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Monday, November 19, 2018


By on Monday, November 19, 2018

By Umashanker Singh; IFS, PhD  
Majority of us probably may not be knowing as yet that how many central schemes do we have in our country as various Government Schemes have been launched since 2014 for the welfare of citizens of the country; but we are not sure that how far have we gone in to it and its impact assessment requires to be done by any independent agency in order to bring about transparency. These schemes can be operational at the State level, Central level or at, Central and State both.
I was surprised to see that Government of India has launched as many as 83 schemes till date, but have not found any noticeable impact on the economy. Demonetization was one of the schemes launched on the fateful evening of November the 8 th, 2016. This yet more surprising to all of us that why central government did not celebrate the second anniversary of demonetisation, one of its biggest policy initiatives while it has celebrated the anniversary of all other big policies? Why this step motherly treatment to one of the Prime Minister Brain child?
The stated objective of the demonetisation by the prime minister was as below:
1-The most important objective of the demonetisation was to eradicate black money from the Indian economy.
2- To lower the cash circulation in the country which "is directly related to corruption in our country,” according to Prime Minister.
3-The third most important objective was to eliminate fake currency and dodgy funds which have been used by terror groups to fund terrorism in India.
When it appeared to the government that bulk of illegal currency might return to the banking system, it began shifting the goalposts by adding new objectives of demonetization move. 
Hence, policy objectives such as promoting digital transactions and taking country towards a “cashless” economy (subsequently modified to a “less-cash” economy) were added later. The goal to make India a cashless economy seems more as an afterthought plan. These objectives, despite desirable, were not listed in the earlier official notifications. 
Now the interesting fact is something else which did not come out at the time of demonetisation. The Minutes of the RBI Board Meeting on November 8, 2016, that recommended demonetisation had made it clear that demonetisation was not the way to tackle black money or counterfeit currency. 
Thus, two of the main objectives that were emphasised in the PM’s announcement on demonetisation were undermined the very day the policy was announced. No wonder, soon after it became clear the money was flooding into the banks, the government started talking of a cashless economy and later on it was said that these deposits would create a paper trail and black money generation would become difficult .
Initially, there was a spurt in the use of electronic means of transactions; but this pace could not be sustained as more currency became available. The country had anyhow been slowly moving toward a less cash economy prior to demonetisation and this has continued. 
It was said that the government would restrict currency in circulation to less than what existed on November 7, 2016. But now the currency in circulation is about 10 per cent more than the Rs18 lakh crore that existed prior to demonetisation. To be fair, it is less than what it would have been if the increase in currency in circulation had continued at the pace prior to demonetisation. Now the finance minister has cited three achievements of demonetisation namely,
Increase in currency in circulation had continued at the pace prior to demonetisation. Now the finance minister has cited three achievements of demonetisation namely,
1-    An increase in digital transactions.
2-     Expansion in the tax base with more people paying taxes.
3-    Thirdly, the creation of paper trails that will make it difficult to generate black incomes in the future.
Interestingly, echoing the RBI Board, he said confiscation of currency was not an objective of demonetisation. The line earlier was that black money, held in the form of high denomination notes, would not return to banks since that would create paper trails. The then Attorney General had told the Supreme Court that Rs 3 to 4 lakh crore would not return to the banks.
 Soon it became clear that all the money would come back since those holding black money had worked out ways of converting their old notes to new notes. The government then started saying that was good since the people who had deposited large sums of money could be investigated.
 Now try to understand how the government is trying to hedge its failure of a decision which has ruined many of us in term of economy. The government has issued about 18 lakh notices to those who had deposited more than Rs 5 lakh into their bank accounts.
However, there is a misperception that equates cash with black money. Cash is needed by businesses as working capital and households keep cash in hand for transactions and as a precaution against contingency. So, a petrol station may have deposited Rs 20 crore in the demonetisation period of 50 days, based on its daily collections. This is not black money. Most of those who deposited large sums of cash would have worked out how to show the deposits as cash in hand in their balance sheet. So, it would be difficult for the tax department to prove that the money deposited was black.
Finally, data shows that the department does not have the capacity to audit so many accounts, in addition to the usual audits it conducts and most importantly despite the facts being otherwise, the government keep saying that they have taken action against people having black money and income tax law will take its own course in due time.
Yes, the number of returns being filed and tax being collected have increased. But, the direct tax to GDP ratio has hardly increased compared to the pre-demonetisation period. The black economy is more than 60 per cent of the GDP and even if 10 per cent of it had come into the tax net, it would have yielded 2 per cent of the GDP as additional tax collection. This has not happened.
Even when we consider collection of direct taxes within the country, there seems to be a broad correspondence between levels of per capita income and per capita tax collections. As the chart below shows, the richest states of the country—Delhi and Maharashtra—lead the league tables in terms of tax collection. Some of the states with the lowest per capita incomes—such as Bihar and Uttar Pradesh—tend to contribute lower amounts of direct taxes (in per capita terms).
Thus, the most potent solution for raising India’s tax-GDP ratio is to raise economic growth and average incomes. India’s recent economic history also bears testimony to this finding. As the chart below shows, tax-GDP ratio of the country rose the fastest during the boom years of 2002-08. It is well-known that 67 per cent of those in the tax net file either nil return or very low returns. The effective number of taxpayers has always been low in India. Even in the case of GST, the FM is on record saying that 5 per cent of those under GST pay 95 per cent of the tax.
Further, he has lamented that even though 1.1 crore have registered under GST, only about 67 per cent pay tax. The spurt in filing of returns is partly due to the fine being imposed from this year for late filing. So, many more have filed returns in time. Earlier many waited till March 31 to file returns. The numbers have also increased because of the increase in salaries after the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission report.
However, most of the increase will be in the category of those who have just entered the tax net. So, the increase in tax collection will not be much. The increase in the number of those who filed tax returns is a result of other factors, and only marginally due to demonetisation.
Increased digitisation could have been achieved without causing pain to the economy. Nigeria has a low cash GDP ratio but a big black economy. Japan has a high cash GDP ratio but a small black economy. So, digitisation does not necessarily check black income generation. Finally, formalisation does not help reduce the black economy since the informal sector hardly generates any black incomes. Most incomes in this sector are way below the taxable limit which is rather high in India at three times the per capita income— with concessions and deductions it can be five times the per capital income.

