|Wednesday, May 31, 2000,
Speaker should be elected
Evolve consensus, India tells
Ex-DDA officers issued notices
National health policy to be
Home Secy to visit
WB civic poll: Left maintains hold
Trial ends in case against Rao
Laloo, Rabri flay state Governor
Heavy rain likely in Andaman
New concept of coronary screening
2 held for using forged passports
Hindi scholar dead
Speaker should be elected unopposed
HYDERABAD, May 30 (PTI) In a pathbreaking endeavour for the smooth functioning of parliamentary democracy, Lok Sabha Speaker GMC Balayogi today suggested that the presiding officers should sever political affiliations and should be elected unanimously from their respective constituencies.
Inaugurating the 63rd conference of presiding officers of legislative bodies in the country here, Mr Balayogi said the Chairs guaranteed aloofness from the mainstream of political life would enhance dignity of the Speakers office.
"To ensure impartial working of the Speaker it is essential that the speaker should not be subjected to compulsions of day-to-day politics. The Chairs isolation and guaranteed aloofness from the mainstream of political life would enhance the dignity of the speakers office", Mr Balayogi said.
"Such aloofness will enable the members to look up to the Chair and respect the incumbent as the impartial protector and guarantor of their rights and privileges", Mr Balayogi said.
He called for establishing of a convention whereby the seat from which the Speaker stood for re-election would not be contested and Speaker would not take part in party politics.
Citing the example of the British House of Commons, Mr Balayogi said "Once an MP is elected to the office of the Speaker, he severs party connections and is expected to function impartially. If the Speaker seeks re-election, he stands simply as the Speaker and it is customary for the other parties not to contest the seat.
The presiding officers conferences held in 1951 and 1953 were also of the opinion that a convention should be established to ensure unanimous election of the Speaker, Mr Balayogi said.
The Page Committee, appointed by the Chairman of the 1967 conference, considered it desirable that the seat from which the Speaker stood for re-election to the House not be contested, he said.
Mr Balayogi lamented "It is felt in some quarters the conventions associated with our democratic functioning do not provide for conditions to facilitate independent, politically neutral functioning of office of presiding the officers".
Besides the role of the Speaker in a multi-party system, the relationship between the legislature, judiciary and the executive and dual membership of Parliament and legislatures are the main issues which will be discussed during the three-day conference.
Advocating harmonious co-existence between the judiciary, legislature and the executive, Mr Balayogi said "Any attempt by any one of them to usurp the powers of the other could upset the scheme of distribution of powers as envisaged by the constitution".
"It is important to
bear in mind that if these three principal bodies of the
government work at cross purposes, day-to-day governance
would become impossible. Safeguarding the collective
image of the entity of government is the collective
responsibility of all three organs", he said.
Evolve consensus, India tells
NEW DELHI, May 30 India has advised Sri Lanka to prepare a devolution of power package and obtain as clear a political consensus as possible on it.
In a firm statement about Indias position on the ongoing crisis in the Sri Lanka, the Vajpayee Government has ruled out any kind of military intervention in the island country but has reiterated its commitment for Sri Lankas unity and integrity. The government is of the view that the IPKF experiment cannot be repeated, knowledgeable sources said.
Colombo has been conveyed that New Delhi was also not going to broker a ceasefire between the Sri Lankan forces and the Tamil Tigers.
In case that Norway, the ICRC and the UNHRC are in a position to guarantee a ceasefire, New Delhi may be prepared to extend some assistance but the Indian Government has never showed its readiness to evacuate the civilians or the Sri Lankan forces in and around Jaffna.
It was the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, who while recuperating in Delhi, had mooted the idea of seeking New Delhis assistance for evacuating the Sri Lankan forces but the Vajpayee Government had outrightly rejected the idea.
The government feels strongly against any kind of military intervention. Firstly Sri Lanka has not asked for it but even if Colombo was to ask for it, even then New Delhi was not prepared.
Ex-DDA officers issued notices
NEW DELHI, May 30 (UNI) The Supreme Court has issued notices to five top-ranking former officers of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to show-cause why their conduct in extending undue favour to the Skipper Construction, headed by Tejwant Singh, not be referred to the Vigilance Commission for re-examination.
The officers concerned belonging to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and now posted elsewhere are: Mr R.S. Sethi, Development Commissioner, Arunachal Pradesh Government, Mr K.S. Baidwan, Principal Secretary-cum-Commissioner (Industry), Delhi Government, Mr Virendar Nath, Financial Commissioner and Secretary, Transport Department, Haryana Government, Mr Om Kumar, Resident Commissioner, Tamil Nadu Government, Tamil Nadu House, New Delhi and Mr Ailawadi, DDAs former Vice-President (since retired).
