|Saturday, June 3, 2000,
CBI gets more time to execute
HC grants bail to Suhaib Illyasi
Theatres not plants under IT Act:
Arguments in assets case
HC seeks replies on illegal
Denial of stamp on EMS raises
Monsoon advances into Kerala
Japan-type bullet trains for India
Amrita poet of the
Health Minister to visit USA
HC seeks reply on Kishans
Cong leader Dalbir Singh dead
NEW DELHI, June 2 (PTI) A Delhi court today gave nearly two-months time to the CBI to execute the non-bailable warrants (NBWs) against Kuala Lumpur-based Italian businessmen Ottavio Quattrocchi, and former chief of Swedish company A.B. Bofors, Martin Ardbo, both accused in the Rs 64-crore Bofors pay off case.
Special Judge Ajit Barihoke gave the CBI time till July 28 after its counsel, Mr U.S. Prasad, informed him that the agency was awaiting response from the Malaysian authorities on its request for Quattrocchis extradition and the NBW against Ardbo was still pending.
The court had issued a NBW against Quattrocchi during the investigation of the case itself. However, a fresh NBW was issued against him on November 4, after the court took cognisance of the CBI charge sheet filed on October 22 last year.
The special judge also gave the CBI time till the next date to execute the summons against the successor of A.B. Bofors after the CBI counsel said that the Swedish government had been requested for ascertaining the actual successor of the company and the response was still awaited.
CBI officials had earlier said that Celsius, and a sister concern, Nobletech, had refused to accept the court summons, saying that they were not successors of A.B. Bofors.
The court also exempted accused Win Chadha from personal appearance on health grounds. Earlier, his plea for return to Dubai for treatment was rejected after a panel of AIIMS doctors opined that all diagnostic and treatment facilities were available at the institute here.
HC grants bail to Suhaib
NEW DELHI, June 2 The Delhi High Court today granted bail to Suhaib Illyasi, producer of the TV serial "Indias Most Wanted" in the case relating to his wifes alleged dowry death.
Mr Justice Dalveer Bhandari laid down several conditions before directing Illyasi to furnish a personal bond of Rs 2 lakhs and two sureties of like amount in the trial court.
According to the conditions imposed on Illyasi by the court he should not go outside the national capital territory of Delhi without its permission and he should surrender his passport to the police. Also, he should not contact any of the witnesses in the case.
"Since the investigation into the case was over, there was no reason for detaining the accused in judicial custody," the judge observed.
On May 6, he was granted bail in the passport case by Metropolitan Magistrate M.R. Sethi, who directed him to be available and join investigation whenever needed.
The passport case against him is with regard to the multiple passports that were found in his possession.
Illyasi was arrested on March 28, following a complaint by his Canada-based sister-in-law Rashmi Singh and mother-in-law Rukma Singh that he allegedly used to torture his wife Anju for dowry. Anju was found dead at her East Delhi apartment on January 10 with stab wounds.
The trial court has already taken on record assurances by Anjus sister that she had no intention of taking Illyasis two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Aaliya to Canada or any other place.
A criminal complaint filed in the lower court had alleged that Aaliya was kidnapped by Illyasis mother-in-law and sister-in-law.
Aaliya has been living
with them since March 28, a day after Illyasi was
arrested from his Mayur Vihar residence. However, his
father-in-law and brother-in-law have refrained from
joining Rukma and Rashmi in their endeavour to take
custody of Aaliya.
Theatres not plants under IT Act: SC
NEW DELHI, June 2 (PTI) In a significant ruling affecting the cinema and hotel industry, the Supreme Court has held theatres and hotel buildings cannot be termed as plants under the Income Tax Act, thus disentitling the owners a higher rate of depreciation.
After going through the case laws both in India and abroad on the subject, a Division Bench comprising Mr Justice A.P. Misra and Mr Justice M.B. Shah said, "In the result, it is held that buildings used for running of a hotel or carrying on cinema business cannot be held to be a plant".
"The Scheme of Section 32 (of the Act) unequivocally leads to the conclusion that building and plant are treated separately for the purpose of grant of depreciation," the Bench said.
