SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

NDA leaders meet Kalam, seek Manmohan, Buta’s resignation
New Delhi, January 25
In the wake of the Supreme Court verdict on Bihar having “long-term implications for Constitutional propriety, political morality and democratic accountability”, the NDA leaders today asked President A.P.J Abdul Kalam to secure Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s resignation and dismiss Governor Buta Singh before the Republic Day tomorrow.

Senior BJP leader LK Advani along with NDA convener George Fernandes address the media after submitting a memorandum to President APJ Abdul Kalam on the issue of Bihar Governor Buta Singh at Rastrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Wednesday. In video (28k, 56k)

Senior BJP leader LK Advani along with NDA convener George Fernandes address the media after submitting a memorandum to President APJ Abdul Kalam on the issue of Bihar Governor Buta Singh at Rastrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Wednesday. — Tribune photo by Rajeev Tyagi


EARLIER STORIES
 

One dissenting judge agrees on all but one question
Bihar Assembly case
New Delhi, January 25
The careful reading of the voluminous five-Judge Constitution Bench Judgement on dissolution of Bihar Assembly and holding the Centre and Governor Buta Singh equally responsible for the “unconstitutional” act, it would not be wholly correct to say that the two dissenting judges have expressed totally contrary views to the majority verdict on all the aspects of the case, which was described by the court as “unique” in the country’s democratic history.

Decision on Buta after R-Day: Patil
New Delhi, January 25
The Centre today deferred the decision on the fate of the Bihar Governor till Friday, paving the way for Mr Buta Singh to hoist the Tri-colour tomorrow in Bihar on Republic Day. In video  (28k, 56k)

Thar Express run date put off
New Delhi, January 25
The Thar Express train service between Munnabao in Rajasthan and Khokrapar in Pakistan, may run a week behind the scheduled date of February 1.

Shanta Kumar is BJP Vice-President
New Delhi, January 25
With Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh and Punjab in sight, BJP President Rajnath Singh today made towering party leader from Himachal


Prime Minister presents bravery awards to 17 children.
(28k, 56k)

Rashtriya Rifles pick up lion’s share of gallantry awards
New Delhi, January 25
The Rashtriya Rifles, the Army’s specialised counter-insurgency unit, which is in the forefront of tackling insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir, and the Para (Special Forces) have again walked away with the lion’s share of President’s medals for gallantry, announced on the 57th Republic Day.

Police medal for 600 personnel
New Delhi, January 25
Over 600 personnel have been awarded police medals for distinguished services, gallantry and meritorious service.

ACB restrained from arresting Daya Nayak
Mumbai, January 25
Giving a reprieve to Mumbai Police’s encounter specialist Daya Nayak and his wife Komal, a special court today restrained the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) from arresting them till January 27 in a case of disproportionate assets.

Rajendra Prasad’s land grabbed
Patna, January 25
There is no end to Bihar’s lawlessness: land that once belonged to India’s first President Rajendra Prasad has been grabbed by some upper caste men.

All set for trial of former Chief Secretary
Lucknow, January 25
A full-Bench judgment of the Allahabad High Court today cleared the decks to start a trial against former Chief Secretary Neera Yadav.

Farmers’ leader made national secy of BJP
Chandigarh, January 25
The BJP high command has tried to send a strong political message among farmers by appointing Mr Harjit Singh Grewal, a farmers’ leader, national secretary of the party.

Plan to disrupt R-Day function 
New Delhi, January 25
With the arrest of two Bangladeshi nationals, the Delhi Police claimed to have foiled a terrorist plan to disrupt the Republic Day celebrations in the national Capital.
In video: Security beefed up across India ahead of R-Day celebrations. (28k, 56k)

Child rescued
Indore, January 25
A child trapped 25 feet underground, in a borewell overnight, was rescued after a 12-hour operation today.

4 ragpickers killed in shell explosion
Lucknow, January 25
In what appears to be a breach of security, two boys stole five shells from the Allahabad cantonment area for selling them in the market. Two shells, however, exploded killing four persons and injuring seven.

Videos

Shaukat Kaifi Azmi pens her life story.
(28k, 56k)

A rare singer who sings in reverse order.
(28k, 56k)

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NDA leaders meet Kalam, seek Manmohan, Buta’s resignation
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 25
In the wake of the Supreme Court verdict on Bihar having “long-term implications for Constitutional propriety, political morality and democratic accountability”, the NDA leaders today asked President A.P.J Abdul Kalam to secure Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s resignation and dismiss Governor Buta Singh before the Republic Day tomorrow.

“We feel that the declaration by the apex court that the decision to dissolve the Bihar Assembly was unconstitutional, arbitrary and malafide, which resulted in forcing an election in Bihar, has long term implications for Constitutional propriety, political morality and democratic accountability.

“In the circumstances, we respectfully urge upon you to seek the resignation of Prime Minister and dismiss Governor Buta Singh”, the leaders, including Leader of Opposition L.K Advani and NDA Convener George Fernandes, said in a memorandum to the President.

“Buta Singh has no right to continue in office even for a single minute. He should be removed from office before taking salute on Republic Day. He should be sacked and it would be unfair if he takes the salute”, Mr Advani told mediapersons after the 30-minute long meeting with the President.

In an obvious reference to UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Mr Advani said the President should find out from the Congress President and the Prime Minister whether the Governor’s report was a “brainwave and handiwork of Buta Singh alone or was it a command performance? The country wants to know this in national interest”.

Ruling out the possibility of his resignation in the wake of the verdict, Mr Buta Singh had declared he would take the salute on January 26.

The NDA leaders told the President that “being misled by the Governor, the Union Cabinet in effect without any independent verification which it ought to have done, misled your excellency into agreeing to such a gross case of Constitutional abuse.”

The delegation also included party President Rajnath Singh, senior party leaders Jaswant Singh, Sushma Swaraj, V.K Malhotra, Digvijay Singh (JD-U) and Prasanna Acharya (BJD).

“What was the urgency to approach Your Excellency in the dead of the night in Moscow also remains curiously unexplained”, the memorandum said.

Alleging that the Prime Minister was an active party to the motivated exercise to invoke Article 356 and dissolve the Bihar Assembly, it recalled that the Prime Minister had told mediapersons on the morning of the Cabinet decision that “an atmosphere of horse-trading of the worst kind prevailed and we had considerable information to substantiate the Governor’s recommendation”.

SP too seeks resignation

The Samajwadi Party on Wednesday demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the wake of the Supreme Court’s strictures.

“The Prime Minister always pleads ignorance whenever his government courts controversy right from the events in Goa, Jharkhand and Bihar assemblies to the Paul Volcker report on Iraq’s Oil-for-Food scam to phone tappings. Let somebody who is not suffering from the ‘I don’t know syndrome’ take the top job,” stressed SP general secretary Amar Singh in the Capital.

