Delhi HC reserves order on Arvind Kejriwal's bail plea, Tamil Nadu hooch tragedy toll rises to 53

The order is likely next week, possibly by Tuesday. Until then, Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi chief minister, stays inside Tihar Jail. Remember, he returned to Tihar Jail earlier this month after coming out on bail for campaigning in this election. He had to go in just before the results. He was supposed to come out today. After that, Rouse Avenue Court had given him bail. But now the Delhi High Court after aggressive arguments that have been continuing, now says that the arguments will continue order likely only next week. They've issued notice, arguments concluded, order has been reserved at this point of time. So net net Arvind Kejriwal stays in jail at this point of time. Its possible that he will get bail next week. But for the next 2-3 days he remains in jail. Nalin Kohli of the BJP is with me live. He's also a a lawyer. Nalin, your first, first reactions, first word on what's happened in the Delhi High Court today. Arvind Kejriwal stays in jail. He he got bail from the Rouse Avenue Court yesterday. That bail hasn't come through at the Delhi High Court level today. Your, your, your reaction on this, Nalin. So couple of things I'd like to say. And as a practicing lawyer, its important for your viewers also to know what is the legal process. Anyone can apply for bail and the court will decide whether a bill is to be given or not, whether its the Ed or if there is a rejection that is request for. OK. I think we've I think we've lost that line with Nalin. We will try and we will try and get back to him. While were waiting for Nalin, let me bring in Nalini Sharma our correspondent as well in on this. Nalini just break it down for us. Rishi was explaining, you know in comprehensive detail what has happened today and what the what the possibilities are going forward over the next couple of days. Give us your understanding and break it down for us. Well, sure, First things first. There was a state, temporary state that was put in by the High Court on the trial court order saying that the proceedings before the trial court should not go on till the time the High Court doesn't decide this matter. So that stay has been extended for the next two to three days, which means for the next two to three days, there is no scope for Arvind Kejriwal to come out of jail on bail. Now by Tuesday maximum is when Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain, who was a single judge bench hearing the case before the High Court, has said that the final order from the High Court is going to be out on the aspect of whether or not there will be a permanent stay on the trial court order that has granted bail to Arvind Kejriwal. So maximum by Tuesday. So either on Monday or Tuesday, we will be expecting that order because Saturday, Sunday, the Delhi High courts going to be off. So it remains to be seen exactly what happens on Monday or Tuesday when the final order comes, whether or not will be in the favor of the Ed or Arvind Kejriwal, through which the trial court order might be upheld by the Delhi High Court. But that still remains to be seen. We were getting minute to minute updates of what was happening in the Delhi High Court and there was a point when there were very heated arguments between the Ed as well as Arvind Kejriwal regarding the bail. Because essentially it's a matter to do with the liberty of not just any common citizen but the sitting Chief Minister of Delhi. And along with that the kind of observations that have been made in the trial court order about the evidence that the Ed has where the trial courts gone to the extent of saying that the evidence is insufficient. So keeping that in mind as to whether or not its OK for the High Court to reverse the order is something that the Kejriwals lawyers were very strongly and staunchly opposing before the High Court. Now Ed on one side has claimed that they were not given a fair hearing before the trial court. But its interesting to point out that this allegation or this objection was never raised by the Ed before the trial court itself. If they they felt like they weren't given a fair hearing, they never raised that before the vacation judge of the trial court. They are only mentioning it before the High Court. Now whether that's a legal strategy or whether that's a last minute plan that the Ed has made is something that still remains to be seen. But for now, the arguments have concluded, the orders technically been reserved and on Monday or Tuesday, we can expect for the High Court decision on whether or not there will be a permanent stayer on with Kejriwals bail or not. And I want to just tell all of our viewers that our legal reporting team is out in full strength to break the story down for us because there are many nuances which even I have to confess want clarifications on. So they're the best team to get us those clarifications. Amit Bharadwaj is getting us the the political fallout of these twists and turns being taken. Because remember today politically, the AAM Aadmi Party was fully prepared for Arvind Kejriwal to to walk out of jail. There were celebrations last night as well. So well get that aspect in. Before that, I want to go to Kanu. Sarda is also joining us on this. Kanu, if you could just quickly summarize for us the arguments that the Enforcement Directorate made, you know, opposing this bill. Just very quickly summarize what their argument was. Well, check the main argument which was put forward by Ed is that they have not got enough time to argue their case. The the enough, enough opportunity was not granted to them to put their case forward. The documents were not relied that the judge, the trial court judge relied on the half big information and passed that order. So all kind of aspiration, you know things were made against that judge also on which you know the other side, the Kejriwal side also raised objections that as to how how you know aspersions can be casted on the trial court judge at this point of time because she has applied her mind when when she has given the bail. So all kind of things. The main contention that you know the Ed has raised that they have not got enough opportunity and the trial court passed the order in a haste manner. And This is why you know that High Court has has agreed to hurt the matter at length today. And that is why, you know, the formal