SATURDAY Sebi penalises HDFC Bank for violating its order 23 JANUARY, 2021 Sebi has directed HDFC Bank to deposit `158.68 cr along with interest in an escrow account and pay `1 cr penalty epaper.morningstandard.in Lender invoked pledged shares facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard UNDER SCANNER CBI FILES CASE ON FB DATA THEFT UK-based Cambridge Analytica and Global Science Research booked by agency A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 7 NEW DELHI J8.00 PAGES 12 Action comes after Sebi probe found the lender unilaterally invoked securities pledged by stock broking firm BRH Wealth Kreators to the tune of I158 cr. This flouted Sebi’s order restraining BRH from accessing securities market To sort out outage issue in three months HDFC Bank has submitted a detailed plan of action to RBI to address repeated service disruption issues. It will take 10-12 weeks for implementation. Last month, RBI had temporarily barred the bank from launching new digital initiatives | P10 Sparks fly in CWC meet over prez, but party shifts poll calendar to June PARVEEN NEGI K C Venugopal and R S Surjewala brief the media after the CWC meeting R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi THE Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Friday decided not to hold presidential elections in a hurry, despite the growing dissent among a section of senior leaders over the delay in addressing leadership issues and organisational polls. Election to the post of party president will now be held in June, said AICC general secretary K C Venugopal. According to sources, the decision to delay party polls was taken keeping in mind the upcoming assembly elections. The meeting witnessed heated moments with some leaders questioning the party’s reluctance to hold organisational polls. Several leaders, including those who wrote to interim party chief Sonia Gandhi about leadership vacuum, demanded organisational elections be held immediately but they were told that presidential elections will happen first. This group senior leaders like included Ghulam Nabi Azad, P Chidamabaram, Anand Sharma and Mukul Wasnik. However, another group comprising Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, and former defence minister A K Antony were of the view that presidential elections should happen after the assembly polls in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and Pu- ducherry are over. Sources said there were heated exchanges between Azad, Anand Sharma and Gehlot over the demand for organisational elections. Gehlot reportedly said the BJP doesn’t talk about internal elections like in the Congress and that the first priority is to fight the state elections. He also said the all of them are here because of the party to which Anand Sharma responded he has also worked for over 40 years for the party . In May, Sonia will complete two years as interim chief of the Congress after Rahul Gandhi decided to step down following the debacle in Lok Sabha P7 elections in 2019. To build trust, govt to share probe info on deaths after jab al association or whether it is coincidental with the vaccinaTHE Centre has decided to tion or is caused by the vaccimake public the findings of nation. “So far, no death has probes into all serious adverse been viewed as caused by vacevents following immunisa- cination,” he said. tion (AEFI) for Covid-19 from On the ministry’s nudge, the next week to build confidence central AEFI panel — on top of around the vaccines, as they a three-tier AEFI monitoring have received less than enthu- mechanism that has been essiastic response from benefici- tablished for vaccination drive aries so far. — has now decided to Ever since the rollrelease the findings of out of the vaccines a all the serious AEFIs. week ago, five deaths A member in the IChave been reported. MR’s ethics panel exThough their AEFI replained that as the rollports tied them to coout advances into morbidities and not other populations, parthe vaccine, the rePM allays ticularly those in their ports seem to have ex70s and 80s, there could vax fears acerbated vaccine hesbe more such deaths. PM Narendra itancy among “But people need to Modi said he healthcare workers as understand that bewent by the the daily vaccinations cause there is a rigordecision of have been far lower ous AEFI tracking scientists on than targeted. mechanism, it will vaccine rollout “It is true the recapture all of these sponse to the vaccines deaths,” he said. is nothing that we expected “There is a background and therefore there is a bid to death rate in all age groups — improve communication with a U-shaped curve, high bethe targeted groups and build tween 0 to 1 years, then falls, trust in this crucial tool to the lowest in the 20 to 40 age fight the pandemic,” said a group, then rises again after health ministry official. 