CoA Members, BCCI Treasurer Depose Before Panel for Rahul Johri’s Case


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Centre Withdraws IIM Board Nominees, New Panel To Be Elected By December


Process will ensure quality expansion of higher education: HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar

New Delhi: 

The Union government on Monday approved the process of constitution of Board of Governors for the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) in accordance with the IIM Act 2017.

As per the approval given after consultation with the Ministry of Law and Justice, the government has decided to withdraw its nominees from the existing boards.

“In spirit of the Act, the government has decided to immediately withdraw the government nominees who are in excess of the provisions of the Act. This will pave the way for complete control of the institutions by reputed academicians and alumni,” read the statement issued by the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry.

Under the decision, three ex-officio members will re-select the current Chairperson — unless there are issues with ineligibility — and allow him or her to continue for a new full term. The Chairperson will then constitute the board as laid down in the Act’s Section 10.

The Chairperson will now select five alumni members, four eminent persons, and two faculty members, for a full new term.

“This process is expected to be completed before December 15, 2018. On completion of the constitution of the Boards… The rules under the IIM Act would be issued, which would bring out the operational details more clearly,” read the statement.

That government nominees will become part of the Board in future is not yet clear, since Section 10 of the IIM Act, 2017 prescribes inclusion of one nominee each from the central and state governments in the Board.

“The process of constitution of Boards for the IIMs, which have been given full powers of running the institutions, is a major development which signals complete autonomy of quality institutions in higher education and will ensure quality expansion of higher education,” HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said in the statement.

The Board has the authority to decide fees for courses, and to create academic and administrative posts and also establish faculties as well as departments. 





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Women’s Panel Seeks Report On Woman Killed For Objecting Smoking On Train


The commission is seriously concerned about the brutal crime committed on the woman.

New Delhi: 

The National Commission for Women today expressed serious concern over the killing of a woman for objecting to smoking in Uttar Pradesh last week and sought to know what action has been initiated.

“The commission is seriously concerned about the brutal crime committed on the woman. Considering the gravity of the matter, it is requested that the commission may be apprised about the action taken in the matter at the earliest,” the NCW said in a letter to UP Director General of Police (DGP) O P Singh.

On Friday, a 45-year-old woman was allegedly strangled to death by an inebriated man inside the general coach of the Punjab-Bihar Jallianwala Bagh Express after she objected to his smoking.

The dead woman and her family were on their way to Bihar for taking part in Chhath puja festivities, the police had said.





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Build Ram Temple In Ayodhya, Let Muslims Live In Peace: Minorities Panel Chief


He also made it clear that there was no possibility of building mosques in Ayodhya

New Delhi: 

National Commission for Minorities chief Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi Sunday said Ram temple must be built in Ayodhya so that Muslims can live peacefully and respectfully.

Mr Rizvi also stressed that the dispute should be resolved soon to help strengthen ties between communities.

Some Muslim organisations had sought the panel’s intervention in the Ayodhya title suit case, Mr Rizvi said.

The commission in its November 14 meeting will decide whether to approach the Supreme Court for an early hearing on the matter or not, he added.

“The National Minority Welfare Organisation and some other outfits have sent us reports that the Muslim community in the country is living in fear,” Mr Rizvi told PTI.

“They have urged the commission to take an initiative to improve the current atmosphere,” he added.

“During the November 14 meeting, we will hold discussions on the matter. But, as it is sub-judice, we can only urge the apex court for an early hearing,” he said.

Mr Rizvi further said that the organisations wanted Muslims to help in the construction of Ram temple at the disputed site and make sure that no such controversy erupts in future again.

The minority panel chief also made it clear that there was no possibility of building mosques or offering namaz in Ayodhya.

“Even I believe that in Ayodhya, neither mosques can be built, nor namaz can be offered. The place has a sentimental value for 100 crore Hindus,” Mr Rizvi said.

