13:22 CBI would not change Mallya lookout notice without PM’s nod: Rahul: Congress president Rahul Gandhi continues his attack on the BJP over Vijay Mallya. @RahulGandhi tweets: “Mallya’s Great Escape was aided by the CBI quietly changing the “Detain’ notice for him, to “Inform’. The CBI reports directly to the PM. It is inconceivable that the CBI, in such a high profile, controversial case, would change a lookout notice without the approval of the PM.”
Yesterday, Rahul Gandhi accused the BJP-led Central Government of providing Vijay Mallya a “free passage” to “run away” from India.
“The government is lying on Vijay Mallya. He was given a free passage out of the country by the Finance Minister,” he said while addressing media, adding, “The Finance Minister has colluded in a criminal running away from the country.”
On Wednesday, fugitive liquor baron Mallya claimed that he met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before leaving the country in March 2016.
“I met the Finance Minister before I left,” Mallya said on Wednesday outside Westminster Magistrates’ Court where his extradition case is being heard.
Alleging that Mallya was allowed to escape by changing the ‘arrest notice’ to ‘inform notice’, the Congress president hinted that the CBI could have been involved in the matter.
“Finance Minister talks to an absconder, absconder tells him that he going to London. Finance Minister does not tell this to the CBI, ED or police. Why? The arrest notice was changed to inform notice. This can be done only by the one who controls CBI,” he said.
Rebutting Mallya’s claims, Jaitley had told ANI, “I have seen the statement of Vijay Mallya where he claims to have met me with an offer of settlement. Nothing could be further from truth. I never gave him (Mallya) an appointment, never at my office, never at my residence. Nor I was ever offered to meet him.”
12:57 Asiad gold medallist Swapna to get customised Adidas shoes: Asian Games gold-medallist Swapna Barman will have customised shoes for her 12-toed feet soon as the Sports Authority of India has tied up with footwear company Adidas to ensure specially-designed gear for the heptathlete.
“After coming to know about Swapna’s case, the Sports Minister immediately directed us from Jakarta to get customised shoes made for her. We have taken up the matter with Adidas and they have agreed to provide the footwear,” SAI Director General Neelam Kapur told PTI.
Born with six toes in both her feet, Swapna’s plight came to light only after she became the first Indian athlete to win an Asiad gold in heptathlon with a career-best performance in the 18th edition of the Games in Jakarta last month.
After her victory, the athlete made an emotional appeal for customised shoes and the SAI immediately sprung into action after Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore directed the concerned authorities to take up the matter on an urgent basis. The SAI has already sent a communication to Swapna’s coach Subash Sarkar at its Centre of Excellence in Kolkata, asking for specifications, such as size, pressure points and drawings for the customised spikes.
Barman confirmed that he got a mail from the SAI headquarters in New Delhi On Thursday, seeking the necessary details required for the shoes. “Yes, I got a communication from SAI, Delhi asking for specification to prepare Swapna’s customised shoes. I am yet to meet Swapna as she is injured but I will provide the details soon once I meet her,” Sarkar said from Kolkata.
Sarkar said he had told SAI officials about the need for customised shoes for Swapna just before the Asian Games but the matter gained importance only after her victory in Jakarta. “Once I informally told a SAI official about the shoe issue but I never took up the matter seriously. Actually I didn’t want her to alter things just before the Asian Games as she got adjusted to the regular shoes and was doing fine. Trying a new shoe just before the Games could have been adverse,” he said.
“And she hadn’t gained fame at that time. Now after winning the gold, she has become a celebrity and every company is trying to get mileage out of her.” Swapna was identified in 2012 and since then she has been training at the SAI Centre of Excellence in Kolkata. Swapna was inducted in the Government’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme in September last year. — PTI
12:51 DMK President MK Stalin appoints senior DMK leader TR Baalu as party’s Principal Secretary.
