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Court drops Modi’s name from Gujarat riot compensation suit

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AHMEDABAD: A court in Sabarkantha district on Saturday dropped PM Modi’s name from a suit filed by a British family seeking Rs 23 crore as compensation for the killing of three of their

relatives

during the 2002 post-Godhra riots. Modi was CM of the state at that time.

The plaintiff should have given reasonable grounds for arraying Modi, the court said, adding that removal of Modi’s name wouldn’t affect the plaintiffs’ claims to damages. While removing Modi’s name, the principal civil judge of Prantij court,

S K Gadhavi

, said, “A bare reading of the plaint makes it further evident that bald allegations are made against defendant No 1 (Modi), which resulted into (sic) the incident in question… In my view, such reckless allegations without any basis, i.e. evidence, can hardly establish any nexus or help in raising cause of action against defendant No 1.”

Modi was named in the suit along with 13 others by British nationals Imran and

Shirin Dawood

in 2004. They were seeking compensation for the deaths of their relatives

Saeed Dawood

,

Shakeel Dawood

and Mohammed Aswat, who were attacked near Prantij and killed on February 28, 2002 while travelling from Jaipur to Navsari.

An application was filed requesting the court to drop Modi’s name on the grounds that while the state can be held liable for such an incident, Modi cannot be held personally liable. It was argued that Modi’s name was added without any reason and continuing with his name was not required for the alleged tortious acts of other officers. It stated political allegations had been made against Modi but the Nanavati Commission had exonerated him.

The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper owned by The Times Group. It is the third-largest newspaper in India by circulation and largest selling English-language daily in the world. according to Audit Bureau of Circulations.

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INDIA

Dassault Aviation, MBDA yet to fulfil offset obligations under Rafale deal: CAG

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NEW DELHI: French aerospace major Dassault Aviation and European missile maker MBDA are yet to fulfil their offset obligations of offering high technology to India as part of the deal relating to procurement of 36 Rafale jets, the Comptroller and Auditor General said in a report released on Wednesday.

The Dassault Aviation is the manufacturer of the Rafale jets while the MBDA supplied the missile systems for the aircraft.

In its report tabled in Parliament, the CAG also painted a grim picture of efficacy of India’s offset policy saying it did not find a single case of foreign vendors transferring high technology to the Indian industry, adding defence sector ranked 62nd out of 63 sectors receiving FDI.

“In the offset contract relating to 36 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), the vendors M/s Dassault Aviation and M/s MBDA initially proposed to discharge 30 per cent of their offset obligation by offering high technology to DRDO,” the CAG said.

“DRDO wanted to obtain technical assistance for the indigenous development of engine (Kaveri) for the Light Combat Aircraft. Till date the vendor has not confirmed the transfer of this technology,” according to a press release issued by CAG.

The first batch of five Rafale jets arrived in India on July 29, nearly four years after India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to procure 36 aircraft at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore.

Under India’s offset policy, foreign defence entities are mandated to spend at least 30 per cent of the total contract value in India through procurement of components or setting up of research and development facilities.

The offset norms are applicable to all capital purchases above Rs 300 crore made through imports. The offset obligations can be made through Foreign Direct Investment, free transfer of technology to Indian firms and purchase of products manufactured by Indian firms.

The auditor said though the vendors failed to keep up their offset commitments, there was no effective means of penalise them.

“Non fulfillment of offset obligations by the vendor especially when the contract period of the main procurement is over, is a direct benefit to the vendor,” it said.

The CAG said as the offset policy has not yielded the desired result, the defence ministry needs to review the policy and its implementation.

It needs to identify the constraints faced by the foreign suppliers as well as the Indian industry in leveraging the offsets, and find solutions to overcome these constraints,” it said.

The CAG said 48 offset contracts were signed with foreign vendors from 2005 to March 2018 with a total value of Rs 66,427 crore, and Rs 19,223 crore worth of offsets should have been discharged by the vendors by December 2018.

But the amount discharged by them was only Rs 11,396 crore, which was only 59 per cent of the commitment.

“Further, only 48 per cent (Rs 5,457 crore) of these offset claims submitted by the vendors were accepted by the ministry. The rest were largely rejected as they were not compliant to the contractual conditions and the Defence Procurement Procedure.”

It said the remaining offset commitments of about Rs 55,000 crore would be due to be completed by 2024.

“The rate at which the foreign vendors have been fulfilling their offset commitments was about Rs 1,300 crore per year. Given this situation, fulfilling the commitment of Rs 55,000 crore by the vendors in the next six years remains a major challenge,” the CAG said.

The auditor found that of the total value of offsets, only 3.5 per cent was contracted to be discharged through FDI with Indian Offsets Partners or IOPs, adding it did not find a single case where the foreign vendor had transferred high technology to the Indian industry.

“The defence sector is ranked 62nd out of the 63 sectors in India in terms of FDI. Similarly, there was hardly any equipment supplied ‘in kind’ to the Indian industry by the foreign vendor. Thus, the objectives of the offset policy remain largely unachieved,” the report said.

The CAG said it undertook the performance audit of the offset policy after a decade of its roll out to assess the extent to which its objectives were met.

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Modi raises red flag for India’s 60 districts with CMs

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday raised a red flag about 60 districts of the country spread across seven states, as far as their handling of the current pandemic is concerned.

The PM emphasised upon the need for better communication and staying alert against those spreading rumours.

“There are more than 700 districts in the country. However, only 60 districts in 7 states are a cause of worry,” said the Prime Minister.

He suggested the Chief Ministers present in Wednesday’s virtual meet to hold a virtual conference with people at the district or the block level for 7 days. “We have to learn from best practices from across states,” he added.

Highlighting the importance of communication amid the pandemic, Modi said effective messaging becomes all the more essential because most Covid-19 infections are asymptomatic. “In such a situation, rumours may rise. It might create doubts in people’s minds that testing is bad,” He said, he also warned against scenarios in which because of lack of communication, people may commit the mistake of underestimating the severity of infection.

Continuing with his thrust on testing and contact-tracing, PM Modi reiterated, “We have to increase our focus on effective testing, tracing, treatment, surveillance as well as clear messaging.”

He added that states need to work together to see that the supply of life-saving medicines reach from one state to another easily.

Prime Minister Modi chaired a high-level virtual meeting with Chief Ministers & Health Ministers of 7 states and Union territories with high COVID numbers. These states and UTs include Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Punjab.

These account for 65.5 per cent of the total confirmed cases and 77 per cent of the total deaths in India, a statement had said earlier.

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PM Modi asks states to focus on micro-containment zones

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday asked states to reassess if lockdowns of one or two days are effective in containing Covid-19 and told them to press on with full strength in opening economic activities while fighting the virus.

In a review meeting with chief ministers and representatives of seven states with a high number of cases, Modi said “micro containment zones” should be the way forward as it will curb the infection spread and also allow activities to go on.

He asked states to further enhance their focus on effective testing, tracing, treatment, surveillance and clear messaging to curb the pandemic.

Noting that most of the Covid-19 patients are asymptomatic, Modi said an effective messaging is all the more important as rumours often get spread and the common man wonders if the testing is wrong.

Some people even make the mistake of undermining the seriousness of the disease, he said, while pitching for the need for an effective messaging.

The prime minister said it has to be ensured that medicines move unhindered from one state to another and noted that India has also been able to supply medicines across the world during such hard times.

The nationwide lockdown in the initial phases yielded very positive results and our focus now should be on micro-containment zones, he said.

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