notice has been issued in this case and the the High Court has said that, you know, they will give the, since the, the issue involves the liberty of a person, that is why they are saying that they will give the order in next two to three days. OK, stay with me, all of you. I want to bring in Amit as well. And then I'm going to go back to our legal reporting team. Amit, you know, the AAM Aadmi Party obviously had plans to welcome Arvind Kejriwal out of jail today. You know, they've been describing the Ed approaching the High Court as, you know, a part of this dictatorship, etc. That's, you know, that's in the political sphere. But what is their political strategy right now? You know, for the next 2-3 days, the suspense continues. All right, Shiv, you know, the AAM Aadmi Party was all geared up since last evening when this order came out. And they were actually surprised when the order came out in favor of Arvind Kejriwal. And they hoped that today Arvind Kejriwal would be walking out by this time that we are speaking, you know, from Tihar Jail. And it would have been a grand welcome for the AAM Aadmi Party chief and Delhi chief minister. Obviously, bigger than what we had seen during the Lok Sabha elections when he had came out for 21 days. But now everything will be on hold. On the other side, the focus will be on the, you know, Pani Satyagrah that is being held by Aatishi. But honestly, you know, they are also very nervous right now as to what is going to be the decision and the nervousness. Amit, stay with me, stay with me. The lawyer of Arvind Kejriwal speaking. Let's just listen in quickly and talk about Amnejo application. Cancellation of bail pesky kabat Courtney stake Yeah bail order Kejriwalka bail order stayed hai Monday the return submission teneku Kai dotin peska yes. Main main cancellation pending here or final order or main bail cancellation application. Thank you. OK, that was that, That was the ASGSV Raju. He's the counsel for the enforcement written in this case. And he's also mentioned what what Nalini was telling us. This is a stay on any proceedings at the Rouse Avenue Court level until the Delhi High Court has taken a decision on granting bail to Arvind Kejriwal. And that will only happen in the next couple of days. Just a quick legal clarification, Srishti, I want to bring you in on this. And the reason I'm asking is because many of our viewers may not fully, you know, understand or appreciate the, the legal, legal nuances of why it needs 2-3 days more. Can you explain that for us? If the arguments have already happened, you know, why couldn't a decision on bail be taken today itself? Sure, we we often see that there are cases when hearings happen and arguments are made on both the sides. The judge decides to, you know, pronounce a matter that moment itself right after the hearing. Yesterday, as we saw, once the hearing got concluded before Delhi Raus Avenue Court, the court concluded as so as soon as the arguments are concluded, the court when the judge went back to her chamber and started dictating the order and the order was pronounced the same day. This case however, as of course that's something that's also the judges discretion how much time they want to take. But considering the the matter here, of course its a serious matter and also involves a lot of submissions where which are being made in before this particular judge for the first time. The judge is not its not the same bench which hears the Delhi excise matters on a regular basis. Considering the records are voluminous and arguments detailed arguments have been made on both sides. It does take time for the court to consider all the arguments and then, you know, dictate an order, prepare an order and then come to conclusion, which is why possibly two to three days time is what the court has taken to analyze the arguments on both sides and, you know, then come out with an order back to you. OK, stay with us. Amit. We had to interrupt you because we were getting that sound bite live from the enforcement directorates. Lawyer SV Raju continue to tell us what the AAM Aadmi Party strategy is going to be for the next couple of days. Today they also had a, you know, satyagrahi on water. So there were many things happening today and suddenly that bail came out of the blue yesterday. You know, many people were completely surprised by bail being granted, you know, by the by the Rouse Avenue Court lawyer. So what happens over the next 2-3 days politically from the upside Asha, you know, they are definitely going to stay nervous as far as the High Court reserving disorder is concerned because so far there has been a trend that whenever the orders have been reserved in this manner and fashion, things have not been really bright for AAM Aadmi Party, you know, as far as the legal battles are concerned. So they must, they will remain on the toes nervous about this entire situation, but they will hope that things turn in their favor. And obviously whenever they had hoped for, you know they I had least hope. The Supreme, the courts have given them a sack of relief, whether it be the interim relief that was given to Arvind Kejriwal or Sanjay Singhs regular bail that was given in this particular case as well. Now strategically, yes, they will be in a wait and watch stance as far as this bail thing is concerned. On the other side, Pani satyagraha, water satyagraha will remain the focused area of battle for now. Back to you. OK, so the the the Pani Satyagrah have been led by Minister Adishi in Delhi is obviously going to continue. But the you know, plans for a big welcome for Arvind Kejriwal, you know, outside Tihar Jail and at his residence etc. That's going to have to be put off just for the next couple of days. But legally speaking, you know its the weekend now, Next 2-3 days is when the Delhi High Court will reconvene, you know, to deliver its decision on this basis. Nalini, what happens in the interim? Does anything happen procedurally in the interim at all? Well, sure, for the coming 2-3 days, we can't expect any big developments to happen because the final order from the Delhi High Court is still expected to be out. But at the same time, we saw how the Ed had in fact moved the High Court even without having the copy of the trial court order in their hand. So I'm not going to rule anything out when it comes to this case. What remains to be seen as to whether or not Arvind Kejriwal will actually