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School fees: State welcomes HC ruling, asks schools to comply

Day 1 of the new government in Gujarat turned out to be a celebration as the Gujarat High Court on Wednesday upheld the state government’s law to regulate school fees. Rejecting around 40 petitions opposing it, a division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice V M Pancholi upheld the Gujarat Self Financed Schools (Regulation of Fees) Act, 2017. The Bill was introduced by the BJP government early this year.Welcoming the judgment, senior minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said, “This is a historic judgment. We will implement the judgment with immediate effect. We are happy that the court has also not entertained any kind of stay in this order.””Under the leadership of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, the state government was firm to implement the Bill since the beginning. Now that the judgment has come, we will not let schools charge a heavy fee as per their wish,” Chudasama said.Through this judgment, middle-class families and students will benefit a lot. Schools who were pressurising parents for higher fees will be in docks and parents will get respite from all sorts of pressure, he added.After the Act was passed in April, the state government had formed zone-wise fee regulation committees (FRC) and had started the process. As per the judgment, schools that did not approach the FRC will have to approach the FRC with a proposal in three weeks from the date of the judgment.As per a statement released from the state government, 1,101 schools did not increase any fee for the 2016-17 academic year in Ahmedabad zone. Of the 12,402 schools that had filed affidavits, order for 9,453 schools has been passed. Nearly 2,987 schools had approached high court out of which 584 are primary and 2,403 are secondary and higher secondary schools. Those schools whose hearing has been over, order will be pronounced soon.Nearly 80 schools reduced more than Rs 10k fee:As result of the Act, 77 schools including 74 from Ahmedabad and 3 from Rajkot reduced more than Rs 10,000 in their fee. Speaking about the same, senior minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said, “37,60,112 students will be benefitted. I am grateful to the schools that reduced their fees after this Act. Due to good intent of many schools, they had reduced their fees sometime back.”KEY FACTSOrder on schools approached FRC soon Schools will have to give refund, if any, in 15 days If disobeyed, 1% inte-rest will be levied every day

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Office crunch: Ishwar Parmar to sit in SS-2

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s team having eight cabinet ministers and his deputy Nitin Patel took oath of office on Tuesday.The CM, Deputy CM and all cabinet ministers sit in the offices of the Swarnim Sankul-1 (SS-1) complex here, but with more cabinet ministers this time, the chambers in this complex fell short on Wednesday.The ‘junior-most’ cabinet minister Ishwar Parmar was then shifted to Swarnim Sankul-2 (SS-2), that is the complex of offices of state level ministers (MoSs).Third and fourth floor of the SS-1 are occupied by CMO, while the half of the second floor of this complex was allotted to Nitin Patel since he became deputy CM in the last term and that has been retained this time too. With this, there are only seven chambers and that is why Parmar has to sit with MoSs now.The social media was rife with messages on Wednesday that the BJP ruled government kept distance with the only Dalit minister Parmar. Some messages said that it was an injustice and therefore Parmar should resign.However, by evening, the Gujarat BJP countered this message and cited the order of General Administration Department (GAD) of making arrangements for Parmar’s office in SS-1 with other cabinet ministers.As per the order, the meeting hall named Girnar Hall on second floor, adjacent to Deputy CM Nitin Patel’s office is being converted into chamber for Parmar.The order undersigned by deputy secretary in GAD also mentioned that Parmar has been allotted office in SS-2 on temporary basis and CM Vijay Rupani ordered the department to make chamber ready for Parmar in SS-1. The GAD also made it clear that new chamber would be ready in 10 days.Parmar, however, was not available for a comment.NEW STATUSThe CM, Deputy CM and all cabinet ministers sit in the offices of the Swarnim Sankul-1 (SS-1) complex here. ‘Junior-most’ cabinet minister Ishwar Parmar was then shifted to Swarnim Sankul-2 (SS-2), that is the complex of offices of state level ministers (MoSs). Social media was rife with messages on Wednesday that the BJP ruled government kept distance with the only Dalit minister Parmar.

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Rajasthan doctors’ strike ends after 12 days

As per the agreement signed with ARISDA leader on Wednesday, demands include removal of the officer of Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS) Girish Parashar from the health department and adjustment of leaves taken by doctors during their agitation, even in earlier months, against their earned leaves. The agreement also reiterates the execution of the agreement from November 12 and withdrawal of cases registered against the doctors under the Rajasthan Essential Services Management Act (RESMA) during the agitation.”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Thursday 28 December 2017 3:32 ISTMust readSurgical Strike 2.0: Indian Army planted IEDs to surprise Pak; toll could be higher Jaish-e-Mohammad’s ‘commander’ Noor Tantray killed in Pulwama wanted to join BJP in 2003 to eliminate top brass<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>After eight-hours of negotiations and the intervention of four ministers and state BJP president, the protesting in-service government doctors in Rajasthan finally called off their strike. The discussions on Wednesday were held between government representatives and leaders of All Rajasthan In Service Doctors Association (ARISDA), the body under which doctors were agitating. These doctors have been striking the last 12 days and the deadlock was broken only after two fresh agreements were signed.As per the agreement signed with ARISDA leader on Wednesday, demands include removal of the officer of Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS) Girish Parashar from the health department and adjustment of leaves taken by doctors during their agitation, even in earlier months, against their earned leaves. The agreement also reiterates the execution of the agreement from November 12 and withdrawal of cases registered against the doctors under the Rajasthan Essential Services Management Act (RESMA) during the agitation.

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Delhi nursery admission: Nursery nightmares begin

With most of the private unaided recognised schools in the national capital giving heavy weightage to the ‘neighbourhood’ criteria — children residing within the 0-3 km radius — arbitrary regulations issued by several schools are giving nightmares to parents seeking nursery admission for their children.In blatant violation of the Delhi government’s Directorate of Education (DoE) guidelines, while some schools are granting extra points to “vegetarian”, “non-smoker” and “teetotaller” parents, some are preferring children/grandchildren of former school promoters or office bearers.According to the criteria released by Mahavir Senior Model School on GT-Karnal Road, extra five points will be given to non-smoker, teetotaller and vegetarian parents, in a bid to shun “social evils”.”We have included the point just to make people realise how healthy and happy their lives would be if they won’t smoke and drink. We, however, are not asking them to give a certificate as a proof,” said SL Jain, principal of the school.Similarly, in another violation, Apeejay school in Sheikh Sarai is giving 15 points to the “Children/Grandchildren of promoters/office bearers/members of board of governors of the school” in its criteria, the move experts term a “disregard” of the government’s directions. “This is a blatant violation and disregard of the DoE’s regulations. The school is also giving a backdoor entry to the candidates coming from its own play school by giving extra 10 points to the child coming from a lower class at any other Apeejay School,” said Sumit Vohra, founder of www.admissionsnursery.com.”Some schools have issued absurd admission criteria which are nowhere mentioned in the DoE’s circular issued on December 19. Parents like us are really confused. The DoE Should immediately issue notices to such schools,” said Ritika Singh, a parent seeking admission for her 3-year-old daughter.Several schools, including Abhinav Public School in Pitampura and Sachdeva Public School in Rohini have asked parents’ to give details of their monthly income, educational and professional qualification in their forms. “How can our educational and professional qualifications can be the parameters of screening the forms of our children? This is absolutely unfair,” said Sikha Sharma, another parent.Officials at the DoE, however, said that they are receiving the complaints and strict action will be taken against all these schools. “We have received numerous complaints through our grievance portal on the first day. Strict action will be taken against all such schools,” a senior official said.The admission process in the entry level classes in 1,700 private unaided recognised schools in the national capital kicked off on Wednesday. The last date to submit application forms in schools is January 17 and the first list will be released on February 1. The admission process will wrap up by March 31, 2018.

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Now, Environment Marshalls to curb air pollution

Environment Minister, Imran Hussain on Wednesday announced the deployment of ‘Environment Marshalls’ in various parts of the national Capital to control the illegal burning of leaves or garbage in open, control of dust emanating from various sources and improper management of dhalaos — major factors contributing to air pollution.Around 14 home guards (volunteers) have been deployed as marshalls in seven wards of three municipal corporations, including three in East Corporation and two each in South and North Corporations. These wards include Anand Vihar, I P Extension, Jhilmil, Daryaganj, Okhla, Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar-Samaypur Badli and Shahbad Daulatpur-PoothKhurd.”A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has also been developed for the working of the scheme. In the coming days, the Department of Environment plans to increase the number of marshalls to 100 who will be deployed in 50 wards across three corporations,” said a senior official.The department had organised a training programme for the marshals at the Delhi Secretariat. “The incumbents have been given basic inputs about their functioning under the scheme.,” the official said.

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It’s business as usual in Kashmir

Skirmishes on the borders notwithstanding, it is business as usual for the Cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade at Chakan da Bagh crossing on the Poonch-Rawalakote Road.Tension had gripped the LoC after four Army soldiers, including a Major, were killed when Pakistan violated cease fire on Saturday. On Monday evening, Indian Army troops — in a tit-for-tat action — crossed the LoC and killed three Pakistani army men and injuring another in Rawalakote sector.However, escalating tensions between two rival armies have failed to dampen the spirit of Cross LoC trade on the Poonch-Rawalakote Road in Jammu and Kashmir. For the second day on Wednesday, the Cross-LoC trade continued uninterrupted on the Poonch-Rawalakote Road despite tensions on borders. “On Tuesday, 30 trucks from our side crossed the Chakan da Bagh crossing into Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. Around 19 trucks came from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). On Wednesday, 25 trucks carrying banana and tomato crossed into PoK and 12 trucks carrying kinnow and dry dates came from the other side,” said Tanveer Ahmad, Custodian, Trade Facilitation Centre (TFC) Chakan da Bagh.It is after a long time that border tension has not cast its shadows on the cross LoC trade. This year the trade on Poonch-Rawalakote Road was suspended for four months due to the cross border shelling.

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House uproar ends as govt, Congress truce up

“We disassociate from any comments made by any member during elections that may have hurt PM’s dignity, also we don’t want any such thing to be said in future,” Ghulam Nabi Azad said. ”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written ByManan Kumar <!–end of artlbotbor–>Thursday 28 December 2017 1:40 ISTMust readSurgical Strike 2.0: Indian Army planted IEDs to surprise Pak; toll could be higher Jaish-e-Mohammad’s ‘commander’ Noor Tantray killed in Pulwama wanted to join BJP in 2003 to eliminate top brass<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>Parliament’s weeklong impasse over PM Narendra Modi’s remarks against his predecessor Manmohan Singh finally ended on Wednesday with Union Minister Arun Jaitley clarifying that the PM neither questioned nor meant to question Singh’s commitment to the nation.The Congress also softened its stand. It said the party has dissociated itself from Mani Shankar Aiyar’s “neech” remark against PM Modi.“We disassociate from any comments made by any member during elections that may have hurt PM’s dignity, also we don’t want any such thing to be said in future,” Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

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Pak at it again, probing Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife shoes

Anger mounted in India on Wednesday against the mistreatment of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family when it met him in Islamabad two days ago, but it has not stopped Pakistan from continuing with its propaganda. Pakistani authorities have sent the shoes worn by the former Indian Naval officer’s wife for forensic testing to examine the alleged presence of “a metallic object”, reports said on Wednesday. Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Mohammad Faisal suspects it could be a camera or a recording chip.“There was something in the shoes. It is being investigated. We gave her a pair of replacement shoes. Her other belongings were returned after the meeting,” Faisal said. India said on Tuesday that Pakistan went so far as to have the mangal sutras, bangles and bindis of Jadhav’s mother and wife removed before they could meet him. India also accused Pakistan of disregarding cultural and religious sensibilities of the family in the name of security.India also said Pakistani press was allowed to approach the family closely, “harass them despite a clear agreement the media would not be allowed close access.

