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Mumbai resident approaches SC again seeking reinvestigation in Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination



Mahatma Gandhi

New Delhi | A Mumbai resident, who has been knocking at judiciary’s doors with his plea for an inquiry into the alleged “larger conspiracy leading to” the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, has once again approached the Supreme Court with “fresh” documents and evidence to claim that a re-investigation was needed to clear the air in the matter.

Dr. Pankaj Phadnis has filed a petition asking the apex court to peruse some books and a forensic report of the photographs of wounds on the body of Gandhi to decide the need for fresh probe into his killing. The Supreme Court had rejected his earlier plea for re-investigation into the assassination in March this year.

In the fresh plea, he has given reference from two book — Who Killed Gandhi by Lourenco de Salvador written in 1963 and India Remembered by Pamella Mountbatten, daughter of then Governor General Lord L. Mountbatten.

He claimed that examination of the two books would lead to conclusion that the person/persons in the highest echelons of power, were “complicit” in the murder of Mahatma.

In the plea, he claimed he had obtained a report of a well known expert in the United States who has categorically confirmed that four wounds were visible on the chest of the Mahatma in the photograph obtained by him from the National Gandhi Museum, Delhi and which had been published on January 31, 1948 by a prominent newspaper and has been on display for last 70 years in the Museum.

The Mumbai-based researcher, Pankaj Phadnis, who is also the trustee of Abhinav Bharat Charitable Trust, filed the petition seeking recall of the March 28 verdict by which the apex court had rejected his attempt to get the probe into Mahatma’s death reopened, saying it would be an exercise in futile.

However, in his review petition, Phadnis claimed the apex court did not have the opportunity to examine the material which he had secured and further some of the facts he brought in the rejoinder affidavit were not considered.

The petitioner claimed that the apex court only relied on the submission of a senior advocate, who was appointed as amicus curiae in the matter and his reply to the amicus’ report was not taken into account.

He claimed that during the course of proceedings, he learnt of a book Who Killed Gandhi published in or about 1963 which alleged the involvement of people in the “highest echelons of power” being “complicit” in the murder of Mahatma Gandhi.

As the book is banned for import in India, he filed a PIL in 2018 in the Bombay High Court for production of the book before the apex court as it contained information material relating to the case.

The PIL in the High Court could not be heard which resulted in apex court not having full and complete information germane to the matter before it, when it came to decide the matter on March 28, 2018, he contended.

Phadnis said that on further research he recovered a transcript of BBC broadcast after the shooting of the Mahatma but before his death was announced which corroborates the information given in the book Who Killed Gandhi and also contradicts the six eyewitnesses on the vital aspect of who caught Nathuram Godse after he shot the Mahatma.

Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948 and nine accused were tried for the conspiracy and murder. A trial court on February 10, 1949 convicted seven accused and acquitted one. Godse and Narayan Apte were sentenced to death.


Kejriwal to give ex-gratia of Rs 1cr to kin of slain BSF jawan





On September 21, Kejriwal had also visited the native village of Singh, who was brutally killed by Pakistani troopers along the International Border (IB) near Jammu.


New Delhi| Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will go to Sonipat on Wednesday to give ex-gratia of Rs 1 crore to the family of BSF jawan Narender Singh, who was brutally killed by Pakistan forces on the IB near Jammu in September.

It came days after the AAP government approved a proposal to amend a rule on giving ex-gratia of Rs 1 crore to the kin of slain security personnel to include those who have settled in the national capital after joining service.

Aam Aadmi Party’s Haryana convener Naveen Jaihind said, “The chief minister will go to Sonipat on November 21 to give ex-gratia of Rs 1 crore to the kin of slain BSF jawan Narender Singh.”

On September 21, Kejriwal had also visited the native village of Singh, who was brutally killed by Pakistani troopers along the International Border (IB) near Jammu.

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Grenade used in Amritsar blast similar to ones manufactured by Pak Ordinance factory: Amarinder Singh




Amarinder Singh

Amarinder Singh has announced a reward of Rs 50 lakh for anyone providing information on those involved in the blast that left three persons dead.


Amritsar| Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Monday said initial investigations suggested the grenade used in the attack on Nirankari Bhavan was similar to the ones manufactured by the Pakistani Army Ordinance factory.

Three persons including a preacher were killed and over 20 injured when two-motorcycle borne men threw a grenade on a religious congregation on Sunday.

The attack took place inside the Nirankari Bhavan’s prayer hall at Adliwal village near Amritsar’s Rajasansi, an incident which the police are treating as a ‘terrorist act’.

“The grenade attack at the Nirankari Bhavan seemed to carry Pakistan’s signature, with initial investigations indicating that the grenade used was similar to the ones being manufactured by the Pakistani Army Ordinance factory,” Amarinder said.

The chief minister has announced a reward of Rs 50 lakh for anyone providing information on those involved in the blast that left three persons dead, officials said.

Information can be provided on the Punjab Police helpline – 181, they said, adding the identity of the informer will be kept a secret.

Amarinder flew in from Chandigarh along with his cabinet colleague and Amritsar MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu and PPCC president Sunil Jakhar to take stock of the situation.

