|Thursday, April 27, 2000,
Advani renews talks offer
French General cuts short visit
SC: government, doctor liable for
failed FP operation
Sinha has taste of power cut
Scribes to protest on April 28
West Bengal to have
Daily wager kills family, self
Fresh warrant against Ardbo
Ilyasis bail plea rejected
Digvijay inducts 10 ministers
Graft charges against Delhi CM
HC admits plea in Mattoo case
NEW DELHI, April 26 (UNI, PTI) Home Minister L.K. Advani today renewed the governments offer to hold talks with militant groups, stating that unity was needed in the hour of crisis precipitated by heightened ISI activities in the country. Replying to the debate in the Lok Sabha on demands for grants for 2000-01 relating to his ministry, Mr Advani said the government was convinced that militancy could not be tackled by security forces alone which were doing a commendable job on the frontiers.
What was required for curbing militancy was development of backward regions, generation of employment and redressal of genuine grievances, the minister said.
The House later passed the demands by a voice vote.
Admitting that the internal security situation had worsened after the Kargil war, Mr Advani said this was due to a change of strategy by Pakistan after its defeat on the Line of Actual Control.
Pakistan was not interested only in acquiring Jammu and Kashmir, but wanted to disintegrate India by enlarging the ISI network across the country, he said.
Since the neighbouring country had realised that it could not win a convention war with India, it was resorting to a low-intensity conflict using the ISI.
Mr Advani also favoured enactment of a Central law on the lines of the defunct TADA to combat Pakistan-sponsored low intensity proxy war and sought consensus among political parties on issues affecting national security.
He regretted that TADA was allowed to lapse as it was projected to be an anti-minority law.
The lapse of the Central law had created a vacuum in effectively dealing with terrorist activities, he said adding this had been pointed out to him by several Chief Ministers and police heads of regions hit by such violence.
Lauding the role of the Army and other forces in defending the borders, Mr Advani said in his hour-long reply that reprimanding the forces for minor lapses would demoralise them.
The gravity of the situation arising from the ISI was reflected by the fact that so many members who took part in the debate referred to it. This was perhaps the first such instance.
Referring to the situation in the northeast, he said out of the eight states, including Sikkim, four were free from the insurgency problem and some of them even from routine crime.
Referring to a specific mention about political murders, the Home Minister said he would talk to the Chief Ministers of the affected states as well as the police chiefs.
In Assam, Mr Advani welcomed the laying down of arms by the Bodo Liberation Tigers.
No abolition of Article 370:
NEW DELHI, April 26 Home Minister L.K. Advani today categorically ruled out in the Rajya Sabha the abolition of special status to Jammu and Kashmir, saying it was not on the agenda of the NDA government.
It is not on the agenda of our government to scrap Article 370 (which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir), the Home Minister told Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia during question hour.
Replying to supplementaries, Mr Advani said there was no proposal to extend this article to other states to give them more autonomy.
He said no proposal was sent by the SAD for the abolition of the Article in view of the massacre of 35 Sikhs in Chatti Singhpora last month.
We talked to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal when we received this question. But he denied that any such proposal had been sent by his party, he said.
Mr Advani said the Chatti Singhpora massacre was principally aimed at the visit of US President Bill Clinton to India to convey that militants had the capability to strike anywhere they liked. Even Mr Clinton had corroborated that the timing of the incident coincided with his visit.
He said there was no doubt that the Chatti Singhpora killings had been carried out at the instigation of the ISI but declined to reveal the name of the organisation responsible for the incident.
To a supplementary whether the Constitution Review Commission would consider scrapping of Article 370, the Home Minister said the terms of reference of the panel had been declared and it was for it to decide what all it would review.
Responding to concern expressed by a member over the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits, Mr Advani assured the House that the government would make all-out efforts for their early return.
General cuts short visit
NEW DELHI, April 26 The French Chief of Defence Staff, General Jean Pierre Kelche, today returned to France, cutting short his visit to India after he felt uneasy yesterday while on way to Pune.
According to reports, the General flew back to France this morning cancelling his scheduled visit to Mumbai and to Pune. The General was to be in Mumbai and Pune during the day and was to finally fly off during the early hours tomorrow.
General Kelche, who reportedly felt uneasy, apparently due to the intense heat conditions prevailing in North India, underwent a complete check-up this morning before taking the flight back to France. The doctors attending on him said that the General was in perfect condition and there was no cause for worry.
The Special IAF plane flying General Kelche from Agra to Pune made a landing at Gwalior after he reported feeling uneasy. The pilot after learning the condition of the General, alerted the nearest airbase and sought permission to land.
All arrangements were made for the General to be rushed to the hospital for a thorough check-up.
