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Bail turned down, NCB gets 14-day judicial custody of Rhea

By The SATimes News Service

Mumbai: A local Magistrate here sent actress Rhea Chakraborty to 14-day judicial custody late on Tuesday night. In an anti-climax of sorts, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) arrested Charaborty, but later declined to take her into its own custody and instead sought 14-day judicial custody, which was granted.

The NCB made the sensational arrest shortly after 3.30 pm as part of its probe to unravel the drugs nexus in the film industry, capping three days of tough grilling and intense speculation.

Rhea was charged under NDPS Act Sections 8(C), 20(b)(ii), 22, 27A, 28 and 29, for her alleged role in the drugs angle which has emerged in the investigations into the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, said NCB Deputy Director M.A. Jain.

Jain added that whatever information she has given to the NCB was “sufficient for the arrest”, and she was produced in a video-conference before the Esplanade Court Magistrate.

In its six-page NCB remand application, Rhea was described as “an active member of the drug syndicate connected with drug supplies” who “used to manage finances for drug procurement along with Sushant Singh Raput” — without any mention if she herself consumed drugs.

Late on Tuesday night, a Mumbai Magistrate sent her to 14 days judicial custody, after which Rhea’s lawyers moved the same court for bail, which was declined.

In a scathing statement targeting the family of Sushant, Rhea’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde termed it as a “travesty of justice”.

“Three Central agencies hounding a single woman, just because she was in love with a drug addict and was suffering from mental health issues for several years under the case of five leading psychiatrists in Mumbai, who ended up committing suicide due to consumption of illegally administered medicines and used drugs,” Maneshinde said.

A day before her much-anticipated arrest, Rhea even took time out — at the height of the NCB interrogation sessions — to hit back at the late actor’s family by lodging a police complaint against Sushant’s sister Priyanka Singh and Dr Tarun Kumar of RML Hospital in New Delhi and others, alleging forged medical prescriptions.

A Mumbai Police official spokesperson said that the complaint has been lodged with Bandra Police under various sections of Indian Penal Code and NDPS Act, and in line with the Supreme Court orders, the case has been transferred to the CBI for investigations.

Rhea’s arrest came three days after her brother Showik Chakraborty, Sushant’s home manager Samuel Miranda and his house help Dipesh Sawant were arrested and shunted to NCB custody till September 9, besides two other drug peddlers Abdel Basit Parihar and Zaid Vilatra, who are also in NCB custody.

The NCB had earlier said that with these arrests, it hopes to “uproot the drugs citadel in Bollywood and Mumbai” amid talk of several more Bollywood personalities coming into the agency’s radar.

Earlier, Rhea was grilled multiple times by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED). She was also questioned by the Mumbai Police earlier. She has now finally been arrested by the NCB, nearly 11 weeks after Sushant was found dead at his Bandra home on June 14.

On Thursday, the court reserved till Friday its order on the bail application moved by Rhea.

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Business Latest News

Chanda Kochhar’s husband Deepak arrested in ICICI loan case

By The SATimes News Service

New Delhi/Mumbai: In a major action, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested Deepak Kochhar, husband of former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, in connection with the ICICI Bank loan case.

He was arrested by the Mumbai branch of the financial probe agency.

The action comes almost a year after the ED filed a money laundering case last year on the basis of a complaint registered by the CBI against Videocon Director Venugopal Dhoot, his companies (Videocon International Electronics Ltd and Videocon Industries Ltd), as well as former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak.

Earlier this year, the ED provisionally attached Rs 78.15 crore worth movable and immovable assets in possession of ICICI Bank’s former Managing Director and CEO, her husband and the companies owned/controlled by him.

During investigation it was revealed that loans were refinanced and new loans aggregating to Rs 1,730 crore sanctioned to Videocon Industries Ltd (VIL) and its group companies and these loans became non-performing assets (NPA) for ICICI Bank on June 30, 2017.

Investigation further revealed that an amount of Rs 64 crore, out of the loan of Rs 300 crore sanctioned by a committee headed by Chanda Kochhar to Videocon International Electronics Ltd, was transferred to Nupower Renewables Pvt Ltd (NRPL, earlier known as NuPower Renewables Ltd, a company of Deepak Kochhar) by VIL on September 8, 2009, just one day after disbursement of loan by the ICICI Bank.

Further, net revenue of Rs 10.65 crore was generated by NRL from these tainted funds. Therefore, proceeds of crime amounting to Rs 74.65 crore were transferred to/generated in NRPL.

Investigation also revealed that Chanda Kochhar and her family acquired an apartment in Mumbai owned by one of the Videocon group companies, by way of acquiring that company through her family trust at a nominal price by creating book entries.

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Bollywood Latest News

Sushant death case: CBI widens probe

Widening its probe into the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) started questioning his chartered accountant Sandeep Sridhar, accountant Rajat Mewati along with his flatmate Siddharth Pithani and cook Neeraj Singh.

