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Author: Ritika Jain

‘National Herald’ case: Subramanian Swamy loses battle for documents in court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A trial court on Monday dismissed BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s request for documents claiming it to be “nothing but a fishing enquiry which is not permitted under the law.” Metropolitan Magistrate Loveleen dismissed the application a year after Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi were summoned to court in the National Herald case.The court added that by seeking the financial documents Swamy seemed to “enlarge the scope of the present proceedings.”The court observed that documents sought from the Income Tax department were not relevant to the proceedings and hence could not be ordered to be summoned. With respect to the documents sought from the Congress party—at least 10 types of documents, the court rejected the claim observing that Swamy had not yet submitted his list of witnesses in the case whom the BJP leader proposed to examine in the pre-charge stage.While requesting for documents Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), primarily to check the legality or otherwise of the loan taken from the Congress Party and to check whether the AJL was complying with the provisions of the Companies Act at the relevant time, Swamy used the terms ‘verify’, ‘see’, ‘investigate’. The court observed, that by using these terms, Swamy himself was “not aware of the contents of the said documents.”The court however, allowed Swamy a last opportunity to submit the list of his witnesses in this case and fixed the matter for February 10 to hear arguments on framing of the charges.In a complaint filed by Swamy, the BJP leader has alleged that Sonia, Rahul and others conspired to cheat and misappropriate funds. Swamy accused the Gandhis of misappropriating Congress party funds by paying Rs 50 lakh through which Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YIPL) obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore from Associate Journal Private Limited (AJPL). This, Swamy felt was fraudulent not only to the party donors but also to the State Exchequer by claiming tax exemptions.The defence led by senior advocates RS Cheema, and Rebecca John along with Ramesh Gupta among others argued that the complainant is under an obligation to file a list of witnesses and examine them before seeking documents. The defence further submitted that Swamy was trying to collect and prepare an archive of documents through the present application. The application was omnibus in nature and the documents sought to be summoned were neither relevant nor necessary.

Breather for Tyagi as court grants bail

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a major setback to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), a Delhi sessions court granted bail to former Air Force chief SP Tyagi on Monday. Tyagi was directed to furnish a bail bond of Rs 2 lakh and one surety for a like amount.Sanjeev Tyagi and Gautam Khaitan, the co-accused, were denied bail and will remain in judicial custody till December 30.Tyagi and the other two allegedly received kickbacks while buying a dozen AW-101 VVIP helicopters from the UK-based AgustaWestland company. Tyagi, who was held on December 9, is the first chief from any wing of the armed forces to be arrested.The CBI arrested the accused more than three years after registering the FIR.”During the arguments, the CBI failed to state as to how much cash was paid to the accused and when it was paid,” Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar noted. The additional sessions judge gave his order after hearing arguments from the defence and the CBI last week.Representing the CBI, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, on Friday, submitted that, if released, the former air chief would influence the witness and tamper with the investigation. However, the court found these charges to be “unfounded” and “without any bias.”The court forbade Tyagi from tampering with evidence and influencing witnesses. It directed him to join the investigation as and when called by the CBI. Tyagi also cannot leave the NCR region without court permission.The former air chief’s bail was hailed by veterans who have been supporting him throughout his incarceration. Shortly after receiving bail, IAF Chief Arup Raha made a statement to the media saying that Tyagi’s arrest had affected the morale of the Air Force and dented the image of the forces. Raha also added that Tyagi should not be treated like a common criminal.Such sentiments were echoed by Tyagi’s supporters — retired Air Marshals and Air Vice Marshals who thronged the courtroom to stand beside their chief. The community, who was incensed over Tyagi’s arrest and incarceration, had even come out with a petition seeking his release. The petition garnered over 2,000 signatures.Tyagi, his cousin Sanjeev, better known as Julie, and Khaitan were arrested by the CBI on December 9 in an illegal graft case. The FIR, which the CBI had filed close to four years ago, stated that Tyagi had granted approval for reduction of the service ceiling (height of flying capability) of the choppers from 6,000 metres to 4,500 metres. This, the CBI alleged, was instrumental in making AgustaWestland eligible to participate in a bid to supply helicopters.The probe agency further alleged that Italian middlemen Guido Haschke and Carlos Gerosa had given Tyagi cash, camouflaged in the form of consultancy fees, to alter the operational requirements.Representing the defence, Menaka Guruswamy refuted all charges levelled against her client. In her arguments for bail submitted last week, Guruswamy stressed that the charges against Tyagi were economic in nature, for which the documents had already been investigated by the CBI. She claimed that the only charge against her client was vague and that the CBI had based their allegations on the judgment from an Italian court of appeals.Incidentally, the Italian Supreme Court accepted the plea and ordered a re-trial of Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini, former CEOs of Finmeccanica and AgustaWestland. The two were then convicted for bribing Indian government officials for a 560 million Euro deal involving the sale of 12 helicopters.

Florence Nightingales of the army sing discrimination

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two officers in the Military Nursing Services (MNS), the only all women corps of the army, have challenged discriminatory practices by the army in the Supreme Court (SC) and have sought restoration of their status, dignity and service conditions as officers of the Regular Army.In their petition, MNS officers Lieutenant Colonel Uma Kaushik and Captain Harpreet Kaur sought parity with officers in the army on various grounds. In their prayer, the officers have listed at least 13 grounds where discriminatory practices were observed. They include orders where nurses of senior ranks would not be saluted by junior ranked officers. Hence, though a MNS officer may be a Major General in uniform, a jawan will not salute her.The petitioners are of the opinion that the core consideration of the case stems from the prejudice they face, based on an obsolete and backward notion that nurses are inferior to other professionals. In their petition, they said they believe the heart of the matter is that doctors and male officers find it unpalatable that they are required to treat nursing officers in accordance with their status and rank.This petition is similar to a 2015 writ petition filed by Major General (Retd) Usha Sikdar on behalf of Military Nursing Service Corps Association in which a notice was issued to the army. It is interesting to note that since hearing in December, 4, 2015, the matter has not come up again in the top court.Known as the Florence Nightingales of the Indian Army, MNS officers have been seeking redressal for over a decade now. The petitioners believe that discriminatory practices were introduced after a 2003 SC judgement in Jasbir Kaur’s case, where an unfortunate one line observation made by the Bench stated, “That the Indian Military Nursing Service is a separate class, sui generis even though an auxiliary force of the Indian Military, is an undeniable fact.”Over the years, the nurses allege that they were discriminated against on at least 13 grounds that included discontinuation of arms training, change in uniform, stripping of stars and flags from vehicles and verbal instructions to stop saluting MNS officers among others.According to the petition, the Army, vide letter no. B/42706/MNS/AG/CW-1 09.02.2004, changed the olive green shirt and pants (like other officers in the Army) worn by the officers in the MNS to safari style beige colour uniform. This, the officers allege, was discriminatory and a grave gender injustice.IN 2005, the Chief of the Army Staff (CoAS) disallowed the display of star plates and flying of flags by officers in the MNS of the rank of Brigadier and Major general on their official vehicles. In 2008, the CoAS wrote to the Cabinet Secretary against granting the same pay band and grade pay to officers in the MNS as for the other service officers as recommended by the 6th Central Pay Commission.After 2004, MNS officers have been denied membership and access to exclusive army clubs and institutes and accommodation has been segregated. The 6th Pay Commission recommended parity in time-scale promotions, a notification that has not yet been implemented.In their petition, the two officers further allege that there has been an attempt to take away their commissioned rank. In her blog titled Fall of Nightingales – the tale of a losing battle, Maj Gen Sikdar wrote that a 10-member committee, headed by then army director-general of discipline, ceremonial and welfare, Lt Gen MG Girish recommended that MNS ranks be changed to Sister, Senior Sister, Matron, Deputy Principal Matron, Deputy Nursing Superintendent and Nursing Superintendent from Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Lt Colonel, Brigadier and Major General, respectively. However, medical officers got to retain their ranks, Sikdar noted.

Arrested air chief to spend christmas in jail, Court may decide on Monday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Air Chief Marshall SP Tyagi will be spending Christmas behind bars as the court’s decision on his jail application maybe announced on Monday. Two days after the defence concluded their arguments, CBI submitted their opposition in front of Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar at Patiala house court on Friday.Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar reserved its order on the bail applications of Tyagi, his cousin Sanjeev aka Julie and Delhi-based lawyer Gautam Khaitan who were arrested on December 9 in the case pertaining to the AgustaWestland chopper scam.Refuting the charge that the CBI had arbitrarily arrested SP Tyagi and thereby tarnishing his image, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta representing the CBI, stressed that not much could be revealed at this delicate stage since the investigation was multi-layered, and multi-jurisdictional. “We have evidences where the meetings unofficially took place for the purpose of crime. Let the probe be completed,” Mehta said, seeking the dismissal of all three bail pleas.The CBI submitted a case diary that contained evidence collected through oral and documentary material. “This evidence is not to be disclosed in the pre-chargesheet stage,” Mehta stressed throughout his submission. Mehta stated that the evidence gathered took time since Letters of Rogatory (LORs) were sent to eight countries through official channels and the process was time consuming. Mehta said that in 2014 Italy, one of the countries approached, sent 1.2 lakh documents of which 70 per cent was in Italian. Mauritius, Mehta added sent evidence in 2016.”We cannot reveal many facts as it will have serious implication on the case,” Mehta said. “During investigation the accused came to know the line of questioning when he was interrogated. Hence, the moment the accused comes out, there is a concern that other witnesses who have not yet been interrogated will be influenced and perhaps evidence maybe destroyed,” Mehta added.Mehta submitted that during their investigation not only Tyagi, but his family members also figured as prospective witnesses. “SP Tyagi and his cousin’s name have cropped up often during the investigation,” Mehta said. Replying to the court’s query whether the former air chief had received any money – the sole charge against him in the FIR, the CBI stated that SP Tyagi had bought several properties while he was still in office which he did not declare as he was supposed to.In the hour-long submission, the CBI touched upon many points – a few to strengthen their case against the three accused, and others to rebut the argument made by the defence.Clarifying that the Italian Surpeme Court had set aside the order of the appellate court and not the trial court, in the case pertaining to Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini, former CEOs of Finmeccanica and AgustaWestland. Whereas, Italian national and middle-man Guido Haschke had never contested his guilt and continued to be a convict. “The decision of the Italian courts is not the foundation of my case, though it may simply work as a guide to my investigation,” Mehta said.Opposing CBI’s contention, Meneka Guruswamy, representing the former air chief, said his client “could not be deprived from freedom if the investigation is taking time to complete”. Guruswamy claimed that the CBI had already seized all the documents since the FIR was registered. “The CBI’s case is simply this, I will not tell you the case, I will not tell you the evidence and I will not allow you a defence,” Guruswamy argued. “Self-incrimination does not amount to non-cooperation,” she added.”Even today, the CBI has not demonstrated anything more than a statement that my client received some cash,”the defence said.

Ex-IAF chief Tyagi sent to judicial custody

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Submitting that the investigation was at a crucial stage and more than two lakh records needed to be perused, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sought time till Friday to present his arguments opposing former Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi’s bail. Mehta further added that from what he had already read, a serious case was emerging in the pre-chargesheet stage.The former ACM, his cousin Sanjeev aka Julie, and Delhi-based lawyer Gautam Khaitan, who were arrested in connection with the AgustaWestland chopper scam, were remanded to judicial custody till December 30 on Saturday.However, despite the CBI’s reluctance to continue the trial, special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar at the Patiala House court allowed the defence counsels to present their arguments for bail. Over the course of the afternoon, the defence team made its arguments in front of a full court.Right off the bat, Menaka Guruswamy, representing the former air chief, submitted that given the chargesheet was supposed to be filed sometime this year, the CBI was inconsistent in its statements, and her client was languishing in jail over an unwarranted arrest.Guruswamy stressed that the charges were economic in nature, the documents had already been investigated by the CBI. She claimed that the only charge against her client was vague, and that the CBI had based their allegations on the judgment from an Italian court of appeals. Incidentally, the Italian Supreme Court accepted the plea and ordered a re-trial of Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini, former CEOs of Finmeccanica and AgustaWestland, who were convicted for bribing Indian government officials for a 560 million Euro deal involving the sale of 12 helicopters.Pleading for release, Guruswamy informed the court that, “All evidence in the nature of bank and account statements which are documentary, have been seized by the CBI. My client’s bank accounts have been frozen by the CBI. He has never evaded summons of the CBI, nor has the agency alleged non-cooperation.” Alleging that there is no more evidence to be given by SP Tyagi, she concluded her submission by saying “Please let me go home.”Tyagi’s counsel also acknowledged the veterans who had come to support Tyagi, Guruswamy said “Colleagues have come for each of the hearings and they have also signed a petition expressing their anguish and demanded his (SP Tyagi’s) release.”PK Dubey, representing Khaitan, similarly sought for compassion for his client.In his defence, Manav Gupta, Julie Tyagi’s lawyer, attempted to prove that CBI’s claim stating that the money his client got was the only consultancy fee he had ever received was wrong. “I will prove that there are at least 16 other clients over the years who have paid me more money than the Italian national as consultancy fees,” Gupta submitted for Julie.Despite what can only be perceived as stalling tactics by the CBI, support for ACM Tyagi has increased. An online petition, that includes an open letter to the prime minister and also demanding Tyagi’s release, has already garnered more than 1500 signatories in 24 hours. Many among the veteran community believe that Tyagi is a fall guy, a scape goat, and also perhaps a political diversion for reasons best known to the government. “The current procedures are so complicated and cumbersome that it is all but impossible for ACM Tyagi to have influenced any kind of deal,” a veteran said. “Deals of these kinds are hardly ever done by sitting high-level officers and it is often carried out by the bureaucracy,” he added.

AgustaWestland scam: Veterans in court to support Air Chief SP Tyagi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi, one of the accused in the AgustaWestland chopper scam, maintained a cheerful persona even as his family broke down when he was remanded in judicial custody till December 30. Two others—cousin Sanjeev, aka Julie, and Delhi-based lawyer Gautam Khaitan—were also remanded in judicial custody a week after they were arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).Tyagi, who tried to raise the morale of his supporters—retired Air Marshals, including a retired Chief of Army—was overheard joking with his former mates that he hoped to be sent to Tihar Jail and assigned the same cell that Rajya Sabha MP K Kanimozhi was in when she was arrested in connection with the 2G scam.Tyagi’s remand in judicial custody came a day after Italy’s highest court of appeal ordered a re-trial of Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini, former CEOs of Finmeccanica and AgustaWestland. The duo was convicted for bribing Indian government officials a 560 million Euro deal involving the sale of 12 helicopters.When Tyagi entered the tiny courtroom presided by Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar, all stood up. The crowd of about 30 that included family members, and former air marshals—almost all beyond the age of 70, stayed there right through the proceedings.Hours after the hearing concluded, the veterans stayed back till the accused were ferried to jail in a separate van—as requested by the defence councils. Words of encouragement flowed as they tried to speak to Tyagi through a mesh outside the lock-up facility in Patiala House Court. Steaming cups of tea could not keep out the chill that they felt at how the system was treating a member of their fraternity who had once held the highest post in the Indian Air Force.Former Air Marshal Denzel Keelor, one of the first to arrive, was furious. “Is this how an officer of his (SP Tyagi) stature should be treated,” Keelor fumed. “We are all demoralized and are present here because in the Air Force we all fight together,” he added.Keelor—a war hero who shot down a Sabre jet during the 1965 Indo-Pak war, and many others including retired Air Vice Marshal Kapil Kak who were present in the courtroom today, were disturbed at the turn of events. Kak’s face crumpled when he realized his junior was being sent to jail after all. “I am viewing these turn of events with great despair and disappointment. SP Tyagi is not ordinary, the investigation must have had proof beyond question to take such a drastic step,” Kak said.Many veterans in the Air Force questioned the arrest and all seemed to agree that it appeared to be politically motivated. “We are easy pickings because we don’t say anything,” a retired Air Marshal was heard saying.”Anybody who knows the system and the procedure will know that Tyagi would have been unable to influence the tweaking of the operational requirements (a charge he has been accused of) a retired Air Marshal said on condition of anonymity.The former Indian Air Force chief—the first chief from any wing of the armed forces to be arrestedand the others who were allegedly involved in irregularities in the procurement of the VVIP helicopters from UK-based AgustaWestland were first arrested by the CBI on December 9, more than three years after registering the FIR.According to the March 2013 FIR, the CBI stated that in 2005 Tyagi abused his official position to change the consistent stand of the IAF on the service ceiling of VVIP choppers from 6000 mts to 4500 mts. The CBI stressed that without changing the operational requirements, AgustaWestland would have been unable to compete in the bid.All the accused, including the companies, were booked for criminal conspiracy, cheating and sections under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Demonetization: Supreme Court says it will not ‘interfere’ in govt’s decision

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Chief Justice of India signed off on his last working day by questioning the constitutional validity of the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes and the legality of the implemented policies as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.A three-judge bench comprising of the chief justice along with Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud refused to “interfere” underlining that these were “matters of fiscal policies” and declined to issue any interim direction. The top court placed their faith in the government’s assurances that things would look up at the end of the 50th day on December 31. The apex court also stayed all ongoing petitions in the various high courts across the country and transferred them to a five-judge constitutional bench.The SC’s order came in response to a petition filed on November 10, against the government’s November 8 announcement of demonetizing Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. Two petitions were filed by Delhi-based lawyers Vivek Narayan Sharma and Sangam Lal Pandey, while two others were filed by individuals, S Muthukumar and Adil Alvi. All petitioners, seeking a stay on demonetization, had alleged that the sudden decision created chaos and harassment to the public at large.The top court further framed questions on law after extensively hearing the matter by understanding the matter from a legal and political point of view from the Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohatgi and by hearing the pains suffered by the common man from advocate Kapil Sibal representing the petitioners who filed the PIL.Though there is no immediate relief to the common man, the court has however started a debate on the constitutionality of passing such notifications. The bench touched upon the various issues the common man was plagued with and made observations.Withdrawal limitThe denial of right to withdraw the prescribed amount of Rs 24,000 per week despite a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) notification permitting the same was a cause of serious concern, the bench observed. Responding to complaints that banks are refusing to pay full prescribed amount on the ground of non-availability of enough volume of legal tender currency, it said the government was obliged to ensure that “its commitment made under the said notification is implemented without any exception.”Accepting the government’s claim that the old demonetized notes will be replaced by new legal tender notes in the form of Rs 500 and Rs 2000 progressively in right earnest, the court directed the authorities to fulfill their commitment, and to review the decision periodically, taking necessary corrective measures.Issue of secrecyThe top court agreed that the Centre’s call to maintain absolute secrecy before declaring Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes illegal was imperative to “unearth the black money or unaccounted money and to dry up the terror fund and defeat the attempt of circulation of large-scale counterfeit currency.”The bench accepted that to maintain secrecy, new currency notes could not be printed well in advance.District & co-op banksThe Bench accepted the Centre’s assurance that the RBI would credit the entire amount offered by the District Cooperative Banks for exchange after due verification in the form of demonetized notes, with the commensurate amount of legal tender notes.Exemption periodThe apex court hoped that the government would be “sensitive” to the needs of the common man observing that the decision to extend the exemption period to use demonetized notes at specified counters, even in case of emergency situation like hospitalization, travel by rail or air etc. was best left to the government. The Bench advised the government to take a “sympathetic” approach to the exemption of using the demonetized currency for emergencies.

