Iraq Recovers Property Worth Millions After Illegal Sale


Integrity Commission worked with Baghdad authorities to recover land in Kadhimiyah. (File)

Baghdad: 

The Iraqi government said Wednesday it had retaken ownership of a piece of property in Baghdad worth millions of dollars after it was unlawfully sold to a government official’s wife.

In a statement to journalists, the Integrity Commission said it had worked with Baghdad authorities to recover the land in Kadhimiyah district.

“The Baghdad-Karakh appeals court issued a decision to seize the property, which amounts to 12,642 square metres, from the wife of a leading official in the previous government and re-register it in the name of the Mayorality,” the statement said.

“The land registration in the name of the official’s wife has been nullified, as well as all subsequent registrations,” it added.

The northern neighbourhood of Kadhimiyah is home to a revered Shiite shrine, as well as some of the city’s most luxurious properties — priced at up to $10,000 per square metre.

The Integrity Commission said its investigation had revealed the official had sold the property to his wife in violation of laws regulating the lease or sale of state-owned property.

It did not reveal the official’s identity, but a parliamentary source told AFP the accused had briefly served as a deputy to Iraq’s former prime minister, Haidar al-Abadi.

In Baghdad, abandoned homes once belonging to Saddam Hussein-era officials or to minorities who have fled abroad are regularly occupied by powerful political parties.

Iraq, according to Transparency International, is the 12th most corrupt country in the world.

The embezzlement of public goods — from land to government funds — is a deeply rooted problem in a country with such a large public sector.

Corruption, shell companies and “phantom” public employees who receive salaries but do not work have cost Iraq the equivalent of $228 billion dollars since 2003, according to Iraq’s parliament.

That figure is more than the country’s gross domestic product and nearly three times the annual budget.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)





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No Illegal Mining In 115.34-Acre Aravalli Land, Rajasthan Tells Top Court


New Delhi: 

The Rajasthan government has told the Supreme Court that no illegal mining was going on in 115.34 hectares of land in the Aravalli area of the state.

The chief secretary of Rajasthan has filed an affidavit in the top court which had on October 23 expressed shock over 31 “vanished” hills or hillocks in Aravalli area and had asked the state government to stop illegal mining in the 115.34-hectare area there within 48 hours.

“It is stated on affidavit filed by DB Gupta who is chief secretary of the government of Rajasthan that there is no illegal mining going on in respect of 115.34 hectares of land, as mentioned in our order dated October 23, 2018,” a bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur noted in its October 29 order.

In the affidavit, the chief secretary has also said that approximately 27 per cent ground truthing of the area has been done and serious efforts would be made to complete the entire exercise within a period of three months as per directions of the top court.

Ground truthing is an exercise conducted to ascertain the empirical evidence at the actual site.

The top court posted the matter for further hearing after three months.

On October 23, the top court had observed that though Rajasthan was earning a royalty of around Rs 5,000 crore from mining activities in Aravalli, it cannot endanger the lives of lakhs of people in Delhi as disappearance of hills there could be one of reasons for rise in pollution level in the national capital region (NCR).

The court had also referred to a report of the central empowered committee (CEC) which had said that out of 128 samples taken by the Forest Survey of India (FSI), as many as 31 hills or hillocks have vanished.

The state’s counsel had then told the top court that all the government departments concerned in Rajasthan were “on the job” to stop illegal mining.

The court is dealing with a matter related to illegal mining activities in the Aravalli range.





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illegal mining case Farmers protest over night in banda


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Withdrawal Of California Gillnet Protections For Whales, Turtles Illegal, Rules US Court


Drift gillnets pose a hazard to a wide assortment of marine mammals. (File)

California: 

The Trump administration unlawfully withdrew a plan to limit the number of whales, turtles and other marine creatures permitted to be inadvertently killed or harmed by drift gillnets used to catch swordfish off California, a federal judge has ruled.

The decision requires U.S. fisheries managers to take steps to implement the plan, which calls for placing numerical limits on the “bycatch” of bottlenose dolphins, four whale species and four sea turtle species snared in swordfish gillnets.

As currently written, the regulation in question also would mandate suspension of swordfish gillnet operations altogether off Southern California if any one of the bycatch limits were exceeded.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council endorsed the plan in 2015, and it was formally proposed for implementation by the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Marine Fisheries Service the following year.

The rule was expected to gain final approval but was abruptly withdrawn instead in June 2017 under President Donald Trump, whose Commerce Department determined the cost to the commercial fishing industry outweighed conservation benefits.

The environmental group Oceana sued, accusing the Commerce Department of violating U.S. fisheries laws and the federal Administrative Procedures Act. Oceana also asked the courts to order the agency to put the bycatch limits into effect.

U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner declined to force the National Marine Fisheries Service to immediately implement the restrictions in a decision handed down Wednesday in Los Angeles.

