20042017-TTC-01.qxd 4/20/2017 1:30 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 thursday,april 20, 2017 late city chandigarh | gurgaon | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 137 no. 108 | 28 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2015-2017 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd TRIBUNE PHOTO Babri case: Advani, others to stand trial Apex court revives criminal conspiracy charge Satya Prakash Tribune News Service 45 die as bus falls into river in Chopal, Shimla Forty-five persons, including 10 women and nine children, were killed when a private bus skidded off the road and fell into Tons river at Guma Antroli near Nerwa in Chopal, about 160 km from Shimla, on Wednesday. The ill-fated bus (UK16 0045) departed from Vikasnagar in Dehradun in the morning for Tyuni. Yes to paper trail EVMs, to cost ~3,173 cr New Delhi, April 19 The Union Government today accorded approval to the Election Commission’s proposal of procuring 16,15,000 new electronic voting machines (EVMs) with voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT), which would give voters the evidence of their vote cast. The move is important in view of allegations by several parties that EVMs can be tampered with. The Opposition had alleged that EVMs were manipulated during elections. The EC had recently written to the Law Commission for the procurement of VVPAT machines. PM Modi had been critical of the allegations levelled by political parties and the move apparently came in a bid to silence them. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the machines, if ordered this month, could be supplied by manufacturers by September 2018. Through this, the voter would come to know whether his or her vote had been registered correctly or not, he said. The total estimated cost would be Rs 3,173.47 crore (excluding taxes and freight). The decision would enable use of VVPAT units at all polling booths during General Election in 2019. In October 2013, the Supreme Court had said every voter had a right to know whether his vote had been registered correctly. — TNS states can borrowdirectlyp14 As the bus reached Guma Antroli on Rohnaat-Chopal road, the driver, while negotiating a curve, lost control and the bus fell into a gorge. The bodies of the deceased have been recovered while conductor Tulsi (50) and 18-year-old Rohit Kumar jumped off the bus and survived. PAGE 12 ‘Lal batti’ goes from May 1, no exception Girja Shankar Kaura Tribune News Service New Delhi, April 19 Moving to scrap the “VIP culture” in the country, the Narendra Modi-led NDA government today decided to ban from May 1 the use of red beacons atop vehicles of ministers and government officials, including the President, Prime Minister, chief ministers and judges. The decision, taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister and apparently at his behest, made no exceptions. In another decision, the Cabinet gave ex-post facto approval for the introduction of the Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017, and the National Commission for Backward Classes (Repeal) Bill, 2017, in Parliament. Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said red beacons would be banned from May 1 and blue beacons would be allowed only on emergency vehicles like fire engines, ambulances and police vans. The beacons will go, but restrictions will continue when the most protected leaders of the country are on the move, especially the President or the PM. Checking ‘VIP culture’ ■ No VIP will be able to put red light atop his/her vehicle — not even President, the Prime Minister or chief ministers of states ■ Blue beacons only atop emergency vehicles such as fire engines, ambulances, police vans ■ Neither states nor Centre will have power to grant special permission for use of beacons In recent weeks, PM Modi had been emphatic about ending “lal batti culture” — a term that has come to repre- sent massive public inconvenience to make way for “VIPs” in cars with flashing red lights and hooters. He demonstrated his conviction for ending this culture last week, when his convoy moved “in normal traffic” — without any route restrictions or road blocks— to the Delhi airport to receive Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He had also called a meeting last week to discuss how the move could be implemented and sources said Modi had already taken a decision and just informed about it to the Cabinet. Ordinance to repeal Khalsa varsity Act Punjab Cabinet nod to shift students; governing council may move court Rajmeet Singh Tribune News Service Chandigarh, April 19 Scrapping the university status accorded to Khalsa College, Amritsar, by the SAD-BJP government last year, the Capt Amarinder Singh-led Congress government today approved an ordinance to repeal the Khalsa University Act, 2016. The ordinance is expected to be signed by the Governor in coming days. Accusing the Khalsa College Society of jeopardising the college’s heritage status by converting it into a university, the Chief Minister said he had kept his promise to save the 125- Other decisions ■ The Cabinet capped the annual fee hike by private schools at 8% of the previous year’s fee ■ It also approved fresh mine auc- tions through progressive e-bidding to boost revenue multifold . year-old institution from falling prey to privatisation. The Punjab Cabinet also decided that students affected by the decision would be shifted to Guru Nanak Dev University or other universities of their choice. To preserve its architectural grandeur, it suggested that all properties attached to the college be kept intact. Khalsa University was established through Khalsa University Act, 2016, despite stiff opposition from local residents, the college alumni and academicians. Sukhjinder Raj Singh (Lalli) Majithia, general secretary, Punjab Pradesh Congress, who had spearheaded a campaign against the SAD-BJP decision, welcomed the move. Describing the government action as “unfortunate”, the Khalsa College Governing