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J Dey murder case: Chhota Rajan convicted, journalist Jigna Vora and Joseph Paulsen acquitted

Gangster Chhota Rajan has been convicted in journalist Jyotirmay Dey murder case, while journalist Jigna Vora and Joseph Paulsen have been acquitted by MCOCA court in Mumbai.

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 Gangster Chhota Rajan convicted in journalist Jyotirmay Dey murder case, while journalist Jigna Vora & Joseph Paulsen acquitted by MCOCA court in Mumbai.

11:58 AM - May 2, 2018
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Several high-profile people were earlier named as accused in the case, including mafia don Rajendra S. Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan, currently lodged in Tihar Central Jail in New Delhi, and former Mumbai journalist Jigna Vora.

J Dey

The final arguments in the Special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) Court had started in February and concluded early last month. According to investigators, Chhota Rajan ordered the killing of Dey, a veteran crime reporter of Mumbai. The mafia don was deported from Indonesia’s Bali in November 2015 and subsequently made an accused in the case. Dey, 56, was the Editor (Investigations) of Midday eveninger, and was shot dead on June 11, 2011, near his Powai residence in central suburban Mumbai, sending shockwaves in the media circles across the country.

Dey had authored two books: “Khallas: An A to Z Guide to the Underworld”, and “Zero Dial: The Dangerous World of Informers”, and was penning his third book, “Chindi: Rags to Riches”. He had reportedly portrayed the mafia don as ‘Chindi’ (petty) in his upcoming book, which apparently irked Chhota Rajan.

(Inputs for Agencies)

Supreme Court takes cognizance of Kasauli firing incident that killed government official

New Delhi:  The Supreme Court today took cognizance on its own of the firing incident in Kasauli where a woman government official was shot dead allegedly by a hotel owner after she had gone to seal an unauthorised construction in his property on apex court’s direction.

A bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta termed the incident as extremely serious and noted that government officials had gone there to comply with the court’s direction to seal  unauthorised constructions. Assistant Town and Country Planner Shailbala Sharma had yesterday gone to seal unauthorised constructions in Kasauli’s Narayani guest house where its owner Vijay Singh allegedly shot at her. She later succumbed to injuries.

“We might stop passing any orders if you are going to kill people,” the bench observed after the issue was mentioned before it. The bench, while taking suo motu cognizance of the incident, said the matter be placed before Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra for assigning it before an appropriate bench tomorrow.

The apex court also questioned as to what the police team, which had accompanied government officials during the sealing drive was doing when the hotel owner allegedly shot at the woman. The counsel representing Himachal Pradesh informed the bench that the accused had fled from the spot after opening fire at government officials and besides the deceased, an official of the Public Works Department was also injured in the incident.

We have to convince farmers to bring a govt that is sensitive to their issues: PM Modi to Kisan Morcha workers

Bengaluru: Hitting out at the Siddaramiah government for its “indifference” towards implementing the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked the party’s Kisan Morcha workers in the state to convince farmers on the need for a government that is sensitive towards their issues.

In his address to BJP Kisan Morcha Karyakartas via the ‘Narendra Modi App,’ the prime minister said, agriculture and farmer welfare has always been the BJP’s legacy. “I keep getting complaints regarding Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana from Karnataka, but one of our MPs has done a great work in his constituency with the help of Kisan morcha workers,” he said. Modi said, “The Karnataka government was indifferent…it did not care about the benefits that a farmer can get from the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.”

“If the state government was active during drought it would have benefited farmers, but they did not do it,” he added. Modi had yesterday launched his campaign blitzkrieg by addressing three public rallies in the poll-bound state. Highlighting the role of Kisan Morcha activists in reaching out to the farmers, the prime Minister called on them to convince farmers about the need for a government that is sensitive to their issues.

He said, “We have to convince farmers and we will have to give them confidence that this is the time, there should be a government that is sensitive to farmers, that understands their problems…welfare of farmers is its primary responsibility.” Noting that the media has called his government’s 2018-19 budget as farmers’ budget and budget for rural India, Modi said, “Agriculture and farmers’ welfare has always been our legacy, it has been our nature, it has been our way of thinking.”