SC downs shutters on liquor stores along highways

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a move to curb the menace of drunken driving, the Supreme Court banned liquor shops along national and state highways on Thursday. Stressing the importance and the need to improve road safety, a bench led by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur further ordered that no liquor shops can operate or been seen within 500 metres of the highways.Liquor shops that are functional have been allowed to operate till April 1, 2017, however, licenses will be not be renewed or issued post March 31, 2017. The bench has ordered the chief secretaries of all the states to chalk out a plan to enforce the ban in consultation with excise and municipal officials.The SC gave this directive in response to a PIL filed by the NGO Arrive Safe. According to the NGO, around 1.42 lakh people were killed in road accidents, a majority of which were caused by drunk driving. The NGO claimed that the easy availability of liquor along highways was one of the main reasons for the road accidents.While reserving its order on December 7, the apex court had then expressed its concern over the fatalities reported every year in road mishaps, and indicated that it may direct the closure of liquor vends on national and state highways across the nation. The bench had also stated that it would direct the removal of the signages indicating their location. This move, the bench said was for the safety and security of the commuters on the highways who got “distracted” by seeing the shops and causing accidents.Expressed his unhappiness at the states’ inaction to curb the rising number of shops, Justice Thakur said, “We would not like any vends on national highways, state highways, advertisements, or signage about the availability of liquor shops. We will direct all highway authorities to remove all sign boards. It should be absolutely free from any distraction or attractions. It should not be visible. Visibility is the first temptation.”The bench pointed out that instead of curbing the number of shops, states had increased the number of licenses issued. Lashing out at the Central government for not doing anything concrete for the last 10 years, the court said it was forced to “step in.”The ban order came when the apex court was hearing petitions challenging various high court orders that disapproved the sale of liquor on highways. However, not all states were in the favour of the ban. Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab were in the forefront of voicing their opposition to the ban.The court heavily came down on the Punjab government for seeking relaxation and permitting liquor shops near highways if they are “elevated” ones and the vends are under or near it. “Look at the number of licences you (Punjab) have given. Because the liquor lobby is so powerful, everyone is happy. The excise department is happy, the excise minister is happy and the state government is also happy that they are making money. If a person dies due to this, you give Rs one or 1.5 lakh. That is it. You should take a stand which is helpful for the society,” the bench had said.The court also criticised Punjab for defending the interest of the liquor lobby saying, “You are acting like a mouthpiece for the liquor lobby by defending the policy.” The advocate representing Punjab appealed to the bench that also comprised of the CJI along with Justices D Y Chandrachud and L Nageshwar Rao, that the ban should be made effective from April 1, 2017 to avoid a loss of Rs. 1,000 crore to the exchequer.To the Jammu and Kashmir government, the apex court had said “You can start a door delivery of liquor,” in response to their argument that if the vends are away from the highway, people would have problems accessing them due to the terrains.Dry states (and union territories) in IndiaGujaratBiharNagalandLakhswadeepKerela (partial ban)State Actions against AlcoholRecently deceased Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha shut down 500 liquor stores on May 23, the first day of her fourth term as Chief Minister.In Bihar, the government issued a notification where those consuming alcohol could be jailed for up to seven years and fined by Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 lakh, two days after the Patna High Court quashed its order on banning alcohol consumption.

Charges framed against alleged ISIS suspects

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A special court here on Monday charged five suspected ISIS operatives of conspiring to carry out terror acts in the country. According to the chargesheet filed by the NIA, the suspects were planning to carry out operations during the Ardh Kumbh in Haridwar.Akhlakur Rehman, Mohd Azeemushan, Mohd Meraj, Mohd Osama and Mohsin Ibrahim Sayyed were charged for alleged offences committed under Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC and under Sections 17 (punishment for raising funds for terrorist act), 18 (conspiracy for terror act) and 20 (punishment for being member of terror group) of UAPA. The suspects plead not guilty and claimed trial that will commence on December 15. Though the five suspects are in judicial custody, Bhatkal man and former Indian Mujaheedin (IM) member, Shafi Armar, who was positively identified as Yusuf al Hindi, a key operative in the ISIS cadre, is currently absconding. IN this chargesheet, the NIA has charged Armar as being the main recruiter and motivator to set up Indian modules inspired by the Islamic State group (ISIS)This is the first time the NIA has been able to ascertain identity of Yusuf al-Hindi, who until now remained a shadowy figure behind his alias. The NIA has alleged that Armar radicalised the youths through various communication platforms like Twitter, Trillion, Surespot, Skype and Facebook. During the investigation it was revealed that Armar sent Rs.5,86,000 through hawala to Sheik. This money was distributed among active ISIS operatives here in the country.Armar also sent the alleged operatives, several links that contained information on how to make Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) from easily available material. Manuals like “Bomb Banane ka asan Tariqa (Easy way to make a bomb),” “Diwali wale Patakhaon ke Zariye (With the help of Diwali firecrackers),” “Table or Alarm watch se Timer Banana (How to make a timer using a table watch or alarm watch),” providing instructions on how to make bombs with the black residue of a matchstick head and other firecrackers that’s are usually burst during Diwali. Through the literature, the operatives also learnt how to use an ordinary light bulb as a detonator. Audio files containing “takrirs” – Hatred religious Preaching against Hindus of Maulana Masood Azhar, the chief commander of Jaish-eMohammad were also sent.The NIA recovered 65 grams of powder from the matchstick head mixed with sugar. In its report, the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), confirmed that the evidence collected was sufficient to make “explosive charges.”The six operatives mentioned above (except Armar), were arrested during various raids conducted by Special Cell of the Delhi Police early this year. They were allegedly plotting to target the Ardh Kumbh Mela that took place in Haridwar, Uttarakhand a few months ago. According to an order passed by the Home Ministry, the case was transferred to the NIA for further investigation.

Supreme Court says: Ministers should be made responsbile for statements made in public

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan and minister in the Uttar Pradesh government, offered to tender an unconditional apology to the Bulandshahr gangrape victims for saying that their rape was a political conspiracy. A Supreme Court bench led by Justices Dipak Mishra and Amitava Roy ordered Khan, through his counsel senior advocate Kapil Sibal, to tender the apology through an affidavit within two weeks. The bench slammed Khan by asking how as an individual holding a public office, could be allowed to comment on the crime and state that “it is an outcome of political controversy.” During the hearing Sibal submitted that “worse” statements were made by ministers in other government. Sibal further added that Khan’s statements had been misconstrued and attested that he never said “political conspiracy.”Jurist Fali Nariman, the court appointed Amicus Curie, submitted that for the purpose of this case, an unconditional apology may be accepted, however, a law was needed to hold persons holding public office responsible for making statements that were disrespectful to victims of rape or molestation. “Questions need to be framed and debated upon a decision be rendered so that before anyone, who holds a public office or authority, makes a statement, would be careful in respect of a victim, especially a victim of rape or molestation,” Nariman said. The court responded that, “The controversy does not end here…we cannot send the respondent (Khan) to jail for but can definitely always impose fine on him as a public law remedy.”Justice Mishra invited Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to frame questions that could be debated upon, based on which a law could be rendered to make those holding public office responsible for statements they made in public. Terming dignity of women as “uncompromisable,” on request of the complainant’s counsel advocate Kislay Pandey, the bench directed the state government to ensure that the minor victim was admitted in a central school of her father’s choice. “The Union of India shall see to it that the victim is admitted in the school, which is near to the petitioner’s house. Needless to say, the expenses shall be borne by the State of U.P.,” the bench said. “The school administration where the girl shall be admitted shall see to it that she is treated with respect, for the dignity of a woman is absolutely uncompromisable with any kind of thought or concept or idea, which some time notioned in fancy,” the bench added.The minor victim had approached the Supreme Court in August, seeking an FIR against Khan for allegedly saying “We need to investigate whether this is a political conspiracy by opponents who want to defame the government.” The girl had also appealed to the apex court to provide security and rehabilitation to her family.

Demonetization: SC lauds move against black money; says no to stay on note ban

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Observing that fighting the black money menace was a “laudable” step, the Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stay the government notification demonetizing Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes. It, however, asked the Centre to “consider taking steps to ease the pain of the common people” and also consider raising the limit of cash withdrawals.“Carpenters, maids, vegetable sellers are dependent on cash…Your aim is to wipe out black money but people are traumatised standing in queues for hours doing nothing,” a bench comprising Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justice DY Chandrachud said.“Why can’t the withdrawal limit be raised to a reasonable level so that there is less number of people standing in the queue,” it asked.The government told the apex court that the situation was being constantly monitored at the highest level and just now, it has been decided that the banks would allow from today the withdrawal of Rs 50,000 per current account per week and the facilities would also be available to companies.The apex court did not issue notices to the Centre or the RBI and asked them to file a comprehensive affidavit detailing steps taken so far to ameliorate the harassment and inconvenience caused to citizens due to demonetization of the high-value currency notes.The government, represented by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, came fully prepared to defend its ambitious step aimed at curbing black money and counterfeit currency used in financing terror and extremist violence saying the target was to “catch the big fish” which the previous governments could not do in last 50 years.Asking the government and the RBI to be open to suggestions the bench posted further hearing on the PILs to November 25.

Delhi to bid adieu to Taj Mansingh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The iconic Taj Mansingh Hotel in Lutyens’ Delhi will finally go on the block with the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court (DHC) dismissing its plea against a proposed auction.The Bench of Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Pratibha Rani upheld the September 5 order by a single judge, of the same court, who ruled against the extension of the lease and permitted the auction of the hotel.The Bench upheld the view that “the NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Corporation) would be bound to secure the price which would be fetched at a fair competition and the fair competition would be the one contemplated by the Supreme Court (SC) in the Centre for Public Interest Litigation case (supra) i.e. an auction.”Thursday’s 52-page judgment is not only a blow for the Tatas, but also for the residents of Delhi, for whom the hotel has been a landmark for over three decades. The hotel, a stone’s throw from the tony Khan Market, is one of the rare examples of Mughal architecture in the city. Set amidst a garden and constructed entirely out of pink Dholpur sandstone, the Taj Mansingh, a signature property of the Tatas, is the epitome of luxury and indulgence.Diners of Delhi would have to bid adieu to award-winning restaurants like Machan, Vark, House of Ming, Wasabi by Morimoto, Ricks Bar, among others.The AgreementIn 1978, Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL) and NDMC signed an agreement for the 11-storey hotel, under which the cost of land and construction was borne by NDMC, while the operation and maintenance were taken care of by the IHCL. The agreement was signed for 33 years from the date the first paying guest checked in. This lease expired in 2011, though various ad-hoc extensions were granted till January 31, 2016. The NDMC submitted that IHCL had no vested right to claim an extension either under the Collaboration Agreement dated December 18, 1976 or under the License Deed dated December 18, 1976.The case of IHCL was that the relationship between itself and the NDMC was in the nature of a “Joint Venture”, and, as a consequence, IHCL had a long-term interest in the hotel building and the land. Under the terms and agreement, as interpreted by the Tatas, it was entitled to “an extension of the License Deed.”In 2011, a committee of senior government officials was set up to look into IHCL’s proposal to run the NDMC-owned hotel for another 30 years. However, the council opted for a public auction of the hotel despite an earlier assurance in 2012 where NDMC would grant an extension.It is unclear when the 3.78-acre property will go up for auction, though sources close to the case have claimed that the Tatas will approach the SC. Speaking to DNA, NDMC chairman Naresh Kumar, said: “We are yet to read the complete order. The procedure for the auction will take some time as we will have to make sure we get value for money.”

The CBI’s ‘Untraceable’ 1984 witness Narinder Singh Khaira speaks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a status report in a New Delhi court claiming him untraceable. However, Canadian-American Narinder Singh Khaira, a “person of interest” in the 1984 anti-Sikh massacre case against Congress leader Jagdish Tytler, declares himself willing to talk to investigators. Thirty-two years after the assassination of Indira Gandhi— on October 31, 1984—triggered a pogrom that killed thousands of Sikhs in the national capital, Khaira is determined never to return to India.Interestingly, days before it was supposed to apprise a Delhi court on a probe relating to the riots, the investigating agency also recently held a meeting with Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner, Bob Paulson. Khaira was amongst the issues discussed, sources said.During the meeting Paulson was “apprised about the pending judicial request”. In response, the Canadian official assured more cooperation.Khaira, a toddler at the time of the riots, is the son of the late Surinder Singh, who was a granthi at Gurudwara Pulbangash in Delhi and was witness to three murders in the area on November 1, 1984. Based on his statement, the Nanavati Commission recommended the registration of a case against Tytler for murder and for influencing witnesses.In 2014, Surinder Singh allegedly died under “mysterious circumstances” at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).”My father deposed in front of the Nanavati Commission. However, not only has his statement been misused, but he was also misguided into retracting it later on,” said Khaira, who shuttles between Vancouver and Calgary and has been living in Canada with his wife and two children since 2005.Asked how he felt about giving his testimony to the CBI, he said he and his family continued to receive threats, allegedly by goons working for Tytler. He also rubbished the allegation that Tytler paid for his shift to Canada and said his father sold property in Delhi to pay an agent to facilitate the immigration.A trucker by profession, Khaira said that he had no issues if the CBI wanted to question him over the phone or even meet him in Canada. But he continued to fear for his safety and said he would never come back to India.Twists and turnsThe Khaira family continues to hold centre stage in a case that has haunted victims as well as law enforcement agencies for over three decades. In December 2015, the CBI filed a closure report in court citing “lack of evidence”. This report was challenged and the court directed the probe agency to further investigate claims made by arms dealer Abhishek Verma, who had alleged that Tytler paid for Khaira’s immigration to Canada. Since then, the CBI has been “unsuccessfully” trying to trace Khaira.While it remains to be seen if the CBI will get to him, Khaira spoke to DNA on two occasions on a +1 (403) number, which he said was available with the CBI.Asked if any CBI official had been in touch, he said an official “named Khan” had called and told him that he would have to come to India for evidence.”I told the official that I am no longer an Indian citizen and I am not returning to Delhi,” he said.The probe agency now seems to be moving on the case owing to the court’s strict directives.Khaira said he could recollect conversations that took place between his family members, though he was a toddler then, some about the murders in Pul Bangash and the anti-Sikh riots in general.”I was very young when the riots took place. All that I know is through the conversations between my paternal uncle and my grandfather,” he said.Khaira added that some members of his extended family had also shifted to California in the US since they were being threatened.

CBI’s ‘untraceable’ 1984 witness Narinder Singh Khaira speaks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a status report in a New Delhi court claiming him untraceable. However, Canadian-American Narinder Singh Khaira, a “person of interest” in the 1984 anti-Sikh massacre case against Congress leader Jagdish Tytler, declares himself willing to talk to investigators. Thirty-two years after the assassination of Indira Gandhi— on October 31, 1984—triggered a pogrom that killed thousands of Sikhs in the national capital, Khaira is determined never to return to India.Interestingly, days before it was supposed to apprise a Delhi court on a probe relating to the riots, the investigating agency also recently held a meeting with Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner, Bob Paulson. Khaira was amongst the issues discussed, sources said.During the meeting Paulson was “apprised about the pending judicial request”. In response, the Canadian official assured more cooperation.Khaira, a toddler at the time of the riots, is the son of the late Surinder Singh, who was a granthi at Gurudwara Pulbangash in Delhi and was witness to three murders in the area on November 1, 1984. Based on his statement, the Nanavati Commission recommended the registration of a case against Tytler for murder and for influencing witnesses.In 2014, Surinder Singh allegedly died under “mysterious circumstances” at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).”My father deposed in front of the Nanavati Commission. However, not only has his statement been misused, but he was also misguided into retracting it later on,” said Khaira, who shuttles between Vancouver and Calgary and has been living in Canada with his wife and two children since 2005.Asked how he felt about giving his testimony to the CBI, he said he and his family continued to receive threats, allegedly by goons working for Tytler. He also rubbished the allegation that Tytler paid for his shift to Canada and said his father sold property in Delhi to pay an agent to facilitate the immigration.A trucker by profession, Khaira said that he had no issues if the CBI wanted to question him over the phone or even meet him in Canada. But he continued to fear for his safety and said he would never come back to India.Twists and turnsThe Khaira family continues to hold centre stage in a case that has haunted victims as well as law enforcement agencies for over three decades. In December 2015, the CBI filed a closure report in court citing “lack of evidence”. This report was challenged and the court directed the probe agency to further investigate claims made by arms dealer Abhishek Verma, who had alleged that Tytler paid for Khaira’s immigration to Canada. Since then, the CBI has been “unsuccessfully” trying to trace Khaira.While it remains to be seen if the CBI will get to him, Khaira spoke to DNA on two occasions on a +1 (403) number, which he said was available with the CBI.Asked if any CBI official had been in touch, he said an official “named Khan” had called and told him that he would have to come to India for evidence.”I told the official that I am no longer an Indian citizen and I am not returning to Delhi,” he said.The probe agency now seems to be moving on the case owing to the court’s strict directives.Khaira said he could recollect conversations that took place between his family members, though he was a toddler then, some about the murders in Pul Bangash and the anti-Sikh riots in general.”I was very young when the riots took place. All that I know is through the conversations between my paternal uncle and my grandfather,” he said.Khaira added that some members of his extended family had also shifted to California in the US since they were being threatened.

