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Nation at a Glance

SC pay order for Bihar employees

New Delhi (PTI): The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Bihar government to deposit Rs 50 crore with Patna High Court for its disbursal to employees working in several state corporations without pay for over 10 years.

The bench directed the high court to utilise the money for disbursal of salaries of 19 corporations.

The interim order was given by a bench of Chief Justice V.N. Khare and Justice S.B. Sinha on a public interest litigation filed by Kapila Hingorani, who was the first to file a PIL in the Supreme Court on the Bhagalpur blinding case in the eighties.

The petitioner had alleged that non-payment of salaries had driven the employees to a state of penury and several have committed suicide.

When the state counsel expressed the government’s inability to deposit Rs 50 crore in a month, the court said the government could deposit the money in two months. It should deposit Rs 25 crore in the first month and the balance in the next.

The court directed the high court to dispose of liquidation proceedings of all government corporations as soon as possible and pass interim orders for sale and disposal of the properties to utilise the money for payment of salaries.

The apex court also asked the high court to constitute a committee of its retired judges or sitting district judges to scrutinise the assets and liabilities of the sick government corporations. The committee should submit a report to the high court within three months, the bench said. All expenses of the committee would be borne by the state, it added.

Forensic test for Tehelka tapes

New Delhi (PTI): Reversing previous rulings, the Tehelka commission has ordered detailed forensic examination of the videotapes containing allegations of corruption in defence deals, saying it has “serious doubts” that these “might be tampered” or not be the camera originals.

As many as 16 videotapes submitted by the newsportal, Tehelka, to the commission will be sent for forensic examination by “independent and impartial experts” following a 31-page order by Justice S.N. Phukan.

Accepting a plea by Samata Party leader Jaya Jaitly and others, the former Supreme Court judge said the commission had prima-facie doubts that the tapes, which were the “ultimate arbiters”, might be tampered. These doubts have to be removed and “the truth with regard to the videotapes has to be found”, he said.

Early finish for Kanishka trial

Vancouver (PTI): The much-delayed Kanishka trial of the 1985 bombing of an Air-India flight, which crashed off the Irish coast killing 329 people on board, will finish sooner than expected, a prosecution spokesman has claimed.

The trial was expected to take three years with a jury but now it is likely to last months. A prosecution spokesman said defence lawyers and prosecution have agreed on many admissions of fact and the witness list has been reduced from 85 to 25 for the first part of the prosecution case alone.

Students tonsure

Coimbatore (PTI): Three students of Coimbatore Medical College tonsured their heads as part of their indefinite strike, opposing opening of new private medical colleges in Tamil Nadu. Two students went on a fast-unto-death on Thursday night. Since Tuesday, eight students on fast had been admitted to hospital.

Woman gets life

Nashik (PTI): A 21-year-old girl, who killed her sister-in-law in 2001 after an argument over using a soap in Malegaon, has been sentenced to life imprisonment. The prosecution said Nasrinbano Abdul Kadir set Jamila on fire after pouring kerosene over her.

Nakkeeran reply

New Delhi (PTI): The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to the Tamil Nadu government on an application filed by Gopal, editor of Tamil biweekly Nakkeeran, seeking a CBI investigation into the anti-terror law cases slapped against him. The court directed the state to file its reply within a week.

Train looted

Lakhisarai (PTI): Dacoits looted over Rs 1 lakh from passengers of 503 UP Jhajha-Patna train in Bihar’s Lakhisarai district on Friday. No arrest has been made so far.

Inspector held

Dhule (PTI): Sleuths of the Anti-Corruption Bureau has caught a supply inspector red-handed while allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 4,000. The accused had demanded the amount from one Anil Tukaram Sonawane for licence for free-sale kerosene.

Tamil Nadu will host an international tourism promotion conference in Chennai in October. Over 1,200 delegates will attend the meet. The state will also start information centres in Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Guwahati and Varanasi.


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