The Act allows a depreciation of 15 per cent for the machinery and plants while only 5 per cent for buildings.
Arguing for the Revenue, senior advocate S. Ganesh pointed out the Act drew a clear line of distinction between a building used for the purpose of business and a plant/machinery used for the same purpose.
He said a building, though specially designed for use in a particular business, did not cease to be a building.
However, arguing for the hotel and cinema theatre owners, senior advocates B.B. Ahuja and Joseph Vellapally said in the modern era, the theatre was an integral part of the operation of the theatre business, which has been found so by most of the high courts.
After a careful and close scrutiny of the law, the Bench rejected the arguments of the theatre and hotel owners and said, "It is apparent that for a building used as a hotel, there is a specific provision for granting depreciation allowance at a specific rate, depending on fulfilment of the condition mentioned therein".
Mr Justice Shah, writing
the judgement for the Bench, said in the context of
Section 32 wider meaning could not be given and a plant
would not include a building in which hotel business was
run or a theatre building in which cinema business is
Arguments in assets case end
PATNA, June 2 (UNI) Senior counsel on behalf of former Chief Minister and ruling RJD president Laloo Prasad Yadav today concluded the arguments in connection with the Rs 46 lakh disproportionate assets case.
The argument for Chief Minister Rabri Devi would be placed tomorrow before the CBI designated court.
Concluding the argument Mr Yadav himself told the court that he was implicated in the case along with his wife by the CBI without any iota of evidence. Special Judge S.K. Lal heard the matter on the sixth consecutive day today related to charges framed in the DA case.
Senior counsel P.N. Pandey pleaded that the CBI had sought permission from the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha to prosecute Dr Jagannath Mishra in connection with the multi-crore fodder scam as at the relevant time of commission of the offence. Dr Mishra was a member of the Rajya Sabha. But in the case of similar nature against Mr Yadav and Mrs Rabri Devi the investigating agency did not procure permission from the Speaker of the state assembly and the chairman of the state legislative council of which Mr Yadav and Mrs Rabri Devi were respective members at the relevant period.
Counsel said on the basis of the illegal chargesheet submitted by the CBI, Mr Yadav and Mrs Rabri Devi could not be prosecuted.
Mr Pandey also alleged that the Central Vigilance Commission team did not assess the value of Mr Yadavs house and accepted the value assessed by the Income Tax Department.
Kidnapped 3-yr-old recovered
NEW DELHI, June 2 Disha, a three-year old girl from Panipat, who was kidnapped for ransom on May 26 by her neighbour, has been recovered by the Delhi Police from Hardwar in UP.
The victim, who could speak only "mummy and papa", was kidnapped by her neighbour, Vinod Narang alias Vikky and his accomplice, Ravinder alias Ravi from outside her house at Geeta Colony in Panipat. The accused lived in a rented house in the same colony, the police said.
Dishas father is a Panipat-based businessman, Mr Ashok Kumar. The police said the accused, who were small time tea vendors at Panipat Railway Station, had demanded Rs 10 lakh as ransom from the father of the victim. They had threatened to kill the girl if the money was not given to them.
However, when the matter was reported to the police, the phone number of the businessman was taped. When Panipat Police received information that telephone calls were made from a STD booth in Delhi, it informed its counterpart in Delhi.
The Central Delhi Police laid a trap and arrested Vinod yesterday while he was making a call to the businessman. During interrogation he disclosed that the girl is lodged in a dharmashala in Hardwar with Ravi.
Gill for resolving impasse
NEW DELHI, June 2 The Chief Election Commissioner, Dr M.S. Gill, has urged the Prime Minister to resolve the impasse on need to arm the EC with disciplinary control over officials conducting polls which is contended by the Centre.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, the CEC reminded that the issue had been pending for long and had been raised by him twice, once during the tenure of Mr I.K. Gujral in 1998 and during Mr Vajpayees second term as Prime Minister the same year.
"No one will dispute that the Election Commission of India, needs adequate and reasonable control, over those officials, police and civil, who are involved in carrying out the electoral exercise. Article 324 of the Constitution gives the commission adequate powers," he said in a letter dated May 29, a copy of which was released to the Press here today.
