SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Right to litigation is paramount: SC
New Delhi, October 3
The Supreme Court has held that the right to litigation is paramount and is the essence of the principle of natural justice.

Cong to pit Mahatma’s legacy against Modi
New Delhi, October 3
The Congress will pit the Mahatma against Mr Narendra Modi in next year’s Gujarat Assembly elections. Faced with a highly polarised polity in the state and Gujarat Chief Minister’s hardcore Hindutva agenda, the Congress is hoping that Mahatma Gandhi’s message of non-violence will be able to carry the day.

’93 blasts: Niaz Shaikh found guilty
Mumbai, October 3
The special TADA court which is hearing the 1993 blasts case today found Niaz Ahmed Shaikh guilty of conspiracy. Shaikh was found guilty of conducting a survey of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation building with a view to carrying out a blast there. He was also found guilty of attending conspiracy meetings and obtaining training in arms and explosives in Pakistan.



EARLIER STORIES




High alert at 13 airports 
New Delhi, October 3 
Security has been stepped up at 13 airports, including Delhi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Patna and Chandigarh after intelligence warned that terrorists might attempt to hijack an aircraft. A high alert has been sounded at airports in northern parts of the country. — PTI

Vehicles, shops set afire over change in route
Lucknow, October 3
Tension prevailed in Sahadatganj in Barabanki district following Monday night’s incident of people damaging over 20 vehicles, setting ablaze shops, indulging in vandalism and blocking the Barabanki-Baharaich highway over change of a route of a procession to immerse the idol of Goddess Durga.

SAD, BJP to petition Kalam on scam
New Delhi, October 3
Leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the BJP will submit a memorandum to President A.P.J Abdul Kalam here tomorrow regarding “rampant corruption” in the Improvement Trust, City Centre scam and molestation of women veterinary students by the police in Ludhiana.

Katrina’s dress raises eyebrows
Jaipur, October 3
Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif’s act of flaunting a long frock while shooting for a film at the Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti’s dargah in Ajmer has caused a flutter here. The film’s shooting has been stopped following the dispute.

Indo-Nepal new extradition treaty postponed
New Delhi, October 3
A new extradition treaty replacing a 50-year-old obsolete pact between India and Nepal seems to be jinxed as the signing of the document has been put off again due to the last minute postponement of visit by Napalese Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitoula.

N-plants to dot coastline
Mumbai, October 3
The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has drawn up an impressive plan to set up mega nuclear projects along the Indian coast. According to sources, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India, which comes under the DAE, has been given the task of setting up several nuclear power plants of 1,000 MW capacities.

33 new stem cell centres to be opened
New Delhi, October 3
Thirtythree more stem cell transplantation (SCT) centres will be opened soon in the country, Vice- Admiral V.K. Singh, Director-General, Armed Forces Medical Services, said here today while inaugurating a national conference on SCT.

EC notice to Jairam on holding office of profit
New Delhi, October 3
The Election Commission (EC) has issued a notice to Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh on a complaint that he is holding an office of profit. Mr Ravindra Kumar, president, Rashtriya Mukti Morcha, in his complaint to President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, had alleged that Mr Ramesh was holding an office of profit by being a member of the high profile National Advisory Council (NAC) and sought his disqualification as Rajya Sabha member.

Delhi HC begins hearing in Jessica case
New Delhi, October 3
The Delhi High Court today began hearing arguments on the appeal filed by the Delhi Police against the acquittal of Siddharth Vashishtha, alias Manu Sharma, and eight others in the case of model Jessica Lal’s murder in 1999.

Pak has reneged on all pacts: BJP
New Delhi, October 3
The Bharatiya Janata Party today accused Pakistan of reneging on all accords with India since the 1972 Simla agreement for refusing to extradite any Mumbai blast suspect, a move it claimed showed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s assessment of Islamabad as wrong.

 



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Right to litigation is paramount: SC

New Delhi, October 3
The Supreme Court has held that the right to litigation is paramount and is the essence of the principle of natural justice.

In a petition filed by Suresh Chandra Nanhorya, he alleged that the Madhya Pardesh High Court did not issue notice to him before passing an adverse order against him in a civil revision filed by respondents Rajendra Rajak and others.

Review petition filed by the appellant here was also dismissed by the high court on April 23, 2004.

A Bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat Lokeshwar Singh Panta said, ‘’Even the God did not pass a sentence upon Adam, before he was called upon to make his defence.’’

Noting that the high court order clearly indicated that only the applicant’s counsel was heard, the apex court ruled it was a clear violation of the principle of natural justice.

The Supreme Court while setting aside the impugned high court judgment said, ‘’Natural justice is an inseparable ingredient of fairness. It is even said the principles of natural justice must be read into unoccupied interstices of the statute, unless there is a clear mandate to the contrary.’’

‘’The right of a man to be heard in his defence is the most elementary protection. The purpose of following the principles of natural justice is the prevention of miscarriage of justice,’’ the court added.

