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EC order stayed against Chavan

Written By Kvartha People on Monday, July 28, 2014 | 8:03 PM

The Delhi High Court on Monday stayed the operation of the show cause notice issued by the Election Commission to former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan asking him why he should not be disqualified for not filing his 2009 assembly election expenses in the manner required under the Representation of the People Act and the Rules.

The Commission in its July 13 order slapping the notice had said “it is quite clear that despite knowledge and awareness on his part, Mr. Chavan did not show the expenditure made on the publication of 25 advertisements in his account of election expenses. He has thus failed to lodge the account of his election expenses in the manner required by or under the law.” Mr. Chavan was given 20 days to reply to the show cause notice.

Assailing the EC order, Mr. Chavan approached the High Court contending that the Commission had not followed the procedure laid out in the Representation of the People Act prior to giving its findings, as no opportunity to file a revised poll expenses was provided to him.

Justice Suresh Kait, after hearing senior counsel and former Law Minister Kapil Sibal, appearing for Mr. Chavan, stayed the Commission’s notice. The Judge also issued notice returnable on November 5 to BJP leaders Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Kirit Somaiya and independent candidate Madhavrao Kinhalkar, who had filed the complaint against Chavan in the commission.
8:03 PM | 0 comments

Congress demands probe into bugging reports

"It concerns the security of an important person in the Indian cabinet"

The controversy over the alleged bugging at the residence of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari’s house refused to die down with the Congress on Monday demanding a probe and government virtually rejecting it.

Mr. Gadkari, who holds the portfolio of Highways and Transport, himself calibrated his statement on Monday completely denying there was any bugging while on Sunday he had described reports in this regard with an ambivalent description that they were “highly speculative”.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and his Minister of State Kiren Rijiju declined to wade into the controversy saying Mr. Gadkari himself has clarified that these reports were highly speculative.

Asked whether the Home Ministry would initiate any probe into it, Rajnath Singh said, “Since Gadkari himself has denied, we have nothing to say on it.”

Unconvinced by Mr. Gadkari’s response, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh demanded a probe by an investigating agency into the episode saying it was a serious matter.

“It concerns the security of an important person in the Indian cabinet. If it can happen to him, then God save the country,” he said.
8:00 PM | 0 comments

Gadkari reports of listening device in house as highly speculative

Written By Kvartha People on Sunday, July 27, 2014 | 4:36 PM

A media report has claimed that listening devices were found at the residence of road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari. However, the minister has dismissed the report as 'highly speculative'.

A report in Sunday Guardian said high power listening devices were found in the bedroom of Nitin Gadkari at his 13 Teen Murti Lane residence in New Delhi.

The discovery was "accidental" and a debugging exercise was immediately ordered, the report further said.

"Reports in a section of the media about listening devices having been found at my New Delhi residence are highly speculative," Gadkari said on his Twitter account.

Sources close to the Union minister also denied that any such devices were recovered, which the report said were of high-quality and of a type normally used by western agencies.

According to Times Now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been informed about the incident.
4:36 PM | 0 comments

20 arrested in Saharanpur

20 Peoople were arrested as curfew and shoot-at-sight orders remained in force on Sunday in the city hit by clashes between two communities over a land dispute. District Magistrate Sandhya Tiwari said, “The situation is better than yesterday. I have to just impose the law and order in the city and the situation is quite normal now.”

Three persons were killed on Saturday and 19 others, including policemen, injured in the clashes as mobs indulged in arson after which curfew was clamped and shoot-at-sight ordered. Five policemen, a city magistrate, and 13 others were injured. A constable Shensar Pal was stated to be in serious condition in Chandigarh PGI after suffering a bullet injury.

On the land dispute, Ms. Tiwari said, “I’m not going into it... The construction is on hold.” She said 20 people have been arrested in connection with the violence.

Police had fired rubber bullets to control the situation as mobs went on the rampage, setting several shops afire. Prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC have been invoked in the district and curfew was clamped in six areas, according to Tanveer Zafar Ali, Commissioner, Saharanpur.

Additional forces, including from PAC, CRPF, RAF and ITBP have been deployed in the troubled areas.

Trouble began when members of one community started construction work at the site in Kutubsher area in the wee hours of Saturday, which was objected to by the other group. Both the sides indulged in heavy brick-batting, arson and opened fire and there were reports of several shops being gutted in the clash, police said.

Uttar Pradesh government has announced financial aid of Rs 10 lakh each for the next of kin of the three persons killed in the clashes. An official spokesman also said that Rs. 50,000 will be given to the injured and added that the State government has sought a report on the incident from the district administration. In Lucknow, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday termed the incident as “unfortunate” and said that those responsible will not be spared.

