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Pranab tables white paper on black money in Lok Sabha

NEW DELHI: The government today tabled the much-awaited white paper on black money in Parliament which did not disclose any name but made a strong case for setting up lokpal and lokayuktas to deal with the menace.
The white paper, which was tabled by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the Lok Sabha, also did not provide government's estimate of black money, within and outside the country, though it quoted various estimates of other agencies on the issue.

The 97-page document, however, pitched for fast-track courts to expeditiously deal with financial offences and deterrent punishment for offenders.

It has also suggested tax incentives for encouraging use of debit and credit cards as these leave audit trails.

On the possibility of any tax immunity scheme, especially gold deposit scheme, to deal with black money, it said, "The issue of complete tax immunity needs to be examined in the light of other policy objectives."

The document seeks to dispel the impression that government was not doing enough to deal with black money and talks about various policy options and strategies it has been pursuing to address the issue of corruption in public life.

Referring to the issue of institutions like lokpal and lokayuktas, the paper said, "(they) need to be put in place at the earliest, in the Centre and the states respectively, to expedite investigations into cases of corruption and bring the guilty to justice."

The government has not been able to push through the Lokpal Bill in Rajya Sabha, despite pressure from the civil society. The Bill was approved by the Lok Sabha.
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Pomersbach has confessed to his crime, claim investigators

NEW DELHI: Investigators on Monday claimed that Australian cricketer Luke Pomersbach, arrested on charges of molesting an American woman, had told them that he inadvertently touched the victim and was under the influence of alcohol when the incident took place. 

Police sources also said that the name of Royal Challengers player KP Appanna has cropped up in the case after he was identified in a CCTV footage. He was allegedly seen accompanying Pomersbach to the room of the victim. 

Pomersbach was arrested on Friday after Zohal Hamid alleged that he molested her and hit her fiance Sahil Peerzada when he objected to the cricketer's behaviour. Peerzada was punched in his ear following which he had to undergo a surgery. 

Sources claimed that the Australian cricketer, who is playing for Royal Challengers in IPL, has confessed to the crime. They said he told investigators that he was under the influence of alcohol and inadvertently touched the victim. 

Pomersbach or his lawyer could not be contacted for comments. 

On Appanna, a senior police official said, "We have examined the CCTV footages and identified Appanna. We have spoken to him. We are yet to formally question him." 

Appanna, a leg spinner who plays for Karnataka in Ranji Trophy, could not be contacted for his comments. 

He was allegedly seen with Luke at the corridor of the hotel, the official said, adding they were yet to ascertain whether he entered the room where the victim was staying. 

Zohal had alleged that some team members of Luke had pressurised her to withdraw the case against Pomersbach. PTI
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Rave party: IPL players, others let off after medical test

MUMBAI: IPL players Wayne Parnell and Rahul Sharma of Pune Warriors team, who were detained along with 94 others during a raid on a rave party in suburban Juhu, were let off today after collection of their blood and urine samples.

In another development, Vishay Handa, director of city-based Oakwood Premier Hotel, where the rave party was held last night, was arrested under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

A police officer said, "All those who were detained last night during the rave party were allowed to go after their blood and urine samples were taken."

"Among those who were allowed to go include two IPL cricketers, Wayne Parnell and leg-spinner Rahul Sharma (both play for Pune Warriors India)," the officer said.

"The blood and urine samples were taken to Cooper, Bhabha and JJ hospitals, to examine if they consumed the drugs," the officer said.

the police had said last night that two IPL players from the Pune Warriors team, one of them a foreigner, were among the 96 persons who were detained following a raid.

"Approximately 110 grams of cocaine along with MDMA, popularly known as ecstasy, and charas were seized," Additional Commissioner of Police Vishwas Nagre Patil had said.

Meanwhile, India and Pune Warriors cricketer Rahul Sharma today refuted the allegation that he was present at a rave party at a Mumbai hotel, claiming that he had gone there to attend a birthday celebration.

"I was invited to a birthday party. Wayne Parnell was with me, I did not know that there was a rave party at the hotel," said the spinner, who along with his Pune Warriors teammate, was detained by the police after a raid at the Hotel Oakwoods in Juhu.

"We reached there at around 7 in the evening and all of a sudden within half an hour of us reaching there, the police raid happened. We didn't know what was happening, I asked the police officers and they told me that a raid was in progress," he said.

Sharma said he has been cooperative with the police and claimed that he has never touched alcohol.

"We have cooperated with the police and have even given medical tests. I belong to a simple family and have not even had a beer in my life, where does the question of attending a rave party arise?" he asked.

"I have told everything to the team management and things would be clear once the medical report comes out," he said. PTI
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LeT militant killed in J&K

Srinagar: Security forces have killed a Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militant in a shootout in the jungles of Kishtwar district in Jammu and Kashmir early on Monday.

Akhtar Hussain was involved in the killing of a soldier a couple of months ago, said an army source here. He was killed in a gunbattle at Parmal in Kishtwar, about 240 km northeast of Jammu, the source added.

The security forces have also recovered one AK-47 assault rifle from the site. It may be recalled that Jammu and Kashmir Police had busted an LeT module in Poonch district on Sunday.

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