Gujarat HC grants anticipatory bail to Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand.

The Gujarat High Court Friday granted anticipatory bail to social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand in the Rs 1.4 crore alleged fund embezzlement case related to their NGO Sabrang Trust.

While allowing their anticipatory bail plea, Justice J B Pardiwala directed Setalvad and Anand to cooperate with the probe and appear before the investigating agency, the city crime branch, on February 15.

In a word of caution, the judge said the state government can approach the court to get their bail cancelled if the couple does not cooperate in the investigation.

The activist couple had moved the high court in May last year after a lower court rejected their anticipatory bail plea in the alleged fund embezzlement case.

The duo had moved the lower court following an FIR lodged against them on March 30 last year by the complainant Raees Khan Pathan, a former aide of Setalvad.

Pathan had lodged a complaint against the duo and some unidentified officials of the HRD Ministry, following which they had been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

It is alleged that both the accused had misused the funds to pay witnesses to make false deposition in some of the post-Godhra riot cases of 2002.

In its earlier submissions, the Gujarat Police had said that the HRD Ministry had granted Rs 1.4 crore between 2010 and 2013 to their NGO for a scheme under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

According to police, the couple had misused the funds, meant for education, for their “personal and political cause”.

29-yr-old road rage case; Charges filed against UP minister

Lucknow:  Charges framed today against Mohsin Raza alias Arshad, a minister in the BJP-led government by a court in Uttar Pradesh, in connection with a 29-year-old road rage case.

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Nirbhay Prakash also framed charges against co-accused Akbar and fixed August 4 for the recording of evidence of the prosecution witnesses.

The accused were present in the court at the time of framing of charges.
A truck driver, Lallan, had lodged an FIR at the Wazirganj police station on August 4, 1989, alleging that the two accused had suddenly come in front of his truck and though no one was hurt, they had stopped his vehicle and assaulted and abused him.
The police had filed a chargesheet against the duo on August 4, 1990 under sections 323, 336, 504 and 506 of the IPC.
The court could not frame charges all these years as the accused were not appearing before it.

No blanket order on FIR under IPC sections 172-188: High Court

The Madras High Court has refused to pass a blanket order, directing the Tamil Nadu government and the police not to register a First Information Report (FIR) or a chargesheet for offences such as obstructing public servants from discharging their duties.

The first bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose recently disposed of a PIL filed by a lawyer called Balaji, seeking a direction to the police not to register an FIR or a chargesheet under Indian penal code (IPC) sections 172 to 188.

In its order, the bench said it was of the view that such blanket orders could not be issued and “certainly not in a public interest litigation”.

Any individual, however, had the alternative of filing a criminal revision application for quashing the proceedings on the ground of breach of the mandatory provisions of law, it added.

IPC sections 172 to 188 deal with offences such as obstructing a public servant in discharging his public functions and disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant, among others.

The petitioner had also sought a direction to the police not to register an FIR on the contention that the offences under the sections were non-cognizable.

Referring to section 195(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), the petitioner had contended that it restrained the court from taking cognizance of an offence punishable under sections 172 to 188 of the IPC, unless a complaint in writing was made to it by the public servant concerned.

In other words, the police could not lodge an FIR for such offences, the petitioner had contended.

The police could neither register a case against an offender for an offence punishable under sections 172 to 188 of the IPC nor submit a report under section 173, CrPC, he had added.

Alluding to various cases registered by the Tamil Nadu police under the aforesaid sections, the petitioner had said, “I recently learnt and understood that in Tamil Nadu, police register the FIR and file the final report/chargesheet for an offence under section 172 to 188, IPC.

“More particularly, section 188, IPC, when the law does not permit them.”

Stating that it led to loss of money, manpower and precious time of governments and trial courts, the petitioner had contended that the time had come to put an end to the unlawful proceedings and save public money and the courts’ time.

The bench observed that an appropriate training programme was to be initiated by the Tamil Nadu State Judicial Academy for magistrates in relation to the offences under sections 172 to 188, IPC.

“As far as the police are concerned, they are not even under the general superintendence of the high court. Their actions may be subjected to judicial scrutiny by the court in exercise of its power of judicial review,” it said.

Orders, as prayed for by the petitioner, therefore, could not be granted, the court said.

Delhi HC rejects plea of suspected ISIS operative

The Delhi High Court has rejected a suspected ISIS operative’s plea seeking nod to inspect the documents, submitted by the NIA to a trial court in a case relating to the alleged charges of recruiting and financing people to join the terror group.

