Sunday, August 20, 2017

2008 Malegaon Blast accused Lt. Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit granted conditional bail by SC

The Supreme Court on Monday granted bail to Lt. Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit in the 2008 Malegaon blast case who has been in jail for last nine years. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had opposed to his bail in the last hearing saying that there was enough evidence against Lt Col Purohit. The Supreme Court while granting the conditional bail said “We set aside order of Bombay High court.”
The decision was taken an interim bail plea filed by Lt. Col Purohit on which the court had reserved its decision in the last hearing. The bail was granted by a bench of Justice RK Agrawal and AM Sapre on Monday. The bail plea was filed by Lt Col Purohit after Bombay High Court’s order dismissing his bail plea.
During the hearing on Thursday, Lt Col Purohit had said that he had been caught in “political crossfire” and languishing in jail for nine years without even charges being framed against him. Purohit accepted that he had attended meetings of Abhinav Bharat, a right wing organisation whose members were accused of conspiring in the Malegaon blast, but he had acted as an army officer and passed on the information to his senior officers about group’s activities.
Lt Col. Purohit was represented by senior lawyer Harish Salve who had said, “Since 2001, he has got numerous recommendations for infiltration. From an unsung hero, he has been now called an incarcerated hero.”
Seven people were killed in a bomb blast on September 29, 2008, at Malegaon, a communally-sensitive town in Nasik district of Maharashtra. A special MCOCA court had earlier ruled that the ATS had wrongly applied this law against Purohit and ten others. The 4,000-page charge sheet had alleged that Malegaon was selected as the target because of a sizeable Muslim population in the town. The charge sheet had named Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, Lt Col Purohit and co-accused, Swami Dayanand Pandey as the key conspirators. However, Thakur given clean chit by the NIA last year. It had alleged that it was Pandey who had instructed Purohit to arrange explosive RDX, while Thakur owned the motorcycle which was used in the blast.

Delhi Court refuses to book woman for filing false rape case

A Delhi court has refused to initiate proceedings against a woman for filing a false rape case against a man, saying she was under immense pressure to lodge the complaint and her intention was not to defame him. Additional Sessions Judge Gautam Manan rejected the prosecution’s plea for initiating perjury proceedings against the woman and said the man has already been acquitted in the case and even he has not sought any action against her.

“Testimony of the woman makes it evident that she did not lodge complaint to injure or defame accused. Her testimony further clarifies that she was under immense pressure to lodge FIR. There is nothing on record to suggest that the woman has deposed falsely in the court and in absence of any material on record to suggest that she falsely depose before the court, proceedings cannot be initiated against her under the CrPC,” the court said.

The prosecution said in its plea that the woman had lodged a false FIR and implicated the man by giving wrong information to the police making her liable to face action.

The woman had lodged a rape case against the man, a property dealer, alleging that he had raped her on September 26, 2015 after taking her to a house in Dwarka at New Delhi.

The woman, a divorcee, also deposed before the court that she had come to Delhi along with her children few years back and the man had helped him in getting a house on rent.

She had told the court that she had lodged the rape case under pressure and the man had not raped her and the physical relations between them were with her consent.

Can’t be lenient in cases of sex determination, says Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court has voiced concern over the declining sex ratio and said a lenient approach cannot be taken while deciding matters pertaining to violation of sex determination laws.

Justice T V Nalawade recently rejected an anticipatory bail application filed by a doctor, who was allegedly involved in a sex determination racket. The doctor was running a hospital in Pandharpur, a town in Solapur district located on the border of Maharashtra and Karnataka, where he allegedly conducted sex determination tests and illegally aborted a foetus.

The sex determination racket was exposed after the police raided his hospital and found a woman lying unconscious on the bed and the doctor along with his associates was seen around the bed by the raiding officials. The police also recovered sex determination equipment from the room. However, the doctor escaped from the spot and then approached the HC seeking pre-arrest relief.

“In Maharashtra, the ratio of female child has come down to 800. The state is ensuring a strict compliance to the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act. Even doctors have been jailed,” Justice Nalawade said. “It is clear that due to this circumstance, now persons are going outside Maharashtra and the present incident is one of such incidents. It can be said that the persons, like the present applicant, who are doing business on (the state’s) boundary are misusing the circumstances and they are making money,” he said.

“Considering the object behind the enactments (of law) regarding abortion and sex determination, this court holds that lenient view cannot be taken and discretion cannot be used in favour of such person,” the high court said. In the present case, the abortion was caused only due to sex detection and many a times, in such cases, there is a danger to the life of the mother also, the HC observed.