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One dissenting judge agrees on all but one question
Bihar Assembly case
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, January 25
The careful reading of the voluminous five-Judge Constitution Bench Judgement on dissolution of Bihar Assembly and holding the Centre and Governor Buta Singh equally responsible for the “unconstitutional” act, it would not be wholly correct to say that the two dissenting judges have expressed totally contrary views to the majority verdict on all the aspects of the case, which was described by the court as “unique” in the country’s democratic history.

In fact Mr Justice K.G. Balakrishnan had dissented only on one of the four questions framed by the Bench for decision before it and in rest of the three he had fully endorsed the findings of the majority judges — Chief Justice Y.K. Sabharwal, Mr Justice B.N. Agrawal and Mr Justice Ashok Bhan — by adopting it in toto.

At the very outset of his 37-page separate judgement, Mr Justice Balakrishnan said: “I find myself unable to agree with the decision on point No 2 formulated in the (majority) judgement. On all other points, I gratefully adopt the exposition of law and agree with the decision purposed by the Chief Justice,” who had written the majority judgement.

The four questions framed by the Bench were: (1) Is it permissible to dissolve the Assembly under Article 174 (2) (b) of the Constitution (empowering the Governor to take such a decision) without its first meeting taking place, (2) whether the proclamation of May 23, 2005 dissolving the Assembly is illegal and unconstitutional, (3) If the answer to it (question 2) is affirmative, is it necessary to direct status quo ante as on March 7, 2005 when President rule was imposed and Assembly was kept in suspended animation, (4) What is the scope of Article 361, granting immunity to the Governor. Though the second dissenting Judge, Mr Justice Arijit Pasayat had not said any thing precisely about the four questions but focused mainly on the questions of immunity enjoyed by the Governor under Article 361 against judicial scrutiny of his decisions, maintenance of “purity” in public life and curbing the practice of defections engineered to grab power by “unfair means”.

The majority judgement, had in fact relied heavily on the nine-Judge Constitution Bench verdict in the famous Bomai case, considered to be the bench mark on the question of use of Article 356 (imposition of Central rule in a state) and another Constitution Bench decision in the Rajasthan Assembly dissolution case in answering the four questions framed by the court.

The majority judgement said that the dissolution of Bihar Assembly was a “unique case” as its term was brought to an end even before the newly elected members were administered oath of office after the February 2005 election by the Governor, while in all other cases the issue was ouster of a Chief Miniter from office on his losing majority either due to defection or some other reasons.

“The present case is of its own kind where before even the first meeting of the Assembly, its dissolution has been ordered (on Governor’s reports) on the ground that attempts are being made to cobble a majority by illegal means and lay claim to form the Government in the state and if these attempts continue, it would amount to tampering with the Constitution,” the court observed.

In this situation, one of the question of far reaching consequences arose whether the dissolution of the Assembly could be recommended by the Governor under Article 356 (1) of the Constitution “to prevent the staking of claim by a political party on the ground that the majority has been obtained by illegal means,” the court, which had struck down the dissolution in the absence of any “bona fide” material with Governor Buta Singh to have recommended it, while answering the four questions in details.

But Mr Justice Balakrishnan, in principle, had agreed that final decision on dissolution was not that of the Governor but by the President on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers, which was required to “scrutinise” his (Governor’s) reports.

He, however, made a distinction between the present case and the Bomai and other cases relied upon by the majority judgement, saying in the earlier verdicts the prime duty before the Governor was to ensure that the Chief Minister sought the vote of confidence in the Assembly but that was not the situation in Bihar where people had thrown a fractured mandate.

If no party was able to form a government even after the elections, the better course available was to go for fresh election rather than forming a ministry with “foul” means, and, therefore “it cannot be said that the decision to dissolve the Bihar Assembly, is malafide exercise of power,” said Mr Justice Balakrishnan with full endorsement of his views on this aspect by Mr Justice Pasayat

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Decision on Buta after R-Day: Patil
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 25
The Centre today deferred the decision on the fate of the Bihar Governor till Friday, paving the way for Mr Buta Singh to hoist the Tri-colour tomorrow
in Bihar on Republic Day.

“I have received the copies of the 400-page judgement. I have gone through only half of it. Though my colleagues have briefed me about it, I would myself like to go through it fully before taking a final decision....So, I think probably we can meet day after tomorrow,” Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil told newspersons after his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

“Today we were busy with the Saudi Arabian delegation and tomorrow is Republic Day celebrations... So probably we can meet day after tomorrow,” Mr Patil said maintaining that he was in no manner setting any time frame for a decision.

The Home Minister refused to comment on whether the government was contemplating on moving a review petition in the Supreme Court.

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Thar Express run date put off
Tripti Nath
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 25
The Thar Express train service between Munnabao in Rajasthan and Khokrapar in Pakistan, may run a week behind the scheduled date of February 1.

Chairman Railway Board, Joginder P. Batra told TNS here on Tuesday that the Pakistan Railway had fixed January 30 and 31 as the date of meeting a delegation of the Indian Railway led by Adviser, Traffic, Ashok Gupta. He said the two sides would finalise the arrangements for running the train at a mutually convenient date that could be within a week or a fortnight. He said the train service was unlikely to commence on the scheduled date.

Mr Batra said since the train was scheduled to arrive at Munnabao every Saturday, the initial journey would be on a Saturday.

Mr Ashok Gupta, Adviser, Traffic, told TNS that the Railway Ministry was leaving for a meeting with Pak officials. He said the Indian delegation was expected to work out the nitty-gritties at the meeting to be held in Islamabad.

‘‘During a meeting with Pakistan officials on January 5 and 6 here, we had worked out some modalities. We had also made an affirmation that by February 1, we will be able to start the train.’’

Mr Gupta said the ‘‘tight margin’’ between the meeting in Islamabad this month end and the scheduled commencement of the train service might delay the actual commencement of the train service by a week. He said initially, the frequency of service would be less and would depend on the number of passengers patronising the train. Other decisions such as the number of coaches and the fare structure would also be taken at the meeting.

The rail link between the two countries was snapped in the wake of the 1965 India Pakistan war. 

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Shanta Kumar is BJP Vice-President
Satish Misra/ S. Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 25
With Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh and Punjab in sight, BJP President Rajnath Singh today made towering party leader from Himachal

Pradesh Shanta Kumar national Vice-President and former National Kisan Morcha General Secretary Harjeet Singh Grewal national Secretary of the party.

The appointment of Mr Shanta Kumar, who is credited with popularising the BJP in the hill state and spearheading the party to power for the first time in 1977 and later in 1989, is one of the major surprises in the new national office-bearers team constituted by Mr Rajnath Singh as he remained completely sidelined during the presidentship of Mr L.K. Advani and earlier Mr M. Venkaiah Naidu.

