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CBI raids on NDTV reminiscent of Emergency: PUCL

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Prannoy Roy

New Delhi, June 9: The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) on Friday said the CBI raids on NDTV co-founder Prannoy Roy’s houses was “reminiscent of the Emergency era” and a price for questioning the government.

Citing Supreme Court guidelines and the Banking Regulation Act, the PUCL said the CBI’s actions were “neither based on standard procedures and practices nor as per court mandated guidelines”.

“Under the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, cognizance of the offences can only be taken in case of a complaint in writing by an officer of the Reserve Bank of India specially authorised to file such complaints.

“However, in this case no such complaint seems to have been lodged by an authorised officer of the RBI,” PUCL President Ravi Kiran Jain said, citing the CBI booking Roy for criminal conspiracy with unknown officials of ICICI Bank under the Banking Regulation Act.

“The CBI statement explains that the complaint is lodged by a private person said to be a shareholder of ICICI Bank and NDTV. In such a situation, the CBI is bound by higher standards of transparency, accountability and responsibility, to explain their actions.”

Observing that the CBI’s action was initiated without conducting a preliminary enquiry, the PUCL questioned why the agency has not raided the premises of the ICICI Bank or its employees to find out who were involved or responsible for the alleged crime.

“The People’s Union for Civil Liberties condemns the efforts of the present government to suppress the voice of its critics in the media through malicious prosecution on the one hand, and vicious labelling of ‘anti nationalism’ and “seditious” on the other,” he said.

It criticised the “motivated use of the enforcement and intelligence agencies” against the expressing of opposing opinions, saying it would lead only to breakdown and loss of faith in the Rule of Law.

“The raids is reminiscent of the Emergency era and a chilling reminder of the price to be paid for questioning the government and ruling elite,” the PUCL said while referring to India slipping three places, to 136th in the World Press Freedom Index.

The PUCL appealed to journalists, media houses and ordinary citizens not to remain quiet but to stand up and assert the importance of independence of the media and oppose any and all attempts to muzzle and silence dissent.

“At stake is the possibility of a new version of `Emergency’ versus protecting, promoting and deepening democracy,” it added.

(IANS)

India

Former UP CM ND Tiwari shifted to ICU, next 72 hours ‘extremely crucial’

Tiwari was admitted to the Max Super Speciality Hospital after he suffered a massive brain-stroke in September last year.

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ND Tiwari

NEW DELHI: Former Uttar Pradesh CM and senior Congress leader ND Tiwari was on Monday moved to the intensive care unit (ICU) of a private hospital here after his condition became “critical” due to fever and blood pressure dropping to a “dangerously low level”, his aide said.

The doctors attending to him at Max Super Speciality Hospital have said that the next 48 to 72 hours would be “extremely crucial” for the 92-year-old politician, he added.

Around 12 noon, Tiwari contracted fever due to an infection and his heart rate became irregular with blood-pressure dropping to “dangerously low levels”, the aide said.

“He was immediately rushed to the ICU in a critical condition,” he added.

The team of doctors led by Dr J D Mukherjee (Neurologist) and Dr Sumit Sethi (Cardiologist) are looking after Tiwari.

“The doctors told his son Rohit Shekhar Tiwari that the next 48 to 72 hours will be extremely crucial for Tiwari,” the aide said.

Tiwari was admitted to the Max Super Speciality Hospital after he suffered a massive brain-stroke in September last year.

In November, he was shifted out of the ICU as his condition showed improvement.

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ED searches 39 locations, seizes Rs 5716 crore assets

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Mumbai, Feb 19: Expanding its money laundering probe into the 11,400-crore Punjab National Bank fraud case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday carried out searches at 39 places across the country and said assets worth Rs 5716 Crore have been seized in the raids till now. 

We will find out how the money laundering took place. As it is in the foreign jurisdiction it will take time to investigate, news agency ANI quoted citing ED Source was saying.

“There has been no response on the summons sent to Nirav Modi or the other accused so far. It is also being investigated as to why Gokulnath Shetty wasn’t promoted in all these years. First LoU was issued in March 2011 & was rolled over”, it added.

Earlier in a day, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sealed Punjab National Bank’s Brady Road branch after conducting search operations in connection with Rs 11,400 crore fraud case involving diamantaire Nirav Modi.

The probe agency posted an official notice outside the branch in Fort — the bank’s flagship lending window in Mumbai and its second largest national outlet.

All have been restricted from opening or entering inside this branch without prior permission of the CBI or the CBI Special Court or the CBI Competent Authority.

In the meantime, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday conducted searches at over 40 more locations in several cities across India in connection with the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam.

The agency raided 10 places in Mumbai, six each in Ahmedabad and Bengaluru, four in Chennai, three in Surat, two each in Bihar, Lucknow, Jalandhar and Hyderabad and one in Delhi.

The raids are also being carried out at diamond merchant Nirav Modi’s house in Mumbai’s Worli.

Meanwhile, the Central Vigilance Commission issued an advisory to all public sector banks to transfer all officers who have completed 3 years as on 31st Dec 2017. It also stated that transfer of all clerical staff who have completed 5 years as on 31st Dec 2017 should be done immediately.

On Sunday, the probe agency had questioned 11 bank officials as well as Vipul Ambani, the Chief Financing Officer of Modi’s Firestar International company.

So far, the CBI arrested three PNB officials – Gokulnath Shetty, Manoj Kharat and Hemant Bhat. They are under police custody till March 3.

Apart from this, the CBI earlier named 10 other directors and officials as accused in the scam which has created a countrywide furore.

They are: Krishnan Sangameshwaran, Nazura Yashjaney, Gopal Das Bhatia, Aniyath Shivraman, Dhanesh Vrajlal Sheth, Jyoti Bharat Vora, Anil Umesh Haldipur, Chandrakant Kanu Karkare, Pankhuri Abhijeet Varange and Mihir Bhaskar Joshi.

More than Rs 11,400 crore was siphoned by using the LoU method. Bank officials and celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi and his accomplices are allegedly involved in the fraud.

WeForNews 

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Explain how scam took place despite regulations; CVC asks PNB, Finance Ministry to submit report in 10 days

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New Delhi, Feb 19: The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) on Monday asked the Punjab National Bank and Finance Ministry to submit a report on how the scam took place despite monetary regulations being in place within 10 days. 

Officials of PNB, RBI and Dept of Financial Services gave a presentation of 2 hours to Central Vigilance Commission about the case.

Apart from this, the CVC has asked for names of officials who were involved & sought identification of officials who could have taken action and prevented it.

After meeting with PNB and Finance Ministry officials Central Vigilance Commission also had a meeting with CBI officials. The probe agency officials told CVC that it was a system failure at multiple levels.

WeForNews 

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