|Saturday, April 1, 2000,
told to give up path of conflict
Cong to take up lawyers
AICC leader joins issue with
Maharashtra judge sacked
HC Bench refuses to hear suspended
BJP accuses Cong of doublespeak
Pak told to give up path of
NEW DELHI, March 31 India today turned down Pakistans formal offer of dialogue calling upon Islamabad "to look to the future, to the welfare of our people, and for this purpose, give up the path of conflict and senseless violence".
The Pakistan Foreign Secretary, Mr Inam-ul-Haq, had conveyed his countrys desire to renew dialogue with India to the Indian High Commissioner, Mr G. Parthasarthy, on Wednesday.
When asked about the meeting, the spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs confirmed the meeting between Mr Parthasarthy and Mr Haq and added that the meeting was held at the request of the Pakistani Foreign Secretary.
During the meeting, the Pakistani Foreign Secretary also raised concerns about Indias so called aggressive postures against Pakistan, the spokesman pointed out.
Stating that India has no aggressive designs on Pakistan, the spokesman said: "The cessation of Pakistans cross-border terrorism and the abandonment of its vicious propaganda are essential ingredients for any meaningful dialogue. We once again call upon Pakistan to look to the future, to the welfare of our peoples, and for this purpose, give up the path of conflict and senseless violence."
India has always sought to establish a relationship of peace, friendship and cooperation with Pakistan. The India-Pakistan Composite Dialogue Process was put in place in 1998 at Indias initiative. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee visited Lahore in February, 1999 to reinforce Indias message of goodwill for Pakistan, the spokesman stressed. Pakistans Kargil misadventure constituted not only a violation of the Line of Control, but a transgression of the territory of trust, the spokesman pointed out.
Stressing that India has no aggressive designs on Pakistan, the spokesman said Vajpayee had made it clear when said: "We do not think in terms of war, and nobody should think in these terms in this sub-continent."
It is Pakistan, which has, in recent months, intensified its state sponsored cross border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, the spokesman said.
New Delhis rejection of Pakistans offer is based on its understanding that Islamabad has made the offer as a public relations exercise, to impress the US administration. Islamabads offer is new neither in substance nor in the nuances, the spokesman stressed
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday regretted Indias rejection of its offer to resume their stalled bilateral dialogue to settle the problems bedevilling relations between the two South Asian nations.
Cong to take up lawyers strike
NEW DELHI, March 31 (PTI) The Congress has decided to raise the lawyers strike issue in Parliament when it meets again on April 17 holding the government squarely responsible for the aggravation of the situation and failure to discharge its responsibility towards litigants.
"The Congress holds government squarely responsible for the impasse resulting from the strikes by lawyers," senior advocate and Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal told PTI.
He said the government had failed to deal with the issue properly though it had admitted that excessive force was used by the police while handling the advocates rally on February 24 against amendments to the Civil Procedure Code (CPC) and the proposed amendments to the Advocates Act.
"The legitimate demands of the lawyers who were mercilessly beaten up had not been properly dealt with," Mr Sibal, who till recently was the spokesman of the party, said.
Brushing aside a query
whether of late the Congress had distanced itself from
the strikes, which paralysed the court functioning in
Delhi, Mr Sibal said the Congress was the first political
party to demand action against the erring police
officials. "I personally led the attack in the Rajya
Sabha against the police action", Mr Sibal said and
added "I myself had filed the petition with the
Human Rights Commission against the brutal assault on the
lawyers and the government was asked to inquire into the
AICC leader joins issue with
NEW DELHI, March 31 The ongoing war of words between the loyalists and dissidents in the Congress continued with a senior AICC leader, Mr Ashwani Kumar, joining issue with those opposed to the present style of leadership.
In a statement issued here, Mr Ashwani Kumar virtually suggested that all those people who were willing to publicly condemn the policies and leadership of the party must demonstrate the courage to forgo important positions bestowed upon them by the party.
Mr Ashwani Kumar, who also functioned as a party spokesman, stoutly defended the Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, and her style of decision making.
He said under her presidentship, the Congress Working Committee, which represents diverse shades of opinion within the party, had met for a record number of times to decide the partys stand on issues that face the nation.
"Likewise, the partys manifesto and the Pachmarhi declaration were the result of intense and active interaction between leaders at different levels. These documents have elaborated upon the partys stand on crucial issues and admit of no ambiguity unless one is determined to invent errors of articulation as is now sought to be done by some, he said.
