|Friday, May 5, 2000,
SC allows DDA to take action
Roop Lal gets brave
Train brings loads of water, joy
Pawan Bansals plea on
Dont close evidence
against Jaya: SC
1,300 cr loans given to weaker
UGC sets norms to curb ragging
Pakistanis want peace
Jethmalani, Nariman differ on
Amarinder meets Sonia Gandhi
UN envoy discusses Afghan problem
SC allows DDA to take action
NEW DELHI, May 4 (PTI) The Supreme Court has given permission to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to initiate legal action in the district court against hazardous industries shifted out of the Capital, to acquire their surplus factory land in accordance with the apex courts 1996 judgement.
Directing all such industries to surrender the excess factory land to the authority within a month, a Division Bench comprising Mr Justice B.N. Kirpal and Mr Justice S.S.M. Quadri said: "If this is not done, the DDA will be duty-bound to move for execution of this courts order of May 10, 1996, before the District Judge, who shall thereupon execute it."
The DDA was directed that the execution applications should not be delayed after the completion of the one month period given to the industries and be submitted within eight weeks.
The court, in 1996 had directed the relocation of all hazardous industries causing land, water and air pollution out of the city within three years and the closing units were asked to surrender a portion of the factory land to the DDA as devised in the scheme.
However, lawyer M.C. Mehta, on whose public interest litigation (PIL) the dislocation order came, in a recent plea alleged that in spite of closing their units, a large number of industries had not surrendered the excess land to the DDA.
The Bench rejected senior lawyer K.K. Venugopals contention on behalf of the industries that "the court never contemplated that the land will be surrendered free of cost." The court said it was not possible to accept the contention of the industries that the DDA could acquire the land only after the payment of compensation.
"There is nothing to indicate in the order to shift within a reasonable period of time," the court observed.
"If the industries continued to use the land in violation of the master plan and then have had to lose some parcels of it, they have to blame themselves for it," the Bench said.
On the issue of
entitlement of retaining the land by those industries
which had shifted before the courts 1996
directives, the Bench said it would have been more
profitable for them had they "obeyed" the law
as contemplated in the master plan, but they did not care
to do so.
Roop Lal gets brave
NEW DELHI, May 4 - The All- India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF) felicitated and honoured Mr Roop Lal, who was released from a Pakistan jail after 26 years of imprisonment, with an award of "Brave Son of India" and a bank draft for Rs 51,000.
Trophy of the award and the bank draft were presented to Mr Roop Lal by Mr M.S. Bitta and Lt-Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora PVSM (retd) on behalf of AIATF.
Mr Roop Lal was arrested in Pakistan in the 1974 on charges of spying and was released recently.
While giving away the award, General Aurora, who presided over the felicitation ceremony, urged the Union Government to form an organisation to look after the families of the prisoners of war (POWs).
Families of the soldiers who were made prisoners during the 1971 war should be given full support by the government, he said.
To know the whereabouts of the soldiers, who were made prisoners in Pakistan during the 1971 war, was a difficult task and the government should have diplomatic contact tot race them.
General Aurora also advised the politicians to send their wards to the Defence services so that they could also understand hardship and the importance of war.
Mr Bitta, chairman of the AIATF, said Mr Roop Lal was an example of bravery and inspiration can be taken from him to serve the country.
He said he was trying to get the 54 prisoners who were still languishing in different Pakistani jails,released. The AIATF and members of the families of prisoners had approached the Union Government, the Pakistani Government and international bodies like the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) and the Red Cross Society for their release.
To secure the release of the POWs, a national level consensus is needed. The AIATF called upon the people to join hands on this issue and display unity and national spirit as was shown during the Kargil conflict.
The released prisoners have complained to the Government about the ill-treatment meted out to them and lack of basic facilities in the jails in Pakistan. The government has, asked the Pakistani Government through political channels to take corrective steps in this regard.
However, there was no improvement in the conditions of the Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails, Mr Bitta said.
The function was also attended by members of the families of the POWs.
PTI adds: Mr Roop Ral today said the Gayatri mantra had saved him from death in foreign land and eventually gained him freedom.
"It is the Gayatri mantra, which saved me from hanging," he said at the function to felicitate him.
