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In city, women aged 16-25 top missing list

Written By kom nampultig on Senin, 30 Juni 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Two women for every man in the 16-25 age group go missing in Mumbai, an RTI query has found. Women in the category also form the largest chunk of missing persons in any age group, male or female. The maximum number of missing men, too, are from the 16-25 age group. The reasons, say experts, are disturbed family life and elopement.

From the start of 2010 till the end of 2013—the period for which the data is available—overall, 21,913 women were reported missing compared to 19,708 men, thus forming more than 52% of missing persons. In the 16-25 age group, 13,415 women were reported missing compared to 6,697 men.

Interestingly, a higher percentage of women are traced—over 80%, compared to about 75% men—and a much lower percentage found dead—0.34%, compared to 1.37% men.

The query was filed by activist Chetan Kothari at the missing persons bureau (MPB) of the police's crime branch last month.

In 2013, the last year for which the data is available, 23% more missing person complaints were registered than in 2012. The number of complaints for 2011 and 2010 were comparable to that for 2012.

"In the case of many youngsters, while parents register missing person complaints, the cases might actually be of eloping. Many youngsters also leave home because of being depressed or because of quarrelling with family members," said Vasant Doble, assistant commissioner of police, MPB. "Among older people, many who suffer from mental ailments, wander away."

One of the reasons why adults go missing is financial crisis, said psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty. "While a family seeks help during such a crisis, letting a counsellor speak to any child at home really helps."

The search for a missing person generally gets less attention than it deserves as missing person cases do not fall under any category of crime, said former Thane police commissioner S P S Yadav. "That's why the Bombay high court has given elaborate guidelines (including the publishing of a missing person's photograph and the declaration of reward) for tracing missing persons."

IPS officer-turned-lawyer YP Singh said that because most missing person cases have a voluntary element, the police become complacent. "But as the Esther Anuhya case showed, a small number of missing person cases involve foul play, such as kidnapping, trafficking and even murder."

Anuhya, a software engineer from Andhra Pradesh, went missing on January 6 after alighting from the train at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus. Her alleged murderer posed as a taxi driver and allegedly convinced her to walk out of the platform with him. Anuhya's partly burnt decomposed body was found in the bushes close to a service road on the Eastern Express Highway ten days later. In the case, the crime branch arrested history sheeter Chandrabhan Sanap (35) from Nashik in March.

"The police should react immediately when a missing case is registered and also come out with a tracking system," said RTI activist Chetan Kothari. "Delays by the police in registering cases and then reacting slowly have allowed murders and other serious offences. Even now, several missing person cases remain to be solved."


22.23 | 0 komentar | Read More

Security guard convicted for killing Mumbai-based lawyer Pallavi Purkayastha

NEW DELHI: Nearly two years after Mumbai lawyer Pallavi Purkayastha was brutally murdered inside her apartment, a Mumbai court on Monday convicted the security guard of the building.

Special judge Vrushali Joshi pronounced the verdict in the presence of a packed court room, which included Pallavi's parents Atanu and Sumita.

Speaking to TOI after the verdict, her parents said that they expected "nothing but the death sentence".

On August 9, 2012, Pallavi, a lawyer, was murdered in her rented flat in Wadala.

A security guard of the building Sajjad Ahmed Mughal alias Sajjad Pathan was held for the murder.

Pathan a native of Kashmir, was convicted under all charges including murder, outraging modesty of a woman and trespassing.

Judge Joshi adjourned the proceedings to Thursday when special public prosecutor Ujjawal Nikam and defence advocate Wahab Khan will present arguments on the quantum of sentence.

Watchman Sajjad Ahmed Mughal entered Pallavi Purkayastha's flat on August 9 with stolen keys and rape on his mind.

READ ALSO: Mumbai law graduate Pallavi Purkayastha's killer was driven by lust

He tried to force himself on the lawyer while she was sleeping.

When Pallavi resisted with all her strength, the guard slashed her throat with a knife.

The 25-year-old daughter of senior Delhi-based bureaucrats died soon after.

Trial in the case had started in May last year.

Pallavi's live-in partner Avik Sengupta died later at Mahim's PD Hinduja hospital after suffering from inflammatory brain disorder.

Pallavi Purkayastha was murdered inside the apartment of Himalyan heights on 16th floor at Bhakti Park in Wadala on August 9 2012.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/followceleb.cms?alias=Sajjad Ahmed Mughal,Pallavi Purkayastha


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Mumbai Metro notches 7.6 million commuters in three weeks

MUMBAI: Mumbai Metro, the city's newest swanky means of travel, Monday said it has notched 7.5 million commuters within barely three weeks since it opened June 8.

The daily ridership crossed the half-million mark and the service recorded a 100 percent increase in commuter traffic in three weeks.

"Mumbai Metro One Pvt. Ltd. (MMOPL) created a global record by carrying over 7.5 million commuters in less than a month of its operation," a company statement said.

A subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, MMOPL has become the favoured choice of commuters on the 11.4 km Versova to Ghatkopar route.

"Carrying over 7.5 million commuters in less than a month is indeed an exemplary achievement by itself.

"Mumbai Metro has become a part and parcel of Mumbaikars' lives in the last three weeks. It has completely changed the dynamics of commuting in Mumbai, and has become the most commuter-friendly corridor in comparison to other congested stretches in Mumbai," the statement said.

Around 240,000 commuters travelled by the Metro on the inaugural day June 8, and from the second day, the figures grew to nearly 300,000 daily.

The weekend ridership stands between 450,000-500,000 commuters, prompting MMOPL to organise free weekend joyrides, which were enjoyed by more than 450,000 children.

MOPL - Mumbai's first and India's third Metro Rail- providing a crucial east-west link, has 12 stations on its route and has slashed travel time on that corridor to 21 minutes from the existing around 100 minutes.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/followceleb.cms?alias=Mumbai Metro commuters,Mumbai metro


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‘Fickle’ NCP chief keeps heavyweight guessing

MUMBAI: A year ago, when Maratha strongman Sharad Pawar saw the visuals of the lavish wedding reception of NCP leader Bhaskar Jadhav's son and daughter on TV channels, he said was unable to sleep. Pawar had said that at a juncture when the state was reeling under a drought, it was wrong to spend money and that such a person had no right to be in public life.

Jadhav, who was the minister of state for urban development then, was given marching orders. Later, the I-T department launched a probe into the expenditure. It was believed that it seemed to be the end of the road for Jadhav and he would join the Shiv Sena. Jadhav had defended the expenditure on the marriage that was attended by the entire cabinet. A few months later, Jadhav was made state NCP chief in the place of veteran leader Madhukar Pichad, who was inducted into the cabinet as a tribal welfare minister.

Under Jadhav's leadership, the NCP suffered a drubbing in the general elections and won only four seats out of the 22 it contested. There was a debate over Jadhav's leadership qualities after high-profile NCP leaders Chhagan Bhujbal, Sunil Tatkare and Praful Patel lost the polls by a huge margin.

While some politicians blamed Jadhav for the defeat, senior leaders felt that he along with Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar were responsible for the debacle. Finally, Pawar sacked Jadhav as the state party boss but accommodated him immediately in the state cabinet. It seems Pawar is the most unpredictable politician.

Antony's defence

Ministers Narayan Rane, Patangrao Kadam, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and Balasaheb Thorat were left red-faced after Congress general secretary A K Antony asked them why the party nominees lost in their constituencies.

Antony is heading a four-member committee set up by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to look into the party's debacle in the Lok Sabha election.

Significantly, Rane, Kadam, Vikhe-Patil and Thorat are contenders for the CM's post. Rane's son, Neelesh, lost of Sena nominee Vinayak Raut in the Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg Lok Sabha constituency by a huge margin, Kadam's son, Vishwajeet, who heads the state Youth Congress, was trounced by BJP's Anil Shirole in Pune.

In Ahmednagar, the home district of Vikhe-Patil and Thorat, the Congress nominee was badly mauled. Rane, Kadam, Vikhe-Patil and Thorat were confident of the victory of party nominees.

A day after the results were declared, Rane submitted his resignation to the CM on moral grounds but blamed the NCP for his son's defeat. Kadam, Vikhe Patil and Thorat were tight-lipped on the reasons for the party nominees' debacle.

Antony's contention was that if a CM contender was unable to ensure victory of the nominee on "their turf", then could the politician lead in the ensuing assembly election. It was not only about those politicians, who are in race for CM's post, in most of the constituencies, it was identical situation, since the Modi wave swept the polls. If a former Congress MP is to be believed, then most of the Congress leaders were speechless on basic questions raised by Antony.

Graft buster

In a first, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director-general Pravin Dixit has analyzed every case registered by them under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Significantly, his report on department-wise analysis and the bribe details has been uploaded put on the ACB's website.

Dixit analyzed the data of 36 departments and found that even for a minor task, a bribe of Rs 3 lakh is sought. In the civic body, one does not get an NOC without paying off clerical staff, even for an early hearing before the minister of state for revenue one has to shell out a bribe. There was scope for graft in deletion or addition of names in the ration card. The bribe amount was small, but alterations were not made without greasing the staffer's palms. From Dixit's investigation, it has been established beyond doubt that without coughing up money even routine work was not possible for a common man. According to the graft investigator, in the departments of home, revenue, public health, public works, law and judiciary, finance, urban development, energy, transport or education, kickbacks were the norm. Dixit has done his job, if bureaucrats study the report and amend the existing procedure for obtaining routine certificates it will be a huge relief for the aam aadmi.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/followceleb.cms?alias=Sharad Pawar,NCP,Maharashtra,Congress,Bhaskar Jadhav


22.23 | 0 komentar | Read More

In Mumbai, women aged 16-25 top missing list

MUMBAI: Two women for every man in the 16-25 age group go missing in Mumbai, an RTI query has found. Women in the category also form the largest chunk of missing persons in any age group, male or female. The maximum number of missing men, too, are from the 16-25 age group. The reasons, say experts, are disturbed family life and elopement.

From the start of 2010 till the end of 2013—the period for which the data is available—overall, 21,913 women were reported missing compared to 19,708 men, thus forming more than 52% of missing persons. In the 16-25 age group, 13,415 women were reported missing compared to 6,697 men.

Interestingly, a higher percentage of women are traced—over 80%, compared to about 75% men—and a much lower percentage found dead—0.34%, compared to 1.37% men.

The query was filed by activist Chetan Kothari at the missing persons bureau (MPB) of the police's crime branch last month.

