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Crashed plane was airworthy, was flying well: BSF

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Only two days back this aircraft did a good duty and a day back it had carried back officers from Bhuj (from the DG/IG meeting),” BSF Director General D K Pathak said.

The BSF on Wednesday said its crashed Superking aircraft that killed ten of its highly experienced personnel was completely “airworthy” and was flying “very well” as it refuted allegations about any possible defect in the ill-fated plane. “This aircraft was 20-years-old and in the aviation (domain) an aircraft has life till 40-45 years. In the aviation (domain) such a plane is not considered old as required parts are changed from time to time…like engines are overhauled. “A major overhauling of this aircraft’s engines was done at the Beachcraft factory in Canada about six months back.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Only two days back this aircraft did a good duty and a day back it had carried back officers from Bhuj (from the DG/IG meeting),” BSF Director General D K Pathak told reporters here. “There was no problem in the aircraft and it was completely airworthy. I would like to add that till the time an aircraft is airworthy, there is no problem in flying it,” he said. He was speaking after paying the ceremonial last tributes and placing of wreaths on the mortal remains of the ten personnel who were killed in the crash yesterday, at the Safdarjung airport here. The event was also attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Ministers of State for Home Kiren Rijiju and Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary. He said the main probe into the crash is being done by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and that it would be “premature” to speculate on the possible reasons for the air mishap. The Border Security Force Chief said the plane B-200, registered as VT-BSA, was flying about 3-4 days in a week. “As I said, this aircraft has been flying very well…it had been flying three to four days in a week and there was absolutely no problem. Whenever any kind of a snag is reported it is promptly attended to and aircraft is not made airborne until it is certified by the technicians that it is worthy to fly,” he said. The plane, he said, was carrying the stipulated load yesterday and refuted reports that the crash had something to do with excess weight as a few personnel were asked to board it at the last moment. The plane had a capacity to carry 11 passengers, he said. “Even if there is a last moment change in the manifest (travelling passenger’s list) it doesn’t matter because it was carrying the prescribed and authorised load. So, there was no excess load. There was nothing of that sort…even if numbers were increased, it is immaterial. It (B-200) was carrying its required capacity,” he said.

Enforcement Directorate attaches Rs 100 crores properties of Chhagan Bhujbal

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The buildings in Bandra and Santacruz, owned by Pervesh Constructions where Bhujbal and his relatives are directors, were seized by the ED.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) continues to give nightmares to Chhagan Bhujbal and his family.In a fresh action against former PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal, the Enforcement Directorate has seized two assets allegedly owned by a Bhujbal firm.Initial information suggests the seized properties are worth around Rs 100 crores.The buildings in Bandra and Santacruz, owned by Pervesh Constructions where Bhujbal and his relatives are directors, were seized by the ED.Last week, the Lok Sabha was informed that the money laundering investigations against Bhujbal have revealed that entities which have subscribed to companies controlled by the politician’s family were “dubious” and their transactions were done only on paper.Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha, in a written reply, said a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has been registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against Bhujbal, ex-PWD minister of the state, his family members including MLA son Pankaj, ex-MP nephew Samir, a firm called Ms K S Chamankar Enterprises and others.The Bombay High Court, on December 18 last year, has constituted a Special Investigation Team comprising the ED Director and the Director General of state Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) to conduct the inquiry and submit a report to it.

Air India pilot, co-pilot grounded after its staffer died by getting sucked into aircraft’s engine

The rare mishap had occurred during push back for departure when the co-pilot of Mumbai-Hyderabad flight 619 allegedly mistook a signal for starting the engine and Subramanian, who was standing close, got sucked into it at bay 28 of the Chhatrapati Shivaji airport around 8.40 pm.

In a freak accident, an Air India technician (inset) Ravi Subramanian died after he got sucked into the live engine of an A-319 aircraft at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport on Wednesday evening.

The pilot and co-pilot of an Air India plane involved in Wednesday night’s freak accident at the Mumbai airport where a technician died after getting sucked into the engine have been grounded even as the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau launched a probe.Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani, who rushed to Mumbai on Thursday morning for an on-the-spot inquiry, said, “initially it seems that there was some communication gap.” He, however, refused to go into the details of what could have possibly caused the mishap described as a “serious accident.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The rare mishap had occurred during push back for departure when the co-pilot of Mumbai-Hyderabad flight 619 allegedly mistook a signal for starting the engine and Subramanian, who was standing close, got sucked into it at bay 28 of the Chhatrapati Shivaji airport around 8.40 pm. The pilot and the co-pilot of the Airbus A320 plane have been derostered after the mishap, a senior Air India official said.Lohani announced an ex-gratia of Rs five lakh and a job in the airline to a family member of service engineer Ravi Subramanian.”This is a serious accident and Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau has taken up the probe,” a senior civil aviation ministry official said.AAIB, a dedicated entity to investigate accidents, functions under the Civil Aviation Ministry. Manned by employees from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the bureau was carved out of DGCA in 2012.An aircraft parked in a bay cannot reverse on its own and has to be pulled by a tow vehicle. It was during the push back that the engine of the plane got started, violently pulling into its innards Subramanian, who was standing dangerously close. His body was so badly mutiliated it could not be sent for post mortem examination.”We have lost a family member. An ex-gratia amount of Rs 5 lakh has been given to the family. We have also offered a job to the family of the victim,” Lohani told reporters in Mumbai.Earlier in the day, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma said a three-member committee led by Lohani and top officials of DGCA had rushed to Mumbai.”It is very sad. We have lost a young engineer. A committee has been set up to investigate the incident and it has already started the probe,” Sharma said in Delhi.He, however, refused to elaborate further, saying that “it will be too premature to comment until the findings of the probe are out”.

National Herald Case: Income Tax has issued notices, says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

The Congress party has claimed the Enforcement Directorate under the Modi government had reopened the National Herald case after having closed it.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
File Photo
PTI
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said Income Tax Department has issued notices in National Herald case and now it is its duty to assess the parties allegedly involved in it.”When Income Tax has already issued notices asking for details, Income Tax is under the duty to assess. It has to assess Congress party, it has to assess the Associated Journal, it has to assess Young Indian. There is certain proceeding, and notices and that process is on,” he said in an interview to NDTV.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I have never said that process is not on. I have never said that process will stop or its not on. They issue notices, they hear assessees. These are quasi-judicial authority. I don’t even know who is the assessing officer,” he said when asked why ED and Income Tax department were not taking action in the matter related to National Herald. He, however, denied that the Enforcement Directorate reopened case.ED is not looking into the matter, he said, adding, they are independent investigative agency and the Finance Minister has no role in it. The Congress party has claimed the Enforcement Directorate under the Modi government had reopened the National Herald case after having closed it.”Why did the government reopen a closed enquiry by the Enforcement Directorate? After the BJP government came into office, the ED closed the case. Then the ED was abruptly transferred and enquiry was reopened. I am not criticising the judge, I am criticising the judgement,” senior party leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram had said last week.Congress has been protesting in Parliament on the National Herald issue alleging political vendetta after the Delhi High Court refused to quash summonses to its leaders including party chief Sonia Gandhi and her deputy Rahul Gandhi.To a question on Congress stalling Parliament, Jaitley said, “Mature politics requires that we get out of this cry baby syndrome. I just saw a statement on my phone in one of the news sites saying the Assam Minister has denied this allegation (that Rahul was allegedly stopped from entering a temple there).”The Assam Minister has said what their leader is saying is not correct,” he said.Jaitley said: “We can make political assaults on the opponents, we can make criticism but we cannot come crying everyday and say today we want to stall for reason A, tomorrow I want to stall for reason B, day after I want to stall it for reason C and some of these reasons don’t exist.” On GST, Jaitley said if there is an intention to resolve “all can be resolved”.”My original proposal never had one per cent cess. It’s the manufacturing states which insisted and, if that’s the sticking point, I can go back to manufacturing states and tell them if you suffer a loss at least one per cent tax is for two years for these two years we have already undertaken to make good all the losses that you suffer,” he said.On food inflation, he said prices of pulses is a matter of concern and the government is seriously making efforts to bring them down.

Government targets to deliver India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier by 2018 end

Undocked in June this year at Cochin Shipyard Limited, the construction of the first of the two planned Vikrant-class future aircraft carrier began in 2008 .

Representational Image

India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant is on its way to be delivered to the Navy in December, 2018, government said on Friday.Undocked in June this year at Cochin Shipyard Limited, the construction of the first of the two planned Vikrant-class future aircraft carrier began in 2008 .Replying to a question in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for defence Rao Inderjit Singh said that there has been a delay in the work of constructing the carrier mainly due to non-availability of warship grade steel, delayed ordering of Propulsion System Integration and delay in Russian approvals for design and equipment supply. “The targeted date of delivery to Indian Navy is December, 2018,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The indigenous aircraft carrier has been undocked post completion of underwater structural work and the government has approved revision of cost of project to Rs.19,341 Crores, the minister added.Once completed, the 40,000 tonne aircraft, which has been designed by Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design, will make India join the coveted club of the USA, UK, France and Russia – the only countries that design and make these ships on their own.India currently operates two aircraft carriers, INS Viraat and INS Vikramaditya.

Airlines flight rates skyrocket due to Chennai floods

AFP
With the Chennai rains creating havoc in the Tamil Nadu capital, private air carriers have increased the air fare rates manifold. A round-trip ticket between Delhi to Bangalore, which is the closest major airport to Chennai and is now attracting a heavy influx of air traffic, now ranges anywhere between Rs 50,000 to Rs 75,000.As the Chennai airport has been shut down due to the floods since November 30, passengers are opting for flights to Bangalore.A round-trip flight ticket between Delhi and Bangalore on GoAir ranges between Rs 34,000 to Rs 42,000. In Jet Airways, in the same sector, the flights cost anywhere between Rs 46,000 to Rs 75,000. Spice Jet flights in the same sector are between Rs 41,000 to Rs 56,000.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Chennai airport will resume operations today. It must be added that on ThursdayJet Airways announced that they will fully refund for cancelled tickets, and rescheduling of confirmed tickets will be free of charge on flights between December 1 and December 8, operating from Chennai.In August this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his concerns over the recent hikes in airfares, saying that a layperson will not be able to book tickets during an emergency. He held a meeting with aviation ministry officials and sought to address the issue of predatory pricing. “Airlines need to reduce fares and not hike them particularly when it comes to emergency travel like in medical emergency,” minister of state for civil aviation Mahesh Sharma had said then.It must also be added that early last month the Delhi government levied a 5% hike on the value added tax on jet fuel. After the hike, which became effective November 17, a kilolitre of jet fuel now costs Rs 44,846 per kilolitre, with a hike of Rs 1,795. Sudhakar Reddy, president of Air Passengers Association of India (APAI) said that this rampant cheating of the public must be addressed.“There are sectors where the hike is above 300%. The airlines must not overcharge passengers during an emergency. One understands hikes during festivals, but during a natural calamity this is rampant cheating,” he said. A few private airlines I have spoken to have cited usual last moment hikes, which is not the case,” says Reddy.He said that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is toothless in its demeanor and must act as an effective watchdog. Repeated attempts to get i touch with several officials at DGCA went in vain.

Chidambaram slams BJPs ‘malicious onslaught’ as ED, IT raid companies linked to his son

Torrential rain is lashing Chennai and in the middle of it all, another storm: A joint team of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Income Tax (IT) department on Tuesday searched the premises of companies allegedly connected to Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P Chidambaram, in Chennai.

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram. PTIFormer Finance Minister P Chidambaram. PTI

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram. PTI

Sources have told The Indian Express that the search has connection with an alleged money laundering, tax avasion and forex violations in the Aircel Maxis deal.

Former finance minister P Chidambaram called the search a “malicious onslaught” by the ruling BJP government. He said no one from his family has “any equity or economic interest in any of the firms that are being targeted”. Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd and Vasan Eye Care were the companies on the IT and ED radar Tuesday.

In the Aircel-Maxis case, ED had questioned former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi in December last year after the agency had probed financial transactions of their Sun Network group companies.

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley as leader of opposition in May 2012 had accused P Chidambaram that a firm owned by his family member had allegedly made payments to Aircel. This deal came up just before the telecom company had received major investment from Malaysian firm Maxis and the ownership changed.

“If the government wishes to target me, they should do so directly, not harass friends of my son who carry on their own businesses and have nothing to do with politics…My family and I are quite prepared to face the malicious onslaught launched by the government,” he said in a statement shortly after reports of the IT and ED searches.

The senior Congress leader said that he was travelling and had been informed about raids conducted on certain firms in Chennai which are allegedly linked to his son Karti.

“We have made it clear, repeatedly, that no member of my family has any equity or economic interest in any of the firms that are being targeted.” He added that the companies are professionally managed and can provide answers to suitable authorities. “I condemn the attempt to link them to my son and harass them on that ground,” he said.

Chidambaram alleged that the agenda of the government is being implemented by an officer of the Enforcement Directorate who has a pending dispute with the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.

“Orders in his case were apparently passed during the term of my predecessor. He met me and wanted me to intervene in his favour. I declined and I told him that I cannot reverse orders that were issued during the term of my predecessor…The change of government has given him an opportunity to misuse his powers to harass my son and his friends,” the former Finance Minister said.