Day and night I was chanting the mantra... which saved me from death and subsequently from Pakistani jails," he said.
"The 9,490 days I had spent in Pakistani were horrible," he said sharing his experience there with the gathering of war-veterans.
Train brings loads of water,
JAIPUR, May 4 A severe heat wave, with the maximum temperature ranging between 40 to 43 degrees Celsius, dried up wells and water supply only once a week for 30 minutes. This is the plight of Vijainagar town, near Ajmer, and umpteen other towns of Rajasthan.
Thus any real attempt to mitigate their suffering on the water front fills the hearts of the people with joy. That is why when a relief train carrying 16 wagons of water chugged into Vijainagar railway station on Tuesday, almost the entire town turned up to accord it an unprecedented welcome. The Water Supply Minister, Mr Ram Singh Bishnoi, who had flagged of the train from Nasirabad Railway Station, was also present at Vijainagar to receive the train.
The Water Supply Department had constructed a massive water reservoir on a war footing near the railway track in which three tankers carrying 40,000 litres of water each were emptied. From the reservoir, water will be pumped to departmental tanks from where the same will flow in to the pipelines. For some time, the water will be supplied on alternate day, but the frequency will be reduced in due course as the supply improves.
After emptying three wagon loads of water at Vijainagar, the train moved on to Kankroli via Bhilwara.
Though the train was scheduled to arrive with 23 wagons, on account of ruptures developed in the special pipeline laid from Bisalpur Dam to Nasirabad, the number had to be truncated to only 16. When the pipeline starts functioning in full swing, the frequency of water supply will be reduced in the towns and villages lying near the railway track from Nasirabad to Kankroli.
But the people elsewhere are not as lucky as the residents of Vijainagar. According to a local newspaper report, 53 of the 69 tankers of broadgauge line which were brought from Badodra to Jodhpur for carrying water to scarcity-hit areas are lying unused at Bhagat ki Kothi station. The report claims that 12 out of the 15 tankers of metre gauge also are lying stranded at Luni railway station in the same region.
According to this
report, 69 empty wagons had arrived at Jodhpur as early
as April 26, but nobody bothered for them. For three
days, no one could decide as to where these tankers would
be filled and where they would carry water. On April 29,
only 4 tankers each were filled with water and sent to
Pipar town. Till date, arrangements have been made for
use of 16 tankers only.
Dont close evidence against Jaya: SC
NEW DELHI, May 4 (PTI) The Supreme Court today directed a special court in Chennai not to close evidence against AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalitha in the colour television scam.
A three-judge Bench comprising Mr Justice K.TM Thomas, Mr Justice B.P. Mohapatra and Mr Justice R.C. Lahoti issued the direction on a petition by Ms Jayalalitha against a Madras High Court order upholding the trial court direction to close examination of witnesses in the case.
The court said it would examine tomorrow the plea of Ms Jayalalitha regarding calling some of her witnesses in the case.
The court said it would pass an appropriate order on the petition on Friday.
Ms Jayalalithas counsel Kapil Sibal said the trial court had closed the evidence in the case without giving a chance to some of her witnesses to depose.
"You give us the list of witnesses right now and we will pass the order", the Bench told Mr Sibal.
Mr Sibal said he would provide the list tomorrow.
"She should be given a chance to examine the witnesses", Mr Justice Thomas observed.
PMs assurance to journalists
NEW DELHI, May 4 Employee representatives of newspapers and news agencies today urged the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, to intervene in expediting the much-delayed implementation of the recommendations of the Manisana Wage Boards for journalist and non-journalist employees of newspapers and news agencies.
The government, however, maintained that the Manisana Wage Board had sought more time to submit the final report as the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court against the tentative proposals. This was stated in the Rajya Sabha by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Muni Lall.
In a meeting with the Prime Minister, the employees were assured that the government was committed to the continuance of the wage board as a mechanism for revision of wages for working journalists and other newspaper employees.
The government also accepted the suggestion to set in motion the process of setting up of tripartite committees at the states-level wherever they have not been constituted for the effective implementation of the recommendations of the wage boards. It was also decided to invite the Indian Language Newspapers Association and the INS for a discussion on all aspects of the Justice Raj Kumar Manisana Singh Wage Boards.