12:42 WPI inflation drops to 4-month low of 4.53 pc in Aug: Inflation based on wholesale prices eased to a four-month low of 4.53 per cent in August on softening of prices of food articles, especially vegetables.
The Wholesale Price Index based inflation stood at 5.09 per cent in July and 3.24 per cent in August last year. According to the government data released Friday, food articles registered deflation at 4.04 per cent in August 2018.
Last month, deflation in this category was 2.16 per cent. Deflation in vegetables was 20.18 per cent in August, as against 14.07 per cent in the previous month.
Deflationary trend in food articles offset the double-digit inflation in ‘fuel and power’ basket in August. Inflation in this category was 17.73 per cent as prices of domestic fuel increased during the month, in line with high global crude oil rates. — PTI
12:28 PM’s Muslim outreach in Indore : Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, spiritual head of the Dawoodi Bohra community felicitates Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Saifee Mosque in Indore.
Modi said that the Ayushman Yojana has come as a savior for about 50 crore poor people of the country since it will ensure free medical treatment worth Rs 5 lakhs in one year. The trial of this scheme is underway.
Praising the Bohra community, the PM said he had an old relationship with the community. “Main ek prakaar se samaaj ka sadasya ban gaya hoon. Aaj bhi mere darwaaze aapke parivaar jaanon ke liye khule hain. My doors are still open for you.”
12:00 SC issues slew of directions to Centre, states for rehabilitation of leprosy patients : The Supreme Court Friday directed the Centre to consider framing separate rules for granting disability certificates to leprosy patients for availing reservation and various welfare benefits. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud issued a slew of directions to the Centre and all states for eradication of leprosy and rehabilitation of those suffering from it.
“Medical staff in private and government hospitals be sensitised to ensure that leprosy patients do not face discrimination,” the bench said.
The apex court further said that awareness campaign should be launched so that leprosy patients are not isolated and allowed to lead a normal married life. The court also asked the Centre and states to frame rules that public and private schools do not discriminate against children from leprosy affected families. — PTI
11:42 PM addresses Bohra Muslims: I feel a part of your community: Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Saifee Mosque in Indore to attend the Ashara Mubaraka — the commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Hussain — organized by the Dawoodi Bohra community.
Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj S Chouhan at the Saifee Mosque: “Aisa apne mulk se mohabaat karne wala, dusron ki madad karne wala aur anushasit agar koi samaj hai toh woh Bohra Samaj hai.”
Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, the spiritual head of the Dawoodi Bohra community responds: “May you get success in all that you do for the country.”
PM Modi speaking now, says the Bohra community always follows the Prophet’s guidance and that it was an honour for him to address the community. “I feel like a member of the Bohra community,” the PM said. He says everyone should unite to work for the greater good of the country. “Unity makes us unique from other nations,” he said.
11:22 USD 52,701 spent on curtains for Nikki Haley’s residence: Report : The US State Department spent about USD 52,701 last year on customised and mechanised curtains for the official residence of US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley at a time when the department was undergoing deep budget cuts and had frozen hiring, according to a media report.
The report in The New York Times said Haley is the first US ambassador to live in the residence, located in a new building just blocks away from the UN headquarters in New York.
A spokesman for Haley said plans to buy the curtains were made in 2016, during the Obama administration and that Haley had no say in the purchase. The curtains themselves cost USD 29,900, while the motors and hardware needed to open and close them automatically cost USD 22,801, the report said, citing contracts. Installation took place from March to August last year, during Haley’s tenure as ambassador.
The NYT report said that Haley’s curtains are more expensive than the USD 31,000 dining room set purchased for the office of Ben Carson, the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. — PTI
11:18 SC awards RS 50 lakh compensation to scientist in ISRO spy case : The verdict on another key case by CJI Dipak Misra before he demits office. A three-judge Supreme Court bench held that ISRO scientist S Nambi Narayanan was unnecessarily arrested, harassed and subjected to mental cruelty in the ISRO spy case. The court awards Rs 50 lakh compensation to the scientist and sets up a three-member panel headed by its former judge D K Jain to probe the framing of Narayanan in the case.
