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CBI files DA case against IRS officer

“Searches have been conducted at 14 places, including residential and official premises in Chennai, Palani and other places in Tamil Nadu, which led to recovery of documents relating to property worth several crores of rupees, locker details, investments in shares, investments in a private firm and also investments in another company,” the official added.

dna Correspondent

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Also ReadIndiaAAP govt to take a call on Badarpur power plant closure dateIndiaAfter 100 smart cities in 2015, 132 smart villages in 2016IndiaBMC has a New Year gift for Bhendi BazaarIndiaCentre takes the high road, clears coastal road projectIndiaGujarat: Patanjali products sent for testingIndiaAI plane hit by catering van at Newark airport in US <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Nawaz Sharif thanks PM Modi for Lahore visit; says high time India, Pakistan set aside hostilities<!– /.block –>No-detention policy for Std I-VIII students may change soon<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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No vehicle would be challaned during ‘dry run’: Delhi government

The scheme, which will be implemented for 15 days, has been proposed to curb pollution in the national capital by restricting movement of private vehicles based on their registration numbers

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Govt to introduce two years’ ‘work from home’ option for women under Maternity Benefits Act <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaOdd-even scheme: Why are women and two-wheelers exempt, asks High CourtIndiaNo vehicle would be challaned during ‘dry run’: Delhi governmentIndiaGovt to introduce two years’ ‘work from home’ option for women under Maternity Benefits ActIndiaDDCA row: Now, Kirti Azad targets BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur, Scindia, Praful PatelIndiaJ&K CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed ill, on oxygen therapy, say AIIMS doctors IndiaChennai Floods: Over 195 crore contributed to CM’s public relief fund <!– /.block –>

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With one more engineer killed, Bihar getting unruly?

Two engineers of a private road construction company were on Sunday shot dead by unidentified two motorcycle-borne assailants in Darbhanga District. The deceased project engineers were identified as Brajesh Kumar and Mukesh Kumar.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

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Rapping comes naturally to me: Sonakshi Sinha <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaDDCA row: Gopal Subramanium writes to NSA Ajit Doval asking for officers from CBI, IBIndiaSC upholds Kerala government’s liquor policy; only 5-star hotels can serve liquorIndiaHere’s the list of holidays in 2016 in IndiaIndiaDownload GATE 2016 admit cards/hall tickets at www.gate.iisc.ernet.inIndia14-year-old girl allegedly gang-raped by armymen on Howrah-Amritsar ExpressIndiaMaharashtra: Building collapses in Bhiwandi, 10 rescued <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Kumar Sangakkara says World Test Championship can revive longest format of cricket<!– /.block –>Rapping comes naturally to me: Sonakshi Sinha<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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No clean chit to Arun Jaitley: Manish Sisodia

Hitting at finance minister Arun Jaitley, Delhi government on Monday said there is no question of giving a “clean chit” to him when an investigation into its alleged financial irregularities is yet to start.”No clean chit has been given to anyone in Delhi cricket body investigation. The enquiry is yet to begin,” Delhi’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia.The BJP said the AAP government should apologise to Jaitley for charging him with corruption in DDCA even though its own report found nothing culpable against him.Sisodia raised a number of questions on financial irregularities in DDCA’s functioning and in giving tenders for work already done.”Election commission of DDCA, Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), and fact finding committee have found scams involving crores of rupees. How fake companies were created and given tenders and how payments were given for work which had already been done,” he asked.”The election commission reports also say that private cricket academies are being run under the umbrella of DDCA. There is no scope for students of school and colleges to participate in league matches of DDCA,” he said.Sisodia said an inquiry commission headed by former solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam that the city government set up has yet to start its probe, and that Jaitley would have a lot to answer for.Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also said he would not apologise for targeting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on the DDCA issue as his government’s panel did not give anybody a clean chit.The Chief Minister tweeted, “BJP almost begging me for an apology, won’t oblige them. Let @arunjaitley be cross-examined in defamation cases<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

DDCA row: BJP demands apology from Arvind Kejriwal; AAP hits back

“He should come forward and present an example before the nation. Earlier they rubbished the committee report, but now they are considering it as a sacred book. The report also states that there should be a Commission of Inquiry into the matter. A whistleblower had alerted the Delhi government well in advance that the formation of the Commission will be scuttled through the Lt Governor,” he claimed.
PTI

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<!– /.block –>Farmer suicides not political but socio-economic issue: Nitin Gadkari <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaTrinamool Congress claims CPI(M)’s rally was a flop showIndiaHurriyat cautions against possible attempts to vitiate Indo-Pak peace processIndiaFormer Assam Congress minister makes comments against Smriti Irani; BJP to sueIndiaGujarat: 50 booked for rioting during funeral procession of Patel youthIndiaOdd-even formula: Delhi govt conducts trial run with 750 private busesIndiaHyerabad Police questions youths who allegedly wanted to join jihadi groups <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Remember the name: Chhangte Lallianzuala — the player who broke Baichung’s long-standing record<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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PM Modi’s visit fruitful only if Pakistan stops sending terrorists, says Praveen Togadia

The VHP leader said he was not averse to jeans and modern education, but stressed that “we want our youths to respect our rich culture and their parents and go to temples”. Togadia also said that VHP will put pressure on the government to make a law to counter “love jihad”.

PTI
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<!– /.block –>JNU students oppose invitation to Baba Ramdev to deliver keynote speech <!– /.block –>
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JNU students oppose invitation to Baba Ramdev to deliver keynote speech <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaTrinamool Congress claims CPI(M)’s rally was a flop showIndiaHurriyat cautions against possible attempts to vitiate Indo-Pak peace processIndiaFormer Assam Congress minister makes comments against Smriti Irani; BJP to sueIndiaGujarat: 50 booked for rioting during funeral procession of Patel youthIndiaOdd-even formula: Delhi govt conducts trial run with 750 private busesIndiaHyerabad Police questions youths who allegedly wanted to join jihadi groups <!– /.block –>

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Former Assam Congress minister makes comments against Smriti Irani; BJP to sue

Strongly condemning the remarks, Union Sports Minister and Assam unit BJP Chief Sarbananda Sonowal told reporters here that the party’s state unit will soon file a defamation case against him.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

PTI
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<!– /.block –>Gujarat: 50 booked for rioting during funeral procession of Patel youth <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaTrinamool Congress claims CPI(M)’s rally was a flop showIndiaHurriyat cautions against possible attempts to vitiate Indo-Pak peace processIndiaFormer Assam Congress minister makes comments against Smriti Irani; BJP to sueIndiaGujarat: 50 booked for rioting during funeral procession of Patel youthIndiaOdd-even formula: Delhi govt conducts trial run with 750 private busesIndiaHyerabad Police questions youths who allegedly wanted to join jihadi groups <!– /.block –>

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Delhi emerging as global transit hub for drugs

Officials at the NCB, by their own admission say that the high number of cases this year is reflective of successful interception by its intelligence officials, where as the real number of drugs sent through mail services within and outside India could be much higher. “We are imparting training to private courier franchises and the government agencies on how to identify and what to look for while dealing with parcels. There is much more awareness among the staff at courier and postal offices to be alert and this has helped us in high interception,” says Rohit Sharma, Delhi zonal director, NCB.

Shweta Desai

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Also ReadIndia6.2 magnitude quake rocks northeast Afghanistan; tremor felt in Delhi, parts of North IndiaIndiaNo takers among doctors for paramilitary forcesIndiaDelhi emerging as global transit hub for drugsIndiaTwo major defence deals that couldn’t fructify during Narendra Modi’s visit to RussiaIndiaNow for the real talks: India, Pakistan Foreign Secretaries to meet on January 15IndiaAll you need to know about PM Modi’s sudden Pakistan visit <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>852 samples of water from 72 countries! Say hello to Aqua Queen Rahela Khorakiwala<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Two major defence deals that couldn’t fructify during Narendra Modi’s visit to Russia

Even as a $1 billion worth contract over manufacturing Kamov KA 226 light helicopters turns out the mainstay of India-Russia defence cooperation achieved during prime minister Narendra Modi’s latest visit to Moscow that concluded on Thursday, two other prominent defence deals that were being looked at failed to get formalised.According to sources, proposal for four Talwar class frigates – stealth warships with guided missiles – were on agenda for summit meeting between Modi and Russian president Vladimir Putin but didn’t find mention in the two countries; joint statement.Four frontline warships, sources said are to be built built at a cost of around Rs 30,000 crore at a private shipyard in Gujarat and a formal agreement was expected during PM’s visit.A partnership for refit and modernisation of all Indian Navy surface ships of Russian and Soviet origin too was expected on the discussion table but no announcement was made in this regard.Currently, there are 35 Russian / Soviet-origin surface ships in the Indian Navy fleet. The value of this business is estimated to be over Rs 35,000 crore. And the combined value of above two opportunities exceeded USD 10 Bn ( INR 66,000 Cr) over next ten years.Besides, India’s recent decision for purchase of nearly Rs 40,000 crore Russian S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems too didn’t form a part of the joint declaration.Ministry of Defence’s Dfenec Acquisition Council had given a go-ahead for the Russian air defence systems on December 17.Twin engine Kamov choppers are believed to become mainstay of Indian Army in mountaneous sectors for their unique utility and an agreement over them is the ‘first major platform under Make in India.A total of 16 agreements were signed between the two countries.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Eco-sensitive zones to sink by 60% of Western Ghats?

If the states have their way, nearly 60% of the eco-sensitive, protected area of the Western Ghats, also known as water tower of peninsular India, will be thrown open for development and commercial projects. Five states located along the Western Ghats – Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Gujarat and Kerala – have recommended to retain only 20,000 sq km as eco-sensitive area (ESA) and release the rest 36,285 sq.km for development. Among the six Western Ghats states, Tamil Nadu is yet to submit its recommendations on ESA areas to the Centre.A Central government appointed committee led by K Kasturirangan had recommended 56,825 sq km as ESA, nearly three times more than what the states have stated. The Centre too had notified 56,825 sq.km area as ESA in a draft notification in September this year. Western Ghats is one of the eight biodiversity hotspots in the world and is also a UNESCO world heritage site.In their detailed reports on ESAs, the states have rejected most findings and recommendations of the Kasturirangan report, pushing for opening the Ghats to development and commercial activities. The state governments were unhappy with the Kasturirangan report and thus the Central government had allowed them to physically verify their ESAs.The Kasturirangan report had identified ESAs on the basis of natural landscape and cultural landscape. The natural landscape comprises of natural vegetation, forests, water bodies, hills and sacred groves while cultural landscape comprises of human dominated land use of settlements, agricultural land, horticulture and other plantations.For example, the report had identified 4,156 villages across six states as ESA, but the five state governments, in their recommendations, demarcated only 1,666 villages. Each state government has shot down prohibitions suggested in the Kasturirangan report on issues such as mining, township development and forest plantations.An analysis of the state reports by dna shows that broadly they have vouched for inclusion of only contiguous forests that are already notified along with non-forest private lands areas while excluding plantations, industrial zones and even non-cultivable agricultural land.Gujarat, however, is the only state to have increased its ESA area.The ground reality, the states’ reports claim, is that most villages across Ghats rejected the ESA tag, as they feared for loss of livelihood. The reports say that villagers were victims of misinformation campaigns. The villagers, reports said, termed the concept of ESAs as ‘government land grab’.Speaking on the state reports, veteran ecologist Madhav Gadgil, who headed the first Central panel to have given a road-map for conservation of the Ghats, said, “The process states have followed to demarcate ESAs is more important than the area they have retained. It is a flawed process from several angles and most crucially, there is little people’s participation.”He added, “So called ground-truthing exercises involved gathering only select few groups of influential locals across villages. Also, I got first-hand reports of misinformation campaigns that were spread against the concept of ESAs.”While analysing the state reports, dna found each state government has used different approaches for giving ESA tag to villages. As per the Kasturirangan report, villages having more than 20% natural landscape were to be counted as ecologically sensitive. Maharashtra, which has the second largest ESA area has reduced the number of ESA villages from 2,154 to 1,254, reducing the protected area of Ghats to 6,719.3 sq.km.In Maharashtra, the government excluded a total of 879 villages for being isolated, distant from the contiguous, elevated range of the Ghats and for having less than 20% natural landscape. ESA villages that are home to industrial zones have been excluded without studying their pollution load on water resources.In Karnataka, the government thought it more ‘practical’ and ‘rational’ to count only those villages with 50% or more natural landscape and that already fall in the buffer zone of sanctuaries and national parks as ESAs. Karnataka has whittled down ESA villages to 153 from 1,553, shrinking the protected area to 2,020.01 sq.km.Once Tamil Nadu submits its report, MoEF&CC will deliberate on recommendations of all states and map ESA villages using satellite maps. The ministry is likely to meet representatives and MPs from each state before it takes a final call on how much area of the Ghats should be kept as ecologically sensitive.dna contacted Union minister for environment, forests and climate change Prakash Javadekar, who said the matter of finalising Western Ghats’ ESA is under process.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Modi in Pakistan: PM Modi’s Lahore visit ‘step in the right direction’, says J&K CM Mufti Mohammed Sayeed

Sayeed was yesterday admitted to AIIMS here after he complained of uneasiness at his residence in Srinagar and was flown to Delhi in a state aircraft. The 79-year-old PDP leader was admitted in the private ward of the premier medical institute.