walk out of jail? Of course, there are a plethora of legal options that are available not just for the Enforcement Directorate but also Arvind Kejriwals legal team. I mean just this interim state that has been granted by the High Court. Even that much it is possible that Arvind Kejriwal team might rush to Supreme Court trying to get that vacated, stating that when the trial court has already granted bail, it makes no sense to continue keeping him behind jail. But all of that is speculation at this point. But from what I have learned, when it comes to covering the Delhi excise policy case is that never say never. The Kejriwal bail order came as a surprise. The manner in which Ed with the alacrity moved the Delhi High Court came as a surprise. So there are several more surprises in store. I'm sure about that. But what's interesting to watch out for is whether or not the High Court will actually reverse an order that is granted. Like I was saying, not just a common man, but a sitting chief minister of Delhi, liberty to be out on bail. Considering that's an issue about individual liberty, the court will have to give some very cogent reasons to reverse an order that has granted liberty to a particular person during the time when the trial has not even begun. In this case, a very important thing that the High Court will be looking at is a kind of evidence that Ed has against Arvind Kejriwal because a trial court has concluded that there is not sufficient evidence against Kejriwal. In fact, the trial court has gone to the extent of saying that Ed is making claims about receiving 100 crores as kickbacks, but only 40 crores of that has even been traced by the EDA large portion, 60% of which the money trailer has not even been established. So under these circumstances, how can the Ed even call Arvind Kejriwal the kingpin? The second question that arises is that if the case against Arvind Kejriwal crumbles, then what impact will that have on the larger Delhi excise policy case? Because by Eds own admission, Arvind Kejriwal was supposedly the kingpin of the entire excise policy case. So if his innocence is proven before the court because that's what PMLA requires at this stage of bail, the burden of proof is on the accused to prove his innocence. Only then can bail be granted to him, which he seems to have done before the trial court because that's why the bail was granted to him. So here is innocence itself has proven what larger ramifications will that have on the Delhi excise policy case. Whether or not that will impact other people's cases similar to Manish Sisodia and others will still continue to languish in jail is something that we have to watch out for. Absolutely. And I do want to talk about, you know, comparisons with the Manish Sisodia case as well in just a moment. But quickly want to play out for you some reactions from the AAM Aadmi Party itself. This was Sunita Kejriwal and others about what they said about attempts by the Ed to get a stay on the trial courts bail order. This was before what just happened in the Delhi High Court. Listener kalhi aapke mukhya mantri ko bail mili abhi subir order upload honatha order upload nahihua or Ed High Court paragai order koste karwani kellye itna yeto essay hogya as if Arvind Kejriwal is the most wanted terrorist of India. Desh mitana Shahi itni hath Parker rahiya Ki Ed kisi ko liberty bin nahi tene ke mukhya mantri ke against woe stay Kelly chali jatiya abhi hai kot me faisla Anna bakiya Asha karte hai Ki hai ko. Amit Malviya of the BJP is with us live on our coverage. Amit, your reactions to this interim state at. The Delhi High Court has put on the bail granted to Arvind Kejriwal by a trial court yesterday. The Delhi High Court stay on the bail provided by the trial court is a welcome step. If you read the judgment of the trial court, it very clearly says that the judge did not find the time to go through the voluminous document presented to her by the investigation agency. Therefore, 1 is not quite sure what was the tearing hurry to grant bail to Arvind Kejriwal. But it seems that all sides and details were not pursued. It is without doubt that Arvind Kejriwal is the kingpin of the Delhi liquor excise scam. He was the Chief Minister who presided over the cabinet which formulated this policy. Therefore, he had a very active role in this entire process. There are several leads that suggest that money was exchanged. There is financial failure that has been established. A lot of money exchanged hands was also used for election funding. Now given all of this and the fact that Arvind Kejriwal is not just the supremo of the government but also the chief of the AAM Aadmi Party, his role is defining one and unless he remains in Tihar, he would be in a position to influence the investigation to influence the evidences in this particular case and therefore the agencies have slightly sought stay on any bail granted to him. I am sure the Delhi High Court will pursue the documents presented to them by the agency and ensure that Arvind Kejriwal is not out. So that influences the proceedings. All right, Amit Pavya, thanks very much for speaking to India Today. We've got a live reaction coming in from the legal team head of the AAM Aadmi Party. Lambi argument main EDK objection Yeti Ki niche Ed special court may honourable High Court Puri detailed may argument Ed Kishuni sunny ke baad hamari argument to be doctor Bishek Manish Singh viji or Vikram Chaudhary Ji ke Madam say hamari argument to be Courtney suni or Courtney order reserve kardiya hai or so within two days submission or by Monday or Tuesday Stay application Pay stay is order called stay Kia Jay. Kia Jay is pay court Monday or Tuesday. Honourable Chief Minister Agar Bahar ate hai to aisi kya padega kul milake unki argument aki line peti Ki unko Puri suna Gaya or Joe judgment order aya hai. Whose order? Accordingly definitely Joe ustampe dono available material usko consider way bail dejai final verdict final judgment decide bail or bail kajo order hai is order competent court competent court say whose judgment pay submission court sub sub sub consider detail who ordered paralyzed 26 pages. Order 20 pages. OK, so that was the council, the legal team head of the AAM Aadmi Party. Obviously decisions being taken right now, like our, like our legal reporters are telling us there are some options before the AAM Aadmi Party at this point of time as to what they could possibly do