Shehla Masood murder case: CBI court summons two witnesses


TNN | May 14, 2013,

INDORE: Special CBI court in Indore has on Monday issued summons to two witnesses, including Sanjay Gupta, industrialist friend of Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Bhopal South, Dhruvnarayan Singh and an official of Reliance Communication Deepak Yadav, in connection with the RTI activist Shehla Masood murder case.
Sanjay Gupta and Deepak Yadav were supposed to appear in court on Monday as witnesses of CBI, but they failed to appear before Special CBI court of Anupam Shirvastav. Miffed at their absence, the court issued summons to both asking them to appear on next hearing on May 30 and 31. Also, the court has asked CBI to present its list of witnesses during the next hearing. On earlier two occasions too, CBI’s witness had failed to appear in court.Defence counsel, Sunil Shrivastav, alleged that CBI is delaying the case. “In last one year, only 11 witnesses’ have been produced in the court out of 150 listed in the charge-sheet. In this way, it would take 15 years to complete the hearing and till then accused will be behind the bar,” said Shrivastav.

Shehla Masood was killed in August 2011 in front of her house when she was about to leave for office in her car.

Police arrested Zahida Parvez, Saba Farooqui, Saqib Danger, Irfan and Tabish in connection of the murder and all the accused are right now in jail in Indore as under trial.

 

80- year- old raped and 2 -year- old sexually assaulted #Vaw #WTFIndia


RAPE

80-year-old woman serious after rape in Salem

, TNN | May 12, 2013, 03.28 AM IST

 

An 80 year old women was allegedly brutally raped by a 41-year-old man in a village in Salem district late Friday night. The woman, who was seriously injured in the assault, is undergoing treatment at Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College Hospital in Salem. Doctors treating her said her condition is serious but stable.

 

Police arrested the accused, S Palanivel, a vegetable vendor from Veppilaikuttai village in Salem. The incident took place in Gopalapuram area in Malliyakarai village. The woman’s husband V Narayanan had died a few years ago and she was living alone at her house.

At around midnight on Friday, Palanivel came to the woman’s house and asked for water, police said. She shouted at him as he was drunk. “Angered by this, Palanivel pushed her into the house and raped her,” said deputy superintendent of police P Veliappan. “He used to come to her house to sell vegetables and usually met her in the night before returning to his village,” he said.

The neighbours, who heard the elderly woman’s cries, rushed to her rescue. They caught Palanivel, tied him to post and informed police. DSP Veliappan, inspector A Arumugam, sub-inspector Veeramuthu and other police personnel reached the spot immediately.

The woman was lying in a pool of blood after the brutal assault. Police rushed her to Attur Government Hospital in an ambulance. After first-aid, she was shifted to the Salem hospital for further treatment.

“We were sleeping outside our house when we heard the cries. We rushed to her house immediately,” said a neighbor.

Doctors at the Salem hospital said the woman’s condition is stable. “She is suffering from bleeding. But her health condition is stable at present. She was able to converse with others after the initial treatment,” said Dr R Vallinayakam, dean of the hospital.

Malliyakarai police registered a case and arrested Palanivel. He has been charged under Sections 448 (house-trespass), 376 (rape) and 506 (1) (criminal intimidation) of IPC, and Section III of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Act of 1989. He was produced before Attur judicial magistrate and sent to Salem central prison. Police said Palanivel had married twice and had four children.

New Delhi: A two-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by a 23-year-old neighbour inside her house, police said on Sunday. The man has been arrested.

The incident was reported from Adarsh Nagar area in north Delhi and occurred when the child was alone at home on Saturday evening. A neighbour, who chanced upon the crime, raised an alarm following which the accused fled.

The girl was taken to hospital where the assault was confirmed. Police said accused Shiva, a labourer, was arrested from his house on Sunday morning.