He said the police had recovered similar HG-84 grenades from a terror module busted by the Punjab Police last month, indicating a high probability of the involvement of inimical forces from across the border.

Prima facie, this appears to be an act of terror by separatist forces, organised with the involvement of ISI-backed Khalistani or Kashmiri terrorist groups, said the chief minister, adding his government had taken serious note of the incident and was aggressively pursuing all angles of investigation. The culprits would soon be arrested, Amarinder promised, while talking to media after visiting the site of the attack.

He said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) was also helping in the investigations and certain leads had been unearthed.

An NIA team visited the blast site Sunday night along with their investigators and explosive experts and held discussions with the top brass of the Punjab Police.

Responding to a query, Amarinder said the attack could not be equated with the Nirankari conflict in 1978 as that was a religious matter and the Adliwal incident was purely a case of terrorism.

Violence between the Sant Nirankari Mission and traditional Sikhs on April 13, 1978, at Amritsar had left 13 dead, and sparked the subsequent wave of terrorism in the state.

Sunday’s incident had no religious overtones, as per initial investigations, said the chief minister.

In response to a question, the CM Amarinder Singh said the state was already on high alert, with strict checking going on around landmark buildings and other vital public installations and infrastructure.

Police nakas had been set up in all districts and patrol parties were moving around in search of suspicious objects/activities, he said.

The chief minister Amarinder Singh said the district and police administration has been directed to explore the possibility of installing CCTV cameras at all strategic points.

Amarinder, who visited the hospital to meet the injured, announced jobs for the kin of those killed in the attack and Rs 50,000 each to the injured, in addition to their free treatment.

Accompanied by top police and administrative officials, the chief minister Amarinder Singh went around the site of the attack and examined the spot from where the grenade was lobbed by two men.

The men, armed with a pistol and their faces covered, had forced their way into the Bhawan after taking the civil guards hostage at gunpoint. They had lobbed the grenade into the prayer room, killing three and injuring 20.

Earlier, on his arrival, the chief minister was briefed by Home Secretary NS Kalsi, DGP Suresh Arora, IG Amritsar Surinder Pal Parmar and DC Amritsar Kamaldeep Sangh, who updated him on the progress of the investigations so far.

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CBI vs CBI: Alok Verma submits his response to CVC findings on corruption charges against him




alok verma

Alok Verma had approached the apex court challenging the Centre’s decision to divest him of his duties and sending him on leave following his feud with Special CBI Director Rakesh Asthana.


New Delhi| CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma filed his response Monday to the findings of the CVC’s preliminary probe report on corruption charges against him in a sealed cover in the Supreme Court after he was told to do so “as quickly as possible” as the scheduled Tuesday hearing on his plea would not be deferred.

Verma, who was asked to file his response to the Central Vigilance Commission’s (CVC) report in a sealed cover by Monday 1 pm, sought some more time from the bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi for filing his reply with the secretary general of the apex court around 12.40 pm.

“We are not shifting the date (of hearing). You file it as quickly as possible as we will have to read it,” the bench, also comprising justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph told Verma’s lawyer Gopal Sankaranarayanan.

“Even though we sought a little time from the court, Verma’s reply was filed with the secretary general at 1 pm,” the lawyer told PTI.

Verma’s reply will deal with the CVC report, which was categorised into four parts by the apex court as “complimentary, very complimentary, not so complimentary and very uncomplimentary” for the CBI director.

The apex court, on November 16, had directed Verma, Attorney General K K Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who were also supplied with the confidential report of the CVC, to maintain secrecy, saying it was needed to ensure people’s faith in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as an institution.

Earlier, the apex court had said the CVC had made some “very uncomplimentary” findings in its probe on corruption allegations against Verma and wanted further investigations into some of the charges which required more time, adding that there were also some “very complimentary” conclusions.

Summing up the “exhaustive” confidential report of the CVC given to it, the court ordered that a copy of it, along with the annexure, be given to Verma in a sealed cover.

Alok Verma had approached the apex court challenging the Centre’s decision to divest him of his duties and sending him on leave following his feud with Special CBI Director Rakesh Asthana, who has levelled corruption allegations against him.

Asthana has also been divested of his duties and sent on leave.

Pursuant to the top court’s order, the CVC’s inquiry against Alok Verma was conducted under the supervision of former apex court judge Justice A K Patnaik and the report was filed in the court on November 12.

Besides Verma’s plea, the court is also seized of a PIL filed by NGO Common Cause, which has sought a probe by a special investigation team against CBI officers.

Besides, it had barred the interim CBI chief, Nageshwar Rao, from taking any major policy decision, but granted him the liberty to perform the routine tasks that were essential to keep the CBI functional.

On November 4, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge had also moved the top court contending that divesting Alok Verma of his statutory powers and functions was “completely illegal and arbitrary”.

In an interlocutory application filed in the pending petition, Kharge, who is part of the three-member selection committee that appoints the CBI director, said “as a concerned stakeholder”, he brought to the attention of the court the “brazen and illegal actions” of the political executive in interfering with the independent functioning of the CBI director.

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