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Sunday,16-May-2021

Crime

Kerala solar scam accused Saritha Nair arrested

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Saritha-Nair

The Kasaba Police officials from Kozhikode district of Kerala on Thursday early morning took into custody Solar scam accused Saritha Nair from the state capital city for failing to appear before the court, despite warrants being issued to her.

The warrant was issued by the Kozhikode Chief Judicial Magistrate Court -3 in a case of cheating committed by her when she took money from a person but failed to deliver solar panels to him.

This court had earlier asked her to appear before them on February 25, but she failed to do so and the police later on Thursday will produce her before the court, as she is now being taken to Kozhikode.

Incidentally Saritha can take the credit for bringing down the 2011-16 Oommen Chandy government on account of the scams involving her and a few office members of the Chandy office, which the Left used widely in their election campaign in 2016.

This case in which she has been arrested was registered during the tenure of the Chandy government and according to reports there are around half a dozen similar cheating cases registered against her starting from 2012 at various police stations in Kerala.

At the fag end of the present Pinarayi Vijayan government she is creating heartbreaks to the present administration in an alleged fake appointment racket case, in which one person has already been arrested.

State Excise Minister T.P. Ramakrishnan on Wednesday flatly denied having any dealings with Solar accused Saritha Nair.

In the fake appointment case, where money was collected from various people promising them a job at the state-run Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Bevco), the police have already arrested a partner of Saritha Nair.

On Wednesday, an audio clip believed to be that of Saritha Nair surfaced wherein she is heard talking about the role of Ramakrishnan and the then MD of Bevco Sparjan Kumar — a top IPS official.

Flatly denying having anything to do with the fake appointment case, Ramakrishnan said, “Never ever have I had anything to do with such people. Strict action will be taken against any foul play if it has happened in the appointments made,” said the Minister.

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Crime

Over 3.26L new Covid cases, 3,890 deaths in India in 24 hrs

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Coronavirus

Witnessing a decline, India on Saturday reported 3,26,098 new Covid cases and 3,890 fatalities in the last 24 hours, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

In the past 23 days India’s daily Covid tally has plateaued over the three-lakh-mark and over 3,000 casualties for 17 days.

On Wednesday, India recorded 4,205 fresh Covid deaths, the highest ever, while on May 7, the country had recorded its highest ever cases of 4,14,188.

India’s total tally of Covid-19 cases now stands at 2,43,72,907 with 36,73,802 active cases and 2,66,207 deaths so far.

According to the Health Ministry, a total of 3,53,299 people have been discharged in the last 24 hours, with 2,04,32,898 being cured from Covid till date.

The Health Ministry said that a total of 18,04,57,579 people have been vaccinated so far in the country, including 11,03,625 who were administered vaccines in the last 24 hours.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 31,30,17,193 samples have been tested up to May 14 for Covid-19. Of these 16,93,093 samples were tested on Friday.

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Crime

Jail warden in UP faces action for chaining nonagenarian

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jail

The Yogi Adityanath government has suspended the Etah jail warden Ashok Yadav after a video showed a 90-year-old prisoner chained to a hospital bed in the jail.

A departmental inquiry has also been ordered against him.

A photograph of the old man, who had been hospitalized after he complained of respiratory problem, had gone viral earlier in the day.

DG jails, Anand Kumar had sought a report from the supervisory officer.

Giving information about the action on the Twitter handle of DG prisons, Kumar said that no officer or employee will be spared.

The prisoner’s chains have been removed.

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Crime

Navneet Kalra denied anticipatory bail in O2 concentrator case

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Navneet-Kalra

A Delhi court on Thursday declined to grant anticipatory bail to businessman Navneet Kalra in connection with the oxygen concentrator black marketing case registered by Delhi Police.

Additional sessions judge, Saket court, Sandeep Garg passed the order rejecting anticipatory bail to Kalra.

Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, representing Kalra, had argued that his client had only carried out a legitimate transaction of import and customs authorities were activated, and the customs was aware of the transaction. “The GST was deposited with the government. Invoices were given and returns were filed,” Pahwa had contended before the court.

However, according to the prosecution, Kalra, along with other co-accused, hatched a conspiracy to wrongfully make money by inducing the public to buy oxygen concentrators from him at an “exorbitant rate”. Delhi police had opposed his anticipatory bail plea stating that the investigation was at a very early stage, and it required Kalra’s custodial interrogation to unearth his relationship with other parties.

Kalra’s counsel had argued that all rules were complied and the transactions of sale were through banking channels. He further added that oxygen concentrators are not cosmetic, not luxury, instead it was used when somebody is medically unfit. “When selling through banking channels, where is the offence”, Kalra’s counsel had submitted.

The prosecution had argued that no anticipatory bail could be granted to “influential persons” who could tamper with evidence. The prosecution further argued Kalra made a lot of money by inducing the needy public to believe that his oxygen concentrators were premium, and also cited a report from Sri Ram laboratory, that the sample of oxygen concentrator was of poor quality.

Kalra’s counsel had pointed out that there was no MRP fixed by the government till date, therefore the prosecution assertion that the price at which his client sold oxygen concentrator was exorbitant, was not correct. “We could not find a single notification, which fixes the price of oxygen concentrators”, said Kalra’s counsel.

He further added that his client was being “framed” based on social media content and he was being made a scapegoat to divert attention from more pressing issues. “It is being deliberately done. A campaign is going on against me”, added Kalra’s counsel.

Police have also alleged that through social media posts, it has come to notice that Kalra had collected advance payments from several persons who required oxygen concentrators, but he kept postponing the supply and increased the price.

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