PTI

Income-Tax, Enforcement Directorate raid on Karti Chidambaram’s firms

Income-Tax (I-T) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials swooped on many firms owned by Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P Chidambaram, for allegedly laundering black money through his firms in the Aircel-Maxis case. Officials raided 12 places, including Karti’s Advantage Strategic Ltd (ED) and Vasan Eye Care (I-I) in Chennai on Tuesday. The raids were conducted under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). ED sources said that Vasan Eye Care had transferred 1.5 lakh shares to Karti’s Advantage Strategic Ltd. Besides, Aircel had paid Rs 26 lakh to Advantage Ltd for consultation. The investigators did not find any records to this effect. Sources say that Advantage is the nodal company with shares in Vasan Eye Care. Investigators are suspecting a transaction of Rs 200 crore between the two companies, which took place around the time when the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) had cleared the Aircel-Maxis merger. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had also alleged that Karti, through his Ausbridge Holdings, where he had 94% equity holdings, controlled Advantage Strategic. Ausbridge had bought 66% stake in Advantage Strategic.In August, the ED had summoned four directors of Advantage Strategic Consulting and Vasan in connection with the Aircel-Maxis money trail probe. Only one director turned up. Later, he, too, evaded summons. According to ED officials, none of the four directors cooperated with investigations.ED sources said that they had posed simple questions to these directors, like the following,:1. Names and addresses of companies, firms and trusts inside and outside India, in which promoters, directors and shareholders of Vasant Health Care Pvt Ltd (VHCPL) held positions from 2007 to 2012.2. Details of those who exited or entered the company between 2007 and 2012, and the number of shares issued, amount paid, and premium, if any.3. Copy of the balance sheet for the same period4. Net worth, profit and loss and dividend paid during these years.5. Details of shares and debentures issued by VHCPL6. Details of deposits received from individuals and companies and loans given from 2007-08 to 2011-12.In May 2012, then Opposition leader in Rajya Sabha, finance minister Arun Jaitley had made a serious charge that a firm (Advantage Strategic Consulting) owned by a family member of P Chidambaram, then home minister, had allegedly made payments to Aircel. This deal came up just before the telecom company had received major investments from Malaysian firm Maxis and the ownership had changed.P Chidambaram claimed that he and his family were being targeted. “If the government wishes to target me, they should do so directly, not harass friends of my son who run their own businesses and have nothing to do with politics,” he said. “My family and I are quite prepared to face the malicious onslaught launched by the government,” he said.Congress leader Manish Tewari alleged “political vendetta” behind the I-T and ED raids on some premises of business associates connected with Congress leader Karti Chidambaram.

Government has launched a ‘malicious onslaught’ against my family: P Chidambaram

New Delhi: Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday accused the government of a “malicious onslaught” launched against his family.

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram. PTIFormer Finance Minister P Chidambaram. PTI

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram. PTI

“If the government wishes to target me, they should do so directly, not harass friends of my son who carry on their own businesses and have nothing to do with politics…My family and I are quite prepared to face the malicious onslaught launched by the government,” he said in a statement shortly after reports of IT and ED searches on some premises connected to Karti and his friends.

The senior Congress leader said that he was travelling and had been informed about raids conducted on certain firms in Chennai  which are allegedly linked to his son Karti.

“We have made it clear, repeatedly, that no member of my family has any equity or economic interest in any of the firms that are being targeted.” He added that the companies are professionally managed and can provide answers to suitable authorities. “I condemn the attempt to link them to my son and harass them on that ground,” he said.

Chidambaram alleged that the agenda of the government is being implemented by an officer of the Enforcement Directorate who has a pending dispute with the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.

“Orders in his case were apparently passed during the term of my predecessor. He met me and wanted me to intervene in his favour. I declined and I told him that I cannot reverse orders that were issued during the term of my predecessor…The change of government has given him an opportunity to misuse his powers to harass my son and his friends,” the former Finance Minister said.

PTI

Indian Parliament is not sovereign, Jethmalani counters Arun Jaitley

Speaking at the 155th anniversary celebrations of Indian Penal Code 1860, organised by Directorate of Prosecution in Kerala, Jethmalani came down heavily on Jaitley for terming “erroneous” the Supreme Court’s reason for striking down the NJAC Act and saying “Indian democracy cannot be a tyranny of the unelected”.

Ram Jethmalani

Eminent jurist Ram Jethmalani on Sunday asserted that Indian Parliament “is not sovereign” for its decisions can be challenged in court, as he hit out at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for criticising the Supreme Court verdict to scrap NJAC Act on appointment of higher judiciary.National Judicial Appointments Commission Act was the “product of complete unity between the old corrupt government and the new corrupt one”, the former BJP member alleged. Speaking at the 155th anniversary celebrations of Indian Penal Code 1860, organised by Directorate of Prosecution in Kerala, Jethmalani came down heavily on Jaitley for terming “erroneous” the Supreme Court’s reason for striking down the NJAC Act and saying “Indian democracy cannot be a tyranny of the unelected”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Ask any politician, particularly the Prime Minister. He will tell you that Parliament of India is sovereign. “Every student of the Constitution in the LLB class knows that Parliament of India is not a sovereign body…Parliament of England is sovereign because the judiciary has no power to set aside any legislative Act by the Parliament,” Jethmalani said here, referring to the Supreme Court’s verdict striking down as unconstitutional the NJAC Act which would have replaced the collegium system.”Parliament of India is not a sovereign body. It is a truth,” he said. Countering Jaitley’s argument, the 92-year-old former law minister said, “The judges of Supreme Court of India or even the High Court judges can never be called unelected because the law does not require them to be elected so that kind of adjective does not apply to the judges at all.” He said the judiciary could withstand “the pressure of a political document” when it was produced before the Supreme Court for its scrutiny.Jethmalani also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the blackmoney issue, saying he failed to fulfill his promise despite canvassing in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls that blackmoney worth thousands of crores of rupees would be brought back and distributed to poor people of the country.”He (Modi) went to the extent of telling the people that I will put Rs 15 lakh in the account of every poor man in the country,” he said. “Even till today they are not able to get back one dollar,” he said, and warned that Bihar election results will be repeated if he fails to fulfill the promise made in the BJP manifesto for 2014 Lok Sabha polls.”Look at the kind of margin by which Modi has lost (in Bihar),” he said. Jethmalani, who was expelled from BJP in 2013, said he wanted “nothing from him (Modi)” except “for God’s sake fulfil the promise that you have made to the poor people of India”.

Not worried, confident of coming out clean: Virbhadra Singh on ED summon

Referring to his meeting with former CM and Leader of the Opposition in state Assembly P K Dhumal, Singh said it was merely a formality and nothing should be read out of it

Virbhadra Singh

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who has been issued summons by the Enforcement Directorate, on Friday said he was confident of coming out clean on charges of money laundering and that he was too busy with the Assembly session to get worried about them.”Since I will be busy with Vidhan Sabha session at Dharamsala, my advocates would take care of the notice and file a reply,” he said during an informal chat with reporters. The Chief Minister said he was not worried about the money laundering case as he has faced many charges against himself in the past and come out clean everytime. “This time too I will fight it out.” “I sometimes feel proud of the fact that the entire central government is conspiring against me in a case, which has been already been cleared,” the CM said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Referring to his meeting with former CM and Leader of the Opposition in state Assembly P K Dhumal, Singh said it was merely a formality and nothing should be read out of it. ED has issued summons to Singh in connection with its probe against him and his associates for alleged money laundering and is preparing to record his statement. Sources said the summons have been issued under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) asking Singh to personally appear before investigators here in the first week of December.

Human error led to deadly U.S. strike on Afghan hospital – military | Reuters

WASHINGTON A U.S. investigation found that the deadly Oct. 3 air strike in Afghanistan that destroyed a hospital run by Medecins Sans Frontieres was a tragic and avoidable accident caused primarily by human error, a top U.S. military commander said on Wednesday.

Some U.S. personnel were suspended and could face disciplinary action after failing to follow U.S. rules of engagement in a war zone, said U.S. Army General John Campbell, who leads international forces in Afghanistan.

It remained unclear whether the U.S. military, even as it expressed remorse and wholly accepted blame, would be able to quickly mend its image in Afghanistan and elsewhere after the attack, which killed 30 people.

MSF’s general director Christopher Stokes said in a statement on Wednesday that the investigation illustrated “gross negligence” by U.S. forces.

“This was a tragic mistake. U.S. forces would never intentionally strike a hospital or other protected facilities,” Campbell said at a Pentagon news conference, releasing the results of the U.S. investigation.

MSF, known as Doctors Without Borders in English, has in the past publicly cast doubt on the idea that the strike could have been a mistake.

Detailing its own investigation on Nov. 5, MSF said the site’s location had been clearly communicated to both Afghan forces and the Taliban.

“The frightening catalogue of errors outlined today illustrates gross negligence on the part of U.S. forces and violations of the rules of war,” Stokes said in his statement. “MSF reiterates its call for an independent and impartial investigation into the attack on our hospital in Kunduz.”

Campbell acknowledged the hospital was on a no-strike list and that MSF had called during the attack to alert the U.S.-led forces. He described a series of mistakes that allowed the American forces to destroy the hospital, despite the call.

According to the U.S. investigation, U.S. forces had meant to target a different building in the city and were led off-track by a technical error in their aircraft’s mapping system that initially directed them to an empty field.

The U.S. forces then looked for a target that was visually similar to the one they had originally sought – the former National Directorate of Security headquarters in Kunduz, which they believed was occupied by insurgents.

“Tragically, this misidentification continued throughout the remainder of the operation even though there were contradictory indicators,” Campbell said.

The grid location of the AC-130 aircraft that attacked the hospital eventually identified the correct target building. In addition, there was no hostile enemy activity at the MSF building, Campbell said, but the U.S. attack continued.

“These are examples of human and procedural errors,” he said.

The timeline detailed by the U.S. military indicated that the 29-minute-long strike began at 2:08 a.m. By 2:20 a.m. a caller from MSF reported the attack to Bagram air base.

It took U.S. forces until 2:37 a.m. to realise the mistake, by which time the AC-130 gunship had already stopped firing.

“It is shocking that an attack can be carried out when U.S. forces have neither eyes on a target nor access to a no-strike list, and have malfunctioning communications systems,” MSF’s Stokes said.

Campbell said the investigation found that the strike killed 30 staff, patients and assistants and injured 37. He gave his condolences and said the U.S. military would offer to help rebuild the hospital.

“Chaos does not justify this tragedy,” Brigadier General Wilson Shoffner, a spokesman, said at the briefing.

“We are absolutely heartbroken over what has occurred here and we will do absolutely everything in our power to make sure that it does not happen again.”

(Reporting by Phil Stewart and Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Doina Chiacu, Bill Trott and Grant McCool)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

ED raids in 3 states in money laundering probe against Himachal Pradesh CM Virbhadra Singh

The searches were launched early this morning, the sources said, adding that raids were also carried out on premises of some business entities that allegedly received funds from associates of Singh.

ED filed the money laundering case against Virbhadra Singh under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after taking cognisance of a criminal complaint filed by the CBI in this regard in September.
File Photo
PTI
Enforcement Directorate sleuths on Friday conducted searches at about a dozen premises spread over three states in connection with its money laundering probe against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh. Official sources said raids were carried out in Delhi, Mumbai (Maharashtra) and Kolkata (West Bengal) on some associates of Singh and those named in the FIR registered by the agency in the national capital recently.The searches were launched early this morning, the sources said, adding that raids were also carried out on premises of some business entities that allegedly received funds from associates of Singh. ED filed the money laundering case against Singh under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after taking cognisance of a criminal complaint filed by the CBI in this regard in September.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The sources said investigators have gathered some “important” documents to probe and detect the “proceeds of crime” allegedly channelled by Singh and his associates by using purported illegal routes. It is alleged that Singh and his family members amassed wealth of Rs 6.1 crore between 2009 and 2011 when he was the Union Minister of Steel.CBI suspects that during the 2009-11 period, Singh allegedly invested Rs 6.1 crore in life insurance policies in his and his family members’ names through LIC agent Chauhan, claiming this money to be his agricultural income. It is alleged Singh attempted to legitimise the same as agricultural income by filing revised Income-Tax returns in 2012.

Talking parrots, goggles on board delay Air India flight

It was a bird-hit of a different kind. Air India flight AI 676, from Kolkata to Mumbai, got delayed by about an hour on Wednesday morning because of some caged parrots on board. As the parrots started whistling and talking continuously, passengers were irritated and fuming. Varsha Sethia, a marketing professional, who was on board the flight, said in a series of tweets: “ A passenger is carrying parrots on #AirIndia flight. And they are whistling! :)) Crew clueless why it was allowed.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>One of the passengers insisted that the parrots be off-loaded as he could get allergy from its dust and feathers. “Someone objected on grounds of allergy. Now bird de-boarded. Flight even more late. Everyone shouting,” Sethia said in her second tweet.After off loading the parrots, AI 676 took off about an hour later from the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Airport. An airline official said that a passenger carried two parrots, along with him, after complying with airline rules. They were kept in a cage in the passengers’ section. However, two co-passengers objected to the presence of parrots on health grounds. Hence, parrots were moved to the cargo section. Senior officers of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) said, generally, animals and birds of permissible species are allowed to be carried in cages and to be kept in the cargo section. On rare occasions, they can be carried in the passenger’s section but with health and vaccine certification from veterinarians. “Though it is not illegal, birds/animals are rarely taken in the passenger section,” said a senior Air India crew member.In the same flight, one of the passengers wearing goggles was asked to remove it by crew members, apparently due to safety reasons. “This flight is a live circus! Crew objected to a passenger wearing sunglasses for take off.Security reasons they say!,” Sethia further tweeted. An airline source said that one can stop a passenger from wearing goggles inside the flight only if he is a suspected criminal. “The crew member here has, obviously, over-reacted,” he said. The Air India official, who commented on the parrots, did not comment on the goggle episode.

‘Shah Rukh Khan hounded on Diwali for speaking the truth?’ asks Congress

“We recorded Khan’s statement yesterday in connection with the violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act,” ED sources said in Mumbai.

File Photo

After actor Shah Rukh Khan being grilled by ED on Diwali-eve, Congress wondered whether the superstar has faced the wrath of the authorities for speaking up on the issue of intolerance. “A noted filmstar like Shah Rukh Khan is grilled for four hours… Whether he is facing wrath for speaking out or whether something wrong has been done by him,” chief spokesperson of Congress Randeep Surjewala said. He said that suspicions on this score arose as the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI have nowadays become “instruments of vendetta”. Citing an instance, Surjewala alleged that Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who is the senior most Chief Minister in the country, faced ED raid on the day of his daughter’s marriage. The Enforcement Directorate has recorded the statement of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan in a matter of alleged irregularities in the sale of shares of Knight Riders Sports Pvt Ltd (KRSPL) to a Mauritius-based company.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We recorded Khan’s statement yesterday in connection with the violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act,” ED sources said in Mumbai. The case, dating back to 2008-09, pertains to the share sale of KRSPL, owned by Khan’s Red Chillies along with Juhi Chawla and her husband, to a Mauritius-based company owned by Chawla’s husband Jay Mehta. ED is probing allegations that shares sold to the Jay Mehta-owned Sea Island Investments were undervalued by eight to nine times. Khan had faced ED once in 2011 when he was questioned about alleged foreign exchange violation of around Rs 100 crore.

