Friday, 22 June 2012

Bihar News, Latest News from Bihar, News of Bihar, Biharprabha News

Bihar News, Latest News from Bihar, News of Bihar, Biharprabha News

How Calcutta High Court trashed Singur Land Act 2012

Posted: 22 Jun 2012 07:18 PM PDT

Following are excerpts from the judgement delivered Friday by Justices Pinaki Chandra Ghosh and Mrinal Kanti Chaudhuri of the Calcutta High Court striking down the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011, as unconstitutional:

The Singur Act is a law relating to acquisition and further it appears to us that without having assent from the President of India, the Singur Act is hit by Article 254(1) of the Constitution of India.

The provisions of Sections 3, 4(3), 5 and 6 of the impugned Act are directly in conflict with that of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 and thereby repugnant to the said Act.

In view of the above discussion, the above Act is wholly in exercise of the power by the State under Entry 42 List III of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India.

Hence, there was acquisition of land leased out to the Tatas and possessory right of the vendors. We further come to the conclusion that the Act cannot be treated as for public purpose when the intention is to return the land to the unwilling land owners/farmers.

* Since we have expressed our opinion that the Court has no jurisdiction to insert, in the guise of interpretation of statute, or rewrite/recast/reframe the same as held by the Supreme Court, we hold that Hon’ble Single Judge after holding that the intention of the legislature to pay compensation is vague and uncertain, has no power to insert or recast or rewrite the statute by inserting Sections 23 and 24 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.

Therefore, the said part of the order is not sustainable in the eye of law and is set aside. In these circumstances, we have to hold that the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011 is held to be unconstitutional and void since it is without having assent from the President of India.

We have also noticed that Section 5(1) only speaks about the refund of the money which was paid by the vendors and such refund tantamounts to no compensation as awarded to the vendors/writ petitioners and, accordingly, that also is not sustainable in the eye of law. Since ‘no compensation’ is nothing but in the nature of illusory and should be struck down.

For the reasons stated herein above, the judgment and/or order so passed by the Hon’ble Single Judge is set aside. The appeal is allowed. The cross objection filed by the state is also dismissed and the Act is declared as void.

Passport Offices to remain Open On Saturday and Sunday

Posted: 22 Jun 2012 06:11 PM PDT

Amid reports of delays in online applications for passports and the growing logjam, the external affairs ministry has announced that passport offices in seven cities – Delhi, Ghaziabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Lucknow and Amritsar - will remain open this Saturday-Sunday.

The Details of Procedure to be followed is available here

The weekend will see Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) in seven cities accepting around 28,000-30,000 applications.

The ministry also defended what it called the citizen-centric online application system and said it has successfully completed setting up and operationalisation of 77 PSKs in the country.

“In order to address unprecedented demand for passport services during these months, the Ministry of External Affairs has decided to open Regional Passport Offices, including Passport Seva Kendras under their jurisdiction (Delhi, Ghaziabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Lucknow and Amritisar), on June 23 and 24,” the ministry said.

The applications for all passport related services “other than tatkaal” shall be accepted during the ‘Passport Mela’, said the ministry.

Taking note of reports in the media about applicants being fleeced by touts and middlemen for uploading applications and arranging appointments, the ministry clarified that the appointment system has been introduced in keeping to make government services accessible to the common man through common service delivery outlets.

The process is aimed at ensuring efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs, it said.

The ministry said it is improving governance in passport offices by focussing on citizen-centricity, service orientation and transparency.

The online application and appointment system at the PSKs was aimed at cutting down waiting time for the applicants, but the system has not worked for hundreds of applicants due to technical glitches and other factors.

Under the new system, if appointments are not available and the passport is required urgently, walk-in facility can be allowed by the concerned regional passport officer.

To tackle the surging demand for passports, the ministry has created an extra 400 appointments slots. With around 25-30 per cent of people who are given appointments now showing up at designated time, the ministry is also exploring the possibility of fining the offenders.

Last year, the PSKs serviced around 7 million passports and passport-related requests. The ministry has ambitious plan for 100 million passports over the next ten years.

Rajasthan Frames unique Girl Child Policy

Posted: 22 Jun 2012 05:08 PM PDT

Some People might attribute it to Satyamev Jayate, but Rajasthan is in the process of framing a Unique Girl Child Policy. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot initiated the process of formulation and adoption of the Policy.

“The policy, in addition to specific emphasis on saving girls, will also address the important issue of child rights,” said Sarita Singh, principal secretary, women and child development, Rajasthan.

Making the announcement on the concluding day of a workshop on gender-based discrimination and declining sex ratio here, she said the policy would also have a chapter devoted to the role, contribution and responsibilities of civil society organisations.

