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Hindujas petition SC to travel abroad

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear next week an application by the Hinduja brothers, accused in the Bofors pay-off case, seeking permission to travel abroad together, reports our legal correspondent.

The division bench of Justices M.B. Shah and A.R. Lakshmanan on Monday heard the plea of Srichand, Prakashchand and Gopichand Hinduja.

Their counsel, former Union law minister Ram Jethmalani, said the trial court had not heard the case “expeditiously” despite a Supreme Court directive. Hence, the brothers were seeking extension of the court’s permission to go abroad together, he said.

Last year, the apex court had directed that one of the brothers must remain in India while the others went abroad. But as trial proceedings kept getting delayed, the court had granted them permission to travel together.

On Monday, the Hindujas sought extension of this permission on the grounds that the trial court had adjourned the proceedings till August 27 despite being directed to ensure a quick trial.

Thackeray kin held in idol row

Ahmedabad: Junagadh police on Monday arrested a distant relative of Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray for “vandalising a Ganesh idol”, reports our correspondent.

Suresh Thackeray, who has converted to Christianity, was arrested for allegedly flinging an idol at the Grace Ministry of India orphanage that he runs at Talala in Junagadh district.

Samson Christian, joint secretary of the All India Christian Council, has alleged that the priest is being harassed at the behest of the VHP, which has launched a smear campaign against him.

Christian said the VHP had “used” a bus driver employed by Thackeray to file a false FIR against the priest, alleging that he had damaged an idol.

The priest was arrested under Section 103(a) and 153(a) of the Indian Penal Code, relating to “hurting the religious sentiments’’ of another community. The council secretary refuted the charge, saying there could not be a Ganesh idol in an orphanage run by a Christian organisation.

Girl home after 22 years

Bhadohi (PTI): A 29-year-old girl, who was kidnapped when she was seven from Mariahun district in Uttar Pradesh allegedly by a maternal uncle, appeared at her ancestral village with her Swiss husband.

Shahazadi had made it to a children’s home in Calcutta from where she was adopted by a Swiss couple and taken to Switzerland. Her parents traced Shahazadi on the basis of an appeal published by her Swiss parents through Delhi police. Her father Mohammad Rafi’s claim that Shahazadi was his daughter was substantiated by a DNA test.

Medic panel relief

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday gave one more week to states that are yet to file affidavits detailing steps taken to establish medical councils, reports our legal correspondent. The court also dispensed with the personal presence of health secretaries of states that have filed affidavits.

Letter to Pervez

Phagwara (PTI): Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) chief Simranjit Singh Mann has written to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf protesting the naming of a Pakistani missile Abdali. Mann said Abdali conjured up “very distressing and distasteful feelings among Sikhs as Ahmed Shah Abdali had attacked the Golden Temple in 1762”.

Niazi pistol reward

New Delhi (PTI): Delhi police has announced a reward of Rs 100,000 for information on a pistol that Lieutenant General A.A.K. Niazi of Pakistan had laid down after the 1971 war. The pistol had mysteriously disappeared from the high-security national museum on July 28. Police commissioner R.S. Gupta said the reward will hold good for a year.

Rare heart surgery

Solapur (PTI): A rare open-heart surgery of an eight-month-old boy was successfully conducted at a hospital here. “Baby Varun Auradkar had a congenital defect, affecting his normal heart functioning... the disease affects one in a million persons,” Dr Sanjay Gaikwad, who conducted the surgery, said.

Tick

Villages in Uttaranchal are switching to solar energy. In a joint effort with the Centre, the state has embarked on a project to instal solar home light panels in all its 13 districts, the director of the Uttaranchal Renewable Energy Development Agency said.

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