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Defence Ministry claims ownership of Adarsh land

MUMBAI: the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Friday approached the Bombay High Court seeking claim on the land on which the scam-hit Adarsh Housing Society building stands in upscale South Mumbai.

The Ministry filed a title suit in the HC stating that the land in Colaba, where the 31-storey flat complex has been constructed, belongs to them, and sought its possession.

The MoD move comes eight months after a Maharashtra Ggvernment-appointed judicial panel concluded that the land belonged to the state government and was not reserved for Kargil war widows or their families as claimed in some quarters.

The two-member inquiry panel had submitted its report to the Maharashtra government in April this year.

On May 28, the Ministry issued notices to the state and the Adarsh society, asking them to acknowledge MoD’s ownership of the plot and hand over its possession within two months, failing which it would file a civil suit in a competent court.

The Ministry, in the suit, has alleged that the residential complex, which has over 100 flats — some of them owned by retired defence officers — has been constructed “illegally and unlawfully”.

It further said the MoD is the sole owner of the land, which was transferred to the Adarsh Housing Society by “fraud, collusion and connivance on the part of the society members, Ministers and bureaucrats of the state government”.

The suit is likely to come up for hearing in due course of time.

Earlier, the Ministry had filed a petition in the HC seeking implementation of the January 2011 order of demolition passed by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest against Adarsh. The MoD had claimed the building was a security threat to the defence establishments located in its vicinity. — PTI





Will cooperate in Indian judicial probe: Walmart

WASHINGTON: Retail giant Walmart has said it will provide "relevant information" to the Indian authorities for the judicial probe announced due to pressure from opposition parties on the issue of the company's lobbying efforts in the US regarding India's multi-brand retail sector. 

"We will be working to provide the authorities with relevant information," a Walmart spokesperson said when asked if the US-based company would co-operate with the Indian government in its judicial probe. 

The spokesperson, however, insisted that the routine lobbying disclosure before the US Congress, as mandated by law, does not reflect any improper conduct in India. — PTI





Alagiri’s son surrenders in granite scam case

MADURAI: After being on the run for four months in an alleged illegal granite quarrying scam, Union Minister M.K. Alagiri’s son Durai Dayanithi surrendered before a court at Melur on Friday, four days after he was granted anticipatory bail by the Madras High Court. 

Accompanied by a battery of advocates and DMK supporters, he paid a personal security of Rs. 10,000, while two persons stood as personal surety, at the Judicial Magistrate Court. 

The court directed him to appear daily from Saturday until further orders before the Keezhavalavur Police station near Melur, which had registered cases against him under various IPC sections, including 120(b) (criminal conspiracy), 447 (criminal trespass) and 420 (cheating), for allegedly quarrying illegally on government land. 

Dayanithi and 14 others got bail in the multi-crore granite quarrying scam, in which owners of various granite firms, including Olympus Granites in which he is a partner, had been named as accused. — PTI





Heavy snowfall in JK, Himachal

Srinagar: Most parts of the Kashmir Valley, including Srinagar, today received fresh snowfall, leading to closure of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.

The snowfall began late last evening and by this morning, the entire Valley had turned white.

However, the snowfall has led to closure of the 294-km Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, the only road link between Kashmir and rest of the country.

"Efforts are being made by Chief Engineer, Project Beacon, to clear the snow and re-open the road, if weather improves," coordinator of Natural Disaster Management Cell Aamir said.





Susan Rice withdraws from race of US Secretary of State

Washington: US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice has withdrew herself from the race of Secretary of State, considering the stiff opposition she might have faced from the opposition Republican Senators during the confirmation process.

The US President Barack Obama has accepted her decision.

"I spoke to Ambassador Susan Rice, and accepted her decision to remove her name from consideration for Secretary of State," Obama said in a statement yesterday.

Rice was said to be Obama's most favourite choice for the nations' top diplomatic post. Hillary Clinton, the current Secretary of State, has announced that she would leave the position at the end of Obama's first term next month.

"I am highly honoured to be considered by you for appointment as Secretary of State. I am fully confident that I could serve our country ably and effectively in that role. However, if nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly – to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities," Rice wrote in a letter to Obama.Back




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