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Tuesday,15-June-2021

Crime

RTI activist now booked for demanding Rs 50L from banquet hall owner

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The Gurugram Police have registered a case of extortion against RTI activist Harinder Dhingra for demanding Rs 50 lakh from a banquet hall owner three years ago, out of which the accused had extorted Rs 5 lakh from the victim, the police said on Tuesday.

On Monday, the police had arrested Harinder Dhingra and his two sons — Tarun and Prashant — for their involvement in a property loan fraud amounting to Rs 15 crore.

According to the police, about three years ago, Dhinga had demanded Rs 50 lakh from a person running a banquet hall near Sukharali village in Gurugram by putting pressure on him.

At that time, Dhingra had even threatened the victim that he will have to pay Rs 50 lakh, otherwise his banquet hall will not be allowed to run.

“The victim had told Dhingra that he had just renovated his banquet hall, and hence he couldn’t shell out such a big amount and gave Rs 5 lakh to the accused instead. But Dhingra continued to put pressure on the victim to extort the remaining amount,” said Subhash Boken, spokesperson of Gurugram Police.

The victim reported the matter to the police at Sector 17/18 police station on Tuesday.

“A case under relevant sections of the IPC has been registered against the accused. The complainant also said that he could not file a complaint at that time due to fear and pressure of the accused. The alleged RTI activist had also extorted monthly payments from businessmen and officials,” Boken said.r/arm

Crime

Mehul Choksi trial adjourned as his health declines

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Mehul-Choksi

The trial of the fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi, who is wanted in India in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case has been adjourned to June 25 due to decline in his health condition, local media reported.

The trial was expected to begin in the Roseau Magistrate court on Monday, Dominica News Online, a news outlet in Caribbean island said.

At the hearing, two of Dominica’s top criminal attorneys were added to Choksi’s legal team for this matter. Zena Moore-Dyer and her daughter Gina Dyer-Munro have joined Julien Prevost, Wayne Norde and Cara Shillingford-Marsh.

The defence attorneys presented to the court a medical document which stated that Choksi is incapacitated and as a result, he was unable to attend the proceeding, it said.

It further said that the prosecution team also saw the addition of Harpreet Singh Giani, an Indian-born lawyer based in London, who said he appears as a consultant to the prosecution on the matter.

The States case is led by the acting Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Sherma Dalrymple, with assistance from attorney-at-law Lennox Lawrence, Jodie Luke and Heather Felix Evans.

On June 2, the 62-year-old diamantaire pleaded not guilty to illegal entry in Dominica.

According to the charges of the police, Choksi entered Dominica illegally on May 24, 2021, at Toucari Beach. However his attorneys alleged that he was kidnapped, beaten and unwillingly brought to Dominica from Antigua.

Choksi is remanded in police custody at the Dominica China Friendship Hospital (DCFH) where he has been a patient since May 29, 2021.

On June 11, a high court judge denied bail to the alleged fugitive on the basis that he is a “flight risk.”

Choksi had gone missing on May 23 from Antigua sparking a massive manhunt. He was reportedly captured in Dominica.

On June 8, the Indian authorities described Choksi as an Indian citizen in its affidavit filed in Dominican High Court, saying that his application for renunciation of citizenship was “rejected”.

It also noted that he is therefore erroneously claiming renunciation of citizenship under the Citizenship Act, 1955.

He had taken the citizenship of Antigua in 2017 and left India on January 4, 2018 days before the bank loan fraud case came to light.

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Crime

India registers lowest Covid cases of over 60K since March 29

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Health-worker

India’s Covid caseload continued to fall with the country recording 60,461 new cases, lowest since March 29 and 2,726 fatalities due to the virus in the last 24 hours, according to data released by the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry on Tuesday.

This is the eighth consecutive day when India has reported less than one lakh Covid cases.

On June 14, India recorded 70,421 cases.

India’s overall tally of Covid-19 cases now stands at 2,95,70,871. The active cases have come down below 10 lakh. The country has 9,13,378 active cases presently and has witnessed 3,77,031 deaths so far.

According to the Health Ministry, a total of 1,17,525 people have been discharged in the last 24 hours, taking the total discharge to 2,82,80,472 till date.

The Health Ministry said that a total of 25,90,44,072 people have been vaccinated so far in the country, including 39,27,154 who were administered vaccines in the last 24 hours.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, 38,13,75,984 samples have been tested up to June 14 for Covid-19. Of these 17,51,358 samples were tested on Monday.

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Crime

Mehul Choksi still an Indian citizen: Indian authorities

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Mehul-Choksi

The Indian authorities have described fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi, who is wanted in India in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case as an Indian citizen in its affidavit filed in Dominican High Court, saying that his application for renunciation of citizenship was “rejected”.

And noted that he is therefore erroneously claiming renunciation of citizenship under the Citizenship Act, 1955.

The 14-page affidavit filed on June 8 said “the Indian citizenship of Mr MC (Mehul Choksi) has still not ceased as on date and therefore, his claim of renunciation of Indian citizenship is contrary to the laws in India as is completely erroneous”, adding, “the claim of Choksi being bogus, this Honourable court may kindly reject the said erroneous claim at the threshold”.

It further pointed out that Choksi had submitted his Indian passport to Indian High Commission in Georgetown, Guyana, for renouncing his Indian citizenship on December 14, 2018.

“Under Section 8 of the Indian citizenship act, 1955 the declaration of renunciation should be registered and only then a person shall cease to be a citizen of India. Read with Rule 38 of the act, the declaration of registration has to be made to India’s Ministry of Home Affairs through the Indian mission,” it said.

The affidavit further stated that while Choksi did submit his passport, the Indian Home Ministry on January 29, 2019 “found deficiencies in the declaration” and also “noted that Choksi was an economic fugitive offender” advising Indian mission in Guyana to “consider the rejection of his declaration of renunciation”.

The affidavit also pointed out that the Ministry of External Affairs had also in a letter dated October 15, 2019, confirmed that his application of renunciation stood rejected by the Indian High Commission in Guyana and had communicated him on March 15, 2019.

The affidavit stated, “no entries regarding the application for surrender of Indian nationality were made in the consular register of the mission”. This was further confirmed by the MHA in its official memorandum on May 31, 2021.

It said that Choksi’s Indian Passport, number–Z3396732 was issued on September 10, 2015 from Mumbai. He acquired his Antigua and Barbuda nationality on November 16, 2017 with passport number B007713.

The affidavit also said that “concerned authorities may be directed to immediately transfer/deport/handover Choksi to the Indian authorities”.

It also said that India has already raised the issue of cancellation of citizenship of Choksi granted by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda on the grounds that citizenship was fraudulently obtained by Choksi.

The affidavit was filed by consular officer at the High Commission of India to the Commonwealth of Dominica.

It said Choksi is wanted by Indian law enforcement agencies for investigation of the crime committed by him in India.

The Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) are probing the PNB bank fraud case against Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi.

Choksi went missing from Antigua and Barbuda on May 23, sparking a massive manhunt. He was captured in Dominica on May 26, and faces charges of illegal entry.

He had taken the citizenship of Antigua in 2017 and left India on January 4, 2018 days before the case came to light.

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