Complaint filed to needlessly harass Smriti Irani, says court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a huge relief to Union textile minister Smriti Irani, a Delhi court on Tuesday dismissed a plea to summon her, observing that the petition accusing her of faking a degree was to “needlessly harass her.”The court said that the fate of the case could be foreseen as “the original evidence has already been lost due to the passage of a number of years, and the secondary evidence would not withstand the test of judicial scrutiny.”Dismissing the petition filed by Ahmer Khan, Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh said that there was a “great delay of 11 years” in filing the complaint. “The said delay could not be condoned as the complainant is not an aggrieved person and the complaint does not appear to have been filed for vindication of majesty of justice and maintenance of law and order.”The court said that since the information falls under the purview of Sections 179, 181 and 182 of the Indian Penal Code, where the punishment is a maximum of three years, the limitation for filing a complaint is three years.Ahmer Khan had filed a private complaint last year, accusing Irani of submitting contradictory results of her educational qualifications in her affidavit filed before the Election Commission (EC) for the three elections she contested for the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha in 2004, 2011 and 2014.Over the course of the hearings, the EC had submitted that while the original 2004 election affidavit was misplaced, they had first submitted documents that were a copy of the file extracted from its official website and in the last hearing had submitted a certificate regarding authentication of the election affidavits filed by Irani in the 2004 election.According to the petitioner’s counsels, the BJP leader had declared herself to be a graduate from the Delhi University’s School of Correspondence (1996 batch) in her affidavit filed for the 2004 Lok Sabha election from Delhi’s Chandni Chowk constituency.However, in yet another affidavit on July 11, 2011, for the Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat, Irani alleged that she had completed her B.Com (Part I) from the Delhi University’s School of Correspondence.The petition added that in yet another affidavit filed during the 2014 Lok Sabha election that Irani contested from Amethi, in Uttar Pradesh, she allegedly said she did her B.Com (Part I) in 1994 from the Delhi University’s School of Open Learning.

RWAs appeal to ‘neighbour’ President Mukherjee to save neighbourhood

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A delegation from Citizen’s Alliance (CA), a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), which is fighting to stop a mega mall from coming up in south-east Delhi’s Alaknanda area, recently went to meet President Pranab Mukherjee on September 30 to plead their case. Incidentally, the president also happens to own a house in neighbouring Greater Kailash (GK-II) area, where currently his daughter Sharmistha stays.A delegation headed by Ashutosh Dixit, founder of CA along with Laveesh Bhandari (treasurer), advocate Vivek Sharma (general secretary) and presidents of other Resident Welfare Associations from GK-II, Chittaranjan Park and Alaknanda presented their petition to the president.During the meeting that lasted 15 minutes, the delegation said that the proposed mall being built by Reliance would ruin their neighborhood. They also contended that the proposed site of the mall, would be in a largely residential neighborhood. This was in direct violation of Delhi’s Master Plan 2001 and 2021.Sharma says, “A mega mall of this size (at 7.3 lakh square feet) – touted to be the second largest in the country, can only be located in a District Centre with a minimum area of 40 hectares. The proposed plot size earmarked for the mall in Alaknanda, opposite Kalka Public School, is merely 3.7 acres.”The delegation also contended that if the project came up, this would also lead to an increase in crime, drugs, congestion, water shortage and various other problems.Bhandari, who attended the meeting said, “The president heard us out and read our petition. He asked us relevant questions pertaining to the location of the mall and its impact.”The President’s office has now forwarded the letter to the secretary, ministry of Urban Development for their reference.The CA, who have been fighting the case against the mall, won another small victory in July when a division-bench at the Delhi High Court headed by Justices Bader Durrez Ahmed and Ashutosh Kumar directed a committee of the Commissioner (Planning) and the Commissioner (Land Disposal) of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to “examine this matter” and to take a “final and definitive decision within eight weeks.”The eight weeks have since lapsed and there has been no communication from DDA. The August 5 meeting between DDA officials and members of CA was also inconclusive.History of the proposed mall2002: A slum on the proposed land is cleared with the intent to create a playground cum sports facility.2004: DDA allowed for the creation of a mall in direct violation of Delhi’s Master Plan 2001 and 2021.2006: DDA got a traffic study done based on the presumption that a community centre is being builtIn response to an RTI, CA was informed that the Delhi Traffic Study Police based their study on the presumption that a community centre was coming up on the proposed site. The footfalls at a community centre is far less than the expected footfall at a Mega/Hyper Mall.In another RTI filed, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) admitted that they were unaware that the proposed site was opposite Kalka Public School.2008: The plot is sold to Reliance without informing the local community.2012: The local community, now informed of the plans for a mall, start their protest.2013: The Citizens Alliance file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Delhi High Court (DHC) seeking a stay on the construction of the mall.2016: A division-bench at the DHC direct a committee of the Commissioner (Planning) and the Commissioner (Land Disposal) of the DDA to “examine this matter” and to take a “final and definitive decision within eight weeks.”

Keep the lone wolves lone

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Fearing that jailed terror suspects may spread jihadi ideology among other prisoners, the Delhi Police want them to be housed in isolation. The Delhi police’s anti-terror unit has already isolated three accused – Sajid Abassi, Shakir Ansari, and Sameer Ahmad – suspected to be sympathisers of the banned Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in the High Security Ward (HSW) of the Tihar jail.HSW residents are separated from other inmates and confined to their cells the whole day. They are let out for an hour everyday and allowed to walk in the corridors of their wards.The idea of isolation first came from BJP leader Amit Shah when he was Gujarat’s home minister. Last year, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh put it into practice when he sent an advisory to all states to set up separate cells for suspected terrorists.The families of the accused had moved the Delhi court in July this year complaining of isolation. The superintendent of Tihar jail Amit Kumar submitted that the three were shifted on the request of the Delhi joint commissioner (central cell 1) V Ranganathan. The three were arrested on May 4 this year in an operation that lasted 13 hours and involving 60 policemen from the Delhi special cell after raids on 13 locations in Delhi and UP. The police have charged them under Sections 18, 18B and 20 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.“The three have to be kept under strict watch so that they do not mingle with other inmates,” Kumar stated in a written reply. “Also, it has to be ensured that they do not get access to cellphones or other communication devices,” he said. Other inmates confined to the HSW include those suspected to be members of ISIS by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).According to the jail manual, prisoners accused and convicted of terror activities are lodged in the HSW, which are under the constant supervision of the prison staff and paramilitary forces.Other criminals in the HSW include Rajan Sadashiv Nikhaljhe, better known as Chhota Rajan, and Mohammed Arif, who was convicted in 2000 after a terror shoot-out at Red Fort.

After 14 years, I can finally take a breather: Neelam Katara

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It has been a little over 14 years since that fateful night in February when Neelam Katara got the news that her son Nitish had gone missing. That late night call at 3 am informing of her son’s disappearance jolted her awake – literally and figuratively.”I can take a breather now,” Neelam said. It has been hours since the pronouncement of the Apex Court’s judgment, and the phone has not stopped ringing. Congratulatory messages are pouring in with a few odd ones in between from journalists who want to clarify a point or two. Neelam, wearing a white sari with a gold border, sitting on her couch in her bungalow allotted by the railways, took this all in bravely and stoically.Neelam led a quite life before her son’s death on February 17, 2002. “I lived a very sheltered and pampered existence. My sons Nitish and Nitin – the younger one, would often joke that my life experience was limited to my black board and the white soft board,” she said. All that changed overnight.”It is as though the bubble burst and I woke up to the real world where bad things can and do happen,” said the 64-year-old former school teacher. Thinking back, she said, “I did not let despondency overtake me. Siddharth Vashistha aka Manu Sharma had just been acquitted by the trial courts in the Jessica Lal murder case, and all I could think was, this should not happen to me.”Neelam’s fight for justice to prove her son’s death was an “honour killing” is well known. A lone woman’s fight against a political family with a strong criminal background can make anyone quiver to their knees. “I stayed strong. I wanted to fight for my son who always stood up for others,” she said. “He was her knight in shining armor,” Neelam said recalling her conversations with Nitish on his relationship with Bharti.”That family (Yadav’s) did everything in their power to intimidate me and delay trial indefinitely,” Neelam said recalling her ordeal. Neelam remembers trekking all the way to Ghaziabad, a city in Western UP, where the trial was originally began. “I remember the courtrooms were packed with almost 200 supporters and men dressed in black coats. It was difficult to get a prosecutor to try the case and no lawyer wanted to defend me.”The trial venue was eventually shifted to and tried in a Delhi Court.The mother however, fought alone. Her husband, a retired employee in the Indian Railways died of motor neuron disease in 2003. Neelam believes, his disease was exacerbated by the shock of their son’s death and the stress of the trial. “Chimpu (Nitish’s name at home) was a fool to go out with Vishal,” he had said shortly before he died.Neelam, who did not let her younger son be affected by the media trial, now plans to work towards getting a law against honour killing. She also wants to work spread awareness on Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – the disease that took her husband’s life.There’s no doubt, with her steely determination, she will achieve this as well.

Delhi: Court sends senior judge to 14 days judicial custody on corruption charges

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A special court here on Thursday sent Senior Civil Judge Rachna Tiwari Lakhanpal to 14 days judicial custody on allegations of illegal gratification. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) accused Lakhanpal, a sitting judge at Tis Hazari District Court (THC), of allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs. 20 lakhs.The CBI also arrested the judge’s husband Alok, a criminal lawyer and Vishal Mehan, a court commissioner (CC) appointed by her on charges of corruption.In its press release, the BI stated, “A case was registered U/s 7 & 8 of P. C. Act, 1988 against the Advocate on a complaint alleging that in a matter being heard by a Senior Civil Judge (West), Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi, she had appointed an advocate as Local Commissioner for conducting an inspection of the disputed property and submitting his report. The Advocate (appointed as Local Commissioner) allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs.2 Lakh for himself as well as Rs.20 Lakhs for the said Senior Civil Judge for deciding the matter in the favour of complainant.”Acting on the complaint, the CBI laid a trap and arrested Mehan when he was accepting a bribe. During his interrogation, Mehan confessed and claimed that he was allegedly acting on directions of the judge. The Lakhanpal’s were then arrested when Mehan delivered their share of the money to them. The CBI further conducted a raid at Lakhanpal’s residence at around 2 am on the intervening night of September 28 and 29 and recovered almost Rs. 94 lakhs, two locker keys and other material. Sources close to the case claim that almost Rs. 60 lakhs were recovered from Lakhanpal’s bedroom, whereas the remaining amount was found in their sons’ room.Special Judge (CBI) Sanjeev Agarwal allowed CBI’s plea and remanded Alok and Mehan to two days police custody. “Source of huge recovery of Rs. 94 lakhs is yet to be established and the investigation is at a very nascent stage, therefore fair investigations and interest of justice requires two days PC remand each be granted,” the court said.”Regarding Ms. Rachna Tiwari Lakhanpal only judicial remand has been sought, as it is stated that the investigation qua her is at initial stage and she may influence witnesses and tamper with the evidence,” the court added.According to sources, the complaint was registered on September 27. During the raids, two independent witnesses – one official from the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and a government schoolteacher, were present at the time.The CaseSources within the CBI state that the matter involved a property at Saraswati Garden in West Delhi’s Kirti Nagar area. Apparently, the judge had appointed Mehan as a CC to inspect the property and submit his report. This report is crucial since it becomes a part of the judicial report. A judge would then base his, or her final order based on the submissions made in the report.Court sources claim that Rachna Lakhanpal, who started out as a public prosecutor, was elevated to the position a judge and rose through the ranks to become a senior civil judge. It was rumoured that she was going to be promoted to the position of the Additional District Judge (ADJ)when the new round of promotions would be announced in the next few months to come.Alok Lakhanpal and Mehan will be produced in court on Saturday, whereas Rachna will be produced on October 13.

Why were my wife, daughter tortured for no reason: BK Bansal asked in suicide note

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI is facing allegations of torturing and abusing the wife and daughter of BK Bansal, former Director General (DG) in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Bansal, who was being probed by the agency in a graft case, had, along with his son Yogesh, committed suicide at their East Delhi residence on Tuesday.In a detailed suicide note found at his home, Bansal named senior DIG officer Sanjeev Gautam, along with two female officers and another officer, who, he claimed, had played a pivotal role in torturing his family. It also alleged that Gautam also dropped the name of a top BJP leader to intimidate him during questioning.Following the allegations, the agency has begun an internal probe. In a statement to the media it said, “We have examined the matter and decided to probe the allegations. If any violation is established during the probe, strict action will be taken against the CBI officials concerned. The competent court will be informed.”Bansal’s wife Satyabala and daughter Neha had committed suicide on July 19 soon after his arrest. In his suicide note, Bansal had written, “On July 18 and 19, 2016 two CBI female officers, named Amrita Kaur and Rekha Sangwan, slapped my wife, scratched her and then abused her. DIG Gautam later asked one of the lady officers to torture my wife and daughter to an extent that both of them were just left to die.”Bansal’s suicide note also mentions that he had pleaded with the DIG to show leniency towards his family, but he did not listen. Instead, his note alleged that the DIG said that he would make the lives of Bansal’s wife and daughter like that of a “living corpse”. It also alleged that the other officer, whose name was not mentioned, misbehaved and tortured his wife and daughter.Such behaviour, wrote Bansal, ensured that the death of his wife and daughter was murder and not suicide. “If it was my fault then why were my wife and daughter tortured for no reason. This is a murder and not a suicide. Gautam, the lady officers and another officer should undergo a lie detector test for the ultimate truth to come out. He said he is a close aide of a prominent BJP leader and nothing can be done against him,” wrote Bansal.”I had heard that the CBI was a tough agency but did not know that the conduct of officers like DIG Sanjeev Gautam, two lady officers and another officer could be such that it could end someone’s life The CBI has murdered my wife and daughter and therefore the will to live has died within me,” wrote Bansal.”Goodbye, Bharat Mata ki Jai” were the concluding lines in the note. Bansal’s allegations were not the first time CBI officials had been put in the dock for their poor handling of the case. On July 19, DIG Gautam had been pulled up by a special court hearing the matter at Patiala House district court for his insensitive handling of the situation after Bansal’s wife and daughter had killed themselves.Sources at court state that till five in the evening on July 19, Bansal had remained unaware of the fact that his wife Satyabala and his daughter Neha had committed suicide. Furthermore, when the court made further inquiries on whether a family member of the accused or his counsel was present, Bansal stated that despite repeated requests, CBI officers were not permitting him to talk to anybody in his family.When asked to respond, Sitanshu Sharma, the Investigation Officer (IO) of the case said that Bansal was allowed one phone call to his daughter at six the previous evening on July 18. Little did Bansal know though that it would be his last conversation with her.Sources present during the proceedings claim that the court was of the opinion that the interest of justice could wait and that it would be inappropriate to send Bansal to jail at this point, as per the CBI’s request. Instead, the court called upon the CBI to take custody of Bansal and directed the agency to extend all help warranted in this special situation to help him deal with the loss he had suffered.

Delhi High Court allows WhatsApp to enforce new privacy policy, asks service to delete user data till Sept 25

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court, while allowing Facebook-owned WhatsApp to enforce its new privacy policy, issued directions to safeguard the interest of the users.A bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra stated that WhatsApp could not appropriate data of the users who have been using the popular messaging service since before September 25.The court added that protection of data would be extended to those who had deleted their accounts and prohibited WhatsApp from using this data for its commercial purpose.Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the telecom regulatory body, was also asked to determine if an instant messaging service such as WhatsApp could be could be brought under existing statutory framework. To this, TRAI responded that so far, “instant messaging applications have not yet been brought within the purview of the statutory regulatory framework.”On August 25, WhatsApp, issued a notification asking its users to accept the changes they made in its terms and conditions. According to the new terms, the instant messaging app would share the user information it collected with their parent company Facebook and all its group companies for commercial advertising and marketing on its platform.The information shared would include phone numbers and information on a user’s contact list.This policy was challenged in the High Court through a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by students Karmanya Singh Sareen and Shreya Sethi, who alleged that by sharing information, WhatsApp was “violation of fundamental rights of users.”The petitioners contended the new policy completely compromised the basic tenet of complete security and protection of privacy of the details and data belonging to users.It was this basic, yet extremely significant, essential and basic feature of this internet-based messaging service, that attracted many of the users.However, the instant messaging app, defended its policy by stating that users were not obliged to use the application. Though, no notice was issued to the respondent, WhatsApp chose to enter appearance on its own accord and submitted a short affidavit, on September 19, detailing the key features of its new policy.In its affidavit, the respondents stated that not only WhatsApp did not store information on its servers beyond 30 days, it also gave the users the option to not share their information with Facebook.The policy, which is likely to take effect on 25 September, allows users not to accept the new policy by making changes in their WhatsApp settings and un-checking on the box allowing for sharing of information.In order “to protect interest of users”, the bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal directed WhatsApp to delete information and data of persons who opt out of the service before September 25 and not to share it with Facebook or its group companies.

