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Cash-for-vote scam: HC grants bail to Amar Singh

New Delhi: In a relief to Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh, the Delhi High Court on Monday granted bail to him in the 2008 cash-for-vote case, but restrained him from leaving the country without its permission.

While granting bail to 55-year-old Singh, who was undergoing treatment at the AIIMS under judicial custody, the court asked him to furnish a personal bond of Rs 50 lakh and two sureties of like amount.

Justice Suresh Kait also asked Singh to surrender his passport before the trial court which is hearing the cash-for-vote case.

The court passed the order on an appeal filed by Singh challenging the lower court's order rejecting his bail plea.

The lower court had granted interim bail to Singh on September 15 on medical grounds, which continued till September 28 when the judge ordered his re-arrest while dismissing his regular and interim bail pleas on the ground that he was "stable".

Singh has been booked under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code in the cash-for-vote case.Back



2G case: Bail pleas of Kanimozhi, 6 others reserved till Nov 3

New Delhi:A CBI court here on Monday reserved till Nov 3 the bail pleas of DMK Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi and six others accused in the 2G spectrum scam .

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said it did not have any objection to bail being given to Asif Balwa, Rajiv Agarwal, Cineyug Film's Karim Morani and Kalaignar TV's Sharad Kumar, apart from Kanimozhi.
Judge O.P. Saini also reserved the bail applications of Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Balwa and R.K. Chandolia, who was the secretary of former telecom minister A. Raja, who has also been jailed in the case.



Court defers hearing on plea against Chidambram

New Delhi: A special CBI court on Monday deferred its hearing on Janata Party's president Subramanian Swamy's plea to make Home Minister P Chidambaram a co-accused in the 2G spectrum case.

Special CBI Judge O P Saini adjourned the hearing on the plea till November 8 after Swamy pointed out that his application seeking a CBI probe against the minister is pending before the apex court.

Earlier, on September 15, Swamy had sought to record his testimony afresh alleging complicity of Chidambaram in spectrum pricing.

He had said the court should bring on record purported "new facts" that Chidambaram and former Telecom Minister A Raja had a "role" in deciding 2G spectrum prices and entry fee.

"The fact that the above named two ministers together decided that the prices of spectrum and entry fee should be lumped together at the 2001 level and decided against the market price of 2007-08 period for the entry fee, is confirmed by the speech of the Prime Minister in Rajya Sabha on February 24, 2011," Swamy had said in his application.

Swamy, who is pursuing a private complaint in the 2G scam, had also sought to examine CBI officials concerned "to establish the nexus of accused persons with others, who have intentionally not been made accused by the prosecuting agency."Back



Reliance Telecom moves HC against charges

New Delhi: Reliance Telecom Ltd (RTL) on Monday moved the Delhi High Court for quashing of charges framed against it by a CBI court in 2G spectrum case, saying there is no material to prosecute it.

Challenging the trial court's order charging it with criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery, the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG)-led company pleaded that it did not indulge in any wrongdoing and charges framed against it were "wrong".

"No incriminating material has been indicated in the charge sheet or by the prosecution in its submission on the charges," the petition filed by RTL said.

"The charges framed against the petitioner (RTL) had no basis in law. In fact, there is no act or omission attributable to the petitioner that has been indicated in the charges that justify the continuation of criminal proceedings against the petitioner," it said.

"The charges framed as against the accused indicates that there are charges for multiple conspiracies and it is unclear as to how and when the multiple conspiracies took place and also as to how they form a cohesive single conspiracy," it contended.
The trial court in its order had earlier dismissed the contention of RTL that Swan Telecom was not its "associate", saying it was, directly or indirectly, holding 100 per cent shares in STPL.

"Its (STPL) source of fund was RCL/RTL (Reliance Communication Ltd/ Reliance Telecom Ltd). Directly or indirectly it was holding 100 per cent shares of STPL as on the date of application.

