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SC notice to police on habeas
corpus petition

New Delhi, January 27
The Supreme Court today issued notices to the Senior Superintendent of Police Ghaziabad and an SHO on a petition alleging that the Uttar Pradesh police was not registering a case of kidnapping against a Delhi policeman.

MCD website crashes under rush of visitors
PIL on illegal constructions in unauthorised colonies
New Delhi, January 27
Unable to cope with the rush of visitors wanting to check the list of over 18,000 illegal constructions posted online by the civic body, the MCD’s website has crashed.

Delhi court orders production of Sansar Chand
New Delhi, January 27
A Delhi court today issued a production warrant against notorious poacher and smuggler Sansar Chand, presently lodged in a Rajasthan jail, for initiating trial in six cases pending against him in the Capital.

MCD scheme for waiving penalty of house tax defaulters
New Delhi, January 27
As part of its efforts to shore up its dwindling revenues by way of house tax, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi has mooted a scheme wherein over 500 of the defaulters who owe house tax arrears of around Rs 1 crore each will have their penalty waived if they make prompt payment of their dues.




EARLIER STORIES

 

Campaign to protect natural heritage on JNU campus
New Delhi, January 27
The campaign to protect the natural heritage of Jawaharlal Nehru University is gaining ground. In the first ever meeting called by the JNU teachers’ association with the members of the environment committee, ideas were exchanged on how development work within the campus can proceed without disturbing the ecology.

DUTA demands transparency in university
New Delhi, January 27
The Delhi University Teachers’ Association has finalised the Charter of Demands for consideration of the General Body of the Association that will meet here on February 9, 2006.

Imam acquitted of rape, but conduct ‘deplorable’, says court
New Delhi, January 27
A Delhi court has acquitted a high-ranking Muslim priest of rape charges on grounds that the complainant was a consenting party, but termed his conduct in the matter “deplorable”.

Man gets ten years’ RI for minor’s rape
New Delhi, January 27
Holding that the consent of a minor victim cannot come to the rescue of a rapist, a city court today awarded 10 years rigorous jail term to a youth for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl. The convict Nekh Pal’s accomplice, Manoj, who helped in kidnapping the victim to Pal’s native place in Uttar Pradesh, was sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment.

DMRC seeks tax relief from UP
Noida, January 27
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has sought tax relief from the UP Government in connection with the extension of the DMRC lines to Noida.

World Book Fair inaugurated
New Delhi, January 27
Expressing concern over the declining interest in reading, Human Resource Development Minister, Mr Arjun Singh today asked children to give adequate thrust to the habit. “A bookstall represents every share of mind and reading is the only addiction which totally possesses a human being,” he said while inaugurating the New Delhi World Book Fair here.

A man browsing through a book at the 17th New Delhi World Book Fair, organised at Pragati Maidan in the Capital on Friday. — Tribune photo by Rajeev Tyagi

A man browsing through a book at the 17th New Delhi World Book Fair, organised at Pragati Maidan in the Capital on Friday.

Bail granted to Nigerians held for cheating
New Delhi, January 27
Two Nigerian nationals, arrested last year in connection with the ‘Black Dollar’ racket, have been granted bail by the Delhi High Court.

Two get 4-yr RI for attempt to murder
New Delhi, January 27
A Delhi court today sentenced two youths to four years rigorous imprisonment for attempting to kill a woman by firing at her with a country made pistol following an altercation on a trivial issue.

The damaged bus involved in the accident in Naraina area in the Capital on Friday. — Tribune photo

The damaged bus involved in the accident in Naraina area in the Capital on Friday.

Weatherman promises warmer days ahead
New Delhi, January 27
The Capital, which awoke to yet another chilly morning today, was however greeted by a warm afternoon. This trend of cold mornings and warm afternoons has characterised the weather in the Capital for the whole of last week.

Two children killed as truck hits school bus
New Delhi, January 27
Two students were killed and several others injured when the school bus in which they were travelling was hit by a truck in Naraina area of West Delhi here this afternoon.



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SC notice to police on habeas corpus petition
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 27
The Supreme Court today issued notices to the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Ghaziabad and an SHO on a petition alleging that the Uttar Pradesh police was not registering a case of kidnapping against a Delhi policeman.

A Bench comprising Justice B N Agrawal and Justice R V Raveendran sought response from the SSP and SHO, Vijay Nagar, Ghaziabad on a habeas corpus writ petition filed by a cycle mechanic alleging that instead of registering an FIR for kidnapping, the police registered a case of a missing person.