before I return to them. Aishwarya is also with me. She tracks the BJP and government for us. Aishwarya, we heard Amit Malviya just now. It seems like a cautious response at this moment because I think even the BJP would have been surprised by the bail granted yesterday. Well, definitely, Shiv, you know, they were very, very surprised at the moment, the Bharatiya Janata Party sitting on the sidelines and seeing the entire story unfold because, you know, speaking from the right, you know, BJP at the moment understands that this is something that the court has to look at. And, you know, if we see any kind of statements coming in from the BJP, it will give more ammunition to the AAM Aadmi Party. They already at the moment are saying that the Enforcement Directorate is a puppet at the hands of the government, the government staying away from it and very clearly saying that these are legal procedures. You can question procedures, but how can you drag the central government or a political party into the entire mess? OK, very interesting. Kanu, if I could bring you in. Kanu Sarda, if I could bring you in now. You know, in such instances, does it seem the obvious thing to do right now for the AAM Aadmi Party to approach the Supreme Court? Is that what is likely to happen over the next couple of days? Well, if the Ed has approached the Delhi High Court only on the limited aspect of staying the operational part of the trial court order in which you know, the bail bond needs to be furnished. So they wanted to stay only on that proceedings at this point of time. And the Delhi High Court has, you know, heard the arguments only on the stay application and not on the entire merits of the case. Because the merits of the case requires a larger hearing, not not just one day hearing. And because the because the Ed councils were only relying on the fact that you know, how the trial court has ignored crucial facts placed before her and you know, the trial court was trial court judge was in a haste and the trial court judge also categorically told the Ed council to cut down the arguments. And this is all, you know, what ASDSP Raju was telling this High Court judge since morning that, you know, he's been given less opportunity to argue and that is why. And that this is the only reason of what if the High Court denies the denies the Arvind Kejriwal relief and he's being, you know, kept in inside jail, Then, you know, the AAM Aadmi Party can definitely move the Supreme Court and ask for the immediate relief because it is it is the liberty of the person which is more important in this case because a trial court order is still in operation. And it has. It has just stayed only on the operative part that he cannot be released on bail for now. But the other findings stay will remain as it is. So until unless Ed challenges the whole order and saying that you know that the order is completely bad in law and the proper hearing takes place in before the High Court, things will not be an easy position. Neither for the Enforcement Directorate, neither for the AAM Aadmi Party. OK, Amit, just a just a quick piece of information from you. Who all are allowed to meet Arvind Kejriwal right now? I'm sure you know there are people from the party, his family visiting him, who all have been visiting him. How frequently have they been visiting him? Ashab Sunita Kejriwal visits him almost every week and in rotation. What happens that sometimes its Sandeep Pathak, sometimes its Raghav Chadda because he's back in the country now and politically active as well for AAM Aadmi Party. He has also visited Arvind Kejriwal in the past few weeks and Attish and Saurabh Bhadwaj are the ministers who you know usually in turn try to meet Arvind Kejriwal in order to get brief from him as to how to tackle the governance issues and crisis like the water crisis which has unfolded in the national capital. In fact, the water satyagraha has been something which was properly consulted with Delhi Chief Minister before it was actually planned and executed by the AAM Aadmi Party ship. OK, So Sunita Kejriwal, who has, you know, become a very, very prominent face of the AAM Aadmi Party since the incarceration of Arvind Kejriwal, is also out there today. We've got images of her at the Jalsatyagre today where she took a direct shot at what she called the dictatorship of the government over trying to keep Arvind Kejriwal in jail. That's been, you know, a running theme as far as as far as this entire episode is concerned. But let me just take you through some of the arguments that have been made in the Delhi High Court today and then I will return to our reporters. The enforcement directorates arguments lead with the with the claim that they've got evidence that Arvind Kejriwal was involved in a 100 crore kickback demand. Now bear that in mind because there is a mention of this specifically in the bail order from the trial court. The Enforcement Directorate also says that Kejriwals defense is complete partisanship. In Eds. Every argument is what the is. What Kejriwals legal defense has been that that this is not based on merit. Its completely partisanship in every argument being put forward by the Ed. The Ed argues that ₹45,00,00,000 in cash has been traced and it was used in the Goa Assembly elections. Kejriwal sides defense is that Kejriwal wasn't an accused in the CBIFIR or the EDS ECIR to which the enforcement directorates arguments say that Kejriwal is guilty of a money laundering offense to which the Kejriwal defense is Not a single penny has been recovered from Kejriwal all linked directly to him. The enforcement directorates arguments are that Kejriwal is responsible for generating proceeds of crime. Kejriwals defense, those who implicated the Kejriwal government got bail immediately. So the suggestion there is that those who implicated Kejriwal, those who turned approver were rewarded by the central government. So the twists and turns in the liquor gate case, like Nalini was saying, you know its wrong to even expect or you know, make your mind up about what's going to happen in this case given the very, very aggressive twists and turns that have happened so far. Nalini coming, you know, right back to you in that case, this this entire case, the climax of it has pretty much played out over, you know, election season. The the climax of the election season turned out to be the climax of this case as well. And one cannot extricate. OK, I'll