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Cops ‘rescue’ Vinod Kambli as he falls ill in car

Written By kom nampultig on Sabtu, 30 November 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Police played the Good Samaritan for former cricketer Vinod Kambli and rushed him to hospital on Friday when he complained of chest pain while driving near Chembur. Senior inspector Sujata Patil and a constable cut a path through the peak hour traffic on the weekday morning and took Kambli in his own vehicle to Lilavati Hospital in Bandra. Kambli's condition is stable and doctors have ruled out a heart attack.
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Wadia to now offer cardiac care for kids

MUMBAI: The city's inadequate paediatric cardiac care will get a boost when Wadia Hospital, a public hospital in Parel, performs its first heart operation on Saturday.

"Our hospital used to refer seven to eight patients a week to KEM Hospital and other private hospitals. Now, we are proud to have cardiac surgery at our own institution," said hospital's medical superintendent Dr Ashwini Jogade. She added that the hospital will upgrade its facility—namely cardiac operation theatre with catheterization lab.

At present, civic-run KEM Hospital in Parel, Kokilaben Ambani Hospital in Andheri and Fortis Hospital in Mulund are among the active hubs for paediatric heart operations in the city. But earlier this year, one of KEM Hospital's heart lung machines broke down, resulting in the death of a few children who were on the hospital's waiting list.

On Saturday, a child with a heart complication, known as patent ductus arteriosus, will be operated on by senior paediatric heart surgeon Dr Suresh Rao. The Wadia cardiac care project is supported by the Healing Little Hearts Foundation set up by India-born British intensivist Dr Sanjiv Nichani.


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Dabholkar case transfer opposed

MUMBAI: Slain rationalist Narendra Dabholkar was never under threat, crime branch (Pune) told the Bombay high court, refuting allegations that a threat perception report was not prepared.

On Friday, assistant commissioner of police Rajendra Bhamare submitted an affidavit to a division bench of Justice P V Hardas and Justice P N Deshmukh, opposing transfer of the probe to National Investigation Agency as sought by a PIL. Bhamare said he has confidence that his team will "trace the culprits".


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Mumbai’s lifeline goes back 150 years

On November 29, 1864, the first Bombay Baroda and Central India (BB&CI) train, headed to Utran in Gujarat, chugged out of Grand Road station. According to a Times of India article marking the occasion, a bottle of wine was broken on the engine and the crowd gave a "feeble cheer", which was instantly drowned out by the "whistle and pant of the iron-horse as he snorted for his race". In 1951, the BB&CI merged with other lines like the Saurashtra and Rajputana Railways to form the Western Railway.

An exhibition at Churchgate station, commemorating the WR's 150th year, showcased grainy black-andwhite images of trains chugging between Churchgate and Colaba station (the line closed down in 1930), Jawaharlal Nehru alighting from a WR train and BB&CI officials in suits and sola topis conducting a railway inspection from an open wagon. There were also miniature models of steam engines and drawings of double-decker coaches and narrow gauge trains hauled by bullocks dating back to 1862.


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Increase taxi, auto fares: Bharatiya Mazdoor Sabha

MUMBAI: The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sabha (BMS) has demanded a minimum hike of Rs 2.5 in the minimum fare of autorickshaw and taxi fares in Mumbai in case the government decides to increase the price of CNG fuel.

Anna Desai, president BMS said the government is considering a minimum hike of Rs 20 per kilo of CNG fuel. ``The current rate is Rs 39.50 per kilo. The hike will increase the price to rs 59.50 per kilo. The ordinary auto and taxi driver will find it hard to continue to ply their trade with such a steep hike,'' he said.

It would not only affect their livelihoods but also their families. ``The government must hike the minimum fare for taxis from the current Rs 19 to Rs 21.50 and for autorickshaws from Rs 15 to Rs 17.50,'' he said.

The fare hike must come into force from December 1 when the fuel price is hike, the press release said.


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Maharashtra govt threatens disciplinary action against officials striking work

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government has threatened disciplinary action against officials striking work on December 3.

The Maharashtra Mantralaya Officers Association has announced a day-long strike on December 3 to press for their demands. One of their demands is to retain cabins for joint and deputy secretaries as it was before the Mantralaya fire.

The seating arrangement after the refurbishment is of an open office. Officials have refused to move into the newly furbished fourth, fifth and sixth floors in the main building that had been completely gutted in the fire.

In a circular the general administration department has warned that participating in the strike is tantamount to indiscipline and action would be taken against the striking officials. It has also asked those not participating in the strike to ensure the offices are open and functioning on that day.

It has further said police help can be sought in case of trouble.


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Minor accident on Bandra-Worli Sea Link

Written By kom nampultig on Jumat, 29 November 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Three people, including a doctor, had a narrow escape to death when the Jaguar car they were travelling in rammed into the divider on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BSWL) early on Thursday morning. They escaped with minor bruises. Traffic was blocked for few minutes before it was restored, said the Worli police.

The incident occurred around 1.45am when Dr Shripath Kedekar was heading towards Worli from Bandra along with his close friend who is also his neigbhour and driver Ajay Singh. "Singh was at the wheels. He lost control after plying few distance away crossing the BWSL toll and went on to ram the divider. At the time of incident there were few vehicles. But traffic was blocked after the incident," said the police.

Dr Kedekar was under shock and has to overcome the incident when TOI spoke with him late on Thursday evening. "I have to recover from the shock. I was returning home with my friend back home from work when the incident occurred. My driver was on the wheels when suddenly he lost control on reaching a narrow turn on the BSWL," he said.

The Worli police have made dairy entry of the incident after looking at the gravity of the incident.


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Western Railway’s ticketless travel crackdown nets record Rs 9.17L/day in Andheri

MUMBAI: Western Railway's drive against unauthorized travel has started paying dividends, as the number of passengers buying tickets each day has increased by as much as 38,000. Western Railway earned Rs 10.83 crore from various forms of ticketing between November 21-26. Passengers too increased by 2.26 lakh during that particular period.

A senior official said, "We will intensify the drive so that revenue increases. It will also bring relief to first class commuters or those in coaches reserved for the handicapped, as many without valid tickets enter them."

The first such drive was at Borivli station, with fortress check extending 36 hours on November 19-20. The drive included checks on trains as well as at stations between Borivli and Virar.

The official said, "The divisional railway manager and senior divisional commercial manager were among officials on the spot, monitoring the drive. It yielded Rs 9.14 lakh from more than 4,200 cases of unauthorized travel."

At Andheri, WR earned Rs 9.17 lakh from fines on November 27, the highest on a single day. The drive was also carried out at Churchgate station.

Around 35 lakh passengers travel each day between Churchgate and Dahanu.

An official said, "There is no reason for people to travel ticketless as WR has set up smart card-operated automated ticket vending machines and coupon validating machines. We have also ensured that most booking windows remain open to prevent long queues."

WR plans to take up stations like Dadar, Vile Parle and Mumbai Central in a few days.


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Mobile slips, girl falls to death trying to grab it

MUMBAI: An 18-year-old Mira Road girl died of head injuries after falling off the terrace of her flat while trying to save a cellphone that slipped from her hand on Wednesday night. The Navghar police in Bhayander (E) have registered a case of accidental death.

The police said Rajshree Jadhav, who worked as a salesgirl in Thakur Mall near the Dahisar check naka, was listening to songs on her phone on the terrace of Gagangiri apartment around 9pm on Wednesday. While her parents and brother were inside their flat, Rajshree was strolling on the terrace and listening to music on the cellphone. Around 8.45pm, her father Sandesh came to the terrace and scolded her for being glued to the phone for so long. Ten minutes later, he came again, asking her to come for dinner. As Sandesh went back, Rajshree's cellphone slipped. She tried to catch it but lost balance and fell off the four-storey building. Her father rushed to the compound and took Rajshree to a nearby hospital where she died of severe head injuries on Thursday.


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Policewoman chases, nabs phone thief

MUMBAI: A woman police sub-inspector chased down and nabbed a thief who fled during a nakabandi in Vasai on Tuesday night. The accused, along with three others who are absconding, had robbed an electronics showroom hours before being caught.

Prajakta Shintre of the Manickpur police station was on patrol around 9pm when she noticed four men in an auto. The gang fled when she asked them to stop. Following this, Shintre along with a constable got into a police van, chased down the auto for about two kilometres and managed to nab Mahesh Chavan (27). But his three accomplices fled on foot. The police found high-end cellphones valued at Rs 1.11 lakh in the auto, which was confiscated. Chavan confessed to having robbed P M Electronics, on Ambadi Road in Vasai (W). The accused has been remanded in police custody till Friday.


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Court extends police custody of Wadala Truck Terminal suicide abettors

MUMBAI: On Wednesday the Sewri court extended police custody of 29-year-old flower businessman's wife and her paramour for abetting his suicide at his fourth floor rented flat in Sion-Pratiksha Nagar on November 18. The post mortem report showed that Jayesh Raut (29) died of shock after he hanged himself from the ceiling, said the Wadala Truck Terminal (TT) police.

Jayesh recorded his suicide on his mobile after his wife Trupti (23) left him and went with her paramour Rajesh Verma (38) on the day of incident. "In the 44-minute suicide video record, Jayesh said he loves his life and cannot live without her. He also blamed Trupti and Verma for forcing him to take the extreme step and asked they should be held responsible," said a police officer.

Wadala police inspector Sawalaram Agavane said they are collecting evidence and have recorded statements of the deceased's neighbours and family members and are awaiting for the forensic science laboratory (FSL) report. "Trupti and Verma were produced before the court on Wednesday and it extended custody of both of them till Friday," said Agavane.

Trupti and Verma has been booked under section of the IPC for abetment of murder.


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Maharashtra sold Rs 100 crore plot to Rajiv Shukla’s firm for under a lakh

MUMBAI: A 2,821-sq-m governmentowned plot in Andheri, reserved for a primary school, was sold to BAG Films Education Society (BFES) for a paltry Rs 98,735 in 2008, recently released documents have revealed. In addition to this, the papers reveal, a 3,534.70 sq m plot adjacent to the first one, reserved for a playground, was allotted to BFES on a 15-year lease for just Rs 6,309.

A conservative estimate pegs the current market value of the two plots - located near Andheri's Country Club - at a staggering Rs 100 crore, and several activists have raised questions over their allotment.

Anuradha Prasad is the chairperson of the society, while her husband, Member of Parliament Rajeev Shukla, was secretary when the society applied for the plots way back in 2007. The state revenue department accepted the request and allotted the two plots to BFES in September 2008.

