‘We have sufficient evidences’: Cops defend arrest of Shilpa Shetty’s husband Raj Kundra in porn film case

News Network
July 20, 2021

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Mumbai, July 20: Actor Shilpa Shetty's husband, businessman Raj Kundra has been arrested by the Mumbai police over a case involving pornographic films. The Mumbai Police said they arrested Mr Kundra on Monday "as he appears to be the key conspirator of this".

The police also said they have "sufficient evidence" against him, though they added that further investigations are in progress.

The case -- involving creation of pornographic films and publishing them through some apps -- was registered with the Mumbai Crime Branch in February this year.

"There was a case registered with the Crime Branch Mumbai in Feb 2021 about creation of pornographic films and publishing them through some Apps. We've arrested Mr Raj Kundra in this case on 19/7/21 as he appears to be the key conspirator of this. We have sufficient evidences regarding this," the Mumbai Police Commissioner said in a statement.

Denying any wrongdoing, Raj Kundra had sought anticipatory bail in the case.

Shilpa Shetty married Raj Kundra in 2009 and they welcomed their first child, son Viaan Raj Kundra, in 2012. The couple welcomed their second child - a daughter named Samisha via surrogacy, last year.

Raj Kundra - the owner of an app called JL Stream -- was part owner of Indian Premier League cricket team Rajasthan Royals.

In 2013, he was questioned by the Delhi Police in connection with the betting and spot-fixing scandal that engulfed Indian cricket.

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News Network
September 20,2021

Charanjit Singh Channi on Monday took oath as 16th chief minister of Punjab and he will be the first Dalit leader to head the state. The swearing-in ceremony was held at Governor's house in Chandigarh, Navjot Singh Sidhu and other leaders in attendance.

Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, who was earlier tipped to be the Chief Minister, was also sworn in Channi's cabinet. Randhawa will be the Deputy CM. OP Soni, will be the second Deputy CM.

Channi, earlier today, offered prayers at a Gurudwara in Rupnagar before his oath-taking ceremony. Just hours before the event, Congress leader Sunil Jakhar questioned Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat's statement that the party will fight elections under Sidhu.

"On the swearing-in day of Charnjit_channi as Chief Minister, Mr Rawats’s statement that “elections will be fought under Sidhu", is baffling. It’s likely to undermine CM’s authority but also negate the very ‘raison d’être’ of his selection for this position," Jakhar tweeted.

On Sunday, Channi was elected as the Leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) of Punjab.

"It gives me immense pleasure to announce that Charanjit Singh Channi has been unanimously elected as the Leader of the Congress Legislature Party of Punjab," tweeted Congress in-charge of Punjab Harish Rawat. Soon after the announcement, Channi met the Punjab Governor and staked claim to form government. Amarinder Singh congratulated Channi on his appointment.

With barely months to go for Assembly polls, Congress' pick assumes significance as Dalits constitute around 30 per cent of the state’s population.

Channi, the three-time legislator from Chamkaur Sahib assembly constituency in Rupnagar district, had joined the Congress in 2012. He held several portfolios in the outgoing Amarinder Singh-led cabinet including technical education.

Bitter infighting rocked the Congress party heading into the polls. At the heart of the crisis were cricketer-turned-politician and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and former CM Captain Amarinder Singh, publicly trading barbs at each other.

The conflict in the Congress' Punjab unit came to a point where it became intenable for Amarinder singh to continue. He stepped down finally on Saturday.

In a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Amarinder Singh mentioned his personal anguish over political developments in the past five months and apprehended that the high command's move might cause instability in the state. Singh said he was resigning as he felt humiliated.

Once touted to be in driver's seat to retain power in the upcoming polls, recent developments have split analysts and they are mixed on the Congress' chances going forward. Some say the Congress' Dalit pick is aimed at keeping Sidhu in check and to nullify the impact of Amarinder Singh stepping down. Others see it as a massive jolt to the party and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) gaining at their expense.

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News Network
September 19,2021

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Mangaluru, Sept 19: A day after Hindu Mahasabha issued a veiled death threat against Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai over the demolition of a temple in Mysuru, the police have arrested the outfit’s Karnataka unit General Secretary Dharmendra. 

Addressing a press conference in Mangaluru Saturday, office-bearers of the Hindu Mahasabha accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of backstabbing Hindus, saying even “Mahatma Gandhi was not spared in a bid to protect Hindus”. 

