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Shahabuddin case: Slain journalist’s wife lodges FIR for threats to withdraw case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Slain journalist Rajdeo Ranjan’s wife Asha Ranjan has lodged an FIR alleging threats received asking her to back out from pursuing a case against RJD strongman and former Siwan MP Mohammad Shahabuddin in connection with the killing of her husband who was a working with a prominent vernacular newspaper.Rajdeo, who was the Siwan bureau chief of the newspaper, was shot dead on May 13 at a busy fruit market near Siwan railway station.Mufassil police station SHO Vinay Kumar Singh said Asha filed the FIR on Wednesday where she alleged receiving a phone call from Dubai, threatening her to withdraw the case against Shahabuddin in the Supreme Court in connection with the killing of her husband.
ALSO READ SC to hear plea seeking Shahabuddin’s transfer to TiharShe stated in the FIR, “I got a call from +671 at 12:28 am (on the intervening night of December 26-27). The caller asked me if I knew Shahabuddin. Once I replied in the affirmative, he said a lot of drama has been done and now, I should withdraw the case filed in the Supreme Court against Shahabuddin.”I should stop pursuing the case failing which they (Shahabuddin’s henchmen) would chop us into pieces, so that it would be difficult for anyone to recognise us. I am terrified. Please help me as we have repeatedly been getting threat calls. Even the security provided to our family is only on paper.”
ALSO READ Case against Shahabuddin: BJP questions Nitish Kumar government’s seriousnessThe widow of the scribe had moved the apex court seeking transfer of the probe and trial of her husband’s murder case to Delhi from Siwan as she feared that a free-and-fair trial against Shahabuddin was not possible if he was lodged in a Bihar jail.Shahabuddin is currently lodged in Siwan jail after the apex court had, on September 30, cancelled his bail after hearing the two petitions filed by the Bihar government and lawyer Prashant Bhushan on behalf of the slain scribe’s family.The Bihar government had, on May 16, within three days of the murder, handed over the probe to the central agency.

Prime Minister Modi has given a befitting reply to Rahul Gandhi: BJP

“With no document, no substantial evidence, Rahul is claiming that Modi has been paid Rs 40 crores by the Sahara group in 2012-13,” BJP leader S Prakash said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a befitting reply to Rahul Gandhi’s baseless allegations.”The Prime Minister has rightly ridiculed Rahul Gandhi’s charges, as with no document, no substantial evidence and just based on Prashant Bhushan’s applications, he is claiming that Modi has been paid Rs 40 crores by the Sahara group in 2012-13,” BJP leader S Prakash said.He said that UPA was at the helm of affairs in the country at the time and could have enquired at that time. “Unfortunately, he expects a very high response from the Prime Minister which he does not deserve and Supreme Court has already given a verdict about it,” he said.He said that repeatedly making charge that don’t hold water seemed to be an exercise in frivolity. Prakash said Rahul Gandhi should realise his agenda is not working with the masses.

Modi-Sahara bribery allegations: SC yet to probe documents, says Prashant Bhushan

New Delhi: Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who has filed a petition in the apex court demanding a probe into bribery allegations against Narendra Modi from the time he was Gujarat chief minister, said the court has not yet examined many documents.

Prashant Bhushan. PTI file imagePrashant Bhushan. PTI file image

Prashant Bhushan. PTI file image

Rejecting the corruption charges levelled by Congress vice-president against Prime Minister Modi as “baseless, shameful, and mala fide”, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad had said “even the Supreme Court has observed that these are no allegations”.

Reacting to these remarks, Bhushan said he has procured more documents following the the apex court observations to come up with “better material” to support the allegations.

“The douments recovered by the Income Tax department are a part of its appraisal report. The Supreme Court has not seen many documents presented by us. There are more documents that we have got subsequently,” Bhushan said.

Bhushan has filed a PIL in the apex court seeking a probe by an SIT into alleged recovery of documents by the IT department in connection with raids on two business houses here in 2013-14 which purportedly showed computerised inventories containing designations of top people allegedly having received money.

First Published On : Dec 21, 2016 20:58 IST

FTII to deploy two armed guards on `special occasions’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Film & Television Institute of India has roped in a state-run security agency to replace a private security agency for guarding its sprawling campus here. In a fleet of 42 security men, two would carry arms on special occasions, it said. “There were instructions from the police department to upgrade the security and carry out a security audit for the last many years. After a letter bomb was received by my office in April this year, we thought of upgrading the security, and to safeguard the students and the staff, we decided to rope in Maharashtra State Security Corporation, a state government undertaking,” said Bhupendra Kainthola, director of FTII.There would be two armed security guards in the team. “Though the two security guards are equipped with .303 rifles, instructions have been given that they will be deployed only on specific occasions such as Republic Day, Independence Day or if there are security alerts in the city,” he said.FTII being a national institute, it was the responsibility of management to safeguard the students and staff, he said.However, a member of students association took exception to provision of armed guards. “Security guards with arms and camouflage attire on education campus is an intimidating image. It seems the government is trying to convert the education institutes into jail or army camp,” he said.FTII had witnessed a 139-day-long strike by the students last year against the appointment of TV actor Gajendra Chauhan as its chairman. Police had booked some of the students for `illegal confinement’ of the then director Prashant Pathrabe.

Vyapam case: SC asks CBI to file CFSL report before trial court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> CBI was directed by the Supreme Court to file the forensic report regarding electronic evidence which was examined by CFSL in connection with the Vyapam scam before the trial court. The apex court also directed CBI to file the remaining over 30 charge sheets in connection with the scam within three months. A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and N V Ramana said that all the allegations and counter-allegations can be raised before the trial court and there is no need for it to go into the CFSL report filed by CBI in a sealed cover.While disposing of the pleas including that of senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, the bench said that it will not take into consideration the remarks made by the high court against him. It also directed the trial court to decide the Vyapam cases as soon as possible. The bench told senior advocate Vivek Tankha that these were the prayers in the plea filed by Singh, which now stand addressed as CBI has now filed the CFSL report.”If there are any further grievances with regard to trial of the cases, they can be raised before the subortinate courts,” the bench said.The apex court was hearing a batch of petitions including one filed by Digvijaya Singh seeking monitoring of the probe into all cases arising out of the Vyapam scam. The scam relates to alleged irregularities in the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board, which holds exams for positions like medical officers, constables, teachers and auditors for government departments.The apex court had in July last year ordered a CBI probe into all Vyapam scam cases and alleged deaths of people related to the scam.The Madhya Pradesh government had given its consent to shifting of the investigation from the Special Investiation Team (SIT) and the Special Task Force (STF) to CBI. Singh and whistleblowers — Ashish Kumar Chaturvedi, Prashant Pandey and Dr Anand Rai– had moved the apex court seeking a CBI probe under its supervision. The multi-crore rupees professional examination scam, involves several high-profile professionals, politicians and bureaucrats as accused.

2013-14 raids: SC seeks relevant material to go into plea seeking SIT probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Supreme Court on Wednesday made it clear that it is not going to entertain the plea of an NGO seeking SIT probe into alleged recovery of documents by the IT department in connection with raids on two business houses unless it comes out with firm and relevant material.The apex court said there was difficulty in going into the petition which deals with high functionaries as it was not supported by even a smallest material. The court was hearing an application filed by NGO Common Cause seeking constitution of a special investigation team (SIT) to probe “incriminating” evidence and details of “unaccounted” cash recovered allegedly during the raids by the Income Tax department and CBI on the two companies in 2013- 2014.The NGO had alleged that the documents seized by CBI in its search operation in Mumbai reportedly revealed massive bribery of politicians and officials of various ministries over several years.However, a bench comprising Justices JS Khehar and Arun Mishra, which during the last hearing on November 25 had asked the NGO to come out with relevant material, said that despite giving a definite date for hearing there is no material placed on record to support the allegations in the petition.The bench said it does not want to keep the matter pending and asked the NGO to come out with firm material on the matter on December 16. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, said it was unreasonable for the court to deal with the matter in such a manner and not to give further date for supplying the relevant documents.The bench responded saying “it is not unreasonable as you are dealing with very high functionaries”.”You bring very firm and very clear material. You bring it, we have no difficulty,” the bench said. When Bhushan said the court was forcing him to bring the relevant material within two days, the bench said, “yes, it is not unreasonable as you are just casting aspersions”. An agitated Bhushan said that he was not casting any aspersions.The bench asked him to lower his pitch and said “we have a settled proposition that you have to give us a material”.When Bhushan questioned the hurriedness in which the court wants to deal with the matter, the bench told him that it is very difficult for a person to function against whom aspersion is made.”There is no difficulty if you bring the material. It is only today’s midnight oil that you have to burn,” the bench said while posting the matter for December 16.

After Akhilesh’s broad hints, SP-Congress tie-up talks gain traction

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prospects of a poll alliance between the ruling Samajwadi Party and Congress appeared to be brightening today with both showing inclination towards a tie-up, feeling that it will be beneficial for the two parties and would halt BJP’s march.Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said a tie-up between SP and Congress would fetch over 300 of the 403 Assembly seats in the upcoming elections while Congress said it is not averse to a “respectable” seat-sharing formula.”Though samajwadis are going to form majority government in the state, if an alliance takes place, it will win over 300 seats. The final decision in this regard will be taken by SP National president (Mulayam Singh Yadav),” Akhilesh told reporters here.Congress leaders of Uttar Pradesh, while sniffing a chance because of demonetization, are showed inclination towards an alliance, saying the party is open to a “respectable” seat-sharing formula with SP.Accepting that there are some back channel efforts to firm up an alliance, a Congress leader said his party will not agree to less than 100 seats which it has already identified. “Besides the 29 seats it won in the last Assembly polls and 31 others on which it had finished second, there are some 50 other constituencies where the party has good chance,” he said.The party, which has been out of power in the politically important state for 27 years, is trying its best to revive its electoral fortunes by pushing its vice president Rahul Gandhi to hold a ‘kisan yatra’ across the state.”The aim and target of Congress is not just to halt BJP in Uttar Pradesh but also in the country for which it believes that all parties having similar ideology need to come together,” said the leader who refused to be identified.”Such an alliance is also in the interest of Samajwadi Party which desperately needs to secure a strong platform to ward off division of Muslim votes in order to consolidate its position,” he said.BSP is posing a stiff challenge to Samajwadi Party and is going all out to woo Muslim voters and this is a concern for SP, he noted. ACongress had launched its poll preparations much in advance, roping in election strategist Prashant Kishor and announced the name of former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit as its chief ministerial candidate with an eye on Brahmin votes.

