SINCE 1928 PANKAJ ADVANI WINS ASIAN SNOOKER TOUR TITLE Pg 21 MATURITY MISSING ON BOTH SIDES REG. NO. MCS/048/2018-20; RNI NO. 1541/1957 M.P.C.S office Mumbai-400001 Fast News ANUPAM KHER QUITS FTII, TO MOVE TO US NEW DELHI: Actor Anupam Kher has resigned as chairperson of the Film and Television Institute of India citing commitments to an international TV show for which he has to be stationed in the US for long periods of time over the next three years. Kher, one of Bollywood's most versatile actors, told PTI he has recommended to the ministry two to three people who can take over as chief of the Pune-based institute but refused to reveal the names. CHANDRABABU UNITY FEELERS TO GANDHI NEW DELHI: In a move that indicates the Telugu Desam Party may join the national opposition front that is taking shape against the BJP, Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu will meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Delhi on Wednesday. TDP and Congress have The already put aside their rivalry for the Telangana assembly elections to defeat K Chandrashekar Rao’s TRS, and could do the same for the Lok Sabha elections next year, sources said, reports CNN IBN. In an official statement, the TDP hinted at as much, hinting at “the likelihood of a key announcement with regards to the emerging political equations.” CUSTODIAL QUIZZING OF CHIDU NEEDED: ED AKBAR RECORDS HIS #METOO STATEMENT NEW DELHI: Former Union minister M J Akbar, who has filed a criminal defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani, told a Delhi court on Wednesday that "immediate damage" has been caused to him due to the "scurrilous" and concocted allegations of two-decade-old nonevents. Akbar’s statement has concluded and the court has fixed November 12 for further hearing of the case when the statements of witnesses named by the former BJP minister will be recorded. THAROOR SENDS LEGAL NOTICE TO LAW MIN NEW DELHI: Former Union minister Shashi Tharoor has sent a legal notice to Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who, on October 29, called the Congress MP an 'accused in a murder case'. Prasad had commented on Tharoor when he demanded an apology from him for comparing PM Modi with a scorpion sitting on a Shiv Linga. Tharoor has sought an apology from Prasad within 48 hours for his remarks, which he called false and defamatory. SABARIMALA: NO NEED FOR URGENT HEARING NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined early hearing on petitions seeking review of its September 28 verdict allowing women of all age groups into the Sabarimala temple in Kerala, and said they have been already listed for hearing. "The Sabarimala temple is opening only for 24 hours between November 5 and November 6 and we have fixed the hearing on November 13," the apex court said. EASE OF DOING BIZ: INDIA RANK JUMPS TAILPIECE WASHINGTON/NEW DELHI: India has jumped 23 places to the 77th position in the World Bank's 'ease of doing business' ranking released on Wednesday, a development that could help the country attract more foreign investments. India was ranked 100th in the World Bank's Doing Business Report last year. The ranking comes as a shot in the arm for the Narendra Modi government which faces strong dissenting voices from opposition parties ahead of the general elections next year. In its 'Doing Business' 2019 report, World Bank said India improved on six of the 10 parameters relating to starting and doing business in a country. These parameters include ease of starting a business, construction permits, getting electricity, getting credit, paying taxes, trade across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency. India was ranked at the 142nd position among 190 nations when the Modi government came to power in 2014. It rose to 100th spot in the last ranking from the 131st rank in the previous year. EDIT BOLLYWOOD ACTORS WITHOUT BACKING GAIN MORE RESPECT: AMYRA Pg 18 FM overreach drives RBI Governor to brink FPJ NEWS SERVICE New Delhi A key appointee of the Modi government – RBI governor Urjit Patel – was in the news on Wednesday for all the wrong reasons. The buzz was that he had either submitted his resignation, or is likely to do so in the near future. There were reports of damage control by the government, which put out a reconciliatory statement, but it was unclear whether the festering row has blown over or not. At the heart of this speculation was Section 7 of the RBI Act, which empowers the government to issue directions to the Reserve Bank in “public interest” and ride roughshod over the institution. An extreme step, it has never been invoked in the history of the central bank. Even more important, Section 7 (2) gives the government powers to side line the Governor and entrust the running of the RBI to its Central Board, which has government nominees as independent directors. Once the sec- Pg 8 tion is invoked, the board exercises all powers that are otherwise exercised by the bank. Sources said the Finance Ministry wrote three separate letters in the past few weeks to the RBI on issues ranging from Prompt Corrective Action framework to liquidity management and sought consultation under Section 7 of the RBI Act. This was unprecedented and possibly led to the uncharacteristic outburst of Deputy Governor, Viral Acharya, during a speech in a public fora, wherein he said that attempts to undermine the authority of the central bank could have ‘‘catastrophic consequences.’’ Urjit was present in the audience during the speech and Acharya made it a point to thank the Governor for his input. The loaded message to the government in Acharya’s hard-hitting speech was that the RBI top brass had closed ranks and was talking in one voice in a bid to stall any attempt by the government to usurp its powers as a regulator. CONTD. ON P6 WORK IN SYNC OR QUIT: RSS WING T he RBI Governor should work in sync with the government or otherwise he can resign, the RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch said on Wednesday . The comments come against the backdrop of escalating tension between the government and the RBI over various issues. The SJM also said that Deputy Governors as well as RBI office bearers should restrain from speaking in the public about any disagreements with the government. On the prickly issue of autonomy the SJM said the entire talk of central , bank's independence is a western concept. It is not acceptable and feasible in India. FM TWEAKS ITS STAND T o spike the buzz about Urjit’s exit – with punters having a field day accepting bets – the finance ministry felt obliged to put out a statement saying that such consultations with the RBI took place from time to time as both sides "have to be guided by public interest and the requirements of the Indian economy." an In attempt to tackle criticism that it is overreaching, the government tweaked its note by also saying that autonomy for the RBI, "within the framework of the RBI Act, is an essential and accepted governance requirement." RESIGN IF YOU HAVE ANY SELF-RESPECT F ormer Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha told a TV channel that if RBI governor has any self-respect, then he should resign. He also said that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has ruined the economy and the institution. Calling it a direct attack on the autonomy of the RBI, Sinha said, "I would only say that this [invoking Section 7] is unprecedented. It has never happened in the history of independent India or ever since RBI was established. Clearly the RBI might have one , view of how it should tackle the crisis in the economy while the finance ministry may have another view." CM COMES CLEAN: 2/3rds of State under severe ‘drought’ FPJ POLITICAL BUREAU Mumbai Facing criticism for using the term ‘drought-like,’ instead of ‘drought’, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday declared drought in 151 of the state’s 355 talukas, in 25 of 36 districts. Effectively this means more , than two-thirds of the state is drought-ridden. On October 23, a “drought-like” situation was declared in 180 talukas and Fadnavis had said that only after the visit of the Centre’s assessment team, would drought be declared. But under pressure from the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party leaders for his injudicious use of the term ‘drought-like’, Fadnavis seems to have recapitulated. So, without waiting for an inspection by the Central team, Fadnavis has announced most parts of the state are reeling under drought. The standard operating proce- dures and relief schemes will be immediately applied in these areas. According to an official from the revenue department, drought in the state was last declared in 1972. With the CM’s declaration on Wednesday farmers are exempt , from paying bank instalments and dues on crop loans. “The ground verification was done and based on indicators of rainfall deficit, reservoir storage, ground water index and soil moisture,” said a state offiical. As per a government order, 112 talukas are facing severe drought, while 39 are facing moderate drought. The 26 districts comprise eight districts each in Vidarbha and Marathwada, five districts in North Maharashtra, four districts in western Maharashtra and Palghar district in the coastal Konkan region. In all 26 districts, the moderate and severe drought areas overlap in many talukas. Jalgaon in north Maharashtra has 13 talukas under severe drought, followed by Ahmednagar and Beed (11 talukas each), Solapur and Aurangabad districts (9 talukas each). Other districts are: Pune, Sangli, Satara, Palghar, Dhule, Nandurbar, Nashik, Jalna, Nanded, Parbhani, Osmanabad, Hingoli, Latur, Akola, Amravati, Buldhana, Washim, Yavatmal, Chandrapur, Nagpur and Wardha. CONTD. ON P6 posts in each college. These posts will include president of the college council, secretary, a post reserved for a woman candidate and a representative from reserved category. Further on, a University Representative will be elected on the basis of preferential voting. As for Mumbai, the University Representative will lend voice to issues faced by students in various colleges in the management council of Mumbai University. Shraddha Kamble, a student, said, “Until now, did not know who to complain to or how to tackle basic problems like fee hike, harassment on campus, or examination delay. We would complain to our teachers and principal but these matters were never discussed at university level. At least now we can inform the student’s representative who can further voice our concerns in the university management council.” In addition, students can use creative mediums for their campaigns. Says Vinod Tawde, state education minister for school and higher education: “We want to instil the importance of politics so that it helps them if they want to pursue a political career.” All campus polls will be conducted at the same time and principals will be responsible for managing the election. CONTD. ON P6 Campus election stages a comeback FIRST TIME SINCE 1994 STAFF REPORTER Mumbai The Maharashtra government has allowed campus elections from next academic year in all colleges of the State, the first time since 1994. But the announcement has come with a rider – that there will be no political interference or propaganda of any sort during elections. The state government has laid down ground rules for the purpose of initiating students into campus politics. Students can stand for elections in their respective colleges, irrespective of the political party to which they belong. They can campaign for four representative Sunrise: 06:38 am Sunset: 06:01 pm THOUGHT FOR THE DAY Think twice before you open your mouth. Words are like bullets. They are loaded with "emotional gunpowder." What comes out of your mind and your mouth is more important than what goes in. Vol. 62 No. 159 | THURSDAY | NOVEMBER 1, 2018 | 22 Pages EDITIONS: MUMBAI*, PUNE, INDORE, BHOPAL www.freepressjournal.in twitter.com/fpjindia Government bid to usurp powers under section 7 raises spectre of Urjit Patel’s resignation; belated damage control as ministry puts out conciliatory statement VOICES NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday told a Delhi court that custodial interrogation of former Union minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram was necessary in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case to unravel the truth as he was evasive and noncooperative in the probe. The