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.

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.

Decks cleared: Essar, Rosneft complete $12.9-billion deal

Essar

Decks have been cleared for the biggest foreign acquisition ever in India. The completion of the $12.9-billion Essar Oil buyout by Russian government-owned Rosneft and other partners is expected to be announced on Monday. The deal, signed in October 2016, went through a lot of hiccups, with the lenders to the Ruia-controlled Essar group insisting on certain conditions.

Among the last to approve the deal was Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India. The Mumbai-based Essargroup owed over Rs 2,300 crore to LIC, part of which has been repaid. Around Rs 1,200 crore is said to be pending.

The Essar group had in October 2016, signed a deal with Rosneft, United Capital Partners and Trafigura group to sell 98 per cent equity in Essar Oil. The proceeds from the sale were expected to help the group reduce its debt, which stood at around $13.5 billion at the time of signing the deal.

Essar Steel, another group company, is undergoing insolvency proceedings after the Ahmedabad bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) admitted an insolvency petition against the firm. The Reserve Bank of India identified the firm among top 12 stressed assets and asked the bankers to file for insolvency against the firm.  The steel firm has about Rs 45,000-crore debt on its books with non-performing assets of Rs 32,000 crore in 2016-17.

India@70: Are we really ahead of China & Pakistan?

India At 70: What A Comparison With 5 Nations Reveals

In the 70 years since Independence, India has made most progress in improving life expectancy, literacy, but has been slower in improving the level of income, and reducing infant mortality rates when compared to five other nations.On the eve of independence day, we compared the progress India has made in improving income, health, education, and in preserving its forests, to five countries–China, Pakistan, Malaysia, South Korea and Brazil.

We chose China because it had roughly the same per capita income in 1960 as India did. Our analysis showed that even though China and India are constantly compared, until now, China has outperformed India across most wealth and health indicators.We looked at South Korea to get a sense of how India performed compared to a country that has gone from being a developing to a developed country after 1947.

We used Pakistan to compare progress in a country that shares the same history and culture, and was formed at the same time as India.Brazil, one of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries, serves as a comparison with another emerging economy that is estimated to become one of the largest in the world over the next 30 years.

In 56 years, the gap in per capita GDP has increased most between India and China, in our comparison. In 1960, China GDP per capita ($89.5) was 9% more than India’s. In 2016, China’s GDP per capita ($ 8123.2) was 79% more than India’s ($1709.4). This widening gap could be attributed to greater increases in productivity of the Chinese labour force and more capital per worker, according to an opinion piece published by The Hindu in January 2015. Similarly the gap between India and South Korea in 2016 is nearly twice of what it was in 1960. South Korea’s growth can be attributed to rapid industrialization and emphasis on sectors such as steel, shipbuilding and electronics, according to an April 2015 article by Quartz.

Bombay HC asks Maharashtra govt to explain Sanjay Dutt’s early release

Sanjay Dutt

The Bombay High Court on Monday asked theMaharashtra government to explain in detail its decision to release Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt early from jail on grounds of good conduct.

A division bench of Justice RM Sawant and Justice Sadhna Jadhav directed the government to file an affidavit justifying its decision, what parameters were considered for letting the actor out eight months early, and the procedures followed while showing leniency towards him.

Dutt was convicted and sentenced to five years in an arms possession case connected to the March 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case which he served in Yerawada Central Jail, Pune. He was released on February 25, 2016.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by Pune-based activist Pradeep Bhalekar challenging the series of furloughs and paroles granted to Dutt when he was serving his sentence.The court sought to know if the Deputy Inspector General, Prisons was consulted, or whether the Jail Superintendent sent the recommendation directly to the Maharashtra Governor.

“How did the authorities assess that Dutt’s conduct was good. When did they get time to make such an assessment when he was out on parole half the time?” asked Justice Sawant.