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Author: Ritika Jain

Delhi High Court says school buses cannot be forced to ply during odd even rule

The odd even scheme is just a day away, but the schools in the national capital have raised concerns over how the school buses that have been procured by the Delhi government to aid their initiative will be used. With the lack of clarity still prevailing, the Delhi High Court observed that the Delhi government cannot coerce, compel or otherwise force private, unaided and recognised schools to provide their buses during the 15-day period whilst the scheme is on.In order to successfully implement the odd even scheme to combat pollution for a trial period of two weeks, the Delhi government announced 4,000 ‘general’ buses would ply the streets of which around 2,000 would be procured from schools. According to a notice issued by the Department of Education (DoE) dated December 18, the Delhi government not only declared a two-week holiday during this period, but also announced the requisitioning of school buses to augment the DTC fleet.A circular issued by transport minister Gopal Rai on December 21, requested the schools to register their buses at the nearest DDE with copies of the Contract of Carriage, Insurance and Fitness Certificates. According to the same circular, failure to comply with the directions would be dealt with seriously.A few schools objected to this forcible closure and the government’s demand to use the buses as well. “This commandeering of the school buses is in complete violation of Article 14, 19 and 21 read with Article 300A of the Constitution,” says advocate Pramod Gupta. The lawyer represented the petitioners Action Committee of Unaided Recognised Private Schools that comprises around 400 private and unaided schools. The school authorities were also concerned about the school buses being used for purposes other than ferrying students, teachers and other school staff which would be in violation of the terms and conditions of the insurance policies taken out on the vehicles concerned.”The RTE is there to regulate school education and matters of education for children. It cannot be used to direct school buses — properties of autonomous bodies — to the DTDC for the implementation of a government scheme,” Gupta further argued. Recognizing the matter, Judge Hima Kohli who presided over the bench questioned the petitioner which school was forced or coerced to which there was no answer. Taking cognizance of the matter she further directed the government not to coerce, force or compel the schools to provide buses.Responding to the allegations, standing council for the Delhi Government Rahul Mehra stated that so far 1,700 school buses have registered on a voluntary basis. With around 400 school apparently not willing to part with their fleet – the number of buses may figure more than 1,000 – it is difficult to quantify how this will affect the number of buses that will actually ply on the streets during the coming two weeks.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Open fire in Delhi court killing a constable and injuring main target

A gang of four persons were involved in an open firing in Delhi’s northeast district’s Karkardooma court injuring their main target — an undertrial named Chennu Pehelwan alias Irfan – and killing Ram Kumar Meena – the head constable who was accompanying Irfan on Wednesday. Irfan, originally from Meerut, is a history sheeter with more than 16 criminal cases lodged against him in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. He was brought to court on Thursday in a firing case that took place earlier this year. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to eyewitness accounts and police reports, at 11:15 am, Irfan’s matter – item no. 27, in the court had just concluded in criminal court number 73 in front of Metropolitan Magistrate Sunil Gupta. The judge had asked the defence lawyer Saquib Qureshi to present the plaintiff in court after lunch the same day. As the group, including constable Meena, the plaintiff and the defence lawyer, was exiting, two persons fired around eight rounds in an attempt to kill Irfan. People inside the courtroom, numbering more than 30, started ducking and diving behind cupboards to escape the bullets. While Irfan sustained injuries, Meena was hit by five bullets to the chest and was killed in the crossfire. According to unconfirmed reports, a court clerk was also injured, whereas the bullets whizzed past the judge’s head narrowly missing him. While the two shooters were caught instantly, two others, who were lying in wait outside Gupta’s courtroom no. 73 immediately attempted to flee. Along the way they threw their weapons by the main staircase near the toilets to avoid getting caught. However, people from the crowd and a few brave lawyers gave a chase and captured the absconders. “The four suspects — all suspected to be minors — are in police custody and undergoing interrogation,”said B Gujar, Deputy Commissioner of Police (East). One of the minors is also suspected to be a history sheeter with a murder case pending against him. Had the president promulgated the Juvenile Justice Act which was passed in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, the four arrested would have been the first to be prosecuted under it. Meanwhile the Delhi government announced Rs1 crore compensation for the family of the constable who died in the firing.Bystanders present at the time recounted the events to this dna reporter as they unfolded. According to various sources inside the court, there were 62 matters before lunch in courtroom number 73 which mostly handles criminal matters. Hence, the court was filled with at least 20-25 people. “When the firing began, everybody started running helter-skelter. Some even barged in courtroom number 74 – which is exactly opposite the crime scene,” said a court clerk present at the time. “I was busy serving tea to four-five customer when I heard the shots echo, then immediately after, I saw a group of people charging down the stairs followed by police personnel,” says Chandan Pandey, a tea vendor who sits on the fourth floor. The firing took place on the fifth floor of the building. With the crime rate on the rise, and the question of juveniles and crime being a debated subject, the question of security is a matter of grave concern. When one visits the Karkardooma court, one must walk through a metal detector and get the bags scanned. Ironically, right next to the scanner, there is a huge signboard stating “No weapons or photography allowed inside the court premises.” Even the pat down and the frisking performed by security personnel at the main entrance is inept and ineffectual. According, to a police statement, the four suspects were able to sneak in their weapons since their entered from the gates closest to the lawyers parking lot, where the security is inadequate. The under trials brought to court – be it a petty offence, or a high risk prisoner like Irfan, constable merely escort them around by simply holding their hands. There are around 80 police personnel manning and securing the entire court premise where as on the fifth floor, one could count six CCTV cameras – one in the centre of the floor area while the rest were focused on the entrance at the main staircase. According to the police, Irfan and the four suspects belonged to rival gangs and the shootout was gang related.