SC asks Delhi HC to decide on criminal defamation case against Kejriwal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Delhi High Court to decide on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s plea seeking quashing of criminal defamation case against him.Referring the matter back to the Delhi High Court, a division bench of the Apex Court, headed by Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and R. Bhanumati said there won’t be any stay on lower court proceedings in the case.A plea was filed by Congress leader Kapil Sibal’s son Amit Sibal against the Delhi High Court?s order granting exemption from personal appearance to Kejriwal and others in a defamation case.Besides Kejriwal and Sisodia, Sibal had also named former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) members Prashant Bhushan and Shazia IImi as accused in the case.Sibal had alleged that the accused had said he had taken advantage of his father’s position to represent a telecom company in court cases.According to reports, Kejirwal had been targeting Sibal over the Vodafone tax case when Kapil Sibal took the charge of the law ministry.

Demonetisation will not address the problem of black money, say social activists

New Delhi: Terming Centre’s demonetisation move as “misconceived”, a group of over 150 eminent citizens on Tuesday said the decision will not address the problem of black money as it has not taken any step to curb generation of black money and “inexplicably” introduced Rs 2000 note.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“…the decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes is misconceived and will not address the problem of black money,” a statement issued by the citizens including social activists Aruna Roy and Nikhil Dey and renowned lawyer Prashant Bhushan said.

“If it is the Government’s case that high value denomination currency is used to hoard black money, then the decision to reissue new Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes does not make sense. Issuing even higher value Rs 2000 note is completely inexplicable and puzzling,” they added.

The signatories noted that black money is generated through evasion of taxes on income from lawful activities and money generated from illegal activities.

“In the absence of steps to curb the generation of black money, demonetisation is a futile exercise, as it proved to be in 1978,” they said.

They also questioned government’s intentions and sought clarification on state-run banks’ decision to waive off Rs 1.14 lakh crore of bad debts over the last three years “at a time when loans worth lakhs of crores of rupees are still outstanding”.

They also demanded the government to declare names of beneficiaries of the waiver and also those who have stashed money in banks abroad.

“We demand the government to ensure common people have immediate access to enough money to pay for their daily needs…failing which, we demand the rollback of demonetisation,” they said.

First Published On : Nov 16, 2016 07:52 IST

Petitioner insists AAP MLAs enjoying fruits of office till appointment was set aside by HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Final arguments commenced on Tuesday before the Election Commission on a petition seeking disqualification of 21 AAP MLAs for allegedly holding office of profit, with the lawmakers pressing for dropping the case as their appointments have already been set aside by the Delhi High Court.On September 8, the high court had set aside the appointment of 21 party MLAs as parliamentary secretaries. The court had said the order to appoint them as parliamentary secretaries was given without the concurrence of the Lieutenant Governor.The AAP MLAs said in the hearing that since the decision to appoint them as parliamentary secretaries has been set aside, they could not be disqualified for holding the office which they no longer enjoy. But the petitioner, Prashant Patel, insisted during arguments that the court order should have no bearing on the case being heard by the EC as they were enjoying the fruits of that office till their appointment was set aside by the high court.He argued that disqualification was necessary as the office of parliamentary secretary comes under the ambit of office of profit law.After prolonged arguments, the Commission asked both the parties to file their replies in writing. The poll panel could decide on the next date of hearing sometime next week after receiving the replies. A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal had set aside the March 13, 2015 order after the counsel appearing for the Delhi government “conceded” that it was issued without taking concurrence or views of the LG.

Office of Profit case: More trouble for AAP; EC issues notice to another 27 Delhi MLAs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In more trouble for Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Election Commission (EC) on Wednesday issued a notice to 27 more Delhi MLAs’ of the party for allegedly holding office of profit.The EC received the communique from the Rashtrapati Bhavan during mid October after which the EC has formally issued notices to these MLAs, reported rediff.com.The 21 MLAs, who are already facing prospects of disqualification for allegedly holding Office of Profit, have asked for more time to study the documents.​On September 8, the Delhi High Court had set aside the appointment of 21 party MLAs as parliamentary secretaries. The court had said the order to appoint them as parliamentary secretaries was given without the concurrence of the Lt Governor.The petition to disqualify AAP MLAs was filed by advocate Prashant Patel, who has termed the legislators’ move a “ploy” to delay the proceedings.Earlier in June, President Pranab Mukherjee withheld the assent to a Bill passed by the Delhi Government in June 2015 to exempt the post of Parliamentary Secretary from the purview of an office-of-profit with retrospective effect.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had passed an order appointing the 21 MLAs, including Alka Lamba, Jarnail Singh, Adarsh Shastri and Rajesh Gupta, as Parliamentary Secretaries on March 13 last year.

Rita Bahuguna Joshi’s exit may hurt Congress more than it believes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>’Rita Bahuguna Joshi is a traitor- her family has changed sides 4-5 times’. UP Congress chief Raj Babbar’s vitriol against colleague of decades just after she jumped boat was harsh, but not unexpected. In her exit, Rita Bahuguna Joshi has exposed the fragile underbelly of Congress in India’s most populous state, where Rahul Gandhi and Prashant Kishor is trying to do a surgical strike to revive party’s lost fortune.A cursory look through Rita Bahuguna Joshi’s Twitter timeline is enough to convince anyone that although hailing from a family of rich political heritage, Joshi’s USP has been rhetoric laden speeches and statements which put her in the league of Digvijaya Singh, Mamata Banerjee as politician. She even landed in trouble back in 2009 for her rape comments against Mayawati. From accusing Modi of orchestrating 2002 riots to giving a virtual cleanchit to Ishrat Jahan, Joshi had toed the line followed by Congress first family for decades dedicatedly. Hence her excuse of getting disenchanted by Rahul Gandhi’s comments post Uri-attack sounds contrived and disingenuous. It looks like an easy pass Joshi wanted to have after understanding her party is facing a grim future in Uttar Pradesh. Her falling stock in the party amidst Sheila Dikshit’s grand entrance in UP politics as a prominent Brahmin face surely hastened the decision of quitting Congress. While Bahuguna’s credibility is low at this moment, she can be a key asset for the saffron party if Amit Shah can use her well. Here are some of the short term and possible long term effect of Rita Bahuguna Joshi’s exit.1.Congress’ Brahmin outreach scuttled:Prashant Kishor’s great plan of Congress revival hinged upon the possibility of forming a social coalition of muslims, non Yadav OBC’s and Brahmins. Sheila Dikshit was floated as CM face to wean away the Brahmin vote from BJP. But Bahuguna Joshi being herself a prominent Brahmin leader can counter that move. So far BJP’s prominent Brahmin face in UP was Kalraj Mishra, who is merely a shadow of himself now. Bahuguna Joshi who enjoys a significant amount of goodwill especially in her family bastion of Allahabad and Lucknow can bolster saffron party’s image among the upper caste. She is an orator per excellence and can galvanise the voters with her fiery speeches.2. Prashant Kishor under scanner:Prashant Kishor after displaying Midas touch for Modi and Nitish is facing a tough test in UP. He is betting on a horse which hasn’t won a race for decades, has run its course and needs to put out to pasture. Kishor is known for incredible ground work and micro-managing campaigns so that the core message reaches all. But in a party like Congress, which is often an umbrella of divergent views, the only universally acceptable leadership is that of the High Command. Even Kishor with his unmatched track record can’t force Congress leaders to toe the line. Bahuguna Joshi in her press conference after joining BJP made it clear that Kishor’s high-handed behaviour was one of the reasons behind quitting. Already Amarinder Singh has shunted Kishor out of Punjab. With this latest setback, it is unclear if Prashant Kishor will get a free hand to recalibrate Congress strategy in run up to the polls. A half-baked execution may spell doom for Congress as opinion polls are already predicting the grand old party finishing a poor fourth in the upcoming elections.3. Rahul Gandhi’s leadership questioned again:A good leader inspires, awes but more importantly silences critics into submission forcing them to offer grudging admiration. Sadly for Rahul Gandhi and Congress, he hasn’t been able to enthuse the ranks and files at a time when party’s fortunes have touched an all-time low. Rahul Gandhi so far has just been a stop and start show, offering flashes of brilliance fading into obscure political messaging. In UP, he has repeatedly attacked the Modi government, giving very little state specific context. Bahuguna Joshi pointed out about how Rahul fails to communicate with leaders, which often leads to speeches and actions that doesn’t resonate with the grassroots. Rahul despite being in electoral politics for more than a decade hasn’t grown into a natural leader. Thus the old guard of Congress still roots for Sonia Gandhi. The party is divided with plenty of murmurs about Rahul Gandhi’s political functioning. Rita Bahuguna like Himanta Biswa Sharma has exposed the deep rot currently setting in Congress party. Congress would be wary of a full-blown rebellion in other states from sidelined leaders. If Rahul Gandhi gets further discredited, it can effectively end party’s bid to reclaim power in 2019 general elections.If Raj Babbar is to be believed, Amit Shah is accumulating an army of traitors. But those ‘traitors’ are slowly sucking the life and soul of the Congress party and Rahul Gandhi has limited time to stop the haemorrhage.

Yogendra Yadav questions BJP ‘inaction’ against Varun Gandhi for spilling defence secrets

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav on Friday hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for not taking action against party MP Varun Gandhi for allegedly leaking sensitive information about defence deals, asserting that the saffron party is not taking any action in the matter to safe guard their own. Yadav added that the BJP has also not been able to take action in the case because if it taken cognisance of the wrong doings in the issue, then it would have not been able to strike the Rafale deal with the company.”In the year 2005 under the Congress regime Submarine were purchased and all know that this deal was made in an unfair manner. The whole country knows that the wrong doing in this deal was camouflaged by the CBI and the then Congress government. The question is why this case has not been opened under the BJP regime,” Yadav told ANI here.”Why no action was taken against Abhishek Verma who was accused then. I guess the BJP did not take action because their own MP is involved and second if the saffron party would have taken action against in this case, then it would have not been able to strike the Rafale aircraft deal with the same company,” he added.Meanwhile, Gandhi has threatened to file a criminal defamation suit against senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan and Allen, who claimed that he was honey-trapped and compromised by arms dealer Abhishek Verma.”Prashant Bhushan’s allegations are baseless; will file a defamation lawsuit against him,” he said. According to reports, a US-based lawyer C Edmonds Allen has alleged that his former business partner and controversial arms dealer Abhishek Verma honey-trapped BJP MP Varun Gandhi and some senior military officers with foreign sex workers to extract sensitive information about defence deals. Allen has alleged that Gandhi, as member of the parliamentary defence committee, had access to information that was shared with Verma to “compromise national security’.”The seven-page letter goes on to say that the BJP MP stood “compromised” because of his pictures with foreign escorts and prostitutes.