Sarita Singh called upon NGOs and child rights groups to submit their suggestions on promoting a positive mindset about girls. She said all tendencies encouraging female foeticide and infanticide must be nipped in the bud.

The two-day workshop was organised jointly by three NGOs – Action Aid, Prayatn and Jago Sakhi Seva Sansthan. Held under the banner of Chaahat Hai Jeeney Ki (we want to live), the workshop provided a common platform to different stakeholders for discussing challenges and struggle of women in the state.

The event also attracted participants from other states who shared their experiences.

Global organisations such as UNICEF and Plan International were also represented in the workshop.

The participants also discussed the issue of gender budgeting.

Border Security Force to have Hotline with Pakistan Rangers

Posted: 22 Jun 2012 04:07 PM PDT

BSF is planning to have direct Hotline Communication channel with its Pakistan Counterpart which will help it to discuss urgent problems without going via Diplomatic Channels in New Delhi.

“We have this communication system established in the east but not in the west (Pakistan border). We want to have it in there too,” BSF Director General U.K. Bansal told at Shillong.

Bansal, who is scheduled to meet his Pakistani counterpart on July 1 at New Delhi, said the BSF will moot the idea of setting up a hotline where field commanders on both sides of the border initiate dialogue directly instead of waiting for flag meetings in case of any untoward incident.

“The objective is mainly to prevent escalation when such incidents occur. There should be a channel of communication in case of any incident,” he said.

“We should be able to talk and this is a routine confidence building measures across the border and between the two border guarding forces,” added Bansal.

India and Pakistan share two types of border – the international border in parts of Jammu and Kashmir, extending all the way to Gujarat, and the Line of Control in rest of Jammu and Kashmir.

Bansal, who visited the India-Bangladesh border in Meghalaya Friday and reviewed the security preparedness of the BSF troopers, revealed that the BSF is in the process of procuring more surveillance equipments following approval from the home ministry.

“We will be inducting new surveillance and communication equipment on the international border to check early intrusion along the border,” the BSF chief said.

He added that force multipliers like hand-held thermal-imagers, battlefield surveillance radar and night vision devices have been installed on the border to ensure effective night domination.

Army struggling hard to rescue Mahi, the Girl who fell in Borewell

Posted: 22 Jun 2012 02:47 PM PDT

Gurgaon- Forty-four hours after four-year-old Mahi was trapped in a 70-feet deep borewell in Manesar town near here, modern technology was deployed Friday evening to locate her exact position, an official said.

Mahi slipped into the borewell near Manesar’s Industrial Model Township (IMT) on National Highway-8 while the family was celebrating her birthday around 11 p.m. Wednesday.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Praveen Mehta told IANS: “We have booked the plot owner Rohtash Singh, a resident of Najafgarh in New Delhi.”

“On Friday evening, experts with Ground Penetrating Radar System (GPRS) were called to assist the rescue team. It is a technology that provides critical information on potential obstructions within existing underground structures with three-dimensional images,” said a senior officer who was part of the rescue team.

Earlier, the big bore machine from Rapid Metro achieved its target of digging a l75-feet tunnel parallel to the borewell in the early hours of Friday.

“The gap between both the bores is about 8-feet. While digging the tunnel to reach the target (Mahi), from new bore to borewell, a big piece of hill stone became a big barrier. Due to this, the rescue team missed the goal,” the officer further added.

An army Engineer regiment from Delhi and National Security Guard (NSG) personnel have taken on the task of rescuing the child.

According to an official, an extra supply of oxygen was provided through a pipe to Mahi and army men inside the tunnel.

Mahi slipped into the borewell near Manesar’s Industrial Model Township (IMT) on National Highway-8, when her family was celebrating her birthday around 11 p.m. Wednesday.

Mahi is the daughter of Niraj Upadhyay, who hails from Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh district. Niraj is a security supervisor at a factory in Manesar and was living in Kasan village with his wife Sonia and another two-year-old daughter.

Police have booked the plot owner, Rohtash Singh, a resident of Najafgarh in New Delhi.

Despite several raids, he could not be arrested, said Om Prakash, Manesar station house officer.

Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar doesnot want to blast in Parliament

Posted: 22 Jun 2012 02:16 PM PDT

Sachin Tendulkar MPMaster Blaster Sachin Tendulkar does not want to blast in the Parliament. He wants to maintain his Soft-spoken nature and hopes that he wont be forced to shout. Recently he was appointed as Rajya Sabha MP from the Sports Category.

In an interview to NDTV, he said, “No I don’t think I need to shout and I hope, you know, that no one will make me shout. Why should one be shouting? You can politely put your point across and say whatever you have to, and then, whatever happens, happens”.

Tendulkar gave words of encouragement to the Indian contingent for next month’s London Olympics, saying that they should give their all in bringing laurels for the country.

