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Air force to mount BrahMos missile on Sukhoi-30 fighter jets

Mumbai, The Indian Air Force has chosen its frontline Sukhoi-30 fighter jets to mount BrahMos missiles the first test launch of which will be carried out by 2014-end. "We have chosen Sukhoi-30, a deep penetration aircraft being made at Nashik," BrahMos Aerospace managing director and chief executive A S Pillai said on Thursday. The first production order of 40 sets of BrahMos missile air-frame assemblies, a key component of the projectile, was handed over to BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited (BAPL). The components were manufactured at Godrej and Boyce Manufacturing Co Ltd in Vikhroli. Godrej said their association with BAPL dates back to August 2000. "The second serial production order of another 100 sets has also been awarded to Godrej Aerospace. We have been committed to the cause of indigenous manufacturing of advanced weapon systems," said Jamshyd N Godrej, CMD of Godrej and Boyce. "We have crossed another milestone," Pillai ...
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Pakistan stalls release of 'Indian' fisherman

Mumbai, The Pakistan government has declined to release one of the 338 Indian prisoners who will be freed from Karachi jail Friday. In a last-minute announcement, the government claimed that the Indian authorities had not confirmed the nationality of fisherman Manoj Kumar Warma, son of Pannalal. "All other prisoners as per the list will be released according to schedule," said Rizwanullah Jamil, a representative of the Legal Aid Office in Pakistan who learnt of the development. The 338 prisoners, among them eight children, are mostly fishermen. They will be released from Karachi's Malir jail Friday and will cross over into India through the Wagah border ...
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Sushilkumar Shinde doing fine, to be discharged from Mumbai hospital in three days

Mumbai, Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde, operated upon for a lung ailment at a Mumbai hospital would be discharged in three days, his daughter said on Friday. "He is doing perfectly fine and is getting discharged in three days," Praniti Shinde, who is also Congress MLA from Solapur, said. Shinde, 72, underwent the surgery at Mumbai's Breach Candy hospital on August 4. He was operated upon for a small growth in the lung. The senior minister is expected to resume his normal activities shortly as the surgery was a minor ...
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Shiv Sena, MNS target Shobhaa De over Tweet

Mumbai, The Shiv Sena and the MNS on Wednesday targeted writer and socialite Shobhaa De for saying on Twitter, in the wake of the decision on Telangana, that 'Mumbai has always fancied itself as an independent entity.' Even as De clarified that her remarks had been misinterpreted and that she was not asking for the separation of Mumbai from Maharashtra, MNS chief Raj Thackeray made personal remarks against her, and Shiv Sena MP and spokesperson Sanjay Raut demanded a police case be registered against the writer. The intemperate comments of Sena and MNS leaders, which this newspaper has chosen not to publish in view of their offensive nature, came immediately after De tweeted, "Maharashtra and Mumbai??? Why not? Mumbai has always fancied itself as an independent entity, anyway. This game has countless possibilities." The tasteless and threatening reaction of the two Senas came as an attack on the right of citizens to express their opinion. Debate is an integral part of any democratic society, and there has long been a demand that Mumbai needs a CEO. Let's be clear: Violence and vandalism are signs of cowardice, and we shouldn't allow ourselves to be intimidated. ...
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Christie’s to hold first art auction in India

New Delhi, In a clear indication of the growing clout of Indian art collectors, the London auction house Christie's will become the first international auctioneer to hold sales in India. An inaugural auction of Indian art will take place in Mumbai in December. The geography of art buyers has been slowly and steadily changing with collectors from India, China and Russia making their presence felt in international auction rooms. Christie's Indian art sales have been steadily growing and last year, it notched up sales of $34 million. "The Indian art market is growing, and an auction in India is the next natural step,'' said Menaka Kumari Shah, director of Christie's India. This is also in line with Christie's new focus on Asia. In April, it announced its first foray into mainland China, with an auction room in Shanghai. Though the Indian market is minuscule compared to China, its artistic ecosystem has been growing, with a quality art fair and the setting up of several private museums. It also has seen the rise of homegrown auction houses such as Saffronart and Osian's. An international auction will only help the Indian art market grow, points out Shah. "The auction ...
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Narendra Modi to unveil agenda in Mumbai on June 27

