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Rape accused let off as victim professes love
New Delhi, June 17
Noting that the accused had the consent of the victim, a Delhi court has acquitted a 31-year-old man charged with elopement and raping a girl from his neighbourhood here a year ago. Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Braj Raj Kedia acquitted Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Ashok Vihar in Central Delhi here, of the offences under Sections 376 (rape), 363 (punishment for kidnapping) and 328 (with intent to commit an offence) of the Indian Penal Code.

Minorities panel comes outdoor
New Delhi, June 17
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today launched the first outdoor session of the newly constituted Delhi Minorities Commission near the historical Fatehpuri Masjid in the Walled City.
Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dixit during at the inauguration of ''Delhi Minorities Commission at your Doorstep'' at Fatehpuri Masjid in the Capital Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dixit during at the inauguration of ''Delhi Minorities Commission at your Doorstep'' at Fatehpuri Masjid in the Capital on Sunday.
A Tribune photograph



EARLIER STORIES


Delhi Pradesh Congress president Ram Babu Sharma presents a momento to Indian cricketer Goutam Gambeer during a felicitation function organised by the DDCA at Ferozshah Kotla Stadium in the Capital
Delhi Pradesh Congress president Ram Babu Sharma presents a momento to Indian cricketer Goutam Gambeer during a felicitation function organised by the DDCA at Ferozshah Kotla Stadium in the Capital on Sunday. A Tribune photograph

Wet start on Sunday morning
New Delhi, June 17
Delhiites today again woke up to a wet and pleasant morning as pre-monsoon showers continued to cool the Capital for the third consecutive day after the prolonged scorching heat. The city received more than 26.2 mm of rainfall today. According to the weather department, the humidity level stood at 95 per cent.

Insurance firm pulled up
New Delhi, June 17
The State Consumer Commission has pulled up an insurance company for denying mediclaim on the ground of "concealment of pre-existing ailment" and asked it to reimburse Rs 1.61 lakh to a man who underwent cardiac surgery within days of purchasing the policy.

Brain tumour removed
New Delhi, June 17
A 32-year-old Gurgaon-based teacher recently underwent a successful operation at Paras Hospital for removal of a brain stem tumour of unprecedented size. Dr V. S. Mehta, Director, Neuro-Sciences, at Paras Hospital and former Chief of Neuro-Sciences at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, told TNS he had done 40 brain stem tumours in the past six years.

SFI survey on gender bias
New Delhi, June 17
As a follow-up to the all-India girls' convention, the Students' Federation of India has launched a nationwide survey among girl students. The survey takes into account the educational and social background of girl students and aims at finding out the trends of gender discrimination at the educational level.

DSA to enrol more referees
New Delhi, June 17
The Delhi Soccer Association, in a bid to give a chance to young referees, will be recruiting more officials to expand the pool of talent. Delhi has at present 45 registered referees but the DSA is keen to give opportunities to the young ones to not only groom them in the company of experienced officials, but also to have quality officials to supervise matches.

Artscape
Dance to raise money for kidney transplants
New Delhi, June 17
Omkarnath Thakur Foundation is presenting Swar Rang, a Bharatanatyam performance by Geeta Chandran, on Friday, June 22, at 7 pm at Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, here to raise money for poor patients who are unable to afford kidney transplants.

Geeta Chandran

Geeta Chandran

No promise to Manesar farmers
Gurgaon, June 17
A farmers' mahapanchayat failed to elicit a categorical assurance from the deputy commissioner to put on hold notices under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act for the acquisition of land in seven villages in the Manesar belt for three months.

Youth convicted, released
New Delhi, June 17
Young age and the protracted trial came to the rescue of a youth convicted for fleeing with the answer sheet of class X examination when a court ordered his release on his furnishing a bond of good conduct.

Women beaten up in cinema hall, three held
Faridabad, June 17
Five youths, reportedly in an inebriated condition, beat up a woman, her three daughters and one son-in-law while watching a movie in a PVR cineplex at Crown Plaza mall in Sector 15 here last evening.





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Rape accused let off as victim professes love
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 17
Noting that the accused had the consent of the victim, a Delhi court has acquitted a 31-year-old man charged with elopement and raping a girl from his neighbourhood here a year ago. Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Braj Raj Kedia acquitted Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Ashok Vihar in Central Delhi here, of the offences under Sections 376 (rape), 363 (punishment for kidnapping) and 328 (with intent to commit an offence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

"From the perusal of records, it is reflected that the 19-year-old-victim out of her own sweet will had left her parental home with the accused and got married to him and stayed with him as his wife which substantiated the fact that she was a consenting party indeed. I am thereby acquitting the accused, Rakesh Kumar, of all the charges," the ASJ said.

