QBullet: Mallya-Jaitley Meet Stirs Row; Kerala Cops Summon Bishop

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Published13 Sep 2018, 01:40 AM IST
6 min read

1. Mallya Stirs Row with Claim of Meeting FM, Then Backtracks

Fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya stirred a controversy on Wednesday, 12 September, by claiming he had met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before fleeing India, only to backtrack a few hours later, saying that no formal meeting took place and he “happened” to meet the minister in Parliament.

On Wednesday, Mallya said he met Jaitley before leaving India and had repeated his offer to settle loans. His later clarifications came even as Jaitley rebutted his assertion and Opposition parties said the “revelations” were an embarrassment for the government.

Mallya’s “clarification” tallied with Jaitley’s statement that he had not granted the tycoon any formal appointment since 2014 and that Mallya “misused” access as an MP to accost him in a Parliament corridor.

(Source: The Times of India)

2. Before PNB Scam Broke, Nirav Modi Tried for Citizenship of Vanuatu — Was Rejected

Almost three months before the Rs 13,600-crore banking fraud in the State-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) became public, diamond jeweller Nirav Modi tried to secure a citizenship of Vanuatu, an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean, sources confirmed to The Indian Express.

For citizenship of Vanuatu, Modi had, in November 2017, transferred $195,000 from his personal account to one of the 18 authorised agents of the Vanuatu government who facilitate Citizenship by Investment program of the country.

Subsequently, the Vanuatu government ran an intelligence check on Modi and unearthed “adverse findings” against him. This prompted the Vanuatu government to reject Modi’s request for citizenship, these sources said.

Vanuatu is an island nation in the South Pacific off northern Australia.

(Source: The Indian Express)

3. Cabinet Unveils Three Options to Guarantee MSP

The Cabinet on Wednesday, 12 September, unveiled three policy options to ensure farmers get federally determined minimum support prices (MSPs) for their produce, a move critical to the government’s efforts to check rural angst due to poor agricultural returns, ahead of crucial state elections later this year and a general election next year.

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Image used for representational purposes only. 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Image used for representational purposes only. 
(Photo: PTI)

The schemes are essentially designed to effectively intervene in agricultural markets by way of procurement, which refers to the government’s purchase of commodities at prices profitable to farmers in situations when markets fail them.

The policies also envisage, for the first time, the role of private firms in acting as a buyer on behalf of the government on a trial basis. The government has branded the schemes “PM Annadata Aay Sangrakshan Abhiyan – PM Aasha” (PM’s food producers’ income protection campaign).

(Source: Hindustan Times)

4. Kerala Police Summon Bishop

The police team probing the alleged sexual abuse of a nun has summoned Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Jalandhar to Kerala for interrogation on 19 September.

The decision to serve the notice under Section 41 of the Cr.PC was taken at a meeting convened by Inspector-General of Police (Kochi range) Vijay Sakhare in Kochi on Wednesday, 12 September.

The meeting, held at the camp office of the IG, was attended by Hari Sankar, Superintendent of Police, Kottayam, and K Subash, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Vaikom, who is heading the investigation team.

Confirming the move, Sakhare said a lot of contradictions had to be ironed out before a chargesheet was filed.

“The case pertains to an incident that took place a few years ago and it has been difficult to gather scientific evidence,” Sakhare said.

(Source: The Hindu)

5. Four of 10 Women Who Commit Suicide in World Are from India, Most Are Under 40: Study

Almost four in every ten women who commit suicide across the world are from India; 71.2 percent of suicide deaths among women in India were in the 15-39 age group; between 1990 and 2016, the suicide rate among women in India reduced by almost 27 percent.

These are among the findings of a paper, “Gender differentials and state variations in suicide deaths in India: the Global Burden of Disease Study 1990-2016,” published Wednesday, 12 September, in The Lancet Public Health.