Ajit Deshpande from Shukla's office said, "When the application was made in 2007, Rajiv Shukla was secretary of BAG Films Education Society. He stepped down eight days later. The application was cleared by the government in 2008."

When allotting the plots, the government calculated their value based on 1976 rates, or Rs 140 a square metre. For the first plot, the state charged BFES only 25 per cent of this value, or Rs 98,735, while making it clear that the land could be only be used for a primary school.

The second plot, reserved for a playground, was given to BFES on a 15-year lease on the same day. Its lease amount was pegged at 10 per cent of the land's value in 1976, or Rs 6,309.

Why the state used 1976 rates - and offered huge discounts on top of this -remains a mystery. None of the government officials Mirror spoke to were able to justify this.

The documents pertaining to the allotments recently became public when the state started evicting the residents of several shanties on the two plots. Of the evicted residents of the 300-odd shanties, only 29 were found to be legal occupants and therefore eligible for rehabilitation.

Residents of 27 shanties, however, have refused to move out, and their cases are being heard in various courts.

Several activists, who have now procured all the documents pertaining to the allotments, have raised serious objections. "It is obvious that the plot went to a particular institution because of the people involved in it. What is astounding is that allotment was done as per 1976 rates. Moreover, if the state was so keen on starting a school there, they should have invited reputed institutions with several years of experience.

The allotment is nothing but a scam and we have already urged the district collector and chief minister's office to conduct a thorough inquiry. Until the inquiry is completed, the allotments should stand cancelled," said Ashoke Pandit, convenor of Save Open Spaces, an NGO.

Anuradha Prasad, however, denied any foul play in the allotments, and maintained that both plots would be used for their intended purposes - a primary school and a playground. "The rates were calculated by the government and we paid the sum that was expected from us. It is for the government to decide the value of the plot," she said. She added that her society runs a school in Noida for 1,000 children and has experience in running such institutions. "If anything we have not been able to start the school for the past five years due to encroachments on the plot. We are still at it," she said.

Officials at the suburban collector's office explained that after the plot was allotted to the society, they started issuing notices to residents of the shanties. Of the many shanty-dwellers, only 29 were found to be eligible for alternative accommodation.

"Since the plot was given on ownership basis to the society, BFES was asked to deposit money for rehabilitation. They paid Rs 6.80 lakh per eligible slum dweller. The illegal ones have been evicted and only 27 are left. Their cases are pending in various courts," said a senior official at the collector's office.

Sanjay Deshmukh, suburban collector, told Mirror, "The allotment of such plots is done at the state level by the revenue and finance departments. My office only implements the order they give. However, I will look into the case."


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Mistreated in exam hall, blind woman to get Rs 5K payout

Written By kom nampultig on Kamis, 28 November 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Irked at the way a visually challenged candidate was treated while she was taking examination for the post of junior clerk, the Bombay high court recently asked the Thane zilla parishad to pay her Rs 5,000 as compensation.

The authorities had initially told her that she could have a writer for the examination who was just class IX pass. Later, they made her sit in the examination hall with other visually challenged candidates who could hear the answers she was dictating to her writer.

"Having regard to the fact that the petitioner is a completely visually impaired candidate and she was required to undergo the examination and also having regard to the conduct of the supervisor, we are of the view that the zilla parishad should be directed to pay costs to her," said a division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha. The court was hearing a letter written by the candidate, Prachi Shirsikar, which was converted into a suo motu petition.

Prachi, who had passed her BA examinations, sought permission for a writer who had passed class XII. But the authorities rejected the plea saying as qualification for the post was class X, she could engage a writer who had passed class IX and not beyond.

The court pointed out that "this ground was absolutely unreasonable and contrary to the guidelines laid down by the state government".

The court also slammed the authorities for making Prachi sit in the same examination hall where other candidates with low vision were asked to take the examination. "The other candidates were given benefit of the petitioner's knowledge and the entire purpose of conducting the examination was defeated," the judges said.

The HC has directed the zilla parishad to conduct afresh the exams for three posts reserved for "blind/low vision candidates".


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Acumen makes Rs 4.3 crore equity investment in Asian Health Alliance

MUMBAI: Acumen, a non-profit global venture firm addressing poverty across Africa and in South Asia, has announced an equity investment of Rs 43 million ($750,000) in Asian Health Alliance, a company that owns and operates affordable medical diagnostic facilities in low income semi-urban areas and rural areas across Karnataka under the brand name Asian Health Meter (AHM).

AHM provides diagnostic service in communities where 80% of the population earns less than Rs 15,000 a month family income. With access to these diagnostic services, the total cost of treatment to patients is reduced.

Acumen's investment is expected to enable the company to expand its radiology and pathology services in the region using a hub and spoke model. The company is planning to run 30 centres by 2016 and to conduct nearly three million tests by 2020.

"There is a massive unmet need in how we diagnose medical conditions in our country, especially for the urban and semi-urban poor," said Sachin Rudra, India country director, Acumen. "We believe the Asian Health Meter model has the potential to significantly change that by offering services that save time, money and in some cases, lives."

Tara Mohapatra, founder and CEO of Asian Health Alliance said: "In partnership with Acumen, we're working to fill a gap in services for those who need it most."

Since 2001, Acumen has invested more than $89 million in 81 companies across South Asia and Africa out of which $30 million has been invested in India.


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Tiff turns ugly: Man stabs brothers, 1 dead

MUMBAI: A Malwani resident with a criminal past, Imtiaz Memon, was arrested for murdering a youth, Mohsin Shaikh (27), after a trivial altercation with the victim's brother, Junaid (22), turned ugly. Memon's wife, Samina, and sister Shabnam too have been arrested for aiding him.

The incident took place around 3am on Wednesday in Malwani when Junaid and his cousin, Mohammad Hussain, were walking towards their home. They spotted Memon consuming alcohol in a bylanes in the area. Since Memon has a criminal past, Junaid inquired what he was doing there, which resulted in a tiff. Seeing the two argue, Hussain ran home and summoned Mohsin.

Meanwhile, Memon reportedly hit Junaid and got a knife from his house. Sakina and Shabnam too came out. "On spotting Mohsin, Memon stabbed him in the thigh and Junaid in the abdomen. Samina and Shabnam helped him," said an officer. "Hussain, with the help of another relative, rushed the injured to a hospital, where Mohsin was declared dead. Junaid is critical," he said. tnn


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Two months on, collapsed building residents await promised relief

MUMBAI: Survivors of the building collapse in Mazgaon have complained of negligence by the government authorities in providing them relief.

The BMC has only disbursed Rs 2 lakh each as compensation, and nothing has been done on the promised civic job front, they alleged.

It has been almost two months since the municipal building that housed BMC's markets department employees collapsed, however, the civic body has not offered jobs to any of the victims yet.

Survivors that the state government too had promised monetary help, but nothing has been done about it yet.

"Even the medical aid offered was not enough. We were given free medicines till we were in the hospital. However, there are some who have been prescribed medications for at least a year; those costs are being borne by us," said Sunil Kamble, who lost three of his family members in the collapse.

Belongings like cash and jewellery that was buried under the debris are reportedly not being handed over to the survivors as the police are demanding proofs. Residents, however, said that as they had lost all their documents in the collapse, they had been unable to furnish any proof. "Everyday, when labourers come to clear the debris, we try to identify our belongings. But the police don't let us take it," said another survivor.

The Babu Genu municipal market building collapsed on September 27, killing 61 people, mostly BMC staffers. Akhilesh Singade, whose pregnant wife died in the incident, said that he is yet to receive BMC compensation as the police goofed up her name in the panchama.


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Bombay high court to rule on custody battle between Italian husband and Goan wife

MUMBAI: Bombay high court is slated to give its verdict on Thursday on whether or not access to the 6-year-old can be temporarily shared by her guardians until the court decides their custody battle.

A division bench of Justice VM Kanade and Justice M S Sonak will pass their order on counterappeals by Goa resident Esmenia Dsouza and her estranged Italian husband, Alessandro Portioli. In June 2010, they were granted joint guardianship of a two-and-a-half-year-old girl from a Pune adoption centre.

A year later the couple split and Dsouza had sole custody of the girl. In June 2011, Portioli got an exparte order of the family court granting him custody. The child lives with him in Pune. Dsouza's advocates, Rohaan Cama and Edith Dey, argued that the child requires her mother more than the father. They said the Child Adoption and Regulation Act is unequivocally clear that a single male would not be given a girl child in adoption. "Custody should be given to the wife with access to the husband," said Cama, adding that none favour the child's repatriation.

On November 20, 2013 Portioli's advocate, Abhijit Sarwate, said the 2006 guidelines, which do not prohibit a single male from adopting a girl child is applicable to adoptions before 2011. He said the child's welfare should be of paramount consideration until the family court's order is set aside, the girl will continue to be in Portioli's custody.

He alleged that the child had lived in unhygienic conditions in Dsouza's house in Goa, which was contested by Cama. He said the Child Welfare Committee must come to see if the child is happy as she is "currently living in hygienic surroundings and going to an IB school". Amicus curiae Mihir Desai said the adoption issue should be looked into as soon as possible because without it the child gets no right in a guardianship battle. "Although appointed by court, guardians can always give up their guardianship and abandon the child. The question of adoption will have to be looked into or the child will go back on the streets," said Desai.


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Man raped daughter for over a decade, fathered her child

MUMBAI: A 50-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly raping his daughter for nearly 11 years and fathering a child with her, police said on Thursday.

The accused identified as Ibrahim Shaikh was arrested Wednesday after the 26-year-old victim claimed in her complaint that he is the biological father of their 8-year-old daughter, they said.

Realising that her father was even preparing to tie the knot with her, the woman garnered courage and approached police along with a social worker.

According to Malwani police, the victim began facing the ordeal when she was only 15 years old.

"On the pretext of teaching her human anatomy, the accused raped his daughter on several occasions. He thrashed his wife, when she objected to this after she got wind of the activities," police said.

The accused sexually assaulted the victim at their residence in suburban Malwani (Malad) over the years after threatening to kill her and the wife, if they showed resistance.

Shaikh shuttles between Jaipur and Mumbai for work. He was booked for rape and criminal intimidation under the IPC, besides provisions of the Protection Of Children Against Sexual Offences Act.

After arrest, he was produced before a court which remanded him police custody till December 3, police said.

