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Matheran toy train not to run during monsoon; suffered derailment 3 days ago

The Central Railway on Tuesday said that the Neral-Matheran narrow gauge 'toy train' will remain suspended between June 10 to October 15 for safety reasons. The train services are stopped during monsoon every year for fear of landslides or stone fall. The Central Railway's announcement came three days after the train derailed while on the way down to Neral though no passenger suffered injuries. Shuttle services between Matheran and Aman Lodge, the station close to Dasturi point beyond which vehicles are not allowed, will remain operational during the monsoon, the Central Rrailway release said. Six pairs of regular passenger services and one 'material special' service will be operated daily from Monday to Friday between Matheran and Aman Lodge stations, it added. Two additional special shuttle services will be operated on weekends. On June 3, one of the wheels of the engine derailed near Jumma Patti station, located some 95 km from Mumbai, around 5.30 pm while the train was heading to Neral from Matheran, a CR spokesperson said. The incident took place a day after the horrific triple train crash in Odisha in which 278 people died. Also read: Sena MP Tumane accuses Ajit Pawar of graft; NCP leader says will quit politics if charges proved The toy train, which had left Matheran around 4 pm, had 90 to 95 passengers onboard, but no passenger suffered any injury due to the engine derailment, the spokesperson said. The train was re-railed around 9 pm and was brought back to Neral station, located at the foot of Matheran hills, by 10.30 pm. The incident led to the cancellation of the last train from Neral to Matheran. The toy train moves at a slow speed, and sometimes, in the case of derailment, the support staff manually lift and put a derailed coach back on the tracks. The Neral-Matheran train route, among the few mountain railways in India, is more than 100 years old. The 21-km narrow gauge track passes through a picturesque valley overlooked by the hill station of Matheran. (With additional details from PTI)

06 June,2023 10:24 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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Sena MP accuses Ajit Pawar of graft; he says will quit politics if proved

Lok Sabha MP of the ruling Shiv Sena Krupal Tumane on Tuesday accused Nationalist Congress Party leader and former minister Ajit Pawar of involvement in corruption, inviting a strong retort from the Maharashtra Opposition leader who asserted he will quit politics if the charges are proved. Tumane's attack on Pawar came in the wake of the latter's reported comments at an NCP meeting last week in Nagpur where he asked party workers not to forget the alleged role played by money power in the Shiv Sena revolt last year and also spoke about voters teaching a lesson to 'gaddars' (a reference to Sena rebels). The MP from Ramtek in Nagpur district, speaking to a TV channel here, said Pawar should first tell how many 'khoke' (boxes of money) he collected when he served as finance minister of Maharashtra. Tumane, who belongs to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena, alleged Pawar would not do any work without taking money. Also read: Mumbai: Shinde invokes Bal Thackeray and his ideology but 'bows' before Delhi, says Sanjay Raut Speaking to reporters in Pune, the NCP leader hit back at Tumane and said he would quit politics if corruption charges are proved against him. The former deputy chief minister challenged the Lok Sabha member to prove his graft charges against him or "sit at home from tomorrow" if he failed to do so. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

06 June,2023 09:41 PM IST | Nagpur | PTI
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People may consider a credible alternative in 2024: Sharad Pawar