come back to you now. Already in just a moment, BJPMP from Delhi is just is speaking. Let's just listen in to Manoj Divas High Court news Paste Lagadiya High Court ke Sangyan me Jovi bhatni hongi to Agar Uno neste lagaya iska matlab Ki kahi na kahi kamir hai hogi E sansa dhone ke Nate hamara kot PE viswasse jache viswasse or have pura viswasse koi kitna bhi kuche rachle dosi ko saja milegi soga Bo bachega Brad karne ke baad AB jute bol karke nahi jeet sakte jute bol kar kya bell nahi le sakte hame kot PE barosa hai Uno kot PE barosa hona chahi or jazz agency joker rahi hai UN ke paas jobi pukta saboothe. And here's what the Enforcement Directorates lawyer ASGSV Raju had to say about what's just happened in the Delhi High Court. Courtney Kejriwalka bail order stay kardiya hamari stay application Jo hai uskeeper order Kia or final order docha din maega or main bail cancellation kejo application hai uske sonwaii baat mehogi Usman notice issue Why katnika be stayed here to AB Jo hai Jo anuman karna Kali jira. OK so in the next 2-3 days just want to summarize what were covering here for our viewers right now in the next 2-3 days is when the Delhi High Court is likely to reveal its decision on bail for Arvind Kejriwal. An interim stay has currently been put in place on the bail that was granted to Arvind Kejriwal by the trial court yesterday. So Arvind Kejriwal remains in Tihar jail. He was supposed to be out of the our jail today. That's what you know, that was the expectation. The Enforcement Directorate, you know, asked for an urgent hearing in the Delhi High Court. Arguments have been happening the whole day today. And now an interim state has been put on that bail, which means Arvind Kejriwal who was expected to walk out of the Tihar jail in Delhi today, will remain in jail at least for the next two to three days. It remains to be seen what the Delhi High Court will decide early next week. That's its not for us to guess about or second guess. That's something that the, that the, the, the justices will decide upon on that day. But in the interim, obviously the political strategizing at the AAM Aadmi Party will be taking place. Will they approach the High Court? What are their legal options? We don't know just yet, but obviously high level meetings will already be taking place at this point of time. I want to quickly bring in Nalini. Nalini, we had to go to that sound bite when I was asking you that question question in terms of, you know, we, we heard from we heard from the AAM Aadmi partys legal team head just now head just now where he he didn't quite articulate what you know, what recourses they will be resorting to over the next couple of days. But like you said, there are options before the AAM Aadmi Party right now. Can you summarize those for us? Well, absolutely. Shift one way or the other. This matter is reaching the Supreme Court now that the trial court has given him bail. Because if the order goes in favor of Arvind Kejriwal, then the Ed is going to knock on the doors of the Supreme Court. On the other hand, if the order goes in favor of the Ed, then Arvind Kejriwal will move Supreme Court. So either way, the issue is going to go up to the Supreme Court. In fact, every single aspect of the excise policy case undoubtedly is going to go up to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court is going to have to give its final stamp of approval one way or the other. But what's interesting Shiva and the viewers also might find this interesting is that usually the courts currently in the month of June all on vacation, the trial courts, the High Court as well as the Supreme Court and usually its the junior judges of the court who have to come every day and sit and decide these matters during the vacation time because all of the senior judges are on the break. But interestingly enough, now all of the limelight is on these junior judges, whether it be in the trial court where the judge Nyai Bindu yesterday granted where she was a vacation judge today Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain from the High Court who was hearing this matter, single judge bench, again a vacation judge. And once this matter goes up to the Supreme Court who even over there the vacation judges are going to be hearing this matter. So in none of the courts, the regular judges who deal with the excise policy case are not going to be the ones who are going to take a decision on Arvind Kejriwals bail. So its going to be interesting to watch out whether or not there is a difference in the way that the regular judges who've heard the excise policy matter have decided earlier in the case in comparison to how the vacation judges have now decided. Because where on one hand in the trial court, the regular judge very Bhavja had even denied interim bill to Arvind Kejriwal, on the other hand the vacation judge Nyay Bindu has granted him regular bill in the very same case. So it's going to be very interesting coming few days in the next week or so and we will be watching without any rest what happens the big build up because even though a couple of days to go for what happens in court, what happens in the political battlefield is not going to have a vacation whatsoever. Thanks very much to all of our reporters for getting us this big breaking story. As always, we broke it to you first here on India Today and we will continue to bring you the biggest updates. Terrible news coming in. The death toll in the Tamil Nadu Kalakurchi Hooch tragedy has just mounted to 5353 dead makes it one of the worst illicit liquor tragedies in the history of Tamil Nadu. 118 people remain hospitalized. Many of them are fighting for their lives after many of them had had alcohol that was bootlegged. It was laced with methanol and all of these people died terrible, terrible, painful deaths. Kalakurchi hooch tragedy death toll now stands at 53. This has been confirmed by M Subramaniam who is the state Health minister in the DNK ruled government in Tamil Nadu. 53 deaths, 53 families shattered. Most of the people are breadwinners of their individual families, making this one of the worst such tragedies in the state of Tamil Nadu. Let me go across straight to India. Today's Shilpa and I are live on this big story. Shilpa. A tragedy becoming more and more shocking. 