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Judge at AIIMS record Unnao rape survivor’s statement

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BJP MLA from Unnao Kuldip Singh Sengar

New Delhi, Sep 11: A special fast track court set up at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Wednesday recorded the statement of the Unnao victim, admitted in the hospital and recuperating.

Kuldeep Singh Sengar, the accused in the case, was brought to AIIMS from Tihar jail for the court hearing. Special Judge Dharmesh Sharma held the court inside the trauma centre, where the victim was admitted.

Special security arrangements were made by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inside the hospital premises where the court for the purpose.

District judge Dharmesh Sharma on September 7, had issued direction to hold trial proceedings inside the Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre. The survivor was said to be in condition to depose after surviving a fatal car accident in Rae Bareli in July.

Judge Sharma has decided to continue the day-to-day basis hearing commencing Wednesday till the time the testimony is concluded. The Special Court also stated that the proceedings would be held in-camera and no other public person would be allowed to enter the court without permission.

The court has directed the AIIMS administration to ensure that CCTV installed in the area should be switched off. The court also requested the hospital to depute an experienced nurse to remain present during the proceedings to look after the victim.

The court has also allowed only two defence associates for accused Shashi Singh and Kuldeep Singh Sengar during testimony and cross examination of the victim/survivor.

The Delhi High Court last week ordered setting up of the special court at AIIMS in order to continue trial in the Unnao rape case.

With this facilitation the victim will be able to depose before the court at AIIMS itself.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by section 9(6) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, Hon’ble Chief Justice and the Judges of this Court have been pleased to order that Dharmesh Sharma…shall hold court for recording the testimony of the victim premises/building of the Trauma Centre of AIIMS, New Delhi along with Tis Hazari Court during the trial,” the order read.

This came hours after the Supreme Court asked the Delhi High Court to decide on the trial court judge’s request to conduct special proceedings on the Unnao rape case at AIIMS, where the 2017 rape survivor and her lawyer are admitted, for recording their statement.

A bench headed by Justice Deepak Gupta granted liberty to the Delhi High Court to decide at the earliest on the trial court judge’s plea to hold a special court in the hospital to examine the victim.

The Supreme Court also granted two more weeks to the CBI to conclude the probe in the Unnao rape survivor accident case.

The bench also said that the trial court judge can approach the apex court for an extension of the period for concluding the trial as there is no bar on continuing the trial beyond 45 days.

On August one, the Supreme Court shifted the five cases connected with the Unnao rape incident to Delhi, assigned a special judge to conduct the day-to-day trial and ordered that the trial should be completed within 45 days.

The court had taken suo moto cognizance of a letter written by the victim’s family alleging threats from Bharatiya Janata Party Legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar’s aides.

On July 28, the car in which the rape survivor, her lawyer and two aunts were travelling was hit by a speeding truck in Rae Bareli. Both her aunts were killed in the accident, while the rape survivor and her lawyer were critically injured.

Brought to AIIMS last month, both the rape survivor and her lawyer are on advanced life support systems and being treated by a multidisciplinary team from the critical care, orthopaedics, trauma surgery and pulmonary medicine departments.

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Private players to run trains on key routes: Railways

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New Delhi, Sep 24 : The Indian Railways is mulling the idea of handing over operations of more trains to private players in the coming days on several important routes with improved services and amenities for passengers.

The decision comes under the 100-day agenda of the national transporter to hand over operations of the trains to private players on key routes.

Earlier, the Indian Railways had announced to grant operations of two of its luxurious Tejas Express trains to Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) between Lucknow-New Delhi and Mumbai-Ahmedabad.

According to a railway ministry official, the national transporter has called a meeting of senior railway officials on September 27 under the chairmanship of Member, Traffic of the Railway Board to decide the operational issues relating to private operation of passenger trains.

In a letter to all the Principal Chief Operations Managers of the Central, Northern, North Central, South Eastern, South Central and Southern Railway dated September 23, Principal Executive Director of Coaching of the Railway Board, A. Madhusudan Reddy said, “As part of the 100-day action plan, the ministry has proposed that private operation of passenger trains be introduced to provide world class services.”

He said, “Under the railways proposal, private operators would be identified through a participative bid process to run private passenger day or overnight trains connecting important cities.”

“It is contemplated that the private operators shall induct modern passenger trains and operate them on paths allocated to them on payment of haulage charges,” Reddy said.

“Thus in order to prepare the RFQ (Request for quote) and concession documents, it is necessary to identify the routes and the number of services that can be run,” he said.

According to the railway ministry plans, besides the Lucknow-New Delhi and Mumbai-Ahmedabad being given to the IRCTC for operations, the national transporter is mulling to give trains to private operators on inter-city services on 14 routes, while 10 on overnight and long distance services and four suburban services.

The railways has proposed giving trains to private operators on long distance or overnight journey trains on the routes of Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Lucknow, Delhi-Jammu/Katra, Delhi-Howrah, Secunderabad-Hyderabad, Secunderabad-Delhi, Delhi-Chennai, Mumbai-Chennai, Howrah-Chennai and Howrah-Mumbai.

It has proposed to invite the private players for the intercity express on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Mumbai-Pune, Mumbai-Aurangabad, Mumbai-Madgaon, Delhi-Chandigarh/Amritsar, Delhi-Jaipur/Ajmer, Howrah-Puri, Howrah-Tata, Howrah-Patna, Secunderabad-Vijaywada, Chennai-Bengaluru, Chennai-Coimbatore, Chennai-Madurai and Ernakulam-Trivandrum routes. The railways has also proposed the operation of suburban trains in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Secunderabad by private players.

The railways had earlier clearly said that before engaging private operators to run the trains, the national transporter will consult the trade unions and other stakeholders.

The IRCTC has started the booking of tickets for the Tejas Express between Lucknow-New Delhi from October 5 onward journey. The IRCTC’s Tejas Express will be flagged off from Lucknow on October 4.

The minimum fare for the Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express has been kept at Rs 1,125 for the AC chair car, while the fare for Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express AC chair car will be Rs 1,280.

On the other hand, the ticket price for Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express Executive chair car has been kept at Rs 2,310 and the Delhi-Lucknow fare for Executive Chair Car will be Rs 2,450.

The passengers travelling on Tejas Express from Lucknow to Kanpur in AC chair car will have to shell out Rs 320 and Rs 630 for the Executive Chair car (ECC). For Lucknow to Ghaziabad travel, the passenger needs to pay Rs 1,125 for the AC chair car, while Rs 2,310 for the ECC. On the return journey, the fare is Rs 1,155 for AC Chair car from Delhi to Kanpur while for the ECC it is Rs 2,155.

All these fares are subject to the application of dynamic fare, just like airlines, the IRCTC has said.

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File affidavit detailing guidelines to regulate social media: SC to Centre

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New Delhi, Sep 24 : The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to file an affidavit within three weeks detailing statutory guidelines to balance online privacy, state sovereignty and the reputation of an individual.

A Bench, headed by Justice Deepak Gupta, gave the order while hearing a case on linking of Aadhaar with Facebook and regulating of the social media.

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Police can’t seize property during investigation: SC

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Supreme Court of India

New Delhi, Sep 24 The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that police has no power to seize immovable property during an investigation.

The top court upheld the Bombay High Court order.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna had heard the matter relating to powers of the police under section 102 of the Criminal Procedure Code in respect of seizure of property during investigation.

The court was hearing Maharashtra government plea challenging a Bombay High Court order which held that the police has no power to seize property during the course of an ongoing probe.

The ruling was announced by the bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna.

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