National Nuggets

SC stays death penalty of man in child rape and murder case
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has stayed the death penalty imposed on a man convicted for rape and murder of a three-month old girl. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and also comprising Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna on Thursday stayed the capital punishment given to the 25-year-old man who kidnapped, raped and then killed the child. “There shall be a stay of execution of death sentence of the petitioner,” the bench said in its order. In May 2018, a fast-track court in Indore awarded death sentence to Naveen alias Ajay Gadke, within 23 days of the crime, following which Gadke filed an appeal against the verdict before the Indore bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. The high court bench comprising Justices P K Jaiswal and S K Awasthi confirmed his conviction and sentence. Gadke was sentenced to death under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 302 (murder) and 376A (raping a minor). He was also convicted under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. He later approached the apex court against the judgment of the high court. (ANI)

CBI nabs provident fund officer
Nagpur: An enforcement officer of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) here was caught red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 50,000 from a complainant, a Central Bureau of Investigation official said on Monday. The accused, identified as AB Pahade, has been charged under relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2018, and produced before a special CBI court which remanded to police custody. According to the agency, the complainant was a contract labour supplier to various power industries in the region and paying Provident Fund (PF) for the employees regularly to the EPFO’s Nagpur office. Pahade had visited his offices and sought various records from him for the past five years which were provided for scrutiny. Later, when the complainant visited Pahade at his office to enquire about the status of his PF audit, the officer allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs 350,000 to clear seven years’ audit without creating any hurdles. After the complainant refused to pay the bribe, Pahade said he would visit his office to “discuss and negotiate” the amount. Subsequently, Pahade agreed to take a cut and was ready to settle for Rs 300,000, with a first instalment of Rs 50,000. Following the complaint from the contractor, the CBI laid a trap and nabbed Pahade as he was accepting the bribe. Later, it raided his office and residential premises to collect more evidence. (IANS)

Court issues notice against Michel
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, and CBI on a plea of Tihar jail authorities challenging a trial court order allowing him to make international calls to his family, friends and lawyers for15 minutes per week. A single judge bench of Justice Mukta Gupta issued notice and sought the reply of Michel and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) after the jail authorities alleged that the accused made calls on numerous numbers in violation of the rules laid down in the prison manual. In January this year, a CBI special court had granted permission to Michel to make international calls to speak to his family, friends and lawyers, giving him a 15-minute window for the purpose. (ANI)

Pollachi case: Key accused in jail
Coimbatore: The Tamil Nadu Police on Monday lodged Thirunavukkarasu, the main accused in the Pollachi sexual abuse-cum-blackmail case, in a prison. The Crime Branch-Crime Investigation Department (CBCID) got his custody on Friday and had interrogated him at an undisclosed location. Thirunavukkarasu, Sathish, Sabarirajan, Vasanthakumar, all in their 20s, have been accused of sexually assaulting women in Pollachi town and filming the act to blackmail them for money or for physical submission over the past seven years. Traders in Pollachi, which is in Coimbatore district, are planning a protest shutdown on Tuesday and a rally to demand a court-monitored probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Speaking to IANS, a trader said the shutdown and rally would see participation of different political parties and social organisations. (IANS)