06 January 2017

06Jan.2017: 07Rabius Sani 1438: Vol:8, No:82
GDP growth to fall to 3-year low of 7.1%, forecasts Govt
Indian economy is likely to grow at 7.1 per cent this fiscal (2016-17), according to advanced GDP estimates released by the Central Statistics Office today. But the estimate is based on data mostly available till October, said Chief Statistician TCA Anant, which means the impact from demonetisation is yet to be factored in.If the economy grows at 7.1 per cent as predicted, it will be the slowest pace of expansion in three years. In 2015-16, the economy had expanded at 7.6 per cent and at 7.2 per cent in 2014-15.The Statistics Office will further revise its estimate for the year when it releases data for the third quarter, the chief statistician said. The growth rate forecast is also lower than other estimates which were released before demonetisation. The International Monetary Fund or IMF had in October projected Indian economy to grow at 7.6 per cent in 2016-17. The Economic Survey had forecast a GDP growth in the range between 7 per cent and 7.5 per cent.ndtv
GDP growth to slow down to 3-year-low of 7.1%, says govt; demonetisation impact yet to be factored in
Will Modi's cash ban hurt India's economy? Read what GDP data says
Sahara case: Enough material on record to direct probe, Prashant Bhushan tells SC
New Delhi: Asked to come back with some “credible” evidence, a petitioner NGO Thursday told the Supreme Court that no other probe would be justified if the apex court does not order an investigation on the basis of Income Tax papers relating to raids at Aditya Birla Group and Sahara companies, allegedly recording entries of illegal pay-offs to politicians. NGO, Common Cause, moving an additional affidavit in the court, asserted that the IT appraisal report coupled with diary and email entries were adequate to suggest grave illegalities in the matter and, hence, the top court must order a probe straightaway.“It is quite rare that so much clear evidence is placed before the Court or the investigation agencies to seek investigation. If no investigation is directed in this case, then in no case this Hon’ble Court would be justified in directing an investigation,” maintained the affidavit, filed through advocate Prashant Bhushan. The affidavit pointed out that an investigation was incumbent in view of certain incontrovertible facts, that raids were conducted by CBI on the Birla Group and by the Income Tax Department on the Sahara Group; that unaccounted cash was recovered in the raids; that diaries, notebook, hand-written papers, computer documents were recovered and they had entries on alleged payoffs to politicians and civil servants.“In the present case, the circumstances make out a more than adequate case for directing a credible and independent investigation as per the law laid down by Constitution Bench in Lalita Kumari case (that mandates registration of FIR when any serious offence is brought to notice of law enforcement agencies),” stated the affidavit. It added that there has been no rebuttal by any authority or entity of the authenticity of the material placed before the court. “Therefore, the petitioners request this Hon’ble Court, as a guardian of the Constitution and the rule of law to order a thorough court-monitored SIT investigation into the material and evidence collected during the raid of the two business groups,” said the affidavit that will be taken up by the court on Jan.11. indianexpress
Sahara’s expense claim to income tax panel is over 100 times its RoC filings
Sahara India’s claims of its expenses filed with the Income Tax Settlement Commission (ITSC) are more than 100 times higher than what it filed with the Registrar of Companies (RoC). This massive upward revision of expenses, experts said, helped the company avoid taxes on the Rs 1,771 crore that the ITSC decided was its additional income — for the period between 2008-09 and 2014-15 — on account of alleged unexplained cash receipts seized during search and seizure raids in Nov.2014. A scrutiny of RoC records and the 50-page ITSC order, accessed by The Indian Express, reveals discrepancies. indianexpress
Supreme Court to hear Sahara matter next week
Sahara papers don’t prove pay-offs to politicians, rules I-T panel
Opposition up in arms as IT panel dismisses Sahara diary
