TARUN TEJPAL ACQUITTED IN RAPE CASE BY GOA COURT - The Daily Guardian
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TARUN TEJPAL ACQUITTED IN RAPE CASE BY GOA COURT

Preeti Sompura

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Panaji: Former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal was acquitted by a Goa court on Friday. He had been accused of raping a colleague at his magazine’s event at a five-star resort in North Goa in 2013 and arrested on November 30 the same year. He denied all charges against him and was later released on bail in May 2014.

In a statement issued after the verdict, which was read out on Tejpal’s behalf by daughter Cara, he said that the last seven-and-a-half years had been “traumatic” for his family as they dealt with the consequences of the “false allegations” against him.

“The past seven-and-a-half years have been traumatic for my family as we have dealt with the catastrophic fallout of these false allegations on every aspect of our personal, professional and public lives…We have felt the boot of the state, but through it all, we have co-operated fully with the Goa police and the legal system, through hundreds of court proceedings,” the statement read.

Tejpal further said he was thankful to Judge Kshama Joshi, who pronounced the judgement, for ‘standing by the truth’. “In November 2013 I was falsely accused of sexual assault by a colleague. Today the Hon’ble Trial Court of Additional Sessions Judge Kshama Joshi, in Goa, has honourably acquitted me. In an awfully vitiated age, where ordinary courage has become rare, I thank her for standing by the truth,” he said. In the statement, he also paid his tribute to his lawyer, Rajiv Gomes, who died of Covid. “Last week my trial lawyer, Rajiv Gomes, died of Covid. Dynamic and brilliant, at 47 he was on the brink of a scintillating career as a criminal lawyer at the national level. No person fought harder, and with greater skill, to reclaim my life and reputation,” he said.

The verdict comes after several delays, first due to the Covid pandemic and more recently because of Cyclone Tauktae.

The Tehelka allegations had broken out when emails containing the woman’s complaints and responses from her seniors at Tehelka were leaked. Tejpal stepped down as the editor soon after, saying he was “recusing” himself for six months. In a 2,684-page chargesheet filed before the Goa fast-track court, the police had said there was enough evidence against him.

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Om Prakash Chautala moves Delhi HC challenging sentencing by trial court

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Former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala has moved to the Delhi High Court challenging the order of a trial court which sent him to four years of imprisonment in a disproportionate assets (DA) case.

Advocate Harsh Sharma on Tuesday confirmed that the appeal has been moved to the High Court challenging a trial court order of conviction and order of sentence against Chautala. On 27 May, the Rouse Avenue Court of Delhi ordered four years of imprisonment to Chautala. The Court had also ordered to confiscate four properties of him and also imposed a fine of Rs 50 lakh.

While passing the order, CBI Judge Vikas Dhull had also ordered to send Chautala in the custody of Tihar Jail.

During the argument, Chautala physically appeared and remained present in the courtroom. Appearing for Chautala, Advocate Harsh Sharma cited medical grounds for less punishment and submitted that “I, (OP Chautala), have been infected with polio since birth and I am partially disabled.”

CBI’s Special Public Prosecutor Ajay Gupta had opposed the submissions of Chautala’s lawyer for a grant of concession on the grounds of ill-health and age.

CBI had urged the court that “maximum punishment shall be given as it would send a message to the society.” “The person, in this case, is a public figure and giving minimum punishment would send a wrong message. He is not having clean antecedents. It is the second case, in which he has been convicted,” CBI said.

Special Judge (PC Act) Vikas Dhull on 21 May, 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 this period.

“Hence, accused Om Prakash Chautala is convicted for the offence under Section 13(1)(e) read with 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. Put up 26 May 2022 at 10.00 AM for arguments on the point of sentence,” said the court.

According to the CBI’s FIR, accused Chautala, while functioning as Chief Minister of Haryana during the period from 24 July 1999, to 5 March 2005, in collusion with his family members and others, accumulated assets, immovable and movable, disproportionate to his known lawful sources of income, in his name, in the names of his family members and others to the extent of Rs 1,467 crores.

The FIR further stated that the accused accumulated enormous wealth and invested the same throughout 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.

The FIR also stated that 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.

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NEWLY INDUCTED PUNJAB MINISTERS: JOURAMAJRA GETS HEALTH, MAAN GETS TOURISM

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Chetan Singh Jauramajra is the new Health Minister of Punjab after sacking Dr Vijay Singla out of cabinet due to the graft charges against him. All ministers got portfolios in Punjab Tuesday. The portfolios of some old ministers have also been changed. The total number of ministers including the Chief Minister, in the Punjab government, has now increased to 15. The new ministers include Aman Arora, who was elected MLA for the second time in Sunam, Dr Indervir Singh Nijjar, MLA from Amritsar South, MLA from Gurharsahai, Fauja Singh Sarri, MLA from Samana, Chetan Singh Jauramajra, and woman MLA from Kharad, Anmol Gagan Mann are included. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has congratulated all the new ministers who have joined the Punjab cabinet.

