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State okays ACB decision to close Gavit inquiry

Written By Unknown on Kamis, 16 April 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The state government informed the Bombay high court on Wednesday that it had approved the anti-corruption bureau decision to close the open inquiry into the alleged disproportionate assets of former state minister Vijaykumar Gavit, his wife, Kumudini, and his brother, Sharad.

On March 24, the ACB in Dhule submitted its report of the open inquiry to the high court and its director general was granted two weeks to take a decision on it. A division bench of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice V L Achliya was submitted the director general's report in a sealed envelope.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) by Nashik activists for the prosecution of the Gavit trio. The PIL alleged that "illegal assets" were acquired by Gavit when he was minister of the tribal development department, a portfolio he held for a long time.

Gavit's advocate, Mahesh Jethmalani, asked what the director general's final report had said. Justice Patil said: "The final report is in your [Gavit] favour. DG is not in favour of the open inquiry continuing. State government has concurred and sanctioned its closure."

The bench called for the director general's communication to the government giving reasons for closure. After perusing it, the judges said the director general was of the opinion that no case was made out in the open inquiry and nothing further was required to be done.

Jethmalani urged for disposing of the PIL, saying the petitioners' prayers had been granted. "The SIT probed the case; the inquiry was conducted under the auspices and monitoring of the court," he said.

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At standing committee meet, most political parties oppose new hawking policy

MUMBAI: Almost all political parties are united against BMC's new hawker policy. Their common refrain was that the new policy should not disturb residents just to accommodate hawkers.

Corporators of almost all parties opposed the civic authority's decision to disturb peaceful areas after marking them as 'hawking zones'. Already, citizens too have been opposing the policy.

Recently TOI reported about how Pali Hill residents were upset about hawking zones being proposed in their area despite it being a purely residential zone having no footpaths.Residents from south and central Mumbai too strongly opposed the idea of having their areas converted into hawking zones.

The BMC has mapped out about 60,000 'hawking patches' (one will usually accommodate one vendor) across the city and will try to accommodate around 90,000 hawkers at different time slots. Currently, the city has nearly 15,000 licensed hawkers.

During the civic standing committee meeting, MNS corporator Sandeep Deshpande raised the hawker issue after stating that there is no proper plan with the civic authority to implement the policy and they are trying to turn the entire city into a hawking zone. Shiv Sena and BJP corporators supported Deshpande, stating that the civic authority should not accommodate hawkers at the cost of disturbing citizens.

"If hawkers disturb residents, action should be taken against them" said BJP corporator Vinod Shelar.

Congress adopted a balanced approach, stating that citizens do need their peace but hawkers too have to earn their living. However, Samajwadi Party corporator Rais Shaikh supported the decision to accommodate more hawkers.

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Bengalis, Malayalees enjoy ‘workday’ new year

MUMBAI: Despite the fact that Wednesday was a working day, the Bengali and Malayalee communities made time to visit temples and prepare the elaborate Vishukani and feast on the occasion of new year.

Poila Boishakh 2015 saw the Bengali calendar turn to the year 1422. Around 300 people prayed to Goddess Kali at the temple inside Shivaji Park. "This is still significant for the festival fell midweek. More people would have come were it the weekend," said Sheela Roy, retired principal of BES school, who volunteers at the club.

Roy spent a busy afternoon preparing a range of Bengali delicacies. "Poila Boishakh began with the morning puja, after which we exchanged greetings over WhatsApp. I cooked a festive spread whose centerpiece was ilish (hilsa) fish. The feast commonly begins with sukto, a mixed vegetable dish that includes bitter gourd. This is meant to teach us to digest the unsavoury experiences that life brings. This is followed by fried potato and brinjal, dal, jackfruit or parwal curry, raw mango chutney and payesh. The meal ends on a sweet note to signify that life comes full circle," Roy said.

The Bengali Association Antop Hill Wadala (BAAW) will stage the play 'Tasher Desh' by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore at Mysore Auditorium in Matunga on Friday, April 17. It had enacted 'Chitrangada' last year. "We will distribute 250 copies of the Bengali almanac to our guests," said BAAW member Asim Bhattacharya.

Working Malayalee housewives rose early to arrange the auspicious 'Vishukani' display, which is laid out in the main hall. The array of puja offerings is placed before Lord Krishna or the family deity. P V Pappu, secretary of the Kandivli Malayalee Samajam, said golden 'konna' blossoms are at the heart of the arrangement.

Meanwhile, several Punjabi celebrities attended a Baisakhi mela at Khalsa College on Tuesday.

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Mumbai school team makes a bookmark at global challenge

MUMBAI: Five students from the city have worked for six months to created unique bookmarks, which have won them a chance to fly to Seattle later this month.

Class VI, VII and VIII students of R N Podar Schol, Santacruz, along with their teacher, Varsha Bhambani, made over 250 corner bookmarks depicting traditional Indian art like Warli, Madhubani and Kalamkari for the Microsoft Global Enterprise Challenge. The team won from among 34 schools from across the world, of which five were from India.

The Bookmates team consists of Kurian David, Pranshu Jindal, Kalyanee Bhor, Avaanya Pandya and Sindhuja Suryanarayan. "We were given the bookmarks industry and soon began researching on types available in the market. We found that corner bookmarks were the most suitable and long lasting," said Kalyanee.

After several brain-storming sessions, the team decided to bring out Indian culture through their product. "We thought of making 3D or fluorescent bookmarks but wanted to ensure our country is represented," said Kurian. The students made the bookmarks out of paper, cloth and beads.

Once the product was finalized, the students created a budget and a pitch for their product and presented it to a panel. "The panel approved of Rs3,000 for the project, with and the students started off with," said Bhambani.

In the first batch, they created 75 bookmarks and sold them going door-to-door for Rs30 each. Soon, they were sold out and another batch was made. "We got feedback from customers that the bookmarks could be slimmer," said Avaanya. The students also worked on creating a brand identity for the product.

In the second phase, the price increased to Rs40. "We once again did a survey to find out if customers will pay more, and we got a positive response," said Pranshu. The team sold the bookmarks at a carnival at their school and made a profit of over Rs6,000.

The trip to Seattle isn't the end of the project for the students, who are confident of running their own business. "We plan to make products like files, rakhis and introduce more prints," said Sindhuja. "We also plan to tie up with an NGO and hold sessions with underprivileged children," she added.

The team will be felicitated at an education conference at the Microsoft headquarters in Seattle between April 28 and May 1.

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4 cops get HC contempt notice for taking 1 year to probe trespass case

MUMBAI: Irked that the Mumbai police had failed to probe a city resident's complaint of trespass, despite court orders, the Bombay high court (HC) has issued a contempt notice against four officers who served at Sakinaka police station in the past two years.

A division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai issued a show-cause notice to the four officers, asking them to explain why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against them for disobeying orders.

The four officers—assistant police inspectors Taral and Kandalkar and sub-inspectors S Chavan and Amit Mhatre—have been given four weeks' time to submit their explanation. The HC has also transferred the probe in the case to Crime Branch Unit 9 and asked it to submit a report within four weeks.

"This petition discloses very sorry state of affairs," said the judges. The HC pointed out that though a cognisable complaint had been lodged, the police took over two months to register an FIR. "Even after registration of the FIR, no proper investigation was conducted despite the orders of this court. Though a solemn statement was made before this court that the investigation would be completed within two weeks, for a period of one year thereafter, nothing has been done. The petitioner, therefore, is perfectly justified in making allegation that the investigating agency is hand in glove with the accused," added the court.

Sakinaka resident Jos Kulangara had lodged a complaint that the accused had broken open the locks of his shop on April 20, 2013. When the Sakinaka police failed to take any action, Kulangara filed a petition in high court in May 2013. The police then lodged a complaint on June 16, 2013.

Kulangara filed another petition in HC in 2014, claiming that though his complaint disclosed a serious offence of trespass and house break-in, which is punishable with a maximum jail term of 14 years, the police had booked the accused under a minor offence of house trespass (section 448 of the Indian Penal Code), which is punishable with a maximum jail term of up to one year or a fine of Rs 1,000.

On April 9, 2014, the HC directed the police to look into the allegations and the evidence and file a report within two weeks.

According to Kulangara, despite specific orders by the court, the police had done nothing and were, therefore, liable for contempt. The prosecutor sought to justify the delay, claiming that the problem arose as the officers were transferred.

The high court was not convinced. "We are not at all satisfied by the explanation," said the judges while issuing the notices to the police officers.

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Bombay HC extends protection to Urdu editor from arrest

MUMBAI: Bombay High Court on Thurday extended its interim relief from coercive steps, including arrest, granted to Avadhnama editor Shirin Dalvi till June 15.

On March 18, a bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai while approving the State's decision to let State CID probe all offence registered across Maharashtra, had also directed that interim relief shall continue till April 15.

Dalvi's advocate Chetan Mali, while seeking extension of court's protection to her, urged the court to take up the issue of quashing of first information reports next week. The bench said it will also take it up at the next hearing on the court reopening after summer break.

Dalvi was booked for reproducing a controversial cover of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Court was informed that five first information reports have been filed in respect of the same article in Mumbai, Thane and Malegaon under Indian Penal Code section 295 A for outraging religious feelings through deliberate and malicious acts

The Urdu daily had to shut down following an uproar over it featuring the cover with cartoon of Prophet Mohammad on January 17. Dalvi moved HC to club the multiple cases filed against her and to quash them.

