SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Sikhs vent anti-Tytler, Sajjan ire outside court
New Delhi, April 9
A large number of Sikhs, including women and victims of 1984 riots, a few of them armed with swords, today again protested in front of the Karkardooma district court against the CBI report which has given a clean chit to Jagdish Tytler.

Victims of the ’84 riots protesting in Delhi on Thursday.
Victims of the ’84 riots protesting in Delhi on Thursday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui



EARLIER STORIES

BJP to cash in on Varun wave
Lucknow, April 9
Bhartiya Janata Party in the state is expecting to ride the Varun Gandhi wave to improve its position in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, especially in the Bareilly division where Pilibhit is located and the newly created Aligarh division which includes Etah where Varun is presently lodged in jail.

Lal Singh set to be Punjab Cong chief
Lal SinghNew Delhi: The Congress high command has finalised the name of senior Punjab Congress leader Lal Singh to head the Punjab Pradesh Congress committee (PPCC). A formal announcement is expected late tonight, sources said. The change has been brought about as the existing chief Mohinder Singh Kaypee will be contesting the Lok Sabha polls from Jallandhar. Lal Singh has been a minister a few times and is a good orator. He balances out the caste equation in the state as he belongs to Other Backward Classes. — TNS

EC notices to Lalu, Rabri, Srinivas
New Delhi: RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi were served separate notices by the EC today. It also served a notice on Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray and AP Congress chief D. Srinivas. The leaders from different parties have been given time till April 11 to reply to the notices, Deputy EC JP Prakash told reporters here. Lalu faced the notice for his reported statement at an election rally that he would have crushed Varun Gandhi under a 'roller without caring for consequences' for his anti-Muslim speeches if he was the home minister. — TNS

Andhra Pradesh heading for hung Assembly?
Hyderabad, April 9
With barely a week to go for the Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, the emerging picture points to a possibility of a split verdict for the first time since the formation of the state.

BJP unleashes Uma Bharti, silences Shekhawat
New Delhi, April 9
Even as the Congress withdrew the candidature of its two strong candidates Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar in the face of widespread agitation, an upbeat and exhilarated BJP returned the Congress compliment by unleashing their former enfante terrible Uma Bharti on the voters of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Assam.

‘No govt without us’


In a show of strength, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad and Ramvilas Paswan on Thursday addressed a joint rally at Saifai (UP), claiming that “the key” to the next government was in their hands.
RJD supremo Lalu asked the people to “free” Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav from UP politics, apparently hinting that he could play a role at the Centre. Photo: PTI

CPI: PM subject to public scrutiny
Kozhikode, April 9
Hitting back at Congress president Sonia Gandhi who flayed the Left for “personally attacking” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the CPI today said India is no empire and Singh not an emperor.

Sikkim CM’s wealth swells by over 80 pc
Gangtok, April 9
Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling's family wealth has swelled by over 80 per cent from Rs 2.36 crore to Rs 4.27 crore in a span of five years, according to the affidavit filed by him.

Another PRP big gun quits
Hyderabad, April 9
With only a week left for elections in Andhra Pradesh, actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi suffered another major jolt when a senior leader of his Praja Rajyam Party (PRP), Parakala Prabhakar, quit the party while dubbing it as a “poisonous tree”.

Third Front goes for a toss in Kerala
Kozhikode, April 9
The Third Front has gone for a toss in the Left-ruled Kerala with the state unit of the Janata Dal (secular) all set to support the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in the state.

SC no to resume CBI probe against VB chief
New Delhi, April 9
Ignoring a plea for allowing the CBI to resume its probe against Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) chief Sumedh Singh Saini, the Supreme Court today posted for August the final hearing on the state’s plea for rescinding the remarks of the High Court, which had cast aspersions on the Police Department.