Official sources here
said that General Kelche underwent a complete check-up at
the RR hospital in Delhi Cantonment this morning before
flying off to France. He was given a send-off by the
Chief of Army Staff, General V.P. Malik, at the Palam
NEW DELHI, April 26 (PTI) Giving a new dimension to the family planning programme, the Supreme Court has ruled that if a woman sterilised under the programme gives birth to a child, she is entitled to claim damages from the state government as well as the doctor for bringing up the unwanted child.
The doctor as also the state must be held responsible in damages if the sterilisation operation performed by him or her is a failure on account of negligence, which is directly responsible for another birth in the family, creating additional economic burden on the person who had chosen to be operated upon for sterilisation, the court said.
A Division Bench comprising Mr Justice S Saghir Ahmad and Mr Justice D P Wadhwa gave this judgement while ruling in favour of Santra, who, having seven children, gave birth to a girl child despite undergoing sterilisation operation at a Haryana Government hospital under a government scheme.
Mr Justice Ahmad, writing the judgement for the Bench, said: The unwanted child born to her has created additional burden for her on account of negligence of the doctor who performed sterilisation operation on her and, therefore, she is clearly entitled to claim full damages from the state government to enable her to bring up the child at least till she attains puberty.
The sterilisation operation was performed a hospital in Gurgaon on February 4, 1988, and Santra was assured that she would not conceive a child in future. However, she got pregnant and was informed by the doctor that the operation was not successful.
Santra had filed a suit for Rs 2 lakh as damages for being a victim of medical negligence and the suit was decreed for a sum of Rs 54,000.
The lower courts as well as the high court had held that there was negligence on the part of the doctor doing the operation on Santra as he had operated only the right fallopian tube leaving the left one untouched.
The state government, after its appeals were rejected by all appellate courts, approached the Supreme Court.
NEW DELHI, April 26 (UNI) Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha today had the taste of power crisis in the Capital when he was stuck in a lift at the YMCA Cultural Centre after addressing the board meeting of the Small Industries Development Bank of India.
As he boarded the elevators along with SIDBI Chairman and Managing Director Sailendra Narain after the board meeting, the lights went off.
The panicky SIDBI staff
was able to get the generator set started, Mr Sinha was
stuck around the second floor of the building bearing the
sweat for about two minutes after which SIDBI staff were
able to get the generator set started. But the Finance
Minister managed to retain his smile and was seen off by
the SIDBI staff.
NEW DELHI, April 26 (UNI) Working journalists and other newspaper and news agency employees will stage demonstrations before the Indian Newspapers Society (INS) headquarters here on April 28 in protest against the employers conspiracy to sabotage Manisana Singh wage board.
The National Coordination Committee of the Newspapers and News Agencies Employees Unions said in a press note here today that the two wage boards to fix revised wage scales for working journalists and other newspapers and news agencies employees were about to give their final recommendations to the government.
The newspaper management
through the INS was now resorting to methods like threat
of retrenchment, demand to scrap tentative proposals and
finally initiating a recourse through courts to prevent
the wageboards from proceeding with finalisation of their
CALCUTTA, April 26 (PTI) Despite protests from noted environmentalist Medha Patkar and leading intellectuals, the West Bengal Government today pressed ahead with the proposal to set up a nuclear power plant in the state.
State Power Minister Mrinal Banerjee told a press conference here that a nodal inter-ministerial agency, headed by Chief Secretary Manish Gupta, would coordinate with the site selection committee to identify possible locations for the nuclear power plant.
The minister said 2000 acres of land was required to set up such a plant for which the site selection committee would be taken to the Sunderbans among other possible locations.
wager kills family, self
BHOPAL, April 26 Even as the retrenched daily wage earners are committing suicide in desperation, the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister has tried to justify the decision on technical grounds. The state governments decision to retrench daily wage employees is perfectly legal, Mr Digvijay Singh has stated.
All five members of a family in Vidisha were found dead in their home on Sunday morning. Raj Kumar Jatav (35) who was working as an electrician on daily wages in a polytechnic in Vidisha, was retrenched a few months ago. A suicide note left by him reportedly said that he was unable to endure the penury.
Raj Kumar consumed celphos. Before that he had administered the same pesticide in sufficient quantities to wife Vimla (30), daughters Chhaya (6), Ekta (4) and one-year-old son Pappu.
At least three more retrenched daily wage earners have committed suicide in the past three months.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister has claimed in identical but separate letters written to former Union Minister Kamal Nath, BJP leader Uma Bharati and Congress MLA Kalpana Parulekar that if viewed in the right perspective, all would agree that the state governments decision to retrench daily wage employees is perfectly legal and according to their consent. The state governments decision about daily-wage employees is a part of the series of austerity measures to streamline financial management.
In his letters, the Chief Minister says, No illegal action is being taken against any employee. A number of petitions were filed in the high court and the tribunal about this. In its reply to these petitions, the state government had clarified that only those daily wage employees were retrenched from the service who had been appointed irregularly after December 31, 1988. The government is taking action only after minute scrutiny of individual cases. The Chief Minister claims that the daily wage employees themselves had agreed to this course of action in the high court.
