes and called a Trinamool sympathiser by lawyers from the Congress’s legal cell. He was chased away from the court premises,’’ said a police officer. Chennai: The Health Department on Wednesday reinstated Madurai Medical College Dean Dr A Rathinavel, who was ousted, after first-year students administered the Charak Shapath instead of the Hippocratic Oath at an induction ceremony | P4 Custodial death: Youth sustained 13 injuries Chennai: The post-mortem report of V Vignesh, who died in police custody on April 19, shows he sustained 13 injuries, including a fracture on his right leg. The report said the right tibial bone was fractured | P4 Bit more that what we could chew: SL fin min Colombo: Sri Lanka’s usable foreign reserves have dropped down to less than $50 million from $7 billion in 2019, Finance Minister Ali Sabry informed Parliament on Wednesday. “We have bitten off more than what we can chew,” Sabry said | P9 move, though was felt across the stock and bond markets. Stocks tumbled and bond yields rose in response to the unexpected timing of the rate hike and expectations that the next policy meet in June would also see the repo rate being raised. “…..the crucial backing for the 40 bps hike came from an understanding that inflation is here to stay said Indranil Pan, ,” chief economist, Yes Bank. “The timing of the hike is important too as it seems to just precede a likely 50-75 bps increase in the policy rate by the US Fed. This is possibly to ensure that the INR is safe from any speculative attacks, notwithstanding the LIC IPO, and especially as the FX reserves are down by around $30 bn from its peak levels. In this financial year alone, India’s FX reserves are down by about USD 6.9 billion,” Pan said. Besides raising the repo rate, the RBI also increased the cash reserve ratio, or the portion of interest-free deposits banks have to park with RBI, by 50 bps to 4.5%. This is part of the MPC’s objective of withdrawing accommodation in a calibrated way It will drain `87,000 . crore of excess liquidity from the banking system. P10 ENDING a three-month-long impasse with the DMK government, Governor RN Ravi has forwarded the NEET Exemption Bill, passed by Tamil Nadu Assembly for a second time, to the Union Home Ministry to get the President’s assent. “I am happy to inform the House that the Secretary to the Governor informed me this over the telephone. As the next phase of our struggle to get an exemption from NEET, I appeal to all to make further efforts in this regard to get the President’s assent for this Bill by exerting pressure on the Union government,” Chief Minister MK Stalin said in Assembly on Wednesday . The NEET Bill passed by the Assembly on September 13, 2021, aims to ensure medical admissions in Tamil Nadu are done based solely on Plus Two marks and not on NEET score. The Governor kept that Bill pending for 142 days and returned it to the Speaker only after medical admissions for the current year had started. While returning the Bill, the Governor referred to a Supreme Court judgment in favour of the NEET. “But the NEET Bill is about the sovereignty of the TN Assembly and its power to enact legislation echoing the feelings of the people of the State. That is why we seek the assent of the President for this Bill,” Stalin had reacted at the time. As per a decision taken at the meeting of all legislature parties, chaired by the CM, the Bill was re-adopted by the Assembly on February 8 and sent to the Governor, who again took a long time to decide on it. Matters came to a head on Tamil New Year’s day when the Council of Ministers, led by the CM, and the DMK’s allies boycotted the Governor’s At-Home event. SHO arrested over raping UP gang-rape survivor N a m i ta Ba j pa i @ Lucknow A Station House Officer (SHO) accused of raping a minor in a Uttar Pradesh police station was arrested on Wednesday and the entire staff of his station, comprising 29 police personnel, was attached to the police lines for the horrific crime. The girl had gone to the Pali police station in Lalitpur to record her statement in a gang-rape case filed by her two days earlier. As per Lalitpur Superintendent of Police Nikhil Pathak, four people kidnapped her and took her to Bhopal where they gangraped her on April 22. She later escaped from their captivity and reached the Pali station in Lalitpur district to register a complaint against the four men. Initially, SHO Tilakdhari Saroj, sent her to a destitute home along with her aunt. However, two days later, he asked her to come back so that he could record her statement. When she arrived, Saroj took her to a room inside the police station and raped her. The survivor narrated her ordeals to Lalitpur SP, who suspended Saroj. After an initial investigation, five people, including Saroj, were booked under Sections 363, 376, 376B, 120B of the IPC and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and 3(2)5 of the SC/ST Act. “Taking cognizance of the issue, Additional Director General Kanpur Zone has ordered to attach the entire staff, comprising 29 police personnel, of Pali police station to the police lines,” ADG (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said. The Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police has directed DIG (Jhansi Range) to conduct an inquiry and submit a report on the conditions under which the SHO committed the crime. The DIG has also been asked to probe the role of supervisory officer. Four have so far been arrested in the case. Jab-o-meter May 3 3,93,359 doses Take May 4 12,04,711 doses your shot Total: 1,89,60,56,429 NATIONWIDE may 3 may 4 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths tamil nadu may 3 may 4 2,568 3,205 Fresh cases 2,911 2,802 Recoveries 20 31 Deaths 39 56 0 37 58 0 TN has road map in place to better urban living E x p r e ss N e ws S e r v i c e @ Chennai THE DMK government’s Municipal Administration department seems up for the challenges confronting one of India’s most urbanised States where at least 50% people live in cities. As the urban population in Tamil Nadu is projected to hit 60% by 2023, the department has unveiled a raft of schemes to match the growing demand for better roads, water, power, and sanitation. Riding on a `1,750-crore revenue war chest, which the urban property tax revision is expected to additionally bring in every year, the department has set its eyes on the future with goals rooted in the present. Its immediate focus areas are strengthening sanitation, access to pollution-free modern cre- TNIE takes a close look at the major milestones in municipal admin dept as the Stalin govt completes a year Inside It’s Back to basics for state govt Minister KN Nehru on goals of department page 4 matoria, improving water supply roads and introduction , of LED streetlights. “Through the (property tax) hike, town panchayats and municipalities that have long been inactive and cash-strapped will have the autonomy to carry out development work without entirely depending on the State government,” Municipal Administration Minister KN Nehru told TNIE during an exclusive chat.
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