Journalist gets bail in espionage case
The Delhi high court on Friday granted bail to freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering probe linked to alleged supply of sensitive information to Chinese intelligence officers.
ED arrested Sharma under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on July 1, 2021.
The ED case is based on a Delhi Police FIR filed under the Official Secrets Act and various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against Sharma in 2020. The journalist was arrested by the special cell of the Delhi Police on September 14, 2020 and charged with passing on information about the Indian Army’s deployment and the country’s border strategy to Chinese intelligence officers. He was granted bail by the Delhi High Court in the case in December 2020.
Justice Mukta Gupta, while granting bail, rejected the arguments of the ED counsel that Sharma has links with “Chinese handlers” and intelligence agencies and is a “serious flight risk”. The court said the accused is an Indian citizen and his wife is also an Indian, and has roots in society.
The court also asked Sharma to furnish a personal bond of ₹5 lakh with two sureties of the same amount. It asked the accused to surrender his passport and not leave the country without the permission of the court.
A two-day international conference on “fulfilling the vision of National Education Policy-2020” got under way here on Friday. English and Foreign Languages University, in collaboration with Vidya Bharati Uchcha Shiksha Sansthan and Samvit Research Foundation, has organised the event. In Prof Kapoor's keynote address, former pro-vice-chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Prof Kapil Kapoor said the Indian value system lays more emphasis on duties than rights. The Indian civilization, according to him, is knowledge centric.
Allahabad University and all its constituent colleges will revert to their five-days-a-week working from the new session that will start from July 7. Registrar of the central university Prof NK Shukla has issued a notification in this regard to bring an end to the system of six-days-a-week working introduced to make up for the lost time in academics and research owing to pandemic when the university and its colleges reopened after lockdowns on February 10 earlier this year. “Following the decision to resume five-days-a-week working, now the varsity and colleges would remain closed on Saturdays also,” said public relations officer, AU, Prof Jaya Kapoor confirming the decision of the university administration. However, various departments, centres and laboratories of universities and colleges will remain open for research works, she added.
The Uttarakhand government on Friday said a drafting committee had been formed to implement the Uniform Civil Code in the hill state. UCC essentially refers to a common set of laws governing personal matters such as marriage, divorce, adoption, inheritance and succession for all citizens, irrespective of religion. Currently, different laws regulate these aspects for adherents of different religions and a UCC is meant to do away with these personal laws.
At least one person was killed and two others injured after a lanter of an under-construction building collapsed at Firni Road in west Delhi's Mundka on Friday. The incident took place exactly two weeks after a fire broke out in a building in the Mundka area, resulting in 27 deaths while as many as 40 people were injured. (This is a developing story, more details will be added soon)
The National Human Rights Commission on Friday said it had taken suo motu cognizance of media reports about four children in Maharashtra's Nagpur testing positive for HIV with of them even dying following blood transfusion for treatment of Thalassemia. The rights panel said it had sought a report from the government of Maharashtra within six weeks. The NHRC said if the media reports were true, the incident amounted to violation of human rights.