NEWS IN BRIEF – DEC 09, 2011

1. Mid-term poll fears nixed FDI: Pranab, Admits Lack Of Numbers To

Push Reforms: New Delhi: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on

Thursday said the government had to put on hold the Cabinet’s decision

on FDI in retail since pressing ahead could have resulted in midterm

elections, in a candid admission which exposed the UPA’s government’s

numerical vulnerability and the consequent inability to push policies which

don’t have the support of all UPA constituents. [TOI p1]

2. FDI in retail BJP’s baby, we are trying to nurse it: FM. Pranab

Defends Govt On Price Rise, Oppn Walks Out: New Delhi: Taking a

swipe at the BJP for not backing FDI in retail, finance minister Pranab

Mukherjee on Thursday said the government was only trying to nurse the

main opposition party’s “baby” when it took the decision. [TOI p21]

3. Break price rise trap or quit, Oppn tells govt : NEW DELHI: Attacking

the UPA government for failing to control spiralling prices of essential

commodities, the opposition BJP asked the government to quit if it fails to

“find a way out“ of the situation.[HT p10]

4. Time government accepted its failure: Opposition : New Delhi :

Stressing that it was time the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)

government accepted its failure in controlling spiralling inflation, the

Opposition in the Lok Sabha on Thursday said they were willing to show

the path and demanded that the government should quit if it was unable to

rectify the situation.[The Hindu p10]

5. Panel rejects key reform bills : NEW DELHI: In an incident which does

not augur well for democracy, two senior MPs — the BJP’s S.S. Ahluwalia

and the Congress’ Rashid Alvi — got into a scuffle on Thursday while

attending a meeting of the parliamentary standing committee on

finance.[AA p1]

6. Sonia to spell out party’s strategy : NEW DELHI: Congress president

Sonia Gandhi is likely to address a CPP general body meeting next week

against the backdrop developments within the UPA, suspension of the

decision on the FDI in retail and the Lokpal issue.[AA p2]

7. Antony orders probe into controversial Rs. 500-crore contract : New

Delhi : Congress president Sonia Gandhi is likely to address a CPP

general body meeting next week against the backdrop developments

within the UPA, suspension of the decision on the FDI in retail and the

Lokpal issue.[The Hindu p1]

8. Illegal mining FIR against S M Krishna, two ex-CMs : Bangalore:

Karnataka’s Lokayukta police on Thursday filed an FIR (first information

report) against external affairs minister and former chief minister S M

Krishna and two of his predecessors for alleged offences related to illegal

mining and deforestation. [TOI p1]

9. After FIR, SMK pins hope on judiciary : NEW DELHI: As the Lokayukta

police registered an FIR against Union Minister for external affairs SM

Krishna, in an illegal mining scam, he responded by saying that attempts

were being made at his character assassination and that he was sure that

the judiciary would vindicate him.[AA p2]

10. TN `no’ to talks on Mullaperiyar : Chennai : In the backdrop of Kerala

pushing hard for an out of court settlement on the vexatious Mullaperiyar

issue, Tamil Nadu government has decided not to send its public works

and water resources department secretary M. Saikumar for talks with

Kerala on December 16.[AA p2]

11. TN ‘no’ to talks on Mullaperiyar : Chennai : In the backdrop of Kerala

pushing hard for an out of court settlement on the vexatious Mullaperiyar

issue, Tamil Nadu government has decided not to send its public works

and water resources department secretary M. Saikumar for talks with

Kerala on December 16.[AA p2]

12. Standing committee throws out proposal to hike insurance FDI : New

Delhi : After the fiasco on retail FDI, the UPA government is facing failure

in another key reform it has long contemplated — hiking FDI cap in

insurance from 26% now to 49% to give Indian insurance firms an avenue

to raise much-needed growth capital.[FE p1]

13. In Parliament, a push that almost came to shove : New Delhi:

Congress spokesman Rashid Alvi and BJP leader SS Ahluwalia almost

came to blows -a push that did not result in a shove-on Thursday after a

meeting of the parliamentary standing committee examining the National

Unique Identification Authority of India Bill.[HT p1]