A physically handicapped girl takes part in a solidarity march for the civil rights of persons with disabilities in Mumbai on Thursday. — Reuters

AIADMK seals pact with MDMK
Chennai, April 9
Hours after signing a seat-sharing pact with AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa, the MDMK demanded lifting of the ban on Tigers, “who are sacrificing themselves for the freedom of their people”. A resolution to this effect was passed at the party’s general council meeting here, which also vowed to work for the victory of the AIADMK alliance in all 40 seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

Pension: SC notice to Defence Secy, Army chief
New Delhi, April 9
The Supreme Court today issued notices to the Defence Secretary and the Army chief on a contempt petition filed by some retired defence personnel, seeking implementation of the apex court verdict on pension for those holding the rank of Major-General or its equivalent.

EC: Vaiko’s comments law and order issue
New Delhi, April 9
The Election Commission (EC) today termed as a law and order issue the warning by MDMK leader Vaiko that Tamil Nadu may see a “bloodbath” in the wake of developments in Sri Lanka.







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Sikhs vent anti-Tytler, Sajjan ire outside court
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 9
A large number of Sikhs, including women and victims of 1984 riots, a few of them armed with swords, today again protested in front of the Karkardooma district court against the CBI report which has given a clean chit to Jagdish Tytler.

The protesters came from various areas of the Capital and started reaching at 9 am with placards. They chanted slogans: “Hame nyay chahiye,” Tytler, Sajjan ko phansi do” and “ki hoya, Sajjan Moya”.

The protesters burnt the effigy of Jagdish Tytler in front of main gate of the court, shouting, “Tytler murdabad”.

There was tight security in and around the court premises.

Riot victims, who have been rehabilitated at Tilak Nagar in West Delhi, beat the placards in which Tytler and Sajjan Kumar and CBI names were written with shoes. They said for the past 25 years, the victims had been fighting the case in which Tytler and Sajan Kumar were suspects. But so far, they had not been given justice.

Addressing the protesters, Delhi unit chief of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), Manjit Singh (GK), said today again the CBI tried to mislead the court which made it clear that the government was not serious on giving justice to the riot victims. If the court accepted the facts of the inquiry report, justice may be delayed for another four or five years, he said.

Manjinder Singh Sirsa, president, Shiromani Youth Akali Dal (Badal), said that it seemed that the CBI was playing in the hands of the Congress as it gave clean chit to Jagdish Tytler. However, the court extended its date for argument for April 28.

Kallu Singh, a riot victim said, “We will not spare Tytler who had led the mob in 1984 for killing Sikhs. Let him get the clean chit with the CBI. The clean chit is not going to help him.”

Preetam Singh, president of riot victims colony in Rohini, demanded death sentence for Tytler and Sajjan Kumar. “We have been fighting the case for the last 25 years. We will sacrifice our life and money to get them punished.”

Jasbir Kaur, a resident of Jagatpuri, who also reached the court to register her protest against the clean chit given by the CBI to Tytler, said her Sikh neighbours were killed by the mob led by a Congress leader. Her family members survived as they were saved by the neighbours.

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BJP to cash in on Varun wave
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, April 9
Bhartiya Janata Party in the state is expecting to ride the Varun Gandhi wave to improve its position in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, especially in the Bareilly division where Pilibhit is located and the newly created Aligarh division which includes Etah where Varun is presently lodged in jail.

At present, the BJP has 10 sitting MPs from the state, including two from Bareilly division (Bareilly and Pilibhit) and one from Aligarh division (Hathras since renamed as Mahamaya Nagar).

Varun Gandhi’s hate speech in Pilibhit and the sequence of events that followed has not only given a halo to the young political debutante but has provided, virtually on a silver platter, an extremely emotive issue to the BJP, of course, with a little bit of help from the BSP.

Party insiders feel that if played up well, the Varun episode has a huge potential to polarise voters and retain the existing seats if not bring in a few extra seats.

It is drawing a surprising response from the youth and has also helped boost the morale of the dormant BJP workers and cadre who are connecting to it instantly.

