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Delhi govt’s probe panel illegal, says Centre

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The central government on Friday said the Delhi government had no power of ordering a probe into the alleged multi-crore-rupee CNG fitness scam and declared its probe panel as “legally invalid”.

The decision will add to the already strained relationship between the Central and Delhi governments over a host of issues.

The decree was conveyed by Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung, who had sought the central government’s opinion over the AAP government’s decision to form a commission of inquiry in the alleged scam that took place under the previous Sheila Dikshit-led government.

“It has been clarified that the GNCTD (Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi) is not the competent authority to set up such an inquiry under various provisions of the constitution and the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952,” a note from the LG’s office said.

“The notification issued by the GNCTD has, therefore, been declared legally invalid and void ab initio,” it added.

Jung further said the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) was looking into the matter afresh.

“Notices have been issued by the ACB to all concerned, including government officers named in the original complaint. The ACB has been asked to complete the investigation on priority,” the note added.

A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe had revealed irregularities in awarding the contract of operation and maintenance of inspection and certification of CNG vehicles — thereby causing a loss of Rs.100 crore to the Delhi government.

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Delhi Smog: Najeeb Jung orders De-Registration of 15-year-old Diesel Vehicles in Delhi

The decision will apply to about two lakh diesel vehicles on Delhi roads, a statement from Jung's office said

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Smog in Delhi. Flickr

New Delhi. November 8, 2016: Delhi Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung on Monday ordered de-registration of diesel vehicles that are 15 years old or more to battle unprecedented smog levels that have turned the national capital into a virtual “gas chamber”.

The decision will apply to about two lakh diesel vehicles on Delhi roads, a statement from Jung’s office said.

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Jung also banned bursting of firecrackers during weddings and other social occasions and ordered shutting down of all polluting industries in Delhi.

A statement from Jung’s office said the firecracker ban will not apply to religious functions.

The decisions were taken at a meeting at the Raj Niwas here to discuss the serious air pollution levels in Delhi.

Jung also ordered no entry into Delhi for overloaded trucks and those not destined for the national capital with immediate effect.

The meeting was attended by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Health Minister Satyendar Jain and Environment Minister Imran Hussain, apart from senior government officials.

Kejriwal had described the high pollution levels in the capital as like a “gas chamber”.

Environmental experts Sunita Narain and Anumita Roy from Centre for Science and Environment and Prof. Manju Mohan from Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi also participated.

“In two days, a system to turn away overloaded and trucks not destined for Delhi will be worked out,” the statement said.

Jung emphasised the need to take extraordinary measures to tackle pollution and said all concerned must come together on the issue.

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He said measures announced by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday to curb pollution should be immediately implemented.

The Delhi government on Sunday unveiled a slew of steps, including closure of all schools for three days and a ban on construction and demolition work for five days.

Jung ordered municipal authorities and Delhi Police to ensure strict enforcement of the ban and extended it till November 14.

“The Delhi government shall be issuing advertisements to this effect,” the statement said.

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Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung (at right). Twitter

Jung ordered strict enforcement of the ban on burning of dry leaves and garbage in the open, asking the agencies concerned to intensify their drive and take action against violators.

Municipal authorities were asked to take all measures to control fires at landfill sites.

The national capital continued to suffer from “severe” air quality on Monday, though the smog cover thinned somewhat.

The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research showed that PM2.5 and PM10 breached the 500 mark in most locations on Monday afternoon as well.

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Particulate Matter less than 10 micrometres in diameter (PM10) is so small that it can get into lungs, likely causing serious health problems.

Particulate Matter less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM2.5) is produced by burning fuels. (IANS)

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For Cheating, ‘Herbal fuel’ Inventor Ramar Pillai along with 4 others get 3 Years Jail in Chennai

The CBI said the "herbal fuel" was only a mixture of petroleum products which was prohibited and Pillai misrepresented the fact and sold it through various sales outlets

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Chennai, October 15, 2016: A local court here has convicted Ramar Pillai, who came into the limelight for developing an “herbal fuel” and four others of cheating and sentenced them to three years rigorous imprisonment for cheating, the CBI said on Friday.

The court also slapped a fine of Rs 6,000 each on all.

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According to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Pillai had, in 1999 and 2000, colluded with other persons to illegally mix petroleum products like toluene, naphtha and others and market the product as ‘Ramar Petrol’ or “Ramar Tamildevi Mooligai Eriporul”, claiming that it was an herbal extract that could be used in automobiles as a fuel.

The CBI said the “herbal fuel” was only a mixture of petroleum products which was prohibited and Pillai misrepresented the fact and sold it through various sales outlets.

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Pillai also cheated the outlet owners by collecting huge amount as deposits and fuel costs and in the process, he and his associates gained Rs.2.27 crore by cheating the public, it said.

The verdict and sentencing came on Thursday, said the CBI. (IANS)

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Chhota Rajan return and over hyped media coverage

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New Delhi: A heavy contingent of mediamen remained deployed outside the Air Force Station in Palam since Thursday evening as if to welcome somebody who would usher in a paradigm change in India.

The overnight wait ended when India’s most wanted don Chhota Rajan landed at the airport. And the news pandemonium began.

With media houses who claim to be “your channel”, “aap ki awaz”, “people’s voice” reiterating what Chhota Rajan eats and where he goes, it may be time to question their media ethics.

Is it newsworthy to focus on his diet when countless Indians go hungry? Or is Chhota Rajan the primary security concern of the nation now?

At 2 PM on Friday, media channels reported, “Rajan is healthy”. Is it justified to spend crores of money to air Chota Rajan’s health status?

However, all media channels failed to establish whether Rajan was arrested or he surrendered. An exclusive video coverage had Rajan and other press cameramen in the same frame.

The media channels also raked up controversies such as the Mumbai Police being “irked” as the case was transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Strangely, even the Sheena Bora case was dragged in while airing the Chhota Rajan case. The modus operandi of catering news shows that the media houses lack actionable content and do anything for catching the eyeballs.

The reckless reporting by media houses has pointed to a probable India-Pak war. Channels opined that India would use Chhota Rajan as an “asset” to catch Dawood Ibrahim who is backed by Pakistan’s ISI. Can the channels afford to touch on such sensitive issues?

The media hype escalated to such heights that it eclipsed the exit-poll on the Bihar election. Even the PM’s address did not create much of a flutter.

Instead of focusing on the success of the intelligence agencies, the channels kept on parroting what Rajan did in his childhood and aired documentaries on his meteoric rise.

This testifies to the fact that media channels are gradually losing their focus of catering news and making content to appease people. Instead of educating or informing the news-hungry masses, media houses keep on sensationalizing the news.

However, the channels failed to laud the heroics of the team that made the operation successful. Instead, they kept making Rajan a hero and glorifying his journey.

Calling Rajan a ‘patriotic don’ is just uncalled for.

(Picture courtesy: www.behind2ndlook.wordpress.com)