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Saturday,26-September-2020

Crime

First FIR Lodged After Hookah Ban In Maharashtra, 6 Arrested From Kandivli

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Hookah-Parlour-Ban-1

A day after introducing the blanket ban on Hookah Parlour across Maharashtra, Mumbai Police has lodged its first FIR by arresting six people on Sunday from Kandivli for serving hookah in Chilly & Spice restaurant.

Police have arrested restaurant owner Shabbir Shaikh, Manager Debu Shah, four waiters including Mumtaz Shaikh, Santosh, Mahadev Yadav, and Santosh Yadav.

Hookah-Parlour-Ban

As per the amended Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA), 2003, anyone who finds guilty will have to pay fine of Rs. 1 lakh including imprisonment up to 3 years. The amendment has also made the offence as a non-cognisable.

Earlier a Home Department official said, “Since the notification has been issued, the ban comes into effect immediately. It will be the responsibility of the police to ensure the ban is implemented.”

A cancer surgeon, Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi said, “The regulatory ban has been there on hookah parlours after the Bombay high court order from a few years ago, but they were in operation in connivance with the authorities. Now with the blanket ban, the government should ensure its strict implementation.”

Interestingly, After Gujarat, Maharashtra is the second state to ban Hookah Parlours.

 

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Crime

Pakistan resorts to unprovoked ceasefire violation on LoC

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Pakistan

Pakistan army on Saturday targeted Indian positions by using small arms and mortars on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district, officials said.

“At around 11.15 a.m. today, Pakistan initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by firing with small arms and shelling with mortars along the LoC in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district,” Defence Ministry spokesperson Colonel Devender Anand said.

“Indian army is retaliating befittingly,” he added.

Pakistan has been violating the bilateral ceasefire agreement signed by India and Pakistan in 1999 with impunity since the beginning of this year.

At least 24 civilians have been killed and over 100 injured in more than 3,186 ceasefire violations by Pakistan on the LoC since January 2020.

The frequent cross border shelling has brought insurmountable suffering into the lives of thousands of people living along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir.

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CBI books 4 former CBSE officers in illegal recruitment scam

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday said that it has filed a case against then Joint Secretary, two Assistant Secretaries, and one more official of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on charges of alleged irregularities in recruitment.

CBI officials said that the case was registered against four former officers of CBSE on charges of misusing their official position, circumventing reservation provisions, and using forged and fake documents to get jobs in the CBSE. One of the accused is also charged with paying a consultant Rs 26.92 lakh for which no contract document could be located.

The CBI named S.P. Rana, a Joint Secretary, who retired while on suspension, dismissed Assistant Secretary Babita Rani, Assistant Secretary Shikha Tomar and Assistant Programmer Ruchin Tomar in the case.

According to the FIR, Rana is accused of appointing Rani and Shikha Tomar, who belong to the Jat community, between 2012 and 2014 under the OBC quota though the community was not eligible for reservation at that time.

The FIR alleged that Rana facilitated the selection of Shikha Tomar, the daughter-in-law of his brother, as Assistant Secretary on the basis of a fake and invalid experience certificate.

The FIR also charges Rana with allowing overpayment of Rs 26.92 lakh to KPMG for its outsourced services for processing of an application for affiliation and upgradation of schools.

“During enquiry, the CBSE was not able to provide the original file for the payments,” it said.

The case was registered after a preliminary inquiry by the CBI revealed that Rana made repeated recommendations for Rani’s appointment in 2012. “Rani was selected under the OBC category despite the fact that she was not a bonafide OBC candidate,” the FIR said adding that the government had included the ‘Jat’ community in the OBC list only in March 2014.

“At the time of the interview, Rana was holding the charge of Joint Secretary (Administration and Legal), CBSE under whose supervision, the selection was made. Rana further facilitated Rani by approving the request made by her for not verifying her credentials i.e. caste certificate, experience certificate, etc,” the FIR said.

Rani was dismissed from service on January 31 this year.

The CBI FIR also alleged that Shikha Tomar was appointed as Assistant Secretary in 2013 on the basis of a fake experience certificate issued from Ozark Global Information Services (OGIS), whose Director Atul Goel said that she never worked with the organisation and the certificate issued to her is a forged one.

A charge sheet dated November 12, 2018 for major penalty proceedings has been issued by the CBSE but she has not joined duty for long and not responding to the CBSE’s correspondence.

Meanwhile, Ruchin Tomar is accused of producing a forged and fake degree certificate and mark sheets of Bachelor of Engineering in 2014 to land a job in the CBSE. He was also terminated from the job after he did not provide the original mark sheets.

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ED tightens noose around Kerala CPI-M leader’s son

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Enforcement Directorate

After questioning Bineesh Kodiyeri, the son of CPI-M Kerala State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on September 9 for over 11 hours, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday sent him a notice under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The ED has asked him to give the list of his assets and has also directed the State Registration Department to prepare a list of his assets and to see that there is no transfer or sale of his assets (properties) without their knowledge.

After the 11-hour questioning ended, it was only a matter of time for the follow up action by the ED and it has now happened, leaving the ruling CPI-M red faced, as Bineesh in all likelihood would be called in again.

Trouble started for the high profile son of Balakrishnan ever since four national agencies started probing the two cases — gold smuggling and drug dealing — which were unravelled in Bengaluru by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

The ED is trying to find out if there was a common thread in the two cases and if Bineesh had a role in them.

Bineesh has denied any role in locating a hiding place for the prime accused in the gold smuggling case, Swapna Suresh, in Bengaluru. She was arrested along with her business partner by the NIA in July.

Another reason why the ED started to concentrate on Bineesh was that he has registered a few companies dealing with the financial matters, but had not undertaken the regulatory compliance and they were recently blacklisted by the authorities.

One more reason is the wide ranging business connections that he has, and also partnership ventures in many areas with others.

When the now controversial gold smuggling case surfaced in July after the Customs first arrested a former public relations officer — P.S. Sarith — of the UAE Consulate and the NIA picked up Swapna Suresh, who has links with top police officers and bureaucrats, the speculation in the media was whether Bineesh was also involved.

But it was not until the end of August that his name first surfaced when a Kerala youth Anoop Mohammed was picked up by the NCB in Bengaluru. And then came the statement from Bineesh that he and Anoop were friends, and Bineesh had given a loan of Rs six lakh to him and another Rs 15,000 very recently as he had no money to return home from Bengaluru.

Even though Balakrishnan is trying to put a brave face by saying that his son will deal with all the issues, the opposition — the Congress and the BJP — is aggressively pursuing the case as two crucial elections are round the corner.

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