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Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

SC issues notice to Centre on Simi ban

New Delhi (PTI): The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to the Centre and eight states on a petition by the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (Simi), challenging the Union home ministry’s order declaring the organisation unlawful and the subsequent order of a tribunal upholding the order.

A bench of Justices V.N. Khare and S.B. Sinha issued the notices after hearing Simi counsel and senior advocate, Rajeev Dhawan. The advocate contended that the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal upheld the home ministry’s order issued under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, without considering that preaching of the Quran could not be called unlawful propagation.

The states to which the court issued notices were Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.

The petitioner, through counsel Sanjeev Sachdeva and Siddharth Luthra, contended that the tribunal headed by high court judge, Justice S.K. Aggarwal, erred in declaring Simi an unlawful organisation on the basis of cases registered against some of its members. “Preaching or teaching the Quran cannot be said to be unlawful propagation. The propagation of one’s religious belief cannot be said to be falling within the activities in violation of the Act,” Simi said in its petition.

Upholding the Centre’s ban on Simi, the tribunal on March 26 had declared that there was sufficient ground for action against the organisation.

Hindujas deny Bofors foul play

New Delhi (PTI): The Europe-based Hinduja brothers on Monday submitted before a Delhi court that there was nothing “hanky panky” about the Bofors gun deal and alleged that they were implicated in the case due to business rivalry.

During arguments on the point of charge before special judge Prem Kumar, Hindujas’ counsel Ram Jethmalani, however, did not elaborate on who were behind framing the brothers.

Jethmalani said there was “total absence of evidence” of corruption in the Rs 1437.72 crore deal, as it was awarded to Swedish arms manufacturer A.B. Bofors only after the army gave its nod, following proper evaluation of the 155-mm gun system. “If at all there is corruption, that is there in the army which opted for the Bofors and not S.K. Bhatnagar (the then defence secretary) or the poor Hindujas,” he told the special judge. He lamented that the probe agency had allowed the accused Ottavio Quattrocchi to flee from the country. Jethmalani said there was nothing in the two chargesheets filed by the CBI to suggest that the accused Hinduja brothers entered into a conspiracy with the other accused.

Video to link court and jail

New Delhi (PTI): The Delhi government has cleared a proposal for producing an undertrial accused before a magistrate through video linkage.

A proposal to produce remand prisoners before the magistrate for an extension of the remand period through video was cleared by the Delhi Cabinet presided over by chief minister Sheila Dixit. This would obviate the need to physically transport prisoners from prison to the court and back, a Delhi government release said. The proposal has also been accepted by Delhi High Court.

Manisha released

Mumbai (PTI): Actress Manisha Koirala, admitted to a Mumbai hospital after a suffering a fracture while shooting, was discharged on Monday. She was released around 12.30 pm, a spokesperson of Lilavati Hospital said. “She is fine now and has started moving,” he added.

Jail inmates clash

Cuddalore (PTI): Three inmates of the central prison were hurt after a clash on Sunday night. The injured, serving life sentences, have been hospitalised. The clash occurred following an altercation between two groups over the alleged sale of narcotics inside the jail.

Mine cave-in kills 5

Shahdol (PTI): Five labourers, including four girls, were killed when a mud mine caved in at Rajnandgaon. The victims, identified as Rani, Durga, Anju, Nirmala and Shesh Kumar Sahu, were working in the mine when the mishap occurred.

Answer-script scam

Mumbai (PTI): Chairman of the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC), P.D. Vani, who was arrested on Sunday in connection with the answer paper scam, was remanded in police custody till October 16. He had allegedly taken bribe of about Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh to replace answer sheets of 399 students in a written MPSC exam.

Congressman shot

Chhattarpur (PTI): Unidentified miscreants shot dead a Congress corporator, Kishen Chourasia, near Panagar. Police feel business rivalry led to the attack.

The historical Nagaur fort has been recognised for its excellence in culture and heritage conservation with the Unesco Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards, 2002. There were 46 entries from 15 Asia and Pacific countries for the award.

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