"As part of the probe, requisite medical examination will be done to ascertain if Shaikh was the biological father of the minor girl," they added. PTI VM DK RCJ SDM 11281830 NNNN


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BEST panel gives nod for fare hike of Rs 1-4

Written By kom nampultig on Rabu, 27 November 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: BEST bus fares are set to go up by minimum Re 1 and maximum Rs 4. The decision was taken after the BEST committee gave its nod at the Tuesday's budget meeting where the panel also approved new slabs, which will redefine bus tariffs.

Ticket prices of other BEST buses, including Express and AC, will also rise to Rs 8 and Rs 25, against the current Rs 7 and Rs 20. The monthly pass hike will be Rs 150, while for the quarterly pass, it will Rs 500-hike for 5 km.

have also been increased (see box). The new fares will come into effect from April next year only after it gets an approval from the BMC.

The division of distance on which bus fares are based has been changed: Till now, the slabs are for 0-2 km, 2-3 km, 3-5 km, 5-7 km etc, but it has been modified to 2 km, 2-4 km, 4-6 km, 6-10km etc. When members like Kedar Hombalkar (MNS) and Ranjan Choudhari (Sena) objected to the dropping of the 3km slab, BEST general manager O P Gupta said, "A state notification says bus slabs should be 2 km, 2-4 km etc. We have brought our fares in consonance with the order." He admitted with the 3km slab being dropped, commuters will have to pay Rs 10 instead of Rs 8 for the distance. "But a survey shows 60% passengers travel 2-4 km. Those travelling 2-3km will have to pay more but for those in the 3-4 km range, the fare will be unchanged," he said. The highest rise will be for 7 km: Rs 16 from Rs 12. But MNS corporators said if the 3km slab is removed, the tariff for 4km should be Rs 9 and not Rs 10.

Hombalkar said, "For more fare, put Wi-fi on all AC buses." All buses must also be fitted with CCTV cameras to ensure safety for women." Opposing the purchase of new CNG buses, the maintenance of which is costly, Sena's Suhas Samant suggested that the BEST should buy only diesel buses.

He opposed the Transport Division Loss Recovery (TDLR), a charge which 9.5 lakh power consumers have to pay for the transport wing losses. "Our buses ply outside Mumbai limits -- to Thane, Mira Road and NaviMumbai. Why should only island city consumers be burdened with the bus losses?" he asked.

The BEST has also proposed the creation of a transport cess on property tax at certain percentage. The revenue so generated can be given to BEST in future to cover part of deficit and fund capital project of transport division.


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Fifteen bird species are 'critically endangered'

MUMBAI: The unbridled destruction of forests and wetlands for commercial and industrial growth seem to be taking a toll on birds in India.

A recent report on birds released by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) show that 15 bird species, including the migratory Siberian crane and the grasslands species Bengal Florican, are critically endangered. Three other species-river lapwing, river tern and long-tailed duck-that were classified under the "least concern" category last year have moved to the "vulnerable" category this year.

The report, called the Red List of Birds, shows that migratory birds and wetland birds, such as spoon-billed sandpiper; non-migratory species, such as the white-bellied heron and forest owlet; and scavengers, such as the Indian vulture, red-headed vulture, white-backed vulture and slender-billed vulture; are "highly" endangered. Birds like the Himalayan quail and the pink-headed duck have almost disappeared.

The three bird species that have moved from being of "least concern" to being "vulnerable" this year.

"Destruction of wetlands and riverine habitats has been the cause for the decline of these species," stated a release by the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), which helped in researching and collating the list.

Conservationists concurred that these bird species are under danger tdue to the destruction of forests across the country. "Be it big cities or small towns, commercial and industrial growth is eating into animal and bird habitats, which should ideally be protected," said a city-based bird enthusiast. "If wetlands and forests are cleared to create buildings, where will the birds stay?"

The study also found that around 200 bird species are critically endangered across the world, which is an all-time high. "There is an urgent need to conserve the remaining habitats and species dependent on them. Policies that ensure this through sustainable development should be framed and implemented urgently," said Asad Rahmani, BNHS-India director.


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Information chief's orders on buildings plans challenged

MUMBAI: An activist has moved the Bombay high court to challenge the orders passed by information commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad prohibiting the provision of building plans to RTI applicants.

The petition was mentioned on Tuesday and posted for hearing on December 12.

The petitioner, Vikas Tripathi, challenged two orders, passed on September 26 and Thursday by Gaikwad, in which municipal bodies were told not to part with building plans approved by them.

This month, Gaikwad relaxed things a bit and passed a second order, disallowing details of "only internal building plans". He said layout, FSI and other plans could be given to RTI applicants.

Tripathi's petition, filed through advocate Aditya Pratap, said that the commissioner "lacked legal powers to pass such orders".

He termed the order "regressive" since it banned information that was available to the public even before the law was enacted in 2005.

"The Development Control Regulations require all plans to be kept public," the petition said.

Gaikwad's order had come under attack from other activists as well, including former national information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi, who said the commission had created a class of exemption not authorized by the law.

The petition said the information commissioner's orders "undermine transparency provisions of the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification,1991, and militate against the spirit of Environment Impact Assessment Notification of 2006".


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No piped gas in Powai for 4 hours, residents upset

MUMBAI: Several residents of Powai found there was no supply of piped gas to their kitchens on Tuesday morning. The cut lasted at least four hours.

Mahanagar Gas Limited (MGL) had cut off supply in the area to enable a major repair work, it was learnt.

Sources said that a main gas pipeline was damaged because of digging done by two utility operators, necessitating the temporary disconnection of supply.

"It was frustrating getting up in the morning and finding out I could not cook at all," a woman office-goer said. For nearly 90% of the affected residents, there was no supply till 11am. The rest saw supply restored around noon.

MGL officials said safety was their primary concern and supply was not restored until it became safe to do so. The officials

said extensive digging of the road was carried out on Monday night without informing them.

MGL got the Greentech Safety Award 2013-Gold Category this year in the city gas distribution sector for its safety management standards.

In emergencies, piped gas users may call MGL helplines 26594500 or 1800 22 99 44.


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New panel to study effects of effluents on fish, help restore marine ecology


MUMBAI: The state fisheries department has set up a committee to study the effects of industrial pollution on fish in Maharashtra's coastal waters.

In a government resolution, the fisheries department has directed the study of waters at creeks, estuaries and the sea to ascertain the effect of pollution on fish and how it has impacted the livelihood of the fishing community. The committee will then suggest ways to restore the marine ecology as well as rehabilitate the affected fisherfolk.

The committee has been set up following an assurance given by the state government to the legislature during the monsoon session for carrying out such a study. The assurance came after legislators raised the issue of decline in catch in recent years and the consequences it had on the livelihood of the fishing community.

But Damodar Tandel, president of Akhil Maharashtra Machimar Kruti Samiti, has rubbished the setting up of the committee, saying nothing would come out of its recommendations. "About a decade ago, the late chief minister, Vilasrao Deshmukh, sanctioned Rs 10 crore to clean up the Mumbai coast. Where did the money go? All you get today even when you go 3-4km into the sea, is nothing but polythene bags and sewage," he said. "No government, till date, has done anything."

Tandel pointed out that they could not find any catch at Lothe-Parshuram in Ratnagiri district and similar was the case at Roha, Tarapur-Boisar. "Not very long ago, we would fish close to the shore. But now there is oil and sludge," he said.

D Stalin, director of NGO Vanshakti that has filed a PIL on the pollution of the Ulhas river, said testing of the river water shows a very high concentration of mercury. Former corporator from Sahar village Nicholas Almeida has also filed a PIL against the polluting of rivers by effluents from industrial units. "As all rivers flow into the sea, one can well imagine the extent of pollution in the sea and subsequently in the food chain. Till date, there is no study on health hazards from marine pollution," said Stalin. He added the sewage content in the waters is so high that only species, such as sardine and tilapia, can be found in abundance in creeks around the coast as they have the ability to survive in highly contaminated water. Apparently, other kinds of fish can hardly be found nowadays.

Tandel pointed out that fish came close to the shore and bred among mangroves. "But large tracts of mangroves are also being destroyed. All these ate taking a toll on our livelihood. On an average, 50% of the boats are always anchored at the shore," he said.


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Concealing drug and gold in body safest smuggling tactic, but risky for carriers

MUMBAI: In the last 10 days, three passengers have been intercepted by the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of the customs department at the Mumbai airport for carrying drugs and gold inside their bodies. Last week, two Tanzanian nationals were caught carrying 100-plus capsules of cocaine weighing 1kg each in their stomach; one of them died after a capsule burst in his stomach. On Monday, an Indian national coming from Sri Lanka was detained for concealing a 555-gm gold bar valued at Rs 15 lakh in his rectum.

Body concealment is regarded as the most safest form of smuggling, but most risky and painful dangerous for the carrier, said A P S Suri, commissioner of customs at the Mumbai airport. But AIU officials fear that the trend of such smuggling may continue, especially for expensive drugs, such as cocaine, and gold.

This year, two flyers were caught concealing gold bars in their rectum and there were two cases of carriers concealing cocaine packed in capsules in their abdomen.

The passenger was detained on suspicion but AIU got a confirmation when the metal detector beeped. There were two cases where cocaine was concealed in the abdomen.

AIU officials said that cocaine is the only drug for which smugglers would take the risk of body concealment as . It is one of the few drugs which is brought into the country and

it fetches a market value of Rs 5 crore per kg. "Cocaine is a pure drug and is smuggled from Columbia. As its market value is so high, smugglers end up using carriers who agree to body concealment," said a senior AIU official.

He added that as there is also huge demand for the drug in party circles, there would be more cases of carriers concealing them in their bodies despite an increase in intelligence networks and surveillance at airports. "This is because it is impossible to detect the drug through any body scan or frisking," the AIU official explained.

Officials said that smuggling of gold by concealing it in the rectum is intriguing. "It is not only a painful process, but also limits the quantity of gold. Why would someone take so much pain to smuggle out gold worth only Rs 15-20 lakh," asked an official. He added that the current trend shows that more and more carriers are being hired to carry gold on body.

Customs officials, as well as doctors, said that drug or gold concealment in body can be extremely dangerous for the carrier. Though the impact differs from which drug is being carried and the quantity, a capsule of cocaine opening inside the stomach is fatal under any circumstance. "Ironically, it is only cocaine which is usually smuggled by swallowing," said an AIU official. Concealing gold bars in the rectum can lead to infections, pain and rashes, said an AIU official.