The court said that the arrest of the ISRO scientist was ‘needless and unnecessary’.
In July, this year, the apex court reserved the case for judgment, when the CBI had said it had nothing to hide. The agency, which took over the probe from the State Police and filed a closure report in 1996, even invited the court to launch a probe into the its conduct in the case.
Narayanan has accused the Kerala Police and the IB of torturing and extracting statements from him. The State of Kerala had filed an affidavit saying it was willing to unconditionally abide by whatever the apex court orders.
11:00 Maha court issues arrest warrant against AP CM, others in 2010 case: A court in Maharashtra has issued an arrest warrant against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and 15 others in a 2010 case related to an agitation staged by them over the Babli project across the Godavari river.
Judicial Magistrate First Class of Dharmabad in Nanded district N R Gajbhiye issued the order, directing the police to arrest all the accused and produce them in the court by September 21.
Naidu and others, then in the opposition in the united Andhra Pradesh, were arrested and lodged in a Pune jail in connection with the agitation staged by them near the Babli project site in Maharashtra, opposing it on the ground that it would affect the people downstream. All of them were released later, though they had not sought bail. — PTI
10:50 Five-time Meghalaya CM writes bitter letter to Rahul, quits Congress : In a major setback to the Congress party, senior leader and five-time Meghalaya CM DD Lapang says he has quit the party.
Writing to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Lapang questioned the All India Congress Committee’s policy of phasing out elderly leaders from the party in order to infuse new blood.
“In my opinion it means that the service and contribution of senior and elderly people is no longer useful to the party. Since the spirit and enthusiasm to work for the people is still burning inside me, this restriction made me frustrated and compelled me to be no longer comfortable to be in the party,” the 84-year old wrote.
In his resignation letter Lapang added, “I am glad that I have had the privilege to be in the Congress for the last four decades as an eminent member.”
Lapang was first elected to the state assembly in 1972 from the Nongpoh assembly seat as an independent candidate.
He was removed as the Pradesh Congress president last December after five lawmakers resigned from the assembly to join the ruling National People’s Party, an NDA ally.
10:33 And another picture of Omar with his parents, likely at Srinagar’s famed tulip garden.
10:32 It’s Farooq Abdullah’s marriage anniversary today: It’s former J-K CM and National Conference party chief Dr Farooq Abdullah’s golden wedding anniversary, his son, also a former CM of J-K tells us on Twitter. Omar, posts this throwback picture of his parents, saying, @OmarAbdullah “My mum will murder me for this but if not today then when!! Happy 50th wedding anniversary to my parents. Love you both xx.”
Dr Abdullah is married to Molly, a nurse of British origin. They have three children — Omar, and three daughters, Safia, Hinna, and Sara. Sara is married to Congress MP Sachin Pilot.
10:14 Sensex climbs 300 pts on positive economic data, rupee recovery: The BSE benchmark Sensex reclaimed the 38,000-mark by surging over 300 points in opening trade Friday on heavy buying by domestic institutional investors as the industrial production grew at 6.6 per cent in July and retail inflation cooled to a 10-month low.
The 30-share barometer pushed higher by 318.85 points, or 0.85 per cent, to 38,036.81. The gauge had risen 304.83 points in the previous session on Wednesday.
Sectoral indices were green across the board, with metal, power, PSU, realty and oil & gas stocks posting sizeable gains of up to 1.66 per cent. The NSE index Nifty was trading above the 11,400-mark, up 84.90 points, or 0.75 per cent, at 11,454.80. — PTI
10:04 Food for the gods: A 126 kilo modak to be offered to Lord Ganesha at Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple in Pune for Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. The modak has been made using dry fruits and silver leaf.
09:56 Rupee strengthens by 50 paise against dollar in early trade: Continuing its recovery, the rupee Friday strengthened by 50 paise to 71.68 against the dollar in early trade in the forex market on the government’s assurance that all steps would be taken to ensure the domestic currency does not depreciate to unreasonable levels.
