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Manmohan in coal case: Court rejects CBI closure report

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New Delhi: A special court established last year to specifically try cases relating to the allocation of coal blocks has rejected closure reports filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in six of the cases, including one against former prime minister Manmohan Singh.

manmohan singh_3C--621x414--621x414The apex court, on July 18, 2014, set up a CBI special court to try, on a day-to-day basis, cases arising from the allocation of coal blocks.

The CBI, which filed its first charge sheet on the matter on March 10, 2014, had filed investigation reports in 15 cases. Of these, the agency filed charge-sheets in nine cases and closure reports in six cases.

The court was not satisfied with the CBI’s closure reports in five of the cases, and asked the agency to conduct probe further. Among the five cases one was related to a coal block allocation to Hindalco, in which Manmohan Singh was summoned, as were industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla and former coal secretary P.C. Parakh, among others. The case related to allocation of the Talabira II coal block in Odisha to Hindalco in 2005. This order was passed on March 11, 2015.

On April 1, the Supreme Court stayed the summons against Manmohan Singh. On the court’s orders, the CBI followed up on probe in the five cases. Of the five, the court took cognizance of four cases, including Hindalco.

Additional Sessions Judge Bharat Parashar issued summons to various top leaders, government officials as well as corporate honchos, named in the cases. Among the cases is one related to allocation of the Moira and Madhujore (north and south) coal blocks in West Bengal to Kolkata-based Vikash Metal and Power Limited (VMPL). The case is still being probed.

The sixth closure report was regarding coal block allocation involving Prakash Industries Ltd. The court is yet to take cognizance in the case. Of the charge sheets filed in in nine cases, the CBI named various top government officials, including former minister of state for coal Dasari Narayan Rao, former coal secretary H.C. Gupta, former parliamentarian and industrialist Naveen Jindal, former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda and Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda.

Judge Parashar was not satisfied with three of the charge sheets and observed that the probe agency has not conducted proper probe in finding out alleged collusion between public servants and company officials.

The court therefore ordered further probe in the three cases after taking cognisance of the charge sheets. The three cases relate to allocation of coal blocks in Rampia and Dip Side of Rampia in Odisha to Navbharat Power Pvt Ltd, Maharashtra’s Bander coal block allocation to AMR Iron and Steel Private Ltd, and Lohara (east) coal block in Maharashtra to Grace Industries Ltd.

Later, based on the report of further investigation, the court issued summons to former coal ministry officials K.S. Kropha and K.C. Samria and the companies mentioned and their heads.

In one of the matters, charge sheet was filed related to allocation of coal blocks to Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd. in Jharkhand’s Rajhara town. The special court on September 4 last year returned the charge sheet filed by the CBI after the agency failed to respond adequately to the queries raised by the judge.

Later, in December 2014, the CBI filed a fresh charge sheet naming Madhu Koda and others as accused.

The CBI till April 1 this year has registered 40 first information reports in its ongoing probe into the coal block allocation cases. The Supreme Court on September 24, 2014 cancelled 214 coal blocks allocated from 1993 to 2011.

Senior counsel R.S. Cheema is the special public prosecutor. Special judge Parashar began his daily proceedings on August 25 last year after all cases related to coal matter were transferred to his court.

(IANS)

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Ryan International School Murder Mystery Solved! 16-year-old Student who wanted exams Postponed Accused of Murder

The Haryana Police had earlier claimed that Pradhuman was killed by Ryan International School bus conductor Ashok Kumar inside the toilet as the boy resisted a bid to sodomise him.

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Ryan international school
Murder mystery of the class 2 student at Ryan international school, Gurugram has finally been solved (representative image) IANS

Gurugram, November 8, 2017 : A 16-year-old student of Ryan International School in Gurugram who wanted exams and a scheduled meeting between teachers and parents delayed is the prime accused in the murder of Class 2 student Pradhuman Thakur, the CBI said on Wednesday.

CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said the Class 11 student was detained on Tuesday night after “inspection of the crime spot, scrutiny of CCTV footage, call records, statements and questioning of several people” revealed that he had carried a knife inside the school campus on the day of the crime and used it to kill his junior school mate.

“The weapon used in the commission of crime is a knife which was recovered initially by police in Gurugram (Haryana). It is now with us,” Dayal told reporters here.

He said the detained student was weak in studies and “wanted to have examination and parent-teacher meeting postponed”. Pradhuman, 7, was his random target.

The parents of the detained student were kept informed throughout the investigation, said the spokesperson for the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The CBI took over the case on September 22 from Haryana Police, nearly two weeks after the Class 2 boy was found with his throat slit in a bathroom of Ryan International School.

The accused will now be produced before the Juvenile Justice Board, where the court is expected to decide whether he is to be treated as a major or a minor as per the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

The Haryana Police had earlier claimed that Pradhuman was killed by Ryan International School bus conductor Ashok Kumar inside the toilet as the boy resisted a bid to sodomise him.

While Ashok Kumar was arrested, Pradhuman’s parents and two other staffers have claimed that he was being made a scapegoat. (ians)

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Inside ‘Pitaji’ Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s ‘Gufa’, ‘Pardon’ meant Rape

Sadhvis of the controversial Dera Sacha Sauda sect were forced to seek 'mafi' (pardon) from its chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. The 'mafi' turned out to be rape.

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Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
DSS chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. IANS

Chandigarh, September 8, 2017 : Female disciples or ‘sadhvis’ of the controversial Dera Sacha Sauda sect were forced to seek ‘mafi’ (pardon) from its chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, at his whims and fancies. For those who did not know what ‘mafi’ meant, it turned to be rape by the man whom they considered their god.

These gory details have emerged in the judgment which recently convicted Ram Rahim for the rape of two female disciples in 1999.