The prosecution had alleged that on June 25, 2006, the accused, Rakesh Kumar, had allegedly eloped with the girl from her Ashok Vihar residence and taken her to his native village in Ara in Bihar and stayed with her for 9 to 10 days without her consent. With the help of the local police in Bihar, they were arrested on July 7.

The victim, also a witness in this case, however, deposed in the court that she loved Rakesh Kumar and he had not pressed her in any form for marrying him or for staying with him as his wife. She had also signed some marriage papers with the accused and remained with him in Bihar for 10 days of her own accord.

Giving full credence to the victim's statement, the court said, "The conduct of the victim in accompanying the accused without raising any complaint against the accused gave a clean chit to the latter".

"I have no hesitation to safely conclude that the prosecution has miserably failed to prove the offence committed by the accused and therefore the accused is ordered to be acquitted of all the charges levelled against him by the prosecution," the ASJ said in a recent order.

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Minorities panel comes outdoor
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 17
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today launched the first outdoor session of the newly constituted Delhi Minorities Commission near the historical Fatehpuri Masjid in the Walled City.

This new initiative, called Delhi Minorities Commission at Your Doorstep, will help minorities get their problems solved there and then. It will also strengthen the confidence of people as they will be able to air their grievances. Outdoor sessions of the commission will be organised in minority dominated localities in different community centres at regular intervals.

Dikshit, while addressing the gathering, said the commission would try to reach the people of Delhi and would not restrict itself in confining its activities inside its office. Chairman of the Commission Kamal Faruqui and members Pushpinder Singh and Arnold James besides the Fatehpuri Masjid Imam were also present on this occasion.

The Delhi Chief Mminister assured members of the minority communities that her government would provide all reasonable opportunities to them, including education. She added Urdu and Punjabi Academies in Delhi would work in tandem with the commission. The madrasas in Delhi would be able to impart modern education, including computer education, with the help of the government.

She underlined the commission would work towards developing competence and confidence among the minorities in Delhi. She called upon the commission to chalk out an action plan for the coming six months. She further said, "It is probably the first time in our country that a commission would be regularly organising outdoor sessions under its new initiative." She said the commission had presented a vision document for effective working and planning so that the benefits should reach the minorities of Delhi.

The Delhi Minorities Commission was set up in 1999, keeping in view the interests of the minorities. The commission conducts different surveys for the betterment of minorities and organises seminars where the issues of minorities' interest are discussed and debated.

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Wet start on Sunday morning
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 17
Delhiites today again woke up to a wet and pleasant morning as pre-monsoon showers continued to cool the Capital for the third consecutive day after the prolonged scorching heat.

The city received more than 26.2 mm of rainfall today. According to the weather department, the humidity level stood at 95 per cent.

The maximum and minimum temperatures were recorded as 34 degree Celsius and 28.7 degree Celsius, respectively.

However, the Met Office says this pleasant spell is not going to last.

Heat and humidity will return.

The heavy showers, of course, brought along the perennial problem of waterlogging and traffic snarls but people were not complaining as long as the weather remained pleasant.

The rains also belied the claims of the authorities that desilting work had been carried out effectively. There were a large number of complaints of overflowing sewers, particularly from the East and West Delhi areas of the national Capital.

Residents claimed in many places the MCD officials had cleaned up the sewers but had left the debris piled up on the roadside.

The rains washed this back into the sewers, thus defeating the very purpose of desilting of drains and sewers.

Officials claimed the complaints of waterlogging were being attended and the debris cleared to prevent further problems in the coming days.

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Insurance firm pulled up
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 17
The State Consumer Commission has pulled up an insurance company for denying mediclaim on the ground of "concealment of pre-existing ailment" and asked it to reimburse Rs 1.61 lakh to a man who underwent cardiac surgery within days of purchasing the policy.

Terming the act as an example of "unfriendly approach", the commission, headed by Justice J. D. Kapoor asked the National Insurance Company Ltd (NICL) to pay the amount, with interest, to policy holder Raj Narayan in a month.

"Such an approach is not at all consumer-friendly but is an approach accentuated and prompted by dubious design as to how to frustrate and reject the claim of the consumer", the commission said.

Denying its liability, NICL took refuge under the exclusion clause of the insurance policy which provided that mediclaims can be denied if it is proved the pre-existing disease was not disclosed by the insured at the time of purchasing the policy.

