NSUI goons vandalise Savarkar statue inside Delhi University campus, put shoe garland

NSUI goons put shoe garland on Savarkar statue in DU
NSUI goons put shoe garland on Savarkar statue in DU mage Source: India Today

In a shocking act of vandalism by NSUI goons, the student organisation of the Congress desecrated the statue of Veer Savarkar by blacking its face and putting a shoe garland around it.

According to the reports, the NSUI goons resorted to vandalism on the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday outside the gate of the Delhi University’s Arts Faculty in North campus.

More than 20 NSUI goons are suspected to be involved in the shocking incident. Shockingly, the NSUI activists also uploaded the video on the social media boasting about their actions.

Akshay Lakra, Delhi president of the NSUI, reportedly visited the campus late last night and paid his respects to the busts of Bhagat Singh and Subhas Chandra Bose before blackening Savarkar’s bust with ink, putting a shoe garland on it and raising slogans against him.

“Putting Savarkar on the same pedestal as Bhagat Singh and Bose, they have tried to whitewash history and paint Savarkar as a patriot. We will not let ABVP use Singh and Bose as political pawns,” said Lakhra.

This statue was erected by ABVP activists on Monday night along with the busts of Bhagat Singh and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The DU administration had not given permission for the monument despite repeated requests by the ABVP leaders.

After the statue was erected, the NSUI and some of the liberals had objected against placing of Savarkar’s bust alongside that of Bhagat Singh and Netaji.

All you need to know: Retired judge Abhay Thipsay who joined Congress launched book blaming Hindus for bomb blasts done by Islamic radicals

S M Mushrif is a controversial former Inspector General of Police. He has written a book which claimed that the then ATS chief Hemant Karkare was killed by Hindu radicals, and not the Pakistani terrorists who attacked Mumbai on 26 Nov 2008 after taking a boat from Karachi. He wrote another book which claimed that Muslims were framed for bomb blasts done by ‘Brahminists’. There was a launch of this book titled: “Brahminists bombed, Muslims hanged” in Pune on 13 August 2019. Nothing unexpected from a man who claimed something so extreme in a case as heinous as the 26/11 attacks.

But what was sad, though not unexpected, was the presence and conduct of some other individuals. At this ceremony, retired judge Abhay Thipsay was present, who joined the Congress Party in 2018 after his retirement. He was the same judge who convicted 9 out of the 17 accused in the Best Bakery case. Justice Thipsay claimed that the Hindus carried out the 2008 Malegaon blasts. There was absolutely no need for him to say so when nothing has been proven in this case yet, and Islamic radicals were initially suspected to have carried out the 2008 blasts. Thipsay said that we should accept that Hindu organizations carry out bomb blasts.

The author Mushrif went to the extent of implying that Muslims were wrongly blamed for the July 2006 Mumbai local train blasts, which killed 187 people and by extension, that those blasts were done by ‘Brahminists’ since the title of his book was ‘Brahminists bombed, Muslims hanged’. He said that 13 Muslims were arrested for the July 2006 Mumbai blasts but the trial court did not give them a chance to present their side. Mushrif implied the same in the 2010 German Bakery blast in Pune when a little-known jihadi organization had claimed responsibility for the same. Indian Mujahideen terrorist Yasin Bhatkal is an accused in the case and is facing trial in it. It is one thing to defend one accused in the case saying he has been wrongly framed, but it is quite another to deny that radical Islamists did the blasts and imply that Brahminists did it. Mushrif directly alleged that the 2014 Pharaskhana bomb blast was done by Hindu radicals and not Islamists. This claim was strongly refuted by the Investigating Officer in the case, who called Mushrif’s allegations as ‘baseless’ and said that no innocents were framed and the correct procedure was followed in the investigation.

Where does this leave Abhay Thipsay? Justice Abhay Thipsay, a former Judge of Bombay and Allahabad High Courts, joined the Congress Party after meeting the then party president Rahul Gandhi on 12 June 2018. His act after his retirement of joining the Congress, and launching such a book by Mushrif has shown how such judges were affected by their ideological biases in their judgments in their tenure. Let us see here the past of Abhay Thipsay, who is the brother of a well-known chess player and Grandmaster Pravin Thipsay.

Abhay Thipsay as the judge of the session’s court in Mumbai convicted 9 out of 17 accused in the famous Best Bakery case on 24 Feb 2006. In 2004 the Supreme Court ordered a retrial and transferred the case to Mumbai.

On 9 July 2012, the Mumbai High Court in a 2-judge bench acquitted 5 out of the 9 people convicted by Thipsay in February 2006 saying there was no evidence against them. The two judges said none of the witnesses had attributed any role to them during the riots. “These five accused should be given the benefit of doubt as no witness has identified them as part of the mob that attacked Best Bakery,” the bench noted.

Even in the trial court of Thipsay, there was only one witness who testified against all 17 accused, namely Yasmeen Sheikh. We will come to Yasmeen’s case in detail later. Yasmeen changed in the Mumbai HC and did not testify against a single accused. When the Mumbai HC said that no witness had identified them as part of the mob that attacked Best Bakery, then how on earth could Abhay Thipsay have convicted them on 24 February 2006, except for a huge bias on the basis of only one witness?

Note here that all 17 accused tried in Thipsay’s court were first acquitted in Vadodara in the trial court on 27 June 2003 as well as by the Gujarat High Court on 26 December 2003. While acquitting the accused, the trial court had feared that the police may have arrested innocent people. The judge quoted one of the witnesses Lal Mohammed Shaikh, who resided close to the bakery. Shaikh had told the court that he and 17 members of his family were rescued by some of the accused. The judge was critical of the police for harassing innocents found at the site of a crime.

After the Gujarat HC also acquitting the accused on 26 December 2003, the SC ordered re-trial and transfer outside Gujarat on 12 April 2004 to neighbouring Maharashtra. Had there been low or no convictions in Maharashtra too, it would have vindicated the judgements of the courts in Gujarat. To cause some embarrassment (at least perceived embarrassment) to the Gujarat BJP Government, it was necessary to have a reasonably high number of convictions in the re-trial in Maharashtra. That was obviously the reason why Abhay Thipsay convicted these 5 accused on 24 February 2006 against whom no reliable witness gave any statement.

It may be added here that the SC which ordered re-trial of this Best Bakery case outside Gujarat did so on the petition of the NHRC (National Human Rights Commission) and not on the plea of any victim of this case. On 3 Nov 2004, Zaheera Sheikh, the key witness, in this case, turned hostile again and charged Teesta Setalvad with forcing her to name the accused as guilty. In May 2003 in the trial court in Vadodara, she had not made any statement against the accused. Later from July 2003 onwards, she started saying that all accused are guilty and that she was forced to say that they are not guilty in the court in May 2003 due to ‘fear for life’ (read ‘threat by BJP Government’). Then on 3 November 2004, she did another U-turn and said that her statement in court in May 2003 was right and that Teesta Setalvad forced her to lie from July 2003.

When Zahira Sheikh turned against Teesta Setalvad in November 2004 and insisted she had not signed any affidavit before the NHRC seeking transfer of the Best Bakery Case outside Vadodra, the NHRC discovered that the 600-odd pages of documentation filed by Teesta Setalvad’s Citizens for Peace and Justice did not contain a single signature by Zahira.

The job of the Supreme Court in its 12 April 2004 judgment was simply to decide whether to transfer the case outside Gujarat or not. SC did order the transfer and retrial outside Gujarat on the NHRC’s plea. When Zaheera Sheikh, the prime witness in the case, turned hostile on 3 November 2004 and said that she lied all along on Teesta Setalvad’s tutoring, it was found that there is no affidavit in the Court filed by her seeking transfer outside Gujarat, it was done by the Human Rights Commission whose locus standi in the matter was questioned by some.

For the record, the Supreme Court acted exactly as the National Human Rights Commission pleaded in some cases on this issue since 2003. The then NHRC chief, Justice A.S. Anand was a recently retired Chief Justice of India. The then sitting Supreme Court judges were his personal friends. Justice V.N. Khare, Justice Arijit Pasayat and others were all his erstwhile colleagues. And Justice V.N. Khare and the other judges passed exactly the same orders which the NHRC wanted them to pass in some cases.   

The then Chief Justice of India, Justice V.N.  Khare was an allegedly Indira Gandhi-appointed judge (of the Allahabad High Court, appointed on 25 June 1983). As an Advocate in 1975, Khare and his uncle, S.C. Khare, represented Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister, in her famous case against Raj Narain, alleging electoral malpractices. He was responsible for advocating the case that got the order of the Allahabad High Court stayed until an appeal could be filed in the Supreme Court. The adverse and ambiguous decision of the Supreme Court led to the imposition of Emergency in India for a period of 19 months from 1975-1977, the only suspension of democracy in India since 1947. When he retired, he said, “I found there was complete collusion between the accused and the prosecution in Gujarat, throwing rule of law to the winds. The Supreme Court had to step in to break the collusion to ensure protection to the victims and the witnesses. I was anguished and pained by the turn of events during the trial of the riot cases but was determined to salvage the criminal justice delivery system”.

In interviews to the media in 2004, Khare explained why he decided to transfer the Best Bakery case to Maharashtra for a retrial. Now we understand why it was transferred to Abhay Thipsay! In a 2012 interview, Khare revealed that he believed the 2002 Gujarat Violence was an instance of a “state sponsored genocide” when it was neither state-sponsored nor ‘genocide’ as hundreds of Hindus were also killed by Muslims in Gujarat in 2002, even after Godhra, and 40,000 Hindus were made homeless into relief camps in Gujarat, just like in Kashmir. Khare went to the extent of saying openly in 2012 that ‘I would have lodged an FIR against Narendra Modi on charges of genocide and manslaughter’.

After his retirement, Justice Khare openly revealed his opinion against the prosecution of the Gujarat government.  We must remember that on 26th December 2003, the Gujarat High Court ruled that the acquittal of  all  17 people in the Best Bakery case by  the trial  court  on 27th  June, 2003 was right. It asked why it took Zaheera Sheikh one month and eight days after her statement in court on 17th May 2003 to change her statement that all accused are innocent? Also, in an interview to Aaj Tak in early July 2003 she said: “Hamejaan ki  parvah nahi  hai kya?” (Will we not care for our lives?) which was in a manner which indicated that she was tutored to talk like this.  It appeared that a person truly scared for his life would never talk as openly as candidly as Zahira did on Aaj Tak.