Regulating the Regulator

By on Monday, November 19, 2018

By Akash Verma; Bangalore
With the passing of the first month of Q-3 FY 2018–19 much had been said and heard between the sovereign Finance Ministry and the Central Bank (i.e Reserve Bank Of India).The tussle, indeed no denial, has been persisting between the two bodies for quite some time now; but the way it had begun into such an ugly cold war face and turned out to be a hard pill that could not be swallowed. The question now to ponder upon is what actually had gone wrong that it led to such a high-level blame game.
RBI though formed under the ambit of the Reserve Bank Of India Act, 1934 has been functioning comprehensively since then, has never given the status of CONSTITUTIONALLY INDEPENDENT authority albeit evolved overtime a fully autonomous bodies subsuming the functionalities of regulating the capital markets & banking sector, chalking down the Monetary Policies, balancing the exchange rate and keeping the inflation under permissible limits.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley (Left) and RBI Governor Urjit Patel (Right)

On the other spectrum Ministry Of Finance, under the constitution of India, has all the sovereign rights by virtue of being chaired by the elected members unlikely the nominated members of the Central bank, had never failed any chance to up the ante in the matters, falling in the intersection, of the two bodies; specifically concerning the financial and economical parameters of the country.
The tussle between the Ministry of Finance and the RBI had gained momentum when the strict PCA (Prompt Corrective Action) Norms was imposed by the RBI onto the 11 state-owned banks to put a lid on their excessive lending to certain sectors; this lending resulted in a liquidity crunch.

The brat of which is faced by the Central Government because of their political inclinations and the upcoming general election of 2019 by hampering the vote base from the corporate sector.
As a result of this, Union Government wants RBI to ease down the PCA norms citing that the accumulation of the NPA (non-Performing Assests) is due to the latter’s lack of vigilance and the Global Financial Crisis, which results to the growth of NPAs amounting to 10 Trillion Rupees spanning in the post GFC regime (2008–14).
On the other hand RBI via PCA had drafted a very comprehensive frameworks of AQR (Asset Quality Review) and CRILC ( Central Repository of Information on Large Credits), which act a primitive measure of keeping track of the financial health of the banks under consideration, is quite stern on its stance to not dilute the PCA Norms.
Viral V. Acharaya, Deputy Governor RBI
This cold war assumed a shoddy face when Deputy Governor of RBI ,Viral Acharya while delivering A.D Shroff Memorial Lecture in Mumbai on Oct 26 passed a strong statement in public “The risks of undermining the central bank’s independence are potentially catastrophic. Governments that do not respect central bank's independence will, sooner or later, incur the wrath of financial markets, ignite economic fire, and come to rue the day, for they undermined an important regulatory institution”.
The repercussions of which had made the Ministry of Finance to issue letters to the central bank invoking the Section 7 of the RBI Act,1934 which gives authority to the Govt Of India to seek consultation with board of directors of the latter and in the matter when the parties doesn’t reach to a common ground, it will give precedence to the Govt.Of India to act as the proxy to the Central Bank superseding all the regulatory authorities bestowed on the Central bank under the RBI Act.
Bombay Stock Exchange,Mumbai
It is a matter of grave concern to even foresee the implications which if Article 7 of RBI act,1934 exercised by GoI giving directive to RBI, as it will dilute the regulatory authorities of the central bank which will cast a negative shadow on the financial market of the nation and hamper the investor’s confidence. It will be in the interest of the financial stability of the nation that both the parties should converge to a common resolution and act jointly to sail through it amidst the atmosphere of global tension lurking in the background.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Muslims may leave Ayodhya before November 24

By on Thursday, November 15, 2018

Mr Mohammad Iqbal, plaintiff in the matter of Babri Mosque and Ram Janam Bhaumi dispute, has warned the local administration that the Muslims can leave Ayodhya in the wake of crowd arrival in a scheduled progarme by Shiv Sena and Vishwa Hindu Parishad on November 24-25.

