Tue, 18 September 2018
Rafale deal: Congress to meet CAG on Wednesday

Timeline  Refresh

23:36   Rafale deal: Congress to meet CAG on Wednesday
Seeking to step up its attack on the Narendra Modi government over the Rafale deal, the Congress will raise the issue with the CAG Wednesday and demand a thorough probe into the matter, party sources said.
They said top Congress leaders will meet the Comptroller and Auditor General Wednesday morning on the issue. 
The Congress has alleged corruption in the deal to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from France's Dassault Aviation.
It has alleged that the Modi government has caused a loss of over Rs 41,000 crore to the exchequer by paying a higher price for the aircraft than what was negotiated by the UPA.

Earlier in the day, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the CAG and CVC are bounden by their constitutional duty to look at the entire deal and all its papers - whether or not somebody moves them.
"Congress Party at an appropriate time also intends to move an appropriate petition before CVC and CAG to expeditiously and quickly adhere to their constitutional duties," he said.
The Congress has asked why the government was not setting up a joint parliamentary committee to probe the fighter jet deal.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, however, rejected the demand saying all the details on it have already been placed before Parliament. 

-- PTI
23:24   UK police investigate new allegation against Harvey Weinstein
The police in Britain are investigating a new allegation of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein, the 11th case in the country against the American movie producer, who was disgraced when dozens of women came forward last year to accuse him of sexual misconduct.

The Metropolitan Police said in an email on Tuesday that it received an allegation that it had received an allegation of sexual assault by a man against a woman in the early 1990s, in a case connected to what the police call Operation Kaguyak.

The statement did not identify the accused person as  Weinstein, following the usual procedure of withholding personal details until a person is charged. But news reports have widely linked the operation to the allegations in Britain against Weinstein. A representative for Weinstein declined to comment on the matter.

Weinstein, who has denied accusations of nonconsensual sex even as more than 80 women have said that he sexually harassed or assaulted them, was arrested in New York in May and has been charged with sexually assaulting at least three women.
23:08   Jaggi Vasudev's interaction with FTII students cancelled
Spiritual leader Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev's visit to the Film & Television Institute of India has been cancelled, a senior official said.

The FTII Students' Association said that it had expressed reservations about the event "informally".

"Sadhguru's interaction with students was scheduled on the evening on September 19, however, the program is not happening now," said Bhupendra Kainthola, Director, FTII.

He did not give any reasons for the cancellation.

-- PTI
22:46   VVIP chopper scam: Agusta's middleman Christian Michel to be extradited
In a big development in the VVIP chopper scam, a UAE court has permitted the extradition of Agusta Westland middleman Christian Michel to India.

In early 2013, India struck a deal with helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland on the purchase of a new fleet of helicopters for VVIPs. 

However, several politicians and military officials have been accused of accepting bribes from AgustaWestland in order to win the Rs 36 billion (US$500 million) Indian contract.

Christian Michel is said to be the middleman in the deal struck between Indian officials and AugustaWestland.
22:20   No proposal before me: Sitharaman on making army 'lean'
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said she has not received any proposal to downsize the Indian Army.

Sitharaman said a committee under the chairmanship of Lt Gen DB Shekatkar (retired) recommended measures to enhance tooth-to-tail ratio. 

A high-level meeting between Army Chief General Bipin Rawat and the seven Army Commanders was held last week where the Army Chief was briefed on the progress of the four studies being conducted under the Military Secretary. The studies include restructuring of Indian Army to make the force lean, agile and suitable for modern warfare.

"There is no such proposal in front of me to cut down or downsize the army. The tooth-to-tail ratio was discussed in the Shekatkar Committee report. The army chief would be discussing the studies on how to make the army lean and a powerful machine," Sitharaman said.

-- ANI
21:48   China hits back at Trump with tariffs on $60bn of US goods
China has hit back at US President Donald Trump by imposing new trade tariffs on $60 billion of American goods.

It comes after the US slapped duties on $200 bn of Chinese imports on Monday, escalating its trade war with Beijing.

China will target American goods such as liquefied natural gas, which are produced in states loyal to the US president.

However, in a tweet Trump warned Beijing against seeking to influence the upcoming US midterm elections.

"There will be great and fast economic retaliation against China if our farmers, ranchers and/or industrial workers are targeted!" he said.

The Chinese commerce ministry said it would impose its tariffs from 24 September - the date the US duties come into effect - but at lower rates than previously expected.

It will place an additional 5 per cent in duty on US products including smaller aircraft, computers and textiles, and an extra 10 per cent on goods such as chemicals, meat, wheat and wine.
21:05   Kolkata fire: FIR against CEO, directors of Bagree Estate
An FIR has been registered against the chief executive officer and directors of the Bagree Estate Pvt Ltd in connection with the recent Bagree market fire here.

The FIR has been lodged against CEO Krishna Kumar Kothari and directors Radha Bagree and Varun Raj Bagree.

It took more than 30 hours to douse the fire which broke out on September 16. As many as 30 fire tenders were pressed into action as soon as the fire broke out.

Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee said no injuries were reported. However, huge of number of buildings in the area made the firefighting operation difficult, he added.

