Mumbai Police's crime branch on Tuesday filed an application in a local court seeking to withdraw the alleged fake TRP case in which senior television journalist Arnab Goswami has been named as an accused.
The alleged scam came to light in October 2020 when ratings agency the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) filed a complaint through Hansa Research Group, alleging that certain television channels were rigging TRP (Television Ration Point) numbers.
In a supplementary charge-sheet, police named Goswami as an accused in the case alleging that Goswami in connivance with former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta, a co-accused, illegally tampered with the TRP- a tool to judge which programmes are watched the most and to index the viewers' choices.
The chargesheet cited Goswami's alleged acceptance of his WhatsApp chat with Dasgupta as crucial evidence to indict him in the case.
On Tuesday, the prosecution filed an application before a magistrate court to withdraw the case.
The plea was moved under section 321 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which enables the public prosecutor or the assistant public prosecutor to withdraw from the prosecution of any person either generally or in respect of any one or more of the offences for which he is tried.
The court will hear the plea on December 28.
The crime branch had arrested more than 12 persons, including Republic TV's distribution head and owners of two other channels, in connection with the case.
The accused are currently out on bail.
Based on the FIR registered by the Mumbai Police, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) also filed a money laundering complaint in the alleged TRP rigging scam.
However, the ED, in a charge-sheet filed in September last year, claimed that no evidence was found against Republic TV in the alleged scam.
The Mumbai Police's probe in this respect was "at variance" with the ED's investigation, the federal agency had said in the charge-sheet.
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The Mumbai civic body on Tuesday took legal action against 176 shops and establishments for not displaying their signboards in the Marathi (Devnagri) script in bold letters, thus violating a Supreme Court directive and provisions of a Maharashtra legislation on the issue, reported news agency PTI.
Besides prosecuting the violators, a financial penalty of Rs 2,000 per day may be imposed on shopkeepers and establishments continuously flouting the rule, it said, reported PTI.
In a press release, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said teams of facilitators from the shops and establishments department checked 3,269 commercial premises for their signboards on the first day of its drive to check implementation of the SC directive and provisions of the relevant Act, reported PTI.
Of these, 176 shops and establishments were found in non-compliant with the rule to put up signboards in the Marathi (Devnagri) script in bold letters, said the release, reported PTI.
The BMC has launched a drive to check whether or not Marathi signboards in bold letters have been displayed on shops and establishments in the financial capital after the deadline set by the apex court to comply with its directive on the matter ended, it said, reported PTI.
The civic body has constituted teams of facilitators in all the 24 civic wards and they have been given powers to take legal action against the violators, reported PTI.
As per Rule 35 and Section 36C of the Maharashtra Shops and Establishments (Regulation of employment and conditions of service) Rules, 2018, and the Maharashtra Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) (Amendment) Act, 2022, respectively, the signboards of establishments must be in Marathi Devnagri script in bold letters, the release stated, reported PTI.
The Supreme Court earlier gave shopkeepers a two-month deadline (which ended on November 25) to install Marathi signboards, reported PTI.
The release said the civic body started the drive from Tuesday (November 28) as the last three days were either weekly offs or public holiday, reported PTI.
"If it is found that the rule has been continuously violated, a financial penalty of Rs 2,000 per day may be imposed on the offending shopkeepers and establishments," the BMC stated, reported PTI.
(With inputs from PTI)
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will take action against shops, hotels and other commercial establishments in Mumbai that are not putting up Marathi signboards in Devanagari script, an official said on Tuesday, reported news agency ANI.
BMC said that a drive has begun on Tuesday in this regard and a team has been formed to take action against such establishments that did not follow the directives, reported ANI.
Speaking to reporters in Mumbai, BMC official Sanjay Sonar said, "It has been going on for a very long time that there should be a signboard in Marathi. So far, many people have acted upon our primary information to get a signboard in Marathi, some of them didn't do it and went to the Court," reported ANI.
BMC official further informed that the maximum fine is up to Rs 1 lakh if such establishments fail to comply with the directions of the Corporation, reported ANI.
"The Supreme Court's decision came and they were given an ultimatum of two months which also ended on November 25. These establishments will show their license. However, the maximum fine is Rs 1 lakh in for not following directions. But there is another provision of a fine which is the penalty of Rs 2,000 per employee. First, we will give them a notice, and then we will check their license once. After looking at their license, we will get to know about the number of employees and then the Court will decide the fine accordingly," Sonar said, reported ANI.
