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Advani, Uma, MM Joshi to face criminal conspiracy charges in Babri Masjid case




News Delhi, April 19, 2017: The Supreme Court has on Wednesday allowed CBI’s appeal challenging withdrawal of conspiracy charges against 13 Senior BJP leaders including L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti.

A bench of justice PC Ghose and justice RF Nariman ordered day-to-day hearing in the case, setting a two-year deadline for the trial to be completed. Now, the matter will be heard by a Lucknow court and it shall be transferred within four weeks from Rai Bareilly to Lucknow.

The apex court, however, excluded senior party leader Kalyan Singh, who was the UP chief minister then, is protected since he is a governor. But charges would be framed against him once he ceases to be governor, the court said.

Other leaders who will face criminal conspiracy charges are Vinay Katiyar, Sadhvi Ritambara, Satish Pradhan, Champat Rai Bansal and Late Giriraj Kishore.

There were two sets of cases relating to the demolition of the disputed structure on 6 December 1992. The first involved unnamed ‘karsevaks’, the trial of which is taking place in a Lucknow court, while the second set of cases relate to the VVIPs in a Rae Bareli court.

The clubbing of two FIRs was opposed by the counsel for the accused on the ground that there were different sets of persons named as accused in the two cases, the trial of which were at an advanced stage at two different places. They thought that a joint trial would mean the beginning of fresh proceedings.

The conspiracy charge against 13 accused including Advani, Joshi and Bharti was dropped in the case, the trial of which is being held at a special court in Rae Bareli. The second set of case was against unknown ‘karsevaks’ who were in and around the disputed structure and pulled it down. The trial against them is being held in a Lucknow court.

The appeals were filed by one Haji Mahboob Ahmad (since dead) and the CBI, against the dropping of conspiracy charges, against 21 accused including the top BJP leaders. Eight of them have died. A supplementary charge sheet was filed against eight persons but not the 13 who were discharged for plotting the demolition.

Besides Advani, Joshi and Bharti, conspiracy charges were dropped against Kalyan Singh (currently the Governor of Rajasthan), Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray and VHP leader Acharya Giriraj Kishore (both have since died).

Wefornews Bureau


Cabinet approves Ordinance to confiscate properties of fugitive economic offenders



PM-Modi, Image Credit PIB
PM Modi, File Photo: PIB

New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) In a bid to bring back defaulters of huge bank loans who escape to refuges abroad, the Union Cabinet on Saturday approved an ordinance that would provide for attachment and confiscation of the properties of the economic offenders.

The decision to issue The Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018 was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi which comes in the wake of the recent multi-crore Punjab National Bank fraud case, in which the main accused diamond trader Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi fled the country after duping the bank to the tune of over Rs. 30,000 crore.

Some other similar offenders, including businessman Vijay Mallya, who headed the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, also escaped to London a few years after running up huge debts to consortiums of banks.

Sources said the Ordinance aims at deterring economic offenders from evading the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.

Under the ordinance, a special forum would be created for expeditious confiscation of the proceeds of crime, in India or abroad, that would coerce the fugitive to return to India to submit to the jurisdiction of Courts in India to face the law in respect of scheduled offences.

The Ordinance makes provisions for a ‘Special Court’ under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 to declare a person as a Fugitive Economic Offender.

A Fugitive Economic Offender is described as a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued in respect of a scheduled offence and who has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution, or being abroad, refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution.

A scheduled offence refers to a list of economic offences contained in the Schedule to this Ordinance. Further, in order to ensure that Courts are not over-burdened with such cases, only those cases where the total value involved in such offences is Rs 100 crore or more, is within the purview of this Ordinance.

According to the sources, the Ordinance is expected to re-establish the rule of law with respect to the fugitive economic offenders as they would be forced to return to India to face trial for scheduled offences.

This would also help the banks and other financial institutions to achieve higher recovery from financial defaults committed by such fugitive economic offenders, improving the financial health of such institutions.

However, if at any point of time in the course of the proceeding prior to the declaration, the alleged fugitive economic offender returns to India and submits to the appropriate jurisdictional court, proceedings under the proposed Act would cease by law.

“All necessary constitutional safeguards in terms of providing hearing to the person through counsel, allowing him time to file a reply, serving notice of summons to him, whether in India or abroad and appeal to the High Court have been provided for,” the sources said.