The Labour Minister, Mr Satya Narain Jatiya, the Information and Broadcasting Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley, and two wage board members, Mr Shyam Khosla and Mr K.Vikram Rao, were amongst those who attended the meeting.
In the Rajya Sabha, Mr Muni Lall said the INS had filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court against the tentative proposals, which is listed for hearing on May 9. The completion of the proceedings of the wage board would, thus, depend on the outcome of the writ petition, the minister said.
PTI adds: The government on Thursday decided to invite representatives of newspaper managements to discuss "all aspects" of the R.K. Manisana Singh Wage Boards for journalists and non-journalists.
The assurance came at a 30-minute meeting Mr Vajpayee had with leaders of the National Coordination Committee of the Newspapers and News Agencies Employees Unions here.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley and Labour Minister Satyanarain Jatiya were also present.
representatives were Santosh Kumar, R. Prabhu
(coordinators of the committee), Parmanand Pandey (Ifwj),
S. Ramamurthi (Ainef), S.N. Sinha (Iju), S. Dabriyal
(Nfne), A.L.Gawade (UNI Workers Union), M.S. Yadav and A.
Roychowdhury (Federation of PTI Employees Unions).
1,300 cr loans given to weaker
NEW DELHI, May 4 The Consultative Committee of Parliament attached to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment met here today and discussed the functioning and performance of various corporations under the administrative control of the ministry.
Corporations that were discussed during the meeting were the National Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation, the National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation, the National Backward Classes Finance and Development Corporation, the National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation and the Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India, Kanpur.
Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Maneka Gandhi informed the members that the corporations extended, so far, over Rs 1300 crore as loans benefiting over six lakh persons belonging to the various weaker sections of society. She informed that an amount of Rs 263 crore was disbursed by these corporations during the previous financial year.
The minister said the corporations had been asked to expand their coverage by enhancing the number of state channelising agencies in consultation with the states. Some corporations had commenced the scheme of direct lending to help out the enterprising and needy persons of the weaker sections. These beneficiaries were organised by non-governmental organisations into self-help groups through micro-credit, she added.
She said her ministry
had reoriented the scheme for the liberation and
rehabilitation of scavengers through sanitary marts.
Under this scheme, groups of scavengers would set up
cooperatives with the governments aid to produce
sanitary wares. They would market their products and
provide services for facilitating conversion of dry
latrines into wet latrines as conversion was the only way
to eradicate scavenging, the minister added. She said her
ministry had sanctioned Rs 70 crore to the states for
setting up 3,336 sanitary marts during the previous
Pawan Bansals plea on
NEW DELHI, May 4 Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, MP from Chandigarh, today urged the Centre to instruct the city administration to urgently effect amendments the building bylaws and regularise the need-based alterations.
Raising the issue in the Lok Sabha under Rule 377, Mr Bansal said the Centre should also instruct the Chandigarh administration to suspend notices for old actions.
He said over the years a large number of people had effected some minor need-based alterations in the residential units or shops in Chandigarh.
This was done, not clandestinely but with the full knowledge of the Administration, he said adding that now the Administration while promising to make necessary amendments in the building bylaws it had issued notices threatening resumption on massive scale.
UGC sets norms to curb ragging
NEW DLEHI, May 4 (UNI) Playing pranks and poking harmless fun could be all a part of and innocent game; but ragging, not frequently, become abusive and violates an other individuals personal space.
Perturbed over the rise in the number of ragging incidents, the University Grants Commission (UGC) recently came out with a set of guidelines that provides for rigorous imprisonment for three years besides a fine of Rs 25,000 for the wrong-doer.
Pakistanis want peace with India
NEW DELHI, May 4 (UNI) The silent majority in Pakistan wants friendly and peaceful relations with India but dares not speak for the fear of the gun, leading Pakistani human rights activist and lawyer Asma Jehangir said here today.
Blaming former military dictator Gen Zia-ul-Haq for spreading fundamentalism in Pakistan, Ms Jehangir said Pakistan was a "society in hostage where people dare to speak up only at the risk of their lives".
