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Nation at a Glance

SC raps states for prosecution delay

New Delhi (PTI): The Supreme Court has rapped Orissa and Uttar Pradesh for wasting its time and public money by conducting prosecutions in a casual manner.

ustices Y.K. Sabharwal and K.G. Balakrishnan passed almost similar orders against the two states and said: “This state of affairs is nothing except a total waste of the time of the court and waste of public money and serves the interest of none.”

In a 20-year-old murder case from Orissa, the apex court was “aghast” to find that despite the court granting the state leave to appeal eight years ago against a high court judgment acquitting the accused, the state had not filed the relevant records. “This state of affairs shows the total apathy of the state in criminal matters,” the bench said.

The apex court said, after the lapse of so many years since the offence, it was a waste of time and money to go on adjourning the matter. “If this is the attitude of the state in the highest court, we wonder what would be the position in the courts below,” it said while sending a copy of the order to the chief secretary of the state.

The Uttar Pradesh case pertained to a 1977 murder. The convicted were acquitted by high court in 1993 and the state had filed an appeal in the Supreme Court.

oticing the inadequate records available in the appeal file, the bench said: “The manner in which many states, particularly the state of Uttar Pradesh, is prosecuting, conducting and assisting these appeals is quite evident not only from this appeal but from many other appeals which have come up before us.”

Postal blow to consumer court

New Delhi (PTI): The functioning of the consumer court here has been affected over the last two months as the postal department has not been able to provide service stamps necessary for despatching summons, notices and warrants.

“We have not been able to despatch copies of approximately 250 orders, 600 notices and 50 warrants to parties concerned due to non-availability of service stamps,” officials in the New Delhi District Consumer Forum said.

The postal department had issued a circular saying they had stopped the printing of service stamps since January, but provided its copy to the forum only in October, they said.

The consumer affairs department then released funds for the purchase of a franking machine to print the stamps. However, the postal department has, so far, “neither approved the licence of the machine nor released stamps worth Rs 40,000 despite their records showing that our cheque has been honoured”, they added.

The postal authorities said they were “going through the files concerned”.

Swamy invited to Pakistan

Madurai (PTI): Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy has said he has been invited by President Pervez Musharraf to visit Pakistan.

Acting high commissioner of Pakistan in India Jaleel Abbas Jilam has extended the invitation, he said. Swamy said he had expressed his desire to visit Pakistan by car through the Wagah border and had sought the permission of the Union home ministry. The details were being worked out, he said.

Pollution closure

Tiruchirapalli (PTI): The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board has ordered the closure of 110 dyeing and bleaching units in Karur district due to non-compliance of norms. Villagers surrounding the units complained they were unable to drink water and their fields were getting ruined, allegedly due to “release of untreated water” from them.

Undertrials held

Coimbatore (PTI): Two among the three undertrials who had escaped from Pollachi subjail were arrested on Sunday. A hunt was on for the third person who had allegedly compelled the others to escape, police said.

Geetanjali hoax

Jamshedpur (PTI): An intensive checking has been carried out in up and down Mumbai-Howrah Geetanjali Express at Tatanagar following a telephone call in Howrah that explosive materials have been planted in the train. RPF and GRP personnel conducted the search in the trains but nothing was found.

Swiss bail plea

Mumbai (PTI): A sessions court will hear on Monday the bail plea of a Swiss couple, arrested on December 16, 2000, for allegedly abusing children in pornographic acts. They allegedly lured children into pornographic acts by offering them food and clothes.

Militants arrested

Chennai (PTI): Two militants were arrested here recently even as police were probing their possible links with outfits operating in Kashmir, police said. They said the duo had “confessed” to having formed a militant outfit, the Muslim Defence Force.

Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat will inaugurate the five-day Mahabharat Utsav-Gita Jayanti Samaroho 2002 at Brahamsarovar in Kurukshetra on December 11. From this year, the festival is being organised on a national level.


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