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July 12, 2001 - July 13, 2001

City constable convicted to 8 yrs in prison Friday, July 13, 2001

By A Staff Reporter, The Times of India News Service
VADODARA: Vadodara sessions judge HD Chagliani convicted a city police constable, Hira Chaganbhai, to eight years' imprisonment for accepting bribe from a jeep driver in the form of 'hafta'.

His accomplice, a Home Guard, Dileep Chauhan, too, was convicted for accepting the bribe on Chaganbhai's behalf.

Both were convicted under the Prevention of Corruption Act sections 7, 13(1) (Gh) and 13(2). The police constable has been sentenced to eight years' imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 20,000, and the Home Guard has been sentenced to a year in prison and asked to pay a fine of Rs 2000.

A jeep driver, Ratilal Solanki, approached the Anti-Corruption Bureau police station in the city after he was confronted by the police constable who demanded Rs 700 to allow him to carry passengers from Karjan to Nareshwar in his jeep.

Earlier, Solanki had paid Rs 500 as 'hafta' for carrying on his taxi business, however after the police constable started demanding more hafta, Solanki approached the ACB police station. A trap was set and the two were caught red-handed.

Assistant public prosecutor Sanjay Bhatt argued the case and said that as per a recent Supreme Court judgment if the prosecution proves the recovery of the amount of bribe then the case is held to be true. In this case the accused has made illegal demand and recovered the money and therefore the case holds, he added.

News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]


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3 arrested in Padra land scam; hunt on for kingpin Friday, July 13, 2001

By A Staff Reporter, The Times of India News Service
VADODARA: The Vadodara rural police have arrested three middlemen in the 1,500-bigha Padra land scam on Wednesday night. The three had facilitated sale of land illegally by providing 30 "bogus farmers."

About 1,500 bigha of land in near here Padra was sold without the knowledge of the owners. The scam came to light recently when a notice in local newspapers regarding the sale was published.

It was this notice that raised suspicion among the original owners about the sale of land, which had taken place without their knowledge. The arrests were made after these land owners informed the Padra police.

The three arrested -- Jasubhai Parmar (46), a former sarpanch Dinesh Patel (43) and Vijay Patel (35) -- had arranged for 30 people who illegally posed as owners of the land that was sold off to unsuspecting buyers. While the three have been charged for cheating and forgery, the police are on the lookout for two more middlemen.

District superintendent of police Keshav Kumar said hunt is now on for Paul Christian of Vadodara, who is supposed to be mastermind in the scam.

The rural police will now contact the city police for details about Paul's property in the city to initiate the process of declaring Paul "absconding".

According to district police sources, the deals were made clandestinely in the houses of the middlemen, one of whom is a former sarpanch of one of the villages. Interrogations have revealed that these middlemen, taking the help of their proximity to the villagers, could manage to garner 30 bogus farmers who illegally signed the deals.

The district superintendent of police on Wednesday also questioned the buyer of the land, J.K. Patel, a diamond dealer of Surat. Patel reportedly informed him that he had already paid Rs 22 lakh as first instalment to middlemen.

News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]


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MSU student leaders give 'total bandh'call Friday, July 13, 2001

By A Staff Reporter, The Times of India News Service
VADODARA: MS University student leaders have called a 'total bandh' to protest against the decision to introduce payment seat scheme in commerce faculty.

The decision to call for a university bandh was taken on Thursday by MSU students union on Wednesday after vice-chancellor Anil Kane refused to meet union leaders.

Upset over Kane's attitude, student leaders declared that a 'bandh' was the only option left to protest against the 'unilateral and dictatorial' decision to bring a section of admissions in BCom under self-financed category.

The MSU syndicate had unanimously passed the proposal to give admissions in BCom to 4770 students in the normal course and charge Rs 6000 as term fees from the remaining students. The MSU had converted the entire syndicate into a committee to administer commerce admissions.

"They have not considered the view of students. They are 20-odd administer and we represent some 35,000 students of this university. And not a single student on MSU campus is in favour of this payment seats decision ", union general secretary Bharat Dangar said.

The union has called a meeting of all its members on Friday.

Union leaders also suspected that the decision to introduce payment seats in commerce has been deliberately taken. "Some syndicate members of MSU have business interest. They are partners in four colleges of commerce that have been given no-objection certificate by the MSU. If MSU charges 6000 per term fees from students they would be discouraged to join the commerce faculty. However, the private colleges will keep there fees a few hundreds less than commerce faculty fees and thus plan to get students", Dangar pointed.

He said that some syndicate members have been openly lobbying for private commerce colleges. "This scheme of plan serves their business interest. They want to make money out of this and this is at the cost of students of Vadodara", Dangar alleged.

The MSUSU however has resolved that their bandh would be peaceful. "We would not resort to violence. We would walk into the class rooms, explain to students why we are protesting and ask them to join us. We are confident that unlike Kane and the syndicate members students of this university are not insensitive", Dangar said.

News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]


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Bohra leader's birthday celebrated Friday, July 13, 2001

The Times of India News Service
RAJKOT: The 90th birthday of Sayedna Mohammed Burahunuddin, the spiritual leader of the Bohra community, was celebrated on Wednesday with pomp and show in the Saurashtra region.

Marriage of 15 couples at the Noor Masjid, a colourful rally in the morning were the highlights here.

A 90 kg cake was the star attraction. It was 16 ft long and 4 ft wide. Two bakers had come from Mumbai to prepare the cake which used 350 eggs, 40 kg of maida, 30 kg of cream, 30 kg sugar. Baked in a bouque style, the process took 40 hours. It was for the first time in the state that a cake of this size was made. It was decorated with 150 flowers.

Janal Kavarsher Ali Kumshi cut the cake amidst thunderous clapping. Each Bohra family in the city was issued a card and on presenting it the family was given a piece of the cake. In all, 1,500 families took the cake.

The spiritual leader is in England and his discourses and message were heard live at the Noor Masjid in the afternoon. The people prayed for long life of their leader and for peace all round.

Students from standard 5 to 12 were felicitated. They were given a prize and a memento. A documentary film of the visit of the spiritual leader to Rajkot in 1997 was also screened.

News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]


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BHAVNAGAR:::: Two Bhavnagar civic staffers suspended Thursday, July 12, 2001

The Times of India News Service
BHAVNAGAR: Two Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation computer operators, Yunus Sawani and Bharat Jani, involved in malpractice in house tax collection were suspended on Thursday and police complaints lodged against them.

Municipal commissioner P D Vaghela said the operators manipulated the tax collection documents. For instance, the duplicate upgradation forms with officers' bogus signatures were used to lower the amounts of house tax.

Prima facie discrepancies regarding file numbers, dates of signatures and other entries were also detected. In one case, the computer operator changed the amount to Rs 4,000-odd from real due amount of Rs 74,000.

BMC sources told TOINS that a five-member-team led by Vaghela was working round-the-clock to scrutinise the files. The team also detected that amounts of the cheques which were returned by banks were also credited to the accounts of the residents, whereas the amount should be deposited only after the cheques were realised by the banks. The investigations revealed that an amount of Rs 23 lakh of 175 such non-realised cheques was credited in BMC accounts.

An official inquiry had been launched against the clerks working in the audit section of the BMC.

News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]


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