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Mumbai Port Trust occupants to file PIL, save homes

Residents of the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) are planning to file a public interest litigation (PIL) to ensure that they are not thrown out of their premises, and have a more secure future. The occupants have been staring at an uncertain future ever since eviction notices have been served to some of the residents and some premises have been sealed on allegations of misuse.”We are meeting this Sunday to discuss modalities of filing a PIL for all of us. We are looking to form an association and also get it registered. We want to talk to our colleagues about creating awareness on the issue so that people know such a problem exists,” said Pervez Cooper, a MbPT occupant who lives in Colaba. Cooper said that they are planning to involve different stakeholders from Colaba to Wadala — the entire eastern seafront where MbPT owns lands.”A number of people who have not been served with eviction notice feel they are safe. They may be served one anytime and it may be too late. We have been trying to meet political leaders but there is nothing concrete that we get to know, ” said Preeti Shenoy, another occupant.

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‘Good business’ means children go to school

A business approach to improving schools in India will mean investment is directly linked to pupil achievement.

Succession battle divides Bohri community

Considered to be the largest redevelopment project in the nation, carried out at Bhendi Bazaar by the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust, it was envisioned by the 52nd Dai of the Dawoodi Bohra community, late Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin,. The plan is now being taken forward by his successor the 53rd Dai, Mufaddal Saifuddin. However, the post of the 53rd Syedna is under challenge at the Bombay High Court, which has divided the community.The name Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust, combines the Late Dr Syedna’s name with his father, Dr Syedna Taher Saifuddin. The project is inspired by the commitment and affection of both the Dai’s to the community, which they jointly led through the sweep of the 20th century.The succession battle was initiated soon after the demise of Burhanuddin, in January 2014, by the incumbent 53rd Syedna’s uncle, Khuzaima Qutbuddin. In his declaratory suit, Qutbuddin had sought to be declared as the 53rd Dai and that the opponent be restricted from having any authority over the properties.Pending the hearing of the suit, Qutbuddin passed away in April last year in the USA. His son, Taher Fakhruddin Saheb, sought to amend the original suit and add him as the plaintiff to prove the claim of his father and also lead evidence with a prayer that since before his demise he was anointed as the successor to his post (54th Syedna), the court should declare the same.Saifuddin, through his elder brother Dr Qaidjoher Ezzuddin, who is appointed as the Constituted Attorney, has opposed reliefs sought in the declaratory suit filed by Qutbuddin, stepbrother of the late 52nd Dai, Mohammed Burhanuddin.Qaidjoher has contented, “The suit is based on false and untenable cases. Bohras across the world have given misaq (oath of allegiance) to Mufaddal…only a handful from the community has not accepted him.”

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My family feels safe in the transit camp: Resident

Most dilapidated cessed buildings in South Mumbai haven’t been redeveloped as residents refuse to move out fearing that once they shift to transit camps, they will never return. For any redevelopment project, a developer requires 70 per cent consent from the tenants. In the Bhendi Bazaar redevelopment plan, a total of 82.2 per cent consent was received. More than 2,500 tenants have been either given a transit accommodation or rents have been paid for alternate accommodation.Kalimmudin Abbasbhai, now resides in a transit camp in Anjirwadi. Before moving here, he resided in the Saifee Jubilee street at Bhendi Bazaar. “I am happy here, the surroundings are better than Bhendi Bazaar. My kids are safe here and I feel like I am outside India.”According to a MHADA report, nearly 1,076 transit camps have been provided to the tenants of Bhendi Bazaar in Anjirwadi, around 550 in Chunnabhatti and 1,200 have been arranged by the trust itself. “Currently construction work is underway in sub-clusters 1 and 3. We plan to complete this first phase of the project by 2019. We are vacating tenants and demolishing buildings in other sub-clusters so that the entire project could be completed in about 8-10 years,” said Abbas Master, CEO, SBUT.In the other transit camp in Chunnabhatti, the tenants say that they got fully furnished homes including a washing machine for them to use. “I stayed in a dilapidated building in Pakmodi street. We have been given furniture and even washing machines from the trust. When I return to Bhendi Bazaar, I am expecting a better life there,” said Saiffudin Sura another tenant.However, in August this year, the trust faced controversies when Hussaini building loacted on Pakmodia street, which was part of the redevelopment plan, collapsed killing more than 30 people. The trust then claimed that attempts were being made to evict people from dilapidated buildings to transit camps.Not lost in transit1,076 transit homes in Anjirwadi554 in Chunnabhatti 1,200 transit homes by SBUT82.2% consent for the project

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Bhendi Bazaar: A model makeover

Bohri Mohalla is a nugget of heritage and culture nestled in the crowded market area of Bhendi Bazaar. If you have ever visited this neighbourhood and not devoured the succulent kebabs and tikkas of Haji Tikka Corner, your trip to this part of the city would be considered incomplete. Established in 1989, it is currently owned by Abdul Samad Qureshi, who is suffering a customer loss of nearly 50 per cent, thanks to the redevelopment project. Bhendi Bazaar, spread over a 16.5-acre land comprising more than 250 buildings, is undergoing one of the biggest redevelopment projects in India. The project which is being carried out by Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT) has divided Bhendi Bazaar in nine clusters.Located in the heart of south Mumbai, Bhendi Bazaar is a shopper’s paradise. From carpets to hardware and antique pieces, the place has something to offer everyone. For the less-initiated, the Bhendibazaar gharana is one of the vocal gharanas of Indian classical music, which originated in Bhendi Bazaar 1890. In more recent times, the neighbourhood has gained popularity for the delicious food served on the streets of Mohammed Ali Road during Ramzan, the active underworld activities of Dawood Ibrahim, for congestion, dilapidated buildings, building collapses and related deaths.However, the face of Bhendi Bazaar is changing, the attar-filled fragrant gullies, quaint shops selling kebabs of Bohri Mohalla are waning. They small shops are moving out. Abbas Master, CEO, SBUT said, “The entire area that comes under the purview of the project has been planned systematically to promote a sustainable way of living. Divided into nine sub-clusters, each sub-cluster will be self-sustained backed with modern technology and environment friendly practices. The idea is to give the future Bhendi Bazaar an environment that fosters holistic growth of the people and communities at large.”The redeveloplment plan will change the face of 4,765 residential and commercial units in Bhendi Bazaar. Of this, 3,379 are residential units, and 1,386 are commercial units. The redevelopment is being carried out under Development Control Rules 33 (9), cluster redevelopment, under which every tenant is entitled to get a minimum of 300 sq ft home.“My father started this business of selling tikkas on a roadside stall. The four shops behind the stall were bought by him from the money he earned on this stall. Today that stall is gone, we have another restaurant on the other side of the road, where we sell the famous Haji Tikkas. But many customers return when they see that the stall is gone and the shops behind it are not open. Some patrons don’t bother to check but many look for us. Our customer base has been reduced by 50 per cent.”Qureshi, however, admits that there are positive aspects to the redevelopment. “This redevelopment promises us better shops than what we had. We hear this is a world-class redevelopment and we are happy that our future generation will have a better life. ”The pros for Mohammed Mansoori, a tenant living in Bhendi Bazaar, are vastly different from Qureshi’s. His family and he will no longer have to stand in a queue to use the toilet. “I took rent from the trust and found my own alternate accommodation, both for my family and also for the shop I owned here. Once the building is developed, we won’t have to stand in the queue for using toilets. We are going to get a bigger apartment, with facilities like attached toilet bathroom and car park. These towers will be something that we had never imagined. This is the biggest gift for my kids.” For Mansoori who owns a store — A K Mansoori Antiques in this bustling neighbourhood and other shopkeeprs, parking is one of the major issues. He says that after the redevelopment the parking issue will be taken care of, which will indirectly help business flourish.Under the redevelopment plan, the trust has proposed and decided to offer certain benefits to the residents. These include solar panels in each building to provide lighting in the common areas in the entire building during daytime. Each tower will have its own set of solar panels.The 250-plus-building project, affecting nearly 20,000 people, will have about 10,000 toilets and a sewage treatment plant, and a special system for collection of garbage that will also be recycled.The project will have a central garbage disposal system, under a centralised system. A separate system shall be installed for treating either the centralised or the decentralised system under every sub-cluster, depending on its approvals. The trust also plans to set up a Pneumatic­-based centralised garbage collection system to collect garbage via a chute located on each floor. The garbage will be passed through pipelines under heavy air pressure and collected at a point and converted it into compost. While the dry waste will be recycled by authorised recyclers, the non-recycled waste will be sent to the dumping grounds. Each cluster will also have a sewage treatment plant, where the sewage will be recycled and reused within the premises for flushing, car washing, gardening etc. This will reduce the burden of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai’s (MCGM) water supply by around 35 per cent.During monsoon, rainwater from building terraces will be collected in tanks (built underground) and later supplied throughout the 16.5 acres of Bhendi Bazaar. This process is expected to reduce MCGM’s water supply by an additional five per cent.The project is expected to be complete in the next eight to ten years. Redevelopment in numbers16.5 acres total land area250 Total number of cessed and non-cessed properties in Bhendi Bazaar3,379 residential units1,386 non-residential tenements4,765 Total number of families affected by the redevelopment1.40 lakh sq m is the total area for rehabilitation of all tenements

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Apex court gives Parsi woman interim relief

A Parsi woman on Thursday won her right to enter the Tower of Silence despite marrying outside the religion after the Valsad Parsi Anjuman Trust filed an undertaking permitting Goolrukh Gupta and her sisters to enter the Tower of Silence to offer prayers and participate in rituals in the event a family member passes away.For the moment, the Trust has extended its permission strictly limited to the petitioner and her sisters and not for all Parsi women who have married outside the faith. However, Gupta has not lost faith. Reacting to the news, the 51-year-old Mumbai resident is hopeful that Parsi women from small towns who have married outside the faith will be accorded the same right she has won today.”This is merely an interim order,” Shiraz Patodia — one of Gupta’s sisters and the advocate in this matter said. “The fate of other Parsi women and their rights will be decided when the court will hear the matter in the entirety,” she added.Goolrukh Gupta married her husband Mahipal Gupta, a Marwadi, more than 25 years ago, however in all that time she never forgot her faith and hardly ever skipped the daily ritual of tying the sudreh and kusti. The daughter of a trustee from Valsad, Gupta had the liberty to follow her religion, despite marrying outside the faith. However, things changed when the trustees changed.However, 15 years ago when a trustee, who had just then taken over — sometime in 2002-2003, took the hardliners approach, he all but excommunicated Gupta. Since then, Gupta was not allowed to enter the agyari (fire temple), nor participate in any religious rituals henceforth.Gupta had then filed a petition in court which, over the years finally reached the corridors of the Gujarat High Court. In their judgment, a three-judge bench 2:1 held that a Parsi woman who marries outside her faith ceases to be a Parsi. Dissatisfied with the verdict, Goolrukh had then approached the Supreme Court, challenging the HC judgment.”The last time I entered the Tower of Silence in Valsad was in 2003 when my maternal uncle passed away, Gupta said. That was also the last time she entered the fire temple there to attend the four-day prayers held for him.Thursday’s victory brings hope and cheer to the tiny, dwindling Parsi community which is under the threat of extinction. Numbering less than 50,000 now, an urgency has crept in among them. While some have taken refuge in the literal teachings of the text, others believe that Parsis need to reach out into the beyond. After all, they all want to survive.Last week, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra had observed that a woman does not mortgage herself to a man by marrying him. She retains her identity, including her religious identity, even after she exercises her right to marry outside her community under the Special Marriage Act.The top court’s observation came when a five-judge bench was hearing Gupta’s matter.Couples from different faiths who wish to retain their individual religious identities may opt for a marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954, which ensures religious protection.Prima facie, the top court did not adhere to the principle of merger relied upon by the Gujarat High Court in denying Gupta the right to practice her faith.Representing Gupta, Senior Advocate Indira Jaising had sought the court’s indulgence to treat this case as an endorsement of inter-faith marriages. Those who marry outside their faith should be saddled with any disabilities, she added. Government data suggests that the Special Marriages Act is not used as often as it should be, she said.”The Tower of Silence is not a mutt or a citadel of a cult. It is a place to offer prayers to the dead. Can such a right of a woman be guillotined? It is part of her Constitutional identity,” CJI Misra had observed.The court’s decision favouring the Parsi woman’s right will create a paradigm shift for women within the minority community. Earlier this year, the top court recently ruled in favour of Muslim women by striking down instant triple talaq as unconstitutional.

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Day before second phase of Gujarat polls, UP farmers protest, raise slogans against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi

Farmers staged a protest and raised slogans against Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi in his home turf Amethi in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday.The protesting farmers demanded that either their land that was given to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation is returned or else they are provided employment.They said if their demands were not fulfilled they would demolish the structure built there and continue to protest.The farmers were carrying a banner stating: “Shame on you Rahul, return the lands of farmers.”They staged the protest near Samrat Cycle factory, which was inaugurated by former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi when he was the MP from Amethi.In the 1980s, Jain brothers had taken over 65.57 acres of land in the industrial area of Kausar to run a company but after its failure a land auction took place in 2014.According to the records, UPSIDC had leased 65.57 acres of land to the company in 1986 but when the company was closed down, the Debts Recovery Tribunal got it auctioned in 2014 at Rs 20.10 crore to recover the loan.The land purchased in the auction was paid by the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust for a stamp duty of Rs 1,50,000.However, later the land auction process was termed invalid by the UPSIDC following which a Gauriganj SDM Court ordered the return of the land of the Samrat Cycle Factory to UPSIDC.Since then the land is on papers with UPSIDC but is still occupied by the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust.The farmers have not received any compensation for their land which was used for this factory till now.Earlier, Union Minister Smriti Irani had also accused Rahul of grabbing the land of farmers through the foundation.The Congress scion has, however, always pitched for farmers’ welfare and even promised to waive their loan in Gujarat election speeches.

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Granny dam-builder

The female social entrepreneur buildings dams for farms and villages across Rajasthan, India.

