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Only unaccounted mufflers will be found if CBI raids my house: Delhi CM Kejriwal

Kejriwal had launched a scathing attack after the CBI raided the Delhi Secretariat and accused the Centre of orchestrating it. While Kejriwal alleged that his office was raided under the pretext of raiding his Principal Secretary’s office, the investigating agency refuted the charges.

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Delhi University Professor GN Saibaba ‘linked with Naxals’ surrenders

Pournima Upadhyay, an activist, had written a letter to the Chief Justice of Bombay HC which was treated as PIL and thereafter temporary bail was granted to Saibaba for three months on health grounds by the Principal Bench based in Mumbai.

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AAP v/s Jaitley: Arvind Kejriwal demands PM Modi’s resignation for ‘fraudulent raid’

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Delhi CM Kejriwal said: “I demand PM Modi’s resignation for the fraudulent raid that he got carried out just to save Arun Jaitley.

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal demanded PM Narendra Modi’s resignation for the ‘fraudulent raid’ he carried out to save Jaitley. He said: “When I meet PM, I only tell him one thing-that we dont need money or land, just stop hampering our work. I’ll take PM’s projects like Swacch Bharat forward in Delhi, will give PM all the credit. But they should just stop troubling us. If the raid happened on my Principal Secretary, what was the need to come to my office? Today is the 8th day, for 6 days Rajendra Kumar was interrogated for hours. I want to ask PM, what did he discover? Nothing. If my job is to punish corrupt officers, then my job is also to protect honest officers.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers staged a protest outside the Delhi Assembly on Tuesday just before the House met for a special session. The party accused the AAP government of trying to rake up the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) issue to suppress the charges faced by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s principal secretary. The Delhi Government had called the special session of assembly to discuss alleged irregularities in DDCA and the last week’s CBI raid at the Delhi Secretariat. Raising slogans against the AAP Government and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, BJP workers marched to the entrance of the Assembly where they were stopped by security personnel. Later they were detained by the police and taken to the office of the Operation Cell of Delhi Police. With inputs from agencies

CBI threatening Rajendra Kumar, want him to reveal names of DDCA officials, claims AAP govt

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Based on a note found in the Chief Minister’s office, CBI is questioning Rajendra Kumar.

Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar

PTI
The Delhi Government on Sunday alleged that the CBI officials are trying to cover the financial irregularities in DDCA under the helm of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley adding that the officials are threatening Principal Secretary of Delhi Chief Minister Rajendra Kumar and asking him to reveal the names of DDCA (Delhi and District Cricket Association) officials who met Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.”They are threatening him to reveal information regarding meeting of DDCA officials. They are putting metal pressure on him to reveal the names of DDCA officials who gave the information. If they are trying to threaten the principal secretary in order to hide the corruption under DDCA, then Delhi Government will not accept this,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told a press conference in New Delhi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Whatever is being asked by the CBI to Rajendra Kumar, it is clear that Arvind Kejriwal was the target and not Rajendra Kumar. The DDCA files which was kept in the office of Chief Minister had a note in which it was written that Arun Jaitley had a talk with the DDCA officials. The CBI officials are constantly asking Rajendra Kumar that who gave him that note,” Sisodia added.Related Read: DDCA scam: BJP MP Kirti Azad to hold press conference, ‘unmask the imposter’ todayRajendra Kumar who has been accused for criminal conspiracy and has a case registered against him is being questioned by the CBI.He has been accused of setting up various companies to give work contracts without tenders which has been a huge loss to the Delhi government.Kumar has been booked under Sections of IPC on charges of criminal conspiracy and under various Sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly favouring a private company in five contracts worth Rs 9.5 crore during 2007 to 2014.The CBI carried out searches at 14 places connected with Kumar in the national capital, including his residence, and various locations in Uttar Pradesh.The Delhi Government has accused Arun Jaitley of indulging in financial irregularities while he was at the helm of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). The party also exhorted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sack Jaitley from the union cabinet.Hitting back, Jaitley had said that Arvind Kejriwal seems to believe in untruth and defamation, delivered in a language that borders on hysteria.

AAPv/s Jaitley: CBI replies to Arvind Kejriwal’s allegations

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The Delhi CM had alleged that the CBI has been asked to target all Opposition parties.
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PTI
After Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that ‘CBI has been asked to target all opposition parties and finish those who don’t fall in line’, CBI has responded that it strongly denies the allegations.In a statement, CBI has said that, “CBI strongly denies a statement appearing in certain sections of the media attributed to CM Delhi that ‘A CBI officer told me yesterday that CBI has been asked to target all opposition parties and finish those who do not fall in line’. This is a completely false, baseless and mischievous statement and emphatically denied.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The AAP chief once again chose the social media route to level the charges. He had virtually live-tweeted the CBI raid at his Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar’s office in the Delhi Secretariat on Tuesday.Kejriwal had said Jaitley’s assertion that AAP’s allegations against him are “unsubstantiated and non-specific” could not be treated as “gospel truth” as the charges against him were “very, very serious”.

Rajender Kumar quizzed for third day, CBI claims to have got key inputs

Kumar, the Principal Secretary to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, was examined for 12 hours, along with Intelligent Communication Systems India Limited (ICSIL) MD R S Kaushik, CBI sources said, adding that they have got important information during the interrogation.
File Photo
PTI
CBI claimed to have got important inputs during interrogation of senior bureaucrat Rajendra Kumar who was questioned for third consecutive day on Thursday in a corruption case.Kumar, the Principal Secretary to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, was examined for 12 hours, along with Intelligent Communication Systems India Limited (ICSIL) MD R S Kaushik, CBI sources said, adding that they have got important information during the interrogation. Kumar’s lawyer B S Joon said he is cooperating with the agency.CBI has registered a case of corruption against Kumar, a 1989-batch IAS officer of Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre, and six others for allegedly favouring a private firm in awarding Delhi Government contracts.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The agency on Tuesday carried out searches at his office, which is in the same premises as that of Kejriwal, triggering a political storm with Aam Aadmi Party accusing the Centre of misusing CBI.CBI has, however, denied the allegations.Meanwhile, Joon said CBI is not harassing Kumar. “The allegations in the FIR are wrong. The allegations regarding tender do not stand. He was questioned regarding tenders given to ICSIL. He has been called tomorrow to be examined again regarding tenders given to Endeavour Systems Private Limited,” the lawyer told reporters.

Rajender Kumar, Principal Secy to Delhi CM Kejriwal, questioned for nine hours by CBI

Despite repeated queries on the alleged benefits, if at all, received by Kumar for purportedly favouring a software firm, CBI sources limited themselves to saying that the owners of the firm had worked with Kumar “at some point of time”.

Delhi Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar after being questioned by the officials at CBI Headquarters in New Delhi on Wednesday.

PTI
Rajendra Kumar, Principal Secretary to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, was subjected on Wednesday to a marathon nine-hour questioning along with two other accused as the agency tried to look for a quid pro quo in a corruption case against him.Despite repeated queries on the alleged benefits, if at all, received by Kumar for purportedly favouring a software firm, CBI sources limited themselves to saying that the owners of the firm had worked with Kumar “at some point of time”.Along with Kumar, CBI also examined owner of Endeavour Systems Private Limited Dinesh Gupta and Managing Director of Intelligent Communication Systems India Limited (ICSIL) R S Kaushik here at its headquarters. CBI sources claimed that Kumar has been providing information which was not given by him on Tuesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The officer arrived at the CBI headquarter at 9.40 AM for the questioning and left at around 6.45 PM in the evening. His lawyer H S Phoolka was also in the vehicle with him.Meanwhile, CBI, which is facing flak from Aam Admi Party and other opposition parties at Centre for its searches yesterday at the office of Kumar, a 1989-batch IAS officer of AGMUT cadre, tried to defend itself saying it has not seized any material which is not relevant to the investigation.”CBI seizures during the searches at all 14 places, were in the presence of independent witnesses, as per the procedures laid down by the law. The search-cum-seizure memo containing details of all seized items will be produced before the competent court,” agency spokesperson Devpreet Singh said. She claimed that blatantly incorrect information is being spread by certain quarters since yesterday to discredit the agency with the intent to obstruct investigation.CBI neither prevented nor disallowed any person in their movement to the various offices in the Delhi Secretariat including the Chief Minister’s office except the Office Chamber of his Secretary, Rajendra Kumar and that of his Personal Assistant.”CBI has already clarified that the office of the Chief Minister Delhi was neither searches nor sealed,” she said.The agency’s action yesterday evoked sharp reaction from Kejriwal who accused it of searching files “unrelated” to the probe against Kumar and claimed that a file relating to DDCA was scrutinised by it.”CBI kept reading DDCA file in my office.They would have seized it. But after my media briefing, they left it. Not clear if they took a copy. Documents seized from my office.No relation to allegations being probed. Item 7-file movement register of last one month,” he said in a series of tweets.Jaitley had dismissed on Tuesday the allegations against him as “rubbish”. Kejriwal also uploaded image of a document listing the files allegedly taken away by CBI from Delhi Secretariat during its day-long raid yesterday.Agency sources claimed that it has recovered documents pertaining to bank balances of approximately Rs 28 lakh from Kumar who is facing probe for allegedly favouring a private firm in government contracts. The documents pertaining to fixed deposits worth Rs 1.66 crore were allegedly found from A K Duggal, former MD, ICSIL, CBI sources claimed.Kumar was questioned by the CBI for about seven hours late last night after the probe agency sleuths raided his Delhi Secretariat office, triggering a political storm between Delhi government and the Centre.The CBI said that it has registered a case against Kumar and others on allegations against the officer that he abused his official position by “favouring a particular firm in the last few years in getting tenders from Delhi government departments”.Kumar has been booked under 120-B of IPC (criminal conspiracy), and 13(2), 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Criminal conspiracy, criminal misconduct etc) for allegedly favouring a private company in five contracts worth Rs 9.5 crore during 2007-14.CBI carried out searches at 14 places connected with Kumar in the national capital, including his residence, and various locations in Uttar Pradesh. The agency has claimed to have recovered about Rs 16 lakh, including Rs 2.4 lakh in cash, foreign currency of the value of Rs 3 lakh from the residence of Kumar.”The allegations against Kumar were raised by Ashish Joshi, former Member Secretary, Delhi Dialogue Commission,” the CBI said.As opposition attacked the Centre over the CBI action, the agency went on an overdrive to convey that the raids were being undertaken after following a due a process of law which included getting a search warrant from the competent court. On Tuesday, Kejriwal had called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “psychopath” and “coward” after the raids and targeted Jaitley over alleged corruption in Delhi’s cricket body under his watch.

Punjab BJP blasts Arvind Kejriwal for remarks against PM Modi, Arun Jaitley

In a statement, Punjab BJP Kamal Sharma demanded “unconditional apology” from Kejriwal and alleged the Delhi CM was doing all this “drama” to “cover up” his own failure to punish a “corrupt” IAS officer and fulfil promises to people.

PTI
The BJP state unit on hit out the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for his “below standard” comments against Prime Minister and Finance Minister after the CBI raided office of his Principal Secretary.Punjab BJP Kamal Sharma said the Delhi Chief Minister has “lost” his mental balance and should first get himself treated in a good hospital before making derogatory remarks against PM Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.In a statement, Sharma demanded “unconditional apology” from Kejriwal and alleged the Delhi CM was doing all this “drama” to “cover up” his own failure to punish a “corrupt” IAS officer and fulfil promises to people.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Kejriwal’s statement that the reason behind CBI raids on his Principal Secretary was to take over files pertaining to alleged corruption in the Jaitely-led Delhi District Cricket Association is not less than a joke,” he said.Carrying out probe in the affair of the DDCA falls under the jurisdiction of the Central government, he said.”If he has the guts, Kejriwal must clarify which file he is talking about,” said Sharma.”On one side you are talking about ending corruption and on the other you are shielding an IAS officer who is facing serious cases of bribe. Isn t it a expose of your personality and party?” the state BJP president questioned.He said such acts of the AAP chief has already exposed him before the public and people call him a “drama-master”, who wants to be in news by creating controversy. He said that the PM and FM are top representatives of an elected government and Kejriwal’s “below standard” comments were big insult to the people of the country who have reposed faith by electing Modi as their Prime Minister.After the CBI raid at the Delhi secretariat yesterday, Chief Minister Kejriwal had attacked Prime Minister Modi calling him a “psychopath” and “coward”. The CM had also alleged searches were conducted because files pertaining to alleged corruption in DDCA involving Arun Jaitley is with the Delhi CMO.

Shatrughan Sinha raises questions over CBI raid at Kejriwal aide’s office, asks who ‘advised’ it

“In politics, timing is everything. This was definitely not the right time for the raid. Hope wish &pray that this does not boomerang on us,” the actor-turned politician said in a series of tweets.

BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha, who has often taken a position at variance with the party’s stand, on Wednesday raised questions over the timing of the CBI raid on the office of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s principal secretary and wondered who “advised” for the searches.Sinha, at the same time, disapproved of Kejriwal’s language to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was called a “psychopath” and “coward” following yesterday’s raid at the Delhi secretariat that kicked up a political firestorm amid charges and counter-charges.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”In politics, timing is everything. This was definitely not the right time for the raid. Hope wish &pray that this does not boomerang on us,” the actor-turned-politician said in a series of tweets.Sinha also wondered who gave the advise for the CBI raid at the office of Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar.”Wonder who advised for the strike, that too while Parliament was in session. After all, CM (Kejriwal) is not only very popular but masses’ favorite too,” he said.”Good sense must prevail upon those who have brought embarrassment to our people and our leadership…that too at this juncture,” he added.In another tweet, Sinah said, “Don’t approve of avoidable language of Delhi CM about our dashing dynamic action hero PM. But need to look within. How why & who started it.?” BJP leaders yesterday condemned the lanauge used by Kejriwal yesterday to target Modi and demanded an apology from the AAP chief.

I am fittest person to become Prime Minister, says Azam Khan

Khan claimed that even his Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav will support his candidature for the Prime Minister’s post. “When the time comes, Mulayam Singh will propose my name,” he said.

Claiming to be the “fittest” person to become the Prime Minister, senior Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan on Tuesday said that he aspires to take up the top job and that “if Narendra Modi resigns and all MPs elect me the PM it will send a good message across the country and India will progress each passing day”.Khan claimed that even his Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav will support his candidature for the Prime Minister’s post. “When the time comes, Mulayam Singh will propose my name,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When reporters asked Khan about posters being put up in Lucknow demanding his elevation to the post of deputy chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, he said, “You are insulting me. I want to be become the Prime Minister and I deserve to hold the post. That’s why I have removed posters of me becoming deputy chief minister.”Reminded that UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had recently floated the idea of Mulayam as Prime Minister and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi as the deputy Prime Minister at an event in Delhi, Khan said, “I’m the fittest person to become the Prime Minister of the Country and I aspire to be the Prime Minister.”On the CBI raids at the office of Rajender Kumar, the Principal Secretary of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Khan said, “The central government and the BJP have shown disrespect to political beliefs… Everyone knows that it’s a bias action… I think there should not be raids at office of any chief minister of the country without prior permission.”

CBI raids: BJP lashes out at Kejriwal, to conduct ‘Pol-Khol Abhiyan’

Kejriwal earlier claimed that the CBI raided his office at the behest of Prime Minister Modi. He also went as far as to call the Prime Minister a ‘coward and a psychopath’.

PTI
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday lashed out at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for using unparliamentary language against Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the CBI raided his Principal Secretary Rajender Prasad’s office.”The BJP has taken the decision that it will launch a ‘pol-khol abhiyan’ against the AAP for the next 48 hours and will expose the party on the ground,” Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhayay said.”He should be ashamed of the kind of language he is using against the Prime Minister. This is not the language of democracy,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The CBI is an independent agency; it is doing its work. The CBI must be having some proofs that is why it has raided on several places. You have made it a hell out of it, stating that the Chief Minister?s office was raided,” he further said.Kejriwal earlier claimed that the CBI raided his office at the behest of Prime Minister Modi. He also went as far as to call the Prime Minister a ‘coward and a psychopath’.”CBI lying. My own office raided. Files of CM office are being looked into. Let Modi say which file he wants?” Kejriwal tweeted.”I am the only CM who dismissed, on my own, a minister n a senior officer on charges of corruption and handed their cases to CBI. If CBI had any evidence against Rajender, why didn’t they share it wid me? I wud hv acted against him,” he said in another tweet.The CBI has registered a case against Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary Rajender Kumar for allegedly favouring a firm in getting contracts from Delhi government. “FM lied in Parliament. My own office files are being looked into to get some evidence against me. Rajender is an excuse,” tweeted Kejriwal.Refuting Kejriwal’s allegation on the raid on Chief Minister’s office, the CBI has said that the raid was conducted on the Principal Secretary’s office following a warrant.

CBI being dictated by someone, says Rajender Kumar’s HS Phoolka

HS Phoolka maintained that the CBI had no business to enter the Chief Minister’s office. Phoolka also said that the agency’s denials that it had not entered the Chief Minister’s office was a “mere eyewash”.

Senior lawyer HS Phoolka
File Photo

Senior lawyer H S Phoolka who is representing Rajender Kumar, Principal Secretary of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, on Tuesday described the CBI action as “politically motivated” and said his client was being made a “scape goat”.”I wonder how could the files pertaining to 2007 allegation be in the office of present Chief Minister. The CBI is being dictated by someone,” Phoolka, who is associated with AAP, said.He maintained that the CBI had no business to enter the Chief Minister’s office. Phoolka also said that the agency’s denials that it had not entered the Chief Minister’s office was a “mere eyewash”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”All the files of the Chief Minister are always lying on the table of the Principal Secretary. So now the CBI needs to answer what were they looking for. How can files of alleged 2007 scams related to education, electricity and others be lying in the office of the present Chief Minister. Whom is the CBI trying to fool? The answer is straight that Kumar is mere a scape goat and target is someone else. Its a politically motivated case,” Phoolka said.The lawyer, who was accompanying the wife of Kumar, an IAS officer of 1989 batch, was waiting at the CBI headquarters for a meeting with his client.”We have been told that he will be released soon. After that we will chalk out the future strategy which includes taking a legal recourse,” he said.”We will first see what action CBI will take and accordingly we will make a strategy and act.”

CBI raids: Modi’s use of CBI won’t scare me, says Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

The CBI had earlier clarified it carried out searches at the office of Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary Rajender Kumar’s office at the Delhi Secretariat and not that of the Chief Minister.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

PTI
A combative Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, furious over the CBI raid at the Delhi Secretariat, on Tuesday alleged that the day-long action by the probe agency was to look for an inquiry committee file relating to Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) that “traps” Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.”It has become necessary to reveal that why did the CBI come to my office today and which was the file they were looking for. This is the DDCA file under which Arun Jaitley is getting trapped. (Ye file hai DDCA ka file jiske andar Arun Jaitley phas rahe hain),” the Delhi Chief Minister claimed.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kejriwal said his government had set up an inquiry committee to probe alleged irregularities in DDCA which had submitted its report.”Jaitley was the DDCA President for many years and I had set up a committee to probe all the corruption that has taken place during his tenure. The committee has submitted its report and a commission of inquiry was to be set up over it, and a file pertaining to it was in my office,” alleged Kejriwal.The CBI had earlier clarified it carried out searches at the office of Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary Rajender Kumar’s office at the Delhi Secretariat and not that of the Chief Minister. The action was in connection with allegations against Kumar of favouring private companies in awarding government contracts from 2007-2014.The Chief Minister said the sole motive of the raid was to “target me” and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to apologise to the nation for his “misdeeds”, saying only then he will tender apololgy for calling him “coward and a psychopath”.After a meeting with his Cabinet colleagues and senior AAP leaders that lasted around two hours, Kejriwal said the Centre will not be able to scare him and that he will continue to fight till his last breath.”They have no interest in the contracts awarded by Rajender. If he had awarded contracts in 2007, what were you doing till 2015 Modiji? It’s been long that your government has come. I want to tell you Modiji, you have scared others through the CBI but Kejriwal won’t get scared. You know what am I made of. I will fight for the country till my last breath but will never get intimidated. Modiji’s use of the CBI and other means won’t scare me, I want to tell him clearly. They say that my choice of words were incorrect, but your actions are bad. My words may be bad, I was born in Siwan village of Haryana. Maybe my words were bad. But your actions are bad. You apologise to the nation for your misdeeds and I will apologise for my words,” he said.The CBI today conducted searches on the third floor of Delhi Secretariat, housing the offices of both Kejriwal and Kumar, in connection with a case which was forwarded to it by Anti-Corruption Branch headed by senior Delhi Police Joint Commissioner M K Meena.Senior official Asish Joshi had filed a complaint to ACB in July that Kumar was favouring a particular company in procurement of IT equipment. Joshi had filed the complaint after he was sacked by the government as member-secretary of the Delhi Dialogue Commission.”What interest did the CBI have in the Chief Minister’s files? Files signed by him as recently as yesterday and important affidavits? Why did the CBI raid that room? Their intention was to find out things against Kejriwal. Want to categorically say that Kumar is just an excuse,” said Sisodia.The Deputy Chief Minister said the CBI sleuths did not even let CM’s media advisor to enter Delhi seccretariat.”The government must clarify whether they have imposed an undeclared emergency,” a visibly agitated Sisodia said.Sisodia claimed the purpose of the raid was also to send a message to officials that “if they worked with Kejriwal honestly, they will be troubled”. A CBI spokesperson said reports from certain quarters regarding searches at the office of Delhi Chief Minister “are baseless”.

TMC not engaged in politics of religion, says West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

Expressing “shock” at CBI raid at the office and residence of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary, Mamata Banerjee said the agency’s move was beyond her understanding.
File Photo
PTI
In a veiled attack on the BJP, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said that unlike “some parties” TMC was not engaged in religion-based politics.”Trinamool Congress is not like some parties which love to use religion for petty politics. I believe ‘Saare Jahaan Se Achha, Hindustan Humara’. The soil of Bengal belongs to the legacy of Rabindranath, Nazrul, Dwijendralal Roy. We believe in unity not hatred,” she said.Further, expressing “shock” at CBI raid at the office and residence of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary, Banerjee said the agency’s move was beyond her understanding.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Today they have send the CBI to raid the office of Delhi CM. I am shocked! Why are they doing this?” she said.Addressing a rally at the Gajole college ground, 35 kms off Malda, Banerjee claimed that despite the Centre taking away a major chunk of its revenue as interest on loans, the state’s assets have increased by 600 per cent in the last four years.”Growth in Bengal’s asset has increased by 600 per cent in the last four years. Let them stop taking our taxes. We do not need their funds. We are asking for our right. The state revenue has increased from Rs 21,000 crore to Rs 40,000 crore,” Banerjee said, adding that if there was not a huge outgo of the state’s revenue, lakhs of people could have been provided jobs.”We are paying for the sins of the CPI-M. They imposed a debt burden on the youth. Neither the Congress nor the BJP helped us,” she told the meeting.Banerjee said during her visit to Delhi she had also raised the issue of bad condition of national highways in the state. She also said that West Bengal was self-sufficient in power, claiming, “we are developing ‘power bank’. We will export power to other states in future.”

PM Modi still haunted by nightmares of Delhi debacle: AAP

Responding to the BJP’s demand of an apology over the un-parliamentary language used by Chief Minister Kejriwal for Prime Minister Modi, Vishwas said the language of the critics will improve if the ruling dispensation functions properly at the Centre.
File Photo
PTI
Advising Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come out of the nightmares of the humiliating defeat in the 2014 Delhi Assembly polls, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Kumar Vishwas on Tuesday said that the ruling dispensation at the Centre should allow the state government to function and not pose a hurdle.”Principal Secretary Rajender Kumar to bahana hai, Kejriwal nishana hai. (Rajender Kumar is just an excuse, Kejriwal is the target). Why didn’t they conduct the raid at Rajender’s department if they came to know about some incident? The CBI did not go to the education department. The CBI is conducting the raids at the Chief Minister’s office where Arvind Kejriwal had signed the files yesterday and was about to sign them today,” Vishwas said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Prime Minister is not understanding that this is not Gujarat. It is the capital city where people from all the 29 states come and live. He should come out of the nightmare of 66 seats won by AAP in Delhi Assembly elections and should let the state government function,” he added.Responding to the BJP’s demand of an apology over the un-parliamentary language used by Chief Minister Kejriwal for Prime Minister Modi, Vishwas said the language of the critics will improve if the ruling dispensation functions properly at the Centre.Addressing a press conference earlier, Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhayay said that his party would launch a ‘pol-khol abhiyan’ against the AAP for the next 48 hours.”He should be ashamed of the kind of language he is using against the Prime Minister. This is not the language of democracy,” he said.”The CBI is an independent agency; it is doing its work. The CBI must be having some proofs that is why it has raided on several places,” he said.Kejriwal earlier claimed that the CBI raided his office at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He also went as far as to call the Prime Minister a ‘coward and a psychopath.’The CBI has registered a case against Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary Rajender Kumar for allegedly favouring a firm in getting contracts from Delhi government.”FM lied in Parliament. My own office files are being looked into to get some evidence against me. Rajender is an excuse,” tweeted Kejriwal.Refuting Kejriwal’s allegation on the raid on Chief Minister’s office, the CBI has said that the raid was conducted on the Principal Secretary’s office following a warrant.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal protests CBI raids at his office, dubs PM Modi a ‘coward’ and ‘psychopath’

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday claimed the CBI has raided his office in central Delhi and launched a no holds barred attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he was resorting to “cowardice”.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday claimed the CBI has raided his office in central Delhi and launched a no holds barred attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he was resorting to “cowardice”.The Chief Minister, who is involved in a prolonged tussle with the Centre, accused the Modi government of resorting to vendetta politics and came down heavily on the agency for the raids at Players Building.”CBI raids my office,” Kejriwal tweeted. “When Modi couldn’t handle me politically, he resorts to this cowardice. Modi is a coward and psychopath,” he said in another tweet expressing his anguish over the raids.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A CBI spokesperson said the searches were being conducted at the office of the Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar and that details would be shared later.Sources said that in the morning, a team of CBI officials went to the Delhi Secretariat, which houses the office of Kejriwal and other ministers, and conducted the search in the third floor of the building. They said the search may be in connection with the multi-crore CNG fitness scam.Sources said that there were allegations that Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary was linked to the scam, but the senior IAS officer as well as the AAP government have been rejecting the charges.The AAP government has been locked in a running feud with the Centre over the control of important functions like law and order, police and land.Read more updates here.

