Anger in Sopore over custodial death of youth

There was widespread anger in Sopore against the killing of a young man in the police custody.  Nazim Rashid, 28 years, was beaten to death by the police in Sopore on Saturday, hours after the police picked him up on the ground of questioning him about his alleged role in the killing of a civilian.

The police have registered a case of murder and the magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the probe. Thousands of troops were deployed with a curfew-like situation in the town.

But none of it could stop the clashes that occurred in Krankshan colony, where Rashid's parents live where the police refused to hand over the body at first to the family saying they need it for the post-mortem pupose. Later on the body was subsequently handed over by the police to his family members.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah declared the death as both "inexcusable" and a "human rights violation" and has sought a probe into the matter. Nasir Aslam Wani, Minister of State, in Jammu and Kashmir said that a case has been registered under the section 302 IPC. Also the in-charge of the police stattion ther and also two other police personnel under whose custody Rashid was has been subsequently suspended from the service.

Rashid's death has become a political issue when the opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti insisted on visting Sopore. Therewas a display of high drama when the police prevented her by locking up the main gate of her official residence.

Ms. Mufti also raised the argument that after the recent killing of three people, the Chief Minister has always assured to punish the culprits but so far there has been no positive remarks.

The killing of Nazim Rashid has shattered the fragile peace in Sopore, with the opposition and seperatists groups pointing accusatory fingers at the government. What steps the government takes to re-store the peace still remains a big question mark.

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Anna says ready to consider alternative venue for his stir

In a letter send to the Hazare team by the police, seeking permission for the protest starting from August 16th. The police has asked them to clarify how many days they are proposing  to sit on dharma and the expected number of people who will be present at the proposed protest site.

A senior police officer claims that they have made it very clear in the letter that they are ready to give permision to the Gandhian to hold the protest at Jantar Mantar if the proposed people does not exceed 2000 in number. He also added that till now they have neither granted permision nor denied.

Police has sited a 2009 order of the Supreme Court and said that they cannot grant permission for indefinite dharna anywhere in Delhi including Jantar Mantar as Parliament would be in session beginning from August 1st. Police authorities said that no one group will be allowed to capture the entire premises of Jantar Mantar as there are many groups planing to conduct protests during this period.

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BS Yeddyurappa quits, who will be the next Karnataka CM?

The Karnataka Chief Minister  BS Yeddyurappa has finally stepped down on Sunday. Yeddyurappa has declared his successor Sadananda Gowda as the next CM, but unfortunately it is not the High Command's choice.

After three days of hard bargaining and a dramatic padayatra from his home to the Raj Bhavan, the MLA finally quits but only after naming his choice of the next CM.

But this term, the BJP High Command is not interested in the terms and conditions put forward by Yeddyurappa.

Former Cabinet Minister Ramdas said "opinion of each legislator has taken and will be considered and said that they will collectively selecta new leader".

Sources however revealed the fact that the BJP legislative members are likely to meet very soon on Tuesday , and Sadananda Gowda is expected to be his successor.

Talks are still continuing between Yeddyurappa and the top BJP leaders.

But whoever succeds, Yeddyurappa willl have to project a clean image of with the party getting hit with the Rs.12000 crore mining scam, just ahead of the Parliament session where it plans to cover the government over corruption.

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Yeddyurappa finally relents, says he will quit tomorrow

Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa has said that he would tender his resignation on Sunday, falling in line with the party's directive.

In a signed statement that was read out to the media outside the residence of Chief Minister by loyalist minister Basavaraj Bommai, Yeddyurappa said he had already issued a statement in Thursday that he would tender his resignation on July 31st following the decision of the party's parliamentary board and instruction from BJP central leaders.

But he said, despite his statement, even now, some media is misleading the public about his non-resignation, which is not at all true. In addition he also said that he will be submitting his resignation on the afternoon of 31st July and there will be no confusions with respect to it.

On asking about the Yeddyurappa's demands to the high-command, the water resources minister Bommai said the Chief Minister had a very private meeting with the BJP top leaders Jaitley and Singh and he was unaware of their discussions.

Significantly, a group of ministers and MLAs loyal to Yeddyurappa who had refused to meet the central leaders to give their opinion on the succession issue has now changed their mind.

The chief minister's camp had claimed the support of 74 MLAs on Friday, a number which is believed to have diminished.