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Modi in Pakistan: PM Modi’s Lahore visit ‘step in the right direction’, says J&K CM Mufti Mohammed Sayeed Sayeed hoped that the meeting between the two leaders will provide the much-needed momentum to the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue for peaceful resolution of all issues between the two countries.
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Keep it up: PM Narendra Modi tells ITBP squad at Kabul Embassy in Afghanistan

A Christmas Miracle: Twitter reacts to Narendra Modi’s ‘impromptu’ Pakistan visit!

Modi in Pakistan: Here is how separatists are reacting to PM Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to Lahore
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Also ReadIndiaModi in Pakistan: PM has taken a ‘courageous’ step, says Sudheendra KulkarniIndiaWatch: PM Narendra Modi greeted by PM Nawaz Sharif at Lahore airportIndiaPM Modi’s Pakistan visit path-breaking departure from protocol-driven politics: BJPIndiaSchools in India like factories churning out products: Madhavan NairIndiaJD(U) ‘shocked’ by PM Modi’s surprise visit to PakistanIndiaModi’s stopover in Pakistan: Sushma Swaraj says PM Modi acted like a ‘statesman’ <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>UK cities under ISIS threat for Boxing Day: Expert<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>

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VIDEO: New measures in Delhi to tackle pollution

From 1 January, many private cars will disappear from the roads of Delhi, as part of efforts to tackle air pollution.

PM Modi to inaugurate Afghanistan’s Parliament building built by India

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PM Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani are expected to issue a joint statement after holding talks.

Narendra Modi and Ashraf Ghani

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Kabul on Friday morning, a day after signing 16 major agreements in Russia. The Prime Minister will inaugurate Afghanistan’s Parliament building, which has been built by India.The PM’s day-long visit, his first to Afghanistan, since taking office – was not officially announced for security reasons, says NDTV, with several specific threats against Indian targets being received and some being foiled.Modi will address a joint session of the two Afghan Houses in the new Parliament complex.The Parliament building project was started by India in 2007 as a mark of friendship and cooperation to help rebuild Afghanistan after the wars. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>PM Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani are expected to issue a joint statement after holding talks. PM Modi is also expected to meet former Afghan President Hamid Karzai.India has invested around $2 billion in aid and reconstruction in Afghanistan and trained scores of officers.India delivered three of four Russian Mi-25 helicopter gunships to Afghanistan on Thursday.Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday wrapped up his two-day visit to Russia, during which the two countries signed 16 pacts to expand cooperation in various sectors, including nuclear and defence.It is learnt that Prime Minister Modi was heading towards the Afghan capital Kabul from Moscow. The Kabul visit has not been officially announced but Modi was expected to make a stop-over in Kabul on his way back home.In Kabul, he is expected to inaugurate the new building of the Afghan Parliament constructed by India at a cost of about $90 million. During his stay in Russia, Modi held annual summit talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin and underlined the need for the world to unite against terrorism “without distinction and discrimation between terrorist groups and target countries.”As part of the 16th annual India-Russia Summit, Modi and Putin held a one-on-one meeting before they were joined by their respective delegations. Earlier in the day, Modi laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a war memorial dedicated to Soviet soldiers killed in World War II, in Moscow.Last night, Modi was hosted for a private dinner and held a private tete-a-tete with Putin at the Kremlin. The meeting took place hours after Modi arrived in Moscow to a red carpet welcome.

‘Call money’: Creditor held for seeking sexual favours

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Ramakrishna would later seek sexual favours from the woman borrowers by threatening them, the DCP said.

A private money lender was arrested here today for allegedly cheating and seeking sexual favours from at least two woman borrowers in connection with “call money” racket probe, police said. The accused, identified as Gudivada Ramakrishna, also allegedly usurped property of a loanee in the city. Explaining the modus operandi of Ramakrishna, DCP (Law and Order), Zone I, CM Thrivikrama Varma said the accused used to lend money on exorbitant rates after obtaining promissory notes and blank cheques from the borrowers. Ramakrishna would later seek sexual favours from the woman borrowers by threatening them, the DCP said. “Police raided his house in Pedawaltair area here and seized 37 blank cheques, 39 promissory notes and LIC bonds belonging to borrowers, besides an SUV, a two-wheeler and four knives,” Varma said. Ramakrishna has been booked under various sections of IPC including 384 (punishment for extortion), 354-A (physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and for cheating. “The call-money case was registered against Ramakrishna at Arilova police station in the city on December 15 following a complaint lodged by a woman,” the officer said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said police are expecting more women victims to lodge complaints against Ramakrishna. The DCP said the complainant, a resident of Adarshanagar area, had borrowed from Ramakrishna by pledging her gold ornaments. “However, when she wanted to get her jewellery released by paying Rs 4 lakh upfront, the accused returned only half of the valuables and sought Rs 4.5 lakh in cash in addition. “When the woman expressed her inability to pay, he allegedly sought sexual favours from her and one of her friends,” the DCP added. He said Ramakrishna had also allegedly sought sexual favour from another woman borrower, a resident of Narasimhanagar area, after she failed to repay the interest on loan. Call money refers to a mode of private lending where loan is made available instantly at borrower’s doorstep but at exorbitant rates of interest and the lender can demand repayment anytime over a call. In some ‘call money’ cases, the private lenders allegedly sexually exploited woman borrowers when they failed to repay.

Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence, Russian firm to make four frigates for India

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PM Modi is currently on a visit to Russia, where he will hold talks and sign pacts with President Vladimir Putin.

INS Sahyadri

AFP photo
Reliance Defence is set to enter into an agreement with Russian United Shipbuilding Company (USC) to build four frigates for the Indian Navy, according to a report in Hindustan Times. It will be the first time that a major warship will be built at a private sector shipyard in India.This could be a major boost to the Make in India initiative. PM Modi is currently on a visit to Russia, where he will hold talks and sign pacts with President Vladimir Putin. The agreement to build frigates might be signed during this visit.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>These four front-line warships will be built at a cost of nearly Rs 30,000 crore at the Pipavav shipyard in Gujarat, says the report. Currently India has 35 Russian warships.All Indian Navy surface ships of Russian and USSR origin shall be refitted and modernised as well, according to an agreement between Reliance Defence and USC.If the agreement is signed, it will be the first of its kind between a Russian defence OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and an Indian private sector company. The total value of the agreements could exceed Rs 66,000 crores.

Russian President Vladimir Putin hosts PM Modi for private tete-a-tete; to hold talks later today

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The talks between the two countries, bound by “special and privileged strategic ties”, have been taking place alternately in Moscow and New Delhi since 2000.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Wednesday.

PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on Wednesday hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin for a private tete-a-tete at Kremlin during which the two leaders touched upon issues of mutual interest for both countries. The meeting took place hours after Modi arrived here to a red carpet welcome. Putin also hosted a private dinner for Modi.”Building Druzhba-Dosti over dinner. President Putin hosts a private tete-a-tete for PM,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted along with pictures of the two leaders shaking hands.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi and Putin will hold 16th India-Russia annual summit talks on Thursday at the Kremlin following which the two sides are expected to sign a number of pacts to expand cooperation in a number of key areas including defence, nuclear energy, hydrocarbons and trade.The talks between the two countries, bound by “special and privileged strategic ties”, have been taking place alternately in Moscow and New Delhi since 2000.In the nuclear energy sector, India is expected to offer a site in Andhra Pradesh to set up units five and six of Kudankulam nuclear power plant. The new plants will be in sync with broad principles of ‘Make in India’ initiative and a decision in this regard is likely to be finalised tomorrow. It is expected that both countries will seal a number of defence deals as well.Last week, India’s Defence Ministry’s top acquisition council had cleared the purchase of Russian S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems at an estimated cost of Rs 40,000 crore and there may be an announcement of the deal tomorrow besides a few others.Besides bilateral issues, Modi and Putin are likely to deliberate on a number of global issues having political dimensions including the situation in Syria and ways to tackle terrorism. It will be Modi’s second summit with Putin who had travelled to New last year for the 15th India-Russia Summit.

Odd-even formula: Women, CNG cars, bikes likely to be exempted from the scheme

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Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will announce the blue print of the odd-even scheme on Thursday which aims to prevent rising pollution in the city.

Violation of the odd-even rule will attract a penalty of Rs 2,000.
File Photo
PTI
Women drivers and CNG-certified vehicles are likely to be given exemption from Delhi government’s ambitious odd-even scheme coming into force from January 1 in the national capital. During the 15-day trial, motorcycles and emergency vehicles including ambulance, PCR, fire tenders, will also not come under the ambit of road-rationing experiment.Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will announce the blue print of the odd-even scheme on Thursday which aims to prevent rising pollution in the city.”Women drivers will be exempted under the scheme but they will be penalised if any male member is travelling along. Women drivers travelling only with female members will also not be considered a violation,” sources said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>They said that according to the plan, owners of CNG-fitted cars will need to show prescribed stickers. Violation of the odd-even rule will attract a penalty of Rs 2,000.”Vehicles from other states entering Delhi will also come under the ambit of odd-even scheme. Government has also given an exemption to bikes from its ambitious plan,” they also said.Earlier this month, Kejriwal had announced that he, his ministers and all government officials will follow odd-even scheme. To curb rising pollution level in the national capital, the Delhi government has decided to introduce odd-even scheme to be implemented starting from January 1. A trial of the scheme will run till January 15.According to the government’s plan, it will run 6,000 additional buses to accommodate numbers of passengers after the implementation of odd-even scheme. Nearly 10 lakh private cars will daily stay off Delhi roads once the odd-even formula is enforced with drastic reduction in traffic flow expected to significantly reduce the high-level of pollution in the city.There are over 19 lakh private four-wheelers registered in Delhi and nearly half of these will go off the roads with the implementation of AAP government’s ambitious odd-even formula.

CBI claims to have recovered five audio recordings from Kejriwal’s secretary Rajendra Kumar

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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.

Rajendra Kumar

CBI has claimed to have recovered five voice recordings from the email account of Rajendra Kumar, Secretary to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, purportedly carrying his oral instructions to allegedly influence contracts in favour of Endeavour Systems.CBI sources on Wednesday said that Kumar who initially refused to share his email password to sleuths during his detailed examination had later provided the details. The sources claimed that scrutiny of his email account resulted in discovery of five audio recordings pertaining to the period of 2011-13 which carry his purported instructions to the officers handling tenders and contracts to allegedly manipulate and favour Endeavour Systems, which is also named in the FIR.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The voice samples of Kumar, a 1989-batch IAS officer of AGMUT cadre, have been taken as per legal procedures and matched forensically, the sources claimed adding that the said conversations could bring more people into scrutiny. 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.”The accused allegedly facilitated award of contracts worth Rs 9.50 crore(approx) to the said company through ICSIL and misused his official position as public servant. The accused were instrumental in award of projects to the said private company in Delhi Transco Ltd; Health and Family Welfare Department, GNCTD; Delhi Jal Board and Department of Trade and Taxes, GNCTD,” CBI had said in the statement after the registration of the case.

