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N A T I O N

Karnataka Crisis
BJP begins dharna
Partner JD(S) keeps away
Bangalore, November 3
The Janata Dal (Secular) continued to give a cold shoulder to its coalition partner the BJP, which is yet to respond to the charter of demands raised by its supremo H.D Deve Gowda, by not participating in an indefinite sit-in launched by the saffron party before the statue of Mahatma Gandhi on MG road here today.

BJP to ignore Gowda’s letter
New Delhi, November 3
Even as the Bharatiya Janata Party is mounting pressure on the Centre to revoke President's rule in Karnataka to pave the way for a coalition government with the JD(S), the saffron party high command has decided to ignore the letter of former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda for the time being.

Giving bribe also a crime: HC
Lucknow, November 3
In a significant judgement the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court has held the bribe giver as guilty of a crime as the bribe taker. Like those who took bribe, the ones who gave bribe were also dangerous for society, the order observed.






EARLIER STORIES




Sonia kicks off Gujarat poll campaign
Anand (Gujarat), November 3

Launching her election campaign, Congress president Sonia Gandhi today made a frontal attack on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi alleging that the "misdeeds" in the Godhra aftermath were a shame to civilised society and asked for raising a voice against "barbaric people". "The misdeeds that happened during their rule in 2002 as well as the truth that has come to the fore recently has caused deep hurt to all of us and made us hang our heads in shame," she said without, however, taking Modi's name. But her reference was obvious.



A woman smiles as Congress president Sonia Gandhi arrives at a rally in Anand on Saturday. — PTI
A woman smiles as Congress president Sonia Gandhi arrives at a rally in Anand on Saturday.

Rahul’s first CWC meeting next week
New Delhi, November 3
Congress scion Rahul Gandhi will attend his first meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) next week, ahead of the one-day AICC meeting being held in the Capital on November 17.

Two held for killing BPO girl
Pune, November 3
A young girl, employed with a BPO as an associate, was brutally murdered after being sexually assaulted allegedly by the driver of the pick-up car taking her to work and his friend in a paddy field near village Gahunje, about 50 kms from here, police said.

Late-night Crimes
BPOs told to step up checks on taxi drivers
Bangalore, November 3
The Bangalore police has asked organisations, specially BPOs whose staff work odd shifts, to increase their vigil in the face of revelations that call centre drivers in the city have been responsible for a spate of late night crimes.

India elected to UN Audit Advisory Committee
New Delhi, November 3
India was today elected by acclamation by the Fifth Committee of the UN General Assembly to the Independent Audit Advisory Committee (IAAC) and the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ).

Illegitimacy no ground for denying maintenance: SC
New Delhi, November 3
The right to maintenance of a child born out of a live-in relationship cannot be denied by the father, if the fatherhood is established, as the claim of children born outside the wedlock is fully protected under Section 125 of Code of Criminal Procedure, the Supreme Court has ruled.

Panel takes up kids’ cases
New Delhi, November 3
Child rights panel National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has stepped into recent cases of rescued children from the Capital’s sweatshops to ensure that the rights and dignity of the liberated children are maintained during the following proceedings.

BJP loses by-polls
Panaji/Bhopal, November 3
The BJP today suffered defeat in the October 31 by-elections for Mormugao Lok Sabha constituency in south Goa and Lanji Assembly constituency in Madhya Pradesh's Balaghat district.

Satish Shah under scanner
Mumbai, November 3
Actor Satish Shah, who was involved in the black buck shooting case along with Salman Khan, is now under the scanner for importing revolver butts made of antlers made of wild deer.

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Karnataka Crisis
BJP begins dharna
Partner JD(S) keeps away
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, November 3
The Janata Dal (Secular) continued to give a cold shoulder to its coalition partner the BJP, which is yet to respond to the charter of demands raised by its supremo H.D Deve Gowda, by not participating in an indefinite sit-in launched by the saffron party before the statue of Mahatma Gandhi on MG road here today.

Senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu, who sources said is here with a message from the central leadership on the demands raised by Gowda, tried out brush aside the no-show by the JD (S) and even went on to say the BJP would launch a nation-wide campaign in case it was not invited to form a government in Karnataka.

