Special judge OP Saini dismissed the bail pleas, including that of former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, saying the charges levelled against them were of “very serious nature”
New Delhi: In a setback to DMK MP Kanimozhi and seven others, a Delhi court today dismissed their bail pleas in the second generation (2G) spectrum allocation case, reports PTI.
Special judge OP Saini dismissed the bail pleas, including that of former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, saying the charges levelled against them were of “very serious nature”.
Others whose bail petitions were dismissed were former telecom minister A Raja’s erstwhile private secretary RK Chandolia, Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, Kusegaon Fruits & Vegetables directors Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal and Bollywood filmmaker Karim Morani.
“The facts of the case as well as the charges levelled against the accused are of very serious nature having grave implications for the economy of the country,” the court said.
“I am satisfied that no case for bail is made out for any of the applicants/accused,” it said.
While dismissing the bail application of Ms Kanimozhi, daughter of former Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi, the court said, “By no stretch of imagination she can be said to be suffering from any discrimination on ground of being a woman.”
Brushing aside Ms Kanimozhi’s plea for bail under Section 437 of the Criminal Procedure Code on grounds of being a woman, the court said, “Accused Kanimozhi Karunanidhi belongs to upper echelons of society and is also a Member of Parliament. By no stretch of imagination, she can be said to be suffering from any discrimination on the ground of being a woman”.
Special judge Saini dismissed her bail application, along with those of four others—Sharad Kumar, Morani, Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal—even though CBI had no objection to their release on the ground that they face trial for offences, entailing a maximum jail term of only five years, if convicted.
The court rejected CBI’s stand saying, “There is no distinction between the accused charged on the basis of main charge-sheet and supplementary charge sheet. There is only one charge sheet in the eyes of law.”
The court also dismissed the pleas of various accused for bail on the ground that they had been languishing in jail for over five to nine months, while the trial was unlikely to conclude in near future.
“It is repeatedly submitted that these reasons make out good ground for bail to the accused. I have bestowed my careful and anxious consideration to these submissions. In the facts and circumstances of a particular case, these factors may be relevant consideration but in some cases it may not be so,” justice Saini said.
The court said after framing of charges under ‘a more serious’ section of 409 IPC (criminal breach of trust) which carries life imprisonment as maximum punishment, “there is no favourable change in the case of the accused.”.
An organisation which helps to school underprivileged children
The high dropout rate of children from government schools is a serious issue in India. Additionally, poverty ensures that parents are unable to send children to school. To alleviate this, Shobha Murthy started Aarambh in 1997. An NGO working in the slums of Turbhe (Navi Mumbai), it enrols underprivileged children in schools and provides them free tuition. Aarambh, in Sanskrit, means beginning. “These children are the first generation in their families to go to school. So the name,” says Ms Murthy, a founder-trustee.
“It was a new start to my life as well,” says this chartered accountant who had earlier worked as an auditor with USAID in India. That job gave her an opportunity to visit many tribal villages in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and other parts of India which kindled her interest in social work. She joined CRY (Child Relief and You) to learn about the legal and other facets of social work in India, with a clear aim to start an NGO of her own. It was while working with CRY that Ms Murthy set up Aarambh with Dr SS Rao, a medical practitioner, and Sudhir Sudhal, a qualified social worker. Ms Murthy used all her savings to fund the project. She continued with CRY (until 1999, when she quit) working for two hours each evening teaching at Aarambh. “When I approached the education officer of Thane Zilla Parishad, he supported my idea and encouraged me to start the NGO,” says Ms Murthy.
Initially, she faced resistance from the communities. “A major problem with most children was the lack of a birth certificate without which they could not enrol in a school. Convincing parents of the importance of schooling was another major task,” she says. Aarambh began by issuing medical certificates and requested education officials to accept these and admit students to municipal schools.
Everyday, four to five students enrolled with Aarambh. Municipal schools also saw a considerable increase in students. Ms Murthy proudly says, “The first batch of students just graduated. I feel so proud when I see them.” One such child is Vijay Ranbavle who was extremely naughty and didn’t want to go to school. Aarambh persuaded him to study and he is now a graduate employed at JP Morgan. “Vijay still visits us and even helps us in our projects,” says Ms Murthy.
Today, Aarambh has six centres in Turbhe and other nearby areas with about 2,000 children. “I remember the school consisted just of three-four rooms. Today, it is a whole building, with many students attending regularly,” Ms Murthy says. Currently, Aarambh runs pre-school classes along with a daily a mid-day meal programme. “The mothers work as maids and come home late in the afternoon. Till then, these kids are without any food. So we started mid-day meal for them, comprising vegetable-based khichidi and fruits,” Ms Murthy says. Aarambh assists students to secure free admission to an English medium school in Vashi, Navi Mumbai. Others are also enrolled in Hindi and Marathi medium government schools.
Aarambh has skill development programmes for youth including vocational courses like screen-printing and making paper products as well as computer courses and leadership training. It also provides placements for the youth it trains. Around 170 youngsters are enrolled in such programmes free of cost. Aarambh also runs skill-development, job-oriented and income-generation courses for women such as tailoring, embroidery, candle-making, etc. Through savings and self-help groups, women are encouraged to open and operate their own bank accounts. Aarambh also conducts periodic health check-ups and other awareness campaigns for the locals.
One can volunteer as a teacher, act as personal tutor for a child and even help in coordination. You can donate in kind as well as financially. All donations are eligible for tax exemption under Section 80 (G) of the Income-Tax Act.
Plot 52, Sector 17, Vashi
Navi Mumbai 400 703
Tel: 022-2768 0965
Cell: 98206 16940
NSE vice-president, K. Hari said “We have got final approval from SEBI. We will launch the platform this month”
The National Stock Exchange (NSE) aims to launch its Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) exchange platform this month.
“We have got final approval from SEBI. We will launch the platform this month,” NSE vice-president, K. Hari said on the sidelines of a FICCI-organised seminar on MSME financing.
The NSE received the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) nod to start its proposed SME exchange in October this year.
The SME exchange will be a separate platform within the NSE. The platform is expected to offer SMEs opportunities to raise equity from the market and unlock the intrinsic value of these enterprises.
“A lot of companies have shown interest in the SME platform. We have interacted with more than 50 to 60 companies,” Hari said.