After Zaheera Sheikh turned hostile, Yasmeen Bano Sheikh, her relative became the star witness in this case. An exact replica of the Zaheera Sheikh episode occurred. Yasmeen Bano moved the Bombay High Court in April 2011, alleging that she was “lured and misguided” into giving false testimony against 17 accused persons by Teesta Setalvad of whom 9 were given life imprisonment, just like Zaheera Sheikh had alleged that Teesta forced her to name innocent persons as guilty in this very  Best Bakery case.

Yasmeen filed the petition on April 2011, after no action was taken on her letter dated June 17, 2010, addressed to the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court. “Yasmeen gave false deposition against the accused and identified them falsely at the behest and advice of Teesta Setalvad only in the false hope that she (Teesta) would help her financially,” the petition states. It further claims that Setalvad had made Yasmeen an instrument to achieve the ulterior goal.

“Yasmeen was obsessed with the idea of getting money from Teesta and hence she did not think much about the repercussion of her false deposition against innocent persons. She is however repenting now,” the petition states. Yasmeen sought that her evidence be recorded afresh by the high court while hearing the appeal filed by the nine convicted accused challenging the trial court’s order. Yasmeen was the only prosecution witness from the Shaikh family who stood by the police’s case against the 17 accused. Rest of the family, including prime witness and Yasmeen’s sister-in-law Zaheera Shaikh, had turned hostile, alleging that they were forced by Setalvad to lie.

Since Zaheera Sheikh had already turned hostile and made exactly the same charge on Teesta, there should have been orders from the trial court of Thipsay to keep Teesta Setalvad away from all witnesses till the case was settled, or as a minimum not take the witnesses’ statements at face value and check if they were done on Teesta’s pressure. But he did not do so and convicted 9 out of 17, of whom 5 were such that no other witnesses made a single charge on them.

The Mumbai HC which convicted 4 accused in July 2012 relied heavily on the testimony of four witnesses (which did not include either Zaheera or Yasmeen Sheikh) while convicting the accused saying, “Normally, such witnesses would not implicate the accused. If they wanted to falsely implicate, then they would have taken the names of all the nine accused, but they have identified only these four,” said Justice Kanade of the 2-judge bench of the HC. Alluding to the defence’s arguments of contradictions in the statement of the witnesses, Justice Kanade said that even if there were some contradictions in their statements they could be discarded!

There were contradictions in the statements of the witnesses against the 4 who were convicted, but they were discarded on grounds of some logic saying “Normally, such witnesses would not implicate the accused. If they wanted to falsely implicate, then they would have taken the names of all the nine accused, but they have identified only these four…”. It follows the basic principle of justice that the accused must get the benefit of the doubt. If they were indeed guilty, why should there be contradictions in the statements of the witnesses? But even this bench of the Mumbai HC acquitted 5 accused against whom no one made any charges, but Abhay Thipsay had convicted them, thus playing with their lives for the sake of getting some convictions.

The Mumbai HC condemned the trial court’s [read Abhay Thipsay’s] comments against the defence’s lawyers in the Best Bakery case which he made in February 2006. The Mumbai HC in July 2012 gave them a clean chit calling the lower court’s observations against them as “uncalled for”. The high court judgement observed that Judge Abhay Thipsay had said in his 2006 judgement that the defence lawyers were in collusion with the witnesses who turned hostile during the re-trial in Mumbai. The lower court [read Thipsay] had also said the star eyewitness Zaheera Sheikh appeared to have been given “monetary inducements” without mentioning who had paid them.

“Sometimes words harm more than weapons and this is what happened in this case,” Justice PD Kode of the Mumbai HC observed in his judgement in July 2012. “This is a huge relief as now the Bombay High Court has even expunged these uncalled for observations,” defence advocate DS Jambaulikar told NDTV.

The Best Bakery case was of course not the only controversial deed by Thipsay. After his retirement, he openly spoke on the Sohrabuddin case and on the Judge Loya case. But on the case of the death of Justice Loya, he said that he believed his death was natural.

However, he demanded a probe in the case of the death of Loya. He raised questions about a special CBI court giving clean chits to high-profile accused (read ‘Amit Shah’) probed for the extra-judicial killing of a petty criminal from Gujarat, Sohrabuddin Sheikh. He had rejected bail petitions of some accused in this case when he was a judge at the high court. He told NDTV that the high court should take a re-look at the trial that let off some of the main accused. He also called for a probe into the death of CBI Judge BH Loya, 48, who died of a heart attack on December 1, 2014. “Because of the controversy surrounding Judge Loya’s death, I felt I should draw attention to the other issues,” he said.

In 2018, Abhay Thipsay made some scathing remarks on the way the Sohrabuddin Shaikh encounter case has been handled, saying the way several high-profile accused were discharged, the ”absurd” inconsistencies in the legal process, signs of witnesses being put under pressure or threat, and evidence of ”mischief” all point to the ”failure of justice and of the justice delivery system”. Justice Thipsay had ruled on four bail applications in the case. In his first interview since he retired as a judge of the Allahabad High Court in March 2017, he told The Indian Expressthe Bombay High Court must exercise its powers of revision, even suo motu if necessary, to relook the case.

Describing as ”absurd” the inconsistencies he found in orders passed by the Special CBI Court currently hearing the case in Mumbai, Thipsay said the court believed there was an abduction and a staged encounter, but still discharged senior police officers. ”You believe that he (Shaikh) was abducted. You also believe that it was a fake encounter. You also believe that he was illegally kept in the farmhouse. And you don’t believe that Vanzara (then Deputy Inspector General of Police, Gujarat), Dinesh M N (then Rajasthan Superintendent of Police), or Rajkumar Pandiyan (then Gujarat SP) are involved in that. How could the constabulary or inspector-level officers have any contact with him (Shaikh)? You mean to say a sub-inspector abducted him (Shaikh) from Hyderabad and brought him to a different state? And on the basis of the same material, you say that there is no case against the SPs (Pandiyan, Dinesh). So the suspicion is that superior officers have been treated differently,” he said.

”These orders need to be scrutinised properly before the appropriate fora, and the High Court should look into it,” he said. ”It is unusual that bail is denied to a number of accused for several years and then the court holds that there is no prima facie case against those accused. Lower level officers are not discharged but senior officers are discharged though the nature of material against them is the same,” said Justice Thipsay.

He said that he ”started reflecting on the case owing to the controversy” related to the death in 2014 of CBI judge B H Loya who was hearing the matter. Those discharged in the Sohrabuddin case include BJP chief Amit Shah, who was then Gujarat minister of state for home affairs, and Gulab Chand Katariya, then Rajasthan home minister, apart from Vanzara and Pandiyan.

As a judge of the Bombay High Court, Justice Thipsay heard the bail applications of Vanzara and M Parmar, former DSP of Gujarat’s Anti-Terrorism Squad; Narendra K Amin, DySP, Ahmedabad Crime Branch; and B R Chaubey, sub-inspector, Gujarat Police. He rejected two and granted bail to Amin in 2013 and Vanzara in 2014. Justice Thipsay said he was reluctant to grant bail to Vanzara but the Supreme Court had already granted bail to other accused in the case on grounds of prolonged incarceration, and a departure from the view of the apex court would not be a proper exercise of judicial discretion or discipline.

”I was very uneasy because I knew the facts of the case roughly as I had dealt with bail applications of some of the accused. Fifteen of the 38 accused had been discharged. I was not very comfortable in granting bail to Vanzara but I had to grant it because of a Supreme Court order granting bail to co-accused Rajkumar Pandiyan and (B R) Chaubey. However, in my order, I made it clear that there was a prima facie case against him (Vanzara). That is why I am particularly pained because they (trial court) did not pay heed to that. I said there is a prima facie case and that there is a very heinous crime also,” he said.

He gave an interview to Jyoti Punwani, who is a known anti-BJP professional activist. That interview says:

Your bail orders to suspected Maoists and terror accused couldn’t have made you popular with the authorities. What made you give such bold judgments? In fact, you were even known as the ‘bail judge’.

Thipsay: I’ve always decided bail on the merits of the case. I’ve never been scared of taking decisions in accordance with the law. What is ‘bold’ in these judgments? In court, there can be only one conclusion, based on the evidence presented. Many a times the crime alleged is enormous, but there is no evidence against the accused. Courts are not supposed to see what’s not there….”

He thus defends his orders giving bail to Maoists and terror accused on grounds of ‘lack of evidence’, but doesn’t extend the same logic to Sohrabuddin case accused being discharged due to ‘lack of evidence’. How is it a travesty of justice when some police officers like Vanzara are discharged? Should they be forcibly convicted even if they are innocent in the case just to satisfy people like Abhay Thipsay?

After joining the Congress Party on 13 June 2018 he said speaking to The Indian Express, that ‘it is important to fight communal forces and communalism.’ The retired judge added he needed a platform and Congress was the oldest political party in the country.

This statement on the need to ‘fight communal forces’ (read BJP, RSS) shows the reason for his deeds in all cases above. There is also a need to fight casteist forces who divide the Hindu society since in no way is casteism better than communalism. And the Congress allies are Samajwadi party, BSP, RJD who are all openly casteist and use caste to divide the Hindu society. Besides, the Congress allies are Muslim League, MIM, TMMK (a party involved in the 1998 Coimbatore blasts), which are known Islamic radicals. So much for fighting ‘communalism’ by Thipsay!

It leaves us to wonder, what will happen if judges like Abhay Thipsay handle such cases? We saw that when retired SC judge U C Banerjee gave his report on the horrific Godhra massacre!

(Some part of this article was first published in Satyavijayi)

(The writer is the author of book “Gujarat Riots: The True Story” which gives all details about the 2002 riots- Godhra and after, one of the admins of www.gujaratriots.comand one of the admins of the Twitter handle @gujaratriotscom)

Ratul Puri, Kamal Nath’s nephew, moves application to surrender before the CBI Court

Congress leader Kamal Nath's nephew Ratul Puri

A day after senior Congress leader and former Home Minister P Chidambaram was dramatically arrested by the CBI and ED in connection to his alleged involvement in INX Media scam, Ratul Puri, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Kamal Nath’s nephew, moved an application to surrender before the CBI Court. He is already in Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody in connection with the Moser Baer fraud case the ED is investigating.

Puri was arrested by ED on Tuesday from Delhi in connection with a Rs 354 crore bank fraud case. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had on Monday booked Puri, the then former executive director of Moser Baer, Deepak Puri, Nita Puri and others for defrauding the Central Bank of India to the tune of Rs 354.51 crore.