Shashi Tharoor starts change.org petition to decriminalise homosexuality after setback in Parliament

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Tharoor took to Twitter to share the link to the petition where he requests everyone to sign the petition as the Parliament refused to discuss his proposed Bill.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
After Shashi Tharoor’s private member bill seeking to decriminalise homosexuality was voted out by Lok Sabha last week, the Congress MP has circulated a petition regarding the same.Tharoor took to Twitter to share the link to the petition where he requests everyone to sign the petition as the Parliament refused to discuss his proposed Bill.The petition has been directed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and makes several statements against Article 377 of IPC.”Your sexual preferences, sexuality, and partner should be your choice. Unfortunately Indian law doesn’t think so. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code gives the state the authority to investigate what’s happening in your bedroom,” is how the petition begins.It goes on to say that the Section 377 is a law that can be used to oppress and harass; it also states that Section 377 is an ‘outdated bill based on Victorian morals’. It asks the people to sign the petition to ‘show the Prime Minister that Indians want Section 377 to be amended.’On December 18, the introduction of the bill seeking to “substitute a new section for section 377 of the IPC” was objected to by BJP member Nishikant Dubey when Tharoor moved it for introduction. Tharoor, however, insisted on going ahead with the introduction of the Bill arguing that Dubey was quoting only “partially” from the Supreme Court judgement. Tharoor pressed for division of votes in which the motion was negated by 71 ‘Noes’ against 24 ‘yes’.The former Union Minister said he “will move the Bill again when the session is convened next to ensure individual privacy is possible”. The bulk of the votes opposing “even the introduction of the Bill” came from BJP, claimed Tharoor, although he also noted that there were “some members” of the ruling party who “seemed to have” voted to allow him to introduce it.

PM Modi arrives in Moscow for two-day visit; expanding ties in strategic areas key focus

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History is witness to the close ties India and Russia have had over the decades. Russia remains one of India’s most valued friends in the world,” Modi said in a Facebook post

Narendra Modi

Image courtesy: ANI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Moscow on Wednesday on a two-day visit during which India and Russia are expected to seal a raft of major deals in defence, nuclear energy and hydrocarbons sectors to further cement their ‘special and privileged strategic ties’.Stepping up economic engagement and further expanding ties in strategic areas are likely to be the centerpiece of the 16th India-Russia annual summit talks, which are the second such between Modi and President Vladimir Putin besides deliberating on various global issues like situation in Syria and tackling threat of terrorism. Setting the tone for the visit, Modi said Russia remained one of India’s “most valued” friends in the world and that he was “very optimistic” about outcomes of the talks with Putin tomorrow.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Our relation with Russia is unique, covering almost every field of human endeavour,” Modi said in a pre-departure statement in New Delhi. The talks between the two countries, bound by ‘special and privileged strategic ties’, have been taking place alternately in Moscow and New Delhi since 2000. “I am very optimistic about the outcome of this visit.History is witness to the close ties India and Russia have had over the decades. Russia remains one of India’s most valued friends in the world,” Modi said in a Facebook post. He further said: “My visit will deepen the cooperation between India and Russia in the economic, energy and security spheres. We also want to increase cooperation in science and technology, mining among other sectors.”Trade ties between India and Russia can increase even further, to benefit not only our two nations but also the world.”On the first day of Modi’s arrival in Russia amid Christmas festivities, Putin will host a private dinner for the Prime Minister tonight. The two leaders will interact with a group of Indian and Russian CEOs tomorrow in Kremlin. With Russia’s economy badly hit by the Western sanctions in the wake of Ukraine crisis, Putin is keen to expand economic ties with India, which, in turn, has been expressing keen interest in participating in oil and gas exploration projects in the Eurasian country.The volume of current bilateral trade between the two countries is around USD 10 billion and both sides were aiming to take it to USD 30 billion over the next 10 years. The Prime Minister’s engagement in Moscow also includes addressing a gathering of ‘Friends of India’ and around 3,000 people are expected to attend the event tomorrow.He will visit Russia’s National Crisis Management Centre (NCMC) here tomorrow. The NCMC is a multi-level coordination centre designed to provide inter-agency coordination and alert the people about the threat of emergency situations. Besides bilateral issues, Modi and Putin are likely to deliberate on a number of global issues having political dimensions including the situation in Syria and ways to tackle terrorism.It will be Modi’s second summit with Putin who had travelled to New Delhi last year for the 15th India-Russia Summit. India is also likely to push for a Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Zone and is sharing details of study it conducted in this regard.Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, without giving specific details, had yesterday said that both Modi and Putin will deliberate on enhancing cooperation in defence and nuclear energy speheres. Last week, India’s Defence Ministry’s top acquisition council had cleared the purchase of Russian S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems at an estimated cost of Rs 40,000 crore.On whether India will request Russia to share details on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, he said the issue had figured during External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s recent visit to Moscow. “Let’s wait and see what happens. I do not prejudge the Russian response till we get it,” he had said.

Juvenile Justice Bill: As parents watch, Nirbhaya gives India what she didn’t get

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We are satisfied … but there is grief that our daughter Jyoti was denied justice, says victim’s mother after RS passes Juvenile Justice Bill

Rajya Sabha members on Tuesday bowed to an emotionally surcharged public pressure, debated for more than four hours, went against a UN convention, rejected amendments and opposition and passed the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill. In fact, with the 2012 Dehi gang-rape victim Jyoti Singh’s parents watching the proceedings from the gallery, two members even withdrew their motion for sending the Bill to a select committee first. “This is a nuanced Bill….It does not mean that a 16-year-old goes to jail at all,” said Maneka Gandhi, Union minister for women and child development.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> What it prescribes is that if a child, between 16 and 18 years of age, commits a heinous crime, he will be sent to a Juvenile Justice Board. “The board, with the help of psychologists and experts, will decide whether the crime was committed with an adult’s mind or a child’s mind,” she explained. Several Opposition members wanted the Bill to be sent to the select committee first to crease out several anomalies, but withdrew their amendments for a smooth passage of the Bill. Even the Congress did not support the amendments moved by its own member Prof. M V Rajeev Gowda. The Left parties walked out in protest declaring that though they are in favour of the passage of the Bill, it should be referred to the select committee first as it deals with a very sensitive issue that should not be drowned in emotions because of public pressure. Many members also criticised the lowering of age as it went against the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It mandates that all children under the age of 18 years be treated equal. India is a signatory to this convention. The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in May after including 11 out of the 13 recommendations by the parliamentary standing committee. It now needs the final assent of the President to become an Act. Incidentally, it was Maneka Gandhi who, as a minister in 2000, had increased the age of juvenile culpability from 16 years to 18 years. What is the incident?In December 2012, 23-year-old Jyoti Singh was beaten and gang-raped in a private bus by six persons in New Delhi, of which one was a juvenile, a few months short of 18 years. The juvenile walked free after serving the maximum sentence of three years’ confinement in a reform facility. One accused died in police custody, and the other four are on death row. The incident and the law on juvenile justice sparked a public outrage across the

Hyderabad: Techie sexually abused by ex-colleague, rescued by police

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Acting on a complaint by the victim’s brother that his sister, who stays in Dubai, came to Hyderabad five days ago and was confined in an apartment at Tolichowki, the ‘She Team’ of the city police formed a team to rescue her, a police release said.
Representational Image
dna Research & Archives
A techie, who was allegedly confined in an apartment and sexually abused by her former colleague, was rescued, police said on Tuesday.Acting on a complaint by the victim’s brother that his sister, who stays in Dubai, came to Hyderabad five days ago and was confined in an apartment at Tolichowki, the ‘She Team’ of the city police formed a team to rescue her, a police release said.”When the team reached there, the victim was found confined in a bathroom and she was in a state of shock with injuries on her head and face. She was rescued from the accused, who had confined her under threat,” it said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The accused, Syed Imad Hasan (26), a private employee in a software company and a native of Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, developed intimacy with the victim, while she was working in the same office, it said.”The victim left for Dubai in September, 2015 on office work. The accused continued to torture her on social media and phone threatening her of uploading obscene pictures and matter and compelled her to marry him. He forced her to leave Dubai and came to Hyderabad and marry him at any cost,” it said.Later, he booked a return ticket for her and forced her to come to India. She came to India five days ago to settle the issue.”He picked her from the airport itself and took her to his flat situated at Toli chowki. From then onwards, he took away her phone, passwords of her e-mail, Facebook, and started using them in her name. She was denied access to anybody,” the release said.The accused allegedly procured a litre bottle containing petrol, a knife, a rope and threatened the victim and forced her to give consent for marriage. He also allegedly tore the passport of the victim, beat her severely on head and face and subjected her to sexual abuse, it said.”The victim secretly contacted one of her friends through Facebook and texted him about her condition. He informed this to her brother, who was in Karnataka and both approached the She Team for help,” it said.Based on the victim’s statement, the accused, the seized material and the victim were handed over to the Humayun Nagar police station for necessary action as per law. A case under relevant sections of IPC was booked and the victim was sent for medical examination. The accused was being produced in the court along with the remand report, the release added.

Plea in Delhi HC over amendment of St Stephen’s constitution

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Challenging the November 30 decision of the governing body (GB), 21 teachers of the college have in their plea alleged that amending of St Stephens’ constitution would result in “completely altering its basic structure and character without the consent of the Delhi University (DU)”.

St Stephen’s College

A petition was on Tuesday filed in the Delhi High Court against the move of St Stephen’s College governing body to amend the college’s constitution to increase control of the Church of North India over the institution.Challenging the November 30 decision of the governing body (GB), 21 teachers of the college have in their plea alleged that amending of St Stephen’s’ constitution would result in “completely altering its basic structure and character without the consent of the Delhi University (DU)”. The petitioners have claimed that such a step would lead to “jeopardizing the very status of the college as an affiliated and recognized institution”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Respondents 4 to 6 (Principal, Chairman and Vice Chairman of St Stephen’s) have mischievously sought to amend the constitution of the college thereby increasing the control of the Church of North India over the college and thereby giving controlling interest to Respondent 4 (Valson Thampu) after his retirement in February 2016,” the petition said. It has alleged that the “amendment process is tainted by a malicious objective of securing control of the college to persons such as Respondents 5 to 6 (Chairman of St Stephen’s, Warris Massih and Vice Chairman of St Stephen’s Alwan Massih) who themselves are currently illegally on the GB and aims to cover up their illegal memberships and functioning in respect of the college.”The teachers have sought quashing and setting aside of the November 30 decision of the Governing Body. They have also sought directions prohibiting the Chairman and Vice Chairman and their nominees in the Governing Body from functioning in the body with respect to amendment of the constitution of the college.The petition has also asked for directions prohibiting the amendment of the constitution of the college without approval of DU, Ministry of Human Resource Development and University Grants Commission. Thampu, who is retiring in February next year, has come up with 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 the Church of North India (CNI) in the functioning of the college, handing over the powers to appoint faculty and admissions to its Supreme Council (SC) and recasting the composition of the Governing Body (GB). The amendment also proposes to replace St Stephen’s College Trust, which currently runs the college, with a St Stephen’s Educational Society that will have the power to establish Stephen’s-like private institutions across the country.According to DU statutes, any such move without consultation with the varsity’s Executive Council (EC) is in violation of the rules and might result in derecognition of the college. Further, it may also result in the prestigious college losing funds from the UGC, which currently provides 95 per cent funding to the institution, with the remaining coming from the Church of North India-controlled St Stephen’s Trust.

Odd-even formula: Private schools asked to register buses with DTC

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The AAP government had last week ordered shutting down of all government, aided and un-aided/recognised private schools in Delhi from January 1-15 to enable procurement of the services of school buses for requirement of DTC at notified rates.

dna Research & Archives
The Delhi government has asked private schools in the national capital to register their buses with DTC to enable hiring for use as public transport during the 15-day trial for the odd-even scheme beginning on January 1. The schools which do not have insurance/fitness certificate of any particular bus have also been asked to get the needful done by then.The AAP government had last week ordered shutting down of all government, aided and un-aided/recognised private schools in Delhi from January 1-15 to enable procurement of the services of school buses for requirement of DTC at notified rates.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The heads or authorised representatives of all the private unaided recognised schools are directed to get their buses registered and submit copies of Contract Carriage Permit (CCP), Registration Certificate, Insurance and Fitness certificates of their school buses,” said a circular sent to schools by the Directorate of Education (DoE).”You must ensure that all the buses deployed in respective schools get registered over the next two days. The schools should also ensure that the drivers and helpers concerned shall continue to work for running the respective buses during the period,” it added.To curb rising pollution level in the national capital, the Delhi government has decided to introduce odd-even scheme to be implemented starting January 1. A trial of the scheme will run till January 15. According to the government’s plan, it will run 6,000 additional buses to accommodate numbers of passengers after the implementation of odd-even scheme.Nearly 10 lakh private cars will daily stay off Delhi roads once the odd-even formula is enforced with drastic reduction in traffic flow expected to significantly reduce the high-level of pollution in the city. There are over 19 lakh private four-wheelers registered in Delhi and nearly half of these will go off the roads with the implementation of AAP government’s ambitious odd-even formula.