14. CIC sent two letters to PM to fill posts : New Delhi : The government

may have issued an advertisement for the post of information

commissioners at the Central Information Commission in November but

the move comes after repeated distress calls from Chief Information

Commissioner Satyananda Mishra to the Prime Minister’s Office to

urgently fill up the growing number of vacancies at the top transparency

panel.[IE p2]

15. Black money : BJP MPs to submit declaration today : New Delhi :

With the Centre giving in on the issue of FDI in retail, the BJP has shifted

its focus back to the issue of black money. The issue was discussed at

BJP’s Parliamentary Party meeting Thursday and it was decided that party

MPs would on Friday submit declarations to the Speaker and Chairman of

the Rajya Sabha, affirming that they do not hold illegal money in overseas

bank accounts.[IE p4]

16. Blow to Aadhaar project as Bill is rejected : New Delhi : The

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance has rejected the National

Identification Authority of India (NIAI) Bill, which was meant to give a legal

backing to the Aadhaar project and its aim of using biometrics to create a

unique identity for every resident of India.[The Hindu p1]

17. Amend Constitution for judicial body: Panel : NEW DELHI: The

Constitution should be amended to set up a National Judicial Commission

with powers to initiate criminal prosecution and sacking of corrupt judges,

the parliamentary panel on the lokpal bill is likely to recommend on

Friday.[HT p11]

18. SC stays HC order on Goa Gov Report : New Delhi : The Supreme

Court on Thursday stayed the Bombay high court order asking the Goa

Raj Bhawan to make public the governor’s report to the Centre on political

situation of the state during July-August 2007.[AA p2]

19. BJP, Left to join Anna’s Dec 11 Lokpal Bill debate : New Delhi: In

what promises to be an anti-Congress show, several political parties

including BJP and Left plan to participate in the Team Anna organized

debate on the Lokpal bill at Jantar Mantar on December 11.[TOI p17]

20. Swamy plea pushes PC one step closer to court : NEW DELHI: A

special CBI court on Thursday finally allowed Janata Party chief

Subramanian Swamy to become a witness in support of his private

complaint seeking home minister P Chidambaram’s prosecution in the 2G

scam.[HT p1]

21. False rumours about PC stall Parliament: New Delhi: Inaccurate

reports that a court had admitted Subramaniam Swamy’s plea for the

prosecution of P Chidambaram in the 2G case brought Parliament to halt,

with the Opposition demanding the resignation of Union home minister in

both the houses. [TOI p13]

22. Cong, BJP elders in physical spat, Oppn MP Loses Cool After Cong

Neta Accuses Him Of Leaking House Report: New Delhi: Rajya Sabha

“seniors” BJP leader S S Ahluwalia and Congress’s Rashid Alvi got into a

scuffle outside a committee room in Parliament on Thursday after Alvi

accused Ahluwalia of leaking a standing committee report on the unique

identification number scheme. [TOI p12]

23. Vinod Rai to head UN audit panel, CAG Will Oversee Audit Of IAEA,

WHO: New Delhi: The Centre has been critical of the Comptroller and

Auditor General (CAG) for taking out a series of adverse findings on

government policies, but the contribution of the auditor seems to have

been recognized by the United Nations which has appointed CAG Vinod

Rai as chairman of its panel of external auditor. [TOI p12]

24. CBI upset over Lokpal panel’s proposals, Lokpal’s Nod Undercuts

Agency’s Autonomy: New Delhi: Proposals of Parliament’s standing

committee examining the Lokpal Bill do not diminish the scope for political

interference in the CBI’s functioning as the agency head’s appointment

remains under government control while the ombudsman’s role in vetting

corruption cases may actually reduce CBI’s functional autonomy. [TOI

p17]

25. SC: Court Can Order CBI Probe Against Important Persons. To be

done if persons in high posts could influence investigations into a

case ” NEW DELHI : In a significant judgment, the Supreme Court has

ruled that a CBI inquiry could be ordered in exceptional circumstances

against persons holding important posts who could influence

investigations into a case.[ET p2]

