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Kolkata airport re-opens after cyclone || Extreme heat wave to continue in north India || Two doctors arrested for manipulating minor driver's blood test in Pune Porsche case || Eight new born babies die in fire at children's hospital in East Delhi || 27 killed in fire at gaming park in Rajkot || Three Indians win awards at Cannes film fest || 78 Tory MPs oppose snap poll, quit seat in UK || - India Travel Times.Com   [Estd: 1998]       * * *    Travel, More Travel, Travel Means A Million Things     * * *    
ECI urged not to hold elections till SBI discloses EB details

Meanwhile, the ADR and Common Cause petition in the Supreme Court against the SBI for not disclosing the electoral bond details as directed by the court last month and seeking contempt proceedings will come up for hearing on Monday but since the SBI had in advance filed a plea for postponement of the deadline the ADR petition becomes infructuous or superfluous and liable for rejection without hearing.

NEW DELHI, Mar 10: The Constitutional Conduct Group (CCG), comprising 79 former civil servants, have asked the Election Commission of India not to declare elections until and unless the State Bank of India discloses the details of the secret electoral bonds it has sold to private parties for the purpose of anonymous donations to political parties.

The Central Government scheme was struck down by the Supreme Court last month as unconstitutional and undemocratic. It had also asked the SBI to submit all the details of the donors and the bonds sold so far to the Election Commission of India by March 6.

The CCG has described the bank's request to the SC for time until June 30 to release donor data as 'wholly unjustified'.

The SBI urged the court on March 4 to extend the time for collating donors’ data until June 30, instead of the deadline of March 6. “The SBI’s denying this information and indicating that it would not be available before the general elections seems to indicate that the SBI is shielding the Government in power from any criticism that there was a quid pro quo between the bonds and favours given to some firms or raids/intimidation to pressurize the corporates to fall in line,” CCG said in its letter to the ECI.

"For India’s largest bank with 48 crore accounts and boasting high levels of digitization, a pathetic excuse has been proffered that records were kept manually and hence the extension sought," it said.

"Subhash Chandra Garg, Finance Secretary at the time of finalization of the scheme (and a defender of it), has said in interviews that it should not take more than ten minutes to get the information sought," the letter said.

The CCG said, "the SBI is shielding the Government in power from any criticism that there was a quid pro quo between the bonds and favours given to some firms or raids/intimidation to pressurize the corporates to fall in line. The media portals Newslaundry and News Minute have already published material linking thirty corporates and their purchase of bonds worth about Rs 335 crore in the previous five years to the blatant misuse of enforcement agencies to make these corporates fall in line."

The following is the list of signatories to the CCG letter to the CEC:-

Anita Agnihotri, G. Balachandhran, Gopalan Balagopal, Chandrashekar Balakrishnan, Rana Banerji, Sharad Behar, Aurobindo Behera, Madhu Bhaduri, Nutan Guha Biswas, Meeran C Borwankar, Ravi Budhiraja, Sundar Burra, Maneshwar Singh Chahal, R. Chandramohan, Ranjan Chatterjee, Kalyani Chaudhuri, Gurjit Singh Cheema, F.T.R. Colaso, Anna Dani, P.R. Dasgupta, Pradeep K. Deb, Nitin Desai, Sushil Dubey, K.P. Fabian, Suresh K. Goel, S.K. Guha, H.S. Gujral, Meena Gupta, Ravi Vira Gupta, Wajahat Habibullah, Naini Jeyaseelan, Najeeb Jung, Sanjay Kaul, Vinod C. Khanna, Gita Kripalani, Ish Kumar, Harsh Mander, Aditi Mehta, Shivshankar Menon, Sonalini Mirchandani, Malay Mishra, Satya Narayan Mohanty, Deb Mukharji, Shiv Shankar Mukherjee, Gautam Mukhopadhaya, P. Joy Oommen, Amitabha Pande, Maxwell Pereira, G.K. Pillai, Rajesh Prasad, N.K. Raghupathy, V.P. Raja, V. Ramani, M. Rameshkumar, K. Sujatha Rao, Satwant Reddy, Vijaya Latha Reddy, Julio Ribeiro, Aruna Roy, Manabendra N. Roy, Deepak Sanan, S. Satyabhama, N.C. Saxena, A. Selvaraj, Abhijit Sengupta, Aftab Seth, Ashok Kumar Sharma, Ashok Kumar Sharma, Navrekha Sharma, Raju Sharma, Avay Shukla, K.S. Sidhu, Tara Ajai Singh, Tirlochan Singh, Prakriti Srivastava, Anup Thakur, P.S.S. Thomas, Ashok Vajpeyi, Rudi Warjri.

