2G scam: Kanimozhi’s bail plea to be decided today

The 43-year-old daughter of DMK chief M Karunanidhi and Kalaignar TV managing director Sharad Kumar have been charge-sheeted by the CBI for allegedly conspiring with Mr Raja, the key accused in the case

New Delhi: The fate of DMK MP Kanimozhi, charge-sheeted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for her alleged role in the second generation (2G) spectrum allocation case along with former telecom minister A Raja, is to be decided today by a Delhi court, reports PTI

Special CBI judge OP Saini, exclusively trying the 2G case, is to pronounce his order on her bail plea along with that of Kalaignar TV managing director Sharad Kumar at or after 1pm.

“It (the order on bail) will take some time, hopefully it will be pronounced by 1pm,” the court said as it assembled for the day in the morning.

The court earlier had reserved its order on their bail pleas for 14th May, but on that day, it had postponed it till today.

The 43-year-old daughter of DMK chief M Karunanidhi and Mr Kumar have been charge-sheeted by the CBI for allegedly conspiring with Mr Raja, the key accused in the case.

She has been charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act for taking bribe through Kalaignar TV—a channel run by DMK—in which a sum of Rs200 crore was routed from Shahid Usman Balwa’s firm DB Realty.

Ms Kanimozhi and Mr Kumar hold 20% stake each in Kalaignar TV while former Tamil Nadu chief minister Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal holds 60% share in it.

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Andhra Pradesh to formulate law to curb corruption in NREGS

The state is expected to issue the ordinance—Andhra Pradesh Social Audit (Punishment of Corrupt Practices) Ordinance 2011—in about two weeks, which will target corrupt persons and those indulging in irregularities noticed during the social audit of NREGS

Hyderabad: In order to check corruption in the prestigious rural job scheme, National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), the Andhra Pradesh government would soon make a law to expeditiously punish those found guilty, reports PTI.

“We want to bring in a law to take tough action against the corrupt. We will issue an ordinance soon for the purpose. Presently, the process of punishing the guilty is slow,” state rural development minister D Manikya Vara Prasad told PTI here.

“For example, if we have to punish a field assistant, we will issue a notice. He will go to court. Similarly, we have to write to the Panchayat Raj department for punishing some other officials. It leads to delay. In the meantime, the guilty continues to work there. We felt the need to expedite the process,” he said.

The Ordinance—Andhra Pradesh Social Audit (Punishment of Corrupt Practices) Ordinance 2011—is likely to be issued in about two weeks.

The corrupt persons and those indulging in irregularities would be noticed during the social audit of NREGS and the proposed law provides for arresting the accused, he said.

“We will start mobile courts to try the cases of corruption and punish the guilty at the earliest,” he said.

One mobile court will be set up per district or a group of districts and it will have a first class judicial magistrate. The mobile courts would go to the villages to try the cases.

The minimum quantum of punishment under the proposed law would be two months imprisonment, while the maximum would go up to two years.

The government has prepared the draft ordinance in consultation with legal experts, the advocate general and the views of other experts are also being taken, he said.

Asked about the present level of corruption in NREGS in Andhra Pradesh, he said allegations of corruption to the tune of Rs100 crore have come to light in the last five years and Rs30 crore has been recovered.

In another initiative aimed at benefiting scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs), the state government would soon launch a programme to provide irrigation facility to the lands distributed to those sections.

Under the programme, named ‘Indira Jala Prabha’, one lakh bore wells would be set up to irrigate 10 lakh acres of land which have been distributed to SCs and STs, the minister said.

The programme would be launched next month and will be completed in about two years, he said.

The project would be implemented at a cost of Rs1,600 crore. Of this, Rs8,00 crore would be provided by NABARD, while the remaining would be spent under NREGS.

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Mukul Roy appointed new MoS, railways

Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy was on Thursday appointed as the new minister of state for railways following the resignation of Mamata Banerjee from the Cabinet. Prime minister Manmohan Singh will retain the railway portfolio in the Cabinet

New Delhi: Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy was on Thursday appointed as the new minister of state for railways following the resignation of Mamata Banerjee from the Cabinet, reports PTI.

Prime minister Manmohan Singh will retain the railway portfolio in the Cabinet.

Mr Roy, minister of state for shipping, will hold additional charge of railways, a Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson said.

President Pratibha Patil on Thursday accepted the resignation of Banerjee who will be sworn-in on Friday as the West Bengal chief minister. Earlier, the prime minister forwarded her resignation to the president.

There are already two ministers of state—Bharatsinh Solanki and KH Muniappa—in the railway ministry.

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