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Displeased with food packets being distributed, Prez Kovind stops speech midway

"What is happening in the economic world…I see the same picture at this conference also. I think some food packets are being distributed. Of course it is a must, but it has disturbed the system itself. "Therefore, I request the organisers, will you please keep the distribution of food packets in abeyance for a little while," Kovind said, even as the stunned police personnel and officials intervened to stop the distribution. The president then continued with his speech. ”
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Guntur: President Ram Nath Kovind, Andhra Pradesh Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and other ministers during the inauguration of Centenary Annual Conference of Indian Economic Association (IEA) at Guntur, in Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday , PTI<!– /11440465/DNA_Article_Right_300x250_ATF –><!–bnr300–>Share

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Wednesday 27 December 2017 19:23 ISTMust readSurgical Strike 2.0: Indian Army planted IEDs to surprise Pak; toll could be higher Indian Army crosses LOC to retaliate, kills three Pak soldiers <!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>It is not often that he stops midway during a public speech, but that is what President Ram Nath Kovind did today to indicate his displeasure over the distribution of food packets among the delegates during his address at an Indian Economic Association conference here.Briefly interrupting his address to gently prod the organisers for the faux pas, the president asked them to stop distributing the packets till his speech was over. While addressing the centenary conference of the association, Kovind noticed that the food packets were being distributed among the participants. Two minutes into his speech, Kovind paused and looked at the audience as there was a sudden noise.The volunteers had started distributing the food packets among the delegates and mediapersons and a group of students had got up from their seats in their hurry to grab them.”What is happening in the economic world…I see the same picture at this conference also. I think some food packets are being distributed. Of course it is a must, but it has disturbed the system itself. “Therefore, I request the organisers, will you please keep the distribution of food packets in abeyance for a little while,” Kovind said, even as the stunned police personnel and officials intervened to stop the distribution. The president then continued with his speech.

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If Kulbhushan Jadhav has been declared a terrorist by Pak, then he will be treated like one: SP’s Naresh Agarwal

Samajwadi Party MP Naresh Agrawal created a controversy on Wednesday by saying that if former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav was a terrorist then he would be treated as such in Pakistan.”If Pakistan has declared Kulbhushan Jadhav as a terrorist in their country, then they will treat him like one. In our country also, we should treat terrorists in the similar manner. Terrorists have to be dealt strictly,” Agrawal told ANI.He also wondered why country’s media was only talking about Jadhav when there were many others who were languishing in Pakistani jails.Meanwhile, there has been an outcry over the treatment meted out to Jadhav’s mother and wife who reached Islamabad on Monday to meet Jadhav.Also readIndia hits back at Pak, says Kulbhushan Jadhav’s statement clearly tutored and designed to perpetuate false narrative The wife and the mother of Jadhav were asked to remove mangalsutra, bangles and bindi, besides having been asked to change the attire, citing it as a security measure.After the meeting, Jadhav’s mother and wife were also harassed in heavily guarded foreign ministry office by Pakistani journalists.Jadhav is on a death row in Pakistan over charges of terrorism and spying for India’s intelligence agency- Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).On May 18, 2017, the International Court of Justice stayed the hanging, after India approached it against the death sentence.

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Schools await Gujarat HC order on govt fees stricture

The state high court will on Wednesday deliver its judgment on the Gujarat Self-Financed Schools (Regulation of Fees) Act-2017, which has been challenged by self -financed schools affiliated with the state as well as the central education board.Following protests by parents’ associations, the state government had come out with the Act to cap fees levied by self-financed schools in April, which was soon challenged by the affected schools. More than 2,000 self-financed schools either individually or in groups and association had challenged the act. The CBSE-affiliated schools argued that since they submit accounts to the central board, the state can’t interfere in their administrative matters.At the same time, schools affiliated to the state board opposed the move saying that that the government had no say in their fee structure since they were non-grant-in-aid schools. Schools also argued that the charges included extra-curricular activities and only those who could afford the fees enrolled their children, so there was no question of exorbitant fees.Some self-financed schools run by minority trusts argued that their special minority status exempted them from state interference in setting fees. A PIL asked that school’s representatives be included in fees regulation committees. HC had granted relief to schools from filing their fee revision applications to the regulation committees till the matter was decided. On August 31, a first division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice Vipul Pancholi had reserved its order.POINTS OF VIEWThe CBSE-affiliated schools argued that since they submit accounts to central board, the state can’t interfere in their administrative matters. The schools affiliated to the state board opposed the move saying that that the government had no say in their fee structure since they were non-grant-in-aid schools.

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SDMC seals Chhattarpur farmhouse, traders protest

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation continued with its sealing drive on Tuesday even as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleged that the move was rather to”fill its coffers”. The corporation also extended its drive to agricultural properties being used for commercial purposes while sealing a farmhouse in Chhattarpur.The farmhouse used to host social functions and events, and had an additional built-up area, said the civic officials. The civic body had on Saturday sealed 51 restaurants and shops in Defence Colony market for “illegal” construction and not paying conversion charges.The sealing drive is being taken on the directions of the Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring Committee which, in a meeting with commissioners of the three municipal corporations and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on Tuesday, directed the agencies to carry out the drives in all the areas under their jurisdiction.The AAP, however, alleged that the Monitoring Committee was acting as a”tax collector” for the BJP-led corporations in the city.”We have asked all the civic agencies to carry out the drive in areas under their jurisdiction,” said Bhure Lal, former bureaucrat and member of the committee.Meanwhile, the trader’s body of the Defence Colony market, along with AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj and local councillors, met the south corporation commissioner demanding the withdrawal of the sealing drive. They also asked for some time to pay off the conversion charges.”We were assured that the drive will be halted immediately while we have got three months time to pay the pending conversion charges. We have also urged them to reduce or waive off the conversion charges from Rs 89,000 to Rs 22,000 for which a proposal is pending with the Central government’s urban development ministry,” said RK Bhatia, member of the traders association.Kamaljeet Sehrawat, Mayor, South MCD, agreeing to the traders’demands said she will meet the Monitoring Committee in this regard on Wednesday.”We will be meeting the Committee to take the drive in a phased manner and give enough time to traders to deposit charges. Also, we plan to reduce the conversion charges from 89,000 to 22,000 as per the proposal,” said Sehrawat.

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After Defence Colony traders protest, SDMC plans to reduce conversion changes

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) plans to reduce the conversion charges of commercial-cum-residential properties from Rs 89,000 to Rs 22,000. The move has come days after the civic body conducted a sealing drive and shut down 51 popular restaurants and shops in Defence Colony market for”illegal” construction and not paying the conversion charges.Kamaljeet Sehrawat, Mayor, SDMC, on Tuesday agreeing to the traders’demands said she will meet the Monitoring Committee in this regard on Wednesday.”We will be meeting the Committee to take the drive in a phased manner and give enough time to traders to deposit the charges. Also, we plan to reduce the conversion charges from 89,000 to 22,000 as per the proposal,” said Sehrawat.However, the civic body continued with its sealing drive on Tuesday even as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleged that the move was rather to”fill its coffers”. The corporation also extended its drive to agricultural properties being used for commercial purposes while sealing a farmhouse in Chhattarpur.The farmhouse used to host social functions and events, and had an additional built-up area, said the civic officials. The sealing drive is being taken on the directions of the Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring Committee which, in a meeting with commissioners of the three municipal corporations and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on Tuesday, directed the agencies to carry out the drives in all the areas under their jurisdiction.The AAP, however, alleged that the Monitoring Committee was acting as a”tax collector” for the BJP-led corporations in the city.”We have asked all the civic agencies to carry out the drive in areas under their jurisdiction,” said Bhure Lal, former bureaucrat and member of the committee.Meanwhile, the trader’s body of the Defence Colony market, along with AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj and local councillors, met the south corporation commissioner demanding the withdrawal of the sealing drive. They also asked for some time to pay off the conversion charges.”We were assured that the drive will be halted immediately while we have got three months time to pay the pending conversion charges. We have also urged them to reduce or waive off the conversion charges from Rs 89,000 to Rs 22,000 for which a proposal is pending with the Central government’s urban development ministry,” said RK Bhatia, member of the traders association.

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India is being polarised; community is losing confidence in government: Top Catholic body

The President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) Cardinal Baselios Cleemis on Friday stated that India is getting polarized due to religious affiliation, and the community was losing confidence in the government.In an Indian Express report, Cardinal Cleemis also said that the country was being devided on basis of religious beliefs, which was a bad thing for a democratic nation. “I want my country to be united in a secular fabric. But now, this country is being polarised due to religious affiliations. We should fight against it,” he added.Cleemis’ remarks comes a week after carol singers in a village near Satna in Madhya Pradesh were detained following Bajrang Dal activists alleging they were indulging in forced conversions.Also readCarol singers and priests detained in MP: Bajrang Dal claims forced conversation, Catholic organisations fumeCleemis led a delegation of the CBCI, which met Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday to express their “pain and anguish and seek justice”. Cleemis said Singh’s “spontaneous response” was positive and he assured immediate action. “He said he will see to it that justice is done. I hope he will do his best,” he said, adding that the allegations of forced conversion were baseless.He wanted the government to “decide serious measures to safeguard the interest of citizens. “Make sure that innocent people are treated properly and given protection. The culprits should be punished for their bad acts and for damaging the image of the country. We should stay together, united in diversity,” he said, while speaking to the daily.

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Custodial death of youth: Cops say death due to illness

A case of accidental death was reported with the Kalupur police station on Thursday after a man, accused involved in dispute matter, died in the custody of Kalupur police station on Thursday early morning.According to police, the victim identified as Gafur Shaiyad, a resident of Kalupar and auto driver, was nabbed by police of Dana Suthar police chowki in a matter dispute and was taken to the police station on Wednesday afternoon.On Thursday morning, when one of the police officers went to check Shaiyad, he didn’t respond.Later, 108 emergency service was called in and he was rushed to a hospital. The accused was declared dead on arrival.Shaiyad’s family members have alleged that he was taken by police on Tuesday and he was killed by the cops in custody. On the other hand, Kalupur police inspector RG Desai said, “Shaiyad was arrested under Section 151 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 on Tuesday. An investigation is on and the victim’s body has been sent for autopsy. Further investigation of the matter will reveal what actually had happened in the matter, right now we are following procedures.”Protests were also held by the Auto Association members of Ahmedabad outside the Civil hospital of Asarwa area, seeking justice for Shaiyad and they wanted an investigation regarding the matter and they denied to accept Shaiyad’s body.Later, the case was handed over to the BC Desai, D division ACP and further investigations are on.