Meanwhile, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Common Cause have petitioned the Supreme Court against the SBI for not disclosing the electoral bond details as directed by the court last month and seeking contempt proceedings.

The Supreme Court on Thursday had said the contempt petition against the SBI will be heard on March 11.


A Spicejet passenger had a harrowing experience inside a tiny claustrophobic lavatory aboard a Mumbai-Bengaluru flight when he found to his bewilderment that the door was not opening.

Two days earlier, in a similar incident in the area, a domestic help was bitten by a pet dog in the lift when she was going for work.

Tailpiece: Sometimes appearing to outnumnber men and women on the streets, the stray dogs are turning more and more daring with sections of anti-social elements out there to feed and protect them in order to find a window for their unfulfilled love! There is an all-pervading feeling of lack of authority.

Ankit Tiwari had told the employee that “instructions had been received from the Prime Minister’s Office to conduct an enquiry” and reopen the “already disposed of” case and asked him to appear before the ED office at Madurai on October 30, DVAC said. The doctor was allegedly threatened with arrest and told to pay a bribe of Rs 3 cr to avoid the ED probe, which was later negotiated down to Rs 50 lakh.

Tailpiece: We are made to believe RBI, CBI, ED, Judiciary as sacrosanct and all others like railways, transport, revenue, education, PWD departments are composed of us the mortals, absolutely corrupt! As if in the sacrosanct places the angels descend from the heavens to work in the night and fly away before day-break! Let's be true to ourselves, we are all cut from the same cloth.

Apart from cash, Gill had also taken three planes as bribe and two of them were leased out to Redbird Aviation Academy. With the result, flying schools compromised on safety requirements and trainers met with accidents several times.

Five people were arrested from a banquet hall in Sector 51 Noida on Thursday where they were called to hold a rave party in a trap laid by the animal rights group, PFA. They named Yadav but he was not present.

Betting through Dubai-based Mahadev Book in India is conducted through a countrywide network. Probes reveal that the online gambling is worth several millions and top politicians, officials and celebs have been beneficiaries.

TAILPIECE: Polling dates for some States are round the corner. Top politicians have begun their acrimonious debate who looted more, even as Mahadev is washing their dirty laundry in the open ghat. Come what may, one needs to seize power to amass "thy wretched pelf!" One simple question is, why else one should spend lakhs or crores to get elected! A question every Indian should ask to oneself at least once a day!

His inaction amounts to defeating the rights of the people of the State to welfare measures sought to be implemented through the Bills, the Kerala Government's petition submitted, while the State of Tamil Nadu remarked that its "Governor is acting as a political rival."

Tailpiece: Coming up back to back, the petitions in their totality seem to question the provision of Raj Bhavan, and not motives of a Governor as a person.

Hundreds of cars piled up behind the wreckage of crashes occurring one after other in backing up - continuous crashes to the rhythm of metallic clanks and bangs back to back. According to reports, some ops required 'Jaws of Life' to pull apart the mangled cars to save lives inside.

The pilots struggled with Emerson to thwart a shut-off as he reached for the T-handles (see pix). Later he admitted to police he had taken psychedelic mushrooms and had a "nervous breakdown."