Arms dealer Abhishek Verma rejects allegations of purported defence leaks by Varun Gandhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Controversial arms dealer Abhishek Verma on Thursday rejected allegations of purported defence leaks by BJP MP Varun Gandhi to him saying the emails and photographs being circulated are “fabricated” and questioned the motive of the releases made today.”At the outset, I deny all the allegations contained in the aforesaid 7-page letter. I also deny all the allegations levelled by Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan today at their press conference. “Allen is a known forger and he had in the past also morphed some photos of another individual and I had filed a case of criminal defamation against Allen in Patiala House Court on February 6, 2012. The case trial is on and the matter is subjudice,” Verma said in a statement issued tonight.He said the so called “emails and photos are fabricated as I had not issued nor photographed Gandhi nor referred to him anywhere. “These are attempts on part of Allen to defame me, and others named in the letter. Allen is a known forger and there is a suit pending under sections of Information Technology Act and forgery at Patiala House courts which is subjudice therefore, this new act today orchestrated by Allen is true to his nature of character assassination by forgery and deceit.”I will be initiating a suit for criminal defamation against C Edmonds Allen and maybe against Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav shortly,” he said. He questioned as to why Allen did not disclose these contents, made public today, when a joint team of CBI and Enforcement Directorate visited the latter in New York in 2012.”Why is it that Allen did not provide these photos or talked about the angle of blackmailing of Gandhi to the CBI and ED? Why now after four years when last month I was granted bail by Honourable Courts?,” he said.With regard to the Scorpene deal, Verma said the “Delhi High Court had on January 13, 2016 dismissed the PIL filed by Bhushan on Scorpene Submarines purchase in which I was implicated as a party by Bhushan, as it had no merit.”Bhushan suppressed the above fact of dismissal of his PIL in this issue in his tweet of last week and also in today s press conference. The act of Bhushan today tantamounts to contempt of court,” he said.

EC gives 19 AAP MLAs time till October 21 to file reply

Tue, 18 Oct 2016-11:45pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday gave 19 AAP MLAs time up till October 21 to file their reply in the petition demanding their disqualification for holding Office of Profit.On Monday, 19 out of 21 AAP MLAs had sought time to file replies before the Election Commission saying they need more time to study the documents as the pen drives provided by the poll panel were faulty. The MLAs, who are facing prospects of disqualification for allegedly holding Office of Profit, have also asked for time claiming that lawyers were unavailable due to which they could not file their response.The petition to disqualify AAP MLAs was filed by advocate Prashant Patel “The Commission has considered the application for extension of time and decided to grant further time up to October 21…subject to the condition that a copy of reply has to be served on the petitioner (Patel) by October 20,” he said.

Office of Profit case: AAP MLAs tells EC they need more time

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Some of the 21 AAP MLAs have filed replies before the Election Commission saying they need more time to study the documents as the pen drives provided by the poll panel were faulty. The MLAs, who are facing prospects of disqualification for allegedly holding Office of Profit, have also asked for time claiming that lawyers were unavailable due to which they could not file their response.Chandni Chowk MLA Alka Lamba, who has sought more time from the Commission to file her reply, said that some MLAs received pen drive from the EC that turned out to be “corrupt”. “Plus, our lawyers were unavailable last week due to which we could not file the reply. So, we have sought more time,” Lamba, said.”Most of us have hired lawyers who practise in Supreme Court or High Court. Last week was a holiday for both the courts and lawyers were out. Now that they are back, we will soon be filing our reply,” said Kasturba Nagar MLA Madanlal, who has sought a week’s time to file his reply. He added that the EC had also given a soft copy of nearly 2500 pages and there was no segregation of charges against any individual legislator, due to which the entire process has become tedious.The petition to disqualify AAP MLAs was filed by advocate Prashant Patel, who has termed the legislators’ move a “ploy” to delay the proceedings. On October 10, the EC rejected a plea of 21 AAP MLAs, facing prospects of disqualification for allegedly holding Office of Profit, to get hard copies of response filed by the Delhi government on the issue, saying it is “not under any obligation” to do so.The poll panel also made it clear that the legislators will have to respond by October 17 (today) on a plea seeking their disqualification failing which the Commission will “presume” that they have “nothing to say in the matter” and decide accordingly. The Delhi government had earlier submitted documents before the Commission in this case.On September 8, the Delhi High Court had set aside the appointment of 21 party MLAs as parliamentary secretaries. The court had said the order to appoint them as parliamentary secretaries was given without the concurrence of the Lt Governor. In the hearing on September 23, the MLAs had sought time to study the high court judgement that set aside their appointment. On October 7, the AAP MLAs were to file a response, but again had asked for an extension.The Commission has also asked Patel to submit his rejoinder to the AAP MLAs response by October 21.

Prashant Bhushan writes to Kerala CM Vijayan urging halt in culling of stray dogs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as animal lovers not only across India but also globally are protesting against the mass killing of dogs in Kerala including by politicians, Supreme court advocate Prashant Bhushan has written to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to not only intervene in the matter but also ask the cops to arrest those involved in killing of strays.”Individuals were killing stray dogs openly on the streets, parading their dead bodies and instigating others to also kill – please intervene, arrest these men, apply for bail cancellation before,” mentions Bhushan in the letter sent on Wednesday. He also adds that there is a clear stay on dog culling by the Supreme Court of India.Bhushan also states in his letter that individuals were openly and barbarically killing stray dogs, which was not just blatant mockery of law and order but pushing the State of Kerala to contempt of court, as Kerala is duty bound to the Supreme Court to ensure that no dogs were killed by its government action. In fact the State is also legally bound to prevent such killings from happening even by private individuals, especially when such killings are planned, committed in open public and are repeat offences.”On September 27 it was reported by the media that Kerala Congress (Mani) group led by their President Saji Manjakadambil killed 10 stray dogs and then paraded their dead bodies on the streets by tying them to a pole. The incident is registered at Kottayam West police station and I request you to follow up on the same,” Bhushan wrote to the CM.The letter also refers to the posts from social media like that and mentions about businessman Kochouseph Chittilappilly, making a mockery of law and order and instigating and congratulating those killing strays, which is a criminal offence – a clear violation of sec. 108 IPC (abetment by instigation).Officials from Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) claimed that if such type of mass killing of dogs continues it will send an extremely wrong message across the country. “There are people now parading dogs that they have killed and even offering money to others to kill or instigating them and several of them are repeat offenders and know that they will get bail instantly and hence not shying away. Its time for the State to act or else this will start in other states too,” said an official adding that while they acknowledged the problem being caused due to stray menace it had to be managed scientifically and not in a macabre manner like this.

SC to hear petitions challenging Shahabuddin’s bail on Sept 28

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Monday decided to hear the cancellation of bail of former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Shahabuddin on September 28.Lawyer Prashant Bhushan told the apex court today that there were 45 cases against Shahabuddin, out of which nine are murder cases and 10 cases he had been convicted in. Bhushan told the division bench, headed by Pinaki Chandra Ghosh, that Shahbuddin is a serious threat to the society if his bail would not be cancelled. Shahabuddin’s lawyer asked for more time to respond in the matter.The top court was hearing the petitions challenging the Patna High Court’s order. The top court had on September 19 issued a notice to Shahabuddin while hearing pleas of the Bihar Government and Chandrakeshwar Prasad against the bail granted to him. The Bihar Government had earlier filed an appeal before the apex court, challenging the Patna High Court’s order of granting bail to Shahabuddin.The petition has been filed by Bhushan on behalf of the victim’s family, which was upset to see Shahabuddin walk free. Shahabuddin, who had been in jail for more than 10 years in connection with multiple cases, was granted bail by the Patna High Court on September 7 in connection with the murder of a man who witnessed the killing of two brothers in Siwan. Shahabuddin’s release from jail evoked widespread criticism of the grand alliance in the state with the opposition accusing the government of paving way for his release by not opposing the bail strongly in the court.

Supreme Court questions appointment of ex-army officer as AMU VC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Questioning the appointment of a former army officer as vice chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) rather than a person from teaching background, the Supreme Court on Monday decided to examine whether the university being a Central university has followed the UGC Regulations or not.Asking the AMU why can’t it follow when other central universities follow the University Grants Commission (UGC) regulations, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur decided to examine the issue in detail on a PIL challenging the appointment of a non teaching staff as VC of the university.”You (AMU) are a central university. UGC regulations apply to you as they are mandatory. The VC must be an academician and he should be a person who has the work experience for at least 10 years as a professor in a university. If every other central university follows the regulations why can’t the AMU? Why to appoint a former army officer?” the bench said while clarifying that the court does not dispute the Lt Gen Zameer Uddin Shah’s abilities.The bench was hearing a plea challenging the appointment of Shah as VC. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for petitioner Syed Abrar Ahmed, contended that Shah was a retired army general and had no academic qualification as mandated by UGC Regulations, 2010.”The Vice Chancellor should be a distinguished academician with a minimum of 10 years of experience as professor in a university system or 10 years of experience in an equivalent position in a reputed research and/or academic administrative organisation,” Bhushan said.Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, appearing for AMU, opposed the submission and said UGC Regulations were only meant for teachers in central universities and not for appointment to the post of VC which is the post of an officer.Senior advocate Salman Khurshid, appearing for Shah, referred to section 26 of UGC and said AMU is a minority institution.

