SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
image
N A T I O N

Presidential reference covers all contentious issues
New Delhi, July 23
The UPA government has covered all contentious issues in the Presidential reference made to the Supreme Court for its opinion on the constitutional validity of the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act.

HP not to move SC over Punjab Act: Virbhadra
Editorial: Troubled waters
Special article: Managing water
Opinions page: Does Haryana need more water?

Parliament adjourned till August 16
Opposition refuses to relent on Soren issue
New Delhi, July 23
The first part of the Budget session of the 14th Lok Sabha came to an end today, with the issue of tainted ministers dominating the three- week sitting with transacting little business except the presentation of the Rail and General Budget.
In video (28k, 56k)

NDA to approach President on tainted ministers’ issue
Threatens to opt out of parliamentary committees
New Delhi, July 23
Accusing Manmohan Singh-led UPA government of adopting "out rightly confrontationist attitude" against the Opposition in Parliament, the NDA today said it would approach the President once again for the dismissal of the "tainted ministers" from the Union Cabinet and threatened that it could consider opting out of various Parliamentary Committees.
In video (28k, 56k)



EARLIER STORIES

 

Govt awaits court decision
Arrest warrant against Soren motivated, says Left
New Delhi, July 23
The UPA government is clearly biding for time till the matter of the non-bailable arrest warrant against controversial Union Coal Minister Shibu Soren is decided by the Jharkhand High Court.

Somnath Chatterjee Allow LS to function, pleads Chatterjee
New Delhi, July 23
Exasperated with the disruption of Parliament proceedings by the Opposition, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee today appealed to all parliamentarians to allow the House to function smoothly. Addressing mediapersons here today, Mr Chatterjee said that if the parliamentarians felt that he had failed in his job, they could get rid of him.

Cong flays BJP for ruckus in Houses
New Delhi, July 23
The Congress today joined issue with the BJP as it accused leader of opposition L.K. Advani of encouraging his members to create pandemonium in Parliament and showing scant respect for parliamentary norms.

India ranks ninth in Physics Olympiad
Mumbai, July 23
Indian students won five medals, including a gold, and was placed ninth in the 35th International Physics Olympiad (IPO), which concluded at Pohang in South Korea today.


Assam flood toll 130, Tripura cut off
Guwahati, July 23
The flood situation in Assam continued to remain alarming as fresh rain was reported in the upper reaches of three rivers, signalling a further rise in the water level as the death toll reached 130. Official reports reaching here today said 13 persons were drowned in the rising water of the Kaplili, Kiling and Kollong and in the worst-affected Morigaon district, taking the death toll to 127. Meanwhile, landlocked Tripura was again cut off from the rest of the country following the submerging of a large portion of the NH-44, Tripura's lifeline, at Badarpur in Assam due to incessant rains in the past 24 hours, official sources said.



A boy paddles a raft in a flood-submerged village at Ramghar, 100 km from Patna, on Friday. — Reuters photo

A boy paddles a raft in a flood-submerged village at Ramghar, 100 km from Patna, on Friday.

Priyanka denies complaint against ICCR officer
New Delhi, July 23
Ms Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has written to the Director-General of the Indian Council of Cultural Affairs (ICCR) denying that she had complained against an officer for misspelling her name on an invitation card.

Madhur Bhandarkar Bail for ‘Chandani Bar’ director
Mumbai, July 23
Noted film director Madhur Bhandarkar, who is accused of raping model-turned-actress Preeti Jain has obtained anticipatory bail from the sessions court in Mumbai till July 27. Preeti Jain complained to the suburban Versova police that the film director sexually exploited her for over three years by promising her a role in his film.

CBI forced me to name VIPs, says Sangram Singh
Bangalore, July 23
Suspended Assistant Commissioner of Police Sangram Singh, arrested in connection with the stamp paper scam, today accused the CBI of pressurising him to name some VIPs whom it wanted to implicate in the case.