Arun Jaitley files Rs 10 crore defamation suit against Arvind Kejriwal

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

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

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

Nepali woman rape and murder case: 7 accused sentenced to death

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A juvenile accused in the case is in juvenile court.
Representational Image
dna Research & Archives
7 accused in the Nepali woman’s rape and murder case that happened in Rohtak in February 2015, have been sentenced to death on Monday. Rohtak Court announced death by hanging to 7 accused in the case. A juvenile, also accused in the matter, is in juvenile court. A 28-year-old Nepali woman staying with her sister in Rohtak went missing on February 1. She was undergoing treatment for depression at Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences. Her mutilated body was found on February 4; the post-mortem report said pieces of condom and a stick was also found in her private parts. Her head had been bashed in, her vagina, rectum and anus were all ruptured. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The victim’s body was found raped and mutilated on the Rohtak-Hisar highway. When the body was found, its two hands and left side of the body was missing.

India to offer site in Andhra Pradesh to Russia for nuclear plants

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The two countries are likely to sign an agreement for the two units with provisions for involvement of India’s private sector in the project including in supply of various components.

Vladimir Putin and Narendra Modi
File Photo

India is expected to offer a site in Andhra Pradesh to set up units five and six of Kudankulam nuclear power plant by Russia in sync with broad principles of ‘Make in India’ initiative and a decision in this regard is likely to be finalised during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Moscow this week. The two countries are likely to sign an agreement for the two units with provisions for involvement of India’s private sector in the project including in supply of various components. “We will follow principles of ‘localisation’ as per Make in India initiative for setting up Kudankulam nuclear power plant five and six,” sources said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> They said a site in Andhra Pradesh has been finalised for the project in line with government’s policy for ensuring optimum use of the available nuclear sites in various states to accommodate more atomic reactors. Incidentally, Centre has already shortlisted the Kovvada site to build a project with the assistance of US-based nuclear vendor, GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy. Modi is scheduled to visit Russia from December 23-24 to hold an annual summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Russia has been a key partner of India in the civil nuclear energy sector. In the last summit between Modi and Putin, it was decided that Russia will build at least 12 nuclear reactors in India by 2035. In April last year, India and Russia had signed an agreement to build units 3 and 4 of the Kudankulam project at a cost of Rs 33,000 crore. However, work on the ground is yet to start. The units 3 and 4 are be coming up in Tamil Nadu’s coastal district of Tirunelveli. Earlier this month, Nikolai Spasskiy, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Rosatom – the Russian counterpart of the India’s Department of Atomic Energy, visited India and he is believed have discussed with DAE brass about various aspect of the proposed pact for Kudankulam 5 and 6. Units 5 and 6 of VVER technology are expected to be of the same MW like units 1-4, but the cost details of the project are yet to be finalised. The government is constructing six reactors in new projects like Jaitapur (EPR 1000×6) in Maharashtra built with French technology, Kovadda in Andhra Pradesh (1000MW x 6) and Mithi Virdhi in Gujarat.

YSR Congress boycotts Andhra Pradesh session over ‘call money racket’, RK Roja’s suspension

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YSR Congress boycotted the ongoing winter session of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly for reviewing the suspension of party MLA RK Roja.

Jagan Mohan Reddy

File Photo
The Opposition YSR Congress on Monday decided to boycott the ongoing winter session of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly in protest against the House not taking up the debate on the ‘call money racket’ and reviewing the suspension of party MLA RK Roja.Opposition leader YS Jagan Mohan Reddy led his party members out of the House. The five-day winter session, which began on Thursday, has been rocked by opposition protests on the ‘call money racket’ issue.MLA RK Roja was suspended for one year last week, for her alleged unparliamentary comments against Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Legislative Affairs Minister Y Rama Krishnudu said the debate on ‘call money racket’ had already concluded. He also made it clear that there is no question of reviewing the suspension of Roja.The ‘call money racket’ involves the allegations of harassment of borrowers by private lenders who provide easy loans on call at exorbitant interest rates.

VHP’s first lot of stones for Ram temple arrives in Ayodhya, police on alert

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“Now, the time has come for the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. Lot of stones arrived today in Ayodhya. And now the arrival of stones will continue. We have signals from Modi Government that Mandir construction would be done now,” he said.

Indian activists of Hindu Bajrang Dal, along with Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) organizations, hold swords alongside a model of a Ram temple during a procession marking the 23rd anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid Mosque in Ayodhya, in Amritsar on December 6, 2015

AFP
Almost six months after VHP announced its nationwide drive to collect stones for construction of Ram temple here, two trucks of stones arrived in the temple city here today, even as police said it was monitoring the situation.”Two trucks of stones have been unloaded at Ram Sewak Puram, a VHP property in Ayodhya, and ‘Shila Pujan’ (praying of the stones) has been performed by Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, the president of Ram Janam Bhumi Nyas,” VHP spokesman Sharad Sharma said.Meanwhile, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das told PTI that there was a “signal” from the Modi government that the temple will be build “now”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Now, the time has come for the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. Lot of stones arrived today in Ayodhya. And now the arrival of stones will continue. We have signals from Modi Government that Mandir construction would be done now,” he said.Reacting to the arrival of stones at VHP headquarters, Faizabad Senior Superintendent of Police Mohit Gupta said that the police was monitoring the situation.”We are monitoring all the developments minutely. Stones have arrived and being kept in a private premises. Due to this development, if their was any breach in peace or communal harmony we will definitely take action,” he said.Asserting its resolve to build the Ram temple, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had in June announced a nationwide drive to collect stones for construction of the temple here and had also asked the Muslim community not to pose any hindrance.”About 2.25 lakhs cubic ft of stones are required for the construction of the Ram temple and about 1.25 lakh cubic ft of stones are ready at the VHP’s headquarter in Ayodhya. The rest one lakh cubic ft stones would be collected nationwide from Hindu devotees,” VHP leader Ashok Singhal, who died last month in Gurgaon, had said.The announcement had met with a quick reaction from the administration, which had said that it would oppose the move as the matter was sub judice.Principal Secretary (Home) Devashish Panda had said that the Uttar Pradesh government would not allow arrival of stones in Ayodhya for Ram Mandir.”Since the matter is sub judice, the government will not allow starting of any new tradition regarding Ayodhya issue,” he had said.

Unfair to drag Sonia Gandhi in DDCA mess: P Chidambaram

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He said the probe by Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) into the DDCA affairs was referred by the then Sports Minister Ajay Maken on some complaints he had received.

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Sunday said it was “unfair” to drag Congress president Sonia Gandhi in an alleged attempt to fix Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during the UPA regime and accused the Modi government of acting with “ulterior motives” in the National Herald case.He said the probe by Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) into the DDCA affairs was referred by the then Sports Minister Ajay Maken on some complaints he had received. “I was told by Mr Ajay Maken that when Maken was the Sports Minister, complaints were received and those complaints were referred to the SFIO. “I have not read the SFIO report. Therefore I cannot comment. Seems a bit unfair to drag the name of Mrs Gandhi. Mr Maken is in the best place to explain who referred the matter to SFIO,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chidambaram was commenting on an interview given by Jaitley to a newspaper in which he had alleged that a BJP MP had met Sonia Gandhi during the UPA tenure “and they said they will fix Jaitley.” Though Jaitley did not name the MP, the newspaper suggested it was Kirti Azad, who has been running a campaign against alleged corruption in the Delhi cricket body DDCA. On the Congress charge of BJP and Modi government practising vendetta politics against the party, he said if Subramanian Swamy’s complaint in the National Herald case was a private one “the government should have said we are completely neutral and we are completely indifferent to what happens to that complaint. BJP leaders and ministers should not have spoken on the matter.” But on the day the Delhi High Court pronounced the judgement, Chidambaram said “virtually every BJP leader jumped with both feet and started commenting freely.” As early as August of 2014, three months after they came to power, senior BJP ministers commented that there is prima facie case in the National Herald complaint. “Why should the BJP minister or BJP leaders comment on a case if it is a purely private complaint?,” he asked.Asked on the criticism about Jaitley’s facebook post on the case which critics said was a direction to the enforcement agencies, Chidambaram said “there is a very strong reason to believe that the government is acting with an ulterior motive.”Without naming Swamy, he said the private compliant wrote to Prime Minister on August 13, 2015 complaining against the then Enforcement Directorate head Rajan Katoch and five days later he “was virtually sacked.” “I am told that letter is in public domain,” he said. Asked who in the government was driving the probe in the National Herald case, he said “I cannot answer that question. I don’t know who is in and who is out. I can speak generally about government.”

Centre to make AC driver cabins in buses/trucks mandatory

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Centre is also thinking of forming teams of paramedical personnel who can rush to the scene of accident on motorcycles and provide first-aid quickly.

Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday said that with the objective of reducing the number of road accidents, the Centre is mulling various proposals and was going to make air-conditioning mandatory in the driver’s cabin of buses and trucks.Speaking after inauguration of 76th conference of Indian Road Congress here, he said, “Every year around 1.5 lakh people die and three lakh people get injured in road accidents in the country. Around 5 lakh accidents take place every year and we want to curtail this number by at least 50 per cent.” He said that attention must be paid to road engineering, otherwise in future we may have to think of registering cases against those who make detailed project reports (DPRs) of roads if a faulty road is found to be reason of the accident.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The engineers, he said, should not change the land acquisition plans for roads under pressure from local politicians. Talking to reporters later, Gadkari said the Road Transport Ministry has identified accident-prone spots on highways and drafted a Rs 12,000 crore scheme to prevent accidents by improving the condition of the highways.”We are going to make air-conditioning of driver cabins of trucks and buses mandatory so that the drivers, who work for several hours non-stop, get some relief and can drive with more alertness,” he said.His ministry is also thinking of forming teams of paramedical personnel who can rush to the scene of accident on motorcycles and provide first-aid quickly, he said.The Minister denied that the Road Safety Bill of the Centre encroaches on powers of the state governments. Gadkari expressed hope that electronic toll collection system would start operating on all the highways by April 1, and added that his ministry is ready to give financial aid to states to set up this system on the roads other than highways too.To a question, he said under the UPA government policy, private companies were allowed to start recovering toll after 75 per cent of the road work is complete, but the NDA government was thinking of allowing toll recovery only after the 100 per cent completion of toll-road.

Nirbhaya case: Juvenile convict trained as tailor, to be paid Rs 10,000 for setting up profession

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The convict is set to walk free on Saturday despite opposition by the prosecution and the victim’s parents.

Protests against Delhi gangrape

The juvenile convict in the December 16 Delhi gangrape case has been trained as a tailor, and could get a sum of Rs 10,000 to work as one after he is released.The convict would require space for opening a tailoring shop on a rental basis, a sewing machine and other equipment such as scissors, measuring tape and cutting table. A one-time grant of Rs 10,000 from the Delhi government is being considered for the purpose.The convict is set to walk free on Saturday despite opposition by the prosecution and the victim’s parents.Related Read: Nirbhaya case: Delhi High Court refuses to stay release of juvenile convict, to be released<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to a Hindustan Times report, a management committee headed by the district child protection officer, set up as per the Juvenile Justice Rules, had prepared a ‘post release plan’’with respect to the juvenile convict that was submitted to the Delhi HC.As per the plan, the management committee had recommended that, “the juvenile should lead a new life with a new identity provided by the appropriate government as applicable in his case if permissible to avoid any backlash or violent reaction”.The juvenile is now an adult aged 21 and has been counselled by experts from the Mental Health Unit, said the report quoting the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW).It is not clear whether he will be handed over to his parents or close relative in a private arrangement.As per JJB rules, management committees are formed before the release of juvenile convicts to chart out plans for their rehabilitation and mainstreaming.

