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Probe NCB’s extortion racket, fake raids, Maha Minister to Supreme Court



In another dimension to the sensational so-called rave party bust aboard a cruise ship last October, a Maharashtra Minister has appealed to the Supreme Court to take suo moto cognisance and initiate a probe into what he contended as “extortion and fake raids” perpetrated by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in the past few years.

Prominent farmers leader and Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavalamban Mission President Kishore Tiwari, who holds minister of state status, has filed a PIL after Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan and others were let off the hook by the NCB in the infamous raid – on board the Cordelia Cruise ship – commanded by the then Mumbai Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede.

“The Hon’ble Supreme Court should institute a high-level judicial enquiry into the malafide style, approach and affairs of the NCB at Mumbai, and its officials targeting film celebrity and few models since last two years, now established upon absolute clean chit given to Aryan Khan by the NCB,” said Tiwari in his plea.

This is the second such appeal by Tiwari to the apex court after the first one on October 18, 2021, seeking to highlight how the fundamental rights of Aryan Khan and other “soft targets” – trapped by the NCB after the raids sparked off an embarrassing controversy – were infringed.

“Now, as the NCB itself has given complete clean chit to the innocent people who were first implicated in a false case by abusing the position… as such unfortunate incidents of abuse of powers and authority by NCB is a matter of grave concern for law-abiding citizens of the country..”, said the PIL

Tiwari further argued that the SC’s intervention was necessary to safeguard “the public faith and confidence” in the law enforcement agencies of India like the NCB.

He claimed that in recent times, the NCB is abusing its position and trying to deprive the basic human rights of persons like Aryan Khan or others, accused under the NDPS Act, put them behind bars illegally, and subjected them to immense public humiliation.

Referring to Wankhede, who was removed from his position – with grave allegations levelled against him on various counts from different quarters including by state Minister Nawab Malik – for selectively and vindictively targeting rich persons or celebrities like Aryan Khan ostensibly to “uproot the citadel of drugs in Bollywood”.

Tiwari added that now with the absolute clean chit given to Aryan Khan and others, “its crystal clear that it was a big game of abuse of power and authority” by Wankhede against whom allegations of “extortion” also came up, and all this needs to be probed independently by the apex court under Article 139/142 of the Constitution.

The NCB had taken note of these and shunted Wankhede to his parent department for allegedly “running an extortion racket with the help of politically influenced people linked to the ruling party” (Bharatiya Janata Party), and reportedly acquiring huge assets or properties disproportionate to his known sources of income, etc.

Tiwari’s PIL comes even as Wankhede was given a fresh transfer to a posting in Chennai, and more revelations of the case details emerged from the NCB’S voluminous charge sheet filed before a special court last week.

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First roza in Mumbai on 24th March: All india Sunni Jamiyat e ulama




Mumbai: Today was the 29th day of the month of Shaban al-Mu’zam and at the time of sunset, an attempt was made to see the moon of the month of Ramadan, but the moon was not seen. Although the sky was completely clear and there was not even a cloud of any kind of fog, despite this, the moon of the month of Ramadan (1444 Hijri) was not seen.

announcement by the All India Sunni Jamiat Ulama and Sunni Ruiyyatt Hilal Committee.

“Today dated 29th Sha’ban al-Mu’zam 1444 Hijri according to 22 March 2023, an attempt was made to see the moon of Ramadan after Maghrib prayer, but it could not be seen, nor was there a tradition from anywhere. The news of the crescent was received, so the Sunni Crescent Sighting Committee And it is announced by Sunni scholars that tomorrow 23rd March, Thursday 30th of Sha’ban is Shaban al-Mu’zam, and God willing, Friday 24th March will be the 1st of Ramadan, i.e. the first fast.”

Team Mumbai Press

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One-MLA-party MNS chief Raj Thackeray billed as ‘Future CM’




 Hours before the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) rally, banners proclaiming party President Raj Thackeray as a ‘future CM’ came up in the vicinity of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Park in Dadar, here on Wednesday.

Raj, the estranged cousin of Shiv Sena (UBT) President and former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, is scheduled to address a large rally this evening for which thousands of party workers have started trooping in from Nashik, Pune, Raigad and parts of Mumbai.

Setting the tone for the meeting on Gudi Padwa — the Maharashtra New Year, the MNS Dadar unit chief Laxman Patil has put up the banners conferring the status of ‘Hindu Jannayak’ and ‘The future CM in the minds of the people of Maharashtra!’

The posters have been put up opposite the Shiv Sena Bhavan — controlled by Uddhav Thackeray in what is considered a Shiv Sena (UBT) bastion.

The banners have started political tongues wagging, particularly since the 17-year-old MNS has only a lone MLA in the 288-member Assembly, despite being led by the fiery orator Raj Thackeray, the nephew of the legendary Balasaheb Thackeray.

With the entry of Raj Thackeray, 54, the wishful state ‘future CM’ platform has become more crowded and varied.

Earlier, there posters-banners heralding his nephew and Uddhav’s son, Aditya Thackeray as a ‘future CM’, then Nationalist Congress Party’s top leaders like Jayant Patil, Ajit Pawar and Supriya Sule seen straddling posters with a ‘future CM’ tag, and other leaders from different parties, including the ruling ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Political circles say the latest MNS manoeuvres are intended to create a strong ‘pro-Hindutva’ impression ahead of the upcoming civic election, and the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in 2024.

Today’s Gudi Padwa rally comes a month after the split in the Shiv Sena — founded in June 1966 by the late Balasaheb Thackeray — was formalised with the original party name-symbol going to the breakaway faction headed by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.

Though Raj Thackeray has been hobnobbing with Shinde and BJP top leaders, he has not declared his political strategy on any alliance with them so far.

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Bombay HC says 100% consent for redevelopment of unsafe buildings not must




The Bombay High Court has declared that clause 1.15 of the 2018 Guidelines issued by the BMC for declaring private and municipal buildings as “C-1 category (dangerous or unsafe)” does not mandate obtaining consent/ agreement from all (100%) tenants/ occupants.

It further observed that consent of 51-70% of the occupants/ tenants of the building, as applicable to the proposals made under Development Control and Promotion Regulation (DCPR)-2034, shall amount to sufficient compliance for processing development/ redevelopment proposal, for a commencement certificate (CC) to be issued.

Raj & Jain Ahuja moved court after BMC refused to grant CC for redvpt of a building saying all occupants have not agreed to sign PAAA

A bench of Justices Girish Kulkarni and RN Laddha was hearing a petition by developers Raj Ahuja and Jain Ahuja, challenging clause 1.15. They had approached the court after the BMC refused to grant CC saying that they had not signed a permanent alternate accommodation agreement (PAAA) with all the tenants.

“In our clear opinion, it was arbitrary for the MCGM to insist from the petitioners (developers), consent of 100% of the tenants and in its absence withhold the CC…,” said the bench.

Developers contended that not always will 100% tenants will agree to redvpt

Challenging the constitutional validity of the clause, the developers contended that it may not be always conceivable that 100% tenants agree to redevelopment. Having such a pre-condition would create serious consequences, including the project being brought to a standstill by a minority/minuscule number of tenants or members of a co-operative society.

However, the BMC justified the guidelines, stating that it’s incumbent on the corporation to safeguard the interest of the tenants.

HC’s observation in the matter

The judges emphasised, “It is a settled position in law that the interest of the minority occupants/tenants cannot be opposed to the interest of the majority occupants, as also such persons cannot foist on the owners a delay in commencement of the redevelopment work, resulting in the project cost being increased, which would be seriously prejudicial to the owners/developers and above all the majority of the occupants.”

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