SC to today hear petitions challenging Md Shahabuddin’s bail

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court will today hear the petitions of the Bihar Government and Siwan native Chandrakeshwar Prasad against the bail granted to gangster-turned politician Mohammad Shahabuddin by the Patna High Court.Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led Bihar Government last week filed an appeal in the apex court, challenging the Patna High Court’s order granting bail to Shahabuddin. Senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan has also challenged the latest Bihar High Court order which recently granted bail to Mohammad Shahabuddin.The petition has been filed by Bhushan on behalf of victim’s family who was unhappy to see Shahabuddin walking out of the Bhagalpur jail. Shahabuddin, who had been in jail for more than 10 years in connection with multiple cases, was granted bail by the Patna High Court on September 7 in connection with the murder of a man who witnessed the killing of two brothers in Siwan.Shahabuddin’s release from jail evoked widespread criticism of the grand alliance in the state with the opposition accusing the government of paving way for his release by not opposing the bail strongly in the court.

Tomato prices soar to Rs 80-100 per kg in retail markets

Tomato prices, which have been soaring and touched Rs 80-100 per kg in retail markets across the country, are likely to remain the same for at least next two months. The fresh crop is expected to hit markets by end-August only.Normally, prices of tomato firm up in the off-season of June-September every year, but the sharp increase in rates, this time, was mainly due to the damage caused to the rabi crop because of a severe drought in southern states.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, in the last 15 days, the rates have gone through the roof and the key vegetable is being sold at Rs 80-100 per kg by local vegetable vendors, depending on the quality and locality.At Dadar vegetable market, prices aren’t competitive either.Ravi Viyas, a vendor who bought about 250 kgs of tomatoes a day, and made good sales until a month ago, now purchases only 150 kgs. “From where to buy that much quantity. And, I can’t afford it too, with the prices so high,” he said adding, “The size has shrunk too, these are all baby tomatoes.”Prashant Chehre, who deals with tomatoes in wholesale, however, says he buys three times the quantity now. “Prices low or high, the demand among caterers and hotel owners remains intact. This gives me an upper hand. Also, I have the facility to stock to sell for better prices.”Homemakers, meanwhile, are worried. Says Sneha Jadhav, a housewife who was buying cabbage at the Dadar market, “Until a month ago, I used to buy 1 kg; now, for the same price, I am not even getting 250 grams.”Tomato is not the only vegetable whose prices are soaring. While vendors blame lack of rains and drought for the price rise, staple vegetables like potatoes and onions are also gradually raising the bar with an expected price rise of at least 50% after monsoons begin.—Aadesh Choudhari/dnaMeanwhile, bundled herbs and vegetable are also expected to rise. Gangarao Yadav who deals with bundled vegetables said, “The size of the bundle has come down while the prices have gone up. It affects our estimate, as well as profit counting.””Prices have gone up because of tight supply from the major growing states of the south where the rabi crop has been damaged during the flowering stage because of the severe drought,” a senior official with Consumer Affairs Ministry said.”The fresh tomato crop is expected to arrive only in September and till then prices are expected to remain under pressure,” he added.According to the government’s initial calculations, tomato output is estimated to be higher by 4-5 per cent in 2015-16 over the last year. “It looks like the production figures may have to be revised downward when final estimates are to be released in September,” the official added.As per the latest government estimate, the country’s tomato output is pegged at 18.28 million tonnes in the 2015-16 crop year (July-June) as against 16.38 million tonnes in the previous year. Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha are the major tomato growing states.On Wednesday, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had said the rise in tomato prices was a “seasonal factor” and the commodity cannot be procured using the Price Stabilisation Fund due to short-shelf life of the key vegetable. The government is procuring pulses and onion to create a buffer stock to be used for controlling prices by boosting supply in the open market at a cheaper rate.

Cong to launch dharna against SAD-BJP in Punjab

Congress will launch a series of dharnas during this month in Punjab to build pressure on the ruling SAD-BJP dispensation in their bid to regain power in the state. This was decided at a poll strategy meeting of top Congress leaders from Punjab with party vice president Rahul Gandhi. Among others who attended the meeting include PCC chief Amarinder Singh, campaign committee chief and AICC general secretary Ambika Soni and party’s incharge of Punjab affairs Shakeel Ahmed, besides poll strategist Prashant Kishor, PCC vice president Lal Singh and CLP leader Charanjit Channi.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sources said Congress has decided to launch agitations where people’s issues will be raised in all three regions of Punjab during the month of June to help connect with the masses.Dharnas will be held in Jalandhar in Doaba region, Gurdaspur in the Majha region and Lambi in Malwa on various issues. Lambi is the home district of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, which he represents in the state Vidhan Sabha.The first of the dharnas will be held in Gurdaspur to agitate against cooperative sugar mills that are to pay crores to farmers. In Jalandhar, the issue will be deteriorating law and order in the wake of attack on Sant Dhandrianwala attack and the killing of Namdhari sect head’s wife. In Lambi, the issue of money being collected by Akalis for government jobs will be highlighted.Besides, a meeting of all district Congress leaders will also be held on June 6 in Chandigarh where further roles will be delegated to party leaders, the sources added.Punjab goes to polls in early 2017 and Congress has been out of power for the last 10 years.

Prashant Kishor wants Congress to field Brahmin CM face in UP

Congressmen in UP are in quite a quandary nowadays. Their bewilderment is over the categorical announcement made recently by famous election strategist Prashant Kishor that the Congress will field a Brahmin as its chief ministerial candidate here. ‘PK’, as he is popularly known, is handling the party’s electoral game plan for the 2017 UP election, and is known to have the unqualified backing of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While regional parties have been totally unapologetic about their caste preferences and vote banks, this is the first time that the Congress has made such an audacious gambit. PK’s declaration came at a recent meeting of senior state Congress leaders at the party HQ here, and has been confirmed to dna by those who were present.”You can take in writing from me that the party’s CM candidate will be a Brahmin. He or she will be from UP but has not worked in the state,” a senior party leader quoted PK as saying. To party men’s litany of questions, he is only reported to have said: “I can’t give you the name right now. Just give me 60 days and the game plan will unfold before you.”In marathon meetings he has been having with party men down to the booth level, PK also talks about creating a big “disruption” or “wave” in UP politics, and has been promising them a campaign of a kind and scale which has “never been seen before”. They have been told that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra would be leading this campaign from the front.For now, the entire Congress rank and file from UP to Delhi is busy speculating about who could be the party’s CM candidate. Some say it could be Sheila Dixit, who hails from UP and has been three-time Delhi CM. But not many believe she could be a strong or credible choice given the leviathan task that it is to steer the party from its present dregs.The Congress has 26 MLAs in a House of 403 at present. PK is learnt to have declared before party men rather brazenly: “The party high command has given me a free hand. I have told them (top leaders) that if the Congress works my game plan, it could cross the 200 mark. If it doesn’t, it will remain in the 20s.”Party sources say he has been telling them that this time the Congress is targeting a Brahmin-Muslim combination. “We need only 30 per cent vote to win UP, and that we can get from Brahmins (13 per cent) and Muslims (about 18 per cent) both of whom look favorable,” he is reported to have said.PK has reportedly promised party men that he plans to turn the UP poll into a national level spectacle to set the stage for the 2019 Lok Sabha election.”We have to be seen in direct contest with the BJP, not the SP or BSP. They will just get crushed in the contest of giants,” he asserted at one of the meetings. Empty bravado or superb psephology? Ultimately, it’s the voter’s call.

Ensure Matheran toy train starts running soon, Railway minister Prabhu tells Central Railway

Railway minister Suresh Prabhu promised the residents of Matheran on Friday that the Railways will not give up on the popular hill railway service and instructed the Central Railway (CR) to ensure that the mini train begins chugging soon. The hill station’s economy depends mainly on tourism.A delegation of elected representatives, including MLA Prashant Thakur from Panvel, president of Matheran Municipal Council (MMC) Gautam Gaikwad, MMC leader of Opposition Manoj Khedkar and others, met Prabhu on Friday evening at Rail Bhavan in New Delhi, requesting him to ensure that the train service was not shut down completely.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”He gave us a patient hearing. We told him how the entire tourism industry was severely hit this summer and urged him to help save Matheran. The mini train is the soul of this small hill station. He promptly assured us that services will be restored,” said Khedkar, who further informed that Prabhu then immediately spoke to the railway officials and asked them to take up the work on a priority basis.Meanwhile, CR officials said that as per the minister’s directions, the railway board officials called the top CR officials and asked them to initiate the work at the earliest. Sources in the CR said the first work to be taken up will be on the Aman lodge-Matheran stretch and then on the Neral-Aman Lodge stretch.”CR is preparing three locomotives and 10 coaches with air brakes for the purpose. It is also trying to make 650-metre concrete retaining walls to provide stability to the unstable ghat, so as to prevent mishaps,” said CR officials, adding that the option of providing rail piling on the dangerous stretch was also being explored.CR had suspended all mini train services post after two derailments in a month. This led to a lot of inconvenience to tourists, as horse cart owners and hand-rickshaw pullers started overcharging. In fact, elected representatives and the hotel owners cited suspension of train service as the reason behind the sharp decline in the number of tourists this summer, the peak season for tourism.

Congress’ decision to go solo in Assam led to its loss: Nitish Kumar

New Delhi: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday attributed BJP’s maiden victory in Assam to Congress’ decision not to go for an alliance in the assembly polls.

Kumar, whose JD(U) wanted Congress to fight Assam polls in tie-up with AIUDF and RJD, on Thursday credited BJP’s victory in the north eastern state to the latter succesfully “stitching up an alliance”.

The JD(U) chief said there is

The JD(U) chief said there is “nothing surprising” in the assembly election results, which were “totally on expected lines”. Nitish Kumar. Reuters

The JD(U) chief said there is “nothing surprising” in the assembly election results, which were “totally on expected lines”.

Congratulating those who won the polls, Kumar said,”The results are not suprising. What has come out today is was visible during the election campaigning. We had been to Kerala a few times.

“It looked then also that the Left Democratic Front has an edge. Bengal is nearby (close to Bihar). People keep coming from there to Bihar and we have been listening to what is happening there. I congratulate Mamata ji (on TMC’s victory).”

Commenting on results in Assam, where BJP created history by storming to power for the first time, ousting Congress after a 15-year unbroken stint in power, Kumar said,”In Assam, Congress did not go for an alliance before polls, whereas the BJP successfully stitched up an alliance.”

“It (the result) was clear well before the elections. It was clearly visible from all sides,” he said.

The state unit of Congress had decided not to forge a pre-poll alliance with any party.

After the success of JD(U)-RJD-Congress grand alliance in Bihar assembly polls last year, there was a buzz for some time that a similar alliance could also be replicated in Assam, where the BJP was making a serious bid to come to power.