The BJP chief’s desperation to revive the party’s fortune in Uttar Pradesh also got reflected in the new team, with former state unit president Vinay Katiyar, who is known for his hard Hindutva outlook, making his way into the central team as General Secretary and continuation of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, who was reluctant to continue in the central team after Mr Rajnath Singh took over, as party Vice-President.

The new team clearly carries the imprint of the Hindutava mascots like Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Vinay Katiyar’s figuring prominently in the Parliamentary Board and office-bearers team.

Interestingly, former Delhi Chief Minister Sahib Singh Verma and former Union minister Vijay Goel were appointed as Vice-President and national Secretary, respectively.

Former Delhi strongman Madan Lal Khurana, who had a running battle with former party President L.K. Advani, was surprisingly retained as national Executive Member.

The new BJP chief has also decided to continue with Pramod Mahajan, Arun Jaitley, Ananth Kumar and Om Prakash Mathur as General Secretaries. Thawar Chand Gahalot was promoted as General Secretary from Vice-President. The General Secretary (Organisation) post has been kept vacant pending a decision on Sanjay Joshi, who quit the post in the wake of the circulation of a CD allegedly showing him in poor light.

While Mr Venkaiah Naidu made way for La Ganeshan from the South as Vice-President, RSS veteran Bal Apte, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Babu Lal Marandi were retained as Vice-Presidents. Kailash Meghwal (Rajasthan) and Ms Sumitra Mahajan (Madhya Pradesh) were appointed as Vice-Presidents for the first time.

Mr Naidu, who is out of the office-bearers’ team, has been retained as a member of the Parliamentary Board, party’s highest decision-making organ.

The new National Executive has 75 members, with five vacancies to be filled later by the party President. The new National Executive has 12 women, of whom two are office-bearers. It has 11 members belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, of whom five are office-bearers.

Among the special invitees in the National Executive, cricketer-turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu has been retained, while six new faces have been included in the list.

They are Manoj Sinha, Yogi Adityanath, Kirit Somaiya, K.S. Eswarappa, R.K. Kusumaria and Eknath Khadse.

The BJP President also reconstituted the Parliamentary Board and the Central Election Committee of the party. General Secretary Pramod Mahajan has been appointed as the Secretary of the board and the CEC. Significantly, Mr Narendra Modi has been included in the Parliamentary Board.

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Rashtriya Rifles pick up lion’s share of gallantry awards

New Delhi, January 25
The Rashtriya Rifles, the Army’s specialised counter-insurgency unit, which is in the forefront of tackling insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir, and the Para (Special Forces) have again walked away with the lion’s share of President’s medals for gallantry, announced on the 57th Republic Day.

Personnel from both the units have picked up over two-thirds of the Shaurya Chakras and the Sena Medals (Gallantry) awarded, apart from various service medals for senior commanders.

Out of the 16 Shaurya Chakras (five of them posthumous), the Rashtriya Rifles has got seven, including three awarded posthumously, while the Para (SF) have got three.

The Rashtriya Rifles also have been awarded 39 Sena Medals (Gallantry) — 12 of them posthumous, which accounts for over half of the total list of 75 (20 posthumous). The Para (SF) follow with 13 (one posthumous).

Meanwhile, the Srinagar-based Chinar Corps’ Chief of Staff Maj-Gen Vijay Kumar Singh, who was earlier commanding the Rashtriya Rifles Baramula-based ‘Victor’ Force, and General Officer Commanding (GOC), Delhi Area Maj-Gen Prabodh Chandra Bhardwaj, the erstwhile commander of the ‘Delta’ Force (Doda) have been conferred the Ati Vishisht Seva Medals (AVSM).

Maj-Gen Mahavir Singh Balhara, presently commanding the Kupwara-based ‘Kilo’ Force, has also been awarded the AVSM.

Other commanders of the Rashtriya Rifles awarded include six recipients of the Sena Medal (Distinguished Service), including five Sector Commanders, (of Brigadier rank) and one battalion commander, while one Sector Commander and two battalion commanders have been awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM). Bar to VSM has been awarded to Brigadier (now Maj-Gen) A.C. Soneja, who took over the Rajouri-based ‘Romeo’ Force on promotion.

As regards Para (SF) units, they have also bagged one Bar to Sena Medal (Distinguished Service), two Sena Medals (Distinguished Service) and one VSM.

The following is the list:

Param Vishishta Seva Medals (PVSM):

Air Marshals Sharad Yeshwant Savur AVSM, Avinash Deodatta Joshi VM, Avdesh Kumar Singh AVSM VM VSM, Jaspal Singh Gujral VM VSM, Fali Homi Major AVSM SC VM, (Mrs) Padma Bandopadhyay (Retd) AVSM VSM.

Ati Vishishta Seva Medals (AVSM)

Air Vice Marshals Vinod Kumar Verma VM VSM, Rakesh Yadav (VSM), Keshava Murthy Rama Sundra (VSM), Jyoti Narayan Burma (VSM), Naresh Verma VSM; Air Commodores Robin Chandra Baruah, Vikas Krishnrao Yajurvedi (VM), Ram Krishan Ganjoo (VSM), Lalit Kumar Malhotra (VSM), Satish Pal Singh (VM), Malvinder Singh Ahluwalia, Sanjib Bordoloi

Shaurya Chakra

Wg Cdr Alagaraja Perumal Vayusena Medals (Gallantry): Wg Cdrs Makarand Ranade, Ramesh Chandra Tripathi, Uday Kant Jha, Jaspreet Singh, Joseph Suares; Sqn Ldrs Sirigare Shivashankappa Chaitanya (Posthumous); Sgt Nikku Ram Choudhary

Vayusena Medals (Distinguished Service):

Gp Capts Ravinder Kumar Dhir, Ravinder Kumar Sharma, Thotten Rajeevan, Sandeep Singh; Wg Cdrs Ranbir Singh Dagar, Radhakrishnan Radhish, Prashant Mukund Vithalkar, Ravi Gopal Krishna Kapoor, Shridhar Kishore Mohlah, Pankaj Dua, Balakrishnan Manikantan, Ashuthosh Dixit, Surat Singh, Jang Veer Singh Guron; Sqn Ldrs Pankaj Kathpal, Satyendra Kumar, Druganti Siva Narsimham; WO Ramachandran Soundara Rajan.

Vishishta Seva Medals:

Air Commodores Kesava Kurup Vijay Kumar, Sajal Kumar Bhaumik, Dinesh Mukundan, Hitesh Haribhai Patel, Ravi Dhar; Gp Capts Paramasivan Murthy, Praveen Khanna, Vinay Kaushal, Muniyappa Suryanarayan Ravindra, Rajiv Mital, Anant Krishna, Kumar Krishnachandrasinghji Gohil, Lov Kumar Vig, Subashkumar Appajirao Jagdale, Ajay Masson, Narendra Bahadur Singh, Ajit Singh, Gulshan Rai, Harindra Kumar Dhiman, Vivek VM, Sandeep Puri, Mahaveer Singh Shekhawat; Wg Cdrs Amit Choudhary, Sanjeev Chandra, Pramod Kumar Shrivastava, Tarun Kumar Singha, Ravindra Chandra Panda, Dhannjai Vishnu Want; Sqn Ldr Pramod Kumar Jena; MWO Ramesh Chandra; JWO Krushna Chandra Routray.