In bid to promote environment, Goa CM Parrikar rides bicycle

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar today rode a bicycle near here as a part of an event to spread across the message of environment protection.After inaugurating the event ‘NoMoZo’ (No Motor Zone), organised by social institutions from Porvorim near Panaji, Parrikar took a ride on the bicycle along a road.State revenue minister and local MLA Rohan Khaunte was also present at the event.Parrikar said, “‘Green Goa’ does not happen only by opposing coal, you should actually contribute to it.” Notably, some activists have been opposing the handling of coal at Goa’s Mormugao Port Trust by a private firm, citing concerns about air pollution.Parrikar said he would love to use the bicycle often, but is restrained due to his security cover.He said such kind of events should be held at least once in six months in every city.As a part of NoMoZo concept, the road was kept free of motor vehicles with the enthusiastic crowd performing dances, street plays and workshops on ‘wealth out of waste’. A martial arts group also displayed its skills.The NoMoZo concept was started in Panaji a couple of years back, but later got discontinued.Parrikar, who represents the Panaji constituency, said the concept would be revived in the capital city keeping in mind the issues related to traffic.”The concept in Panaji is more about laying stress on walking and as a result reduce the use of vehicles and control pollution,” he said.Khaunte told reporters that the event’s aim was to create opportunities for younger generation to come along with their parents and enjoy the day, away from vehicular traffic.”Everybody has come today while keeping away their vehicles. This will also help in reviving the old traditions,” the minister said, adding that such events will also help in keeping the youth away from gadgets and social media for some time.

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Gujarat elections 2017: BJP claims its support, Khodaldham rebuts

Hours after the BJP claimed that influential Leuva Patel community leader Naresh Patel had declared support for it in the coming elections, Shree Khodaldham Trust, the body that Patel heads, rebutted the claims, and asked voters to ignore any such messages.The media cell of Gujarat BJP sent messages to journalists on Tuesday afternoon stating that Khodaldham Trust chairman Naresh Patel had in a meeting appealed to the Patel community for a win for BJP and state BJP president Jitu Vaghani, who is contesting from Bhavnagar West seat. The media cell also released pictures of a meeting between Patel and Vaghani, and another with Patel and some Patidar community members.As the message went viral, Khodaldham Trust quickly came out to reject BJP’s claim.”A message has gone viral in social media that Nareshbhai has declared support for a particular party. This is a rumour, and I reject it,” Khodaldham Trust president Paresh Gajera said.Gajera said that Naresh Patel and Jitu Vaghani had met, but it was only a courtesy meeting.”Khodaldham Trust is a neutral body. It has never declared support for any party, nor has it spoken against any party. Patidar community is connected with all parties, and the Trust respects all parties,” he said, while reiterating that “Khodaldham is a non-political organisation, and wants to remain one”.Gajera also asked voters of the community to ignore any such messages and claims in the elections.Patidar reservation stir leader Hardik Patel, who has announced support for Congress in the elections, too had met Naresh Patel last week. Hardik had said after the meeting that he had cleared doubts that the Khodaldham chairman head. Even at the time, the Trust had reiterated its non-political role.The Patidars, one of the most influential communities in elections, have traditionally supported BJP in the past few decades, but many in the community are unhappy over denial of reservation benefits to them by the state government. They are said to be considering extending support to other parties, which is why both BJP and Congress are aggressively wooing the community.
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Yogi Adityanath


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Rahul’s media coordinator wrote his name in non-Hindu registry: Somnath Temple Trust

Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the Somnath temple today got mired in a controversy after his name was found written on the entry register meant for non-Hindus, with the Congress calling it “fake” and the BJP insisting the leader declare his religious faith before people.As the controversy raged, the temple management came out with a clarification. “As per our rules, names of non-Hindus have to be registered. His (Gandhi’s) name was registered by his media coordinator in our non-Hindu register.”I would like to say that no staff member of our trust was involved in what the media coordinator did,” managing trustee of Somnath Temple Trust P K Lehri said. Lehri also said in the visitor’s book, Gandhi wrote that the Somnath temple is an “inspiring” place.The Congress accused the BJP of hatching a conspiracy against its leader and insisted Gandhi has declared himself as a ‘Shiv Bhakt’ (Lord Shiva devotee) and is a ‘janeu-dhari’ (sacred thread-wearing) Hindu.The BJP, however, dismissed the conspiracy charge as baseless, saying Gandhi’s aide who signed the register belongs to the Congress.The temple administration said Gandhi’s name was written in the shrine’s register for non-Hindus by his media coordinator and maintained none of its staff was involved in the entire episode.Non-Hindus are allowed to visit the temple but have to first get themselves registered at the shrine’s office.Gandhi, on campaign trail for the December Assembly polls, began his two-day visit to Gujarat after offering prayers at the famous temple in Gir-Somnath district. The temple, devoted to Lord Shiva, is around 400km from here.A purported photocopy of the page of the register for non-Hindus with names of Gandhi and senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel written on it went viral on social media soon after their visit to the shrine this afternoon.The signature against their names was that of the Congress party’s media coordinator Manoj Tyagi.”This is fake. Tyagi was made to sign on a blank paper of the register for media entry and later the names of Rahul Gandhi and others were added in the register,” said Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.”This is a conspiracy of the BJP. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a trustee of the temple trust,” he said.Surjewala insisted Gandhi only signed the visitor’s register where he wrote that the place was “inspiring”.The Congress spokesperson said Gandhi, during his recent trips to Gujarat, declared he was a devotee of Lord Shiva.”You may want to know which religion Rahul Gandhi follows? I would like to tell you that he is a janeu-dhari Hindu,” said Surjewala.The BJP, however, demanded that Gandhi declare his religious faith before people.”He should make his faith clear to the people of this country after the controversy?” BJP spokesperson Raju Dhruv said.BJP national spokesman Sambit Patra rejected as “baseless” the Congress’ conspiracy charge, saying Manoj Tyagi was a Congressman.”Rahul, in his affidavit to the Election Commission, has shown different things and in the Somnath temple he is showing different things. He should come clean,” Patra said.”Rahul may belong to any religion, we do not have any problem. We respect him. But the people of the country will get confused with this controversy,” Patra said.
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Yogi Adityanath


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BMC to reimburse Rs 164 crore every year to BEST for free passes to students

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A proposal to reimburse Rs 164 crore for free passes for students studying in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) schools for travelling in Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply And Trust (BEST) will come up for discussion during civic general body on Wednesday.BMC has decided to provide free commuting to students in BEST buses from their home to school. Last month, bus passes to travel in the Best bus was distributed for free to students of BMC schools. At least three lakh school students would be benefitted from the move.Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar distributed the passes at Dadar bus depot on October 31. The parent body BMC has decided to re-imburse the amount to the bus utility.From financial year 2017-2018 to every year, the civic body will reimburse BEST for free passes to students. Around 3.3 lakh students studying in 1048 primary and 147 secondary schools will get benefited.

No FIR can be filed against a judge: Supreme Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>SC bench headed by Arun J Misra in their judgment have said, “There cannot be registration of any FIR against a High Court Judge or Chief Justice of the High Court or the Supreme Court Judge without the consultation of the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India and, in case there is an allegation against Hon’ble Chief Justice of India, the decision has to be taken by the Hon’ble President, in accordance with the procedure prescribed” It all started when the matter pertaining to an alleged bribery scam in which retired Orissa High Court Judge IM Quddusi was arrested, among others, and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) lodged an FIR. The FIR said, Quddusi allegedly used his influence to help Uttar Pradesh-based Prasad Education Trust in “settling” a matter involving their plea to set up medical colleges pending in the Supreme Court.The Trust owned one of the 46 medical colleges barred by the central government from admitting students. The accused were subsequently granted bail, but the same was not challenged by CBI. Following granting of the bail, two parties (advocate Kamini Jaiswal and the NGO Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms represented by Bhushan) filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court seeking the constitution of an SIT to investigate the allegations, with a retired judge monitoring the same.On Thursday, a Supreme Court bench, consisting of Justices J Chelameshwar and Abdul Nazeer, referred the Public Interest Litigation, in the matter, to a five-judge bench, scheduled to conduct a hearing on Monday. However, the case took an interesting turn on Friday, when another Supreme Court bench comprising the current CJI Deepak Misra, pronounced the order by Justice J Chelameswar null and void. The matter was then heard by a three judge bench comprising of Justices A K Agarwal, A M Khanwilkar and Arun Mishra, where the petitioners refused to argue on the merits of the case, citing the presence of Justice AM Khanwilkar on the Bench, since he was one of the judges who had heard the controversial medical college case. More drama unfolded as the matter was being heard by the bench and they raised questions on propriety and “forum shopping” by the petitioners. However, some key highlights of the judgment passed today cast a shadow of doubt in our minds. SC says, “There cannot be registration of any FIR against a High Court Judge or Chief Justice of the High Court or the Supreme Court Judge without the consultation of the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India and that independence of judiciary cannot be left at the mercy of the CBI or that of the police is a red herring.” Further more Justice Arun Mishra left no stone unturned while pronouncing the judgment, he said, ” The FIR is not against any judge in SC and neither is it possible to register FIR against a judge. The senior councils attempted forum shopping to seek a favourable order and it was unethical of them to do so. They did not verify the position of law and unnecessary doubt was raised on this institution. Proper verification of facts were not made before filing this petition. We expect that good shall prevail in this institution. Let us unite and work together for the welfare of this great institution. We are not initiating contempt procedure and the matter should stop at this.We have also observed that even we are not above law”. Refuting special investigation team (SIT) probe in the medical college bribery matter, SC has defended itself completely and has questioned the basis of the allegations, SC said, “No Judge can be held responsible for what may, or has happened in the corridors, or for ‘who purports to sell whom’. The alleged actions of a retired Judge of a High Court, allegedly assuring and promising, a ‘favourable’ decision in the aforesaid circumstances of the case which was then pending before this Court, in the aforesaid circumstances and has assured favourable orders, begs the question, and we wonder, as to what favourable orders have been passed. As is apparent from the aforesaid narration of facts, there was no favourable order granted by this Court in favour of the medical college for the current academic session 2017-18, rather its inspection for considering confirmation of letter of permission for the next yearn 2018-19 had been ordered”. The issue related to “Conflict of Interest ” which questioned the CJI’s involvement in the case was also lucidly clarified, SC said, “There is no conflict of interest in such a matter. In case Judge is hearing a matter and if he comes to know that any party is unscrupulously trying to influence the decision making or indulging in malpractices, it is incumbent upon the Judge to take cognizance of such a matter under Contempt of Courts Act and to deal with and punish such person in accordance with law as that is not the conflict of interest but the purpose for which the entire system exists. Such things cannot be ignored and recusal of a Judge cannot be asked on the ground of conflict of interest, it would be the saddest day for the judicial system of this country to ignore such aspects on the unfounded allegations and materials. It was highly improper for the petitioner to allege conflict of interest in the petition filed that the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India should not hear on judicial side or allocate the matter on the administrative side” Judge Vs Judge and the contest of intra-judicial authority seems to have gone back to the dark cave. This showdown in the apex court has now received its happy ending or as some may call it good riddance from high voltage drama.

‘Ramkatha’ in Surat protest hub to raise funds for martyrs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the midst of hectic electioneering, Gujarat will witness a different kind of spectacle. The diamond and textile hub of Surat will hold popular Hindu seer Morari Bapu’s Ramkatha during December 2-10 to raise Rs 200 crore for Army martyrs. Gujarat’s two-phase polling will take place on December 9 and December 14.The Ramkatha will be held at Varachha Road — one of the 16 Assembly constituencies of Surat that go to the polls on December 9.Surat has been at the forefront of anti-demonetisation and GST agitations in Gujarat, giving sleepless nights to the ruling BJP. At several public meetings, especially at Varachha Road, the BJP was forced to beat a hasty retreat due to angry protests by Patidars.Sources say the event was planned to change the discourse from agitation to patriotism. Morari Bapu is considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.RSS functionary Ranchodbhai, a diamond merchant actively involved in the event, told DNA that a body of diamond merchants and builders this time decided to honour the Army martyrs across the country. This is a non-political event and has nothing to do with the elections, he said. “It was decided well in advance, much before the announcement of elections,” he said.”We had taken dates from Morari Bapu about two years ago,” he added.Incidentally, the Election Commission of India is not aware of the event. “This kind of issue has come for the first time, but it could be examined as per the model code of conduct rules by the Gujarat CEO,” said Election Commissioner OP Rawat.Besides, honouring Parma Veer and Mahavir Chakra recipients, the merchants’ body, Veer Maruti Jawan Trust, is also planning to honour the descendants of great patriots Bhama Shah, Rani Laxmi Bai and the families of Bhagat SIngh, Raj Guru and Sukhdev.”We have also requested Lata Mangeshkar to come as we want to honour her for the best ever patriotic song Aye mere watan ke logon,” said Ranchodbhai.The trust decided to call Morari Bapu as he is the most popular Hindu seers in Gujarat whose Ramkatha is a crowd puller and will help raise the fund. All diamond and textile workers have decided to donate one day of salary for the cause. “Our body will be taking care of the Ramkatha logistics that will cost about Rs 15 crore,” he said.

Having met at DeMo queue, Bihar couple went for a cashless wedding

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Many women complain that their spouses don’t spend enough money on them, but Richa Singh had no such problems. In fact, it was lack of funds that introduced Richa to her husband Jai Singh. And playing Cupid, albeit indirectly, was demonetization.Jai Singh said that he met Richa while standing in a long queue outside an ATM. “We got to see other a lot as we had to withdraw money every day. We started talking and before we knew it, we were talking about marriage.”The marriage was unconventional, more so because Richa and her husband came from different backgrounds — she was Jain and he was Sindhi. But parental opposition was nullified as Jai’s in-laws knew exactly what his salary was, thanks to demonetization again.With parental objection out of the way, the wedding took place in December last year. But as Jai pointed out, to celebrate the unique set of circumstances that brought them together, the couple decided to have a cashless wedding.Singh said, “My friends and family members were laughing at me. To have a cashless wedding is next to impossible. Lavishness from both sides is a must.” He added that many of his family pleaded with the couple to change their minds but they were adamant.The main problem they faced was organising a wedding in an area which did not recognise cards, and PayTM still had not caught on. The only solution was a dharamshala belonging to Jain Trust.”The Jain community here contributes a certain amount to the trust each month. As a result, they can use the dharamshala free of cost,” said Richa Singh.It was a unique affair. The couple even invited guests through WhatsApp and SMS so as to not spend cash on invitation cards. All ostentatious ceremonies of wedding were also banned.Looking back, the couple said they have no regrets about their decision. “Demonetization is a good thing for the country,” they say. And certainly, it seems, for some couples.

