22012018-TTC-01.qxd 1/22/2018 1:16 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 monday, january 22, 2018 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 2 no. 22 | 16 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2018-2020 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd Prez disqualifies 20 of AAP’s legislators Suspended animation ‘Dangerous for democracy,’ reacts Kejriwal’s party Aerobatic dancers under the direction of theatrical company La Fura dels Baus perform in “The Rise of the Tritons” during the opening of Valletta 2018 in Malta. Valletta’s been crowned the European Capital of Culture. The Spanish theatre company is all about eccentricity, innovation, adaptation, rhythm, evolution and transgression. The aerobatic show features a human net above the newly restored Triton Fountain. REUTERS Soldier, civilian die; toll1 Rawat CEC, Lavasa 2 Violating truce, Pak shelling border areas since Jan 18 Jammu, January 21 Signalman Chandan Kumar Rai, who was critically injured during the ceasefire violation in Mendhar sector of the Line of Control (LoC) on Saturday, succumbed to his injuries at the military hospital last night. One civilian was today killed and another injured when Pakistani troops resorted to heavy shelling along the International Border (IB) and the LoC in Jammu and Poonch districts. "Two brothers were injured when shells hit their house in Kanachak-Pragwal sector along the IB in Jammu district tonight. One of them, Gopal, later succumbed to his injuries and the other is in hospital," a senior police official said. Signalman Chandan Kumar Rai The death toll in the intense shelling by Pakistan troops over the past four days has now risen to 12 — three soldiers, two BSF personnel and seven civilians. Pakistani troops violated ceasefire for the fourth consecutive day today, resorting to heavy shelling along the LoC in Noushera, Rajouri and Akhnoor sectors of J&K. While Rajouri DC Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said Pak- istan resumed heavy shelling in Bhawani, Karali, Said, Numb and Sher Makri areas this evening, a BSF spokesman said firing from across the border stopped in Samba and Kathua districts in the afternoon, but intermittently went on in some areas of Jammu district. In Jammu district, over 1.27 lakh people in 81 villages have been affected by the border shelling and 41,000 moved to safer places. In the shelling that started on January 18, mostly Arnia, RS Pura and Suchetgarh areas were affected. On January 19, the shelling spread to Samba and Kathua districts. The following day, Marh area also witnessed heavy shelling, said official sources. — TNS poll commissioner New Delhi, January 21 Om Prakash Rawat was today appointed the next Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), the Union Law Ministry said, a day before the present incumbent Achal Kumar Joti demits charge. Former Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa was also appointed as an election commissioner to fill the vacancy that would have arisen in the three-member Election Commission after Joti’s retirement tomorrow. Sunil Arora is the other commissioner. Rawat will take over as the CEC on January 23. His tenure will end in December and Arora, the seniormost commissioner after the CEC, is expected to take over as the head of the Om Prakash Rawat Ashok Lavasa poll panel as per convention. Arora would retire in April 2021 and would oversee the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as the CEC. Lavasa would demit office in October 2022 and would be the CEC after Arora. An EC or CEC has a tenure of six years. But if he turns 65 before that, he demits office. Born in 1953, Rawat is a former Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS officer, while Lavasa is a retired IAS officer of the Haryana cadre. — PTI Delhi fire: 14 victims identified, owner held Prateek Chauhan Tribune News Service Relatives of a victim of Saturday’s fire are inconsolable as they wait outside a hospital in New Delhi on Sunday. REUTERS New Delhi, January 21 The bodies of 14 out of 17 persons who died in a major fire at a factory in Bawana Industrial Area here on Saturday evening have been identified and the owner arrested. Manoj Jain, who ran the factory that witnessed the city’s worst fire tragedy since the 1997 Uphaar Cinema inferno, was today produced in a local court, which remanded him in one-day judicial custody. Commissioner of Delhi Police Amulya Patnaik has transferred the case to the Crime Branch for investigation. Rohini DCP Rajneesh Gupta said the initial probe suggested the factory manufactured “cold firecrackers” used in stage shows and Holi celebrations. Jain had rented the factory from January 1. Fourteen of those killed have been identified as Baby Devi (40), Afsana (35), Sonam (23), Reeta (18), Madeena (55), Rajjo (65) Dharma Devi (45), Suraj (20), Ravikant (18), Sukhda (42), Khusna (47), Soni (21), Rohit (19), Sanjeet (19) and Ajeet (22), he said. The fire started in the storage unit on the ground floor of the two-storey building and ripped through the structure. Jain has been booked under Sections 285 (negligent conduct), 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 337 (causing hurt) of the IPC and Explosives Act. The Delhi Government has announced Rs 5 lakh for the