Evening digest: Relief for Manmohan in coal scam case

GN Bureau | October 16, 2015


#Manmohan   #coal scam   #Maggi   #Burqa-clad   #PF withdrawal   #websites crash   #waitlisted passengers   #Railways Vikalp   #RIL Q2   #Khattar beef   #Haryana Chief Minister   #Manohar Lal Khattar  

A special court on Friday dismissed the plea of ex-Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda seeking to summon former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as an additional accused in a coal scam case. “The application moved by Madhu Koda is dismissed,” Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar said. The court had on September 28 reserved the order on Koda’s plea after the CBI had opposed it saying that there was no evidence, which even prima facie suggests that Singh was part of any conspiracy in allocation of a coal block to Naveen Jindal Group firms.

Maggi clears Bombay HC-mandated lab tests
Nestle India has said all samples of Maggi have cleared tests conducted by three laboratories, as mandated by the Bombay High Court. this means the instant noodles brand will be to be back in the market. “We have received test results from all three laboratories mandated by the Hon’ble Bombay High Court to test Maggi noodles samples. All the 90 samples, covering six variants, tested by these laboratories are clear with lead much below the permissible limits,” Nestle India said in a statement on Friday. “In compliance with the orders of the Hon’ble Bombay High Court, we will now commence manufacture and will start selling only after the newly manufactured products are also cleared by the designated three laboratories,” the company said.

Burqa-clad militants open fire in south Kashmir
Militants, wearing burqa, on Friday afternoon, opened fire at police's counter-insurgency group, Special Operations Group, personnel in south Kashmir's Pulwama district. Two civilians were injured in exchange of firing. Preliminary reports suggest burqa-clad militants alighted at a bus stand in Pulwama, more than 30 km south of Srinagar, and opened fire at the police party. Two civilians, including one woman, received injuries as the militants and security forces exchange fire.

Stressing that Maggi noodles are safe, Nestle India said it has “conducted over 3,500 tests representing over 200 million packs in both national as well as international-accredited laboratories and all reports are clear”.

SC dismisses plea against Modi over 2012 election affidavit
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea seeking legal action against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allegedly filing a defective affidavit relating to his marital status during the 2012 Gujarat Assembly elections. A Bench headed by Justice J. Chelameswar rejected the plea filed by an Ahmedabad resident who had challenged the Gujarat High Court order, which refused to entertain his plea on the ground that it lacked merit. The complaint filed by Nishant Varma in April 2014 had sought an FIR against Mr. Modi for “hiding” his marital status in the affidavit he had filed with his nomination for 2012 Assembly polls (when Mr. Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat) for Maninagar seat.

PF withdrawal facility to go online
Backbreaking paperwork for withdrawing provident fund (PF) money may soon be history. Retirement fund body Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is hopeful of launching an online PF withdrawal facility by March-end after the Supreme Court extended voluntary use of Aadhaar card to government schemes, including provident fund. The EPFO has been working on such a facility for online settlement of PF claims within three hours of receiving an application. Once this is operational, subscribers can apply online for PF withdrawal, which will be transferred directly to their bank accounts. “We have written to the Labour Ministry for approvals for starting an online PF withdrawal facility. We are hopeful of launching this by March-end,” Central Provident Fund Commissioner K.K. Jalan said. "During this month, we will start settling all PF withdrawal claims having Aadhaar numbers within three days against the mandated period of 20 days though the claims will be filed manually only.”

Dozens of major websites crash all at once
Dozens of major websites including Netflix, Uber and the BBC went down simultaneously on Thursday in some areas of the United States, but were soon up again in most cases. The cause of the crashes remained unclear, but some appeared connected to trouble at a cloud service relied on by companies, although that did not stop the social media rumor and conspiracy mill from going into overdrive. Internet trouble tracker CurrentlyDown.com displayed a list of two dozen websites that were or had been out of service during the day.

Railways launches 'Vikalp' scheme for waitlisted passengers

Aiming to beat the festive season rush, the railways has launched a scheme enabling waitlisted passengers of a train to opt for confirmed berths in alternative trains plying on the same route. The 'Alternative Train Accommodation Scheme' christened as 'Vikalp' would be launched on November 1 as a pilot project in Northern Railway for six months on the Delhi-Lucknow and Delhi-Jammu sectors.

RIL Q2 consolidated PAT beats estimates at Rs 6,720 crore
Beating street estimates, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance IndustriesBSE 0.91 % Limited on Friday reported consolidated Profit After Tax (PAT) of Rs 6720 crore for the second quarter of the current financial year. The consolidated sales stood at Rs 70,901 crore.

BJP distances itself from Khattar’s beef remarks, calls them wrong
The BJP on Friday dissociated itself from the views of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar that Muslims will have to quit eating beef and said this was not the party’s stand. “The views expressed by Khattar are not that of the party. I will talk to him and will advise him. It is wrong to say like that,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said, adding that it is not correct to link anyone’s eating habits to religion.

Gods banned from Diwali crackers
Labels with pictures of deities will henceforth not be used to wrap crackers on a directive from district authorities following charges by various outfits that the discarded pictures "hurt" the sentiments of people. The District Revenue Officer has sent a circular to Tamil Nadu Fire Cracker Manufacturers Association (TNFCMA) not to use labels with the pictures of deities for wrapping crackers, an official press release said. District Collector V Rajaraman said ABHMB's state unit had made a request to ban use of labels with pictures of deities as it had hurt the sentiments of a section of the people, it said. Various Hindu outfits, including Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHMB) had earlier urged the authorities to enforce the ban as these wrappers were reportedly torn into pieces and thrown on roads. People walk on them and finally these are dumped in waste bins which was an act of "sacrilege", the group said. Crackers with names of various Hindu deities have been in the market for more than two decades, besides pictures of several deities were used as wrappers for crackers.

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