Bihar government provides sanitary napkins to girl students

The money for sanitary napkins has been made available under “Mukhyamantri Kishori Swasthya Karyakram”.

Sanitary napkins

Bihar government has started providing free sanitary napkins to adolescent girl students in government schools to help them maintain hygiene. State Education minister Ashok Choudhary told reporters that school girls from class VIII to X have been provided Rs 150 each for buying sanitary napkins for themselves. A sum of Rs 57.87 crore has been spent for the purpose that will benefit 36,46,114 girl students registered at schools, he said. The money for sanitary napkins has been made available under “Mukhyamantri Kishori Swasthya Karyakram”, the minister accompanied by Principal Secretary, Education, D S Gangwar, said. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had announced providing sanitary napkins to girl students after assuming office in February 2015.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The announcement had received kudos like his other initiatives of providing cycle and free uniform and books to students enrolled in government schools. Choudhary said, the issue of facilitating free wi-fi internet in colleges and universities and holding English speaking course, part of the CM’s “seven resolves” which now has been adopted by the new grand secular alliance government, would be discussed with the CM during review meeting of Education Department on December 18. “We will fulfill all the promises made to people of the state,” Choudhary said. The Education Minister said the issue whether to continue with contractual teachers at primary level failing to qualify eligibility test in two attempts would also be taken up during review meeting of the department with the CM. “Such teachers failing to qualify eligibility test would the threat to futures of students,” the minister said. Choudhary said sustained efforts have helped the state bring down its rate of out of school children in the age category of 6-14 to 1,91,538 which is 0.96% only now. Midday meal is provided to about 1,36,31,219 boys/girls of class I-VIII of government schools, those aided by the government, Madarsas and sanskrit schools, he added.

CBI arrests IAS officer posted as Principal Secretary in Delhi government

The complainant had alleged that Singh had demanded the money in return for favouring his firm. The firm had been provding security guards and peons to the department on contract basis.

The Central Bureau of Investigation today apprehended a Principal Secretary in the Delhi government for allegedly demanding a bribe of rupees 2.2 lakh. According to CBI officials, the IAS officer was identified as Sanjay Pratab Singh and was posted in the Department of Welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled and Minorities of Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD). The accused had allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs 2.2 lakh rupees from the complainant whose firm was providing manpower to the Department of Welfare. According to the probe agency Singh is a 1984 batch cadre and had been posted in the department for quite some time.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The complainant had alleged that Singh had demanded the money in return for favouring his firm. The firm had been provding security guards and peons to the department on contract basis.

After Bihar elections debacle, PM Modi’s office asks ministries to improve communication strategies with public

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has asked all ministries to reach out to people and use all possible means of communication to inform them about the social welfare schemes initiated by the BJP government.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has asked all ministries to reach out to people and use all possible means of communication to inform them about the social welfare schemes initiated by the BJP government.PM Modi’s office took this decision in the wake of the party’s rout in the Bihar assembly elections, reports Indian Express.The communication dated November 14, signed by Nripendra Mishra, Principal Secretary to the PM, seems to be an attempt to battle the negative perceptions about the government, says the daily.”It is very important for the ministries to take proactive measures to adopt a communication strategy which is more engaging with people, has better outreach and provides timely information to them,” says the letter. Indian Express says its sources confirm that the letter was issued after a high level meeting about the Bihar debacle.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The letter speaks of devising a fresh and effective communication strategy especially to convey those initiatives of the government which affect the welfare of citizens.”All important decisions must be disseminated by ministries/ departments through website updates, social media broadcast, press releases and when required through press conferences etc. The I&B ministry and various administrative ministries and departments have to be on the same page in terms of flow of information, especially when a major policy decision/ announcement of programme is in the offing,” the letter says.

Do not delay funds allocated for welfare of Juvenile homes: Madras HC

Referring to the Tirunelveli Juvenile Home, the bench said it had been informed that other posts of sanitary workers have been filled up on transfer basis.

Stressing the importance to be given to Juvenile Homes, the Madras High Court on Friday directed the government of Tamil Nadu not to delay release of funds already allocated for their welfare. The first bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana before which a petition with regard to Madurai Juvenile Home came up, referred to its earlier order that if funds are not sanctioned for different proposed approved projects within the next hearing date, the Secretary, Finance Department, shall remain present in Court.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The bench, while referring to the ‘bar chart’ submitted by PWD on construction of the Home, opined that in case of any unforeseen delay, the authorities would have to move court for extension of time. The bench said it had not been clearly informed of the position of the Juvenile home at Madurai and was thus making it clear “that any violation of these directions will undoubtedly be on the pain of contempt, since no other language appears to have any effect on the respondent authorities.”Referring to the Tirunelveli Juvenile Home, the bench said it had been informed that other posts of sanitary workers have been filled up on transfer basis. To its earlier order on filling up these posts, government had informed it that financial sanction was awaited. “If the needful is not done by the next date, the Principal Secretary, Finance Department, shall remain personally present in court,” it said. The HC pointed out that the videoconferencing facility also is awaiting financial sanction, though it had called for steps to be taken within 30 days. Failure to comply with the order by next date would require the Finance Secretary to remain present personally in the court, it said.”We may know that the despite whatever time we given even on such urgent matters, there seems to be inordinate delay in respect of financial sanction. These are matters of running juvenile homes and we expect priority to be given. Government authorities must seriously look into the issue as to why so much time takes in these matters for processing.” The bench then posted the matter for further hearing to January 8, 2016.

Breakthrough in sight? PM Narendra Modi, Sonia Gandhi meet to discuss GST, pending bills

This is the first direct outreach by Modi to the principal opposition ever since he came to power last year in a bid to ensure smooth functioning of Parliament in the winter session.

This is the first direct outreach by Modi to the principal opposition ever since he came to power last year.

Hopes of a thaw on the GST bill emerged tonight with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaching out to the Congress leadership, which will discuss within the party the government’s response to its three objections on the measure. The government will establish “fresh contact” with the Congress once the party completes its internal discussion on the three issues of “their concerns” on which they made their position clear, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters after Modi met his predecessor Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This is the first direct outreach by Modi to the principal opposition ever since he came to power last year in a bid to ensure smooth functioning of Parliament in the winter session. Modi had invited Singh and Gandhi for a tea at his residence where the discussions covered issues pending before Parliament, particularly the large number of bills that have accumulated over the past two sessions.

DMK chief Karunanidhi, Ananda Vikatan, Murasoli face defamation cases for criticising Jayalalithaa

The complaint states the publications carried articles that defamed the Chief Minister and maligned her name.

DMK Chief Karunanidhi

File Photo
City Public Prosecutor ML Jegan has filed defamation cases against DMK chief M Karunanidhi and popular weekly magazine Ananda Vikatan for ‘maligning’ Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. According to a report in The New Indian Express, cases have been filed against the DMK chief, Murasoli S Selvam, the editor of Murasoli newspaper and R Kannan and Madhavan of Ananda Vikatan in the Principal Sessions Court. The cases are related to writing and publishing articles which are against the chief minister. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The report says that a story titled ‘The Achievements of the Government in Four Years’ was carried in Murasoli newspaper that defamed Jayalalithaa. Ananda Vikatan reportedly carried a story called ‘Manthri Thanthri’ in its November 21-27 issue which criticised the Jayalalithaa and her government. The complaint states that both the articles defamed the Chief Minister and maligned her name.

St Stephen’s staff association rejects Thampu’s proposal to amend constitution

The principal, who is retiring in February next year, has circulated a draft amendment in which he has proposed that the principal be empowered to take disciplinary action against students or staff irrespective of the Governing Body’s opinion

Valson Thampu

The proposal by St Stephen’s Principal Valson Thampu to amend the 102-year-old constitution of the institution was outrightly rejected on Monday at the meeting of the college’s staff association which said it will appeal to higher authorities to discard the move.”The proposal was discussed during the specially convened meeting of the staff association and 26 members opposed the move to amend the constitution. We will appeal to the higher authorities including the university and the Church of North India (CNI) to consider the repercussions of the amendments and reject the proposal,” a staff association member said. Thampu, who also came to the meeting for few minutes, did not answer any questions raised by the teachers regarding the amendments.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The principal, who is retiring in February next year, has circulated a draft amendment in which he has proposed that the principal be empowered to take disciplinary action against students or staff irrespective of the Governing Body’s opinion. He has also called for giving a major say to CNI in the functioning of the college, handing over the faculty appointments and admissions to the Supreme Council and amending the composition of the GB.The amendment also proposes to replace St Stephen’s College Trust, which currently runs the college, with a proposed St Stephen’s Educational Society, which will have the power to establish Stephen’s-like private institutions across the country.”If the amendment is passed the Governing Body (GB) which so far takes a call on all important issues, will be reduced to a toothless body. Also with changes in the composition of the GB, the role of teachers will be marginalised,” another member said. The move to amend the constitution has also attracted the ire of the college alumni who have criticised the proposal as an attempt to make St Stephen’s a Christian ghetto.While university statutes say that the move to amend the constitution in deviation of the rules laid down in the ordinances, can result in de-recognition of the institution, Thampu has been claiming that it is the Supreme Council’s decision to make the amendments and there is no violation of procedures or law in the same. The amendment draft will be placed before the Governing Body meeting on November 30.

Bihar Assembly session to commence from November 30

The state cabinet in its first meeting this evening recommended convening session of the Legislative Assembly from November 30 to December 8, Principal Secretary of Cabinet Coordination department Amir Subhani told reporters.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar during a meeting on Law and Order at Secretariat in Patna on Saturday.

PTI
The Nitish Kumar cabinet on Saturday decided to call winter session of the Legislative Assembly from November 30.The state cabinet in its first meeting this evening recommended convening session of the Legislative Assembly from November 30 to December 8, Principal Secretary of Cabinet Coordination department Amir Subhani told reporters. He said the session of the Legislative Council will commence from December 3 and would end on December 8.Giving details, he said that on the first two days – November 30 and December 1 – the newly-elected MLAs would take oath. On December 2, the new Speaker of the Legislative Assembly would be elected.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s close confidante Vijay Chaudhary is pitted as front-runner for the post of Speaker. Chaudhary, who was number two minister in the outgoing JD(U) government did not take oath as minister yesterday which indicates his chance of becoming Speaker.On December 3, Governor Ram Nath Kovind would address the joint session of the two Houses. There will be no session on December 4 and 5. The House would debate Governor’s address on December 7 on which the government would reply on the last day of the session on December 8, Subhani said. The state cabinet also authorized the CM on appointment of Advocate General.

Govt to form mechanism to monitor implementation of PM Modi’s package

The Reconstruction Plan covers sectors like humanitarian relief, crisis management, social infrastructure, development projects and economic infrastructure, he said.
File Photo
PTI
The Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday said that a mechanism would be worked out to monitor the implementation of the over Rs 80,000 crore reconstruction package announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the state.The Cabinet which met in Jammu under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed discussed the Reconstruction Plan amounting to Rs 80068 Crore announced by the PM on November 7.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Cabinet decided that a mechanism would be worked out to monitor and implement the Reconstruction Plan effectively”, an official spokesman said.The Reconstruction Plan covers sectors like humanitarian relief, crisis management, social infrastructure, development projects and economic infrastructure, he said. It aimed at expanding the economic infrastructure and basic services, providing thrust to employment and income generation and providing relief and rehabilitation to the victims of September 2014 floods and to strengthen the Disaster Management framework of the state.He said that the reconstruction Plan also seeks to strengthen the economic and social infrastructure and provide for the balanced development of the three regions of the state.Meanwhile, the cabinet also approved the promotion of Joint secretary (union Ministry of Culture) Pramod Jain to the fixed scale of IAS (Rs 80,000) from the date he returns to the cadre and promotion of Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, B B Vyas to the fixed scale of IAS (Rs 80,000) from January 1 next year.The Cabinet also accorded sanction to the temporary upgradation of 17 posts of deputy superintendents of police as Superintendents of Police.