But he sided with environmentalists in finding the agency’s reversal exceeded its authority and was “arbitrary, capricious or an abuse of its discretion.”

Klausner ordered federal fisheries managers to either re-issue the regulations as written or consult with the Pacific Fishery Management Council on any revisions.

Drift gillnets, consisting of mile-long (1.8 km-long) strands of nylon mesh draped 200 feet (60 meters) deep in the ocean from surface floats, pose a hazard to a wide assortment of marine mammals and turtles that can become entangled and drown.

According to Oceana, the 20 vessels that make up the California drift gillnet fishery ended up discarding 61 percent of their catch from 2004 to 2017.

The Marine Fisheries Service said Friday it had not yet seen the judge’s ruling and was unable to comment.

Oceana attorney Mariel Combs told Reuters the legal finding marked a victory for marine wildlife.

“The National Marine Fisheries Service’s decision to withdraw those important protections was irresponsible and illegal,” she said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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16 Illegal Immigrants From Bangladesh Arrested, 4 Children Detained In Mathura


The illegal immigrants were arrested at a private plot in Kosi town. (Representational)

Mathura: 

Sixteen Bangladeshi nationals were arrested while another four children detained in Mathura for illegally residing, police said yesterday, adding that they were found in possession of several government identity cards, including Aadhaar.

The illegal immigrants were nabbed at a private plot in Kosi town under Kosikalan police station on Sunday evening, they said.

“On the basis of a tip-off, the local intelligence wing and police in a joint operation nabbed 16 residents of Bangladesh along with four children who had been living illegally in Kosikalan for over two years” SP (Rural) Aditya Kumar Shukla said.

One of the two persons harbouring immigrants has also been arrested while the other is absconding, he said.

He said the immigrants were in possession of Aadhaar card and other documents.

According to Mr Shukla, they used to pay Rs 8,000-10,000 for crossing the border. He said they were working as ragpickers.

Efforts are on to nab the other accused, Mr Shukla said.

Seven mobile phones, eight Aadhaar cards, one PAN card, a driving license and Rs 500 in Indian currency were recovered from their possession, police said. 





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Police found 40 illegal weapons, including several live cartridges in raids


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Woman Attacked, Stripped For Selling Illegal Liquor In Assam’s Karimganj


A police party visited the village and initiated a probe into the incident. (Representational image)

Guwahati: 

In an apparent incident of moral policing, a woman who allegedly sells illegal brew was attacked and stripped by villagers in Assam’s Karimganj district, police said on Friday.

The incident came to light after a video of the attack went viral in the social media and the police registered a case against it during the day.

In the video her attackers were seen to include women. “The incident took place on September 10 in a very remote tribal area under Nagra outpost along the Assam-Mizoram border. We came to know of it only after the video was circulated and registered a case today,” Karimganj superintendent of police Gaurav Upadhyay told PTI.

The victim did not approach the police but filed a case in the court of the Karimganj chief judicial magistrate yesterday after seeing the video, he said.

After registering the case in the afternoon, a police party visited the village and initiated a probe into the incident.

The woman has not identified anyone as her attacker. “The group of villagers, who attacked her, included women. She was also stripped … We have started our investigation and we will take action as per law,” Mr Upadhyay said.

The police will also charge those who made video recording of the incident and circulated it in the social media under the IT Act, he said.

The woman, the SP said, used to allegedly sell illegal liquor and was involved in some anti-social activities. 

“The villagers had warned her. Even the police had warned her earlier … As to what led to this attack, we will be able to tell properly only after investigation,” he said.





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Bombay High Court Shocked By Nirav Modi’s Illegal Constructions Along Alibaug Beach


Plea sought court to direct demolishing unauthorised constructions at Alibaug. (Representational)

Mumbai: 

The Bombay High Court said on Monday it was “shocking” how fugitive jeweller Nirav Modi and several other individuals had been permitted to carry out illegal constructions along the beach in Alibaug town of Raigad district in Maharashtra.

Holding that ignoring such violations was a case of “complete non-application of mind” by the authorities, the high court directed the Divisional Commissioner (DC), Konkan region, to start an inquiry into how over 160 illegal private structures were permitted to be constructed along the beach in Alibaug.

A bench of Justices AS Oka and RI Chagla directed the DC to submit, within eight weeks, his inquiry report to the principal secretary, state revenue and forest departments.

The bench also directed the Maharashtra government to file an affidavit detailing the findings of the inquiry and the remedial steps initiated by the state.

The directions were part of the judgement passed by the bench on Monday on a petition filed by activist Surendra Dhavale.

The plea had sought that the court direct the authorities to demolish all unauthorised constructions “within the low and high tide areas” in a bunch of villages in Alibaug, a popular weekend gateway from Mumbai.

According to the petition, such constructions had been carried out in violation of the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority rules and the land laws of the state.