Saradha scam:Supreme Court declines to entertain plea of ex-Union Minister Matang Sinh

The apex court said bail cannot be considered at this stage as vital witnesses are to examined and investigation into the cases have to be completed.

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain the bail plea of former Union Minister Matang Sinh, arrested in connection with the multi-crore rupee Saradha chit fund scam case, saying the probe has not yet been completed.”This gentleman is a highly connected person,” a bench, comprising Justices T S Thakur and V Gopala Gowda, also said, observing that Sinh was not entitled for bail at this stage. When his counsel said Sinh was not such a person, the bench shot back saying, “We know his connections”. “The Home Secretary of Government of India has lost his job and you say he is not a highly connected person,” it said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The apex court said bail cannot be considered at this stage as vital witnesses are to examined and investigation into the cases have to be completed. The bench was also not convinced about granting bail to Sinh on the ground that of the 11 accused in the case involving Sinh, eight have been granted bail. It allowed his counsel and senior advocate Harin Raval to withdraw the petition.Sinh was arrested by the CBI on January 31 this year in connection with Saradha Realty case on charges of criminal conspiracy and cheating. The former Congress MP from Assam had been earlier questioned by Enforcement Directorate too in connection with scam in Delhi. In April this year, the CBI had filed the charge sheet against Sinh and his four companies in connection with the case.

Congress protest in reaction to probe into Robert Vadra’s land deals, alleges BJP

“This is not an ordinary march. This march is happening when you are going to get caught and investigation has come to your doorstep. Knowing very well that within a few days your story will be over and people of this country will know that you stand for corruption and corruption alone, you have started this farce of a march,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said at a press conference

Congress- Intolerance march

BJP on Tuesday sought to link Congress leaders’ march to the Rashtrapati Bhawan with the probe into controversial land deals involving Robert Vadra, claiming that the party started this “farce of a protest” in reaction to investigation “reaching the doorsteps” of the Gandhi family.”This is not an ordinary march. This march is happening when you are going to get caught and investigation has come to your doorstep. Knowing very well that within a few days your story will be over and people of this country will know that you stand for corruption and corruption alone, you have started this farce of a march,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said at a press conference here while hitting out at Congress.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Patra, along with another party spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao, brought up the recent Enforcement Directorate raid on the premises of a company linked to the controversial land transaction of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law to allege that the march was a reflection of the party’s “intolerance to the ongoing probe”. Vadra, they alleged, bought chunk of government land in Bikaner through fictitious names and a shell company.Law is taking its course and the course of law will take its time but it will do justice, Patra said.”When India is marching ahead, the Congress chief was leading a ‘retrograde march’,” he alleged.

D-company threat to Chhota Rajan forces Mumbai cops to monitor international calls

A senior officer from Mumbai police told dna, “Shakeel, who rose in D-company ranks after Rajan parted ways with D-gang, has been after Rajan’s life ever since.

A handcuffed Chotta Rajan being taken for questioning in Bali on Thursday

AP
In order to ensure that life of arrested gangster Chhota Rajan is not at risk once he is brought to city, the Mumbai police have begun intercepting calls from Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s D-company has presence in these countries and Mumbai as well. Interception is done basically to monitor communication in the gang as the police believe that Rajan faces serious threat to his life from Dawood’s aide Chhota Shakeel. A senior officer from Mumbai police told dna, “Shakeel, who rose in D-company ranks after Rajan parted ways with D-gang, has been after Rajan’s life ever since. Shakeel had sworn to wipe out Rajan gang completely.” Only in September last had the city crime branch arrested Mohammad Mahir Ashraf Kalbe Siddiqui, 30, of Mumbra and Akhtar Jamal Khan, 35, of Dharavi after learning of their plans to bump off two close Rajan aides, including DK Rao, upon Shakeel’s instructions.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> In July this year, D-company had managed to get Rajan’s location in Australia and was closing in on him. However, Rajan was lucky this time too and managed to escape. Rajan then decided to move out of Australia and left for Bali, where he was detained by the local authorities. “We have all reasons to believe that Shakeel would continue to hunt Rajan and his gang members and hence we have started intercepting international calls. In the past such interceptions have helped us in foiling such bids. DK Rao’s assassination bid too was foiled by the telephone interception. If the D-gang is planning something against Rajan, we would be prepared to neutralise their attempts,” said the officer. Meanwhile, dna has learnt that Chhota Rajan, once brought to Mumbai, would be lodged in the same lock-up where Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab was lodged. “In the past too, criminals facing threat to their lives were lodged in the Unit 1 lock-up within the Mumbai police headquarters,” said an officer. The police would also constitute a team involving officers with in-depth knowledge about underworld operations to interrogate Rajan, sources said. ED may be roped inSources in the Mumbai police on Thursday stated that during past several years, Mumbai police had learnt through arrested Chhota Rajan’s aides about his investments abroad. “We have learnt that Rajan owns properties in Indonesia, Malaysia, China and Zimbabwe. We would grill Rajan on his investments abroad and once his properties are identified would rope in Enforcement Directorate to initiate further proceedings,” said a crime branch officer.

dna Must Reads for morning: From Arun Shourie’s attack on Modi government to latest update of Afghan earthquake

Arun Shourie

1. BJP leader Arun Shourie attacks Modi government, calls it ‘Congress plus a cow’In a sharp attack on the Narendra Modi government, BJP leader Arun Shourie contended that it believes that managing economy means “managing the headlines” and that people had started recalling the days of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Read more here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Massive quake rocks South Asia, over 200 dead, 800 wounded; J&K suffers maximum damageA powerful earthquake struck the remote areas of Hindu Kush mountain range in Afghanistan on Monday rocking South Asia, killing over 200 people in Afghanistan and Pakistan while wounding 800. Read more here.3. Want Rajan to spill beans on gang’s operations: Mumbai policeFollowing the arrest of 55-year-old underworld don Rajendra Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan, the Mumbai police on Monday claimed that the Rajan gang would suffer a severe jolt, but the arrest would also provide a mine of information about the gang, rival Dawood Ibrahim and other underworld gangs operating outside India. Read more here.4. Shah Rukh Khan gets third summons from EDThe Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued third summons to Shah Rukh Khan in connection with the share sale of Knight Riders Sports Pvt Ltd (KRSPL), the franchise owned by his company Red Chillies Entertainment Pvt Ltd in partnership with actor Juhi Chawla and her husband Jay Mehta. Read more here.5. Rescuers race to reach quake zones in Afghanistan, Pakistan as toll nears 300Rescuers on Tuesday rushed to deliver relief aid to victims of a massiveearthquake that hit northernAfghanistan and Pakistan, killing at least 275 people over a wide swath of mostly mountainous terrain. Read more here.

Suicide bomber kills 16 at procession for Shi’ite holiday in Pakistan | Reuters

ISLAMABAD A suicide bomber killed 16 people in Pakistan on Friday at a procession in Sindh province for the Shi’ite Muslim holiday of Ashura, police said.

The blast, which also wounded dozens, was the second in two days to hit the festivities surrounding Ashura.

No one immediately took responsibility for Friday’s bombing, but a Sunni Muslim militant group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, had claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attack and threatened more violence against Shi’ites.

Fears of sectarian violence have been heightened this year since Taliban splinter groups pledged allegiance to Islamic State, a Sunni Muslim militant group based in Syria and Iraq that has repeatedly attacked Shi’ites. Analysts say Pakistani groups hoping for patronage want to impress Islamic State.

Local police official Muhammad Saeed said that 16 people including two children had been killed in the early evening blast in Jacobabad district, about 450 km (280 miles) north of the city of Karachi.

“Yes, it was a suicide attack on the procession,” Saeed told Reuters by telephone.

Another police officer, Niaz Ali, said at least two dozen people participating in the procession were wounded.

A suicide bombing at a Shi’ite mosque in the southwestern province of Baluchistan on Thursday killed at least 10 people.

Security has been beefed up across Pakistan for the two days of Ashura. Shi’ites were holding public gatherings and marches in most major cities on Friday and Saturday to commemorate the death of Hussain, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

Mobile phone services were being suspended in major cities on both days in a bid to foil remote-controlled bombings. Police also set up extra checkpoints and restricted movement in some areas.

Shi’ite Muslims make up about 20 percent of Pakistan’s population. The rest are mostly Sunni Muslims.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which once enjoyed the support of Pakistan’s powerful spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, has claimed responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of civilians, mostly Shi’ites.

Security forces have in recent years cracked down on the group, and killed its leader Malik Ishaq in July.

An LeJ spokesman, Usman Saifullah Kurd, told local newspapers on Friday that the group would “carry out suicide and other attacks, even on Ashura day.”

(REporting by Syed Raza Hassan in Karachi, Asad Hashim in Islamabad and Gul Yusufzai in Quetta. Writing by Kay Johnson; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

CVC admits to meeting ex-CBI director Ranjit Sinha at his residence

In May this year, Sinha was indicted by the apex court for “improperly” meeting the accused persons coal and other scams.

Central Vigilance Commissioner K V Chowdary, whose appointment has been challenged before the Supreme Court, has admitted that he met “controversial” former CBI director Ranjit Sinha at his residence but it was only for “official work.”In May this year, Sinha was indicted by the apex court for “improperly” meeting the accused persons coal and other scams. Denying all allegations, raised by some eminent persons against him in a PIL questioning his integrity, Chowdary claimed that he as head of the Central Board of Direct Taxation (CBDT) he had met Sinha not only at his residence but also at the CBI office.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I was heading the investigation division of the CBDT and in that capacity I had met the heads of the other investigation agencies on several occasions, including he then CBI Director….I met him at his residence on a couple of occasions on official capacity work. I have also met Sinha’s predecessor at his office which can be verified from the visitors’ register maintained in the said offices,” Chowdary said in an affidavit which was filed in response to the PIL.It was alleged by the petitioner NGO Common Cause that the visitors’ register at Sinha’s 2 Janpath residence indicated that Chowdary met him four times. Chowdary denied that he had any discussion with Sinha over “the cases of businessman Moin Qureshi, the hawala operator, or Stock Guru.” “Moin Qureshi is a tax payer in Delhi whose cases were investigated by the Delhi Directorate.I was the member of CBDT at that point of time. In that capacity, I monitored the case like any other cases across the country…There was no adverse intervention at any level during the investigation. …,” as stated in the affidavit.In a series of stories in August last year, dna had exposed Sinha’s meetig with highly influential accused in various scams including 2G and coal cases. Finiding it improper, the Supreme Court has set up a three member committee headed by former additional director CBI M L Sharma to probe into it.Further, he denied the case of stock Guru and the persons involved, who were running Ponzi schemes saying the CBI had found no clinching evidence against him.”…My name does not figure anywhere in the FIR filed by the CBI nor am I an accused of any wrongdoing. I believe that no authority has found any shortcoming in my actions. I have been promoted from time to time after the requisite background checks and vigilance clearances. Nothing improper was noticed in regrd to my conduct by the concerned authorities,” he said.

NIA arrests kingpin of fake currency notes in Dhanbad

The probe agency had claimed that the fake currency is pushed into India from Bangladesh in order to fund the activities of outfits like the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Indian Mujahideen (IM).

Representational image

The National Investigation Agency arrested a 35-year-old man alleged to be a major kingpin in the Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) network, a group that has been responsible for funding terror activities in India according to the probe agency. The accused, identified as Uttam Kumar Sinha, has cases registered against him in states including Mumbai, Gujarat and Jharkhand, and has been arrested on several occasions previously. He was arrested on Sunday in Dhanbad and the NIA said that a total of five mobile phones and 13 sim cards were recovered from him.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A resident of village Saluipahari in district Bankura of West Bengal, Sinha is said to be instrumental in allegedly dispatching fake currency to the tune of more than Rs 4 crore to different parts of the county in the last few years. The agency said that Sinha’s name had cropped up several times during interrogation of other arrested members of the network accused of smuggling fake currency. The currency has also been referred to as ‘money jihad’.Sinha was also wanted in a FICN smuggling case being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation and had been absconding since July 2012. “The modus operandi involves dispatching fake currency by couriers in the guise of labourers and masons to different parts of the country and in turn the payment is received through cash deposits from different states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, and other parts of the country, into the bank accounts maintained by him,” said an NIA official.The probe agency had claimed that the fake currency is pushed into India from Bangladesh in order to fund the activities of outfits like the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and the Indian Mujahideen (IM). Sinha’s arrest has further pointed out towards the strong bases maintained by the fake currency network in Bangladesh as the accused is said to have been maintaining contacts there for almost a decade.Sinha, according to the agency, has disclosed that he used to procure high quality FICN through his contacts in Bangladesh and then distribute the same through his gang members in different parts of the country. He had been arrested in the past in Gujarat as well as Jharkhand in cases relating to FICN smuggling but he managed to obtain bail and activated the smuggling network again. In 2008, Mumbai Railway police had also arrested one Nishpal Mandal suspected to have circulated fake currency valued at over Rs 1.5 crore. Mandal was arrested in West Bengal. Police had claimed that Mandal was in touch with Masood Shiekh, his point man in Bangladesh, and had been bringing in fake currency to India through Indo-Bangladesh border. Sinha was among the four people who acted as his agents. They were also arrested the same year. The accused were booked under IPC sections for fraud, forgery, conspiracy and distribution of counterfeit currency.Following an 2012 amendment in Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the circulation of such high quality FICN printed abroad and smuggled into the country is considered to be done with the sole intention to threaten, deplete, erode and undermine the economic security and sovereignty of India. This according to the amendment is tantamount to a terrorist act.NIA along with Jharkhand ATS is now conducting raids in different parts of the state to identify and arrest other co-accused. The probe agency had taken over the investigation of a case relating to recovery of FICN of face value of Rs 10 lakhs which was seized at Murshidabad (West Bengal) by officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence.

