Mumbai News Highlights: Former Maharashtra minister Anil Deshmukh released from jail – The Indian Express

Maharashtra, Mumbai Highlights: Former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh walked out of the Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai on Wednesday. This comes after the Bombay High Court refused to extend its stay on an order granting him bail in a corruption case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). He had been in jail since November 2021 after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested him in an alleged money laundering case.
The Maharashtra Assembly passed the Lokayukta Bill, which brings the Chief Minister and the state Cabinet under the ambit of the anti-corruption ombudsman.
A special CBI court Special court extended the CBI custody of ex-ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon group founder Venugopal Dhoot till December 29. The court on Tuesday had permitted the three to have home-cooked food and medicines while in custody.
In other news, the Maharashtra Assembly and Legislative Council Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution expressing solidarity with those living in the contentious boundary region with Karnataka. The resolution, tabled by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, condemned the Karnataka administration for “oppressing and terrorising the Marathi population” and also for its “anti-Marathi stand in border areas.”
The rival Shiv Sena factions led by Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde came face to face at the party’s office at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) headquarters in south Mumbai on Wednesday evening.
Tensions prevailed for an hour on the premises till the police intervened.
The face-off took place after North Central Mumbai MP Rahul Shewale, former standing committee chairman Yashwant Jadhav and former corporator Sheetal Mhatre, all belonging to the Shinde-led Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena, entered the party office around 5 pm. Read more
Two international passengers were found Covid positive in a random sampling at the Mumbai today. Both the samples have been sent for genome sequencing.
Shinde faction leader Deepak Kesarkar said after a scuffle between the two Sena factions at the BMC headquarters that Uddhav-led side should realise they have lost majority. “Even in Gram Panchayat elections, they were in fifth position,” he said.
The rival Shiv Sena factions led by Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde came face to face at the party’s office at the BMC headquarters. Tensions prevailed for an hour on the premises till the police intervened.
The face-off took place after North Central Mumbai MP Rahul Shewale, former standing committee chairman Yashwant Jadhav and former corporator Sheetal Mhatre, all belonging to the Shinde-led Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena, entered the party office around 5 pm.
Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) faction’s former corporators including Ashish Chemburkar and Sachin Padwal objected to their presence, leading to heated exchanges, sources said.
Tension prevailed for nearly an hour with workers from both sides shouting slogans before the police stepped in and removed everyone from the office. Both factions claimed that there was no attempt by any side to stake claim to the party office, contrary to some reports. (PTI)
Speaking in the state Assembly on the Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute, CM Eknath Shinde said his government will do everything to prevent injustice towards Marathi-speaking people.
“Karnataka should not challenge us, we will not give up an inch of the land of 865 villages, including Belgaum, Nipani, Karwar, Bidar, Bhalki. For that, we will do whatever we want in a legal way. We will request the Supreme Court the Central government,” he said.
A 35-year-old woman and her four-year-old daughter died while her husband and their other daughter suffered serious injuries in an accident on the newly opened Samruddhi Expressway in the early hours of Wednesday, a police official said.
The family was returning after visiting a shrine when they met with the accident in Washim on the high-speed carriageway, he said.
Washim Superintendent of Police (SP) Bacchan Singh, citing preliminary investigation, said Joshi, who was at the wheel, might have dozed off. His car swerved to another lane before turning turtle. His wife and daughter died on the spot, he said. (PTI)

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To find out the reality of what transpired between the deceased Tunisha Sharma and Sheezan Khan, accused in Tunisha’s death case, the Waliv Police in Maharashtra has started to scan through the conversation between the two over social networking site WhatsApp.
According to the police, they have recovered the chat of around 250 to 300 pages from June to this December through which they are trying to know the real reason why the Alibaba – Dastaan-e-Kabul stars decided to part ways. (ANI)
As per the bill, prior approval of the Assembly has to be obtained and the motion has to be placed before the immediate session of the House before initiating any inquiry against the chief minister.
Such motion shall be passed by not less than two-thirds of the total members of the assembly, states the bill, which was tabled in the House on Monday.
Legislator Jayant Patil said in the Maharashtra Legislative Council that the Centre should immediately intervene into the border row between Maharashtra and Karnataka and declare the disputed area as a Union Territory.
Patil (from the Peasants and Workers Party of India) was speaking in the House during a discussion. His demand came a day after the Maharashtra legislature unanimously passed a resolution to “legally pursue” the inclusion of 865 Marathi-speaking villages in Karnataka into the western state.
A massive fire broke out in a wooden godown in Kurla area, which spread to 20 to 25 godowns on Wednesday.
Eight tenders of the fire brigade were engaged in extinguishing the fire. No casualties have been reported so far.