Day after worker dies in Sassoon Dock manhole, locals ask MbPT to blacklist contractor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after a conservancy worker died in a manhole while cleaning sewage on Tuesday evening at Sasoon Dock, locals at the docks are now demanding blacklisting the contractor who has been booked for negligence. Residents will be sending a letter to Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) demanding that a new contractor be appointed and that compensation be given to the deceased’s family.Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) is undertaking redevelopment of the docks and the work has been given to a contractor.Colaba police, having registered a case of negligence, have alleged that the contractor did not take proper safety measures while sending workers into the manhole. “The workers did not have any mask, hand gloves, safety belt, and a staircase which would have saved the poor man’s life. But the contractor did not provide it. The worker was also not a professional cleaner, but a daily wager. We are writing a letter to MbPT’s president on Thursday demanding that the contractor be blacklisted and a new professional contractor be appointed. The new contractor should be a professional with experience as it is very risky otherwise. We will also demand compensation for the deceased’s family,” said Krishna Pavle, a fishing businessman.”We have booked the contractor and he is at large. We are trying to trace him,” said Vijay Dhopavkar, Senior Police Inspector of Colaba Police Station.Ahmed Ansari, along with two other workers, had entered into a manhole at Sasoon Dock on Tuesday from which a poisonous gas was released. The two workers fell unconscious due to the gas, and the third worker immediately alerted others who were outside the drain. However, it was becoming difficult to pull them out as there wasn’t a staircase or other equipment. Colaba police were then informed and they, with the help of the fire brigade, pulled them out. Both of them were rushed to St George hospital. While one was declared dead on arrival, the other survived.

NIA files charge sheet against Zakir Naik, to probe his assets

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday filed a charge sheet against controversial televangelist Dr Zakir Naik, his banned NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), and Harmony Media Private Limited (HMPL) in a Sessions Court in Mumbai. In the charge sheet, the agency cited a few alleged “inflammatory and derogatory” statements of Naik. The 4,000-page charge sheet also contains statements of 150 witnesses. Naik has been booked under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Indian Penal Code.According to NIA, the investigation brought on record that in September 2012, during Ganpati festival, two quotes of Naik taken from his speech delivered earlier in Srinagar were uploaded on his Facebook account by IRF for public view. The quotes read: “If you prove to me that Shri Ganesh is Bhagwaan, then I will eat the prasaad,” and “If your Bhagwaan cannot recognise his own son (Sri Ganesh), how will he recognise me if I fall into any difficulty?””The religious sentiment of Hindus was deeply hurt by these insulting and deriding comments. Probe revealed that Naik admitted before the Supreme Court that the said controversial quotations were posted on his Facebook account by an employee of the IRF named Asif Sheikh. Although Naik told the court that Sheikh was no longer an employee, investigation has revealed that he continued to work in the same capacity but his name was removed from the list of IRF employees to cover up the matter; and he was shown as an employee of another outfit styled as ‘Islamic Dimensions’,” said an NIA official.”The investigation revealed that the IRF and the IRF Educational Trust have received huge amounts as donations from the public in India and also from abroad. But most of the acknowledgment receipts have only ‘Well wisher’ written on the dotted lines for the donor’s name. I t also revealed that Naik’s sister Nailah Naushad Noorani was a trustee of IRF Educational Trust along with him. When Naik became an NRI in 2013, he appointed Noorani as Director in HMPL as well as in Longlast Constructions Company, in his place. It was found that she was Director on paper only, and all the affairs of the companies were handled by her brother. She signed the cheques on the instruction of her brother and had no knowledge of the company affairs. Furthermore, she had received Rs29 crore from Naik through her parent’s bank account between 2013 and 2016. This money was invested in HMPL and Longlast Constructions Company as per Naik’s instructions,” said the officer.He added that huge amounts have been received by domestic and foreign entities and individuals related to Naik. Also, a huge quantity of cash has been generated in the system by entities and individuals connected to Naik ans this has been invested in real estate and holding companies.The investigation has revealed that there are 19 immovable properties, including land and building, worth Rs 104 crore connected with Zakir Naik. The source and the mode of acquisition of these properties are being investigated by NIA.Probe further revealed that Naik is the founding trustee and a member of IRF, which as per the agency, is an Unlawful Association. “He has conspired with the IRF Trust and the HMPL to commit offences of promoting enmity and hatred between different religious groups in India through his public speeches and lectures. The probe firmly establishes that the incriminating public speeches/utterings have been in circulation through the electronic media, such as CD/DVD and web portals Facebook/YouTube, etc.; and have been, and continue to be seen across the world. These speeches were forwarded to the Global Broadcast Corporation, Dubai, for broadcast in Peace TV. The minutes of IRF board of trustees’ meetings disclose that IRF had approved, organised, promoted and funded public lectures of Naik including his incriminating speeches. The seized material such as DVDs and books list IRF as the publisher,” said the official.As per the agency, many incriminating speeches of Naik were delivered during the peace conferences organised by IRF in Mumbai from 2007 to 2011. The minutes of IRF Board of Trustee’s meetings confirm that IRF had planned, organised, funded and promoted these events where there was open exhortation to convert people of other religion into Islam by Naik. Nine speeches or utterings of Naik were found to be inflammatory as they hurt the religious sentiments, besides inciting violence.

IITGn alumnus helps map city’s Metro project

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 26-year-old graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar (IIGn) is helping Ahmedabad Metro Rail project with underground infrastructure mapping through her expertise that does not damage pre-existing structures. Silky Agrawal who studied MTech in Civil Engineering from IITGn graduated in 2015 and launched her start-up GeoCarte Radar Technology Private Limited and incubated at IITGn.GeoCarte is a consulting organisation that provides non-destructive geophysical exploration with the objective of providing the innovative approach for subsurface investigation using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). GPR is one of the best modern tools capable of imaging subsurface invasively.Since 2015, Silky has worked on number of prestigious projects using IITGn’s network that includes working for Shree Somnath Trust, railway station in Gandhinagar and CST in Mumbai along with Ahmedabad Metro Rail project.Speaking about her work, she said, “We specialise in mapping manholes beneath the surface, locate excavation for archaeological sites, leak detection in underground pipelines and understand the drainage system of a city.”Silky added, “Ahmedabad is a Smart City now. It is undergoing massive development. It is extremely essential to prevent underground infrastructure and the pre-existing structures.”Talking about the work, she said, “We map the underground surface by not digging. We have completed first part for metro here and soon will be working on Pune metro.”She worked for proposed Shahpur metro station and located additional unknown utilities like sewage lines, electrical cables, underground storage tanks, and detected manholes.”Speaking about challenges, she said, “The most challenging issue on my entrepreneurial journey has been late night working on the site. It often gets difficult for girls to be on the site.”ACHIEVEMENTSSince 2015, Silky has worked on number of prestigious projects using IITGn’s network that includes working for Shree Somnath Trust, railway station in Gandhinagar and CST in Mumbai along with Ahmedabad Metro Rail project. She worked for proposed Shahpur metro station.

Watch: Massive fire on Butcher Island continues to rage, firefighters struggle to extinguish blaze

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Efforts are still on to extinguish the fire that broke out at a fuel tank farm of the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) located on the Butcher Island off the east coast of Mumbai on Friday evening, a top fire brigade official said here on Saturday.According to officials, the fire had broken out around 5 pm yesterday when Mumbai and the surrounding areas witnessed thundershowers. However, no causality was reported.”Excessive heat caused reignition around 4.30 am today.Firefighting as well as the cooling operations are on. Foam and other extinguishing agents are being used for the purpose,” Mumbai fire brigade chief P S Rahangdale said.He said firefighters of MbPT as well as the fire brigade team are working in tandem to douse the blaze.According to Rahangdale, fire brigade personnel involved in the firefighting operation through the night have been relieved and new staff staff have been deployed there.”There has been a good coordination between Mumbai fire brigade personnel and the MbPT fire service team. The fire brigade team had reached around 10 feet near the blaze-hit tank, but reignition at dawn has posed a new challenge before us. However, the blaze is under control,” he said.”I am monitoring the operation. Because of the heat, the foam (used as an extinguisher) is not settling down, this is causing reignition. But overall, the situation is under control,” Rahangdale said but did not specify how long the firefighting operation would continue.”Our main challenge is to keep the other tanks near the affected one safe. So, on one hand our firemen are involved in cooling operations to keep other tanks safe, while on the other, they are also engaged in dousing the flames,” he told PTI.Butcher Island houses a marine oil terminal of MbPT.Oil tankers discharge crude at the terminal, and it is transported to refineries at nearby Mahul through submerged pipelines, port officials said.After the fire broke out, vessels in the vicinity of the island have been moved to a distance as a precautionary measure.A BPCL spokesperson had said yesterday that a lightning strike amid thundershowers was the apparent cause behind the fire. “A diesel tank caught fire due to the lightning and thundershowers,” he had said.Manohar Rao, executive director and head of safety, BPCL, had said that prima facie, the cause of the fire was lightning, though further probe will be carried out on Saturday.

PM Modi on GDP, BHU crime, Kokilaben Hospital and Google Pixel: DNA morning must reads

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>GDP growth rate slipped under UPA regime: PM ModiPrime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday took the fight to critics of his economy policies, especially of a slipping GDP growth rate, pointing out that that number had slipped to 5.7 per cent or below eight times in six years of the previous UPA government. Addressing the golden jubilee event of Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), Modi also called for much higher levels of honesty, both at an individual as well as professional level. “In the changing economic scenario, honesty will command a premium and the government will protect the interest of honest persons,” he said, and called upon the gathering of company secretaries to encourage their clients to honestly pay taxes. The Prime Minister reiterated that the economy was on sound footing and that he would not jeopardise the country’s future for short-term benefits. Read full story hereMaharashtra govt pulls up Kokilaben Hospital, imposes Rs 174 crore fineThe Maharashtra government has asked the Malti Vasant Heart Trust, whose trustee list includes Tina and Anil Ambani, to pay Rs 174 crore for using parts of the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Andheri (West) for commercial purposes other than hospital operations. The government has also pulled up the Trust for changing the trustees without taking permission from the government. In 2009, the revenue department had allotted 14 acres to the Malti Vasant Heart Trust for construction of a hospital, on a 30-year lease at a token rate of Rs 1 per year. Read full story hereBy end of October, you will not ask about Rahul Gandhi’s elevation: CongressThe Congress on Wednesday hinted that the stage was set for Rahul Gandhi to take over as party president by the end of this month, and also that his mother and current president, Sonia Gandhi, would continue to guide the party under a new mechanism yet to be incorporated in the party constitution. Chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the party was currently conducting organisational polls, including for the post of president. “By the end of this month, you will not ask questions about Rahul’s elevation,” he said. Read full story herePune: Four stray dogs tied with ropes, dragged and burnt aliveIn a shocking incident, four stray dogs were tied to a rope and burned alive in a Pune city of Maharashtra. The horrendous incident took place last week in a Baner locality near Pancard road of the city. According to reports, 16 other dogs were also poisoned to death. The NGO AaCT India (Action for Animals against Cruelty and Trauma) found scattered remains of the charred body parts of the dogs during the investigation. Read full story hereGoogle unveils Pixel 2, 2 XL: Price, specifications and moreGoogle on Wednesday announced the second generation of its Pixel smartphones, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. The looks of Pixel 2 would definitely remind you of its predecessor but the 2 XL has seen some relevant modifications in its design. 2 XL has been updated to 6-inch display instead of 5.5 inch. Apart from the display size, the another difference between the two newly launched phones in comparison to the previous one is that they do not encase the fingerprint sensor at the back. OIS and EIS are both present on the Pixel 2 smartphones. Read full story hereWatch DNA morning bulletin

Uttar Pradesh: Mulayam may float new party with Lok Dal; split within SP all, but confirmed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a crucial turn of events in the battle for supremacy in the Samajwadi Party, Mulayam Singh Yadav is likely to announce a new outfit tomorrow along with virtually defunct Lok Dal, and retain the ‘samajwadi’ tag in its name, sources in the two parties have indicated.The hint of an imminent split in the SP came yesterday when Mulayam and his brother-aide Shivpal Yadav stayed away from a state convention of the party– which they had founded 25 years ago — saying they were not invited.”Mulayam will hold a press conference at the Lohia Trust office here tomorrow to announce a new party with Lok Dal,” Lok Dal president Sunil Singh told PTI today.He said the word ‘samajwadi’ (socialist) will be retained in the name of the new party.Even as the SP prepared for the convention, sources said the two brothers pondered over formation of a secular front under the banner of Lok Dal, hinting fresh differences in the party weakened already by the factional feud which proved to be its nemesis in the Assembly polls earlier this year.The strains were palpable ahead of its state and national convention, with Mulayam replacing Akhilesh Yadav-loyalist Ram Gopal with Shivpal Yadav as the secretary of the Lohia Trust.Shivpal had announced in June that he would float the Samajwadi Secular Front “to fight communal forces”.”As there is no sign of any truce, it is a crucial time for Shivpal to decide his future course,” a close confidant of Shivpal said.Asked about Singh’s claims that the two brothers will work under the banner of Lok Dal, another Shivpal-loyalist said, “Mulayam may not like to shun the Samajwadi tag. The situation will be clear tomorrow when netaji (Mulayam) will disclose his future course of action.”The posters at the SP convention here yesterday did not have pictures of Mulayam and Shivpal, giving ample hints about their place in the party.The convention saw a realignment of forces within the SP as senior leader Azam Khan attended the event and lashed out at the “people who have betrayed the party”, in an apparent reference to Shivpal, his one-time friend and confidant.Another surprise presence was that of SP MP Beni Prasad Varma, whose inclusion in the party last year was said to have triggered the battle within the family.To top it all, SP president Akhilesh Yadav in his address yesterday cautioned his supporters against “fake samajwadis”.As in the past, Akhilesh, however, struck an emotional note when he said, “Netaji (Mulayam) is my father and this party (SP) belongs to him. His blessings are with us and we will carry forward his legacy. My father has always been with us and will remain with us.”In Election Commission records, Lok Dal is a registered, unrecognised party that was formed by veteran socialist leader Charan Singh way back in 1980 and Mualayam was its founder- member.Lok Dal has the old election symbol of farmer ploughing the field (khet jot-ta kissan). Fighting on the symbol, Charan Singh had become the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.Mulayam, who was opposed to the SP-Congress alliance during the Assembly elections, was offered Lok Dal symbol and president’s post by Sunil Singh.”A number of Shivpal loyalists had contested on Lok Dal ticket during the assembly polls and the party used Mulayam’s photographs for campaigns, terming him a true samajwadi,” the Lok Dal president said.The Yadav family feud came to the fore about a year ago and led to Akhilesh snatching the mantle of the SP national president from his father at an emergency national convention of the party here on January 1.Taking full control of the party after being crowned as its head and alloted the ‘bicycle’ symbol by the EC on January 16, Akhilesh has been going whole hog consolidating his grip over the party.