Poll strategist Prashant Kishor was also in favour of a Congress-led grand alliance against the BJP in Assam.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who attended the swearing-in of Nitish Kumar in November last year, had also given a call for a Mahabujabujji (a deep understanding) between anti-BJP parties.

However, when Kumar took the initiative to forge an alliance that would include JD(U), AIUDF, RJD and Congress, the Assam unit of the Congress decided to go to the polls independently.

Voicing his displeasure later, which was seen as an indication of the impending reverses for the ruling party in Assam, AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal said a few days back on Twitter that if BJP wins because of a division of secular votes, it is Congress which will be responsible.

In a series of tweets on April 10, Ajmal had said, “even before two days we approached Cong to come in to some understanding. But Congress rejected our offer. But unfortunately Congress did not agree to form an alliance with us. They rather are hell bent to divide secular votes.

“Nitish Kumarji, Lalu Yadavji also tried their best 2 work out a grand alliance including Congress, AGP, BPF, JDU, RJD & all other secular forces. We tried our best to form an alliance with the Congress, Prashant Kishore spoke to Rahul Gandhi in this regard,” Ajmal, whose AIDUF has emerged as a force to reckon with in the state, had said.

UP elections 2017: Poll strategist Prashant Kishor to hold meetings in state

Election strategist Prashant Kishor will hold meetings with Congress leaders and workers of six divisions of the state between May 22 and 24 here to discuss the plan for the upcoming Assembly elections in 2017. Kishor will hold discussions with leaders and workers of districts falling in Azamgarh, Mirzapur, Jhansi, Saharanpur, Devi Patan and Moradabad divisions and devise election strategy, a release said. UPCC president Nirmal Khatri, AICC secretary incharge, leader of the party in both houses of legislature and other leaders will attend the meetings.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier from May 11 to 13, Kishor had held similar meetings with leaders of Varanasi, Allahabad and Gorakhpur divisions, the release added.

VVIP Chopper scam: Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh denies allegations made by Prashant Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Thursday described as “baseless and politically motivated” the allegations of Swaraj Abhiyan leaders of floating a global tender in a “shady manner” to purchase a specific AgustaWestland helicopter by paying “over 30 per cent” commission without exploring options.”The allegations levelled by former AAP leader Prashant Bhushan are baseless and politically motivated. There was no irregularity in the helicopter deal. It was done through the global tendering process, maintaining full transparency,” the CM said at a press conference at his official residence here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said senior Congress leaders were facing heat over the AgustaWestland chopper deal scam involving corruption to the tune of several crores of rupees and these baseless charges against a BJP-ruled state was “an attempt to divert the attention”.”He (Bhushan) is trying to dilute the issue,” Singh said.Earlier in the day, Swaraj Abhiyan leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav in Delhi accused the Raman Singh government of paying USD 1.57 million as “commission” to a company registered in tax-haven British Virginia Islands to procure the chopper.The two also sought to link Raman Singh’s son Abhishek to the controversy saying he formed a company called Quest Heights Ltd on July 3, 2008, almost six months after the bulk of the payment was made by the state government to Sharp Ocean, an agent company. When asked whether he will pursue legal action against Bhushan, Singh said he will consult his lawyers.”Procurement of the helicopter was done after taking consent from the technical committee constituted for the purpose in the state. Full transparency was maintained in the entire procurement process,” the CM said.The allegations were based on the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report for the year ended March 31, 2011, but the report only pointed out that the delay in procurement of the chopper led to the extra expenditure of Rs 65 lakh, Singh said.Jharkhand had procured the same chopper in 2006, he said, adding the company increased the price for the Chhattisgarh government in 2007. Abhishek, the MP from Rajnandgaon Lok Sabha constituency, also denied his links to the deal. He also denied having offshore bank accounts.”I have nothing to do with it,” Abhishek said in a statement.”I am also being accused of working with Sarda Brothers company. But I want to clarify that Sarda Brothers had never been my employer. All allegations against me are politically motivated, just to malign my image,” he said.

Gurugram: 3-year-old’s thumb slashed; mother lodges complaint against day care

A Gurugram mother whose 3 year old daughter’s thumb was slashed in an accident at a daycare centre in has taken up the fight through social media and lodged a complaint with the police against the “negligent” owners of the centre.Shivani P Sharma whose three year old daughter Myra’s thumb was “amputated” has posted details of the incident which occurred at the day care centre in Sector 56 area of Gurugram on April 28, on the social site Facebook. Shivani has also lodged her complaint at the Sector 56 police station.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We registered a case on the complaint given by Shivani Sharma on May 7 and notice has been issued to the accused to join investigation which is going on,” said Sector 56 police station SHO Amit.In her Facebook post Shivani has narrated in detail the incident as well as the “negligence” of the daycare owned by a woman and her husband.”I want to report the utter negligence of DayCare owner Archana Benjiwal and her staff in running and taking care of kids,” Shivani wrote in her post which was shared more than 11000 times.As per the account of Shivani she dropped her daughter at the daycare at 12.30 pm on April 28 and half an hour later received a phone call while she was in her office, that there was an emergency and her daughter hit her right thumb. She said that she rushed to a private hospital where Myra was taken to find that her right thumb had amputated and top half part of the thumb was “crushed and cut apart.” She was told that another kid had closed a door and her daughter’s thumb was crushed in it.Shivani mentioned that at 6 pm on the day a team of doctors at Medanta performed surgery on Myra’s thumb. The doctors told her to wait six weeks to get its result.”During this whole time I was alone as my husband was out of country.,” she said.”The day care owners Archana and her husband Prashant came to picture only after a day of this incident. Her husband came to our house on May 1 apologising and saying that they will completely bear the expense of all treatments as it is their mistake,” she added.She alleged that they were “not seen or heard back” since then and when she called them to pay for surgery they started making “excuses” and did not even pick up phone on the day of surgery.”I will fight till we get you the right treatment which you deserve,” she said in the post.The daycare owners could not be contacted for their version of the incident.

FTTI receives ‘bomb’ parcel, threat letter for inviting Kanhaiya

Pune: A packet containing some suspected explosive substance, a detonator and a threat letter in
connection with JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar’s expected visit in April, was received by the office of the director of the FTII on Saturday evening, police said.

The packet was addressed to the previous director of the Film and Television Institute of India, Prashant Pathrabe.

Bhupendra Kainthola, the present director of the institute, said, “My office received the packet at 5.30 pm
on Saturday and since the contents were suspicious, we alerted the police.”

File image of Kanhaiya Kumar. PTIFile image of Kanhaiya Kumar. PTI

File image of Kanhaiya Kumar. PTI

Senior police inspector Sushma Chavan of the Deccan Police Station said the parcel contained a detonator and a white powder, suspected to be some explosive material. It also had a letter, warning the director against allowing Kumar to visit the FTII campus.

Police suspect that the packet must have been sent before Kumar’s visit to Pune on 24 April, when Pathrabe was the director of FTII.

Kumar, who addressed a gathering in Pune on that day, was reportedly going to visit the FTII too, but eventually he did not.

“The contents have been sent to the forensic lab,” inspector Chavan said.

FTII receives packet containing suspected explosive substance

A packet containing some suspected explosive substance, a detonator and a threat letter in connection with JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar’s expected visit in April, was received by the office of the director of the FTII in Pune this evening, police said.The packet was addressed to the previous director of the Film and Television Institute of India, Prashant Pathrabe.Bhupendra Kainthola, the present director of the institute, said, “My office received the packet at 5.30 pm today and since the contents were suspicious, we alerted the police.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior police inspector Sushma Chavan of the Deccan Police Station said the parcel contained a detonator and a white powder, suspected to be some explosive material. It also had a letter, warning the director against allowing Kumar to visit the FTII campus.Police suspect that the packet must have been sent before Kumar’s visit to Pune on April 24, when Pathrabe was the director of FTII.Kumar, who addressed a gathering in Pune on that day, was reportedly going to visit the FTII too, but eventually he did not.”The contents have been sent to the forensic lab,” inspector Chavan said.

Bhupendra Kainthola replaces Pathrabe as director of FTII

Pune: Indian Information Service (IIS) officer Bhupendra Kainthola on Tuesday assumed charge as the new Director of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), which saw a long-drawn agitation by students last year over appointment of TV actor Gajendra Chauhan as its Chairman.

FTI students protesting on Thursday. PTI

Film and Television Institute of India saw a long-drawn agitation by the students over the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as chairman. PTI

Kainthola replaced Prashant Pathrabe, who served as interim Director during the 139-day long strike by students opposing appointment of Chauhan and four other members on the FTII Society on ground of “merit”.

The 1989-batch IIS officer will have a three-year tenure at the premier film and TV training school, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

After assuming charge, Kainthola said he will strive to maintain glory of the 56-year-old institute. “FTII has a long tradition of nurturing the finest talent in film-making and television. I shall make all the endeavor to maintain glory of the institute,” he told PTI.

“I have come here with an open mind and clean heart and I am sure all my students, faculty and staff-members will extend their full cooperation in my efforts.”

Asked about his stand on withdrawing a police case against the students, registered by Pathrabe during the agitation, he said, “It is too early to comment on this issue as I am not very conversant with this matter.”

The case relates to Pathrabe being confined in his office for several hours by the agitating students in August last year.

Kainthola said he has so far met the staff and faculties and will later meet with the students. The premier institute offers courses related to acting, film-making, video editing, direction and production.

Mayawati shrugs off Rahul or Priyanka Gandhi as challenges for UP CM post

With poll strategist Prashant Kishor willing to project either of the Gandhis (Rahul, Priyanka) to win electorally important Uttar Pradesh, Bahujan Samajwadi Party supremo Mayawati on Monday shrugged off the challenge, saying her party will remain unaffected by this.Making it clear that she will be making a solo run to regain power in Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati reminded that people of the state clearly know as to which ‘face’ can provide best form of law and order to them.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Be it Congress, BJP or Samajwadi party… let them make anyone a chief ministerial candidate in the upcoming elections, the BSP will remain unaffected, Mayawati told reporters.”The people of Uttar Pradesh clearly know as to which face can provide them best form of law and order and can control crime,” she added.Responding to a poser of a possible challenge from the Gandhis, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said: “They can field anyone they want, but if you ask people in the state, there is only one voice coming out of state that the state is facing a problem of law and order because it has deteriorated and if the Uttar Pradesh has to be saved then BSP’s Mayawati should be brought back.”Media reports have claimed that the poll strategist Kishor is in favour of either of the Gandhis taking the lead in the U.P. elections and, if they do not agree, a well-known Brahmin face should be projected as the chief ministerial candidate.India’s one of the most electorally important state, Uttar Pradesh goes to poll in 2017.

