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N A T I O N

Exclusion of creamy layer constitutional requirement: SC
Promotional benefits to SC, ST

New Delhi, October 20
The concept of excluding ‘creamy layer’ of SC and ST of the promotional benefits in the government jobs has been introduced by the Supreme Court as a “constitutional requirement” to bring equality among the entire backward communities.

SP, TDP rally around Left on SEZ issue
New Delhi, October 20
The Samajwadi Party (SP) and Telegu Desam Party (TDP) have joined hands with the Left parties on opposing the government’s special economic zones (SEZ) policy.

Notices to Cong, TDP for using animals in rallies
Hyderabad, October 20
Acting on a petition filed by an NGO against using animals in political rallies, a local court in Guntur issued show cause notices to the Congress, TDP and local authorities.

Six more die of dengue
New Delhi, October 20
Six more dengue deaths in the country has increased the nationwide dengue toll to 123.

2-pronged strategy for resurgent Bihar
Patna, October 20
Close on the eve of completing 11 months in office on October 24,the Nitish Kumar-led NDA Government is at present working on a two-pronged strategy to put a resurgent Bihar on the fast track.

Chandra reveals plans to make UNI competitive
New Delhi, October 20
Zee group Chairman Subhash Chandra today said he was only joining other shareholders to bail out news agency UNI from its financial crisis. He said an investment of Rs 100 crore in the next two years would be required for this purpose.

A flower seller displays marigold flowers at a roadside stall ahead of Divali on Friday.
A flower seller displays marigold flowers at a roadside stall ahead of Divali on Friday. — AFP

EARLIER STORIES




Kalam greets nation on Divali
New Delhi, October 20
President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam today greeted the nation on the occasion of Divali and conveyed his warm wishes to fellow countrymen in India and abroad.

Relief sought for cooperatives
New Delhi, October 20
A delegation of Congress leaders and office-bearers of cooperative unions today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding the restoration of benefits to cooperatives which they have been availing for the past 40 years.

Bhojpuri films go global
Patna, October 20
The growing popularity of Bhojpuri films can be assessed from the fact that its stars have also decided to follow in the footsteps of their Bollywood counterparts to woo global fans with live concerts.

Romanian President arrives tomorrow
New Delhi, October 20
Romanian President Train Basescu is coming here on October 22 on a three-day state visit.

Two held for court shootout
Meerut, October 20
Two persons have been arrested in connection with Monday’s shootout in the court premises here in which a gangster and three others, including a policeman, were killed.

PCI takes suo motu cognizance
New Delhi, October 20
The Press Council of India has taken suo motu cognizance of the reported assault on mediapersons on October 17 by lawyer colleagues of Santosh Kumar Singh, convicted in the Priyadarshini Mattoo rape and murder case.

NCM probe report
New Delhi, October 20
A fact-finding team of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has received several complaints regarding “police atrocities” against Muslims during the recent communal clashes in Mangalore in the JD(S) -BJP-ruled Karnataka. — PTI



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Exclusion of creamy layer constitutional
requirement: SC

Promotional benefits to SC, ST
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, October 20
The concept of excluding ‘creamy layer’ of SC and ST of the promotional benefits in the government jobs has been introduced by the Supreme Court as a “constitutional requirement” to bring equality among the entire backward communities. Before this the creamy layer principle was confined to Other Backward Classes (OBCs) as devised in the Mandal Commission judgement by the apex court.

But the five-judge constitution Bench, which examined the validity of four constitutional amendments in respect of the SC and ST employment, promotional benefits to them and filling of the backlog of vacancies reserved for them, has stirred a debate in the political circle with Left parties and quota votaries like Janata Dal (U) reacting sharply to the verdict.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice Y.K. Sabharwal and justices K.G. Balakrsihnan, S.H. Kapadia, C.K. Thakker and P.K. Balasubramanyan were unanimous in their opinion to exclude the “creamy layer” of the SCs and STs for promotion purposes to strike a balance among the backward classes themselves, including the OBCs.

“In order to maintain the structure of equality within the backward classes, that is, between the OBCs on one hand and the SCs and STs on the other hand, the concept of creamy layer, which is a qualitative exclusion has to be retained as constitutional requirement,” the court held.

Though issue for examination before the court was whether the quota in the promotion for SCs and STs would apply in the same manner as at the entry point in government job, it introduced the concept of the “creamy layer” for the first time for them though restricting it only in respect of promotion and said “It is based on the means to strike a balance with the secular notion.”

