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Friday, December 30, 2016

writingonblog uncensored: Passport rules relaxed

writingonblog uncensored: Passport rules relaxed: Chennai: If you don’t have a date of  birth certificate to be  submitted as proof to get  your passport. Don’t worry.  You still have ...

Passport rules relaxed

If you don’t have a date of birth certificate to be submitted as proof to get your passport. Don’t worry. You still have other options. 

Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Regional Passport Officer P K Ashok Babu said the Ministry of External Affairs have relaxed passport rules providing seven more options other than the birth certificate issued by Registrar of Births and deaths or the Municipal corporation or any other prescribed authority.

Now you can provide transfer certificate, school leaving certificate or matriculation certificate issued by school last attended of a recognised educational board containing the date of birth.

You could also provide PAN card, Aadhaar card or copy of the extract of service record (for government servants) or pay pension order (retired government servants) duly attested by officer-in-charge of administration of concerned department.

Even driving licence, election photo identity card, policy bond issued by Public Life Insurance Corporation or companies having the Date of Birth of the holder of insurance policy.

The rules of seeking both parents name has been done away with making it simple for single parents to apply for passport. Similarly, the annexes prescribed in passport Rule, 1980 has been brought down to nine from 15. Even divorcees or separated husband or wife need not require to provide divorce decree.

Even children not born out of wedlock, the applicant for passport of such children should submit only Annexure G while submitting passport application.

Government servants, who are not able to obtain No-Objection Certificate from their concerned employer and intend to get passport on urgent basis can get it by submitting self-declaration in Annexure-N that he or she has given intimation letter to employer.

Even sadhus and sanyasis can obtain passport with the name of their spiritual guru mentioned in passport application in lieu of biological parents names subject to their providing of public document such as election photo identity card or others where in name of Guru has been recorded.

Full-fledged passport seva kendra in Puducherry

A full fledged Passport Seva Kendra in Puducherry will begin to operate from January 2, 2017 resulting in faster processing of applications, according to region passport officer P K Ashok Babu.

writingonblog uncensored: Former TN Chief secy’s son being quizzed by Incom...

writingonblog uncensored: Former TN Chief secy’s son being quizzed by Incom...:  Chennai: Vivek Pappisetti, the son of  former Tamil Nadu chief  secretary P Rama Mohana Rao,  was interrogated by Income  Tax officials...

Former TN Chief secy’s son being quizzed by Income Tax

Vivek Pappisetti, the son of former Tamil Nadu chief secretary P Rama Mohana Rao, was interrogated by Income Tax officials late on Friday.

He was summoned a week ago by Income Tax department officials after they conducted raids at his as well as his father’s premises on December 21.

Vivek, who looked calm, alighted from his car and entered the Director General Income Tax (Investigations) building at around 3.45pm.

Dressed in a white shirt and carrying a black colour bag, Vivek evaded queries from waiting media as he walked into the entrance.  

Income Tax souces said that Vivek has been evading the Income Tax department summons after his house in Tiruvanmiyur was raided. 

Initially, Vivek evaded the summons on Friday and sought a day or two as his wife is pregnant. He was prompt in messaging the income Tax. But since Monday, he has been evasive.

This has resulted in Income Tax department planning to initiate action against him.

To a query whether Vivek will be arrested by the Income tax department, the source said that they don;t have powers to arrest Vivek.

Vivek is being interrogated for his links with sand mining baron Shekar Reddy who is currently in judicial custody

Thursday, December 29, 2016

writingonblog uncensored: Did former TN Chief secy lie about Income Tax cond...

writingonblog uncensored: Did former TN Chief secy lie about Income Tax cond...: Chennai: Did former Tamil Nadu chief secretary P Rama Mohana Rao lie that his son was taken at gunpoint from Shree Ramachandra Medical...

Did former TN Chief secy lie about Income Tax conducting raids at gunpoint?

Did former Tamil Nadu chief secretary P Rama Mohana Rao lie that his son was taken at gunpoint from Shree Ramachandra Medical University?

