Today Picture

BJP pressurising CM Manohar Parrikar to resume office, says Former Goa RSS chief Subhash Velingkar

Panjim (Goa): Former Goa Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief Subhash Velingkar on Wednesday said that Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s sickness is taking a turn for the worse as unwarranted pressure is being put on him by the Centre to resume office.

“Unfortunately, the BJP high command is putting unnecessary pressure on him (Parrikar), when he clearly needs more rest to be completely fit. The Centre, by hook or crook, wants Goa to remain a BJP stronghold and hence forcing him to resume office by any chance. This is worsening his current health condition,” Velingkar told reporters in Panjim. “The Centre should have got a substitute chief minister as long as Parrikar is not getting well. I don’t think this Goa government will survive if things go on like this. It will be dissolved soon,” he added.

Parrikar has been undergoing medical treatment for a pancreatic ailment for the last few months causing a leadership crisis in the state. On October 14, the Chief Minister was discharged from Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and returned to Goa. Meantime, citing Parrikar’s ill-health, the Congress party has been demanding that they be allowed to form the government in the state. On September 17, the Congress, along with 14 legislators in the 40-member state assembly, submitted a letter to Governor Mridula Sinha, urging her to invite them to form the government.

CBI vs CBI: Congress to hold protest on October 26 over ongoing CBI row

New Delhi: The Congress party will hold protests across the country on October 26 over the ongoing Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) row. Top Congress leaders will stage a protest outside the CBI headquarters in the national capital, while state leaders will protest in front of the CBI offices in their respective states.

After a spell of the internal fight, that appeared to tarnish the image of the country’s premier investigative agency, the Centre divested the CBI director Alok Verma and special and Rakesh Asthana respectively from their roles and sent both of them on leave. Asthana and Verma were at loggerheads on several issues and accused each other of blocking several important cases to be heard.

The CBI had recently filed an FIR against Asthana for allegedly accepting a bribe from a businessman, who was linked to Moin Akhtar Qureshi case. Asthana was heading the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that was probing Qureshi’s case. Amid this internal slugfest, M Nageshwar Rao was appointed as the interim director of the CBI with immediate effect on Wednesday.


PIL filed in SC seeking CBI probe in Rafale deal

New Delhi: A fresh Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was on Wednesday filed in the Supreme Court in connection with the controversial Rafale deal by advocate Prashant Bhushan, and former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, seeking a court-monitored Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in the case.
The plea states that an FIR was not registered in connection with their complaint as there is extreme pressure on the CBI. The petition seeks orders for non-transfer of CBI officials investigating the Rafale issue.
The petitioners appealed to the apex court to direct the CBI to investigate the offences disclosed to them in the complaint in a time-bound manner and to submit periodic status reports to the court.
The petition also sought a direction for the central government to cease and desist from influencing or intimidating in any way the officials that would investigate the offences disclosed in the complaint.
It further sought direction for the CBI and the central government to not transfer the CBI officials tasked with the investigation of the offences mentioned in the complaint and to ensure that the relevant records are not destroyed or tampered with and are transferred to the CBI.
In 2012, during the United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) tenure, India planned to buy 18 off-the-shelf jets from France, with 108 others to be assembled in the country by the state-run aerospace and defence company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
The BJP-led government scrapped the UPA’s plan in 2015 and announced that it would buy 36 “ready-to-fly” Rafale jets from France’s Dassault Aviation.


Decision to remove director, special director taken to restore institutional integrity, credibility of CBI: Jaitley

New Delhi: The government’s decision to remove CBI Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana is based on the CVC’s recommendations, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Wednesday, asserting that it was absolutely essential to restore the agency’s institutional integrity and credibility.

The Central Vigilance Commission made its recommendations last evening, he said. Jaitley told reporters that allegations by the top two officers of the country’s premier investigation agency led to a “bizarre and unfortunate” situation. A Special Investigation Team will probe the charges and both persons will “sit out” as an interim measure, he added. It is an extraordinary situation, and the accused cannot be allowed to be in charge of investigation against them, the minister said.

He also dismissed as “rubbish” allegations of opposition parties, including the Congress, that Verma was removed because he wanted to look into the Rafale fighter jet deal. In a swipe at them, Jaitley said their allegations indicate they had access to what was going in the mind of the officer concerned, an apparent reference to Verma. That itself demolishes the integrity of the person they are trying to support, he said.

CBI vs CBI: Team probing corruption charges against Rakesh Asthana transferred

New Delhi: The CBI has overhauled the team probing allegations of corruption against its former Special Director Rakesh Asthana, bringing in completely new faces, officials said Wednesday. Changes have been effected from the investigation officer to the supervisory level, they said.

M Nageswar Rao, a 1986-batch Odisha cadre IPS officer, who took over the duties and functions of CBI director late last night, appointed Satish Dagar as superintendent of police to probe the case, they said. Dagar has earlier probed cases against Dera Sachcha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim. His first supervisor will be Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Tarun Gauba, who investigated the Vyapam cases.

At the joint director-level, V Murugesan has been brought in. He will hold additional charge as joint director, Anti Corruption-I, in the CBI headquarters. The Supreme Court had reposed faith in Murugesan in the coal scam probe, officials said.

