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Sohrabuddin Case: CBI Under UPA Fabricated The Fake Encounter Case, Sr Adv Mahesh Jethmalani To Bombay HC
A day after the Bombay High Court reiterated that the Central Bureau of Investigation is failing to assist the court while hearing revision applications challenging the discharge of certain accused in the alleged fake encounter case of Sohrabuddin Shaikh, senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani submitted that the entire case was fabricated by a politically motivated the CBI in 2005.
Jethmalani is appearing for accused IPS officer Rajkumar Pandian, whose discharge from the case has been challenged. He also submitted that the Central agency is “now much more balanced.” Jethmalani also said Shaikh’s associate Tulsiram Prajapati, who was also allegedly killed in another fake encounter, was a notorious gangster, wanted by the police in three states.
“Sohrabuddin was a terrorist. He had been in touch with Dawood Ibrahim, who had been providing him with arms and ammunitions to propagate anti-national activities in the country. Both Sohrabuddin and Prajapati were criminals and extortionists who had several cases registered against them,” Jethmalani said.
Arguing against the prosecution’s case and hinting at the then UPA government’s interference in the case, Jethmalani said Sohrabuddin was finally arrested in 2005 and was “possibly shot by the police while he was trying to flee, but a politically-motivated CBI of that time built up this story of a fake encounter”.
Justice Revati Mohite Dere who is hearing the revision applications challenging the discharge of accused in the case on a daily basis, questioned what Jethmalani meant by the CBI of that time to which Jethmalani simply replied: “I am merely trying to say that today (the CBI) is much more balanced.”
Justice Dere retorted: “Is that why it refuses to provide any assistance to this court?”
Interestingly, Justice Revati Dere has consistently observed that the CBI does not seem sincere in its approach to the said case. Previously, she had questioned ASG Anil Singh as to why there was no sense of urgency in the agency seeing that the trial had begun in November and the discharge of accused challenged by the CBI itself had not been heard.
Witness Turned Hostile
Jethmalani also submitted that his client was in Ahmedabad on the day of Sohrabuddin’s death and had no role in the alleged encounter. He pointed out how CBI’s witness Nathuba Jadeja had turned hostile before the special CBI court which is hearing the said case of fake encounter.
Now, the CBI had relied on the testimony of Nathuba Jadeja, driver of the vehicle in which Sohrabuddin and his wife Kausar Bi were taken to the spot where the alleged encounter took place. Jadeja had stated that Pandian was in the same vehicle along with another Gujarat IPS officer DG Vanzara and that they were present when Kausar Bi’s body was burnt. However, during his cross-examination before the special CBI court, Jadeja turned hostile.
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In a setback to Special Investigation Team probing the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, the Delhi High Court on Thursday upheld the anticipatory bail granted to Congress leader Sajjan Kumar by a trial court in two of the cases registered against the killing of three persons in the riots.
Justice Anu Malhotra dismissed the plea of SIT for cancellation of anticipatory bail granted to Kumar on December 26, 2016.
The court was of the opinion that Kumar has joined the investigation even after being granted anticipatory relief and therefore, no ground was made out upset the trial court order.
The SIT, which was formed by the Centre in 2015 to reinvestigate the riot cases, had contended that the trial court had overlooked overwhelming circumstances while granting relief to Kumar who, on the other hand, claimed that he was never named in these two cases.
The two cases stand registered in Janakpuri and Vikaspuri police stations.
The case registered in Janakapuri police station pertains to the killing of one Sohan Singh and his son-in-law Avtar Singh. The case at Vikaspuri pertains to one Gurcharan Singh who was set afire and received severe burn injuries following which he was bed-ridden for almost a decade.
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Karti Chidambaram, son of former Union Minister P Chidambaram, has moved an application in Supreme Court seeking a restraint order against the Enforcement Directorate (ED) from summoning him under the PMLA for alleged irregularities in FIPB clearance given to INX Media Ltd.
A writ petition for quashing of FIR, registered by the CBI in connection with INX Media case, is pending before the apex court for consideration and ED should not be allowed for investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), Karti said.
ED has summoned Karti, who will return from abroad on February 28 night, for interrogation on March 1.
Karti’s counsel Anupam Lal Das mentioned before the bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and the court agreed to hear the application tomorrow.
In his application, Karti said: “The entire summons is vitiated by mala fide and farce.”
The ED is not conducting any investigation whether there has been any illegality in the approvals granted to M/s INX group of companies by the FIPB unit of Ministry of Finance. Without conducting such investigation, the ED is harassing the applicant (Karti) by repeatedly calling him for interrogation under the PMLA, he alleged.
