06122017-TTC-01.qxd 12/6/2017 1:38 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 wednesday, december 6, 2017 late city chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 137 no. 336 | 32 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2015-2017 /thetribunechd Naidu: Swift action in Sharad case to thwart defections KV Prasad Tribune News Service New Delhi, December 5 The swiftness with which Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu disposed of the petition and disqualified Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav and his colleague Ali Anwar was guided by the view that the issue should be decided in three months to “effectively thwart the evil of defection”. In his elaborate speaking order, Naidu held a strong opinion that the presiding officers should, after providing an opportunity within three months, decide the issue of disqualification of members of legislatures. He also cited an observation by the Supreme Court on the unnecessary delay. The cases referred to included that of Kuldeep Bishnoi and others in which the apex court directed the Haryana Speaker to decide within three months on the petition that had been pending for around four years. “I am of the considered opinion that such petitions which go to the root of the democratic functioning and which raise the question whether a particular legislator (lawmaker) is entitled to sit in the legislature or not, should not be kept pending and dragged on by the presiding officer with a view to save membership of the persons, who have otherwise incurred disqualification or even to save the government, which enjoys majority only because of such type of persons,” the Chairman said. The alacrity of arriving at a decision was appreciated by former Rajya Sabha Secretary General Yogendra Narain, who said it could go a long way in deciding on such ❝Such petitions (seeking disqualification) should not be… dragged on by presiding officer, with a view to save membership of the persons who have otherwise incurred disqualification or even to save the government, which enjoys majority only because of them.❞ M Venkaiah Naidu, RAJYA SABHA CHAIRMAN petitions in shorter timelines. He said the Chairman went by the rules. The decision was given last night on the September 2 petition of JD-U Rajya Sabha leader RCP Singh that the two members gave up the membership voluntarily through anti-party activities. The petitions brought material evidence, including notices to the members not to attend events organised by erstwhile members of the “Mahagathbandhan” (RJD). Rejecting Yadav’s contention that it was Nitish Kumar who voluntarily quit by moving away from the alliance, the Chairman noted that the 10th Schedule does not take cognisance of political alliances by parties. On not referring the petition to the Committee of Privileges, a conventional route in Parliament, Naidu said procedural requirement often took a longer time that ultimately caused a delay, and it went against the spirit of the anti-defection law. Tribune News Service Chandigarh, December 5 Around 30 inspectors of the Punjab State Civil Supplies Corporation (PUNSUP), who were arrested last year in a suspected recruitment scam and are currently facing trial, have been given key assignments despite advice from the state Vigilance Department against giving them such responsibilities. The inspectors stand accused of having made it through the selection test after buying the question paper. Even as their trial is under way in the Vigilance Court, Mohali, they have been given the charge of multiple paddy mills and shellers. In contrast, there are around 90 other inspectors and sub-inspectors who are believed to have been selected on merit in the same exam, and most of them have not been fortunate enough to get the charge of mills. Speaking to The Tribune, they said a few among them had been given one or two mills, while nearly all 30 tainted had been given the charge of five to 10 shellers each. Shelling of paddy is a multi-crore business. In July 2016, PUNSUP had asked all district managers to keep tainted officers away from key responsibilities. A two-member committee Ambala, December 5 A five-year-old female leopard caught last night in a trap set by some hunters near Firozpur village of Ambala district’s Naraingarh segment was tranquilised and taken to a Rohtak facility for treatment of an injured leg today. The trap had been set to catch pigs near the fields of Firozpur, located on the border with Himachal Pradesh. The leopard was spotted this morning by a villager and soon enough, police, wildlife and forest department officials were at the spot. The villagers said there was a forest area nearby and it was not for the first time that a leopard had been spotted here. It was assumed that the animal came in search of water. Wildlife officials from Panchkula said the leopard would be released in the forest after treatment. — TNS stone dubbed the “Peace Diamond”, the government will get 59 per cent to fund clean water, electricity, schools, health centres and roads. “As a government, particularly in Africa, it has always been the narration of corruption, and the mineral wealth is not benefiting the people,” Rejects demand to put off proceedings until 2019 poll Satya Prakash Tribune News Service Wildlife officials rescue the leopard near Firozpur village in Ambala on Tuesday. TRIBUNE PHOTO Nirmala to reconsider fee cap for martyrs’ children Tribune News Service New Delhi, December 5 Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tonight said she would reconsider the cap on the education expenses of children of martyrs. Speaking in Ahmedabad, she said fee capping was part of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations. The Cabinet took a call on it. “I will go back and reconsider it,” she said. Terming it a sentimental issue, she said, “Our government is never against soldiers.” The Tribune was the first to report the matter in its edition dated December 1. The Ministry of Defence comprising Secretary, Vigilance, and Principal Secretary, Food and Supply, had been formed to take a call on the officers. It had made this recommendation at the behest of the State Vigilance Department. The suspected scam had come to light in April last year when the Vigilance Bureau arrested a number of candidates, besides agents based in Haryana and Bihar, on the charge that the recruitment exam question paper had been sold for Rs 10-20 lakh each. Panjab University, Chandigarh, had conducted the exam. continued on page 11 ‘Peace diamond’ sold for $6.5 m NEW YORK, December 5 One of the world’s largest diamonds