CPM threatens to withdraw support
Kolkata, July 23
The CPM will withdraw its support from the Congress(l)-led UPA Government if it continues to flout the common minimum programme (CMP) which the Left parties had endorsed, politburo member. Sitaram Yechuri threatened at a public meeting at Raiganj in north Bengal today.

Rawat finally gets clean chit
Dehradun, July 24
After over a year’s trial' the CBI court today passed a judgment in favour of former Revenue Minister Harak Singh Rawat. Jenny, alias Indira Deuri, an Assamese woman, had charged Dr Rawat with raping her and fathering her child, which led to his stepping down from the ministerial berth.

CBI backs transfer of Bilkis rape case
New Delhi, July 23
The CBI in its report submitted to the Supreme Court has supported the case transfer plea of Gujarat riot victim Bilkis Yakoob Rasool, who had survived a murderous attack after her gangrape at Panivela village of Dahod district during post-Godhra violence.

Videos

A man with a tail.
(28k, 56k)
Debutant director comes up with a sensitive movie on poverty.
(28k, 56k)


Top









 

Presidential reference covers all contentious issues
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, July 23
The UPA government has covered all contentious issues in the Presidential reference made to the Supreme Court for its opinion on the constitutional validity of the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act. The legislation abrogated all water accords with neighbouring states entered into since 1981, allegedly to “circumvent” the apex court judgements in the SYL Canal case.

The reference made to Chief Justice of India (CJI) R.C. Lahoti by President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, under Article 143 of the Constitution, has asked the court to give its view on four points. These are: whether the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, 2004, and the provisions thereof are in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution?; (ii) whether the Act and its provisions are in accordance with the provisions of Section 14 of the Inter-State Water Dispute Act, 1956, Section 78 of the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966, and the notification of March 24, 1976, issued thereunder?; (iii) whether Punjab has validly terminated the agreement of December 31, 1981, and all other agreements relating to the Ravi-Beas waters and is discharged from its obligation under the said agreements?; and (iv) whether in view of the provisions of the Act passed by Punjab on July 12, it is discharged from its obligation flowing from the Supreme Court judgement of January 15, 2002, and the judgement of June 4, 2004.

The apex court, in its judgement of January 15, 2002, had asked Punjab to complete the controversial SYL Canal within one year, but the state failed to comply and challenged the judgement in a fresh suit filed on January 13, 2003; and in the June 4, 2004, verdict the court directed the Centre to take up the work of completing the canal.

While terminating the water accords with neighbouring states, the Punjab Government has taken a stand that the agreement of December 31, 1981, and other agreements relating to the Ravi-Beas waters had become difficult to be honoured by it in the changed circumstances as it did not have any surplus water to share with other states.

It had also raised questions over the validity of Section 14 of the Inter-State Water Dispute Act, 1956, Section 78 of the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966, which deal with sharing of waters with Haryana.

Questions over these clauses had been raised by Punjab in its December 13, 2003, suit in the SYL case, but a Bench of Ms Justice Ruma Pal and Mr Justice P.V. Reddi, in its June 4 verdict, had clarified that the construction of the canal has nothing to do with the water sharing accords.

Article 143, which gives power to consult the Supreme Court on any important issue, has two clauses — the first relates to important questions of law or facts and the second deals with the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction under which it can entertain civil suits directly in certain situations.

While under clause 1, the apex court has the discretion to give opinion or decline it, under clause 2, it is obligatory on the court to entertain a reference and report its views to the President.

Legal experts say since the Presidential reference regarding the new legislation falls under clause 2, the court is bound to give its opinion on the issues.

They further say that the advisory opinion given by the court under Article 143 is not a judgement, but it will be binding on all courts like any verdict delivered by the apex court.

The CJI is expected to set up a Constitution Bench soon to consider the questions referred to him by the President.

Top

 

HP not to move SC over Punjab Act: Virbhadra
Prashant Sood
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 23
With President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam seeking the Supreme Court’s opinion on the Punjab Act terminating water-sharing agreements with the neighbouring states, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today said there was no need for the state to move the apex court challenging the validity of the Act.