“The instant case is a classic case of abuse of powers. If the ED is allowed to continue to issue summons to the applicant for about 10 hours when the scope of the investigation is limited, it will result in the miscarriage of justice,” the application said while seeking a restraint order against ED.
“It is prayed that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to issue an interim injunction restraining the Assistant Director, ED from summoning the applicant (Karti) in the case of the INX Media …”
Karti has already appeared before ED and was interrogated for more than 10 hours on January 18.
The CBI FIR, lodged on May 15, last year had alleged irregularities in Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media when Karti’s father was the Union Finance Minister.
The top court is also hearing the CBI’s appeal challenging Madras High Court order staying the government’s look-out circular (LOC) against Karti.
On September 1 last year, the CBI had told the top court that there were “good, cogent” reasons for issuing the LOC.
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The Bombay High Court today set aside a Maharashtra government resolution asking the teaching and non-teaching staff of the government schools in Thane to shift their salary accounts to a particular cooperative bank.
A bench of justices BR Gavai and BP Colabawalla termed the resolution arbitrary and questioned the rationale behind the government’s decision to abruptly change a policy.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by the Thane Zilla Sikshan Vibhag, challenging the government circular.
As per the petitioners, they already had salary accounts in the Thane District Central Cooperative Bank, but the state wanted them to shift those accounts to the Thane Janata Sahakari Bank.
They said the government had threatened to stop the disbursement of their salaries until they shifted their bank accounts and termed the decision unreasonable and mala fide.
Earlier this month, the bench had also stayed a similar decision of the state government that made it mandatory for all the teaching and non-teaching staff to shift their salary accounts to a cooperative bank in the city.
The state government, however, denied that its decision on the shifting of salary accounts for the school staff in Thane was mala fide.
When the bench asked why it felt the need to shift the accounts from one cooperative bank to another, the state’s counsel, Ram Apte, said the government had merely changed its mind.
“The state has the power to change its mind,” he said.
The bench, however, said, “Yes, but such a power cannot be used arbitrarily. There must be a cogent reason behind such a change of mind.”
“There seems to be some ulterior motive behind shifting the accounts from the Thane District Central Cooperative Bank to the Thane Janata Sahakari Bank. The decision is not sustainable in law and the government resolution is set aside,” it added.
The court referred to the correspondence from the state finance department in this regard and pointed out that the department had continuously advised against it.
The finance department had said there was no rationale behind the move.
“Despite this, the school education department was determined to allot work to the Thane Janata Sahakari Bank. It is difficult to appreciate the reason behind this when the finance department had observed that there was no specific complaint with regard to the Thane District Central Cooperative Bank,” Justice Gavai said.
The decision to shift the bank accounts was taken by the education minister on October 5, 2016.
The court also recorded that several elected representatives had spoken against the move as the Thane Janata Sahakari Bank did not have an adequate reach in the rural areas.
Despite this, a government resolution was brought to initiate such a shift on June 14, 2017.
“The government resolution is not based on any rationale or sound reason. It is affected by only one factor of allotting work to the Thane Janata Sahakari Bank,” the court said.
The post Bombay High Court sets aside Maharashtra government resolution on teaching staff’s bank accounts appeared first on Legal News India – News Updates of Advocates, Law Firms, Law Institutes, Courts & Bars of India.
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The Delhi High Court recently expressed deep anguish over the manner in which posts were being circulated on social media without any “sense of responsibility” and authenticity of its source.
The Court was hearing Petitions filed by twenty three students who had alleged that they were shown to have passed Group I/II of CA Final Examination by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) in the communications sent to its branches and regional council, while the results uploaded on the ICAI’s website showed that they had actually failed.
The students had now approached the Court alleging that the results had been altered after de-codification, leading to the confusion. They had also relied on a press release, wherein the ICAI had allegedly accepted that some mismatch had occurred in the lists communicated to its branches, due to which the internal communication was different from the results uploaded on its website.
However, while annexing copies of screenshots of the Email communication, the Petitioners admitted that they were not sure about the authenticity of the e-mail as it was posted on Facebook.
The Respondents had, on the other hand, inter alia challenged the Petitioners’ reliance on such posts, and had denied any subsequent change in the results.
Having examined the contentions raised by both parties, Justice Rekha Palli agreed with the Respondents and observed, “It is however, interesting to note that even though the entire case of the petitioners is based on the said alleged notification, in which they claimed to have passed, the petitioners have very conveniently and for obvious reasons stated in the petition itself that they were not sure about the authenticity and correctness of the e-mails or of the messages being circulated on the Whatsapp and Facebook…
… It may be pertinent to note that even the learned counsel for the petitioners is unable to demonstrate the manner in which the said alleged notification was published except for reiterating that the same circulated on Whatsapp/ Facebook… In view of the categoric stand of the Respondent-Institute that only one result was published and that too on the three websites of the Institute, it is evident that there has been no change of any kind in the result published by the institute.”