Jigisha murder: Two get noose, one escapes with life term

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Savita Ghosh heaved a sigh of relief when the judge pronounced death sentence to two of her daughter Jigisha’s killers and life to one. Her husband JN Ghosh, who has been living listlessly for the past seven years, finally lifted his head and looked up when the judgment was announced. Grateful, the parents left courtroom number 306 in South Delhi’s Saket district court with tears in their eyes.”I have been waiting for this day for the past seven years. The quest for justice has kept us alive all these years,” said Savita. “I know vengeance is wrong and my daughter will never return, but at least my heart got some solace knowing that her killers got the death penalty,” she added.On July 14, a Delhi sessions court convicted Amit Shukla, Ravi Kapoor and Baljeet Malik of kidnapping and killing IT executive Jigisha Ghosh. “No escape from the conclusion that the crime was committed by the accused persons,” additional sessions judge (ASJ) Sandeep Yadav had announced in the open court.All three have been held guilty under sections 364/302/201/394/468/469/471/34b of the Indian Penal Code. Kapoor was further convicted under the relevant sections of the Arms Act.On Monday, the court gave the death penalty to Ravi Kapoor and Amit Shukla, and life sentence to Baljeet.”Offence in the present case was committed in cold-blooded, inhuman and cruel manner,” the court said. “Convicts were satisfied only by brutally mauling her to death. In other words, convicts behaved in uncivilised and barbaric manner against a helpless girl,” he added. “The magnitude and brutality exhibited by convicts while committing the crime brings this case within the category of rarest of the rare case,” the court said.”This is a landmark judgment because for the first time death penalty was given in a case riddled and built around circumstantial evidence,” said HGS Dhaliwal, former deputy commissioner of police (South).This trial sets a precedent because for the first time, a sessions judge ordered a probation officer (PO) to prepare a pre-sentencing report (PSR), as mandated by the Delhi High Court, before he could award the convicts any punishment.A suitable punishment was then awarded based on the observations made by the PO in this report. According to the PO, claims of Kapoor and Shukla were “unsatisfactory” for various reasons. Both had multiple criminal charges against them, including convictions, and were involved in various violations within jail. Also, the duo can’t be reformed or rehabilitated and would “continue to remain a threat to the society”.The judge spared Malik of noose since the PO observed that he could be reformed. “If released, Malik planned to become a gym trainer to support his family,” the PO noted.All three convicts were imposed a fine of Rs 9 lakh under various sections of which Rs 6 lakh will go to Jigisha’s parents as compensation.Jigisha, an operations manager with Hewitt Associate Pvt Ltd, was kidnapped on March 18, 2009 after her office cab dropped her near her home in south Delhi’s Vasant Vihar, around 4 a.m. Her dead body was found two days later in Surajkund, almost 18 kms away. Jigisha was robbed of her valuables, including ATM card, gold jewellery, and money.A week later, her killers were caught after a constable recognised Baljeet from the Close Circuit Television Camera (CCTV) at an ATM in South Delhi. Upon sustained interrogation, it was revealed that all three accused had also murdered television executive Soumya Vishwanathan.

Parents, Delhi Police seek death for killers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The quest for justice eluded Savita Ghosh, mother of murdered IT executive Jigisha, by another day as the judge fixed Monday for the order on sentencing.It has been more than seven years since Information Technology (IT) executive Jigisha Ghosh was found murdered in Surajkund, Haryana.On July 14, a Delhi sessions court convicted Amit Shukla, Ravi Kapoor and Baljeet of kidnapping and killing Jigisha Ghosh. “No escape from the conclusion that the crime was committed by the accused persons,” Additional Sessions Judge Sandeep Yadav had announced in open court.All three have been held guilty under section 364/302/201/394/468/469/471/34b of the Indian Penal Code. Shukla was further convicted under the relevant sections of the Arms Act.”I want the death penalty for my daughter’s killers. My husband and I died the day they killed our daughter,” said Savita. Counsel for the Ghoshs’ HR Khan Suhel along with Sayed Mustafa Khan, echoed their sentiments as they pleaded for the death penalty. Several judgements were cited to make their case.On Saturday, the Delhi Police sought for the maximum punishment of the death penalty for the three accused. “The accused have no defense. They are even facing trial in several cases including Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA),” special public prosecutor Rajiv Mohan said. They have a series of cases against them including three murders in the span of a month,” he added.The court heard arguments on sentencing after issuing orders for a pre-sentencing report (PSR) prepared by a Probation Officer (PO). For perhaps the first time, a sessions court judge has followed guidelines issued by Delhi High Court on pronouncing the quantum of punishment in a criminal case.The report submitted in court today, contains the behavioral and psychological profile of the three accused. It was extensively referred to by the defense counsels of the three accused while pleading their case for leniency.According to the report, Kapoor is suffering from a life threatening disease, comes from extreme poverty and has two children with an now estranged wife.Amit Kumar, counsel for Malik, submitted that his client was merely 20 at the time of the incident in 2009. He has served time in jail since his arrest and the jail authorities can attest to his good conduct behind bars. Malik like body building and the elders in his village believe that he should be given a chance at rehabilitation.However, the report for Shukla was less than satisfactory. According to the report, snippets of which were read out in court, Shukla is apparently running an extortion racket from within the jail premises.The defense pleaded for a reformatory approach and sought for a light sentence – which is life.Jigisha, an operations manager with Hewitt Associate Pvt Ltd, was kidnapped on March 18, 2009 after her office cab dropped her near her home in south Delhi’s Vasant Vihar, around 4 a.m. Her dead body was found two days later in Surajkund – almost an hour away (18 kms). Jigisha was robbed off her valuables – her ATM card, gold jewellery, and money.A week later, her killers were caught after a constable recognized Baljeet from the Close Circuit Television Camera (CCTV) at an ATM in South Delhi. Upon sustained interrogation, it was revealed that all three accused had also murdered television executive Soumya Vishwanathan.Case so farMar 18, 2009: Jigisha was abducted by four men in a Santro car little away from her home after she was dropped by her office cab at 4 AM.Mar 20: She was found dead near Surajkund in Faridabad.Mar 25: Delhi Police nabs suspects four men for their alleged involvement in Jigisha’s murder. Cops also solve the murder case of TV journalist Soumya Vishwanathan, who was shot dead on September 30, 2008 while she was returning home by her car from office in the wee hours.June 2009: Police files charge sheet in court.Aug 10, 2009: Court fixes August 28 for hearing arguments on charges.Dec 5, 2009: Court frames charges against three accused in the case.Apr 15, 2010: Trial begins with recording of testimony of Jigisha’s father.July 5, 2016: Court concludes hearing final arguments, reserves judgement.July 14: Court convicts three accused for abducting, robbing and murdering Jigisha.Aug 20: A PO submits a PSR before the argument for sentencing commences. Counsels argue on the merits for sentencing.Aug 22: Court will decide the quantum of sentence for the three accused.

Mastermind Munir of slain NIA officer arrested

The Special Task Force (STF) of the Uttar Pradesh Police arrested 25-year-old Mohammed Munir who masterminded the murder of slain National Investigation Agency (NIA) officer Tanzil Ahmed, bringing an almost three-month-long manhunt to an end.At a press conference organised by the STF to announce the arrest, the accused Munir told the waiting media personnel that he had “no regrets” and that he had his “reasons to kill Ahmed,” before he was whisked off for interrogation.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ahmed who was returning home after attending his niece’s wedding was shot 21 times by bike-borne assailants on two bikes whereas his Mastermind Munir of slain NIA officer arrested wife Farzana who was with him suffered wounds to the stomach. Both succumbed to their injuries.Munir and Ahmed’s connections go way back to their hometown Sahaspur in Bijnor district of Uttar Pradesh (UP). Munir, a history sheeter was closely associated with “policeman” Ahmed. He was perhaps unaware that Ahmed was a Border Security Force (BSF) assistant commandant on deputation to NIA. Ahmed investigated terrorism cases including the Indian Mujahideen – not local petty crime.When Munir’s associates were arrested by the police for various crimes committed by them, Munir, was convinced that Ahmed was the one passing information and decided to kill him.Munir emerged as a prime suspect when his associates Rehaan and Tanzeem were arrested in connection with Ahmed’s murder. Shortly after Ahmed’s murder, in an April 12 press conference, UP police had stated that Ahmed’s murder was a case of “personal enmity” and credited the murder to Munir. However, NIA claimed, Ahmed’s murder was “terror related,” a stance that has not yet been ruled out according to sources within the nation’s premier counter terror agency.Munir’s aide Ashutosh Mishra, who was arrested by Delhi Police’s Special Cell last week, confirmed Munir’s involvement in the murder.”Ahmed’s murder was a case of personal enmity and there is no terror angle,” said Amit Pathak, senior superintendent of police, STF. Sources close to the investigation claim, that Munir had made several failed attempts to murder Ahmed before finally succeeding on the intervening nights between April 2-3.”Munir was clever since he never stayed in one location for longer than three days and did not use any electronic communication device which made it harder for us to track him,” Pathak said.Track recordMunir has seven cases registered against him and carried a reward of Rs. 50,000 for information leading to capture.Robbed Rs1.5 crore from Citibank ATM in Kamla Nagar, DelhiRobbed Rs91 lakh from PNB in Dhampur, UPRobbed more than Rs60 lakhs in AligarhFour cases of murder/attempt to murder registered

Drunk youth kills two, injures one

The road behind Tihar Jail in West Delhi is quiet early in the morning on Monday. The early birds on the street include two morning walkers and two others who were presumably on their way to play tennis. This peace was suddenly shattered by a Silver Honda City that raced down the narrow streets mowing down 67-year-old Ashwini Anand.Early Monday morning around 6:30, 21-year-old Rishabh Rawat, driving under the influence of alcohol mowed down three people at three different spots as he was on his way home. Rawat, a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) student, was returning home after a hard night’s partying from a friend’s house in Hari Nagar – which is barely 2.3 kms or about 10 minutes at the time in the morning. Rawat’s father Anil, owns a hardware store in South Delhi’s South Extension area.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Kameshwar Prasad, 40, and Ashwini Anand, 67, were killed in the accident while Santosh, 40, was critically injured and admitted to a hospital,” the official said. Anand and Santosh were residents of Janakpuri, whereas Prasad lived in Sagarpur.”The car was intercepted after a chase of around 400 meters. The errant driver tried to step out of the vehicle and flee. However, the policemen overpowered him. He was found driving under the influence of alcohol,” said Pushpendra Kumar, Deputy Commissioner of Police (West). The driver has been arrested and a case of rash and negligent driving causing deaths and injuries has been registered, Kumar said.According to sources, the youth was so drunk, that he could barely stand and had to be supported by the police officials who nabbed him.According to the Close Circuit Television (CCTV) footage accessed by dna, Anand was walking with his friend Mr. Mehta when a car came careening on the wrong side of the road. The car hit with such force that Anand was flung more than 20 metres away and falling behind a tree on the pavement behind him. His companion Mehta, just stood there in shock as two passers-by, on their way for tennis quickly sprung into action.According to reports, Rawat was driving under the influence of alcohol and hit Prasad first at a corner, then hit Anand a few metres away and finally Santosh.”My father-in-law would go for his morning walks everyday. He was on his way home when he was hit. The spot where the accident took place is barely 250 metres away from our house,” said Sunny Ahuja.Anand who had retired from his tyre business, is survived by his wife Mamta and two daughters. Anand’s funeral will take place tomorrow once his daughters’ Sakshi and Deepti – who live in New York, United States of America (USA), reach Delhi. “I was in town for some work when this incident took place,” said Ahuja, who is married to Anand’s daughter Deepti.The Delhi Police authorities have impounded the Silver Honda City, which has been mangled at the bonnet.

SIT to reopen 75 cases of anti-Sikh riots, complaints against Jagdish Tytler among those to be reinvestigated

Ahead of the Punjab assembly elections early next year, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by the central government in 2015 has decided to reopen 75 cases related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in the capital.The decision comes in the wake of a letter submitted by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 6. In his letter to the PM, Kejriwal had termed the investigation an “eyewash” and urged the Centre to look into the matter.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The SIT has failed to reopen even a single case. I urge you to either get your SIT to do something or kindly wind up this SIT and allow the Delhi government to set up an SIT for a proper investigation and get justice for the victims,” Kejriwal wrote.The cases to be reopened include the ones against Congress leader Jagdish Tytler, who was given a clean chit on his role during the riots, along with Sajjan Kumar and late HKL Bhagat.A total of 3,325 people were killed in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and other states in the riots after the prime minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984. Delhi alone accounted for 2,733 deaths.The riots are considered to be one of the most violent cases of communal violence after Partition in 1947. The Human Rights Watch (HRW), in its 2011 World Report, had stated: “The government has yet to prosecute those responsible for the mass killings of Sikhs that followed the 1984 assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. Delivery of justice for mass violence against Muslims in Mumbai in 1992-93 and in Gujarat in 2002 has been slow.”The GP Mathur committee, set up by Modi in 2014, had recommended the Centre to look into the various Sikh grievances in its January 2015 report. The committee, headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice (retd) GP Mathur, had submitted its report to Union home minister Rajnath Singh and recommended a fresh probe.In February 2015, the Centre constituted a three-member SIT chaired by Pramod Asthana, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1986 batch. District and Sessions court judge Rakesh Kumar and additional deputy commissioner of police Kumar Gyanesh were the other members. The SIT was ordered to submit its recommendations within six months – a deadline that has overshot by almost a year now.In May 2016, the Centre approved increased compensation to 1,020 families, hit by the riots, who migrated to Punjab from different parts of the country. Punjab has been asked to reopen the cases for verification that will allow families to come forward and claim the enhanced compensation of Rs 2 lakh.Delhi had 237 anti-Sikh riot cases that were closed because of non-availability of victims or lack of evidence. After reviewing their documents, it has been decided to re-examine about 75 cases so far.Since the Modi government came to power, different Sikh groups have demanded reopening of cases. It has been 32 years since the riots and 10 commissions and committees have been formed. It was a long-standing demand of the Sikh community that an SIT be set up.The new development may be seen as a bid for one-upmanship between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), ahead of the Punjab elections in 2017.

Delhi Police files charge sheet against 17 alleged members of AQIS

Six months after Mohammed Asif was arrested by Delhi’s Special Cell unit, Delhi Police submitted its chargesheet accusing 17, 12 of whom are absconding, for allegedly conspiring, recruiting Indian youths and establishing a base of terror outfit Al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS).In the more than a thousand-page charge sheet filed before Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Reetesh Singh at Patiala Court, Delhi Police charged the five arrested accused — Mohd Asif, Zafar Masood, Mohd Abdul Rehman, Syed Anzar Shah and Abdul Sami — for alleged offences under the provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The five accused were arrested between between December 2015 and January 2016 from various parts of the country.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Besides these five, the police have also charged 12 others who are absconding and have a non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued against them by the court. The absconding accused are AQIS chief Sanaul Haq, Syed Akhtar and Usman, who are believed to be working directly for Haq and others that include Mohd Sharjeel Akhtar, Mohd Rehan, Abu Sufiyan, Syed Mohd Arshiyan, Syed Mohd Zishan Ali, Sabeel Ahmed, Mohd Shahid Faisal, Farhatullah Ghori and Mohd Umar.In the charge sheet, Delhi police have outlined Asif’s journey from working in a building materials supply shop in Western Uttar Pradesh’s Sambhal district to becoming the head of the Indian Chapter of AQIS. Based on Asif’s interrogation and testimony, authorities apprehended Masood, Rehman and Shah from various parts of the country.Through its investigation in the past six months, the probe agency alleged that AQIS through its chief Haq was trying to set up base in India. Asif, also from Sambhal like Haq, was one the main propagators. In order to set up a module in India, in the first decade of the 21st century, Asif traveled to Waziristan, Pakistan, through Iran and Turkey where he received “Deeni (religious training),” though, he was exempt from rigorous “Askari (battle and weapons training)” due to his advanced stage.There he met leaders of various other banned terror outfits including leaders from Indian Mujideen, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Toiba and others.It has been alleged that the accused were in touch with each other through email, Skype and various other social media platforms. During the investigation, experts from the Cyber Forensic Division, CERT-In (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team) and Department of Electronics & Information Technology were called to verify the data – the report of which would be found in the supplementary charge sheet.Asif’s account of his travels and his communication have been verified through airline tickets, emails and a note by the Ministry of External affairs that confirms Asif had applied for an emergency passport at the Indian Mission in Istanbul, Turkey claiming he was a tourist and had lost his passport.Of the 17 accused, six hail from Sambhal and are known to be either childhood friends or neighbours. This development may bring Sambhal under the radar after Bhatkal, Karnataka and Azamgarh, UP.

Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy acquitted of terror charge, convicted for cheating, forgery

A Delhi court here today acquitted 68-year-old Kobad Ghandy under the stricter charges of section 20 and 38 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act that dealt with membership of a banned terror organisation. Ghandy and his associate Rajinder Kumar, however, were convicted of cheating, forgery, impersonation and conspiracy under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).Kumar was convicted under section 468 and 420 read with 120-B, section 474 and 419 of the IPC, while Ghandy was convicted of the same along with an additional charge of 471. The court also imposed a fine of Rs. 10,000 for each charge.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Left-wing activist Ghandy, a politburo member of the now banned terror organisation Communist Party of India (Maoist), was arrested by the Delhi’s Special Cell unit on September 20, 2009 from the capital where he was undergoing treatment for cancer.”The more serious an offence, the stricter the degree of proof required since a higher assurance is required to convict the accused,” additional sessions judge (ASJ) Reetesh Singh stated to justify Ghandy’s acquittal on the UAPA charges. The court observed that none of the evidence relied upon in court have been found “admissible.” Even the prosecution’s witness testimonies suffered from “infirmities.”The court observed that all the materials and literature recovered from Ghandy’s Molar band residence in Southeast Delhi’s Badarpur area was of a period prior to the date when the CPI (Maoist) was declared a terrorist organisation.At the time of arrest, Ghandy was using an electoral photo identity card (EPIC) or more popularly known as a the voter ID card and a Permanent Account Number (PAN) card in the name of Dalip Patel. The court found sufficient evidence that in order to enable the activist to remain underground in Delhi, Kumar conspired with Ghandy and carried out forgery based on which the fake EPIC and PAN cards were issued. The identity cards were issued based on fake addresses and names.Taking into consideration Ghandy’s advanced age and the fact that he has been in custody since his arrest in 2009, the court did not impose sentences on them beyond the period they have already undergone. Kumar was meted out with the same punishment.A Mumbaikar, Ghandy had a “privileged childhood” and came from a well-to-do Parsi family. A “Doon School boy” Ghandy studied chartered accountancy in London, United Kingdom, in the early 70s before he returned to India consumed with the revolutionary literature.

5 get life term for raping Danish tourist in Delhi

A Delhi court here on Friday sentenced five men to life in prison for the gang-rape of a Danish tourist in 2014. The five convicts who were charged with gang-rape and other offences were penalised under the new stringent laws of the Indian Penal Code that were passed in 2013 following the hue and cry over the Nirbhaya rape in 2012.On Monday, additional sessions judge (ASJ) Ramesh Kumar at Tis Hazari district court convicted Mahender alias Ganja (27), Mohd Raja (23), Raju (24), Arjun (22) and Raju Chakka (23) of the offences under sections 376 (d) (gang rape), 395 (dacoity), 366 (kidnapping), 342 (wrongful confinement), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The 51-year-old woman was sexually assaulted and robbed at knifepoint in January 2014, after losing the way to her hotel. Nine people, including three minors, were accused of the crime. One of the accused — Shyam Lal (56) — died in February in Tihar Jail and the three minors are facing proceedings before the Juvenile Justice Board.On Thursday, pleading for maximum punishment under the new stringent laws that came into force in 2013, special public prosecutor Atul Shrivastava argued that as a society, Indians believed in “Athiti devo Bhava” (The guest is equivalent to God), and it was our duty to protect them. “A message should be sent out to the society that the rule of law will prevail and wrong-doers will be dealt with an iron hand,” Srivastava argued.The prosecutor argued that a sentence should be given in proportionality of the “barbaric” crime. Elucidating his point, the prosecutor stated that in an act of self-preservation, the victim falsely stated that she was HIV positive to deter her assailants. However, her attackers paid no heed to this and raped her at knife-point.Pleading for leniency, Dinesh Sharma, defending the convicts stated that all were in their twenties and came from poor backgrounds. “Even if the minimum jail term is prescribed – the maximum is life, half their lives will have been spent behind bars. By the time they are released they will be old,” Sharma argued.The trial that began in January 2015, saw its conclusion more than a year and a half later in June 2016.