The Chief Minister told The Tribune here that the state will become a party to the case once a notice comes to it as part of proceedings following the Presidential reference. The state cabinet had earlier decided to move the Supreme Court over the controversial Punjab Act as a remedial step to protect the interests of the state.

The Chief Minister added the state had agreements with Punjab over the Shah Nehar and the Anandpur Hydel channel, both of which stood abrogated as a result of the Act. He said Himachal Pradesh had not been given its power share in the BBMB projects due to “unreasonable hurdles put by Punjab and Haryana.”

Describing the Punjab Act as “unconstitutional,” the Chief Minister denied reports about the earlier decision of the state to move Supreme Court having been made at the behest of the Centre. “The government was duty bound to take remedial steps to protect the interests of the state,” he said.

Mr Virbhadra Singh said the inter-state agreements had certain sanctity and Punjab had acted in a hurry in abrogating its water-sharing agreements. “I feel Punjab Act abrogating water sharing accords with neighbouring states is bound to be set aside by the Supreme Court, “ he said.

The Chief Minister, who met AICC leaders including party general secretary Ambika Soni here, said the party’s central leadership had agreed to the proposal of appointing Chief Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Secretaries in the state. The Chief Minister indicated that the new appointments could be made by the end of this month.

Favouring the one-person-one-post norm, the Chief Minister said the party organisation in the state was suffering from some weakness. “Many active party workers are away from day-to-day activity due to certain reasons. The organisation will not be strong till all are taken along,” he said.

Referring to Ms Vidya Stokes, who is PCC chief as well as a minister, the Chief Minister said it was difficult to do justice to twin responsibilities. “Such an arrangement may work in short term but it cannot be perpetuated,” he said.

Top

 

Parliament adjourned till August 16
Opposition refuses to relent on Soren issue
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 23
The first part of the Budget session of the 14th Lok Sabha came to an end today, with the issue of tainted ministers dominating the three- week sitting with transacting little business except the presentation of the Rail and General Budget.

Parliament today adjourned for a 23 day recess till August 16 even as a relentless Opposition sought hard to pin down the government on several issues.

In fact, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was present in the House, looked helpless, when his MPs began to interrupt even the Speaker from making his first observation at the beginning of question hour.

This was the fourth day in succession that the Lok Sabha had to be adjourned ahead of schedule with almost no transaction of business as the BJP-led Opposition kept up its demand that either the “absconding” Coal Minister Shibu Soren, wanted in connection with 1975 Chirrudih massacre, be presented or Prime Minister Manmohan Singh make a statement on his whereabouts.

As the House assembled for the day, the uproar started after members paid homage to former colleague, Jang Bahadhur Singh from the Phoolpur constituency in Uttar Pradesh, who had died recently.

Even as the Speaker was referring to the important business to be taken up in the House during the day, the Opposition members said Mr Advani be allowed to make a statement.

The Speaker expressed unhappiness that over the last few days the House was unable to take up business listed for the day due to daily disruptions and sought the cooperation of the members.

While this failed to subdue the Opposition, the ruling benches were annoyed that the Speaker was interrupted while making an observation. This led to pandemonium and Mr Chatterjee adjourned the House till 12 noon.

When the House reassembled for the zero hour, the Opposition members continued with their demand that Mr Advani be allowed to make a statement.

In a repeat of yesterday, the members trooped into the well and began shouting as Speaker Somnath Chatterjee took his seat. Little was audible in the din even as Defence Minister Pranab Mukhejree read out a statement condemning the behaviour of a section of Opposition members who had interrupted the Speaker while he was making an observation on the issues of Indian nationals being held hostage in Iraq, the flood and drought situation and internal security.

Mr Mukherjee said some Opposition members went to the extent of saying that instead of sermonising, the Speaker should allow the Leader of the Opposition to speak first.

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till its next sitting on August 16 as slogan-shouting NDA members stalled the proceedings today demanding that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh dismiss Union Coal and Mines Minister Shibu Soren.

