What to Watch Out For
CBI investigating officer transferred a day after booking former ICICI CEO Chanda Kocchar, and Videocon chief for criminal conspiracy
Only a day after the Central Bureau of Investigation booked former ICIC CEO Chandra Kochchar, her husband Deepak Kochchar and Videocon Group MD Venugopal Dhoot on charges of cheating and conspiracy, the investigating CBI officer – SP Sudhanshu Dhar Mishra was reportedly transferred.
Mishra who had been working with the Securities Fraud Cell in Delhi was transferred to the agency’s Economic Offences Bench after he signed the FIR against the accused, as per reports in The Indian Express.
Under the scanner: The CBI probe which began nearly 13 months found that Dhoot had invested in Deepak Kochhar's company Nupower through his firm Supreme Energy a quid pro quo to loans cleared by the ICICI Bank after Chanda Kochhar took over as the CEO of the bank on May 1, 2009.
The investigating agency is also investigating the roles of top names in the banking industry including present CEO of ICICI bank Sandeep Bakshi, Chairman of Goldman Sachs Sonjoy Chatterjee, CEO Standard Chartered Bank Zarin Daruwala, Managing Director & CEO Tata Capital Rajiv Sabharwal, Chairman, New Development Bank K V Kamath and Senior Advisor Tata Capital Homi Khusrokhan, who the FIR said were part of the committee which cleared the loans.
Jaitley buzzing: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is currently undergoing medical treatment in the US, slammed the CBI a day after they conducted raids in Videocon’s Mumbai offices and called it a case of “investigative adventurism”.
“Instead of focusing primarily on the target, is a journey to nowhere (or everywhere) being undertaken? If we include the entire who’s who of the Banking Industry – with or without evidence – what cause are we serving or actually hurting,” he wrote in his blog.
In Depth: Almost 86 percent of the Rs 3,250 crore loan that was sanctioned (Rs 2,810 crore) remains unpaid according to the FIR that was filed. The Videocon account was declared a Non Performing Assets in 2017.
In October last year, Chanda Kochhar also stepped down as the bank's managing director and chief executive amid the raging controversy.
Jind Assembly Bypolls to take place in Haryana on Monday, BJP, Congress, INLD, JJD candidates to be major influencers
Major parties including the Bhartiya Janata Party, Aam Admi Party and the Congress have laid their stakes in the Haryana’s Jind bypoll slated to take place on Monday. According to experts, the outcome of the bypoll, necessitated by the demise of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) MLA Hari Chand Midha, will decide the agenda for the upcoming Lok Sabha and assembly elections in the state.
On Saturday Aam Admi Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addressed a rally in support of Jananayak Janata Party’s candidate Digvijay Chautala. This is the first time that the JJP will be contesting in an election after its break away from the Indian National Lok Dal over a bitter family feud.
1.7 lakh voters are expected to participate in Monday’s vote which will decide the fates of 21 candidates.
According to political pundits ruling BJP who have fielded the son of Hari Chang Midha- Krishna Midha, a Punjabi Brahmin will rise above the other candidates. However Congress’s Randeep Singh Surjewala’s and JJP’s Digvijay, both belonging to the Jat community,might dent BJP’s hopes as they are likely to absorb the 45000-odd Jat votes.
All-party meet in Manipur over Citizenship Bill on Monday as protest leaders in Assam call for separation if bill passed
An all-party meet on the contentious Citizenship Bill will take place at the Chief Minister Secretariat at Imphal on Monday. The meeting, which was called by Manipur Chief Minister Biren Singh, is expected to be a litmus test on who stands on which side of the divide.
Meanwhile, protests over the Citizenship Bill Amendment intensified in Assam with the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti leader Akhil Gogoi on Sunday declaring that Assam will be bound to separate from India if the bill is passed. “If the government gives us the respect we deserve, we are with the nation but if the sentiments of the indigenous Assamese are ignored and the bill is passed, then each Assamese must have the courage to say that they will not be a part of India," the leader said at a protest rally. The proposed legislation seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and many parties and organisations have claimed that it will have an adverse impact on the demography of the sensitive border state.
What You May Have Missed
Controversy erupts over list of Bharat Ratna and Padma awardees
On Friday, the eve of Republic Day, the Centre announced the list of awardees who had won this year’s Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian awards. In the list were former president and Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee, RSS ideologue Nanaji Deshmukh (posthumously) and singer Bhupen Hazarika (posthumously) among others.
Meanwhile,the list of Padma awardees for this year included late actor Kader Khan, former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir, leader of Dalit theatre movement Waman Kendre, scientist Nambi Narayan, lawyer HS Phoolka and author Gita Mehta.
Striking controversies: Police registered a case against Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, over his remarks criticizing the Centre for not conferring the Bharat Ratna on spiritual leader Shivakumar Swami, the Lingayat seer who died recently, but choosing “a singer” (Hazarika) and a "man who propagated their RSS ideology" (Deshmukh).
The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) however welcomed the decision to confer the Bharat Ratna, to the state’s legendary singer Dr Bhupen Hazarika, but asked the Centre to preserve Assam’s culture and language by scrapping the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 (CAB) if it respects Assam’s heritage.
Adding to the controversies was noted author and Odisha’s CM Naveen Patnaik’s sister Gita Mehta who declined to accept the Padma Shri award saying that the timing could be ‘misconstrued’ with the general elections looming.
Meanwhile, Janata Dal (Secular) leader Danish Ali on Friday claimed,“Pranab Mukherjee is being awarded the Bharat Ratna because he visited the RSS headquarters and described the founding Sarsanghchalak chief, K B Hedgewar, as 'the son of the soil'
Analysis: Coming a few months ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the Bharat Ratna is being seen as significant gesture. But, what can the BJP hope to achieve by conferring a Congress leader with the highest civilian award? Pallavi Ghosh analyses that the gesture might just be BJP’s trump card in Bengal for the general elections.
Collegium discussed move to transfer Justice S Muralidhar, reports says
On Monday reports emerged confirming that there was a move in the Supreme Court Collegium to transfer the high-profile judge Justice S Muralidhar. According to The India Express, the move was stalled after collegium members including CJI Ranjan Gogoi suggested against the move. The report claims that there have been multiple attempts to transfer the judge. The first move to transfer Muralidhar came soon after he slapped RSS ideologue, chartered accountant and now independent Director of RBI, S Gurumurthy with contempt of court case.
Supreme Court to January 29 defers Ram Mandir hearing after judge recuses self
The Supreme Court hearing on the Ram Mandir was deferred after Justice UU Lalit, one of the judges of the five-member constitution bench, recused himself on Thursday. Justice Lalit’s withdrawal comes as a result of objections raised by several Muslim petitioners who pointed to the fact that the judge had represented former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh in 1994. The hearing is now scheduled for January 29.
US President Trump decides to temporarily halt longest ever government shutdown
The Donald Trump administration on Friday withdrew his plans of seeking immediate funding for the US-Mexico border wall, bringing a temporary stop to the longest government shutdown in US history. The announcement in the White House Rose Garden on the bipartisan deal marked a retreat by Trump, suspending a political row that has paralyzed Washington, disrupted air travel and left more than 800,000 federal employees without pay for five weeks. The US President obliged to the deal but followed it up with threats to renew the shutdown if his plans for the wall are not allowed in the next three weeks.
On Saturday the nation celebrated its 70th Republic Day as markets and streets boomed with national flags. News18.com met the workers who worked tirelessly to make sure that the national flags were seen in the nook and corner of every Indian street.