"The source of funding of STPL was RCL/RTL...As such, STPL was not only an 'associate' but a front, or a facade, for RCL/RTL. In a sense, STPL was RCL/RTL itself and STPL was just a mask for it," the Special CBI judge O P Saini had said.Back



Woman beaten to death in MP village

Morena: In an alleged incident of honour killing, a married woman who had eloped with a Dalit man was beaten to death, and her body was burnt, by the family members.

The horrific incident took place on October 20 at village Lehar in the district. The woman, Guddi alias Bhoori (30), who had four kids, had eloped with a sweeper named Kamal, her neighbour, on October 2.

Her family members found her on October 20. She was beaten to death and then hung from a tree. Her body was set on fire.

The killing took place in full public view, but none of the villagers came forward to help the woman, the police said.

Guddi's parents registered a complaint with the Dimni police station. Her in-laws have been absconding, the police said.

Kamal and his family members too are missing.Back



Relations between BJP and BJD in Orissa tense: Advani

Sambalpur: BJP leader L K Advani on Monday said the party's erstwhile ally BJD had ended their alliance in Orissa "without justification" and the relations between the state units of both parties were "tense".

"We were in a coalition for quite some time and which they ended without any reason or justification on which I do not have anything to say," Advani said.

He was asked about the possibility of a BJP-BJD alliance in the future.

"I am not ruling out anything though at the moment the relations between the two (state BJP unit and BJD) have become more tense," Advani said when specifically asked if the BJP was in favour of an alliance. "Naturally, the state unit's view has to be taken in to account," he said. Advani was asked why had he not attacked the Orissa government in his speeches if the BJP was not in a mood for an alliance. "The whole campaign has started with the corruption at the Centre. So far as corruption in the states is concerned, we are concerned with the states we rule.If we notice any trace of corruption, we will be uncompromising," he said. "Today's newspapers specifically observed that Advani was silent about Odisha'a affairs.I was silent," he said. Advani said the BJP's state unit had been "unsparing" in its criticism of the Orissa government. On Lokayukta reports indicting the Orissa government, the BJP leader said the state unit of the BJP would comment on the issue.

Advani said though his party was not as strong in Orissa as compared to Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, he was surprised at the response he had received in the state.Back



Oz rights body terms Indian student detention as 'arbitrary'

Melbourne: An Indian student, who was detained in 2004 by Australian immigration authorities for violating visa rules, is likely to get a whopping compensation of 600,000 Australian dollars after the country's human rights body termed his detention as 'arbitrary'.

Prashant Cherkupalli, 31, was detained in late 2004 by Australia's Department of Immigration and Citizenship for working at a bakery in Western Sydney despite having "no work" condition on his visa.

Cherkupalli, a student of Masters degree in Engineering, had spent nearly 18 months in south-western Sydney's Villawood Immigration Detention Centre before he was released in April 2006. Since then he has been living on bridging visas there.

He had lodged a case with the Australian Human Rights Commission which released its findings earlier this month.

Cherkupalli's lawyer Tom Mithieux said that his detention was found by the Human Rights Commission to be an arbitrary detention and breached the Migration Act.

The commission subsequently made recommendations in relation to compensation and also on an apology among others.

Human Rights Commissioner Catherine Branson found that Cherkupalli should be paid 597,000 dollars in compensation for the 509 days he was illegally detained. "The commission also found Cherkupalli should be paid nearly 600,000 Australian dollars in compensation. It takes into account general damages, which is generally looking at the hurt and humiliation I suppose of being arbitrarily detained for that period of time. There is also some scope for past economic loss," Mithieux said.

