NEWS IN BRIEF – NOV 16, 2011

1. Australia, at last may sell uranium to India: New Delhi :Australia has

given indications of reversing the ban on selling uranium to India in return

for greater strategic proximity between the two countries. Australian Prime

Minister Julia Gillard, after pushing for India’s case in a newspaper article

and at a press conference on Tuesday, will have to persuade the Labour

Party to endorse her stand at its conference next month.[The Hindu p1]

2. Some relief: Petrol to cost 2.22 less in Delhi : New Delhi: Petrol will

become cheaper by more than Rs 2 a litre across the country —

depending on local taxes — from Wednesday as the government nudged

staterun fuel retailers to pass on the benefit of the easing in the fuel’s bulk

market price and rupee-dollar parity. [TOI p1]

3. Cong Takes Credit for Petrol Price Cut : NEW DELHI : The Congress

on Tuesday stepped forward to claim credit for the cut in the price of

petrol. “The party has repeatedly said that government should take all

efforts to check the rise in oil prices as well as inflation.[ET p3]

4. Feisty Rai defends 2G loss figure, Reduced It From 4L Cr, Rai Tells

JPC: New Delhi: A defiant comptroller and auditor general on Tuesday

rebutted claims that he had overruled his subordinates who put the loss

from the 2G scam at just Rs 2,600 crore to project the figure of Rs 1.76

lakh crore. [TOI p1]

5. Plea to DoT for 2004-072G files fell ondeaf ears: CAG : New Delhi : In

a startling disclosure, Comptroller and Auditor-General Vinod Rai on

Tuesday said the Department of Telecom had not furnished the relevant

papers on 2G spectrum licences during 2004-2007 and hence his office

could not audit accounts for that period.[The Hindu p14]

6. ‘Keep all govt employees under ambit’ : New Delhi: Team Anna on

Tuesday pressed for inclusion of all government employees within the

ambit of the Lokpal. In a statement, Team Anna said that the

parliamentary panel should recommend that all government employees be

brought under the law., not just Group A and B officials. [TOI p13]

7. Condemnable if big business pay Maoists, says Chidambaram :

Raipur : While he offered his sympathy for small businessmen and

traders forced to pay protection money to the Maoists, Union Home

Minister P. Chidambaram said it was “certainly condemnable” if big

corporations were channelling money to the banned Communist Party of

India (Maoist). [The Hindu p9]

8. JPC meet turns into auditors’ battlefield: NEW DELHI:The Joint

Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum allocation has

turned into a battleground between auditors. On Tuesday, CAG Vinod Rai

stuck to his presumptive loss of R1.76 lakh crore and rubbished former

auditor RP Singh’s claim that he had to sign the final CAG report under

pressure.[HT p10]

9. JOSHI TRIED TO SPEED UP REPORT, SAYS CAG OFFICIAL: NEW

DELHI: A senior CAG official has alleged that BJP veteran and

Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Murali Manohar

Joshi had asked him to expedite the report on 2G spectrum allocation.[HT

p10]

10. Pension Bill in cabinet today; no FDI provision : New Delhi : The

consensus between the UPA government and the opposition BJP over the

Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Bill is

likely to come under stress with the finance ministry rejecting the

Yashwant Sinha-chaired parliamentary standing committee’s

recommendation that the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy in the

sector be mentioned in the legislation. The amended PFRDA Bill, 2011 is

one of the major items to be discussed by the cabinet on Wednesday.[IE

p1]

11. Speaker rejects Telangana MPs resignation : NEW DELHI: The Lok

Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Tuesday rejected the resignations of 12

MPs from the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh, who had resigned in

July protesting against the delay in creation of a separate state.[HT p10]

12. CBI may lose its prosecution power, no consensus on PM : New

Delhi: The parliamentary panel on Lokpal is likely to recommend that

CBI’s prosecution powers be hacked and a separate autonomous wing for

prosecution be created. The standing committee on law and justice is

likely to allow CBI powers to investigate cases under the supervisory

control of the Lokpal.[TOI p1]

13. ‘Lokpal to forward graft cases to CBI’ : New Delhi: The parliamentary

panel on Lokpal deferred the issue of bringing the PM under its purview.

