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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
D E L H I   A N D   N E I G H B O U R H O O D

Delhi civic poll on April 15
New Delhi, March 1
The State Election Commission today finally declared the much-awaited schedule of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections, which will pave the way for the formation of three corporations, for the first time in the history of the national capital.

AIIMS baby out of danger
New Delhi, March 1
Showing a remarkable recovery, the two-year-old baby at AIIMS has sailed through the life-threatening phase and is now out of danger, according to doctors at the premier hospital.

English paper puzzling, say students Board exams begin
New Delhi, March 1
Students revise for their CBSEClass X examination at the last moment before entering an examination hall in New Delhi on Thursday. Students appearing for the class XII board exams that began here today said the English paper was way too lengthy to finish in three hours. Nearly 8 lakh students are appearing for the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) exams this year.

Students revise for their CBSEClass X examination at the last moment before entering an examination hall in New Delhi on Thursday. Tribune photo: Mukesh Aggarwal


EARLIER STORIES



Crime branch begins probe into old manís killing
New Delhi, March 1
The crime branch of the Delhi police has started investigating the case of a constable who was suspended for allegedly pushing a 66-year-old man to death on Tuesday.

Give blast victims artificial limbs in 3 weeks, AIIMS told
New Delhi, March 1
The Delhi High Court today directed the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to provide within three weeks artificial limbs to victims of the September 7, 2011 blast outside the court premises.

Akalis hail decision on DSGMC elections 
New Delhi, March 1
Though the Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi), the ruling party in the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) and the SAD (Badal), welcomed the decision of a division bench of the Delhi High Court for election of the gurdwara committee that was announced earlier by the city government, the SAD (Delhi-UK) said to move the Supreme Court for stay on the plea that the lists of electorates were not completed and the delimitation of the wards had not been done.

MCD split will not affect RWC scheme, says Mayor
New Delhi, March 1
Lauding the achievements of the MCD in her last address to the media as Delhi Mayor Rajni Abbi reiterated the steps taken by the civic agency for the strengthening of the RWAs in the city.

Fate of JNUSU contenders sealed
JNU students queue up to cast their votes during the polling for the studentsí union in New Delhi on Thursday. New Delhi, March 1
After a gap of four years, JNU students today voted for the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU). The voting ended at 5.30 pm. The counting will begin late in the night today and the results are expected by Saturday.

JNU students queue up to cast their votes during the polling for the studentsí union in New Delhi on Thursday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Senior citizens, women favour banks in homes 
Noida, March 1
Senior citizens and women bank account holders in Noida are a worried lot as the banks in various residential sectors of the town have received notices from the Noida Authority to wind up their operations and shift their branches to new buildings in commercial sectors or market areas.

Stay on bank sealing extended
New Delhi, March 1
The Supreme Court today extended its stay on sealing of the banks operating from residential areas in NOIDA till March 12. "There will be no sealing of the banks till March 12," a bench comprising Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai said, while extending its earlier order of January 23.

Officials clueless about right to abstain from voting, complain irked voters
Noida, March 1
Several political parties have shot off angry letters to the Election Commission as thousands of voters in the three Assembly constituencies of Gautam Budh Nagar could not vote because their names did not figure in the voters' list.

Nigerian held with cocaine worth Rs 2.5 cr
New Delhi, March 1
A Nigerian national was arrested in Delhi for allegedly possessing 250 g cocaine worth Rs 2.5 crore with the police today claiming to have smashed a drug syndicate operating from Mumbai.

Delhi reggae group nominated for British award
New Delhi, March 1
Delhi-based music group Reggae Rajahs has been nominated for the best international band/group award at the British Reggae Industry Awards (BRIA), to be held in October.

Non-bailable warrant against Azhar
New Delhi, March 1
A Delhi court today issued a non-bailable warrant against former Indian cricket captain-turned-MP Mohammed Azharuddin after he failed to appear in person before a court in a dud cheque case.

HC extends stay on NHAI move to end Delhi-Gurgaon eway contract
New Delhi, March 1
The Delhi High Court today extended its stay on the National Highways Authority of India's (NHAI) decision to terminate its contract to the Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited (DGSCL) to operate the expressway between the capital and NCR township.

200 booked for blocking NH 24 on polling day
Ghaziabad, March 1
The Ghaziabad police has filed FIRs against 200 persons for causing a traffic jam near Behelolpur village on national highway (NH) 24 on Tuesday when a large number of voters could not cast their votes as their names were missing from the voters' list.