Besides, dollar selling by exporters and banks, the greenback’s weakness against other currencies overseas, helped the domestic currency recover, forex dealers said. They said a higher opening in the equity market and positive macro data released on Wednesday also supported the rupee’s recovery, they added.– PTI
09:54 7 Kolkata bridges identified as ‘most vulnerable’: In the wake of the Majerhat bridge collapse on September 4, the West Bengal public works department has identified seven bridges in the city as “most vulnerable” requiring urgent repairs, a senior official of the department said.
The seven bridges are out of the 20, which, the PWD has classified as “distressed” structures. The seven bridges labelled as “most vulnerable” are Bijon setu, Gouribari Aurobindo Setu, Belgachhia bridge, Tollygunge Circular Road bridge, Dhakuria bridge, Tallah bridge and Santragachi bridge, the PWD official told PTI.
“Load-bearing capacities of these bridges were carried out and depending on that report, we have suggested to the police to impose restriction on goods-carrying vehicles to prevent further deterioration of the condition of the distressed structures,” he said.
The Kolkata Police has already banned movement of all goods vehicles on the first four bridges and is exploring the possibility whether a similar decision can be taken for the remaining ones, a senior officer of Kolkata Traffic Police said.
Image: Three persons were killed and 24 injured in the September 4 collapse of a portion of Majerhat bridge.
09:51 Penalty imposed on US company for paying low wages to H-1B employees: A Redmond-based information technology staffing company was asked to pay over USD 300,000 to its 12 H-1B employees for paying them far below their salary and has been imposed a penalty of over USD 45,000 for violating the labour provisions.
The US Department of Labour Wage and Hour Division during an investigation found the company, which has offices in Bengaluru and Hyderabad, violated the labour provisions of the H-1B visa programme by paying its guest workers far below the required wages, a media release said Thursday.
As a result, People Tech Group Inc has been asked to pay its 12 employees USD 309,914 and has been slapped with a penalty of USD 45,564, it said. Investigators found that the company paid entry-level wages to H-1B computer analysts and computer programmers who performed the work of much more experienced employees and should have received higher prevailing rates, the Department of Labour said. — PTI
09:40 Stupid of Pranab Mukherjee to have attended RSS event: Owaisi: Taking his criticism for RSS, a step further, the AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi on Thursday slammed former President Pranab Mukherjee for attending an RSS event in the past.
“After understanding RSS ideology we have been fighting against it. If anyone else wants to repeat the stupidity and immaturity that Pranab Mukherjee has done by going there, they will bring ruin on themselves. RSS believes in Hindu nationalism and the majority of this country has faith in Indian nationalism. If anyone wants to understand RSS they must read books by their prominent leaders. As much as I am concerned, no such question arises. I have always been against RSS and its ideology and will always be,” he said.
The former President in June this year attended the Third Year Sangha Shiksha Varga event organised at RSS headquarters in Nagpur and addressed the RSS workers.
09:30 Parrikar admitted to hospital in Goa : Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar was admitted to a hospital in Candolim on Thursday afternoon. Speaking to ANI, Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo said, “Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has been admitted to the hospital today afternoon in Candolim and is undergoing treatment.”
Parrikar, who is suffering from a pancreatic ailment, flew to the US earlier this year for treatment. He returned to the country in June, after two-and-half months. Last month, he went there again for a follow-up. – ANI
Image: File pic of Goa CM Manohar Parrikar
09:13 Fuel prices continue northward march:
Fuel prices jumped to an all-time high on Friday, with petrol being sold at Rs 81.28 per litre and diesel at Rs 73.30 per litre in the national capital.
Petrol prices increased by 28 paise per litre, while diesel saw a hike of 22 paise per litre in the national capital, informed the Indian Oil Corporation.
On the other hand, the price of petrol rose to Rs 88.67 per litre in Mumbai, while diesel is being sold at 77.82 per litre.
