FRIDAY RELIEF AS INDONESIA LIFTS BAN ON PALM OIL EXPORT 20 In a major relief for India’s FMGC sector, exports will resume on Monday, almost a month after the ban went into effect MAY, 2022 DOMESTIC SUPPLY TRIPLES: WIDODO epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard Once Indonesia announced its export ban, the price of palm oil shot up 200%, putting pressure on India, which imports about 8.5 million tonnes of the commodity annually. Indonesian leader said the ban has helped triple the supply of palm oil from 64,500 tons to 2,11,000 tons per month twitter.com/TheMornStandard SC RELIEF AZAM KHAN FINALLY GETS BAIL Interim bail in an alleged cheating case paves way for release of the SP leader A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 8 DIALOGUE IN FEDERALISM “Indian federalism is a dialogue between cooperative and uncooperative federalism where the federal units are at liberty to use different means of persuasion,” the ruling said GST Council’s decisions not cast in stone: SC Says Parl, assemblies free to legislate on it; experts fear fresh face-off with Centre M O N I K A YA D A V @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court opened a can of worms on Thursday when in the course of delivering a verdict in a case, it held that the GST Council’s recommendations have only persuasive value and are not binding. “The Parliament and the state legislatures possess simultaneous powers to legislate on GST. Article 246A of the Constitution does not envisage a repugnancy provision to resolve the inconsistencies between the Central and state laws on GST. The recommendations of the GST Council are the product of a collaborative dialogue involving the Union and states. They are recommendatory in nature,” the court observed. The bench made the observation while upholding a Gujarat High Court order to revoke Integrated GST (IGST) on ocean freight from Indian importers. It held that the IGST paid on ocean freight is unconstitutional and those who have already paid it will be eligible for refund. Some state finance ministers from non-BJP states had in the past questioned the authority of the GST Council and even termed the GST (in its current form and shape) as against the federalism. In May 2021, Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thi- agarajan had berated the GST system and council saying they function with an omnipotent and all-encompassing mandate not envisioned in the Constitution. Tax experts believe the SC’s observation might increase the state vs Centre tussle on many GST issues. Mahesh Jaising, Partner, Deloitte India said, “This would have far reaching implications on various other matters where states are not in agreement with the decisions of the GST Council, especially in light of the compensation period coming to an end in June.” Article 279A of the Constitution specifies that the GST Council will only make recommendations to states and the Centre on taxes, cesses and surcharge levied by them, which may be subsumed in the GST Act. However, Sushil Modi, who has played a crucial role in shaping the GST as a member of the council while he was finance minister of Bihar, says the court’s observation will not make much of a diff e re n c e. “ T h e S u p re m e Court’s ruling is not new. It is already there in the Constitution. There won’t be any adverse implication of this amendment as no state would like to deviate from the majority for the fear of being at disadvantage or being singled out,” he said. NEW DELHI PAGES 12 Indonesian President Joko Widodo said palm oil’s price has fallen from $1.35 per litre to about $1.17 since the ban, which was meant to increase its local supply and reduce the domestic price. The war in Ukraine, which accounts for nearly half of the world’s sunflower oil, had put pressure on the global supply of cooking oil, making palm oil prices jump N A M I TA B A J PA I @ Lucknow A report of a court-ordered survey conducted in the Gyanvapi mosque on May 14-16, which was submitted to a Varanasi civil court on Thursday claims , a black stone cylindrical structure found in the middle of the wuzu (ablution) pond on the premises resembled a Shivalinga, highly placed sources said. As soon as the cylindrical structure became visible to the court-appointed commission, the plaintiffs and their lawyers started calling it a Shivalinga while the mosque authorities termed it a fountain that was defunct for years, the report adds. Sources citing the report said the mosque staff failed to give a definite timeline on when the fountain became defunct. Initially, they claimed it was not working for the last 20 years but then they scaled down the figure to 12 years. The mosque staff also failed to make it operational when requested to do so, they added. On top of the cylindrical structure is an half-inch thick white layer whose radius is 9 inch and has five equal parts. A narrow 63 cm deep hole was noticed at the centre of the cylindrical structure, but the survey team found no arrangement for a water supply pipe for the fountain to function. Sources claimed the cylindrical structure was 2.5 ft high with a radius of 4 ft at the base. The report says when layers of moss deposited over that structure were removed, its black colour became visible. DELHI Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 18 MAY 19 532 767 00 520 817 01 H A R P R E E T BA J WA @ Chandigarh Sidhu rides an elephant during a protest on hike in petrol, diesel prices in Patiala | PTI Sidhu, incidentally, was in Patiala on Thursday where he rode an elephant while taking part in a protest against inflation. He has reportedly decided not to file a curative petition.After