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Sacrilege cases: Actor Akshay Kumar appears before Punjab Police SIT

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Chandigarh | Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar Wednesday appeared before the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Punjab Police, which is probing the 2015 police firing incidents at Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura in the state following cases of sacrilege in Faridkot.

Soon after his arrival at the Chandigarh airport, the actor headed straight to the Punjab Police headquarters at sector-9 here where security has been stepped up. Kumar refused to talk to reporters at the airport.

The SIT wants to question Kumar as his name was mentioned in the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report on sacrilege incidents. The SIT had earlier asked him to appear before it on November 21 at the Amritsar circuit house. However, police later allowed the actor to appear before the SIT at Chandigarh.

The Justice Ranjit Singh commission report, which was tabled in the Punjab Assembly in August, had given a reference of a letter written (October 9, 2017) to it by former MLA Harbans Jalal claiming that a meeting took place between Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and former deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal at the actor’s flat in Mumbai in 2015 in connection with the release of the Dera head’s movie “MSG”.

The meeting was allegedly held before the Dera chief was pardoned in a blasphemy case. The movie “MSG” was not released in Punjab in September 2015 because of an edict by the Akal Takht, the supreme temporal seat of the Sikhs, against it.

Kumar has denied arranging any meeting between former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and the Dera Sacha Sauda sect head. The actor has also denied having ever met the Sirsa headquartered Dera head, who is currently serving a 20-year jail term in a rape case.

Kumar had issued the denial on November 12 after the SIT summoned him along with former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal.  “It has come to my knowledge that some rumours and false statements are being loosely made on social media about my involvement with a person named Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in the context of a fictitious meeting involving Sukhbir Singh Badal, Kumar had said in tweet.

“With all humility, I would like to state the following facts. I have never ever met Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in my life, anywhere. I learnt from social media at some point that Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh resided for a while at some place in my locality Juhu in Mumbai but we never crossed each other’s paths, Kumar had said. The SIT has already questioned former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal in Chandigarh.

On Monday, Sukhbir told SIT members, that he had never met Akshay outside Punjab when he was asked by the SIT members whether he had met the actor in Mumbai. The summons are related to the investigation of cases involving various incidents of sacrilege in 2015, police had said.

The summons had been issued under the section 160 of the CrPC, requiring the attendance for investigation, relating to the Bargari sacrilege case and the Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura police firing incidents.

The summons state, “The presence of the aforesaid person is necessary for the purpose of inquiry into the above-mentioned offence and the person summoned needed to give such information relating to the said alleged offence as he may possess.  The 5-member SIT was set up by the state government in September this year.

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Hasmukh Adhia rumoured to be the next RBI governor: sources

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New Delhi | After the resignation of Reserve Bank of India governor Urjit Patel on Monday, former Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia is rumoured to be the next RBI governor, as per unconfirmed sources.

Adhia, a 1981-batch Gujarat cadre officer of the Indian Administrative Services (IAS), served as a secretary in the Department of Financial Services after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister.  A close of aide of  PM Narendra Modi and Arun Jailtley retired on November 30 this year.

Adhia also served as the Union Revenue Secretary and Union Financial Services Secretary, in the Union Government which makes his case stronger for the post of the RBI governor.

Earlier Urjit Patel on Monday resigned from the post of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor. Patel’s three year team was to end in September 2019. Patel is also the first RBI governor to resign since 1990.

Submitting his resignation, Urjit Patel cited personal reasons and stepped down with immediate effect. He said, “On account of personal reasons, I have decided to step down from my current position effective immediately. It has been my privilege and honour to serve in the Reserve Bank of India in various capacities over the years,” Urjit Patel said in a statement. “The support and hard work of RBI staff, officers and management has been the proximate driver of the Bank’s considerable accomplishments in recent years. I take this opportunity to express gratitude to my colleagues and Directors of the RBI Central Board, and wish them all the best for the future,” he added.

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Breaking: Vijay Mallya to be extradited to India

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London | In what could be termed as end of the party for the king of good time, Liqour baron Vijay Mallya to be extradited to India as the London court gives its nod for the same

London’s Westminster Magistrates Court orders the extradition of Vijay Mallya to India. The Court has further referred the matter of extradition of Vijay Mallya to India to the Secretary of State. The Central beaurue of Investigation has welcomed the decision of the London’s court. Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot announcing the order stated that he found prima facie a case against Vijay Mallya for fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.

Speaking on the extradition CBI said,”We hope to bring him soon and conclude the case. CBI has its own inherent strengths. We worked hard on this case. We are strong on Law and facts and we were confident while pursuing extradition process.”

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Urjit Patel resigns from RBI governor’s post

Anil Rajpurohit

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Urjit Patel

New Delhi | Urjit Patel on Monday resigned from the post of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor. Patel’s three year team was to end in September 2019. Patel is also the first RBI governor to resign since 1990.

Submitting his resignation, Urjit Patel cited personal reasons and stepped down with immediate effect. He said, “On account of personal reasons, I have decided to step down from my current position effective immediately. It has been my privilege and honour to serve in the Reserve Bank of India in various capacities over the years,” Urjit Patel said in a statement. “The support and hard work of RBI staff, officers and management has been the proximate driver of the Bank’s considerable accomplishments in recent years. I take this opportunity to express gratitude to my colleagues and Directors of the RBI Central Board, and wish them all the best for the future,” he added.

RBI Governor Urjit Patel earlier appeared before a parliamentary panel to brief on demonetisation and NPA situation in the public sector banks, among other issues. The RBI Governor appeared before the panel days after the central bank’s face-off with the finance ministry over issues ranging from appropriate size of reserves to be maintained by RBI to easing of lending norms for small and medium enterprises.

Business Editor of HW Business and Finance Akhilesh Bhargav states it is not only the failure of the finance ministry but the board of the Reserve Bank of India.

Urjit Patel who was appointed as the 24th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) succeded Raghuram Rajan on 4 September 2016.

 

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