ED seeks extension of custody of corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar by 7 days

The Enforcement Directorate Thursday sought from a Delhi court extension of custody for corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar by seven days in a money laundering case.

The court had earlier allowed ED to quiz in custody for seven days Talwar, after the probe agency alleged that he acted as middleman in negotiations to favour foreign private airlines causing the loss to national carrier Air India.

ED had told the court that by interrogating Talwar it has to find out the names of officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, National Aviation Company of India Ltd and Air India, who favoured foreign airlines, including Qatar Airways, Emirates and Air Arabia, by making national carrier, gave up profit making routes and profit making timings.

Talwar, who is in ED custody, was deported from Dubai on January 30 and was arrested by the agency after landing here.

VVIP chopper case: Delhi court sends Christian Michel to judicial custody

A Delhi court Saturday sent alleged middleman Christian Michel, arrested in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case, to judicial custody.

Michel was produced before Special Judge Arvind Kumar and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) sought his judicial custody in connection with its probe into a money-laundering case.

In the ED case, the court sent Michel to judicial custody till February 26 and in the CBI case, it sent him to judicial custody till February 27.

Michel, who was extradited from Dubai recently, was arrested by the ED on December 22 and sent to a seven-day custody of the agency by a court here.

He was earlier lodged in the Tihar Jail here in a related CBI case.

The ED, through special public prosecutors D P Singh and N K Matta, told the court that probe had been “fruitful” till now.

“We have investigated how cash was transferred through ‘hawala’ and multiple bank accounts. We have found information about other defence deals. We need to investigate the money flowing there as well. We have documents to show that they misled the Italian court,” it said.

The court had earlier imposed restrictions on Michel meeting his lawyers in ED custody after the agency said he was misusing legal access by passing chits to the advocates, asking them how to tackle questions on “Mrs Gandhi”.

In its application seeking extension of Michel’s remand, the agency also claimed that during questioning, he had spoken about the “son of an Italian lady” and how he was going to become the next prime minister of the country.

“We also need to decipher who the ‘big man’ referred to as ‘R’ is in the communication between Christian Michel and other people,” the agency told the court.

The ED sought that Michel be barred from meeting his lawyers in custody, alleging that he was being tutored from outside through his lawyers.

The agency told the court that Michel had made a reference to “Mrs Gandhi” during his interrogation on December 27.

During his medical examination, the accused had handed over a folded paper to his lawyer, Aljo K Joseph, and it was noticed by the ED officials.

After the perusal of the paper, it was revealed that it pertained to a set of follow-up questions on “Mrs Gandhi”, the ED said.

The agency told the court that it was clear that there was a conspiracy to shield or tamper with evidence that could be brought forth from the questioning of the accused.

It said it had discovered fresh evidence relating to new entities used for laundering the proceeds of crime and that Michel’s custodial interrogation was needed for confronting his Indian connections identified till date.

His custody was required for “unearthing the deep-rooted conspiracy and identification of all his accomplices, including the IAF officials, MoD (Ministry of Defence) officials, bureaucrats and politicians who gained undue advantage for getting the contract in favour of AgustaWestland,” the ED said in its application, adding that Michel remained evasive to certain questions during investigation.

Michel is among the three alleged middlemen being probed in the case by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The others are Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.

The ED, in its remand application on Saturday, said the probe had revealed that Michel was the key middleman for AgustaWestland, pursuing the deal at different levels, and was instrumental in the circulation of sensitive information and eventual payment of kickbacks.

The key issues being investigated by the ED include the modus operandi adopted by the accused to eliminate TATA and HAL from competition in an Italian deal and the steps undertaken to mask the present deal as a British deal, instead of an Italian deal, to gain advantage in Light Observation Helicopters.

The agency is also probing the modus operandi adopted in influencing the German deal and how the accused misused information, leading to actions under the Official Secrets Act, and to determine if there were any more kickbacks, leading to the proceeds of crime linked with these activities.

The agency said it needed to determine the exact quantum of money laundered through the Media Exim Private Limited, the roles of the co-accused and unearth the proceeds of crime parked through this channel.

The ED, in its chargesheet filed against Michel in June 2016, had alleged that he had received 30 million euros — about Rs 225 crore — from AgustaWestland.