Four minors rescued from flesh trade
New Delhi, March 1
Four minor girls from Maharashtra, who were forced into prostitution allegedly by a woman, were rescued from GB Road in the capital, the police said today.


The mangled remains of a car that met with an accident on Pusa Road in New Delhi on Thursday. Two persons were injured in the mishap.
The mangled remains of a car that met with an accident on Pusa Road in New Delhi on Thursday. Two persons were injured in the mishap. Tribune photo

 





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Delhi civic poll on April 15
Himani Chandel
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 1
The State Election Commission today finally declared the much-awaited schedule of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections, which will pave the way for the formation of three corporations, for the first time in the history of the national capital.

The polling for all three corporations will happen on April 15.

The results will be out two days later on April 17, said state election commissioner Rakesh Mehta.

The procedure of filing nominations will begin from March 19 and continue till March 26. The papers will be filed for 272 wards of the three corporations-- North, South and East. The code of conduct will come into effect from March 5.

The wards have been divided into three categories. The North and South units of the corporation will have 104 wards each, while the civic body in East Delhi will have 64 wards.

The process of laying down the rules and regulations for electing the councillors and the administrative staff of the new civic bodies will be completed before April 5, as it is the last working day of the current civic agency.

As per the Act, 50 per cent of the total 272 seats will be reserved for women as against 33 per cent now.

The Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill was passed by the Delhi Assembly on December 1, paving the way for the trifurcation of the civic body. The Bill was given assent by President Pratibha Patil in December last year, following which the city government notified it as an Act. The Union home ministry had cleared the proposal in November last year, five months after receiving it from the Delhi government.

Even as the political groups in the MCD were critical about the criteria of division of seats among the reserved categories, the Delhi High Court yesterday dismissed petitions seeking quashing of notification by the State Election Commission questioning the method adopted by it for reserving seats for the Scheduled Caste candidates.

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AIIMS baby out of danger
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 1
Showing a remarkable recovery, the two-year-old baby at AIIMS has sailed through the life-threatening phase and is now out of danger, according to doctors at the premier hospital.

For the past three days, she had been breathing on her own and if her condition remained the same, she would be shifted from the intensive care unit to the ward tomorrow, they said.

"She was put off ventilator three days ago and is better now. There is no more infection and her condition is improving. She is showing limb movements without any stimuli and all her parameters are stable. We are planning to shift her to the ward tomorrow," said Dr Deepak Agarwal, the neurosurgeon who has been treating the baby along with a multi-disciplinary team of doctors.

"The baby's journey through 44 days, since January 18 when she was brought to the hospital in a bruised state by a teenager, has been a roller-coster ride for her as well as us," added Dr Agarwal.

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English paper puzzling, say students Board exams begin

New Delhi, March 1
Students appearing for the class XII board exams that began here today said the English paper was way too lengthy to finish in three hours. Nearly 8 lakh students are appearing for the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) exams this year.

"The paper was easy but very lengthy. I did not get time to revise my paper," said Kuldeep Khark from Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya at Lodhi Road.

"I don't know about other question paper sets, but my set was lengthy," said Khark, who wrote the exam at Gargi Government Sarvodaya Vidyalya in south Delhi's Green Park.

While some students faced difficulties during the three-hour long exam, some others said the paper was an easy one to crack.

"It was quite easy. As compared to what we had given in the pre-board exams in our schools, this was easy to crack," Sagar Bhatia of Delhi Police Public School in Safdarjung Enclave at south Delhi.

"The length of the paper could be managed as I had planned which section to attempt first," Bhatia added.

For parents, it was time to tell students to focus on the next exam's preparation.

"My son is disappointed as he could not complete the paper in time. I am just telling him to now focus on the next exam," said Meenakshi Shah, a class XII student's mother.

Delhi has over 500 exam centres.

The next exam for class 12 students is political science on March 3 while science students would be appearing for physics exam on March 5. -- IANS

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Crime branch begins probe into old manís killing
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 1
The crime branch of the Delhi police has started investigating the case of a constable who was suspended for allegedly pushing a 66-year-old man to death on Tuesday.

Constable Vikram Singh was suspended on Wednesday after a complaint was lodged against him. The incident occurred at Dhaula Kuan in South-West Delhi, on Tuesday.

The deceased, Anil Kumar, was returning to his residence with his son Mohit Arora (32). They both are residents of Geeta Colony in East Delhi.

Police Commissioner BK Gupta said, "The probe is in progress. We will take strict action."

A three-member medical team conducted the post-mortem of Kumar.