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Lokpal: VHP calls for support to Hazare

Coming out in support of a strong Lokpal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) said today that the Anna Hazare's movement for anti-corruption ombudsman requires the strong backing up of people.  

VHP President Ashok Singh told the reporters that Anna Hazare is alone in his fight for a strong Lokpal Bill and people from across the whole country should extend their whole hearted support for it, only then they can achieve a strong Lokpal bill.

The Union Cabinet on Thursday adopted the draft of the anti-corruption Lokpal bill that is to be tabled in the Parliament during the upcoming monsoon session.

The Anna Hazare and his team have described the Lokpal Bill as a "deceit on the nation".

Hazare has urged his demand for a strong Lokpal Bill for which he is all set to go for an indefinite fast on August 16th demanding the withdrawal of the government's Lokpal Bill. Delhi Police, however has denied the permission to carry on the fast at Jantar Mantar on August 16th.

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2G scam will die its own death: Chandolia

Former Communications Minister A Raja's personal secretary R.K. Chandoli told the CBI Special Court on Saturday that the second generation (2G) spectrum allocation scam will die its own death like in the mid-1980s.

Chandoli's counsel said in the beginning of the scandal that, there was a huge hue and cry but the case died its own death. His counsel told so to the CBI Special Judge O.P. Saini.

He claimed that the probe agency gave him a chance of either becoming an accused or a witness in the case.

Chandolia said that there a number of persons involved in the scam but the CBI has not called them in and has not taken any action against all the people who were involved in the scam.

Defence counsel asked that "he was involved only in the delivering of the bag and he has done only that and hence why he should be prosecuted for that".

Chandolia while on the verge of concluding his arguments said that, he had performed only in accordance with the instructions of Mr. Raja and he did not do anything apart from that for his personal gain and hence he should not prosecuted for the same.

Chandolia also added that the CBI should prove whether he has forged any documents in favor of Swan Telecom or Unitech Wireless. He said that in the Delhi circle, Swan was given preference as due to the merger of spice and idea, they were not eligible.

He also added that his arrest on February 2nd was illegal as nowhere in the witnesses' statement recorded by the CBI in the month of January and February, his involvement could be ascertained.

His counsel said that "his involvement was figured only in the month of March and asked how that could be possible as in the same witnesses' gave two different statements".

Chandoli said that here the CBI has played a great role so as to manipulate the charge sheet with a pre-determined mind to prosecute him.

He said that the CBI made a charge sheet with respect to the loss caused to the exchequer of Rs.30,000 crore to the exchequer in the spectrum allocation but failed to mention the loss caused by him.

Chandolia is currently lodged in Tihar Jail along with 13 other persons involved in the scam.

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Sikkim High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran resigns

Facing charges of corruption and judicial misconduct, Sikkim High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran resigned from the post. The resignation comes a day ahead of the hearing of a three-member inquiry committee appointed by Rajya Sabha Chairman to probe into charges of land grabbing and procuring of assets not proportionate to his income.

The sources said that the 61 year old Justice Dinakran is believed to have send his resignation to the president Pratibha Patil. The sources also claims that he was not happy with his resignation and at the same time he also felt that is continuance would harm the judiciary.

Justice Dinakaran, who failed to get any relief from the Supremem Court after various attempts to baffle the committee proceedings did not succeed, does not have faith in the impartiality of the panel. Sources added that this was one of the reason for his resignation.

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Parliament block for Anna's August 16 fast

Anna Hazare will not be able to move ahead with his proposed fast against corruption at Jantar Mantar from August 16th as prohibitory orders will be in force as the parliament will be in session. Section 144  will be imposed in and around the Parliament during the monsoon session of the House.

Delhi police has also raised its objections over Anna Hazare's indefinite fast as that would amount to suicide.

Sources revealed that the Delhi police officials are in talk with civil society members and  have advised them to undertake the fast at either Burari Ground or Ajmal Khan Park.

Hazare, who had undertaken a fast against corruption and strong legislation to deal with the menace, had declared on Thursday that he would undertake fast at the same venue.

Hazare is likely to procure a court order seeking permission to go ahead with his fast.

The anti-corruption Lokpal bill which was approved by the Union Cabinet on Thursday, will be tabled in Parliament on August 3.

Hazare and his team mates have called Lokpal Bill as a joke on the country and claimed that the legislation will not be able to tackle the menace of corruption.