 

 

Mumbai- Activists slam govt’s nuclear policies


Nikhil M Ghanekar, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, May 12, 2013

First Published: 01:26 IST(12/5/2013) | Last Updated: 01:27 IST(12/5/2013)

On Saturday, the Coal-ition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) and anti-nuclear activists criticised the Centre’s policy of expediting civilian nuclear energy projects when most developed nations have shunned the technology following the Fukushima disaster.
CNDP founder Achin Vanaik and activists such as Praful Bidwai and Vaishali Patil spoke on nuclear disarmament, the secrecy around nuclear power and the huge costs of producing nuclear energy at the seminar- ‘Coming out of the nuclear trap’.

Bidwai said the department of atomic energy had propagated myths about the advantage of nuclear power. “The costs of producing nuclear energy are exorbitant… the cost of decommissioning reactors is half of what is used to build them.”

 The seminar’s organiser Kumar Sundaram criticised the Supreme Court’s decision on the Kudankulam plant. “The court did not take into account the safety standard violations. But this judgment will not deter other protests,” said Sundaram.

MPs panel raps ministry for clearing 33 drugs without trials


New Delhi | Sunday, 2013 6:06:00 PM IST

Clinical Trials (journal)
Thirty-three new drugs were granted approval by the health ministry without clinical trials on Indian patients between January 2008 and October 2010, a parliamentary panel has found.

It a report tabled in parliament last week, the panel headed by parliament member Brajesh Pathak said: “This is yet another instance where the ministry, inspite of appreciating the serious problem the continued marketing of these 33 drugs may pose to Indian patients, has chosen to take no action to resolve it”.

The panel criticised the union health ministry for its “inaction” on certain alleged irregularities in clinical trials of drugs before their introduction in the country.

It also charged the officials involved in granting approval to these drugs with violation of law and “an intention to save the guilty”.

“The committee is shocked to note this dilly-dallying by the ministry on the matter, which could be affecting lives of lakhs of people in the country, who are consuming these drugs,” it said.

“The ministry agrees with the committee’s viewpoint about review of approvals to ensure safety of patients, fair play, transparency and accountability but instead of taking strict and immediate action in all proven cases of delinquency and omission and commission, it still continues to be in a state of profound procrastination,” the parliamentary standing committee on health and family welfare said in its 66th report.

It said that even after a lapse of more than seven months the three-member expert panel looking into this contentious matter has come out with “virtually nothing concrete” and observed that the government “intends to delay a decision by referring it to yet another committee”.

“These tactics have been, as stated at several places in this report, resorted to by the government to delay indefinitely the decisions and consequent actions that would be required to be taken against several officials and non-officials who have indulged in rampant acts of omission and commission while approving these drugs in gross violation of the law of the land.”

The committee has taken strong objections to these “dilatory tactics” and recommended immediate decision on these “proven gross violations, lest the health of the people is compromised irrevocably.”

Indo-Asian News Service spc/ros/vt

Sarabjit Singh dies, Pakistan to hand over his body to India


PTI | May 2, 2013,

Pak to return Sarabjit's body after postmortem

Pak to return Sarabjit’s body after postmortem

LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thurday said the body of Indian death row convict Sarabjit Singh, who died in a Lahore hospital after a brutal assault in jail, will be handed over to Indian authorities after “the early completion of all formalities”.

The Pakistan government will continue to facilitate the “early completion of all formalities and hand over the mortal remains of the prisoner to the Indian High Commission at the earliest possible”, said a statement from the Pakistan Foreign Office.

The body of 49-year-old Sarabjit was moved to the mortuary of Jinnah Hospital in Lahore shortly after he died of cardiac arrest at around 1am. (1:30am IST)

He had been comatose since Friday, when he was attacked by six other prisoners within his barrack at Kot Lakhpat Jail.

The Foreign Office said the Pakistan government had been providing “all assistance to the family of Sarabjit Singh as well as to the Indian authorities since the occurrence of this unfortunate incident”.

The statement said Sarabjit had died of cardiac arrest despite being “provided the best treatment available” and the staff of Jinnah Hospital working round the clock to save his life.

