A special CBI court on Friday sentenced former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala to four-year jail term for a disproportionate asset case. The court also imposed Rs 50 lakh fine on Chautala and directed the CBI to confiscate his four properties. According to an FIR of CBI, the accused, while functioning as chief minister of Haryana during the period from July 24, 1999 to March 5, 2005, in collusion with his family members and others, had accumulated assets, immovable and movable, disproportionate to his known lawful sources of income.
In another case earlier, Chautala was in the Tihar Jail for 10 years and was released in 2021. Along with more than 50 others, he was charged with irregularities in connection with the appointment of 3,206 junior basic teachers in the state of Haryana during 1999-2000.
CBI charge sheet had mentioned that disproportionate assets were calculated to be Rs 6,09,79,026 and the percentage of DA (Disproportionate Assets) was 189.11% of his known sources of income. Accordingly, CBI had charge sheeted the accused for the offence under the relevant section of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Besides, the CBI accused him saying that Chautala accumulated enormous wealth and invested the same across the country in the shape of thousands of acres of land, multi-complexes, palatial residential houses, hotels, farmhouses, business agencies, petrol pumps and other investments apart from investments in foreign countries. As many as 43 immovable properties in all, apart from cash and jewellery were accumulated.
Apart from 43 alleged properties listed in the FIR, additional properties were also suspected to be of the accused family. An investigation with regard to additional properties was also conducted for ascertaining the link of the accused family with the said properties.
Special Judge Vikas Dhull last week had convicted Chautala and said the accused had failed to satisfactorily account for such dis-proportionality by proving his source of income or means by way of which, he acquired assets during his tenure as chief minister.
Reacting to the imprisonment of his father , Abhay Chautala said that they will now move to the High Court.
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An elite force can do well without criminal elements
Ever since the government announced the Agnipath scheme, a lot of undisciplined protestors have taken to the streets. In a democratic country, anyone is well within their rights to protest against any action of the government. However, the outright hooliganism, destruction of public property and rioting by protestors are not just condemnable but also prove a serious lack of discipline in pressing for their cause. Potential candidates for recruitment into the elite defence service are expected to protest in a civilized manner. By burning down trains and resorting to violence, these protestors are making a case against themselves on how they are unfit to don the elite uniform. The hooliganism and anarchy on display in the streets are enough to debar these protestors from the candidature. An elite force ready to make the supreme sacrifice for the sake of the nation can do well without these criminal elements destroying public property.
The Agnipath scheme is an effective initiative by the government aimed at structural reforms in the armed forces. The defence budget of India has been increased by the Modi government from 2.53 lakh crores in 2014 to 5.25 lakh crores in 2022. Unlike the earlier wars that the Indian army fought and won, the warfare of the future will be primarily a contest of technological prowess. The Modi government has displayed proactiveness in procuring the best available technology to arm the country with an effective deterrent. In a security apparatus dominated by technology, youthful dynamic foot-soldiers well-versed with the latest technology and sheer muscle power are a requisite. A proper meritocratic system where the best talents are retained for a longer-term would ensure that the army gets the best of the best foot on the ground to protect our borders. The Agnipath scheme backed by the three service chiefs would ensure an enhanced youthful profile of the force and result in the reduction of average age from 32 to 26 years over a period of time. A youthful profile for the defence forces will lead to increased dynamism, competitiveness to be retained for the long haul and optimal utilization of the defence budget. The tech-heavy jawan of the future will require multiple skillsets to guard our borders and Agniveers would be ideal for this technological revolution. The world is moving into an era where drones and robotic technology will slowly replace manual interventions. The soldiers of the future need to be dynamic and adaptable to the changes in technology. Cyber warfare is emerging as a huge threat and India has been ramping up its cyber assets toward this end. While the earlier reforms in defence were necessitated by adverse situations or wars, the Modi government has proactively optimized defence without the need for external circumstances. It is notable that the past 75 years have seen 2 reorganisation exercises apart from a few administrative revamps in the wake of Kargil and Op Parakram. The two reorganisations were around the 1960s after the debacle of the 1962 war and following the KV Krishna Rao committee of 1975. The current average age of uniformed officers can be attributed to the recruiting spree following 1962 and the increase in retirement ages. The manpower-heavy recruitment of prior decades was justifiable.
With the Agnipath initiative, the Modi Government in a single stroke recruits dynamism and youthfulness into our armed forces while also calibrating the defence structure in line with new theatres of war. The misinformation regarding this move has fuelled a spate of protests across the country as if Agnipath isn’t in the interest of the country. Whether the vandalism on the streets is by candidates or are the vested interests trying to take advantage by creating a crisis situation, needs to be investigated. The Modi government with the Agnipath scheme has continued to live up to its reputation of biting the bullet on vital reforms. Whether it’s section 370 of J&K or GST or Defence reforms, the Modi government is making good use of its majority, which the Indian citizens handed to the BJP. India always needed a strong decision-maker and reformer and India has got one.