It is noticeable that Shiv Sena, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, International Hindu Parishad and RSS—all are to reach at the disputed place for the purpose of Ram Madir that has comprised arrival of Shiv Sena Chief at Ayodhya  in person for a holy sight of Ramlala.
According to the sources, the main Hinduvadi organizations including saints in large numbers have begun the preparations to march Ayodhya. The people and the saints in large numbers are following the preparation to reach there.
Iqbal said, “It is apprehended that the surge of crowd on November 24-25 may be overcrowd, exactly as it was on December 6th, 1992. Not only Babri Mosque was demolished then, but also many worship places were ransacked; many houses were set on fire."
Iqbal added, “If his and other Muslims were not assured for the security here, there is no way except to leave Ayodhya.”

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Afghanistan after death of Abdul Razik; a review

By on Sunday, November 11, 2018

The increasing influence of Taliban over the territory and battling its continued attacks in the region, the Afghan government is facing consecutive setback.
As there was a meeting going on in Southern province, Kandhar, of this country, on October 18 last month; a terrorist, disguised as security man, reached there and gunned down Abdul Razik, police chief and Abdul Momin, intelligence chief. Taliban took the responsibility.
The importance of Abdul Rajik can be understood that the election of Kandhar province was postponed after this killing. Many renowned personalities including PM Narendra Modi expressed their grief for this incident.
It is said after the killing of Abdul Razik that the incident has paved the way of Taliban to siege the Southern province. Is it true indeed? Many international journalists’ opinion is so.
They say that Afghanistan, especially in Kandahar Province, Abdul Razik’s respect was at its acme than other police officers. He was as a national commander there. He was count among a strongman in Southern Afghanistan, which USA supported him ignoring the Afghanistan government.
Razik was too influential that he had declined to have taken the order of Afghan government. He condemned President, Ashraf Ghani, many times, but the action was never taken against Razik because of American intervention.
Abdul Razik expelled Taliban from Kandahar in his commanding of Afghan army with the help of American till 2014. Taliban had always been battling to take over Afghanistan in Razik's presence. However Taliban once again has controlled on vast area of Kandahar with the help of Iran and Russia, after leaving US army Afghanistan. If the peace talk is held, Taliban shall be domineering in future because they would have been spirited much after Razik’s death.
Ashley Jackson is one of the journalists who has met with Abdul Razik and is familiar with his respect and the influence in the region.
Taliban has won a tough battle of Afghan’s future by killing Razik, he says. If let us accept Jacson’s view, there is no able officer who can render his duties like Abdul Razik in Afghanistan after Razik’s death. Other known person assume that his departure has created a 'power vacuums' among the security forces that is good news for Taliban.
Whatever a brief meeting or talk held between Taliban and Afghanistan had also a role of Razik? This death has caused a situation of commanding void in armed power.
According to the conversant with the issue, Taliban shall take its benefits and shall have the Afghan Government accepted its conditions for the control of territory.
That his image was not limited only to the trusted personnel or commander of armed force, but Razik being so dominant: the reason was that he had been national hero among the people of Afghanistan. He was most popular in Kandhar because that he was ‘Achakjai’. This surname is belonging to Durrani Kabila that had been the past ruler of Afghanistan’s history.
Ashley Jackson wrote in her article after Razik’s death, “not only Southern Afghanistan but also the whole country’s weak future is now under growing threat. The mounting of violent clash is imminent after the year 2001. According to the armed experts, Kandahar is a territory where it a little economically flourished than other areas of this country and was away from the access of siege policy of Taliban. Razik was accepted national hero of Afghanistan."
She added in her article, “Razik was the accused of war crime, but he had expelled Taliban; and opposing the intervention of Pakistan in Afghan issues, he garnered the pleasure of Kandahar people. Razik used to pay atrocities with the enemy, but it does not affected his image among the people of Kandahar rather he was appreciated.”
According to Jackson, “After Razik’s death, Taliban shall intense its effort repeatedly to siege those areas where its fighter militants had surrendered.
Only if Afghanistan is most insecure after the death of a police officer, a class admits its cause of US wrong policies there and the politics of country. The politics of Afghanistan has been under the dominance of Army Chiefs. America and international community favoured there democracy after 2001; but together like Abdul Razik, they supported powerful Army Chiefs.
According to Ashley Jackson, the America's patting to Razik that improved mere such situation in Afghanistan that could have made America benefitted. If we accept her, America always enforced to find the quick solution of problems for what there could have not been maintained economic and political stability for long term. It sowed seeds of ignoring the democratic government and happening of violence in future. The present situation is its result.
Actually America and other international powers reckoned that only Abdul Razik could have combat better to Taliban. Well, they ignored the negative effect of Abdul Razik; consequently he garnered so dominance that he began to run a parallel government. According to many media reports, Razik had established the drugs addiction business. he was accused of Human Rights violation and atrocities with the captured people(including Taliban militants) during the violent clash. Wiki leaks had told in its report 2010 that US was aware of all these facts, but it was going on the policy with the assumption of security guarantee to Afghanistan. The guarantee has now ended and at least Taliban got an open way to make its political and armed strong hold in Southern Afghanistan.

