CBI raids 110 places in major crackdown on graft
In a nationwide crackdown, the CBI on Tuesday raided 110 places across 19 states and Union Territories, in what is seen as the Modi government's biggest ever action against corruption.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered around 30 separate cases relating to corruption, criminal misconduct and arms smuggling among others.
According to a senior agency official, the raids started early morning in various cities including Delhi, Bharatpur, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Jammu, Srinagar, Pune, Jaipur, Goa, Raipur, Hyderabad, Madurai, Kolkata, Rourkela, Ranchi, Bokaro, and Lucknow besides places in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Bihar.
An agency official said here that the CBI carried out raids at over 13 places in Jammu and Kashmir in connection with an arms licence case. "The CBI has carried out searches at 11 places in Jammu and one place each in Udhampur and Srinagar on gun shops in the state."
The official said that the agency's raids came after it filed two cases on the request of the government over irregularities in issuing gun licences. He said that during searches incriminating documents with reference to issue and renewal of arms licences, blank application forms submitted by licencees, money transactions of the gun dealers with the licencees, blank no-objection certificates purportedly issued by the District Magistrate and the arms licence issue register of the DM office have been seized. 
The official said that besides Jammu and Kashmir, the agency also carried out searches in connection with probe into the Himachal Pradesh scholarship scam to the tune of Rs 250 crore. The official said raids were carried out at the premises of an educational institute NIELT in Kangra and its training centre in Chamba district of the state.
The CBI also carried out searches at educational institutes in Una and Sirmour district.
The official said that out of the 30 cases, the agency also carried out raids at four places in UP's Bulandshahr in a case pertaining to the exchange of demonetised currency of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 to the tune of Rs 58.5 lakh in November, 2016.
The CBI said that a case was registered against D.K. Gupta, then branch manager of Punjab National Bank, Meerut road branch in Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad on allegation of opening a count of Kanha Sales corporation, Ghaziabad by flouting KYC norms of the bank and depositing invalid specified notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 amounting to Rs 58.5 lakh during period of demonetisation.
"During searches several papers related to LIC, bank documents, immoveable properties and mutual funds have been recovered," he said.
The agency official said that on the basis of a case registered against Anutosh Maitra, the then CEO of Bokaro Steel Plant and the then DGM of Bokaro Steel Plant, Ajay Kumar and others on July 3 this month, the CBI carried out searches in Jharkhand's Ranchi and Bokaro, West Bengal's Kolkata and Odisha's Rourkela.
The official said that Anutosh Maitra had allegedly demanded and accepted illegal gratification of Rs 29 lakh for his daughter's marriage from Jagmohan Singh, proprietor of Janata Tent House in Bokaro.
"The money was shown as some work was done in the plant causing wrongful loss to the tune of Rs 31 lakh to the plant," he said, adding that incriminating documents were recovered during the searches.
The official further said that as part of the massive crackdown, the CBI team also raided the residential premises of three IRS officials in Mumbai. He said it raided the residence of Kunal Anuj, a 2012-batch IRS officer. The official said that a case was registered on Monday against Anuj, the then Deputy Commissioner of Customs of Navasheva and a private person for the loss of Rs 1 crore to the government.
The official said that in another case against an IRS official, the agency raided Sharad Ranjan, then Deputy Commissioner in Mumbai for alleged irregularities in disbursal of amount to the tune of Rs 3.5 crore.
The official said that the agency also raided the residence of then Deputy Commissioner, Customs, Kamleshwar Singh, for the loss of around Rs 2 crore and recovered 400 gms of gold.
He said that for such a massive operation of raids at 110 places across the country, over 500 officials were deployed for which the agency had to plan in advance. The CBI last week had carried out raids at over 50 places in 14 states and Union Territories. 
Premises of 13 companies and bank officials across the country were searched for alleged bank frauds amounting to Rs 1,139 crore. The search and seizure was one of the biggest simultaneous, synchronised actions against bank loan defaulters in recent times.
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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    The first train to be run by private players would be Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express
    The first train, operated by private players, to be run between Lucknow and Delhi will be the Tejas Express.
    The Railway Board is deliberating on a second such route, which too would be within the 500-km range.
    The Railways, despite protests from its unions, is going ahead with its 100-day agenda of handing over operations of two of its trains to the private sector.
    The Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express was announced in 2016 and has been recently introduced in the new time table.
    The Tejas Express (train number 12585) will depart from Lucknow Junction at 6.50 a.m. and reach New Delhi at 1.35 p.m. 
    On the return journey, (train number 12586) it will leave from New Delhi at 3.35 p.m. to arrive in Lucknow Junction at 10.05 p.m. The train will run on all days of the week except Sunday and Thursday.
    The train is currently parked at Anand Nagar Railway station and will be handed over to private players after an open-bidding process for operating it.
