NEWS IN BRIEF – DEC 16, 2011

1. Home min order favouring PC’s former client revoked, Oppn Stalls Both Houses, Demands Minister’s Sacking :

New Delhi: The opposition stalled proceedings in both Houses and demanded the dismissal of P Chidambaram for the quashing of FIRs after charge sheets had been filed against a businessman he represented as a lawyer, forcing the Delhi government to reverse the relief provided to a former client of the home minister. [TOI p1]

2. Govt scampers to pass Lokpal Bill this session, Cabinet May Okay

Bill On Sunday To Meet Deadline: New Delhi: The Centre has not given

up the option of getting the Lokpal bill passed during the winter session of

Parliament to meet the December deadline set by Team Anna, with

indications that the Union Cabinet may clear the bill on Sunday for being

introduced in Parliament. [TOI p1]

3. PC Caught in ‘Conflict of Interest’ Row, BJP tells prime minister to

dismiss home minister with immediate effect: NEW DELHI : The

controversy over the alleged conflict of interest involving home minister P

Chidambaram in withdrawal of criminal cases against his former client,

Sunair Hotels Ltd, on Thursday brought the proceedings in the Lok Sabha

to a standstill as BJP demanded his immediate dismissal over the issue.

[ET p2]

4. BJP raises stink over PC `helping’ client in fraud case : NEW DELHI:

Already under attack in the 2G spectrum allocation controversy, home

minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday came under renewed fire from

the opposition for a home ministry letter advising the Delhi government to

withdraw police cases against a Delhi-based hotelier.[HT p1]

5. Revised Lokpal Bill is likely next week : NEW DELHI: As the

government began putting final touches to the Lokpal Bill before tabling it

in Parliament next week, it got some unexpected support: Nobel-winning

economist Amartya Sen said in New Delhi Thursday that “people on the

street” could not tackle corruption properly.[AA p1]

6. Pension Fund Bill ‘Won’t Come up in This Session’, Prime minister

convenes a special Cabinet meet on Sunday to clear food security

bill : NEW DELHI : It is now clear that the government will not be able to

use the ongoing winter session of Parliament to amplify its reform

intentions. Its compulsion to put up with its tantrum-throwing allies has

forced the Manmohan Singh government to put the passage of the

Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority bill (PFRDA) on

hold.[ET p2]

7. Govt to Table Lokpal Bill in LS on Dec 20, Doubts prevail over its

passage in winter session; Anna threatens jail bharo: NEW DELHI :

The government, which is anxious to blunt Anna Hazare’s anti-graft

campaign, has decided to introduce the Lokpal Bill in the Lok Sabha on

December 20. The Cabinet will clear the bill at its special meeting on

Sunday. However, there are doubts about its passage in the winter

session of Parliament. [ET p3]

8. Bring Back Yeddy, Say 17 BJP MPs, Karnataka MPs meet Advani,

demand rehabilitation for former chief minister: NEW DELHI :

9. Former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa, who has been sulking

on the sidelines, on Thursday got his loyalists within the BJP

parliamentary wing to lobby for his rehabilitation with the party’s central

leadership. [ET p3]

10. HC stays probe against Krishna: Bangalore: In a relief to two former

chief ministers of Karnataka, S M Krishna and H D Kumaraswamy, the

Karnataka high court on Thursday stayed for four weeks the investigation

by the Lokayukta police pursuant to an FIR registered against them. [TOI

p9]

11. SC admits plea against Khurshid : New Delhi : The Supreme Court

Thursday allowed a petition accusing Union Law Minister Salman

Khurshid of “publicly giving a clean chit to Essar/Loop”, which have been

chargesheeted by the CBI in the 2G scam case. NGO Centre for Public

Interest Litigation, represented by Prashant Bhushan, told the court that

senior people in the government and the CBI influenced the investigators

to press lighter charges of cheating and conspiracy against Loop and

Essar.[IE p8]

12. Mulayam targets PM now : unable to act on his own : New Delhi :

Indicating his growing distance from the ruling Congress, Samajwadi Party

chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday trained his guns on the

government saying that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is unable to act

on his own.[IE p3]

13. Lokpal : Govt may extend session : New Delhi : As Anna Hazare

threatened the government on Thursday with a jail bharo agitation from

January 1 to press for the passage of the Lokpal Bill by Parliament, the

government only went to the extent of stating that it would come back to

the Lok Sabha with an amended version of the legislation before the end

of the current Winter Session.[IE p3]

14. Thomas goes all out, aims current session to table bill : NEW DELHI:

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has asked Union food minister KV Thomas

to iron out last-mile hurdles in the way of the flagship food bill before it is

brought to the Cabinet again on Sunday.[HT p10]

15. BJP raises stink over PC helping client in fraud case : New Delhi :

Food inflation –measindex –fell sharply for the week ended December 3,

raising hopes that consumer prices will also soften and set the stage for

an eventual easing of interest rates.[HT p1]

16. MHA firewalls PC from FIR controversy : New Delhi: As Union home

minister P Chidambaram came under opposition’s attack over the issue of

withdrawal of FIRs against a Delhi hotelier, his ministry again washed its

hands of the controversial issue. [TOI p9]

17. Karnataka High Court Stays FIR Against Krishna: BANGALORE : In

what should come as a relief to external affairs minister SM Krishna, the

Karnataka High Court on Thursday stayed an FIR filed by the Lokayukta

Police against him on a private complaint accusing him of facilitating illegal

mining during his tenure as state chief minister. [ET p3]