Congress could project Rahul Gandhi for CM in Uttar Pradesh

The Congress Party seems all set to play the ultimate gamble in Uttar Pradesh by projecting Rahul Gandhi as the chief ministerial candidate in the upcoming state Assembly elections scheduled in early 2017.Top level party sources say that the party’s election strategist Prashant Kishor has made it clear to the party “high command” that there is no way that the party can hope for revival in this politically crucial state without pitching in either Priyanka Gandhi Vadra or Rahul directly in the electoral battle here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The party tally has remained in the 20s in recent assembly elections, which is a measly portion of the 403-strong UP Assembly. “It’s either 20 or 200,” Kishor is learnt to have told top Congressmen in UP during his deliberations with them over the past few days. He is of the firm view that if neither of the Gandhi family scions throw their proverbial hat in the ring, the party will continue to remain in the 20s bracket. But if it does take the decisive step, the party could form the government in UP with 200-plus seats.Though no Congress leader is willing to confirm the strategy as it involves the Gandhi family directly, hope apparently flutters in the hearts and minds of partymen who get visibly excited at the very mention of the prospect. “It’s ultimately a matter of personal choice for Priyanka ji or Rahul ji, and the decision has to be taken by the party high command. But one thing is sure, if either of them is projected as the CM candidate in UP, it would bring about a tsunami in UP politics and all parties will be completely washed out,” gushes senior party leader and MP Pramod Tiwari. “No one can stop the Congress from forming a government with an absolute majority in UP if this happens,” adds his daughter Aradhna Mishra, a Congress MLA. “It would also ensure a hands-down victory for the Congress in the 2019 Lok Sabha election,” she asserts.According to the insiders who have attended strategy sessions with PK, as Kishor is fondly known, he has managed to convince the Gandhi family that no other leader has the charisma or stature to perform a miraculous turnaround for the party in UP. “All barriers of caste and community would be broken if Rahul ji leads the Congress army in UP’s electoral battle,” says a senior party leader preferring anonymity. The crucial Muslim votebank would vote Congress “head on” if Rahul takes the lead, he adds.Party sources say the state party unit as also the AICC set-up concerning UP would soon be rejigged soon to set the strategy rolling in that direction. The proposed changes include the posts of the UP Congress president and the AICC general secretary in charge of UP, the sources say.

Punjab elections 2017: HS Phoolka claims that Prashant Kishor contacted him, I-PAC dismisses claim as ‘canard’

Anti-Sikh riots lawyer and AAP leader HS Phoolka on Sunday claimed that poll strategist Prashant Kishor, who has been helping the Congress in Punjab, contacted him to seek suggestions on the issue of justice to the Sikhs, Kishor’s organisation I-PAC, however, dismissed the claims as “canard”.Maintaining that Kishor wanted his suggestions to “incorporate” it in Congress manifesto, the noted lawyer trained guns on the Congress leadership on the issue. Before giving any suggestions, Phoolka said the Congress should come out clean on the “genocide of the Sikhs”. “Prashant Kishor contacted HS Phoolka and wanted to have a meeting with him. When Mr Phoolka declined to have a meeting and even refused to meet his mediator, the mediator sent an SMS to Mr Phoolka that Prashant Kishor wants Mr Phoolka’s suggestions on the issue of ‘justice to the Sikhs’ for incorporating the same into the Congress manifesto,” the lawyer claimed in a Facebook post.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When contacted Prashant Kishor, he was unavailable for comment. Prashant Kishor’s organisation I-PAC however, dismissed he claim as complete farce and canard. “PK contacting @hsphoolka is complete farce and typical AAP canard. We challenge him to present proof else apologise for this publicity stunt,” I-PAC tweetedIn his “suggestions” to Kishor, which Phoolka “chose to” give through the “media”, the lawyer said Capt Amarinder Singh, Congress’ Chief Ministerial candidate in the state, should apologise to the victims for giving a clean chit to Jagdish Tytler and should ensure that henceforth he will support the victims in their struggle for justice.”Mrs Sonia Gandhi should disclose what all transpired in their house on November 1 and 2, 1984 when one Sikh was killed every minute within the radius of 5 kms of her residence and over 4000 sikhs were killed in a span of 48 hours. “She should disclose who was the main conspirator for these killings,” the Facebook post said, adding the Congress President should also “apologise” for the remarks made by her husband Rajiv Gandhi after the carnage that “when a big tree falls, the earth beneath it shakes”.He said Congress Vice-President should inform the people whether he was aware about the killings going on November 1 and 2, 1984 and “deprecate” his father for killings of innocent citizens of this country.

Uttar Pradesh Elections 2017: Congress to pick between Priyanka, Rahul or a ‘Brahmin’ for CM

Struggling to arrest its falling fortunes in electorally important Uttar Pradesh, Congress may carry out a massive rejig of its state leadership next fortnight and announce its Chief Ministerial candidate who in all likelihood will be a “Brahmin”.There are also views within a section of the party that a turnaround in Uttar Pradesh is possible only if either of the Gandhis–Priyanka or Rahul–takes the lead in the state polls. However, there has been no indication from the party so far that it is inclined to field any of the two Gandhis in the assembly polls in the state where Congress is considered to be on a weak wicket.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Poll strategist Prashant Kishor is learnt to be in favour of either of the Gandhis taking the lead in the state election and, if they do not agree, a well-known Brahmin face should be projected as the chief ministerial candidate. Sources close to the leadership indicated that key decisions about the rejig are likely to be announced after May 19, the day counting of votes for the assembly polls in Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry takes place.The Pradesh Congress Committee Chief, the Congress Legislature Party Leader and even those managing the state affairs at the AICC level could be changed, the sources say. Making a serious attempt to stage a comeback in the state to which most of the Congress Prime Ministers belonged and where it has been in wilderness after the surge in Mandal-Mandir poitics, the party has roped in Kishor, who is learnt to have strongly favoured a Brahmin as the party’s face in the polls due next year.The name of former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has also been considered, sources said. Kishor, who had managed the hugely successful election campaigns for Narendra Modi in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and Nitish Kumar-led grand alliance in the Bihar assembly elections last year, has been drafted by the Congress to draw up a campaign strategy for the key cow belt state.There is a thinking in the party that since Brahmins, who constitute 10 to 12 per cent of the electorate, are the only vote bloc Congress can hope to make inroads into, projection of a person from the community as chief ministerial face would help the party regain their support. With the advent of Mandal-Mandir politics, Brahmins, who had traditionally voted for Congress, shifted allegiance to the BJP. AT A GLANCEBATTLEGROUND UTTAR PRADESH– Prashant Kishor is known for building his campaign strategy around strong personalities. He is learnt to be keen that Congress should project a face in the state as it could galvanize the cadres. – Key players in the state– Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party led by Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati–are personality driven and have their strong vote bases, while Congress, which has been out of power in the state for nearly-three decades, suffers from a leadership crisis. – In the last Lok Sabha elections, Congress could win only in two places with party chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul retaining their traditional Raebareli and Amethi seats ​There has also been a buzz that the Congress could field its top guns in the assembly polls, including some of its MPs, especially those who had been Union Ministers in UPA I and II governments.MPs, especially those who had been Union Ministers in UPA I and II governments.A source involved in the planning for the state elections said the party will fight the polls as if it were fighting the 2019 general elections.”We will have a Brahmin face backed by a combined support of some other upper castes, Muslims and non-Jatav dalits,” the source said.There are issues in the party at the grassroots level due to infighting and a demoralized cadre. Kishor has tried to get feedback on the organisational shortcomings that led to poor show of the party in the 2012 assembly polls, barely three years after it had won 21 seats in 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

Delhi govt’s Odd-Even scheme is a gimmick: Prashant Bhushan

Activist lawyer and Swaraj Abhiyan leader Prashant Bhushan today termed the Delhi government’s much touted odd-even scheme to combat spiralling air pollution as a “gimmick”.Bhushan said citizens may offer better measures to reduce pollution like bike lanes and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) than resort to odd-even.”Citizens may offer better solutions for pollution: Bike lanes, better public transport/BRT, than gimmicks like odd/even,” he tweeted.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government on Friday started its second round of traffic rationing scheme which will continue until April 30.

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.

Mumbai: Major fire in Mulund dumping ground

The major fire broke out in Mulund dumping ground this morning resulting in huge smoke that enveloped the entire area from Mulund to up to Airoli. According to the locals, the fire started on Sunday night and they could see the flames in the air. The city is currently facing the worst air quality due to the fire at the dumping ground.Rajesh Ingle one of the affected resident said, “The smoke from the dumping ground this morning was visible from our homes. A thick layer of smoke covered the area starting from the eastern express highway bridge till Airoli and the direction towards Navi Mumbai.” <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>“What is going on? The BMC is just playing with the lives of the common man. Only seeking extension from the high court for the closure is not an alternative which the civic authority is trying. The fire is going to be a never ending story and blaming the rag pickers is not a solution. We fear that we will be the first ones to die if this fire escalates,” added another affected resident Babu Suthar.The officials from the fire control room said, “The fire broke out at 11 am at the Mulund dumping ground and two fire engines and five water tankers were rushed to the spot within 15 minutes. The fire cooling operation is still going on.”“The cause of the fire is the combustion of the ammonia and methane gas due to the extensive heat,” added the fire official.“The garbage dumped in the dumping ground is always on fire as we notice heavy smoke from our windows. It is noticed every year, particularly during the summers. We can see the smoke rising from the ground from our windows and top of the buildings whenever the rag pickers dig into the ground,” added Ingle.The cases of fire emanating from these dumping grounds are increasing over the time, it is not only the problem of the residents of Hari om nagar or Deonar, the smoke has engulfed the whole of Mumbai now. BMC has failed to a large extent in taking care of the Mumbaikars and their safety.“The children as well as the senior citizens are facing various respiratory problems including coughing and breathing issues and their eyes begin to burn, they cannot visit the garden to play due to the foul smell”, added another affected resident Shikha Dutta.Assistant Municipal Commissioner of the T ward Prashant Sapkale said, “The fire fighting operation is on and the fire is under control.”