BSF Plane crash: He was the best pilot around, say friends

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According to a nephew, Bhatt’s wife got the news of the crash as it flashed across the television in the morning. Her worst fears were confirmed as an official from the Border Security Force came by to confirm the news. “He was very dedicated to his family and a very jovial person,” recalls a batch mate who had come to offer his condolences.

PTI
There was a curious crowd of onlookers that comprised local residents, family members and colleagues outside Deputy Commandant Bhagwati Prasad Bhatt’s Sarojini Nagar residence. The small cramped hall is jammed with relatives and well-wishers, while a young boy of three is running around with his friends, oblivious of the fact that his father is never coming home. Bhatt’s wife is inconsolable even as their youngest – a toddler all of 1.5 years sleeps beside her.According to a nephew, Bhatt’s wife got the news of the crash as it flashed across the television in the morning. Her worst fears were confirmed as an official from the Border Security Force came by to confirm the news. “He was very dedicated to his family and a very jovial person,” recalls a batch mate who had come to offer his condolences.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bhatt was the baby in a family that had four brothers and three sisters. “He always wanted to do something different,” says older brother Rajendra, as he fondly recalled their childhood. “Initially he was interested in modelling, though we convinced him otherwise,” he added.Hailing from Uttarakhand, Bhatt grew up in the foothills of the Himalayas, though his higher schooling was in Dehradun. He joined the General Cadre of the Armed Forces and later on got his commercial flying licence from Rae Baireli.There is much anger among the batchmates who had gathered to mourn the demise of their friend. They could not forget Vivek Chaudhary – another batchmate of theirs who suffered a similar fate near Mount Abu almost four years ago. Their association with Bhatt goes back almost 15 years and his death has deeply saddened them.Bhatt – who married his love in 2008 – was posted in Delhi since 2009, when he got his position in the air wing of the BSF. “He was the best pilot around,” echo his friends.Inside the house, the wife has quietened down a bit, exhausted, “he was my strength,” she keeps repeating, tears rolling down her face. “You have to go on,” her friends try to console her, “For your kids, you must take his strength and go on.”The scene at Chotte Lal Sharma’s Sarojini Nagar residence – he was one of the 10 that died in the air crash, is one of caution. Sharma’s brother-in-law Pradeep Sharma said, “We haven’t informed my sister yet. We have simply told her that her husband has met with an accident and he is lying critical in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).” The official phone call confirming the Sharma’s death went to his son Somesh. He too has kept his mother in the dark about his father’s fate.A neighbour recalls, “I would see him (Sharma) every morning before he left for work. He would always say ‘”Please on the lookout and make sure my family is okay.” The neighbour added, “I didn’t see him this morning.”For C L Bhalothia, the morning news of the air crash put him on the edge since he knew his friend Ravindra Kumar, SI (JAM) was on that flight. All he could remember was Kumar telling him “I’m off now, I will see you when I return,” the day before. That was the last time Bhalothia spoke to his friend and colleague of more than a decade.Various colleagues from his department rushed to the spot and confirmed the worst. “The minute I saw the news, I tried to call him on his mobile, it just kept ringing,” Bhalothia recalls. “I could sense something was wrong,” he added. “After a while, the operator message said that the ‘Phone is out of coverage area’, he said.Now came the worst part, Kumar’s family had heard about the crash on the news in the morning, though, it was up to Bhalothia to confirm their worst fears. Bhalotia and his wife immediately made their way to Kumar’s Lodhi Road colony house. Here Bhalothia’s wife is consoling Kumar’s wife Manorama, while Kumar’s children – a son – he is in Class 10 and a daughter – who is studying in the final year of B.Tech, helpless look on. A kindly neighbour is seen bringing trays of teas for the visitors who have come to grieve and offer their support. “Kumar was always seen with a smile on his face and he was always happy,” Bhalothia recalls as he wipes his tears away with his white handkerchief.Kumar, who hailed from Gaya, Bihar, joined the BSF in August 2006 after he retired as a mechanic in the VVIP squadron from the air force. Two younger brothers and his immediate family comprising of his wife and two kids survive him. In the evening, when one tried to call Kumar’s mobile number, the operator message said that the cell phone seemed to be switched off.