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SRK, Deepika dazzle at awards ceremony

Written By kom nampultig on Selasa, 26 November 2013 | 22.23

The city's swish set were seen at the opulent new ballroom of the Palladium Hotel, Mumbai for the Hello! Hall of Fame Awards.

The star-studded evening saw Bollywood personalities, businessmen, sportspersons and fashionistas being honoured for their achievements.

Gayatri Ruia, (Promoter & Director, Palladium Hotel, Mumbai) said, "We are happy to showcase our spectacular and opulent ballroom floors with the prestigious Hello! Hall of Fame Awards." At 40,000 sq ft, the hotel's ballrooms are one of the city's most luxurious and largest.


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Mob 'forces' woman to take back sexual harassment complaint

MUMBAI: At a time when the rest of the country is grappling with the rampancy of sexual harassment and wondering ways to confront it, a young woman in Mumbai has been allegedly prevented inside a police station from fighting the malaise.

On November 18, the day a young Tehelka journalist complained to her managing editor about alleged sexual assault, a woman in Bandra tried to register a police complaint against some men for harassing her. But as she was filing the complaint, the woman was forced to "take it back" after a Youth Congress leader allegedly led a mob into the police station and, according to the woman, blackmailed her.

Bandra police and the politician denied the allegations. But the woman said she has a voice recording of what transpired at the police station and the CCTV footage could reveal the truth.

The woman wrote to police commissioner Satyapal Singh about the incident in a letter dated November 22. TOI has a copy of the letter, which carries a stamp of receipt from the commissionerate. However, Singh on Monday said he was on leave and had not seen the complaint.

The woman in her letter has said that she has been a victim of street sexual harassment for many years. Men in her area pass lewd comments, attempt to touch her and have even threatened her of acid attack. "Last December, I registered an FIR against a group of boys, but after that a gang of men barged into my house and threatened my family to withdraw the complaint," she said. Her family recorded the incident on video.

Despite the complaint, she was continually harassed. On the afternoon of November 18, she was walking down a Bandra lane on her way to work when she was accosted by a group of youths and verbally abused. At 9.30pm that day, she visited the Bandra police station with some colleagues to lodge a complaint.

The police sent a cop with her to her area to identify the men. She could not find the men who had harassed her that afternoon, but spotted a vendor who she said had harassed her earlier. He was brought to the police station, which created uproar in the locality.

The woman said a mob led by Youth Congress leader Aijaz Shaikh barged into the police station. She said Shaikh tried reading the details of her complaint; he allegedly told her that the mob of women with him would register plaints against her and ruin her character unless she withdraws her complaint. She said she withdrew the complaint as cops remained indifferent.

Both Shaikh and the Bandra police rejected the accusations. "The woman keeps complaining. Nobody ever harasses her. She complained about an old man in the neighbourhood. How can an old man harass her? I asked the girl to come to us if there was any problem. I did not threaten her; I am not a goon," said Shaikh.

Bandra police inspector R D Dhawale said the woman had wrongly complained against the old man.


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Environment ministry backs Juhu runway's sea extension

MUMBAI: The Juhu airport expansion project is all set to get a major boost with the Union ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) on Monday expressing its "favourable" support to extend runway into the sea.

The approval of the MoEF is being sought by the civil aviation authorities to build the runway on the stilt. The decision over the runway, said a source, might also expedite the state government proposal to build a coastal road from Versova to Bandra.

At the meeting held on Monday, civil aviation authorities sought the state government's help to resettle slumdwellers and create an underpass on the roads adjacent to the Juhu airport to facilitate the runway's extension into the sea.

The coastline issue in Navi Mumbai that has created a hurdle for the urban development ahead of clearances to the airport and other projects was also discussed at the meeting. "This issue too may be settled favourably soon," a source said.


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26/11 Mumbai attacks: Five years on, life goes on at Leopold cafe

MUMBAI: Five years have gone by since that horrible night and beer is flowing freely at south Mumbai's Leopold Cafe. The popular hangout in Colaba has put behind it the scars of the November 26, 2008 attack.

That night, three of the 10 Pakistani terrorists who had sneaked into the city via the sea route opened fire at Leopold Cafe, frequented by foreigners, claiming 10 lives. The terrorists hit other points in south Mumbai and by the time the mayhem ended 60 hours later, 166 were dead, including 26 foreigners, and more than 300 were injured.

At the Leopold Cafe, the bullet holes have been covered with framed posters that try to hide gruesome memories of the attack. In the past, the waiters at Leopold had a tough time obliging customers by pointing out the bullet holes.

Samantha Phillips, a New Yorker on a business trip here, was out for a quick breakfast at Leopold.

"I have heard about the attack five years ago. It was an incident that shook the world. We can never imagine that the cool evening at the Leopold with friends can turn fatal. When I came here, I wanted to come and visit this cafe. I never felt that such an attack can ever take place here. Life is normal here," Phillips told IANS here over a plate of keema pav.

For Benjamin Cox, a backpacker from Prague, Leopold reflects the spirit of Mumbai.

"I have heard about the undying spirit of the city. Mumbai has suffered so many terrorist attacks but every time the city has bounced back strongly. It is the same at the Leopold. Life at the cafe remains unfazed with what happened here in 2008," Cox told IANS.

Soon it's time for lunch at Leopold. A group of Indian professionals walk in for a sumptuous feast. It strikes them that the fifth anniversary of the Mumbai attack is at hand.

Shalini Jain, an investment banker, feels that the city has put the attack behind it.

"The whole city has put behind the scars of the attack. Leopold is no stranger. We don't think there has been any change here in the last five years after the attack. What happened is extremely sad, but life moves on as usual. It is a fitting reply to the terrorists, who are trying to disrupt life in the city," Jain told IANS.

The only change the area has undergone is a permanent picket of police commandos is stationed in the side alley that leads to the iconic Taj Mahal Palace overlooking the majestic Gateway of India. Some 200 guests were taken hostage at the Taj by the same three gunmen who had opened fire at the Leopold.

Ram Kushwaha, a taxi driver, always stations his car in front of the Leopold. It doesn't take long for him to recall the gruesome night.

"It was a horrible incident. I was sitting inside my taxi. The Leopold is a good place from where I get a lot of customers. Suddenly there were sounds of gunfire. First we thought some crackers were bursting, but later I saw two young boys firing indiscriminately at the cafe. It was blood everywhere. I just hid in my car and I am lucky to live today," said Kuhwaha Ram, who hails from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh.


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Blenders Pride Fashion Tour kick off in style

The ninth edition of the Blenders Pride Fashion Tour saw some of the country's most celebrated designers showcase their collection on stage over two nights of high fashion. The first night saw Gaviin Miguel showcase a collections that took forth his idea of Stairway to Heaven, with Kangana Ranaut as showstopper.

Suneet Varma's collection sought inspiration from his mother's poetry. The second night saw Bollywood designers Neeta Lulla and Vikram Phadnis showcase drama and elegance on stage. While Kalki Koechlin walked for Neeta, Vikram had Malaika Arora Khan and Dino Morea as his showstoppers. The grand finale saw opulence on stage, with JJ Valaya showcasing his sartorial finery. Arjun Kapoor was his showstopper. The two-day fashion fiesta ended with a high-octane after party.


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Dec 4 suicide abetment case: Court to hear company official pre-arrest bail plea

MUMBAI: A Vasai court has adjourned to December 4, the hearing of an anticipatory bail plea filed by Prabhat Sharma, a senior executive with Tata Steel Company Ltd, accused of abetment to suicide in the suicidal death of former chief of corporate communications at the company, Charudutt Deshpande.

The Vasai police had registered an FIR for section 306(abetment to suicide) against Sharma who resides in Jamshedpur and is employed in the company's corporate communication department too. Deshpande (57) had quit his post this April and was found dead at his Vasai residence near Mumbai, in June.

The FIR accused Sharma of having a role to play in harassing Deshpande at work especially after a cover story had been published in a leading business magazine about the company. Sharma said the death occurred more than a month after Deshpande had left his job and he had not instigated the suicide.

The court after hearing Sharma's counsel Aabad Ponda and Samsher Garud in his pre-arrest bail plea, said that prima facie it appears that no case of abetment is made out at this stage in the FIR and granted him protection from arrest till the matter is heard on December 4.

Sharma said he had joined the company in 1988 and his work had led to his current position as Head Corporate Affairs (Jharkhand & Chattisgarh). He said he worked with his senior colleague Deshpande like a professional colleague would. Deshpande, was a journalist for three decades before hemoved to the corporate sector and eventually joined Tata Steel last May, said Sharma. He was on probation for six months as was the norm at the end of which his probation was extended conditionally as his ''performance was not satisfactory'' the company had informed him, said Sharma's plea.

The FIR however alleged that that Sharma barred Deshpande from speaking with local journalists and hence he was ''completely frustrated at every step by non cooperation of his own team especially the Applicant (Sharma).''

Sharma said not only is he ''innocent'' but alleged in turn that the ''entire complaint is apparently motivated to try to defame a leading Industrial House with ulterior motive...''.

Sharma that Deshpande was ''pulled up for the magazine article'' which was written by the complainant. He said Deshpande's death cannot be linked to him or any member of the company.


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EOW struggles with frauds of 12,000 crore

Written By kom nampultig on Senin, 25 November 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Shortage of manpower in the city's economic offences wing has witnessed slow disposal of cases resulting thousands of cases, involving Rs 12,395 crore in various economic cases, got stuck in court proceedings.

Records available with the TOI show that since January 1, 2010 to October 2013 the EOW registered 459 economic cases wherein Rs 12,395 crore were shown as cheating/fraud money. The biggest among them are two recent cases; SpeakAsia fraud and the National Sport Exchange Ltd (NSEL). Most of the officers are burdened with large number of cases. While they have to work a lot to make a case watertight, strength of investigators is very less, said police sources. Each officer is currently handling more than 10 cases each. "In a single case, we have to record the statement of hundreds of people (in ponzy schems/double the money scheme etc), making seizure, conducting raids, sending the evidence for forensic audit and analysis, etc. the staff shortage delays the investigation," said an EOW officer. The NSEL case FIR alone stands a fraud amount of Rs 5,600 crore while the SpeakAsia frau amount, as per police estimate, is more than Rs 2,276 crore.