A top Income tax department official told Express that Rao’s son Vivek Pappisetti was never threatened by the Central Reserve Police Force as made out by Rao during the Press conference. On the contrary, it was Rao’s wife who asked him to open the house at Rajaji Nagar in Tiruanmiyur as Income Tax sleuths were waiting outside his premises since 5.30am.

“Rao’s son opened the premises at around 8.30am only,” said the top official stating that such a disciplined force won’t stoop to such low level as claimed by Rao. “We never went near the hospital at all,” said the official.

Contrary to Rao’s outburst that CRPF personnel were posted at his premises when a search warrant was issued on his son’s name at 5.30am, the official said that the CRPF arrived at the scene only by 11.30am. Secondly, the search warrant had the address of the house although it was in his son’s name. “Thus, we had the powers to search the house for incriminating documents and he also was courteous enough to allow us in,” the Income Tax official said.

“We requisitioned CRPF for our safety in case we are attacked by mob if we come across some substantial evidence. There was strict instruction that they should not enter inside the premises. They came only at 11.30am from Avadi. On their arrival, they were divided into two teams and posted to other destination for the safety of assessment officers,” the Income Tax department official said.

To a query on raid being termed extra-constitutional since the office of chief secretary was raided, he said that Chief secretary is just a bureaucrat. “He is first among equals. We allowed him to use his mobile phone. He summoned his personal secretary Shekar and drawer keys were given to collect the mobile phone which he said are being kept in the drawer in his chamber in secretariat. The loose sheets were collected as they had incriminating evidence,” said the official. 

“We never collected anything and even Rao corroborated it. Where is the question of taking in other documents when we weren’t given keys. The search was only targeted towards the office drawer,” he said

writingonblog uncensored: Former TN chief Secy’s son ignoring Income Tax su...

writingonblog uncensored: Former TN chief Secy’s son ignoring Income Tax su...: Chennai: Former Tamil Nadu Chief  secretary’s son Vivek  Pappisetti is ignoring the  summons issued by Income Tax  department to repor...

Former TN chief Secy’s son ignoring Income Tax summons

Former Tamil Nadu Chief secretary’s son Vivek Pappisetti is ignoring the summons issued by Income Tax department to report at the office even as officials are looking at other alternatives.

Vivek, whose house in Tiruvanmiyur was raided along with his father’s on December 21, was summoned by Income Tax department to appear on Friday at the Director generakl of income Tax (Investigations) office.

Interestingly, Rama Mohana Rao too had volunteered to come to the department on Friday. “We told him that his presence is not required. He will be called only when required,” sources said.

“We are poring through the documents seized. We will summon him as and when required,” sources told Express.

However, Vivek expressed his inability to report on Friday as he is attending to his wife who is pregnant. “Vivek assured that he will report to the office on Saturday,” said the official.

“We waited for him him on Saturday and messaged him. He said he will visit the department on Monday,” said the official.

“Now for the last two days, he is ignoring our messages and not picking up calls,” the official added.

To a query on whether they are planning to initiate any action in this regard, Income Tax department sources said that they are looking into the issue

writingonblog uncensored: ED arrests two money launderers for supplying cas...

writingonblog uncensored: ED arrests two money launderers for supplying cas...: Chennai: Enforcement Directorate,  Chennai, arrested two money  launderers and seized Rs 10  crore worth old currencies  and 6.5kg of...

ED arrests two money launderers for supplying cash to Shekar Reddy

Enforcement Directorate, Chennai, arrested two money launderers and seized Rs 10 crore worth old currencies and 6.5kg of gold after chasing the cash trail of sand mining baron J Shekar Reddy, who has been booked by Central Bureau of Investigation in the seizure of Rs 34 crore new currency notes from his premises.

Joint director of Enforcement Directorate K S V V Prasad said that Mahavir Hirani and Ashok Jain were involved in exchange of old notes to new currency notes of about Rs 6 crore to J Shekar Reddy.

Investigations revealed that the duo had links with Kolkata-based businessman Paras Mal Lodha, who is arrested for converting Rs. 25 crore of demonetised notes into new currency. 

“Their link to Shekar Reddy was corroborated through Lodha and both Mahavir and Ashok helped Reddy obtain Rs 6 to Rs 7 crore new currency in exchange of rs 10 crore demonetised cash,” said Rao.

