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Karnataka MLAs’ average assets go up by nearly Rs 10 crore

BANGALORE: Average assets of re-contesting MLAs in the May five assembly elections have nearly doubled and risen by about Rs ten crore compared to five years ago in Karnataka, according to two NGOs tracking the trend.
 
Based on candidates’ affidavit filed with nomination papers, Karnataka Election Watch (KEW) and Association for Democratic Reforms analysed 179 outgoing MLAs who are contesting again in the poll, less than two weeks away.
 
The average assets of these 179 re-contesting MLAs fielded by various parties in 2008 was Rs 10.59 crore, which has now zoomed to Rs 19.87 crore, up Rs 9.27 crore in the past five years, or a growth of 88 per cent.
 
D K Shivakumar of the Congress from Kanakapura segment has declared maximum increase in assets with an increase of Rs 175.91 crore -- from Rs 75.59 crore in 2008 to Rs 251.50 crore in 2013.
 
Assets of Priya Krishna (Congress-Govindrajanagar) increased by Rs 143.36 crore, from Rs 767.61 crore in 2008 to Rs 910.98 crore in 2013, and that of Santhosh Lad (Congress-Kalaghatgi) from Rs 61.54 crore to Rs 186.40 crore.
 
Eight MLAs have reported decrease in assets in 2013 as compared to the value of their assets five years ago. Among them the highest decrease has been shown by B K Sangameshwara (72 per cent decline in assets; Rs 5.38 crore in 2008 to Rs 1.66 crore in 2013). (Incidentally, the Congress has denied ticket to Sangameshwara, who is now seeking re-election from Bhadravati as an independent). He is followed by higher education minister C T Ravi (BJP-Chikmagalur) (54 per cent reduction in assets, from Rs 7.85 crore in 2008 to Rs 3.59 crore in 2013).
 
The highest percentage increase (210.51 per cent) in assets has been declared by Ramanatha Rai of Congress from Bantwal.His assets increased from Rs 1.71 lakh to Rs 3.62 crore,according to the NGOs. Sports Minister Appachu Ranjan (Madikeri) came second, declaring an increase in assets of 57.52 per cent, from Rs 18.20 lakh to Rs 10.65 crore in 2013 (He did not provide rupee value for six motor vehicles, jewellery and immovable assets), as per the analysis by the NGOs.

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At least four rape cases involving minors have been reported from various parts of Uttar Pradesh in a day, police said Tuesday.

As the national spotlight swivels to cases of child sexual abuse following the brutal rape of a five-year-old in New Delhi, prompting massive protests, Uttar Pradesh reported four cases Monday -- two from Pratapgarh district, one from Siddharthanagar district and another from Sitapur district.

In the first case in Pratapgarh, a madrassa teacher and his accomplice were arrested for raping a 15-year-old student for two days. They were arrested after the victim’s father filed a complaint with the local police.

In the second case, another teacher was arrested in the district for allegedly raping his 11-year-old relative.

On Monday evening, a minor girl was found dumped in the Pathra area of Siddharthanagar district. She later told police that two youths raped her in Aligarh town for three days.

In Sitapur district, a Dalit minor girl was abducted, repeatedly raped at gunpoint and then dumped in a village. Based on a complaint by the victim’s father, the rapist has been arrested, a police official told IANS.

The day earlier, on Sunday, a girl was raped by three motorcycle-borne youths in Gadhmukteshwar town of Ghaziabad district while she was returning from a friend’s house. The assailants are yet to be arrested.

Senior police officers admitted that cases of rape were continuing unabated in the state.

"Sadly, rape cases are happening and the society must take stock of the direction we all are heading in," a senior police official said.

He added that police had increased patrolling during night to check such crimes.
To take a stock of the law and order situation, the state’s new director general of police, Devraj Nagar, has called a meeting of all senior police officers in the state capital Lucknow April 27.

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WASHINGTON: Continuing its lobbying among the American lawmakers over Indo-US bilateral relationship, the Indian government has spent USD 180,000 (about Rs 1 crore) to its lobbyists here in the first quarter of 2013.
 
Cumulatively, the Indian government has paid its lobbyist firm, Barbour Griffith & Rogers LLC (BGR), close to USD 5 million (over Rs 25 crore) since it began lobbying in the US in September 2005, shows the Congressional records of lobbying disclosure reports filed here.
 