Delhi Government directs schools to issue swine flu advisory

The circular also mandates the schools to display the lists of facilities, including hospitals and laboratories, where treatment for the H1N1 Influenza Virus is available.
Representational Image
dna Research & Archives
Delhi Government has directed the heads of schools in the national capital to issue swine flu advisory and display public notices about the respiratory disease on their noticeboards.”All heads of government, government-aided and unaided recognised schools are directed to display the message, enclosed as ‘Public Notice’, on noticeboards to enlighten students regarding the symptoms of swine flu and precautions to be taken,” a circular issued by the Directorate of Education (DoE) said.”During morning assembly, children should be made aware of the ‘dos and dont’s’ with respect to the H1N1 virus. They should be encouraged to practice personal hygiene. Lastly, children with flu symptoms should be advised to stay at home until they are completely cured,” it added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The circular also mandates the schools to display the lists of facilities, including hospitals and laboratories, where treatment for the H1N1 Influenza Virus is available.”For students of Class I to VIII, competitions like slogan writing, poster making and debate etc may be organized at school-level to create awareness about the swine flu H1N1 and importance of hand washing,” the circular further said.Meanwhile, the Delhi government has decided to double the number of hospitals beds to step up preparedness against swine flu, which experts say will see a rise as temperature takes a dip. Two people have succumbed to the disease in the national capital this season.Swine flu had assumed epidemic proportions last season and continued till mid-April this year afflicting over 4,259 people and claiming 12 lives in the city.

Contrary to PM Modi’s promise, money has gone out of country, claims Congress

Congress had, on Saturday, questioned Modi’s commitment on the black money issue, asking him why no FIR had been filed against Bank of Baroda officials for illegally transferring a whopping Rs 6,172 crore in foreign exchange.

Congress on Wednesday took pot shots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rs 6100-crore remittance case, saying money has gone out of the country contrary to his promise of bringing back black money stashed abroad.”If such a huge amount of black money goes from one bank, one wonders whether such bank accounts have been opened to send black money abroad after NDA government came to power,” Congress spokesperson RPN Singh told reporters. Claiming that the Government got an FIR lodged against the bank officials after Congress raised the issue, Singh made a fresh “revelation” alleging that a company named Star Exim belonging to a person living in Chaibasa in Jharkhand transferred Rs 6000 crore between August 2014 and August 2015.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He also wondered “is there any connection between this and Bihar polls” as Chaibasa falls in the neighbouring Jharkhand. “It is for the newsmen to find out who is this person and to which party he belongs. Since the NDA government has come to power, money has only gone out of the country contrary to Modi’s promise of bringing back black money stashed abroad,” Singh said.According to media reports that Star Exim Limited has its address registered in one of the upscale suites in the famous Tsim Sha Tsui locality of Hong Kong’s famous Kowloon urban area and the owner of this company is a relatively obscure man who lives in the naxal-affected West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand. Congress had, on Saturday, questioned Modi’s commitment on the black money issue, asking him why no FIR had been filed against Bank of Baroda officials for illegally transferring a whopping Rs 6,172 crore in foreign exchange.CBI and Enforcement Directorate arrested six persons including two officials of a Bank of Baroda branch here in connection with Rs 6,172 crore alleged illegal remittances to Hong Kong through the bank.

Why is India’s most decorated revenue officer JP Singh being hounded?

The investigation, started on September 23, with the CBI searching Singh’s residence.

JP Singh

The Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) probe into charges of irregularities against JP Singh, a 2000 batch Indian Revenue Service officer at the Customs and Excise wing and who was joint director with the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Ahmedabad, has reached a dead end. The investigation, started on September 23, with the CBI searching Singh’s residence. “We are now wondering if there is a case to be made out at all,” said a CBI source. “It’s now emerging that all accused with non-bailable warrants against them had joined hands to complain to the ED and finance ministry. It was they who asked the CBI to investigate the complaint by Duljraj Jain, Anil Jaisinghani, Mansukh Jain, Mukesh Sharma and Afroz Fatta.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> All five are bookies and the complaint was that Singh had demanded bribes from the them for the betting case to be dropped. “While Sharma has been in jail for eight months, hawala scam-accused Fatta, who was arrested for funding the Mujahideen, has been cooling his heels in jail for a year and a half. Others are on the run,” the CBI source said. Many in the ED and Customs & Excise Wing, Singhs’ parent cadre, too, have expressed shock and dismay over the way his name was dragged through dirt. “There are some senior officials within ED who are unhappy that he excelled wherever he was posted,” said one officer. “He has often been responsible for exposing the nexus between these officials and betting rackets and hawala operators. Why else would an officer decorated by Union finance minister Arun Jaitley himself for his work in May 2014 be targeted like this a year later?” he said. He recounted several instances of good work Singh had been doing. In his first posting at the Directorate of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCI), Vapi, Singh was instrumental in closing down many 100% export-oriented units (EOUs) in south Gujarat. They were all running only on paper. This action saved money hundreds of crores of precious foreign exchange in 2003-04. While in the customs department, Mumbai, he unearthed a diesel smuggling racket by chasing ships on rented boats. At the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Mumbai, his case against Microsoft led to the multinational software major paying Rs 250 crore to the government. Later, he exposed an agents’ racket at the Censor Board. “In the ED, he was able to expose a huge hawala racket involving Rs 10,000 crore and a cricket-betting racket involving more than Rs 5,000 crore. The cricket-betting racket saw 10 arrests and five arrest warrants being issued. Properties of many bookies were attached. Action was being taken against betfair.com, through which many thousands of crores go outside India every year,” pointed out an ED official. “For the first time in history, the ED, under JP Singh, attached 1,260 acres of land in the US in a bank-loan fraud case,” he said. The official pooh-poohed claims that Singh demanded bribes. “In that case, why doesn’t it reflect in his lifestyle? He still travels by taxi and public transport.” He talked about how the trio of JP Singh and two assistant director-level officers — Sanjay Kumar and P S Srinivas — who have been transferred outside Gujarat on charges of “demanding huge bribes,” had actually busted both the hawala and international cricket-betting racket. “The charges made by businessmen and hawala operators are fraudulent since the Surat hawala case is being monitored by none other than a Supreme Court (SC)-appointed Special Investigating Team (SIT) probing black money,” he said. Customs and Excise wing officials speak of the joint director being under tremendous pressure from all sides. ED officials, from Mumbai to Delhi, admit that Singh “created many enemies for himself and his core team. Yet, we are shocked at the CBI searching Singh’s residence. He is among our strongest and brave officials in the agency who took on corporates and politicians head-on. If this is how he is rewarded, how will anyone stick his head out?” he said. A former senior DRI official, who J P Singh reported to in many cases, echoed this. “There’s no precedent of a case being registered and searches conducted only on the basis of complaints filed with the MoF. If we start complaining about CBI officials to the MoF, would similar searches be conducted?” he said. Suspecting mischief behind the complaint, he said, “The joint director was onto something big in the online cricket-betting world. His officers say this information would have brought the entire IPL under scanner. If he was really after money, why did the hawala case go all the way to SC? This is malicious mischief. This will send a wrong signal to revenue officials. If you have cases of such magnitude in hand, anything could happen, if you decide to go by the book.”

Enforcement Directorate gets Sathe Corporation case papers, Ajit Pawar’s role under lens

Maharashtra government has handed over documents pertaining to the alleged multi-crore scam in state-run Annabhau Sathe Development Corporation to Enforcement Directorate and questioned the role of NCP leader Ajit Pawar in this connection.

Maharashtra government has handed over documents pertaining to the alleged multi-crore scam in state-run Annabhau Sathe Development Corporation to Enforcement Directorate and questioned the role of NCP leader Ajit Pawar in this connection.Minister of State for Social Justice Dilip Kamble said documents were handed over to the ED, which is examining the case, last Tuesday and that the government was “doubtful” over Pawar’s decision to allocate Rs 300 crore to the Sathe Corporation three months before Assembly polls last year.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said there have been no discrepancies and that the “truth will be out for all to see” once the investigation is completed.NCP leader Ramesh Kadam, former chairman of the Corporation, along with three other accused including his then personnel assistant, his sister and one of his office staff are in judicial custody in connection with the alleged scam.The state government has handed over the probe in the scam to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).Kamble claimed that the scam runs into about Rs 1,000 crore, out of which Rs 500 crore belongs to Sathe Mahamandal (Corporation) and the remaining has been received as grants from the Centre.”We have handed over the documents to ED as we have to find out the cash flow, transactions with various accounts, purchase of 40 luxury cars and the distribution of cash in Assembly constituencies where NCP had contested the polls last year,” the minister said.”Kadam had used the funds to live a lavish life, distributed luxury cars to presidents of various organisations working for Matang community so that nobody would raise their voice against him,” he alleged.Kadam “withdrew Rs 22 crore cash from a nationalised bank on a single day and the CID has got the evidence of the transaction,” Kamble claimed, adding that the agency was probing it.The minister also claimed that Kadam had purchased land worth Rs 125 crore at Pedder Road in Mumbai and the payment mode was cash.He had purchased a number of lands in Mumbai, Pune and Solapur district. The CID and ED will jointly work on this. We also have a doubt that he may have purchased land outside the state as well,” he said.Kamble said there is a possibility of money laundering in foreign countries by Kadam and if the state gets clues, it may ask the CBI to investigate it.Pawar, the then deputy CM and finance minister during the Congress-NCP government, had approved Rs 300 crore grant to Annanbhau Sathe Corporation in June-July 2014. Also in July 2014, the state had decided to allow a guarantee of Rs 60 crore to loans that would be distributed by the Corporation.”Why only Sathe Corporation was allocated Rs 300 crore and nothing to other other backward corporations? Was Ajit Pawar aware about misuse of corporation funds?” Kamble asked.Though the government has no evidence against Pawar, but if his involvement is found then strong action will be taken against him, he said.However, Pawar has claimed that he did not take the decision of allocating funds to the corporation on his own and that it was the state Sabinet’s decision, which is on record.”The truth will be out once the inquiry is done. We had given money to all the backward corporations. It is all on record. Ajit Pawar did not take decision. It was the state Cabinet which did,” Pawar told PTI.”Once money has been allocated, it is up to the Corporation to spend the funds. Once an inquiry is done, the truth will be for all to see,” he added.

Black money SIT wants list of companies registered on single address

The SIT is set to file its third report on black money before the apex court on Wednesday (today).

To tighten the noose against companies flouting laws to stash away black money, the Supreme Court (SC)-appointed Special Investigating Team (SIT) has asked the corporate affairs ministry to furnish a list detailing the number of companies registered on a single address.The SIT is set to file its third report on black money before the apex court on Wednesday (today).A government source told dna that the SIT has also sought details of how many persons are directors in more than 20 companies. Under the Companies Act, one person is allowed to be director in 20 companies. If a person exceeds this number, there is a grace period of one year. If he does not resign after the expiry of this grace period, a penalty ranging from Rs 5,000 to 25,000 per day can be imposed.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a recent SIT meeting, attended by vice-chairman Justice Arijit Pasayat and other members, including the senior officers from Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Income-Tax (I-T), the possible hawala transactions taking place in these company addresses, apparently not genuine, were discussed. Declared unaccounted wealth of companies by September 30 and the number of people on company boards were also discussed.The SIT asked the ED and I-T officials to act against these companies and the directors.The SC had set up the SIT on June 2011 to to bring back black money stashed away by Indians in various banks abroad, following a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani.As per the finance ministry, unaccounted money worth Rs 4,147 were declared by September 30, the last day of a compliance window to declare black money salted away overseas.The individuals who declared this money include doctors, engineers and former senior managers who used to work overseas. These professionals formed the biggest chunk of those who declared unaccounted money.

Government working on policy to regulate use of drones

In July, senior officials representing the various agencies mentioned above met at the office of the home ministry in Delhi to discuss the issue.

Alarmed by the security threat posed by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs), the government is working on a policy to regulate their use.Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Arup Raha told reporters here on Saturday that IAF, along with the Army, Navy, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), home ministry, and paramilitary forces have been constant discussion over the threat and a holistic policy will be in place by next year.Raha said that the IAF was concerned about the possibility of drones becoming tools at the hands of terrorists and a similar concern has been shared by other security agencies about the misuse by anti-social elements.Since these devices fly at low levels, detecting them by radars become difficult.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In July, senior officials representing the various agencies mentioned above met at the office of the home ministry in Delhi to discuss the issue.In May, the security agencies went into a tizzy after five remote controlled parachutes were spotted in the Mumbai airport airspace. Though they were later identified to have been mistakenly entered the area and ‘harmless’, it led to Mumbai police banning the use of drones and paragliders in the city.Use of drones have become common in private functions as well as in political rallies across the country and security and intelligence agencies see their unbridled use as threats.DGCA policy on their use is likely to have a provision for mandatory permission from the security and law enforcing agencies.Use of drones has alarmed not just the Indian agencies but the internationally including militarily advanced nations such as the US where the agencies are working on ways to counter it.

Enforcement Directorate books ‘hawala dealer’ Moin Qureshi in $100 million money-laundering case

The ED had extensively questioned Qureshi earlier this year on laundering of money through companies based in Dubai and Pakistan and had gathered substantial information following raids on his uber posh house in Delhi’s tony Chhatarpur locality.

