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Friday, 30 November 2012

Suave IK Gujral founded India's peaceful foreign policy

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Suave IK Gujral founded India's peaceful foreign policy
Clean Media Correspondent

New Delhi, Nov 30 (CMC) A suave and sobre politician, Inder Kumar Gujral belonged to that genre of intellectuals who made a mark in the country's foreign policy and a slice of luck catapulted him to the prime minister's office, though briefly.

Twice a foreign minister, Gujral authored a foreign policy doctrine called the "Gujral Doctrine" (a set of principles to guide the conduct of foreign relations with India's immediate neighbours), which was widely acclaimed not only in India but also outside.

Capping a long political career that saw him occupy positions in various ministries under the late Indira Gandhi, who made him Ambassador to the then superpower USSR, Gujral became the surprise choice of a motley group of regional parties to be the Prime Minister of Janata Dal-led United Front government in 1997.

With tussle among several claimants including Mulayam Singh Yadav, Gujral became the consensus choice after Congress under Sitaram Kesri withdrew support to HD Deve Gowda. It was another matter that the experiment failed and in 10 months the nation was forced to go to polls.

Born on December 4, 1919 in Jhelum town now in Pakistan, Gujral belonged to a family of freedom fighters and had actively participated in the freedom struggle at a young age and was jailed in 1942 during the Quit India Movement.

Educated at DAV College, Haily College of Commerce and Forman Christian College, Lahore (now in Pakistan), Gujral took active part in student politics. After the tumultuous events that rocked the Indian sub-continent in the wake of partition in August 1947, Gujral crossed over to India.

Braving heavy odds with his perseverance, resilience and never-say-die attitude, Gujral first became vice-president of the New Delhi municipal committee in 1958. He formally joined Congress and six years later, Indira Gandhi, to whom he said he owed everything, gave him a ticket with which he entered Rajya Sabha in April 1964. This was the beginning of a long innings, both in the national politics and diplomacy.

He was part of the 'coterie' that helped Indira Gandhi become prime minister in 1966. In Gandhi's government, he held several portfolios as Union minister for communications, Parliamentary affairs and housing.

He was the information and broadcasting minister when Emergency was imposed (on June 25, 1975), which brought in arbitrary press censorship. Since he refused to tow to the powers-that-be, he was taken out of the ministry and sent by Indira Gandhi as ambassador to Moscow, a post he handled with tact and finesse. He continued even during the tenures of her two successors, Morarji Desai and Charan Singh.

Sensex up 167 points; metal, bank stocks rally

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Sensex up 167 points; metal, bank stocks rally
Clean Media Correspondent

Mumbai, Nov 30 (CMC) The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 18,229.70 points, was ruling at 19,338.45 points around 12.50 p.m., up 167.54 points or 0.87 percent from its previous close at 19,170.91 points.

The gains came a day after the Sensex gained its 19 month high levels after an upgrade of Indian stocks by Goldman Sachs and hopes that the government would tide over the opposition in Parliament to foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail saw the Sensex soaring 329 points Thursday.

The index on Friday touched a high of 19,345.56 points and low of 19,186.30 points intra-day. The BSE midcap index was up 78.30 points, the smallcap index was higher by 70.10 points.
The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange was up 44.00 points or 0.76 percent at 5,869.00 points.

The metals index was up 213.32 points, while the banks index edged higher by 159.56 points, followed by oil and gas index, up 121.89 points, capital goods index, up 111.98 points and PSU index, higher by 107.65 points.

However, the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) index was down 15.88 points.

Among other Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei rose 0.48 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.71 percent. China's Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.85 percent.

Modi files nomination with new mantra - ‘Vikas, Vishwaas, Vijay’

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Modi files nomination with new mantra - ‘Vikas, Vishwaas, Vijay’
Clean Media Correspondent

Ahmedabad, Nov 30 (CMC) Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is seeking a re-election in the Assembly Elections next month, on Friday launched a new motto: Vikas, Vishwaas, and Vijay (Development, Trust, and Victory). 

Modi announced the motto minutes before filing his nomination papers for the Maninagar Assembly constituency, which goes to polls on December 17. 

The two-phased Gujarat polls will be held on December 13 and 17, while the votes will be counted on December 20. 

Addressing his supporters, Modi challenged the Congress to prove what they have done for Gujarat. The CM alleged that the opposition party was trying to sabotage the developmental projects. 

“We will fight the elections on the basis of development and not on the basis of vote bank politics,” he declared. 

Modi said Congress cannot win elections just by spending money on poll campaign. 

“No amount of money can take BJP out of power in Gujarat,” the CM roared. 

Modi said Congress’ poll campaign in the state is in shambles, and added that the people cannot depend on the opposition party. 

He further dared the Congress to announce Ahmed Patel as its CM candidate. Patel is the political secretary to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. 

Explain arrest of social media users: Supreme Court tells Centre, five states

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Explain arrest of social media users: Supreme Court tells Centre, five states
Clean Media Correspondent

New Delhi, Nov 30 (CMC) The Supreme Court has issued notices to the Union government, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi and Puducherry seeking an explanation over the recent arrests of social media users.

This, after an aspiring Delhi Univeristy law student Shreya Singhal filed a PIL before SC stating that Section 66(A) of the IT Act be modified.

An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir issued the notice - also to  Maharashtra, West Bengal, Puducherry and Delhi - after Attorney General GE Vahanvati told the court that Section 66A has been grossly abused and welcomed the court's intervention.
However, he said that per se there was nothing wrong with the section and defended it.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court disapproved of the arrests of two youngsters in Palghar for questioning in their Facebook posts the Mumbai shutdown of November 18 for Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s funeral. It agreed to hear a PIL seeking scrapping of section 66A of the IT act used for the arrests.

Shaheen Dhadha, 21, was arrested on November 19 for putting up the post. And her friend, Renu Srinivasan, was detained later for liking it.

“The arrest of two children outraged the conscience of many. We were about to take suo motu cognizance of this. We were wondering why no application was moved till now,” a bench led by CJI Altamas Kabir said after senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi mentioned the petition.

The bench asked attorney general GE Vahanvati to appear before it on Friday when it would hear the PIL filed by 21-year-old Shreya Singhal, an astrophysics graduate from University of Bristol in the UK.

