|Wednesday, March 1, 2000,
seeking lifting of ban on HDW
Lawyers oppose suspension of stir
Naveen meets Vajpayee
MCC to support RJD
No move to amend Advocates Act
Govt to monitor VSAT licencees
120 cr suit against Uphaar owners
after 2,000 years
Roll back urea prices:
Universities can keep research
Navy seeking lifting of ban
NEW DELHI, Feb 29 The Navy has sought the lifting of the ban imposed on HDW, the German manufacturer of submarines, in the wake of the trouble it is facing in the midlife upgrade of the HDW submarines in its fleet.
In a significant development which could prove to be a boon for the HDW, the Navy has written to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), to consider the lifting of the ban that was imposed on the German firm, following the disclosure of a payback scandal, after the submarines were bought from it way back in the eighties. The Navy has been facing trouble in the midlife upgrade of the Nato-class HDW submarines, as the French company which it had approached for the purpose has been adopting armtwisting tactics to lend help.
According to reports, the Naval Headquarters (NHQ) has in a letter explained the problems it was facing and the urgent need that was there to upgrade the HDW submarines. Explaining the situation it was in the Navy has asked the MoD to consider the lifting of the ban as it would be of immense help in upgrading the four HDW submarines in its fleet.
Besides it has also pointed out that in the wake of the ban imposed on the HDW, the Navy has been paying exorbitant prices to other Nato countries for the various repairs or the spareparts needed for the HDW submarines. This is also one of the allegations made by Rear Admiral S.C. Purohit in his petition in court, pointing to the nexus between defence officials and the arms dealers. The Navy feels that the lifting of the ban would also help solve this problem.
The Navy has been looking to upgrade its HDW submarines and one of them in already docked at Mazagon dockyard for the refit. It has been wanting to fit the submarines with anti-aircraft missiles, especially the Russian Klub-class missiles, with a range of about 300 km and also to upgrade its Sonars.
It had initially approached a French firm with the proposal for upgrading the four HDW submarines. Since they are the Nato-class submarines, there are restrictions as regards the availability of the submarines plans and its designs. So on every occasion when repairs or a refit is required, the Navy has to approach only a Nato country as the submarine plans and design were not handed over to India at the time of the deal.
In the effort to install the Russian Klub-class missiles on the submarines, they would have to be redesigned and the length increased. The need for fitting the Klub-class missiles arose as Pakistan had recently been supplied with the Agosta-class submarines by France which are also fitted with anti-aircraft missiles.
During the negotiations with the French firm when the Navy projected its requirement, the company agreed but it put a condition that instead of two submarines being offered for upgrade at least 10 would be lined up for upgradation. It also offered to install the same anti-aircraft missiles on the submarines which had been provided to Pakistan.
This, however, was not as per the Navys requirement as the missiles had a range of just 60 km.
In between there was another development. The government cleared Navys Project-75 in which consent was given for indigenous production of 24 submarines. While half of the number would be the Eastern Class or the EKM type, the other half was to be the Western style or the HDW type. It was also decided that first the 12 Western type submarines would be produced.
This apparently gave the
French firm another point to armtwist the Navy,
especially as its requirements were urgent. Apparently
the Navy has been in a hurry to upgrade the submarines
keeping in view the brand new acquisition of the Pakistan
navy in Agosta submarines.
Lawyers oppose suspension of stir
CHENNAI, Feb 29 (UNI) The decision to suspend the advocates agitation and resume work from March 1 has created divisions within the legal fraternity here.
At an extraordinary general body meeting of the Madras High Court Advocates Association (MHAA) yesterday, it was decided to suspend the agitation, which was called to protest against amendments to the Civil Procedure Code and the proposed amendments to the Advocates Act.
A group of advocates today claimed that the decision was not taken after consultation with a majority of the advocates.
According to them they believed that the agitation issue would not be discussed at yesterdays meeting as it was called to condole the death of Mr Justice M. Srinivasan, a judge of the Supreme Court.
Most of the advocates had come out after the condolence meeting. When the decision to suspend the agitation was taken by P. Jayaraman, President of MHAA, on the basis of media reports that Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee had assured that amendments to the CPC would not be notified till representatives of advocates were heard and the matter was discussed.
The advocates, said they would raise this issue in the MHAA general body meeting to be held tomorrow and would demand continuation of the agitation, and boycott of courts.
PTI adds: In a related development the Bar Council of India today threatened to go on a hunger strike if the government failed to give an assurance by this evening that the amendments to the Civil Procedure Code would not be given effect to until a full discussion was held with the BCI on the issue.
In a fax message to Union Law Minister Ram Jethmalani, BCI chairman S.K. Kaarvendhan said a letter he had received from the minister last evening disheartened us as they (the lawyers) were expecting a categorical assurance from the minister that the CPC amendment act would not be given effect until a full discussion was held with the council.