The law is finally catching up with notorious hawala trader Moin Qureshi.Accused of laundering over $100 million across the world through various channels – most notably his Pakistani wife Nasreen’s blood relatives and business associates – Qureshi has been booked by the Enforcement Directorate under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).The ED had extensively questioned Qureshi earlier this year on laundering of money through companies based in Dubai and Pakistan and had gathered substantial information following raids on his uber posh house in Delhi’s tony Chhatarpur locality.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The road to slapping of PMLA charges against Qureshi has not been easy. He has been as slippery as an eel and had been reluctant to partake in ED’s probe. Qureshi had in fact slipped away citing an emergency while he was questioned by the ED earlier this year.ED officials are yet to confirm whether they will slap similar charges against his wife Nasreen and daughters Pernia and Sylvia Qureshi, all of whom are alleged to have been used by Qureshi to illegally transfer the dirty money of influential people to safe havens abroad. The ED is tightlipped about whether they will be questioning French architect Jean Louise Denoit, who is also suspected to have been a conduit for Qureshi’s hawala transactions. dna had reported in the past about Qureshi’s links to former CBI director Ranjit Sinha and former Interpol chief Ronald Noble. dna had accessed Blackberry messenger transcripts of Qureshi and his associates that figured Sinha and Noble in the conversations and several dealings discussed by the hawala trader in those messages. If the ED is able to establish charges against Qureshi, he could face a maximum of 10 years in prison. However, given Qureshi’s influential links with the who’s who of Indian politics and business, the ED faces a gargantuan task. A lot of big fish have been linked to Qureshi – including prominent politicians of the ruling dispensation. In April this year, Income tax department had handed over dossier to ED, giving details of his foreign accounts and his several hawala routes to amass wealth disproportionate to his income. The Income Tax authorities had raided Moin Qureshi February last year and had seized more than Rs 20 crore cash and huge quantity of jewellery from his seven vaults.

dna Must Read at 11pm: Bihar polls, Rafale deal, Sourav Ganguly and more

Here are 5 top stories on dnaindia.com at 11pm.

The following quick read will take you through stories that are making news right now. ​1) Election Commission deregisters BJP alliance partner Ramdas Athawale’s RPIThe Maharashtra Election Commission (SEC) on Tuesday deregistered 16 state-level political parties in Maharashtra, including the Ramdas Athawale-led RPI faction, for alleged failure to submit income tax returns and audited accounts between 2005 and 2014. To read the full story, click here. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2) Bihar Polls: CM Nitish Kumar shown slippers at election rally in Nawada​​A group of people at the election rally at Warsaliganj showed ‘chappals’ while Kumar was addressing the rally in favour of JD(U) candidate Pradeep Kumar who is the sitting MLA. Know the full story here.3) Top Indian and French defence officials meet to negotiate Rafale dealA team from Paris, led by Engineer-General Stephane Reb, director of the International Directorate of the DGA (General Directorate for Armament) of the French Defence Ministry had arrived on Monday night. The Indian side was led by Deputy Chief of Air Staff SBP Sinha. Read it here. 4) Sourav Ganguly wants Virat Kohli to do better than him as India captain”I am a big fan of Virat Kohli. He is a captain who always wants to win matches on the field and I love that passion in him.,” Ganduly said. Read more what he said here. 5) Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live!PeeCee was seen on popular American late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live!, created and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.Watch her interview here: 5 interesting revelations Priyanka Chopra made on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

VB Singh, Farooq Abdullah asked to vacate government bungalows

The Cabinet Committee on Accommodation (CCA) had cancelled the allotment of the bungalow to HP CM Singh in April this year.

Farooq Abdullah

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, former Union Minister Farooq Abdullah and the widow of late Congress leader Arjun Singh have been asked by the Urban Development Ministry to vacate the government bungalows occupied by them. The Cabinet Committee on Accommodation (CCA) had cancelled the allotment of the bungalow to HP CM Singh in April this year. But Singh continued to overstay, so the eviction notice was served by the Directorate of Estates. According to a senior UD Ministry official, Singh has written to the Directorate of Estates to allow him to retain the house. Representative of the Himachal will meet meeting DoE official on September 29 to sort out the issue.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Besides Singh, the eviction notice has been served a few days ago to Abdullah and Arjun Singh’s widow Saroj Kumari, the official said. Saroj was allowed to stay at Caning Lane bungalow after the Congress veteran died in 2011. The UPA government had allowed her to stay till 2016 while the NDA cancelled the allotment and asked her to vacate the house. Abdullah continues to stay at the Teen Murti Lane house after demitting office in 2014. The Home Ministry has conveyed verbally to the UD Ministry to let the National Conference leader stay on security grounds. However, the UD Ministry now wants it in writing so that it could be sent to the CCA for a final decision, the official added.

Why did Jagan Mohan Reddy meet Ramoji Rao?

The meeting reportedly took place at Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad.

YS Jagan Mohan Reddy

Media honcho Ramoji Rao is reported to have met with YSR Congress party president YS Jaganmohan Reddy on Thursday. The meeting reportedly took place at Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad.Reports state that TTD Trust Board chairman Bhumana Karunakar Reddy also accompanied Jaganmohan Reddy for the meeting, which lasted more than an hour. Some in the YSR Congress party say that meeting was only a courtesy call. Jaganmohan Reddy reportedly wanted the support of Eenadu newspaper and Ramoji Rao for his upcoming fast-unto-death plan aimed at getting special category status for Andhra Pradesh. The programme has been planned in Guntur.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, many in Hyderabad don’t understand why he had to have a personal meeting when he could have called up and asked for the same. There is speculation that there is more to the meeting than meets the eye.Some rumours are rife that perhaps Jaganmohan Reddy was seeking Ramoji Rao’s help in getting the Enforcement Directorate and CBI cases against him sorted out. Ramoji Rao is said to have an excellent relationship with the central government.

Delhi government has no information against corruption cases against Sheila Dikshit

An RTI reply has revealed that the Delhi government has stated that only one complaint was received from a Ludhiana-based resident against her.

The Arvind Kejriwal government has not initiated any corruption case against former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, even though the Aam Aadmi Party had made promises to probe her alleged irregularities during her tenure as the chief minister, during its election campaigns before the last assembly elections in Delhi early this year. An RTI reply has revealed that the Delhi government has stated that only one complaint was received from a Ludhiana-based resident against her.The query filed by a Lucknow-based RTI applicant Sanjay Sharma was forwarded by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s office to Directorate of Vigilance to provide information on cases registered by the present government.The vigilance department had then forwarded it to Anti-Corruption Branch which said no information to that effect is available in the government records.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government had set up a commission of inquiry to probe the CNG fitness scam which took place during Dikshit’s tenure as the Delhi CM in 2012. However, there has been no progress on that front. Delhi Jal Board chairman Kapil Mishra had also alleged that Dikshit was involved in the water tank scam in a letter to Kejriwal, but, the matter was not probed further by the Kejriwal government.

CBI searches ED’s Ahmedabad branch, slaps bribery case against its Joint Director

The CBI on Wednesday carried out searches at the Enforcement Directorate’s Ahmedabad branch after registering a case of alleged bribery against its Joint Director investigating the IPL betting probe.

CBI

The CBI on Wednesday carried out searches at the Enforcement Directorate’s Ahmedabad branch after registering a case of alleged bribery against its Joint Director investigating the IPL betting probe.CBI sources said the agency has registered a case of alleged corruption against Joint Director JP Singh, a 2000 batch Indian Revenue Service officer of Customs and Excise wing, on the basis of a complaint received from the Directorate.They said the case has been registered under provisions of criminal conspiracy under IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act against Singh and unknown officials of ED.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It is alleged that Rs 15 crore was handed over as bribe to Singh’s father-in-law, S K S Somvanshi, a retired IRS officer of 1978 batch, by hawala dealers and tax consultants for giving relief and extending favours to suspects in two cases probed by ED.The ED’s Ahmedabad unit was probing two important cases–Rs 2,000 crore IPL betting scandal and Rs 5,000 crore money laundering case against alleged hawala operator Afroz Fatta in which the suspects allegedly sought favours, sources said.After registering the cases, CBI carried out searches the ED office in Ahmedabad and residences of Singh and Additional Directors Sanjay Kumar and PS Srinivas, both ED cadre officers in Ahmedabad, and Somvanshi here in Delhi, they said.The operation, which started in the evening, is still continuing with a team of the agency reaching Surat to search the residence of Srinivas there as well.Sources said the ED Director received multiple complaints from various quarters about the alleged demand for bribe by the senior officials of its Ahmedabad unit after which it was forwarded to CBI.The agency had kept these suspects under surveillance after receiving complaint from ED during which prima facie information about the alleged bribery was collected. were conducted. “It has been alleged that certain officers of Enforcement Directorate while investigating the cases of money laundering in betting and other such activities have allegedly demanded and accepted huge illegal gratification from the accused and suspect persons in the said cases.”Huge bribe amount was allegedly taken by these officers as quid pro quo for various acts of omission and commission,” CBI spokesperson said in a statement.

Vyapam scam: ED quizzes accused Jagdish Sagar for information about his property

Sagar, who was arrested in connection with 2013 Vyapam scam, was brought from Bhopal jail amidst tight security to the ED’s sub-zonal office, where sleuths quizzed him for four hours, the ED official said.

Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials on Wednesday interrogated Jagdish Sagar, an accused in Vyapam scam, and reportedly managed to get more information about his ‘ill-gotten’ property which was allegedly amassed through his involvement in the Vyapam scam, a top ED official said.Sagar, who was arrested in connection with 2013 Vyapam scam, was brought from Bhopal jail amidst tight security to the ED’s sub-zonal office, where sleuths quizzed him for four hours, the ED official said.”We have received information about some properties owned by him. We suspect that he amassed this property through the black money he had minted in the Vyapam scam,” the ED official said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier, the ED had grilled Sagar on August 26 last year after it attached his movable and immovable properties worth Rs 3.34 crore, the ED official said. Besides Sagar, ED has investigated Vyapam’s former examination controller Pankaj Trivedi and nine others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).According to the MP police, Sagar, who had allegedly colluded with Trivedi, had allegedly taken huge bribes from many students to admitting them fraudulently to government medical colleges across Madhya Pradesh.

CBI registers bribery case against ED Joint Director in IPL betting case

New Delhi: The CBI on Wednesday carried out searches at the Enforcement Directorate’s Ahmedabad branch after registering a case of alleged bribery against its Joint Director investigating the IPL betting probe.

CBI sources said the agency has registered a case of alleged corruption against Joint Director J P Singh, a 2000 batch Indian Revenue Service officer of Customs and Excise wing, on the basis of a complaint received from the Directorate.

They said the case has been registered under provisions of criminal conspiracy under IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act against Singh and unknown officials of ED.

Representational image. IBNLive

Representational image. IBNLive

It is alleged that Rs 15 crore was handed over as bribe to Singh’s father-in-law, SKS Somvanshi, a retired IRS officer of 1978 batch, by hawala dealers and tax consultants for giving relief and extending favours to suspects in two cases probed by ED.

The ED’s Ahmedabad unit was probing two important cases–Rs 2,000 crore IPL betting scandal and Rs 5,000 crore money laundering case against alleged hawala operator Afroz Fatta in which the suspects allegedly sought favours, sources said.

After registering the cases, CBI carried out searches the ED office in Ahmedabad and residences of Singh and Additional Directors Sanjay Kumar and P S Srinivas, both ED cadre officers in Ahmedabad, and Somvanshi here in Delhi, they said.

The operation, which started in the evening, is still continuing with a team of the agency reaching Surat to search the residence of Srinivas there as well.

Sources said the ED Director received multiple complaints from various quarters about the alleged demand for bribe by the senior officials of its Ahmedabad unit after which it was forwarded to CBI.

The agency had kept these suspects under surveillance after receiving complaint from ED during which prima facie information about the alleged bribery was collected. were conducted.

“It has been alleged that certain officers of Enforcement Directorate while investigating the cases of money laundering in betting and other such activities have allegedly demanded and accepted huge illegal gratification from the accused and suspect persons in the said cases.

“Huge bribe amount was allegedly taken by these officers as quid pro quo for various acts of omission and commission,” CBI spokesperson said in a statement.

PTI

Health ministry officials review fresh cases of supposed dengue deaths in Delhi

Amidst media reports putting out number of dengue deaths in New Delhi as 22 by Sunday, and the intermittent rains giving rise to fears of further spread of the disease, health ministry officials reiterated once again that the situation in the city was under control. Speaking to dna, Dr Charan Singh from the directorate of health services in Delhi stressed that using the word ‘outbreak’ commonly being quoted in most news reports, was scientifically wrong. It should be said that there was an upsurge in this year’s cases, he said.

Representational Image

dna Research & Archives
Amidst media reports putting out number of dengue deaths in New Delhi as 22 by Sunday, and the intermittent rains giving rise to fears of further spread of the disease, health ministry officials reiterated once again that the situation in the city was under control. Speaking to dna, Dr Charan Singh from the directorate of health services in Delhi stressed that using the word ‘outbreak’ commonly being quoted in most news reports, was scientifically wrong. It should be said that there was an upsurge in this year’s cases, he said.Singh spoke following the Directorate General Health Services weekly review of dengue cases, held on Saturday. The meeting reviewed 30 new cases of deaths that could be related to dengue, to determine which ones were purely a dengue fatality. Thoughts have upped the media reports have upped the number of dengue deaths in Delhi to 22, the government figures might differ as they sort out deaths only from dengue and deaths caused by another medical complication in patients with dengue. This condition, Singh said, was called co-morbidity. Though the number of purely dengue deaths from these 30 is supposed to be only 6, Singh declined to confirm that number, till the data was officially released this week.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Though the Director of Indian Council of Medical Research, Dr Soumya Swaminathan has been quoted in press reports has confirming there is no new mutant strain of dengue this year, Dr Singh said we couldn’t even say for sure that this was only the Den-2 and the Den-4 strains that had spread. “Things change in medical science so often,” he said, “for now this looks like a mixed infection, that could carry all four strains.” However, he did say that Den-2 and Den-4 do cause the most fatality.”But there are many reasons as to why there has been this upsurge this year,” added Dr. Singh, “it’s the virus’s cyclical pattern. But the situation is under control.”Sources high up in the central ministry have long been saying that the situation not out of hand in or in the country. Many have attributed the panic amongst people to a certain herd mentality, or rushing to the hospitals to be admitted at the first sign of a fever. There is also a certain sense of frustration with state governments, that, the sources say, have to take the lead. “We can only advise and assist with logistics and funds,” they said. “For the first time, the union ministry held a training workshop with the corporation, to train their workers to handle dengue,” said one senior member of the ministry.Minister for Health and Family welfare, JP Nadda issued his 12 advisory this year on dengue, on Saturday. Following the intermittent rain, he conveyed to the Delhi government that “vector control measures need to be intensified to contain the problem of dengue. You are requested to instruct all concerned officials and department to intensify the efforts.” He laid heavy emphasis on checking breeding areas for mosquitoes, such as construction sites, basements, roof-tops and unused buildings.

