|N A T I O N|
|HC quashes Goa Speaker's ruling on
PANAJI, Sept 7 The 40-day old Wilfred D' Souza coalition government in Goa got a boost after the Goa Bench of the Mumbai High Court today quashed the order of Assembly Speaker Tomazinho Cardozo disqualifying 10 MLAs of the Goa Rajiv Congress Party, including Chief Minister D' Souza.
measures for Siachen troops
|Food packets airdropped
GUWAHATI, Sept 7 Food packets were airdropped in several districts of Assam today as the flood situation turned critical disrupting surface communication in the state.
Manisha Koirala to raise funds for safe motherhood campaign
NEW DELHI, Sept 7 Cinestar Manisha Koirala has expressed her support to the Delhi Governments safe motherhood campaign. At a Press conference here today, she said she would help in creating awareness on problems related to pregnancy as well as in raising funds.
brewing in IIPA
to Sushma, Naqvi refused
jail term for Bihar minister
to attend MDMK rally
work yet to start in Delhi varsity
of Gujarat dead
runover by Shatabadi
die as buses collide
HC quashes Goa Speaker's ruling on 10 MLAs
PANAJI, Sept 7 (PTI, UNI) The 40-day old Wilfred D' Souza coalition government in Goa got a boost after the Goa Bench of the Mumbai High Court today quashed the order of Assembly Speaker Tomazinho Cardozo disqualifying 10 MLAs of the Goa Rajiv Congress Party (GRCP), including Chief Minister D' Souza, from the membership of the state Legislative Assembly.
The Bench, comprising Mr Justice R.K. Batta and Mr Justice J.A. Patil, allowed the petition by the GRCP challenging the Speakers ruling disqualifying the 10 MLAs.
Earlier, in an interim order on August 18, the court had stayed the operation of the order passed by Cardozo.
D' Souza was sworn in the Chief Minister of Goa on July 29 by the Governor J.F.R. Jacob after dismissing the 43-month old Pratapsinh Rane government.
Mr D' Souza, who was deputy in the Rane Government, was given 21 days' time to prove his majority on the floor of the House.
But, following the stay on the operation of the order of disqualification and certain observations made by the court Mr D' Souza was given further three weeks time by the Governor till September 9 to take the trust vote.
The Rane government was dismissed after the split engineered by Mr D' Souza in the Congress Legislature Party in July, reducing it to a minority.
In a related development, the Supreme Court today declined to pass any order on Ranes plea for restraining the coalition government from taking major policy decisions, D-Souza said.
Rane had preferred an appeal in the Supreme Court against the order of the Panaji Bench of the Mumbai High Court which last month had dismissed his petition challenging the validity of the Governors order dismissing his government.
The petition would come up before the apex court next Monday, the Chief Minister said.
DSouza will seek the vote of confidence in a special session of the state assembly tomorrow.
DSouza told mediapersons here today he had already given notice for seeking the trust vote to the office of the Speaker.
Food packets airdropped
GUWAHATI, Sept 7 (PTI) Food packets were airdropped in several districts of Assam today as the flood situation turned critical disrupting surface communication in the state.
The current spate of floods has claimed 135 lives and hit 36 lakh people in 21 districts of the state, officials said.
Chief Minister P.K. Mahanta, who made an aerial survey of the flood-ravaged area between Sadiya to Dhubri yesterday, said food packets were being airdropped to marooned people in Dhakuakhana subdivision in Lakhimpur district, Dhemaji district and Majuli subdivision in Jorhat district.
The deluge, he said, was "unprecedented" and the calamities were "worst since 1950".
The sources said flood waters had submerged vast areas of Kaziranga National Park, the famed Rhino Safari, forcing hundreds of animals deer, bison and rhino to take shelter in nearby areas.
Some of the animals had also perched themselves atop high wooden platforms set up for the safety of animals in the park.
The sources said the swollen Brahmaputra threatened to submerge vast tracts of human habitation and cropland along its 750-km stretch in the state. Its tributaries were also in spate and had flooded nearby areas.