The court said four constitutional amendments —77th, made in 1995, 81st and 82nd (2000) and 85th (2001) — mainly related to various aspects of promotional benefits to SCs and STs and they were upheld because they were only enabling provisions made in the Article 16(4) of the Constitution, which deals with benefits in employment to the backward classes, and therefore, were not contrary to other parts of it.

When the state was providing reservation for backward classes and it was being challenged, the court said it had to see whether the concerned states had identified and valued the controlling factors mentioned in the Article 16 (4) read with Article 335, which has laid down reservation to the SCs and STs in government employment.

It made clear that the amendments were confined only to the SCs and STs, which is the classification within the egalitarian equality carved out of the larger backward class in order to maintain the structure of egalitarian equality and in this context and “the concept of creamy layer has to be maintained as a constitutional requirement, failing which the structure of the Article 16 (4) shall stand destroyed.”

The states though were not bound to make reservation for SCs and STs in matter of promotions, if they wish to exercise their discretion and make it, the government has to collect “quantifiable data” to show backwardness of that class and the inadequacy of its representation in public employment to comply the provisions of the Article 335, it said.

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SP, TDP rally around Left on SEZ issue
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 20
The Samajwadi Party (SP) and Telegu Desam Party (TDP) have joined hands with the Left parties on opposing the government’s special economic zones (SEZ) policy.

“SEZ is a big fraud,” said TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu after a meeting with Left leaders Prakash Karat of the CPM and A.B. Bardhan of the CPI here. He said, “We need development, but not at the cost of cheating the farmers.”

He said most of the lands being taken up in the name of SEZ are being used for real estate development.

SP leader Amar Singh said, “Sonia Gandhi expresses concern about the SEZ policy, Finance Minister is concerned about revenue loss, but the government continues to clear more such zones.”

Huge tracts of lands have been cleared in Maharashtra and Punjab, where the Congress is in power despite the fact that the party chief opposes it, he said.

The SP leader said TDP, AGP and AIADMK with the support of the Left parties would take up this issue in the forthcoming Winter Session of Parliament.

Earlier, Mr Naidu alleged that there was corruption to the tune of Rs 2,500 crore, which involved close relatives of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S.R. Rajasekhar Reddy in the construction of a road around Hyderabad and demanded a judicial probe into it.

Addressing a press conference after meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to whom he submitted a memorandum listing the corruption charges in the construction of an eight-lane ring road around the state capital, Mr Naidu said the probe should be conducted by either a sitting Supreme Court or High Court Judge.

“We want justice from the government. If it fails, we would move an adjournment motion in the coming Winter Session of Parliament,” he said.

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Notices to Cong, TDP for using animals in rallies
Ramesh Kandula
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, October 20
Acting on a petition filed by an NGO against using animals in political rallies, a local court in Guntur issued show cause notices to the Congress, TDP and local authorities.

The opposition TDP workers in Guntur had organized a rally with a bull, naming the animal after Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, following the Supreme Court judgment against pardon to a Congress leader.

In response, Congress activists hung placards around a few donkeys, naming them after TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu. Not satisfied with this show, the Congress workers brought an elephant, representing Reddy and a few dogs, pigs and donkeys which were supposed to denote TDP leaders, and paraded them in the streets of the town.

Concerned over involving animals in political rallies and subjecting them to abuse, an NGO called Aasra filed a petition against the practice. District judge Aditya Bhanj Dev, who admitted the petition, issued notices to the parties involved as well as to the District Collector, Superintendent of Police and Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry Department.

The court directed that all the respondents in the case should file their replies by October 31.

Meanwhile, the town police registered cases against leaders of the Congress and TDP for using animals in political demonstrations. 

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Six more die of dengue
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 20
Six more dengue deaths in the country has increased the nationwide dengue toll to 123.

The official figure on the nationwide dengue toll is 118. The total number of dengue cases reported from various parts of the country has increased from 6740 on yesterday to 6910 today.

In the last 24 hours, Andhra Pradesh has reported three dengue deaths while Delhi has reported two deaths and Rajasthan has reported one. So far, dengue has claimed 35 lives in Delhi, according to the control room of the National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP).

Dr P.L. Joshi, Director, NVBDCP, told TNS today that 170 fresh cases of dengue have been reported from various parts of the country in the last 24 hours. Of these, Delhi has reported the maximum number of cases (88) followed by Uttar Pradesh (32), West Bengal (27) and Rajasthan (8).