Sridhar joined the CBI probe at the DRDO guest house in Santacruz area of Mumbai, where the CBI’s SIT team is staying. Sridhar was joined by Mewati, Pithani and Neeraj.

According to a CBI source, the agency will question Sridhar about the financial dealings of Sushant and enquire if there were any financial dealings with his girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty and her family members.

The agency will also question him about the expenses of Sushant and who handled his finances, debit cards, Internet banking and credit cards. It will also try to understand the pattern of Sushant’s bank transactions and his fixed deposits. This is for the first time that Sushant’s CA has joined the probe. Mewati was questioned by the CBI on Monday too.

The CBI team along with forensic experts has already visited Sushant’s flat in Mont Blanc Apartment in Bandra twice with Sushant’s flatmate, members of his personal staff and recreated the scene of his death. The team also went twice to the Waterstone resort where Sushant stayed for over two months.

The CBI team has also visited Cooper Hospital twice over the last four days and spoke to the doctors, who carried out the autopsy of the late actor. The source said that the agency is likely to summon the doctors who carried out the post mortem of Sushant, as the time of death was missing in the seven-page report.

The source said that in the coming days it will also summon Rhea, her brother Showik, father Indrajit and other accused named in the case, which was registered on August 6 on the basis of the Bihar Police case.

Sushant’s father K.K. Singh had filed the case at Patna’s Rajiv Nagar police station on July 25. A case was registered against Rhea, her parents, brother, Sushant’s former manager Shruti Modi, house manager Samuel Miranda and unknown persons.

The Enforcement Directorate is also probing the money laundering angle in the matter. It has so far recorded the statement of Sushant’s sister Priyanka Singh and his father in Delhi, besides another sister Meetu Singh, Rhea, her brother and father, Miranda, Shruti Modi, Pithani, Rumi Jaffery and several others in Mumbai.

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India Latest News

SC hands over Sushant case to CBI, millions hail decision

Intro: Sushant was talented actor, impartial probe is need of the hour, says top court

New Delhi: Ordering a CBI probe into the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said he was a talented actor in the Mumbai film world and died well before his full potential could be realized. The top court said the CBI probe would also be desired justice for Rhea Chakraborty, “as she herself had called for a CBI investigation.”

The verdict brought cheers for millions in India and abroad as people from all walks of lives flooded the social media hailing the SC decision.

In a massive relief to the family of the late actor, the Supreme Court also said that the action of the Patna Police was justified.

As the Supreme Court ordered a probe, the CBI was set to write to the Mumbai Police to get hold of all the evidence and statements it recorded in the last two months.

Media reports said that the agency would write to the Mumbai Police to share all the evidence it has collected in the probe.

The CBI will seek details of the autopsy report, crime scene photographs from the Mumbai Police and the same will be shared with the forensic experts posted at CFSL. The sources said that the agency will demand the statements of all the persons whose statements were recorded in the last two months and the electronic devices of the late actor which are with the Mumbai Police.

The sources said that a team of CBI’s IT cell probing the case will soon visit Mumbai and recreate the crime scene and if required it will seek the help from the Mumbai CBI branch for more personnel.

The CBI will also probe that why the Mumbai Police did not act on the complaint of the actor’s family made on Whatsapp in the month of February this year. The source said that the Mumbai Police officials will also be examined by the CBI SIT.

The developments come in the wake of the Supreme Court ordering a CBI probe into the mysterious death of Sushant. The 34-year-old actor was found dead at his flat in Mumbai’s Bandra on June 14. The CBI has already recorded the statements of Sushant’s father K.K. Singh and his elder sister Rani Singh last week.

The agency has also registered a case against his girlfriend Rhea Chkraborty, her brother Showik, her father Indrajit, her mother Sandhya, Sushant’s house manager Samuel Miranda and ex-manager Shruti Modi and unknown others on August 6 on the basis of the Bihar government’s recommendation for a CBI probe.

The central government gave its nod for a CBI probe on August 5.

The ED has also registered a case of money laundering in the case on July 31 on the basis of the Bihar Police FIR on the complaint of Sushant’s father. The ED has also recorded the statements of Rhea, Showik, Miranda, Indrajit, Shruti Modi, Sushant’s sister Meetu Singh and others.

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India Latest News

Sushant case: ‘No FIR was lodged in Mumbai due to political pressure’

New Delhi: The Bihar government in its written submission to the Supreme Court on Thursday said that on account of political pressure in Maharashtra, neither an FIR was lodged nor any cooperation was provided to Bihar Police in the case in connection with the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

The Supreme Court has reserved the order on the plea of main accused Rhea Chakraborty seeking transfer of the case registered in Patna to Mumbai.

“It is apparent that it is on account of political pressure in the State of Maharashtra that neither the FIR has been registered by the Mumbai Police nor did they extend any cooperation to Bihar Police in discharging their obligation to conduct investigation expeditiously,” said the Bihar government in its submissions before the top court.

Senior advocate Maninder Singh, representing the Bihar government, had argued on similar lines.