The EOW, since its inception in 1994, has registered more than 2,000 cases till date. For its 11 units, there are 76 police officers and 174 constables. "Our priority is to help people by disposing off cases so that the culprits could be punished. However, most of the times the cases do not come on board of charges are not framed. In fact, in 2012 the city police commissioner had sent a proposal to the state Law and Judiciary department recommending setting up a special court to try the EOW cases. However, the proposal was lying with the state for over a year. Last month, a reminder has again been sent to the state about the recommendation.

"Now a day, people are falling prey to the ponzy schemes and have become greedy. They want their money to be doubled overnight and hence they invest randomly. We have found there are victims who have invested in three to four 'double the money' schemes at a time," said an officer, adding that such victims feel that if they lose money at one scheme, they would recover in another. The Speakasia case, for instance, has more than 24 lakh investors, called panelists. In this case, there is only one investigating officer who is struggling to file the charge sheet against more than one and half a dozen accused.

There are EOW units that are working overtime. In case of NSEL, the EOW had to take help from the detection crime branch to raid more than 185 places at a time last month. The team was to raid, video graph, and record the statements of the accused and seal the premises. "When it comes to bigger investigations where more manpower is required, we have to take help from sister agencies since our manpower is very less," the officer added. There are over 400 cases which are still under the investigation.

How ponzy schemes work? A fraudulent company floats a scheme. People invest. The money collected is used to reimburse the initial investors. As people start getting money, more people invest. As money is collected from new investors, commissions are paid from their kitty to those who joined earlier. The older investors start showing cheques they received to the new investors and prospective ones, boosting confidence in the scheme. Investors start getting friends and relatives into the scheme. Once a huge amount is collected, the founders shut shop and flee.

Under probe for fraud:

Ravindra and Vasuda Deshmukh | Aryarup Travel and Club Resort| Promised investors 86% return per year and commission if they brought in others

Sandeep Shukla | Aurum Realty, Yes Cube Infrastructure, Bristal Builders and Developers | Promised investors 75-100% return per year

Masood Ahmed | City Limousine | Promised investors 50% return per year

MMM INDIA CASE: In June this year, EOW registered a cheating and criminal conspiracy case against a firm, MMMindia for allegedly duping more than 70,000 people of nearly Rs 2,000 crore. The FIR names more than 17 people, including five foreigners, as accused. While the foreigners, all Russian nationals, include promoters Sergey Mavrodi, Alexei Muratov, Michel Glukhov and Kilin Adery, the other accused are Indian nationals. Mavrodi is a convict in Russia in a multi-level marketing fraud, the police said.

SPEAKASIA FRAUD: The company duped investors to the tune of Rs 2,276 crore. SpeakAsia had promised to pay Rs 52,000 as returns on successful completion of surveys in a year. The fee (or investment) for this was Rs 11,000. There are more than 24 lakh members/panelists for this firm.


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Soon, book your season ticket from cellphone

MUMBAI: Suburban commuters will be able to buy season tickets through mobile phones as the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) plans to embark on a project to reduce queues at booking offices.

The Indian Railways' information & technology arm had come up with a proposal to use mobile phones to buy tickets but it failed to take off over fears that it would lead to revenue loss.

A senior MRVC official said, "The technology is not useful for card tickets as a person traveling to CST will buy a ticket through his phone only on reaching Masjid. Usually, there is no checking inside trains. He may buy the ticket from Masjid to show he is a bona fide traveler if caught by a TC at CST."

The official said, "The system can work like the e-ticketing one of Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation. The commuter can book a season ticket through a debit card or online banking. On completion of the transaction, the commuters will get a confirmation SMS or mail, that can be used as a valid ticket."

The official said the interface will have to be developed by the vendor and approved by the board. He said that if the project gets through, there will be applications developed on various phone-operating systems. Various measures, including introduction of smart card-operated automated ticket vending machines (ATVM) and coupon validating machines

have failed to shorten queues at booking windows. A Western Railway official said this system will also reduce ticketless travel.

WR sells nearly 6.54 lakh tickets daily, of which 40,000 are season tickets; it is 10 lakh tickets daily, of which 55,000 are season tickets for Central Railway.


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EOW struggles with frauds worth 12,000 crore

MUMBAI: Shortage of manpower in the city's economic offences wing has witnessed slow disposal of cases resulting thousands of cases, involving Rs 12,395 crore in various economic cases, got stuck in court proceedings.

Records available with the TOI show that since January 1, 2010 to October 2013 the EOW registered 459 economic cases wherein Rs 12,395 crore were shown as cheating/fraud money. The biggest among them are two recent cases; SpeakAsia fraud and the National Sport Exchange Ltd (NSEL). Most of the officers are burdened with large number of cases. While they have to work a lot to make a case watertight, strength of investigators is very less, said police sources. Each officer is currently handling more than 10 cases each. "In a single case, we have to record the statement of hundreds of people (in ponzy schems/double the money scheme etc), making seizure, conducting raids, sending the evidence for forensic audit and analysis, etc. the staff shortage delays the investigation," said an EOW officer. The NSEL case FIR alone stands a fraud amount of Rs 5,600 crore while the SpeakAsia frau amount, as per police estimate, is more than Rs 2,276 crore.

The EOW, since its inception in 1994, has registered more than 2,000 cases till date. For its 11 units, there are 76 police officers and 174 constables. "Our priority is to help people by disposing off cases so that the culprits could be punished. However, most of the times the cases do not come on board of charges are not framed. In fact, in 2012 the city police commissioner had sent a proposal to the state Law and Judiciary department recommending setting up a special court to try the EOW cases. However, the proposal was lying with the state for over a year. Last month, a reminder has again been sent to the state about the recommendation.

"Now a day, people are falling prey to the ponzy schemes and have become greedy. They want their money to be doubled overnight and hence they invest randomly. We have found there are victims who have invested in three to four 'double the money' schemes at a time," said an officer, adding that such victims feel that if they lose money at one scheme, they would recover in another. The Speakasia case, for instance, has more than 24 lakh investors, called panelists. In this case, there is only one investigating officer who is struggling to file the charge sheet against more than one and half a dozen accused.

There are EOW units that are working overtime. In case of NSEL, the EOW had to take help from the detection crime branch to raid more than 185 places at a time last month. The team was to raid, video graph, and record the statements of the accused and seal the premises. "When it comes to bigger investigations where more manpower is required, we have to take help from sister agencies since our manpower is very less," the officer added. There are over 400 cases which are still under the investigation.

How ponzy schemes work? A fraudulent company floats a scheme. People invest. The money collected is used to reimburse the initial investors. As people start getting money, more people invest. As money is collected from new investors, commissions are paid from their kitty to those who joined earlier. The older investors start showing cheques they received to the new investors and prospective ones, boosting confidence in the scheme. Investors start getting friends and relatives into the scheme. Once a huge amount is collected, the founders shut shop and flee.

Under probe for fraud:

Ravindra and Vasuda Deshmukh | Aryarup Travel and Club Resort| Promised investors 86% return per year and commission if they brought in others

Sandeep Shukla | Aurum Realty, Yes Cube Infrastructure, Bristal Builders and Developers | Promised investors 75-100% return per year

Masood Ahmed | City Limousine | Promised investors 50% return per year

MMM INDIA CASE: In June this year, EOW registered a cheating and criminal conspiracy case against a firm, MMMindia for allegedly duping more than 70,000 people of nearly Rs 2,000 crore. The FIR names more than 17 people, including five foreigners, as accused. While the foreigners, all Russian nationals, include promoters Sergey Mavrodi, Alexei Muratov, Michel Glukhov and Kilin Adery, the other accused are Indian nationals. Mavrodi is a convict in Russia in a multi-level marketing fraud, the police said.

SPEAKASIA FRAUD: The company duped investors to the tune of Rs 2,276 crore. SpeakAsia had promised to pay Rs 52,000 as returns on successful completion of surveys in a year. The fee (or investment) for this was Rs 11,000. There are more than 24 lakh members/panelists for this firm.


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HC ups relief for housewife killed in road accident

A house wife who does odd jobs like tailoring to support her family is an earning member and should be treated as self employed, the Bombay high court has ruled. Two decades after an Amravati house wife Shobha Kothari was mowed down by a car in an alleged case of drunken driving, Justice Ashok Bhangale ruled that the Rs 90,000 compensation awarded by the motor accidents claims tribunal to her husband and children was less and increased it by almost 300 per cent to Rs 3.46 lakhs.

"To my mind, compensation awarded by the (tribunal) is on the lower side. (The tribunal) failed to appreciate that deceased Shobha was not merely a housewife, but she was supporting the family by doing stitching work,'' said Justice Bhangale, adding, "Even in case of a self employed person, income for expectancy of life and prospective increases in the personal income needs to be considered while awarding just and reasonable compensation to the family members and dependents of the deceased victim.''

The court said that to calculate the compensation her monthly income should be considered as Rs 2,000 "bearing in mind future prospects in her income'' and the fact that she had four dependents - her husband and three minor daughters. Adding other heads of compensation, including, Rs 5,000 towards funeral expenses, Rs 10,000 towards loss of love and affection, and Rs 25,000 to the husband for loss of a companion, the court ordered the insurance company to pay a total compensation of Rs 3.46 lakh to the family for the fatal accident. The court also asked the insurer to pay 9 per cent interest on the amount.

The incident dates back to the early 1990s when Shobha and her husband along with her three daughters were standing by the side of the road besides their scooter. A car, allegedly driven at high speed by a drunk driver, rammed into Shobha killing her. The accidents claims tribunal in 1995 awarded the Kothari family Rs 90,000 compensation, which the family said was inadequate.

Accidents claims

Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal or MACT hears matters concerning compensation of motor accidents victims or their next of kin. In case of injury the victim himself or in the case of death legal heirs can approach MACT. A no fault liability compensation can be granted to the victims/legal heirs during the pendency of the application. To calculate the final compensation, MACT uses a complicated mechanism where it takes into account, the person's age, his salary, number of dependents, likely increase in income if the deceased had lived and deductions for dependents and other expenses. In case of minors or a person who is not employed, the tribunal considers a fixed amount as per rules for the annual income.


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Man leaves 44-minute 'suicide note' on video

MUMBAI: In the second such instance in Mumbai in less than two months, the police have arrested a woman and her "paramour" for allegedly abetting the suicide of her husband after he left a video "blaming them for the act".

Businessman Jayesh Raut (29) hanged himself in his fourth-floor apartment in Sion's Pratiksha Nagar on November 18 and recorded the death on his phone. The 44-minute video also included a suicide note, where Raut held responsible his 23-year-old wife Trupti and her 38-year-old paramour Rajesh Verma. Raut said in the recording that he was depressed because his wife did not end her extramarital affair despite his many entreaties.

