|N A T I O N|
Will NSC achieve
summoned in Jaya case
front no more'
Machinery worth Rs 11 cr
Will NSC achieve objectives?
NEW DELHI, Dec 7 (PTI) The constitution of a new National Security Council (NSC) to carry out a strategic defence review and decide on security options has been widely welcomed as a step in the right direction. But will it deliver, ask defence analysts.
Some caution that its highly bureaucratic set-up might prove so unwieldy that the main aim of the long-term strategic planning could become the first casualty.
It doesnt meet our expectations. Nonetheless a start has been made, says Gen V.N. Sharma, a former Chief of the Army Staff.
With the main responsibility of formulating the review vested with the strategic policy group, comprising the secretaries of key departments of Defence, Home, Foreign Affairs and Finance among others, it is unlikely to get the views of non-government experts, notes General Sharma.
The most essential requirement of an NSC for holistic consideration of security has been met. However, there are certain glaring anomalies, which can be rectified as and when things get going, says Lt-Gen A.N. Vohra (retd), a former Vice-Chief of the Army Staff.
The three-tier body announced by the government envisages an apex six-member council with the Prime Minister at the helm and the ministers of Home, Defence, Finance, External Affairs and the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission as its members.
The Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) which is to serve as the secretariat of the NSC is to be revamped while the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister will double as the National Security Adviser, who would serve the council.
In addition to it, the NSC would comprise a strategic policy group and a National Security Board of eminent persons to meet once a month and give their views. It would report to the JIC.
According to General Sharma, more importance should have been given to the National Security Board of eminent persons and their meetings should have been chaired by the National Security Adviser or the Prime Minister himself.
Its important for the Prime Minister to be privy to different viewpoints, he observes.
A member of the previous NSC, Major-Gen Deepanker Bannerjee, co-director of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, says the new NSC has more similarities with the council constituted by Mr V.P. Singh in 1990 than the recommendations of the task force of the NSC formed under former Defence Minister K.C. Pant.
According to a senior defence official, requesting anonymity, the task force had recommended that the NSC should receive autonomous inputs on policy options from both within and outside the government.
The only outsiders are the eminent persons in the National Security Advisory Board, whom the government decided to include after initial criticism that it would also comprise people from within the government.
Doubts have also been raised over the capacity of the Principal Secretary to double as the National Security Adviser. Even after the appointment of a Foreign Minister, his attention would be divided and long-term security planning would suffer, say General Sharma and General Vohra.
Even as some appointments to the 22-member board, with top strategist K. Subramanyam as its convener, have been announced, its not yet clear as to whether it would be a full-time paid job as General Sharma suggests.
While it is not yet clear as to what exactly the security board would do, Maj-Gen Banerjee observes that the SPG which is a group of secretaries instead of conducting the strategic review should have been made the coordinating and policy implementing body of the council.
Accused fall ill en masse
PATNA, Dec 7 (PTI) Former Chief Ministers, Laloo Prasad Yadav and Jagannath Mishra, today failed to appear again in the court of designated CBI judge S.K. Lal in a conspiracy angle case of the fodder scam.
RJD President, Yadav and Bihar Jan Congress Chief Patron, Mishra, could not be produced before the court on account of their illness.
Jail authorities in separate applications informed the court that the two accused had fallen ill and were being treated at the hospital inside Beur Jail.
This is for the fourth time in a row that Yadav could not be produced ever since he was lodged in judicial custody on October 28.
The authorities told the court that Yadav was suffering from backache and muscular pain.
Former Union Minister, C.P. Verma, RJD MLA, R.K. Rana, senior IAS officer, Sajal Chakrovorty, besides former Regional Director (Animal Husbandry Department-Ranchi) S.B. Sinha, too could not be produced as they were reported to be indisposed.
Former Bihar Minister and RJD MLA, Vidya Sagar Nishad, however, appeared in the court in same case (RC 20(a)/96) of the multi-crore scam dealing with fraudulent withdrawals of over Rs 37 crore from Chaibasa Treasury by the state Animal Husbandry Department (AHD) officials through forged and fake bills.