In 2013, the last year for which the data is available, 23% more missing person complaints were registered than in 2012. The number of complaints for 2011 and 2010 were comparable to that for 2012.

"In the case of many youngsters, while parents register missing person complaints, the cases might actually be of eloping. Many youngsters also leave home because of being depressed or because of quarrelling with family members," said Vasant Doble, assistant commissioner of police, MPB. "Among older people, many who suffer from mental ailments, wander away."

One of the reasons why adults go missing is financial crisis, said psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty. "While a family seeks help during such a crisis, letting a counsellor speak to any child at home really helps."

The search for a missing person generally gets less attention than it deserves as missing person cases do not fall under any category of crime, said former Thane police commissioner S P S Yadav. "That's why the Bombay high court has given elaborate guidelines (including the publishing of a missing person's photograph and the declaration of reward) for tracing missing persons."

IPS officer-turned-lawyer YP Singh said that because most missing person cases have a voluntary element, the police become complacent. "But as the Esther Anuhya case showed, a small number of missing person cases involve foul play, such as kidnapping, trafficking and even murder."

Anuhya, a software engineer from Andhra Pradesh, went missing on January 6 after alighting from the train at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus. Her alleged murderer posed as a taxi driver and allegedly convinced her to walk out of the platform with him. Anuhya's partly burnt decomposed body was found in the bushes close to a service road on the Eastern Express Highway ten days later. In the case, the crime branch arrested history sheeter Chandrabhan Sanap (35) from Nashik in March.

"The police should react immediately when a missing case is registered and also come out with a tracking system," said RTI activist Chetan Kothari. "Delays by the police in registering cases and then reacting slowly have allowed murders and other serious offences. Even now, several missing person cases remain to be solved."


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Virar builder assaulted at home over business rivalry

MUMBAI: A Virar-based builder was allegedly assaulted by ten unidentified men in his bungalow in the wee hours of Sunday.

The suspects allegedly damaged the closed circuit television (CCTV) installed in his house. The incident is believed to have occurred at around 3 am when Pramod Dalvi (40), his wife and two children were asleep in their Manvelpada, Virar (east) bungalow.

The men gained forced entry into the house, threatened and assaulted Dalvi by hitting and punching him. The men managed to damage two of the four CCTV installed in the bungalow.

The two police constables guarding Dalvi's bungalow due to past threats, were away when the incident took place. Dalvi managed to call the police after the men fled from the house.

The suspects even made threatening calls to Dalvi. Dalvi claimed to have invested money in the hotel industry in Dahisar and Borivli. He told the police that business rivalry had led to the attack.

He named a business rival whom he suspects. One person has been picked up for questioning.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/followceleb.cms?alias=Virar police,Virar builder


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Ramzan begins tomorrow but price rise worries households

Written By kom nampultig on Minggu, 29 Juni 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Muslims in the city are preparing to welcome the month of fasting and prayers, Ramzan, which will begin on Monday, instead of Sunday, as the new moon was not sighted on Saturday.

While mosques will see increased attendance during the month, eateries with Ramzan delicacies in Muslim pockets will attract many non-Muslims as well. However, the price rise of commoditiesthreaten to dampen the spirit as middleclass housewives are forced to keep the budget low.

Spiritually Ramzan is significant for the Muslims as the Quran was revealed in this month and every good deed performed in this month brings more blessings than the ones did in other months. "It is also a month for practising piety, patience and tolerance. Remaining hungry in the day makes us feel the hunger of those who starve due to shortage of food. Denial of food, water and sex during the day is an exercise in self-control patience," said cleric Maulana Shoeb Koti. The Quran should ideally be recited everyday, but it is the only month where the Quran is recited at congregational prayers performed in the night called tarawih.

While men are looking forward to long sessions of prayers like tarawih, many housewives are worried because of the rising prices of fruits, edible oil, flour, sugar and onion. "The budget is going haywire due to price rise. Delicacies for iftar (breaking of fasts) and sehri (pre-dawn small meal) will be hit badly as middleclass families cannot cope with the steep price rise," said Ghazala Azad, a housewife from Mumbai Central.


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Five Samta Nagar policemen nabbed in custody death case

MUMBAI: The crime branch arrested a police sub-inspector and four constables on Saturday in the custodial death of 23-year-old Akshay Kharade.

The Bombay high court had recently directed the crime branch to file an affidavit after lodging an FIR against the five Samta Nagar cops over the custodial killing of Kharade in April this year.

Kharade had surrendered to the police in a murder case on April 18. On April 22, he was found dead in the lock-up.

While the police claimed he had suddenly collapsed, his family alleged he was brutally tortured and even the skin of his back had peeled off. A crime branch officer said that the five cops were arrested under IPC section 304 ( culpable homicide not amounting to murder). The PSI, Santosh Borate, along with the four constables, will be produced before a court on Sunday.

Meanwhile, a team of CBI officers on Saturday visited the GRP post at Wadala station to question the witnesses and suspects in the custodial death case of Agnello Valdaris.

The agency has registered an FIR against 10 personnel from the Wadala GRP and charged them with offences that could even attract capital punishment. The CBI officers said that they would make arrest in the case only after examining all the details.

The CBI team was led by senior superintendent of police (special crime branch) Ramnish. He is known for his expertise in cyber crime investigations.

Following a Bombay high court order, the agency had filed the FIR on Wednesday night after recording the statements of complainant Leonard Valdaris, father of Agnello. Agnello was killed on April 18 while in custody of the Wadala GRP.


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Engineering admissions to have 3 rounds

The state government is revising the schedule for the centralized admission process (CAP) for engineering degree courses this year following the Supreme Court's directive that seeks completion of the admissions by July 29.

"We have to commence the academic session from August 1," director of technical education (DTE) S K Mahajan said on Saturday. "As a result, the CAP schedule is being condensed and now there will be a total of three CAP rounds instead of the initially declared four rounds," he said.

Minister for higher and technical education Rajesh Tope said, "The DTE will formally move a proposal to me on Sunday for the revised engineering CAP schedule. We will issue a notification related to the same by Monday."

This year, the process for online submission of engineering CAP forms and confirmation and verification of the same at the application receipt centres (ARCs) commenced on June 23.

A provisional merit list will be released on July 5 and the final list on July 9. "We still have time till July 9 to release the remaining schedule with revised CAP rounds as sought by the apex court," said Mahajan.


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Social group bails out petty criminals

When Waheeda Mastan Shaikh came out of Kalyan jail last month, the first thing she asked her brother was about her "benefactor". "I wanted to thank the organization which paid my bail amount (Rs 15,000) and got me released. My husband abandoned me more than a year ago and my brother had spent all his money in fighting the case. He didn't have the money to pay for the bail amount," says Shaikh who spent nine months in jail for allegedly trying to sell her 14-year-old daughter. "A neighbour falsely implicated me in the case," adds Shaikh.

Shaikh is among 47 former prisoners in the last two months who must thank Al-Bir Foundation, a city-based group which helps poor and non-habitual criminals come out on bail. It either pays the bail amount or produces guarantors or both.

Armed with the list of prisoners and permission from prison authorities, Al-Bir's volunteers and advocates hold counseling sessions in different jails. So far they have visited Arthur Road, Byculla, Taloja and Kalyan jails and, after verifying with their families, have got 47 inmates out on bail. "There are organizations which fight for the terror accused imprisoned in different jails. But practically nobody thinks of the many languishing in jails for petty charges like chain snatching and other minor thefts. Many are first time offenders and dirt poor whose families cannot afford even Rs 15000. We help such inmates," says Abid Ahmed, Al-Bir Foundation's general secretary.

The Foundation has a panel of seven advocates, many of whom work voluntarily. "In the absence of strong legal aid by the state, services of groups like Al-Bir Foundation become significant," says Dr Vijay Raghavan, head of Centre for Criminology and Justice at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). There are organizations like Prayaas, says Raghavan, which help rehabilitate poor prisoners after their release from jails, but it is difficult to find one which pays the cash amount for bails.

Ataullah Firfire, a former bank employee, spent four months in Arthur Road jail for alleged fraud before he got bail last month. "I didn't attend a couple of hearings as I was misguided by some people. And then the warrant was issued. I was arrested. Al-Bir helped me to get a guarantor as my wife had difficulty in finding one," says Firfire. Like other former inmates whom the Foundation helped, Firfire says this initiative is urgently needed. Why has the group confined its help to jails in Mumbai and Kalyan? "We don't have the resources to spread our services to all the jails in Maharashtra. We wanted to experiment and now that we have succeeded we will try to reach out to more inmates," says Ahmed.

Interestingly, sometimes the family members of the inmates tell the lawyers and volunteers not to get the prisoners out. "Some families of habitual offenders are so distressed that they plead us not to get their imprisoned relatives out. We drop such inmates from the list of those who deserve help," says Fakhruddin, one of the advocates on the Foundation's panel.


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Faulty cables, overloading may have led to fire

MUMBAI: The fire on the fifth floor of the New Administrative Building at CST on Friday evening seems, prima facie, to have been caused by a short circuit in the server room because of faulty cables or overloading of the electrical system.

The fire broke out at 5.15 pm in the server room of the Container Corporation of India (Concor) and took over over two hours to douse.The Central Railway (CR) formed a team to determine the cause of the fire.

A Concor official said the company had the infrastructure in place to prevent fires.

"Before the servers were installed, it was ensured that the system was able to carry adequate load," the official said. "The exact cause of the fire will be known on completion of the inquiry."

Concor said it did not have a central AC system.

The six-storey building holds offices of the CR as well as PSUs.

A senior official said some of the PSUs had adopted modern office designs with server rooms or centralized air-conditioning.

"It does appear that the cause of the fire was a short circuit due to overloading or faulty cables," the official said. "The PSUs have a false ceiling that may not be fire retardant. It has to be seen if the furniture and fixtures were fire-retardant."

Suresh Menon, secretary, Fire and Safety Association of India (FSAI) city branch, said most electric fires occured because of overloading or poor quality cable. "Whenever expansion of infrastructure is undertaken it has to be ascertained that the electrical wiring and transformers are capable of taking the additional load," Menon said.

Fire brigade officials said the old building had modern gadgets like computers but not basic fire-fighting equipment like extinguishers or sand buckets.