-- ANI
20:32   Congress in Goa demands floor test by BJP-led govt
Congress legislators in Goa on Tuesday met Governor Mridula Sinha and asked her to direct the BJP-led government to have a floor test to prove its majority in the assembly.
The move came at a time when 62-year-old Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is admitted in the AIIMS in Delhi for a pancreatic ailment.
The Congress legislators, led by Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar, demanded that the governor should summon one-day session of the assembly for a floor test.
"Let the state government prove on the floor that they
have majority or else we can show that we have more
legislators than them," Kavlekar told reporters after meeting
In the 40-member Goa assembly, the Congress has 16 members.
The state is being ruled by the BJP with the support of Goa Forward Party and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, NCP and Independents.
The BJP has 14 seats in the assembly, GFP and MGP have three each and NCP has one. There are also three Independents.
The Congress legislators also urged the governor not to allow dissolution of the assembly.

-- PTI
20:20   Telangana honour killing: Victim's father-in-law, 6 others arrested
Less than a week after the death of Perumalla Pranay, the police have arrested Pranay's father-in-law Maruti Rao and six others in connection with his murder. The accused are being sent to judicial remand.

Pranay and his wife, Amrutha Varshini, were attacked by an unidentified assailant on September 14, which subsequently led to Pranay's death.

Nalgonda Superintendent of Police AV Ranganath at a press conference said that seven people were arrested in a span of three to four days. Those arrested include Maruti Rao (girl's father), Subhash Sharma (the man who allegedly killed Pranay), Sravan, (brother of Maruti Rao), Shiva (driver of Maruti Rao), Asghar Ali, Mohammed Bari and Abdul Kareem.

According to Ranganath, Amrutha and Pranay were in a relationship since they were in Class 9. When this came to Maruti Rao's notice, he warned the couple to end their relationship. But it went unheeded. In January this year, the couple went to Hyderabad and got married. They returned to their native town of Miryalguda in Nalgonda.

Perturbed by the marriage of his daughter to a lower caste man, the police said that Maruti Rao allegedly started conspiring to kill Pranay. In June, Rao first met Mohammed Bari and discussed the plan to allegedly kill Pranay, after which Bari and another accused, Asghar Ali, went to Nalgonda to finalise the deal.

The accused persons allegedly first demanded Rs 2.5 crore to kill Pranav, police said adding that the deal was finalised at Rs 1 crore. Rao allegedly offered an advance of Rs 15 lakh to kill Pranay.

-- ANI
19:58   Pranab Mukherjee delivers first lecture at IIM-A
Management students at the Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad were in for a treat as their new teacher came in the form of former president Pranab Mukherjee.

Mukherjee, who has spent nearly six decades in public life, is going to teach a new course called Public policy for Inclusive Development of India at the IIM-A School of Public Policy. The brand new course will have 22 sessions, of which more than half will be taught by Mukherjee.

The course draws on the experiences of Mukherjee to reflect on the theory and practice of public policy for inclusive development. All students, from its MBA programme, agri-business programme and full-time executive programme will attend the course.

Mukherjee is not the first president to turn a faculty member at an IIM. Former president APJ Abdul Kalam, post retirement, had taken up teaching and at IIM-A, he taught a course titled Globalising and Resurgent India through Innovative Transform.
19:54   Indrani, Peter Mukerjea file for divorce by mutual consent
Former media executive Indrani Mukerjea and her husband Peter Mukerjea, both accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, filed a petition for divorce by mutual consent on Tuesday.
The couple filed the petition in the Bandra family court.

As per the legal procedure prescribed for consensual divorce, Principal Judge Shailaja Sawant referred the couple to a counsellor.

After the couple told the counsellor that they do not want to reconsider their decision to separate, the judge scheduled the final hearing on March 25, 2019, at the end of the mandatory six months' 'cooling off period'.

Indrani and Peter Mukerjea said in the petition that they had agreed to terms of settlement of division of their assets and bank accounts in India and abroad as well as valuables such as jewellery and luxury watches.

In April, Indrani (46), lodged in the Byculla Women's Jail here, had served Peter a legal notice for divorce on the ground that the marriage has "irretrievably broken down".

Peter Mukerjea (64), a former media baron, is lodged in the Arthur Road Jail here. The couple had married in 2002.

Sheena Bora, Indrani's daughter from an earlier relationship, was allegedly murdered in April 2012.

Indrani was arrested in the case in August 2015 after her driver spilled the beans about the crime. The Central Bureau of Investigation later arrested Peter Mukerjea for allegedly being part of the conspiracy.