The continuous hike in the fuel price is being witnessed from past few days, causing much trouble to the common people.
Speaking about the soaring fuel price, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan earlier said that the hike in fuel price in the country is due to international factors, and not under the Centre’s control.
08:57 Kerala govt not taking proper action against bishop: Nun’s family:
The brother of the Kerala nun who has accused the Bishop of Jalandhar, Franco Mulakkal of allegedly raping her on several occasions between 2014 and 2016 on, Thursday blamed the state government for not taking any action into the matter in view of the state elections.
The nun’s brother claimed that Kerala police have not done anything so far and added that some influential politicians are supporting the Bishop.
“Kerala government is not taking any action as they do not want to break the cordiality between the church and the authorities as elections are approaching. Police have not done anything in 78 days. Influential politicians are supporting him,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jalandhar Police Commissioner Praveen Kumar Sinha said that Kerala Police is already looking into the matter and that they would help the latter if they need any assistance.
“According to the Supreme Court, in one case, there cannot be trials at two different places at the same time. The nuns have preferred to serve a complaint in Kerala. Whatever helps Kerala police needs, we will provide them,” Sinha said.
Commenting on the matter, Bishop’s counsel said that his client is being framed. “We have not got any summons yet, when we get then will see what to do. The Bishop is being framed. What if tomorrow its proved that bishop is innocent, then who will be held responsible for his character assassination?” Mandeep Singh said.
08:27 10 inured in fires in multiple US towns near Boston:
Mass evacuations from US towns north of Boston were underway after dozens of fires and suspected gas explosions erupted, police said, leaving at least 10 residents injured, one critically.
Massachusetts State Police said they had responded to 70 reports of fires, explosions and the smell of gas in a widespread zone encompassing the east coast towns of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover.
“Gas lines are currently being depressurised,” police tweeted, adding that “it will take some time.”
“Numerous evacuations of neighbourhoods where there are gas odors are underway,” police said. “Far too early to speculate on cause. Joint investigation will be conducted when situation is stabilised.”
Authorities were to cut power to thousands of metres, police said, and residents in all three towns with utilities service from Columbia Gas had been asked to evacuate immediately.
The mayor of Lawrence requested that all those living in the southern zone of his town leave their homes ahead of the planned power shutdown.
07:50 Changing Look Out Circular against Mallya was error of judgement: CBI:
The CBI said the change in a 2015 Look Out Circular against liquor baron Vijay Mallya from “detain” to merely informing about his movements was an “error” in judgement because he was cooperating in the probe and there was no warrant against him.
Three years later as the controversy surfaced again, the CBI sources said when the first Lookout Circular was issued on October 12, 2015, Mallya was already abroad.
Upon his return the agency was asked by the Bureau of Immigration, if Mallya should be detained as sought in the LoC to which the CBI said there was no need to arrest or detain him as he was a sitting MP and there was no warrant against him, they said.
It said the agency only wanted information on his movements, they said.
Besides, the probe was in an initial stage and the CBI was collecting documents from the IDBI in the Rs 900 crore loan default case, they said.
The CBI issued a fresh LoC against Mallya in the last week of November, 2015 asking airport authorities across the country to “inform” it about Mallya’s movements, thus replacing its previous circular which had sought detention of the businessman if he attempted to leave the country, they said.
The LoC depends on the issuing authority and, unless it asks the BoI to detain a person or to stop him from boarding a plane, no action is taken.
The sources said Mallya travelled abroad in October and returned in November, then made two trips in first and last week of December and also a trip in January, 2016.
In between, he had appeared for questioning thrice since the lookout notices were issued — once in New Delhi and twice in Mumbai between December 9 and 12, 2015.
The said the change in the notice was an error in judgement and since he had been cooperating, there was no reason to stop him from moving abroad.
On March 2, 2016, Mallya left the country and has been in the United Kingdom where he has been fighting the extradition case.