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N A T I O N

Surgery by 15-yr-old boy
TN govt orders probe

Chennai, June 22
The Tamil Nadu health department has ordered a probe into a surgery performed by a 15-year-old boy at Trichy to gain entry into the Guinness Book of Records.

SC for more punishment in road mishaps
New Delhi, June 22
With a sudden spurt in road accident deaths in recent times, specially due to drunken driving involving some high profile persons, the Supreme Court has come down heavily on the Centre and state governments for lack of “political will” to enforce the safety norms vigorously and suggested changes in the law for awarding higher punishment to act as a deterrent.

Land acquisition in Karnataka
Opposition asks for CM’s resignation
Bangalore, June 22
Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy is more commonly known as the “son of the soil”. However, after facilitating the maximum land acquisition in Karnataka during the recent years, the CM may well be on his way to losing the ‘earthy’ tag.


EARLIER STORIES



New job selection system in Uttarakhand
Dehra Dun, June 22
To eliminate scope for any controversy in recruitment for government jobs, Uttarakhand has decided to adopt a trailblazing system under which candidates appearing in any examination for the purpose will be allowed to take home copies of their answer sheets.

Pratibha files papers today
New Delhi, June 22
UPA-Left Presidential nominee Pratibha Patil will file her nomination papers tomorrow to contest the July 19 polls. Accompanied by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior UPA leaders, she will file her papers at 11:30 am.

90 minority districts identified
New Delhi, June 22
Gurgaon and Sirsa figure in the list of 90 minority concentration districts drawn by the Ministry of Minority Affairs.

Anti-ragging rule in IIT Kanpur
Kanpur, June 22
Come July and students of IIT Kanpur will have to sign a declaration that they will not be involved in any kind of ragging activities or else face severe punishment.

Parmar surrenders
Ahmedabad, June 22
The Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad DSP M L Parmar, accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, today surrendered before the CID and was arrested, sources in the agency said here today.

China plans to lift ban on tiger trade
New Delhi, June 22
India has written to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, seeking clarification following reports that China is planning to lift ban on trade in tiger parts.



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Surgery by 15-yr-old boy
TN govt orders probe
Arup Chanda
Tribune News Service

Chennai, June 22
The Tamil Nadu health department has ordered a probe into a surgery performed by a 15-year-old boy at Trichy to gain entry into the Guinness Book of Records.

Dileepan Raj, a student of class X and son of a general surgeon and owner of Mathi Surgical and Maternity Hospital, Dr K. Murugesan, performed a complicated caesarian surgery on a woman to deliver a baby at their nursing home at Mannaparai in Trichy district, 350 km from here.

Following a report by an observer appointed by the Tamil Nadu Indian Medical Asociation Tamil Nadu health minister K.K.S.S.R. Ramachandran ordered a high-level probe.

He said, “I am ordering an inquiry and tough action will be taken. We do not know the identity of the patient and it is up to her to lodge a complaint with the police.

"How can the doctor turn his nursing home into a butcher's shop by allowing his unqualified son to perform the surgery?" he asked.

Doctors of the Mannaparai branch of the IMA were shocked when Dr Murugesan during a monthly meeting proudly played a CD showing his son performing the surgery.

The patient was administered spinal anaesthesia by Dr. Murugesan though he was not a qualified anaesthetist.

According to Tamil Nadu IMA secretary Dr. T.N. Ravishankar, "When we protested that his act violated medical ethics and constituted a crime, Dr. Murugesan turned abusive and even threatened to sue the IMA. We held an

emergency meeting and passed a unanimous resolution referring the issue to the state medical council, which deputed an observer. The observer, Dr. Mahesh Yograj, visited Mannaparai to question Dr. Murugesan and returned convinced there was a serious violation."

After a news report appeared in a Tamil magazine "Kumudam Reporter" about the "unprecedented surgery" Trichy district collector Ashish Vachani first ordered an inquiry.

A doctor who was present at the Mannaparai branch IMA meeting where the CD was played said that the shocked members suggested to Dr. Murugesan to destroy it as it could land him as well as his son into serious trouble.

"Dr. Murugesan said it was not a blue film but one showing his son's achievement and he had no reasons to worry," he said.

In an interview to "Kumudam Reporter", Dr. Murugesan claimed that he had trained his son ever since he was studying in class seven and he had performed surgeries before too.

"What is wrong in my son performing a surgery, when a 10-year-old can drive and a 15-year-old can obtain a medical degree in America?" he had told "Kumudam Reporter".