A bench of justices G S Sistani and Vinod Goel said that the case was related to the “larger conspiracy” by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and further investigation in the matter was going on.

The court also said that a charge sheet has already been filed in the case and the material relied upon by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) would be part of the final report filed by the investigators.

Delhi-based Islamic scholar Mufti Abdus Sami Qasmi had approached the high court challenging a special court’s December order by which he was denied the copy of documents submitted by the NIA in sealed covers.

Upholding the special court order, the bench referred to the agency’s affidavit before it which said that during the investigation, credible intelligence inputs were received that a module for ISIS was active in different parts of the country and is engaged in recruiting Muslim youth for the banned terror group.

“The input was developed and raids were conducted in different cities at different locations. Eighteen accused persons were arrested in the instant case and incriminating literature, material to fabricate IEDs, electronic devices and money received through hawala channels were seized from the possession of the accused,” the bench noted in its order.

According to the NIA, Qasmi was the first cleric to be arrested in the case from Uttar Pradesh’s Hardoi district on February 5, 2016.

The NIA claimed that he was “delivering provocative and inflammatory speeches and was instigating youths for anti- national activities”.

The agency, in its affidavit, has also claimed that Qasmi “in the guise of a religious preacher was inciting, motivating and abetting Muslim youths, who sought his guidance in waging violent jihad and supporting and joining the ISIS”.

The charge sheet was filed for the alleged offences under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The agency had filed an FIR in the matter on December 9, 2015 against unknown and unidentified persons involved in the activities of ISIS in India and Asian powers in peace with India on inputs received from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

On October 5, 2015, 23-year-old accused Naser Packeer was apprehended by Sudani authorities for concealing his identity and trying to join ISIS in Syria. Later, he was deported to India on December 10, 2015.

The accused persons against whom the agency had filed the charge sheet include Mohd Aleem, Mohd Obaidullah Khan, Nafees Khan, Mohd Shareef Moinuddin Khan, Asif Ali, Najmul Huda, Mudabbir Mushtaq Shaikh, Mohd Abdul Ahad, Suhail Ahmed, Syed Mujahid, Mohd Hussain Khan, Mohd Afzal, Imran and Abu Anas.

They were arrested from different parts of the country for allegedly recruiting and financing people to join the terror organisation.

Source:PTI

Two CAG office employees get 5 yrs jail in corruption

Two CAG office employees get 5 yrs jail in corruption
Two CAG office employees get 5 yrs jail in corruption

Two officials in the office of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) have been sent to five years in jail by a special court for trying to get promotion by indulging in corruption and changing their answer sheets of departmental examination.

“Corruption not only devalues human rights but it also undermines justice and equality which are the core values of our Constitution,” it said, noting that the officials worked in one of the most important wings.
The court held the two officials guilty of the offence of criminal conspiracy, attempt to cheating, forgery and using as genuine forged documents under the IPC and criminal misconduct under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Special CBI Judge Pitamber Dutt awarded the jail term to Rajesh Kumar Bhardwaj, who was working as Caretaker in the office of Accountant General, and Dinkar Joshi, an accountant in the office of Accountant General (A&E).

“Convicts Bhardwaj and Joshi were working in the office of CAG which is one of the most important wings of any democratic system. Both the convicts had taken departmental exam for promotion.

“They were required to take the departmental examination for promotion honestly so that deserving candidate may get promotion, but for securing their promotion, both the convicts indulged in the act of corruption and had opted for a short cut for securing promotion in departmental promotion,” the court said.

It imposed a fine of Rs 45,000 on each of the convicts.

The court, however, acquitted co-accused Bhagwan Singh Azad, Mukul Gambhir, Pukar Mahto and Umeed Singh saying the prosecution has failed to prove its case against them beyond reasonable doubt.

According to the CBI, Bhardwaj and Joshi appeared in Section Officers Grade Examination (SOGE) (Group-C) in 2007 for departmental promotion.

They, however, sought to take promotion by committing illegal act of arranging blank answer sheets and replacing their answer sheets in the office of CAG in furtherance of their criminal conspiracy with some unknown persons.

CBI had received a complaint in this regard by Assistant Comptroller and Auditor General (P) against the accused.

During the trial, all the accused denied their involvement in the commission of offence and claimed that they have been falsely implicated in this case.

The court, in its judgement, observed that a public servant is required to exhibit exemplary behaviour not only in his service but in the eyes of public at large.

