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Delhi LG orders FIR against 11 DDA officials

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Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena on Thursday ordered the registration of First Information Report (FIR) against 11 former Delhi Development Authority (DDA) officials over alleged financial misappropriation and violation of norms. The LG also ordered the withdrawal of pension benefits to nine retired officials.

“Lt Governor, VK Saxena, in his capacity as Chairman DDA, has ordered that an FIR be registered against the then Member (Finance) and Member (Engineering) of DDA, apart from 9 other officials of DDA in a 9-year-old case of blatant financial misappropriation and violation of Codal Formalities, CPWD Works Manual and General Financial Rules (GFR), that was reported in 2013,” said an official statement from the LG office.

These nine DDA officials are all retired and include a Chief Engineer, Superintendent Engineer and Executive Engineer and others from the finance and accounts departments.

The said action will be taken against Abhay Kumar Sinha, then Member (Engineering), Venkatesh Mohan, the then Member (Finance), Om Prakash, CE (Retd) Nahar Singh SE (Retd) JP Sharma, EE (Retd), PK Chawla, Dy. CAO (Retd), Jasvir Singh, AAO (Retd), SC Mongia, AAD (Retd), SC Mittal, AE (Retd), RC Jain, AE (Retd) and Dilbagh Singh Bains, AE (Retd).

Considering the grave misconduct and loss to the exchequer, the LG has also ordered to ‘’permanently withdraw the full pension benefits’’ of these retired officials, against the department’s recommendation of withdrawing only 25 percent of their pension, the statement said.

The case pertains to the up-gradation and beautification of the Coronation Park at Kingsway Camp that was awarded to M/s Ajab Singh and Co. in 2013. The tender cost of the work was Rs 14.24 crore but additional work amounting to Rs 114.83 crore was also carried out at Narela and Dhirpur, without any sanctions.

“The original project cost of Rs 14.24 crore was escalated to Rs. 28.36 crores and the same was further deviated with additional work, at a different location altogether, amounting for Rs 114.83 Crore was executed without any sanctioned estimate. This resulted in the overall payment of Rs 142.08 Crore to the agency,” it said.

According to the statement, this gross irregularity was pointed out by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its report in 2016, which concluded an overall deviation of 897.67 per cent (almost nine times) from the original work.This additional work should have been done through fresh tenders that would have not only saved crores in terms of competitive biddings but also ensured better quality, it said.

“However, in what appears to be a case of convenient collusion between the contractor and officials, all laid down norms were violated to benefit the contractor in lieu of probable commissions,” it said further.

The execution of the additional work, here, was approved by the then Chief Engineer (North Zone) on the day of his retirement on 31 October 2014. The then Member (Engineering) DDA had granted in-principle approval for carrying out additional work amounting to Rs 114. 83 Crore, even as awarding any additional work required calling fresh tender.

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Dalits and backwards receiving quota benefits post- Article 370 move, says Amit Shah

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Union Home minister Amit Shah, who is on a three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir addressed a rally in the border district of Rajouri on Tuesday.


He said that after the abrogation of Article 370, which gave a special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir, reservation benefits were being given to Dalits, backwards and those living in the hills.


Shah first visited Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine on Tuesday in Katra. After this, he went to address a rally in the border district of Rajouri. Shah said, “Today’s rally and your ‘Modi-Modi’ chants are answers to those who said if Article 370 is abrogated, there will be a blood bath.”
He said only three families used to rule Jammu & Kashmir, but now the power is with 30,000 people elected to panchayats and district councils, adding development of Jammu and Kashmir is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s priority.


After the rally, the home minister will launch development projects and lay foundation stones for various projects at the Convention Centre in Jammu.
On the second day of his visit on Wednesday (October 5), Shah will review the security situation in the Union territory at a meeting slated to be held at the Raj Bhavan in Srinagar.


This is the second visit of the minister to Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 by the Modi govt in 2019.

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Iran accuses US of ‘hypocrisy’ over anti-hijab protest

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Following President Joe Biden’s statement that he will impose “further costs” over its response to protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, Iran accused the US of “hypocrisy” on human rights on Tuesday.

Since the 22-year-old Kurdish woman died on September 16 following her arrest by Tehran’s morality police for allegedly violating the country’s strict clothing code for women, protest has erupted across the Islamic Republic.

Numerous individuals — largely protestors but also security personnel — have died as a result of the street violence, and hundreds have been arrested.

It would have been better for Mr. Joe Biden to think a little about the human rights record of his own country before making humanitarian gestures, although hypocrisy does not need to be thought through,” foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said in an Instagram post, reported by Iranian media.

“The US president should be concerned about the numerous sanctions… against the Iranian nation, the sanctions whose imposition against any nation is a clear example of a crime against humanity,” he added.

Kanani was responding to a statement issued by the White House late on Monday in which Biden stated he would impose unspecified more sanctions against Iran later this week in addition to the crushing sanctions already in place over Iran’s nuclear activities.

This week, the United States will be imposing further costs on perpetrators of violence against peaceful protesters. We will continue holding Iranian officials accountable and supporting the rights of Iranians to protest freely,” Biden said.

“The United States stands with Iranian women and all the citizens of Iran who are inspiring the world with their bravery,” he added.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the top leader of Iran, charged earlier Monday that Israel and the US were behind the turmoil roiling the nation.

