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Sunanda Pushkar death case: Shashi Tharoor granted anticipatory bail

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New Delhi: Delhi’s Patiala House Court on Thursday accepted Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s anticipatory bail plea, thereby granting him protection from arrest, in the case of his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death. Special Judge Arvind Kumar granted Tharoor the relief on the condition that Tharoor furnishes a bail bond of Rs 1 lakh and also directed him not to leave the country without permission. The judge also asked him not to tamper with evidence.

In his plea for anticipatory bail, Tharoor had submitted that the charge sheet in the case was filed and the Special Investigation Team (SIT) had categorically stated that the probe was concluded and that his custodial interrogation was not required.

The acceptance of the bail plea came a day after the Delhi Police opposed it, saying Tharoor might “flee the country”. Special Public Prosecutor Atul Srivastava said since Tharoor is an influential person, he may harm the investigation. “He is a frequent flier and may settle abroad. Some of the key witnesses — including Narayan Singh and Bajrangi — are still working with Tharoor and he may influence them,” he had said earlier.

However, senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Tharoor, accused the police of making statements contrary to ones made earlier. “In the chargesheet, they (police) said that Tharoor cooperated during the probe and therefore, he was not arrested. Police is speaking contrary to what they were speaking earlier,” Sibal told the court.

Sibal and Manu Singhvi also told the court that since Tharoor was not arrested before the filing of the chargesheet, he should be given protection from arrest. In his plea, Tharoor had submitted that the SIT had categorically stated that his custodial interrogation was not required.

Tharoor has already been summoned as an accused in the case on July 7 by an Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate.

Pushkar was found dead in a suite of a luxury hotel in the city on the night of January 17, 2014. Tharoor has been charged under sections 498A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), but has not been arrested in the case.

 


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National

No proposal before me: Sitharaman on making Army lean

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NEW DELHI:: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said she has not received any proposal to downsize the Indian Army.
Sitharaman said a committee under the chairmanship of Lt Gen (Retd) DB Shekatkar recommended measures to enhance tooth-to-tail ratio. A high-level meeting between Army Chief General Bipin Rawat and the seven Army Commanders was held last week where the Army Chief was briefed on the progress of the four studies being conducted under the Military Secretary.
The studies include restructuring of Indian Army to make the force lean, agile and suitable for modern warfare.
“There is no such proposal in front of me to cut down or downsize Army. The tooth-to-tail ratio was discussed in the Shekatkar Committee report. The Army chief would be discussing the studies on how to make Army lean and a powerful machine,” Sitharaman said.
The study to restructure Indian Army started in June 2018. There are four study groups with each comprising of 25 officers and headed by a senior Lieutenant General and overall head is the Military Secretary, also a Lt General Rank officer. This is the biggest ever study of the Indian Army which is working to overhaul every department and organ of the Army in order to make it a formidable force less it’s flab.

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Under Modi’s regime, dictatorship is a profession: Rahul

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NEW DELHI: A day after seven Congress workers were injured in lathicharge by police in Chhattisgarh’s Bilaspur, party president Rahul Gandhi took to social media to express dissent over the incident.
“Narendra Modi ki hukumat me tanashahi ek pesha ban gaya hai. Bilaspur mein Raman Singh ki sarkar dwara Congress karyakartao ke moullick adhikari par bujhdili se kiye gaye iss prahar ko wahan ki junta siyasi julm ke roop meon yaad rakhegi (Under Narendra Modi’s regime, dictatorship has turned into profession. The attack on Congress workers’fundamental rights by Raman Singh’s government in Bilaspur will be remembered by citizens as an act of political atrocity),” tweeted the 48-year-old Congress chief on Wednesday.
He also shared a video of the lathicharge incident.
The Congress workers allegedly threw garbage inside Urban Administration Minister Amar Agrawal’s house on Tuesday, following which they were beaten up by cops.
However, the party claims that the workers were carrying out a peaceful protest against Agrawal, but were instead brutally beaten up by police.
Congress cadres had taken out a protest march after the minister’s recent statement where he allegedly referred to the opposition party as ‘kachra’ (garbage).
According to Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Neeraj Chandrakar, Congress workers threw garbage inside the minister’s house and also manhandled a policewoman and some male constables, following which a case was registered against them.
At least 52 Congress workers were arrested and seven of them sustained injuries in the process, the ASP added.

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Battle for Goa begins: Amit Shah summons MLAs to Delhi

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New Delhi : BJP chief Amit Shah has called for a meeting of Goa leaders at 11 am in Delhi. The meeting has been called to discuss portfolios and alliances.
Meanwhile, the Congress, which is the single-largest party with 16 MLAs, has already staked claim to form the government in the coastal state. The opposition party’s claim comes at a time when Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar (62) is admitted to AIIMS in Delhi for a pancreatic ailment.
The opposition Congress in Goa on Wednesday claimed that it had the support of over 21 legislators in the 40-member Assembly, giving it enough strength to form the government in the state.
Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Chandrakant Kavlekar told PTI that the Congress had enough support to form the government in Goa. “We have the required numbers. I am not going to tell you whom we are in discussions with, but we need the support of 21 MLAs and we have more than that,” he said.
The Congress legislators, led by Kavlekar, had met Governor Mridula Sinha on Tuesday and demanded a floor test by the BJP-led government to prove its majority in the Assembly.
Kavlekar said his party was waiting for a response from the governor, who had assured them that she would get back on the issue in three-four days.
The state is being ruled by the BJP with the support of the Goa Forward Party, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, the Nationalist Congress Party and Independent MLAs.
The BJP has 14 seats in the Assembly, the GFP and the MGP have three each and the NCP has one. There are also three Independent legislators. Kavlekar claimed the political situation in the state was in the favour of the Congress as there was a lot of “discontent” among the ruling coalition partners.

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