|2010-04-29||14 years on, state continues to oppose bail of mur|
14 years on, state continues to oppose bail of murder accused
MAYURA JANWALKAR | Thu, 29 Apr 2010-01:25am , Mumbai , DNA
Fourteen years after his arrest and incarceration as an undertrial, the state government is hell bent on keeping Ramchandra Pandey, 51, behind bars stating that he is a “history-sheeter”.
Opposing his bail on Wednesday, the government submitted an affidavit filed by superintendent of police SR Chavan of the Economic Offences Wing, State CID Pune, that said, “the role of the accused (Pandey) is of a serious nature and he was the driver of the car that was seized by the investigating officer”.
An accused in the 1990 murder of Ghanshyam Bhatija, who was allegedly shot dead by an unidentified man at the behest of tainted politician Pappu Kalani, Pandey has been in jail since his arrest on October 30, 1995.
The crime attributed to him by the prosecution is that he was driving the car in which one Kimmat Kalani and two identified men drove to Pinto Park hotel in Ulhasnagar and one of the two men shot Bhatija. While the charge sheet was filed back in 1993, the SC stayed the trial after Bhatija’s kin filed a special leave petition.
Chavan’s affidavit also states that Pandey is a history-sheeter. The police have enlisted six cases against him under Arms Act, 1959, various sections of the IPC and Tada Act, 1987.
The prosecution also said Pandey had absconded after Bhatija’s murder, but his advocate Abhaykumar Apte insisted he had been ‘very much available’ to record his statement. Justice RS Mohite adjourned the case till May 6.
|2010-04-28||Not yet proven guilty but accused rots for over 14|
Not yet proven guilty but accused rots for over 14 yrs in jail
MAYURA JANWALKAR | Wed, 28 Apr 2010-01:46am , Mumbai , DNA
Ramchandra Pandey, 51, has spent 14 years and six months in prison. But he is not guilty of murder, kidnapping or any heinous offence. He, in fact, has not been proven guilty at all.
Pandey is an accused in the case of the 1990 murder of Ghanshyam Bhatija, allegedly shot by a man at the behest of tainted politician Pappu Kalani. Pandey was arrested on October 30, 1995, and has been in jail since then. Though he is an under-trial seeking bail before the Bombay high court, he has served the same jail term as many life convicts do.
In a bail application filed through his advocate Abhaykumar Apte, Pandey contends that he has been incarcerated for 14 years; the police investigation in the case has been concluded; the charge sheet was filed in 1993.
Pandey, along with five people, was booked under the stringent Terrorism and Disruptive Activities (Tada) Act, 1987. The role attributed to Pandey by the prosecution is that he was driving the car in which Kimmat Kalani and four men drove to Pinto Park hotel in Ulhasnagar and one of them wearing goggles shot Bhatija. The complaint was filed by Bhatija’s brother Inder.
Most of the accused named in the FIR, including Pappu Kalani, who had allegedly threatened to kill Bhatija for canvassing against him in the Ulhasnagar municipal elections of 1990, were released on bail. However, Pandey’s bail application was rejected in October 2009 by the Kalyan sessions court which said not all witnesses in the case had been examined by the court, his petition states.
Seeking bail on parity grounds, Pandey’s petition mentions another accused in the case, Baba Gabriel, being granted bail by the high court on February 2 this year because of inordinate delay in the trial.
The petition mentions that Bhatija’s kin filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court, which admitted it and stayed the trial. So far, only nine witnesses have been examined in the case, the last deposing last June.
Stating that he has undergone “pre-trial punishment”, Pandey has contended that he has been denied his constitutional right to an expeditious trial. The bail plea is likely to be heard by the court on Wednesday, his advocate Apte said.
The petition states that the trial judge failed to consider the number of years Pandey had been languishing in jail while rejecting his bail application.
|2010-04-15||Maharashtra government prepares action plan for cl|
Maharashtra government prepares action plan for cleaning rivers
Thu, 15 Apr 2010-03:56pm , Mumbai , PTI
Maharashtra government plans to prepare an action plan for cleaning of rivers in the state.