According to the FIR, a case of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy has been lodged against Moser Baer India Limited, then executive director Ratul Puri, managing director Deepak Puri, full-time director Nita Puri, director Sanjay Jain, director Vineet Sharma, unknown public servants and unknown persons.

Ratul Puri had resigned from the post of executive director in 2012, while his parents continue to be on the board, the bank said in a statement.

Moser Baer was involved in the manufacture of optical storage media like compact discs, DVDs, solid-state storage devices.

The company had taken loans from various banks since 2009 and went for debt restructuring a number of times, the bank has alleged in the complaint which is now part of the CBI FIR. When the company was unable to pay the debt, a forensic audit was done and the account was declared as “fraud” by the Central Bank of India on April 20, 2019, it has alleged.

“The MBIL has committed fraud and cheated the complainant bank thereby making a wrongful gain to themselves and a wrongful loss to the lender bank which is a custodian of public money,” the complaint to the CBI said.

On Monday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) also began to tighten the noose for Ratul Puri after the agency told a court in New Delhi that Ratul Puri was evading probe in the AgustaWestland chopper scam-related money laundering case.

The VVIP chopper case pertains to alleged irregularities in the purchase of 12 VVIP choppers from Italy-based Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary, AgustaWestland. According to the ED, the proceeds of the crime have been deposited in the accounts of different companies owned by Ratul Puri.

Police extends Section 144 in violence hit areas in Jaipur where a Muslim mob had attacked Kanwar Yatris on Eid

Section 144 imposed in Jaipur continues till Friday
Section 144 imposed in Jaipur(Source: Patrika.com)

A week after the horrifying attacks on the Kanwar Yatris in the city of Jaipur by a violent Muslim mob, the city police have decided to extend Section 144 of the CrPC till Friday, August 23 midnight. As per the latest figures, the police have rounded up 149 people and more arrests are likely to be made, said police sources.

ADG Ajay Pal Lamba has been quoted by Times of India saying, “The restrictions have been continued to maintain law and order in the city, especially in the areas which were hit by violence last week.”

2 days back, section 144 implementation was increased until August 21. The restrictions have now been extended for another two days.

In what appeared as a hate-crime against Kanwariyas in Jaipur on Monday, August 12, a Muslim mob had hurled stones and attacked a bus carrying Kanwariyas which was on its way to Haridwar. More than a dozen buses were lit on fire injuring more than 30 Kanwars during the incident.

According to the reports, the incident occurred on the day of the Eid festival, when a Muslim mob got into an argument with Kanwars. At the night, as Kanwars began their journey towards Haridwar to continue their annual Kanwar Yatra, a large angry Muslim mob gathered near Idgah at Delhi Road and allegedly resorted to stone pelting on the bus and later torched the bus damaging more than 10 buses.

The violence inflicted on Kanwar Yatris had come a week after the Congress government in Rajasthan passed a stringent anti-mob-lynching bill in the assembly. Rajasthan CM and senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot had brought the bill against mob lynching because it felt that the current provisions in the Indian Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code were not ‘adequate’ to deal with mob lynching incidents.

Madras High Court rejects Karti Chidambaram’s plea seeking interim stay on transfer of his Income Tax case to special court

Before former union minister P Chidambaram was arrested by CBI in a dramatic manner last night after Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court rejected plea for protection against arrest, his son and daughter-in-law also had to face disappointments in Madras High Court. On Wednesday, the Madras High Court rejected a petition by Karti Chidambaram seeking an interim stay in an Income Tax case which was transferred to the special MP MLA court.

The relates to the non-disclosure of ₹1.35 crore received by Karti and his wife Srinidhi Karti Chidambaram in cash against the sale of land in Tamil Nadu. IT department alleges that against the sale of a 1.16 acre property in March 2015, only a cheque payment of ₹3.65 crore was disclosed, and receipt of ₹1.35 by cash was not disclosed by the Chidambaram family and consequently, income tax was not paid on this amount.

But Karti and his wife had denied the allegation, saying they didn’t receive any cash payment in the land deal. The case was being heard by a court of the metropolitan magistrate in Chennai. after Karti Chidambaram became an MP after the Lok Sabha elections this year, the metropolitan magistrate had transferred the case to the special court meant to hear cases of MPs and MLAs. It was done as per a circular issued by the Registrar General,

Karti Chidambaram had filed the petition in the Madras High Court challenging this move, saying as the deal in question happened in 2015 when he was not an MP, the case should not be transferred to the special court. He had requested that the case should be returned to the additional chief metropolitan magistrate Court II, economic offences, Egmore, and also sought an interim stay in the proceedings of the special court till the High Court hears his petition.

But the High Court refused to grant an interim stay on the transfer order yesterday, which means the special MP MLA court can go ahead with the case. The court adjourned the matter to August 30, for the High Court Registrar General to file a counter.

Special courts for trial of criminal cases against MPs and MLAs have been established in most of the states in the last one year, following a Supreme Court order in 2017. These special courts are meant for fast track trial of cases against MPs and MLAs, as in regular courts the cases get delayed due to the huge volume of cases handled by the courts.

Fake news peddler Shehla Rashid evades questions on whether she has proof of her allegations against Indian Army

DMK leads protest at Jantar Mantar against detention of JK leaders
Protest at Jantar Mantar(Source: India Today)

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) today organised an all-party demonstration at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi demanding the immediate release of Kashmiri politicians who are precautionarily detained in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370.

Many opposition leaders have participated in the protests underway at the Jantar Mantar. Karti Chidambaram, whose father P Chidambaram was yesterday arrested by the CBI from his Jorbagh residence, was also present at the venue. Ghulam Nabi Azad from Congress and Manoj Jha from RJD joined the demonstration. CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI general secretary D Raja, SP leader Ramgopal Yadav, Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav, and TMC’s Dinesh Trivedi were among politicians who attended the protest.

The freelance protestor-turned-politician Shehla Rashid was once again seen engaging in her past pursuit. Rashid, who was recently charged for slandering the Armed Forces through her unfounded and baseless allegations, too joined the opposition in demanding the release of Kashmiri politicians.

When accosted by a Times Now reporter, Rashid appeared to develop cold feet as she refused to take questions asked of her on her malicious tweets about the Indian Armed Forces.

However, Shehla told ANI that she will provide proof if the Indian Army agreed to open an investigation into her allegations.

This answer could be considered a classic evasive tact since if her allegations were indeed true, she would have made them with proof in the first place. The Indian Army cannot open an investigation on her say so without being offered any proof whatsoever. This, after the Indian Army, had categorically denied all the allegations made by Shehla Rashid.

Shehla Rashid has been caught lying several times in the past. She had painted Jignesh Mevani as a victim even as there was clear video evidence that was him who was abusing the police. She had also tweeted an old video passing it off as a recent one to target BJP.

On August 6, the Indian government made an epoch-making decision of rescinding Article 370, that acted as an impediment in the true integration of Jammu and Kashmir with the Indian Union. In other to prevent the state from sliding into unnecessary chaos and disorder, Kashmiri politicians such as Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and others were held in precautionary, preventive and temporary detention. The government has assured that as normalcy gradually returns back in the Valley, politicians will be released.

‘Liberal’ hearts bleed as CBI arrests Congress leader Chidambaram after court calls him “kingpin of crime”

Former Finance Minister Chidambaram

Former Union Minister P Chidambaram was finally arrested at his residence by the CBI after a dramatic day on Wednesday. A team of about 30 CBI officers accompanied by Delhi Police officials had knocked at the doors of Chidambaram, who was absconding from the investigative agencies after his anticipatory bail was rejected by the Delhi High Court.

On Wednesday night, some section of ‘liberal-secular’ media and intellectuals, who are often associated with Congress party, suffered a huge meltdown as CBI scaled the walls of the residence and picked up former Finance Minister Chidambaram. As Chidambaram had declined to open the locked gates, CBI officials had to scale the walls and take help of Delhi police to force open a gate on the backside of the premises.

Within a few minutes of Chidambaram’s arrest, the liberal heart bled for their fallen hero, who once had once co-opted the very same intelligentsia, media and other opinion-makers.

Calling the arrest of Chidambaram unprecedented, Rajdeep Sardesai- the Michelangelo of Indian journalism, lamented that the action of the CBI and ED was nothing but desperation to somehow arrest the former UPA minister at all cost.

Rajdeep Sardesai, perhaps put a better defence for the cause of P Chidambaram compared to the battery of legal luminaries that represented the accused. Echoing same sentiments as Chidambaram, Rajdeep asked what was the urgency in making the arrest despite there was no name of Chidambaram either in the FIR or in the charge sheet of the INX media investigation.

In a tweet, Rajdeep Sardesai went on to call the arrest as ‘pretty absurd’ and ‘bizarre’. However, he deleted the tweet after he was caught by the social media for his diatribe.

Deleted Tweet of Rajdeep Sardesai

However, he did not stop there but continued to express his rage against the Supreme Court for postponing the hearing till Friday. Rajdeep Sardesai questioned the apex court on why did they not settle the case by hearing the plea filed by Chidambaram on Wednesday morning itself rather than postponing till Friday.

In his show, he also questioned the CBI that why could not they wait till Friday’s Supreme Court hearing before arresting Chidambaram.

Left-wing activist Prashant Bhushan, who often stands in support of the anti-national forces, expressed his anguish over the arrest of former Congress Minister Chidambaram. Calling the arrest for ‘custodial interrogation’ as totally malafide and against the Constitution, Prashant Bhushan opined that Chidambaram cannot be arrested as he has cooperated with the investigation and appeared before the CBI and ED whenever he was called.

Rana Ayyub, an Islamist troll masquerading as a journalist, who wrote fiction books during the UPA era also had few words to say about the recent arrest. By referring to the independent institution CBI as ‘Amit Shah’s CBI’, she found a way to vent out her frustration after the arrest of P Chidambaram.

Chaiti Narula, a reporter at India Today, followed Rana Ayyub’s way, perhaps hoping that she may reach Ayyub’s magnitude someday in future. Narula wore the hat of a legal luminary to advice the CBI that the methodology of detention and treatment meted to Chidambaram by them was not polite at all. Calling it unprecedented, she shared her knowledge to the public by stating that there was no charge sheet or FIR naming P Chidambaram. 