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Animal activists condemn the chicken abuse during Shiv Sena victory celebration

Written By Unknown on Rabu, 15 April 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA India) has strongly condemned the cruel abuse of chickens during the victory celebrations for the Bandra (east) bypolls.

"Animals claim no political sides and yet, even when humans celebrate a political win, they still make animals losers. Chickens pose no threat, they are the most gentle beings on the planet, and for them there are no voting rights, just our mercy," stated the CEO of PETA India, Poorva Joshipura, who said she was aghast to see live visuals on TV about the birds being roughly handled and flung in the air by the Shiv Sainiks.

PETA has been inundated with calls and emails from people who were shocked and horrified that chickens—who already suffer so much abuse—are now being abused in this way too.

Apparently, the chickens were used by the political activists as a taunt for the losing candidate, Narayan Rane, who has been nicknamed by his rivals as `kombi chor' (chicken stealer) out of spite.

In 2012, following PETA pressure, the Election Commission of India asked all political parties to refrain from using any animals for election campaigns. In an advisory, it also notified all Indian political parties that any violations of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, will not be tolerated.

Chickens used for meat and eggs are the most abused animals on the planet. Chickens used for eggs are typically crammed into cages hardly bigger than the size of their own bodies, while those used for meat are crammed into sheds with often thousands of other birds struggling for space, informed an animal activist. Instead of giving them more room to move, farmers usually cut off the beaks of birds used for eggs since they peck each other in such close confinement. They are then thrown into trucks, tied upside down on motorbikes, or stuffed into suffocating sacks to be transported to slaughter where they are typically hacked at with dull knives while still conscious.

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Maharashtra bypoll: Shiv Sena Trupti Sawant defeats Narayan Rane

MUMBAI: Congress leader Narayan Rane once again received a major political setback after a widow of former Sena legislator late Prakash Sawant defeated him in a bypoll with a comfortable margin of around 19000 votes.

Sawant led Sena's home turf Bandra E where Matoshree is located. This is Rane's second consecutive defeat after he lost election to Vaibhav Naik on his homeground in Kankavli.

While Rane received 33703 votes, Shiv Sena's Trupti Sawant has got 52711 votes pushing MIM candidate (15050) to third position. Sawant's victory has given Sena a much needed boost ahead of civic polls in Navi Mumbai, Aurangabad and later in Mumbai n Thane.

In Tasgaon R R Patil's widow has won with a thumping margin of over 1 lakh vote. She defeated a BJP rebel.

According to sources Rane's political rehabilitation now looks bleak and he will be at his party's mercy but, for the Congress, there's a silver lining even in the Mumbai loss; the party seems to be back in favour among at least the minorities with more votes this time than in the last year's elections. Also, Cong will not have to deal with a resurgent and, therefore, rebellious Rane and the big guns in the party will breathe easy for now.

Read this in Hindi: उपचुनाव में भी हारे नारायण राणे, समर्थकों की भिड़ंत

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Shiv Sena's Trupti Sawant trounces former CM

MUMBAI: In a major political coup, Shiv Sena's Trupti Sawant trounced former CM and Congress heavyweight Narayan Rane in the Bandra (east) assembly by-election with over 20,000 margin of votes.

A rank novice, Sawant was in the poll fray following the death of her husband, Sena MLA Prakash Bala Sawant early this year. Siraj Khan Rahbar Khan of the MIM came a poor third.

However, analysts say Khan's presence led to polarisation of votes along communal lines, which helped the Sena bag the seat in what was being described as an uneven fight.

Jubilant Shiv Sainiks held noisy celebrations outside Rane's Bandra residence, triggering tension in the area. Timely police intervention averted a crisis.

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Maharashtra okays ACB clean chit to Gavit, HC told

MUMBAI: Maharashtra government informed Bombay High Court on Wednesday that it has sanctioned Anti-Corruption Bureau's clean chit to former cabinet minister Vijaykumar Gavit, his wife Kumudini and his brother Sharad.

A division bench of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice V L Achliya were submitted a report from the ACB in sealed cover containing the decision. The bench questioned on what basis the director-general has arrived at his decision and asked it to be shown to the court at 3 pm. When Gavit's advocate Mahesh Jethmalani asked what the final report says. Justice Patil replied,"The final report is in your (Gavit) favour. DG is not in favour of the open inquiry continuing. State government has concurred and sanctioned its closure."

The court heard public interest litigation by Nashik activists for prosecution of Gavit, Kumudini and Sharad,. PIL alleged that ``illegal assets '' were acquired by Gavit when he was minister of the Tribal Development Department, a portfolio he held for a long time. Last month the investigating officer submitted the report of the open inquiry and the DG's report was awaited.

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'Workers spend an average of 5% of income on commuting': Study

MUMBAI: The cost of travelling to work has almost doubled over the past five years. New research findings by global workplace provider Regus shows that workers worldwide now spend an average of 5% of their net take-home income on their annual commute.

The research also sheds light on the fact that more than half of the global workers have a home office, but having a fully equipped professional space at home is much rarer and businesses hardly ever foot the bill. The study surveyed more than 44,000 senior business people across more than 100 countries.

Global workers spent an average of 3% of their annual take home pay on their commute into work back in 2010, but the situation has now significantly worsened. Costs have risen even higher than the 5% average for workers in some parts of the world: in South Africa, Brazil, France, India and Mexico, for example, country averages have reached 6%. Businesses that want to retain and attract top talent cannot fail to address the issue of the costly commute.

A fifth of the respondents also report that it would take a whole month's salary for them to fit out a professional working space within their home and only one third (34%) report that their firm has contributed to creating their home office, making a neat little saving for firms that encourage home working.

The research highlights that: · In 2010 the average commuter spent 3% of take home salary on travel, this has now risen to 5% in 2015;

· In Mexico, South Africa and India commuters spend an average of 6% of annual income on travel;

· 79% of respondents confirm that most companies that encourage their employees to work from home do not cover all the costs of creating and maintaining that workspace;

· Almost half (49%) of workers globally think that most companies that encourage their employees to work from home are simply trying to transfer the cost of having workspace onto the employee.

Harsh Lambah, country manager for Regus in India, said, "With living costs rising, every penny counts for the world's workers, yet travel expenses are accounting for a larger and larger slice of their yearly outgoings. Flexible working can provide a solution for maxed out employees. The financial benefits of remote working for both staff and employer are clear, yet many businesses are currently missing out on a valuable opportunity by failing to fully commit. Businesses that want to retain top talent need to urgently address reducing the cost of commuting by offering them the choice to work closer to home at least some of the time."

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Half of construction project owners experienced underperforming projects last year: KPMG

MUMBAI: Over half of construction project owners experienced one or more underperforming projects last year, despite confidence in project planning and controls, said KPMG International's 2015 Global Construction Project Owner's Survey: Climbing the Curve, released on Wednesday. Project owners said only 31% of their projects came within 10% of budget, and just 25% within 10% of original deadlines, in the past three years.

"As engineering and construction projects get bigger, the complexity grows exponentially," says Geno Armstrong, Global Chair, Engineering & Construction and a principal with KPMG in the US. "The improvements by owners in planning and risk management have been significant, yet there is further work to be done to reduce the number of project failures, and bring more projects in on-time and on-budget."

KPMG's survey shows that owners of major capital projects are implementing more mature planning and approval processes, with 84% reporting that their company screens projects using both financial and risk analysis, and 74% of firms requiring formal project delivery and contract strategy analysis, prior to authorization.

About 44% acknowledged a struggle to attract qualified craft labour and 45% percent cited a lack of planners and project managers. Consequently, the majority - 69% - say their firms hire external resources equivalent to more than 5% of their total project workforce.

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HC puts on hold govt move to regularize Mumbai’s illegal buildings

Written By Unknown on Selasa, 14 April 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: In a setback to the Maharashtra government, the Bombay high court on Monday restrained the state and BMC from taking a final decision on regularizing over 56,000 illegal structures in the city. Hearing a public interest litigation filed by city resident Rajendra Thacker, a division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Ashok Bhangale directed the state and BMC to reply within six weeks and not to take any decision on the issue during that period.

Advocate Sumedha Rao, counsel for Thacker, pointed out to the court that there was no mention in reports about whether the proposal to regularize the illegal buildings conformed to the guidelines laid down by the high court in 2004. "Nobody knows which are these 56,000 buildings that the authorities plan to regularize or what sort of violations are being condoned. Despite an RTI application, the authorities have not furnished a list of these buildings," said Rao. The petition has urged the court to ensure that the 2004 guidelines are followed and no regularization is permitted till the state gives time to citizens to submit their objections and suggestions.

As per BMC records, there are over 56,000 illegal structures in Mumbai housing around 15 lakh people. Last month, TOI had reported about BMC commissioner Sitaram Kunte submitting a report to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis with a proposal to regularize most of the illegal structures and demolish the others partially or completely. The report said that constructions where the balcony area or extended part of the legal constructions have been occupied could be compounded by charging additional fees, and norms could be relaxed for those falling in reserved or no-development zones. The state had reportedly given its in-principle approval for the scheme though it was scrutinizing it for legal implications, especially if it was in accordance with the Mumbai Regional Town Planning Act.

