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SC puts lens on journalists for favouring AgustaWestland chopper deal

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Augusta westland chopper

New Delhi, January 3: The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear plea seeking setting up of a commission of inquiry for alleged involvement of certain prominent journalists for using Indian media in favour of multi-crore Agusta Westland VVIP chopper deal.

The petition had charged certain journalists for receiving pay-offs and favours from Italian firm AgustaWestland and its parent company Finmeccanica to publish content in favour of AgustaWestland chopper deal.

The apex court sought a response from CBI, ED on PIL alleging that journalists were paid off Rs 50 crore for writing in favor of Agusta Westland deal.

The bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Arun Mishra threw the spotlight on the media and sought setting up a commission of inquiry to investigate “allegations of corruption and influence peddling in the Indian media, and to suggest corrective measures to safeguard against such ills”.

Also in the day, CBI opposed and challenged the plea seeking bail to SP Tyagi in AgustaWestland case. SP Tyagi sought more time to file his reply. Delhi HC adjourned hearing over cancellation of bail to Former Air Chief SP Tyagi for next Monday (Jan 9th).

Wefornews Bureau

 

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Prohibitory orders in Udaipur, Rajsamand to continue

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Police taking action on Supporters of Hate crime convict Shambhulal Raigar (Photo-NBT)

Jaipur, Dec 15: Prohibitory orders clamped in Rajasthan’s Udaipur and Rajsamand districts two days ago are to continue on Friday too, officials said even as 175 persons, mostly right-wing Hindu activists, were arrested and several others detained for violating orders by taking out rallies and raising slogans.

Internet services will also remain suspended in the two cities on Friday. However, schools and colleges opened.

Section 144 was imposed in Udaipur and Rajsamand after Hindu organisations declared they will take out rallies to protest a video going viral on social media by a particular community. internet services were also suspended in the two cities to avoid any untoward incident.

On Thursday, despite the prohibitory measures in place, violent protesters raised slogans and took out vehicle rallies on the streets in support of “Love Jihad” murder accused Shambhulal Raigar, who brutally killed a Muslim labourer from West Bengal earlier in the month.

Wearing saffron bandanas, the right-wing activists were seen climbing on top of buildings, raising slogans and pelting stones. Police had to resort to lathicharge to control the situation. This led to tension between police and protesters with the latter attacking the police team, leaving ASP Sudhir Chaudhary and 12 other policemen, injured.

Many protesters also sustained injuries.

The aggressiveness of the protesters forced the police team, from IG to SP, to resort to lathicharge. A few shots were also fired in air to disperse the angry mob.

Sources said that the protesters joined hands with advocates at Court Chauraha and pelted stones on the police team from the Court. They also raised saffron flags.

District Magistrate Vishu Mallick said that internet services will remain suspended till 8 p.m. on Friday. He said that adequate police force has been called in to avoid any disturbance in Udaipur and Rajsamand.

On Thursday, police detained right-wing activist Thakur Updesh Rana in Bagru at the Jaipur border on Ajmer Road to thwart a massive rally that he had called in Udaipur in support of Raigar.

There has also been a sharp rise in hate messages being exchanged on social media sites in the wake of the “Love Jihad” killing by Raigar.

IANS

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Rs 80,000 cr has come to BJP coffers in last five months, says Hazare

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Guwahati, Dec 15: Noble social activist Anna Hazare on Friday hit out at the Narendra Modi-led central government saying, the country has topped the list of corrupt countries in Asia in the last three years of the NDA rule and Rs 80,000 crore has come to the coffers of the BJP in the past five months as donation.

Hazare, citing a Forbes Magazine article that quoted a Transparency International survey, said India tops the list of corrupt countries in Asia. “I am not claiming this but it being reported by Forbes Magazine after conducting a survey among the Asian countries,” he said, news agency IANS reported.

“I have been silent for the last three years. When a new government comes we must give them some time. So I remained silent, but now the time has come to speak against them. I am going to start another movement for a strong Jan Lokpal as well as for the farmers of the country from March 23 next year,” Hazare asserted.

Slamming the Centre, he revealed Rs 80,000 crore had come to the coffers of the NDA-led ruling party in the past five months as donation.

“The common people are still reeling under problems. The farmers of the country are suffering. Banks give loans to the farmers but slap interest as per their whims and fancies. The Reserve Bank of India must fix a rate of interest for all the farmers and banks should not be allowed to fix the interest for the benefit of the farmers.”

Flagging his concerns, he stated  “The farmers commit suicide as they fail to get good price for their crops to repay the loan. There is no MSP for their paddy”.

Hazare said he had written 32 letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the ltas three years but haven’t received  response to any of them from the PMO.

“I am going to involve everyone in the movement for a strong Jan Lokpal and farmers’ issues. I am going everywhere to speak to the people. We are ready to go to jail. But if they put us in jails we must ensure that every jail in the country should be filled by people,” he added.

“Earlier there was a provision which made it mandatory for the officers to declare their assets but the present government abolished it. While the companies were allowed to donate 7.5 per cent of their profit to political parties, now any amount can be donated to the political parties,” said Hazare while urging people to support the movement staring from March 23.

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Anil Ambani Group sues Congress’ Singhvi for Rs 5,000 crore

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Singhvi

Ahmedabad, Dec 15 : The Reliance Anil Ambani group has filed a Rs 5,000-crore ($ 780 million) defamation suit here against Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi, accusing him of making “false, defamatory and libellous statements”.

The suit has been filed in the Gujarat High Court.

According to company sources, the Congress leader “made false, defamatory and libellous statements against the group. We have filed a Rs 5,000-crore suit for damages against him for making these false and defamatory statements”.

Singhvi had, on November 30, attacked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, contending that he was “fooling” people by saying the government had not waived loans of big defaulters.

Alleging that the government had written off Rs 1.88 lakh crore debt of wilful defaulters, he had said: “We all know that top 50 corporates owe Rs 8.35 lakh crore to banks and out of those, three top Gujarat-based companies — Reliance (Anil Ambani Group), Adani and Essar — owe Rs 3 lakh crore.”

He had charged that the Finance Minister, instead of declaring these liabilities as NPAs, was “trying to help the defaulter with further defence contracts like the Rafale deal”.

A Reliance Defence statement had earlier clarified the joint venture between Reliance Aerostructure Ltd and Dassault Aviation was a bilateral agreement between two private companies — and had nothing to do with the government.

The statement had added: “Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd will be only one of the key players in the discharge of offset obligations. Over 500 large, medium and small Indian companies will benefit from the offsets which are nothing but an export obligation for goods and services from India. Offsets referred to are spread over a period of nearly 10 years.”

IANS

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