|Friday, September 1, 2000,
Good governance my goal: Laxman
Nothing serious about PMs
AIDS control: states
14-day judicial remand for Pinto
Remove Goraya hill signals: Kaul
Genuine fear to decide transfer of
Govt land sold by property dealer
EC to hear CPM on Sept 8
17 cops suspended
Additional charge for Rajagopal
HC bans high-noise crackers
Snap poll in UP imminent: BSP
NCM decries govt stand on
President presents awards for
Good governance my goal:
NEW DELHI, Aug 31 The president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Mr Bangaru Laxman today said that he would strive to make the BJP the preferred party of good governance during his three-year term as party chief.
Mr Laxman, who was addressing his first press conference after assuming charge as BJP chief, laid stress on the partys reaching out to Muslims and going beyond the policy of reservation to keep up expansion in its social base.
Admitting that his impassioned call to the party to reach out to the Indian Muslims, had generated widespread interest, Mr Laxman said that the party workers need to go out to Muslims with the record of BJP-led central governments performance as also of the BJP governments in states. Doubts need to be removed from their minds, he said.
As a measure directed to counter criticism of the Shiv Sena which has seen in Mr Laxmans statements in Nagpur certain change in the partys stand, he said that there was nothing new in his appeal to reach out to Muslims and the BJPs past presidents had made similar pleas. It is not the first time that the Muslim issue has been raised, but now it has been stated more clearly, he said.
Mr Laxman, who has resigned his post as Minister of State for Railways, said that partys membership had increased from 17 lakh to three crore in the 20 years of its existence. Echoing Mr L.K. Advanis sentiments, Mr Laxman said that he did not want to make the BJP only party of natural governance but also a party of good governance. My agenda for the next three years is to make the BJP the preferred party of governance, he declared.
Fully backing the continuation of the policy of reservations and its loophole-free implementation, Mr Laxman said that he had presented 10-point programme to make the objective of social justice more meaningful. He asserted that maintaining party discipline would be one of his topmost priorities.
Asked about the VHPs criticism of the government policies, Mr Laxman said that the VHP was entitled to its views. He indicated that while the Sangh Parivars views on issues contained in the NDA manifesto were taken seriously by the party and government, on others difference could continue.
To repeated questions about whether the BJP had given up its issues of Ram temple construction and abrogation of Article 370, Mr Laxman said that the party was for the present committed to the national agenda of governance. The BJP, he said, was not a single-issue party. The BJP would not cease to exist even after the controversial issues were settled, he said.
Tram car of Calcutta to be
CALCUTTA, Aug 31 The century-old tram car of Calcutta which was once the pride of the British Raj will soon be off the road.
The vehicle has been withdrawn from many areas. Soon the people will find Calcutta without this slow-moving carriage. But what would the government do with this huge fleet of vehicles once they are withdrawn from the city streets.
There was a proposal to shift the tram services to the district towns. But it was dropped since it would not solve any problem. There were also talks of leasing out tram services to the private sector. But there was no response from private parties.
The State Transport Minister, Mr Subhas Chakraborty, wanted to ask the Bangladesh Government if it was interested in running the tram services. This time also, the response was not encouraging.
The decision to do away with the trams has been taken to stop the draining out of nearly Rs 200 crore every year from the government coffer which is spent on the losing transport company for its maintenance and payment to its 10,000-odd employees.
The British-owned Calcutta Tramways Company was taken over by the Jyoti Basu government in the late seventies after its ownership changed under the Foreign Exchange & Regulation Act. It was then a profitable concern with its assets value. But gradually. It became a losing unit with a heavy expenditure burden.
An attempt was made to refloat loans from the World Bank on the revival package of Calcutta Tramways Company. But the attempt was not fruitful. The bank backed out on the plea that the slow-moving tram service in a congested and slow-paced city of Calcutta was obsolete and redundant. Not would it become any more a profit-making concern.
The Left Front government then tried to revive the company by mobilising loans from banks and other financial institutions as it was impossible for the popular government to take the harsh decision of withdrawing the services, throwing a large number of employees out of job.
