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India

HC allows Chidambaram to file additional documents in INX Media case

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday allowed former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram to place some additional documents on record to support his pending anticipatory bail plea in the INX Media case.

Justice Sunil Gaur allowed Chidambaram’s application seeking to file additional documents.

Chidambaram’s move came after the Law Ministry informed the government that there was no legal infirmity in granting the CBI the sanction to prosecute the former Minister.

The plea, filed through advocate Arshdeep Singh, said, “On February 3, it was widely reported that the Law Ministry has informed the Central government that sanction can be granted to the CBI to prosecute the petitioner (Chidambaram) in the instant case.

“It appears that the opinion of the Law Ministry was sought on the request for grant of sanction made by the CBI against the petitioner.”

The counsel further said these facts on record show that the CBI has completed its investigation into the case.

On January 25, the Delhi High Court reserved order on Chidambaram’s bail plea in the INX Media case being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The investigating agencies had opposed Chidambaram’s bail plea, saying that custodial interrogation of the former Finance Minister was necessary as he was evasive and had given false information during his questioning.

Chidambaram is on interim protection from arrest granted by the Delhi High Court.

The ED and the CBI are probing how his son Karti Chidambaram managed to get clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in 2007 when his father was the Finance Minister.

Karti Chidambaram was arrested on February 28 by the CBI for allegedly accepting money to facilitate the FIPB clearance to INX Media. He was later granted bail.

Karti’s chartered accountant S. Bhaskararaman was also arrested and released on bail later.

IANS

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India

Ex-Himachal CM Virbhadra to be charged in DA case

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday ordered framing of charges against former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife in a Rs 10 crore disproportionate assets case.

“I am not passing any interim order. Let the charges be framed against Virbhadra Singh and his wife,” Justice Sunil Gaur said on a plea by the defendants challenging a trial court’s order.

The charges will be framed on February 22.

The court, however, did ask the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to file a response on the plea. The court will hear Singh and wife Pratibha Singh’s plea on April 16.

The couple moved the court to set aside the trial court’s order which had on December 10 ordered the framing of criminal misconduct and other charges against them and seven others in the case.

The CBI has alleged that Singh possessed assets worth around Rs 10 crore, which were in his and his family members’ names. Singh failed to give satisfactory response regarding the assets that did not tally with his known income.

IANS

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India

ED response sought in lobbyist Deepak Talwar case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) was on Tuesday asked by the Delhi High Court for a response on a plea by alleged lobbyist Deepak Talwar challenging his detention here by agencies after he was deported to India from the UAE last week.

A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal issued notice to the ED and directed it to file a response to the petition by February 11. The court listed the matter for further hearing on February 12.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Talwar, submitted that he was abducted from Dubai and handed over to Indian authorities and there was no extradition treaty with the UAE.

ED counsel Amit Mahajan sought time to respond to the plea.

Talwar, who is in ED custody, was deported from Dubai on January 30 and was arrested by the agency after landing here.

Talwar has been accused by the ED of acting as a middleman in negotiations to favour foreign private airlines in the matter of seat-sharing on Air India’s profitable routes.

ED wants to question Talwar to get the names of officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, National Aviation Co of India Ltd and Air India, who favoured foreign airlines, including Qatar Airways, Emirates and Air Arabia.

He has been charged with criminal conspiracy, forgery and under various other sections of the FCRA for allegedly diverting Rs 90.72 crore worth of foreign funds meant for ambulances and other articles received by his NGO from Europe’s leading missile manufacturing company.

His role in some aviation deals during the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime is under the scanner as well.

Talwar was booked by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in criminal cases of corruption while the Income Tax Department charged him with tax evasion.

ED response sought in lobbyist Deepak Talwar case

IANS

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India

Court rejects Swamy’s plea in Tharoor case on Monday

A Delhi Court on Monday rejected the application of BJP MP Subramanian Swamy seeking to conduct the prosecution in a case against Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, accused of abetment to suicide of his wife Sunanda Pushkar.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal also transferred the case to the sessions court, which will hear the matter on February 21.