The Delhi Cantt police had handed over the investigation of the case to the crime branch on Wednesday.

According to Anil's family, Mohit and his father were in a car. Mohit stopped the car due to a technical problem. "Mohit asked a policeman, who was standing nearby, for some water. The constable was talking on the phone and ignored his request. Mohit tried finding water from nearby. He was returning to his car when the constable approached grabbed him and dragged him to a police post. The constable claimed that Mohit abused him. Mohit's father came out of the car and intervened. The constable pushed him aside and he fell down unconscious," said a relative.

Anil was rushed to the Safdarjung hospital where he was declared brought dead.

Mohit said, "My father tried stopping the constable from taking me inside the police post. The constable took me inside and misbehaved with me. He did not listen to anyone and was blaming me that I was abusing him. I only wanted to get some water because my car broke down. He had pushed my father, who fell down on the floor and became conscious."

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Give blast victims artificial limbs in 3 weeks, AIIMS told

New Delhi, March 1
The Delhi High Court today directed the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to provide within three weeks artificial limbs to victims of the September 7, 2011 blast outside the court premises.

The division bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw also directed four victims, seeking artificial limbs, to visit AIIMS tomorrow for the treatment.

The bench yesterday issued notice to AIIMS for failing to comply with its order to provide artificial limbs to the blast victims. Hearing a public interest petition, the court told the government to pay money to AIIMS for the artificial limbs.

Petitioner Gaurav Bansal and blast victim Vipin Kumar Gautam sought the best artificial limbs for those injured in the blast. Gautam's left leg was amputated below the knee.

Fifteen people were killed and many disabled in the blast - IANS

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Akalis hail decision on DSGMC elections 
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 1
Though the Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi), the ruling party in the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) and the SAD (Badal), welcomed the decision of a division bench of the Delhi High Court for election of the gurdwara committee that was announced earlier by the city government, the SAD (Delhi-UK) said to move the Supreme Court for stay on the plea that the lists of electorates were not completed and the delimitation of the wards had not been done.

Earlier, the single judge of the high court had directed the city government to complete the exercise of delimitation in 46 wards within a month and also prepare the electoral rolls with photographs of voters for the elections before issuing the notification.

The Directorate of Gurdwara Election challenged the verdict alleging that the single judge bench had no right to pass such orders once the poll process was set in motion with the issuance of the notification.

President of the Delhi unit of the SAD (Badal) Manjit Singh (GK) said that with the order of the court his party had started working for the elections. All the party activists had been directed to work in their wards and convince the electorates to throw Sarna brothers out of the DSGMC by exercising their franchise in favour of Badal.

He appealed to the government to complete the lists of the electorates. Just more than a month is left for the lections but still people have not received their election card. "I will contest election from Greater Kailash but I do not know whether my name is their in the list. So far, I have not been given list," Manjit said.

The government is playing in the hands of Paramjit Singh Sarna. Neither the election of executive committee of the DSMC nor the general election has been conducted. Sarna has working as caretaker president of the gurdwara committee for the last one year. But the government is doing nothing. It has not even completed the preparation for the election, he said.

General secretary of the SAD (Delhi) Harvinder Singh Sarna said that his party already wanted the election of the committee. Now the court had given this direction to the city government, it was welcomed.

President of the SAD (Delhi-UK) Jasjit Singh said that he would go to the Supreme Court for the stay order as lists of the electorates were not completed so far. Delimitation of wards was also an issue.

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MCD split will not affect RWC scheme, says Mayor
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 1
Lauding the achievements of the MCD in her last address to the media as Delhi Mayor Rajni Abbi reiterated the steps taken by the civic agency for the strengthening of the RWAs in the city.

She said the outgoing MCD had approved an allocation of Rs 12,000 per annum or Rs 1,000 per month for each RWA registered for the Residents Ward Committee (RWC) scheme as facilitation fee for streamlining the scheme.

She also informed that a separate allocation of Rs 34 crore had been earmarked in the Budget and would be disbursed through the RWC to strengthen public consultation in development works and to bring in greater transparency with public participation.

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Fate of JNUSU contenders sealed
Results likely on Saturday
Jyoti Rai
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 1
After a gap of four years, JNU students today voted for the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU). The voting ended at 5.30 pm. The counting will begin late in the night today and the results are expected by Saturday.

Unlike other universities, where the results are declared the same day or the next day, JNU results take time.