Param Vishisht Seva Medal

IC-16289 Lt Gen Bhopinder Singh, AVSM, VSM, INF; IC-16309 Lt Gen Trevor Aloysius D’Cunha, ADC, AOC; IC-16338 Lt Gen Vijay Kumar Chopra, VSM, ARTY; IC-16650 Lt Gen Ranjit Singh, SM, Engrs; IC-16900 Lt Gen Arvind Sharma, AVSM, VSM, ADC, Inf; IC-17206 Lt Gen Anup Singh Jamwal, AVSM, VSM, ADC, Arty; IC-17210 Lt Gen Srinivasa Pattabhiraman, AVSM, SM, VSM, Engrs; IC-17214 Lt Gen Manjkath Govindan Girish, AVSM, VSM, EME; IC-17279 Lt Gen Charanjit Singh, AVSM, VSM, Arty; IC-17280 Lt Gen Vir Chand Jain, AVSM, VSM, EME; IC-17291 Lt Gen Ravinder Nath Kapur, AVSM, INF; IC-17327 Lt Gen Gurditar Singh, AVSM, Armd; IC-17594 Lt Gen Devraj Singh, AVSM, Inf; IC-17615 Lt Gen Mohan Chandra Bhandari, AVSM*, Inf; IC-17640 Lt Gen Kamal Krishna Khanna, AVSM*, Inf; IC-17674 Lt Gen Arun Kumar Chopra, AVSM, Inf; IC-17733 Lt Gen Madan Gopal, AVSM*, Inf; MR-02068 Lt Gen Madan Lal Chawla, VSM, AMC; MR-02064 Lt Gen Ramji Rai, AVSM, VSM, AMC (Retd).

Kirti Chakra

JC-617223 Sub Jagat Bahadur Ghale, 6/5 GR (FF) (Posthumous)

Bar to Ati Vishisht Seva Medal

IC-17565 Lt Gen Aditya Singh, AVSM, Armd; IC-28805 Lt Gen Kulwant Singh Dogra, AVSM, VSM, AAD;

Ati Vishisht Seva Medal

IC-17622 Lt Gen Deepak Kapoor, SM, VSM, Arty, Hq Nc; IC-19396 Lt Gen Deepak Harishchandra Summanwar, UYSM, VSM, Inf; MR-02250 Lt Gen Mudakkanaveetil Prabhakaran Jaiprakash, AMC, Hq Wc; IC-17582 Maj Gen Subhash Chander Gogna, Engrs; IC-17595 Maj Gen Arun Roye, VSM, Inf; IC-19387 Maj Gen Shiv Kumar Jaswal, Engrs, Hq 10 Corps; IC-19478 Maj Gen Gulshan Kumar Nischol, VSM, SIGS, Hq MB Area (Retd) IC-19983 Maj Gen Deepak Anand, VSM, Inf, Hq Wc; IC-23292 Maj Gen Darshanjit Singh Grewal, Inf, Hq Sc; IC-23376 Maj Gen Ashok Khosla, Sigs; IC-23431 Maj Gen Bhisham Dev Wadhwa, EME, Hq Base WKSP Eme; IC-23486 Maj Gen Harjot Singh Sehgal, Arty; IC-23799 Maj Gen Virendra Kumar Jain, Arty; IC-23872 Maj Gen Parameswaran Pillai Rajagopal, VSM, Inf, Hq 3 Inf Div; IC-24173 Maj Gen Vijay Kumar Singh, YSM, Inf, Hq CIF (V); IC-24178 Maj Gen Prabodh Chandra Bhardwaj, VRC, SC, VSM, Inf; IC-24186 Maj Gen Jagjit Singh Mahil, AAD, Hq SC; IC-24208 Maj Gen Amarjeet Singh Sekhon, YSM, Inf, Hq 25 Inf Div; IC-24568 Maj Gen Mahavir Singh Balhara, KC, SM, Inf, Hq CIF (K); IC-24584 Maj Gen Baljit Singh Jaswal, VSM, Inf, Hq 10 Inf Div; IC-24611 Maj Gen Avadhesh Prakash, VSM, Inf, Hq 17 MTN Div; IC-25066 Maj Gen Arvinder Singh Lamba, Arty, Hq 16 Inf Div; IC-25148 Maj Gen Anukul Chandra, EME, Hq Nc; IC-25156 Maj Gen Jaswinder Pal Singh, Armd, Hq 31 Armd Div; IC-25213 Maj Gen Mukesh Sabharwal, VSM, Inf, Hq 28 Inf Div; IC-25469 Maj Gen Karan Singh Yadava, SM, VSM, Inf, Hq 21 MTN Div; IC-25647 Maj Gen Bhupinder Singh Ghotra, SM, VSM, Inf, Hq IGAR (S); IC-29915 Maj Gen Vinod Chopra, Inf, Hq 39 MTN Div; IC-32703 Maj Gen Krishna Pillai Sankaranarayana Pillai Venugopal, EME; MR-02669 Maj Gen Jayakrishnan Jayaram, AMC; MR-03355 Maj Gen Bikash Krushna Mohanti, AMC, Hq NC; V-00292 Maj Gen Birham Pal Singh Panwar, SM (Retd), RVC; IC-24753 Brig Desh Deepak Kapoor, VSM, Arty, Hq ATC

Shaurya Chakra

IC-53657 Maj Neelesh Anand Pagulwar, SM, 8 Assam; IC-54305 Maj Harmandeep Singh Baidwan, Raj RIF, 9 RR; IC-54359 Maj Kamlesh Manikrao Shende, 2 Grds; IC-58686 Maj Salman Ahmad Khan, Sikh, 6 RR (Posthumous); IC-59758 Maj Deepak Kumar Padda, Armd, 14 Gdrs (Posthumous); IC-61014 Capt Sumit Kohli, Arty, 18 RR; IC-63911 Lt Manish Pandey, 20 Punjab; JC-255591 Sub Lok Nath Sharma, Arty, 7 RR; JC-429076 Sub Sukhwinder Singh, 20 Punjab; JC-469415 NB Sub Hem Singh Rajput, Raj Rif, 9 RR (Posthumous); 2481416 Hav Ashok Kumar, 9 Para (SF); 2789249 Hav Surve Madhusudan Narayan, 21 Para (SF); 4072135 Hav Atol Singh Panwar, SM, 16 Garh Rif (Posthumous); 1072825 DFR Harbhajan Singh, Armd, 8 RR (Posthumous); 4190405 RFN Rajendra Singh, Kumaon, 60 RR; 4371321 PTR Thanmi Muinao, 21 Para (SF).

