QBullet: Fresh Revelations in Panama Papers, SP Tyagi’s Admission

Read the latest news from the publications this morning. 

5 min read
Mossack Fonseca law firm sign is pictured in Panama City, April 4, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

1. PanamaPapersIndia Part 6: Metal Scrap Dealer to NRIs in USA and Dubai

Indians set up entities in tax havens long before the government and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed resident individuals to take money out of the country, reports The Indian Express. Offshore account holders claimed NRI status and bought entities from Mossack Fonseca for a few dollars.

The sixth list of the Panama Papers for Indians includes names of Bharmal Lodha, Arshad Yusuf Wahedna, Upma Chauhan, Samaresh Chakrabarti, Amrendra Kumar and more.

Actor Ajay Devgan, Vishal Veeru Devgan’s son, bought over the entire shareholding of a British Virgin Islands (BVI) company Marylebone Entertainment Limited in 2013, claiming it was done to acquire and exploit overseas rights of Hindi films, reports The Indian Express.

Also Read:
Panama Papers: IT Department Cracks Down on Three Delhi Residents

2. Pathankot: ‘Something Seriously Wrong’, Says Parliamentary Panel

A Parliamentary panel in its report pulled up the government for its failure to prevent the Pathankot terror attack in which seven security men were killed, saying “something is seriously wrong” in the country’s counter-terror establishment.

The report suggests that Pathankot airbase had a poorly guarded perimeter wall.

In view of the ease with which the terrorists sneaked into our side from Pakistan, the Committee understands that the attack cannot take place without active support from the security and intelligence agencies of Pakistan as four armed men cannot easily pass through heavy Pakistani defence establishment situated near a border area.
Report by Parliamentary Standing Committee

3. SP Tyagi Admitted Meeting Finmeccanica Chief Operating Officer: CBI

Former IAF chief SP Tyagi, on his second day of questioning, admitted that he met chief operating officer of Italian aerospace and defence group Finmeccanica in 2005, CBI sources said.

According to sources,investigators found that Tyagi and his wife own four Noida-based companies  set up in 2011-12 – almost a year after the AgustaWestland deal was cleared in 2010.

Former Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi at CBI headquarters. (Photo: PTI)
Former Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi at CBI headquarters. (Photo: PTI)

Congress President Sonia Gandhi held a strategy meeting with senior party leaders on Tuesday evening on the issue. Rahul Gandhi ignored BJP’s attempts to drag him into the CWG and VVIP chopper scams, saying he is “happy to be targeted”.

Also Read:
AgustaWestland: CBI Questions SP Tyagi; Broader Concerns Emerge
AgustaWestland: Kanishka Singh Responds to Kirit Somaiya’s Charges

4. SC Asks Delhi Govt to Submit Roadmap for Phasing Out Diesel Taxis

The Supreme Court gave a two-day deadline to AAP government for filing a detailed plan on phasing out diesel run taxis from the national capital. On Tuesday, the government faced protests and blockades by diesel cab operators causing hardship to regular commuters for the second consecutive day. The bench posted the hearing for Thursday.

According to a report in The Indian Express, the bench has said that whenever such decisions are taken, inconvenience is bound to be caused to the people and asked the Delhi government to submit a suitable detailed and workable plan.

5. Rajya Sabha Chairman Rejects Vijay Mallya’s Resignation Letter

Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari on Tuesday rejected the resignation letter submitted by former liquor baron Vijay Mallya on technical grounds – the letter doesn’t conform to the prescribed procedures and doesn’t bear his original signature

Ansari’s Officer on Special Duty to Gurdeep Singh Sappal on Twitter said,

6. India Reacts Sharply to US Report on Religious Freedom

The report released by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said religious freedom in India was on a “negative trajectory” in 2015, with religious tolerance “deteriorating” and freedom violations “increasing”.

India rejected the report saying it has failed to understand India, its Constitution and society.

India is a vibrant pluralistic society founded on strong democratic principles. The Indian Constitution guarantees fundamental rights to all its citizens, including the right to freedom of religion. Government does not see the locus standi of a foreign entity like USCIRF to pronounce on the state of Indian citizens’ constitutionally protected rights.
Vikas Swarup, MEA 

Read the full report on The Quint.

7. Forest Fires: Uttarakhand Govt Pays Rs 85 for a Litre of Water Dropped

Uttarakhand will have to pay Rs 85 for a litre of water dropped by two air force Mi-17 helicopters on burning forestland, reports The Hindustan Times. Choppers were initially stationed at Bhimtal near Nainital which was being loaded with water collected from the waterbodies in the area.

Each sortie carrying 3,500 litres of water costs about Rs 3 lakh. The aircraft draw water either from Bhimtal lake near Nainital in the Kumaon division or from the Srinagar reservoir in Garhwal.
Sources to HT

8. Number of Wilful Defaulters in PSBs up 38 Percent in 3 Years

There has been a surge in the number of wilful defaulters or those who have not repaid loans to the public sector banks despite having the ability to do so, reports The Times of India. The number of such cases has increased from 5,554 to 7,686 or by 38 percent between 2012 and 2016.

According to bankers, some banks may still have left out the names of few more companies and their promoters.

Read the full report here.

9. Why Patels, Including Anandiben, are Unhappy Over Gujarat’s 10 Percent Quota

The Gujarat government decision to provide 10 percent quota to economically backward classes among upper castes has made neither the Patel community not the Chief Minister happy, reports Hindustan Times.

The Patels of Gujarat are unhappy, and that includes the state chief minister Anandiben Patel. Last week’s announcement of 10% reservation for the economically backward classes among upper castes has failed to mollify members of the community. They feel it’s a case of too little, too late. Also, they fear the government decision is unlikely to stand the test of law as it violates the cap on job quotas. 
Hindustan Times Report
The same announcement is also at the root of CM Patel’s unhappiness. Though she is at the helm of the state, the announcement of quotas for Patels was made by Gujarat BJP president Vijay Rupani. Anandiben was present but remained a mute spectator, which according to party watchers spoke volumes about her dwindling clout.

Read the full report here.

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