Delhi: Kingpin of Illegal kidney racket T Rajkumar Rao arrested

On Tuesday, Delhi police in Kolkatta, West Bengal, nabbed T Rajkumar Rao, the alleged kingpin of the illegal organ donation racket – primarily involving kidneys, that was busted at South Delhi’s posh Indraprastha Apollo Hospital. Rao, who is said to be in his thirties, will be brought to Delhi once a Kolkatta court issues Delhi police officials with a transit remand.According to the Transplantation of Human Organs Act (THOA) selling organs commercially is prohibited and organs can be donated only to those with familial connections.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The accused Rao was allegedly the liaison between the doctors and the touts. Sources close to the investigation speculated that a contact from the hospital would inform Rao about a potential recipient. After getting all the relevant details, Rao would then pass on the information to the touts and middlemen who in turn would scout for potential donors.”An operation this big is not possible with involvement of management and doctors. All the forms need to be signed by committee members to permit transplants. However, all this is conjecture at the moment and the matter needs to be thoroughly investigated,” a source stated. “We are going to invite the management committee from Apollo hospital to join us in the probe,” the source added.Despite Rao’s arrest, police officials have confirmed that the investigation is still in its nascent stage. “We are taking a methodical approach. First the touts, then donors, followed by the recipients after which we will start approaching all those involved in this operation,” said Mandeep Singh Randhawa, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southeast).However, it has come to light that Rao, along with middlemen Aseem Sikdar and Satya Prakash alias Ashu – who were arrested last week, have previous links with each other. Sikdar and Ashu – both donors themselves, allegedly ran a racket in Jalandhar, Punjab along with Rao that was busted. Sikdar and Ashu presumably came to Delhi whereas, Rao went international and ran the illegal “organ donation” racket from Indonesia and Sri Lanka.Officials claim that since January 2016, almost 240 cases need to be investigated at Apollo hospital. “So far five cases of transplants have been confirmed where the organ donation was illegal. We need at all the cases to investigate if organ donation was genuine or illegal,” a source added.In simultaneous operations, Delhi police also arrested three others from Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh and Siliguri, West Bengal in connection with this case. Mamta Moulik, was picked up from Siliguri where as husband-wife duo Umesh and Nilu were arrested from Kanpur.Moulik – a donor, is married to Devashish Moulik – a donor as well, who the Delhi Police arrested last week. According to police officials, Umesh and Nilu sold a kidney each to repay a loan they had taken to fund their son’s leg operation. Umesh and Nilu were paid a total of Rs.7 lakhs for their kidneys.The Delhi police have taken the main tout and middleman Aseem Sikdar to West Bengal to further investigate this case.So far, only cases at Apollo hospital are being investigation, however, officials claim that other hospitals will also be investigated. At the moment, four doctors are under the scanner though the number may rise.Denying all involvement, Apollo Hospital released a press statement saying they are “victims of a well-orchestrated operation by individuals who are not employees of the hospital.” The hospital has gone on to maintain that it has “a robust mechanism with a committee that include independent members to accord permission for transplant surgery.”

Juvenile in Mercedes hit-and-run case to be tried as an adult

The juvenile involved in the Mercedes hit-and-run case would be tried as an adult in the children’s court, Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) ruled on Saturday. The order on the Delhi incident was delivered on the eve of the victim Siddharth Sharma’s 33rd birthday, bringing consolation to his bereaved family.According to section 15 of the amended Juvenile Justice Act, 2016, children in conflict with law (CCL) between 16-18 years of age, who commit heinous crimes can be tried as adults.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Exactly two months ago, on April 4, a silver speeding Mercedes driven by a juvenile ran over 32-year-old Sharma in North Delhi’s Civil Lines area. Sharma was rushed to a nearby hospital by passers-by where he succumbed to his injuries. According to statements by the juvenile’s friends, who were also co-passengers, given under section 164 CrPC they had repeatedly requested the juvenile to slow down. They added that all had witnessed Sharma crossing the road despite which, the juvenile did not apply the brakes to avoid collision.In the five-page order, the principal magistrate presiding over the case stated that the juvenile was aware of the consequences of his actions and is in “no manner lacking in mental and physical capacity to commit the offence.” The strongly worded order further elaborated that apart from “being able to understand the consequences of his action, the juvenile was also in the habit of driving the car, that too without a licence.”The order also considered the fact that the juvenile had a history of driving violations against him. “He has already been fined thrice for traffic rules violations before this present incident,” the JJB said. The court took into consideration that the juvenile did not slow down despite warnings sounded by the co-passengers in the car. “The CCL did not stop after the accident. Rather, he fled from the spot to avoid getting caught for his misdeed,” the order stated. In his plea seeking transfer to the children’s court, special public prosecutor Atul Shrivastava had submitted that the juvenile and his father had also attempted to influence the investigation by getting their family driver to take the rap. This clearly showed clear thinking on part of the CCL, the special PP submitted.A report submitted by a clinical psychologist in accordance to the JJ Act, stated that the CCL had “a mature mind, though immature method of problem solving”. As per the report, the CCL has the ability to understand the offence and its consequences.“I wanted to thank everybody for their support through this terrible ordeal. I will not get my brother back, but I will continue to fight to get justice,” Mittal said. The juvenile’s file will be transferred to the children’s court at sessions court on June 9 when the juvenile and his parents behave been directed to appear.

Delhi Police busts kidney racket in Delhi hospital

It was an innocuous disagreement over non-payment of money that blew the lid off an on going illegal organ ‘donation’ racket at South Delhi’s premier Apollo Hospital. Delhi Police arrested five persons and detained one in connection with this racket on Thursday night.Sources claim that a few days ago, police officials were made aware of disagreement between a husband, wife and a middleman over the issue of non-payment of money. 30-year-old Devashish Moulik who had sold his wife’s kidney to a middleman had not been paid his dues. This upset the wife – who was not only missing one kidney, but was also short of money upto Rs.2.5 lakh that was owed to her. Police authorities were finally involved once the middleman entered the fray. The lid off an on going illegal racket of organs finally blew once police officials understood the crux of the argument.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Since the Transplantation of Human Organs Act (THOA) prohibits selling organs commercially, police authorities detained Moulik where he confessed his crime and ratted out on his accomplices.According to Moulik’s confession, 37-year-old middleman Aseem Sikdar was the mastermind behind the racket. Moulik along with Satya Prakash, 30, were also involved along with Aditya Sinha, 24, and Shailesh Saxena, 31, – both personal secretaries (PS) to doctors at Apollo Hospital were also involved in this racket.The Modus Operandi involved the middlemen trying to lure unsuspecting ‘donors’ to sell their kidneys at a price between two to four lakhs. The PS would scrounge through the hospital records and supply names of recipients who were then approached with said organs. Since, the laws governing organ donation is stringent, and there is intense scrutiny on donors who are not family members, the middlemen forged paperwork to establish familial relationship between the donors and recipients.The organs were sold to the recipients at a whopping price between 25-30 lakhs. The donors were paid anything between 2-4 lakhs, the middlemen’s cut was Rs. 30,000 and the personal secretaries netted Rs. 50,000.According to the police authorities, investigation has led them to believe that “involvement of doctors or hospital management cannot be ruled out.” From this revelation it can be deduced that a doctors’ cut in this racket was a cool Rs. 20 lakh at least per organ.Allegedly, the gang have worked on at least six cases in the past couple of years. The people targeted by the gang were mostly from the lower income group residing in West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. “The gang have sold at least six kidneys so far in the city,” said Mandeep Singh Randhawa, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) – Southeast.A statement released by Apollo Hospital stated that the management was fully cooperating with the police claims that “the hospital has always abided by the law with utmost care and diligence and shall continue to do so.” Management also clarified that the secretarial staff of doctors arrested by the police are not employees of the hospital.

Dad’s testimony may land ISIS sympathiser in jail

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed its first charge sheet against an accused involved with the banned terrorist organisation Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). 23-year-old Mohammed Naser, a resident of Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu has been charged with waging war against the country, and other relevant sections under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention), Act (UAPA).Naser, who was deported from Sudan while he was on his way to Libya to join the ISIS in December last year, was turned in by his own father Mohammed Pakeer. The father’s testimony – an important evidence, recorded under section 164 of the Cr PC will show how he failed to dissuade his son from going to the IS.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In its charge sheet, the NIA stated that since 2008, accused Naser was initially inclined towards an organisation named Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamat (TNTJ) – a Tamil Nadu based Islamic organisation. It was alleged that Naser regularly attended meetings organised by TNTJ that would actively propagate hate against Israel, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and others.In 2014, Naser migrated to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) to work with a global IT firm as a graphic designer and web developer. There, Naser was heavily influenced by the teachings of Anjem Chaudhary and Abu Barra, Islamic Scholars based in United Kingdom. It was stated that Naser even tried to influence a native of his village in Tamil Nadu with YouTube videos and other propaganda material adhering to the ideology of the ISIS. Naser eventually confided in his friend, his desire to join the Islamic state.Investigation by the NIA revealed that Naser got in touch with a person with the username and ID Dawlah on Twitter, who then advised him to join a WhatsApp group Islam Q&A that was administered by Karen Hamidan. Once in, ON Hamidan’s instructions, Naser even began to design logos and pictures on ISIS that was shared by the members of the group.Hamidan eventually added Naser to groups on other applications like Telegram that proved to be a safer means for communication.It was in August 2015 that Naser came across Mad_Mullah on Twitter and expressed his desire to join ISIS. The Mad_Mullah eventually responded to Naser’s persistent attempts and advised him to reach Syria through Sudan and Libya where the security checks were less stringent on the Syrian border. In September 2015, Naser finally decided to leave his Dubai job and leave for Syria once the Mad_Mullah offered to take care of all expenses.Naser stole his passport from his employer and eventually left for Sudan on September 21, 2015. On reaching Khartoum, Naser received a message “have a great stay in Sudan,” on his mobile number 97155551****. From Khartoum, Naser sent his father a long message, the gist of which says, “I have reached to the Islamic State (sic). I know it might sound crazy for you but your son really had to take this bold step to get out of the corrupt system which has democracy first on its list. There is no come back my father. Don’t go to police as they will torture you and they cannot find me.”Yusha Kashmiri, a Dubai-based Kashmiri who is ailing from kidney cancer – last stage, is also an important witness. Naser’s acquaintance in Dubai, Yusha confirmed that Naser was radicalised and intended to join the ISIS. Yusha has also recorded his statement – rather his dying declaration, with the NIA to that effect.These testimonies along with an extensive digital trail left behind by Naser have helped NIA prove its case to the special NIA court at Patiala House on Friday. Naser’s Twitter ID’s, his emails, WhatsApp and Telegram conversation among others have been submitted in court.District Judge Amarnath has fixed June 9 for the scrutiny of the charge sheet.

Why do Africans come to India?

Walking through the by-lanes of Arjun Nagar in South Delhi’s Safdarjung area, one sees the humdrum of daily life – housewives buying groceries, schoolgoing children playing about, and vegetable sellers doing brisk business.In this bustle, one sees the occasional African haggling with the bhajiwala – Indian style. At one corner, you see another African sipping on cutting chai, or, perhaps, in a general store stocking up on soap, shampoo and other toiletries. The only thing different is the colour of the skin.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There has been much debate over alleged racist discrimination against Africans living in India since the recent spate of attacks. Even as joint secretary (West Africa) Birender Yadav met the family members (cousins) of deceased Congolese national MT Oliver at the airport and conveyed his heartfelt condolences, the question most frequently asked is: Why does an African come to India?Thirty five-year-old John Uche Jesus was keen to come to India ever since he grew up watching Bollywood movies in Nigeria. A fashion designer who designs Indian ethnic wear, Jesus claims that he “loved the movies, the culture, the concept of love portrayed in the movies, and, of course, fashion.”Congolese nationals Guylain Kongolo and Sandra Sambayi came to India for its affordable quality education. Across Africa, it is widely believed that, in India, one can avail good educational degrees that are internationally recognised and cheap, compared to western countries.All three were aware it would be difficult to adapt to a new country. However, they did not anticipate just how difficult it would really be. “I completed my undergrad in London and I thought since the UK recognises Indians, it would be somewhat similar. I thought everyone would speak basic English at least,” says MBA graduate Sambayi. The 30-year-old Congolese completed her post-graduation from Stratford University in South Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar.Kongolo, who came here almost a decade ago, claims that it has been tough logistically, but he has not suffered any threat to life – yet. Kongolo was lured by a dream that the Congolese ambassador to India sold to his countrymen. A country where one could avail cheap, quality education that one could apply once they returned to Congo.The idea is to assimilate oneself in your host country. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do. I am a guest in this country; I must abide by local rules, customs and culture. Only then will I be accepted,” said Jesus. This sentiment was echoed by almost universally by the African community.”The actions of a few misguided youth who killed the Congolese national will not shape my opinion about all Indians in general, just like all Indians must not generalise all Africans for the act of a few who may be anti-social in their activities,” Jesus added.Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Bollywood aside, India is host to almost 39,517 foreign students. Students from almost 158 countries come to India to study information technology, medicine among other fields. Of these, African nationals make up a small but significant number.While a section of the African community wants to return home at the first chance, another group which believes that the concept of love, as shown in movies will transcend to reality, is hopeful. “I believe if I am respectful of my actions here and adhere to local norms, perhaps Indians here will not be so scared of us anymore,” Sambayi said.

Africans call of stir after assurance from Indian govt

The protest at Jantar Mantar on Tuesday called by the Association of African Students in India (AASI) to condemn the spate of attacks in the capital in the past fortnight has been called off after assurances from the Indian government.In a series of tweets, President Pranab Mukherjee condemned the attacks on African nationals and called upon close relationship shared and the history of the two nations. “Recent attacks on African students extremely painful,” tweeted Mukherjee, adding, “It would be most unfortunate if people of India were to dilute our long tradition of friendship with people of Africa.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>If the protest went through as per the plans, it could be potentially embarrassing for the Indian government. Sustained tweets from President Mukherjee gave a glimpse of the efforts made by authorities to diffuse the tense situation created. The president’s tweets included, “India’s relations with Africa should not be jeopardised in any way,” and “Appropriate awareness of India’s age old historical relations with Africa must be created in the minds of our youngsters.”Speaking to a private media channel, South African envoy Malose William Mogale stated, “It’s racist attacks. But it is not government policy. It is people who might want to tarnish the image of the country, India, to be portrayed to the world that it is the country where there is an emerging trend of racism and more foreigners are not allowed.”Tweeting more than 10 times, Mukherjee reminded the nation that Mahatma Gandhi was a famous “Non-Resident Indian who made his first experiments with Satyagraha in South Africa,” and invoked India’s support during the freedom struggles led by African leaders like Jomo Kenyatta, Julius Nyerere.Mukherjee reminded the nation that Mahatma Gandhi was a famous “Non-Resident Indian who made his first experiments with Satyagraha in South Africa,” and invoked India’s support during the freedom struggles led by African leaders like Jomo Kenyatta, Julius Nyerere.Over the weekend, the African delegation sent the Ministry of External affairs mixed signals despite repeated assurances from the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Several sensitization programs have been conducted over the past week with residents of villages with a significant African population. Home Minister Rajnath Singh has also directed increased police patrolling and vigilance.

Attacks on Africans: 5 held from Delhi in the case

Shortly after home minister Rajnath Singh condemned the violence against African nationals in the capital, Delhi police on Sunday arrested five individuals, who were allegedly responsible for attacking six Africans on Thursday night.Singh had called upon police commissioner Alok Kumar Verma and expressed his concern over the alleged hate crimes here. “Instructed CP Delhi to take strict action against the attackers & increase police patrolling in these areas to ensure security of everyone,” Singh tweeted on Saturday night.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj responded to the situation and tweeted that she had taken up the issue with the Home Minister as well as Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, telling them to ensure the security of African nationals. Swaraj also said that a sensitisation campaign will be carried out in the areas where African nationals reside.”I have spoken to Shri Rajnath Singh ji and Lt Governor Delhi reg(arding) attack on African nationals in South Delhi yesterday. They assured me that the culprits will be arrested soon and sensitisation campaign will be launched in areas where African nationals reside.”I have asked Gen VK Singh, MoS and Secretary Amar Sinha to meet# African students who have announce(d) demonstration at Jantar Mantar,” she added in another tweet.”Following a tip-off from local intelligence, five persons were arrested from various locations in and around the locality of the attack,” said Ishwar Singh, deputy commissioner of police (South). Delhi police arrested Babu (32), Kunal (20), Om Prakash alias Choti (24), Rahul alias Rocky (24), and Ajay (25) on Sunday.On Thursday night, six Africans, including a family with a four-year-old, were attacked in separate incidents in South Delhi’s Mehrauli area. Reports on the attack followed close on the heels of an attack on Congolese national that has triggered mass condemnation from the African community here in Delhi. African delegation had unanimously threatened to boycott the Africa Day celebrations of the Indian government last week, before being persuaded against it.Despite police officials denying the racial discrimination angle and minister of state for external affairs VK Singh’s tweet, “Had detailed discussion with Delhi Police and found that media blowing up minor scuffle as attack on African nationals in Rajpur Khurd,” African nationals in the city state otherwise.Prince, 30, and Kevin Adams, 28, from Nigeria have been living in Delhi since the past three years. Studying computer application, the Nigerians stated that overall Indians were warm and welcoming, however, there are good and bad people everywhere. “I cannot be angry with everyone for the actions of a few. However, incidents of violence against us have increased in the past few years,” Prince said. Residents of Chattarpur, the two Nigerians face daily racial slurs and insults. “I have been attacked thrice and beaten with cricket bats. Once, I was beaten up for as random a reason as buying an envelope,” Prince added.Hundreds of thousands of African nationals have been coming to the capital – largely to avail the education facilities here. Once here, they face rampant racism and discrimination. Discrimination is as basic as renting an apartment – the “black” African normally shells out three times the usual rate to rent an apartment, to hailing an auto – which will either overcharge them or not take them in roundabout routes and the women face sexual slurs. “It’s very normal to be abused by the locals when we walk down the street,” said Adams.To voice their anguish over the lack of support and action, the Association of African Students in India (ASSI) have organised a protest march at Jantar Mantar on Tuesday. “The African community and students want to show we are not safe here. Africans and students are not safe here and it is getting worse,” said Michael Olivier. Olivier is cousin of MT Olivier – who was killed on May 20 by local youths over hiring an auto rickshaw in South Delhi’s Kishangarh area. “We treat Indians in Africa with respect, I wonder why we are not treated the same,” Olivier said.The anguish of outsiders here in Delhi is not restricted to the Africans. It is extended to anybody who does not “look” Indian. Northeast Indians living in the capital can attest to the same racial discrimination suffered by the Africans. “I never knew how bad it could be here,” said Prince. “I will not advise anybody in Nigeria to come here,” he added.