21 AAP MLAs meet Kejriwal after EC issues notices to them

21 AAP MLAs, who hold the posts of parliamentary secretaries, met Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday over notices issued to them by the Election Commission after a petitioner alleged that the posts were akin to “office of profit”.Petitioner Prashant Patel, a Delhi-based advocate, alleged that the MLAs have become subject to disqualification for holding the posts, a charge that was “dismissed” by Kejriwal in the meeting.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Discussions were held with the CM over the issue. He (Kejriwal) said that it was crystal clear that there was no violation of any constitutional provision citing a number of court judgements from the past,” one of the MLAs, who was present in the meeting, said.The party insisted that the post of parliamentary secretary was not an ‘office of profit’ as the secretaries were not provided any monetary allowance and were not entitled to any special privilege.Sources in the EC said the matter was still at a “nascent” stage and that a decision will be taken only after the legislators have filed their response. They have been asked to respond on or before April 11. All the 21 legislators, were present at the meeting held at Kejriwal’s residence.Kejriwal had appointed them as parliamentary secretaries to ministers for “smooth functioning” of the government on March 14 last year. Although they do not receive remuneration or perks from the government, they are provided transport for official purposes and space in the minister’s office to facilitate their work, if needed.

Man slits girl’s throat, consumes poison in Ghaziabad

A postgraduate student on Tuesday allegedly slit a 22-year-old female student’s throat before consuming poison at their college premises here, police said.The victim was a second-year BA at Shambhu Dayal Post Graduate College and allegedly in a relationship with the accused, Prashant, Superintendent of police (city) Salman Taj Patil said.Hearing the girl’s screams, college students rushed to help her and apprehended Prashant. He was beaten by them and handed over to police, he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Victim was taken to the nearby MMG government hospital, from where she has been relieved after a surgery, police said.Prashant was taken to the hospital, in an unconscious state, by the police after it was discovered that he had taken poison before the attack, the SP said.He has been further referred to GTB hospital in East Delhi, he said adding, if he survives legal action will be taken against him.

Rahul Gandhi holds meeting with top Congress Punjab leaders

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi has held a meeting with top party leaders of Punjab to discuss the strategy for the state assembly election which would be held in early next year.In the meeting held on Saturday the Congress vice-president asked the party leaders to build team spirit and work unitedly for the assembly election in the state in early 2017, party sources said today. The meeting was attended by Punjab Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh and Congress strategist Prashant Kishor discussed issues on which party’s campaign should be based in the state, the sources said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rahul Gandhi asked party leaders to celebrate their own legacy and capabilities rather than wasting energies worrying about the Aam Aadmi Party, they said. Capt Amarinder Singh stressed that need to target young voters as did most other leaders. The meeting which lasted for over five hours saw all top leaders like party general secretary for Punjab Shakeel Ahmad, Punjab Congress campaign committee chief Ambika Soni, Sunil Jakhar, CLP leader CS Chani, RS nominees SS Dullo and Partap Singh Bajwa, Indian Youth Congress chief Raja Warring and sitting and ex MPs, give their inputs which Kishor heard.The leaders highlighted the need for starting an early campaign and hitting ground. Issues like problems of drugs, unemployment, financial mess and agrarian crisis were discussed. This was the first meeting of Kishor with Punjab leaders since he took up the job of advising Congress for Punjab elections. Kishor recently visited Punjab after Kejriwal returned from his tour of the state.

Prashant Kishor to attend Congress strategy meet for 2017 UP polls

Poll strategist Prashant Kishor will attend the meeting of Congress state, district and city unit office bearers to chalk out a strategy for the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections here on March 10.Kishor, who had successfully managed the poll strategy of prime minister Narendra Modi and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, will remain present in the meeting which has been convened for chalking out the plan for next year’s assembly polls, chairman of the communications department of the party Satyadev Tripathi said. Besides, the vice presidents of the Congress committee, general secretaries of district and city units will attend the meeting along with UPCC president Nirmal Khatri and AICC general secretary in charge of state affairs Madhusudan Mistry, Tripathi said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kishor reportedly had a meeting with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi earlier this week.

Delhi High Court dismisses plea to cancel RK Pachauri’s anticipatory bail

The Delhi High court on Friday dismissed the complainant’s plea to quash R K Pachauri’s anticipatory bail granted to him. The high court’s decision came merely two days after the Delhi police filed a charge sheet in a trial court here accusing Pachauri, the executive vice chairman of The Energy Research Institute (TERI) of sexually harassing a former female colleague.The petitioner sought the cancellation of the anticipatory bail claiming that free and fair investigation” could not be carried out if Pachauri was “allowed to roam around freely”. However, after filing the charge sheet, the Delhi police stated that there is “sufficient evidence” to implicate the TERI chief.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Petitioner’s (woman) counsel has failed to impress as far as what purpose custodial interrogation of Pachauri is required. While granting anticipatory bail to Pachauri, safeguarding the petitioner’s interest and that of the investigating agency, stringent conditions have already been imposed upon the accused,” Justice S P Garg said.While hearing arguments from the state as well as the victim, the court noted that the Additional Standing counsel or the investigating officer did not seek the cancellation of the bail or press for custodial interrogation of the accused.”The police has already filed a charge sheet, hence, this order was purely academic in interest,” the victim’s counsel Prashant Mendriatta stated.Pachauri has been charged with sexual harassment and stalking under sections 354, 354(a), 354(d) (molestation) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code. Despite these charges, Pachauri was elevated to the position of Executive Vice Chairman of TERI. Soon after, a second complainant – a former colleague, came forward accusing Pachauri of sexual harassment.Pachauri has now been forced to go on an indefinite leave till the court case and the matter has been resolved.

BJP to move notice in parliament against Rahul’s ‘Fair and Lovely’ phrase: Sources

According to sources, the BJP is set to move notice in Parliament against his ‘fair and lovely’ comment. which has been deemed racially discriminatory. Fair and Lovely and other ‘fairness or skin lightening creams’ have often been at the centre of controversy and have been accused of perpetuating the myth that being fairer is equivalent to being more beautiful. Rahul Gandhi had attacked the Modi government’s lacklustre performance in bringing back black money by saying: “I was listening to Arunji present the Budget yesterday, and in the middle I was startled. Not yesterday, sorry, but day before yesterday. I was shaken like this. He announced a new scheme. Fair and lovely scheme. Under this scheme, any thief in the country can convert black money into white. It doesn’t matter where he can pilfer from – through corruption, all his black money. Arun Jaitley announced this in the House here – “Modiji’s fair and lovely scheme is here. You can make your black money white.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Modiji had given a speech in 2014. He had promised that when he came to power he will go after black money and will win the battle against it. Will imprison all who have earned black money. As per the fair and lovely plan, no one will be imprisoned. No one will be arrested. No one will be questioned. Approach Arun Jaitley, pay taxes and convert your black money to white. What a promise made by Narendra Modi. He promised on the economy. During elections he had said that pulses are sold for Rs 70. The prices will come down when he came to power. Will reduce the burden on women folk – our mothers and sisters. He came. Now pulses sell for Rs 200. Shame. Petrol used to be $130 per barrel. Today it is Rs 35 per barrel. $35 not rupees, sorry. I am not from the RSS, I make mistakes on misquoting oil prices. I do not know everything or understand everything, I make mistakes. I listen to the public, try to understand their plight, and then speak in this House. $133 came down to $35, but not a single rupee was given to the people. Neither to women, sisters and mothers. Big industrialists benefited.”Watch the ‘Fair and Lovely’ comment below:
ALSO READ Prashant Kishor meets Rahul Gandhi to craft party’s strategy for Uttar Pradesh polls

New Delhi: 2 IIMC students expelled from hostel for ‘casteist’ remark and insulting teacher

The Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) has ordered the expulsion of a student from its hostel in New Delhi for three weeks for posting “offensive and insulting” remarks on social media against students belonging to the SC and ST community.Another student Prashant Kanojia, who is a dalit and incidentally is a complainant in the case regarding the remarks against the SC/ST community, has also been expelled from the hostel of the premier journalism institute for a week for using “indecent and vulgar language” against a faculty member on a Whatsapp group.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The inquiry committee of IIMC observed that Utkarsh Singh, a student belonging to Hindi Journalism course, had posted on Facebook issues related to reservation using “provocative and unparliamentary” words.
ALSO READ IIMC Delhi’s student stirs up controversy with his Facebook post against Dalits”The matter has been considered and it is felt that the language used by you was offensive, grossly provocative, insulting and unparliamentary. It also resulted in a great deal of dissatisfaction and unrest within the IIMC campus. You are hereby expelled from the hostel for a period of three weeks with immediate effect. You are hereby warned to be careful in the future,” an order signed by Deputy Registrar of the institute P V K Raja said.Singh has sought a reconsideration of the punishment in a letter to the authorities and the hostel warden.Kanojia, who is pursuing English journalism course, has been expelled from the hostel for a week as it was established that he used “expletive” against a senior faculty member, which has been brought to the notice of the authorities on February 4.”The inquiry officer has recommended the imposition of penalty of expulsion from the hostel of the institute for a period of one week. The matter has been considered and it is felt that the language used by you was indecent, offensive, vulgar and unparliamentary,” the order said.Hit by allegations of “casteist” remarks, the IIMC, run by the Information and Broadcasting Mnistry, had last month ordered a probe into the incident and had set up an inquiry committee for the same. The ministry had also ordered a probe into the case.In the wake of the incidents, the ministry has recommended the creation of a social media policy “which should emphasise on the dos and dont’s and should be based on the code of conduct for students/employees.” The committee was set up after a group of students, including those from SC and ST community, had approached authorities alleging that “ill will” and “hatred” against them was being spread by some of their peers after they protested over Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula’s suicide.Among the other recommendations, Mihir Kumar Singh, Joint Secretary in the I&B Ministry who headed the committee, has proposed a set of institutional mechanisms to deal with such situations in future including the creation of an SC and ST cell and the post of Dean of Students Welfare.A code of conduct for teachers that bans political activity by faculty on campus and sensitization of students on issues related to caste, gender, religion was another recommendation.

