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ED attaches Rs 263 cr assets of Deccan Chronicle group

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Hyderabad, March 28, 2017: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday attached assets worth Rs 263.10 crore of Hyderabad-based Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited (DCHL) in a bank loan fraud case.

The properties, including movable and immovable assets, shares, bank balances, foreign currency receivables and luxurious cars, were attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

These properties are other than the properties pledged to banks by DCHL, the ED said in its provisional order.

The bank loan fraud caused a loss of Rs 1,161.93 crore to 6 public sector banks such as Canara Bank, Andhra Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Central Bank of India, Corporation Bank and IDBI Bank.

The ED had booked a case under the PMLA against the company and others based on a FIR and charge sheet by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The CBI lodged the FIR for criminal conspiracy and other provisions for causing wrongful loss of Rs 357.77 crore to Canara Bank.

The CBI registered five more FIRs relating to five PSU Banks and filed 6 charge sheets.

The DCHL had allegedly availed loans by overstating the receivables, under-stating huge loan liabilities by furnishing fabricated financial statements and not disclosing the loans.

In all, it availed 111 loans amounting to Rs 10,000 crore from 16 different banks during 2004 to 2012.

Of this, Rs 2,800 crore is outstanding to various banks as on September 2012 excluding interest.

These loans were used for other than the specified purposes, investing in 20 group companies and firms, acquiring companies with huge premiums, payments to Airbus towards the purchase of cargo aircraft and payments to BCCI for Indian Premier League franchisee of Deccan Chargers.

The loans were also used payments towards dividends declared by DCHL, buy-back of shares, issue of bonus shares, purchase of luxurious cars in the name of associates/group companies, repayment of earlier loans taken, among others

According to ED, the group companies of DCHL acquired movable and immovable properties with the loan received from DCHL and did not disclose the same in the audited balance sheet of the companies concerned with a view to obscuring the identity of such properties which amounted to money laundering.

Wefornews Bureau

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Delhi govt bans use of hookah in hotels, restaurants to stem COVID-19 spread

Delhi has so far recorded 1,38,482 COVID-19 cases and 4,021 people have died due to the disease.

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New Delhi, Aug 3 : The Delhi government on Monday banned the use of hookahs, with or without tobacco, in all public places, including hotels, restaurants and bars, with immediate effect to control the spread of COVID-19.

Smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 as smoking means the fingers are in contact with the lips which increases the possibility of transmission of the virus, the health department said in an order.

“Smokers may also already have lung diseases or reduced lung capacity which would greatly increase the risk of serious illness,” it said.

Smoking products such as water pipes often involve the sharing of mouthpieces and hoses, which could facilitate the transmission of COVID-19 in communal and social settings, the health department said.

Therefore, the use and sharing of hookah, with or without tobacco (herbal hookah), “which might further increase the spread of SARS-CoV2, is strictly prohibited in all public places, including hotels, restaurants, bars, pubs, eateries, discotheques, etc. in Delhi with immediate effect to prevent and control the outbreak of COVID-19”, it said.

Delhi has so far recorded 1,38,482 COVID-19 cases and 4,021 people have died due to the disease.

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Assam situation limps towards normalcy, 4 lakh still affected

With one more death on Monday in Bongaigaon district, the floods have so far left 110 persons, including women and children, dead in 22 districts, while 26 others were killed in landslides since May 22.

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Guwahati, Aug 3 : Around four lakh people in 17 districts are still in distress even as the situation in Assam, which faced an over month long spell of devastating floods, has improved in the past 11 days due to a break in the monsoon, officials said on Monday.

According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) officials, of the four lakh affected people in 17 of the 33 districts, 3.40 lakh are in the state’s seven districts — Goalpara (172,866), Morigaon (48,198), Bongaigaon (49,815), South Salmara (23,104), Baksa (16,000), Golaghat (14,700) and Barpeta (14,427).

A total of 32,028 hectares of crops in around 500 villages are still inundated.

The let-up in the monsoon rains caused the improvement in the annual flood situation in Assam and other northeastern states, India Meteorological Department (IMD) officials said.

The ASDMA officials said that four major rivers, including the Brahmaputra, are still in spate at many places in five districts, including Sonitpur, where both the Brahmaputra and Jia Bharali are flowing over the danger level for the past several weeks.

With one more death on Monday in Bongaigaon district, the floods have so far left 110 persons, including women and children, dead in 22 districts, while 26 others were killed in landslides since May 22.

Forest officials said that at least 150 wild animals have died due to the deluge and 172 have been rescued, even as over 50 per cent of the 884 sq km Kaziranga National Park remains inundated. On July 24, 95 per cent area of the park had been flooded.

The animals that have died in the annual monsoon floods include 18 rhinos, 105 hog deer, 11 wild boars, six wild buffaloes, three porcupines and two swamp deer.

Officials said that besides Kaziranga, located on the edge of the eastern Himalayan bio-diversity hotspots of Golaghat and Nagaon districts, the Manas, R.G. Orang and Tinsukia national parks, and the Pabitora and Tinsukia wildlife sanctuaries were also affected.

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LG Anil Baijal sets up special court for trial of Delhi riot cases

By the means of another notification dated July 31, the Delhi Home Department declared the police quarters adjoining Mandoli Jail as a “temporary jail”.

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Delhi L-G Anil Baijal

New Delhi, Aug 3 : On the recommendation of the Delhi High Court, Lt Governor Anil Baijal on Monday designated the court of Additional Session Judge, Shahdara, as a special court for the trial of cases relating to violence which had erupted in the city in February.

In a notification, the Department of Law, Justice and Legislative Affairs stated: “In exercise of the powers conferred under Section 22 of the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008, the Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, on the recommendation of High Court of Delhi, is pleased to additionally designate the Court of Additional Session Judge-03, Shahdara District, as Special Court for the trial of cases relating to communal violence/riots which took place in Delhi early this year in which Scheduled offences under the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008 are also made out.”

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In June, the Delhi High Court had designated four special courts for holding trials in the cases relating to the violence and clashes that broke out in the northeast district of the national capital in February.

Violence had broken out in parts of Delhi after clashes between pro and anti-Citizenship Amendment Act agitators spiralled out of control, leaving 53 dead.

By the means of another notification dated July 31, the Delhi Home Department declared the police quarters adjoining Mandoli Jail as a “temporary jail”.

In the notification, Deputy Secretary, Home, M.K. Aggarwal, stated: “In pursuance of the provisions of the Delhi Prisons Act, 2000 read with the Delhi Prisons Rules 2018, Minister of Home of Delhi government declare Police Quarters in the Police Housing Complex adjoining Mandoli Jail, Delhi as ‘Temporary Jail’ till further orders, in view of Covid-19 pandemic.”

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