ED registers money laundering case against firm allegedly linked to Robert Vadra

According to ED, a criminal case has been registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, which will soon issue summons and question the accused, including some unknown private entities, involved in it.

Robert Vadra

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a money laundering case arising out of a land grab case at Bikaner in Rajasthan involving a firm allegedly linked to Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.According to ED, a criminal case has been registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, which will soon issue summons and question the accused, including some unknown private entities, involved in it.According to reports, ED has taken cognizance of the earlier media reports that had referred to a firm linked to Vadra, which had purchased some of these lands.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The agency did not take the name of Vadra or any company linked to him in the FIR, but it has named some state government officials and some of the land mafias. Congress General Secretary and spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed called it sheer political vendetta. Rajasthan Government in January this year cancelled the mutation or transfer of land of 374.44 hectares after the land department claimed to have found that the allotments were made in the names of illegal private persons.

Sheena Bora murder: ED may reopen probe into Mukerjeas’ money dealings

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has sought a detailed report of the abruptly halted investigations in 2012 by the probe agency into the Rs 50-crore sale of INX Media, owned by Mukerjeas, to Indi Media Pvt Ltd.

Indrani and Peter Mukerjea

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has sought a detailed report of the abruptly halted investigations in 2012 by the probe agency into the Rs 50-crore sale of INX Media, owned by Mukerjeas, to Indi Media Pvt Ltd.This is in the wake of Peter and Indrani Mukerjea’s connection with the alleged murder of her daughter Sheena Bora, which has eventually opened a Pandora’s box of large financial dealings, some of which are suspected to be through money laundering.Insiders told dna that the case is likely to be reopened as the investigating authorities went slow and the case was finally shut inconclusive without any further direction.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The incomplete report of the INX deal, earlier probed under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), has been sent to the ED’s headquarters. We are anticipating a reply in a week whether to revisit it or not,” an ED official told dna.Sources in ED said they have held discussions to reopen the case over the past few days. But it is not yet clear that either it will be tried under anti-money laundering laws or continue with the charges of forex violation.When contacted by dna, a spokesperson for INX Media Pvt Ltd (now called 9X Media Pvt Ltd) said, “The company has been in compliance with applicable laws.”dna has learnt that the entire deal has two major aspects – one, the foreign exchange violation by INX Media, and the other, changes in its shareholding pattern.The case related to foreign exchange violation was registered under FEMA by ED in 2010 pertains to investment by three Mauritius-based companies in INX Media.It was revealed that INX Media had secured approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for foreign direct investment up to 46%. As per the probe, the foreign entities bought shares of INX at Rs 862.31 a piece, which was 86.2 times more than the face value of the share. “It was alleged that the FDI received by INX Media was invested in step-down subsidiaries of the media firm without prior approval of the board,” said an official.With regards to violations in the shareholding pattern of INX, Serious Fraud Investigation office (SFIO), under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and which deals in financial crimes, had raised concerns in its final report.According to the SFIO, Indrani Mukerjea owned 99% stake in the company that controlled Indi Media. The SFIO report says Indi Media was only a front company to mask the actual holding structure of News X and that the money for this venture had actually been given by a Mumbai-based industrial house that could not enter the media space directly since it was bound at that time by a non-compete agreement. So Indrani, who had no major finances of her own, was shown as owning 68% of INX News.According to ED sources, this came to light when the agency was tasked by the government to probe financial transactions done by the Nira Radia group of companies. “In the said recorded tape conversation, Jehangir Pocha, the then editor-in-chief of News X channel, was being heard desperately urging Radia to transfer funds to News X kitty.”INX News Pvt Ltd was incorporated on 2006 had an authorised capital of Rs 7.5 crore divided into 75 lakh shares of Rs 10 each. On March 31, 2007, the share holding pattern of INX News showed that Indrani owned roughly 17% of the equity, former CEO and editor-in-chief Vir Sanghvi owned 16% stake, INX Media held 16%, while Indi Media held the majority 51% stake.INX Media was Mukerjea’s flagship company and was backed by global investors such as New Silk Route – Private Equity Mauritius, New Vermon Private Equity and Dunearn Investments.In 2007, Peter Mukerjea and Indrani raised about $220 million from private equity firms Temasek Holdings, New Silk Route Advisors, Kotak SEAF India Fund, New Vernon Private Equity and SREI Group to start INX Media with a music channel 9XM and a Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC).In 2008, the media firm launched NewsX, an English news channel. Within a year of launch, the news channel was sold to Indi Media Network, a joint venture between Nai Duniya owner Vinay Chhajlani and Jehangir Pocha.In March 2009, Peter and Indrani exited the company after selling their 30% stake in loss-making INX Media. The same year, INX Media was renamed as 9X Media.Subsequently, in 2011, New Silk Route increased its stake in the company to 80% by buying out all the other private equity investors in the company. SFIO investigated the sale of the Indrani-controlled News X to Vinay Chajjlani-owned Indi Media Pvt Ltd. It was completed in 2013 and report was also submitted. But like in the ED probe, no action was initiated.According to the insiders, the clearance from enforcement agency on probe would also decide the fate of the five loss-making firms in Kolkata, owned by Mukherjeas, which are now under scanner of Mumbai police. The crime branch already shared the details of companies which are suspected to be fake.The suspected firms are Ganga Excecutive Search, Yamuna Recruitment Services, Sarashwathi Media Ltd, Indrani Incon and Indrani Mukerjea News. Sources said these firms saw almost Rs 100 crore disappear from their books when Peter and Indrani were at the helm of affairs.

Supreme Court rejects govt’s move to remove Venugopal as CBI, ED counsel

The bench also said “we want you to continue assisting us as amicus (curiae) if not as CBI counsel.”

said Venugopal, who has dealt with the matter since the beginning, was required to continue,

Supreme Court on Wednesday disapproved the government’s move to remove senior advocate KK Venugopal as a counsel for CBI and Enforcement Directorate in the 2G spectrum allocation scam matter, saying he would continue assist the court on the probe which was at the fag end. “We need you to assist us. We will tell them (Centre). We know how to tell them,” a bench comprising Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice Arun Mishra said when the issue of Venugopal’s removal was raised.During the brief hearing, the bench also said “we want you to continue assisting us as amicus (curiae) if not as CBI counsel.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Venugopal, who was recently conferred with the Padma Vibhushan, said he did not want to continue as a lawyer in the case and referred to the communication he had received from an Under Secretary level officer from the Revenue Department about his removal. However, he later gave in to the insistence of the bench that it will not let him go and said he has no option but to assist. “The CBI probe is practically over except the Aircel- Maxis case with regard to Chidambaram and all,” he said.”Since we are coming to the final stage, can you not assist us,” the bench asked him and then said, “We request Shri K K Venugopal, the respected senior counsel, to continue to assist us in the matter by appearing for CBI and the Enforcement Directorate. We direct the CBI and the ED to continue instructing Venugopal.”Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for NGO CPIL, supported the stand of the apex court and said Venugopal, who has dealt with the matter since the beginning, was required to continue, a view also shared by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy. “I support and want Venugopal to continue,” Swamy, who has filed a plea seeking further probe in the Aircel-Maxis deal relating to the alleged role of then Finance Minister P Chidambaram in giving it FIPB clearance, said. “We also support that,” the bench said and recalled the passage of an order by which the government was stopped from repatriating ED officer Rajeshwar Singh, who was in the team probing money laundering offences related to the 2G scam, to his parent cadre.Earlier too, Venugopal had told the apex court that he will not be appearing in future for the agency. He had made the statement before the bench headed by the CJI which mentioned a media report in this regard when the senior advocate was appearing in a different matter.

Rakesh Maria shunted out to sabotage money laundering probe in INX, says NCP

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is reportedly probing the alleged forex violations by INX Media. Maria’s abrupt transfer was due to political pressure from Delhi, NCP alleged.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Opposition NCP alleged on Tuesday that top cop Rakesh Maria was abruptly transferred owing to “political pressure” from Centre and to stop the probe into the money laundering angle in INX Media, founded by Indrani Mukerjea, prime accused in Sheena Bora murder case, and her husband Peter Mukerjea.”The transfer (of Maria as Mumbai police commissioner) was done so as to stop investigations into the money laundering angle into INX Media, floated by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, in which foreign companies from Singapore, UK and USA had invested about Rs 500 crore,” NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He was reacting to the appointment of Ahmed Javed as the city police commissioner, while Rakesh Maria was made DGP (Home Guards) on Tuesday.The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is reportedly probing the alleged forex violations by INX Media. Maria’s abrupt transfer was due to political pressure from Delhi, he alleged.Describing Maria as an “upright officer”, NCP state unit president Sunil Tatkare said labelling the former as being close to the NCP leadership was “unfair and unjust”.”Maria has an unblemished career as an upright police officer and it is improper to label him as the one being close to NCP,” Tatkare said.Related read: Sheena Bora murder probe will be monitored in a professional way, says Mumbai CP Ahmed JavedMaria had been appointed as police commissioner in place of Satyapal Singh who resigned to contest Lok Sabha elections last year. Tatkare said the NDA government needed to clarify on “abrupt” shunting out of Maria, just 20-22 days before his scheduled promotion.Maria has handled high-profile cases and also ensured that Mumbai remained peaceful after Yakub Memon’s hanging and funeral, he added.

Maria shunted out to sabotage money laundering probe in INX Media: NCP

Mumbai: Opposition NCP on Tuesday alleged that top cop Rakesh Maria was abruptly transferred owing to “political pressure” from Centre and to stop the probe into the money laundering angle in INX Media, founded by Indrani Mukerjea, prime accused in Sheena Bora murder case, and her husband Peter Mukerjea.

Rakesh Maria. AFP

Rakesh Maria. AFP

“The transfer (of Maria as Mumbai police commissioner) was done so as to stop investigations into the money laundering angle into INX Media, floated by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, in which foreign companies from Singapore, UK and USA had invested about Rs 500 crore,” NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said.

He was reacting to the appointment of Ahmed Javed as the city police commissioner, while Rakesh Maria was made DGP (Home Guards) on Tuesday. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is reportedly probing the alleged forex violations by INX Media. Maria’s abrupt transfer was due to political pressure from Delhi, he alleged.

Describing Maria as an “upright officer”, NCP state unit president Sunil Tatkare said labelling the former as being close to the NCP leadership was “unfair and unjust”.

“Maria has an unblemished career as an upright police officer and it is improper to label him as the one being close to NCP,” Tatkare said. Maria had been appointed as police commissioner in place of Satyapal Singh who resigned to contest Lok Sabha elections last year.

Tatkare said the NDA government needed to clarify on “abrupt” shunting out of Maria, just 20-22 days before his scheduled promotion. Maria has handled high-profile cases and also ensured that Mumbai remained peaceful after Yakub Memon’s hanging and funeral, he added.

PTI 

dna must read: From Bihar polls to Andy Murray’s shocking exit

1) Enforcement Directorate officials surprised at Interpol move on Lalit ModiEnforcement Directorate (ED) sources expressed surprise at the Interpol’s move to seek more details on the investigations into the alleged money-laundering by former Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Lalit Modi, following India’s request for a red corner notice (RCN) against him. Read More<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2) Bihar polls: Election Commission may announce dates today, polls likely to be held in five phasesBihar poll dates are likely to be announced by the Election Commission of India. The availability of central forces will decide the phases for polling.The Bharatiya Janata Party and an alliance of the Janata Dal-United and the Rashtriya Janata Dal that has the backing of the Congress will be the main contenders in the polls. Read 3) India hits back at Pak Army chief Raheel Sharif, says isssue with Pakistan is how to get back PoKThe only issue with Pakistan is to get back parts of Jammu and Kashmir under its illegal occupation, Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh said here today, hitting back at Pakistan Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif’s comments that Kashmir is an “unfinished agenda”.Singh emphasised that Jammu and Kashmir was and will remain the integral part of India. Read More4) US Open: Third seed Andy Murray suffers shock exitThird-seeded Andy Murray was knocked out of the US Open by big-serving South African Kevin Anderson, who reached his first grand slam quarter-final with a 7-6(5) 6-3 6-7(2) 7-6(0) win on Monday. Murray had battled his way back from two sets down in the second round against France’s Adrian Mannarino, but could not work another miracle against the 14th-ranked, 29-year-old Anderson, who swept the final tiebreak 7-0. Read More5) Hundreds of Americans sign petition offering to house Syrian refugeesHundreds of Americans offered on Monday to take Syrian refugees into their homes, saying in an online petition that the United States needed to let in more migrants fleeing civil war. Almost 1,300 people had signed the petition on the progressive MoveOn.org website calling on the United States to lift its limit on Syrian refugees as Europe struggled to cope with record numbers of asylum seekers. ead More

Saradha Scam: CBI arrests Kolkata-based businessman Ramesh Gandhi

This is not the first time that Gandhi has been arrested. He has earlier been arrested for coal and media related scams in West Bengal.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested Kolkata-based businessman Ramesh Gandhi on Monday evening, in connection with the multi-crore rupee Saradha scam.Gandhi was arrested by CBI officials from his Tollygunge residence and was later taken to the CGO complex for questioning. He is likely to be produced before the court on Tuesday morning. According to sources in the CBI, he was arrested on charges of economic offences and conspiracy.On several occasions, Gandhi had been questioned by the same investigating agency in connection with the scam.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In 2008, Gandhi allegedly entered into a deal with former minister Matang Sinh for 80% stake in NE Bangla channel. The deal was signed to make major inroads in states like Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand. Gandhi had been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate on several occasions in connection with the Saradha Scam.This is not the first time that Gandhi has been arrested. He has earlier been arrested for coal and media related scams in West Bengal.

