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‘No question I haven’t answered’: Chidambaram counters CBI in court

NEW DELHI: The special court that sent former Union minister P Chidambaram to CBI custody till August 26 in the INX Media case, allowed him to make a brief submission during the hearing despite strong objection from the probe agency.Soon after arguments on custodial interrogation got over, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who was appearing for Chidambaram, sought permission from special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar that his client be allowed to speak as he wants to throw some light on the questions being asked by the CBI during interrogation.Solicitor general Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for the CBI, vehemently opposed the request saying the former finance minister has a team of legal stalwarts like senior advocate Kapil Sibal and Singhvi, who have already presented their arguments, and...

Police custody is justified: Court on Chidambaram

NEW DELHI: Congress leader P Chidambaram was on Thursday sent to CBI custody till August 26 by a Delhi court which said his custodial interrogation was justified in the INX Media corruption case.“Allegations against Chidambaram are serious in nature and in-depth investigation is required,” the court said as it rejected the arguments of the Congress leader’s lawyers.“Considering the facts and circumstances, I am of the view that police custody is justified,” special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar said after listening to the arguments of both sides.“Trail of money, if so paid, is to be ascertained. It is a case based on documentary evidence and those documents need to be traced,” the court said.The court observed that allegations of payment to Chidambaram in...

Rajiv didn’t use mandate to spread fear: Sonia

NEW DELHI: Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi got a massive poll mandate in 1984, but did not use it to create an atmosphere of fear, threaten and scare people or destroy institutions, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said on Thursday, in an apparent swipe at the Modi government.Addressing an event marking Rajiv Gandhi’s 75th birth anniversary , she also said the challenges facing the Congress were formidable, but it must continue with its ideological struggle against divisive forces.“In 1984, he (Rajiv Gandhi) won an unprecedented mandate, but did not use that power to create an atmosphere of fear or threaten and scare,” Sonia Gandhi said.The former prime minister did not use that power to destroy the independence of institutions, trample on divergent views and create dan...

CBI arrests Chidambaram from his residence amid high drama

NEW DELHI: Former finance minister P Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI Wednesday night from his residence in connection with INX Media case after dramatic developments with the agency sleuths scaling walls to gain access to the bungalow in the high-end Jor Bagh locality.“Mr P Chidambaram has been arrested in connection with INX media case,” a senior official of the agency said.A CBI spokesperson said he has been arrested on the basis of a warrant issued by a competent court.After his arrest at his residence, the former minister was taken to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital where a medical examination was done, sources said.Chidambaram has been kept in the suit No. 5 of the CBI Guest House on the ground floor of the agency headquarters, they said.He will be produced before a special...

CBI team jumps wall, enters Chidambaram’s home

NEW DELHI: A team of CBI officials descended on the residence of former finance minister P Chidambaram Wednesday night, minutes after he reached there after a dramatic appearance at a press conference at AICC headquarters here.The team of about 30 CBI sleuths accompanied by Delhi police officials reached the Jor Bagh residence of Chidambaram and knocked at the doors for a few minutes before scaling the boundary wall to enter the premises.A team of ED officials also reached there.In fast-paced events, Chidambaram, who could not be traced by the agencies since Tuesday evening and failed to get any relief from the Supreme Court on Wednesday, appeared at the Congress headquarters at 8pm where he addressed a brief press conference claiming innocence in the INX Media case.He reached his Jor Bagh...

‘Govt taking steps to stop water flowing into Pak’

MUMBAI: Union water resources minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has said the government has begun the process of stopping the waters from the Himalayan rivers flowing into Pakistan without violating Indus Water Treaty.“Work has already begun to stop the waters that flow into Pakistan (under the Indus treaty). I am talking about the water which is going to Pakistan, and I am not talking about breaking the Indus treaty,” Shekhawat said here Tuesday evening.The minister’s comments assume importance as after the Pulwama terror attack early February and Delhi’s retaliatory bombing of a terror camp in Balakot, the bilateral ties have hit new lows.The Indo-Pak relations dived further after the government scrapped the Articles 370 and 35A that gave special rights to Jammu &...