Former Finance Minister Chidambaram, one of the most powerful politicians of the UPA era, influenced the opinions and newsmakers during their tenure by co-opting the media and the intelligentsia. With Chidambaram locked up for the alleged crimes he had committed during the UPA era, it is not unsurprising to see the cronies coming out to defend their master by discrediting the investigation and propagating false agenda to portray Chidambaram as an innocent.

Opposition gathers to protest against abrogation of Article 370, Karti Chidambaram arrives and steals the show

Karti Chidambaram stealing the limelight from Opposition party members

Former Home Minister, Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram’s dramatic arrest by the CBI and ED for his alleged involvement in the INX Media scam has sent the Opposition in a tizzy. DMK led an all-opposition party demonstration at the Jantar Mantar in Delhi today to protest against the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

The protests were announced on Monday. However, after Delhi High Court rejected former Home Minister P Chidambaram’s bail plea, a drama unfolded where he went ‘missing’ for over 24 hours only to emerge at AICC headquarters last evening. This was followed by an even more dramatic arrest which involved the CBI officials scaling the walls of his residence as he refused to let them inside. Congress MP and P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram, also a co-accused in various cases of corruption and money laundering along with his father, took a flight on Thursday early morning to Delhi.

Meanwhile, on landing in Delhi, Karti said that he would also go to Jantar Mantar where Opposition parties were to demonstrate against abrogation of Article 370.

However, Karti Chidambaram’s dramatic entry at Jantar Mantar stole the opposition parties’ show as the media attention went to to Karti as media seemed to be more interested in knowing what the next step of the father-son duo would be.

As seen above, Brinda Karat (CPIM), Manoj Jha (RJD) and Ghulam Nabi Azad (Congress) aren’t particularly excited at the limelight being taken away from them by Karti.

After all, Jammu and Kashmir is now an integral part of India without any conditions after the abrogation of Article 370. And it is clearly not going anywhere, unlike some of the high profile financial fraud accused who have a tendency to flee the country to evade law take its course.

If Congress can’t claim political martyrdom today, the Modi government has only P Chidambaram to thank

Former union minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram (image: DNA)

Several unsuspecting citizens remained glued to their television sets all of yesterday as the Chidambaram drama unfolded. After being missing for almost an entire day post the Supreme Court rejecting immediate relief from arrest in the INX media scam case, P Chidambaram went missing. The CBI sleuths couldn’t find him at home. He then emerged at the Congress Headquarters giving a firm message that Congress stood with him firmly. The cat and mouse game finally drew to a close post 9 PM at night when the sleuths scaled the boundary walls of his house and arrested him.

There are reports that Chidambaram was hiding in his washroom and the sleuths had to break the door down in order to arrest him. In the meantime, much to the delight of The Hindu journalist, Congress goons lynched a man who, amidst the drama, shouted ‘Chidambaram Chor Hai’. Finally, when Chidambaram has whisked away in a car, Congress goons, in an almost coordinated effort, tried to block the way and a couple of them even jumped on top of the car.

After all of this, Congress is attempting to play the martyr. They sing the same old tune of political vendetta and whine about how Modi is a fascist. They claim innocence despite the Court observing that Chidambaram is the ‘kingpin of the scam’.

For all practical purposes, the Modi government was in a terribly precarious position. The arrest of political opponents, even with good cause and no interference from the central government per se, generally has catastrophic political ramifications. A country that has seen the most vindictive politicians lead it, would most certainly assume that the power-drunk political class is going after their political opponents without good cause.

One recalls the anger that started brewing against Congress after Indira Gandhi imposed the Emergency and started locking up political opponents with no good cause. Indira Gandhi did lose after the Emergency was imposed, but soon after, she won again owing to the massive sympathy wave created in her favour after she was arrested.

For both sections, arresting a political opponent meant an electoral loss.

Then, we saw an era where the Congress government hounded Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in fabricated cases. The narrative of the case was built to further the ‘saffron terror’ narrative. The aim was rather simple. To ensure that the majority and any leader that might capture the imagination of the majority population is demonised to an extent that they never rise to the top echelons of power. Congress had always believed that the minority population is their core votebank.

In the end, Amit Shah and Narendra Modi submitted to every torment that the Congress government heaped and emerged victorious. Proven innocent.

However, there were two stark differences in the cases of Indira Gandhi and Modi/Shah.

Indira Gandhi rode back to power because, in the 70s and 80s, power meant the Gandhis. It was difficult for the country, that had gained independence 3 decades ago, to entrust the reins of governance to anyone else. By the time the Congress government started exerting its power, even with the entire media machinery firmly selling their propaganda, the country had grown politically wiser.

The resounding defeat handed to Congress in 2014 and again in 2019 bears testament to it. Indira won again after her arrest because the country could not see beyond the Gandhis and no viable opposition truly existed, until Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Congress was defeated because Amit Shah and Narendra Modi submitted themselves to the law and emerged victoriously. They rose like the Phoenix and proved, that Congress was merely settling political scores. The judgement as much as said so in clear terms.

As history bears witness, the Modi and Shah duo was walking a tight rope. Explaining the elaborate scam layer by layer to the people is generally the job of the investigative agencies who merely release the FIR and allied documents. The rest of it, is ideally the job of the media. With majority established media firmly in Congress’ favour, the job was even tougher.

There was, however, a couple of things that Modi had going in his favour. One was his impeccable reputation and the fact that his supporters and voters elected him on the promise that the corrupt would be brought to book. Second, the people harboured an inherent mistrust for the Congress as far as their track record with corruption was concerned.

Third, and the most important, was the conduct of P Chidambaram. He made himself available to law enforcement agencies as long as the anticipatory bail was in place, as soon as the courts denied bail, Chidambaram ran like a petty criminal who had been caught.

In essence, it was Chidambaram’s behaviour that has given the Modi government the greatest out and the negated any sympathy wave that might have accrued to either Chidambaram or Congress at large. For the former Finance Minister and Home Minister to be dragged out of the toilet where he was hiding is optics that screams GUILTY.

Had Chidambaram submitted to the law enforcement agencies, even if he was found guilty, unfortunately, Congress as a party could have hoped to gain some amount of sympathy and political martyrdom. Chidambaram effectively killed those chances with his conduct.

The rope that had to be walked by Modi and Shah was a tight one. Explaining a rather layered scam to an inherently emotional population was a tough task. If today, Modi and Shah have gained politically by a move that is historically considered suicidal even if the ones in power are right, it must thank Chidambaram.

Head caretaker of UPA castle is arrested and the common Indian is smiling

Chidambaram's arrest has ruffled some big feathers, and has given a reason to the common Indian to smile
Sonia Gandhi and P Chidambaram, representational image, courtesy: India.com

Do you recognize this guy?

The Common Man, RK Laxman

Of course, you do. That’s R K Laxman’s common Indian. He has very little to his name. He carries with him a small bundle with few material things. The real weight on his shoulders is the disappointment of 70 years of independence.

R K Laxman’s common Indian was never angry, never impatient. He had an expression that was made up of equal parts of amusement and curiosity. Mostly resigned to the fact that some people in India are unshakeable, like the sky.

Last night we saw some other expressions on different faces.

Former Home Minister P Chidambaram arrested

When I saw that face, my first thought was: if R K Laxman was around today to make a cartoon out of this picture, what would he draw? He would doubtless insert his common man somewhere. And what expression would he draw on his face?

When you grow up in India, you know you cannot ask certain questions about certain people. These are questions that we dare not verbalize even today. You’ve read the newspapers. You know all the keywords. But will you dare ask the questions to big people? Not me. I am a common man. I know better.

What I can do however is smile. At how the high and mighty have fallen. We all know what’s eventually going to happen. The high and mighty will resume their high and mighty lives and you and I will keep living our common lives. But in the meanwhile, we can break character for a few moments and smile.

You know they are saying P Chidambaram wanted a clean lockup without rats.

Chidambaram’s concerns in CBI custody

Are you smiling yet?

Be it for so little as just one night, we the common Indians slept better than Chidambaram did. How does that feel?

That’s P Chidambaram we are talking about. The head caretaker of the UPA castle.

Now the ecosystem is very good at protecting their own. But rarely do you see all members of the Dynasty personally batting for someone in public. Generally, they seem to consider such things as beneath their royal dignity. But it’s different this time.

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra extending support to P Chidambaram.

Between multiple tweets about the supposed achievements of Rajiv Gandhi, look what Rahulji managed to squeeze in.

Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi condemning arrest of his party leader who is an accused in a financial scam.

Because this is no ordinary stool pigeon we are talking about here. This is the head caretaker of the UPA castle. If he goes, who could be next?

Dare I say…?

The sense of disorientation that shook Lutyens yesterday was something to see.

ThePrint’s Shivam Vij was in a world of his own

Enjoy the Whataboutism. By the way, how long before some renowned ‘divider’ in media tries to size up yesterday’s arrest in terms of caste or regional faultlines? Let’s see who does it first.

And this is Nistula Hebbar, political editor of The Hindu, apparently losing control over language.

The Hindu Political Editor endorsing violence by Congress workers

As I said, enjoy the disorientation.

But who knows, maybe Nistula does have a point? Perhaps R K Laxman’s common Indian was meant to be a troll after all. Long before that word was coined and the internet came to be.

One thing I can tell you for sure is that the common man today is smiling. Morning walkers embracing, strangers hugging each other. Hope it lasts.

India not to renew 1989 agreement, stops sharing hydrological data with Pakistan

India has stopped sharing hydrological data with Pakistan
Indus Water Treaty/ Representational Image

The Narendra Modi government has decided to up the ante against the terrorist state of Pakistan as it has now decided not to renew its 1989 agreement of sharing hydrological data of the Indus system of rivers during flood season with Pakistan.

The government has informed them that it would only provide information on “extraordinary discharges and flood flows”, reports the Times of India.

Reportedly, the agreement between the two countries was mere a goodwill gesture of the Indian government, which was renewed every year. However, with Pakistan meddling in India’s internal affairs and with the recently heightened tensions over the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and the bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories, the government of India has changed its position.

“This agreement was not renewed in the current year by us,” PK Saxena, Indian Commissioner for Indus Waters, told TOI on Wednesday.

However, this decision has nothing to do with the Indus Water Treaty signed between India and Pakistan in 1960 for sharing waters of the Indus system. “India as a responsible nation is committed to the provisions of the IWT,” said Saxena.

Referring to the 1989 agreement to share hydrological data during flood season between July 1 to October 10, he said, “This was the arrangement beyond the IWT provisions as a gesture of goodwill from India. This arrangement was being renewed every year since 1989 with modifications as and when required.”

