17 killed in Delhi blaze
A child and 16 others, including a woman was killed while three others were injured in a major fire that engulfed several storeys of a central Delhi hotel early on Tuesday, a senior police officer said.
 
Three people jumped off from the blazing structure even as 25 fire tenders rushed to the spot after receiving a call at 4.30 a.m.
 
Some 35 people were rescued from the six-storeyed Hotel Arpit Palace in Karol Bagh, Deputy Commissioner of Police Mandeep Randhawa told IANS.
 
The death toll could further rise. Most victims died of suffocation, Fire Chief Officer G.C. Mishra said.
 
The hotel comprises a basement, a ground floor and four other floors. At least 35 rooms were booked by members of one family, who were in the city for a special function.
 
Fire was reported on third and fourth floor, but the blaze spiralled down as well. Only the basement and ground floors were not affected. 
 
Most damage was reported between the second and the fourth floor. The fire has already been controlled and the cooling process is underway. 
 
Fire fighters searched rooms and toilets to ensure that none was left trapped, Mishra said.
 
"When the fire tenders reached the spot, flames were leaping out of the building. Many people were still fast asleep at that time," he said.
 
Prima facie the blaze appears to have caused by a short circuit, the officer added.
 
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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CBI's Nageswara Rao held guilty of contempt
The Supreme Court on Tuesday held M Nageswara Rao, former acting Director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), guilty of contempt of court and sentenced him along with the agency's legal advisor S Bhasuran till the rising of the court.

Refusing to accept the unconditional apology tendered by Rao on Monday, a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice Sanjiv Khanna on Tuesday directed him to sit in the courtroom for the remaining working hours for the day. It also levied a fine of Rs1 lakh on him.

"The dignity of the court must be maintained, but this is brazen," he said.

Rao and Bhasuran earned the wrath of the court for transferring Sharma from the CBI after his promotion as the Additional Director General, CRPF, without taking the apex court's permission.

The top court had in an 31 October 2018 order said, "Sharma would continue to be the senior most officer as apart of investigating team."

Later on 28 November 2018, the SC stated, "We make it clear that Mr AK Sharma, Additional Director in charge of investigations, would continue to remain in-charge of investigations and the expanded team including new members will report to him directly."

The 28th November order had been passed after the CBI agreed to expand the scope of Muzaffarpur shelter home investigation to other shelter homes in Bihar as well.

After his transfer, Sharma moved the apex court saying he could not be transferred as the CBI needed to take the court's permission.

Appearing for Rao on Tuesday, Attorney General KK Venugopal called his decision an "error of judgment" and not "wilful disobedience" of the Supreme Court order and urged the court to take a merciful approach.

However, CJI Gogoi observed repeatedly that Rao was in the know of the top court orders, and told the Attorney General, "Look at what he says, but his conduct post 18 January 2018... he does not feel the need to inform the court."

Holding Rao guilty of contempt of court, the SC Bench noted that on 18th January, when Sharma was transferred, Rao was aware of the two apex court orders and had asked him to approach the court.

The same day, however, he signed a draft order sent by the DoPT relieving Sharma from the CBI without taking the apex court into confidence.
 
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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Income Tax Dept detects Rs18,000 crore bogus billing scam
In a major crackdown on black money and hawala transactions, the Income Tax (IT) Department has detected Rs 18,000 crore bogus billings in the national capital, officials said on Monday.
 
A senior IT Department official said the department had carried out a series of searches and surveys for the past few weeks and busted three group operators indulging in the business of providing bogus entries and hawala transactions. 
 
He said one such survey on a group in central Delhi's Naya Bazar led to the detection of over Rs 18,000 crore bogus billing. The group had floated 12 bogus entities for providing fake bills, he said.
 
Explaining break-up of bogus entries, the official said about 1,462 people/firms benefited by showing bogus entries of over Rs 8,211 crore through sales, while over Rs 5,590 crore was detected with 1,095 beneficiaries through purchases. 
 
Another bogus entries of over Rs 3,851 crore through consignment of goods by 299 beneficiary firms was also detected. 
 
In an another case, a highly organised money laundering racket was unearthed wherein current transactions in well-known shares were fraudulently camouflaged as being sales of old shares for years.
 
"In this way, the beneficiaries have been found claiming bogus long-term capital gains," he said, adding the magnitude of the scam unravelled so far has crossed Rs 1,000 crore. "This figure appears to be tip of the iceberg and this kind of transaction has been going on for years."
 
The official also said searches and surveys on a third group involved in hawala transactions and money laundering led to detection of undisclosed foreign bank accounts and a well-established racket of claiming bogus duty draw back/goods and services tax (GST) through over-pricing of exports. 
 
"The preliminary estimates of such exports are more than Rs 1,500 crore," he said.
 
"Evidence of arranging foreign trips and foreign currency for people on foreign trips have also been found," he added. 
 
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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