If the Opposition comes up with a  credible  alternative ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, people may consider it, said NCP president Sharad Pawar on Tuesday, stressing that the decision on the new Parliament building could have been taken through dialogue with political parties. The senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader was speaking in a 'Sauhard Baithak' (meeting to foster amity) at Mahatma Gandhi Mission University in Maharashtra's Aurangabad. Speaking about next year's general elections, he said,  My concern is if people will have the same approach for the (2024) Lok Sabha elections as they have for states (assembly polls). If the Opposition unites and offers a credible alternative, people may consider it. If the Opposition doesn't move wisely, it can't expect people to think of a different choice on their own, he said. Many opposition parties, including the Congress and JD(U), are trying to forge unity ahead of next year's Lok Sabha polls. If rulers accept the policy of peacefulness and dialogue, one can come up with a solution for any issue, he said.  Today, the situation (in the country) is really worrying,” said Pawar. He cited the example of developments over the Babri Masjid issue when Chandra Shekhar was the prime minister.  The then PM called Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and me to find a way out over the Babri issue through dialogue. While both (Hindu and Muslim sides) wanted to resolve it through talks, the government collapsed,” he said. Earlier, Pawar said, they faced challenges while changing the name of the Aurangabad-based Marathwada University to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University. It was first opposed and the government revoked the decision, he said.  But later we reached out to students in several colleagues and implemented that decision because we had a dialogue (with them),” Pawar said. The NCP leader said rulers and administrators should work with the thinking that everyone is ours and deliver the message effectively.  Else, wrong things will happen. In the recent period, such things are happening in many places, Pawar said. He also expressed concerns over attacks on Muslims and Christians. Also read: BJP asks Congress to clarify its stand on cow slaughter issue in Karnataka The picture in the country today makes me worry about Muslims and Christians. In many states, churches are being attacked. Christians are peaceful and they never take an extreme stand,” he said. If someone decides to embrace a different religion, it is a personal call.  But some people attack their entire community. Mistakes can be made by both Muslims as well as Hindus. In our country the number of Muslims who are backward cannot be neglected,” Pawar said. A section can't be ignored if society has to be taken on the path of development.  Though the common public thinks positively about Muslims, some people focus on how to grow bitterness and hatred. This is a big challenge for our country,” he said. The senior NCP leader rued that there has been a general decline in engaging in dialogue for parliamentary activities. Earlier too, he said, political parties had differences but they tried to resolve them through dialogue. I didn't understand why there was a need for a new Parliament building. The decision about it could have been taken through dialogue (with political parties). But I learnt about the new building through newspapers,” he said. As many as 20 Opposition parties stayed away from the inauguration of the new Parliament building which was done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 28. The Congress accused the PM of treating the inauguration like a coronation . Without naming anyone, Pawar said, “Key persons from the government do not regularly attend Parliament sessions. If the head of the government comes to Parliament someday, that day feels different. Parliament is above all. If importance is not given to it, people's perception (of it) also gets impacted. Calling himself the leader of a “small political party” in Parliament, Pawar said, “We (opposition) demanded to invite the President for the inaugural ceremony of the new Parliament building. There was no need to oppose it (by ruling BJP). A photograph clicked after the first session of Parliament had many leaders of the country, including Dr B R Ambedkar and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru,” Pawar said. The Opposition parties boycotted the event accusing the BJP-led Centre of sidelining President Droupadi Murmu. They insisted that the inauguration be done by President Murmu as she is the constitutional head of the country. Pawar also alleged that elected leaders didn't get the chance to enter the new building first. He said, “The first photo of the new Parliament building that came out was not with the elected members but with people who were wearing saffron clothes.” This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

06 June,2023 09:22 PM IST | Aurangabad | PTI
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Mumbai court grants temporary bail to accused two days after his death

A court here recently granted temporary bail to a 62-year-old man arrested in a cheating case, on "medical and humanitarian grounds", two days after his death. Suresh Pawar died hours after the hearing on his bail application concluded on May 9, while additional sessions judge Vishal S Gaike had granted him temporary bail two days later. Pawar, a real estate agent, had been arrested for allegedly selling a property based on forged documents. The accused, who had been behind bars since December 31, 2021, had sought temporary bail for six months on medical grounds. Pawar, in his application, stated that he was severely diabetic and suffered from several age-related ailments. In February, he sustained injury to his toe and was admitted to the state-run J J Hospital and was later discharged. But he developed gangrene in his toe and it had to be amputated, the plea stated. According to the plea, the high court had in March given directions to the jail authorities to provide proper medical treatment to Pawar, and in April 19, he withdrew his bail application from the HC. Also read: Thief returns stolen gold worth Rs 3.2 lakh after police appeal in Maharashtra's Palghar The same day, Pawar's health deteriorated and he had to be admitted again to J J Hospital, but due to improper medical treatment, his wound became septic and his leg below the knee had to be amputated, it said. The accused subsequently developed lung infection and sought temporary bail for six months to avail proper medical treatment. The court in its order noted that considering Pawar's age, severe medical complications and the further need for medical care, his prayer for temporary bail can be considered on purely humanitarian grounds. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

06 June,2023 09:14 PM IST | Mumbai | PTI
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Mumbai reports nine new Covid-19 cases, active tally in city at 55

