Grounds for imposing ban on Lt Gen Suhag was ‘premeditated’: Centre to SC

aaThe Centre has told the Supreme Court that the alleged lapses which were made as grounds to impose disciplinary ban on Army Vice Chief Dalbir Singh Suhag by then Army Chief V K Singh between April and May 2012 were “premeditated”, “vague” and “illegal”.

Gen Singh, who is a now Minister of State in the NDA government having the Development of North Eastern Region, External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs as his portfolios, had placed Lt Gen Suhag under a Disciplinary and Vigilance (DV) ban.

The ban was imposed on Lt Gen Suhag for alleged “failure of command and control” in an operation carried out by an intelligence unit working directly under him when he was working as the then Dimapur-based 3 Corps commander.

In its last days in office, the UPA-II government had named Lt Gen Suhag as the Army Chief to succeed incumbent Gen Bikram Singh when he retires on July 31.

The Ministry of Defence, in a recent affidavit filed in the apex court registry, has said, “The alleged lapses observed by the then COAS, as reflected in show cause notice, were premeditated and issued in utter disregard to the legal provisions governing the court of inquiry, principles of natural justice… the lapses were vague, based on presumptions and legally and factually not maintainable.”

“Evidently, the entire exercise to issue show cause notice was premeditated and as per records, the directions issued in this regard, including imposition of the DV ban and issue of show cause notice were found to be illegal,” it said.

The affidavit has been filed in response to a plea of Lt Gen Ravi Dastane alleging favouritism in the selection of Lt Gen Suhag as the Army commander who will succeed the Army Chief.

Lt Gen Suhag’s promotion as Army commander was cleared by Gen Bikram Singh soon after V K Singh retired. The ban was also lifted.

The affidavit said, “Once the imposition of the DV ban itself was found to be illegal, then the same would be non est ab initio (nullity from the inception) and it cannot in any manner come in the way of either the consideration or appointment of Suhag.”

The apex court will hear the case in September.

(Source: PTI)

Kanimozhi: ED chargesheet on sketchy material

KanimozhiDMK MP Kanimozhi today argued in a Delhi court that there was no “iota of evidence” against her regarding the alleged “parking” of Rs 200 crore in Kalaignar TV and Enforcement Directorate (ED) has chargesheeted her only on the basis of “sketchy material”.

Arguing on framing of charges and on the bail plea moved by Kanimozhi, senior advocate Rebecca John, who appeared for her, contended the DMK MP was not linked in any manner with the alleged transaction of Rs 200 crore from DB group company to DMK-run Kalaignar TV.

“On these very very sketchy material, ED has now turned this into a grand allegation against her as if she had done some extraordinary thing….Not an iota of evidence is there which will even prima facie show that Kanimozhi had anything to do with the parking of Rs 200 crore in KTV,” John told Special CBI Judge O P Saini.

ED had filed a charge sheet against 19 accused, including Kanimozhi and former Telecom Minister A Raja, claiming that the transaction of Rs 200 crore, which was allegedly paid to Kalaignar TV, was “not genuine” and it was a “bribe for grant of telecom licences to DB Group companies”.

During the arguments, John said Kanimozhi has been made an accused in the case merely because she used to regularly visit Raja’s office and was a promoter director of Kalaignar TV for just 13 days.

“Kanimozhi has resigned from the post of promoter director of Kalaignar TV after she was elected to Rajya Sabha. The decisions taken in board meetings of the company during her stint as promoter director were purely concerning the company and does not prove any illegality,” she contended.

John further argued that post resignation, she was just a minority shareholder of the company and had no say in company matters.

“Kanimozhi never visited the company after she resigned from her post….The allegation by prosecution that she was active brain behind the operations of Kalaignar TV is totally baseless. No criminality is made out if Kanimozhi and Raja meet each other being MPs from DMK party,” she contended while seeking bail for her client.

(Source: PTI)



Amway CEO in Khammam PC; nine cases across AP

Amway India CEOThe Khammam police in Andhra Pradesh took Amway India CEO William Scott Pinckney into custody today following registration of a case against the direct selling company.

Amway is facing nine criminal cases at various places in Andhra Pradesh.

A court in Kurnool district also rejected Pinckney’s bail petition and granted his five-day remand to Kurnool police while the Punjagutta police registered yet another case against him.

Howver, before Kurnool police could take his custody, the Khammam Police obtained a production warrant from a court in Khammam and furnished it to the Kadapa jail authorities this evening. A complaint has been filed against Amway by one G Rama Rao in Khammam.