MPs unite to defeat Bill to amend Section 377

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Criticising the attitude of MPs, a Bangalore-based NGO Sangama, working for the sexual and gender minorities, said that no responsible Parliament should ignore the harassment and persecution of sexual minorities on account of outdated and archaic Section 377.

While the Juvenile Justice Bill continues to languish in Rajya Sabha over a year now, Lok Sabha on Friday shot down an effort by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor to legalise gay sex through a private member’s Bill at the introduction stage itself. The MPs prevented any discussion aimed at dropping Section 377 from the Indian Penal Code (IPC) of 1860 that criminalises homosexuality. The ruling BJP members pressed for division to flung out the Bill and scored victory as its introduction was disallowed by a majority of 71 as against 24 voting for it. Tharoor tweeted: “Surprising to see such intolerance.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Criticising the attitude of MPs, a Bangalore-based NGO Sangama, working for the sexual and gender minorities, said that no responsible Parliament should ignore the harassment and persecution of sexual minorities on account of outdated and archaic Section 377.Shashi Tharoor also said he was only fulfilling the Supreme Court’s wish in a ruling in December 2013, leaving it up to Parliament to remove the obnoxious Section from the statute. In a Twitter post, the former Union minister said: “Intro of Pvt. Member’s Bill 2 decriminalize consensual sex btwn consenting adults defeated in LS 71-24. Surprising to see such intolerance.” He said: “Notice of intent to oppose introduction of Bill came so late, there was no time 2 rally support.”In yet another tweet, he said: “We weren’t at passage. It was just “leave to introduce the bill” that was rejected by the intolerant. They couldn’t even debate!” He is, however, not dejected by defeat of his attempt as he tweeted further: “Will try again in future. We shall overcome!” Tharoor, however, found no resistance to two other private member’s Bills he introduced on Friday, one to amend the IPC to substitute a new section for Section 124A on sedition and another Asylum to protect refugees and asylum seekers and to determine their cases. In a landmark judgment in 2009, the Delhi High Court had stuck down Section 377 of the IPC as “unconstitutional” and decriminalised consensual sex among adult homosexual men. The Supreme Court, however, overturned the verdict on 12.12.2013 to re-legalise Section 377 while putting the ball in the government’s court, arguing that it was free to annul the law through legislation.Section 377 deals with “unnatural offences” and says “whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with [imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.Rajesh Umadevi, director of Sangama said the retention of Section 377 was aimed at to harass and persecute sexual minorities, including transgender and various identities. “The insidious danger of Section 377 lies in the fact that it permeates different social settings including the medical establishment, family and the state. It also expressed the deep societal repugnance towards sexual minorities and provided the flag leaf of legitimacy for the harassment of sexual minorities,” he said.

Section 377: Shashi Tharoor sees ‘intolerance’ in BJP over rejection of Bill

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The introduction of the private members’ Bill, which sought amendment to the IPC by seeking to “substitute a new section for Section 377”, was objected to by BJP member Nishikant Dubey, who said he was opposing it not because of any religion, vedas or ‘puranas’ but because of the Supreme Court judgement.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Friday saw “intolerance” among a section of the ruling BJP after his move to introduce a Bill for decriminalising homosexuality was rejected in Lok Sabha.The introduction of the private members’ Bill, which sought amendment to the IPC by seeking to “substitute a new section for Section 377”, was objected to by BJP member Nishikant Dubey, who said he was opposing it not because of any religion, vedas or ‘puranas’ but because of the Supreme Court judgement. Reacting to the development, Tharoor said, “It strikes me as extremely intolerant because at this stage, it’s a very routine procedure.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I begged to introduce the Bill. It is extremely unfortunate for a Bill to be rejected, even for introduction and it shows, I am sorry to say, the degree of intolerance that exists in sections of our ruling party.” The Congress leader and former Union Minister said he “will move the Bill again when the session is convened next to ensure individual privacy is possible”. The bulk of the votes opposing “even the introduction of the Bill” came from BJP, claimed Tharoor, although he also noted that there were “some members” of the ruling party who “seemed to have” voted to allow him to introduce it.The opposition MP said he proposed to amend Section 377 of IPC in order to de-criminalise homosexuality in the wake of the Supreme Court judgement in this connection. The apex court had in 2013 overruled a 2009 decision by Delhi High Court striking down the section and said that it was for the Parliament to decide whether to amend or delete it and not the judiciary. Saying that “it is not the government’s responsibility to decide how people behave in their private life”, the Thiruvananthapuram MP said, “I have not proposed the deletion; I have just proposed amendment and the purpose of the same is to ensure consensual sex between consenting adults will be legally possible. That is, we will keep the government out of our bedroom.”There is a need now to look “very, very critically” at how the public sees this issue, he further averred while seeking a public debate on the issue. “That there are so many people in the ruling party present on the government benches who are expressing their intolerance and homophobia in this manner is very revelatory,” he charged. “After all, what we are talking about is human freedom, human privacy, human dignity,” he added.Tharoor expressed confidence that if the public starts “waking up” to the reality of what is being discussed and what is at stake, he will have at least succeeded in “raising” consciousness about the issue.”In that spirit, today’s defeat will still be a victory for the cause of justice and freedom in our country,” he said.Two other Bills moved by Tharoor, for amending Section 124A of IPC, that covers sedition, and the National Asylum and Refugee Bill, which favours the extension of rights to foreign nationals, were allowed to be introduced in the House.

National Herald Case: Sonia, Rahul may seek bail

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The Congress President and Vice President have been summoned by the trial court on a private criminal complaint of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy of conspiracy, cheating, breach of trust and misappropriation of property .

Sonia and Rahul Gandhi

PTI
Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi could seek bail when they appear before a magistrate on Saturday in the National Herald case with the Congress today insisting that they were open to all legal remedies and options.”We are open to availing all legal remedies and options including bail” said party’s chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala ahead of the two top leaders appearing before Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen in the Patiala House courts tomorrow. The Congress President and Vice President have been summoned by the trial court on a private criminal complaint of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy of conspiracy, cheating, breach of trust and misappropriation of property.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Surjewala said the Congress leadership does not want the court process to be interfered with or influenced in any manner and so the party has asked workers not to come to the court. Partymen claim that the Congress wants it to be a low key affair. AICC has dismissed reports that the Congress has called its state leaders to Delhi when the Gandhis will appear before the court The party has been maintaining so far that a decision would be taken in accordance with what advice the lawyers will give.Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, who is representing the Gandhis, said “Unnecessary hype over a routine procedure need not be created by the media. We are proceeding in every manner in accordance with law.”Singhvi, who is also party spokesman, said “We have been scrupulously avoiding all hype or hoopla about this as fas as courts are concerned.” Party General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed said the Congress would politically fight the Narendra Modi government on the issue as it was a “vendetta”.Congress MPs have been asked to gather at the party headquarters tomorrow ahead of the appearance of the Gandhis in the court as a measure of solidarity. “The Modi government cannot suppress Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi or the Congress party from continuing to raise the voice of the people,” Surjewala said adding the government was on a “malicious witch hunt” against all political opponents including the Congress leadership.

Shashi Tharoor’s private bill to decriminalise homosexuality defeated in Lok Sabha

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The Congress leader tweeted: “Intro of Pvt.Member’s Bill2decriminalize consensual sex btwn consenting adults defeated in LS 71-24. Surprising to see such intolerance.Notice of intent to oppose introducn of Bill came so late there was no time 2rally support. Will try again in future. We shall overcome!”

File Photo

Shashi Tharoor’s Private Bill to decriminalise homosexuality and do away with Section 377 was turned down in Lok Sabha. The Congress leader tweeted: “Intro of Pvt.Member’s Bill2decriminalize consensual sex btwn consenting adults defeated in LS 71-24. Surprising to see such intolerance.Notice of intent to oppose introducn of Bill came so late there was no time 2rally support. Will try again in future. We shall overcome!” Earlier, transgender rights activist Laxmi Tripathi told ANI, “Section 377 must be discussed in the Parliament. It should not be considered on morality value, but as a human and constitutional right. Section 377 should be dismissed.” Hundreds of gay rights activists on Sunday danced to drum beats and held colourful balloons as they marched in the ‘Queer Pride Parade’ in Delhi, celebrating the diversity of gender and sexuality. Speaking at the Times Lit Fest , Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that the apex court should not have reversed the Delhi High Court order de-criminalising consensual sex among homosexuals. “When you have millions of people involved in this (homosexuality) you can’t nudge them off,” Jaitley said. In December 2013, the Supreme Court had overturned the Delhi High Court’s July 2009 judgement, which had declared Section 377 as unconstitutional. The apex court had stated that amending or revoking Section 377 should be a matter left to the Parliament and not the judiciary. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalises homosexual acts, stating it is ‘against the order of nature’.

National Herald case: ‘Naturally’, I will appear in court tomorrow, says Sonia Gandhi

Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Friday confirmed that she will appear in court tomorrow in connection with the hearing of the National Herald case. Replying to media, she said, “Naturally”.The National Herald newspaper was closely associated with India’s freedom struggle and the Indian National Congress till 2008. In January 2008, discussions about its closure began. On 1 April 2008, the paper’s editorial announced that it was temporarily suspending operations. Before its closure, the paper was being run by Associated Journals Limited (AJL).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP leader Subramanian Swamy filed the case in a local court in 2012. The trial court then issued summons to the two leaders among others in June 2014, but they approached the Delhi High Court seeking a stay. On Monday this week, the high court refused to stay the summons, and asked all of the accused to appear for a hearing on December 19. The accused face allegations that they illegally acquired property worth Rs. 5,000 crore belonging to the National Herald newspaper.Meanwhile, hitting out at the Congress Party for stalling parliament procedures, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that the former was stalling the development works for their own personal interests.”We are still hopeful that the Rajya Sabha will function. It is true that there has been lot of loss; there are many important Bills which are being stalled without any reason. The Congress is hampering development work for its private interest,” Naqvi told ANI.

ATS questions Pune girl ‘radicalised’ by ISIS sympathisers

The girl is now undergoing a de-radicalisation programme with the help of her family members and community religious leaders.
Representational Image
Reuters
A Pune-based 16-year-old Muslim girl, who was reportedly radicalised by her ISIS contacts abroad and brain-washed to go to Syria, has been questioned by sleuths of Pune Anti-Terrorism Squad and sent to a de-radicalisation programme, an ATS officer said on Thursday night. According to the officer, the girl is a bright convent educated class XI student, studying in a city college.”The girl was interrogated by the ATS last week after monitoring her movements for many days on getting information about her. It confirmed her initiation by the ISIS. The interrogation of the girl revealed that she was ready to go to any extent to carry out the ISIS directive,” Pune ATS officer Bhanupratap Barge told PTI revealing the details of the ATS operation.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The girl is now undergoing a de-radicalisation programme with the help of her family members and community religious leaders, who are fully cooperating with us, he added.According to the ATS, the minor girl got attracted to the ISIS ideology after watching a documentary on television and subsequently started regularly monitoring news on Al Jazeera channel.”Later, she used the internet to get in touch with ISIS contacts and got in touch with about 200 young persons from different countries. Her interrogation revealed that she was told to come to Syria for medical education and for further initiation,” Barge said.He said that the girl, who is highly intelligent, had recently changed her lifestyle and started wearing burqa, giving up jeans she used to wear before her exposure to the ISIS contacts.”Even her family members noticed the change in her and felt disturbed,” the ATS inspector said.Barge said the de-radicalisation programme of the ATS with the help of community clergy and family members was “working” for the girl with encouraging results. Pune has been on the terrorist radar and had witnessed bomb blasts including the German Bakery blast that killed 17 persons including many foreigners in 2010.2 YSRC MLAs suspended; House adjourned over ‘call money’ issue Hyderabad, Dec 17 (PTI) Two members of YSR Congress were today suspended from Andhra Pradesh Assembly for two days after the Opposition party stalled the House proceedings on the issue of ‘call money’ racket.Speaker K Sivaprasad Rao suspended B Sivaprasad Reddy and D Ramalingeswara Rao alias Raja for two days, for obstructing the cameras meant for showing the House proceedings. Legislative Affairs Minister Y Ramakrishnudu, who moved a motion for suspension of the two members, said obstructing the cameras is against the democratic principles of letting people know the proceedings of the Legislature.The YSR Congress stalled the proceedings seeking a debate on the alleged ‘call money’ racket, pertaining to harassment and exploitation of borrowers by private money lenders after providing loan on call. The racket, in which names of people with political connections cropped up, came to light in Vijayawada and police conducted searches across the state on private money lenders. The Speaker rejected the adjournment motion given by YSR Congress for a debate on the issue and sought to take up scheduled debate. The YSRCP members, however, stood in the well of the House and raised slogans against the TDP government. As the din continued, the Speaker adjourned the House twice but the situation did not improve.Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said he would make a statement tomorrow on the ‘call money’ issue and sought to speak on Constitution and the contribution of B R Ambedkar to its making. The Legislative Affairs Minister attacked Opposition leader and YSRCP President Y S Jaganmohan Reddy for not letting the House debate on as noble an issue as Constitution and Ambedkar.As the Opposition members continued to insist on a debate on the ‘call money’ issue, the Speaker adjourned the House for the day.