The written submissions also cited that Rhea in the transfer petition relied upon a tweet to the Union Home Minister requesting for investigation by the CBI. “Even in the Additional Affidavit, Petitioner has stated that she has reiterated for investigation by CBI,” said the Nitish Kumar government.

The state government urged the apex court to reject the transfer petition filed by Rhea. “It deserves to be rejected/disposed of by the orders of this court.

“In the facts and circumstances of the present case, it is humbly submitted that no impediment would deserve to be allowed to come in the way of the CBI to undertake and complete the investigation expeditiously,” said the Bihar government.

The 34-year-old actor was found dead in his Bandra flat on June 14. His father registered an FIR in a Patna police station on July 25 accusing his live-in partner Rhea and a few others of abetment to suicide and misusing Rs 15 crore from Sushant’s bank account.

The ED took over the financial probe involved in the case on July 31. The CBI took over the investigation from Bihar Police on August 7.

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India

ED takes over probe against Medanta, Naresh Trehan

New Delhi: After the Haryana Police registered an FIR against Medanta Medcity Hospital and its chairman and promoter Dr Naresh Trehan and others, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) took over the probe into the money laundering charges against them, sources said.

An ED source confirmed the development to IANS and said that the agency will summon a number of persons for questioning in the case in the coming days.

The Haryana Police on Saturday lodged an FIR against Trehan, his organization Global Health Pvt Ltd, and 14 others, including Haryana government officials, for alleged corruption in the case. The police action followed orders by a Gurugram civil court.

A Public Interest litigation was filed by RTI activist Raman Sharma in the court of Additional District and Session Judge Ashwani Kumar, who directed the Gurugram Police on Saturday to register the FIR within 24 hours.

The case was registered against Trehan and his 52 partners, including Sunil Sachdeva, Atul Punj, Anant Jain, Global Health Pvt Ltd, Global Infracom Pvt Ltd, and Punj Lloyd.

Sharma had filed a complaint in June 2019 with the Enforcement Directorate which forwarded it to the Haryana Police for investigation. “Gurugram Police has not acted on the complaint forwarded by the ED. Hence, I went to court for intervention,” Sharma had said.

Sharma had complained that the Medanta hospital had launched a project to develop a medical college, research center, nursing staff quarters, guesthouses for patients’ attendants and many other facilities but its promoter had developed only the hospital. Moreover, he allegedly misused funds of other projects in other states.

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India

End of good times for Vijay Mallya

New Delhi: Founder of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines Vijay Mallya is set to be extradited to India anytime soon as all the legal formalities have been completed, top Indian government sources said.

The fugitive businessman would be flown to Mumbai upon his landing as the case against him was registered there.

He will be accompanied by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials. At the Mumbai Airport, a medical team will do his health check-up.

A major hurdle in the extradition was cleared on May 14 when Mallya lost the case. Now the Indian government will have to bring him back in the next 28 days. Since May 14, it has already been over 20 days since the UK court rejected his plea.

After the court ruling on May 14, Mallya offered to repay 100 per cent of his loan dues to the Indian government provided the case against him was closed, but his repeated offers to repay dues have been ignored by the ruling government.

Mallya faces charges of fraud and money laundering worth ₹9,000 crore. He left India in March 2016 under the pretext of personal reasons.

The former parliamentarian has defrauded at least 17 Indian banks, drawing loans which he allegedly routed to gain full or partial stake in about 40 companies abroad.

The CBI had filed a chargesheet against the liquor baron and others on January 24, 2017 which was followed by a request for his extradition on January 31 in the same year. Based on the request, Mallya was arrested by the UK authorities on April 20, 2017.

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Business India

Mallya to be flown, lodged in Mumbai on extradition

New Delhi: On extradition to India, Vijay Mallya would be flown to Mumbai as the case against him was registered there, sources in the investigative agencies said on Wednesday.

The fugitive businessman will be accompanied by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials. At the Mumbai Airport, a medical team will do his health check-up.

If Mallya lands in Mumbai at night, he will have to spend some time at the CBI office in the city. He will be produced in a court later in the day.

If he lands during the day, he will directly be produced in a court, where the CBI will seek his custody. Later, the ED would also seek his custody, sources said.

Hearing Mallya’s plea in August 2018, a UK court had asked the Indian investigative agencies to share details of the prison where he would be kept after extradition. The agencies had then shared a video of the cell at the Arthur Road Jail, Mumbai, where they planned to keep Mallya after extradition.

The agencies had also informed the UK court that post-extradition Mallya would be lodged in one of the high security barracks located in a two-storey building at the Arthur Road Jail complex.

The Arthur Road jail has housed some notorious names from the underworld and the terror outfits. Ajmal Kasab, the sole terrorist arrested for the 26/11 Mumbai attack, was kept in this high security cell. Abu Salem, Chota Rajan, Mustafa Dossa, Peter Mukherjea and the Rs 13,500 crore PNB fraud accused Vipul Ambani are or were housed there.

Mallya is wanted in India in the Rs 9,000 crore loan default case involving 17 banks. He lost his appeal in the UK top court on May 14 against extradition to India.

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