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Project rewinds a century of Mumbai’s Hindustani music heritage

When the late Hindustani vocalist, Firoz Dastur, once wanted to learn a new bandish, he visited his guru Sawai Gandharva's home in Girgaum's Khetwadi neighbourhood. The Kirana gharana exponent, relaxing outside his house, decided to sing a few notes for his disciple. Minutes after the master began the bandish, the bustling chawl ground to a halt. And then turned into a mehfil. Residents lined the balconies, spilled over into the courtyard and gathered around Sawai Gandharva. The Hindustani classical maestro's impromptu bandish was now an outdoor concert of sorts.

Elsewhere, sangeet natak troupes travelled to competitions across Maharashtra in buses provided by the BEST union, three singing siblings from Uttar Pradesh set up the Bhendi Bazaar gharana, and a pokey room at a Girgaum chawl became the hub for musical performances. While each of these narratives unfolded at a different point in time, together they created Mumbai's rich heritage of Hindustani classical music.

Today, they are also part of Making Music Making Space, an ongoing collaborative project by documentary filmmaker Surabhi Sharma, cultural theorist Tejaswini Niranjana and architect Kaiwan Mehta. It looks at how Hindustani classical music flourished in colonial and post-colonial Mumbai, and how its growth was interlinked with that of the city. Through interviews, archival material and biographies, the project chronicles almost a century of the city's "intangible heritage".

"A lot of the research we did was from the 1860s to the 1950s," Niranjana said. "The idea isn't to document the history of Hindustani music in Bombay, but to show what its significance was." At a talk on Friday, the team took the audience on a tour of sorts, across landmarks such as Girgaum's Laxmi Baug, which was among the most prominent performance venues, the neighbouring Trinity Club— a chawl room where musicians lived and practised— and institutes like the Deodhar School of Indian Music where Kumar Gandharva studied. Wagle Hall at Gaiwadi, Girgaum's Muzaffarabad Hall, and Capitol Cinema in CST too provided space for the genre to flourish.

"There was a kind of mapping that happened," said Sharma. "The people we interviewed would point us to places where they had attended performances, buildings where they learnt music. Layers of history emerged in a single neighbourhood."

While the patronage was earlier clustered in the lanes around Girgaum, the action movednorthwards after the 1950s. "As people migrated to the Dadar-Matunga side, performance venues and music circles came up there," said Niranjana. "This also happened in places like Thane, Vile Parle and Santa Cruz."

Hindustani also seeped into Parsi theatre around the 1870s, said Niranjana, when playwrights began using it more than Gujarati. "Since not many knew the language, there were playwrights brought in from Uttar Pradesh," she said. Marathi sangeet nataks were influenced in turn and incorporated raga-based songs.

The team also looked at how the advent of recording studios and technically superior venues impacted the genre. The art of fitting an entire raga within a recording-friendly span of three minutes also had to be mastered. As the city shape-shifted, the way Hindustani classical music was practised kept pace. "It's a project that can be added to constantly," said Niranjana. "The more we research the subject of Hindustani classical music, the more stories we keep finding."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/followceleb.cms?alias=Sawai Gandharva,Hindustani Vocalist,Firoz Dastur


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Rakhi Sawant joins RPI, ready to fight against MNS chief

Written By kom nampultig on Sabtu, 28 Juni 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: After her miserable electoral debut in Lok Sabha elections, Bollywood starlet Rakhi Sawant joined Ramdas Athawale-led RPI and said she would not hesitate to contest the upcoming assembly polls against MNS chief Raj Thackeray.

"I am scared of none," she said when asked if she would throw her hat in the electoral ring against Raj Thackeray.

In a departure from Thackeray clan's tradition of not contesting elections, the MNS chief had recently announced he would be in the fray in assembly polls due in October.

Sawant, who had polled barely 1,995 votes in her maiden tryst with electoral politics, contesting from Mumbai North-West seat as a candidate of 'Rashtriya Aam Party' founded by her just before the polls, was appointed chief of RPI(A)'s state women's wing.

Announcing her induction into the party Athawale said, "Rakhi is a known face in every household. She is known not only in cities, but in villages as well. Her popularity will definitely help us in the forthcoming elections."

"Rakhi is not only an actor, but an avid social worker too. We want to have more artistes in the party who believe in doing social work so that more and more people can relate to us," he said.

Replying to a query, Athawale, whose party is one of the five constituents of 'Mahayuti', an alliance of five parties including Shiv Sena and BJP, said the actress could be fielded in the assembly polls.
"Rakhi hasn't decided if she would like to be a candidate in the upcoming assembly elections. But if she decides to, we will talk to our allies and take a decision. If all goes well, her candidature is a possibility," he said.

The 35-year-old actress said she can become chief minister one day.


"Forgive me for saying this Athawale ji, but I can definitely become a CM in the future," she said.

Sawant described her failed Lok Sabha bid as "rehearsal" and said she is now ready to campaign for RPI armed with experience.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/followceleb.cms?alias=RPI,Rakhi Sawant,Raj Thackeray


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Travel agent dupes Mahim resident of Rs 17.15 lakh

MUMBAI: The Mahim police arrested two travel agents for siphoning of Rs17.15 lakhs from a job aspirant promising to get him a work permit visa for Canada. Victim Jaffer Usman (45) went to Imran Consultancy in Mahim to get the visa processing done. He was jobless for two years after he returned back to Mumbai from Canada after working there seven years.

The accused—Ashraf Balolia (52) and Nasir Shaikh (26)—promised Usman to get his work done and collected the money on different dates in between February and April. However, Usman learnt about the fraud when he landed in Delhi to collect his visa from a person named Rehman.

On learning being duped, Usman returned back from Delhi and lodged a complaint and got the duo arrested on June 25. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone V) Dhananjay Kulkarni confirmed TOI about the incident. A Mahim police officer said Usman learnt about the fake visa immediately after he went through the visa stamped.

Usman has already worked in Canada for seven years. "He was knowing the formalities to complete for visa processing and also has got visa stamped on his passport required for Canada. On seeing the fake visa he immediately realized about the fraud," said the officer.

The accused has been booked under several sections of the Indian Penal Code for cheating and forgery. They are in police custody till July 2. Meanwhile cops are hunting for the Delhi-based Rehman who have taken Rs7.8 lakhs from the two arrested for visa processing work.

Investigators are probing whether the accused are involved in similar fraud in the past.


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96-year-old murdered in Mumbai, robbery suspected

MUMBAI: A 96-year-old man was found dead with his hands and legs tied at his chawl in Nagpada on Saturday morning.

Abdul Hameed Ansari was suffocated to death by unidentified men, police said.

The suspects used a handkerchief to suffocate the senior citizen, who stayed alone in his room in Yaqoob Manzil, Madanpura.

NK Mehtar, senior inspector of Nagpada police, said that the body was discovered by Ansari's grandson, Wahid at around 8.30am.

"Ansari was fond of fancy mobile phones. He possessed very costly phones which are now missing. The accused apparently tried to unlock a cupboard using a screw driver but could not succeed. When we checked the cupboard it contained Rs 6.52 lakh, which was untouched," said Mehtar.


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Admissions for education Act quota seats go offline

MUMBAI: Schools are conducting offline admissions as enrolment of only 1,195 students was confirmed in unaided non-minority schools under the Right to Education (RTE) Act quota through the online system.

It wants schools to set up an admission panel to monitor the process. According to a circular issued by the BMC, schools cannot fill the vacant seats with students apart from those eligible for the quota. Hence, schools must make efforts to spread awareness about these seats. "The schools must set up an admission committee/grievance redressal committee. The panel will consist of the school principal, member of the parent-teacher association, member of the school management and the education inspector," stated the circular. On Friday, BMC officials meet principals to address problems in the online process.


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At 87mm, Mumbai’s June rainfall is third lowest in 63 years

MUMBAI: With only three days to go, the current month is set to hold the record for the lowest rainfall in June in the last decade. In fact, June 2014 could well turn out to be the third worst monsoon month if available data since 1951 is compared.

The BMC is already weighing 20% water cuts across the city as levels in lakes supplying water to Mumbai have fallen sharply and the meteorology department has predicted showers only after the first week of July. The civic body has also invited tenders for cloud-seeding.

This year, Santa Cruz has recorded a meagre 87.3mm of rainfall. So far, the lowest rainfall recorded in June in a decade was 216.4mm in 2009, the year the state suffered a major drought. Since 1951, the lowest rainfall received in the month of June was 0.6mm in 1972, followed by 82.2mm in 1995.

Last year the rains arrived dramatically in the city and the first month of the monsoon recorded total rainfall of 1,029mm. K S Hosalikar, deputy director general of meteorology at the Regional Meteorological Centre, Mumbai, said, "There has been a substantial deficiency in rainfall in the month of June for Mumbai. We are hoping it will pick up in July. We are looking at the monsoon pattern setting up in July."

Weather officials said there were several reasons for the poor rainfall so far this year. Cyclone 'Nanauk', which passed through the city, reportedly took away a lot of moisture with it. Weather officials also claimed there was no formation of proper rain-giving systems like low pressures or depression.

This year, the IMD declared the onset of the monsoon in Mumbai on June 15. However, it was not followed by the advancement of the south-west monsoons for quite a few days. Surprisingly, last year the monsoon had set over the entire north-west India on June 16, about a month earlier than the normal date of July 15.


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Crime branch records statements of over 15 in Powai rape case

MUMBAI: The city crime branch till Saturday recorded the statements of more than 15 people in connection with an alleged rape case at Powai.

The police have filed an FIR on Thursday on the complaint of a 28-year-old woman in Powai. The Bombay high court ordered the crime branch to investigate the case.

Earlier police recorded the statement of the six persons, including the survivor, and sent her for medical examination. On Friday and Saturday, statements of more than nine residents of Powai who could help in the investigation was recorded. No arrest has been made yet. The sleuths also collected the CCTV footage of Hirandani's office as directed by the HC.

The crime branch has registered an FIR at Powai police station against eight persons, including senior inspector Y L Jadhav, builder Niranjan Hiranandani, Prakash Wadkar and Sanjay Sansare. The survivor had claimed that Jadhav, Wadkar and Sansare raped her earlier this month allegedly over an attempt to evict her from her hut.

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Auction house disputes 'fake Hussains' claim by trust

Written By kom nampultig on Jumat, 27 Juni 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: A day before its scheduled Friday auction of "Significant Indian Art'' Bangalore-based auction house Bid & Hammer disputed claims made by The MF Hussain Foundation that 22 works of the late artist up for bidding were fake. The Foundation had sent the auctioneers a legal notice on Thursday claiming the 22 paintings and books by Hussain to be auctioned were ''unauthenticated''.