Top

 

NDA to approach President on tainted ministers’ issue
Threatens to opt out of parliamentary committees
S. Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 23
Accusing Manmohan Singh-led UPA government of adopting "out rightly confrontationist attitude" against the Opposition in Parliament, the NDA today said it would approach the President once again for the dismissal of the "tainted ministers" from the Union Cabinet and threatened that it could consider opting out of various Parliamentary Committees.

"The Prime Minister continues to be furtive, refusing to take the Parliament, leave alone the nation, into confidence about the brazen defiance of the law by one of his colleagues (Shibu Soren)...We are shocked that instead of accepting the government's responsibility to implement the rule of law, he has sought to divert the nation's attention by trying to put the opposition in the dock," leader of the Opposition L K Advani told mediapersons after a meeting of the NDA leaders here.

Since our voice has been "stifled in Parliament", we have no option but to once again approach the custodian of the Constitution, accordingly, the NDA will march to the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday urging immediate dismissal of Mr Shibu Soren and other "tainted ministers" from the Cabinet, Mr Advani said.

Taking strong exception to Prime Minister reading out a statement in the Lok Sabha, condemning the opposition, Mr Advani said, "This is unprecedented in the 52-year history of the Indian Parliament."

Targeting the Prime Minister, Mr Advani, flanked by other top BJP and NDA leaders, said, "The unprecedented situation in Parliament leads us to the inevitable conclusion that the Prime Minister is not in control of his own government; that he is unable to exercise his authority or function as an effective chief executive."

Referring to his tele conversation with the Prime Minister yesterday on the Shibu Soren issue, Mr Advani quoted Dr Singh of expressing his inability to say anything on Mr Soren's issue at the moment.

"The reason for his (Dr Manmohan Singh's) inability lies in the existence of multiple power centres at every level. Obviously, the PM is yet to receive the necessary directive from the 'SPM' (read Sonia Gandhi) and the CPM on what explanation to give about his absconding colleague," he said in a sarcastic manner.

Replying to a volley of questions, Mr Advani sought to clarify that the Opposition was agitated about the attitude of the leader of the House and not against the Speaker Somnath Chatterjee. "We have respect for the Chair," he said.

Top

 

Govt awaits court decision
Arrest warrant against Soren motivated, says Left
T. R. Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 23
The UPA government is clearly biding for time till the matter of the non-bailable arrest warrant against controversial Union Coal Minister Shibu Soren is decided by the Jharkhand High Court.

Though the issue of propriety connected with the unprecedented issue of a Central minister absconding is hanging heavily on the Congress and its allies in the UPA, the overbearing opinion is to let law take its own course.

It is apparent the UPA does not want to precipitate matters by taking a hasty decision about Mr Soren remaining in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government or making an exit at this juncture when the matter is before the court.

Highly placed sources said "the Soren issue has become highly politicised. Plain and simple it has become a battle for garnering tribal votes in Jharkhand where Assembly elections are due next year. And, interestingly, BJP leaders in Jharkhand are maintaining a low profile in attacking Mr Soren for obvious reasons," they observed.

At the same time these sources acknowledge that if the Jharkhand High Court rejected Mr Soren's prayers of quashing the non-bailable arrest warrant against him, then the minister had to call it quits from the Dr Manmohan Singh government.

While certain sections in the UPA insist that Mr Soren's resignation as a union minister is the best way out, others argue that this can leave the government on a rather sticky wicket in respect of other "tainted ministers", especially the likes of Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Taslimuddin.

A few senior ministers who spoke on condition of anonymity were of the view that if an arrest warrant was issued against a minister, then that person should quit the government of his own volition. They were, however, quick to draw attention to the compulsions of coalition politics.

The adjournment of Parliament before it went into a recess this afternoon on the Soren issue as well as that of other tainted ministers has been highly embarrassing for the government.

At the same time the Left, particularly the CPM, supporting the UPA government from outside said they were solidly behind Mr Soren against whom an arrest warrant was pending. However, they were categoric that the JMM leader should resign from the Cabinet and surrender to the authorities if he failed to get bail from the court.