Sources in the NVBDCP control room said that Chandigarh, for the first time, reported 75 cases of dengue on Thursday in a fax sent by the Assistant Director, Malaria, Chandigarh. Three more cases of dengue were reported today from Chandigarh.

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2-pronged strategy for resurgent Bihar
Ambarish Dutta
Tribune News Service

Patna, October 20
Close on the eve of completing 11 months in office on October 24,the Nitish Kumar-led NDA Government is at present working on a two-pronged strategy to put a resurgent Bihar on the fast track.

The state government will host a global conference on "Resurgent Bihar" between January 19 and 21 next year involving NRIs and other potential investors across the country, besides promoting local enterprises in identified areas as focussed by the National Investment Commission Chairman Ratan Tata.

The Bihar Foundation,an agency to be put in place by the government soon, will coordinate efforts to bring in investments from outside the state and link them to local enterprises.

Sugarcane,agriculture, power, healthcare, education, tourism and hotel industry are some key areas identified by the Nitish Government for focus during the global meet.

The Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Sushil Modi, who is the chairperson of the steering commitee for the proposed global meet, said about 500 eminent persons across the world were expected to participate in the global meet to discuss development strategies for a resurgent Bihar.

Mr Modi has already visited Britain, Canada and Italy to woo investors.

The conference, the first of its kind in the state, is to be jointly organised by Bihartimes and the New Delhi-based Institute of Human Development with active support from the state government.

Mr Ajay Kumar of Bihartimes said the global meet would provide a platform to discuss and deliberate on development ideas that could put the state on the path to vibrant socio-economic progress.

The Nitish Government is also planning to set up an NRI cell to facilitate foreign investments. "The NRI cell will be established by early next year," Mr Modi said.

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Chandra reveals plans to make UNI competitive
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 20
Zee group Chairman Subhash Chandra today said he was only joining other shareholders to bail out news agency UNI from its financial crisis. He said an investment of Rs 100 crore in the next two years would be required for this purpose.

He had been facing criticism from different media groups and Left parties besides the organisation’s union, on acquiring 51 per cent stake in the news agency.

While giving an assurance to UNI employees that there would be no retrenchment, he said that the company MediaVest’s investment into print media would bring in additional capital as share money. The company had bought 51 per cent stake in the UNI for Rs 32 crore.

The recent acquisition of majority shares in the UNI by MediaVest has also prompted some leading newspapers to give up the UNI service.

Mr Chandra spelt out his plans for making the UNI a “global competitive agency” with the Indian and the Asian perspective. He said the agency had several gaps, particularly on technology, marketing and human resources that needed to be plugged for resurrecting the agency that had been making losses persistently and losing subscribers continuously. He said that the first investment he would make would be on the technology front.

He said in case other shareholders did not subscribe to preferential equity, his group would take the entire lot that would raise his company’s holding in the agency to just below 60 per cent.

Mr Chandra, however, said his entry into the organisation was not to take over the company. He categorically stated that if any of the existing shareholders or the government was willing to revive UNI, he would hand over the organisation to them.

At pains to dispel the impression that he had “taken over” UNI, on whose board he and three of his nominees have found a place, Mr Chandra nevertheless asserted, “Opposition and criticism not only confirm that we are on the right track but also strengthen our resolve to firmly move ahead.”

Assuring that he did not have any plans to retrench the existing workforce, he said his expansion plans included adding fresh manpower to the existing strength. “We are looking for people to add to the existing UNI team,” he said.

He also emphasised that the entry of his company will not affect the editorial independence of the UNI. “The decision on news items is with the editors and there is nothing that even a majority shareholder can do.”

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Kalam greets nation on Divali
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 20
President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam today greeted the nation on the occasion of Divali and conveyed his warm wishes to fellow countrymen in India and abroad.

“Divali, the festival of lights, is a celebration of the victory of good over evil. May this year’s festival open people’s hearts with compassion for the needy and spare time to share their joy and happiness,” he said.

“Happiness, which spreads from home to home, ultimately leads to a happy society and a happy nation,” the President said in his message.

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Relief sought for cooperatives
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 20
A delegation of Congress leaders and office-bearers of cooperative unions today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding the restoration of benefits to cooperatives which they have been availing for the past 40 years.

The delegation, which included senior Congress leaders Motilal Vora, Digvijay Singh, Ahmed Patel, said benefits of Section 80 (P), (2) of the income tax to cooperative banks must be restored.

