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Author: Sumit Kumar Singh

Outgoing Delhi L-G seeks CBI probe into AAP appointment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Outgoing Lieutanant-Governor (L-G) of Delhi, Najeeb Jung, asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the appointment of Soumya Jain, daughter of state health minister Satyendar Jain, as advisor to the mission director of the Delhi State Health Mission. Jung alleged that it was a case of “nepotism” saying that she came from an architectural background and had no experience in the health sector.The letter, accessed by DNA, was written to the CBI by the vigilance department of the Delhi government on December 22, the day Jung resigned. It states that the L-G has directed the matter to be referred to CBI for a detailed investigation into the irregularities in the appointment of Soumya Jain.Incidentally, Soumya, 26, was at helm of AAP’s mohalla clinic project in Delhi and was also allegedly given a huge office and staff in the Delhi secretariat.”The selection process in the government cannot be reduced to favouritism and it must offer opportunity to all concerned to apply and compete so as to attract the best talent around. The recruitment process in the government or government owned/controlled bodies must be with the tune with Article 14 of the Constitution,” the letter stated.The development is expected to further escalate confrontation between the Delhi and central governments.Satyendar Jain has defended Soumya’s appointment. When she resigned in July, the health minister had said that her daughter was not being paid any money for the job. He also stated that she had skipped her admission to IIM Indore earlier this year and chosen to work for the Delhi government instead.The letter further states that an “advisor can influence the decision of the government with the consequential bearing on finances and hence the selection process needs to be neutral”.During an inquiry, the L-G’s office found that Soumya’s appointment was in response to her request and not as a result of selection through an open and transparent process. “She offered her services without any financial consideration. The information furnished by the administrative department, however, reveals that an amount of Rs 1.15 lakh was spent on her tour and training,” the preliminary inquiry stated.Soumya had participated in a state-sponsored leadership development programme for senior management in the health sector conducted at IIM-Ahmedabad in June this year. She was the only non-medico who participated in the programme aimed at improving management efficiency in Delhi government hospitals. The rest were all doctors, who head different medical institutions run by the government.The letter also states that the proposal regarding “her appointment is silent about the existence of the post of the advisor to Mission Director at the relevant time”. Soumya was appointed on April 18, 2016, in response to her application dated April 1, 2016. Interestingly, the mission director gave approval on May 10, 2016. She had resigned in mid-July this year after allegations of nepotism in her appointment were levelled against the AAP government.

Power Dept urges LG to form a panel to appoint DERC head

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government’s Power Department has requested Lieutenant Governor (LG) Najeeb Jung to constitute a three-member selection committee to appoint chairman for the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC).”A proposal to this effect has been sent to the LG for approval,” said a senior Power Department officer. He added: “As per Section 85 of the Electricity Act, 2003, the selection committee is to be constituted by the state government. The power and functions of the state government were delegated to the LG vide a Government of India notification. dated 20.2.2004.”Former DERC Chairman Krishna Saini, a 1981-batch Indian Revenue Service officer, who was appointed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, was removed from the post on November 4, following Jung’s direction to withdraw his appointment order. Saini was appointed without Jung’s approval, which had led to a major confrontation between the AAP-led government and the LG.Interestingly, the Delhi Cabinet had to approve his removal, which has still not happened.In its judgment on August 4, the High Court had declared Saini’s appointment illegal following which Jung set aside his appointment on grounds of “illegal infirmities” on September 22.Taking a serious note of Jung’s order, Kejriwal had shot off a lengthy letter to the LG, asking him to reconsider his decision in public interest. The state Cabinet requested Jung to reconsider the decision thrice, but all in vain. Thereafter, the Power Department issued an order to remove Saini with immediate effect.