Describing the arrest warrant against Mr Soren as politically motivated, CPM's Nilotpal Basu, Basudev Acharya and Mohammad Salim wondered why the case had been reinvoked after three decades. They stressed they were solidly behind the minister for his relentless struggle against the local land mafia and money lenders in Jharkhand.

Interestingly, Railway Minister and RJD leader Laloo Prasad Yadav remarked yesterday that it was unbecoming of a minister to try and dodge the law. He had no doubt at the same time that it was a political witch hunt against Mr Soren.

Meanwhile, the Jharkhand High Court has deferred till Monday (July 26) the hearing on a petition by Mr Soren challenging the non-bailable arrest warrant against him in a massacre case. Mr Soren had allegedly led a tribal mob in January, 1975, in Chirudih village in Jamatara district in Jharkhand during a campaign to send away outsiders.

Top

 

JMM faces crisis over Soren
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 23
The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) suffered a serious setback today when its general secretary and chief spokesman Mukti Nath Upadhyay resigned from the primary membership of the party over the conduct of its leader and Coal Minister Shibu Soren, who is missing and wanted by the police in a murder case.

“I cannot remain in a party the leader of which is absconding and refusing to face Parliament and the people,” Mr Upadhyay told The Tribune here.

Top


JMM leader quits
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 23
The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) suffered a serious setback today when its general secretary and chief spokesman Mukti Nath Upadhyay resigned from the primary membership of the party over the conduct of its leader and Coal Minister Shibu Soren, who is missing and wanted by the police in a murder case.

“I cannot remain in a party the leader of which is absconding and refusing to face Parliament and the people,” Mr Upadhyay told The Tribune here.

“I have sent my resignation to Soren and verbally told him about my decision,” he said.

Top

 

Allow LS to function, pleads Chatterjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 23
Exasperated with the disruption of Parliament proceedings by the Opposition, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee today appealed to all parliamentarians to allow the House to function smoothly.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Mr Chatterjee said that if the parliamentarians felt that he had failed in his job, they could get rid of him. He said that never in his 34 years in Parliament, had he witnessed a scenario where the Speaker was not allowed to speak.

Replying to a question, Mr Chatterjee clarified that he is not a “shirker” and, therefore, will not resign. “I’m only appealing to the good sense of everybody. I’ve taken the extraordinary step of appealing to all members of Parliament individually and through you,’’ he told mediapersons.

The CPM leader observed that the “House has become totally irrelevant” as no serious domestic or international issue is debated upon.

The Speaker said he was deeply hurt by the behaviour of the Opposition which did not allow the Chair to make a statement this morning.

He said he tried to take everybody along in ensuring the smooth functioning of the House. “I called on three persons after being elected, the President, the Vice-President and the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and sought his cooperation and guidance. I have separately invited the leader of the Opposition and the NDA at my residence. 

Top

 

Cong flays BJP for ruckus in Houses
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 23
The Congress today joined issue with the BJP as it accused leader of opposition L.K. Advani of encouraging his members to create pandemonium in Parliament and showing scant respect for parliamentary norms.

Lashing out at the BJP for its repeated disruption of proceedings, Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said the Opposition had not even spared the presiding officers of the two Houses. Not only had they become a target of attack but they were also not allowed to speak.

Mr Sharma said the scenes witnessed in Parliament since the UPA government came to power were truly unprecedented. He said it was perhaps for the first time in parliamentary history that the Opposition did not allow the debate on the President's address and even blocked the Prime Minister from introducing his Council of Ministers.

Charging that the BJP had behaved irresponsibly, Mr. Sharma said it prevented the Finance Minister from replying to the debate on the Budget in the Rajya Sabha while the Appropriation Bill was passed amidst din. He said even today, Parliament was unable to discuss the flood and drought situation in the country or hear about the Iraq hostage crisis.

Top

 

India ranks ninth in Physics Olympiad

Mumbai, July 23
Indian students won five medals, including a gold, and was placed ninth in the 35th International Physics Olympiad (IPO), which concluded at Pohang in South Korea today.

