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Court extends Sanjay Raut’s ED custody till Aug 8; wife summoned



 A Mumbai Special Court on Thursday extended Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut’s custody to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) by 4 days till August 8.

The ED has also summoned Raut’s wife Varsha for investigation after certain fresh details have emerged in the case.

Raut, who was arrested in the early hours of Monday in an alleged money-laundering case, was remanded to ED custody till August 4 and produced before a Special PMLA Court this afternoon.

The ED sought an extended custody for Raut till August 10 as it had secured certain documents and wanted to probe related matters, besides investigating other accused in the 2018 case pertaining to money-laundering arising out of the Patra Chawl redevelopment project in Goregaon.

At the hearing, Raut and his lawyers informed the Special Judge M.G. Deshpande of lack of proper ventilation in his jail cell but the ED lawyers dismissed the charges saying he is lodged in an airconditioned cell.

Pleading for custody till August 10, the ED’s Special Counsel Hiten Venegaonkar argued that Raut was not cooperating with the investigators and evading replies, the sleuths wanted to probe the bank transactions in his wife (Varsha Sanjay Raut)’s accounts, comprising Rs 1.08 crore and an additional Rs 1.17 crore.

Raut’s Senior Advocate Manoj Mohite contended that the ED has already carried out a thorough probe and his client’s statement was recorded prior to the arrest on August 1, but hardly any investigation was done after he was taken into custody with the same allegations being repeated.

Special Judge Deshpande said that the ED has made legitimate progress in its probe and certain aspects require to be investigated by confronting the accused with the witnesses.

It may be recalled that the ED had raided Raut’s residence in Bhandup at dawn on Sunday (July 31), interrogated him at his home for nearly 10 hours before taking him to the agency’s office under detention for further questioning, and finally arrested him shortly after midnight on Monday.

The ED has alleged that one of the project developers who indulged in a scam of over Rs 1,039 crore is a close associate of Sanjay Raut.

Raut’s team has claimed that the entire case is politically motivated and intended to harass him as he has been exposing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since the past over two-and-half years.

Meanwhile, Raut’s brother, Shiv Sena MLA Sunil Raut said that they had full faith in the judiciary and the BJP is scared of him.






New Delhi, 9th December 2023
In a massive crackdown on ISIS, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday arrested 15 operatives of the banned terror outfit during multiple and widespread raids across Maharashtra and Karnataka.

NIA teams swooped down on as many as 44 locations in Padgha-Borivali, Thane, Mira Road and Pune in Maharashtra, and Bengaluru in Karnataka early this morning, and apprehended the 15 accused for promoting terror and terror related acts and activities of the proscribed organisation.

Huge amounts of unaccounted cash, firearms, sharp edged weapons, incriminating documents, smart phones and other digital devices were seized during the raids, conducted as part of NIA’s ongoing efforts to disrupt and demolish the attempts of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to carry out violent acts of terror and take innocent lives.

The accused, operating on the directions of their foreign handlers, had been actively involved in various terrorist activities, including fabrication of IEDs, for furthering the violent and destructive agenda of the ISIS, as per NIA investigations.

NIA investigations have further revealed that the accused, all members of ISIS Maharashtra module, were operating from Padgha-Borivali, where they had hatched the conspiracy to spread terror and carry out acts of violence across India. Pursuing the path of violent Jihad, Khilafat, ISIS etc., the accused had aimed to disturb the peace and communal harmony of the country and to wage a war against the Government of India.

Initial investigations have revealed that the arrested accused had self-declared the village of Padgha in rural Thane as a ‘liberated zone’ and as ‘Al Sham’. They were motivating impressionable Muslim youth to relocate in Padgha from their place of residence for strengthening the Padgha base.

Saqib Nachan, the main accused and the leader and head of the ISIS module, was also administering the ‘bayath’ (oath of allegiance to the Khalifa of ISIS ) to the persons joining the proscribed organisation.

ISIS is a Global Terror Organisation (GTG) , also known as Islamic State (IS) / Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) / Daish / Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) / ISIS Wilayat Khorasan/Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham Khorasan (ISIS-K)). The outfit has been spreading its terror network in India by putting in place localized ISIS modules and cells in various States of the country.

NIA has, in recent months, conducted large-scale raids and busted different ISIS modules by arresting several terror operatives in the ISIS terror conspiracy case in a bid to scuttle the organisation’s heinous and violent anti-India agenda. As part of its efforts towards that end, the agency had registered a case against the ISIS Maharashtra module earlier this year and has, since then, undertaken strong and concerted actions to destroy the various ISIS modules and networks operating across the country.

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Mumbai: Coordinated Maritime Exercise ‘Prasthan’ Tests Readiness and Response Protocols In Offshore Development Area




On Friday, the Indian Navy, in collaboration with defense, state, and civil agencies, conducted a joint exercise named ‘Prasthan’ in the Offshore Development Area off Mumbai. This biannual exercise aims to validate and enhance measures and procedures for responding to contingencies on oil production platforms in the region.