Before ending his life, Raut texted his wife, asking her to watch the suicide clip and to take a look at his body in Sion Hospital. Trupti and Verma were arrested on November 23 and remanded in police custody till Wednesday.

Police officers said Raut, who owned a flower shop outside Siddhivinayak Temple, and Trupti got married in February after a nine-year courtship. The couple moved to a rented flat in Sion, but differences erupted soon after.

They fought often and, in March, Trupti confessed to having an affair with Verma, according to officers. "Jayesh tried to counsel her, but in vain. She told him that Verma had helped her get a job at a Byculla car showroom where he worked. She left Jayesh's house and did not come back for four months. During this time, she lived with Verma in Virar," Raut's mother Lata told the police.

On November 16, Trupti returned and told Raut that she was two-month pregnant. Two days later, Verma dropped by and took Trupti away after a heated argument with Raut. "Jayesh tried to stop her by slitting his wrists, but she left anyway. Jayesh recorded the fight by leaving his phone camera on. He can be heard saying in it that he loves her and cannot live without her," said assistant commissioner of police (Sion division) Rajdoot Rupwate.

At 6.45pm, Raut texted Trupti and asked that she watch the recording of his suicide. He then laid the phone down on a table and hanged himself. Raut's younger brother Hemant said: "Trupti called me at 7.45pm and asked that we rush to my brother's house to save him. My mother and I found him dead."

Rupwate said that, apart from the video, cops have found a copy of a note Raut sent to the police in September. In that, he accused Trupti and Verma of mentally harassing him and held them responsible in case he ended his life. "We have seized the cellphones of Raut and Trupti and sent them to the Forensic Science Laboratory," said Rupwate.

In a similar incident, a 38-year-old driver, Sunil Ugde, had hanged himself in his Agripada hutment on October 8 after recording a video on his mobile phone, where he accused his wife and her paramour for driving him to suicide.


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In Mumbai, man leaves 44-minute 'suicide note' on video

MUMBAI: In the second such instance in Mumbai in less than two months, the police have arrested a woman and her "paramour" for allegedly abetting the suicide of her husband after he left a video "blaming them for the act".

Businessman Jayesh Raut (29) hanged himself in his fourth-floor apartment in Sion's Pratiksha Nagar on November 18 and recorded the death on his phone. The 44-minute video also included a suicide note, where Raut held responsible his 23-year-old wife Trupti and her 38-year-old paramour Rajesh Verma. Raut said in the recording that he was depressed because his wife did not end her extramarital affair despite his many entreaties.

Before ending his life, Raut texted his wife, asking her to watch the suicide clip and to take a look at his body in Sion Hospital. Trupti and Verma were arrested on November 23 and remanded in police custody till Wednesday.

Police officers said Raut, who owned a flower shop outside Siddhivinayak Temple, and Trupti got married in February after a nine-year courtship. The couple moved to a rented flat in Sion, but differences erupted soon after.

They fought often and, in March, Trupti confessed to having an affair with Verma, according to officers. "Jayesh tried to counsel her, but in vain. She told him that Verma had helped her get a job at a Byculla car showroom where he worked. She left Jayesh's house and did not come back for four months. During this time, she lived with Verma in Virar," Raut's mother Lata told the police.

On November 16, Trupti returned and told Raut that she was two-month pregnant. Two days later, Verma dropped by and took Trupti away after a heated argument with Raut. "Jayesh tried to stop her by slitting his wrists, but she left anyway. Jayesh recorded the fight by leaving his phone camera on. He can be heard saying in it that he loves her and cannot live without her," said assistant commissioner of police (Sion division) Rajdoot Rupwate.

At 6.45pm, Raut texted Trupti and asked that she watch the recording of his suicide. He then laid the phone down on a table and hanged himself. Raut's younger brother Hemant said: "Trupti called me at 7.45pm and asked that we rush to my brother's house to save him. My mother and I found him dead."

Rupwate said that, apart from the video, cops have found a copy of a note Raut sent to the police in September. In that, he accused Trupti and Verma of mentally harassing him and held them responsible in case he ended his life. "We have seized the cellphones of Raut and Trupti and sent them to the Forensic Science Laboratory," said Rupwate.

In a similar incident, a 38-year-old driver, Sunil Ugde, had hanged himself in his Agripada hutment on October 8 after recording a video on his mobile phone, where he accused his wife and her paramour for driving him to suicide.


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Glass lifts, key card entry monitor security in elevators

Written By kom nampultig on Minggu, 24 November 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: In the aftermath of the sexual assault involving Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal which occurred in a hotel elevator in Goa, the issue of monitoring movement inside lifts has become a talking point.

It emerges that most hotels in Mumbai do not install CCTV cameras in their guest elevators for fear of invading their clients' privacy. Instead, the service lifts used by their personnel are placed under surveillance in order to check theft of hotel supplies and property.

However, hotels have other ways of monitoring security inside elevators. Nilesh Vaidya, security head of Hotel Sahara Star in Andheri east, says their lifts are made of glass which precludes the possibility of crime. "Besides the lift is such a short ride, it makes a less than ideal setting for a criminal," he says.

In this very neighbourhood stands Hotel Keys, the new kid on the block. "We have state-of-the-art access to our elevators. Guests can only operate it with a key card that allows them designated access to their own floor, and no other. Also they can only descend to the lobby, nowhere else. They cannot manipulate the buttons to land on any other floor," says Pradeep V, chief sales officer.

Interestingly, security officer Vaidya's apartment building, Triveni in Goregaon's Shastri Nagar, has CCTVs in the elevator. "We cannot take risks given that children, watchmen and maidservants alike use the lift," he says.

Major Rahul Hublikar, who is head of security in a five-star, says he has visited hotels across the city and noticed that none of them put guest elevators under surveillance.


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Tata Memorial outpost in Kharghar hit by water cut

MUMBAI: An acute shortage of water since Tuesday has affected day-to-day activities at the Tata Memorial Hospital research wing in Kharghar.

The 125-bed Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC), though primarily a research centre, treats more than 200 patients on a given day.

A hospital administrator said the shortage started with the City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) announcing water cuts for two days from Tuesday to carry out pipeline repairs, but the crisis had lasted far longer.

A Cidco spokesperson said the water cuts had happened throughout Kharghar, but the supply had been restored now.

"We had announced cuts on November 19 and 20," the spokesperson said. "Since Saturday, normal water supply has been started in all sectors, including the Tata centre. We will still check if there is an issue."

Spread over 60 acres, the Kharghar centre has seven buildings. There are separate buildings for patients, staffers and research.

The centre administrator said medical services such as surgeries and outpatient care remained unaffected.

"We managed to carry our surgeries with whatever little water we were provided every day," the official said. "At least eight to 12 surgeries are carried out here, while on certain days bone marrow transplants are also done," the official said.

The administrator said patient care would be hit if the crisis was not resolved soon.

"Our daily requirement is of 4.5lakh litres, but we have instead been getting a supply of a little over 1.8 lakh litres for the past few days, the official said. "We also have 17 overhead tanks, but they have all run out of stock."

Along with 200 patients, an equal number of relatives are accommodated in the Kharghar centre's dormitory. The official said that they had been making use of water from natural water like borewells and ponds for non-medical purposes.

Officials said the crisis had not affected research work much.


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International schools focus on Cambridge syllabus

MUMBAI: Members of International Schools Association (MISA) conducted a workshop focusing on the syllabus as proposed by the Cambridge International Examination (CIE) board. The event was attended by member schools as well as the CIE regional manager for South Asia, William Bickerdike.

"The CIE curriculum is very holistic and we are always ready to help our schools in forming a framework to conduct regular lectures in schools," said Bickerdike. He added that with the increasing demand for international schools in India, CIE decided to set up the regional office in Mumbai itself.

Bickerdike also told TOI that CIE has introduced Media Studies in A Level for the first time, the examination for the same will be held next year onwards. "We have also started Virtual Learning Environment program where teachers as well as students can interact with fellow teachers and students from across the globe. This will help bring a more global perspective to the syllabus," he added.

Principals also cleared doubts about the new developments including the March-exam session, admission to higher education courses as well as provisions given to students with special needs by CIE. "It was good to see so many principals share their concerns and problems with each other and the fact that William was with us helped in getting the right answers," said Kavita Aggarwal, principal of D G Khetan International School in Malad.


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'Major projects delayed by absence of expert planners'

MUMBAI: Flawed planning, poor execution and the overwhelming task of rehabilitating the project-affected people have delayed several infrastructure projects in Mumbai, resulting in subsequent cost over-runs.

Many people feel that the time-overrun in projects can be prevented by scientific planning with the involvement of the citizen groups. Consumer activist A V Shenoy said, "There are basically two reasons for the delay in the relocation of project-affected persons (PAPs) and lack of approval before the commissioning of the project. All relevant permissions need to be in place much in advance so that lack of approvals do not hinder the progress of the project."

A flawed model is also reason for non-execution of the project. RTI activist Anil Galgali said, "We have the example of the Trans-harbour corridor, where the state government failed to attract bids. The other is the case of the underground tunnel at Kalanagar. MMRDA now feels it may not get bidders as the imported technology will make the project unviable. Such factors need to be taken into consideration before planning a project."

A senior bureaucrat also cited the lack of specialists in urban bodies like the MMRDA, CIDCO and BMC for the poor planning. The official said, "We have either engineers who have risen through the ranks, or appointees from the civil services, who may not have the insight of an expert." He suggested that these bodies should have a sufficient number of urban planners who can realistically design a project so that it can be executed in the least possible time. He cited the example of the Santa Cruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR), which has faced several issues related to PAPS, as well as faulty design as the Railways refused to approve the plan. He said all these could have been avoided if a specialist were handling the project.

A reputed consultant associated with many infrastructure projects said, "I feel that land is precious in Mumbai and people like to hold on to it by approaching the courts to prevent acquisition. This is one of the biggest reasons for delayed projects as unless right of way is given, the project can't move ahead."

He further said a project should only be executed if there is right of way. An MMRDA official said, "This is one of the reasons that the MMRDA is thinking of an underground Metro. It will prevent litigation arising out land acquisition and thus speed up the project."

Times View

The delays are symptomatic of the way the public sector functions in India; the approach is casual, the planning is tardy and accountability is zero. One way of solving the problem is to levy prohibitive financial penalty on agencies and officials for the delay, which should be several times the cost overrun.