“…When a public servant indulges in an act of corruption for his personal gain, then he not only pollutes the system but also conveys a very wrong message in the society at large that you cannot get success in your life without adopting illegal means.

“The corruption not only devalues human rights but it also undermines justice and equality which are the core values of our constitution,” it said.

( Source – PTI )

Orissa HC turns down advance bail plea of ex-AGA

Orissa HC turns down advance bail plea of ex-AGA
Orissa HC turns down advance bail plea of ex-AGA

The Orissa High Court today rejected the anticipatory bail application of an advocate who was booked by CBI in June 2014 for his alleged offence under IPC and Prize Chits and Money Circulation Scheme (Banning) Act of 1978.

Justice S K Mishra, which had reserved the verdict after completing hearing on the plea last year, pronounced the judgment during the day.

With the rejection of the plea for advance bail, the interim protection granted to advocate Debasish Panda is also removed.

Panda, a former Additional Government Advocate (AGA), is accused of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating, forgery for cheating, using as genuine a forged document and criminal intimidation by the central investigating agency which is probing into chit fund scam in the state.

( Source – PTI )

Gangrape case: Five youths put on trial

Gangrape case: Five youths put on trial
Gangrape case: Five youths put on trial

A Delhi court has framed gangrape charge against five youths, who had allegedly pulled out a 26-year-old performing artiste from an auto rickshaw in Defence colony area and assaulted her.

The court, while framing the charge under section 376D ofIPC against Balwinder, Deepak, Aakash, Aman and Sundar, said it has to prima facie see whether material available on record connects the accused with the commission of the alleged offence.

“Prima facie case under section 376 (D) (gangrape) of IPC is made out against all the accused persons except the accused Rohit,” Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jain said while noting that Rohit got down from the car after abducting the woman.

The court also framed charges under sections 365 (kidnapping), 366 (kidnapping a woman for marriage), 323 (volountarily causing hurt) and 506/34 (criminal intimidation with common intention) of IPC against Balwinder, Deepak, Aakash and Rohit.

All the accused pleaded not guilty and claimed trial after which the court posted the matter for recording of evidence on November 3.

The court in its order said, “The incident happened at night at odd hours and may be the prosecutrix is a performing artiste but her statement shows that that she was abducted for illicit intercourse and was gangraped. She was threatened to kill.”

Public Prosecutor A T Ansari said the DNA samples of the accused are consistent with the DNA of the woman which substantiate their involvement in the crime.

According to police, on May 16, the woman was allegedly gangraped by the accused at a house in Dakshinpuri here after being kidnapped from Defence Colony area.

According to police, the woman, a resident of Uttam Nagar, worked with an event management firm as a performing artiste on contract basis.

It said the woman was pulled out from an auto into the car by the accused. The auto rickshaw driver noted down the car’s number and had informed the police.

 

( Source – PTI )

Court acquits auto driver in negligent driving case

rickshaw driveAn auto rickshaw driver has been let off the charge of negligent driving and injuring two women pedestrians by a Delhi court, which held that they themselves were at fault by not crossing the road through zebra crossing.

Metropolitan Magistrate Saumya Chauhan absolved Anil Kumar, an east Delhi resident, of offences under sections 279 (rash driving), 337(endangering life) of IPC and section 181 (driving without valid driving licence) of Motor Vehicle Act.

“The defence of the accused appears to be probable that the complainant themselves were at fault as they were not crossing the road from the zebra crossing,” the court said.

It said the complainant and her companion, who allegedly got hit by the auto, “made bald statement” that the accused was driving in a rash and negligent manner.

“This is itself is not sufficient to prove the rashness and negligence on part of the accused. The mechanical inspection report of the auto is also silent about the speed of the vehicle. There is no evidence to prove that the accused was driving the auto rickshaw in a rash and negligent manner,” the court said.

It also said that there was no report from the concerned authority to verify that Anil did not have a valid driving license at the time of the accident.

“The prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubts that the injuries caused to the complainant and her companion were due to the rashness and negligence on his part and prosecution has also failed to prove that he did not have a valid driving license on the date of accident,” the court said while acquitting him.

According to prosecution on October 24, 2006 at about 8.15 PM at Rohtak Road here Anil was driving an auto rickshaw without a valid driving licence and in a rash and negligent manner when he hit the complainant and her companion as they were crossing the road.

It said that the women suffered injuries and were taken to a nearby hospital by a PCR van.

During the trial, Anil admitted that the accident occurred but denied that he was driving rashly and said the two women were crossing the road carelessly.

