US and Indian army personnel during the 18th edition of the Indo-US joint military exercise at Tapovan in Uttarakhand on Wednesday | Shekhar Yadav chennai l Thursday l December 01, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l vellore EDITION cHINA strengthening INFRA, troops ALONG LAC: Pentagon Since the 2020 Galwan Valley clash, the PLA has amassed force and stepped up infra build-up along LAC, says its report Uses ARmy as a tool of statecraft: Report gREAT REJUVENATION OF NATION BY 2049 China is increasingly using the People’s Liberation Army as an instrument of statecraft as it has adopted more coercive and aggressive actions in the Indo-Pacific region, says the US Department of Defense’s annual report to Congress. The report adds that Beijing is ramping up its nuclear arsenal and is likely to have at least 1,500 nuclear warheads by the year 2035 ■ ■ The report states that China warned the US not to interfere in its relationship with India even as it amassed troops along LAC China’s larger objective is “great rejuvenation of the nation” by 2049. With this strategy in mind, Beijing is trying to have an international system favourable to its national interests | P7 400 Active nuclear warheads in China’s possession, against 3,750 with the u.s. 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 Economic growth slows to 6.3%, as RBI forecast Manufacturing, mining sectors drag growth, contracting 4.3% and 2.8%, respectively M O N I K A YA DAV @ New Delhi INDIA’s economic growth is in line with the Reserve Bank of India’s projection, government data released on Wednesday showed. However, GDP growth at 6.3% in the three-month period of July-September slowed when compared with 8.4% growth registered in the same quarter a year ago and 13.5% during April-June 2022. A relatively slower GDP expansion nothwithstanding, India continues to remain the fastest-growing major economy ahead of China which registered an economic growth of 3.9% in July-September 2022. “Real GDP or GDP at constant (2011-12) prices in Q2 202223 is estimated at `38.17 lakh crore, as against `35.89 lakh crore in Q2 2021-22, showing a growth of 6.3% as compared to 8.4% in Q2 2021-22,” the National Statistical Office (NSO) said while releasing the data for the second quarter on Wednesday . The latest GDP growth data is impressive, according to Chief Economic Advisor V Anantha Nageswaran. He said India is very much on track to achieving 6.8%-7% growth in the current financial year. The country has managed to maintain robust growth momentum despite challenges in the global economy, he added. This, he said, can be gauged from various economic indicators including festival sales, PMI (purchasing managers’ index), bank credit growth and auto sales data. According to the data released by the CSO, the manufacturing and mining sectors dragged the growth rate, contracting 4.3% and 2.8%, Sensex sizzles BSE Sensex settled above the 63,000-level for the first time on Wednesday, backed by continuous foreign fund inflows and positive trend in global markets Factory output slows The growth rate in the production of eight key sectors slowed down to a 20-month low of 0.1% in October on account of contraction in the output of crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, and cement Fiscal deficit widens Fiscal deficit - the difference between expenditure and revenue - touches `7,58,137 crore during the AprilOctober 2022, which is 45.6% of full-year target of `16.61 lakh crore respectively . The data also showed that private consumption eased sequentially (0.5% in the September quarter vs 0.8% in June quarter) due to high inflation and uneven recovery impacting rural consumption demand. Government consumption momentum continued to contract, though investment in asset creation witnessed robust sequential growth of 5% against 1.0% in the previous quarter due to lagged effects of easier monetary policies and the government’s capex push. khel ratna Table tennis star A Sharath Kamal receives Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award from President Droupadi Murmu in New Delhi on Wednesday | PTI kickbacks from south group AAP got `100 cr from Kavitha, others in liquor scam, says ED S hahid F aridi @ New Delhi The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday said the key accused in the Delhi excise policy scam, Vijay Nair, received kickbacks worth at least `100 crore from what it called the ‘South Group’ “controlled by Sarath Reddy, K Kavitha and Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy”. The kickbacks were received by Nair on behalf of Aam Aadmi Party leaders, some of whom are in government, the agency alleged. This is the first time Kavitha’s name is being mentioned on record by the probe agency A member of the leg. islative council in Telangana, she is the daughter of TRS founder and Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao. In an application filed in a local court seeking remand for businessman Amit Arora, arrested on Tuesday, the ED said: “PMLA (Prevention of Gokulraj killing: Swathi faces HC contempt action J e gad e e swari Pandian @ Madurai Holding that witnesses on oath who give false statements in courts strike at the root of the criminal justice system and their