Among others who were produced in the court include Former Assistant Director(AHD-Ranchi), K.M. Prasad, former Director (AHD-Patna) Ramraj Ram, suppliers to the AHD, B.B. Prasad, Mahendra Prasad, P.K. Jaiswal, and Sushil Kumar.
The court fixed December 18 as next date of hearing to decide the prayers of former Chief Ministers, Yadav and Mishra, against the Patna High Court order denying bail to them in case no RC 64(a)/96.
In the meanwhile in Delhi Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Janata Dal members today assailed the continued detention of RJD Chief Laloo Prasad Yadav alleging that the CBI was deliberately withholding documents related to his bail plea in court under directives from the Centre.
Raising the issue during zero hour in the Lok Sabha Mohan Singh (SP) said the Centre was practising political hypocrisy by keeping Yadav behind bars for one and a half months and denying a national leader the responsibilities bestowed upon him as an MP. He was supported by RJD member Raghuvansh Prasad Singh.
SP leader Mulayam Singh
Yadav, who heads the Rashtriya Loktantrik Morcha,
criticised the government for not felicitating the
release of Yadav, an accused in the fodder scam, saying
he is not a culprit.
Stage set for aviation show
BANGALORE, Dec 7 (PTI) Aero India-98 a mega aviation show is all set to take off here tomorrow, offering a platform to both Indian and foreign companies to display their capability in design, development and production of aircraft, ground systems, airline operations and airport management.
Aimed at highlighting the countrys engineering talent and strong software industry base, the five-day international exposition, to be held at the Air Force station at Yelahanka, has also attracted a large number of companies from abroad with Russia sending the highest number.
The largest national pavilion will be that of UK and would display exhibits of 27 leading aerospace companies, including a British aerospace Hawk 200, and an 125-700 support aircraft, according to the British trade office here.
The French aerospace industry will also be well represented at the exposition, with aerospatiale and its partnerships and subsidiaries confirming participation.
Defence Minister George Fernandes will inaugurate the show, organised by the Department of Defence Research and Supplies with the cooperation of the Defence Research and Development Organisation, the Indian Air Force and the Department of Civil Aviation and Space.
U-30 and SU-33, ATR, MIG-AT, Mirage-2000, Falcon-2000 UAV and MIG-21UM would be among the foreign aircraft on display while the Indian exhibits include advanced light helicopter (ALH), Jaguar, Surya, Kiran, Pushpak, the airborne surveillance platform and Lancer.
Almost all major Indian firms and government departments and organisations connected with the aerospace industry, including the DRDO, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and the National Aerospace Laboratories, would take part.
Besides Russia, Britain and France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Spain and Switzerland are also expected to take part in the event.
Machinery worth Rs 11 cr seized
NOIDA, Dec 7 Noida police seized machinery worth Rs 11 crore from Mohali in Ropar district of Punjab. According to official sources Deputy General Manager of Pick-Up Noida, complained to Noida police that M/s M.R.G. Plastics Technical Ltd. has taken 11 crore from them and the said concern was not returning it.
According to the report S.S.P Noida deputed S.P. Noida for its recovery. However, from informers Noida police came to know that M.R.G. Plastics has set up the machinery in a Mohali-based firm Keshav Enterprises. C-136, Phase 8, Industrial Area, Mohali.
When Noida police reached
Mohali, it had to face resistance including political and
legal pressure from the so-called factory owners Sukhbir
Singh Shergil, Amrik Singh and Jasvinder Singh. However,
the Noida police succeeded in taking the machinery back
and hand it back to Pick-Up Noida.
10 summoned in Jaya case
CHENNAI, Dec 7 (UNI) The trial process in another corruption case against former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha commenced today with the Special Judge ordering the issuance of summons to 10 witnesses to appear before the court on December 28.
Special Judge I.S. Sambandham ordered the issuance of the summons to the witnesses in the case relating to the amassment of wealth to the tune of Rs 66.65 crore by Ms Jayalalitha, disproportionate to her known sources of income, during her tenure as the Chief Minister.
Besides Ms Jayalalitha, the other accused in the case are her friend Ms Sasikala Natarajan, her erstwhile foster son V.N. Sudhakaran and Sasikalas relative Elavarasi.
