saturDAY ‘No evidence of impact on polls’ 27 ■ “The purchase as well as The NGO had claimed that the encashment of the bonds, sale of electoral bonds before happening only through the Assembly elections `1 banking channels, is would “increase illicit crore Is always reflected in funding of political The highest documents that denomination parties through shell eventually come to the value of companies”. Dismissing electoral public domain,” the the plea, a bench bonds order stated headed by Chief Justice S ■ Donors can buy e-bonds A Bobde said there is no from SBI and donate to political evidence that electoral bonds parties, which can encash them would adversely impact elections. through their accounts within The SC said fresh electoral bonds 15 days can be issued from April 1 march, 2021 epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard n i k it a m u r d e r life sentence for two Haryana government to appeal for capital punishment A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS Page 5 l New Delhi l J8.00 l Mistry’s ouster kosher, says SC PM Narendra Modi on Friday handed over the Gandhi Peace Prize 2020, being conferred on Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, to his daughters Sheikh Rehana and Sheikh Hasina. Wearing a ‘Mujib jacket’, Modi said it was an honour to confer the Prize on Rahman Sonia’s message for PM Sheikh Hasina K a n u S a r d a @ New Delhi Cyrus Mistry Congress president Sonia Gandhi has congratulated Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina on the birth centenary of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman. In a video message, she said 1971 was a transformative year for both countries Ratan Tata the 282-page judgment read. Welcoming the verdict, Ratan Tata said the order validated the values and ethics that had always guided the Tata Group. “It is not an issue of winning or losing. After relentless attacks on my integrity and the ethical conduct of the group, the judgment upholding Tata Sons is a validation or the values and ethics that have always been the guiding principles of the group. It reinforces the fairness and justice displayed by our judiciary he said in a statement. ,” The ruling came on a plea that challenged the December 18, 2019 NCLAT order which reinstated Shapoorji Pallonji Group scion Cyrus Mistry as the executive chairman of Tata Sons. The Tata-Mistry dispute began when Mistry who succeed, ed Ratan Tata in 2012, was ousted four years later. ‘Fair compensation’ not adjudicated The bench refused to entertain Cyrus Pallonji Mistry’s plea for fair compensation for his 18.5% stake in Tata Sons saying “the valuation of the shares of SP Group depends upon the value of the stake of Tata Sons in listed equities, unlisted equities, immovable assets etc... Therefore, we cannot adjudicate on the fair compensation”. | P10 PAGES 12 daughters receive mujib’s peace prize Upholds Tata Sons’ decision to sack him as chairman; Dec 2019 NCLAT order set aside In a huge win for Tata Sons, the Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the ouster of former Tata Sons executive chairman Cyrus Mistry was legal, setting aside a 2019 National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) order that directed his reinstatement. A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice S A Bobde said, “There was no oppression of the minority shareholder (Mistry). There was no mismanagement by Tata Sons.” The apex court, however, added it was open for Tata and Mistry to work out their terms of separation. The court answered all the legal questions arising out of this dispute in favour of Tata Sons bringing an end to one of the biggest corporate battles in recent times. “If someone, aggrieved after his removal from office can engage in shadowboxing through the companies controlled by him, he cannot accuse the very same person who chose him as successor to be a shadow director. Someone who gained entry through the very same door, cannot condemn it when asked to exit,” PM Modi hands over the Gandhi Peace Prize to Mujibur Rahman’s daughters Rehana (L) and Hasina | PTI Modi hails Bangabandhu, announces scholarship on Day I in Bangladesh p u s h k a r b a n a k a r @ New Delhi Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday began his twoday trip to Bangladesh by hailing the contributions of Bangab a n d h u S h e i k h M u j i bu r Rahman and the Indian armed forces in Bangladesh war of liberation. “Bangabandhu gave up his life for the people of Bangladesh. Today, on the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence and Bangabandhu’s birth centenary celebrations, I remember and salute his contribution and the contributions of the Indian armed forces, mukti jodhas in Bangladesh’s war of independence. Bangabandhu was a ray of hope in troubled times. He ensured that no one can oppress Bangladesh,” Modi said at the Nation- Hand Ansari over to UP, SC tells Punjab E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E al Day celebrations of Bangladesh in Dhaka. Rahman, on March 26, 1971, had proclaimed independence from Pakistan. Saying that India and Bangladesh’s future together has a lot in store, he said it is important that New Delhi and Dhaka progress together. “Youth of both countries need to be connected for better ties. I hence announce the setting up of suvarna jayanti scholarships for Bangladeshi students and invite 50 entrepreneurs of Bangladesh to visit India,” he said. Earlier, Modi presented the Gandhi Peace Prize 2020, which was awarded posthumously to