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CBI books two IRS officers of Mumbai Customs in corruption case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered two separate cases against two deputy commissioners of Mumbai Customs and two clearing agents for allegedly clearing goods without payment of proper customs duty. It has been alleged that they committed the unfair practice by using passports of people, who have lived abroad for more than two years. The first FIR was registered against the then deputy commissioner Dinesh Fuldiya, who worked from December 2020 to August 2021. And another FIR was registered against Subhash Chandra, then deputy commissioner, who worked from August 2021 to July 2022. They were posted at Jawaharlal Nehru Customs House (JNCH) in Nhava Sheva, Raigad. Both the FIRs have a common co-accused -Sudhir Padekar and Ashish Kamdar. They were Customs clearing agents. The accused Dinesh Fuldiya, who is presently posted as Director General of Analytics and Risk Management, has made various expenses/purchases in his name and payment of those purchases/expenses were made from the account of Sudhir Padekar or through his brother Swapnil Padekar's account/credit cards on several occasions. He has purchased a washing machine, massage chair, Apple headphones, shoes, microwave and flight tickets. Similarly, Subhash Chandra presently posted at the Directorate General of Goods and Services Tax Intelligence (DGGI) in Mumbai, used the 'hawala' channel to transfer money into the account of persons known to him and made other purchases that have been tracked and established by CBI during the preliminary investigation. In the investigation, it has been found that dutiable goods were imported under the "Transfer of Residence" provision by the suspect private persons and the same were given "Out of Charge" by Dinesh Fuldiya and Subhash Chandra knowingly and dishonestly causing wrongful loss to the Govt. Exchequer and corresponding wrongful gain to themselves and obtained undue advantage from such custom house agents. It has been revealed during the investigation that the said clearing agents procure Passports from various persons, who have lived abroad for more than two years and knowingly and dishonestly use the said passports for clearing consignments of household items of other ineligible persons. The purpose behind using the passports of other persons is that as per Customs provisions, if a person has lived abroad for more than two years, he/she can import the used household goods from abroad by claiming an exemption up to Rs 5 lakh under Transfer of Residence" Provision. The modus operandi adopted by the said syndicate is to use the passport credentials of those persons, who have lived abroad for more than two years to import goods, which belong to different ineligible parties settled abroad especially in gulf countries to evade customs duty. The passport holder knows that the clearing agent is going to use the said Passport for clearing the consignments of household items, for which the Passport holder is paid Rs 15,000 per consignment in lieu of the use of his passport. The said clearing agents have their accomplices in Gulf countries, who take orders from various persons settled in these countries. The said persons settled in Gulf countries, who want to send some goods/items to India, approach the said accomplices of agents. Accordingly, the said accomplices of agents in Gulf countries pass on this information to the said clearing agents in India and these clearing agents in India obtain passports of persons, who have stayed in the said country from where the goods are to be dispatched. Using the said Passport obtained by the clearing agents, they file Baggage Declaration Form (BDF) by claiming exemption of the "Transfer of Residence" clause, which exempts duty payment on the value of goods below Rs five lakh, the FIR reads. It was revealed that the goods so imported are undervalued to a large extent. It is further learnt that the clearing agents in India in connivance with their accomplices in gulf countries and Customs officials in India import electronic items along with other unknown goods in the guise of household items. The said clearing agents, by adopting this practice, cause loss to the government exchequer by evading duty on dutiable electronic goods and other unknown goods. The said act of importing dutiable goods as household items and bringing other unknown goods is not possible without the connivance of Customs Officers, who give out of charge to such consignments as physical examination of such consignments is mandatory. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