Charge sheet filed against juvenile involved in Delhi hit-and-run case

The juvenile involved in the Mercedes hit-and-run case that claimed the life of a 32-year-old man was charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder and destruction of evidence. Delhi Police submitted the charge sheet at the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) in which it requested the juvenile be tried as an adult.The presiding officer of JJB has kept the charge sheet which will be up for consideration on June 2. If convicted, the juvenile is liable to a sentence of 10 years (maximum) in jail.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The juvenile has been charged under sections 304 and 201 of the Indian Penal Code that deal with culpable homicide not amounting to murder and destruction of evidence. The JJB will decide on the cognizance of the chargesheet on June 2.”During our investigation, it came to light that the juvenile was instrumental in sending the family driver to take the blame for the incident. Hence we have charged him with destruction of evidence,” said Madhur Verma, deputy commissioner of police (North).The DCP added, “The juvenile was four days short of turning major when the incident took place. We believe that he was physically and mentally grown up and aware of the consequences of his actions. Hence we have requested the JJB to try him as an adult.” Keeping the amended Juvenile Justice Act, 2016 in mind, police officials have requested the JJB to prepare a preliminary assessment report that is a pre-requisite for the juvenile to be tried as an adult under section 15.Evidence from Close Circuit Television (CCTV) camera footage recording the incident have also been included in the chargesheet. According to witness statements and the footage, it is clear that the Mercedes was going at a high speed and the driver did not even attempt to break or avoid collision. “The lack of skid marks at the scene of incident is telling. We have also taken statements of two witnesses who narrowly avoided collision with the car moments before the incident took place,” Verma said.The CCTV footage has been sent for Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) examination to determine the exact speed of the car at the time of the incident. Rough estimates project that the silver Mercedes was traveling at a speed of 80 kms/hour. When the victim was hit by the car at that speed, the impact threw him 15-20 feet up in the air before he hit ground.Sources state that the chargesheet that runs more than 300 pages includes statements from more than 50 witnesses including the juvenile’s friends who were with him in the car. Almost all the friends traveling in the vehicle have attested that the Mercedes was being driven at a very high speed. At least two friends claim that they wanted to “get out of the car because it was going too fast for them.”While the operative part of the chargesheet is merely 25-30 pages, the remaining pages are related to annexure documents that include a fitness report and an accident report done by Mercedes.In the chargesheet, the juvenile has been declared as a repeat offender since three traffic challans were issued to him along with an accident at Maurice Nagar in December 2015 which was mutually settled between the parties.The police plans to file a separate chargesheet against the juvenile’s father charging him with abetment. This charge sheet will be filed in the Tis Hazari district courts where the matter is ongoing.On April 4, Siddharth Sharma was killed as he was hit by a speeding Mercedes that was being driven by the then 17-year-old. Both father and son were arrested for the crime and are currently out on bail.

African national beaten to death in Delhi, hate crime ruled out

Three locals in South Delhi’s Kishangarh area allegedly beat Congolese national Masonda Ketada Olivier to death late on Friday night. The incident came to light when passers-by came to the African’s rescue and took him to the trauma centre at the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) where he was declared dead.”A PCR call was received at 11:44 pm about a quarrel with an African national near the CNG petrol pump,” said Ishwar Singh, deputy commissioner of police (DCP), south, at a press conference held at the police headquarters here on Saturday. “When the police reached the spot, it was learnt that the PCR van had already taken the victim to the hospital where he was proclaimed dead,” Singh added.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Onlookers recounted that the victim was chased for 20 metres and then beaten up by the assailants. He had injuries on his head and face,” a senior police officer said.Olivier, a linguist who taught French privately, was attending a house party in Munirka along with a friend. Olivier came with his friend to Kishangarh, from where he was to make his way to South Extension alone. According to police officials, it was here that he got into an altercation with three local youths over hiring an auto rickshaw. It is presumed that the three locals beat up Olivier in anger and then smashed a rock at the Congolese national’s head.”According to eyewitness reports, three youths who were involved have been identified. One has been arrested and teams have been dispatched to detain the remaining accused,” said Nupur Prasad, additional DCP, south. “According to eyewitness, since the fight was majorly over an auto rickshaw, hate crime and the racial angle has been ruled out for now,” Prasad added.The accused have been identified as 23-year-old Mobin Azad Saifi, Prakash – both residents of Mehrauli and Mukesh from Chattarpur. Saifi has been arrested and police authorities are on the lookout for the remaining accused. Saifi was produced at the Patiala House Court before the metropolitan magistrate on Saturday and charged under Section 302/34 of the Indian Penal Code.During interrogation, it came to light that Saifi has a previous criminal record and has already spent 2.5 months in Tihar Jail. It was here where Saifi met Mukesh who was also in the jail over a cheating case.Unfortunately, no personal details of the Congolese national were available with the police since the embassy was closed on Saturday. The African’s body is currently with the Indian authorities and will be handed over to the embassy after the post-mortem and other formalities are completed.

TN man claims he killed Sadiq Batcha

In a sensational disclosure, a day before counting begins in Tamil Nadu, 24-year-old K Prabhakaran confessed to killing Sadiq Batcha, a close aide of former telecom minister A Raja, in March 2011.Reacting to this brazen confession, CBI officials have taken note of the situation. “We are looking into the situation and further action will be taken as per the law,” CBI spokesperson Devpreet Singh said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At a press conference held at the Trichy Press Club, Prabhakaran told media persons that he committed the crime along with former state intelligence chief Jhawar Sait and Paramesh Kumar, Raja’s kin. “We killed Sadiq Batcha at the office of Green House Promoters in the late hours on 16 March 2011,” said Prabhakaran.The alleged accused further stated that Batcha was killed because he gave information to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials against Raja in the 2G scam. At the press conference, Prabhakaran said that he was a poor man and his life was in danger, hence he came forward to reveal his role in the murder. “I know they will not let me live long. That’s why I am revealing the real story so the accused are put behind bars before anything bad happens to me,” he said. “I was asked to participate in the killing as Kumar promised me money in return,” Prabhakaran said. “I have not yet been paid and hence I am coming forward,” he added.Recreating the night of the crime, Prabhakaran said: “Jhawar strangulated Batcha with a towel as I held the waist and Kumar held his legs pushed him down, put his foot on the neck and strangled him.”Implicating the state intelligence chief, Prabhakaran said, “A lot of a Raja’s unaccounted money was allegedly with Jhawar and they did not want CBI to block this.”Prabhakaran’s revelation opens a can of worms as several top leadership in Tamil Nadu’s political spectrum have been implication in this alleged plot. In March 2011, Batcha death was investigation by the CBI and ruled as a suicide. A case was registered by the CBI in 2011, and in August 2012, a disclosure report was submitted in court which was accepted in October the same year.Sadiq Batcha was a close aide of former telecom minister A Raja and the Managing Director of real estate firm Green House Promoters. Batcha allegedly committed suicide under suspicious circumstances. Batcha’s complicity and role in the 2G scam was widely speculated upon and his proximity to Raja placed him as one of the key conspirators in the scam.Raja along with DMK MP Kanimozhi and 15 others have been charged by the CBI with distributing spectrum licenses to favoured companies without going through the competitive bidding process.

Home ministry official remanded to police custody

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) alleges that non-government organisations (NGOs) like Care India, Snehalaya Charitable Trust, All India Primary Teachers Federation (AIPTF) and Indian HIV/AIDS Alliance among others were targeted for bribes by Anand Joshi, the home ministry official.The CBI further alleged that Joshi was laundering the ill-gotten gains in various numerous immovable assets and through companies like M/s Sreejak Media Pvt. Ltd, M/s Sreejak Radio Media Pvt. Ltd. and M/s Sreejak Outdoor Media Ltd. Which were floated by him. It has also come to light that Joshi’s wife Meenakshi, is a director in one of the firms.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Joshi was arrested by CBI officials on Sunday evening, four days after he went missing, and was produced in the special CBI court at Patiala House on Monday. Special Judge Vinod Kumar has remanded Joshi to CBI custody till May 20.In its application, the CBI has stated that the investigation against Joshi has faced many hurdles. “The search was conducted at the Joshi’s house after a lot of harship,” the CBI told the court. “Various incriminating documents including files of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA), MHA, and Directorate of Advertising & Visual Publicity, Min. Of Information and Broadcasting were seized from the residences of Joshi for which the accused had no satisfactory answers,” the CBI further alleged.CBI Senior Public Prosecutor informed the court, that the probe agency wanted custody of Joshi to investigate the matter in detail. The custody plea was opposed by Neeraj Gupta, representing Joshi who argued that his client was co-operating with the probe agency. Gupta further submitted and prayed for leniency stating that Joshi and his wife were suffering from depression.Gupta rubbished CBI claims that Joshi had switched off his phone between May 11 – May 15 stating that his client had lost his phone in Ujjain, where he was attending the Kumbh Mela on May 8.The home ministry official, who had disappeared four days ago after his Ghaziabad residence was raided by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), was detained by the agency on Sunday evening, in connection with a case of alleged issuance of arbitrary notices to NGOs and societies, under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), for financial gains. Social activist Teesta Setalvad’s NGO, Sabrang Trust, was also allegedly targeted by Anand Joshi.

Eyewitness recounts last moments of Britannica executive

A top executive of Encyclopedia Britannica jumped to his death early Sunday morning from the top floor of a building in his locality in Gurgaon. A resident of Belvedere Apartments in DLF Phase-III, Vineet Whig, the chief operating officer, lived on the eight floor in one of the four buildings within the swanky complex. Whig, who lived with his family — wife and three children, in Block ‘D’, whereas his aged parents, both presumably in their mid-eighties lived in the adjoining Block ‘B’. Whig, however, chose Block ‘C’ to commit suicide.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Prima facie, Whig planned his death. He was seen wandering around by the guards and the cleaners on the 19th floor (the top floor) of Block ‘C’. Most presumed he was there to meet a friend. The victim also left a suicide note behind that did not blame anyone,” said Hawa Singh, additional commissioner of police (Gurgaon). “We have not registered any case against an individual though, we have sent the suicide note or a handwriting analysis to further investigate the matter,” Singh added.An eyewitness recounts the events that led to Whig’s discovery in the shaft where he was found dead and remembers her neighbour who she found to be very shy. “I have known Whig as a passing acquaintance from his walks in the colony. I remember he walked very slowly. Whig was shy, did not interact much and mostly kept to himself,” the eyewitness said.It can be surmised that Whig had allegedly left home on Sunday morning for his regular morning walk. When, 47-year-old Whig did not return at his usual time, it can be gathered that his wife went looking for him. However, as she was looking for her husband outside in the complex along the walking tracks, he at the time lay at the bottom of the shaft where he was discovered by a cleaner.At around 9:30 am, there was a commotion as the cleaners found Whig in the shaft of the building. The shaft, though easily visible from all the floors, is not so easily accessible. One can gather that Whig may have known about the entrance to the shaft, since all the buildings in the complex are similarly designed.Whig’s former colleague stated, “Everyone who knows him is in shock.” Singh, alleged, the suicide note was fairly clear, though the immediate cause that compelled Whig to take such a drastic step remains unknown.

Teesta Setalvad files: Missing MHA officer Anand Joshi found, detained

A home ministry official, who had disappeared four days ago after his Ghaziabad residence was raided by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), was detained by the agency on Sunday evening, in connection with a case of alleged issuance of arbitrary notices to NGOs and societies, under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), for financial gains. Social activist Teesta Setalvad’s NGO, Sabrang Trust, was also allegedly targeted by Anand Joshi.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Joshi, an under secretary in the ministry of home affairs (MHA), was nabbed by officials in the Tilak Nagar area, CBI sources said. “Joshi’s movements were being monitored ever since he went missing on Wednesday morning. He is currently being questioned at the CBI headquarters,” said CBI sources.Joshi, a resident in the Media times apartment in Indirapuram area of Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, went missing after the CBI issued him a notice for summons. Joshi failed to answer the summons after which a second notice was further issued.Joshi, who was recently posted in the foreigners’ division, had access to files relating to the FCRA. According to MHA officials, Joshi was under the scanner for several months. The CBI was informed after MHA officials ascertained that Joshi was taking bribes.On Monday, the CBI filed a case against Joshi for allegedly indulging in corrupt activities and arbitrarily issuing notices to non-governmental organisations (NGO) and societies receiving significant amount of foreign currency. The MHA official was allegedly demanding illegal gratification from some organisations which were laundered through immovable assets and private companies. In searches conducted at four locations including Joshi’s residence and office almost Rs 7.5 lakh was recovered and files from the MHA and ministry of information and broadcasting (I&B) were found.The missing files pertaining to the Sabrang Trust were also recovered from Joshi’s residence.In a statement released by the Sabrang Trust, Setalvad clarified they have not committed any violation of FCRA norms. “The ‘order’ dated September 9, 2015, suspending FCRA registration for 180 days had been arrived in an arbitrary manner without application of mind,” the statement read. Setalvad went on to confirm that Joshi was not part of the four-member team that inspected their offices. However, the NGO received an official communication from Joshi dated June 4, 2015, that made certain “observations” concerning alleged violations of FCRA, 2010 and FCR rules, 2011.The CBI has registered a case under sections 13(2) read with 13(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and section 120b of the Indian Penal Code.

India asks Interpol for red corner notice against Vijay Mallya

India has issued a red corner notice (RCN) which acts like an international warrant against liquor baron Vijay Mallya who is reportedly in the United Kingdom (UK). This move came after the British authorities refused to deport Mallya to India.”A RCN was sent to the Interpol for publication following a request made by the Enforcement Directorate (ED),” officials from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) were quoted as saying. On May 5, in response to a letter sent by the Ministry of External Affairs, the British government stated that under the 1971 Immigration Act, the UK does not require an individual to hold a valid passport in order to remain in that country if they have extant leave to remain as long as their passport was valid when leave to remain or enter the UK was conferred.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”At the same time the UK acknowledges the seriousness of the allegations and is keen to assist the Government of India. They have asked GoI to consider requesting mutual legal assistance or extradition,” the British authorities conveyed to the Indian government.Mallya’s whose passport was canceled by the Indian authorities last month owes a consortium of banks led by the State bank of India (SBI) almost Rs 9,000 crores. After a protracted legal battle, on November 23, 2015, the SBI tagged Mallya and two of his companies as wilful defaulters after they failed to clear loans given to the long-grounded Kingfisher Airlines. Despite a lookout notice circulated by the CBI, to all the airports, Mallya evaded authorities and left the country for the UK on March 2, 2016.Having ignored a series of summons ordering his return to India, Mallya’s troubles increased as the ED recently appealed to a Delhi Court recalling its order granting exemption from appearance in a case alleged violation of foreign exchange rules. In it’s plea, the ED has also requested the magistrate to issue a non-bailable warrant against Mallya.The ED is also investigating whether Mallya used a part of the loan to purchase properties abroad, an allegation he has denied. A Mumbai court has also issued an arrest warrant for him linked to this charge.Last week, in an effort to pre-empt his expulsion from the Rajya Sabha,m Mallya resigned in a letter he sent from London. In the letter to the Vice-President, Mallya claimed that he did not want his name “further dragged in the mud.”In a bid to recover the money, almost all of Mallya’s assets have been up for sale by the Indian banks.

Man says in suicide note he lost Rs 13 crore in cricket betting

Thirty-nine-year-old Ramdayal Verma, a resident of Madhya Pradesh, was found hanging from a tree located between Rail Bhawan and the media parking centre near Vijay Chowk, close to Parliament early on Thursday morning. According to a 23-page suicide note found on his person, Verma allegedly committed as he lost money in cricket betting.In the suicide note, Verma allgedly stated that he did not want “to live in oblivion anymore” and he was killing himself “to give attention to his plight.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the note, Verma alleged that he was killing himself since he lost a lot of money in betting on cricket. He owed lakhs of rupees to various persons which totalled Rs 13 crore in all. “The suicide is being investigated and amount mentioned in the note is also being looked at,” said Jatin Narwal, Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi).Verma, who used to sell utensils and pottery items, is survived by his wife and two children. In the 23-page note, Verma hinted that perhaps, he had attempted suicide once before. Verma had apparently come to the capital in January though he did not attempt killing himself then. Verma stated that he owed varying amount of monies (in lakhs) to people like Manoj Gupta, Gadha, Pappu Gadha alias Nisan Ansari, Haseen Kabadi, Jugal Bansal, Babloo and perhaps maybe others.