Singhal, an aspiring law student, told media that the arrests left a chilling effect on her and other internet users. She said section 66A was susceptible to "wanton abuse" in view of the subjective discretion of the police.

"I filed the PIL because I felt that the arrests ... were a gross violation of our right to free speech and expression ensured under the Constitution. I am a Facebook user and I feel a sense of camaraderie with all the people who were arrested," she said.

Apart from striking down section 66A, Singhal's PIL also wants the court to make it mandatory for police to take permission from the magistrate concerned before taking action in Indian Penal Code offences involving the freedom of speech and expression.

Salve, who was present in the court, said the right to "annoy" was part of the freedom of speech and expression and section 66A of IT Act should be declared unconstitutional.

The bench, questioning the arrests made at night, said, "The might of the police got activated after sunset." It, however, refused to stay the operation of section 66A.

Section 66A of the IT Act reads: “Any person who sends by any means of a computer resource…any information that is grossly offensive or has a menacing character; or any information which he knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult… shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine.”

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Sensex rises 305 points on global cues

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Sensex rises 305 points on global cues
Clean Media Correspondent 

MUMBAI, NOV 29 (CMC) Indian equities, the Sensex and the Nifty, surged about 1.6 per cent at the end of the session on Tuesday on heavy buying by funds and retail investors on the back of global cues.

European and Asian markets were up as European finance ministers cut the borrowing costs for Greece and gave the indebted nation time to repay rescue loans after several rounds of prolonged discussions.

As part of the deal, Greece has agreed to bring down its debt to 124 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020, and further to 122 per cent of GDP by 2022.

The 30-share BSE index Sensex was up 305.07 points (1.65 per cent) at 18,842.08 and the 50-share NSE index Nifty was up 91.55 points (1.62 per cent) at 5,727.45.

Volume toppers were SBI, ICICI Bank, HDFC, Infosys and Bharti Airtel. Among 30-share Sensex stocks, Bharti Airtel (up 5.22 per cent), Sterlite (3.56 per cent), HDFC (2.79 per cent), HDFC Bank (2.69 per cent) and Hindalco (2.55 per cent) were the top performers.

All BSE sectoral indices were trading in the green. Among them, Realty index (up 3.2 per cent), Consumer Durables (3.18 per cent), FMCG (2.12 per cent) and Bankex (1.84 per cent) led the rally.

Govt and Oppn may have a deal: debate with voting only in LS

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Govt and Oppn may have a deal: debate with voting only in LS
Clean Media Correspondent 

New Delhi, Nov 29 (CMC) The government and opposition could reach a face-saving solution to end the logjam in Parliament over the issue of FDI in multi-brand retail. The debate on the contentious subject could take place next week but with voting only in the Lok Sabha, where the UPA has a clear majority, and not the Rajya Sabha, where it would have to work on the numbers.

At a meeting on Wednesday morning, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath is said to have proposed to Leaders of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley that a discussion on FDI in retail could be had in the Lok Sabha under a rule with voting provisions (Rule 184) if the opposition did not insist on a similar provision in the Rajya Sabha.

The government proposal came after both BJP leaders stuck to the stand that the FDI debate would have to be voted upon to get a sense of the House. They reminded Nath that Pranab Mukherjee, as then leader of the house, had assured that all stakeholders would be consulted before a decision on FDI in multi-brand retail was taken. The response of the BJP leaders to the face-saver solution was not negative, sources said.

Nath also attempted to extract an assurance from them on support over important legislations pending in Parliament. But both Swaraj and Jaitley remained non-commital, according to sources. Several reforms measures like the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill, Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill and the Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill — critical for the government and on which the BJP does not have ideological differences with the UPA — are pending in Parliament.
The announcements for the FDI debate under voting or non-voting provisions in the two Houses are likely to be made by the respective presiding officers on Thursday, should all go well. “Presiding officers can take any decision they want in the interest of running Parliament,” Nath said after his meeting with the Opposition leaders. Insisting that numbers were “not a worry” for the government, he said that the MPs are responsible enough to decide (on the issue).

“From day one I have said we have the numbers,” he said when asked if the government became ready for a vote only after key ally DMK came on board. Nath, who met Rajya Sabha chairperson Hamid Ansari on Tuesday, also met Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar Wednesday morning. Nath maintained that the all-party meeting held on Monday showed that a larger number of parties favoured a discussion without voting and that they wanted Parliament to “function normally”.

Swaraj told reporters that the government should not shy away from a vote as it would not fall even in the event of a defeat. “The government will not fall. Only FDI (decision) will have to go. If a majority of the members are against the decision, then the government should abide by it,” the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha said. Besides the BJP, the Left parties, BJD, AIADMK and TDP have demanded a discussion on FDI followed by voting.

As far as numbers go, the UPA may not face any problems in the Lok Sabha given that it has the backing of 265 MPs from within and outside support of the Samajwadi Party (22 MPs) and BSP (21 MPs), that takes it comfortably above the half way mark of 273. However, the Rajya Sabha can be trickier as the UPA will have to get each of its 94 MPs as well as the 10 nominated and seven Independents, besides SP and BSP members, to vote for the government to avoid any last-minute embarrassment.

Police ask Zee boss to join probe, get 2-day custody of executives

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Police ask Zee boss to join probe, get 2-day custody of executives
Clean Media Correspondent

New Delhi, Nov 28 (CMC) Zee News editor and business head Sudhir Chaudhary and Zee Business editor and business head Sameer Ahluwalia were Wednesday remanded in police custody for two days by a local court after the crime branch of the Delhi police said it wanted to question them to unravel the alleged “larger conspiracy” in the extortion case involving Congress MP Naveen Jindal.

The two journalists were arrested Tuesday following a complaint by Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) on October 2, alleging that they had demanded Rs 100 crore in committed advertising from JSPL in return for dropping an investigation launched by their two channels on the alleged undue benefits accrued to Jindal in the allotment of coal blocks by the UPA government.

Zee has denied the allegations and said the arrests are an attempt to gag the media on the basis of a fraudulent and contrived complaint.