Speaking after the meeting, committee chairman Abhishek Singhvi said,

“With these two meetings over four hours, we have covered 10 to 12

significant and contentious issues. [TOI p13]

14. Lokpal: 5 step mechanism to separate probe & prosecution : New

Delhi : The parliamentary panel examining the Lokpal bill is learnt to have

formulated a five-stage mechanism that separates investigation from

prosecution, and maintains “equilibrium in the holy trinity” of CBI, CVC and

the proposed Lokpal.[IE p1]

15. Anger at Advani in Golden Temple : Chandigarh : Senior Bharatiya

Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani continued to face angry protests on

the third day of his Jan Chetna Yatra in Punjab, when activists from

different Akali factions and radical organisations raised slogans as he

visited the holiest Sikh shrine, Harmandar Sahib (Golden Temple)

complex in Amritsar on Tuesday.[The Hindu p5]

16. Unvarying Advani rolls in, Punjab too preoccupied to notice :

Ludhiana : With polls due early next year, the season of political

mobilisation can be said to have been inaugurated in Punjab. The

Congress has kicked off its mass contact programme with its “Punjab

bachao” yatra. Manpreet Badal has embarked on his own “Izzat bachao”

yatra.[IE p9]

17. No change in US visa policy for Modi : Washington : The US on

Tuesday said there is no change in its visa policy with regard to Gujarat

Chief Minister Narendra Modi, but asserted that the state has a very

welcoming environment for American business to flourish.[IE p3]

18. Gadkari Woos Vidarbha with Bijli, Pani, Naukri Slogan : DEVADA :

BJP president Nitin Gadkari is trying to reach out to farmers of drought-hit

Vidarbha region with a bijli-pani-naukri slogan. He had hinted at contesting

the next Lok Sabha election from Nagpur. Addressing a farmers’ rally in

this Bhandara town, he stuck to the development plank, refraining from

indulging in political rhetoric.[ET p3]

19. Girl’s death on Gadkari grounds hazy as ever, cops want case closed

: Nagpur : Two years after seven-year old Yogita Thakre was found dead

on the premises of BJP president Nitin Gadkari’s residence, the Nagpur

police are seeking closure of the case though it remains marked by a

number of contradictions. The case is coming up for hearing here on

Wednesday.[IE p9]

20. RALLY SCUFFLE: FIR AGAINST 4 CONG LEADERS : LUCKNOW: The

Allahabad police on Tuesday registered an FIR against Union minister of

state for surface transport Jitin Prasada and Union minister of state for

petroleum RPN Singh, in connection with their scuffle with some

Samajwadi Party students at Rahul Gandhi’s rally in Phulpur on

Monday.[HT p10]

21. Rajnath vows 1% farm loan if BJP returns to power : Ghazipur :Faced

with the task of reviving its fortune in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP has taken

leaves out of its popular State Governments to promise a complete

turnaround of country’s largest province where it has been out of power for

almost a decade now.[Pioneer Daily p7]

22. Rahul’s magic swells Youth Congress ranks : NEW DELHI: Congress

general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s single-minded dedication to strengthen

the party’s youth wing has worked. Early this month, the Youth Congress

membership crossed the magical figure of one crore, making it the first

political organisation in the world to have such large following among the

youth.[HT p10]

23. Congress silence on pact stifles RLD campaign : LUCKNOW:The

Congress has launched an aggressive election campaign in Uttar

Pradesh, but its potential ally, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), is unable to

use its firepower because it does not know whom to target.[HT p13]

24. Beg remark is divisive: BJP; Congress calls it emotional : NEW

DELHI:The Congress on Tuesday defended general secretary Rahul

Gandhi’s remarks on migration of people from Uttar Pradesh, but the

opposition was unsparing in its criticism, even as a complaint was filed

against him in a Mumbai court.[HT p13]

