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NDTV raids based on search warrants : CBI

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CBI

June 6, Tuesday: Reacting to the NDTV’s allegations of a political attack on the freedom of the press, without even conducting a preliminary enquiry the Central Bureau of Investigation said the raid was conducted on basis of search warrants issued by a competent court.

The probe agency claimed that it has respected the freedom of the press and said we have filed the case based on complaint of a shareholder of ICICI Bank and NDTV.

Read here the full text of CBI statement.

Reports in sections of the media have raised certain issues and the statement issued by NDTV has levelled certain allegations against the CBI investigation in the case relating to the promoters of NDTV and others.

It is clarified that searches have been carried out at the premises of the promoters and their offices based on search warrants issued by the Competent Court. CBI has not conducted any search of registered office of NDTV, media studio, news room or premises connected with media operations. CBI fully respects the freedom of press and is committed to the free functioning of news operations.

CBI has registered the case based on the complaint of a shareholder of ICICI bank and NDTV after carrying out due diligence. Denigrating the allegations at this stage of investigation and wrongly accusing the agency of acting under pressure is uncalled for and an attempt to malign the image of the CBI. The investigation is being conducted as per the due process of law and under the jurisdiction of the Court of law. The result of investigation will be filed before the competent Court of law based on the evidence adduced during investigation.

It has been mentioned in the statement of NDTV that NDTV and its promoters have never defaulted on any loan. The allegations under investigation are not regarding the default in loan repayment; but relate to the wrongful gain of Rs 48 crore to the promoters — Dr. Prannoy Roy, Smt Radhika Roy, M/s RRPR Holdings Pvt Ltd and a corresponding wrongful loss to the ICICI bank arising from their collusion and criminal conspiracy.

It is alleged in the complaint that the promoters of NDTV —Dr. Prannoy Roy, Smt Radhika Roy and M/s RRPR Holdings Pvt Ltd, acting in criminal conspiracy with unknown officials of ICICI bank, violated section 19(2) of the Banking Regulation Act, the Master Circular DBOD No. Dir B90/13.07.05/98-99 dated 28.08.1998 of the Reserve Bank of India and in furtherance of the conspiracy, ICICI bank took the entire shareholding of the promoters in NDTV (nearly 61 %) as collateral and then accepted prepayment of the loan by reducing the interest rate from 19 % p.a to nearly 9.5 % p.a and as a consequence thereof, causing a wrongful loss of ₹48 crore to ICICI bank and a corresponding wrongful gain to the promoters of NDTV — Dr. Prannoy Roy, Smt Radhika Roy and M/s RRPR Holdings Pvt Ltd.

Wefornews Bureau

India

Indians get more British work visas in comparison to others

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New Delhi, Dec 12: Stating that there has been surge in the number of British visas issued to Indians, the British High Commission  on Tuesday that Indians get more work visas as compared to other nationalities.

Citing figures issued by the UK Office for National Statistics, the High Commission said in a statement that the number of visas granted to Indian nationals from September 2016 to September 2017 stood at 517,000, news agency IANS

“Within this number, visit visas increased by 11 per cent to 427,000 and work visas remained steady at 53,000 – meaning that Indians still get more work visas for employment in the UK than all other nationalities combined,” the statement stated.

Asserting that the largest increase was witnessed in the Tier 4 student visa category, it said in the last year more than 14,000 student visas were issued to Indians, an increase of 27 per cent compared with the previous 12 months.

In addition to this,more than  5,000 Indians came for short-term study in the UK during the same period. This is the third successive quarter that student visa numbers have scaled up.

“These statistics show that India’s bridge with the United Kingdom is as strong as ever,” British High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith said.

“I particularly welcome the sharp increase in Indian students choosing to take advantage of the UK’s world-beating higher education. Our visa service for Indians is as good as any other on offer. Some 90 per cent of applicants receive a visa and 99 per cent of those are processed within our target time of 15 working days.”

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India, Australia hold first 2+2 dialogue

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New Delhi, Dec 12: In a bid to boost their bilateral strategic partnership keeping the Indo-Pacific region in mind and to increase defence cooperation, India and Australia held their inaugural 2+2 Foreign Secretaries and Defence Secretaries Dialogue here on Tuesday.

While Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra participated from the Indian side, Australia was represented by Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Frances Adamson and Secretary of Department of Defence Greg Moriarty.

According to a statement issued by the External Affairs Ministry, all aspects of bilateral relations with a focus on strategic and defence relations between the two countries were reviewed.

“India and Australia share warm bilateral relations based on shared democratic values and pluralism. There is a growing convergence of strategic perspectives between the two countries,” the statement said.

“Both sides agreed that a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region serves the long-term interests of all countries in the region and of the world at large.”

With the changing global scenario, Australia has come to look at India as a potential partner in promoting regional security and stability and this led the bilateral relationship to be elevated to a Strategic Partnership, including adoption of a Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation in 2009.

During the visit of then Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot to India in 2014, a civil nuclear cooperation agreement was signed by the two countries.

During that visit, the two sides also agreed to extend defence cooperation to cover research, development and industry engagement.

India’s trade in goods and services with Australia was approximately $15.6 billion in 2016.

The two countries are also currently discussing a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) which will provide greater market access to exporters of goods and services.

According Tuesday’s External Affairs Ministry statement, Australian Foreign Secretary Adamson is also scheduled to meet meeting Secretary (East) Preeti Saran and Secretary (Economic Relations) Vijay Gokhale in the ministry during the course of the visit.

Defence Secretary Moriarty also met Chief of Staff Committee and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba and visited Rajputana Rifles Regimental Centre in New Delhi.

IANS

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SC slams MEA over delay in Ritika Awasthi’s extardition

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Supreme Court
Supreme Court Of India

Supreme Court of India on Tuesday (12th December) asks Ministry of External Affairs to reply by December 15th on the delay in the extradition proceedings of Ritika Awasthi . Court indicated that they might summon the MEA Secretary if their orders aren’t adhered to.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday was hearing a matter relateed to a businesswoman Ritika Awasthi, who went to UK in January 2016 after obtaining bail and permission from the Supreme Court to travel abroad on an undertaking that she will return. She had been named accused in a cheating case in Uttar Pradesh.

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