But now, the government has realised that there is no other option. The citys trams services must go. However, some alternative arrangements need to be made for the 10,000-odd employees.
The government has already withdrawn trams services from some large areas and allowed the company to run buses in these routes.
The company has now been running around 100 luxury buses in and around the city in place of tram services and the result is encouraging.
The State Transport Minister also has a plan to divert funds to be realised by selling land and other properties of the company, on an alternative project.
The company has a fleet of 500 tram cars and some 350 to 400 trips a day in the seventies. Today, it runs hardly 20 to 30 trips daily and that too in a selected routes. The remaining cars have been either sold out as scraps or are lying defective and dumped at various workshops and depots.
In 1902, the city had
its first tram car run with electricity. But trams were
in operation much earlier also when they were being
driven by horses. It was a pride for Calcutta. It is now
in the history.
AIDS control: states reach consensus
NEW DELHI, Aug 31 (UNI) A consensus emerged at the state Health Ministers conference here to take health care to the doorsteps of the masses through a convergence method integrating population control, AIDS awareness, malaria control and Indian system of medicine and co-ordinating among departments concerned like education.
Talking about the outcome of the day-long conference, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister C.P. Thakur said that the results of the conference were encouraging.
Shortcomings in the health care delivery system, including absence of primary health centres, lack of infrastructural facilities and deficiency in service was brought to the notice of the Centre, he said adding that the state governments should ensure that the basic health infrastructure functioned effectively.
Mr Thakur said accountability should be introduced as an effective administrative mechanism to strengthen the functioning of the medicare system.
The states were in agreement that AIDS should be contained through a massive awareness campaigns, Mr.Thakur said.
He said the government would consider banning the re-use of syringes and introduce auto-destructible syringes to prevent the spread of AIDS among the intravenous drug users.
There was also a consensus among the states to take up with eagerness population control programmes and the Centre will assist in fulfilling the unmet needs for contraceptives and other necessities, he said.
14-day judicial remand for
NEW DELHI, Aug 31 Brazilian businessman A.E. Pinto, a key accused in the Rs 133-crore urea scam case, was today remanded in 14-day judicial custody by a Delhi court following his custodial interrogation by the CBI for six days.
Special Judge V.B. Gupta sent Pinto to Tihar Jail till September 14 after the accused was produced before the court by the CBI. The agency did not seek his further police custody.
Meanwhile, the CBI moved an application for clubbing Pintos trial with that of the other co-accused which will be taken up on September 4 along with three other applications filed by the accused seeking direction to the jail authorities for his safety, return of belongings seized by the CBI and handing over of copies of documents relating to his extradition.
Pinto was brought here on August 24 from London to face trial after a protracted legal battle over his extradition.
Pinto is the third accused to be extradited in the scam. Earlier, Karsan executives Cihan Karanci and Tuncay Alankus were extradited from Switzerland in October 1997.
He is believed to have given details to the CBI on how the scam money changed hands and who were the key beneficiaries.
Besides Pinto, Alankus, Karanci and Sambasiva Rao, the CBI has charge sheeted five persons, including, former premier P.V. Narasimha Raos kin B. Sanjeeva Rao, former union minister Ram Lakhan Singh Yadavs son Prakash Chandra Yadav, former NFL Chairman C.K. Ramakrishanan, its Executive Director D.S. Kanwar, and Sambasiva Raos employee Mallesham Goud.
When charges were framed against the other accused on December 1, 1998, Pinto was spared as he was not here. The court is expected to complete formalities in this regard soon. Except the three foreigners, all other accused are currently on bail.
Meanwhile, the two top executives of Turkish firm Karsan, currently lodged in Tihar Jail in connection with Rs 133 crore urea scam, have sought direction from a Delhi court to the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers and National Fertilizers Ltd (NFL) to discuss with them the possibility of an amicable settlement of the dispute, adds PTI.
