|Wednesday, March 8, 2000,
Trade Union Act to be amended
RSS chief likely to stay
Lawyers court arrest
Opposition forces adjournments
Bill aimed at RSS adopted
tried to frame Rao
Ultra held for planning strikes in
J & K, Delhi
Womens Day awards presented
Trade Union Act to be amended
NEW DELHI, march 7 (PTI) The government tonight decided to amend the 1926 Trade Union Act to promote internal democracy, end multiplicity of unions and reduce the number of persons required to register a union to mere 7.
This was decided at a Cabinet meeting here which cleared introduction of a Bill in the current session of Parliament to amend the Trade Union Act for this purpose.
Official sources said the amendment would also streamline the functioning of trade unions, besides making it mandatory to hold annual elections and auditing of annual accounts.
According to the present law, at least 10 per cent of the total workforce is needed to be enrolled for registration of a union. As per the proposed amendment, just seven persons can form a registered union.
The sources said it was also proposed that not more than one-third of office-bearers, subject to a maximum of five, could be outsiders. At present, half of the office-bearers of unions can be outsiders.
So far very few amendments have been carried out in the outmoded Act.
The government also approved the purchase of land belonging to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Bangalore.
A decision was taken to accede the 1992 protocol on the international convention on establishment of a fund to compensate for oil pollution.
The Cabinet decided to re-introduce a Bill on the chemical weapons convention, making minor changes. It also decided to amend the Army and Air Force (Disposal of Private Property) Act, 1950, to deal with the claim of deceased persons. Earlier, Rs 10,000 could be given without any verification, but the amendment seeks to raise the amount to Rs 9 lakh as had already been done by the Navy.
A legislation would be introduced to prevent exploitation of forests. A legislation on biological diversity would protect the national interests as there was no law to this effect.
RSS chief likely to stay, Sheshadri may go
NAGPUR, March 7 (PTI) The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) Chief Prof Rajendra Singh, alias Rajju Bhaiyya may not step down from his post, but the second-in-command, Mr H.V. Sheshadri, may be replaced, according to RSS sources here.
The sources told PTI today that Mr Sheshadri was also keeping poor health and he had expressed his inability to accept additional responsibilities.
As per the RSS constitution, the supremo enjoys the privilege of naming his successor and it would be very convenient for Prof Rajendra Singh to name the third-in-command, Mr K.C. Sudarshan, as the next sarsanghchalak (chief), the sources said, adding the change of guard "is imminent in due course but not immediately".
During the three-day Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha the meeting of the governing body of the RSS from March 10 Mr Sheshadri may be replaced by either Mr Suresh Ketkar from Mumbai or Mr Mohan Bhagwat of Nagpur, at present looking after Bihar, the sources said.
Mr Sudarshan would remain at number three position for the time being and ultimately succeed the chief in due course of time, they said adding the former would not be elevated to number two position as general secretary during the triennial election because, in such circumstances, he may not be able to occupy the highest chair for another three years, as per the RSS constitution.
Lawyers court arrest
NEW DELHI, March 7 (UNI) More than 13,000 lawyers from various states courted arrest today in protest against the February 24 police crackdown and demanded that officials responsible for the incident be suspended immediately.
It was a silent march which began at 11.30 a.m. from Patiala House, the venue of the lower courts. According to Mr Amarjit Singh Chandhiok, President of the Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA), nearly 17,000 lawyers wearing white bands on their shoulders had participated in the march.
Mr Chandhiok claimed that 13,270 advocates courted arrest. The demonstration lasted for about three hours and choked several main roads, throwing the traffic out of gear.
On February 24, nearly 12,000 advocates from all over the country had marched to the Parliament House to present a memorandum to the Prime Minister. But the police had put three layers of metal barricades opposite Parliament Street police station and jammed the road with heavy vehicles.
The DHCBA has called for
an inquiry under the Commission of Inquiry Act headed by
a sitting judge of the Supreme Court or a division bench
of the high court. If the government does not suspend
erring police officials, another demonstration by lawyers
from all over India will be held outside Parliament
police station on March 19 when US President Bill Clinton
Opposition forces adjournments
NEW DELHI, March 7 An agitated Opposition, demanding an immediate discussion in the Rajya Sabha on the installation of a National Democratic Alliance government in Bihar and a censure debate in the Lok Sabha on the Gujarat Governments decision to allow its employees to participate in RSS activities, forced the adjournment of both the Houses today.
An unrelenting Congress, which stuck to its stand that nothing less than a discussion on the RSS issue under Rule 184, which entails voting, would do, forced the Deputy Speaker, Mr P.M. Sayeed to adjourn the Lok Sabha within two minutes after it met for the seventh consecutive day today.