Dr. Ravishankar said, "We do not have the CD as evidence but there were enough number of doctors present at the Mannaparai IMA meeting who saw it.

Also, Dr. Murugesan's statement is damning in itself. We have sent the report to the ethics committee of the medical council and will recommend suitable action."

He pointed out that a violation of this nature could attract debarring under chapter seven of Section nine of the code of ethics of the medical council.

It also amounted to a criminal offence under the Indian Penal Code as the minor in question had used a scalpel to inflict injury on an unsuspecting patient, he added.

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SC for more punishment in road mishaps
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, June 22
With a sudden spurt in road accident deaths in recent times, specially due to drunken driving involving some high profile persons, the Supreme Court has come down heavily on the Centre and state governments for lack of “political will” to enforce the safety norms vigorously and suggested changes in the law for awarding higher punishment to act as a deterrent.

The country faced the menace of “poorly designed and maintained roadways, unsafe vehicles, drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol, lack of national policies and inadequate enforcement. Success will require significant new resources support by sustained political commitment,” the court said.

While assessing world-wide data on road accidents, a Bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and D K Jain said an immediate intervention by the government was required for fixing road safety standards and strategies.

Finding the existing provision under Section 304-A of the IPC as inadequate to act as a deterrent against the rash and drunken driving, the court suggested that the legislature could take into account the high rates of accident deaths and amend the provision of the section to provide “appropriate sentence”. The maximum punishment under Section 204-A at present is only two years’ jail term.

Besides, the court emphasised improving road research methodology, modification of transport system and testing and designing of the vehicles.

The observations were made by the court in a rash driving case from Kerala against bus driver Prabhakaran, who was found guilty of rash driving in front of a school, by the state high court resulting in the death of a 10-year-old boy. He was awarded five years imprisonment.

The apex court observations assumes significance in the backdrop of other high-profile road accident related matters like BMW case in Delhi, actor Salman Khan case and Alster Peraira case in Mumbai in recent times.

7-yr jail for drunk drivers

MUMBAI: Following several incidents of fatalities on Mumbai's roads as a result of drunken driving, the Maharashtra government has mooted the idea of enacting a separate central law to tackle the menace.

Maharashtra's Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil said here today that the state government wants drunken drivers to be held without bail with a maximum jail term of seven years. “We have approached the central government with such a proposal so that drunken drivers are tackled differently from other negligent drivers,” Patil said.

Under the existing laws drunken drivers are prosecuted on the lines of other negligent drivers. The lacunae in the law made headlines last year when a youth, Alister Periera, killed seven pavement dwellers after driving home from a party. He got just six months in jail from a fast track court.

The Maharashtra government is of the opinion that in such cases the offenders should receive stringent punishment.

Attempts by the prosecution to slap charges of culpable homicide on drunken drivers are often thrown out by courts, Patil said. In most cases, rich offenders pay huge sums of money to the kin of victims and persuade them to drop charges.

Patil has asked the traffic police to crackdown on drunken drivers. For instance, outside a stretch of pubs in Juhu at suburban Mumbai, nearly a hundred drivers are being caught every night driving under influence. Most pay a fine of about Rs 200. — TNS

 

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Land acquisition in Karnataka
Opposition asks for CM’s resignation

Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, June 22
Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy is more commonly known as the “son of the soil”. However, after facilitating the maximum land acquisition in Karnataka during the recent years, the CM may well be on his way to losing the ‘earthy’ tag.

In Karnataka, 20,556 acres of land has being acquired in 2006-07 even as more SEZ projects are still in the pipeline.

Kumaraswamy has claimed that his government would not buy land directly or indirectly from farmers for setting up of SEZs and that the developers would have to approach the farmers themselves. Under this scheme, the industrialists are to meet the farmers directly and convince them, get their approval and purchase the required land on agreeable terms. However, factually, land acquisition through the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) is at an all-time high.

Meanwhile, leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka Legislative Council H K Patil today took on the CM over the issue. He said Kumarswamy had claimed that he would resign in case it was proved that his government had acquired any land from farmers.

Patil released a letter written by KIADB on May 5 last year to Gandhi City Developers, asking them to pay Rs 16.56 crore as balance payment and confirming receipt of Rs 5 crore as advance payment for acquisition of land.

He also alleged that the Janata Dal (Secular)-led government was allotting land to fake and dubious companies on the premise of promoting industrial estates and SEZs. He said such allotments had become real estate ventures, particularly because they were being made at places close to Bangalore and even closer to the upcoming international airport on the outskirts of the city.