The CBI, in its chargesheet, has alleged an estimated loss of 398.21 million euros (about Rs 2,666 crore) to the exchequer in the deal that was signed on February 8, 2010 for the supply of VVIP choppers worth 556.262 million euros.

Delhi court Release two men of hijacking Indian Airlines flight in 1981

New Delhi:A Delhi court today acquitted two men, accused of hijacking a New Delhi-Srinagar Indian Airlines flight and forcing it to land in Pakistan in 1981.  Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Pandey granted the relief to Tajinder Pal Singh and Satnam Singh.

According to the prosecution, on September 29, 1981, the two allegedly hijacked an Indian Airlines flight from New Delhi en route to Srinagar via Amritsar and forced it to land in Lahore, Pakistan, where they were arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Both were deported in 2000 from Pakistan after serving their sentence.

They later sought their discharge from the case but a sessions court dismissed their plea.

In 2011, Delhi Police had charged them under various sections of the IPC – 121 (waging war against the government of India), 121A (conspiring to commit certain offences against the state), 124A (sedition) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).

The Delhi High Court had also dismissed their plea seeking a stay on the sessions court order and asked the trial court to proceed with the matter.

Both were granted bail in July last year.

PWD Scam: Kejriwal’s kin Vinay Bansal sent to one-day judicial custody

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s relative Vinay Bansal, arrested by Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in connection with the PWD scam, was today sent to one-day judicial custody by a Delhi court.
Duty Metropolitian Magistrate Suri Mishra denied the ACB’s application for three-day police remand saying Bansal is not medically fit.
The order came after Bansal, who was arrested this morning by the ACB, fainted during arguments when he was was produced before the court. He was rushed to Aruna Asaf Ali Government Hospital. Bansal is Kejriwal’s nephew.

Three FIRs, including one against a company run by the chief minister’s brother-in-law Surender Bansal, were registered by the ACB in this case on May 9 last year.

Three companies, including Renu Constructions (owned by Bansal, Kamal Singh and Pawan Kumar), were included in the FIRs.

In a complaint, Rahul Sharma, founder of Roads Anti-Corruption Organisation (RACO), had alleged that Kejriwal and PWD minister Satyendra Jain misused their office for grant of contracts to Bansal. However, they were not named in the FIR.

RACO, an organisation which claims to monitor construction projects in the national capital, had alleged that a firm linked to Bansal was involved in financial irregularities in building a drainage system in north-west Delhi.

It was also alleged that the bills sent to the Public Works Department (PWD) for unfinished works were “false and fabricated”.

Delhi court has dismissed a plea seeking prosecution of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

A Delhi court has dismissed a plea seeking prosecution of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and others for allegedly defaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi by raising questions over his educational degree, saying only aggrieved persons can file defamation complaints.

Three persons — Yogesh Bhardwaj, Rakshpal Singh and Ijharul-Haq — had moved the court seeking an order asking the police to lodge an FIR against Kejriwal, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and AAP leaders Ashutosh, Raghav Chadha, Ashish Khetan and Jitender Singh Tomar, for allegedly defaming the Prime Minister.

“Only an aggrieved person, that is a person who has been defamed, can prosecute for his defamation.

“Admittedly, the complainants are not the aggrieved/victims of defamatory statements, if any, made by the respondents (Kejriwal, Sisodia, Ashutosh, Chadha, Khetan and Tomar). Therefore, they have no locus to file and prosecute the present case as far as the offence of defamation is concerned,” Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal said while summarily rejecting the complaint.

The court also noted that the complainants had not given any thought on what offence they were alleging against the respondents persons.

“The complainants state in the heading of the complaint, the commission of following other offences, that is 504, 467, 465, 468, 469 and 34 (common intention) of Indian Penal Code but did not elaborate how these offences are made out in this case. All these offences except 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of IPC relates to the offence of forgery,” it said.

The court also said that no offence for forgery could be attributed to the respondents as the complainants did not place on record the document which has been forged.

Regarding section 504, the court said there was nothing in the complaint to substantiate this charge.

“The complaint has no merits. Not only on merits that no case is made out, but also for want of locus to prosecute, I refuse to direct registration of FIR and refuse to take cognisance of the offence under section 499, 500, 504, 467, 465, 468, 469 and 34 of IPC against the respondents. The complaint is accordingly dismissed,” the court said.