"The counting takes up to three days at times. This is because we don't use electronic voting machines. Votes are cast not just for the main JNUSU panel, but also for respective councillors in all the schools. Overall, 123 candidates are in the fray for over 30 posts, which include four office-bearers of the JNUSU and 'councillors' from all streams. We count the votes manually, first for the councillors' posts and then for the main panel. The results are declared altogether," said an election committee member for the JNUSU.

The university today polled after a week-long extensive campaigning by the student parties.

The campaigning and the multiple general body meetings and debates culminated with the presidential debate grand finale on March 28, where the candidates got their last chance to present themselves before the students.

As expected, the debate that ran late into the morning hours saw a packed house with students listening to the arguments and counter-arguments put forth by the candidates.

Recalling the last presidential debate in 2007, senior AISA member Sandeep said, "The last debate took place four years back. Those students have left and new ones have joined the university now. These students have never seen the JNU fervour. Almost all students stepped out of their rooms to see the debate, which was so engaging that nearly 400 of them stayed on even after midnight."

"We will have to wait to know how students responded to the elections this time. We expect higher polling numbers than last time. JNU had registered up to 70 per cent polling last time," he added.

A total of 27 candidates are contesting for four posts of the JNU Students' Union. Student leaders are competing for votes of around 5,000 regular students.

A total of 7,032 students are a part of the prestigious university. 

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Senior citizens, women favour banks in homes 
Parmindar Singh

Noida, March 1
Senior citizens and women bank account holders in Noida are a worried lot as the banks in various residential sectors of the town have received notices from the Noida Authority to wind up their operations and shift their branches to new buildings in commercial sectors or market areas.

The main grouse of the people, where most of them have hired lockers, is that banks in their own sectors and near their homes are a great help as they can walk in any time to withdraw cash or take out or deposit jewellery, safely.

Women, pensioners and other senior citizens said they found it highly risky and inconvenient to commute to distant markets to operate the bank accounts or lockers.

They said that purse and chain snatching incidents were very common in the area and traffic hazard added to the woe. Older people and women were scared of the prospect of having to commute to distance sectors or markets to operate their accounts and lockers.

A couple of people like Lalita, IB Gupta, GS Sidhu, Gulzar Singh, KN Jha, Bansal from Sectors 21, 25, 26 and 27, said banks like Cooperative Bank, SBI, IOB, PNB, Syndicate bank, etc., located in residential sectors were safe and easy to operate. The banks operating on main sector roads could be spared from this ban and shifting to an alternate premises as they did not cause traffic problems.

Reacting to the sealing, 74-year-old Agarwal said, "Where should we keep our jewellery. We have kept them in lockers of the bank, but now banks are being sealed. The Noida Authority should have given us a few months as shifting of banks cannot take place in a few days."

Like Delhi, the Noida authority should have changed the byelaws and allowed the mixed land use to tackle the problem.

"Along with safety, public convenience should be the guiding principle. Banks have to be nearer to the residential areas. Banking should not be treated as a commercial activity. It is essential to the residents," said a very senior citizen, IB Das Gupta.

After a fire tragedy in a Kolkata hospital, the Noida Authority, in pursuance to the Apex Court order, had issued notice to hospitals and banks located in the residential areas to shift to some commercial buildings in market places.

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Stay on bank sealing extended

New Delhi, March 1
The Supreme Court today extended its stay on sealing of the banks operating from residential areas in NOIDA till March 12. "There will be no sealing of the banks till March 12," a bench comprising Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai said, while extending its earlier order of January 23.

The bench, however, asked the chief managers of all the relevant banks to file their affidavits within a week giving details of the lease entered by the banks which are to be shifted to alternate site.

The banks, which have been alloted new plots by the Noida authority, have been asked to file their affidavit with the photo copies of the receipt issued to them by the authority.

The bench made it clear that failure to file the affidavits within the timeframe would lead to the sealing of premises by the NOIDA authority.

The bench was hearing intervention applications filed by 19 banks aggrieved by the court's December 5, 2011, judgement. - PTI

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Officials clueless about right to abstain from voting, complain irked voters
Many GB Nagar residents could not vote as their names not in the list
Parmindar Singh

Noida, March 1
Several political parties have shot off angry letters to the Election Commission as thousands of voters in the three Assembly constituencies of Gautam Budh Nagar could not vote because their names did not figure in the voters' list.

Candidates estimate that about 10 per cent voters were left out from casting their ballot.

Mahesh Sharma, the BJP candidate from Noida said, "I believe that names of about 25,000 voters were missing from the voters' list of the Noida constituency alone. This could affect the poll result." "We have written to the chief election officer and demanded an enquiry into the matter. We want that necessary action should be taken against the guilty officials," he added.