Dr Gill said the Parliament in 1989 added Section 13cc and Section 28A through an amendment in Representation of Peoples Act, 1950 and 1951. These sections made it clear that from the date of notification to the declaration of results, the commission will supervise, control and discipline, all those involved in the elections.
The CEC said at the all-party meeting held on April 29, there was a "near-unanimous" agreement between all parties that the EC must be allowed to exercise this authority as laid down by the law.
He said even the Attorney General of India, Mr Soli Sorabjee had supported the EC on this issue.
Dr Gill said the problem arose when in 1993, the then CEC Mr T.N. Seshan had taken disciplinary action against some observers, returning officers and censured them for dereliction in the performance of election duties.
Despite the amendment in the RPA, the Centre had taken the view that the EC had no power to take disciplinary action against erring officers deployed on election duties, and that the EC findings could be regarded as only preliminary enquiry and it was the Department of Personnel which had the authority to take disciplinary action. Similarly, state governments also took the same stand.
The EC, he said, then filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court in 1997 and at the last hearing the Centre said it wanted to talk to the EC on the issue.
Cong chiefs poll on Nov 1
BHOPAL, June 2 (PTI) Elections to pick the national President of the Congress would be held on November 1, the Chairman of the Congress Election Authority, Mr Ram Niwas Mirdha, announced here today.
"If any person in the party wants to contest against the present incumbent, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, the nomination will be welcomed," Mr Mirdha told newspersons.
The results would be announced on November 3, he said.
On criticism of Mrs Sonia Gandhis leadership by some senior Congressmen, he said "she today enjoys the widest possible acceptance in the Congress".
Even they (those criticising her) felt that there was no alternative to her leadership, Mr Mirdha said.
HC seeks replies on illegal slaughter
NEW DELHI, June 2 (UNI) The Delhi High Court has asked the Union Finance Ministry, Income Tax Department and Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to place before it the action taken so far to prevent the slaughter of animals outside Gashbpura abattoir in Sadar Bazar without paying taxes.
The illegal activity being supported by influential commission agents was resulting in constant increase in the prices of mutton in the Capital.
Mr Justice Manmohan Sarin also issued show cause notices asking them to file their replies with all relevant records regarding the action taken in the matter so far by the next date of hearing on July 12.
The Bench was hearing a petition filed by the Young Qureshis Front, a non-governmental organisation, which pointed out that the slaughter houses were evading income tax by illegally carrying out the activities. On September 30 last year, the court had disposed of a similar plea after it was told that the government was taking action against the slaughters in accordance with law.
The petitioner, however, moved the court through its lawyer Mohammed Amjad Qureshi once again as no action was forthcoming and the trade continued unabated, causing huge damage to the environment in the area.
Describing the modus operandi of the 90-odd commission influential agents of the area, the advocate said every day about 200 to 250 double-decker trucks laden with goats and buffaloes come to Qasabpura around 7 a.m. Each truck contained animals worth a lack.
A commission agent (tout) buys one truck of goats for Rs 90,000, saving about Rs 10,000 per truck, and later it is he who sells the animals to butchers on his own terms and rates. For this reason, the prices of goat meat has gone up to Rs 100 per kg and that of buffalo meat to Rs 30 per kg, which was about double the price which should be legitimately charged.
Apart from the evasion of taxes leading to the loss to the exchequer, the illegal trade has caused environmental problems for the residents of the locality. The area has been turned into an unhygenic and polluted one.
Contending that the commission agents were very influential, the petition charged that a few years ago when a local resident had raised his voice against them he was falsely implicated in a murder case.
Denial of stamp on EMS raises eyebrows
NEW DELHI, June 2 (UNI) The release of a postal stamp in the memory of Telugu Desam leader and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N.T. Rama Rao in violation of the specific guidelines and the rejection of a request for a stamp in memory of veteran Marxist and former Kerala Chief Minister E.M.S. Namboodiripad on the basis of the same guidelines are developing into a major controversy.
The issue of "double standards" on this matter has now been brought before the Prime Minister for his intervention.