The BJP also announced that it had asked the JD (S) support to parade the 129 legislators backing the coalition before President Pratibha Patil on November 5. A formal request in this regard has been made to the president of the state unit of the JD (S) Merajuddin Patel who disclosed that he had forwarded the request to party leader and former Chief Minister H.D Kumaraswamy.

The BJP said in the meantime the indefinite dharna launched by the party would continue and would also spread to other parts of the state. BJP leaders also launched a virtual campaign against the Congress accusing it of turning the Raj Bhawan into ‘Congress Bhawan’ even as it maintained that it was the Governor’s constitutional duty to invite the BJP to form a government in the state.

Meanwhile, Governor Rameshwar Thakur continued to seek legal opinion on the political situation in the state. According to sources former advocate general Narismha Murthy and state advocate general B.V Acharya were invited to present their views on the legal issues involved in the present case. The Governor is slated to send a final report on the political situation in the state to the President. This, sources said, would be in continuation of the interim report sent on October 31. Sources said the Governor may also visit Delhi to meet the President either on Sunday or Monday.

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BJP to ignore Gowda’s letter
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 3
Even as the Bharatiya Janata Party is mounting pressure on the Centre to revoke President's rule in Karnataka to pave the way for a coalition government with the JD(S), the saffron party high command has decided to ignore the letter of former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda for the time being.

A meeting of the senior leaders to take stock of the situation was held at Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani's residence here this morning. The Gowda letter also came up for discussion, sources said.

It was felt that the correct strategy would be ignore the tantrums thrown by Gowda and play cool for the present, sources said. The party leadership was of the view that it would have been better and dignified if Gowda had raised these issues sitting across the table.

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Giving bribe also a crime: HC
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, November 3
In a significant judgement the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court has held the bribe giver as guilty of a crime as the bribe taker. Like those who took bribe, the ones who gave bribe were also dangerous for society, the order observed.

A single Bench of Justice A.P Sahi has directed the principal secretary, Law, and the DGP to issue necessary instructions to the police officials concerned to conduct investigations against both for the commission of the offence.

According to the judgement if a person lodges an FIR that persons claiming to provide them government services have duped him of money, then he exposes himself to criminal investigation. “If one knowingly offers to give money in order to get government employment, he cannot be honest as it is evident that nobody would extend monetary benefits to someone for legal work”.

Justice Sahi passed the direction while hearing a bail petition moved by Gopa Chakraborty. Gopa along with husband T.K Chakraborty had duped petitioners - Pradeep Kumar Yadav, Jitendra Singh, Shailendra Singh and Kuldeep Singh - of Rs 90,000 each in return of jobs in the army.

The court inquired from the public prosecutor if the petitioners who had given the bribe for the job were also not indulging in a criminal act along with the accused. They should have lodged a complaint with the police or corruption control bodies when the accused were pressurising them for a bribe, the court said.

Justice Sahi observed that those who bribed others in order to get a job motivated others to adopt the same means. The disease should be controlled in its early stages else it would play havoc with the lives of unemployed youths and their guardians.

No one knew where it would end, but it was the duty of the keepers of the Constitution, whenever they came to know about such incidents, to get the ‘surgery’ done and nip the disease in the bud, Justice Sahi noted. 

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Sonia kicks off Gujarat poll campaign

Anand (Gujarat), November 3
Launching her election campaign, Congress president Sonia Gandhi today made a frontal attack on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi alleging that the "misdeeds" in the Godhra aftermath were a shame to civilised society and asked for raising a voice against "barbaric people".

"The misdeeds that happened during their rule in 2002 as well as the truth that has come to the fore recently has caused deep hurt to all of us and made us hang our heads in shame," she said without, however, taking Modi's name. But her reference was obvious.

"We are all mothers, sisters and daughters and who can understand the feeling of hurt and insult better than us?" she said exhorting the audience at a 'Mahila Samman Sammelan', comprising largely of women from different parts of the state, to raise their voice against "barbaric people".

