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Nation at a Glance

Centre directive to clear case backlog

New Delhi (PTI): The Union government on Tuesday said over two crore cases were pending in lower courts and that high courts should frame necessary rules to make the subordinate judiciary work overtime to clear the backlog.

“The backlog is in the range of more than two crores. Increasing working hours and cutting down on vacations for judges would go a long way in expediting justice delivery in the subordinate courts,” a government release said.

“It is for the high courts to frame rules under Article 223 and 234 of the Constitution to make the subordinate judiciary work overtime,” the release added.

It said the Centre has addressed letters to the high courts and the state governments to intimate the justice department in the Union law ministry of the action taken by them to increase the working hours in subordinate courts as per recommendations of the first National Judicial Pay Commission. Of the total sanctioned strength of 13,458 judges and magistrates in the subordinate judiciary, 11,242 were in position, leaving a vacancy for 2216, it said.

Bhonsle to set up hotel chain

Dubai (PTI): Asha Bhonsle is all set to play a new tune. This time she will play entrepreneur for a new chain of Indian restaurants here.

Named ‘Asha's’, the restaurant in the Wafi Mall extension combines traditional north western cuisine and a contemporary design in a buzzing environment.

Chef Mohammad Saleem Qureshi spent three months in the kitchen with Asha, perfecting her secret recipes that will become special signature items when the restaurant opens during Id celebrations later this year.

“So sought after are her recipes, that Asha is developing a whole range of unique curry pastes in order to recreate the special taste sensations in your own home,” restaurant sales coordinator Marizel Salvador said. The delights at ‘Asha's’ would include kebabs and signature cocktails at the main bar as the restaurant's resident disc jockey plays remixes of Asha's hits combined with modern ethnic beats and lounge music. More franchises are ready to be launched in major cities worldwide.

Tourist buses to pay tax

New Delhi (PTI): Tourist buses with all-India permits will have to pay tax to the state in which they are registered even if they ply outside the state, the Supreme Court ruled.

ejecting an appeal by a tourist bus operators’ association for refund of tax collected by Madhya Pradesh, a bench of Justices S.S.M. Quadri and Ruma Pal said: “They do not qualify for the tax refund. While plying in other states on contract, the vehicle cannot be said to be used in the state.”

Prohibitory order

Kanpur (PTI): Prohibitory orders have been promulgated in the city for two months in view of protests and meetings by political parties and labour unrest in some industrial units, official sources said on Tuesday. The orders, imposed on September 9, will remain in force till November 8.

Hostel warden held

Ajmer (PTI): A hostel warden of Saint Martin Secondary School in Nasirabad has been arrested for allegedly abusing students sexually for the past two years, police said on Tuesday. Father Melvin D’ Silva, 33, was arrested on Monday.

Fraud in net

Durban (PTI): A businessman of Indian origin in Cape Town, who obtained a false death certificate two years ago, was arrested for cheating an insurance company of over Rs 198 million. Allie Kassiem Ahmed had used a fake identity for a life insurance scheme.

Convict freed

New Delhi (PTI): A scrutiny of the evidence in a double murder case made the Supreme Court acquit a person, who was once convicted and sentenced for life on charge of murdering his beloved and her sister. Ashish Batham was convicted by a trial court and awarded death penalty.

Power notices

New Delhi (PTI): Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notices to eight state electricity boards and 16 pollution control boards, seeking reply on the action plan for management of flyash generated by thermal power stations in the states.

A high school was started on Tuesday at Torni village in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh, in response to a request by a girl during President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam's visit on September 6. Fisheries minister Heeralal Silawat inaugurated the school.


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