Mumbai, Narendra Modi has chosen Mumbai to begin his innings as the BJP's poster boy for the 2014 general elections. The Gujarat chief minister will visit the city on June 27, his first after his elevation as chairman of the party's poll panel. Modi will address a CII conclave at Hotel Taj Mahal and release a book at the Bombay Stock Exchange auditorium at Dal al Street. "Modiji has chosen Mumbai to unveil his agenda for good governance," RSS ideologue Vinay Sahsrabuddhe said. Ashish Shelar, newly-appointed chief of the city BJP, "As India's commercial capital, Mumbai is admired the world over for its grit and entrepreneurial skills. It is perfectly appropriate that Mumbai should be Modiji's first stop before he goes on his countrywide trek." BJP chief Rajnath Singh will address city and state party workers in Wadala on Tuesday, it is learned. ...
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Uddhav rules out truce with cousin Raj Thackeray

Mumbai, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday virtually slammed the door on efforts by his allies to attempt a patch-up with his estranged cousin Raj Thackeray, chief of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). Thackeray said the existing grand alliance of Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Republican Party of India (RPI) was working well and that there was no need to include a fourth constituent. In a sharp editorial in the party mouthpiece Saamna, Thackeray slammed recent moves by former BJP chief Nitin Gadkari and RPI chief Ramdas Athawale for a patch-up with the MNS chief. He said it would be better if the two parties first set their own homes in order before bothering about the unity between Thackeray cousins. Last week, Gadkari had declared in Pune that he and the BJP would not rest till they brought the two warring Thackeray cousins together and convinced the MNS to join the Sena-BJP-RPI grand alliance. Similarly, RPI chief Ramdas Athawale unilaterally initiated moves to unite Uddhav and Raj and even offered to go to Raj's house to resolve the issues between them. The MNS has emerged as a force to reckon with in the next year's Lok Sabha and assembly ...
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Sanjay Dutt leaves home to surrender in court

Mumbai, Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt has left his residence at Imperial Heights building in suburban Bandra and is heading to the designated Tada court in Mumbai to surrender and undergo his prison term in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case. The actor is accompanied by his wife Manyata and director Mahesh Bhatt and is travelling in his car. The Supreme Court in its March 21 verdict awarded five year imprisonment to the 53-year-old actor for illegal possession of arms. On May 14, the apex court refused to grant him more time to surrender for undergoing remainder of the three-and-a- half-year jail term. On Wednesday Dutt's lawyer Subhash Jadhav informed the special Tada court that the 53-year-old actor wanted to withdraw his application filed a day before seeking leave to surrender before Yerwada jail in Pune instead of giving himself up in the Tada court here. He did not assign any reason for withdrawing the application. The actor will have to serve the remaining three-and-half years of a five-year sentence under the Arms Act for illegal possession of an AK-56 rifle at his Bandra bungalow about a month before the March 12, 1993 bomb blasts in the city in which 257 people ...
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1993 Mumbai blasts case: Sanjay Dutt withdraws plea to surrender at Yerwada jail

Mumbai, Sanjay Dutt will surrender on Thursday before a special TADA court here to undergo his remaining jail term in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case, according to his lawyer. The TADA court on Wednesday allowed the actor to withdraw his application seeking to surrender at Yerwada Jail in Pune. Sanjay Dutt had earlier filed a plea requesting the court to allow him to surrender in Pune, instead of special TADA court in Mumbai. Dutt had cited an apprehension of danger to his life "from vested interests and other fundamentalist groups and organizations". His application stated that he wanted to surrender directly either before the authorities of the Yerawada jail in Pune or Arthur Road jail, as on previous occasions when he was arrested and taken to Yerawada jail, he was "chased by the media and news reporters/journalists". He said that vehicles ferrying him to jail went at a speed of more than 120 kmph and "a minor error of judgment by the driver can lead to a fatal accident which can cost him his life". He also said he "apprehends a large presence of media and fans at the Tada court premises which increases security risks... as it becomes difficult to monitor each and ...
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Shiv Sena tells BJP to take allies in confidence

