Morning Brief: ED Seeks Custodial Interrogation Of Chidambaram; Two Pakistani Soldiers Caught On Indian Side Of International Border; And More

Morning Brief: ED Seeks Custodial Interrogation Of Chidambaram; Two Pakistani Soldiers Caught On Indian Side Of International Border; And MoreFormer Finance Minister and Congress MP P Chidambaram. (Mohd Zakir/ Hindustan Times via Getty Images) 

Aircel-Maxis: ED Seeks Custodial Interrogation Of P Chidambaram

Opposing the anticipatory bail plea of former Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis case on Wednesday, the Enforcement Directorate sought his custodial interrogation. The agency, which had recently filed a supplementary chargesheet in the case, said P Chidambaram has remained evasive and was not cooperating in the probe.

In a chargesheet filed earlier, the agency had claimed that a company owned by P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram and relative A Palaniappan received $1,94,831 (around Rs 87.60 lakh) from associate companies of the Maxis group. According to the CBI, the former finance minister had received Rs 1.13 crore as “quid pro quo” in Aircel-Maxis deal between 2006 and 2012. Chidambaram, it says, had abused his position as the Finance Minister of India. He “dishonestly and fraudulently” granted approval to a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) proposal “for which he was not competent”, the chargesheet says.

Two Pakistani Soldiers Caught On Indian Side Of International Border

Two Pakistan Army personnel were caught on the Indian side of the international border in Punjab on Sunday, The Indian Express has reported. According to the daily, the government has not put out an official word about their arrest as the seriousness of the issue is still being evaluated. Caught by the Border Security Force, which monitors India’s international border with Pakistan, the two Pakistanis are now being interrogated by inelegance officials.

Experts suggest that this could be turn out to be a case of espionage and the government may use it to bargain for the release of Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was abducted by Pakistan from Iran and remains in its custody. Jadhav has been accused of being a spy, and Pakistan claims he was arrested in Balochistan. The two soldiers have been Identified as Mumtaz Khan and Sheraz Ahmed.

Amid Reported Rift With Centre, RBI Board To Meet On 19 November

Amid reports of a major disagreement with the government, the Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), headed by Governor Urjit Patel, will hold a meeting in Mumbai on 19 November. Although the meeting will be a routine event, some saw it as an indication from Patel of his willingness to resolve the differences between the government and the central bank.

The board held its last meeting earlier this month. The upcoming meeting would be the first time the board would meet after the Deputy Governor of the RBI, Viral Acharya, commented on the independence of the central bank while delivering a lecture. The board has 18 members, including those appointed by the Centre.The meeting will come soon after the government invoked Section 7 of the RBI Act to direct the to ease prompt corrective action norms. These norms restrict fresh lending by banks.

RSS Reiterates Demand For Law To Build Ram Mandir In Ayodhya

Just weeks after Mohan Bhagwat said the government should pass a law to authorise the building of a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has reiterated its demand for legislation to enable the construction a temple. This comes just days after the apex court adjourned hearing on the title dispute to January, dashing hopes of a quick decision on the issue.

Leaders of the RSS and its affiliated organisations are meeting at Keshav Srushti campus as part of a three-day conclave that began on Wednesday. Bhagwat has inaugurated the event. Earlier, Amit Shah held meetings with senior BJP leaders and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow. Although the party said that the meeting was meant to review preparations for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, it was widely seen as one where the issue of legislation could have been discussed.

India Protests Proposed Pakistan-China Bus Service Via PoK

India has lodged strong protests with Pakistan and China after reports indicated that the two are planning to start a bus service between Lahore and Kashgar, a city in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China's far west, through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). In a statement, India said that the move will violate its sovereignty as the territory through which the bus would pass is part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

India has been against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project which runs through PoK. Reports said the new bus service will be launched on 13 November. Pakistan doesn't share a border with China and its only link to the country is through the parts of Jammu and Kashmir under its occupation.

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