Maximum cases of names missing from the voters' list were reported in the Noida constituency from Sectors 12, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 40, 41, 48, 50, 55, 62 and 71. Residents of several villages in Noida, Dadri and Jewar too could not cast their votes in spite of having their voter ID cards. In the Behlolpur area, around 7,000 voters said that their names were missing from the voters' list.

Residents of the newly-carved Noida constituency may have come out to vote in large numbers. But many had reached the polling booths just to record their abstentions. However, they could not exercise their right to abstain from voting, as none of the officers at the booths were aware of Rule 49(0), under which a voter can register his abstention.

At many booths, polling officials were taken by surprise when voters demanded that the presiding officers endorse their abstention in a register. In most cases, the voters were either "denied the right to vote" or were "forced to cast their vote".

"There was a lot of confusion at the polling booths regarding abstention. When I told the official at the polling booth in Sector 15 that I did not wish to cast my vote, he was aghast. Another official got angry and said that since he had already put the indelible ink mark on my finger, I would have to vote," said Aalya Saxena, a resident of Sector 17.

"I then explained Rule 49(0) to officials and even argued with them. Finally, after 10 minutes, the booth officer rummaged through his papers and gave me a notebook in which I made a note and signed it," she added.

Saxena then met the sector magistrate, who accompanied her to the polling station and informed all the booth officers about the rule.

"Many others like me were then able to exercise their right to abstain," she added.

At many booths in Noida, officials did not maintain a register for abstentions. A call to the district election control room on Wednesday evening to get the number of such voters who exercised their right to abstain did not yield any result. Most officials at the control room too seemed unaware of the same. The returning officer remained unavailable for comment.

Others like Saniya Sharma (23), a first-time voter, were not so successful and were forced to cast their votes.

"When I informed the booth officer about my wish to abstain, he looked absolutely clueless. When I tried explaining, he got angry and said that I would have to vote in any case. I did not know what to do and complied," said Sharma, who had gone to the Sector 22 polling station.

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Nigerian held with cocaine worth Rs 2.5 cr

New Delhi, March 1
A Nigerian national was arrested in Delhi for allegedly possessing 250 g cocaine worth Rs 2.5 crore with the police today claiming to have smashed a drug syndicate operating from Mumbai.

Humphrey O. Agbaru (45) was apprehended from Vikaspuri, JCP (crime) Sandeep Goel said here.

"The cocaine was to be distributed to for rave parties in the NCR and adjoining states," Goel said.

Agbaru had earlier allegedly obtained a fake passport of Botswana with a fake Indian visa after he lost his original documents from another Nigerian Gabriel Olawale Ajisafe, who was arrested by the crime branch on February 15 along with four others.

The 45-year-old Nigerian had come to India for the first time in 1998 on a tourist visa. He later visited the country in the same year on studentvisa. He was arrested as his visa expired. After coming out of jail, Goel went back to Nigeria and began garment business there in 2002. The same year, he returned to India and started exporting garments.

Four years later, he married a woman hailing from Satara in Maharashtra.

He allegedly came in contact with a Nigerian staying in Mumbai who lured him into drug trade.-- PTI

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Delhi reggae group nominated for British award

New Delhi, March 1
Delhi-based music group Reggae Rajahs has been nominated for the best international band/group award at the British Reggae Industry Awards (BRIA), to be held in October.

The BRIA are aimed at promoting reggae music and ensuring that the genre develops and grows not just in Britain, but internationally too.

The Reggae Rajahs is a trio of Diggy Dang, Herbalist and DJ MoCity. The group came together in early 2009, and since then, they have been introducing the Indian masses to an eclectic mix of reggae, dub, lovers rock, ska and dancehall.

An excited Dang said: "We've been nominated in the best international group or band category and it's a privilege just to be nominated. We're sharing nominations with bands that have almost given birth to the reggae scene like The Mighty Diamonds, Toots and the Maytals.

"It would be huge even if we got into the top five. I think it's also brilliant because it will help us get recognised for the work we are doing in promoting the scene and it will be greatly helpful in giving the scene a boost. I'm hoping we get noticed in those terms," he added.

The winners of BRIA will be decided upon through votes. The last day for voting is April 30. Votes can be cast on www.britreggae.com/vote.php. -- IANS

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Non-bailable warrant against Azhar

New Delhi, March 1
A Delhi court today issued a non-bailable warrant against former Indian cricket captain-turned-MP Mohammed Azharuddin after he failed to appear in person before a court in a dud cheque case.

