<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A day after the feud in the Samajwadi Party widened with the suspension of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, the party’s general secretary Amar Singh on Saturday said he is supporting party’s chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and going against his decision is unconstitutional and immoral.Quoting a line from Srimad Bhagwat Puran: “Ram chandra keh gaye siya se aisa kalyug aayega, beta karega raj bechara baap jungal ke jayega,” Singh said that Mulayam is not only the father of the party but also the father of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister. “Those who are going against him are unconstitutional, immoral and are incorrect and I condemn them,” he said.Dubbing the rift taking place in the Samajwadi Party as ‘unfortunate’, Singh appealed to the party workers to support Mulayam in this crucial situation. “I appeal to the party members to stand with Netaji Mulayam Singh. Whatever is happening is very unfortunate,” Amar, who had recently made a comeback to the party after a long exile, said.Amar said, “The foundation of this party was laid by Mulayam Singh with much dedication and hard work. I have said this earlier and will say it now, that Mulayam Singh is the chief of SP and the father of Akhilesh Yadav as well,” he said. Meanwhile, Mulayam has called a Samajwadi Party’s Parliamentary board meeting today.The Samajwadi Party boss yesterday expelled Akhilesh and National General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years over indiscipline. “I solely founded the party, what is their (Akhilesh and Ram Gopal) contribution? They are destroying the party,” he said. “To save the party, we have expelled both Ram Gopal and Akhilesh Yadav for six years from the party. No one has the right to call for a national executive meeting other than the party chief, and by doing this, you (Akhilesh and Ram Gopal) have hurt the party’s interest,”he added.This move comes after Akhilesh had released a list of 235 candidates out of the total 403 seats for upcoming state assembly elections on Thursday, rejecting the list announced by Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday. “We have declared a list of 325 candidates for the 2017 assembly polls; 78 seats still remain. Names of the candidates for the rest of the 78 seats will be announced soon,” Mulayam had said on Wednesday.Akhilesh’s name did not figure in the first list. Mulayam said his son being the chief minister, can contest from any assembly seat he wishes to. With inputs from PTI)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Expelled Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav chaired a meeting of Samajwadi Party MLAs at 9 am on Saturday at his official residence.Mulayam Singh yesterday expelled Akhilesh and National General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years over indiscipline late on Friday night. “I solely founded the party, what is their (Akhilesh and Ram Gopal) contribution? They are destroying the party,” he said. “To save the party, we have expelled both Ram Gopal and Akhilesh Yadav for six years from the party. No one has the right to call for a national executive meeting other than the party chief, and by doing this, you (Akhilesh and Ram Gopal) have hurt the party’s interest,” Mulayam told media here. “I will decide as to who will be the chief ministerial candidate of the party,” he insisted.This move comes after Akhilesh had released a list of 235 candidates out of the total 403 seats for upcoming state assembly elections on Thursday, rejecting the list announced by Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday. “We have declared a list of 325 candidates for the 2017 assembly polls; 78 seats still remain. Names of the candidates for the rest of the 78 seats will be announced soon,” Mulayam had said on Wednesday. Akhilesh’s name did not figure in the first list. Mulayam said his son being the chief minister, can contest from any assembly seat he wishes to.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav came down hard on dissidence by suspending his brother Ram Gopal Yadav for ‘indiscipline’ and son Akhilesh Yadav for six years.He was quoted saying by ANI: “Ram Gopal Yadav suspended from the party for six years for indiscipline. No one has the right to call for a national executive meet other than party Chief; by doing this you have hurt the party’s interest. CM Akhilesh Yadav doesn’t understand, Ram Gopal is trying to weaken him How can he (Ram Gopal) call for emergency national executive meet without my permission’ Normally at least 10-15 days’ notice is given.”He added: “For us party is the most important and our priority is to save the party. To save the party, we have expelled both Ram Gopal and Akhilesh Yadav for six years from the party.” He added: “I have worked really hard to make this party, what was their role in this? I work hard and they reap the fruits? Mukhyamantri main tay karunga kaun hoga. Maine akele hi party banaya thi; Inka kya yogdaan hain? Ram Gopal aur Akhilesh Yadav party khatam kar rahe hain.” On Thursday, Akhilesh released a list of 235 candidates out of a total of 403 seats for the upcoming state assembly elections, a day after his father and party supremo had released the official list, hinting at a deepening crisis within the party. Intense political activities continued at the Samajwadi Party headquarters and at the official residence of the chief minister yesterday. Akhilesh met Mulayam Singh, but as per sources, the party chief refused to make changes in the list of 325 candidates issued by him on Wednesday.According to reports, Akhilesh has removed the name of his sister-in-law Aparna Yadav from the list of candidates that will contest next year’s state assembly polls. She was earlier given a ticket by Mulayam Singh Yadav to contest from the Lucknow Cantt seat.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on Friday issued a showcause notice to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and his son Akhilesh Yadav for issuing a candidate list separately for the upcoming state assembly polls.This move comes after Akhilesh, earlier on Thursday, released a list of 235 candidates out of the total 403 seats for upcoming state assembly elections, a day after party supremo had released the official list.Akhilesh met Mulayam Singh, but as per sources, the party chief refused to make any change in the list of 325 candidates issued by him on Thursday.
ALSO READ SP’s feud out in the open again, Akhilesh conveys displeasure to Mulayam over candidates list”We have declared list of 325 candidates for the 2017 assembly polls; 78 seats still remain. Name of candidates for rest of the 78 seats will be announced soon,” Mulayam said on Wednesday while announcing the list.The Samajwadi Party supremo announced the first list in the absence of his son, who is at loggerheads with his uncle Shivpal Yadav over distribution of tickets. Mulayam announced the name of his brother Shivpal from Jaswant Nagar Assembly seat.
ALSO READ UP Elections 2017: SP headed for virtual split, Akhilesh Yadav releases own list of candidates for 235 seats Akhilesh’s name did not figure in the first list. Mulayam, however, said that his son, being the Chief Minister, can contest from any assembly seat he wishes to.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Government has notified the recently passed Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill which provides for reservation in government jobs for persons with benchmark disabilities from 3 to 4%, and in higher education institutes from 3 to 5%, Union Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot said on Friday.”The Bill was passed by Parliament in the winter session and then it was sent to the President for his assent. After the nod from the President, it was notified on Wednesday,” Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot said on the foundation day of the National Trust.On the occasion, Gehlot launched the mobile app and Facebook Page of the National Trust.”Through the app, information regarding the schemes and programmes will be disseminated. The Facebook page was launched with an aim to bring together all NGOs and organisation working in this field on the same platform,” Gehlot said.With the enforcement of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, every child with benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years will have the right to free education. The legislation has been made to bring Indian laws in line with the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities.Under the newly enacted Act, the types of disabilities have been increased from the existing seven to 21. The newly added types include mental illness, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, chronic neurological conditions, specific learning disabilities, multiple sclerosis, speech and Language disability, thalassemia, hemophilia, sickle cell disease, multiple disabilities including deaf blindness, acid attack victims and Parkinsons disease.Also, disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept and government will have the power to add more types of disabilities.As per the Act, assaulting, insulting, intimidating, denying food to a person with disability or sexually exploiting a differently-abled woman and performing a medical procedure on such women without consent which may lead in termination of pregnancy will draw a jail term up to five years once the law is passed.Any person who contravenes any provision of the act will be punished with a maximum fine of Rs 5 lakh.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The war games are likely to continue within the Yadav family, a day after Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav snubbed his son and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, by publicly announcing 325 candidates of the 403 assembly seats on Wednesday. The list which omitted names of candidates suggested by the UP CM, suggested that the party was in danger of splitting before the crucial polls in the state.Hectic political activities began on Thursday right from the morning as party leaders have been gathering outside the residences of Akhilesh and Mulayam and huge crowds assembled outside Mulayam’s brother Shivpal Yadav’s residence. Sources close to the UP Chief Minister said that Akhilesh was likely to announce his own list of candidates for the state polls. They also said the candidates declared by him are likely to contest on different symbols as independent candidates.”Yes, Akhilesh Yadav is likely to announce his own list of candidates for UP polls,” said SP MLA Indal Singh. Singh’s remarks came after the CM’s meeting with those of whom who had been denied tickets.The UP CM who had just arrived from Bundelkhand, convened a meeting on Thursday of his supporters and legislators who had been denied tickets. He also met ministers who were denied tickets. Among them were Pawan Pandey, Ram Govind Chaudhary and Arvind Singh ‘Gop’. Sources close to him said that in the highly charged atmosphere, several of his loyalists had asked him to defy his father and uncle Shivpal Yadav, and go ahead with his own list of candidates.Later in the day, Akhilesh met his father Mulayam, and his uncle Shivpal was also present. But the talks did not seem to have yielded the desired results.The tension before the meeting was clear as an upset Akhilesh said,”The list does not include names of certain candidates who are sure to win. I will take it up with the SP chief and tell him that some of them have done really good work and they should be given tickets.” Since then the UP CM has remained incommunicado.Akhilesh’s supporter Uday Veer Singh said, “The Chief Minister has always fought for justice and he will continue to do so.” Singh however refused to comment on whether a new party would be formed.The list Mulayam unveiled on Wednesday, included 176 sitting MLAs. It not only left out several pro-Akhilesh ministers, but also did not carry the names of over 50 sitting MLAs. On the other hand, 10 ministers, including Shivpal, who had been sacked by the Chief Minister, over the past few months, got tickets. These former ministers were in open defiance of Akhilesh and it had paid off.In a late night tit-for-tat action, the Chief Minister had struck back, sacking two Shivpal loyalists — Surabhi Shukla, vice-chairperson of UP Awas Vikas Parishad and her husband Sandeep Shukla from the post of advisor of Rajkiya Nirman Nigam. Sandeep has been fielded from Sultanpur Sadar seat.Mulayam had also ignored Akhilesh’s objections to certain names, like Sigbatullah Ansari, brother of jailed gangster Mukhtar Ansari, and Atiq Ahmed who faces over 40 criminal cases including that for murder. The list also included tainted minister Gayatri Prajapati, whose sacking and re-induction as minister exposed the factional infighting in the ruling party.The SP supremo also made clear his differences with Akhilesh on the issue of a pre-poll alliance by ruling out any pact for a grand alliance. He even refused to project a chief ministerial candidate, dealing a serious blow to his son at a time when polls are to be announced very soon.A senior party leader said that by taking on political dons and criminals, Akhilesh was attempting to grow bigger than his party. The party leader also admitted that the chief minister’s image was getting bigger by the day but also added that the image was yet to grow as big as his father’s — who has the ability to turn political fortunes at the elections.