The auction house, through their advocate S V Ganesh, had immediately on Thursday, not only disputed the lack of authenticity but attributed 'malafides'' to the "timing of the notice'' and warned of legal consequences against the "unverified claim''.

MZM Legal, a Mumbai-based law firm wrote to Bid & Hammer Auctioneers (P) Ltd on June 26 to express concern on behalf of its clients, the Foundation. It asked the auctioneers to desist from placing Hussain's works in a lot of 22 paintings and books, under the hammer.

The Foundation, its lawyers, said, comprises legal heirs of Hussain and alone hold exclusive right to reproduce, modify, distribute and deal with his paintings and books. The Foundation said the artworks—also to be auctioned online—"were unauthentic, forged and fake.'' "...They suffer from copyright shortcoming and sale of such items is strictly punitive and cognizable under the Indian laws—copyright, criminal and civil.'' It sought "strict proof and production of receipts and certificates of authentication'' from the auction house and cautioned that legal action would be initiated if the auction continues.

Bid & Hammer questioned the authority of the Foundation in claiming sole rights, sought verification of its claim and warned it of legal consequences if the paintings remain unsold at the auction.

In his reply advocate Ganesh wrote, "It is unfortunate that your client has waited till the penultimate moment to raise objections... My client instructs me that only malafides can be attributed to the timing of your notice.'' He said, "my client vehemently disputes that the Foundation is the sole authority to deal with the works of the artist.''

The auctioneers asked the Foundation to "clarify'' the legality and basis of its claim. " Please furnish proof the fact that you have exercised this authority with other auction houses or art dealers in the past,'' his letter added.

"My client further disputes your client's view that the paintings are not authentic. Without prejudice to the contention that your client is not an authority to adjudicate upon the authenticity of any art work, my client states that in the absence of a physical verification of the paintings, an opinion in relation to authenticity cannot be rendered. The premature opinion of your client therefore smacks of malafides,'' it said.

Advocate Zulfiqar Memon of MZM Legal said,''The attempt to auction unauthorised and fake art has exposed the tip of the iceberg. Serious attention needs to be given to international counterfeiting of art.''

In a reply to TOI over the authenticity issue, advocate Ganesh said, ''My only reply is reiteration of my client's stand that in order to ascertain the genuineness or otherwise of a painting or any art object, a physical examination of the painting or art object is a must. This has not been done by the "Foundation" and hence the claim of the "Foundation" can only be an unverified guess.''


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Fire in Mumbai's CST building, 35 rescued

MUMBAI: A fire broke out in a building at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) station here this evening but no casualty has been reported so far, fire officials said.

The blaze started on the fifth floor of the new administrative building of the Central Railway at DN Road.

Eight fire tenders were rushed to the spot, according to fire brigade officials.

35 railways staffers have been rescued from the building.

Narendra Patil, chief public relations officer, central railways, said, "There are several offices on the fifth floor of the administrative building, but as of now the fire has been brought under control."

ACP Krishna Prakash confirmed no causalities. Meanwhile, the suburban trains running from platform no. 1 were suspended as a precautionary measure.

"We got a call at about 5pm and we immediately pressed four fire tenders into service. Thereafter, the fire was upgraded one notch to Grade 2 and a total of eight fire tenders, snorkels and ambulances have now been rushed to the spot," an official said.

Vehicular traffic on the JJ flyover has been halted temporarily and services of few trains in the Suburban Line have also been affected, they said.

The cause of the blaze has not been ascertained yet and efforts are on to evacuate the officials working in the building, the official added.

Traffic cops also issued diversions to unclog the DN road stretch where massive traffic snarls were reported.

The following diversions were issued:

* From Bhatia baug junction-turn towards P D'Mello Road

* From Hajarimal Somani Road at CST towards Metro Cinema junction

* From CST to Metro Cinema junction

* From OCS to Metro Cinema junction

* From PK Wines no entry to city police commissioner's office side

* Chakala towards P D'Mello Road side

"Roads are being cleared for fire tenders to pass by. Additional manpower has been deployed," said additional police commissioner, traffic, Qaiser Khalid. Traffic movement was restored by 7.15pm on DN Road.

(With inputs from agencies)

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After rail fare relief, price rise puts Maharashtra BJP in a spot

MUMBAI: With the assembly polls barely months away, the Centre's decision to partially roll back the unprecedented rail fare hike may have brought some cheer to the state BJP, but the road ahead doesn't seem smooth.

Reports of a hike in gas and sugar prices have dampened party workers' spirit, especially with the Congress-NCP's continued protests against the "buray din" ahead under the Modi regime.

"The state BJP's woes are yet to end. There are reports gas and sugar will cost more. We will have to face greater public ire," said a party leader. "There are ample indications onion prices may also go up."

He added: "In (Gopinath) Mundeji's death, we have lost a charismatic leader. The Shiv Sena continues to act pricey. Prices are going up. The Modi wave seems on the wane. Looks like bad days are ahead for the party."


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Mumbaikars may get water-cut shock if dry spell continues

MUMBAI: With rain playing truant and water levels depleting, Mumbaikars may soon have to face water-cuts upto 15 per cent, civic officials said on Thursday.

"We have received only three per cent of rainfall in June till now, whereas we should have ideally received at least 15 per cent. If Mumbai does not get rains in the next 2-3 days, we will have to impose a water cut of 10-15 per cent in the city," a senior MCGM (Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai) official told .

However, a final decision in this regard will be taken in a review meeting, which will be held in the next two days, said deputy municipal commissioner Ramesh Bambale.

Bambale said that while monsoons in the city remain uncertain, MCGM has advised citizens to use water wisely and refrain from using drinking water for other purposes.

"We have been cautioning citizens against wasting water, which is now scarce. Water needs to be saved as much as possible at this time. We are not sure how the monsoon situation will pan out in the future. If water in the lakes further dries up, we will be left with no option in our hands," he said.

As of today, water in seven major lakes — which supplies water to the city — is 1.32 lakh million litres (enough to last for a month) compared to 3,33,906 lakh million litres last year.

The city faced a similar water crisis in July 2009, when a 30 per cent water cut was imposed on the city. The water cut back then was the maximum permitted by Mumbai's water supply network.

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Fire breaks out in building near Mumbai's CST

MUMBAI: A fire broke out in a building at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) station here this evening but no casualty has been reported so far, fire officials said.

The blaze started on the fifth floor of the new administrative building of the Central Railway at DN Road.

Eight fire tenders were rushed to the spot, according to fire brigade officials.

35 railways staffers have been rescued from the building.

Narendra Patil, chief public relations officer, central railways, said, "There are several offices on the fifth floor of the administrative building, but as of now the fire has been brought under control."

ACP Krishna Prakash confirmed no causalities. Meanwhile, the suburban trains running from platform no. 1 were suspended as a precautionary measure.

"We got a call at about 5pm and we immediately pressed four fire tenders into service. Thereafter, the fire was upgraded one notch to Grade 2 and a total of eight fire tenders, snorkels and ambulances have now been rushed to the spot," an official said.

Vehicular traffic on the JJ flyover has been halted temporarily and services of few trains in the Suburban Line have also been affected, they said.

The cause of the blaze has not been ascertained yet and efforts are on to evacuate the officials working in the building, the official added.

Traffic cops also issued diversions to unclog the DN road stretch where massive traffic snarls were reported.

The following diversions were issued:

* From Bhatia baug junction-turn towards P D'Mello Road

* From Hajarimal Somani Road at CST towards Metro Cinema junction

* From CST to Metro Cinema junction

* From OCS to Metro Cinema junction

* From PK Wines no entry to city police commissioner's office side

* Chakala towards P D'Mello Road side

"Roads are being cleared for fire tenders to pass by. Additional manpower has been deployed," said additional police commissioner, traffic, Qaiser Khalid. Traffic movement was restored by 7.15pm on DN Road.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Businessman held for forging wife's property papers

MUMBAI: A senior businessman has been arrested for allegedly forging his wife's property papers and selling it off as a non-agricultural (NA) plot in Wada taluka of Thane district.

Sukumar Shah (65) forged documents to sell a 14 acre agriculture plot owned by his wife Smita (55) located in Khaire-Ambivli village in Wada taluka.

He collected Rs 74 lakhs as part payment from the prospective buyer. The buyer approached the collector's office in Jawahar to check the title of the property. The buyer found that the property was an agricultural plot and had not been converted into NA.

The buyer informed the collector's office who inturn alerted the talati, who registered a complaint with the Wada police. The original owner of the plot was unware about the sale.

The police on investigation found that Shah had forged the government documents. The police booked him under cheating and forgery charges of the IPC.

Police are investigating who helped Shah forge the documents.

Shah owns two industrial units in Wada and was the former president of the Wada Taluka Industrial Federation.

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24-hours water cut in Mira-Bhayander to lay new pipeline

Written By kom nampultig on Kamis, 26 Juni 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The Mira-Bhayander region will face a 24-hours water cut to lay a new water pipeline.

Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC) officials have asked residents to save water as supply will be stopped from 9 am on Friday till 9 am on Saturday.

The supply will be stopped to complete the laying of a 1,300 mm pipeline that will supply 20 mld water to the region from the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC). The decision to give water to the region was taken in 2012 by state industry minister Narayan Rane.

The work on the pipeline from Kapurbawdi to Kajupada is complete. Work on joining the pipeline will be undertaken on Friday.

As of now the region receives 86 mld water from the Shahad Temghar Water Authority (STEM), a consortium of three municipal corporations of Thane, Bhiwandi-Nizampur and Mira-Bhayander. Another 30 mld comes from MIDC.

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Western Railway cracks whip on ticketless travellers, recovers Rs 11 crore fines

MUMBAI: The Western Railway recently registered 2.33 lakh cases of ticketless travelling and apprehending those with unbooked luggage, and recovered Rs 11 crore in fines.

A WR official said that the checks were conducted mainly in May. "During the month, 1,862 cases of illegal transfer of reserved tickets were detected and an amount of approximately Rs 20 lakh was recovered. Our enforcement teams also caught 1,255 beggars and unauthorized hawkers, evicted them and imposed fines. Ninety persons were sent to jail,'' the official said.

During May, 180 checks were conducted against touts and other anti-social elements. As a result, 253 persons were apprehended and prosecuted and fined under various sections of Railways Act and 12 persons were sent behind bars, officials said.