“Therefore, Hindus must be allowed to build a Ram temple there (Ayodhya) so that Muslims can live peacefully, respectfully and without any fear while contributing to the development of the nation,” he added.





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Poll Panel Seeks Names For Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer’s Post


The Election Commission has only decided to call for a panel of names for the post.

New Delhi: 

The Election Commission Saturday initiated the process of finding an alternative to Mizoram chief electoral officer who is facing a massive agitation for ouster by a conglomerate of civil society and student organisations.

A Commission spokesperson said that in a meeting held in New Delhi on Saturday, the poll panel has “only decided to call for a panel of names for the post of State CEO from chief secretary of Mizoram.”

The spokesperson said “next steps” will “only be taken after receiving the report of the team led by Deputy Election Commissioner Sudip Jain”.

State chief electoral officer SB Shashank had reportedly sought deployment of additional central armed police forces (CAPF) in the state and complained to the EC that the state’s former principal secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo was interfering with the poll process.

Mr Chuaungo, a native of Mizoram and a Gujarat-cadre IAS officer was relieved of his duties earlier this month.

The NGO Coordination Committee – a conglomerate of civil societies and student organisations – along with other political leaders, had been demanding Shashank’s exit from the state since then.

The NGO also demanded that 11,232 Bru voters lodged in six Tripura relief camps be allowed to exercise their franchise at their respective polling stations in Mizoram and not in Tripura as committed by the poll panel in 2014.

Meanwhile in Mizoram, the visiting Election Commission team led by Mr Jain, has left for New Delhi on Saturday after holding talks with the stakeholders in view of the demands for removal of Mizoram Chief Election Officer Shashank, officials said.

The team would submit its report to the Election Commission, they said.





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Panel Set Up To Probe Tigress Avni’s Killing A Farce: Uddhav Thackeray


Uddhav Thackeray demanded that a panel be formed under a retired judge to probe the tigress’ killing.

Mumbai: 

The committee constituted by the Maharashtra government to probe the killing of man-eater tigress Avni is a “farce”, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said today.

In a statement issued, he demanded that a panel be formed under a retired judge to probe the tigress’ killing.

The state government has come under fire over the death of the tigress, who was believed to have turned a man-eater and killed 13 people in the last two years in Yavatmal district.

The big cat was shot dead in an operation in a forest in Yavatmal district last Friday. The killing of T1, as the tigress was officially known, led to an outrage among animal lovers and wildlife organisations.

“Those who had given the ‘supari’ (contract) to kill the tigress have been made members of the (probe) committee. The committee set up is a farce,” Mr Thackeray alleged.

Taking a dig at senior ally BJP, Mr Thackeray said if Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis backed state Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar saying he could not be held responsible for the killing, why did Prime Minister Narendra Modi take credit for the surgical strike, when he had not himself conducted it.

However, state Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said if Mr Thackeray feels the committee is a “farce”, then the state government is willing to form another panel under the Sena chief’s leadership, if he so desires.

“Uddhavji is an important figure in the alliance between the BJP and the Sena. If he does not want to head a committee under him, he should realise I have already asked the chief minister to appoint a committee under retired Supreme Court judges. Lowest level of politics is unnecessarily being played over the issue,” he said.

The state government had on Friday constituted a four-member committee, comprising wildlife experts and officials, to conduct an “in-depth” probe into the tigress’ killing.

It is headed by Principal Chief Conservator of Forest S H Patil. It will include Wildlife Institute of India member Habib Bilal, Wildlife Conservation Trust chairman Anish Andheriya and Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Nitin Kakodkar, an official statement from the forest department said earlier.

The committee will probe if established protocols and standard operating practices were followed in the case and submit a report to the government.

Union minister Maneka Gandhi had lashed out at the state government over Avni’s killing and dubbed it a “ghastly murder”. Avni was the mother of two 10-month-old cubs.

The Maharashtra government, however, defended itself calling the incident “sad” but necessary after the tigress attacked forest staff trying to tranquilise it.

Opposition NCP dubbed the inquiry as an “eyewash”.

