Economy
Rs.21,054 crore collected as petrol, diesel cess in 2014-15
The government has collected Rs.21,054 crore through cess levied on petrol and diesel in the last fiscal ended March, parliament was told on Thursday.
 
The collection was higher by 22 percent over the Rs 17,330.87 crore collected in 2013-14, Minister of State for Road Transport P.Radhakrishnan told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.
 
The collection in 2012-13 was at Rs.16,401.91 crore. 
 
The cess on petrol and high speed diesel is utilised for development and maintenance of national highways and development of rural roads, the minister said, adding it is also used in the development and maintenance of other state roads of inter-state and economic importance and for the improvement of safety at rail-road crossings, among others.
 
"Besides, the ministry also approves/sanctions works for development of state roads under CRF including roads of Economic Importance (EI) and Inter-State Connectivity (ISC)," he said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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26/11 Mumbai attacks: Headley to turn approver, pardoned
A court here accepted on Thursday the request of Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist David Coleman Headley, currently imprisoned in the US, to turn approver and depose in the 26/11 case in return for a pardon.
 
Headley, who appeared before a court through a video-conferencing from an unidentified location in the US, during the hearing expressed his willingness to turn approver and depose in the case in return for a pardon to Sessions Judge G.A. Sanap.
 
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, who conducted the 26/11 trial earlier, sought time to consult the investigating officers for which the court was adjourned for half an hour. After discussions, he informed Judge Sanap that the prosecution was agreeable to Headley's offer, subject to certain conditions.
 
Accordingly, Judge Sanap pardoned Headley and made him an approver late on Thursday.
 
Headley alias Daood Sayeed Gilani will depose as a prosecution witness before the court on February 8, 2016.
 
Judge Sanap also asked him to disclose all information pertaining to the 26/11 case which he had earlier shared with the US courts.
 
This is expected to shed light on the 26/11 conspiracy and the role of various terror groups, and other crucial details of the terror strike.
 
Headley confirmed that he had received the charge sheet filed against him in the Mumbai court, charging him with the same conduct for which he was also charged in the US.
 
"I had pleaded guilty to the charges in the US and I admitted I was a participant in these charges," he told the Mumbai court.
 
He added he had accepted the responsibility for his role in the offences in the US and also to make himself as witness in the Mumbai court.
 
"I am here ready to answer questions - if I receive a pardon from this court," pleaded Headley who is currently serving a 35-year sentence in a US jail for his role in the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes which left 166 dead and hundreds injured.
 
His deposition before the Mumbai court follows an order by Judge Sanap on November 18 asking Headley to be presented via video-conference on December 10.
 
Police had sought the court's permission to write to the US Deparment of Justice as Headley had been convicted in the US, but never faced the Indian courts.
 
On several trips to India, Headley had carried out recces of some of locations, including Hotel Taj Mahal Palace and Hotel Trident, targeted by the Pakistani terrorists who sneaked into Mumbai from sea.
 
In 2009, he again travelled to India and recced more locations in other cities, including New Delhi. On one trip, he became close friends with Rahul Bhatt, son of eminent film maker Mahesh Bhatt.
 
Headley, now 54, has also been suspected or charged with involvement in several terrorist cases around the world and had made video-recordings of some of the sites targeted in the 26/11 attack.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Self-infecting corruption becomes economic terror, says SC
The Supreme Court Thursday said corruption is a self-infection, which has developed resistance to all sorts of curbs and controls, to becomes an economic terror as it upheld validity of the Orissa and Bihar Special Court Act providing for speedy trial of public servants accused of alleged graft and for confiscation of their properties earned illegally.
 
"Corruption, a 'noun' when assumes all the characteristics of a 'verb', becomes self-infective and also develops resistance to antibiotics" said a bench of Justice Anil R. Dave and Justice Dipak Misra in their judgment.
 
In such a situation, the court said that the disguised protagonist never puts a Hamletian question - "to be or not to be" - "but marches ahead with perverted proclivity - sans concern, sans care for collective interest, and irrefragably without conscience".
 
"In a way, corruption becomes a national economic terror. This social calamity warrants a different control and hence, the legislature comes up with special legislation with stringent provisions," Justice Misra said speaking for bench and upholding the validity of the Orissa and Bihar law in three separate appeals against the orders of Orissa High Court and Patna High Court.
 
Addressing the challenge to the law by the petitioners who were public servants and accused of allegedly possessing assets disproportionate to their known sources of income, the court said that the "establishment of special courts under the Orissa Act as well as the Bihar Act is not violative of article 247 of the constitution."
 
The court further said that the both the acts "providing for confiscation of property or money or both neither violate article 14 nor article 20(1) nor article 21 of the constitution" and the "procedure provided for confiscation and the proceedings before the authorised officer do not cause any discomfort either to article 14 or to article 20(3) of the constitution".
 
Article 14 guarantees equality before law and article 20(3) says that no person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.
 
However, the court said that when the Bihar act provides to follow the warrant procedure prescribed by the Code of Criminal Procedure for trial of cases before a magistrate, the 2010 Rules could not have prescribed for summary procedure. 
 
Holding that the rules have to be in accord with the act, the court said: "The rules can supplement the provisions of the act but decidedly they cannot supplant the same. Therefore, we declare that part of rule 12 which lays down that the learned special judge shall follow summary procedure, is ultra vires the Bihar act."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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