ANI chennai l thursday l september 22, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 18 l late city EDITION CBI arrests ABG shipyard founder in `22,842 crore bank fraud case Rishi K Agarwal was arrested on Wednesday after the probe officer suspected he was not cooperating during questioning Case registered after complaint from SBI Forensic audit found diversion of funds Apart from Agarwal, the CBI had also booked ABG’s former executive director Santhanam Muthaswamy, and directors Ashwini Kumar, Sushil Kumar Agarwal and Ravi Vimal Nevetia on February 7. The case was registered on a complaint from the State Bank of India, which was part of a consortium of 28 banks led by ICICI Bank that lent to ABG Shipyard ■ ■ The complaint was filed after a forensic audit of ABG’s loan accounts, which had turned bad, showed the company created a web of transactions between 2012 and 2017 to cheat the lenders According to the CBI, the fraud was primarily on account of huge transfer of funds by the company to some of the accused `7,089 cr ICICI Bank’s exposure to ABG, followed by IDBI Bank (`3,639 cr) & SBI (`2,925 cr) 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 Parambikulam dam shutter breaks, 20K cusecs gush out S S e n t h i l K u m a r @ Coimbatore TN dams to be checked After visiting Parambikulam dam, Tamil Nadu Water Resources Minister Durai Murugan said he would order for shutters of dams across the State to be checked Turf war AIADMK team asks ECI again to accept EPS as interim chief E x p r e ss N e ws S e r v ic e @ Chennai An AIADMK team led by former law minister CVe Shanmugam on Wednesday reiterated the party’s request to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to accept the decisions taken in the July 11 General Council (GC) meeting, including the election of Edappadi K Palaniswami as the party’s interim general secretary and to notify them on the Commission’s website. When contacted, Shanmugam told TNIE that the AIADMK had, on July 13, submitted affidavits of 2,532 GC members expressing support for the election of Palaniswami as interim general secretary and other decisions taken during the July 11 GC meeting to the ECI. The decisions include creation of the post of interim general secretary, and conduct of an election for the post of general secretary within four months. Continued on: P5 Over 20,000 cusecs (cubic foot per second) of water flowed out of the Parambikulam dam in Kerala’s Palakkad district as one of its three shutters, established in 1967, got damaged late Tuesday, causing panic. The shutter was washed away after a 35-tonne counterweight used to operate it fell and crushed it, sources said. By Wednesday evening, the water flow had reduced to 16,500 cusecs. “It was an unexpected incident. As far as I know, there has been no such tragedy so far,” said Tamil Nadu Water Resources Minister Durai Murugan after visiting the dam. “We estimate that 6 TMC ft (thousand million cubic feet) of water would have flowed into the Chalakudy river through Peringalkuthu dam in Kerala in a week, against 17.8 TMC stored in Parambikulam dam after the shutter collapsed,” he added. A senior Water Resources department official said it would take a week for the water to recede so that restoration work can begin. Though the dam is in Kerala, Tamil Nadu’s Water Resources department maintains it under the Parambikulam Aliyar Project (PAP) as per an agreement with Kerala. After the incident, Coimbatore Collector GS Sameeran camped near the dam and contacted the Collectors of Palakkad and Thrissur to prevent Govt mute spectator to hate speech: SC Comes down hard on television channels for promoting hatred, raps biased TV anchors S h r u t i K a k k a r @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Wednesday rapped the Centre’s inaction on the hate speech issue, while directing it to file its reply within two weeks clearly indicating whether it intends to enact a law to curb the menace, as recommended by the Law Commission. Highlighting the same issue, the Election Commission had last week told the apex court that it does not have the legal power to de-recognise political parties or disqualify candidates over hate mongering because existing laws don’t define hate speech or hate mongering. “Why is the government of India standing as mute witness when all of this (hate speech on TV news channels) is happening? Why is the Centre treating this like a trivial issue? Political parties will come and go, but the nation will endure,” said a bench of judges K M Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy while hearing a batch of petitions seeking to curb hate mongering. Slamming the news channels that promote hate speech, the bench noted that television anchors allow certain panellists to make vitriolic comments but stop the other side to express their counter views by muting their microphones. The bench said strict action should be taken against erring news anchors and that such people should also be taken off air. “Mainstream TV channels still hold sway The role of an. chor is critical and it’s their duty to see that hate speech doesn’t occur... Many a time those who want to speak are muted,” the bench observed. Stressing the fact that there is no definition of hate speech, advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, appearing for one of the petitiones, submitted that the people accused of hate speech are now charged under Section 153A of IPC (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence) but they ultimately get off the hook. He added that political parties were being benefited by hate speech. The bench posted matter for hearing on November 23. Law Commission’s recommendations In its Report No 267 tilted Hate Speech, the Law Commission suggested the following amendments to the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973: Insert a new IPC Section 153C (Prohibiting incitement to hatred) following Section 153B Insert Section 505A (Causing fear, alarm, or provocation of violence in certain cases) following Section 505 IPC Other observations Hate speech poses complex challenges to freedom of speech and expression In the US, hate speech is given wide constitutional protection, whereas under international human rights covenants and in other western democracies, such as Canada, Germany, and the UK, it is regulated and subject to sanctions express read Major spike in bus fares ahead of festivals