Morning
Brief: Collegium Logjam Breakthrough? Tax Terrorism Fears Allayed; Top Firms
Challenge Trump BanThe Supreme Court of India.

Good Morning, Swarajya Readers! Here's What You Need To Know Today.

Collegium Recommends Names Of Nine Chief Justices: In a bid to appoint regular High Court chief justices instead of having acting chiefs for months together, the Supreme Court collegium has recommended nine names to the government. If cleared by the government, this could be the highest number of appointments of chief justices made in one go. The recommendations signify a major move forward amid a long-drawn battle between the judiciary and the government over the authority to appoint judges.

I-T Department Plays Down Tax Terrorism Fears: Providing clarity on scrutiny of deposits made in banks post demonetisation, Income Tax Department today said no questions will be asked about deposits of up to Rs 2.5 lakh and only those accounts will be probed that do not match the tax returns. "There is no need to fear for any genuine person. We will ensure there is no harassment to genuine person," Central Board of Direct Taxes chairman Sushil Chandra said.

Swearing In Of Sasikala In Doubt: A plea seeking to stop the swearing in of V K Sasikala as Tamil Nadu chief minister today, was moved in the Supreme Court on Monday. The public interest litigation (PIL) was filed hours after the apex court indicated it could deliver its judgement on the appeals challenging the acquittal of J Jayalalithaa and Sasikala in a 19-year-old disproportionate assets case. Meanwhile, the prospects of Sasikala’s immediate swearing-in appeared remote as Governor C Vidyasagar Rao is out of town.

No Poisoning Or Wrong Treatment, Say Jayalalithaa’s Doctors: The Tamil Nadu government facilitated a media briefing on Monday for doctors to "clear doubts", "dispel rumours" and offer details of the treatment given to J Jayalalithaa. There was no poisoning, misdiagnosis and wrong treatment in the case of Jayalalithaa, a team of doctors led by London-based critical care experts Dr Richard Beale said. Neither was her legs amputated nor did she undergo an organ transplant, he said.

Green Tribunal Raps Agencies For Failing Clean Ganga Project: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) observed on Monday that not a single drop of river Ganga has been cleaned so far and rapped the government agencies for “only wasting public money” in the name of the cleaning project. A bench headed by NGT chairman Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the agencies to work together on the project to clean the river, saying, “The Prime Minister has given you a goal, take it as a national project”.

Supreme Court Orders To Attach Sahara’s Aamby Valley: In a blow to the Sahara Group, the Supreme Court on Monday ordered that its prime real-estate project, Aamby Valley, would be attached to ensure the recovery of Rs 14,000 crore the company owes to duped investors. The order noted Sahara’s proposed payment plan extending till July 2019 was too long and said the court would auction the properties to recover the amount. Aamby Valley’s declared worth is Rs 39,000 crore.

Tata Sons Votes Out Mistry From Board: Ousted Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry was on Monday removed as director of the company with shareholders voting in favour of his removal with “requisite majority”. Sources said Mistry’s brother-in-law and Ratan Tata’s half-brother, Noel Tata, voted in favour of the resolution through proxies, though he directly holds minuscule shares in the company.

Pakistan Parliament Passes Resolution Backing Kashmir Cause: Pakistan's parliament passed a unanimous resolution on Monday extending solidarity with the Kashmiris and rejecting as "ridiculous" the Indian stand that Kashmir is an integral part of India. The resolution came a day after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif described Kashmir issue as the "unfinished agenda of partition" and the oldest dispute in the UN Security Council.

Top Technology Firms Challenge Trump Ban: As many as 100 US technology companies, including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Intel, eBay, Uber and Twitter, have filed a joint legal brief arguing against President Donald Trump's travel ban, saying it ''inflicts significant harm on American business, innovation, and growth.'' Two former Secretaries of State, John Kerry and Madeleine Albright, have also backed the challenge saying Trump's order undermines national security and will endanger US troops in the field.

Trump Hits Out At Fake News Media Houses: US President Donald Trump on Monday lashed out at several American media outlets, including The New York Times, for allegedly running inaccurate stories. “The failing New York Times writes total fiction concerning me,” Trump alleged. He also hit out at other media outlets for running polls in which his popularity is low. “Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election. Sorry, people want border security and extreme vetting,” he said.

MUST READ OP-EDS

The Colonial Hangover: The principle of “prohibited unless explicitly allowed” was used by the British to control the natives. In their country, it was the other way around: “allowed unless prohibited”. India’s tax system continues to suffer from the colonial hangover.

The MPC: Lost In Translation: India’s infant MPC is still finding its feet. It should do some introspection to ensure a consistent and effectively communicated tapestry of its evolving economic assessment, action and guidance.

Raja Mandala: It’s Not Just About H-1B: The political heat from the US had convinced many Indian tech companies that their business model must reduce the reliance on getting visas for in-situ work in America. That should not be impossible, even as Delhi limits Trump’s immediate disruption.

Equality’s Time Has Come: Today, Naga women excel in the public and private spheres academically, intellectually and to a certain extent economically – this is frightening to the Naga male, who continues to expect the woman to be dependent on him.

Demand For Protectionism: The proponents of government intervention claim that a significant capital infusion by established global companies such as Amazon and Uber constitutes market manipulation and distorts the level playing field.

SWARAJYA SPECIAL

All But Lost: In Bengal, ISIS Ideology Allowed To Thrive And Prosper At Public Expense: The state is seeing an alarming demographic shift and intense and openly flaunted radicalisation of Muslims. All thanks to Mamata Banerjee’s vote bank politics.

Why We Should Worry About Political Trends In Punjab, TN And West Bengal: Each of the three states is right now at a point where a gentle push can trigger a full blown social and political crisis.

We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!

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