New Delhi: In yet another twist to the ongoing controversy over the Sahara-Birla papers that allegedly details illegal payments to several politicians, the Income Tax Settlement Commission (ITSC) has swiftly issued an order granting Sahara India immunity from prosecution, while dismissing the evidentiary value of the sensational diary recovered from the company’s premises. As details of the order emerged, Opposition parties launched a fresh attack on PM Narendra Modi, saying the order was immunity granted to him against allegations that the Sahara group paid him Rs. 55 crore in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. thehindu
Yadav family feud: Samajwadi Party stares at split as warring factions refuse to blink
Lucknow:A series of meetings failed to throw up a solution for the beleaguered Samajwadi Party (SP) as the warring factions refused to back down on Friday, leaving the ruling party staring at a split a month ahead of the assembly polls.Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav twice called press conferences within two hours but cancelled them at the last minute, adding to the confusion and drama over the bitter power struggle that has pitted the once-powerful satrap against his chief minister-son Akhilesh Yadav.Both factions are claiming to be the real face of the SP and have staked claimed to the party’s poll symbol, the bicycle.Elections to the 403-member assembly will be held in seven phases beginning February 11 and the SP is expected to face a tough from the BJP, BSP and the Congress.Sources said Mulayam and his younger brother Shivpal -- whose naming as the state SP president replacing Akhilesh triggered the crisis – have held over 40 hours of talks in three days. This week, Akhilesh took over as SP president in a coup against his father, leaving the senior Yadav with a handful of leaders with him.Sources said Mulayam Singh Yadav and his younger brother Shivpal Yadav have held over 40 hours of talks in three days amid a crisis in UP’s ruling Yadav family.Senior minister Azam Khan and two of Mulayam’s apolitical brothers -- Abhayram and Rajpal – have tried to play peace-makers but without any success.HT
SP feud: Shivpal Yadav, Akhilesh meet, compromise formula likely: indianexpress
Chances bright for Cong-SP tie-up in UP
With Akhilesh Yadav gaining upper hand in the power game in Samajwadi Party, Congress seems to be moving closer to an alliance with the ruling party in UP to keep Muslim-Yadav equation intact. Akhilesh is keen on an alliance with Congress, saying the parties together could net more than 300 of the state's 403 seats, though Mulayam is opposed to such partnership and had ruled out a tie-up with any party. Congress has, however, not ruled out the possibility of a pre-poll alliance with like-minded parties like Samajwadi Party in UP and its chief ministerial face Sheila Dikshit has gone to the extent of offering to step aside in favour of young Akhilesh. PTI
RPI-A threatens to go it alone in UP if BJP refuses to budge its demand for number of seats
Chennai: Amid hectic parleys in the run up to the UPassembly elections, NDA ally RPI (A) on Friday threatened to go it alone in the upcoming polls if the BJP refuses to meet its demand on seat sharing. Briefing reporters at a press conference in Chennai, RPI (A) chief Ramdas Athawale said his party had sought anywhere between 10 and 15 seats in the poll-bound UP. "I spoke to BJP chief Amit Shah regarding this on the phone three days ago. If they are unable to offer us the required number of seats, then we may have to contest independently," said the Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment.TOI
BSP releases second list of 100 candidates for UP polls, Muslims getting the lion’s share
Lucknow: BSP on Friday announced its second list of candidates for 100 more Assembly seats, thereby declaring nominees for 200 of the 403 seats, with Muslims getting the lion’s share with a total of 58 aspirants in the two lists.While BSP’s first list of 100 candidates released yesterday contained names of 36 Muslim candidates, today’s list has names of 22 aspirants from the community that accounts for nearly 20 per cent of the state’s electorate.PTI
UP voters can make own decisions: Kalbe Sadiq
Muzaffarnagar: All India Muslim Personal Law Board vice president Maulana Kalbe Sadiq said that the people in Uttar Pradesh are intelligent enough to take their own decisions rather than getting influenced in the Assembly polls next month. He said the voters in the state are intelligent and know the value of their votes.“Education is an important issue to uplift the Muslim community and not anything else,”he said.Sadiq said the issues of Triple Talaq, Babri mosque and Uniform Civil Code are of the Muslims and not the country which can be resolved if the community gives importance to education.PTI