On the criticism of selection of candidates for the Rajya Sabha, he said, the candidates were decided upon by Ms Gandhi in consultation with leaders at various levels. He also expressed doubts over the timing of the suggestion that the decision-making process needed to be changed saying it appeared to he motivated.
He said while differences in perception on various issues within the party could be appreciated, it was "wholly improper" on the part of some to gain "personal political mileage at the expense of the partys image".
"It is particularly regrettable when those who have gained political positions entirely on account of the faith reposed in them by the leadership themselves seek to question the conduct of party affairs," he said.
Mr Ashwani Kumars
statement comes in the wake of criticism by leaders like
Mr Kapil Sibal, Mr Chhabildas Mehta and Mr Madhavsinh
Solanki who have questioned the decision-making process
in the party and the role of the coterie surrounding the
Laloo to head panel on CMP
NEW DELHI, March 31 The RJD President, Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav, will head a 11-member coordination committee to supervise and implement the common minimum programme (CMP) agreed upon by the coalition partners in Bihar.
The composition of the coordination committee was agreed upon by the RJD Chief and the Congress at a meeting here last night and announced by the Congress spokesman Mr Ajit Jogi here today.
Apart from Mr Yadav, the committee will have two more RJD members, four from the Congress, one each from the BSP, the CPM, the Krantikari CPM and the MCC.
Although Mr Yadav has suggested that the AICC General Secretary, Ms Mohsina Kidwai, be enrolled into the committee, the latter is understood to be reluctant for the task.
The Congress and the RJD have an eight-point pact which is known as the CMP and both parties will in due course, come up with details to focus on development programmes.
The coalition partners also agreed to set up a Cabinet sub-committee under the Chief Minister to oversee transfers and postings of administrative officials and the police.
The sub-committee will include the Finance Minister, the Congress Legislature Party leader, Mr Furkan Ansari and the minister of the department concerned.
Meanwhile, the coalition
partners have also finalised sharing of portfolios with
the Congress preferring to have agriculture, power,
finance, forests and the public works department. The
Congress is understood be getting 10 berths in the Rabri
Devi Cabinet and 12 Ministers of State portfolios.
China urged to solve bilateral rows
NEW DELHI, March 31 (UNI, PTI) India today urged China to immediately address the unresolved bilateral issues as both countries reiterated their commitment to make joint endeavours to expand our contact and cooperation and promote peace and stability in Asia and the world.
President K.R. Narayanan, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh expressed these views in their messages to their Chinese counterparts on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the two countries.
In his message to Chinese President Jiang Zemin, Mr Narayanan said India and China should work together for prosperity and peace and stability in Asia.
"I am confident that through our joint efforts, we can build a long-term and stable relationship of constructive cooperation based on the five principles of peaceful co-existence."
Mr Vajpayee in his message to Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji said the twin imperatives of peace and prosperity impel us to build on our historical affinity and expand our contacts.
We can build a stable relationship of constructive cooperation into the 21st century and thereby contribute to peace and stability in the Asian region, he added.
China today said Sino-Indian relations had entered a "new stage" of improvement and growth and Beijing hoped to further strengthen cooperation, promote mutual understanding and work for common development.
In a message to President Narayanan the Chinese President said Beijing had all along attached great importance to friendly and good neighbourly relations and cooperation with India.
Jaya inducts new faces in party
CHENNAI, March 31 (PTI) In a surprise move, AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalitha has sacked three of the four deputy general secretaries and treasurer of the party and replaced them with new faces.
The only deputy general secretary to survive the reshuffle was K. Kalimuthu.
Those sacked included deputy general secretaries K.A. Sengottayan, V. Karuppasamy Pandiyan, who were involved in forging AIADMK-TMC friendship and M. Chinnasamy.
Former Union Minister and party treasurer R. Muthiah and propaganda secretary E. Madhusudhanan, who were recently convicted for corruption charges, were also relieved of their posts, Jayalalitha said in a statement.
T.T.V Dinakaran, MP and nephew of Jayalalithas close friend Sasikala, has been appointed general secretary of the Jayalalitha forum.
Dindugul N Srinivasan, MP, is the new treasurer.
Maharashtra judge sacked
MUMBAI, March 31 (PTI) Barely a few days after the arrest of Sessions Judge J.W. Singh for his alleged nexus with the underworld, the services of another judge have been dispensed with on account of alleged "misconduct".
Additional Sessions Judge S.R. Jaiswal was served with marching orders yesterday by the Maharashtra Government which terminated his services on the recommendation of the Mumbai High Court, official sources said.