Senior WR officials have appealed to all rail users to buy proper railway ticket and travel with dignity.


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Taxi drivers asked to shift e-meter from near gearbox to dashboard

MUMBAI: The RTO has issued directives to all black and yellow taxi drivers in Mumbai to install their e-meters close to the dashboard and not near the gear box. This will ensure visibility of the e-meter reading to all passengers travelling in the cab.

"If the drivers do not comply with the directives, which have been isused by the MMRTA this week, we will soon take stringent action,'' warned a RTO official. The fine could be upto Rs 500, sources said.

The MMRTA took a few key decisions in the interests of passengers, one of them being the positioning of the e-meter. Also, every cab will now have to compulsarily display a laminated photocopy of the driver's permit. The cabbie will also display a sticker having three helpline numbers — the police helpline, the women safety helpline and the RTO helpline.

This is being done in the interest of safety of wommen commuters. Also, the name and other details of the driver will be available on the permit copy and commuters can use this to lodge complaints.


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BEST plans more buses at LTT, Bandra Terminus to cater to passenger rush

MUMBAI: The BEST plans to increase its bus services from outside Lokmanya Tilak Terminus and Bandra Terminus railway stations to cater to the increasing rush of passengers.

A senior BEST official from traffic wing said, "We have written letters to the railway authorities and are asking for allotment of more space to create bus stations and stops. We also want to park five to seven buses at any given time so that passengers arriving by trains can get continuous bus service from these two stations.

Thousands of passengers arrive in Mumbai by long distance trains, especially during the early morning hours.

At present the BEST runs 50 buses and 200-250 trips from Bandra Terminus, the most popular among them being bus No 310 to Kurla. It also plies route numbers 303 (Mulund) and 316 (Bandra colony). While there is no demand for buses at Mumbai CST station, the bus undertaking has services upto LTT on a couple of routes including an air-conditioned bus AS-5. "There are 50 trips operated daily,'' the official stated.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the BEST launched two new ferry (ring) routes outside Marol/ Airport Road/ Chakala and Azad Nagar Metro train stations. "While we may increase feeder routes outside Metro depending on demand, there are no plans to have any bus service close to the Monorail station,'' said BEST general manager Om Prakash Gupta. The Metro train service operates in Mumbai from Ghatkopar to Versova stations via Andheri while the Monorail runs from Wadala to Chembur.


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BMC contradicts IIT report on streetlights

MUMBAI: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporations (BMC) report of the illumination levels of the city is contradicting a report that was endorsed by IIT-B.

The BMC surveyed 49 spots in the island city and eastern suburbs and found out that only 18 spots were such where the illumination levels were lesser than prescribed.

Meanwhile a report that was commissioned by BJP corporator Ameet Satam and was prepared by a private agency and endorsed by IIT-B showed that of the same 49 spots surveyed the lux levels were below in more than 40 spots.

The difference is so stark that areas like Regal cinema chowk, the required illumination of the road should be 15 lux, which the private survey shows that the average lux levels of the area is 4.08 and the BMC's survey shows that the levels are 23.02.

Raising the issue in the civic standing committee on Wednesday Satam said that the BMC has tabled a false report to show that all is okay with the streetlight network.

"When the formula to calculate the levels is the same how can the results be so starkly different. The BMC administration is misguiding the standing committee,"said Satam.

A special meeting to discuss the issue has been arranged.

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11,600 citizens living around high-voltage transmission sensitized

MUMBAI: Tata Power has begun a fresh campaign in Mumbai to sensitize and educate locals around high-voltage transmission in a bid to reduce the electrical accidents in these high-risk zones.

Nearly 11,600 citizens from Mankhurd, Wadala, Parel, Dharavai, Kurla, Malvani, Malad, Kandivli, Borivli, Bhandup, Vikroli, Kanjurmargh, Mumbra, Khopoli and Ambernath were sensitised through various street-plays and door-to-door campaigns in May and June, officials said.

"We give importance to the safety and well-being of residents living in areas which are close to high-voltage transmission lines," said V K Chourey, head-Transmission, Mumbai operation, Tata Power. " Ashok Sethi, Executive Director, Tata Power added, "Our campaign has received an overwhelming response and gives us motivation to continue with these awareness drives to spread the safety messages."

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Fare hike for Mumbai locals rolled back

Written By kom nampultig on Rabu, 25 Juni 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI/ NEW DELHI: In a massive relief for lakhs of Mumbai's suburban railway commuters, the Modi government on Tuesday announced a partial rollback of the unprecedented rail fare hike. Besides not hiking second-class daily ticket fares up to 80km, first-class daily tickets and first- and second-class season tickets will now be increased by a flat 14.2%. The unprecedented hike announced on June 20, ranging between 100% and 187%, had drawn a barrage of criticism from over 75 lakh Mumbaikars who commute by local trains.

The new fares will be effective starting Saturday.

The rollback was announced by the Railway Board after a delegation of BJP and Shiv Sena MPs from Mumbai met railway minister Sadanand Gowda in the capital urging him to cancel the hike. With Maharashtra set to go to the polls in October, the Centre took note of their criticism that the increase was too steep.

TOI was the first to report on Tuesday that the Centre was likely to do a rethink on the hike announced last Friday.

The increase of 100%—in some cases, nearly 200%—had generated widespread anger among Mumbaikars and led to a huge rush to buy season tickets before the new fares kicked in. The Railways had decided to tweak the formula for computing the season ticket fare, saying the monthly fare would, from now on, be charged on the basis of 30 single journeys instead of the earlier 15-journeys formula.

With the rollback, this revised formula stands discarded, a senior official from the Central Railway's commercial department said. However, the increase of 14.2% in passenger fares for long-distance travel and 6.5% in freight services remains unchanged and would be effective from Tuesday night.

The Railways were initially hoping to garner around Rs 9,200 crore from the fare hike. The rollback comes as a setback for the department, officials said, as the major loss in the passenger segment is due to highly subsidized fares in the suburban sector. This sector constitutes 52% of total passenger traffic but generates only 6% revenue.

But it is a major reprieve for Mumbai's commuters; for them, a 14.2% increase places minimal burden on their budgets.

For example, the second-class season ticket fare between Churchgate to Borivli on the Western line and CST to Thane on the Central line could now be Rs 270 as against the earlier 190, and a first-class season ticket on the same two stretches may cost Rs 750 per month instead of Rs 655.

First-class daily fares will change, but here too the increase will not be unbearable. A WR official said, "The first-class fare will increase by a minimum of Rs 5 and a maximum of Rs 30 on the 120km stretch between Churchgate and Dahanu."

The minimum first-class fare will be Rs 50 as against Rs 45. The fare between Churchgate and Andheri is likely to go up from Rs 90 to Rs 105. On the Central line, the first-class fare between CST and Thane could be Rs 140 as against Rs 120, and on the Harbour network, the CST-to-Panvel fare is set to be Rs 165 instead of the earlier Rs 145.

Some commuters, though, criticized the government, saying the rollback should have come before they had bought new passes to beat the hike.

Ramesh Joshi, a Matunga resident, said, "I bought the CST-to-Thane first-class annual ticket worth Rs 5,400 in the morning as the railways had announced that the monthly fare would increase from Rs 500 to Rs 1,310 from June 25. I feel cheated now because there were still 25 days to go for expiry of my existing pass."

Another commuter, Aarti Naik, said, "I had to skip work because I had to stand in queue to buy the season ticket pass to evade the hike."

A Railway official however said an opportunity to bring in reforms had been lost, and populism had won again. "The CR suburban system suffers a loss of Rs 2 crore per day. How do commuters expect us to provide decent services when we are bleeding in this manner," a CR official said.

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Ticket counters work overnight, 5 lakh train passes sold in 3 days in Mumbai

MUMBAI: Before Tuesday's tweaking of the suburban pass fares, the stunning hike announced on Friday and the panic it triggered in the city led to unprecedented scenes and sales.

More than five lakh commuters bought season tickets, including a very high percentage of annual or half-yearly passes, bringing the railways over Rs 26crore at least in revenue in just three days since the hike was announced. The massive rush at booking windows in stations across the city forced ticketing to continue overnight on Monday, an occurrence unheard of in the metro.

Thousands queued up all through the day to buy passes — 96,916 in Western Railway stations and 95,385 in Central Main and Harbour — and since the crowd did not reduce even at night, booking clerks were forced to keep working beyond their scheduled hours.

"Usually, I get just 30-50 commuters in the night. This time, I am handling more than 500 and it is a strenuous job calculating the cash, talking to commuters and generating passes without errors. The increase is 10 times and we handled huge cash running into lakhs of rupees," said a clerk at a suburban station on Monday.

The clerks were deployed in large numbers (in three shifts), with almost all counters at most stations remaining open throughout the day and some round-the-clock.

"On June 23 (Monday) alone, we earned Rs 7.08 crore, 2.7 times the average earnings. In terms of season tickets booked, the number was 95,385, which is 2.3 times the normal sale," said a CR official.

"The queues at the CST Star Chamber booking office had spilled on to the main concourse. People were waiting for 30 to 40 minutes to buy a season ticket, which is unheard of," said an official at CST.

On WR, too, sales were brisk as 97,000 season tickets were sold on Monday. On Tuesday, till 4pm, the sales had touched almost 84,000. "We expect the total earnings of the past three days to cross Rs 16 crore because of huge demand of annual and half-yearly passes," said a WR official.

On both WR and CR, the demand for half-yearly and annual season tickets was high. On Monday, over 9,000 yearly passes and 11,172 six-month tickets were sold in CR. "We have sold close to 19,000 annual and 16,000 half-yearly passes in 3 days," said the WR official.

Many working couples were spotted arriving at ticket windows after dinner on Monday to get passes. "We will each save Rs 8,000 annually if we purchase the season passes tonight," said Shilpa Dwivedi, who had come with husband Amit to Mulund station booking counter around 11pm. "The money we both save means a lot to us," she added. Tuesday's announcement will bring relief to many like Shilpa.

At many stations like Dadar, CST, Kurla, Andheri, Mumbai Central, Borivli and Ghatkopar, the queues were longer than the previous days and it only grew as the day progressed.


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Maharashtra CM offers Campa Cola residents deal to regularize flats

MUMBAI: Staring at a possible backlash during the forthcoming assembly elections, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday offered a solution to the residents of Campa Cola that will ensure the 96 illegal flats are not demolished and they return to legal flats.