He said the search of the premises of Ashok M Jain resulted in seizure of Rs 10 crore of old currencies and 6.5kg of gold.

Further verification revealed that Mahavir and Ashok were involved in exchange of old currencies to new currencies on commission basis.

The duo are arrested under Prevention of Money laundering Act and are remanded to judicial custody till January 11, 2017.  

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

writingonblog uncensored: After IT raids, Rao strikes back; questions his re...

writingonblog uncensored: After IT raids, Rao strikes back; questions his re...: Chennai: Stung by Income Tax raids  that resulted in his removal  from the post of Chief  Secretary, P Rama Mohana Rao  targeted the s...

After IT raids, Rao strikes back; questions his removal from chief secretary post

Stung by Income Tax raids that resulted in his removal from the post of Chief Secretary, P Rama Mohana Rao targeted the state for not serving him the transfer order and revealed he was kept under house arrest by Central Reserve Police Force for 26 hours as Income tax raided his premises a week ago without a search warrant.

Waving the Income Tax documents, he walked down the stairs of his home through a iron gate that lead to the parking slot where in a table was placed with more than two dozen of mikes. 

Amidst the noisy Television media personnel, Rao began on political note taking everyone by surprise and even had a slip of tongue while addressing Mamta Banerjee as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. “I Thank Mamta Banerjee, Chief minister of Bengal, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, AIADMK spokesperson ...,” he said as he let out some names of leaders who were opposing Narendra Modi government.

Then came the details of the raid and the two panchnama filed by Income tax department. “The CRPF served me with a search warrant at 5.30am. My name was not there and my son never stays here after he completed his studies in Microsoft nine years ago. I was present with my daughter, her daughter and wife,” revealed Rao while stating how Income Tax searched his house without a warrant and kept him under house arrest for 26 hours.

His anger over his removal from the post of chief secretary was clear when he said he was not served the transfer order. “I am still the chief secretary appointed by Puratchi Thalaivi (J Jayalalithaa). The present chief secretary may be made the chief secretary in-charge,” he said. 

He also reasoned that why did the income tax department officials go to Chief Secretary office in secretariat when the search warrant was against Vivek Pappisetti. 

“Before carrying raid they should have informed home secretary or called the chief minister. The files in the chief secretary’s office include secrets of various chief ministers. Their decisions. Their orders, confidential reports and criminal cases filed against ministers and IAS and IPS officers. Besides, they could find my MRC Club membership. They also found some loose sheets. Many people give various representations that are never acted upon,” said Rao.
It is the State government elected by the people of Tamil Nadu. What business does the CRPF have in the chief secretary's chamber? Did they get the permission of Chief Minister before barging into Chief Secretary’s office,” he added.

Recalling his link with former Chief minister J Jayalalithaa, he said he was trained by her since he was a collector of Chengalpet in 1994. “I have been serving madam and following her instructions. What they wanted is to attack chief secretary. Will it end at these,” he said.

He also said that his son, who was visiting his pregnant daughter-in-law, was taken out from Shree Ramachandra Medical University under gunpoint.

“I may be a hurdle to many people. I am being targeted and my life is in danger,” he said while denying links with sand mining baron Shekar Reddy.

“I have nothing to do with Shekar Reddy. He has nothing to do with state government,” he said while rejecting the claims that he made phone calls to him. “Hundreds of people call me. I have hundreds of friends ...My son has no business with the government. I am a simple man,” he added

Saturday, December 24, 2016

​Income tax grills Amalanathan

After conducting raids during the last 48 hours, Income Tax department on Friday began investigation at their premises by summoning those whose premises were raided for tax evasion as well as links with sand mining baron Shekar Reddy.

Speculation was rife that former chief secretary P Rama Mohana Rao’s son Vivek along with advocate Amalanathan were summoned for investigation after raids were conducted on their premises by Income Tax sleuths.

Amalanathan arrived around 2pm and sources said that he was grilled for nearly two hours. No information was provided on the tax evasion by Amalanathan by Income tax sources.

After the investigation got over, Amalanathan evaded reporters, who were waiting in front of the office of Director General of Investigation, Income Tax.