This is the third case in which the trial would begin on the next hearing. The judge, however, allowed the petition filed by the accused seeking to dispense with their appearance before the court for the day.
Earlier, Special Judge
(II) V. Radhakrishnan had ordered the issuance of notices
to witnesses to appear before the court in the case
relating to the construction of the seven-storeyed Hotel
Pleasant Stay in Kodaikanal, flouting norms and the Rs
10.16 crore colour TV purchase scam.
CBI directed to expedite probe
NEW DELHI, Dec 7 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today asked the CBI to expedite its probe into the murder of Dr Tanwar, a personal consultant of former Congress President Sitaram Kesri, within four months.
A Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Y.K. Sabharwal and Mr Justice K.S. Gupta, monitoring the investigation, allowed four months time to the CBI after perusing a status report submitted by the agency in a sealed cover.
CBI counsel A.K. Dutt told the court that some more time was needed to complete the investigation.
The court was hearing a writ petition filed by the All-India Young Lawyers Association (AIYLA) through advocate Kamini Jaiswal and S.N. Pandey, seeking a thorough investigation into the five-year old mysterious murder of Dr S. Tanwar, who was a medical officer with the Central Government Health Services dispensary here.
Severed parts of his body were found on December 29, 1993 from many places in Delhi.
The case was handed over to the CBI in April after the crime branch of the Delhi police failed to establish the identity of even a single suspect behind the gruesome killing.
The crime branch sleuths had, however, recorded the statements of about 50 persons, including Mr Kesri.
Russian PM to arrive
NEW DELHI, Dec 7 The Russian Prime Minister, Mr Y. Primakov, will arrive here on a three-day official visit on December 20.
Briefing reporters, a
spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs said that
the Foreign Ministers of Sri Lanka and Iran, Mr Lakshman
Kadirgamar and Dr Seyed Kamal Kharrazi, respectively, are
scheduled to visit New Delhi on December 16 and 18.
Veerappan escapes capture again
SALEM, Dec 7 (PTI) The elusive forest brigand, Veerappan, who narrowly escaped capture a fortnight back once again gave the slip to the Special Task Force (STF) personnel combing the forest area yesterday.
Ashok Kumar Doss,
Superintendent of Police, told PTI here that he along
with three STF personnel were combing Raj Nagar in Pudu
Vadavalli area in the forest at 1100 hrs when they saw
Veerapan, alongwith a few members of his gang, moving
nearly a kilometre away.
Delhi economy heads for crisis:
NEW DELHI, Dec 7 The previous BJP governments fiscal management is likely to have an adverse effect on the states economy, Delhi Finance Minister, Mahinder Singh Saathi said here today.
He said "economy of Delhi is heading towards crisis as the BJP government had not properly managed the states finances."
While on the one hand, the revenue side came under strain due to inadequate Sales Tax collection and shortfall in Excise duties collection, the expenditure overshot due to unprecedented onion crisis.
There was an estimated embezzlement of funds of Rs 13 crore which resulted from the alleged onion scam, he said, adding that the present government was in the process of preparing a White Paper on the state of the economy.
The lifting of prohibition by the neighbouring state of Haryana also significantly affected the states balances. "The Delhi Government incurred a dip in Excise collection of around Rs five crore due to the lifting of prohibition by Haryana," Mr Saathi said.
He, however, indicated that the present government would refrain from announcing any new economic policy package before the end of the current fiscal year.
The Delhi Finance Minister today met senior officials of his department and took stock of the current status of the states economy.
Transport Minister, Parvez Hashmi said his main priority would be to streamline transport system in the Capital and provide more facilities to the commuters.
The minister said he would study the current problems facing the transport system and would come out with a concrete solution. Another area which Mr Hashmi said would demand his immediate attention would be the pollution level for which his ministry would concrete measures to help save the environment by promoting use of compressed natural gas and other eco-friendly fuel.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who has ordered a probe into the onion scam, declared that raids on hoarders would be the top priority for the Congress government.
High-level meetings were held to work out the modalities of plans to check hoarders in an effort to bring down prices.
