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Crime

NCB should be made accountable: Congress after HC judgment in Aryan Khan case

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A day after Bombay High Court ruled that there was “no prima facie evidence” against Aryan Khan and co-accused Munmun Dhamecha and Arbaaz Merchant for charges pertaining to “conspiracy” and “common intent” in the case lodged after the cruise ship raids, Congress leaders said that there should be provision for penalising agencies and officers.

Senior Congress spokesperson and noted lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, “The Bombay High Court’s observations clear and judicious. Aryan Khan was needlessly kept in jail for 25 days at the whims and fancies of the NCB in gross abuse of law. The law should now take its course against the delinquent officers.”

Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said, “High Court observations of no evidence or conspiracy in Aryan Khan case yet again highlight the need to fix accountability in form of penal consequences on agencies and the prosecution for wrongful arrests, unwarranted detention and wrongful indictment.”

He said the agencies cannot use law book as a flexi tool.

Delivering the detailed 14-page order, Justice Nitin Sambre of Bombay High Court said that considering the material brought on record by the NCB, the court has not found that prima facie, there was no positive evidence against the accused trio.

It may be recalled that Khan, Dhamecha and Merchant were granted conditional bail by the High Court on October 28 vide a speaking order and the detailed order was made available only now.

Justice Sambre further said that the NCB claim on the common intention to commit an offence under the NDPS Act, (accused) found to be in possession of commercial quantity of drugs and hatching conspiracy is “liable to be rejected”.

The court said that merely because the accused trio was travelling on the cruise cannot be grounds to invoke the offence under Section 29 (criminal conspiracy) against them.

“This court is required to be sensitive to the fact that there has to be presence of basic material in the form of evidence so as to substantiate the case of conspiracy against the applicants (accused),” Justice Sambre noted.

He further said that no drugs were found on Khan, while the quantity recovered from Dhamecha and Merchant were ‘small’ under the NDPS Act.

Under such circumstances, in order to invoke the offence of conspiracy against the accused, there has to be positive evidence about an agreement to do an unlawful act, or to do lawful act by unlawful means, and such agreement must precede with meeting of minds, but there is no such material in this case, said the court.

Crime

Fake post on Shraddha Walkar-like case goes viral in Assam; police clarifies

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 With an aim to disturb communal harmony in Assam, a group of unidentified miscreants on Wednesday shared a post on Shraddha Walkar-like case on social media.

Taking swift action, the state police termed it “fake” news and said that it was taken from a Portuguese blog.

The miscreants claimed about a Shraddha-like incident in Assam and termed it ‘Love-Jihad’.

“A girl named Kajal who was in a live-in relationship was first raped by seven Muslim boys and then packed alive in a fridge where she died of hypothermia. Her live-in partner Ghaffar and his companions used to take the body out of the fridge and indulge in necrophilia daily.”

The cyber cell of Assam police quickly jumped into action and found the post to be fake.

In a Twitter post, Assam police wrote, “An image from a Portuguese blog of 2010 is being shared with a completely false context on Social Media. Appropriate action will be taken against those found sharing such messages.”

Meanwhile, a senior police officer urged the netizens for staying extra cautious while reacting to this kind of social media posts.

An investigation is underway.

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Crime

Maharashtra: Man kills mother in Palghar; arrested

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A man allegedly killed his 50-year-old mother after a dispute in Maharashtra’s Palghar district, police said on Wednesday.

The incident took place on Tuesday evening in Vikramgad area and the 30-year-old accused was arrested on Wednesday, they said.

The accused had a dispute with his father over the construction of their house under a government scheme.

On Tuesday, the accused beat up his father over the issue. When his mother intervened to save her husband, the accused allegedly attacked her with a roof tile and killed her, police spokesperson Sachin Navadkar said.

Their neighbours alerted local police who rushed to the spot and sent the body to a government hospital for post-mortem, he said.

Based on a complaint by the deceased woman’s husband, the police arrested the accused and registered a case against him under relevant provisions, the official said.

In another incident from the district, a mob brutally assaulted a man they suspected was a thief. A gruesome video of the same went viral on social media.

The police said that the mob had allgedly caught him when he broke into a gold jewellery shop and was stealing valuables. The locals beat him with rods, kicked him and punched him.

The police then booked a five persons for assault and the victim has been booked for theft.

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Crime

Maharashtra: State govt forms committee to curb crime against women

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 Amid incidents of atrocities on women, the Shinde Fadnavis government on Monday formed a 7-member Women Development Advisers Committee of Government/ Non-Government expert persons.

The committee, which will be headed by the Commissioner Women and Child Welfare will probe incidents of atrocities and cheating in the last one year reported in the media and make recommendations to curb them in future. The committee will submit its report to the state government in the next two months.

The women and child welfare department desk officer Ms Khadija Naikwade in a government resolution released today said that the committee will also suggest amendments to the schemes and programmes of the state and the central governments implemented by the department of women and child welfare in Maharashtra in order to make their implementation more effective. 

The members will not be entitled for honorarium as the committee has been established to make recommendations to the government.

The government’s move is important as Maharashtra has ranked third trailing behind Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan in the total number of cases of crimes against women in 2021 as per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data. A total of 428278 crimes were registered against women of which Uttar Pradesh was ranked on top with 56,083 cases followed by Rajasthan 40,738 and Maharashtra 39,526.

The government’s decision comes when it anxiously awaits the Presidential assent to the Shakti Act which has proposed capital punishment in rape cases. The Act requires the trial in these cases to be conducted on a day-to-day basis and completed within 30 working days from the date of filing of the chargesheet.

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