25. Split won’t hit Maya, but will crack SP’s Yadav votebase: NEW

DELHI:Uttar Pradesh chie bring a resolution for dividing the state into four

parts in the coming session of the assembly found her political rivals

taking varied positions.[HT p13]

26. Maya moves to slice UP into 4, stumps rivals, UP Cabinet Nod To

Bring Proposal In Winter Session: Lucknow: Chief minister Mayawati

left her political rivals in a quandary on Tuesday by spelling out her

gameplan to carve four smaller states from the “most populous and…

administratively cumbersome Uttar Pradesh”. Her Cabinet endorsed the

decision to bring out a proposal in the winter session to split the state into

four parts – Purvanchal, Paschim Pradesh, Bundelkhand and Awadh

Pradesh — a move which will diminish the political heft that the state

enjoyed by virtue of being home to 80 Lok Sabha seats.[TOI p1]

27. UP Cabinet Okays Division into Four Smaller States, Congress, SP &

BJP on backfoot; Maya hopes to change discourse with resolution:

LUCKNOW : The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet has endorsed a proposal for the

division of UP into four smaller states. This is seen as a deft move by chief

minister Mayawati, fighting anti-incumbency, to turn the tables on her

political rivals, especially Congress. [ET p2]

28. Maya’s UP split plan an election stunt: SP, RLD Wary But Will Back

Move: Lucknow: Chief minister Mayawati’s proposal to carve four smaller

states from Uttar Pradesh for the sake of governance drew sharp

reactions from opposition Samajwadi Party, which called it an “election

stunt” to fool the people. [TOI p18]

29. UP polls last hope for ‘Mandal Mulayam’? : New Delhi: It would be the

last roar of Mulayam Singh Yadav in battleground Uttar Pradesh, with the

launch of election campaign on Wednesday coming amid doubts if the

Mandal icon can swing next year’s assembly polls the Samajwadi Party

way after successive debacles. [TOI p18]

30. Mulayam replies to SC notice after 6 yrs : New Delhi: It is a classic

example of why cases involving top politicians keep dragging in courts.

Former UP CM Mulayam Singh Yadav took six years to respond to a

Supreme Court notice asking him to reply to a PIL, which accused him of

illegally allotting prime plots in Lucknow to his relatives and friends. [TOI

p20]

31. Jolt for Cong as Uttamrao joins NCP : Nagpur : Congress received a

big jolt on the home turf of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee

(MPCC) chief Manikrao Thakre with party heavyweight Uttamrao Patil,

who has been MP six times from Yavatmal, quitting the party to join the

NCP along with supporters on Monday. [IE p2]

32. Rajasthan Ministers Resign En Masse; Reshuffle Soon, Move to

enable CM Ashok Gehlot to carry out the impending reshuffle and

weed out tainted ministers: JAIPUR : The Rajasthan Cabinet resigned

en masse on Tuesday to make way for a revamped administration amid

the political storm following a series of recent controversies, including the

alleged role of a minister in kidnapping and suspected murder of health

worker Bhanwari Devi. [ET p2]

33. Ministers quit to give Gehlot a free hand :JAIPUR:Facing flak over the

recent cases of Bhanwari Devi abduction case, death of the Bhilwara

Dairy chairman’s wife and Gopalgarh violence, the Rajasthan cabinet on

Tuesday put up a show of solidarity.[HT p15]

34. INLD workers join Congress : Chandigarh : The Congress candidate

for the Haryana Assembly by-election from Ratia, Jarnail Singh, received

a shot in the arm on Tuesday as several Indian National Lok Dal workers

joined the party in the presence of Sirsa MP Ashok Tanwar.[The Hindu

p5]

35. DDA to build 3 urban extension roads by 2015 : New Delhi: The plan

to decongest arterial roads in the city is finally taking off with Delhi

Development Authority receiving a go-ahead for the construction of three

urban extension roads (UER) provided under Master Plan 2021.[TOI p6]

36. Ex MLA alleges scam in illegal colony nod, L-G Orders Inquiry,

Opposition Attacks Govt: New Delhi: A former MLA has alleged a major

land scam in the name of regularizing illegal colonies in the capital,

claiming that provisional certificates were issued for several areas where

no building existed just before the last assembly elections. Lieutenantgovernor

Tejindra Khanna has now ordered an inquiry into the allegations.