-- PTI
JUST IN: China retaliates against Trump with tariffs on $60 billion of US imports
18:42   RSS never asks its volunteers to work for a particular party: Bhagwat
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat asserted on Tuesday that the Hindutva organisation never asks its volunteers to work for any particular party but does advise them to back those working in the national interest.
Bhagwat's comments, on the second day of a three-day conclave organised by the RSS, sought to distinguish between its functioning and the work of the BJP, which is seen to be ideologically affiliated to the organisation with many top leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, having an RSS background.
He said there is a perception that the RSS plays a key role in the functioning of a particular party, a reference to the BJP, because of the presence of many of its workers in that organisation, but it is wrong.
"We never ask swayamsevak (volunteer) to work for a particular party, we do ask them to back those working in national interest. RSS keeps away from politics but has views on issues of national interest," Bhagwat said.
He said the Sangh believes the centre of power should remain as envisaged in the Constitution and that it considers it wrong if it is not so.
On the first day of the three-day conclave "Bhavishya Ka Bharat -- An RSS Perspective" on Monday, Bhagwat said the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh does not seek domination and is indifferent to who comes to power.
Bhagwat launched an unprecedented outreach in a bid to allay apprehensions about its ideology on Monday and had asserted that RSS is "most democratic" and not dictatorial.

-- PTI
18:12   Maj Gogoi shifted out of his unit, "attached" to formation HQ for Summary of Evidence
The army has shifted Major Leetul Gogoi, who was at the centre of the 'human shield' controversy, has been shifted out of his unit and attached to local formation headquarters after being indicted by an Army Court of Inquiry for "fraternising" with a local woman in Srinagar, officials said Tuesday.
Last month, the CoI instituted by the army indicted Gogoi, an officer with 53 Rashtriya Rifles -- a specialised anti-militancy force for Jammu and Kashmir, on two counts -- "fraternising" with a local in spite of instructions to the contrary and "being away from the place of duty while in operational area".  It recommended Summary of Evidence against him, a step before court martial proceedings are initiated.

The officials said Gogoi was shifted out of his unit in Budgam and "attached" to Awantipora-based Victor Force headquarters.
The officer, whose decision to tie a civilian to the bonnet of his vehicle in Kashmir on April 9 last year as a shield against stone-pelting by a mob had kicked up a huge controversy, will now face Summary of Evidence, a process similar to framing of charges. The process is likely to take three months.

-- PTI
17:52   Goa Cong leaders to meet guv at 6:30 pm
Goa Congress gets an appointment to meet Governor Dr Mridula Sinha today evening at 6:30 pm. With Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar hospitalised, the Congress, which is Goa's main opposition, submitted a memorandum to the governor on Monday, staking claim to form an alternate government.

The move came at a time when the BJP high command has sent three senior leaders -- Ram Lal, B L Santhosh and Vinay Puranik -- in Goa to meet the state party leaders and allies to take stock of the political situation.

Parrikar, 62, who is suffering from a pancreatic ailment, is currently admitted at the AIIMS in New Delhi for treatment.

The Congress, which has 16 members in the 40-member state assembly, submitted a memorandum to the governor, urging her not to dissolve the assembly and instead invite the party to form the government, Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar said. 

Read the Syed Firdaus Ashraf's interview with Chandrakant Kavlekar here

IMAGE: Goa's Congress leaders led by Chandrakant Kavlekar stake claim to form the government at the governor's office yesterday. Photograph: @INCGoa/Twitter
17:44   UK police force designs new looser uniform for female Muslim officers
A British police force has launched a specially-designed uniform that is looser and longer in an attempt to attract more female Muslim recruits to its ranks.

West Yorkshire Police said the new tunic, which shows less of the female form, was suggested by a Muslim officer and then designed by the force's clothing manager.

"For the last month we have been trying a new uniform for women which is designed not to show the female form. This was suggested by a Muslim female officer and was designed by our clothing manager in conjunction with the officer," West Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams said in a statement this week.

"The tunic is a looser and longer fit and has full sleeves. This has been well-received by officers in the force and we have now made further supplies of this uniform for other officers to trial it if they wish," she said.

The uniform was first tried by Police Constable Firzana Ahmed from Bradford, a city with a substantial Muslim population in England. -- PTI
17:41   Raut appointed leader of Sena MPs of both Houses of Parliament
Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut has been appointed as the head of party MPs in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, party sources said Tuesday. The Sena has 18 MPs in the Lok Sabha and three in the Rajya Sabha. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has written to Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, notifying her about Raut's appointment, a party source told PTI.

Currently, Anandrao Adsul is the Sena's party group leader in the Lower House, while Raut represents the party as group leader in the Rajya Sabha.
17:04   Sebi to allow FPIs to trade in commodity derivatives
Just In: Sebi board approves new KYC norms for foreign portfolio investors; new guidelines to be issued soon, says chairman Ajay Tyagi. 

Sebi to allow foreign portfolio investors to trade in commodity derivatives market, except for sensitive commodities, says Tyagi.

Sebi board also approves amending of delisting regulations, to make the process simpler.
16:42   Sidhu could have avoided hugging Pak army chief: Nirmala
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday that Navjot Singh Sidhu's gesture of hugging Pakistan's army chief impacted soldiers back home and asserted that the Punjab minister could have "avoided it".

Cricketer-turned politician Sidhu had courted controversy by hugging Pakistan Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa during his visit to Pakistan for the swearing-in of Imran Khan as prime minister.   

He had claimed that he did so as Bajwa told him that the Pakistan government was working for opening of the Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims from Indian state of Punjab.   