The previous investigating officer, Deputy SP A K Bassi, has been shunted to Port Blair in “public interest” with “immediate effect”, they said. Asthana had alleged in his complaint to the Central Vigilance Commission that Bassi was carrying out “roving inquiries” against him on the directions of Alok Verma, the CBI director who has been divested of all powers by the government along with him.

In another order, the CBI transferred Joint Director-Policy Arun Kumar Sharma and posted him as joint director of the Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA), probing former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case. Senior officer, A Sai Manohar, has been transferred and posted as joint director Chandigarh zone while Amit Kumar, DIG Economic Offence-III, will hold additional charge of joint director-policy.

No sale and registration of BS-IV vehicles after April 1, 2020, says Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday said that no Bharat Stage IV vehicle shall be sold across the country with effect from April 1, 2020. The Bharat stage emission standards are standards instituted by the government to regulate output of air pollutants from motor vehicles. The Bharat Stage VI (or BS-VI) emission norm would come into force from April 1, 2020, across the country.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur made it clear that only BS VI compliant vehicle shall be sold in the country from April 1st, 2020. The bench said the need of the hour was to move to a cleaner fuel. The BS IV norms have been enforced across the country since April 2017.

In 2016, the Centre had announced that the country would skip the BS-V norms altogether and adopt BS-VI norms by 2020. The apex court was deciding whether grace period should be given to automobile manufacturers for the sale of BS-VI non-compliant vehicles after April 1, 2020.

At a previous hearing, advocate Aparajita Singh, assisting the top court as an amicus curiae in the air pollution matter, had opposed the government’s move to give time till June 30, 2020, to automobile manufacturers to sell their BS-VI non-compliant four-wheelers manufactured till March 31, 2020. The amicus had also opposed the government’s proposal to give grace period till September 30, 2020, for the sale of BS-VI non-compliant heavy transport vehicles.

The automobile manufacturers had justified the grace period to sell their vehicles contending that India was leapfrogging from BS-IV emission norms to BS-VI within a short span of time. The manufacturers had argued that they were allowed to manufacture BS-IV vehicles till March 31, 2020, and they should be granted reasonable time to sell their stock.

Additional Solicitor General A N S Nadkarni, who had appeared for the Centre, had told the apex court that the government considered it fit to give three and six months to the manufacturers to sell their stock of BS-IV vehicles after April 1, 2020.

A 39-year-old cab driver was arrested here for raping a 5-year-old schoolgirl

New Delhi: A 39-year-old cab driver was arrested here for raping a 5-year-old schoolgirl, police said on Tuesday.
The victim, on Monday, narrated her ordeal to her mother who lodged a complaint with the Shahbad Dairy Police Station in Rohini, where the family resides.
The cab driver was arrested the same day and a case was registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, a police officer said.
It was a private cab that the victim’s family had hired two months back.
“A bunch of kids used to go to school in the same cab. The kids, both boys and girls, are in the 4-12 age group,” he said.

Actor Irrfan Khan come back to Mumbai

MUMBAI: Good news for all the fans and followers of Irrfan Khan as the actor is all set to come back to the ‘bay’.
According to the reports in BollywoodLife, the most handsome Bollywood actor is flying down to Mumbai in a day or two, and will soon start shooting for the Hindi Medium 2, a sequel of 2017 hit movie Hindi Medium also starrer Pakistani actress Saba Qamar.
Reports have it that when the makers of the film flew down to London to meet Irrfan and gave a narration of the script, the actor has given his nod to star in it.
Irrfan was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer called Neuroendocrine Tumour is currently undergoing treatment in London.
In an interview to Associated Press, Irrfan Khan said, “The problem with me initially was everyone was speculating whether I would be out of this disease or not. Because it’s not in my hand. That’s nature that will do whatever it has to do. What is in my hand, I could take care of that. And it offers so much that you feel thankful”.


5 Indian fishermen apprehended by Sri Lankan Navy

New Delhi: At least five Indian fishermen belonging to Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy from Neduntheevu in northern Sri Lanka on Tuesday. The navy authorities also recovered a mechanised boat from the fishermen.

Straying of Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen into each other’s waters is a recurrent problem as territories on the sea are not clearly demarcated. According to media reports, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami last week wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to secure the release of eight fishermen from Tamil Nadu lodged in Sri Lankan prisons.

29 TRS troopers bound for poll duties in Chhattisgarh severely injured in bus accident

Agartala: Twenty nine troopers of Tripura State Rifles (TSR) bound for poll-related duties in Chhatisgarh have been injured after their bus fell into a deep gorge, police said here on Tuesday. The bus rolled down into an approximately 250 feet deep gorge at the Baramura hill ranges in Tripura while negotiating a sharp turn.

“Around 800 TSR jawans, including the 29 troopers, were headed to Agartala in different vehicles to board a Chhatisgarh-bound train. All the 29 injured, including three critical ones, have been shifted to the (government-run) Govind Ballabh Pant Medical College and Hospital here for treatment,” the police officer said.

Two of the three critically wounded were being referred to Kolkata on Tuesday for better treatment. Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb along with others have visited the hospital where the troopers were rushed to. The 90-seat Chhattisgarh assembly elections would be held in two phases on November 12 and 20.

The TSR were earlier sent to Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Haryana, Nagaland and Mizoram on poll security duties. The TSR battalions, trained in anti-insurgency operations, were constituted in March 1984 to deal with terrorism. It is modelled on the pattern of Border