L A T E S T      N E W S

VVIP chopper deal: CBI team leaves for Italy

New Delhi: A Central Bureau of Investigation team has left for Italy to probe the allegations of kickbacks in the Rs. 3,760 crore deal for the 12 AgustaWestland101 choppers, a report said. According to reports, the team would meet Italian prosecutors to ascertain the details of the case.

Sources said a lawyer is likely to be engaged in Italy to help the team understand the Italian law, represent India's case with the local courts, and expedite the process of getting documents.

A CBI team will probe if firms had been floated to route kickbacks in the helicopter deal with AgustaWestland, a Britain-based subsidiary of Italian firm Finmeccanica.

Reportedly, the investigating agency has so far not registered a case as it wants to get more information about the kickbacks and establish authenticity of documents.

The sources said the CBI was handed over a letter from the defence ministry seeking a probe which also contained some press clippings.

Rejecting charges that it was not proactive in probing allegations of kickbacks in the chopper deal, the government on Sunday said it would act only according to the law and not to please the Opposition in this case.

External affairs minister Salman Khurshid also dismissed suggestions that the alleged scam was "Bofors-Part II" saying the Opposition should understand that most of the allegations in the Bofors case were rejected by the Supreme Court.



Nagaland Home Minister resigns

Kohima: Nagaland Home Minister Imkong L. Imchen has resigned from the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) government, a party official said on Tuesday.

Imchen put in his papers after the Election Commission authorities seized cash amounting to more than Rs.1 crore and weapons from his vehicle on Monday by troopers of Assam Rifles.

“I felt imperative to tender my resignation from the Council of Ministers with immediate effect, owning moral responsibility while holding public office, even though I have committed no wrong over the incident under the law,” Mr. Imchen said in his resignation letter, which he submitted to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.

On the other hand, the opposition Congress has sought disqualification of Mr. Imchen from contesting the assembly election for violating the model code of conduct.

The offence committed by Mr. Imchen is a very serious crime under Arms Act and the case should be investigated by the National Investigation Agency. 



Jaipur HC to decide on Gujjar quota

Jaipur: The Rajasthan High Court will on Tuesday take up the issue of five percent reservation to Gujjar and four other communities in state services and educational institutions.

The state government had decided on November 29 last year to award five per cent reservation to Gujjars, Raika, Banjaaras, Gadiyalohar and Gadariya communities as special backward class, taking the total reservation in the state to 54 per cent.

The reservation is being awarded under Rajasthan SC, ST, BC, SBC and EBC (reservation of seats in educational institutions in the state and of appointments and posts in services under the state) Act, 2008.

The HC stayed the quota on Jan 29 on a PIL, filed by one Mukesh Solanki, that challenged the decision of state government to implement the reservation, which was to come into effect from January 30.

A division bench of the High Court comprising Justice N K Jain and Justice J K Ranka had heard arguments on the issue of staying the excess four per cent reservation which is beyond the permissible limit of 50 per cent.





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