"Sidhu has a lot of admirers...somebody of that stature going there and then hugging the chief of the army, an army about which in India we have very clear feelings, it certainly has an impact on soldiers..., it demoralises the people. I wish Sidhu would have avoided it (the hug)," she said during an interaction at the Indian Women's Press Corp, New Delhi.
16:37   Shiv Sena makes Sanjay Raut head of its MPs in both Houses
Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut has been appointed as the head of party MPs in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, party sources said Tuesday. 

The Sena has 18 MPs in the Lok Sabha and three in the Rajya Sabha.

Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has written to Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, notifying her about Raut's appointment, a party source told PTI.

Currently, Anandrao Adsul is the Sena's party group leader in the Lower House, while Raut represents the party as group leader in the Rajya Sabha. 

Thackeray's decision comes in the wake of Sena chief whip in the Lok Sabha, Chandrakant Khaire, issuing a whip to party MPs to vote for the government against the Opposition's no-trust motion in July this year. 

Thackeray had later dismissed the whip and clarified that the party's decision was to abstain from voting, which the MPs had followed.

The development establishes Thackeray confidant Raut's command over all Sena MPs and makes Adsul and Khaire work under his overall leadership in Parliament.
16:28   TN BJP chief visits auto driver who was roughed up over fuel prices
BJP Tamil Nadu unit chief Tamilisai Soundararajan today visited an autorickshaw  driver whose alleged manhandling in Chennai after he posed a question to her on rising fuel prices triggered a controversy, and enquired about his well-being.   

The BJP leader's visit to the residence of Kathir in the city came  a day after a video clip purportedly showing the man being shoved aside went viral on the social media, drawing widespread criticism of her.   

After the visit, Soundararajan told reporters that she called on the driver as a "wrong depiction" was being made out regarding the incident.   

On Monday, she had asserted the man "was not manhandled as is being claimed by some channels. I did not even see him, but I did answer his question," she had told PTI.   

The BJP leader uploaded a video of her visit to the house of Kathir on Twitter in which she is seen having a casual interaction with him enquiring about his well-being and offering sweets to his family members.   

Soundararajan, who was accompanied by her aides, also shared a couple of pictures she shot on the occasion.
16:07   Defence minister suppressing facts on Rafale deal: Antony
Senior Congress leader A K Antony Tuesday accused Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman of suppressing facts on the Rafale deal and asked why the government was shying away from setting up a joint parliamentary committee to probe it.
He also accused the government of being "guilty" of "gravely compromising" national security in the Rafale fighter jet deal. 
Addressing a press conference, Antony rejected as "completely false" the charges of Sitharaman that an unprecedented intervention by him in 2013 put the "final nail in the coffin" when the cost negotiation committee was giving final touches to the deal. 
The former defence minister accused Sitharaman of trying to tarnish the image of public-sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) both nationally and internationally.
He also asked if the price of the Rafale fighter jets were cheaper than that negotiated by the UPA and why it did not buy 126 aircraft instead of 36 from the French manufacturer.
"The Congress party demands that the Modi government publish the price of the Congress-UPA's deal of 126 aircrafts and the price of its 36 Rafale deals, including per aircraft price of the same to clear the doubts of the people of India, let the Nation decide who is correct.
"Since, there is a growing perception that the Modi government's Rafale purchase deal has more skeletons in its closet, let there be Joint Parliamentary Probe to bring the truth out in the open," he told reporters. -- PTI 
15:03   Bishop's bail hearing postponed
Rape accused former Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal's anticipatory bail plea postponed to September 25 by Kerala High Court.
14:59   FIR against Manoj Tiwari for breaking lock of sealed house
An FIR has been registered against Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari for breaking the lock of a sealed house in Delhi's Gukulpur area.

On September 16, Tiwari broke the lock in an unauthorised colony while protesting against ongoing sealing drive.

The FIR has been registered under Sections 188 of the IPC and 461 and 465 of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act. Speaking to ANI over the case filed against him, Tiwari said, "Till now the Aam Aadmi Party used to allege that we were getting sealing done. Now when we are opposing sealing then they are supporting the same and claiming that we are breaking the law. I challenge (Delhi Chief Minister) Arvind Kejriwal to visit the colonies and answer the public in Delhi. They won 67 seats out of 70 because they have promised that unauthorised colonies will be regularised and roads will be notified but nothing as such has happened."
14:10   Sidhu betrayed us: Harsimrat on Kartarpur Sahib row
Union Minister of Food Processing Industries, Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu over his claims that Pakistan is willing to open the Kartarpur Sahib corridor.

Harsimrat's comments come in the wake of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj issuing a clarification earlier on Tuesday, saying that there has been no official communication from the Pakistani government for establishing the corridor that would enable Indian pilgrims to visit Sikh's holy shrine Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan under a bilateral protocol.

Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, on his return from Pakistan last month, had claimed that Islamabad will open the corridor of Kartarpur Sahib on the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, which will be celebrated next year.

Addressing a press conference, Harsimrat took on the cricketer-turned-politician and said, "This minister from the Punjab government (Sidhu) betrayed the lakhs of soldiers deployed on the borders by hugging Pakistani General Bajwa. He kept his friendship above the country. Our people were outraged by his actions, when he returned, he was shown black flags, and everyone was angry that he went there and hugged someone who kills our people."