kin of the deceased and Rs 1 lakh for each of the injured. Engineers with distance edu degrees face axe Chandigarh, January 21 Hundreds of engineers serving in the Haryana Government may lose jobs or promotions as, acting on a Supreme Court order, Chief Secretary DS Dhesi has written to various departments for action against those possessing degrees of deemed universities under distance mode. The Supreme Court had on November 3 last year upheld the Punjab and Haryana High Court ruling that a BTech Haryana acts on top court order degree obtained through distance education could not be considered on a par with a regular degree awarded by a university to students attending campus classes. “Old degrees in engineering granted to students who were enrolled during academic session 2001-2005 shall stand suspended till they pass such an examination to be held under joint supervision of the All India Council for Technical Education and the University Grants Commission, as the grant of ex post facto approval to the deemed university has been held to be incorrect and illegal,” says the Chief Secretary order. It adds that the students enrolled during 2001 to 2005 shall be given two chances to clear the examination and in case they fail to get through, they will be removed from jobs or the benefits of promotion will be withdrawn. In case of employees who were enrolled in degrees or diplomas after 2001-2005, their services will be terminated with immediate effect and any promotion given on the basis of such degree, it will stand withdrawn. The order says the apex court has restrained all deemed universities from offering courses in distance mode from academic session 2018-19 onwards unless and until it is permissible to conduct course under distance mode and specific permission has been granted. Petitioner Kartar Singh, a Sirsa-based school lecturer, said thousands had got jobs or promotions in the state based on BTech degrees that were being awarded without any classroom studies or practical. — TNS New Delhi, January 21 In a major setback to AAP , President Ram Nath Kovind has disqualified 20 of its MLAs in Delhi for holding office of profit, a move the party described as “unconstitutional” and “dangerous for democracy”. Kovind gave his assent yesterday to the recommendation by the Election Commission (EC). Senior Aam Aadmi Party leader Ashutosh said, “The President’s order is unconstitutional and dangerous for democracy.” The EC had on Friday recommended that the 20 MLAs were liable for disqualification for holding office of profit between March 13, 2015, and September 8, 2016. The AAP MLAs were appointed Parliamentary Secretaries, described by petitioner Prashant Patel as “holding office of profit”. Giving its opinion to the President, the EC had said the MLAs, by occupying the post of Parliamentary Secretary, had held office of profit and were liable to be disqualified as legislators. Parliamentary Secretaries assist ministers with their work. AAP insisted that despite holding the office, the MLAs did not take any salary or perks. “Whether or not the individual Parliamentary Secretaries actually derived the benefits or participated in executive functions of the government is of no relevance,” the EC had said, citing the Supreme Court in the Jaya Bachchan case, laying down that if the post fell under office of profit, disqualification was imminent. The commission said it had based its opinion on judicial ‘GOT 67 SEATS, AS GOD KNEW OF THIS ’ now approach ❝ We willunconstitutional,the High Court against this extremely unethical and biased decision of the EC. If required, we will go to the Supreme Court. The Constitution is supreme and is the law of the land and has been protected by our judiciary time and again. ❝ AAP got 67 seats in the 70member Delhi Assembly by God’s grace. He knew that after three years, these people would declare 20 of our MLAs disqualified. That’s why he gave us 67 seats. Arvind Kejriwal, DELHI CM ‘Tughlaqshahi of worst order’ order complete ❝ President’snaturalisjustice. No miscarriage of hearing, no waiting for High Court’s order. It is Tughlaqshahi of the worst order. Yashwant Sinha, VETERAN BJP LEADER Democratic values protected, says BJP of Delhi feel that the Aam Aadmi Party ❝ People now return all financial benefits they were MLAs must given from the day they were appointed as parliamentary secretaries. With his speedy decision, the President has made a major contribution towards protecting democratic values. Manoj Tiwari, DELHI BJP PRESIDENT pronouncements of the past, the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act and the Constitution. AAP had approached the Delhi High Court for a stay on the EC’s recommendation. The court had listed the case for hearing on Monday. Madan Lal, one of the disqualified MLAs, said they had pinned all hope on the judiciary and the party was expecting some relief tomorrow. If AAP fails to get a reprieve from courts, Delhi will see byelections for the 20 seats. The Delhi Assembly Speaker will have to notify the 20 vacancies for the EC to announce the byelections. Once the vacancies are announced, AAP’s strength would dwindle to 46 from 66 in the 70-member House. However, it will continue to have a majority. — PTI Edit: Fixing AAP
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