conduct cannot be condoned, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday initiated suo motu contempt proceedings against Swathi, the prime witness in Gokulraj murder case, on charges of lying under oath. A bench of Justices MS Ramesh and N Anand Venkatesh also transferred a perjury proceeding pending against her before the magistrate court in Namakkal to the high court to be heard along with the contempt proceedings. “It is the statement of the witness made on oath and the materials that are collected during the course of trial that ultimately throw light and enable a judge to conclude as to whether the prosecution has proved the case or not. It, therefore, becomes imperative that the witness who deposes before the court speaks the truth,” the judges observed. But Swathi, despite several opportunities given by the high court, was either “repeatedly evading from making a true statement” or was “denying certain obvious facts”, the judges said. She even refused to identify her own image when she was shown the CCTV footage collected from the temple where she and the deceased met on the fateful day the judg, es pointed out. Continued on: P5 Money Laundering Act) investigations revealed that the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 was a device created by the leaders of AAP some of whom , are part of the Delhi government, to generate illegal funds at the cost of the state exchequer. The policy was formulated with deliberate loopholes, inbuilt mechanisms to facilitate illegal activities… it promoted car tel for mation through back door, awarded exorbitant wholesale (12%) and high retail (185%) profit margins and incentivised other illegal activities…” The ED said: “The 12% profit margin to the wholesalers was devised to extract half of Suspects destroyed 170 digital devices The ED said dozens of accused/suspects destroyed 170 digital devices to hide evidence in the liquor scam, which ran into “thousands of crores”. The agency has so far recovered 17 of them and is working on recovering more devices. Amit Arora has been sent for seven days of custodial interrogation by the ED Group D Drama Former minister for municipal administration and senior AIADMK leader SP Velumani got a huge reprieve on Wednesday as the Madras High Court quashed an FIR filed against him by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) of Tamil Nadu over alleged irregularities in awarding tenders in Chennai and Coimbatore municipal corporations. The court, however, refused relief in a disproportionate assets (DA) case filed against him. “The criminal law cannot be used to fuel a witch hunt. Be it a politician or any other citizen, the court cannot remain a mute spectator when the police power of the state is sought to be used for oblique purposes,” a division bench of Justices PN Prakash and RMT Teekaa Raman said while quashing the FIR re gistered against Velumani by the DVAC after the DMK came to power. Saying that only the officials concerned are primarily responsible for awarding tenders, the court said it finds the registration of FIR against Velumani a colourable exercise of power by police and an abuse of process. The bench, how- ‘Can’t file FIRs based on perception’ “Since there is a perception that all politicians are corrupt, Velumani must also be presumed to be corrupt is a far-fetched thesis. We are afraid that an FIR against a politician, or any citizen, cannot be registered on the basis of perceptions,” the judges said. pay the 6% commission to AAP leaders/Vijay Nair.” The ED remand application for Amit Arora said, “he has been instrumental in connecting the cartels of manufacturer/wholesaler/ retailer to the political leadership and facilitating 6% kickbacks by working closely with Dinesh Arora and Vijay Nair who were working on behalf of AAP leaders.” The agency said “Vijay Nair is not an ordinary worker of AAP but a close associate of Arvind Kejriwal, the CM of Delhi. Vijay Nair, as per his statement under Section 50 of PMLA, 2002, functions from the camp office of Arvind Kejriwal, CM, Delhi. Further, Vijay Nair, since 2020, has been residing in a government bungalow allotted to a Cabinet minister of Delhi government, Kailash Gehlot, part of the GOM of Excise Policy 2021-22...” Aussies march on Tunisia stun france Australia beat Denmark 1-0 to confirm their place in the Round of 16, the second time in the history of the World Cup. Winger Mathew Leckie scored the winner on the hour with a smart run and end Denmark’s dream | P11, 12 Tunisia snatched a dramatic 1-0 victory over world champions France as a lastminute goal was disallowed after the final whistle. The VAR ruled Antoine Griezmann’s strike offside in the final seconds of injury time Pele in hospital Australia’s Mathew Leckie (left) celebrates with teammate Riley McGree after scoring against Denmark on Wednesday I AP e x p re s s re a d Kallakurichi school can reopen on Dec 5: Court Chennai: The Madras High Court on Wednesday granted permission to a private matriculation school in Kallakurichi, which witnessed arson and loot in July after the death of a Class 12 girl, to reopen Classes 9-12 from December 5 | P2 Reclassification of six acres okayed by CMDA Chennai: A high-level meeting of the CMDA held recently cleared