Siddhu's visit to Pakistan drew criticism from some quarters in India after he hugged the Pakistani Army Chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the swearing-in ceremony of Imran Khan.

"Instead of apologising, he played with the people's sentiments. He said that he hugged the General as he was assured that the Kartarpur corridor will be opened," the Shiromani Akali Dal leader added.

Harsimrat further stated that while his claims calmed the storm he was facing, there was no evidence to substantiate them. Harsimrat informed that she had written to the EAM, urging her to take up the matter with the Pakistan government if they are willing to agree to the demands.

"Sushma Swaraj Ji wrote back to me saying that no Pakistani government has communicated anything on the matter. There is a protocol from 1974 which allows pilgrims to visit the gurudwara, but they haven't even agreed to that," Harsimrat said.

She also aimed a potshot at Congress president Rahul Gandhi, saying, "Were his (Sidhu's) actions sanctioned by you? Did you permit him to go to an enemy nation, hug the general, come back and play with the people's sentiments? Will you take any actions against him?"

The Kartarpur route along the India-Pakistan border is around three kilometres away from Gurdaspur in Punjab, and if opened, will give Indian Sikh pilgrims direct access to the historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur in Pakistan, where Guru Nanak breathed his last in 1539. -- ANI
14:02   'Game of Thrones', 'The Marvelous Mrs Maisel' win big at Emmys 2018
Winter arrived early at this year's Primetime Emmys as "Game of Thrones" took home the award for Outstanding Drama Series while newcomer "The Marvelous Mrs Maisel" surprised with its clean sweep in the comedy category, including the top award of the Outstanding Comedy Series.

"GoT", whose eighth and final season premieres next year, won nine awards while "Mrs Maisel" took home eight trophies.

The popular HBO series bested last year's winner "The Handmaid's Tale" to score its third Emmy in the category after winning the honour for two consecutive years in 2015 and 2016. Claire Foy got the parting gift by winning the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for "The Crown".

It is Foy's first win, a memorable moment for the actor, who has exited as Queen Elizabeth II from Netflix's royal drama after its second season last year.  -- PTI
13:56   Moon walk with Kim
South Korean President Moon Jae-in with North Korea's Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang for denuclearisation talks.
13:53   PM gifts projects worth over Rs 550 cr to Varanasi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday launched various development projects worth over Rs 550 crore in his Lok Sabha constituency and noted that the landscape of the city has changed for good in the last four years while it was at the mercy of the Lord under previous governments. The projects inaugurated include Integrated Power Development Scheme for Puraani Kashi and Atal Incubation Centre at Banaras Hindu University. 
Among the projects for which the foundation stones were laid was the Regional Ophthalmology Centre at BHU.

13:28   'Reservation is just one aspect'
A key bill to provide Constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes has finally secured Parliament's approval. The 123rd Amendment Bill 2017 was cleared by the Lok Sabha on August 2, 2018, superseding the amendments passed earlier by the Rajya Sabha.

The BJP calls it a historic bill while other parties describe it as a political move, passed with the coming assembly election in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

"Just giving Constitutional status will not make it a historic decision," Dr Satendra Kumar, professor at the Gobind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute, Allahabad University, tells's Shobha Warrier.

Read the interview here.
13:27   SC adjourns hearing on PIL to stay Rafale deal to October 10
The Supreme Court Tuesday adjourned hearing on a plea seeking a stay on the Rafale fighter jet deal between India and France. A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Navin Sinha and KM Joseph adjourned the matter till October 10 after petitioner advocate ML Sharma told the bench that he wanted to file some additional documents in the case and sought adjournment in the matter.

"You yourself circulated a letter seeking adjournment on the ground of ill health. Now you are saying that you want to file additional documents. We are simply adjourning the matter to October 10," the bench said.

In his petition, Sharma has alleged discrepancies in the fighter jet deal with France and sought a stay on it. Sharma has said in his plea that the inter-government agreement to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets must be quashed as it was an "outcome of corruption" and not ratified by Parliament under Article 253 (Parliament has power to make any law for implementing any inter-government agreement) of the Constitution.
12:47   Indrani Mukerjea begins divorce proceedings
Indrani Mukerjea at the Mumbai family court today. She has filed for divorce to end her 16-year-old marriage to Peter Mukerjea, co-accused in the Sheena Bora murder case. In a two-page letter written by Indrani from Byculla women's prison to Peter in Arthur Road jail on August 13, 2018, accessed by the Hindustan Times, she has drawn up a list of objects she wants delivered to her in the presence of her advocates. These include candles, bedside lamps, furniture, soft furnishings, jewellery, religious objects, artworks and keys to a safe.

Indrani, now 46, met Peter, 64, in 2002 and approximately three months later, the two got married.

Indrani had first told the court in January 2017 that she intends to divorce Peter. The CBI claims that Sheena was murdered by Indrani, along with her former husband Sanjeev Khanna in conspiracy with Peter on April 24, 2012.