A Division Bench comprising Mr Justice M.J. Rao and Mr Justice U.C. Banerjee issued the notices when it found that the action taken against them on the basis of an earlier report of the Vigilance Commission was not adequate.
"A question has arisen whether the minor punishments like reduction in their pay and censuring them for their conduct were too meagre and whether the manner in which the final orders against them were passed by the central government were correct and whether the punishments awarded were not commensurate with the gravity of the misconduct proved," the judges asked.
The five officers along with many others allegedly flouted the orders of the Lt-Governor and granted extension of time to Skipper Construction for payment of instalments to the DDA for the land allotted to the company at Jhandewalan and thereby helped it to achieve its nefarious designs to defraud both the DDA and innocent public to the tune of Rs 20-30 crore.
The court also asked the
Israel Embassy to file a report about the value of
Tejwant Singhs property at 3, Auranzeb Road, in the
occupation of the embassy and directed listing of the
matter after the summer vacation.
National health policy to be
NEW DELHI, May 30 The Minister of Health, Dr C.P. Thakur today said that the national health policy would be revised and health for all would be a reality by 2010.
Addressing newspersons here today, the minister said that change in the health scenario, epidemiological situation of communicable and non-communicable diseases and liberalisation of economy had necessitated revision of the policy which was first drafted in 1983.
Dr Thakur said that the first meeting of the National Population Commission, the apex body for implementing the national population policy, will be held under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, on July 21. The meeting would be attended by all Chief Ministers, Chief Secretaries and some Union ministers. A preliminary draft on implementing the population policy would be prepared at the end of the meeting.
The minister said that special attention would be paid to BIMARU States besides West Bengal, Assam and Orissa for implementing the family planning programmes.
Replying to a question, Dr Thakur said that the primary health centres were not working satisfactorily and the ministry was making efforts to revive such centres. He said that most centres had four or five officers and the ministry was considering entrusting each officer with specific areas as infectious diseases, non-infectious diseases, maternity and child health care and for linking the centre with district hospitals and Central Government hospitals. He said that if such a link was established, patients would get immense help.
He said that the ministry would encourage research on development of an indigenous AIDS vaccine. He reiterated that his ministry would strive afresh to achieve population stabilisation. He cited the example of Uganda where intensive propaganda on AIDS prevention and population control had proved fruitful.
Replying to a question, he said that legislative measures to check consumption of tobacco and tobacco products in the country were in the offing.
He said that certain
diseases like malaria and Kala Azar which were considered
eradicated have been reported again and needed to be
tackled. He added that tuberculosis was another dreadful
disease that needed to be tackled.
Home Secy to visit Tripura
AGARTALA, May 30 (UNI) A high-level official team, led by Union Home Secretary Kamal Pandey, will visit Tripura next week for making an on-the-spot assessment of the situation and reviewing the strategy of the state government to curb militancy.
Official sources said here today that the Central team, which was scheduled to arrive tomorrow, would now come here on June 7 for a two-day visit to review the overall situation and anti-insurgency strategy now on in the state.
The Central team would also examine whether the Central forces, deployed for the counter insurgency operation, were effectively used, the sources added.
Other members of the Central team are Border Security Force (BSF) Director-General E.N.Ram Mohan, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Director-General M.N.Saberwal, Home Ministrys Joint Secretary for North-Eastern Affairs G.K.Pillai and a senior officer from the Army headquarters.
The visit of the Central team assumes significance in view of the recent escalation of militant and ethnic violence in the state. The Centre had recently sanctioned 10 additional companies of Central Para Military Forces (CPMF), including six companies of the CRPF. The state government had been demanding additional five battalions of the Army to intensify anti-insurgency operations in the state.
Welcoming the Central teams visit, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said his government had an open mind in tackling militancy. "We have no political considerations in this regard. We have accepted all proposals and suggestions received so far from the Centre to curb militancy in the state," he pointed out.
If the Centre deployed adequate number of Army personnel to flush out militants then any senior Army officer could be a member of the state-level coordination committee (SLCC) led by state Chief Secretary V.Thulasidas. SLCC is the apex body supervising the counter-insurgency operations. Senior Assam Rifles, BSF and CRPF officers, besides the police personnel and intelligence experts, are the members of the SLCC.