Thacker in his petition urged the court to order the state to reveal the details and whether it was in conformity with the 2004 HC guidelines. The 2004 guidelines were framed in an order that had come on an earlier PIL filed by Thacker, which had challenged a 2003 BMC decision to regularize 154 buildings in the city. The HC had in its guidelines said that structures that have violated FSI rules will not be permitted to be regularized unless it is allowed under the Development Control regulations. The civic authorities have to ensure that health, safety, fire and structural safety of the buildings and neighbourhood is not affected and had provided for compensation of affected residents as part of the premium.

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‘Accused was in cop’s home at time of crime’

MUMBAI: The first defence witness in 2010 Kurla minor rape and murder case told a sessions court Monday that the accused Javed Sheikh, a cable man, was attending to a repair call at the home of a police constable in Nehru Nagar at the same time the prosecution claimed he had carried out the gruesome act.

The witness, a cable distributor, is a former employer of Sheikh and said on June 6, 2010, Sheikh had spent the entire day on field, collecting the cable and internet fees and also attending to calls. The witness also said he had diary entries and receipts collected by Javed on that day.

The victim was found raped and murdered in 2010. Sheikh was arrested and trial began in September 2010.

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Happy new year, solar calendar way

Several communities that observe new year by the solar calendar are preparing to celebrate April 14-15 amid feasting and festivity. The advent of Vaishakh or Vishubh Sankranti marks the turn of the calendar for natives of Punjab, Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Assam and Kerala. Some celebrations:

Baisakhi | April 14

The foremost festival of the Punjabi calendar is being celebrated on April 13-14. Celebrations by the Maharashtra Sikh Association and Punjabi Heritage Cultural Board were held in Bandra and Andheri on April 11 owing to the weekend holiday. But the Sikhs of Lokhandwala gathered on Monday.Bhangra and gidda performances were followed by a feast that demonstrated the community's love for food.

Puthandu | Tamil Nadu (April 14)

Tamilian households across the city, particularly in South Indian enclaves like Sion Matunga, are preparing to welcome new year at Puthandu on Tuesday. After they adorn the threshold of the house with traditional rice flour rangoli, women prepare a range of bitter, sour and sweet dishes, including neem rasam, salad pachadi and appam. Families visit the temple wearing new clothes and return home to light the holy lamp. Mohana Iyer of the Vashi Fine Arts Society plans to visit the Ayyappa temple with her husband who is from Palghat. The family will celebrate Puthandu and Vishu simultaneously.The Tamil Nadu government had "shifted" new year to Pongal some years back but not all accepted the revision.

Bishubha Sankranti | Orissa (April 14)

The community will celebrate it on Saturday as it falls on April 14, a working day. A grand function has been organised at Orissa Bhavan in Navi Mumbai. Dr Kananika Tripathi, head of the Bombay Odia Women's Association (BOWA) since 23 years, says, "Our Bishubha Milan programme draws hundreds of people for its ethnic flavour. We serve classic bel fruit sherbet and the delectable manda peetha sweet, which resembles modak. This year, we are staging a comedy that has been sourced from the cultural department of Orissa." Students of the community-run Utkarsha dance academy will perform the Odissi Dashavtar dance led by Guru Shakti Nayak.

Rongali Bihu | Assam (April 14-15-16)

The month of Vaishakh is called Bohag in Assam, so the three-day festival of Rongali Bihu is also termed Bohag Bihu. The Assam Association will host a Rongali Bihu celebration with 'Bihu gaan' and 'hosuri' dance at the Cidco Hall in Navi Mumbai on April 18.Around 650 people are expected to attend. S P Borthakur, former vice president of the association, says, "The first day or Goru Bihu is dedicated to worshipping and adorning cows and livestock, the second for Manuh or human beings, the third for Gosain or God. This is when we start using handheld fans to signal the change in season, and share vegetables with neighbours as a gesture of goodwill. We visit religious places and seeking blessings from family elders." He says turmeric water is prepared for bathing so the skin can be purified. Housewives cook ethnic sweets, including various peetha made from black sesame, rice or coconut.

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Has night-life policy figured women safety? : Maharashtra to tell HC

MUMBAI : The Maharashtra government is expected to tell the Bombay High Court on Wednesday whether its policy decision to allow bars, pubs and restaurants to remain open all night in Mumbai has considered the impact of safety of women.

On March 13, the HC had restrained the government from implementing its proposed decision unless it satisfies the court that it has conducted an impact study on the safety of women.

The court is hearing two public interest litigation including one taken up spontaneously after a woman was molested on a train between Nerul and Juinagar stations in the wee hours of June 19, 2011.

The government was granted time of three weeks to file reply including informing if it will entrust the Dharmadhikari committee, which was set up to suggest women-friendly recommendations, to look into the entire issue.

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Free medical treatment for rape victims :Maha to tell HC

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government is expected to place before the Bombay High Court on Wednesday its policy for providing free medical treatment for rape victims. The government has to state if rape victims can also avail free treatment at private medical colleges.

On March 12, the court passed the direction while hearing two public interest litigation including one taken up spontaneously after a woman was molested on a train between Nerul and Juinagar stations in the wee hours of June 19, 2011. The Dharmadhikari panel, set up to suggest women-friendly recommendations, had submitted six reports with 171 recommendations including ban on women waitresses in bars and restaurants as measure to curb attacks on women and reduce the crime rate in Mahararashtra, The government has accepted 109 recommendations.

The bench was informed by a petitioner's advocate that one of the committees recommendations was to ensure that appropriate free medical treatment is extended to the victims of rape. He also informed that the government's response is that free treatment is provided only in government hospitals.

The court was told that the real emphasis should be on providing prompt medical treatment to rape victims in all hospitals. Also , that if a government hospital is not available in the vicinity, the victim should be able to take treatment in a private hospital and the government should reimburse them. Adjourning the hearing to April 15, 2015 bench then directed the State government`` to deal with this aspect and place on record the policy. ''

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Unseasonal showers fail to cool Mumbai

MUMBAI: Unseasonal showers of rain were recorded on Tuesday all over the city and suburbs. There were rains observed even in areas of Thane, Kalyan and Dombivli in the evening. However the unseasonal rains failed to cool the city and maximum temperatures stayed above normal.

Areas in Andheri, Goregoan, Borivli witnesses showers on Wednesday early evening. However the maximum temperatures recorded in Colaba was 33.4 degree Celsius which was 1.2 degree Celsius above normal while in Santacruz it was 31.8 degree Celsius whichw as 0.8 degree Celsius below normal. The minimum temperatures meanwhile in Colaba was 25.6 degree Celsius while in Santacruz it was 23.2 degree Celsius.

"This is an upper air circulation over Gujarat bringing in a lot of moisture to Mumbai. This is just slight rain which may last for a day more," said VK Rajeev, regional director, India Meteorological Department, Mumbai.

The unseasonal rain in Kalyan-Dombivli, Ulhasnagar and Titwala's city area brough some relief to residents while it affected to farmers in villages of Shahapur and Murbad area of Thane District, where unseasonal rain damaged their crops.

In Navi Mumbai it rained between 5.15 pm to 5.40 pm in several areas , including Vashi, Sanpada. Koparkhairane and Belapur among others.

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Boy scales school wall to look for ball, drowns in swimming pool

Written By Unknown on Senin, 13 April 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: A 10-year-old boy died after entering the swimming pool of an international school located in Borivli (west) on Saturday evening. The boy, Sahil Bhandary, and one of his friends had scaled the compound wall to enter the school premises looking for a cricket ball.

A watchman of the school, Ajay Pawar (49, has been arrested for 'negligence while on duty'.

The boy, who lives near the school, was playing cricket with his friends at a playground in the area when the ball entered the school premise. According to the kids, Bhandary and one of their friends climbed a tree near the school compound wall and jumped inside. The school is shut for vacations.

Bhandary studied in Class IV in a sister concern of the same school housed on the same premises.

Senior inspector Subhash Chavan of MHB Colony police station said, "Bhandary got into the pool to fetch the ball. But the boy could not swim and soon started drowning. That's when his companion rushed to the gate and alerted the watchman who informed others and rushed Bhandary to a hospital where he was declared dead."

Inspector Chavan said they will also initiate action against the school management for negligence shown in not posting a guard at the pool. The school, however, said that the guard at the swimming pool had left since it was Saturday and it is vacation time.

The watchman will be produced in court on Monday.

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Over 30 IPS officers transferred in Maharashtra

MUMBAI: Over 30 IPS officers were transferred and some of them were promoted in Maharashtra on Monday.

A new post of joint commissioner of police, economic offences wing, has been created in Mumbai and Dhananjay Kamalakar will be posted there.

Meanwhile, state ATS chief Himanshu Roy has been transferred to state police housing. He will be replaced by Vivek Phansalkar, city police's joint commissioner for administration. Phansalkar has been promoted.

Among others transferred include senior IPS officer Satish Mathur who was Pune police commissioner. He has been promoted as director general for Legal and Technical.

SP Yadav who headed state CID has been transferred as Nagpur police commissioner. Meanwhile, Nagpur police commissioner KK Pathak has been transferred as Pune police commissioner.

Mumbai police's joint commissioner post has been filled in by Deven Bharti, who was inspector general of police, law and order in the state police.


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Paucity of testing facilities hobble students with disability

MUMBAI: The recent suo motu public interest litigation in Bombay high court, after students with developmental disorders were not allowed to use writers by the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) has once again brought into focus to the lack of testing centres in Maharashtra.

During the hearing of the PIL, high court judges were upset to learn that there are only four testing centres in the state, which has over 3.7 crore students. Currently, there are only three centres in Mumbai.