Arun Jaitley files Rs 10 crore defamation suit against Arvind Kejriwal

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Finance minister files civil as well as criminal case against Delhi CM * HC hearing on matter today

Finance minister Arun Jaitley arrives at Patiala House court in New Delhi on Monday to file a defamation case against Kejriwal and other AAP leaders
dna photo

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday filed a criminal defamation case against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and five others at the Patiala House Court here. The matter was heard in front of a packed courtroom, where Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Sanjay Khandelwal took cognizance of the offence and set the next date of hearing on January 5, 2016. A recording of the pre-summoning evidence will be done that day, following which the court will summon Kejriwal and others on merit. Earlier in the day, senior advocate Manik Dogra, representing Jaitley, also filed a civil suit in the High Court (HC) seeking Rs 10 crore in damages. The hearing on this matter has been listed for Tuesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, who presented the case for Jaitley in court brought charges against six leaders from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that included Kejriwal, Deepak Bajpai, Ashutosh Bhardwaj, Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas and Sanjay Singh. The lawyer argued that “the defendant did not take a single penny” from the Delhi and District Cricket Association – a body Jaitley headed for 13 years. In the complaint, Luthra asserted: “The accused persons individually and collectively undertook a false and defamatory campaign against Jaitley and his family members.” He also said that “Jaitley came from a distinguished family of lawyers and he has no family member who has even one paisa interest in business.” The complaint, filed by Jaitely, was, thus, as a private individual. Almost the entire cabinet and several top brass of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership flanked Jaitley, who personally came to the court to file the suit. Present in the court were Smriti Irani, Union human resource development minister; Venkaiah Naidu, Union minister of urban development, housing and urban poverty alleviation and parliamentary affairs; J P Nadda, Union minister of health and family welfare; Piyush Goel, minster of state for power, among other senior party leaders. The Patiala House District Court saw heavy security, with companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) maintaining law and order as several hundred party members shouted slogans in favour of the BJP and against the AAP. During the 35-minute-long hearing, Luthra presented articles published in the print and electronic media that were defamatory in nature. He even submitted tweets and posts on Facebook by the six accused as evidence. The complaint has been filed under the provisions of Section 200 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) for offence under Sections 400, 500, 501 and 502, read with Sections 34 and 35 of the IPC. If the charges are proved, the maximum sentence is two years. The AAP had alleged massive financial irregularities in the DDCA during Jaitley’s tenure from 1999 to 2013. Kejriwal: “Mr Jaitley should not try to intimidate us with a court case. Our fight against corruption will continue.” Kirti Azad: hello dear @arunjaitley hampar defemation file kar rahe ho na? Please karo na Don’t take injunction, don’t gag freedom of speech.Mera naam kyon hata diya @arunjaitley #Aap ne toh mere letters dikhae theey, mujhpar karo na case, registered post se maine bheje theey

Nirbhaya case: It is important not to be swayed by public opinion, says expert

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The juvenile involved in the December 16 gang rape was released by authorities on Sunday.