By Abhirup Roy and Rafael Nam
MUMBAI The disclosure by the National Stock Exchange that some high-frequency trading brokers may have been provided unfair access to its servers is unlikely to derail the Indian bourse operator’s IPO plans, a senior regulatory source and investors said on Thursday.In its draft initial public offering prospectus, India’s biggest exchange said an external panel had found potential instances of some traders having preferential access to its network through co-location facilities – where private servers are placed at exchanges to speed up algorithmic trading.The NSE said the agency found certain employees may have been involved in providing that access, though it could not determine whether there was any collusion.The Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is studying the potential violations, but an official at the capital market regulator said, for now, it would be hard to justify steep penalties against the NSE.”The IPO is totally a disclosure based regime. The NSE has already made adequate disclosures, and they can go ahead,” the SEBI official said, asking not to be named as he was not authorized to talk to the media – though he added that no final decision had been made.The NSE’s IPO could raise as much as $1 billion next year, bankers have estimated, making it India’s largest in six years.An NSE spokesman said the disclosure in the IPO prospectus pertained to “legacy issues”, adding the exchange operator had submitted the full report to the SEBI.
One NSE shareholder, who is among the 27 investors planning to sell shares during the IPO, said the company will have to fix its problems and make sure they don’t recur.A senior NSE official said the exchange was reviewing its trading systems, and looking to standardise procedures.TOUGHER HFT RULES?
The suspected trading violations have been a concern for the SEBI for some months, and come as the NSE has grappled with governance issues.Earlier this year, the exchange operator appointed Ashok Chawla, a former anti-competition commissioner, as chairman, and reconstituted its board. Several people said then that he had been brought in to help shore up the company’s corporate governance standards.The NSE is also scouting for a new CEO after Chitra Ramkrishna resigned last month, citing personal reasons.
The SEBI had ordered the NSE to appoint an external agency probe after a committee appointed by the regulator found sufficient grounds for further investigation.The issue could also spur the SEBI to tighten rules on brokers’ access to increasingly prevalent algorithmic and high-frequency trading.The NSE said on Wednesday it had set aside all revenue generated by co-location facilities over the past two and a half years. That came to 13.1 billion rupees ($192.5 million), or close to 30 percent of its revenue during that period.The SEBI official said the regulator was unlikely to force the NSE to give up that revenue unless it could prove the potential trading violations cited in the report.($1 = 68.0600 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Abhirup Roy and Rafael Nam; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
First Published On : Dec 29, 2016 22:31 IST
<!– /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.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The first batch of 110 fishermen released recently by Pakistan, arrived here from Amritsar and will soon leave for their natives places to be reunited with their families, an official said.Pakistan had on December 25 released 220 Indian fishermen, a goodwill gesture which came amid strain in ties after the recent cross border terror incidents.Due to non-availability of required number of coaches in the train from Amritsar, the fishermen, mostly from Gujarat, were divided into two batches. The first batch boarded the train on Tuesday and arrived here late Wednesday night, Gujarat Fisheries Department Superintendent Ashok Patel said.The other batch of 110 fishermen will reach Vadodara on Thursday night, he said.Several fishermen broke into tears upon their arrival here while some of them expressed concern about how to resume fishing, as they said that their boats were still in possession of the Pakistani authorities, an official said.The released fishermen belong to Una, Kodinar Junagadh, Jamnagar, Valsad and Navsari in Gujarat, Diu and also Uttar Pradesh, from where they come to the western state to earn their livelihood.They will now head to their native places to be with their families.The Gujarat Fishermen Association thanked Pakistan based NGO, Edhi Foundation, for making arrangements to bring the fishermen to Lahore from Karachi by a special train.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A city-based businessman was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly cheating and generating ‘fake and fictitious’ advance payment receipts to deposit “black money” to the tune of Rs 98 crore in banks following demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 tenders last month.Besides Kailash Chand Gupta (65), his kin and others have also been booked by the police under various sections of IPC for their alleged role in the “conspiracy”.Central Crime Station, a wing of Hyderabad Police, arrested Gupta for his alleged involvement in cheating and manipulation of records for illegal gain post demonetization.Another businessman Naredi Narender Kumar (59), MD of a private firm and brother-in-law of Gupta, was also arrested for abetment and hiding Gupta from police.Gupta runs three jewellery and bullion firms with his two sons, a daughter-in-law and another woman as directors.After demonetization, Gupta, along with his sons Nitin and Nikhil, daughter-in-law Neha and others, conspired and hatched a plan to convert their black money by depositing it with banks by generating fake and fabricated receipts for wrongful gains which caused loss to Government of India, stated a release from Hyderabad Police.Accordingly, the accused persons generated fake and fictitious advance payment receipts, purported to be acquired from about 3100 customers, for an amount of Rs 57.85 crore in name of their firm Musaddilal Gems and Jewelers Private Ltd.They also allegedly produced fictitious advance payment receipts for Rs 40 crore in name of another firm, Vaishnavi Bullion Private Ltd, claimed to be acquired from about 2100 customers, and issued computerised receipts for the same, police said.”All the said receipts were shown to have received between 9 PM and 12 midnight on November 8, and they subsequently got the amounts deposited at SBI, Panjagutta branch and Axis Bank, Banjara Hills branch respectively,” it said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir cabinet on Wednesday approved the draft of the address, to be delivered by Governor N N Vohra, to the joint sitting of the State legislature on January 2 next year.The cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, approved the draft of the address, to be delivered by the Governor to the joint sitting of the State legislature on January 2, 2017, an official spokesman said.Legislative Assembly Speaker Kavinder Gupta issued the provisional calendar for the fourth Session of the 12th Legislative Assembly.As per the provisional calendar, starting from January 2, with the Governor’s address to Legislature, the House sittings would continue till February 4, 2017.According to the calendar discussion on motion of thanks on the Governor’s address and reply thereto will be held on January 3 and 4.The annual financial statement of expenditure for 2017-2018 and presentation of supplementary statement of expenditure for 2016-2017 will be held on January 9, 2017.The general discussion on budget will be held on January 10 and 11 ending with reply thereto.As per the calendar, the demand for grants for various departments would be taken up from January 12 to January 27 and the Appropriation Bills will be taken up on January 28.There shall be government business on January 30.Private members resolutions will be taken up on January 31 and February 2 and private members bills on February 1 and February 3.There will be government business on February 4, if any, the calendar issued read.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday night arrested Delhi lawyer Rohit Tandon in connection with the money laundering case, reported ANI.On December 11, the Crime Branch and Delhi Police had carried out raids at the office of his firm T&T Law and seized nearly Rs 13.5 crore, of which Rs 2.6 crore was in new banknotes released after demonetization.The lawyer had recently declared unaccounted income worth over Rs 125 crore after searches were carried out against him.A day ago, ED has arrested a manager of a Kotak Bank branch here in connection with its money laundering probe in a criminal case of detection of nine alleged fake accounts with deposits worth Rs 34 crore post demonetization.(Developing story, more details are awaited)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Reacting sharply to the CBI issuing summons to two TMC MPs in connection with the alleged Rose Valley chit fund scam, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday alleged that the Narendra Modi government at the Centre was resorting to “politics of vendetta”, but asserted that her party could not be stopped in this manner.”This is politics of vendetta. Trinamool Congress cannot be stopped in this way,” the TMC chief said. TMC parliamentary party leader in Lok Sabha Sudip Bandopadhyay and party MP Tapas Pal have been asked to appear at the CBI office here on December 30. Banerjee had stated in Delhi yesterday that the country was witnessing a “super emergency” under Modi’s rule without its formal declaration.All sections of the society are being frightened by “Gabbar is coming, Gabbar is coming”, she had said and added that the country could not be run through such threats. She had also accused the prime minister of taking away the people’s rights. On demonetization, Banerjee said, “Let us wait for two more days and then, the 50 days would be over. We will decide accordingly.”
Wed, 28 Dec 2016-11:55pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> India has taken up the movement to embrace digital transactions with “unprecedented vigour”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday night while commenting on DigiDhan Mela organised in Goa.”Today’s #DigiDhanMela in Goa saw widescale participation. Colleagues @manoharparrikar, Shri Shripad Naik & CM Parsekar also took part,” Modi tweeted. “India has taken up the movement to embrace digital transactions with unprecedented vigour. My gratitude to people of India,” he added.The Prime Minister said every DigiDhan mela is “a fine way of learning about digital payments & even inspiring others to use digital means.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a scathing attack on those calling him “anti-national and Pakistani”, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday said if the BJP-PDP coalition government “is not anti-national” for advocating talks with all stakeholders, including the Hurriyat, how can he be given the label for doing the same.Farooq sought “meaningful dialogue” for ending political uncertainty in Jammu and Kashmir. “PDP-BJP batted for talks with all. They entered into alliance. In their agenda of alliance it’s written they will talk to all– and also to Hurriyat,” Farooq told a public rally at Ragooda belt on Wednesday.Taking a dig at those calling him Pakistani, he said, “They (PDP-BJP) are not Pakistanis. They are not anti- nationals. When Farooq is calling for holding talks with all they allege Farooq is anti-national and Pakistani.” “We have given sacrifices for entire life and then I am being given a label,” he said.”Alongside opening channels of dialogue with Pakistan, the Centre must talk to all the stake-holders, including Hurriyat Conference,” Abdullah said.Referring to recent unrest, he blamed the coalition for bringing “unprecedented crisis” not only in the Valley but also in the Jammu region. He also referred to “harassment being caused” to weaker sections of society in Jammu by threatening eviction from the lands rehabilitated by their ancestors.”Aren t these people Dogras and integral part of the Jammu society, who are at the receiving end of the whims and fancies of the coalition dispensation,” Abdullah said.”We inherit the legacy of Hindu, Muslim, Sikh. Anybody attempting to trample upon these ethos will get befitting reply from the people,” he said and “advised the Chief Minister not to lose sense of proportion by colluding in inflicting miseries on the people”.Holding PDP responsible for “political instability” and unrest across the Valley, he said “betrayal of mandate” by aligning with the BJP engulfed Jammu and Kashmir into “unprecedented crisis”. He described the PDP-BJP alliance as one of the major causes of igniting Kashmir unrest.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Undisclosed assets worth Rs 48 crore, including Rs 22 crores in new currency notes, had been unearthed during searches conducted by the Income Tax department in Karnataka and Goa since the Centre announced demonetization of high-value notes, a top official said on Wednesday.”We have seized an undisclosed amount of Rs 34 crores in cash and Rs 14 crores in bullion, and out of which Rs 22 crores were in new currency notes, post-demonetization,” Principal Chief Commissioner of I-T, Karnataka-Goa, Nutan Wodeyar told reporters in Bengaluru.Giving figures of seizures made by I-T this year so far, Wodeyar said the department conducted 48 searches and seized Rs 116 crores worth undisclosed assets compared to Rs 27 crores during the corresponding period in the previous year. “Compared to 14 searches conducted last year, this year 48 searches were made,” she said.The department also conducted 36 surveys as of Wednesday compared to 38 last year and found a concealment amount of Rs 393 crores compared to Rs 140 crores during last year.Replying to a query, Wodeyar said the department so far this year had initiated 15 prosecutions and expect the numbers to go up. She, however, declined to reveal the names of those facing prosecution.