So much so that the BJP district unit in Firozabad, part of Aligarh division, wants Varun to be shifted to Firozabad jail so that the chances of BJP Firozabad candidate Raghuvar Dayal Verma also brighten up.

Speaking to a national daily district president Suman Chaturvedi said that this was a way the party in Firozabad could reach out to the people and get the Hindutva issue in focus. “It is no surprise that wth each passing day the Varun issue is gradually turning public opinion in BJP’s favour”, he said.

In fact, political observers believe that even Maneka Gandhi’s decision to give a written complaint against Lalu Yadav’s speech against Varun in Kishanganj (Bihar) to the SSP of Badaun yesterday was part of the party’s well thought out strategy of revival.

The reason given by Maneka Gandhi for sending the complaint to Badaun police chief is reportedly her coming to know about Lalu’s speech while she was in the district.

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Andhra Pradesh heading for hung Assembly?
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, April 9
With barely a week to go for the Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, the emerging picture points to a possibility of a split verdict for the first time since the formation of the state.

Given the keen triangular contest, none of the three major political formations - Congress, four-party ‘Maha Kootami’ (Grand Alliance) of the opposition headed by Telugu Desam Party and Telugu superstar Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) - is fully confident of crossing the magic figure of 148 in the 294-member Assembly. There are several factors contributing to such a projection: Absence of a perceptible anti-incumbency mood against the Congress government, star power of Chiranjeevi facing the maiden electoral test and internal contradictions in the opposition alliance despite its cadre strength and reach, particularly in Telangana region.

Unlike in the past when elections meant a straight contest between Congress and TDP, with smaller parties aligning with one of the two formations, the poll scene has undergone a sea change this time around with the entry of Chiranjeevi, the matinee idol of Telugu cinema. Though Congress is claiming in public that it would benefit from the split in opposition votes, it is clearly worried about the impact of Chiranjeevi and the formidable opposition grouping.

The ruling party fears that Chiranjeevi might take away a big chunk of its traditional vote bank among “Kapu” community in coastal Andhra, to which he belongs, while opposition alliance, comprising TDP, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), CPI and CPM, might emerge as a dominant player in Telangana region.

The Congress is hopeful of retaining its dominance in Rayalaseema region from which Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy, the party’s star campaigner, hails.

The opposition camp, particularly the TDP, is also equally worried. Its volte face on Telangana statehood issue may have an adverse impact on its prospects in the other two regions. Even in Telangana region, there are doubts over the success of its poll-eve alliance with TRS in the absence of coordination between the cadres of the two parties.

In at least 15 Assembly and two Lok Sabha seats, the two allies are locked in “friendly contests” following failure of their seat-sharing agreement.

Though Chiranjeevi raised high expectations when he took the political plunge six months ago, his fledgling party seems to have lost some of its sheen following widespread resentment over the selection of candidates and a string of resignations by senior leaders.

Besides, the PRP hardly has any presence in Telangana region, which is expected to be crucial in deciding who will form the next government. The backward region, which is witnessing a statehood movement, accounts for 119 Assembly and 17 of the total 42 LS seats.

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BJP unleashes Uma Bharti, silences Shekhawat
Faraz Ahmad
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 9
Even as the Congress withdrew the candidature of its two strong candidates Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar in the face of widespread agitation, an upbeat and exhilarated BJP returned the Congress compliment by unleashing their former enfante terrible Uma Bharti on the voters of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Assam.

Bharti, who recently wound up her political outfit to campaign for the BJP in order to ensure the victory of LK Advani, has declared that she will not visit the states where the BJP is confident and enjoys good strong position. Instead she would restrict herself solely to those states where the party is not too confident, said BJP sources.

Bharti had also commended Varun Gandhi for his recent remarks against the minorities. She had offered to campaign for Varun in his Pilibhit constituency. “She is beginning her campaign from Ayodhya, just to remind the voters of the glorious past of the BJP and Advani during the Ayodhya movement, when the BJP peaked in UP,” commented a BJP leader.