The complaint had alleged that the respondents had defamed the Prime Minister in May 2016 on the issue of his degrees and tarnished his image by showing his false degrees in press conferences and print and other social media.

However, the University of Delhi on May 11, 2016 made the Prime Minister’s degrees public which had exposed the false propaganda of the accused persons, it had said.

The complainants also claimed to have approached the police which did not take any step against the accused persons.

Delhi court grants bail to Karti’s CA S Bhaskararaman in INX Media case

A Delhi court today granted bail to Karti Chidambaram’s chartered accountant S Bhaskararaman, arrested in the INX Media money laundering case.

Special judge Sunil Rana granted bail to Bhaskararaman, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on February 16 from a five-star hotel in the heart of the national capital.

The court granted the relief to the CA and asked him to furnish a bail bond of Rs two lakh and a surety of like amount. It asked Bhaskararaman to cooperate in the investigation as and when required by the ED and asked him not to leave the country without its permission.

Bhaskararaman had sought bail on the ground that he was not required for custodial interrogation and no purpose would be served by keeping him in custody. The CA was sent to jail on February 26 after his custodial interrogation by the ED.

Karti’s name had cropped up in the case relating to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board’s (FIPB) approval granted in 2007 for receipt of funds by INX Media when his father and Congress leader P Chidambaram was the finance minister during the previous UPA regime.

The ED’s special public prosecutor Nitesh Rana had earlier told the court that during the course of investigation, it was revealed that Bhaskararaman had been assisting Karti to manage his “ill-gotten wealth” in India and abroad.

He had alleged that INX Media had deliberately and in violation of the conditions of approval made a downstream investment of 26 per cent in the capital of INX News Pvt Ltd without the specific approval of FIPB, which included indirect foreign investment by some foreign investors, and generated Rs 305 crore foreign direct investment in INX Media Pvt Ltd against the approved foreign inflow of Rs 4.62 crore.

To wriggle out of the situation without any punitive action, INX Media entered into a criminal conspiracy with Karti, the ED had alleged.

The FIPB unit of the Finance Ministry had not only granted illegal approval but also misinformed the investigation wing of the Income Tax Department, it had alleged.

No one can touch a woman without her consent: Delhi court

 No one can touch a woman without her consent, a Delhi court said and termed it unfortunate that women continue to be victimised by “lecherous and sexually- pervert” men.

The court’s observation came while awarding five years jail term to Ram for sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl.

Additional Sessions Judge Seema Maini awarded rigorous imprisonment to Uttar Pradesh resident Chavi Ram, who had inappropriately touched the minor at a crowded market in north Delhi’s Mukherjee Nagar in 2014.

The court said a woman’s body is her own and it is she who has an exclusive right over it and all others are prohibited to touch her body, without her consent, for any purpose whatsoever.

It also said that right to privacy of women does not seem to be recognised by men and they do not think twice, before making untoward advances or satisfying their lust by sexually assaulting helpless girls.

“Such perverts, get a sexual kick by assaulting the women, oblivious to the rights of privacy of the female gender including a female child,” it said.

The court said that Ram being a “sexual pervert” deserves no leniency and imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on him out of which Rs 5,000 would be given to the girl.

Apart from that the court asked the Delhi State Legal Service Authority to pay Rs 50,000 to the child.

“In a free, fast progressing, technically-strong country like India, it is an unfortunate scenario that the female citizens, be it an adult or a small child, continue to be consistently victimised by lecherous and sexually pervert male folk, found in abundance in public places, especially crowded markets, public transports like buses and Metros and recreation joints like movie halls and theatres,” the court said.

According to the complaint, on September 25, 2014, while the girl was with her mother at the market near Mukherjee Nagar here, Ram inappropriately touched the child and tried to molest her.

The minor immediately informed her mother and pointed to Ram after which he started running from the spot. He was caught by the mother with the help of passersby.

The man claimed he was falsely implicated in the case as the market was crowded and it was a case of misconception.

He claimed that the real offender ran away after committing the crime.