Council (KCGC) is contemplating legal recourse. Worried, top functionaries of Khalsa University said they had already registered more than 300 students in courses. Chancellor Satayjit Singh Majithia called it sheer vendetta, claiming that an institution of higher learning, that primarily catered to students from the border belt, had been targeted owing to petty politics. “There is no merit in the argument that the university is a threat to the college's heritage building. The university will have its own construction. It is totally false that a part of Khalsa College is being used to raise the university.” Pro Chancellor Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina said the KCGC would do everything to save the future of its students. ‘Whistleblower’ jawan held guilty by BSF, dismissed Amir Karim Tantray Tribune News Service Jammu, April 19 Tej Bahadur Yadav, the BSF jawan who in January had taken to the social media to highlight the “poor” quality of food being served to the jawans, was today dismissed from service. The Summary Security Force Court (SSFC) pronounced him guilty of all charges slapped against him. Yadav, who was driven till the Samba bus stop, boarded a bus for his native town in Haryana. He has the option of filing a petition within three months. Yadav, posted near the Line Sacked jawan Tejpal waiting to board a bus at Samba. TRIBUNE PHOTO of Control in Poonch, had posted a video on the food being served to jawans, triggering a row. Home Minister Rajnath Singh had to step in and an inquiry committee was set up. In the meantime, the BSF shifted a few officers and Yadav, of 29 Battalion, was attached with 80 Battalion at Penthi in Samba. He was tried for charges under the BSF Act and Rules, including “an act prejudicial to good order and discipline of the force in which he made false allegations on the social media regarding the quality of food and did not adhere to the formal Today’s issue is of 28 pages, including six-page Chandigarh Tribune and four-page Life+Style. grievance redressal mechanism” and for “neglect to obey general orders of the force in which he carried two mobile phones while on operational duty against the SOP and also posted photographs while in uniform.” Yadav said he received the dismissal orders at noon and was “released” at around 3 pm, without his cellphone. “I am being framed for exposing corrupt practices. I will approach the Centre as well as the courts for justice,” he said. The BSF claimed every opportunity was given to Yadav to defend himself. (With inputs by Vishal Jasrotia) New Delhi, April 19 Twenty-five years after the demolition of Babri Masjid at Ayodhya, senior BJP leaders and protagonists of the Ram Temple movement — LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Union Minister Uma Bharti — will stand trial for the alleged criminal conspiracy to pull down the 16th century structure. The Supreme Court today revived the criminal conspiracy charge against the senior BJP leaders and shifted the trial from a Rae Bareli Magistrate’s court to a Special CBI court in Lucknow. “Let justice be done though the heavens fall,” said a Bench of Justices PC Ghose and Rohinton Nariman — which had earlier termed the delay as “evasion of justice”. Using its extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution, the Bench directed the Lucknow Special Court to complete the trial and deliver the judgment in two years. “Crimes which shake the secular fabric of the Constitution have allegedly been committed almost 25 years ago. The accused have not been brought to book, largely because of the conduct of the CBI in not pursuing the prosecution of the aforesaid alleged offenders in a joint trial, and because of technical defects that were easily curable, but which were not cured by the state government,” it said. Allowing the CBI’s appeal against an Allahabad High Court verdict, it said the proceedings as regards the fram- Supreme Court directive on 1992 demolition ■ Lucknow Special Court will complete trial, deliver verdict in 2 years ■ Case shall not be adjourned on any ground, except when the Sessions Court finds it impossible to carry on the trial for that particular date ■ If an adjournment is granted, the trial judge will have to record rea- sons for it besides giving a closely proximate date for further hearing ■ CBI shall ensure that on every date fixed for evidence, some prose- cution witnesses are present so the matter is not adjourned . ing of additional charges under Section 120-B of the IPC (criminal conspiracy) be completed in four weeks. Besides Advani, Joshi and Bharti, other BJP/VHP leaders against whom additional charges would be framed are Vinay Katiyar, Sadhvi Rithambara and Vishnu Hari Dalmia. The Bench directed the Special Court to also frame additional charges under Section 120-B and other provisions of the IPC mentioned in the joint chargesheet filed by the CBI against Champat Rai Bansal, Satish Pradhan, Dharam Das, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Mahamadleshwar Jagdish Muni, Ram Bilas Vadanti, Vaikunth Lal Sharma (Prem) and Satish Chandra Nagar. Regarding then UP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, the Bench said, being the Governor of Rajasthan, he was entitled to immunity under Article 361 as long as he held the position. The Bench, however, made it clear that the Lucknow court would frame charges and move against him as soon as he ceased to be the Governor. The case against Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray and VHP leader Acharya Giriraj Kishore has abated following their death. The Bench ordered that there shall be no transfer of the judge conducting the trial until the trial was over. While the high-profile leaders were being tried without any conspiracy charge at Rae Bareli, ordinary “kar sewaks” faced conspiracy charge at Lucknow for demolishing the disputed structure at Ayodhya on December 6, 1992. Uma unapologetic page 7 Edit: BJP on trial
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