Lobbying is a legal activity in the US, but the lobby firms are required to mandatorily submit the disclosure forms with the Senate for each of their clients.
 
The latest quarter lobbying disclosure report on behalf of the Indian government was filed by BGR on Sunday, wherein it has disclosed an income of USD 180,000 on issues related to the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
 
On behalf of India, BGR has lobbied at the US Senate, the House of Representatives, US Trade Representative (USTR), Department of State and Department of Commerce in the area of Indo-US bilateral relations, while its lobbying issues in the past have included the US-India civil nuclear deal.
 
Other Indian entities having lobbied in the US during the quarter ended March 31, 2013, included ONGC Videsh Ltd, software industry body Nasscom and Sterling Biotech.
 
ONGC Videsh, which began lobbying in the US this year itself, paid USD 20,000 to its lobby firm Patton Boggs LLC, which has disclosed having lobbied on "issues related to GAO report regarding Iran sanctions issues".
 
The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) in its December 2012 report on Iran’s energy sector had listed ONGC Videsh among the "foreign firms reported in open sources as engaging in commercial activity in Iran’s energy sector at some point between June 1, 2011 and September 30, 2012".
 
"Open sources reported ONGC Videsh Ltd as having a 40 percent interest in the Farsi Block, an Iranian gas field.
 
"However, the firm notified us that although negotiations were held, no agreements had been reached and no contracts to develop the field had been signed, and it had decided not to pursue further work on the Farsi Block gas field under the present circumstances," GAO report said.
 
Various Indian companies have been lobbying for their business interests among the US lawmakers, although some including Reliance Industries recently stopped doing so.
 
A number of US companies are also lobbying with their own lawmakers to seek their help in pushing further their business interests in India, which is emerging as a major market for various businesses for global companies.
 
A probe is currently underway in India over retail giant Wal-Mart’s US lobbying activities for its Indian entry. The probe was ordered after disclosures related to Wal-Mart’s lobbying generated an intense political debate late last year.

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Supreme Court to Sahara chief: You are manipulating courts

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday pulled up Sahara group and its chief Subrata Roy for not responding to the contempt plea filed against them by Sebi.
 
The apex court also said that Sahara group was manipulating courts.
 
The SC also slammed Sahara group for approaching Allahabad HC and other forum in a case pertaining to refund of Rs 24,000 crore to its investors.

The apex court asked Sebi to deposit money of untraced investors of Sahara with the Centre.

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Non-bailable warrant issued against Sanjay Dutt

A Mumbai court on Monday issued a non-bailable warrant against actor Sanjay Dutt after he failed to appear in court in a criminal case filed by producer Shakeel Noorani.
 
The arrest warrant adds to the trouble of the actor, who was recently sentenced to five years in jail by Supreme Court for his role in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, and is out on bail.
 
Producer Shakeel Noorani had moved the Andheri court alleging that the actor did not complete his film. He has sought damages to the tune of Rs 2.03 crore from the actor for leaving his film ’Jaan Ki Baazi’ midway.
 
It may be recalled, in an order addressed to Dutt in February this year, the additional chief metropolitan magistrate had said Sanjay Dutt’s attendance was necessary to answer the charge under section 506 (ii) (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
 
Dutt was required to appear in court either in person or through a lawyer.
 
The court issued the warrant on Monday after the actor failed to appear in the court.
 
Speaking to TOI Noorani said, "I am waiting for the court copy after which I will approach local police station for appropriate action."
 
The two have been engaged in a long-standing dispute over the alleged losses after Sanjay Dutt decided to leave Noorani’s film.
 
Noorani launched "Jaan Ki Baazi" in 2002 with Dutt and Priyanka Chopra. The producer claims that halfway through the film, Dutt cancelled shooting and did not respond despite repeated attempts to contact him.
 
Noorani has also alleged that Dutt was paid Rs 50 lakh which was never returned to him.
 
He filed a case against Dutt with the IMPAA (Indian Motion Picture’s Producers Association) which directed Dutt to pay the producer over Rs 2 crore for the losses incurred.
 
Noorani then moved the Bombay high court seeking the execution of the IMPAA order.
 
In 2010, the high court ordered attachment of two properties of Sanjay Dutt including a flat and his office in keeping with the arbitration award passed by the IMPAA.

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