Mumbai, Within days of the Janata Dal (United)'s vehement objections to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's projection as a prime ministerial candidate, the Shiv Sena, too, warned the BJP on the issue saying it has no veto on the selection process and other NDA allies will have to be consulted. "Narendra Modi could well be one of the BJP candidates for the PMship. But it's the NDA which will take the final call on the issue,'' said Saamna, the Sena mouthpiece, in an editorial on Wednesday. The Sena is the oldest constituent ally in the BJP-led NDA. Slamming the BJP for opening a can of worms on the issue of NDA's prime ministerial candidate, Saamna urged BJP bigwigs L K Advani, Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj to call an urgent meeting of the NDA to end the stalemate. "The UPA has been speaking in one voice on its prime ministerial nominee. They have stood behind Manmohan Singh, whatever may be the internal views of the UPA allies. On the other hand, everyone in the NDA is singing his or her own tune. This is not a good scenario. The BJP has every right to decide its candidate for PMship. However, the party can't install its prime minister on its own strength," Saamna ...
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BJP opposes IPL in parched Maharashtra, but govt talks tough

Mumbai, Citing the drought crisis in Maharashtra, the BJP on Monday attempted to pin down the Prithviraj Chavan-led government over water usage for IPL games to be held in the state. During the Upper House proceedings, BJP legislator Chandrakant Patil sought permission to move an adjournment motion over the issue. While the motion was denied, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar had to make a statement on behalf of the government in the House. Patil claimed that watering of pitches and grounds used for IPL matches in the state required 60,000 litres of water. With opposition leader in the legislative council Vinod Tawde already having asked IPL organizers to reconsider holding matches in the drought-hit state, Patil on Monday turned the heat on the government. "The state must at least levy heavy charges on the water used for the IPL games at the matches. The collected money should be used for drought relief," Patil demanded. While disallowing Patil to move the motion, legislative council chairman Shivaji Deshmukh sought the government's response to the demand. Patil further put the government in a spot by reiterating that the Upper House had taken serious note of water ...
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Many others deserve pardon: Sanjay Dutt

Mumbai, Ending speculation about his future course of action, Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, 53, announced tearfully on Thursday that he would not seek any pardon and would surrender to the authorities within the four-week deadline prescribed by the Supreme Court. "The honourable Supreme Court has given me time to surrender and I will surrender in that time," said Dutt at an impromptu and emotional press conference held outside his residence at Imperial Heights, Bandra (West). "With folded hands I want to tell the media, the honourable citizens of the country, that when I am not going for a pardon then there can be no debate about it.... All I can tell you is I have not applied for a pardon. There are many other people who deserve a pardon," said a teary-eyed Dutt who was accompanied by his younger sister, MP Priya Dutt. Meanwhile, retired Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju made an impassioned plea to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking clemency for Dutt. Katju argued that the actor has already served jail time of 18 months and faced public ostracism, tribulations and indignities for 20 years. "It is alleged that Sanjay Dutt is a celebrity and granting him pardon will send a ...
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Pakistan encourages terrorism in breach of UN mandate: Supreme Court