Mr E. Balanandan, leader of the CPM group in the Rajya Sabha, today wrote a letter to the Prime Minister to do away with the "double standards" and release a stamp on Namboodiripad. "No one in India can understand the denial for releasing a stamp of Namboodiripad about whom I refrain from making any reference since there is no need for the same," he said.
Mr Balanandan also made it clear that he found nothing wrong in releasing a postal stamp on NTR.
Kerala Chief Minister E.K. Nayanar has sent a proposal to the government to issue a postal stamp in memory of Namboodiripad. However, it may be recalled that in reply to a question from CPM leader Varkala Radhakrishnan, Minister of State for Communications Tapan Sikdar told the Lok Sabha on November 29 last year that "proposals for issue of commemorative postage stamps are considered by the philatelic advisory committee in the Department of Posts on the basis of specific guidelines which, inter alia, lays down that a stamp on personality of national/international importance can be issued, either on the occasion of birth centenary or on 10th/25th/100th death anniversary. As Namboodiripad was born on June 14,1909, and died on March 19,1998, the proposal does not meet the requirements for the issue of such stamps."
Monsoon advances into Kerala
PUNE, June 2 (PTI) Forecast valid until the morning of June 4: Rain or thundershowers are likely to occur at most places in sub-Himalayan Sikkim, Kerala and Lakshadweep; at many places in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura, South Konkan and Goa, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema, coastal and south interior Karnataka; at a few places in Gangetic West Bengal, Orissa, North Konkan, South Madhya Maharashtra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and north interior Karnataka and at isolated places over the rest of the country outside Bihar plateau, Rajasthan and north Madhya Pradesh where weather will be mainly dry.
Heavy rainfall warning: Heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, south Konkan and Goa, coastal Karnataka, Kerala and Lakshadweep during the next 48 hours.
Temperatures recorded in the four metropolitin cities in degrees Celsius:
Mumbai Max 33 (n) Min 24 (-3)
New Delhi Max 38 (-3) Min 26 (-2)
Calcutta Max 35 (n) Min 28 (+1)
Chennai Max 38 (n) Min 27 (-1).
South-west monsoon further advanced into north Kerala, south Karnataka, parts of Andhra and the Bay of Bengal and into parts of sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim.
Conditions are favourable for further advance of south-west monsoon in the rest of south Karnataka, south Andhra Pradesh, more part of Bay and into parts of sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim during the next two to three days.
The trough on sea level chart from south Punjab to north-west Bay across Uttar Pradesh and thence south-eastwards to east-central Bay persists and extends into the lower levels. The trough on sea level chart from south Gujarat coast to Maharashtra coast also persists.
Another cyclonic circulation over west-central Bay off the south Andhra Pradesh coast between 2.1 and 5.8 km a.s.l. The western disturbance as an upper air system over Jammu and Kashmir and neighbourhood has moved away north-eastwards. The trough extending up to 1.5 km a.s.l. From north Pakistan to north-east Uttar Pradesh persists.
Rain or thundershowers
have occurred at most places in Konkan and Goa and
Kerala; at many places in sub-Himalayan West Bengal and
Sikkim and Madhya Maharashtra; at a few places in Andaman
and Nicobar Islands, Assam and Meghalaya, coastal Andhra
Pradesh, Karnataka and Lakshadweep and at isolated places
in Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura, plains of
Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and
Tamil Nadu. Light rain has also occurred at isolated
places in Marathwada. Mainly dry weather prevailed over
the rest of the country.
Japan-type bullet trains for India
PATNA, June 2 (UNI) Indian Railways is contemplating introducing high speed passenger trains on the lines of bullet trains in Japan for faster and safe journey on the trunk routes.
The Railway Ministry has approached a private Japanese railway company to introduce the project in the country with 100 per cent foreign investment. Survey on the feasibility of the project by the Japan Railway (East) Company, which runs the bullet trains in that country, would start soon after a formal clearance by the External Affairs and Finance Ministries.