Bar to Sena Medal (Gallantry)

JC-262167 Sub Pritam Singh, SM, Arty, 306 FD Regt

Sena Medal (Gallantry)

IC-44527 Lt Col Ashok Singh, Madras, 54 RR; IC-45757 Lt Col Sree Kumar Gopinath Kartha, 12 GDRS; IC-48827 Lt Col Samiran Debnath, ARTY, 1 Assam Rif; IC-50709 Lt Col Neelesh Bhanot, 21 Para (SF); IC-50783 Lt Col Satish Kadvath, AAD, 38 RR; IC-51933 Maj Alin Deb Saha, 1 Para (SF); IC-53186 Maj Neeraj Bakhshi, 6/5 GR (FF); IC-54125 Maj Jagdeep Singh Lamba, ASC, 29 RR; IC-55341 Maj Pradeep Kumar Singh AAD, 58 RR; IC-55943 Maj Ravi Anand, ARMD, 14 RR; IC-55985 Maj Sundeep Madan, Dogra, 20 RR; IC-56396 Maj Amit Rathi, ARMD, 53 RR (Posthumous); IC-57364 Maj Guriqbal Singh Gill, Guards, 21 RR; IC-57662 Maj Laxman Singh Rathore, ARMD, 33 Assam Rif; IC-57684 Maj Kulbhushan Upreti, VrC, ASC, 42 RR; IC-58136 Maj Rajiv Bhargav, ARMD, 4 Assam Rif; IC-58536 Maj Shobhit Tiwari, Jat, 34 RR (Posthumous); IC-59523 Maj Rajnish Kumar Maahi, ARTY, 25 RR; IC-59970 Maj Alok Saha, AAD, 23 RR; IC-60029 Maj Sanjeev Chamola, 21 Para (SF); IC-61342 Maj Sanjay Singh Karki, 21 Para (SF); IC-64926 Maj Prashant Kumar, ARTY, 33 Assam Rif; SS-38667 Maj Shet Nishant Sadashiv, Bihar, 47 RR; IC-59791 Capt Vikram Raina, Garh Rif, 14 RR; IC-60323 Capt Avneesh Singh, Madras, 54 RR; IC-61046 Capt A. Raghuram, SIGS, 37 RR; IC-62097 Capt Prajith P. Varma, 1 Para (SF); IC-62857 Capt Ajay Kumar, ARTY, 306 FD Regt; IC-64071 Lt Bhupender Solanki, AOC, 11 JAK LI; JC-478647 Sub Digvijay Singh, Rajput, 58 RR; JC-528896 Sub Amar Singh Negi, 19 Garh Rif; JC-412850 Nb Sub Nandlal Jhajharia, 9 Para (SF); JC-412862 Nb Sub Ganga Ram, 1 Para (SF); JC-412977 Nb Sub Darshan Lal, 4 Para (SF); JC-529461 Nb Sub Nain Singh, Garh Rif, 36 RR; 2677784 Hav Kheenwa Ram, GDRS, 29 RR (Posthumous); 2678061 Hav Sohan Singh, GDRS, 39 RR (Posthumous); 2881844 Hav Lal Singh Khichi, Raj Rif, 9 RR; 4560794 Hav Jayanta Kumar Maity, Mahar, 51 RR; 13616189 Hav Surender Singh, 4 Para (SF) (Posthumous); 2589886 L/Hav Ajith Kumar G, Madras, 38 RR; 1487875 Nk Sanjeev Kumar, Engrs, 36 RR; 2487273 Nk Resham Singh, 28 Punjab; 3395596 Nk Raghubir Singh, 2 Sikh (Posthumous); 3991703 Nk Vichitter Singh, Dogra, Dogra Scouts; 15308505 Nk S. Lenin, 651 Engr Plant Unit (Posthumous); 2689252 L/Nk Mehboob Khan, GDRS, 29 RR (Posthumous); 2690310 L/Nk Balvinder, 16 GDRS; 2889343 L/Nk Bansi Lal, Raj Rif, 9 RR; 4074792 L/Nk Jayendra Singh, 10 Garh Rif; 4077197 L/Nk Birendra Singh, Garh Rif, 36 RR; 9421562 L/Nk Saran Rai, 1/11 GR; 14431390 L/Nk Devendra Singh, ARTY, 6 RR (Posthumous); 15612066 L/Nk Ashish Kumar, Guards, 21 RR; 2491553 Sep Rajesh Kumar, Punjab, 53 RR (Posthumous); 2497277 Sep Roshan Singh, Punjab, 37 RR (Posthumous); 2606371 Sep Penlody Vijay Kumar, Madras, 54 RR (Posthumous); 2799135 Sep Sundra N, MLI, 27 RR (Posthumous); 3998802 Sep Prem Lal, Dogra, 20 RR; 3998985 Sep Kartar Chand, 7 Dogra (Posthumous); 4274922 Sep Angad Kumar Pandey, Bihar, 47 RR; 4570128 Sep Bhupendra Singh, 1 Mahar (Posthumous); 12944072 Sep Abdul Jabbar, 159 INF Bn (TA) Dogra (Posthumous); G/411559 RFN Jaswant Singh, 4 Assam Rif; 2897299 RFN Pusa Lal Jat, Raj Rif, 9 RR; 4080606 RFN Vijay Kumar, 3 Garh Rif (Posthumous); 9103098 RFN Mohd Ayoub Khan, JAK LI, 2 RR (Posthumous); 12974095 RFN Altaf Hussain Mir, 162 INF Bn (TA) JAK LI; 15564913 SPR Mahadev Narayan Yadav, 270 Engr Regt (Posthumous); 4371248 PTR Thangjuingir Halam, 21 Para (SF); 13622804 PTR Daleep Kumar, 21 Para (SF); 13625972 PTR Prasan Pradhan, 21 Para (SF); 13624775 PTR Khaikho Hao, 21 Para (SF); 14438090 GNR Sanjib Ghosh, ARTY, 40 RR (Posthumous); 15774757 Gnr Praveen Kumar, AAD, 23 RR

Bar to Sena Medal (Distinguished)

IC-47643 Lt Col. Gurvinder Singh Kular, SM, 21 Para (SF) Sena Medal (Distinguished)