ED opposed his anticipatory bail saying that from the conduct of Chidambaram, who is a "highly influential and well connected individual", there was a serious apprehension of his influencing the witnesses and tampering with evidence pertaining in the case. So, a case was made out about custodial interrogation of Chidambaram. `2 WEATHER 360C. 210C. SC wants price, offset details of Rafale purchase Master Choa Kok Sui Let CBI put its house in order, first; the probe can wait, says apex court OUR BUREAU New Delhi In a step forward on the demand for a CBI probe into the Rafale deal, the Supreme Court on Wednesday sought "details with regard to the pricing/cost, particularly the advantage thereof, if any within 10 ," days in a sealed cover. As it did so, the court observed that the CBI probe – that has been requested by the petitioners -- has to wait as "the agency should put its house in order first." Fixing the next hearing on November 14, the Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi also sought information on induction of the Indian offset partner and ordered that the details be shared with the petitioners as well. The court wanted to know the advantages in purchase of 36 aircraft in a flyaway condition by the Modi government as the petitioners have challenged cancellation of an earlier order for 126 Rafale aircraft placed by the previous UPA government. The court sought offset details to understand the petitioners' charge that Anil Ambani was given the contract after giving the public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited the go by . On Attorney General K K Venugopal's hesitation – he pleaded that the price details are so sensitive that they cannot be even shared with Parliament -- the Chief Justice shot back: "If pricing is something exclusive Sardar gets his due R.K. MISRA / Kevadia colony (Gujarat) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday dedicated to the nation a 182 metre tall statue of first deputy Prime Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and termed the elderly statesman's vision as a reminder of the unity and agelessness of India. ‘‘There were many who thought that a diverse country like India can never remain united but Sardar Patel proved them wrong. It was his contribution that the country can meet the world on its own terms and is moving ahead to become an economic and military superpower,” he added. Built on the Sadhu Bet island on the Narmada river at a cost of Rs 2389 crore, the statue has been hyped as the tallest in the world, surpassing China's spring temple Buddha that stands at 153 metres by 29 metres and nearly twice the size of the 93 metre Statue of Liberty at New York. The statue located 3.2 km downstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam has a viewing gallery at a height of 153 metres. Other attractions at the venue include a 17-km-long valley of flowers, and a tent city for tourists. CONTD. ON P6 On the Official Secrets Act plea, the CJI said the government can share all information, "except what is strategic and confidential" to enable the petitioners to respond within next seven days. and you are not sharing it with us, please file an affidavit and say so." The Bench, also comprising Justices U U Lalit and K M Joseph, asked the government to share with the petitioners within 10 days information about the steps taken in the decision making process leading to the procurement of 36 fighter jets. On the attorney general's plea that the documents provided to the court are covered by the Official Secrets Act, the CJI said the government can share the information, "except what is strategic and confidential," to enable the petitioners to respond within next seven days. The court, however, said it did not want to record any views at this stage on the documents placed before it regarding the decision making process. CONTD. ON P6 CBI trying to clear Asthana, says officer OUR BUREAU / New Delhi Even though CBI chief Alok Verma and his No 2 Rakesh Asthana have been both divested of all responsibilities and sent on leave, the junior officers are still playing out the turf war. The latest to jump in the tussle is additional SP S S Gurm. He moved Delhi High Court on Wednesday to implead himself in Asthana's petition for quashing the FIR of bribery registered against him by the agency on October 15. Gurm wants to be heard on why Asthana's petition needs to be dismissed, claiming that the CBI is trying to protect and exonerate him. In his application to the High Court, Gurm said he has "reasonable" apprehension that the CBI is seeking to protect and support Asthana and may not effectively contest the petition. The application says Asthana was "misleading" the court by providing "selective" facts and the CBI was deliberately not contesting them. CONTD. ON P6 No CVC summons yet to Verma OUR BUREAU / New Delhi The Central Vigilance Commission chief K V Chowdary on Wednesday said he has not issued any summons to ousted CBI Director Alok Verma and his erstwhile No 2 Rakesh Asthana as the CVC is still examining the documents it has received from the CBI. "If the need arises, all concerned would be called in," he told reporters on the side lines of an event, pointing out that the probe has been already initiated, as directed by the Supreme Court, on the complaint of corruption against Verma. He, however, refused to say anything further since the matter is "sub judice." CVC sources said CBI officials from the rank of inspector up to the superintendent of police were called and their versions were recorded by a senior official of the CVC. The officials interrogated had handled the UP meat exporter Moin Qureshi bribery case, IRCTC scam of former railway minister Lalu Prasad and the case of a senior BSF official taking bribe in Kerala for smuggling of cows. The CVC has to complete the probe within two weeks and report to the Supreme Court. Before it is the complaint of Asthana received by the Cabinet Secretary alleging Verma's interference in the cases being dealt by him to show undue favour to the accused persons, including a bribe of Rs 2 crore allegedly taken by Verma from Hyderabad businessman Satish Babu Sana to stop his questioning in the Moin Qureshi case.