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Tribunal order on DMs challenged

Bilaspur (PTI): The Election Commission has challenged in Chhattisgarh High Court on Thursday the order of the Madhya Pradesh central administrative tribunal to reinstate both Bastar and Jashpur district collectors.

Both the collectors were earlier removed for “violating the model code of conduct” in force for the Assembly poll.

The commission filed two separate petitions in the court of Chief Justice K.H.. Kuranga challenging the order of the tribunal. The court fixed the hearing for Friday by a division bench.

Senior advocate Kanak Tiwari said the tribunal had the jurisdiction to hear the service disputes between the employer and the employees and the poll panel was a constitutional authority to hold elections and was not the employer. Hence, the case could not be heard by the tribunal.

The commission also had the power as per the order of the Supreme Court to suspend or substitute any officers, who were engaged in poll duty and could ask for disciplinary action against them.

Bastar and Jashpur collectors — L.. Suryawanshi and B.S. Anant — were not transferred as per the directions of the tribunal but when the new district collectors have taken charge of those districts it would not be in the interest of the people and the election to change them, the poll panel told the court.

The commission had on October 29 ordered for removal of Jashpur and Bastar collectors for violating the model code of conduct.

They went to the tribunal on October 31 and obtained a stay against the order but that was vacated by the Chhattisgarh High Court petition of the poll panel on November 14.

Both the collectors were relieved on November 20.

Army range grenade blast kills 5

Jaipur (PTI): Five villagers were killed and nine others injured when an old grenade picked up near an army range went off in Rajasthan’s Sirohi district, police said on Thursday.

According to the police, one of the victims probably picked up an old hand-grenade while collecting dried twigs for fuel from the army firing range at Naya-Bera village and brought it to his village Bharja on Wednesday.

The grenade burst when they were playing with it, police said, adding that five people were killed instantly and nine wounded. The injured were rushed to a hospital on Abu Road, they added.

A team of forensic experts has rushed from Jaipur to the spot to find out the exact cause of the blast, the police said.

Education bandh call

Kannur (PTI): Seeking to bring in a comprehensive central legislation to ensure social control in the higher and professional educational courses, the Students’ Federation of India has called a nationwide education bandh on December 11.

“The Centre should pass a comprehensive and suitable legislations in Parliament to empower the states to regulate fee structure and admission norms in self-financing educational institutions across the country,” the SFI’s all-India chief said.

Gas leak

Ahmednagar (PTI): Over 50 people were hospitalised after they complained of vomiting, giddiness and pain in throat following a gas leak from a chemical factory at Sangamner, about 100 km from here. Hydrochlorine gas leaked from a drugs factory on Wednesday, police said.

Extortion arrest

Mumbai (PTI): A relative of fugitive gangster Ejaz Lakdawala was arrested for allegedly collecting extortion money for Dubai-based gangster Chhota Shakeel. The anti-extortion wing of the Mumbai crime branch arrested Samir Lakdawala, 30, when he allegedly came to take Rs 5 lakh from a businessman near Hotel Orient on Wednesday, police sources said.

Italian PM visit off

Rome (AP): Italy’s premier Silvio Berlusconi, suffering from a gastrointestinal problem, has scrapped plans to go to New Delhi for the European Union-India summit, his office said on Thursday. The summit is scheduled to begin on Friday.

Suicide after rape

Hisar (PTI): A 16-year-old girl reportedly committed suicide after being allegedly raped by a youth in Kanoh, police said. The youth allegedly raped the girl on Wednesday when she was alone in her house. The girl set herself ablaze after the incident.

Sex racket

Amritsar (PTI): The vice-president of the district Congress’ mahila wing and six others have been arrested on charges of running a flesh trade racket. Police claimed Neelam said she was running the sex racket from her house by trapping young girls.

Tick

Silk route will be the theme of the Venice carnival next year. Organisers in Rome said artists, musicians and dancers from India, China, Japan and Thailand would participate in the carnival. The fest will be held from February 7 to 24.

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