The Supreme Court today sought the view of the top government law official -- either the attorney general or the solicitor general -- on a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the government's decision to permit FDI in multi-brand retail.
The apex court sought clarification from the attorney general or solicitor general while hearing a PIL filed by lawyer M.L. Sharma, challenging the government notification on procedural grounds.
Vadra got properties for low rates, alleges India Against Corruption
Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan held a press conference in New Delhi where they leveled allegations against the son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi, Robert Vadra.
Vadra is the husband of Priyanka Gandhi.
Bhushan, representing India against Corruption, listed 31 properties which he alleged were owned by Vadra.
The properties are worth hundred of crores now. However Bhushan alleged that Vadra got the properties for an investments of as little as Rs. 50 Lakhs.
Bhushan also alleged that DLF (Delhi Land & Finance) Limited, one of India's largest development companies, gave Vadra interest-free loans of up to 65 crores to make purchases.
It is unclear what exactly the underlying allegation is.
Bhushan says that there is a 'scam' here due to the apparently 'special' relationship between DLF Limited and Robert Vadra. He alleged that Vadra got the properties for rates that were far below market rates, terming the deal as an 'open loot'. He alleged that Vadra had received kickbacks from DLF, but dd not go into details about what those kickbacks were for.
Bhushan has asked for an investigation into the deals through the prevention of corruption act.
Despite all the posturing, it is not illegal to do business in India and it may prove difficult to prove that the DLF actually did anything illegal, even if they did give Vadra the properties for a cheap price.
But an important question was raised during the press conference. Prashant Bhushan asked, "What did DLF gain by this deal? Why did it sell properties at below market prices, for a song?"4.50 pm:
Natarajan's 'no' to missile firing range in Andamans
The environment ministry has rejected an Indian Navy proposal to test fire missiles at the Tillanchong sanctuary in the Andaman and Nicobar islands as a firing range would destroy the habitat of the Nicobar megapode, an endangered bird species.
"The matter came up during the meeting of the National Board for Wildlife last month and many non-official members raised concerns about it. I decided yesterday (Thursday) that the range should not come in that area," Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan told reporters here Friday.
She said it was a very tough decision as there was lot of pressure from the defence ministry to clear the project.
"It was a very difficult decision to reject the proposal as it involves security and missile range is important for the country's defence. But as environment minister it is my mandate to make sure that wildlife, flora and fauna of our country are protected and I should stay with it," she said.
China's river antics may harm India
China's vast requirement for water is pushing it into making some rivers originating in the Tibetan Plateau flow upstream - which would spell trouble for India, said Tibetan political leader Lobsang Sangay.
Speaking to select journalists in the Indian capital Friday, Sangay said northeast China faces severe water shortage. "Sixty percent of the country needs water from somewhere," he said.
"Chinese companies are building 20 dams per river in the Tibetan Plateau, and on some rivers efforts are made to turn it upstream… If that happens what will happen to the river flow downstream?" said Sangay, who completed one year as political leader of the Tibetans.
The damming of the rivers was also affecting their natural flow downstream, and along with it the fishing activities of people in India and Bangladesh, he said.
Bangalore: Gang loots ATM van, decamp with Rs 65 lakh
A four-member gang waylaid a van carrying cash to an ATM here and decamped with Rs 65 lakh, police said today.
The gang waylaid the van when it was proceeding from Electronic City to fill cash in the Union Bank of India's ATM in Jayanagar last night.
After spraying chilli powder into the eyes of those inside the van and threatening the security person, they decamped with Rs 65 lakh cash, police said.
The gang had come in two motorcycles, they said, adding, hunt was on for the gang members.
Girl molested on board Rajdhani Express
A pantry car staffer was arrested Friday afternoon on charges of molesting a young girl on board Sealdah-New Delhi Rajdhani Express, police said.
Mohd. Sheikh, 24, attempted to outrage the modesty of the girl late Thursday night near Chandauli.
The girl raised an alarm and fellow passengers came to her rescue. The man was handed over to the Government Railway Police (GRP) at Mughalsarai.
Police said the man was drunk and does not have any past criminal record.