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2 pupils critical after boy turns gun on girl

Panicked parents of the 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl, waited for news of their children’s health which is stated to be critical. The girl had been shot by the boy in the Vasundhara area of Ghaziabad who then turned the gun on himself. Police have registered an FIR in this matter against the boy, following a complaint by the girl’s uncle.According to police, the girl sustained two bullet injuries to her head. The boy later shot at himself with the same weapon and had left the spot. He was later found injured state just 100 meters away from the girl’s body.”The doctors have removed the two bullets from the girl’s head and a bullet from the boy’s body. However, both of them are still critical and have not gained consciousness. They both are still in Intensive Care Unit, the girl is more critical as her wounds are stated to be deeper,” said a senior police officer.On Wednesday, around 7 pm the two were going for tuitions at Vasundhara Sector 4 on a scooter when the boy shot her after an altercation, with his father’s licensed weapon, police said. The minors are residents of Vasundhara.The boy studies in class 11 at a private school in Vasundhara while the girl, police said, is a class 10 student at a Geeta Colony school in east Delhi.Initial investigation has revealed that the boy fired two bullets at the girl and she fell unconscious. He then went to a nearby place and shot himself. The two were rushed to a hospital where both underwent operations.Police also said that the crime seemed planned as the boy had taken his father’s licensed weapon in his bag.”The weapon is licensed in the name of the boy’s father and he has joined us for questioning. We have registered an FIR against the boy on the basis of the girl’s uncle’s complaint. We will initiate the investigation once the boy gains consciousness,” an officer added.Police said the boy stole the gun from his father’s almirah. His father is a property dealer while the girl’s father is an engineer with a private firm.MODUS OPERANDIOn Wednesday, around 7 pm the two were going for tuitions at Vasundhara Sector 4 on a scooter when the boy shot her after an altercation, with his father’s licensed weapon, police said. The minors are residents of Vasundhara. The boy is in class 11 and the girl in class 10

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Zero loss theory was disproved in 2012 itself: Arun Jaitley

The Modi government has come down heavily on the Congress, for treating the 2G verdict as a “badge of honour”, while the party has a “history of corruption”.Ridiculing the Congress claim that its stand of ‘no corruption’ in 2G case stands vindicated, after the acquittal of all accused on Wednesday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said: “There is nothing for Congress party to boast. Zero loss theory was disproved way back in 2012.”While Jaitley noted that the verdict held that nobody was guilty in the case, he added that agencies would take an appropriate decision, taking facts and history into account.Jaitley also chose to impress upon that the Enforcement Directorate has already said it will appeal against the judgment while a CBI spokesperson said it would study the verdict and take a decision over it soon.”Its history is of corruption. Facts have proven it. Congress leaders are treating the judgment like a badge of honour and certification that the 2G spectrum allocation policy was an honest policy,” he said.The minister said he was reacting to political aspects of the case and cited the details of the allocation policy of the UPA government and the Supreme Court verdict in February 2012 quashing all allocations.The official twitter handle of the BJP also put out details of the 2012 order.Citing the verdict, Jaitley said it was a corrupt and dishonest policy intended to promote corruption was upheld by the apex court. Each allocation was quashed as arbitrary and unfair, he said.He also pointed out that the criminal case was launched on the Supreme Court’s order, he said.Rejecting former Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal’s “zero loss” claim in the allocation, Jaitley said it was disproved by the subsequent allocation by the BJP-led NDA government, fetching Rs 1.10 lakh crore in 2015 and Rs 66,000 crore in 2016.He said the 2G scam order is not a certificate for the 2G allocation policy of being an honest policy. “The Supreme Court upheld the policy as corrupt, dishonest, arbitrary, unfair and intended to cause loss to the exchequer. All 2G licences were quashed,” Jaitley said.BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, one of the petitioners on whose plea a CBI probe was ordered in 2G case, said government should immediately appeal in the Delhi High Court against the acquittal.”Congis (sic) and allies celebrated JJ HC acquittal. Then in SC got deflated. Same will be here,” Swamy tweeted.Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said the fate of the 122 telecom licences of eight operators that were cancelled in 2012 will be decided based on the investigative agencies’ take on acquittal of all the accused in the case. Appearing unfazed by the lower court acquitting former telecom minister A Raja and 15 others on charges of corruption and cheating in sale of 122 spectrum licences in 2008, Sinha said the government anti-corruption watchdog CVC had investigated the allocations and had found faults with them.The 2001 ‘first-come-first-serve’ policy was altered to ‘first-come-first-pay’ in 2008, he said, reacting to the court verdict.Spectrum was allocated through auction thereafter and the collections during NDA rule were 10 per cent higher than the UPA regime, he said.

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Facebook page admin arrested for posting ‘abusive’ memes on on famous personalities

Kolkata Police on Wednesday arrested a man who allegedly posted abusive and defamatory memes about famous personalities including Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Rabindranath Tagore and Swami Vivekananda. The man, who ran a Facebook page, ‘Specified Tarkata’, was identified as Manimay Aich, the Indian Express reported. Police arrested Manimay Aich, 20, of West Midnapore​ on Wednesday after months of search. “He would create obscene memes of such great personalities like Netaji, Tagore, Swamiji and so on. There is a subtle difference between humour and audacity. This page has crossed its entire limit”, an official said.“Several efforts were made to identify the person behind the page but it was difficult since he would keep his identity a secret. Finally, officials of the Kolkata Police’s cyber department successfully traced the youth and he was arrested. He was staying in a paying guest accommodation near Garia station. He is a third-year physics student at a city college. A mobile phone and pen drive have been seized,” a senior police officer was quoted as saying by the daily. Another police officer said that the accused would create obscene memes of great personalities like Netaji, Tagore, Swamiji and so on.”There is a subtle difference between humour and audacity. This page had crossed the limit,” he said. Sources said the page was created around two years ago and initially posted humorous memes using pictures of actors.

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Israeli man arrested for possessing satellite phone at Mumbai airport

A 23-year-old Israel national was arrested for allegedly possessing a satellite phone, which is banned in India, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport here, a police official said on Thursday.Based on a complaint by the officials of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the Sahar police arrested Tsamret Ido, an ex-Army man from Israel, on Tuesday, she said.After Ido landed at the Mumbai airport, the CISF, during security check, found a satellite phone in his luggage following which he was apprehended and later arrested, the official said.Ido, who was in India on a tourist visa, was scheduled to go Goa from here through a connecting flight.’An offence was registered against him at the Sahar police station under relevant sections of the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, she said.The man was on Wednesday produced before a local court which granted him bail on a surety of Rs 25,000.According to sources, Ido told the police he was not aware that satellite phones are banned in India.Notably, the handlers of the 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists had apparently used these phones during the Mumbai terror attack in November 2008.The Bureau of Civil Aviation also issued a circular in 2012 to all airports in the country to detain passengers carrying satellite phones, the police said.

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Car-nama: Man sets ablaze two wives in a planned setup

What appeared to be a gruesome accident has turned out to be a pre-planned murder!In fact, two women, who died in the burning car under Chitalwana police station area of Jalore on Tuesday, were allegedly bumped off their husband.According to the police, the accused Deeparam Prajapat has confessed that the Malu (27) and Dariya (22) were his wives and he was fed up with their daily quarrels. To get rid of them he killed both of them and showed it as an accident.Deeparam apparently doused the car in petrol and set it on fire. He managed to pull out his children, but his two wives were trapped in the car. Even the police and people from nearby villages,who rushed to help were unable to pull them out of the car. On Wednesday, the bodies of two women were handed over to their families after the post-mortem by the Medical Board.Deeparaam Prajapat, a resident of Sesawa village,who is a house contractor in Palanpur, came to the village two days ago. He was first married to Malu (27), resident of Malpura of Guadamalani in Barmer district.From this marriage he has a son Dinesh.However, Malu developed psychiatric problems. So he married Daulia aka Dariya Devi (22) of Sivana in Barmer. They have two children Kailash and Sarita.‘Fed up of quarrels’According to the police, the accused has confessed that the Malu and Dariya were his wives and he was fed up with their daily quarrels. To get rid of them he killed both of them and showed it as an accident.

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Gujarat elections 2017: Hardik Patel in the dock for Ahmedabad poll rally without police permission

Merely two days after election results were announced in Gujarat, a police case was lodged on Wednesday against Patidar agitation leader Hardik Patel and his associates for organising a roadshow on December 11 despite not having permission from the authorities.A case was lodged with the Bopal police in Ahmedabad against the Patel, who is the convenor of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), Raju Patel, Suresh Patel and 50 other members of the Patidar movement for disobeying a police notification. They have been booked under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.”In future, more cases are going to be lodged against me, this is just the start,” Patel said in response to the case. “After 9 days from the day of the incident they have opened their eye, if it was really about the notification they could have lodged the case on the same day of the rally and wouldn’t have waited. They had a fear at that time and waited for the election results to get announced. I know there is more going to come and I am ready for it.”The police, however, dismissed his allegations.”Due to the election bandobast duty and its process, the FIR process was on hold,” said Bopal police station inspector I H Gohil. “Only on Tuesday we got a reply from the Daskoi Taluka Mamlatdar regarding the matter and finally lodged a case against Patel and 52 of his members for disobeying the police order.”On December 11, City Police Commissioner AK Singh had denied permissions for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s roadshows scheduled for the next day, citing security and law-and-order issues, as well as public inconvenience. Permission for Hardik Patel’s 52-km roadshow was also denied; instead, he was allowed to have a convoy along the route with a maximum of 5 vehicles a day before.AK Singh, in his order, had said that “If any individual disobeys the police notification legal actions will be taken against them.”Nonetheless, Patel conducted the roadshow starting from Guma crossroad and ended it in Nikol area, where he was to conduct a public meeting. About 5,000 people joined the roadshow.

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Ryan student murder: Ruling will set example, says father of victim

The victim’s father, Barun Thakur, called the ruling a first major milestone in a long struggle for justice.”We had approached the court appealing that the accused should be treated as an adult, keeping in mind the nature of the crime. My 7-year-old son did not deserve such a brutal end. In fact, no child shall face such a fate. The accused in such cases shall be dealt with utmost harshness,” Thakur said.He also said that the board’s decision will set an example in the society that such crimes will not be tolerated. “We have crossed the first milestone in our long journey to get my son justice. This positive result has left all of us hopeful,” he added.”Even if 5 per cent of such elements fear such a treatment by court, it will bring change in the society,” the father said.”We request that carelessness on the school’s part should also be looked at and action taken against authorities concerned. The battle is way too long,” he said.The 16-year-old student of Gurugram’s Ryan International School, accused of killing 7-year-old Pradyuman Thakur on the campus, will be treated as an adult and undergo a regular court trial, the Juvenile Justice Board ruled on Wednesday.The Class 2 student was found with his throat slit on September 8. The Haryana police first arrested a school bus conductor for the crime before the CBI took over the case and arrested the juvenile, saying he wanted to have exams and a parent-teacher meeting postponed by killing his schoolmate. His father has alleged that the boy was tortured to confess.

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Hanuman idol land: Delhi High Court orders probe

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to find out how the 108-feet Hanuman idol in central Delhi’s Karol Bagh was built encroaching public land.The HC bench has asked the investigating agency to find out civic officials under whose tenure the structure came up. Also, the court stressed that the enquiry be taken up in a fast-track manner and that officials of all concerned agencies, including municipal corporation, Public Works Department (PWD), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Land and Development Office and Mandir Marg police station, must join the probe.The court also asked the Delhi Police to handover to the CBI the documents of the enquiry conducted so far. “The fact that you (officials) have done nothing shows your culpability. It is high time that all public officers are held accountable,” the bench said.The trustees running the temple must not be permitted to reap the benefit of money derived from the public land, the court said and directed the concerned bank branch to freeze the accounts of the trust. The court further said the bank should only allow deposits and not withdrawals from the account.

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Poll loss a blip for Shankar Chaudhary

Shanker Chaudhary, the candidate of BJP from Vav seat, who bit the dust in latest Gujarat polls against Alpesh Thakor-supported Congress candidate Geniben Thakor, has great plans for his future. Chaudhary is a promising leader of BJP from OBC community and has a good hold over the party organisation. Leaders in BJP see him at another important position by 2019 LS polls.A senior leader of the party said on condition of anonymity, “Shankarbhai’s defeat is a great surprise with shock for all of us in the party as he lost to the Congress candidate who had not that huge clout. I see Chaudhary on a big and important position in Gujarat’s politics in days to come. He can become the party president before 2019 polls. It is also possible that he can be the Lok Sabha candidate from Banaskantha district.””Shankar Chaudhary has good relations with Narendra Modi and he is one of the close confident of PM in Gujarat. There are many arch rivals in BJP of him only because of the reason that he is close to Modi. He was party general secretary before he was in Gujarat government’s cabinet and has good organisational skill and popularity in masses,” added the leader.Chaudhary can also become the minister in Modi’s cabinet, if high command decided that he should contest the Rajya Sabha polls in near future, further added the leader.Though Chaudhary lost in polls by 6,655 votes from Vav seat in Banaskantha, he held a great show on Wednesday which was attended by thousands of people. Chaudhary addressed the gathering and said, “I accept the mandate, people of Banaskantha have given but my defeat in polls has not weakened my commitment to serve the people here. I would always remain with you to solve your issues. As I was easily available to you when I was the minister, anyone can knock my door at the darkest moment in the night whenever needed.”