BJP sources said Uma Bharti, who had gone and met Advani at his residence recently, was making “a sincere effort to revive the spirit of Ayodhya, which brought a windfall for the party and united the Hindus as one family.”

Sources said earlier there was some talk of her coming to Delhi and campaigning against Tytler and Sajjan Kumar also, but now with the two out of the way and the BJP’s victory in these two constituencies almost certain, she may decide to skip Delhi, said sources. Simultaneously, the party has also ‘managed’ former Vice President of India Bhairon Singh Shehkhawat. Unhappy with the BJP for giving him a cold shoulder, Shekhawat had earlier declared his intent to contest as an independent and even campaign for candidates of his choice not elaborating whether these were to be from the BJP or its opponents.

But a couple of days ago former Minister of State for External Affairs in the NDA government Digvijay Singh had met Shekhawat and he had acceded to his request to camapaign for him in the Banka parliamentary constituency of Bihar and also in George Fernandes’ Muzaffarpur constituency, but today Shekhwat ostensibly took ill and got himself admitted to the AIIMS. The two are contesting as rebels against the JD(U) an ally of the BJP and sources said after the news appeared in a section of the media the party sent an emisasry to Shekhawat.

His staff discounted any immediate plans of the former Vice President to go out for an election campaign.

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CPI: PM subject to public scrutiny
‘India is no empire and Manmohan not an emperor’

Kozhikode, April 9
Hitting back at Congress president Sonia Gandhi who flayed the Left for “personally attacking” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the CPI today said India is no empire and Singh not an emperor.

Describing Sonia’s attack on the Left for targeting Singh as a “political gimmick” , CPI national secretary D Raja said the Prime Minister was also subject to public scrutiny in a democracy.

“India is no empire and Singh not an emperor. Ours is a federal set-up where every individual is subject to criticism,” he said in a sharp reaction to Sonia’s comments during her election campaign in the Left stronghold of Kerala yesterday.

Sonia had made a blistering attack on the BJP and the Left, saying it was a “shame” that the two had jointly targeted the Prime Minister, personally attacking him using “bad and negative language”.

At a meet-the-leader programme organised by Calicut Press Club here, Raja said before making the charges, Sonia should have remembered that the Prime Minister was also subject to public scrutiny in a democracy.

“It is very unfortunate that Soniaji has made certain remarks against the Left for criticising Manmohan Singh. But she should keep in mind that more than being a Congress leader, he is the Prime Minister of the nation, who is also subject to public scrutiny,” he said.

Saying there was “nothing personal” in the Left’s attack on Singh, Raja wanted to know as to why Sonia was treating Singh “more as a Congress leader when he is the head of the government first”.

Raja said Sonia’s claim that the UPA had done much for Kerala was “unwarranted” as every state had the right to its share from the Centre. “She has spoken as if the UPA has done something out of the way for the state,” he said.

On Gandhi’s allegation that it was the Left which supported the BJP earlier to form a government at the Centre, Raja said, “In fact it is the Congress which pulled down several governments including the ones led by V P Singh, H D Deve Gowda and I K Gujral.” Congress had also earlier supported the NDA government’s move for 26 per cent FDI in the insurance sector, he said.

“If at all the country was economically stable now, it was due to the stiff opposition raised by the Left to the Congress’ ‘unilateral’ policies like disinvestment in public sector units and diverting provident fund money to the stock exchange,” he said. — PTI

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Sikkim CM’s wealth swells by over 80 pc

Gangtok, April 9
Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling's family wealth has swelled by over 80 per cent from Rs 2.36 crore to Rs 4.27 crore in a span of five years, according to the affidavit filed by him.

Chamling has himself accumulated a fortune of Rs 1.6 crore, a 70 per cent rise from Rs 98 lakh that he had declared while filing nomination in 2004.

The Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) president filed his nomination papers yesterday from Poklok-Kamrang and Namchi-Singhithang Assembly constituencies in south Sikkim.

His second wife Tika Maya Chamling, who is richer than him, has assets worth Rs 2.09 crore, as against Rs 1.26 crore in 2004, even as she has significant loan amount of Rs 1.09 crore from banks and individuals.

The bulk of Chamling’s assets have accrued from the receipt of Rs 44.61 lakh from various properties, like his second wife's nursery, commercial and agricultural land. The assets of his second wife range from agriculture land to commercial properties, bank deposits and jewellery.

His first wife Dhan Maya Chamling's wealth has apparently eroded in the last five years to Rs 18.81 lakh, as against Rs 23.2 lakh in 2004, which included a four-wheeler worth Rs 7.25 lakh. Chamling's latest affidavit does not reveal the fate of the vehicle.

His four children -- Suneeta, Komal, Vivek and Sushila, who did not own any financial assets in 2004 -- now have a combined net worth of Rs 39.27 lakh, with Vivek and Suneeta having an identical insurance policy of Rs 17.5 lakh.

The Chief Minister, however, did not confirm whether any case was registered against him or not. — PTI

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Another PRP big gun quits
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, April 9
With only a week left for elections in Andhra Pradesh, actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi suffered another major jolt when a senior leader of his Praja Rajyam Party (PRP), Parakala Prabhakar, quit the party while dubbing it as a “poisonous tree”.

Prabhakar, the party spokesman and general secretary, shot off his resignation letter and launched a blistering attack on the leadership, alleging that the fledgling party was being run like a “private company”.

“I have realised that PRP is a poisonous tree and an undesirable force. They are cheating the people by promising to usher in corruption-free society. I have committed a sin by associating myself with the party. I have now decided to quit to wash off my sin,” he told reporters in the PRP premises after handing over the resignation letter to the office staff. A doctorate from London School of Economics, Prabhakar has been the intellectual face of the party, playing a key role in the formulation of its policies and programmes. In a stinging comment, he said the allegations of money power influencing the distribution of party ticket were “largely true”.

Prabhakar’s exit is the second biggest blow to the party after the last week’s resignation of C Anjaneya Reddy, a former IPS officer and party’s vice-president. He had refused to withdraw his resignation even after Chiranjeevi publicly apologised to him and assured to address the issues raised by him. Now Prabhakar’s resignation reflects the growing resentment in the party over the style of functioning of Chiranjeevi’s brother-in-law and noted producer Allu Aravind, who is being accused of “selling the party tickets”.

“The PRP is a poisonous tree. Though I do not have enough strength to uproot it, yet it is my responsibility to tell the truth,” he said, without naming any party leader.

Floated in August last, the PRP is already plagued by internal problems, with dozens of leaders quitting the party during the last two weeks to protest the manner in which the candidates were selected for the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.

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Third Front goes for a toss in Kerala
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Kozhikode, April 9
The Third Front has gone for a toss in the Left-ruled Kerala with the state unit of the Janata Dal (secular) all set to support the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in the state.

MP Veerendra Kumar, JD(S) state unit president and the sitting representative from the Kozhikode Lok Sabha seat, holds the CPM responsible for happenings.

“They kicked us out of the CPM-led Left Democratic Front”, Kumar, who is also the chairman of the Matrubhumi group of publications, said.

The JD(S) leader, as a constituent of the LDF, had won the Kozhikode seat in the last Lok Sabha elections.

But this time the CPM was not ready to offer the seat to JD(S). It was instead asked to contest from Wayanad.

Restructuring of constituencies that took place during the delimitation of constituencies had apparently made Kozhikode suitable for fielding a CPM candidate.

Veerendra Kumar refused to contest from Wayanad, believed to be a bastion of the Congress, and as a result had been left high and dry by his erstwhile partners.