Earlier, when asked about the criticism by the opposition, Mr Mungantiwar had said he has written a letter to Maneka Gandhi, asking for an independent probe by Supreme Court judges into the killing of Avni.

“This inquiry (by SC judges) will happen when it has to happen, but the state government has to probe the issue at the earliest,” he had said. 





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Poll Panel, Mizoram Groups Talks End, Election Officer May Be Replaced


Protests had broken out in Mizoram after the principal secretary of home was transferred out

Guwahati: 

The Election Commission has agreed to the main demands of civil society groups in Mizoram protesting against the recent appointment of the state’s chief electoral officer, people with direct knowledge of the matter said. The outcome of the talks between an Election Commission team and the groups was positive, they said.

Two of the main demands by the groups led by the Mizoram NGO Coordination Committee or MNCC are to reappoint ousted principal secretary of home Lalnunmawia Chuaungo, and allowing Bru tribe refugees who are living in neighbouring Tripura to vote only in Mizoram and not from their camps in the other state.

After a bout of ethnic violence in the 90s, some 30,000 people of the Bru tribe were displaced from Mizoram. Many of them are now living in six camps in the Kanchanpur and Panisagar areas of north Tripura. Their repatriation that started in 2010 remains a work in progress.

Mr Sashank is likely to be replaced, and the Election Commission has also agreed to the demand for letting Bru refugees come to Mizoram if they want to vote in the assembly election on November 28, people familiar with the matter said.

The poll panel is likely to issue a notification on Sunday explaining the outcome of the talks with the civil society groups in Mizoram, said the people who asked not to be named.

Massive protests had broken out across Mizoram earlier this week after Mr Sashank pushed for the removal of the state’s home secretary, accusing him of interfering in the electoral rolls revision process. Mr Sashank was then summoned to Delhi by the Election Commission.

Mr Sashank accused Mr Chuaungo, a 1987-batch Gujarat-cadre IAS officer, of objecting to allowing voting by Bru refugees from their camps in Tripura. Subsequently, the poll panel had transferred out Mr Chuaungo.

The Federation of Mizoram Government Employees and Workers said if Mr Sashank was not removed, their members would not cooperate with the election work.

The protesters said there were efforts to enrol Bru tribe members who are in Tripura as voters without following procedure.





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Poll Panel Rejects Mizoram BJP Plea To Extend Date Of Filing Nominations


BJP wanted to extend the date for filing nominations citing the law and order situation in Mizoram

New Delhi: 

The Election Commission on Thursday rejected a plea of the BJP to extend the last date of filing nominations for the November 28 assembly polls in Mizoram.

The party had moved the plea citing the law and order situation in the northeastern state.

In a letter to state BJP chief JV Hluna, the poll panel said his plea has “not been acceded to on account of peace and normalcy in the state today.”

Friday is the last date of filing nominations.

There have been protests demanding the ouster of Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) S B Shashank by the NGO Coordination Committee.

But the protests were called off Wednesday after the officer left for Delhi.

The NGO Coordination Committee, the top body of civil societies and students’ organisations in the north-eastern state, has been demanding that Mr Shashank be replaced and transferred outside the state.

It also demanded that 11,232 Bru voters lodged in six Tripura relief camps be allowed to exercise their franchise at their respective polling stations in Mizoram and not in Tripura as committed by the poll panel in 2014.





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No Terror Funding In Haryana Mosque Construction: Delhi Government Panel


The panel had visited the village, where the mosque is located, on October 20.

New Delhi: 

A fact-finding committee of the Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) did not find any evidence showing that terrorist organisation’s money was used in the construction of a mosque in Haryana’s Palwal, according to its report released Wednesday.

The four-member panel, led by human rights activist and DMC advisor Ovais Sultan, was formed to look into media reports quoting anonymous sources in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) claiming that money routed from Pakistan-based terrorist Hafiz Saeed’s Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation could have been used in the construction of the mosque.