Court seeks Vijay Mallya’s response on ED plea

A Delhi court on Monday issued notice to liquor baron Vijay Mallya in response to a plea filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) recalling its order granting exemption from appearance in a case alleged violation of foreign exchange rules. Mallya has also been evading summons in a separate money laundering case investigated against him by the ED as he is reported to be in the United Kingdom.ED Public Prosecutor NK Matta moved the application last week before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Das that also sought the issuance of a non-bailable warrant to secure his presence for the remainder of the the 16-year-old trial.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”In view of the above, it is most respectfully prayed that this court may be pleased to withdraw the exemption given from the personal appearance of the accused and may be pleased to issue non-bailable warrant to secure the presence of the accused, in the on going trial,” the ED stated in its application.The ED filed a complaint under section 56 of the erstwhile Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) on March 8, 2000 when Mallya ignored summons issued by the ED. The court granted Mallya exemption from personal appearance on December 12 the same year. The court is currently hearing the final arguments in this case that accuses Mallya of violation of the provisions of FERA in arranging funds to advertise his company’s liquor products abroad.After hearing the prosecutor’s plea, CMM Das issued notice to Mallya’s counsel on Monday and sought his reply before May 20.The ED has accused Mallya of allegedly paying $200,000 to a London-based firm Benetton Formula Ltd for promotion of the Kingfisher brand abroad. According to ED, Mallya had paid this amount to the British firm for displaying the Kingfisher logo during the Formula One World Championships in London and some European countries in the years 1996-1998. ED stated the money was allegedly paid without prior approval from the Reserve Bank of India in violation of FERA norms.After a protracted legal battle, on November 23, 2015, the State Bank of India (SBI) tagged Mallya and two of his companies as wilful defaulters after they failed to clear loans given to the long-grounded Kingfisher Airlines. Mallya owes a consortium of banks led by the SBI dues to the tune of Rs.9,000 crores.Despite a lookout notice circulated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), to all the airports, Mallya evaded authorites and left the country for the United Kingdom on March 2, 2016.

Indian Express photographer dies on assignment in Jhansi

The Indian Express photographer Ravi Kanojia was electrocuted on the railway tracks that proved fatal while on an assignment in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh on Monday. News of his death sent shock waves in the photography community. Ravi is survived by his parents and three sisters.Ravi left for Jhansi early Monday morning to cover the drought situation in Bundlekhand for The Indian Express. Apparently, Ravi was shooting a 10-wagon train filled with water that has been stationed at Jhansi since the past four days as the Uttar Pradesh insists it has no need for this from the Centre. He was attempting to get a high-angle shot from an elevation when he was electrocuted by a high-tension wire.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>From Ludhiana, Ravi initially worked as a stringer for the Indian Express there before he was hired and transferred to the New Delhi bureau in 2009. Ravi was an outstanding photographer whose work in and outside Delhi won him great acclaim. Ravi was honoured for creative excellence by the Press Council of India in 2014 for his coverage of those displaced in the Muzaffarnagar riots. Ravi was also felicitated by the Delhi government for “capturing the spirit of Delhi” through his photographs.Ravi had a cheerful disposition and was always seen smiling. Helpful and approachable, his love for photography and life was apparent through his photographs. “I have known Ravi since he joined the bureau in 2009,” said Tashi Tobgyal, a friend and colleague. “His loss is incomparable and we are devastated by the news,” Tobgyal added.Hindustan Times photographer Ravi Choudhary, a close friend said “I have known Ravi since the seven years now since we were colleagues at the Express. Though, I moved on to work for another organization, our friendship continued on and off the field.” Another photographer Chandan Khanna from the Agency France-Presse (AFP) said, “He was very supportive of me while I was struggling as a freelancer. Although, I’ve not known him since long, we struck a friendship and a close bond.Ravi was my friend. Memories and anecdotes of interaction with Ravi flowed as friends called and consoled each other for our loss. In a city, where most of us are migrants, our friends become our family of sorts. I remember calling Ravi on Sunday for some work. He told me he would get back to me as soon as he knew something about my query. All I think back to, are my parting words to him a mere 24 hours ago, “Khabar dete rehna Ravi (Keep me informed about news Ravi).”

In a first, Jaish-e-Mohammad suspects to be counselled; Muslim groups welcome Delhi police’s initiative

On the pavement outside south Delhi’s Lodhi Colony Police station, a woman sits on a carefully laid out blanket with her rosary in hand. Since her brother’s arrest on May 4, she has been patiently waiting for some news about his fate. After braving the sweltering heat for days on end, her patience was rewarded when her brother was released from the special cell unit on Saturday evening.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Her brother, along with 12 others, was picked up by the Special Cell unit of the Delhi police for suspected links with the banned terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM). While three from the group have been arrested and remanded to ten days in police custody, the rest were detained for further questioning.While some family members like her were lucky, there were others who suffered disappointment as their kin remained in custody. Four youth, who were allegedly influenced by JeM founder Maulana Masood Azhar, were allowed to return home to their families under special conditions. It is perhaps for the first time, that Delhi Police is opting for positive reinforcement in the form of counselling and de-radicalisation as opposed to punitive action for suspected members of a terror module.Mohsin, Zeeshan and Mohammad Irfan from north-west Delhi’s Chandbagh locality were released with Maulana Muzzahir who lives in Loni, Ghaziabad. All four youths, in their early 20s, belong to the lower income strata of society. “The four boys are poorly educated and indulge in odd jobs to support their families. They are basically concerned and pre-occupied with making ends meet and putting food on the table,” Maulana Abdur Raziq, general secretary (Delhi state), Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind, said welcoming the move.A special group comprising officials of the special unit, a religious head of a local NGO, a noted psychiatrist – an expert in the field, the lawyer on record and immediate family members will jointly conduct and participate in the counselling sessions along with the suspects. “This initiative is a welcome step since it gives these boys a second chance,” the maulana, who will act as a religious counsellor, added.“We are releasing the youth after careful consideration,” a senior official from Delhi Police was quoted as saying. “Perhaps, this move will act as a positive reinforcement in the community and encourage family members of those affected to come forward before it is too late,” the senior official added.Marathon counselling session that lasted hours for days were conducted with each of those detained and the four boys were finally chosen. Immediate family members of the chosen were called to the police station and inducted in the sessions.The recently free boys will have to continue attending regular counselling sessions with a noted psychiatrist appointed by the Special Cell. “The psychiatrist in question is noted for his expertise in the field and he regularly advises the National Human Rights Commission(NHRC),” a source close to the investigation revealed. The maulana will step in to guide the youth by counselling them from a religious point of view,” the source added.“In Islam, self-defence is one of the acceptable instances when one does jihad,” the maulana said. “Islam does not propagate harming women and children, and killing innocents is against the tenet of the faith,” Raziq added.On May 4, the special cell of Delhi Police picked up 13 youths — all in their early 20s who were allegedly influenced by Azhar’s ideology. The operation that lasted 13 hours, with a team of 60 from the special cell conducting raids across 13 different locations in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. It resulted in the arrest of three. Sajid Abassi, Shakir Ansari, and Sameer Ahmad were produced in the special court at Patiala house and charged under sections 18 and 20 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and 120B of the Indian Penal Code. An imminent threat to the capital was thwarted with these arrests.

SP Tyagi bros admits to ties with Agusta middlemen

As defence minister Manohar Parrikar mounted an offensive on the Congress in the parliament over the AgustaWestland deal, in a startling revelation, the CBI sources on Friday claimed that former air chief SP Tyagi’s cousins have admitted to having property links with him.Sanjeev (aka Juli), Docsa and Sandeep Tyagi were summoned by the central bureau of investigation (CBI) for questioning on Friday, where they admitted to “property links” with SP Tyagi. Juli also admitted to financial dealings with middlemen Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>“The Tyagi brothers were questioned for almost nine hours today and they have been called for further clarification tomorrow as well,” a CBI source was quoted as saying. “We are not completely satisfied with Juli’s explanation regarding his financial dealings with Haschke and Gerosa,” the source added. Juli was said to be evasive during his questioning.The development comes hours after the enforcement directorate (ED) questioned SP Tyagi for the second day on Friday in connection with the controversial Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal. ED officials questioned Tyagi for the first time in a marathon 10-hour session on Thursday, according to agency sources.Delhi-based lawyer Gautam Khaitan, who has also been implicated in the scam, has also been recalled for further questioning. Khaitan, who was present at the headquarters on Friday, had mysteriously left the premises and returned two hours later. Speculation was rife that perhaps he had left to gather key papers CBI officials had asked for.“Khaitan seems to be concealing information regarding financial transactions between his company and AgustaWestland,” a CBI source revealed. So far, the CBI has admitted to have questioned more than 100 people individually in this matter.Though media reports strongly hinted that Christian Michel’s associate Christine Bredo Spliid might also be involved in the chopper scam, the CBI strongly asserted that Spliid is not a “person of interest at the moment”. The CBI stance was the same with respect to Michel’s driver, who was also questioned for evidence.Pointing fingers at the Congress leadership, Parrikar stated that the “entire corruption” in the deal took place during the UPA tenure but former air chief Tyagi and Gautam Khaitan are “small people” who “simply washed their hands in a flowing ganga (of corruption)” and that the government will “find out where the river was going”. Parrikar also said that while the decision on the contract was taken in 2010, Tyagi had retired in 2007 and “might have got just a ‘chiller’ (loose change)”.India scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland in 2014 for supplying 12 AW101 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force (IAF) over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of paying kickbacks to the tune of Rs. 423 crore by it for securing the deal.The central agency has also issued Letters Rogatory (judicial requests) to ten countries in this case.

CBI summons Harish Rawat on Monday

Even as the apex court has sought a response form the Centre to allow a floor test in Uttarakhand assembly, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has summoned former chief minister Harish Rawat on Monday in connection with the sting video.In a preliminary inquiry on April 25, Umesh Kumar, the CEO of Samachar Plus, who conducted a sting video that showed Rawat allegedly attempting to bribe rebel Congress MLAs in exchange for support in the floor test, confirmed the genuineness of the video.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The summons comes after the CBI started probing the allegations in the sting video and its authenticity. The CD of the video was sent to a forensics laboratory in Chandigarh to for examination. A CBI source revealed that a forensic report “confirmed” the video to be genuine.At first, Rawat had denied the allegation and stated the video to be fake when it was first released. Recently, the former chief minister backtracked his statement and admitted his presence in the video. However, Rawat, further added that he is being framed.During its investigation, a CBI source stated an MLA alleged that when the Finance Bill was being discussed in the assembly, Rawat called him to his office and offered a bribe of Rs.2.5 crore in exchange for his support. The MLA further alleged that he was also approached by a state minister in Rawat’s cabinet and offered a bribe of Rs.10 crore if he supported Rawat’s government.”Be it imposition of President’s rule which was done just a day before the state government was to go for a floor test or the summons which comes a day after the Supreme Court asked the Centre to seriously consider the option of a floor test in the assembly, the hurry with which all this has been done shows there is an attempt to influence the floor test if that takes place,” Rawat said addressing media persons at a press conference in Dehradun.The Centre dissolved the Uttarakhand government and imposed the President’s rule a day before Rawat was supposed to take a floor test to prove his majority. The sting video in question was also one of the basis on which Rawat’s government was dissolved.

Delhi: 3 Jaish men held for plotting capital attack, 10 detained

Early Wednesday morning, 13 young boys – all in their early 20’s ,who are allegedly heavily influenced by the ideology of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), were picked up by the Special Cell of the Delhi police. The operation that lasted 13 hours, a team of 60 from the special cell conducted raids across 13 different locations in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, resulting in the arrest of three. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sajid Abassi, Shakir Ansari, and Sameer Ahmad were produced in a special court at Patiala House and charged under sections 18, 18B and 20 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The remaining ten apprehended are being questioned further about their role and involvement and continue to remain in detention. Delhi resident Abassi, the alleged leader and mastermind of the module was a sympathizer of banned Pakistani terror outfit JeM. Sajid, who studied till standard V, was also influenced by the torture videos from Abu Ghraib, the now-defunct Iraqi prison operated by the Americans, and wanted vengeance for his brethren. In fact, Abassi even hosted the first known meeting on December 20 last year at his residence where Abu Ghraib videos were shown along with the teachings of Masood.According to police sources, Abassi was assembling an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) on Monday night when it exploded in his left hand. A source deployed to track Sajid’s movements informed he Delhi police about this development on Tuesday afternoon after which, the decision to apprehend them was made. “Within hours we assembled a team and based on intelligence inputs, we raided all the locations over a period of 13 hours,” said an official from the Special Cell. At a press conference held at the police headquarters, Arvind Deep, Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) outlined the timeline and the background of the busted module. “Gauging from the materials that were seized from Sajid and his associates, it was concluded that an attack was imminent. Almost all materials for a bomb was ready except for the trigger,” Deep added.At the time of arrest, one live and one damaged IED, raw material used for preparation of further IEDs were recovered from the the ground floor of Sajid’s house. Following Sajid’s arrest, his primary associates Ansari and Ahmed from Deoband, and Loni in UP were simultaneously arrested. “In December-January, we got a tip-off about alleged terror activities after which we started monitoring the group. Through inputs from central agencies, human intelligence and technical intelligence we started building evidence against these radicals and mapped out their network,” Deep added.For close to five months, intelligence kept track of all movements of those associated with this group and gathered evidence through human and electronic surveillance. “Officers have been working round the clock on this operation for close to five months now,” said Arvind Deep.According to police sources, officers of the special cell were informed about alleged serial attacks this module was planning and preparing for. Sources further added that popular markets and malls in Delhi with high footfall were the supposed locations identified and scouted out by the members of this module. The three arrested apparently self-trained themselves in bomb-making from information found online and radicalised themselves by reading literature written by Maulana Massod Azhar. It was alleged that Sajid, the leader was in touch with Masood’s brother and propagated JeM’s ideology. In a whatsapp group the three prime accused were in frequent touch with each other and made plans to visit Pakistan for further training.When Maulana Masood Azhar was released by the Indian authorities in 1999, the militant broke away from Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) formed JeM. According to the Indian authorities, JeM is responsible for parliament attack in 2001. In Pakistan where the JeM is banned since 2002, Masood’s outfit is also allegedly responsible for the kidnap and murder of Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl. Apart from that, recent attacks on the army base in Titwal, Jammu and Kashmir and the airbase in Pathankot attack was orchestrated by JeM. Last month, a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court issued open-ended bailable warrants against Azhar and his three associates in connection with the Pathankot attack.

CBI seizes Rs1.37 crore from textile ministry official’s Mumbai flat

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sleuths on Tuesday recovered Rs1.37 crore from the possession of a senior textile ministry official, posted as deputy general manager in Delhi, who had hidden the illegally earned cash in his Mumbai flat.In an ongoing investigation of bribery case against the ministry official – Ashutosh Kumar Singh, deputy general manager of the Handicrafts and Handloom Export Corporation of India – and inspector Kehar Singh of the Delhi police, the agency conducted searches at the Singh’s Mumbai flat and recovered nearly Rs1.37 crore in cash from there. Investigators also found Rs1.5 lakh cash in his car and investment in fixed deposits to the tune of Rs9 crore.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>CBI had arrested Singh on Monday. Sources stated that in some earlier raids, conducted at nine locations across Mumbai and Noida, nearly Rs40.5 lakh in cash was recovered. In addition, two Mercedes cars with red beacons and various property-related documents were also confiscated.Meanwhile, both accused were produced before the designated CBI court in west Delhi’s Rohini court and remanded to two days’ police custody.In a complaint to the Delhi police, a man had alleged that Singh duped him to the tune of Rs1 crore by posing as a joint secretary and claiming that he could secure the complainant’s pending arrears and wages from the Food Corporation of India (FCI). Inspector Kehar Singh, who received the complaint, demanded Rs3lakh as bribe from Singh to settle the matter.Sources claimed that the two were arrested after the CBI laid a trap and caught bot of them red-handed.The CBI has registered a case under relevant sections against the accused.

Chhota Shakeel’s message to Tihar prison warns Chhota Rajan ‘the end’

Incarcerated underworld don Rajendra Sadashiv Nikhalje aka Chhota Rajan continues to receive death threat from Dawood aide Chhota Shakeel even in Delhi’s high-security Tihar jail, following which his security has been beefed up.Police sources said that a message saying, “How long will you save this pig from death, very soon I will do his the end,” received by a senior Tihar jail official has been confirmed to have been sent by ‘Haji Chhota Shakeel’ .<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The message was sent from the mobile number +971504265138, with an area code from United Arab Emirates (UAE), that purportedly belongs to Chhota Shakeel. Law officer Tihar Jail Sunil Gupta was the recipient. A call was also made on the landline in Tihar, threatening Rajan.The message was sent in November last year, shortly after Rajan was deported to India from Indonesia. Since then, not only has Rajan received additional security, but Gupta and his family have been provided security as well.Once a close aide of notorious gangster Dawood Ibrahim, Rajan parted ways with the D-Company after the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai. Shakeel had earlier made a failed bid to assassinate Rajan in Indonesia in 2000.On the run for close to 27 years, Rajan was arrested by the Interpol in October 2015. He was deported to India on November 6, 2015 and has been in Tihar jail ever since. Rajan is facing trial in more than 70 cases that include extortion, murder and drug smuggling.