Delhi police officers escort the juvenile accused of rape, outside the Juvenile justice board in New Delhi on Saturday.
Manit Balmiki
dna
Raj (19)I started doing drugs when I was still in school. It began with bidis and cigarettes, though I soon graduated to the heavy stuff and got hooked onto smack (heroin). I then took to a life of crime to support my smack habit. Nobody told me that what I was doing was wrong. I came from a broken family and was uneducated. The law finally caught up with me and I was arrested for stealing and pick-pocketing. Since I was an addict, I was referred to and enrolled in a de-addiction programme at the Society for Promotion of Youth and Masses (SPYM). It was difficult at first, but I am clean now. I work here at the Sewa Kutir full-time cooking in the canteen. My next aim is to make amends with my family, it will be a slow process but I will persevere.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rahul (23)My father who was a habitual substance abuser threw my mother and my sisters out of the house, I soon followed. Life on the street was tough and I did what one has to survive. My drug habit compelled me to steal. I would sometimes used a knife to get what I wanted. I was caught by the police in 2004 and sent to a detention centre. At the same time I lost my mother, I remember I was not given leave to attend her funeral. My situation and my environment was such that I did not know any better.I am filled with regret. To atone myself, I now help and volunteer at a de-addiction centre. I counsel those who walk in the centre and help wean them off drugs if that’s what they want.(names of the juveniles have been changed to protect their identity) The juvenile involved in the December 16 gang rape was released by authorities on Sunday. His release was marked by protests and a last ditch midnight appeal by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) to delay his release, which was overturned by the vacation bench at wee hours of Sunday In a stark contrast to the current public sentiments, various experts and welfare officials are of the opinion that rehabilitation and reformation of a juvenile is possible under most circumstances. As the debate for the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 rages on in the public and Parliament, Enakshi Ganguly Thukral, co-founder of Haq – Centre for Child Rights says, “When one considers penalties for a juvenile, it is important not to be swayed by public opinion. One must consider and keep the offender as the primary focus and not the offence.” According to a social worker at SPYM, “It costs Rs3,000 per day to do smack, that makes it Rs90,000 per month. A child on the street hooked on drugs has no option but to take to crime to support this habit,” he added. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the incidence of juvenile crime was 0.5 per cent in 2001, and the number rose to 1.1 per cent in 2011. However, the NCRB statistics attribute this rise in figures mainly due to the increase of the upper ages of juveniles from 16 years to 18 years according to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000. Another reason for the increase can be credited to the addition of 11 new special and local laws added to the list in 2014. Though there is much furore about the rise in crime, statistics also show that there has been a decrease in violent crimes among juveniles in the year 2014. “When a child is deprived of his basic needs, he takes to crime. We have thus economically empowered children who have come in conflict with the law,” says Father Anthony, founder of Empowerment of Child Human rights Organisation (ECHO). Father Anthony has more than 15 years of experience towards understanding juvenile delinquency. “In my experience, I have achieved 100 per cent success rate with juvenile reformation and rehabilitation,” says he. His work with the juveniles have created successful customs officers, traffic police assistants and some are even working in multi-national organisations and jewellery stores. There are around 33,000 juveniles in the system. According to statistics, juveniles are responsible for less than 5 per cent of all rapes. Atiya Bose, Director of a Mumbai-based NGO Aangan feels that “The main issue and the reason why rehabilitation is important for young people is because they are amenable to reform. I have seen huge changes in juveniles when one has worked with them comprehensively on all fronts that includes a combination of a support system.” Bose went on to add that “Juveniles who commit crimes serve the punishment as metted out to them according to the law. Should they then be vilified and damned for life?” Short staff board While the Juvenile Justice Board has been in existence for a while, there does not seem a concerted or well thought out programme. It is understaffed and not enough resources have been allocated for the welfare of children who come in conflict with the law. With public sentiments swaying opinions, experts feel the main issue is being lost in the noise.

Sonia Gandhi, son Rahul in the dock today, literally

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The duo will be fourth in Nehru-Gandhi generation to appear before any court of law after Motilal, Jawaharlal and Indira

Congress top brass are tight-lipped. Party’s supreme leaders – president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul – are all set to appear before the Patiala House district court here in connection with the National Herald case on Saturday. But they are not willing to reveal their cards fully, on whether Rahul will be applying for bail or will prefer to go to jail. The case, filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, accuses the Gandhis and four others of forming a company with the intention of acquiring property belonging to the now defunct newspaper National Herald that was founded by Jawaharlal Nehru. The seventh entity summoned in the case is Young Indian, the company formed by them, in which the Gandhis own 76% shares.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Both the Gandhis have aggressively countered the allegations against them as political vendetta. It’s only after all efforts and appeals exhausted, Sonia and Rahul are appearing before the court. They will be the fourth-fifth generation of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty to appear before a court of law after Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. Congress workers and MPs are all geared up for tomorrow’s showdown. Though the party has rubbished media reports that it would organise a ‘solidarity march’ to court on Saturday, all its MPs are staying back in the capital. Normally, MPs fly back to their constituencies during the weekend. Even a chief minister of a northeast state, who had arrived in the Capital on Thursday, was told to stay back, sources said. AICC general secretary and Congress MP Janardan Dwivedi, however, stated the Congress has no intentions to protest against judiciary and that’s why he has asked PCC chiefs not to come to the AICC headquarters. However, Congress MPs in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha say they have been asked to assemble at the party headquarters on 24, Akbar Road, by 1 pm. The court hearing on the case is scheduled at 3 pm. Party general secretary Digvijay Singh, said the party leadership will decide only Saturday morning if party MPs and office-bearers will march from AICC headquarters to Patiala House Court along with Sonia and Rahul. Tight security Under the aegis of the Special Protection Group, the Delhi police have been conducting thorough security checks inside and outside the court premises. The distance from 10, Janpath – Sonia Gandhi’s residence – to the court is a mere 3.3 kms – a journey that can be covered in under 10 minutes – though the route will see heavy police presence and almost 16 additional CCTV cameras. The setting of the courtroom drama is No.4, Judge Loveleen’s chambers – a room small enough to hold barely 10-15 people. According to confirmed sources, the venue or the courtroom will not change. “If there was a change, it would have been intimidated by now,” said a source on condition of anonymity. The room has seen security sweeps by various security apparatus for the last two days. To counter the anticipated media rush, passes were issued only to a few print media and agency reporters. “There was no hindrance during my time when we used to cover news. One could just walk into the court premises irrespective of who was standing trial,” veteran journalist Kuldip Nayyar recalls as he reminisced his time as a reporter. Reacting to the news about the issue of passes to cover the trial, he quipped, “This is not definitely not like the emergency (imposed by Indira Gandhi), but such a tight control on the media definitely emphasises the politicising of the event. Courts are no more institutions; they have been reduced as a mere political tool.”