"If it was in our hands, cross-border violence will end tomorrow. But, things are not in the hands of the common people. For the sake of the silent majority, we want the violence in the subcontinent to stop," the human rights activist said at a meeting with Indian womens organisations here.
Stating that similar fundamentalist groups existed in India also, Ms Jehangir said progressive forces on both sides should resist the "bullying" by such groups and their influence on their governments.
South Asian countries, with their common culture, heritage and problems, needed to solve these problems together so that the region could carve a place for itself in the rapidly shrinking world.
Stressing the need to increase people-to-people contacts between India and Pakistan, Ms Jehangir said that was the only way to mobilise public opinion and influence the governments to talk peace.
"When we meet like this, we meet not as adversaries but as lost friends," she added.
Educationist Usma Kardar, on her third visit to India, said: "Our governments are at war, but our people are at peace."
Ms Kardar read out several messages sent by her students, aged 10 to 14 years, expressing a desire for peace in the region.
Activist Farzana Perveen Bari said poverty was the main issue in the subcontinent with a large part of the budgets being allocated for military expenditure. If there was peace in the region, the money being spent on buying arms could be used for improving the health and education standards of the people, she added.
Among the Indian activists present were Ms Pramila Dandavate, Ms Brinda Karat, Ms Veena Majumdar and Ms Amarjeet Kaur besides a large number of members of women groups.
Jethmalani, Nariman differ on review
NEW DELHI, May 4 (PTI) Union Law Minister Ram Jethmalani and noted jurist Fali S. Nariman sharply differ on the desirability of having a Constitution review at the present juncture.
Criticising the government for embarking on the exercise, Mr Nariman, a Rajya Sabha MP, said it was a "wrong time" to undertake such a review as the pulls and pressures likely to be exerted from far-flung areas like the North-East and South would create problems.
Participating in Karan Thapars "Talk Back" programme to be telecast on Doordarshan tonight, he was also extremely critical of the manner in which the government appointed the Constitution Review panel, saying the Parliament should have been consulted and an approach of consensus adopted with political parties.
A review was undesirable at the present juncture as the Constitution had helped preserve Indias unity and integrity for the past 50 years, unlike unstable democracies in some neighbouring countries,Mr Nariman said.
Stoutly defending the exercise, Mr Jethmalani allayed fears that the basic structure of the Constitution would be tampered with.
"We have no intention of interfering with the basic features of the Constitution. We have no wish to dilute the Parliamentary forum .... What we are doing is to look at the loose nuts and bolts which constitute 4 to 5 per cent of the Constitution," Mr Jethmalani said.
Countering public receptions of a possible hidden agenda behind the review, Mr Jethmalani said the commission included eminent personalities. "I dont think they will be party to any secret agenda if there is any."
Amarinder meets Sonia Gandhi
NEW DELHI, May 4 - The Punjab Pradesh Congress President, Mr Amarinder Singh, who is facing dissent from a section of party in the state, today called on the Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, and apprised her of the latest situation.
The PPCC chief met the Congress President at her 10, Janpath residence and also apprised her of the agitational programmes being undertaken by the PCC during this month starting from Monday in Punjab.
Although Mr Amarinder Singh did not elaborate on the nature of talks he had with the Congress President, party sources said the high command had taken a strong view against the current dissent in the state unit.
UN envoy discusses Afghan
NEW DELHI, May 4 UN Special Envoy on Afghanistan Francesc Vendrell has been here since May 2 for consultations with the officials of the Ministry of External Affairs on the Afghan problem.
Mr Vendrell during his four-day stay in the Capital called on the External Affairs Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh and the Foreign Secretary, Mr Lalit Mansingh. Briefing newspersons about Mr Vendrells mission, a spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs said India was in touch with all principal interlocutors.
Apart from India, Mr
Vendrell also visited other countries which could
contribute to a peaceful political solution of the Afghan
problem, the spokesman said. He has been to Central Asian
Republics, Iran, Pakistan , China and Russia.
Govt to pay compensation
Cop kills wife,
forms shadow Cabinet
brother shot dead
mail to Siachen troops
yields anti-fluoride matter
Rajasthan to ban
chewing of gutka
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