Taking a dig at the administration presided over by Modi, the longest serving Chief Minister of the state, she said women figure in the scheme of things of the government only in cases of exploitation, crime and corruption.

Attacking the BJP on the Sethusamundram issue, Sonia Gandhi accused the saffron party of dragging the name of Lord Ram into politics and running a false campaign in the matter.

"These people have had no hesitation in dragging the name of Lord Ram into politics. How can we trust such people?" she said.

"Ask them is it not true that the project came about under the BJP rule and during the NDA regime? Were they not concerned about Lord Ram when they decided on the project?" she asked.

Others who were present at the rally were leader of opposition in Gujarat Assembly, Arjun Modhwadia, union minister Shanker Singh Vaghela and Ahmed Patel, the political secretary of Sonia Gandhi. The state is going to polls on December 11 and 16. — PTI

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Rahul’s first CWC meeting next week
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 3
Congress scion Rahul Gandhi will attend his first meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) next week, ahead of the one-day AICC meeting being held in the Capital on November 17.

The CWC meeting, which is being planned for November 7 or 8, will draw up the broad agenda for the upcoming AICC meeting. Gandhi junior will participate in the deliberations in his capacity as AICC general secretary.

Besides reviewing the current political situation, the CWC will also study the report of the committee, recommending amendments to the party constitution. One amendment suggested by this panel is to create a single category of "ordinary" member in place of the existing two categories of "primary" and "active" members. After the CWC’s clearance, the report will be placed before the AICC for final approval. Another meeting of the extended CWC will be held on the session eve to clear the resolutions which are to be discussed at the AICC meeting.

The forthcoming AICC session has assumed significance for several reasons. Since it is being held shortly after Rahul Gandhi’s induction into the party organisation, the meeting will be be used to project him as a youth icon and the party’s future leader.

The one-day AICC meeting will also set the tone for the December Gujarat assembly polls. The ongoing stalemate with the Left parties over the controversial Indo-US civil nuclear deal and the Congress party’s experience in heading a coalition government are also likely to figure in the discussions.

After the initial war of words on the N-deal, both Congress and Left leaders are now making conciliatory statements and this is expected to be reflected in the combined resolution on political, economic and international affairs to be adopted by the AICC delegates. The outcome of the crucial meeting of the November 16 UPA-Left joint panel on the nuke deal will also have a bearing on the meeting.

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Two held for killing BPO girl

Pune, November 3
A young girl, employed with a BPO as an associate, was brutally murdered after being sexually assaulted allegedly by the driver of the pick-up car taking her to work and his friend in a paddy field near village Gahunje, about 50 kms from here, police said.

The 21-year-old victim had left for office in the car for her night shift starting at 10:30 pm. The police recovered her body on Friday morning.

The driver, Purushottam Borate and his accomplice Pradip Khopde have been arrested and confessed to have murdered the girl, police said.

The circumstantial evidence and clothes on the victim's body pointed out to rape but medical report confirming it was awaited, police said.

The girl was found strangled with a ruptured vein of her right hand. The body also showed injuries inflicted with a stone, police said.

The victim, who was staying with her sister and brother-in-law at Pashan here for the last one year, reportedly worked with Wipro centre at Hinjawadi.

A search for the girl was launched after her relatives lodged a missing complaint.

A wristwatch, a ring and the mobile phone belonging to the victim were recovered from the accused and the car involved in the crime too has been seized, police added. — PTI

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Late-night Crimes
BPOs told to step up checks on taxi drivers
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, November 3
The Bangalore police has asked organisations, specially BPOs whose staff work odd shifts, to increase their vigil in the face of revelations that call centre drivers in the city have been responsible for a spate of late night crimes.

The city police have arrested a gang of taxi drivers working with call centre companies who used to pick up their victims after dropping call centre employees.

The gang members have confessed to a murder of a collection agent who was robbed off his ATM card which was used by the murderers to withdraw Rs 1.7 lakh in cash from his account. The gang was also involved in the kidnapping of a city based businessman who was robbed, stabbed and thrown out of a moving car on October 13.