Wed, 28 Dec 2016-09:35pm , Mumbai , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A tanker carrying acetic acid overturned on the Mumbai-Goa national highway on Wednesday morning.Three bystanders were injured as they were hit by stones which flew off as the tanker turned turtle on the roadside at around 9:45 am at Dasgaon village near Mahad in Raigad district, highway police said.The tanker was heading for a textile company in Mahad from Chembur in Mumbai, police added.The accident caused a traffic jam on the busy road. Police also stopped the traffic for half an hour for cleaning up the chemical which leaked from the tanker.Apart from highway police and fire brigade personnels, experts from MIDC (Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation) also visited the spot to check the severity of the chemical. Traffic smoothened after noon.Injured persons were admitted to a hospital in Mahad.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Outgoing IAF chief Arup Raha on Wednesday made it clear that just 36 Rafale fighter jets would not suffice as India needs about 200-250 more fighters to maintain its combat edge over adversaries.The Air Chief Marshal, who is set to retire on December 31, also rued that the tender for the much needed “force multiplier” mid air refuellers had to be withdrawn. He said a fresh tender is in the offing and the procurement will be speeded up. Underlining that the teeth of any air force is the combat fleet, Raha said that the country needs another production line besides the Tejas. He explained that the strength sanctioned by the government is 42 squadrons “which was a numerical value. He said what is needed “is also a capability mix”.Raha said India has enough of heavy weight fighters – the Su30 MKI – which will last for another 30-40 years. He said the light weight spectrum would be served by the 123 Tejas light combat aircraft ordered by the IAF.Terming Rafale as an excellent aircraft, Raha said it comes in the medium weight spectrum. “It is tremendously capable in all its role. It is a multi-role aircraft and can be used very effectively. It can prove its worth in any situation,” Raha said. “But we have just ordered 36 aircraft and we require more aircraft in this middle weight category to give entire spectrum of capability,” he said. Raha said a void has been created in the past because of obsolescence and many of the squadrons will be past their use-by date. “We have already used them for four decades plus. It is time to retire them and get new aircraft,” he said adding this void has to be filled up quickly and 36 Rafale aircraft “will not do as we require much more”. “Over the next 10 years, we must have 200-250 aircraft. It has to be balanced out. In the heavy weight spectrum, we have enough. But in the medium weight category, we need to have more. Yes, about 200 will be very good,” he said. India and France finally signed the Rafale deal on September 23 this year, over a year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the deal during his Paris visit in April 2015. The planes, equipped with latest weapons and tailored for Indian needs, will be delivered to the IAF between September 2019 and April 2022. The IAF currently has 33 fighter squadrons, against the sanctioned 42.Raha also rued that IAF’s Russian-origin Ilyushin-78 tanker fleet was plagued by maintenance problems and more midair refuellers were a “strategic requirement” to extend the range of fighter planes. IL-78 fleet had served the IAF well but its availability for missions has been less due to maintenance problems. India floated a global tender for six midair refuellers in 2007 but it has been scrapped twice in the final stages. “Sadly, there have been some problem areas in the acquisition. A new tender will be out soon,” Raha said.The air chief said the terrorist attack on the Pathankot air base and the An-32 crash in which 29 people were killed were “the worst memories of my career”. “We have flown in the fighter fleet 40,000 hrs, more than last 10 years due to better serviceability. We have done an average night flying of 27 per cent which was less earlier,” he said speaking about the achievements under his tenure.
The government, on Wednesday, said that it has cancelled the FCRA licence of close to 20,000 of the 33,000 NGOs operating in the country after they were found to be flouting certain norms laid out in the Foreign Contributions Registrations Act, 2010.
The FCRA or Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 is nothing but a regulatory act formed to keep a check on civil society bodies that may be receiving foreign funds in an illegal manner. Therefore, the cancellation of an FCRA licence means that the NGOs in question can no longer take funds from a foreign contributor but they can continue to work on donations given by Indian companies and individuals.
Home Ministry officials said after cancellation of the FCRA licences of around 20,000 NGOs, only 13,000 NGOs in the country are legally valid now to receive foreign funds.
The exercise of reviewing the working of the NGOs was started about a year ago and the process is still continuing, official sources said.
Among the 13,000 valid NGOs, around 3,000 have submitted applications for renewal while Ministry of Home Affairs received 2,000 new applications for registration under the FCRA for the first time.
An additional 300 NGOs are currently under prior permission category but not registered under the FCRA. This means that although these NGOs don’t hold a FCRA licence, they can accept funds from foreign sources by taking prior permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The FCRA licences of around 16 NGOs were renewed by the Home Ministry under the “automatic” route and all the cases were reviewed thoroughly and except in two cases, 14 NGOs have been put under the prior permission category, while papers of two other NGOs are under examination.
As per FCRA, if an NGO is put under prior permission category, it is barred to receive foreign funding from abroad without taking permission from the Home Ministry.
With inputs from PTI
First Published On : Dec 28, 2016 19:12 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday paid floral tributes to veteran BJP leader and two-time Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Sunderlal Patwa who passed away in the morning following a heart attack.After paying tributes to the departed leader at the state BJP office in Bhopal, the Prime Minister consoled his family members. His nephew Surendra Patwa, who is the Minister for Culture and Tourism in the BJP-led state government, was also present.Modi spent nearly five minutes with the family members and later left for the airport. The Prime Minister was accompanied by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.92-year-old Patwa, a former union minister, suffered a heart attack in the morning and was rushed to hospital where he breathed his last, Executive Director of the hospital Skand Trivedi said.Patwa’s wife had died a few years back and they had no children.Earlier, in a tweet, Modi said, “Saddened on the passing away of Sunderlal Patwa. He was a hardworking & dedicated leader whose good work as MP CM will be remembered.” He said Patwa strengthened BJP and was always admired by workers.Large number of BJP workers gathered at the party office to pay respects to the former CM. Patwa’s last rites would be held at Kukdeshwar town, the native place of the departed leader, in Neemuch district of the state on Thursday.
Dhaka: In a bid to ease the procurement of Indian tourist visas for Bangladeshis, India will now allow those with confirmed travel tickets to submit their visa applications directly without prior appointments.
“As part of ongoing efforts to streamline, liberalise and ease the process of securing Indian visas, the High Commission of India will allow all Bangladesh travellers with confirmed air, train or bus tickets to submit their tourist visa applications without e-token or prior appointment dates from 1 January 2017,” the Indian High Commission here said in a press release on Wednesday.
“The date of journey should be after seven days but within one month of submission of the visa application form,” it said.
The Indian Visa Application Centre in Mirpur will receive walk-in tourist visa applications from confirmed travellers and senior citizens from 1 January.
Those who already have appointment dates can continue to submit their tourist visa applications in centres at Gulshan, Uttara, Motijheel, Mymensingh, Barisal, Khulna, Jessore, Rangpur, Rajshahi, Chittagong and Sylhet.
The mission also said that its pilot project started in October for allowing walk-in visa application facility for women travellers and their immediate family members has been “very successful”.
The Mirpur visa application centre will start taking those walk-in applications from 1 January instead of the centre in Uttara, it said.
First Published On : Dec 28, 2016 18:39 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Union Home Secretary Anil Baijal likely to be new Delhi LGCareer bureaucrat Anil Baijal looks set to become the next Lt Governor of Delhi, a post which has fallen vacant after sudden resignation of Najeeb Jung. Read more here. Uttar Pradesh assembly elections: SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav rules out alliance with any partyAmid speculations, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday ruled out the possibility of an alliance with any political party for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. Read more here. Kalmadi defers Life President post of IOA, Sports Ministry issues showcause noticeFaced with a barrage of criticism, scam-tainted Suresh Kalmadi declined the position of the Indian Olympic Association’s Life President even as the Sports Ministry issued a showcause notice to the IOA for its controversial decision. Read more here. Cabinet clears ordinance: Face jail time, Rs 50,000 penalty for holding old notesThe Cabinet on Wednesday approved promulgation of an ordinance to impose a penalty, including a jail term, for possession of the scrapped 500 and 1,000 rupee notes beyond a cut-off. Read more here. Scrap cash withdrawal limit, reveal how much black money recovered post demonetization: Rahul to ModiUpping the ante on the government’s demonetization drive, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sacrificed the common man in ‘yagna’ against black money. Read more here. Shocking: Ram Gopal Verma SLAMS Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan!Ram Gopal Verma took to Twitter to post a series of tweets, giving a thumbs up to Aamir’s brilliant performance. But while doing so, he took a serious jibe at the other Khans- Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan. Read more here.
Hyderabad: Posing as CBI officials, five unidentified persons looted 40 kg gold from a Muthoot Finance officer here on Wednesday, the city police said.
The con men escaped with gold ornaments valued at about Rs 10 crore after first gaining access through the CBI pretence and then threatening the staff with weapons at the Ramachandrapuram office of the company on the outskirts of the city.
Cyberabad Police Commissioner Sandeep Shandilya said they also looted Rs 1 lakh cash.
Initially police had stated that 46 kg gold was looted.
According to police, five persons came to Muthoot Finance branch in the morning and told the staff that they were Central Bureau of Investigation officials and wanted to check records and gold in the lockers as they were investigating a case of theft.
When the branch manager said he was not in a position to show the lockers without permission from top officials, the unidentified men threatened action against him for disobeying orders of CBI officials.
When the lockers were opened, the intruders started collecting the golden ornaments in their bags. As the employees raised objection, one of the men whipped out a gun, threatened the branch manager and other employees and locked them in a bathroom.
The robbers also took away the hard disk of CCTV cameras with them.
Police have launched a massive hunt for the robbers, who escaped in a black coloured Scorpio.
The police commissioner said 16 teams have been formed to track down the culprits. Police were trying to identify the con men by analysing the footage from CCTV cameras around Muthoot Finance branch.
The policemen were searching vehicles along Hyderabad-Mumbai highway from Ramachandrapuram to Zaheerabad town in Sangareddy district.
Meanwhile, dozens of account holders who had kept their gold in Muthoot Finance branch gathered outside and wanted to know from the officials as to when will they get back their gold.
The officials told the people that their gold was completely insured. They said nobody should be worried as Muthoot Finance has 160 tonnes of gold at 4,500 branches spread across the country.