Heart disease was such an ailment which sometimes a person found difficult to detect at first go, it said, adding, "Unless a person is diagnosed and hospitalised for such a disease in the near proximity of obtaining insurance policy, he is not supposed to know as to from which disease he is suffering from."

To expect a layman to come to the conclusion that he was having heart disease merely because he felt chest pain or some other pain was "too much", the commission said.

Raj Narayan, a resident of Rohini in North-West Delhi here, was forced to undergo a heart surgery in July 1999 following his sudden illness and was denied reimbursement of Rs 1.61 lakh incurred on his treatment.

Narayan, however, had challenged the repudiation of mediclaim, saying that he had no history of any heart problem and hence the stand taken by NICL was "unjustified and unfair".

Making a strong remark on the structure of the proposal forms that are signed by the consumers in order to accept the terms and conditions of the policy, the commission observed that no consumer was expected to understand these "micro printed terms running into pages".

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Brain tumour removed
Tripti Nath
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 17
A 32-year-old Gurgaon-based teacher recently underwent a successful operation at Paras Hospital for removal of a brain stem tumour of unprecedented size.

Dr V. S. Mehta, Director, Neuro-Sciences, at Paras Hospital and former Chief of Neuro-Sciences at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, told TNS he had done 40 brain stem tumours in the past six years. "In the past 30 years at AIIMS and in Paras Hospital, I have never come across a tumour measuring 36 X 39 X 37mm. What was challenging about this eight-hour-long surgery was that world neuro surgical literature does not recommend surgeries on tumours exceeding 2 cm. In this case, the tumour dimensions were 3.6 X 3.9 X 3.7 cm."' He said the patient accompanied by her husband came to him in May-end with an MRI showing a huge-sized brain stem tumour. "She complained of double vision and instability in walking. I decided to operate immediately and explained to them the risk involved."

Dr Mehta was assisted during the surgery by Dr Arul Saroha, consultant neuro-surgeon. The Director, Neuro-Sciences, said she would take a few months to completely recoup from neurological deficits. "She will be discharged within a week. She is able to walk with some support. The diplopia (double vision) persists but there is no impairment of visual accuity. Most of the time, recovery is very slow after nerve damage", he added.

The patient's husband said their doctor in Gurgaon referred them to Paras Hospital for a CT Scan after his wife complained of recurring numbness in the right hand. The patient and her husband took the diagnosis in their stride and decided to step into the hospital with a positive attitude. "Instead of sitting at home and feeling bad about what had happened, we decided to go to the gurdwara, malls and cinema halls with our son and daughter to keep everybody in good spirits, " said the patient's husband.

Dr Mehta said the surgery was both complicated and risky. "By and large, most neurosurgeons don't touch the brain stem tumour. The brain stem is a very important part of the brain. All nerves of the brain pass through the brain stem. It is a respiratory centre and a cardiac centre", he informed.

He added the mortality rate in such operations depended on the judgement of the neurosurgeon in selecting cases.

"Some tumours of the brain stem should not be touched at all as they have very high mortality and morbidity. If the selection is correct, results will be good.

But once a neurosurgeon has selected the case, he has to be radical in removal of the tumour. Partial removal does more harm than good", he held forth. Dr Mehta said 80 per cent of the brain stem tumours were reported at a very young age, normally below the age of 10 years.

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SFI survey on gender bias
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 17
As a follow-up to the all-India girls' convention, the Students' Federation of India (SFI) has launched a nationwide survey among girl students.

The survey takes into account the educational and social background of girl students and aims at finding out the trends of gender discrimination at the educational level.

The Delhi state unit of the SFI has approached 500 girl students with the survey form during their admission assistance campaign in Delhi University.

"We have observed some interesting trends. Overall, girls don't seem to be aware of the discrimination but while answering specific questions things become very clear," said Delhi SFI secretary Albeena Shakeel. Most of the girls who answered are from the urban, middle class background but even then they believe that they will not be given a chance to study as much as their brothers.

Almost all the girls surveyed contribute in the household work in some way or the other. The primary duty of the parents is to provide their daughters with good housekeeping skills, which can only be taught at home and not in the colleges. "Maximum girls are from the general category and have an access to higher educational institutes," said Albeena. This access however, is not unconditional. A lot of girls have informed that only if they make it to an all girls' college will they be allowed to get enrolled for graduation.

The Delhi University administration has always been proud of the fact that almost half of the students enrolled in the university are girls. Special initiatives should be taken at the university level to encourage wider sections of girl students to pursue their academic interests.