Pakistan’s foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani was quoted by the media as saying that the body would be “expeditiously” handed over to India after completing necessary formalities.

Official sources in Islamabad and Lahore said an autopsy and other formalities will have to be completed before handing over the body. A medical board will oversee the autopsy.

The Indian High Commission was in touch with both the federal and Punjab governments on the issue, the sources said.

Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal, who is in Lahore, is expected to meet Punjab caretaker chief minister Najam Sethi this afternoon.

Sarabjit sustained severe injuries when at least six prisoners attacked him in a barrack at Kot Lakhpat Jail on Friday, hitting him on the head with bricks.

In New Delhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed sadness over Sarabjit’s death, saying criminals responsible for the barbaric and murderous attack on the Indian national must be brought to justice.

Sarabjit was convicted of alleged involvement in a string of bomb attacks in Punjab province that killed 14 people in 1990 and spent about 22 years in Pakistani prisons.

His family says he was the victim of mistaken identity and had inadvertently strayed across the border in an inebriated state.

Sarabjit’s mercy petitions were rejected by the courts and former President Pervez Musharraf.

The previous Pakistan People’s Party-led government put off Sarabjit’s execution for an indefinite period in 2008.

The official sources in Lahore had yesterday said Sarabjit had slipped into a “non-reversible” coma and this could lead to “brain death”.

His measurements on the Glasgow Coma Scale, which indicates the levels of consciousness and damage to a person’s central nervous system, had dropped to a “critical level”, the sources said.

Police have booked two death row prisoners, Amer Aftab and Mudassar, for the attack on Sarabjit. They reportedly told investigators that they had attacked Sarabjit because he had allegedly carried out bomb attacks in Lahore.

No action has been taken so far against officials of the jail for failing to provide adequate security to Sarabjit.

Following the rapid deterioration in Sarabjit’s condition, New Delhi had requested that he be immediately released so that he could be treated in India or a third country.

Sarabjit should be declared a martyr: Family

The family of Sarabjit Singh, Indian prisoner who succumbed to injuries after being brutally assaulted in a Lahore jail, has demanded that his body be handed over to them and he should be declared a “martyr”.

The family has set forth demand to the Union home ministry including that Sarabjit’s body be cremated with full state honours, Raj Kumar Verka, vice chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes, told PTI.

They have also demanded that the Centre take full responsibility of the family, Verka said.

The government will hold a meeting today to consider the demands of Sarabjit’s family, he added.

Verka said Sarabjit’s family members, who are with him at his New Delhi residence, are in a state of shock after receiving the news of his death.

He said he has forwarded the demands to the Union home ministry and is in touch with the Central leaders, including home minister Sushilkumar Shinde himself.

 

Mumbai – Errant #Aadhaar contractors paid Rs 5.5cr fine: RTI #UID


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Thursday, May 2, 2013, 8:00 IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The state has charged penalties of more than Rs5.5 crore from various contractors authorised for Aadhaar card enrollment.

 

The state has charged penalties of more than Rs5.5 crore from various contractors authorised for Aadhaar card enrollment.  The details were made available through a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by Anand Pargaonkar.

Around 13 agencies are given the contract to enroll people for Aadhar cards. Details provided by the state’s IT department to Pargaonkar up to 2013, 11 of 13 agencies were fined Rs5,61,90,790.

Tera Software Ltd was levied the maximum penalty of Rs1.85 crore for delay in uploading the packet (data) as per UIDAI guidelines. Others were fined for similar reasons.

The second highest, Rs87.68 lakh, was levied on Strategic Outsourcing Services, followed by GSS America Infotech Ltd – Rs 65.67 lakh – and Mahaonline Ltd – Rs64.11 lakh.

