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Chidambaram to be questioned by CBI; tells son ‘Don’t worry, I’m there’

Monitor News Bureau

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NEW DELHI: Hours after Karti Chidambaram was sent to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) custody for five days, senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram told his son, “Dont worry, I am there."
The statement came while the senior Congress leader met his son in the CBI court where he was brought for extension of custody in the INX Media alleged bribery case.As reported by Zee News, the CBI is likely to question the former finance minister soon in connection with the bribery case.
the senior Congress leader put his hand on his son's shoulder with his wife Nalini Chidambaram who was already in the court looking on.
The lawyer couple were present during the arguments that went on for more than three hours before CBI Judge Sunil Rana.
The Judge also permitted the parents to talk to Karti in the presence of the investigating officer during the brief break before passing the order on giving five-day custody of Karti to CBI.
However, the Judge in his order disallowed Karti's request for home-cooked food but allowed medicines and a health check-up.
Karti was produced before the court on expiry of one-day CBI custody amidst the presence of his parents P Chidambaram and Nalini, both senior advocates, and were seen talking to him.
The court has allowed Karti's lawyer to meet him for one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening. Medicines will be allowed on prescription, but home food will not be allowed.
Special Judge Sunil Rana extended Karti's custody till March 6, 2018, after the CBI contended that there were "very shocking evidences" of what he has done when he went abroad and alleging "when he went abroad, he closed bank accounts in which funds were received".
The investigating agency also told the court that there was clear evidence of links between Karti and various companies.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for CBI, maintained that this was "not a case of political vendetta" and the investigation was going on in accordance with Article 21 of the Constitution.
In a dramatic development in the INX Media case, former finance minister P Chidambaram
s son Karti was arrested by the CBI from Chennai airport on Wednesday on his return from abroad. Later in the evening, he was remanded to one-day custody of the CBI by a Delhi court.
The arrest of Karti came nine months after the CBI registered an FIR against him on charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, accepting gratification by corrupt or illegal means, influencing public servants and criminal misconduct.
After his arrest in Chennai, CBI officials took him to Delhi by Wednesday afternoon. He was taken to the CBI headquarters and then produced before a Duty Magistrate.
Karti allegedly received Rs 3.5 crore from the Mumbai-based INX Media, now known as 9X Media, for helping it get Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance in 2007 when it was run by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, both accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, IANS reported.
The FIR does not mention Chidambaram senior, though it said he cleared the FIPB approval for Rs 4.62 crore FDI in the firm at an FIPB meeting on May 18, 2007.
In Delhi, Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Anand had granted the remand till 12.30 pm on Thursday. The CBI counsel had told the Duty Magistrate that they needed his custodial interrogation since he was not cooperating with the probe and was going abroad frequently.


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UK court set to hear Nirav Modi’s new bail application today

Press Trust of India

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London: A UK court is set to hear a new bail application on Wednesday filed by fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, who is fighting extradition to India on charges of nearly USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering case.

The 48-year-old is expected to be produced before Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London to make another attempt at being let out on bail until his trial in May next year.

He has been in custody at Wandsworth prison in south-west London, one of England’s most overcrowded prisons, since his arrest in March. “The bail application is at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday November 6. The grounds cannot be made public until the hearing,” said a spokesperson for the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which represents the Indian government in the extradition proceedings in court. Modi has reportedly claimed anxiety and depression in his latest application, with earlier bail applications at the court being rejected by Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot, and then also on appeal at the High Court in London, as he was deemed a flight risk.

 

His legal team has previously described their client’s experience in prison as “damaging” and offered stringent electronic tag and other conditions akin to house arrest at his posh Centrepoint apartment in the West End of London in an attempt to persuade the judge to grant bail.

“His experience in custody has been vivid and damaging…he is willing to abide by any bail conditions imposed by the court because Wandsworth is unliveable and makes the effective preparation of his case virtually impossible,” his barrister Clare Montgomery had told Judge Arbuthnot earlier in the year. They had also doubled the initial bail bond offer of 1 million pounds to 2 million pounds in an attempt to sway the court. However, Arbuthnot had concluded that Modi was wanted in connection with a “large fraud” and the doubling of security was “not sufficient to cover a combination of concerns that he would fail to surrender”.

In June, Modi’s legal team took his appeal against that ruling to the Royal Courts of Justice in London, where a judge was told about the diamond merchant’s troubled state of mind in “confidential” documents. “The circumstances he has had to endure at Wandsworth have been personally difficult and the confidential exhibits reflect the experience that has marked him deeply. The reality is that he is not the cold-blooded hardened criminal as claimed by the government of India but a jewellery designer from a long line of diamond dealers, and regarded as being honest, careful and reliable,” Montgomery told the High Court, adding that a number of individuals were willing to offer sureties and substantial sums to back up the claim that Modi is not a man who plans to run.

