Defence Ministry not giving land to shift 99-year-old school: AAP govt to Delhi High Court


Defence Ministry not giving land to shift 99-year-old school: AAP govt to Delhi High Court

New Delhi: The AAP government has told the Delhi High Court that since the Centre was refusing to hand over land to shift a 99-year-old school, whose building is in a dilapidated state, the students studying there would be relocated to other schools from the next academic year.

At a meeting held on November 28 last pursuant to orders of the high court to work out a solution regarding the future of the school, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has asked the Directorate of Education (DoE) to shift the school to another site, the Delhi government has told the court.

In an affidavit placed before a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao, the DoE has said that in view of the stand taken by the MoD, it has no other option but to relocate the students to other schools in the next academic year. It has urged the court to direct the ministry to provide an alternate piece of land to construct a school building or to hand over the site where it is located now.

According to the minutes, the MoD has said that the 99-year-old Rajputana Rifles Heroes Memorial Senior Secondary School was presently located on defence land which was not in accordance with the Cantonment Land Administration Rules.

The delegation representing the army and the ministry said no land was available to be handed over to the DoE to shift the school and suggested that students studying there be relocated to other schools being run by the state government in the cantonment area.

The MoD has also said that while the building has been repaired on orders of the high court, it has “outlived its fair life” and was “unsafe for habitation”. The ministry has further said that the school can run in the building in the current academic year as it was about to end, but not after that.

The court had directed convening of a joint meeting of DoE and MoD while hearing a PIL by NGO Social Jurist which has alleged that the school, taken over by the Delhi government in 1975 and getting 100 per cent aid from it, was in a horrible condition.

Advocate Ashok Agarwal, appearing for the NGO, had earlier said around 450 students are studying in the school, built in 1919, and they have been unjustly deprived of adequate physical infrastructure and academic faculty. The plea has said though the school is open for all, it mainly caters to the children of servants of military officials who are not in a position to educate their kids in private schools.

It has alleged that the school lacks basic amenities, including potable drinking water, functional toilets, science and computer labs, clean classrooms and proper boundary wall and several posts of teaching staff are lying vacant.

The petition has sought a direction that the existing building of the school be demolished and rebuilt as a state-of -the-art school.




Gujarat Congress MLA Asha Patel quits ahead of Lok Sabha polls


Gujarat Congress MLA Asha Patel quits ahead of Lok Sabha polls

Ahmedabad: In a jolt to the Congress in Gujarat ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Congress leader Asha Patel resigned Saturday, accusing the party of factionalism and divisive politics. Patel, member of the Legislative Assembly from Unjha in Mehsana district, resigned as legislator and also quit the party.

In her resignation letter to party president Rahul Gandhi, she said, “On one hand Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given 10 per cent quota for Economically Weaker Section, while the Congress is trying to create a rift between different castes here.”

She submitted her resignation as MLA to Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi in Gandhinagar Saturday morning. The Speaker accepted the resignation, sources said. Unjha is one of the seven Assembly segments within the Mahesana Lok Sabha constituency, currently held by the BJP.

Of the seven Assembly segments, the BJP holds four while the Congress holds three, including Unjha. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hometown Vadnagar comes under the Unjha constituency. Asha Patel had won the election in 2017 against Narayan Lalu Patel after the Patel quota agitation roiled the state.

In her letter to Gandhi, she said she had resigned from the party “due to prevalent infighting and because the leadership has been ignoring me”. Her representations about the state of affairs in Gujarat Congress were not heeded for the last one year, she claimed.

Asked whether she would join the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Patel said she would consult the people of her constituency before taking any decision. State Congress chief Amit Chavda said Patel seemed to have taken the decision for “personal gains”.

“Till yesterday, she had not made any representation to the party,” Chavda claimed. Last year, senior Congress MLA Kunvarji Bavaliya switched sides and joined the BJP. He was made a minister in the state cabinet. In the 2017 assembly elections, the BJP had won 99 seats in the 182-member house while the Congress bagged 77. With these two exits, the opposition party’s numbers have fallen to 75, while BJP’s tally has increased to 100 after Bavaliya won a by-poll from Jasdan in December.




Maharashtra: Group of people attack others with sharp weapons in Malegaon, five injured


Maharashtra: Group of people attack others with sharp weapons in Malegaon, five injured

Malegaon: Five people were injured after a group of persons attacked them with sharp weapons in Malegaon town in Maharashtra’s Nashik district, police said Saturday. In a series of attacks that started late Friday night, the gang first attacked Harun Khan and an aide in Ayesha Nagar locality of the town, then assaulted Atiq Khan in Jafar Nagar, damaging vehicles and ransacking a hotel there in the process, police said.

The group of attackers then moved to Millat Nagar area and assaulted powerloom owner Mohammad Abid and his employee Fayyaz, police added. The group used choppers, knives and swords in the multiple attacks that took place over half an hour, an official said.