06 June,2023 01:37 PM IST | New Delhi | ANI
Image used for representational purpose. Pic/iStock

Mumbai, Konkan to receive heavy rains, predicts IMD

The India Meteorological Department on Tuesday predicted that Maharashtra and Pune and Mumbai will receive heavy rainfall. The weather forecasting agency also predicted that Mumbai and Konkan will experience heavy rains. "Chance of deluge in Konkan," it added. The latest observations by India Meteorological Department indicate that a depression has formed over the southeast Arabian Sea and lay centered at 0530 hours IST of today, the 06th of June 2023 near latitude 11.3°N and longitude 66.0°E, about 920 km west-southwest of Goa, 1120 km south-southwest of Mumbai, 1160 km south of Porbander and 1520 km south of Karachi. "It is likely to move nearly northwards and intensify into a cyclonic storm over the eastcentral Arabian Sea & adjoining southeast during the next 24 hours," added. Here's what IMD's wind warning mentions for June 6: Squally wind speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph is prevailing over southeast & adjoining east central Arabian Sea and it is likely to become Gale wind speed reaching 60-70 kmph gusting to 80 kmph from night of today over Eastcentral Arabian Sea & adjoining southeast Arabian Sea.Squally wind speed reaching 35-45 kmph gusting to 55 kmph is likely over adjoining areas of southwest & westcentral Arabian Sea and along & off Kerala-Karnataka-Goa coasts, Lakshadweep-Maldives areas. For June 7: Gale wind speed reaching 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph is likely to prevail over eastcentral Arabian Sea and adjoining areas of southeast Arabian. It is likely to become 80-90 kmph gusting to 100kmph from night of 7th June over the same area Squally wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph is likely over adjoining areas of westcentral & south Arabian Sea and along & off north Kerala-Karnataka-Goa coasts. Fishermen warning issued by IMD: The IMD said that fishermen are advised not to venture into: -Southeast and adjoining central & southwest Arabian Sea on 6th June -Eastcentral and adjoining areas of westcentral & south Arabian Sea during 7th - 9th June - Eastcentral and adjoining areas of westcentral Arabian Sea on 10th June. - Along & off along & off Kerala-Karnataka coasts, Lakshadweep-Maldives areas during 6th & 7th and along & off Konkan-Goa- Maharashtra coasts during 8th-10th June. - Those out at sea are advised to return to the coast by today afternoon.

06 June,2023 12:45 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
Representative image

Mumbai’s lakes currently hold 11.42 per cent water

The current water stock in the city is less than the water stock we had on the same day in 2022. According to the data shared by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials, presently Mumbai holds 11.42 per cent water stock.  As the water stock is less than the previous year, it has created concerns about water scarcity. As of June 6, the lake levels in Mumbai were down to 11.42 per cent, as compared to 15.45 per cent last year. Mumbai currently gets its water supply from seven lakes, with an overall capacity of 14.47 lakh million litres of water. Currently, the lakes hold 11.42 per cent of water. The same quantity stood at 15.45 per cent of stock as of June 6 last year. As on June 5, the water level in Modak Sagar is 25.61 per cent, at Tansa 22.75 per cent, Middle Vaitarna 12.41 per cent, Bhatsa 9.16 per cent, Vihar 25.55 per cent and Tulsi has 30.50 per cent of water, the BMC data mentioned. An official statement issued by Ashish Shelar on Monday said that the BMC has started preparations to increase the water tariff from June 16. The hike is proposed from 25 paise to 4 rupees per litre and we (BJP) are strongly opposing this price hike. The Maharashtra government has approved a proposal of the BMC seeking access to 1.5 lakh million litres of reserve water from the irrigation department-owned Bhatsa and Middle Vaitarna dams. As Mumbai has sufficient water till August, there is no need for an immediate water cut.