Police sources said the crime branch had also sent a notice three days ago to Zee group chairman Subhash Chandra, asking him to join investigations after an analysis of phone call records allegedly showed that the Zee editors had spoken to Chandra immediately after their first meeting with Jindal at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Delhi in connection with the alleged extortion bid.

Police said the editors and Chandra spoke for 286 seconds, which has led them to request Chandra to join the investigation. Police said that although the two editors were allegedly instrumental in the entire conspiracy, they need to be questioned to ascertain if any others are involved.

The two journalists have been booked under sections 384 (extortion), 420 (cheating), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and 511 (punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment) of the IPC.

During arguments in court, public prosecutor Rajiv Mohan said Chaudhary and Ahluwalia are required to be interrogated to unearth the involvement of Chandra and his son Punit Goenka in the case. Their names have been mentioned in the FIR filed by the HR head of JSPL.

He said police also need to find the source from which the CAG report, which is the subject of dispute between the news channel and the Jindal Group, was obtained. The prosecutor said investigators have evidence in the form of video and audio recordings of the two journalists allegedly demanding money.

He said three officials of Jindal Group — Ravi Mutreja, head of corporate communication, Sushil Kumar, director and Vivek Mittal, senior DGM — were approached by the two editors offering that they would not broadcast reports regarding the alleged involvement of JSPL in the coal blocks allotment controversy.

He said the channel had demanded the money in the form of advertisements for five years.

“We need their sustained custodial interrogation to unearth the conspiracy and to know the source who had cooked up this idea of alleged extortion of money from the Jindal Group as it is not a single person’s decision. This money was for the whole group, so many others are involved in the conspiracy,” Mohan said while accusing Chandra of being complicit in the episode

He also said that the reports broadcast on the Zee channels about Jindal group’s alleged involvement in the coal controversy were “concocted”.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Sensex recovers 197 points on hopes of more reforms

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Sensex recovers 197 points on hopes of more reforms
Clean Media Correspondent

MUMBAI, Nov 24 (CMC) Stocks: Expectations of more reform measures in the winter session of Parliament in view of rejection of no-trust motion moved by Trinamool Congress against the Government pushed up the BSE benchmark Sensex by 197 points to 18,506.57, snapping two weeks of losing spree. 

Persistent foreign fund inflows into equity market also boosted the market sentiment. 

An attempt by the former UPA ally to bring a no-trust motion against the Congress-led Government over FDI in retail failed in the Lok Sabha for want of requisite numbers. This supported the uptrend in the market, brokers said. 

Placing of key Bills regarding insurance and pension reforms in the winter session too gave a leg-up to the market. 

Brokers said buying at low levels in selective counters helped the 30-share Sensex to end in positive zone. 

Traders said Indian stock market was also helped by firm Asian trends on reports that President Barack Obama is confident of striking a deal with US Congress on a new budget. 

Some short-covering was seen ahead of expiry of derivatives contract on November 29, pushing the BSE benchmark up, they added. 

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) sensitive index resumed higher at 18,349.53 and hovered in a range of 18,567.68 and 18,255.69 before ending at 18,506.57, showing a gain of 197.20 points, of 1.08 per cent, over the last week. 

The NSE 50-share Nifty also shot up by 52.55 points or 0.94 per cent to 5,626.60. 

The Bankex gained by 1.21 per cent as Banking Laws Amendment Bill, 2011, which seeks an increase in the voting rights of large shareholders in private banks to 26 per cent from 10 per cent, will be tabled in the winter session. 

"The winter session of Parliament began, but no business was transacted in the first two days, raising concerns over the fate of various Bills which are proposed to be presented and passed in the session," said Dipen Shah, Head of PCG Research, Kotak Securities. 

"Next week is a truncated trading week. In the coming week, markets may remain volatile as traders roll over positions in the futures and options (F&O) segment from the near month November 2012 series to December 2012 series. The near-month November 2012 derivatives contracts expire on Thursday, November 29, 2012," a broker said. 

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) continued their buying spree by investing net Rs 1,671.47 crs during the week including the provisional figure of Novermber 23. 

Major gainers from the sensex pack were M&M 6.67 per cent, followed by ITCBSE -0.88 % 4.32 per cent, HDFC BankBSE 0.04 % 4.21 per cent, MarutiBSE 0.00 % 3.84 per cent, Sun PharmaBSE 1.00 % 3.86 per cent, Tata PowerBSE 1.14 % 2.92 per cent, Coal IndiaBSE 0.92 % 2.01 per cent and WiproBSE -1.07 % 1.99 per cent. 

Among other sectorial indices, the BSE-FMCG shot up by 2.57 pc followed by BSE-Auto 1.53 pc, BSE-Teck 1.19 pc and BSE-IT 1.13 pc while BSE-PSU dropped by 1.23 pc, BSE-Power 1.20 pc and the BSE-Realty 1.06 pc.

Cook and Pietersen guide England to comfortable position

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Cook and Pietersen guide England to comfortable position
Clean Media Correspondent

MUMBAI, NOV 24 (CMC) Skipper Alastair Cook continued to torment India with yet another gritty batting display while Kevin Pietersen returned to form with an unbeaten half-century to give England a slight advantage in the second cricket Test here today.

After dismissing India for 327 in the first innings, England moved to a comfortable 178 for two in 65 overs before the stumps were drawn on the second day, with the visitors trailing by 149 runs.

At close, the left-handed Cook, who had scored a big century in the first Test, was unbeaten on 87. The more aggressive Pietersen was batting on 62 after a stay of 127 minutes during which he faced 85 balls and hit nine fours.

Cook batted for 251 minutes and faced 209 balls, striking a six and ten fours in the process

The third wicket duo has so far put on 110 runs in 186 balls. For the record, Cook has batted for 960 minutes in all in the three innings he has batted during the series.

With three more days left in the second game of the four-match series in which India is 1—0 ahead, a result is on the cards on a track that is aiding the spin bowlers.

England, though, looked to have a slight advantage with a settled and experienced pair at the wicket and some more batting to follow.

On a wicket where the spin duo of Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann ran through the star-studded Indian batting line-up in which Cheteshwar Pujara (135) and Ravichandra Ashwin (68) stood out, the trio of home team spinners looked largely clueless against the determined Cook and Pietersen.

