NEWS IN BRIEF – DEC 21, 2011

1. Cabinet clears Lokpal bill: PM in, CBI out, Stage Set For Pitched

Battle As Team Anna, Oppn Decry Govt’s Formula: New Delhi: The

Cabinet finally cleared the Lokpal and Lokayukta bill on Tuesday, but their

key formulations were promptly slammed by both Team Anna and the

opposition, setting the stage for a continuing confrontation within and

outside Parliament. [TOI p1]

2. Anna to fast for 3 days, then launch ‘jail bharo’ : Pune: Anti-corruption

crusader Anna Hazare denounced the citizens’ charter bill tabled in

Parliament on Tuesday and declared that he would go on a three-day fast

from December 27 followed by a three-day jail bharo agitation from

December 30.[TOI p1]

3. Govt bends but Anna wants more : NEW DELHI :Citizens will be able to

file complaints of corruption against any central government employee to

the proposed lokpal, which will have its own inquiry and prosecution

wings, according to the draft bill finally cleared by the cabinet on Tuesday

night.[HT p1]

4. BJP: UPA’s Lokpal Bill insult to House : NEW DELHI: Terming the

Lokpal Bill approved by the Union Cabinet on Tuesday as “an insult to

Parliament” as it “ignored the sense of House” on the issue, the main

Opposition BJP said Congress-led UPA government is not serious about

keeping a check on corruption. The CPI(M) also said government has not

accepted its many suggestions on the issue.[AA p3]

5. Govt brings bill to redress grievances : New Delhi : Government

officials who fail to meet deadlines for delivery of goods and services can

be fined up to R50,000, according to the citizens’ grievance redressal bill

introduced by the government in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.[HT p1]

6. Want PM under Lokpal, independent CBI : BJP : New Delhi : On a day

of fluctuating positions, the BJP on Tuesday hardened its stand on the

Lokpal issue, saying it would oppose the government Bill if it differed from

what they had sought from the government in the Parliamentary Standing

Committee.[IE p3]

7. Citizen Charter Bill tabled on Lok Sabha : New Delhi : A Bill laying

down obligations of every public authority towards citizens, specifying

delivery of goods and services in a time-bound manner and providing for a

grievance redressal mechanism for non-compliance of citizens charter

was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.[The Hindu p1]

8. After 6 years, govt accepts Kejriwal’s IRS resignation : New Delhi: Six

years after he quit, Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal’s resignation from

the Indian Revenue Service was accepted by the central government.

[TOI p17]

9. I heard Raja shouting at Mathur at the top of his voice, says Achary,

‘Burning Issues In The Ministry At That Time Were Licences &

Spectrum’: New Delhi: CBI’s star witness in the 2G spectrum scam case

Aseervartham Achary, a former aide of sacked telecom minister A Raja,

was quizzed by counsel for the accused on Tuesday on how he had

acquired an expensive mobile handset.[TOI p13]

10. Swan Telecom promoters met Raja 20 times during UPA-1 : New

Delhi : Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka had

visited the office of A Raja more than 20 times during his tenure as

minister of environment and forests, a key CBI witness told a Delhi court

on Tuesday.[HT p15]

11. CAG questions Cong JPC members’ allegations : New Delhi

:Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai has taken serious

exception to allegations leveled against him by some Congress members

on JPC Panel that he pushed forth “corporate agenda” in his report on 2G

spectrum scam.[Pioneer Daily p4]

12. Sonia to meet party MPs today : New Delhi :Congress president Sonia

Gandhi will interact with party MPs on Wednesday amid challenges galore

for the party and the government in the New Year.[AA p2]

13. Sibal moves Copyright Bill, Amendment Seeks To Bring Law In Tune

With Intl Treaties: New Delhi: After being disallowed by the opposition

last week, Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal on Tuesday moved a bill in the

Rajya Sabha to amend the Copyright Act. [TOI p19]

14. Govt monitoring Gita case: Krishna: New Delhi: External affairs

minister S M Krishna on Tuesday described as “absurd” the plea in a

Russian court for a ban on the Bhagwad Gita, addressing members of

Parliament who rose in protest for the second consecutive day. The

opposition led by BJP’s Sushma Swaraj charged that the Centre was not

doing enough to register its protest with Moscow. [TOI p1]

15. Sushma: Declare Gita national book : New Delhi: Slamming the plea in

a Russian court for a ban on the Bhagwad Gita, BJP leader and leader of

opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj demanded that the scripture

be made India’s “national book” to prevent its insult in other countries.

