The Prevention of Money Laundering Act Adjudicating Authority has confirmed the attachment of a Panchkula property worth more than ₹64 crore by the Enforcement Directorate in a case against the Associated Journals Limited (AJL) and others. The land was “illegally” reallotted to the company, which runs The National Herald, when Bhupinder Singh Hooda was the Haryana Chief Minister. According to the Enforcement Directorate, the plot was originally allotted to the AJL in 1982. However, as construction work was not undertaken in compliance with the conditions of the allotment, the land was taken back by the State government in October 1992. The cancellation became irreversible after a revision petition was dismissed in 1996. After Mr. Hooda became the Chief Minister, he allegedly misused his office and got the land reallotted in August 2005.
If you are looking at these pages with lust, chances are you have very good taste. The Jaguar XJ, after all, is one of the prettiest looking high-end luxury sedans one can buy in the country today. It’s almost a rolling sculpture compared to the at times racy, at times functional but mostly traditionally well proportioned German competition that is the Audi A8, BMW 7-series and Mercedes S-class.Inside too the Jaguar is more emotive than functional. It gets a wraparound dashboard which draws inspiration from speedboats. It is minimalist and only gets customary climate control system and audio controls on the dash with other handy bits like buttons for lock/unlock and seat massagers are integrated unobtrusively as part of the central console. The central tunnel houses cupholders and the Jaguar trademark rotary gear selector knob that rises up when the ignition is turned on.Otherwise, there’s nothing else; just lots of leather and simplistic lines. The idea behind this, according to the Jaguar’s chief designer, Ian Callum, is to make Jaguars an easy place to be in. And the XJ does feel like a living room. But, for a car that commands such a high pricetag interiors still need to feel special. And they do, courtesy the lovely play of chrome. Everything from air con vents to the various buttons and knobs as well as the outline for the trim is all chrome.Things aren’t as great at the rear. Sure, the seats are well bolstered and comfortable. These are hugely accommodating too with seatback angle being nearly optimum. But, in terms of the pamper coefficient, the XJ just can’t compete with its German rivals. It lacks adjustable rear seats, the sun blinds are manual and there’s no soft closing for the doors either.It was only natural then, that we enjoyed being behind the wheel more; helped in no small measure by the engine. The XJ comes with the choice of two engines–there’s the naturally aspirated 5-litre petrol V8 for the Portfolio trim and the supercharged version of the same engine that makes 510 bhp for the Supersport. The latter puts the XJ at a higher pedestal in output terms compared to its traditional competition.When driven sedately, it moves about with the elegance befitting royalty. Step on the gas with enthusiasm and it turns primal. There’s no letting off either; the engine revs unrestricted and with a sprinter’s ability towards the redline the moment the throttle pedal is buried into the carpet. And it keeps at it gear change after gear change. If you choose to buy the Supersport, you’d desperately wait for the weekends while envying your chauffeur through the week. Price: Rs. 1.1 crore (est)On the road: From PURI TO KonarkThe distance from Puri in Orissa to the famous temple town of Konark is just under 40 km. Naturally many would not deem such a meagre distance in terms of a long drive. After all, in the last decade or so, we have progressed from being a country where 50 km on the highway could take as much as three to four hours to one where you can actually go all the way from Delhi to Kolkata or Mumbai, both over 1,500 km away from the national capital, in a day. Yet, this relatively short stretch is perhaps one of the most scenic routes to drive on.It’s a narrow two-lane highway that connects the city with the town on the coast of the mighty Bay of Bengal. But don’t let those two adjectives–narrow and two lane–pass on the opportunity to drive on this road, for it’s quite well surfaced. The route itself will see you pass numerous quaint villages on either side, so you have to slow down a little in preparation for the odd calf or even child. About a third of the way through the lush coconut trees on either side of the road give way to piles of sand, and you realise that just to your right, past the sand dune is the beach and then the sea. A couple of kilometres later you see a vast unending deep blue to the right–Bay of Bengal. Further on, as the road turns, the sea disappears, to be replaced by what looks like a dense forest. A half-broken wooden signboard tells you that you’re passing through a reserve forest. Abruptly, you drive into sunshine as the road turns sharply left. A few more kilometres of driving later it is that Konark is approaching as you see increased traffic. Reaching Konark is quite the anti-climax, for the town itself is dingy and congested with tourists. The drive to the town though is a different story altogether. It’s nothing short of magnificent, and you can’t help but look forward to the journey back.