Environment minister Suresh Shetty told the Legislative Assembly during the question hour that a high powered committee would be set up for the purpose of preparing the action plan.
Earlier, speaker Dilip Walse-Patil rapped the minister for the written reply to a question about river pollution in Ulhasnagar and Kalyan situated in the neighbouring Thane district due to polluting industries where he denied that it has been brought to the notice of the government that 194 industries are releasing chemical water into the nearby rivers resulting in water pollution.
He said the government should not have accepted such replies from the concerned officials.
|2010-04-15||Helicopter shower rose petals on Babasaheb Ambedka|
Helicopter joyrides longer and likely costlierRanjani Raghavan , Ranjani Raghavan : Mumbai, Thu Apr 15 2010, 04:40 hrs
On Wednesday, a group hired a helicopter to shower rose petals on a statue of Babasaheb Ambedkar in Ulhasnagar. Last week, another chopper was showering rose petals on a wedding couple in Uran, soon after picking up the groom from his home and dropping him at the venue.
"Flower drops have become quite frequent. Besides weddings, there is a lot of demand from Jain and Shanni temples," said Nikesh Goswami, part of a helicopter charter service. At Rs 60,000 to Rs 85,000 an hour, chopper services also offer joyrides from Juhu to Colaba, Mahalaxmi and Worli.
Operators say 2009 was dull but the last four months have seen an increase in demand for helicopter rides in Mumbai. But they now fear clients may think twice because of the new chopper corridors, which adds 20 minutes to the joyride from Juhu to South Mumbai.
Earlier this month, after a three-year delay, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation implemented the use of 16 unidirectional dedicated chopper corridors. "Half-hour rides are surely out of the question. As the time frame has gone up, these rides are bound to become more expensive," said Captain Vijay Madan, a helicopter pilot. "Joyrides, which had increased in the last few months may see a slump in the coming months," said Goswami.
Compared to countries like Australia, New York, San Francisco and Dubai, India is still new to the concept joyrides. Operators say most clients are wealthy and book only for special occasions, but add the segment is growing.
Last month, Captain Madan's helicopter was hired by two teenage girls who wanted to celebrate their parents' anniversary on air. "A few weeks before that someone hired our chopper to propose to his girlfriend on air," he said. On Valentine's Day, a charter service took 14 couples on a South Mumbai aerial tour.
|2010-04-14||Architects, contractors to be liable for poor cons|
Architects, contractors to be liable for poor construction
TNN | Apr 14, 2010, 01.13 AM IST
MUMBAI: Architects and contractors will now be held responsible for sub-standard quality of buildings. "The state government will amend the rules to punish architects and contractors if a building needs to be pulled down within 25 years of its construction," chief minister Ashok Chavan said in the legislative assembly on Tuesday.
The issue of sub-standard construction was raised by MLA Kumar Ayilani from Ulhasnagar. He informed the House that residents of Nehru Park building in his constituency were forcibly evicted from their homes after that building was declared dangerous.
"Even after a month, the municipal corporation has not provided any alternate accommodation to them. The residents have had to seek shelter in a nearby ashram," Ayilani said.
The building, the MLA added, was only 16 years old but already unfit for habitation. He sought to know how many buildings were found to be of sub-standard quality in his constituency.
The chief minister, who also holds the urban development portfolio, informed the House that according to a survey conducted in January this year, there were around 123 such buildings.
Asked if these buildings would be given additional floor space index (FSI) for redevelopment, the chief minister said that it would be the same as that sanctioned earlier for buildings which were found to be unauthorised.
|2010-04-06||Farmer tries to set self on fire outside Mantralay|
Farmer tries to set self on fire outside Mantralaya
TNN | Apr 6, 2010, 01.40 AM IST
MUMBAI: A 53-year-old farmer from Ulhasnagar attempted to end his life outside the Mantralaya on Monday afternoon. The man, Shamu Waghe, was arrested by the Marine Drive police and is being questioned.