06 June,2023 12:27 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
IIT Bombay/ File Photo

NIRF: IIT Bombay drops to 4th position in national rankings

Eleven educational institutions/universities from Maharashtra were listed among the top 100 institutions nationwide in the National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) -- 2023 rankings. IIT Bombay dropped from third place to fourth this year, while Mumbai University (MU) tumbled from 81st position to 96th in the overall category. The eighth edition of the NIRF Rankings 2023 was released by the Minister of State for Education and External Affairs, Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, on Monday.The parameters on which institutes are ranked are teaching learning and resources, research and professional practice, graduation outcome, outreach, and inclusivity, and perception. “With 13 categories, this edition of NIRF is the largest in its scope to date,” says Anil Sahasrabuddhe, chairman, of NBA. “We started NIRF with four categories. The aim was to improve the quality of higher education and help students make decisions. With the 8th edition, we now have 12 categories including 8 subject-specific rankings,” said Anil Kumar Nassa, member secretary of NBA (which prepares NIRF). The top 100 in the overall category consists of 44 centrally funded technical institutes (CFTI)/ centrally funded universities (CFUs) and Institutes of National Importance (INI), 24 state universities, 13 deemed universities, 18 private universities, 4 agriculture and allied sector institutions, and 3 management institutions.   State institutes and universities in top 100 in overall category In the overall category, IIT B ranked four, Homi Bhabha National Institute - Mumbai ranked 30, followed by the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Pune (34), SavitriBai Phule Pune University (35), the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai (41), Symbiosis International in Pune (59), Dr D.Y. Patil Vidyapeeth in Pune (81), Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT Nagpur) ranked 82, SVKM's Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (88), and Mumbai University at 96. However in the list of top 100 universities, Mumbai University was placed at 56th position, whereas Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) ranked 98. A huge disappointment for city colleges, as only one college could make it to the list top 100 colleges in the country. Nirmala Niketan College of social work was the only college from Mumbai that made it to NIRF's top 100 college list and was ranked 57. IIT Bombay has been ranked fourth in both the overall and research categories, third in the engineering institutes category, tenth in  Management, and seventh in the newly-added category of innovation’.IIT Bombay Director Prof. Subhasis Chaudhuri said, "IIT Bombay always strives hard to provide the best possible educational experience to its students and faculty members, and our performance in various ranking exercises like QS and NIRF is a result of that endeavour". Dr Ramesh Bhat, Vice Chancellor of NMIMS University said, "The recent NIRF ranking, where NMIMS appears in the top 50 institutes in the country, highlights the exceptional performance of the University. Our relentless pursuit of academic excellence, industry collaborations, and holistic student development has contributed to our improved overall ranking." He added, "The remarkable climb of our School of Business Management (SBM) by four notches to reach the 21 rank showcases our commitment to delivering a world-class management education. The consistent rank of 11 for our pharmacy School for two consecutive years reflects the dedication of our faculty and the quality of education imparted. The rankings validate our unwavering dedication to excellence and inspire us to continue raising the bar in education and research. We remain steadfast in our mission to nurture future leaders and make a significant impact on society." IIT Madras ranks first in the overall category IIT Madras has maintained its status as the finest engineering school for eight years in a row and the top college overall for the fifth consecutive year, respectively.Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, of IIT Madras, said, “IIT Madras has yet again emerged as a topper in the Overall and Engineering categories of the National Institute Rankings Framework 2023 conducted by the Union Ministry of Education. This is just a reinforcement of our efforts to be recognised as a global leader in research education, and it gives me pride that we are on track with the Strategic Plan outlined for IIT Madras.” Kamakoti added, “All this has been made possible by the tireless efforts of the outstanding quality of faculty and students of the institute, staff who have contributed significantly to the institute's continuous progress, and unwavering support from our alumni across the world. I also thank the Ministry of Education, Government of India and the Tamil Nadu State Government who have reposed their trust in us. We look forward to being of service to the community and the nation.”