“I say clearly that these riots and the insecurity were engineered by America and the occupying, false Zionist regime, as well as their paid agents,” he said.

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Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilin awarded Nobel Prize in Physics

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This week is highlighted for the Nobel Prize 2022. Awards in different categories will be distributed this week. On Tuesday, Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded.


Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilin got the Nobel Prize at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm.
“The 2022 physics laureates’ development of experimental tools has laid the foundation for a new era of quantum technology. Being able to manipulate and manage quantum states and all their layers of properties gives us access to tools with unexpected potential,” the Nobel Prize committee said announcing the winners.


Last year as well, the prize was awarded to three scientists – Syukuro Manabe, Klaus Hasselmann and Giorgio Parisi- for their work in explaining and predicting complex forces of nature which aided the understanding of climate change.


Monday marked the beginning of the Nobel Prize announcements, with Swedish scientist Svante Paabo winning the prize in medicine for his research on Neanderthal DNA.
Throughout the week, the prize will be awarded for chemistry on Wednesday and literature on Thursday. The Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on Friday while the economics award will be given on October 10.

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Pakistan: Restaurant manager arrested after acid served in water bottles

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Bizarre news has made it to the headlines from Pakistan when a restaurant served acid in water bottles. The incident occurred at historic Greater Iqbal Park’s ‘Poet Restaurant’ on September 27. The minors are still undergoing medical treatment at a hospital.

The restaurant manager has been arrested by the Lahore police. An FIR has been registered against the manager for serving acid to two minors in water bottles at a birthday party at an eatery. According to the FIR, Muhammad Adil said he had a family birthday party at the poet restaurant.
“As the staff served the water bottles my nephew Ahmad washed his hands with it. Soon afterwards he started crying and we witnessed that his hands and arms suffered burn injuries as acid contained the water bottle,” complainant Adil said.


The other victim Wajiha, a two-and-a-half-year-old girl, niece of Adil, started vomiting as she had drunk the acid in another water bottle.
Both were rushed to the hospital where the condition of Wajiha is stated to be critical.
Following section 336B of the Pakistan Penal Code (punishment for harm by corrosive chemicals), police have filed a case against the restaurant management and five other staff members.


Police official Tahir Waqas told PTI on Monday, “We have detained the restaurant manager Muhammad Javed, and raids were being conducted for the detention of others listed by the complaint.”
According to him, the eatery has been shut down by the police until they conduct their investigation. The officer declared, “This is an unusual situation, and we are looking into it thoroughly.

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Uttrakhand: Rescue ops underway for 28 climbing trainees caught in avalanche at Danda-2 peak

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Uttrakhand Rescue

According to Uttarakhand’s chief minister, Pushkar Singh Dhami, up to 28 people could be trapped in an avalanche that struck Draupadi’s Danda-2 mountain summit on Tuesday.

The imprisoned people, who are all students at the Nehru Mountaineering Institute in Uttarkashi, are the subject of rescue operations. An avalanche reportedly struck the team this morning around 9:00.

“Information about 28 trainees of the Nehru Mountaineering Institute being trapped following an avalanche in Draupadi’s Danda-2 mountain peak has been received. Rapid relief and rescue operations are underway by the district administration, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel,” CM Dhami said.

At the earliest, rapid relief and rescue operations are being carried out by the district administration, NDRF, SDRF, Army and ITBP personnel along with the team of NIM to rescue the trainees trapped in the avalanche in Draupadi’s Danda-2 mountain peak,” tweeted the chief minister, Dhami.

A team from the SDRF has hurriedly arrived at the Sahastradhara Helipad in Dehradun to rescue the trainees caught in an avalanche for rescue activities.

CM Dhami claimed that he had called Rajnath Singh, the defence minister, and asked for the army’s assistance in accelerating the rescue effort.

He has assured us that he will give us every possible help from the centre. A rescue operation is being conducted to bring out everyone,” Dhami said. 
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also took to Twitter and expressed his anguish over the loss of lives and consoled the bereaved families who lost their family members. 
“Deeply anguished by the loss of precious lives due to the landslide which has struck the mountaineering expedition carried out by the Nehru Mountaineering Institute in Uttarkashi. My condolences to the bereaved families who have lost their loved ones,” Rajnath Singh said in a tweet. 
“Spoke to CM Uttarakhand, Shri @PushkarDhamiand took stock of the situation. Rescue operations are underway to help the mountaineers who are still trapped. I have instructed the IAF to mount the rescue and relief ops. Praying for everyone’s safety and well-being,” Singh said. 

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Bombay High Court grants bail to Anil Deskmukh, remains in jail

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In a money laundering case brought by the Enforcement Directorate, the Bombay high court on Tuesday granted bail to former Maharashtra minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Anil Deshmukh.

The bail was granted on a surety amount of Rs 1 lakh. The ED has asked for a two-week delay in the order’s implementation.

Deshmukh was arrested in November of last year and moved the high court after his bail request was rejected earlier this year by a special PMLA court.

Deshmukh has been given bail in the ED case, but he will continue to be held in relation to the CBI case that was brought against him in April of last year.

The Supreme Court had earlier ordered the High Court to quickly hear and resolve the NCP leader’s case because it had been pending for six months.

Deshmukh’s lawyers, Vikram Chaudhari and Aniket Nikam, argued that the senior NCP politician ought to be given bail in light of his age (72), good health, and lack of prior convictions.

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