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Scribes booked for extortion, forgery in Ambala

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Ten months after they were booked for allegedly furnishing false information and creating enmity, police have registered an FIR against two journalists of a Hindi daily, under charges of extortion, forgery and others, based on a news report published on February 25.

They were identified as the newspaper’s zonal news editor, Sandeep Sharma and correspondent Sunil Brar, who were booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code on the complaint of security agent Vikram Singh at Ambala Cantonment police station on Monday.

However, two other scribes working for the newspaper — district bureau chief Ujjwal Sharma and correspondent Pawan Kumar, have also applied for an anticipatory bail before a local court along with the duo.

Sub-inspector Vikram said in order to provide benefit to an accused booked in an attempted murder case of February, the scribes have published the news item based on false facts.

“No official version was sought for the said news that was against the evidential fact. Two days ago, I met Brar and told him not to publish such news in public interest. He asked me to arrange money through police stations, else such news will be published in the future as well,” the sub-inspector said in his statement.

The news item quoted above relates to the arrest of one Manish of Lal Kurti for allegedly attacking an elderly couple in Punjabi Mohalla on February 24. The police claimed to have arrested him near Swastik Chowk, while the newspaper published that it was rather Manish’s mother who took him to the police station for committing the crime.

In their application through advocate Rohit Jain, the petitioners have alleged that they have been “falsely implicated” due to “political pressure” as they “have exposed the corruption and wrong doings of the elected government… that has offended the officials who have got the false FIR registered…”

The plea added that due to “such unfavourable news items,” a campaign was being run on social media over the last few days to boycott the newspaper. Jain said the notice of the bail application has been issued to the police for July 15.

Superintendent of police Jashadeep Singh Randhawa said no arrest has been made and the matter is under investigation.

Speaking on behalf of the publication, Mahesh Kumar, editor, Haryana, said that they are seeking legal advice on the case.

Opposition condemns move

“This is an attempt to suppress the voice of the fourth pillar of democracy. Not only was the case registered in an arbitrary manner, raids were also made at the newspaper’s office and Brar’s residence. Why not first arrest those absconding after committing murder?,” Jain, also Haryana Congress treasurer said.

Aam Aadmi Party’s north zone convener Chitra Sarwara also condemned the development, saying, “This is a misuse of legal framework to muzzle the press. A campaign was being run on social media against the newspaper and it seems that this case is part of it.”

In September last year, Sharma and Brar were booked for an alleged error in a report related to the arrest of a purported ISI-linked terrorist by the Punjab Police in Ambala. Brar was arrested from his office and was released on regular bail, after court found no substance in the police allegations.


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Karnataka gives nod to prosecute ADGP in police recruitment case | Latest News Delhi

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The Karnataka government on Friday issued a circular permitting prosecution of suspended additional general of police (ADGP) Amrit Paul in the police sub-inspector recruitment scam, officials familiar with the development said on Saturday.

Since the accused is a government servant, the government’s permission was necessary to proceed with the prosecution.

“In the background of the facts, circumstances and documents pertaining to the case, the investigation agency has made out a prima facie case against Amrit Paul for his alleged involvement in tampering with OMR sheets and creating false documents by misusing his official position, even though knowing it was illegal and tantamount to cheating. Hence, with the approval of the competent authority, the Government of Karnataka issues the following order to accord permission to prosecute Amrit Paul, then ADGP-recruitment,” read the circular issued by the state government.

Paul is the first officer of ADGP rank — the second-highest rank in the police hierarchy — to be arrested in the state in connection with the corruption case. Paul who was heading the Police Recruitment Cell, Karnataka, was arrested on July 4 after his name cropped up in the ongoing investigation into the PSI scam, where money was taken from candidates to enable them to cheat during their examinations or for tampering their answers sheets after the exam.

Paul has been arrested under Sections 409, 406, 420, 468, 469, 461, 471 and 120 B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal breach of trust, cheating, forgery, dishonestly breaking open receptacle containing property, using as a genuine forged document or electronic record and criminal conspiracy. He has been placed under suspension under the All-India Services (Discipline & Appeals) Rule, 1969.

