Five must-read stories—December 17
The stories you can’t miss
Anyone who's never had more than ₹2 lakh in his or her bank account but does so now should be worried as such accounts will be red-flagged, reports The Economic Times. This appears to be a lowering of the threshold for inquiry — banks are currently providing information to the Financial Intelligence Unit on accounts where customers have deposited ₹2.5 lakh or more in cash.
India's Chief Justice-in-waiting abruptly ended Friday's hearing of a petition on alleged corporate payoffs to Narendra Modi after counsel Prashant Bhushan alluded to "rumours", apparently about the judge going soft on the case, because his "elevation file is with the Prime Minister". Bhushan, representing the NGO that had moved the public interest plea, clarified that he "personally" had "no difficulty" with Justice JS Khehar hearing the case, reports The Telegraph.
In a decision impinging on the sovereignty of India, the NIA—with the Modi government’s approval—has signed an agreement with the FBI, reports The Quint. This allows the FBI to probe terrorism-related cases in India, without taking the concerned state government’s permission. Recently, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee objected to the FBI’s “entry” and “freewheeling” probes in the case of an alleged Islamic State/Daesh operative in West Bengal.
Supreme Court rejects HC ruling: No sovereignty for J&K outside the Constitution of India
Snubbing the Jammu and Kashmir High Court for asserting the state’s “sovereignty” and “sovereign powers”, the Supreme Court on Friday said J&K “has no vestige of sovereignty outside the Constitution of India”. The apex court also rejected the J&K High Court’s view that the J&K Constitution was equal to the Constitution of India, reports The Indian Express.
A "poor" tea and snacks vendor, Kishore Bhajiyawala of Udhna in south Gujarat, came under the lens of the IT department after he deposited over ₹ 1crore in one of his bank accounts following the demonetisation, reports The Tribune. Nearly three days of search operations revealed he had more than ₹ 1.08 crore in cash, ₹2.5 crore in diamond and gold jewellery, ₹75 lakh in silver bars and land property valued at ₹250 crore.