Veerendra Kumar’s loss has turned out to be a gain for the Congress-led UDF. Former Prime Minister Deve Gowda, JD(S) national president, tried to put a check on the infuriated JD(S) workers by saying that the party would continue to support the LDF in Kerala.

But Gowda’s appeal has made a little impact here. Veerendra Kumar himself is not ready to openly express his support for the UDF.

“Our rank and file will like to retaliate against the LDF because of the way they treated us”, Kumar said, adding that it was decided at a meeting of the state unit of the party on March 22 that the JD(S) would not take lying down the insult heaped upon it by the CPM.

Kumar added that claim by the CPM that the JD(S) was offered an RS seat from Kerala in lieu of the Kozhikode seat, was a misrepresentation of truth. “They never proposed this directly to us during our discussions in Kerala. Only in a statement issued in Delhi by the CPM, it was mentioned that the JD(S) would be given a RS seat.

While Veerendra Kumar is unlikely to come out in the open in favour of the UDF, junior functionaries of the JD(S) in Kerala have already taken to the streets asking the party sympathisers to vote for the UDF.

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SC no to resume CBI probe against VB chief
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, April 9
Ignoring a plea for allowing the CBI to resume its probe against Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) chief Sumedh Singh Saini, the Supreme Court today posted for August the final hearing on the state’s plea for rescinding the remarks of the High Court, which had cast aspersions on the Police Department.

A Bench comprising Justices RV Raveendran and HL Dattu acknowledged the importance of the state’s appeal and that the hearing be expedited.

The CBI had registered a case against Saini and other police officials for their alleged involvement in an encounter in 1991, involving Balwant Singh Multani, reportedly an accomplice of Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar, a death row convict in the case relating to the bomb attack on Congress leader MS Bitta.

Senior counsel Dushyant Dave and KK Khurana, appearing for Punjab, strongly opposed the plea for resuming the CBI probe. Senior counsel Colin Gonsalves, who appeared for retired IAS official Darshan Singh Multani, father of Balwant, wanted vacation of the apex court stay on the CBI investigation.

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AIADMK seals pact with MDMK

Chennai, April 9
Hours after signing a seat-sharing pact with AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa, the MDMK demanded lifting of the ban on Tigers, “who are sacrificing themselves for the freedom of their people”. A resolution to this effect was passed at the party’s general council meeting here, which also vowed to work for the victory of the AIADMK alliance in all 40 seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

This follows MDMK leader Vaiko’s speech yesterday at a protest demonstration organised by the Sri Lankan Tamils Protection Movement warning of a ‘bloodbath’ in Tamil Nadu, if LTTE chief Prabhakaran was harmed in the “proxy war conducted against the Tigers”. — TNS

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Pension: SC notice to Defence Secy, Army chief
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, April 9
The Supreme Court today issued notices to the Defence Secretary and the Army chief on a contempt petition filed by some retired defence personnel, seeking implementation of the apex court verdict on pension for those holding the rank of Major-General or its equivalent.

A Bench comprising Altamas Kabir and Cyriac Joseph issued notices after senior counsel Nidesh Gupta, appearing for the petitioners, said the September 9, 2008, order of the apex court had directed calculation of the pension on the pay scales revised on January 1, 1996. The pension was to be revised within three months of the apex court order, but it had not been done so far on the plea that the Centre had filed a review petition, he said. Mere filing of the review petition did not by itself extend the period of compliance, the counsel argued.

The Centre had unsuccessfully challenged a Punjab and Haryana HC order of May 26, 2005. The HC had directed the government to “fix minimum pay scale of the Major-General above that of the Brigadier and grant pay above that of a Brigadier as has been done in the case of post January 1, 1996, retirees and consequently fix the pension and family pension accordingly.”