Barring the twin strike by left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha in the space of 11 balls just before tea, the home side’s spin attack looked far less menacing than both Panesar (five for 129) and Swann, who ran through the tail today to end up with figures of four for 70.

Keywords: India-England test cricket, India, England, Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen, Monty Panesar, Graeme Swann, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravichandra Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha

Congress takes a dig at Arvind Kejriwal, says 'aam aadmi' is with it since 1885

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Congress takes a dig at Arvind Kejriwal, says 'aam aadmi' is with it since 1885 
Clean Media Correspondent

New Delhij, Nov 24 (CMC) The Congress on Saturday objected to anti-corruption activist turned politician Arvind Kejriwal's party name and said that 'aam aadmi' is synonymous with the Congress party since 1885. Union Minister Manish Tewari said, "Nobody can hijack the intrinsic relationship between the Congress and the 'aam aadmi'."
Kejriwal on Saturday finally gave a name to his long-awaited party, christening it after the ordinary citizen whose rights he has long been fighting for. The name 'Aam Aadmi Party' was proposed by Mayank Gandhi, and adopted at the meet held in Delhi on Saturday. The group also adopted the constitution of the party.
Elaborating, AAP National Executive member Yogendra Yadav said, "The party will have a national coordinator who will be elected... A Political Affairs Committee at the national level that is kind of a politburo. The National Executive has 30 seats... Today 23 members were chosen. National Council will be the broadest body. The party will have a Secretary and a Treasurer, but no president or general secretary."

Union Minister Manish Tewari said that nobody can hijack the intrinsic relationship between the Congress and the 'aam aadmi'.
Yadav added that apart from Kejriwal and himself, the following were some of the other National Executive members: Prashant Bhushan, Mayank Gandhi, Gopal Rai, Kumar Viswas, Anand Kumar, Manish Sisodia, Subhas Bare and Ajit Jha. He said that Shanti Bhushan was not a member of any body since his son Prashant was a member in the Executive. "Two members from a family cannot be in the party," he explained. "The same structure will be replicated at district and state levels," Yadav added.
On Friday, speaking to the media, Kejriwal had said that the party will have no high command but will be run by the common man. "Through media, I would like to invite everyone as it is people's party, it is aam aadmi's party," Kejriwal had said. Yadav added that the party will shun dynastic politics and will have provisions against it. It will also have an internal Lokpal, he said.
The party will be formally launched on Monday at Jantar Mantar, Kejriwal said. He tweeted saying that all those who would be present at the iconic protest venue in the capital on Monday would be known as the founding members of the party. In another tweet, he invited all to become the founding members of his party.
As the activists gathered for the meet, Kejriwal said, "Today the common men, women, children are forming their party. Around 300-350 people are coming together today to form the party. They are not netas. They are fed up of netas. They are the people who are fed up of corruption and price rise.
"This is why the common man has decided to challenge them. Now the common man will sit in Parliament. The National Executive will be formed. It will decide the name of the party. To run the party, there will be a National Working Committee. Party's vision is swaraj. People should get the 'raj'.
"That vision will be finalised. Around 25-30 issues will be discussed... which all issues need to be taken first by the party. Committees will be formed. They will make drafts in four-five months. There will discussions through the country. The consensus formed then will be the stand of the party."
"Nowadays what happens is that four people in a room decide a party's ideology. We won't do that. Our party's ideology is Swaraj. Women and youth will be given important role in the party," Kejriwal told the members.
Anna Hazare assures support to Kejriwal's party
Responding to a query on Aam Aadmi Party, Kejriwal's mentor Anna Hazare said that he would most certainly support the party's candidates if they were good. "We shall inquire into the background of the candidates and then support them if they are really good." The anti-corruption crusader was quick to add that he and his team will not campaign for AAP but will support the right candidates.

Govt challenges CAG for open debate over 2G report

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Govt challenges CAG for open debate over 2G report
Clean Media Correspondent

New Delhi, Nov 24 (CMC) The government once again launched a blistering attack on the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on Saturday following the poor response to the 2G spectrum auction, saying that the auditor's scam loss figure of Rs 1.76 lakh crore has proved to be a "myth". 

Blaming the country's top auditor for "sensationalising" the 2G scam loss figure, union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Manish Tewari, asked for an open debate on 2G related facts and clear the air on the issue. 

While addressing a press conference, Tewari asked,"Very humbly and with respect, we request the CAG to come on a public platform and have an open debate on the findings of the 2G report."

“What is extremely important is that in May 2010 when the draft report was prepared, the loss was quantified at Rs 2,645 crore, but in November 2010 when the report was presented in Parliament, this loss got exponentially multiplied to Rs 1.76 lakh crore. How did this leap of faith take place", he asked. 

He also asked was it correct for officials of CAG to be assisting Public Accounts Committee (PAC), officially or unofficially, in preparing its report. The third question, he asked was how CAG came to the conclusion that the loss incurred is 1.76 lakh crore. 

"These are questions that the PAC Chairperson, Murli Manohar Joshi, for whom I have the utmost respect, needs to answer," he said. 

Tewari described the handling of 2G report by CAG as ‘sensational’ and said that the entire figures were ‘mythical’ and not supported by substantial methodology. 

While targeting BJP over insider claim, Tewari said the opposition is ignoring the Constitution. “Some outside people also influenced the assessment of 2G”, he said. 

He strictly said that the action should be taken against those giving sensational figures on 2G loss. 

Giving a twist to the 2G allocation row, former Director-General, Post and Telecommunications at CAG, RP Singh, yesterday, said a report prepared by him contained no losses on account of 2G spectrum allocation and questioned CAG's estimates of presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore. 

"After completing the audit of Ministry of Telecom, which was under my direct charge, I prepared a draft audit report covering each and every aspect... My report did not contain any loss figure," he had said. 

Responding to the charges, Joshi said, "Singh's allegations on 2G reports are an attempt to malign CAG and PAC by vested interests including the government." 

Joshi offered to resign if allegations against him can be proved, after coming in the eye of a storm when RP Singh accused him of calling audit officials to his home for preparation of the PAC report on 2G scam that indicted the government. 

Meanwhile, BJP accused the former CAG official as being a "pawn in the hands of the government" and termed his comments as a "sinister conspiracy". 