First Published On : Dec 28, 2016 17:21 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid speculations, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday ruled out the possibility of an alliance with any political party for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.Addressing the media, Mulayam said, “Samajwadi party is not forming an alliance with anyone.” The SP supremo also said that the BJP will get a befitting reply for demonetization from the people itself.Last week, amid whispers about an SP-Congress-RLD alliance, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had said that the party was ready to contest the Uttar Pradesh polls, due next year, on its own for now.Singh also said that the party had declared a list of 325 candidates and the names of candidates for rest of the 78 seats would be announced soon. The party has given tickets to 176 sitting MLAs.(More details awaited)
The Narendra Modi government’s demonetisation ordinance, passed by Cabinet on Wednesday, is only a technical requirement to extinguish the RBI’s liability on banned Rs 500, Rs 1,000 currency notes, and will not mean much both for the government and the common man.
Reason: The relevance of the ordinance is almost nil otherwise since 90 percent of the demonetised money has already come back to the system. Hence, it is unlikely that the ordinance will scare the crooks and force them dump their illegal cash in PMGKY or banks. For citizens with legitimate funds, there is little to worry. They still have time till 31 March to deposit their money in RBI counters. Only tax cheats, who are in no position to take their ill-gotten wealth to day light need to fear.
Going by the reports, the ordinance will effectively penalise any one holding demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes after 31 March, when the deadline to deposit these notes at the RBI window ends. According to the ordinance, named the Specified Bank Notes Cessation of Liabilities Ordinance, holding these notes after 31 March deadline would be a criminal offence that can attract a penalty, including a jail term, for possession of the scrapped 500 and 1,000 rupee notes beyond a cut-off date.
The cabinet also approved the decision to extinguish the liability of the government and the central bank on the demonetised high-denomination notes to prevent future litigations.
As mentioned above, this ordinance is only a technicality and wouldn’t serve much purpose for the government since out of the Rs 15.4 lakh crore currency demonetised on 8 November, already Rs 14 lakh crore have already come back, according to reports. For the common man too, there is no reason to worry on depositing his money. That means nearly, all the money government invalidated on 8 November has found their way back to the banking system.
Also, people can deposit whatever money remaining with them in banned currencies in bank branches till 30 December. Even after that, there is a window at designated RBI branches until 31 March. Only those with unaccounted cash with them needs to worry since depositing money at RBI counters will attract tighter scrutiny.
The only purpose of this ordinance is to legally terminate RBI’s liability on the banned currencies to prevent future litigations. Similar ordinance was promulgated in 1978 too to extinguish government’s liability after Rs 1,000, Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 notes were demonetised by the Janata Party government under Morarji Desai. Unless the liability is legally ended, the RBI cannot refuse someone carrying an old Rs 500, Rs 1000 note and claiming its value in a court of law, since it will continue to remain as a legal tender. This is the reason why the ordinance was necessitated.
For the tax cheats, the final deadline of 31 March is crucial. If they fail to deposit the money either at bank branches or RBI, or deposit in the black money declaration scheme, PMGKY by 31 March, they will have to face prosecution.
But only fools will keep the old currency with them beyond March, when these notes will cease to be legal tender. Smart tax cheats with unaccounted cash would have pushed their money into different bank accounts using benamis since 10 November instead of waiting to walk into RBI counters to face scrutiny and where chances of getting caught are high. The RBI window is originally meant for high value depositors, like institutions, who couldn’t deposit their old notes by 30 December.
The short point here is the demonetisation ordinance means little, beyond technicality, both for common man and the Modi government.
First Published On : Dec 28, 2016 16:00 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) summoning the Trinamool Congress MPs is nothing but political revenge of the Centre.”This is nothing but political revenge. This can’t stop the Trinamool Congress (TMC). We will stand by our people,” Mamata told the media.The CBI has issued summons to two TMC MPs- Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Tapas Paul, in connection with the alleged Rose Valley scam, one of the cases being probed by the investigating agency as part of the umbrella chit fund scams.Both the TMC MPs have been asked to appear at the CBI office on December 30.The CBI had filed its charge sheet in the Rose Valley Group chit fund scam naming Kundu and three others in a special court in Bhubaneswar on January 7.The firm was charged with defrauding depositors of Rs. 17,000 crore from across the country of which Rs. 450 crore was received by the ponzi firm from Odisha alone.In its charge sheet, CBI had claimed that it was still probing the role of ‘influential people’ in the scam.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Ashok Chavan on Wednesday said the party will launch a state wide stir from first week of January to protest against demonetization since the hardships of the common man continued even after the end of the 50-day window.Chavan was addressing party workers at a function here to mark the 132nd foundation day of the Congress.”Fifty days have passed since demonetization and despite assurance from Prime Minister Narendra Modi that people’s hardships will ease, the ground reality is different,” Chavan said.Attacking the Prime Minister, Chavan charged he should answer the questions posed by party Vice President Rahul Gandhi regarding allegations of bribery.Escalating his attack on Modi over note ban in the last couple of days, Rahul had said that demonetisation was not a surgical strike on corruption and black money as projected by the Prime Minister and his ministers but was an “economic robbery” and “firebombing on India’s poor”.Rahul says the Prime Minister has put “99 per cent people” in the country to hardships and not targeted the “1 per cent super rich” who “held all the black money”.According to him, five per cent of every online transactions in a cashless economy will go to “those 50 families”.The Congress VP has also been reiterating his charge of “crores of rupees” allegedly being paid to Modi by big business houses on different occasions when he was Gujarat Chief Minister and has sought the PM’s reply to the charges.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A number of mail and express trains of Eastern Railway were diverted through different routes on Wednesday owing to derailment of 15 coaches of Ajmer-Sealdah Express near Rura station in Kanpur-Tundla section. With both Up and Down lines having been blocked owing to the derailment, several trains to and from Howrah and Sealdah were diverted, Eastern Railway sources said in Kolkata.Both 12313 Up Sealdah-New Delhi Rajdhani Express and 12301 Up Howrah-New Delhi Rajdhani Express were diverted via Kanpur Central-Jhansi-Agra Cantonment-Palwal route, the sources said. The 12308 Dn Jodhpur-Howrah Express has been diverted via Achhnera-Mathura-Kasganj-Kanpur Anwarganj-Kanpur Central, while 12260 Dn New Delhi-Sealdah Duronto Express was diverted via Khurja-Moradabad-Mughalsarai route.The 12382 Dn Poorva Express, which left New Delhi on Tuesday, would run via Palwal, while 12312 Dn Kalka Mail of Tuesday would travel towards Howrah via Moradabad. ER has opened helpline numbers at important stations of the zonal railway to provide information to the relatives of the passengers travelling by the ill-fated Sealdah-Ajmer Express that met with the accident this morning.The helpline numbers are — Howrah: 10724, Sealdah: 033-23503535, 033-23503537, Asansol: 0341-2306131, 0341-2304614, Barddhaman: 0342-2662535, 0342-2550705, 0342-2662534, Raniganj: 0341-2444022, 0341- 2442630, Durgapur: 0343-2557251, 0343-2557253.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Suspended AIADMK MP Sasikala Pushpa’s lawyer was attacked outside the party office in Chennai on Wednesday afternoon.According to initial reports, the attack took place when four lawyers from Pushpa’s team had gone to AIADMK headquarters to submit a letterOn December 18, Pushpa had moved Supreme Court seeking a CBI probe or a judicial investigation by an apex court judge into the death of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.In her petition, Pushpa alleged that Jayalalithaa’s death was “suspicious” as her actual medical condition was not disclosed, no one was allowed to visit her, her funeral photographs showed embalming marks and everything, from her hospitalisation to her death, “was kept under wraps”. Meanwhile, though the Madras High Court rejected Pushpa’s bail plea, the Supreme Court gave her protection from arrest and on September 26, directed her to join the police investigation.A case was recently registered against Pushpa and some of her family members for alleged sexual harassment of their maids in 2001. The domestic servants, who reportedly worked at Pushpa’s house in Tamil Nadu, had filed a police complaint alleging that they were tortured.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Outgoing Air Force chief Arup Raha came out in support of former chief SP Tyagi, recently arrested in the Rs 3,600 AgustaWestland helicopter deal case being probed by the CBI, drawing a parallel with the Bofors case where charges of corruption could not be established.Calling Tyagi a member of the Air Force family, Raha said his sympathies were with the former chief. “If a member of your family goes through a rough patch, you will have sympathy for him. If he is found guilty, punish him,” Raha said on Wednesday while addressing a press conference. He is due to hang up his uniform on December 31.Raha appeared to downplay the allegations, saying nothing could be proved as in the Bofors case. “Corruption issues have come up from time to time. Despite investigation, not much was achieved,” he said.Tyagi, who has been granted bail, was recently arrested three years after CBI named him as an accused in the helicopter deal. The agency was not able to file a charge sheet but arrested him for custodial interrogation based on new facts.A Delhi court granted Tyagi bail despite CBI’s opposition. It is alleged that as Air Force chief Tyagi took kickbacks to change the specifications of the VVIP helicopters, swinging the deal in favour of AgustaWestland.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiv Sena on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that the proposed law against ‘benami’ properties would not hit the common man as hard as the demonetization measure that has “harried the middle class”.Vowing to carry forward the war against corruption and black money post-demonetization, Modi had on Sunday said the government will soon operationalise a strong law to effectively deal with ‘benami’ properties.”Modi launched a surgical strike against black money to weed out money stashed abroad. But the truth is, not a single penny has been recovered. The rich of the country have incurred not even a dime’s loss after the demonetization, whereas the commonman has been harried,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said.”Now what is the government’s plan against benami properties? We hope that the middle class citizens are not crushed under the harsh steps taken by the government as did happen after demonetization. Hope that the real benami property holders do not legalise their properties while common man is stripped naked,” the ruling alliance partner said.It also said the steps taken against the rich and black money holders in fact had an adverse effect on the common people.Once an announcement on benami properties is made, those possessing estates will convert all of it into “white” within 24 hours, like hundreds of crores were converted into “white” after the demonetization decision, the Sena said.”It seems that laws are only meant to safeguard the rich while the poor get crushed under them,” it further said.The party also said that those who were hailing the surgical strike across the LoC have now stopped doing so after continued attacks by the neighbouring nation killed over 50 soldiers since the Indian military action.The Sena also sought to know from the government if it will ensure that Kashmiri Pandits get their “fair share” of land back in Kashmir before it starts accumulating ‘benami’ properties.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mumbai Customs sleuths on Wednesday seized cash totalling around Rs 69 lakh in two separate cases here, which included recovery of Rs 25 lakh in 2,000 rupee notes.The Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of the Customs made these seizures at the international airport here in the wee hours and four persons were arrested in this connection.In the first case, foreign currency worth over Rs 43 lakh was recovered from three passengers — Shaikh Waheed Ali, Mohammed Sohail and Shaikh Pasha — who arrived here from Hyderabad.”A detailed examination of the baggage of Ali resulted in recovery of 1,39,000 Saudi Riyals, 5,65,000 UAE Dirhams and 14,000 Australian dollars,” said a Customs official, adding that the total value was Rs 43.97 lakhs.This money was found wrapped in newspapers and was concealed in their check-in baggage.The trio in their statement have said that they brought the foreign currency from Saudi Arabia during their visit last week but did not declare the money before the Customs.”They have also said that they came to Mumbai for conversion of the currency expecting good returns,” the official said.They were arrested after a case under Customs Act and Foreign Exchange Management Act was registered against them.In another case, one Arif Koyante who was departing to Dubai was arrested after Rs 25 lakh, in denominations of Rs 2000, was seized from him.Officials said a search of his baggage yielded 1,250 notes kept in 52 different envelopes made of white paper.”These envelopes containing currency were further placed inside layers of 13 cardboards on which ready made garments were neatly wrapped,” said the official adding that the currency was seized on the reasonable belief that it was attempted to be smuggled out of India.A case under Customs Act and FEMA has been registered against Arif and he has admitted to possession, carriage, concealment and recovery, the official said.