Statistics compiled by the District Information System for Education for 2014-15 show that there are only about 43,000 students with learning disability. But international studies put the estimates much higher.

While lack of awareness among parents and schools is cited as a common reason for the low number of the students identified with the developmental disorders, fewer testing centres is a major hurdle. The institutes take anywhere up to a year to complete the process of certification, say parents.

"For students with autism, we need to go to Nair Hospital to get certification. The process spans over three or more months with a battery of tests and 14 visits to the hospital. While the testing and certification done is perfect, it is very difficult to get an appointment because the ratio of number of children, testing centres and time frames do not match," said a parent of a student who is taking the board exams through NIOS.

Doctors at the testing centres say there is an immediate need to increase the number of centres. "Our facilities are overloaded and we have children and parents coming from various parts of the state. This need should not arise," said psychiatrist Dr Henal Shah from Nair Hospital, which is one of the authorized testing centres.

"Having a testing centre in smaller cities and towns is more important because with a centre there will be awareness among the people," she added.

Experts want the government to take proactive steps to resolve the problem. "Simpler methods needs to be evolved for quicker identification and certification. Lakhs of children have never known that they have LD and have lost their chance for education. This government is proactive and has the political will to prevent the a key rights violation that affects lakhs of children. Financial grants for the centres at civic hospitals need to be released so that the poor get assistance," said psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty.

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Central government yet to issue final notification for SGNP green zone

MUMBAI: The Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) has notified an Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) up to 12 sq km around the Vidarbha Tiger Reserve but has not given the final notification for expansion of the zones around Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Karnala Bird Sanctuary. Currently, a 10-sqkm radius around the park and sanctuary are notified as ESZs, and pending the final notification, developmental activities can continue on the non-declared zone with permissions.

The state government had written to the Centre to notify ESZ around 47 wildlife parks and sanctuaries, including the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and the Karnala Bird Sanctuary.

In its notification, the MoEF notified an area of up to 12 sqkm from the boundary of Nagzira Wild life Sanctuary, New Nagzira Wild life Sanctuary, Koka Wild life Sanctuary, Navegaon Wildlife Sanctuary and Navegaon National Park as part of the Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve ESZ.

The state government has been directed to prepare a zonal master plan within two years in consultation with locals. The tiger conservation plan will then be taken into consideration.

The notification has immediately prohibited new mining, stone quarrying and crushing units in the ESZ, as well as setting up new or expansion of polluting industries, major hydro-electric projects, discharge of effluents, laying of high tension lines within 500m of the boundary of the sanctuaries. It has also banned expansion of saw mills.

No new commercial hotel, construction or resort will be permitted within 1km of the boundary of the zone. Bio-gas and solar light units will be permitted. Only non-polluting, non-hazardous, small-scale and service industry, agriculture, floriculture and horticulture, which do not affect environment will be permitted, states the notification.

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Waive toll or we hike fee by 500: School bus operators

MUMBAI: The School Bus Owners Association has demanded relief in toll tax for school buses across the state. If not granted, the association has threatened to hike bus fees. A delegation of school bus owners will meet state ministers on Monday.

This threat to hike bus fees has parents a tad worried. Dadar resident Rajesh P, whose child studies at a school in Bandra, said that a hike in school bus fee will not be affordable at this point. "The association should sort out its problems with the government amicably," he said.

Another parent said schools "anyway raise fees on various grounds" and another hike will burden them further.

Anil Garg of SBOA said they have already conveyed to state officials to grant relief to bus operators who ferry students daily. "Many of our buses ply between two cities. Buses from Mulund or Chembur in Mumbai cross over to Airoli or Vashi in Navi Mumbai. Sometimes, our buses cross toll nakas six times in a day. These buses pass through tollposts and pay a hefty monthly toll," said Garg, adding that school buses must be given a special exemption at all five checkpoints to Mumbai.

Garg said that a representation will be made before the government on Monday. "If the government does not waive toll for school buses, we will have to charge students at least Rs 500 extra for bus fees. The government will be responsible for any such hike."

He said the government must take a sympathetic view in the interest of students.

Recently, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that the government had stopped charging toll at 12 plazas in the state and from May 31, exemption would be given to light vehicles, cars, jeeps and state transport buses at 53 toll nakas across the state. The exemption was, however, not given to buses run for commercial operations and school buses. This has angered the bus operators.

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Bar Muslims from voting, says Sena

MUMBAI: Disenfranchise Muslims in order to end vote-bank politics, demanded Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, triggering a firestorm of protest in both the community and political circles. The Mumbai police has stepped up vigil across the city to prevent any communal incident in view of the article.

In a signed article in Saamna, the Sena mouthpiece, on Sunday, Raut slammed both secular and Hindutva forces for playing upon the insecurities of the Muslim community to win elections.

"In elections, some want a Muslim candidate, while others don't. Muslims will not be on the path of development if their numerical strength continues to be misused by political parties. Muslims have no future in this country if there is going to be petty politics over their voting power.... Balasaheb Thackeray had made a demand that Muslims should be stripped of their voting right. This is an appropriate demand...The mask of secularists will come off if Muslims are disenfranchised... Muslims should take the initiative in this connection," wrote Raut.

None of the Maharashtra BJP leaders were willing to go on record on the Saamna article. "Keep us out of this. We have enough muck on our plate," remarked a senior state BJP functionary. However, he admitted that Raut's rants will make the state BJP government "vulnerable" to fresh rounds of criticism from the left, secular forces and the opposition Congress-NCP combine.

BJP spokesperson Shrikant Sharma said in New Delhi, "Owaisi brothers play communal politics. However, this does not mean that any community should be stripped of its democratic rights. This is Shiv Sena's personal view and BJP does not agree with it. This country belongs to 125 crore people and it runs according to a Constitution where everyone above the age of 18 has voting rights."

Several Muslim and Congress leaders demanded criminal proceedings against Raut. Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam and senior leader Sachin Sawant demanded that Raut's Rajya Sabha membership be revoked. Nirupam condemned Raut's article, saying the onus was now on chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to initiate criminal proceedings against Raut. "If Fadnavis does not act, then it will mean that he was endorsing the views expressed by Raut," he said, adding Shiv Sena and MIM should be derecognized and barred from contesting polls.

Muslim leaders demanded Raut's immediate arrest for trying to breach peace and communal harmony. MIM legislator Waris Pathan said the comments were aimed at creating hatred. "We demand Fadnavis file a criminal case against him or else MIM will move the court against Raut,'' Pathan told TOI. Pathan said if Raut was serious about his demand, he should first ensure that Muslim cabinet members in the Union cabinet, including Najma Heptullah, are sacked immediately.

Senior NCP functionary Nawab Malik said India can march ahead only if Muslims are treated with respect and a sense of equality. Malik said Raut's article was born out of frustration. "Raut knows that Shiv Sena nominee Trupti Sawant will be defeated in the (Bandra east) by-election since most of the Muslims have moved in favour of the Congress,'' he said, adding, "If Raut had the courage, he should have written the article before polling day.''

A senior police official said that no one will be allowed to take law into their hands, and all steps will be taken to ensure the situation stays normal. "We have sought the opinion of the law and judiciary department on whether Raut's article attracts provisions of the IPC, particularly section 153A (which deals with hate speech)." He said alerts have been sounded across the state to be on guard against any communal flare-ups.

Interestingly, Raut also lashed out at Hindutva forces for playing the Muslim card for political gains. It appears that Hindutva leaders tacitly support a radical Muslim leader as he helps polarization of votes which actually helps patriotic parties to flaunt their stripes, said Raut, adding, "The crux of the problem is that every political party wants to provoke the Muslim community for its political benefit...Hindutva leaders are playing with national security if they think division of Muslim votes will bring them huge electoral success."

"We (saffron parties) tend to purr with delight when an Owaisi or a Mulayam Yadav appeases the Muslim community. We think we've got a good point for the poll campaign. We think rabid, anti-Hindu speeches by such extremist leaders will result in polarization of votes....But, no one thinks of the country's security...With such venom in the air, Hindus and this country will not last longer...Muslims will outnumber Hindus in the next 50 years and we will be slaves carrying the weight of a Muslim nation in India," Raut predicted.

"Right to vote is provided by the Constitution to every valid citizen of India. A case should be filed against Raut and he should be arrested for suggesting that Muslims be denied this constitutional right," said Maulana Athar Ali, senior cleric and member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board at a conference for Muslim reservation.

While stating that he felt "awfully sorry" while writing the Saamna piece, Raut said, "However, surgery is often needed to restore one's health." He said exploiting Muslims for winning elections will threaten India's territorial integrity and security.

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‘State shouldn't do a U-turn on screening Marathi films’

Written By Unknown on Minggu, 12 April 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Saamna has pulled up the state government for changing the timings for the screening of Marathi films in multiplexes following "pressure" from distributors and multiplex proprietors.

The government can't be a "mute spectator" if Marathi film industry is going to suffer a setback because of the "dadagiri" of Hindi cinema, said Saamna in an editorial on Saturday.

The Shiv Sena mouthpiece urged cultural affairs minister Vinod Tawde to not do a U-turn on the question of screening Marathi films. "Prime-time screening is not an act of charity, it is the right of Marathi cinema," Saamna stated and asked Tawde to ignore "gasbags" such as Shobha "aunty" (columnist-writer Shobha De) and actor Aamir Khan.