According to the police, the gang targeted people looking for transport late at night which usually included people who were working late or those who had arrived from outside the city at odd hours. Besides this gang, the police had worked out 100 such cases in which taxi drivers working with call centres or contracting agencies supplying staff to BPO organisations were responsible for committing crimes.

According to Gopal Hosur, joint commissioner, Crime, the recent arrests had shown that offenders were still able to get jobs as taxi drivers in the city indicating some companies were still not taking sufficient security measures while outsourcing this work.

Hosur said the police was directing all organisations, who got their employees picked up or dropped off at odd hours, to take measures to ensure their safety. He said BPO organisations needed to follow more stringent norms, including not allowing agencies to change drivers at short notice, besides ensuring that women employees did not travel alone in cabs at any point of time.

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India elected to UN Audit Advisory Committee
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 3
India was today elected by acclamation by the Fifth Committee of the UN General Assembly to the Independent Audit Advisory Committee (IAAC) and the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ).

Comptroller and auditor general of India V. N. Kaul was elected as a member of the newly established Independent Audit Advisory Committee (IAAC) of the United Nations, a Foreign Office said.

The IAAC’s function is to advise the General Assembly on the effectiveness of the UN’s audit and other oversight functions, and on accounting and disclosure practices. It would also advise the GA on the effectiveness of risk management procedures and identify deficiencies in the UN’s internal control framework as well as advise the GA on operational implications of issues and trends of UN’s financial statements and reports.

The IAAC was mooted by the World Summit 2005 which asked for strengthening management reforms in the UN subsequent to which the secretary-general, submitted a report entitled “Investing in the United Nations: for a stronger organisation worldwide”, which outlined 23 broad reform proposals, including setting up of the IAAC.

The IAAC was established in December 2005 vide the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution No. 60/248 and will be operational from October 2007. The creation of the IAAC will contribute to the efforts to improve accountability of the UN Secretariat towards member states and create a comprehensive management accountability and oversight framework in the United Nations.

The IAAC is composed of only 5 members, elected by the UNGA. The candidates have been evaluated and attested through consultations with an external relevant institution, such as the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI). This ensures that only highly competent and qualified people are chosen for this sensitive task.

Kaul, who is an Indian administrative officer of 1965 batch, has had a long and distinguished career and has served in various capacities within and outside India. He has considerable international experience having worked in the UNESCAP and has served on various international bodies, including UN Panel of External Auditors and as the secretary-general of the ASOSAI.

Nagesh Singh, first secretary in the Permanent Mission of India to the UN offices at New York, was elected to represent India in the ACABQ. The ACABQ is a 16-member subsidiary organ of the UNGA which advises it on administrative and budgetary matters.

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Illegitimacy no ground for denying maintenance: SC
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, November 3
The right to maintenance of a child born out of a live-in relationship cannot be denied by the father, if the fatherhood is established, as the claim of children born outside the wedlock is fully protected under Section 125 of Code of Criminal Procedure, the Supreme Court has ruled.

The only condition for enforcing maintenance under Section 125 of CrPC by a child born of an illicit relationship, was to prove the fatherhood of the man against whom the claim was made, a Bench comprising Justices S.B. Sinha and H.S. Bedi said in an important judgement on the right of such children.

The judgement came on a maintenance claim by a girl from Nogli in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh in a long drawn legal battle. The child now studying in senior secondary classes, was born on July 8, 1991, out of a live-in relation between Rajiv Gupta and Kavita (name changed) when he stayed at her house in Kalpa in Kinnaur district for several years.

The apex court ordered Gupta to pay the child maintenance at the rate of Rs 500 per month fixed by the civil judge at Rampur with full back arrears.

The contentious issue of Gupta being her father came to fore at the time of her admission to school on September 3, 1996, at Nogli as the mother had enrolled her caste as Gupta though the column of father’s name was left blank by her, which the apex court attributed to her fear of social condemnation.

The trial court after examining the evidence brought on record by the child’s mother had ruled that Rajiv Gupta was the father of the child rejecting his claim that she also had relations with other persons.

However, the Himachal Pradesh High Court had reversed the trial court’s findings in an appeal by Gupta, holding that the evidence produced by the mother were not beyond doubt.