The notices were also issued to Delhi Police constable Raj Kumar and Ajay Kumar, who have been accused of kidnapping the eight-year old son of the petitioner.

Kailash Chand, who has a cycle and scooter workshop in the premises of the apex court, wept inconsolably before the Bench when his matter came for hearing. He appeared in person before the Bench with the habeas corpus petition.

He alleged that the duo, who are his relatives, kidnapped his eight year son in 2001, as they had developed enmity with him due to some property dispute.

He claimed that because of the torture and threats by them, his wife lost mental balance and even remained in a mental asylum for some time.

He submitted that the UP police was not registering the proper case as Raj Kumar has influenced the police for not taking action against him and other person.

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MCD website crashes under rush of visitors
PIL on illegal constructions in unauthorised colonies
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 27
Unable to cope with the rush of visitors wanting to check the list of over 18,000 illegal constructions posted online by the civic body, the MCD’s website has crashed.

Meanwhile, even as the civic body has to submit its report on the action taken against unauthorised constructions belonging to politicians on January 31, the MCD had still not served notices to any of the politicos.

“There is a lot of pressure on the site after the list of illegal constructions was put on it, and as a result it has crashed,” an MCD spokesman said.

However, he denied reports that the civic body had withdrawn the list due to the pressure on the website. “We have not withdrawn the list. It is still there,” he said.

Meanwhile, the civic body continued with its demolition drive today, taking action against 17 properties.

Among the properties against which action was taken, eight were residential in nature and nine commercial.

Three commercial properties were fully demolished, the MCD said in a release.

Seven residential properties and six commercial buildings were partly demolished. One residential property was sealed.

With today’s drive, the total number of properties against which the MCD has taken action against 949 constructions.

In a related development, a Public Interest litigation (PIL) has been filed before the Delhi High Court seeking demolition of illegal constructions in about 400 unauthorised colonies in the Capital.

The PIL, filed by counsel C S Rahtour for petitioner Hazi Nasiruddin, said that there was rampant illegal constructions in 400 unauthorised colonies in active collusion with some officials of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Delhi Police.

Despite the order of the High Court on November 3, 1997 in the Common Cause versus the Union of India, the authorities had failed to prevent mushrooming of illegal constructions both in authorised and unauthorised clolonies, the petition said.

The petition sought the direction of the court for the recovery of Rs 5,000 crore which the public would be losing due to demolition of the unauthorised structures from the government authorities, delinquent officers and builder mafia.

It said that 50 per cent should be recovered from the MCD, DDA, Delhi Government, Union Urban Development Ministry and Delhi Police for allowing illegal constructions despite an order of the court pronounced in 1997.

The rest 50 per cent should be recovered equally from delinquent officers of the civic authorities and government; and the builder mafia and contractors.

When the petitioner prayed for a stay on the ongoing demolition and scrapping of certain provisions of the MCD Act, DDA Act, Land Reforms Act and Master Plan of Delhi as they failed to check unauthorised construction in the Capital since 1961, the court observed, “How could we revert our own decision?”

The division bench of Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Rekha Sharma dismissed the petition as withdrawn and gave the liberty to the petitioner to file a fresh PIL with amended prayer for demolition of the illegal construction in the unauthorised colonies.

The petition said the development of the unauthorised colonies was a big issue in which politicians, local police, builder mafia, bureaucrats, financiers, anti-social elements, architects and contractors were involved.

The High Court had restrained the government from taking decision of regularisation of the said colonies in an order pronounced on October 13, 1993. But the unauthorised colonies had been established in agriculture land and village areas, the PIL said.

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Delhi court orders production of Sansar Chand
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 27
A Delhi court today issued a production warrant against notorious poacher and smuggler Sansar Chand, presently lodged in a Rajasthan jail, for initiating trial in six cases pending against him in the Capital.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjiv Jain has ordered that the accused, charged under the stringent MCOCA, be produced before him on February 10 in the cases registered by the Delhi Police and later transferred to the CBI. The accused is presently lodged in jail in Manak Chowk in Rajasthan where he is facing trial in a poaching case along with his son, wife and two others.

CBI told the court that they wanted to first begin trial in the case filed by the Kamla Market police and later entrusted to it, in which 41 leopard skins were seized and other wildlife articles recovered.

There are five other cases against him in the Capital.