Image: Indrani Mukerjea at the family court in Bandra, Mumbai, this morning. Note the sindoor on her forehead. Pic: Vaihayasi Pande Daniel

Do read our unparalleled and extensive coverage on the Sheena Bora murder trial by Vaihayasi Pande Daniel / here
11:42   Chief secy assault: Court summons Kejriwal, Sisodia on Oct 25
Delhi court summons CM Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and others in the assault case of Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash and directs them to appear before it in person on October 25.

The police in the chargesheet said, the Chief Minister, his deputy and 11 lawmakers were responsible for the attack on the bureaucrat. In the 3000-page chargesheet the police alleged that Kejriwal, Sisodia and the others had conspired to threaten the Chief Secretary, obstructed him in discharging his public function and caused hurt. They have also been accused of wrongful confinement, intentional insult, abetment and unlawful assembly.

The chief secretary had alleged that he was attacked at a late night meeting in February over a delay in releasing a three-year anniversary TV campaign. Initially he was threatened and then Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal "started hitting and assaulting me", he said in his complaint.  Read the report here.

The AAP government had called the allegations in the police chargesheet "fake and laughable" and said that it was the "result of the extreme frustration of the Modi government".

11:24   No, Ajay Maken has not resigned as Cong's Delhi chief
The Congress has denied reports of Ajay Maken's resignation as the Delhi party president saying that he is on leave for a health check-up and will be back within a week.

Reacting to reports of Maken's resignation, the party's Delhi in-charge PC Chacko told ANI, "The fact is that he has some health problem and he has gone for a check-up. Nothing beyond that, he will be back next week."

Chacko further added that Maken has been worried over not being able to give time to the party. "Probably he is little worried that he cannot devote his full time or travel the way he wants. That problem he shared with me in past. However, he is doing fine and Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee is also doing well. On his return from his medical check-up, we will discuss the working arrangement and all other things. He has not resigned," he said.
11:03   Indian politics needs to watch out for Ravan
"It is only when those who are oppressed stand for themselves that society is forced to create space for them," says Aakar Patel. Do read the column here.
11:02   Nun rape case: Bishop Franco files for bail
Kerala nun rape case: Accused Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal has filed a bail plea in Kerala High Court. The matter will be heard later today.

On Monday, the Bishop had written to the Vatican seeking Pope Francis' permission to step aside from his duties.

On September 11, the victim, against whom there has been a slander campaign in which church group Missionaries of Jesus has also been pulled up for posting her photo and revealing her identity, had also written to the Vatican seeking justice. In her seven-page letter, she spoke about the "sexual exploitation that she suffered from Bishop Franco from 2014 to 2016". The complainant's sister has also embarked on a hunger strike till the Bishop is arrested.

The Kerala police has thus far submitted two affidavits in the case. In the first affidavit, which was filed on August 13, the investigation officer had concluded based on his probe that the victim nun had been raped repeatedly.
10:59   Skyfall
There are fan girls and then there's this. Indian skydiver Sheetal Mahajan jumped off a plane from a height of 13,000 feet in Chicago, holding a placard to wish Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his birthday, yesterday. 
10:35   Fuel prices hike again, petrol threatens to touch Rs 90 mark in Mumbai
Fuel prices yet again witnessed a fresh hike on Tuesday morning, with petrol and diesel being sold at Rs 82.16 and Rs 73.87 per litre respectively in the national capital.

The surge in fuel prices has affected people in Mumbai the most, with petrol retailing at Rs 89.54 per litre and diesel at Rs 78.42 per litre.

While a litre of petrol is being sold for Rs 83.91 and diesel for Rs 75.53 in Kolkata, the petrol and diesel prices in Chennai rose to Rs 85.31 and Rs 78, respectively. -- ANI
10:32   Delhi cop whose son thrashed woman suspended
The Delhi Police on Monday suspended the father of Rohit Tomar, who was seen thrashing a woman and threatening her in a video that went viral recently.Tomar's father, who was posted as an Assistant Sub-Inspector has been placed under suspension for his son's despicable act.

Soon after a video of the brutality went viral, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh took notice of the incident and instructed the Delhi Police to take steps immediately and nab the culprit.The police registered a FIR under sections 376 (rape) and 323 (causing voluntarily hurt) of the IPC against the accused.

The victim in her statement said that the incident took place on September 2 at a BPO office in Delhi's Uttam Nagar area.On Saturday, the police arrested two more people in connection with the case. -- ANI
10:22   Can't even think straight, says wife of worker who died in sewer
The wife of the 27-year-old sanitation worker who died after allegedly falling in a sewer says she can't even think straight after she heard of her husband's death. 

Speaking to ANI, Rani said, "I reached the site where my husband was working and people present there told me he had fallen inside the sewer pit.

"Don't know anything about receiving financial help. I can't even think straight right now."

Anil slipped while climbing down into the sewer pit in Dwarka's Dabri area in Delhi and the rope around his waist broke, following which he fell in the 20-feet deep sewer.

He was rushed to a nearby hospital where doctors declared him brought dead. The incident occurred on September 14. 

Delhi Minister RP Gautam, said, "It's a really sad incident. Manual scavenging is totally banned. There are clear directions against entering septic tanks. We'll give a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family."