06 June,2023 12:20 PM IST | Mumbai | Dipti Singh
Representative image/iStock

Thane: Woman found dead in Bhiwandi lake

The body of an unidentified woman has been found in a lake in Bhiwandi. According to the police, some of the passers-by spotted the body in Varhala lake on Monday and later alerted the police. The local firemen and police rushed to the spot. The local fishermen fished out the body of the unidentified woman, clad in a green saree and believed to be around 50 years' old. The body has been sent to a government hospital for postmortem, an official from Bhiwandi town police station said. According to the police, they have registered a case of accidental death and a probe is on into it. (with inputs from PTI)

06 June,2023 11:10 AM IST | Thane | mid-day online correspondent
Sanjay Raut. File pic

They talked about Kavach safety device but it's not there: Sanjay Raut

Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray) leader Sanjay Raut on Monday hit out against the Narendra Modi-led Central government over the Balasore train tragedy, demanding the government to fix responsibility for the incident. He also criticized Central government for too much talk about the indigenously developed anti-collision system 'Kavach' without actually widely implementing it. "They (Central government) talked about 'Kavach' but it's not there. They only give false assurances," Sanjay Raut said. He pointed out the resignations of Madhavrao Scindia and Lal Bahadur Shastri from Railway ministerships when major train tragedies happened during their respective tenures. "Madhavrao Scindia and Lal Bahadur Shastri resigned (from ministership) on moral grounds. Is it not the responsibility of the Central government and the railway minister," he asked? Many opposition parties raised their criticism against the Modi government over the Balasore train tragedy. Many of the leaders also demanded the resignation of Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. Congress also questioned the Centre instituting a Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) enquiry on the incident. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), or any other law enforcement agency, cannot fix accountability for technical, institutional and political failures. He said, "consistently flawed decision making has made travelling by rail unsafe and has in turn compounded the problems of our people." "Unfortunately, the people in charge - your goodself and Railway Minister Ashwani Vaishnaw - do not want to admit that there are problems. The Railway Minister claims to have already found a root cause, but yet has requested the CBI to investigate. The CBI is meant to investigate crimes, not railway accidents. The CBI, or any other law enforcement agency, cannot fix accountability for technical, institutional and political failures. In addition, they lack the technical expertise in railway safety, signalling, and maintenance practices," read the letter from Kharge.  This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

06 June,2023 09:00 AM IST | Mumbai | ANI
An passenger who was on the Coromandel Express is taken to Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital from Chennai on June 4. Pic/PTI

Officer red-flagged dangers of interlocking system errors in February

An error similar to that which happened in the case of the Odisha train disaster occurred in February 2023, prompting a senior railway official to raise concerns about the failure of the interlocking system. The official, Hari Shankar Verma, principal chief operations manager, South Western Railway, also highlighted the need for safety measures to be taken in a four-page letter, a copy of which is with mid-day. Terming the incident, which happened at Hosadurga in Karnataka with the Sampark Kranti Express on February 8, 2023, serious and unusual, Verma said that the point was set to the down main line (wrong line), when the train was supposed to pass through the up main line. It was the train driver in this case who was alert and stopped the train in time, averting a major disaster. The accident involving the Coromandel Express on Saturday also faced a similar situation as the signal was set for the mainline but the train entered the loop line, which led to the mishap. The driver had no response time since the train was travelling at a speed of 128 kmph. The letter gives a detailed timeline of how everything unfolded and states that the Sampark Kranti incident indicates that there are serious flaws in the system where the route of dispatch gets altered after a train starts on signals with the correct appearance of the route in the signal maintainer’s panel. He said that action may be initiated, and corrective steps must be taken. The letter was also shared by the Congress during its press briefing on the Coromandel Express accident and leaders asked why the Railways had ignored it in the first place. Rail Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has stated that an interlocking failure was the cause of the Odisha train crash.