Petition To Stop Sale Of Liquor At Airports, High Court Declines To Hear It

A PIL seeking prohibition on sale or dispensation of liquor in the departure area of domestic terminals of Indian airports has been rejected by the Delhi High Court on the grounds that it is not executable.

The petition, filed by a non-profit company, had claimed that the rules barring serving or consumption of alcohol were in place to prevent passengers from getting drunk while on- board an aircraft and it would affect flight safety through unruly behaviour by passengers.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice P S Teji, however, refused to entertain the plea saying the prayer sought by the petitioner was not executable.

It said that the relief sought was akin to not providing sugar to someone on the ground that it could lead to diabetes as the plea was premised on the assumption that everyone, who has had a drink, would be drunk.

The court also said it would be "completely difficult" to control what a passenger imbibes before entering the airport or after passing through security check.

"The court cannot pass an in-executable writ. The petition has no merits. Dismissed," the bench said.

The non-profit company, India Awake for Transparency, had in its plea filed through advocate R Subramanian claimed there was no point in prohibiting serving of alcohol on domestic flights if passengers were free to drink or purchase it from the bars or liquor outlets in the airport terminal.

It had contended that as per the aviation rules, the reason for non-serving of alcohol on domestic flights was to prevent drunken behaviour by passengers.

The petitioner company had claimed that the ban was brought into force after an airline, Damania Airways (now defunct), had started serving alcoholic beverages on its domestic flights which had led to unsavoury incidents. The government had then held that such incidents were endangering flight and passenger safety.

The ban has, thereafter, been in force for over two decades, it had said.

Setback to NDTV as Delhi HC rejects its plea against IT Dept re-assessment order

The Delhi High Court has dismissed a petition filed by NDTV challenging the order of the Income Tax Department for reassessment of its transactions for AY 2008-09 and provisional attachment of its assets.

NDTV had initially raised objections against the proposal for reassessment by the Assessing Officer (AO) of the Income Tax, elaborating why re-opening was not feasible or permissible in law. According to NDTV, reassessment in effect amounted to review or a second look at the same material, which was not permissible in law. Dissatisfied by the rejection of its objections by the AO, the channel approached the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution.

The AO was also of the opinion that NDTV’s 642 crore investment in NDTV Networks International Holding (NNIH) was actually NDTV’s unaccounted money and concluded that it was a sham transaction.

The Division Bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Najmi Waziri formulated two questions for consideration:

  • Whether the impugned notice for re-opening of assessment for the AY 2008-09 is valid as per Section 147 of the IT Act?
  • Whether the impugned order of provisional attachment of NDTV’s assets is valid and permissible under Section 281B of the IT Act?

The Bench observed,

“In the background of the circumstances, this court is of opinion that the complex and circuitous structure of subsidiaries and the transactions entered therein are closely connected and provide a live link for the formation of the belief of the AO that there has been escapement of income in AY 2009-10 and for the previous assessment year, AY 2008-09 as well because the investments continued that year.”

Appearing for NDTV, Senior Advocate S Ganesh argued that complete details regarding the transactions/investments were submitted during the original assessment proceedings. It was also emphasized that that there is no whisper or even an allegation that the facts disclosed were false.

While holding that the reassessment is valid, the Court stated that mere disclosure of a transaction at the time of the original assessment proceedings does not protect the assessee from a re-assessment under Section 147, if the AO has information that indicates that the transaction is sham or bogus.

“This argument of NDTV falls flat in light of the judicial decisions mentioned considering that the AO has reason to believe that this transaction is bogus.”

NDTV also contended that the provisional attachment of its assets is mala fideand patently illegal as the IT Dept failed to demonstrate that the channel was likely to thwart any attempt to recover legitimate taxes.

“Extraordinary power under Section 281B cannot be invoked merely on grounds of difficulty in recovering taxes and the Respondent has failed to indicate any overt activities of NDTV in alienating its assets to the detriment of the Respondent.”

Appearing for the Revenue Dept, ASG PS Patwalia submitted that the order of provisional attachment was legal and valid and that it is not essential to prove that NDTV will thwart the recovery of future demand,

“For passing an order of attachment under Section 281B of the Act, the AO must be of the opinion that such an order is necessary to protect the interests of the Revenue.”

Cabin Crew Arrested For Hiding Marijuana In Plane's Meal Cart

NEW DELHI:  A cabin crew member of national carrier Air India has been arrested by customs officers for allegedly trying to smuggle narcotic by hiding it in a meal service cart of a flight.

The officers seized nearly two kilograms of marijuana from the cart of the Air India flight from Chennai on July 19, according to a release issued by the customs department today
A detailed investigation was carried out and a member of the cabin crew was arrested, it said.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Gujarat HC upholds policy: Seniority not sole basis of promotion

Gujarat high court has upheld the state government's policy of granting promotion on basis of merit and efficiency of employees and not only on basis of seniority.