Kanpur, Delhi among 14 out of world’s 20 most polluted cities in India: WHO

New Delhi: Delhi and Varanasi are among the 14 Indian cities that figured in a list of 20 most polluted cities in the world in terms of PM2.5 levels in 2016, data released by the WHO showed on Tuesday.

The WHO data also said that nine out of 10 people in the world breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. Other Indian cities that registered very high levels of PM2.5 pollutants were Kanpur, Faridabad, Gaya, Patna, Agra, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Patiala and Jodhpur followed by Ali Subah Al-Salem in Kuwait and a few cities in China and Mongolia. In terms of PM10 levels, 13 cities in India figured among the 20 most-polluted cities of the world in 2016.

The World Health Organisation has called upon member-countries in its Southeast Asia Region to aggressively address the double burden of household and ambient (outdoor) air pollution, saying the region, which comprises India, accounts for 34 pc or 2.4 million of the seven million premature deaths caused by household and ambient air pollution together globally every year. Of the 3.8 million deaths caused by household air pollution globally, the region accounts for 1.5 million or 40 per cent deaths, and of the 4.2 million global deaths due to ambient air pollution, 1.3 million or 30 per cent are reported from the region, it said.

The PM2.5 includes pollutants like sulfate, nitrate and black carbon, which pose the greatest risk to human health. WHO’s global urban air pollution database measured the levels of fine particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) from more than 4,300 cities in 108 countries, according to which ambient air pollution alone caused some 4.2 million deaths in 2016, while household air pollution from cooking with polluting fuels and technologies caused an estimated 3.8 million deaths in the same period.

Since 2016, over 1,000 additional cities have been added to WHO’s database, which shows more countries are measuring and taking action to reduce air pollution than ever before. “WHO estimates that around 7 million people die every year from exposure to fine particles in polluted air that penetrate deep into the lungs and cardiovascular system, causing diseases including stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and respiratory infections, including pneumonia,” the report said.

According to the report, more than 90 per cent of air pollution-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries (including India), mainly in Asia and Africa, followed by low- and middle-income countries of the Eastern Mediterranean region, Europe and the Americas. “Around 3 billion people – more than 40 per cent of the world’s population – still do not have access to clean cooking fuels and technologies in their homes, the main source of household air pollution,” it said.

It said the WHO recognises air pollution is a critical risk factor for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), causing an estimated 24 per cent of all adult deaths from heart disease, 25 per cent from stroke, 43 per cent from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and 29 per cent from lung cancer. The report, however, stated countries are making efforts and taking measures and in this context, referred to India’s Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, which it said, in just two years, has provided 37 million women living below the poverty line with free LPG connections to support them to switch to clean household energy use.

India targets to reach 80 million households by 2020. All countries in the region are making efforts to expand availability of clean fuels and technologies, however, over 60 per cent population do not have clean fuel. The combined effects of household air pollution and ambient air pollution become increasingly hard to address if not tackled early, Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, WHO Southeast Asia, said.

“Air pollution needs to be brought under control with urgent and effective action. Non-communicable diseases are the leading cause of deaths globally and in the region, and air pollution contributes significantly to NCDs such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and lung cancer. “Cleaning up the air we breathe will help prevent NCDs, particularly among women and vulnerable groups such as children, those already ill and the elderly,” Singh said.

“Many of the world’s megacities exceed WHO’s guideline levels for air quality by more than 5 times, representing a major risk to people’s health,” Maria Neira, director of the Department of Public Health, Social and Environmental Determinants of Health at WHO, said, adding, there is an acceleration of political interest to deal with this global public health challenge.

“Air pollution threatens us all, but the poorest and most marginalised people bear the brunt of the burden. It is unacceptable that over 3 billion people – most of them women and children – are still breathing deadly smoke every day from using polluting stoves and fuels in their homes,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO. Major sources of air pollution from particulate matter include inefficient use of energy by households, industry, agriculture and transport sectors, and coal-fired power plants. In some regions, sand and desert dust, waste burning and deforestation are additional sources of air pollution. “Air pollution does not recognise borders. Improving air quality demands sustained and coordinated government action at all levels,” the WHO said.

