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Removal of Anurag Thakur as BCCI President historic, Will help weaning out corrupt elements with corporate interests: Critics

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SHIMLA- Anurag Thakur’s removal as the BCCI President by the Apex Court for alleged contempt of court and perjury by lying in the court after taking oath of telling truth has come a major blow to BJP and its youth wing. The action of Supreme Court is welcomed by those awaiting reforms and transparency of affairs in BCCI. Being India’s insanely rich sport body, BCCI lured politicians and mafia-like elements to creep in as board members.

In April 2016, too, the Supreme Court had remarked that cricket bosses has transformed the Board into a “mutual benefit society” which disburses huge amounts to choice members without even bothering to ask how they spend it.

As per the Supreme Court, not only Anurag ignored the implementation of Lodha Committee but also lied in the court, which can land him in jail if confirmed. The court had found him prima facie guilty of perjury for approaching ICC chairman Shashank Manohar for a letter undermining the judgment of July 18, 2016 upholding the Justice R.M. Lodha Committee recommendation to have a CAG nominee on the Board’s apex council.

How can a person who prima facie seems to have committed an offence of contempt of court and perjury continue to head BCCI? Which court is going to grant relief if the apex court orders his prosecution? You apologise if you want to escape,

the Bench had told counsel Kapil Sibal, who was appearing for BCCI and Thakur.

Anurag Thakur in an affidavit submitted to the court had denied seeking any letter from ICC Chairman and explained that he had just asked for his view on it.

I pointed out to the Chairman of the ICC, Mr Shashank Manohar that, when he was President of BCCI, he had taken a view that the recommendations of the Justice Lodha committee appointing the nominee of the CAG on the Apex Council would amount to governmental interference, and might invoke an action of suspension from ICC. I therefore requested him that, being the ICC Chairman, can a letter be issued clarifying the position which he had taken as BCCI President,

had said Anurag in his affidavit filed in the court.

However, the court found the content of the affidavit false. In political sphere, it means a huge damage to the image of three-time Member of Parliament from Himachal and son of former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Prem Kumar Dhumal.

Watch: Anurag Thakur’s Media Statement After Removal As BCCI President

HP CPI(M) Welcomes SC’s Move

Among those who welcomed it, the Communist Party of India Marxist in Himachal Pradesh has termed the decision of the Apex Court as historic in the direction of making reforms in the cricket body.

The members of the HP State Secretariat CPI (M) and Deputy Mayor of Shimla, Tikendar Panwer said that he had personally have a writ pending in the HP High court seeking democratisation of the HPCA. The writ was filed long before the formation of the Lodha committee and its recommendations and interestingly both the writ petition and the recommendations are quite congruent, Panwar claimed.

Panwar said that both the writ and recommendation of Lodha committee shared some common reforms such as: 

  • Democratisation of the sports body with regular elections to the body of HPCA and getting rid of the life time members with voting rights.
  • Transparency within the HPCA where it should be brought under the RTI.
  • Only sports personnel should be responsible for managing the affairs of the bodies especially cricket.
  • Complete transparency in selection process with laying basis on performance in local tournaments. Unfortunately local level district tournaments have completely been finished and obituary of such tournaments was written by HPCA led by its president

The CPIM has termed the decision as historic and said that it will surely help in weaning out corrupt elements with corporate interests from the helm of affairs. He further added that he party will also demand the democratisation of HPCA in the state and the state government must ensure that action must be taken against the convertible HPCA from society into company and all those responsible for doing this right from the president and those who are into different government jobs must be taken to task.

For Anurag it is a matter of great worry as there is no court to provide him relief from decisions of the Apex Court. A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur threatened that once the Supreme Court passes an order to initiate prosecution, no other court would dare to come in between, and the BCCI president would have “no way out, but go to jail.”

Photo: ESPN Info

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HP Statehood Day 2022: Relaxation in Electricity Charges, Third Option in New Pay scale, Higher Pay scale to Constables and other Announcements

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Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Government, on the 52nd Statehood Day, has made several announcements. It announced 31 percent DA to employees, relaxation on electricity charges up to 60 units, enhancement of annual income for availing benefit of pensions and welfare schemes.

Benefits of higher scales would be provided immediately to all those constables who were eligible for higher scales. All the constables appointed after 2015 would be eligible for higher scale as per other categories of employees, the government announced.

The State Government announced that now while implementing the new pay scale, the employees would be given a third option besides two options already given to them. The State has recently implemented new pay scales for employees of the State Government. The state government said it felt that few disparities existed in the new pay scales of few categories.

Pensioners of the State Government would also be given pension as per the new pay scales of the Punjab government, the government announced.

The government also announced 31 per cent DA to all the employees of the State at par with the Central Government employees. Also, an increase in annual income for availing the benefits of various welfare schemes and pensions for the weaker sections of the society from existing Rs 35,000 to Rs 50,000 was announced.

Now, the domestic consumers of the state whose electricity consumption is up to 60 units per month would not be charged any fee per electricity unit.  They would be incurred zero cost per unit of electricity consumed. With this decision, domestic consumers whose electricity consumption is up to 125 units, would be charged only one rupee per unit cost.  Over 11 lakh domestic consumers would be benefitted from this decision and the State government would incur an additional expenditure of Rs 60 crore on providing this relief, the government informed.

For the farmers in the state, the government announced to reduce the present per unit cost of electricity from 50 paise to 30 paise.  This benefit will be payable from April 2022.