Increased incidences of medical education department

As the attacks on doctors continued in the state run medical colleges, the medical education department are still busy with conducting security audit as the colleges submitted the security audit information was not in appropriate manner. On Tuesday, the medical education department once again issued a circular to all state run medical colleges stating the deans of the colleges that they should submit the information till Thursday.After a state-wide strike by Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) in first week of July, the state had promised to submit security audit report till July 25. Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), a medical education department wing that has coordinated and gathered the data of security audit from the medical colleges. The medical colleges that submitted the report was not in a proper manner, hence the government is demanding the information in the provided format.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As per the format, department wants to know that how many security guards is working currently, how many extra security guards do they need. They are also seeking information about how much they spend over one security guard and how much more expenses will occur if they hire security guard for a year. Also, in the same manner department wants to know that how many CCTV’s are installed and how many CCTV’s they need more in the college premises.By July 25, deans of all fourteen medical colleges were asked to submit an audit report, assessing the state of security in their respective medical colleges. They had to list the requirement for the number of security cameras required to equip the campus as well as the shortfall of security guards as faced by the medical college.“The way the government is working it looks as if they are not serious about our security demand. One month has passed and the government is yet to gather the data on security audit which shows their concern with our demands. The colleges submitted the information to the department is not in proper format. Hence, the department is not able to take decisions on our demand, this puts security of over 4,000 doctors under grave risk,” said Dr Sagar Mundada, President, Central- MARD.According to the sources, all the state run 14 medical colleges have been provided with walkie-talkie a year ago, but none of them used it. The colleges gave a reason that they don’t have the permission form the home department. Around 144 walkie-talkies were distributed among all medical colleges.

Don’t deny admission to dengue patients: Delhi Govt to hospitals

As many as 831 cases of dengue have been reported this year till August 29 in the national capital, the highest number for the period in the last five years, according to a municipal report released yesterday.
Representational Image

With the city witnessing a spurt in dengue cases, Delhi Government has issued an advisory to all hospitals asking them not to deny admission to patients affected by the vector-borne disease and postpone elective procedures so that such patients could be given proper care.”With the number of dengue cases rising, the Directorate of Health Services issued an advisory to all government and private hospitals directing them not to deny admission to such patients if needed be,” Dr Charan Singh, in-charge of the vector-borne control programme in Delhi Government, said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As per the advisory, hospitals have been asked to try and postpone elective procedures (surgery that is scheduled in advance and does not involve a medical emergency) so that these large number of dengue patients can be given proper medical care.”We have asked them to try and postpone elective procedures to allow proper medical care to maximum number of dengue patients. Dedicated dengue wards have been opened in government hospitals and we are consistently monitoring the situation,” Singh said, adding that due to the sudden rush many hospitals have been forced to devote a large number of beds to dengue patients.Related read: 830 cases of dengue recorded this year; August reports highest number at 778 casesBesides, the Health Department has also ordered all government blood banks to stock enough platelets and has also asked private blood banks to ensure their availability at nominal rates. As many as 831 cases of dengue have been reported this year till August 29 in the national capital, the highest number for the period in the last five years, according to a municipal report released yesterday. However, officials from the city’s municipal corporations and Health Department of Delhi government could not furnish information on the latest number of dengue cases.The last figure released by the municipal corporation was till Aug 29. The August month has reported its highest number, with cases rising to an alarming 778. At least 780 cases were reported till August 28, and among the fresh 250 cases last week, included a Palestinian diplomat and his two sons.

DGCA recommends pilots to undergo simulator refresher course

The incident had happened when the port side winglet of the Hyderabad-bound aircraft with 137 passengers and seven crew onboard, hit the light mast while executing a left turn during the taxing for take-off.
Representational Image

Aviation regulator DGCA has held the commander of a SpiceJet flight responsible for an incident, which took place at the airport in New Delhi more than three years ago and has recommended the pilots to undergo simulator refresher course. The Directorate Civil Aviation, which made public its final investigation report on Monday on the incident involving a Boeing 737-800 aircraft, has also recommended both the pilots – the pilot-in-command and first officer – to undergo technical refresher course/crew resource management with special emphasis on taxing procedures as part of its safety recommendations.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Taxing procedure as per Boeing FCTM was not followed by the commander, which eventually resulted into the incident,” the DGCA said in its report.”The commander executed an early left turn and did not follow the yellow parking bay line to join the taxi lane which eventually resulted into the incident. The FCTM procedure recommended by Boeing for executing a turn not followed by the commander is a contributory factor,” the DGCA said in its report.The incident had happened when the port side winglet of the Hyderabad-bound aircraft with 137 passengers and seven crew onboard, hit the light mast while executing a left turn during the taxing for take-off. However, all 144 people onboard had escaped unhurt in the incident, which took place on December 12, 2012.The DGCA, in its report, found that weather was not a contributory factor to the incident, adding, “the first officer informed the ATC that they had stopped at the runway due to technical. However, the actual reason was not communicated to ATC by cockpit crew.”The regulator as part of its safety recommendations, has asked the commander to undergo simulator refresher and practice in taxing procedure as per FCTM/company’s operations manual as well as in executing various turns during taxing besides in power-in and power out on various parking bays. The commander has also been recommended to undergo two route checks with a training captain examiner/instructor to assess the performance and procedure.At the same time, the DGCA has also recommended the private airport operator, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), to undertake a study for considering reflective paints on the light mast as well as to carry out one time check on all power in power out bays for verifying necessary clearances as per the civil aviation requirement.

Rotational reservations implemented in UP Panchayat Polls, SC-OBC women to occupy one third of Gram Pradhan posts

These elections will be held for 59,164 Gram Pradhan posts, 74,3297 gram panchayat member posts, 78,075 members of kshetra panchayats posts and 3,134 zila panchayat member posts.

dna Research & Archives
Prior to the Uttar Pradesh Panchayat elections 2015, rotational reservations have been implemented. According to what has been reported so far by Amar Ujala, one third of the Gram Pradhan posts will be reserved for women under these reservations, however the final status on reservations for SC, ST and OBC will be clarified on September 6.The Panchayat delimitation process has been carried out based on the population causing a significant increase in the number of seats, reports Amar Ujala. For example, a total of 15 blocks in Shahjahanpur had 922 effective gram panchayats. After delimitation the number of gram panchayats have gone up to 1077 with an increment of as many as 155. Bhavalkheda block of Shahjahanpur has now 92 gram panchayats, the most number of panchayats in any block. With 87 gram panchayats, Sidhauli is second, where as with 82 gram panchayats, Jalalabad is third.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to the instructions laid out by the Directorate of Panchayat Raj, Schedule Tribes were to be given priority in reservations this election but due to the pre-decided rotational reservations, women from Schedule Caste and OBC will have better chances of becoming the gram pradhan. The reservation process started on Monday. The final reservation list will be published on August 31 and objections will be invited on September 1 and 2. After all objections have been resolved, the final status will be released on September 6.These elections will be held for 59,164 Gram Pradhan posts, 74,3297 gram panchayat member posts, 78,075 members of kshetra panchayats posts and 3,134 zila panchayat member posts.

Unemployment in Chhattisgarh: Post-grads and engineers among 75,000 applicants for 30 peon jobs

That government jobs are highly sought after in India is common knowledge. After all, they offer several benefits along with job security, and so candidates are known to go to great lengths to secure one — from lining up for hours to taking extensive exams. Not even the disparity between the the number of vacancies and applications deters them.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

However, the flood of applicants for for the post of a peon in the Directorate of Economics and Statistics in Chhattisgarh showed just how highly disproportionate the jobs to applicants ratio is in many parts of India.

An unprecedented 75,000 people applied for the position that only has 30 seats available, according to a report by Hindustan Times. The sheer magnitude of the aspirants was so high, that the examination, which was to be held on 30 August, was cancelled as the department was unable to handle the numbers.

Amitabh Panda, commissioner of the department, told Hindustan Times“We were left astounded. For the vacancy of 30 posts of peon required across the state, as many as 70,000 applications were received online and over 5,000 through the post.”

However, what’s striking about this rush of applicants is the qualification — the job was that of a peon, which doesn’t necessarily require a college education, but several graduates, post-graduates and engineers have also applied for the job, reports Hindustan Times.

Indeed, this incident highlights the issue of unemployment and underemployment in India, where post-graduates and engineers are wiling to to work as peons.

Implement 25% quota for poor children: Delhi government to playschools

“Schools cannot charge the EWS quota students any fee for registration or prospectus…If they are not able to admit any applicant under the quota the schools will be require to give an explanation for the same,” it further said.

The Delhi government on Sunday ordered implementation of 25% reservation for poor children in play schools and creches, which are running on land alloted at concessional rates by the government.Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia issued directives for implementation of the quota for children of economically weaker section (EWS) in all play schools.In November last year, the Delhi High Court had slammed the state government for failing to devise any mechanism to ensure 25% reservation to poor children in play schools.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Schools will be required to display this information on notice boards as well as on their websites. The notice boards should be placed at places where they are visible to more public,” the Delhi Government said in a statement .”Schools cannot charge the EWS quota students any fee for registration or prospectus…If they are not able to admit any applicant under the quota the schools will be require to give an explanation for the same,” it further said.Regarding rules for distance of play school from applicant’s residence, the government has said that the norms detailed under Right to Education (RTE) Act for entry-level classes will be followed.If the number of applicants is more than number of seats the admissions will be done through draw of lots procedure, he said.”The school will be required to communicate to the parents the date of lottery procedure and it will conducted in presence of parents.”The draw of lots procedure will be concluded only after receiving signature of at least five parents and all the related documents will be secured for future reference,” Sisodia said.The schools will not be permitted to hold any interview, counselling, written or oral examination of either the parents or children for admission to play schools, creches or pre primary schools, he said.The move comes as implementation of Delhi High Court’s directive issued in November 2014.The Delhi High Court had slammed the government for failing to devise any mechanism to ensure 25% reservation to poor children in play schools running on land alloted at concessional rates.Hearing a plea filed by an NGO, Justice for All, which sought implementation of RTE Act in play schools and nurseries, saying they are alloted land by DDA at concessional rates, a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw had also directed the Directorate of Education (DoE) to ensure that all schools, which have been allotted land, abide by the provision.It had further ordered DoE that if any such school is found in breach of the above then DDA should be immediately intimated.RTE Act, 2009 mandates every recognised school imparting elementary education to admit to the extent of at least 25 per cent of the strength, children belonging to weaker sections and disadvantaged group in the neighbourhood and provide free and compulsory education to them.

Who is Shabir Shah?

Founder of Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP), Shabir is a separatist leader who seeks the ‘right of self determination’ for Jammu and Kashmir.
File Photo
AFP
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Sunday issued fresh summons to Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah, at present in Delhi, for questioning in connection with a decade-old case of alleged terror financing through the ‘hawala channel’.62-year-old Shabir Shah’s was also detained on Saturday upon his arrival at the Delhi airport, to prevent him from meeting Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz ahead of the proposed NSA-level talks, which later fell through. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Who is Shabir Shah?Founder and Chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP), Shabir is one of the separatist leaders who seeks the ‘right of self determination’ to Jammu and Kashmir. He was born in Anantnag in 1953 and his father Ghulam Mohammad Shah died in police custody in Anantnag in 1989. Shah has been repeatedly booked under Public Safety Act in Kashmir and has spent time in and out of preventive detention without trial. In an interview with Shah in 1998, a Rediff article talks about the mood of Kashmiri people in 1994 when Shah was released. It said he was welcomed by a huge gathering of people outside the Srinagar’s Central jail. Shah parted ways with moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference last year and formed a separate unit.

Enforcement Directorate summons separatist Shabir Shah under Prevention of Money Laundering Act

The Enforcement Directorate has issued summons to separatist leader Shabir Shah under ‘Prevention of Money Laundering Act’ over terror financing through Hawala.

PTI
The Enforcement Directorate has issued summons to separatist leader Shabir Shah under ‘Prevention of Money Laundering Act’ over terror financing through Hawala.”I will appear before ED on 12th October”, Shah told ANI over telephone.Shabir Shah was on Saturday detained at his residence in South Delhi. Shah arrived in Delhi for a meeting with Pakistani National Security Advisor Sartaz Ajiz. However, the talks between between NSAs of Pakistan and India have been called off.While leaving Srinagar, Shah had said the he would like to meet Aziz. “We are going to ask the people of India whether former Indian Prime Minister A B Vajpayee, their leader L K Advani or Manmohan Singh were wrong. During their tenure, they never blocked us from meeting Pakistani officials when they came to India.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Kashmir is an important issue…Pakistan’s stand is clear. They are saying that they will come for talks and present whatever they want to say. India can also put forward its argument but Kashmir issue must be included,” he insisted.The top separatist leaders had received an invite from Pakistan High Commission in Delhi for a reception being hosted for Aziz.

ED likely to close National Herald case due to lack of evidence against Sonia, Rahul

New Delhi: In a huge relief to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is likely to close the National Herald case.

The ED has decided to close the case due to lack of substantial evidences against both Congress leaders, sources said on Monday.

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. PTI

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. PTI

Both leaders were summoned by a trial court on 26 June, 2014, following Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy’s complaint accusing both of cheating and misappropriation of funds in acquiring the ownership of the now-defunct English daily National Herald.

Congress treasurer Motilal Vora, senior party leaders Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and telecom engineer Sam Pitroda were also summoned by the court on 7 August, 2014.

The party leaders had moved the high court on 30July, 2014, against the trial court order. On August 6, the high court stayed the summons issued against them.

Swamy alleged misappropriation of assets worth Rs 2,000 crore of the National Herald newspaper.

Reacting to the development, Swamy said, “There has been political influence from the Congress to close the National Herald case.”

Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are principal shareholders in a company set up to relaunch National Herald, the Congress mouthpiece begun by Jawaharlal Nehru way back in 1938.