Former CJI Lodha terms prevailing situation in judiciary as ‘disastrous’

New Delhi: Former Chief Justice of India R M Lodha on Tuesday termed the prevailing situation in the apex judiciary as “disastrous” and said though the CJI is the master of roster, the allocation of cases has to be “fair and in the interest of the institution”.

Asserting that the “independence of judiciary is non-negotiable”, Justice Lodha said it was for the CJI to take the institution forward by showing “statesmanship qualities” and taking his colleagues together. “The phase we are seeing at the Supreme Court today is, to say the least, disastrous. It is high time that collegiality is restored. The judges, though with their different approaches and different view points, must find a common ground that takes the Supreme Court forward. That maintains the independence of judiciary,” Justice Lodha said at the launch of a book by former union minister Arun Shourie.

Justice Lodha had faced a similar incident as in the case of Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph during his tenure as the CJI when the NDA government had segregated the Collegium’s recommendation and sought reconsideration of the name of senior advocate Gopal Subramanium as an apex court judge. Subramanium had later stepped aside from the race. “I always felt that independence of judiciary is non-negotiable and it is for the CJI, who is the leader of the court, to take them forward. He has to show his statesmanship qualities, take all brothers and sisters together,” Lodha said, without making any reference to the incumbent CJI Dipak Misra.

Supreme Court collegium to hold crucial meeting today to reconsider Justice K M Joseph’s elevation
Former Delhi High Court Chief Justice A P Shah and Shourie, a critic of the NDA government, shared the platform with Justice Lodha and also criticised the overall functioning of the CJI. Justice Lodha released the book titled “Anita Gets Bail”, published by HarperCollins India, in which the former union minister deals with various judgments from the apex court to trial courts. Shah termed the recent verdict of the apex court on the death of special CBI judge B H Loya as “utterly wrong, and jurisprudentially, incorrect on so very many counts”.

He said that the apex court in the judge Loya case verdict had called it as a veiled attempt to attack on the judiciary and asked “How is asking for an investigation an attack on the judiciary?” “The system as a whole has evolved into something cold-hearted. Even with all this, the judiciary is still one of the last institutions that are respected, but that is changing,” he said. Justice Shah said that the judiciary is going through an extremely volatile phase which has not been witnessed in recent years.

“The press meet held by four senior judges of the Supreme Court earlier this year made allusions, in no cryptic terms, to the charge of selective allocation of cases, and the misuse of the power of master of the roster. This is a very serious issue and is nothing short of an allegation of bench packing,” he said. “We cannot function without a judiciary that is independent, or without a justice system that is self-reflective, and is aware of its faults and wants to improve them,” he said.

Shourie said if CJI Misra has to “say repeatedly that he is the master of the roster … this already means that he has lost the moral authority”. He also advocated that the executive should be checked in order to prevent “totalitarian control of every institution” and said “if you do not stop them, they will go on. Most institutions are eroded from the inside”.

Rajesh Sukumar Toppo promoted, appointed new commissioner, now Chandrakant Uike will take charge of the director

Raipur: Promotion of Rajesh Sukumar Toppo, as the Public Relations Director, has now been appointed as the new Chief Commissioner of the Public Relations Department. Sukumar Toppo's promotion order issued on Tuesday, May 1, has given him important responsibility in this election year. At the same place, instead of Toppo, now Chandrakant Uike will be the new director. The Secretary of the Public along with the Toppo Commissioner will also be there.


PM Narendra Modi launches poll campaign in Karnataka, says pro-BJP storm will sweep state elections

Mysuru (Karnataka): Expressing confidence over Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) victory in Karnataka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that there is not a BJP wave in the state but a BJP storm.

“The news says that there is a BJP wave in Karnataka. The reality is, it’s not a wave, it’s a storm in Karnataka,” Prime Minister Modi said while addressing a rally in Chamarajanagar district. Hailing BJP chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa, Prime Minister Modi asserted that the former will be the new chief minister of the state. “BS Yeddyurappa is the hope of the people of Karnataka and he is going to be the next chief minister of the state,” Prime Minister Modi added.