The controversy took an ugly turn last week when Shiv Sainiks held demonstrations outside the Cuffe Parade residence of De to protest against her tweets slamming the state government for its decision to screen Marathi films during prime time.

Saamna wrote a leader comment lashing out at De, while Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik sought the permission of the state legislature to move a privilege motion against her for "insulting" Marathi culture.

"The timings were rescheduled between 12noon and 9pm after the minister met the multiplex owners...Who turned the clock's hands back for Marathi cinema?...The state government should not do a somersault on the issue," said Saamna.

Pointing out that Marathi films have been shaping up very well, both in terms of content and "masala", Saamna said, "Marathi films spin crores of rupees at the box office. Many Marathi films have reached Oscars," commented the morninger.

Prime-time row

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Sorry to hear pro-tobacco comments: Health minister

MUMBAI: Addressing doctors at the cancer treatment hub of Tata Memorial Hospital in Parel on Saturday, Union health minister J P Nadda distanced himself from the recent pro-tobacco comments made by his party colleagues.

He also indicated the introduction of strong anti-tobacco messages at schools.

"We are sorry to hear statements that tobacco does not lead to cancer, this shows the (poor) awareness level," he told a packed hall of doctors at the first-ever graduation day ceremony of super specialists at Tata Memorial Hospital. BJP MPs Dilip Gandhi and Ram Prasad Sarmah recently kicked up a controversy by saying that there was no link between cancer and smoking.

On Saturday morning, Nadda reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi's line that the government is committed to reduce consumption of tobacco. He said that if the level of awareness about tobacco's link to cancer was low among his colleagues then it's indicative of the level of awareness among the community.

"We will look at various strategies to reduce the use of tobacco. Pictorial warning is only one of the strategies," said Nadda. The government had drawn flak for its failure to meet the deadline for bigger pictorial warnings on cigarette packets.

He indicated that the government would work out strategies targeting schoolchildren. "We have to catch them young. We want the Tata Memorial Hospital to work out a pictorial broadsheet warning that can be shown to children about the ill-effects of tobacco," he said. He said people should realize that despite being healthy at 25 years of age, smoking could cause bad heart at 35.

The minister also said that he had asked Tata Memorial Hospital to work out an effective and affordable cancer-screening programme. "India has 11 lakh of cancer patients at any given time. Over 5 lakh die every year. By innovation, we have to try and save and provide service to these patients. It is here that Tata Memorial Hospital is a pioneer. They have been doing commendable work in this regard," he said.

As far as non-communicable diseases, Nadda stated that it is a big challenge not only before the government but the health fraternity as a whole. He stated that Tata Memorial Hospital director Dr R A Badwe had suggested the setting up of a national cancer grid that would help provide better cancer facility to Indians closer to their homes.

Tata Memorial centre's academic dean Dr K S Sharma said 60% of qualified and trained human resource in oncology is being provided by them in India.


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Fewer check-in bags misplaced by airlines: Study

MUMBAI: At airports across the world, the number of passengers who are left standing by the baggage carousel long after their flight has landed is on the decline, it seems.

Globally, the rate of mishandled bags in 2014 was 7.3 bags per thousand passengers, down from a peak of 18.88 bags per thousand flyers in 2007. The air transport industry has cut the rate of mishandled bags by 61.3% globally since 2007, creating $18 billion in total estimated cost savings, stated a report released by SITA, an air transport IT company.

"This decline comes despite a significant rise in passenger numbers over the same time period, peaking at 3.3 billion passengers in 2014," said the findings of a study carried out by SITA. A "mishandled bag" was defined as checked baggage that is delayed, damaged, pilfered, lost or stolen. Francesco Violante, CEO, SITA, said: "This improvement in baggage handling over the last seven years is largely a result of strong technology investment and innovation in baggage systems automation and processes." From 2013 to 2014, global passenger numbers rose 5.5%, and aircraft load factors increased globally to 79.7%. "In 2014, mishandled transfer bags accounted for 49% of all delayed bags or 11.81 million bags. However, the majority of bags were reunited with passengers within one to two days," said the report adding that baggage processing and management ranked among airports' top priorities, with investments in self-service processes, such as kiosk and bag-drop technology leading the way.

"Over the next three years, 59% of airports said they would invest in major self-service programs, as passengers increasingly express a desire to have more control over their journeys, including their baggage. By 2017, around 69% of airlines said they would provide passengers with real-time updates on the location of their bags, with 66% looking to provide these inputs via apps," it added.


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Fire engulfs actress Moon Moon Sen's apartments in Mumbai

MUMBAI: A massive fire engulfed the twin apartments of actress and Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Moon Moon Sen in Mumbai early on Sunday morning.

The incident took place at around 2am in the morning. Several fire tenders were deployed at the spot to douse out the flames.

The actress was in one of the apartments along with her daughter Riya Sen at the time of the fire breaking out. The fire department has confirmed that both are unhurt.

The exact cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.

Divisional fire officer Abhay Kale said the fire has been brought under control with the help of two high pressure water jets.

"Our control room received a call at around 1.45am - 2am about a fire. Our first arriving officer told us that the fire was in the sixth floor of the apartment which has a ground plus seven floors. The fire was in two joint flats on the sixth floor. We brought the fire under control by using two water jets. The fire originated in those two flats and remained confined there. The cause of fire is under investigation," Kale said.

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Woman passenger falls off train while washing hands near Boisar

MUMBAI: A 50-year-old woman died after allegedly losing her balance and falling off a long distance train while washing her hands near Boisar on Sunday.

Vima Jain (50) a resident of Chinchpokli was travelling in the Suryanagari Express train. She along with her family was returning from a pilgrimage to Jodhpur. According to the Palghar Government Railway Police (GRP), Jain who was seated in the AC coach went to the wash basin, situated near the footboard, to wash her hands after having breakfast. The door was open and Jain lost her balance and fell on the tracks.

A co-passenger who witnessed the fall, informed Jain's husband Vasant (55) who was in the coach. Passengers pulled the alarm chain and the train came to a halt. Jain was found on the tracks between Boisar and Umroli railway stations. She was taken to a nearby hospital. She was declared dead before arrival. A case of accidental death has been registered by the police. The body was handed over to the family after autopsy.

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Villagers demolish illegal wall after goons molest woman owner

MUMBAI: A week after an elderly woman was molested by goons when she objected to encroachment on her field in Bhayander, villagers, including women, demolished the illegal structures on the land on Sunday.

On April 6, Philomina Dolya was molested and her son Dasan (36) was assaulted when they objected to encroachment on their rice field in Motagaon, Utan, Bhayander (west). Dasan was beaten up by a mob of around 20 men, who even tore Dolya's blouse. While a case was registered by the Utan coastal police no arrest was made.

On Sunday afternoon, women and men from the village marched to the field and demolished the illegal wall and structures that has come up on Dolya's land. The Utan police reached the spot but were prevented from stopping the demolition. Villagers alleged that the police and the municipality were supporting the land mafia that was grabbing their land.

The situation was tense but was brought under control by Sunday evening after the police assured to book the culprits.

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CAG criticizes govt over poor fiscal planning

Written By Unknown on Sabtu, 11 April 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: In its report tabled before the Maharashtra legislature, the CAG painted a grim picture of the state's financial situation.

The CAG report reveals that the state's investments in statutory corporations, rural banks and joint stock companies were an "unsustainable proposition". "The average return on these investments varied between 0.02 and 0.05% in the last three years while the government paid an average interest of 7.42% to 7.54% on its borrowings," it stated.

The report mentioned that the state could not maintain the momentum of growth of revenue receipts it achieved during 2010-11 and 2012-13 as the rate of receipts decreased from 17.86% in 2012-13 to 4.81% in 2013-14 due to underutilization of financial grants. The document added that the parameters such as revenue, fiscal and primary deficits indicated the extent of overall fiscal imbalance in the government finances.

The report said loan recovery and share capital given by the cooperation and textile departments to various cooperative societies was poor. "These departments released loans and share capital of Rs 7,033 crore out of which the recoveries were at Rs 370 crore," the report stated.

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Close shave as man’s bike hits unmarked hump on S V Road

Mumbai: The insensitivity and ineptness of the authorities proved costly for a Santa Cruz resident, who was taken by surprise by a new, unmarked speed breaker in a dimly-lit stretch of S V Road and fractured his left arm after being thrown off his motorbike on Monday night. He was lucky not to have been run over and has had to undergo multiple surgeries to implant a steel rod in his arm to fix the broken bones.

Yashraj Suvanam, 31, working as an insurance executive, regularly uses the road to reach his Goregaon workplace. "On Monday morning, I did not notice any speed breakers near Lions Garden in Daulat Nagar, Santa Cruz. The area is dark at night due to the dim lights. I was returning at 40-50kmph when I was thrown off my bike around 9pm as I could not see the hump," he told TOI.

Suvanam asked the Santa Cruz police to lodge an FIR against the civic authorities. But they asked him to approach the civic body with his complaint.

An autorickshaw passing by noticed Suvanam lying on the road and helped him reach a hospital. "There was no signage indicating that speed breakers had been laid. Despite riding on the left of the road, I met with the accident due to the civic body's shoddy work. I want severe action against the contractor," he said.

The BMC ward office said civic and traffic police officials recently surveyed the spot after complaints of overspeeding and accidents. Since there is a school nearby, cops suggested humps. "Considering the urgency, a temporary speed breaker with premix was made. A proposal for a regular hump has been submitted to the police and after taking their approval, a speed breaker according to Indian Road Congress standards will be made following recommendations like zebra painting," said a BMC officer.