Ahead of 2017 UP Assembly elections, Rahul Gandhi convenes party meet tomorrow

Gearing up for the assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh scheduled early next year, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi has convened a meeting of state party leaders on Wednesday for a strategy session at which poll strategist Prashant Kishor is expected to be present.Party sources said 30-35 state leaders have been called for deliberations being held at a time when the AICC has held consultations with DCC Presidents and block Congress Committee chiefs on candidates’ selection.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AICC General Secretary Madhusudan Mistri has toured several districts for getting a feedback on ways and means to make the organisation fighting fit after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in which only party chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi could get elected from the state.Kishor was one of the key backroom players for Narendra Modi when he was the chief minister of Gujarat and also in the last Lok Sabha polls when he was BJP’s prime ministerial candidate. Kishor was also the strategist behind Nitish Kumar’s campaign strategy in Bihar assembly poll last year.Congress has been out of power in UP for over 26 years. The state was its stronghold till 1989 but the the Mandal and Ram Mandir issues and the rise of BSP sharply eroded the party’s base.

Judiciary playing crucial role in fight against corruption: Shanti Bhushan

Former Union Law Minister Shanti Bhushan on Saturday lauded the judiciary for playing crucial role in the fight against corruption and underscored need for having more crusaders locally to see the ill practice disappear from the country.Addressing a gathering at two-day ‘Act Now – National Convention on Corruption’ here, Bhushan stressed in forming a network with “good people” in each political party to see their influence within respective outfits grow and the fight against corruption is strengthened.”Judiciary has played crucial role in hurting corruption.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Before Constitution came into being, jurisdiction of judiciary was limited. But B R Ambedkar and those who fought for our freedom, they drafted such a Constitution that gave unlimited powers to judiciary through sections 226 and 32… these were used in the interest of people by judiciary,” he said.Bhushan hailed Justice PN Bhagwati for admitting public interest litigations (PIL) in court in 1984 by defining Article 226 and Article 32 of the Constitution. He also lauded his lawyer-son Prashant for using PILs to see probe is ordered in major corruption cases like coal-gate and spectrum auction and others.Bhushan showered praises on the Supreme Court bench which had in 2013 struck down as unconstitutional section 8 (4) of the Representation of the People Act, 1952, which had allowed lawmakers to appeal before higher court and get a stay on their conviction. “The appeals would go on for years. But Justice AK Patnaik-led bench interpreted the law such and with support of article 14, they quashed the provision saying it would be discriminatory. This is the decision, because of which Lalu Prasad can’t contest polls,” he told.Bhushan further stressed on a need for identifying “good people” from each of the political parties and forming a network with them to fight corruption. Bhushan stated that primary job of political parties is to give solutions to problems faced by people and not winning polls.”Time has come for people of the country unite and stand against corruption. In each district, at least five people should do the job that Prashant Bhushan is doing. If there are five Prashant Bhushans in each district, then corruption will disappear from the country,” he added. The first day of the convention was also attended by Swaraj Abhiyan leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan and other RTI activists and whistle blowers. Tomorrow, the convention is expected to be addressed by Yadav, Justice Santosh Hegde and AP Shah, social activists Aruna Roy and Nikhil Dey, Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai and RTI activists and whistle blowers’ from various parts of the country.

Patiala House scuffle: Supreme Court to hear plea seeking SIT probe today

The Supreme Court will on Friday hear a plea seeking a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the Patiala House Court violence in which three lawyers are accused of beating JNU Students’ Union President Kanhaiya Kumar and others for allegedly raising anti-national slogans.The apex court had yesterday agreed to hear the matter after lawyer Prashant Bhushan sought an urgent hearing on the plea filed by another advocate.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The plea, which was filed in the apex court on Wednesday, sought suo motu contempt proceedings against lawyers Vikram Singh Chauhan, Yashpal Singh and Om Sharma on the ground that they have allegedly been caught on camera talking about the attacks. It also seeks a direction to set up a Special Investigation Team to probe the incidents.The petition, which also makes Ministry of Home Affairs and Delhi Police as parties, said facts have come to light that there was blatant violation of the rule of law in the trial court premises.

JNU row: Supreme Court to hear plea for action against lawyers tomorrow

The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear tomorrow a plea seeking contempt action against three lawyers who were allegedly caught on camera “bragging and boasting” that they had beaten up JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar and others, including journalists, in a court complex.”Let it be listed tomorrow before the bench concerned,” a bench comprising Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justice UU Lalit said when lawyer Prashant Bhushan sought urgent hearing of the matter filed by another advocate Kamini Jaiswal on the issue. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bhushan said that a bench headed by Justice Chelameswar had fixed another pending matter on JNU issue for hearing on March 10 and the instant plea needed to be heard urgently. The plea, which was yesterday filed in the apex court, also sought a direction to set up a Special Investigation Team to probe the incidents of violent attacks on some journalists, students, teachers, defence lawyers and Kanhaiya on February 15 and 17 by some advocates in the premises of Patiala House courts here during the hearing of the sedition case involving the JNUSU leader.The plea was filed in pursuance of an oral observation by a bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar, which is hearing the matters arising out of violence in the trial court premises in the JNU case, that the allegations are fresh ones and hence, a fresh petition is required to be filed.It has sought “suo motu contempt proceeding” against lawyers Vikram Singh Chauhan, Yashpal Singh and Om Sharma on the ground that they have allegedly been caught on camera talking about the attacks.It alleged that the lawyers have interfered in the “administration of justice” and willfully violated the orders passed by the apex court on February 17.

Putting IB, Raw and other intel agencies under judicial scrutiny may dent national security: Supreme Court

Putting intelligence agencies IB, RAW and NTRO under judicial scanner may “dent” national security, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said while rejecting a PIL seeking to make these bodies accountable to Parliament for their actions and expenditure.”We are not inclined to entertain this petition…Trying to get into the domain of intelligence may create dent in national security,” a bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It rejected the plea of Prashant Bhushan, appearing for NGO CPIL which has filed the PIL, claiming that in every advanced democracies like the UK and the USA, such agencies are accountable to parliamentary panels as they spend tax- payers’ monies.”What they do in the United Kingdom, we cannot practice in India,” it said, adding “They (Centre and Parliament) must be having some measures. It cannot be said that they do not have any mechanism. You need not legislate on all issues. You need to have some kind of caution also, otherwise, the very purpose will be lost.””We do not think the court should entertain such kinds of petitions which deal with security of the country,” it said.The bench said that irrespective of nature of the PIL, any plea that may dent national security, should not be entertained by courts.”As a student of History, Law and Literature, I do not think, any court should enter into this territory,” Justice Misra, heading the bench, said.On the submission that this court had issued notice on the PIL way back in 2013 and it should not be dismissed like this, the bench asked Bhushan to give suggestions to Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi instead.The apex court had in 2013 issued notice to the Centre asking to respond on the PIL seeking to bring the agencies under the oversight of Parliament and CAG.The NGO’s petition had sought directions from the court for parliamentary oversight and financial auditing of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Intelligence Bureau (IB) and National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) by CAG like in several developed countries. The NGO had submitted that the agencies were being misused for political purposes and there was an urgent need to make these organisations accountable to Parliament.On February 1, 2013, advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, had submitted that India was the only democracy in the world whose intelligence agencies have no legitimacy in the eyes of the law and were not accountable to the people or Parliament.The bench had said it is a policy matter to be decided by the government, but had agreed to hear the plea after the petitioner contended that earlier too the court had passed directions on policy matters.”Former heads of these organisations have published books on how the money is misused and how the agencies are misused for political purposes,” the petition had said, adding that accountability is required as “more than rupees ten thousand crore is granted to these agencies out of the consolidated fund of India”.

77% people in Delhi think corruption hasn’t reduced under CM Kejriwal: Swaraj Abhiyan survey

About 77 per cent of people in the national capital believe that corruption has not gone down in government offices in Delhi while some 62 per cent said neither the electricity bills have come down nor are they getting 20,000 litres of free water every month as promised by the AAP government, a survey by Swaraj Abhiyan claimed. The survey was conducted between February 10 to 14, covering 10,000 Delhi residents in 70 assembly constituencies, was done by volunteers of Swaraj Abhiyan, an organisation formed by expelled AAP leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Fight against corruption was a major plank on which AAP came to power in Delhi. Around 86 per cent of the people surveyed said the Janlokpal Bill was not the same which was promised at Ramlila Maidan by Kejriwal, while 74 per cent felt that there was no clamp down on corruption at ration shops.The study claimed that 63 per cent of people said their electricity bills have not come down while 62 per cent said they were not getting 20,000 litres of free water every month.Over 82 per cent said they did not get old-age pension, the survey claimed, while 80 per cent were of the opinion that women were unsafe in the city. 87 per cent respondents claimed that CCTV were yet to be installed in their areas.Some 85 per cent of the people claimed that the Primary Health Care (PHC) were yet to be opened in their areas.

JD(U) gives Nitish govt’s ‘image building’ task to workers

At a meeting of party district presidents and office bearers at the residence of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, emphasis was also laid on establishing better connect between the workers and the government, a party statement said The ruling JD(U) on asked party workers to improve the image of the state government in Bihar by highlighting its good works.At a meeting of party district presidents and office bearers at the residence of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, emphasis was also laid on establishing better connect between the workers and the government, a party statement said. The meeting was presided over by state party chief Basistha Narayan Singh but the Chief Minister was not present.The meeting was presided over by state party chief Basistha Narayan Singh but the Chief Minister was not present.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Election strategist Prashant Kishor, who was recently appointed as advisor to the CM on planning and programme implementation, particularly the “seven resolves” of Kumar, was also present at the meeting. Former speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary and ex-minister P K Shahi, both vice president of the JD(U), attended the meet.The state chief told the district presidents to locate venues for opening party offices at district level. The district presidents have been entrusted with the task of hearing problems of the workers at grassroots level and communicate it to the state unit for better connect with the government.

Letter claiming IS threat to PM, Parrikar posted from Panaji, says police

A letter, purportedly signed by Islamic State (IS), threatening to harm Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was posted in Panaji itself, police said on Friday.”The letter was posted in Panaji from where it came to secretariat at Porvorim,” a senior police official said. The letter was received on January 13 by State Under Secretary, (General Administration), Prashant Shirodkar, following which the Goa Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) launched a probe.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The letter bore stamp of the Panaji post office. It was sent on a general address of the Government of Goa and not to any particular office,” the official said. The ATS had said that it will record the statement of two government officials who went through the letter first. Police stepped up security across the state after receipt of the letter.