HC asks sexual harassment accused to request victim to tie him ‘rakhi’

News Network
August 3, 2020

Indore, Aug 3: In a bizarre development, the Indore Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court has granted bail to an accused in a sexual harassment case on the condition that he will request the victim to tie a ‘rakhi’ on him with a promise to protect her “to the best of his ability for all times to come”.

Justice Rohit Arya on July 30 also ordered the man to pay Rs 11,000 to the complainant as a “customary ritual usually offered by brothers to sisters” on Raksha Bandhan and seek her blessings while visiting her with his wife and a box of sweets. “The applicant shall also tender Rs 5,000 to the son of the complainant for purchase of clothes and sweets,” the order said.

The court directed the accused to take photographs and receipts of payment made to the victim and her son, which should be filed through his lawyer for placing on record of the case before the Registry.

The victim, a resident of Ujjain district, had alleged that her neighbour, Vikram Bagri, entered her house and sexually harassed her on April 20. The police registered a case under Sections 452 (House-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint), 354 (A) (Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment), 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.

The order said the man, in jail for more than two months, was released on bail, on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 50,000 with “one solvent surety in the like amount to the satisfaction of the trial court, on the condition that he shall remain present before the court concerned during trial,” and comply with conditions under Section 437 (3) of CrPC, along with other conditions.

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News Network
September 24,2020

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New Delhi, Sept 24: More than 200 educationists, filmmakers and authors, including Noam Chomsky and Mira Nair, issued a joint statement on Wednesday demanding the Centre free Umar Khalid arrested in connection with the northeast Delhi riots.

Besides Chomsky and Nair, the signatories include actor Ratna Pathak Shah, authors Amitav Ghosh, Salman Rushdie and Arundhati Roy, and journalist P Sainath.

"We call on the Government of India to free Umar Khalid and all those falsely implicated and unjustly incarcerated for protesting against the CAA-NRC that denies equal citizenship rights and to ensure that the Delhi Police investigates the Delhi riots with impartiality under the oath they took as public servants bound by the Constitution of India," the statement read.

Khalid has been arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in a case related to the communal violence in northeast Delhi in February this year.

"We stand in solidarity and outrage, with the brave young scholar and activist Umar Khalid, arrested in New Delhi on September 14, 2020, under fabricated charges of engineering the Delhi riots in February 2020," the statement said.

The statement said that Khalid "used the passion of his commitment to his country, marshalled his education and his voice to join the movement for equal citizenship, against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)" which introduced religion as a criterion for citizenship, and has no place in a secular nation.

The Delhi Police had on September 13 said it is investigating the role of all individuals who took part in the February riots and were behind the larger conspiracy of organising violence and inciting communal passion amongst communities.

Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava had last week said the force has collected documentary evidence, including scientific evidence, to support its case in connection with the riots.

He said that the police have so far arrested 1,571 people irrespective of their caste or religion and they are almost equally distributed among both communities.

Responding to former IPS officer Julio Ribeiro's letter in which he had questioned the Delhi police's investigation, Srivastava had said that there are several entities who have their reasons to weave a "web of deception" and push a "false narrative of bias and insensitivity" on the part of the police.

He said that police investigations in criminal cases are guided by facts and evidence, not by reputations and personalities.

"Delhi Police are serving the oath and the Constitution with conviction, integrity and sensitivity, without fear of any self-proclaimed true patriots or favour towards any class, creed or community," Srivastava had said in an email reply to Ribeiro.

Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between those supporting the citizenship law and those opposing it spiralled out of control, leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.

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News Network
September 30,2020
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New Delhi, Sept 30: With a spike of 80,472 new cases and 1,179 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, India's COVID-19 count reached 62,25,764 on Wednesday, according to the Union Health Ministry.

As per the Union Health Ministry, this includes 9,40,441 active cases and 51,87,826 cured and discharged or migrated patients.

With 1,179 deaths, the toll due to the disease has reached 97,497 in the country.

Maharashtra continues to be the worst affected by the pandemic with 2,60,789 active cases, 10,69,159 cured and discharged cases and 36,181 deaths.

Karnataka with 1,07,756 active cases is the next in the list. While 4,76,378 patients have been cured in the State, the disease has claimed 8,777 lives so far.

Andhra Pradesh with 59,435 active cases is also severely affected, however, over six lakh patients have been cured in the State, while 5,780 deaths have occurred due to it.

Meanwhile, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 7,41,96,729 samples have been tested up to September 29 for COVID-19. Out of these 10,86,688 samples were tested yesterday.

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News Network
September 26,2020

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London, Sept 26: Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani has told a UK court that suggestions of his lavish tastes are speculative because his lifestyle is "very disciplined" as he gave evidence in a dispute involving a loan agreement with three Chinese banks.

The 61-year-old former billionaire appeared via videolink from Mumbai before the High Court on Friday for compulsory cross-examination in aid of an asset disclosure order obtained by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd Mumbai Branch, China Development Bank and Exim Bank of China.

The order required Ambani to give full disclosure of all of his assets worldwide exceeding USD 100,000. "My needs are not vast and my lifestyle is very disciplined," Ambani told the London court.

Asked about his fleet of luxury cars and other references to his lavish lifestyle as the counsel for the banks cross-examined him, the Reliance Communications chief dismissed them as "speculative" media stories.

He also said that he has sold his gold jewellery to pay his legal fees and drives just one car. He further said that he had received Rs 9.9 crore for all his jewellery between January and June 2020 and now does not own anything meaningful.

"Mr Anil Ambani has always been a simple man of simple tastes, contrary to exaggerated perceptions of his flamboyance and lavish lifestyle," said a spokesperson for Anil Ambani.

"He is devoted to his family and company, an avid marathon runner, and deeply spiritual. He is also a lifelong vegetarian, teetotaller and non-smoker who would much rather watch a movie at home with his kids than go out on the town. Reports that suggest otherwise are completely misleading," the spokesperson said.

The dispute revolves around an alleged breach of a personal guarantee on a company debt refinancing loan of around USD 925 million dating back to February 2012.

Ambani denies providing authority for any such guarantee, resulting in the High Court action in the UK – the jurisdiction agreed upon as part of the terms of the loan agreement.

In May, the Commercial Division of the High Court of England and Wales in London had ruled that the personal guarantee was binding on Ambani and directed him to pay early USD 717 million to the three Chinese banks.

"The banks will use the information from the cross-examination to pursue all available legal avenues to protect their rights and recover the outstanding loans owed to them,” the banks said in a statement this week.

At a hearing in the case earlier in the year, a UK judge had ruled that he did not accept Ambani's defence that his net worth was nearly zero or that his family would not step in to assist him when "push came to shove".

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