Accused pleads to turn approver against Jindal, Koda

Accused number 11 in the Naveen Jindal coal scam is all set to turn government approver and spill the beans.Suresh Singhal, who had appealed to the special court for pardon, recorded his statement in front of the magistrate on April 26. The contents of the confession were presented to special CBI judge Bharat Parashar for consideration in a sealed cover the same day. Singhal is the director of New Delhi Exims Pvt Ltd (NDEPL) and one of the 15 accused in the Jindal coal scam.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I am ready to disclose the true facts of the case regarding the transfer of Rs 2 crore from Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd (JRPL) to NDEPL further to Sowbhagya Media Ltd (SML) in the form of the purchase of shares,” sources who attended his deposition before Parashar quoted Singhal as saying.In his six-page application to the court, he said, “I further pray to your honour to please allow me to be government approver and also request your honour to pardon me for the truth brought by me to the honourable court.”Claiming his family members were undergoing huge mental pressure, he said, “now it has gone beyond the level of tolerance. So (I) wish to speak out the whole truth in front of your honour for which I have been stopped many times under dire threats and consequences.”On April 21, Singhal, a chartered accountant, had submitted an application stating his role in the transfer of money from Jindal to a company favoured by former minister of state Dasari Narayan Rao. In the application, Singhal also alleged the role of accused number 12 – Rajeev Jain, director of JRPL, and Sushil Maroo “who was working with Naveen Jindal Group at a very senior position.”The court has issued a notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and 14 accused on Singhal’s plea for pardon and turning approver in the case. The next hearing in the case is on May 11.On Friday, a special court at Patiala House ordered framing of charges against Jindal, Rao, former chief minster Madhu Koda and 12 others in the coal scam case. “Charges to be framed against all accused under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) read with 409 and 420 of IPC and under sections 13(1)(c), 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act,” the court said.Besides Jindal, Koda and Rao, 12 others, including former Coal secretary HC Gupta were charge-sheeted by the CBI in a case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt Ltd (GSIPL) in 2008.The other accused in the case are Rajeev Jain, director of Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd, Girish Kumar Suneja and Radha Krishna Saraf, directors of GSIPL, Suresh Singhal, director of New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd, K Ramakrishna Prasad, managing director of Sowbhagya Media Ltd and chartered accountant Gyan Swaroop Garg. All accused are currently out on bail.Five firms, JSPL, Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd, Gagan Infraenergy Ltd (formerly known as GSIPL), Sowbhagya Media Ltd and New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd are also on trial.In its 144-page order, judge Parashar observed, the money trail of the aforementioned Rs. 2 crore and its cover-up is the crux of investigation. “A facade of companies prima facie appears to have been created as a smokescreen to cover up the actual transfer of money so as to avoid liability under any law/rules/regulations,” the court said.The court further observed “prima facie reflects the active collusion between the public servants involved in the process and the private parties in whose favour the coal block stood allotted.” In its chargesheet, the CBI stated that Naveen Jindal criminally conspired and roped in various accused as conspirators at different points of time to get allocation of the alleged coal block.The CBI had alleged that in lieu of the recommendation of allocation of ‘Amarkonda Murgadangal Coal Block’, Jindal conspired with Koda and “promised him to garner support of the Congress for his unstable government and help him in continuing as Jharkhand chief minister.”During the course of investigation, it was found that M/s GSIPL had misrepresented on several counts in the feedback form submitted before the screening committee and managed to procure the allocation of impugned coal block in its favour.The CBI also found that soon after the allocation of the block, an amount of Rs 2 crore was invested by M/s New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd (M/s NDEPL) into M/s Sowbhagya Media Ltd, of which Rao was not only one of the directors, but also its main promotor.The CBI alleged that in order to facilitate payment of Rs 2 crore to Rao by the Jindal group, a number of transactions between different companies owned by Singhal and Gyan Swaroop Garg was adopted. However, it was found that all the said transactions between various companies were found to be linked to Jindal Group of companies to camouflage the alleged payoff of Rs 2 crore to Dasari Narayan Rao by Naveen Jindal promoter of M/s JSPL and M/s GSIPL.The JSPL, however, denied the charges. An e-mail from its spokesperson to media said: We deny all allegations made against our company and its management. We have full faith in the Indian judicial system and are confident to come out clean during the process. The said allocation was made to the company purely on merits and all along the course of the investigation the company and its officials have fully cooperated with the authorities, and whenever asked, explained and provided all the supporting documents.Coal scam: when and howThe coal scam refers to a draft report released in March 2014, by the comptroller audit general (CAG) stating that the government exchequer lost Rs 1.86 crore since it allotted the coal blocks to private entities and PSUs, instead of auctioning it during 2004-2009. However, in 2012, following a complaint lodged by the BJP, the CBI initiated an inquiry to probe allegations of corruption. Consequently, a first information report (FIR) report was filed by the probe agency that accused almost a dozen firms overstating their net worth, failing to disclose prior coal allocations and hoarding, rather than developing coal allocations.

Female scientist hangs self, motive remains unclear

A 30-year-old Puja Rai, a scientist at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) was found hanging in her quarters on the institute premises early Thursday morning. In a suicide note found nearby, the scientist did not blame anybody for her death and also claimed that “she had lived her life.”A resident of Sector 23, Gurgaon, Haryana, Rai lived with her husband Amit Sharma whom she married in November 2015. However, Rai often shuttled between Gurgaon and her quarters at the institute in south-west Delhi’s Pusa Road.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to sources, Rai had left for the institute from Gurgaon on Wednesday. However, when she failed to respond to numerous phone calls, family members arrived at the institute on Thursday morning to find her hanging off the ceiling fan. Rai’s brother, who was present at the spot with his mother and Sharma, immediately informed police officials about the incident.”Prima facie it seems that it is a case of suicide, and a probe has been ordered,” south west Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Surender Kumar told media persons. Rai’s body has been sent for post-mortem and the results are awaited.Rai, a scientist in the department of Plant Physiology was working on improving the process of photosynthesis of the rice crop. She was associated with IARI since 2005 when she joined as a student. She then went on to join the institute as a researcher. In between she had quit the institute to work somewhere else, however, she rejoined IARI in 2014.According to Dr Vishwanathan, Rai’s department head, she was a strong girl and it is unimaginable that she could take such a step. Though researchers work independently, a daily dialogue was open amongst all members of the department. “I have known Rai for more than a decade, we were really shocked when we heard the news. She was such a strong girl, we just cannot imagine she would do such a thing,” Vishwanathan said. “I just spoke to her yesterday. She was telling me about her work and the progress she has made,” he added.Sources say statements of all family members have been recorded and the investigation is on.

Third time lucky, juvenile involved in hit-and-run case gets bail

The Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) granted bail to the juvenile who was involved in the Mercedes hit-and-run that claimed the life of 32-year-old Siddharth Sharma. This was the juvenile’s third attempt securing bail since he was remanded to a reform home at North Delhi’s Majnu Ka Tila over two week ago.Principal Magistrate Vishal Singh granted bail to the boy, who turned major four days after the accident, on furnishing a bond of Rs 50,000.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The youth sought bail on the grounds that he was depressed being away from home for so long and that he had to appear for various entrance exams. The board had deferred the order for today and directed the defence to submit relevant documents to support their claim.Advocate Vikas Manchanda representing the accused on Saturday had submitted that the future prospects of the youth was in jeopardy and his further incarceration could only hamper his chances at a bright future.Manchanda further argued that since his incarceration, the youth had already missed out on several entrance exams. Further custody of the child would hamper the youth’s chances even more.Documents admitted in court today included an admit card and particulars of the courses the youth was attempting to pursue.”I am deeply saddened by the turn of events,” said Shilpa Mittal, sister of the victim. “Today we were not even given a chance to put forth our objection and point of view,” Mittal added.Sources who were privy to the proceedings claimed that Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava objected to the bail plea and sought psychology reports of the youth.The JJB had earlier rejected the youth’s bail plea stating that he was a “repeat offender.” While observing that the traffic challans had failed to have a “reformative effect” on the boy, the board had also deemed that “bad parenting” was another reason for denying bail.In a scathing observation, the court had said, “the repeated traffic rules violation challans failed to have any reformative effect upon the juvenile. As observed, it seems his parents couldn’t care less.” The judge was also heard saying, “It doesn’t matter if they knew he was getting challaned repeatedly, but letting their son take to the wheels before attaining the age of 18 years and without a driving license itself indicated that they couldn’t care less about traffic violation by their son.”On April 4 in North Delhi’s Civil Lines area, the juvenile, four days short of his 18th birthday, was speeding in his father’s Silver Mercedes car when he hit Sharma as he was trying to cross the road.The police had initially charged the juvenile with rash and negligent driving. However, when the police learned that the juvenile was a repeat offender, graver charges of culpable homicide were later added. Following the accident, the juvenile’s father was arrested on charges of abetment to culpable homicide not amounting to murder. He was later released on bail after depositing a bond of Rs 1 lakh.

Juvenile involved in Mercedes hit-and-run case denied bail for third time

The teenager involved in the Mercedes hit-and-run case was denied bail by the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) for the third time on Saturday.On April 4, Siddharth Sharma was killed as he was hit by a speeding Mercedes that was being driven by the then 17-year-old.According to sources present during the proceedings, the JJB was at first inclined to grant the juvenile bail keeping his best interests in mind.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi police, however, opposed bail arguing that investigation was incomplete. The public prosecutor (PP) added that some if the juvenile’s friends were yet to be interrogated. The PP said that if the juvenile were to be released then there was a possibility that he would influence the witnesses.Sources said the defence lawyer pleaded for the juvenile’s bail on two main points. The defence claimed that it had been over 14 days since the boy was in custody. The lawyer claimed that the juvenile was depressed being away from home. Assurance was given to the principal magistrate that should the boy be released, he would not drive a car.The defence further stated that the boy had just completed his class XII exams and he wished to appear for a few entrance exams.However, the defence and the juvenile’s family had no relevant material to prove this claim.Lawyer’s representing the victim’s family responded to these claims stating that if it were a matter of depression then perhaps the board was the best place for the juvenile to receive help. “Keeping the boy’s history in mind, the fact that he has been driving for many years, it is better if he is counselled by the juvenile board. It is uncertain about what kind of help he will receive once he is home,” the lawyer added.The JJB has reserved its order for Tuesday and has directed the defence to submit evidence that proved the juvenile’s intent and plan to appear for the entrance exams.Shilpa Mittal, the victim’s sister, who attended the hearing stated that she had full faith in the Delhi police investigating the case and the justice system.Following the accident, the father of the juvenile was also arrested and granted bail on charges of abetment.

Bail denied for ‘repeat offender’ juvenile

The juvenile involved in the Mercedes hit and run on April 4 received a setback for a second time as the Juvenile Justice board rejected his bail application again. The juvenile who turned 18 four days after his car hit 32-year-old Siddharth Sharma has been remanded to a correctional home since last Sunday when he allegedly surrendered himself to the police. The Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) presiding over the Juvenile Justice Board – I, where the proceedings took place, cited multiple reasons for denying bail to the juvenile. According to reports, the MM’s primary reason for denying bail was the juvenile’s previous driving record and the multiple challans issued against him. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>“The boy has been driving a car since the past two years and his parents have promoted his habit of driving the car for long,” the MM said. Sources privy to the court proceedings said that the court cited bad parenting as another reason for denying bail. “The parents seem to have scant regard for the law and they have instilled the same approach in their son,” the judge was quoted as saying.Coming heavily down on the parents of the juvenile, the court further stated that, “the repeated traffic rules violation challans failed to have any reformative effect upon the juvenile. As observed, it seems his parents couldn’t care less.” The judge was also heard saying, “It doesn’t matter if they knew he was getting challaned repeatedly, but letting their son take to the wheels before attaining the age of 18 years and without a driving license itself indicated that they couldn’t care less about traffic violation by their son.” The juvenile’s parents were present in court along with a few relatives and friends. The victim’s family was represented by the victim’s sister Shilpa and her husband Yogesh along with their lawyer. Shilpa who who attended the proceedings, recounted the details of the proceedings for us. According to Mittal, the judge said, “The parents knew about his rash driving and yet gave him the heavy machinery. This not only endangered the life of the juvenile but also the life of the people on the streets.” According to records accessed by the police investigating team, the juvenile has a history of traffic violations including over speeding. According to records, the juvenile was involved in a minor traffic accident at North Delhi’s Maurice Nagar in December 2015 which was settled. It later came to light that the juvenile had forged the signature on the settlement paper to avoid further detection. The police had initially charged the juvenile with rash and negligent driving. However, when the police learned that the juvenile was a repeat offender, graver charges of culpable homicide were later added. Following the accident, the juvenile’s father was arrested on charges of abetment to culpable homicide not amounting to murder. He was later released on bail after depositing a bond of Rs 1 lakh.

Juvenile in Mercedes hit-and-run remanded to custody for two days

On Monday, the juvenile justice board remanded for two days the juvenile behind the wheel of the silver Mercedes that fatally hit a 32-year-old a week ago. On Sunday, the boy was sent to a correctional home after he appeared before a magistrate, offering to surrender.On April 4 in north Delhi’s Civil Lines area, a juvenile, four days short of his 18th birthday, was speeding in his father’s car when he hit Siddharth Sharma as he was trying to cross the road.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Currently in Delhi, the fine charged for a minor found driving is Rs500 and the vehicle is liable to be impounded by the traffic police, while the fine for an over-speeding charge and if the driver is found to be driving dangerously is Rs. 1,400.However, experts are of the opinion that this ‘relaxed’ attitude of the traffic police and the liberal attitude adopted by parents are the main reasons why instances of rash driving in the capital is high. Child rights’ lawyer Ashok Agarwal says, “There are laws already in place for those who are found guilty of an offence. It is a matter of implementation.” Agarwal, a high court lawyer who mostly handles cases involving child’s rights is of the opinion that a change in the attitude of the parents alone is not enough. Agarwal feels, the Delhi and Traffic police need to step up and be more assertive.Anant Asthana, a lawyer for juveniles, has an opinion that is quite similar to Agarwal’s. “The police has been very kind on the society and the parents. The law is there, however, the application of the law is found lacking,” Asthana said. The juvenile justice lawyer feels that, “if the police were to strictly enforce and implement the laws in place, then it would prove to act as a prohibitive tool for the society.””If a parent is conscience and cautious, then automatically, the kid will imbibe similar values and have a healthy respect for the laws of the land,” said Asthana. However, Asthana and Agarwal both vehemently feel that the society and the law – the police in this case, need to work in tandem.Setting a precedent, following Sharma’s accident, the police charged the father of the juvenile of abetment to culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Even though the teenager was apprehended, the police are pressing the courts to hold the father responsible for the son’s action.Asthana and Agarwal, both are of the opinion that the abetment charge is a stretch and may not stick. However, they both feel, the police is taking a very bold stance and a message is being sent out to the society.The Delhi police will continue to question the juvenile in the presence of a juvenile justice officer. “We will question the juvenile along with the six friends who were with him at the time,” said Madhur Verma, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North).Application of law is poor: LawyerAnant Asthana, a lawyer for juveniles, has an opinion that is quite similar to Agarwal’s. “The police has been very kind on the society and the parents. The law is there, however, the application of the law is found lacking,” Asthana said. The juvenile justice lawyer feels that, “if the police were to strictly enforce and implement the laws in place, then it would prove to act as a prohibitive tool for the society.”

Injunction filed by RK Pachauri against Vrinda Grover in sexual harassment case

RK Pachauri has filed an injunction suit against Supreme Court advocate Vrinda Grover and sought damages of Rs 1 crore. Three media houses have also been served an injunction notice by Pachauri’s counsel.A former analyst from the institute has accused ex-TERI chief Pachauri of sexual harassment. The charge sheet in this matter is up for consideration on April 23 at the Saket District court. Following the first complaint, since July 2015, two other complainants have stepped forward accusing Pachauri of sexually harassing them though no official complaint or FIR has been filed in these matters.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Vrinda Grover is prejudicing our case by strategically releasing damning and unsubstantiated statements to the media,” Ashish Dixit, Pachauri’s counsel stated. “Grover refused to accept the summons from a court official when it was sent to her,” Dixit added.Responding to these allegations, Grover stated that she did not refuse any summons. “I was in a conference for another matter and was not around to receive the summons. The court official was requested by the neighbouring office-bearers to come at a later time or the next day,” Grover said.”It is unfortunate that lawyers start spouting half-truths to the media now,” Grover said. “Allegations against Pachauri are very serious and need to be addressed on the points. Grover, knows for her cases dealing with women’s issues and rights, commented, “Instead of making me the story, perhaps the lawyers should speak about the harsh facts about the case. Why make a tamasha.”Sources close to the defence stated that Grover and her “clients” have been strategically releasing damning statements to the media before crucial court dates. This, a source close to the defence believes, may prejudice the case before the trial even beings.Rubbishing claims that the statements are prejudicial, Prashant Mendriatta, advocate for the first complainant said, “Who is getting influenced by these statements? The court has not yet taken cognizance of the charge sheet and the trial has not even gone past the first stage.” Mendriatta’s client, a former research associate at The Energy and Research Institute (TERI), filed an FIR against Pachauri in February 2015.

Juvenile in Mercedes hit and run case may appear in court today

In the Mercedes hit and run case, a trial court here on Saturday extended custody of the juvenile’s father who was arrested on Friday night in connection with the accident. The juvenile, who is allegedly untraceable, will voluntarily join the investigation on Sunday, Alok Lakahnpal, the defence counsel stated.On April 4, a then juvenile driving a speeding Mercedes hit 32-year-old Siddharth Sharma who was crossing the road. Sharma was flung almost 20 feet in the air before hitting ground. The juvenile, who turned 18 on April 8, four days after the alleged crime, will be tried in the juvenile court. However, his father arrested on charges of abetment, will be tried at the Tis Hazari trial court.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The prosecutor’s charge that claims the juvenile to be untraceable comes close on the heels of the emergence of another close circuit television camera (CCTV) footage. The 2:45 minute-long clip shows a busy road and two boys wearing black walking on the footpath (going right to left on the screen) on the 38th second. At 1:51 minutes, the clip shows five more boys – perhaps his friends – walking away from the scene of crime. They boys then stand at the corner of the intersection as they make calls – presumably to their wards to inform them about the incident that had just taken place.”The CCTV footage that captured the incident goes on and shows the juvenile and his friends walking away from the scene of the crime,” said Sajeel Khanna, a close friend of the victim.The juvenile’s father a resident of an affluent neighbourhood in north Delhi’s Civil Lines was arrested on an aggravated charge under section 109/304 of the IPC that deals with abetment. Arguing for police custody, Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava told the court that, “The investigation of this case is in its initial stages and hence the police custody of the accused is required for proper investigation.” The police also requested for custody to conduct a joint investigation to verify all facts. “Mere surrendering of the offender is not sufficient for the present interrogation,” Shrivastava added.The defence vehemently opposed police custody stating that the aggravated charge was an over reach and the police has charged his client under media pressure. “There is no cause for a joint investigation since the accused person was not even present at the time of the alleged incident,” Lakhanpal argued. Defence counsel further submitted, “The application for tracing the juvenile can be satisfied as the juvenile shall join the investigation tomorrow voluntarily.”Duty metropolitan magistrate Sachin Sangwan at the Tis Hazari court heard at length arguments from Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava and Lakhanpal before remanding the accused to police custody for a day.The juvenile, who recently gave his Class XII examinations, was on his way to play basketball with five other friends when he ran over Sharma. The silver Mercedes was moving at a speed of 100 kilometres an hour in a residential neighbourhood. According to the initial investigation reports, the boy has been involved with instances of rash driving and has been fined for it as well. However, as of Friday, according to reports, the fine has not yet been paid. The boy was also charged with parking on the wrong side of the road.According to statements made by the police in court, during the interrogation, the father claimed that the juvenile was his only son and he could not deny him anything. The boy allegedly was fond of driving and hence, even though he was a minor, the father taught the boy how to drive a car. Perhaps to save his son, sources claim that the father initially pressured the family driver to take responsibility of the crime. The driver however, retracted his statement under interrogation.

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