Friday, November 09, 2018

House turned into ashes; candle factory caught fire

By on Friday, November 09, 2018

The celebration of Dipawali was  going on; the crackers were in the sky, but one of them barged into a home situated in Birhana under Naka Thana Lucknow on Wednesday late evening. The house caught fire which turned into ashes.
A wax piled home in narrow lane where candles makers were in rest inside stunned when the fire suddenly flared; and they came out of the building. The building had had lodged more than 12 liquidated propane gas cylinders which were fuelling the engulfed fire in the building.
The building were in use of candle makers, and huge wax were piled in the wake of Dipawali which is a festival of light and traditionally candles are used by people for lighting their homes.
According to report, a hot air parachute balloon which were flown in the air fell on the house was burning and set this house on fire.
The fire was intense and the firemen were trying to extinguish it, but the fire caught into the wax; the gasoline cylinders fuelled it. The fire Brigade vehicles reached the spot, but the firemen faced difficulties to control it because the lane which goes  to this place is narrow where the heavy vehicles cannot make its access.

No casualties has been reported, but the house and adjoining families other houses were evacuated; till Thursday morning they were not allowed to return. The damage has not been yet assessed. The factory was in residential  area that has ruined now, which has no license, so the owner and the tenants have been arrested.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Man was shot at and looted in Lucknow

By on Wednesday, November 07, 2018
A man, 30, working as partner in a Modal Shop (Saloon) situated at the Tal Katora Road was looted at a gun point under Khala Bazar Police Station on Tuesday evening in Lucknow, state capital of Uttar Pradesh.
According to the information, Deepu Jaiswal carrying about Rupees 2 Lakh to deposit it to the another liquor shop situated in Aishbagh Locality was passing from a lonely or thinly populated road where has no street lights was intercepted by the two motorcycle borne unidentified assailants who shot at him from the back;snatched the cash bag; and decamped with the booty from the spot .
The incident took place on a road going towards Malviya Nagar joining it to the Tal Katora Road. According to report, Mr. Deepu Jaiswal who sustained bullet injury was lying down about 200 m away from Avtaar Hospital and was wriggling in the blood that a passer by, named Mithun, stopped his bike to see the crowd which had surrounded.
Seeing the critical condition of injured Mithun dialed 100 number to call the police help line where the police reached the spot late. Well, traumatic Deepu was rushed  to get the treatment to the Avtaar Hospital where he was declined for the treatment because of being a criminal case.
Mithun came out and sent him in an Ambulance passing infront which was stopped by the crowd. Deepu is now in KGMU Trauma centre. His Condition is stable and out of danger.
The Police to nab the accused are trying to investigate this loot and murder attempt case from many angles. The investigation is going on and SHO Khala Bazar has claimed the accused shall be in police draggnet earliest.
Mr Vikas Chandra Tripathi,SP West, said to this correspondent out side KGMU, “ Deepu Jaiswal is under treatment. His condition is stated to be stable. The motive behind this bullet injury is not clear because the police have not yet recorded any statement about the alleged loot of any cash from the victim's possession.”

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Police Lathi Charge in front State Assembly of Uttar Pradesh

By on Saturday, November 03, 2018
 Demonstrators beaten in Lathi Charge infront  of State Assembly of Uttar Pradesh
A strong demonstration was staged in protest against the cancellation of government teachers’ appointments on Friday in Lucknow. The Lucknow Bench of High Court Allahabad ordered the cancellation of appointments more than 12000 and has recommended the CBI enquiry into the process of appointment. The demonstrating teachers were on roads against the High Court decision. The police had to control the crowd by Lathi Charge.
12,460 trainee teachers’ appointments have been cancelled by the High Court Allahabad bench Lucknow on Thursday. The notification had been issued during Akhilesh government in the year 2016. one more decision by high court on Friday has created tough situation for Yogi Adityanath’s government when it ordered the CBI enquiry into the case of 68500 teachers posts recruitment done in the beginning this year.
The police protection chain was tried to break when the trainee teachers were demonstrating in front of State Assembly Friday afternoon. Police had to Lathi Charge to control the demonstrators. While the police have claimed none were injured, but the trainee teachers have claimed that many injured and tumbled down on ground in police Lathi Charge.
It is noticeable that the Lucknow Bench of Allahabad cancelled the appointments on Thursday saying the recruitment in the year 2016 on 12460 teachers posts were against the rules. The court in another decision has given order to CBI enquiry into the recruitment on the 68500 vacant posts of assistant teachers of primary schools in the state.
The bench of Justice Irshad Ali disposed many writ-petition filed in the recruitment of 12460 posts of trainee teachers ordered so. The court said the assistant teachers’ recruitment by the government on 21 December 2016 was not according to the Primary Teachers draft service rules of Uttar Pradesh. Court has ordered to government to begin the recruitment process again. The court has given the state government a time frame of three months. the same Bench has  ordered the CBI enquiry for the process that had begun in the recruitment of 68500 posts of assistant teachers under the Advertisement published on January 23 this years.
Court has also directed that the officers found guilty in this recruitment should be taken action against them. The court has ordered the CBI to submit it status report on November 26 and also ordered to CBI to complete its investigation within 6 months.