Samajwadi Party feud continues, Mulayam Singh Yadav removes Akhilesh Yadav’s confidant Ram Gopal Yadav as Lohia Trust secretary

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The feud in the Samajwadi Party refuses to go away.In a sign that all is still not well between Samajwadi Party patriarch and his son Akhilesh Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday sacked his cousin Prof Ram Gopal Yadav as Secretary Lohia Trust and replaced him with his trusted brother Shivpal Singh Yadav.The Samajwadi Party National President Akhilesh Yadav, Azam Khan, Dharmendra Yadav and Prof Ram Gopal Yadav stayed away from the crucial meeting of the Lohia Trust for the second consecutive time.Mulayam Singh Yadav continues to be the Chairman of the 13-member Lohia Trust even after his son staged a coup against him on January 1st, 2017.Earlier, Mulayam Singh Yadav had sacked four Akhilesh Yadav’s loyalists Ahmed Hasan, Ram Govind Chowdhury, Anil Shakya and Usha Vishwakarma during its last meeting in August.Though Prof Ram Gopal Yadav is removed from the post of Secretary but he continues to be a member of the Trust.Lohia Trust is an important wing of the Samajwadi Party. The Trust not only looks after all offices of the party but also work to promulgate socialist ideology of Dr Ram Manohar Lohia across the country.“I have been entrusted with the new responsibility. Netaji will hold a press conference on September 25 to spell out future course of strategy,” said Shivpal Singh Yadav, the newly-elected Secretary of the Lohia Trust.When asked, Shivpal said that he was not invited in the state convention in Lucknow on September 23 and National Convention on October 5 in Agra by his nephew Akhilesh Yadav despite he being a legislator of the party.Removal of Prof Ram Gopal Yadav ahead of state and national conventions has further widened the gulf between the two warring factions and intensified the family feud within the Yadav clan, which the biggest political family in the country.It is now remained to be seen how Akhilesh Yadav reply to his father’s move during the two meetings.

WATCH: Sukhoi-30 fly ‘missing man’ formation to pay tribute to Marshal Arjan Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the last rites of Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh were being conducted inside the cremation ground at Brar Square in Delhi Cantonment Monday morning, three Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft conducted a flypast to honour the departed soldier by flying in the “Missing Man” formation—a formation in which one slot in a bunch of four planes is left deliberately vacant. The “Missing Man” here denoted the departed soul. It was also symbolic of how India and its Air Force will miss this warrior of the skies forever.Minutes earlier, three MI-17 V5 helicopters had flown past over the cremation ground trooping IAF colours and five UK-made Pounder Guns of 1941 vintage fired in cyclical fashion with a 2.5 second gap between each round to give a 17-gun salute to the Marshal of the Indian Air Force who died on the evening of September 16 after suffering a cardiac arrest. The 17-gun salute was fired once the last rites had been completed and before the pyre was lit.Once the formal funeral ceremony got over, it was time for family members and close relatives to sit and reminisce about the man, the soldier, the leader, the officer and of course, Indian Air Force’s first and only five-star ranked officer.“I think if people can follow some of his principles, it (the country) would be a much better place,” said Arvind Singh, the son of the deceased Marshal of the IAF, who flew in from the United States to be in time for the funeral. Many relatives who are settled abroad could not make it in time.Arvind Singh also fondly recounted how Marshal Singh once walked up to him and his mother and asked, “Are you okay if we give away all this?” when he was planning to sell his personal farm to set up a Trust devoted to the welfare of retired Air Force personnel. “I was ecstatic,” Arvind Singh said, adding that one of the main conditions his father had imposed was that no family member would have any interests in the Trust. The Rs 2 crore raised by selling that farmhouse was used to set up the Trust.“The Trust has grown, has done very well and a lot of people have followed his footsteps. Many non-commissioned officers are now contributing to that trust which is a very good precedent in India where we have a lot of inequality of wealth,” the Marshal’s son said.Group Captain AK Dash, the doctor who had been attending to Marshal Arjan Singh for the past many years, told WION/DNA that on the day he had to be rushed to the hospital Singh “did not want many doctors to intervene” and that “he was feeling restless”. “He never wanted any treatment to be given at any point of time. But we used to convince him,” Dash said.In addition to serving officers, scores of retired Air Force personnel had turned up to pay their last respects to the deceased Marshal. Two such aged seniors—who could barely walk—slowly made their way to the funeral pyre, stood there for a few moments and then saluted the man who had now gone “missing” from the physical world, just like that “missing” Su-30 in the flypast a few minutes back.

Hussaini building collapse: FIR filed against SBUT officials

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Almost two weeks after the Hussaini building collapse in Bhendi Bazaar on August 31, that killed 33 persons and injured 17, the JJ Marg police on Wednesday registered a First Information Report (FIR) against officials of the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT), which is carrying out the Bhendi Bazaar redevelopment project, and other accused.According to a statement issued by the police on Thursday, between March 28, 2011 and August 31, 2017, SBUT officials were aware that Hussaini building was dangerous to live in and Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) had granted permission to demolish it. The statement added that despite officials knowing the consequences if the building collapsed, it was not vacated.The case has, therefore, says the statement, been registered on the complaint made by Police Sub-Inspector Anand Deshmukh against SBUT officials and others under Section 304 (2) (culpable homicide not amount to murder), 337 (causing grievous hurt) and 338 (causing hurt by act endangering life of others) of the Indian Penal Code.”We have registered an FIR after conducting a preliminary inquiry wherein we have found that the SBUT did not take strict action to vacate the building. We are ascertaining which officials from SBUT are responsible for the tragedy,” said Jaideep Gaikwad, Senior Police Inspector of JJ Marg Police Station. He added that that the police will record statements of all the residents of the building and other residents of the area.When contacted, an SBUT spokesperson said, “So far, we are not aware about any case registered against the trust and its officials.”

Govt asks 1,222 NGOs to validate bank accounts in which they receive foreign contribution

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> As many as 1,222 NGOs across the country have been directed by the home ministry to validate the bank accounts in which they receive foreign contribution, failure of which will invite punitive action.Among others, the list includes Sri Ramakrishna Math, Ramakrishna Mission, Indore Cancer Foundation Charitable Trust, Coimbatore Christian Charitable Trust, Delhi School Of Social Work Society, Hindu Anath Ashram and Madani Darut Tarbiyat. In a circular, the ministry said all NGOs registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) should receive foreign donations in a single designated bank account.However, it is seen that a number of such organisations have not validated their foreign contribution designated accounts, causing problems for the banks to comply with the FCRA provisions that they (banks) report to the central government within 48 hours of such receipt or utilisation of foreign contribution, the circular read. These associations are required to validate their foreign designated accounts and also the utilisation accounts immediately and send the details, including the bank branch, code, account number, IFSC etc through FC 6 form which is available on https://fcraonline.nic.in, the circular said.”Non-compliance may lead to penal actions as per FCRA 2010,” it said. A few others NGOs named are Rehmat E Alam Hospital Trust Anantanag, Rotary Club of Mumbai Midwest, JK Trust, Bombay, Goonj, Madina Education and Charitable Society, Nagaland Bible College, Indian Institute for Nature and Environment Study. The Modi government, which has tightened the rules for NGOs, has already cancelled registration of more than 10,000 non-governmental organisations in the last three years for alleged non-filing of annual returns as mandated in the FCRA.In addition, renewals of more than 1,300 NGOs have been denied or they were closed in recent past for allegedly violating various provisions of the FCRA. The home ministry has also asked nearly 6,000 NGOs to open their accounts in banks having core banking facilities and furnish details for real-time access to security agencies in case of any discrepancy. The move was initiated after it was detected that many NGOs have their bank accounts in cooperative banks or state government-owned apex banks or banks which do not have core banking facilities.In November, 2016, the government had directed more than 11,000 NGOs to file applications for renewal of registration by February 28, 2017. Of the above, 3,500 NGOs have filed applications for renewal and hence the registration of more than 7,000 NGOs were deemed expired due to non-filing of renewal applications. Currently around 22,000 FCRA registered NGOs are operating in the country.

Permission for Mohan Bhagwat’s event in Kolkata cancelled, RSS calls Mamata govt ‘fundamentalists’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Another shot it appears has been fired in the slugfest between TMC and RSS in West Bengal. Organisers of an event at the state-run Mahajati Sadan in Kolkata, cancelled the booking where RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat was supposed to speak, reported several media outlets.The Sister Nivedita Mission Trust had booked the auditorium for October 3 for an event on Sister Nivedita’s role in the Indian nationalist movement.General secretary of the Trust, Rantideb Sengupta, told The Indian Express that the authorities cancelled the booking last Thursday despite all formalities being done.He said: “We had booked the auditorium in July after paying Rs 14,350. We also paid another Rs 1,150 as October 3 is a holiday. We even intimated Joint CP Headquarters of Kolkata Police about our event. Suddenly, on August 31, authorities of Mahajati Sadan told us that the booking was cancelled. They told us to get a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Kolkata Police. While we were about to obtain the NOC from police, the authorities on September 1 informed us that the auditorium was unavailable as it would be under maintenance in the first week of October.”Authorities of Mahajati Sadan were unavailable for comments, and Sengupta said they were looking for a different venue. Sources told IE that the event was cancelled due to the timing of the event close to Vijaya Dashami and Muharram on September 30 and October 1 respectively which has the state government on the lookout for anything that might blow up the communal tinderbox.Meanwhile, RSS secretary Jishu Bas accused the state of being run by ‘fundamentalists’. In January, Kolkata Police had denied permission for Bhagwat’s rally but the Calcutta High Court had overruled the decision.Congress MP Adhir Ranjan put aside political differences to criticise the Banerjee government, saying a ‘gross injustice was meted out’. TMC national spokesperson Derek O’Brien also took to Twitter to speak about the event and hit out at ‘NK channels’ (North Korea channels) for ‘trying to cook up a story’. The Mamata government has also decided to ban Visarjan on October 1, something BJP and RSS have strongly protested against. Meanwhile, the Kolkata police said that the reason for denial was 10-day early reservation during Puja holidays. Earlier, Mamata Banerejee had directed the state’s police administration to act against anyone who participated in ‘shashtra puja’. She had said: “Weapons look best in the hands of Durga. So ensure that there is no attempt of creating tension on Vijaya Dashami day through ‘shastra puja’ or any procession with arms.”

Mumbai building collapse: Death toll rises to 22, PM Modi expresses condolences

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A more than a century-old five-storey residential building collapsed on Thursday in the congested Bhendi Bazar area of south Mumbai, killing at least 22 people and wounding 12 others, officials said.They were declared dead at the state-run J J hospital, where they were taken after being pulled out of the debris, as rescue teams with heavy machinery continued to look for survivors of the crash, a senior police official said.About 30 others are still feared trapped under the mounds of concrete and twisted iron rods.
ALSO READ Mumbai building collapse: Why did the structure give way 36 hours after the downpour? The process of identifying the bodies is on. At least 12 people injured in the incident were carried out on stretchers and rushed to the J J Hospital in ambulances that faced difficulty in navigating the narrow streets due to the crowed that has gathered around the place.
ALSO READ Mumbai building collapse: 22 people killed, 29 rescued; Maha CM Fadnavis promises action if negligence foundThe official also said five fire brigade personnel and an NDRF jawan also sustained injuries during the rescue operations. They have also been shifted to the J J hospital.Fire brigade officials said some nine families lived in the dilapidated Husaini Building.
ALSO READ Mumbai building collapse: 22 people killed, 29 rescued; Maha CM Fadnavis promises action if negligence foundThe building also housed a play school but children had not arrived yet when the tragedy occurred.The building, mostly housing lower-middle class families, was located in the Muslim-dominated Pakmodia Street close to the J J Hospital.The building, which also had six godowns on the ground floor, crumbled at around 8:30 a.m. It is not clear yet if the heavy rains that inundated Mumbai this week weakened the building.What now remained of the 117-year-old structure was a large mound of concrete rubble and steel rods encircled by other houses including what appeared to be a tall building.Rescue workers in hard hats clambered up the mound and banged large concrete slabs with hammers to reach underneath and pull out survivors and bodies. Cranes and bulldozers were also deployed to scoop up the debris. Residents helped with bare hands.Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited the spot and announced a solatium of Rs five lakh each for the next of kin of the deceased. He also said that the entire medical expenses of those injured will be borne by the state government.”The exact number of trapped people cannot be known immediately,” deputy commissioner of police (Zone 1) Manoj Sharma said.”Our priority is to pull out at the earliest those trapped under the rubble of the dilapidated building,” said state Industries Minister Subhash Desai, who is also the guardian minister for Mumbai.”Once the rescue work gets over, the government will conduct a probe to ascertain the factors behind the building collapse. Strict action will be taken against those found guilty,” he told reporters.Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil and a host of local politicians and corporators also visited the collapse site.The disaster management cell of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) received a call about the collapse at 8.40 a.m.The MCGM rushed its emergency rescue team followed by ambulances, dumpers and earth-movers to the spot. Soon, 90 personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) also rushed to the spot.”We immediately rushed fire brigade personnel to the site to rescue the trapped people,” a senior MCGM official said.The rescue operation is being carried out by the NDRF team with the help of fire brigade personnel.The incident occurred two days after the city was pummelled by torrential rains, which may have caused damage to the building.Some residents claimed that about 40 people belonging to nine families lived in crammed rooms in the structure, which was declared “unsafe” by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA).The Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT), which was to have undertaken redevelopment of the 117-year-old structure, said the building housed a total of 13 tenants — 12 residential and one commercial. “Of them, the trust had already shifted seven families in 2013-14,” it said in a statement.”MHADA notices dated March 28 and May 20, 2011, declaring the building dilapidated, were issued along with an offer of transit accommodation to the remaining tenants and occupants,” it said.This is the second major building collapse in the city in just over a month, after the crash of a residential complex in suburban Ghatkopar on July 25, which left 17 people dead.