The Rajya Sabha also saw some uproarious scenes with a defiant Opposition, led by the Congress, the CPM and the RJD, mounting a concerted attack on the government on the Bihar issue. The Chairman, Mr Krishan Kant, adjourned the House 30 minutes ahead of the lunch break after he failed in his effort to restore order, and again for the day 10 minutes after it reassembled.
As soon as the Lok Sabha assembled for the day, the Congress members were on their feet demanding that the Gujarat Government be asked to withdraw its controversial order. RJD members were also on their feet demanding the sack of the Bihar Governor for what they called "murder of democratic norms in the state."
Chanting "Rule 184, Rule 184", the Opposition members stuck to their stand that the RSS issue should be discussed under it. The Congress has been pressing for a voting on the discussion as it wants the BJPs NDA allies to make public their stand on "secularism".
While supporting the Congress, the members of the RJD and the Republican Party of India, also raised slogans demanding a discussion on Bihar.
Repeated pleas by the Chair for the restoration of order went unheeded and finding the agitated members unrelenting, the House was adjourned for the day without transacting any business.
In the Rajya Sabha, an agitated Opposition wanted an immediate discussion in the House on Bihar Governor V.C. Pandes decision to instal an NDA government headed by Mr Nitish Kumar.
The offensive got underway during zero hour when a senior Congress member, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, wanted the government to inform the House as to when a discussion would be taken up.
"Unless a time is fixed for discussion, we are not in a position to allow the government to transact any business in the House. We, however, do not want to create any obstruction", he added.
Leader of the House, Mr Jaswant Singh said he needed to consult his Cabinet colleagues, the Prime Minister and the Home Minister on substance of the issue before fixing up a time.
Mr Venkaiah Naidu intervened saying that the Bihar Assembly was in session and it could take up the matter.
This infuriated the Congress, RJD and CPM members who continued to be on their feet shouting and nothing could be heard in the din.
Since there was no order
in the House, Mr Krishan Kant first adjourned the Rajya
Sabha 30 minutes ahead of lunch. On resumption, finding
that the Opposition was in no mood to relent, the Chair
adjourned the House for the day. Some reports listed for
the day were, however, laid on the table before the
CBI tried to frame Rao
NEW DELHI, March 7 (PTI) Former Karnataka minister Ramalinga Reddy and liquor baron Thimmegowda, facing trial in JMM MPs bribery case, today alleged in a court here that the CBI wanted to frame former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao and ex-Karnataka Chief Minister Veerappa Moily in the case through them.
Making their statements as accused before Special Judge Ajit Bharihoke here, they pleaded innocence and said the CBI implicated them in the case because they refused to give evidence against Mr Rao and Mr Moily.
After listening to the evidence read out to them by the court, they also denied being part of the alleged conspiracy to bribe certain MPs to save the Rao government in the July 28, 1993, no-trust motion in the Lok Sabha.
Both Mr Rao and Mr Moily, who are facing charges of criminal conspiracy and corruption along with Mr Thimmegowda, Mr Ramalinga Reddy and seven more, had earlier termed the CBI case as "politically motivated".
According to the CBI Mr Thimmegowda had withdrawn Rs 1 crore on July 30, 1993, from the Sheshadripuram branch of Canara Bank in Bangalore through three cheques of Rs 60 lakh, Rs 25 lakh and Rs 15 lakh.
The money was brought to Delhi and distributed among Opposition MPs who, in turn, helped save the Rao government, CBI alleged.
However, Mr Thimmegowda, owner of S P R Group Holdings and Yellamma Enterprises, claimed that the money was withdrawn for company work.
Bill aimed at RSS adopted
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, March 7 (UNI) The Kerala Assembly today unanimously adopted a Bill to regulate, through issuance of permits, physical training in the state by extremist organisations.
Participating in the discussions on the controversial Kerala Police (Amendment) Bill, 2000, Chief Minister E.K. Nayanar said the Bill was introduced in the House at a time when organisations like the RSS posed a threat to the countrys integrity.
Cong to get 3 RS seats with 11 Independents
NEW DELHI, march 7 (UNI) With 11 Independent members of the Karnataka Assembly joining the Congress today, the party would secure three Rajya Sabha seats in the biennial elections scheduled for March 29.
The Congress, which had a strength of 132 members in the state Assembly, was three short of securing the third Rajya Sabha seat. With 11 Independent MLAs becoming associate members, its tally in the Assembly goes up to 143. The Karnataka Assembly has 224 members and a party needs the support of 45 MLAs to secure a Rajya Sabha seat.
While one seat is vacant
following Mr m. Rajasekhara Murthy defecting to the BJP,
the three other seats held by Congress members M.