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Sexual harassment at workplace: Women who dared to speak

MUMBAI: It's been a year of shame, but also hope. Littered with cases of sexual harassment at the workplace, 2013 is about to wrap up on a dark note. What's heartening though, is the measured courage displayed by the young women involved in all cases, including a law graduate who blogged about a retired SC judge, who harassed her in a hotel room in 2012. The road ahead isn't going to be easy for any of them, say three other women who dared to lodge cases against their harassers at work. But a landmark order in one of their favour, after a gruelling 11-year-fight, says, the only way out is to speak up.

My office was dirtied with excreta
Doctor, Bangalore, 50

Action taken against accused: Dismissed

Complainant's status: Suspended in 2012; fighting for reinstatement

I didn't even realize when the harassment started. I was on a year-long contract with the medical centre of an elite management institute. My reporting officer, the Chief Administration Officer (CAO) of the institute, called me to his cabin "to discuss something". I entered, sat down and waited. He pretended to be busy on his computer and didn't speak, although he kept ogling at me.

This became a pattern. Sometimes, it would take a bizarre turn. Once, he sat with a teacup held against one eye while he looked at me from the other.

Each time I was summoned to his cabin, my colleagues would snigger. I would refuse his offers to step out for a coffee, but he'd try and keep me back after work. My husband asked me to ignore him and get on with my job because I was the sole earning member. My husband had quit the Army after 20 years of service, and I had a seven-year-old son.

The CAO began interfering with my work by not clearing files. He got others to coerce me into being 'nice' to him. "He should own you," my colleagues told me. Some women said it was just Mills & Boon flirting. I was disgusted. I'd weep for hours at home.

Within months of joining, I complained to the Dean of Administration, who told me to be strong.

At an offsite, the CAO saw to it that I travelled in his car, but I decided to take my son along. That infuriated him, and the humiliation intensified. That same year, I requested the Director to allow me to report to someone else, failing which I'd take police action. He promised to speak to the CAO. But he had somehow convinced the Director that he was not at fault. These three men, all of whom were my seniors, persuaded colleagues and students into writing mails to testify that I was missing from the medical centre during working hours. My employee card wouldn't register a swipe. Once, my office steps were dirtied with human excreta.

In 2009, I took my complaint to the Internal Complaints Committee, which constituted an investigating team according to SC guidelines in the 1997 Vishakha case.

In 2010, after I completed a year, I was put on a two-year probation. In 2012, I was told my case would be evaluated by the new Dean. He extended my probation by two months. And suddenly, I was handed a termination letter. Six months later, the committee gave in its recommendation - that the CAO be suspended. While I didn't receive a copy, he did.

Vimochana, a women's NGO, protested against my termination, following which I received anonymous threat calls. Nothing came of the FIR I filed, except that the CAO applied for anticipatory bail. Following a public outcry, he was suspended. He fought in court but was finally dismissed by the institute in May 2013.

Through this three-year ordeal, my family's health and peace have been sacrificed. But I continue to fight for reinstatement. - As told to Jayanthi Madhukar
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He'd paw me in front of colleagues
The Journalist-researcher, 47, Kolkata

Action taken against accused: None

Complainant's status: Suspended after filing complaint; out of job since

In 2002, a month into my job as a senior reporter with The Statesman in Kolkata, my news coordinator began to stalk me. Sometimes, he'd paw me in front of colleagues. I thought it best to cope by staying away, but soon I realized that hardly any article I was filing was being published. If something did make it to the paper, it was because he'd be on leave that day.

I decided to approach the managing editor, who strangely, seemed to know what was going on. "He (molester) has strong feelings for you, which is why he is doing this," I was told. Love knows no age, he said, and advised me to reach an understanding with him.

A month after this September 2002 meeting, I received a termination letter. There was still a month for my probation to end, and the management didn't give me any reason. Not one female colleague supported me. Two men who spoke out were also sacked. People I knew thought it best for me to drop the issue, but something within me said I had to see this to its logical end. The firm didn't have a harassment cell.

The first NGO I approached, 'tested' me by asking to speak to my husband. They said, "This deters most complainants". Later, they backed out saying it was pointless taking on a big media house. Every lawyer turned me away saying there was no precedent.

An official from the State Commission for Women advised me to lodge a police complaint. But the media house refused to cooperate. That's when the Commission prevailed upon the police chief to appoint an IPS officer to conduct an inquiry. In 2003, the lawyers' collective Human Rights Law Network took up my case.

A decade after the incident, in February this year, the West Bengal Industrial Tribunal ordered that the media house reinstate me, and provide me with back wages for the last 10 years. Lawyers claim this is a landmark order that can be cited in similar petitions in future.

But the media house has moved the High Court, and I am facing another fight.

The stress has taken a physical toll, bringing me down with gynecological complications. No company in Kolkata is ready to hire me. I have had to turn to freelancing for outstation papers. Applying for a job outside the city was never an option because I had to be present at the Labour Court, and appear for two defamation cases - one civil and another criminal - that the firm and my senior filed against me in Kolkata and Delhi respectively. Shuttling between cities, juggling work and family has been a challenge.

There were times when I almost gave up, but something held me back. My harasser, meanwhile, has bagged and moved several jobs. - As told to Kripa Raman
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I'd have to give them a 'treat'
The news reader, 28, Chennai

Action taken against accused: ​Arrested ​in March, 2013; ​Released on bail in a week; resigned eventually

Complainant's status: Felt compelled to resign; out of work

I joined Sun TV in December 2011 as their news anchor. Within a few months, I was put on the morning shift. I had to report to work at 4 am, but wasn't offered a pick-up. While other colleagues did this on rotation, my appointment seemed more permanent.

Over time, I realized that if I wanted a better deal - regular shifts, a confirmed position and a better pay packet - I'd have to 'adjust' to the demands of my news editor and scheduling editor. When I approached the news editor to question him, he asked me to call him after work hours. It was during this conversation - which I ended up recording - that he said I'd have to give them a 'treat' in lieu of the promotion. My confirmation was pending despite completing the six-month probationary period, and in November 2012, my Diwali bonus was also held back.

Often, they'd verbally abuse me in front of colleagues, and once, the news editor threatened me with dire consequences if I tried filing a harassment complaint. This went on incessantly for a year.

I don't know why I didn't think of approaching HR, but what I do know is that the organization did not have a sexual harassment cell back then. Colleagues I spoke to advised me to quit in favour of a better job since these things were unlikely to change. So, I filed a complaint with the local police in March this year.

Soon, the news became public and other women who had suffered a similar fate began calling me. Some of them had chosen to quit their jobs or not take up the offer at all. While the news editor had threatened to pack me off me to Tiruchirapalli for not accommodating him, another girl was told she'd be transferred to Pondicherry.

Although he and the scheduling editor were arrested following my complaint on March 19, the news editor was released on bail in a week. After a few days off, I resumed work on March 25, but was suspended on March 27 following a complaint by co-workers. The management claimed my colleagues had vouched for my inefficiency and poor performance. They claimed that my colleagues had said, the editor was actually a 'good' man. A friend at work who I had confided in was also suspended in a bid to isolate me.

As per the Supreme Court's Vishakha judgment guidelines, a fact-finding committee was instituted that had two retired judges, a lawyer, an NGO official and a Sun TV HR official. According to a report they submitted in September, all conversations between my seniors and me had occurred after work hours and therefore didn't constitute sexual harassment at work.

The chargesheet has been filed, and the court case continues. I've received all pending dues from the organization, but last Thursday, I decided to hand in my resignation. I couldn't continue in that hostile environment. I've approached other channels for a job, but most of them say they will 'think' about it and let me know.

My parents were apprehensive about my complaint; they feared a backlash because I was taking on powerful people. I even received threat calls from someone speaking on the editor's behalf. But I say, more women should find the strength to speak out. Men shouldn't get away. - As told to Gitanjali Chandrasekharan


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Case of suspended Gujarat cop Pandian not on par with others, HC says

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Wednesday rejected the bail plea made by Rajkumar Pandian a superintendent of police in Gujarat ATS when arrested in April 2007 as an accused in the 2005 Sohrabuddin fake encounter case.

Justice U V Bakre delivered the order via videoconference from the Goa bench of the HC and said that Pandian 's case was not on par with that of Dr N K Amin who had got bail on medical grounds. "Considering the involvement of the applicant (Pandian) in entire episode, in terms of strong prima facie evidence existing against him, as observed by the Gujarat High Court, his case cannot at all be taken to be at par with that of N K Amin," the judge said.

Housed now at Taloja prison in Navi Mumbai, Pandian had filed for bail last December. His counsel Mahesh Jethmalani along with Pranav Badheka argued that he deserves to be released on bail on the grounds that there is prima facie no evidence against him and since he has been in jail for over six years with no chargesheet, also on grounds of parity. Appearing for CBI, counsel Ejaz Khan opposed the bail plea and said he could tamper with evidence.

In September 2012, on orders of the SC, the case was transferred to Mumbai. The first charge Sheet filed in Mumbai was in May 2013.

The court observed that with regard to a co-accused in the case Amit Shah, the Gujarat High Court found that there was no prima facie case made out by the material on record and had granted him bail. It has been observed that the grant of bail to Shah in Sohrabuddin case shall be no consideration for grant of bail to the other accused and each bail plea would be considered on merit. Two others who were released on pre-arrest bail in the case--Ajay Patel and Yashpal Chudasama, were Chairman and Director respectively of Ahmedabad Co-op. Bank and they were not police officers, the HC said.

Certainly, Pandian's case cannot be compared with that of these co-accused, the HC judge said.

The fake encounter case was based on a letter written by Sohrabuddin's brother. It alleged that while a terror accused Sohrabuddin and his wife were travelling on a bus from Hyderabad to Sangli in Novembe 2005, ATS and STF team stopped the bus and picked them in the night and four days later on November 26 Sohrabuddin was killed in fake encounter and there was no trace of his wife Kausarbi. It was later found that Kausarbi, was killed and her body was disposed of at village Illol in District Sabarkantha, since she was an eye witness to the alleged abduction and killing of her husband Sohrabuddin.


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Box office success linked to blogging, study finds

Written By kom nampultig on Jumat, 22 November 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Movie attendance peaks during the holiday season, and studios capitalize on this by releasing dozens of new titles between the end of November and the new year, with much of a movie's box office success predicted by opening weekend.

