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Major News and Events of 21 March 2013

What Happened on 21 March 2013


India votes for UNHRC resolution against Sri Lanka

India voted in favor of the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), which was adopted 25-13 at Geneva on Thursday. India's external affairs spokesperson tweeted, "India votes for Resolution on Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in SriLanka @UNHRC. " 13 countries voted against the resolution and Pakistan was one of them. India's envoy Dilip Sinha, in a strong statement, specified that there has not been sufficient progress by Sri Lanka in fulfilling its commitment made to the Council in 2009. Taking into account that development, India wanted Sri Lanka to move forward on its public commitments that includes the devolution of political authority through complete implementation of the 13th Amendment and further building on it. The statement read as, "We call for effective and timely implementation of all the constructive recommendations contained in the LLRC (Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission) report, including those pertaining to missing persons, detainees, disappearances and abductions, reduction of 'high security zones', return of private lands by the military and withdrawal of the security forces from the civilian domain in the Northern Province." It was also stated that India being a neighbor with thousands of years of relations with Sri Lanka, could not remain undeterred by developments in the country and will remain engaged in this matter in future as well. Sri Lanka has continuously denied killing Tamil civilians when there was military campaign against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009.

Death for Yakub Memon, Sanjay Dutt's conviction by Apex court

The death sentence of Yakub Abdul Razak Memon in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case was upheld by the apex court today along with him the death sentence of 10 others was commuted.  Conviction of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt under the Arms Act was also upheld and he was sentenced  to five years in prison. The bench of Justices P. Sathasivam and B.S. Chauhan stated he and other members of the Memon family had a major role in the conspiracy that led to 13 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai on March 12, 1993, claiming 257 lives and leaving 713 injured. Those convicts whose sentence was commuted by the apex court were regarded as mere subservient in the execution of the conspiracy and the court even said that they were merely medium while the main operator was Menon. The judges also criticized Pakistan for helping and abetting the acts of terrorism in infringement of the international obligation as a member of United Nations. Sanjay Dutt has been asked to surrender in four weeks. He was convicted under the Arms Act for illegal possession of weapons, and have been assigned six years imprisonment by the TADA (Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act) court.Though his sentence was reduced from six years to five years which implies he would be in jail for three years and six months as he has already served 18 months of imprisonment.

Money laundering cannot happen as system to check it is perfect: RBI

The Reserve Bank tried to downplay the money-laundering charges against three private sector banks, stating that the country had a "perfect" system to control such offences and that not one such transaction happened in the sting operation. Names of India’s three largest private banks -- ICICI bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank came in connection with indulgence in money laundering both within and outside with an online portal, Cobrapost, stating that the sting operation handled by it had uncovered a scam. Deputy Governor KC Chakrabarty stated to the media, "Allegations do not mean flouting norms. There is not a single transaction which has taken place. KYC violations will happen in any system. These are all transactional issues and have nothing to do with money laundering." Though the RBI, Finance Ministry and the banks involved are engaged in investigating about the allegations where it was specified that some officials of these banks indulged in money laundering. On March 14, Cobrapost had come up with the contents of purported video recording of officials of HDFC, ICICI and Axis Bank who allegedly wanted to receive unverified amount of cash and siphon them in their investment schemes and anonymous accounts in complete violation of anti-money laundering laws. After the allegations, the banks suspended some of the employees in question.

Somdev reaches second round of Miami Masters

India's Somdev Devvarman bounced back from a set down to move ahead to the second round of the ATP Miami Masters tennis tournament at Miami. Somdev defeated Russia's Evgeny Donskoy 4-7, 7-6 (5), 6-2 on Wednesday. Somdev who is ranked 254th will now take on World No.34 Feliciano Lopez of Spain, who received a bye in his opening round. Somdev had suffered a shoulder injury and he returned to play recently. He saved six break points but still could not finish off his Russian opponent, who eventually took the set.The second set was more competitive, and the Indian levelled the match 1-1 after winning the tie-breaker.In the third set, Somdev was under tremendous pressure and had to save three break points to remain in the match. But he was able to transform two of the five breaks on offer on the Russian's serve and then closed out the set and match without any hiccups.

Sanjay Dutt's conviction, Rs 100 crore may be in trouble

Rs.100 crore will be in jeopardy since Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt has been sentenced to five years of prison by the Supreme Court under the Arms Act in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.The 53-year-old has films like the "Zanjeer" remake, "Policegiri", "Munna Bhai 3" and "P.K." in the pipeline. He was sentenced to six years in jail in 2007 which has now been reduced to five years by the apex court. Sanjay has already served 18 months of his sentence and would effectively have to serve 3.5 years of imprisonment. He has been given four weeks to surrender.Sanjay's films 'Policegiri' and 'Zanjeer' might get hampered as some portions are still left to shoot.Distributor Rajesh Thadani said, "Approximately Rs.100 crore to Rs.120 crore is at stake."

Chrome, Android operating systems to stay separate

Google Inc's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt while speaking at the Big Tent Conference in New Delhi stated that Chrome and Android operating systems will be separate entities, although there can be "commonality" between them.Google had announced last week that Android architect Andy Rubin will shift to yet to be defined role at the company, while Sundar Pichai, the executive who was handling the Chrome web browser and applications like Google Drive and Gmail, will be taking over Rubin's responsibilities. Schmidt also specified that any rumors about his leaving Google is "completely false." He said this as a response to a question on whether his plan to sell about 42 percent of his Google stake was an indication that he was leaving the world's No.1 search engine.




FAQs and Answers on Indian History and Geography
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