Sharing his views on the IWT, Saxena said, “Under the Treaty provisions, India is required to provide advance information in regard to ‘extraordinary discharges and flood flows’. This is being done whenever the extraordinary flows are reached.”

The move by the Indian government is considered to be the response to Pakistan’s continuous propagation of terror into India and also its attempts to destabilise the normalcy in the Kashmir.

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Union Minister for Jal Shakti (water resources) on Tuesday had said the country’s intent to fully utilise its share of water from Indus river system within the IWT rather than allowing it to flow into Pakistan. Since many years, India has been working on to divert our share of water that flows to Pakistan and utilise it for the benefit of our own farmers, industries and people.

“Work has already begun to stop the waters that flow into Pakistan (under IWT). I am talking about the water which is going to Pakistan, and I am not talking about breaking the Indus treaty,” Shekhawathad had said. He said that the experts were working on the hydrological and techno-feasibility studies.

As per the Indus Water Treaty, the control of the Beas, the Ravi and the Sutlej river vests with India while Pakistan controls the Indus, the Chenab and the Jhelum. As the Pakistani rivers receive more waters from India, the treaty allows New Delhi to use the Indus, the Chenab and the Jhelum waters for limited irrigation and unlimited use of power generation, domestic, industrial and non-consumptive use.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has accused India of having unleashed fifth-generation warfare against it and said that New Delhi failed to share the hydrological data on the waters of Sutlej river with Pakistan on time, leading to floods across the Islamic nation.

Uttar Pradesh: Criminal surrenders as he fears UP police might do an encounter, says wont repeat his crimes

A criminal, Nizam, surrendered before the UP Police while wearing a placard around his neck that he will not commit crimes again. (image: @bulandshahrpol)

A criminal, Nizam, with a reward of Rs 25,000 on his head surrendered before the Bulandshahr Police yesterday out of fear of police. Nizam was carrying a placard around his neck while surrendering which said “I am a criminal, please arrest me. I will not commit any crimes in future.”

According to Police, he was involved in looting and theft and a case of gang rape was also registered against him. He was involved in looting on the highway. Two of his associates were injured in police firing earlier. Afraid that he may also meet with same fate, he decided to surrender.

When a reporter asked the police what could be the reason behind Nizam surrendering, the police said that he was definitely afraid of police action against his crime. A tamancha (country-made pistol) was recovered from him when he surrendered.

Mumbai: Raj Thackeray to be questioned by ED today, section 144 imposed in several areas

Raj Thackeray is to be questioned by ED today
Raj Thackeray, Courtesy: indianexpress.com

Maharashtra Navanirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray is to be questioned by the Enforcement Directorate today. Anticipating a law and order situation by MNS supporters, the Mumbai police have deployed a large number of personnel in several areas.

The ED office in Mumbai has also been put under heavy police protection.

As per a report in Republic TV, section 144 has been imposed in Dadar, Shivaji Park, Marine Drive, MRA Marg police station and some other areas.

As per reports, Thackeray will be questioned at the ED office at Ballard Pier at around 10.30 am. Many of MNS workers and local leaders have been detained by the police beforehand to prevent any law and order issue.

Thackeray had appealed to his party workers not to create a ruckus and maintain peace. But the police have reportedly stated that they do not want to take any chances.

As per a report in India Today, MNS leader Sandeep Deshpande has been detained by Shivaji Park police. Another MNS leader has stated that they follow the orders of Raj Thackeray and since he has asked his cadre not to react they won’t.

Thackeray is to be questioned by the ED for his alleged involvement in the IL&FS case involving Kohinoor CTNL where he was a partner.

The Kohinoor building project dealings had come under the scanner during the IL &FS scam case investigation. IL&FS had reportedly given a loan to Kohinoor CTNL worth Rs 225 crores but later on, took a hit of Rs 135 crores. As per reports IL&FS’s total investments in Kohinoor CTNL stand at Rs 860 crores.

Unmesh Joshi, the son of former Maharashtra CM Manohar Joshi, had also been questioned by the ED. Unmesh Joshi is the founder of Kohinoor CTNL. In 2005, Raj Thackeray’s Matoshree Construction and Unmesh Joshi had jointly invested Rs 421 crores to buy the NTPC owned Kohinoor Mill.

The Kohinoor Mills was a 4.8-acre property. Raj Thackeray had eventually exited from the joint venture.

Another partner in Kohinoor CTNL, Rajendra Shirodkar was also questioned by the ED in the same case.

Chidambaram spends the night at CBI HQ, CBI to seek custodial interrogation after dramatic arrest of the ‘Kingpin of the scam’

P Chidambaram arrested (image: moneycontrol.com)

Last night on Wednesday, former Union Minister P Chidambaram was finally arrested by the CBI soon after he reached his Jor Bagh residence in New Delhi following his appearance at a press conference at AICC headquarters. He will be grilled by the CBI at 10 AM

In a dramatic turn of events, a team of about 30 CBI officers accompanied by Delhi Police officials reached the Jor Bagh residence of Chidambaram and knocked at the doors for a few minutes before scaling the boundary wall to enter the premises. Even the Enforcement Directorate also reached the spot to take former Finance Minister into their custody.

Later, Chidambaram was taken to the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital for his preliminary health check-up before locking him up in CBI headquarters. A CBI spokesperson said he has been arrested on the basis of a warrant issued by a competent court. The CBI headquarters where he spent his night was the same building he inaugurated back in 2011 when he was the Home Minister.

Reportedly, Chidambaram was kept in the suit No. 5 of the CBI Guest House on the ground floor of the agency headquarters. He will be later produced before a special CBI court today, where the agency will seek his remand.

The CBI has sought Chidambaram’s “custodial interrogation” in the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in the grant of foreign investment clearances to INX Media when he was the finance minister. Not only the anticipatory bail peal was rejected, but the HC had also refused to grant interim relief till he approaches the Supreme Court with an appeal against the order.

Later, Chidambaram’s counsel represented by senior Congress leaders Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi and others had approached the Supreme Court seeking an urgent mentioning, but it was rejected. The lawyers had approached the court of Justice NV Ramana, who sent the file to CJI saying he is not authorised to decide who will hear a case.

As CJI Gogoi had already started hearing the Ayodhya case, it could not be presented before him. The plea also had some defected which delayed the case of Chidambaram, and it was decided that SC will take up the plea on Friday.

Earlier on Tuesday, P Chidambaram’s anticipatory bail plea was rejected by the Delhi High Court yesterday, paving the way for his arrest. Although ED and CBI sought to arrest him immediately after the HC order on August 20, they could not locate him.

Former Finance Minister who was on the run following the Delhi High Court judgement appeared before the media in a press conference in the AICC headquarters on Tuesday.

“I am aghast that I was accused of hiding from the law,” said Chidambaram, rejecting allegations that he was evading investigating agencies, adding he was working with his lawyers through Tuesday night, preparing his papers for his bail application.

The INX Media case relates to discrepancies and alleged shady dealings in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to the media group for international investment funds worth several hundred crores. Chidambaram was the finance minister at that time. As per reports, the ED is hopeful of getting Chidambaram’s custody following which he could be questioned on the source of money through which his son and Congress MP Karti Chidambaram bought various properties in India and abroad including a tennis club in Spain, cottages in the UK. These properties are reportedly valued at Rs 54 crore.

Political Editor of The Hindu condones violence by Congress workers who beat up a man who shouted ‘Chidambaram Chor Hai’

The Hindu Political Editor Nistula Hebbar

If new ‘journalists’ of mainstream media are to be believed, one is a political party only if the workers indulge in violence and beat up bystanders. Times Now journalist Padmaja Joshi tweeted last night that Congress workers who were gathered outside P Chidambaram’s residence as he was being taken into custody by CBI and ED for his alleged involvement in INX Media scam, beat up a man who was shouting ‘Chidambaram Chor Hai’.

During the run-up to the elections, the then Congress President Rahul Gandhi had indulged in mudslinging and rhetorics on a non-existent ‘Rafale scam’ (which no one talks about now that elections are over) and coined the election campaign for Congress as ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ (the watchman is a thief). PM Modi turned this attack of Congress and started the ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ campaign where he said how the elite will always mock the hard working class people. ‘Chidambaram Chor Hai’ would also be an extension to the campaign. The Congress workers, as per Joshi, then beat up the man who shouted that slogan.

However, The Hindu’s Political Editor, Nistula Hebbar seemed visibly excited that Congress workers were finally behaving like a political party, perhaps implying that a true blue political party worker should indulge in violence if their party leader is accused of wide-scale corruption and is being taken into judicial custody by investigation agencies.

When a Twitter user pointed out that had it been an incident where a cow smuggler was beaten up by a mob, she would have cried ‘intolerance’ and ‘mob lynching’.

Hebbar then defended her endorsement of violence by stating that her tweet was being taken out of context and she meant to take a dig on Congress’ lack of reaction against the ruling party’s moves in past few years. Quite a strange way to contextualise endorsement of mob violence, especially when in the past she has been quite vocal against it.

Some political leaders make journalists more ‘neutral’ than others it seems.

“Larger conspiracy” probe against CJI Ranjan Gogoi completed by Justice Patnaik, report likely in September

Probe against CJI Ranjan Gogoi completed by Justice Patnaik, report likely in September
CJI Ranjan Gogoi (Source: India Today)

retired Supreme Court judge Justice AK Patnaik, appointed to probe the allegations of “larger conspiracy” to frame Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, is likely to submit the report this September after completing the task.

Justice Patnaik was appointed as a one-man panel to inquire the allegations against the sitting CJI. Advocate Utsav Singh Bains was examined by Justice Patnaik from 11 am to 1 pm. His statement was also recorded, who had alleged that there was larger conspiracy in framing the CJI.

Bains had made various startling accusations including fixing of benches in the Supreme Court.

“The affidavit filed by Bains and other documents were examined by the panel. Now, the panel will complete the report and submit it to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover by the second week of September,” revealed a source to India Today.

On April 25, the apex court had formed a panel to probe the allegations of Bains. It had then asked Delhi Police Commissioner, Intelligence Bureau (IB) and CBI to assist with Justice Patnaik in helping complete the probe.

Heading the special bench, Justice Arun Mishra had said that once the probe is completed by Justice Patnaik, a report in a sealed cover is to be filed before the court. The matter will be heard again once the report is submitted.

This probe will not look into the sexual harassment allegations against the CJI, which was levelled against him by one of a former employee of the Supreme Court.