The incident occurred around 1.30 pm on Monday. "Waghe has a plot of land where he grows crops and wanted some facilities under a government scheme. He told the police that he had applied for it but his files were not cleared," said the police.
"He had been doing the rounds of government offices and alleged that in spite of trying a lot, his application was not being cleared. On Monday, he came to Mantralaya to meet some minister. When his job did not get done, he poured kerosene on himself and just as he tried to set himself on fire, the policemen stationed at the main gate stopped him and snatched away the match box and kerosene can from him," said an officer.
|2010-04-03||33 bogus doctors booked for forgery|
In briefExpress News Service , Express News Service : Mumbai, Fri Apr 02 2010, 00:12 hrs
33 bogus doctors booked for forgery
In a crackdown against bogus doctors, the Thane Crime Branch arrested 33 alleged quacks from Thane, Bhiwandi, Kalyan-Dombivli and Ulhasnagar areas and booked them for cheating and forgery, sources said. Some did not even have a degree while others’ degrees were not registered with the Maharashtra Council of Indian Medicine, they said. ACP (Crime) Prashant Burde said the crime branch units had gathered information about ‘bogus’ doctors in the city following several complaints against them. Of the 33, six were from Thane, 11 from Bhiwandi, 12 from Kalyan-Dombivli, and four from Ulhasnagar. The cops also seized needles, syringes and medicines during the drive
Commandant Birot arrives at airport
The French Warship, Commandant Birot, arrived in Mumbai on Thursday to participate in joint exercises with the Indian Navy. Commandant Birot is a multipurpose light frigate with 10 officers and 100 crew members, according to the ship’s Commanding Officer (CO) Ludovic Poitou’s office. The ship is based in the Toulon naval base in South France and is currently deployed in the Indian Ocean since February. It’s also a part of Operation Enduring Freedom - the official name given by the US to the ongoing operations in Afghanistan.
|2010-04-01||Go forth and multiply, Sindhi leaders tell youth|
Go forth and multiply, Sindhi leaders tell youth
KIRAN TARE | Thu, 1 Apr 2010-01:41am , Mumbai , DNA
KS Sudarshan, former head of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), had once raised a storm by appealing to Hindus to produce more children to counter what he called the growing threat from Islam.
Today, however, leaders of the Sindhi community, a traditional support base of the RSS, are echoing his advice.
Pradeep Bhavnani, president of the Bharatiya Sindhi Samaj (BSS), has appealed to younger members of the community to produce more children as they can afford to increase the community’s population. The BSS is the largest non-religious organisation of the community.
“Produce as many children as you can so that our population should not decrease,” Bhavnani said. He was speaking at a function organised recently at the National College in Bandra to encourage Sindhi youths to converse in Sindhi among themselves.
Bhavnani said there was a need to take steps immediately to save the community from all kinds of challenges, including maintaining its population growth and stopping conversions.
“I agree that it is absolutely a personal matter of a couple how many children they can have,” Bhavnani said. “But I appealed to them to have more children. The audience applauded me for the thought.”
The population of Sindhis in Mumbai and Thane is estimated at 22 lakh. The community dominates Ulhasnagar and also has a big presence in Thane, Mulund, Sion, Chembur, Bandra, and Khar.
“Earlier, our youths used to take over the family businesses,” a senior citizen from the community said. “But since the past few years they have also started entering the corporate sector and bagging top jobs. That means they take more time to settle in their careers. This has made an impact on their lifestyle. Their age at marriage has risen and many of them now no longer live in joint families.”
Bhavnani has planned to raise funds for the community through tickets of the Maharashtra State Lottery. “We have distributed around 1,000 lottery tickets in the community,” the businessman said. “The idea is to raise funds for the community. The draw of this lottery will be held on April 14. There will be three sure prizes worth at least Rs1 lakh. We will appeal to the winners to donate the funds to the community.” The plan is to use the money to fund the poor from the community.