“We have taken him (Pinckney) into custody from Kadapa prison….He will be produced before a court in Khammam district,” a senior police official told PTI late this evening.

Kurnool Superintendent of Police (SP) Raghurami Reddy said they will seek Pinckney’s custody from Khammam police by producing the Kurnool court’s order. “We may lose one day (of custodial interrogation period) in this process,” he said.

“The police were permitted to take him (Pinckney) into five-day custody from tomorrow (by Kurnool court). It (the Amway business) is going on for the past several years. We need to find out the details about the company’s revenues and mode of operations,” the police official told PTI over phone from Kurnool.

Responding to a complaint alleging financial irregularities in Amway’s operations, Pinckney was arrested in Gurgaon by the Kurnool Police. He was produced before a court

yesterday which sent him to Kadapa district jail on a judicial remand.

Meanwhile, a complaint of cheating was registered against Amway in Punjagutta police station in Hyderabad by a local organisation today, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (West Zone) V Satyanarayana.

“The matter has been forwarded to the legal cell seeking its opinion as no victim has come forward with regard to the complaint….the victim has to come forward and tell about the alleged wrongful loss caused by the multi-marketing business run by the company,” he said.

Amway faces criminal complaints in Guntur, Vijayawada, Prakasam, Khammam, Warangal and Medak. In addition, there are three cases in Hyderabad.

According to police, the CID had registered a criminal case against Amway in 2006. The company approached High Court seeking a declaration that its marketing scheme does not fall under the provisions of `The Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978′.

But the HC held that the scheme is an illegal `Money Circulation Scheme’ and falls within the definition of mischief as described in the Act.

The company got no relief from the Supreme Court either, as per the police.

(Source; PTI)

Coalscam: Court allows Darda to travel abroad

CoalscamA Delhi court today allowed the plea of Devendra Darda, who along with his father Vijay Darda, a Rajya Sabha MP, is accused in a coal block allocation scam case, to travel to the USA and the UAE for business purpose.

Special CBI Judge Madhu Jain permitted Devendra to travel to the USA and the UAE from June 8 to July 2, 2014, while brushing aside the contentions of CBI that there was every likelihood that he may misuse the liberty granted to him.

During the hearing, CBI opposed the plea contending that if allowed, Devendra may abscond resulting in delay of trial.

The court, however, said no reasons have been stated by CBI which could suggest that the accused could abscond.

“In the facts and circumstances, the application of Devendra Darda seeking permission to travel abroad to USA and UAE from June 8, 2014 to July 2, 2014 for business purpose is allowed,” the court said.

The court also imposed certain conditions on Devendra saying “he shall inform personally to the investigating officer about his arrival in India within 24 hours of his arrival and shall appear before the court within 48 hours.

It also said the accused will not request for extension of time for staying abroad and shall not tamper with the evidence or try to influence any witness in any manner.

Devendra had, in his petition filed through his advocate Vijay Aggarwal, sought the court’s permission to travel abroad for business purposes.

On May 23, the court had granted bail to Vijay Darda and Devendra after they had appeared before it in pursuance to summons issued against them by the court which took cognisance of CBI’s charge sheet.

Besides them, Nagpur-based AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd’s Director Manoj Jayaswal, also an accused in the case along with the company, was granted bail on furnishing of a personal bond of Rs two lakh and a surety of the like amount.

Vijay Darda, Devendra, Jayaswal and the firm were named as accused in CBI’s charge sheet filed on March 27 in which the agency had alleged that they had fraudulently acquired coal blocks.

Darda and three others were chargesheeted for the offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) of the IPC and under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.

Regarding AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd, CBI had claimed in its FIR that the firm, in its application form for allocation of coal blocks, had “fraudulently” concealed the fact that its group firms had previously been allocated five coal blocks.

Detailing the allocation of coal blocks to AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd, the agency had alleged in its FIR that the Ministry of Coal had invited applications for allocation of coal blocks, including Bander coal block in Maharashtra having geological reserve of 126.105 million metric tonnes (MMT).

CBI had claimed the 36th Screening Committee, which was headed by the Coal Secretary, after concluding its deliberations on July 3, 2008, recommended allocation of Bander coal block jointly to J K Cement Ltd, M/s Century Textiles and Industries LtdBSE -0.25 % and AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd for their proposed plants in Karnataka and Maharashtra respectively.

(Source: PTI)