“Suspension or cancellation of licences depends on various aspects. It could be lack of better crowd control or supervisors to check how the enrollment is being done, or too many people being given slips at the same time, or the quality of bio-metric data collected,” state IT secretary Rajesh Aggarwal said. “When we cancel contracts, we inform the UIDAI to stop receiving packets from those agencies. Contracts are suspended as a preventive measure, sometimes till the time corrective measures are taken.”

Pargaonkar said the state needs to spruce up services. “Despite fines and suspension of contracts at centres. people continue to have a bad time. They have to stand in queues for long hours or are sent back home without a proper response.

 

 

Don’t worry, #Aadhaar is not mandatory for now #UID #MUSTSHARE


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Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013, 8:38 IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

 

One need not necessarily have an Aadhaar number as of now for availing of monetary benefits under government schemes such as Employees Provident Fund, insurance and pension or for booking railway tickets and opening bank accounts. As far as the current status of Aadhaar number – meant for direct transfer of subsidies to beneficiaries to plug leakages — is concerned, it is not mandatory for any of the government schemes.

An official from the Unique Identification Authority of India told dna, “As of now Aadhaar number has not been made mandatory for any of the schemes of the central government.

The state governments, meanwhile, may link their schemes with Aadhaar number.”

Even though Aadhaar has not yet been made mandatory for schemes such as EPF, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation, under the ministry of labour and employment, has asked its field offices to make maximum efforts to obtain the available Aadhaar number or the enrolment number of the EPF members, in a communication dated February 6.

It is clear that the government intends to make Aadhaar mandatory for schemes such as EPF and pension but the scale and time required is coming in the way.

The EPFO, vide its letter dated January 21, made it mandatory to submit Aadhaar number for new EPF members joining on or after March 1. A labour ministry official said, “During discussions with the UIDAI, it emerged that UID is not enrolled in all the states. Therefore it was decided not to make Aadhaar number mandatory. And an order was subsequently released,” said the official.

In its February letter, the EPFO observed, “In view of discussions held with UIDAI officials and some time required in the process of obtaining Aadhaar numbers, it may not be possible to obtain the number by EPF by March 1. Therefore it has been decided to not make the Aadhaar number/enrolment mandatory for EPF members from March 1, 2013.’

Similarly, in the case of railway reservations, Aadhar card is only one of the documents required. In case of opening of savings account in banks, Aadhar will work as one of the documents required, and has not yet been made mandatory. Existing bank customers as well as new customers can link their accounts with Aadhar number to avail of subsidies on LPG cylinders directly. Even this is not mandatory and is under optional head in the Aadhar application form.

 

 

Mumbai ​Soon, enroll for #aadhaar at six bus depots #UID


, TNN | Apr 25, 2013, 03.02 AM IST

MUMBAI: The government, after stopping Aadhaar registrations at housing societies and private-sector offices, will soon use BEST bus depots to double up as registration centres.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has shortlisted six bus depots at Borivli, Bandra, Wadala, Anik, Mulund and Mumbai Central for the Aadhaar centres.

These depots will cater to the BEST employees working there and also people living in the vicinity.

“These bus depots have been shortlisted because they see a lot of commuters and also have many employees working there. We plan to have at least 5-7 machines at these centres so that the enrolment is fast and without any waiting time,” said a senior civic official.

Currently, the BMC has 145 centres and plans to add more than 300 centres soon.

So far, only 68% of people have been registered with the Unique Identification Authority of India. To increase the number of registrations, the BMC has decided to hunt for more government premises where the centres can be set up. This was necessitated after the state government issued a new circular barring UID centres on private premises.

The rule has been changed so that limited amount of resources can be used to first enrol the middle and lower middle class population as they are the beneficiaries of the various government schemes for which the UID will be required. Hence, these camps must be set up on government premises.

Several government schemes, such as cylinder subsidy, disbursement of provident fund for state employees and receiving free educational items for civic schoolchildren will require a UID card to be submitted and linked to bank accounts. However, for such schemes to kick into effect, about 80% of a district’s population needs to be registered for Aadhaar.