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DSA to enrol more referees
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, June 17
The Delhi Soccer Association (DSA), in a bid to give a chance to young referees, will be recruiting more officials to expand the pool of talent.

Delhi has at present 45 registered referees but the DSA is keen to give opportunities to the young ones to not only groom them in the company of experienced officials, but also to have quality officials to supervise matches. Of late, the standard of refereeing has not been up to the mark, creating volatile situations during key matches.

Winsom Club win

Winsom Club, helped by an all-round display by Rajat Bihani (35 and 4 for 17), defeated Delhi Wanderers by 177 runs in the DDCA Under-15 Cricket Tournament at the S.S.Khalsa School ground, Lajpat Nagar.

Scores: Winsom Club: 268 for 7 (Jatin Singari 51, Uzaar Khan 48, Kartik Kohli 47, Amandeep Singh 40, Rajat Bihani 35, Sakir Hussain 3 for 48). Delhi Wanderers: 91 all out in 16.4 overs (Sandeep Verma 42, Rajat Bihani 4 for 17, Pranav Malhotra 2 for 3).

Sonnet enter final

Sharp bowling by Ankit Dabas (3 for 21) and Vikas Singh (3 for 22) helped Sonnet Club defeat West Delhi Academy by three wickets to enter the final of the second Radha Krishan Memorial Cricket Tournament at the Ambedkar ground.

Scores: West Delhi: 116 all out in 34.2 overs (Satyajeet Malik 41, Prashant Saini 31, Ankit Dabas 3 for 21, Vikas Singh 3 for 22, Kunal Gaba 3 for 25). Sonnet: 118 for 7 in 28 overs (Nitish Rana 37, Amit Berry 31 n o, Manjot Singh 3 for 39).

Rain plays spoilsport

For the second consecutive day, matches in the DDCA Hot Weather Cricket Tournament were decided through the spin of coin as morning rains had made the grounds wet and unplayable. Thus, Malviya Club beat Sonnex, Sonnet beat R P Academy and Kishanganj Colts beat G.G.Dutt via the spin of coin to enter the quarter-finals.

Soccer player passes away

Former Delhi State footballer Sultan Khan passed away at his residence in the Walled City area after a prolonged illness. A prolific striker, the 51-year-old Sultan Khan started his career in 1970 and played for Delhi's reputed clubs like Mughals, Indian National, Youngsters and City. He represented Delhi in the Junior National (Under-19) Championship for the Dutta Ray Trophy at Ernakulam in 1976.

He also represented Delhi in the Santosh Trophy. The Delhi Soccer Association expressed its condolence at the untimely demise of Sultan Khan.

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Artscape
Dance to raise money for kidney transplants
Ravi Bhatia
Tribune News Service

Pt. Dr. Damodar Hota
Pt. Dr. Damodar Hota

New Delhi, June 17
Omkarnath Thakur Foundation is presenting Swar Rang, a Bharatanatyam performance by Geeta Chandran, on Friday, June 22, at 7 pm at Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, here to raise money for poor patients who are unable to afford kidney transplants.

In her performance, the dancer will focus on the close links between classical dance and music. Geeta's dance showcases how Indian classical dance has been built on the base of music. The performance will present both nritya and abhinaya.

Geeta is celebrated not only for her deep and composite understanding of the art of Bharatanatyam, but also for her Carnatic music (she is a trained and accomplished vocalist), her work in television, video and film, theatre, choreography, dance education, dance activism and dance-issue journalism.

Another attraction of the evening will be the vocal recital by Pandit Damodar Hota, a renowned classical singer of Gwalior Gharana and a disciple of Sangeet Marttanda Pt Omkar Nath Thakur.

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa academy

Degrees in science, engineering, medicine are passe. A degree in music is the in thing thanks to Sa Re Ga Ma Pa music company which has now started a music academy.

The company claims to have helped in the creation of musical geniuses like Shreya Ghoshal and Kunal Ganjawala on musical talent shows. It is now the turn of other aspirants to be trained by gurus, although not on national television but within the precincts of a music gurukul!

Says Gajendra Singh, the man behind the talent shows and the current producer-director of Star Voice of India, "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Academy has always been my dream. I wanted to build a platform for aspirants who have a great love for music and want to make a mark in the world of music."

The applicants will have to appear for auditions that will be conducted at four locations across India. Forty applicants across India will be shortlisted for the programme.