Delhi High Court to hear NGO’s plea opposing marital rape today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Wednesday will hear a plea, filed by an NGO, opposing several petitions to make marital rape a criminal offence.The NGO is representing men, victimised by alleged misuse of gender laws, and has filed the petition in the court.A court on August 28 had allowed the intervention application by NGO, Men Welfare Trust, and allowed it to address the court.In Marital rape (or spousal rape), the spouse indulges in sexual intercourse without the consent of the other.The NGO argued that the issue affected a large number of men, who are vulnerable in getting victimised by the women, who at times file false rape and domestic violence cases.It also claimed that in a marriage, a person gives his or her spouse the permission to have sex, which then cannot be termed as rape.

When did Ganeshotsav start? Asks HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked the state government to clarify by placing on record documents to indicate whether sarvajanik (community) Ganpati festival in Pune was started in 1892 by Srimant Bhausaheb Rangari Ganapati Trust or by Lokmanya Tilak in 1893.The High Court order came while admitting a petition filed by the Trust, seeking directive to the Maharashtra government and Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to celebrate the sarvajanik Ganesh festival 2017 as the 126th year of sarvajanik Ganesh festival instead of the 125th year. The petition claimed that a notification issued by State Ministry of Culture and PMC, declaring 2017 as the 125th year of the festival, is incorrect.A division bench of Justices Anoop Mohta and Bharati Dangre asked the state government to file its reply by September 6.Relying on various records, the Trust, which is one of the oldest Ganesh mandals, wrote to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Culture Minister Vinod Tawde, and other authorities, informing that the 125th year of Sarvajanik Ganesh Festival was in 2016, and 2017 will be its 126th year. However, the civic body issued a circular stating that the festival was started by Lokmanya Tilak in 1893.Appearing for the trust, advocate Milind Pawar, said, “The Diamond Jubilee celebration of the festival was in 1892. The 100th anniversary was celebrated in 1991. It is the 125th year that is to be celebrated next, considering the beginning year as 1892. The government is either misleading the people or merely making a publicity stunt at the cost of changing history.”Meanwhile, the members of the trust called off their hunger strike in Pune after the court issued the directive.The PMC is celebrating 125 years of the festival, which had originally started in the city.Suraj Renuse, one of the trustees of Bhausaheb Rangari mandal said, “We are not against Lokmanya Tilak. We accept his contributions to the promotion of Ganesh festival. However, he was not the pioneer. The Pune civic administration and some politicians are deliberately trying to take away the credit that Bhausaheb Rangari rightfully deserves.”In its petition, the trust states that in 1892, celebrations in Pune took place with the installation of three Ganpatis — the first at Bhau Rangari’s residence, the second at Ganpatrao Ghotavdekar’s home, while Sardar Nanasaheb Khasgiwale installed the third at his house.The idea of Bhau Lakshman Javale, fondly known as Bhau Rangari, was to connect people across class and caste lines. A special note of this was made by Tilak, in an editorial in his ‘Kesari’ newspaper on September 26, 1893, states the petition.Renuse claimed that during a meeting, Pune mayor Mukta Tilak, who is from the Tilak family, accepted Tilak was not the pioneer of Sarvajanik ganeshotsav. “However, no one in authority wants to say that in public,” he noted.”On Wednesday, MP Sambhaji Raje met the members on hunger strike and appealed to call off the strike. We have called it off, but our legal battle will continue,” Renuse said.Trust members have also filed a complaint in Vishrambaug police station, claiming they received a threat letter.A WAR OVER YEARState Ministry of Culture and PMC declared 2017 as 125th year of Ganeshotsav.
Both consider that the festival was started by Lokmanya Tilak in 1893.

Disclose lease documents of land to Moolchand Hospital: CIC to

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Information Commission has directed the union urban development ministry to disclose lease agreement documents of the land for the Moolchand Hospital within a week. Information Commissioner Yashovardhan Azad said the information as sought by the appellant Harvinder Singh, a resident of Lajpat Nagar here, is undeniably one which every citizen has a right to know. Through his RTI application, Singh had demanded from the Ministry the lease agreement of the land for Moolchand Hospital, the copy of documents submitted by Moolchand Kharaiti Ram Charitable Trust for the allotment of the land and the policy under which the land was allocated to it. The Ministry official responding to his RTI query asked him to furnish documentary proof to establish his stake in the Moolchand Khairati Ram Trust within 10 days. Under the RTI Act, a Central Public Information Officer cannot ask an information seeker the reasons behind raising the query. “After hearing parties and perusal of record, the Commission finds that no legitimate exemption in terms of RTI Act have been cited by the Respondent (the ministry) to deny disclosure of information,” Azad said. He said the ministry has taken the “unusual route” of questioning the purpose of the query and the locus standi of Singh in seeking the information. “It is clear from the averment of the Respondent (the Ministry) that the custodian of information is the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India which awarded the land under lease agreement to the Moolchand hospital,” Azad said. He directed to disclose all the material sought by Singh.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mandi landslide: Dalai Lama expresses sympathy over loss of

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tibetan spiritual leader The Dalai Lama expressed his sympathies over the loss of lives due to a massive landslide in Mandi district where two buses were buried, killing 48 people. The Nobel laureate also assured that he would make a donation from the Dalai Lama Trust to the Chief Minister s Relief Fund. In a letter written to the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh he said, “I am deeply saddened to learn that a massive landslide swept away vehicles, including public buses, on the Pathankot-Mandi Highway near Mandi on Saturday night resulting in the tragic death and injury of many people.” “I would like to offer my condolences to those families who have lost loved ones and to others affected by this catastrophe,” he said. The Dalai Lama said that Himachal Pradesh has been his home for over 57 years, and he naturally felt an affinity for its people. “Natural disasters like this are difficult to predict and consequently difficult to take precautions against. However, I wonder if the introduction of warning procedures at the first signs of trouble might help prevent the recurrence of such events in the future,” he said. On Saturday, two Himachal roadway buses were hit by a massive landslide triggered by a cloudburst on the Mandi- Pathankot National Highway, leaving at least 48 people dead and several others injured.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

DNA SPECIAL: Eastern waterfront to get floating eateries, marinas

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The contentious Mumbai Port expansion plan, the modernisation, unlocking of 900 acres of land and development of eastern waterfront is expected to get the Centre’s nod soon.The Union Shipping ministry will make a comprehensive presentation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 16 to seek his views on the Mumbai Port Trust’s eastern waterfront development and the new land policy. Thereafter, the cabinet will approve the plan which is expected to transform Mumbai’s landscape. The new land policy will enable Mumbai Port Trust to use its land even for non-port related activities. Besides, land stuck in encroachments by slums will be redeveloped as well.The Union minister of Shipping Nitin Gadkari told DNA, “Plans are ready for a makeover. Mumbai Port Trust will make a presentation to the PM on August 16.”Gadkari has already made it clear that the Trust will not give its land to builders and investors.The eastern waterfront project, to be developed between Wadala and Ferry Warf in the South Central Mumbai, will develop land double the size of Marine Drive, an open ground which will be five times bigger than the existing Oval Maidan, a structure taller than Dubai’s iconic 163-floor Burj Kalifa, floating restaurants, new marinas, promenades, public parks, cycling tracks, and construction of a cruise terminal.Moreover, housing for citizens living in the Mumbai Port Trust areas is also being proposed. Nearly 900 of the total 1,800 acre land, which is in Mumbai Port Trust’s possession, will be opened up for the various projects, including the allied port operations.The investment during the first phase is estimated to be at Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 crore. Mumbai Port Trust will build a central government complex which will be sold to the government at the market price. The funds generated through this sale will be used for infrastructure development.The project is expected to kick start within five months after the cabinet approval, a Trust official said.

Let’s secure the future of India’s wild elephants

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> On the occasion of World Elephant Day, leading wildlife conservation NGO Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) announced the launch of the Gaj Yatra, a campaign that aims to raise awareness about the shrinking space for India?s wild elephants and the importance of securing elephant corridors. The campaign was launched at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library by the Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change Dr Harsh Vardhan, WTI Executive Director & CEO Vivek Menon, and actor, filmmaker, humanitarian and WTI Brand Ambassador Dia Mirza this morning. The Gaj Yatra, which is partnered by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), is the biggest event ever planned around India?s wild elephants. It will take the form of a roadshow that will move through 12 elephant range states over the next 15 months, with elephant-sized artworks created by local artists and craftsmen as the centrepiece. Gaj Mahotsavs will be organised at different venues along the way, with concerts, parades, street plays and activities for children in particular. The Gaj Yatra?s objective is two-fold: to raise awareness about the plight of India?s National Heritage Animal, and to build a groundswell of popular support for the securing of elephant corridors. India has about 30,000 wild Asian elephants (Elephas maximus); over 50% of the species? estimated global population. Yet these natural nomads face an increasingly uncertain future in the country. The growing resource needs of India?s human population have led to the destruction and fragmentation of wild habitats across the country, depleting the area available for elephants to roam and causing the loss of their traditional migratory paths. Elephant corridors are vital natural habitat linkages that enable elephants and other wildlife to move through the degraded habitats lying between larger protected forests freely, without being disturbed by humans. With Asian elephants now occupying a meagre 3.5 percent of their historical range, securing these corridors has become a conservation imperative. Wildlife Trust of India has been working with the Government of India?s Project Elephant, state forest departments, and national and global NGOs to secure and protect elephant corridors for over a decade through its Right of Passage project, and it is hoped that the Gaj Yatra will lend a renewed urgency to these efforts. ?We share our country with the world?s largest number of Asian elephants. However, in recent years our wild lands have been steadily destroyed and degraded, posing a serious threat to elephants?, said Dia Mirza. ?For their security and well-being, WTI has come up with the Gaj Yatra, a campaign to create awareness about elephant corridors, which enable the free movement of elephants through increasingly fragmented habitats.?(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BMC beautifies space under JJ flyover

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The B ward of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has carried out development and beautification of central medians or bays beneath the JJ flyover on Mohammad Ali Road and Ibrahim Rahimtullah Road. The bay is the space between two pillars under a flyover. The work has been carried out in 34 of the proposed 40 bays, and it has not only removed the possibility encroachment by anti-social elements but also helped in smooth flow of traffic.The ward office carried out the work with its own funds including that from the corporate social responsibility (CSR). However, development of the remaining six bays has slowed down due to unavailability of fund.A stretch of around 1 km from JJ Hospital junction to Crawford Market beneath the flyover was encroached by migrant workers, and this was posing a hurdle in smooth flow of traffic. Despite repeated removal, these workers used to come back. Atul Kolhe, assistant engineer (Maintenance) of B ward, said, “During anti-encroachment drive, a woman tried to throw chilli powder, but the police prevented her from doing it.”Udaykumar Shiroorkar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner, said, “We were looking for a permanent solution, and then we got direction from the civic chief on beautification works in the ward.”The ward offices interacted with corporates as well as corporators and looked for other source of funds. The Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust came forward and developed eight bays at its own cost. The B ward office claims this is an achievement for them as no corporate wants to work under CSR in B ward. “The trust is run by the Saifee Burhani group, and we are happy that beautification work was under the CSR fund,” said Shiroorkar. He added that corporators have also come forward for the beautification work.Now, the ward needs around Rs 70 lakh for pending six bays. “We are looking for funds,” said Shiroorkar.

Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust asked to immediately vacate land in Amethi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After a prolonged administrative and legal process, the Amethi district administration has asked the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust to immediately vacate the 1.0360-hectare land at Rokha village in Jais, where it was imparting vocational training to the members of self-help groups, said officials.They added that the said land was initially registered in the name of a vocational training centre but subsequently, it was allegedly captured by the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust.The question regarding the ownership of the land was first raised by Union minister Smriti Irani, after she unsuccessfully contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Amethi against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.Four of the five Assembly segments of the Amethi parliamentary seat come under the jurisdiction of the district administration.Irani’s protest, however, fell on deaf ears during the rule of the previous Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh.After Yogi Adityanath of the BJP became the chief minister of the state earlier this year, the district administration took note of Irani’s letter and sprung into action.Subsequently, Amethi District Magistrate Yogesh Kumar asked Tiloi Sub-Divisional Magistrate Ashok Kumar Shukla to consider the matter with a “special attention”.The first notice to the trust was issued by District Development Officer (DDO) O P Pandey on March 27, which was followed by notices from Chief Development Officer Om Prakash on April 10 and Shukla on April 28.The notices asked the trust to produce the documents pertaining to the ownership or use of the land.Shukla told PTI that the trust did respond to them, but the response was “neither clear nor sufficient”.Meanwhile, one Kiran Singh, claiming to be representing the self-help groups, the members of which were being trained by the trust, approached the Allahabad High Court, which asked the district administration to throw light on the status of the land and the activities of the self-help groups.Subsequently, the SDM again asked the trust to furnish the documents pertaining to the use of the land.As the trust failed to do so, the SDM last week directed the Tiloi tehsildar to initiate the process to vacate the land. Meanwhile, the Congress blamed Irani for the development.”The current scenario is nothing but a result of the ill intentions of Irani, who lost the parliamentary poll against our popular leader Rahul Gandhi,” district Congress chief Yogendra Mishra told PTI.