Thereafter, before parting with the judgment, Justice Palli said that she was pained by such reckless circulation of posts on social media, observing, “Before I conclude, I must express my anguish at the manner in which the Whatsapp and Facebook posts are being circulated without any sense of responsibility. No doubt, the hopes of some students have been shattered, but unfortunately for them while the Court can only express its concern over the manner in which communications are circulated on Whatsapp/ Facebook without any authenticity of the source thereof, the legal position does not in any manner support the petitioners.”
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A special court here today remanded Vipul Ambani, the president (finance) of Nirav Modi’s Fire Star Diamond, and five others in CBI custody till March 5 in connection with the Rs 11,400 crore alleged fraud in Punjab National Bank (PNB).
The six were arrested yesterday in connection with two FIRs registered by the CBI involving Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, the owner of Gitanjali Gems.
The FIRs are related to fraudulent issuance of 150 Letters of Undertaking (LoU), a kind of bank guarantee, worth Rs 6,498 crore and 143 LoUs worth Rs 4,886 crore, issued during 2011-17.
Ambani, Kavita Mankikar (executive assistant and authorised signatory of three firms–Diamond R US, Stellar Diamond, Solar Exports), Arjun Patil (senior executive, Firestar group), and Rajesh Jindal, the then head of the Brady House branch of PNB, were listed as accused in the FIR registered by the CBI on January 31.
Those arrested in connection with Choksi’s firms are Nakshatra group and Gitanjali group CFO Kapil Khandelwal and Gitanjali group manager Niten Shahi.
The six were remanded in CBI custody till March 5 by Special Court Judge S R Tamboli.
While seeking Shahi’s custody, the CBI said he fabricated applications and related documents for issuance of purported LoUs for fraudulently availing buyers credit from PNB.
Shahi claimed that all documents were prepared and submitted to Shetty at the instance of one Vipul Chatalia, it said, adding that he was evasive on what was done with the documents once the transactions were completed.
“It is understood that Shetty was returning the set of documents without making the entries in their books although the corresponding SWIFT messages were conveyed to the overseas bank”, the agency said.
According to the CBI, “there is every reason” to believe that Shahi had actively participated in the conspiracy and was aware of other conspirators, the modus operandi adopted and of the end-use of defrauded funds.
On Khandelwal’s role, the CBI said he was reporting to Choksi and was privy to all transactions, including the illegal ones.
“He admitted that he was looking after various credit limits that were extended to the companies by PNB. During examination, he stated the companies were only undertaking transactions, including imports, against credit limits sanctioned to them,” the CBI said.
Special Public Prosecutor Limosin A told the court that they had to unearth how and where these documents for the issuance of LOUs and FLCs were prepared.
He said the agency wanted to recover the documents relating to issuance of LOUs which were handed back by Shetty after transactions and unearth utilisation of the proceeds of the defrauded amount.
“We have to identity other accomplices involved, identify the modus operandi, and to ascertain how many other banks have been defrauded”, said Limosin.
On Ambani’s role, the agency said being the finance department’s head from May 2013 to November 2017, he was aware of the fraudulent and illegal LOUs which were being issued by Shetty in conspiracy and guidance of Modi and other employees.
He was visiting and meeting not only the Brady House branch officials of PNB but also the officials of its circle and zonal offices.
“Ambani’s knowledge of the fraudulent transactions is proved from the fact that during searches at his office, the applications of fraudulent LoUs made to PNB by the three firms of Nirav Modi were seized,” the CBI stated in its remand application.
“The documents and circumstances prove his (Ambani’s) knowledge of the fraudulent applications for LOUs being made in the same premises of Firestar group companies.
“They also prove deliberate acts of omission by Ambani by not protesting the issuance of such fraudulent LoUs that led to the continuance of concealment and large-scale fraud in this case of PNB and loss and diversion of thousands of crores of public funds. This fact prove his part in this sinister conspiracy to cheat PNB,” the agency said.
On Mankikar’s role, CBI said she was the authorised signatory of Modi’s firms that fraudulently obtained LoUs from PNB for the issuance of buyers credit.
“She had fraudulently signed the applications for issuance of the LoUs. She told the agency that she was signing documents as per Modi’s instructions without knowing facts or ramifications of her actions,” the CBI said.
According to the CBI, Patil had prepared the application submitted to PNB in the name of Modi’s firms for issuance of buyers credit. “He has not disclosed how and where such applications were fraudulently prepared,” the agency said.