In his plea, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member of Parliament has sought to assist the court and to bring on record the Delhi Police’s Vigilance Report on tampering of evidence in the case, for framing of additional charges.

Tharoor’s counsel and Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa has opposed his plea, while Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava said that a third party should not interfere in the case as it is a criminal trial and the matter is between the Delhi Police and the accused person.

On May 14, 2018, police submitted the chargesheet against Tharoor under several sections of the Indian Penal Code pertaining to abetment to suicide and cruelty to wife.

Pushkar, 51, died under mysterious circumstances in a hotel room in south Delhi on January 17, 2014, days after she alleged that Tharoor was having an affair with a Pakistani journalist.

Court rejects Swamy's plea in Tharoor case

IANS

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India

Central Bureau of Investigation books its two officials in graft case

The CBI has registered case against two of its officials, a district administration employee of Uttar Pradesh government and some unidentified state police personnel for their alleged involvement in “illegal and corrupt practice” for settling Yamuna Express Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) land scam case.

In its First Information Report (FIR) filed on Saturday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) named its Inspector V.S. Rathore and Assistant Sub-Inspector Sunil Dutt. Rathore is posted in the central probe agency’s anti-corruption branch in Uttar Pradeh’s Ghaziabad district on deputation from state police while Dutt is employed with the CBI academy Ghaziabad.

Besides them, Ranveer Singh, who is posted as Tehsildar in Uttar Pradesh’s administration and a suspect in YEIDA land scam case, has been named in the FIR. The YEIDA case is learnt to be under process of transfer to the CBI by Uttar Pradesh government.

They have been booked under charges of criminal conspiracy for obtaining undue advantage by the public servants for dishonest performance of duty, undue advantage to influence public servants by corrupt and illegal means and bribing of public servants.

According to the FIR, both the CBI sleuths are indulged in “illegal and corrupt practice”.

Singh, in connivance with Rathore, Dutt, unidentified officials of Uttar Pradesh police and other persons, is accused of indulging in YEIDA cases in order to obtain undue relief for himself and other suspects from police.

He is accused of paying a bribe of Rs 10 lakh to Rathore and Dutt on January 31 to manage the investigation of the case with the help of state police.

Both the CBI officials demanded Rs 25 lakh as bribe from Singh to settle his case, and the deal was finalised in Rs 20 lakh, said the FIR.

IANS

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India

Robert Vadra gets interim bail in money laundering case

A Delhi Court on Saturday granted interim bail to Robert Vadra till February 16 in connection with a money laundering case being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Special Judge Arvind Kumar directed him to join the ED investigation on the evening of February 6.

The court was hearing Vadra’s anticipatory bail plea.

The case relates to ownership of undisclosed assets abroad worth 1.9 million pounds allegedly belonging to Vadra, the brother-in-law of Congress President Rahul Gandhi.

The ED lodged a money laundering case against Vadra’s close aide Manoj Arora after his role surfaced during the probe of another case by the Income Tax Department under the new Black Money Act and tax law against absconding arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.

It said the London-based property was bought by Bhandari and sold in 2010 for the same amount despite incurring additional expenses on its renovation.

On December 7, as part of its investigation, the ED conducted searches at a number of premises in Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru.

IANS

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India

Robert Vadra moves anticipatory bail plea in money laundering case

Robert Vadra on Friday moved anticipatory bail plea in a Delhi Court in connection with a money laundering case being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The bail plea will be heard by a special judge on Saturday.

The case relates to ownership of undisclosed assets abroad worth 1.9 million pounds allegedly belonging to Vadra, brother-in-law of Congress President Rahul Gandhi.

The ED lodged a money laundering case against Vadra’s close aide Manoj Arora after his role surfaced during the probe of another case by the Income Tax Department under the new Black Money Act and tax law against absconding arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.

It said the London-based property was bought by Bhandari and sold in 2010 for the same amount despite incurring additional expenses on its renovation.

On December 7, as part of its investigation, the ED conducted searches at a number of premises in Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru.

IANS