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Adarsh scam: Former Maharashtra CM Chavan charge-sheeted

MUMBAI: Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan was among 13 people charge sheeted by CBI on Wednesday in the multi-crore Adarsh Housing scam. The 10,000-page CBI charge sheet was filed before the Registrar of a sessions court, nearly 18 months after the agency registered a case.

Reacting to the charge sheet, Chavan accused his political rivals of trying to implicate him in the multi-crore scam. He said the CBI charge sheet against him was "unfortunate". "This (CBI charge sheet) is unfortunate and unexpected," Chavan said.

The Adarsh scam had fuelled a political storm in Maharashtra leading to the resignation of Chavan as the Chief Minister. Earlier in the day, the CBI informed the Bombay High Court, hearing a batch of public interest litigations seeking the court's supervision of the probe, that it would be filing a charge sheet later in the day.

The CBI has registered a case on January 29 last year against Chavan and others which included bureaucrats and retired army personnel. The agency had in March arrested nine out of the 14 accused after receiving a rap on its knuckles from the High Court for not initiating action against the accused persons.

The nine arrested accused are R C Thakur, secretary of Adarsh, retired brigadier M M Wanchoo, former Congress MLC Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, both promoters of the society, former deputy secretary of urban development department P V Deshmukh, IAS officers Ramanand Tiwari and Jairaj Phatak, retired major generals A R Kumar and T K Kaul and former city collector Pradeep Vyas.

They were released on bail by a special CBI court after CBI failed to file charge sheet within the stipulated 60-day period after arrest. They have been charged with criminal conspiracy, cheating and the Prevention of Corruption Act. — PTI



Sri Lanka tour: Sehwag, Zaheer stage comeback

MUMBAI: Opener Virender Sehwag and pace spearhead Zaheer Khan returned to a 15-member Indian cricket squad after recovering from injuries even as senior batsman Sachin Tendulkar decided to skip the limited overs tour of Sri Lanka starting July 21.

Sehwag, Zaheer, along with young pacer Umesh Yadav, had sat out of the Asia Cup in Bangladesh in March due to fitness issues. While Sehwag was nursing back spasms and a shoulder injury, Zaheer and Umesh too had niggles.

Tendulkar, who has played only two ODI series since 2011 World Cup and is now a Rajya Sabha MP, made himself unavailable for selection for the Lanka tour which will have five ODIs and a Twenty20 international.

Young Mumbai batsman Ajinkya Rahane has replaced Tendulkar in the side. The other change from the Asia Cup side is the inclusion of left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha in place of out-of-form all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.

The committee, which picked the squad in a meeting on Wednesday, also decided to include Umesh at the expense of Praveen Kumar.

"We have the best available team. Sachin is not available. I think it is a very good side which has very strong batting line-up and good bowlers and we are confident that it will do well in Sri Lanka," chairman of selection committee Krishnamachari Srikkanth told reporters after announcing the squad.

There was no place for feisty off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who endured indifferent form during the IPL and has now signed up with English county side Essex, as the selectors continued to ignore him while Rahul Sharma was retained in the side. The team will thus have three spinners on low-bouncing and spinning tracks in Sri Lanka.

The team will also have seven specialist batsmen, four seamers and a wicketkeeper in captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

The team has endured poor results since the second half of last year, having been whitewashed in the Test series in England and Australia before failing to make the finals of the Asia Cup.

"It is a long season ahead and I think we will come back to winning ways. Sachin wants to extend his career. He must be aiming at England and Australia (series later this year). He is spacing it out very well," said Srikkanth.

"I don't really want to dwell on whys, they are difficult. We should look at what has been selected," he said.

The rest of the squad remains the same with the selectors retaining Virat Kohli as vice-captain, a position that the Delhi youngster took from opener Gautam Gambhir during the Asia Cup.

"Virat Kohli has been appointed vice-captain, the idea is continuity. Virat got brilliant hundreds after becoming vice captain which shows that he likes responsibility," explained Srikkanth.

Aggressive but inconsistent all-rounder Yusuf Pathan was ignored after failing to make an impact in the IPL, along with his brother Irfan.

In Sri Lanka, India will play a five-match ODI series between July 21 and August 4 followed by a one-off Twenty20 international on August 7.

A little over a month separates the Sri Lanka tour and the Twenty20 World Cup, which will be played in the same country.

Squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virat Kohli (vice-captain), Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, Gautam Gambhir, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Ashok Dinda, Suresh Raina, Vinay Kumar, Rohit Sharma, Pragyan Ojha, Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary, Rahul Sharma. — PTI




Heavy rains hit life in Mumbai

Mumbai: Heavy rains throughout the night have led to waterlogging and local trains have been delayed in many parts of Mumbai on Wednesday. The affected areas are Kalina, Vakola, Sion, Parel and huts along the Mithi river. Trains on the suburban central and western line have been delayed by 15 mins due to the rains.

An empty four-storey building in the city collapsed on Wednesday following heavy rains, fire brigade sources said.

The building Gopal Bhavan, located in Mamletdar Wadi in suburban Malad caved in following rains. However, there were no casualties, they said.

There was nobody living in the building as the residents had already been evacuated after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) declared the structure as 'dangerous'. Five fire engines were rushed to the spot, they added. Back




DMK leaders court arrest

Chennai: DMK leaders Kanimozhi, Dayanidhi Maran and MK Stalin along with party cadres on court arrest during “fill the jails" protest on Wednesday. The agitation is being held to condemn the continuing arrests of former DMK ministers and other party members.

Around 50,000 party members are participating in the ‘jail bharo andolan’.

Commuters here are expected to face a traumatic experience as DMK has scheduled its protest at 22 places across the city.

DMK supremo Karunanidhi who is not participating in the protest, yesterday said if the party's MPs and legislators would still vote in the Presidential election even if they are not released after being arrested in the agitationBack




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