Wednesday, November 1, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Kanishka case accused in police custody

VANCOUVER, Oct 31 (UNI) —A local court today remanded Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri, the two accused in the Kaniskha bombing case in police custody for one month amid speculation that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) was looking for one more person living in Pakistan or in England in connection with the 15-year-old case.

The RCMP arrested one person on Sunday night whose identity they refused to disclose saying that charges against him had not yet been framed.

Mr Terry La Liberte, the counsel for the accused, contended that the police had no direct forensic evidence against his clients. The charges against them were based on statements made by a disgruntled employee and a few persons who had bad business dealings with Malik he argued.

The court witnessed a minor commotion when Malik was disallowed from wearing turban inside the premises and his lawyer protested saying that it was outrageous. “It is an insult to Malik and his religion that he be presented this way’’ the lawyer said.

However, a local website quoted a court spokesman Wayne Willows as saying that a misunderstanding led Malik being asked not to wear his turban in the courtroom. The situation has since been remedied, he clarified.

The Vancouver Sun, a leading newspaper here, has identified the third accused as Hardial Singh Johal, a former president of the Ross Street Sikh Gurudwara. Although the police did not release any information about the continuing investigation.

Inderjit Singh Reyat and late Talwinder Singh Parmar have been named as co-conspirators in the case. Reyat was convicted for manslaughter in 1991 and sentenced to ten years imprisonment in connection with the bombing of Narita Airport in Tokyo.


Registration fee hike withdrawn
By Sarbjit Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 31 — At last, the Punjab Government has withdrawn the hike in the registration fee for the grant of registration certificate to the sales tax assessees. The government has also totally waived the fee fixed for the renewal of the registration certificate. The issue had been hanging fire for the past six months .

The whopping hike from Rs 5 to Rs 3,000 in the registration fee with an additional provision of Rs 2,000 as its annual renewal fee has led to a hue and cry among the trader community in the state. The provision to this effect has been made in the last Budget passed by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha.

The registration fee has now been pegged at Rs 100 and there will be no renewal fee. The decision of the state government will benefit about 2 lakh registered dealers, who were supposed to renew the registration certificate every year as per the provision made in the last Budget and about 10,000 traders who are added to the list of assessees in a year.

As a consequence of protest made by the trader community in April last , the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had put the implementation of the hike in the registration fee and the enforcement of the renewal fee on hold. He had set up a Cabinet sub-committee to interact with the traders to mutually decide the percentage of the hike.

The sub-committee which had Mr Badal and his cabinet colleagues like Mr Adesh Partap Singh, Mr Tikshan Sud, Mr Madan Mohan Mittal and Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, as its member, recommended Rs 100 as a registration fee and waiving the renewal fee. The recommendation of the sub-committee was approved by the Council of Ministers which met yesterday.

Mr Tikshan Sud, Minister of State for Excise and Taxation, confirmed that a decision to this effect had been taken at the meeting of the Council of Ministers yesterday. He said Rs 100 as registration fee had been fixed following various meetings with a cross-section of traders and shopkeepers in the state. He said Rs 5 as registration fee was fixed in 1959 under the Punjab General Sales Tax Act and the Central Sales Tax Act.

Informed source said as the sub-committee took long time to decide the issue, the state Finance Ministry pleaded for the implementation of the hike proposed in the Budget. The Finance Ministry, had brought an agenda item in this connection in the earlier meeting of the Council of Ministers held three weeks ago. However, this item was withdrawn as the Chief Minister told all concerned that the sub-committee has completed the process and issue would be decided soon.Back

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