On May 6, CJI had received a clean chit from the apex court’s In-House Inquiry Committee comprising Justice S A Bobde, Justices Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee had rejected the allegations and had stated it “found no substance” in the claims against him.

Earlier, the apex court had expressed its disappointment over the “systematic attack” on the judiciary and had observed that it was time to tell the rich and powerful of this country that they are “playing with fire.”

Fact-Check: Unlike Chidambaram who tried to escape from law, Amit Shah resolutely faced trial and was acquitted

Hartosh Singh Bal resorts to factually incorrect details to target Amit Shah
Hartosh Singh Bal(Source: YouTube)

Following the Delhi High Court’s verdict yesterday, rejecting former UPA finance minister P Chidambaram’s anticipatory bail plea, the Congress stalwart had gone into hiding fearing arrest from investigative agencies. After remaining missing for a day, P Chidambaram was finally arrested by CBI from his residence today late evening, hours after he dramatically appeared in Congress head office addressing a press conference.

A battery of lawyers representing Chidambaram sought an urgent hearing in the apex court today morning. However, the Supreme Court denied immediate relief to the politician who is still eluding the law enforcement agencies. The CBI had issued a lookout notice for P Chidambaram who was absconding since the Delhi HC judge remarked that Chidambaram is prima facie kingpin of the INX Media Scam.

However, in order to defend P Chidambaram’s cowardice, assorted liberals have taken up the cudgel justifying his act of evading arrest. One of them, Hartosh Singh Bal, attempted to extenuate P Chidambaram by drawing a ridiculous analogy between Home Minister Amit Shah’s acquittal in Sohrabuddin Sheikh case and P Chidambaram’s recent elusion.

Quoting a tweet that said that Amit Shah resolutely faced the law when he was being hounded for his alleged role in Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, Hartosh Singh Bal posted a tweet casting aspersions on the way Sohrabuddin Sheikh case panned out.

Bal mentioned that one of the judges assigned to the case was inexplicably transferred. The second judge, Justice Loya was found dead under mysterious circumstances and the third judge acquitted Shah and others in the case. Bal appeared to allude that the judicial course in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case was compromised as Shah was finally acquitted.

Though fundamentally, there is a profound difference between eluding the law and tackling it boldly head-on, the more appalling facet of Bal’s assertions is that the Judiciary of the country has been in cahoots with the politicians who are desirous of evading the law. In regards to Bal’s outrageous claims, nothing can be further from the truth.

Bal stated that the first judge appointed in the case, who sought Amit Shah‘s appearance in the court was transferred for still unexplained reasons. This is factually incorrect. Justice JT Utpat was transferred from Bombay High Court to Pune on his own request. JT Utpat had in the May 2014, sought for a transfer to Pune citing his daughter’s education. The Bombay High Court Registrar told on record that the High Court had acceded to a request made by Utpat.

The liberal intelligentsia has trumped up a conspiracy about the unfortunate death of Justice Loya to link it with the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case in which Amit Shah was one of the accused. Bal, citing the conspiracy alleged that the other judge assigned in the case died mysteriously. In reality, Justice Loya died of a heart attack in Nagpur, which was confirmed by other judges who had accompnied Justice Loya to Nagpur.

However, the caravan magazine proceeded to insinuate that there was foul play in his death, alleging that it was a murder. It was comprehensively debunked by Opindia and also by the Indian Express that Justice Loya died of natural causes. Despite being discredited by many news outlets, Bal continues to prop up the concoction to imply that Amit Shah had some connection to Justice Loya’s death.

The third judge, Justice S.J. Sharma, while acquitting all the 22 accused said that the evidence brought in front of him was not sufficient to prove the conspiracy as stated by the prosecution. He had further added that the prosecution could not prove it beyond reasonable doubt despite the involvement of multiple investigative agencies in the case.

Drawing preposterous analogies and brazen whatbouteries are the most used bows in the self-proclaimed liberals’ quiver. Any illegal or disreputable act committed by a non-BJP politician is always met with a conditional condemnation- mention of BJP leaders who would have had been accused in the similar or more serious incident. Absolute condemnation simply doesn’t exist in the liberal worldview, especially when the politician doesn’t belong to the saffron party.

Bal also proceeded to denounce P Chidambaram by highlighting alleged discrepancies in Shah’s trial. However, as usual, Bal was least bothered with the factual accuracy of his assertions. Unlike P Chidambaram, who went into hiding the moment Delhi HC judged pronounced witheringly scornful remarks against him, Amit Shah grasped the nettle and steadfastly faced the vicissitudes of the law, standing firm and holding his ground, until he came out of it unscathed.

P Chidambaram finally arrested by CBI after officers scale wall of his residence as the gates were locked

Ending a high drama lasting two days, senior Congress leader and former union minister P Chidambaram was finally arrested by a CBI team today evening from his residence. TV channels showed the CBI sleuths climbing over the wall of the Chidambaram’s residence to arrest him after knocking on the doors yielded no results.

This has marked the end of wait of more than a year for CBI and ED seeking custodial interrogation of the former finance minister. P Chidambaram is accused of granting illegal FIPB approval to six companies, including INC Media and Aircel-Maxis, and he and his son Karti Chidambaram are accused of using shell companies to launder money received as kickbacks for the FIPB approvals.

P Chidambaram’s anticipatory bail plea was rejected by the Delhi High Court yesterday, paving the way for his arrest. Although ED and CBI sought to arrest him immediately after the HC order on August 20, they could not locate him. Not only the anticipatory bail peal was rejected, the HC had also refused to grant interim relief till he approaches the Supreme Court with an appeal against the order.

Today Chidambaram’s lawyers approached the Supreme Court seeking an urgent mentioning, but it was rejected. His lawyers had approached the court of Justice NV Ramana, but sent the file to CJI saying he is not authorised to decide who will hear a case. But as CJI Gogoi had already started hearing the Ayodhya case, it could not be presented before him. The plea also had some defected which delayed the case of Chidambaram, and it was decided that SC will take up the plea on Friday.

Chidambaram was still absconding, prompting both the ED and CBI to issue lookout circulars for him. But things took a dramatic turn in the evening when Chidambaram surfaced at the AICC headquarters, in full view of TV camera, addressing a press conference. He denied the charges filed against him by ED and CBI, saying those are lies by pathological liars. He also said that he was hiding from the law, saying he was with his lawyers. Chidambaram said that he spent the whole night last night and the day today preparing the documents to be submitted at the Supreme Court for his bail plea.

Chidambaram left the AICC office immediately after the press conference, without taking any questions, and before the ED and CBI teams could arrive to arrest him. He headed to his Jor Bagh residence directly from there, where he was spotted by waiting media teams, he was accompanied by Kapil Sibal.

As the media kept telecasting scene outside his residence, soon CBI and ED teams arrived to arrest P Chidambaram. But as he had locked himself inside the house, therefore they knocked on the door, but it was not responded and the door was not opened. Therefore, some CBI officers climbed the boundary wall and entered the residence. Eventually a Delhi Police team was summoned by CBI for help, who helped in entering the resident from the back gate of the premises.

Even after the officers entered the premises, the drama continued for almost an hour, as the CBI and ED officers completed their formalities and probably argued with Chidambaram and his lawyers. At last at around 9:45 PM, P Chidambaram was taken into custody by CBI and taken way in a car.

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, IAF Chief BS Dhanoa will travel to France to receive the first Rafale fighter jet in September

Rajnath Singh, IAF Chief BS Dhanoa will travel to France to receive the first Rafale fighter jet in September
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, IAF Chief BS Dhanoa will travel to France to receive the first Rafale fighter jet in September

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa will travel to France to receive the first Rafale jet on September 20. Rafael is manufactured by Dassault Aviation SA, French aircraft manufacturer of military, regional, and business jets, and is a subsidiary of Dassault Group.

As per a report published, Singh will lead a large contingent sent by the Indian government to receive the Rafale planes in the third week of September. In September 2016 India inked a 36-fighter jet deal with the French manufacturer for over Euro 7.8 billion to arrest the fall of combat squadrons and meet urgent requirements on eastern and western fronts. These jets will start arriving in India from May 2020.

Singh and IAF chief will welcome the first jet from the French authorities in Bordeaux.

According to officials, Indian Rafale is an advanced version of the in-operational French Air Force, and the plane would be used to train Indian pilots till May next year. The Indian jets have been equipped with India specific enhancements at the cost of around one billion euros.

Although small batches of Indian pilots have been trained on French Air Force planes already, IAF would train 24 more pilots in various batches to be able to fly the much-awaited Rafales from May next year.

‘Missing’ for a day, P Chidambaram surfaces at Congress office, says he was preparing his petition with his lawyers

After ‘missing’ for more than 24 hours following the rejection of anticipatory bail plea by Delhi High Court, Congress leader and former union minister P Chidambaram appeared at the Congress headquarters in Delhi today. The former finance minister addressed a press conference at the AICC officer, denying all the charges made against him and his son.

Saying that the charges are lies spread by pathological liars, he said that he has not been named as an accused in the FIR in the INX Meda case, and no chargesheet has been filed by either ED or CBI in the case. P Chidambaram said that he along with his lawyers worked the whole night last night, and today morning, preparing the petition to be submitted at the Supreme Court seeking interim protection from arrest. He said that he is aghast at he was accused of hiding from the law, although he didn’t reveal where he spent the last night preparing the documents, as it was reported that CBI didn’t find him at his residence. P Chidambaram said that he was with his lawyers during the last night and the whole day today.

Saying that he respected the decision of the Supreme Court to hear his case only on Friday, P Chidambaram said he respects the law even if it is applied unequally by prove agencies.

According to media reports, ED and CBI reached the AICC headquarters to nab him after he appeared addressing the press, but P Chidambaram had already left by then, evading the teams of probe agencies. He had reached home from the AICC office, and it expected that the probe agency teams may pick up him from his residence.

Russia backs India on territorial integrity and non-interference of third parties during NSA Ajit Doval’s Moscow visit

As an increasing number of countries have backed India’s stand on Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370, Russia has said that it reiterates the territorial integrity and non-interference of third parties in India. It was said in a press release issued by Ministry of External Affairs during the visit of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval to Russia.

The NSA visited Moscow on 21st August and held talks with his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev, the Secretary of the Russian National Security Council.

In the meeting, both India and Russia reaffirmed their intention to intensify counter-terrorism operation. Although the statement does not mention Kashmir, it says that “the longstanding position of both sides on importance of their bilateral consultations and mutual support for principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity and non-interference of third parties was reiterated.”