More trouble for AAP, CBI files corruption case against leader

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In another setback to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a case against party legislator from Okhla, Amanatullah Khan, on Friday for the alleged recruitment scam and financial irregularities in Delhi Waqf Board when Khan was its chairman.The agency registered a corruption case against Khan after Lieutenant Governor (LG) Najeeb Jung recommended a CBI probe into the scam allegations, after he dissolved the board in October. This is expected to further escalate tension between the Centre and the AAP government.”We have registered a corruption case against the then chairman of Delhi Waqf Board and unknown persons under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act related to criminal misconduct and corruption,” said a senior CBI officer.The FIR has been registered based on the complaints submitted by BJP leader and RTI activist Vivek Garg, and Mohammad Mustafa, to the Delhi government’s Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) in September.The case pertains to misuse of official position, financial irregularities and allowing encroachers and tenants to occupy Waqf Board properties in violation of the lease rules of the board, the agency said.The FIR alleged that the existing Waqf Board was illegally scrapped and superseded by the Delhi government under the directions of Deputy Chief Minister and Chief Minister of Delhi, CBI sources said.It alleged that another Waqf Board was constituted and its chairman was elected under the directions of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in contravention of the Waqf Act-1955 and Delhi Waqf rules of 1977.Sources also said that the ACB has submitted all documents related to the case to the CBI for further probe last week. ACB had grilled Khan and also carried out raids at the Waqf Board during preliminary inquiry into the complaints.”We have submitted our inquiry report to the CBI,” a source in ACB said.According to the complaints, when Khan was the Chairman of the board, around 40 people were hired in contravention to the recruitment rules. It was also alleged that the jobs were given to Khan’s relatives and AAP workers and that no advertisements were issued regarding the recruitment. They further alleged that the Delhi Waqf Board has recruited people on several key posts since Khan became the chairman of the body in March this year.On October 7, Jung dissolved the Waqf Board and referred the matter to the CBI. He directed the authorities concerned to reconstitute the board, quashing all appointments made by Khan. While Khan was the Chairman of the board, retired IPS officer Mehboob Alam was appointed as CEO. Both the appointments were struck down by the LG”for not having obtained the approval of the competent authority”.The LG office, in a statement, had said: “In view of the deliberate and persistent acts of illegality, violation of rules, allegations of corruption, possibility of mala fide intentions etc, the matter related to the Delhi Waqf Board is referred to the CBI for investigation.”Jung has also directed Divisional Commissioner A Anbarasu to constitute a committee to review the legality and propriety of all decisions and action taken by the Board after its constitution in March 2016 and submit its report . Earlier this month, the officer had submitted the report to the LG office .

Lights, camera, action: Delhi cops to get FTII training

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Come 2017 and the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), which has trained generations of actors and filmmakers, will begin teaching Delhi Police personnel how to wield the camera for that perfect shot. And no, it’s not for an alternate career in showbiz but so they can hone their investigation skills and better monitor the sprawling city under their watch.The idea came from Police Commissioner Alok Kumar Verma, it is learnt. The process of selecting investigating officers for the training will begin next year.The Delhi Police have written to the Pune-based institute, which falls under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, stating that they wanted their investigating officers to be trained in videography and photography as it will help them record evidence properly. FTII has also responded expressing its willingness to train the men in khaki.Sources said heightened threat perception has forced Delhi Police to prepare its personnel for untoward incidents and that needs specialisation. The force has started videographing tactical locations and establishments, including Parliament House, malls and markets.In the first phase, the Delhi Police are working on a video-walk of around 40 vital installations such as the National Museum, South and North Blocks, DRDO headquarters, residence of the British high commissioner, vice-president’s house and various government offices like Shastri Bhavan. A video camera team comprising police officials will record the topography inside and outside the buildings. And they have decided not to depend on amateurs.”We cannot depend on private people where national security is concerned. We are getting our men trained and making them specialists,” a senior police official told DNA.Besides, he explained, the city also witnesses thousands of demonstrations, processions, strikes and rallies. “All of them are videographed and photographed. It’s a herculean task.” In 2015, for instance, the force managed 2,259 demonstrations, 4,727 dharnas, 914 processions, 1,943 public meetings, 303 rallies and 1,010 other protests. Furthermore, around 200,000 cases are registered every year. In 2015, 191,377 cases were registered and 180,910 cases have been filed till November 15, this year, amounting to an average of 555 incidents of crime each day. Of this, 43 are crimes against women and 24 are heinous crimes.In most cases, the investigating officers have to take pictures and video-graph the crime spots as well as statements from witnesses and the accused. This needs a professional approach for which training must be given, an official said.There are crime teams in 11 police districts. “They reach the spot and collect minute details from the spot. The ill-equipped crime teams are not trained and just click pictures and shoot videos from a mini camera. It is a very unprofessional approach,” he said.This results in hazy pictures from crime and accident spots which hinders the probe. “Kaam chal jaata hai (We just about manage),” is how an SHO put it when asked how they manage without either proper equipment or the requisite know-how.But this lackadaisical attitude just might end with the FTII’s intervention.