In their six-page
application filed before Special Judge V.B. Gupta through
counsel Tapan Sangal, Karsan executives Tuncay Alankus
and Cihan Karanci said they had already spent almost four
years in jail and the trial was likely to take more time
particularly given the long list of 181 witnesses,
including 20 foreigners.
Remove Goraya hill signals:
NEW DELHI, Aug 31 The Director-General, ITBP, Mr Gautam Kaul, today said that instructions had been issued to their commandant in Chamba to remove all signals stating Goraya Hill wherever these had been put up.
Reacting strongly against the steps taken by Mr H.S. Goraya for naming a hill feature on himself, the DG said that there was no such practice in the ITBP and the commandants move was wrong.
Mr Kaul said the virgin mountain feature and peaks were named by the ITBP through a procedure laid out by the Survey of India and only the ITBP headquarters in New Delhi initiated the process of naming geographical features.
In a statement to The Tribune today, he said the selection of names was also done to commemorate pioneering work in the Himalayan studies or remembering an illustrious person who had worked in his lifetime in the Himalayas. He said that it was not done on the name of living persons.
According to a ITBP
official, the last time ITBP Directorate-General had
recommended a name to the Survey of India was of Pt Nain
Singh, a surveyor of the Survey of India, who, in the
last century had mapped out much of Tibetan plateau but
had remained unrecognised during the time of British
administration in India.
Genuine fear to decide transfer of cases: SC
NEW DELHI, Aug 31 (UNI) In a significant ruling, the Supreme Court has held that a mere allegation that there is an apprehension that justice will not be done in a given case, will not be sufficient to transfer the case from one court to another.
Before transferring the case, the court has to find out whether the apprehension appears to be reasonable. Power of transfer of trial or an appeal cannot to exercised on hypersensitive grounds or mini-grievances, the court added.
The ruling, forming part of the reasons, given in a judgement for dismissing a transfer petition on August 21 was handed down by a Bench of Mr Justice M.B. Shah and Mr Justice S.N. Phukan.
The petition, filed by former Kerala Electricity Minister R. Bulukrishna Pillai sought transfer of an appeal filed by him in a criminal case from the Kerala High Court to the Karnataka High Court.
Mr Pillai had been convicted under Section 5(1) (D) read with Section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947, on the charge that by abusing his position, he sold electricity to Karnataka through Messrs Graphite India Ltd., Bangalore, and thereby enabled the company to make pecuniary advantage.
The transfer of the appeal from the Kerala High Court to the Karnataka High Court was sought on the ground of alleged adverse publicity in the Press in the state.
This contention is apparently raised at a belated stage after a lapse of four years from the date of filling the appeal in the high court. Therefore, the submission that a fair trial will not be a possible in Kerala is required to be rejected, the Supreme Court said in its judgement.
Poll process once on, cannot be challenged: SC
NEW DELHI, Aug 31 (UNI) The Supreme Court has ruled that once the process of election has started, no petition can be filed challenging the election.
The founding fathers of the Constitution have consciously employed the use of the words no election shall be called in question In the body of Article 329 (B) and these words provide the determinative test for attracting applicability of the article, the court added.
The significant ruling explaining as to what extent Article 329 (B) has an overriding effect on the writ jurisdiction of high courts under Article 226 in matters of elections, was given by three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice A.S. Anand while allowing two appeals by the Election Commission.
The other judges on the Bench were Mr Justice R.C. Lahoti and Mr Justice K.G. Balakrishnan.
The appeals were directed against an interim order passed by the Kerala High Court in exercise of its writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution during the currency of the process of general election in Kerala to constitute the 13th Lok Sabha in 1999.
By the impugned interim order, the high court had stayed the notification issued by the Election Commission containing direction as to the manner of counting of votes and had made its own directions on the subject.
The issue that arose for decision in both the appeals concerned the jurisdiction of the high courts to entertain petitions under Articles 226 of the Constitution and to issue interim directions after the commencement of the election process.
The court said that two Constitution benches of the court had already held that the Representation of the Peoples Act, 1951 provided for only one remedy an election petition to be filed after the election was over and that there was no remedy provided at any intermediate stage.