SC declines urgent hearing of plea to put off Budget presentation
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused an urgent hearing of a plea seeking the postponement of the presentation of the Union Budget due to Assembly elections in 5 States.“There is no urgency in it. We will lay down the law when this petition comes up,” a Bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar said.Advocate ML Sharma, who filed the PIL plea, mentioned it and sought an urgent hearing.The plea also sought a direction to strip the BJP of its lotus symbol for alleged violation of the model code of conduct, which came into effect after the announcement of poll dates. the hindu
Supreme Court ruling barring religion to seek votes is problematic: CPI-M
New Delhi:  The Supreme Court ruling barring the use of religion to seek votes is welcome but problematic too, the Communist Party of India-Marxist has said."In terms of the realities of Indian society, it can have unintended effects," an editorial in CPI-M journal "People's Democracy" has said.While the main thrust of the interpretation of Section 123 (3) by the majority judges seems unimpeachable, "the judgment is problematic", it said."In short, the majority judgment makes no difference between appeals for support based on a candidate's identity and a candidate or his agent talking about the voter's religious, caste or linguistic issues."It said the minority judgment written by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud had raised some relevant issues which needed serious consideration.The dissenting judges pointed out that by broadening the interpretation of the law, issues of social oppression faced by some castes, communities or linguistic minorities would come under the purview of corrupt practices."The minority judgment makes an effective case for allowing such issues based on religious, caste or community oppression or discrimination to be raised in the election discourse," the editorial said."This verdict is by no means the last word on the growing communal appeal used in electoral politics..."In the meantime, there can be no prohibition on the raising of issues of oppression of any particular religious community, caste or linguistic group."IANS
Bombay HC dismisses PIL seeking direction for taking oath by atheists
Mumbai: Bombay High Court today dismissed a PIL seeking a direction to Union Law Ministry and other authorities to include an option of taking oath on the Constitution of India in the Oaths Act for atheists. As per the provisions of the Oaths Act-1969, a person can either swear in the name of God or solemnly affirm to state the truth while either deposing in a court or filing an affidavit or any other application before a court.A division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice G S Kulkarni was Friday hearing the public interest litigation filed by local resident Sunil Mane, seeking for a third option in the Act, by which a person can take oath on the Constitution of India.PTI
Give timeframe for paper trail in EVMs, SC tells EC
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has asked the Election Commission to spell out the timeframe within which it would deploy Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in EVMs across the country in all elections to make the process more transparent. The paper trail system is meant to supplement the existing procedure of voting and it allows voters to verify their respective votes.Under this system, a printout will come out after a person casts his vote, apprising the voter that his vote has been rightly registered. The printout is to be deposited in a box which can only be used by the EC in case of an election dispute. timesofindia
PM Modi has to go, let a national govt be formed: Mamata
New Delhi: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee did not mince her words on Friday when she slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the present situation in the country owing to the government’s demonetisation move and the arrest of 2 TMC ministers Tapas Paul and Sudip Bandyopadhyay by CBI. Both ministers have been arrested allegedly in connection with Rose Valley chit fund scam. Banerjee said, “In current situation a national government should be formed with another BJP person at helm. He (Modi) has to go.”