“I pray to God that they get all the strength and that they go out there and perform and express themselves, and all I can say is just enjoy yourselves and the rest will follow. They’ve really worked hard for a number of years now and yes, the expectations are there, but who wants to go there and fail?” he asked.

“They are all going out there to give their best and get medals for India and that would be just unbelievable, more the better. So, all the very best and whether you bring back medals or not, what matters is your effort and we are very proud of you,” said Tendulkar, the world’s highest run-getter in both Test and ODIs.

The 39-year-old, said he was apprehensive about day and night test cricket, and felt it should be first tried in first class cricket and then only in tests.

“I think it’s not as easy as it seems. As long as you’re sure of the ball retaining its colour and it’s being picked by the batters, then you can try it out.

“But I wouldn’t straightaway go to Test cricket. Why not first try it out in first class cricket and get response from the players all across the world, not just a few countries, but all across the world and then take that step forward,” he said.

Shadows of Colonialism still being seen in India

Posted: 22 Jun 2012 09:19 AM PDT

Even 50 years after liberation from Portuguese rule, the shadow of colonialism still looms over this little village in Goa about 30 km from state capital Panaji.

The ownership of over 3,770 hectares of prime land, much of it sitting on iron ore deposits, is in limbo thanks to decades of wrangling over the property between the government, the legal heirs of the original Portuguese owners and the villagers living on the land.

The government had declared the area “evacuee property” in the 1960s, citing that the legal heirs of the owners had left Goa and were Portuguese citizens. The property was thus given the evacuee tag and entrusted to a custodian appointed by the government.

The property in Mayem earlier belonged to D. Jose Joaquim Noronha, who was given the title Conde de Maem (Count of Mayem) and the property declared the Condado de Maem (Countship of Mayem).

Over the years during the Portuguese era, the original owners had leased out part of their land to reformed prisoners, who then become residents of the land. Subsequently, in addition to those who were already staying there, several others built illegal structures on the land and today claim to be residents, tenants and the like “for generations”.

In 2011, the state government-appointed Law Commission proposed a solution to the problem, which has vexed generations of legal experts and politicians, by asking the government to acquire the land and parcel it out to those who stay there.

“We had suggested that the state abolish the title and proprietorship rights of the Count, become the owner of the land and prepare a scheme for to allot it to the villagers under the Town and Country Planning Act,” former Law Commission chairman and former union minister of state for law Ramakant Khalap told IANS.

A draft bill on this had also been submitted to the government, which was not acted upon by the then chief minister Digambar Kamat and the problem continued to linger.

The move had been welcomed by the villagers, who have bandied under the Mayem Bhoo Vimochan Nagrik Kruti Samitee and had demanded that the government expedite the Law Commission’s proposal and move a bill called the Condado de Maem (Abolition of Title and Proprietorship of Lands in Mayem) Bill 2011 with certain changes as urged by them.

The leaders of the agitation have been propagating the view that they are still under the “bondage” of Portuguese decisions and laws since they have no rights to their own land.

“For us, it is like still living in the Portuguese era. We have been living on the land for generations but we do not own the land. If we want electricity and water connections, we cannot get permissions easily. We cannot even sell the land if we want to because the ownership is not in our name,” Kashinath Mayenkar, one of the leaders of the group and a longtime resident of Mayem said.

There are around 895 structures, 34 temples and 15 schools located on the disputed property.

A claimant to the property and title, Antonio S.C. Pereira, has now says that the proposed law, if legal, should not be applied only to Mayem but to entire state of Goa whereever there are evacuee properties.

“If any such proposal is made specifically for Mayem, the same law should also be made applicable to Poriem, Sattari, Pernem and other talukas in Goa,” Pereira, an Indian national, said in a statement.

IIT Council meeting convened on June 27 after IIT Delhi revolted

Posted: 22 Jun 2012 09:15 AM PDT

IIT Kanpur CampusUnion Human Resource Department of India has convened a meeting of IIT Council this Wednesday (June 27) for discussing the new Entrance pattern Common Admission Test, which is supposed to replace IITJEE.

The move has come after IIT Delhi and IIT Kanpur separated from Common Admission Test 2013 and many other IITs are likely to follow.

Nearly all of the IIT Senates have rejected the new pattern of common Admission test which proposes a common entrance Test for all Government Engineering Colleges including IITs.

A statement Friday from the HRD ministry said that a meeting will be called Wednesday in the national capital.

“The uncertainty faced by the student community, consequent to the resolutions of the senates of IIT Kanpur and IIT Delhi, requires to be addressed,” the statement said.

“Consequently, a special meeting of the IIT Council is being convened on June 27,” it said.

Meanwhile, sources hinted that IIT Bombay and IIT Kharagpur may also follow the stand of their Delhi and Kanpur counterparts.