The case pertains to a change in government policy in revenue department, where the state government was trying to build a feeder cadre of talati to be promoted in the cadre of deputy mamlatdar. The decision was taken in 2008-09, and the government came up with a circular in March this year.

This decision to club cadre of clerks and talatis was opposed by clerks in revenue department who were recruited five years ago in collectors' offices. Till date, these clerk-cum-English-typists used to be promoted to the post of deputy mamlatdar. The decision to give promotion to talatis along with clerks brought the latter to the high court.

They opposed the policy and argued that they were recruited in 2012-13, whereas the batch of talatis was recruited before them. Hence the clerks would lose their chance in promotion to the talatis.
The clerks argued that talatis are trained for field work and their job profile is different, whereas clerks are trained for office work and maintenance of revenue documents more suited for the job of deputy mamlatdar.

The government on the other hand defended its decision arguing that the criteria for promotion according to the Recruitment Rules of 2010 includes merit and efficiency and not only seniority.

The court noted that looking at the nature of work performed by revenue talatis, the government has thought it fit to change recruitment rules to place them in feeder cadre for promotion to deputy mamlatdar class.

Besides, the HC also cited a Supreme Court order saying that a government employee does not have a right to claim that service rules should not change forever. He has no right to challenge the authority of the state to amend, alter or bring into force new rules.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Labour MP quits over her ‘Pakistani rapists’ article

A LABOUR mp who said the country had a ‘problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls’ has resigned from the shadow cabinet.

Sarah Champion yesterday apologised ‘for the offence caused by the extremely poor choice of words in The Sun article on Friday’.

The MP for Rotherham added: ‘I am concerned that my continued position in the shadow cabinet would distract from the crucial issues around child protection which I have campaigned on my entire political career. It is therefore with regret that I tender my resignation as shadow secretary of state for women and equalities.’

Indian-American Sentenced To 40 Months In Prison For Fraud

An Indian-American man has been sentenced to 40 months in prison for cheating victims in a telephone fraud scheme, an official has said.

Anandkumar Jayantila Nayee was held responsible for at least USD 150,000 in victim losses during the telephone fraud scheme, said Benjamin Greenberg, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

From January 2014 to early 2017, Mr Nayee, who had previously pleaded guilty, conspired with others to defraud victims in an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) impersonator impersonator scam, according to court documents.

His co-conspirators contacted victims by telephone and made fraudulent representations to them, including that the victims owed income tax payments to the IRS or owed fees for grants or loans that they had purportedly received.

Mr Nayee's co-conspirators instructed the victims to deposit payments related to the taxes or fees that they purportedly owed onto debit cards and into bank accounts controlled by Mr Nayee and his co-conspirators.

Mr Nayee and his co-conspirators then received and retained the victims' payments, federal prosecutors alleged.

According to court papers, from January 2014 through February 28, 2014, a co-conspirator purchased Green Dot prepaid debit cards and provided the full debit card numbers to Mr Nayee, who resided in India at the time.

Mr Nayee then caused the prepaid debit cards to be registered in the names of real people and notified his co- conspirator once the cards had been funded by victims of the telephone fraud scheme.

The co-conspirator then used the prepaid debit cards to purchase money orders and deposited the money orders into bank accounts specified by Mr Nayee who had moved to Miami from India in 2015.

He and his co-conspirators picked up funds that had been sent via money transfer by victims of the telephone fraud scheme and deposited those funds into accounts controlled by Nayee and his co-conspirators.

Man Disabled In Road Accident Gets Rs. 24 Lakh Compensation

A motorcyclist who suffered 75 per cent disability in his left leg after being hit by a vehicle has been awarded compensation of more than Rs. 24 lakh by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT).

Mohd Amir was hit by a Tata Sumo on Republic Day last year when he was riding his motorcycle with two pillion riders on the DND road in New Delhi.

MACT Presiding Officer Rajeev Bansal directed National Insurance Company Ltd, insurer of the Tata Sumo, to pay Amir Rs. 24,35,816.

"As the claimant (Amir) has suffered 75 per cent permanent physical impairment in relation to his left lower limb, he would have undergone mental and physical shock," the tribunal said in its recent order.

Deciding the petition in his favour, it relied on documents submitted on record, including the FIR, charge- sheet, medical report and mechanical inspection report of the vehicle.

It also rejected the contention of the insurance company that the victim was guilty of contributory negligence as he was carrying two pillion riders on the bike.

"Triple riding by itself does not raise the presumption that a person driving a motorcycle with two persons on pillion is rash or negligent or his triple riding contributes to the cause of the accident. A person having two persons on the pillion can still drive a motorcycle in a proper way," the tribunal said.

