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Case of money laundering registered against Raghav Bahl: ED

The Income Tax department (I-T) had last year raided Bahl’s residence and office in an alleged case of tax evasion.

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Raghav Bahl

New Delhi, June 7 : The Enforcement Directorate on Friday said it has registered a case of money laundering against media personality Raghav Bahl on the basis of the Income Tax Department reports.

Last month, Bahl had issued a statement, admitting his correspondence with the investigating authorities while vehemently refuting any intent for financial misconduct.

“The agency has registered a case against Bahl on the basis of the IT department reports regarding money laundering,” a senior ED official told on Friday, while requesting anonymity.

The Income Tax department (I-T) had last year raided Bahl’s residence and office in an alleged case of tax evasion.

Following this, Bahl had issued an official statement, saying he was astonished to see that a blatant attempt had been made by the “government’s spin-masters” to say that the action was part of a year-long investigation into some long-term capital gains scam, whereby Raghav Bahl and Ritu Kapur had made “bogus” income of Rs 118 crore.

In a press statement issued on May 27, Bahl had claimed that he had made all disclosures in his income tax returns (ITRs) about his investment and transactions.

In response to reports about ED probing him, Bahl said the only proceedings he was aware of relate to a show-cause notice dated May 1, 2019 which was duly replied to on May 2, 2019.

Cities

One dead, 22 fall sick after consuming ‘local alcohol’ in Andhra

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Visakhapatnam, Sep 18 : One person died and 22 others fell sick after consuming suspected ‘local alcohol’ in three villages of Andhra Pradesh’s Vizianagaram district.

“There were 22 cases reported. The complaint basically is swelling in the leg, pain in the stomach, and reddishness in the eyes. There was no other symptom. By the time this came to us, one person died,” Visakhapatnam District Collector V. Vinay Chand told IANS.

Chinaraba, Kotaparthy and Kakaravalasa are the three villages where the sickness afflicted the unsuspecting tribals.

Chinaraba has a population of 248, Koaparthy 95 and Kakaravalasa 125. Most of the ailing tribals are in their 30s and 40s.

Kakaravalasa is 52 km north west of Vishakhapatnam.

All the 22 who fell sick, were shifted to the King George Hospital (KGH) in Visakhapatnam for treatment.

Though the health department conducted a medical camp in the tribal village, they did not improve, necessitating them to be shifted to KGH.

“The condition of all of them is stable and they are being continuously monitored. They have all been tested for Covid, they have all turned negative,” said Chand.

The health department has collected more blood samples from the tribals for further testing, those results are expected in a day.

Chand said the tribals were also diagnosed with malnourishment.

Though the reason for the tribals’ ailment hasn’t been established, officials are suspecting the consumption of local alcohol.

“It is suspected that there was some consumption of liquor. The tribals normally consume locally available liquor. However, this is yet to be confirmed,” the Collector clarified.

According to Chand, tribals were known to be consuming various types of locally available alcohol, however, he said if that liquor was contaminated or illicit is not clear.

“There are a lot of stories going around, I’m not really sure until we get more information and I cannot confirm or negate anything. Probable reason was any consumption of locally available toddy, but that is also subject to confirmation,” the officer observed.

The medical camp will continue for the next 7 – 10 days in the tribal villages. Medical staff are educating the tribals on personal hygiene, washing hands and drinking warm water.

They were also advised on coronavirus, told to refrain from consuming stored meat and also explained the adverse effects of alcohol.

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India

Delhi Police Arrest Freelance Journalist Under Official Secrets Act

Rajeev Sharma, a resident of Delhi’s Pitampura, has been arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police.

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New Delhi: The Delhi Police on Friday said it has arrested a freelance journalist, who was found in possession of defence-related classified documents, in connection with a case under the Official Secrets Act.

Rajeev Sharma, a resident of Delhi’s Pitampura, has been arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police.

“He (Rajeev) was found to be in possession of some defence-related classified documents. Investigation of the case is in progress and further details will be shared in due course,” Sanjeev Kumar Yadav, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell), said.

Besides Sharma, the names of activists and academicians like Anand Teltumbde, Shalini Gera and Bela Bhatia had also figured in the list.

Facebook was accused of using its messaging platform to dispatch ‘Pegasus’, which is a hacking tool.

While NSO had claimed that it sold the software only to official agencies, the Narendra Modi government had said that it had nothing to do with the spyware attack.

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‘Free speech, not hatred’: SC says media self-regulation system toothless

The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed broadcast of subsequent 5 episodes of “UPSC Jihad” by Sudarshan TV stating that the intent and purpose of the program is to vilify the Muslim community.

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New Delhi, Sep 18 : The Supreme Court on Friday, citing the Sudarshan News programme “UPSC Jihad”, said there are many gaps in the self-regulation model of media, and as a consequence, the TV programme implicated the whole Muslim community as attempting to destabilise and take over the civil services.

A bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and K.M. Joseph expressed concern over the stereotyping and vilification of the Muslim community through the TV programme.

Justice Chandrachud said if there would have been a viable self-regulation method, then the courts would not have intervened.

“This part becomes a real issue, whenever you say joining the civil services is a deep-rooted conspiracy, that is the problem. Media targets the whole segment of the community. How do you deal with that?” he asked senior advocate Shyam Divan, representing Sudarshan News.

After going through the TV programme, the bench highlighted several critical issues with its content and the deplorable projection of the Muslim community.

“We do not want to come in the way of journalism. But we have a constitutional duty to protect human dignity,” it observed.

The top court said the court espouses free speech and citing the stay on the broadcast of the TV show, insisted that the court does not favour the injunction to be law of the land.

The bench said it has no problem with investigative journalism, but it has problems when claims are made that every member of the community will join ISIS.

“This is the element where it goes from free speech to hatred. To brand everybody in the community becomes a problem… you alienate them with a divisive propaganda,” it said.

The bench observed that National Broadcasters Association (NBA) may have a committee headed by a former Supreme Court judge, but it is toothless, as it can merely impose a monetary fine of Rs 1 lakh maximum.

“If person is not a member, then they (NBA) cannot deal with him. Sudarshan News is not a member. We can use this case as a focal point to improve self-regulation,” Justice Chandrachud told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre.

The bench said no government agency took action against the TV channel and the NBA says this channel is not its member.

“In this situation, we have to take action, when no party is taking action,” said the bench.

Justice Chandrachud also sought to know concrete steps to strengthen the mechanism of self-regulation in the media.

Sudarshan News counsel, however, said that they will submit an affidavit to address the perception of hate speech in the content of the TV programme, so that the court could lift the stay on the broadcast.

“Need to look at the program as a whole, not as a part… I have no objection at all to any community joining the UPSC,” argued Divan for the channel.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed broadcast of subsequent 5 episodes of “UPSC Jihad” by Sudarshan TV stating that the intent and purpose of the program is to vilify the Muslim community.

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