Mumbai on Tuesday reported as many as nine new cases of Covid-19. The addition of fresh cases took the total tally of infections in the city to 1,163,834, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), said in a health bulletin. No death was reported on June 6, the death toll in the city remained unchanged at 19,772, the health bulletin said. The city now has an active caseload of 55 patients, it further said. The bulletin said that the recovery count increased by 14 more patients to touch the total number of recoveries to 11,44,007. According to the data in the bulletin, Mumbai's overall growth rate of cases between May 30 and June 25 was 0.0008 per cent, and the recovery rate stood at 98.3 per cent. So far, 188,80,459 Covid-19 tests have been conducted in the city, including 960 samples taken in the past 24 hours, as per civic data. The caseload doubling time is 99,960 days, as per civic data. Meanwhile, Maharashtra on Tuesday reported 31 new Covid-19 cases, the state health department bulletin said. No Covid-19 death was reported in the state on Tuesday, the bulletin said. Case fatality rate in the state is 1.81 per cent, the bulletin further said. The fresh cases took the overall infection tally to 81,69,405, as per the bulletin. The state currently has 172 active cases, the state health department said in the bulletin. 33 patients were discharged on June 6. 80,20,681 Covid-19 patients discharged after full recovery until Tuesday. The recovery rate in the state is 98.18 per cent, the bulletin said. At present the dominant variant of Covid-19 is Omicron XBB.1.16. Total 1,685 cases were found to be infected with this variant. There were 19 deaths reported among the cases of this variant. Since 1st Jan 2023, 122 Covid-19 deaths have been recorded. 72.95% of these deaths have occurred in individuals above 60 years of age, 84% of the deceased had comorbidities, 16% did not have any comorbidity. Maharashtra had on Monday reported nine Covid-19 cases, which took the tally to 81,69,374, while the death toll stood unchanged at 1,48,552, a health official said, the PTI had reported.

06 June,2023 08:59 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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Maharashtra 31 new Covid-19 cases, active tally 172

Maharashtra on Tuesday reported 31 new Covid-19 cases, the state health department bulletin said. No Covid-19 death was reported in the state on Tuesday, the bulletin said. Case fatality rate in the state is 1.81 per cent, the bulletin further said. The fresh cases took the overall infection tally to 81,69,405, as per the bulletin. The state currently has 172 active cases, the state health department said in the bulletin. 33 patients were discharged on June 6. 80,20,681 Covid-19 patients discharged after full recovery until Tuesday. The recovery rate in the state is 98.18 per cent, the bulletin said. At present dominant variant of Covid-19 is Omicron XBB.1.16. Total 1,685 cases were found to be infected with this variant. There were 19 deaths reported among the cases of this variant. Since 1st Jan 2023, 122 Covid-19 deaths have been recorded. 72.95% of these deaths have occurred in individuals above 60 years of age, 84% of the deceased had comorbidities, 16% did not have any comorbidity. Maharashtra had on Monday reported nine Covid-19 cases, which took the tally to 81,69,374, while the death toll stood unchanged at 1,48,552, a health official said, the PTI had reported. The addition to the tally was a drop from the 26 cases detected on Sunday, which was also a no fatality day, he pointed out. Mumbai circle led with six cases, including three in the metropolis, followed by one each in Pune, Nashik and Nagpur circles, he added. The recovery count increased by 11 to touch 80,20,648, leaving the city with an active caseload of 176, he said. Meanwhile, On Tuesday, India reported 124 new Covid-19 cases, according to the Union Health Ministry data. Currently, the active cases have decreased to 3,001 from 3,193. On Tuesday, the data also reported two deaths in the country due to Covid-19. The death toll has increased to 5,31,884 with two deaths which includes one reconciled by Kerala. The Covid case tally was recorded at 4,49,91,880. The case fatality rate was recorded at 1.18 per cent. The active cases now comprise 0.01 per cent of the total infections. The national Covid-19 recovery rate has been recorded at 98.81 per cent. (with PTI inputs)

06 June,2023 08:44 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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Mumbai: IMD warns fishermen not to venture into Arabian Sea

