L A T E S T      N E W S

Will ban Vishwaroopam in UP if found objectionable: SP

LUCKNOW: After the ban in Tamil Nadu, Kamal Haasan's Vishwaroopam may be prevented from screening in Uttar Pradesh if it is found that the film "hurts the sentiments" of Muslims and indulges in "character assassination", the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) said on Thursday.

"Official concerned would see the film thoroughly; if it is found to be good and entertaining (then it is) fine, or else, it would not be allowed to run in UP," Samajwadi Party general secretary Ram Asrey Kushwaha told reporters in Lucknow.

"If it indulges in character assassination, it would not be screened in the state...," Kushwaha said.

The veteran actor's spy thriller has run into trouble in Tamil Nadu where the high court yesterday stayed its screening over the sensitive content of the film.

"It appears that there are some portions which hurt the sentiments of a religious group or caste... Officials would look into it," the SP leader added. — PTI






Lokpal Bill with amendments cleared by Cabinet

NEW DELHI: The amended Lokpal Bill, which delinks the central government from creation of state Lokayuktas, was today approved by the Union Cabinet, paving the way for its consideration by Parliament. The revised bill incorporates a number of changes recommended by the Rajya Sabha Select Committee,
including appointment of the Director of Prosecution by the CVC.

The government, however, has not accepted a key recommendation of the panel that an official facing an inquiry by the Lokpal should not be given an opportunity to be heard at the stage of the preliminary inquiry.

The Select Committee, to which the controversial bill was referred in view of sharp differences between political parties, has recommended delinking of the creation of Lokayuktas from the Lokpal Bill.

This was one of the most controversial provisions with several parties contending that it amounts to the central government encroaching upon the rights of the states.

The Bill had said state governments will have to set up Lokayuktas within one year of enactment of Lokpal.

On the issue of giving opportunity to an official to present his or her view, the government feels that such a protection is required and depriving the officials facing allegations the opportunity to present their views was against the "principle of protection". — PTI






Uddhav asks NDA to decide PM candidate well before LS poll

MUMBAI: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray today asked the NDA to decide its Prime Ministerial candidate well in advance before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. "There should be no confusion at the last moment. The election for the PM's post is due in April-May next. If at that time we are required to have a PM candidate, what is the harm in starting the discussion now ? All should come together and decide the candidate. What is the problem ?" Uddhav said.

He expressed these views in the concluding part of an interview to the party mouthpiece, "Saamana" published today.

"During the last Presidential elections, the NDA couldn't decide on a candidate till the last moment. There was no unanimity within NDA on the issue. At that time, when Sangma's name cropped up, Balasaheb said we won't support him but Pranab Mukherjee as he was the better candidate," Uddhav said.

Late Bal Thackeray had suggested Sushma Swaraj as the suitable PM candidate for NDA, Uddhav said. "If you have another name, please bring it forward, we will talk. But do that soon. Don't behave as you did during the Presidential poll," he added.

Thackeray had last year said he would back Swaraj as she was the only "deserving and brilliant" person who fitted the bill. "She's a savvy woman and will perform her job as Prime Minister in a forceful and decisive manner," the late Sena chief had said.

Last month, the Shiv Sena had thrown its weight behind Narendra Modi's prime ministerial ambitions. Sena leader Sanjay Raut had then told media, "We have no problem if Modi is declared as the NDA's PM candidate. Modi is definitely a strong leader. There is no doubt about that. Who to make the PM nominee will be NDA's decision, specially that of BJP, which is its largest party." — PTI






Supreme Court sets aside acquittals in Suryanelli case

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday set aside the Kerala High Court’s order acquitting 35 accused in the 1996 Suryanelli rape case in which a 16-year-old girl was gangraped for over 40 days.

A bench headed by Justice A.K. Patnaik sent the case back to the High Court for taking a fresh look at it.

The court passed the order on an appeal filed by Kerala challenging the acquittals in the case.

The Kerala High Court had acquitted 35 persons who were convicted by a special court in September 2000.

The High Court had found only one person guilty of crime related to sex trade and had sentenced him to five years in jail and a fine of Rs. 50,000.

The girl from Suryanelli in Idukki district of Kerala was abducted in January 1996 and was transported from place to place across Kerala.

The Supreme Court on January 3, 2013 had decided to hear on an urgent basis within three weeks the appeal against the acquittal of the 35 accused in the gang rape case.

The bench had given the assurance after it was brought to its notice that the appeal against the High Court verdict had been pending in the Supreme Court for the last eight years. — PTI






Australia names squad for four-Test series in India

Sydney: Australia will take four spin-bowling options to India for their four-Test tour, with Glenn Maxwell and Steve Smith named on Thursday in a 17-man squad alongside Nathan Lyon and Xavier Doherty.

The first Test starts on February 22 in Chennai and national selector John Inverarity

said they would be ready for all conditions, with five pace bowlers also included.

"This squad has the flexibility that will be required for the varying conditions expected in India, and it will provide valuable experience to a number of young players," he said.

"The squad includes a spin bowling all-rounder in Maxwell and a medium-fast all-rounder in Moises Henriques."

"In aiming for more depth in a bowling attack, the squad would allow for three pace bowlers, a leading spinner and Maxwell, or two pace bowlers, the two spinners and Henriques. These are two of the options."

The pace attack is led by Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson and Jackson Bird.

Doherty's recent form also saw him selected.

"We certainly feel he is much improved in the longer format of the game since he made his Test debut in 2010-11 against England," said Inverarity.Back




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