The court, however, rejected Ram’s claim and said it was clear that he was with a sexual intent, taking advantage of a crowded market place, wilfully touching the girl and thereafter trying to run away.

LeT suspect took Pak money to fund Red Fort attack : Delhi Court

An alleged LeT terrorist and a suspect in the 2000 Red Fort attack case, Bilal Ahmed Kawa, was today sent to 10-day police custody by a Delhi court.

The court took note of the allegation that Kawa had received Rs 29.5 lakh from Pakistan to fund the terror attack on the historic Red Fort on December 22, 2000.

Kawa was arrested yesterday in the national capital in a a joint operation by the Delhi Police and Gujarat Anti- Terrorism Squad (ATS).

He was produced before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat, who said there were “sufficient grounds” to grant his custody for interrogation.

The judge took on record the submission of the police that Kawa, suspected to have links with Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), was a key conspirator in the terror strike.

“Accused has (played) the main role and participated in the offence by receiving money from Pakistan and other countries through hawala operators, which was used in the attack and other terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir conducted by LeT,” the judge noted.

The police told the trial court that Kawa, one of the conspirators in the attack, had been absconding for 17 years and was declared a proclaimed offender by the court.

“He is needed for thorough interrogation and details of his associates need to be extracted from him, which requires lot of time,” the police said.

It also said that the accused needed to be taken to Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir and other places for investigation and apprehension of his associates.

Three people, including two Army jawans, were killed in the December 22, 2000 Red Fort attack.

While Kawa was on run, a trial court in October 2005, had awarded death sentence to Pakistan-based LeT terrorist Mohammad Arif alias Ashfaq, while two key conspirators — Nazir Ahmed Qasid and his son Farooq Ahmed Qasid — were awarded life imprisonment.

Additional Sessions Judge O P Saini had also awarded seven-year jail term to Ashfaq’s Indian wife Rehmana Yousuf Farooqui for harbouring the main accused.

Other convicts — Bagar Mohsin Baghwala, Sadaqat Ali and Matloob Alam — were also awarded seven-year rigorous imprisonment.

In September 2007, the Delhi High Court upheld the death sentence to Ashfaq, saying terrorists who have no value for human lives deserved capital punishment.

The high court, however, acquitted six others including Ashfaq’s wife Farooqui, citing lack of sufficient evidence against them.

The Supreme Court in August 2011 upheld Ashfaq’s death sentence, saying the “arrogant” assault was a “brazen attempt” by Pakistan “to overawe” India and wage war against it.

Later, it also dismissed the review as well as the curative petition of Ashfaq in the case.

However, the Pakistani terrorist moved again the apex court seeking reconsideration of his review plea on the ground that a constitution bench had held that the review plea of a death row convict has to be heard in an open court by a three-judge bench.

Agreeing with the contention, the top court stayed his conviction and decided on January 19, 2016 that his review plea would be heard in open court. The plea is pending since then.

According to the police, on a tip off from the Gujarat ATS that Kawa was travelling from Srinagar to Delhi, he was arrested last evening from Terminal-3 of the Delhi airport.

The police submitted that the accused played the main role and participated in the offence by receiving money from Pakistan and other countries through hawala operators which was used in the attack and other terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir conducted by the LeT.

The police claimed that money to the tune of Rs 29.50 lakh was transferred through hawala channels to various bank accounts, including those of Kawa, to fund the attack.

Housing scam: Delhi court acquits ex-minister Thungon

 Former union minister P K Thungon, facing trial for 21 years in a corruption case relating to allotment of government quarters, has been acquitted by a special court which said the CBI has failed to prove that he abused his official position.

Besides 71-year-old Thungon, the court also acquitted 14 others, including several government officials, in the case while three accused died during the trial.

Special CBI Judge Kamini Lau held that the prosecution has not been able to prove that Thungon, the then minister of State (MoS) for Urban Development, had abused his official position and directly entertained applications for out-of-turn allotment of government accommodation.

The court, in its 440-page judgement, said the CBI has also failed to prove that he had used as genuine forged application forms wherein forgery relating to particulars of quarter, scale of pay and date of priority were made by conspirators.

During the trial, former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Thungon had claimed that he was innocent and had been falsely implicated being a victim of political vendetta and that he had not violated any rules while discharging his duties.

