QBullet: Climate Meet to Begin in Poland; HM Offers Help to Pak

1. Nirav Modi Scam: IT Report Waved Red Flags 8 Months Earlier, Was Not Shared

Bogus purchases, huge over-valuation of stocks, suspicious payments to relatives, dubious loans — all these and more were red-flagged more than eight months before the Nirav Modi-PNB scam broke, in a crucial Income Tax investigation report that was not shared with any other agency.

The Income Tax probe report on fugitive diamond jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, running into about 10,000 pages, was finalised by the agency on 8 June 2017. It was not shared with other agencies like the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) until February 2018, when the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam became public.

(Source: The Indian Express)

2. WeFelt Then CJI Was Being Remote-Controlled: Joseph

In a stunning claim, retired Supreme Court judge Kurian Joseph said he and three other most senior SC judges held their much discussed press conference on 12 January as they felt that then CJI Dipak Misra was being controlled from outside and was allocating cases to judges with political bias.

In an exclusive interview to TOI, Justice Joseph narrated in detail the turbulent times in the apex court, leading to the unprecedented press conference by him with three most senior judges — Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi and Madan B Lokur.

Asked what went wrong within four months of Justice Misra taking over as CJI, Justice Joseph said, “There were several instances of external influences on the working of the Supreme Court relating to allocation of cases to benches headed by select judges and appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and high courts.

(Source: The Times of India)

3. High Stakes for India as Key Climate Meet Begins

India will be at the forefront of negotiations as a leading developing country to push for climate action when talks begin on Monday, 3 December, in Poland’s Katowice at COP 24, which multiple climate scientists are calling a “make or break” moment for the world.

This is because an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report in October, titled ‘Global Warming of 1.5 Degrees’, warned that the Earth will face devastating consequences of climate change if the world fails to keep global warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius of preindustrial levels.

The report also said that commitments to cutting down carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, submitted by 195 nations under the Paris Agreement of 2015, which is to become operational as the Paris Accord in 2020, will fail to keep global temperatures in check.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

4. Pak Can Seek Our Help If It Can’t Fight Terror: Rajnath

Pakistan can take India’s help if it cannot tackle terrorism on its own, home minister Rajnath Sigh said on Sunday, 2 December, stressing that terrorism was the key area of disagreement between the two countries.

Reacting to Imran Khan’s recent remarks that Kashmir was the outstanding issue, Singh said there was no “second thought” that Pakistan was sponsoring militancy in Jammu and Kashmir.

“...it is very clear that everything is sponsored by Pakistan. Recently, the Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan, said... nothing will be gained through a blame game. He emphasised the Kashmir issue... I want to make it clear that the issue is not Kashmir but terrorism,” Singh said at a press conference at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) media centre in Jaipur. “...Afghanistan took the support of America to counter Taliban. Similarly, if Pakistan cannot counter terrorism on its own, it can take India’s help,” he added.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

5. No Plan to Tweak J&K Residency Rules: Guv

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Sunday, 2 December, denied that the government was “even considering” any changes to the Act governing permanent resident certificates (PRCs) in the state.

The governor’s assertion came soon after senior BJP member Kavinder Gupta’s statement that the state administration was contemplating simplifying the procedure for grant of PRCs was met with strong resistance from Congress, National Conference (NC) and Sajjad Lone’s People’s Conference.

In a letter to NC vice-president Omar Abdullah, Malik said the Act on PRCs “is an integral part of the legal structure of Jammu & Kashmir and there is no attempt whatsoever to tamper with this law”.

“I would like to highlight that no changes in the procedural rules governing the issue of PR certificates will ever be done without larger consultations with all stakeholders,” he added.

(Source: The Times of India)

6. Implant Files: Law on Medical Devices Has Waited 12 Years

Successive governments in India have neglected the medical devices sector. For over 12 years, a proposed legislation, the Medical Device Regulation Bill, has awaited enactment.

The Bill was first drafted in 2006 when the UPA was in power. It was never legislated.

Under the NDA, a Group of Ministers (GoM) was constituted under Finance Minister Arun Jaitley but in 2016, a decision was taken to postpone its legislation and introduce instead the Medical Device Rules and Regulations.

For the government, this seemed adequate for the sector. As recently as July this year, at a NITI Aayog Committee of Secretaries (CoS) meeting chaired by CEO Amitabh Kant, it was noted how views have been expressed by some Secretaries who felt there was no need to bring in an exclusive piece of legislation to govern medical devices.

Their logic: having a separate legislation will bring in “more control” and “curtail growth and innovation” in the fast-expanding medical devices industry.

(Source: The Indian Express)

7. Rahul Takes Bull of Faith by Its Horns

Any Indian who understands the true meaning of “our religion” is a threat to the RSS and the BJP, which only want to use Hindus for their political project, Rahul Gandhi has said.

In an interview to Rajasthan Patrika, which comes at a time he is under attack from the BJP for questioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s understanding of Hinduism, the Congress president explained his stand on religion.

“There are two aspects. One, the personal impression of god. That is a matter of my heart. I have a perspective of religion and that will only deepen with time. I will probably talk about it in detail in the future. The second aspect is the religious faith of others. I am Congress president. If anybody calls me to a temple, to a mosque, to a gurdwara… I have to respect their sentiments,” he said.

(Source: Telegraph)

8. Rafale Deal: When You Look at the Facts, There Is No Scandal, Says French Ambassador

French envoy says Dassault Aviation has been providing fighter jets for several years to India, building a relation of trust.

Despite the ongoing controversy over the Rafale fighter jet deal, French Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler insists that there is “no scandal”. He says the strategic relationship between India and France is “built on trust”.

With the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to France and French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to India, how do you view the progress of economic partnerships between the two nations?

Our relations are excellent. We have been developing, nurturing and strengthening our strategic partnership for decades...Our trade has grown by 20% last year and it is now balanced, [the bilateral trade between India and France stands at €16 billion] which is a good news for both countries. It shows that it’s a real partnership. It’s not somebody approaching the other partner as a market or for revenue...But we have committed to double these trade relations in the next few years.

(Source: The Hindu)

9. Tharoor Explains the Idea Behind Rahul’s Temple Run

The paradoxes up for discussion at the Times Litfest Delhi on Sunday, 2 December, were not limited to the ones Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has alluded to about Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his latest book, “The Paradoxical Prime Minister”.

The conversation also dwelled on the difference in Congress’s positions on the issues of Hinduism, belief, government and governance.

It was Tharoor’s response to a question about Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s “temple-hopping” that set the stage. “For the longest time, we (Congress) felt it unseemly to parade our private beliefs publicly. We followed our faiths but didn’t feel obliged to demonstrate it publicly. It was partly because Congress has been a party of Nehruvian secularism that goes right back to the freedom movement,” Tharoor said, adding that the party’s “discretion” was used by BJP to show it as a “battle” between “true Hindus and godless secularists”.

(Source: The Times of India)

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