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Jignesh Mevani asks PM Modi to retire, go to Himalayas

Dalit activist and newly elected MLA Jignesh Mevani asked prime minister Narendra Modi to retire and go to the Himalayas. Mevani contested in the elections from Vadgam (SC) seat of Bansakantha as an independent candidate, but with Congress’s support.”I want to tell Modi ji that we are done with you. You now bore us. You should go to the Himalayas, find a Ram Temple and ring bells,” Mevani told a news channel on Wednesday, a day after returning to his home at Ahmedabad. However, Mevani’s comment did not go down too well with many in the social media criticising him for his language.In his comment Mevani also said that the BJP, which was talking about winning 150+ seats in the state, had to eat the humble pie by being restricted to under 100 seats.”We are going to fight against the BJP in 2019, and the same will happen then. We will intensify our movement, both in the assembly and outside to corner the BJP,” he said.Mevani, along with Patidar reservation agitation leader Hardik Patel and OBC leader Alpesh Thakor, are seen as three youth leaders in Gujarat. While Mevani and Thakor were elected as MLAs, Hardik had only campaigned for the Congress.(With agency inputs)

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LS passes bill which redefines bamboo, allows for its felling

The Lok Sabha, on Wednesday, passed the Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2017, which will omit bamboo from the definition of trees and allow felling of bamboo grown in non-forest areas and transported without permits.The amendment will replace the Indian Forest (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, that was promulgated on November 23. The easing of transit process will allow for smooth interstate movement of bamboo, the Centre had said.The Bill was passed following nearly two hours of discussion which saw Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan explain the need for the amendment to the British-era Indian Forest Act, 1927 and parry apprehensions on its potential misuse.The chief contentions against the amendment were voiced by MPs from Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Revolutionary Socialist Party’s NK Premachandran and TRS MP Konda Vishveshwar Reddy.The MPs asked why the central government had hastily promulgated an ordinance on the issue when Parliament was scheduled to convene in December.They also raised issues regarding safeguards to check pilferage of bamboo on forest land. “If bamboo has been taken outside the purview of trees, how will it continue to be forest produce. My apprehension is that this move will be misused on forest land,” Premachandran said.

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Disclose hospital fees upfront: Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday suggested to private hospitals that they discuss a patient’s financial condition during the admission process and make him or her aware of the estimated cost of the treatment. This will avoid any payment discrepancies or complications later. This would not be applicable to emergency cases.A division bench of Justices Naresh Patil and N W Sambre said, “This is a sensitive issue, but some remedy has to come out. If this method is adopted, then a filter can be put in place in the initial stage only. This way, both (patient and the hospital) will benefit; and also, the bond between a patient-doctor will not break.”The court has also suggested that the Association of Hospitals and Medical Insurance companies to come out with new policies to suit patients. “Like we take travel insurance for a month or 15-days, why can’t insurance be provided to patients when (s)he enters the hospital, taking into consideration the kind of illness. This would comfort the patient.”Advocate Mankuwar Deshmukh, appearing for the State, argued that a draft policy has been formulated by the government and is yet to be finalized.To which the court replied, “All stake-holders should come to a consensus and then only proceed.” The court has now asked the director of Health Services to file a reply by next month as to what steps it plans to take to regulate hospital treatment charges.The suggestion came while the court was hearing a public interest litigation filed challenging the purported practice of detainment of patients by hospitals for recovery of dues.A Kurla resident, 54-year-old Trevor Britto, alleged that Prachin Healthcare Multi-specialty Hospital at Panvel refused to discharge his injured bus driver, Chandrakant Pawar. Another petition is filed by a Santacruz-resident alleged that Seven Hills Hospital at Marol had refused to discharge his brother for not paying disputed dues of Rs 1.80 lakh. Both the hospitals have refuted the allegations.Court suggestsMedical insurance companies invent new short-term policies to suit patients The pre-discussion of treatment fees would not be applicable to emergency cases

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16-year-old to be tried as an adult for Ryan murder

The 16-year-old student of Gurugram’s Ryan International School, accused of killing 7-year-old Pradyuman Thakur on the campus, will be treated as an adult and undergo a regular court trial, the Juvenile Justice Board ruled on Wednesday.The board called the crime “heinous” and said the accused was mature enough to understand the consequences of his act. The boy’s IQ level was found to be 95. This means he was average.If convicted, the class XI student will stay at Faridabad’s observation home till he turns 21, and will be shifted to a jail thereafter. The teen will be produced before a court in Haryana on Friday. The juvenile’s lawyer said he would challenge the order in the sessions court.Parliament amended the Juvenile Justice Act in December 2015 to allow children aged between 16 and 18 to be tried as adults for heinous crimes like murder and rape.The class II student was found with his throat slit on September 8. The Haryana police first arrested a school bus conductor for the crime before the CBI took over the case and arrested the juvenile, saying he wanted to have exams and a parent-teacher meeting postponed by killing his schoolmate. His father has alleged that the boy was tortured to confess. The victim’s family welcomed the move, while that of the accused expressed disappointment.The ruling came after a petition was filed by Pradyuman’s father Barun Thakur. The CBI had also asked the board to treat the juvenile as an adult.”I thank the judiciary for the decision. We always knew that the journey is long but we will go till the end to get justice for my child and all other children who might be vulnerable,” he said.Sushil Tekriwal, lawyer of the victim’s father, termed the ruling a “turning point” in the case. “The verdict is historic,” said Tekriwal, adding, the board broadly based its decision on the findings of a social investigation report and a psychological report of the juvenileThe Juvenile Justice Act was amended after the December 16 gang-rape case in Delhi in which a juvenile was among those involved and was released in 2015 in accordance with the law at the time.

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Maoists abduct two rail officials

A group of suspected Maoists set ablaze railway property and took two rail officials as hostages in Bihar’s Lakhisarai district, on the interceding night of Tuesday and Wednesday, forcing suspension of services on the Kiul-Jamalpur-Bhagalpur route for hours.Both abducted officials were freed on Wednesday afternoon, almost 16 hours later, near Dharhara forest area, the police said.The Maoists gave a bandh call in Bihar and Jharkhand to protest operations launched against them by the security agencies.According to police, around 15-20 heavily armed Maoists attacked Masudan railway station on Tuesday and torched the control room, documents and some railway equipment. This hit the movement of trains in the area. “They also abducted assistant station manager Mahesh Kumar and a porter Nirendra Mandal, and threatened to kill them if the plying of trains was restored on the route. Hence, the movement of trains, which was restored on Wednesday morning, was suspended again after an hour,” said a senior official of the East Central Railways.Among the trains stranded at different stations were the Howrah-Gaya Express, Farakka Express, Jainagar-Howrah passenger, Muzaffarpur-Bhagalpur Jansewa Express and Bhagalpur-Danapur Intercity Express, while several others were diverted. The Maoists also killed an “up-Mukhiya” Virendra Koda in the district on Wednesday.

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Blood young faces, boost BJP roots: PM Modi is ‘atal’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned emotional at the BJP’s continued electoral successes, fondly referred to his association with former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and called for strengthening the party at its roots. The PM pitched for young faces ahead of the 2019 general elections.Addressing the BJP parliamentary party here on Wednesday, he also urged leaders not to be affected by the Opposition’s “disinformation” campaign against the party, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said.Rahul Gandhi said on Tuesday that Gujarat’s election outcome was “a moral victory” for the Congress and “a massive jolt” for the BJP, and has “raised questions on Modi’s credibility”. The BJP won a sixth straight term in Gujarat on Monday, but got 16 seats less, compared to the 2012 Assembly electionsModi asserted that it was a big win for his party in his home state. No party in power at the Centre has done this well in elections across the country in over three years of tenure as the BJP has , he said, referring to the BJP’s winning streak in Assembly elections.”This is no mean achievement. We have won for the sixth time in a row and are spread in 19 states, a feat that even Congress could not achieve during Indira Gandhi’s peak when her party ruled in 18 states,” PM Modi reportedly told BJP parliamentarians.He exhorted them to start preparing for the 2019 polls by strengthening party’s base.Modi also referred to his association with party president Amit Shah, who was present at the meeting, and spoke about how he groomed Shah, 14 years younger to the Prime Minister, they said.In his address, Shah attacked the Congress over its claim of a moral victory in the Gujarat polls, saying it was a “laughable exercise” for the opposition party to see victory in defeat.BJP MPs who attended the meeting said, the PM traced the party’s journey from 2 seats in 1984 to the present and became emotional when he fondly recalled Vajpayee and said that had he been healthy, he would have been happy to see the party rise to such glorious heights.Modi remembered how Vajpayee congratulated him in person when the party did well in the 1998 Lok Sabha elections in Gujarat when he had joined the BJP from the the RSS and was not widely known in the party.The PM got emotional for a second time when he spoke about the faith the people of Gujarat have put in the party and him and increased its vote share to 50%.Giving his own example of travelling to eight states immediately after wrapping Gujarat campaign on December 12 and at the same time delivering responsibility as the PM, Modi asked the MPs to shirk off laid back attitude and work for the country and the party.”Hum yahan satta bhogney ke liye nahi aaye hain, balki desh ko aagey le jaane ke liye chuney gaye hain. Mein abhi 8 rajyon ka daura kareke aaya hun, agar aap mujhse aur kaam chahte hain to mujhe bataiye mein tayyar hun. (We have not come here to indulge in fruits of power but have come to serve the country and take it forward. I have just come back after visiting 8 states, if you want me to do work more, I’m ready to do it), the PM reportedly told BJP MPs.

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63% plunge in foreign funding of NGOs: Govt

Foreign funding of NGOs has plunged by 63 per cent as the Centre has been coming down heavily against erring organisations and putting several international donors under the lens for working against the country’s interests.In the year 2016-17, Rs 6,499 crore poured in from abroad in different organisations, this was a sharp dip from Rs 17,773 crore in 2015-16.In 2014-15, Indian NGOs received Rs 15,299 crore from foreign donors.The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has cancelled registration of 4,842 NGOs banning their foreign funding for not filing their annual returns under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010.The latest data on foreign funding of NGOs was given to Parliament on Wednesday.Soon after the Narendra Modi government came to power in 2014 intelligence agencies were told to identify advocacy groups that were receiving funds from abroad and were against the interests of the nation. Several NGOs put in the category of impacting the economic stability of the country were put on the list.Intelligence agencies also listed several donors as suspicious and blacklisted them. As a result in 2015 FCRA registration of more than 8,500 organisations was cancelled. This was a big jump from 2014 when only 59 NGOs faced action while only four lost their registration in 2013.Indian NGOs received over Rs 60,000 crore between 2009-10 and 2011-12.As part of stringent measures to monitor the activities of foreign funded bodies the Home Ministry in September asked over 1,200 organisations to give details of their bank accounts that receive funds from international donors.In July the Home Ministry issued notices to 5922 organisations including top educational institutes like Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and several other religious bodies for banning their foreign funding.”Once issues of money laundering, terror funding and derailing the country’s economic growth were raised there was a massive crackdown was planned which is continuing,” said a government official.Sources said many of the NGOs that faced the action were among the highest paid ones but did not file annual returns. Many of these were repeat offenders and failed to file their annual returns on foreign funding for four years between 2010-11 and 2014-15 despite constant reminders from the Home Ministry. All organisations are required to submit their annual return within nine months of the closure of the financial year.DIPPING NUMBERSIn 2016-17, Rs 6,499 crore poured in from abroad in different organisations, as opposed to Rs 17,773 crore in 2015-16. In 2014-15, Indian NGOs received Rs 15,299 crore.