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High Court gives breather to Balakrishna

Uttarkhand High Court on Friday gave respite to Balakrishna by putting a stay on his arrest put forward by the CBI till 29th August. Balakrishna who is facing charges of procuring passport with the aid of fake docments sought ten days time for appearance before the agency which the CBI rejected.

CBI has asked Balakrishna to appear before it on 4th August for questioning in connection with above said charges levelled against him.

Dharini Mishra, a spokesperson of CBI said that all the extensions given to him  to appear before CBI is done under normal procedures.

Earlier anticipating the arrest by the investigation agency Balakrishna moved High Court to quash the cases filed by CBI against him. Today, the single bench of justices of High Court stayed the arrest of Balakrishna and asked him to surrender his passport within ten days and directed him to not  to leave the coutry till August 29 (the date when next hearing is scheduled). High Court also asked the CBI to co-operate with them in the whole investigation.

Earlier this week, CBI had summoned Balakrishna to appear before Dehradun office on Thursday. Balakrishna send a fax in which he requested for more time to retreive his passport from the British High Commission. CBI turned down his request and asked him to appear on Friday. In between Balakrishna moved High Court for getting anticipatory bail against posible CBI action.

CBI had also issued a look-out notice against him after registering a case against him under various sections of the Indian Penal Code. The agency had also wrote letters to the external affairs ministry for revoking his passport.

On Thursday evening, in a press conference headed by Baba Ramdev, he claimed that Balakrishna is neither absconding nor missing, he is in the Patanjali Yogpeeth premises located in Haridwar. Whereas the District police of Haridwar has been looking for Balakrishna for last couple of days but police failed to find him and even had to paste the CBI look-out notice on the door of his residence.

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Karnataka CM Yeddyurappa sends resignation to BJP Chief

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa tendered his resignation on Thursday, following his indictment by the Lokayukta over illegal mining in the state.

The chief minister has however sent his resignation to the BJP national president Nitin Gadkari instead of the Governor. As per the sources, he is all set to resign on July 31st.

There are rumors that he is planning to resign on July 31st, owing to an advice by an astrologer who advised him to resign on July 31st, whereby which will bring him bright chances to come back into power some time later.

BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad said that the party has decided that it was time to bring a change in the Karnataka ministry. He also said that Arun Jaitely and Rajnath Singh will go o Bangalore on Friday to choose an alternative leader.

The BJP top leaders namely Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh and Naidu who met in New Delhi rushed its party's general secretary Dharmendra Pradhan to convince Yeddyurappa to step down gracefully.

His intervention however succeeded, and the chief minister is expected to put forth his demands before the party observers Jaitley and Singh when they will arrive on Friday.

But the excise minister M P Renukacharya, who is also a close pal of Yeddyurappa, claims that the CM had not resigned and also he will not do so. Yeddyurappa has announced that he will carry on with the scheduled plans of his cabinet meeting.

The party has still not finalized an alternative name to succeed Yeddyurappa. State BJP President KS Eshwarappa, RDPR minister Jagadish Shettar and party's national secretary Ananth Kumar are the front-runners for the post. Former president D V Sadananda Gowda, is seen as a dark horse.

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Acharya Balakrishna declines to appear before CBI Dehradun branch

Despite CBI's notice to yoga Guru Baba Ramdev's aide Balakrishna to appear before CBI Dehradun branch, on Thursday for questiniong about the procurement of passport seeking the aid of fake documents. Acharya Balakrishna, a General Secretary of Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust at Haridwar, on today ignored the notice by declining to make physical appearance before it.

Balakrishna expressed his inability to present himself before CBI on the ground that since he had attached his passport in the UK Embassy to apply for his visa, a couple of days ago, he said he will be able to get it back only after 20 days. He also urged the CBI to give him a fresh date for appearance before CBI branch after 20 days.

Balakrishna expressed his inability by way of a letter faxed to the CBI office while responding to the CBI notice issued to him on Monday ie on July 24th.

The sources revealed the fact that the CBI received the fax after one hour after the stipulated time for appearance before the office.

CBI claims to take strict action against Balakrishna for not appearing before the CBI.

 A single bench of Uttarkhand HC on Thursday refused to hear a writ filed by an advocate of Balakrishna on his behalf, urging to grant stay cases registered against him by CBI on Sunday.

The single bench of HC justice P.C. Pant declined to hear writ in this connection and referred the case to the double bench of HC for hearing.