This implies that Russia has backed India’s position on issues like territorial integrity and rejection of any third party intervention during the trip of Ajit Doval to Russia after he spent over a week in Jammu and Kashmir overseeing the law and order and security arrangements in the state.

Russia was the first permanent member of the UN security council to declare that the Modi government’s decision over Jammu and Kashmir are an internal matter.

The visit by Doval focused on preparations for PM’s visit to Vladivostok for the Eastern Economic Forum in early September, bilateral cooperation between the two National Security Councils as well as regional and international issues. Foreign Minister S Jaishankar will visit Moscow next week to expand talks on strategic and economic partnership between the two countries.

Ajit Doval also met Dmitry Rogozin, Director of Russian space agency ROSCOSMOS, to review ongoing cooperation in the space field and the Gaganyaan programme of India. Rogozin applauded the progress of the Chandrayaan programme and conveyed Russia’s support and best wishes for the Mission’s success. Both sides also discussed long term aspects of space cooperation, which is expected to figure prominently in the Bilateral summit in Vladivostok.

Veer Savarkar’s bust installed at Delhi University, liberals lose their mind, say bust of Nathuram Godse might be next

Abhinav Saha/Indian Express

A pillar with busts of Veer Savarkar, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh has been put up at the North Campus of Delhi University on Tuesday. The pillar was installed by the ABVP-led Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU). ABVP is the RSS’ students’ wing. As per DUDU’s own admission, the pillar was installed without the permission of the University.

“We have written to university officials several times asking for permission to set up such a monument — last November, this March, April and again in August — but we got no response. So we decided to go ahead and do it ourselves,” said DUSU president Shakti Singh, who is the “installer” as per the plaque on the pillar.

Some people, however, have objected specifically to the Savarkar bust that was installed on the campus. The youth wing of the Congress is being blamed and it is being alleged that the Congress is a party full of Sanghis.

Others, of a more volatile nature, see the installation of Savarkar’s bust as a prelude to the installation of Nathuram Godse’s bust. “That is who we have become,” says Sankarshan Thakur, editor of the far-left loony The Telegraph.

NSUI, the students’ wing of the Congress party, straight-out lied that Savarkar worked against the freedom struggle. Even the mercy petitions ought to be seen in their proper context. One can read behind the actual reasons of Savarkar’s mercy petitions here. Moreover, Savarkar did not give up his political struggle after being released, he continued to serve our motherland as the president of the Hindu Mahasabha.

The objection to Savarkar’s bust only goes on to show the extremely little respect liberals have for freedom fighters who opposed Nehruvianism. According to them, freedom fighters who opposed the flawed doctrine of Nehruvianism aren’t worthy of any respect. Attempts are made to vilify them and distort their actions to suit their particular narrative.

As much as they may denounce Savarkar, it is a fact that the seeds of Hindutva Savarkar had sown all those years ago have finally bloomed and Hindutva now dominates the corridors of power. Furthermore, Hindutva is not a fringe ideology anymore, it’s the political mainstream of the country and with time, liberalism is poised to become a fringe ideology. It’s only natural that they had the man who envisioned such a future.

1000-year-old Sialkot Temple in Pakistan opens for the first time in 72 years

A 1000-year-old Temple opened for the first time since partition in Pakistan’s Sialkot
Shwala Tej Singh Temple (Source: India Today)

A temple in Pakistan’s Sialkot region was opened for the first time since the partition between India and Pakistan in 1947. After 72 years, the Shawala Teja Singh temple, touted to be 1000-year old, was thrown opened again for worship. A grand program was organized in the temple according to Hindu traditions Wednesday before throwing it open for devotees.

There was a raging demand from the people of minority Hindu community living in Pakistan to open the temple. Pakistan has long been suppressing the fundamental rights of the minorities in its country and treating them as second class citizens. However, in opposition to its convention, the initiative to reopen the temple was taken by Pakistan Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB). Several Hindu leaders were present at the ceremony, including the President of the Hindu Development Community-Amarnath Randhawa, Dr. Munawwar Chand and Pandit Kashi Ram.

Shrine Secretary Syed Faraj Abbas said that for many years the Hindu community had been demanding that the temple be opened. After the initiative of EPTB, Prime Minister Imran Khan gave instructions to reopen the temple.  Randhawa lauded the Imran Khan government for heeding to their demands.

The gentrification of the temple is in full swing. For this, ETPB has assigned Rs 50 lakh as the first installment. According to sources, idols of gods and goddesses will be brought here from India. Recently the statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh was installed in Lahore.

The situation of minorities in Pakistan is abysmal. Hindus and Christians in Pakistan live in a constant fear of state-administered repression against them. Hindu and Christian girls are forcibly married off to Muslim men and converted to Islam. The indignities meted out on them, sanctioned by Pakistan government, have forced many Hindus there to flee to India. Such Hindus live in abject poverty and dire situation in India’s capital-New Delhi.

After the abrogation of Article 370, Imran Khan went berserk in claiming that India has been discriminating against its minorities. However, data suggests that minorities have thrived in India whereas minorities in Pakistan since the partition have withered away. The notoriously draconian blasphemy cases are slapped against minorities in Pakistan, in order to subjugate them. The recent move by Imran Khan to renovate the Hindu temple may be aimed at dispelling his country’s anti-minority perception.

Human rights, vigilance cells: Defence Minister approves major decisions on reorganisation of Army headquarters

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh approves decisions regarding re-organisation of Army Headquarters
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Image Credit: The Samikhsya

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has given his approval to a series of decisions regarding the re-organisation of the Indian Army Headquarters. This approval will now promote major transformations in the administration of the Indian Army.

According to the Ministry of defence officials, these measures are part of four studies being undertaken by the Army for force restructuring and transformation.

The Indian Armed forces are the second-largest military force in the world in terms of size. Moreover, the Indian Armed Forces are considered to be the world’s fifth-most powerful military and have the world’s fourth-largest defence budget.

Though the Indian Army essentially remains a force largely organised, equipped and trained to fight wars, the current decisions have been taken to better prepare the forces to take on the security challenges of the future.

To meet the needs and challenges of the future our Army needs to continuously upgrade and replace its ageing inventory of weapons and equipment while also restructuring and right-sizing in a transformational way.

Keeping this in view, the Raksha Mantri office in a series of Tweets listed the various decision taken in regards to the re-organisation of Army headquarters.

  • A separate Vigilance Cell under COAS with Tri-Services representation has been planned. Until now, the vigilance function for the COAS is through multiple agencies and there is no single point interface.
  • An independent vigilance cell will be made functional under COAS. Accordingly, ADG (Vigilance) will be placed directly under the COAS for this purpose. It will have three Colonel-level officers (one each from the Indian Army, Indian Air Force, and Indian Navy).
  • An umbrella organisation under VCOAS for enhanced focus on human rights issues, to give high priority to the observance of human rights convention and values, it has been decided to set up a special Human Rights Section headed by ADG (Maj. Gen rank officer) directly under the VCOAS.
  • It will be the nodal point to examine any Human Rights violation reports. To enhance transparency and ensure that best of investigative expertise is available to the section, a Police officer of SSP/SP rank will be taken on deputation.
  • Re-location of 206 Army Officers from AHQ to Formations/Units of the Field Army – A total of 206 officers will be optimized from AHQ and these officers will be made available additionally to Formations/Units of the Field Army.

Similarly, understanding the need to modernise the Indian armed forces, PM Modi had on Independence Day announced the creation of a Chief of Defence Staff, the senior-most military officer. The Chief of Defence Staff will act as a single place defence advisor to the central government. The officer will be the head of the three services – the Army, Air Force and Navy, and it is reported that CDS will be a five-star military officer. The service chiefs are four-star officers.

At present, India is the only major country which does not have a chief of defence staff. The modalities of the creation of this post will be completed in the next 2-3 months. According to speculations in media, current Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat could be appointed as the first Chief of Defence Staff of India.

One BSF jawan killed and another injured in clashes with cattle smugglers along Bangladesh border

Two separate skirmishes between cattle smugglers and security forces along the Bangladesh border in Assam and West Bengal has led to the death of a BSF soldier and critical injury to another jawan respectively.

The incident along the Assam-Bangladesh border, in which a BSF jawan lost his life, took place on Sunday when Inspector Sanjay Kumar Sadhu fell into the Brahmaputra river in Dhubri while chasing cattle smugglers. Sadhu, 35, belonged to the sixth battalion of the Border Security Force. The inspector, native of Vadodara district in Gujarat, is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son, a senior official said. The wide Brahmaputra river in Dhubri district in Assam is a preferred route of smugglers and illegal immigrants. Although the river is patroled at the border, it is so wide that security forces are evaded by transpassers.

In another incident, where jawan was critically injured pertains to Gobardah border post in southern region of West Bengal. The incident happened on Tuesday where constable Anand Oran was attacked by a group of cattle smugglers while he was on the patrol. When the constable caught one of the smugglers, in the ensuing combat, the smuggler pressed the trigger of the pump action gun held by the jawan. The jawan, Oran, suffered pellet injuries in his stomach and collapsed. He belongs to the 153rd battalion.

The other members in the patrol team rescued Oran and caught the Bangladeshi smuggler, Minto Sardar of Satkhira district. Along with Sardar, 10 cattle heads were also seized in his possession. According to the officials, the constable is in a serious condition.

The porous border along Bangladesh is often used by cattle smugglers to illegally transport cattle from India to Bangladesh. Recently, the BSF discovered a new method adopted by smugglers to smuggle cattle across the border. Smugglers are using flooded rivers to send cattle to the other side. It is estimated that thousands of cattle are smuggled every year to Bangladesh through the 2216 KM long porous border.

CJI’s bench rises for the day, Chidambaram’s plea to be heard by SC on Friday

Chidambaram's counsel could not mention his petition before CJI's bench today
Kapil Sibal, P Chidambaram, Congress leaders

Former Union minister P Chidambaram’s plea at the SC against the Delhi HC order rejecting his appeal for interim protection from arrest will be heard by the apex court on Friday.

Earlier today, the SC has refused to pass an order over Chidambaram’s plea and has stated that the matter will be placed before CJI Ranjan Gogoi.

Chidambaram’s legal team had tried its best to list the matter today before CJI Gogoi’s bench as the CJI was busy hearing the Ram Janmabhoomi case. At 4.30 pm, CJI’s bench rose for the day without the Chidambaram’s legal counsel mentioning his petition.

