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India signs pact with Britain on illegal migrants

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New Delhi, Jan 12: India has signed an MoU with the United Kingdom to enable the return of illegal Indian migrants within a month of their detection by authorities abroad.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on Friday confirmed that the pact was signed by him and UK Minister of State for Immigration Caroline Nokes in Britain on Wednesday during his visit along with an Indian delegation for a week.

“We finalised long-pending India-UK MoU on the returns of illegal migrants and sharing of criminal records,” Rijiju tweeted.

The Memorandum of Understanding, which would affect hundreds of Indians, comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed visit to the UK in March. The UK has consistently raised the issue of return of illegal migrants with India.

Rijiju said he also discussed “issues of visas for dependents and students, social security, distressed Indian women and extradition”.

A Home Ministry official said: “The process was not streamlined yet. The British authorities will first identify the illegal migrants, inform the Indian authorities, followed by police verification back home.

“If the claims of the British authorities are found to be correct, then the travel documents of the person concerned will be readied and he/she deported by the UK authorities. This process will have a timeline of one month,” said the official.

While the UK claims that the number of illegal migrants is in thousands, Indian agencies have found only 2,000 Indians are overstaying.

The Minister on Thursday also thanked the UK government for its cooperation in the ongoing extradition case of liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya.

He had also held talks with the Britain’s Minister of State for Security at the UK Home Office, Ben Wallace, on broad security issues.

“As part of the discussions, the Minister thanked the UK government for cooperation in the Mallya extradition case,” a senior official present at the meeting said.

Mallya, 62, is wanted in India to stand trial on charges of not repaying loans of around Rs 9,000 crore to various banks.

Besides the extradition case, issues such as the rise of fundamentalism and Sikh extremism were discussed during Rijiju’s meeting with the UK Minister.

IANS

India

HC turns down NIFT students’ plea against fee hike

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Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court has declined a petition filed by fourth-year students of National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) against fee hike which they dubbed “arbitrary” and “irrational”.

“There are no grounds to warrant any interference by this court. There is no merit in the present petition and the same is dismissed,” said Justice Jay

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Farm laws: Rahul Gandhi urges PM Modi to protesting farmers

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Rahul Gandhi Farmers

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reach out to the farmers protesting against the three farm laws and give them a “healing touch”.

Sharing a news report about the protest of farmers in Punjab marking the festival of Dussehra by burning effigies of PM Modi and corporate companies against the Central government’s three farm laws, Rahul Gandhi said it is a “dangerous precendent” which is bad for the country.

“This happened all over Punjab yesterday. It’s sad that Punjab is feeling such anger towards PM. This is a very dangerou precedent and is bad for our country. PM should reach out, listen and give a healing touch quickly. ” Rahul wrote on Twitter.

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Coal scam: Ex-Union Minister Dilip Ray sentenced to 3 years jail

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Dilip Ray

Former Union minister Dilip Ray was on Monday sentenced to three-year imprisonment in a coal scam case. Ray was convicted in the case which pertains to irregularities in the allocation of a Jharkhand coal block in 1999.

A Delhi court had earlier this month reserved the order for October 26 after hearing arguments from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as well the convicts. The court directed the convicts to be present before it physically on that date.

Besides Ray, former minister of state (coal) in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, the CBI had sought life imprisonment for other convicts – two senior officials of the Ministry of Coal at that time, Pradip Kumar Banerjee and Nitya Nand Gautam, and Castron Technologies Ltd’s (CTL) director Mahendra Kumar Agarwalla.

Ray was convicted under various sections including 409 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which pertains to criminal breach of trust of trust by a public servant.

“I am very surprised at conviction under section 409 of the IPC as the same court in the past has acquitted people in 409 IPC in view of three-judge bench judgement of Supreme Court. However, I welcome sentence not being harsh of three years having been imposed by the court,” said Vijay Aggarwal, advocate who represented various accused in 2G scam and is also representing various accused in coal scam cases.

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