The situation in the state capital turned serious today as Brahmaputra submerged roads near Pan Bazar, Fancy Bazar and Kharguli areas snapping road communication within the town.
Mr Mahanta said the government had received Rs 42 crore from the National Calamity Relief Fund.
The state government, he said, would prepare a new memorandum for central assistance based on assessments after the floods as the previous proposals were inadequate for covering the entire losses.
"A task force has already been formed by the government to assess the extent of damage caused by the floods," he said.
On the unprecedented rise
in prices of essential commodities, he said trucks
carrying goods could not reach the affected areas as
national highways in the state had been flooded. The
scarcity had led to a spurt in prices.
Army, IAF assist in flood relief measures
NEW DELHI, Sept 7 (PTI) The Army and the Indian Air Force today came forward in a big way to assist the civil administration in relief and rescue operations in the flood-affected areas of West Bengal and north-eastern states.
Troops forming part of the Central and Western Commands of the Indian Army evacuated a total of 6,443 people from the fury of floods to safer places in Uttar Pradesh where normal life was thrown out of gear in seven districts.
Besides providing medical cover to 12,758 flood victims, the Army also distributed over 1.4 lakh food packets in the worst flood-hit areas and 600 packets of milk. The Army also supplied 55,300 litres of kerosene and diesel and 12600 litres of potable water to the people affected by floods, an official release said.
In West Bengal where the floods have affected life in Malda and Murshidabad districts, troops have evacuated 20,469 marooned people and distributed 17 tonnes of food and relief material.
In Assam where Morigaon,
Darrang, Golaghat, Dhemasi and North Lakhimpur are the
worst-affected areas, the Army evacuated 4,150 stranded
villagers and provided medical aid to thousands of the
Welfare measures for Siachen troops
NEW DELHI, Setp 7 (UNI) Weaponry and related requirements of troops deployed at Siachen will be met immediately. This was decided by the Ministry of Defence here today.
A high-level meeting chaired by Defence Minister George Fernandes also cleared a large number of other proposals for improving the serving conditions of troops deployed at the inhospitable Siachen glacier.
The meeting, attended by Army chief Gen V.P. Malik, Air Chief acm S.K. Sareen, Scientific Adviser a.p.j. Abdul Kalam, Defence Secretary Ajit Kumar, Defence Production and Supplies Secretary Prabir Sengupta, Director-General Border Roads Organisation Lt Gen R.J. Mordecai and Financial Adviser P.R. Sivasubramanian, was held following Mr Fernandes announcement after his recent visit to Siachen that requirements of the troops would be met on priority in a time-bound manner.
An interesting feature of todays meeting was the presence of local commanders including Maj Gen V.S. Budhwar, goc, 3 Infantry Division and Air Vice-Marshal N. Menon, aoc, Jammu and Kashmir.
The meeting took wide-ranging decisions, some pending for several years, in respect of better communication, transportation, supplies and improved welfare measures.
Hospital facilities would be upgraded. The central heating system at Siachen Hospital, out of order since 1994, would be replaced immediately.
The physiotherapy centre at the Srinagar Base Hospital would be modernised forthwith. Orders had already been placed for CT scan and mri facilities for cerebral and spinal injuries at the Command Hospital at Udhampur.
An important decision taken at the meeting which would effect a saving of Rs 40 crore was to re-use the clothing used by jawans at the glacier at lower altitude.
The lack of decision in this regard so far had resulted in accumulation of the special clothing at the Siachen ordnance logistic gallery at Khalsar.
The wall-climber winch mechanism for use by soldiers posted at the glacier would be bought immediately. Efforts were on to secure lightweight binoculars, telescope, hand-held range finders and thermal imagers.
Similarly, major decisions were taken regarding transportation and supplies. Keeping in view the limited capacity of the iaf, airlift of troops by the iaf would be supplemented by chartered civil flights. This would go a long way in reducing the load on transit camps.
