L A T E S T      N E W S

Betting charges against Meiyappan stand proved: Mudgal report

NEW DELHI: Former Punjab and Haryana Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal on Monday submitted the report on IPL spot-fixing scandal, involving the BCCI chief’s son-in-law.

Justice Mudgal report said the allegations of betting and passing of information against Gurunath Meiyappan stand proved.

The report further added that the allegations of fixing requires further investigation.

Meiyappan was the face of Chennai Super Kings, the report said while rejected N. Srinivasan’s contention that he was merely a cricket enthusiast.

The report submitted to the Supreme Court further stated that allegations of betting and spot fixing against Rajasthan Royals’ Raj Kundra need to be further investigated.

It said that retired armed force personnel, police officers be recruited by BCCI to handle cases of corruption and match fixing.

The committee also gave the names of people who figured during the probe in a sealed envelope to the apex court.

The report suggested that the conflict of interest on Srinivasan holding post of BCCI chief and ownership of IPL franchisee is a serious issue, needs to be considered by court.

The committee gave ten-point suggestion to the Supreme Court for making cricket a “cleaner” game and eliminate evil of spot and match fixing.

The report further noted that players like Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman, Venkatesh Prasad and Kumble should advise youngsters about the malaise of fixing. — PTIBack









Ban Srinivasan for life, says Lalit Modi

NEW DELHI: With the Supreme Court-instituted Justice Mudgal committee indicting Gurunath Meiyappan in the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal, the event’s sacked commissioner Lalit Modi on Monday demanded a life ban on Meiyappan's father-in-law and BCCI president N. Srinivasan.

“Now it’s time for cricket establishment to wake up and bury the entire India Cement team that has taken over the global cricket,” Modi tweeted.

Meiyappan, formerly the Team Principal of Chennai Super Kings, was indicted for betting by a three-member commitee headed by former Punjab and Haryana Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal, which was appointed by the Supreme Court to investigate the IPL spot-fixing scandal.

Srinivasan had defended Meiyappan, calling him merely a “cricket enthusiast”.

“Glad to see that Justice Mudgal report — confirms just what I had been saying. Life ban on all connected is a must.

So I guess Srini’s 2 day victory as future warlord of cricket was short lived,” Modi tweeted.

“Waiting to get copy of report before commenting. But if CSK owners are caught betting and fixing team needs to be annulled as per rules,” he added.

His lawyer Mehmud Abdi echoed his client’s sentiment.

“For CSK team to underperform, it would have required direct involvement of CSK boss N. Srinivasan as most of the players in CSK are employees of India Cements and under direct influence and control of Srinivasan who can also make or break their career in BCCI itself,” he said. — PTIBack












Uproar in Parliament over Telangana issue 

NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha was adjourned till tomorrow following uproar over a variety of issues, including Telangana. 

As soon as the Lok Sabha met for the day, supporters and opponents of separate Telangana rushed to the Well raising slogans.

Some Samajwadi Party members also raised slogans on the communal violence Bill, but they could not be heard in din.

SAD members kept standing with placards demanding that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi name those behind the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Speaker Meira Kumar asked Environment Minister M. Veerappa Moily to table his reply to a starred question he was reading out as members were unable to hear him. Moily was explaining steps taken to clean rivers.

Minister K.S. Rao, who is from Seemandhra region of Andhra Pradesh, was also seen raising some issue, but could not be heard in din. Amid pandemonium, the Speaker adjourned the House till noon.

Meanwhile, in the Rajya Sabha, ruckus over Telangana and other issues flagged by slogan shouting TDP, DMK and AIADMK members in the Well led to two adjournments, including one within a minute after the House met for the day.

TDP members protested against bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh holding placards, while issues raised by DMK and AIADMK MPs could not be heard in the din.

Some Congress members too raised slogans regarding the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

In the prevailing chaos, V. Maitreyan (AIADMK) was seen tearing off a piece of paper.

Chairman Hamid Ansari permitted B.P. Baishya (AGP) to raise his issue for which he had given a notice.