The Chief Minister said despite the state being surrounded by the international border, there were no Army units in the state.
WB civic poll: Left maintains hold
CALCUTTA, May 30 (PTI) The Congress put up a spirited performance in the West Bengal civic polls, capturing 13 of the 53 municipalities, while the Trinamool Congress-BJP combine managed to win only five municipal boards till this evening.
Maintaining its grip, the ruling Left Front, bagged 23 municipalities, State Election Commission sources here said.
Gorkha National Liberation Front retained the Mirik municipality.
No party received a majority in 10 municipalities, while in Chandrakona, the Trinamool Congress and the Left Front bagged six seats each.
Even as the party conceded four municipalities to the ruling Front, the Congress, more or less, managed to retain the number of seats the party won last time.
Trial ends in case against Rao
NEW DELHI, May 30 (UNI) The trial ended today in the sensational MPs bribery case against former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao and 10 others, with a Delhi court reserving its judgment at the conclusion of final arguments by the prosecution and the 11 accused.
The case, the first against a former Prime Minister filed under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), 1988, relates to the alleged bribing of opposition MPs to defeat the July 28, 1993, no-confidence motion against the then Congress government headed by Mr Rao.
The trial court of Additional Sessions Judge Ajit Bharihoke, who held the over three-year-long trial, today told counsel for the CBI and the accused that he would issue notice to all of them, possibly in July, about the precise date of the judgment.
With this, Mr Rao, who at one time had three CBI cases against him in the same court, is now facing trial only in the 1,00,000-dollar Lakhubhai Pathak cheating case. He has already been discharged in the St Kitts forgery case, with the judge ruling that there was no sufficient evidence against him to frame charges.
Besides Mr Rao, the
other accused in the bribery case are his relative, V.
Rajeshwara Rao, former Union Ministers Buta Singh, Satish
Sharma and Ajit Singh, former Chief Ministers Bhajan Lal
(Haryana) and M. Veerappa Moily (Karnataka), former
Karnataka Ministers H.M. Revenna and Ramalinga Reddy, M.
Thimme Gowda and D.K. Adikeshavalu.
Sonia flags off water tankers
NEW DELHI, May 30 The Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, today flagged off 10 water tankers to drought-affected districts of Rajasthan.
She congratulated the Indian Youth Congress President, Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, and Youth Congress workers for their efforts to help the drought-affected people of Rajasthan.
She said the need of the hour was to rise above the political differences and help the suffering people.
Laloo, Rabri flay state Governor
PATNA, May 30 (PTI) RJD President Laloo Prasad Yadav and Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi today charged the state Governor V.C. Pande with having been unfair or misled in granting sanction for their prosecution in a determined bid to forestall re-installation of Rabri Devi to office after NDA leader Nitish Kumar bowed out of it.
Contesting the accusations by the CBI against the Laloo-Rabri duo for framing of charges in the disproportionate assets case in the court of the designated CBI Judge, S.K. Lal, their counsel, P.N. Pandey and Chittranjan Sinha, said the Governor had granted sanction for their prosecution on March 10, 2000, the day NDA leader Nitish Kumar, resigned without seeking a confidence vote in the state Assembly.
Mr Pandey said the CBI had approached the Governor seeking their prosecution on March 5, 2000, two days after Nitish Kumar became the Chief Minister.
And till the date of the CBI approaching the Governor or the latter permitting the agency to prosecute them there was no material evidence produced by the CBI with respect to agriculture income of Rabri Devi, he said asking what had compelled the Governor to sanction prosecution the day Nitish Kumar resigned.
More so the CBI collected the evidence regarding Rabri Devis agriculture income between March 24,2000 and April 2, 2000, he claimed and accused the Governor of having asked the investigating agency to collect evidence regarding her agriculture income.
The Governors action asking the CBI to collect evidence against Rabri Devi with respect to her agriculture income appears to be malafide and influenced, Mr Pandey said.
New twist to MP politics
BHOPAL, May 30 Disbursement of tendu patta bonus by the Union Rural Development Minister and BJP leader, Mr Sunderlal Patwa, in two villages of Raisen and Hoshangabad districts on Sunday adds an interesting dimension to the murky politics of Madhya Pradesh. The decision reflects Mr Patwas pique with the BJP leader, Mr Lakkhiram Agrawal, more than his concern for the poor tendu patta pluckers.
As Chief Minister (1990-1992), Mr Patwa had not only described as fraud the process of cooperatisation of tendu patta collection and payment of bonus but also tried to reverse the process, mainly to benefit Mr Agrawal, then Mr Patwas protégé.