Though it would seem that studios have little control over public reaction to their movies, a new study by Pradeep K Chintagunta of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business reveals some factors that studios can control to boost how their movies perform at the box office, particularly in local markets.

The study appeared in a recent issue of Management Science. Chintagunta, with Shyam Gopinath of the University of Utah, and Sriram Venkataraman of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, examined the pre-and post-release performance of 75 movies released in 2004 in 208 geographic markets in the United States across three measures: nationwide consumer- generated blog volume; blog "valence"—a positive or negative sentiment written by a blogger—and studio advertising.

Among the study's most notable demographic findings are that blog readers tend to be young, so the local readership will likely mimic the area's demographics. If the population skews older, blogs will have less impact on moviegoers' behavior. The biggest impact on box office performance is gender. A higher proportion of women in a population lowers box office performance with respect to blog valence and advertising much more than any other demographic feature. Having more women in a market makes it less sensitive to blog sentiments and less sensitive to advertising; having more young consumers in market enhances the impact of blog volume but lowers the effect of blog valence; and high income markets are less responsive to blog sentiments and advertising.

Taken together, these findings suggest that studios engaging in spot advertising may want to reduce their advertising in markets with higher income, as well as those with more women and more young consumers. Furthermore, markets with larger white populations are more sensitive to advertising—studios might want to direct more advertising in these markets. At the same time, markets with large white populations are less sensitive to blog valence.

Notable findings on specific geographic preferences include: The markets highly responsive to advertising seem to be concentrated in the Midwest, and the markets less responsive to both blogs and advertising seem to be in the East Coast. Several large markets for box office revenues, such as Denver, Los Angeles and Chicago, rank high for being sensitive to "buzz." These same markets, however, are much less sensitive to blog valence and advertising. These rankings can provide studios with information on how to target release markets, especially if a movie is in limited release. For instance, if a studio wanted to generate pre-release buzz by having special events around a movie, Chicago and Denver would be smart markets to choose. And if a studio wants to market its advertising more judiciously, cities like Charlottesville, Virginia, or Marquette, Wisconsin, are smart bets.


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Tingling sensation and numbness can herald a problem

When was the last you experienced pins and needles in your hands or feet?

It's not about the time when you sat in an armchair without moving your hands for a while, nor is it when you sat on a stool, crossed your legs and then got engrossed in a conversation and suddenly decided to stand. Such occasions and many more, like squatting on a hard floor in an unaccustomed posture, are a result of physiological causes— weight of the limb temporarily compresses the artery supplying blood to the nerve bundle, both of which are relatively superficial.

This persistent pressure occludes the circulation, the area becomes momentarily 'dead' and when suddenly the pressure is relieved, the nerve impulses fire in rapid succession in consonance with the restoration of trickling blood supply. In minutes, symptoms vanish and recovery is complete. This is normal. Rarely, prolonged pressure exerted through the muscle and bone on the neurovascular bundle, like during deep slumber in an intoxicated state (alcohol ) which doesn't allow movement, can cause anatomical and functional damage and a resulting paralysis of the muscles that are supplied by the nerve.

Classically seen in the forearm—colloquially called Saturday night Sunday morning paralysis (binge), this condition needs physiotherapy, drugs and time to repair.

Peripheral neuropathy is the pins and needles in the hands and feet that is caused by the toxic action of diseases, drugs, intoxicants etc on the long nerves in the body. The longest nerve fibres—those supplying the glove and stocking area are the ones that get compromised. Diabetes, nicotine and alcohol abuse, heavy metal poisoning and other metabolic conditions can cause irreversible damage, producing this burning hands and feet syndrome. Now this symptom can be tormenting, chronic and would certainly need medication.

Unfortunately, complete alleviation of this is difficult and one also needs to address the primary cause.

It is when tingling and numbness is focal or limited to a limb or wrist or back of the thigh that one has to look for pathology in and around the spinal cord. The nerve root, as it emerges from the spinal column, can get impinged (pressed ) by a slipped disc (sciatica), compressed by an abnormal bony spicule (spondylosis) or even get entrapped in an infection or growth. This kind of unilateral (one-sided) symptom needs prompt attention. Treatment is then directed towards the pinched nerve and relief is directly proportional to the success in treatment of the root cause.

However, don't let me "needle" you with fear or "pin" you down to a diagnosis. It is only when such complaints becomes persistent and inexplicable that it demands attention. Neuronal sensations can be pleasurable or painful, but pins and needles can be irritating and then worrisome.

For in the "Ram Leela" of the nervous system, everything is so well wired that this short circuit of impulses can be tougher than 'onions' and 'Campa Cola' to resolve.

(Dr Hemant Thacker is a Consultant Physician & CardioMetabolic Specialist attached to south Mumbai hospitals. Email:dochpt@gmail.com)


22.23 | 0 komentar | Read More

Tingling sensation and numbness can herald a problem

When was the last you experienced pins and needles in your hands or feet?

It's not about the time when you sat in an armchair without moving your hands for a while, nor is it when you sat on a stool, crossed your legs and then got engrossed in a conversation and suddenly decided to stand. Such occasions and many more, like squatting on a hard floor in an unaccustomed posture, are a result of physiological causes— weight of the limb temporarily compresses the artery supplying blood to the nerve bundle, both of which are relatively superficial.

This persistent pressure occludes the circulation, the area becomes momentarily 'dead' and when suddenly the pressure is relieved, the nerve impulses fire in rapid succession in consonance with the restoration of trickling blood supply. In minutes, symptoms vanish and recovery is complete. This is normal. Rarely, prolonged pressure exerted through the muscle and bone on the neurovascular bundle, like during deep slumber in an intoxicated state (alcohol ) which doesn't allow movement, can cause anatomical and functional damage and a resulting paralysis of the muscles that are supplied by the nerve.

Classically seen in the forearm—colloquially called Saturday night Sunday morning paralysis (binge), this condition needs physiotherapy, drugs and time to repair.

Peripheral neuropathy is the pins and needles in the hands and feet that is caused by the toxic action of diseases, drugs, intoxicants etc on the long nerves in the body. The longest nerve fibres—those supplying the glove and stocking area are the ones that get compromised. Diabetes, nicotine and alcohol abuse, heavy metal poisoning and other metabolic conditions can cause irreversible damage, producing this burning hands and feet syndrome. Now this symptom can be tormenting, chronic and would certainly need medication.

Unfortunately, complete alleviation of this is difficult and one also needs to address the primary cause.

It is when tingling and numbness is focal or limited to a limb or wrist or back of the thigh that one has to look for pathology in and around the spinal cord. The nerve root, as it emerges from the spinal column, can get impinged (pressed ) by a slipped disc (sciatica), compressed by an abnormal bony spicule (spondylosis) or even get entrapped in an infection or growth. This kind of unilateral (one-sided) symptom needs prompt attention. Treatment is then directed towards the pinched nerve and relief is directly proportional to the success in treatment of the root cause.

However, don't let me "needle" you with fear or "pin" you down to a diagnosis. It is only when such complaints becomes persistent and inexplicable that it demands attention. Neuronal sensations can be pleasurable or painful, but pins and needles can be irritating and then worrisome.

For in the "Ram Leela" of the nervous system, everything is so well wired that this short circuit of impulses can be tougher than 'onions' and 'Campa Cola' to resolve.

(Dr Hemant Thacker is a Consultant Physician & CardioMetabolic Specialist attached to south Mumbai hospitals. Email:dochpt@gmail.com)


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Drug addict stabs co-worker at Dadar station in Mumbai

MUMBAI: A man, who tried to break up a fight, was stabbed by a drug addict at Dadar station on Thursday.

The victim, Aryan, is critical and has been admitted to the ICCU of Sion Hospital.

The Mumbai Central GRP are hunting for the accused, Sandeep. According to the police, Sandeep was having a dispute over money with one Rajesh Chakraborty. Sandeep, Aryan and Chakraborty are all ragpickers and reside at Dadar station. They collect discarded plastic bottles from long-distance trains and sell these at Masjid Bunder for Rs 50 per kg. Most of the ragpickers use the money to buy drugs.

"Sandeep had eaten up a meal belonging to another ragpicker late on Wednesday. The duo had an altercation. Then on Thursday morning, Sandeep got into a fight with Chakraborty who had loaned him money and was now demanded it back. Sandeep pelted a couple of empty bottles at Chakraborty. Aryan intervened to break up the fight, but instead drew Sandeep's ire. Sandeep pulled out a knife and stabbed Aryan repeatedly in the chest. He then escaped," said senior inspector Rajendra Trivedi, Mumbai Central GRP.

Aryan was later rushed to the Sion Hospital. The Mumbai Central GRP have booked Sandeep in a case of 'attempt to commit murder' and have formed four teams to look for him.


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Govt to fast track Vadodara-Mumbai Expressway work

VADODARA: The Centre has given top priority to construction of Vadodara-Mumbai Expressway and the mega project will be awarded soon after completing bidding process, Union minister of state for road transport and highways Tushar Chaudhary said on Thursday.

"The Rs 27,000-crore Vadodara-Mumbai Expressway project will be awarded soon after meeting all requirements, including clearance and guidelines suggested by the apex court," he said here.

Chaudhary was speaking after laying the foundation stone for the Rs 55 crore six-lane interchange (road junction) and inauguration of an Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) plaza of Ahmedabad-Vadodara Expressway near here.

The construction of interchange at Dumad, to be completed by December 2014 by National Highways Authority of India, will help in overcoming the problems of traffic jams and long queues of vehicles, he said.

Elaborating on the Vadodara-Mumbai Expressway, Chaudhary said the 400km long project will cost Rs 27,000 crore. Of this, Rs 10,000 crore will be spent on land acquisition and the rest on construction.

"In November 2006, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had approved construction of 1,000km of expressways on BOT (build, operate, transfer) basis on seven stretches spread over ten States under Phase VI of National Highways Development Project," he said.

The dedicated road corridor between the country's financial capital and one of the main cities of Gujarat was among the proposals, he said.

"The main criterion of starting the expressway corridor will be traffic volume. The Vadodara-Mumbai corridor, on NH 8, has high density and thus will be given the top most priority. The remaining 600-km will be selected on the basis of traffic volume."

In June this year, it was decided to speed up the work on this ambitious project, the minister said. "Expressways on high traffic density corridors are needed to facilitate faster movement of commercial vehicles and other road users."

"The cost of constructing an expressway is much higher than that of a normal highway. An expressway is a greenfield project and it needs additional structures and vast tracts of land whose acquisition cost is very high," he said.


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