Final arguments in 2G scam case to begin tomorrow

A Delhi court is likely to commence hearing from Monday the final arguments in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case involving former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and 15 others.

Special CBI judge O P Saini, who had concluded recording of defence evidence in the case on September 10, had fixed the case for November 10 for hearing the final arguments.

CBI had alleged that there was a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum which were scrapped by the Supreme Court on February 2, 2012.

The special judge, who is exclusively dealing with 2G scam cases, had concluded recording of defence evidence in the case in which the CBI had examined 153 witnesses while the accused called 29 witnesses in their defence.

The recording of evidence in the case involving Raja and 16 others started three years ago on November 11, 2011, after the court framed charges against the 17 accused named in the first two charge sheets filed by the agency.

The court has recorded statements of 153 CBI witnesses, including Reliance ADAG Chairman Anil Ambani, his wife Tina Ambani and former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, running into over 4,400 pages in the case.

Besides Raja and Kanimozhi, former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja’s erstwhile private secretary R K Chandolia, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra, three top executives of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG) — Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair — are facing trial in the case.

Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Kalaignar TV Director Sharad Kumar and Bollywood producer Karim Morani are also accused in the case.

Besides these 14 accused persons, three telecom firms — Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL), Reliance Telecom Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd — are facing trial in the case.

The court had on October 22, 2011, framed charges against them under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating,forgery, faking documents, abusing official position, criminal misconduct by public servant and taking bribe.

The offences entail punishment ranging from six months in jail to life imprisonment.

The court had earlier said that out of 17, seven accused had not wished to lead evidence in their defence.
It had said Vinod Goenka, Swan Telecom (P) Limited (now Etisalat DB Telecom (P) Limited), Gautam Doshi, Reliance Telecom Ltd and Kanimozhi had mentioned in their statement under section 313 CrPC itself that they do not wish to lead defence evidence.

Later on, co-accused Balwa and Morani, who had earlier desired to lead defence evidence, did not examine any witness and their statements were recorded accordingly, the court had observed.

The judge had also said that “about 1,150 miscellaneous applications were filed by parties in this case and all, but one filed by the prosecution and the one filed by Vijay Aggarwal, advocate, stand disposed of”.

The court had fixed November 10 date for hearing final arguments as during this period, the case involving promoters of Essar Group, Loop Telecom and others, Aircel-Maxis deal case and Enforcement Directorate’s money laundering case were also listed for hearing. 

Delhi Court orders framing of charges against five

delhi-high-courtA Delhi court has ordered framing of charges against two engineers of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and three others, including a private company, for allegedly conspiring in award of a contract to the firm for renovation of two stadiums for 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Special CBI Judge Madhu Jain ordered framing of charges against R S Thakur, the then Superintending Engineer of NDMC, V K Gulati, the then Executive Engineer of NDMC, private firm M/s Raja Aederi Consultants Pvt Ltd along with its Chairman Raja Aederi and its Director Uday Shankar Bhatt.

The court said that prima facie, charge under section 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC was made out against all the accused while charges under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act were made out against Thakur and Gulati.

It also said that prima facie charge of cheating under the IPC was also made out against the private company and its two officials.

“Thus prima facie a case u/s 120 B IPC is made out against all the accused persons, in addition offence u/s 13(2) r/w section 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act is also made out against accused no. 1 R S Thakur and accused no. 2 V K Gulati.

“They also dishonestly induced the department to award the contract to M/s Raja Aederi Consultants Pvt Ltd i.E. accused no. 5 knowing fully well that accused no. 5 M/s Raja Aederi Consultants Pvt Ltd does not possess the requisite qualification for the same,” the court said.

According to CBI, the government servants had abused their official position and had conspired with Raja Aederi and Bhatt in award of architectural consultancy contract valuing Rs 30 crore pertaining to the upgradation and renovation of Shivaji Stadium and Talkatora Stadium here.

The court, in its order, observed that the accused caused wrongful loss to the department by awarding the contract to the firm.

“Thereby, not only causing wrongful gain to accused no. 5 M/s Raja Aederi Consultants Pvt Ltd but also wrongful loss to the department. Prima facie case u/s 420 (cheating) IPC is also made out against accused no. 3 Raja Aederi, accused no.4 Uday Shankar Bhatt and accused no. 5 M/s Raja Aederi Consultants Pvt Ltd,” it said and fixed the case for framing of charges on July 3.

(Source: PTI)