18. SP Wooing Muslims Ahead of UP Polls, Demands a separate quota

for the community in government jobs ‘in proportion to their

population’: NEW DELHI : With elections to the Uttar Pradesh assembly

just around the corner, competitive politics among three “secular”

contenders — the Samajwadi Party, BSP and Congress — to woo the

Muslims is set to intensify. [ET p2]

19. Yeddy looks ahead, calls on Gadkari : NEW DELHI: After failing to

secure an appointment with BJP patriarch LK Advani, former Karnataka

chief minister BS Yeddyurappa met party president Nitin Gadkari on

Thursday to push for honourable rehabilitation after his ouster from office

on corruption charges.[HT p13]

20. UP minister’s kin, BSP men grab farm tractor subsidy in

Bundelkhand : Banda : Relatives of Uttar Pradesh PWD Minister

Naseemuddin Siddiqui have got subsidised tractors under a central

scheme meant to help farmers in drought- and poverty-stricken

Bundelkhand. The beneficiaries — who also include several other people

associated with the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and some

contractors — have only tenuous links with farming.[IE p1]

21. Rajasthan: Jats, Meenas eye `third front’ : JAIPUR: Though Assembly

elections are two years away, a group of Jat and Meena leaders has

joined hands to form a third alternative in Rajasthan. Independent MP

from Dausa Kirodi Lal Meena has been instrumental in exploring the

scope of a third front. Mr Meena made a surprise visit to sacked minister

Mahipal Maderna’s house in Jodhpur and also called on Maderna, who is

in jail in connection with the Bhanwari case. The ruling Congress and the

Opposition BJP both dismissed it, saying it would not make any impact in

electoral politics.[AA p2]

22. Punjab Cong puts up united front : CHANDIGARH: Unlike in the past,

the Congress in Punjab has been able to put up a united front so far in the

pollbound state. Notorious for its factionalism, which always surges when

elections are round the corner, the Congress is not witnessing any serious

factionalism this time.[AA p2]

23. Bedi: All parties agree on CBI :New Delhi : Former police officer and

Team Anna member Kiran Bedi, speaking to reporters after the twoday

core committee meeting of the group, refuted suggestions that

Wednesday’s all-party meeting had failed to arrive at a consensus. Ms

Bedi said almost all the parties were unanimous on the CBI getting

autonomy, which she said was the “key issue”.[AA p2]

24. Poll-Bound Maya Worried Over Closure of Gandak Canal in Bihar,

Fearing farmer backlash during assembly elections, UP holding

back-channel talks with Bihar govt: PATNA : The closure of the

western Gandak canal in Bihar could affect the political dynamics in pollbound

Uttar Pradesh, especially in areas where farmers are dependent on

the canal for irrigation.[ET p2]

25. UP BJP in dismay as all leaders in fray : LUCKNOW: With three out of

the four BJP leaders in-charge of the election campaign in UP now

emerging as candidates themselves, the party’s campaign is in jeopardy.

The list of 143 candidates released on Tuesday night in Delhi carries the

name of Kalraj Misra and Surya Pratap Shahi as BJP candidates from

Lucknow East and Pathardeva Assembly seats, respectively.[AA p2]

26. Farmers crisis? Only 50 MPs stay to discuss it : New Delhi: Farmer

suicides and the agrarian crisis have been the reason for many disruptions

in Parliament, but when the time comes to discuss the issue, hardly

anyone bothers to attend, as happened in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday

when not even 60 MPs were present. In fact, there were probably just 50

of them. [TOI p1]

27. Govt Denies Move to Censor Net : NEW DELHI : The government has

backtracked on its plans to draft guidelines for Internet companies to

monitor and screen online social media content. Speaking on the sidelines

of a meeting with Internet companies here on Thursday, Minister of State

for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot said there is no plan to regulate

online content. [ET p1]

28. 143 dead in Bengal hooch horror: Sangrampur (W Bengal): Toxic

liquor has claimed 143 lives in Bengal, the toll trebling overnight on

Wednesday as daily wagers who made up most of the victims died

unattended in the late hours. The deaths enraged villagers of Sangrampur

in South 24-Parganas district and thousands of people, from teenagers to

70-yearolds, ransacked one hooch den after another and torched the

houses of hooch sellers. [TOI p1]

LEGAL/CRIME NEWS

29. SIT lodges complaint, CBI to file FIR in Ishrat Case : Ahmedabad :

The special investigation team (SIT) that probed the fake encounter death

of Ishrat Jahan and three others on Thursday lodged with the CBI a

complaint on the basis of which the agency will register a fresh FIR on

Friday.[HT p11]

30. Bhanwari husband part of kidnap plot : Jaipur : A local Dalit leader

from Jodhpur, Chatraram Deshbandi, has alleged that Bhanwari Devi’s

husband Amarchand was part of the plot to kidnap her on September 1.[IE

p8]

BUSINESS NEWS

31. RBI sells dollars, curbs speculation as hits 54.3: Mumbai: The

Reserve Bank of India on Thursday sold dollars through public sector

banks and announced steps to curb speculation in the foreign exchange

market by banks and corporates as it intervened to pull back the rupee

from an all-time low of 54.3 against the dollar and help it close at 53.65.

[TOI p1]