IC-24578 Brig Vijay Prakash Pal Singh Gusain, Garh RIF, HQ 44 MTN BDE; IC-27606 Brig Ajay Kumar Singh, VSM, ARMD; IC-27979 Brig Jatinder Singh Bajwa, Kumaon, HQ 11 SEC RR; IC-30094 Brig Dharamvir Singh Ahlawat, VSM, JAT, HQ 109 INF BDE; IC-30137 Brig Sukhraj Pal Kochhar, VSM, SIGS, HQ 10 CORPS; IC-30183 Brig Narinder Singh Kapur, GARH RIF, HQ 13 SEC RR: IC 30331 Brig Tejinder Singh Handa, Para; IC 30708 Brig Ashok Kumar Choudhary, VSM, MAHAR, HQ 10 SEC RR; IC 30723 Brig Ashok Singh, VSM, Guards, HQ 323 MTN BDE; IC-30733 Brig Selva Kumar Henry Johnson, VSM, 5 GR, HQ 91 INF BDE; IC-30892 Brig Yashpal Singh Rawat, 8 GR, HQ 268 INF BDE; IC-31034 Brig Raj Kumar Sharma, JAT, HQ 59 MTN RDE; IC-31418 Brig James Mayandy Devadoss, Sikh, 108 MTN BDE; IC-32079 Brig Gurjit Singh Dhillon, ARMD, TA GP HQ WC; IC-33994 Brig Jagdev Jagjiwan Singh, JAT, HQ 4 SEC RR; IC-35210 Col Basant Kumar Dhingra, AAR; IC-39510 Col Sudhir Lanba, ARTY; IC-39956 Col Gurpal Singh Sangha, VSM, GDRS, 29 RR; IC-40782 Col Mandeep Singh Mann, 21 Para (SF); IC-41102 Col Jarken Gamlin, 5/8 GR; IC-41476 Col Ashok Kumar Dhingra, 1 Para (SF); IC-41518 Col Daya Chand, SC, Dogra, 11 RR; IC-41999 Col Laove Verma, 5 PARA; IC-42339 Col Pradeep Narayanan, 16 JAT; IC-42899 Col S Balachandrudu, ENGRS, HQ 760 BRTF; IC-43113 Col Gurvinder Singh Bedi, Guards, 14 ASSAM RIF; IC-43981 Col Sharad Kapur, 9 Rajput; MR-03449 Col Kunwar Karni Singh, VS, AMC, AH R&R; IC-41880 LT Col Mahindra Singh Yadav, Army AVN, 9 (I) R&O FLT; IC-42143 LT Col Pothamsetti Udaya Bhaskr, ARTY, HQ ANC; IC-49028 LT Col Sukhwant Singh Engrs, 201 BOMB DISPOSAL COY; IC-50968 LT Col Gopinath Srikumar, INT, HQ DGAR; MR-03668 LT Col Gopal Dutt Sharma, AMC, MH Patiala; MR-05467 LT Col Vibha Dutta, AMC, AH (R&R); IC-53761 Maj Amit Srivastava, ARTY, 306 FD REGT; IC-59698 Maj Rakesh Kumar Anand, 9 RAJPUT; SL-04372 Maj Raj Kumar Gurung, AEC, HQ WC; SL-04748 Capt Mahabir Singh Engrs, GE (I) 866 EWS; IC-63374 LT Abhijit Rangrao Bhamare, 18 MLI; 67040 HAV Champa, 1 VIKAS; 14924356 L/NK Shinde Santosh Ram Chandra, 4 MECH INF; 15561559 L/NK MALI Sitaram Anand, 112 ENGR REGT.

Bar to Vishisht Seva Medal

IC-32482 Maj Gen Jaspaul Singh, SM, VSM, INT, HQ INT & FS GP; IC-25912 Brig Suresh Nair Vasudevan, SM, VSM, MLI, HQ NC; IC-27264 Brig Avinash Chander Soneja, VSM, JAK RIF, HQ 71 SUB AREA; IC-34019 Brig Deependra Singh Hooda, VSM, 4 GR, HQ 12 INF BDE; MR-02958 Brig Brij Mohan Nagpal, VSM, AMC, HQ 14 CORPS; DR-10298 Brig Vimal Arora, VSM, ADC, CMDC HQ NC.