It said there was no evidence that the accident was caused due to two riders behind the victim.

"So, unless it is proved that the person who was having two persons on the pillion of his motorcycle had contributed in any manner to the cause of the accident, it cannot be said to be a case of contributory negligence," it said.

According to the petition, Amir was riding a bike with two persons sitting behind him on the afternoon of January 26, 2016. When he reached the Sarai Kale Khan-DND flyway loop, a Tata Sumo, driven in a negligent manner, hit the bike. Though all three fell, the victim was grievously injured.

During the proceedings, the driver of the vehicle and the insurance company denied the allegations and blamed the victim for contributory negligence. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Woman throws nappy, pulled in by high tension wire

 A 24-year-old woman died after coming in contact with a high tension wire while allegedly disposing of her child's soiled nappy from the terrace of her relative's house in southwest Delhi's Bindapur.

The incident was reported around 11pm on Tuesday when the woman, Annu, was visiting her maternal uncle at his house in Vishwas Nagar. She went up to the terrace to put out her clothes for drying and tried to throw the soiled nappy to an open land beside their house.
Family members told cops that as soon as she threw the nappy, it was pulled towards the high-tension wire passing above their house. Annu too was dragged along. The family too was shocked since the wire was nowhere near the terrace.

"The victim had come to her uncle's house from Himachal Pradesh along with her son on Sunday for the holidays. She got a strong electric jolt from the wire and was thrown back on the roof. The intensity of the shock was so strong that her clothes caught fire, resulting in burn injuries," said a police official.
The victim was taken to a nearby hospital but was referred to Safdarjung hospital considering the extent of the injuries, where she died during treatment. The woman's body would be handed over to the family members after an autopsy on Wednesday. The investigators would contact the power supply company to establish the situation under which the woman was electrocuted.

A case under causing death due to negligence has been registered.

Delhi HC refuses to stay order against fee hike

NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court has refused to grant any interim relief to an association, representing over 400 private schools, which had challenged the recommendations of a court-appointed panel to review fee hike.

Action Committee Unaided Recognised Private Schools had appealed against a single judge order declining to stay enforcement of Justice Anil Dev Singh committee set up to review fee hikes by the private schools to implement the sixth pay commission. Agreeing with the decision of the single judge, a bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Deepa Sharma said the association, by filing a petition in a representative capacity, cannot seek a blanket order against the Directorate of Education to restrain it from implementing the panel's order.

The bench pointed out that the financial position of each school, represented by the association, can be different and specific recommendations have been made by the panel in each case after examining the records produced before it.

On July 18, HC had declined relief to the association, noting that an interim order can be passed only if the parties first deposit the entire tuition fee and development fee, along with an interest of 9% per annum, as recommended by the fee hike committee. The order had come on the association's plea for quashing the recommendations on the ground that the committee did not have the jurisdiction to make such suggestions.

Welcome to WhatApp Payments

WhatsApp is preparing to introduce payments to its messaging app, making it the latest service to let users transfer money to one another with a text. 

A beta version of WhatsApp's next update revealed the service could soon support payments. Pictures emerged of a "Welcome to WhatsApp Payments" screen, which was discovered by the blog WABetaInfo.

A screenshot of WhatsApp's upcoming payments system CREDIT: WABETAINFO

WhatsApp, which has more than a billion users a day, is trialing "immediate bank to bank transfer with UPI". UPI, or Unified Payments Interface, is a payments system run by the Reserve Bank of India, which appears to confirm reports that the payments service would be coming to India first. 

Chandigarh Girl, 12, Raped On Way To School For Independence Day Event

A 12-year-old girl on her way to school to celebrate Independence Day was kidnapped and raped in Chandigarh on Tuesday. The Class 8 student had taken a short-cut to school through the children's traffic park in Chandigarh's Sector 23 when a man stopped her, pulled her aside and raped her. Initial information had indicated that the girl was returning from school.

"She was on her way to school and entered the park from the back gate," said Chandigarh's senior police officer Eish Singhal. Based on the statement of "the traumatised girl", the police said only one person armed with a knife, was involved.

The police are checking CCTV footage in the neighbourhood for clues.

The gruesome crime comes just days after women in the city directly administered by the Union Home Ministry held a candle-light march to assert their right to access public spaces without having to worry about their safety. The procession had passed through stretches considered unsafe for women after dark.

The young girl was raped at around 8.15. There wasn't much traffic on the road on Tuesday due to the Independence Day celebrations and there were fewer people in the park.

The police said she was taken to the local hospital for a medical examination which confirmed sexual assault. She was later produced before a magistrate to record her statement to fortify the case.