He further said that he was a senior citizen and have been forced to live in Delhi away from his native place Arunachal Pradesh for last over 22 years due to this case.

All other accused had also pleaded innocence in the case.

The court said there was insufficient material to hold accused Thungon, Varinder Arora, T T Kumarasamay (personal staff of minister), Nima Tshering (ex-MLA of Arunachal Pradesh), Umesh Joshi, Vijaya Daksh, Ved Prakash Kaushik, Sunil Khosla, Roshan Lal Rana, Mahender Singh, Shiv Prasad, Vir Bhan, Chandan Singh Rana, Narender Dhyani and Raj Kumar Joshi guilty of the charges.

It said accused Ashok Kumar Gupta, Narender Kumar Sabharwal and Surati Lal Yadav died during the trial and the proceedings against them were abated.

According to records, the case was lodged in 1996, a charge sheet was filed by CBI in 2003 and charges for the alleged offences of forgery, criminal conspiracy and corruption were framed in 2009.

Thungon along with others was facing trial for alleged irregularities in allotment of government quarters. A graft case was then lodged by the CBI against 18 people.

According to the CBI, during 1993-95, when Thungon was the Minister of State of Urban Development, he along with other accused had allegedly subverted the entire system of allotment of residential houses to government servants.

It was alleged that out-of-turn allotments was being made in such large numbers and for such a long period that this system had virtually replaced the official prescribed norms.

The court said the prosecution has not been able to prove that all the accused had entered into a criminal conspiracy to obtain wrongful gain for themselves out-of-turn allotment of government accommodation by forging the applications.

It said the CBI had failed to prove that “any of the accused had exercised their influence over Thungon for getting the out-of-turn allotment of government accommodation sanctioned” and the public servants had abused their official position or had obtained any illegal gratification.

The court said the documents showed that Thungon had written “may be allotted” which does not mean any direction to the Directorate of Estates to allot the quarters illegally or in violation of the rules and norms as alleged by the CBI.

MCD polls: Court acquits candidate of defacing public property

MCD polls: Court acquits candidate of defacing public property
MCD polls: Court acquits candidate of defacing public property

A city court has acquitted an RJD candidate for the Delhi civic polls earlier this year of the charge of defacing public property by pasting her posters on an electric pole, as the complainant himself was the investigating officer in the case.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Manish Khurana absolved the woman, who had contested from the Zakir Nagar ward in South Delhi on a Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) ticket, of offence under the Delhi Prevention of Defacement of Property (DPDP) Act.

According to the prosecution, a campaign poster carrying candidate Kausar Imam Siddiqui’s name and photograph appealing for votes were found pasted on an electric pole, a government property, in Jamia Nagar area.

Acquitting the woman of the charge, the court said, “It is well-settled law that the complainant should not be the investigating officer in a case so as to rule out any ill will or bias against the accused.”

The court also noted that there was lack of evidence to show that police officials were present at the spot at the time of the commission of the alleged offence.

It also said that the photograph of the poster on the pole could not be relied upon as prosecution evidence as electronic evidence has to be proved by way of a certificate under Evidence Act.

“Digital photograph by an electronic device is a piece of electronic evidence which can only be proved by way of certificate under section 65B of the Evidence Act which has not been done in the present case for reasons best known to the Investigating Officer.

“Merely filing of a photograph does not suffice and does not make it an admissible piece of evidence,” it said.

“Therefore, considering the totality of facts and circumstance, in my opinion, prosecution has failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubts. Accordingly, accused Kausar Imam Siddiqui is held ‘not guilty’ and is acquitted of the offence punishable under DPDP Act,” the magistrate said.

The complaint was lodged by a sub-inspector alleging that the poster was found on April 14 on an electric pole near a school in Batla House in Jamia Nagar to appeal for votes for the municipal corporations of Delhi (MCD) elections held on April 23.

An FIR was registered under section 3 of the DPDP Act which provides that whoever defaces a public property by writing or marking with ink, chalk, paint or any other material except for the purpose of indicating the name and address of the owner of such property, may face up to one-year jail or fine which may extend to Rs 50,000 or both.

The woman had denied the allegations and claimed she was innocent as she did not paste any poster on the pole.

( Source – PTI )