“We didn’t spare Gandhi ji, what do you amount to then? If Gandhi ji could be assassinated to condemn atrocities on Hindus, do you think we won’t consider the same for you? Please remember it will become very difficult for you Basavaraj Bommai, B.S. Yediyurappa and Endowments minister Shashikala Jolle,” Dharmendra said.

Interestingly, soon after the press conference, Hindu Mahasabha state president Lohith Kumar had filed a complaint with the Barke police in the city against Dharmendra for misusing the outfit's name.

The police today confirmed the arrest of Dharmendra. However, the rest of the accused who were present at the press meet are yet to be apprehended.

Dharmendra, who had unsuccessfully contested on a Hindu Mahasabha ticket in 2018 assembly elections from Mangalore South constituency, was announcing a massive protest to be staged by the right wing outfit in Mysuru Wednesday condemning the demolition of the temple, before going on a tirade against the Karnataka government and leaders of the BJP.

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News Network
September 23,2021

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has told Delhi High Court that Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief In Emergency Fund, or the PM-CARES Fund, which was created in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, does not come under the Government of India and it cannot be brought under the ambit of Right to Information (RTI) Act. Also, the amount collected by it does not go to the Consolidated Fund of India, the Delhi High Court has been informed.

The Centre, in an affidavit, said that the Fund can neither be listed as "State" nor "public authority" under the Right to Information as it received funds from private sources.

An affidavit filed by an Under Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) who is discharging his functions in the PM Cares Trust on honorary basis, has said the trust functions with transparency and its funds are audited by an auditor -- a chartered accountant drawn from the panel prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

The affidavit was filed in response to a petition seeking a direction to declare the PM-CARES Fund a 'State' under the Constitution to ensure transparency in its functioning.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Amit Bansal has fixed the matter for further hearing on September 27.

"To ensure transparency, the audited report is put on the official website of the trust along with the details of utilisation of funds received by the trust,” says the affidavit filed by Pradeep Kumar Srivastava, Under Secretary at the PMO.

“I state that when the petitioner is claiming to be a public-spirited person and seeking to pray for various reliefs only for transparency, it does not matter whether PM-CARES is a ‘State’ within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution of India,” the officer said in the affidavit.

Irrespective of whether the trust is a ‘State’ or other authority within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution or whether it is a ‘public authority’ within the meaning of provisions of the Right to Information Act (RTI), it is not permissible to disclose third party information.It said that all donations received by the trust are received via online payments, cheques or Demand Drafts and the amount received is audited with the audited report and the expenditure of trust fund displayed on the website.

“The trust functions on the principles of transparency and public good in larger public interest like any other charitable trust and, therefore, cannot have any objection in uploading all its resolutions on its website to ensure transparency,” it said, while reiterating that “the trust’s fund is not a fund of Government of India and the amount does not go in the Consolidated Fund of India.”

The officer said he is discharging his functions in the PM-CARES Trust on honorary basis, which is a charitable trust not created by or under the Constitution or by any law made by the Parliament or by any State legislature. “Despite being an officer of the Central government, I am permitted to discharge my functions in PM-CARES Trust on an honorary basis,” he said.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Samyak Gangwal who has said that the PM-CARES Fund is a 'State' as it was formed by the Prime Minister on March 27, 2020 to extend assistance to the citizens of India in the wake of the public health emergency -- the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic. His counsel had told the court that if it is found that the PM-CARES Fund is not 'State' under the Constitution, usage of the domain name '.gov.in', the Prime Minister's photograph, state emblem etc has to be stopped.

The petition said that the Trustees of the fund are the Prime Minister, Defence Minister, Home Minister and the Finance Minister and immediately after the formation of the fund, the Centre through its high government functionaries represented that the fund was set up and operated by the Government of India.

To ensure transparency and accountability, the plea has sought a direction for periodic auditing of PM-CARES website and disclosure of the details of donations received by it.

In his alterative prayers, Gangwal has sought to direct the Centre to publicise that the PM-CARES Fund is not a fund of the Government of India and to restrain PM-CARES from using 'Prime Minister of India' or 'Prime Minister', including its abbreviations its name, on its website, Trust Deed and other official or unofficial communications and advertisements.

On March 9, the court had said it was not inclined to issue notice on the plea as the Centre was already represented through counsel who may file their written submissions.

The petitioner has also filed another petition to declare PM-CARES as a 'public authority' under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, which is being heard together with the first plea.

This petition challenges a June 2, 2020 order of the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), PMO, refusing to provide documents sought by him on the ground that PM-CARES Fund is not a public authority under the RTI Act.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who represented PMO, had opposed the petition, stating that it was not maintainable and that he would file a response explaining why it should not be entertained. 

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