The five injured persons are undergoing treatment at a private hospital here, he added. He said the attackers are history-sheeters and the assaults are possibly the fallout of a complaint filed against them earlier by the brother of powerloom owner Mohammad Abid.

A case has been registered at Pawarwadi police station and three persons had been arrested in connection with the attacks, Inspector Gulabrao Patil said. The attacks caused tension in the area and a posse of police under Additional Superintendent of Police Nilotpal and Deputy SP Ratnakar Navale was camping in the area to diffuse the situation, an official said.




PM Narendra Modi urges first time voters to register for Lok Sabha polls


PM Narendra Modi urges first time voters to register for Lok Sabha polls

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged first time voters to register and cast their ballots in the coming Lok Sabha polls. Delivering his first “Mann Ki Baat” address of 2019, Modi said: “This year, the Lok Sabha elections will be held in our country and this will be the first time that youth born after 2000 will vote.”An opportunity has come for them to take the responsibility of the nation on their shoulders. They are now going to become a partner in the decision-making process of the country. I urge the youth to register themselves as voters.”

Modi also hailed the Election Commission (EC) for holding elections across the length and breadth of the country and said that the people of the country were proud of it. “The EC was formed on January 25, 1950 and the day is celebrated annually as National Voters Day. Seeing the scale on which the elections are held in India, it is natural for people across the world to be surprised. ”

He said the EC was an institution that every citizen must be proud of. “In our country, no stone is left unturned to ensure that every citizen of India, who is a registered voter, gets an opportunity to vote.” He said when we hear that a polling station is set up 15,000 feet above sea level in Himachal Pradesh, voting arrangements are made in far-flung islands of Andaman and Nicobar, or even in a remote forest area of Gujarat, where there is only one voter, “it is very natural to be proud of the Commission”.

“I commend the EC for contiinuous efforts to strengthen our democracy. I also commend the election in all the states, all security personnel. other employees, who participate in the voting process and ensure free and fair elections,” he added.




Delhi: Body of 6-year-old girl found in gunny bag in Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar


Delhi: Body of 6-year-old girl found in gunny bag in Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar

New Delhi: Body of a six-year-old girl was found in a gunny bag on Sunday in Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar in the national capital. The girl was apparently missing since yesterday evening. The girl’s body was first noticed by a passerby who immediately informed the police. A case has been registered and the police have initiated an investigation in the matter.

Further details are awaited.




CBI officer who lodged FIR against Chanda Kochhar, others transferred


CBI officer who lodged FIR against Chanda Kochhar, others transferred

New Delhi: The CBI officer-in-charge who lodged FIR in the alleged irregularities pertaining to the sanctioning of loans by the ICICI bank, has been transferred out. The development took place a day after CBI booked former MD and CEO of ICICI Bank Chanda Kochhar, her husband and others in the case. Sudhanshu Dhar Mishra, who was Superintendent of Police (SP) of Banking and Securities Fraud Cell of CBI, Delhi, was transferred to CBIâ?Ts Economic Offences Branch in Ranchi, Jharkhand.

He had signed FIR against Chanda Kochhar, Deepak Kochhar, Venugopal Dhoot and others on January 22 in connection with ICICI-Videocon case. On January 24, CBI booked former Chanda Kochhar, her businessman husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon MD Venugopal Dhoot in a case of alleged irregularities in the sanctioning of loans by the ICICI bank. Kochhar had quit the ICICI on October 4 last year in the wake of allegations that she had favoured Videocon in the lending processes because the consumer electronics company’s founders had invested in a company of her husband Deepak Kochhar.

The CBI filed cases against the three along with some others after conducting raids at four premises in Maharashtra, the investigating agency had said. The preliminary enquiry apparently showed that from June 2009 to October 2011, ICICI Bank had allegedly sanctioned six high-value loans to various Videocon Group companies, CBI sources said. Chanda Kochhar had taken over the post of the Managing Director of the ICICI Bank on May 1, 2009. The companies M/S Nupower Renewables Limited (NRL) and M/S Supreme Energy Private Limited (SEPL) have also been named in the case registered by CBI.

It is alleged that SEPL was initially incorporated by Dhoot and his associate Vasant Kakade and the ownership of the company was later transferred to Deepak Kochhar by selling the shares of the company to Pinnacle Energy Trust (PET) which was owned by Kochhar. It was also alleged that Dhoot had invested a large amount of funds in Deepak Kochhar-owned Nupower months after the Videocon group received Rs 3,250 crore as loan from the ICICI Bank in 2012.




29-year-old Gujarat man arrested for Rs. 177.64 crore GST fraud


29-year-old Gujarat man arrested for Rs. 177.64 crore GST fraud

AHMEDABAD: A man has been arrested for allegedly issuing fake invoices to claim Rs.177.64-crore input tax credit, the Central GST department said today. The man, identified as Ehsas Ali Saiyad, a resident of Vadodara, was the mastermind of a scam involving issuing of fake invoices, said the office of the Central GST and Central Excise Commissionerate in a release in Gandhinagar. The 29-year-old allegedly floated 66 fake companies with as many dummy owners in whose name he issued tax invoices to claim input tax credit (ITC), it said.

