Monday, April 1, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Statute panel submits report
Makes far-reaching recommendations

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 31
The Constitution Review Commission (CRC) has recommended that right to education, right against torture and right to privacy be conferred as fundamental rights to the citizens of India.

The CRC, headed by former Chief Justice of India, Justice M.N. Venkatachalliah, today submitted its final report to the Centre and the two-volume report totalling 1976 pages was received by Union Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs, Arun Jaitley today.

The commission to review the working of the Constitution was set up in February 2000 and today was the last working day of the commission.

Mr Jaitley said that report would be put in the public domain shortly.

“Parliament session is on. It is only a mid-term break. After studying the report and discussing it with parliamentarians and states, we will make the recommendations public,” the Law Minister said.

Justice Venkatachaliah said that electoral reforms and recommendations pertaining to the laws on the conduct of political parties were some of the important recommendations put forward by the commission.

He said the report contained certain sensitive recommendations and the now that the report had been submitted to the government, “it is for government to decide to put it in the public domain.”

The commission Chairman said decentralisation, Centre-state relations and pace of socio-economic change were other important spheres that engaged the commission.

He admitted that there was not complete unanimity among the members of the commission and said that “the exercise would have been meaningless had there been no dissent.

There are one or two areas where there are differences of opinion.”Back


Sidhu remanded till April 3
Our Correspondent

Kharar, March 31
Mr Roshan Lal Chouhan, Judicial Magistrate, Kharar, today remanded Ravinder Pal Singh Sidhu, PPSC Chairman, to police custody till April 3 and ordered that he be produced at 10 a.m. that day. The accused was arrested by the Vigilance Department, Punjab, on March 26, while allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 5 lakh.

The Judge also ordered that the prosecution must follow the directions issued by the Punjab and Haryana High Court about the accused during his police custody.

The accused was produced in his court today at 11 a.m. He was remanded in police custody till March 31 on March 27.

Mr K.S. Brar, Deputy District Attorney, Mr J.S. Punn and Mr Baljeet Singh Sahota (public prosecutors) Mr Jashkarn Singh (S.P. Economic Offences) and Mr Jora Singh Brar, (DSP, Vigilance), who were present in the courtroom pleaded for 10 days’ police remand for the accused. They said information was yet to be collected from the accused about the sources from where he got the money which he had invested.

Mr K.S. Brar told the Judge that the accused has a kothi in Kasauli. The Xen, Vigilance Bureau, visited it on March 28 and gave his report on March 30. He assessed the value of this kothi at Rs 51,28,300. It was yet to be ascertained from where he got money to buy the kothi.

Mr Brar said that the accused has an account in Punjab and Sind Bank in Chandigarh and Rs 37,05,424 had been deposited in this account from July 16, 1996 to March 16, 2002. He said Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh had been deposited on each day in this account. The Vigilance Bureau is yet to know from where he got this money. He said that the accused has an 8-bigha plot in Bishanpura village near Chandigarh and this plot has been purchased in the name of a society whose head office has been mentioned as 914, Sector 39, Chandigarh, which is the official residence of Sidhu.

Mr Brar informed the court that during search operations, they have found £ 1060 and $ 49. The estimated value of this foreign currency is about Rs 75,000. He said that they wanted to know from where he got this foreign currency. He said a separate case under FEMA was being registered against the accused.

Mr Brar said that the accused had recorded a disclosure statement and he has agreed that he has an account and a locker in the HDFC Bank branch of Connaught Place, New Delhi. He had informed the police that shares valuing Rs 50 lakh to 60 lakh were lying in the locker. He said that documents showing the havala transactions by which he has sent the money abroad were lying in HDFC Bank, New Delhi. He said the accused would be taken to New Delhi for operating the lockers.

He said information was yet to be collected from the accused about the file concerning the complainant which was with the accused.

He said the police had procured arrest warrants from the CJM, Ropar, of four persons who were allegedly working as touts of Sidhu. They are Randhir Singh Gill, Prem Sagar, Paramjit Singh and Shamsher Singh.

He said the Vigilance Department had taken into custody a computer of the accused and it is yet to be operated. He said that the codes of the computer were known to him alone.

The defence counsel , on the other hand, refuted the allegations of the prosecution. Terming it as a false case, they said political animosity as also a personal grudge of Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister of Punjab , was evident in the case.

Meanwhile, Sidhu while talking to mediamen alleged that the prosecution had not got the sanction of the Chief Justice/Governor before arresting him. He said that he had been falsely implicated in this case.Back


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