06 June,2023 07:56 AM IST | Mumbai | Rajendra B. Aklekar
The 2-cm fishbone that pierced through Viraf’s tongue and reached his throat

Mumbai: 70-year-old man gets tongue-tied by fishbone

Viraf Sorabhjee, 70, a retired customer service expert, underwent a complicated surgery at Nanavati Max Super Specialty Hospital on May 25 after experiencing three weeks of agony and travelling 250 km with a 2-cm fishbone that pierced through his tongue and reached his throat. Sorabhjee, who spends his retirement travelling between Canada, Navsari, and Mumbai, has a fondness for fish dishes. Recounting his ordeal, he said, “Being a fish-lover and having spent eight months in Canada without fried fish, I didn't hesitate when it was served. I immediately regretted eating the large piece of fish all at once, as it was full of sharp thorns that injured my mouth, gums, and tongue. While attempting to remove the last stubbornly lodged fishbone, it broke and a piece of it pierced my tongue.” The incident occurred on May 8, and due to the fishbone being inside his tongue, he suffered pain and decided to travel from Navsari to Mumbai. He arrived at Nanavati on May 22. Dr Sanjay Helale, a consultant ENT surgeon at Nanavati, stated, “The fishbone had pierced the tongue, and the initial CT scan located it near the base of the tongue. However, during the surgery, we were surprised to find that the fishbone was not at the indicated site. We promptly used intraoperative ultrasonography to relocate the fishbone, which had migrated deeper into the neck.” Viraf Sorabhjee with surgeon Dr Sanjay Helale after successful surgery He further added, “Remarkably, the fishbone pierced the tongue and moved to the base of the tongue within three weeks, but in just three days, it travelled an equal distance deeper into the neck. If there had been any further delay, locating it would have been impossible, and it could have caused damage to internal organs or veins.” On May 25, he underwent surgery to remove the fishbone. Following the successful procedure, Sorabhjee is recovering well and eagerly looking forward to enjoying his beloved fish dishes once again. His experience serves as a cautionary tale for others to exercise caution when consuming unfamiliar fish. He advised, “Be cautious and avoid eating unknown fish altogether.”

06 June,2023 07:55 AM IST | Mumbai | Suraj Pandey
Gulmohar Society in Vikhroli, where both the victims lived

Mumbai: Mother and son found dead in Vikhroli flat

A mother and son were found dead in a flat on Sunday evening in Vikhroli’s Kannamwar Nagar area. The mother was found dead on the bed, while the son was found hanging from the ceiling fan. The incident came to light when the husband of the woman went to visit them on Sunday evening. Upon receiving no response from his wife or son, he hurriedly went to the police station, and the door was subsequently broken to discover the deaths. The Vikhroli police have filed an Accidental Death Report (ADR) in connection with the incident. Uma Tawde, aged 54, was residing in Kannamwar Nagar’s Gulmohar Society with her 22-year-old son, Abhishek. On Sunday, around 5:30 pm, Sanjay Tawde, husband of Uma, went to the flat. After repeatedly knocking on the door without any response, he became alarmed and rushed to the Vikhroli police station to inform them of the situation. The police informed the fire brigade officials, who promptly arrived at the building. Once it was confirmed that the door was closed, the fire brigade broke it open. The apartment door which was broken down by the fire brigade “When we entered the room, there was a single bed on which Uma was lying, with white froth around her mouth. Upon searching the flat, we found Abhishek hanging from the ceiling fan,” said a police officer from Vikhroli police station. “Both were rushed to Rajawadi hospital, where the doctors pronounced them dead on arrival,” the officer added. The post-mortem, conducted on Monday, revealed that Abhishek died of asphyxia, while the cause of death of his mother is still pending. However, the bodies were partially decomposed, suggesting that the deaths occurred 24 to 48 hours ago. The doctors have preserved viscera samples to determine the exact cause of death. Based on preliminary investigations, Uma worked as a compounder at a nearby clinic, while Abhishek rarely left the flat and was seldom seen by his neighbours. “The husband resides in Dharavi and used to visit his wife and son frequently. The reason why they were living separately is still unknown. Neighbours stated that they never heard any arguments or disturbances from the Tawde’s flat. We have filed an Accidental Death Report (ADR) in connection with the incident, and the process of recording statements is ongoing,” said Shubhda Chavhan, senior inspector of Vikhroli police station. “The husband has not expressed any suspicion regarding the incident,” she added.