Refrigerated containers would be used for transporting fresh meat and vegetables. Two free railway passes would also be considered for troops in field areas of J and K and the North-East.
As regards the communication system, various options were considered and would be studied further. The construction of roads and aerial ropeways at the glacier was discussed. This would reduce the cost of air- drops.
Various alternatives would be examined and a decision taken soon.
BJP describes Cong session
NEW DELHI, Sept 7 The Bharatiya Janata Party today described the three-day session of the Congress at Pachmarhi as "uninspiring" saying that the exercise was dominated by "defectors".
Talking to mediapersons, the BJP vice president, Mr K.L. Sharma, said that the Pachmarhi session lacked cohesion both on ideological as well as policy fronts.
The Congresss attack on communalism but sparing of casteism, only showed that it was trying to get closer to the Rashtriya Janata Dal led by a former Bihar Chief Minister, Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav, Mr Sharma said, adding that "the Congress has a soft corner for Mr Yadav".
The Congress used to boast of two issues stability and economic reforms but it had failed to provide stability even after a former Prime Minister, Mr Rajiv Gandhi, received an overwhelming majority in the 1984 Lok Sabha elections, Mr Sharma said. The economic reforms during the Narasimha Rao regime were attacked at Pachmarhi,he said.
Mr Sharma said that different opinions were expressed at the session on economic reforms and "even though Mr Rao had given some stability through economic reforms, these were rejected by his own party men and he was cornered by Congressmen".
On Congress President, Sonia Gandhis statement that the party would stake claim in case the Vajpayee government went out of power, Mr Sharma said. "She should realise that the government has come to stay and they would not succeed in their moves to destabilise it".
When asked to explain his comment on defectors dominating the Pachmarhi session, Mr Sharma named Mr Arjun Singh, Mr Madhavrao Scindia and Mr Sharad Pawar as examples of defectors.
Meanwhile, the BJP would
soon announce the setting up of fresh committees on
issues like environment, population and ex-servicemen.
The committees on foreign affairs, defence and economic
issues would also be announced shortly, BJP
vice-president K. Jana Krishnamurthy said.
Safe motherhood campaign:
Manisha Koirala to raise funds
NEW DELHI, Sept 7 Cinestar Manisha Koirala has expressed her support to the Delhi Governments safe motherhood campaign.
At a Press conference here today, she said she would help in creating awareness on problems related to pregnancy as well as in raising funds.
She emphasised that her gesture should not be mistaken as support to any political party. I am not supporting any political party, but a cause.
Minister of Health in the Delhi Government Dr Harsh Vardhan said Ms Koirala had volunteered support to the campaign after learning of the alarming maternal mortality rate in India.
A press note issued by the state government said of one lakh expecting mothers in India, 500 died during childbirth every year.
The release said one in four deaths was due to haemorrhage, one in five due to anaemia, toxaemia, illegal abortions, sepsis and ruptured uterus. Most of these causes were avoidable and could be prevented by proper ante-natal care.
Dr Harsh Vardhan said his
governments campaign had been prompted by the
alarming maternal mortality rate in India. He said the
government had launched the campaign once in 1992 and
twice in 1997. The World Health Organisation has chosen
Safe motherhood as the main theme of this
Dissension brewing in IIPA
NEW DELHI, Sept 7 Dissension seems to be brewing in the prestigious Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) with a section of the members calling for urgent steps to make its membership more open.
Sources in the institute, on condition of anonymity, point out that with a highly articulate and competent membership, there ought to be frequent changes in the personnel for generation of new ideas.
Over the years, there had been a marked tendency to restrict the membership and the Executive Council was dominated by a few persons, the sources said.
The considerable growth in training activities and improvement of infrastructure notwithstanding, the sources said very little had been done on the qualitative dimension to making public administration a responsive, pro-active instrument for national development.
At present, one person was holding five offices and had been on the Executive Council for over a quarter of a century, the sources pointed out.