"I have asked the local ward office for a report on the speed breaker and the accident details," said S V R Srinivas, additional municipal commissioner.

The Santa Cruz police have entered the incident in the traffic accident diary after receiving a call from the hospital where Suvanam is admitted.

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BMC ready with policy on best use of antibiotics

Mumbai: The BMC is ready with an antibiotic policy to curb the abuse of antimicrobial drugs by doctors, perhaps the first by any civic agency in the country.

The policy, the result of two years of meticulous work, means there will be uniformity in prescribing drugs for fever, malaria, urinary tract infection to cardiac or knee replacement surgery across the BMC's three medical colleges and 16 peripheral hospitals.

The implementation of the Antibiotic Stewardship Programme will be followed by an audit to check if doctors are adhering to it. The pocket-sized ready reckoner, colour-coded as per specialties, will shortly be given to all professors and department heads, who, in turn, will train resident doctors. A team of experts, including clinical pharmacologists and microbiologists, will be studying the drug prescribing pattern of doctors.

Dr Suhasini Nagda, director, major hospitals, said antimicrobial stewardship is the need of the hour to combat antibiotic resistant superbugs. "It includes appropriate selection of antibiotics, dosing, route of drug delivery and duration of therapy. It's our first step towards reducing drug resistance in our hospitals and rationalizing the use of antibiotics."

The policy, though not binding on others, could be picked up by private hospitals and doctors voluntarily in the absence of national guidelines. In times of outbreaks of swine flu and malaria, standard operating procedures worked out by the BMC (or other governmental bodies) are widely circulated and practised.

While Indian data is scarce, US' Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows antimicrobial resistance causes over 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths there. The situation assumes urgency in India given its extraordinary bacterial burden and indiscriminate antibiotics use.

A 2011 report by the Indian working group of Global Antibiotic Resistance Partnership had shown that antibiotic use in India jumped 40% between 2005 and 2009. The paper highlighted how doctors prescribe antibiotics even for common cold and diarrhoea that can be treated with simple oral rehydration. A more recent Lancet (UK medical journal) study had said countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa accounted for 76% of the global increase in antibiotic consumption.

The BMC's policy comes on the heels of the Barack Obama government coming out with a five-year action plan for combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria and committing a sum of $1.2 billion.

"It shows the urgency of the situation. Management of common and lethal bacterial infections has been critically compromised by the rapid spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The medical community is to blame for rampantly prescribing antibiotics, even when the infection source could be a virus," said Dr Jayanti Shastri, head of microbiology at BYL Nair Hospital. She and head of microbiology at KEM Hospital Dr Gita Nataraj coordinated with all departments and drafted the guidelines.

Dr Om Srivastava, head of infectious diseases at Jaslok Hospital, called for better surveillance at the national level while changing patient mindset."Patients often demand antibiotics but doctors cannot fall for public sentiments. Resistance to fourth generation antibiotics such as carbapenems is alarming," he said.

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Pay no toll at 65 booths, 6 near Mumbai, from June 1

MUMBAI: The state government on Friday announced waiver of road toll for cars and state transport buses at 65 plazas, six of them around Mumbai, from the midnight of May 31. Continued toll collection on existing roads and new booths cropping up have been a contentious issue, with citizens, and some political parties, strongly opposed to it.

The new relief includes plazas at Kasheli on the Bhiwandi-Wadpe road, Kamothe on the Sion-Panvel highway, Gaimukh on the Thane-Ghodbunder road and two posts at Katai and Gove villages on the Bhiwandi-Kalyan-Shil road. The Wadkhal toll post on the Alibaug-Pen-Khopoli road is being totally withdrawn.

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said the move was in tune with the BJP-Shiv Sena government's policy of doing away with all toll booths in the state. "Major relief to people of Maharashtra as we have kept our promise by announcing in assembly that 12 toll plazas will be closed from midnight of May 31, 2015," he tweeted.

Fadnavis said the government had declared its toll policy but needed time to fine-tune it. "We will ensure toll operators do not go to court and obtain a stay on the revocation of toll. If, however, they do approach the courts we shall fight it out,'' he said.

A committee headed by additional chief secretary (PWD) has been set up to check if Mumbai Entry Point Ltd's six toll booths on the fringes of Mumbai (Vashi, Airoli, Mulund, Bhandup, Dahisar), the Bandra-Worli sea link and the Mumbai-Pune Expressway can offer any waiver to private cars and state buses. The report is expected to be out by July-end.

Another committee headed by PWD minister Chandrakant Patil will take a decision on the Kolhapur toll plaza before May 31, Fadnavis said. The agitation, allegedly staged by Sena activists against toll collection on nine roads connecting Kolhapur, turned violent in January last year, with four booths being burnt.

The move will bring relief for Mumbaikars who commute to and from the distant suburbs and places like Pune, Nashik and Goa in their cars and SUVs. But the loss of toll from private cars may be recovered from other commercial vehicles, which may kick up the cost of transportation of goods and thus the cost of commodities.

Transport experts said Mumbaikars who move through the distant suburbs like Ghodbunder road, Bhiwandi-Kalyan road and Sion-Panvel highway can hope to save between Rs 70 and Rs 200. These toll booths charge Rs 30-40 one way.

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Matrimonial website not liable for online fraud: HC

MUMBAI: A matrimonial website cannot be held responsible if a user is "careless and negligent" and falls for one of the common "internet scams", Bombay high court has ruled.

A matrimonial portal was hauled in a criminal case after a woman divorcee looking to get married for a second time was conned of around Rs 2.93 lakh by a prospective groom. A division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai has now come to its rescue pointing to the "negligence and carelessness" of the woman and her failure to ensure online safety. The court quashed the FIR accusing the portal of cheating by Mira Road resident Seema Chaudhary (name changed).

"Perusal of the terms and conditions governing the use of the website makes it clear that the company has provided certain safety tips and warns every customer/member to be aware about common scams and frauds so that they are not cheated by others," said the judges, adding, "Despite the safety instructions provided by the company, Seema put herself in the present situation due to her own negligence and carelessness."

Seema claimed that the website had failed to inform her that the man, Michael Williams, who had claimed to be a resident of United Kingdom, had deactivated his account.

"The company cannot be held responsible for Seema's negligence and carelessness. Even assuming that it was the obligation on the part of the company to inform her about the suspension of Michael Williams' profile," the court said.

Seema, a divorcee, had paid a fee and registered on the website in June 2014, with the intention of meeting someone and marrying for a second time. She received a profile of Williams and started communicating with her. Williams informed her that he was landing in Mumbai on July 21, 2014, with the intention of investing in India. On the same day, Seema received a call from one Sofia Bajaj, who claimed to be from the Customs department and informed her that Williams had landed at Delhi airport and was required to pay Customs duty. Williams told her that he only had foreign currency and requested her to deposit Rs 24,500 in a particular account.

The next day, Seema received a call again from Sofia informing her that Williams was carrying over Rs 6 crore and in order to receive an "anti-terrorist certificate" she was required to deposit Rs 79,500.

The following day she was asked to deposit over Rs 1.89 lakh with an "RBI account" so that Williams could get a certificate to bring the money into the country. She deposited the amount, but when she was asked to pay another Rs 55,000, she sensed something amiss. Seema went to Delhi airport and then the RBI office, but found that none of the facts matched up and the bank accounts were not the department's official bank accounts.


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Pipe burst leads to traffic snarls on LBS Marg

MUMBAI: A pipeline burst led to a traffic snarl on the LBS Marg on Saturday morning. Both, north and south bound stretches between Bhandup and Mulund were congested around 11am.

Motorists were severely inconvenienced and took to social networking sites to complain.

Traffic police personnel were immediately posted on the stretch to streamline vehicular movement. "Nothing seemed to be moving on LBS Marg. Roads were choc-a-bloc," said a motorist.

"Motorists were advised to use the Eastern Express Highway where traffic flow was comparatively smoother," a traffic official said.

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Under fire, state eases Marathi film timing

Written By Unknown on Jumat, 10 April 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Under fire for ordering multiplexes to screen Marathi movies in the 6-9pm prime time, the state government on Thursday relaxed the mandatory show timing to between noon and 9pm.

After two days of meetings with movie and multiplex stakeholders, cultural affairs minister Vinod Tawde said Marathi movie producers can select a slot that best fits a film's theme. No screening before noon will count towards the mandatory 124 Marathi film shows a year for multiplexes.

The day was dominated by the sideshow of Shiv Sena workers protesting outside columnist Shobhaa De's Cuffe Parade residence with vada pav and misal over her allegedly derogatory tweets.

But BJP leaders said though they did not exactly agree with her, she had the right to express her views.

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CR services hit by rail fracture at Kurla

MUMBAI: Six suburban services were cancelled and many delayed as a fracture in the tongue rail led to delay in services on the CST-bound fast track on Thursday morning at Kurla on the Central Railways main line.

Due to the incident, as many as 45 trains ran behind schedule in the morning peak hours.

The CR spokesperson said, "The incident happened at 5.30 am and it got repaired by 7.20 am. During this period, suburban services towards CST were diverted on the slow tracks."

CR had to divert 11 long-distance trains on the slow track as many arrived from various parts of the country during the pre-morning peak hour.

The official said, "We had to cancel three trains each in UP and Down direction. There was a delay of 15 to 20 minutes due to this incident."