Friday, November 02, 2018

Delhi Crime Branch solves murder mystery; UP police suspected it honour killing

By on Friday, November 02, 2018

Mohd Azam; New Delhi
The Delhi police crime branch has solved the shrouded mystery over the murder of a family suspected kidnapping from Wazirabad area New Delhi two years ago. The special police team has arrested in this connection a man named Abhishekh. A girl, Naina Kirodiwal, 21, was murdered in July 2016; her body was disposed near canal at Dhaulana in Hapur and a Santro car was recovered from the canal.
When UP police reached to the girl's home then found the family members of deceased were not present there. The police began to search of her family members, but was failed to trace them. Further when they took the help of surveillance to trace the mobile phones of family members, they found all the cell phones were switched off at Wazirabad area.
The police was investigating then to find these unexplained questions:
1-Who and why did commit the murder of Naina?
2- Who had derived Naina’s car up to Dhaulana 100 kilometer away while she had no knowledge of car driving?
3-Where had disappeared her family a day before of her body found?
4-Lest behind Naina’s murder should be her own family, was also a fact.
5- Lest the Naina’s family should be the victim of any hatched conspiracy, think it.
6-Why her and her mother’s cell phone were switched off two days before of her murder?
7- Whether Naina was murdered in Delhi and her body was disposed in Hapur?
The police had suspected Naina’s mother, father and brother were the murderers, and kept on investigating this murder as a case of honour killing.
While the hatched conspiracy was executed by Abhishekh with his accomplice; and UP Police had earlier told that Ved Prakash had killed his family including daughter where Delhi police narrates it -- Ved Prakash is the victim!
According to Delhi Police, Abhishek with his accomplice Babla and other accused assassinated all the 4 family members one-by-one and disposed their bodies throwing  in Ganga canal.
Delhi police got information that Abhishek was involved in this murder case. Police arrested him. When police quizzed roughly, he broke his silence and confessed the crime.
Abhishekh told that his friend Bawla and with the help of Ved Prakash’s relative Sonu had hatched conspiracy. Actually Ved Prakash had had given some money to Abhishekh and Ritesh. Retesh had used to work at Ved’s garment shop, but these were not returning the owed money.   The duo’s activity had resented Ved.
Abhishek hatched conspiracy and to execute these assassinations, he indulged Babla, a local criminal. Trio were to capture the property by killing the family.
Abhishek bought the weapon of murder and later by some trick he took Ved Prakash together. He murdered Ved Prakash with the help of Babla. Actually when Ved Prakash was going with Abhishek, his son, Shubham had seen them. Now he carried Shubham calling by trick and committed  Shubham’s murder too.
He carried Ved’s wife, Sadhna and daughter, Naina one-by-one calling by trick and murdered them; threw four bodies in Upper Ganga canal.
The car was recovered with the Naina’s dead body, but other deceased of family could not have been recovered which caused the assumption of honour killing.
The investigation of Delhi police exposed that it was not an honour killing, but was the planned murders. The murders were executed by Abhishekh, Babla alias Sonu, Ritesh including other. Babla died in Road accident and another accused committed suicide. The police enquiry is still continuing.
The UP police failed through the fact that the accused and deceased were in last contact by cell phones.