Vishisht Seva Medal

IC-19860 Maj Gen Mandhata Singh, YSM, INF, HQ 16 CORPS; IC-23689 Maj Gen Narinder Singh Brar, ARTY, HQ 14 CORPS; IC-25053 Maj Gen Dalip Bhardwaj, ARMD, HQ 23 INF DIV; IC-25064 Maj Gen Shreedharan Shyam Kumar, SM, INF, HQ IGAR (N); IC-25439 Maj Gen Vinay Sharma, SM, INF, HQ 26 INF DIV; IC-25825 Maj Gen Chetinder Singh, ARMD; MR-03267 Maj Gen Anath Bondhu Chattopadhyay, AMC, CH HQ NC; IC-24188 BRig Shrinivas Krishna Ambike, ARTY (RETD); IC-25409 Brig Shujan Gopal Chatterji, ARTY, HQ 107 MTN BDE; IC-25478 Brig Kantamneni Babayya, ENGRS, BEG & CENTRE KIRKEE; IC-25876 Brig Davinder Singh, SIGS; IC-27016 Brig Wilfred Prem Das, AOC, HQ CICP; IC-30176 Brig Raghuvinder Kapoor, SC, 4 GR, HQ 5 SEC RR; IC-30392 Brig Ravikiran Prabhakar Dastane, ARTY, HQ 121 (I) BDE GP; IC-30701 Brig Abhay Trivikram Parnaik, ENGRS, HQ 2 CORPS; IC-30706 Brig Ranvir Yadav, KUMAON, HQ 52 INF BDE; IC-30819 Brig Daljit Kumar Jammal, SIKH, HQ 56 MTN BDE; IC-31062 Brig Shishir Hari Mahajan, MLI, HQ 11 MTN BDE; IC-31336 Brig Jog Sunil Sadanand, 5 GR, 104 INF BDE; IC-32765 Brig Jagbir Singh Grewal, Punjab, HQ NC; IC-33101 Brig Pooran Singh Bora, INT; IC-33431 Brig Harinder Pal Singh Bedi, JAK RIF, HQ 102 INF BDE; IC-33765 Brig Ashok Kumar Joshi, JAG’s DEP, HQ WC; IC-33903 Brig Gurpal Singh Bal, ARMD, HQ 94 ARMD BDE; MR 03488 BRig Suresh Chandra, AMCh, H (R&R); MR-03661 Brig Kalyan Kanti Duttagupta, AMC, 92 BH; DR-10290 Brig Heramb Govind Garge, ADC, AFDC; SL-02693 Brig Suraj Bhan Chail, GEN SERVICE; IC-30362 Col AK Singh, ENGRS, CE A&N ZONE; IC-31466 Col Narayan Moorthy Shankar, JAK LI CENTRE; IC-31670 Col Ramkrishanan Pilai Satyan, NAGA; IC-34382 Col Tej Pal Singh Waraich, ARMD, HQ ANC; IC-35255 Col Kanwar Krishan Badam, AAD; IC-35904 Col Sarath Chand, GARH RIF; IC-35944 Col Prem Sagar; ARTY; IC-37543 Col Dilbag Singh Sandhu, ARMD; IC-37553 Col subhasish Sengupta, 5 GR (FF); IC-37755 Col Arul Dennis, 1 NAGA; IC-38203 Col Sanjiv Kumar Argal, ENGRS; IC-38711 Col Vinod Kumar, MECH INF, HQ ANC; IC-39436 Col Satinder Kumar Saini, YSM, JAT; IC-40664 Col Sarv Deep Singh, ENGRS, HQ IDS; IC-40943 Col Ram Chander Chillar, SM, INT; IC-41456 Col Rakesh Kumar Anand, 21 SIG GP; IC-41717 Col Pradeep Singh Bains, 1 GR, 15 RR; IC-41885 Col U Suresh Kumar, Punjab, 37 RR; IC-41959 Col Sarbjit Singh Deusi, 18 MLI; IC-43295 Col Ravn Khosla, 5/5 GR (FF); IC-43370 Col Johnson P Mathew, 24 Punjab; IC-43954 Col Satish Kumar Sangwan, Madras, 33 Assam RIF; IC-44516 Col SS Randhawa, ASC; IC-45447 Col Raghupathy Balasubramanian, JAG’s DEPT; MR-03909 Col Lekh Ram Sharma, AMC, BH Delhi Cantt; MR-03921 Col Hariharapura Ramachandra Aravinda Prabhu, AMC, BH Delhi; MR-04361 Col Shalesh Rohatgi, AMC, CH HQ WC; IC-40740 Lt Col Bhagat Ram Hooda, SM, INT; IC-42417 Lt Col Tapash Kumar Chatterjee, INT; IC-42947 Lt Col Suresh Singh, AOC, HQ ANC; IC-45310 Lt col Vijender Kumar Rathore, SM, 237 INT & FS UNIT; IC-47581 Lt Col Charan Preet Singh pasricha, ENGRS, 8 (I) FD CDY; IC-47797 Lt Col Anil Kumar Giri, SIGS, HQ IDS; IC-49366 Lt Col JS Guraya, ENGRS, MEG & CENTRE; MR-03887 Lt Col Manjit Singh Chahal, AMC, 92 BH; MR-03989 Lt Col Deepak Kalra, AMC, CH HQ SC; MR-04796 Lt Col Onkar Prasad Garg, AMC, 92 BH; MR-05690 Lt Col Subrata Bhaduri, AMC, 419 FD AMB; IC-50688 Maj Ajai Singh Chonker, 111 ENGR REGT; IC-52871 Maj Saurabh Singh Shekhawat, SC, 21 PARA (SF); IC-55399 Maj Rajesh Pattu, ARMD, 61 CAVALRY; IC-57095 Maj Girish Kumar, 203 ENGR REGT; MS-14128 Maj Swadhin Menaria, AMC, MH Jodhpur; V-000457 Maj Deep Kumar Ahlawat, RVC, RTS & DEPOT; WS-00639 Capt Sipra Majumdar, ENGRS, OTA; WS-00697 Capt Ashwini AS Pawar, AOC, OD Allahabad; JC-429456 Sub Surjeet Singh, 9 Punjab; JC-459202 NB Sub Maharnur Umaji Vithoba, 18 MLI; 9419092 HAV Topgey Bhutia, 3/11 GR; 15571418 HAV Robin Hansda, ENGRS, BEG & C. Kirkee; and 15574334 HAV Goutam Singh, ENGRS, BEG & C, Kirkee. — UNI

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Police medal for 600 personnel

New Delhi, January 25
Over 600 personnel have been awarded police medals for distinguished services, gallantry and meritorious service.

President’s Police Medals for Distinguished Service have been awarded to 77, President’s Police Medals for Gallantry to 34 and Police Medals for Gallantry to 71 personnel. Police Medals for Meritorious Service have been awarded to 429 personnel.

The following is the list:

N.C.I. of Delhi: Mr Yudhbir Singh Dadwal, SPL CP; and Mr Suryakant Patil, Inspector, Central Distt.

Himachal Pradesh: Mr R.L. Sood, DIGP/SR, Shimla and Mr Dalip Singh Bhatia, Dy. S.P. (LR), PHQ, Shimla.

Mr Shiv Pal Singh Verma, Comdt, Ist , Irb, Bangarh; Mr A K Sharda, SP, Kinnaur; Mr Padam Dass, Sub-Inspector (CID), CM Security, Shimla.

Jammu & Kashmir: Mr M.A. Anjum, DIG/AP, Jammu.

Mr Z.H. Chisti, DIG, Home Guard & CD; Mr Ranbir Singh Manhas, Dy SP, Reasi; Mr Amanat Ali Shah, Dy Sp, Vig Org, Jammu; Mr Puran Chand Kilam, Dy Sp, CID Delhi Cell; Mr Hardip Singh Gill, Inspector, SHO/PS GRP Jammu; Mr Ghulam Hassan Kozgar, Inspector, CID SBK HQRS; Jammu Mr Kuldeep Krishan Raina, Sub-Inspector, (now Inspector) PA To DGP.

Haryana

Mr Mohammad Akil, DIGP, Panchkula; Mr Balbir Singh, SP, Panchkula; Mr Hari Singh, Inspector/Telecom, Panchkula; Mr Ram Bhaj, Sub-Inspector, Panchkula; and Mr Lakhu Ram Sub-Inspector, HPA/Madhuban.

Punjab

Mr Roshan Lal Bhagat, DIG/C&T, Chandigarh; Mr Sham Lal Gakhar, DIG, Chandigarh; Mr Arpit Shukla, SP Cum Joint Director, Chandigarh; Mr Mukhtiar Singh, SP, Nawanshahar; Mr Vijay Kumar, SP HQRS, Bathinda; Mr Rajinder Singh, DSP, Jalandhar; Mr Devinder Singh, DSP, CID/ Nawanshahar; Mr Daljit Singh, DSP, Phillaur; Mr Karnail Singh, SI, Chandigarh; Mr Ram Singh, Sub-Inspector, Crime Against Woman Cell Ludhiana; Mr Sukhchain Singh, Sub-Inspector, MT/CPO, Chandigarh; Mr Daya Singh, ASI, Ropar; Mr Santokh Raj, Head Constable, DPO/Gurdaspur and Mr Hardial Singh, INspr, Police Lines, Mansa.

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ACB restrained from arresting Daya Nayak

Mumbai, January 25
Giving a reprieve to Mumbai Police’s encounter specialist Daya Nayak and his wife Komal, a special court today restrained the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) from arresting them till January 27 in a case of disproportionate assets.

The hearing on the anticipatory bail plea made by Nayak, Komal and their associate Rajendra Padte has been adjourned till January 27.

Judge S P Mahajan, hearing the plea for anticipatory bail, directed the petitioners to deposit their passports with ACB by tomorrow morning. — PTI

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Rajendra Prasad’s land grabbed

Patna, January 25
There is no end to Bihar’s lawlessness: land that once belonged to India’s first President Rajendra Prasad has been grabbed by some upper caste men.