26. Team Anna unhappy with recommendations on CBI : New Delhi: The

Lokpal panel’s five-phased process for criminal prosecution was slammed

by Team Anna which accused the committee of using the Anna Hazare

agitation to further weaken the anti-corruption system. [TOI p17]

27. Kabir Suman kicks off another controversy : Kolkata : Maverick

Trinamul Congress MP Kabir Suman has stoked yet another controversy

by composing a song criticising the police firing at Mograhat village in

South 24 Parganas district which left two women dead on December

one.[AA p2]

28. 3 Lakh Each for 20 Wrongly Implicated Muslim Youth : HYDERABAD

: The Andhra Pradesh government will compensate 70 Muslim youth,

wrongly implicated for the Mecca Masjid blast. A total of . 70 lakh will be

given to these men, as per recommendations of the National Commission

for Minorities.[TOI p3]

29. RS passes Prasar Bharti Amendment Bill : New Delhi : Rajya Sabha

on Thursday passed a Bill amending the law governing Prasar Bharati

that will ensure that recruitments done between November 1997 and

October 2007 are considered as “deemed deputation” till retirement.[IE

p4]

30. Thackeray vs Thackeray over icons, flyover : MUMBAI: The warring

Thackeray brothers of Maharashtra politics are now locked in a verbal war

over respecting the state’s icons and the trigger is a proposed flyover.[HT

p11]

31. Bhushans stand by graft charges against 8 ex-CJIs : New Delhi:

Renowned advocates and Team Anna members Shanti Bhushan and his

son Prashant Bhushan on Thursday refused to retract their accusation

that eight of 16 former Chief Justices of India were corrupt while the senior

Bhushan dared the Supreme Court to send him to jail if it was contempt.

[TOI p19]

32. Telangana Congress MPs snub Pranab : New Delhi : Congress MPs

from Telangana have decided to boycott finance minister Pranab

Mukherjee to protest what they called “humiliation meted out to them“ by

the UPA troubleshooter last month.[HTp15]

33. Uttarakhand to create four districts : Dehradun : The Uttarakhand

Government on Thursday issued an order regarding the creation of four

new districts — Kotdwar and Yamunotri in the Garhwal Division and

Ranikhet and Didihat in the Kumaon Division. When formally created,

these will take the number of districts in the State to 17.[The Hindu p7]

34. Ulfa threatens Hindi speakers in Assam : GUWAHATI: The anti-talk

faction of Ulfa on Thursday threatened to target Hindispeaking people in

the state in retaliation for alleged atrocities by the security forces on

residents of eastern Assam’s Tinsukia district. In an emailed statement,

Ulfa’s assistant publicity secretary Arunoday Dohotia said: “Ulfa condemns

the atrocities committed on the Assamese people in Tinsukia district by

Cobra commandos deployed recently.“[AA p1]

35. Sanjiv Bhatt seeks summons to ‘reveal the whole truth’ : Ahmedabad

:The controversial Gujarat cadre IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt has requested

the G.T. Nanavati-Akshay Mehta judicial inquiry commission to summon

him for questioning in the Godhra probe, claiming he was witness to

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s role in subverting a 2002

communal riot-related petition before the Supreme Court.[The Hindu p5]

36. Decision on UP division after polls? : NEW DELHI: While Uttar

Pradesh chief minister and BSP supremo Mayawati played her card of

dividing the state into four parts, the Centre is unlikely to pay much heed

to the proposal ahead of the assembly polls.[HT p15]

37. Nitish name in fodder, scam rocks Assembly : Patna : The Opposition

MLAs in Bihar staged an angry walkout in the state Assembly on Thursday

when their proposal seeking permission for a debate on the allegations of

fodder scam bribery against chief minister Nitish Kumar was rejected by

the Speaker.[AA p2]