CST commuter Ashok Raje said, "I boarded the 7.45 am train at 8.15 at Thane. The train was packed beyond capacity."

Many commuters reach their destinations 30 to 40 minutes behind schedule. Rakesh Surve, another commuter said, "I had to leave three to four trains as they were over-crowded. The delay also meant that I reached Byculla 30 minutes behind schedule."

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BBC vs BBC, a battle brewing in Bombay high court

MUMBAI: The world famous acronym BBC is caught in a legal tangle in Mumbai. But, its not about the British Broadcasting Corporation. Borivali Biryani Centre (BBC), a popular eatery in the Mumbai, has moved the Bombay high court against a five star hotel chain Marriott International Inc and Marriot Hotels India Pvt Ltd which runs the J W Marriott in Mumbai for an alleged trademark violation.

The Biryani outlet which sees brisk sales all day long in a north-western suburb says its intellectual property rights are being violated by Bombay Baking Company at JW Marriott, Juhu. Both serve delicious but barely comparable cuisines. The bakery has Blueberry muffins and its BBC's granola on offer while the BBC which serves piping hot murg dum or paneerwali biryani as well as Paya soup and a host of other Indian delights. But the Biryani Centre has sought damages from Marriott for using its popular acronym, which it says has been in existence, prior in time for over a decade. The Biryani centre has alleged that the Bakery has stolen, not its aroma, but its acronym.

The battle initiated by the Biryani centre is pending in the HC and it recently moved the court for interim relief.

There appear to be more shades of BBC in the city though. Malls in Mumbai have another BBC, the British Brewing Company or the BB Company, a local destination for English pub-style fun, food relaxation and refreshment frequented by yuppy few. And fewer know that BBC was the acronym, as pasted even on the notice board of a special trial court, for the March 12, 1993 serial blasts--Bombay Blasts Case.

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SANDRP seeks govt's explanation on Pranahita Chevella Link project

MUMBAI: South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) has written to the state government, stating people affected by the Pranahita Chevella Link project, whose barrage will be situated inside Maharashtra, have not been given any information about this project.

"We were glad to see that you have discussed the issue with Chief Minister of Telangana and have raised the issue of submergence in Maharashtra in February 2015. Although there are discussions about the project between high placed officials of both states, we are extremely disappointed to see that the affected population of Maharashtra have been given no information about the project,'' it said in a letter addressed to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

''This is despite the fact that work on the project is ongoing in full swing in Telangana, just after Maharashtra-Telangana border and Andhra Pradesh-Telangana has spent more than Rs 7000 crore already,'' it added.

According to SANDRP, the project will submerge 14 villages in Gadchiroli and Chandrapur and an area of 2485 hectares, including 980 hectares of dense and biodiversity rich forest region.

''Despite this massive planned submergence no official from the government has bothered to meet the people in the affected region to talk with them or explain the project to them. This is despite the fact that several officials meetings between Telanganga and Maharashtra officials have taken place. No public consultation has been held on the ground and the project does not have an Environmental Clearance and is violating the Environment Protection Act (1986),'' it said.

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Maharashtra toll waiver to bring down burden on Mumbaikars’ wallets

MUMBAI: Not much though, state's toll waiver will bring down a little burden on Mumbaikars' wallets who commute to and fro distant suburbs and cities like Pune, Nashik and Goa in their cars and SuVs. But since the loss of toll from private cars may be recovered from other commercial vehicles, it might also trigger the cost of transportation of goods and thus the cost of commodities.

Of the 65 toll posts where state announced total waiver to cars and state transport buses on Friday, six fall around Mumbai which are mostly used by the traffic travelling to and fro city's distant suburbs in Thane and Raigad. Here, motorist travelling to Pune, Nashik, and Goa will also save on toll expenses.

The toll booths around Mumbai where the waiver will benefit motorists are; Wadkhal toll post on Alibaug-Pen-Khopoli road, Kasheli toll booth on Bhiwandi-Wadpe road, Kamothe toll post on Sion-Panvel highway, Gaimukh toll post on Thane-Ghodbunder road, and two toll posts at Katai and Gove villages on Bhiwandi-Kalyan-Shil road.

However, on city's six toll booths, five of them on the fringes of the city (at Vashi, Airoli, Mulund, Bhandup, Dahisar) and on Bandra-Worli sea link which are used most frequently by Mumbaikars and the one on Mumbai-Pune expressway at Khalapur and Talegaon, the toll waiver announcement may take some time. This is because the state has appointed a committee headed by additional chief secretary (PWD) to check if these toll booths can offer any toll waiver to private cars and state buses. The report is expected to be out by July end.

According to transport experts the move will bring a relief of minimum Rs 70 to maximum Rs 200 for Mumbaikars who move through distant suburbs such as Ghodbunder road Bhiwandi-Kalyan road and Sion-Panvel highway. These toll booths charge minimum Rs 30 to 40 one way. Interestingly, Wadkhal is the only toll post among the six where toll collection will be completely withdrawn whereas on rest of the five toll posts only cars and state buses will get waiver even as commercial vehicles such as trucks will have to pay.

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White paper on state finances tabled in Maharashtra Assembly

MUMBAI: A white paper on state finances, tabled in Maharashtra Assembly on Friday, says that revenue had increased at 16 percent annually in the last decade while the GSDP was between 9.9 percent and 10.7 percent which is balanced and satisfactory, compared to other developed states.

It also said that accumulated debt in the last ten years increased from Rs 1,09,167 crore to Rs 3,02,578 crore.

"Even though the rise in debt is substantial, the percentage of debt has come down from 266.1 percent to 167.4 percent as compared to the increase in state's revenues," it added.

The observations come in the backdrop of BJP stating that it has inherited a bankrupt state and the Congress-NCP rule of 15 years had seen Maharashtra touching a low in terms of finances.

Similarly, the fiscal deficit was maintained at three per cent (except in 2009-10) as compared to the state income. The average interest on state's liabilities was 8 percent while the rate of revenue growth was 16 percent, respectively.

The paper said that even though the state's revenue increased satisfactorily, there was substantial rise in revenue expenditure.

This shows that the state was unable to maintain the revenue balance which is a worrying factor.

As per revised estimates of 2014-15, the revenue deficit was Rs 13,883 crore.

The paper said increased revenue expenditure resulting in fiscal imbalance, insufficient capital investment and improper planning are challenges before the government.

The ratio of paying interest against the revenue income was 13.4 percent, it added.

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Lokhandwala township an NDZ, BKC site a water body

Written By Unknown on Kamis, 09 April 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The state government may have set up a panel to review the controversial 2034 draft Development Plan for Mumbai, but the errors unearthed in it continue to be so glaring that a detailed review may be unnecessary.

In the latest two bloopers that have come to light, nearly 50 buildings in the Lokhandwala township in Kandivli East, many of them towers where people have resided for close to two decades, now find themselves mentioned as a no-development zone, while the spot in the Bandra-Kurla Complex where the Reliance Convention Centre is under construction has been categorized as a water body simply because the place was dug up for construction and perhaps had water accumulated in it during the monsoons.

The Lokhandwala township abuts the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, which is marked as a natural area, and is right behind the Mahindra and Mahindra Automotive and Farm division which begins along the Western Express highway.

"In the 1991 DP, this area is clearly marked as a residential/commercial zone. I think somebody has done a bad job in Photoshop," said Srinivas Jayaswal, chairman of building number 8 in Alica Nagar, which is part of the Lokhandwala township.

The township comprises towers that are 21-storey high and has over 50,000 residents. Jayaswal said several new buildings are currently under construction in the area.

Secretaries of various buildings have now begun sending in their objections to the area being classified as an NDZ to the Development Plan department. "We have nearly a 100 registered housing societies with perfectly legal occupation certificates. I myself have been staying here for the last 17 years," said Avinash Prabhu, secretary of building number 9.

Architect and activist P K Das said a vast water body is shown in the DP map for the Bandra-Kurla Complex. "The water body is visible in the Google maps of two years ago, when the DP was under preparation. The water body exists as it was excavation done for construction. The pit would have filled up during the monsoon season and this showed up on the maps. The water body is at the spot where the Reliance Convention Centre is under construction," said Das.

With the April 25 deadline for public suggestions and objections fast approaching, the Urban Design Research Institute has been holding presentations on the draft DP in various parts of the city, teaching citizens how to read the DP maps and file their objections.

Das said the numerous errors show sheer laziness on the part of those responsible for preparing the draft DP.

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Box office worries in multicultural Mumbai

Mumbai: A common perception in the movie industry is that Marathi movies may be bringing in the awards, but has some catching up to do when it comes to luring movie-goers to theatres.

"Many films, including Oscar-nominated 'Shwaas', got hardly 3% occupancy, especially in areas like Fort. Trade reports say Hindi movies get 70-75% occupancy during weekends. How will this order work if Marathi movies draw even less people?" asked Ram Vidhani, exhibitor-distributor and vice-president of Film Federation of India.

Multiplex owners, who went into a huddle on Wednesday awaiting a clear order, wondered whether the government thought about the 'overall customer experience' they provide at their plush halls before taking the populist call.

Many language-proud states like West Bengal and Tamil Nadu have experimented with local-only movie policies with varying degrees of success. Industry observers say the going will be tougher in a multi-cultural Mumbai with a healthy appetite for big-budget Bollywood and Hollywood flicks.