The wait for Vivek, who was reported to have been summoned by Income Tax department, proved futile for reporters and cameramen as he did not appear till evening. No details were provided by Income Tax sources.

Meanwhile, Enforcement Directorate is still awaiting the preliminary report from income Tax department on the raids being conducted on 20 places during the last two days.

“We have yet to get the report,” said Enforcement Directorate sources. The report is crucial as it could pave way for Enforcement directorate to join the investigation which could even result in arrests.

Friday, December 23, 2016

writingonblog uncensored: Coastguard women fly into history

writingonblog uncensored: Coastguard women fly into history: Chennai: An all women Coastguard crew  flew into history after they  became the first in the  entire East Coast to be  deployed in a f...

Coastguard women fly into history

An all women Coastguard crew flew into history after they became the first in the entire East Coast to be deployed in a fixed wing Dornier aircraft to undertake maritime patrolling and to check illegal activities at seas, especially near international maritime boundary line.

Coastguard said that it is a first-of-its-kind on eastern coast of India. The crew included pilots --- Deputy commandants Akshi and Sunita, Priyanka Tyagi (observer) from 744 sqn (Coast Guard). 

The women officers have been continuously trained for real time operations which include pollution response, maritime reconnaissance, search and rescue, anti-piracy and anti-poaching missions, coast guard said.

Akshi joined indian coast guard air station Chennai in June 2014 and has 1700 hours of flying experience.    Tyagi, who became part of coast guard station Chennai on February 14, is having 1500 hours of flying experience. Sunita joined the squadron on August 11 and is having 1200 hours of experience. She has been a role model for several women in terms of achievement and contributions to the field of maritime flying.  

writingonblog uncensored: ED attaches property worth Rs 43 cr of Granite mi...

writingonblog uncensored: ED attaches property worth Rs 43 cr of Granite mi...: Chennai: Enforcement Directorate in Chennai, which is probing the illegal granite mining in the state, has attached 31 immovable prope...

ED attaches property worth Rs 43 cr of Granite mining duo

Enforcement Directorate in Chennai, which is probing the illegal granite mining in the state, has attached 31 immovable properties having a market value of over Rs 43 Crore and 37 fixed deposits to the tune of Rs.1.52 Crore under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).
Enforcement Directorate joint director K S V V Prasad said that granite mining lessees Sankaranarayanan and PKM Selvam, who were running two firms M S Granites and Sri Aiswariya Rock Export to illegally quarry multi-colour granite stones from non-lease hold lands, invested the money earned through illegal granite mining in these properties.
Probing the financial trail as per First Information Report and Chargesheet registered by Madurai police, ED investigation revealed that the duo forged and fabricated documents for transporting illegally acquired granite blocks so as to cheat the statutory authorities and to camouflage illegally earned income. 
Investigation revealed the said firms are selling the illegally mined granite blocks in the international and domestic market in excess of the declared quantity and realised the sale proceeds.
The same were re-invested in acquisition of the immovable properties and capital goods. “The proceeds of crime were integrated and projected as money acquired through legitimate business,” said Prasad. 
“ED has found that the duo utilizing the crime proceeds invested in 31 immovable properties having a market value of over Rs.43 Crores and in 37 Fixed Deposits to the tune of Rs.1.52 Crores,” he added.
It is learnt that Selvam and Sankaranarayanan had obtained permission on February 16, 2006 to quarry multi-coloured granite for 20 years from 1.20.5 hectares in Kalikappan and Poolangulam villages near Madurai.

However, they illegally quarried granite blocks by using explosive substances, damaged public properties, endangered the lives of human beings and livestock by rendering deep pits waterlogged and quarrying illegally and caused loss to the government

writingonblog uncensored: All quite at former chief secy’s residence as IT r...

writingonblog uncensored: All quite at former chief secy’s residence as IT r...: Chennai: The house on Y Block street  near Aiyappan temple in Anna  Nagar wore a desolate look  with a lone policewoman  standing with a...

All quite at former chief secy’s residence as IT raids end

The house on Y Block street near Aiyappan temple in Anna Nagar wore a desolate look with a lone policewoman standing with a walky-talky at the entrance of the street with barricade.