A case of kidnapping, wrongful restraint and rape has been registered.

The girl told her family about the crime when she reached home who called the police.

Considered for long as one of north India's safer cities for women and children, crimes against children have gone up in recent years.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau statistics, Chandigarh's crime rate against children - crimes for every 1 lakh children - was three times the national average. The kidnapping rate for children in the union territory is four times the national average of 9.4 child abductions for every 1 lakh children.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

In 2016, not wearing helmets, seat belts killed 43 a day

About 28 two-wheeler riders died daily on Indian roads in 2016 for not wearing helmets and another 15 for not fastening their seatbelts, according to an analysis of data shared by states with the transport ministry.

The year was the deadliest with 31 people dying in every 100 road accidents. It has steadily increased from 21.6 deaths per 100 accidents in 2005 to 29.1 in 2015.

This is for the first time that police and transport departments in states have captured data on deaths caused due to non-wearing of helmet. States have reported that one of every five bike occupants who died in crashes was not wearing helmet and their total number was 10,135.

Uttar Pradesh accounted for most such fatalities (3,818), followed by Tamil Nadu (1,946) and Maharashtra (1,113).

A study by the United Nations last year had estimated wearing an appropriate helmet improves chances of survival of bikers by 42%. The states have also provided deaths due to non-wearing of seatbelt in cars. A total of 5,638 people died on this account in 2016 with UP accounting for the most deaths (2,741).

Experts said the number of deaths due to not wearing of helmets and seatbelts could be more as the available data might not have captured the details in entirety.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Supreme Court refuses to quash NEET 2017, directs CBSE for common question papers in all languages in 2018

The Supreme Court today observed that there should be a common question paper for the medical examination – NEET. Hearing a plea filed by a student over the difficulty level of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test, the apex court ruled that CBSE, conducting body, has to file an affidavit informing what mechanism they will opt for conducting the exam from next year.
A petition was filed last month by a group of students alleging that the difficulty level of question paper in eight vernacular languages is higher in comparison to English and Hindi. The petitioners contended the all-India ranking was given in the NEET exam which postulates that every candidate should get the identical question paper.
CBSE had already rejected that there were any variations in the question papers in a previous hearing.
The Supreme Court has also sought the data of candidates who cracked the entrance exam in vernacular language. The annexure, submitted by the CBSE today, states that in NEET 2017, 100152 aspirants appeared in the exam in the vernacular languages, of which 30817 have qualified. However, only one candidate has managed to score above 600 marks (out of 720) while under 501-600 marks category, 84 students have qualified
CBSE compared the data with 2013’s exam when 21778 medical aspirants appeared in vernacular languages of which only 1 student scored marks under 501-600 while none could register above 601 marks.
NEET 2017 was held on May 7 and candidates appeared in Gujarati, Tamil and Bengali language complained over the difficulty level. Out of 11.35 lakh aspirants, nearly 6.11 lakh candidates have passed the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) 2017.

PUCs must for renewal of vehicle insurance: SC

Cracking down on vehicular pollution, the Supreme Court on Thursday made it mandatory for vehicle owners to produce Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificates for annual insurance renewal. A bench of Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta approved the recommendations of the SC-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) to ensure mandatory linking of PUC certificates with the issue of annual vehicle insurance. The bench directed that no insurance be granted to vehicles without valid PUC certificates.
EPCA had made the recommendations in its report (on assessment of PUC programme in Delhi and NCR) submitted to the court in April this year. The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had opposed this, saying the two cannot be merged. While insurance renewal happens every year, pollution checks are carried out at regular intervals, it contended.
The bench asked the Ministry to ensure that all fuel refilling centres in the NCR have PUC centres. It gave the Centre four weeks’ time to enure that there are functional PUC centres in the NCR.

Indian-American fined $40,000 for filing false visa applications

An Indian-American businessman from New Hampshire has been fined $40,000 and put on three years of probation by a federal court on charges of filing false H-1B visa applications, a US attorney has said. The businessman, Rohit Saksena, had previously pleaded guilty to making false statements to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, according to court documents.
Saksena, 42, president and chief executive officer of Saks IT Group LLC, a company based in Manchester, New Hampshire, allegedly filed 45 fraudulent visa applications, claiming that his company was hiring foreign workers to provide professional services to a California-based company.
However, the California company had not entered into a contract with Saks IT Group and had no vacancies for foreign workers. Saksena knew that foreign workers would not be employed, acting US attorney John J. Farley said yesterday.
Saksena filed visa applications that falsely claimed jobs awaited the foreign workers at the California company, the US Justice Department said. He supported those applications with bogus independent contractor agreements between the his IT group and the other company with sham work orders that purported to show that the foreign workers would provide professional services for the California company, it claimed.
“Some of the false visa applications resulted in foreign workers receiving H-1B visas. Many of the fraudulent applications were denied once Saksena’s deception came to light,” the department said.