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.

Supreme Court bars registration of diesel SUVs, cars of 2000 cc above in Delhi

The bench was hearing the pleas of auto dealers and the Centre not to ban diesel vehicles as the same will affect the supply of essential commodities.

Taking a tough stand against rich people using luxury SUVs and ensuring that the common man should not suffer due to pollution, the Supreme Court on Wednesday banned registration of diesel vehicles of 2000 cc and above till March 31 next year in Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR). The bench was hearing the pleas of auto dealers and the Centre not to ban diesel vehicles as the same will affect the supply of essential commodities. Issuing a slew of measures to check the pollution level in the city, the apex court directed that commercial vehicles registered before 2005 will not be allowed to enter the city and the cabs, including Ola and Uber, will have to convert to CNG. The court set the March 31deadline for it.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Passing a detailed order, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur said, “It is noteworthy that diesel vehicles of 2000 cc and above and SUVs are generally used by more affluent sections of our society and because of the higher engine capacity are more prone to cause higher levels of pollution.”The court said, “A ban on registration of such vehicles will not, therefore, affect the common man or the average citizen in the city of Delhi. We accordingly, direct that registration of SUVs and private cars of the capacity of 2000 CC and above using diesel as fuel shall stand banned in the NCR up to 31st March, 2016.”It also ordered for the diversion of commercial vehicles which are not bound for Delhi, specially trucks, which pass through the national capital on way to other destinations after finding them the major source of vehicular emissions in the city.”No Vehicle which is not bound for Delhi will be allowed to enter from NH-8 which connects Jaipur to Delhi and NH-1 that connects the states of Punjab, Haryana and other northern states to Delhi… the largest number of vehicles that are entering Delhi are from these two entry points,” the court said. Additionally, the court also doubled the environment compensation charge (ECC) by saying the light duty vehicles will have to pay Rs 1,400 and three-axle vehicles Rs 2,600 as ECC for entering DelhiThis very court had on October 12 ordered the light duty vehicles to pay Rs 700 and three-axle vehicles Rs 1,300 for entering Delhi in addition to the toll tax from November 1 as ECC.Further the court directed the authorities, including the local bodies and institutions within the National Capital Region (NCR), to refrain from disposing of solid waste by burning such waste and to take steps for proper management in a scientific manner as per the norms and the relevant rules.Accepting the suggestions placed by senior advocate Harish Salve, who is assisting the court in this matter, the bench directed the Delhi government to take “immediate steps for repair of pavements and make pavements wherever the same are missing and also to take immediate steps for procurement of the requisite vacuum cleaning vehicles for use on Delhi roads expeditiously” and fixed the deadline of March 31, 2016.The bench was hearing various pleas including the 1984 PIL filed by environmentalist M C Mehta.

Uttar Pradesh DGP puts foot in mouth

Jagmohan Yadav has put the proverbial foot in his mouth at a press conference he had called to brag about the “sterling” performance of the UP Police in the recently concluded panchayat polls.

Uttar Pradesh DGP Jagmohan Yadav has put the proverbial foot in his mouth at a press conference he had called to brag about the “sterling” performance of the UP Police in the recently concluded panchayat polls.Asked about repeated incidents of violence in Pratapgarh, he said: “You know why lawlessness continues in that district. I don’t want to take any names, but everyone knows the reality about who is responsible.” He was obviously alluding to the UP minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias ‘Raja Bhaiyya’ who is known to treat Pratapgarh, his home district, as his personal fiefdom.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He did not stop at that. Asked about the spike in rape cases in UP, he said he would be able to better explain in private why rapes happen. “I have studied the psychology behind rape. If you come to me privately, I will explain it much better,” he told the reporter who had asked the question.Asked what his future plans were, he said: “I am planning a country wide tour in the new year.” The DGP is due for retirement on December 31.

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.

Court orders curbs on Delhi pollution

India’s Supreme Court announces a slew of measures to curb record pollution levels in the capital, Delhi.

Arvind Kejriwal shoots from the hips after CBI raids his office

Police guarding the Delhi Secretariat during a CBI raid on Tuesday.

PTI
A high drama ensued in the capital on Tuesday as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) carried out searches in the third floor of the Delhi secretariat, sealing its premises, which houses the offices of both chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his secretary Rajender Kumar. Kumar and his wife were taken to the CBI headquarters for interrogation on Tuesday evening. Terming the CBI action as an ‘undeclared emergency’, a livid Kejriwal initially took to twitter to express his anguish, calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ‘a coward and psychopath’.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> He later alleged that the day-long search carried out by the investigation agency was to look for an inquiry committee file relating to Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) where alleged irregularities were reported under union finance minister Arun Jaitley’s leadership. While Jaitley said he doesn’t need to comment on a ‘rubbish’ statement, an infuriated BJP countered Kejriwal’s attack on the Prime Minister and demanded that he apologise. “Chief minister Kejriwal must apologise to the Prime Minister for levelling baseless allegations against the Prime Minister,” union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said at a news conference at the BJP headquarters. However, party sources said there was some disappointment in the treasury benches on the timing of the CBI raid, which had been raised by the Opposition in Parliament. On the other hand, opposition parties in the Parliament came in solidarity with Kejriwal over the CBI raid, but distanced themselves over the CM’s comments on Modi. Speaking to the media, Kejriwal said it has become necessary to reveal that why did the CBI come to his office and which was the file they were looking for. “It is the DDCA file under which Arun Jaitley is getting trapped,” Kejriwal said, adding the CBI had particularly raided his office as against the departmental offices, where only 10 to 15 day-old files are stored. Kejriwal said his government had set up an inquiry committee to probe alleged irregularities in DDCA which had submitted its report. “They have no interest in the contracts awarded by Rajender. If he had awarded contracts in 2007, what were you doing till 2015 Modiji?” asked Kejriwal after a meeting with his cabinet colleagues and senior AAP leaders. The CBI team which reached the Delhi secretariat around 10am continued raids till late afternoon. Earlier, the CBI had registered a case against Kumar under section 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and section 13 (2) criminal misconduct, 13 (1) (d) (abusing position as a public servant) of Prevention of Corruption Act. The probe agency claimed that Kumar, during his stint in various Delhi government departments awarded contracts to PSUs which were either headed by him or his associates. The agency also registered cases against AK Duggal, GK Nanda – both former directors of Intelligent Communication Systems India Ltd. (ICSIL), RS Kaushik, MD ICSIL, Sandeep Kumar and Dinesh Kumar, both directors of Endeavor Systems Pvt. Ltd. CBI said Kumar had prior association with both Sandeep and Dinesh Kumar and had been in touch with the duo when he was working as a director in School education department “Based on the complaint filed by former member secretary of Delhi Dialogue Commission in July this year coupled with information that we collected, a case was registered against Rajender Kumar and others. The allegations against Kumar in his capacity as a government servant favoured giving contracts to a private company that was formed by him in 2006,” said CBI spokesperson Devpreet Singh. She added that Kumar allegedly facilitated awarding of five contracts worth rupees 9.5 crore rupees between 2007-2014. The complaint on which the CBI acted was forwarded to it by Anti-Corruption Branch headed by senior Delhi Police joint commissioner MK Meena The agency also carried out raids in more than 14 locations that included residences and offices of all the accused and claimed to have recovered incriminating evidence against them. “Investigators had recovered foreign currency worth Rs3 lakh and another Rs2.4 lakh were also seized in the raid. Alongwith the case, the probe agency also confiscated papers of atleast three immovable properties from Kumar. Another Rs10 lakh were recovered from Duggal,” the spokesperson added. According to CBI officials, there are five allegations against Kumar which the agency would be probing. In three cases, Kumar allegedly gave contracts to accused companies without inviting any tenders. The agency added that in the remaining two cases tenders were invited but were ‘tailor-made’ to suit the companies. The accused allegedly manipulated the tender process by designing pre-qualification criteria to award various contracts in favour of the said firm while in other cases, work was awarded without following due procedure. “The accused were instrumental in award of projects to the said private company in Delhi Transco Ltd, Health and Family Welfare Department, Delhi Jal Board and Department of Trade and Taxes, GNCTD,” the spokesperson said. Talking about the controversy over his words, Kejriwal said, “They say that my choice of words were incorrect… 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.

Now, pregnant woman in Shakur Basti slum faces hospital’s apathy

“At first the hospital refused to take the case, they chased her away. Then later one lady came and got the woman admitted in the hospital,” said Sri Ram, one of the residents of Shakur Basti slums.

People collect their belongings after a demolition drive carried out by railways in Shakur Basti of Delhi on Sunday.

PTI
With residents of Delhi’s Shakur basti slums being forced to live on the streets after their shanties were razed to the ground during a demolition drive by Indian Railways, a woman gave birth to child in the wee hours of Monday, battling freezing cold and apathy by hospital staff.The residents of the slums alleged that the local hospital refused to admit the pregnant lady and even asked her to go to a private hospital.”At first the hospital refused to take the case, they chased her away. Then later one lady came and got the woman admitted in the hospital,” said Sri Ram, one of the residents of Shakur Basti slums.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Around 1.30 am, a girl child was born to one of my relatives. First the hospital refused to admit her and then later they admitted her,” said another resident, Lakhan.The residents also said that hospital later admitted the woman after intervention by the media.”They chased the pregnant woman away, when we asked them to give medicine they asked us to go to a private hospital. They came back, and then the ambulance took her away after we complained to media,” said Gulab.Last week, around 500 slums were razed by Railway authorities as part of their demolition drive.Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had on Monday visited the razed Shakur Basti slums and promised them that he would extend every help possible to alleviate them of their problems. He had accused the Delhi government and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Centre for the razing of the slum and asserted that the law had been clearly broken during the demolition.The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi Government had questioned the timing of Railways? action and asked why proper arrangements to rehabilitate the dwellers was not made before their houses were demolished.

India to discuss PoK with Pakistan: Envoy TCA Raghavan

“The first application to the UN was moved by India and it was on the grounds that a part of the state, which had acceded to India, is now under the illegal occupation of the Pakistan Army,” Raghavan said.

Image Courtesy: MEA

Ahead of the Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary-level talks next month, Indian envoy in Islamabad on Monday said his country will discuss Kashmir which is under the illegal occupation of Pakistan.Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan T C A Raghavan, while giving a lecture, gave a historical perspective of the Kashmir dispute.”The first application to the UN was moved by India and it was on the grounds that a part of the state, which had acceded to India, is now under the illegal occupation of the Pakistan Army,” Raghavan said.”So when you say what is it that India is going to discuss or what is it discussing, it is really, if you ask most Indians, and what is our position — it is the part of that state which is still under the control of Pakistan,” he said during the lecture at the Centre for Security Studies, a private think-tank in the capital.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the broader sense, he said Kashmir will be part of talks with Pakistan.Raghavan’s remarks came just days after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit here during which she called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and met Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.After the meetings, the two countries decided to re-engage under the ‘Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue’.The Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan and India will meet next month in Delhi to work out the details of the dialogue.