Congress targets NDA VP candidate, Venkaiah Naidu denies allegations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress today sought to embarrass NDA vice presidential candidate M Venkaiah Naidu alleging irregularities involving him and his family in land and some other matters and demanded answers especially since he spoke of transparency and probity.Accusing Naidu of land grab in Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore district that was reserved for the poor, destitute and landless, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said Naidu was “forced” to return this land after public protests and political pressure. In a point-by-point rebuttal of Ramesh’s allegations, Naidu, until recently Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting and Urban Development, said they are entirely false and politically motivated as the Congress leader has raised the issues which were responded to in the past.”It is evident that these issues have been referred to a few days before the election to the post of Vice President of India clearly reflecting on the political motives and the mischievous intentions. This is a clear evidence of the sense of hopelessness and political bankruptcy of the Congress Party,” Naidu said in a written statement. Naidu earlier told reporters thaty he felt “really sorry” that the opposition Congress could stoop down to this level by levelling the allegations just days before the vice- presidential polls. Union Minister and senior BJP leader Ananth Kumar said whatever allegations Ramesh has tried to level are “baseless and unsubstantiated.”Ramesh did not give any proof to back up his allegations beyond giving the sequence of events allegedly involving Naidu and his family members. At a news conference here, Ramesh also alleged that on June 20, 2017, the Telangana government issued a “secret order” exempting the ‘Swarna Bharat Trust’ of Naidu’s daughter from paying development charges of more than Rs 2 crore to the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority.The Congress leader alleged further that in July 2014, the Telangana government placed an order of Rs 271 crore without inviting tenders for purchase of vehicles for the police from two car dealers – Harsha Toyota owned by Naidu’s son and Himanshu Motors owned by Telangana chief minister’s son.Ramesh also said that the Supreme Court on April 6, 2011 quashed the allotment of 20 acres of land to “Kushabhau Thakre Memorial Trust” of which Naidu was chairman. He said the Supreme Court also passed strictures against the Madhya Pradesh government in alloting this land in Bhopal on September 25, 2004. “I think it is incumbent upon Venkaiah Naidu, it is incumbent upon the BJP to provide satisfactory answers, the nation wants to know,” he said.He said Naidu is a senior, experienced and articulate leader and a candidate for the post of vice president for BJP and he should explain to the country and answer the questions raised by the Congress party. “Naidu has been a great champion of transparency, accountability, integrity and probity in public life, apart from being a master player with words and a poet of sorts. In the same spirit we are asking these questions,” he said. “Those holding the highest public offices must fully disclose their ‘interests’ as also ‘special treatment’ in the shape of state largesse for themselves and for their kith and kin,” he said in his written statement.Asked if he was alleging corruption by Naidu, Ramesh did not answer and instead demanded answers from Naidu and the BJP. In his statement, Naidu said the issue of land grab was raised by the local Congressmen as early as in 2002 and even moved the courts and the charges of land grabbing were dismissed. On exemption from paying development charges by the ‘Swarna Bharat Trust’, he said when this issue was raised by the media, the Government of Telangana in their rejoinder dated July 23 clarified that it was not the first and the last to be given such a benefit.The Telangana government in fact gave details of several other organizations given such exemption including those granted such exemption by the Congress Governments in the state. The government has also clarified that there was nothing in law that prevented it from giving such exemptions.

Cong’s allegations entirely false, politically motivated:Naidu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The NDA’s vice presidential candidate M Venkaiah Naidu today dubbed the allegations of irregularities against him and his family members by the Congress as “entirely false” and “politically motivated”. Naidu, until recently Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting and Housing and Urban Affairs, said the issues which were raised by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh have been already “responded” in the past. “It is evident that these issues have been referred to a few days before the election to the post of Vice President of India clearly reflecting on the political motives and the mischievous intentions,” Naidu said in a statement, giving a point-by-point rebuttal of the allegations. It is a “clear evidence of the sense of hopelessness and political bankruptcy” of the Congress party, he added. On exemption from paying development charges by Swarna Bharat Trust (SBT), run by his daughter, Naidu said when this issue was raised by the media, the Telangana government in its rejoinder dated July 23, 2017 clarified that SBT was “not the first and the last” to be given such exemption. “In fact (it) gave details (of) several other organisations given such exemption including those granted such exemption by the Congress governments in the state,” he said. Naidu said the Telangana government also said that the Trust was given exemption with a view to encourage it of doing social services. He was responding to Congress leader Ramesh’s allegation that on June 20, the Telangana government issued a “secret order” exempting the SBT from paying development charges of more than Rs 2 crore to the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority. On the issue of land grab in Nellore district which Ramesh alleged that Naidu was forced to return later, the vice presidential nominee said the matter was raised by local Congressmen as early as 2002 and even moved the courts and the charges of land grabbing were dismissed. On supply of vehicles by two car dealers, one of them owned by his son, to the Telangana government allegedly without floating tenders, Naidu said, “I have scrupulously kept myself away from the business and other pursuits of my children.” He said Harsha Toyota, owned by his son, as a dealer “never directly dealt” with the state government in the procurement of vehicles and no supply order was placed on the firm. Naidu said the parent company Toyota offered to supply vehicles as desired by the state government and the supply order was placed on parent company and payment was also made to them. On the issue of allotment of land by the then Madhya Pradesh government to Kushabhau Thakre Memorial Trust (KTMT) in 2004, Naidu said, “In my capacity as the BJP National President, I was the ex-officio Chairman of this Trust and had no role in the allotment of land.” “Isn’t it a fact that several trusts were similarly allotted land by various governments including the Congress governments?” he asked. Ramesh had said that the Supreme Court on April 6, 2011 quashed the allotment of 20 acres of land to KTMT of which Naidu was chairman. He said the Supreme Court also passed strictures against the Madhya Pradesh government in allotting this land in Bhopal on September 25, 2004. Dismissing the allegations, Naidu said that he was a “product of a political party and culture” that always placed the “highest premium” on probity in public life and always lived by those standards.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

KK Venugopal rescues himself from TN assembly trust vote case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Attorney General K K Venugopal today rescued himself from a matter in the Supreme Court related to the February 18 trust vote in the Tamil Nadu assembly won by Chief Minister E K Palaniswami. The plea filed by AIADMK MLA K Pandiarajan, considered to be close to former chief minister O Panneerselvam, sought to set aside the trust vote in state assembly on grounds that MLAs had voted “under distress”. Venugopal told the court that he had given legal opinion to the AIADMK faction led by Panneerselvam.A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and A M Khanwilkar then asked Venugopal to inform Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar. “Inform the solicitor general about the rescual. Ask him to assist in the matter,” the bench said, and posted the matter for further hearing on July 11. The apex court had on July 5 sought the attorney general’s assistance to examine the AIADMK MLA’s plea after senior advocate Gopal Subramanium claimed that MLAs had voted in the trust vote under distress and members of opposition were evicted by marshals from the assembly.Subramanium had said there should have been a secret ballot but the Tamil Nadu Speaker, P Dhanapal, had rejected this demand from MLAs during the trust vote won by Chief Minister E K Palaniswami. The AIADMK MLA has challenged the decision and sought a direction for quashing the speaker’s decision rejecting their demand to determine the outcome of the floor test. Besides, the petitioner sought the setting aside of all consequential actions, including the February 18 resolution of the Assembly “expressing confidence in favour of council of ministers headed by Edappadi K Palaniswami, as the same are illegal, capricious, discriminatory and violative of the principle of ‘secrecy’ which is the essence of democracy, free and fair elections.”He also sought a direction to the speaker to conduct a fresh floor test through a secret ballot in the presence of “independent and impartial” observers nominated by the Supreme Court. On February 18, jailed AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala loyalist E K Palaniswami had won the trust vote with an easy 122-11 margin. He was helped by the eviction of the main opposition DMK and a walkout by its allies, amid stormy scenes during which mikes were uprooted, chairs toppled and sheets of papers torn and hurled around. Pandiarajan claimed that 122 MLAs belonging to AIADMK were “forcibly held hostage” at the Golden Bay Resort from February 8 till right before the voting on February 18.He said Panneerselvam had given a representation on February 19 to Tamil Nadu governor, requesting him not to approve the February 18 resolution and urged him to fix another date for a fresh vote of confidence by secret ballot.

SC grants last chance to Maha to remove Haji Ali encroachments

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today gave the last opportunity to the Maharashtra government and warned it of serious consequences if squatters from 908 square metre area near the historic Haji Ali Dargah shrine in south Mumbai are not removed in two weeks. The bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud also warned authorities that non-compliance of its order on removal of encroachments will invite “serious consequences” and asked the Deputy Collector of Colaba zone to remain present on the next date of hearing. The bench made it clear that the encroachments have to be removed within two weeks from today from the 908 square metre area earmarked in the Bombay High Court order. “It is our direction. You have the Bombay High Court order, supported by the Supreme Court. Comply with it or serious consequences will follow,” it said asking the Deputy Collector of Colaba zone to personally appear on next date of hearing. “You will be personally held accountable,” the bench told the officer who was present in the courtroom. The bench asked the government to remove encroachments as mentioned in the notice issued on March 22 of Deputy Collector Encroachment Removal in which it was said that the area under encroachment was 908 square metres and had noted that the dargah trust had no objection in removing the squatters. The fresh direction to the Mumbai civic body came as the Haji Ali Dargah Trust (HADT), which had volunteered to remove the encroachments, today expressed inability in removing the encroachments from an area of about 500 square metres. Senior advocate Raju Ramchandran, appearing for trust, said that out of total 908 square metres area, from where encroachments are to be removed, illegal occupants were still present in about 500 square metres. The bench fixed the matter for hearing after four weeks. The bench asked a shopkeeper, who is likely to be evicted from the shrine area in pursuance of its order, to vacate his premises “forthwith”, saying “you could have shown that you have some right. We will not allow encroachments.” The Haji Ali Dargah Trust had on April 13 agreed to remove encroachments on its own by May 8 and was later given some more time to remove the squatters. The trust’s offer to remove and demolish the encroachments had come after the apex court made it clear that only the mosque, located on an area of around 171 sq metres, would remain protected while the rest of the area, measuring 908 sq metres, has to be cleared of squatters. The court had lauded the efforts of the Dargah Trust in its attempts to remove encroachments. The Haji Ali Dargah was constructed in 1431 in the memory of a wealthy Muslim merchant, Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, who gave up all his possessions before making a pilgrimage to Mecca. The High Court had ordered the formation of a joint task force comprising the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and the Collector to remove the illegal encroachments on the approach road leading to the Haji Ali Dargah. The High Court was hearing a petition filed by Sahayak, a socio-legal and educational forum, seeking immediate removal of the encroachments on the approach road to the dargah which is located on the sea. The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai was of the view that the land on the approach road to Haji Ali fell in the Collector’s jurisdiction and therefore the Collector should remove the encroachments.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Country’s longest sea link awaits security nod

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) aims to shortlist bidders for the construction of the country’s longest sea link, connecting Sewri with Nhava Sheva, also known as Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), by July, the project still lacks crucial security nod from the Union Home Department and the Intelligence Bureau (IB).The nod from both these agencies is mandatory and was sought by the MMRDA considering the construction site is in the vicinity of the country’s two major ports, namely the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and the Mumbai Port Trust (MPT), along with Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). The above mentioned locations have restricted areas where the Official Secrets Act is imposed and hence clearance is mandatory.UPS Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA, told DNA, “We have applied for the security clearance with the Union Home Department. We are constantly following up with them and we hope to get the clearance soon.”Meanwhile, MMRDA has said that it got around 3,000 technical queries from the shortlisted bidders. Sanjay Khandare, Additional Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA, said, “We had received 3,000 technical queries and have replied to all of them with the approval of Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is funding the project.”JICA is funding 85 per cent of the total project cost, which is Rs 17,500 crore. Out of this, Rs 13,500 crore will be spent on civil works. MTHL is a 22-km-long cable stay bridge and will be the second longest sealink in the world after the 42-km link between Qingdao to Huandao in China. The project has been on paper since the 1980s due to lack of environmental clearances….& ANALYSISThe Home Department will grant security clearance after consultations with external affairs and intelligence agencies.
Since the construction sites are crucial from the security point of view, the Home Dept and Intelligence Bureau needs to check the track record of the bidders and the countries they belong to.
The security nod is crucial because without it MMRDA cannot shortlist the bidders.