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Can’t air: EC on Jaya video on bypoll eve

On the eve of Chennai’s RK Nagar bypoll, a purported video clip of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on a hospital bed sipping a drink was released on Wednesday by a supporter of sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran. The 20-second video was allegedly shot by her aide and confidant VK Sasikala.The Election Commission ordered TV channels to take the video off-air terming it a violation of the model code of conduct. The city police registered a case under IPC Section 188 (disobedience of a public servant’s order) and Section 126 (b) of the Representation of People’s Act on a complaint filed by the returning officer of RK Nagar Assembly seat.In the cancelled bypoll in April, the then rebel AIADMK led by Panneerselvam used a dummy coffin with Jayalalithaa’s figurine mounted on the bonnet seeking justice for her death.Senior AIADMK leader and Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar hit out at the release of the video saying that it was a conspiracy and a demeaning act with an eye on Thursday’s bypoll.

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Pakistan issues visa to Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family

The Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi on Wednesday granted visas to former Indian navy officer and prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother and wife. The two women will travel to Pakistan on December 25 to meet Jadhav who is currently on a death-row. They will be accompanied by an Indian diplomat during the meeting. Pakistan has so far rejected over 20 Indian requests for consular access to Jadhav.Pakistan had initially offered a meeting between Jadhav and his wife on ‘humanitarian grounds’. But after a request from India, Islamabad agreed to permit his mother and an Indian diplomat to meet Jadhav as well. Jadhav, who was detained by Pakistani security forces on March 3, 2016, in Balochistan, was sentenced to death by a military tribunal earlier this year. His appeals against the conviction have been rejected by the military appellate court and his mercy petition has been lying with Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.Meanwhile, in reply to a question in Lok Sabha, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj informed that there are 60 civilian prisoners including Jadhav and 416 Indian fishermen in Pakistan’s custody. She said since 2014, Indian government has provided legal assistance to 3 Indian civilian prisoners lodged in Pakistani jails.India has challenged Pakistan’s refusal to grant consular access to the spy in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The ICJ is hearing the case and has restrained the Pakistan government from executing Jadhav till it decides the case.She said there have been reports of ill-treatment of Indian prisoners in Pakistan’s custody. “Since 2014, 10 Indian fishermen and 2 Indian civil prisoners have died in the custody of Pakistan authorities. Mortal remains of all these prisoners were brought back to India, except in the case of late Abu Bakar Nohri, who was buried in Pakistan as per the wishes of his family and as per Islamic rules,” she added.

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Lok Sabha clears Immovable Property (Amendment) Bill

Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Immovable Property (Amendment) Bill which looks at making changes in regulations on compensation payable for acquisition of immovable property by the Centre for defence and security purposes.The bill was moved by Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, who informed the house that the bill was being amended for the 12th time and was tabled for a specific purpose.The bill seeks to amend Section 7 of The Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act, 1952 to allow the Central government to re-issue the notice to the owner or such other person interested in the property so that the property’s owner gets an opportunity to be heard.As per the statement of objects and reasons of the bill there have been instances of where people interested in the requisitioned property have challenged the notice of acquisition on the ground that it has been published without giving them a personal hearing.”This may cause astronomical hike in the quantum of compensation because of the inevitable appreciation of the market value of the property between the original date of publication of notice of acquisition and the present date of publication of the same, pursuant to the orders of the courts,”it states. Speaking at the debate, Puri clarified that the government does not intend to open up cases where the compensation has already been provided.”Sometimes the enemy does not trouble (the civilians), but these (defence) officials do. The Bill will help get justice to those whose land has been taken,” BJP MP Gopal Shetty said.CPI(M) leader Mohammad Salim accused the government of trying to bring in legislations for land acquisition at a time when the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015 was under consideration of the joint parliamentary committee.The bill was first introduced in Lok Sabha in July this year.

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Justice Karnan walks out of Presidency Jail after six months of imprisonment

Former Calcutta High Court judge, Justice CS Karnan was released from Presidency Correctional Home of Kolkata on Wednesday after serving his six months’ sentence for contempt of court.After his release on Wednesday morning, Karnan headed for his residence at Rajarhat, at the eastern fringes of the city. Justice Karnan was the first sitting judge to be jailed.Raj Kanojia, the IPS officer who was heading a team of police officers to hunt Justice Karnan down when he was on the run after Supreme Court sentenced him for six months is now the principal secretary, department of Correctional Administration, West Bengal. He told DNA that it was an interesting case. “It was an interesting case tracking down a sitting judge. We had to be careful with him at the same time we had to comply with the court order. We had to do a lot of planning and briefing. The team comprised senior officers only. Our prime objective was to pull it off without embarrassing the court or police,” he said. He also said that after he took over as the principal secretary, he used to occasionally enquire about Justice Karnan’s stay as an inmate out of his academic interest and found out that his stay at the Presidence Correctional Home was largely uneventful. “There was nothing untoward in the last six months but I was told that he had lost weight. I never heard of him complaining about the food and the stay,” Kanojia told DNA.Sources close to the judge said that Justice Karnan would not give up on his fight for the backward class and would continue to raise his voice against atrocities faced by Dalits. Justice Karnan had been hitting the headlines for several years now. He was the first judge of a High Court to write to the National Commission for SCs and STs in 2011, alleging harassment by other judges.In 2014, he had reportedly barged into a court at the Madras High Court where a hearing was in progress and hit out at the judiciary for being biased. It was then the Supreme Court had ordered his transfer to the Calcutta High Court.In 2017, he wrote a letter to the Prime Minister in which he alleged that at least 20 sitting and retired judges had indulged in corrupt practices. In March 2017, a bailable warrant was issued against him which he had termed as an ‘attempt to ruin his life as a Dalit judge. The Supreme Court also requested him for a certificate of mental fitness. He refused to cooperate with the doctors who had come to his residence for his mental check-up which led the apex court to sentence him for six months on May 9. After that he kept on evading arrest by moving from one state to another for 42 days, before he was finally arrested on June 20 from Coimbatore and brought to Presidency Correctional Home.

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15 BSF jawans injured in road mishap

At least 15 BSF jawans were injured when a van carrying them turned turtle near Laxmipur in Koraput district on Wednesday, police said.The injured jawans were rushed to Sahid Laxman Nayak Medical College and Hospital at Koraput and four of them who received severe injury were shifted to Vishakapatam for higher treatment, they said.”All the injured jawans are out of danger but not to take any chance the four jawans were air-lifted to a hospital in Vishakapatnam,” said Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Laxmipur, Hemant Kumar Padhi.The incident took place about five kilometre from Laxmipur on Laxmipur-Rayagada road while the jawans were returning to their camp based at Laxmipur after completing a night operation in the area.The vehicle skidded off the road and fell into a gorge, Padhi said.

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Cow protection: NGT directs Centre to file affidavit

The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday directed the Ministry of Agriculture to file an affidavit stating details of the minutes of a meeting held to frame a national policy to prevent the “rapid decline” in population of indigenous breeds of cattle across the country.A bench headed by Acting Chairperson Justice U D Salvi also asked the other stakeholders in the case to place on record their views along with all the material concerned within two weeks.During the hearing, advocate Sumeer Sodhi, the counsel for petitioner Ashwini Kumar, said that applicant, who was allowed by the tribunal to attend the meeting, did not participate in it and, therefore, he would like to submit his response on the livestock policy.The matter will now be heard on February 1.The NGT had earlier directed the governments of West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura to participate in the meeting to frame a national policy.The green panel had earlier directed the environment ministry and the Department of Animal Husbandry, which falls under the agriculture ministry, to hold a meeting with all the states and Union territories and come out with a common policy on the issue.It had noted that there was a nearly 80 per cent decline in the animal population in Kerala from 2003 to 2012 and claimed such a situation might lead to the extinction of the species in the state.The tribunal was hearing a plea against the “looming threat of extinction of indigenous breeds of cattle” in the country.It had issued a notice to the agriculture ministry on the petition which has also sought a nationwide ban on slaughter of cattle belonging to the indigenous breeds.It has said that Indian varities of cattle were being replaced by exotic and cross-bred cows imported from Europe, Australia and the United States.

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Modiji we are done with you, go to Himalayas: Jignesh Mevani

Two days after winning the Vadgam seat as an Independent candidate in the Gujarat Assembly election, Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch convenor Jignesh Mevani on Wednesday suggested that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should retire and ‘go to the Himalayas’.”I would very pro-actively want to say that Modi ji we are done with you; you are now boring to us. You should go to the Himalayas and visit a Ram Mandir and ring bells there,” he said. “They (BJP) were claiming they would win 150 seats but that pride has been crushed; the same will happen in 2019. It is a victory for our movement. In the coming days, we will intensify our movement in the Assembly and on streets, will also corner them in 2019,” he addedContinuing his tirade, Mevani claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had cheated with 8 crore youngsters by promising them jobs. “He (PM Modi) made fake promises. He should apologise for cheating the people. Why doesn’t he talk on the valid points? Why no canal has been made in Narmada River” he added.Also readEven as MLA, Jignesh Mevani won’t give up on agitation, says family He further stated that more than one dozen parties had given them )OBC leader Alpesh Thakor, Patidar agitator Hardik Patel and him) support and their unity would defeat the prime minister in the 2019 elections. Mevani won from Gujarat’s Vadgam seat, defeating BJP’s nominee Vijay Chakravarti by 19,696 votes.Jignesh Mevani led the movement against the ruling BJP and tried to unite Dalits and Muslims through his rallies like that of ‘Chalo Una’.

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3 killed, 8 injured in car crash on Mumbai-Pune expressway

The Mumbai-Pune expressway witnessed yet another mishap of vehicle jumping over the median and hitting vehicle coming from other direction on Wednesday morning in which three people lost their lives while eight sustained injuries near Khalapur. According to the police, occupants of one of the vehicles were travelling to Adlabs Imagica in Khopoli when their vehicle collided with another vehicle near Khalapur on the expressway. The victims have been identified as Shubham Gorakhnath Borade, Anant Narendra Parekh and Asmit Suhas Tawade. The injured persons include Ram Pratap, Yash Parekh, both from Pune, Aditya Acharya from Vikroli, Shubham Palande, Shubham Saroj, Adil Shah and Sohail Shaikh, all from Chembur Mumbai. The injured persons have beem admitted to MGM hospital in Kamothe. According to the Khalapur police, a sports utility vehicle (SUV) carrying nine persons was travelling in Mumbai- Pune direction while the other car was travelling in the opposite direction. When the SUV reached near Dhamani village, the SUV driver lost control of the vehicle and it toppled. “After toppling twice, the SUV crossed the median and hit the car which was in the opposite lane. Both the vehicles were badly damaged and the occupants were trapped inside the vehicles. It was with the help of local residents and expressway staff, we managed to bring them out of the vehicles,” a police officer from Khalapur police station said.

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Hyderabad shocker: Woman’s body found chewed up by rats in Osmania Hospital morgue

In a shocking incident that once again highlights the callousness of hospitals, the body of a 21-year-old woman that was stored inside a mortuary of Osmania General Hospital was found allegedly chewed by rats.However, the hospital superintendent has played down the incident saying someone forgot to shut the door properly while preserving the body. “I went to forensic dept & found that all freezers are working in good conditions, no holes for rats to enter. Maybe they didn’t properly close door while putting body in. It doesn’t occur frequently. We are conducting departmental inquiry,” said DR. B Narendher, hospital superintendent.Hospital callousness has been a concern across the country. Only recently, Max Hospital in the national capital was in the news for wrongly declaring a baby dead. The doctor in that case was suspended, and the hospital subsequently lost its licence. However, 10 days later, the hospital resumed services, after presenting its case to the finance commissioner. “The operation of impugned order is stayed till the next hearing,” says the order by Finance Commissioner. The next hearing is on January 9.A preliminary report submitted by a panel of doctors to the Delhi government had found the hospital guilty of not having followed the prescribed medical norms in dealing with a pair of newborn twins.“Max Hospital Shalimar Bagh has resumed its operations from today, following a stay order issued by the appropriate Appellate authority to whom an appeal was made. We are fully focussed on providing quality care to all our patients and honouring our commitment of ensuring free treatment to the economically weaker sections of the society,” the hospital said in its statement on Wednesday morning.However, Delhi government is still waiting for the order to examine the further course of action.“We were present in the hearing and the commissioner had not given any relief to the hospital. We are checking with our legal team,” said Dr Kirti Bhushan, director general of health services, Delhi government.The three-member panel had submitted the report after scrutinising hospital records and meeting with the staff concerned. After the infant’s death, investigation into the alleged medical negligence case was transferred from the northwest district police to the Crime Branch.