Saharanpur is nearly 170 km from national capital Delhi and 560 km from state capital Lucknow.
4:27 PM | 0 comments

Gaza ceasefire extended

Israel on Sunday extended the humanitarian truce in Gaza for another 24 hours at the request of the United Nations, but Hamas resumed rocket fire and rejected the move saying no ceasefire is valid without Israeli tanks withdrawing from Gaza as the 20-day conflict killed 1,050 Palestinians.
The new move came after a crisis meeting of Israeli Cabinet late night. They extended the truce until midnight on Sunday. The cabinet also warned that the army will act if it is breached by Palestinian militants.
The Cabinet was to reconvene to discuss the continuation of the military operation, the officials said.
But Hamas said in a statement that “no humanitarian ceasefire is valid without Israeli tanks withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and without residents being able to return to their homes and ambulances carrying bodies being able to freely move around in Gaza“.
Israel and Hamas agreed to a 12-hour humanitarian truce on Saturday which the Jewish state later extended by four hours till midnight local time. Israel said that it would continue operations against tunnels used by Hamas during the truce period. But Hamas had fired several rockets at Israel from the Gaza Strip, after the initial 12-hour truce ended and rejecting an earlier attempt to prolong the truce.
Meanwhile, Hamas also accused Israel of using previous ceasefires to prepare more attacks, and claimed that there had been truce violations on Saturday. During the original 12-hour ceasefire, Palestinians, frantically scoured through rubble with medics saying over 130 bodies had been retrieved across the Gaza Strip.
The discovery of the bodies under mounds of rubble had pushed the Palestinian death toll to over 1,000 in the coastal enclave since the conflict began on July 8. About 5,870 Palestinians have been wounded in the 19-days of fighting, Gaza health officials say.
The original truce expired at 08:00 local time (17:00 GMT) Saturday. Gazans had been using the pause to recover bodies and gather supplies. About 5,870 Palestinians have been wounded in the 19 days of fighting, Gaza health officials say.
At least 120,000 Palestinians have been displaced in the current round of violence and about 80 per cent of the casualties have been civilians. The UNICEF has said that 192 children had been killed during the conflict.
4:22 PM | 0 comments

China to build railway lines up to India border

Written By Kvartha People on Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 9:16 PM

China is planning the construction of two railway lines in Tibet that will extend up to the border with India and are expected to be completed by 2020, State media reported on Thursday.
The railway lines will run from the town of Shigatse, which next month will be connected to the Qinghai-Tibet railway line that extends to Lhasa. Traffic on the 254 km Lhasa-Shigatse line, which began to be built in 2010, will commence next month.
A top official of the Tibet Autonomous Region government said the railway line will be further extended during the 13th five year plan period (2016-2020), running to two regions near the border with India: Yatung, a trade centre close to Sikkim and Bhutan, and to Nyingchi in the east, near the Arunachal Pradesh border.
A third railway line will be build to Gyirong, where there is a trade and border checkpoint connecting Tibet’s Yatung county and Nepal.
The projects, Chinese experts said, will have both economic and strategic dimensions.
“It will accelerate transportation of the mineral products, which could only be transmitted through highways that often risk being cut off during rainy seasons or see vehicle turnovers,” Zhu Bin, an official of a mineral company, told the official People’s Daily.
The party-run Global Times quoted experts as saying the projects would also have an impact on the boundary dispute with India.
“The Indians have lately been working on adding infrastructure in the South Tibet region, in order to strengthen control,” Liu Zongyi, a scholar at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, told the newspaper, referring to Arunachal Pradesh which China claims as “South Tibet”.
“They have been sensitive to how the Chinese government moves in the southwestern area of Tibet,” he said, adding that “the bargaining chips will be increased on the Chinese side if people in the South Tibet region see better economic development in southwestern Tibet.” 
9:16 PM | 0 comments

Train hits school bus

  Twenty students and driver of a school bus were killed and 19 children injured when a passenger train rammed it into it at unmanned level crossing near Masaipet village in Medak district, about 40 kms from Hyderabad on Thursday morning.
Thirteen students of Kakatiya Techno School in Toopran, about five kms from the school were killed on the spot while the others succumbed to bleeding injuries at two private hospitals in Kompalli on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The driver Bhikshpati too died in the accident.
The injured students were first rushed to Balaji and RR hospitals in Kompally and later shifted to Yashoda hospital in Secunderabad for better medicare. The Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao rushed to the hospital to personally monitor the situation.
According to eye witness accounts and police sources, Nanded-Secunderabad passenger train was approaching Masaipet when the school driver tried to speed past the unmanned level crossing resulting in the ghastly accident. The accident occurred at 9.10 am as the train was running four hours behind schedule. On version said there was a building which could have obstructed the view of the driver.
It is said students screamed at the driver not to rush through the level crossing but the latter ignored their pleas. The badly mangled bus was dragged for a distance of one km before the train came to a halt.tr
9:01 PM | 0 comments