Arvind Kejriwal to announce his party’s name today

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Arvind Kejriwal to announce his party’s name today
Clean Media Correspondent

New Delhi, Nov 24 (CMC) Months after splitting from Team Anna and announcing the decision to float a political party, India Against Corruption (IAC) activist Arvind Kejriwal and his 300 colleagues will finalise the name of his new political party in the national capital on Saturday.

“It is aam-aadmi’s party or people’s party. The first members of the party will meet today and will decide on the name of the party. The meeting will also finalise the first national executive of around 30 people,” said Kejriwal.

"The Constitution for the party will also be adopted in the meeting today. The party will have no high command and will be democratic," said Kejriwal. 

The announcement regarding the name of the party is expected later during the day. 

"The name (of the party) will be announced and its formal launching ceremony is on Monday at Jantar Mantar," he added. 

Kejriwal was noncommittal about contesting the forthcoming elections in Delhi, an India TV statement Friday said. 

His first reaction was "I won't contest". He then corrected himself saying: "I don't know whether I will contest or not. My party will contest the elections." 

Replying to queries on the Aap Ki Adalat TV show, Kejriwal invited people to join his party in large numbers. 

"Presently our experts are working on 30 different subjects to prepare a framework for the proposed political party. We will invite people's views on the draft framework soon," he said. 

R P Singh can't wash hands of report: CAG

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R P Singh can't wash hands of report: CAG
Clean Media Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Nov 24 (CMC) The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has vehemently contested former CAG official R P Singh's claim that he was not involved beyond the draft stage in processing the 2G report, saying Singh was part of consultations right till the final discussions.

In a written submission CAG said Singh was a member of a peer group that carried out a "mid-term review of audit findings". Thereafter, he "...also participated in the final round of discussions on October 4, 2010, with DoT establishing that Singh and his office were involved at every stage of preparation and finalization of the performance audit report."

Sources in Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) recalled that Singh was part of the CAG team that briefed the panel on the audit findings and had in fact led the presentation. He did not express any dissent with the CAG report at the time.

While CAG's detailed rebuttal to the PAC in February, 2012, challenged Singh's claims, it was also pointed out that although the former official did not recommend inclusion of a loss figure in his draft report he did refer to three loss figures.

While sending the draft report, Singh wrote in a forwarding letter that "If 2G rates are to be pegged to the rates discovered through auction for 3G spectrum, the impact would be Rs 1.02 lakh crore." He did not account for dual technology and extra spectrum that took the loss figure to Rs 1.76 lakh crore.

Singh claims that his team had suggested a mere Rs 2,600 crore loss to the exchequer in its draft report which was later shelved by the headquarters and that he was not involved in subsequent discussions.

Singh's letter, dated May 31, 2010, is once again in the news with certain observations where he had raised doubts whether such estimates could be included as loss to the exchequer when "the government had never contemplated any charges for spectrum other than the entry fee" being discussed.

Singh had in the same letter, accompanied with his draft report, said that "loss to the government due to decision not to auction 2G spectrum has not been quantified in the draft report. But, based on the voluntary offer from an operator for a pan India licence, the impact of non-revision of the price for the 2G spectrum would work out to Rs 65,725 crore."

On this comparison too he had offered reasons for exclusion in the draft report saying later the matter was in litigation and the operator had to back out for reasons he has not explained.

When this matter was raised before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on telecom in November, 2011, CAG Vinod Rai had given a point-by-point rebuttal and had emphasized that he had toned down one of the initial loss estimates that was put upwards of Rs 4 lakh crore.

In a power point presentation made before the JPC, which is probing the 2G spectrum scam and looking into the CAG's loss estimation, Rai had then said that in the three-stage audit process — adopted while preparing the report — there were different estimations starting from Rs 48,000 crore to Rs 4.19 lakh crore.

"In stage-I, the report prepared by Delhi team carried figures of Rs 48,000 crore and Rs 26,000 crore," the CAG told JPC members. In stage-II, this report was redrafted by the office of director general, R P Singh, and figures of Rs 2,645 crore, Rs 2,651 crore and Rs 36,000 crore was incorporated in the report.

CAG defended his final estimation saying in the stage III, "draft report was further scrutinized and after examination of records not available earlier, a range of figures from Rs 58,000 crore to Rs 176,000 crore emerged."

"Several figures of loss ranging from Rs 2,645 crore to Rs 4.19 lakh crore were projected at different stages. Final decision is that of the CAG," Rai had asserted before JPC.

Uddhav immerses Thackeray’s ashes, Raj does not wait

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Uddhav immerses Thackeray’s ashes, Raj does not wait
Clean Media Correspondent

Mumbai, Nov 24 (CMC) The late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s ashes were immersed by son Uddhav at the Gateway of India on Friday. Also, Sena leaders immersed the ashes at several holy spots and water bodies across the state.

Uddhav was accompanied by wife Rashmi and son Aditya as he immersed his father’s ashes in the Arabian Sea. Even though Uddhav’s estranged cousin and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray also paid his respects to the urn before the immersion, he did not stay for the actual immersion, an MNS leader said.

Urns containing Thackeray’s ashes had been given to the party’s state, district and division chiefs. These were displayed for darshan for Sainiks to pay their respects on Wednesday and Thursday and were immersed on Friday at many places including holy spots and water bodies in Raigad, Ratnagiri, Nashik, Pune, Sinhdudurg, Aurangabad, Nanded, Gujarat and Kanyakumari. 
In Nashik, the urn was carried in a procession that was led warkaris singing bhajans. The procession saw a large number of Shiv Sainiks as well as members and leaders of the MNS and BJP. It reached the banks of river Godavari by noon, where pundits performed the rituals.

The ashes were immersed in the Asthi Kund adjacent to the Godavari. It is a small 3x3 pond about 100 feet deep. It is said that when ashes are immersed there, the soul of the departed rests in peace. In Maleagon, around 5,000 Shiv Sainiks got their heads shaved to pay homage to the departed soul.

Cheteshwar Pujara cracked his second consecutive Test century to save India from a precarious situation

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Cheteshwar Pujara cracked his second consecutive Test century to save India from a precarious situation
Clean Media Correspondent

Mumbai, Nov 24 (CMC) Cheteshwar Pujara cracked his second consecutive Test century as India recovered from a precarious situation to restore the balance in the second cricket Test against England here today.

