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Why no FIR, are you above law? High Court asks Param Bir Singh on Anil Deshmukh row

L to R: Anil Deshmukh, Param Bir Singh

L to R: Anil Deshmukh, Param Bir Singh

Former Mumbai Police Chief Param Bir Singh faced tough questions today as his petition seeking a CBI investigation against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh was heard by Bombay High Court. He was repeatedly asked why no FIR had been filed on his allegations against the minister.

“You are a police commissioner, why should the law be set aside for youAre police officers, ministers and politicians all above the law? Don’t view yourself so high, the law is above you,” Bombay High Court Chief Justice CJ Dutta said in stern remarks during argument.


Singh, who was recently replaced as Mumbai Police chief and transferred as Home Guard, in a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, has alleged that Deshmukh had asked arrested police officer Sachin Vaze to collect ₹100 crore monthly from bars and restaurants. Singh had filed a petition on the basis on the above claim.


“These are hard facts coming from the person who occupied the highest post in the police force in the city and from someone who has served for more than 30 years,” Singh told the High Court.

“There has to be an FIR to investigate. Who stops you from filing an FIR? Prima facie observation is there can be no investigation without an FIR,” the court responded.

“You are asking for directions for investigation to be handed over to the CBI. Where is the FIR and investigation so that it can be handed over to CBI?”

The petition ?prima facie? has no basis, said the court, adding, “Without an FIR where is the scope for us to exercise our jurisdiction?”


When Singh argued that ?even a simple letter to my lords could become a PIL (Public Interest Litigation), the court replied, “You are a police officer. If you find an offence has been committed you are duty bound to file an FIR. Why did you not do it? You are failing in your duty if you don’t file an FIR when you know an offence has been committed. Simply writing letters to the Chief Minister won’t do. We can pull you up for it. If any citizen finds an offence is being committed, he is duty-bound to file an FIR.”

The FIR, said the High Court, was the ?fundamental thing? and without one, there could be no investigation.

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Crime

Rahul Gandhi sentenced to 2 years in jail in Modi surname defamation case

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Radhika Dhawad | Surat

Rahul Gandhi

Surat Court, on Thursday, awarded two-year jail term to Congress MP Rahul Gandhi in a defamation case for his ‘all thieves have Modi surname’ remark. The case was filed against Gandhi for his alleged ‘how come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?’ remarks on a complaint lodged by BJP MLA and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi.

The Court also imposed a fine of ₹15,000 after finding him guilty under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 499 and 500 (dealing with defamation). However, he secured a bail in the same case. 

Chief Judicial Magistrate HH Verma heard the final arguments regarding Gandhi’s 2019 remark, “Why all the thieves, be it Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi or Narendra Modi have Modi in their names.” Gandhi’s counsel Kirit Panwala said, “We will today send a message to Rahul Gandhi to remain present on March 23 in Surat district court. Most probably, he would be present in the court. We will get confirmation on Saturday.”

Gandhi made the alleged remarks while addressing a rally at Kolar in Karnataka ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Also read: NIA raids Nagpur man’s residence at 4 am for suspected terror links with Zakir Naik

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Crime

BREAKING: Surat Court convicts Rahul Gandhi on Modi surname remark

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Radhika Dhawad | Surat
Surat Court held Congress MP Rahul Gandhi guilty in a defamation case for his 'all thieves have Modi surname' remark.

Rahul Gandhi

Surat Court held Congress MP Rahul Gandhi guilty in a defamation case for his ‘all thieves have Modi surname’ remark. The case was filed against Gandhi for his alleged ‘how come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?’ remarks on a complaint lodged by BJP MLA and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi.

Chief Judicial Magistrate HH Verma heard the final arguments regarding Gandhi’s 2019 remark, “Why all the thieves, be it Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi or Narendra Modi have Modi in their names.” Gandhi’s counsel Kirit Panwala said, “We will today send a message to Rahul Gandhi to remain present on March 23 in Surat district court. Most probably, he would be present in the court. We will get confirmation on Saturday.”

Gandhi had last appeared before the Surat court in the case, filed under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 499 and 500 (dealing with defamation), in October 2021 to record his statement. Gandhi made the alleged remarks while addressing a rally at Kolar in Karnataka ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Also read: 900 accidents, 31 deaths in 100 days: Samruddhi Mahamarg still a road to prosperity?

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Governance

900 accidents, 31 deaths in 100 days: Samruddhi Mahamarg still a road to prosperity?

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Radhika Dhawad | Nagpur
With nearly 12,000 vehicles running on Samruddhi Nagpur-Mumbai expressway every day, MSRDC has earned ₹20 cr in the past 1 month.

Samruddhi Mahamarg has witnessed 900 accidents and 31 deaths in 100 days since its inauguration in December last year.

On an average, the Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway, officially known as the Hindu Hriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray Samruddhi Mahamarg, has reported one accident in every two days since its inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December last year.

Now, it has come to light that there were 900 accidents and 31 deaths in 100 days of its inauguration. The ambitious expressway, which was touted as the ‘road to prosperity’ by PM Modi might be turning into a nightmare or can one say – it has already turned into one?

What’s missing?

With repeated fatalities occurring on the expressway, it’s about time, the The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) identifies and fixes the lacunas on priority. Some of the probable loopholes that might have contributed to repeated accidents may include lack of timely medical facilities, highway hypnosis, repeated animal run-overs due to absence of channel fencing, no check for over speeding, bursting of worn-out tyres, absence of ‘vehicle-fitness’ booths at entry and exit points, absence of highway cops and officials of Regional Transport Office (RTO), absence of road reflectors, counselling booths for drivers, emergency car repair centre, no checking of overloaded vehicles, to name a few.

Million dollar dream project turned delight into sheer nightmare 

Moreover, the expressway still lacks basic facilities for the driver like eateries, toilets or even refreshment space, which some have pointed out is one of the many reasons behind hundreds of accidents in just three months.

Despite the absence of any major engineering issues and with limited traffic, the million dollar dream project seems to have turned delight into sheer nightmare for commuters. Also, not much could be assured by the government for women safety on the newly-commissioned expressway so far.

Gadkari’s take

In just 18 days of its inauguration last year, at least 40 accidents on the expressway had occurred that claimed seven lives and left 33 injured. Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari recently admitted that the current emergency response system was inadequate and subsequently announced a plan to improve the same.

Gadkari emphasised the state government will ensure ambulances that are equipped with necessary facilities and tools to rescue injured commuters from vehicles along with provision of skilled manpower.

He assured that in case of emergency, an ambulance will reach the location within 20 minutes of receiving a call for help in the control room. He also admitted that the system currently working on the expressway is not as effective as it should be.

Considered as a pet-project of Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Samruddhi Mahamarg, ahead of its inauguration, had grabbed headlines for the BJP ‘taking Maha Vikas Aghadi’s (MVA) credit’ for the expressway.

Did PM Modi hurriedly inaugurate the expressway? 

However, the project was conceptualised and construction for the same began when Fadnavis was the Chief Minister. Despite several claims by Fadnavis and Maharashtra BJP President Chandrashekhar Bawankule of the BJP implementing the project, the controversy that PM Modi ‘hurriedly’ inaugurated the ‘incomplete expressway’ still continues to simmer in the minds of many.

PM Modi, on December 11, inaugurated the Phase-I of 701km-long six-lane Samruddhi Mahamarg – covering a distance of 520 kms and connecting Nagpur and Shirdi.

Also read: Gadkari again receives death threat calls from same caller

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