The court while setting aside the impugned judgement directed the high court for fresh consideration on merits after due notice to the appellant. — UNI

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Cong to pit Mahatma’s legacy against Modi
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
The Congress will pit the Mahatma against Mr Narendra Modi in next year’s Gujarat Assembly elections.
Faced with a highly polarised polity in the state and Gujarat Chief Minister’s hardcore Hindutva agenda, the Congress is hoping that Mahatma Gandhi’s message of non-violence will be able to carry the day.

The party is planning a cycle yatra from Ahmedabad’s Sabarmati Ashram to Porbandar next year as part of its year-long plans to commemorate the centenary year of the launch of satyagraha.

Although the details of the programme have yet to be finalised, the plan is to kick off the yatra in January which will culminate in Porbandar on January 30. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi are slated to address participants while several leaders will join in the yatra.

The Congress had re-enacted Dandi march two years ago, also with the purpose of countering Mr Modi’s “communal agenda” by reminding people about the Mahatma’s forgotten legacy. The march did draw huge crowds but it failed to make any lasting impact.

A special committee, headed by senior leader A.K. Antony, has been set up to chalk out the plans for the entire year. These will be independent of the government’s programmes and will involve party cadres Gandhians and freedom fighters.

The Prime Minister had already kicked off the celebrations during his visit to South Africa where Gandhiji launched the satyagraha.

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’93 blasts: Niaz Shaikh found guilty
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, October 3
The special TADA court which is hearing the 1993 blasts case today found Niaz Ahmed Shaikh guilty of conspiracy.
Shaikh was found guilty of conducting a survey of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation building with a view to carrying out a blast there. He was also found guilty of attending conspiracy meetings and obtaining training in arms and explosives in Pakistan.

However, the court today acquitted Rukhsana Mohammad Shafi Zariwala of charges of abetting terrorist acts. Confessions obtained against Zariwala were turned down by the court on the grounds that these were not properly recorded by investigating agencies.

The court also turned down the prosecution’s charges that Rukhsana transported weapons in a taxi along with her husband Mohammad Shafi and another accused, Pervez Shaikh. Shafi is still absconding while Shaikh has been acquitted in the case.

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Vehicles, shops set afire over change in route
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, October 3
Tension prevailed in Sahadatganj in Barabanki district following Monday night’s incident of people damaging over 20 vehicles, setting ablaze shops, indulging in vandalism and blocking the Barabanki-Baharaich highway over change of a route of a procession to immerse the idol of Goddess Durga.

Two separate FIRs have been lodged and 15 persons arrested. This evening Barabanki SP S.B. Shirodker was holding a peace committee meeting with different communities to resolve the issue.

Speaking to TNS, the SP said at Sahadatganj two communities had a long-standing dispute over the route of the immersion of Goddess Durga for which they had even gone to court. The high court this year had decided that the DM would decide the route, subject to law and order situation.

However, when the procession was going on the route decided by the DM, they found that another group had dug up the entire route, making it impossible to proceed. They then proceeded on a third route, leading to a clash with a group of people taking the idol on that route.

Around 6 p.m. the procession turned into a mob, directing its fury against public property with the main highway being blocked, buses and private cars being gutted and even roadside shops and eateries not being spared. 

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SAD, BJP to petition Kalam on scam
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
Leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the BJP will submit a memorandum to President A.P.J Abdul Kalam here tomorrow regarding “rampant corruption” in the Improvement Trust, City Centre scam and molestation of women veterinary students by the police in Ludhiana.

The delegation will be led by SAD leader S.S. Dhindsa and BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley.

Commenting on the City Centre scam in Amritsar yesterday, SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal said his party would soon have a meeting with NDA leaders in Delhi and submit a memorandum to the President urging him for a CBI inquiry into the case.

He had alleged that Punjab Chief Minister Amrinder Singh was opposed to an inquiry by a Central agency as he himself was involved in the scam.

Mr Dhindsa, who is the chairman of the SAD election committee, is also expected to hold a meeting tomorrow with Mr Jaitley, BJP in charge of Punjab elections, and discuss on various issues pertaining to seat-sharing between the two parties for the coming Punjab Assembly elections.

Recently, the SAD leadership had reacted against BJP leaders in Punjab rushing to the media even before finalisation of a seat-sharing agreement.

Leaders of the SAD accused the BJP of breaking the unwritten rule of not to air negotiating points to the media.

While the BJP is insisting on contesting 23 seats, the same numbers, which they had contested last time, the Akalis are offering 15 seats to the alliance junior partner.

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Katrina’s dress raises eyebrows

Jaipur, October 3
Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif’s act of flaunting a long frock while shooting for a film at the Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti’s dargah in Ajmer has caused a flutter here. The film’s shooting has been stopped following the dispute.

Katrina was shooting for director Vipul Shah’s film “Namaste London” at the dargah yesterday. But, many “ziyarins” at the dargah objected to her dress and felt it was not suitable for a woman who wished to perform “ziyarat” at the dargah.

Nawab Hidayatullah of the dargah committee said the film’s shooting had been stopped following the dress dispute.