Tamil Nadu: With 5000 birds flying in, Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary opens to public

The Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is located about 75 kms from Chennai and is renowned among those who indulge in bird-watching.

The entrance to Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary. Image credit: Balaji Jagadesh

Wikimedia Commons
The Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary will open to visitors on Thursday, November 12 as the heavy rainfall in Tamil Nadu has attracted plenty of migratory birds. According to The Hindu, the Forest Department has stated that the 30-hectare Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary has received plenty of rainfall filling up the water reserve.The Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is located about 75 km from Chennai and is renowned among those who indulge in bird-watching. The sanctuary usually opens in November when the birds fly in and stays open till March the following year. The Forest Department states that nearly 30000 birds come by each year. These include birds like herons, egrets, storks, ibises and spoon bills.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There were around 500 migratory birds on Monday and about 2000 were sighted on Tuesday. However, now the count has gone up to more than 5000, state officials say.On Wednesday, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Director, Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur, KSSVP Reddy and Wildlife Warden K Gitanjali visited the bird sanctuary to ensure that all facilities were in order for visitors.

Did not transfer VAT commissioner for ‘fighting graft’, says LG Najeeb Jung’s office

LG Secretariat said he acted on the basis of orders from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

LG’s Secretariat is asked to issue relieving orders when the transfer order issued by Ministry of Home Affairs, said Jung’s office.

Delhi Lt Governor’s office on Friday refuted the charges of AAP government that Najeeb Jung had relieved the VAT commissioner for “fighting graft” and pointed out at instances of “poor treatment” meted out to top officials including the Chief Secretary by it.Responding to Cabinet resolutions asking the LG to explain the “compelling circumstances” which forced him to transfer Vijay Kumar, LG Secretariat said he acted on the basis of orders from the Ministry of Home Affairs.It said Home Ministry on October 9 had issued directions that five officers who were earlier transferred from Delhi to other Union Territories since should be relieved with immediate effect. It said Kumar’s name figured among these five officers. “Transfers of officers to be posted out of Delhi is the exclusive domain of the Ministry of Home Affairs and at times the LG’s Secretariat is asked to issue relieving orders when the transfer order issued by Ministry of Home Affairs are not implemented by the Government of Delhi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It is clarified there has never been any recommendation from the LG’s Secretariat to the Ministry of Home Affairs requesting for transfer of any of these officers, either now or before,” an official statement said.In a resolution, the Cabinet also decided to appoint a GoM to protect officers from “political victimisation” and authorised it to take all steps required to deal with such issues including providing legal support at government’s cost.To this, the LG office responded sharply saying it will reserve its comments in view of the background of “several episodes of poor treatment meted out by the elected Government to the Chief Secretary, the Principal Secretaries Home, Power, GAD, Services, Commissioner (Transport), Principal Secretary (Law) and others”.

Principal of Mathura DPS booked for fraudulently giving job to relative

A case has been registered against the principal of Delhi Public School located, Refinery Nagar for allegedly giving his nephew a job through unfair means at the school, police said.

Principal of DPS, Refinery Nagar GP Pandey has denied the allegations calling it “baseless”

Image Courtesy: DPS website
A case has been registered against the principal of Delhi Public School located at Refinery Nagar in Mathura for allegedly giving his nephew a job through unfair means at the school, police said.The case was registered against principal GP Pandey under various IPC sections including 409 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery) and 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), based on a complaint filed by Ramakant Chaunkar, a resident of Nadwai town in Bharatpur district.Chaunkar alleged that he could not appear in the interview for the post of messenger in the school in 2011 as the principal wrongly told him that the date for the interview had been postponed. He claimed that he later got to know that the principal’s nephew had been appointed to the post.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The case was registered following the intervention of a court. Refinery police station in-charge Chottelal Yadav confirmed registration of the case. Investigation into the matter is underway and action would be taken accordingly, Yadav said. When contacted, the principal denied the allegations. “It is baseless…,” Pandey said.

Jail authorities reject drug overdose, attempt to murder theories for Indrani’s hospitalisation

Mumbai: Jail authorities have ruled out drug overdose and “attempt to murder” angles in the Sheena Bora murder case accused Indrani Mukerjea’s sudden collapse in prison last week and are now focusing on a “new angle”, a senior Home Department official said on Thursday.

Indrani Mukerjea. PTI

Indrani Mukerjea. PTI

The official, privy to probe into the last Friday’s episode at Byculla Women’s Prison, where she fell unconscious, said focus on altogether a different angle has led authorities to defer submission of their report by a few days. The report was to be submitted this week.

He, however, declined to elaborate on the angle authorities are focusing on.

Indrani was rushed to state-run JJ Hospital after she fell unconscious. The 43-year-old was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday last.

“Going by the information gathered till now, it seems highly unlikely that Indrani could attempt suicide. She has denied attempting suicide and anti-anxiety medicines were being given to her in presence of a jail doctor. Also, she had no place to hide medicines in her cell,” the official said.

“Attempt to murder” theory has been discarded because the food provided to her is cooked by inmates themselves, he said.

“If somebody wanted to murder her, there would have been a long chain to follow. This could not have been possible without the support of other inmates. The Investigating Officer has taken statements of people who have come in contact with Indrani in the prison. Nobody seems to have been involved in assisting a third party in trying to kill her.”

“Once these two theories are discarded, the Investigating Officer is now working on a new angle. The findings of this, coupled with evidence collected till now and the JJ Hospital report will then be scrutinised and a report will be submitted by either Monday or Tuesday,” he said.

Newly-appointed IG (Prisons) Bipin Kumar Singh is heading the probe into the episode.

After Indrani’s hospitalisation, conflicting reports had emerged on suspected drug overdose in prison. While one report showed she had overdosed on anti-depressant pills, the other found no such thing.

Meanwhile, Principal Secretary Home (Appeal & Security) Satbir Singh said that the British Consulate has given an application to the Centre to allow its officials to meet Indrani in the Jail premises.

“The Centre had granted the required permission. It is now up to British Consulate to write to Jail authority whenever they want to meet Indrani,” Singh said.

Indrani and the two other accused – her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and driver Shyam Rai – were arrested in August-end on the charge of murdering her daughter Sheena and disposing the body in a forest in Raigad district, about 84 km from here, in April 2012.

The case, initially with Mumbai Police, is now being handled by CBI.

PTI

‘Beef festival’ celebrated in college; disciplinary action against 10 students

The Principal had denied permission to SFI to conduct the beef festival as he apprehended that such an action might lead to clashes with rival student organisations like ABVP, college authorities said.
Representational Image
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Authorities a prestigious college of Kerala on Wednesday decided to initiate disciplinary action against 10 students for conducting a beef festival inside the campus to protest against the lynching of a man in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri over rumours of eating beef.Authorities of CMS College, Kottayam, said action has been initiated against the students, all activists of Students Federation of India (SFI), the students wing of CPI(M), for going ahead with the beef festival in the campus, “violating” college discipline.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Principal had denied permission to SFI to conduct the beef festival as he apprehended that such an action might lead to clashes with rival student organisations like ABVP, college authorities said. They alleged that SFI activists pushed the Principal as he tried to stop them from distributing beef curry at 1 PM. The curry brought to the campus to be distributed to students splashed all over the Principal in the melee, they said.Ten students have been identified in connection with the incident and they will face disciplinary action including suspension, College authorities said.Former President of India K R Narayanan is the alumni of Kerala’s one of the college founded in 1817 by the Church Missionary Society of England. SFI said the beef festival was organised in the college campus to protest against the lynching of a man in Dadri over rumours of eating beef and to express solidarity with a similar attempt in Sree Kerala Varma College in Thrissur.Six students of Sree Kerala Varma College, Thrissur, allegedly involved in violence following a ‘beef festival’ conducted in the college campus were suspended on Monday. All of them are activists of SFI.The College management has initiated against a woman lecturer who had supported the students who conducted the ‘beef festival’ in the campus of its college in Thrissur. Deepa Nisanth, a faculty of the college, who supported the students’ action on social media said, she stick to the Facebook post supporting the beef festival.

Mumbai school forces student to get a haircut, parents approach child rights commission

While several high-profile schools in Mumbai are known to take extreme measures to enforce discipline, a school recently found itself facing the ire of parents of a student. This was after Activity High School, reportedly forced the student to get a haircut on school premises against his wishes, according to a report by Mumbai Mirror.

Image courtesy: Activity High School websiteImage courtesy: Activity High School website

Image courtesy: Activity High School website

A Mid Day report quoted the student’s parents as saying that after being forced to get a haircut, he was mocked in front of his classmates, and that he now refuses to go to school. The parents have now reportedly filed a complaint with the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

According to the Mumbai Mirror report, the parents said that the principal had stuck chewing gum in his hair two years earlier and that they have a record of her admission to having done so.

The Mid Day report quotes the principal of the school as saying she was not aware of the incident, and that the school calls a professional barber ‘and not some roadside barber’.

In July, another school in south Mumbai had, in an unusual punishment, had forced some students to stand outside the school building for seven hours, after they remained absent from school the previous day, according to an Indian Express report.

Rajasthan: Principal Secy of Mines Dept detained, 5 arrested in bribery

Principal Secretary of Mines Department in Rajasthan government Ashok Singhvi was detained on Wednesday night while five others, including two officials of the state government, were arrested in an alleged bribery case.
Representational Image
dna Research & Archives
Principal Secretary of Mines Department in Rajasthan government Ashok Singhvi was detained on Wednesday night while five others, including two officials of the state government, were arrested in an alleged bribery case, according to Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) sources. ACB also claimed to have recovered Rs 3.88 crore cash while unearthing the alleged bribery case during raids in Udaipur and Bhilwara cities.”After the recovery of the amount and arrest of five persons in Udaipur and Bhilwara, Singhvi was detained in Jaipur tonight and search operation at his residence is underway,” IG ACB Dinesh MN told PTI. 56-year-old Singhvi is a 1983-batch IAS officer who also holds the post of Chairman of Rajasthan State Mines and Minerals Ltd-Udaipur.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The case relates to bribe alleged paid for re-opening of mines owned by one Sher Khan, which had been closed down some time back, ACB sources said. During the investigations, ACB arrested Additional Director (Mines) Pankaj Gehlot and Senior Mining Engineer P R Ameta, the sources said.A Chartered Accountant Shyam Singh Singhvi, alleged middleman of Mines Department Sanjay Seth and one Rasheed Khan were also arrested. Khan was allegedly with Ameta in Bhilwara and ACB claimed to have recovered Rs 1.60 lakh from his car and Rs 75,000 from his pocket. Of Rs 3.88 crore, Rs 2.55 crore was allegedly recovered from Shyam Singh Singhvi’s office in Udaipur, the sources said. The amount of Rs 2.55 crore was allegedly sent by a Chittorgarh-based mine owner and was suspectedly bribe meant for Ashok Singhvi and Pankaj Gehlot, the ACB sources claimed.The cash (Rs 2.55 crore) allegedly was being handed over by the CA to alleged middleman of Mines Department Sanjay Seth when the ACB conducted raid in Udaipur, the sources said. Sanjay Seth’s house in Udaipur was also searched and ACB claimed to have recovered Rs 1.25 crore from there. The mines owner Sher Khan has not been arrested so far.

Brij Raj Sharma appointed as Jammu-Kashmir Chief Secretary

The appointment of a new Chief Secretary was required after Sharma’s predecessor Mohammad Iqbal Khandey sought voluntary retirement from service last month citing differences with the government.

Sharma was the Chief Election Officer of the state during the 2008 Assembly elections, which were held immediately after the Amarnath Land row agitation in the state (Mufti Mohammad Sayeed: File Photo)

Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday appointed Brij Raj Sharma, a 1984 batch IAS officer, as the Chief Secretary, superseding four senior officers. “The Cabinet which met here under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today approved the appointment of B R Sharma as the Chief Secretary,” an official spokesperson said. Born on April 27, 1960, Sharma will have one of the longest tenures as the Chief Secretary of the state if he continues in the office till his superannuation.The appointment of a new Chief Secretary was required after Sharma’s predecessor Mohammad Iqbal Khandey sought voluntary retirement from service last month citing differences with the government over frequent transfer of senior officers. Sharma has been appointed to the top administrative post, superseding four senior officers, Arun Kumar and his wife Sonali Kumar, both 1979 batch IAS officers, A K Angurana (1980 batch) and Khursheed Ahmad Ganai (1982 batch).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sharma, who has two post-graduate degrees besides an LLB degree, has held several key posts in the government during his 31 years of service. His last posting was as Principal Secretary, Planning and Development Department of Jammu and Kashmir. He has also held the post of Principal Secretary of the Home Department. Sharma was the Chief Election Officer of the state during the 2008 Assembly elections, which were held immediately after the Amarnath Land row agitation in the state.