Meanwhile, the BMC will start taking action from Tuesday against shops, hotels and other commercial establishments failing to put up signboards with names in Devanagari script, the civic body has said in a statement.
BMC administrator I S Chahal held a meeting and asked the officials to ensure implementation of the Supreme Court's directive that the names of shops, institutes and hotels must be in Devanagari script (beside any other script), it said.
The apex court had given time to put up Devanagari boards by November 25, but the civic body will initiate action from November 28, the statement said.
(With inputs from PTI)
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has ordered an assessment of crop losses caused by unseasonal rain in Maharashtra and payment of compensation to affected farmers, according to the PTI.
"Authorities have been directed to conduct the panchnama of the damaged crops and affected farmers should be paid adequate compensation," CM Shinde said.
He attended various programmes in Thane city on Monday when he spoke to reporters.
"This is the government of farmers and workers. The government will always stand behind these classes," the chief minister said, reported the PTI.
Notably, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray had on Tuesday targeted CM Eknath Shinde for campaigning in poll-bound Telangana even though farmers in Maharashtra are suffering due to unseasonal rains.
He said preliminary information suggests that nearly 1 lakh hectares of land under cultivation in Marathwada, Vidarbha and north Maharashtra regions was affected due to unseasonal rains over the last three to four days.
Meanwhile, CM Eknath Shinde said that Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra and Naxal-hit areas in the region are transforming.
"Instead of giving jobs, we want to create job-givers. I am satisfied that Balasaheb Thackeray's dream of Maharashtra becoming a job-giver is finally coming to fruition," he said, according to the PTI.
The chief minister said Naxalism cannot be crushed only by the bullet and underlined the need to create development opportunities for the people living in the affected region.
Queried on recent incidents of Naxalite violence in Gadchiroli district, the chief minister said the C60 commando force has proved to be very effective.
"Naxalism menace in Gadchiroli is almost over. They are not getting new recruits, forcing the remaining cadres to shift their base to neighbouring Chhattisgarh," he added.
Meanwhile, Union minister Kapil Patil on Tuesday urged the chief minister to expedite the assessment of the damage caused to crops by rain and hailstorms in the Bhiwandi Lok Sabha constituency.
In a letter addressed to the chief minister, Patil said crops in Bhiwandi, Shahapur, Murbad and Wada talukas have suffered heavy losses and the paddy thrashing work was also affected.
He urged the CM to order relief for the affected farmers and due compensation.
(with PTI inputs)
Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday hit out at Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde over his visit to neighbouring Telangana for poll campaigning amid losses faced by farmers in his home state due to unseasonal rains, reported news agency PTI.
Addressing a news conference, Uddhav Thackeray demanded that a cabinet meeting be held immediately to discuss the issue and farmers be given assistance at the earliest, reported PTI.
He said six people have lost their lives due to unseasonal rains in the state, while 100 cattle have also perished, reported PTI.
Grape and onion cultivators in Maharashtra have also been affected by the unseasonal rains, the former chief minister said, reported PTI.
"When the MeT department had alerted about unseasonal rains in advance, what did the state cabinet do?" he asked.
Thackeray said a preliminary information he has received suggests that nearly 1 lakh hectare of land under cultivation in Marathwada, Vidarbha and north Maharashtra was affected due to unseasonal rains since last three-four days, reported PTI.
"There is no government in Maharashtra as everyone is busy in campaigning. It is time to change the government," Thackeray said, reported PTI.
"A person who does not bother about his own house (state) and goes to another state to campaign for another party is not fit to run the government and he has no right to be in power," the Sena (UBT) leader claimed, reported PTI.
Shinde visited Telangana on Tuesday to campaign for the BJP. The assembly polls in Telangana are scheduled on November 30, reported PTI.
The Shinde-led Shiv Sena and the BJP are allies in Maharashtra, reported PTI.
"The chief minister who cannot handle his own house and is peeping into homes of others cannot give justice to the state," Thackeray said, reported PTI.
Deputy CMs Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar are also "missing in action", he claimed, reported PTI.
Thackeray also targeted the ruling BJP saying while it is busy distributing "revdis" (doles) in other states, what has it done for Maharashtra.