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Delhi’s Max Hospital that wrongly declared baby dead resumes services after 10 days

Exactly 10 days after the Delhi government cancelled the licence of Max Hospital after its doctors wrongly declared a 22-week-old premature baby dead, the Shalimar Bagh hospital has resumed its services on Wednesday.The hospital had presented its case to the Finance commissioner on Tuesday.“The operation of impugned order is stayed till the next hearing,” says the order by Finance Commissioner. The next hearing is on January 9.The Delhi government on December 8 had cancelled the licence of the hospital’s branch in Shalimar Bagh for wrongly declaring a baby dead.A preliminary report submitted by a panel of doctors to the Delhi government had found the hospital guilty of not having followed the prescribed medical norms in dealing with a pair of newborn twins.Also readNo relief for Max hospital yet, matter further shifted for hearing on January 9 “Max Hospital Shalimar Bagh has resumed its operations from today, following a stay order issued by the appropriate Appellate authority to whom an appeal was made. We are fully focussed on providing quality care to all our patients and honouring our commitment of ensuring free treatment to the economically weaker sections of the society,” the hospital said in its statement on Wednesday morning.However, Delhi government is still waiting for the order to examine the further course of action.Also readDelhi L-G Anil Baijal may look into govt decision on Max hospital“We were present in the hearing and the commissioner had not given any relief to the hospital. We are checking with our legal team,” said Dr Kirti Bhushan, director general of health services, Delhi government.The three-member panel had submitted the report after scrutinising hospital records and meeting with the staff concerned. After the infant’s death, investigation into the alleged medical negligence case was transferred from the northwest district police to the Crime Branch.Also readFamily celebrates loss of Max Hospital’s licenceThe authorities had then approached the Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to look into the cancellation order.The Finance Commissioner is a statutory post and the incumbent on this post exercises the powers of the Lieutenant Governor/ Chief Commissioner, delegated under various statues.The commissioner has been delegated powers to act in a quasi-judicial capacity. The commissioner hears revision petitions/appeals against orders passed by competent authority under various acts including Delhi Nursing Home Registration Act, 1953.Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh on a monthly basis treats around 14,000 patients in the OPD, attends to over 1,600 emergency patients and additional 3,000 are treated in inpatient wards.

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Rajasthan doctors ordered back to work today

A division bench of Rajasthan high court on Tuesday directed agitating doctors to resume duties immediately, ending their 5-day strike. The bench made it a pre-condition to no arrest, too.”We mandate that the doctors must resume duties from tomorrow (Wednesday) and it would be a condition precedent that in case they report back tomorrow, they shall not be arrested by the State,” reads the high court order.The order was passed on an application moved by Dr Abhinav Sharma, who filed the PIL alleging that the doctors are striking against the transfer of other agitating doctors — Dr Ajay Choudhary and Dr Durga Shanker Saini. They are also leading the association of in-service doctors.The bench observed that the doctors have no right to go on strike, especially when all of their demands have been met with, while some demands need consideration at the government level. Meanwhile, the agitating doctors contended in court that they have been addressed as ‘ants’ and ‘mosquitoes’ by the health minister, due to which they are on strike. However, the bench observed this cannot be grounds to strike, even though its incorrect that any side use unparliamentarian language against each other.The bench re-notified the matter for January 3 when the prayer for contempt and stay will be taken up for consideration.

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Panther that attacked 5 still on prowl

The villagers of Samdari in Barmer district are a worried lot. For the last five days a panther has created panic in the area and has injured five persons. A forest department team from Jodhpur tried to tranquilize the panther but it managed to get away. An unruly crowd had pelted stones at the animal that caused it to attack and injure five persons, one seriously. The animal then managed to get away in the dark. The incident is yet another one in the ongoing man-animal territorial conflict.The forest team returned to Jodhpur on Saturday night as they are of the opinion that the panther has moved into the ravines that are its natural habitat. But the villagers are a worried lot as they fear that the panther could move into habitation and attack again. The area where the panther has been sighted is close to Kumbhalgarh Sanctury of Pali.The panther was first seen near Samdari village on Wednesday night, then near Bamseen Tedha on Thursday. On Friday afternoon locals informed officials about panther’s presence near Devaliyali village. A large crowd had gathered there. Officers from the local administration were present during the operation, but there was no effort by the local administration to control the crowd.”We fired a tranquilizer dart at the panther, but it ran and hid in an arandi (castor) grove. We were in the process of firing the second dart when the crowd there started pelting stones. We tried to stop them but they did not listen. The semi-tranquilized panther leapt out and attacked the crowd,” Dr Shravan Singh Rathore, senior wildlife veterinary officer, Machiya Biological Park, Jodhpur, told DNA.”We tracked the animal the entire night on Saturday. A cage with a bait was also set up, but the panther did not get lured,” Umrav Singh, forester Sivana told DNA. Panther pugmarks have been sighted near Deora village on Sunday too.Meanwhile, both hands of Sivana resident Dalaram were badly injured in the panther attack. Four others, including Surendra Singh Sodha, have sustained minor injuries.

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Licence cancellation: City govt officials, Max to meet tomorrow

The Delhi government will have its first meeting with the Max hospital authorities on Tuesday, after the hospital’s license was cancelled over medical negligence charges. The hospital authorities had appealed to the government and other authorities on Wednesday to reconsider their decision.The hospital representatives will be making their case to the finance commissioner, who will take a final call regarding the matter. The Department of Finance will submit its recommendation to the Department of Health for further consideration.”The government will once again hear their side of the story. The hospital has approached us and we do not want to do anything against the public. We will strictly monitor the reasons, and if there is any scope, we may reconsider the cancellation order,” a senior Delhi government official said.The Delhi government on Friday cancelled the license of the hospital branch in connection with a case of gross medical negligence. A preliminary report by a panel of doctors to the Delhi government on Tuesday had found the Max guilty of not following norms in dealing with a pair of newborns.The three-member panel had submitted the report after scrutinising hospital records and meeting with the staff concerned. After the infant’s death, investigation into the alleged medical negligence case was transferred from the northwest district police to the Crime Branch.”In compliance of the cancellation order, planned procedures, including 171 chemotherapies, 63 surgeries, and 241 dialysis sessions had to be cancelled, rescheduled or transferred,” the hospital statement read.The Max hospital in Shalimar Bagh, on a monthly basis, attends to nearly 14,000 patients in the OPD, over 1,600 emergency patients, and an additional 3,000 in the inpatient wards.

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Pradyuman murder case: Bail plea of juvenile accused rejected

The juvenile accused in Pradyuman murder case was denied bail by Juvenile Justice Board on Friday.According to reports, the board took cognisance of the psychological report of the accused. The report emphasised that the juvenile was well aware of the consequences of the crime.The Class XI student, who is accused of murdering seven-year-old Pradyuman, was produced before the JJB again on Wednesday and remanded to another 14 days in judicial custody.He will be lodged in an observation home in Faridabad during this period and produced before the JJB on December 20.The cold-blooded murder case of Pradyuman took a new dimension after the CBI trashed the probe by the Gurugram police and gave a clean chit to bus conductor Ashok Kumar, who was arrested with the charges of murder and sexual assault in connection with the case, and arrested the juvenile.Pradyuman was found in a pool of blood with his throat slit inside Ryan International School in Gurugram.

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Mumbai NGO writes to BMC over LED light pollution at Juhu beach

Worried over the implications of Light pollution- due to high-mast lights put across Juhu Beach, Mumbai’s Awaaz Foundation, after measuring the ‘lux levels’, has written to the BMC as well as the environment department, stating that the difference between illumination levels throughout the beach highlighted the inability of these lights to provide security.In October this year, the BMC had installed LED lights at Juhu Beach that could change colour. The purpose was to beautify the beach and for safety purposes – a move that several environmentalists have been opposing. However, ever since the lights have been installed Juhu residents whose houses overlook the beach have been complaining about light pollution.Awaaz Foundation used a lux meter to measure and record light levels at Juhu Beach at about 7.15pm on Wednesday and it was found that the lux level underneath the mast light was 67,000 lux (equivalent of direct sunlight) and the lux level near the water’s edge was 0.03 lux (equivalent of a moonlit night.) “The great difference between the recorded lux levels throughout the beach highlights the inability of the installed lighting fixtures to provide lighting that will ensure safety as only limited portion of the beach was illuminated leaving several dark patches. This completely negates the biggest claims that of security by BMC for installing these lights on the beaches,” said Sumaira Abdulali, Convenor of Awaaz Foundation questioning that whether BMC conducted any study to understand the impacts of these lights on locals and the environment.She added that the high intensity of LED lighting in its immediate vicinity was causing disturbances to residential buildings that could lead to adverse health effects and was also blocking out the natural views of the stars and moon.Abdulali stressing on the need for a policy to regulate intensity or uniformity of lighting and specific lighting plan shared, “Through the letter we have requested BMC as well as the environment department to consider the harmful effects of light pollution while formulating any policies or projects for beautification of beaches or other natural areas, especially those placed close to residential areas and to also consider framing a suitable policy to regulate light pollution in Mumbai from various sources including street lighting, private security lighting, hoardings, beautification projects and others,” she said.Juhu based Filmmaker and social activist Ashoke Pandit said that the beach has lost its sanctity. “It’s a natural place where one visits to be closer to nature and these lights have completely taken away the feel. There is no doubt that Juhu beach needed lights as there are often chain snatching and other cases of crimes reported but certainly not these kinds of light that have taken away the beauty of our beach,” he said.

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CM Nitish Kumar calls for community partnership for effect liquor ban enforcement

A day after BJP-ally and former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi alleged that liquor was freely available to bureaucrats, officers and those who could “afford” it in dry Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday also expressed concern over bootlegging and sought community partnership to bring an end to it.Addressing the general public in Sitamarhi district on the third day of his “Vikas Karyon Ki Sameeksha Yatra,” Nitish conceded that illicit liquor trade was thriving in dry Bihar. “Everyone needs to remain vigilant and the whistleblowers will get protection. Their identities will not be revealed,” he said.The CM said that local police helpline and control room numbers were displayed at public places and urged women and youngsters to support their efforts in ban implementation. Total alcohol prohibition was enforced in Bihar on April 5, 2016, “especially on the strong demand made for it by the womenfolk of the state.”Nitish said there were few people who had made it a lucrative business but the state government was in process of establishing a special cell for ensuring effective prohibition.Earlier on Wednesday, Manjhi, also the leader of Hindustani Awam Morcha-Secular, had dared the state to use breathalyzers on its senior officials, to expose who all were still consuming alcohol. “I have said it as a friend of Nitish. Everyone knows that the poor are targeted whereas the higher rung of the society is easily getting away despite defying the ban,” Manjhi reiterated on Thursday.Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has also continuously made charges of liquor ban “failing” in Bihar. RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav has alleged “home delivery” of liquor, which is smuggled in the state through Nepal and Jharkhand, though the government has denied it.