The AAP has reposed more confidence in the MLAs who won the elections for the first time. After Finance Minister Harpal Cheema and Education Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer, Aman Arora is the only minister who has won the election twice in a row. Whereas apart from CM Bhagwant Mann, 11 ministers have become MLAs for the first time.

WHO GOT WHICH DEPARTMENT

• Harpal Singh: Finance Planning, Program Implementation, Excise and Taxation

• Dr Baljit Kaur: Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities, Social Security, Women and Child Development

• Harbhajan Singh: Public Works, Power

• Lal Chand: Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Forests, Wildlife

• Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer: Governance Reforms, Printing and Stationery, Science Technology and Environment, Sports and Youth Services, Higher Education

• Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal: Rural Development, NRI Affairs, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare

• Laljit Bhullar: Transport, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development

• Bram Shankar: Revenue, Rehabilitation and Disaster Management, Water Supply and Sanitation

• Harjot Singh Bains: Water Resources, Mines and Geology, Prisons, School

• Aman Arora: Department of Information and Public Relations, New and Renewable Energy Resources, Housing and Urban Development

• Dr Indervir Singh Nijjar: Local Bodies, Parliamentary Affairs, Conservation of Land and Water, Administrative Reforms

• Fauza Singh: Freedom Fighter, Defense Services Welfare, Food Processing, Horticulture

• Chetan Singh Jauramajra: Health and Family Welfare, Medical Education and Research, Elections

• Anmol Gagan Maan: Tourism and Culture Work, Investment Promotion, Labor

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MANY ATTEMPTS MADE TO KILL MY SON: SIDHU MOOSEWALA’S FATHER

Sidhu Moosewala’s father Balkaur Singh revealed that 60 to 80 people were after his son’s life. Also, the government withdrew his security and publicised it.

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singer Moosewala

Several attempts were made to attack Sidhu Moosewala during the Punjab assembly elections in April and the Aam Aadmi Party-led state “government too left no stone unturned” to curtail his security and “publicised” the withdrawal of his security, said Balkaur Singh, father of the Punjabi singer-politician.

Balkaur Singh

“60 to 80 people were after him (Sidhu Moosewala) to kill him. Efforts were made at least eight more times during the elections to kill him. The government too left no stone unturned, withdrew his security and publicised it,” Balkaur Singh said on Monday. Moosewala, the 28-year-old singer, was gunned down near his village in Mansa on 29 May, a day after his security was scaled down by the newly formed Bhagwant Mann government.

“Gangsters are running a parallel government (in Punjab). Young men are dying. Vicky Middukhera’s revenge was taken, tomorrow someone will do it for Sidhu. But it is our houses being destroyed,” Singh said while speaking at the inauguration ceremony of a road in Mansa district’s Burj Dalwa village.

The murder of Moosewala saw several arrests. Gangster Lawrence Bishnoi, the mastermind in the case, is under police remand till 6 July. A special cell of the Delhi Police recently apprehended two most wanted criminals of the Lawrence Bishnoi-Goldy Brar Gang.

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ADANI UNIVERSITY HOSTS GLOBAL EDUCATION FORUM

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Adani University hosts Global Education Forum Focused on Educational Transformation and Global Sustainability in Ahmedabad on Tuesday. This was organised ahead of the academic year 2022-23 by the Global Education Forum – a platform to share ideas and initiatives.

It was themed on Educational Transformation and Global Sustainability. The forum brought together renowned national and international academicians and industry experts from diverse fields to deliberate on Education for Transformation and Transformation for Sustainability.

The forum was inaugurated by Dr Priti G. Adani, President, Adani University, with distinguished plenary speaker Padma Vibhushan, Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Dr Victoria GalanMuros, Chief Research and Analysis, UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education in America and the Caribbean, Dr Arun Sharma (Vice-Chancellor, Adani University) and Prof. Dr M. Muruganant (Provost, Adani University) in the presence of other eminent speakers and panellists, people from academia, industry, and students.

In his opening remarks Padma Vibhushan, Dr Anil Kakodkar said, “The development of new technology depends upon new knowledge created. So, research & development is the main engine in the knowledge era. Knowledge in action, a knowledge that delivers.” He added, “When we think about the sustainable goal, it is the university who shall play an important role in the strengthening human values to eliminate exploitation which has to go concurrent with technological empowerment. We should try to provide quality higher education accessible to all and is key to eliminating disparity.”

During her presidential address, Dr Priti G. Adani (President, Adani University) said, “For India to become a manufacturing hub at the intersection of global supply chains — very much in line with Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Make in India’ and ‘Make for the World’ – the most important requirement will be the ability to educate and scale up its human capital to a new breed of professionals. Professionals who are resilient, entrepreneurial, and ready to thrive in a volatile and uncertain world. We strongly believe that the most important task of nation building is the development of human capital, and the establishment of Adani University provides us with a unique opportunity to do so.”

