Vol. 67 No. 41 | THURSDAY | NOVEMBER 16, 2023 | 19 Pages | `5 & for Pune `6 only Quality at Value www.freepressjournal.in EDITIONS: MUMBAI*, Pune, Nashik, Konkan, Indore, Bhopal, E-paper DHAIRYA KARWA ON DEEPIKA She never made me feel like a newcomer during the shoot EDIT INFLATION DOWN BUT CONCERNS PERSIST NATIONAL PRESS DAY RECORD IMPORTS SEND OCT TRADE DEFICIT TO ALL-TIME HIGH Exports rise 6.21% to $33.57 bn; trade deficit widens to $31.36 bn My SHAMI-FINAL CupWorld SURGICAL OP IN HOSPITAL Yatra ‘FIRST PERSON’ FPJ NEWS SERVICE / GAZA HARIDEV PUSHPARAJ MUMBAI BALBIR SINGH Great players have an uncanny sense of occasion and Virat Kohli certainly does have one. But the man of the moment was Mohammad Shami, whose bowling effort ensured that the Kiwis were doomed. So, even as Kohli’s monumental record-breaking 50th ODI hundred hit the headlines, it was Shami replicating his excellent performances in the league matches with another fifer that stood out. India beat New Zealand by 70 runs in the World Cup semifinal at the Wankhede Stadium to book the first ticket to Ahmedabad. Kohli was in his elements as he brought up his 50th hundred on a balmy afternoon, where he took a bow before a beaming Sachin Tendulkar in the stands, eventually scoring a scintillating 117 that enthralled the teeming capacity crowd at the Wankhede; he did so in the company of Shreyas Iyer, who got a ton of his own. CONTD. ON NATION T his is the story of my World Cup 2023 ‘yatra’. I am an entrepreneur based in Canada. Having always been crazy about cricket, this time I took the time out, setting aside a month, to go and watch matches whenever possible. Having criss-crossed India, sadly thus far, my expe, rience has been far from satisfactory Of all the World . Cup cricket tournaments I have been to, this one has been the most disorganised. To begin with, the schedule for the tournament, which began on October 5, was announced late, on June 27. This was followed by a revised schedule on August 9, where nine matches were rescheduled, barely two months before the action began. Ticketing for the matches was announced late. There was only one portal book– myshow.com where tickets were available. CONTD. ON NATION 70% TICKETS BLOCKED, SOLD IN BLACK DHARMESH THAKKAR/ MUMBAI The city police have arrested two persons, Roshan Gurubakshani and Akash Kothari, for allegedly selling on the black market tickets for Wednesday’s World Cup cricket semi-finals between India and New Zealand. The arrests have opened the proverbial Pandora’s Box, with the role of BookMyShow, the ticket booking aggregator, coming under THE FP BULLETIN 37 KILLED IN BUS ACCIDENT the police scanner. Genuine sports events in India and cricket fans were deprived abroad. The arrests have led of tickets for the mega event the cops to BookMyShow, at Wankhede Stadium, while the sole authorised ticketing tickets were available in the partner for all BCCI cricket black market at a matches in India. premium. Siddhesh Kud Both the actarkar, co-founder, cused, Kothari EXCLUSIVE Team Innovation, and Gurubakand another leadshani, work for an event ing offline ticketing agency , management company Wink Entertainment, are named Team Innovation, also under the police radar. which organises music festi- “Both accused had the login vals, cultural shows and credentials of BookMyShow THE FPJ Signature drive to save church assets A t least 37 people were killed and 19 injured when a bus skidded off the road and rolled down into a 300-foot gorge in Jammu and Kashmir's Doda district on Wednesday, officials said. The bus, which was on its way from Kishtwar to Jammu and was reportedly carrying 56 passengers, skidded off the road near Trungal-Assar on the Batote-Kishtwar national highway, according to the officials. “At 11:50 am, a bus bearing registration number JK02CN6555 met with an accident at TrungalAssar on the highway, in which 36 persons died and 19 injured. The rescue operation is going on and men and machinery have been pressed into service to shift the injured for medical treatment,” a police spokesman said. The injured were have been shifted to the Government Medical College in Jammu. THAI HELP FOR TRAPPED MEN A fter a landslide and technical issues impeded the efforts to rescue the 40 labourers who have been trapped in a tunnel in Uttarakhand for over three days now, the IAF was asked to ferry a special machine which can penetrate 4-5 metres of debris in an hour. Special teams from Thailand and Norway, including the one that had helped save children stuck in a cave in Thailand in 2018, have also been