Pujara, who had scored a double century in the first match, notched up his third Test century to remain unbeaten on 114 on a turning track at the Wankhede Stadium and steered the hosts to a far more comfortable 266 for six at close on an eventful opening day.

Pujara found an able ally in Ravichandran Ashwin (60 batting) as the duo put on unfinished 97-run partnership for the seventh wicket to bail them out after the hosts were reeling at 119 for five at one stage.

Barring Pujara and Ashwin, none of the batsman in the star-studded line-up could make an impression on a track that started turning from the second session onwards and which was exploited by left-arm spinner Monty Panesar who claimed four wickets.

Coming to the crease after the second ball dismissal of Gautam Gambhir, the 25-year-old Pujara kept one end going by showing superb judgement against the spinning ball to pull India out of a deep hole after the home team opted to bat first on winning the toss.

Pujara stayed for just over six hours in which he had faced 279 balls and struck ten fours. Ashwin faced 84 for his valuable knock.

Pujara came into the game on the back of his unbeaten knocks of 206 and 41 in the two innings of the opening Test at Ahmedabad, which fetched him the Man of the Match award and paved the way for his team's comprehensive nine-wicket victory.

2G row: RP Singh's claims only exposed Congress and not BJP, says Murli Manohar Joshi

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2G row: RP Singh's claims only exposed Congress and not BJP, says Murli Manohar Joshi
Clean Media Correspondent

New Delhi, Nov 24 (CMC) Under fire over allegations levelled by a former Comptroller and Auditor General official on its report on 2G spectrum allocation, Murli Manohar Joshi on Friday said the "hurried" statement of Sonia Gandhi attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party has only exposed the Congress.

"I think Congress has been exposed instead. Those who advised her to make the statement stand exposed. R P Singh had raised the issue earlier too. Why did she not speak out then," Joshi told reporters.

He also said that it was Singh who had made a PowerPoint presentation before Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on CAG's report on 2G issue. "He never raised the issue then," Joshi said.

He was asked to react on the statement of Gandhi that BJP stood exposed by the revelations made by Singh. Joshi is the Chairman of PAC.

"Yes, certainly I think so," said Gandhi when reporters here asked whether BJP had been "exposed" by Singh's comments.

Giving a twist to the 2G allocation row, Singh said a report prepared by him contained no losses on account of 2G spectrum allocation and questioned CAG's estimates of presumptive loss of Rs.1.76 lakh crore.

"After completing the audit of Ministry of Telecom, which was under my direct charge, I prepared a draft audit report covering each and every aspect... My report did not contain any loss figure," he had said on Thursday.

Responding to the charges, Joshi said, "Singh's allegations on 2G report are an attempt to malign CAG and PAC by vested interests including the government."

Friday, 23 November 2012

Sensex down 70 points; bank, PSU stocks plummet

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Sensex down 70 points; bank, PSU stocks plummet
Clean Media Correspondent

Mumbai, Nov 23 (CMC) The 30−scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 18,543.95 points, was ruling at 18,447.08 points around 12.30 p.m., down 70.26 points or 0.38 percent from its previous close at 18,517.34 points.

The benchmark index touched a high of 18,556.50 points and low of 18,427.02 points intra−day.

The BSE midcap index was down 2.83 points. However, the smallcap index was higher by 5.19 points.
The wider 50−scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange slumped 23.09 points or 0.42 percent at 5,603.85 points.

There was heavy selling pressure in bank, PSU, metal, capital goods, health care and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) stocks.

The bank index was down 108.95 points, while the PSU index was lower by 50.57 points, followed by metal index down 35.96 points, capital goods index down 26.54 points, healthcare index down 23.09 points and FMCG index, down 19.38 points.

Among the other Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei rose 1.56 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.62 percent. China's Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.58 percent.

Lokpal report tabled in RS; Parliament faces adjournments

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Lokpal report tabled in RS; Parliament faces adjournments
Clean Media Correspondent

New Delhi, Nov 23 (CMC) The Rajya Sabha's select committee report on the Lokpal and Lokayuktas was tabled amidst din in the Upper House on Friday. The bill was tabled amidst ruckus created by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) members who were demanding reservation in promotion. The Rajya Sabha was later adjourned till 2.30 pm over the issue of foreign investment in multi-brand retail.

After its passage in the Lok Sabha last year, the bill faced opposition hurdles in the Rajya Sabha on various provisions, following which it was referred to the Select Committee. The panel, which was to submit its report during the monsoon session, adopted it on November 19.

The department of personnel and training, which piloted the bill, will have to approach the Union Cabinet on the recommendations made by the committee.

Now, the bill will travel back to the Lok Sabha for approval of the amended version.

Despite suggestions by the law ministry during depositions before the Committee suggesting 'insulation' to officials of the PMO, the committee, headed by Satyavrat Chaturvedi, has not recommended any changes.

The Prime Minister, who is sought to be covered by the proposed law, is, however, exempted from the ambit of Lokpal on issues of external and internal security, atomic energy, international relations and public order.

The select committee is learnt to have not recommended any change in the provision relating to "reservation".

The original provision said 'not less than 50% of the members of Lokpal would be from SC, ST, OBC, minorities and women.

The committee's report said "these provisions merely aim at providing representation to the diverse sections of the society in the institution of Lokpal..."and only indicates "the quantum of representation and not reservation".

Parliament adjournment continues

Lok Sabha was adjourned till Monday and Rajya Sabha till 2:30 on Friday amid uproar by Trinamool Congress members over the issue of FDI in retail and Congress members citing reports claiming that BJP had influenced the CAG report on 2G allocation.

In the Lok Sabha, soon after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh introduced new members in his council of ministers, Trinamool Congress members trooped into the Well demanding rollback of the policy to allow FDI in retail sector.

BJP members were on their feet shouting slogans against FDI and demanding a discussion on the issue. Members of Left parties were seen in the aisle waving booklets on the FDI.

A lone TDP member was seen in the Well showing a placard and pressing for separate Telangana state.

"I will allow you to speak. Go back," Speaker Meira Kumar told the members who were unrelenting.

Amid din, she adjourned the proceedings till noon and then till Monday.