The DSS chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who turned 50 last month, was sentenced by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court judge Jagdeep Singh to 20 years’ rigorous imprisonment — 10 years for each count of rape.

Investigations by the CBI, as quoted in the judgment, describe a ‘gufa’ (cave) of the accused inside the sprawling 600-acre campus of the DSS sect near Sirsa town in Haryana.

One of the rape victims told the court and the CBI that she heard of the word ‘mafi’ from other sadhvis.

“The other sadhvis used to ask her (Victim A) as to whether ‘pitaji’ (father, as Ram Rahim is referred to by his followers) had granted ‘mafi’ to her or not, but at that time she did not understand the meaning of the word. When she used to ask from them as to what was the meaning of ‘mafi, they used to laugh at her,” the judgment, quoting the statement of one of the rape victims, said.

It was on the night of August 28, 1999, that the victim was taken by DSS ashram in-charge Sudesh to the ‘gufa’ of the self-styled godman. The victim gave details of what happened inside the gufa and how she was raped by the person whom she considered her god.

The victim said that Ram Rahim told her that she had become ‘apavitar’ (unholy) because of her past deeds and that he was going to purify her. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who was watching a porn film when the victim entered his room, even had a pistol on the bed to intimidate her. After committing the rape, he warned her against relating the incident to anyone, failing which she and her family would be eliminated.

The same victim was again raped by the sect chief after a year.

Almost a similar modus operandi was adopted while committing rape on Victim-B in September 1999.

The CBI investigation revealed that out of the 133 sadhvis residing in two hostels of the DSS campuses, 24 had left during 1997-2002. The CBI, which was entrusted the inquiry into happenings at the DSS campus after an anonymous letter of rape and sexual exploitation of sadhvis by the sect chief emerged in 2002, could trace only 18 sadhvis who had faced exploitation during their stay.

“Both the prosecutrix, i.e. prosecutrix-A and prosecutrix-B, have stood like rocks and credibility of these witnesses/victims could not be impeached despite very lengthy cross-examination and they have consistently deposed that they were ravished by the accused while residing in the Dera campus,” the 167-page conviction judgment noted. (IANS)

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Top 10 highlights of Abu Salem sentencing for the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case: Abu Salem gets life sentence, Feroz Khan and Tahir Merchant gets death penalty

The duration of punishment for the alleged gangsters of the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts - Abu Salem, Taher Merchant, Feroz Abdul Rashid Khan, Karimullah Khan, and Riyaz Siddiqui was announced today

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Highlights of Abu Salem’s sentencing
Highlights of Abu Salem’s sentencing. IANS

New Delhi, September 7, 2017: It has been 24 years since the atrocious 1993 Mumbai serial blasts happened. Finally, a special Terrorist and Disruptive Activity (TADA) Court court in Mumbai announced today the duration of sentence against the gangster Abu Salem and four other convicts- Taher Merchant, Feroz Abdul Rashid Khan, Riyaz Siddiqui, Karimullah Khan. Abu Salem and Karimullah Khan were given life imprisonment by the court whereas Feroz Khan and Tahir Merchant were given a death sentence. Riyaz Siddiqui is given 10 years of imprisonment.

Also Read: Flashback to Terror: 1993 Mumbai Blasts Judgement to Hail on June 27 After 24 Years

The mastermind behind the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case was Mustafa Dossa, the blasts took lives of 257 people and injured 713 others. On 16th June 2017, Mustafa Dossa was convicted by the Court. But, the case against Mustafa Dossa was later closed as on June 28 he died due to a fatal cardiac arrest while the sentencing arguments were in the process in court. The CBI did claim that Mustafa Dossa’s role in the Mumbai serial blasts was “more severe” than Yakub Memon (he was hanged in July 2015 in the same case). The other claim made by CBI was that the “main conspirators” were Mustafa Dossa, Taher Merchant, and Feroz Khan.

Top 10 Highlights of Abu Salem’s sentencing:

  • The court said that Abu Salem’s ‘close proximity’ to chief conspirators of the case Anees Ibrahim (Dawood Ibrahim’s brother) and Mustafa Dossa, made him transport and conceal arms and ammunition at various places.
  • The court said, “Feroz Khan is not Hamza Khan as claimed by him. He is the same Feroz Abdul Rashid Khan, who was declared a proclaimed offender in this case in 1993.” The court noted that Feroz was in fact ‘a prominent member’ of the Dossa gang and was also ‘actively involved’ in smuggling of arms and ammunition to India.
  • According to ANI reports, Ujjwal Nikam, Public Prosecutor said: “Convicts will get set-off for the time they have served in jail.”
  • Abu Salem and Karimullah Khan were sentenced to life imprisonment due to 2 separate counts each. The court ordered Salem and Karimullah to pay Rs 2 lakh fine.
  • Feroz Abdul Rashid Khan and Tahir Merchant were given the death sentence. As per CBI, “Feroz and Tahir were the main conspirators.”
  • Riyaz Siddiqui was given 10 years of imprisonment. He had been found not guilty of conspiracy but was convicted under section 3 (3) of the TADA(P) Act as he provided a vehicle to Abu Salem for transporting the vehicles.
  • Abu Salem was sentenced to life imprisonment by TADA court on charges of conspiracy and murder which were proven against him. After him, Karimullah Khan was sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • The death penalty could not be awarded to Abu Salem as he was extradited from Portugal in 2005 and India had signed an extradition agreement with Portugal.
  • “The TADA court had earlier convicted all of them except Riyaz Siddiqui under charges including murder, criminal conspiracy and other sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) – TADA Act, Explosive Substances Act, Explosives Act and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
  • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) asked for a death sentence for Feroz, Merchant, and Karimullah, and for Salem and Siddiqui- life imprisonment.

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