his surrender or arrest, Sidhu is likely to be incarcerated in Patiala Central Jail, where his bête noir and senior Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Majithia is also lodged. Gurnam’s family expressed happiness at the verdict. “We are thankful to the Supreme Court and satisfied with the verdict. We had faith in god and whatever he has done is right,” said Parveen Kaur, daughter-in-law of the deceased. Several political leaders, including SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, said that the victim’s family had got the justice at last. J8.00 PRICE FALL IN LOCAL MARKET BEHIND DECISION STRUCTURE FOUND IN GYANVAPI RESEMBLES SHIVALINGA: SURVEY Sidhu gets one-year jail term in 34-year-old road rage case FORMER Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu was on Thursday sentenced to one-year’s rigorous imprisonment by the Supreme Court in a 34-year-old road rage case. The order came on a review petition filed by the family of Gurnam Singh, who had died after being allegedly thrashed by the cricketer-turned-politician and his aide way back in December 1988. “Will submit to the majesty of law...,”Sidhu tweeted after the SC order. He is likely to surrender on Friday . A Bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar had on March 25 reserved its verdict on the review petition challenging the SC’s 2018 order letting off Sidhu with a fine of `1,000 in the case. The top court had convicted him under Section 323 of the Indian Penal code. The punishment for the offence under this section carries a maximum jail imprisonment up to one year, or a fine up to `1,000, or both. Sidhu and one of his associates, Rupinder Singh Sandhu, had allegedly hit Gurnam Singh on the head following an altercation over the right of passage on December 27, 1988. A sessions court in Patiala had on September 22, 1999, acquitted Sidhu and his associate, due to a lack of evidence in the case. OF WORLD’S PALM OIL COMES FROM INDONESIA WHEELS OF JUSTICE Dec 27, 1988: 65-year-old Gurnam Singh allegedly assaulted by Navjot Singh Sidhu and his aide R S Sandhu upon being asked to remove his vehicle; dies in hospital; FIR as lodged in Punjab’s Patiala district Sept 22, 1999: Trial court in Patiala acquits Sidhu and Sandhu 2002: Appeals filed by Punjab govtt and complainant in Punjab and Haryana HC Dec 1, 2006: HC says cases of both accused to be dealt with separately; convicts both and sentences them to three years in jail Jan 2007: SC suspends conviction May 2018: SC sets aside Sidhu’s conviction for culpable homicide not amounting to murder Sept 2018: Complainant files review petition, SC agrees to hear March 25, 2022: SC reserves order on review petition May 19: SC awards one-year jail to Sidhu Now, court nod for case against Mathura masjid EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Lucknow The survey of the Gyanvapi mosque was completed on May 17 and the report submitted to a Varanasi court on Thursday | PTI The survey report also mentions the ground plan, zig-zag cuts inside domes of the mosque and the main mandaps, which matched the map of g round plan of the Aadi Visheshwar temple as printed i n m u l t i p l e b o o k s, s a i d sources. A swastik was found on the inner wall near the south pole of the main dome, sources added. Symbols of three damroos were reportedly spotted at the main gate of the mosque. In the north-west direction, a 15 ft x15 ft basement was spotted and it was reportedly covered with debris. Stones lying in the debris had images resembling the architecture of north Indian temples. Sources also claimed that the survey report referred to a 3 ft deep pond having 30 taps all around it. At a distance of 83 ft from the pond, an idol resembling Nandi was spotted by the surveyors. The report also mentions the images of trishul, snake, bells, betel leaves, elephants, bases for housing idols of deities the survey team found, said sources. Another report submitted by sacked advocate commissioner Ajay Kuamr Mishra of the survey conducted by him on May 6 and 7 mentions many symbols resembling the architecture of north Indian temples like lotus, snakes and idols on western wall of P7 the Gyanvapi mosque. Health centres functioning hampered by lack of infra E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi A Union Health Ministry report on 317 Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres in 18 states has flagged infrastructure as a key bottleneck in the implementation of the ambitious scheme, apart from nonavailability of trained doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers. Delayed allocation of funds from the states to the districts; lack of electricity and poor internet infrastructure leading to hampered teleconsultation services and doubling staff workload and delay in payment to staff are the other factors hampering the functioning of these centres. “Most states failed to ensure a full staff complement at the Health and Wellness Centres,” the report said, but added that the implementation was on track in most states to achieve the December 2022 target. “Overall, there has been an improvement in inequity in access, despite existing constraints such as infrastructure availability and status of peripheral health facilities.” S TA F F A V A I L A B I L I T Y AT H E A LT H C E N T R E S State Mizoram Arunachal Pradesh Chhattisgarh Gujarat Nagaland Sikkim Manipur Tripura Meghalaya Andhra Pradesh Karnataka Assam Odisha Punjab Maharashtra Uttar Pradesh Jharkhand Bihar Medical staff at PHCs 100% Medical staff at sub-centres 100% 75% 83.3% 75 % 75% 75% 75% 66.6% 50% 50% 40% 25% 25% 25% 25% 22.2% 0% 0% 0% 44.4% 88.8% 66.7% 33.3% 50% 16.7% 