[TOI p21]

16. BJP continues to hound Chidambaram on 2G, FIRs, Both Houses

Witness Adjournments As Oppn Attacks PC, Ramesh: New Delhi:

NDA members continued their vociferous protests against home minister

P Chidambaram in Parliament on Tuesday, demanding he be dismissed

over his alleged role in the 2G case and also over the controversy around

his ministry’s alleged involvement in helping quash FIRs against his

former client. [TOI p17]

17. NDA barracks Chidambaram for ‘misusing’ office : New Delhi : The

National Democratic Alliance barracked Union Home Minister P.

Chidambaram in both Houses of Parliament on Tuesday for allegedly

“misusing” his office to help a Delhi-based hotelier.[The Hindu p9]

18. BJP Moves Privilege Motion Against PC, Conflict of interest: Oppn

accuses home minister of showing disrespect to House: NEW DELHI

: BJP on Tuesday gave notice for a privilege motion against home minister

P Chidambaram, accusing him of showing disrespect to Parliament by

making a statement outside the House on the recent “conflict of interest”

controversy surrounding him. [TOI p17]

19. Jaya Opposes Food Bill, Says it’s ‘Inaccurate’, Odisha CM Patnaik

wants Centre to bring all poor within the programme’s purview: NEW

DELHI : After senior Union Cabinet ministers raised doubts over the

National Food Security Bill, it is the turn of state chief ministers to object to

the contours of the bill. Voicing their concerns, they said the programme

might leave out genuine beneficiaries from within its ambit and put

additional pressure on their finances. [ET p2]

20. Jairam comes under BSP fire: New Delhi: Rural development minister

Jairam Ramesh and BSP members got into constant war of words in the

Rajya Sabha on Tuesday resulting in adjournment at the dying minutes of

question hour. [TOI p17]

21. Karat bid for Brinda RS seat irks allies : NEW DELHI: Resentment

continues to brew in the CPI(M) over the “top couple” and the way the

“cadre-based party was being turned into a outfit controlled by the

family”.[AA p2]

22. Gowda wants special session to discuss farmer suicides : New Delhi

: The former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) president H.D. Deve

Gowda on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to convene a

special session of Parliament to discuss the “manifold problems faced by

farmers, which drive them to the extreme step of taking their own life.”[The

Hindu p9]

23. Super education regulator gets cabinet approval : NEW DELHI: A

single over-arching independent body in place of multiple higher education

regulators to promote academic excellence and research was approved

by union cabinet on Tuesday, almost three years after the idea was

generated.[HT p1]

24. Katju: Ratna for cricketers, actors will be a mockery: New Delhi:

Press Council of India chief Markandey Katju said that giving Bharat

Ratna to cricketers and film stars, who have no social relevance, was

making a “mockery” of the award. [TOI p15]

25. Bhagwat talks about RSS’ dream of a Ram temple in Ayodhya : New

Delhi : The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) feels that within two or

three years a grand Ram temple could be built at the Ayodhya site after

the Supreme Court took a final view on the complex issue.[The Hindu p9]

26. Congress to Anna: Be wary of RSS : NEW DELHI: Cautioning social

activist Anna Hazare to beware of RSS design, the Congress on Tuesday

hinted that the party is gearing up to take on the Team Anna head on

apparently buoyed over by their non-influence in the Maharashtra

municipal elections.[AA p3]

27. Final CBI report in Adarsh case in eight weeks : Mumbai : The Central

Bureau of Investigation will file the final report before the Bombay High

Court in the Adarsh housing society scam case in eight weeks..[The

Hindu p9]

28. Tax Notices to Over 100 Swiss Account Holders : Mumbai : More than

100 individuals in Mumbai, including a few corporate biggies, have

received notices from the Income-Tax Department this month for holding

undisclosed bank accounts with HSBC Geneva. [ET p1]

29. BJP revives Atal mystique to woo Brahmins in UP: New Delhi: In the

battle for Brahmin votes, Atal Bihari Vajpayee will be the surprise

contender in the Uttar Pradesh fray, with the BJP set to resurrect its faded

mascot in the coming assembly polls. [TOI p1]

30. BJP looks to regain Brahmin votes in UP : New Delhi: The Brahmin

vote has become the flavour of the season in the Uttar Pradesh polls,

given that Mayawati’s phenomenal win in 2007 had to with her success

with the community. Mayawati’s triumph flowed from the Brahmin exodus

from their post-Congress home, resulting in the massive collapse of BJP,

which is keen on using the lessons this time around. [TOI p21]

31. Govt clears air on UP’s ‘split state’ plan : New Delhi: A day after

seeking clarifications from Uttar Pradesh over the assembly resolution to

split the state into four parts, the government on Tuesday said it moved on

the proposal only when there was a broad consensus in the parent state

and after taking into consideration all relevant factors. [TOI p19]