The gold medal was won by Delhi student Shubham Mittal, Dr Arvind Kumar, Chairman of the National Steering Committee of the Science Olympiads, told the media here.

The silver medals were bagged by Ajit Kumar of Bangalore and Kartik Narendra Mohta of Nagpur while Avin Mittal of Agra and Ankur Goel of Panchkula won bronze in the IPO. About 71 countries had participated in the Olympiad.

In terms of the medal tally, India along with Romania ranked ninth in the event, which began on July 15, Dr Kumar said.

The IPO began in 1967 and Indian participation in the event began in 1998. — PTI

Top

 

Assam flood toll 130, Tripura cut off

Guwahati, July 23
The flood situation in Assam continued to remain alarming as fresh rain was reported in the upper reaches of three rivers, signalling a further rise in the water level as the death toll reached 130.

Official reports reaching here today said 13 persons were drowned in the rising water of the Kaplili, Kiling and Kollong and in the worst-affected Morigaon district, taking the death toll to 127.

Meanwhile, landlocked Tripura was again cut off from the rest of the country following the submerging of a large portion of the NH-44, Tripura's lifeline, at Badarpur in Assam due to incessant rains in the past 24 hours, official sources said.

The Barak in Assam was flowing much above the danger mark due to heavy rains in the past two days causing serious threat to the NH-44, which connects Tripura with the rest of the country.

ITANAGAR: Meanwhile, the flood situation in Arunachal Pradesh is gradually improving, with all major rivers and their tributaries showing a receding trend since Wednesday, even though the spectre of hunger and epidemic looms large in the state.

The magnitude of damage in the floods in the state is much higher than the flood of 1954 and had affected over two lakh people.

Out of the six worst-affected districts in the recent flood, four are still cut off from the rest of the country.

All affected districts are facing an acute shortage of drinking water and have remained without power for more than two weeks, while the state government has mobilised all resources to provide succour to the people through alternative arrangements. — PTI/UNI

Top

 

Priyanka denies complaint against ICCR officer
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 23
Ms Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has written to the Director-General of the Indian Council of Cultural Affairs (ICCR) denying that she had complained against an officer for misspelling her name on an invitation card.

Referring to media reports that ICCR official Kewal Krishna Chug had been transferred on her complaint, she said it had never occurred to her to complain against anyone for such a “ridiculously trivial thing”.

Interestingly, former Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson Najma Heptulla, who had a bitter falling out with the Congress, is the ICCR Chairperson.

The Congress-led UPA government would like to replace Ms Heptulla with its own nominee, but finds itself handicapped as she has a fixed tenure.

Besides, Ms Heptulla, who has now joined the BJP, has threatened to take the government to court if she is removed.

Given this backdrop, the story about Ms Vadra’s complaint leading to an ICCR office’s transfer, assumes significance.

Ms Vadra said in her letter that she was shocked that Mr Chugh had been penalised in that manner.

Top


 

Bail for ‘Chandani Bar’ director
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, July 23
Noted film director Madhur Bhandarkar, who is accused of raping model-turned-actress Preeti Jain has obtained anticipatory bail from the sessions court in Mumbai till July 27.

Preeti Jain complained to the suburban Versova police that the film director sexually exploited her for over three years by promising her a role in his film.

In her complaint, she alleged that the film-maker had promised to marry her but went back on his commitment and married someone else last year.

With the police looking for him on Wednesday, the director of the acclaimed “Chandni Bar” went underground till he obtained anticipatory bail today.

Though the law allows for victims of rape and molestation to keep their identity secret, Preeti Jain has gone public with her allegations against Bhandarkar. In a front-page interview to a Mumbai tabloid, she revealed intimate details of her long affair with Bhandarkar.

In a media statement, Preeti Jain said she possessed mobile phone bills, SMS messages sent by the film director and documents to prove her relationship with the film-maker.

