Citizens' Issues
Sunanda Pushkar death probe by Delhi police was 'shoddy', says AIIMS forensic head
New Delhi, The head of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) forensic department, Dr Sudhir Gupta, on Tuesday said that Delhi Police investigation into Sunanda Pushkar death case was slipshod and that it had unnecessarily delayed sending of the viscera to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the US.
 
"It has been a shoddy investigation on the part of the police. There have been many errors in the investigation," Dr Gupta told IANS, adding that there had been unnecessary delays in the case. "The delay in sending the viscera samples of Sunanda Pushkar to the FBI led to its degradation," he said.
 
On January 15, Dr Gupta told this correspondent that the FBI had found a few radioactive substances in the viscera, "but due to degraded viscera, they could not read its intensity". This was contrary to what the police had claimed that no radioactive substance had been found in the viscera.
 
On the police claim over the uncertainty about the exact cause of death or lack of 'clarity' on the poisonous substance that caused Pushkar's death, Gupta told IANS on Tuesday: "Delhi Police are lying if they are saying so."
 
Gupta added: "There have been many attempts to dilute the investigation. The previous government and the AIIMS administration even tried to remove me from my post so that they could form a new medical board which would give a 'natural death' report. But they did not succeed. I did not compromise with the principles and ethics of my profession."
 
Gupta had earlier alleged that he was asked by AIIMS director M.C. Mishra to prepare a post-mortem examination report of Pushkar, stating her death was 'natural'. The AIIMS director had filed an affidavit with the Delhi High Court last year to remove Gupta from his post.
 
Pushkar, 52, wife of senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, was found dead in a south Delhi hotel room on January 17, 2014.
 
Delhi Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi earlier said that they had received a report from AIIMS on the FBI's finding on the viscera samples of Pushkar. The FBI had endorsed the AIIMS report of poisoning as the cause of Pushkar's death.
 
Pushkar's viscera samples were sent to the FBI lab in Washington DC, US, in February last year to determine the poison that may have killed her. The FBI report was received in October 2015.
 
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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Does Digital Currency have a bright Future?
Over the years, the RBI has changed its stance and now acknowledges possibilities for blockchain technology
 
On 24 December 2013, RBI officially warned the public about the potential financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security-related risks they are exposing themselves to by using virtual currencies such as Bitcoins. Specifically, it warned that transactions were on a peer-to-peer basis and there was no underlying backing for the digital currency, or central registry, nor any recourse, in case of disputes.
 
RBI took note of Bitcoins and their use, nearly five years after the crypto-currency was launched and because it was fast gaining ground through social media and Bitcoin exchanges. RBI’s warning had an immediate impact and the spread of Bitcoins slowed down considerably. Some exchanges also shut down. 
 
But, in December 2014, RBI governor, Dr Raghuram Rajan, indicated a change in stance. In a television interview, he said that digital currency was getting safer and, over time, could be an acceptable form of transaction. By December 2015, there has been a further change of heart at RBI, when its financial stability report said, “With its potential to fight counterfeiting, the ‘blockchain’ is likely to bring about a major transformation in the functioning of financial markets, collateral identification (land records for instance) and payments system.” This has caused a lot of excitement among Bitcoin enthusiasts around the world, since India’s large population and record of quick adaptation of technology makes it a fertile ground for the proliferation of this new currency. 
 
Technically, Bitcoins and crypto-currency can grow without any reference to the regulator. However, it is important to remember that RBI’s warning in 2013 triggered raids on a Bitcoin exchange. Anything that is not formally regulated in India faces the risk of harassment by investigation agencies and even a shut down, when regulators decide to take note of it or choose to disapprove. 
 
Blockchain technology is attracting the attention of global regulators because it is distributed ledger technology, which adds verified blocks of transactions and allows payment systems to operate in a decentralised way without the need for a centralised registry or ledger. This allows multiple entities to rely “on the same, shared, authenticated information and drastically reduce the cost of record keeping.”
 
Banks and financial companies, now, believe that the technology in various forms will transform financial sector architecture and offer a new way of trading financial instruments without the need for expensive central depositories that are also prone to cyber fraud. A complex process of validating transactions by globally distributed ‘miners’, adding blocks to a dispersed chain, makes it almost impossible to go back on a transaction, say experts. 
 
Major finance companies around the world are devoting significant resources to study the technology and its uses—and regulators are watching developments very closely to study the risks associated with the systems. One key issue is the scalability of the technology, if it is to be used for global financial transactions. What is certain is that the technology is evolving fast and companies such as Deloitte Consulting are predicting that 2016 will see the emergence of new uses of blockchain technology as various experiments and prototypes become a reality.
 
An article by David Wessel, posted on the Brookings.edu website, puts the hype and the hope that is built around this ‘disruptive’ technology in perspective. He says, “The evolving technology faces risks and obstacles. Some of these stem from the public impression of Bitcoin, a currency created with this new technology. These problems include hacking attacks on Bitcoin wallets, governance challenges, threats to consumer protection, money-laundering concerns, resistance from entrenched financial institutions and raised regulatory eyebrows. It could turn out to be an infant technology, one that most of us don’t yet understand, one that is about to change the world; think the Internet before browsers. Or it could fizzle out.” 

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COMMENTS

SATISH MADHAV

1 year ago

Central banks around the world do not like any competion to their power of being able to print money recklessly.Bitcoin was emerging as a big threat to that and so,the attempts to stifle it.Despite that,Bitcoin has somehow survived despite setbacks like the Mt.Gox collapse and the Silk Road scandal.If there is any change in the attitude of the central bankers toward crypto-currency,then it means that somehow they have been able to work out a mechanism which brings them under their control.

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