Meanwhile, a day after Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar described Mahatma Gandhi as the 'mahapurush' and Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the 'yugpurush', Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut said history and the people decide these aspects.
Talking to reporters on Tuesday, Raut said Mahatma Gandhi was revered by the world.
"History, people decide who is a purush, yugpurush and a mahapurush," Raut said.
(With inputs from PTI)
The Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister, DK Shivakumar, responded to the Election Commission's notice regarding advertisements of welfare schemes during election campaigning in Telangana polls, stating that the ads merely highlighted the government's achievements without asking for votes. According to Shivakumar, the Election Commission's notice does not align with the law.
"Politically, we have not asked for votes. Whatever our government has done in our state, there are a lot of Telugu-speaking people here also, a lot of other language speaking people also live here, so we have given advertisements what we have done in our government. We've not asked for votes. We only gave advertisements on the works done by our government here," Shivakumar told news wire ANI.
The Election Commission issued the notice on the grounds that such advertisements by non-poll-going state governments in states undergoing elections violate the Model Code of Conduct. The Commission cited representations from the BJP and Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) alleging that the Karnataka government had published advertisements in newspapers during Telangana polls between November 24 and 27.
"The Commission has observed that certain advertisements highlighting welfare schemes and achievements of the central government and state governments are being published by some non-poll-going state governments in the editions of newspapers in the States where elections are going on. The Commission considers this to be a violation of the spirits of the Model Code of Conduct," the ECI said.
The ECI said that it has been brought to the notice of the Commission by the BJP vide their representation dated November 27 and by Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) vide their representation dated November 25 that the Karnataka government has published advertisements of various welfare schemes and achievements in Telangana on November 24 to 27 in the Hyderabad edition of several newspapers.
Also read: Telangana Assembly Polls: Hyderabad district shuts schools, colleges on Nov 29, 30
The commission further said that in future, all such advertisements, issued by non-poll-going state governments during the Model Code of Conduct period shall be forwarded to it for clearance before they are sent for publication in newspapers having edition or having circulation in the poll-bound states.
"The Commission has examined its own records and found that neither such approval was granted by the Commission as required under the above-mentioned instruction nor any such application from the State of Karnataka is found pending for decision.
The Commission asked the Karnataka government to submit it's explanation by 5pm on November 28.
"Explain the circumstances which led to the violation of the Commission's aforesaid MCC instructions on the part of the Government. The explanation should reach to the Commission by November 28, 2023, 5 pm. Further publication of any such advertisements by the Government of Karnataka in the State of Telangana shall be stopped forthwith with immediate effect till necessary approvals are taken by the Government from the Commission," the poll panel said.
It also asked the state government to explain "why disciplinary action is not directed against Secretary-in-charge of Department of Information and Public Relations for above mentioned violations of procedure." (With inputs from ANI)
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday said that the information gathered from social media cannot be part of the pleadings in public interest litigation. The court was hearing a petition claiming that 1,500 to 2,000 people lose their lives in unsafe water bodies in Maharashtra every year.
A division bench of Chief Justice D K Upadhyaya and Justice Arif Doctor refused to hear a PIL filed by advocate Ajitsingh Ghorpade seeking a direction to the Maharashtra government to take measures to safeguard waterfalls and water bodies in the state, news wire PTI reported.
Ghorpade's lawyer Manindra Pandey claimed that around 1,500 to 2000 persons lose their lives at such unsafe waterfalls and water bodies every year, and the bench sought to know from where the petitioner had got the information on the deaths.
Pandey then said they had procured the information from newspapers and social media posts.
The court then said that the petition was vague and did not contain many details.
"Information gathered from social media cannot be part of pleadings in a PIL. You (petitioner) cannot be so irresponsible while filing PILs. You are wasting judicial time," CJ Upadhyaya said.
Also read: "Don't be so narrow-minded": Supreme Court dismisses plea seeking ban on Pakistani artistes to work in India
The bench noted that such petitions could not be entertained as it was a "sheer wastage" of time.
"Somebody goes for a picnic and accidentally drowns, therefore a PIL? Someone drowns in an accident, how is it a violation of fundamental rights under Articles 14 and 21 (equality and life)," the court said.
Pandey then said that the state government should be directed to take steps to ensure the safety and protection of people who visit such water bodies and waterfalls.
The bench, however, noted that most of the accidents were because of "reckless acts".