The Chief Minister said
it was clear from these facts that the state government
was not resorting to any illegal action. In the entire
case, the state governments action was in strict
compliance with the law and according to the consent
expressed by the daily wage employees in the court.
warrant against Ardbo
NEW DELHI, April 26 A designated court today issued fresh non-bailable arrest warrant against former chief of A B Bofors, Martin Ardbo, and summons to the successor of the Swedish company in the Rs 64 crore Bofors case.
Special Judge Ajit Bharihoke issued the non-bailable warrants against Mr Ardbo asking the CBI to produce him before the court on June 2, the next date of hearing after the agency counsel said the earlier warrant issued against him was still under process. The court issued fresh summons against the successor of A B Bofors after the CBI counsel U S Prasad said the Swedish Government had been requested for ascertaining the actual successor of the company and was expected to reply soon.
Agency officials said
Celsius, considered to be the new name of Bofors company,
and a sister concern, Nobletech, had refused to accept
the courts summons saying they were not successors
of A B Bofors. Win Chadha, who was granted bail in the
case last month, moved an application before the court
seeking to visit Dubai for his medical treatment. The
court would hear the application on Saturday.
NEW DELHI, April 26 (PTI) A city court today dismissed a bail application of producer of Indias Most Wanted Suhaib Ilyasi, facing charges of causing death of his wife for dowry.
inducts 10 ministers
BHOPAL, April 26 Mr Digvijay Singh today inducted six ministers of Cabinet rank and four Ministers of State into his council of ministers. Two Ministers of State were elevated to Cabinet rank. The strength of his council of ministers has now gone up to 48. This is the first expansion after he had constituted his council of ministers on December 6, 1998.
State Governor Bhai Mahavir administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers at Raj Bhavan.
Todays expansion shows the returning clout of Mr Arjun Singh who had been systematically sidelined by Mr Digvijay Singh in the past few years. Mr Subhash Yadav, Mr Rajendra Prasad Shukla and Mr Hazarilal Raghuvanshi, all heavyweights, are hardcore Arjun Singh loyalists. They were Cabinet ministers during Mr Digvijay Singhs first term but were cut by him when he had formed his ministry in December 1998. Their return to the Cabinet indicates Mr Digvijay Singhs weakening position.
Besides, Mr Subhash
Yadav has been redesignated as Deputy Chief Minister
though the Chief Minister had stated soon after having
been sworn in for the second term that there would be no
Deputy Chief Minister. Women and Child Development
Minister Jamuna Devi has also been made Deputy Chief
Minister but the move appears to be one of desperation to
balance Mr Subhash Yadav. It also disturbs the regional
balance as both of them come from the adjoining districts
of the Malwa region.
charges against Delhi CM
NEW DELHI, April 26 A complaint alleging corruption against Delhi Chief Minister Mrs Sheila Dikshit, was filed before the Lok Ayukta by the former Chief Minister and MP, Mr Sahib Singh Verma, here today.
Mr Sahib Singhs complaint comes within days of senior Congress leaders led by Mr Sajjan Kumar and Mr Jagdish Tytler and 19 Congress MLAs levelled charges of corruption against Mrs Dikshit.
Mr Sahib Singh alleged that the Delhi Chief Minister and her Cabinet colleagues had indulged in serious corrupt practices in the formulation of excise policy, licensing of radio taxis, denotification of land of Chhawala village, Najafgarh for the Guru Gobind Singh University (this alone runs to Rs 400 crore), giving tenders for putting up hoarding, irregularities while formulating Sales Tax policy for different items, granting of affiliation and approval to various fake and dubious colleges.
The former Chief
Minister said he would be able to prove the charges
levelled against Mrs Dikshit as dissident Congress MLAs
have been made party to the complaint and they have
assured to produce the proof and place it before the Lok
Ayukta when needed.
NEW DELHI, April 26 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today admitted the CBIs appeal against a trial court order acquitting an accused in the sensational murder of Delhi University law student Priyadarshani Mattoo.
A Division Bench comprising Ms Justice Usha Mehra and Mr Justice S.N. Kapoor, while admitting the appeal issued notice to accused Santosh Kumar Singh, son of a high ranking police officer, to file reply to the CBIs plea why he should not be taken into custody pending disposal of the appeal.
The appeal filed by
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Altaf Ahmed, besides
seeking conviction of Santosh Kumar Singh, a former law
student, also sought expunction of the stricture passed
by Sessions Judge G.P. Thareja against CBI.
panel on web
SC stays release
of 22 MPDA detainees
Award for 12-year-old girl
line permit: Chamling
HC order on
Ban orders in
for J.K. Ghosh
Bandh hits life
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