For instance, the editorial board of the Indian Journal of Public Administration (IJPA) had been enlarged with the nomination of 12 members and also by including permanent invitees.
Consequently, the academic
standing of the IJPA had nosedived. This was evident from
the fact that a prestigious journal like the Public
Administration Review had discontinued the inclusion of
articles by the IJPA.
Notices to Sushma, Naqvi refused
NEW DELHI, Sept 7 (UNI) The Delhi High Court today refused to issue a show-cause notice to Union Information and Broadcasting ( I and B ) Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of State Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, even after former Prasar Bharati chief S. S. Gill submitted an affidavit detailing the ministers mala fide against him in getting him removed from the board.
Mr Gill submitted before a Division Bench that Ms Swaraj and Mr Naqvi had personal malice against him and that was the reason that they took all possible steps to get him removed as chief of Prasar Bharati. The promulgation of the Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Ordinance, 1998, was aimed at removing him.
The Bench comprising Justice R.C. Lahoti and Justice C.K. Mahajan adjourned the matter for October 14 when it would hear arguments. Before issuing the notices, we would decide whether the ordinance can be challenged on the grounds that the ministers had mala fide intention behind the Act, the judges observed.
Attorney-General of India Soli Sorabji stated that an ordinance had the assent of the President making it a law and a law could not be challenged on the ground of malice.
However, senior counsel Kapil Sibal, appearing for Mr Gill, said an ordinance was not law but only had the effect of law. An Act has to go through the parliamentary procedure in both Houses before becoming a law.
Mr Sibal said: We have to see the motive behind the introduction of the ordinance. If the motive is mala fide, it can be challenged in a court.
Mr Sorabji contended that it was an established fact that a presidential ordinance could not be challenged in the court.
Agreeing that an ordinance could not be challenged if it involved a policy-decision of the government, Mr Sibal submitted that if an amount of mala fide was involved on part of anybody in the introduction of the odinance, the matter was open to be adjudged by the court.
6-month jail term for Bihar minister
SAMASTIPUR (Bihar), Sept 7 (UNI) Mr Ramlakhan Mahto, Bihar Minister of State for Food and Supply, has been sentenced to imprisonment for six months by a District and Sessions Court on charges of beating up a person.
Rejecting Mr Mahto's petition, District and Sessions Judge Narendra Prasad Singh upheld the 1995 judgement of a Munsif Magistrate.
PM to attend MDMK rally
NEW DELHI, Sept 7 (PTI) mdmk leader Vaiko today met Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Home Minister l k advani to renew his invitation to them for the "renaissance rally" his party is planning to hold in Chennai on September 15 which may formalise a division in the aiadmk-led front in Tamil Nadu.
After his meeting with them, Mr Vaiko said both had agreed to attend the rally on the day when aiadmk leader J. Jayalalitha has scheduled a public meeting in Tiruchnapalli to mark the birth anniversary celebrations of dmk founder late C.N. Annadurai.
The mdmk rally, is also likely to be attended by other partners of the aiadmk front, the pmk and the trc and allies of the bjp front at the national level.
The aiadmk has criticised the mdmk rally and the Prime Minister for accepting the invitation without consulting Ms Jayalalitha.
Regular work yet to start in Delhi
NEW DELHI, Sept 7 Classrooms in several colleges of Delhi University were empty today as teachers continued with their strike even though central university teachers last night decided not to extend their strike.
Differences among the office-bearers of the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) prevented the resumption of academic work in the Capital.
While the DUTA president, Mr Sriram Oberoi, said it had called off the strike on September 2 itself, the DUTA secretary, Mr S.C. Panda, claimed that, on that day, the executive council had decided to extend the strike till September 8.
The tussle between the teachers body of the ruling BJP and the Left-dominated teachers organisation affected the resumption of academic work in Delhi University.
For Ms Vidya, a first year student, it has been a long vacation as few classes have been held since the re-opening of the colleges in July.
With student union elections scheduled later this month and the autumn break in October, she said: I have been enjoying my days in the college. About a dozen films in three weeks it has been a nice change from the disciplined atmosphere in school.