"I came to Australia to get a job and get a permit and to settle down, but things have gone wrong for me and I ended up in detention, where I should not end up," Cherkupalli was quoted as saying by ABC news.Back


NGO trustees have asked travel agent to return money: Bedi

New Delhi: Team Anna member Kiran Bedi, who is under fire for overcharging organisers using inflated travel bills, said on Monday the trustees of her NGO India Vision Foundation have asked the travel agent to return money to those organisations from which more money was taken. "Trustees (of the Foundation) have instructed the travel agent to return the balance amounts forthwith. They have already passed resolution directing me to travel strictly as per invite. This leaves no room for discretion," she said.

She said travel agent Anil Bal, who is also a trustee of the Foundation, was handling the travel account and has been asked to return the money. Bal's agency was handling the travel assignments of Bedi.

The Trustees, including adman Prahlad Kakkar, Laveleen Thadani, Achal Paul, Pradeep Halwasiya, Amarjit Singh and Sunil Nanda, were of the view that she need not save money for the NGO in this way, she said. "I never handled this money. The agency issued the receipts and received the money. So the trustees have asked the agency to return the money which is lying in the travel account," she said.

Bedi is in the eye of a controversy after allegations were levelled against her that she overcharged hosts by inflating her travel bills. She is also accused of availing discounts on air tickets using her gallantry medal and then overcharging those who invited her to deliver lectures.

In her defence, Bedi has said that she did not personally benefit from this and that the money thus saved went to India Vision Foundation, and was used for social work.

The Trustees were also of the view that the money should be returned as it was bringing bad name to the NGO which is involved in good work.Back



NATO kills militants in Afghan airstrike

Kabul: NATO says international troops and Afghan forces have killed "multiple" insurgents during an operation in an eastern Afghan province where a feared Pakistan-based militant network is particularly active. The US-led coalition on Monday said Afghan and international forces called for an airstrike on militants in Paktiya province's Wuza Jadran districton on Sunday.
It said the target of the operation was a heavily-armed group of Haqqani network fighters who operate in the area. NATO has stepped up its focus on eastern Afghanistan, in areas along the Pakistani border.
The Al-Qaida and Taliban-linked Haqqani use Pakistan as a safe haven and the US and Afghanistan have urged Islamabad to act against the militants.Back


CPM, activists oppose Jaitapur nuke plant

New Delhi: CPM and other parties, including scientists and activists, on Sunday came together to form a national committee to support the struggle against the Jaitapur nuclear project in Maharashtra. A 15-member National Committee in Support of Jaitapur Struggle will have CPM general secretary Prakash Karat, his CPI counterpart AB Bardhan, former Atomic Energy Regulatory Board chairman Dr A Gopalkrishnan and former Union finance secretary SP Shukla as members among others.

"The people of Jaitapur and the surrounding areas in Ratnagiri district have been struggling against the setting up of the giant nuclear project which will have six nuclear reactors bought from the French Areva company. "This project has displaced farmers and mango orchards. The livelihood of thousands of fishermen are threatened," the CPM said in a statement. "There is a serious threat to ecology and environment of the region. The Areva EPR reactors have not been commissioned anywhere in the world, not even in France. They are prohibitively expensive and the technology is untried and untested," it said. After the Fukushima disaster in Japan, it alleged, there are "serious concerns" about the safety and the health of the people in the region.

The popular protests in Ratnagiri district have been met with severe police repression and permanent restrictions on holding protests and false cases have been instituted on many activists, it alleged.

To extend support to the people's struggle in Jaitapur and to mobilise support all over the country to demand a halt to the Jaitapur project, the statement said, it has been decided to set-up a national committee. The committee will organise a country-wide campaign against the Jaitapur nuclear project.

The other members of the committee include LJP chief Ramvilas Paswan, Sitaram Yechury of CPM, D Raja and Prakash Reddy of CPI, Nama Nageswara Rao of TDP, Danish Ali of JD(S), Vivek Monteiro of CITU, N D Patil of Peasants and Workers Party, Bhai Vaidya of Socialist Party (India), Pravin Gavankar of Janhit Seva Samiti, and Sulabha Brahme of Konkan Bachao Samiti.




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