The accused obtained GST registration, GST identity cards, login-password, SIM cards, bank accounts and online passwords in the name of these dummy owners, said the commissionerate. “The accused would issue fake bills in the name of the entities created by him. He issued tax invoice of taxable value of Rs. 1,210 crore to claim input tax credit of Rs. 177.64 crore,” it said. He was arrested under provisions of the CGST Act and further investigation was on, said the release. Under Goods and Services Tax, input credit is the tax benefit manufacturers get for the GST they pay on purchase of goods.




SC to consider listing of Centre’s review, other petitions challenging SC/ST Act amendments together


SC to consider listing of Centre’s review, other petitions challenging SC/ST Act amendments together

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday said it will consider listing the Centre’s review and petitions challenging the amendments to the SC/ ST Act 2018, together before an appropriate bench.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it will consider and do the needful. Attorney General K K Venugopal said that a bench headed by Justice A K Sikri had on Thursday passed an order, saying it will be appropriate to hear the Centre’s review and writ petitions against the SC/ST Act 2018 together.

The apex court had on Thursday refused to stay the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2018 which restored the provision that no anticipatory bail be granted to the accused.

Parliament on August 9 last year had passed the bill to overturn the apex court order relating to certain safeguards against arrest under the SC and ST law.

During Thursday’s hearing Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, said that review petition and petitions against the Act should be heard together as there were similar questions of law. On March 20, 2018, the apex court had taken note of the rampant misuse of the stringent SC/ST Act against government servants and private individuals and said there would be no immediate arrest on any complaint filed under the law.

The top court had earlier said that the new amendments to the SC/ST law passed by Parliament cannot be stayed and had sought the Centre’s response on pleas challenging the provisions. The pleas have sought declaration of the new amendments to the Schedule Castes and Schedules Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act as ultra vires.

The amendments rule out any provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of atrocities against SC/STs, notwithstanding any court order. They provide that no preliminary inquiry will be required for registering a criminal case and an arrest under this law would not be subject to any approval.

The court was hearing the pleas alleging that two Houses of Parliament had “arbitrarily” decided to amend the law and restored the previous provisions in such a manner so that an innocent cannot avail the right of anticipatory bail.




Gurugram building collapse: Death toll rises to 7, few feared trapped under debris


Gurugram building collapse: Death toll rises to 7, few feared trapped under debris

Gurugram: Seven bodies have been recovered so far after a four-storey building collapsed at Ullawas locality in Haryana’s Gurugram, adjoining the national capital.

The incident occurred around 5 am on Thursday. Several others are feared trapped under the debris. Rescue operation is underway to pull out safely those trapped.  Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced financial assistance of Rs three lakh to the family members of the victims who died in the building collapse incident.

Three National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams were rushed to the site to rescue those trapped under the rubble. State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel are also at the spot to assist in the rescue operation.




Family of missing sailor Akshay Jadhav hopeful of son’s return


Family of missing sailor Akshay Jadhav hopeful of son’s return

Pune: The parents of Akshay Jadhav, one of the Indian sailors who went missing after two vessels caught fire off Russia, are still hopeful of receiving a positive news about their son and said he was supposed to return home in Kolhapur district after spending one year on the sea.

At least six Indian sailors died and an equal number of them went missing after two fuel ships carrying Indian and Turkish crew members caught fire in the Kerch Strait, where the blaze was still raging following the accident on Monday. Akshay Jadhav (23) is from a Kodoli village, 30 kilometers from Kolhapur, who had gone gone to work in merchant navy through a Mumbai-based recruitment service firm that caters to maritime and offshore industry worldwide.

While talking to PTI from Mumbai, Baban Jadhav, father of Akshay Jadhav, said his son joined the maritime firm and started his job as a seaman on January 25 last year. “Since then he had not returned home. His contract with the firm was to get over on January 25 and he was supposed to come home on February 1,” he added.

Baban Jadhav, along with his family, is at the Mumbai-based maritime firm through which Akshay Jadhav had gone to do the job on ship. “The company officials are in touch the authorities and getting updates about the search operations and we are hopeful that Akshay, along with other missing sailors, would return safely,” he said.

Baban Jadhav said Akshay Jadhav, after completing his Class XII, did some course in Chennai and later went on to work on the ship. “I was not convinced about his decision to join this job on ship, but he was quite determined and told me that since his elder brother could not get through the army, he would like to do something different to support the family,” said Baban Jadhav, who works in Warana milk in Warananagar. He said they are hopeful of receiving a positive news. “We are hoping to receive a positive news and we are praying to god that all the missing sailors should return safely.”




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