Murder suspect in Vipin Chaudhary and Ex-MLA Bharat Singh’s cases nabbed

Ravi Shokeen, part of a rival gang responsible for the two murders this year, arrested by Delhi police

Acting on a confidential tip-off, a joint task force from the Delhi police laid a trap and captured 22-year-old Ravi Shokeen, the prime accused in the murders of ex-MLA Bharat Singh and his driver Vipin Chaudhary late on Friday evening. Police personnel apprehended Shokeen at a CNG petrol Pump at Rajiv Chowk, Gurgaon and confiscated an English pistol and four live cartridges that were found upon his person at the time of the arrest.Shokeen alias Chuja is a sharpshooter and was considered to be the mastermind and executor of Chaudhary’s killing on December 8, 2015. Shokeen, along with three others, carefully planned and laid out a honey trap for Chaudhary that lured him near near Japanese Park in Sector 12 of outer Delhi’s Rohini sub-city where he was shot dead. A 19-year-old woman connected in Chaudhary’s murder was arrested by the police in Gurgaon earlier this week.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shokeen, a third year BA student at Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), was also involved in the sensational murder of former INLD legislator from Najafgarh, Bharat Singh in March this year. Following the murder six persons, including the alleged mastermind Udaiveer alias Kaale, and Nitin Sherawat, the son of a former Delhi MLA were arrested for the crime. Hemant, Udaiveer’s nephew and Shokeen were absconding. In order to facilitate the quick capture of Shokeen, police personnel had announced a cash reward of Rs50,000 for information would lead to his capture.”Shokeen was one of the key members of Hemant’s gang and as such was involved in the planning and murders of Singh and Chaudhary,” Joint Commissioner of Police (south-western range) Dependra Pathak at a press conference held at the Delhi Police Headquarters on Saturday.Shokeen was produced before the court on Saturday where various charges relating to murder and attempt to murder were levelled against him.

Delhi Police nab kidnappers of minor girl days after her return

On December 22, the minor’s father lodged a missing person’s complaint with the Uttam Nagar Police station, following which the police immediately swung into action to locate the missing girl.

Delhi Police arrested two men who kidnapped, gang raped and attempted to murder a 14-year-old girl who hailed from Uttam Nagar, West Delhi. Several cases of kidnapping, attempt to murder, rape among others have been filed against the accused Mohit alias Kishan and Vipin, both 22 years old. A third consort – Devendra, alias Daku Singh, believed to be Mohit’s brother is absconding.On December 22, the minor’s father lodged a missing person’s complaint with the Uttam Nagar Police station, following which the police immediately swung into action to locate the missing girl. The minor, traced to Yatharth Hospital, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Uttar Pradesh on December 6, was suffering from a gunshot wound and alleged history of sexual assault. She was later shifted to Apollo Hospital, New Delhi, whereupon she was questioned by the police and her statement recorded by a court’s magistrate.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At a press conference held at the Delhi Police Headquarters, Joint Commissioner of Police Dependra Pathak south-west range said “Based on the victim’s testimony and verification, two of the three accused were arrested and interrogated by the police on December 9 where they admitted to all charges. A car used in the kidnapping was also recovered by police personnel.”According to the minor girl’s statement, Mohit obtained the minor’s telephone number and proceeded to have several conversations with her over a period of few days. He then convinced her to run away with him on December 22. Once the minor was in his possession, Mohit and his accomplice Vipin, bundled her in their car – Hyundai Santro, and made their way to Tugalpur village near Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh where she was gang raped by them and a third accused Devendra aka Daku Singh. On December 5, Vipin, drove the victim in a white Mahindra Bolero, to a field near the village where she was held captive on the pretext of freeing her. However, the other two culprits awaited them and proceeded to rape her. As the minor attempted to escape the clutches of her captives, Devendra shot her above the abdomen with a country revolver and her body was dumped in a dry well in Tugalpur village, Uttar Pradesh.The girl, who was grievously injured pretended to be dead and later cried out for help when she was sure her molesters had gone away. She was rescued by locals and transferred to the hospital for treatment.The minor is now recovering at the hospital while police personnel continue their hunt for the third accused. According to a statement from the police, Mohit and his brother Devendra are history sheeters, though there seems to be no prior record for Vipin.

