INX Media case: Karti Chidambaram appears before CBI for questioning

Karti Chidambaram. Photo: PTI

Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P Chidambaram, on Wednesday appeared before the CBIin connection with a corruption case.Karti was directed by the Supreme Court to appear for questioning before the CBI.

The agency wants to examine him in connection with a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to media group INX Media for receiving funds from Mauritius when his father P Chidambaram was the Union Finance Minister.

It is alleged that a firm “indirectly controlled” by him received money from INX Media, run by Indrani and Peter Mukerjea.The CBI had issued a notice to Karti to appear for questioning in June but he had sought more time. Later, a look out circular was also issued against him to prevent him from leaving the country, CBI sources said.

A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud allowed Karti to be accompanied by a lawyer at the CBI headquarters during the questioning.The CBI had registered the case on May 15 against Karti, his company Chess Management Services, INX Media

Use NEET as only basis for admission, SC tells Tamil Nadu medical colleges 

MDMK leader Vaiko, along with his party workers, holding a protest against the Central government on NEET issue, in Chennai (Photo: PTI)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the TamilNadu medical colleges to follow the common National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for admissions (NEET).The court observed that NEET will be the only basis for admissions and the counselling will begin on August 24.

The court stated that the counselling should be conducted immediately and the process should end by September 4.On August 16, the medical students from Tamil Nadu moved the Supreme Court seeking directive for the State Government to start medical counselling soon.

This came after the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET), which was made mandatory for admission in the MBBS and the BDS courses across India last year, got separate petitions filed at the Madras andGujarat High Courts, where medical aspirants demanded cancellation of the NEET 2017 as theGujarati and Tamil medium paper were allegedly tougher than the English and Hindi medium.

The medical aspirants in the case are being represented by Nalini Chidambaram before the Apex court.Earlier on May 24, the Madras High Court had stayed any proceedings on the NEET result.Keeping the urgency of the result in mind and the starting of counselling sessions for successful candidates in mind, the apex court has stayed the Madras High Court order.

FC Barcelona sues Neymar for $10m over PSG transfer

Brazilian soccer star Neymar holds his team shirt as he shakes with the chairman of Paris Saint-Germain Nasser Al-Khelaifi during a press conference in Paris. Photo: PTI/AP

Catalan football giants FC Barcelona on Tuesday took legal action against their former star Neymar, demanding 8.5 million euros ($10 million) over what they called breach of contract.The club also demanded that Neymar pay back the sum he received when he extended his contract last year, given that the Brazil forward has now paid his 222 million euros ($261 million) buy-out clause to join Paris Saint-Germain, reports Efe.

“The club demands from Neymar Jr the amount already paid for the renewal premium due to the breach of contract, in addition to 8.5 million euros in damages and an additional 10 per cent in arrears,” FC Barcelona said in a statement. Barcelona said they had sent the Royal Spanish Football Federation the lawsuit against Neymar that they submitted on August 11 to a court in Barcelona so it could pass it on “to the appropriate authorities in the French Football Federation and FIFA”, Barcelona said in a statement.

“The club also requests Paris Saint-Germain take on responsibility for the payment of these fees if the player cannot do so himself,” it said.Barcelona continues to express their public disagreement after the player paid the buy-out clause to end the contract unilaterally.

Victory for women: AIMWPLB on triple talaq verdict 


The All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board and the All India Shia Personal Law Board on Tuesday welcomed the Supreme Court judgement on triple talaq, terming it as a victory of Islam and Muslim women in the country.The decision, they said, has given new hope to Muslim women.

“The Supreme Court decision is historic, it is the victory of women in the country. But more than that, it is the victory of Islam,” said President of the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board Shaista Amber, who has been fighting for the rights of Muslim women.”We hope that triple talaq will be banned once and for all in times to come,” she said, adding it causes immense hardships to Muslim women even though “there is no provision of triple talaq in Islam”.

This discriminatory arrangement is made by so-called religious leaders and it has harmed the lives of lakhs of women…The decision has given new hope to Muslim women,” she said.The Supreme Court by a majority verdict today ruled that the practice of divorce through triple talaq among Muslims is “void”, “illegal” and “unconstitutional” and held that it is against the basic tenets of Quran. Asking the government to enact a new law without harming the Sharia, she hoped that a new legislation will be brought without any pressure to ensure welfare and prosperity of Muslim women.

The All India Shia Personal Law Board spokesperson Maulana Yasoob Abbas too welcomed the decision, saying it will help end harassment of Muslim women in the name of triple talaq.”There was no arrangement of triple talaq in the times of Holy Prophet…We want a strong legislation against triple talaq…A law similar to the one against the practice of Sati,” he said.