Bhandarkar is charged under Section 376, IPC (rape), Section 493, IPC, (cohabitation caused by a man deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage), Section 506 (2), IPC (criminal intimidation), and Section 509, IPC (act intended to outrage the modesty of woman).

In her statement, Preeti Jain said she had sex 16 times with Bhandarkar. “However, he didn’t offer me a lead role in any of his movies,” the newspaper quoted her as saying.

She further alleged in her complaint that the director threatened to have her eliminated when she tried to stop contact with him.

Bhandarkar has, however, denied the allegations. He told reporters in Mumbai yesterday that he does not know Preeti Jain.

Top

 

CBI forced me to name VIPs, says Sangram Singh

Bangalore, July 23
Suspended Assistant Commissioner of Police Sangram Singh, arrested in connection with the stamp paper scam, today accused the CBI of pressurising him to name some VIPs whom it wanted to implicate in the case.

He made this accusation in front of 10th Additional City Metropolitan Magistrate C.M. Joshi here. He said the CBI was “harassing him and denying facilities”. His family members were also not given permission to meet him, he added.

He had filed an application before First Additional Chief Magistrate V.H. Sambhrani stating that the CBI had heard only 20 per cent of his confession and he wanted to make a confession before the court. — UNI

Top

 

CPM threatens to withdraw support
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, July 23
The CPM will withdraw its support from the Congress(l)-led UPA Government if it continues to flout the common minimum programme (CMP) which the Left parties had endorsed, politburo member. Sitaram Yechuri threatened at a public meeting at Raiganj in north Bengal today.

Mr Yechuri alleged that despite their repeated objections, the UPA Government had taken certain economic decisions, including disinvestment in several important sectors, against the interest of the people.

Top

 

Rawat finally gets clean chit
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, July 24
After over a year’s trial' the CBI court today passed a judgment in favour of former Revenue Minister Harak Singh Rawat. Jenny, alias Indira Deuri, an Assamese woman, had charged Dr Rawat with raping her and fathering her child, which led to his stepping down from the ministerial berth.

CBI Magistrate SMD Danish accepted the CBI final report, which held that the charges framed against Dr Rawat were false, said Dr Rawat’s lawyer, Mr JD Jain. The decision came after Jenny presented an affidavit to the court stating that the charges she had levelled against the former minister were baseless and that she was pressurised into doing this.

Top

 

CBI backs transfer of Bilkis rape case
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, July 23
The CBI in its report submitted to the Supreme Court has supported the case transfer plea of Gujarat riot victim Bilkis Yakoob Rasool, who had survived a murderous attack after her gangrape at Panivela village of Dahod district during post-Godhra violence.

In its affidavit submitted to the apex court, the CBI had stated that in the interest of justice the trial of the Bilkis case be transferred outside Gujarat in view of the threat preception to witnesses and even to the agency’s investigating officers.

A Special Bench, headed by Ms Justice Ruma Pal had sought a CBI reply to Bilkis’ transfer petition, which is listed for hearing on Monday next.

Top

 
BRIEFLY

4-year-old raped
AKOLA:
In a shocking incident, a four-year-old girl was allegedly raped and another was molested at Gowardhan village under Sirpur Jain police station in the bordering Washim district, the police said on Friday. The youth, Gajanan Trymbak Tekade, allegedly lured both the girls by offering them sweets and took them to his house on Wednesday and later committed the heinous crime. He has been arrested. — PTI

4 expelled from Cong
JAIPUR:
The Congress in Rajasthan has expelled former ministers Parasram Moradia and Abdul Rehman Choudhary, former MLA Amin Khan and its Banswara district unit vice-president Sohanlal Mehta from the party for six years. The four had been expelled for working against the party's interests. — UNI

Militants kidnap two
AGARTALA:
Tribal guerrillas kidnapped a Railway driver and his assistant while releasing three of the 29 hostages held in their captivity on Thursday night in Tripura. Meanwhile, the National Liberation Front of Tripura militants released three persons from their captivity. The remaining hostages were still in the captivity of the militants. — UNI

Top

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |