Yeddyurappa, kin acquitted in bribery case
A Special CBI court here on Wednesday acquitted former Karnataka Chief Minister and BJP state unit President B.S. Yeddyurappa in a bribery case.
 
Pronouncing the verdict in a packed courtroom, Judge R.B. Dharamaguder also exonerated Yeddyurappa's two sons B.Y. Raghavendra and B.Y. Vijayendra, his son-in-law R.N. Sohan Kumar and seven others in the Rs 40-crore graft case for lack of evidence. 
 
"Justice is done. I stand vindicated," a relieved Yeddyurappa tweeted after the verdict was pronounced.
 
"I am happy that false allegations and politically motivated charges have been dismissed," asserted Yeddyurappa.
 
The Central Bureau of Investigation registered the case on May 15, 2012, under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, regarding alleged grant of leases to mining firms as quid pro quo for donations made to Yeddyurappa's family-run Prerana Education Trust at Shimoga during his tenure from 2008-2011.
 
The other accused included former Bharatiya Janata Party Minister S.N. Krishnaiah Shetty, South West Mining Company, Jindal Steel Works (JSW)), Real Technical Solutions Ltd. and Industrial Techno Manpower Supply and Services Ltd.
 
The Supreme Court on May 11, 2012, directed the CBI to register the case on the recommendation of a Central Empowered Committee (CEC) appointed by it for investigation into the alleged kickbacks for granting mining leases to the JSW and its subsidiary South West Mining Ltd.
 
The cases pertain to the Rs 10-crore donation by South West Mining to Prerna Trust and the mining firm purchasing 1.12 acres of land that was freed from government control (denotified) from Raghavendra and Vijayendra in 2010 when Yeddyurappa was the Chief Minister.
 
The CEC also accused Yeddyurappa's kin of receiving Rs 6 crore as bribe from mining baron Praveen Chandra through real estate firms set up by them.
 
Yeddyurappa, who was the first Chief Minister of the ruling BJP in south India, resigned after the Lokayuktha (ombudsman) Justice N. Santosh Hegde (retd) indicted him and recommended his trial in the mining scam.
 
Claiming that the verdict had come as a relief to lakhs of party workers, Yeddyurappa said that justice had given him an opportunity to bring the main opposition party in the state back to power in the 2018 assembly elections.
 
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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LPG distributors seek awareness under Ujjawala Yojana, threaten stir
The Federation of LPG Distributors on Tuesday threatened to go on indefinite strike across the country from December 15 if the central government did not address its concerns about safety in distribution of gas connections to the poor under Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana (PMUY).
 
Addressing a press conference here, office-bearers of the federation claimed that they were being booked by police if accidents take place "due to lack of awareness among the users".
 
He said most of the beneficiaries under the scheme are illiterate.
 
Pawan Soni, general secretary of the federation, said that some of the PMUY beneficiaries do not know how to operate and handle gas connection and it was the main reason behind accidents.
 
"After six members of a family in Saharanpur were killed in a fire caused by LPG leakage few weeks ago, police charged the local distributor with culpable homicide. It was apparent that the accident happened due to carelessness or negligence of the family members. Yet, the distributor was implicated," Soni alleged.
 
Soni also claimed that lack of space and ventilation in the shanties and mud houses makes use of LPG connection "unsuitable." 
 
PMUY is a National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government's ambitious scheme that envisages replacement of unclean, pollution-causing cooking fuel being used in the rural areas with green and clean LPG at cheaper cost.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in May this year launched this scheme from Ballia in Uttar Pradesh with an aim of providing gas connection to five crore poor families. About 80 lakh families have been given gas connections under this scheme so far.
 
P.V. Rao, president of the federation, said government should create awareness among the users to check such accidents in future.
 
"There are no guidelines or safety plans under this scheme, which puts lives of the poor in danger. The beneficiaries should be given awareness lectures by the government. If the government does not address our concerns, we will protest, intensifying it in phases," Rao said.
 
The federation officials claimed that the government has not responded to any of their complaints in last six months. They also demanded fool-proof seal system for cylinders so that they do not have to weigh cylinders at the time of delivery. 
 
"Initially, we will tie black ribbons from November 5, then stop picking up cylinders from gas plants (depots). Subsequently, we will hold one-day flash strike on December 1. If the government fails to take corrective action by then, we will go on indefinite strike from December 15," Rao said, adding that their federation was the largest association of the LPG distributors in the country.
 
He said that smaller five-kg cylinders should be given to PMUY beneficiaries instead of the big cylinders which store 14.2 kg LPG. Rao said big cylinders "cannot be used conveniently" in shanties and small houses.
 
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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24 Maoists, policeman killed on Andhra-Odisha border
As many as 24 Maoists, including eight women, were killed by security forces in a gunbattle which also left a Greyhounds commando dead near the Andhra-Odisha border on Monday, police said.
 
Acting on intelligence inputs, a combined team of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha Police carried out the operation in the Bejjangi forest in Odisha's Malkangiri district early in the day.
 
"A total 24 Maoists have been killed in the encounter and a jawan succumbed to his injuries," Malkangiri Superintendent of Police Mitrabhanu Mohapatra told IANS.
 
He, however, said the dead Maoists would be identified only after the bodies reached the district police.
 
The Maoists belonged to the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist.
 
Of the two personnel of Greyhounds, an anti-Naxalite force of the Andhra Pradesh, injured and flown to the King George Hospital in Visakhapatnam for treatment, Md Abu Bakar succumbed to his injuries.
 
Mohapatra said they had got the information about the presence of around 40 Maoists in the area.
 
Top Maoist cadre Ramakrishna alias RK is said to have managed to escape during the fighting.
 
"We had information about the gathering of members of Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zone Committee," Odisha Police chief K.B. Singh said.
 
"The joint operation was led by the Andhra Pradesh Police and Greyhounds played a major role in it," he said.
 
The officer said 10 .303 rifles, two SLRs and four AK-47 guns and some Maoist kits were seized from the spot.
 
Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police N. Sambasiva Rao said a helicopter was rushed to the scene to bring the injured personnel as well as Maoists to Visakhapatnam for treatment.
 
He said the police asked the Maoists to surrender but they opened fire, forcing the police to retaliate.
 
In Hyderabad, revolutionary poet Varavara Rao alleged that police killed the Maoists after attacking their meeting. Most of the slain Maoists hailed from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
 
Varavara Rao demanded that a murder case be booked against the policemen involved in the attack.
 
"Did Maoists carry out any attack after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh? Then where was the need for this fake encounter?" asked Rao, a leader of Veerasam, a body of revolutionary writers.
 
Rao also demanded an inquiry into the incident by a sitting judge of the high court. 
 
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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