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Cabinet clears Lokpal Bill: PM exempted says Team Anna Hazare

The Cabinet has cleared the anti corruption Lokpal Bill, and has decided that Prime Minister will be exempted within the ambit of the bill and any investigation for corruption against the Prime Minister will be exempted while he or she is in office. With this the conflict between Anna Hazare and Government has peaked.

The Cabinet has reached into such a decision based on the recommendations of the five ministers who were part of the drafting committee of the bill. The other half of the committee- Anna Hazare and his four activists- has delivered a separate bill, which has been completely abandoned by the government. Kiran Bedi said that this is not a Lokpal Bill, it's a Betrayal Bill. Mr. Hazare says in protest, he will start a hunger strike against this on August 16.

At the two-hour longing Cabinet meeting this morning, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that he had no objection in covering his office under the bill. But the cabinet decided otherwise. They decided that any complaint against the Prime Minister will now be examined only after the PM's term is completed. Ravi Shankar Prasad the spokesperson for BJP expressed his discontent over the complete omission of PM from the ambit of the Lokpal Bill.

The Lokpal Bill will now be introduced in the monsoon session of the Parliament which will begin from Monday.

The Lokpal Bill is intended to check corruption of politicians and bureaucrats. After a long hunger strike by Anna Hazare and his team in April which was supported by lakhs of Indians, the government agreed the committee assigned to prepare the Bill would include five ministers and five non-elected representatives including Mr. Hazare. The experiment failed miserably with both sides unable to find common ground on issues like who should select the members of Lokpal and the most critical point of difference was regarding the inclusion of Prime Minister within the ambit of the Lokpal Bill.

The Lokpal will have a Chairperson and eight members, of which 50% of them will be from the judiciary as will the Chairperson, who has to be serving or a retired Chief Justice of Supreme Court. The non-judiciary members have to be persons of impeccable integrity and outstanding ability.

Ministers today urged Mr. Hazare to not to challenge the government's draft in Parliament. Law Minister Salman Khursheed said "Anyone who challenges this procedure is challenging the Parliament of the country".

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Chennai woman, who claimed forced confinement by parents, says she wants to live with them

A woman, who said she had been confined in her parents home against her wishes said on Wednesday that she wished to continue living with them. However, she also urges her wish to get a divorce from her husband whom she alleges has committed various kinds of abuses throughout  her married life.

The case was heard by a division bench of Justices C Nagappan and  M Sathyanarayanan. The woman was accompanied in the court by her two children Neha (8) and Aman (7).

After listening to her story, Justice C Nagappan told her lawyer that her grievance is that she wants to file for a divorce case. She wants to live with her parents. In that case there is no question of illegal detention. He asked her lawyer to act as the mediator to have a talk with both of them to bring about a resolution.

She said her husband, Sunil Kumar Upadhyay, who is employed by the Indian Air Force had broken her arm when she asked for a divorce in May 2011. Subsequently, he left her at her parent's home and threatened to kill her and told he would inflict serious injuries or pour acid on her face if she thought of asking for a divorce.

On complaining to her father, he told her that if she sought for a divorce, it would affect their family reputation and was against their culture. The petition said that, on pressing the matter, he would kill her himself.

However, after discussions were held outside the court on Wednesday, the counsel said the father was willing to maintain his daughter.

The petitioner submitted an endorsement, "On the basis of an assurance by the father and confidence reposed by the detenue in her father and hence withdrew the petition".

The bench said that the said endorsement would be recorded in the order and disposed of the matter.

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Present a strong Lokpal Bill : Team Anna Hazare

As the Government is waiting to enact the Lokpal Bill in the Cabinet. Anna Hazare on Wednesday urged a demand for a strong Lokpal Bill to be presented for consideration of the Parliament, contending that the official version falls 'far short' of people's expectations.

Mr. Hazare said, Congress hands is with the common man. And they are hoping that the common man's corruption will also be addressed through Lokpal Bill.

He said it was a rare opportunity for the UPA government to change the history of India and if they present a strong Lokpal Bill, the whole country would be indebted to them. He also said in a statement that they sincerely appeal to the Union Cabinet to present a strong Lokpal Bill in Parliament.

Contending that government's version of Lokpal Bill 'falls for short' of people's expectations. He said it was too weak and ineffective. It has a very 'narrow jurisdiction'.

Activist Arvind Kejriwal said there was nothing for a common man in the present version of Lokpal Bill common man's corruption has been completely left out of "Lokpal Bill".