If the academic session is extended then it would affect my career drastically, a third year student of Hindu College, Ms Rajender Kaur, said.
A postgraduate student said he might have to drop his plans of going abroad for academic research if the session was extended due to the teachers strike.
The DUTA president, however, said teachers were willing to take extra classes during the autumn break in October and winter break in December to make up for the losses.
Meanwhile, the ABVP and the NSUI claimed that their efforts had resulted in the end of strike by teachers.
NSUI national general secretary Kewal Pathania said that the signature campaign and the demonstration urging the teachers to resume classes made all the difference.
ABVP state secretary Rajneesh Jindal said the meeting between the partys national secretary Mahinder Pandey and the HRD Minister, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, had resulted in breaking the impasse and the ending of the strike.
Teachers at Jawaharlal Nehru University too boycotted their classes today and their teachers association JNUTA will meet tomorrow to discuss the decision of the Federation of Central University Teachers Association (FEDCUTA) about calling off the stir.
The FEDCUTA ended its strike programme even though it had failed to secure UGC pay scales from the Union Human Resource Development Ministry.
Ex-Governor of Gujarat dead
KOCHI, Sept 7 (UNI) Prof K.N. Chandy, a former Governor of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Pondicherry, died at a private hospital here today.
He was 77 and is survived by his wife, eight sons and two daughters.
A former president of the Kerala Pradesh Congress (I) Committee Prof Chandy had been under treatment for the past two weeks.
He was imprisoned during the freedom struggle.
Elected to the state assembly twice, Prof Chandy began his career as an English teacher at St Thomas College in Palai and later became Professor and Head of the English Department.
He had also served as president of the All-Kerala Private College Teachers Association (AKPCTA).
2 runover by Shatabadi
NEW DELHI, Sept 7 Two persons were today runover by the New Delhi-Kalka Shatabadi at Narela railway station.
According to Northern Railway officials, the incident took place at about 9.36 a.m. when commuters from the New Delhi-Kurukshetra passenger train (1 NKM) were trying to cross the railway track.
A third person who sustained injuries, was rushed to Hindu Rao Hospital by the railway police.
Following the incident, passengers from the New Delhi-Kurukshetra train "forcibly removed" the assistant station master, Mr B.P. Singh. The ASMs duty is to give clearance to the trains.
The removal of the ASM led to a delay of over one hour to four express trains including the Amritsar Shatabadi, the Jhelum Express, the Malwa Express and the Paschim Express.
According to initial reports the whereabouts of the ASM were not known. The Northern Railway has sought the help of the Delhi police in locating the ASM.
Normal traffic on the route was resumed at 12.10 p.m. after another ASM from Holambi was sent to Narela.
CHANDIPUR-ON-SEA (Orissa), Sept 7 (PTI) "Nishant", the pilotless training aircraft (PTA) developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), was test-flown from the interim test range here today, drdo sources said.
This is the third time that the PTA has been test-flown during the past six days.
11 die as buses collide
JAIPUR, Sept 7 (UNI) At least 11 persons were killed and 55 injured when two state corporation buses collided head on at Dantiwara in Jodhpur district tonight.
Reports received here said that while five died on the spot, six succumbed to their injuries on the way to hospital.
|Tagore award for Mahasweta
NEW DELHI: Mahasweta Devi will get this years Tagore Literacy Award while Dr D.P. Patnaik, former director of the Indian Languages Institute, will get Nehru Literacy Award. Mahasweta Devi, who is also the Jananpith and Magsaysay award winner, gets the prize for her contribution towards educating tribal women. She has written a series of books titled Anand Path for neo-literates. Dr Patnaik, pioneer of Indias Literacy Atlas, has been chosen for his leading role in the field of adult education, a release from the Indian Adult Education Institute, which gives the award on the occasion of World Literacy Day (September 8) every year, said on Monday. PTI
Al-Umma activist arrested
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