drawn into the operation. A pipe with a diameter of 900 mm, which is enough for the trapped men to squeeze through, would be inserted through the hole. FPJ NEWS SERVICE / MUMBAI Following reports of an unrecognised church trust having signed an agreement with a builder to sell the land rights of St Peter’s Church and school, Mazgaon, to a builder without the approval of the church community Protestant , Christians have planned an online petition and a pan-India signature campaign to protect their church properties. At a meeting held on November 14 at Andrew’s Marathi St Church, Agripada, community members gathered for an ‘emergency meeting’ to plan a campaign to save church properties that are being sold without the approval of church members. Among the denominations affected by the alleged land scam are the Church of North India, a counterpart of the Anglican Church, and the Methodist Church. Participants at the meeting said that churches were in the grip of land scams, with corrupt church officials and trustees, many of them belonging to trusts unrecognised by the Charity Commissioner, who has jurisdiction over public trusts, were on a ‘property selling spree’. According to them, properties that were in danger include Wilson High School, Mumbai, St Peter’s School, Robert Money School, Grant Road, All Saints’ Church, Malabar Hill, and other properties in Mumbai, Maharashtra, and the rest of India. CONTD. ON NATION and had blocked almost 70 per cent of the tickets for the India-New Zealand semi-final, and these were later sold in the black market for as high as Rs 1,00,000 each. Scrutiny of their mobile and other digital devices has unearthed incriminating evidence of black-marketing tickets for several top events in Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Goa,” senior poa lice officer told the FPJ on Wednesday CONTD. ON NATION . DOG BITES: Pay 10K per tooth mark RAJESH MOUDGIL / CHANDIGARH In a landmark ruling, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered a minimum compensation of Rs10000 per tooth mark to victims of dog bites and said that the state government would be primarily responsible for paying it. When flesh is removed from the body the , compensation would be at least Rs20000 per 0.2 cm wound, the court ruled. The ruling, on a batch of petitions pertaining to dogbite cases, has come at a time when such cases have been on the rise across the country . A single bench of Justice Vinod S Bharadwaj also mandated the governments of Punjab and Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh to constitute committees headed by the deputy commissioners of the respective districts to determine such compensation. The court also ruled that the award should be issued by the committees within four months of the filing of the claims. The area station house officer would have to record a due diligence report and investigate the incident, the court said. CONTD. ON NATION Israeli troops entered Gaza’s largest alShifa hospital early on Wednesday after their tanks ringed the complex, in what may be a defining moment in the war against Hamas, which has allegedly built a military command hub beneath the hospital, turning its patients into human shields. The ‘‘precise and targeted operation’’ came a day after the hospital buried 179 people in a "mass grave" on its premises. Initial reports mentioned that bodies were littered in the hospital complex, which had no power and no food left. According to The Independent of London, Al Shifa Hospital chief Mohammad Abu Salmiyah said, "We were forced to bury them." Before the raid, the WHO had said that the hospital had ceased to function and that roughly three dozen premature babies were at particular risk. After the attack, the WHO Director-General told a press conference in Geneva that patients and staff must be protected even if hospi- tals were used for military purposes. ‘‘Hospitals are not battlegrounds,’’ he said. The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) put out a statement claiming that the soldiers were accompanied by medical teams and brought with them incubators. It shared footage of them unloading equipment -- as well as a couple of dozen boxes labelled "medical supplies" and "baby food" in US diplomat gets taste of Customs at Sahar rudely when her senior embassy security official called to intervene. The baggage scan and subsequent deSaid a senior Customs officer ``The tention of an American diplomat by incident was the result of a misundercustoms officials at the Chhatrapati standing. We follow diplomatic protocol Shivaji