Dabholkar case: Punalekar sent in judicial custody till July 6

A Pune court on Sunday sent lawyer

Sanjeev Punalekar, an accused in the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, in judicial custody till July 6.

Additional Sessions Judge (special judge) R M Pande last Thursday granted Punalekar’s custody to the CBI till June 23, after the agency said it recovered some “incriminating documents” from the lawyer’s laptop and that he was required to be questioned about it.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Sunday told the court it does not require any further custody of Punalekar, following which the judge sent the accused in judicial remand till July 6.

The lawyer and his assistant Vikram Bhave were arrested by the CBI on May 25.

Punalekar was accused of giving advice to Sharad Kalaskar, one of the shooters in the case, to destroy the fire arms used in the commission of the crime.

The court earlier remanded both the accused in CBI custody till June 1 and later extended it till June 4.

The court, however, later refused the CBI’s plea to extend their custody to the probe agency and sent Punalekar and Bhave in judicial remand on June 4.

Later, Punalekar’s counsel moved a bail application and while the argument on it was underway, the CBI on Thursday sought his custody to question him about some “incriminating documents and information” retrieved from his laptop which was seized by the central agency at the time of his arrest.

Dabholkar was shot dead in Pune on August 20, 2013.

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.

Srijan scam: Judicial custody of 14 accused extended

Srijan scam: Judicial custody of 14 accused extended
Srijan scam: Judicial custody of 14 accused extended

A CBI special court here today extended the judicial custody of 14 people charge-sheeted in connection with the alleged fraudulent transfer of government funds to the Srijan Mahila Vikas Samiti, while granting bail to three others.

The 17 accused appeared before Special CBI Judge Ajay Kumar Srivastava who extended the judicial custody of 14 of them till November 27.

The court granted bail to Prem Kumar, Satish Kumar Jha and Rakesh Kumar, who in an application said they should be granted bail as the CBI could not file charge sheet against them within 90 days.

The court accepted their plea and granted them bail.

The CBI had on November 8 and 9 filed three chargesheets against 12 people, including late Manorama Devi, the former chairperson of Bhagalpur-based NGO Srijan Mahila Vikas Samiti.

It had earlier lodged FIRs against Devi and other officials of the NGO and banks.

( Source – PTI )

Bizman sent to 14-day judicial custody in bank fraud case

Bizman sent to 14-day judicial custody in bank fraud case
Bizman sent to 14-day judicial custody in bank fraud case

Delhi-based businessman Gagan Dhawan was today sent to 14-day judicial custody in a Rs 5,000 crore money laundering case by a Delhi court.

Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma passed the order while rejecting the Enforcement Directorate’s plea seeking his custody for five more days to interrogate him.

During the arguments, advocate for ED Nitesh Rana told the court that the agency had recently received certain documents from banks and the accused was required to be confronted with them.

The accused, however, opposed the application saying the ED had already got enough time to interrogate him.

The agency had alleged that Dhawan had facilitated the directors of a private firm, Sterling Biotech Ltd (SBL), for purchase of several properties and helped in misusing and diverting the credit facilities of several bank loans totalling Rs 5,000 crore.

“Rs 1.5 crore was received by the accused (Dhawan) from SBL group. Prior to that, the amount of bank loans was rotated in various group companies of SBL group,” he said.

ED informed the court that the proceedings to issue non- bailable warrants against two other co-accused persons, SBL directors Nitin and Chetan Sandesara, was in the process.

It also told the court that Chetan was likely to have left the country.

Dhawan was arrested in an alleged bank fraud case involving the Gujarat-based pharma firm SBL under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Dhawan was on the radar of the agency for allegedly aiding bank loan frauds related to Sterling Biotech, the Vadodara-based company, and few other similar alleged illegal transactions, the ED claimed.

The firm and Dhawan are also being probed by the ED for allegedly bribing senior income tax department officials as part of an earlier criminal complaint.

The CBI had recently booked Sterling Biotech, its Directors Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Sandesara, Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit, Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara and Vilas Joshi, Chartered Accountant Hemant Hathi, former Director Andhra Bank Anup Garg and other unidentified persons in connection with the alleged bank fraud case.

The CBI has alleged that the company had taken loans of over Rs 5,000 crore from a consortium led by Andhra Bank which have turned into non-performing assets.

The FIR has alleged that the total pending dues of the group companies were Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016.

The ED had taken a cognisance of this FIR to file a money laundering case against them.

( Source  – PTI )

Court sends suspected al-Qaeda terrorist to jail

Court sends suspected al-Qaeda terrorist to jail
Court sends suspected al-Qaeda terrorist to jail

Zeeshan Ali, an alleged al-Qaeda terrorist deported from Saudi Arabia earlier this month, has been remanded in judicial custody till September 21 in a case of terror funding.

Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma passed the order yesterday after he was produced before the court by the police following his custodial interrogation.

Twenty-nine-year-old Ali, a native of Jharkhand and a relative of a 2007 Glasgow airport attack suspect, was deported from Saudi Arabia in connection with the case.

He is also accused of conspiring with other al-Qaeda members of organising and making provocative speeches to recruit Indian youths and establishing a base for the terror outfit.

After his deportation on the ground of visa violation, Ali was arrested by the Delhi Police on August 9 at the Indira Gandhi International Airport as there was a look out circular against him.