the proposal to reclassify six acres of land in Nandambakkam, which was marked as a portion of Adyar River in the Second Master Plan map, as residential and institutional zone Relief for Velumani in tender deal; DA case on R S I VA K U M A R @ Chennai it as a kickback to the AAP leaders. As per the investigation carried so far, Vijay Nair, on behalf of leaders of AAP has at least received kickbacks to the tune of `100 crore from a group called South Group... The same has been disclosed by the arrestee, Amit Arora.” The agency said, “in order to facilitate kickbacks, Amit Arora in conspiracy with others played a key role in armtwisting wholesalers in Delhi business and getting their L1 licenses surrendered. The same business was then directed to such wholesalers — in connivance with Amit Arora — who were agreeable to ever, added that it is made abundantly clear that it is open to the investigating officer to proceed with the probe and if he gathers any fresh material to implicate Velumani, he can be arrainged as an accused in the final report. Referring to the findings of the CAG report, which was mainly relied upon by the DVAC for registering the fresh FIR, on awarding contracts in the municipal corporations, the bench noted that the report found fault with corporation officials for injudiciously accepting absurdly low rates and nothing more. continued on: P5 Today’s matches 8.30pm Croatia vs Belgium, Canada vs Morocco 12.30am (Fri) Japan vs Spain, Costa Rica vs Germany Football legend Pele has been hospitalised again in Sao Paulo, but there is “no emergency,” his daughter said Wednesday, the latest health issue for the 82-year-old icon, who has been in treatment following a colon tumour Bilkis moves SC challenging early release of 11 convicts S H R U T I K A K K A R @ New Delhi BILKIS Bano, who was gangraped and seven members of her family were killed during the Godhra riots in 2002, has approached the Supreme Court challenging the premature release of 11 convicts in the case. The convicts had walked free on August 15 after the Gujarat government allowed remission of their life sentence. She has also sought review of the SC’s May 13 order directing the Gujarat gover nment to consider releasing convict Radhey Shyam under its remission Bilkis Bano p o l i cy. H e r petiton said she is the victim but was not made a party in Radhey Shyam’s plea. Bilkis’ pleas were mentioned by her counsel Shobha Gupta before a bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha. The CJI said he would examine whether both pleas can be heard together. Explaining the delay in filing the review petition, the plea said it “took enormous efforts and time for the present review petitioner- victim of one of the most gruesome and inhuman communal hate crimes this country has ever witnessed, to collect courage and regroup herself to decide to hold the baton once again, after just getting over with the extremely excruciating 17 years long drawn legal battle in ensuring that her culprits are punished for the egregious crime”. Earlier, women’s rights activists including Subhashini Ali had challenged the release of the 11 convicts. Bilkis’ plea becomes significant as the accused and the Gujarat government have questioned the locus of the women rights activists in the case. Pondy elephant dies on morning walk, thousands bid teary farewell Baga l avan P e ri e r B @ Puducherry A pall of gloom descended on Puducherry as Lakshmi, a 32year-old elephant of the popular Manakula Vinayagar Temple, collapsed and died during a routine morning walk in the city on Wednesday Thousands, . including politicians and Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, paid a tearful homage to the ‘gentle giant’ that was laid to rest after an autopsy later in the day . While the elephant is suspected to have died of a heart attack, no official statement was issued by the government, temple management or the forest department till late in the evening. According to sources, the elephant, which used to stay in a shed at Vedapurewswarar Temple on Mahatma Gandhi Road, didn’t come to Manakula Vinayagar Temple for the past few weeks as it was undergoing treatment for diabetes and sore feet. On Wednesday morning, caretaker Sakthivel took her for a regular walk on Kamatchiamman Temple Street when No more Vikram S Kirloskar dies of heart attack Lakshmi being transferred to a trailer truck with the help of a crane in Puducherry on Wednesday. (Inset) A woman paying homage | Sriram R Lakshmi suddenly collapsed and fell on the road. Sakthivel immediately alerted the veterin a r y d o c t o r s wh o we r e treating her. The veterinarians who arrived at the spot declared her dead. Meanwhile, as information about Lakshmi’s death went viral on social media, more than a few hundred people gathered at the spot. Police personnel who rushed to the spot transferred Lakshmi to a trailer truck with the help of a crane and took the body to the Manakula Vinayagar Temple. Continued on: P5 Eminent industrialist and Toyota Kirloskar Motor’s vice-chairman Vikram S Kirloskar passed away due to a heart attack on Tuesday. Kirloskar, 64, was instrumental in bringing Japanese auto major Toyota to India | P10
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