Lawyer Prashant Bhushan said "The government claims that first it wants to tackle high-level corruption".

The Lokpal Bill will be brought to the Cabinet in its next session.

Mr. Kejriwal argued if the government presents a Bill with faulty structures, then even the standing committee will not be able to do much. He added that both the Standing Committee and the Parliament have their own limitations. The Standing Committee may negate a law or it may suggest some amendments, but the Standing Committee does not have the jurisdiction to rewrite a law. It cannot change the basic structure of the law.

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Police paste CBI notice outside the residence of Mr. Balakrishna

Haridwar police on Wednesday  posted a CBI notice outside the residence of Baba Ramdev's close aide Balakrishna, asking him to appear before the agency before Thursday for allegedly using forged documents so as to acquire passport.

Meanwhile, also efforts are been taken to trace Mr. Balakrishna who has gone missing on Monday, a day after the investigation agency registered a case against him for allegedly using fake degree certificates so as to acquire passport.

Mr. Khurana, Haridwar SSP said that once the 'Kanwar' mela is over within a few days, Mr. Balakrishna's search would be intensified.

Mr. Balakrishna's missing complaint was lodged by his bodyguard Jayendra Singh Aswal in Kankhal police station of Haridwar on Monday night.

In his report, he said that he had gone to Mr. Balakrishna's residence in the morning so as to accompany himto the office. But Balakrishna refused to go with him telling he will come to office later. Since then Balakrishna has gone missing, there is no whereabouts about him. Following which, Aswal lodged a police complaint about his missing to the police.

Ashram's officials told police that Mr. Balakrishna had gone for some 'urgent' work and he would soon return back.

The CBI has registered a case against himon Sunday under Section 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) for procuring the fake degree and violation of Sec.12 of Indian Passport Act (knowingly furnishing false documents for getting passport).

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I-T team from Chennai to quiz Raja tomorrow

An Income Tax Department from Chennai will question the former Telecom Minister A Raja in Tihar jail tomorrow in connection with the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

The two-member team led by an Additional Commissioner rank officer will quiz Mr. Raja in the afternoon at the jail complex where he is presently in the judicial custody.

Special CBI judge OP Saini had allowed the IT Department's application seeking permission to question Mr. Raja and six others on July 21.

Sources stated that the questioning of Mr. Raja tomorrow will be restricted to the financial details about his family and those transactions for which was he was personally held liable.

The I-T Department had earlier moved three separate applications seeking interrogation of Mr. Raja in connection with his family income.

The other applications pertained to the request for questioning Swan telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka and three Reliance ADAG top officials- Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipira.

Mr. Balwa and others will be later on questioned by Income Tax team from Mumbai regarding his connections with Etisalat DB.

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Six Kanwarias die in Haridwar during past 24 hours

Six Kanwarias (devotees of Lord Shiva) died and two others were injured in various incidents including a snake bite in Haridwar district during the past 24 hours, police reported on Tuesday.

Police said that two Kanwarias from Haryana died of snake bite while on the way to gather Gangajal from the river.

The victims have been identified as Chetan (30) and Baljinder (35), both residents of Baghela village of Ambala district. The police said that they were carrying the snake in their bag and it bit both of them.

In another incident, two Kanwarias identified as Vir Singh (27) and Pravin Kumar (25) from New Delhi were on their way to Haridwar  when their motorcycle collided with a three wheeler at Teliwala village on Monday.

While Singh died on the spot and Kumar was rushed to hospital owing to injuries.

Two other Kanwarias, identified as Asutosh (20) and Raja (18), residents of Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, were bathing in the Ganga canal at the Roorkee area of Haridwar on Monday, when they were washed away. The police could find the body of Asutosh, but still efforts are being undertaken to find the body of the other.

Another death is being reported, where a Kanwaria was killed after being hit by a train on Monday again. The police said that so far his identity is not known.

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Baba Ramdev's aide Balakrishna goes 'missing'

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev's aide Balakrishna has gone "missing" two days after CBI had filed a case against him for allegedly furnishing fake degree for acquiring a passport, police reported on Tuesday.

Balakrishna's bodyguard Jayendra Singh Aswal lodged a missing persons report in Kankhal police station in Haridwar late last night.

According to the report, Mr. Aswal reached Mr. Balakrishna's Divya Yog Ashram residence to pick him up to his office yesterday but Mr. Balakrishna asked him to leave saying he will come to office after some time by himself.