Shiv Sena calls Modi govt the 'worst regime in 10,000 years'
Mumbai: In a stinging attack on the NDA govt over demonetisation, key ally Shiv Sena on Friday described it as the "worst regime in 10,000 years" and said the BJP leaders are living in fool's paradise to think that the exercise would eradicate black money after putting even women to great difficulty.Referring to the report of a woman removing her top clothes in angst in front of RBI regional office in Delhi after failing to get a few junked notes exchanged, Sena said the plight of the hapless mother looked like a "government sponsored Nirbhaya tragedy.""We want to ask the CM (of Maharashtra), whose side are you on; demonetisation or this helpless woman ...If the government cannot see and understand the suffering of this woman, then such a ruthless and deaf regime would not have been in existence in the last 10,000 years," the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’."When a woman in distress sits on a street in Delhi and condemns the govt, it is like government sponsored Nirbhaya tragedy," it said.The Sena said the victim has brought out the stifled sufferings and anger of women on the streets.PTI
ED sends summons to IRF in PMLA case
Mumbai: Enforcement Directorate (ED) has sent summons to officials of Zakir Naik’s NGO, IRF, as part of the probe into a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case against IRF. The officials have been asked to appear before the ED for questioning by Saturday. The PMLA case was lodged a week ago to investigate alleged irregularities to the tune of Rs 50 crore related to receipt of funds from abroad.Sources said, “On Monday, summons have been issued to IRF on the Mumbai office address, asking that representatives be sent to give some answer on its behalf.” “If none of the IRF officials turn up at the ED office this week, ED officials will send an officer from their side to the IRF office with the same order to represent IRF. Then too, if they do not follow orders, we will arrest them.” asianage
SIMI leader Shahid Badr Falahi scoffs at ‘links’ with IRF, says ‘IM is a IB creation to harass Muslims’
Azamagarh: Though  intelligence sources suggest that elements within the banned SIMI and Zakir Naik’s IRF are poised to forge closer links, Shahid Badr Falahi, who was the president of the student outfit when it was banned in 2001, rejects the claims.“There is no such SIMI-IRF understanding. Nor is there any new radical outfit going to be formed. As per the rules in SIMI, a member becomes automatically ineligible to continue after turning 30. In the IRF, no such rules exist. We are different from each other,’’ he told Express. Falahi said Naik had come to Azamgarh in 2012 for the golden jubilee celebrations of the seminary Jamiatul Falah.  “IRF shouldn’t have been banned. Every Islamic organisation that works for betterment of the community is not a terrorist organisation, just like SIMI was not a terror outfit,’’ he said.Asked whether the IM was an offshoot of SIMI, Falahi said, “What is the IM?  Who are its members? Who is its founder? This is a creation of the IB to harass Muslim youth. There’s not a shred of evidence to prove something called IM even exists,’’ he said. Falahi refuted reports that the SIMI is still active despite the ban. “Had they been active, why are police not arresting them? I’m still fighting to ensure that the ban on SIMI is revoked and I will continue to fight this battle legally till my death. SIMI is not a terrorist organisation,” he asserted. newindianexpress
Kerala: NIA questions youths over 'ISIS links'
Kochi: NIA is examining youths for suspected links with those who had left the state allegedly for joining the Islamic State. "We are examining some persons suspected to have links with the accused who have left Kasaragod and Palakkad besides those arrested from Kannur for being part of IS-inspired home grown module. We will have to verify their narratives independently to ascertain true facts," said an NIA official.
NIA files charges against suspected LeT operative Bahadur Ali, accused of fuelling unrest in Kashmir
NIA on Friday filed charges against Lashkar-e-Taiba operative who was arrested in Jammu and Kashmir in July, 2016. “There is strong and clinching evidence on how LeT terrorists were sent across the border to India,” Alok Mittal, a senior agency officer told NDTV. Bahadur Ali, 21, had confessed to being part of the banned outfit that trained him, and gave him weapons and GPS devices to stay in touch with his handlers in Pakistan after he infiltrated Indian territory. “During this period, Alfa-3 [an LeT base allegedly on a hilltop in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir] communicated to Bahadur Ali that the LeT cadres had been successful in fuelling large scale agitation in Kashmir after Eid, subsequent to the death of Burhan Wani in Kashmir,” a statement released by the NIA said, according to Hindustan Times.The investigators said Ali was asked to fuel agitation in the Valley after the death of Hizbul leader Burhan Wani. He was instructed to mix with the protestors and initiate attacks on security personnel.scroll.in