38. All sub-judges in Punjab, Haryana flunk exam for superior judiciary :

Chandigarh :As indictments of the lower judiciary go, this one is pretty

damning. Each and every sub-judge from Punjab and Haryana who sat for

the qualifying exam for superior judicial service two months ago has

flunked.[IE p1]

39. SC wields whip : Cars must have UID by next year : New Delhi : Fed

up with States holding on the implementation of the high-security

registration plates (HSRP) ever since its use was made mandatory in

2008, the Supreme Court on Thursday cracked the whip on all States and

Union Territories directing them to furnish an undertaking to implement the

scheme within four weeks.[Pioneer Daily p1]

40. Will Yeddyuppa return to rescue BJP? : BENGALURU: Former chief

minister B.S.Yeddyurappa could be on the comeback trail. If not as chief

minister in the coming months, then at least as the BJP’s state unit

president. The only hurdle — Lal Krishna Advani and Ananth Kumar.[AA

p2]

41. EC to monitor paid news : Chandigarh :The Election Commission has

decided to act tough against paid news and the use of money power in the

coming elections in Punjab with state and district committees being

formed to keep a watch on election media coverage as well as the

expense accounts of candidates.[The Tribune p5]

42. Punjab’s Parties Woo Voters with Power Sops : CHANDIGARH : In

Punjab, populism is trumping good economics – as it does every time

ahead of elections. Two months ahead of the state polls, political parties

are now wooing voters with power subsidies. [ET p3]

43. Why the haste in MP Lokayukta appointment? : Bhopal : Senior

Congress leader and former Union minister Suresh Pachouri has raised

questions of propriety adding to the controversy already raging with regard

to the Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta’s earlier decision in the dumper

purchase case involving chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and also

the haste with which the present Lokayukta was selected and

appointed.[AA p2]

44. The Anna effect : Mumbaikars choose ‘clean’ candidates for civic poll

: Mumbai :Egged on by social activist Anna Hazare’s call to elect clean

people as their representatives, residents’ groups across Mumbai are

coming together to field candidates who are untainted by either crime or

corruption.[The Tribune p8]

45. Bhanot seeks bail, parity with 2G scam accused : New Delhi : An

accused in Commonwealth Games (CWG) scam on Thursday sought bail

from a court here seeking parity with the 2G spectrum case accused, who

were freed from jail on orders of the Supreme Court and the Delhi high

court.[AA p13]

46. JNU welcomes order, final decision on polls on Jan 6 : New Delhi: As

the Supreme Court vacated the stay on Jawaharlal Nehru University’s

student union elections on Thursday, the university administration and

students welcomed the decision. [TOI p7]

47. On wrong foot, BJP to oppose ‘taxing’ budget : New Delhi: A day after

the Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s (MCD) budget for 2012-13 was

presented in the standing committee, the ruling BJP went into damage

control mode.[TOI p3]

48. Abbi blames new taxes on MCD trifurcation : NEW DELHI: Delhi

mayor Rajni Abbi on Thursday said the negative impact of MCD

trifurcation has already begun to show in the form of newer taxes

proposed in the city.[HT p9]

LEGAL/CRIME NEWS

49. Record evidence in Babri case on daily basis: High Court : Lucknow

: The Allahabad High Court on Thursday directed the recording of

evidence on a day-to-day basis by a Rae Bareli court in the Babri Masjid

demolition case.[The Hindu p10]

EDITORIAL/OPINION

50. The lady’s in the house: Ashok Malik : This past Sunday, Mamata

Banerjee, chief minister of West Bengal, did something unusual. In

Kolkata, she told the media that the Union government’s decision to permit

enhanced foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail had been

“suspended“.[HT p9]

BUSINESS NEWS

51. Sensex plunges 389 points as reforms stall: Mumbai :The

government’s inability to push through key reforms, the sorry state of its

finances and renewed concerns about a slowing economy sent the

Sensex crashing on Thursday with the benchmark index giving up 388.82

points or 2.3% to close at 16,488.24 points. The broader 50-share NSE

Nifty too yielded 2.3% to close at 4,943 points.[FE p1]