“There has been some activity inside,” confided a neighbour as few reporters and camera crew waited outside to catch a glimpse of the suspended chief secretary P Rama Mohan Rao or the income tax officials who have been investigating the sand mining links of Rao.

Interestingly, during the day, beacon on top of the car of former chief secretary was removed immediately after his successor was named.  

“We have finished the raids at his house,” said a income tax source. Similarly, raids in other places have also ended.

Unlike the raids which were carried out with the help of Central Reserve Police Force on Wednesday, the current raids were being carried out with the help of state policemen.

“The raids have been restricted to four or five places today ,” Income Tax sources said as rumours have been gaining ground of Rs 200 crore being seized from an advocate house in Valsaravakkam.

“We have not seized any amount till now,” said sources. It is learnt that during the raids conducted in last two days only Rs 30 lakh of currencies and 2 kg of gold was seized from Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh.

Meanwhile, Enforcement Directorate (ED) said they will enter the investigation against the former chief secretary based on the preliminary report which the income tax department is likely to file tomorrow.

Till now we are not part of the investigations, an ED said. “Income Tax evasion aloncan't be called a criminal offence. Only if the charges are serious in nature and case is made out by CBI or even the state law enforcement agencies then Enforcement Directorate will enter the investigation," sources added

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Chief secretary removed from post as raids continue for the second day


Raids by Income Tax department continued for the second day to probe bureaucrat P Rama Mohan Rao's alleged links with sand mining baron and Tirumala Tirupati Devasthana member Shekar Reddy as state government removed him from the office and appointed Girija Vaidyanathan as new chief secretary of Tamil Nadu.

Meanwhile, CBI arrested Shekar Reddy and his associate K Srinivasulu besides his partners in sand mining Rathinam and Ramachandran.

Rama Mohan Rao, who is set to retire in September 2017, is being detained and quizzed at his residence in Anna Nagar. Similarly, Income Tax officials have quizzed officials of State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority. It is learnt that the officials have confessed their links with sand mining baron.

All eyes will also on the report filed by Income Tax department which could decide the fate of Rama Mohana Rao.

Enforcement Directorate sources said that only after the report by Income Tax department is filed then it will be decided on the nature of criminal charges and whether it will entail investigation by Central government enforcement agencies. Meanwhile, state government has removed P Rama Mohana Rao from the post of Chief secretary following the investigation by income tax department.

Income Tax evasion can't be called a criminal offence. "Only if the charges are serious in nature and case is made out by CBI or event the state law enforcement agencies then Enforcement Directorate will enter the investigation," sources added.

Meanwhile, Income Tax department said that the report will be filed within two months. Currently, income tax is collecting evidence pertaining to tax evasion as Tamil Nadu chief secretary was grilled for the second day.

The case against Reddy gained pace with the seizure of Rs 130 crore of cash (Rs 34 crore in new currencies issued after demonetisation) and 177 kg of gold from his premises. He is believed to be close to politicians and bureaucrats. His firm JSR Infra Developers is the Class One Contractors for Tamil Nadu and is executing a variety of projects funded by World Bank and Asian Development Bank. It's clients include Public Works Department, state highways department, Tamil Nadu Road infrastructure Development Corporation and other government agencies.

Sources said the role of SEIAA, which gives licence for sand mining is also being probed as Income Tax has also conducted raids on the top office-bearers who have links with the sand baron.

The case had gained prominence after Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate have also been roped in to probe the link of banks in providing demonetised currency to Shekar Reddy. Already An Enforcement directorate official confirmed to Express that investigation is currently on against Reddy under Prevention of money laundering Act. It is learnt ED is also looking at the pattern of cash flow from the Central bank to sand mining baron by checking the serial numbers of the seized new currencies with RBI.

Sand mining in the state is allegedly controlled by people close to bureaucrats and state politicians. The sand mining baron is alleged to have brought sand from government mines which are the cheapest. The profit is maximised by under-reporting the quantum of sand taken from the mine. The sand is then sold to builders and others at a much higher rate, without any receipt. This not just increases the income, but also evasion of taxes that run to several crores every year.​​

writingonblog uncensored: DVAC likely to probe case against chief secretary

writingonblog uncensored: DVAC likely to probe case against chief secretary: Chennai: If the Income Tax proves  charges against Chief  Secretary P Rama Mohan Rao  over his collusion with the  sand mining baron ...