Friday, October 26, 2018


By on Friday, October 26, 2018

                                                                                    BACKGROUND OF TWO IPS OFFICERS

Alok Verma joined the IPS in 1979 at age 22 and was allotted to the AGMUT (Arunachal, Goa, Mizoram, UTs) cadre. He was the youngest officer in his batch. Prior to assuming the office of CBI Director, Verma had been Commissioner of Police, Delhi; Director General of Prisons, Delhi; Director General of Police, Mizoram; DGP, Puducherry and IGP, Andaman & Nicobar Islands. He is the only CBI Director to hold the top post without any prior experience in the agency. Rakesh Asthana, a 1984 batch IPS officer of the Gujarat cadre, has investigated many important cases, including the fodder scam case (during an earlier stint in the CBI) and the 2002 Godhra train burning when he was Inspector General in charge of Vadodara Range. His investigation into the fodder scam is regarded as key to the case resulting in the conviction of RJD chief Lalu Prasad. He is widely seen as being close to the current ruling dispensation. Let us understand how a director in CBI is appointed and how the others are appointed.
The former CBI director Anil Sinha retired on December 3rd, 2016. His deputy Rupak Kumar Dutta was widely speculated to be the next CBI director. But, just a day ahead, he was surprisingly shifted out of the CBI and made special secretary in the Home Ministry. Dutta who served for nearly 14 years in CBI was Special Director since 2014.
Rakesh Asthana, a 1984-batch Gujarat cadre IPS officer, is not new to the controversy and the corruption. Rakesh Asthana supervised the probe into the 2002 burning of the ‘Sabarmati Express’ train at the Godhra railway station. He was handpicked by the government to be the interim director of the CBI. On August 30, 2017, the CBI had registered an FIR against three senior Income Tax officials for allegedly accepting bribes from Gujarat-based Sterling Biotech and Sandesara Group of Companies. A “Diary 2011” was found in the company premises, which detailed a monthly payout to the accused officials, including income tax officials, policemen and politicians in Gujarat. Rakesh Asthana’s name figures in the diary of Sterling Biotech — CBI itself has registered an FIR. It seems that the present government is “hell-bent” on destroying the independence and integrity of the CBI. Asthana’s appointment for special director on October 22, 2017 had happened in controversial circumstances. The selection committee comprising the central vigilance commissioner (CVC) K.V. Chowdary whose own role was under question cloud in the investigations related to Sahara-Birla diaries; and two vigilance commissioners and the secretaries to the home ministry and the department of personnel and training (DoPT) appointed him unanimously. However, it was then reported that Verma had queried to Asthana’s elevation in the organization.
 While the CBI director was not a member of the selection committee, the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, under which the CBI operates, says that the director has to be compulsorily consulted before being appointed any person higher the rank above superintendent of police. However, the Supreme Court had then thought that it should not interfere in the government functioning, giving Asthana the benefit of doubt.
Rakesh Asthana, working as an Additional Director of CBI in April 2016, was given charge of interim director to the CBI for a brief period between December 3, 2016 and January 18, 2017 after Anil Sinha demitted his officeHe noted that merely two days before of Sinha’s retirement, the second-in-command at the CBI,  R.K. Dutta, who should have taken over as the interim director was transferred to the ministry of home affairs as special secretary (internal security). The transfer of Dutta was extraordinary benevolence as the post he was given “was specially upgraded from the level of joint secretary to the special secretary”. Asthana has always landed plush positions because of his proximity with the top brass in the Modi government.
 Rakesh Asthana has been allegedly influencing a coal scam case at the CBI in which the name of Bhaskar Khulbe , a West Bengal cadre IAS officer, who is now one of the most trusted lieutenant of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in the PMO had come up. Asthana is said to have taken a stance that Khulbe should be made a witness rather than an accused in the case. As secretary in the PMO, he (Khulbe) is one of Narendra Modi’s most trusted aides. He handles all the transfers and the postings of officials in Central Government, working closely with P.K. Mishra, additional principal secretary to the prime minister.
Rakesh Asthana’s soft stance against Khulbe in the case was “hardly a surprise, given his proximity to (P.K) Mishra in the PMO”. The report adds that Mishra, also a Gujarat cadre officer, had backed Asthana’s appointment as the special director in the CBI and ensured to the selection committee, headed by the CVC, K.V Chowdary, to appoint him unanimously despite the CBI director’s objections.
 Before the Lokpal Act was legislated, the CBI director was appointed by the DSPE Act. Now, the Lokpal Act governs the appointment of the CBI director. The process to select the CBI director is begun in the Home Ministry which prepares a list of IPS officers who are eligible for the post on the basis of their seniority and their experience in the field of probe. The MHA list is sent to the Department of Personnel where is prepared a final list on the basis of "seniority, integrity and experience in the investigation of anti-corruption cases". The search committee examines the names and recommends to the government for the appointment of CBI director. The decision of the committee could be unanimous or divided with a member recording the note of dissent. Earlier, under the DSPE Act, the CBI director was appointed on the basis of recommendation by a panel comprising the Central Vigilance Commission as chairperson, other vigilance commissioners, Home Secretary and Secretary (Co-ordination and Public Grievances the Cabinet Secretariat).The CBI director is appointed by the Centre on recommendation of a search committee comprising of Prime Minister as the chairperson, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of Opposition. The Chief Justice of India can nominate a Supreme Court judge if he does not attend to the search committee meeting. In the absence of a formal Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, the leader of the floor of the largest opposition party (in present case Congress) takes part in the search committee meetings.
 It traces its origins to events of mid-2017, when the government refused to appoint certain IPS officers into the CBI despite recommendations from the CBI Director. In October 2017, the CBI Director handed over a confidential note to the CVC during a panel meeting over the promotion of Asthana to the post of Special Director. The note alleged corruption on Asthana’s part with regard to the Sterling Biotech case of August that year; It alleged that according to a diary found on the premises of the company, Asthana was paid Rs 3.88 crore by the company (which in October came under probe for loan defaults of over Rs 5,000 crore). Yet the CVC panel unanimously cleared Asthana’s promotion, taking no record of Verma’s submissions. It said the allegations were not verifiable. In June this year, the Director targeted Asthana again, now through a letter to the CVC that said that Asthana could not represent him in his absence in a CVC meeting over CBI appointments. The Director said Asthana was being probed for alleged corruption. Asthana hit back by writing to the Cabinet Secretary in the month of August this year that Verma was interfering in his probes and had tried to stall a raid on Lalu Prasad in the IRCTC case. He also alleged corruption on Verma’s part. Less than two months later, Verma got an FIR registered against Asthana as an accused in a case of corruption.
 Asthana is alleged to have demanded a bribe of Rs 5 crore from a Hyderabad-based businessman through two middlemen to help him get off the hook in the Moin Qureshi case. CBI has alleged that at least Rs 3 crore had already been paid to Asthana through the middlemen. The agency claims that it has evidence, through WhatsApp chats between the middlemen and the businessman, of bribes having been paid. But the businessman seems to have never met or spoken to Asthana.
According to the CBI FIR, when a middleman offered to arrange a meeting in Dubai, the businessman refused. CBI has argued that, since this was a case of bribery and not of abuse of official position in connection with a decision taken on policy or otherwise, this would not be under the purview of Section 17A of the recently amended Prevention of Corruption Act. Section 17A says, “No police officer shall conduct any enquiry or inquiry or investigation into any offence alleged to have been committed by a public servant…, where the alleged offence is relatable to… (the) discharge of his official functions or duties, without the previous approval… of the government. …No such approval shall be necessary for cases involving arrest… on the spot on the charge of accepting or attempting to accept any undue advantage…”
 The marriage of his daughter was a treat to eye and he reportedly got venue, catering, rooms and cars for his daughter’s wedding all on “complimentary basis” allegedly from at least a dozen persons including some loan-defaulters and fugitives. A day after Gujarat cadre IPS officer and number 2 in the CBI Asthana was named in an FIR for allegedly accepting bribe, a CBI team landed in Vadodara on Sunday to get details of a lavish wedding ceremony of his daughter. CBI questioned about a dozen people and received replies on expenses made and facilities provided from at least four hotels during the 2016 wedding of its Special Director Asthana’s daughter in Vadodara. The report claims that “a perusal of these replies and CBI documents show that several venues were availed by the Asthana family on complimentary basis. “Referring to the CBI documents, it stated that the catering for the event was provided by Hotel Express Towers which did not charge the expenditure. In a signed document provided to CBI, the Hotel Express Towers said, “We were only supplying food at the event and no other services were provided and the function was done on complimentary basis so no bill was raised for the Sangeet Sandhya held on 24/11/2016.
The wedding ceremony, according to CBI documents, was organized on November 25 at the Sunken Garden, The Lakshmi Vilas Palace, the home of the erstwhile royalty of the Gaekwads. In its reply to the CBI, The Laxmi Vilas Palace has said that the venue was provided to the Asthana family on complimentary basis. It further alleged that catering for the wedding was handled by Vadodara’s oldest five star hotel The Grand Mercure Surya Palace and the documents do not show the payment. This has been under circulation that around 1,200 guest of eminence attended the wedding. The CBI team collected all these receipts and invoices as evidence, it added. Apart from this, the Asthana family also booked 35 rooms for two days in the Sun City Club and Resort in Vadodara. In its reply to CBI, the club said it provided the rooms on “complimentary basis”. The owner of the property is reportedly confessed to CBI that as “our resort was new at that time, even before we had launched the resort and we found it as an honor to host such prestigious guests to make them stay at our property and thus we offered it all on complimentary basis.
The CBI has also claimed in its report that a BMW car and a Honda CRV were used by the Asthana family during the function. It says the vehicle was provided by Sandeep Barot, transport incharge of Chetan Sandesara, Pertinently, a PIL filed by petitioner Prashant Bhushan in the Supreme Court raising doubts over Asthana’s integrity, which was later dismissed by SC last year. Meanwhile, the fight between the CBI's top two men is becoming curiouser and curiouser.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has also named special director Rakesh Asthana as an accused in a bribery case for accepting a bribe of Rs 2 crore to settle meat exporter Moin Qureshi’s case. Apart from Asthana, the CBI has also named RAW number two Samant Kumar Goel in the FIR. Goel has been accused of facilitating the deal between Asthana and Qureshi. The FIR was filed on October 15 and one Manoj, who allegedly transferred the bribe, was arrested the following day. Qureshi was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in August last year. According to the agency, he was arrested under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and he was not cooperating in the probe. The meat exporter has been accused of laundering money for a host of public servants.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Case Of Aadhar