However, Mr. Aswal waited till evening in the office but could not meet him. Later he came to Divya Yog Ashram so as to meet him but could not find him there also, thereafter he lodged a missing complaint with the police.

The police team today reached Divya Yog Ashram and questioned its officials regarding Mr. Balakrishna's whereabouts.

However, it was told that Balakrishna had gone for some 'urgent' work and he would soon return back to the ashram.

Police also reported that the officials of the ashram had denied having any knowledge as to where Mr. Balakrishna had gone for work.

The CBI has issued a look-out notice against Mr. Balakrishna after it registered a case against him under Section 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) for procuring the fake degree and violations of Section 12 of the Indian Passport Act (knowingly furnishing false documents for getting passport).

The agency had also approached the External Affairs Ministry seeking revocation of Mr. Balakrishna's passport.

Meanwhile, Haridwar Senior Superintendent of Police Kewal Khurana said the police would investigate all the missing cases of Haridwar including that of Shankar Dev, Guru of Baba Ramdev.

Shankar Dev had gone missing from the Haridwar ashram four years ago.

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Raja names PM and Chidambaram

In the Supreme Court today, A Raja presented a spirited defence of the decisions that have landed him in Tihar jail. The consequence of this decision was that two Indian companie were able to sell the licences and Mr. Raja granted very cheaply to them a massive profit to foreign investors. Mr. Raja said in the court that the Prime Minister and then Finance Minister P. Chidambaram were aware of this. He stated in the court that the Finance Minister had approved the sale in the presence of the PM and let the PM deny it.

Mr. Raja was arrested in November for selling moblie network licences abd 2G spectrum while he was the Telecom Minister in the year 2008 to the companies that were not eligible.the two alleged companies in the scam were Unitech Wireless and DB Realty, then sold equity to foreign companies- Telenor in the case of Unitech Wireless and Etisalat in the case of DB Realty and subsequently the Indian companies had made huge profits out of it.

In the court today, he defended himself stating that he did not do any crime as Telenor buying stake in Unitch Wireless and Etisalat buying stake in DB Realty was totally legal as per the corporate law. Also added that the Finance Minister had approved the sale in the presence of the PM. And stated that what the telecom companies do after he gives them the spectrum is not his domain.  

Like his party, the DMK, Mr. A. Raja has stressed that he followed the policies intoduced by his predecessors in the NDA government that was in power till 2004, when the UPA coalition was elected.

However, P. Chidambaram, who was the then Finance Minister when India's Telecom scam played out in 2008, refused to comment on  A Raja saying that A Raja could not be held liable for the foreign partners who were roped into by two Indian companies after he awarded them mobile network licences.

But, answering questions, P Chidambaram told the reporters that there was no sale of spectrum by Unitech and Swan Telecom to foreign partners, instead they were issued fresh shares by promoters. And this was discussed in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Mr. Chidambaram also stated that his ministry's examination of th matter was limited to whether Swan Telecom and Unitech were divesting stake through fresh equity.

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UK police face allegations officers leaked contact details to Murdoch tabloid

British police have faced new allegations that officers leaked details about terror attack victims and a murdered schoolgirl to journalists at Rupert Murdoch's felled News of the World tabloid.

The claims deepen the scandal of phone-hacking, which has destroyed Mr. Murdoch's global media empire, claimed the jobs of two of Britain's top police officials and dragged in Prime Minister David Cameron.

A newspaper said on Sunday that the survivors of the July 7, 2005 London Bombings had asked the lawyers to probe their belief that the Metropolitan police  had sold or passed on a confidential list of victims.

Beverli Rhodes, chair of the Survivors Foundation Coalition, said journalists had approached the survivors with false stories about how they got their details.

Four suicide bombers blew themselves up on three underground trains and a bus, killing around 52 people.

The BBC reported that police had removed an police officer from the inquiry into the murder of 13 year old Milly Dowler in 2002, after information was allegedly leaked to the News of the World.

The tabloid has already been accused of hacking Miss Dowler's voicemails and those of families of 7/7 victims, but this was the first time ever police was linked to the paper's activities.

Mr. Murdoch has now closed the News of the World and has personally apologised to Miss Dowler's parents.

Revelations that police employed a former News of the World executive who has since been arrested over phone hacking claimed th jobs of Scotland Yard chief Paul Stephenson and the force's anti-terror boss John Yates a week ago.