The judges ruled that without interrupting, obstructing or delaying the progress of the election proceedings, judicial intervention is available if assistance of the court has been sought merely to correct or smoothen the progress of the election proceedings, to remove the obstacle therein, or to preserve a vital piece of evidence if the same would be lost or destroyed or rendered irretrievable by the time the results are declared and stage is set for invoking the jurisdiction of the court.
The judges held that any
decision sought and rendered would not amount to
calling in question an election if it
subserves the progress of the election and facilitates
the completion of the election. Anything done towards
completing or in furtherance of the election proceedings
cannot be described as questioning the election, they
Govt land sold by property
NOIDA, Aug 31 A forgery case has been registered against the proprietor of Rajendra Estate Pvt Ltd for allegedly selling thousands of acres of government land on false papers.
According to Sector 39 police station sources, where an FIR under Section 420 has been lodged by a police Inspector posted in the Noida authority, Harshvardhan Singh Bhadauria, the firm, which shows its registered office at New Friends Colony in New Delhi, had sold hundreds of acres of government land in Salarpur showing at as free hold, which actually was not.
Earlier, according to the police, the firm had circulated a brochure along with morning newspapers that it had 182 acres of freehold land in Salarpur for sale. The police said the firm earlier had sought no objection certificate from the authority but it was turned down. Then the proprietor had used his political connections in Lucknow. The police said the firm had used the photocopy of the letter as NOC and published advertisements in the newspapers.
EC to hear CPM on Sept 8
NEW DELHI, Aug 31 The Election Commission (EC) has fixed September 8 for hearing the issue relating to the derecognition of the CPM as the national political party.
It will be an opportunity for the CPM representatives to submit defence against the partys derecognition as a national political party.
As per EC rules any party which has to retain its national party status should either acquire six per cent of the total votes polled in four States in the General Elections or should have one MP for every 30 MPs in four States or should have one MLA for every 25 MLAs in four States.
If this rule is applied, then the CPM has no chance of retaining its national party status and its derecognition is imminent.
In the last Lok Sabha polls the CPM had got just 5.4 per cent of the total votes polled in 16 States and Union Territories from where it had contested.
Of the total 72 seats contested by the CPM, it had won 21 seats in West Bengal, Eight seats in Kerala, Two seats in Tripura and one each in Bihar and Tamil Nadu.
Besides this case, the
Election Commission will also hear national party status
derecognition cases relating to Janata Party on September
8 and of the JD(S) derecognition on September 12, the EC
17 cops suspended
SASARAM (Bihar), Aug 31 (PTI) Seventeen policemen, including 14 officers, have been suspended following the arrest of a drug peddler and subsequent recovery of a list containing their (policemens) names from him here in Rohtas district, a senior police official said today.
The suspension orders
were issued by the Additional Director General of Police
(Patna Zone), Mr Baljit Singh, on Monday after the
recovery of a wireless paper from the house of the
drug Peddler which contained the names
of 17 police personnel, SP Raghuvansh Prasad Yadav said.
Additional charge for Rajagopal
NEW DELHI, Aug 31 (UNI) Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs O. Rajagopal will also look after the Railway portfolio held until now by BJP President Bangaru Laxman, a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said today.
HC bans high-noise crackers
NEW DELHI, Aug 31 (PTI) Keeping in view the noise and air pollution caused by crackers on Divali, the Delhi High Court today put a blanket ban on the production of high noise making crackers and made it mandatory for manufacturers to mark their products with the level of pollution caused by them.
Restricting the bursting of crackers during Divali, Dasehra and other festivals between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., a Division Bench comprising Mr Justice Anil Dev Singh and Mr Justice M.K. Sharma, ordered that no cracker when exploded should make a noise more than 125 DB at a 4 metre distance from the point of its bursting.
Approving certain guidelines laid by the Centre and the Delhi government on five uses of fire crackers during Dasehra, Divali and other festivals, the court directed the authorities to implement the guidelines strictly.
