25012018-TT-01.qxd 1/24/2018 10:38 PM Page 1 13 established in 1881 thursday, january 25, 2018 himachal pradesh chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 138 no. 25 | 18 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2018-2020 /thetribunechd Murthal: Call details of cops given to HC Delhi HC won’t stay AAP Courtjunksgag order onmedia MLAs’ disqualification SOHRABUDDIN CASE ‘Padmaavat’ chaos Tribune News Service Chandigarh, January 24 Little less than a year after the Punjab and Haryana High Court asserted that rape had evidentially been committed in the fields of Murthal, the state of Haryana has submitted call details of senior police officers who “magically appeared” at Sukhdev Dhaba and “escorted women up to Delhi border”. As the case came up for resumed hearing this morning, the Division Bench of Justice Ajay Kumar Mittal and Justice Anupinder Singh Grewal was told by counsel representing Haryana that the call details had been placed before the court with a copy to the amicus curiae (friend of the court) Anupam Gupta. The hearing in the matter was, however, adjourned as Gupta could not make it to the court. Gupta had sought the details to substantiate his contention that rape had taken place in Murthal. His submission was that the police officers rushing to the spot was an indication of something amiss. Taking up the suo motu (court on its own motion) case, the Bench on a previous date of hearing had asked the state government to provide the call details of the IGP SP DSP SHO and , , , other cops present in the Murthal area. The Bench had made it clear that the call details from February 19 to 22, 2016, were required to be furnished. The orders were issued after Gupta submitted he was not in a position to ascertain whether the investigation was proceeding in the right direction, in absence of statements of the witnesses and other related record. Issues notice to EC, restrains it from announcing bypolls A video grab shows students and staff ducking for cover inside a school bus that was attacked by a mob protesting ‘Padmaavat’ release, in Gurugram; and (right) a shattered windowpane. P7 ‘I’m hurt’Sidhu breaks silence , Says wasn’t consulted by party or govt for civic polls Tribune News Service Chandigarh, January 24 Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu today said he was “deeply hurt” at not being “not involved” in the election process for local bodies, especially in the municipal corporations of Patiala, Jalandhar and Amritsar. He said neither the government nor the party had sought his views while selecting mayoral candidates. Sidhu and 15 municipal councillors had stayed RUN-UP Ajay Banerjee Tribune news service New Delhi, January 24 Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s financial dexterity will be tested on what could be the ‘right’ allocation for the Ministry of Defence and the modernisation of each of the three armed forces. Balancing expenses on account of salaries and pensions with modernisation needs poses a huge challenge. In the budget ending March 31, 2018, salaries and pensions of the three services and civilian employees constitute 53.81 per cent, that is Rs 1,93, 670 crore of the allocated Rs 3,59,854 crore. This means of the Rs 2,74,114 crore budget, Rs 85,740 crore goes towards pensions. A sum of Rs 3,126 crore goes into salaries of research scientists, the establishment cost of smaller wings within the MoD is Rs 8,040 crore and Rs 6,582 crore goes towards salary of ordnance factories. The budget has a capital outlay of Rs 86,488 crore. This money spent on weapons, aircraft, naval warships and Army vehicles works out to be 24 per cent of the overall spending. This would need greater allocation. Equipment needs Jaitley, who has been Defence away from a party meeting to pick Amritsar Mayor, much to the embarrassment of Congress’ state unit. Speaking on the sidelines of a departmental meeting on Swachh Bharat Mission, the minister said as he was not consulted before or after the polls, “I did not attend the meeting called for electing Amritsar Mayor.” At a press conference later, he elaborated, “I am extremely hurt by the fact that despite being the Local Government Minister, I was not involved in the exercise. I don’t want distortion of facts. Hence, I have given everything in writing.” Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Tript Bajwa said Sidhu was invited to participate in the process to pick Amritsar Mayor but he did not respond. To this, Sidhu responded: “I was neither informed nor invited to any election meeting in the past one month. Only after I said so publicly did Bajwa come to my residence.” He ruled out taking up the issue with the CM. New Delhi, January 24 The Delhi High Court today issued a notice to the Election Commission and the Centre on a petition challenging the Presidential notification disqualifying 20 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs in Delhi for allegedly holding office of profit. Justice Vibhu Bakhru, who refused to stay the MLAs’ disqualification, asked the Election Commission not to “precipitate” the situation by announcing byelections to the 20 vacant seats in the Delhi Legislative Assembly till the next date of hearing. The court summoned the record of the proceedings before the Election Commission and posted the matter for further hearing on January 29. Besides the Election Commission and the Union Ministry of Law and Justice, the High Court also issued a notice to advocate Prashant Patel, who had in 2015 filed a petition for