Metropolitan magistrate Vikrant Vaid issued the warrant against Azharuddin even as his counsel moved an exemption application today on the ground that he was busy campaigning for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.

"The exemption application is dismissed," the court said while directing Azharuddin to appear in person on March 7.

Earlier, the Delhi court had issued a non-bailable warrant against him for not appearing in court on the day of the final verdict in the case, a lawyer said.

According to complainant Sanjay Solanki, he had helped Azharuddin purchase a property in Bandra in Mumbai for Rs 1.5 crore. As per the agreement to sell and purchase, Azhar had agreed to pay double the initial amount of Rs 1.5 crore if the deal fell through due to his failure to comply with the terms.

When the deal did not mature, Azhar refused to pay double the amount, the complainant's counsel Gurvinder Singh Talwar said. Azhar issued two cheques for Rs 1.5 crore twice to the complainant, which were dishonoured, he said.

Azhar during the framing of charges had claimed innocence and told the court that he did not know the complainant personally and had met him for the first time in court.

He added that he made the payment to the person who had set the deal as the agreement, carrying the MP's Delhi address, was made by another person. "That person told me that he had paid the money to Solanki," Azhar told the court on July 21, 2011. -- IANS

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HC extends stay on NHAI move to end Delhi-Gurgaon eway contract

New Delhi, March 1
The Delhi High Court today extended its stay on the National Highways Authority of India's (NHAI) decision to terminate its contract to the Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited (DGSCL) to operate the expressway between the capital and NCR township.

Justice S Muralidhar, in his order, said the court's earlier order restraining the NHAI from taking further action against the DGSCL would remain in force till March 27, the next date of hearing.

The order came on the private firm's plea to restrain the NHAI from taking any coercive action against it.

The NHAI earlier had accused the DGSCL of serious financial fraud and failure to improve services at the 32-lane toll plaza, while ordering termination of its deal with it.

The NHAI had accused the concessionaire DGSCL, of fraud in the form of refinancing the project without getting its approval.

The NHAI had issued a preliminary termination notice to the concessionaire on December 7 last year and the private firm had challenged this before the high court.

The NHAI later, in its affidavit to the court, had stated that it wanted to scrap the deal to which the court asked the NHAI to send the termination order within three days.

Meanwhile, the Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC), which provided credit facility of Rs 1,597 crore to the DGSCL for its 28-km road project, moved the high court, saying the termination of the contract of operating the toll plaza will cause a huge loss to it.

Seeking a stay on the termination order, the IDFC said the highways authority had violated the tripartite agreement it had signed with the DGSCL and the government. According to the IDFC, under the concession agreement, the NHAI is bound to send notice for any termination to the banks and financial institutions too so that they have two months to cure any default.

The IDFC has said the failure on the part of the NHAI to send them a notice has deprived them of their valuable rights as per the provisions of the contract agreement.

Meanwhile, the court, on March 27, will also hear the IDFC plea along with a civil suit filed by the DGSCL. -- PTI

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200 booked for blocking NH 24 on polling day
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, March 1
The Ghaziabad police has filed FIRs against 200 persons for causing a traffic jam near Behelolpur village on national highway (NH) 24 on Tuesday when a large number of voters could not cast their votes as their names were missing from the voters' list.

The FIRs have been registered against unknown people. The police is trying to identify the people responsible for the incident.

During the polling in Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar on Tuesday, a large number of voters alleged that their names were missing from the voters' list, though they were all carrying their voters' ID cards. Thus, they were deprived of casting their votes. Angry people had caused a jam on NH 24.

Divisional Commissioner Bhuvenesh Kumar and IG (Range), Sanjeev Krishen had hard time to persuade the squatter to call off the jam.

The traffic was suspended for about four hours on national highway, making many voters to walk up to 6 to 8 km to their voting booths to cast their votes.

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Four minors rescued from flesh trade

New Delhi, March 1
Four minor girls from Maharashtra, who were forced into prostitution allegedly by a woman, were rescued from GB Road in the capital, the police said today.

During investigation, it was revealed that these girls came from poor families and they were lured by the woman on the pretext of providing them good employment in Delhi.

"They were first brought to some place in Delhi and kept there for few days and thereafter that woman sold them to Sumsum and were forced into prostitution," Additional Commissioner of Police (Central) Devesh Chandra Srivastva said.

The girls were not allowed to go outside and were restrained in that place, he said. -- PTI

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