Scotland Yard was heavily criticised for spoiling the initial investigation, which resulted in the jailing of former royal editor and a private investigator in 2007, but concluded he was a "rogue reporter".

When the force re-opened the investigation owing to pressure, it emerged that nearly 4000 people may have their phones hacked.

Even other newspapers such as Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror were involved in these allegations earlier this week, but the main effects ave been on Mr. Murdoch's paper.

News Corporation was forced by the scandal to scrap its bid for full control of pay-TV giant BSkyB earlier this month.

The British Finance Minister George Osborne denied that his decision was infueneced by a meeting with Mr. Murdoch and told that he is to meet all the proprietors and editors of all the newspapers.

Britain's Cabinet Office is due to publish details of all the meetings between cabinet ministers and News International executives since May 2010 early next week.

Mr. Murdoch's son James meanwhile faces calls for a police probe into evidence he gave to MP's last week saying he did not know hacking was more widespread.

Meanwhile, Mr. Cameron also has come under pressure due to his decision to employ Andy Coulson, another former editor of the tabloid, as his media chief.

Mr. Coulson then quit Downing Street in January and was arrested on July 8. Ten people have been detained since January.

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Hundreds of gay couples marry in New York

Hundreds of gay and lesbian couples have become the first to tie the knot under a New York state law that has been hailed as a milestone toward legalising gay marriage nationwide.

Yolanda Potasinski, aged 55 years, said that they will be no more treated as the second-class citizens of New York and exchanged his vows in Manhattan on the first day of the law legalising same-sex marriage along with his partner Nancy Mertzel, a 48 year-old lawyer.

She admitted the fact that there is still work to do in the rest of the country, as both the couples who lived together for 18 years were present along with other couples in New York.

The official reports suggests that, it creates a record wherein 659 couples got married in ceremonies on Sunday and that others who received licenses will be wed in the coming weeks.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said "It was a historic day in our society, and we couldn't be proud that on the first day that everyone in New York city could have their love affirmed in the eyes of the law, and we were able to serve everyone".

First in line was a senior couple named Phyllis Siegel and Connie Kopelov, who cried and waved with joy after their wedding ceremony. New York is the sixth US state to legalise the same-sex marriage.

Niagara falls hosted the first marriage just after midnight as the famous cascades lit up with the rainbow colours of the gay pride movement.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force said in a statement that today the doors of marriage equality swing open in New York. It is no surprise a flood of same-sex couples is expected to flow through.

Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group backing same-sex rights noted that the new law means the couples will receive a host of rights and responsibilities afforded to hetrosexual marriages, including health-care decision making for an incapacitated spouse, property rights and inheritance rights.

But opposite the registry office, there was only  a small crowd of about a dozen people who booed the happy couples. No major disturbances were reported, however.

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Rs. 1.25 crore relief for accident victim in coma

A Motor Accident Claim Tribunal has awarded a compensation of Rs. 1.25 crore to a man living in a "persistent vegetative state" after a crippling road accident four years ago.

MACT presiding judge Kanwal Jeet Arora has directed Oriental Insurance, with which the vehicle was insured to pay the amount to the victim for his future treatment. An interest of 9% has been factored in by the tribunal along with the direction that a compliance report be filed within 45 days.

The accident is to be reported to take place on August 25, 2007, when Pritam Singh, a resident of Delhi, was driving to Shirdi with his friends that a truck coming from the opposite direction crashed into his car. He sustained multiple injuries and at first, he was taken to Shri Sai Nath Hospital at Shirdi. But later due to his deteriating helath condition, he was shifted to a hospital in Mumbai where he was admitted from August 26 to December 4 that year. Ater a four month's treatment, doctors declared him as 100% disabled.

Singh's brother moved court in 2008, claiming Rs.3 crore as compensation on the ground that the truck was driving in a rash and negligent manner. The insurance company, however challenged the petition and said the accident took place due to the negligence of driver of Singh's car. It is stated that the claim petition filed by the petitioner is exorbitant and without any basis. The insurance compnay contended, refusing to part with any money.

After going through relevant facts and statement of witnesses, the court refused the petition of the insurance company and held the driver of the truck responsible for Singh's state. The Judge said that "Life is not mere living or surviving but living in health".

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Baba Ramdev's close aide Balkrishna used fake degrees to get passport: CBI

Young guru Ramdev's close aide Balkrishna faced fresh troubles with the CBI claiming that he acquired a fake degree so as to get a passport. The registrar of Sampurna Nand  Sanskrit University Rajnish Shukla said the investigation agency came into conclusion after the records were matched. He added that the enrollment numbers indicated that the fudged documents belonged to a different student.