Ansari also tried to pacify the agitating members, but as they remained adamant, he adjourned the House for 10 minutes first and then till noon.

Baishya voiced concern over attacks on people from the Northeast in Delhi and accused the government of failing to “protect our sisters and brothers.”

The contentious Telangana issue has paralysed proceedings in Parliament since February 5, the day when the extended Winter Session commenced. the government plans to introduce the Telangana Bill in Rajya Sabha this week. — PTIBack











Telangana issue: PM invites top BJP leaders for dinner

NEW DELHI: Amid continued disruption of Parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh invited top BJP leaders for dinner on February 12 to seek their support for the passage of the crucial Telangana Bill and other anti-corruption legislations in Parliament.

The Prime Minister personally called up senior BJP leader LK Advani and leaders of the opposition in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha — Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley — on Sunday night to invite them for dinner at his residence, according to sources.

They said the dinner meeting was earlier scheduled for Monday but was postponed on account of Advani being in his Gandhinagar constituency.

The government has reportedly agreed to BJP's demands on amendments to the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2013, and the Prime Minister during his meeting with the BJP leaders, is likely to assure them that their concerns regarding justice to Seemandhra region will be addressed.

While BJP has made its stand clear by backing the formation of Telangana, it has put conditions to support the Bill, saying concerns of people from the Seemandhra region be addressed specifically in the legislation and the quantum of financial package to be given to it be spelled out.

The Telangana Bill is likely to be tabled in Rajya Sabha in a day or two after the President accords his approval.

The Union Cabinet had cleared the Bill on Friday and the government has sent it to the President for his approval before introducing the measure in Parliament.

Proceedings in both Houses of Parliament have continued to be disrupted over the Telangana issue ever since the session commenced on February 5.

The government wants to urgently clear the Bill after having announced the decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh, as this is the last session before elections are declared. — PTIBack









Taniam died due to injuries to his head and face: Autopsy report

NEW DELHI: The autopsy report of Arunachal Pradesh student Nido Taniam, whose death here sparked an outrage, has revealed that he succumbed due to injuries on his head and face caused by a blunt object.

The postmortem report, which is likely to be submitted before the Delhi High Court on Monday, says that 19-year-old Taniam died due to “blunt trauma on head and face”, police sources said.

In view of the report, the three people arrested in the case earlier and charged with assault may now face murder charges, they said.

Taniam, son of Arunachal Pradesh Congress MLA Nido Pavitra, was allegedly beaten up by some shopkeepers in Lajpat Nagar area of south Delhi on January 29 when he retaliated after they made fun of his hairstyle. He was found dead in his room next day.

The initial post-mortem report had not revealed “much injury or aberration” on his body.

His death had triggered protests in the capital with people from the Northeast alleging racial discrimination against those from the region. — PTIBack










I am not trying to topple myself: Kejriwal

NEW DELHI: "I am not trying to be toppled", Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said amid growing confrontation between him and the Congress Party over a key anti-graft legislation.

Kejriwal, who heads the minority Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the national Capital, has threatened to resign if he is not able to get his pet Jan Lokpal Bill passed by the state Assembly. He has refused to get prior clearance of the Union home Ministry for it as demanded by the Congress on whose support his government survives.

Responding to media speculation that he was itching to quit in order to be a "martyr" ahead of the Lok Sabha polls which AAP is going to contest a large number of seats, Kejriwal told PTI editors that this impression was wrong.

"I am not trying to be toppled, that impression is wrong. I am doing my work. We are working day and night and working very hard," he said.

At the same time, the Chief Minister said he does not bother about his government. "I do not bother about our government. That is the last thing I have in mind. If the government is going to fall tomorrow, then it should fall today."

Asked if the fact that the Congress could pull the plug anytime weighed on his mind, he replied, "That is their problem. If they have a problem, why did they support us?"

Responding to the perception that some of his actions were calculated to provoke the Congress to withdraw its support, the AAP leader said, "No, no... why should I do that?