53 is the current death. Death toll 118 people still fighting for their lives in hospital Shilpa. Well, that's right, Shiv. In fact, tragedy unfolding in Kalakurchi. In fact, so far, 53 persons have lost their lives. And with more than 100 people undergoing treatment in different hospitals across the state, there is of course a lot of fear that the death, death toll may climb up even further. But this is of course one of the worst strategies you know Tamil Nadu has ever witnessed in terms of illicit liquor. Just last year, 22 lives were lost due to the same reason and cut to 2024 in Kalakurchi, 53 persons have died and the death toll is expected to go up. This of course started with a group of men in Karnapuram area of Kalakurchi. They consume illicit liquor and that night, on June 18th night, they started developing symptoms and 50, three of them are now dead. And because of course, the given the magnitude of this tragedy, the DMK government is under massive fire from opposition parties here in the state. There's a lot of public outrage as well against the government. The manner in which the government has dealt with this issue, despite the fact that similar incidents have happened in the past, no proactive measures were taken to prevent this, is what many are accusing. That is why today we saw very stormy scenes in the assembly. Right when the assembly convened, the ADMKMLA started shouting and sloganeering, creating ruckus. They were evicted from the assembly. BJPMLA staged a walkout and tomorrow, of course, BJP is holding a statewide protest. On June 24th, the AIADMK is holding a statewide protest because they say the DMK government has turned a blind eye. They have not taken any steps to prevent or, you know, crackdown on the sale and production of illicit liquor and that is what has led to this tragedy. But on the side of the government, they say we have taken the strictest, strictest action against the culprits. 4 persons have been arrested so far. The liquor that was seized from around 200 liters, they're found to be mixed with methanol. Apart from that, several top officials transferred out and some of them temporarily suspended as well. The inquiry has been handed over to the CBCIDA One month Commission also has been set up. But the fact of the matter is, many locals in Kalakurchi say that this has happened with the Connaivans of the police officials. This was out in the open, Everyone knew that illicit lika was being sold, but nothing was done to crack down on this and prevent this tragedy from happening. And the legacy, the terrible legacy of Hooch liquor related deaths in Tamil Nadu, it has been one of the biggest stains on the state. The crackdown on illicit liquor and the mafia that runs it has been an ongoing battle across governments. But clearly no government has done enough and certainly not the current DMK government. 53 people dying is, if I'm not mistaken, possibly one of the highest, if not the highest death tolls we have seen in the last decade. As far as hooch tragedies are concerned. An absolutely heartbreaking scene has unfolded in this place. We're talking about Talagurchi district as grieving families lay their loved ones to rest on Mass. It's actually a huge Mass funeral. 53 cremations taking place. Victims of this tragic Ooch tragedy claiming 53 lives and counting. That number is expected to rise amidst accusations of government negligence. Protests are intensifying while authorities scramble for answers. Here's more bodies upon bodies lined up for a mass funeral. These are the makeshift crematorium that has been created. 21 bodies of the 38. Are we going to be burned over here? One after the other, it is happening. These are the beloved son, daughter, mother, father and children of the people of this village. The entire village has gathered over here and they are clueless. What's left now are grief, memories and shattered dreams. This is the story of the many families in Tamil Nadu's Kalakurchi who've lost a family member and in some cases, the only breadwinner to spurious liquor. The Stalin government in the state facing flak over 50 deaths caused in the current hooch tragedy. Many are calling out the callousness of the state government machinery in simply failing to curb the sale of illegal liquor. The opposition AIADMK staged a black protest against MK Stalin while the BJP launched a scathing attack on the leadership. Very unfortunate. And our honorable chief minister has not gone to that place. He is sending Uday Nidhi. So it is not a family program. The local people say it has been a practice for quite a long time. Why didn't they prevent it? And there is a strong connection between the DMK functionaries and the these type of activities. The Madras High Court has sought a report from the state government. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Stalin says a probe has been ordered. 3 suspected bootleggers have been arrested and they have a criminal history. The police are on the lookout for the alleged kingpin who allegedly supplied the distilled Arak that caused the deaths. This is the second such tragedy in two years. Last year, 22 persons were killed after consuming similar illicit alcohol laced with methanol. But it looks like deaths are just a number for the DMK government with Pramod Madhav in Kalakuruchi, Tamil Nadu Bureau report India Today And an image that truly captures the devastation in Kalakurchi is this one that's been captured by India Today's Pramod Madhav and his crew. At least 45 cremations taking place at the same time on one single site. These are all people who belong to families where they were the sole breadwinner and they were all cremated together. It was like a mass funeral for the people who had been unfortunate enough to consume that illicit liquor. This is not negligence, viewer. This is murder that has taken place. The alcohol that was peddled to these people was being bootlegged in the middle of a village in plain sight of authorities. So nobody from the DMK or the police or any of the administrative arms can say that they had no idea what was going on. We will be showing you ground reports about just how openly illicit liquor is actually being peddled in different parts of Tamil Nadu. We've got breaking news coming in now. Star actor from the Tamil film industry Surya has now opened up to slam the DMK government on this school tragedy in Kalakorchi. Surya says the state government is encouraging voters to drink, an unusual attack on the DMK government. He says Tasmac shops are being opened. Tasmac are the government