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Wednesday,28-September-2022

Crime

Court says Narayan Rane’s arrest ‘justified’, warns him against repeating ‘slap slur’ offence

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In a significant ruling, the Mahad Court has held that the arrest of Union Minister Narayan Rane by the Maharashtra Police was “justified” in the case pertaining to the ‘slap slur’ against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, and ordered him not to repeat it.

While sending Rane, 69, to Magisterial Custodial Remand till September 4, the Mahad Court Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) S.S. Patil ruled: “Considering reason of arrest and reasons discussed above (in the order), I found that arrest is justified.”

Spelling relief for the police, the court also held that there are grounds in the Criminal Procedure Code when “a police officer can arrest anybody without a warrant”.

The JMFC’s ruling effectively punctures the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders’ allegations targeting the Maha Vikas Aghadi government for the ‘illegal arrest’ and dark warnings that it could lead to repercussions.

Shortly after Rane was granted magisterial custody for 10 days, his legal team comprising lawyers Rajendra Shirodkar and Sangram Desai applied for bail which was granted by JMFC Patil imposing several conditions late on Tuesday.

The Assistant Public Prosecutor Prakash Joshi and his team of lawyers strongly opposed the bail, submitting that the accused was a Union Minister who could make similar statements which could lead to disharmony among the people.

However, the court said that “no prejudice will be caused to the prosecution if the accused (Rane) is released on bail on certain terms and conditions”.

In the Mahad Court, Rane said he was not ill-treated by the police, was ready and willing to cooperate with the investigations, would not abscond, furnish surety and abide by any terms and conditions imposed upon him.

Rane has not denied the (‘slap slur’) offence against the Chief Minister made out by the police and now has been advised by his lawyers not to make such statements in public, but was not prepared to give any written undertaking to the effect before the court.

The JMFC further held that all the offences, cognisable and non-cognisable, registered against Rane are triable by the court.

“Offences under Sections 153-A(1)(b),(c) and 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code are non-bailable, but not punishable for imprisonment for life or death. The offences are punishable which may extend upto three years. Rest of the offences (189, 504, 506 of IPC) are bailable,” said JMFC Patil.

Citing grounds for rejecting police custodial interrogation, the court said that Rane made the alleged (‘slap slur’) statements before the police and the media, it was viral on social media, and his lawyers have also now advised him to refrain from making such utterances in public.

The court granted bail of Rs 15,000 to Rane, ordered him not to tamper with evidence, threaten or induce any witnesses or the police, report to the Alibaug Police on August 30 and the second Monday of September.

The JMFC Patil further ordered Rane to cooperate with the police investigations, to provide his voice samples if required for the case investigation but the police must give him seven days’ prior notice.

Crime

Lingayat mutt sex scandal: Accused seer denied bail, custody extended

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 Denying bail to rape accused Lingayat seer of the Chitradurga Murugha Mutt, a court in Karnataka’s Chitradurga district extended the Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru’s judicial custody till October 10.

Second Additional Sessions Judge B.K. Komala has also extended the judicial custody of accused number two, hostel warden Rashmi, till October 10.

As the accused seer’s judicial custody ended on October 10, he was presented before the court and after its order, he was taken to the Central Jail in the district.

The court had earlier rejected his plea to consider bail on medical grounds and also denied him special permission to have food from the Mutt and conduct worship during the imprisonment.

Meanwhile, Veerashaiva-Lingayat leaders have called a meeting on September 29 to discuss on the accused seer’s decision not to step down as the head of the Chitradurga mutt in spite of the serious allegations under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

The mutt, one of the richest among the Lingayat mutts, has 3,000 branches all across the country and runs more than 150 premier education institutions.

The letter circulated among leaders of the community states that as the accused seer is not coming forward to step down, it would affect the heritage and prestige of the mutt, sources said.