The exercise took place on the R12A (Ratna) platform of ONGC, situated approximately 45 nautical miles west of Mumbai harbor, spanning two phases from the early hours of Friday until late night. The first phase focused on testing security protocols for emergencies such as terrorist attacks and bomb threats from improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, based in Mumbai, and also the Commander-in-Chief (Coastal Defence), West, activated the contingency plan. A Crisis Management Committee, comprising senior officials from defense, state, and civilian agencies, gathered at the Indian Navy’s Operation Centre for a coordinated response to potential emergencies.

During the first phase, the Crisis Management Group evaluated various aspects of emergencies and initiated coordinated actions according to established Standard Operating Procedures. The Indian Navy, in conjunction with the Indian Air Force, deployed anti-sabotage teams to neutralize security threats on the oil platform.

The exercise’s initial phase involved actions to counter contingencies such as terrorist intrusions, bomb threats, man overboard incidents, medical evacuation of platform crew, and oil spills. The second phase focused on responding to contingencies like fires on the oil platform and assisting a disabled vessel in the offshore development area.

Several ships and helicopters from the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, Indian Coast Guard, ONGC, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, and the Director General of Shipping participated. Personnel from Maharashtra Police, Customs, Fisheries Department, Mumbai Port Authorities, JN Port Authorities, India Meteorological Department, and other relevant state and central civilian agencies were also actively involved.

The exercise was conducted in a synergistic and coordinated manner, providing a realistic setting to assess the preparedness of all agencies involved. A thorough analysis of the activities will be undertaken to refine existing procedures and identify areas that require further strengthening and improvement.

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Mumbai: ‘There Is Constant Tussle About Controlling Appointment Of Judges,’ CJI Chandrachud




The tussle between the judiciary and the government over the appointment of judges was once again apparent on Friday when Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud breached the topic during the inauguration of the new premises of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) bench in Mumbai.

CJI said that there is a constant tussle about who will control the appointment of judges even as the vacancies arise, and the recommendations are kept pending for a long period of time.

Importance of tribunals

Emphasizing the importance of tribunals in the country, CJI said one of its objectives is to battle the delays and help unclog the courts and aid overall in the dispensation of justice.

The tribunals, however, are plagued with problems, and we ask ourselves whether it is really necessary to constitute so many tribunals, the CJI said. “Because you do not get judges, when you get judges, vacancies arise which are kept pending for a long period of time…and then there is this constant tussle about who will get ultimate control over the appointment of judges,” CJI added.

Appreciating the work culture in Maharashtra, CJI said: “There is a culture of governance where the government successfully has left the judiciary alone. They do not tinker with the work the judges do. They accept outcomes that are favorable…they accept outcomes that are unfavorable because that is the culture of Maharashtra.”

The struggle to acquire space in the city

Highlighting the struggle to acquire space in the city, CJI said that every Mumbaikar would testify to the troubles of securing a space. “Very often we forget the importance of the work that the government does in aiding and supporting the judicial infrastructure,” he said, adding that the government played a proactive role in allotting a place for a new high court complex.

The CJI, who has been vocal for inclusivity, said that to make justice accessible to all, it is necessary to make courtrooms more accessible to differently-abled persons. He added that technology cannot become the sole medium to access justice, and physical access to courts can never be understated and hence must be constantly improved.

Stressing the importance of tribunals, CJI said that it has also helped litigants. “A rightful but weary pensioner or a wrongly terminated single mother may not withstand a long and winded litigation as well as outlast her much more powerful opponent, usually the State, in a long-winded legal tussle,” the CJI said. The tribunals make this journey less onerous for the litigants in matters of public employment.

Infrastructural gaps in the judiciary

A report prepared by the Centre for Research and Planning highlights the infrastructural gaps in the judiciary. “The report found that for a sanctioned strength of 25,081 judges in the district judiciary, there is a shortage of 4051 courtrooms. Notably, 42.9 percent of the total courtrooms have been under construction in the last three years,” CJI said.

He said that there are many barriers that stand in the way of access to justice for many, and the inability to get a timely outcome may impact each person differently. At a certain level, we feel that delay impacts everybody equally, but that is not so, the CJI said, adding it has a disparate impact on everyone.

Giving examples of lactating mothers and a person in a wheelchair, CJI said: “It is no answer to a wheel-chair bound person, a senior citizen, or a lactating mother for our courts to tell them that our courts are better experienced online. The litigant alone must have the choice of how they want to access the courts.”

Democracy in India

While speaking at the Jamnalal Bajaj Awards, CJI said that India has been able to sustain democracy, unlike several other nations that acquired freedom around the same time as India did.

“75 years ago several nations across the world joined India in freeing from colonial rule but so many of these nations have fallen by the wayside. They attained independence but they were unable to attain true self-governance,” said CJI. India is unique because we have been able to sustain democracy. “What is it that sets us apart from several of those nations that attained freedom around the same time? Some say we have internalized democracy, constitutional values. Others will say the strength of our nation lies in its pluralistic culture, all-encompassing humanity,” CJI added.

He underscored that the power of violence, the power of guns has got better of the rule of law in other nations. However, India has survived because of our “ability to dialogue.”

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