40, and sharply rises in older The official further said eve- age groups — the AEFI trackry death is being investigated ing plan will capture all these to determine whether it is a deaths among vaccine recipiP7 temporal association or a caus- ents,” he added. S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi FUND TEMPLE DONATION DRIVE IN DELHI North-East Delhi MP Manoj Tiwari will launch a rath yatra in his constituency on Feb 1 to collect donations from all sections of society, including minority community members | P5 EXPRESS READ HC refuses urgent relief to former BARC head Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday directed the Maharashtra government to submit by Monday the medical report of Partho Dasgupta, former Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) CEO arrested in the TRP scam. A single bench of Justice PD Naik heard an urgent bail plea this evening, filed by Dasgupta’s counsels, seeking interim bail for at least two weeks considering his poor health. The court will hear the bail plea on Monday. Actor moves SC over illegal construction Mumbai: Actor Sonu Sood moved the Supreme Court on Friday challenging the Bombay High Court order dismissing his appeal against a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation notice over alleged illegal construction at his residential building. The high court had also rejected his application seeking 10 weeks to comply with the notice issued by BMC in October 2020. TESTING STATUS 43,105 RTPCR/CBNAAT/ TrueNat tests conducted 28,745 Rapid antigen tests 1,02,12,593 Total tests done so far 5,37,504 Tests per million DELHI COVID WATCH Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar (R) and Piyush Goyal ahead of 11th round of talks; farmer leaders checking their mobile phones during the meeting at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi on Friday | PARVEEN NEGI/PTI Best offer snubbed, talks hit freezing point Meeting lasts just 20-25 minutes; no fresh date for dialogue set; govt asks unions to give final response today EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi/Chandigarh AFTER protesting farmers rejected the government offer to keep the three farm laws in abeyance, differences between the two sides widened with the Centre telling the protesters it had nothing more to offer and blamed the farmers for the failed eleventh round of talks on Friday . No date was fixed for the next meeting, underlining that there was no common ground. Sources said agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar expressed his unhappiness at the farmers revealing to the media their decision to reject the government offer. Speaking to reporters after the talks, Tomar said the farmers did not have their own welfare in mind even as they were threatening to intensify their stir. “The talks remained inconclusive as farmers’ welfare was not at the heart of the talks from the unions’ side. I am sad about it,” he said. The minister said he told the farmers to reconsider the government proposal as it was in the interest of farmers and the country and threw the ball in their court. “The farmers unions said they only want the repeal of STATUS OF CASES Today Cumulative RECOVERED 319 6,20,693 DEATH 07 10,789 ACTIVE CASES -2,060 TOTAL +VE CASES 266 6,33,542 PATIENT MANAGEMENT Total beds Occupied Vacant HOSPITAL 9,068 943 8,125 CARE CENTRE 7,392 21 7246* HEALTH CENTRE 307 05 302 825 HOME ISOLATION *125 beds of CCC are occupied by persons under quarantine including travellers who came by Vande Bharat Mission and Bubble flights 1,836 TOTAL NO. OF CONTAINMENT ZONES AS ON DATE 1,629 TOTAL NO. OF CALLS DISPATCHED TO AMBULANCES S O U R C E : D E L H I H E A LT H B U L L E T I N | JA N UA RY 2 2 2 0 2 1 the laws despite the government asking for alternative suggestions. We asked them to reconsider our proposal and convey their decision tomorrow,” he said. W h i l e t h e g ove r n m e n t blamed the farmers for the inconclusive talks, the protesters said the Centre was unable to build a consensus and accused the ministers of being intransigent. “The government has made it clear that the three laws will not be repealed and that it had made its best offer. They told us to reconsider their proposal,” Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Balbir Singh Rajewal said. The farmers said although they were at the meeting venue for five hours, the two sides were face-to-face for less than an hour as the ministers left We told farmers to give their own proposal, other than the repeal of Acts, if they have anything better than our offer... no resolution is possible when sanctity of agitation is lost Narendra Tomar, agriculture minister the room after repeating their proposal to keep the laws on hold and for ming a joint committee. “The meeting actually happened for only 20-25 minutes. The Centre kept saying we should accept their proposal to either discuss the laws clause by clause or put them on hold,” said Shiv Kumar Kakkaji Sharma of the Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh. “We told the government we will not agree to anything other than the repeal of the laws. The minister asked us to discuss separately, rethink the matter and convey our decision,” Darshan Pal said. With the talks deadlocked, the farmers are now preparing for the tractor rally on Republic Day. “The tractor march on January 26 will take place as decided by us on the Outer Ring Road of Delhi. It will be a unique event. We have informed the Delhi Police that it is for the government to ensure it is peaceful,” Rajewal said. BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan said, “We all are geared up for the tractor parade. Our first batch will move from Khanauri in Sangrur and another from Dabwali. Over 30,000 tractors owing allegiance to our union will take part.” Punjab CM announces one job per family Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday announced jobs for one member of each of the families of the state’s farmers who have lost their lives during the agitation against the agri laws, apart