in TN Ford workers accept new revised severance deal SC to live-stream constitution bench hearings from September 27 Chennai: Ahead of Vijayadasami and Ayutha Pooja (October 3 and 4), private bus owners have hiked ticket fares by 100-200%. Fares of omnibuses operated from Chennai to Madurai, Coimbatore, Tirunelveli and other parts of the State have been increased by `1,200 to `2,000 per ticket | P2 Chennai: Ford India has revised the final severance settlement to an average equivalent of 140 days of gross wages per completed year of service from the previous offer of 130 days, which has been accepted by the workers. An agreement is expected to be signed this month | P2 New Delhi: Supreme Court Constitution bench proceedings will be live-streamed from September 27. According to sources, the decision comes after a full court meeting comprising all the top court judges, who unanimously agreed to the idea. The cases that are likely to be live-streamed include the pleas challenging the EWS quota, Centre’s curative plea seeking additional compensation for the victims of Bhopal Gas tragedy, among others | P9 Kochi turns Cong hub; Gehlot confirms fight Cynthia Chandran & Shahid F a r i d i @ T’Puram/New Delhi With the process to file nomination papers for the Congress presidential election set to begin in a few days, Kochi is becoming the epicentre of action as everyone who matters in the party is or will be here. Apart from Rahul Gandhi, who is leading the Bharat Jodo yatra, Rajasthan chief minister and official candidate of the Gandhi family Ashok Gehlot’s bete noir Sachin Pilot, Mallikarjun Kharge, Digvijaya Singh and Jairam Ramesh are here. Gehlot and AICC general secretary K C Venugopal are expected to arrive tomorrow. Sachin Pilot, who reached on Tuesday night, is learnt to have held closed door discussions with Rahul twice during the day. He also took part in the Bharat Jodo Yatra. “Sachinji has urged Rahulji to take up the post of party president. He is still hopeful,’’ a KPCC leader close to the former told this newspaper. Sources said Pilot expressed strong displeasure at the wily Gehlot intending to stay on as CM while entering the presidential race. While talking to this daily, Sachin said, “It is Rahulji’s decision whether he should contest or not.” Earlier in the day Gehlot in, dicated his candidature saying, “I am lucky that Congress people across the country love and trust me…So I won’t be able to say no. Jahan mujhe kahenge… form bharna hai, main form bharoonga (If they ask me to fill a form to contest, I will fill it and contest),’’ he said. Gehlot said this after discussions with party president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi. He, however, added that he would still try to change Rahul’s mind. “There will be more impact if he undertakes the yatra as Congress president. I will talk to him, and then decide (on filing nomination papers),” he said. Interestingly Gehlot will vis, it the Sai Baba mandir in Shirdi on his way back from Kochi on Friday — quite an indicator of the way things are panning out in the party . ‘No bar on staying as CM’ The one-manone-post rule adopted at the party’s Udaipur meet applies to nominated posts only, Gehlot said, adding, “This is an open election.” Tharoor at AICC HQ Shashi Tharoor, the other contender, visited the AICC HQ to check out the voters’ list flood-related damage. “There is no disaster-like situation in Palakkad or Thrissur districts since the water flow is within the river’s capacity. A flood alert has already been issued in both districts. Along with the Tamil Nadu officials, an expert team from the engineering department in Chennai will work on the dam once the water level recedes,” Sameeran said. Durai Murugan said he would order for shutters of dams across the State to be checked. Replying to a query on whether officials from Kerala are cooperating, he said both Tamil Nadu and Kerala should work together on inter-State water-sharing issues. P5 Fed hikes rate By 0.75% as inflation deepens Intensifying its fight to rein in inflation, the US Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised its target interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point for a third straight time. The move boosted the benchmark short-term rate, which affects consumer and business loans, to a range of 3-3.25%, the highest level since 2008. Meanwhile, the Fed’s quarterly projections, showed the economy slowing to a crawl in 2022, with year-end growth at 0.2% partial mobilisation 3L reservists get Putin call for war Y e s h i S e l i @ New Delhi Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday announced a partial mobilisation of 3 lakh reservists to start pre-emptive military operations in Donbas, weeks after Ukrainian troops managed to recapture vast swathes of its territory from Russian invaders. This is the first such call-up in Russia since World War II. Timed as it was a day after four regions in Ukraine — Luhansk, Kherson, partly Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk — decided to hold referendums on amalgamating themselves with Russia, Putin’s attempt to swallow them by weaponising the democratic exercise was clear. The votes are to be held between September 23 and 27. “Primarily those who served in the armed forces will be called up,’’ the Russian President said. Ahead of his seven-minute televised address, Putin signed an executive order for the immediate mobilisation. Putin also warned he wasn’t bluffing over using everything at his disposal to protect Russia, which was an apparent reference to his nuclear arsenal. He also accused the West of making attempts to weaken, divide and destroy Russia. “The West has used indiscriminate Russophobia as a weapon... primarily in Ukraine, which was designed to become an anti-Russia bridgehead,” he said. A spokesman for Ukraini- Panic, rush to fly out The partial mobilisation triggered panic in Russia with a large numbers of people rushing to book one-way tickets out of the country. Flights filled up quickly and the prices of tickets zoomed an President Volodymyr Zelensky said conscripts sent to Ukraine would face a similar fate as ill-prepared Russian forces who were repelled in an attack on Kyiv in the first days of the war. US national security council spokesperson John Kirby said Putin’s speech is “definitely a sign that he’s struggling.” P11
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