While banning cracker bursting in silent zones like hospitals and nursing homes, the court in verbal direction said the authorities could arrest any person found violating the laid down norms, otherwise the guidelines would be meaningless.
The court, however, said
the mandatory provision of printing the noise and air
pollution limit on each cracker would be applicable from
November 1 in view of some products already been supplied
for marketing by manufacturers.
Nothing serious about PMs health: doctor
NEW DELHI, Aug 31 (PTI) A top orthopaedic specialist, treating Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee for his knee-joint problems, today said there was nothing abnormal about Mr Vajpayees health and that he should be able to undertake his forthcoming tour of the USA.
Mr Vajpayee is suffering from osteoarthritis. There is nothing abnormal about the Prime Ministers health orthopaedist Dr P.K. Dave, Director of All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) said.
Asked whether Mr Vajpayee would be able to undertake his 13-day visit to the USA beginning September 7, Mr Dave said I think so. He will be able to. But it is a subjective thing.
To a question on the treatment being given to the Prime Minister, he said: We have taught him some physiotherapic exercises and he is also on some medicines.
Minister Jaswant Singh also sought to scotch speculation
over the health of the Prime Minister today saying that
while his knee pain was restricting his movement, worry
on other fronts were completely unwarranted.
Snap poll in UP imminent: BSP
NEW DELHI, Aug 31 (PTI) The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) today predicted snap poll in Uttar Pradesh after the creation of Uttaranchal and announced that the party would go it alone in the Assembly elections.
is envitable in Uttar Pradesh as the BJP and its allies
will be reduced to minority in the state Assembly soon
after a separate Uttaranchal is carved out, the BSP
Vice-President and MP, Ms Mayawati, told reporters here.
NCM decries govt stand on Consulate
NEW DELHI, Aug 31 (UNI) the National Commission for Minorities (ncm) has protested against the Indian Governments refusal to grant permission to its Canadian counterpart for setting up a Consulate in Chandigarh to help Punjabis, who form the largest ethnic settlers group in Canada.
In a letter to the External Affairs Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, on August 25, ncm Vice-Chairman Mr Tirlochan Singh, said the government should review its decision which was bound to send wrong signals among the people of Punjab.
The Vice-Chairman said he was conveying to the government the feelings of the Indian community in Canada to the government who were highly cut-up over the denial of the permission.
After a sustained lobbying for years together with Canadian federal authorities, the Indian community had ultimately succeeded in making Ottawa agree to open a Consulate in Chandigarh, but the spurning of the Canadian authorities proposal would harm Indias interest there, Mr Tirlochan Singh said.
The letter was a
reaction to the recent statement of Mr Harbans Singh
Dhaliwal, who is also the Canadian Federal
Governments Minister of Ocean and Fisheries, in
Vancouver, which said the Indian Governments action
would harm the interest of Punjabi immigrants.
President presents awards for communal harmony
NEW DELHI, Aug 31 (UNI) President K.R. Narayanan today presented the Kabir Puraskar for 1998 to Mr V.K. Vadivel Raj and Communal Harmony awards for 1999 to noted Islamic scholar Maulana Wahid Ud Din Khan and Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan.
The Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan was given the Communal Harmony award as an organisation for its outstanding contribution in promoting communal harmony in the country. Mr C. Subramaniam, Chairman of the Bhawan Trust, received the award on behalf of the institution.
Maulana Wahid Ud Din Khan, who received the award in the individual category, is a noted Islamic scholar and has launched a crusade against religious fundamentalism. An authority on Koran, he has written more than 100 books highlighting the human aspects of the religion.
Mr K. Vadivel Raj, from Tamil Nadu, was given the Kabir Puraskar for courage and expression at great personal risk to protect the lives and property of members of another community during caste violence in Virudhunagar district in September 1998.
Earlier in his welcome
address Home Minister L.K. Advani said Indias
concept of secularism was well known. He regretted that
Pakistan did not reconcile with the concept of secularism
as enshrined in the Indian Constitution.
Tihar officials suspended
3 killed, 18
hurt in collision
drive dirties town
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