In the Rajya Sabha, the moment chairman Hamid Ansari called the House to order, BSP supremo Mayawati was on her feet demanding a bill to provide for reservation to SCs and STs in promotions in government jobs.

Her party colleagues led by Brajesh Pathak rushed to the Well shouting "aarakshan vidhayak pehle lao, pehle lao" (bring reservation bill first).

BJP members led by M Venkaiah Naidu too were up on their feet raising the issue of FDI in retail sector. Some of its members displayed copies of a business newspaper that carried a report saying Bharti Walmart had suspended its Chief Financial Officer (CFO) as it investigates alleged violations of US anti-bribery laws.

"No posters please," Ansari ruled, even as SP members too joined the din. Slogan shouting by BSP members drowned all other protests in the House. As noisy scenes prevailed, Ansari adjourned the House till noon and then 2:30pm.

Congress, BJP trade blows on 'fudged' CAG report on 2G

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Congress, BJP trade blows on 'fudged' CAG report on 2G
Clean Media Correspondent

New Delhi, Nov 23 (CMC) Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chief and BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi should clarify his stance on the controversy over the 2G spectrum losses mentioned in the draft report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), Union minister Manish Tewari said on Friday.

The controversy arose after principal auditor RP Singh told television channels that the CAG's 2G report had been influenced by Joshi and the loss figure mentioned in the report was presumptive and restored despite having been deleted by him in the draft.

"What is extremely important is that (in) May 2010, when the draft report is prepared by RP Singh, the loss is quantified at Rs20,645 crore. But in November 2010, (when) the report is presented before the parliament, the loss jumps to Rs1.76 lakh crore," Tiwari told reporters.

Stating that former CAG officer RP Singh had levelled a serious allegation, Tewari said Joshi should clear his stand. "Who is responsible for the 2G loss figure in the report?" he asked.

The revelations sparked a furore with Congress leaders demanding a reply from the BJP as well as the CAG. "I believe the issue will be discussed in the Parliament too," said Parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath.

Meanwhile, Joshi told mediapersons said, RP Singh did not report the inflated figures when he was called to depose before the JPC while being in service. Now, post-retirement, he has levelled the allegations.

About having influenced the CAG report on 2G spectrum, Joshi said it is not possible as the report was prepared by the CAG officials themselves. Singh has alleged that CAG officials were influenced by Joshi, who would routinely call them.

"It is a part of that campaign which is aimed at maligning or silencing constitutional bodies, like PAC and CAG, which have the time and again pointed fingers at the government's flawed economic policies," said Joshi tomediapersons.

Ind vs Eng: Swann scalps Yuvraj after Kohli falls to Panesar on Day 1 in 2nd Test

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Ind vs Eng: Swann scalps Yuvraj after Kohli falls to Panesar on Day 1 in 2nd Test
Clean Media Correspondent

Mumbai, Nov 23 (CMC) Graeme Swann clean bowled Yuvraj Singh for a duck in the over after Monty Panesar dismissed Virat Kohli on the first day of the second Test at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday. 

Scorecard 

Swann tossed up a delivery outside off, Yuvraj came forward to defend, attempting to cover the line, but the ball just went straight on and shattered the off-stump. 

Panesar took his third wicket when he had Virat Kohli caught by Nick Compton at short extra cover. 

Panesar gave the ball plenty of air, tossed it outside off, Kohli looked to go inside out but failed to keep it on the ground. The ball travelled at a good pace towards Nick Compton at short extra cover who took a neat catch, his first in Tests. 

Playing the rescue act again, Cheteshwar Pujara reached his second half-century soon after lunch. 

In the first session of the day, Monty Panesar put England on top as he clean bowled Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar in his successive overs. 

Panesar bowled a superb delivery to get rid of the master. It was tossed up on leg stump, Tendulkar lunged out to defend, but the ball spun away from him, went past the outside edge and clattered the off stump. 

This is the third time in nine meetings that Panesar has got rid of Tendulkar. 

For his first wicket, Panesar tossed up a delivery, Sehwag (30) looked to flick it away but missed, the ball hit his pads and deflected onto the stumps. It was not the best of deliveries but Panesar got a wicket and a big one at that. 

Gautam Gambhir's poor form continued as he fell leg before wicket to James Anderson on the second ball of the Test. 

Anderson bowled a full delivery on middle and leg, swinging in, Gambhir fell over in his attempt to flick but missed and was struck on the pads. 

The breakthrough came after Indian captain MS Dhoni won the toss and chose to bat. 

India have brought in Harbhajan Singh in place of Umesh Yadav, who has a sore back. 

England have replaced Ian Bell with Jonny Bairstow is in and replaced Tim Bresnan with Monty Panesar. 

After winning the toss, Dhoni said that the first hour will be crucial as there will be something for the fast bowlers. The surface looks good, it has a bit of grass. But as the game progresses, the spinners will come into play. Also, because of the red soil, there will be plenty of turn. 

Dhoni added that games like the previous one make you feel how hard you have to work to win a Test match in your kitty. So last match was a good one. 

On Virender Sehwag, Dhoni said that he is a special player. Adds that not to forget, he is a middle order player who took up the challenge of opening. 

After losing the toss, England captain Alastair Cook said that for the first couple of days, there will be something for the fast bowlers. Cook hoped that his team can get some purchase and felt that towards the end of the first game, they get some positives. 

This is Sehwag's 99th Test for India. he had played a Test for the ICC World XI against Australia in October 2005 in Sydney. 

Mentally, India have a great advantage, as England manage to bury themselves under extreme pressure when you threaten them with spin. 

Decades of having toured the Indian subcontinent has made no difference whatsoever. 

While giving the pitch report, Ravi Shastri licked his lips and that it is a spinner's delight. There is a bit of grass on the surface but should not make much of a difference, he felt and reckoned that the track will turn from Day One. 

While giving the pitch report, Ravi Shastri licked his lips and that it is a spinner's delight. There is a bit of grass on the surface but should not make much of a difference, he felt and reckoned that the track will turn from Day One. 

Sunil Gavaskar adviced the batsmen to make the most of the batting conditions on Day One as he felt that on Day Four, everyone will be sitting at home! 