For the exhibitors this is an old battle as in 2009, the Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India had successfully petitioned the Bombay high court to reduce the number of mandatory screenings of Marathi movies from 112 to 44, said Vidhani. Multiplex owners had then also baulked at a political demand to give primetime slots.

"Many films like 'Drishyam' (Malayalam) did extremely well, especially on Sundays. 'Gravity' ran for 13 weeks and that shows we need quality regional as well as Hollywood and Bollywood movies," said an industry insider in the city. There are around 166 in Maharashtra and 122 in Mumbai-Thane, said Vidhani.

The keyword here is quality, said historian-filmmaker Ashok Rane. "Multiplex owners don't treat Marathi films with respect. They insist that we cut movies to two hours 15 minutes; they wouldn't ask that of Salman (Khan) or Shah Rukh (Khan) films. These have to change but you cannot compel people to watch movies if they are not good."

Even the legendary V Shantaram didn't jeopardize his Plaza theatre's profits despite requests to promote Marathi. He did lobby the government in 1975 to start a tax-return scheme for the industry. A grant-in-aid scheme, which gives lump sums up to Rs 30 lakh, was started later and has been periodically tweaked.

The new way movies do business by mopping up all the profits in the first four weeks, banking mostly on star power, is also hurting. "No Marathi star can give this kind of guarantee. The government should understand the realities before trying to impose this," said Rane.

But hopes are rising. Sushilkumar Agrawal, producer of Marathi movies, says evening shows at multiplexes will draw in more crowds. Also, there is scope for turning this slot into one for regional movies. "If the Marathi movie for the week has few viewers, why not screen good Gujarati, Bangla or Tamil movies in its place? That could be a win-win for everyone," he said.

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‘De is not parochial, admire her guts as a Marathi mulgi’

Mumbai: Maharashtrian scholars and journalists have slammed the bid to pass a privilege motion against columnist Shobhaa De in the assembly over her tweet barbs aimed at the government's decision on mandatory screening of Marathi films in multiplexes in primetime slots.

Moving it on behalf of the Shiv Sena, its MLA said her comments were an insult to Maharashtra. "How is a comment criticizing the chief minister's decision equivalent to an insult to Maharashtra? Maharashtra is much, much, much bigger than the government," said political analyst Prakash Bal.

Aroon Tikekar, a specialist in Mumbai's history, feels De has every right to express herself and her opinions don't call for a privilege motion. "The advocate general of Maharashtra should unofficially advise the government that the matter does not make for privilege motion," he adds.

"I don't think the motion will pass, once it goes to the assembly committee that will look into it. I'm sure wiser council will prevail," says Tikekar. "There is nothing objectionable about what she has said. She has a smart way of saying things. She is absolutely right when she says we should decide what we want to see and when we want to see it," he adds.

Sociologist Nandini Sardesai lauded De for having the guts to stand by her convictions. "I admire her guts as a Marathi mulgi who is not parochial. We're both proud Maharashtrians; both of us speak in Marathi whenever we meet," she says.

"I see a lot of Marathi movies and feel they're of exceptional calibre. However, the government's new diktat is ridiculous and will result in theatres running at a loss," she adds.

"If our MLAs are so sensitive about Maharashtra, how come there was no discussion in the assembly on a young boy in Thane killed by stray dogs?" asks Bal. Maharashtra's legislators are a law unto themselves and seem to believe 'privileges' lie solely with MLAs, and not the common man. "Freedom of expression means that an MLA has the freedom to beat a police constable," he says, adding that this was part of Maharashtra's political culture.

Journalist Nikhil Wagle tweeted in support of De, saying the privilege motion against her was a joke. "She has every right to criticize govt decision to block prime slot for Marathi films," said his tweet.

As for the decision to reserve primetime slots for Marathi films in multiplexes, Bal points out that multiplexes are largely in areas such as Mumbai and Pune and not in small towns and rural areas. "Will people in the hinterland get to watch the films?" he asks.

"If the Marathi manoos does not go out and watch these films, multiplex owners will run at a loss even during primetime," adds Tikekar.

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Smuggling ring busted, 7kg of gold seized

MUMBAI: The air intelligence unit (AIU) of the customs department has busted a gold smuggling ring in which a cellphone messaging application was used as the means of communication between couriers and receivers. The AIU's operation, which involved a short car chase, culminated in the arrest of four people, including two flight catering-cleaning staff, and a net seizure of nearly 7kg of gold (exactly 6.79kg, worth Rs1.65 crore).

Explaining the modus operandi of the smugglers, additional commissioner (customs) Milind Lanjewar said the main courier would book a flight and hide gold bars in the lining of his seat or stick them with adhesive tape or other means on the seat's underside. Upon reaching the destination, he would disembark after messaging the seat number to a couple of catering staff responsible for cleaning the flight. The two staffers would retrieve the gold, hide it in the cleaning trolley and take it out of the airport through the disposal route, bypassing customs and other checks. One of them would then take the gold in a bag to a receiver, who would be at a specified location near the airport.

On Tuesday, the AIU received a specific input about catering staffers Abdul Shaikh and Siraj Sayed. AIU officers waited for them outside the aircraft they entered. After the two came out, they were searched and found with gold bars. The officers checked their mobile phones and found messages specifying seat numbers in three more incoming flights.

Based on the duo's preliminary confession, an AIU team went to nab receiver Vijay Tamhanekar, who was waiting in a cab outside a five star hotel near the airport. Noticing the approaching vehicle carrying the team, he realised something was wrong and told the cabbie to flee.

Allauddin, the driver of the AIU vehicle, sped up and hit the cab, forcing it to stop. After his arrest, Tamhanekar told the team that another person was involved, who was waiting in the vicinity. This person, Shahabuddin, too was nabbed.

The AIU also recovered the gold from the three incoming flights after their arrival.

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Fuel pumps may go dry over weekend

MUMBAI: Petrol dealers are planning an agitation on Saturday. They will not purchase fuel and operate only in one shift, which means fuel pumps may go dry during the weekend.

On Wednesday, Ravi Shinde of Petrol Dealers Association said the talks with the Centre had failed. Speaking to TOI, he said: "We have several pending issues including increase in dealers' margins, regulating the new retail outlets and announcing price hikes in a scheduled manner by oil companies. We have decided to go ahead with the stir on April 11." If the issue is still unresolved, the petrol dealers have threatened to go on an indefinite stir from April 27.

The dealers have demanded that the government should regulate the trade. The mushrooming of new retail outlets is a cause of worry. In 2002, the Centre planned to decontrol petroleum industry in a phased manner. Then the retail outlets across the country numbered 18,140. Currently, their strength is close to 53,000.


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‘BMC not liable under consumer law for free services’

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission recently held the BMC was not liable for medical negligence under the Consumer Protection Act for a service provided free of cost. The commission made the observation while dismissing the complaint filed by a Mahim resident whose 45-day-old son died in 1999, after he swallowed a needle that broke while he was being given the BCG vaccine at a BMC hospital medical camp in Sion.

Clarifying that the woman can pursue justice at other courts, the commission said, "In absence of the proof that the complainant (mother) as recipient of the service rendered by the opponent (BMC), the charges have been paid, it is difficult to impose liability on the opponents to pay compensation. The State Commission has full sympathy with complainants as mother of child and grandmother."

The commission further observed that the death of the child, if proved was due to the negligence of the BMC nurse, would have made both jointly and severally liable to pay compensation. "But to invoke the jurisdiction of this commission, it shall be proved on record that service rendered was not free of charge. The payment of token amount for registration purposes only would not alter the position," the commission observed.

The commission further said that in law, all kinds of services rendered by medical practitioners, except where services are rendered free of charges, are brought within the purview of term 'service' mentioned in the Consumer Protection Act.

The infant's mother Shazia filed the complaint in 2001. She alleged the incident took place on July 20, 1999. Shazia said as the child moved abruptly, a needle from the syringe separated and entered into its mouth and down the throat. The same day a surgery was performed and the needle removed from stomach of the child. However, against medical advice, the parents took the infant to a private hospital. On August 8, 1999, another surgery was required to be performed under general anesthesia for removal of adhesions formed in the intestine. However, the child died after about a month in the hospital as it suffered cardiac arrest brought on by the septicemia.

The BMC filed its reply and argued on the point of jurisdiction while pointing out that there was no service provider and customer relationship between the mother and them. Further it said the nurse was not negligent and the incident was accidental.

Besides the aspect of jurisdiction, the commission pointed out to the fact that the entire burden of negligence could not be imposed on the nurse. "The mother and grandmother of the child, who might be present, must have been holding the child at the time of administering the injection of vaccine to the child," the commission said. It also said a criminal court had acquitted the nurse of negligence charges.

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Crime branch to question builder in extortion case

Written By Unknown on Rabu, 08 April 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The city crime branch is gearing up to question a builder from south Mumbai and his son for using underworld connections to settle a property deal at a throwaway price. Last week, the property cell of the city crime branch arrested two persons, namely Tariq Siddiqui and Abdullah Ahmed alias Baba, for threatening Zulfikar Shaikh, the partner of Sagar hotel at Nagpada. The builder from Nagpada-Agripada, who is known by his lucky number, and his son recently called Shaikh for a meeting to discuss a property at Sutarwala chawl. Shaikh has around 8,300-sq ft space on the ground floor of the property the builder wants to redevelop. "Almost all others have agreed for the redevelopment except Shaikh, who objected to the price offered," said an officer.— S Ahmed Ali

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