The Chief Minister exhorted her cabinet colleagues to make the "price rise" issue their top priority in their departments immediately after declaring various portfolios for the six members of the Council of Ministers.
The Chief Minister also declared that priority area was to check hoarding and ordered the administration to plan out a systematic crackdown on hoarding which had been analysed as one of the primary reasons for the shortage of essential commodities and their subsequently becoming too expensive.
All six ministers have started work on the specific guidelines issued by the Chief Minister and held meeting to discuss the various ways in which the prices of essential commodities can be brought down at the earliest.
While most ministers announced their intentions to work on the guidelines issued by the CM, they said the mess left behind by the BJP government would have to be cleaned up before the development work would begin. Meetings with individual department heads would commence, said most ministers.
Meanwhile, the ruling
Congress party has made arrangements for the newly
elected members to get well versed with the proceedings
of the House by opening a counter at the Old Secretariat,
which would start functioning from tomorrow. Apart from
other things, the members would be handed over a copy of
the rules and regulations of the Vidhan Sabha. The
four-day session of the Assembly would commence on
Mahajan justifies referring of
Fire to CBF
NEW DELHI, Dec 7 The newly appointed Information and Broadcasting Minister, Mr Pramod Mahajan today justified the referring of the controversial film Fire to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) by saying that the Government would have to step in if any film or artistic work encouraged tendencies of sex and violence in society.
Addressing the reporters soon after taking over the charge, Mr Mahajan said that though the Government was in favour of films portraying reality, but it would have to take action if these encourage a tendency of sex and violence. He also said that the Government was within its rights to refer the controversial film Fire to the CBFC as it had evoked agitation and complaints from people from parts of the country.
The minister categorically stated that the film had not been banned and that the willing theatres could continue its showing. He, however, did not comment on the issue of providing such theatres with security. Mr Mahajan said that providing security was within the purview of another ministry and he would not comment on it.
Mr Mahajan also refused to comment when asked if the Governments intention in amending the Prasar Baharati Ordinance of the previous government had been achieved and there were reports that the government was not actually very keen on pushing its amendment Bill in Parliament.
The Minister said that since he had been appointed during the Winter Session of Parliament, he would not like to make any policy statements without first taking them to Parliament. He, however, said that the Right to Information should be guarded as a basic right of the people and his ministry would endeavour to ensure that this information which also includes broadcasting was free from all controls.
He said that the ministry was concerned about the employees of Prasar Bharati and would take steps to ameliorate their grievances and also safeguard their autonomy.
He also made a reference to the Indian films and said that many of these were also being watched by the Indians abroad. So steps should be taken to ensure that the countrys culture was projected in a correct perspective.
He, however, said that the hen-and-egg debate would continue forever whether cinema affected the society or vice-versa. But it was the duty of filmmakers to keep social objectives in mind.
It was clear that people
did not want to see films with excessive sex or violence.
He admitted that he had not seen the film
Fire by Deepa Mehta and said that he would
not discussed it. Even if he had seen it. Since it had
been referred to the CBFC.
HC seeks reply from police,
New Delhi, Dec 7 The Delhi High Court today issued show cause notices to the Delhi Police Commissioner, a local hospital and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) for a patients death allegedly caused due to negligence.
A Division Bench, comprising, Mr Justice Devinder Gupta and Mr Justice Mukul also issued the notice to the SHO of Mukherjee Nagar police station of north Delhi, in whose area Rajan Babu Tuberculosis Hospital, where the patient died, fell.
The petition was filed by Ms Droopti Devi, wife of the deceased, who died at the hospital on October 22, after a junior doctor allegedly performed "intercostal intubation" to extract fluid from the patients lungs.
Petitioner alleged that her husband Ved Prakash, admitted to the hospital on October 11, after being referred there by Hindu Rao Hospital, was not attended to by any senior doctor between the date of admission and his death.
Petitioners counsel Ashok Aggarwal submitted that a senior doctor attended to him only on October 22 and recommended the removal of the fluid from his lungs.
Mr Aggarwal said the intercostal intubation should have been done by an expert and senior doctor and not by a junior.
The petitioner held Medical Superintendent, Additional Medical Superintendent, medical officer and two junior doctors responsible for their alleged acts of negligence.
