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Kerala gold smuggling: SC declines stay on Sivasankar’s HC bail



M Sivasankar.

The Supreme Court on Friday sought response from M. Sivasankar, suspended principal secretary to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, on an appeal filed by the Enforcement Directorate challenging a High Court order granting the IAS officer bail in the gold smuggling case.

On January 25, the Kerala High Court had granted bail to Sivasankar, who was arrested by ED on October 28, in a money laundering case in connection with the gold-smuggling racket.

Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju, representing the ED, contended before a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan that the money used was his when he was principal secretary.

The bench queried that gold was smuggled, but was he involved?

Raju replied that he talked to the officials to get the gold released and urged the top court to stay the High Court order.

Senior advocate Jaideep Gupta, representing Sivasankar, argued before the court that it was a false case against his client. “They have found nothing against him and they were still going after him. This is a strange situation,” submitted Gupta.

The bench replied to Gupta that his client is already out on bail. Gupta acknowledged that.

The bench said it is not putting his client behind the bars, instead it is issuing a notice in the matter. Gupta said he will file a counter. The bench allowed Gupta to file a counter affidavit in the matter and listed the matter for further hearing after 6 weeks.

Raju insisted that the High Court judgement should be stayed. The bench replied, “He is already out on bail. We will not stay it.” However, the bench said it will issue notice in the matter.

In December last year, the ED had filed a supplementary charge sheet in a court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) cases, alleging that Sivasankar knowingly assisted other key accused in the gold-smuggling through diplomatic channel in Kerala.

The ED had claimed that he indulged in criminal activities and committed scheduled offences.


Man ends life after police demands bribe for tracing daughter




45-year-old man allegedly committed suicide after a police official asked him for a bribe of Rs 1 lakh to trace his missing 22-year-old daughter.

According to the family members of deceased Shishupal, Ramnagar police outpost in-charge Ram Ratan Singh demanded the money from him.

Ram Ratan Singh reportedly reached where Shishupal had ended his life and tore up the suicide note when he found it.

Villagers later caught hold of him and handed him over to the police.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Rohit Singh Sajwan, said that the Sub-Inspector has been shifted from the outpost and the allegation against him about asking for a bribe is under investigation.

Earlier, an FIR regarding the abduction of Shishupal’s daughter was registered at the Aonla police station on April 9.

In the FIR, Shishupal claimed that three men Banti, Mukesh and Dinesh abducted his daughter on a bike. The woman is yet to be traced.

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FIR against 3 Bihar MLAs for violating Covid norms




The Bihar Police have registered an FIR against three MLAs from the opposition parties for violating Covid norms in Rohtas district, an official said.

Shyam Sunder Rai, the circle officer of the Nasriganj in Rohtas district confirmed the development.

The FIR registered against Anita Chaudhary, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MLA from Nokha and a former minister; Arun Singh, the CPI-ML MLA from Karakat, Vijay Kumar Mandal, RJD MLA from Dinara in Rohtas district.

The three legislators went to the Baradih village under Nasriganj police station to participate in a political event on Monday evening. The event was organized by RJD veteran leader Ram Nath Yadav. Besides them, a number of local public representatives and leaders of Rohtas district also participated in the event.

“As a duty magistrate, I found that majority of leaders are not wearing face masks and not maintaining social distancing norms. As the second wave of corona is at its peak, there is a possibility of it spreading further. Hence, I have lodged a complaint with the concerned police station against them,” Rai said.

“We have also learnt that the organizer had not taken permission from the district administration for the event,” Rai said.

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Four garment shops gutted in Gurugram fire




Garments worth lakhs of rupees were reduced to ashes after a fire broke out at a shop located at Gurugram’s Sector-14 around 9 p.m. on Monday.

The flames soon spread to four adjacent shops located in the area. Fire personnel upon receiving information, rushed to the spot with four fire tenders and doused the flames, the officials said on Tuesday.

The reason for the cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained.

According to the fire officials, the entire operation took one hour. However, nobody was injured in the incident as the shops were closed at the time of the incident.

“We received information at around 9.15 p.m. on Monday. Four fire tenders were rushed to the place and brought the situation under control in one hour. Several teams of fire personnel were deployed in the fire-fighting and evacuation operations. The incident was likely to have been caused by an electric short-circuit,” I.S. Kashyap, assistant divisional fire safety officer told IANS.

Earlier in April, the city reported three fire incidents. On April 3, around 700 illegal huts in Nathupur village in Gurugram were gutted. On April 7, Plywood and Sanitary showrooms were completely burned in a massive fire incident at Sadar Bazar area and on April 11, around 110 illegal shanties were gutted in Naharpur village. However, according to the fire officials, nobody were injured in these fire incidents.

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