HC stays govt order asking Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust to

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Punjab and Haryana High Court today stayed a government order restraining the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT) from carrying out construction of an eye hospital in Ullawas village in Gurugram. A vacation Bench of Justice Anita Chaudhry and Justice Harminder Singh issued a notice to the Haryana government and fixed July 13 as the next date of hearing. The RGCT filed the petition challenging the June 8 order through its counsels Vivek Tankha and R Kartikeya. The trust contended that the order was “illegal, arbitrary and violative of principles of natural justice”, and sought its quashing. The counsel submitted that the petitioner was served with a copy of the impugned order, dated June 8, even as the application for grant of occupation certificate was pending and other permissions were also in operation. The impugned order also mentioned that the change of land use permission granted to the trust had expired and the occupation certificate too had already been refused and the land had allegedly not been put to use within two years. The petitioner was immediately asked to stop the construction work and submit relevant documents regarding extension of CLU permissions, the counsel submitted before the court. The trust sought the court’s direction to the authorities to consider its application for grant of occupation certificate. The RGCT got the land, measuring nearly five acres, on lease in 2010 for 33 years for setting up the charitable eye hospital. The Town and Country Planning department had granted the change of land use (CLU) permission in 2011 to the RGCT for setting up the hospital. Soon after coming to power in Haryana, the BJP government had announced that it would look into how “several extensions” were given to the trust for the construction of the hospital. A senior minister in the BJP government in the state had earlier said if the gram panchayat of Ullawas village proposed to take back the land, the state government would consider the same.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

U.S. high court to review scope of Dodd-Frank whistleblower protections

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Monday to consider whether corporate insiders who blow the whistle on their employers are shielded from retaliation if they only report alleged misconduct internally rather than to the government’s Securities and Exchange Commission. The justices will hear Digital Realty Trust Inc’s appeal of a lower court ruling in favor of Paul Somers, an executive fired by the San Francisco-based company after he complained internally about alleged misconduct by his supervisor but never reported the matter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The case hinges on the SEC’s whistleblower protection rules required by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. The court agreed to take up the case on the last day of a nine-month session. The court will hear the case during the next term that starts in October. The SEC rules, adopted in 2011, prohibit corporate employers from retaliating in any way against whistleblowers who try to report allegations of securities law violations. They also give the SEC the power to offer monetary awards to whistleblowers whose tips lead to successful enforcement actions. Digital Realty Trust argues the anti-retaliation protections do not apply to people who fail to report their allegations to the SEC because the law defines a whistleblower as a person who reports possible securities violations to the SEC. If the Supreme Court ultimately sides with the company, then it would force corporate whistleblowers to report wrongdoing to the SEC in order to be protected from retaliation. Such a result could deter people from reporting misconduct internally first, said Jordan Thomas, a partner at Labaton Sucharow who represents SEC whistleblowers. “I think both corporate whistleblowers and corporations should hope that the Supreme Court finds that internal reporting is sufficient to have the anti-retaliation protections because if not, sophisticated corporate whistleblowers will bypass internal reporting systems and report directly to the SEC,” he said. Digital Realty Trust, a real estate investment trust company, became entangled in the dispute over whistleblower protection after it fired Somers, its former vice president of portfolio management. Somers had complained internally that his supervisor had eliminated some internal controls and hid major cost overruns on a project in Hong Kong. After he was fired, he sued the company in November 2014, saying he was protected from retaliation as a whistleblower under the Dodd-Frank law. The company tried unsuccessfully to quash his claim in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. While the case was on appeal before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a divided 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled in a similar case that people who only report misconduct internally are whistleblowers who merit protection from retaliation. The 9th Circuit later affirmed the California finding, with the SEC also filing a friend of the court brief in the case and participating in oral arguments in support of Somers. Both the 2nd and 9th Circuit opinions are at odds with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which previously held that whistleblowers must report to the SEC in order to receive protective status.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

DMK’s plea to probe alleged payoffs to be heard on Monday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court today deferred to Monday the hearing of a DMK plea for probes by the CBI and the DRI into the the alleged payoffs to some AIADMK MLAs before the trust vote sought by the K Palaniswami government in February. A division bench comprising Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Justice M Sundar posted the matter for hearing to Monday when DMK working president M K Stalin’s counsel R Shanmugasundaram sought for issuing notice to the newly impleaded respondents, the CBI joint director and the DRI additional director general. While posting the matter for further hearing on Monday, the bench observed that the counsel of respondents CBI and DRI should first come to know that such an impleading plea has been made. Making a special mention in the court, Shanmugasundaram had on June 13 referred to the reports in a section of media about the alleged pay-offs of crores of rupees to some MLAs for their support to the trust vote. He had stated they would like to file the miscellaneous petition seeking a CBI and DRI inquiry into the alleged pay-offs as such probs were very much needed. Stalin’s PIL challenging the trust vote is pending in the court. Shanmugasundaram also told the court that DMK had already questioned the manner in which the AIADMK MLAs were ‘confined’ in a resort and brought to the assembly for the trust vote. TV footage had purportedly showed AIADMK’s Madurai (South) MLA Saravanan making some claims of pay-offs to ruling party legislators ahead of the February 18 trust vote. The MLA, however, has said the voice in the footage was not his. On February 18, Palaniswami had won the trust vote 122-11 in the 234-member Assembly aided by the eviction of main opposition DMK and walkout by its allies, amid stormy scenes during which mikes were uprooted, chairs toppled and sheets of papers torn. In his plea, Stalin has sought to declare the confidence vote null and void claiming that it was conducted in “contravention” of the Assembly rules.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s school in Mumbai illegal: Govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Mumbai civic body’s education department has said that controversial preacher Zakir Naik’s Islamic International School (IIS) in south Mumbai is operating without authorisation.Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s south Mumbai region education inspector BB Chavan, in a letter issued on Wednesday, stated that no school can run without the NOC (no objection certificate) of the local governing body, as defined under provisions of the Right to Education Act, 2009.It was also mentioned in the letter that parents should not enrol their children in IIS.However, it was not specified in it if the school has obtained the NOC.Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Asim Azmi, who recently took over the school, alleged that “there was a conspiracy to harass” the institution’s management.The school, which has around 135 students and conducts classes from nursery to class X, was taken over by Azmi’s Niyaz Minority Education and Welfare Trust.”The school is being run on the same lines (as earlier) with only some changes, including in its name and management. I have taken the premises on rent and have done nothing to invite the fury of the education department,” said Azmi, who is the legislator from Mumbai’s Mankhurd Shivaji Nagar Assembly constituency.However, he also said that the school management would get in touch with the education department and find out if any more permissions are required to run it.”I would not want any controversy. Neither me nor the education department would want to jeopardise the future of the students. Therefore, I have asked our team to get in touch with the education officers and obtain all the required permissions,” Azmi said.Notably, the Maharashtra government had in December last year informed the parents of the students of IIS that it would either be shut or brought under a new management.Azmi had last year requested the Maharashtra government not to close down the IRF-run school saying doing so will jeopardise the future of students enrolled there. He had made the request to state Education Minister Vinod Tawde.In November last year, the Union Home Ministry had banned the IRF for five years under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for its alleged involvement in terror acts.Besides the IRF, Naik is also the founding trustee of the IRF Educational Trust and the Islamic Dimensions Trust.

Trust vote: DMK seeks hearing of plea on reported ‘pay-offs’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The DMK today made a special mention in the Madras High Court on reports of alleged payments to some ruling AIADMK MLAs belonging to rival factions before the trust vote was to be taken up against the K Palaniswami government in February. Referring to reports in a section of the media about the alleged pay-offs of crores of rupees to some ruling party legislators, the counsel for DMK sought an urgent hearing on the miscellaneous petition, which he said would be filed by tomorrow. Senior advocate R Shanmugasundaram, appearing on behalf of the DMK working president and opposition leader in the assembly, M K Stalin, made a special mention about the reports of alleged payments before the first bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar. While informing that they have already filed a PIL challenging the trust vote which is pending before the bench, the counsel said they would like to file the miscellaneous petition now seeking a CBI and DRI inquiry into the alleged pay-offs. Allowing the counsel to file the petition, the bench said it would be taken up in regular course for hearing on Friday, if filed. The development comes against the backdrop of the state assembly session commencing tomorrow. On February 18, Palaniswami had won the trust vote 122-11 in the 234-member Assembly aided by the eviction of main opposition DMK and walkout by its allies, amid stormy scenes during which mikes were uprooted, chairs toppled and sheets of papers torn. Stalin had filed the petition challenging the trust vote.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Shirdi’s temple trust to generate electricity using footsteps of devotees

Daily on an average, 50,000 devotees visit the temple. Krunal Naik, partner in Innovation For Mankind, who are installing the tiles for the project said, “We will be installing tiles which can convert the energy when you walk. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As Shirdi-based Sai Baba Temple is set to celebrate its centenary year from October 1, the trust is planning to go as eco-friendly as possible. The trust has come up with various initiatives to go green.While their pilot project is a foot energy project by converting the walking power of the devotees to create energy which can be used to light fans and bulbs, the other initiatives include solid waste management, making incense sticks from flower waste and planting one lakh trees in and around Shirdi and Nashik.Speaking about the foot energy initiative, Dr Suresh Haware, Chairman of Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust said, “This project will be the first in India. Over 50,000 devotees visit the temple everyday. If we convert their walking energy into electrical energy, we will be able to light bulbs and fans which are installed near the queue. The first phase will be completed within two months. If the model becomes successful, then it can set an example for such initiatives to be implemented in public places.”Daily on an average, 50,000 devotees visit the temple. Krunal Naik, partner in Innovation For Mankind, who are installing the tiles for the project said, “We will be installing tiles which can convert the energy when you walk. The phase one will be ready in two months. We will be installing 200 tiles of 2 X 2 feet. On an average,20 watt second energy is converted by a single person. The unit of converter energy will depend upon the overall footfalls.”The company will be installing this free of cost at the temple as donation.

Govt to notify rules for Disability Act in week’s time: Gehlot

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Students with benchmark disability can get increased quota in higher education from this academic session as the government will notify rules for the Disability Act in a week’s time, Union minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot said today. With the passage of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill last year, reservation in government jobs for persons with benchmark disabilities has been increased from three per cent to four per cent. In higher education, the quota has been raised from three per cent to five per cent. Also, every child between the age group of 6 and 18 years with benchmark disability shall have the right to free education. “The Disability Bill was passed by Parliament last year. We are hopeful that its rules will be notified in a week’s time,” the Union social justice minister said at a event on Inclusive India organised by the National Trust. “The department of empowerment of persons with disabilities is in the final stages of drafting the rules for the Disability Act and very soon it will be notified,” Secretary N S Kang said at the event. We are hopeful that students with disabilities can avail benefits of higher quota from this session only, he said. The legislation, which aims to make Indian laws compliant with the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, will replace the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995. As per the new Act, assaulting, insulting, intimidating, denying food to a person with disability or sexually exploiting a differently-abled woman and performing a medical procedure on her without consent which may lead in termination of pregnancy will draw a jail term up to five years. Any person who contravenes any provision of the Act will be punished with a maximum fine of Rs 5 lakh.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Pedal power: Shirdi Trust to install devices that convert ‘foot energy into electricity’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Shirdi Trust, which manages affairs of famous Sai Baba shrine, is working on an innovative measure wherein foot energy of devotees will be harnessed to generate power.Announcing a number of projects and programmes ahead of the Sai Baba Samadhi centenary festival next year, the Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust (SSST) chairman Suresh Haware told reporters that the proposed project includes installation of energy pedals at the shrine, located in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra.”Around 50,000 people visit Shirdi daily. We would install energy pedals…when you walk, pedals would get pressed and then return to their normal positions. This would produce power. This walking energy will be thus converted into power. The power so generated by walking on pedals will power the bulbs and fans in the temple area,” Haware told reporters.He said the Trust is working on nitty-gritty of the project.Among other projects announced by the Trust are starting an IAS training academy for the tribal and underprivileged children, setting up a cancer hospital, energy generation through solid waste, and holding of daily blood donation camps as part of the ‘Samadhi Shatabdi Mahotsav’, to be held in October 2018.The management committee has taken a decision to help women and students hailing from the families of farmers who have committed suicide, Haware said.”Women in the families of farmers who have committed suicides will be given implements like sewing machines (and help will be extended to them for) setting up fruits and vegetable stalls and means for sustained livelihood will be provided. Besides, the children from such families will be given support in their education,” he said.With the help of NGOs, the trust has identified 600 such suicide-affected families of farmers.Haware said that from October 1 this year, the trust will start IAS training academy which will mainly cater to tribal and deprived children, besides wards of farmers with humble means.Taking note of the need for a cancer hospital in the area, the trust, in collaboration with the Tata Trust, will be setting up 100-bed cancer hospital at a cost of Rs 125 crore in a year’s time, he said, adding that the hospital will be managed by the Tata Trust.Considering an average daily footfall of 50,000 devotees at the Shirdi shrine, the trust will hold blood donation camps every day with the help of blood banks, Haware added.