He said permission was needed from the Minority Department of the Union Social Welfare Ministry for shooting any film on the premises of the dargah, which was not taken in this case.

Many “ziyarins” were taken aback when Katrina moved about in such a dress during the regular namaz at the dargah. Katrina’s cream-coloured frock was above her knees and her legs were bare. Actor Rishi Kapoor was also part of the shooting. A huge crowd had assembled at the dargah to have a glimpse of the Bollywood stars.

The stars shot a scene of “ziyarat” at the dargah. Anjuman secretary Saiyad Moin Chisti helped Katrina and Rishi Kapoor perform the ziyarat. He, however, said he could not see Katrina’s dress in the crowd.

Khadims at the dargah say women must cover their heads, hands and legs while performing ziyarat at the asthana sharif.

The khadims were also upset as shooting was carried on even during the daily namaz. The film’s crew was loud and brash and misbehaved with other ziyarins. — UNI

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Indo-Nepal new extradition treaty postponed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
A new extradition treaty replacing a 50-year-old obsolete pact between India and Nepal seems to be jinxed as the signing of the document has been put off again due to the last minute postponement of visit by Napalese Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitoula.

The Nepalese Home Minister put off his visit amidst reports in Nepalese media that the Maoist leadership has reservations about the signing of an extradition treaty between the two countries.

During the three-day visit beginning tomorrow, Mr Sitoula who was also scheduled to sign a mutual legal assistance agreement aimed at facilitating the legal aspects of implementing the extradition treaty.

“On the request of the Nepalese side, the signing of the treaty has been put off for the time being. No new date has been decided,” a spokesman of the Union Home Ministry told newspersons today.

The document, along with an agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance, aims at combating terrorism and cross-border criminal activities and facilitating legal aspects of implementing the extradition treaty.

Though the two treaties were agreed upon by the Home Secretaries of the two countries in New Delhi in January last year, there was a delay in finalising the agreements following King Gyanendra’s royal coup in February 2005.

Both New Delhi and Kathmandu have agreed that the treaties will come into force after the Home Ministers of the two countries sign the documents.

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N-plants to dot coastline
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, October 3
The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has drawn up an impressive plan to set up mega nuclear projects along the Indian coast.
According to sources, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India, which comes under the DAE, has been given the task of setting up several nuclear power plants of 1,000 MW capacities.

Prominent nuclear power equipment suppliers like Russia and France have expressed interest in setting up nuclear power plants for the NPCIL under international safeguards.

The American nuclear power industry, which is lobbing for the smooth passage of the nuclear power agreement between India and the USA, is eyeing for some mega deals with the NPCIL, sources said.

At present the NPCIL has big projects coming up at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu. 

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33 new stem cell centres to be opened
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
Thirtythree more stem cell transplantation (SCT) centres will be opened soon in the country, Vice- Admiral V.K. Singh, Director-General, Armed Forces Medical Services, said here today while inaugurating a national conference on SCT.

He said SCT as a treatment modality was introduced in India in1983 and presently there were very few centres doing this procedure.

He cautioned oncologists, haematologists and endocrinologists that they would have challenging tasks ahead as the number of patients in these areas would rise at an alarming pace.

A large number of delegates from the armed forces and the civil sector attended the conference.

The major advantage of SCT over other solid organ transplants was that there was no organ loss to the donor.

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EC notice to Jairam on holding office of profit

New Delhi, October 3
The Election Commission (EC) has issued a notice to Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh on a complaint that he is holding an office of profit.
Mr Ravindra Kumar, president, Rashtriya Mukti Morcha, in his complaint to President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, had alleged that Mr Ramesh was holding an office of profit by being a member of the high profile National Advisory Council (NAC) and sought his disqualification as Rajya Sabha member.

The EC has sent the notice after President APJ Abdul Kalam referred the petition to the EC. The EC also sought certain details from the Cabinet Secretariat on the issue. Mr Ramesh has been asked to file his reply by October 20, according to EC sources. — TNS

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Delhi HC begins hearing in Jessica case

New Delhi, October 3
The Delhi High Court today began hearing arguments on the appeal filed by the Delhi Police against the acquittal of Siddharth Vashishtha, alias Manu Sharma, and eight others in the case of model Jessica Lal’s murder in 1999.

Initiating arguments, Standing Counsel Mukta Gupta said though there was no direct evidence linking Manu Sharma to the allegation that it was he who had shot Jessica at the Tamarind Court restaurant in the early hours of April 30, 1999, there was an unbroken chain of circumstantial evidence for his conviction.

She said there were several findings by the trial court in the case that were contrary to the facts and thus perverse. — IANS 

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Pak has reneged on all pacts: BJP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
The Bharatiya Janata Party today accused Pakistan of reneging on all accords with India since the 1972 Simla agreement for refusing to extradite any Mumbai blast suspect, a move it claimed showed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s assessment of Islamabad as wrong.

Briefing mediapersons at the regular party press conference, BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar reiterated his party’s demand to suspend talks with Islamabad in the light of Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam’s remarks that her country was ready to help India investigate the Mumbai bombings but would not hand over suspects.

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