Police sources said the incident took place in Jiradei village of Siwan district.

Last week villagers alerted Mr S.K. Mall, District Magistrate, Siwan, about the grabbing. Rajendra Prasad had donated the land for public use.

The villagers first complained to the police and then contacted district officials. — IANS

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All set for trial of former Chief Secretary
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, January 25
A full-Bench judgment of the Allahabad High Court today cleared the decks to start a trial against former Chief Secretary Neera Yadav.

In a judgment of far-reaching significance, the Judges decided that the Central Government clearance to start prosecution against an All-India Services Officer was directive and not mandatory.

The Bench, comprising of Mr Justice Syed Rafat Alam, Mr Justice Sunil Ambwani and Mr Justice Sudhir Aggarwal, ruled out the need to seek permission from the Central Government under Section 197 of the CrPC if sanction had already been granted by the Central Government under Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The judgment is seen as a setback to former Chief Secretary Neera Yadav who had been removed from her position as the senior-most civil servant in the state on October 6, 2005, following a Supreme Court order. She is now the Chairperson of the Board of Revenue and has also been given the job to probe the Mau communal riots.

The Supreme Court, taking a serious note of Neera Yadav’s infamous role in the NOIDA land distribution scam, had instructed the state government to transfer Yadav to some other post.

The Bench comprised of Justice Ruma Pal, Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice C.K. Thakkar.

The apex court had also directed the Allahabad High Court to dispose off the long-standing petition filed by her through which she had got a stay on the criminal proceedings on the charges filed by the CBI.

Following this a division Bench of Chief Justice A.N. Ray and Justice Ashok Bhushan had given a split judgment on the matter. While the Chief Justice had asserted that the Central Government permission was mandatory, Justice Ashok Bhushan had maintained that it was only directive. The matter was subsequently referred to the full Bench that today upheld the position of Justice Ashok Bhushan.

Neera Yadav’s name is involved in the multi-crore NOIDA land distribution scam of 2003. The Uttar Pradesh IAS Association had also identified her as amongst the “three most corrupt officers” of the state through a secret ballot on December 14, 1996.

The Supreme Court-appointed Justice K.T. Thomas Committee is also enquiring into the alleged land scam during her tenure as the Chairperson of NOIDA.

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Farmers’ leader made national secy of BJP
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The BJP high command has tried to send a strong political message among farmers by appointing Mr Harjit Singh Grewal, a farmers’ leader, national secretary of the party.

Mr Grewal, who has been active on the farmers’ front for a long time, was today appointed secretary by the party President, Mr Rajnath Singh.

For some years, the BJP has been trying hard to strike root among the farmers, especially in northern states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan, where this section plays a pivotal role in electoral politics. Mr Rajnath Singh is known for his pro-farmer approach.

Mr Grewal is the first Sikh leader from Punjab to hold such an important post in the BJP at the national level. Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, cricketer-turned-politician, is another leader who has been made a special invitee in the national Executive Committee of the BJP. Mr Brij Lal Rinwa, another senior leader from Punjab, has been made a member of the disciplinary committee of the party.

As the Assembly elections are 11 months away in Punjab, the BJP high command will obviously use the services of Mr Grewal and Mr Sidhu to win over the farming community. Mr Grewal has a good rapport with certain factions of the Bharti Kisan Union in Punjab. He had played a crucial role in arranging meetings of certain leaders of the BKU from Punjab with Mr Rajnath Singh when he was the Union Agriculture Minister in the Vajpayee government.

Mr Grewal, who was earlier general secretary of the Kisan Morcha, a wing of the BJP, said that he was the first political leader to take up the issue of suicide by farmers in Punjab. “I submitted detailed reports regarding suicides by farmers in Punjab to the party high command in 1995, 1997 and 1998”, he said.

In an interview with The Tribune, Mr Grewal said he had been working in northern India on the farmers’ front and would continue to do so with the blessings of, Mr Rajnath Singh and other senior leades of the BJP.

Mr Grewal said he was of the view that measures should be taken to reduce the input cost of various crops, especially wheat and paddy. Farmers should be given loans for agricultural purposes at 5 per cent rate of interest. They should also be given direct heavy subsidy on fertilisers, seeds and other vital farm inputs. Small and marginal farmers should be given small tractors and equipment at subsidised rates.

Mr Grewal has been given the task of organising a farmers’ rally, which will be addressed by Mr Rajnath Singh, at Fazilka on February 4.

Mr Grewal said he had also prepared reports on conversions in Punjab. He said the insurance scheme in the agricultural sector should be introduced immediately. Land owned by a farmer should be taken as a unit while covering him under the insurance scheme, he added.

He said that there was need to strengthen the extension services in the agricultural sector. Farmers needed to be constantly educated with regard to the quality of seeds, fertilisers and the judicious use of pesticides, etc.

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Plan to disrupt R-Day function 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 25
With the arrest of two Bangladeshi nationals, the Delhi Police claimed to have foiled a terrorist plan to disrupt the Republic Day celebrations in the national Capital.

The two arrested persons have been identified as Saidul and Shuabul, activists of the Harkat-ul Jehad-e-Islami. The police also claimed to have recovered a large quantity of explosives from their possession.

Saidul and Shuabul, both Bangladeshi nationals, were arrested at the Shastri Park area of East Delhi last evening after a tip-off, said Joint Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Karnal Singh.

At least 1.4 kg of RDX, four detonators and two hand grenades were recovered from the two terrorists, Mr Karnal Singh said. The duo had come to Delhi about two months ago, he said, adding that they were planning to disrupt the Republic Day celebrations.

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Child rescued

Indore, January 25
A child trapped 25 feet underground, in a borewell overnight, was rescued after a 12-hour operation today.

Three-year-old Deepak, son of labourer Jagdish Kirwe, was admitted to a local private hospital with minor injuries, fire brigade sources said.

The boy, who was playing with other kids close to his residence at nearby Kailad Kartal village last evening, fell into the abandoned well.

A parallel well was dug using a JCB machine and the boy was rescued after linking both wells through a tunnel sources added.

Though the well was 400 feet deep, the victim remained trapped at 25 feet as the hole was narrower below. — UNI

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4 ragpickers killed in shell explosion
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, January 25
In what appears to be a breach of security, two boys stole five shells from the Allahabad cantonment area for selling them in the market. Two shells, however, exploded killing four persons and injuring seven.

The incident occurred in the Dhumanganj police station area on the outskirts of the city this evening.

Among the dead are Bhuiri (40) and three children, including her daughter.

Police sources confirmed that two ragpickers — Mukesh Pasi and Vinod Pasi — were regular visitors to the firing range where they collected used shells and sold the copper in the market.

According to one version from the police, the boys when returned to collect more shells, Bhuiri and the children became the victim of the explosion as she was trying to separate the copper.

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