New Delhi, In a first-ever indictment of Pakistan as a promoter of terrorism, the Supreme Court on Thursday said the neighbouring country had breached the United Nation's mandate for every member country to prevent terrorists from using its territory to harm other countries. The court had in the past handled several cases relating to terrorism, including the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai in which the Pakistani hand was noticed by the apex court while awarding death penalty to the sole surviving gunman Ajmal Kasab. But never before had the court been so categorical and severe on Pakistan. Delivering judgment on the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, a bench of Justices P Sathasivam and BS Chauhan said some of the accused, upon arrival in Pakistan for arms training, were received by ISI operatives who took them out of the airport without observing any immigration formalities. "Pakistan, thus, took precautions not to bring its involvement on record," the bench said. There was no entry in their passports when they left Islamabad for Dubai, "meaning thereby, they (the accused) had a green channel entry and exit in Pakistan", the court said. "The events unveil the tolerance and ...
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Sanjay Dutt's fate in 1993 Mumbai blasts case to be sealed today

Mumbai, Days after Mumbai observed the 20th anniversary of the 1993 serial blasts, the Supreme Court will on Thursday deliver its verdict on 97 convicts, including actor Sanjay Dutt and 11 others who were sentenced to death. Dutt faces six years in jail for possession of arms. The judgment is scheduled to be pronounced by a division bench of Justice P Sathasivam and Justice BS Chauhan. "We are awaiting the final verdict," advocate Farhana Shah, who represented many accused in the trial court and the Supreme Court, told TOI. As many as 257 people were killed and 713 injured in the serial blasts that rocked 12 locations in Mumbai on March 12, 1993, killed 257 people and maimed 713 others, besides damaging property worth Rs 30 crore. The fishermen's colony at Mahim Causeway, Bombay Stock Exchange, Zaveri Bazar, Plaza Cinema in Dadar, Century Bazaar in Worli, Hotel Sea Rock, Sahar Airport, Air India building, Hotel Juhu Centaur and a petrol pump opposite the Sena Bhavan were some of the places that were targeted. According to the CBI, fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim, along with Pakistant's ISI, engineered the blasts, and Tiger Memon and his brother Ayub were the main ...
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HC: Maharashtra must clear graft cases by April

Mumbai, Continuing its crackdown on corruption in the government, the Bombay high court on Friday set a deadline of mid-April for the state to clear the entire backlog of files on graft cases awaiting its sanction for prosecution. A division bench of Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice A P Bhangale, hearing a PIL filed last October by PrakashSheth, told the government that files up to 2011 should be cleared within two weeks and the rest within two weeks thereafter. Additional government pleader Aruna Pai submitted charts giving the break-up of cases pending sanction in 43 departments of the government. She said there are a total of 196 cases pending, of which 68 pertaining to trap cases by the anti-corruption bureau have been cleared till date. The judges had sought details of cases awaiting sanction till February 12 when the government issued a notification setting a deadline of three months for deciding on requests to prosecute officials in corruption cases as mandated by the Supreme Court's 1998 decision in the Vineet Narayan case. On being asked by the court as to the oldest file pending, Pai replied, "Of 2007.'' However, Sheth's advocate Rahul Kadam interjected, ...
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Punjab, Haryana, Delhi & Himachal rank top in Well Being Index: Tata SMG

Mumbai.. Punjab, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana have been ranked at the top of the Well Being Index (WBI), while southern states, Gujarat and most of the north-eastern states emerged as the most secure ones for women in the Female Security Index (FSI). This was found by Tata Strategic Management Group which analysed multiple government sources and surveys to publish its 2013 edition of Well Being Index (WBI) and Female Security Index (FSI) for India here today. The states of Punjab, Delhi, HP, Haryana and Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh were ranked at the top of the WBI, while Chhattisgarh, Assam, Jharkhand and Bihar appeared at the bottom, Tata Strategic Management Group Chief Executive Raju Bhinge said. On the FSI, Hyderabad and Delhi were the lowest-ranked amongst the metro cities, while Chennai and Bangalore were at the top. Southern states, Gujarat and most of the north-eastern states emerged as the most secure for women, while Haryana, MP, Punjab, Delhi and Rajasthan states had the lowest ranking on FSI, Bhinge said. "The findings of WBI and FSI will be useful for entities working on improving overall well-being of rural and urban India and those ...
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British PM David Cameron arrives in Mumbai on three-day India visit