-Vikrant SinghSuzuki Bandit 1250sThis one is a genuine sports tourer with enough power and torque in its belly to justify the sports tag. If you’re looking for a bike that will scream your presence to the bystanders each time you ride in, this is not for you. This, despite its fairing and large proportions. Astride, the Bandit exudes a feeling of function over form. Instrumentation is a simple twin pod affair with an analogue tachometer and a digital console that not only shows the speed but also houses all the other tell tales. The switchgear though has a positive feel and all of them are within easy reach of the rider’s fingers. The result? Top notch ergonomics. In the confines of the city the Bandit’s 250 kg weight shows, as does its longish wheelbase. Together they rob the bike of low speed manoeuvrability. But get it out onto the open highway and it’s a different story altogether. The riding position is close to perfect; the fairing does a good job of keeping you safe from the windblast at highway speeds while mirrors are large and mostly vibe free, giving you a clear picture of what’s behind. The long wheelbase, however, ensures that the Bandit is rock stable, even when cruising comfortably at three digit highway speeds. Speaking of highways, overtaking is a must and the Bandit excels here again thanks to that refined in-line four cylinder engine, which has enough torque and more to require less downshifting through that slick six-speed gearbox. Price Rs. 8.5 lakh, ex-showroom.-Rahul Ghoshadvertisementadvertisement
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is to be signed between theMinistry of Labour and Social Security through its agency, the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD), and the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) to assist persons with disabilities who do not have birth certificates, to secure these under the National Identification System (NIDS) project.Executive Director of the JCDP, Dr. Christine Hendricks, who made the disclosure in an interview with JIS News, said the initiative came about following two town hall meetings organized by the Council in May.The participants included representatives of several private and public sector entities who were engaged in dialogue with persons with disabilities from several parishes on issues affecting them, including not having birth certificates.Dr. Hendricks explained that persons will get assistance to cover the cost for assessments in order to get their birth certificates, adding that “we are in the process of finalizing the MoU.” “We know that (for) persons with developmental disabilities and autism (among other challenges), the assessment process being done by clinical psychologists is very costly. So for those who are unable to pay, there will be assistance (from the NIDS project) to help them get their birth certificates as well as other assistance that is needed,” she informed.Dr. Hendricks encourages persons with disabilities to register with the Council in order to access this and other benefits.“Good things are happening for persons with disabilities and that is why I continue to implore persons to register, because only persons registered with the JCPD can benefit,” she said.The RGD is to be transformed into the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA). Work facilitating this is slated to commence during the 2018/19 fiscal year.The RGD’s Chief Executive Officer, Deirdre English Gosse, said the MoU is currently being reviewed by the entities’ legal teams.“Based on our previous meetings, we found out that there are a lot of persons with disabilities who do not have birth certificates. We are trying, basically, to provide persons who have been registered with the JCPD with birth certificates,” she explained.Outreach activities for the initiative, which will be undertaken islandwide, are being funded through the NIDS project. These include health and wellness fairs organized by the RGD.“All they have to do is show up and once we get the proper information from them, we will process and provide them with a birth certificate. We hope that persons will come out and we will get a significant number of persons with disabilities, so they can get their birth certificates. It will help them to be included in the National Identification System project, once that gets underway,” Mrs. English Gosse said.NIDS, which is scheduled for implementation in 2019, will provide a comprehensive and secure structure to capture and store identity information for all Jamaicans.Under the system, each citizen will be provided with a randomised nine-digit National Identification Number (NIN), which they will have for life.