Shirdi Trust to use foot energy of devotees to generate power

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Shirdi Trust, which manages affairs of famous Saibaba shrine, is working on an innovative measure wherein foot energy of devotees will be harnessed to generate power. Announcing a number of projects and programmes ahead of the Saibaba samadhi centenary festival next year, the Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust (SSST) chairman Suresh Haware told reporters here yesterday the proposed project includes installation of energy pedals at the shrine, located in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. On a daily average, 50,000 devotees take darshan of Saibaba, a saint who has devotees across the globe. “Around 50,000 people visit Shirdi daily. We would install energy pedals…when you walk, pedals would get pressed and then return to their normal positions. This would produce power. This walking energy will be thus converted into power. The power so generated by walking on pedals will power the bulbs and fans in the temple area,” Haware told reporters. He said the Trust is working on nitty-gritty of the project. Among other projects announced by the Trust are starting an IAS training academy for the tribal and underprivileged children, setting up a cancer hospital, energy generation through solid waste, and holding of daily blood donation camps as part of the ‘Samadhi Shatabdi Mahotsav’, to be held between October 1-18, 2018. The management committee has taken a decision to help women and students hailing from the families of farmers who have committed suicide, Haware said. “Women in the families of farmers who have committed suicides will be given implements like sewing machines (and help will be extended to them for) setting up fruits and vegetable stalls and means for sustained livelihood will be provided. Besides, the children from such families will be given support in their education,” he said. With the help of NGOs, the trust has identified 600 such suicide-affected families of farmers. Haware said that from October 1 this year, the trust will start IAS training academy which will mainly cater to tribal and deprived children, besides wards of farmers with humble means. Taking note of the need for a cancer hospital in the area, the trust, in collaboration with the Tata Trust, will be setting up 100-bed cancer hospital at a cost of Rs 125 crore in a year’s time, he said, adding that the hospital will be managed by the Tata Trust. Considering an average daily footfall of 50,000 devotees at the Shirdi shrine, the trust will hold blood donation camps every day with the help of blood banks, Haware added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

File returns or get registration cancelled, MHA warns NGOs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>NGOs who don’t submit their annual income and expenditure records by June 14 will face cancellation of their FCRA registration, the government has warned. A large number of NGOs, registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, are yet to submit their annual returns for five years — 2010-11 to 2014-15 — despite being given a final opportunity to do so, the home ministry said. “Last date for uploading annual returns for 2010-11 to 2014-15 is June 14, 2017. Failure to upload all annual returns will lead to cancellation of registration/renewal already granted,” joint secretary (foreigners) in the home ministry Mukesh Mittal said in an order issued on Monday. The ministry had earlier said that starting May 15 and till June 14, all such NGOs could upload their missing annual returns along with the requisite documents within 30 days. No compounding fee will be imposed on them for late filing of annual returns during this period and this exemption was a one-time measure. As per the rules, the renewal of registration under FCRA cannot be granted unless the annual returns are uploaded to the FCRA website by the organisation. The government is estimated to have cancelled the licences of nearly 7,500 NGOs in last three years after they failed to disclose their income and expenditure statements. The government scheme is not applicable to NGOs like Greenpeace, Sabrang Trust, Islamic Research Foundation and 1,300 others whose registrations have been cancelled for allegedly violating various provisions of the FCRA. In November 2016, the government had directed more than 11,000 NGOs to file applications for renewal of registration by February 28, 2017. However, only 3,500 NGOs filed applications for renewal while the registration of more than 7,000 NGOs were deemed expired due to non-filing.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Civic officials to face ACB enquiry

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Civic standing committee ordered an anti corruption bureau (ACB) enquiry against civic officials who siphoned funds in crores for repairing around 16 Bombay Improvement Trust (BIT) chawls in Tadwadi in Mazagaon area. While these building were already given to developers for redevelopment, civic officials continued to withdraw funds in the name of repairing.Leader of House Yashwant Jadhav brought the matter before the civic standing committee on Friday after a proposal for carrying out maintenance work of these buildings worth Rs 30 crore was tabled. Not only the proposal was rejected but the standing committee chairman Ramesh Korgaonkar also ordered an enquiry by ACB, following members sought the same.Jadhav said that Annexure II of all 16 buildings was already prepared in 2006. Annexure II is the list of slum-dwellers eligible for free housing. This list is prepared by the competent authority and in case of BMC, the competent authority is the deputy collector or the assistant municipal commissioners. In 2008, letter of Intent (LoI) was issued while Intimation of Disapproval (IoD) was given to developer in 2009. IOD is an important authorization given to the builder by the BMC to redevelop an existing structure. However, the redevelopment could not be taken up due to which some residents approached court.According to Jadhav, five of the 16 buildings or chawls have already been demolished as they were declared dangerous to live in. Shockingly, civic officials from building proposal department and ward office continue to withdraw funds for repairing these demolished buildings including of the ones where residents are still staying. “I was residing in one of the buildings and that was demolished. Now, I reside in a transit camp,” said Jadhav, adding that funds were released for repairing of the demolished building and that building does not even exist.

Govt keeping close watch to check terror funding in Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre today said it is keeping a close watch on illegal flow of funds to fuel militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and action is being taken by security agencies in such instances. “All terror related incidents, including terror funding, are being monitored by the agencies. Appropriate action is also being taken,” spokesperson in the Home Ministry Ashok Prasad told reporters here. He was replying to a question on Pakistan’s continuous attempts to fund militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. Prasad said the state police along with the central paramilitary forces is trying to bring back normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir, which has been hit by unrest. “All efforts are being made to bring back normalcy. The central government is providing all help to the state government,” he said. According to an estimate of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Pakistan-based terror groups finance terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir by generating millions in donations through their charity organisations. Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), a charity run by terror outfits Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), and Al Rehmat Trust, backed by another terrorists group Jaish-e- Mohammed (JeM), have been supporting terrorists and funding terrorism in Kashmir. These outfits collect donations from people in Pakistan and then pass on the money to finance terrorism in Kashmir through their over ground workers, an NIA official has said. ‘Al Rehmat Trust’ distributes pamphlets to raise funds for sacrificing animals during Eid and after collecting the money, they finance terrorism. FIF, one of the major and fastest growing Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) in Pakistan, also collects money from people and uses them to fund terrorists. The groups collect millions of dollars in donations through crowd funding in the name of social service, the officer said. According to a 2012 report of an intelligence agency, 780 million Pakistani rupees were collected for funding terrorism in Kashmir.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

HC orders status quo on collector’s order to Haji Ali trust

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court today ordered that status quo be maintained on an order issued by the city collector asking the Haji Ali Dargah Trust to pay Rs 1.90 crore from the income generated by allowing mobile towers on its premises. The trust, established a century ago for religious and charitable purposes, obtained the land that it occupies in south Mumbai from the collector on lease. The city collector on May 4 addressed a letter to the trust asking it to deposit Rs 1.88 crore within 20 days. The demand is based on an April 2005 notification that sought 50 per cent share of income from such lease on leasehold land from societies. A vacation bench of Justices P D Naik and M S Karnik was hearing a petition filed by Haji Ali trust member Abdul Sattar Merchant, challenging the collector’s order passed last week. The court today heard brief arguments in the matter and posted it for June 15. “Until then status quo shall be maintained,” the court said. In 1920-21, the trust became a lessee of over 4,000 square yards of land, which included two pieces. In 1940 and later in 1951, 111 sq yards and 60 sq yards were additionally leased. These leases placed no restriction on the user from letting out any part of the leased land, said the trust. In 2009, the trust gave a small portion of the land on leave and licence to four cellular companies. The income generated is used by the trust for the benefit of the community at large, it said. The collector had passed an order on March 21, 2017, directing the trust to share 50 per cent of the income from the cell phone towers. The trust’s contention is that the 2005 notification applies to housing and other private societies but not to any religious or charitable trust that is not a profit-making entity.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Missing Indian climber found dead on Mount Everest

The body of Ravi Kumar, from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, was found inside a crevice.

2001 earthquake devastated Kutch, people resurrected it PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday landed in Kutch even as he marked the onset of his two-day Gujarat visit to talk over various programmes. ?The earthquake had devastated the Kutch district in 2001, but the courage of the people made it walk again, resurrected it,? Prime Minister Modi said, while addressing the crowd. ?Gujarat is known for its rich maritime tradition. This spirit continues even today. There is something very special about the land of Kutch and the people who live here,” he added. Prime Minister Modi added that the “infrastructure, efficiency and transparency are vital pillars of economic growth of a nation.” Stressing on the fact that good ports add to a nation’s economic progress, the Prime Minister said, “Kandla Port has the potential to play an important role in India’s economy. It has emerged as one of the important ports in Asia today.” Following his address, Prime Minister Modi dedicated to the nation the Narmada water pumping station at Kutch?s Bhachau. He will lay the foundation stone of infrastructure projects worth Rs,. 906 crore at the Kandla Port Trust. The pumping station has been constructed at a cost of Rs. 148 crore. It will lift water 18-metre high and flow it in the KBC section flowing towards Anjar and Mandvi. Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to launch projects at the Kandla Port and in Bhachau, both in the Kutch district, which had borne the major brunt of the 2001 earthquake. This was Prime Minister Modi?s second visit to Kutch after becoming Prime Minister in 2014. He will also address at least two more public meetings.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kandla Port development: PM lays foundation stone for projects worth Rs 993 crores

Mon, 22 May 2017-07:05pm , Kandla (Guj) , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for half a dozen projects worth Rs 993 crore related to development of Kandla port and said good ports are essential for India’s progress.Sound infrastructure and efficiency are vital pillars of economic growth, he said. If the country has to progress, it must have good ports, Modi said. The projects for which foundation was laid include a convention centre named after Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar.Modi also suggested that the Kandla Port Trust be named after BJP-RSS ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay, who stood for the uplift of all sections of the society. “Deendayal stood for the poor…(so this name change) will inspire us to work for the poor, suppressed section of the society,” he said. Other projects include two cargo berths, a road over bridge, deployment of two mobile harbour cranes and mechanisation of fertiliser handling facility at the port.

PM lays foundation stone for 993-cr projs of Kandla port

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for half a dozen projects worth Rs 993 crore related to development of Kandla port and said good ports are essential for India’s progress. Sound infrastructure and efficiency are vital pillars of economic growth, he said. If the country has to progress, it must have good ports, Modi said. The projects for which foundation was laid include a convention centre named after Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar. Modi also suggested that the Kandla Port Trust be named after BJP-RSS ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay, who stood for the uplift of all sections of the society. “Deendayal stood for the poor…(so this name change) will inspire us to work for the poor, suppressed section of the society,” he said. Other projects include two cargo berths, a road over bridge, deployment of two mobile harbour cranes and mechanisation of fertiliser handling facility at the port.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

HC allows functioning of Amethi centre run by Rajiv Gandhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Allahabad High Court today directed the Uttar Pradesh government not to interfere in the functioning of a vocational training centre run by the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust in Amethi. This may be seen as a setback to Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani who had alleged that the land in Jais in Amethi where the centre is being run has been grabbed by the Trust. The Lucknow bench of the High Court issued the directions on a writ petition of a self-help group — Vikas Block Mahila Samuh. The division bench of justices SN Shukla and SK Singh directed the state government to file a response against the petition and fixed the second week of July for the next hearing. Irani, who had unsuccessfully contested from Amethi Lok Sabha seat against Rahul Gandhi in 2014, had alleged that the land in question was meant for a college and the district Sub- divisional magistrate had issued a notice to the Trust. Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala termed it as “a big victory for the women of Amethi” and said the order ensures that vocational training activity at the Jais centre in Amethi will carry on unabated and without interference from the state government. He said this order has effectively stalled the UP government’s efforts to close down the Jais Vocational Training Centre in Amethi at the behest of Smriti Irani and the BJP’s political manoeuvres. The petitioner had objected to a notice issued by Sub Divisional Magistrate, Tiloi, Amethi on April 22 in which he had asked the petitioner to state as to under which authority the centre was being run under the Rajiv Gandhi Women Development Programme at that place, which is a government land as recorded in revenue records. The petitioner’s counsel CB Pandey argued that although the land is recorded as government land, it is specified that the same would be used for vocational training. He said there was nothing illegal in case the petitioner carried out vocational training there. Considering that the place in question was earmarked for vocational training, the bench, in an interim direction, restrained the state authorities from disturbing the running of the Centre. “This is a part of a political witch-hunt initiated and carried out by Smriti Irani who has made many speeches and held several meetings with the district administration regarding this issue directing them to take coercive action. “Such efforts will only end up destroying the livelihood of lakhs of innocent women of Amethi and Uttar Pradesh who have over the years benefited from the training and expertise provided at the Centre,” Surjewala said. The Congress leader said the land for the centre was allotted by the government over three decades ago to Manuj Kalyan Kendra, a not-for-profit organisation, for vocational training purposes. The activities carried out at the centre are in fulfilment of the objects for which the land was allotted to Manuj Kalyan Kendra and at their request, he said. He added that the Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojana “RGMVP” was providing the training for and on behalf of Manuj Kalyan Kendra (MKK). Surjewala said the MKK remains the allottee of the land of the training centre and RGMVP is merely a programme conducting the training. By repeatedly questioning RGMVP on the land, the UP government was deliberately trying to politicise the issue by sending notices to, manhandling and threatening women and physically visiting the premises asking threatening questions, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

MPT puts floating booms after portion of dry dock sinks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Goa-based Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) has put floating booms in the waters after a portion of dry dock belonging to one of the shipyard sank today. The dry dock, which is used to lift the ship from waters to the yard for repairs, was located inside Western India Shipyard Limited, a venture in Vasco town which is currently shutdown due to crisis. “A part of the dry dock which was precariously placed in Western India Shipyard has sunk raising fears of oil pollution. “We have placed the booms around the place where the dry dock has sunk,” MPT Chairman I Jayakumar told reporters today. The shipyard is located in the area of MPT in Vasco town. Jayakumar said the MPT has already filed a police complaint against Western India Shipyard Limited under relevant section for the laxity due to which the part of dry dock has sunk. “The Western India Shipyard Limited is in crisis due to which they have not been maintaining the dry dock. “We have been writing to them asking them to maintain it to save it from sinking,” he said. Jayakumar recalled that in a similar fashion, a ship which was anchored at the shipyard, had sunk last year. The MPT has now moved the High Court seeking to auction the ship which fears to create environmental pollution, he said. He said it is not worth salvaging the sunken portion of the dry dock without maintaining it so it would be allowed to remain there till further decision.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Rajiv Gandhi Trust gets notice from Amethi administration for using land without proper authorisation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust chaired by Sonia Gandhi has been slapped with a notice by the Amethi district administration for using land that belongs to the state for running a vocational training centre for women allegedly without proper authorisation.”The land (about 10,000 square feet) in Jais had been earmarked for various activities of the state government like community health centres, schools and other community facilities. But, the Trust was using it for giving training to local women,” Sub Divisional Magistrate, Tiloi tehsil, Ashok Shukla said today.He said that the land should be under control of a government department or institution as per rules.Through the notice served on April 22, the administration has asked the Trust under which order it was using the land, he said. Congress President Sonia Gandhi is the chairperson of the Trust and party Vice President Rahul Gandhi, who represents Amethi in Lok Sabha, is one of the trustees. “There are no papers available to show under whose authority it was being used by Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojna,” Shukla said. “So far no reply has come from the Trust,” he said.Earlier, two notices were served to the Trust by the district development officer and the chief development officer of the district, but went unreplied. When contacted, a senior official of Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojna told PTI that the Trust has replied to the notice on April 27 saying that the land was allotted to Manuj Kalyan Kendra. “We are running the programme jointly for the last 13 years,” he said, requesting anonymity.The land was earmarked in 1982 for vocational training for women by the then district magistrate but while the Trust started work on the land under the Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojna, there has been no transfer of land.Raebareli is the parliamentary constituency of Sonia Gandhi and the district Congress leaders say the land was given to Thakur Das Trust in 1984.

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