Wed, 28 Dec 2016-12:52pm , Jammu and Kashmir , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday directed Mehbooba Mufti-led government to immediately release separatist leader Masarat Alam from preventive custody.A bench of Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar quashed Alam’s detention after hearing his counsel Mian Abdul Qayoom and the state counsel.Alam, who has been languishing in jail for the past six years on charges of fomenting trouble and posing a threat to public safety in the Valley, was booked under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) following the 2010 violent unrest.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Upping the ante on the government’s demonetization drive, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sacrificed the common man in ‘yagna’ against black money.He further said that demonetization ‘yagna’ is aimed at benefiting the rich.Addressing the media on the party’s foundation day, Rahul demanded that PM Modi must reveal the amount of BlackMoney recovered since demonetization.Here are the demands made by Rahul Gandhi# Modi has performed demonetization yagna for 50 families. Many people have suffered and for this loss, government should give compensation.# Modi should reveal how much black money recovered post November 8, how much economic loss nation suffered and how many people lost their lives.# Government should come out with list of those who deposited more than Rs 25 lakh in their accounts before demonetization.# Restrictions on withdrawals must be lifted now. It is taking away the financial independence of the people.# PM must explain how he will he compensate farmers who are affected the most by demonetization.# Farmers have been hit the most, PM should waive off their loans and give bonus at 20% MSP. # A sum of Rs 25,000 should be deposited in the account of every woman of a BPL family that has suffered post demonetization.# Double MNREGA wages and Income Tax and Sales Tax rebate for small businessmen and shopkeepers.
At least two people are dead after a train derailed near Kanpur in India’s Uttar Pradesh state.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday said that thorough investigation will be carried out after several passengers were injured in Ajmer-Sealdah express derailment.At least two people were killed and 26 others injured as 14 coaches of the train derailed near Rura railway station in Kanpur Dehat district.Taking to micro-blogging site, in a series of tweets, Prabhu said, “Personally monitoring the situation in wake of unfortunate derailment of Sealdah-Ajmer express near Kanpur. Have directed senior officials to reach the site immediately.”The minister said that immediate medical help and necessary assistance is being provided to the injured and passengers to ensure least inconvenience.Stating that thorough investigation will be carried out to ascertain the cause, Prabhu said, “Ex-gratia will be paid to injured. We are making alternate arrangements for passengers to continue with their onward journey.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After prime minister Narendra Modi first proposed to observe June 21 as Yoga Day in the future during his September 27, 2014 speech in the United Nations General Assembly, the sports ministry swung into action and immediately decided to included yoga in the list of sport. However, it the decision has been reversed now.Around 14 months ago, when yoga was included as a ‘sport’ and taken away from the ‘performing art’ category, it was expected to create millions of jobs around the country. Backed by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the sports ministry was even contemplating to include different age-group yoga competitions held at the future National Games apart from recognising the Yoga Federation of India soon.But all that proved to be short-lived joy for those yoga practitioners as the sports ministry has now decided to change its decision, which means that yoga can’t be termed as a sport any more.The decision was taken after a review meeting of the sports ministry on yoga was held earlier this month that was attended by sports minister Vijay Goel. In a communique sent to Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and other related departments on Wednesday, it has been said that the “de-recognition” had the approval of the sports minister and would come into force with immediate effect.”Yoga will continue to be handled by Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy),” the letter said.What were the reasons that such a drastic change in decision was taken in merely 15 months?”It is the ministry’s lack of vision and its inability to hold national championships that forced it to drop yoga as a sport,” a senior source in the sports ministry said. “We failed to realise before including yoga as a sport that there was no way we could have held a national championship with so many aasnas involved.”It has been learnt that ministry did discuss the issue with a number of yoga experts before concluding that “it would be nearly impossible to hold Nationals in yoga”.Moreover, there were not many genuine people coming forward to form a federation and to add to that, whoever was showing interest was only looking for government funding.Modi, on the other hand, has been leading the charge in spreading awareness on yoga for the last two years.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil Nadu’s ex-Chief Secretary P. Rama Mohana Rao, whose premises was raided by the income tax (IT) department was this week, has been admitted to the Ramachandra hospital .Rao was admitted to ICU after he complained of chest pain.The IT Department had on Wednesday raided his office and residence.Rao, has been chief secretarys in June 2016, and also holds additional charge as Vigilance Commissioner and Commissioner of Administrative Reforms.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 21-year-woman was allegedly drugged and raped by two men in southwest Delhi’s Dwarka, following which the accused were arrested, police said.The accused have been identified Sunil (26) and Himmat(22), DCP(Southwest) Surender Kumar said.The woman claimed that she was brought forcefully from Gurgaon to a flat in southwest Delhi on Wednesday night where the accused drugged raped her, they said.The flat is rented by Nitin, Sunil’s driver. Nitin was out of town when Himmat and Sunil allegedly took the girl there.The incident came to light while the girl was trying to escape from the flat and fell from the window into the shaft and sustained severe injuries. While trying to prevent her from escaping, Himmat also fell from the window, police said, adding Sunil had gone out when this happened.Hearing the duo’s cries, the neighbours made a PCR call alleging that some thieves were hiding in the shaft.The girl sustained severe back injuries and was taken to DDU Hospital from where she was referred to Safdarjung Hospital where her condition is stated to be stable, they said.After gaining consciousness, she told police that the duo raped her after she lost consciousness upon being drugged.The accused were arrested after the woman’s medical examination was conducted, police said.On the other hand, the accused claimed she came with them willingly and that they didn’t kidnap her. They said Sunil had gone out to get some food while Himmat and the girl were drinking in the flat.They claimed that Sunil and the woman were standing near the window when they lost balance and fell, they said.Himmat hails from Mahendragarh in Haryana and had come to Delhi around 15-20 days back to work with Sunil, whose cars were earlier plying for Uber, a police official said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As more and more details emerge after the recent arrest of Kolkata-based tycoon Parasmal Lodha for money laundering, Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials are unravelling a complicated nexus between Lodha and other businessmen for whom he was fradulently converting old notes into new. On Wednesday, ED officials nabbed Lodha at Mumbai airport from where he had been allegedly planning to escape to Malaysia. During interrogation, Lodha admitted that post the Prime Minister’s announcement on demonetization he and his associates had converted old demonetized currency of at least Rs 25 crores into new currency notes for various business tycoons. For this, he would receive commissions that would range from 15 to 20 per cent.Post Lodha’s arrest, officials say they are continuing investigation under the provisions of the Money Laundering Act and that further investigations are going on in the matter.Lodha’s name popped up on the ED’s radar after raids were carried out on the office of Delhi-based lawyer Rohit Tandon, who is the managing partner of T&T law firm, where Rs 13.62 crore, including Rs. 2.62 crores of new denomination notes of Rs. 2000, was recovered on December 10 and seized. Pursuant to this, an FIR was registered by the Crime Branch, Delhi.On questioning Tandon, ED officials zeroed in on Lodha’s name and two visits this week, before his arrest at Mumbai airport, were made by them to his Kolkata home, Lodha House. This is located in Queens Park in Ballygunge, one of the poshest localities in the city. Officials investigating the case told DNA that an estimated Rs 2.6 lakh in new notes was recovered from his Kolkata home in the raid. “We are hopeful that his (Lodha’s) arrest will give us new leads into who else from Kolkata was involved in the racket of converting illegal currency notes into new ones,” said a senior official investigating the Lodha case.Commenting on Lodha’s modus operandi to convert old notes into new, investigative officials said that it appeared that he and his associates acquired new currency notes illegally, through unauthorised channels, with the possible collusion with bank officials. This, say officials, is the only likely explanation, as the recovery of such huge quantity of new currency notes is not possible under the existing guidelines and restrictions put forward by the government and the Reserve Bank of India on withdrawal of cash.Lodha seemed to have had a chequered past even before his alleged involvement in money laundering. In Kolkata, a business associate, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that he would hardly mingle with the business community here, perhaps because he had run into controversies before. “He had been known for his association with several building projects where floors had been added illegally. Lodha had also been questioned by investigators after the infamous Stephen Court fire on Park Street in March 2010, which killed 43 people,” he said.Lodha had also hit the headlines in 1991 for taking over the then largest non-banking financial institution, Peerless General Finance and Investment Company Limited, alleging that it was being mismanaged and he had plans of a thorough revamp of it.Apart from real estate, he had expanded his business to mining, consultancy firms and dealing in antiques. It was believed that he had shifted his base to Delhi because he had found the antique market more lucrative there.
PALM BEACH, Fla./WASHINGTON U.S. President-elect Donald Trump called on Thursday for the country to expand its nuclear weapons capabilities until the world “comes to its senses” – a signal he may support costly efforts to modernize the aging U.S. nuclear arsenal.During the next decade, U.S. ballistic missile submarines, bombers, and land-based missiles – the three legs of the nuclear triad – are expected to reach the end of their useful lives.Maintaining and modernizing the arsenal is expected to cost at about $1 trillion dollars over 30 years, according to independent estimates. [nL2N1C21ED]”The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes,” Trump said in a post on Twitter.
Trump, who is at his Florida resort for the Christmas holiday, gave no details about what prompted his tweet. Representatives for his transition team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Trump, who won election on Nov. 8 and takes office on Jan. 20, campaigned on a platform of building up the U.S. military, but also pledged to cut taxes and control federal spending.
Trump met on Wednesday with a dozen Pentagon officials involved with defense acquisition programs, as well as the chief executives of Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) and Boeing Co (BA.N), the country’s two largest defense contractors. Trump said he talked with the CEOs about lowering costs for two high-profile programs: Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jets and Boeing’s replacement 744-8s for the presidential Air Force One plane.