TOI had reported on Monday that Chavan had "showed willingness" to take the opinion of solicitor-general Ranjit Kumar and advocate-general Darius Khambata on the demand of regularizing the 67,000 sq ft of permissible FSI(Floor Space Index) available to the seven Campa Cola buildings.

State government sources said that while the gas, water and electricity connections will be cut, no holes will be punched and the flats will not be made inhabitable.

The civic body on Tuesday disconnected 90 electricity, 47 gas and 25 water connections. The civic body will continue its action on Wednesday. Deputy municipal commissioner Anand Waghralkar said, "We will submit a report to the Supreme Court about the action taken this week and then decide on the future course of action."

Once all residents of the illegal flats have vacated and handed over the keys to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), they will write to the civic body seeking regularization of their flats. "The BMC will accept their request to amalgamate an adjoining plot with the Campa Cola compound, add the fungible floor space index and say there is enough floor space index to regularize all flats. The proposal will then be put before the urban development department as a special case. It will be considered and approved before the assembly elections,'' the sources said.

READ ALSO: BMC begins disconnecting power, gas to illegal Campa Cola flats

Civic officials told TOI there will be a "miracle'' and sources affirmed there will be no demolition.

When the residents had met Chavan on Sunday, he had told them to vacate their flats, but assured them that whatever was possible within the legal framework would be done and there would be no irreversible damage to their flats.

Chavan, the sources said, wants to ensure there is absolutely no interference with the Supreme Court order, which forbids interference by the state government.

"Given the large number of illegal flats in the city, the Congress-led Democratic Front government can ill-afford not to save Campa Cola. It will be seen as punishing innocent flat-buyers, while officials, builders and architects go scot-free,'' the sources said. The timing too is unfavourable to the ruling party given that assembly elections are due in three months.
READ ALSO: Campa Cola residents apologize to BMC, agree to let civic body in
The residents were unaware of the developments through the day. Midtown resident Kavita Mutha said, "Our last hope has gone today. Whatever little is left will go tomorrow when they cut off our water supply. We will have to start looking for a house now." They had claimed that they were shifting to the houses of friends or relatives, and had not found alternative accommodation in the last 18 months.

The residents had on June 15 sought President Pranab Mukherjee's intervention. A special leave petition filed by the residents is scheduled to be heard by the apex court on June 30.

(Inputs from Bhavika Jain & Freny Fernandes)


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Reliance Communications raises $1 billion from investors, promoters

MUMBAI: Anil Ambani led Reliance Communications (RCom) on Wednesday raised Rs 6100 crore or $1 billion in a transformational overnight deal, involving qualified institutional placement (QIP) of Rs 4,800 crore, the largest in India, excluding banks said sources in the know.

The company's board on Tuesday evening 6pm after closure of market hours approved QIP offering of Rs 3,000 crore and the deal went live on the stock exchanges at around 9pm. The book was fully covered by 11pm with orders pouring in overnight from US funds, while funds in Singapore and Hong Kong placed orders on Wednesday morning 5.30am onwards, said a source.

"The books were closed on Wednesday at 9am, before the opening of markets with bids received exceeding Rs 12,000 crore or $2 billion. The company up-sizes the offering by 60% from the base level to Rs 4,800 crore, making it the largest ever QIP offering in India, excluding banks," said the source quoted earlier adding that the QIP got overwhelming response from 'long only' investors in US, Middle East and Asia.

The promoters decided to invest Rs 1,300 crore through preferential allotment of warrants alongside QIP offering with 5% premium over QIP offering taking RCom's total equity proceeds over Rs 6,100 crore.

The entire proceeds will be used to pay down high cost rupee debt and deleverage balance sheet and interest savings of Rs 800 crore. This may be termed as the single biggest equity issue since the pro-business Narendra Modi government took office.

Country's third-largest mobile phone operator by customers had net debt of Rs 40,000 crore or $6.7 billion as of March 31, 2014, more than five times its operating profit, making it the most-leveraged among listed Indian carriers. A Reliance Communications spokesman declined to comment on the issue.

Reliance Communications shares on BSE closed almost flat at Rs 151 in a volatile Mumbai market on Wednesday.

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72% Indian employers expect focus on health and productivity to grow: Towers Watson

MUMBAI: Indian employers' focus on health and productivity (H&P) is growing and is the highest in the Asia Pacific region according to a survey report, conducted by global professional services company Towers Watson.

The report stated that 96% companies in India feel H&P played a moderate to essential role in their organization's health strategy and three in every four Indian employers expect the focus on H&P to grow in the next two years. Leading the Asia Pacific markets, almost half (44%) of the Indian companies plan to put in place a health and wellbeing strategy within the next couple of years, while 48% already have one in place.

Anuradha Sriram, director — benefits, Towers Watson, India said: "It is extremely encouraging to find Indian companies place greater focus on health and wellness. But to translate this focus into tangible improvement in employee wellbeing and productivity and thereby financial performance, companies must identify effective programs rather than copying popular ones and strive towards evolving a robust health and wellness strategy instead of implementing a number of tactical initiatives."

Globally, companies with the most effective H&P programs are more productive and generate 34% higher revenue per employee, reveals the report. Such companies enjoy around 20% points higher market premium. Moreover, the number of leaves taken by employees of these companies goes down by 1.0 for each employee per year. Similarly, employee participation in lifestyle behaviour coaching programs is higher by 20 percentage points for such companies.

"Our analysis shows that high effectiveness organisations are moving beyond program implementation and are investing in creating and nurturing a culture that encompasses health and wellness. These companies are naturally able to build and sustain better well-being over time and achieve even greater benefits in terms of reduced health care costs as well as greater productivity and performance" said Sriram.

Indian employers ranked stress as the number one lifestyle risk factor but H&P programs focus elsewhere.

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Former medical officer held for raping lady doctor in Vasai

MUMBAI: The former chief medical health officer of the Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC) has been arrested for allegedly raping a lady doctor in a car.

Dr Sunil Wadkar (38) allegedly raped the doctor who had met him for an interview at his private nursing home in Vasai recently. According to the complainant, after the interview Wadkar offered to drop her home. He, however, drove her in his car to a secluded place on the highway in Vasai, where he raped her. He even took nude pictures of the woman.

Wadkar allegedly threatened to make the pictures public if the woman complained. On Tuesday, the woman registered a complaint with the Valiv police in Vasai (east). Wadkar has been arrested and remanded to two days police custody. His Skoda car has been seized by the police. He has been booked under sections 376(rape) and 506(criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal code.

He was the chief health officer till a year ago. He was allegedly removed from service following complaints of harassing women employees.

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No stay on Mumbai Metro fare hike: Bombay high court to MMRDA

Written By kom nampultig on Selasa, 24 Juni 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The Bombay HC on Tuesday rejected the MMRDA's plea for a stay on the rates fixed for the Mumbai Metro by Reliance Infrastructure-led Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL). Justice R Dhanuka said that the fares by MMOPL will continue till the fare fixation committee takes a decision on it. Refusing to go into the issue whether the fare fixed was "reasonable" or not, the high court further asked the Union government to constitute the fare fixation committee.

MMOPL had fixed an initial fare of Rs 10-40 for the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar route which was inaugurated on June 8. The MMRDA had dragged RInfra to the high court insisting that the Metro fares should be as per the concession agreement that set it between Rs 9 and Rs 13.

The high court said that MMRDA's plea was "devoid of merits". MMOPL had insisted that the initial fares could operate till the fare fixation committee sets the Metro fares. The HC said that the legality of the resolution authorising the fares can be gone into before the arbitral tribunal to be constituted by MMRDA and MMOPL. MMOPL had justified the fare hike claiming there was a cost escalation of over Rs 1,935 crore above the original project cost of Rs 2,356 crore.

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HC: For revising fare Railways do not need approval of Parliament

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Tuesday refused to stay the railway fare hike observing that it is a policy matter and hence there is no question of granting any interim relief.

The HC added, "It is not disputed that for revising rates railways do not need approval of parliament. The railways rely on a ruling of 1974 of speaker of the parliament which says no approval of parliament is required for a fare hike."

A bench of Justice Abhay Oka and A S Chandurkar while hearing a PIL filed by consumer group Mumbai Grahak Panchayat through its chairperson Shirish Deshpande to challenge the "exorbitant" hike said, "Suppose an interim relief is granted and the petition fails, who will pay the amount? Let us hear on July 3 when it is fixed for regular hearing."

Advocate Uday Warunjikar lawyer for MGP said he would argue it for interim relief. The court thus heard it.

In Ketan Tirodkar's PIL against the hike the court observed that there is no demand for a stay and said, "We will fix it for admission on July 3."

"The authority says will be effective from tomorrow.What is illegal about it?" asked the bench.

Warunjikar said, "If on July 3 the HC says the hike is not to be done what will happen to those passengers who have paid the revised fares?"

The judge said, "if it reduced those who have purchased can seek refund. Ticket holder can keep ticket and go for refunds." To this Warunjikar said, "there are 75 lakh commuters daily in Mumbai. If all start seeking refund it will create chaos." He asked, "What's the urgency to bring out the hike at a short notice, when the parliament will be in session soon?"

Justice Oka said, "Is it a case for grant of ad-interim reliefs You will have to point out to authorities that this is excessive."

Advocate Wrunjikar said, ''The revised rates are so shocking. It is a 186 percent hike and reflects adhoc behavior. The secretary in the ministry is taking the decision.'' To this the judges asked him if he was suggesting the central government did not take the decision?'' The lawyer was quiet. But then he said that there needs to be an expert committee before such hikes are decided.

Justice Oka asked the lawyer to point out which provision in the law required consultation committee to be set up first for rail fare hikes. The judge added, '"In an interim plea, we cannot appoint an expert committee.'' The advocate for the railways, Suresh Kumar then pointed out that there was a decision in the 1970s by the Speaker which made it clear that no approval of the Parliament was required for railways to revise the fare.

The HC also said to MGP that when it comes to the court of law, it must show the illegality if it is seeking relief.

In its order which it dictated in open court, Justice Oka who dictated it said, "The challenge in the PIL is to the notification issued on June 21 on fare hike to be effective from June 25.''

The judge said, "The MGP advocate does not dispute there is power under railways act to fix dare hike by general or special order. His objection is to the exorbitant hike o over 180 percent. The budget session is around the corner and fixation of fare hike date is arbitrary. And he prays for stay in season fares for Mumbai suburban commuters''

The judge said, "Railways Act of 1989 allows fare hike. There is a power also to fix the revised date. The MGP counsel says he is unable to point out any illegality as regards to fixation of date and given the magnitude of the hike such a short date need bit have been fixed.''

