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Thursday,04-March-2021

Crime

Jaishankar raised Vijay Mallya’s extradition, UK not giving details: Centre to SC

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Vijay-Mallya

The Centre on Monday informed the Supreme Court that Vijay Mallya’s extradition has been raised at the highest political level, but the UK government has refused to share the details of the confidential proceedings delaying his extradition.

“In December 2020, External Affairs Minister Dr. S.Jaishankar raised the issue with UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and most recently in January 2021, the Home Secretary of India raised it with the UK Permanent Under Secretary of Home. UK’s response remained the same”, said Solicitor General Tushar Mehta before a bench headed by Justice U.U. Lalit.

Mehta added that in November last year the foreign secretary of India raised the issue of Vijay Mallya extradition with UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, who responded that the UK’s legal complexities were preventing Mallay’s quick extradition.

Mehta submitted that the Indian government has been informed that there is a further legal issue that needs to be resolved before Mallya can be extradited. “Under United Kingdom law, extradition cannot take place until it is resolved. As it is judicial in nature, the issue is confidential, and you will understand that Her Majesty’s government cannot provide any more details”, said Mehta citing official response from the UK.

Mehta submitted before the bench that his extradition has been pursued at the highest level and sought adjournment on the matter. The top court has fixed the matter for further hearing on March 15.

On August 31, the Supreme Court had dismissed Mallya’s plea seeking review of a 2017 judgment which held him guilty for contempt of court. The top court also sought Mallya’s presence before the court on October 5.

The top court had held him guilty of contempt, as Mallya did not truthfully disclose the full account of his assets. In May 2017, the apex court held him guilty of contempt of court for transferring $40 million to his children, and ordered him to appear on July 10, 2017 to argue on the quantum of punishment.

Crime

Supreme Court: Porn content on OTT platforms, ‘need screening’

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Supreme-Court

The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed displeasure on streaming of films on web platforms without any prior screening of the content and also cited some films having pornographic content.

The observation was made by the top court during the hearing of a plea by Amazon Prime Video India head Aparna Purohit against Allahabad High Court order, which declined to entertain her anticipatory bail in connection with the FIRs lodged against her over the web series ‘Tandav’.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said: “There should be some screening (of content on web platforms). There is pornography in some films.”

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Uttar Pradesh government, said some programs have filthy abuses.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Purohit, contended this “as a matter of free speech” and cited that his client is not the producer of the show, instead an employee of the company which is streaming the web series Tandav.

Justice Bhushan replied that a balance needs to be struck in such matters and reiterated there should be some screening by somebody.

The top court indicated that there should be a body like censor board which screens the films.

A counsel in the matter informed the top court that the government has recently notified OTT guidelines. The top court scheduled the matter for further hearing on Friday.

In January, the top court refused to grant interim protection to Tandav crew from any coercive action and had asked them to move the concerned courts to seek bail in the matter.

Purohit has been accused of inappropriate depiction of Hindu deities, Uttar Pradesh Police personnel and for adverse portrayal of a character in the role of prime minister in the web series.

On February 25, the Allahabad High Court declined to grant her anticipatory bail in the matter. The high court had observed, “Western filmmakers have refrained from ridiculing Lord Jesus or the Prophet but Hindi filmmakers have done this repeatedly and are still doing this most unabashedly with Hindu gods and goddesses”.

One Balbir Azad lodged an FIR on January 19, 2021, at Rabupura police station of Greater Noida.

Azad had alleged that the web series had deliberately denigrated Hindu gods and goddesses and depicted Uttar Pradesh and its police in a poor light.

Several other FIRs have also been lodged in states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Bihar and Delhi against the web series. ‘Tandav’, a nine-episode political thriller starring Bollywood A-listers Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia and Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, started streaming recently on Amazon.

The top court on Friday saying will see the new OTT guidelines issued by the Centre.

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Crime

Armed robbers strike in 3 Bihar districts, loot Rs 21L

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Robbery

Armed robbers looted over Rs 21 lakh in three separate incidents in Bihar’s Champaran, Samastipur and Begusarai districts, within a span of 48 hours.

Around four masked men looted over Rs 10 lakh at gunpoint from a microfinancing firm in Motihari town of East Champaran district on Wednesday.

N.C. Jha, SP of East Champaran, said: “The robbers executed the crime at gunpoint and took away Rs 10,95,975 from the counter of the finance company after it was opened at 8:30 am.”

“We are examining the CCTV footage of the company to gather evidence about the identity of the accused. We have also raided multiple possible hideouts,” Jha said.

In another incident in Samastipur district, three unidentified men struck at the Jitwapur’s SBI branch and decamped with Rs 5 lakh cash.

On Tuesday, four assailants looted Rs 6 lakh from UCO bank branch in Begusarai district.

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Crime

Men involved in UP jailer’s murder killed

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The Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) has shot dead in an encounter in Prayagraj district two criminals allegedly involved in the 2013 murder of a then deputy jailer.

Both were members of the Munna Bajrangi gang and notorious sharpshooter Dilip Mishra gang. They killed in the encounter on Wednesday night in Arail locality of Naini neighbourhood.

A 30mm and a 9mm pistol, live cartridge and a motorcycle have been recovered from the spot where the encounter took place.

Deputy Jailer Anil Kumar Tyagi was killed in 2013 allegedly at the behest of gangsters Munna Bajrangi and Mukhtar Ansari, police said.

The two criminals have been identified as Vakeel Pandey a.k.a Rajeev Pandey and H.S. Amjad a.k.a Pintu.

Navendu Singh, Circle Officer, STF, said, “Two criminals died in an encounter at Arail in Prayagraj. Both the criminals hailed from the Bhadohi district of Uttar Pradesh.

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