As per the plea, there are around 175 such private residences in Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) areas in villages such as Varsoli, Sasvane, Kolgaon and Dokvade, among others, all in the Alibaug taluka, belonging to several “wealthy persons, including Nirav Modi and several businessmen and film actors”.

During a previous hearing in the matter, the bench had been informed that through an order passed in June this year, the authorities concerned had dropped all proceedings against Nirav Modi’s bungalow and closed the file.

The bench has now directed that the DC call for land records and ascertain how such illegal structures were permitted to be constructed.

It noted that in 2009, Nirav Modi had merely been granted permission by the local authorities to carry out some repair work in his three farmhouses in the area.

However, he ended up carrying out fresh construction in an area exceeding 695 sq metres, in violation of state’s land rules and coastal zone norms.

It added that the fugitive diamond jeweller’s case was not isolated, but that it was important to highlight the lapses on part of the DC’s office in failing to act against such illegal construction.

“The issue is not merely of CRZ violations, but also of illegal construction made along beaches. There is complete non-application of mind by the authorities. The case of Nirav Modi to say the least is shocking,” the bench said.

“The manner in which the DC bypassed previous orders of this court (on CRZ violations and demolition of illegal construction along beaches) calls for a serious inquiry. It appears that no adjudication was made on the question of Nirav Modi having carried out the illegal construction,” the judges said.

“If there is rampant illegal construction in coastal areas, the same will not only result in violation of environmental laws, but, it will also amount to the destruction of our ecosystem,” they said.

Nirav Modi, who has fled India, is a key accused in the alleged fraud at Punjab National Bank (PNB) which has been pegged at close to USD 2 billion.

The high court noted that the state’s own rules granted vast powers to the DC to carry out demolition in case of such illegalities. Therefore, it would be appropriate to direct the DC to call for all land records concerning the structures mentioned in the PIL.

“The DC must scrutinise the records and take necessary action,” the bench added.





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150 Employees Held Hostage In Bihar Over Illegal Power Supply Demand


An FIR said the villagers pelted stones, burnt tyres at the gate of the township (Representational)

Patna/Aurangabad: 

A state-run electricity company on Monday alleged that around 150 of its employees and their family members have been held hostage by a group of people demanding illegal electricity supply to their villages in Bihar’s Aurangabad district.

The 150 employees of the Bharatiya Rail Bijlee Company Limited (BRBCL) and their family members are being held hostage in a township since Sunday evening by people of Surar and neighbouring villages, Vishwanath Chandan, National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) manager (public relations), Patna, told PTI.

The BRBCL is a joint venture between the NTPC and Indian Railways, and located in Aurangabad with 1000 MW (4X250MW) capacity.

“The electricity generated by the BRBCL is supplied to the railways and Bihar government. Transmission and distribution of the generated power is not in our domain and we can not supply power to any other entity,” Mr Chandan said.

An FIR was lodged that said the villagers pelted stones, burnt tyres at the main gate of the BRBCL township and cut supplies of essential commodities such as milk, vegetables and medicines by not allowing anyone either to enter or exit the township. Over 100 villagers are blocking the township.

Stating that the people of township were feeling insecure and apprehending threat to their lives and properties, the company sought police intervention at the earliest, Mr  Chandan said.

BRBCL sources alleged that the villagers used to pilfer electricity generated by the BRBCL from underground cables for over seven years, but it was snapped three days ago following a short circuit.

Talks between the local administration and villagers have failed to resolve the crisis, Mr Chandan added.





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Yogi Adityanath assures no illegal activities would be allowed in UP Shelter Homes


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These cookies collect information about your activities on our sites as well as other sites to provide you targeted advertising. We may also allow our third-party service providers to use cookies on the sites for the same purposes identified above, including collecting information about your online activities over time and across different websites. The third-party service providers that generate these cookies, such as, social media platforms, have their own privacy policies, and may use their cookies to target advertisement to you on other websites, based on your visit to our sites.

How do I refuse or withdraw my consent to the use of Cookies?

If you do not want cookies to be dropped on your device, you can adjust the setting of your Internet browser to reject the setting of all or some cookies and to alert you when a cookie is placed on your device. For further information about how to do so, please refer to your browser ‘help’ / ‘tool’ or ‘edit’ section for cookie settings w.r.t your browser that may be Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox etc.
Please note that if your browser setting is already setup to block all cookies (including strictly necessary Cookies) you may not be able to access or use all or parts or functionalities of our sites.
If you want to remove previously-stored cookies, you can manually delete the cookies at any time from your browser settings. However, this will not prevent the sites from placing further cookies on your device unless and until you adjust your Internet browser setting as described above.
For more information on the development of user-profiles and the use of targeting/advertising Cookies, please see www.youronlinechoices.eu if you are located in Europe or www.aboutads.info/choices if in the United States.

Contact us

If you have any other questions about our Cookie Policy, please contact us at:
If you require any information or clarification regarding the use of your personal information or this privacy policy or grievances with respect to use of your personal information, please email us at [email protected]





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