By on Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The origin of Aadhar dates back to the year 1999, post-Kargil war times when the head of security analysis, Mr. K. Subrahmanyam, wanted to assess the sense of security situation among the citizens of India.
The first prominent step in the inception of Aadhar was taken in January-2009 by the GoI (UPA-II tenure) under the Prime Ministership of Dr.Manmohan Singh with the formation of UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India); and by Mr Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of tech giant Infosys materializes, headed the statutory authority under the ambiance of Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology. It was, only in March-2016 when Aadhar act took its shape, passed in the Lok Sabha as a money bill to give legislative backing to the former and started to broaden its horizons.
The rationale, given in introduction of the world’s largest bio-metric digital record base by the GoI, was to reach up to the common masses specifically to the people dwelling in the remote areas to fulfil the aim of financial inclusion.
There were numerous schemes and benefits articulated by the GoI to increase the Aadhar-intrusion to the biggest extent possible vis a vis the introduction of AEPS (Aadhar Enabled Payment Sysytem) where individual can perform all the typical banking transactions viz. balance check, deposit, cash withdraw and aadhar-to-aadhar fund transfer in a hassle free manner.
This was introduced to ease the functioning of the Banking Correspondent's to reach into the rural masses and enlighten them with the literature of financial inclusion and the benefits in an easy manner.
Another initiative in the same lines was taken by the SIDBI (Small Industries Development Bank Of India) to ease the business ventures undertaken by the MSME (Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises) by introducing the digitally motivated platform of Udyog Aadhar under which the MSME will self-certify its existence, bank account, owners Aadhar details and other basic information.
Based on the same the MSMEs can be issued, a unique identifier (i.e the Udyog Aadhar Number), which can be used to leverage all the benefits enlisted by the respective ministries and departments under the GoI with ease.
Now the big question to ponder upon is what went wrong that the Apex court had to intervene and make amendments to the Aadhar Act when everything was adequately going well.
On 26th September, 2018 the Hon’ble Supreme court of India under the supervision of the 5-judges constitutional bench struck down the Section 47, Section 57 of the Aadhar Act 2009 which allows the private entities like telecom to leverage the data collected by UIDAI. The moves come under the issue of data leakage instances observed globally.
SC also passed the amendments noting that it will henceforth not mandatory for an individual to link the bank accounts and mobile number with Aadhar respectively however it is still the prerogative of an individual to held the link between PAN (permanent account number) and Aadhar.
The semantic of the state of Aadhar can only be taken by being cognizant of the main objective of the same rather than glorifying or criticizing the functionalities.
The SWOT analysis should be given impetus to assess how far the objectives have materialized yet and the identification of the focus areas.
Writer is alumni of IIT BOMBAY
your comment solicited
email us: buntline123@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Why BJP kept on waiting construction of Ram Temple?