England face a daunting task as they have their backs against the wall. A win in Mumbai will mean that India cannot lose the series and they will be gunning for a 2-0 lead. 

Teams: 

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Capt.), Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, R Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Pragyan Ojha. 

England: Alastair Cook (Capt.), Nick Compton, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Jonny Bairstow, Samit Patel, Matt Prior, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Monty Panesar.task as they have their backs against the wall. A win in Mumbai will mean that India cannot lose the series and they will be gunning for a 2-0 lead. 

Sensex extends gains on reform hopes; ends up 57 points

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Sensex extends gains on reform hopes; ends up 57 points
Clean Media Correspondent

MUMBAI, Nov 23 (CMC) The benchmark Sensex rose by 57 points on persistent buying in capital goods, IT and banking stocks as rejection of no-trust motion against the government bolstered hopes of more reform measures on Thursday. 

Higher global advices coupled with sustained capital inflows also boosted the market sentiment. 

The BSE barometer resumed higher at 18,510.94 and shot up further to 18,567.68 before ending at 18,517.34, showing a net gain of 56.96 points, or 0.31 per cent. Yesterday, it was up by 131.06 points or 0.72 per cent.

The NSE 50-share Nifty also moved up further by 12.95 points or 0.23 per cent to finish at 5,627.75. 

Smart rise in heavyweights like ITC, InfosysBSE 1.55 %, L&T, HDFC Bank, SBIBSE 1.89 % and Mahindra & Mahindra mainly supported the Sensex surge while fall in Tata MotorsBSE -2.49 %, ICICI BankBSE -1.03 % and RILBSE -0.52 % restricted the rise to some extent, a broker said. 

An attempt by former UPA ally Trinamool Congress to bring a no-confidence motion against the government over FDI in retail failed today in the Lok Sabha for want of requisite numbers, which supported the uptrend, the broker said. 

"In the coming days, market sentiment would depend on how parliamentary winter session proceeds," Amar Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL said. 

Capital goods, IT, Teck, FMCG, PSU and banking stocks firmed up on good buying enquiries. 

State Bank of IndiaBSE 1.89 % was the biggest gainer among 30-Sensex scrips with gains of 1.89 per cent after the government said it will recapitalise PSU banks to meet Basel III norms. Private bank HDFC BankBSE 1.03 % rose over 1 per cent while FMCG major ITCBSE 1.17 % gained 1.17 per cent. 

Hindustan CopperBSE 11.33 % surged by 11.33 per cent to Rs 266.30 after the government announced plans to divest 4 per cent equity in the company. 

Asian stocks ended higher as a preliminary survey showed China's manufacturing may grow this month. Key benchmark indices in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea rose in the range of 0.82 per cent to 1.56 per cent, while China's Shanghai Composite fell 0.72 per cent.

HC sets free 2 Delhi blast accused on death row

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HC sets free 2 Delhi blast accused on death row
Clean Media Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Nov 22 (CMC) The Delhi High Court on Thursday set free two men facing death row for the 1996 Lajpat Nagar market blast, saying the Delhi Police had failed to furnish even the "minimum standards of proof" in the case.

A trial court had awarded death to three persons and sentence another to a life term for carrying out the blast in which 13 people had died and 38 were injured.

An HC division bench comprising Justices S Ravindra Bhat and G P Mittal, however, tore apart the police story, saying the probe was "inefficient", "casual" and "slipshod". The bench added that the trial court had "glossed over" these deficiencies while sentencing the accused.

The court acquitted Mirza Nissar Hussain and Mohd Ali Bhatt alias Kille, both arrested soon after the blast in 1996. The two were dubbed militants of the Jammu and Kashmir Islamic Front (JKIF) and awarded the death sentence by the trial court.

The high court also upturned the death penalty for another accused, Mohd Naushad, converting it to a life term. It, however, upheld the life sentence given to Javed Ahmad Khan alias Chotta Javed.

"In grave and serious crimes, which undermine the safety of citizens and pose a threat to the well-being of society, where the prosecution alleges some individuals to be accused, it has a duty to ensure that minimum standards of proof required in a criminal trial are satisfied," the bench noted, chiding the prosecution and the police.

It further reminded the police that the "flaw is not in the law but in its understanding and implementation by the police force". It pointed out that "such weaknesses and lapses" result in the state complaining that courts insist on an impossible standard of proof.

"In matters of liberty, the weakness of the state surely can't be an excuse for lowering time-tested standards, especially in serious crimes where the accused stands to forfeit their life," the bench added.

In its 232-page judgment the court virtually conducted a retrial, painstakingly pouring over the entire evidence including statements, witness testimonies, disclosures, exhibits etc to conclude the probe was shoddy and riddled with glaring inconsistencies. It flagged the "grave lapses" of the police and the prosecution such as lack of proof connecting some of the accused with the bombing, failure to hold TIP of articles and the accused, as well as the places where the articles were obtained.

Questioning the nature of the evidence produced by the police, the court wondered why the statement of vital witnesses wasn't recorded or why a conduit, who allegedly supplied arms in the case, was not arrested. It said this underlines "not only lapses and inefficiencies, but also throws a question mark on the nature and truthfulness of the evidence produced".

The judges were unsparing in their criticism of the police citing the complete absence of any daily diary (DD) entries to corroborate the movement of the police, inability to collect easily available documents like authenticated copies of the reservation chart or provide details to prove telephone calls were made. All this, HC said, betrays a "slipshod approach".

HC found the prosecution's lackadaisical attitude was reflected in the manner in which a junior prosecutor was fielded in the death reference when it is the standing counsel for the Delhi Police who appears in such cases.

"This court recollects that in death references where the state seeks confirmation of sentence, it is the duty of the standing counsel to open the case. Having regard to the gravity and public importance of these matters these cases deserve no less. The casual approach in the conduct of these appeals and references in the initial stages of hearing has to be underlined," it noted in dismay.

A trial court had in April 2010 awarded death sentence to Mohd Naushad, Mohd Ali Bhatt and Mirza Nissar Hussain while their fourth accomplice Javed Ahmed Khan was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Other two convicts, Farooq Ahmed Khan and his woman accomplice, Farida Dar, were held guilty for offences under the Explosive Substances Act and the Arms Act, were sentenced to jail terms of seven years and four years and two months, respectively.