06 June,2023 07:48 AM IST | Mumbai | Anurag Kamble
In the third incident, the Navghar police registered a case and initiated an investigation into the matter. Representation pic

Three separate accidents claim three lives on EEH

Three individuals lost their lives in separate accidents on the Eastern Express Highway on Sunday. In the first incident, an unidentified 30-year-old drug addict, who had consumed drugs and fallen asleep beneath a lorry, was fatally crushed when the driver attempted to drive away. The incident took place under the Nalanda footbridge in Ghatkopar. The man’s identity is yet to be established. The lorry driver, Mohammad Hussain Shaikh, 30, was arrested by the police for negligent driving. In the second incident, 30-year-old Amiruddin Qureshi, hailing from Thane, lost his life under the same Nalanda footbridge on the southbound side. According to a police officer, Qureshi was riding his bike on Sunday morning around 5 am, heading towards Malad to meet his sister. The accused, 25-year-old Chinmay Dilip Shinde, was speeding on his Honda CBR bike and lost control while attempting to overtake it. Shinde’s bike handle got entangled with Qureshi’s bike, resulting in Qureshi’s fall and collision with a roadside corner. Despite being rushed to Rajawadi Hospital, Qureshi was pronounced dead upon arrival. In the third incident, the Navghar police registered a hit-and-run case involving an unknown dumper driver who fatally struck 26-year-old auto-rickshaw driver Pradeep Motiram Ghagre. Ghagre also worked as a cleaner on the Mulund stretch road opposite Sardar Tara Singh Talao. Local residents promptly informed the police, who arrived at the spot and rushed Ghagre to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The Navghar police registered a case and initiated an investigation into the matter. 3No. of accidents on the EEH

06 June,2023 07:48 AM IST | Mumbai | Shirish Vaktania
The stickers of traffic department on pillars of Metro Line 7, between Jogeshwari and Andheri, on Monday

Mumbai: Posters emerge on Metro 6 now, as babus turn a blind eye

Nearly two weeks have gone by since mid-day’s report on violations of the Metro Railways Act and posters of ruling political parties’ leaders remain intact on pillars of lines 7 and 2A. Seemingly encouraged by the authorities turning a blind eye to this illegal activity, political workers have erected banners at the under-construction line 6 near Powai and IIT Bombay signal. According to the Metro Railways Act of 2002, putting up posters of any activity involving defacing of Metro properties is an offence and is punishable with a six-month imprisonment or a fine of Rs 1,000. On May 23, mid-day reported about the violations along the Andheri to Dahisar Metro Line 7 and Dahisar D N Nagar Metro Line 2A. Many pillars on both lines have been defaced with posters welcoming Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis as well as some non-political ones. This paper’s report evoked sharp criticism from citizens, who took to Twitter to condemn the politicians for the illegal act. Yet, the Maha Mumbai Metro Operation Corporation Limited (MMMOCL) has failed to take action. Its inaction is even more evident along the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR). During a ride down the road on Monday, mid-day found many political and advertising stickers on the pillars of under-construction Metro Line 6—Swami Samarth Nagar to Vikroli—between Gandhi Nagar Junction and Powai. The Metro Line 6 pillars also had posters with the logo of the Mumbai Traffic Department and a message from Ashwin Malik Meshram Foundation, urging motorists to adhere to speed limits at all times. These were also seen on the pillars of lines 7 and 2A. RTI activist Anil Galgali said such activities are a hindrance to the work that is underway to de-clutter the city. “The Metro administration should take immediate action and file a police case. They should remove the unauthorised posters and banners; send a notice to the person concerned and recover damages. The actions are in direct violation of Bombay High Court order," he added.

06 June,2023 07:44 AM IST | Mumbai | Ranjeet Jadhav
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