The author is BJP spokesperson, advisor to former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, and executive director of Maharashtra Village Social Transformation Foundation, a Section 8 Company of the Maharashtra government.
THE TRAGEDY OF SANJAY GANDHI
On the occasion of his 42nd death anniversary, we peep into the life of one of the most controversial political characters of our time.
Sanjay Gandhi was the second son of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who was widely believed to be the next heir to her mother’s chair, just like his mother had occupied her father Jawahar Lal Nehru’s chair after his death. There were unconfirmed stories floating around that Mrs Gandhi was grooming her younger son, Sanjay, who was keen to join politics, for the PM’s chair after her. Rajiv, the elder brother and a pilot with Indian Airlines, preferred to lead a quiet domestic life away from the limelight.
Sanjay started his career as Managing Director of a company called Maruti Motors Limited, founded by the Government of India to produce a people’s car in 1971. The 25-year-old Sanjay becoming the Managing Director of a newly formed motor company, having no prior experience to his credit, attracted several accusations of nepotism and corruption from the political class as well the general public. The 1971 victory of Bangladesh liberation that year silenced all the noise against corruption. Significantly, the company under Sanjay Gandhi produced no vehicle till 1975.
After the imposition of the emergency in the country on 26 June 1975, without having any elected official position, Sanjay Gandhi had become the de-facto power centre in the Prime Minister’s office as his mother Indira Gandhi’s adviser, usurping all the draconian powers of the Emergency, as basic fundamental rights of the citizens were suspended. It was rumoured that the government was run by Sanjay and his friends, called the ‘coterie’, who ran the PMO, from the PM’s house, instead of from the PMO authorized officials of bureaucracy. Sanjay declared a five-point programme, which included the abolition of dowry and family planning. Sanjay and his cronies were dreaded names who had terrorized the whole country.
Sanjay was sent to the best schools in India and abroad, but he didn’t enter a university. Instead, he decided to learn automotive engineering, spending three years at the Rolls-Royce automaker in England, as he was very much interested in sports cars. His other interest was in aircraft acrobatics, for which he had obtained his pilot’s license in 1976. He often used to take off from the Safdarjung flying club for his acrobatics practices. On the morning of 23 June 1980, Sanjay Gandhi took off for his acrobatic practice in a new Pitts S-2A aircraft from the Safdarjung airports’ flying club, accompanied by his instructor, Subhash Saxena.
Minutes later his plane crashed over Chanakyapuri while attempting a dangerous acrobatic maneuver, killing Sanjay and his instructor instantly. Their mutilated bodies were taken to RML Hospital for stitching before handing over to their respective families.
Sanjay was the first one of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s family to meet a violent death. Four years later, Sanjay’s mother was next to meet a violent death, on 31 October 1984, when she was killed by the bullets of her security guards after Operation Blue Star in June of the same year. About seven years later, Rajiv Gandhi, the last surviving member of Indira’s family and himself a former Prime Minister, was the last one to die a violent death, in a bomb attack by an LTTE woman while campaigning for elections for a Lok Sabha seat near Chennai on the night of 21 May 1991. Within a span of 11 years, all members of Mrs Indira Gandhi’s family were wiped out in violent deaths. Mrs Gandhi used to get advised by tantrics, astrologers and swamis, but no one had ever predicted that her whole family would be wiped out in such violent deaths in such a short period.
LAWRENCE PLANNED FAKE PASSPORTS FOR HIS BROTHER TO EXECUTE MOOSEWALA MURDER
The motive behind the killing, as admitted by Lawrence Bishnoi, was to avenge young Akali leader Vicky Middukhera’s murder. ADGP Pramod Ban said that as per police investigation, Moosewala’s hand in Middu Khera’s killing was not established. “This is just an assumption or suspicion by the Lawrence gang,” he said. As per the ADGP press communique, Lawrence Bishnoi, in a well hatched out conspiracy, to protect his brother Anmol Bishnoi and his close associate Sachin Thapan and himself had created a perfect alibi so that he and his associates are not linked to the crime and thus absolve them of their involvement in the murder of Sidhu Moosewala.
To execute this plan, he procured passports for his brother Anmol Bishnoi and Sachin Thapan on fake particulars that were issued by RPO Delhi and helped them flee the country before the execution of this murder. He settledthem abroad from where they could co-ordinate, facilitate and successfullyexecute this crime without being noticed or held culpable. Anmol Bishnoi (brother of Lawrence Bishnoi) has a criminal past (18 criminal cases).
Lastly, he was in Jodhpur Jail from where he was released on bail on 07-10-2021. Anmol Bishnoi had got his passport issued by RPO Delhi under the fake particulars.
Similarly, Sachin Thapan, a close associate of Lawrence Bishnoi and having a criminal past (12 criminal cases) also managed to get a passport issued by RPO Delhi under the fake particulars.
