PE firms, IT Dept get clean chit in CCD founder Siddhartha's suicide case

Agencies
July 25, 2020

New Delhi, Jul 25: Nearly a year after Cafe Coffee Day founder V.G. Siddhartha's death, the probe committee appointed by the Board of Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd (CDEL) has given a virtual clean chit to private equity investors and the Income Tax Department who were named in his last letter.
The investigation report noted that Siddhartha may have felt "aversive behavioural stimulus" due to persistent reminders from the PE investors and other lenders.

"However, such reminders and follow-ups by the PE investors and lenders are not something which are beyond normal industry practices and we believe that PE investors were acting as per accepted legal and business norms," said that report.

It further said that the investigators were not provided with any documentary evidence to show any "advertent or inadvertent harassment" from the Income Tax Department.

It however, said that the financial records suggest a serious liquidity crunch which may have arisen due to the attachment of Mindtree shares by the IT Department.

Further, the probe revealed that MACEL, a private firm of Siddhartha, owes Rs 2,693 crore to Coffee Day Enterprises, which the report says, "needs to be addressed".

The Cafe Coffee Day founder's body was fished out of the Netravathi river in Karnataka by a group of fishermen on July 31 last year, a day after he went missing.

His last note raised several questions about the role of investors, and tax officials.

He had written: "Tremendous pressure from other lenders lead to me succumbing to the situation. There was a lot of harassment from the previous DG Income Tax in the form of attaching our shares on two separate occasions to block our Mindtree deal and then taking possession of our Coffee Day shares, although the revised returns have been filed by us. This was very unfair and has led to a serious liquidity crunch."

The massive shock to the industry and the country also led the government to assure that tax officials would not harass businessmen and the situation would improve.

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September 29,2020
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Nalin Kumar Kateel

Belagavi, Sept 29: Karnataka BJP chief and Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel alleged that Congress has been fuelling protests and instigating the farmers against land reforms and APMC Act for being out of power in the state and Centre and not being able to digest it.

Speaking to reporters here on Tuesday, Kateel said APMC Act has given farmers power to decide the costs of their agricultural produce which earlier was with traders and commission agents. Land reforms act too was in favour of farmers.

BJP leaders and workers will create awareness among the farmers and people regarding the benefits they enjoy due to the new laws, he added. Congress, when out of power, instigates people for protests and the same has been happening with the new laws. APMC Act and land reforms were in the manifesto of Congress, but being in the Opposition, it has been instigating people and farmers, he stated.

He also alleged that Congress leaders had similarly fuelled protests against CAA while it was pending since the era of Mahatma Gandhi, and Indira Gandhi too wanted it. Allegations by the Congress that BJP has been murdering democracy were not acceptable. It was Congress that dislodged many state governments for power and Emergency by Indira Gandhi was an example of its mindset, Kateel said.

Congress leader Siddharamaiah is a former chief minister and should behave respectfully. During his tenure as Chief Minister, more than 3000 farmers committed suicide, Hindu activists were murdered. Violence was instigated in the name of Tipu Sultan Jayanti and efforts were made to divide the society in the name of Veershaiva-Lingayat, he said.

Siddharamaiah does not have any right to demand resignation of Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa over protest by farmers. The Chief Minister has been working for the welfare of all.

Siddharamaiah could not even win Assembly election from his home constituency in Mysuru and had to get elected from Badami in Bagalkot district, Kateel said. BJP will soon finalise candidates for Sira assembly constituency by-election. Names of four to five candidates have come forward. BJP was in commanding position in the constituency, he informed.

He denied commenting on the candidate for the by-election for Belagavi parliamentary constituency that had got vacated due to the death of union minister Suresh Angadi. Kateel said he would be visiting the family of Angadi to console them. He recalled Angadi's contribution for the party's organisation and for the state as Railway Minister.

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News Network
September 23,2020

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Bengaluru, Sept 23: Facing flak from various quarters, the Karnataka government restored chapters on historical figures Tipu Sultan, Hyder Ali and Sangolli Rayanna and instead dropped chapters on British rulers in India from history textbooks for Classes 6 and 7. This is part of the exercise to reduce the syllabus as reopening of schools has been delayed due to the Covid crisis.

In July, the government announced it had reduced syllabi by 30% as part of efforts to cut working days for classes 1 to 10 from the usual 200 days to 120. Among lessons truncated in Social Studies were chapter 5 of class 7 that deals with Hyder Ali, Tipu Sultan, historical places of Mysuru, and the administration of commissioners.

Chapters on the drafting committee of the Constitution and salient features of the Constitution and ‘entire lessons’ on Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed had been dropped since they are taught in Class 9. This had triggered angry reactions and protests in the state.

Tipu Sultan has been a contentious figure, with BJP opposing the Siddaramaiah government’s decision to celebrate his birth anniversary. Some BJP MLAs had petitioned the Yediyurappa government to drop academic content on the Mysuru ruler.

‘Reduced syllabus will take away kids’ burden’

The government restored chapters on Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna, who fought the British as a general of Kittur Rani Chenamma, especially after it came under attack from community leaders and mutt pontiffs from the Kuruba community.

“We reduced the syllabus by 30% after restoring all controversial chapters. The report will be sent to the government and the new syllabus will be published on the portal soon after we get approval,” said MT Made Gowda, managing director, Karnataka Textbooks Society.

S Suresh Kumar, minister for primary and secondary education, said he’s looking into the report.

Education department officials, however, said the truncated version is expected to be published soon after the ongoing monsoon session scheduled to end on Saturday. “We were open to revision since our intention was never to hurt anybody’s sentiments or to deprive students from learning any particular lessons. The reduced version will take away unnecessary burden both on students and teachers considering the shortage of time,” said Suresh Kumar, insisting that the changes are applicable to only the current academic year.

The main objection was that it was done without consulting two expert committees appointed last year to look into demands from a section of BJP legislators to remove chapters that allegedly glorify Tipu Sultan.

The panel headed by Ashwath Narayan, a history professor from Mysuru University, was asked to make recommendations about the content in textbooks (classes 8 to 10) and the other led by TR Chandrashekhar, a retired history professor from Hampi University, was tasked with reviewing the history parts of classes 6 and 7. Both panels had advised against removing chapters on Tipu.

“The first version was defective asit removed certain chapters entirely and portions which were the continuity of what students had learnt in previous classes. Now, it has been corrected,” said Chandraskhekar.

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September 26,2020

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Bengaluru, Sept 26: Karnataka Assembly has passed the amendment to the Land Reforms Act in the state on Saturday, according to the Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa.

Yediyurappa, in a tweet, said, "The Amendment to Karnataka Land Reforms Act passed in the Assembly today further empowers our farmers and strengthens their rights."

"While the Agricultural produce market committee (APMC) reforms ensured "My Produce, My Right", the land reforms ensures "My land, My Right" to all our Annadatas," it added.

The Karnataka Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council sessions will commence on September 30.

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