The CBI had in December filed a chargesheet against Sansar Chand, also known as Veerapan of North India, and his four associates under MCOCA, an act which has been used for the first time in wildlife cases, for alleged poaching of tigers from Sariska wildlife sanctury.

The agency says it has succeeded in “unravelling Chand’s organised crime syndicate” and “established the entire chain of events from inception stage of wildlife products to its final circulation in the market” and also got information about his various accomplices.

There are around 57 cases under the Wildlife Act registered against him and his family members in Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

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MCD scheme for waiving penalty of house tax defaulters
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 27
As part of its efforts to shore up its dwindling revenues by way of house tax, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi has mooted a scheme wherein over 500 of the defaulters who owe house tax arrears of around Rs 1 crore each will have their penalty waived if they make prompt payment of their dues.

“The MCD will consider waiving the penalty of over 500 properties in Delhi from which house tax of around Rs 1 crore is due if they make prompt payment of the same,” MCD spokesperson Deep Mathur told reporters here.

In a bid to recover house tax arrears from its defaulters, the corporation has, from today, embarked on a public announcement of names of these people through loudspeakers in the respective areas, Mr Mathur said.

The properties against whom house tax arrears are pending include Rs 2.5 crore from 27 properties in Nehru Place, Rs 2 crore from several properties in central market in Lajpat Nagar, Rs 2 crore from 14 properties in Kalkaji, Rs 2 crore from Rai University and Rs 50 lakh from properties in Dayanand colony and Amar Colony.

Also figuring among the house tax defaulters are private organisations like Vikram hotel and Rockland Hospital, both of which have not paid a single amount till now as of house tax.

“The public announcements through loudspeakers and on drumbeats is to let the prospective buyers know that the said properties have huge amount of house tax arrears to its name,” Mr Mathur said.

In case the announcements do not lead to the owners of the properties paying up their dues, the MCD will issue public notices in newspapers listing the names of the properties having house tax arrears against their names.

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Campaign to protect natural heritage on JNU campus
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 27
The campaign to protect the natural heritage of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is gaining ground. In the first ever meeting called by the JNU teachers’ association with the members of the environment committee, ideas were exchanged on how development work within the campus can proceed without disturbing the ecology.

“We are not anti-development, but at the same time we do not want construction work to rob the place of its natural heritage,” said the President, JNUTA, Dr Rupamanjari Ghosh.

JNUTA along with the experts that are part of the environment committee have decided to proceed in a three-step manner to tackle the issue. “First, we need to identify all the natural heritage that we have. This will give us an estimate of what all there is to protect and conserve. A complete documentation of the heritage will be the second step and finally, we will form a environment code, which will allow us to demarcate places where conservation is required and where development can take place,” Dr Ghosh said.

With students and faculty members also volunteering, the campaign is likely to gain momentum in the days to come. “Gradually as awareness is being created, more and more people are offering to become a part of the campaign. We recently had an offer by some people to perform street plays to drive home the message,” the JNUTA president said.

She added, “this is a community effort and we would like to take the entire community with us on this issue. There is a need for people to realise that there are ways to scientifically proceed with development work without harming the ecology around us. Pavements for walking need not be made of concrete, they can be made from porous tiles that allow water to seep into the earth”.

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DUTA demands transparency in university
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 27
The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) has finalised the Charter of Demands for consideration of the General Body of the Association that will meet here on February 9, 2006.

The DUTA executive has demanded that the Central Government should withdraw its initial offers under the General Agreement on Trade in Service (GATS) under the aegis of the WTO.

The opening up of higher education for free trade by national and transitional capital they claim is not acceptable, it said. The DUTA has also raised a demand for the government to reverse its recent moves to prepare “for the wholesale commercialisation of higher education through its insistence that public funded universities generate resources matching up to 50 percent of the total expenditure”.

Reiterating that provision of equitable, quality education is the responsibility of the government, the DUTA has also demanded that the commitments made to the teaching community are honoured. It has also urged the University of Delhi to reassess internal assessment and the newly structured academic programmes.

Demanding transparency and accountability in the functioning of the university and college administration, the association has asked for improvement in the service conditions and making the profession more attractive to youngsters.

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Imam acquitted of rape, but conduct ‘deplorable’, says court
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 27
A Delhi court has acquitted a high-ranking Muslim priest of rape charges on grounds that the complainant was a consenting party, but termed his conduct in the matter “deplorable”.