The study found that India’s contribution to global suicide deaths increased from 25.3 percent in 1990 to 36.6 percent in 2016 among women, but at the same time, the age-standardised suicide death rate (SDR) among women in India reduced by 26.7 percent from 20 per 1 lakh population in 1990 to 14.7 per 1 lakh population in 2016.

(Source: The Indian Express)

6. SC Extends House Arrest of Five Activists till 17 September

The wife of lawyer Surendra Gadling, arrested in June in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence, accused the Maharashtra government of treating him like a “third-rate criminal.”

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta took offence to the allegation, saying such “pedestrian” language should not be used in the highest court in the country.

Senior advocate Anand Grover, for Minal Gadling, submitted that Gadling’s basic rights are violated in custody. He is not allowed to argue his own bail.

“He is a lawyer for 25 years and an expert in bail matters. He has represented Sai Baba and is treated like a third rate criminal... He wants to argue his case, but he cannot come out,” Grover submitted on Wednesday, 12 September.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta reacted that “he (Gadling) is a lawyer... we should know our responsibilities.”

(Source: The Hindu)

7. Bought Only 36 Rafale Jets as Back-End Infra Didn’t Allow for More: Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the government chose to procure only 36 Rafale fighter aircraft from France in 2015, instead of the 126 being negotiated by the previous government, as infrastructure and other technical requirements of the Indian Air Force (IAF) do not allow for greater induction.

“Every time you induct one squadron (standard fleet of 18 aircraft), there is a requirement for a lot of other paraphernalia to come in. Given a set of parameters, if you quickly want to induct, two is the ideal,” Sitharaman told The Indian Express in an interview.

“Air Force Technical Details will tell you, that for any emergency-based induction, it is always two squadrons and not more than that. So that justifies why we settled for two. Because in ready, flyway condition, that is all you can induct, otherwise you have to spend a lot more on creating other paraphernalia for bringing in,” she added, “at a time for us to procure, beyond two squadrons, infrastructure and other things would not have been possible, therefore we settled for two.”

(Source: The Indian Express)

8. No More Than 1,000 at Jantar Mantar: Police Caps Crowd for Protests in Delhi

At Parliament Street: 2,000, at Jantar Mantar: 1,000 and at the Boat Club: 100. These are the maximum number of protesters that should be allowed at demonstrations in Delhi, according to draft guidelines prepared by the Delhi Police.

 Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi met the Tamil farmers agitating for loan waiver and compensation for their crop failure at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Image for representational purpose only.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi met the Tamil farmers agitating for loan waiver and compensation for their crop failure at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Image for representational purpose only.
(Photo Courtesy: PTI)

The guidelines, to regulate protests in Delhi, also propose no demonstrations after “tragic incidents” at the Boat Club, where protests were stopped after a massive farmers rally in 1993. The police have recommended that only programmes of “social and educational awareness” should be allowed.

“Tragic incidents generate huge emotional outbursts… Such outbursts be strictly not allowed and be curbed at initial outset,” the guidelines say, adding that “spontaneous, leaderless, and directionless” crowds may damage public or private or institutions.

(Source: The Indian Express)

9. RSS Functionaries to Hand ­Deliver Invite to Rahul

A team of functionaries from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will soon turn up at the offices of Congress president Rahul Gandhi and other Opposition leaders with an invitation to attend the upcoming three-day lecture series by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, in an attempt to clear the air about the Sangh, which Gandhi recently compared to the Muslim Brotherhood.

QBullet: Mallya-Jaitley Meet Stirs Row; Kerala Cops Summon Bishop
(Photo: PTI)

According to Sangh functionaries aware of the developments, and who asked not to be identified, the RSS will send its functionaries to “personally deliver” the invitation to leaders of Opposition parties, including those from the Left and the BSP, to hear Bhagwat put forth his views on contemporary issues.

He will take questions about the Sangh and its vision for the country.“The invitations for the series ‘Future of Bharat: An RSS perspective’ are being delivered in person as per the tradition of the Sangh,” said one functionary aware of the development.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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