has been sold for $6.5 million by Sierra Leone to fund local development projects, dealing a blow to smugglers in the West African nation. The egg-sized, 709-carat diamond found by a Christian pastor was bought at an auction in New York by Laurence Graff, a British billionaire and jeweller, according to the Rapaport Group, an international diamond trading network that handled the sale. Of the proceeds of the SC fixes Feb 8 for final Ayodhya case hearing RESCUE ACT FOR BIG CAT Plum PUNSUP postings for recruitment scam tainted Jupinderjit Singh /thetribunechd said Abdulai Bayraytay, a spokesman for Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma. The auction marked the first time a diamond found in Sierra Leone was put up for public sale. Diamonds fuelled the civil war in the 1990s, when rebels forced civilians to mine the stones and bought weapons with the proceeds, leading to the term “blood diamonds”. The UN lifted a ban on diamond exports from Sierra Leone in 2003, but the multi-million dollar sector is still plagued by smuggling. — Reuters Today’s issue is of 32 pages, including four-page Jobs and Careers, six-page Chandigarh Tribune and four-page Life+Style. (MoD) has already asked for details in this regard and is expected to sort out the matter. In September, the Department of Ex-servicemen in the MoD decided to cap the fee at Rs 10,000 per month, impacting around 3,200 students in schools, colleges and professional institutions. The forces raised an objection on October 10, but the ministry turned it down. Now, the forces, under the banner of the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (a body of three service chiefs), have sought removal of the cap. A letter by the committee says “these personnel made the supreme sacrifice for the country and the provision of educational concessions to their wards is a small gesture to recognise their commitment to the defence of the country”. The committee has sought a review of the government decision. Under the scheme, rolled out in 1972, the tuition fee of children of martyrs or those disabled in action is paid by the ministry. The scheme to bear the cost of education of children of martyrs was announced in the Lok Sabha on December 18, 1971— two days after the Pakistani forces surrendered to the Indian forces at Dacca (now known as Dhaka). New Delhi, December 5 In a new twist in the vexed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, the Sunni Central Wakf Board today told the Supreme Court to put off the hearing until the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, saying its “verdict will have serious repercussions outside”. “Every day the case is heard… it will have repercussions outside. This case will decide the future polity of India,” counsel Kapil Sibal told a three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, pointing out that Ram Temple was part of the BJP’s poll manifesto. Sibal’s submissions were contested by senior counsel Harish Salve, representing the idol, who said, “Whatever repercussions happen outside the court… it’s not the court’s concern.” Salve wondered how anybody could presume which way the verdict would go. The Bench — also comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer — reject- Advisory to states In view of the 25th anniversary of demolition of the disputed structure in Ayodhya in 1992 on Wednesday, the Ministry of Home Affairs has asked states and UTs to deploy adequate security forces at sensitive places and maintain extra vigil so that attempts to disturb peace could be foiled. ed Sibal’s demand, terming it “non-serious”. “What kind of submission is it?” it commented, while fixing February 8 for commencement of the final hearing. The top court was hearing cross-appeals challenging the Allahabad High Court’s September 30, 2010, verdict dividing the 2.7-acre disputed land equally among Ram Lalla, Nirmohi Akhara and Sunni Wakf Board. All three chose to challenge the order before the top court. Besides, there are certain others also before it. Hearing the case on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the demolition of the disputed structure at Ayodhya, the top court witnessed a heated exchange of arguments by senior lawyers for contesting parties, who repeatedly interrupted each other. Sibal was supported by senior counsel Rajiv Dhavan and Dushyant Dave — representing two other Muslim parties to the case — who said the court should not get into the trap. “Today there is peace in the country. Let it continue,” Dave said. They said there were more than 90,000 documents which needed to be gone into and they needed time to prepare their case. “This case certainly can’t be finished during your tenure, My Lord,” Dhavan told CJI Misra, who is due to retire on October 2, 2018. “Why the hurry?” repeatedly asked Sibal, pointing out that the case was fixed for hearing after seven years on the request of senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared on behalf of the continued on page 11 OpEd: ‘25 yrs ago, i was there’ HC stays trial in Junaid case Chandigarh, December 5 About six months after 15year-old Junaid Khan was stabbed to death on a train, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today stayed the proceedings before a trial court, at least till the next date of hearing. Taking up the appeal filed by Junaid’s father Jalaluddin, the Bench of Justices Mahesh Grover and Raj Shekhar Attri fixed January 11 as the next date of hearing. The appeal was filed after a Single Judge dismissed Jalaluddin’s plea for a CBI probe into Junaid’s death. Claiming that Junaid’s killing was “motivated by deep-rooted communal hatred”, Jalaluddin prayed for setting aside the November 27 order. “The true nature of the crime has been subjected to a cover-up,” Jalaluddin claimed. He said an offence under Section 153 (promoting enmity between different groups) and Section 505 (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) of the IPC were excluded to weaken the case. Junaid, his brother and two cousins were attacked on a Mathura-bound train in June by a mob, which allegedly hurled communal slur on the victims. — TNS
The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
The Tribune, the largest selling daily in North India, publishes news and views without any bias or prejudice of any kind. Restraint and moderation, rather than agitational language and partisanship, are the hallmarks of the paper. It is an independent newspaper in the real sense of the term.
The English edition apart, the 133-year-old Tribune has two sister publications, Punjabi Tribune (in Punjabi) and Dainik Tribune (in Hindi).