Court rules against car insurance company

Vastrapur-resident Sushilaben Thakkar will get her Audi-6 back from the workshop, after over three years, after a consumer court ordered the workshop to return the vehicle with proper repairs within 30 days.

In July 2014, Thakkar had sent her car for repair and got the damages approved from LRT General Insurance Co Ltd, which promised it would pay over Rs12.82 lakh towards repairing. However, the surveyor raised an objection saying that the car was dismantled for repairing without intimating the insurance company.

Thakkar claimed that the insurance company never gave her terms and conditions of the policy. The Consumer dispute Redressal Forum of Ahmedabad district held that the frivolous objection by the insurance company cannot be sustained, and asked it to pay Rs25.72 lakh to Thakkar towards the repairing cost, and other costs and damages.

9,625 shell firms in Gujarat lose registration

In a major crackdown on shell companies, registrations of 9,625 shell companies in Gujarat have been cancelled. As on July 21, 2017, 1,62,618 shell companies across India have been removed from the register of companies.

The ministry of corporate affairs' data recently tabled in Lok Sabha shows that Gujarat is among the top 10 states when it comes to deregistration of shell companies. Registrar of Companies (ROC) in Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad have deregistered 33,000, 22,863 and 20,588 shell companies respectively.
"The ROCs have removed 1,62,618 companies from the register of companies as of Juy 12 after following the due process under section 248 of the Companies Act, 2013," minister of state for corporate affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal stated in a written reply to Lok Sabha. The government is leaving no stone unturned to turn the heat on shell companies. Recently, stock exchanges, following the Sebi directive, have stopped trading in as many as 331 suspected shell companies, of which 34 are from Gujarat.

As part of its drive against shell or bogus companies, sta te commercial tax department in April this year had carried out searches and unearthed transactions worth Rs 1,300 crore by 29 bogus companies. "Over 500 shell companies were identified and their registration was cancelled by the end of July ," said Bhavin Pandya, additional commissioner, state GST department.

"Many a time, traders ta ke registration number but they do not carry out business activities and indulge in bogus billing. Most of the ca ses are related to bogus billing so we strike off the registration from the same date on which the company was re gistered by the department.The procedure is called `Void Ab Initio' which means the company never existed," said VV Dave, joint commissioner of State GST department.

"Apart from this, entities found involved in Hawala or money-laundering through fake companies were also deregistered and they usually face legal actions," he added.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Press Has No Right To Defame Anyone: Delhi Court

Press does not have any exclusive right or special privilege to comment, criticise or make allegations which are sufficient to ruin a citizen's reputation, a Delhi court has said. Further, journalists do not have greater freedom than others, it has said while reminding that the responsibility of journalists was higher as they have power to disseminate information.

The court's order came as it restrained the managing editor of a magazine from publishing any libellous articles against a man who has alleged that he was defamed. It also directed the magazine editor and another person to pay Rs.30,000 and Rs. 20,000, respectively, to the man as "symbolic damages".

"Further, journalists are in no better position than any other person. The press does not enjoy any exclusive rights under our Constitution, apart from those enjoyed by a citizen as a concomitant of the freedom of speech and rights against unlawful deprivation of life and liberty guaranteed under Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution," Additional District Judge Raj Kapoor said.

The court said the press enjoys no special privileges to comment, criticise or even to investigate the facts of any case and rights of press persons are not higher than that of the common man.

"In fact the responsibilities of a journalist are higher. The common man has limited means and reach in which he acts. A journalist on the other hand has a wider reach and power to disseminate information and therefore such power has the potential to cause irreparable damage to a matter under enquiry in a court of law or in a given case has greater propensity to scandalise... the dignity, majesty or reputation of an individual or an institution," it said.

The man, a share broker and member of a housing society, alleged that an article was published in the magazine in December 2007 to tarnish his image by using defamatory words. He said when he issued a legal notice to the defendants, instead of apologising, they again defamed him by writing defamatory words against him to government agencies.

However, the founder and managing editor of the magazine claimed before the court that there was no defamatory article naming the man and that the magazine was not distributed among the business or connected circle of the man.

The second defendant, the then president and a resident of the same housing society, alleged that the man was indulging in unlawful activities in the society and had filed a civil suit for removal of unauthorised encroachment there.

The court, however, said the two defendants had connived and published the articles in the magazine which were defamatory in nature and harmed the reputation of the man.