"What do you expect from the Maharashtra government? Can each and every waterfall and water body be manned by the police?" the bench asked.
To this, the lawyer pointed out that many times when there is a drowning accident, there is no rescue team, because of which the body of the victim is recovered two to three days later.
The court then sought to know if the petitioner had visited any such waterfall or water body or if he had ascertained which one was more dangerous or unsafe.
The bench asked the petitioner to withdraw the PIL and said he could file a "better" PIL with proper details.
The petitioner agreed and withdrew the petition. (With inputs from PTI)
Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader and Member of Parliament Sanjay Raut Tuesday said that history and the people decide who is the 'mahapurush' and who is the ‘yugpurush’.
Raut’s remarks came a day after Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar described Mahatma Gandhi as the 'mahapurush' and Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the 'yugpurush'.
Talking to reporters on Tuesday, Raut said Mahatma Gandhi was revered by the world, news wire PTI reported. "History, people decide who is a purush, yugpurush and a mahapurush," Raut said.
"After 2024, stick to your words. We don't decide who's a 'purush', 'Mahapurush' OR 'Yugpurush', history, centuries and people across the world decide that. Mahatma Gandhi was revered by the entire world...If those who are sitting in the government had even been 'purush', then our Jawans wouldn't have died in Jammu and Kashmir every other day, China wouldn't have entered Ladakh... (SIC)."
Dhankhar on Monday said, “Mahatma Gandhi freed us from the slavery of British through satyagraha and non-violence. India's successful Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken us to a path where we always wanted to be."
He was speaking at the birth anniversary celebrations of Jain mystic and philosopher Shrimad Rajchandraji. “I would like to tell you one thing. Mahatma Gandhi was the mahapurush of the last century. Narendra Modi is the yugpurush of this century,” Dhankar said, according to reports, while speaking at the inauguration of the Shrimad Rajchandra Memorial in Mumbai. Shrimad Rajchandra was Gandhi’s spiritual guide.
Also read: Mahatma Gandhi mahapurush, PM Narendra Modi yugpurush: Vice President Dhankhar
“Mahatma Gandhiji freed us from the slavery of the British through satyagraha and non-violence. India’s successful Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken the country on a path which we always wanted to see,” the vice-president continued. “In both, Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi and our Prime Minister Narendra Modi, one thing is common: They have reflected (the spirit and teachings) with respect to Shrimad Rajchandraji.”
Dhankar also said that parliamentarians should think about Shrimad Rajchandra’s teachings to avoid the “bitterness” being seen in parliament. “In Parliament, instead of debate and discussions, often there is chaos, pandemonium and bitterness. If Members of Parliament listen to the speeches of Shrimad Rajchandraji, it will bring a positive change in their lives,” he said. (With inputs from agencies)
The Supreme Court Tuesday rejected a plea calling for a complete ban on Pakistani artists from performing or working in India, asking the petitioner against being "so narrow-minded."
Justices Sanjiv Khanna and SVN Bhatti stated that they were disinclined to overturn the Bombay High Court's decision to dismiss the plea filed by Faaiz Anwar Qureshi, who identifies as a cine worker and artist. "You should not press this appeal. Do not be so narrow-minded," the bench said.
The top court also refused the submission to expunge certain remarks made by the high court against the petitioner, news wire PTI reported.
The petition had sought the court's direction to the central government to impose a complete ban on Indian citizens, companies, firms and associations from employing or soliciting any work or performance, taking of any services, or entering into any association and so on with any Pakistani artiste, including its cine workers, singers, musicians, lyricists and technicians.
The Bombay High Court had dismissed the petition, saying the reliefs it seeks is a retrograde step in promoting cultural harmony, unity and peace, and has no merit in it.
"One must understand that in order to be a patriot, one need not be inimical to those from abroad especially, from the neighbouring country," the court had said.
Also read: Mumbai: Advocate Somasekhar Sundaresan sworn in as additional judge of Bombay High Court
"A true patriot is a person who is selfless, who is devoted to the cause of his country, which he cannot be unless he is a person who is good at heart. A person who is good at heart would welcome in his country any activity which promotes peace, harmony, and tranquillity within the country and across the border," it had said.
Arts, music, sports, culture, dance and so on are the activities which rise above nationalities, cultures and nations, and truly bring about peace, tranquillity, unity and harmony in nation and between nations, the high court had said in its order.