The HC observed that the Implementation of revised rate was withdrawn by previous government due to the election. "Given that impugned decision is in nature of policy decision, no ad interim relief can be granted. Hence refused. It is kept on July for regular hearing on July 3.''

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Witness turns hostile in Salman Khan's hit-and-run case

MUMBAI: A witness in the 2002 hit-and-run case involving Salman Khan on Tuesday retracted his police statement in a court, saying he had not said that the actor had got down from the driver's seat of his vehicle and ran away after the accident occurred in suburban Bandra.

"My statement recorded by police that I saw Salman coming out from the driver's seat and running away from the spot is incorrect," the witness, Sachin Kadam, a security guard of NeelSagar Hotel, told Judge D W Deshpande.

Earlier, the witness had told police in a statement that he had seen the actor getting down from the driver's seat of his car and going away from the scene of the mishap.

Kadam said he had only told the police that a big car came and rammed into the shutter of a shop.

Kadam was on Tuesday confronted with his police statement but he went back on his own words saying he had not told the police about this.

READ ALSO: Unsure if Salman Khan was drunk, bar manager tells court

However, the witness was unable to say why the police had recorded a "false version" in his statement.

Public prosecutor Jagannath Kenjralkar told the court that Kadam should be declared as a hostile witness as he had not supported the prosecution. However, the court has yet to pass order on this plea.

During cross-examination, the witness told Salman's lawyer Srikant Shivade that he had not seen the accident as he was on duty on that day at the gate of the restaurant.

"I heard a loud noise and only then I went there to see that a car had rammed into a shop," he said.

NeelSagar Hotel, where he works, is just opposite to the bakery and laundry where Salman's car had met with an accident on September 28, 2002, in which one person was killed and four others injured.

Another witness, Mohammed Shaikh, who was one of those injured in the mishap, however, supported the prosecution's case saying he had seen Salman standing at the accident spot after he was rescued from underneath the car by people.

"I saw Salman after I was rescued. There were two more people but I did not recognise them. It was a big white car," said the witness.

Shaikh said he was sleeping with Narullah and others outside a bakery shop when the car ran over them and hit the shutter. He was admitted to Bhabha hospital with a fractured leg and over there he learnt that Narullah had died in the mishap.

However, during cross-examination, the witness said that he did not see Salman offering help in the rescue work.

"I was underneath the car for 10 to 15 minutes and could not see who was around us," said Shaikh.

To a question whether he saw Salman moving the car with the help of others after the accident, the witness replied, "I do not know."

"Police came and took away the car but I cannot say how the vehicle was taken away by them. Till then, Narullah and I were underneath the car and shouting at the top of our voices for help," Shaikh said.

The witness further said that taxi drivers and bakery workers, who had rescued them, were screaming that the accident had been "done by Salman".

Shaikh said he had informed police that Salman had met with an accident. "But I cannot say why this has not been recorded by police in my statement," the witness said.

Salman was present in the court on Tuesday. His sister Alvira and bodyguard also accompanied him. A battery of lawyers represented the actor but the cross-examination was done by noted lawyer Shrikant Shivade.

On December 5 last year, the court had ordered a fresh trial on the ground that the witnesses had not been examined in the context of aggravated charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, which was invoked against the actor midway through the case.

The charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder attracts a 10-year sentence. The actor had earlier been tried by a magistrate for a lesser offence of causing death by negligence, which entailed an imprisonment of two years.

The case, dragging on for over a decade, had taken a twist earlier this year when the magistrate, after examining 17 witnesses, held that the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder was made out against Salman and referred the matter to a sessions court, as cases under this offence are tried by a higher court.


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Cop arrested for demanding Rs 1.20 lakh bribe from restaurant owner

NAVI MUMBAI: An official of Pen police station in Raigad district was arrested by the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for demanding a bribe of Rs 1.20 lakh from a restaurant owner to allow his eatery to remain open during the late night hours in Pen.

The arrested cop, API NakulNyamane (39), eventually brought the bribe amount down to Rs 80,000 after a bit of haggling by the restaurant owner who had lodged a complaint with the ACB. Nyamane was caught red handed accepting the bribe amount.

ACB has also requested citizens to contact them on the phone number 022-25427979 in case they are being harassed to give bribes by any government employee.

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Organized retail could grow to $200 billion

MUMBAI: Organized retail could grow from $40 billion to $200 billion in the next five to seven years, with successful models of retail namely food and grocery sectors to footwear to lifestyle products doing well and giving high returns to the investor, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, Partner, Rare Enterprises, said at the CII National Retail Summit here on Tuesday.

It was stated that 2014 would be a good year for retailing in India as income levels have risen for much of the Indian population. Domestic brands and local companies remained dominant among the players operating in retailing in India during 2014. In spite of various relaxations made to the rules regarding foreign direct investment in India in, international companies remain cautious about India, according to J Suresh, MD and CEO, Arvind Lifestyle Brands.

As an industry, the retail sector is seeking more foreign institutional investor (FII) participation in retail, as it will ease the funds crunch especially for unlisted retailers. In addition, there is much anticipation that there will be more clarity on the rollout of GST, which will help in uniform taxation across states and ease the service tax pressure.

Over the past decade, the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) sector of India has been annually growing at a consistent rate of 11%. This double digit growth each year has been possible by increasing consumer demands. In the past five years the growth had then accelerated to 17%. However, Indian companies are striving hard to keep up with ever-changing consumer preferences.

Kurush Grant, Chairman, CII National Committee on FMCG 2014-15 and executive director, FMCG Businesses, ITC, said over the last year, FMCG has come under pressure and hence what is needed by the industry is to think about what to do to recreate itself. There is a need to understand the consumer better and finally the last mile connectivity — the distribution infrastructure and capabilities are critical to achieving success for FMCG businesses.

A report titled "Changing your Orbit - The Handbook for Transformation in FMCG & Retail Businesses" by CII and The Boston Consulting Group, was unveiled and it highlights the need and approach of how an integrated top-down effort to drive successful transformation can be undertaken in the FMCG and retail industries.

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RBI bars Kapol bank from premature repaymed of FDs

MUMBAI: Reserve Bank of India has appointed an administrator for Mumbai-based Kapol Cooperative Bank and has directed the lender not to consider any pre-mature withdrawal of fixed deposits.

RBI typically appoints an administrator when it is unhappy with the management of a bank or in order to protect interest of depositors. Typically before effecting a change of management in a cooperative bank, RBI places restriction on withdrawals to prevent a run on the bank.

A statement issued by the bank said that barring pre-mature withdrawal of FDs customers can conduct normal operations in their savings and current accounts.

"The bank is managed professionally on sound lines. Customers are therefore requested not to believe in speculative rumours or messages received through social media/mobile/internet and to be assured that the bank is in a position to honour all its commitments and provdie the best of services to its esteemed customer," the bank said.

The 75-year old bank has 15 branches. The chairman's statement for the 2012-13 annual report states that the bank has managed to generate a net profit of ? ?Rs 1.8 crore 14 as compared to Rs 3.6 crore in the FY13.

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Pawar play nixes plan to sack CM

Written By kom nampultig on Senin, 23 Juni 2014 | 22.23

NEW DELHI: The Congress's move to replace Prithviraj Chavan as chief minister has got stalled because of a disagreement with NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

Sources said Pawar is insisting on former CM and ex-Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde, whereas Congress would like Chavan to be replaced by a fellow Maratha, Harshvardhan Patil, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil or Balasaheb Thorat.

The logjam was the reason for the postponement of the decision to send a central observer to supervise the "election" of a new leader of the Congress legislature party and has raised the prospect of a reprieve of sorts for Chavan. "It is a 50:50 situation," said a party leader when asked to assess the chances of Chavan completing his tenure. It seemed Chavan was on his way out until NCP muddied the waters by opposing the three Marathas Congress favoured as possible successors to Chavan.

The NCP, which counts Marathas as its mainstay, will not allow a challenge to its credentials as the natural leader of the dominant community. The Congress has emphasized the prerogative to decide who should lead its legislature group, but seems chary of annoying Pawar ahead of an election where the odds seem stacked in favour of the rival BJP-Shiv Sena combine.

The rout in Lok Sabha at the hands of BJP-Shiv Sena combine and the idea to replace Chavan is rooted in desperation that the Congress has to do something to salvage the situation before the assembly elections later this year. Some Congress leaders believe the CM has failed to enthuse workers and only his ouster would enthuse workers.

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Hit-and-run case: Unsure if Salman Khan was drunk, bar manager tells court

MUMBAI: A witness, the manager of the bar that actor Salman Khan had visited on the night of the 2002 hit and run incident identified the accused but said he is was not sure whether the actor had taken drinks. The witness was on of the two who testified in court this morning in the presence of Khan and a packed courtroom.

The prosecution's case is that the actor had taken drinks in "Rain Bar" along with his friends and was allegedly under the influence of liquor on September 28, 2002, when his car rammed into a bakery in suburban Bandra killing one person and injuring four others.

"Salman's group had ordered drinks and snacks but I am not sure whether Salman had consumed drinks himself as the order had been taken by a waiter and not me," Rizwan, who was the manager of Rain Bar at the relevant time, told the court of sessions judge DW Deshpande.

As the restaurant was full, Salman and his brother Sohail Khan were standing in front of service counter. After some time they occupied a table and ordered drinks and snacks, Rizwan said during examination.

"I saw Salman holding a glass but it was full with a colourless liquid like water," said the Manager.

Asked if it was liquor, Rizwan said he was not sure because the order had been taken down by a waiter.


Salman Khan escorted by policemen and bodyguards as he prepares to get into a car after a court appearance in Bombay, 06 October 2003. (Getty Images photo)

Rizwan further said that he had escorted the group to the main door of the restaurant when they were leaving the bar between 1.15am to 1.30am.

"However, Salman was not smelling of liquor and he was also walking like a normal person," said the manager in reply to a question put by prosecutor Jagannath Kenjralkar. Rizwan was shown bills of the particular table which was occupied by Salman and his group. He identified the bills saying that these belonged to Rain Bar.