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Shutting hospitals randomly not in public interest, will directly impact patients, says Ficci

Closing down hospitals “randomly” due to individual errors is not in the interest of the public and nation and will directly affect the health and well-being of patients undergoing treatment, Ficci said on Thursday, asking the the media and the government not to “pre-judge” in any case.Ficci’s stand comes against the backdrop of alleged medical negligence and overcharging by two private hospitals recently.While Fortis in Gurgaon came under a cloud because of the death of a 7-year-old girl from dengue and overcharging issues, a premature baby was wrongly declared dead by Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh in the national capital.”India is already grappling with extremely low bed density at 1.3 beds per 1,000 population, as compared to WHO recommendation of 3.5 beds. Hence, it is not in the interest of public and nation if hospitals are randomly shut down due to individual errors,” said the industry chamber.It observed that such a move will only widen the gap further and directly affect the health and well-being of patients undergoing treatment in hospitals.”Rational and appropriate action is necessary in case of negligence or failure of the healthcare system based on proper investigation, validation based on the principles of natural justice and not based on emotional outburst,” Ficci said.While the chamber did not name any particular hospital, it asserted that the Indian healthcare industry is concerned and worried over the recent onslaught of negativity generated following a few unfortunate cases.”While we fully support the legal and medico-legal actions that need to be taken against those found guilty by the Medical Council or by legal authorities, our request to the government and public is to give cognisance to the good work carried out by the private healthcare industry that is now being vilified,” Ficci said.It said the need of the hour is to bridge the widening trust deficit between the private healthcare providers and the government as also between the doctor and the patient.”Under the current scenario, expeditious implementation of Standard Treatment Guidelines, Electronic Health Records and Clinical Establishments Act across the country is imperative. The affordability aspect needs to be covered with increasing penetration of health insurance through social and private health insurance schemes,” said the chamber.Max Healthcare on Wednesday moved a “government authority” against the cancellation of licence of its hospital in Shalimar Bagh in north-west Delhi, even as it appealed to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) to “reconsider” its decision.

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India happiness minister sought as murder suspect in Madhya Pradesh

The man charged with the wellbeing of India’s Madhya Pradesh state has been missing since Tuesday.

Jisha murder case: Accused Amirul Islam gets death sentence

The accused in the Jisha murder case, Amirul Islam, has been awarded death sentence by the Ernakulam chief judicial magistrate court today.Earlier in the day, he was brought before the court for the quantum of punishment.Islam has been found guilty of raping and murdering law student Jisha.He has been charged under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 376 (punishment for rape), 376A (punishment for causing death or resulting in persistent vegetative state of victim), 442 (house trespass), 449 (house-trespass in order to commit offence punishable with death), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offense, or giving false information to screen offender), 302 (punishment for murder) and charges on Dalit Atrocities Prevention Act.However, claiming innocence, Islam told ANI on Wednesday, ”I didn’t do anything. I don’t know who did it.”The chargesheet of the case revealed that Islam, a resident of Assam, murdered Jisha, following an attempt to rape her at the latter’s residence in Iringol near Perumbavoor in Ernakulam.The 29-year-old law student, Jisha was brutally raped and murdered on April 28 last year.Her body had sustained at least 30 injuries, including in her private parts.

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Air India suspends three after flight with aviation minister on board delayed by 90 minutes

Air India on Thursday announced that it had suspended three employees and issued a warning to the captain for arriving late for a flight that was delayed by one and a half hours on Wednesday. The flight also had minister for civil aviation P Ashok Gajapat Raju as one of the passengers.As per reports, the Air India flight AI459 from Delhi to Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh with over 100 passengers, including minister of civil aviation P Ashok Gajapat Raju, was delayed by 90 minutes after four staff members, including the pilot were delayed in arriving to Delhi airport.According to Air India spokesperson GP Rao, the passengers protested and questioned the minister over the delay. “The Minister then asked Air India CMD Pradeep Kharola for the reason behind the delay,” Rao added.Also readDGCA probing flying of Air India aircraft with dent, 3 derosteredThe three staff members have been suspended, while the captain, who arrived 15 minutes late, was issued a warning, a spokesperson for the national carrier informed the media.According to media reports, poor visibility also played a role in delaying the flight. The airline’s operational team then decided to wait for the weather to improve, but failed to inform the ground staff that had already begun the boarding procedure for passengers.Also readNew Air India chief likely to assume charge this weekThe flight was delayed even more when the pilot was reportedly stopped at the security check over a problem with his airport pass, according to an NDTV report.Interestingly, Kharola, a senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, took charge as Air India’s Chairman and Managing Director on Monday. He is helming the airline at a time the government has started the process for its strategic disinvestment. The delay in flight has not been the ideal start to the new job.Battling multiple headwinds, the disinvestment-bound airline has been working on ways to reduce its debt, including by way of selling non-core assets and expanding operations.The source said the airline has received Rs 1,500 crore loan from Bank of India after the tender for the amount was floated last month in order to meet “urgent” working capital needs.A tender was issued by the carrier on October 18 in which it had sought government guarantee-backed short-term loans totalling up to Rs 1,500 crore to meet “its urgent working capital requirements”.Prior to that, the airline had borrowed around Rs 3,250 crore as short tenure loans from two lenders — IndusInd Bank and Punjab National Bank, sources had said. This loan too was for meeting urgent working capital needs and the tender was floated in September.

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If EC can send notice to Rahul Gandhi, why isn’t a notice being sent to the BJP: Congress questions ‘partisan’ move

The Congress late Wednesday responded to the Election Commission’s (EC) to its president-elect Rahul Gandhi, saying that the commission should ideally issue a notice to the BJP.“Congress delegation submitted a memorandum to ECI demanding immediate registration of FIR against BJP leaders in the context of them violating the model code of conduct. If FIR can be registered against news channels for telecasting Rahul ji’s interview, then why not against BJP?” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted with two documents on Thursday. The document added that the Congress was ‘shocked and anguished’ at the EC’s notice. “Such a decision, if taken, is discriminatory and does not take into account the conduct of the ruling party,” the document added.The Election Commission had cracked the whip on Rahul Gandhi and certain television channels that aired his interviews even after the end of campaigning.The BJP and the Congress traded charges against each other for trying to influence the voters in the mandatory no-campaign period.Within hours of the filing of three complaints by the BJP, the EC served a showcase notice to Rahul on Wednesday and ordered FIR against certain Gujarati television channels.The EC asked Rahul to explain by December 18 why he violated the poll code of no campaign within 48 hours of the conclusion of the final day of polling.The EC also instructed the Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to stop the display of such matter in districts going to the polls on December 14.Following the EC’s step, the Congress reacted sharply and called it partisan. The party demanded from the EC that an FIR be filed against BJP leaders. At the EC’s doorstep, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala described it as an attempt to strangle the press.”In 2014 Mr Modi had given a television interview just a day before the polling, and on the day of polling, he had even displayed the BJP symbol, but EC did not act then. On December 8, a day before the first phase, the BJP finance minister released the manifesto but EC did not issue a show cause,” he said.In his first interview, Rahul said the “BJP is not scared of him but of the voice of Gujarat.””In the last three months, I have just raised the voice of Gujarat. They are not scared of me. They are scared of the voice of Gujarat. This election is not about Rahul Gandhi or Narendra Modi. This is about the voice of Gujarat,” Rahul told TV channels.

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Firing range, four tanks setup at Raj Varsity soon

The University of Rajasthan will soon have a firing range within the campus for training and practice of National Cadet Corps cadets. This was decided during a meeting between officials from NCC Rajasthan and professor RK Kothari, vice chancellor, University of Rajasthan, on Wednesday.Furthermore, the vice chancellor has also decided to set up four tanks as war souvenirs at various parts of the university campus. The officials also discussed several other points on the development of practice and training activities within the university.Professor Kothari also received the rank of ‘Colonel’ by the National Cadet Corps, Rajasthan, during the meeting. The title was given by deputy director general of NCC, Rajasthan, Commodore Tarun Kumar. It is to be noted that professor Kothari was an NCC cadet during his college years.Principals of various city-based colleges, which fall under the purview of the University of Rajasthan, including, professor Amita Sharma, professor Kailash Agarwal, professor JP Yadav, along with NCC officer in charge of Rajasthan University, captain Rajesh Kumar Sharma and other NCC officials were also present during the meeting.It is to be noted that several steps are being taken by the officials of the university for the overall development of campus and infrastructure of the University of Rajasthan.A central library is also being developed under the same objective.

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Sec 144 imposed at Udaipur, net, social media muzzled

Suspecting a law and order “problem” that may be triggered by anti-social elements in Udaipur after the heinous murder of Afrazul, the Udaipur District Magistrate Bishnucharan Mallik issued an order and imposed Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code in the district from 8 pm on Wednesday evening till next order.The District Magistrate said during the prohibition, there will be restrictions on conducting collective events and planning of dharna demonstration, rally and shocking speeches while none can roam with a sharp weapons or a sticks. Strict legal action would be taken against the infringers. Strict legal action will also be taken against those who send messages, images or videos that spoils the communal harmony on social media.Moreover, Divisional Commissioner Bhawani Singh Detha issued an order to suspend internet services in the entire border area of Udaipur district for 24 hours. Meanwhile, 2G, 3G and 4G data, Internet service, bulk SSS, MMS, WTSAP, Facebook, Twitter and other social media services being provided by various mobile service providers will remain suspended. This suspension is effective from 8 pm onwards.A special cell has been set up in the office of District Magistrate and the District Superintendent of Police, through which vigilance is being kept any post, image and video being circulated on social media. If any message, comment, picture or video that is spreading hatred and malice will be broadcast then strict action will be taken against.Moreover, the DM has also banned entry of one Updesh Rana after his video went viral. In the video Rana claimed to be reaching Udaipur on Thursday which could create tension between communities.

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Vasundhara Raje finds a ‘stone edge’ at Jhunjhunu rally

Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje appeared to be in poll mode as she shot off a volley of announcements at the state level programme held at Jhunjhunu on the 4th anniversary of her government. As her government entered the final year of its tenure, Raje went all out to woo farmers, soldiers and youth and showered sops all around.She inaugurated projects and laid foundation stones for development works worth Rs 2227 crores for Jhunjhunu alone. Which reflected on her priority regarding this district of the Shekhawati area that has only two BJP MLAs out of seven.Raje flayed the opposition for pushing Rajasthan backward when it was in government for almost 50 years.The chief minister’s speech exhaustively focused on farmers, who are a sizeable population in this district.“From January 1, 2018 farmers in Rajasthan will get loan at only 5.5 per cent from cooperative banks, instead of the current 6.7 percent. Also, I announce raising accident insurance of farmers from to Rs10 lakh from the present Rs6 lakh now,” announced Raje. She claimed that her government has given Rs58210 crores worth of loans without interest to farmers for crops. Which she said is a record.Incidentally the farmers’ agitation that compelled the Rajasthan government to form a body to look into their demand of loan waiver is Sikar, adjacent to Jhunjhunu.program held on Wednesday. Alluring youths, Raje has increased age criteria to 40 years from 35 for the applicants applying for government direct recruitment through competition. She has promised to recruit 1.4 lakh youths in rest one of her tenure, claiming that her government gave 1.7 lakh government jobs so far.The ceremony also marked with major announcements related to healthcare for public at large, particularly patients coming for treatment to hospitals and centers. She has announced that angiography of hearts patients would be free at government hospitals and also no fee will be charged for treatment of road accidents victims for the first 48 hours of their arrival at government and private hospitals.Apart from making announcements, Raje also launched an aggressive attack on Congress of neglecting development and pushing the state backward. “What we have done in 5 years the Congress failed to do in 50 years of rule since the Independence. The previous government failed on the development agenda as it lacked will power. And, it is the habit of the Congress that it neither works nor allows others to do so,” Raje said.Referring to the Kumbahram Canal project, CM alleged that Congress used it to play politics “We have brought water through the canal in 4 years which Congress failed to do. We have spent Rs172 crores to supply water through it to Malsisar from Taranagar. Also our government is developing 25 km roads per day,” said Raje.The CM claimed that her government never discriminated when it comes to development. “The BJP represents only two out of the seven seats of Jhunjhunu yet we have allocated Rs5400 crores equally among all constituencies over the past 4 years. In contrast the previous Congress government gave only Rs2500 crores to the district in five years.”On this occasion Raje inaugurated and laid foundation stone of projects worth Rs2237 crore in Jhunjhunu district alone. She also announced that a sports university would be set up in Jhunjunu on the line of Patiala and also Rs184 would be spent to develop a Military school.The chief minister announced 6 new roads including 17 kilometer long Mawanda-Nizampur road via Mehada, widening-strengthening upto 7 Km of Jhunjunu -Mandrela road at Rs150 crores. Apart from this, 94.7 kilometers long four lane road will be developed from Sikar-Jhunjhunu,Chidawa to Haryana border which estimates Rs401.47 crores. In the presence of Raje, more than 40 leaders, including Congress netas and Pradhan Gajadhar Dhaka joined BJP in Jhunjhunu on Wednesday.Major announcements1. For the direct recruitment of general category to various services in the state, the maximum age limit will be 40 years from 35.2. 1.40 lakh government jobs will be provided to youths.3. First 48-hour free medical treatment for injured persons in private and government hospitals in road accidents.4. Angiography will be done free in government hospitals.5. From January 1, 2018, loans from farmers from the cooperative land development banks will be available only 5.5 percent interest rate.6. In the Accident Insurance Scheme, the insurance benefit from 6 lakh will be increased to Rs 10 lakh for farmers from April 1, 2018.7. About Rs1300 crores will be spent on drinking water projects in Udaipurwati (rural and urban) and Buhana, Chidawa and Surajgarh areas of Jhunjhunu.8. 200 Prime Minister’s Pharmaceutical Centers will be opened for generic medicines through cooperatives.9. 1000 new sub-medical centers and 100 veterinary hospitals will be opened in the state. 47 centers will be opened in Jhunjhunu district. 10. Medical Equipment with a budget of Rs25 crores will be purchased for SMS Medical college and its hospitals.11. Schools and Gaurav Paths will be named after martyrs.12. Government job will be given to one person in the family of martyrs who sacrificed their life after Independence. HighlightShe inaugurated projects and laid foundation stones for development works worth Rs2227 crores for Jhunjhunu alone. Which reflected on her priority regarding this district of the Shekhawati area that has only two BJP MLAs out of seven

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Maharashtra to legalise all slums built till 2017

Maharashtra government on Wednesday decided to extend the cut-off year to regularise 3.5 lakh unauthorised slums in the city to 2017 from 2011.According to senior government officials, the proposal for this was already approved by the cabinet last Sunday. “The proposal will now be tabled and approved at the ongoing state Assembly session in Nagpur. This move of regularising 3.5 lakh slums will benefit a total 18 lakh slums dwellers,” says BJP MLA Ashish Shelar.Meanwhile, state minister for Housing Ravindra Waikar feels BJP is in hurry to take the credit for the move. “We are not happy with BJP’s decision to leak this proposal to the media,” he said.”We have been working on it jointly for a long time. We are still preparing rules and regulations, and we have to also see that this move does not encourage people to create new slums. We should have surveyed the slums, then taken a phase-wise decision. We will take this up with the higher authorities.”Waikar pointed out that in 2003, the government had submitted an affidavit in the High Court that no slums should be regularised after 2005. “We have to check the details of the law before announcing such major decisions,” the Shiv Sena MLA said.Shelar feels this move will simplify slum rehabilitation projects. “Those ineligible under the redevelopment scheme create hurdles,” he explains. “Sometimes, one resident is eligible, but another from the same locality can be disqualified. Around 30 per cent of the population from a segment set for redevelopment would be disqualified. Then, these residents go to court and litigation delays the project indefinitely. By extending the cut-off date to 2017, a majority of the slum dwellers will be eligible and they will realise their dream of getting a pakka house.”Shelar also points out that this move could curb corruption that sprouts while drawing up a list of eligible slum dwellers. “The Collectorate, SRA and BMC officials demand incentives from slum dwellers to put their names on the list,” he said. “Now, there will be no corruption and a majority of the projects will be executed on time. This move will also help boost redevelopment projects such as like Dharavi. It’s a step in the right direction to realise the PM’s goal of giving everyone a home by 2022 under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.”As per the government decision, slum dwellers will only have to pay construction cost in the redevelopment project. The Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) has given a Letter of Intent (LOI) to 1531 SRA projects in the city, which will yield about 4.41 lakh new houses.Pankaj Kapoor, chairman at property research firm Liases Foras, welcomes the decision. “However, at the same time, this should not become a trend to increase slums in city and become an avenue for vote-bank politics,” he says.

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Will follow my mind, Amruta Fadnavis to trolls

“I will do what exactly my mind tells me. I will not be swayed by disruptive criticism. I have a mind of my own and I will work as per that,” said Amruta Fadnavis, spouse of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday, after she was trolled on social media for promoting a Christmas-themed charity event.Trouble began when Amruta tweeted and posted photographs of a Christmas event organised by a FM radio station on December 12. She was assailed by an array of abusive posts, some of which questioned her faith before marriage.Shefali Vaidya, a columnist with the right-wing website Swarajya and RSS-mouthpiece Tarun Bharat, tweeted, “As a private individual, you are free to do what you want. As the First Lady of Maharashtra, your actions will always be open to scrutiny and criticism.”When Amruta tweeted in reply, “Love, sharing & empathy have no religion – lets accept positivity around us & stay away from negative thoughts & demotivating energies”, Vaidya amped the criticism with a caustic, “DO get your SM (Social Media) team to read all the replies to this tweet. Respect the will of the people who elected your husband rather than sounding like a writer of ‘Chicken Soup For The Evangelical Soul'”Amruta replied that she would continue to attend such charity events.”The motive behind attending the function was to give Christmas gifts to poor children,” she told this newspaper, “I was approached by this professional radio channel. During any festival, we have to do something good. We have to share happiness, whether it is Diwali, Janmashtami or any other festival.”She clarified that unlike her husband, she is not a political person. “I never mix politics with my personal interests,” she said. “I never use his (Fadnavis’) position as a tool for my work. I take my own personal decisions. They (the channel) may have called me as wife of the Chief Minister. However, as a human being, I try to bring happiness to others and hence I attended this program.”When asked whether she had discussed the incident with Fadnavis, Amruta said she had not yet done so.X’mas trollAmruta Fadnavis has attended a charity event organised by a radio station on Dec 12 Some trolls even questioned her faith before marriage

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Ex-Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda found guilty in UPA-era coal scam

A Delhi court on Wednesday convicted former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda and ex-coal secretary HC Gupta after they were found guilty of criminal conspiracy and corruption in a coal-block allocation scam case.Special Judge Bharat Parashar convicted the duo along with three others for irregularities in the allocation of Rajhara North coal block in Jharkhand to Kolkata-based private company, Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL).Besides the former chief minister and Gupta, others who have been held guilty are former Jharkhand chief secretary AK Basu, Koda’s close aide Vijay Joshi, and the company VISUL under Section 120(B) (criminal conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code and Section 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, which entails maximum punishment of seven years.Arguments on the sentence will be heard on Thursday.Four cases have been so far decided among the 30 cases arising out of the coal block allocation scam unearthed during the previous UPA regime.The court, while announcing the conviction, also acquitted four persons — VISUL’s former director Vaibhav Tulsyan and two public servants Basant Kumar Bhattacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh, and chartered accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan of all charges.Koda is also an accused along with Gupta in another case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand.Gupta, who was the coal secretary from December 31, 2005 to November 2008, was earlier awarded a two-year jail term for cheating, criminal conspiracy, and corruption in a different coal scam case.

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Top court stays govt takeover of Unitech

The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) order that allowed the Centre to take over Unitech’s management.The top court’s move came on the heels of an appeal against the tribunal’s order filed by Sanjay Chandra, the promoter of the embattled real estate firm. “When we are hearing this matter, how can NCLT pass orders? It is disturbing,” the top court said during an earlier hearing.Standing firm and guarding the interest of the homebuyers, a bench led by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra acknowledged Attorney General KK Venugopal’s apology when he admitted that the Centre was hasty in approaching the NCLT when the case was pending before the top court.Venugopal admitted that the Centre should not have approached NCLT, and the tribunal shouldn’t have passed an order that allowed the firm’s takeover at a time when the top court is hearing the matter.The bench, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, posted the matter for January 12 after recording the top law officer’s apology.On December 8, NCLT suspended all eight board of directors and handed over the reigns of the embattled real estate firm to the Centre. Accusing the board of mismanagement and siphoning of funds, the tribunal had authorised the Centre to appoint 10 of its nominees on the board. The tribunal’s order had come after the government’s appeal that moved the panel to protect the interest of nearly 20,000 homebuyers.In its order, the tribunal had given the Centre time till December 20 to appoint its nominees while restraining the suspended directors from selling their personal and company properties.In October, the SC had denied bail to Unitech managing director Sanjay Chandra, and ordered him to deposit at least Rs 750 crore by December end, which could be used to refund homebuyers. It also indicated that it was considering auctioning the flats for the refund.In September, the top court awarded 39 homebuyers compensation to the tune of Rs 80,000 each, towards litigation costs and mental agony. Thirty-nine buyers approached the top court when Unitech failed to deliver the promised homes in its project — Vista — in Sector 70, Gurgaon.The buyers had sought a refund of their principal amount – which amounted to Rs16.55 crore with interest, after Unitech delayed possession beyond 2012 — when it was promised.In an earlier February order, the apex court had directed Unitech to pay 14 per cent interest that would be calculated from January 1, 2010. The amount was to be deposited with the SC registry who would then disbursed 90 per cent of the amount among the 39 buyers on a pro-rata basis.Over two dozen homebuyers approached the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) after Unitech failed to give possession as per schedule in its Noida and Gurgaon’s housing projects. The consumer forum had directed Unitech to refund the money to the homebuyers with interest.

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Maha CM to pass bill to appoint new trustee

Purohit had pointed the increase in the number of complaints about the Mumbadevi trust and demanded that a trustee system should be started for the temple. Purohit informed the House that he had already sent a detailed letter to the CM so that the empty space behind the temple could be acquired for the renovation of the temple. Shiv Sena MLA Sunil Prabhu pointed out that Mumbadevi was the original temple of the city and it was important to work through the complaints about the temple. He said that there is a lot of dissatisfaction and complaints by devotees about lack of facilities at the temple.”
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–><!–end of breadcrumbx–>Maha CM to pass bill to appoint new trustee Devendra Fadnavis
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written ByShailendra Paranjpe <!–end of artlbotbor–>Thursday 14 December 2017 1:05 ISTMust readMy husband was sleeping, says wife of ‘molester’Crammed planes a global norm; experts say focus on etiquette<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced on Wednesday that it would bring in legislation for the appointment of a trustee by the government at Mumbadevi temple along the lines of Pandharpur and Siddhivinayak temples. This move comes after the state Assembly on Wednesday passed an amendment enabling the appointment of a co-chairman to the Pandharpur temple trust. When MLAs Raj K Purohit and Sunil Prabhu raised the issue of the Mumbadevi temple trust, Fadnavis assured them that on the lines of Pandharpur, the government would bring in the system at Mumbadevi temple so that devotees are provided with all necessary facilities.Purohit had pointed the increase in the number of complaints about the Mumbadevi trust and demanded that a trustee system should be started for the temple. Purohit informed the House that he had already sent a detailed letter to the CM so that the empty space behind the temple could be acquired for the renovation of the temple. Shiv Sena MLA Sunil Prabhu pointed out that Mumbadevi was the original temple of the city and it was important to work through the complaints about the temple. He said that there is a lot of dissatisfaction and complaints by devotees about lack of facilities at the temple.

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