Hanu-manthappa, K. Rehman Khan and former Union Minister
k. Janardhana Poojari fall vacant on April 2. The
notifications for the biennial elections was issued in
Empower women in new
NEW DELHI, March 7 The First lady, Mrs Usha Narayanan, today said examples provided by Scandinavian countries in ensuring 40 per cent representation for women were worth emulating and added that reservation for women in our legislature would take us towards that goal.
Speaking on the theme of "A New Century for Women" at the United Nations Information Centre here on the eve of the International Womens Day, Mrs Narayanan said representation of women in elective bodies was abysmally low. The function was organised by the UN Information Centre and the UN Development Fund for Women.
Mrs Narayanan expressed confidence that greater concern for womens issues by political parties would help us make 21st century a century for women.
She said a new century for women must provide equitable access to economic opportunities as women will continue to be marginalised without income generating capacity and resources.
"To build a new
society we need, a part from green revolution,
liberalisation and globalisation, a social revolution
also and liberalisation of minds towards greater gender
equality," Mrs Narayanan said.
Ultra held for planning strikes in J & K, Delhi
NEW DELHI, March 7 (UNI) Ashiq Hussain Pakhtoo, husband of dreaded woman militant leader of Kashmir Asiyah Indrabi and a hardcore terrorist himself, has been arrested here by the police for planning to launch terrorist strikes in the Capital and Srinagar.
Pakhtoo was arrested by
personnel of the special cell of the Delhi police near
Turkman gate in the walled city on February 27 following
disclosures by a Kashmiri militant linking him (Pakhtoo)
to an ISI-backed hawala racket used for funding terrorist
activities in Delhi and Srinagar.
Womens Day awards presented
NEW DELHI, March 7 (UNI) The International Womens Day awards, constituted by the Nehru Bal Samiti, the countrys premier child and women welfare organisation, were presented at a simple function here today.
Ms Kandpai received the prestigious Bhanumati Memorial Ideal Woman Award for her dedicated work and courage in nurturing her children despite financial stress and difficult earning conditions. The award carried a cash prize of Rs 10,000, a shield and a shawl.
The Bal Mitra and the Kala Mitra awardees included Dr Madhu Pant, Ms Tatiana M. Fadeyeva, Ms Natalia Surina, Ms Purnima Anand, Ms Shikha Bakshi, Ms Sunita Sharma, Ms Sremoti Dutt, Dr A.M. Nazarkina, and Mr Daulat Ram.
The awards were given away by samiti honorary secretary and freedom fighter S.P. Govil and noted social activist J. Raj Saigal.
The samiti, engaged in
the task of welfare activities for the weaker sections
for the past 36 years, is the recipient of the
Presidents Award for social welfare, 1993, and the
United Nations medal for its contribution for the
golden jubilee celebrations of the world body.
Womens Bill in Budget session
NEW DELHI, march 7 (PTI) the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee today said he was confident that the Womens Reservation Bill would be taken up for discussion during the Budget session of Parliament, according to a woman activist, who was part of the delegation that called on him.
"We are discussing
the issue with the various political parties. Some
parties have agreed to consider the Bill, provided there
is reduction in the quota," Mr Vajpayee told a
womens delegation, who presented him the
"Womens charter 2000 -against poverty and
violence" on the eve of International Womens
Bill on conversion referred to AG
GANDHINAGAR, March 7 (PTI) Even as controversy stalks the Gujarat Governments order on the RSS issue, a non-official Bill tabled in the state assembly seeking a ban on conversion by force has been referred to the Advocate-General for his opinion on its constitutional validity.
The Bill, introduced by a BJP member, Mr Mangalbhai Patel, on September 30 last year, was sent by the Gujarat Government to the Governor for his recommendation due to its financial implications.
The Governor, Sundar Singh Bhandari, official sources here said, has referred the Bill back to the state government, asking it to furnish information regarding its financial implications and seeking advice of the Attorney-General about its constitutional validity.
The Bill says
"Conversion in its essence involves an act of
undermining ones faith. The process becomes all the
more objectionable when it is brought about by taking
recourse to methods like allurement, force, fraud and
exploitation of ones poverty."
LUCKNOW, March 7 (UNI) Even as the commotion over film "water" continues, shooting of another movie has run into rough weather the locale now shifting from Varanasi to the state capital.
The Muslim community, mainly members of the Shia sect, has raised serious objection over permission being granted by the Lucknow district administration to shoot "Gadar" in the world famous Asifi Imambara here.
commercial film to be shot in the backdrop of the events
of 1947, is being produced by Nitin Keni and stars Sunny
Deol and Amisha Patel. The second phase of shooting is
scheduled to take place in the Imambara from March 17.
murder case solved
atop WB Secretariat
Rare species of
8,000 birds seized
A Muslim who
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