Sun sets on solar thermal plant projects in Rajasthan

3,404 acres of land remains unused for intended purpose in Rajasthan, according to CAG report

Pic for representation purpose only

According to a CAG report that was tabled in the parliament on December 8, five years since the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government leased almost 3,404 acres of land – mostly in Jaisalmer, at preferential rates to various developers for solar thermal plants remain unused for its intended purpose.According to the audit, in September 2008, the Rajasthan government also granted M/S Par Solar 375 acres of land at preferential rates under the Development Programme to build a 5 MW solar photovoltaic (SPV) power plant. For this entire project since a mere six acres would have sufficed, almost 345 acres of land were leased in excess of requirement.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In January 2010, under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), four companies M/S Rajasthan Sun Technique Energy Pvt Ltd., M/S Corporate Ispat Alloys Ltd., M/S Diwakar Solar Projects Pvt. Ltd. and M/S KVK Energy Ventures Pvt Ltd. were granted land rights under preferential treatment. The land allotted was leased for a period of 30 years at 10% of the Collector Rate while two more companies – M/S Entegra Ltd. And M/S Dalmia Solar Power Ltd. were allotted land under the Migration scheme in October 2010.Rajasthan has high potential to contribute towards the nation’s climate change programme by developing and harnessing solar energy. The energy developed here could account up to 59% of the estimated national solar energy potential. The state has an estimated potential of 1,42,310 MW, though it has installed only 730.10 MW, merely 0.51% of its potential.When Rajasthan Sun Technique Energy Pvt. Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Power, was awarded the concentrated solar project (CSP) in December 2010, it was the largest investment of its kind undertaken by any private sector entity in the country. The project, financed through debt by various multilateral agencies that included the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Export Import Bank of the United States, Financerings Maatschappu Voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO), the Netherlands, and Axis Bank, was expected to generate about 250 million kilowatt hours of green energy that was capable of supporting around 2.50 lakh households.This could potentially be a huge contribution towards India’s clean energy programme and reduce carbon emissions by 2.40 lakh tonnes a year. Since, India is a major participant in the Paris Climate talks and has emphasized the need to convert to alternate energy, this would prove to be a crucial thrust towards the programme.While the reasons for the six projects for taking off remain unknown, according to a reliable source at Diwakar Solar Projects Pvt. Ltd, the project, that has already seen an investment of Rs. 500 crores, needs to be reworked since they received wrong solar radiation date by the government agencies. “The data reading was 20% higher than the actual readings done by us because of which additional land is required,” sources said. The company which was initially allotted 978 acres requires 15-20% more land. “We have petitioned the concerned ministry for the same and await their response,” they added. High potential to produce solar energyRajasthan has high potential to contribute towards the nation’s climate change programme by developing and harnessing solar energy. The energy developed here could account up to 59% of the estimated national solar energy potential. The state has an estimated potential of 1,42,310 MW, though it has installed only 730.10 MW, merely 0.51% of its potential.

Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan total failure: CAG

Strap: Rs 10,000 crore spent in the last five years has not shown adequate results, CAG report finds

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the successor to Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, is an even more ambitious project

The Comptroller and Audit General of India (CAG) announced the tabling of 12 reports (of the promised 25) in the parliament on Tuesday. One of the tabled reports that focused on the Total Sanitation Campaign or Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan found alarming discrepancies in fund allocation and its misuse and also a clear failure in the implementation of the sanitation programme.According to the report, almost 60.69% Indians defecate in public – the highest in the world. At a time where India is being touted as one of the fastest growing economies, we are still struggling with basic sanitation. According to the report “Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation: 2012” submitted by UNICEF and WHO, Pakistan and Bangladesh feature higher on the list of improved sanitation with 34% and 58% respectively. Among the Asian countries, Sri Lanka topped the list with 94%.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sanitation was one of the Millennium Goals adopted by India which culminates at the end of this year. The Central Rural Sanitation Programme – the first structured programme for rural sanitation, was started in 1986 and has been remodified in many avatars since. The latest avatar now known as The Swachh Bharat Mission, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project. Though, whether the declaration and goal for 100% eradication of defecation in India by 2019 will be achieved is yet to be seen.According to the CAG report, a few of the major reasons for the failure in our sanitation programme can be attributed to the lack of intent on the implementation level, effective monitoring and periodic evaluation of the programme. There was a lack of date integrity submitted by the ministries concerned forcing the auditors to deal with and interpret four different sets of data with conflicting numbers.Among the major findings in the report, it was stated that against an objective of constructing 426.32 lakh and 469.76 lakh Individual Household Latrines (IHHL) for Below Poverty Line (BPL) and Above Poverty Line (APL) project districts could construct only 52.15% and 44.18% respectively. In 53 districts that were audited for this purpose, it was found that 33% of the toilets were defunct due to poor quality of construction, incomplete structure, non-maintenance etc.Another disturbing find was that in the past five years, almost Rs. 10,000 crores has been spent on rural sanitation with not much to show for results. There have also been cases of financial irregularities, improper disbursement of funds, diversion of funds for other unrelated activities and even misappropriation of the allocated funds. Almost Rs 2.28 crore was misappropriated in six states (Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Gujarat, Karnataka and Maharashtra) while cases of suspected misappropriation to the tune of Rs 25.33 was found in four states namely: Andhra Pradesh, Jharkand and Manipur.Where funds were allocated, it was found in that in the case of nine states, an amount of Rs 212.14 crore remained parked and unutilized at the implementation level for periods ranging from four months to 29 months. It was also noted that the accrued interest of Rs 5.58 crore accrued on the scheme fund was not accounted for.To get a wholesome view of the matter dna spoke to Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, an Indian sociologist and founder of Sulabh International, who said that for the Prime Minister to achieve 100% sanitation by 2019, he must allocate Rs 3.60 lakh crore. “To build a decent toilet, one needs Rs 25,000-Rs 30,000, anything cheaper will be shoddy and of no use.”Pathak, who has won various accolades on the national and international level including a Padma Bhushan for his work on hygiene and sanitation also states that with proper motivation and will, the government is capable of providing a toilet in every household should they assign at the very minimum one labourer per village who will build at a rate of 20 toilers per month.In it’s conclusion, CAG report number 28 strongly urges the ministry to step up its drive for Information, Education and Communication that will result in a rise in demand for toilets and basic sanitation. It also advises on the need to rope in various corporate houses and tie-up with their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives to spread the word. Effective monitoring and periodic evaluation of the programme which was found missing is now of paramount concern. If India our country must compete with the world, the report finds that it must step up intensify its efforts by realistic planning and implementation, large scale information, behavioral changes in the target population and overall governance at the grassroot level. While the current prime minister does seem active on this front, auditors feel these initiatives though welcome are far to late in coming.