Meanwhile, a recent Cabinet decision to grant 12,350 acres of land at Nandagudi near the upcoming international airport to Mumbai-based SKIL Infrastructure Limited for developing Rs 1,500 crore multi-purpose SEZ has also come under fire from various quarters.

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New job selection system in Uttarakhand
Raju William
Tribune News Service

Dehra Dun, June 22
To eliminate scope for any controversy in recruitment for government jobs, Uttarakhand has decided to adopt a trailblazing system under which candidates appearing in any examination for the purpose will be allowed to take home copies of their answer sheets.

As such, the system of interviews for selecting employees for all government posts, except Class IV, has also been done away with thus dealing a severe blow to prevailing “sifarish” culture.

The decision taken by the state Cabinet on Wednesday will come into effect with recruitment of nurses to be made soon in the state health department.

The first such decision by any state government in the country is the reiteration of Chief Minister B.C. Khanduri's resolve to eliminate any kind of discretion and subjectivity in the government recruitment policy.

It has become all the more significant in the backdrop of some highly publicised alleged recruitment scams that took place during the previous Congress regime.

Under the new system, objective type questions will replace essay type questions. The candidates will be able to compare their score in the copies of answer sheets taken home by them and the marks obtained which will be posted on the official government website. "We have resumed the recruitment process after deciding on this new system to ensure complete transparency," Khanduri told The Tribune.

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Pratibha files papers today

New Delhi, June 22
UPA-Left Presidential nominee Pratibha Patil will file her nomination papers tomorrow to contest the July 19 polls. Accompanied by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior UPA leaders, she will file her papers at 11:30 am.

Meanwhile, the Congress has stepped up its preparations for ensuring her success, who will become the first woman President if she wins.

Senior AICC leaders, led by Treasurer Motilal Vohra, today held a meeting with Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leaders from states and Pradesh Congress Presidents at the party headquarters to chalk out a campaign strategy. The party's leaders from the state were asked to ensure that there is no cross voting and to explain the electors how to vote correctly.

They were also asked to interact with Independents in state Assemblies and assure their votes for the UPA candidate.

Ms Gandhi and Dr Singh yesterday had a session with AICC and CWC members and Chief Ministers of Congress-ruled states as part of poll preparations. Ms Patil also attended the meeting. — UNI

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90 minority districts identified
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 22
Gurgaon and Sirsa figure in the list of 90 minority concentration districts (MCDs) drawn by the Ministry of Minority Affairs.

The rationale behind the exercise has been attributed to the government’s well intentioned move to prepare and implement area/problem specific special development plans for these districts.

An official release issued here stated that the government wants to ensure the benefits of programmes of poverty alleviation, education, health and provision of basic amenities, reach these districts in a focused manner.

The districts identified by the government are backward with unacceptably low levels of either socio-economic or amenities indicators or both and need urgent attention.

According to the release, the list has been prepared on the basis of the 2001 census data on population, socio-economic indicators and basic amenities indicators.

In 1987, a list of 41 minority concentration districts was prepared based on the 1971 census data.

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Anti-ragging rule in IIT Kanpur

Kanpur, June 22
Come July and students of IIT Kanpur will have to sign a declaration that they will not be involved in any kind of ragging activities or else face severe punishment.

Under the declaration, if any student was found in any type of ragging activity, he/she will be bound for any punishment — from registration of a police case to rustication — as suggested by the authorities, IIT Kanpur assistant registrar K B Satyamurthy told PTI.

Besides the students, their parents or guardians will also have to make declaration, saying if their wards are found to be involved in ragging, they would accept the punishment as prescribed by the institute.

The new rule will be applicable to both freshers and senior students of the institute. — PTI

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Parmar surrenders

Ahmedabad, June 22
The Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad DSP M L Parmar, accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, today surrendered before the CID and was arrested, sources in the agency said here today.

Parmar surrendered before CID officials at Gandhinagar.

Parmar is alleged to have made accommodation facilities for the joint team of the Gujarat ATS and the Rajasthan police at two farm houses in Gandhinagar district where the fake encounter victim and his wife Kausarbi were kept in 2005. — PTI

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China plans to lift ban on tiger trade
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 22
India has written to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), seeking clarification following reports that China is planning to lift ban on trade in tiger parts.

At the recently-concluded CITES meeting at Hague, pro-ban countries that included India scored a major victory by securing unanimous passage of a resolution that stated that the trade ban should continue and captive breeding of tigers only be allowed to the extent of supporting conservation of tigers in the wild.

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