SC's Adani Panel Faulted for Conflict of Interest; Vajpayee Govt Didn't Contest UK Diplomats’ Report that Gujarat 2002 was Pre-Planned
CAG flags govt’s sharp accounting practices, Erdogan opposes Europe-India route, battery ATMs for e-scooters, Santiniketan on World Heritage list, Gita Mehta dead, London’s India Club closed for good
A newsletter from The Wire | Founded by MK Venu, Seema Chishti, Siddharth Varadarajan, Sushant Singh, Sidharth Bhatia and Tanweer Alam | With inputs from Kalrav Joshi and Anirudh SK | Editor: Pratik Kanjilal
Snapshot of the day
September 18, 2023
The Supreme Court’s committee tasked with reviewing the possibility of regulatory failure in the supervision of the Adani group had one member, OP Bhatt, whose own company does business with Adani and another, Somashekhar Sundaresan, who had represented the Adani group as a lawyer before the Securities and Exchanges Board of India. A writ filed before the Supreme Court says this is a clear conflict of interest and wants the panel reconstituted.
If the Modi government pushes for ‘one nation, one election’ to coincide with the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, as many as 17 states would see their Assembly terms being cut short by nearly eighteen months, with the terms of the assemblies of Karnataka, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, and Gujarat being truncated by close to three and a half years or more, write Jasmin Nihalani and Srinvasan Ramani in The Hindu.
Though it objected to the leaking of an investigative report into the 2002 Gujarat riots by British diplomats, the Vajpayee government did not contest its main finding that the anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat in 2002 was “pre-planned”, that Sangh parivar outfits like the VHP had targeted Muslims and that the police had been instructed not to contain the killers. This is clear from the minutes of an official phone conversation on the matter between Jaswant Singh, then external affairs minister, and UK foreign secretary Jack Straw. The British report concluded that as CM, Narendra Modi was “directly responsible” for the “pre-planned” 2002 Gujarat riots. The British diplomats who prepared the 2002 report also said that “the VHP and its allies acted with the support of the state government”. They could not have inflicted so much damage without the climate of impunity created by the state government. The phone conversation took place on April 16, 2002 ― one day after the Hindustan Times published a story about the leaked diplomatic report.
Parliament will move into its new building tomorrow and business will resume on Wednesday. The problematic Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023, is not on the list of eight bills scheduled to be cleared. It was on the list of four bills declared last Wednesday, but the government appears to have lost its nerve. The Opposition calls it an “anti-Constitution, anti-people bill”. A group of former chief election commissioners is considering writing to the PM against the bill, reports the Indian Express. These moves may have deterred the government. The Congress has demanded the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill in the session. The special session began today with a long speech by Modi in which, inter alia, he praised Nehru.
A CAG report reveals sharp accounting practices of the Modi government that would leave dodgy corporate bean-counters breathless with envy, including squirrelling away public money where it doesn’t belong and under-reporting risk. “The money has been diverted from some well-funded programmes and Parliament-approved cash
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