owned liquor vends in Tamil Nadu which have been controversial and the political football for many many decades. Superstar Surya says prohibition ends up being nothing more than an election time slogan for all political parties. You had Vijay, actor Vijay, who's taken the political plunge already visiting the injured, visiting the ailing yesterday in a hospital in Kalakurchi. And now Surya has taken a direct shot at the DMK government, saying state governments are encouraging voters to drink and that all talk of prohibition is just useless election time slogans. Nobody follows up on it. Family after family crying women have become the image and the face of this tragedy where they say don't give us rice. We don't want freebies. We just want alcohol to be banned. We don't want any illicit liquor being accessible by our family members. They have hard lives. They they seek alcohol as an escape from their lives and it ends up killing them. This is a terrible, terrible death trap into which the poorest of the poor, the underprivileged are trapped in a cycle of faith in the state of Tamil Nadu. To understand the history of pooch tragedies in Tamil Nadu and the the fact that actors like Surya have now taken direct shots at the state government talking about how prohibition is just a you know is just a pipe dream. Its just a silly promise made during election season. You know Shilpa, the the voices of the affected families is truly heartbreaking. The truth of the matter is, you know, illicit liquor. Liquor availability through Tasmac shops across Tamil Nadu, you know, has always been a big political imperative as well. Any chances of prohibition etc, you know, which comes up during elections can never really happen. Is the government committed this time to get to the root of at least the illicit liquor mafia? Well, yes Sir Shiv, in fact, that is what Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin said in his, you know, in the Assembly today. He spoke at length about the measures taken by the state government in terms of cracking down on illicit liquor. He says ever since the DMK government came to power, over 4,00,000 cases have been registered and over 4,00,000 persons have been arrested for brewing illicit liquor and around 500 persons have been booked under the stringent Gundas Act, is what the Chief Minister said. Periodic meetings takes place at the police. Officials are constantly regulating and looking at, you know, the factories that produces methanol. But the cause of concern, the chief minister said, is the fact that methanol is being smuggled from neighboring states. Even in this case, even the Kalakulchi tragedy, what the investigators have found out is that the methanol was purchased from Puducherry. So that, of course, the chief minister says is a challenge. But nevertheless, having said that, you know, having the government has listed all these several measures that they've been undertaking. But the fact of the matter, simply not enough because if they were doing enough, this tragedy would not have happened. And in Kallukurchi, when you speak to locals, we've been getting multiple accounts, we've been speaking to eyewitnesses, we've been speaking to families who've been affected by this tragedy. And all of them say everyone knew that illicit, illicit liquor was being sold. The police knew, but nothing was done. You know, this person, Govindaraj, his house is located in the heart of that village, its right in the center of that village. And everyone knew that illicit was being sold as how did the police not know that? So several questions are being raised at this point in time. And that is also the reason why the opposition party say do not just transfer or suspend officials, but go into the roots of this problem. Go behind the mafia, see if politicians are involved, see if local politicians are involved, see if there is corruption Nexus between the police officials and those who are selling these illicit liquor. So all of that needs to be looked into by the DMK government and the government says that we are very, very committed to fighting this menace because they say itself, you know, its a threat to humanity, its destroying families in Tamil Nadu. OK Shilpa, thanks very much for that. We are going to keep a very, very close track. Shilpa and Pramod will be getting to the bottom of the investigation that the state government has committed to. The case will continue but we will not take our gaze away from this story. That's a guarantee that we give you here on India Today. Meanwhile, Karnatakas government under Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who came to power in a landslide victory in the Assembly elections in 2023 on the strength of five big welfare guarantees, has now been found struggling to keep his promise and deliver those guarantees to the voters of Karnataka. And that's the reason why the Karnataka government has roped in the multinational Boston Consulting Group BCG to come up with strategies to boost revenue, plug leakages and increase revenue collections in the state in order to help the Siddaramaiah government meet its election promises. The BJP is called the move outrageous and claimed that this decision by the Congress government was like handing over the reins to the East India Company. Having conceded 19 of the states 28 seats to the BJP LED opposition alliance in the recent Lok Sabha election, just a year after capturing power in a dramatic way in the Karnataka assembly, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is under fire again. The state has roped in multinational major Boston Consulting Group as a consultant to help with suggestions to boost its revenue and is paying the global consultancy company 9 1/2 crore rupees for the job. The reason The Siddaramaiah government is struggling to keep its poll promises to voters during the assembly election when you have number of senior IS officers who was helping the state. Why? Because earlier Yeddyurappa, Javad, also Chief Minister SM Krishna Ji and other chief Kumaraswamy was also Chief Minister. Under the dynamic leadership of all these leaders, Karnataka was always ahead in the country. But because of the misgovernance, I don't think any expert from the expert from the overseas is going to help Chieftain Siddaramaiah. Karnatakas finances have been under immense pressure since the Congress government of the state promised a slew of freebies during the