OROP protest: Sought appointment with Modi 5 times but received no response, claim ex-servicemen

Ex-servicemen agitating for implementation of ‘One Rank, One Pension (OROP)’ today claimed they had sought an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi five times in last one year but received no response, and reiterated their demand for an audience with him.

OROP protest

PTI photo
Ex-servicemen agitating for implementation of ‘One Rank, One Pension (OROP)’ today claimed they had sought an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi five times in last one year but received no response, and reiterated their demand for an audience with him.The veterans said they had two meetings with Nripendra Misra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, in a fortnight, but there was neither any tangible result from the discussion nor was there anything on paper.”We want an audience with the Prime Minister. We have full faith in him and we are sure we can explain to him the issue. After hearing us out, he will not only resolve our problem, but also grant us more than what we are demanding now,” Maj Gen (retd) Satbir Singh, Chairman of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said after the intervention by the PMO around a fortnight back, they have had two meetings with Principal Secretary.”We have had negotiations with the Principal Secretary twice in last fortnight. But there was nothing concrete in what he offered. Nothing was on paper.”We have also met the Raksha Mantri (defence minister Manohar Parrikar) thrice in last two months. He seemed to be very affirmative,” said Wing Commander (retd) G K Sharma.Singh said the deadlock over the OROP persists and none of the differences have been “ironed out.” The protest of the ex-servicemen entered 82nd day even as 13 veterans have sat on fast-unto-death since August 16.Meanwhile, Keshav Singh of the Armoured Regiment was rushed to Army’s Research and Referral Hospital on Friday after his health started deteriorating. He was sitting on fast unto-death at the protesting hot-spot from August 27.

Modi govt withdraws security to over 30 VIPs including Sushil Kumar Shinde’s family members, Meira Kumar

Security was also withdrawn from Jitin Prasada, Principal Secretary to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, T K A Nair, former MP and industrialist Naveen Jindal, former National Conference MP Abdul Rashid Shaheen and R K Dhawan, close aide of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

A Home Ministry official said that the decision has been taken after a thorough security review of each of the individual (File Photo)

Eight family members of former Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, two former Chief Justices of India are among more than 30 VIPs whose security cover have been withdrawn by the Central government. Former Telecom Minister A Raja, who is also an accused in the 2G scam, former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Lt Gen (retd) S K Sinha and NHRC chairperson K G Balakrishnan names also figure in the list whose security was either withdrawn or downgraded by the Central government.Security cover given by central forces to Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, Kerala Governor and former Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam and Uttarakhand Governor K K Paul were also withdrawn as they have been given security cover by the respective state governments. A total of eight family members of Shinde are no longer eligible for security cover given by central forces. They are: Shinde’s wife Ujwala, daughters Praniti and Smruti, son-in-law Raj Shroff, two grand daughters and two grand sons. All of them got security when Shinde was Union Home Minister.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Home Ministry official said that the decision has been taken after a thorough security review of each of the individual and considering their current threat perception. Others whose security cover has been withdrawn include former Union Ministers Subodh Kant Sahai, V Narayanasamy and Jitin Prasada, Principal Secretary to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, T K A Nair, former MP and industrialist Naveen Jindal, former National Conference MP Abdul Rashid Shaheen and R K Dhawan, close aide of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.Former Delhi Lt Governor Tejendra Khanna, former Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam, former Rajya Sabha MP Rishang Keishing, former Manipur Governor V K Duggal’s son Sunil, V Narayanasamy’s daughter-in-law Yamuna, former Home Secretary Anil Goswami and former Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth also figure in the list.

Chennai: Two school students make preliminary asteroid discovery!

The excited 12th standard students tell dna that it’s due to teamwork that they managed this feat.

Two Chennai students might just be making history! Giridhar Sundaram and Jerix James of St John’s International Residential School, Chennai, have made two preliminary asteroid discoveries. The excited 12th standard students tell dna that it’s due to teamwork that they managed this feat.After a workshop in their school called Project Prasidhi ​by SPACE, they were selected for the All India Asteroid Search Campaign 2015. The two students spent four hours after school poring over n-number of images and ended up making the preliminary discovery.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Explains Giridhar, who has a long-standing interest in astro-physics, “The first stage is preliminary discovery and then it moves to provisional discovery. Once that happens it goes to naming of the asteroids. We’ll name it after our school!”Jerix James says prior to this, they’ve made a documentary on black holes, warm holes and white holes. The two spent a lot of time reading Stephen Hawking and tell dna that one person they missed meeting was Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.Both students want to head to IIT and while Giridhar wants to build supercomputers for space research, Jerix wants to study computers and astrophysics. “We want to thank our Senior Principal – Dr R Kishore Kumar, Principal – Elizabeth Edwin and Vice Principal – Reny James for their support,” they state.SPACE has been working on promoting astronomy and science in India and works with schools across the country in this endeavour.

Justice Tahaliyani sworn in as Maharashtra Lokayukta

Supreme Court, in its judgement dated August 29, 2012, in the Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab versus State of Maharashtra case, had lauded the role of Justice Tahaliyani in conducting the trial proceedings and maintaining the record of the case in an exemplary manner.

Justice Madanlal Laxmandas Tahaliyani, a retired judge of Bombay High Court, was on Monday sworn in as the new Maharashtra Lokayukta.Governor C Vidyasagar Rao administered the oath of office to Justice Tahaliyani at a brief ceremony held at the Darbar Hall of Raj Bhavan here.Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Minister for Higher, Technical and Medical Education, Vinod Tawde, judges of Bombay High Court, public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, family members of Justice Tahaliyani and others were present on the occasion.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Justice Tahaliyani succeeds Justice (retd) PB Gaikwad, whose term as Lokayukta ended on July 1, 2014.Supreme Court, in its judgement dated August 29, 2012, in the Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab versus State of Maharashtra case, had lauded the role of Justice Tahaliyani in conducting the trial proceedings and maintaining the record of the case in an exemplary manner.The judgement delivered by Justices Aftab Alam and Chandramauli Kr Prasad records, “In the course of hearing of the appeal, we also came to know the trial Judge Shri Tahaliyani. From the records of the case, he appears to be a stern, no-nonsense person. But he is a true flag-bearer of the rule of law in this country.””The manner in which he conducted the trial proceedings and maintained the record is exemplary. We seriously recommend that the trial court records of this case be included in the curriculum of the National Judicial Authority and the Judicial Authorities of the different states as a model for criminal trial proceedings,” they said.Justice Tahaliyani was born on December 23, 1953, at Sardar Shahar in Rajasthan. After obtaining his law degree, he started practising law in May, 1977, at Gondia and Chandrapur in Maharashtra.He was appointed as Assistant Public Prosecutor at Gadchiroli on December 14, 1979, and worked in that capacity at Gadchiroli, Sironcha, Desaiganj and Warora.He also officiated as the Metropolitan Magistrate, Mumbai, in 1987. He was appointed as Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Mumbai, in 1994 and Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Mumbai, in 1997.He was appointed as Judge of Bombay City Civil Court in 1997, Registrar (Inspection) High Court of Bombay in 2008, 2nd Additional Principal Judge, City Civil Court, Mumbai, in 2009, 1st Additional Principal Judge in 2009 and Principal Judge Bombay City Civil Court in 2010. He was elevated as High Court Judge on March 18, 2011.

OROP stir: L-G transfers Delhi Police team over crackdown on ex-servicemen

New Delhi: In a major reshuffle, the Delhi Lt Governor on Friday transferred 35 police officials including Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Vijay Singh, who was involved in the crackdown on agitating army veterans demanding One-Rank-One-Pension at Jantar Mantar in Delhi.

Ex-servicemen during protest for One Rank One Pension at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI

Ex-servicemen during protest for One Rank One Pension at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI

Singh has been transferred to the north-west district of Delhi Police, a senior police official said, adding Jatin Narwal, currently additional DCP in New Delhi district, will replace him.

In northwest district, Vijay Singh will replace DCP N Gnanasambandan, who has been transferred to the Police Training College as its new Vice-Principal, the official said.

The reshuffle included six officials of ACP rank who have been transferred on promotion, the official added.

PTI

Delhi University student accuses college attendant of sending derogatory messages

The college attendant was suspended on Wednesday.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
A Delhi University (DU) student has accused a non-teaching staff of varsity’s Atma Ram Sanatan Dharm College (ARSD) of sending derogatory messages, following which he was suspended on Wednesday. The students closed the college gates and demonstrated against the administration alleging the principal was trying to shield the accused.”The girl had complaint to the principal that she was repetitively receiving derogatory messages from this attendant. She had reported the matter to the principal, but he tried to shield the accused,” a protesting student said on the condition of anonymity. The principal, however, denied that the matter was reported to him earlier.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”No complaint was reported to me earlier. I was approached by the girl today and she complained of eve teasing by the attendant but not of receiving any derogatory messages,” college principal Gyanatosh Jha told PTI.”Following her complaint, the said non teaching staff was suspended from the college pending an enquiry and the complaint was forwarded to the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC), which will further probe the issue,” he added.

Expert panel to lend technology solutions for housing projects

“Using of latest technology will ensure that we can save time as well as costs in construction of buildings. The committee will be given two months to submit a report on the use of technology that matches the demography of the city, earthquake resistance of buildings, environment-friendly and cost effective measures that can be adopted,” the official said.

Representational image.

The Maharashtra government has decided to constitute a committee of technical experts that would suggest within two months guidelines for construction of affordable and technically sound houses.According to an official from the state Housing Department, the committee will be headed by the Principal Secretary of Housing and will include Secretary of Public Works Department.Vice President and CEO of MHADA (Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority), Professor Ravi Sinha from Indian Institute of Technology (Mumbai), Dr Prashant Bhave, Chief of Civil Department at Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) and Chief Engineer of MHADA.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The official said that the committee will be required to make suggestions on the use of latest technology in the construction sector for large-scale housing projects.”Using of latest technology will ensure that we can save time as well as costs in construction of buildings. The committee will be given two months to submit a report on the use of technology that matches the demography of the city, earthquake resistance of buildings, environment-friendly and cost effective measures that can be adopted,” the official said.He said that the report submitted by the committee will adopted by state-run agencies like MHADA and MMRDA (Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority) for their major housing projects.”It has been twelve years since guidelines have been laid down for contractors to construct homes with the available technology. In this period, technology in the housing sector has evolved considerably. Hence, it would not be right to ignore the latest technology that is present today,” the official said.The official said that the Building Material and Technology Promotion Council has made eight recommendations on the use of technology in the housing sector.”To construct affordable and good quality homes, we need to consider these recommendations as well,” he said.

Principal of Bengaluru school arrested following sexual assault on three-year-old girl

Bengaluru: Principal of a Bengaluru school was arrested on Thursday according to initial television reports after a three-year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by the school’s watchman on Monday, triggering protests by parents and students.

The principal has been arrested as no verification was done before recruiting the accused watchmen.

A representational picture of the July 2014 protests in Bengaluru. PTI

A representational picture of the July 2014 protests in Bengaluru. PTI

“We have arrested the watchman who was involved in the act, and in the course of investigation we have come to know that verification was not done before hiring the watchman. We had issued a nine-point guideline for verification,” said a police official in a television report.

The watchman was arrested on 4 August following a complaint filed by the parents of the victim, who had identified the assaulter.

“The victim’s mother had seen the watchman making her daughter sit on his lap, hugging her and offering chocolates,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) N Satish Kumar had said.

The girl’s parents had come to know about the incident when she complained of pain in her private parts after returning from school on Monday afternoon.

She was taken for medical examination at government-run Bowring Hospital on Monday evening and a case was registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).

Asked about the alleged lathicharge against protesting parents, Kumar had said in fact some protesters had beaten up the police. “We did not resort to lathicharge against the protestors. On the contrary, one of our sub-inspectors and another policeman were beaten up,” he said.

The incident is a grim reminder of a series of sexual assaults on minor girls in upscale schools in the city last year, raising questions about safety of girls in schools.

Prompted by the recurring incidents, police had issued safety guidelines for schools, which in many cases have been found to be observed in the breach.

With inputs from PTI

Muslim child punished for refusing to sing Sanskrit ‘shlokas’ in Bengaluru

When the principal of the school noticed that the boy and some of his other Muslim friends were not singing the ‘shlokas’ the principal asked the group to come up on stage and sing it.