Triple Talaq: For every divorced Muslim man, 4 Muslim women divorced 

Huge gathering of Muslims during 25th All India Muslim Personal Law Board Conference at Park Circus Maidan in Kolkata. Photo: PTI

Supreme Court declaring triple talaq as unconstitutional, the stage has been set for the Parliament now to frame laws to regulate this practice among Muslims. One cannot help but recall a Bombay High Court order in a case involving India domiciled Pakistani musician Adnan Sami and his thrice married wife Sabbah in 2010. The Bombay High Court while pronouncing its verdict had quoted a famous judgment of the Delhi High Court of 2007 in the Masroor Ahmed vs State of Delhi case.

The Delhi High Court observation in parts was as follows: Classical Hanafi law, especially as it is practised in India, seems to take the opinion that triple talaq is sinful yet effective as an irrevocable form of divorce. The difficulty lies with triple talaq which is classed as bidaat (an innovation). Generally speaking, the Shia schools do not recognise triple talaq as bringing about a valid divorce. Judicial notice can be taken of the fact that the harsh abruptness of triple talaq has brought about extreme misery to the divorced women and even to the men who are left with no chance to undo the wrong.

While the psychological misery caused to Muslim women by triple talaq in India is well documented, statistics tell an equally grim story. Census figures show that for every Muslim man divorced in India, four Muslim women are divorced. Coincidentally or otherwise, under Islamic law, a Muslim man is allowed to keep four wives. Since the Muslims are a closed community in India, most of these are intra-faith marriages. Even among those who consider themselves to be separated rather than divorced, the figures tell a similar story.

every separated Muslim man, there are three separated Muslim women. The number of divorced Muslim women in 2011 touched almost half a million – a 40% increase as compared to 2001. The number of divorced Muslim men although much lower than Muslim women, grew much more at almost 70% during the same period.

Pentagon declares India as Afghanistan’s most reliable partner 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani raise each other's hands after inaugurating Afghan-India Friendship Dam in Herat, Afghanistan. PTI Photo by Kamal KishoreIndia is Afghanistan most reliable regional partner, the Pentagon has said in its latest Afghan report, the first under the Trump administration.”India is providing significant training opportunities for Afghan officers and enlisted personnel. Approximately 130 Afghans travel to India each year to attend the various military academy and commissioning programs,” it said in the six- monthly report to the US Congress.

“India is Afghanistan’s most reliable regional partner and the largest contributor of development assistance in the region, including civil development projects such as the Afghanistan-India Friendship Dam and the Afghan parliament building,” the Pentagon added. According to the report which covers the period from December 2016 to May 2017, India has donated limited security assistance, most notably four Mi-35 aircraft.

In May 2016, India, Iran and Afghanistan signed the Chabahar Port agreement opening a trade route into Central Asia and Europe and allowing for the bypass of Pakistan, the Pentagon said.India enjoys close relations with Afghanistan, and both accuse common neighbour Pakistan of not doing enough to stop Islamist militants operating on its territory.

India provided development aid of Rs 221 crore to Afghanistan between April 1, 2016, and March 27, 2017, according to official figures.

Vishal Sikka’s exist and massive erosion of shareholder value

Vishal Sikka and Narayana Murthy

The price of Infosys Technologies’ stock last week plummeted 10 per cent to Rs 923, thanks to the unsurprising exit of Vishal Sikka as the chief executive and managing director of the company. Worse, since his exit has been shrouded in controversies, the confidence that Sikka had built up in the stock since his appointment three years ago has also thinned significantly.

The exit was indeed inevitable and that is clear from the fairly incisive questions raised by co-founder N R Narayana Murthy – now in the public domain. The questions dwell upon Sikka, the board’s conduct, the Panaya acquisition, and the severance package given to former chief financial officer Rajiv Bansal. The governance issues raised by Murthy give an impression that the board had not acted fairly on the whistleblower report highlighting malpractices during Sikka’s regime.

In questioning the processes followed by the company’s board, Murthy represents himself and “some well-meaning shareholders” who consider the findings of the independent investigation dubious.

But these dole-outs might not be enough to reverse the crisis. The overhang on the stock will persist unless the fundamental issues are tackled well. There are several aspects to what could evolve going forward. First, in the immediate term, there will be legal fallouts. US-based firms like Rosen Legal and Bronstein and Gewirtz & Grossman have initiated an investigation of potential securities claims on behalf of Infosys shareholders (ADR is 16.69 per cent of total outstanding shareholding).These draw from the allegations that Infosys might have issued materially misleading business information to the investing public.