Maharaj International Airport as per Standard Operating Procedure. (CSMIA), Sahar, recently led to lodging Our senior customs officer has person, of a complaint against the Customs De- ally called the diplomat and apologised partment. for the inconvenience In a strongly-worded According to sources caused to her." letter, Ms Wendy Washin airport customs, in According to sources ington, a diplomat airport customs, the the flight from working as a "contractflight from Bangkok had ing officer" at the AmerBangkok had been been flagged for contraican Consultate in band gold and the diploflagged for Mumbai, has commat was wearing several plained to the Customs contraband gold and gold bracelets and ornaCommissioner at ments. “She was asked the diplomat was to step aside and asked CSMIA about harassment, illegal detention, wearing several gold to provide details of the high- handed and rude gold ornaments. The bracelets and behaviour of certain customs officer failed to Customs officers, which notice the deep maroon ornaments was in violation of the color of the diplomatic Geneva Convention. passport because of According to the complaint, Ms poor lighting in the area and asked her Washington was detained on October to present her baggage for scanning. 28 night when she landed from ‘‘The moment the diplomat revealed Bangkok and her baggage was her identity a senior customs officer searched. rushed and ensured she was provided The diplomat alleged that Customs proper protocol,” explained a Customs deputy commissioner Sanjeev Chetule official who was on duty during the aldetained her for over 30 minutes leged altercation between the diplomat CONTD. ON NATION despite her diplomatic status and spoke and Customs. Sahara’s boss leaves behind benami ghosts DHARMESH THAKKAR / MUMBAI IIT to sieve political events on campus MUSAB QAZI / MUMBAI The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) on Tuesday introduced sweeping restrictions on holding events on campus, especially those deemed to be 'political'. These 'interim' guidelines specify that authorities will have to clear invitations to external speakers and screening documentaries, even if they were for academic purposes. The students cannot now organise any event except through the bodies recognised by the institute. Callingit a “gag order” the students claim they infringe on their constitutional liberties. The instructions come in the backdrop of two events related to the ongoing violence in Gaza Strip that were held on IITB campus which courted controversy from students and activists across the political divide. A documentary screening and virtual talk by theatre artist Sudhanva Deshpande on Monday was panned for 'promoting violence and armed conflict' and resulted in a complaint to the police and a FACULTY SUPPORTS COLLEAGUE T he Faculty Forum of IIT Bombay, the official teacher body, has extended support to the assistant professor Sharmista Saha of the Humanities and Social Sciences department who was targetted for inviting actor Sudhanva Deshpande to speak to her students. They claimed that she received anonymous phone calls and social media posts tarnishing her reputation and threatening her with physical violence. They also cndemned 'biased information and false claims' that Saha supports Hamas and terrorism. CONTD. ON NATION protest outside the institute. A day later, the authorities cancelled a lecture by leftist scholar Achin Vanaik, after he was dubbed 'Hamas supporter' on social media. This led to criticism from a section of students, who complained of 'intimidation' and 'loss of academic freedom' on campus. CONTD. ON NATION LAST WORD HC ups solatium to parents who lost son in mishap rash while driving the offending vehicle and due to which an acciThe Bombay high court has in- dent occurred and five persons, creased the compensation including Karandikar, lost their amount that was paid to the par- lives,” Justice Patil said. On July 28, 2002, at 2pm, ents of a 29-year-old man who died in a car accident in 2002, Shailendra Karandikar was drivfrom Rs 5,15,000 to Rs 48,81,816, ob- ing on Sangli-Kolhapur Road serving that the MACT had failed near Akashwani Kendra, Sangli, to consider his actual net income when a truck coming from the and future prospects of hike in opposite direction collided with salary considering his young age. his vehicle. , Justice Rajesh Patil, on NovemKarandikar was accompanied ber 6, also held that the offending truck driver had been driving in a From `5,15,000 to `48,81,816; court says tribunal rash and negligent way resulting , in the fatal accident. failed to consider net income and future salary “I hold that the driver of the ofprospects, given the young age the deceased of fending vehicle was negligent and URVI MAHAJANI / MUMBAI English -- inside the hospital compound. It added that forces are searching for hostages some 240 of whom were taken captive by the Hamas. The military said it had killed several militants at the outset, and claimed they had been confronted by “explosive devices and terrorist squads”. Gunfire and explosions were reported inside the hospital complex. CONTD. ON NATION by his wife Sonali, two-month-old son Sumedh, Sonali’s aunt Vaijayanti Akhave, uncle Madhav Akhave and their minor son Devdutt. Only Devdutt survived the accident. Shailendra’s father Shridhar, 60, and mother Manjiri, 54, had approached the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT), seeking compensation of over Rs 18 lakh with interest. The MACT, on September 20, 2005, awarded Rs 5,15,000 with interest at the rate of 9 per cent per annum from the date of filing of the claim petition till its realisation, jointly and severally to be paid by the insurance company and the owner of the truck. The New India Assurance Company Limited challenged this before the high court, claiming that Shailendra was driving the car in a rash and negligent manner. Besides, the truck driver claimed that he had seen the car coming in a zigzag manner from a distance of 600 metres. Shailendra’s parents too filed an appeal seeking higher compensation claiming that the MACT not only reduced Shailendra’s net income, but also ignored future prospects of higher income, stability of employment, qualifications, longevity of life in CONTD. ON NATION the family . Rational Analysis ÷ S Murlidharan A ll brides are beautiful, all dead men were good, said a poetaster. But there are persons who, during their lifetime, act in a way that leaves a question mark or lingering suspicion about their role in the field they belonged, even after their death. Subrata Roy the founder of the Sahara , group, who died on the 14th, is one such person. He was a go-to person until recently with politicians, cricketers and film stars being his companies’ clients, giving rise to the suspicion that his dealings were shady and certainly not above board. In March 2014, the Supreme Court ordered his detention for his defiance in not coming clean, but without charging him with any particular offence, in the hope that he would sing like a canary about the details of the bond holders whose ill-gotten money two group companies were suspected to be harbouring and laundering with the help of benamis. When the attempt failed, he had to be released in 2016 on parole after nearly two years of incarceration in Tihar Jail. All that the Supreme Court could do was to set up a “Sahara-SEBI refund account” into which as of date as per the latest annual reports of the two companies more than Rs25,000 crore has flowed but only a pitiful and measly Rs138 crore has been claimed and refunded. Those in the know aver that Roy followed the Sicilian law of omerta till his last breath and did not give away his clients who in turn have not come forward to claim repayment of the proceeds of the bonds in their own enlightened self-interest. It is suspected that the socalled investors in bonds were ‘ghosts’ standing in for the rich and famous. SEBI is obviously at its wits’ end in buttonholing all the bond-holders; nor are the bondholders coming forward in droves for the fear of courting trouble for themselves as well as for their benefactors. SEBI’s position is unenviable. There were as many as 3 crore investors in the bonds of the two group companies. One wonders what would happen to the huge amount that remains in the Sahara-SEBI fund. It could be transferred to an investor protection fund if the Supreme Court gives its thumbs up at the request of SEBI. It is unlikely the beneficial owners (read the rich and the famous) of these bonds would step forward and cook their own goose. For that matter, even the SEBI doesn’t have the wherewithal to gun for all the ‘benamis’ with the Sahara Group of companies not supplying all the requisite data. The death of Subrata Roy might well be the final nail in the coffin of the institution of benami holdings because though we have a law it is clearly not working despite the power of the authorities to seize benami properties. SEBI may have the satisfaction of seizing black money but it would have left the job of calling the bluff of the ostensible and real owners untouched substantially .