It is a fascinating story. Tendu patta is used for making bidis. Madhya Pradesh accounts for over 60 per cent of the countrys total production of tendu leaves and lakhs of the poor, mainly tribal, families are engaged in the tendu patta collection every season. Collection storage and trade of tendu patta were in private hands.
On her return to power in 1980, Mrs Indira Gandhi wrote a letter to Chief Ministers asking them to strive for giving some sort of ownership rights to the tribals on the forest produce. Mr Arjun Singh sat over Mrs Gandhis letter during his entire five-year term.
Mr Arjun Singh returned to the state as Chief Minister in 1988 and chose the backward Kharsia constituency in the remote Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh region to enter the Assembly. Pitted against him was the BJPs, Mr Dilip Singh Judeo, whose election was managed by Mr Lakkhiram Agrawal, the then biggest tendu patta trader of Chhattisgarh.
Mr Arjun Singh was literally made to sweat it out and he had used the government machinery unashamedly to win the election. He scraped through by a small margin of 8,000 votes.
Once settled at Vallabh Bhavan (state secretariat) firmly, Mr Singh retrieved the eight-year-old letter of Mrs Gandhi, and in one stroke, took the tendu patta collection from the hands of private parties, announced formation of co-operatives of tendu patta pluckers and deputed the entire government machinery, the District Collector downwards, in the collection work. Mr Lakkhiram Agrawals tendu patta trade crashed almost overnight.
With most of the collection charges having been paid from the government treasury, Mr Singh even announced bonus for the tendu patta pluckers.
The BJP government of Mr Patwa took office in 1990. Mr Patwa stubbornly refused to pay Rs 112.5 crore as bonus to tendu patta pluckers saying that it was all a fraud and fake co-operative societies had been constituted. Mr Patwa also privatised part of tendu patta collection to help Mr Lakkhiram Agrawal who had by then become Mr Patwas trusted lieutenant. (Mr Patwa, who is compared only with Mr Arjun Singh in political manipulations, got Mr Agrawal elected president of the state unit twice). Mr Patwas move to hand over tendu patta collection to private parties once again was reversed after the dismissal of the BJP government in December, 1992.
Now Mr Patwa and Mr
Agrawal are after each others throat over the issue
of dominance in the Chhattisgarh region. Mr Agrawal, in
charge of the Madhya Pradesh affairs, is disturbing Mr
Patwas base in the state in every manner possible.
And a piqued Mr Patwa chose to disburse tendu patta bonus
and admit indirectly that his own policy on tendu patta
eight years ago was wrong. Cooperatisation of tendu patta
collection is still a sore point with Mr Lakkhiram
Heavy rain likely in Andaman islands
PUNE, May 30 (PTI) Forecast valid until the morning of June 1: Rain or thundershowers are likely to occur at most places in Andaman and Nicobar Islands; at many places in sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Sikkim, Konkan and Goa; at a few places in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura, Gangetic West Bengal, west Madhya Pradesh, south Gujarat region, Saurashtra, Madhya Maharashtra, Marathwada, coastal Karnataka and south interior Karnataka and at isolated places over the rest of the country outside north Rajasthan where the weather will be mainly dry.
Heavy rainfall warning: Heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places in Andaman and Nicobar Islands during the next 48 hours.
Temperatures recorded in four metropolitan cities in degrees Celsius:
Mumbai Max 32 (-1 ) Min 27 (N)
New Delhi Max 43 (+2 ) Min 33 (+5)
Calcutta Max 30 (-5) Min 27 (N)
Chennai Max 39 (+1) Min 29 (+1)
The trough on sea level chart from Punjab to north-east Bay across south Uttar Pradesh persists and extends up to lower tropospheric levels. The trough on sea level chart extending up to lower levels from the Gujarat coast to the Kerala coast also persists.
A western disturbance as an upper air system lies over north Pakistan and neighbourhood. A trough on sea level chart lies south-east Bay and adjoining Andaman Sea.
The cyclonic circulation between 2.1 and 5.8 km a.s.l. over south Maharashtra coast and adjoining Karnataka coast has become less marked. The other cyclonic circulation between 3.1 and 5.8 km a.s.l. over south the Andhra coast and neighbourhood has also become less marked. The western disturbance as an upper air system over north Pakistan and adjoining parts of Jammu and Kashmir has moved away.
