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Madras HC dismisses petition of former TN DGP seeking exemption from surrendering

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Chennai, April 23 (IANS) The Madras High Court dismissed a petition filed by former Special Director General of Police, Rajesh Das, seeking exemption from surrendering in a case related to sexual advances towards a woman IPS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre.

The former DGP had filed a petition after a trial court, and later an appellate court found him guilty of the prosecution charges.

Madras High Court Judge Justice M. Dhandapani, on Tuesday, refused to grant exemption to the former DGP from surrendering before Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Villuppuram.

The judge said that the former DGP, who is a convict and would have to surrender, will go to jail and then seek suspension of the sentence as well as the grant of bail until the disposal of his revision petition before the High Court.

Villuppuram CJM had convicted and sentenced Rajesh Das on June 16, 2023.

He was charged with having sexually harassed a woman Superintendent of Police in February 2021, when they both were travelling together in his car on official duty.

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The two police officers were providing security to then Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami who was campaigning for AIADMK during the elections to the Legislative Assembly.

Rajesh Das’s appeal was dismissed by the Villuppuram Principal District Court judge who confirmed the conviction as well as the sentence on February 12, 2024.

The convict, Rajesh Das, had approached the High Court with a revision petition and sought exemption from surrendering until the disposal of his revision, which was dismissed by the court.

–IANS

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Fire breaks out in a multi-story building in Patna, residents rescued

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Patna, May 29 (IANS) A massive fire broke out in a multi-story building on Patna’s Fraser Road area on Wednesday evening and more than 20 fire engines were working to douse the blaze, officials said, adding all the residents had been rescued safely.

The incident occurred on the ninth floor of the Surya Apartments located just behind Hotel Maurya and adjoining the residence of former Union Minister C.P. Thakur.

Apart from the Fire Department, the police of Gandhi Maidan and Kotwali police stations rushed to the spot to take control of the situation.

The reason for the fire has not been ascertained yet.

“We have received information about the fire which broke out in the multi-story building. We immediately went there and rescued the family members living in the building. One person was trapped inside the building. We broke the window and rescued him. He had sustained injuries. We are currently focusing on dousing the flame as soon as possible. The reason for the fire could be a short circuit,” DIG, Fire Services, Mritunjay Kumar said.

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–IANS

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Elephant cub rescued from deep well in TN's Nilgiris, reunited with herd

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Chennai, May 29 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu Forest Department on Wednesday safely rescued an elephant cub from a 30-feet deep well in Kolapellur in the Nilgiris district, and reunited it with its waiting mother, officials said.

The elephant cub, according to local people, fell into the well late on Tuesday night.

Forest Department officials were informed and by 3 a.m., a group of 40 officials led by Gudalur DFO, Vengatesh Prabhu, reached the spot and rescued the elephant cub by the evening after herculean efforts.

Officials told IANS that immediately after the elephant cub fell into the well, a herd of elephants camped near it, and first, the Forest Department team had to drive these elephants away so that they could commence the rescue operation.

Additional Chief Secretary, Environment, Climate Change and Forests, Supriya Sahu in a post on X said: “A very heartening news is coming in just now about the successful rescue and reunion of a juvenile elephant in Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu Foresters in Gudalur Forest Division in Nilgiris have successfully rescued a juvenile elephant from a 30 feet deep sand well in a farmland where the young elephant had accidentally fallen.”

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“After 8 hours of challenging battle the team succeeded in making a ramp for the elephant to safely walk out of the well. After the rescue the team united the baby elephant with her mother who patiently waited nearby with the herd. Big appreciation to DFO Gudalur, Vengatesh Prabhu who led the operation with a team of 40 people from 3 am onwards.”

–IANS

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Delhi HC launches free Wi-Fi facility, new website for lawyers, public

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New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) The Delhi High Court has introduced a free Wi-Fi facility on its premises for lawyers, litigants, and the public.

Phase I of the Wi-Fi service was launched on Wednesday by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan, Justice Rajiv Shakdher, and other judges.

During the launch event, Justice Manmohan cited the significant role of judges in managing the administration of the high court, which places it at the forefront of judicial reforms.