People from all walks of life extended helping hand to the family with over Rs 18 lakh already received by the crowdfunding platform Ketto, after an initiative by NGO Uday Foundation, whose founder Rahul Verma had shared a photo of Anil's son weeping over his body. Anil was the only earning member of the family. 

Ketto had set a target of Rs 24 lakh and within few hours after the news was shared on various social media platforms, over Rs 10 lakh was already collected with over 100 people donating their bit to help the family.
09:51   INS Tarini crew get Tenzing Norgay award
All the 6 crew members of INSV Tarini which circumnavigated the globe has been awarded the Tenzing Norgay Award. The Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award is the highest national recognition for outstanding achievements in the field of adventure on land, sea & air. File pic. 
09:45   Kolkata's Bagree Market fire brought under control after two days
The massive fire at Bagree Market in Burrabazar area in the business hub of Kolkata has been brought under control after two days, a senior officer of the fire department said Tuesday. At the moment the process of "cooling was on at the Bagree Market and 15 fire tenders have been pressed into service for it, Director General of West Bengal Fire & Emergency Services Jag Mohan said.

"The fire has been brought under control. Our officers kept on fighting the blaze and they fought throughout the night. We are continuing our fight as the cooling process is on," Jag Mohan said.

There was immense heat inside the building and it made things very difficult for fire fighters to continue, he said. No one was injured in the fire, he added.

Another fire department officer said cracks were found on the walls of the building and precautionary measures have been taken to avoid any untoward incident.

"Shopkeepers and a few residents of adjacent buildings have been evacuated. A few cracks were seen on the walls of the Bagree Market building. We are not taking any chances," the officer said.

The massive fire broke out at Bagree Market around 2.30 am on Sunday, gutting at least 1,000 business establishments inside the G+5 building and causing huge losses to traders ahead of Durga Puja.