Women on wakf board: Telangana Govt grapples with question of breaking tradition
Charminar: A day after 6 male nominees were elected unopposed to the Telangana State Wakf Board, there are questions on why the lone female candidate in the fray was denied a seat on the board.Sources from the board and the government's Minorities Welfare Department (MWD) said a subsection of Wakf Amendment Act of 2013 says "Provided at least 2 of the members appointed under sub-clauses (i) to (viii) shall be women." However, there are different interpretations to this rule. "While the word "shall" is being interpreted as mandatory , the word "provi ded" is being interpreted to mean that if women members are available in the four categories to be nominated to the board," a source from the board requesting anonymity said.Female activist Lubna Sarwath had sought to be considered as a government nominee to the board, which is a catego ry in addition to the the four from which candidates were elected this time. In all, the Waqf Board has10 members, of which six have been elected; the remaining four are to be named by the government. The issue is whether Sarwath or any other potential woman candidate has the political support or acceptance to be inducted on the board, which has traditionally been male-dominated. MWD secretary Syed Omer Jaleel who is also board Competent Authority , implied that the word "provided" is the key to the discussion. "The section is like a directive principle. There are no Muslim women legislators or parliamentarians or members of bar council so that women members from these categories can be a part of the board. Ultimately, it is up to the govt," he said, adding that a file has been "circulated" to appoint government nominated members to the board. He declined to comment on the candidates who are being considered for these posts."The government will decide who to nominate to the board," he said.TOI
Mumbai mosque gets solar panels
Mumbai: One of the city's grandest mosques, Bhendi Bazaar's Minara Masjid has gone 'greener', as it installed solar panels to do its bit for the environment, and also save some money on electric bills."The idea is to ensure that we protect the environment and also save some money for the running of the trust," said Abdulwahab Latif, Managing Trustee, Minara Masjid. The over 150-year-old mosque can accommodate around 5,000, and has changed over 800 bulbs over a period of time."With this move, 70 per cent of our energy needs will be met," said Imran Latif, spokesperson of the Masjid." dnaindia
Mumbai: Man bludgeoned to death in mosque
Mumbai; A 55-year-old man was bludgeoned to death in a mosque in Airoli Wednesday night reportedly after an argument. The police is on the lookout for the killer. According to the police, the incident took place in a mosque in Airoli’s Sector 1 Wednesday night when Ishtiaq Ahmed Shaikh had gone there to sleep. Some time later, the accused, Nabi Abdul Shaikh, also entered the premises to pass the night. “Accused was making strange noises in his sleep. This irritated the deceased, who told him to be quiet. The two men got into a heated argument,” said Pradip Tidar, senior inspector, Rabale police station.The police said that the accused then picked up a metal rod holding up the microphone used by the mosque for prayers and bludgeoned Shaikh with it. He then fled. After his body was discovered the next morning, the Rabale police registered a case of murder. “We have formed teams to trace the accused. We believe that he has fled to UP,”said Tidar. indian express
Mumbai: 55-yr-old man killed over dispute
Katju tenders unconditional apology in SC
New Delhi:Ex-Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju on Friday tendered unconditional apology for contemptuous remarks in his blog to the Supreme Court, which was accepted by it and the contempt proceedings closed.The order was passed by a Bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and UU Lalit, which accepted the apology and decided to close the contempt proceedings against the former judge.“In view of the apology tendered, which has been verified, we close the instant contempt proceedings,” it said.PTI
SC accepts Katju’s apology, closes contempt proceedings
Muslim Organisation welcomes Sikh pilgrims in Patna
Patna: Bihar Anjuman, a leading voluntary organization of Bihar, welcomed Sikh devotees during the 350th Prakashotsav of Guru Gobind Singh in Patna for three days during 2-4 January.The Anjuman offered free coffee, water and biscuits at their stall at Gaighat near the Gurudwara. Anjuman volunteers worked day and night to serve the Sikh devotees. milligazette
Bihar Anjuman welcomes Sikh pilgrims to Patna on the occasion of Prakash Utsav
Talks between JNU SU, varsity admi. fail
