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Jaitley rejects Congress’ demand for JPC on Rafale

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Arun Jaitley

New Delhi, Dec 14 : Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday rejected the Congress’ demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Rafale aircraft deal and said the “family” was not above the Supreme Court in a democracy.

Addressing a press conference here with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman hours after the Supreme Court dismissed petitions seeking a court-monitored probe into the purchase of 36 Rafale jet fighters, Jaitley said the apex court verdict was absolute and conclusive and the “truth in such matters come from judicial process and not on the basis of political partisan lines”.

“Was there any partiality in the deal? Was nation’s security compromised? Was the due process not followed? Truth in such cases is found through judicial process and not by dividing on partisan basis. Investigations can never be done and reviews of this can never be done by a body of partisan division,” he said.

Jaitley referred to the JPC over Bofors guns deal and said it was divided on political lines and conclusions of its chairman were subsequently rejected by courts.

He did not name Congress President Rahul Gandhi but accused him of spreading lies and attacked him repeatedly.

“In politics all over the world there is a tradition that if you lie, you resign or can be impeached. Presidents have been impeached for speaking lies. At least this should happen. Till yesterday Congress was demanding a discussion on Rafale. Today we said start it immediately. Those who built untruth, they should keep it in Parliament,” he said.

Asked about Gandhi’s allegation of crony capitalism, he said “people not able to understand complex issues rely on such slogans”.

“That is my understanding of his politics,” Jaitley said and termed Gandhi’s allegations of procedures not being followed in the deal as “fiction writing”.

Asked about the Congress stance that judiciary was not the right forum to decide about the deal, Jaitley alleged that the narrative was being created by Nehru-Gandhi family.

“They refuse to accept even the Supreme Court verdict just because of falsehood created by a family. In our democracy, family is not above the Supreme Court. Do they think the untruth of a family is above the Supreme Court?”

He said there was a fundamental difference between truth and falsehood.

“The truth always holds together, explains everything but falsehood was bound to fall apart, indeed it has a short life. In this case, it is few months. Falsehood lowers credibility of creator. The Rafale issue had each of these features. The disrupters have lost and lost on all counts,” he said.

Jaitley said the Congress lost on the count that the need for the fighter jet was “acute and necessary”.

“Why was national security compromised, the need of Indian Air Force compromised,” he asked.

Rejecting charges about the government’s involvement in the award of offsets, he said government had nothing to do with it and Dassault Aviation, the makers of Rafale fighter jet, had taken the decision.

Asked about the different prices given by the government and by Rahul Gandhi of the Rafale fighter jet, Jaitley said “government is correct and all figures given by Rahul Gandhi are wrong”.

He said the government had stated that the price of basic Rafale fighter was nine per cent cheaper compared to the cost negotiated by the UPA government and that of weaponised aircraft was 20 per cent cheaper at 2016 prices.

He said escalation clauses in the agreement were differently worded and there would be further increase in prices. “Truth only has one version. Falsehood has many,” Jaitley said.

Sitharaman said if the Congress does not stop its allegations, it will also be exposed politically.

The Congress on Friday accused the government of trying to hide its “theft” in the Rafale deal behind the court ruling and persisted with its demand for a JPC inquiry.

Cities

Criminal on parole nabbed with illegal weapon, Police say Dawood aide

His younger brother Ashraf Awas was also a dreaded criminal and was killed in an encounter with Mumbai Police in 2002.

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9mm Brazilian make Taurus Beretta

New Delhi, July 11 : Delhi Police Crime Branch has arrested a convicted criminal who was out on parole for keeping illegal weapons. He was nabbed with a semi automatic pistol — 9mm Brazilian make Taurus Beretta with 10 live rounds. Police said that he has been an associate of Dawood Ibrahim.

Police said Anwar Thakur is a resident of Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.

“The accused is a life convict in a murder case of Sadar Bazar in Delhi in which he had shot dead a police informer inside the police station in 1992,” said Rakesh Pawaria, DCP Crime.

Anwar had come out on parole on March 17, 2020.

He had cases under the Arms Act registered against him in Lodhi Colony and Pandav Nagar in Delhi. Police are now trying to ascertain how he got possession of an illegal weapon.

His younger brother Ashraf Awas was also a dreaded criminal and was killed in an encounter with Mumbai Police in 2002.

“It is also known that Anwar Thakur and his brother Ashraf Thakur were associated with Dawood Ibrahim and were also close associates of Fajlu Rehman, who was closely associated with gangster Babloo Srivastava. The accused Anwar Thakur is an associate of Chhenu Pehalwan – the patron of the notorious Chhenu gang active in the Trans-Yamuna area, who is languishing in Tihar Jail. Anwar Thakur would roam in the area in an effort to revive the Chhenu gang which was becoming weak and losing its clout due to the judicial custody of Chhenu Pehalwan,” the officer said.

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Cities

10-day lockdown in Bengaluru from July 14: Official

“There will be complete lockdown for 10 days from 8 p.m. on July 14 to 5 a.m. on July 23 in Bengaluru urban and rural districts.

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Lockdown in Bengaluru

Bengaluru, July 11 : Alarmed by surging Covid cases by the day, the Karnataka government decided to re-impose a 10-day lockdown in Bengaluru urban and rural districts from July 14 to July 23 to contain the virus spread, said an official on Saturday.

“There will be complete lockdown for 10 days from 8 p.m. on July 14 to 5 a.m. on July 23 in Bengaluru urban and rural districts to contain the corona virus spread,a said the official of the Chief minister’s Office in a statement.

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Disaster

Dharavi emerges as a ”global role model”: Maharashtra CM Thackeray

Thackeray also showered praise on the integrated struggles undertaken by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation, various NGOs, volunteers and the local people of Dharavi, saying: “This is the success of your efforts.”

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Dharavi Covid Case

Mumbai, July 11 : After the World Health Organisation (WHO) acknowledged the manner in which the Covid-19 spread was arrested in Mumbai’s Dharavi, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said that Asia’s largest slum has now emerged as “a role model” for the whole world.

“The densely populated area like Dharavi has not only shown the world that through collective efforts Covid-19 can be controlled, but has also made a name for itself globally as a role model in the fight against corona,” he said.

Thackeray also showered praise on the integrated struggles undertaken by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation, various NGOs, volunteers and the local people of Dharavi, saying: “This is the success of your efforts.”

“Such examples of human triumph over a global pandemic can inspire others,” he said, as he lauded the toil that went into controlling the spread of the virus which earned global recognition for Dharavi as a role model, and vowed that the “war against the virus” will be further intensified.

In a pat for the BMC and the state government, WHO Director-General Tedros A. Ghebreyesus, late on Friday, made a laudatory reference to the achievements of Dharavi in Mumbai among other similar examples globally as the world continues to fight the pandemic.

“Even in Dharavi, a densely packed area in Mumbai, a strong focus on community engagement and the basics of testing, tracing, isolating and treating all those that are sick is key to breaking the chains of transmission, and suppressing the virus,” he said.

In this context, Ghebreyesus pointed out that there are many, many examples from around the world that have shown that even if the Covid-19 outbreak is very intense, it can still be brought back under control, as in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Korea.

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