 

#India – Little kids in slums more vulnerable to sexual abuse


CHILDRAPE

Ambika Pandit, TNN Apr 21, 2013,

NEW DELHI: The voices from 1,580 families in 28 slums, resettlement and unauthorized colonies of Delhi speak in unison about vulnerability of their children and why they are more likely to be victims of violence and sexual abuse than a child living in a planned neighbourhood.

With 75% of the mothers labouring to run the house, the children in the age group of 0-6 years are usually left in the care of an older sibling or the neighbour. But with more and more cases of sexual abuse by known persons, the neighbourhood is no longer the safest option, says a survey by a network of grassroot NGOs working on issues of children under six in urban poor settlements of the capital.

The survey, carried out last year by the network Neenv (Delhi Forces), was followed up with public hearings in various settlements to lay bare the struggles of these people in bringing up their children.

Chirashree Ghosh from Mobile Creches, an NGO which has been working with children in resettlements for over two decades, pointed out that the survey and public hearings brought to fore the vulnerabilities of children in these pockets, home to 64% of Delhi’s population.

The survey also found that just 59% families owned a house. Worse still, only 57% owned pucca houses, reflecting the poor economic status of the families. Adding to the difficulties is the social scenario, with 66% families being nuclear, 67% children below 6 years and 76% working mothers labouring hard to earn their daily bread.

In such a scenario, inadequate anganwadi facilities make survival tough. The survey found that just 20% children were benefitted from anganwadi centres. About 20% children were left under the care of older siblings who are often made to drop out of school to manage the smaller children . Nearly 18% kids are left with neighbours and 5% taken along by mothers. It was also seen that 9% accidents of children took place in the absence of parents.

According to the women and child development ministry’s 2010-11 report , the Rajiv GandhiCreche Scheme had reached 5.83 lakh children in India and 7,700 in Delhi. It is estimated that there are 16 crore children under 6 years in India and six crores require care.

The public hearings also revealed that the most vulnerable among the migrants living in the slums are also the children.

Maharshtra – Aadhaar centres to function only on govt premises #UID


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, TNN | Apr 21, 2013, 02.02 AM IST

 

MUMBAI: The state government has now said that no Unique Identification (UID) card enrolment centres will be allowed on private premises, like housing societies or offices, because there are too few resources to register the huge number of people who remain to be enrolled in the city. Instead, UID – or Aadhaar – card centres will be only allowed in government premises, like schools, offices etc, so that the middle-and lower-middle-class population can be enrolled first.Civic officials said members of the middle and lower-middle classes need the UID card first as they are the beneficiaries of various government schemes for which the card will be mandatory.So far, 68% of the 1.25 crore population of Mumbai has been enrolled, which means approximately 70 to 80 lakh of the population has been covered and 45 to 55 lakh remains to be covered. The official deadline for registering the entire population is December 13.

“Now, with the enrolment drive picking up and resulting into a huge backlog due to the limited number of resources, the state has decided not to allow UID camps on private premises,” said a civic official. The state government had allowed setting up UID enrolment centres on private premises earlier so as to cover as much of the population as possible. At that time, the BMC had allowed camps in housing societies and private offices so that people residing or working there could be enrolled.

A UID card that is linked to a bank account would soon be required to avail of several government schemes, including getting a cooking cylinder subsidy, disbursement of provident fund for government employees and receiving free educational items for civic schools.

Currently, there are 145 BMC centres where enrolment is being conducted in the city. All are on government or semi-government premises. Over the next one month, the BMC is going to increase the number of centres to 470, as new vendors have come forward and the BMC has identified spots where new centres can be set up.

A centre in Kherwadi is being touted as the largest centre in the country, with 25 machines working simultaneously and enrolling 2,000 people a day.

The UID project is the brainchild of technocrat Nandan Nilekani. The card is expected to ensure that citizens get access to all schemes of government and local bodies. The government claims that the card will be important in the years to come as, for any dealing with the government, the card would be required to validate identity.