Doctors reasoned how the incidence of heart attacks is spiking over time and advise the simple way to play safely is to take a break and rehydrate yourself.

But how come ten people, including children, die of cardiac arrest at Garba in 24 hours, and that at different places of Gujarat? Garba had been going on for six days, and every year it is celebrated.

The killing of a teacher in France by an Islamic radical last Friday is linked to the Israel-Hamas war in West Asia, say authorities.

Shocking news from the UK: Leading grocers have started bribing policemen with free food and drinks to persuade them to take action against shoplifters.

Shoplifting has risen by about 27 per cent in 10 major cities across the UK this year. The cost of retail crime last year was $2.15 billion. Besides, “We are seeing organised gangs threatening staff with weapons and emptying stores," Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said. Data shows that the police failed to respond to 73 per cent of serious retail crimes that included assault and abuse of workers, apart from shoplifting.

Isar Mohammad allegedly picked up a banana offered to Ganesh idol on Chaturthi at a makeshift temple in Delhi and consumed it.

Harris said hip-hop is “the ultimate American art form” that “shapes every aspect of American popular culture.” “Hip-hop culture is American culture,” she said in a talk at her official residence at the US Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.

The social media had mixed reaction. There was much appreciation that she dances better than any VP in American history. But some called her "moves" as “cringe” while others did not like her pink pants - "pink pants don’t look good.” In fact, her ensembles have always been incongruous.

"Let’s see how the (Governor's) Vice-Chancellors are given salary." Mamata's extreme statements will put the Marxist Government in Kerala, which is also facing similar issues, to shame. Has she begun the countdown for a war on the streets?

It's true Mamata has come to see a conspiracy to demolish the established systems across the country, but lacks the ability to foresee what exactly is being pushed.

Brandishing a sword, Mahant Paramhans told reporters on Tuesday he himself will behead MK Stalin's son for his remarks against Sanatan Dharma in case nobody came forward to accept his offer he made in his video. Udhayanidhi reacted to the saint's Monday video, "I will speak more. I am the grandson of the artist who put his head on the rail track for Tamil Nadu."

Somanath elaborated, "I am an explorer. I explore the Moon. I explore the inner space. So it's a part of the journey of my life to explore both science and spirituality. So I visit many temples and I read many scriptures. So try to find the meaning of our existence and our journey in this cosmos. So it's a part of the culture that we are all built to explore, find out the inner self as well as outer self. So for the outer, I do science, for the inner I come to temples." (See videos)

Rao the mathematical legend had fathered the path-breaking Rao-Blackwell theorem, one of the most important theorems in mathematical statistics, at the age of 25. That brought him global fame. He is also famous for his Cramér-Rao Bound inequality theorem relating to quality of estimators in statistics which has had a profound bearing on applications of modern economics and several other diverse fields. Simply put, with the pioneering statistician computation became a tool to analyse even socio-economic challenges of modern times.

The alleged incident has received such a flash publicity that a standardised city's hugely middle class population will have second thoughts about eating outside for some time. Now everything on the table looks suspicious!

Previous Files



Spiritual leader Sadhguru undergoes emergency brain operation for bleeding in Delhi hospital
Tens of thousands of women celebrate Pongala festival at Attukal temple in Thiruvananthapuram
Jain monk Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj attains samadhi after 'sallekhana' at Chandragiri Teerth
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann visit Ram temple in Ayodhya
Devotees pour in as Sabarimala Ayyappa temple opens for Mandala-Makaravilakku
Ayodhya Ram temple to be consecrated on Jan 22, says Trust
No politician can change world, Madonna stops concert, speaks on Israel-Hamas war
Portions of Ranbireshwar temple in Jammu collapses in lightning, heavy rain
Mukesh Ambani, family members visit Badrinath, Kedarnath temples; donates Rs 5 cr
Swaminarayan Akshardham temple inaugurated in New Jersey; opens on Oct 18

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