Seeking remand of Jindal, the CBI said they questioned him about the LoUs issued during his tenure in 2010-2011. “He allowed Shetty to continue issuing LoUs without following existing banking procedure, policy guidelines of PNB and RBI,” it said.
Opposing the custody of the accused, defence lawyers told the court that they had revealed to the CBI whatever they knew.
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The Delhi High Court recently ruled that file notings made by junior officers to their seniors are not exempt from disclosure under Section 8 of the Right to Information Act, 2005.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru was hearing a Petition filed by Mr Paras Nath Singh who had challenged an order passed by the Central Information Commission (CIC), wherein his request for information on the file notings made pursuant to his earlier RTI Application on the imposition of President’s Rule in the State of Karnataka was rejected.
The information was denied by the authorities relying on Section 8(1)(e) of the Act, which exempts from disclosure “information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship”.
The Court, however, opined that even though Section 8 of the Act exempts disclosure of certain information, it does not impose a blanket exemption that entitles the authorities to withhold all notings on a file.
It explained, “The contention that notings made by a junior officer for use by his superiors is third party information, which requires compliance of section 11 of the Act, is unmerited. Any noting made in the official records of the Government/public authority is information belonging to the concerned Government/public authority.
The question whether the information relates to a third party is to be determined by the nature of the information and not its source. The Government is not a natural person and all information contained in the official records of the Government/public authority is generated by individuals (whether employed with the Government or not) or other entities. Thus, the reasoning, that the notings or information generated by an employee during the course of his employment is his information and thus has to be treated as relating to a third party, is flawed.”
Therefore, setting aside the impugned order, the Court remanded the matter back to the CIC, directing it to pass an order preferably within a period of three months.
Read the Order Here
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புதுடில்லி: ”மக்களின் அடிப்படை உரிமைகளில், எந்த விதத்திலும் சமரசம் செய்ய முடியாது,” என, உச்ச நீதிமன்ற தலைமை நீதிபதி, தீபக் மிஸ்ரா கருத்து தெரிவித்துள்ளார். மத்திய சட்ட அமைச்சரும், பா.ஜ., மூத்த தலைவருமான, ரவிசங்கர் பிரசாத், சமீபத்தில் நடந்த ஒரு நிகழ்ச்சியில், ‘தேர்ந்தெடுக்கப்பட்ட அரசிடம், …
தமிழகம் – கேரள எல்லையில் உள்ள முல்லைப் பெரியாறு அணைப் பகுதியில், பிரமாண்ட, ‘கார் பார்க்கிங்’ உள்ளிட்ட கட்டுமானங்களை கேரள அரசு மேற்கொண்டுள்ளது. இதை எதிர்த்து, தேசிய பசுமை தீர்ப்பாயத்தில், தமிழக அரசு வழக்கு தொடர்ந்தது. அங்கு கட்டுமானப் பணிகள் மேற்கொள்ள தடை விதிக்க முடியாது என, தீர்ப்பு …
புதுடில்லி: நிலக்கரி சுரங்க ஒதுக்கீடு ஊழல் வழக்கில், சி.பி.ஐ., முன்னாள் இயக்குனர், ரஞ்சித் சின்ஹாவின் தலையீடு குறித்த விசாரணை அறிக்கையை தாக்கல் செய்ய, சிறப்பு விசாரணை குழுவுக்கு, உச்ச நீதிமன்றம் உத்தரவிட்டு உள்ளது. நிலக்கரி சுரங்க ஒதுக்கீட்டில் நடந்த மோசடிகள் குறித்து, சி.பி.ஐ., விசாரணைக்கு, உச்ச …
கோவை;”சமுதாய வளர்ச்சிக்கு, உயிர்நாடியாக கல்வி திகழ்கிறது,” என்று, கோவையில் நடந்த விழாவில், ஐகோர்ட் நீதிபதி பாஸ்கரன் பேசினார்.தமிழ்நாடு, சுயநிதி கலை, அறிவியல் மற்றும் மேலாண்மை கல்லுாரிகள் சங்கம் சார்பில், விருது வழங்கும் விழா, கோவையில் நேற்று நடந்தது. இதில், சென்னை உயர் நீதிமன்ற …
காஜியாபாத்: நொய்டாவில், பெண்ணை பலாத்காரம் செய்து கொலை செய்த வழக்கில், தொழில் அதிபர் மற்றும் அவனது வீட்டு வேலைக்காரனுக்கு, துாக்கு தண்டனை விதித்து, சி.பி.ஐ., சிறப்பு நீதிமன்றம் தீர்ப்பளித்தது.உ.பி., மாநிலம், நொய்டாவில், 2006ல், மோனிந்தர் என்பவன் வீட்டில் வேலை பார்த்த, 25 வயது பெண்ணை காணவில்லை என, அவரது …