AI flight in US denied take-off over seat belt tags

The American air safety regulator on Friday stopped an Air India aircraft to take off as scheduled from Chicago for India due to missing tag numbers from several seat belts.
The surprise check by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) found a large number of belts on seats of the Delhi-bound Boeing-777 (VT-ALK) without the mandatory tags bearing their technical standard order (TSO) number. Though not a safety issue, FAA did not allow the plane — which was booked to capacity — to take off.

The airline took out some seat belts from this plane (VT-ALJ) and flew them to Chicago on a Delta flight. Once there, these belts were installed on the seats of the AI plane at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. This 342-seater plane then took off for Delhi after a delay of more than eight hours on Friday after its schedule take-off time of 1.30 pm.
As many as 44 passenger seats and 12 flight attendant seats had to be declared unserviceable for this journey due to their missing TSO tags. Clearly, AI is not happy.

An airline spokesman said: "The seat belts were perfectly fine. Only some had tags worn out. This is an instance of impractical or irrelevant stipulations being imposed on Air India by FAA. However, we would take necessary action to ensure such things don't recur. A lot of new seat belts have been ordered."

Friday, August 4, 2017

Aadhaar Number Required For Death Certificate From October 1

 An Aadhaar number will be required for getting death certificates from October, the Home Ministry announced on Friday, saying the 12-digit unique identification number would be needed to establish the identity of the dead person. The rule will come into force across the country except Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and Meghalaya.

The applicant's Aadhaar number, as well that of the dead person's spouse and parents would, however, have to be provided.

"An applicant who is not aware of the Aadhaar number of Enrolment ID Number of the deceased will be required to provide a certificate that the deceased person does not possess Aadhaar number to the best of his/her knowledge," the order by the Registrar General, who functions under the home ministry, said.

This is the first time that the use of Aadhaar number has been mandated by the home ministry's Registrar General that had been at loggerheads with the agency that issues Aadhaar. The NDA government, however, decided to shove the home ministry-run National Population Register into the cold storage on which crores of rupees had been spent.

An official statement said the use of Aadhaar card for death certificates will result in ensuring accuracy of the details provided by the relatives or dependents or acquaintances of those who have died. It said that a false declaration given by the applicant relating to the Aadhaar card would be treated as an offence.

"It will provide an effective method to prevent identity fraud. It will also help in recording the identity of the deceased person. Further, it will obviate the need for producing multiple documents to prove the identity of the deceased person," a home ministry spokesperson said.

Workers made to drink from toilet as ‘punishment’

FOOTAGE has emerged from China of workers from a photography studio being forced to drink toilet water for not reaching their targets.In the video, captured in Guang’an, Sichuan Province, on July 28, a man scoops water out of the toilet and then puts the cup to his lip, while a woman drinks the water down very reluctantly after hesitating for seconds.According to local reports, the woman later suffered from diarrhoea and the man filming the video was detained for four days.

CAG scanner on actors for service tax anomalies

A number of Bollywood stars are under the scrutiny of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) which has detected at least 156 cases of non-compliance of rules and short payment of service tax, with revenue implication of more than Rs 50 crore.
CAG report, tabled in Parliament on Friday, has pointed out anomalies in collection of service tax from actors Salman Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Ajay Devgn, Riteish Deshmukh and Arjun Rampal. While the service tax authorities have told CAG that show-cause notices have been servd to Devgn, Deshmukh and Rampal, the department has not clarified what action it has initiated against Khan for short payment.

"During the examination of records of Khan, Rampal, Deshmukh and Devgn, we observed from the agreements between producer and actors that the producers, being service recipients, agreed to provide for and bear expenses relating to arrangement of the services for travel, lodging and boarding of the make-up artist, hair stylist and spot boy," the report said. Though these services fall in the ambit of additional consideration directly and inextricably linked to the services provided by the assessees to the said service recipients, the value of this additional consideration was not included in taxable value of the assesses, the auditor noted.
In case of actor Ranbir Kapoor, the CAG said: "We noticed two instances where for the same film shot in India and abroad, the payment for the portion shot abroad was arranged from foreign companies, thereby the service was made to look as export of service with no tax liability."

"Kapoor acted in the movie 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil' produced by Dharma Productions Pvt Ltd, shot both in India and New York. He received a consideration of Rs 6.75 crore from a foreign company, ADHM Films Ltd. (UK), based in London for the film shot in UK and did not pay service tax of Rs 83.43 lakh treating the same as export of services," the auditor pointed out.

IITian arrested in Bengaluru for stealing Aadhaar data

Abhinav Srivastav, who, according to police, lives at Yeshwantpur in Bengaluru and hails from Kanpur in UP, is suspected to have stolen demographic data - details like address, mobile phone number, email address, age and sex - of at least 40,000 Aadhaar cardholders by hacking into the UIDAI database. Police said he has not accessed any biometric data like fingerprints and iris scans. 