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Bollywood

Actresses Nikki Tamboli, Sofia Singh taken to Tihar Jail to recreate meetings with Sukesh

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 Two actresses — Nikki Tamboli and Sofia Singh — were taken inside the Tihar Jail to “recreate” their alleged meeting with conmon Sukesh Chandrashekhar, a senior Delhi Police official said Tuesday.

“It was part of the ongoing probe into the Rs 200 crore extortion case related to Sukesh Chandrashekhar,” the official said.

Chandrashekhar, presently lodged in Jail No. 3 of the Tihar Jail, was arrested last year for allegedly cheating and extorting money from some high-profile people, which includes former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh’s wife Aditi Singh. Many women Bollywood actors and models have been questioned by the Enforcement Directorate for their alleged links to Chandrashekhar.

In April 2021, he was arrested in another money laundering case linked to the 2017 Election Commission bribery case, which allegedly involved a former AIADMK leader and others.

Notably, the Enforcement Directorate, recently in an application in Supreme Court, had mentioned that accused Sukesh has repeatedly committed offences, including that of money laundering during his incarceration in jail by subverting the legal system and prison rules with the help of his knowledge of technology and his “ability to con people”.

According to the sources, ‘Big Boss’ fame Nikki Tamboli, ‘Bade Acche Lagte Hai’ fame Chahat Khanna, Sophia Singh, and Arusha Patil met Chandrashekhar in the jail premises and he introduced himself as a producer of the southern film industry.

A source said that Chandrashekhar’s aide Pinky Irani, who was arrested later, had facilitated their meetings with Chandrashekhar. All these four actresses were given expensive gifts of renowned brands such as Gucci, Versace, and Louis Vuitton.

Chandrashekhar also transferred some Rs 5.20 lakh into the account of Patil, who has admitted to have met him but not in the jail. When Irani introduced Khanna to Chandrashekhar, the actress was allegedly given Rs 2 lakh and a blue-coloured Versace watch.

Chandrashekhar allegedly deposited Rs 2 lakh into the account of Singh and later gifted her an LV bag. She was, later on, given Rs 1.5 lakh more.

Irani got an amount of Rs 10 lakh from Chandrashekhar for introducing him to Tamboli, and she gave Rs 1.5 lakh to Tamboli. Later on, Chandrashekhar gave her a Gucci bag and Rs 2 lakh on their first meeting.

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Crime

Ankita Bhandari’s body found from Uttarakhand’s Chilla canal

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The body of Ankita Bhandari, a 19-year-old staffer at a resort in Uttarakhand who went missing a few days ago, was recovered from the Chilla canal in the state on Saturday and Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has ordered an SIT probe led by DIG P. Renuka Devi to probe the murder.

The prime accused in the case is BJP leader Vinod Arya’s son Pulkit Arya.

Ankita, a resident of Dobhin Srikot, who used to work in the Vantara resort in Uttarakhand’s Pauri Garhwal. She went missing on September 18.

The BJP has removed Vinod Arya as well as his other son Ankit following the incident.

Taking to Twitter, Dhami poste:, “Today morning, daughter Ankita’s body was recovered. Heart-broken with this heart-wrenching incident.”

On directions of the Chief Minister, the JCB razed to ground accused’s illegal resort on Friday night.

Strict action will be taken against the officers who were involved in the illegal construction of the resort, Dhami said.

“It is our resolve that the those guilty of this heinous crime will bot be spared,” he added.

Ankita’s family had lodged a missing complaint on September 21 with the revenue police and on the District Magistrate’s direction, the matter was trasferred to regular police the next day.

Taking cognisance of the incident, Ashok Kumar, Director General of Police, Uttarakhand, had directed the Superintendent of Police, Pauri for a speedy investigation into the incident.

Following their arrest, they told the police that after murdering Ankita, they threw her body in Chila Shakti canal.

Under the guidance of DGP Uttarakhand, the SDRF started search for Ankita in Shakti Canal, Chila Power House.

SDRF rescue team has been searching the spot and the deep divers were also looking for the body in the bottom of the canal.

The search operation had resumed this morning during which the body was found.

The body has been handed over to the district police.

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