Over 8 lakh engineering seats stayed vacant in 2014-15: Govt

In a written reply in Lok Sabha, Human Resource Development (HRD) minister Smriti Irani said that “overall, there is surplus capacity in the engineering sector with 8,44,328 seats remaining vacant in 2015”.

Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani at parliament during the winter session in New Delhi on Monday.

PTI
Over 8 lakh engineering seats remained vacant in 2014-15, the government on Monday said as it noted the surplus capacity in the sector while pointing to “competition among students due to limited seats” in government and reputed private institutions.In a written reply in Lok Sabha, Human Resource Development (HRD) minister Smriti Irani said that “overall, there is surplus capacity in the engineering sector with 8,44,328 seats remaining vacant in 2015”. She noted, however, that “there is competition among students due to limited seats in government and reputed private institutions as compared to the number of applications”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, in a written response to another question, Irani said that her ministry is considering a proposal for the setting up of a National Academic Depository, which envisages online storage, verification and authentication of academic awards.In her reply to another question, Irani said that all institutions of higher education have been requested to install solar rooftop systems.

People welcome Delhi government’s odd even vehicle scheme: Survey

However, the survey reveals that 64% of people feel that with the new rule being implemented, traveling would become a big problem, unlike the 35% who feel against it.

The AAP government’s decision to allow private vehicles with odd and even registration numbers to ply on the roads of the national capital only on alternate days starting January 1, 2016 has met a positive response. As per a survey carried out by ABP News and Nielsen, 57% of the total respondents have agreed to the new scheme of allowing private cars with odd and even number to run on alternate days of the week while 42% are not in favour of it.However, the survey reveals that 64% of people feel that with the new rule being implemented, traveling would become a big problem, unlike the 35% who feel against it.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The survey further reveals that traffic jams (32%) seem to be the reason behind air pollution in Delhi followed by vehicles on Delhi roads.It has also has found that almost a fourth of the respondents do not own a car or a bike. 42% have a bike.11% of those who own a car or a bike use the Metro on a daily basis. These are more likely to be students as this percentage is 19% among 18-23 year olds.The poll has found that those who own a car or a bike seem to use cab/taxi few times a month or less often. Almost half of the respondents said they never use cab/auto. It also revealed that autos are used more often, especially by women. Slightly more than a quarter of the respondents said they never use auto.Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet colleagues will be covered under the odd- even scheme of vehicles. The AAP government is considering to exempt women commuters from the scheme. Deputy CM Manish Sisodia on Friday said his government is also contemplating shutting schools during the January 1 to January 15 period.Delhi Government is studying three existing Acts under which it can impose a fine for violating the scheme.

New Delhi: 14-year-old girl abducted on way to school, raped by 6 youths inside car

While five of the accused, identified as Rahul (19), Suraj (19), Sandeep (21), Ramesh (27) and Narender (20), have been arrested, their accomplice, Aman (23), is still at large, said DCP (West) Pushpendra Kumar.
Representational Image
dna Research & Archives
A 14-year-old girl was allegedly abducted when she was on her way to school and later raped by six youths, including a neighbour, inside a van at Dichaon village near southwest Delhi’s Najafgarh area, police said on Friday. While five of the accused, identified as Rahul (19), Suraj (19), Sandeep (21), Ramesh (27) and Narender (20), have been arrested, their accomplice, Aman (23), is still at large, said DCP (West) Pushpendra Kumar.When the girl was on her way to school around 7.30 AM yesterday, the accused waylaid her near her residence in west Delhi’s Jai Vihar area, and allegedly pushed her inside a white Tata Sumo, said police. The girl knew Rahul, who was her neighbour, but could not identify the others, who later turned out to be residents of the same locality, said police.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The accused took the girl to an isolated area at Dichaon village near Najafgarh and all of them raped her inside the vehicle. When she objected and tried to scream, they also allegedly threatened to kill her,” said Kumar.Meanwhile, a local at Dichaon village witnessed the act and reported the matter to a traffic official. The traffic personnel forwarded the information to the police station concerned, said police. Later, when the group was driving through neighbouring village Hiran Kudna, their vehicle was intercepted by a police team.The police team rescued the girl and managed to overpower all the accused youths except Aman, who dodged the team and fled the scene, said police. The police also impounded the vehicle in which the accused allegedly raped the girl. The van is registered in the name of a private enterprise and Narender was its driver, police said.”A case of abduction, gang-rape, criminal intimidation and hatching a criminal conspiracy under IPC and relevant sections of the POCSO Act has been registered in connection with the incident. Efforts are on to nab Aman,” Kumar added.

National Herald case: Transfer of shares to Young Indian Limited ‘totally illegal’, says Shanti Bhushan

Former law minister Shanti Bhushan on Friday said that the transfer of shares of Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) to Sonia-Rahul Gandhi controlled private firm Young Indian Limited (YIL) was ‘totally illegal’.

Former law minister Shanti Bhushan on Friday said that the transfer of shares of Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) to Sonia-Rahul Gandhi controlled private firm Young Indian Limited (YIL) was ‘totally illegal’. “I don’t think any notice were sent to any of the shareholders. The transfer of control and shares from a large number of patriotic people to a family is ‘totally illegal’. A large number of patriotic Indians had contributed for a public cause. Their right has been taken away and transferred to a close held company, namely Young India, in which there are only four share holders Sonia Gandhi 38%, Rahul 38%, MotiLal Vora 12% and Oscar Fernandes 12%,” Bhushan told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Bhushan said his father had bought large number of shares of AJL in 1938, which he had inherited. “National Herald was started in 1937-38. My father was a Congressman, and therefore, like all well to do Congressmen, he had also subscribed to the creation of the National Herald and he had paid for a large number of shares. These facts have to be asserted from the registrar of companies. His name still continues to be on the shareholders list,? he added. The Prime Minister was visibly upset with the opposition party`s unrelenting protests after a Delhi court asked Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to appear before it on December 19 over BJP leader Subramanian Swamy`s lawsuit accusing them of financial misappropriation in taking control of the defunct National Herald newspaper.”Democracy cannot function on the whims and fancies of anyone,” the Prime Minister said. Repeated adjournments of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have stymied the government`s efforts to push key reforms, especially the goods and services tax bill, in the ongoing winter session.

Need govt with a big heart at Centre to address Delhi’s statehood: CM Arvind Kejriwal

Noting that people of Delhi pay Rs 1.30 lakh crore to the Centre in terms of Income Tax but get only Rs 350 crore in return, Kejriwal said, “Even the British has not looted Delhi the way the Centre has.”

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal
File Photo
PTI
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took a jibe at the NDA government over the statehood demand and said a “government with big a heart” was needed at the Centre to address this issue. He also said if the Centre does not want to accord full statehood to Delhi then it should keep areas under New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), its land and police rights with itself, and give the areas under Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCDs), its land and police rights to Delhi government.”For that you need a government with a big heart. Now we have to see whether the present government will show that big heart or the next government,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Noting that people of Delhi pay Rs 1.30 lakh crore to the Centre in terms of Income Tax but get only Rs 350 crore in return, Kejriwal said, “Even the British has not looted Delhi the way the Centre has.””All parties say that Delhi should be given the status of full statehood. They promise that in their manifestos and after winning polls they say we didn’t actually mean it. People often joke that you are the one-fourth Chief Minister of a half state. In 1993 when BJP came to power, Congress was at the Centre. After Congress came to power in Delhi, the BJP was at the Centre. Then for 10 years, the Congress was in power both at the Centre and Delhi. At any point of time the Centre did not lose its control over Delhi,” Kejriwal said.”The Centre should show a big heart and view this issue from a larger perspective and give full statehood to Delhi. If you cannot give full statehood to Delhi then keep NDMC areas, which we call New Delhi region, keep the police and land control to yourself. But the police and land and issues related to the MCD areas should be given to Delhi government,” Kejriwal said.The Delhi chief minister was speaking at a conference on ‘Small States and Pro-People Paradigm’ which was moderated by former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat, Chattisgarh’s Raman Singh and Jharkhand’s Raghubir Das.In response to a question on whether the decision on ‘Odd Even Formula’ for private vehicles should have been taken after consulting people, Kejriwal said, “The decision on Odd Even Formula has been taken with a lot of thinking. We have 20-25 days. In this time span we are having a dialogue with people and seeking their suggestions.””A suggestion of having vehicles run on CNG and we are thinking about it. Many such suggestions are pouring in. We will try this Odd Even Formula once. If it is successful then we can implement it again. If not then it can be dropped. Currently, there is no structured platform to seek public opinion. The work for forming mohalla sabhas is on and of 3,000 mohalla sabhas, we have formed some 2,700 and maps for remaining are being prepared. Once that takes place then we can have a platform. But there are some decisions at the gram sabha level, district and state,” he said.He said the Delhi model cannot be applied anywhere else as there are multiple agencies and “no single command”.Highlighting the issue of land acquisition, Kejriwal said when the Delhi government planned to procure new buses it needed around 500 acres of land.”But the DDA asked for Rs 4 crore per acre. Now, the total cost of buses is less than the cost of land required. The DDA gives land only for building school. For even building a hospital or university, the Delhi government has to shell out Rs 4 to 10 crore,” Kejriwal said.

Sun sets on solar thermal plant projects in Rajasthan

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

Pic for representation purpose only

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

Centre has assured full cooperation to implement odd-even formula: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

“Rajnath Singh has assured us full cooperation in the implementation of odd-even scheme,” Kejriwal added.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the issue of the scheme for plying of private vehicles. “Rajnath Singh has assured us full cooperation in the implementation of odd-even scheme,” Kejriwal added. He said that official vehicles will also be covered under odd-even number plate policy. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had earlier recorded an audio message urging people to give the ‘odd-even’ restriction on plying of vehicles a chance while top officials met to work out its modalities even as the Delhi Police said that they have not yet been approached by the government seeking assistance in enforcement of the rule.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Home Minister Satyender Jain, however, asserted that police is a part of government and “not the government”. It is police’s responsibility to implement the law enacted by the government, he said. In his message, which will be released tomorrow, Kejriwal sought support of people for the proposal’s success and has said it will be applicable to him and all the ministers as well, a senior government official said.

Jayalalithaa urges PM Modi to declare Tamil Nadu floods as national calamity

Referring to the destruction caused by the four rounds of floods in most districts, she said there has been extensive damage to infrastructure as well as to the private property of thousands of families.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare the unprecedented floods in the state as a national calamity and proposed measures, including a moratorium on home and vehicle loans, to enable affected families rebuild lives. “I request you to immediately declare this unprecedented, catastrophic and cataclysmic event a national calamity,” she said in a letter to Modi. For flood-hit households many of whom are in the low and middle income groups, she proposed a special set of measures like soft loans, speeding up insurance claims disbursal and moratorium by banks on EMIs.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Referring to the destruction caused by the four rounds of floods in most districts, she said there has been extensive damage to infrastructure as well as to the private property of thousands of families. Many households had lost valuables like personal effects and domestic durable assets, she said and added that “it cannot be adequately compensated through the existing structure of relief payments”. “The insurance companies may be directed to take up the survey and settlement of the claims on a campaign mode, and with a liberal application of norms so that such households could receive insurance payments early,” she said.”I suggest that the banks may be directed to provide a limited moratorium on repayment, as well as a rescheduling of the loans, which would lower the Equated Monthly Instalment payments and offer a measure of relief,” the CM said.Many affected families also lost their personal vehicles and almost all their durable domestic assets, including furniture, refrigerators, television sets, washing machines and kitchen equipment, she said. “I suggest that, as a special case, flood-affected families may be liberally extended soft loans by banks for purchase of vehicles, educational loans to continue to fund the education of children and personal loans of an amount upto Rs five lakh to finance essential domestic durable assets.” The government would provide special certification to all such families, based on which banks could sanction loans as per their norms, she said.The CM stressed that only with such a package of assistance would many of these families be in a position to restart their lives.

Dawood Ibrahim’s assets go under the hammer in Mumbai

Assests on auction include an eatery on Pakmodia Street where the gangster lived in 1980s, tenancy rights of a room in a building at Matunga and a car gathering dust in the premises of a police station in suburban Ghatkopar.