Human foetus among specimens seized from Delhi private school

Dissection banned in schools, not to speak of wildlife * A non-bailable offence, those convicted could be sentenced for 3-7 years

The recovered human foetus, dissection box and other specimens

Acting on a tip-off, police and members of People for Animals (PFA) – an NGO helmed by BJP leader and Union minister Maneka Gandhi – raided a private school here on Thursday and to their surprise found female foetus among other species preserved in the lab there. Police seized 30 jars, which also contained preserved remains of a stingray, frog, kingfisher, snakes, a collection of claws and bird beaks. The eight-member search team was led by sub-inspector Vikram Singh and Gaurav Gupta of the PFA. “We came to know that the school was dissecting animals as part of the school syllabus,” said Saurabh Gupta, vice-president, PFA. “We immediately informed Maneka Gandhi and she proved to be instrumental in alerting the police officials about this,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> When the police reached the school at around 1:30 pm they found the dissection kit open along with a few jars containing animal specimens. Upon further inquiry, the students who were present in the science lab on the ground floor of the school building at the time led the team to a locked room within the lab where upon, wildlife specimens and a human foetus of a female was found deep inside a cupboard. According to Gaurav, principal Urmila Malik and owner Dharampal Sivas, initially feigned ignorance about the matter. The duo also failed to produce relevant permissions and certificates to justify the presence of the seized items. Garuav has been part of more than 100 raids over the course of his career, and immediately recognised the foetus and certain other obvious aquatic species. Despite repeated attempts, the school authorities were unavailable for comment. According to the staff there, the principal and the vice-principal were both taken ill and had left before school was done for the day. The CBSE-affiliated school has classes only up to standard X, and hence no requirement for a practical knowledge of this calibre, said Gaurav Pandey, himself a teacher. “In the science labs, the students usually conduct experiments related to chemistry. For biology, it’s is hardly done, that too with specimens,” he added. According to a ruling by the Animal Welfare Board of India, dissection is banned in schools across the country. To conduct dissection for educational purposes, a special permission must be taken from the board with complete details of the animal that would be dissected. Wildlife is not permitted for dissection at all. A case has been registered against the principal and the owner under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 under sections 9, 39, 42, 50, 51 and 315/428 of the IPC. This is a non-bailable offence and if convicted carries a sentence of 3-7 years. Bal Ram, SHO, Sangam Vihar police station said, “The samples have been sent for testing. It would be unfair to comment on the matter before we get the results.”

Chhota Rajan details on Dawood Ibrahim new and revealing: Sources

Officials from the Intelligence Bureau, Research and Analysis Wing, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Delhi police’s special cell jointly interrogated Rajan for hours on Friday.

Policemen checking vehicles outside the special cell building before the arrival of Chhota Rajan in New Delhi on Friday.