Based on these disclosures made by Lawrence Bishnoi during theinterrogation, a separate case FIR No 2, dated 20-06-2022 u/s 384, 465, 466,471, 120-B IPC, 12 Passport Act, and 25 Arms Act, PS Punjab State Crime, SAS Nagar was registered against Lawrence Bishnoi and his associates.
A deeper probe shall be conducted to unearth the modus operandi and the role of the officials in this unholy nexus in which the persons with criminal backgrounds managed to procure passports on fake particulars from RPO Delhi and flee the country.
The Congress-AAP were never in a position to survive civic polls battle: O.P. Dhankar
BJP-JJP succeeded in winning the civic polls with huge differences and gained control of 25 municipal bodies in Haryana jointly with its alliance partner JJP. Although, the party was expecting to get from 20 to 50% vote share in the election as it was revealed by an internal party survey. In an exclusive interview state BJP President OP Dhankar shared his views over the huge victory in civil polls. Excerpts
Q. How do you count BJP’s victory in civic polls?
A. The victory reflected the trust of people in the party and it is likely to have an impact on upcoming assembly elections to be held in 2024. The BJP contestants won control of at least 10 municipal councils and 13 municipal committees. Besides, its ally JJP won one committee and two municipal bodies which clearly indicates the expanding base of the BJP in the state. It is evident from the result that the people are satisfied with the politics and functioning of the BJP-JJP led government along with the Chief Minister Manohar Lal.
Q. Are you content with result?
A. Being a politician, no one can be satisfied. With a smile on face he said, “Ye Dil Mange More”. The BJP proved its mettle in civic polls which is a portrayal of the party’s domination over opponents. Having a portfolio of the state party president, I will try my best to take the party to the next level.
Q. How do you take voter turnout gained by the BJP?
A. Around 12 lakh voters had to cast their votes in the elections and among these, nearly 8 lakh had cast their franchise. Earlier, according to the eternal survey, the BJP was expecting from 20 percent to 50 percent vote share. Final count clearly depicts that the saffron BJP and its ally succeeded in gaining around 50 percent of the total vote bank.
Q. How do you take Congress’ future in the state?
A. Everyone was familiar enough with the fact that Congress had already surrendered as it came up with a decision not to contest the election of party symbols. With the Congress staying away, the party leaders clearly indicated that they were nowhere in the civic polls battle. The JJP and its ally JJP’s huge victory has forced them to mull over strategy leaving it in a state of disappointment. The Congress, which continues to witness widened rift among
the party leaders, was never in position to contest the civic polls on the party symbol.
Q. Do you agree that debutant AAP succeeded in marking its presence?
A. The tall claims of huge victories in civic polls proved false. Despite its serious efforts, the party could win one civic body which is disappointing for it. Thus, it was a feeble debut for the AAP which was making huge claims of victory in the civic polls and contrary to the expectations of the party leaders, the same proved futile.
Q. Several independents survived the polls successfully, what will you say?
A. Undoubtedly, a string of independent candidates fought the elections successfully but it is worth mentioning that most of the winning candidates hailed from the BJP. The congress’s claims of having these independent candidates associated with the party are false.
SIDHU MOOSEWALA’S LAST SONG STIRRED THE ‘SYL’ ISSUE YET AGAIN
Sidhu Moosewala’s unreleased song ‘SYL’ that was unveiled on Thursday along with a music video is already smashing records. The song was streamed live on YouTube. The song was watched live by over four lakh people. This song is written and sung by Moosewala. The song has amassed more than a million views, within hours of being released and has been trending on YouTube.
This song is considered to be his last song. It was released on Sidhu Moosewala’s official YouTube channel. It was also shared on Twitter, with the caption, “SYL OFFICIAL SONG OUT NOW LISTEN ON SIDHU MOOSE WALA’S OFFICIAL YOUTUBE CHANNEL.”
It depicts some real-life incidents including Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue. Translation of a portion of the song: “Unless Punjab gets sovereignty, leave the water of Sutlej Yamuna Link canal, not even a drop will allow Punjab to take over.”
Listening to this song on YouTube, people became very emotional remembering their favorite superstar. Millions of Moosewala’s fans are commenting in the comment box of this song. Several fans expressed their feeling for the late singer in the comment section. One user wrote, “No one can ever be able to replace him …. Always in our hearts…. Keep listening to this song with tears in my eyes …”
Another person shared, “Miss you Ustaad. Long live on heart mere Bhai. Sidhu moosewala Legend JINDJAAN.”
Moosewala was shot dead in broad daylight on 29 May in Mansa village in Punjab. After his death, the family offered a final prayer for peace of mind, in which the father shared many heartfelt words with the audience. The father said that he promises to keep his son alive among all of his fans through songs for the next five to seven years. He had said that many of Moosewala’s songs are in the stage of being released soon. He wrote many songs. All songs in the pipeline will be released.
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