Giving the benefit of doubt to the Imam of Madina Masjid, Mohammed Khalid, Additional Sessions Judge S P Garg held him not guilty of the charges levelled against him, but observed “the conduct of the accused as Imam to having illicit relations even with the consent of the prosecutrix is deplorable”.

The court also took note of the fact that both the accused and the prosecutrix were married and had children.

In the July 2004 complaint registered with the Hazrat Nizamuddin police station in south Delhi, the complainant, who was working at Khalid’s house for the preceding three years, alleged that she had been raped by him for over a year. She claimed he even forced her to abort a 2-month old pregnancy, and repeatedly threatened to kill her and falsely implicate her, if she told any anyone.

However, according to the accused, he had been falsely implicated by the complainant at the instance of Mohd Tufail, Mohd Arif and others, who had encroached upon, and constructed ‘jhuggies’ on the Waqf land where he was Imam. Alleging that the two men wanted to grab the land on which the Masjid stood, Khalid said he had filed several written complaints and even informed the Waqf Board of their activities much before the rape case was filed.

Observing that “it stands proved that the prosecutrix was a consenting party”, the court said the accused “cannot be held liable under Section 376 (rape) simply because he opted to withdraw from her society”.

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Man gets ten years’ RI for minor’s rape
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 27
Holding that the consent of a minor victim cannot come to the rescue of a rapist, a city court today awarded 10 years rigorous jail term to a youth for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl. The convict Nekh Pal’s accomplice, Manoj, who helped in kidnapping the victim to Pal’s native place in Uttar Pradesh, was sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment.

“Since it stands proved that the victim was below 16 years of age at the time of commission of offence, hence, even if it is assumed that she was a consenting party it will not absolve the accused from the heinous offence,” observed Additional Sessions Judge J M Malik. The charges under Section 363 (kidnapping), 366 (abducting woman for compelling her to marriage) and 376 (rape) of the IPC was found proved against Nekh Pal while Manoj was held guilty for kidnapping.

The victim, a daughter of Pal’s ex-landlord, had gone to appear in 10th board examination on March 17, 2003. In the evening when she did not return to her Sadat Pur residence in north-east Delhi, her anxious father lodged an FIR against the two convicts suspecting their involvement.

A week later, police recovered the victim from Nekh Pal’s village in Hardoi, UP, where she was kept in captivity after a forced marriage. Medical tests confirmed sexual assault. The victim deposed in the court that she was “lured away” by the accused.

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DMRC seeks tax relief from UP
Our Correspondent

Noida, January 27
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has sought tax relief from the UP Government in connection with the extension of the DMRC lines to Noida.

According to Noida CEO, Mr Sanjiv Saran, the DMRC want similar tax exemptions as have been provided to it by the Delhi Government. An agreement to this effect is likely to be signed on January 31, 2006, by which time a final decision regarding this would have been taken.

Meanwhile, the State government has called for full details from the DMRC so that the total revenue loss can be worked out on this account. Among the taxes that would be affected include sales tax, trade tax, property tax and work construction tax, which all add up to crores of rupees.

In case the State government is unable to meet the tax exemption demand, the DMRC is accordingly likely to escalate the project cost.

Mr Saran said the Principal Secretary, Mr Atul Chaturvedi, will be going to Delhi in this connection for a final discussion and decision in the matter.

He also said the DMRC had also demanded 5 acre of land from the Noida authority for a residential complex for their staff at a lease rate of Rs 1 per sq mt. The Noida authority has agreed to this request, though the land will be given on government reserve price to DMRC, Mr Saran added.

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World Book Fair inaugurated
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 27
Expressing concern over the declining interest in reading, Human Resource Development Minister, Mr Arjun Singh today asked children to give adequate thrust to the habit.

“A bookstall represents every share of mind and reading is the only addiction which totally possesses a human being,” he said while inaugurating the New Delhi World Book Fair here.

Recalling country’s rich heritage in both written and spoken words, he said the same has been recognised and honoured since India has been invited as the Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair this year.

Speaking on the occasion, Jnanpith award winner Mahasweta Devi called for more book fairs at district level so that books in vernacular languages reach all people.

Distinguished historian Romila Thapar suggested the renewal of library movement.

The nine-day fair will have an exclusive pavilion for children and a specially designed youth pavilion.

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Bail granted to Nigerians held for cheating
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 27
Two Nigerian nationals, arrested last year in connection with the ‘Black Dollar’ racket, have been granted bail by the Delhi High Court.

