Two teams of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have arrived in Mumbai to probe the allegations of corruption and misuse of office by former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, sources said on Wednesday.
A CBI source related to probe in Delhi told IANS, “A team of CBI officials arrived in Mumbai on Tuesday.”
The source said that after the agency registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) on Tuesday night following the orders of the Bombay High Court, another team of the Anti-Corruption department of the premiere investigative agency left for Mumbai on Wednesday morning.
The source said that over half a dozen agency sleuths will record the statement of Dr Jayshri Patil on whose petition the Bombay High Court directed the CBI to conduct a preliminary probe against Deshmukh. However, it is not known how many members are there in each team.
The source said that the CBI sleuths will also record the statement of former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, who dropped a letter bomb on March 20 — accusing Deshmukh of asking suspended Mumbai cop Sachin Vaze and other Mumbai police personnel to extort Rs 100 crores ‘monthly’ from bars, hotels and restaurants.
The Bombay High Court has asked the CBI to complete PE within 15 days.
Delhi HC defers till Feb 3, DSLSA’s plea seeking Rs 20 lakh cost imposed on Juhi Chawla
The Delhi High Court on Friday said it will hear on February 3 a petition by the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) seeking the execution of the order, in which actress-environmentalist Juhi Chawla and two others were directed to deposit Rs 20 lakh for the abuse of the process of law in relation with a lawsuit challenging 5G wireless network technology.
Justice C Harishankar deferred the matter for February 3 after Chawla’s counsel said his client was not served with the petition copy. It was also observed by the court that the appeal in the matter is pending before the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court.
The DSLSA was approaching the Delhi High Court seeking payment of costs of Rs 20 lakh to them by the court. Adv Saurabh Kansal, who appeared on behalf of DSLSA, submitted that the order is yet to be complied with.
On June 4 last year, Justice J.R. Midha had dismissed the lawsuit filed by Juhi Chawla against the setting up of 5G wireless networks in the country. Her plea stated the levels of RF radiation are 10 to 100 times greater than the existing levels. It also claimed that the 5G wireless technology can be a potential threat to provoke irreversible and serious effects on humans and it could also permanently damage the earth’s ecosystems.
The court had held that the suit filed by Chawla and two others was defective, non-maintainable, and also contained unverified and vexatious assertions and also imposed a fine of Rs 20 lakh for the abuse of the process of law.
On June 2, 2021, the High Court had also questioned Chawla as to why she had directly filed a suit against setting up of 5G wireless networks without making any representation to the department concerned in the government, and insisted the plaintiffs, Chawla and two others, should have gone to the government first. The High Court had also expressed dissatisfaction at Chawla sharing the link of virtual hearing on her social media account.
The hearing of Chawla’s suit was disturbed by unknown persons who were singing Bollywood songs of films in which she had acted. The court directed the Delhi Police to identify the people and proceed against them under the law.
Madras High Court refuses to stay Urban local body polls
The Madras High Court on Friday refused to grant an interim stay to the conduct of Urban local body elections in the state.
While hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Dr. A. Nakkeeran, Rtd Joint Director of Health Services, the court did not allow a stay to the conduct of elections.
Senior counsel, S. Prabhakaran representing, Dr. A. Nakkeeran said that given the alarming situation of the Covid pandemic, there was no urgency to conduct the Urban local body elections now. He said that nothing would happen if the elections were delayed as these civic bodies were not without any office-bearers for the past several years.
The senior counsel also said that the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission (TNSEC) has not taken stock of the ground situation of the pandemic before preparing for the elections.
He also said that the TNSEC does not seem to be aware of the number of surging Covid cases, deaths or even on the number of containment zones in the state.
S. Prabhakaran said that the election should be postponed by two more months given the situation of the state and that threat to the lives of the people.
Senior advocate SRL Sundaresan, representing another bunch of petitions, said that when the Supreme Court had set the deadline for holding the elections, the situation in the state was not this worse regarding pandemic.
The senior counsel wanted the elections to be postponed in the interest of public health.
Senior counsel, Siva Shanmugam representing TNSEC, informed the court that the poll notification has to be issued by January 27 as per the orders of the Supreme Court.
The counsel of the Election Commission argued that a circular on Covid protocol was issued by the commission and added that all standard operating procedures followed during the rural local body elections would be in place during the Urban local body elections also.
The court adjourned the case to January 24 after hearing the arguments and refused to grant any interim stay.
SC judge recuses from hearing Tejpal’s plea in sexual assault case
Supreme Court judge Justice L. Nageswara Rao on Friday recused from hearing the plea by former editor of Tehelka magazine, Tarun Tejpal, against the Bombay High Court, which had declined to entertain his application for in-camera hearing of the appeal filed by the Goa government against his acquittal in sexual assault case.
The matter was listed before a bench of Justices Rao and B.R. Gavai. Justice Rao said that he had appeared for the Goa government as a lawyer in 2015. “Please list this before some other court,” he said.
Tejpal moved the top court on December 4, last year, challenging the dismissal of his application by the high court. He contended that every party has a right to place forth their case in the best possible manner. The plea argued that it would not be fair, if lawyers have to curtail their submissions in the backdrop that some publication may publish something, without exercising due care.
Citing a recent order by Bombay High Court, which passed directions for in-camera hearings in cases under the Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, Tejpal sought an in-camera proceeding in his matter too.
In May, last year, the trial court acquitted Tejpal of all charges levelled against him, including wrongful confinement, assault with intent to outrage modesty, sexual harassment, and rape against his female colleague. The Goa government filed an appeal challenging his acquittal by the trial court. Tejpal moved the high court with an application seeking in-camera hearing of the matter.
The appeal contended that trial court order was influenced by extraneous and inadmissible material and by testimonies and graphic details of the past sexual history of the victim, which is prohibited by law.
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