Represenational Image

A 15-year-old Muslim boy’s case has stirred the hornet’s nest after he was punished for not singing a few Sanskrit shlokas by his principal. According to a report in Hindustan Times, the incident took place in south Bengaluru school.When the principal of the school noticed that the boy and some of his other Muslim friends weren’t singing the shlokas the principal asked the group to come up on stage and sing it. The boy is quoted saying: “I was humiliated in front of 1,200 students and my constitutional right was violated. She made us go on stage and forced us to sing the prayer in front of everybody. She scolded me in front of everyone on the mike when I mispronounced a few Sanskrit words.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The boy’s mother, along with activists of the Association for Protection of Civil Rights, approached the principal and tried to file a complaint. However, the principal acted like she did not understand what the fuss was about and kept saying that the prayer was important to instil values and discipline in students. The principal even suggested that the boy was turning into a fundamentalist Muslim since he was from Bhatkal (a Muslim-dominated area in Karnataka). Following the furore, the boy has been allowed to sit in class during the assembly but he’s still not happy with the development.He has pointed out that 14 out of the 32 students in his class are Muslims, as is 30% of the school. The student is also the head boy of the school and says that he does not feel comfortable anymore since he refused to sing the prayer. He, however, added that many of his Hindu friends stood by his side.The principal, Padmaja Menon, however defended her stance saying that there was nothing wrong with the prayers, one of which invokes the Hindu gods Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. She was quoted assaying: “But Brahma is the creator of the universe. What is wrong in invoking his name?”

Delhi govt denies charges made by ACB chief MK Meena against senior bureaucrat

New Delhi: Hours after Anti-Corruption Branch Chief Mukesh Meena ordered a probe against a senior bureaucrat for allegedly allowing conversion of industrial plots from leasehold to freehold in 2011-12, Delhi government on Monday strongly denied the charge, saying due approvals of ‘competent authorities’ were taken for the conversion process.

Delhi ACM chief MK Meena. IBNLive

Delhi ACM chief MK Meena. IBNLive

The ACB claims that it has received a complaint of alleged irregularity against CB Sanghi, who holds the charge of Principal Secretary, Vigilance, following which the investigation was ordered by Meena whose appointment as the ACB chief by the Lt Governor was rejected by AAP government.

“While he was posted as CMD at DSIIDC in 2011-12, he allowed conversion of industrial plots to freehold. This is beyond his power as no permission was taken from DDA or Lt Governor, which is mandatory in this case,” the senior ACB officer told PTI.

The industrial body of the Delhi government, however, denied any wrongdoing, and said, “due approvals” were sought before the conversion.

“It is clarified that the conversion from leasehold to freehold has been done following all the laws and after seeking due approvals of the competent authorities.

“The scheme for conversion from leasehold to freehold was introduced by the Ministry of Urban Development and duly approved by Lt Governor of Delhi. All the cases of leasehold to freehold conversion have been done after receipt of due conversion charges approved by the LG from each applicant,” DSIIDC said in its statement.

The issue has opened up a fresh tussle between the AAP government and the Lt Governor.

“While he was posted as CMD at DSIIDC in 2011-12, he allowed conversion of industrial plots to freehold. This is beyond his power as no permission was taken from DDA or Lt Governor, which is mandatory in this case,” the senior ACB officer said.

ACB claims advocate Vivek Garg gave a complaint, following which an investigation was ordered by Meena. In his complaint, Garg has also asked to check involvement of other people in it.

In his complaint, he has questioned why Sanghi allegedly took “no permission” from DDA and LG before allowing the conversion.

Last month, the Vigilance department of Delhi government had tried to clipp the power of Meena by asking him to only look after training work and monitoring of cases undergoing trial till the High Court decides on the validity of his appointment.

The Department has asked ACB’s Additional Commissioner SS Yadav, backed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, to supervise the main work including investigation.

According to Kejriwal government, the director of Vigilance department of Delhi government is the head of ACB and is competent to allocate work among the officers in the anti-graft body.

PTI

Muzaffarnagar riots documentary screening in DU disrupted by ABVP activists

New Delhi: Members of Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) on Saturday stalled the screening of a documentary film on 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots at DU’s Kirori Mal College, calling its content “anti-national”.

DUSU office bearers led by activists from BJP’s youth wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), interrupted the screening of documentary “Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai” organised by the college’s Film Society.

A file photo from the Muzaffarnagar riots. AFPA file photo from the Muzaffarnagar riots. AFP

A file photo from the Muzaffarnagar riots. AFP

“The content of the film targets particular communities and projects their involvement in the Muzaffarnagar riots. Such an activity at an educational institution is not only anti-national but unacceptable,” DUSU President Mohit Nagar claimed.

While certain students termed it to be a “attack on their freedom”, the college principal said content of the documentary will be reviewed.

“The film society organises a screening every week and then a discussion is held on it. However, few students objected to screening of this documentary. The members of DUSU also visited the college for the same,” Acting Principal, Dinesh Khattar said.

“Following the objection, I ordered that the screening be stopped. We will review the content of the movie and if we find it apt, a screening will be organised again,” he added.

More than 60 people were killed and 40,000 displaced during riots in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district and neighbouring areas in September 2013.

The documentary directed by Nakul Singh and Neha Dixit reportedly shows how certain communities provoked the masses against each other to commit atrocities towards members of the other community.

Earlier this year, various students outfits had objected to its screening at Aligarh Muslim University.

PTI

Anti-corruption IAS officer’s VRS application creates furore in UP

Anti-corruption crusader SP Singh has been transferred six times so far. His retirement is due in December, but his application for voluntary retirement has created a lot of tension in UP’s local politics.

File Photo

Advertised as ‘Uttam Pradesh’, the India’s most populated Uttar Pradesh has got a bad reputation when it comes to treatment of its administrative officers. Recently, IPS officer Amitabh Thakur was first suspended from duty and then charge-sheeted with rape after he lodged a complaint against Samajwadi party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav for allegedly threatening him.Now IAS officer Surya Pratap Singh faces a similar fate. Singh had sought voluntarily retirement (VRS) saying that he would prefer to get out of the system and work for public welfare as an activist. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Instead of approving Singh’s retirement under VRS, the 1982-batch UP cadre officer who had earned the reputation of an anti-corruption crusader was transferred from his post as Principal Secretary, Public Enterprises Department and was put under waiting. As Singh wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday, an officer of in his position is kept under waiting only when there is something wrong in his department and an investigation is due. Singh says he has asked the state government to either grant him the VRS or tell him why is he under waiting.लो हम सड़क पर आ गए!अखवारों से ज्ञात हुआ कि आज मेरा स्थानांतरण कर ‘प्रतीक्षा’ में रख दिया गया | किसी विभाग से किसी प्रमु…
Posted by Surya Pratap Singh Ias on Friday, July 31, 2015Singh also wrote, “The democratic system of UP is only a delusion and is used for exploiting the poor and the victims.”Singh has been replaced by Pradeep Shukla who was an accused in the Rs.100 billion NRHM scam. Local media also reports that the UP government is going to take disciplinary action against Singh although the reason for the same hasn’t been revealed yet. According to local media reports, Singh will be tried for not adhering to his responsibilities as a PS of his own department and indulging his time in other activities instead of duty. Although Singh clarifies in his Facebook post that he does work as an activist and joins people’s movement, he says he only does it in his spare time when he is not on duty. On Sunday, a Zee correspondent approached UP’s state tourism minister Om Prakash Singh for a comment on the matter. “Officers are the servants of the government and they should be aware of their limits. They should focus on the job assigned to them and keep away from other subjects”, Om Prakash said. “If they cross their limits, they will have to face dire consequences,” he added.

MP school book lists Pervez Musharraf as a ‘great personality’

The former military dictator, considered the architect of the 1999 Kargil War with India, features among “six great personalities” in one the lessons of the book, which also carries his picture.

Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has been listed among ‘great personalities’ in a Class III book of a private school in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh.The former military dictator, considered the architect of the 1999 Kargil War with India, features among “six great personalities” in one the lessons of the book, which also carries his picture. The District Bar Association (DBA) in Jabalpur has taken a strong objection to the lesson and complained to the district authorities in this regard, following which Christ Asha School at Awadhpuri here, has withdrawn the book.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The book written by Pankaj Jain and published by Gayatri Publication has put Musharraf’s picture among the portraits of six great personalities,” Amit Sahu and Vinay Mishra of the DBA said. “This is highly objectionable. Under the Musharraf regime in Pakistan, the Kargil War took place, in which many Indian soldiers lost their lives,” they said.It is a folly on the part of the state and central education departments that a lesson is being taught to children at this tender age, which shows Musharraf as a great personality, Sahu said adding, “This amounts to playing with the future of the children.” A DBA delegation has filed a petition to the District Magistrate (Collector) S N Rupla in this regard, in which they have sought action against the writer of the book as well as its publisher.The book, however, claims that its contents were in accordance with the syllabus of National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT). When contacted, the Collector told PTI that following the complaint, he has written a letter to the NCERT in Delhi, and state departments concerned two days back to look into the issue.”The departments concerned will take a call on it,” Rupla said. Principal of the school, Manorama Awasthi, said, “When the content of the book was brought to our notice, we immediately withdrew it.”
PTI

St Stephen’s student, whose e-magazine was banned by Principal Thampu, moves HC for character certificate

The student, Devansh Mehta, has contended in his plea that while one of his classmates was issued a provisional certificate with an endorsement of her character, his did not have that detail.

A student-editor of St Stephens’ banned e-magazine on Wednesday moved the Delhi High Court seeking a character certificate and alleging that the provisional graduation certificate issued to him does not certify his character as has been done in the case of others who graduated from the college.The student has moved the court saying he has secured admission into the Journalism School of Columbia University, USA, and requires his college leaving documents and this requirement is urgent as he leaves for America on July 26.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw agreed to hear the matter on July 24 in view of the strike in the high court on Wednesday.The student, Devansh Mehta, has contended in his plea that while one of his classmates was issued a provisional certificate with an endorsement of her character, his did not have that detail. He said he had written to Principal Valson Thampu on July 13 asking for a corrected certificate to be issued to him but till date he has not received any response due to which he had to move the court.The court had earlier rapped Thampu over the manner in which he had handled the suspension of Mehta, a Philosophy student and the editor and co-founder of ”St Stephen”s Weekly” e-magazine, for “violating” discipline and asked him to take back the step. It had also castigated Delhi University for not playing an impartial role in the entire matter. It had said it will appreciate if the matter was resolved “within yourself” as the court does not want to hear the issue again.The court had asked Mehta and other students to cooperate and try to arrive at an amicable settlement before September 17.Mehta has contended in his application that he had on one or two occasions requested Thampu for a meeting towards an amicable settlement as was suggested by the court but there has been no response from the Principal.The court had on April 17 stayed Thampu’s order of suspending Mehta and asked whether anyone can be suspended for speaking to the media. It had also stayed the findings of a one-man inquiry committee, appointed by Thampu, which on April 9 held Mehta, a then third-year student, guilty of violating disciplinary norms of the college.Mehta had been suspended from the college till April 23 following the report of the inquiry committee of Prof Sanjay Rao Ayde. Mehta had moved the court on April 16 seeking a stay on the action against him taken by the college.Mehta and three other students had started ”St Stephen’s Weekly”, which went live on March 7, and registered over 2,000 hits on an interview of Thampu, following which the Principal ordered a ban on the publication for not taking his clearance on the content.Thampu’s move had invited criticism from the reputed college’s alumni, including former Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi and former Delhi Lokayukta Justice (retd) Manmohan Sarin who had requested the Principal to reconsider the decision, terming it as ”extreme” and ”disproportionate”.

IPS Officer Amitabh Thakur replies to charge sheet, says he never flouted rules

The IG-rank officer went to the DGP headquarters and submitted his point-wise 30-page reply to IG personnel. The reply to the 16-point charge sheet was addressed to Principal Secretary, Home.
File Photo

Suspended IPS officer Amitabh Thakur on Wednesday submitted his reply to the charge sheet slapped on him by the UP government accusing him of dereliction of duty, saying he never flouted rules and manuals and was “not at fault”.”I was given 15 days to reply to the charge sheet but I have submitted it within 24 hours…I am not at fault in any of the 16 points stated in the charge sheet,” Thakur said.”I have never ever been lax towards my duties nor have flouted rules and manuals,” he asserted.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The IG-rank officer went to the DGP headquarters and submitted his point-wise 30-page reply to IG personnel. The reply to the 16-point charge sheet was addressed to Principal Secretary, Home. On Wednesday, Thakur, who had lodged a complaint against SP Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav for allegedly threatening him, was slapped with a 200-page charge sheet by UP government accusing him of dereliction of duty, anti-establishment approach and flouting court orders.Thakur was suspended on July 13 by the Uttar Pradesh government hours after he had approached the Union Home Ministry in New Delhi seeking a CBI probe into the rape charges filed against him after he lodged a complaint against SP supremo Yadav for allegedly threatening him. Thakur said his suspension and charge sheet was to harass him.”No effort was made to know my version nor was there any move to get a report from the civil defence (where he was posted at the time of suspension as IG),” he said.When queried as to what prompted the government to act against him, Thakur said, “It was because me and my wife (Nutan Thakur’s) social activities were causing problems for some influential people.”Justifying his actions, Thakur said his social activities are as per the amended conduct of rules 2014 and fundamental rights under which one could help others in their fight for equality and justice. He stressed on setting aside the charges levelled against him.Thakur, who is locked in a tussle with the state government over alleged threatening phone call by the SP supremo after which rape charges were also levelled against him, said he would soon go to court in connection with these two cases.The official stirred a political storm by releasing the text and audio of the conversation purportedly carrying Mulayam’s voice.