Once owned by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, an eatery on the narrow Pakmodia Street in South Mumbai, a green sedan and tenancy rights to a property in suburban Matunga will go under the hammer on Wednesday. The auction will take place in Hotel Diplomat in South Mumbai. Former city based journalist S Balakrishnan, a Delhi-based lawyer Ajay Shrivastava and president of Hindu Mahasabha Swami Chakrapani are among the bidders who have shown interest in these assets, police said. “Local police force will be deployed at the site and we will keep a watch at the event,” said DCP (Detection) Dhananjay Kulkarni. Assests on auction include an eatery on Pakmodia Street where the gangster lived in 1980s, tenancy rights of a room in a building at Matunga and a car gathering dust in the premises of a police station in suburban Ghatkopar.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government agency has appointed a private firm to hold the auction under the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Properties) Act, 1976. Speaking to PTI, Balakrishnan, who is the Chairman of Desh Seva Samiti, said, “My NGO wants this property (eatery on Pakmodia) to help underprivileged women and children of Bhendi Bazar to learn computers. This will help the people in society and give a strong message to gangsters like Dawood that Indians are not afraid from him and he can no longer unleash terror in the country.”Earlier, Balakrishnan had filed a complaint with the police saying that Dawood s right-hand man Chhota Shakeel had threatened him against bidding for the property. The eatery, Delhi Zaika, earlier hotel Rounak Afroz, is priced at Rs 1.18 crore. This eatery, said police, is located at a stone’s throw distance from Dawood s house in Dambarwala building where his younger brother Iqbal Kaskar resides. A Hyundai Accent (MH-04-AX-3676) is priced at Rs 15,700.This green sedan has been parked at a government society in Ghatkopar from past four years and is in bad shape with burst tyres and shattered windshield. The room, which belongs to the gangster, is situated in Mahavir Building in Matunga, said police. The base price for the 32.77 sq metre room has been fixed at Rs 50.44 lakh. Lawyer Shrivastava, who had earlier in an auction won an industrial unit in Tardeo owned by Dawood in 2001, has not yet got its possession as the don’s sister Haseena Parkar had challenged it in court. The next hearing of this matter is scheduled on December 18.

Delhi reacts to the odd-even formula and its success around the world

The Aam Aadmi Party, while accused of not cooperating with the municipal corporations and the Delhi police while coming up with such plans, has pleaded with Delhi’s folks to try this for 15 days, at least. If this does not work, Kejriwal has said, it will be withdrawn.

Of the recent anti-pollution measures organised by the Arvind Kejriwal led Delhi government, the ‘odd even number plate formula’, that will in theory reduce the number of private vehicles plying in Delhi by almost half daily, has set the city abuzz. With almost 75 lakh cars on Delhi’s streets, according to statistics from May 2013, and the city’s pollution levels going off the charts, the government is pushing this as a desperate measure for increasingly desperate times.However, even in the midst of a public health emergency, the city, at least the section that owns and drives cars regularly, is trying to wrap its brain around how it will function without its vehicles every other day. This has lead simultaneously to outrage, bewilderment, humour — mostly on Twitter — and some willingness to give it a chance. Monday even saw a PIL filed in the Delhi High court against this step being implemented.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Aam Aadmi Party, while accused of not cooperating with the municipal corporations and the Delhi police while coming up with such plans, has pleaded with Delhi’s folks to try this for 15 days, at least. If this does not work, Kejriwal has said, it will be withdrawn.Vehicular pollution is an established cause of pollution levels. The Delhi Pollution Control Committee ( DPCC) stations’ data on Monday read PM 2.5 and PM10 at 381 and 647 micrograms per cubic metre, in pockets of the city. The World Health Organization has designated the safe level for PM2.5 particles at 25.Meanwhile, in Beijing, a city that frequently competes with Delhi for the higher pollution levels, the first ever red alert was announced as the PM2.5 particles read at 300 micrograms per cubic metre, and climbing.However, with barely three weeks left to go for the formula’s 1 January implementation, there is much concern over the public transportation in the city. Though the government has announced upping of metro frequency, hiring more buses to supplement the Delhi Transport Corporation’s fleet, installing CCTV cameras to check violators, time might be too short for proper implementation. The government, it seems is on a war footing to make the project work, with PWD minister Satyendra Jain and transport minister Gopal Rai seeking meetings with union transport minister Nitin Gadkari, and Kejriwal himself seeking an audience with union home minister Rajnath Singh to discuss all related issues.Global examples have also been cited — Beijing implemented the measure before the 2008 Olympics, Athens and Mexico City have tried it in some form or the other, and Paris gave it a go last year. All saw some measure of success, with the French government apparently hailing the move after only one day.However, a report in The Guardian, from 2014, warned that such restrictions, if put in place arbitrarily, can backfire. Mexico City saw driver buying cheaper, less inefficient cars to get around the ban, raising the pollution levels after an initial drop. Bogota, Columbia, saw drivers using off peak hours to do more driving, after the authorities restricted cars during peak hours, leading to more emissions. Beijing, too, after a successful run saw people buying more cars.If the Delhi government has to make a success out of this scheme, even a short term one, it will have to chart out a plan to plug such gaps.

Include acid attack victims in disability list, Supreme Court tells states, UTs

Expressing anguish at the states’ failure to regulate the sale of acid and take action against the culprits, the SC ordered “stringent action against those supplying acid without authorisation”.

The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday directed all states and Union Territories (UTs) to compensate, rehabilitate and provide free treatment to acid attack victims according to its earlier guidelines and include their names in the “disability list.” Expressing anguish at the states’ failure to regulate the sale of acid and take action against the culprits, the SC ordered “stringent action against those supplying acid without authorisation”. Concerned authorities should be held responsible for the failure to check the distribution of acid, a bench of justices MY Eqbal and C Nagappan said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> It said that most states and UTs have failed to comply with the SC guidelines in the Laxmi vs the Union of India case of 2013. “These attacks have been rampant for the simple reason that there has been no proper implementation of regulations or control over the supply and distribution of acid,” the court said. The bench clarified that the court had not capped compensation at Rs 3 lakh for acid attack victims and that states can compensate more. The court recorded the affidavits by various states and said that only 17 have created a Victims Compensation Fund and some of them has not even operated it so far. The bench’s order came in the case of an acid attack victim from Bihar. The court asked the Bihar government to pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh, besides providing her free treatment, including reconstruction surgery. A Bihar-based NGO, Parivartan Kendra, had sought the court’s direction on the rehabilitation of acid attack victims, alleging that private hospitals were not providing free treatment. Earlier, the court had ordered all private hospitals across the country to provide free treatment, medicines and expensive reconstruction surgeries, to such victims. It had asked all states and UTs to “take up the matter with private hospitals”.

Give ‘odd-even’ formula a chance, urges Arvind Kejriwal

Amid debates over the practicality of the proposed alternate-days rule for plying of vehicles in the streets, Transport Minister Gopal Rai said that government will come out with a “foolproof plan” before December 25

Arvind Kejriwal

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday recorded an audio message urging people to give the ‘odd-even’ restriction on plying of vehicles a chance while top officials met to work out its modalities even as the Delhi Police said that they have not yet been approached by the government seeking assistance in enforcement of the rule.Delhi Home Minister Satyender Jain, however, asserted that police is a part of government and “not the government”. It is police’s responsibility to implement the law enacted by the government, he said. In his message, which will be released tomorrow, Kejriwal sought support of people for the proposal’s success and has said it will be applicable to him and all the ministers as well, a senior government official said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid debates over the practicality of the proposed alternate-days rule for plying of vehicles in the streets, Transport Minister Gopal Rai said that government will come out with a “foolproof plan” before December 25. Jain also told a TV channel that the odd-even formula will not be applicable on two-wheelers running in the national capital, which was later downplayed by the government, saying the details were yet to be worked out.”The odd-even formula will only be applicable on private cars plying in Delhi. For now, the movement of two-wheelers, taxis, autos will be not be restricted on alternate days under this formula,” the minister told a tv channel.Kejriwal has called a review meeting with concerned ministers and officials tomorrow wherein the detailed plan will be put before the CM. Ahead of that, a preparatory committee, chaired by Jain that has prepared a detailed report on the matter, met.Jain is also scheduled to meet Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday. Meanwhile, a senior official of Delhi Traffic Police said that there is no clarity till now regarding the legal provisions under which people who violate the odd-even formula will be prosecuted. “They (the government) are yet to approach us for a reasonable discussion on the scheme, which is imperative for its implementation,” he said.Amid all these, the air quality plunged into the ‘severe’ category in places across the city, with real time readings showing PM 2.5 five times above the prescribed limit at times, which has the potential to affect healthy people and “seriously impact” those with existing respiratory ailments.

PIL in Delhi HC against govt’s proposed ‘odd-even’ curb on vehicles

The petition, filed through advocate R K Kapoor, has questioned whether the AAP government has the power to modify the vehicular movement in the national capital.

PTI
A PIL was moved on Monday in the Delhi High Court against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s plan to restrict plying of private vehicles having odd and even registration numbers on alternate days from January 1 in the national capital to combat air pollution. The matter was mentioned before a bench of Justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva who listed it for hearing on December 9.The petitioner, Shweta Kapoor, has sought directions restraining implementation of the policy, saying “imposition of such a policy/law would be contrary to public interest and has been imposed without any public debate or discussion and without understanding the situation and facts and circumstances in India”. The plan is expected to be implemented from January 1, 2016.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The petition, filed through advocate R K Kapoor, has questioned whether the AAP government has the power to modify the vehicular movement in the national capital.Terming the national capital’s public transportation system as “undeveloped and unsafe”, the petitioner has said that it would create problems for women who travel alone as well as differently-abled persons who use modified vehicles to commute. Shweta, who is also a lawyer, has said in her petition that “curtailing the constitutional rights of the citizens by following unreasonable and arbitrary measures as is being done in the present case by the respondents is only going to add to the chaos and shall not actually uproot the actual causes of pollution from the city which include dust, entry of trucks inside the city and traditional ways of waste disposal”. She said the government has not paid any attention to dust from construction sites and has focused only “on a limited question of private vehicular pollution”.”The respondents have failed to check the main cause of concern of pollution in Delhi and are targeting mercilessly and arbitrarily the helpless citizens of this city,” the PIL said.”Simple measures which could have caused the pollution to reduce in the city are better management of traffic and traffic signals and their synchronization, and better road construction technology in Delhi,” it said.

National Herald Case: BJP’s ‘sponsored lies’ will be defeated in courts, says Congress

Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said that these were attempts by “incredulous agents of BJP” and re-assured the party’s resolve to continue to champion peoples’ voice.
File Photo
PTI
Congress on Monday dubbed as “vendetta politics” the National Herald case against Sonia and Rahul Gandhi and said that “sponsored lies” will be defeated in courts.”No attempts to malign the leadership of the Congress through such doctored cases will deter our resolve to continue to oppose the anti-people policies of Modi government,” party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters, dismissing the Delhi High Court decision as a “setback” to the party. He said that these were attempts by “incredulous agents of BJP” and re-assured the party’s resolve to continue to champion peoples’ voice.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We are quite sure that truth will even finally prevail in this case,” he said, alleging that Subramanian Swamy had filed a “completely mischievous and false” private complaint as part of “BJP’s vendetta politics”.”We will not be deterred, we will not be cowed down, we will not back down in front of any provocation by false cases, by political vendetta and by low-level insinuation that BJP and its incredulous agents continue to do,” he said.Contrary to what many believe, Congress does not view it as a “set-back” but rather as an ongoing judicial process, he said, adding in the long course of its political journey, the party and its leadership have faced many challenges and dealt them with conviction of truth as also with a firm resolve.Declaring that Congress has full faith in the judicial process, he said “based on the legal advice, we shall move an appropriate forum” against the judgment of the Delhi High Court.”We also want to say that truth shall finally win and sponsored lies will be defeated both in peoples’ court as also through the majesty of the process of Law and Constitution,” he added.AICC has already declared that the High Court order dismissing pleas against summons issued to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi will be challenged in the Supreme Court tomorrow. It claimed “several legal deficiencies” in the verdict.Speaking separately, party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi, who is the senior advocate representing the Congress Vice President, said the decision had come as a surprise as there was no prior intimation that the verdict would come today and they were intimated on telephone that it was being delivered today.

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