According to police, Srivastav accessed UIDAI data through the e-hospital application hosted by the government's National Informatics Centre (NIC). "Srivastav had developed an e-KYC verification mobile application and hosted the same on (Google) Play Store. Anyone clicking on this app would enter the e-hospital service, which is a central government scheme with Aadhaar-related details in it," they said. 

Police described Srivastav as an employee of Ola at its Koramangala office. Srivastav is said to have become part of the cab aggregator when the latter acquired his company, Qarth Technologies, last year. 

City police commissioner T Suneel Kumar said Srivastav told police that he earned Rs 40,000 through advertisements (on the app). "I had developed an Aadhaar e-KYC verification app and put it on Google Play Store. I got Rs 40,000 from ads shown on the app between January and July this year," Srivastav was quoted as saying. 

However, police suspect there is more to the issue and said they will question him further. Srivastav was remanded on Wednesday in police custody for 10 days. He is booked under sections in which perpetrators are punishable with imprisonment up to three years and a penalty of Rs 10 lakh. 

"We would like to question his motives for hacking and stealing the information and how he managed to access the server of UIDAI," additional commissioner of police (crime) S Ravi said. 

Asked about the matter, an Ola spokesperson said: "Ola has neither commissioned nor is involved in any such activity. No such complaint has been brought to our notice." 

Kumar said the arrest was made on the basis of a police complaint filed by an official with UIDAI. 

Ashok Lenin, deputy director of the Bengaluru UIDAI office, had on July 26 filed the complaint with the High Grounds police station, accusing Srivastav of stealing information from the Aadhaar server. In his complaint, Lenin said, "The accused developed an app and accessed details on Aadhaar website without authentication and provided the same as e-KYC details. The data theft started on January 1, 2017 and went on until July 26." 

A senior cybercrime police official said Srivastav has described himself as an ethical hacker in some online profiles. "His personal data shows that he had worked as a security researcher with Iviz Security and successfully explored vulnerabilities in internet payment gateways. Most importantly, one of his profiles says he "built tools for exploring Flash Vulnerability", which apparently received the appreciation of world-renowned hacker Jeremiah Grossman, the founder of web security firm WhiteHat Security. So we cannot take him or his works lightly," he said. 

The case has been transferred to CID's cybercrime cell. The complaint has been registered under Sections 37 and 38 of the Aadhaar Act. The cybercrime police registered the case under Sections 65 and 66 of the Information Technology Act and Sections 120B, 468 and 271 of the Indian Penal Code. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

16-year-old boy ‘raped’ for a year, names 15 teens

A 16-year-old boy living in Andheri was allegedly raped by 15 boys over the past one year. In his complaint to the police, the victim said he finally confided in a friend when he felt “unbearable pain” two days ago after the last assault on June 26. The police have booked all 15 accused and detained seven of them. The police said the school boy was also blackmailed and physically assaulted, and that a medical examination had confirmed the sexual assault.
According to the police, the boy was first raped in 2016 by a friend who lived next door. A police officer said the alleged rapist shot a video of the act on his cellphone and showed it to his other friends. “The victim was very scared and did not tell his family about the abuse,” said the officer. The police said the neighbour started blackmailing the victim and forced him to have sex with others, threatening to make the video public if he did not comply. “The accused boys took the victim to a playground outside a municipal school in the area and raped him one by one,” added the officer. Over the past two months, however, one of the boys had been demanding Rs 1,100 from the victim to eat in a restaurant. The victim refused to pay up as he did not have the money. “After that, the boys took him to an isolated corner on June 26 and raped him once more,” said the officer.
According to the victim’s complaint, the 15 boys allegedly raped him on four other occasions — the last of which was two weeks ago, the police said. “Whenever I tried to resist, they would hit me,” the boy has said in his complaint. On Monday, the police said the boy complained of severe pain as a result of repeated sexual assault and confided in a friend, who then alerted an acquaintance, a 31-year-old man working as a construction site supervisor. He took the victim to the local police station.
A medical examination of the boy was conducted at the Cooper Hospital and the police said it confirmed the sexual assault. The boy was then allowed to go home. The police have booked the 15 boys, all between 15 and 17 years, charging them with unnatural sex and common intention under the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. Sources said the victim’s complaint was being verified.
Seven boys were detained and produced before the Juvenile Justice Board that has remanded them in custody of the Dongri Children’s Home. The police are verifying the names and addresses of the other boys. Mumbai Police spokesperson Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations) Rashmi Karandikar said investigations were on