A professor from IIT Bombay said the meeting of IIT Bombay senate was scheduled for July 2.

Faculty members in IIT Kharagpur are also likely to ask their director to hold a meeting soon. Director Damodar Acharya, who has been backing the HRD ministry decision, has so far toed the line of the IIT council. His tenure ends June 30.

Several IITs are opposing the proposed common entrance test, which merges IIT Joint Entrance Exam (IIT-JEE) with the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) and includes a fixed weightage for school board exams.

IIT Delhi Thursday rejected the common entrance test and decided to hold its own entrance exam from 2013.

IIT Delhi said after its decision, that the exams would be conducted in association with IIT Kanpur, which has also rejected the government’s single entrance test.

Members of All India IIT Faculty Federation had also met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently to urge him to intervene.

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal however has maintained that the new system is in favour of students and does not affect the autonomy of the IITs.

WB Government to take Singur Land Act Case to Supreme Court

Posted: 22 Jun 2012 07:51 AM PDT

 Minutes after the Calcutta High Court division bench Friday held the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011, as unconstitutional and void, the West Bengal Government Friday stated it is committed towards the interests of the farmers and that the next line of judicial action will be decided soon.

“We are committed towards the interest of farmers and share croppers. We are always with them and will remain with them. The unwilling farmers should not worry. After receiving the full version of the judgment we decide our next line of judicial procedures,” Industries Minister Partha Chatterjee said. Chatterjee, however, denied to comment on the judgment passed by the division bench of the Calcutta High Court.

However CM Mamata Bannerjee said via Facebook,” I have no comments to offer on Singur Verdict. Throughout my life, I have struggled for the cause of the farmers, working class, poor and under-privileged. 
Our commitment to be with them will remain, whether I am in power or not. I will continue to fight for this cause.
Finally, the people's choice in democracy will prevail“.

The Mamata Banerjee government suffered a serious jolt when the Calcutta High Court Friday struck down as unconstitutional and void the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011, which had scrapped the land lease given to Tata Motors by the earlier Left Front regime. The court favoured the Tata Motors’ appeal against a trial court order which upheld the act, and gave the West Bengal government two months to appeal before the Supreme Court.

The division bench of Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice Mrinal Kanti Chaudhuri set aside the single bench judgment of the court, which had held the Singur Land Rehabilitation And Development Act, 2011, passed by the Mamata Banerjee government as constitutional and valid.
Automobile giant Tata Motors had moved the division bench against the Calcutta High Court’s Justice I.P. Mukerji’s Sep 28 judgment.

According to the division bench, sections of compensation in the Singur act were in conflict with the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. It also said the legislation had been enacted without obtaining the assent of the president.

The court has granted a two-month suspension on the order but barred the state from disbursing reclaimed land in the interim period.

Legislators pass Censure Motion against Banks denying Education Loans

Posted: 22 Jun 2012 07:08 AM PDT

What can definitely be said as a Positive Step by Indian Political Leaders, Legislators in Kerala assembly unanimously passed a censure motion against banks denying Educational Loans to Students.

Moving a motion, treasury bench legislator Thomas Unniyadan called for the attention of the house that banks in the state, despite Reserve Bank of India guidelines and three different rulings by the Kerala high court, were saying no to students who approach them for educational loans.

“This is the season when students approach banks for educational loans. The banks are playing spoil sport in not sanctioning the loans for the needy. The government should come up with measures to rein these erring banks,” said Unniyadan.

The state today has more than 40,000 engineering seats besides an equal number in medical and paramedical courses. Out of these more than 80 percent seats are in the professional self-financing colleges.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has assured the house a special meeting of all legislators to tackle the issue Monday.

“Already the state government has held two meetings with the State Level Bankers Committee. We will meet Monday and see how we can tackle this issue,” said Chandy.

Numerous legislators pointed out that while the Indian Banks Association have clear guideline of educational loans for students seeking admission, colleges that are recognised should give loan up to Rs.four lakhs without collateral security or sureties — but this does not happen.

“Education loan is a right of the students but these banks do not do their duty despite clear cut guidelines. We will ask all the legislators who are behind this issue to see that they take part in the District Level Bankers Committee. We will also give necessary directions to the district collectors to see that this issue is raised and brought to the attention of the leading banks in every district,” said Minister for Rural Development K.C. Joseph.

Joseph also added that the issue will be taken up to the highest level with the chief minister’s Delhi visit in first week of July.

In April, a nursing student Shruthi, from Kottayam, committed suicide after failing to to get an education loan.

Following a huge public outrage, the police arrested the bank manager, who recently got bail.

“If the state government does not act fast, there will be more number of Shruthi’s committing suicides,” said Unniyadan.

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