4 Indian tailors evacuated from Gaza

Written By Kvartha People on Monday, July 21, 2014 | 10:31 AM

Four Indian tailors working in Gaza for the last two years have been evacuated unharmed with the help of the Representative Office of India (ROI) in Ramallah, a top UN official said.

The four, Abdur Rehman from Lucknow, Anwar Hussein belonging to Mumbai, Kamil hailing from Badam Ganj and Rashid Ahmed of Bareilly were working for a Palestinian businessman.

They left the strip on Sunday, one of the bloodiest day in the 13 days of conflict that saw 97 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers dead in one of the fiercest attack launched by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) in recent years.

They had moved to Gaza two years ago from Qatar. The ROI was in constant touch with them since the beginning of Israeli offensive and coordinated their evacuation efforts with UN Access Coordination office in Gaza. They were received at the Erez crossing by the staff of the ROI, who helped them escape to Jordan through the Allenby crossing. The tailors would be leaving for India from Amman on Monday.

Pushkar Sharma, an Indian-American representative of the UN Access coordination office in Gaza, said that the Indians, along with a few other foreign nationals, crossed over through the Erez crossing around noon before the two-hour humanitarian ceasefire brokered by the Red Cross began.

Some more Indians, married to Palestinians or working at Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charities, have decided not to leave the coastal Strip because of personal or moral reasons.

“The Indian mission in Palestine has been constantly in touch with us and extended all help which gives us a lot of strength”, an Indian woman from Vishakhapatnam, married to a Palestinian and living in Khan Younis town of Gaza with her six children, told PTI.
10:31 AM | 0 comments

Rebels hold train carrying bodies

Britain, Germany and France agreed on Sunday they should be ready to ratchet up sanctions on Russia over the downing of a Malaysian jet carrying 298 passengers when European foreign ministers meet in Brussels on Tuesday.

Meanwhile rebels in eastern Ukraine on Sunday took control of the bodies recovered from downed Malaysia Airlines plane even as U.S. and European leaders demanded that Russian President Vladimir Putin make sure rebels give international investigators full access to the crash site. The rebels also have allegedly recovered the black boxes from the plane and will hand them over to the International Civil Aviation Organization, a rebel leader said.

Reflecting the continued international pressure, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron in statement demanded that President Putin force separatists controlling the site to “finally allow rescuers and investigators to have free and total access to the zone.”

The French presidency warned in a statement that “If Russia does not immediately take the necessary measures, consequences will be drawn by the European Union at the Foreign Affairs Council which takes place on Tuesday.”
10:27 AM | 0 comments

Rebels have taken all plane crash bodies

Written By Kvartha People on Sunday, July 20, 2014 | 4:42 PM

Separatist rebels have taken away all the 196 bodies that workers recovered from the Malaysian Airlines plane crash site to an unknown location, Ukraine's emergency services said Sunday.

Associated Press journalists saw the rebels putting bagged bodies onto trucks at the crash site Saturday in eastern Ukraine and driving them away. On Sunday, AP journalists saw no bodies at the crash site and emergency workers were searching the sprawling area only for body parts.

Ukrainian spokeswoman Nataliya Bystro said Sunday that the emergency workers had been laboring under duress and were forced to give the bodies to the armed rebels.

"Where they took the bodies — we don't know," Bystro told The Associated Press.
4:42 PM | 0 comments

Modi's oath taking costs 17.60 lakhs

An expenditure of at least Rs 17.60 lakh was incurred on the oath-taking ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan, an RTI reply has found.

The reply provided by the President’s Secretariat said approximate cost incurred on the arrangements of the oath-taking ceremony related to stage, furniture and other allied items is Rs 17.6 lakhs.

In its response to activist Ramesh Verma, the Secretariat said that it does not maintain the records of expenditure function-wise.

“Hence the information sought for cannot be provided. It is informed that the expenditure on functions in incurred by the spending units from the annual budget allotted to respective head of accounts,” a reply from CPIO Saurabh Vijay said.

The activist had sought to know from the President’s Secretariat “head-wise” details on the expenditure incurred on the oath-taking ceremony of Mr. Modi and total number of persons who attended the ceremony.
4:35 PM | 0 comments

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