DVAC likely to probe case against chief secretary

If the Income Tax proves charges against Chief Secretary P Rama Mohan Rao over his collusion with the sand mining baron in evading taxes worth crores, the bigger question will be which law enforcing agency will initiate action against him?

As Income Tax department does not have powers to arrest the top state government official if evidence is unearthed against him, it seems it will be Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption which will initiate action against the official, say Income Tax sources.

Sources in Central Bureau of Investigation which is probing the link of banks in providing new currency notes to sand mining baron Shekar Reddy, said that they don’t have jurisdiction on initiating action against state government officials.

CBI has already arrested Shekar Reddy and his business partner Sreenivasulu and remanded them to judicial custody til January 3 after Rs 34 crore worth new denomination currencies were seized from. CBI souces said that Prem kumar, against whom First Information report was filed is being is being interrogated. 

Sources said that action could be initiated by Central Bureau of Investigation only if the case is transferred by state government to CBI or if High Court orders probe by CBI.

Sources told Express that it is unlikely that the state government would transfer the case to CBI. That would mean that any balanced action against bureaucrats’ link in the sand mining business won’t make any impact unless central agencies are involved, sources said.

It is learnt that directorate of vigilance and anti-corruption has to go by the manual while proceeding against All India Service official. As per DVAC manual, DVAC official has to seek the permission of three member committee which includes Chief secretary, vigilance commissioner and concerned secretary of the department to proceed against the All India Officer. 

Interestingly, Madras High Court recently gave a judgement that the DVAC could conduct inquiry into complaints, if cognisable offence has been made out, against All India Service Officers, Heads of Departments and Collectors, without simply forwarding it to the Chief Secretary for necessary action as per its manual. 

It would be interesting to note as to how the enquiry would be conducted as it is against the chief secretary himself. Will he be asked to quit his post, if Income Tax department makes a concrete case against him, sources wondered.

writingonblog uncensored: MRTS second Phase extension deadline revised to M...

writingonblog uncensored: MRTS second Phase extension deadline revised to M...: Chennai:  The deadline for  Phase II  exte nsion  of Mass Rapid Transit Sy stem (MRTS) from Velachey  to   St Thomas Mount.  has been ext...

MRTS second Phase extension deadline revised to March 2018

 The deadline for Phase II extension of Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) from Velachey to St Thomas Mount. has been extended to March 2018 as per revised plan.

The deadline has been revised as the project has been hit over payment of compensation to land owners under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. The earlier deadline was December 2016.

It is learnt that the state government issued Government Order on February 11, 2011 to acquire land under land acquisition Act 1894 for the formation of railway line between Velachery to St Thomas Mount under the Phase II extension project. 

The land price then was fixed at Rs 2272 per square feet and was sent to commissioner of land administration and the interim award was announced only on September 2014, when the new land acquisition Act came into being. 

This resulted in section of land owners approaching court which asked the government to follow Section 40 (3) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in the land acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013 and tender interim compensation to respective property owners.

Following the order, the government agreed to pay 80pc of interim compensation to land owners on December 2015 by adding the land value estimated by the land acquisition officer for passing interim award along with 100pc solution compensation towards structure and trees. 

As a result, the total compensation for acquisition of the land from Velachery to St Thomas Mount is worked out at Rs 8.62 crore. Sources said the consolidated value per square feet as per new award works out to Rs 4629 per square feet to Rs 5,094 per square feet which is higher than the earlier award being fixed.

The delay in passing the award is attributed to administrative reasons.

The proposed alignment and extension of Phase-II took place in the year 2008 and till now 3.7 km out of the 5 km stretch of MRTS line has been completed.

MRTS Phase II Extension
Total stretch: 5km
Target: March 2018
Work completed: 3.7km
Total Cost: 495.74 crore
Union govt share: 165.24 crore
TN share: 330.5 crore
TN already spent: Rs 330.50 crore
Cumulative expenditure (Oct 2016): Rs 369.26 crore