Rain or thundershowers
have occurred at most places in Konkan and Goa and
Marathwada; at many places in Andaman and Nicobar
Islands, Assam and Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh and
coastal Karnataka; at a few places in Nagaland, Manipur,
Mizoram and Tripura, sub-Himalayan West Bengal and
Sikkim, Jammu and Kashmir, west Madhya Pradesh and
Vidarbha and at isolated places in Gangetic west Bengal,
Orissa, east Rajasthan.
New concept of coronary
NEW DELHI, May 30 A new concept of coronary screening which could eventually prove to be a boon for millions of heart patients around the country has been introduced for the first time at Metro hospitals and Heart Institute in Noida.
While the gold standard coronary angiography has over the years become one of the most reliable methods of identifying blocks in the arteries, the new method introduced at the Metro hospital by its founder, Dr Purshotam Lal, could soon be the most sought after as it does not involve the discomfort, vascular complications and the psychological unacceptance of the earlier process.
The new concept, named as "Metro Coronary Screening" is probably the first of its kind in the world which deals specially with the limitations of conventional coronary angiography like hospitalisation, discomfort, dye reactions, cost phobia, psychological unacceptance of the procedural site. It is based on the "fluid dynamics" formulas of physics according to which the pressure generated at the tip of the catheter will be much more if the catheter is smaller in size with much less radius and the volume of dye required to scan the coronary arteries comes out to be much less when it is compared with the volume of dye used in conventional coronary angiography thus reducing the side effects.
According to Dr Lal, if you apply some additional force while injecting it can indeed work like a power injection and 1 cc dye itself could scan the coronary arteries. Secondly, the site of procedure is from the elbow area which is being used to take blood samples and is the most acceptable site among Indian population from the psychological point of view.
The procedure of MCS is carried out on an outpatient basis and could benefit high-risk individuals over the age of 30 having two or more risk factors like smoking diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, strong family history etc. It could also be used in patients who have been advised conventional coronary angiography.
The procedure does not require any preparation whatsoever. It takes 5-10 minutes and the individual can go back home or to workplace within an hour. It involves the use of a tiny catheter of about 1mm in diameter and a small amount of dye. Necessary blood tests are taken at the time of procedure from the same site. It is the final test and one does not require any conventional coronary angiography afterwards.
Dr Lal said the most important aspect of the procedure was that it was cost-effective and the total package, including echocardiography, blood tests and coronary screening along with video cassette came out to Rs 10,000.
Dr Lal, who has introduced the largest number of new procedures for the first time in India like drilling, atherectomy, stenting, heart hole closure etc, has already performed more than 500 cases of MCS without any failure or complications.
According to Dr Lal, the
MCS which has proved to be a safer procedure could help
to a great extent to decide the role of alternate
medicine or modern medicine and showing an ultimate way
to conquer heart attacks.
2 held for using forged
NEW DELHI, May 30 Two youths from Punjab, Mohinder Singh and Gurpreet Singh, were arrested from the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, for using forged British passports for going to Canada.
The passports of the accused had photo replacement on its cover page and Indian visa on the passports were chemically washed and re-written, the Foreign Regional Registration Officer (FRRO), Mr P.K. Bhardwaj, said.
During interrogation they confessed that these passports were actually issued to two women of Indian origin who had lost them at the Delhi airport when the women came from Britain last year. They had reported the matter to police station, at the IGI Airport, the FRRO said.
The accused disclosed that they wanted to go to Canada for employment but did not get visa for Canada. They had contacted an agent at Pahar Ganj in Central Delhi who reportedly managed the travel documents for them for Canada for which he demanded Rs 3 lakh for each. Each one paid Rs 1 lakh in advance to the agent and remaining was to be paid after their safe entry into Canada.
They also had their genuine Indian passports on which they went to Hong Kong by an Air India flight as the agent instructed them that immigration officials at the Delhi Airport would detect the forgery.
Hindi scholar dead
NEW DELHI, May 30 (UNI) Noted Hindi litterateur Ram Vilas Sharma died of protracted illness late last night. He was 88 and is survived by two sons and three daughters.
According to family sources, Mr Sharma was suffering from a prolonged cardiac illness and the end came here little after midnight.
The litterateur was on Sunday honoured with the Shatabdi Samman of The Hindi Academy, which included a cheque for Rs 11 lakh at a simple ceremony at his home by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.
new head in GI Surgery Dept
SC vacates stay
on Lalbagh trust
39 cr Japanese
aid for polio drive
Anna University is
12 killed as
Normal life hit
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