QAhmedabad: SC To Hear Plea in Haren Pandya Case; FDI Crosses 220%

1. SC to Hear Plea Seeking New Probe into Murder of Ex-Gujarat Home Minister Haren Pandya

The Supreme Court on Friday, 8 February posted for 12 February a petition seeking a fresh investigation into the murder of former Gujarat home minister Haren Pandya in March 2003.

Haren Pandya was shot dead on 26 March 2003 in his car outside Ahmedabad’s Law Garden. His wife, Jagruti Pandya, had raised questions over the initial probe in the murder, which was handled by Ahmedabad City Detection of Crime Branch under Deputy Commissioner of Police DG Vanzara. Vanzara has since retired.

A petition filed in the Supreme Court sought a fresh, court-monitored probe into the murder. The plea by NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) says the need for a fresh probe had arisen in view of “some startling information that has recently come to light and has been extensively reported by the media regarding Mr Haren Pandya’s murder, information which was never investigated into by the investigating agency, the CBI”.

(Source: Indian Express)

Also Read: Haren Pandya’s Murder Must be Reinvestigated, Says Gujarat Cop

2. FDI in Gujarat Surges over 220%

Helped by a lower base, and uptick in investment cycle, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Gujarat more than tripled in the first half of the current financial year. This comes even as FDI inflows in the country as a whole fell by more than 10% in the same period, latest data shows.

Gujarat received FDI inflows worth $1.55 bn (Rs10,832 crore) between April and September of 2018-19, 221% higher than the foreign investment of $0.48 bn (Rs3,104 crore) in the same period of the previous fiscal year, according to just-released statistics of the commerce ministry's Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP). While foreign direct investment in Gujarat showed a sharp rise, its rank among states with the highest inflows fell to sixth.

Delhi attracted FDI of $5.65 bn in the first half of the year, making it the preferred investment destination for foreign investors. It was closely followed by Maharashtra with $5.32 bn.

(Source: DNA Ahmedabad)

Also Read: New FDI norms set to hamper smartphone sales on Flipkart, Amazon

3. Gujarat HC Grants Activists Teesta Setalvad, Javed Anand Relief from Arrest in Embezzlement Case

The Gujarat High Court on Friday, 8 February allowed anticipatory bail pleas of Mumbai-based activists Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand who are facing arrests in connection with the alleged Rs 1.4 crore fund embezzlement case.

Granting relief to Setalvad and Anand, Justice J B Pardiwala directed the couple to cooperate with the investigation and appear before probe agency as and when required. He said that in case of any default, the state can file for their bail cancellation.

“I am giving the applicants (Setalvad and Anand) last chance despite all odds. I reserve the right of the state to summon them whenever required. And, the state can seek remand if custodial interrogation is required,” Justice Pardiwala said in the court. He ordered the couple to remain present before the investigating agency on 11 February.

(Source: Indian Express)

Also Read: Teesta Setalvad Booked for Securing ‘Fraudulent’ Aid for Her NGO

4. Coldest February Day in 5 Years, Ahmedabad Shivers

Ahmedabad recorded the coldest day in February on Friday, 8 February . With minimum temperature dropping to 9.4 degree Celsius, four degrees lower than the normal, it was the coldest day in February in the last five years. On 7 February, 2015, the city had recorded 7.8 degree Celsius.

Within just a week, Amdavadis experienced the weather turn from pleasant to cold wave conditions. There was a sudden spike by 5 degree Celsius in the maximum temperature at the start of the week and now, there has been a sudden drop in mercury by 7 degrees, resulting in a cold wave.

The maximum temperature recorded on Friday was 7 degree Celsius lower than normal. According to the Met department's press release, cold wave conditions and cold day conditions are very likely to prevail in the districts of Gujarat as well.

(Source: DNA Ahmedabad)

Also Read: Another Snowy Morning in Kashmir Valley as Cold Wave Continues

5. Centre Allocates Rs 59 Cr for Asiatic Lion Conservation in Gujarat

With the aim to protect and conserve the worlds last ranging free population of Asiatic Lions, the Ministry of Environment on Friday, 8 February launched a three-year Asiatic Lion Conservation Project in collaboration with the state of Gujarat.

The project, at an estimated cost of Rs 98 crore, for which the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has allocated Rs 59 crore to Gujarat's Gir sanctuary, will span over three financial years -- 2018-2019, 2019-2020 and 2020-2021.

It will focus on the scientific management of the lion habitat with the involvement of communities, disease control and veterinary care for the overall conservation of Asiatic Lions.

(Source: Business Standard)

Also Read: Gujarat launches Rs 351-cr project to conserve Gir lions

6. SC Refuses to Entertain Sacked IPS Officer Sanjiv Bhatt’s Plea Seeking Security for His Family

The Supreme Court on Friday, 8 February refused to entertain sacked Gujarat cadre IPS officer Sanjiv Bhat’s plea seeking security for his family. A bench of Justices A K Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer asked Bhat to approach the Gujarat High Court with his plea.

On 4 October last year, the apex court dismissed his wife Shweta Bhat’s plea, challenging the police probe and his judicial custody in a 22-year-old case of alleged planting of drugs to arrest an advocate, and said he could approach an “appropriate forum” for relief. The apex court had held it was not appropriate for it to interfere in the ongoing investigation.

Bhat was suspended in 2011 on charges of remaining absent from duty without permission and misuse of official vehicles and later sacked in August 2015. His wife Shweta had unsuccessfully contested assembly election as a Congress party candidate against Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Maninagar constituency in Ahmedabad in 2012.

(Source: Indian Express)

Also Read: The Curious Case of Sanjiv Bhatt’s Sacking & 2002 Godhra Riots

7. Lord Ram Ancestor of Hindus as Well as Muslims, Says Ramdev

Asserting that the issue of construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya was linked to the nation's pride, Yoga guru Ramdev Friday said Lord Ram was the ancestor not only of Hindus, but also of Muslims.

Talking to reporters at Nadiad town in Kheda district, around 70 kms from here, he said the Ram temple issue was not linked to vote bank politics.

"I firmly believe that Ram mandir must be built in Ayodhya. If not in Ayodhya, where would you build it? It is obvious that it will not come up at Mecca, Madina or Vatican City," he said in response to a query.

Ramdev was in Nadiad town to take part in a Yoga Shibir organised by Santram temple.

(Source: PTI)

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