But in her judgment, Justice Ingrid Simler concurred with the Chief Magistrate that there were “substantial grounds” to believe that Modi would fail to surrender as he does possess the means to “abscond”. After considering all the material “carefully”, the judge said she found strong evidence to suggest there had been interference with witnesses and destruction of evidence in the case and concluded it could recur if he was let out of prison.

There are no strict limits on the number of times Modi can apply for bail, but he would have to produce substantially modified grounds in a new application. He has meanwhile continued to appear via videolink before the magistrates’ court in London, appearing in a standard prison-issued grey tracksuit and mostly freshly shaved and upbeat. His next routine 28-day appearance required under UK law is listed for November 11, a date that still remains on the court’s lists.

At a hearing last month, Judge Nina Tempia had confirmed that his extradition trial is scheduled between May 11 and 15 next year, with the case management hearings set to begin from February next year. Modi has been behind bars at Wandsworth prison since his arrest on March 19 on an extradition warrant executed by Scotland Yard on charges brought by the Indian government.

During subsequent hearings, Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told that Modi was the “principal beneficiary” of the fraudulent issuance of letters of undertaking (LoUs) as part of a conspiracy to defraud PNB and then laundering the proceeds of crime.

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Forces capable of giving befitting reply to those who cast evil eye on us: Rajnath

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New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said India has never been the aggressor but its armed forces are capable of giving a befitting reply to those who cast an evil eye on it.

The Navy has maintained vigilance to ensure that 26/11 is not repeated, Singh added while addressing the media at the Naval Commanders Conference. India, he said, has never been “offensive”.

“It’s character is such that it has not attacked any country nor conquered even an inch of land belonging to another nation. But the armed forces have the capability and strength to give a befitting reply to anyone who casts an evil eye on us,” the minister said.

 

He was responding to a query on Pakistan’s Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed reported statement that his country would retaliate against India with a nuclear attack for targeting Pakistani military posts in Jammu and Kashmir’s Tangadhar sector.

According to Indian Army officials, there was unprovoked firing by Pakistan in the sector on the intervening night of Saturday-Sunday. On Sunday, the Indian Army retaliated by launching heavy artillery attacks, targeting at least four terror camps and several Pakistani military positions opposite the Tangadhar sector along the Line of Control, officials said. Discussing the Indian

Navy, the defence minister said he was confident that India’s seas are safe in the hands of the force.

“Our Indian Navy’s resolve is that 26/11 will not be repeated under any circumstances and it has ensured tight vigil,” he said, referring to the November 2008 terror siege of Mumbai. The Indian

Navy is marching towards indigenisation and its ships have a high percentage of indigenous equipment, Singh added. The minister also said all three services have placed emphasis on the need to reduce defence imports.

“All the three forces are also working to pick up niche technologies to meet the challenges,” he said. The three-day second edition of Naval Commanders’ Conference began here on Tuesday. The conference is the apex level biannual event for interaction between Naval commanders for the deliberation and formulation of important policy decisions.

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Next war with indigenised weapons: Army chief

Agencies

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New Delhi, Oct 15: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Tuesday said the Defence Research and Development Organisation has made strides in ensuring that requirement of the country’s defence services are met through home-grown solutions, adding that the next war will be fought and won through indigenised weapons systems and equipment.

Speaking at the 41st DRDO Directors Conference, Rawat said: “The DRDO has made strides in ensuring that requirements of the services are met through home-grown solutions. We are confident that we will fight and win the next war through indigenised weapons systems and equipment.”

With a network of 52 laboratories, the government agency DRDO is charged with the military’s research and development covering various fields like aeronautics, land combat engineering, armaments, electronics, missiles, and naval systems.

 

The Army chief said that the Defence industry of India is a budding industry and the time has now come to look at the development of systems for future warfare and start preparing for “non-contact warfare.”

Rawat asserted that along with artificial intelligence, the future lies in the development of cyber, space technology, laser, electronic warfare and robotics.

“We are looking at systems for future warfare. We have to start looking at development of cyber, space, laser, electronic and robotic technologies and artificial intelligence,” he said.

The Army chief said that if the timeline between the design development and production of any weapon system of equipment is to be reduced then it would be better to embed the service officers along with Research and Development.

Calling for joint research by Army officials and DRDO, he said: “In a joint project, the success and failures will become a joint responsibility and we will not start pointing fingers at each other.”

On the occasion, Rawat recalled APJ Abdul Kalam on his birth anniversary stating that the late President had set benchmarks and standards for the Defence Research and Development (R and D) community, which is a challenge for scientists who are now emerging.

“I am quite sure the scientists will live up to those expectations,” he said.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval were also present at the event. (IANS)

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