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INX media case: Delhi HC grants interim protection to Chidambaram till Aug 1

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New Delhi, July 25: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday granted interim protection to former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case till August 1.

Justice A.K. Pathak directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) not to take any coercive steps against Chidambaram in the case till August 1, the next date fixed for hearing.

The bench has directed Chidambaram not to leave the country without permission. The Court directed the former minister to co-operate with the investigation and join the agency whenever required.

The Court was hearing Chidambaram’s anticipatory bail plea in the case.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are probing how his son Karti Chidambaram managed to get clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).

Karti was arrested on February 28 by the CBI for allegedly taking money to facilitate the FIPB clearance to INX Media in 2007 when his father was the Union Finance Minister in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. Later, Karti was granted bail.

Karti’s chartered accountant S. Bhaskararaman was arrested in the case by the ED and he was later granted bail.

Chidambaram’s counsel and Senior Advocate Dayan Krishan told the Court that the former minister apprehended arrest following the CBI summons issued to him although ED has not issued any notice to the former minister.

Chidambaram’s advocate told the Court that there is an apprehension of arrest as the CBI, in his case has cleared that it required his custodial interrogation.

Citing that the ED has opposed his anticipatory bail plea in another case related to the Aircel-Maxis deal, he said: “It cannot be ruled out that the ED may also summon him or illegally arrest him even without issuing summons.”

ED’s counsel and Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta opposed the plea and said that the leader’s plea is not maintainable as he must have approached the lower court for bail instead of the high court.

ED alleged that Chidambaram’s son Karti was instrumental in the FIPB clearance in the INX media case and a similar modus operandi was used in the Aircel-Maxis deal case.

ED counsel told the court that the former minister had applied for bail in a separate case related to the Aircel-Maxis deal in the trial court. But in the INX media case, he is seeking bail in the High Court, the probe agency counsel said.

The agency counsel also said that the Congress leader is indulging in forum shopping by approaching different courts.

IANS

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Reporters clash outside NCB, Republic’s Pradeep Bhandari blames ‘NDTV, ABP’ goons

Videos surfaced across social media platforms where a heated exchange among the reporters resulted in one of them slapping the other.

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Journalists Clash

As journalists thronged outside the Narcotics Control Bureau office near Ballard Estate, Fort, Mumbai, the chaos to cover Simone Khambatta ensued into a scuffle.

Videos surfaced across social media platforms where a heated exchange among the reporters resulted in one of them slapping the other. Many tried to sort it out and keep the two parties apart, until the cops intervened.

According to Republic TV reporter Pradeep Bhandari, he was attacked by ‘NDTV and ABP’ goons for ‘speaking the truth’.

Sharing the video on Twitter, he wrote, “Know what is the cost of speaking the truth in Maharashtra? As the well-known faces of the cartel are getting exposed, their anger continues to grow. When the police didn’t do anything, NDTV and ABP goons sent journalists to assault me. But I am not someone who breaks easily.”

NDTV’s Saurabh Gupta denied the claim and said the NDTV crew behaved responsibly.

Fashion designer Simone Khambatta is being questioned by the NCB in their ongoing probe related to the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

Khambatta reached the NCB’s south Mumbai guesthouse on Thursday morning.

As the agency widens their probe in alleged drug procurement by Bollywood personalities, many actors, producers and other members from the film fraternity are likely to be questioned.

The ambit of the probe has now widened from investigating the death of the actor to alleged procurement and consumption of banned narcotics substances.

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Nehru’s Policies, Ayodhya Dispute, Gujarat Riots Dropped From Assam Class 12 Syllabus

The chapters were deleted by the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) to apparently reduce the load by 30 percent on account of loss of academic schedule due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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CMAT, GPAT Exam

The Assam government has excluded lessons on Jawaharlal Nehru’s policies, the Ayodhya dispute and the Gujarat riots among topics from the Class 12 syllabus of the state examination board to “ease burden on students.” The chapters were deleted by the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) to apparently reduce the load by 30 percent on account of loss of academic schedule due to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to officials, topics have been cut short in all the subjects of the three streams- Science, Arts and Commerce.

“The main objective is to reduce the exam stress of the students of the session 2020-21, due to the pandemic and to prevent learning gaps. This syllabi will be the academic portion for the preparation of upcoming final exams of Higher Secondary 1st and 2nd year to be held in 2021,” AHSCE Secretary Manoranjan Kakati said in a recent report. The decision to trim the syllabus was taken on the recommendation of the selected subject experts from various reputed institutions of the state, he said.

In Political Science, Jawaharlal Nehru’s approach to nation-building and his foreign policy, politics of ‘Garibi Hatao’ and the first three general elections have been struck off. The reduced syllabi also excluded the implementation of Mandal Commission report, the anti-Sikh riots of 1984, the central governments under the United Front, earlier regimes of NDA and UPA, Ayodhya dispute, Gujarat riots, famine and suspension of five-year plans. Topics like the cold war, rise of China as an economic power in post-Mao era, conflicts and efforts for peace in South Asia, politics of disarmament, consequences of globalisation and anti-globalisation movements have also been done away with.

The salient features of the National Policy of Education 1986 and the units on women empowerment have been dropped from Class 12 syllabus. In Sociology, the experts have deleted the chapters on the struggle for women’s equality, minority rights and nation building, panchayati raj and challenges of social transformation, globalisation and social change, land reforms, secularisation and tribal movements.

For the History examination, the students will not require to study the Mughal court, Jesuits at the Mughal court, peasants, zamindars and the state, difference and conflict, religious ferment in North India and reconstructing histories of religious traditions. There will not be any material on liberalisation, privatisation, globalisation and industrial development in India.

Likewise, measures of government deficit, foreign exchange rate and determination of exchange rate in a free market and progress of nationalisation of banks and lead bank scheme from Banking were removed, the report said.

In the Swadesh Adhyayan subject, which was introduced in 2018 to study Assam and North East, changes in religious and linguistic demography, population explosion of Assam and the foreigners’ issue have been deleted.

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“Like East India Company”: Sharad Pawar’s Party Slams New Farm, Labour Bills

“The BJP government is in a way setting up an East India Company in the country by diluting farm and labour laws and protecting capitalists,” NCP spokesperson Mahesh Tapase said.

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Mumbai: Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) today hit out at the Centre over the passage of farm sector and labour reform bills, accusing it of being a “government of capitalists”.

The bills were passed in a hurried manner, said NCP spokesperson Mahesh Tapase.

“The Centre has again proved it is a government of capitalists and not of common people,” he alleged.

“The BJP government is in a way setting up an East India Company in the country by diluting farm and labour laws and protecting capitalists,” he added.

The farm sector laws do not clearly mention minimum support prices and that is why the farmers in northern states are protesting against these reforms, Mr Tapase said.

“The NCP is completely with farmers. (NCP chief Sharad) Pawar himself has said so,” he added.

On labour reforms, the NCP spokesperson said the Union government was bringing in the “hire and fire” work culture of the West.

Talking about Bihar Director General of Police Gupteshwar Pandey opting for voluntary retirement, Mr Tapase said the Election Commission and Department of Personnel and Training should make a two-year cooling off period compulsory before former officials can join politics.

Mr Pandey was under attack from Maharashtra politicians for seeking CBI probe in actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death.

“Such officials can join politics after their cooling-off period is over,” Mr Tapase said.

He also demanded that the Centre disburse to Maharashtra its Goods and Services Tax share of ₹ 22,000 crore.

Parliament passed Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill last week.

On Wednesday it approved three key labour reform bills.

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