A T E S T N E W S
cops killed in Pak blast
Three security personnel were killed and six injured in a blast that
targeted their vehicle in Balochistan province of Pakistan today.
The Dawn online reported the security personnel were on a routine patrol
in Kalat district, when a remote controlled bomb targeted their vehicle.
verdict on death penalty commutation ‘patently illegal’: Centre
Review petition questions
jurisdiction of the 3-judge bench
Delhi: The Centre today moved the Supreme Court seeking
review of its verdict holding undue delay by the government in deciding
mercy plea can be a ground to commute death sentence of a condemned
The Centre submitted the January 21 judgement, by which 15 condemned
prisoners were granted life and paved the way for similar relief for
Rajiv Gandhi killers, was "patently illegal, suffers from errors
It said such an important issue should have been heard by a Constitution
bench and the judgement passed by a three-judge bench was without
"It is respectfully submitted that the impugned judgement is
patently illegal, suffers from errors apparent on the face of the record
and flies in the face of well-established principles of law laid down by
this Court and contained in the Constitution and other statutes,"
the review petition said.
"It is submitted that in the present case, the issue raised was
that of the commutation of the death sentence to life imprisonment on
the ground of delay, which allegedly attracted Article 21 (right to
life) in favour of the convicts.
"Therefore, it involved a substantial issue of interpretation of
the Constitution and ought to have been heard by a bench of five Judges,
as mandated under Article 145 of the Constitution," it said.
Referring to an earlier apex court order, according to which the nature
of crime should be considered while commuting death sentence of a
convict, the government said previous verdict "observed that there
is a distinction between offences such as TADA and other offences".
"Thus, there is an error apparent on the face of the record, and
the impugned judgement merits a review," it said. —
Singh joins BJP
Former Army chief calls it only
Delhi: Former Army chief Gen (retd) VK Singh, who had
been engaged in a long-drawn battle with the government over his age
issue, joined the BJP today. He said the BJP was the only
"nationalist" party and he wanted to see it in power.
General Singh, who joined the BJP along with a number of other
ex-servicemen in presence of party president Rajnath Singh, said they
should support it so that a "stable, strong and nationalist"
government was formed.
"I saw only BJP as nationalist party," he said. "We, who
have served on borders, should work with nationalist forces. So we have
decided to move with the BJP to bring a government which is stable,
strong and takes decisions in national interest,” added the
63-year-old general, who retired in May, 2012.
Welcoming him into the partyfold, Rajnath said if the BJP came to power,
it would take good care of the armed forces.
The BJP chief, citing the recent mishaps involving the Navy, said the
UPA government had not looked after the armed forces well. He also
attacked the government over ceasefire violations by Pakistan, including
the beheading of two Indian soldiers, and intrusions by China.
The general joined the BJP months after he shared dais with its prime
ministerial candidate Narendra Modi at an ex-servicemen rally in
offers 11 seats to Cong, one to NCP
Putting pressure on Congress, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav today offered
11 seats to Congress and asked the party to give its acceptance by
tomorrow, when his party's parliamentary board is scheduled to meet
RJD has also offered one out of the 40 seats in the state to the NCP,
another Congress ally.
The development came after his old ally LJP walked over to the BJP camp.
Prasad, who returned here from Delhi last night, said he had told
Congress general secretary and in-charge of Bihar CP Joshi about the
offer. "I have asked him to communicate acceptance before RJD
parliamentary board meeting in Patna tomorrow at 3 pm," Prasad told
He said the offer did not mean "everything is over" between
the RJD and the Congress on the issue. "I have also told Joshi that
if his party stakes claim for any other seat then he should convince me
about the winning potential of his expected candidate," he said.
To questions on whether the RJD could decide to go it alone, he said,
"Why are you presuming things? ...The party's parliamentary board
will take some decisions tomorrow." He said for him and the RJD,
the biggest challenge was to halt communal forces.
He said he had not meant any fight with the Congress, which was a media
The RJD chief had said last night, "Now there will be lathbandhan
(alliance of bamboos)", conveying the RJD would be taking on the
Congress in the poll battle.
He, however, did not identify the 11 seats offered to the Congress and
the one to the NCP. He also refused to comment on reports that RJD-Congress
alliance was stuck due to conflicting claims between the two parties on
Madhubani and some other seats.
While the Congress appears to be adamant about getting the Madhubani
seat for its general secretary Shakeel Ahmad, RJD claiming it for its
legislature party leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui, is in no mood to relent.
The Congress and the RJD had fought separately in the 2009 polls and
Siddiqui had secured second position after BJP's Hukumdeo Narayan Yadav,
while Ahmad had been at third position.
Congress has been asking for seats like Patliputra, Nawada and Bhagalpur,
which are RJD favourites. Prasad is expected to field his eldest
daughter Misa Bharti from Patliputra constituency against his
friend-turned-enemy Ranjan Yadav.
Prasad said his erstwhile ally Ramvilas Paswan, who had now joined hands
with the BJP, had compromised his ideology.
launches 3-day road-show in UP
Ghaziabad: The Aam
Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal kick-started his three-day
road-show in Uttar Pradesh today. His rally, which started from the AAP
office in Kaushambi, will cover over 15 Lok Sabha constituencies in the
Kejriwal will address a rally in Kanpur tomorrow. The rally will cover
Ghaziabad, Pilkhuwa, Hapur, Amroha, Moradabad, Rampur, Bareilly,
Shahjahanpur and Hardoi.
"UP is dominated by caste and religion politics and we want to
replace it with politics of development. The state is backward and we
intend to target other parties over a number of issues plaguing the
state," said Manish Sisodia, a senior party leader accompanying
Kejriwal in the road-show.
"Corruption, dynastic politics and criminalisation of politics are
the main issues we will target in UP. Also, power is another important
issue we intend to target as it is bigger problem in Uttar
Pradesh," said another party leader and UP in-charge of the party
The rally, second after the one in Rohtak in Haryana last week, is also
a part of AAP’s national campaign ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
The party intends to target rival parties, especially the Congress and
the BJP, over the Reliance gas issue.
The party has over 3.5 lakh workers and activists in Uttar Pradesh.
On March 2, the road-show will start from Hardoi and proceed to Unnao
and reach Kanpur, where Kejriwal will address a rally. In Kanpur,
Kejriwal will meet leaders from business community and social
On March 3, the road-show will head to Delhi, covering Auraiya, Etawah,
Firozabad, Agra, Mathura and Palwal.
Kejriwal's road-show, comprising a fleet of 50-70 cars, led to a traffic
jam in Kaushambi. — PTI
raped in M’rashtra; youth arrested
A five-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a teenager, who was her
neighbour in Janaki Pada area here.
The police said today the accused Janardhan Bind
(19), who works in a local company, lured the girl with chocolates and
took her to his house yesterday when her parents were not around.
The incident came to light when the girl told her mother about the
The accused has been arrested and booked under Section 376 of the IPC
and Sections 4 and 8 of the Protection of Children from Sexual offences
Act 2012. — PTI