Dilip Kumar, Mahesh Bhatt move
SC on Fire
NEW DELHI, Dec 7 (UNI)
Eight noted film personalities, including Dilip
Kumar and Mahesh Bhat, today filed a petition before the
Supreme Court, seeking directions to the authorities
concerned to ensure smooth screening of the controversial
movie "Fire" in the wake of violent protests by
activists of the Shiv Sena in Mumbai and Delhi. A date
for the hearing of the petition is likely to be fixed
tomorrow by the Chief Justice. The film has been referred
back to the censor board by the Central Government for
re-certification following violent protests at the New
Empire Theatre in Mumbai and Regal Theatre in New Delhi.
The petition has also sought a direction to the Union of
India to take all steps by providing security to dispel
the sense of insecurity and fear being caused by the
continuing threats being made by the sena functionaries.
Krishna Kumar gets bail in FERA case
NEW DELHI, Dec 7 (PTI) Former Union Minister of State for Defence and Petroleum, Mr S. Krishna Kumar, arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on charges of FERA violations, was today granted regular bail by a Delhi court on health grounds.
The Additional District and Sessions Judge, Ms Sharda Aggarwal, directed Kumar, who was granted interim bail earlier in June, to furnish a personal bond of Rs 5 lakh and two sureties of Rs 2.5 lakh each.
The courts direction came after Enforcement Directorate counsel submitted before the court: "as regards medical ailment of the accused, the verification has been made by the department and he is suffering from heart ailment".
The court said: "keeping in view the accused is suffering from serious heart ailments... And that he has not misused the liberty of the bail granted to him from June 5 till date, I find it to be a fit case for admitting the accused to regular bail".
AIADMK-led front no more, says Jaya
CHENNAI Dec 7 (UNI) All-India Anna DMK general secretary J. Jayalalitha tonight announced the break up of the AIADMK-led front in Tamil Nadu.
Talking to newsmen here at the airport on her return from Hyderabad, she said "there is no AIADMK-led front in Tamil Nadu now".
Stating that the front was formed to fight the last Lok Sabha elections, she said there would be a new front to fight the next elections as and when it came.
The Pattali Makkal Katchi, the Murumalarchi DMK, the Tamilaga Rajiv Congress, the Janata Party and the BJP had been the front constituents.
She clarified that the Janata Party headed by Dr Subramanian Swamy was still with her party.
Asked about the PMKs recent observation that the party was still in the AIADMK-led front, she said "I dont know how it is possible"
RSS withdraws defamation
NEW DELHI, Dec 7 (PTI) One of the three defamation cases filed by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) against former Congress president Sitaram Kesri was today withdrawn by the complainant.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) R.K. Gauba "dismissed as withdrawn" the complaint filed by Man Singh from Pratapgarh in Rajasthan after his counsel submitted that "the complainant would not be able to prosecute the case in Delhi".
The CMM, who is already seized of one such case filed by the Delhi unit RSS chief against Kesri, was recently entrusted with the cases filed at Pratapgarh and Purulia in West Bengal following a Supreme Court order.
The RSS alleged that Kesri tarnished the organisations image by accusing it of being involved in the February 14 Coimbatore serial blasts, which claimed over 60 lives, in the last general elections.
A day after the blasts Kesri at a press conference here said that he suspected RSS hand behind the blasts.
|Karbi Anglong leader killed
GUWAHATI: In a major action, a joint team of police and CRPF personnel busted the camp of militant outfit Karbi Peoples Front (KPF) in Assams Karbi Anglong district on Sunday night killing its chairman Longsing Hanse and another ultra and injuring two others, official sources said. The joint operation on the camp in Longloksu Reserve Forest was launched following a tip off, the sources said. The KPF is backed by one faction of NSCN and the camp was run by both the insurgent outfits. KPF
4 KYKL militants held
| Haryana | Himachal Pradesh | Jammu & Kashmir | Chandigarh |
| Editorial | Business | Sport |
| Mailbag | Spotlight | World | 50 years of Independence | Weather |
| Search | Subscribe | Archive | Suggestion | Home | E-mail |