He said that Balakrishna's two degrees 'Purv Madhyma', a high school degree is issued in 1991 and 'Shastri' a Sanskrit degree in 1996, don't figure in the records.

The CBI had taken all the documents from the Ballery Passport office after the agency registered a preliminary enquiry to probe whether Balkrishna had acquired the travel documents using the forged documents.

CBI officilas said that there were allegations that Balakrishna had fudged certain documents and had acquired passports using forged documents which is a punishable offence under the Indian Passport Act.

The charges have been denied by Ramdev controlled Patanjali Yogapeeth Trust. He added that Balakrishna's passport is valid and he got his passport about 12-13 years back.

Balkrishna is under the scanner of the central investigating and law enforcement agencies for allegedly acquiring wealth worth several crores of rupees.

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Vastanvi supporters plan to approach Apex Court

Supporters of Deoband vice chancellor Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi said on Sunday thay they will go to the Supreme Court against the decision.

The decision to remove Vastanvi over his comments in praise of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's developmental policies was taken on Sunday by the powerful Majis-e-Shoora.

A supporter of Vastanvi said that there is no case against Vastanvi Sahab. The three member committee has given him a clean chit so there is no case to remove him. He added that the report of the enquiry committee is incomplete and all his supporters were of the opinion to approach the Supreme Court.

All India Muslim Personal Law Board member Kamal Farooqi, said that the Supreme Court has no role to play in this. He added that Shoori is totally competent to take the decision and is sure that they must have taken all aspects in account.

Farroqi said the 'disturbance' was being created by those who wanted to 'destabilise' the institutiton.

The BJP Rajiv Pratap Rudy said "Vastanvi was removed for appreciating the Gujarat Chief Minister, he was possibly removed for speaking the truth".

All India Muslim Personal Law Board member SQRi Illyas said  that it is an academic institution, those having a political inclination are not fit to be there.

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Alone at home, woman raped and robbed

A home-alone woman from HAL II Stage was allegedly raped, robbed amd almost killed when she resisted three robbers on Friday. She had to part with her ring and Rs.4,000.

She later lodged a police complaint of robbery, rape and attempt to murder. The complaint said the culprits had knocked at the house door around 2:30 am, when she was asleep. She thinking that it was someone whom she knew and opened the door where she found three men standing menacingly infront of her.

They barged into the house and threatened her with the knives and asked her to give all the money which she had in the house. When she resisted, they stabbed her and raped her.

The complaint said that so as to save herself from their capture, she offered them a sum of Rs.4000 and a golden ring. The police said they are checking on the veracity of the complaint as it is of a serious nature. She had complained around 8:30 am.

A senior official said that she had been badly beaten up by the culprits and hence was undergoing treatment in a hospital now. He added that though she has sustained minor injuries but they are taking up the case for attempt to muder.

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2G scam: Raja to begin arguments from Monday

Former Telecom Minister A Raja, arrested for his role in the 2G scam, will begin his arguments on cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy against him on Monday.

Special CBI Judge OP Saini said that the arguments on charge for the prosecution heard and concluded is put up for arguments on charge for the accused persons on July 25, 2011.

While concluding the arguments, Special Public Prosecutor told the court that going purely by the note on revision of licence fee by Indian Revenue Service officer Manju Madhavan or the Prime Minister's letter, a loss of Rs.30,000 crore has been caused to the public exchequer.

 Mr. Lalit stated that besides Raja, others involved were former Telecom Secretary Siddhartha Behura, Mr.Raja's erstwhile aide R K Chandolia and corporate honchos Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka and Sanjay Chandra.

Mr. Lalit added that on the basis of the material before the court relating to Swan Telecom and Unitech Telecom, a loss of Rs.7,100 crore has been caused.

Mr. Lalit pointed out that Swan Telecom had no other licence except the current spectrum licence and even Unitech Wireless was ineligible for the spectrum.

While pressing on all the charges that the CBI has levelled against the accused in the charge sheet, Mr. Lalit argued that charges under section 192 for fabricating false evidence and section 193 for punishment for fabricating false evidence.

The CBI had begun its arguments on framing of charges against 17 accused in the case from July 21.

Fourteen accused including DMK MP Kanimozhi are presently lodged in Tihar jail.

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