It's a one year residential programme, with emphasis on overall personality development. There will be 100 per cent scholarship for two seats and 50 per cent scholarship for four seats. Each and every student will get some or the other career option. Students who top the course will be given the opportunity to launch albums and a 100 per cent chance to participate in Star Voice of India.

E-bay is the online partner for Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Academy.

The prospectus will also be sold online through E-bay.

It is for the first time that the admission form of an institute is available on such a site.

To cope with the strenuous training sessions, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Academy will have a Zen Garden retreat with an amphitheatre, library, fitness room, musical instruments, music lounge and recreation facilities.

'Ek Sapne Ki Maut'

New Delhi Players is staging " Ek Sapne Ki Maut", the Hindi adaptation of Arthur Miller's famous book "Death of a Salesman", at the India Habitat Centre here on June 23. The play is being directed by Prakash Bhatia of Yatrik fame.

Painting exhibition

Studio Vasant is holding an exhibition of paintings of artist Baljit Chadha entitled "Blooming Flower". The exhibition is on till June 29.

Fashion show

To mark its seventh anniversary, Revolution Forever organised a grand fashion show at Hans Dhawani Theatre, Pragati Maidan. Head of the organisation Raman Jeet Singh was the judge of the occasion. Punjabi pop singer Dilbag Singh also presented his few select numbers on the occasion.

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No promise to Manesar farmers
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, June 17
A farmers' mahapanchayat failed to elicit a categorical assurance from the deputy commissioner to put on hold notices under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act for the acquisition of land in seven villages in the Manesar belt for three months.

The affected seven villages are Pukharpur, Saharawan, Fazilwas, Kukrola, Mokalwas, Kharkhari and Baaslambi.

However, the developments relating to the mahapanchayat did have a fair dose of melodrama. A resident of Makrola village tried to commit suicide by strangling himself. The police took him into custody.

A group of women tried to close up on the deputy commissioner when he arrived at the venue.

A group of persons apparently hijacked the proceedings of the mahapanchayat by motivating the gathering to raise a demand that the deputy commissioner should come to the venue to accept the memorandum by 2 pm, failing which some of the participants would commit suicide.

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Youth convicted, released
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 17
Young age and the protracted trial came to the rescue of a youth convicted for fleeing with the answer sheet of class X examination when a court ordered his release on his furnishing a bond of good conduct. "The convict (Gurdeep Singh) was around 15 years at the time of offence. He has been facing trial since 1999, which, in my views, is itself a punishment for the crime," Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Garg said.

The court, though, held him guilty under Section 406 (criminal breach of trust) of the IPC, but ordered his release on probation of good conduct for a year. It also asked him to furnish a personal bond of Rs 10,000 with one surety of the same amount. Singh, appearing for the class X examination of National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) at Yuva Shakti Model School in Mangolpuri on May 19, 1998, had allegedly fled away with the answer copy during the examination.

School Principal S. K. Aggarwal, in his complaint, said when the answer copies were counted subsequent to the examination it was revealed that Singh had not submitted his answer sheet. The court, after examining various prosecution witnesses, concluded that out of the 22 students who appeared in the science theory paper examination the invigilator had collected the answer sheets of all barring that of Singh. "Hence, the only inference, which could be taken out is that he did not submit his answer sheet to the invigilator and fled away with the same," the Magistrate said, adding that he had committed "misappropriation of law" by his act.

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Women beaten up in cinema hall, three held
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 17
Five youths, reportedly in an inebriated condition, beat up a woman, her three daughters and one son-in-law while watching a movie in a PVR cineplex at Crown Plaza mall in Sector 15 here last evening.

As the family settled to watch the movie, a group of five youths sitting near them started making obscene comments and made lewd advances.

When the harassed women asked the troublemakers to behave the youths challenged them with abuses. As they tried to reason with the youths out to have fun at all costs, they started beating them up while others watched the real fun.

The woman and her daughters gave it back to the goons leaving their babies on the seats. By the time police reached the hall two of the miscreants had escaped. However, they were able to arrest three of them, who had been detained in a room by the staff.

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Six held for stealing transformers

New Delhi, June 17
The Delhi Police today claimed to have solved about 24 cases of theft by busting an inter-state gang of six thieves. They used to steal electric transformers and cables. The apprehended are Dilshan, Sukhdev, Quyam, Safiq, Pawan and Tosim. A tractor-trailer was recovered from the residence of Safiq.

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Honour for Ignou VC

New Delhi, June 17
Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) Vice-Chancellor V. N. Rajasekharan Pillai has been conferred with the Prof M V Pylee Award for Distinguished Academician of India.

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