In view of the depression in the Arabian Sea, which is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday issued a warning to fishermen not to venture into areas that may be affected, reported the PTI on Tuesday. The weather department in a tweet on Tuesday said that squally winds of 45-55 kmph speed and gusting to 65 kmph is very likely over northeast Arabian Sea and off north Gujarat coast and warned fishermen not to venture into the sea. मासेमारीसाठी समुद्रात जाताना मच्छीमारांनी सावध राहण्याचा सल्ला दिला आहे. Fishermen are advised to be cautious while venturing into sea for deep sea fishing. Kindly visit https://t.co/zL4OPEFXon for Fishermen warning for the region during next 5 days pic.twitter.com/k1r8f5xazi — Regional Meteorological Center,Mumbai (@RMC_Mumbai) June 6, 2023 The depression is 1,000-1,100 km away from our coast, so at present, the impact of that depression on our coast is less. As the cyclone moves further, it is likely to go north and that time, we will be able to see the impact that it can have on our coast, said Sunil Kamble, the head of Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) Mumbai told PTI. Considering the depression, alerts and warnings have been issued to the fishermen and shipping agencies, he said, according to the PTI. "At present, the wind speed may be more than 50 knots due to the depression, but above this, it can be dangerous for fishermen. The warning will be in place till the cyclone in the Arabian Sea abates," the official said, as per the PTI. In a bulletin, the Met office said the depression lay about 950 km west-southwest of Goa, 1,100 km south-southwest of Mumbai, 1,190 km south of Porbandar and 1,490 km south of Karachi, Pakistan, at 8.30 am. The IMD had on Monday said the formation of the low-pressure system over the southeast Arabian Sea and its intensification is expected to critically influence the advance of the monsoon towards the Kerala coast. The weather department, however, did not give a tentative date for the arrival of the monsoon in Kerala. "Generally, whenever there is a cyclone, it affects the onset of monsoon. This may cause a delay of about one or two days," the official said, according to the PTI. (with PTI inputs)

06 June,2023 08:04 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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Depression over Arabian Sea likely to intensify in the next 12 hours: IMD

The depression over the southeast Arabian Sea, which is delaying the onset of monsoon over India, is moving roughly northward and intensifying into a cyclonic storm over the course of the next twelve hours, according to a forecast issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD). The IMD's Bulletin stated that the storm has a potential to impact the monsoon as it approaches the Kerala coast. "Under the influence of cyclonic circulation over the Southeast Arabian Sea, a Low-Pressure area had formed over the same region at 5.30 pm (IST) on June 5, 2023, and the associated cyclonic circulation extends upto mid-tropospheric levels," the IMD bulletin stated. The southwest monsoon normally sets in over Kerala on June 1, with a standard deviation of about seven days. This year, in the month of May, IMD had said that the monsoon may arrive in Kerala by June 4, with a model error of four days. However, the monsoon missed its onset date in Kerala on Sunday with the Indian Meteorological Department. Anticipating a further delay of 3 to 4 days. This will further delay the onset of monsoon in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra, leading to sweltering and stuffy nights to continue until the monsoon sets in, the meteorologists have said. "With the developing system, the cyclone will suck up all the moisture from around the Konkan coast. After the system moves away, the winds will reorganize in a week's time, making conditions favourable for rain. So according to me the probability of a monsoon now would be around or after June 15," said Rajesh Kapadia of Vagaries of Weather, a popular private weather blog. Talking about the developing cyclonic storm, which will be named Biparjoy Sushma Nair, a scientist with IMD’s regional meteorological center at Colaba said, "The depression over the southeast Arabian Sea moved nearly northward with a speed of 11 kmph and lay centre at 0830 am (IST) today, June 6, 2023, over the same region near latitude 11.5°N and longitude 66.0°E, about 950 km west-southwest of Goa, 1100 km southwest of Mumbai, 1190 km south-southwest of Porbandar, and 1490 km south of Karachi. It is likely to move nearly northward and intensify into a cyclonic storm over the east-central Arabian Sea and adjoining southeast during the next 12 hours." Elaborating further about the developing system, Skymet Weather,r a private weather forecasting agency said: " The depression is expected to become a tropical storm in the next 24 hours. Depression is moving in favourable environmental conditions with very warm sea surface temperature and low vertical wind shear. The potential for a cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours is rather high.  The weather system is likely to move northward, keeping a safe distance from the coast for the next 24 hours." The meteorologists from Skymet said, "Tropical storm Biparjoy will be a slow-moving system and is expected to reach abeam Mumbai on Saturday or Sunday, remaining deep over the ocean waters. Though these storms are notorious for defying track and intensity, but it is likely to remain over the open waters of the Arabian Sea for the next 3 days. The tropical storm will be kept under close observation from hereon. Such monsters do have a history of threatening the Gujarat Coast or recurve to scare Pakistan and Makran Coast." According to Vagaries of weather, Low wind shear, and very high sea surface temperature (SST) of 31 °C -32°C will favour the intensification of AS-1 into a strong cyclone...may further reach extremely Severe Cyclone Intensity over the next three days (equivalent to category 3 hurricane intensity approximately), Vagaries of weather predicted.