"They had prior knowledge that we will do this. If they thought that we will not open corruption files of the previous (Congress) government and we will not investigate into them, it was their mistake because they did not know whom they were supporting," he said. — PTIBack










Kejriwal meets LG, discusses Jan Lokpal Bill

NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday met Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and discussed various issues relating to the Jan Lokpal Bill.

Sources said Kejriwal apprised Jung of his government’s views on introduction of the Bill in the Assembly.

Kejriwal had last night threatened to resign if his pet anti-graft legislation is not passed by the state Assembly due to lack of support from other parties.

The Bill has been opposed both by Congress, whose support is essential for the survival of his seven-week-old government, as well as opposition BJP.

“To remove corruption from the country, (I) can sacrifice the CM’s seat a hundred times,” Kejriwal had said, adding, “the government will fall if the Jan Lokpal Bill and the Swaraj Bill are not passed.”

Bringing the Jan Lokpal Bill to contain corruption was a key election promise made to the voters by his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Congress and BJP have been maintaining that the Delhi government must get approval of the Home Ministry before tabling the Bill in a special session of the Assembly, beginning February 13.

In a House of 70, AAP’s strength has been reduced to 27, including the Speaker, after its MLA Vinod Kumar Binny was expelled from the party. Congress has eight legislators while BJP has 32. — PTIBack










Independent MLA Shokeen to withdraw support to AAP govt

NEW DELHI: Independent legislator Rambeer Shokeen on Monday said he would withdraw support to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi as water and power issues have not been addressed by it.

“(Delhi Chief Minister) Arvind Kejriwal promised that our demands will be fulfilled. Till now, nothing has happened so I am going to withdraw my support,” said Shokeen.

Janata Dal-United legislator Shoaib Iqbal, Shokeen and expelled AAP legislator Vinod Kumar Binny on February 2 told Kejriwal to meet their demands, among others, for slashing power and water tariff and enhancing women’s security, else they would withdraw support to his government.

Iqbal and Shokeen met Kejriwal on February 3 and claimed that the Chief Minister had assured them of action on their demands.

“It’s been long and he (Kejriwal) is not even responding to my calls,” Shokeen said.

AAP won 28 seats in the 70-member House in the December 2013 Delhi Assembly elections and formed the government with outside support of Congress which won eight seats.

BJP won 31 seats and the Akali Dal and Janata Dal-United one each, while an Independent candidate was also elected.

Of the AAP’s 28 lawmakers, one was elected Speaker while Binny was expelled for anti-party activities, bringing the party’s effective strength down to 26. — IANSBack











Collusive corruption a formidable challenge: CBI

NEW DELHI: The CBI Director Ranjit Sinha on Monday said “collusive corruption” in which there is a willing bribe-giver is emerging as a “formidable” challenge for institutions fighting corruption.

“When the talk turns to corruption, the focus is on the demand side of the equation, on public officials who abuse their office for private gain. Frequently, the supply side is given less attention.

“Those who pay bribes are sometimes depicted as innocent parties, victims of extortionary practices of wily public servant,” Sinha said during the Seventh Interpol Global Programme on anti-corruption, financial crime and asset recovery.

The agency is probing a number of high-profile crimes where natural assets like spectrum, iron ore and coal have allegedly been allotted to parties who willingly engaged in graft to grab these lucrative contracts.

The CBI Director said corruption is a two-way street and for every bribe taker there is a bribe payer.

“Collusive corruption is a formidable challenge, particularly for public individuals and institutions fighting bribery and corruption,” he said.

Sinha said targeting the supply-side of corruption is imperative and India is in the process of addressing this emerging area as part of various measures that are being adopted to make Indian legal framework compliant to United Nations Convention against Corruption.

The CBI chief said illicit funds or proceeds of crime which are moved across borders originate from three sources namely bribery and corruption, criminal activity and commercial tax evasion.

“These illicit flows are facilitated by loopholes in the international financial system, the system’s opacity and the lack of enforcement of due diligence requirements and more importantly the provisions of bank secrecy and privacy in tax havens,” Sinha said.

Sinha said law enforcement agencies have to look beyond borders to track illicit funds siphoned off their countries and ensure their freezing and subsequent attachment.