DNA Exclusive: India sceptic at Pak terror alert

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid rising tensions along the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB), the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has informed the Delhi Police and other Central intelligence agencies that “Hindu radicals” could attack the Delhi-Lahore bus service, the Samjhauta rail service that operates between India and Pakistan, and the luxury bus service from Delhi to Nepal.This information, the MEA said, had been provided to them by the Pakistan High Commission.Following directives from the MEA, the Delhi Police have increased security at Old Delhi Railway Station and the Ambedkar Stadium Bus terminal and intensified checking.The communication, which was shared by the Pakistan High Commission to the MEA, and accessed by DNA, stated: “A message has been conveyed from the Pakistan High Commission, New Delhi that Hindu radical organisations can attack rail and bus services operating between Pakistan and India in the aftermath of Pathankot attack.”The alert has triggered serious concern among India’s security agencies. Decoding the alert by Pakistan High Commission, a review done by India’s intelligence agencies claim that the alert could be a “smokescreen” for Pakistan’s ISI to aid in terror activities across India. Intelligence officials also believe that the ISI is planning terror strikes in India by activating sleeper cells of the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Indian Mujahideen.”The ISI could carry out terror strikes in India’s heartland and blame it on saffron terror. It is amply clear from the Pakistan High Commission’s input that the ISI has already activated its sleeper cells and the so-called alert it has shared with the Ministry of External Affairs is nothing but preparing the ground for outright denial after the attack.”Intelligence agency officials also believe that the Pakistani communication may be playing on the fact that Hindu radicals have been accused of being behind previous blasts on Indo-Pak rail service.On February 18, 2007, twin blasts on the Samjhauta Express connecting Delhi and Lahore – near Diwana station at Panipat killed 68 people. During investigation, eight Hindu radicals were charge-sheeted in connection with the Samjhauta blasts. The accused include Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Asimanand, late Sunil Joshi alias Sunilji, Ramchandra Kalsangra, Sandeep Dange (both absconding), Lokesh Sharma, Kamal Chauhan, Amit and Rajender Choudhary.Meanwhile, the Pakistani communication also advises Indian agencies to keep sharp vigil. “Keeping a view on the sensitivity and international matter, sharp vigil, tactful handling and adequate police arrangements by local police, PCR and Traffic are suggested. Besides, a close watch may be kept over activities of such radical groups and organisations,” the communication to the MEA further stated.

Show not your skin, Delhi police advise students

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Don’t post sexually provocative poses and don’t show too much skin.” No, this was not an angry parent berating her child but the Delhi police. In a 20-minute PowerPoint presentation given to 90 schools, addressing an estimated 5,300 children, the police apparently decided that it wasn’t just enough to enforce the law they needed to play the ‘moral police’ as well.The presentation, which has been accessed by DNA, will be made available to a further 876 schools across the capital soon.The presentations, which started from November 2 and are ongoing, came about after a directive by Delhi police Commissioner Alok Kumar Verma. Under this directive, the Delhi police started a programme entitled “Protect Children On The Net” where officials are meant to educate students about existing cyber laws of the country and the dangers of sexual predators online.”Online predators do not fit any one mould or stereotype. They come from all walks of life—seemingly upstanding citizens have been caught enticing children for sexual acts,” stated the presentation.Police officials have also told students — in the presentation— that predators on social networking sites and chat rooms may try to gain their trust by making promises, sending cool gifts or offering them affection and attention. “They may also talk about inappropriate things, send you sexually explicit images, ask for your personal information, or ask you to do things that make you feel uncomfortable.””Posting information like your name, your school, or your address could put you in a dangerous position and at the risk of victimisation. Someone looking to harm you could easily follow you and know what time of the day you will be at each location,” Delhi police officers told students.So far, so good. But post this information came the moral policing. Cops pointed out that students needed to behave in a “decent” manner online. “Sexually provocative photos and videos not only convey the wrong image, but may also catch the eye of a predator,” said Delhi police advised students.The cops also went on to say that by showing “too much skin” students were actually “enticing someone unknown on the internet who may later try to persuade to do inappropriate things.” And after this moral tirade, came a threat. Students were given examples of fellow students who had been suspended from school and lost career and educational opportunities, due to inappropriate information being posted on their profiles and blogs.The police also gave an example of a student whose social networking password was leaked and thereafter a “morphed nude photograph of hers were sent to everyone on her address book.”The police’s insensitivity in dealing with students has left some activists incensed. Bharti Ali, Founder and Director of HAQ: Centre for Child Rights, a Delhi-based NGO, working towards securing child rights, told DNA.”It is scary that the police are intruding into the private space of children. If they are educating children, they need to be more sensitive. There is no issue in educating kids but intruding into their personal space and directing them what to do and what not to do is, frankly, frightening.”Countering Ali’s claims, senior cops claim the slides should not be seen in isolation as the presentation addresses the larger problem of young minds falling prey to online predators.