PTI
The capture and deportation of underworld gangster Rajendra Sadashiv Nikhalje, alias Chhota Rajan, was nothing short of dramatic.Officials from the Intelligence Bureau, Research and Analysis Wing, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Delhi police’s special cell jointly interrogated Rajan for hours on Friday.Sources privy to the interrogation claimed that information provided by Rajan on rival don Dawood Ibrahim and his own network is new and revealing. There was speculation that his finances were in the red. However, sources say he has substantial investments in Australia, Thailand and Malaysia.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The elusive gangster, one of India’s most wanted for the past 27 years, landed at the Palam technical area, New Delhi, shortly after 5 AM on Friday and was immediately whisked away to the custody of CBI – the nodal agency for the Interpol.The CBI stated:”Rajendra Sadashiv Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan alias Mohan Kumar has been successfully deported to India from Indonesia today morning.” “He is in the custody of CBI-Interpol, and legal formalities are in the process.He was brought back in a special chartered aircraft from Indonesia by Indian agencies to avert any possible threat to his life by rival don Dawood Ibrahim’s henchmen.Not ready to take any chances, the agencies had deployed unprecedented security arrangements on his arrival. From the Palam technical area, he was brought to the CBI headquarters under heavy security arrangements that included bullet-proof and dummy cars and a team of crack commandos.The CBI can keep Rajan in custody for 24 hours, during which time he will have to be produced before a magistrate to seek further remand. The CBI is expected to seek Rajan’s remand in a fake passport case. He had secured a fake passport during his stay in Australia in the name of Mohan Kumar.Cases lodged against Rajan with the Mumbai police will be transferred to the CBI in a day. The six cases of the Delhi police will be pursued separately. Rajan, 55, is wanted in more than 70 cases of murder, extortion and drug trafficking in Mumbai, under various stringent laws like POTA and MCOCA.A medical team from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences were brought in to conduct the mandatory medical examination on Rajan, after which he was pronounced medically stable and in no requirement of dialysis.According to CBI sources, based on a tip-off from Australian agencies, Indonesian immigration officials pulled Rajan out of the immigration queue at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport.When asked about his identification, Rajan mistakenly replied with his real name –Rajendra Nikhalje, as opposed to Mohan Kumar – the name on the fake passport on which he was travelling. This faux pas led to his immediate arrest.He later denied his original identity and refused to sign papers to that effect. Fingerprinting experts in Indonesia were called in to conduct tests and Rajan matched 11 out of 18 parameters that are required.A seven-member unit that included officials from the CBI, Delhi police and Mumbai police arrived in Bali in mid-October to orchestrate the capture and arrest of the elusive gangster. This team had set up a control room and were in constant touch with the officers in New Delhi. Once arrested by Indonesian officials on October 25, the seven-member Indian unit facilitated Rajan’s deportation to India and escorted the criminal on the special flight home.

Delhi court sentences Uber rapist to life in jail

Fast-track court awards life imprisonment to Shiv Kumar Yadav for raping a woman passenger in October 2015

There was high drama at the fast-track court set up to try the rape of a 25-year-old executive by Shiv Kumar Yadav, a former driver with app-based taxi service Uber, after he was sentenced to life imprisonment. The sentence was pronounced merely nine months after the court started hearing the case.On hearing the sentence, Yadav’s wife Munni Devi, who was present with their two minor daughters and her father-in-law, started crying inconsolably and fainted shortly after. Yadav, too, was stunned at the quantum of the sentence and kept mumbling that it was a “trial by media right from the start”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While additional public prosecutor Atul Shrivastava received the verdict with jubilation, defence counsel DK Mishra said, “The sentence was disproportionate to the facts of the case. This case warranted leniency, not the maximum sentence.”The judgment was delivered by additional sessions judge Kaveri Baweja immediately after both sides had presented their arguments. Yadav, a repeat offender, has been sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment (RI) for life under section 376 [2] [m] (while committing rape causing grievous bodily harm or disfiguring or endangering life of a woman), RI for 10 years under section 366 (abducting with an intent to compel her for marriage), RI for seven years under section 506 (criminal intimidation) and RI for one year under section 323 (causing hurt) of the Indian Penal Code. In addition to this sentence, Yadav would also have to pay a fine of Rs21,000.Arguing in favour of the maximum penalty, Shrivastava maintained that the convict had committed a heinous crime of rape while endangering the life of the prosecutrix which is tantamount to a grave crime against the society at large. He appealed that the maximum punishment would bring about a “balance and answer to the collective cry of the society”.Family members of the victim who were present during the sentencing said they were “relieved and satisfied” with the verdict announced.Yadav, who got to spend some time with his family while awaiting his judgment copy, was immediately taken to Tihar jail to serve his time. His wife remained inconsolable throughout as she clutched onto him. Yadav’s father said he’s taking solace from the fact that the defence lawyer will appeal in the HC.In her judgment, Baweja has directed the Delhi Legal Service Authority to compensate the victim and her family, while directing them to take cognisance of Yadav’s family that has lost its sole breadwinner.When contacted, Amit Jain, president, Uber India, said, “Sexual assault is a terrible crime and we’re pleased he has been brought to justice. Safety is a priority for Uber and we’ve made many improvements — in terms of new technology, enhanced background checks and better 24×7 customer support — as a result of the lessons we learned from this awful case. That said, Uber can always do better, which is why we are continually looking for ways to improve safety before, during and after the ride.” The Uber rape case garnered much media and public attention since it followed close on the heels of the Nirbhaya case that brought about amendments to pertinent sections of the law, changing the way rape cases were tried. In response to the crime, the Delhi government had also banned the app-based taxi service with immediate effect.