— RT (@RT_com) September 24, 2015
Former Minister of State (MoS) Coal Dasari Narayan Rao on Monday submitted to the Special Court that he supports former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda’s plea to summon former prime minister Manmohan Singh as an accused in the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block allocation case. Rao said it was Singh who had “re-examined” and “finalised” the allocation of the coal block to accused Naveen Jindal Group firms.
However, Congress leader and industrialist Naveen Jindal, accused in the present coal block case, told Special Judge Bharat Parashar that “he neither supports or objects” to Koda’s plea. He said the court’s order on the Koda plea “should not cause prejudice” to him, especially at the stage of arguments on framing of charges against the accused persons. The submissions were made after the CBI had earlier told the court that all the 15 accused in the case should clarify whether they supported or opposed his plea. The CBI will make its submissions on Koda’s plea Tuesday.
The former treasurer of President Dilma Rousseff’s ruling Workers’ party, João Vaccari Neto, has been sentenced to 15 years and four months in jail for corruption and money laundering.
In a blow to the left-leaning Ms Rousseff, who is facing calls for impeachment, Mr Vaccari was accused of channelling money from alleged corruption at state-owned oil company Petrobras to the Workers party, or PT, in the form of corporate donations.
“The money laundering involved a considerable amount of $4.26m,” Sérgio Moro, the judge leading the court proceedings in the long-running Petrobras investigation, said in his ruling which was available on the court website. “Worse than the money laundering is the impact it had on the democratic political process, contaminating it with criminal resources, that I think is especially reprehensible.”
Mr Vaccari is the most senior political figure to be convicted in the damaging scandal, in which former politicians mostly from the ruling coalition are accused of colluding with one-time Petrobras managers and contractors to extract what the company estimated was R$6bn in bribes and kickbacks.
The troubles at Petrobras have put the brakes on investment in Brazil’s oil sector, deepening a recession in Latin America’s largest economy even as it reels from the end of the commodities supercycle.
Less than a week after after he demitted office as Chairman of the Law Commission of India after submitting a landmark report recommending abolition of death penalty except in cases of terror attacks, former Delhi High Court Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah Friday said the sudden and “secretive” hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was a mistake by the government. “I don’t understand why it had to be done so secretly and so suddenly. In my opinion, it was a sign of weakness and caused great setback to attempts to resolve the Kashmir issue. The decision was completely political,” Justice Shah told The Indian Express.
Incidentally, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah had also said Guru had been hanged for “political reasons”, and that even he had been informed just hours before the execution.
Asked if he agreed with the way in which the government and the Supreme Court handled the mercy plea and the petition filed by 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon, the jurist said, “Both the Executive and the Judiciary didn’t perform their duty completely and transparently. “I have so far refrained from speaking on this issue as I was holding this post. But now I can speak freely. I don’t know what was the great hurry to hang him.
At least 15 people were killed after a bomb on a motorcycle exploded on Monday just outside a Hindu shrine in the centre of the Thai capital.
The blast took place near the Erawan shrine at a major Bangkok intersection, police said.
“All I can say now is there has been an explosion in central Bangkok involving a motorcycle bomb,” deputy national police chief Aek Angsananond told Reuters. He said there had been fatalities, but could not confirm details.
Navinder Singh Sarao, the trader who the US authorities allege contributed to the flash crash, was granted a bail reduction from £5m to £50,000 and could leave prison as soon as today.
He has been held at Wandsworth prison since his arrest in April. At a court hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court in London today, a lawyer for the US said he would not oppose the bail reduction.
More than £30m of Mr Sarao’s assets remain subject to a worldwide freezing order and he was told he cannot leave the area with the M25 motorway or use the Internet for any trading.
“He could be released today,” his lawyer, James Lewis QC, told the court. The £50,000 has already been paid, he said.
A hearing on his extradition to the US is scheduled for late September.
Expressing inability to investigate another scam linked to Vyapam, the CBI has told the Supreme Court that while this scam is bigger in “scope and depth”, the bureau has no manpower to probe it. Responding to a petition by Vyapam whistleblower Anand Rai in the court, the CBI said, “In its scope and depth, the DMAT (Madhya Pradesh Dental Medical Admission Test) scam appears to be many times more than the Vyapam scam… It is humbly submitted that the CBI is finding it extremely hard and almost impossible to cope with the extent of cases already being investigated…due to scarcity of resources, particularly human resource.” The CBI said investigations were normally conducted by officers ranging from the rank of inspector to additional SP, “whose total sanctioned strength is 1,264 only”
Of the sanctioned strength, the CBI said 348 posts — 23 additional SP, 42 deputy SP and 283 inspectors — were currently vacant. The court had sought the agency’s response to the petitioner’s plea that irregularities in alleged DMAT scam be investigated by the CBI since it was related to Vyapam and was bigger in scope. The petitioners, Rai and Ashish Chaturvedi, had requested the court to hand over the investigation to the CBI since the Special Task Force in Madhya Pradesh had refused to probe it.