disqualifying the MLAs for holding office of profit. The disqualified MLAs were appointed Parliamentary Secretaries in 2015. The post was later quashed by AAP MLAs outside the Delhi High Court on Wednesday after the HC refused to pass interim order on staying their disqualification. PTI The High Court also issued notice to advocate Prashant Patel, who had in 2015 filed a petition for disqualifying the MLAs for holding office of profit the Delhi High Court. A Bill passed by the Delhi Assembly to remove the post out of the ambit of ‘office of profit’ was rejected by the President. The petitioners’ counsel submitted that the office of Parliamentary Secretary was not an office of profit as traditionally understood. Accusing the Election Commission of acting in a “whimsical, arbitrary, capricious manner”, the disqualified AAP MLAs termed the impugned notification as “unconstitutional, null and void, and against principles of natural justice.” They contended that the Election Commission had decided the issue in undue haste and without affording any opportunity of fair hearing to the legislators. “The findings are, therefore ,contrary to the provisions of Article 14 of Constitution of India, ultra vires, void ab initio and an attack on democracy,” they submitted. Mumbai, January 24 Calling the press the “most powerful watchdog of society”, the Bombay High Court today quashed the trial court's order which barred journalists from reporting the proceedings of the highprofile Sohrabuddin Shaikh fake encounter case. Justice Revati Mohite-Dere ruled that the special CBI court had overreached its powers by issuing the gag order, and said in reporting court proceedings, the press “serves the larger purpose of making such information available to the general public” which is entitled to it. She agreed with the petitioners — a group of court reporters and a city-based journalists’ union — that under the Code of Criminal Procedure, only high courts and the Supreme Court could issue such prohibitory orders, that too in rare cases and for a limited time period. Mere apprehension of the accused that media may sensationalise the proceedings was not a sufficient ground for banning reporting it, the High Court said. On November 29 last year, special CBI judge S J Sharma had prohibited journalists from publishing the proceedings of the trial. — PTI Fodder scam:Lalu gets 5-year jail in third case NO END TO WOES: Former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav arrives at a Special CBI Court in Ranchi on Wednesday. PTI Right-sizing forces poses key challenge Budget /thetribunechd Minister for some 11 months, knows the MoD has to meet committed liabilities, or payments, for ongoing purchases of equipment/weapons. In the coming fiscal (ending March 31, 2019) he has to factor in part-payments for existing equipment like the 36 Rafale fighter jets, the under-construction aircraft carrier at Kochi, the 145 ultra-light Howitzers, the Scorpene class of submarines, Dhruv helicopters and also Boeing’s AH64-E Apache attack copters, among other bigtickets items. New projects, such as the 200 of the Kamov-226T helicopters, are slated to commence production in the next 12-18 months. Besides, decisions taken on future projects will test the resolve of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as also India’s budgetary depth. The long list includes the 111 naval utility helicopters, the next lot of six submarines, S-400 air defence missiles, 83 Tejas fighter jets and artillery guns. A Rs 3,500-crore plan for new rifles has been approved, bulletproof jackets are in the pipeline and the Army is looking for anti-tank guided missiles. Matching China China is spending $155 billion during its own fiscal year that ends almost the same time as India’s. Though continued on page 7 Ranchi, January 24 A special CBI court today awarded five-year rigorous imprisonment to former Bihar Chief Ministers Lalu Prasad Yadav and Jagannath Mishra in a fodder scam case. The court also imposed Rs 10 lakh fine on Lalu and Mishra on two counts (Rs 5 lakh each). The special CBI court of SS Prasad held 48 others, including former Jhark- hand Chief Secretary Sajjal Chakraborty, guilty in the case involving fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 83.13 crore from the Chaibasa treasury (now in Jharkhand) during 1992-93, acquitting six others. In 1996, the CBI had registered a case linked to the multi-crore fodder scam and named 76 as accused. Only 56 were charge-sheeted as 15 Former CMJagannath Mishra convicted too of them died and five others turned approvers. This is the third fodder scam case in which the RJD supremo has been convicted. On December 23 last year, the special CBI court of Shivpal Singh had held Lalu guilty in a case of fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from Deoghar treasury (now in Jharkhand) and awarded three and a half years of imprisonment. Mishra was, however, acquitted in the case. Reacting on the verdict, RJD leader and former Union Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said: “Lalu’s conviction is a jolt for us. But we will appeal in the higher court.” Leader of the Opposition Tejaswi Prasad Yadav said: “It is well known that the BJP and RSS implicated my father Lalu ji. The most pivotal role was played by Nitish Kumar. We will approach higher courts against all these verdicts.” Lalu is facing trail in two more cases linked to the fodder scam. One of these is being heard in Bihar. — TNS
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