66.7% 70% 11.1% 83.3% 50% 80% 66.7% 50% 16.7% 100% REPORT SUBMITTED 15-PAGE report of court-ordered survey of Gyanvapi mosque submitted to Varanasi judge THREE sealed boxes containing maps, chips of still photos and video clips of the survey conducted on May 6 and 7, and May 14 to 16 part of the documentation EIGHT 32 GB chips, 1,500 frames of still photographs and 10 hours of video recordings in the sealed boxes AMID the ongoing litigation on the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, a Mathura district court on Thursday allowed petitions seeking removal of the Shahi Idgah Masjid abutting the Shree Krishna Janmabhoomi temple. “The suit to remove the Shahi Idgah mosque on the ground that it was built over the Krishna Janmabhoomi land is maintainable,” district judge Rajeev Bharti said, overturning a civil court’s order that dismissed a bunch of petitions seeking it. “Right to sue of the plaintiff will stand restored. Case will be restored at its original number,” the district court said. The order came on a revision petition filed by deities Bhagwan Shrikrishna Virajman of Katra Keshav Dev temple and Asthan Shri Krishna Janmbhoomi, through next of friends Ranjana Agnihotri and six others challenging the dismissal. Three lawsuits were filed seeking removal of the Masjid on the grounds that it was built on orders of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb over 13.37 acre on the premises of the Katra Keshav Dev temple adjacent to Shree Krishna Janmabhoomi. The civil court had dismissed the petitions on September 30, 2020 saying it was in contravention with the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991. The petitioners claimed that as Lord Krishna devotees, their right to practice and propagate their religion under Article 25 was infringed. EXPRESS READ ‘China bridge in occupied territory’ New Delhi: India on Thursday said the area where China is reportedly constructing a bridge across the Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh is considered an “occupied area” by New Delhi for decades, and that the government monitors such developments. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at a briefing, “We have seen the reports on the bridge. It is a military issue...We consider it to be an occupied area. The Ministry of Defence will be able to comment on the details,” Bagchi said. “The area that is referred to...we have always felt this was occupied and we have had our hope for decades... We monitor such developments.” P7 Plea on Cyrus Mistry’s removal junked New Delhi: The Supreme Court Thursday dismissed a plea of the Sapoorji Pallonji (SP) Group firms seeking a review of the 2021 verdict which had upheld the Tata Group’s decision to remove Cyrus Mistry as the executive chairman of the Tata Sons. A bench comprising Chief Justice of India N V Ramana and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, however, agreed to delete certain remarks made in the 2021 judgment against Mistry after the counsel for the Sapoorji Pallonji (SP) Group said that he was willing to withdraw certain paragraphs, purportedly written against the bench, from their application. P10 Terror funding: Yasin Malik convicted New Delhi: Chief of banned JKLF Yasin Malik was on Thursday convicted by a Delhi court under the stringent anti-terror law, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), in a case related to funding of terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir, after he pleaded guilty to all charges framed against him. Special Judge Praveen Singh posted the matter for May 25 to announce the quantum of punishment and also directed the National Investigation Agency to assess Malik’s financial condition to determine the amount of fine that could be imposed. Malik faces the maximum punishment of a death penalty, while the minimum sentence for the offences committed by him is life imprisonment. P4 BOXING GLORY Nikhat gets her due, now on top of worlds E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Chennai NIKHAT Zareen. The name is quite familiar in Indian boxing. Known for her punches and quick foot movements inside the ring and for a few words outside, sometimes vitriolic and certain times sombre. Nikhat’s rivalry with six-time World Championships medallist, MC Mary Kom, is more popular than her boxing pedigree. When Nikhat beat Thailand’s Jitpong Jutamas in the 52kg fi- nal of the World Boxing Championships on Thursday, she punched the air and celebrated. Those days of bitterness and frustration blurred into oblivion. Growing up in the shadow of a legend is not easy It can be heart. breaking at times and if she continues winning and securing the space, which under normal circumstances, would be Nikhat’s natural domain, it can be worse. There were words of despair. She cried and endured in silence. All she hoped for was good tidings. She considers herself stubborn and that perhaps could be one of the reasons why she never stopped dreaming. Champions usually don’t dwell much on missed chances. In 2014, she was the youth silver medallist and before that junior world champion in 2011. She also represented India at the world championships once in 2016 in 54kg. The pressure of performing was immense on the Nizamabad girl. For mortals, it would have been enough to make the knees wobble, but not for Nikhat. With 2024 Paris Olympics looming, nothing could have been more soothing than this gold. However, the weight categories available are 50kg and 54kg. India will return with three medals. Apart from Nikhat’s gold, Manisha Moun (57kg) and debutant Parveen Hooda (63kg), have won bronze.
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