I-T dept officials raid house, offices of Gupta brothers

first_imgIncome Tax officials raided the offices in Saharanpur and Dehradun belonging to the South Africa-based industrialists Gupta brothers. Searches were also conducted at the Guptas’ ancestral house in Ranibazar where the brothers, Ajay, Atul and Rajesh, grew up and lived till they left the country to become industrial tycoons in South Africa and close allies of the country’s former President Jacob Zuma. Mr. Zuma’s reported dealings with the brothers had rocked South African politics, leading to his resignation as President in mid-February. The Gupta brothers, however, have consistently denied any wrongdoing. “There was suspicion that the brothers were trying to bring illegal money into the country through various means. We intend to investigate if there is some basis for the suspicion,” said a senior IT department official involved with the raid. “Raids were conducted at the old Ranibazar house in Saharanpur, as well as their houses in Dehradun. We are also looking for bank accounts associated with them and properties they own,” the official said.Premise of a temple where the Gupta brothers were in the process of building a grand structure worth several crores were also raided, said the official.last_img read more

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OBAMA VISIT: One-on-one meet precedes dinner

first_imgUS President Barack Obama greets Congress chief Sonia Gandhi at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s (right) dinner on Sunday.A day before the elaborate banquet by President Pratibha Patil, on the lawns of Rashtrapati Bhavan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hosted a lavish dinner for US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle at his 7, Race Course residence. Attended by as many as 80 guests – they included India’s who’s who – the dinner was preceded by a 40-minute one-on-one meeting between Singh and Obama.They reportedly discussed key bilateral issues, including economic cooperation, outsourcing, terror and the Af-Pak situation. The exercise was aimed at ironing out differences before the restricted and delegation-level talks at the Hyderabad House here on Monday.The Obamas drove down to the Prime Minister’s residence from ITC Maurya where they are staying. They were welcomed by Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur. On their arrival, the Obamas were welcomed by a band of Indian Navy and 30 camelmounted BSF personnel playing bugles and trumpets. The tunes played included Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite bhajan Vaishnav jan to and all-time Bollywood hit O meri zohra jabeen, tujhe maloom nahin.Though earlier expected to be a ‘private dinner’ for a select group, the guest list at Sunday’s do included key personalities from the area of politics, business, sports and cinema.The high-powered group included Congress president Sonia Gandhi – she was dressed in a dark blue silk sari – finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, home minister P. Chidambaram, defence minister A.K. Antony, foreign minister S.M. Krishna, agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, commerce minister Anand Sharma, HRD minister Kapil Sibal MoS in PMO Prithviraj Chauhan, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, national security adviser Shiv Shankar Menon, foreign secretary Nirupama Rao, Indian Envoy to US Meera Shankar, Jamia Milia University vice-chancellor Najeeb Jung and Sam Pitroda, advisor to the Prime Minister on public information infrastructure and innovations.advertisementBJP leaders L.K. Advani and Arun Jaitley were also present on the occasion. Business honchos gracing the event included Azim Premji, Ratan Tata, Swati Piramal and N.R. Narayanamurthy. Bollywood personalities Aamir Khan, Shabana Azmi and Javed Akthar added more glamour to the occasion. Chess wizard Viswanathan Anand and environment activist Sunita Narain were also among the guests.FINE DININGIt was Awadhi platter for the Obamas at the private dinner hosted by the PM. Following are some of the items that were served:SOUPS: Shorba & mulligatawnyMAIN COURSE: Fish, lamb with green chillies, kakori kabab, mughlai chicken, gobi, dal dampukht, rice pulao, variety of Indian breadsDESSERT: Kesar phirni, mava potilast_img read more

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Priyanka Chopra-starrer Mary Kom declared tax free in Maharashtra

first_imgThe biopic on Indian Olympic boxer Mary Kom starring Priyanka Chopra has been declared tax free in Maharashtra.The film has been produced by filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali. “It is wonderful news. We have a compelling story to tell of a strong, determined woman who has done the nation proud. It is our tribute to all the unsung sports people who give so much to see the Indian flag flying high. If this can act as a catalyst of hope for them, then its something we can all be proud of,” Priyanka, who is playing the five-time world champion in ‘Mary Kom’ said in a statement.”We are grateful to Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat and government of Maharashtra for lending their support to the film. This exemption right from release day will allow large segments of society to experience the spirit of magnificent Mary,” Ajit Andhare, COO, Viacom18 Motion Pictures (producer) said.Priyanka Chopra in a still from Mary Kom.Bhansali’s spokesperson said the tax free status will encourage audience to recognise and support the spirit of the film.Based on the true story of Mary Kom, the biopic chronicles the journey of a woman boxer who gave up her sporting career when it was at its peak to embrace the joy of motherhood. After giving birth to two beautiful children, she made her comeback in the ring and went on to become both a stronger woman and a stronger boxer. The film directed by Omung Kumar is set to release on September 5.advertisementEarlier, various state governments including Maharashtra, Bihar, UP and others had granted tax exemption to Farhan Akhtar starrer ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, a biopic on legendary athlete Milkha Singh.last_img read more

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