from `5 lakh compensation. FARMER UNION LEADERS ALLEGE THREATS H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Chandigarh FARMER leaders alleged during the meeting with Union ministers that some of them had received threats. “On Thursday night, Krantikari Kisan Union president Darshan Pal Darshan Pal got a phone call from a person who abused him and told him the far mers should accept the government’s proposal. The issue was raised at the meeting and the number from which the call was made was given to Delhi Police so that they can trace the caller,” said a farmer leader. Sources said BKU leader Rakesh Tikait was indirectly threatened on social media that he could be in trouble when he goes back to Uttar Pradesh. Tikait, however, chose to underplay the matter and said, “These things keep happening.” Another farmer leader alleged that Delhi Police personnel smashed the rear windscreen of Ruldu Singh Mansa’s vehicle while he was arriving for the meeting on Friday . When asked about this, a Delhi Police officer said, “The Republic Day security ar rangements are tight in New Delhi area and police personnel are checking vehicles at every picket. When they stopped Mansa’s vehicle, he started yelling. He himself broke the windshield and started blaming the police. It’s just a stunt to get limelight and sympathy. They have not filed any police complaint.” Anti-govt social media posts now a crime in Bihar RA J ES H KUM A R TH A KU R @ Patna IF you are in Bihar, an offensive social media post can land you in trouble. A circular issued by the Economic Offences Unit of Bihar Police to the principal secretaries and secretaries of various departments states any derogatory post against the state government, ministers, MPs, MLAs and bureaucrats will be treated as ‘punishable cyber offence’. The circular signed by ADG of EOU, N H Khan, adds that those found guilty will be treat- ed in accordance with the law. It caused an uproar from the Opposition with RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav hitting out at CM Nitish Kumar, dubbing him “Bhisama Pitamah of corruption” and accusing him of following in the footprint of Adolf Hitler. “I challenge the CM to arrest me under this new order. I say it again that Bihar police sells liquor, saves criminals and implicates the innocent,” he said. Kumar had recently spoken out against the misuse of social media platforms. The ruling NDA defended the move, saying restraining those trying to disrupt harmony had bec o m e n e c e s s a r y. “Healthy criticism is not treated under the IT Act as a punishable offence. Those who got scared by the legal order must stop making false posts and making unhealthy criticism through social media,” said BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand. “It has come to light that certain people and organisations have been sharing defamatory and offensive posts on social media against the government, respected ministers, MPs, legislators and government officers. This is totally against the law and falls under the category of cyber crimes,” read the circular issued by ADG Khan. Khan added this is not a new order. “It already exists to safeguard the dignity of anyone and any organisation from malicious and defamatory posts.” Industrial growth gets push in J&K as govt clears new land allotment policy F AYA Z W A N I @ Srinagar IN a significant move, the Jammu and Kashmir government has approved an Industrial Land Allotment policy which will create a structured industrial land bank. Under the policy land will be leased to inves, tors within 30-45 days for a period of 40 years, which can be extended to up to 99 years. The Administrative Council (AC), which met in Jammu on Friday under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, approved the adoption of J&K Industrial Land Allotment Policy 2021-30 for promoting equitable industrial growth, an official spokesman said. The new policy, he said, attempts to address various landrelated issues impeding industrial development in J&K. The policy provides for the constitution of divisional level project appraisal and evaluation committees to scrutinise applications received for allotment of land within 30 days. “Apex level, high level and divisional level land allotment committees will decide and allot industrial land to the applicants within 45 days in cases of projects worth `200 crore, `50200 crore and up to `50 crore, respectively the spokesman ,” said. However, the allotment can be cancelled in case of failure of the investor to take effective steps within the stipulated time of two years, failure of the industrial unit to come into production within three years, viola- tion of provisions under the lease deed, and non-cooperation of an enterprise for a period of five years. The government has already transferred 24,000 kanals (1 kanal = 0.125 acre) to the Industries and Commerce department for setting up industrial estates. The new policy will also cover land allotment for health care and educational institutions. There is also provi- sion for renting out 60 percent of built-up area of a business enterprise to set up ancillary industrial enterprises through a tripartite agreement. The policy aims at achieving inclusive growth through sustainable industrialisation, employment generation, and includes provisions for evolving a fair and transparent mechanism for land allotment for industrial use.
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