Citizens' Issues
Maharashtra says CBI cannot probe Adarsh scam

Maharashtra government and Adarsh Society are questioning CBI's authority to probe the case nearly a year-and-half after agency started its investigation


Mumbai: Even as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday filed its charge sheet in the Adarsh scam, the Bombay High Court allowed Ministry of Defence (MoD) to submit its response within two weeks to Maharashtra government's claim that the central agency had no jurisdiction to probe it, reports PTI.

The Maharashtra government and the Adarsh society filed their affidavits before the court questioning the agency's authority to probe the case without its approval, nearly a year-and-half after it began the investigation.

They contested the propriety of the CBI probe on the ground that neither the state government nor the High Court had handed over the investigation to the premier investigative agency.

The affidavit submitted by the counsel for the state government AY Sakhare said the state had not made any request under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, to CBI to investigate the scam. The agency derives its powers from this Act to investigate cases.

The division bench comprising justices SA Bobade and Mridula Bhatkar allowed the MoD to intervene in the public interest litigations (PILs) in the Adarsh scam after its counsel Kevic Setalvad opposed the state government's claim that Adarsh land belonged to it and that CBI cannot probe the scam.

He pleaded before the court to allow MoD to intervene in the matter which was granted.

Counsels for Adarsh Society and state government Shekhar Naphade and AY Sakhare opposed MoD lawyer's plea to intervene in the matter, saying the Adarsh Inquiry Commission had already settled the issue of ownership of the land in state's favour.

The judges said the court would have to examine whether any order was passed earlier asking the CBI to probe the scam.

It was on a recommendation from MoD that the CBI had launched a probe in the Adarsh scam.

The affidavit filed by Ruprao Deshmukh, Joint Secretary in the Home department, said, on CBI's specific request the state had made available the records and extended all cooperation to the premier investigative agency.

The affidavit said the Adarsh Inquiry Commission appointed by the state to probe alleged irregularities in construction of the building in upscale Colaba had submitted its interim report in April and that it will take appropriate action after receiving the final report.

After hearing the arguments, justices Bobade and Bhatkar directed the MoD to file an affidavit in response to Maharashtra government's stand within two weeks and adjourned the hearing on the PILs till 18th July.

The court allowed the MoD access to all documents to enable it to file its reply.

The court was hearing PILs filed by social activists Simpreet Singh and Pravin Wategaonkar seeking monitoring of the probe by the High Court and invoking provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the case.

The agency had registered a case in the scam on January 29 last year under IPC sections including criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and showing forged document as genuine, besides sections pertaining to Prevention of Corruption Act.

Former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, Congress leader KL Gidwani, top-ranking retired army officers Lt General PK Rampal, Major Generals AR Kumar and TK Kaul, retired brigadiers RC Sharma and MM Wanchoo are among the accused.

The FIR also names Subash Lala, the then principal secretary to Chief Minister, former principal secretary of the Urban Development Department Ramanand Tiwari, former municipal commissioner and IAS officer Jairaj Phatak and fellow IAS colleague and former Mumbai collector Pradeep Vyas as accused.

The late mother-in-law and sister-in-law of Chavan had flats in the society. Chavan was Revenue Minister between 2001-2003 and had dealt with files pertaining to the ownership of land. He is alleged to have recommended allotment of 40% flats in the building to civilians and also changed the development plan to favour the society which was said to be meant for Kargil widows and war heroes.

The MoD had ordered a CBI probe in the scam on the recommendation of the Army Chief following a preliminary inquiry.

Besides CBI, the Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax department are also probing the irregularities.

Apart from Chavan, two former Maharashtra Chief Ministers Sushilkumar Shinde and Vilasrao Deshmukh are under the lens for granting clearances in violation of norms.


Videocon to start production from Tamil Nadu plant in 3-4 months

The videocon plant in Manamadurai in SIPCOT Industrial Park near Madurai would manufacture LCD Plasma TV sets and other electronic goods and spares


Chennai: Home appliances manufacturer Videocon Industries' Rs1500 crore manufacturing plant in Tamil Nadu would begin production in next three to four months, reports PTI quoting a top company official.

In 2010, the company signed a memorandum of understanding with the Tamil Nadu Government for setting up the plant at an investment of Rs1500 crore.

The plant is coming up in Manamadurai in SIPCOT Industrial Park in Near Madurai to manufacture LCD Plasma TV sets and other electronic goods and spares.

"Tamil Nadu project has been delayed. We have already invested huge amount (Rs700 crore) so far at the plant. The project is very much on... We will be manufacturing television sets to begin with..It will start (production) in three to four months time...", Rajkumar Dhoot, managing director, Videocon Industries, told reporters in Chennai.

Besides, manufacturing of the television sets, Dhoot also the President of industry body ASSOCHAM, said the plant was also feasible for manufacturing other electronic products.

Currently, Videocon Industries have a plant at Bharuch (in Gujarat) to manufacture coloured glass.

"We have the only plant in Bharuch, to manufacture coloured glass. We want to export them to Indonesia, Malaysia where the demand is there...", he said.

He said they had shifted their Hosur plant ooperations to Manamadurai inorder to use latest technology for manufacturing plasma televisions.

The company had planned to recruit about 700 people once the plant becomes operational, he said.

Stating that there has been demand for colour television sets, he said, "the demand is there. we are supplying every where. We just imported (Cathode Ray)tubes from our own company in China and now within four months time, we will have enough supply for colour television sets".


Indians leave a footprint on CERN finding of ‘God Particle’

CERN scientists on Wednesday claimed to have spotted a sub-atomic particle 'consistent' with the Higgs boson or 'God particle', believed to be a crucial building block that led to the formation of the universe


Geneva: As all eyes today focus on the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, famously known as CERN, Indian scientific and technological contributions are among the many that keeps the world's biggest particle physics laboratory buzzing, reports PTI.

In a 'quantum' leap in physics, CERN scientists on Wednesday claimed to have spotted a sub-atomic particle "consistent" with the Higgs boson or 'God particle', believed to be a crucial building block that led to the formation of the universe.

There is an intrinsic Indian connection to what is happening at CERN - Satyendra Nath Bose. It is Bose after whom the sub-atomic particle 'boson' is named.

His study changed the way Particle Physics has been studied ever since. The Higgs Boson is a particle that is theoretically the reason why all matter in the Universe has mass.

The name Higgs Boson came from a British scientist Peter Higgs and Bose. The work done by Bose and Albert Einstein, later added by Higgs, lead to this pioneering day.

"India is like a historic father of the project," Paolo Giubellino, CERN spokesperson had said back in October last year when PTI visited the facility.

At the core of the CERN, spread over two countries as it is situated near the Swiss-Franco border, is the 27-km long tunnel, over 70 metres beneath the ground, where the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) or commonly referred to as the Big Bang experiment was conducted last year.

The experiment had aimed to recreate the conditions of the Big Bang, when the universe is thought to have exploded into existence about 14 billion years ago.

The CERN runs a number of experimental projects and over 100 Indian scientists are working round the clock.


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