Express photo by Ganesh Shirsekar

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation demolished portions of six different sweet shops, including a franchise of the famous ‘MM Mithaiwala’ sweetshop, at Malad in the western suburbs, citing unauthorised alteration of properties.
The other two sweet shops demolished include an outlet of ‘Delhi Sweets’ and ‘Jalpan’ snacks. Read more
Former Maharashtra home minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Anil Deshmukh was on Wednesday released from Arthur Road jail, where he was lodged since November 2021 on allegations of corruption and money laundering. “There was no truth to the allegations made against me. I am thankful to the judiciary,” Deshmukh said after his release.
Here is a timeline of the events that led to Deshmukh’s arrest and the cases against him
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday asserted Mumbai belongs to the state which will not tolerate anyone’s claim over its capital and strongly condemned remarks made by some Karnataka leaders amid the raging boundary dispute between the two states.
Speaking in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, Fadnavis said the state’s feelings will be conveyed to the Karnataka government and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Raising the issue in the House, Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar (of Nationalist Congress Party) claimed Karnataka CM and ministers have been hurting Maharashtra’s pride by their remarks and the Maharashtra government’s response is not in the same coin. Read more
In an attempt to ensure that no untoward incident takes place in the city ahead of New Year’s Eve, the Mumbai traffic police will use breath analysers to detect drunk drivers from Thursday.
The police department stopped using breath analysers in March 2020 to ensure that Covid-19 does not spread among its personnel. Read more
After being received by senior party leaders, including Supriya Sule, Ajit Pawar and Jayant Patil, Deshmukh told reporters, “False allegations were levelled against me. Param Bir Singh had made an allegation of Rs. 100 crore corruption against me. However, he only told the court on affidavit that said allegations were based on hearsay and that he did not have any evidence on the same. Even the High Court in its order, has questioned the statement by Sachin Waze (dismissed police officer), who was close to Param Bir Singh. Waze has been arrested twice so far for murder charges and he has been suspended thrice. He has serious offences levelled against him. The High Court has observed that Waze’s witness can be relied upon and that allegations against me were without evidence. I also thank NCP chief Sharad Pawar and other colleagues who supported me throughout.”
Former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh, following his release from the Arthur Road jail, thanked the judiciary.
“There was no truth to the allegations made against me,” he said.
Following Anil Deshmukh’s release from jail, former minister and NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal said, “A capable representative of people and a senior leader like Deshmukh was kept in jail for over one year and no evidences were found against him. The country should reconsider draconian PMLA Act.”
Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar leave after appearing in a court in Mumbai on Saturday. (Express Photo by Ganesh Shirsekar)
Maharashtra recorded 15 new cases of coronavirus on Monday that raised the tally of infections to 81,36,526, an official from the state health department told news agency PTI. As per an official report, Mumbai circle recorded the highest number of six cases, followed by Pune with four, Nagpur with three and Nashik circle with two.
On Monday, Shinde had hit out at his predecessor Uddhav Thackeray, who demanded that the Marathi-speaking areas of Karnataka be declared as a Union Territory. “We do not need any lessons from others. We are standing steadfast with those living in the boundary region,” Shinde told reporters on Monday. Meanwhile, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday asserted the state government will fight for even an inch of land, amid the simmering boundary dispute with Karnataka.
Nisarga Yatri Sanstha, a Ratnagiri-based non-profit organisation, has been working for the last few years to find and preserve petroglyphs in Konkan region. (Photo: Nisargyatri)
The site proposed for a mega oil refinery in Barsu village of Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district is at the centre of a row over whether it might damage ancient rock carvings found in the area. Known as Ratnagiri oil refinery and petrochemical complex, the project is being developed by Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Limited.
The rock art, or petroglyphs, estimated to be 20,000 years old and classified as protected monuments by the state archaeology department and the Archaeological Survey of India, have been added to the tentative list of UNESCO’s world heritage sites. Read more.
Kumud Mishra, Divya Jagadale and Manav Kaul in the play Irani Cafe, written by Shiv Subrahmanyam.
To celebrate the work and life of Shiv Subrahmanyam, a four-day festival was rolled out at the Prithvi Theatre by his theatre group Playtrix Players turning the spotlight on his work as an actor, writer and director.
The festival opened last week with the release of ‘Irani Cafe & Other Plays’ (published by Dhauli Books), a collection of plays written by Subrahmanyam. While Subrahmanyam has written around nine plays, this collection has three of his full-length plays — Irani Cafe, Snapshots from an Album and Clogged Arteries. Read more.
A special CBI court sent former ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and chairman of Videocon group Venugopal Dhoot to custody till December 28. The CBI Monday arrested Dhoot in connection with alleged cheating and irregularities in loans sanctioned by ICICI Bank to Videocon Group companies, officials said. On Friday, the CBI arrested the Kochhars for allegedly cheating the bank of Rs 1,730 crore until March 2012.
As the resolution over the Maharashtra-Karnataka border row was delayed in the Assembly on Monday, Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray demanded that the Centre declare the disputed border area as a Union Territory. “We don’t want a single inch of Karnataka’s land but we want our land back… We should send a demand to the Centre to declare the Karnataka-occupied-Maharashtra a union territory.” While the Maharashtra government was set to bring a resolution, similar to the one recently passed by the Karnataka Assembly, reiterating its stance on the dispute, on Monday, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the resolution has been delayed because CM Eknath Shinde had to go to Delhi.
In other news, Mumbai recorded five fresh Covid-19 cases on Monday, a government health bulletin showed. With 1,270 tests conducted in the past 24 hours, the Test Positivity Rate (TPR) stood at 0.39%. At present, there are 4,441 Covid-19 beds in Mumbai, out of which 10 are occupied. At present there are 49 active Covid-19 patients in Mumbai and the recovery rate of Mumbai stands at 98.3%.

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