The Minister of State for Railways, Mr Digvijay Singh, who visited Japan recently to discuss the project with the Japanese Railway Company, said here today that in principle, the company had accepted the proposals made by India. However, he said there was some hitch following non-lifting of full sanctions imposed on India by Japan after the Pokhran blast.
He said the Japanese firm also proposed an alternative project to connect the international airports of Calcutta, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore through feeder railway high speed service from the nearby main towns to facilitate international commuters.
The Railway Ministry would introduce the high-speed trains, which would run around 350 km per hour, on the Delhi-Calcutta trunk route on a trial basis first. It would later be introduced on other routes.
He said in the first phase, the Japanese firm would construct the required tracks and other systems for these trains on the Delhi-Lucknow section and later connect Kanpur-Patna and Calcutta in a phased manner.
About the price of tickets, he said commuters would have to pay between Rs 800 to Rs 1000 per hour of travel.
However, he admitted
that as there was a funds crunch in the Railway Ministry,
"for the development of such projects, we have to
invite foreign private companies to invest in the country
as in most part of developed countries, railways were run
by private companies."
Amrita poet of the
NEW DELHI, June 2 The Jnan Peeth Award winner, Amrita Pritam, has been chosen as the "poet of the millennium" in the Punjabi category by the Delhi Government.
She will be given Rs 11 lakh in cash, a memento, a citation and a shawl.
Amrita Pritam has contributed immensely to the Punjabi language, literature and culture. She has been active in the field of Punjabi writing for half a century.
Many of her poems and books have been translated in other Indian and foreign languages.
Her poem about the 1947 turmoil "Aj Akhan Waris Shah Nu" acclaimed her the status of a world class poet, said Dr Rawail Singh, Secretary, Punjabi Academy.
Health Minister to visit USA
NEW DELHI, June 2 The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr C.P. Thakur will visit USA later this month to sign a joint statement on collaboration on maternal and child health besides a collaboration agreement on HIV/AIDS and STDs.
Sources in the ministry said Dr Thakur would sign the statement in Washington on June 13. He will also visit the National Institute of Health in Washington and Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta.
During his 12-day tour
which begins on Sunday, the Health Minister will
participate in the four-day global conference on health
promotion. The conference will provide health ministers
an opportunity to share their successes and challenges in
addressing the increasing health gap that characterises
population globally, particularly in the developing
HC seeks reply on Kishans bail plea
new Delhi, June 2 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today sought a reply from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Bollywood actor Kishan Kumars bail plea in a Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) violation case relating to alleged money transaction in match-fixing.
Mr Justice R.S. Sodhi, after hearing brief arguments by Kishan Kumars counsel, Mr R.K. Anand, and Additional Solicitor-General (ASG) Kirit Rawal, asked the ED to submit its reply by June 9 when the bail application would be taken up for hearing.
Mr Anand said since interrogation of Kishan Kumar by the ED was over, there was no reason for detaining him in judicial custody.
Kishan Kumar on Wednesday had also moved bail application in the match-fixing case registered by the Delhi Police, which would also be heard on June 9.
The ED had not been able to file a charge sheet against Kishan Kumar so far and he would be entitled for "statutory bail" on June 16 when he completes 60 days detention in judicial custody.
Kishan Kumar was arrested by the ED on April 16 after another accused in the match-fixing case, Rajesh Kalra, had "revealed" his name to the investigators.
Cong leader Dalbir Singh dead
BHOPAL, June 2 (UNI, PTI) Former Union Minister and state Congress working President Dalbir Singh died of a heart attack at Bina early this morning.
He had served as minister in the Cabinets of Rajiv Gandhi and Mr P.V. Narasimha Rao. He was 66.
Mr Dalbir Singh suffered a severe heart attack and fell unconscious when he was about to board a train at the Bina railway station. He was rushed to a local hospital where he was declared dead.
His body has been flown to his native village, Rajendragram, in Shahdol district for the last rites.
He was on his way from Shahdol to Bhopal, where he was scheduled to attend a meeting of the state election authority on Friday. At Bina, he was boarding a connecting train for his onward journey.
in Bihar after 23 yrs
for Maha Kumbh
reopened to pilgrims
J.B. Joshi is
EC to examine
Kerala HC verdict
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