Defense stocks were little changed after Trump’s tweet, but shares of small uranium miners including Uranium Resources Inc (URRE.O) and Uranium Energy Corp (UEC.A) rose sharply. [nL1N1EH15P] (Reporting by Melissa Fares in Palm Beach, Florida and Lewis Krauskopf in New York; Writing by Susan Heavey and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Frances Kerry)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
First Published On : Dec 22, 2016 23:37 IST
It has been more than a month since the Narendra Modi government decided to demonetise high-denomination notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 and even though queues outside banks and ATMs might have shortened from how they used to be, income tax officials have been busy with several high-profile seizures of cash and gold. Some of the seizures reflect poorly on the government — in a few instances new currency notes were seized as well which in turn raises questions about the BJP government’s decision.
Since 8 November, the Income Tax department has detected Over Rs 3,185 crore of undisclosed income, while seizing Rs 86 crore worth of new notes, as part of its country-wide operations against black money hoarders. Official sources said the taxman carried out a total of 677 search, survey and enquiry operations under the provisions of the Income Tax Act since the note ban was declared on 8 November, even as the department has issued over 3,100 notices to various entities on charges of tax evasion and hawala-like dealings.
The I-T department, they said, has also seized cash and jewellery worth over Rs 428 crore during the same period.
The agency has also referred over 220 cases to its sister agencies like the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to probe other financial crimes like money laundering, disproportionate assets and corruption as part of their legal mandate.
Here are some of the biggest raids conducted by tax sleuths since the high-profile cleanup of the Indian economy began:
Kolkata businessman raided
Kolkata businessman Parasmal Lodha was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate for allegedly converting over Rs 25 crore in demonetised currency notes into new ones, reports News18. According to the report, Lodha has links with industrialist J Shekhar Reddy, who was arrested along with his associate K Srinivasulu on Wednesday.
Chennai airport raid
In the latest development, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence busted a hawala gang and seized Rs 1.34 Crore in Rs 2000 notes & $ 7000 from five persons in early morning hours, near Chennai airport, reported ANI.
Tamil Nadu chief secretary, his son under taxmen scanner
The house and office of Tamil Nadu chief secretary P Rama Mohana Rao was on Wednesday searched by Income Tax officials who claimed to have recovered Rs 30 lakh cash in new notes and five kgs of gold besides getting “disclosure” about Rs five crore of unaccounted income.
On Thursday, tax sleuths raided his son, Vivek Rao’s office in Chennai. Sources told NDTV that the taxmen are probing the source of funding for the six companies that Rao established in 2012.
Continuing raids in Chennai
On 20 November, taxmen raided the premises of a prominent engineering college after reports arose of the owner depositing Rs eight crore in unaccounted cash in the accounts of employees. IT officials later found that the amount was deposited in over 400 bank accounts.
According to The Indian Express, on 8 December, the IT department busted a money exchange racket in the Tamil Nadu capital, seizing Rs 90 crore in cash, of which 70 crore were in new notes, along with 100 kgs of gold.
The Income Tax officials on Monday seized demonetised currency notes worth Rs 10 crore and a few kilogrammes of diamond and gold jewellery during a raid in the house and showroom of a jeweller in Chennai.
BJP leader arrested with new notes
On 6 December, the Special Task Force arrested former West Bengal BJP leader Mahesh Sharma, after Rs 33 Lakh in form of Rs 2,000 notes was confiscated from him.
New notes found in ‘secret chamber’
In a surprise raid at a hawala operator’s residence in Hubballi led to the Karnataka and Goa taxmen unearthing Rs 5.7 crore in new cash, The Times of India reported. The stash of new cash, interestingly, was found in a secret chamber in the bathroom.
Post note ban Rs 30 crore seized in Maharashtra excluding Mumbai
Post demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, the Income Tax department seized about Rs 30 crore in cash, including Rs 12.32 crore in new bills, from Maharashtra, excluding Mumbai.
The cash was seized during 57 surveys and search operation carried out since the decommissioning of the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, I-T department said in a release in Mumbai.
CBI raid at Hyderabad post offices
The CBI conducted surprise raids after the note ban. During one such search at the Himayatnagar Post office, the invetigation agency found Rs 40 lakh. The raid took place on reports of irregularites in phasing out of old currency notes.
Bahubali producer raided in Hyderabad
The IT department raided the residences and offices of the producers of the multi-lingual blockbuster Bahubali, Business Standard reported. Shobu Yarlagadda and Prasad Devineni, the two producers, were at the recieving end of the taxmen, as Rs 60 crore worth of new notes were found during the raids.
G Janardhan reddy under IT scanner
On 21 November, within days after G Janardhan Reddy’s daughter’s lavish wedding grabbed headlines for its splendour, Income Tax Department raided the mining baron’s offices in Bellari.
A team of five I-T Department officials raided the former BJP lawmaker’s Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) offices.
NGO linked to Pakistan singer raided
On November 18, Delhi police and the IT department raided the offices of a NGO, Routes of Roots, run by the managers of eminent Pakistani singer Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan, after it recieved reports of illegal conversion of black money.
IT raids in Chandigarh college
The Enforcement Directorate on Monday seized Rs 50 lakh cash, including Rs 46.80 lakh in new notes, after raids at the premises of an educational institute’s owner. Acting on a tip-off, the ED sleuths swooped down on the premises of the owner of Swami Devi Dyal Group of Institutes in Chandigarh.
Over two crores seized from Meerut engineer
Cash worth more than Rs 2.67 crore in both old and new notes, and 30 kilograms of silver were seized from an engineer, working in the irrigation department, by the Income tax sleuths on Tuesday.
With inputs from PTI
First Published On : Dec 22, 2016 14:26 IST
Tamil Nadu’s chief secretary P Rama Mohana Rao was sacked from his post on Thursday following Income Tax Department’s raids on his official residence in Chennai, reports said.
Rao, who was appointed as the new chief secretary just six months ago in a major reshuffle, has been replaced by Girija Vaidyanathan, an Indian Administrative Service officer of the 1981 batch, CNN-News18 said.
Apart from taking on the role as chief secretary, Vaidyanathan will also hold full additional charge of vigilance commissioner and commissioner for administrative reforms, The Hindu said.
Vaidyanathan was serving as the additional chief secretary and commissioner of land administration in Tamil Nadu, CNN-News18, said. However, according to The Hindu, she is just two and half years away from retirement.
On Wednesday, the I-T Department had initiated raids on 13 premises including Rao’s official residence in Chennai, his son, Vivek’s house in the city, and that of his relatives in Andhra Pradesh.
According to reports, the raids started at Rao’s Annanagar residence in Chennai for 24 hours, during which the tax officials recovered Rs 30 lakh in new Rs 2,000 notes, five kilogrammes of gold and documents with details of undisclosed assets worth about Rs 5 crore, The Indian Express said.
Reports also said that the raid was conducted based on information received from some road contractors who were detained for questioning based on previous raids. Rao was appointed chief secretary in June this year.
First Published On : Dec 22, 2016 13:00 IST
Asif Karadia, a 51-year-old Pakistani national, was denied long-term visa extension by the Bombay High Court on Wednesday. Karadia, whose parents are India, is not a tourist in the country, but has been living in India for the last 49 years.
According to Mumbai Mirror, Karadia was born in Karachi, and his mother is a naturalised Indian. Karadia had applied for an Indian passport in 2012, but the authorities rejected the application and asked Karadia to apply for a long term-visa. This was extended twice and it was valid till last December.
Karadia, 51, could face deportation after having lived in the country for 49 years as the court said that it would not be able to decide on renewing his visa. Karadia’s case has been postponed to 17 January and he has been denied interim relief by the division bench comprising of AS Oka and Anuja Prabhudesai.
Abbas Karadia, his father, was quoted by Mumbai Mirror saying: “We never thought this would become such a big issue…Asif has never been to Pakistan again and doesn’t want citizenship of that country.”
An Asian Age report claims that the court rejected Karadia’s application on grounds that Karadia did not have a Pakistani passport and a visa couldn’t be issued without a passport. According to a report in Hindustan Times, the court ordered a probe into how the central government had been issuing Karadia long-term visas for so many years without Karadia possessing neither an Indian not a Pakistani passport.
Karadia’s father Abbas and his wife Zaibunnisa were born in India. Karadia’s mother Zaibunnisa migrated to Pakistan with her family in 1947, therefore becoming a Pakistani national, but almost twenty years after that, she came back to India and married Abbas. Karadia was born in Karachi because his mother went to Pakistan for the delivery and at the time there was no system to issue a passport to the infant.