He stressed the ongoing commitment of the court to introduce further improvements, noting that additional facilities would be inaugurated after the summer recess.

The initial phase of the Wi-Fi facility covers A Block, B Block, C Block, the Extension Block, the mediation centre, and the lawyers’ cafeteria.

The service is designed to handle a large number of users, providing reliable and fast internet access with robust security measures to protect user data.

In addition to the Wi-Fi facility, the high court also unveiled its newly designed website which features a responsive design that adjusts to different screen sizes, ensuring seamless functionality across desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.

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The new site includes integrated applications such as e-filing, e-RTI, e-Sewa Kendra, accessibility helpline, and more, eliminating the need for users to navigate to separate URLs.

The other new features of the website include True Copy Application, an online mechanism for obtaining true copies of court documents; a virtual tour of Delhi High Court; landmark judgements, a section that will soon feature significant judgements from the high court.

–IANS

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Telangana snooping row: SIB team allegedly tapped phones of 1,200 people, claims arrested cop

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Hyderabad, May 29 (IANS) Phones of about 1,200 people, including political rivals, their family members and supporters, judges, journalists, and business persons were tapped by a special team in Telangana’s Special Intelligence Bureau (SIB) under the previous BRS government, according to a suspended police officer and a key accused in the sensational phone tapping case.

D. Praneeth Rao, who headed the Special Operations Team in the SIB under the supervision of then SIB chief Prabhakar Rao, made some sensational revelations in his confession before the investigating officials.

He revealed that ahead of the November 2023 Assembly elections, the team snooped on leaders of opposition parties, and their funders and intercepted the vehicles transferring money.

The confession of Praneeth Rao, a Deputy Superintendent of Police in the SIB, came to light after similar statements of former Deputy Commissioner of Police Radha Kishan Rao and Additional Superintendents of Police N. Bhujanga Rao and M. Thirupathanna.

Praneeth Rao revealed that they prepared profiles of political rivals of the BRS with the help of a technological tool, provided by a private company.

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Praneeth Rao, the first to be arrested in the case which came to light in March after the Congress formed the government, stated that 17 computers and special servers were used for phone tapping. As many as 56 personnel of the SOT were used for the operation.

He reportedly confessed to doing certain unofficial works as he was indebted to Prabhakar Rao for promoting him as DSP. He was operating from two rooms allotted to him next to Prabhakar Rao’s chamber in the SIB office.

Before the 2023 Assembly elections, the team also tapped the phones of candidates of rival parties and seized money from their funders, relatives and aides. The information was passed on to police officials Radha Kishan Rao, Bhujanga Rao and Thirupathanna so they could intercept the money. The seized money was shown as hawala money so that the Election Commission did not get suspicious about the seizures.

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Praneeth Rao also revealed that the phones of dissidents within the ruling party were also tapped. He also confessed that after Congress came to power, Prabhakar Rao directed him to stop phone tapping and also allegedly directed him to destroy records before his resignation. He claimed that 50 hard discs were destroyed with a cutter in the SIB office and old servers were replaced with new ones.

When he wanted to switch off CCTV cameras in the logger room before destroying the hard discs, the in charge of CCTV cameras refused to give permission but he told him that Prabhakar Rao had given the orders and warned that if the in charge failed to obey, a memo would be issued.

Praneeth Rao stated that he destroyed the evidence between 7.30 p.m. and 8.15 p.m. on December 4, 2023. He dumped the destroyed CDs in the Musi River at Nagole and Moosaram Bagh. The CDR and IDPR equipment was burnt down. Reformatted phones and pen drivers were thrown in the Begumpet nala.

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–IANS

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Arunachal: Body of teenage girl fished out of river after 4 days

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Itanagar, May 29 (IANS) The body of a teenage girl, who drowned in the Dikrong river in Arunachal Pradesh’s Papum Pare district four days back, was fished out on Wednesday, officials said.

An official said that 14-year-old Biki Rachal had drowned in the river near the Khula Camp on May 26 after she went there for bathing.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel deployed a 24-member team soon after the authority asked it to locate the girl.

The NDRF team recovered the body of the girl near Dahghariya village, about 45 km downstream from the site of drowning.

–IANS

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