Appear within 2 hours: CBI pastes notice at Chidambaram’s house

NEW DELHI: Hours after the Delhi high court refused former Union finance minister P Chidambaram to grant any protection from arrest in the INX Media case, the CBI issued a notice to him asking him to appear before the investigation officer “within two hours”, after failing to find him at his residence.At around 6.30 PM, a team of CBI officers landed at his posh Jor Bagh residence here to locate him, officials said.The CBI team left the premises after confirming that Chidambaram was not present at the address, they said. The team, which had some superintendent of police-rank officials, did not make clear if they had gone to his residence to arrest him for alleged irregularities in foreign investment clearance to INX Media during his tenure as finance minister.The officials retur...

Normalcy returning as curbs further eased in J&K

SRINAGAR: Life was slowly returning to normal in Jammu and Kashmir with the authorities further easing restrictions on Tuesday, officials said.Restrictions were relaxed in 136 police station areas, out of total 197, in Jammu and Kashmir.In Kashmir Valley, restrictions were eased in 50 out of 111 police station areas, state government spokesperson Rohit Kansal said.Barricades around the Clock Tower in Srinagar‘s city centre Lal Chowk were removed after 15 days, allowing the movement of people and traffic in the commercial hub, as restrictions eased in several localities while continuing in others.He said attendance and schools and government offices increased across Jammu and Kashmir. More landline phones were made operational on Tuesday. Over 73,000, out of total about 99,000, landli...

Why HC denied relief to Chidambaram in INX case

NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram suffered a major setback on Tuesday after the Delhi high court dismissed his anticipatory bail in the INX Media scam and called him the “key conspirator” in the case.The 24-page judgment by the court said that the scam appears to be a “classic case of money laundering” and the gravity of offence committed in the case amply justifies denial of pre-arrest bail to the former Union minister.Here are the key observations made by high court about the case and the alleged involvement of Chidambaram:* Facts of the case prima facie reveal that petitioner (Chidambaram) is the kingpin, that is, the key conspirator in this case. Law enforcing agencies cannot be made ineffective by putting legal obstacles in offences in question.* ...

No need for any debate on reservations: Paswan

NEW DELHI: Asserting that there is no need for any “debate” on the issue of reservation, BJP ally and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Tuesday it is a constitutional right of the weaker sections of society.The Lok Janshakti Party president’s comments come days after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat‘s remarks that there should be conversation in harmonious atmosphere between those in favour of reservation and those against it.Paswan, however, did not react directly to Bhagwat’s comments, saying he did not know details of his remarks.He said reservation is a constitutional right and added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reiterated it many times that it cannot be tampered with.“There is no need for any debate on reservation. This is now available even t...

Pak’s extreme rhetoric hurts peace: PM to Trump

WASHINGTON: Amid Pakistan-instigated ferment and violence from Kabul to Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told US President Donald Trump in a 30-minute phone call on Monday that “extreme rhetoric and incitement to anti-India violence by certain leaders in the region was not conducive to peace.”The conversation took place even as US efforts to arrive at a peace deal in Afghanistan was marred by a horrific bombing at a Kabul wedding on Saturday where the perpetrator was identified as a Pakistani, and India struggled to contain insurgency in Kashmir.Pakistan, which sees Kashmir as its “jugular vein” and Afghanistan as its “strategic depth” against India, is perceived as the spoiler in both places, and although the readout of the phone call did not identify Pakistan by name, it was quite o...

‘Army was ready to fight war, enter Pak territory after Balakot strikes’

NEW DELHI: In the run up to Balakot strikes, Army chief General Bipin Rawat very categorically conveyed to the top brass of the government that his force was fully ready to deal with any ground offensive by Pakistan and take the battle into the enemy territory, top military sources said.The Indian Army was prepared for a conventional warfare with Pakistan which would have included going inside Pakistan, the sources told PTI.The Army chief informed the government about preparedness of his force when it was considering various options, including carrying out an aerial raid, to punish Pakistan for the Pulwama terror attack.General Rawat, at a closed door interaction with a group of retiring Army officials on Monday, said the force was combat ready for any hostilities from Pakistan Army after ...