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Nation at a Glance

Showcause to BJP for flouting code

New Delhi (PTI): The Election Commission has issued a showcause to the BJP, asking it to explain within three days why action should not be taken against the party for allegedly distributing pamphlets in tourism ministry bags on Saturday night in the Gole Market constituency.

Poonam Azad, the wife of BJP MP Kirti Azad, is pitted against Congress chief minister Sheila Dikshit in Gole Market.

The commission’s decision followed complaints by the Congress that the BJP was distributing material belonging to the central government and pamphlets containing appeals by tourism minister Jagmohan and Azad seeking votes for Poonam in violation of the model code of conduct.

If the BJP fails to respond to the showcause notice within the time stipulated, the poll panel said, “it will be presumed that the party has nothing to say in the matter and the Election Commission will take appropriate action or decision without further reference to the party”.

The commission said that on inquiry into the complaint, it had found that tourism ministry material was distributed in the constituency.

HC notice on passport seizure

New Delhi (PTI): Delhi High Court has ruled that the Debt Recovery Tribunal cannot confiscate a person’s passport and restrain him or her from travelling abroad.

“The tribunal has no authority whatsoever to either impound the passport of the petitioner or put any restriction on the travel of the petitioner,” Justice R.S. Sodhi said while setting aside an order of the tribunal against one A.S. Mittal.

The tribunal had in May 1999 asked Mittal — who was facing debt recovery proceedings at that time — not to leave India without its prior permission as it feared he might siphon off funds and flee the country.

Mittal challenged the order on the ground that there was no law empowering the tribunal to curtail the liberties granted under Articles 21 and 22 of the Constitution and it had no power or authority to detain the petitioner or put any restriction on his travel.

The tribunal had claimed that under Section 19(6) of the Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993, it had such powers and, further, Section 22 of the act gave wider powers to it than those conferred on courts under the Civil Procedure Code.

The court held that the tribunal’s power under Section 19(6) of the act was limited to making interim orders by way of stay or injunction against the defendants to debar him or her from transferring, disposing of or dealing with any property without the prior permission of the tribunal.

Chargesheets in Taj case

Lucknow (PTI): Four IAS officers suspended in the Taj heritage corridor case have been served departmental chargesheets by the Uttar Pradesh government.

Former chief secretary d.s. bagga, former principal secretary to the chief minister p.. punia, former secretary environment v.k. gupta and former principal secretary environment r.k. sharma have been given three weeks to submit their replies.

Cheats caught

Chandigarh (PTI): As many as 8,969 students were caught using unfair means during the annual examination conducted by the Haryana School Education Board this year. The board debarred 8,800 of them from sitting for the test for one or two years. Sources said out of 2,008 cases of unfair practices detected during supplementary examinations, 1,995 were punished.

Bangladeshis held

Jammu (PTI): BSF personnel on Sunday foiled an exfiltration bid and arrested 25 Bangladeshis along the border in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir. Sources said they were trying to cross over to Pakistan.

Envoy rape probe

New Delhi (PTI): The city police commissioner has constituted a special investigation team to solve the October 15 Swiss diplomat rape case. The team will be headed by assistant commissioner of police Sudhir Yadav, joint commissioner of police B.K. Gupta said.

Scripts stolen

Darbhanga (PTI): Several rare manuscripts, including three volumes of Shrimad Bhagvad Gita and Geetgovinda, a pictorial script by Jaidev, have been stolen from a university library. Police said the manuscripts were stolen from Kameshwar Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit University late on Friday night.

Sex scam arrests

Mumbai (PTI): Bombay High Court has ordered the immediate arrest of 23 persons accused in a sex scandal in Satara district following an appeal by the Maharashtra government against a lower court order that had acquitted them.

Tick

Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Urdu and Gujarati have been recognised as indigenous in South Africa. These languages will now be recognised as subjects that can be studied up to matric level, education minister in the Kwazulu-Natal province Narend Singh said.


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