Stating that BCI
representatives had never unconditionally agreed to
withdraw the strike, he added that during a meeting with
the government both sides had only agreed that the Centre
would hold a dialogue with the BCI on the CPC act and
till such a discussion was held the amendments would not
be given effect to.
Naveen meets Vajpayee
NEW DELHI, Feb 29 (PTI) The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) President, Mr Naveen Patnaik, today held consultations with the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee and other top BJP leaders on the composition of the coalition ministry in Orissa to be headed by him.
Mr Patnaik, who also met the BJP President, Mr Kushabhau Thakre, and the Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, during the day, said the shape and contour of the BJD-BJP ministry likely to be sworn in on March 5 would be finalised after further discussions with state leaders of both the parties.
Though Mr Patnaik declined to disclose details about the ministry formation, BJD sources said 30 to 35 ministers are likely to be sworn in at the historic "Khandagiri" on March 5, birth anniversary of Biju Patnaik.
The Union Mines Minister, who led his party in alliance with the BJP to a spectacular victory in the Assembly poll, is expected to be formally elected leader of the combine at a joint meeting of the MLAs of both the parties in Bhubaneswar on March 2.
MCC to support RJD
PATNA, Feb 29 (UNI, PTI) The RJD today got assurance of support from one ultra Left party, but another reiterated it would sit in the opposition in the new Bihar Assembly.
The Marxist Coordination Committee, which won only one seat, said it would support the RJD since it was a better choice than the National Democratic Alliance.
However, the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), after a meeting of its standing committee, attended by party General Secretary Deepankar Bhattacharya, said it would maintain its place as "Left opposition. The CPI(ML) has won six Assembly seats.
The separate announcements did little to clear the muddied political waters in the state where a split electoral verdict has set the stage for a dirty phase of horse-trading.
The RJD and NDA leaders were sending feelers to the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha camp to rope in the support of its 12 members.
No clear picture had emerged as yet, but JMM chief Shibu Soren, who has thrown his hat in the race for chief ministership, asserted he would not budge an inch from his stand of supporting either the NDA or the RJD.
Talking to newsmen today, Mr Soren said it was necessary for him to take charge of the state for the creation of Jharkhand. The BJP and the RJD had hoodwinked the people of the region in its name, he said.
He claimed Jharkhand would be formed, comprising 18 districts of south Bihar, within three months of his becoming the Chief Minister.
He said the BJP and the RJD were indulging in vote bank politics in the region for their own vested interests. The RJD took the partys support promising to create Jharkhand, but later Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav reneged on his promise.
Urging all parties to support him, the JMM leader said only his party was serious on the creation of Jharkhand and those, who would go with the JMM, would be treated as the real supporter of the statehood issue.
The MCC decision was announced by party Secretary and member of State Legislative Council Uma Shankar Shukal. He said the fractured mandate had pushed the state into acute crisis and the Central Governments effort to saffronise the state politics compounded the problem.
The RJD was a better choice than the NDA, which was trying to spread communal feelings all over the country and Bihar as well.
Mr Shukal expressed concern over the Left parties performance. He appealed to the left parties to form a coordination committee and extend issue-based support to the RJD in governance.
However, the CPI (ML) said it would continue to maintain its independent place in the state politics.
The partys central committee member and state Secretary Ramjatan Sharma said the CPI (ML) standing committee members wanted to stick to the partys avowed policy and keep alive the spirit behind playing the role of Left opposition.
The party would decide its role on the floor of the House on the basis of this principle, he stated.
With the Election Commission likely to formally constitute the new Bihar Assembly tomorrow, the two major contenders, the NDA and the RJD, intensified their efforts to muster support of MLAs of other parties to stake claim to form government.
RJD President Laloo Prasad Yadav was in constant touch with MLAs of the Congress and Left parties, besides the Independents.
The Congress, on whose
support the RJD is banking to buttress its claim to form
the government, is still non-committal on the issue
though RJD sources claim that most of its MLAs had
expressed support to Chief Minister Rabri Devi. The
newly-elected MLAs of the Congress are likely to meet
here tomorrow to elect the legislature party leader.
No move to amend Advocates Act
NEW DELHI, Feb 29 (PTI) The Law Minister, Mr Ram Jethmalani, has asked the lawyers to call off their strike saying there was no proposal to amend the Advocates Act.
In a letter to Delhi High Court Bar Association President A.S. Chandihoke, Mr Jethmalani said "after the meeting of the representatives of the Bar with the Prime Minister, I made a statement in the Lok Sabha after showing it to them (representatives) in advance.
"As repeatedly explained there is no pending proposal for amendment of the Advocates Act," the minister said in his letter dated February 25.
He claimed that it was understood in the meeting with the representatives of the Bar that "status quo will be maintained and the strike (would be) called off."