campaign, something that brought them to power in a dramatic way. The five guarantees promised by the Congress in Karnataka are Greer Lakshmi, which gives ₹2000 every month to every woman head of a family, Grua Jyoti which promises 200 units of electricity free to every household, Shakti, which allows free travel for women across Karnataka and state buses. Anna Bhagya, 10 kilograms of rice to every member of a poor family every month, and the Yuva Nidhi scheme which promises a ₹3000 dole to unemployed graduates and a ₹1500 dole to unemployed diploma holders for two years in the 18 to 25 age group. Karnataka allocated 36,000 crore rupees for the freebies in the last financial year. This fiscal, the financial burden could be as high as 52,000 crore. The Congress has rubbished the BJPS criticism for hiring Boston Consulting Group. Government of India has engaged BCG for their financial advisor things at all for 2047 vision document creation. Let Vijay either go and ask Narendra Modi why you are given it to a East India Company BCG for vision document. Let him answer this. As per reports, Boston Consulting Group has already suggested the state government focus on identifying new sources of revenue in departments such as mining and asset monetization. One of its many suggestions is to monetize around 25,000 acres of land near Bengaluru. The Congress government claims that even when BJP was in power, they have taken suggestions of same Boston Consulting Group including Chief Minister BS Yurappa and Bombay and they have also claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken the same group suggestion for Vision 2047. And they have also questioned that will BJP call the central government that they have gone back to the East India Company. Shivamurthy Sakaraj reporting for India Today Bengaluru. Now just to be absolutely clear, governments hiring the services of a Boston Consulting Group or other big consulting companies is not particularly unusual. In 2017, the NITI Ayog announced plans to hire Boston Consulting Group for a time bound projects. In 2020, BCG advised the Andhra government of Jaganmohan Reddy on decentralized development. In 2020, the Karnataka government also roped in BCG to attract investments. In 2023, the Union government engaged Boston Consulting Group to help prepare its 2047 vision document. In 2023, the Tamil Nadu government hired Boston Consulting Group to form strategy for its $1 trillion economy target for the state of Tamil Nadu in 2024. This year, the Goa state government listed BCG to prepare Vixit Goa at 2047. So all of these States and including the central government have hired BCG Boston Consulting Group for various various consulting contracts in the past as well. But the reason why the Karnataka story has become something of a headline and why it's kind of standing out and I'll let Sagai Raj, my colleague from Bengaluru, take that question. Sagai, the reason why the 9/9 and 1/2 crore rupee contract that the Siddaramaiah government has given to Boston Consulting Group, you know, is is attracting so much attention and raising eyebrows is not because its unusual for consultants be to be hired for work like this, but because of the reason for it. The reason for it is is directly linked to the fact that the state is visibly struggling to deliver on the five poll promises that the Siddaramaiah government had made last year and which was actually the reason why the Congress government came to power in such a big way. It is quite evident ship if you notice that the ML as and minister had openly spoken about the guarantees. Few ML As were quite vocals where they said that they're not getting enough funds for development if at all. If the government stops, then we will get more fund for the development. And somehow the Karnataka government was pushing till Lok Sabha election. There are instructions from even from the ICC for state Congress government saying that they should continue this particular guarantees. Remember, the Karnataka was a role model for the AICC where they have promised a similar kind of guarantees across the country, if at all if Congress is voted to power. So it will be crucial for Karnataka Congress to continue this particular program but at a cost of development, at the cost of the money which has been flowing to the state treasury. So the Karnataka government has taken suggestion from Boston. According to the Congress leaders, they have said that it is not something new when Deera Power was the chief minister, when Baswaraj Mumbai was the chief minister. They have made some similar kind of decision where they have taken opinion of a Boston Consulting Group. And similarly, they are also trying to do how to increase the revenue of Karnataka so they can go ahead and fulfill the guarantees which has been promised by by the state. But the larger question is how long this will continue. Saray, thanks very much for putting that into perspective for us. Well, keep a track of that story. We've got some breaking news coming in now. Pretty shocking. Congress MLA in Karnataka Uday Gowda has spoken out in support of Kannada actor Darshan who is at the center of a sensational murder case of a fan Renuka Swami. Well, this Congress MLA says Darshan doesn't have the mindset to kill apparently. Heres what he said I bromance, body language, camaraderie and the unexpected bonhomie between two big leaders, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin, sparking national international interest to their countries and speculation about their evolving relationship. Its one of the most viral videos doing the rounds this week. Enjoy. We'll see you after this week. A warm gushy welcome, a drive in a park in a swanky luxury limousine, drinks and gifts. Sounds like an ideal date, but it is not what you think. This is the bromance of two of the toughest tough guys, isolated by their peers, showing the softies. They are a spectacle for the whole town and Kim ensured they were there to witness it. By some accounts two of the most ruthless men gifting each other dogs and feeding horses, giving speeches and raising a toast more reminiscent of a Hollywood movie wedding than a state dinner. Even more dramatic was the warm send off material fit for 1000 memes. The two heavy-handed leaders shook hands and hugged as I said goodbye, leaving the world in shock and awe. Their report India Today.

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