The proposed ordinance, among other things, provides for making an application before the Special Court for a declaration that an individual is a fugitive economic offender; attachment of the property of a fugitive economic offender and proceeds of crime and issue of a notice by the Special Court to the individual alleged to be a fugitive economic offender.

It also provides for confiscation of the property of an individual declared as a fugitive economic offender or even the proceeds of crime; disentitlement of the fugitive economic offender from defending any civil claim and appointment of an Administrator to manage and dispose of the confiscated property under the Act.

Sources said since the approved law would utilise the existing infrastructure of the Special Courts constituted under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 and the threshold of scheduled offence is high at Rs 100 crore or more, no additional expenditure is expected on the enactment of the Ordinance.


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Control your emotions and resume classes, Minister tells J&K students



Jammu kashmir Syed Altaf Bukhari
Jammu and Kashmir Education Minister Syed Altaf Bukhari (File Photo)

Srinagar, April 21: Jammu and Kashmir Education Minister Syed Altaf Bukhari on Saturday advised students protesting over the Kathua rape-murder case to control their emotions and resume their classes.

srinagar-protest Kathua rape

Law students stage protest demanding justice in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old Kathua girl, in Srinagar.

“After the Kathua incident, we gave the students a chance to vent their emotions. Students should control their emotions and now go back to their classes,” the Minister told the media here.

The Minister said Kashmir cannot afford a generation of illiterates and urged everybody to help ensure that students resume academic activities.

He warned that if the present situation continued the state government would be forced to close down educational institutions. “The security of students is our paramount concern. That is why we close schools and colleges.”

Kashmir has been in the throes of spiraling student protests in the past month or so to seek justice for the Kathua rape-murder victim whose body was found in Rasana village on January 10.


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BJP seeks action against Balakrishna for verbal attack on Modi



Vijayawada, April 21: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday sought action against senior Telugu actor and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader N. Balakrishna for using objectionable language against Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the ‘Dharma Porata Deeksha’.

A delegation of BJP leaders met Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan in Visakhapatnam and urged him to take serious note of Balakrishna’s remarks.

Speaking to news agency ANI, BJP legislator Sudhish Rambhotla said “Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister  Naidu’s brother-in-law&party MLA Balakrishna talks like a lunatic.What is the kind of language he uses? Does he have sense? I think he has to be treated for mental illness. He has to be expelled from the party”.

The delegation, led by Vishnukumar Raju, handed over a memorandum to the Governor seeking action against Balakrishna.

Balakrishna on Friday termed Modi as a “gaddar” (traitor) and “namak haram” (cheat) for going back on the promise of granting special category status to Andhra Pradesh, news agency IANS reported.

Besides this, the politician also used some more unparliamentary words, evoking strong condemnation from the saffron party.

Balakrishna came up with these remarks while addressing a meeting in Vijayawada where his brother-in-law and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu staged a day-long hunger strike to protest against the Centre for doing injustice to the state.

The actor, who is a member of the state assembly and younger son of TDP founder N.T. Rama Rao, left no words in attacking the Prime Minister.

Referring to Narendra Modi’s past as a tea-seller, the TDP leader said Modi had treated Andhra Pradesh like a fly struggling for survival in a cup of hot tea.

“Instead of rescuing it, he chose to take into his mouth and chew it. He is a ‘makhi choos’ (fly sucker),” he stated.

Not only this, he even predicted that the BJP would not clinch a single seat in Andhra Pradesh in the upcoming elections.

“You are trying to play Sikhandi (an eunuch character in Mahabharata) politics by taking the help of our rivals to attack the TDP. But your cheap politics won’t work here. You cannot succeed in your attempts,” Balakrishna said.

The politician further added “If you have heart, you should listen to the heart beat of the Telugu people. Not just Andhra, entire India is against you. The time has come when they will beat you repeatedly and chase you, wherever you go. You cannot escape even if you go and sit in a bunker”.

The actor also accused Modi of trying to gain grip over Andhra Pradesh as he had done in Gujarat.

“But remember Modji, Andhra Pradesh is not Gujarat. Your tricks do not work here. The Telugu people are courageous. They showed their power when the Congress government in Delhi tried to pull down NTR government in 1984.”


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