Tuesday, March 13, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

SC stays order on poll reforms

New Delhi, March 12
The Supreme Court today stayed the operation of a judgement of the Delhi High Court directing the Election Commission to ensure that all prospective legislators make public the assets owned by them, their spouses and dependents, their educational qualifications, any criminal charge against them and publicise them in media.

The interim stay was granted by a three-Judge Bench comprising Mr Chief Justice A.S. Anand, Mr Justice R.C. Lahoti and Mr Justice B.N. Agrawal during a preliminary hearing on special leave petition (SLP) by the Union Government. The Chief Justice observed that the aim of the impugned high court judgement was laudable and the Centre should examine whether some of the directions should be implemented without changing the existing law.

Attorney-General Soli Sorabjee pleaded that as electoral reforms were still under examination and had not yet been debated in Parliament, the apex court must decide how far a court can subject to judicial review the questions falling within the domain of the Legislature.

The apex court also stayed the operation of certain directions issued by the EC to various political parties following the high court judgement.

The court directed the Centre to file within four weeks its response to the direction issued by the EC to various political parties to clean up the countryís polity by checking its criminalisation and use of muscle power.

The Congress, which expressed desire to assist the court in the matter, was also asked to file within four weeks its response to ECís directions.

The Association for Democratic Reforms, on whose public interest litigation the HC passed the impugned judgement recently, was asked to file within two weeks its reply to the responses by the Centre and the Congress. The SLP would come up for hearing after seven weeks when the court would also pronounce on its maintainability. UNI

MiG crashes, pilot bails out
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, March 12
A MiG-23 aircraft crashed at Nabha road here at 12.20 p.m. today. According to information, two aircraft were on a routine route when one of them burst into flames mid-air and nosedived into the fields of Rehamdin. As soon as the plane caught fire, Sqn Ldr S. Biswas bailed out. Fire tenders arrived at the crash site after a long wait of two hours from Sangrur.

The aircraft fell into the fields with no loss of life. Air Force officers, including Sqn Officer H.P. Singh, Warrant Officer H.D. Singh and JWO Ram Laut, reached the site within minutes.Back

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