The chief said recovery of these assets is a vexed process of administering justice but without achieving it, one can’t claim that justice is delivered.

“The conviction based asset forfeiture is time consuming and labyrinthine. Some countries resort to non-conviction based confiscation, which is simple in procedure and swifter in recovery. Hence, non-conviction based confiscation is being adopted increasingly,” Sinha said.

The CBI director said in many jurisdictions, non-conviction based confiscation of assets can be established on a lower standard of proof and this helps ease the burden on the enforcing authorities.

“By exploring a wide variety of issues such as criminalisation, managing conflict of interest in the public and private sectors, internal company controls, corruption between private sector agents and sustainable development, the programme would like to bring much needed clarity in the minds of regulatory and law enforcement officers of this region,” he said. — PTIBack











Nitish, Left leaders meet to give shape to ‘Third Force’

NEW DELHI: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the Left leadership on Monday had a breakfast meeting with other leaders to discuss the formation of a non-Congress, non-BJP formation for the next Lok Sabha polls.

The informal meeting took place at the residence of JD (S) chief and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda in which it was decided that leaders of 11 non-Congress non-BJP parties, who recently came together in Parliament, will hold a formal meeting after the extended winter session is over to give concrete shape to the “Third Force.”

The breakfast meeting was attended by CPI (M) general secretary Prakash Karat, CPI veteran A.B. Bardhan and Forward Bloc general secretary Debabrata Biswas.

Sources said one or two common public rallies to give the message of unity of a non-Congress, non-BJP force in the next general elections may be held but the plans will concretise only after the meeting of leaders of the 11 parties after the session.

“It was an informal meeting. Since the Bihar Chief Minister was in the national Capital, the leaders decided to meet over breakfast. It was decided to evolve a strategy to forge a non-Congress, non-BJP formation ahead of the next Lok Sabha polls.

“It was agreed that leaders of 11 such parties, who had come together on February 5 to forge a common strategy in Parliament, will hold a meeting in Delhi and decide the future course of action,” JD (S) secretary general Danish Ali, who attended the meeting, told PTI.

In indications of emergence of a Third Front in view of the Lok Sabha elections, 11 non-Congress, non-BJP parties had on February 5 formally joined hands as a "block" in Parliament to pitch for pro-people, anti-communal and federal agenda.

The announcement was made at a joint press conference of leaders of these parties, including the four Left parties, Samajwadi Party, JD(U), AIADMK, AGP, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha, JD(S) and BJD, which was then described as the “first step” after the parties came together on October 30 last year for a convention against communalism attended by 17 parties.

JD (U), which walked out of NDA snapping its 17-year-old ties with BJP, hopes to play significant role in the formation of such a front, given the fact that the erstwhile Janta Dal had always been an axis force, whenever such a Third Force was formed in the country.

There have been indications from the party that SP, JD (U) and JD (S) will be inching closer as the polls come closer. — PTIBack











Public sector bank staff begin two-day strike; operations hit

NEW DELHI: Cheque clearances, cash withdrawals, and deposits in public sector bank branches across the country were hit as employees started a two-day strike on Monday to press for a revision in wages.

However, private sector banks such as ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank were functioning normally.

Employees were compelled to take this route as the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) did not come up with an improved wage offer, United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) convener M.V. Murali said. The IBA represents bank managements.

Banks, including the State Bank of India, the country’s largest, had informed customers in advance about the likely inconvenience they would face during the strike.

The unions had rejected the IBA’s offer of a 10 per cent wage hike during a conciliation meeting held on February 6 with the Chief Labour Commissioner.

The offer made by bank managements was not in line with rising inflation, general secretary of National Organisation of Bank Workers Ashwini Rana said.

The staff of public sector banks had gone on a nationwide strike for a day on December 18 after discussions with IBA on wages on December 14 failed. The wage revision of public sector bank employees has been due since November 2012.

UFBU is an umbrella organisation of nine bank employee and officer unions.

There are 27 public sector banks in the country with a combined employee strength of about 8 lakh. There are about 50,000 branches of these banks across the country. — PTIBack




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