First Published On : Dec 22, 2016 11:23 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Protesting against the rise in semester fees, several officials of IIT-Kharagpur including the director, deputy director, dean, and registrar were gheraoed by students of the premier institution for about 15 hours.The gherao was lifted Wednesday morning after intervention of officials from the Hijli outpost located on campus. Students however, maintained that their protest would continue.On December 7, a notice was issued by the IIT administration saying that there would be a hike in the semester fees by about Rs 7550. “As a result, the expenses for research scholars and M Tech students would shoot up to Rs 37,000 from being a little over Rs 29,000 at present. We have to pay semester fees every six months,” said one of the protesters. He also alleged that faculty members have retorted to their protest saying that if they were so unhappy with the fee structure they should not have come to study at the IIT.It was found out that a research scholar and an M Tech student get a stipend of Rs 25,000 and Rs 12,400, respectively.A student said that given the stipend it was as it is very difficult to manage, especially for those who came from economically weak families. “In a recent development, the menu of the mess here has been generalised and we don’t get to choose what we eat and will have to eat off a set menu, and on top of that we have to pay Rs 90 daily for food,” said another protester. He also alleged that the fee hike was only for IIT-Kharagpur and no other IITs of the country have done so.Students chanting slogans and holding placards demonstrated in front of the Director’s building yesterday at about 10pm, preventing officials from leaving.Institute officials said that the fee hike was owing to the payment of salary to some of the institute employees. “The director and the registrar have talked to the students’ representatives this morning and it has been decided that the problem would be solved through a dialogue. Although the fee structure remains as it was according to the last notification, there is possibility of a restructuring after another round of meeting with the students’ representatives,” said a senior official of the institute.Later, talking to DNA, registrar of the institution, Pradip Payne said that the protest was mainly against the rise in charges for the hostel and hostel mess. Maintaining that there was no police intervention he said,
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday directed the Union ministries of environment and water resources to sit down and resolve their differences on the issue of Zonal Master Plan for the Bhagirathi eco-sensitive zone. The three-member principal bench, headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar, refused to listen to the reservations of water resources ministry, and instead directed them to come back only when the issue between the two ministries was resolved.“On Monday, the ministry of water resources will be meeting with the ministry of environment and the Uttarakhand Government to clarify objections and deficiencies of the Zonal Master Plan, submitted by the state,” said justice Kumar. “In the next meeting, the matter should be finalised and the ministry of water resources should specify the way forward. The applicant will also be present in the meeting.”The directions of the bench came after counsel for water resources ministry said that they had certain objections regarding the Zonal Master Plan that need to be addressed.As per ministry sources, the revised Zonal Master Plan on Bhagirathi eco-sensitive zone is simply a compilation of activities of all departments of the Uttarakhand Government rather than scientific studies.Meanwhile, Colin Gonsalves, counsel for the petitioner said to the bench that the Zonal Master Plan is actually a plan for commercial activity. Gonsalves also pointed that the secretary, union water resources ministry Shashi Shekhar has made scathing remarks regarding the Zonal Master Plan and the plans of the environment ministry to permit 10 hydropower projects in the Bhagirathi eco-sensitive zone.A letter written by Shekhar to his counterpart in the environment ministry, questioned the plans to consider approving 10 hydropower projects and river-bed mining up to two metres depth in the eco-sensitive zone.The projects, the secretary said, signal the impending environment disaster in the eco-sensitive zone. The Bhagirathi eco-sensitive area was notified in 2012 to protect the 100kms Gaumukh to Uttar Kashi stretch of Bhagirathi, spread across 4,179 sq kms.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary P Rama Mohana Rao was surprised by Income-Tax (I-T) officials who stormed into his residence, 17/184, Anna Nagar, at 5.30 am on Wednesday, seizing a massive amount of black money and gold. Speaking to DNA, sources said that the search of Rao’s home unearthed an estimated Rs 18 lakh in cash and gold bars. Investigators have so far recovered Rs 48 lakh in new currency notes and 17 kg gold from the premises of Rao and his relatives.Investigating sources said that the powerful and well connected bureaucrat of the 1985 batch was thick with sand-mining baron and PWD contractor Sekar Reddy, whose home has also been recently raided by the I-T, the CBI and the ED. I-T officials questioned Mohana Rao about the seized assets from the house of Sekar Reddy and their links.A team of about 100 tax sleuths, aided by a platoon (about 35 personnel) of the Central Reserve Police Force, raided at least 15 premises in the state and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh as part of the tax evasion probe.TurnSources said that the department has found Rao’s name on seized documents taken from Reddy’s home. Allegedly, Rao was indulging in the conversion of old notes into gold.About 100 tax officials are still raiding 13 places belonging to Rao, his son, relatives, and other associates in Chennai, Bengaluru, and Chittoor. The raids, top I-T sources said, were launched against Rao’s son Vivek Papisetty and his relatives.Around Rs 18 lakh in new notes and two gold bars of 1 kg each were seized from the premises of Papisetty’s father-in-law based in Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh. I-T Department sources said on Wednesday that the raids had been going on in Badrinariyan’s house since 5.30 am. Badrinariyan is a close relative of Chittoor MLA DA Sathya Prabha, brother of former MP Adikesavulu. I-T officials also said that the raids are also linked to a tax evasion investigation against Rao’s son Vikram Rao. Earlier this month, taxmen had found over 100 kg of gold, Rs 96 crore in banned Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes and Rs 34 crore in new currency notes in raids at the homes of three Tamil Nadu businessmen, one of whom, J Shekar Reddy, allegedly has business links with the chief secretary’s son.Rao is one of Tamil Nadu’s most powerful bureaucrats. He is said to have played a key role in J Jayalalithaa’s companion Sasikala Natarajan coming to the forefront of politics in the state after the former chief minister died in hospital earlier this month.Meanwhile, sand mining baron Reddy was arrested on Wednesday. This comes a day after the ED registered a case against him and his associates on Tuesday. A CBI official said a case against the accused has been registered.Reddy was taken into custody after several hours of questioning by the CBI and has been sent to custody till January 3, 2017.Reddy’s arrest made headlines after I-T searches at his residence and office resulted in the seizure of Rs 131 crore and 127 kg of gold. The Rs 131 crore included newly introduced notes of Rs 2,000 worth Rs 34 crore (seized on two different occasions) besides 127 kg of gold found from him and his associates Srinivasa Reddy and Prem Kumar, whose homes were also raided.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Ministry of Defence on Wednesday described Lt General Praveen Bakshi’s meeting with defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday as a “courtesy call”, but sources in army headquarters claimed it was the minster who sought a meeting with the Eastern Army Commander. Following the seniority principle Bakshi should have been appointed army chief, but the government selected Lt Gen Bipin Rawat, currently the vice chief.It was not just Lt Gen Bakshi but Southern Army commander Lt Gen PM Hariz was also superseded.The contrary claims led to speculation about the fate of Lt Gen Bakshi. While there was talk of his offering in his resignation, there was also buzz about the possibility of the officer being accommodated.”A top rated army commander cannot be wasted like this,” said an army officer in South Block.Sources said one of the options was to appoint him as the Permanent Chairman of the Chief of Staff Committee. Currently, the senior most among the service chiefs holds the post and there is no provision for a permanent chairman.There is also talk of Lt Gen Bakshi being sent as Ambassador. The proposed Chief of Defence Staff is also an option, but sources say there is little time for creating the position.Lt Gen Bakshi was Lt Gen Rawat’s immediate boss until recently in the Eastern Command. The decision has triggered a controversy among officers, fearing this could set a new trend of politicising the forces.Justifying the decision, the government came out with an explanation that Rawat was chosen over the other two, keeping in mind his experience in operations in Jammu and Kashmir. Analysing the volatile situation in Kashmir after a series of terror strikes, a candidate with sound knowledge of operations there was thought to be the right choice, sources said.Lt General Bakshi has commanded the 9 Corps in Yol, Himachal Pradesh, commanded an armoured brigade in the Western sector, a division in the deserts, and a corps in the plains sector of Punjab, and Jammu and Kashmir.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In third such incident within two days, a shop on the ground floor of Zuber Mansion in Pydhonie, in south Mumbai caught fire on Wednesday late night. The fire call was reported just before midnight. The fire officer said that it was a level 2 fire in a three storied building.Eight fire engines were rushed to the spot and ten individuals including 7 women have been rescued. This is a developing story. More details awaited.(With inputs from Forum Gandhi)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the last session of the present Assembly, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav tabled second supplementary budget on Wednesday and sought Vote on Account for the first five months of next financial year amid the Opposition sloganeering.Akhilesh, who is also the finance minister of the state, tabled the second supplementary budget of Rs 1,683 crore for the current financial year amidst Opposition party shouting slogans since the morning. He also sought a Vote on Account of Rs 1.35 lakh crore for the first five months of the financial year 2017-2018 in proportion to the estimated budget size of Rs 3.64 lakh crore.Earlier in the day, Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey had to adjourn the House for entire question hour after Opposition, including the BJP and BSP, created pandemonium demanding resignation of Parliamentary Affairs Minister Azam Khan over controversial remarks on Bulandshahr gang rape and dismal law and order.The situation did not change even after the Assembly reassembled and before it was adjourned for the day, the CM hurriedly tabled supplementary budget and interim budget and the house paid tributes to its former chief minister Ram Naresh Yadav, who died following prolonged illness last month.Interestingly, the CM who plans to contest the coming elections on the plank of development has proposed Rs 1,000 crore for land acquisition and construction of Samajwadi Purvanchal Expressway project between Lucknow and Ghazipur and another Rs 4,500 crore for other state roads in the supplementary budget.Besides, Rs 100 crore have been proposed for strengthening the publicity set-up of the state’s information department and Rs 6 crore for additional construction at Mohammad Ali Jauhar University in Azam Khan’s native Rampur.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh on Wednesday ruled out the possibility of giving party tickets to both Navjot Sidhu and his wife for the upcoming assembly polls in the state, saying the ‘one-family-one-ticket’ norm will be strictly enforced.Interestingly, the comments by Singh, who is leading Congress’ campaign in Punjab, came a day after the cricketer- turned politician met Rahul Gandhi.Congress has already finalised half of its candidates for the polls in the state and Singh said it was for the Sidhu couple to decide who among them will contest on Congress ticket. He also said there was no talk in Congress about offering Deputy Chief Minister’s post to Sidhu, adding it was all media creation.”I will meet Sidhu soon to work out the modalities of his joining the party,” the former Punjab chief minister told reporters. Asked about reports of Sidhu contesting from Amritsar East constituency where his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu is a sitting MLA, Singh said, “It was up to the Sidhu couple to decide who will contest. The party will strictly adhere to one-family- one-ticket norm in all cases.”While Navjot Kaur joined the Congress last month, Sidhu is yet to join the party. When Kaur was asked if her husband would join Congress, she had said “Hum do shareer ek aatma hai, fir ek dusre ke bina kab tak reh paenge? (We are two bodies one soul how can we live separately)”.Sidhu’s entry into Congress has been speculated for a long time. Earlier, he was in talks with AAP but the negotiations did not yield any result and led to a split in Sidhu’s recently formed outfit Awaaz-E-Punjab.Asked about selection of remaining candidates, Singh winnability will be the sole criteria and even clearly indicated that some sitting MLAs may be dropped.
By Rupam Jain
| NEW DELHI
NEW DELHI Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s Bharatiya Janata Party denied allegations by Congress politician Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday that Modi had accepted $6 million in suspicious cash payments in the months before winning a 2014 general election.Gandhi, heir apparent to the leadership of the Congress party that has governed India for most of its seven decades of independence, levelled the allegations at a rally in Modi’s home state of Gujarat.He has threatened for weeks to cause an “earthquake” by exposing what he called Modi’s personal corruption. The ensuing row paralysed parliament and caused its winter session to be one of the most acrimonious and unproductive on record.Yet when Gandhi finally went public with the details it turned out that they were known, and were part of a case now before the Supreme Court that was filed by Prashant Bhushan, a lawyer known for pursuing corruption cases.Bhushan’s case rests on evidence recovered during income-tax raids on two business houses, Aditya Birla Group and Sahara that he alleges contains evidence of cash payments to Modi. Spokesmen for both companies could not be reached when called on their mobile numbers after working hours on Wednesday.One recipient of alleged payments in late 2013 and early 2014 totalling at least 400 million rupees ($5.9 million) is listed in the records as “Gujarat CM”. Bhushan alleges this refers to the chief minister of the western state who was Modi at the time.
Modi has not commented either on the Bhushan suit or Gandhi’s allegations but his law minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, denounced them on Wednesday.”I condemn the irresponsible, baseless and shameless allegations of Rahul Gandhi,” Prasad told a hastily convened news conference in New Delhi.The heated and increasingly personal exchanges come as Modi faces growing public anger over a six-week-old crackdown on “black money” that seeks to purge the economy of the proceeds of crime, corruption and tax evasion.
Modi’s cancellation of high-value banknotes worth 86 percent of the cash in circulation last month has caused disruption to the daily lives of people and businesses and could affect elections in key swing states next year.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi, demonetisation is not a surgical strike on black money, but against the poor and honest people of the this country,” Gandhi said in Gujarat, one of the states that goes to the polls next year.The tax authorities did not pursue investigations at the time because they concluded the entries related to a local company.