32. Centre Delaying Division of Uttar Pradesh, Says Mayawati:

LUCKNOW : Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati has accused the

central government of resorting to unconstitutional means to delay the

division of Uttar Pradesh into four separate states — Poorvanchal, Awadh

Pradesh, Paschim Pradesh and Bundelkhand. [ET p2]

33. UP polls : 3 parties forge alliance : Lucknow : Three political

organisations — Peace Party of India, Apna Dal and Bundelkhand

Congress — have formed an alliance to jointly contest the Uttar Pradesh

Assembly elections. While Apna Dal has its base among Kurmis of

Poorvanchal, Peace Party describes itself as the party of Muslims and

poor and Bundelkhand Congress, as the name suggests, is active in

Bundelkhand.[IE p2]

34. Jaya Prada to fight against Azam Khan : Lucknow : Ousted SP leader

Amar Singh has decided to field Jaya Prada, the MP from Rampur, as the

candidate of his Rashtriya Lok Manch against Samajwadi Party leader and

rival Azam Khan in the coming Assembly polls.[IE p5]

35. SP changes 7 candidates for 1 seat : LUCKNOW: Lambhua, an

Assembly seat in Sultanpur district, was just another nondescript

constituency that did not deserve a second glance. There were no VIP

contestants, no VIP tours, just a constituency steeped in caste wars.[AA

p2]

36. BSP minister’s kin on voter lists in 3 villages : Lucknow : UP

Lokayukta N K Mehrotra has received a report from the District Magistrate

of Hardoi confirming that the names of about 28 family members of

Science and Technology Minister Abdul Mannan were included in the

voter lists of three separate villages in one Assembly segment.[IE p8]

37. War room leak accused to face UK trial for extradition : New Delhi:

Ravi Shankaran, a key accused in the Naval war room leak case, will face

extradition charges on December 30 in a London court that has accepted

the proof given by CBI. [TOI p11]

38. Sehajdharis’ can vote for SGPC : CHANDIGARH:The Punjab and

Haryana high court on Tuesday restored the voting rights of Sehajdhari

(non-baptised) Sikhs in elections to the Shriomani Gurdwara Prabandhak

Committee, the Sikhs’ highest religious body.[AA p1]

39. Court ruling on defectors leaves Hooda on edge : Chandigarh: The

Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday ordered that five Haryana

MLAs who defected to Congress in 2009 will be considered “detached”

from the party. The order leaves the Hooda government on the

tenterhooks as its numbers are now down to 41 in the 90-member

assembly, surviving on the outside support of seven independents. [TOI

p15]

40. Congress suspends Malkhan Singh, MLA remanded in CBI custody :

Jaipur : A special court in Jodhpur on Tuesday remanded MLA Malkhan

Singh Vishnoi, arrested in the auxiliary nurse Bhanwari, Devi

disapearance case the other day, to CBI custody till December 28.[The

Hindu p5]

41. No-trust motion against Raman Singh defeated : Raipur : The BJP

government in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday defeated the no-confidence

motion moved by the Congress by 11 votes. After a debate on the motion,

the BJP garnered 48 votes, while 37 members voted in favour of the

motion.[IE p8]

42. BJP to go with like minded parties for Manipur poll : Imphal :BJP

president Nitin Gadkari has stated that his party will go with other likeminded

parties to take on the Congress for the ensuing tenth Manipur

Assembly poll likely to be held in February next year, even as the NCP

and the regional Manipur People’s Party (MPP) have announced of a prepoll

alliance.[Pioneer Daily p7]

43. HC likely to clarify nursery age today, Pvt Schools Still Have 2 Years

Of Pre-Primary Education: New Delhi: Will the three year-olds in the city

be eligible for nursery admissions in the coming session? Are formal

schools supposed to have a nursery class at all? While schools are busy

preparing the stage for nursery and KG admissions 2012-13, parents are

still grappling with these questions.[TOI p6]

44. PIL filed in HC for students’ Union polls in Jamia : New Delhi : On

Tuesday, a PIL was filed in the Delhi High Court, seeking direction to

Jamia Milia Islamia to conduct students’ union election, which have not

been held for the past five years. A bench of Acting Chief Justice AK Sikri

and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw is likely to hear the PIL on

Wednesday.[HT p2]

LEGAL/CRIME NEWS

45. Nanavati gets another extension : Ahmedabad : Gujarat Government

has granted the 18th extension to Justices (Retired) Nanavati-Mehta

Commission for three months while setting the new deadline of March 31,

2012 for the panel to submit its final report.[IE p7]

BUSINESS NEWS

46. Property prices may fall 20-30% by mid 2012 : Mumbai : Real estate

prices may fall 20-30% in several pockets of Delhi-NCR and Mumbai in six

months, but experts are divided on whether and when prices will decline

across the board.[HT p1]