The state government has directed the police and the fire department to find out the cause of the fire and initiate strict legal action against those found guilty in this mishap. Police have been directed to summon owners of the building. -- PTI
09:32   Dropouts, uneducated Gujarat MLAs earn more than graduates: NGO
Gujarat MLAs who are either unlettered or have school-level education are earning more than legislators who are graduates or possess higher degrees, according to an NGO's report published on Monday.
The report, prepared and published by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an NGO which works for electoral reforms, also suggested that the average annual income of 161 of the total 182 MLAs of Gujarat is Rs 18.80 lakh.
The report on annual income, profession and educational qualifications of MLAs was prepared by the ADR and its affiliate 'Gujarat Election Watch' after scanning the poll affidavits filed by all the 182 legislators ahead of the assembly polls last year.
Of the 182 MLAs, details about annual income of 21, including independent MLA Jignesh Mevani, were not available as these lawmakers have not mentioned anything about it in their respective poll affidavits, said an ADR release.
A detailed analysis of the affidavits of the remaining 161 MLAs has revalued that their average annual income is Rs 18.80 lakh, the release said.
While BJP MLA from Vadhwan, Dhanjibhai Patel, leads the pack with an annual income of Rs 3.90 crore, woman BJP MLA from Vadodara, Seemaben Mohile, remains at the bottom of the chart with a meagre annual income of Rs 69,340.
Of these 161 MLAs, 33 have mentioned 'business' as their profession, while 56 legislators said they are 'farmers'.
Remaining have shown various other professions such as real estate and social work.
While the average annual income of 63 'graduate' MLAs came to Rs 14.37 lakh, the same for 85 MLAs, whose 'educational qualification' ranges between 5th and 12th standard, stood at Rs 19.83 lakh, the release said.
Interestingly, the average annual income of four "illiterate" MLAs came to Rs 74.17 lakh, much higher than the earnings of those who are literates, it added. -- PTI
09:09   3 GFP MLAs, independents show support to BJP in Goa
Three Goa Forward Party MLAs and as many independent legislators have showed their support for the Bharatiya Janata Party as the saffron party looks for stability for its government in the coastal state.
GFP chief Vijai Sardesai, two other MLAs from the party as well as three independents showed their unity when they arrived as a group on Sunday to meet the BJP's central observers.
Sardesai, the state's agriculture minister, is considered a confidante of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
Sardesai, earlier in the day, had emphasised that the GFP was with Parrikar, adding that "we are not talking to anyone, neither is anybody talking to us".
He was replying to a query on whether the GFP was in talks with the Congress which has staked claim to form an alternate government in the state.
The GFP's Sardesai, Vinod Palyekar and Jayesh Salgaoncar and Independents  Rohan Khaunte, Govind Gawade and Prasad Gaonkar arrived together Sunday.
The three central observers of the Bharatiya Janata Party -- Ram Lal, B L Santhosh and Vinay Puranik -- left for Delhi on Monday after holding several rounds of talks in the coastal state with partymen and alliance partners.
"We are together with the GFP with a clear intention to provide good governance and better administration to Goans. We are united to support the BJP and not to harm it in any way," Independent MLA and State Civil Supplies Minister Govind Gawade told reporters here Monday.
He added that the group wanted a permanent solution to the political situation arising from Parrikar's health-related absence from the state.
Parrikar, 62, has been admitted to the AIIMS for follow-up treatment reportedly for a pancreatic ailment. -- PTI
09:07   Sachin @ Lalbaugcha Raja
Sachin Tendulkar and his wife Anjali Tendulkar offer prayers at Lalbaugcha Raja.
08:47   Swaraj 'reprimands' Sidhu for hugging Pak army chief: Union Min
Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and urged her to help initiate dialogue with Pakistan on the opening up of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor.
Union minister and Akali leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal, however, claimed that Swaraj "reprimanded" Sidhu for "messing up" the issue of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor dialogue and accused him of "misusing" the political clearance granted to him in visiting Pakistan recently to attend Imran Khan's swearing-in as prime minister there.
"External Affairs Minister (Swaraj) reprimands Navjot Sidhu for messing up Kartarpur Sahib corridor dialogue and misusing political clearance granted for private visit by hugging military Chief responsible for killing our soldiers," Badal said.
Sources said Sidhu met Swaraj along with another senior Congress leader and a former Rajya Sabha MP to discuss the issue with her.
Sidhu had courted controversy by hugging Pakistan Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa and claimed that he did so as Bajwa told him that the Pakistan government was working out opening of the Kartarpur corrdidor for Sikh pilgrims from Indian state of Punjab. -- PTI
08:46   IMF estimates 'real' depreciation of Indian rupees as 6 to 7 per cent
Compared to December 2017, the real effective depreciation of Indian rupees is between six and seven percent, says an International Monetary Fund estimate.
Broadly since the beginning of the year, Indian rupee "has lost about 11 percent of its value in nominal terms vis a vis the US dollar", said IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice, responding to a question on the fall of the Indian currency in the last few months. 
He, however, said the currencies of many of India's trading partners, including those in the emerging markets, too have depreciated against the dollar.
"As a result, so far this year the real effective depreciation of the Indian rupees compared to December 2017 is, by our estimates, between six and seven percent," Rice said.
Observing that India is a relatively closed economy, he said the contribution of the net exports to growth in the April to June quarter was again stronger than expected and the real depreciation of the rupee can be expected to reinforce this trend. 
"On the other hand, the depreciation will obviously raise the prices of imported goods such as oil and petroleum products, potentially putting an upward pressure on inflation," he said. 
The Reserve Bank of India has taken the rising oil import prices into the account when it raised the policy rates in its last two meetings, he noted.
Referring to a recent report of the IMF on India, Rice said the Indian economy is recovering strongly from the two transitory disruptions in recent years - the Goods and Services Tax or GST and demonetisation process. 
"Growth has been gradually accelerating in recent quarters, with strength in both consumption and investment, which have helped the economy," he said.
Noting that the first quarter growth figures were somewhat stronger than the IMF had anticipated, Rice said the world body will be reviewing its forecast for India, taking account of it and the recent global developments. 
Rice said the IMF continues to assess the impact of demonetisation on an ongoing basis.
As with most things, there have been pluses and there have been minuses of demonetisation, he said. -- PTI
08:20   US announces sharp cut in refugee intake for 2019
The Trump administration has decided to take only 30,000 refugees next year in the country, slashing the intake from 45,000 in 2018.
"The United States anticipates up to 310,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Fiscal 2019. We propose resettling up to 30,000 refugees under the new ceiling," the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State department.
The US also anticipate processing applications of "more than 280,000 asylum seekers," he said.
They will join over 800,000 asylum seekers who are already inside the US and are awaiting adjudication of their claims, he said, asserting that these figures testify to America's "longstanding record of the most generous nation in the world when it comes to protection-based immigration and assistance."
Wary that the decision to cap refugees intake may face criticism, Pompeo said the ceiling on the refugees number should not be viewed in isolation from other expansive humanitarian programs.
"Some will characterise the refugee ceiling as the sole barometer of America's commitment to vulnerable people around the world. This would be wrong," he said.
"Other countries, when noting their humanitarian protection efforts, highlight their assistance to both refugees and asylees. The United States should do the same," he said. 
This year's refugee ceiling reflects the substantial increase in the number of individuals seeking asylum in US, leading to a massive backlog of outstanding asylum cases and greater public expense. -- PTI
00:02   Imran Khan chooses Saudi Arabia for 1st foreign visit as Pak PM
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for his first foreign visit since assuming power, officials said on Monday.

His two-day state visit to the kingdom will begin from September 18 on the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, the Foreign Office said.

The cricketer-turned-politician will call on King Salman and hold bilateral talks with the Crown Prince in Riyadh, it said.

The Pakistan PM will be accompanied by Foreign Minister, Minister for Finance and Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce. The Ministers will also meet their Saudi counterparts to discuss bilateral cooperation, the FO said.

During the visit, the Secretary General of Organization of Islamic Cooperation Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen will call on Khan, it said, adding that the Prime Minister will also do Ziarat at Madinah and perform Umra.

Khan and his delegation will go to the UAE from Saudi Arabia.

He will arrive in Abu Dhabi on September 19 on the invitation of Mohammaed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of the UAE. The two leaders will discuss bilateral issues.

-- PTI