He was declared a proclaimed offender by a Delhi court on July 12, along with eleven others.

Their names were disclosed by five accused, arrested by the police earlier, as active cadres of the banned outfit operating in India from Pakistan and other countries and known as al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS).

The five, arrested between December 2015 and January 2016 from different parts of the country, were charged by the agency under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

( Source – PTI )

Miner Deepak Gupta’s bail plea rejected again

Miner Deepak Gupta's bail plea rejected again
Miner Deepak Gupta’s bail plea rejected again

The Orissa High Court today again refused to grant bail to miner Deepak Gupta who is in judicial custody for nearly four years on charges of corruption.

This is the fourth time that his bail application was rejected by the High Court.

Justice S K Mishra rejected the bail application saying that there is reasonable apprehension that evidences could be tampered with if bail is granted to him.

Gupta was arrested on September 5, 2013 by state vigilance and is currently facing trial on the charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act and IPC sections including 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery) and 409 (criminal breach of trust).

It is alleged that Gupta in connivance with mining, forest and revenue officials, and mining lease holders created fake documents and excavated iron ore causing loss to the state exchequer to the tune of over Rs 1,500 crore.

( Source – PTI )

Two sent to judicial custody for harassing minor girl

Two sent to judicial custody for harassing minor girl
Two sent to judicial custody for harassing minor girl

A special court here has sent two persons to judicial custody for allegedly sexually harassing and blackmailing a 15-year-old girl.

The two accused, Shehzad and Amir, surrendered before the court yesterday and were sent to custody till March 6.

The duo had sexually harassed the girl in January at Kawal village in the district and also made a video of the crime with which they blackmailed her, Jansath police station SHO Amar Deep said.

A case had been registered but the accused had been absconding. They surrendered yesterday under pressure from police, the SHO said.

( Source – PTI )

UNC prez, information secy sent to judicial custody

UNC prez, information secy sent to judicial custody
UNC prez, information secy sent to judicial custody

A local court today extended the judicial custody of United Naga Council (UNC) president Gaidon Kamei and Information Secretary Sangkhel Stephen by 15 days.

They were produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Imphal East who remanded them to 15 days judicial custody, a report from the court said.

Kamei and Stephen have been in judicial custody in Imphal Central Jail since January after Manipur police arrested them on November 25 last for leading the indefinite blockade.

Representatives of the Manipur government and agitating UNC had gone to New Delhi to take part in tripartite talks called by the Centre on February 3 for a solution to the three-month indefinite economic blockade by UNC in the state.

Kamei and Stephen were also permitted by the court to take part in the talks in New Delhi.

The economic blockade has led to extreme shortage of essential commodities including food items, life-saving drugs and motor fuel.

Indian Oil Corporation had airlifted diesel to Manipur to mitigate the impact of the fuel crisis triggered by the blockade.

( Source – PTI )

Banned KPC member sent to judicial custody

Banned KPC member sent to judicial custody
Banned KPC member sent to judicial custody

A Delhi court today sent Manipur’s proscribed Kangleipak Communist Party’s (KCP) member Inugbam Sanatombi Devi, arrested along with its chief here on January 12, to two-day judicial custody.

Metropolitan Magistrate Ashish Gupta sent Devi to Tihar Jail after the police said she was not required for custodial probe.

The police, however, said it might seek her fresh custody in the coming days if they needed to confront her with some other KCP members, who have been apprehended in Manipur and are being brought here.

Devi and KCP chief Khoirom Ranjit were arrested on January 12 from East Delhi’s Mayur Vihar area.

Ranjit is currently in the police custody till January 19 as the court had on January 12 allowed agency’s plea after it claimed that he was to be taken to Manipur for investigation.

The Special Cell of Delhi police had claimed that the accused had shifted the terror outfit’s base to Delhi and were planning to carry out terror strikes here.

It had told the court that one laptop, eight mobile phones, four pen drives and 49 sim cards were recovered from their possession.

( Source – PTI )

US woman’s gangrape: Court sends four accused to 2-day custody

US woman's gangrape: Court sends four accused to 2-day custody
US woman’s gangrape: Court sends four accused to 2-day custody

Four men, arrested for allegedly raping a US tourist in a 5-star hotel earlier this year, were today sent to two-day judicial custody by a city court.

Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh sent the accused to Tihar Jail after Delhi Police moved an application seeking their judicial custody.

Yesterday, the police had arrested a tour guide, a driver, a cleaner and a hotel staff in connection with the alleged gangrape of the woman in April this year.

The US national arrived here a few days ago to join the probe and recorded her statement in front of a judicial magistrate where she reiterated that she was gangraped by five persons in a five-star hotel here.

Four accused were arrested after the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) issued a notice to Delhi Police asking them why the Rape Crisis Cell of the women’s panel was not informed when the victim’s statement was recorded.

Earlier, the complainant had said she was not “satisfied” with the probe and was ready to come to India to identify the accused.

The woman had alleged that she was raped by the men for two days and also threatened with dire consequences if she reported the matter to anybody.

She had also stated that the accused had made a video of the act and threatened to make it public if she reported the matter to anyone. She had also told the police that the accused had claimed to have sexually assaulted a couple of other female tourists as well.

A team of psychologists and psychiatrists have been assisting the lady in recalling the details of the incident.

The team is also working with the police in their investigation to tie up loose ends.

( Source – PTI )