The girl, who is a resident of Gaya and studies in Delhi, told police that a few other pantry staffers were loitering around the wash room and were drunk.
A case has been registered and a probe is underway, said spokesman of the GRP.
Shatabdi kills three in Haryana
Three people were killed Friday when the New Delhi-Ludhiana Shatabdi Express ran over them while they were crossing the rail tracks in Haryana, police said.
One person was injured seriously in the accident near Bahadurgarh railway station in Rohtak district, about 40 km from New Delhi.
Police said the four were labourers living in a slum close to the tracks. They failed to see the approaching train. The train was briefly halted before it resumed its journey.
SC: Ban on illegal mining in Goa to stay
The Supreme Court has decided not to lift the ban on illegal mining in Goa. Transportation of iron and manganese ores mined illegally has also been banned.
70th b'day just another day for me: Big B
There is a huge buzz around Amitabh Bachchan's 70th birthday, which falls Oct 11, but for the megastar, it's "just another day".
"A million interviews, a million good wishes and a million desires of continuance... birthdays at 70 seem special to some. Just another day for me," tweeted the 69-year-old veteran.
These days, he is busy meeting mediapersons for interviews, sharing insights and experiences of his life. Big plans are in store for his birthday, and his wife Jaya Bachchan, has reportedly planned each part of the celebrations including painting and poster exhibitions.
SC rejects Jagan Mohan Reddy's bail plea
The Supreme court Friday declined to grant bail to YSR Congress leader Jaganmohan Reddy, who is in custody for a case of his alleged disproportionate assets.
While declining to grant bail, the apex court bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam rejected the petition, saying: "You will have to wait."
Sachin admits that his career is coming to an end
Sachin Tendulkar has finally come out and stated the obvious. In an interview to Times Now, he said, "I am 39 and I don't think I have plenty of cricket left in me."
Tendulkar went on to suggest that he would re-assess his future when he takes the field against England next month.
The maestro, who has played 190 Tests, rubbished suggestions that he wanted to continue till the 200-mark. "I go series by series, rather than by numbers," he said.
He also shrugged off the recent criticism from Sunil Gavaskar who had expressed concern at Sachin being repeatedly bowled. "Sunil Gavaskar has also said positive things about me. When there have been a lot of positive feedback as well, why keep harping only on the negative comments?" he asked.
A glorious 23-year-old career may be coming to an end sooner than you think.
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India tests Dhanush ballistic missile
India Friday tested its nuclear-capable ballistic missile Dhanush from a naval ship in the Bay of Bengal in Odisha, an official said.
The missile was fired from a naval ship somewhere between Puri and Visakhapatnam as part of the training exercise of the Indian Navy.
"The test was successful," Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) spokesperson Ravi Kumar Gupta told IANS.
Dhanush is a naval version of the nuclear-capable ballistic missile Prithvi. It has a range of 350 km.
Congress in stupor as BJP gets into poll mode
As politics in the cool environs of Himachal Pradesh heat up with the Election Commission sounding the poll bugle, has the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) managed an edge over its seemingly somnolent rival Congress?
While Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has already carried out a whirlwind tour of the entire state before the polls were announced, the Congress is yet to activate itself.
Having taken a lead by declaring party candidates for 45 of the 68 assembly constituencies, the BJP is almost ready to release a list of the remaining candidates.
Forget about beginning electioneering, the main opposition party in the state is still mulling over the names of its candidates.
For almost a fortnight, Pradesh Congress Committee president Virbhadra Singh, fighting a battle of survival, has been camping in New Delhi, lobbying for tickets for his favourites.
39 rhinos killed in Kaziranga National Park
The death of 39 rhinos in and around the world-famous Kaziranga National Park in less than 10 months has brought to the fore the threat faced by the endangered animal.
The threat comes from poachers, who kill the rare one-horned rhinoceros for its prized horn whose price in the international market varies from Rs 40 lakh to Rs 90 lakh, and flood which is an annual occurrence in Assam.
Early last month, the poachers killed five rhinos in four days taking advantage of the flood waters that submerged 90 per cent of the UNESCO world heritage site.