Vyapam scam: Exams for admissions to private dental and medical colleges canceled in MP

As Madhya Pradesh battles the ramifications of the multi-crore Vyapam scam, a top state examination body today cancelled the July 12 examinations for admissions to private dental and medical colleges, with a whistleblower threatening to names judges allegedly involved in a scandal relating to it.

As Madhya Pradesh battles the ramifications of the multi-crore Vyapam scam, a top state examination body today cancelled the July 12 examinations for admissions to private dental and medical colleges, with a whistleblower threatening to names judges allegedly involved in a scandal relating to it.A day after Madhya Pradesh High Court directed The Association of Private Dental and Medical Colleges (APDMC) to scan OMR answer sheets of each of the candidates who will write the Dental and Medical Admission Test (DMAT) on July 12, the apex body today postponed the scheduled examination.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The exam was postponed because of technical reasons,” APDMC Chairman, Dr VK Mahadik told PTI. APDMC conducts DMAT exam for granting admission to private dental and medical colleges of Madhya Pradesh.The emerging DMAT scandal comes close on the heels of a raging controversy over the massive admission and recruitment Vyapam scam on which the Supreme Court yesterday ordered a CBI probe.”For ensuring completion of all technicalities involved in the examination we need more time and therefore, decided to postpone it,” the Chairman said.The APDMC has also put out a notice on the issue on its official website. It also said that the new date for the exam shall be notified separately.A bench of MP High Court comprising the Chief Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice KK Trivedi on Thursday directed the APDMC to scan the answer sheets of the candidates appearing in the 2015 Dental and Medical Admission Test (DMAT) in all the nine examination centres of the state. DMAT-2015 will be conducted in various examination centres across the country, including nine centres in MP. The HC ordered the Principal Secretary, Home department, Principal Secretary Medical Education department, the Secretary of the Admission and Fees Regulatory Committee (AFRC) and the President of APDMC to keep one set each of the scanned OMR answer sheet copies of the nine DMAT examination centres.The postponement also assumes significance in view of number of petitions pending in the High Court and Supreme Court on the issue of alleged irregularities in the DMAT exam.Whistleblower Dr Anand Rai, who has also filed a petition in Supreme Court demanding CBI probe into the alleged DMAT scam, was also a leading a campaign on the Vyapam scam.] “It (DMAT) is a major scam in which 43 per cent private college quota seats and 15 per cent NRI quota seats were sold off by violating rules and regulations.””I will be submitting in a sealed cover names of members of judiciary also who were the beneficiaries of this scam to the Supreme Court soon.”Besides, Rai also alleged that 721 seats of the state quota in these private colleges were sold off for a hefty amount between 2010-2013. State Congress President, Arun Yadav in a press conference last month had alleged irregularities in admissions to private medical colleges in the state and claimed its beneficiaries included relatives of politicians, judges, IAS and IPS officers.

Indian e-commerce site defaced

One of India’s biggest e-commerce sites, housing.com, has its website defaced after the recent sacking of its founder-CEO.

St Stephen’s molestation row: Valson Thampu demands CBI inquiry

Thampu earlier claimed that “the victim is being used against him” and a forensic investigation of the “purported” recordings will clear the air.

St Stephen’s principal Valson Thampu on Sunday sought a CBI probe into the alleged molestation of a research scholar, who has also accused him of shielding the accused.Thampu earlier claimed that “the victim is being used against him” and a forensic investigation of the “purported” recordings will clear the air. “In view of the attempts by various agencies to spread confusion, compromise truth, mislead the public and scuttle justice, I, in my capacity as the Principal of St.Stephen’s College request a full-fledged judicial inquiry under a sitting or retired Judge of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India (in case of judicial inquiry) or CBI inquiry covering all aspects of the alleged sexual harassment matter,” Thampu said in a post on his Facebook page.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I feel sorry for the victim. She is being misled and is being used against me by certain elements in the college only. “She has admitted herself to the media that she released the audio recordings as advised by a ‘teacher’,” Thampu told PTI. “She is not understanding that she is being guided or prompted by certain people to serve their ulterior purposes. The end of this can only be destruction because the truth cannot be hidden,” he added.The principal, however, did not comment on who those “certain people” are.The research scholar, who has alleged she was molested by a college professor and Thampu had tried to shield him, approached police last week with four recordings that she claimed to have made during her meetings with the principal where had allegedly pressurised her to withdraw the complaint. While Thampu is maintaining that the recordings have been “mischievously edited”, he said the editors did not do a good job.”The purported tapes have statements contrary to allegations raised by the complainant against me. I am disappointed as a better job could have been done in editing the recordings.”I have good reasons to believe that the truth will come out if the tapes are subjected to forensic investigation,” he added. The complainant had approached police on June 19 alleging she was molested by Satish Kumar, an assistant professor in college’s Chemistry Department. She had also accused Thampu of “criminally intimidating” her to give a written application to him expressing her consent to close the matter in college itself in order to not cause any delay or problems in completion of her PhD”.While the demand for Thampu’s resignation over the issue is growing louder, HRD ministry has asked UGC to ensure the probe is completed by college’s Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) “expeditiously” and “impartially”. UGC officials said that they will closely monitor the proceedings of the ICC. The victim, however, has refused to appear before the ICC, saying she has no faith in its proceedings and hence she is seeking redress elsewhere.

Stephen’s molestation row: I welcome HRD minister’s nudge for fair probe, says Thampu

Refuting allegations that he tried to hush up the matter by shielding the accused, he claimed that “the girl wasn’t sure she wanted to treat it as a sexual harassment complaint”.

Valson Thampu
File Photo

St Stephen’s principal Valson Thampu on Saturday said that he “wholeheartedly” welcomes HRD ministry’s direction regarding the inquiry into the molestation row even as clamour mounted for his resignation for allegedly hushing up the matter. “I got to know that HRD ministry has asked the University Grants Commission to ensure that a fair probe is conducted. I wholeheartedly welcome the decision and am ready to cooperate with all agencies,” he said. Refuting allegations that he tried to hush up the matter by shielding the accused, he claimed that “the girl wasn’t sure she wanted to treat it as a sexual harassment complaint” and it was not for him but the victim to go to police.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “It wasn’t for me but for the victim to approach the police over the issue. I could have raised it with the college’s Internal Complaints Committee (ICC), which I duly did,” he said, responding to queries as to why the matter was not reported to police when he first received the complaint.
“The girl wasn’t sure she wanted to treat it as a sexual harassment complaint. If I would have reported it to police, it would have been breach of trust,” he added. Thampu, meanwhile, said that the protest staged at the college by students’ bodies on Friday has struck “terror” among the aspirants who were on the campus to appear for admission interviews. “I believe every educational institution should have a zero-tolerance policy on such issues. I am with the victim in her quest for justice, but the issue should not be politicised,” he said. About the audio recordings submitted to police by the complainant claiming that Thampu had put pressure on her to not treat the matter as that of sexual harassment, Thampu said they have been “mischievously edited”.He maintained that he has not heard the recordings and has only seen the published transcripts. “I shall make no comments on the merit of the contents and how cleverly they have been manipulated insofar as a police investigation into the case is in progress, but they have been mischievously edited,” he said. The research scholar had approached police on June 19 alleging that she was molested by Satish Kumar, an assistant professor of Chemistry Department, and that Thampu had tried to shield the accused when the matter was reported to him.Delhi High Court had on Friday ordered a stay on Kumar’s arrest till August 17. Women’s organisations were on Saturday up in arms against Thampu for allegedly “mishandling” the issue.”We demand immediate reassigning of the Ph.D supervisor and initiation of an external inquiry into the principal’s role and institutional failure to address such cases,” several women’s organisations, including All India Democratic Women’s Association, Centre for Struggling Women, Saheli and All India Progressive Women’s Association, said in a joint statement.While HRD Ministry on Saturday asked UGC to ensure that the college’s ICC completes the enquiry “expeditiously” and “impartially”, Delhi University is maintaining it is St Stephen’s internal matter and it has no say in it. Also Read: St Stephen’s molestation row: ‘The student wasn’t sure she wanted to treat it as a sexual harassment complaint”, says St Stephen’s Principal

Fearing govt action over fake degrees, 1,400 primary teachers resign in Bihar

Patna: Altogether 1,400 primary teachers have resigned from service in Bihar fearing government action over possession of fake educational degrees, a senior officer of the Education department said on Thursday.

More such teachers are expected to resign in the coming days after a Patna High Court order asking those possessing fake educational degrees to quit their jobs on their own to avoid facing legal action.

Representational image. Agencies

Representational image. Agencies

“Altogether 1400 teachers have resigned from service. More resignations are expected as we have fixed a deadline of July 8 for it. The final figure of those who resigned will be known only after it,” Education Department Principal Secretary R K Mahajan told PTI.

Mahajan said that strict action will be taken against those teachers possessing fake certificates who do not resign within the stipulated period. FIRs will be lodged against them, their services will be terminated and the government will move for recovery of salary and other benefits given to them.

The High Court order came through a division bench of Chief Justice L Narasimha Reddy and Sudhir Singh while hearing a bunch of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by activists Ranjit Pandit and others.

Bihar has over 3.5 lakh primary teachers and the PILs allege that a large number among them have taken up the job on the basis of fake educational certificates.

The state government has already asked its vigilance department to probe the educational qualifications of the teachers, which has deputed eight DSPs and 38 inspectors for it.

The state government submitted before the High Court that it will take at least three to four months to complete the herculean task, which led to the court ordering a time frame under which action will not be taken against teachers who resign on their own.

PTI

Punjab CM Badal assures help to those stranded due to heavy rain in Uttarakhand

Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today assured immediate help to those affected by heavy rains in Uttarakhand as the state government dispatched a rescue team to oversee evacuation of pilgrims stranded at Hemkunt Sahib.

As per the orders issued by Punjab Chief Secretary Sarvesh Kaushal, Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Arunjit Singh Miglani has been asked to head the team to oversee the evacuation of stranded pilgrims, an official spokesperson said.

Miglani would obtain security personnel from ADGP (Security), a medical team from Principal Secretary Health and Family Welfare and required number of buses from Principal Secretary Transport, he said.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. AFPPunjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. AFP

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. AFP

He has been directed to station himself at Joshimath in Chamoli district, liaise with Uttarakhand government and report the progress of evacuation to Punjab Civil Control Room daily, the spokesperson said.

Sub Divisional Magistrate, SAS Nagar (Mohali) Lakhmir Singh has also been asked to accompany him, the spokesperson said.

Terming the situation in Uttarakhand as a national tragedy, Badal assured full and immediate help to all those affected regardless of their respective states or their destination of pilgrimage, an official spokesperson said.

Several residents of Punjab who had gone on a pilgrimage to Sri Hemkunt Sahib in Uttarakhand are stranded due to heavy rains and reported damage of bridges and roads.

Stating the main objective of Punjab government was to expedite the rescue operation so that all the pilgrims stuck at Gobind Dham and other nearby places are evacuated, Badal hoped that all those stranded would soon be brought back home safe and sound.

He prayed to the Almighty for safety of all people stranded in Uttarakhand.

PTI

St Stephen’s molestation case: HRD ministry asks college to expedite probe

New Delhi: The HRD ministry on Friday asked St Stephen’s college to expedite its probe into the sexual harassment complaint filed by a PhD student against a professor who was supervising her research.

HRD Minister Smriti Irani. PTI

HRD Minister Smriti Irani. PTI

“The college has been asked to ensure that the probe by its Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) is expedited and justice is ensured,” officials in the ministry said.

Taking cognizance of the controversy over the allegations leveled by the girl against Satish Kumar, an assistant professor in college’s Chemistry department, HRD ministry had earlier this week sent a notice to DU seeking an action-taken report in the matter.

College principal Valson Thampu had said that he has replied to the notice with all “relevant documents”.