    The custody of the trains will be transferred to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which will pay for it, including their lease charges, to the financing arm, IRFC.
    A railway official said, "These two trains will be given on an experimental basis and will start running within 100 days. We have been trying to identify routes that have high congestion and connect important tourist spots. The route for the second train will also be identified soon.
    The Tejas Express will offer premium services and comforts to the passengers. The train will have aircraft-like personalised LCD entertainment-cum-information screens, on-board Wi- Fi facility, comfortable seats, mobile charging points, personalised reading lights, modular bio-toilets and sensor tap fittings.
    The seats will have an orange and yellow colour scheme that will match the exteriors of the train. It will also have Anti-graffiti vinyl wrapping and a swanky mini pantry. The gangways will be dust-sealed and automatic connecting doors as well as entry and exit doors will be the other features of the train.
    At present, the Lucknow-Delhi route is served by 53 trains including the Swarn Shatabdi. The Uttar Pradesh capital, however, does not have a Rajdhani. 
    The proposal of the Railway Board in its 100-day plan was to offer two trains to operators who would be willing to be part of the bidding process for rights to run private passenger day/overnight train sets connecting important cities. 
    The Railways also said that it would float a Request for Proposal (RFP) and a Request for Quote (RFQ) in the next 100 days.
    The proposal, however, has come under severe criticism from the railway unions, who have threatened large scale protests over the issue.
    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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    Satta Bazaar bids in NCR cross Rs 150cr on India-NZ semi-final tie
    On the eve of the World Cup semi-final clash between India and New Zealand, the betting bazaars in Delhi have gone crazy: the police estimates that the bids in the illegal satta (betting) market could have crossed the Rs 150-crore mark in the National Capital Region (NCR).
    Punters, mostly from the trading class, and bookies linked to underworld syndicates are known to have wider network in Delhi's adjoining towns of Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida and Gurugram.
    Delhi Police have put their electronic surveillance in top gear. 
    "We are taking all measures to monitor the satta operators in the wake of the crucial India-New Zealand semi-final match on Tuesday," Deputy Commissioner of Police Madhur Verma told IANS. 
    "We are keeping a tab on five star hotels and guest houses, particularly in Karol Bagh and Old Delhi area that are hired by big-time punters. These operators have strong networks, which are often difficult to crack, but we are on the job.
    "On previous occasions, the police arrested top bookies from north Delhi, who had a sophisticated internet software of betting linked with mobile phones."
    Police sources said odds were placed on New Zealand as India seem the favourites in Tuesday's tie. The bids are not only placed on who wins, but also over-to-over and ball-to-ball.
    Individual bids are placed on who will take maximum wickets or who will hit the most sixes. The betting starts right at the toss. 
    "Most punters place their bids on which team will win the toss. Besides, after winning the toss, bids are placed on the decision of the captain, whether he would decide to bat or field. This time the base betting rate on Team India is Rs 4.35 and Rs 49 on New Zealand," a punter from West Delhi told IANS.
    The punters in the capital's satta market -- in Khari Baoli, Karol Bagh, Old Delhi and South Delhi's guest houses and big hotels -- are siding with Team India. But they have not handed them a clean sweep, like in the 2011 World Cup as New Zealand is also a strong competitor this time.
    "Like every year during IPL matches, in this World Cup, most college-going youth, businessmen, hoteliers, cricket lovers, traders, corporate women and hawala operators are betting with us. Over 60 per cent bidders are in favour of India's victory. That means thumbs-up for skipper Virat Kohli and his team," a punter told IANS.
    Bets are also being placed on the margin of victory in terms of runs and wickets and also on whether runs scored by India and New Zealand could be 400-plus or below 400.
    An interesting bet is on who will take more than three wickets from both sides -- whether it would be spinners or pace bowlers. Also, will it be India's Jaspirt Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal or New Zealand's Trent Boult or Lockie Ferguson? 
    The base betting rate of Indian players, for example, in case of Bumrah, it is Rs 20, while for Boult, it is Rs 7, said a source.
    The other bets are on star batsmen -- Indian skipper Virat Kohli, his deputy Rohit Sharma, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill -- whether they would score half-century or century.
    Gurugram Police PRO, Subhash Bokan said: "We are already keeping tight vigil to crack the betting racket on the ongoing World Cup. We have arrested over a dozen of gamblers in the city in the last few weeks. A circular was issued to guest houses and hotel owners to avoid bidding in their premises," 
    The satta bazaar operators are closely monitoring the tweets of the players, captains and coaches to know the status of the players who will be in or out. They are also keeping a tab on weather reports and newspaper clippings.
    Police sources said that this time, punters have sent some of their middlemen to the UK to keep tabs on all updates, the weather included.
    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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