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EC: Vaiko’s comments law and order issue

New Delhi, April 9
The Election Commission (EC) today termed as a law and order issue the warning by MDMK leader Vaiko that Tamil Nadu may see a “bloodbath” in the wake of developments in Sri Lanka.

“It is not before the consideration of the EC,” Deputy Election Commissioner JP Prakash told mediapersons when asked whether the EC apprehends trouble in view of the statement at the time of elections. The EC had not discussed the issue, he added. — PTI

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BRIEFLY

Maya Kodnani sent to judicial custody
AHMEDABAD:
Maya Kodnani, former minister in the Narendra Modi government and an accused in 2002 riot cases, was on Thursday sent to judicial custody after a local court rejected the application of Special Investigation Team (SIT) for extending police remand. Kodnani, who is accused in the Naroda Gam and Naroda Patiya case in which over 106 people were killed during the post-Godhra riots, was produced in the court after her police custody ended on Thursday. — PTI


Debanta Handique, a cadre of ULFA, is taken to court for her alleged involvement in the Dhekiajuli bomb blast, in Guwahati on Thursday. — PTI

Barnala to hold addl charge of Puducherry
NEW DELHI:
Surjit Singh Barnala has been asked to hold the additional charge of administrator of the Union Territory of Puducherry in addition to his duties as the Governor of Tamil Nadu, consequent upon the death of Puducherry Lt Governor Govind Singh Gurjar. He will look after Gurjar’s work till alternative arrangements were made, a release said. — TNS

Website to check maternal mortality rate
NEW DELHI:
Every seven minutes, one woman in India dies because of complications during childbirth or pregnancy. In order to address this problem, an NGO here will launch the Million Mums web campaign on the National Safe Motherhood Day April 11. White Ribbon Alliance India’s main aim in launching this web campaign is to spread awareness about healthcare for mothers-to-be and speak out against maternal mortality. — IANS

UP Principal Secy Home
Lucknow:
On the orders of the Election Commission (EC) the state government today appointed present Principal Secretary Revenue Manjit Singh as the new Principal Secretary Home replacing Kunwar Fateh Bahadur, who had been removed by the EC on Sunday. The news of the appointment of the fresh incumbent to the top post in the Department of Home comes a day after Chief Minister Mayawati’s outbursts against the EC. She had declared that if any terrorists attack, communal violence or untoward incident occurred during her or any leader’s election rallies in the state then the EC and not her government should be held responsible. — PTI

AI gets threat e-mails
NEW DELHI:
Air India on Thursday said it had received some threatening e-mails and had referred them to the Mumbai Police for investigation. However, it declined to divulge the actual contents of the e-mails. Describing reports that its headquarters at Nariman Point in Mumbai was under threat as “incorrect and baseless”, an airline spokesperson said a “couple of e-mails” had been received under Air India’s several e-mail IDs. “These e-mails had been passed on to the Mumbai Police on Monday,” the spokesperson added. — PTI

3 judges suspended
AHMEDABAD:
The Gujarat High Court has suspended three lower court judges after a preliminary inquiry conducted by the registrar (Vigilance) revealed irregularities on their part. Metropolitan Magistrate, Ahmedabad, RG Chaudhary, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Banaskantha, KA Patel, and Additional Civil Judge HS Mansuri of Bhuj in Kutch district, had been suspended with immediate effect, an official statement said here on Thursday. The HC registrar (Vigilance) had also ordered a departmental probe against the judges, following a primary investigation, it said. — PTI

FIR against Vaiko 
CHENNAI:
An FIR was today lodged against MDMK leader Vaiko by the police on charges of speaking in support of the banned LTTE and against the country's sovereignty and integrity at a protest demonstration here.The FIR was filed under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act against Vaiko, who has also been slapped with the charge of inciting the people to indulge in violence, Chennai Police Commissioner K Radhakrishnan said on Thursday. Vaiko justified his "blood bath" remarks, saying he had only warned the government of the consequences only with a good intention. — PTI

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