The lawyers had gone on one-day strike on February 24 against amendments to the Civil Procedure Code and "proposed" amendment in the Advocates Act providing for periodic examination for lawyers and allowing foreign attorneys to practice in Indian courts.
Meanwhile, work in Delhi
High Court and the lower courts in the Capital was
severely affected for the fourth day today as the lawyers
have converted their one-day strike into an indefinite
stir demanding judicial probe into police
"brutality" against them.
Govt to monitor VSAT licencees
NEW DELHI, Feb 29 (PTI) Communications Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today said the government would constantly monitor the activities of VSAT licence holders and those who take more than 10 telephone connections.
This follows the discovery of an illegal communication network in Ahmedabad, which was linked to US satellite, Mr Paswan told Rajya Sabha during question hour.
The minister said the Ahmedabad case, in which an NRI was involved, was transferred to the CBI for further investigation, and added that the agency was probing four such illegal communication networks.
He said so far there were no indications of the network, which was operating VSAT without a licence, having any terrorist link.
Agreeing with the members that this was a matter of serious concern, Mr Paswan said his ministry had set up three expert committees to look into the issue.
However, he admitted that it was very difficult to monitor such networks, which were technologically very advanced.
120 cr suit against Uphaar owners
NEW DELHI, Feb 29 (PTI) Almost three years after a major fire in the Capitals Uphaar cinema claimed 59 lives, the Delhi High Court today admitted a petition by the kin of victims claiming Rs 120 crore compensation from the theatre owners and the Delhi Government.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice S N Variava and Justice S K Mahajan, while admitting a civil writ by the Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT), appointed a committee to examine the "deviation" from theatre plan and "violation" of rules and guidelines by the cinema hall owners.
The committee comprising of senior advocate Ravinder Sethi and IIT engineers T K Dutta and Sanjiv Jain, has been asked to submit its report within three months.
The worst ever tragedy in the capital occurred on June 13, 1997 during the premier show of "Border" as a fire in the Delhi Vidyut Board transformer in the basement of the theatre spread to the auditorium choking most of the victims to death and injuring about 100 others.
Former Solicitor General K T S Tulsi, during marathon arguments last year before the court reserved its order on the writ, had said claiming compensation through the civil writ was "fully maintainable" as the mishap occurred due to "criminal negligence" of the theatre owners and "callous" attitude of authorities during inspection and granting the licence.
Former Attorney General
Ashok Desai, representing the APIL had opposed the
petition on the ground that there was no law to claim
compensation through a civil writ and the "correct
remedy" for the victims kin would be to file
suits as provided in the Civil Procedure Code (CPC).
Wedding reception after 2,000 years
FAIZABAD, Feb 29 (UNI, PTI) The city gave a warm reception to a Korean delegation which arrived here yesterday to commemorate what they believe was the wedding of an Ayodhya princess with Prince Suro of their country 2,000 years ago.
"Two thousand years ago, two persons belonging to different countries were united in a wedlock and now in this millennium we have come to commemorate the ceremony, mayor of Kimhae and leader of the 14-member delegation, Mr Sang Iyu, said addressing a gathering at the Tilak Hall of the Faizabad corporation.
"We are all very happy and keen to establish close relations with you people, he said.
Mr Iyu planted the sapling of the tree "kadamb" and was presented idols of Lord Ram by Faizabad Chairperson Nirmala Singh and the corporators.
Earlier, the delegation entered the city to a grand welcome by the children of Shahadatganj school. State Energy Minister Naresh Agarwal received the delegation on behalf of the government.
District Commissioner Shatrughan Singh, DM Navneet Sehgal and other distinguished citizen among a large number of people were present on the occasion.
AYODHYA: Mayor of Kimhae City in South Korea Chang Eun Bok and Chairperson of Ayodhya City Board Chandra Kanti Mishra on Monday signed a protocol here to forge sisterly relations between the two ancient cities. The protocol said the two sides will keep in close touch and collaborate in the fields of local government, services, education, sports, trade, tourism and cultural affairs.
Roll back urea prices: INLD
NEW DELHI, Feb 29 Barely an hour after the Union Budget was presented, the Indian National Lok Dal has demanded that the hike in the price of fertiliser proposed by the Finance Minister be rolled back.
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala said here that the INLD wants that the price hike be taken back.
Mr Chautala, who is the President of the INLD also said the party would oppose anti-farmer policy, according to a spokesman for the Chief Ministers office here.
The INLD which is supporting the BJP-led coalition government is the first party to react sharply to the budget proposals.
Universities can keep research revenue
NEW DELHI, Feb 29 (PTI) The Finance Minister today proposed to allow universities and research institutions to retain revenue generated from intellectual property rights through publicly funded research.
staff: Delhi raises retirement age
Bodies of 3 kids
found from well
HC judge to
probe Nettos charges
begins in Jaipur
Four of family
Republic Day trophy
AIRs FM channels
5 CRPF men die
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