Salman Khan leaves session in Mumbai court on May 6, 2014. (Getty Images photo)

During cross-examination by Salman's lawyer Srikant Shivade, Rizwan said that from his cabin he could not see who was standing at the counter as the lights in the restaurant were dim. He further said it is not possible to say who was consuming drinks and having snacks.

Earlier a waiter of the same bar had identified Salman coming to the restaurant with friends. He had also said that he had not noticed the actor consuming drinks, although his group had ordered.

Both these witnesses were examined by the prosecution to convince the court that the actor had consumed drinks before the mishap on the ill-fated day.

he actor is being tried under section 304 (II) ( culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code, the maximum sentence for which is ten years imprisonment. One person was killed and four others injured in the mishap. Khan had been accused of causing death and injury by driving under the influence of alcohol.

(With inputs from PTI)

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PIL filed against rail fare hikes; HC to hear it on Tuesday

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court will hear a couple of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on Tuesday against the new hiked rail fares.

Mumbai Grahak Panchayat, a consumer interest group, filed a PIL on Monday. Shirish Deshpande of MGP said the PIL focuses on an urgent interim relief against the huge hike in season tickets for suburban commuters. There will be a demand for interim protection or a stay against such a steep hike which is pegged at over 180 percent of the present fare.

The other PIL is by Ketan Tirodkar a former journalist who has sought a roll back on the hike. "The suburban trains are the lifeline for nearly 20 million people in Mumbai and near by areas. The three lines--Western, Central and Harbour ferry over 70 lakh people daily,'' Tirodkar's PIL said adding that the revised fares, effective June 25 would make a second class monthly season costing Rs 85, now cost Rs 150. The new rates are potentially financially crippling for the common people, he said. A first class monthly season pass worth Rs 795 would soon cost Rs 1930.

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Jolly LLB director arrested in molestation case

MUMBAI: The Versova police arrested Subhash Kapoor, director of film Jolly LLB, in a molestation case of an actor on Monday. The police produced Kapoor before a court and the court released him on bail.

Last week, the National Commission for Women (NCW) requested the police commissioner Rakesh Maria to take action in the case.

The actor had filed a complaint at Versova police station in February, two years after the alleged molestation incident. She accused that Kapoor tried to rape her. There was a video where she was seen slapping Kapoor after reminding him about the incident.

The police had booked Kapoor under the Indian Penal Code sections 354 (outraging a woman's modesty).

"We examine the collected evidences and accordingly arrested Kapoor in the case," said an officer.

The video captured, Kapoor and his wife, another film director along with the victim.

They were in the midst of a confrontation. Kapoor said in the video that he was ashamed of what happened between the two, and was ready to face the consequences of his actions. The video showed that the victim slapped him before leaving the room.

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2006 Malegaon blasts: ATS says it has evidence against 9 Muslim men

MUMBAI: The Anti-Terrorism Squad of Maharashtra police opposed the discharge applications of nine Muslim accused arrested in the 2006 Malegaon blasts case on Monday.

The court had directed ATS to submit its say on the discharge applications, after one of the accused belonging to a right-wing Hindu group demanded that court seek replies of CBI and ATS on the issue.

The National Investigation Agency, which took over the probe from other agencies at a later stage, has exonerated these 9, and claimed that the blasts were in fact the handiwork of members of a Hindu extremist group.

The ATS, in its reply, said it had filed chargesheet against these nine accused on the basis of investigation into the conspiracy hatched by them, their respective roles and evidence of various kinds.

"The role of the accused was established on the basis of the samples taken from the spot and from the godown of the accused and their voice samples," said Pascal D'souza, assistant commissioner of police, ATS, in the reply.

The evidence before the court was enough to frame charges against them, ATS said, adding that when CBI probed the case subsequently, its findings were "in consonance" with ATS's findings.

The next hearing would be in August. The accused who have sought discharge are: Noorul Huda Samsudoha, Shabbir Ahmed Masiullah, Raees Ahmed Rajab Ali Mansuri, Dr Salman Farsi Abdul Latif Aimi, Dr Farogh Iqbal Ahmed Magdumi, Mohammad Ali Alam Sheikh, Asif Khan Bashir Khan alias Junaid, Mohammad Zahid Abdul Majid Ansari and Abrar Ahmed Gulam Ahmed. All of them got bail after the case was transferred to NIA.

NIA arrested Lokesh Sharma, Dhan Singh, Manohar Singh and Rajendra Choudhary and chargesheeted them. They came under the scanner after Swami Aseemanand, an accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case, allegedly confessed that Hindu extremists were also involved in the 2006 Malegaon blasts.

The blasts at Malegaon, around 300km from Mumbai, on September 8, 2006 claimed 37 lives, leaving over 125 injured. Most of the victims were Muslim pilgrims.

The town witnessed another blast in 2008, for which Sadhvi Pragya Singh, former army officer Srikant Purohit and others were arrested.

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Drought could keep growth below 5% and delay rate cuts until 2015

MUMBAI: Bank of America's wealth management division, Merrill Lynch, has said a drought could drag down the economy's growth rate below 5%. At the same time it will result in consumer inflation remaining at 8-10% levels and rate cuts being delayed until 2015.

"The south-west monsoon is running almost 10 days late. Rains are currently a disastrous 45% below normal, although June accounts for only 15% of precipitation," said Indranil Sen Gupta, economist, DSP Merrill Lynch.

"We continue to estimate that an El Nino-induced drought poses a 50-75bp risk to our 5.4% FY15 growth forecast. There are typically three impacts. First, drought directly impacts the autumn kharif harvest (around 8% of GDP). A 3% swing, for example, would pull down growth by about 25bp. Second, there are second-round effects of the slowdown in agriculture that could be as large as the first. Finally, industrial recovery would be pushed back further if the RBI delays rate cuts due to rising agflation and inflation," Sen Gupta said in a report.

"At the same time poor rains will stick up consumer price inflation at 8-10%, even though we expect the government's supply side measures to ward off spikes in food prices. This should push back Reserve bank of India's rate cuts to 2015 from our base case of December," the report said.

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Mercedes driver who killed biker in south Mumbai accident held

Written By kom nampultig on Minggu, 22 Juni 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The son of a Mumbai-based builder, who allegedly mowed down a biker on Thursday night with his luxury car, was arrested late on Friday. The accused, Kunal Vardhan (25), was produced in court on Saturday and realeased on bail of Rs 20,000.

The mishap occurred on Thursday around 11.30 pm near Trident Hotel on Marine Drive. The victim, Mayur Kadam, was on his bike, when Vardhan, who was driving his Mercedes, rammed into the bike. Kadam died in hospital the following day.

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Commuters rush for season tickets to beat steep fare hike

MUMBAI: As hundreds of Mumbai's train commuters queued up at railway stations across the city on Saturday to buy season tickets to beat the fare hike that comes into effect on June 25, railway officials were busy thinking up steps to stop this surge.

Sources said railway officials were worried about the possible loss of revenue if the trend continued over the next three days. Chief commercial manager for Central Railway R D Sharma said they may charge the difference in the fare later from commuters who were buying season tickets now. How this would be done, however, is unclear.

A Western Railway official, though, said any such move would be illegal. "There are no instructions from the Railway Board to us," the official said.

Such a move is also likely to cause greater disquiet among the city's commuters who are angry about the unprecedented fare hike.

The prices of suburban railway season tickets have been doubled, and in some cases trebled, with the government on Friday not only announcing an across-the-board fare hike of 14.2% but also tweaking the formula for computing the season ticket fare. It will now calculate the monthly ticket fare on 30 single journeys instead of the earlier 15-journeys formula.

Nearly 55 lakh of the 75 lakh commuters who use Mumbai's suburban network every day hold season tickets.

Long queues of commuters were seen at Churchgate, CST, Andheri, Borivli, Ghatkopar, Thane and Kalyan on Saturday, a day when crowds at booking offices are usually lean.

As commuters rushed in large numbers to get season tickets to beat the steep fare hike, chief commercial manager for Central Railway R D Sharma said another option to recover the difference was to issue season tickets in two parts, where one component would have the pre-June 25 fare structure and a separate receipt would be issued for the period after June 25. But a Western Railway official pointed out that no instruction has come from the Railway Board to recover the difference.

On an average, 1,500 season tickets are sold at Churchgate every day, but a booking official said the figure would be much higher for Saturday. "The queue for booking season tickets is long even though most offices in this part of the city are closed," he said.

At CST, there was considerable confusion in the morning with the authorities saying they would issue only monthly season tickets. The issue was later clarified by the authorities who claimed that quarterly, half-yearly or yearly tickets could not be issued for some time because of work on network upgradation that was under way.

Commuters in queues were seen discussing the quantum and impact of the fare hike. One of them, with the handle @talktosanjai, tweeted, "Overheard somebody chanting while standing in the queue to renew monthly season ticket for train: 'Ache Din Aane Waale Hain, Ache Din'".

A woman commuter at CST flew into a rage when she found there was no one manning the counter for women and senior citizens. Another commuter, Kalbadevi resident Mahendra Trivedi, complained that the counter for senior citizens was shut during the evening peak hours. "The railways need to show 100% commitment towards commuters if they seek a more than 100% hike," he said.

Around 1,800 season tickets are sold at CST every day, but here too, booking officials, said, the number for Saturday was higher as almost every fourth person had come to buy a season ticket.

Panvel resident Litu Sahu said, "I usually buy a monthly pass worth Rs 335, but I have now bought a half-yearly ticket worth Rs 1,850. I rushed to CST to buy the ticket after I was alerted by friends in the railways that the authorities might not allow us to buy longer-term season tickets."

Madhu Sharma, a Malad resident, said, "Despite paying such high first-class fares, we will still be travelling cattle-class. The hike is going to break the backs of Mumbaikars."

Borivali resident Bharat Kanani said the hike would have been justified if the railways had improved facilities at stations or promised to convert 12-car trains into 15-car ones. "Usually, I buy a quarterly season ticket, but after reading the newspapers I went to the ATM to withdraw money for booking a yearly ticket," he said.

Worli resident Madhuri Kumbhare said she would shift to buses now as the monthly fare from CST to Dadar, the distance she travels every day, would go up by 150 per cent. "If I take the train, I also have to take a share-a-taxi from Parel to reach Worli, for which I pay Rs 7 per journey," she said.

The opposition parties too jumped into the fray to protest against the hike. The Congress and NCP held demonstrations against the NDA government at CST, Ghatkopar and Kalyan.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/followceleb.cms?alias=Western Railways,Rail fare hike,Mumbai's train commuters


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