06 June,2023 06:23 PM IST | Mumbai | Dipti Singh
Ramdas Athawale. File Pic

Maharashtra: Athawale-headed RPI (A) demands berth in state cabinet

Union minister Ramdas Athawale on Tuesday said that the RPI (A) headed by him has demanded a ministerial berth in the Maharashtra cabinet whose expansion is on the anvil, the PTI reported on Tuesday. Athawale said that the Republican Party of India (Athawale) will also demand tickets to contest at least two Lok Sabha seats (out of the total 48 in Maharashtra) and 10 to 15. Assembly segments in the 2024 elections from the NDA quota. "RPI (A) should get a ministerial berth in the next Cabinet expansion in Maharashtra. I had discussed the same with deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. I will meet him again. I feel we should also get an opportunity to share power," the Union Minister of State for Social Justice told reporters in Mumbai, according to the PTI. The expansion of the council of ministers is eagerly awaited among members of the ruling BJP and Shiv Sena. On August 9 last year, 18 ministers were inducted in the Shinde-Fadnavis government after it came to power in June, while as per rules the council of ministers in the state can have a maximum of 43 members. Earlier in the day, Maharashtra minister and Shiv Sena leader Shambhuraj Desai had said the much-awaited expansion of cabinet will take place before the state legislature's monsoon session or even before that. Athawale, whose party is a constituent of BJP-led NDA, also said RPI (A) would contest the upcoming elections to municipal corporations and Zilla Parishads in Maharashtra in alliance with BJP and Shiv Sena, led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. "I would try to ensure that RPI (A) gets tickets to contest at least two to three Lok Sabha seats and 10 to 15 Vidhan Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra," he added, according to the PTI. The RPI (A) wields influence in some pockets dominated by Dalit voters in Maharashtra. Responding to a query, the Dalit leader said he would like to contest from the Shirdi Lok Sabha constituency in the 2024 polls. Athawale, a Rajya Sabha member, termed the Odisha train crash as a very unfortunate incident which should not be politicised by the Opposition. When asked about Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's statements in the US, Athawale said it is not proper to continuously criticise Prime Minister Narendra Modi outside India without any reason. Athawale also informed about RPI-A is working towards reviving the Dalit Panther Party. (with PTI inputs)

06 June,2023 05:46 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
Shambhuraj Desai. File Pic

Maharashtra cabinet expansion will take place before monsoon session: Minister

Maharashtra minister and Shiv Sena leader Shambhuraj Desai on Tuesday said that the much awaited state cabinet expansion will take place before the state legislature's monsoon session or even before that, reported the PTI on Tuesday.   The Maharashtra monsoon session's schedule has not yet been announced.   Talking to reporters, Desai also said that seat-sharing between the Shiv Sena, led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the Lok Sabha polls due next year has not been finalised, according to the PTI.   Maharashtra has 48 Lok Sabha seats. In 2019, the Shiv Sena (then undivided) contested 23 seats and won 18.   Meanwhile, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis had on Monday said that the state cabinet will be expanded soon and the timeline will be decided by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.   On August 9 last year, 18 ministers were inducted in the Shinde-Fadnavis government after it came to power in June, while as per rules the council of ministers in the state can have a maximum of 43 members.   However, neither Shinde nor Fadnavis have given a specific timeline for the expansion of the council of ministers.   Desai said, The chief minister and deputy chief minister have said the cabinet will be expanded soon. As a colleague of CM Eknath Shinde, we feel cabinet expansion will take place before the monsoon session or even before that," as per the PTI.   Notably, CM Shinde on Monday said the Shiv Sena and the BJP will contest all future elections together, including the Lok Sabha, Assembly and civic polls.   On seat-sharing with the BJP, Desai said the BJP has not officially said how many seats it will contest in Maharashtra.   Our state leaders will decide on a formula and the final approval will be given by the Sena-BJP's central committee. Our demand is that whichever seats we have won or contested on our symbol should stay with us. We have no dispute over seat-sharing, Desai said.   Maharashtra minister and Shiv Sena leader Tanaji Sawant on Monday said the (undivided) Shiv Sena contested 23 Lok Sabha seats in 2019 general elections, winning 18.   "In the next Lok Sabha polls, which is less than a year away, we will do the same. The Shiv Sena will contest 23 seats," Sawant said.   In June last year, a revolt led by Eknath Shinde against the Shiv Sena leadership resulted in a split in the party and collapse of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government.   Shinde later joined hands with the BJP and became the CM.   (with PTI inputs)