Kumar who was also the Bursar of the college was earlier this week denied anticipatory bail by a Delhi Court in connection with the case, following which he had resigned from the post.

The student had approached police last week alleging that she was molested by the accused in October, 2013.

She has also alleged that the college principal tried to protect the teacher when the matter was reported to the college authorities.

While Thampu has been maintaining that he had “duly” forwarded the students complaint to ICC, a statutory body to deal with such complaints, the victim had last week withdrawn her complaint from the committee saying she has lost faith in its proceedings.

Thampu had on Thursday said that the institution is not an investigative agency and it is for the police to conduct the probe.

PTI

St Stephen’s Valson Thampu reveals Vishakha guideline to silencing sexual harassment

A student pursuing her PhD at the Delhi University allegedly endured sexual harassment by her guide for one year. When she couldn’t endure it any more, the student claims she turned to the St Stephen’s principal Valson Thampu and filed a verbal complaint against her guide Satish Kumar, a faculty member at the college.

The complainant is not a student of St Stephen’s but since her guide is a faculty of the college and she meets him within the college premises, she takes what appears to be the logical step against the accused professor. On 10 December 2014, she verbally complains to the accused’s superior, the principal of St Stephen’s College.  She doesn’t lodge a written complaint, perhaps hoping that things will get better after the principal intervenes in the matter. However, in January this year, she lodged a written complaint, as well.

Six months later, she has now filed an FIR to bring the accused to the book.

Though the complainant has not named the St Stephen’s principal by name in the FIR, according to media reports, she told the police that Thampu had tried to discourage her and tried to get her to withdraw the complaint.

Thampu on his part has offered his version by penning an oped on the NDTV website and by speaking to Indian Express reporters. He claims that he has done everything necessary as per required protocol to address the student’s grievance.

His NDTV editorial begins on a sharply accusatory note: “Bad news for those who want to revel at the expense of the College.” It is soon evident that Thampu is far from sympathetic to the complainant. For example, underscoring the fact that the complainant was not a student of St Stephen’s college, he writes:

“To begin with – I would like to clarity that the complainant is not a student of St Stephen’s College. She’s a registered research student of Delhi University. Her research guide happens to be a faculty member at Stephen’s. As per regulations of the college, research students who come to labs are required to sign an attendance register which the complainant utterly refused to do.”

There is no logical connection between the complainant not signing a register and the case of sexual harassment, and yet Thampu seems to think that nugget of information is important to the case. It is offered instead to invite the reader to draw conclusions about the complainant as someone who is possibly unruly and difficult.

St Stephen's College. Image courtesy: college website.St Stephen's College. Image courtesy: college website.

St Stephen’s College. Image courtesy: college website.

He then explains in great detail as to how the complainant was utterly confused about whether or not to go ahead with a formal complaint on sexual harassment.

However, what is clear to anyone reading Thampu’s version of the incident, is the fact that the complainant was never in doubt as to the fact that she has been a victim of sexual harassment.

She was only in two minds about the implications of lodging a complaint.

The principal’s own version makes it clear that the complainant was anxious about the future of her thesis paper, 80 percent of which has been supervised by the accused. Thampu also says that he checked with the Delhi University authorities and states that there is no provision to replace a PhD supervisor.

In other words, the complainant was stuck between a rock and a hard place. On one had, she was being harassed by the supervisor; on the other hand, initiating a formal complaint against him could endanger her academic future.

“A few days later the Principal calls a meeting of the complainant and the accused at which both agree on completing the work latest by the end of July 2015.  The complainant does not utter a word about sexual harassment,” Thampu writes. He doesn’t elaborate as to the reason why he summoned such a meeting. And while he is quick to raise questions about the student’s silence, it is clear that he too failed to raise the subject of her complaint.

We don’t question Thampu’s right to defend his institution but given that it is a St Stephen’s employee employee who is the accused in this case, he can’t wash his hands off all responsibility. And his own account makes it clear that Thampu dealt with the incident with very little empathy or compassion for the complainant.

In the aftermath of the sexual harassment and rape cases at the workplace, there has been a lot of talk about the need to follow the Vishakha guidelines. But as this case makes clear, institutions who follow the letter of the law also often may violate its spirit.

“With folded hands, the father pleads with the Principal not to turn this into a complaint of sexual harassment as it could result in a scandal and also affect his daughter’s chance of getting a Ph.D,” Thampu writes about the complainant’s father’s intervention.  The aim here perhaps to show that he can hardly blamed for her and her family’s own fear about consequences.

The complainant and her family’s anxiety is hardly surprising.  Thampu’s role here should have been to assuage the family’s fears, and assure them of his full support to ensure there would be no such damage to her future. There is no evidence that he or anyone in the college — at the very least — tried to counsel the complainant and advise her on the best way to pursue the incident. Instead of allaying her fears, the institution presented her with a set of options, asking her to choose and accept whatever consequences that would follow.

The St Stephen’s incident and Thampu’s critique of the complainant makes it clear that instituting a committee to probe incidents of sexual harassment is useless when those heading the investigation have no interest in ensuring justice, or in tackling sexual harrassment complaints with the seriousness they deserve. The ICC instead becomes a means to create a hostile and unsympathetic environment for the victim, intended to pressure her into not filing charges.

From the Tarun Tejpal case to the recent complaint of sexual harassment against Greenpeace, it is clear that the country’s biggest and most ‘liberal’ work spaces have failed its employees when it came to incidents of sexual harassment. The case against Tarun Tejpal picked up momentum when the media turned its attention to it. The case of sexual assault in Greenpeace seems to be proceeding now that there has been a furore against it in the media and social media. In both cases, the internal committees had failed to resolve the issue and the victims had to go public with their story. In the Tehelka’s case via ‘leaked’ letters, and in the Greenpeace case, the victim wrote a blog post for a website recounting her experience.

It’s as if, the internal complaints committee is set up precisely as a fig leaf for institutional complacency.

Thampu complains in his op-ed: “14 January 2015: The complainant does not turn up. The Principal files all relevant papers with the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC).” What does this actually tell us: the complaint went to the ICC over six months back and the college has not come up with a finding.

In fact, Dr Karen Gabriel, the presiding officer of the ICC told The Indian Express, with much disdain, “We are bound by the tenets of ensuring the confidentiality of the case, the complainant and the accused. But the case has been leaked out to the media and names are being bandied about loosely.”

But without the case making media headlines, there would still be no action on this case. In fact, no one would even know about it. Perhaps that was the exact aim of the ICC all along. Call it the Vishakha guideline to hushing up sexual harassment charges.

Another Sports Authority of India athlete attempts suicide in Kerala

Image credit: http://www.sportsauthorityofindia.nic.in/

A 19-year-old sprinter of the Lakshmibai National College for Physical Education in Thiruvananthapuram, a Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre, attempted to cut a nerve in his left arm this morning but the reason for his actions is not yet clear.”The boy tried to harm himself. He created a small cut on his left arm using a glass piece and was immediately rushed to the Trivandrum Medical college hospital here where he was given first aid and discharged,” said Dr G Kishore, Principal of the LNCPE.”It was only a superficial cut. It appears he was under some mental tension,” Dr Kishore said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, SAI has ordered an internal inquiry to find out what triggered the incident.”We are probing the incident to find out what actually happened. A senior official of SAI has been deputed along with two others to probe the incident,” Kishore said.The youth, who has been with the SAI institute since the past four years, has also given a written statement that he was under some mental tension.Kishore said the boy has said he was stressed out due to various competitions. This was being looked into, he said.The incident has caused concern as it comes hardly a month after four trainee girl athletes of the SAI’s Water Sports Centre at Alapzuha attempted to end their life by consuming poisonous fruit alleging harassment by seniors.A 15-year-old girl had died while three others survived.The boy with a minor cut in his arm was brought this morning to the Medical College and was discharged after first aid, Medical College Hospital sources said.

Bal Thackeray memorial to come up near Mayor’s bungalow in Dadar

It was at the Shivaji Park that the party was founded in 1966, where Thackeray held political rallies including the annual Dussehra rally, and it was here that he was cremated in 2012.

The Shiv Sena and the state government are likely to settle on a plot near the Mayor’s bungalow at Dadar for the location of a memorial in the memory of Sena supremo Bal Thackeray. The land is located opposite the Shivaji Park grounds, which have a historical connection with the Sena.It was at the Shivaji Park that the party was founded in 1966, where Thackeray held political rallies including the annual Dussehra rally, and it was here that he was cremated in 2012.The location will be finalised once Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, who is abroad, meets chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on his return. “The committee has submitted its report and the chief minister will take the final decision,” said chief secretary Swadhin Kshatriya, who headed the committee, which also consisted of the Principal Secretary (Urban Development), BMC Commissioner, Mumbai city Collector and Divisional Commissioner.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We have discussed the issue and surveyed plots. We are trying to finalise the plot near Shivaji Park,” said Kshatriya. He added that some other locations considered for the memorial, such as Wadala, were too far away.Shiv Sena Bhavan, the Sena headquarters, is a stone’s throw away from the site. Though hardcore Sainiks had insisted on the Shivaji Park itself as the location for the memorial, this did not fit into the heritage rules. The BMC had constructed a landscaped garden near the cremation site.”This is underway for many months. Uddhav saheb is not there, once he comes back, he will discuss the matter with the Chief Minister and finalise it,” said senior Shiv Sena leader and industries minister Subhash Desai, adding that the government had recommended seven spots for the memorial.

After Delhi, Uttarakhand bans Maggi

The decision was prompted by the presence of monosodium glutamate (MSG) in the samples sent for laboratory tests to Rudrapur in Udhamsingh Nagar district,

Uttarakhand has joined the list of states to ban the sale of Maggi with samples of the popular food product failing laboratory tests. “A decision to ban the sale of Maggi was taken late last night in public interest by the Food Security Department as 2 of a 300 odd samples of the food product failed laboratory tests,” Principal Secretary Health Om Prakash said.The decision was prompted by the presence of monosodium glutamate (MSG) in the samples sent for laboratory tests to Rudrapur in Udhamsingh Nagar district, he said. “As the matter concerns public health we lost no time in imposing a ban on the popular food product in Uttarakhand. An order pronouncing the ban and seeking immediate withdrawal of the product from market places is being formally issued today,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, no lead content was found in the samples tested, the official said, adding that out of the 300 samples sent to Rudrapur laboratory, test results of a majority of them are still awaited. After test results of all the samples collected from different places across the state arrive they will be sent to Kolkata for the final laboratory tests, the Principal Secretary Health said.Big retailers like Big Bazar have already withdrawn Maggi packets from their outlets in the city, he said, adding small retailers may take some more time to do so

Nepal earthquake relief shows India’s growing leadership: US

“The tragedy in Nepal actually provides an apt segue to India’s growing regional leadership. Within four hours of the earthquake, Indian aircraft were on the way with relief supplies,” Richard E Hoagland, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs said in his address to the Washington International Business Council.

File Photo

AFP
India’s quick response to the Nepal earthquake shows its growing leadership, a top American official said on Tuesday adding that the Indo-US relationship has blossomed under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.”The tragedy in Nepal actually provides an apt segue to India’s growing regional leadership. Within four hours of the earthquake, Indian aircraft were on the way with relief supplies,” Richard E Hoagland, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs said in his address to the Washington International Business Council.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”India sent hundreds of search and rescue and medical personnel, and evacuated thousands of third-country nationals, including many Americans,” he said.”And, not surprisingly, several of the aircraft India used in its relief efforts were built with the help of American companies, and we expect to see more of that as we expand our security and economic cooperation,” he added.Hoagland said the US is expanding its cooperation not just because India is the region’s geographic anchor, and not just because it’s the world’s fastest-growing major economy, but because it’s a country with which the US shares many core values and many common interests.”Our relationship with India has really blossomed since last year’s election of Prime Minister Modi,” he said.”President Barack Obama’s most recent visit to India in January was historic not just for its symbolism, but also for its substance, especially for our strategic partnership, our security cooperation, our economic relationship, and our clean-energy and environmental goals,” he said.Noting that Obama and Modi have announced their intention to increase US-India trade five-fold, to US $500 billion, he said for their part, India’s recently-released foreign trade policy lays out a vision to double exports of goods and services to US $900 billion by 2020.Hoagland said liberalisation of India’s investment regime could double American investment into the country, and India could certainly use the technology, expertise, and capital that US companies have to offer.”But our companies also need transparency, predictability, and legal certainty. So there’s still a lot on our to-do list,” he said and listed out several promising developments between the two countries. “We overcame a deadlock on the Trade Facilitation Agreement at the WTO. We resumed discussions on the possibility for a high-standard Bilateral Investment Treaty.We moved forward on issues that were impeding our civil-nuclear cooperation. We elevated our partnership to a Strategic and Commercial Dialogue,” he said.

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