Mr Jaiswal, holding temporary charge, served as Sessions Judge since 1995 continuously. Prior to joining the judicial service, he practised on the criminal side in a local court.
Mr Jaiswal was facing an inquiry ordered by the high court into the alleged misconduct involving his building located in suburban Jogeshwari, which he had allegedly set on fire to evict tenants.
The complaint had been lodged by advocate M.P. Vashi on the basis of submissions made by his client who was one of the tenants of the building owned by the Sessions Judge. Both Mr Vashi and his client had been summoned as witnesses in the inquiry.
SC turns down DTC application
NEW DELHI, March 31 (UNI) The Supreme Court today declined to extend the April 1, 2000, deadline for scrapping of buses, more than eight years old, plying in the Capital.
This court order forced the Delhi Transport Corporaton (DTC) to withdraw its application seeking five years more to comply with the court direction of July 28, 1998.
A three-Judge Bench comprising Chief Justice A.S. Anand, Justice Mr B.N. Kirpal and Mr Justice V.N. Khare, however, observed that if within a week or so an undertaking was filed by a competent officer of the DTC regarding the replacement of outdated buses, the court would consider the same.
The court said that for two years the DTC did not do anything to comply with the order and had come to the court at the last minute seeking extension of the deadline.
Appearing for the DTC, Additional Solicitor-General Kirit Rawal said, already the budgetary allocation of Rs 200 crore had been made by the Delhi Government for the year 2000-2001 to replace old buses by those run on compressed natural gas (CNG). He said that the DTC at present required replacement of 3,000 buses as per the apex court order. The DTC, he said, was facing problems in procuring CNG-run buses as the manufacturers were not in a position to make bulk supply.
This was contested by TELCO and Ashok Leyland which said that the DTC had placed an order for a small number of buses in 1999.
Amicus curiae Harish
Salve said that the DTC should not be given more time as
it had taken the court order made two years ago very
lightly. It is not for the court to see from
where the buses were to be procured, he said,
adding that somebody should be held responsible for
non-compliance of the order.
HC Bench refuses to hear
MUMBAI, March 31 (PTI) In a surprise development, a Division Bench of the Mumbai High Court today declined to hear the petition filed by suspended Sessions Judge Jaysingh Wadhu Singh urging for personal liberty and challenging the police action to book him in an extortion case under a stringent law.
The petition was listed on the board of Mr justice P.S. Patankar and Mr Justice Ajay Khanvilkar, who refused to hear it without assigning any reason.
When the matter was mentioned, the judges simply said "the petition is not before us".
Advocate-General Goolam Vahanvati later said the matter had been removed from the board of the Division Bench headed by Mr Justice Patankar.
BJP accuses Cong of doublespeak
NEW DELHI, March 31 (PTI) The BJP today asked the Congress to give up its policy of "double speak" and held it fully responsible for the "distortions and dilutions" in the reservation policy for Scheduled Castes and Tribes.
Reacting to the Congress charge that it would not rest till the distortions arising out of the five official memoranda relating to the promotions for SCs and STs were corrected, party spokesman M. Venkaiah Naidu told mediapersons here that these orders were issued during the tenure of United Front governments in 1997 which were supported by the Congress.
Feud in WB Cong deepens
CALCUTTA, March 31 (PTI) Feud in West Bengal Congress in the wake of its defeat in the Rajya Sabha poll deepened today with the PCC President, Mr A.B.A. Ghani Khan Chowdhury, coming under fire from a section of partymen for accusing the Congress high command of not following democratic norms in deciding RS nominee.
The WB PCC
Vice-President, Mr Saugata Roy, considered close to the
PCC Working President, Mr Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi, said Mr
Khan Chowdhury should have stepped down from his post
before criticising the high command.
MP for condolence motion on
NEW DELHI, March 31 Mr Bhan Singh Bhaura, MP from Punjab has suggested that Parliament pass a condolence resolution when it resumes the Budget session on April 17 in the memory of the Sikhs massacred at Chattisinghpura village in J&K.
In a letter to the Prime
Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, here yesterday, the
CPI MP has also suggested several steps, including taking
political and economic measures in the state to improve
Freedom fighter dead
NEW DELHI, March 31 (UNI) Freedom fighter Shanta Pande (86), wife of the Gandhian philosopher and former Orissa Governor late B.N. Pande, died at her Gurgaon residence today.
stamps on bio-diversity of N-E
9 killed, 40
hurt as bus overturns
language of Goa
Chief Justice of
Bombay High Court
seized, 4 arrested
Bid to loot
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