Justice S K Agarwal ordered the release of the duo, Romonous and Mortin, on bail after their counsel Shilpi Jain submitted that the cheating case registered against them was not tenable under the law as there was no “wrongful gain” either to the accused or “wrongful loss” to the complainant to constitute an offence under Section 420 of IPC.

The two Nigerian nationals were arrested in August, 2005 by the Delhi Police from a hotel on a complaint by a TV scribe that the accused were deceiving people with promises of multiplying dollar currency notes through dubious means. During a sting operation by the TV channel, the accused demonstrated their “ability” to convert a single dollar note into three identical ones after placing it between two soiled papers.

According to the complaint, after demonstrating the so-called dollar multiplying technique, the duo asked the complainant to come back with 20,000 dollars so that the same could be tripled with the help of the said technique.

Following a complaint lodged by the journalist, police arrested the two foreigners under Sections 420 (Cheating) and 511 (Attempt to cheat) and the case is pending trial.

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Two get 4-yr RI for attempt to murder
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 27
A Delhi court today sentenced two youths to four years rigorous imprisonment for attempting to kill a woman by firing at her with a country made pistol following an altercation on a trivial issue.

Refusing to release Mohammed Nafish and Suresh, both in their early twenties, on probation, Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Tiwari said, “the crime was heinous and the deterrent punishment is the call of the hour to banish such acts”.

The third accused, who is a minor, is facing trial in a Juvenile court. The convicts, who were tenants in a house of Rajeev Nagar locality of the north-east Delhi, used to fight with victim Tahira over the cleanliness of their common bathroom. On the evening of January 13, 2003, the convicts entered into a heated arguments with the victim on the same issue, following which one of the convicts took out a country made pistol and fired at her while others were holding her tightly. The police, after recording the victim’s statement in a city hospital, lodged an FIR under section 307 (attempt to murder) and 34 (group liability) of the IPC against them.

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Weatherman promises warmer days ahead

New Delhi, January 27
The Capital, which awoke to yet another chilly morning today, was however greeted by a warm afternoon. This trend of cold mornings and warm afternoons has characterised the weather in the Capital for the whole of last week.

The Met Office has predicted warmer days later this week announcing relief to the Delhiites. The minimum temperature today was 6.2 degree Celsius, two degree below normal while the maximum temperature was recorded at 22.5 degree Celsius.

Though chilly winds rent the air during early morning sending Delhiites shivering, the bright sunshine brought warmth in the atmosphere. After a brief period which saw the mercury touch a high of 12 degree Celsius during nights and 26 degree Celsius during the day, last week saw the minimum temperature plummeting to 6-7 degree Celsius due to the “severe chill in the air”, a development weathermen attributed to the influence of North Westerly winds. — TNS

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Two children killed as truck hits school bus
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 27
Two students were killed and several others injured when the school bus in which they were travelling was hit by a truck in Naraina area of West Delhi here this afternoon.

According to the Fire department, the bus carrying the students of Central School Number 2 was hit by the truck at 12.45 pm on the Ring Road. The injured children were rushed to the Army Base hospital, where one was declared brought dead and two are said to be in critical condition.

While Mayank, a class I student who was occupying the front seat when the accident occurred was killed on the spot, Rahul, a class XII student succumbed to his injuries later in the Base Hospital. Eleven of the injured have been admitted in the Safdurjung Hospital. Eight others are being treated for injuries at the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Hospital.

The bus, had been given on contract to the school for ferrying children. According to sources, the bus had developed a snag and was being pushed when the truck collided with it.

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House collapses in Khirki Extension
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 27
A five-storey house, still under construction, collapsed in Khirki Extension near Malviya Nagar here this evening. According to the Fire Department, a part of the house had been demolished by the MCD recently during their drive against illegal constructions in the Capital.

Sources said that the house, prior to collapsing had begun shaking, thereby alerting residents. The building and the near by structures were evacuated as soon as the trembling of the structure was felt.

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Dowry death

Ghaziabad, January 27
In a shocking incident, a woman was allegedly burnt to death by her in-laws in Bulandshahr when she failed to fulfill their dowry demands. A report was registered against Rakesh, the husband of the deceased and two others on January 25 in the Vijay Nagar police station, said S.O. Shriram.

The deceased, Roshni, was married to Rakesh, son of Ganga Prasad of Sarvodya Nagar. — OC

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