Mujib, to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Modi also recalled how he had participated in Bangladesh’s struggle for independence by holding a satyagraha. “The freedom struggle of Bangladesh was a significant moment in my journey My col. leagues and I had done a satyagraha. I was in my early twenties. I even had the opportunity to go to jail during this satyagraha for Bangladesh’s struggle for freedom,” he said. Hasina paid tributes and acknowledged India’s contribution to Bangladesh’s independence struggle. She recalled how members of her family includ, ing Bangabandhu, had been assassinated on August 15, 1975. Modi arrived in Dhaka to a red carpet welcome, with the Bangladesh prime minister breaking protocol and greeting him at the airport. Modi proceeded to the National Martyrs’ Memorial in Savar in Dhaka and paid tributes. continued on P7 plea for stay on electoral bond rejected by sc express news service @ New Delhi The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a petition filed by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) seeking to halt the sale of electoral bonds just ahead of polls in four states and a Union Territory, saying the scheme was in place since 2018 and that there were enough safeguards to prevent its misuse. “In light of the scheme introduced in 2018 and that they have been released in 2018, 2019 and 2020 without impediment, we don’t see any reason to stay the issuance at this stage,” the bench headed by CJI SA Bobde said. It added that fresh bonds can be issued from 1 April. “Certain safeguards have already been provided by this court in its interim order dated April 12, 2019,” said the bench. The ADR in its plea expressed apprehension that further sale of bonds before the upcoming elections would further increase “il- Night curfew back in Maharashtra, four more states see spike don in net @ New Delhi/Chandigarh The Supreme Court on Friday directed Punjab government to hand over the custody of gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari, who is lodged in Rupnagar jail, to UP Police. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and RS Reddy said this should happen in two weeks. The order comes as a setback for Ansari, a five-time MLA from Mau, who has over 30 criminal cases in his name. A special court in UP will decide whether he will be housed at the Allahabad jail or Banda . The court accepted the arguments of UP government that Ansari’s presence was necessary for trials in the state and dismissed his plea that he would be in danger in UP. Ansari had been lodged in various UP jails since 2015 before he was shifted to Punjab. A m o ng st sever al cas e s against Ansari, one is of the murder of Krishna Nand Rai, for mer UP MLA, who was killed in 2005. Rai’s wife Alka Rai, who is also a BJP MLA, recently wrote to Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, alleging that her party’s government in Punjab was helping Ansari evade trial. Ansari is lodged in district jail Rupnagar in Punjab in connection with an alleged extortion case since January 2019. Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) demanded a judicial inquiry into the ‘conspiracy’ to give shelter to Ansari. SAD spokesman Daljit Singh Cheema said the verdict had lowered Punjab’s image in the country “An . impression has gone out that Punjab Congress can stoop to any level to extend protection to a criminal,” he said. Transactions via banking channels Night curfew will be back in Maharashtra from Sunday as the state continues to register a record surge in cases every day, becoming the lead contributor in driving up the nationwide Covid-19 count. Maharashtra recorded 36,902 new cases on Friday the , highest one-day rise since the pandemic began, with Mumbai reporting its biggest ever tally of 5,515 new cases. In view of the alarming increase, night curfew will be imposed in the entire state from March 28. Malls will remain shut from 8 pm to 7 am. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray also warned of stricter restrictions if people do not observe Covid-19 safety protocol. Thackeray reviewed the situation at a meeting with divisional commissioners, district collectors, SPs, deans of medical colleges and asked officials to ensure adequate hospital beds and medicines. The other states that reported a surge on Friday are Punjab, Gujarat, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh. Gujarat recorded 2,190 new cases, its highest daily rise so far, taking the total caseload to 2,96,320. The one-day spike in cases has crossed the 2,000-mark in the state for the first time since the pandemic started. Punjab reported its highest 24-hour spike, recording 3,176 cases on Friday, surpassing the previous record of 2,896 on September 17 last year. Madhya Pradesh extended Sunday lockdown in Gwalior, Vidisha, Ujjain, Narsinghpur and Saunsar, effective from Saturday 9 pm to Monday 6 am. Sunday lockdown was had earlier been imposed in Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur, Khargone, Ratlam, Chhindwara and Betul. The state government also decided to close shops in hotspot cities at 9 pm. The nationwide tally saw a single-day spike of 59,118 new infections, the highest this year. Worried over the upward trend, the Union Health Ministry has rushed two high-level multi-disciplinary teams to Chhattisgarh and Chandigarh to work with the respective governments to ascertain reasons, assist in undertaking gap analysis and recommend containment measures. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said the surge is closely monitored and measures are taken to arrest the trend. The Centre is planning to widen the scope of the immunisation drive. polls bengal and assam first phase today Amid tight security cover & Covid-19 protocols, focus on 77 seats in 2 states | P7 legal and illicit funding of political parties through shell companies”. Dismissing the contention regarding lack of transparency the , bench said there may not be complete anonymity in financing of political parties by corporate houses. “If the purchase of bonds as well as their encashment could happen only through banking channels and if purchase of bonds are allowed only to customers who fulfill KYC (Know Your Customer) norms, the information about the purchaser will certainly be available with SBI, which alone is authorised to issue and encash the bonds,” the bench said. “Moreover, any expenditure incurred by anyone in purchasing the bonds through banking channels will have to be accounted as expenditure in his books of accounts,” it added. The bench rejected the contention that RBI was opposed to the scheme, saying it was concerned with the issue of bonds in scrip form rather than in demat form. Express read FIR registered in Raj phone-tapping case Fire engines try to douse flames at the Covid-19 care centre in Mumbai which caught fire in the wee hours of Friday | pti Fire at Mumbai Covid centre kills 10 E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ Mumbai AT least 10 coronavirus patients died and several others were injured in a major fire at Sunrise Hospital in Mumbai on Friday The hospital is situated . on the top floor of Dreams Mall at Mulund. According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the blaze was noticed around midnight on the first floor, and quickly spread to the upper floors. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray visited the spot and ordered an inquiry He . apologised for the incident and said the guilty won’t be spared. “In view of rising Covid-19 cases, permission was given to start new treatment centres or hospital. It seems there were lapses in fire safety,” he said. Thackeray also announced `5 lakh as financial help to the families of the deceased. Congress minister Aslam Sheikh said he was surprised to see a hospital inside the mall. “The Dream Mall itself has not even got the occupation certificate (OC). Then how was the hospital set up inside the mall? Strict action will be taken against the guilty he added. ,” BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis alleged that BMC’s corruption was responsible for the fire. “It is the corrupt practices in BMC that could have led to the incident. Why was no fire audit performed before a care centre was set up?” he asked. NEW DELHI: Delhi Police has registered an FIR in connection with the alleged phone tapping case in Rajasthan, based on a complaint by Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. A complaint of criminal conspiracy and unlawfully intercepting was filed at Tughlaq Road police station last week against Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot’s OSD Lokesh Sharma and others. The controversy erupted last July during a rebellion by Sachin Pilot and 18 other Congress MLAs. Order reserved on Maratha reservation New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday reserved judgement on petitions challenging the constitutional validity of a Maharashtra law granting reservation to the Maratha community in education and jobs. A five-judge bench also reserved judgement on whether the top court’s 1992 verdict for capping reservation at 50 per cent needs re-examination. The court was hearing appeals challenging the Bombay HC order upholding reservations. ‘Didn’t let Students lose a year’ Express news service @ Chennai Much like everything else, the biggest education conclave, ThinkEdu, went virtual this year. Union minister for education Ramesh Pokhriyal, in his inaugural address, elaborated on his vision for the National Education Policy and the way ahead. He also spoke about how India was among the very few countries in the world that didn’t let students’ year go waste. “Even when the rest of the world had foregone a year, India ensured that its students didn’t waste it. Around 33 crore students were given education online. Provisions were made for those who couldn’t come online through mediums like radio,” said Pokhriyal. TNIE Editorial Director Prabhu Chawla kicked off the ninth edition of ThinkEdu, saying: “This year, we have brought illuminating discussions and conversations about new ideas from In- dia’s finest thinkers — scientists, businessmen and storytellers.” In a different session, Subhash Kak was in conversation with Indic scholar Dushyanth Sridhar and senior journalist Kaveree Bamzai. Kak spoke about how he sifted through various layers of Sanskrit literature to find a lot of subjects, including astronomy, that had been lost for thousands of years. “It opened a whole new horizon to me,” he said. S Vaidhyasubramaniam, Vice-Chancellor, SASTRA Deemed-to-be University was in conversation with Makarand Paranjape, Director, Indian Institute of Advance Study, who spoke about Swami Vivekananda and AI replacing human teaching. “Swamiji is so important because he takes us beyond the idea of education being s o m e s o r t o f l ive l i h o o d training.” Full coverage P8 We successfully conducted JEE and NEET amid the pandemic, which are the country’s largest competitive exams - Ramesh Pokhriyal, Union education minister
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