It held that “in a case of a child born out of an illicit relation, the mother was in the capacity of an accomplice to the crime and as such it was essential that her statement be corroborated by other evidence to prove the case.”

But the apex court did not agree with the High Court’s order and accepted the stand of the girl’s lawyer Ravi Baxi that the High Court had “erred” in evaluating the evidence.

The Supreme Court was not convinced with the arguments of Gupta’s counsel Anil Nag that the trial judge had totally “ignored” the evidence of a manager of a local guest house which raised doubts about the “character” of the woman as he had stated that she was seen accompanying other male companions at his guest house.

The apex court said there was no justification for “reversal” of the findings of trial court as there was credible evidence of a neighbour of Kavita that Gupta had stayed in her house at Kalpa for several years before the child was born.

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Panel takes up kids’ cases
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 3
Child rights panel National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has stepped into recent cases of rescued children from the Capital’s sweatshops to ensure that the rights and dignity of the liberated children are maintained during the following proceedings.

This follows after NGO Bachpan Bachcho Andolan (BBA) requested NCPCR chairperson Shanta Sinha to take cognisance of “harassment of children during lengthy legal proceedings”. BBA founder Kailash Satyarthi said that instead of children being produced in court, their testimonies were recorded at the ashram they were housed in.

A four-member committee, headed by NCPCR member Sandhya Bajaj, today visited the BBA centre Mukti Ashram on the outskirts of Delhi to investigate whether procedures and norms of investigation, identification, rescue and recording of testimonies were being followed.

“This includes registration of FIRs and ensuring that emotional and physical well-being and respect and dignity of the rescued children are maintained,” Bajaj told The Tribune.

She said the NCPCR wanted a speedy trial in the case so that rescued children were not unduly harassed. “The commission also wants the government to give a clear protocol about the action for rehabilitating the children. The committee members will interact with children to know their mind and find out whether their parents back home are aware of the fate that followed after they left their villages. Most of the rescued children are from Bihar and between the age group eight to 15. Some of the smaller children are very frightened and just want to go back home,” she said.

On Monday 14 children were rescued from Shahpur Jat by the authorities and the BBA after reports appeared of alleged violation of child labour Act by the Indian supplier of a US-based clothing giant. On Tuesday, 28 more children were rescued in a joint operation by various NGOs and the authorities who, Satyarthi says, were sent to juvenile homes. Subsequently on Thursday, the Labour Department, the police and the BBA rescued 75 more children from embroidery factories in the Khanpur area.

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BJP loses by-polls

Panaji/Bhopal, November 3
The BJP today suffered defeat in the October 31 by-elections for Mormugao Lok Sabha constituency in south Goa and Lanji Assembly constituency in Madhya Pradesh's Balaghat district.

Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Francisco Sardinha won the Mormugao seat with about 41,000 votes over his BJP rival Dr Wilfred Mesquita.

Kishore Samrite of the Samajwadi Party defeated BJP's Dhareshwari Bhatere, wife of former minister Dilip Bhatere, by a margin of 3,734 votes in Lanji Assembly constituency.

Samrite, who had come third in the 2003 election, received a total of 28,779 votes. BJP’s Dilip Bhatere‘s death had led to the by-election.

Samrite, aged 32, contested the by-election from behind bars as he was detained eight months ago on the charge of arson and loot after leading a public agitation against alleged extortion by a market contractor. Seventeen other candidates lost their deposits, official sources said.

Congress candidate Bhagwat Bhau Nagpure fared a poor third scoring 11,738 votes. Sardinha polled about 1.18 lakh votes against 78,000 by the BJP. — UNI

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Satish Shah under scanner

Mumbai, November 3
Actor Satish Shah, who was involved in the black buck shooting case along with Salman Khan, is now under the scanner for importing revolver butts made of antlers made of wild deer.

Shah had imported the consignment worth $ 250 from the United States. However, the custom authorities have confiscated the consignment since their import is banned under the Wildlife Act in India.

Officials said they may call the actor for questioning regarding this consignment if required. — TNS

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