Citing the average size of the urban cooperative banks, nature of their clientele, limited geographic spread, inability to offer full range of banking and absence of avenues of raising share capital of perpetual nature, Dr S. S. Sisodia, President National Cooperative Union of India, said cooperative banks were in no way on a par with the commercial banks.

Mr Vijaya Kumar, President, National Federation of Urban Cooperative Banks, conveyed to the Prime Minister that 63 per cent of the urban banks had deposits of less than Rs 25 crore and nearly 50 per cent of the banks were single office entities.

Mr H. K. Patil, Leader of Opposition, Karnataka Legislative Council, said cooperative banks were regularly audited and inspected. He said cooperative banks were essentially mutual entities that earned their surplus from business with their members and principle of mutuality was applicable to them.

The delegation urged the Prime Minister to provide subvention of 4.5 per cent on direct loans by cooperative banks, considering that NABARD refinance to cooperative banks on the loans eligible for refinance was being given at 2.5 per cent.

Calling for a review of the RBI policy, the delegation said the cooperative banking sector catered to the needs of the poor.

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Bhojpuri films go global
Tribune News Service

Patna, October 20
The growing popularity of Bhojpuri films can be assessed from the fact that its stars have also decided to follow in the footsteps of their Bollywood counterparts to woo global fans with live concerts.

The Bhojpuri film fraternity, with a phenomenal growth in the last few years, has now decided to organise their first star-spangled stage show called “Bhojpuri Hungama” in India and abroad.

Produced by Mehmood Ali of Pen and Camera International in association with First Release Worldwide Company, the show will begin on October 26 in Mumbai.

Noted Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kishan would be leading the troupe.

Sources in the Bihar film industry claimed they worked hard to popularise Bhojpuri language, which was looked down upon as a c-grade language. "Over 270 million people speak and understand Bhojpuri and we are expecting more than 100,000 people to attend the concert in Mumbai,” sources added.

The popularity of the Bhojpuri film industry has caused many Bollywood stars to join it in recent past, which has added to the industry's glamour quotient.

Actor Ravi Kishan said, "From Amitabh Bachchan to Dilip Kumar and G.P. Sippy, everybody is now showing interest in Bhojpuri films”.

Yesteryears actress Saira Banu had recently entered Bhojpuri films with “Ab To Banja Sajanwa Hamaar”, which was also produced by her.

Amitabh Bachchan was playing an important role in “Ganga”, a Bhojpuri film produced by his make-up man Deepak Sawant.

Bhojpuri diaspora is present in countries like Mauritius, Ghana, West Indies, Fiji, Nepal, Dubai, Indonesia, and the Netherlands. 

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Romanian President arrives tomorrow
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 20
Romanian President Train Basescu is coming here on October 22 on a three-day state visit.

All his official engagements, including a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, are on October 23. The next day, he will leave for Agra and Mumbai.

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Mr L.K. Advani, will call on the dignitary. Later, he will meet President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

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Two held for court shootout

Meerut, October 20
Two persons have been arrested in connection with Monday’s shootout in the court premises here in which a gangster and three others, including a policeman, were killed.

Ajay Malik, alias Jaggu of Incholi rural area in the district, and Sushil, alias Bantu of Etawah district, were arrested at Mawana bus stand yesterday and some firearms seized from them, Senior Superintendent of Police Navneet Sikhera told reporters today.

He said Jaggu confessed that he was waiting to avenge the killing of his brother-in-law Harish Sirohi on March 20 by Ravindra Bhura, the undertrial who was killed in the court shootout along with his nephew Gaurav and a police constable Manoj Kumar.

One of Jaggu’s accomplices Rajendra, alias Churmuta, was also shot dead in the incident, the SSP said.

Jaggu told the police that he met Bhura’s rival Ajay Jadeja who allegedly sent three of his men - Charmuta, Bantu, Azad and Sandeep alias Neetu to eliminate Bhura.

The two were presented before the media at the Police Lines where Jaggu said he had no regrets about the killing. — PTI

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PCI takes suo motu cognizance

New Delhi, October 20
The Press Council of India has taken suo motu cognizance of the reported assault on mediapersons on October 17 by lawyer colleagues of Santosh Kumar Singh, convicted in the Priyadarshini Mattoo rape and murder case.

The PCI in a statement here today expressed concern on the reported facts.

Keeping in view the gravity of the matter which, prima facie appeared to be a threat to the free functioning of the press, the PCI sought a detailed report from the media organisations concerned. — UNI

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