A private non-profit company ‘Young Indian’ was formed in March 2011, with Sonia and Rahul holding 38 percent shares each, with the specific aim of taking over the liabilities of Associated Journals Ltd. (AJL), the parent company which owned National Herald and its Urdu version, Qaumi Awaz, all with money spent from the Congress coffers.

The two newspapers folded up on 1 April, 2008. AJL’s liabilities of Rs 90.21 crore have been taken over by Young Indian for Rs.50 lakh, the entire amount paid by the Congress.

Another Rs 1 crore, it is learnt, has been spent by Young Indian in renovating the newspaper’s headquarters, Herald House, at 5A, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg. This amount too has been funnelled by the Congress as loan.

IANS

Sushma Swaraj’s defence on Lalit Modi raises more questions

An emotionally charged Swaraj asked why punish Modi’s wife suffering from cancer for 17 years and it developing for the tenth time.

Sushma Swaraj speaks in the Lok Sabha on Thursday

PTI
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj’s spirited defence using all her oratorical skills in the Lok Sabha reiterating that she only helped the IPL founder Lalit Modi’s wife on “humanitarian grounds” has raised more questions.The trail left by Lalit Modi himself, after he secured the British documents to travel to Portugal where his wife was supposed to get operated on August 4, 2014, was found enjoying himself on August 6, in front the church in Fatima, the Catholic pilgrimage site about 100km outside Lisbon, just two days after attending his “ailing” wife. On August 8, along with his wife Minal, he was seen in Ibiza, the island in Spain, favoured by the rich and famous as a party destination.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An emotionally charged Swaraj asked why punish Modi’s wife suffering from cancer for 17 years and it developing for the tenth time. “If Sonia Gandhi were in my place, she would have also done so. However, if it were a crime to help a cancer patient, let the House punish me,” she said in a suo moto statement, accusing that the Opposition had done “injustice” to her by levelling baseless charges.Though Swaraj read her statement in the absence of Opposition, who are boycotting the session on account of suspension of 25 MPs, the Congress rejected her explanation, pointing out that she could have given Indian travel papers to Lalit Modi on compassionate grounds. Why did she not tell the British government to repatriate him as he was wanted for crimes in India, asked Congress leader Anand Sharma. She will be again face test as it is her ministry that has to ask the British government to arrest and repatriate Lalit Modi to India in view of a non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued by a Mumbai court against him on Wednesday. Stating that it must be the effect of her “grah,” (planetary situation) an emotionally charged Sushma said: “It is unfortunate that my closest friends in Opposition are levelling charges against me. These are my bad days. I am sure they will be over.”She asserted that she has never requested or recommended the British authorities to give travel documents to Lalit Modi, challenging the Opposition wanting her resignation to show any paper or e-mail as a proof of their charge of helping an absconder wanted for crimes in India. “What crime did I commit? Did I extend some financial benefit to Lalit Modi? Did I help him flee from India? Did I stop an inquiry against him?” she asked, explaining that she had only made a verbal request, leaving it to the British government to consider his case if its rules allow and assuring that it would not affect the bilateral relations between India and Britain.Explaining the background under which she helped Lalit Modi’s wife when she was operated for cancer for the 10th time in a Portugal research centre whose doctors said her ailment was life-threatening and that she may even die during the operation as both of her kidneys were damaged. So she wanted her husband to be present on August 4, 2014 when she was scheduled to undergo surgery. Sushma also quoted from a letter of the centre’s director, Dr Carlo, which said, “Presence of Mrs Modi and her husband is required.”She also quoted from the statement of Lalit Modi’s wife to the British Home Office that they are married for 20 years but “I need him now than ever.”But the UK authorities who were refusing travel documents to Modi till August 1, did relent on the intervention of Swaraj, which they treated as a diplomatic signal for change in policy on the former IPL commissioner. The UK had earlier placed restrictions on Modi’s travel in view of Enforcement Directorate’s actions over his alleged role in money laundering The UK officials had on July 3, 2014 informed Lalit Modi in writing, that he has been denied visa. “Lalit Modi was wanted by law. It was confirmed by Finance Minister of this and the previous government. There were 14 cases in which Lalit Modi was already served notice. Should a minister then clandestinely arrange travel documents for such a person?” Sharma asked. “Why did Sushma Swaraj intervene voluntarily to ensure travel document for Lalit when the UK government did not ask for that? It’s ridiculous,” he said.

Louis Berger bribery case: Enforcement Directorate registers case in Guwahati

The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday registered a money laundering FIR in Louis Berger bribery case to probe charges of bribing Indian officials with several crores of rupees to win a major water developmental project in Guwahati.

Enforcement Directorate

PTI photo
The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday registered a money laundering FIR in Louis Berger bribery case to probe charges of bribing Indian officials with several crores of rupees to win a major water developmental project in Guwahati.Officials said Enforcement Directorate’s Eastern Region office based here directed its office in Assam to register a complaint under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after taking cognisance of a police complaint that was registered by a local NGO sometime back in the state.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>ED is the first central probe agency to have taken over investigation in this case. The Goa police (Crime Branch) are already probing the case and it arrested former state Public Works Department Minister Churchill Alemao on Wednesday.”The police FIR was filed in the Kamrup police station by an NGO against Louis Berger sometime back. The firm was taken as a consultant for water supply project by the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority,” sources said. ED has named the firm and unidentified individuals in its criminal complaint and will soon seek documents from the company.”The scope of adding more names to the FIR is open,” they said. Sources said a similar FIR would soon be filed by ED in Goa.The officials of the New Jersey-based company had confessed in the US last month of paying bribe to Indian officials and ministers for winning consultancy of Water Augmentation and Sewerage pipeline project under Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) funding.

Mumbai court issues non-bailable warrant against former IPL boss Lalit Modi

Mumbai: Special court in Mumbai on Wednesday issued a non-bailable warrant against former IPL boss Lalit Modi in charges related to money laundering based on Enforcement Directorate’s plea. The warrant will now be sent to United Kingdom’s Ministry of Home Affairs, according to media reports.

The special court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act cases had on Tuesday reserved its order.

ED moved the court last week seeking an NBW after Modi did not respond to the summons sent to him.

File picture of Lalit Modi. GettyFile picture of Lalit Modi. Getty

File picture of Lalit Modi. Getty

Special judge P R Bhavake on Tuesday sought to know why the agency was not arresting him and had sought NBW and whether a warrant can be issued during the investigation.

ED’s lawyer Hiten Venegoankar said Lali Modi was not available in India, hence an NBW should be issued. Modi had not complied with the summonses issued to him since 2009, he claimed.

The judge asked if Modi was an accused before the court as ED had not filed a charge sheet against him. For issuance of NBW, the person should be an accused before the court, judge Bhavake remarked.

The ED lawyer said the case was at the stage of pre-investigation and the Supreme Court had said in a previous ruling that NBW can be issued during the investigation.

Last month, the court had issued letters rogatory (LR) to Singapore and Mauritius, seeking assistance from authorities there in the case.

BCCI registered an FIR in Chennai against Modi in 2010. In 2008, the cricket body had awarded 10-year media rights to WSG for USD 918 million. WSG then entered into a deal with MSM to make Sony the official broadcaster. The contract was replaced later with a nine-year deal where MSM paid WSG USD 1.63 billion.

In 2009, ED started a probe under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) to investigate the allegation that payment of Rs 425 crore facilitation fee by MSM Singapore to WSG Mauritius had been made in an unauthorised manner.

With inputs from PTI

Special PMLA court issues non-bailable arrest warrant against former IPL chief Lalit Modi

The special court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on Wednesday issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against former IPL chief Lalit Modi in connection with money laundering case.

The special court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on Wednesday issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against former IPL chief Lalit Modi in connection with money laundering case.The Enforcement Directorate’s had moved the court last week seeking a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against Modi after he did not respond to the summons sent to him.On Tuesday, special judge P R Bhavake sought to know why the agency was not arresting him and whether a warrant can be issued during the investigation.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>ED’s lawyer Hiten Venegoankar had said Lalit Modi was not available in India, hence an NBW should be issued. Modi had not complied with the summonses issued to him since 2009, he claimed.Last month, the court had issued letters rogatory (LR) to Singapore and Mauritius, seeking assistance from authorities there in the case. BCCI registered an FIR in Chennai against Modi in 2010. In 2008, the cricket body had awarded 10-year media rights to WSG for $918 million. WSG then entered into a deal with MSM to make Sony the official broadcaster. The contract was replaced later with a nine-year deal where MSM paid WSG USD 1.63 billion.In 2009, ED started a probe under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) to investigate the allegation that payment of Rs 425 crore facilitation fee by MSM Singapore to WSG Mauritius had been made in an unauthorised manner.

Special court reserves order on ED plea for warrant against Lalit Modi

Special judge P R Bhavake on Tuesday sought to know why the agency was not arresting him and had sought NBW and whether a warrant can be issued during the investigation.

Lalit Modi

File Photo
The special court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act cases here today reserved its order on Enforcement Directorate’s plea seeking a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against former IPL boss Lalit Modi. ED moved the court last week seeking an NBW after Modi did not respond to the summons sent to him. Special judge P R Bhavake on Tuesday sought to know why the agency was not arresting him and had sought NBW and whether a warrant can be issued during the investigation. ED’s lawyer Hiten Venegoankar said Lalit Modi was not available in India, hence an NBW should be issued. Modi had not complied with the summonses issued to him since 2009, he claimed.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The judge asked if Modi was an accused before the court as ED had not filed a charge sheet against him. For issuance of NBW, the person should be an accused before the court, judge Bhavake remarked. The ED lawyer said the case was at the stage of pre-investigation and the Supreme Court had said in a previous ruling that NBW can be issued during the investigation. Last month, the court had issued letters rogatory (LR) to Singapore and Mauritius, seeking assistance from authorities there in the case. BCCI registered an FIR in Chennai against Modi in 2010. In 2008, the cricket body had awarded 10-year media rights to WSG for $918 million. WSG then entered into a deal with MSM to make Sony the official broadcaster. The contract was replaced later with a nine-year deal where MSM paid WSG USD 1.63 billion.In 2009, ED started a probe under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) to investigate the allegation that payment of Rs 425 crore facilitation fee by MSM Singapore to WSG Mauritius had been made in an unauthorised manner.

Court reserves order on ED’s plea seeking non-bailable warrant against Lalit Modi

Mumbai: The special court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act cases in Mumbai on Tuesday reserved its order on Enforcement Directorate’s plea seeking a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against former IPL boss Lalit Modi.

Lalit Modi. Reuters

Lalit Modi. Reuters

ED moved the court last week seeking an NBW after Modi did not respond to the summons sent to him.

Special judge PR Bhavake on Tuesday sought to know why the agency was not arresting him and had sought NBW and whether a warrant can be issued during the investigation.

ED’s lawyer Hiten Venegoankar said Lali Modi was not available in India, hence an NBW should be issued. Modi had not complied with the summonses issued to him since 2009, he claimed.

The judge asked if Modi was an accused before the court as ED had not filed a charge sheet against him. For issuance of NBW, the person should be an accused before the court, judge Bhavake remarked.

The ED lawyer said the case was at the stage of pre-investigation and the Supreme Court had said in a previous ruling that NBW can be issued during the investigation.

Last month, the court had issued letters rogatory (LR) to Singapore and Mauritius, seeking assistance from authorities there in the case.

BCCI registered an FIR in Chennai against Modi in 2010. In 2008, the cricket body had awarded 10-year media rights to WSG for USD 918 million. WSG then entered into a deal with MSM to make Sony the official broadcaster. The contract was replaced later with a nine-year deal where MSM paid WSG USD 1.63 billion.

In 2009, ED started a probe under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) to investigate the allegation that payment of Rs 425 crore facilitation fee by MSM Singapore to WSG Mauritius had been made in an unauthorised manner.

PTI

Tension on LoC after Pakistani snipers kill Indian army soldier

Pakistani army violated the border ceasefire again when its snipers killed the Indian army soldier on the Line of Control (LoC) in the Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district in the Jammu division on Wednesday night.

Rajya Sabha MPs Jaya Bhachchan and Sitaram Yechuri at Parliament House on Thursday

PTI
Pakistani army violated the border ceasefire again when its snipers killed the Indian army soldier on the Line of Control (LoC) in the Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district in the Jammu division on Wednesday night.The incident occurred on Wednesday night when Pakistani army sniped at the Indian army jawan who was guarding his post along the LoC. The jawan suffered grievous injuries and was shifted to the hospital where he succumbed.“There was a sniper fire from across the (LoC) in which one of our solider was martyred. The jawan was in the post when they (Pakistan army) sniped at him,” Lieutenant Colonel Manish Mehta, defence spokesman at Jammu, told dna.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indian army exercised restrain and did not retaliate to Pakistani provocation. “We did not retaliate,” said Lt Col Mehta.The fresh ceasefire violation comes 12 days after Pakistani army pounded civilian areas to disrupt the Eid revelry in Shahpur and Qasba villages of Poonch district injuring five people including three women.Official figures reveal that there have been 199 ceasefire violations from January 1 to June 30 2015 in which two soldiers and two civilians were killed. Last year 583 ceasefire violations took place in which four jawans and 13 civilians were killed. Official figures reveal there have been 347 ceasefire violations from Pakistan in 2013 in which 10 jawans were killed.“All violations of ceasefire are taken up with Pakistan military authorities at the appropriate level through the established mechanism of hotlines, flag meetings as well as weekly talks between the Directorate Generals of Military Operations of the two countries. BSF, too, holds talks at various levels with its counterpart viz. Pakistan Rangers,” said Colonel SD Goswami defence spokesman at Northern Command, quoting the reply of defence minister Manohar Parrikar in Rajya Sabha.Colonel Goswami added, “Diplomatically, India has repeatedly emphasised, the need for Pakistan to uphold the sanctity of the Line of Control (LoC) and abide by the ceasefire commitment of 2003 along the International Border and LoC.” On Thursday evening, Pakistani army resorted to unprovoked firing on the Indian forward posts at 6.15 pm in Krishna Ghati Sector of Poonch district.”Our troops are responding appropriately. No casualty or damage has been reported till now,” said Lt Col Manish Mehta, defence spokesman at Jammu