The courts have thrice rejected bail to Paul. CID had in September filed a separate 1,406-page charge sheet against him.

According to the charge sheet submitted before the First ACMM court in Bengaluru, Paul is the 35th accused in the scam. CID had submitted 78 records, 38 witnesses against Paul in the charge sheet. Investigations have revealed that Paul had allegedly received a cut of 1.35 crore from candidates to PSI posts.

A CID officer said the involvement of three groups in facilitating the malpractice has emerged so far. The first gang, which included BJP leader Divya Hagargi, was involved in answer sheet tampering using invigilators. The second gang run by Rudragouda Patil operated using Bluetooth devices to give answers to candidates during the examination, while the third gang was of police officers in the recruitment cell, who tampered with the answer sheets kept inside the strong room of the recruitment wing’s office after taking money from candidates.

The probe into the involvement of the recruitment wing officials has revealed that Paul was part of the malpractice. “First of all, on the day the answer sheets arrived at the recruitment wing office, ADGP Paul had given the keys of the strongroom, where the OMR sheets were kept under tight security, to deputy superintendent of police Shantha Kumar,” said the officer.

Kumar then allegedly roped in first division assistant Harsha and reserve sub-inspectors Sridhar and Srinivas to help him switch off the CCTV and fill up the blank OMR sheets. “The strongroom can be accessed only using a biometric entry. The investigators have found multiple entries to the strongroom that night, in some cases as early as 4 am. The officers who entered the room have been arrested. Considering they entered the room at odd hours and the fact that the ADGP handed over the keys show that these officers were involved in the conspiracy,” said the officer.


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Corruption case: Punjab vigilance submits challan against AIG Ashish Kapoor, ASI Harvinder Singh

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Vigilance bureau on Saturday submitted chargesheet against Ashish Kapoor, a Punjab Police Service (PPS) officer along with assistant sub inspector (ASI) Harvinder Singh, arrested in a bribery case on October 6 in a local Mohali court.

VB submitted the chargesheet under Section 7 (Public servant taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act) of Prevention of Corruption Act in the court of Parminder Singh Grewal, Additional District and Sessions Judge. On October 6, the vigilance arrested him for taking a bribe of 1 crore through different cheques. Kapoor was posted as the commandant, 4th IRB, Pathankot. Kapoor is currently lodged in Patiala jail.

VB had alleged that AIG Ashish Kapoor had taken 11 cheques from the woman, through which she got 1 crore transferred to the accounts of her acquaintances and then took out the amount and kept it herself.

As per vigilance spokesperson, during his posting as Amritsar central jail superintendent, in 2016, Kapoor had got acquainted with a woman inmate, Poonam Rajan of Sector 30, Kurukshetra, who was on judicial remand in a case.

Poonam, along with her mother Prem Lata, brother Kuldeep Singh and sister-in-law Preeti, was also in police remand in a cheating case registered at Zirakpur police station. Kapoor went to the police station and fraudulently convinced Poonam’s mother Prem Lata to help her get bail and acquittal from the court. Kapoor, in connivance with Pawan Kumar, the then SHO of Zirakpur police station, and ASI Harjinder Singh got Preeti declared innocent in the case. In lieu of that favour, Kapoor obtained signatures of Prem Lata on different cheques amounting to Rs1 crore and deposited them under the names of his known people and got them encashed through ASI Harjinder Singh.

Moreover, the bureau had claimed that the receipts of the jewellery found in Kapoor’s locker were in the name of a Kurukshetra-based woman and were addressed to her Kurukshetra residence. Refuting the allegations, Ashish Kapoor claimed that the jewellery in his locker was purchased on his debit card from his salary account.

The vigilance had produced the receipts as evidence of the jewellery amounting to 13 lakh weighing 400.14 gram which the Kurukshetra woman had received from the jeweller. The vigilance had produced the statements of 11 witnesses in the court who claimed that they got cheques encashed that were allegedly taken by Kapoor from the Kurukshetra woman and her mother for dropping charges against them. The DSP, intelligence, Pawan Kumar, and ASI Harjinder Singh were also nominated as accused in the FIR.


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Peru: Police clash with protesters in capital Lima – BBC

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