By on Tuesday, October 23, 2018


The RSS has announced that it is to review the function of Uttar Pradesh government on Oct 24, and has also reprimanded the Union Government for Ram Temple issue.
Why is RSS trying to scrutinize the functioning of UP Government & is chiding to the Modi government while it has not been conferred any constitutional power like Governor, Prime Minister and President?
Why is it issuing command to the State government and is chiding Modi Government on the issue of Mandir construction has unexplained rights.
 Incase let it be assume that the BJP is an adopted child of RSS, why the BJP is replying clarification of its relation with the RSS to the oppositions? -- Who look saying like, “The BJP is a puppet and is being pulled or controlled by RSS.”
Many times other parties’ supremo and the former chief ministers of this state have also said so.
 It is noticeable that Mr Amit Shah and the assistant Dr Krishn Gopal Mishra including other chief of RSS will participate in the meeting that is to be held on 24th October.
It is strange that the RSS is going to discuss on the feedback review instead of top leaders of the BJP in this meeting -- even that the RSS can decide the future of many faces in the cabinet and in the organization.
It is not confirm that the PM Modi is to participate in this meeting, but cannot be denied too. However Yogi Aditya Nath and his Deputy Chief Ministers, Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey, State BJP president and Mr Sunil Basal shall be participant of this meeting.
Sir Mohan Bhagwat, the RSS chief, has toughen his statement on Temple construction issue, "Why doesn’t the BJP bring in bill for the ‘construction of Ram temple'?"
The scheduled meeting has its own importance after the statement. However the statement of RSS chief that the Hindutva is not mature without Muslims had surprised the Muslim community; now he is trying to lure the scheduled caste.
If the RSS endorses all the needful help in election to the BJP, why it does not come in the fray?
Mohan Bhagwat’s statement appears that the BJP is trailing in the coming Parliamentary election 2019. The reason of this fact is that Mohan Bhagwat had not spoken such any statement before the parliamentary election-2014 whatever he is continue.
However it looks a split opposition, but no such sign is looking in future. if it hadn't so, the RSS should have not been under worrying.
It appears that there may be a big change to replace PM Narendra Modi after winning of the parliamentary election.
(‘We will arrive at Ramlala, and build temple there’) Ram Lala Hum Aayenge Aur Mandir Wahi Banayenge slogan has been shouted for the past many years, but it looks that there is no so far BJP government optimum.
Why? The reason is that no such slogan is in propaganda campaign of present government as has been shouted during the Babri Masjid demolition.
Where the resentment is among the Hindu for the BJP policies; the awareness is also here that the BJP has formed its government with grand-slam victory; and if it ensures, it can bring in a law to construct Ram Temple, but it is kidding the Hindu’s faith.
Although the BJP shall bring in a bill before the election after a scold of RSS; and will construct Ram Temple so that it could hide its tenure’s flaws, showing Hindu's card to let the BJP be able to win the election—2019.
It explains that there may be sporadic riots with the construction of Temple; there may be murders of a few innocents; the curfew can be clamped; the arrested shall be sent behind the bars; but after the construction completed, there shall return of peace and normalcy in situation in the affected areas.
Ram Temple Nirman bill can be passed exactly as the SC/ST revision bill was passed. Both matters were in the court and the BJP, having gone against the court’s verdict, achieved success in passing the SC/ST bill in both houses; in the same way, it can bring in bill for Ram temple construction and shall be able to pass it; but why the BJP has been waiting the election-2019 for Ram Temple after winning its parliamentary election-2014 is not better to write here?