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Bofors case: Crucial hearing in Supreme Court on Friday

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New Delhi | The Supreme Court is likely to hear on Friday the politically-sensitive Rs 64 crore Bofors pay-off case in which the CBI earlier this year filed an appeal after 12-year delay against the Delhi High Court decision quashing charges against all the accused.

The apex court will also hear a BJP leader and advocate Ajay Agrawal, who is pursuing the matter for over a decade and has been asked by it to explain his locus in filing the petition as a third party.

Agrawal, who contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Rae Bareli against the then Congress president Sonia Gandhi, has filed an appeal against May 31, 2005 judgement of the Delhi High Court.

The matter has been listed for hearing on October 12 before the bench comprising Justices R Banumathi and Indira Banerjee.

During the hearing on January 16, the top court had asked Agrawal to explain his locus in filing the appeal and satisfy it as to how the matter could be entertained at the instance of a third party.

The CBI had filed the appeal on February 2 this year.

Before the 2005 verdict of Justice R S Sodhi (since retired), another judge of the Delhi High Court, retired Justice J D Kapoor, had on February 4, 2004, exonerated the late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in the case and directed the framing of charge of forgery under section 465 of the IPC against Bofors company.

The Rs 1,437-crore deal between India and Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors for the supply of 400 155mm Howitzer guns for the Indian Army was entered into on March 24, 1986.

Swedish Radio on April 16, 1987, had claimed that the company had paid bribes to top Indian politicians and defence personnel.

The CBI on January 22, 1990 had registered the FIR for alleged offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery under the Indian Penal Code and other sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act against Martin Ardbo, the then president of AB Bofors, alleged middleman Win Chadda and the Hinduja brothers.

It had alleged that certain public servants and private persons in India and abroad had entered into a criminal conspiracy between 1982 and 1987 in pursuance of which the offences of bribery, corruption, cheating and forgery were committed.

The first charge sheet in the case was filed on October 22, 1999 against Chadda, Ottavio Quattrocchi, the then defence secretary S K Bhatnagar, Ardbo and the Bofors company.

A supplementary charge sheet was filed against the Hinduja brothers on October 9, 2000.

A special CBI court in Delhi on March 4, 2011, had discharged Quattrocchi from the case saying the country could not afford to spend hard-earned money on his extradition which had already cost Rs 250 crore.

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Sedition charges against four Kashmiri students of pvt varsity for ‘celebrating’ Pulwama attack

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Pulwama

Earlier, the Aligarh Muslim University has also suspended an undergraduate Kashmiri student for his alleged objectionable tweet in connection with the Pulwama attack.

 

Jaipur| Four female paramedical students of Kashmiri-origin have been slapped with sedition charges after being suspended from a private institute here for allegedly celebrating the Pulwama terror attack by posting “anti-national” messages on an instant messaging app, officials said Sunday.

The second-year students of the National Institute of Medical Science (NIMS), Talveen Manzoor, Iqra, Zohra Nazir and Uzma Nazir, were suspended for posting on WhatsApp a picture in which they were purportedly seen celebrating the terrorist attack in Kashmir that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF personnel.

The picture soon went viral, prompting the university administration to take action.

In the suspension order, the NIMS registrar said, “You have posted an anti-national message on your WhatsApp for celebrating the killing of Pulwama terrorist attack martyrs. The university will not tolerate and strictly condemns such activities. The act is grave and serious in nature.”

Later, a case was registered against the four students following a complaint by the university administration, a police official said.

The students were booked under IPC sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity) and relevant provisions of the Information Technology (IT) Act. Senior officials are investigating the matter and appropriate action will be taken thereafter, SP (Rural) Harendra Kumar said.

The Aligarh Muslim University has also suspended an undergraduate Kashmiri student for his alleged objectionable tweet in connection with the Pulwama attack.

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Media Reports suggesting CRPF was denied air transit facility in J&K “untrue”: MHA

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MHA

In December 2018, the MHA had approved enhancement of air support by increasing routes and in the Delhi-Jammu-Srinagar-Jammu-Delhi sector, four flights in a week were added to the Srinagar-Jammu-Srinagar sector.

 

New Delhi| Movement of paramilitary convoys by road for logistical and operational reasons will continue in Jammu and Kashmir as it is “necessary”, the Home Ministry said Sunday, even though it has increased air support to carry troops to the state.

The statement came after 40 CRPF personnel were killed and five injured on Thursday when a Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kg of explosives into their bus, part of a 78 vehicle convoy, in the state’s Pulwama district.

In the wake of reports suggesting that the central government has rejected a proposal to ferry personnel of paramilitary forces from the Jammu-Srinagar sector by chopper, the ministry said it has significantly enhanced air courier services in all sectors to cut travel time of troops.

“Movement of convoys by road for logistical and operational reasons has been and will continue to be necessary. This is also the case with the army,” the Home Ministry said.

Reports appeared in a section of the media that air transit facility in the Jammu- Srinagar sector for CRPF troops has not been allowed. This is “untrue”, it said.


“Fact of the matter is, over the last few years, the MHA has significantly enhanced air courier services for CAPFs in all sectors to help jawans cut down on travel time during their journey to and back from home on leave,” it said.

In the Jammu and Kashmir sector, air courier service for transportation of jawans of Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (CAPFs) is already in operation for quite some time.

This initially included the Jammu-Srinagar-Jammu sector. Later, at the request of CAPFs in December 2017, the services were extended to the Delhi-Jammu- Srinagar-Jammu-Delhi sector with seven flights a week.

MHA

Source: Twitter

In December 2018, the ministry had approved enhancement of air support by increasing routes and in the Delhi-Jammu-Srinagar-Jammu-Delhi sector, four flights in a week were added to the Srinagar-Jammu-Srinagar sector.

“In addition, air support is provided by the Indian Air Force as and when required. Several sorties were run for the CRPF in January 2019,” the ministry said.

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Governor’s administration reviews safety and security of J-K students studying outside state

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Ganai was also informed that helplines have been set up by the office of the divisional commissioner, Kashmir, and the J-K Police to register the queries of the students and parents.

 

Srinagar| The governor’s administration Sunday reviewed the safety and security of students from Jammu and Kashmir studying outside the state in the wake of reports of incidents of harassment in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack.

Advisor to the governor Khurshid Ahmed Ganai reviewed the safety and security of the students from Jammu and Kashmir studying in different colleges and universities outside the state with Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, an official spokesman said here.

He said Khan informed the advisor that he was in constant touch with the authorities in different states who had assured of providing adequate security to the students.

Ganai was also informed that helplines have been set up by the office of the divisional commissioner, Kashmir, and the J-K Police to register the queries of the students and parents and for providing the response in real time, the spokesman said.

The advisor was also briefed about the work being done by the liaison officers appointed for the purpose in various cities in the country under the overall supervision of the principal resident commissioner, J-K, located in New Delhi.

The spokesman said Ganai conveyed to the divisional commissioner that the governor was himself monitoring the work of the liaison officers in various states and also enquiring about the welfare of the students.

Ganai said the governor has given clear directions to the principal resident commissioner to take immediate cognisance of any complaint received from the students and take prompt action by informing the authorities concerned in those states.

He said the Union Home Ministry has issued advisories to all the state governments in this regard.

Khan also informed the advisor that he had personally spoken to some students and parents on the phone who expressed their satisfaction about the work being done by the J&K government for safety and security of the students, the spokesman said.

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