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Nation at a Glance

Court seal on clean chit to Advani

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a Patna High Court order that expunged certain disparaging remarks against L.K. Advani made in the Bhagalpur riots commission report.

A division bench of Justices Brijesh Kumar and Arun Kumar dismissed the Bihar government’s petition challenging the high court order, reports our legal correspondent.

According to the commission report, Advani’s writings in RSS mouthpiece Panchajanya incited communal hatred, although these had nothing do with the riots in question, which occurred in the late 1980s. The deputy Prime Minister was not even a subject of inquiry for the probe panel.

The bench said the high court had taken the right decision in expunging the “offending portion” of the report as Advani, then the BJP president, was not given the mandatory notice under Section 8(b) of the Commissions of Inquiry Act.

Advani, the bench emphasised, was not summoned by the commission for a deposition and neither was he given a chance to defend himself.

The inquiry commission was set up under the commissions law after the Bhagalpur riots and submitted its report to the state government.

Advani appealed to the high court, leading to the expunging of the remarks. The Bihar government then approached the apex court.

‘Slapped’ actress back on sets

Hyderabad: The girl who got clobbered for a failed “kiss” shot is back before the camera — though with two plainclothed cops in tow.

Shilpa Shivanand, who filed a case against Mohan Babu after the Telugu star-turned-director slapped her for allegedly messing up the scene with his debutant son, has landed in the city for the final shoot of the film Vishnu, reports our special correspondent. She has already put in two days of work for a song sequence.

The ad girl, one of the three for whom Aamir Khan pulls bottles of Coke out of a well, fled Hyderabad after the row in July when she accused Mohan Babu of “ill-treatment” and “abuse”.

The teenage sister of Tamil actress Shakshi Shivanand said she was fed up with 16 takes of the same scene. When she protested, the director slapped her. Her mother, Parveen Begum, also came in for a few blows when she intervened. Mohan Babu, a close relative of Andhra Pradesh chief minister . Chandrababu Naidu, denied manhandling the actress. He claimed he wanted Shilpa to perform to potential and not just go through the motions.

Bengali plea to Chautala

New Delhi (PTI): CPI (M) MP Hannan Mollah has requested Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala to look into cases of alleged harassment and attack on Bengali-speaking goldsmiths working in Karnal.

In a letter to Chautala, Mollah said some local businessmen, with the help of criminals, were targeting Bengali-speaking Muslim craftsmen and forcing them to leave the area. “Some goldsmiths from Howrah were beaten, their shops looted or damaged, some even forcibly locked up,” the MP wrote.

NRI deaths in fire

Bangkok (PTI): A couple of Indian origin suffocated to death after they were trapped in an elevator while trying to escape a fire in a building. Rajesh Khatnani and his pregnant wife Renu were declared dead when rescue workers broke into the elevator which had got stuck. Police said the fire broke out on the third floor of the four-storey building on Sukhumvit Road.

Jaya duty waiver

Chennai: Jayalalithaa has waived a five per cent electricity duty for household consumers. The decision to drop the duty was taken at a cabinet meeting.

Dara bandh flops

Bhubaneswar: A bandh called to protest the conviction of Dara Singh and 12 others on Monday in the Graham Staines murder case failed to affect life. Mukesh Jain, convener of the Dara Sena, had called the bandh.

Boy’s eyes gouged

Khagaria (PTI): A 16-year-old boy’s eyes were gouged out by the henchmen of a village mukhiya after he was beaten in Khagariya district. Dhanvir Yadav told police that several people caught him while he was going to meet a relative. They took him to a brick kiln where he was beaten and his eyes gouged out.

Police firing

Jaipur (PTI): Several people were hurt when police opened fire to disperse Bajrang Dal workers and villagers who threw stones and sat on a dharna inside a police station in Jhalawar. The Dal workers, going for a sankalp sutra by bus, refused to buy tickets. The bus driver drove them to a police station.

Tick

An Indian sculptor has been invited to participate in the China International Sand Sculpture Competition, 2003, at Zhoshan. Sudarsan Pattnaik is the only Indian among 10 artists invited from all over the world. The theme for the competition is the Silk Road.

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