As a part of the forum wo separate panel discussions were organised, Education for Transformation and Transformation for Sustainability, where eminent speakers from academia and industry shared their insights. These discussions brought out essential parameters which are required for this transformation from industry-based education modules to sustainability-oriented education modules, transformation within the system through skilling, reskilling of faculty, and the innovative education system. Human values were also discussed as part of a transformation journey as to how first we need to be sustainable from within ourselves.

It also highlighted why the seed of sustainability needs to be nurtured at the cognitive level from childhood development.

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INDIA WANTS BLINKEN TO HIGHLIGHT INDO-PACIFIC CONCERNS IN TALKS WITH WANG

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Even as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi prepare to speak face-to-face in Bali on the sidelines of the G-20 Foreign Ministers Meeting (FMM), India wants Blinken to highlight Washington’s concerns over China’s “growing aggressiveness” in the Indo-Pacific region. “Blinken should use the upcoming bilateral meeting with Wang in Bali to raise some key issues related to Chinese challenges in the Indo-Pacific,” sources said. Top sources told The Daily Guardian Review that India through diplomatic channels has apprised the US of what it expects in terms of the upcoming bilateral talks between Blinken and Wang.  

“The message that the diplomats in Washington have shared with the Biden administration is that if Blinken refers to some of the issues pertaining to Chinese aggressive agenda, it will help mount pressure on Beijing,” sources said. “With Jaishankar set to give a strong message on the Indo-Pacific and LAC during his talks with Wang in Bali, Blinken’s tough talk on the same will add to pressure on Beijing,” sources added.  

There is no denying Blinken will focus on Russia’s military operation against Ukraine and China’s close ties with Moscow. “But what India expects is that Blinken should not ignore the Indo-Pacific issues completely, as it will give a wrong message, with the US being a key member state of the QUAD,” says an official. Sources told TDGR that Jaishankar and Blinken will also meet on the sidelines of the G-20 FMM in Bali, during which China-specific issues will also come up.

The US seeks to dissuade Beijing from deepening ties with Moscow, and Blinken will pitch for it during the meeting with Wang Yi. However, China is not going to give Washington any good news on the same, sources said. Since this is going to be the first face-to-face between Blinken and Wang since last October, the meeting acquires tremendous significance. India will keep a close eye on this meeting, says a diplomat.    

Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will pay a two-day visit to Indonesia beginning Thursday to attend a meeting of foreign ministers of the G20 countries. Foreign ministers of China and Russia are also likely to attend the meeting that is set to discuss pressing global challenges, including the food and energy security arising out of the Ukraine crisis. Announcing Jaishankar›s visit, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Tuesday that he is expected to hold several bilateral meetings with his counterparts from other G20 member states.

The G20 is a leading grouping that brings together the world›s major economies. Its members account for more than 80 per cent of the global GDP, 75 per cent of global trade and 60 per cent of the population of the planet. Indonesia is holding the meeting in its capacity as its current chair. Italy held the G-20 Presidency in 2021 while Indonesia is playing the role in 2022 and India will assume the charge in 2023. Italy, Indonesia and India are the troika countries at present.

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Fadnavis clears the air, says he chose Eknath Shinde

While making the revelation, Devendra Fadnavis admits that he was not mentally prepared for the post of Deputy Chief Minister.

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Making an attempt to clear the confusion over the last-minute surprise by the BJP to make Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde as the chief minister, Devendra Fadnavis, who is now the deputy of Shinde, said he had proposed to BJP leadership to make the rebel leader the new CM.

Fadnavis also admitted that he was not mentally prepared to assume the post of deputy chief minister, but changed his decision after a discussion was held with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and intervention by BJP president JP Nadda and Union home minister Amit Shah.

Fadnavis said that the BJP leadership believed that he should be part of the government as it was not right to run the government through an “extra-constitutional authority”.

Talking to reporters in Nagpur, Fadnavis said the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance had won the 2019 elections, but the mandate was “stolen”. So his party and the Shinde-led Shiv Sena faction came together for a “common ideology and not for power”.

“Our leaders Narendra Modi ji, Amit Shah and JP Nadda ji, and with my approval (the decision to make Shinde the chief minister was taken)…. It will not be wrong if it is said that I took this proposal (to the BJP leadership) that Shinde is made the chief minister and they (the leadership) accepted it,” Fadnavis said.

Shinde was sworn in as the chief minister on June 30 with Fadnavis as his deputy, a day after Uddhav Thackeray resigned as the CM ahead of the floor test.

“It was also decided that I will stay out of the government. But BJP president JP Nadda called me and said the party has decided to make me the deputy chief minister. Even Union Home Minister Amit Shah also spoke to me,” Fadnavis said. “I changed my decision obeying the orders of my leaders,” he added.

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