Mumbai, British Prime Minister David Cameron arrived here on Monday morning on a three-day India visit during which will he meet captains of industry and hold talks with top leaders who are likely to seek more information on the VVIP helicopters scam involving an Anglo-Italian firm. Cameron is likely to be pressed for more information on the Rs 3,600 crore helicopter scam involving AgustaWestland during his meetings with the leadership on Tuesday. The helicopters, three of which have already been delivered, were manufactured in southwest England. The visit also comes in the wake of India taking steps to scrap the contract after Italian investigators probed allegations that aerospace group Finmeccanica, the parent company of AgustaWestland, had broken the law by paying bribes to foreign officials. Cameron landed here at around 8.30am and was received at the airport by minister of protocol Suresh Shetty and senior Maharashtra government officials. He is accompanied by a large delegation which includes CEO of top British corporates, vice-chancellors of reputed universities and senior Government officials, among others. "In Mumbai, Cameron's programmes include ...
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Tokyo most expensive city, Mumbai & Delhi among the cheapest: Survey

London, For an average middle class Indian, the cost of living can be daunting in two of India's most cosmopolitan cities - Mumbai and Delhi. But in a shocker, these two of India's most expensive cities have ended up right at the bottom of the heap, in a list of world's cheapest cities. Mumbai and Karachi are the joint cheapest locations in the world according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's "Worldwide cost of living index 2013" with New Delhi just one spot higher. Tokyo took the title as the world's most expensive city ousting Zurich which is now the world's 7th most expensive city. Japan's Tokyo and Osaka were the world's top two expensive cities followed by Sydney, Oslo, Melbourne, Singapore, Zurich, Paris, Caracus ( Venezuela) and Geneva. A comparative survey showed that buying a one kg loaf of bread in Tokyo is nine times more expensive in than in Mumbai and 8 times more than in Delhi. Buying a pack of 20 cigarettes cost three times more in Tokyo than in Mumbai and over two times more than in Delhi. Ironically, buying a bottle of table wine is more expensive in Mumbai $23.82 as against $15.95 in Tokyo. The Worldwide cost of living survey, which is ...
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Will consider industry views: Manish Tewari

Mumbai, Union minister for information & broadcasting Manish Tewari has assured the media and advertising fraternity that the industry views will be taken into full consideration while framing policies relating to the sector. Speaking at an award ceremony in Mumbai on Saturday night, Tewari listed out paradoxes associated with the media and entertainment industry—self regulation, skewed revenue model, imperfect audience measurement models, among others. He said "issues are contentious, no doubt, but if you delay decisions, situation will engulf you completely". The minister highlighted the need to create a statutory mechanism to address issues related to convergence across media, entertainment and telecom. He said "convergence across media, entertainment and telecom space, especially with digitization kicking in, is inevitable. Therefore, at some point in time there will have to be an over-arching statutory architecture to look into the issues." He, however, said that the self regulation of the content remained the preferred option but it had to be broad-based and balanced. Tewari said "freedom of speech should not extend to the right to offend and an individual's right ...
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Open to alliance with Raj, hints cousin Uddhav Thackeray

Mumbai, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday hinted that he was open to the possibility of his party joining hands with cousin Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). The clear hint came in an interview to the party mouthpiece Saamna, Thackeray's first since his father Balasaheb Thackeray's death on Nov 17 last year and after he took over the reins of the party on Jan 17. Responding to a question on whether the cousins could come together, Thackeray said: "You cannot clap with one hand. Tell me, can you?" Pushing further, Saamna's executive editor and party MP Sanjay Raut asked whether this implied the two parties could join hands? "Why do you ask this question only to me? I am ready to reply. But for that you have to make us sit together, next to each other. Then you can ask the question to both of us. It depends on both sides," Thackeray said, hinting at the possibility of burying the hatchet with Raj. "More important than coming together, we have to first analyse why we drifted away... If we reunite, then for what purpose? Who is your main political opponent? Who do you want to destroy politically? And what direction should be taken for ...
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