Earlier today, Chidambaram’s legal team with prominent Congress leader Kapil Sibal and senior advocate Vivek Tankha had petitioned to justice NV Ramana for immediate relief to Chidambaram.

Justice NV Ramana had refused to list the matter and asked Chidambaram to mention the matter before Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi. Congress leader and senior advocate Kapil Sibal had rushed to the CJI court. Meanwhile, the Ayodhya case hearing had begun and there had been no mention of Chidambaram case till late afternoon.

Earlier today, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) had filed a caveat in the Supreme Court asking the court to keep them in the loop in response to a petition filed by P Chidambaram seeking protection from arrest. The Central Bureau of Investigation has filed a caveat in the Supreme Court which said, “Let nothing be done without notice to us.”

It has now been almost 24 hours since the former Union Finance and Home Minister has been absconding. The CBI and the ED have also issued a lookout circular against Chidambaram.

The Congress leader and former Union Minister is facing arrest for his alleged involvement in the INX Media scam.

Update: A bench of Justice R Banumathi and Justice AS Bopanna will hear the petition filed by P Chidambaram against the Delhi High Court order rejecting the anticipatory bail plea.

Granting illegal FIPB clearance to receive kickbacks paid through shell companies: Read about P Chidambaram’s modus operandi

Former Union Minister for Home and Finance, P. Chidambaram, is in a tight spot. He has been running from pillar to post in order to secure bail, however, the Judiciary doesn’t appear to be in a mood to award him special privileges on this occasion.

Investigative authorities believe that they have a solid case against the senior Congress leader. He is an accused in the INX Media scam and faces allegations of corruption and money laundering. OpIndia.com has now learnt from government sources the details on proceedings against Chidambaram.

As per sources, Chidambaram’s modus operandi revolved around granting illegal FIPB clearances to receive kickbacks, often paid through various shell companies floated by his son Karti Chidambaram. There are several such cases, namely, Aircel Maxis, INX Media, Diageo Scotland, Katara Holdings against him. These cases are currently being investigated by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate.

During the course of the investigation, several shell companies of Karti Chidambaram, registered in India and abroad were identified. In one of these companies, deposits of more than Rs 300 crores were made. A shell company that belongs to Karti Chidambaram has also allegedly received huge payments from a company located in British Virgin Island which had figured in the Panama Papers as well.

The shareholders and directors of a shell company have made their Will of transferring entire their shareholding of the said company to the granddaughter of P. Chidambaram and the executor of the will, as per our sources, is his son, Karti Chidambaram.

Allegedly, the deposits in these shell companies have been used for meeting personal expenditure of the father-son duo, more than two dozen foreign bank accounts have been opened where the money was allegedly deposited and several properties in Malaysia, Spain, UK and other countries were purchased with the said money.

Even though several incriminating documents and emails were seized by the ED and CBI from their premises, P. Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram have been constantly non-cooperative and withholding relevant information, we are told.

Read details of the case against P Chidambaram: Illegal FIPB clearance to six companies and laundering of kickback money

Clearing the air over the cases being faced by senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, ED and CBI have said that the INX Media is not the only case that is being investigated by the probe agencies. In a statement, the ED and CBI have informed that P Chidambaram is being probed into illegal FIPB approval granted to several companies, and also money laundering of kickbacks received in return to those FIPB approvals.

The statement says that as a finance minister, P Chidambaram had granted illegal FIPB approval to several companies, which are Aircel Maxis, INX Media, Diageo Scotland Ltd., Katara Holdings, Essar Steel Ltd. and Elforge Ltd. The CBI is investigating the offences of illegal FIPB approvals given in lieu of kickback paid to various shell companies floated by Karti Chidambaram on the name of his employee and other business associates. While ED is probing the money laundering of the kickback and its investments in movable and immovable properties in India and foreign countries.

Refuting the contention of Chidambaram’s lawyers that investigations against P Chidambaram and his son have been completed and there is no need of custodial interrogation, the statement says that investigations are still going on. Chargesheet has been filed only in the Aircel Maxis case, but probe under PMLA under this case is also is not completed yet due to deliberate withholding of information by the Congress leader.

Making an explosive revelation, the statement says that both P Chidambaram and Karti Chidambaram are owners of several shell companies used to launder money and route foreign investments. It says that the official shareholders and directors of a main shell company have made Will of transferring entire shareholding of the shell company to both of them.

ED and CBI have said that money parked in the shell companies have used for the personal expenditure of the Chidambaram family, opening more than 2 dozen foreign bank accounts and depositing money in them, purchasing several immovable properties in different countries like Malaysia, UK, Spain etc.

The shell company of Sh. Karti P. Chidambaram has also received huge payments from a company located in the British Virgin Islands and this company is figured in Panama Papers.

The statement alleges that even though several incriminating document and emails were seized by ED ad CBI during search operation from the premises of P. Chidambaram and Karti P. Chidambaram, both the accused have not cooperated during interrogation and have deliberately refused to divulge any information about their investments in foreign bank account and immovable properties located in several other countries.

Noting that both of them are on anticipatory bail since the beginning of 2018, the probe agencies say that non-cooperation in providing information is delaying the completion of the investigation. They are not divulging required information despite having personal knowledge about the same, and therefore the agencies have to use a time-consuming process to gather data, by issuing LRs to several foreign jurisdictions.

Both CBI and ED could not get a chance to interrogate Sh. P. Chidambaram in their custody as permitted under the law due to anticipatory bails granted to the accused on multiple occasions, the statement adds.

Yesterday the Delhi High Court rejected anticipatory bail plea of P Chidambaram, and the Supreme Court also refused to urgently hear his requesting seeking interim protection from arrest, as the petition had defects, and the CJI was busy with the Ayodhya case hearing. He has been missing since yesterday while ED and CBI have issued lookout circulars for him.

After filing a new FIR in money laundering case, CBI conducts raids at NDTV’s former CEO Vikram Chandra house

Trouble seems to be mounting for NDTV as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducts search operation at NDTV’s former CEO Vikram Chandra house. Vikram Chandra along with NDTV founders, Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy have been charged in a case related to money laundering. CBI alleged that the accused violated Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) rules.

This development comes soon after CBI filed a new FIR on Wednesday against NDTV and its founders, Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy, apart from former CEO Vikram Chandra and unknown public servants for alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating and corruption in a case of an alleged violation of FDI norms.

According to the FIR, accessed by OpIndia.com, it is a case of tax evasion and how certain income tax officers colluded with them to help them evade justice.

It is further alleged that the accused floated subsidiaries in tax haven destinations to route foreign funds to India through sham transactions. It is also alleged that the proceeds of corruption of unknown public servants were invested in NDTV.

The news channel has now issued a statement over it. In its statement, NDTV has again claimed that it is an attack on press freedom and called the charges “fabricated”. NDTV also claimed that investigative agencies have not found any evidence of corruption against them.

NDTV founders Prannoy Roy and his wife, Radhika Roy, were earlier prevented from leaving the country recently, the channel claims. In a statement published on its website, the channel has called it a ‘subversion of media freedom’.

While NDTV cries hoarse about ‘freedom of the press’ being curbed, the allegations of financial impropriety against Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy, the promoters of NDTV are extremely grave. More importantly, judicial bodies and statutory investigation agencies have found them in violation of major laws and in some cases held them guilty of fraud, manipulation and use of “deceptive financial instruments” to hide real ownership of NDTV. The full details of the NDTV-ICICI case can be read here. 

Not a satire: Parody country Pakistan has a ‘Ministry of Human Rights’, the ministry is now whining against Priyanka Chopra

Pakistani minister writes to UNICEF whining against Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka Chopra with husband Nick Jonas, image courtesy: The Independent

Pakistan has reduced itself to an international joke after its juvenile rants and shameful tantrums failed to generate even an iota of international support. The country, its diplomats, and even its government have been continuously exposing their insecure, and the obsessive tendency of issuing empty threats and imaginary bravado after India stripped the Article 370 and bifurcated the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two UTs.

After exhausting their stock of whiny appeals and idiotic rants against India on social media, the sad excuse of a country is now attempting to vent its frustrations on an Indian actress who happens to be a UN goodwill ambassador.

Pakistan has a Ministry of Human rights. Surprising as it may sound, the concerned minister who has apparently been deaf and blind to all the human rights violations in their own country, has appealed to the UN and whined against Priyanka Chopra.

In a letter to the UNICEF chief Henrietta Forte, Pakistan’s Minister of Human Rights Shireen Mazari has alleged that the Indian government is carrying out a campaign of ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Muslims and running ‘Nazi’ style detention centres in Assam. She has further taken words from her boss Imran Khan’s tweets and blamed the Modi government for things such as ‘genocide’, ‘fascism’ and ‘racism’.

Mazari has further claimed that Priyanka Chopra, the Bollywood actress who now lives mostly in the USA with her husband Nick Jonas, has been supporting all this and also has supported the ‘nuclear threat to Pakistan made by India’s defence minister. Mazari has further alleged that the UN allowing Priyanka to be a goodwill ambassador despite all this is undermining the credibility of the United Nations.

Mazari has urged the UNICEF chief to ‘denotify’ Chopra as a UN goodwill ambassador.

It is notable here that recently a Muslim woman of Pakistani origin had accused Priyanka Chopra of supporting a nuclear war against Pakistan at an event in the US.

The woman’s rant against Priyanka was also based on Priyanka’s tweet in support of Indian Armed Forces that said ‘Jai Hind’ after the Indian Air Force has bombed a terrorist camp inside Pakistan’s Balakot in February. She had also accused Priyanka of supporting a ‘nuclear war’ against Pakistan.

The Pakistani minister has now mixed the woman’s accusations against Priyanka and clubbed it with a recent statement of India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh where he had stated that India’s nuclear policy of ‘No First Use’ may be changed in future if the situation demands.

It is rather a sad spectacle that the Pakistani government has based their argument over a months-old tweet that said ‘Jai Hind’ praising the Indian Air Force and is now trying to pull its resources to oust an actress from the position of a UN goodwill ambassador.

It is not even the first time that the Pakistanis have tried to vent their frustrations on Priyanka Chopra. Back when she had tweeted in IAF’s support, there were also demands from Pakistan to oust her from the UN goodwill ambassador list.

Priyanka Chopra, whose earnings from movies and endorsement deals might as well be greater than Pakistan’s annual budget for many of its ministeries, is yet to issue any statement over the issue.

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