Further, the HP Government said that in the year 1971, the per capita income of the state was only Rs 651 which has increased to Rs. 1,83,286, the GDP of the State has gone up from Rs 223 crore in 1971 to Rs 1,56,522 crore. The literacy rate of the State has gone up to 82.80 percent which was 23 percent in 1971. The agricultural production in the state has increased from 954 metric tons to 1500 metric tons and food grain production in 1971 was 9.40 lakh MT which has increased to 16.74 lakh MT, the state government said.

The state-level function of 52nd Statehood Day was celebrated at historic Thodo ground in Solan, where Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur unfurled the Tricolor and took salute from the contingents of Police, IRB Jungalberi, Home Guards and, NCC girls etc.

The parade was commanded by DSP Pranav Chauhan.

The Chief Minister also honoured three war widows of Solan District including Dil Kumari Thapa, Savitri Devi and Nirmala Devi on this occasion. Head constable Sandeep Chandel was also felicitated by the Chief Minister who has been awarded Prime Ministers Police Medal for life-saving for the year 2018.  

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Covid Restrictions in Himachal Extended Till Jan 31st, State Reports 11 Deaths in 24 Hours

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Shimla-Covid-19 restrictions in Himachal Pradesh has been extended till January 31, 2022. Currently, the state is witnessing a sharp spike in daily Covid-19 cases and deaths. Today, despite a low sampling of 7896, the State reported 1766 new cases and 11 Covid-related deaths. During the last eight days,  the State has recorded over 50 deaths due to Covid-19.

The deceased included a 2-year-old female child too. Shimla district reported the highest five deaths. The Covid death toll in the state had risen to 3927 according to the latest update. But the State did not impose any new restrictions, like on the entry of visitors and curtailing capacity of public transport. Further, during the last 24 hours, Shimla, Solan, and Kangra districts reported more than 250 cases each. 

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 A notification in this regard was issued by the Government of Himachal Pradesh (Revenue Department – Disaster Management Cell) on Monday. 

“Taking note of the present situation of Covid-19 in the State, the restrictions announced on January 5th, 8th, 9th, and 13th will continue to remain in effect till 6 am of 31st January 2022,” the notification said.

Programs scheduled on the occasion of Himachal Pradesh Statehood Day ( 25th January) and Republic Day (26th January) would be held on the condition of 50% capacity of indoor/outdoor spaces.

The educational institutes, including ITI, polytechnic colleges, and coaching institutes, would remain closed. Online classes, however, would continue in schools.

With the ongoing surge in daily cases and deaths, more restrictions could be in stock.

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Mandi Hooch Case: Political Storm Over Arrest and Expulsion of Hamirpur Congress Leader

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Mandi-On Sunday, the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee expelled General Secretary of the Hamirpur District Congress Committee following his arrest from Chandigarh in alleged connection with the Mandi hooch case.

It’s pertinent to mention that last week seven persons had lost their lives in two days and eight others are still hospitalized due to consumption of spurious liquor in Salapar area of Sundernagar Tehsil, Mandi district. Following this tragedy, a police SIT was formed, various places were raided, seizures of incriminating materials were made, several persons were arrested. So far, the police have arrested 13 persons in this connection and more arrests could be made as the SIT unfolds layers of people involved.

Neeraj Thakur, who was said to have risen to a political leader from a salesman at a liquor shop, had created an empire for himself allegedly from the illicit trade of spurious liquor. The worth of his properties and assets is being assessed, but the initial reports suggested his assets were disproportionate to his income. Now every political leader he was in contact with is under the scanner of the police SIT.

Also Read: Mandi Hooch Case: HP Police Claim Bursting Large-Scale Illicit Liquor Trade, Nabs Kingpin

According to Superintendent of Police, Mandi, Shalini Agnihotri, on Sunday, police detained Praveen Thakur, who is a resident of Hamirpur, two persons, identified as Sunny and Pushpender of Uttar Pradesh, AK Tripathi of Jammu and Kashmir, and Sagar Saini of Delhi. The police have claimed that it has also apprehended the kingpin.

The state Congress chief and the opposition leader Mukesh Agnihotri who had been issuing statements holding the BJP government responsible for the Mandi hooch tragedy is on backfoot following the expulsion of Neeraj. At the same time, the failure of the state Excise and Taxation Department in checking this flourishing illicit trade of spurious liquor right under its nose is also evident.

State BJP general secretary Trilok Jamwal, State BJP spokesperson Baldev Tomar and co-media-in-charge Karan Nadda on Sunday issued statements referring to the expulsion of Neeraj as evidence that the Congress leaders were involved in, as well as, patron of liquor mafia in the State.

Further, with elections to the Shimla Municipal Corporation and elections to the state Assembly later this year, this issue has turned into a political storm.  

According to the SIT investigation, the illicit liquor factory was operating in Hamirpur District and raw materials were procured from both within and outside the State. The police said that Gaurav Manhas appears to be the kingpin of the illegal trade. Gaurav, with the assistance of Praveen, Pushpender and Sunny from UP, was running this illegal bottling plant at Hamirpur building owned by Praveen.

In addition, the DGP informed, Manu and Gagan were his partners in the bottling plant busted under the jurisdiction of Police Station Nalagarh. Gaurav has a strong network of distributors and supply chains for raw materials and finished liquor.

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