“The committee did not come across any evidence to state that the terror funding was received for the construction of the Khulafa-e-Rashideen mosque in Uttawar in Palwal, as was alleged in media reports quoting anonymous NIA sources,”  Mr Ovais said.

The panel had visited the village, where the mosque is located, on October 20.

In July, the NIA had filed a case to probe the terror funding module linked to Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation — a front organisation of the banned terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

According to the FIR, some Delhi-based individuals were receiving funds from FIF operatives based abroad and were using it for terror activities.

During investigation, it emerged that Mohammad Salman, a resident of the Nizamuddin area in New Delhi, was in regular touch with a Dubai-based Pakistani national, who in turn is connected to the Deputy Chief of Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation.

The NIA had on September 25 conducted searches at the premises of Mohammad Salman in Nizamuddin, Daryaganj-resident Mohd Salim (hawala operator) and Rajaram in Kucha Ghasiram in New Delhi, and seized Rs 1.56 crore in cash, 43,000 in Nepali currency, 14 mobiles phones, five pen drives and several incriminating documents.

Following the seizure of incriminating material, the NIA had arrested from Delhi FIF member Mohammad Salman (52), and Hawala operators Mohd Salim alias Mama (62) and Sajjad Abdul Wani (34), a resident of Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir, according to an official release issued then.

FIF is placed on the list of terrorist organisations here and it was also designated as a terrorist entity by the US in 2010.

As per the report of the DMC, local Muslims and Hindus have together donated 10 acres of land for the construction of the mosque and a madrassa.

Accused Salman also donated some money for it after selling his ancestral land in the village, Mr Ovais said.

He said that the mosque belongs to Tablighi Jamaat whereas, LeT and FIF belong to Salafi school of thought and the two do not agree with each others’ teachings and practices.

“So, there is no question of collaboration between them or funds being given to the mosque,” Mr Ovais said.

The committee has recommended the chairman of Delhi Minorities Commission to write to the Union Home Secretary about “procedural lapses” in the case being probed by the NIA and issue an advisory to all media houses and agencies to be careful in reporting the alleged terror-related cases.





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Independent Panel Probing Rahul Johri Must Declare No Conflict Of Interest: Committee Of Administrators


The independent panel probing the sexual harassment charge against BCCI CEO Rahul Johri must declare absence of any conflict of interest in its first meeting, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) said on Tuesday after a member had to be replaced owing to this reason. Laying down the terms of reference for the three-member panel, the COA said the probe committee will be free to investigate all charges against Johri and would be open to hearing any “person who is desirous of placing any fact” in the matter.

Johri was accused of sexual harassment in an anonymous social media post, which has since been deleted. He has denied the allegation in response to the show cause notice issued by the COA.

The probe panel originally comprised Former Allahabad High Court judge Justice Rakesh Sharma, former Delhi Commission for Women Chairperson Barkha Singh and Former CBI Director PC Sharma.

However, Sharma was replaced by advocate Veena Gowda after it came to light that one of his relatives was a BCCI employee. The first meeting of the committee will be held in Mumbai but the date has not yet been specified.

“In its first meeting each member of the Committee shall make a declaration of absence of conflict of interest in conducting an independent and fair inquiry against Mr. Rahul Johri,” stated the committee’s terms of reference posted on the BCCI website.

The COA said all its communication with Johri will be provided to the independent committee. The three members of the committee would be paid Rs 1.5 lakh per meeting and the Board’s former internal complaints committee head Karina Kriplani will be its contact person for any assistance required from the BCCI.

Kriplani has resigned from her position in the internal complaints committee but continues to be a legal advisor. The COA said that a public notice would be issued soon, inviting information.

“The BCCI and all its office bearers/employees/consultants shall provide all assistance and co-operation to the Committee as it may require,” the COA stated.

Apart from the anonymous social media charge, former Mumbai captain Shishir Hattangadi also claims to have information on Johri’s alleged misconduct in the past. 



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