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Prosecuting corrupt officials: Supreme Court
sets deadline for government

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that the government should give sanction to prosecute accused officials within 3 months under the Prevention of the Corruption Act.

If there is need for any consultation with the legal authorities, the government might give its sanction within 4 months, the apex court said. If there is no decision by the government in the four-month timeframe, the sanction should be deemed as given, the SC said.

However, the SC left it for Parliament to frame guidelines for giving sanction to prosecute officials. The apex court gave its judgment on a petition filed by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy. In his petition, Subramanian Swamy has said that the PMO took 16 months to give sanction to prosecute A Raja in the 2G scam.

The Supreme Court also said that Subramanian Swamy had the locus to seek sanction from the Prime Minister for prosecution of A Raja in the 2G scam.Back



Kasab's death penalty appeal adjourned

New Delhi: The Supreme Court adjourned an appeal hearing on Tuesday into the death sentence handed down to Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman from the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Kasab, one of 10 gunmen who laid siege to Mumbai in attacks which lasted nearly three days and killed 166 people, has appealed for his sentence to be overturned after he was convicted in May 2010. The 24-year-old Pakistani was found guilty of a series of crimes, including waging war against India, murder and terror acts.

The November 2008 attacks saw 10 heavily-armed Islamist gunmen storm targets including luxury hotels, a Jewish centre and a train station.

One of the two Supreme Court judges due to hear the appeal was unavailable on Tuesday, forcing the adjournment, officials said. No date was immediately set for the next hearing. Kasab's court-appointed lawyer Raju Ramachandran told AFP that his job was "a call of duty", but declined to talk further about the case.

India blames the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant outfit for training, equipping and financing the attack with support from "elements" in the Pakistan military.

Kasab's death sentence was confirmed by a state high court in Mumbai last year. If he loses his Supreme Court appeal, he will be able to appeal for clemency from the president.Back



Kudankulam protesters assaulted, talks cancelled

CHENNAI: A civil group spearheading the protest against Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) called off talks with the Central government-appointed experts panel after the former's members were assaulted in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu today, an activist said.

"We have no faith in the talks. None of the questions we had asked were answered and the documents we had asked were not presented to us. Meanwhile, our members have been assaulted when they had gone to participate in the talks. We are calling off our talks," SP Udayakumar, coordinator of the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), told IANS.

The fourth round of talks at Tirunelveli between the Central government's experts panel on KNPP and the Tamil Nadu government's panel was all set to take place at the district collector's office Tuesday morning.

However, members belonging to Hindu Munnani group started attacking the vehicles of two members of PMANE in the state panel, along with other activists, when they were entering the collector's office.

"One of our members Raj Lingam was pulled out of the car and was assaulted. Similarly, there were some women in a van who were assaulted. We have lodged a police complaint and are going back to Kudankulam," M. Pushparayan, convener of the Coastal People's Federation and a member of the state panel, told IANS over phone.

A senior police officer said 10 persons had been taken into custody.

India's nuclear power plant operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is building two 1,000 MW atomic power reactors at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, around 650 km from here.

The project, originally budgeted to cost Rs.13,171 crore, was initially delayed due to non-sequential deliveries of equipment from Russia. The revised project cost is estimated to be around Rs.15,824 crore.

Villagers of Kudankulam, Idinthakarai and others fear for their lives and safety in case of any nuclear accident.

Their agitation, led by PMANE, has put a stop to the project work, delaying the commissioning of the first unit slated last month.

To resolve the issue, the Central and state governments have formed two panels to allay the fears of the people. IANS





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