It had noted that in the Cricket World Cup, Pakistan was a participant. This happened only because of appreciable positive steps taken by the Indian government in the interest of overall peace and harmony in consonance with Article 51 of the Constitution of India which is about promotion of international peace and security, the high court had said. (With inputs from PTI)
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday extended till January 10 the interim protection from any coercive action granted to Indian Revenue Service officer Sameer Wankhede.
Wankhede is named as an accused by the Central Bureau of Investigation in an extortion and bribery case related to the Cordelia cruise drugs case, news wire PTI reported.
A division bench of Justices P D Naik and N R Borkar said it would hear Wankhede's petition seeking to quash the FIR lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on January 10 and 11, 2024.
Advocate Kuldeep Patil, appearing for the CBI, told the court on Tuesday that Solicitor General Tushar Mehta would argue on behalf of the CBI on January 10 or 11.
Wankhede's counsel Aabad Ponda said he would argue on January 10.
The CBI in May lodged the FIR against Wankhede, former Mumbai zonal director of the Narcotics Control Bureau, and others on the basis of a written complaint issued to them by the NCB.
Also read: Mumbai: Advocate Somasekhar Sundaresan sworn in as additional judge of Bombay High Court
The central agency's case is that Wankhede and four other accused allegedly demanded Rs 25 crore bribe from actor Shah Rukh Khan for not framing his son Aryan Khan following the alleged seizure of drugs from a cruise ship in 2021.
Wankhede later moved the High Court, seeking that the case be quashed. He had also sought interim protection from any coercive action.
Wankhede and the other accused in the case have been booked under charges of criminal conspiracy and extortion threats under the Indian Penal Code and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act pertaining to bribery.
Aryan Khan and some other persons were arrested in October 2021 for alleged possession, consumption and trafficking of drugs. Later, Aryan Khan was granted bail by the high court after spending three weeks in jail.
The NCB subsequently filed its chargesheet but did not name Aryan Khan as an accused in the case citing lack of evidence. The anti-drugs agency then also set up a special inquiry team to carry out a probe into the case and against its own officers. (With inputs from PTI)
Woman Agniveer trainee in the Indian Navy has allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself in her hostel room at INS Hamla in Mumbai. She was 20 years old.
News wire PTI reported quoting an official that the woman, hailing from Kerala, was undergoing training at the INS Hamla in Malwani area in the western suburb of Malad.
She allegedly hanged herself in her hostel room on Monday morning, he said.
While no suicide note was recovered from the spot, it appears the woman took the extreme step due to personal reasons, the official said according to PTI.
The woman had been training at the facility for the last 15 days after completing her basic training, he said.
According to Mumbai police, the deceased was identified as Aparna Nair. "The incident took place while Aparna was undergoing training on the Indian Navy Ship (INS) Attack," an officer told another news wire ANI.
Shortly after receiving the information, Navy doctors were called to check up on the woman. Thereupon after conducting the examination of the woman, the doctors declared her dead, said police.
Also read: Mumbai: Advocate Somasekhar Sundaresan sworn in as additional judge of Bombay High Court
The Malwani police has registered a case under the ADR and have started the investigation.
Agniveer is a term used for soldiers recruited under the Agnipath Scheme. The scheme was announced on June 14, 2022.
The Agnipath Scheme is the only way to serve in the military. Under the scheme, soldiers serve for four years, which includes six months of training and 3.5 years of deployment. After retirement, they can apply to continue in the armed forces.
Cop injured in suicide bid at police station in Chhattisgarh
Meanwhile, a 25-year-old constable shot himself inside a police station with his service rifle in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district in an alleged attempt to commit suicide, but survived and suffered injuries in the process, an official said.
The trigger for the suicide attempt was not immediately known, but it was revealed the constable was undergoing medical treatment for an old injury and was upset over not getting cured.
The incident took place at around 6.45 pm on Monday in Chhindgarh police station premises in the Naxalite-hit district.
Constable Narendra Negi, posted at the Chhindgarh police station, shot himself on right side of the chest with an Insas (Indian Small Arms System) rifle following which he was immediately shifted to Sukma district hospital for treatment of his injuries, the official said.
“As per preliminary information, Negi was undergoing treatment for a long time for an old head injury and was disturbed as he was not getting cured. Prima facie, it could be the reason for his suicide attempt," the official said. (With inputs from agenices)
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