Shifts for over-worked constabulary: top cops

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police department is working on a plan to put in place an eight-hour shift system for its staffers, on the lines adopted by the Mumbai police. At present, the constabulary in the national Capital works in inhumane conditions, putting in 18-24 working hours daily, and not getting any leaves for weeks in a row.On the directions of Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar Verma, Deputy Commissioner of Police Rajiv Ranjan went to Mumbai for a week to study the functioning of their police department and to find out how successful the shift system was there. Ranjan returned recently and has been preparing a report that he will soon submit to Verma. Verma had proposed that the shift system should be implemented in the force within six months, as the Delhi Police constabulary was one of the most overworked forces in law enforcement, working under severe psychological and physical pressures.Earlier, a three-member committee headed by Joint Commissioner of Police Dependra Pathak was also constituted. The committee carried out a survey across 168 police stations and prepared a proposal regarding the eight-hour shift system. Pathak had submitted the proposal to the Commissioner of Police for further study.On a trial basis, the new system has first been planned for two police stations — Dabri and Sangam Vihar. Senior police officers in the Capital have noticed that due to long working hours, the lower-rank officers suffer from various physiological disorders. They do not get leaves for weeks altogether and have very little time for their families. Almost 80 per cent of the police officers have no housing facilities and their salaries — Rs 22,000 for a constable and Rs 32,000 for a sub-inspector — are not enough to rent houses in decent areas.In addition, it is mandatory for beat officers to take accident victims and unclaimed corpses to hospitals and morgues, even though they are not paid enough to do so. Senior officers said that all these were the main reasons behind corruption. “If the force gets adequate number of personnel, a beat constable can work in three shifts under constant monitoring of senior officials. Their satisfaction level will also increase,” they said.There are nearly 41,000 constables and 19,000 head constables in Delhi, who form the backbone of the force. It is pertinent to mention that IPS officer Sanjay Beniwal, who is currently the Special Commissioner in Delhi Police, had recently prepared a 222-page report, Manpower Assessment of Delhi Police. The report claimed an acute manpower shortage, duty fatigue and desertion is almost all the police stations in the Capital.

Demonetized currency: Police crack down on hawala syndicate in national Capital

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After a recent crackdown, Delhi Police busted an illegal trade of demonetized notes being controlled by hawala syndicate working across the Capital.According to police sources, hawala operators—through traders, hawkers, and small time shopkeepers—were buying up the now out of circulation Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes (for Rs 600 and Rs 350) respectively from businessmen, jewellers, realtors and traders. This money would be sent to small cities and towns, where it would be converted into white.A senior Delhi official said. “The demonetized notes would be sent to smaller towns, which would be converted into new Rs 100 and Rs 2,000 notes. This money would then be deposited by farmers and labourers (hired by middlemen) into their bank accounts. For this they would get a cut of 5 percent.”The official also revealed that many of these hawala operators were running their business openly and many shopkeepers across the city were members of the syndicate. This situation came to light when the Delhi police, along with Income Tax department officials, carried out raids in five places on Wednesday and Thursday — Chandni Chowk, Paharganj, Connaught Place, Hauz Khas and Shakarpur — from which they recovered Rs 75 lakh. Sources revealed that these areas in the city were specifically chosen, as the maximum numbers of hawala operators carry out their business from here.Joint Commissioner of Police Ravindra Yadav who conducted the raid said, “The Crime Branch of Delhi Police, in association with the Directorate of Investigations IT department, conducted raids at several places all over Delhi. Appropriate legal action will now be taken against them in consultation with the IT department.”During the raids on Wednesday, police took into custody a doctor identified as Nallal. Nallal was allegedly putting bundles of cash into his car when a passerby noticed his actions and called the police. He was arrested and it was found that he was carrying Rs 69,86,000 in Rs 100 denominations.After questioning by the cops, the doctor revealed to police that a friend of his had given him the money to keep, and that he was taking the cash to his home in Rajouri Gardens.On Thursday, the sleuths conducted a raid in Sealdah-Delhi Rajdhani and recovered Rs 5,00,000 — of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes — from the possession of Mahadev Bhandari, a resident of West Bengal who came to Delhi to collect these notes on behalf of his firm Leonard Exports.“The demonetized notes have been seized and the Income Tax department is probing the case,” Yadav said.Investigators also said that they have identified a few of the hawala operators and further raids are on to locate the “unscrupulous operators.”In another development Delhi Police also found that hawala operators, through hawkers and small time shopkeepers, were fleecing foreigners living in Delhi’s Paharganj area.“Taking advantage of the foreigners’ need for new notes, they were converting dollars into new notes at very higher rates. Their rate for a dollar for Rs 150 to 160 (the official rate is aroud Rs 68) as many of the foreigners needed cash urgently,” said a source in Delhi Police.

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