The Hindu Important Articles 01 April 2018
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TN files for contempt against Centre
Union government seeks three months’ extension to frame scheme for sharing of Cauvery water
Tamil Nadu on Saturday moved the Supreme Court to initiate contempt proceedings against the Union government for its “wilful disobedience” in not implementing the court’s February 16 judgment in the Cauvery dispute.
In its petition, the State said the Centre had failed to frame a scheme within the time limit set by the court, by not setting up the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee to monitor the allocation of the river water among Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry.
The contempt petition has been filed at a time when the Centre has also moved the court for a three-month extension of time to implement the verdict. The Karnataka Assembly election is to be held on May 12.
While seeking clarification on some aspects of the verdict, the Centre claimed that notifying the scheme during the election process would lead to “public outrage” and “cause law and order problems.” Tamil Nadu accused the Centre of refusing to act to “protect the interests of the farmers and the larger interests of the State.”
The contempt petition wants the court to “purge the contempt forthwith” by directing the Centre to frame a scheme by providing for the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee as per the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal’s order of 2007. As per the February 16 judgment in the appeals, the Centre had to frame the scheme in six weeks. The deadline ended on March 29.
Videocon loan: CBI examines ICICI Bank staff
Preliminary enquiry on a Rs. 3,250 crore loan granted in 2012 as part of Rs. 40,000 crore given by a consortium of 20 banks
The Central Bureau of Investigation has examined some officials of ICICI Bank in connection with a preliminary enquiry (PE) involving the husband of the bank’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Chanda Kochhar, and the Videocon Group, pertaining to a loan of Rs. 3,250 crore extended to the latter.
“We have collected the relevant documents and examined the bank’s nodal officers who were involved in processing the loan in 2012. Deepak Kochhar [Ms. Kochhar’s husband] and Videocon have been mentioned in the PE. The process was initiated about six weeks ago,” a CBI official said. Ms. Kochhar has not been mentioned in the PE.
Linked to NuPower
The PE is an internal mechanism of the CBI to verify allegations. Its outcome does not have any evidentiary value in court. The agency may convert the PE into a regular FIR after determining that there is prima facie commission of alleged offence and is then required to file a charge sheet or closure report in court. If there is not enough evidence, the PE can be closed by the CBI internally.
According to the agency, the enquiry is under way into an alleged link between the loan extended to Venugopal Dhoot’s Videocon Group and the funding of NuPower Renewables, a company founded by Mr. Kochhar and others.
Bank backs Kochhar
Following media reports alleging that Mr. Dhoot earlier this week, through another entity Supreme Energy, had made investments in Mr. Kochhar’s firm, the ICICI Bank board came out in strong support of Ms. Kochhar.
“ICICI Bank was not the lead bank for this consortium and the bank only sanctioned its share of facilities aggregating approximately Rs. 3,250 crore which was less than 10% of the total consortium facility in April 2012,” the bank said in a statement.
Stating that there was no conflict of interest involved, the bank said none of the NuPower Renewables investors were its borrowers. It said Ms. Kochhar had made all necessary disclosures to the board in advance as per the regulatory guidelines.
The Rs. 3,250 crore was part of a loan of about Rs. 40,000 crore that the Videocon Group had received from a consortium of 20 banks led by the State Bank of India. While the current outstanding of the group against ICICI Bank loan stands at Rs. 2,849 crore, the specific account was declared non-performing asset last year.
NuPower Renewables was incorporated in December 2008 by Mr. Kochhar, Mr. Dhoot and others. Mr. Dhoot later resigned as director in January 2009 and sold all his shares. It allegedly received Rs. 64 crore through Supreme Energy, which was later allegedly taken over by a trust, in which Mr. Kochhar was managing trustee.
Source:- The Hindu