“We have proof to show that it is a clear case of personal corruption and the court must investigate the payments made by Sahara and Birla to Modi,” Randeep Surjewala, a spokesman for Gandi’s opposition Congress party, told Reuters.Surjewala, addressing a separate news conference, said Modi should come forward and “say whether he took money” from the two companies, and subject himself to an investigation if necessary.Bhushan, the lawyer, confirmed to Reuters that Gandhi’s allegations were based on the evidence he had provided to the Supreme Court. ($1 = 67.8989 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Rupam Jain; Writing by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Robert Birsel)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
First Published On : Dec 21, 2016 21:01 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the Anti-Corruption Bureau giving her a clean chit in the ‘chikki’ purchase case, Maharashtra Minister Pankaja Munde said on Wednesday the allegations against her were part of a plan to defame her.”I had said many times that there was no substance in the allegations (of irregularities in chikki purchase). On several occasions in the Legislative Assembly also, I have replied to the charges,” Pankaja said. “Those who made the allegations saw a lot of irregularities in `chikki’ that wasn’t even distributed (among schoolchildren),” the Women and Child Welfare Minister said. “A supari (contract) was taken to defame me,” Pankaja said. The BJP Minister, however, did not disclose who was behind the move to malign her.”The ACB has given me a clean chit. I am absolved of the charges. I wasn’t involved in any wrongdoing,” Pankaja asserted. The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has closed the case against the Minister in the matter pertaining to alleged irregularities in awarding contracts for materials worth Rs 206 crore for school children. Pankaja was accused of flouting norms in awarding contracts for supplying items like ‘chikki’ (sweetmeat made with nuts and jaggery), mats, notebooks and water filters, among others, for schoolchildren.Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant had last year lodged a complaint with the ACB demanding an inquiry into the allegations against the Minister and submitted a set of documents purportedly supporting the charges.
New Delhi: DCW chief Swati Maliwal was on Wednesday chargesheeted in a special court by the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) in a case of alleged irregularities in recruitment in the women’s panel.
The charge sheet was filed before special ACB judge at Tis Hazari Court against Maliwal for the alleged offences under section 13 (criminal misconduct by public servant) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC.
The court is yet to take cognisance on the charge sheet.
ACB Chief and Special Commissioner (New Delhi) MK Meena said that charge sheet has been filed in the court in connection with alleged irregularities in appointment of AAP workers in DCW.
The ACB had taken up the probe on a complaint by former Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Barkha Shukla Singh, who alleged that several AAP supporters were given plum posts in the women’s panel.
Singh, in her complaint, had listed the names of 85 people who, she claimed, got jobs “without requisite credentials”. The FIR was registered against Maliwal on September 20 and the ACB had been probing the matter for the last nearly six months.
An ACB officer had earlier said that based on questioning of DCW employees, it was found that due procedure “was not followed in appointments” and a total of 91 appointments were found to be made without allegedly following due process.
Maliwal had earlier said that the FIR will not act as a deterrent for her and the panel will continue to work and raise questions which is “disturbing her opponents the most”.
“Even if I am sent to jail, I will prepare a report on the condition of women there and submit it to the Delhi government. The Delhi government and the Centre are working together towards ensuring safety of women,” she has said.
First Published On : Dec 21, 2016 20:28 IST
New Delhi: Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi, who was superseded along with another senior officer in selection of the new army chief, met Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday, amid speculation that he may seek premature retirement or will be given a new role by the government.
Defence Ministry officials termed the meeting as a “courtesy call”.
They said the meeting was sought by Lt Gen Bakshi, contrary to initial claims by army sources that Parrikar had sought the meeting. Lt Gen Bakshi also met with Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag after meeting Parrikar.
Dalbir Singh is set to visit the Eastern Command in Kolkata shortly as part of his farewell tour. The army chief will hang his boots on 31 December.
A section of military experts feel that Lt Gen Bakshi may seek premature retirement. However, the process may take a month or two, sources said, adding that during this period he may go on leave.
Lt Gen Bakshi was initially the front runner for the post of the army chief. However, keeping aside the trend of seniority being the lone criteria, the government appointed Vice Chief of Army Lt Gen Bipin Rawat, a batch junior to Lt Gen Bakshi, as the new chief.
Lt Gen Rawat, an infantry soldier, was found best suited among three officers to deal with challenges like cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and the situation with Pakistan, both areas which the government felt will be under focus for the next two-three years.
Another section of military experts claimed that Lt Bakshi may become the new Chief of Defence Staff, a post that has been hanging fire for the last many years.
While the creation of such a post is in “active consideration” of the government, it is unlikely that it will happen soon, they claimed.
The Centre had on 17 December appointed Lt Gen Rawat as the new army chief superseding his two senior officers — Lt Gen Bakshi and Southern Command Chief Lt Gen PM Hariz.
First Published On : Dec 21, 2016 20:11 IST
Wed, 21 Dec 2016-07:55pm , Bhubaneshwar , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) workers engaged in a scuffle on Wednesday after the opposition called for a shutdown across the state in protest against a sex scandal involving the Mayor of Bhubaneswar Ananta Jena.Protestors also burnt tyres and blocked roads in the city. Police had to baton charge the protesters, some of whom were taken into custody.”We condemn this, this is gundaraj. We want justice for the student who was murdered. The mayor is involved and the chief minister is protecting him. The mayor should resign,” said BJP leader Samir Dey.”We will never let Naveen Patnaik’s succeed in his intentions. The people supporting the BJP will continue our protest,” a BJP worker said.
New Delhi: CBI on Wednesday arrested businessman J Sekar Reddy and his associate K Srinivasulu after Income Tax searches at his residence and office in Chennai resulted in seizure of 127 kg of gold and over Rs 170 crore in cash post demonetisation.
CBI sources said his links with the son of Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Nadu P Rama Mohana Rao are also under the scanner of I-T department as it is believed that Reddy, a contractor, allegedly received his help to get state-wide sand mining contract.
Rao’s premises are being searched by I-T department on Wednesday.
CBI has registered a case of criminal conspiracy and cheating under Indian Penal Code besides provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act against Reddy and his two associates for conversion of currency in violation of RBI norms, the sources said.
They said it was alleged that I-T department searches had resulted in seizure of over Rs 170 crore in cash which included newly-introduced notes of Rs 2,000 worth Rs 34 crore (seized in two different occasions) besides 127 kg gold from him and his associates Srinivasa Reddy and Prem Kumar.
CBI case is related to seizure of Rs 24 crore of new currency notes from a Tata Ace load vehicle belonging to a Vellore resident, Rishi Kumar, on 9 December following searches at Reddy’s residence in Chennai.
“Reddy and his associates had, with the help of unknown public servants of different banks, converted the unauthorised cash held by them in old currency notes, thereby depriving the public in enforcing their right,” CBI alleged in its FIR.
It said the bank officials, who are allegedly entrusted with the distribution of new currency notes as per instructions of Reserve Bank of India, defied the RBI instructions and helped Reddy for a “consideration”.
“Reddy, Prem Kumar and K Srinivasulu, had in conspiracy with unknown bank officials and public servants converted unaccounted cash held by them in the form of old currency notes to new Rs 2,000 currency notes, cheating the government of India,” it alleged.
First Published On : Dec 21, 2016 19:38 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Son of a ruling JD(U) member of State Legislative Council Dinesh Singh was on Wednesday booked in a case of murder of a worker in Fatehpur village of Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district.On the basis of a statement given by the wife of deceased, an FIR has been registered with Kanti police station against Chottu Singh, son of JD(U) MLC Dinesh Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police, West, Ajay Kumar said.The police recovered dead body of labourer Suresh Sah near Chainpur canal under Kanti police station this morning, the DSP said.The wife of deceased said in her complaint that Chottu Singh had forcefully called her husband at his home late last night. She alleged that Chottu Singh was involved in illegal liquor trade. Her husband, who worked as a painter at the residence of MLC Dinesh Singh, had come in contact with Chottu Singh.The DSP said that police is investigating into the matter.
New Delhi: It is being called Reverse Bank of India, Rozana Bungling of India or even Rollback Bank of India and customers as well as bankers were in a spot on Wednesday after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) partially withdrew its earlier order that restricted deposits of over Rs 5,000 in spiked currency notes.
The partial rollback came after massive public anger over the central bank’s December 19 order allowing the deposit of over Rs 5,000 in now spiked Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in bank accounts only once.
This too was possible only after a “satisfactory” explanation to at least two bank officials on why this was not done earlier since 8 November when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation ostensibly to curb corruption and black money in India.
But on Wednesday, the central bank made an exception for (Know Your Customer) KYC-compliant customers — meaning those who aren’t compliant with KYC norms will still be grilled.
The RBI order created an uproar because the government had earlier asked people to go easy because money in old denominations could be deposited till December 30 and there was no need to stand in long queues outside banks.
Bank employees and customers IANS spoke to said it has been a sea of confusion for them with the government’s and RBI’s ad hocism that has shaken the country’s faith in its banking system.
“I really don’t believe an institution like RBI, which is the trustee of our money, can do this,” Naresh Kumar Aggarwal, a chemist in south Delhi, told IANS.
Aggarwal had come to a State Bank of India (SBI) branch to deposit money in old currency notes. He said he was allowed to deposit but was still “interrogated by bank officials”.
“It is not about if I was able to satisfy them with my explanation. Of course, I did that. But why question me about my own money,” the chemist wondered.
An HDFC Bank employee in south Delhi, who didn’t wish to be named, said his office has dedicated one person for keeping check on RBI’s website to see if any order has been withdrawn or changed.
“I am not joking. There is so much confusion regarding what to do and what not do. We are under stress,” he said.
“Till Wednesday afternoon, we were doing what we were asked to do on Monday. People who came to deposit more than Rs 5,000 knew it was revoked and we were still waiting for a formal order. Arguments with angry customers was but natural,” Kumar said.
For many, anger gave way to sarcasm.
Vikas Sharma, a junior lawyer in Delhi High Court, said the central bank “needs an immediate name change”.
“Something that fits what it has been doing in the past six weeks. Call it the Reverse Bank of India. Afterall, it has been reversing its own decisions,” Sharma said standing in a queue outside an ATM outlet in Noida near Delhi.
Another man from the queue shouted: “Why not the Rollback Bank of India or even Rozana (daily) Bungling of India?”
Social media was also awash with criticism .
“Within two short months, the RBI has lost credibility and legitimacy built carefully over decades. Will take a long time to restore,” tweeted Sidharth Bhatia, a journalist.
Comedian Zakir Khan wrote about “59 new rules” in 43 days since demonetisation. “Bhai tum RBI ho ya boys’ hostel ke warden? (Are you the RBI or the warden of a boys hostel)”
First Published On : Dec 21, 2016 18:57 IST