06 June,2023 04:50 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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CBI books two IRS officers of Mumbai Customs in corruption case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered two separate cases against two deputy commissioners of Mumbai Customs and two clearing agents for allegedly clearing goods without payment of proper customs duty. It has been alleged that they committed the unfair practice by using passports of people, who have lived abroad for more than two years. The first FIR was registered against the then deputy commissioner Dinesh Fuldiya, who worked from December 2020 to August 2021. And another FIR was registered against Subhash Chandra, then deputy commissioner, who worked from August 2021 to July 2022. They were posted at Jawaharlal Nehru Customs House (JNCH) in Nhava Sheva, Raigad. Both the FIRs have a common co-accused -Sudhir Padekar and Ashish Kamdar. They were Customs clearing agents. The accused Dinesh Fuldiya, who is presently posted as Director General of Analytics and Risk Management, has made various expenses/purchases in his name and payment of those purchases/expenses were made from the account of Sudhir Padekar or through his brother Swapnil Padekar's account/credit cards on several occasions. He has purchased a washing machine, massage chair, Apple headphones, shoes, microwave and flight tickets. Similarly, Subhash Chandra presently posted at the Directorate General of Goods and Services Tax Intelligence (DGGI) in Mumbai, used the 'hawala' channel to transfer money into the account of persons known to him and made other purchases that have been tracked and established by CBI during the preliminary investigation. In the investigation, it has been found that dutiable goods were imported under the "Transfer of Residence" provision by the suspect private persons and the same were given "Out of Charge" by Dinesh Fuldiya and Subhash Chandra knowingly and dishonestly causing wrongful loss to the Govt. Exchequer and corresponding wrongful gain to themselves and obtained undue advantage from such custom house agents. It has been revealed during the investigation that the said clearing agents procure Passports from various persons, who have lived abroad for more than two years and knowingly and dishonestly use the said passports for clearing consignments of household items of other ineligible persons. The purpose behind using the passports of other persons is that as per Customs provisions, if a person has lived abroad for more than two years, he/she can import the used household goods from abroad by claiming an exemption up to Rs 5 lakh under Transfer of Residence" Provision. The modus operandi adopted by the said syndicate is to use the passport credentials of those persons, who have lived abroad for more than two years to import goods, which belong to different ineligible parties settled abroad especially in gulf countries to evade customs duty. The passport holder knows that the clearing agent is going to use the said Passport for clearing the consignments of household items, for which the Passport holder is paid Rs 15,000 per consignment in lieu of the use of his passport. The said clearing agents have their accomplices in Gulf countries, who take orders from various persons settled in these countries. The said persons settled in Gulf countries, who want to send some goods/items to India, approach the said accomplices of agents. Accordingly, the said accomplices of agents in Gulf countries pass on this information to the said clearing agents in India and these clearing agents in India obtain passports of persons, who have stayed in the said country from where the goods are to be dispatched. Using the said Passport obtained by the clearing agents, they file Baggage Declaration Form (BDF) by claiming exemption of the "Transfer of Residence" clause, which exempts duty payment on the value of goods below Rs five lakh, the FIR reads. It was revealed that the goods so imported are undervalued to a large extent. It is further learnt that the clearing agents in India in connivance with their accomplices in gulf countries and Customs officials in India import electronic items along with other unknown goods in the guise of household items. The said clearing agents, by adopting this practice, cause loss to the government exchequer by evading duty on dutiable electronic goods and other unknown goods. The said act of importing dutiable goods as household items and bringing other unknown goods is not possible without the connivance of Customs Officers, who give out of charge to such consignments as physical examination of such consignments is mandatory. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

06 June,2023 01:37 PM IST | New Delhi | ANI
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