During his speech the Prime Minister also extended his greetings on Labours’ Day and that he would want to dedicate this day to hard working and diligent labours. “Today is Labour day and I want to dedicate this day to our hard working and diligent labours. I want to dedicate the historical achievement of the country on April 28, when all villages in India were electrified, to the workers and labourers of the country on this Labour day,” he added. The Prime Minister, who kick-started the BJP campaign in Karnataka today, is scheduled three rallies in Karnataka’s Chamarajanagar, Udupi and Belagavi district today. He will address 15 rallies in total over a period of just five days.

Will Chop off Nails of Those Poking My Govt: Biplab Deb

New Delhi: Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb is at it again. Now, a video of the Tripura CM has emerged in which the CM can be seen issuing threat against those taking on his government. 

In the video, Tripura CM can be seen saying that if anyone interferes in his government or pokes at it, he would chop their nails off. He offered a vegetable vendor's gourd analogy to drive home the point.

“Around 8 am, a vegetable vendor brings bottle gourd to the market. However, it gets rotten by 9 am due to repeated digging of nails by customers. This should not happen with my government. No interference in my government. If someone pokes, or interferes his nail should be chopped off. No one can touch my government,” Deb said. 

Biplab Deb, who is in the news for his controversial statements, has been summoned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 2. 

"Senior party leaders are miffed over the controversies triggered by Deb's statements. Deb is just saying anything and everything. Modi will talk to him," said a senior party leader on Sunday.

Taj Mahal Changing Colour from Yellow to 'Brown and Green'; SC Sees Red

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed concern over the change of colour of the iconic Taj Mahal at Agra and said the monument had become yellowish earlier and was now turning brownish and greenish.

The apex court suggested that the Centre take the assistance of experts from India and abroad to first assess the damage and then take steps to restore the historic monument.

"We don't know whether you have or perhaps don't have the expertise. Even if you have the expertise, you are not utilising it. Or perhaps you don't care," a bench comprising Justices MB Lokur and Deepak Gupta said.

"Perhaps we need some expert organisation from outside India unless there is a decision that the Taj has to go," the bench said sarcastically, adding, "you can get experts from India as well as from outside."

The apex court perused the photographs placed before it by petitioner MC Mehta and asked Additional Solicitor General ANS Nadkarni, who was representing the government, as to why the colour of Taj Mahal has changed.

"First it was yellow and now it is becoming brown and green," the bench observed.

Nadkarni told the bench that the management of Taj Mahal has to be done by the Archaeological Survey of India. The apex court fixed the matter for further hearing on May 9.

Environmentalist Mehta has filed the plea seeking protection of the Taj from the ill-effects of polluting gases and deforestation in and around the area.

The top court has been monitoring developments in the area to protect the historic monument, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal in 1631. The mausoleum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Woman, Attending Kudumbasree Meet, Set Ablaze by Husband in Thrissur

Thiruvananthapuram: A woman died after being set ablaze by her husband at Vellikulangara in Thrissur district in full public view.

The victim, Jeethu, 29, was living with her parents for the past one and a half months. Jeethu, along with her father, went to the Kudumbasree unit situated near her husband's place to return some loan amount that she had taken from the unit.

"While coming back her husband Biraju, 39, stopped her and spoke to her casually. He had a laptop bag with him. Taking out petrol from the bag, he poured it over her and lit it. She was taken to the hospital but died on Monday," said Pudukkadu circle Inspector Sudheeran.

The incident occurred around 2.30 pm on Sunday in full public view. 

Janardhanan, Jeethu's father, told mediapersons that no one came forward to help even after seeing his daughter in this condition.

The woman, who ran out of the meeting venue, was rushed to the hospital here in an autorickshaw, but died late last night, police said.

The police have registered a case under section 302 of IPC for murder against her husband Biraju.

Police say that he is absconding but he will be taken into custody soon. 

According to police, the trouble between the couple started about two months back allegedly due to some extramarital affair of Jeethu. 

According to police, Jeethu had also written a suicide note which was found from his house. The note stated “that he will not come back. His wife cheated on him and he lost his life”. 

The couple was married for the past six years.