New Delhi:JNU students union which has been at loggerheads with the university administration in recent months on Friday claimed that their meeting with the Vice Chancellor to raise their demands failed to resolve any issue. “We have been seeking an appointment with the VC since long. Today finally when he decided to meet us our demands went unheard, ” JNUSU president Mohit Pandey said.PTI
Women to wear short clothes disrespect them; Azmi
New Delhi:Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi on Friday stirred a fresh controversy after he said that people allowing women to wear short clothes are the ones who actually disrespect them. “I have never disrespected women, but those who allow women to wear short clothes, disrespect them,” Azmi told ANI, adding that he would be called orthodox for asking women to wear proper clothes.ANI
Damascus water-supply sabotage is a war crime: UN
UN has warned that sabotaging water supplies is a war crime after the main source for Syria's capital was cut, leaving millions of people facing shortages.Water supplies from the rebel-held Wadi Barada valley near Damascus have been severed since December 22 with the government and rebels trading blame.Jan Egeland, head of a UN-backed humanitarian task force for Syria, said on Thursday that the shutdown already had "dramatic" consequences.Water supply from Wadi Barada to 5,5 million in Damascus has been cut since Dec 22 with dramatic consequences. UN need access to do repairs.He said water supplies to 5.5 million people had been hit "because of fighting, or because of sabotage or because of both"."To sabotage and deny water is of course a war crime, because it is civilians who drink it and civilians who will be affected by waterborne diseases" if supplies are not restored, he told reporters in Geneva. aljazeera
Syrian army and allies press assault to secure capital’s water supply
Syrian army and its allies pressed ahead on Friday with a two-week-long offensive to seize a strategic valley where a key spring provides supplies to four million people in the capital, Damascus, residents and rebels said.Aerial bombing and shelling from the army as well as Hezbollah fighters stationed in the mountains that overlook the valley on the north-western edge of the capital had intensified in the last forty-eight hours, they said.Scores of jets pounded the area around the Ain al-Fija springs and the villages of Baseimah, Kafr Zayt and al Husseineh, which form part of a cluster of ten villages controlled by rebels in valley that lies at the northwestern edge of the capital.The Syrian army, aided by Hezbollah, group, has so far been unsuccessful in making any significant advance in the valley since they launched the drive to capture the strategic area and accused rebels of polluting the springs with diesel. middleeastmonitor
Syria regime uses chemical weapons in Wadi Barada
Russia's bid to disrupt US election was 'unprecedented': US spy chief James Clapper
US spy chiefs insisted they have strong evidence that Russia mounted an unprecedented bid to disrupt the American election, standing firm in the face of President-elect Donald Trump's refusal to accept their conclusions.  One day before the heads of four top intelligence bodies brief the president-elect on their assessment of Russian meddling in last year's vote, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told a Senate hearing on Thursday that he had "very high" confidence in their findings."The Russians have a long history of interfering in elections, theirs and other people's," he told the Armed Services Committee. "But we have never encountered such a direct campaign to interfere with the election process as we have seen in this case."This was a multifaceted campaign. So the hacking was only one part of it, and it also entailed classical propaganda, disinformation, fake news," said Clapper. aljazeera
US House condemns UN resolution on Israeli settlements, Democrats split
US House of Representatives has voted to condemn a recently-passed UNSC resolution that reaffirmed the illegality of Israeli settlements. Congressional resolution passed 342 to 80, slamming the bill as “an obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace”.At the 23 December vote in New York, US merely abstained, rather than exercise its right to veto the resolution. According to Congressional measure, this decision “undermined” Washington’s long track-record of defending Israel at the UN. Speaking before the vote, House Speaker Paul Ryan said: “I am stunned at what happened last month. This government – our government – abandoned our ally Israel when she needed us the most. It is time to repair the damage done by this misguided hit job at the UN.”Notably, however, 76 Democrats (and four Republicans) voted against the resolution, in what the Washington Post noted some believe is “a sign…that the discussion around Israel is changing.” middleeastmonitor
Brotherhood’s Akef back in solitary after cancer operation
About 100 from 17 Western countries converted to Islam at Al-Aqsa in last 2 years
Haj quota cuts lifted
Haj quota cuts lifted, Indians rejoice
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:55 PM)


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