[TOI p9]

37. MCD approves Rs. 100 crore for building roads, schools : New Delhi :

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi on Tuesday approved Rs 100 crore

allocation for construction of roads, drains and school buildings across the

city.[The Hindu p3]

38. New circle rates notified : New Delhi : Property prices in the Capital are

set to go up further with the Delhi Government notifying the hike in the

circles rates up to 250 percent to check black money in sale and purchase

transactions.[The Hindu p3]

LEGAL/CRIME NEWS

39. Cash at judge’s door: Vahanvati didn’t support CBI case :Chandigarh

:Attorney General Goolam E Vahanvati, in a 2010 opinion to the Law

Minister, had not supported the case made out by the Central Bureau of

Investigation to prosecute Justice (retd) Nirmal Yadav in the infamous

cash at judge’s door case.[IE p7]

40. SC to look at denial of bail in VIP cases : New Delhi : With the denial of

bail to 2G spectrum scam accused becoming a matter of debate, the

Supreme Court today said it would examine the matter of courts denying

bail in high profile cases.[IE p1]

41. SC to Look into Bail Denial, Media pre-judges many issues before

courts and tends to influence conduct of judges: Petitioners: NEW

DELHI : The Supreme Court has decided to examine the ‘trend’ of denial

of bail in high profile cases – something that runs contrary to the “bail is

the rule and jail an exception” philosophy propounded by the apex court in

the late 70s. [ET p2]

42. SC seeks details of pending mercy pleas : New Delhi: The Supreme

Court on Tuesday decided to get abreast with the working of mercy

jurisdiction vested by the Constitution in the President and governors and

asked the Centre to file in four weeks details of clemency petitions

pending with the constitutional authorities. [TOI p17]

43. SC Judge : Death sentence barbaric, undemocratic : New Delhi : With

the country witnessing a renewed debate on the issue of death penalty,

Supreme Court Judge A K Ganguly has expressed the view that though

death sentence is provided for in law, it is “barbaric, anti-life, undemocratic

and irresponsible”.[IE p2]

44. HC tells CBI to probe NRHM funds in UP : Lucknow :In a setback to

the UP government, the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on

Tuesday directed the CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the

utilisation of funds and implementation of the National Rural Health

Mission (NRHM) in the state since its inception in 2005-06.[IE p7]

EDITORIAL/OPINION

45. Control freakery : ARUN JAITLEY: The chairman of the Press Council of

India, Justice Markandey Katju, lost little time after his appointment to

make known his contemptuous views about the Indian media. The obvious

danger of talking out of turn in order to sound crusading is that one ceases

to be objective. [HT p12]

BUSINESS NEWS

46. Mallya blames fuel taxes, high interest : MUMBAI :Caught between the

ambition to be India’s biggest airline on one side and mismanagement on

the other, Kingfisher Airline’s chairman Vijay Mallya’s attempt to keep his

company afloat after a R468 crore loss in the previous quarter failed to

impress passengers.[HT p1]

47. We did not seek bailout, says Mallya : Mumbai : Kingfisher Airlines has

not sought any help from the government and it will now focus on its full

fare model, according to Vijay Mallya, Chairman of the airline and of the

UB Group, Mr. Mallya said while there would be no lay-off among its 7,000

employees, the airline, with a debt of around Rs 6,500 crore, was looking

at cutting costs and taking several steps to face the challenging

times.[The Hindu p1]