The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

Call to monitor ‘deviant’ judges

BANGALORE (PTI): Attorney general of India Soli Sorabjee on Monday stressed the need for a body to look into the “deviant behaviour” of judges, like “chronic unpunctuality”, delaying judgment for months and postponing cases without reason.

Sorabjee said the body must be exclusively judicial to ensure that the independence of the judiciary was not impaired while enforcing accountability of judges.

The body must also command credibility, he told reporters in a brief interaction after addressing a national workshop on the draft rules for the freedom of Information Bill, organised by the National Law School of India University in association with the UN development programme.

Sorabjee criticised judges who “come late, go early”, “don’t deliver judgment for months” and “sometimes say... I don’t feel like doing this case today” and “postpone the case for no reason”. “These are various things that have to be looked into by the body,” he stressed.

upporting the apex court ban on strikes by lawyers, the attorney general said: “(Supreme Court is) absolutely correct. Lawyers are officers of the court; they have to assist in the administration of justice and they cannot be equated with another section of the society.”

Veerappan term for surrender

Bangalore (PTI): Forest brigand Veerappan is ready to surrender provided he is given amnesty by a Presidential decree, said a Janata Dal (United) leader, who clandestinely met him twice during the Nagappa hostage drama.

Dal(U) leader Ponnachi Mahadevaswamy said Veerappan had expressed desire to lay down arms if he was given amnesty.

Mahadevaswamy quoted the bandit — who carries a price of Rs 2 crore on his head announced by Karnataka government and is India’s most-wanted criminal — as saying that he was ready to surrender in the presence of defence minister George Fernandes, Karnataka chief minister S.M. Krishna and the seer of Suttur Mutt. The Dal(U) leader said Fernandes commanded a lot a respect from the elusive bandit. Mahadevaswamy, speaking after releasing a book by Ravindra Joshi, who has claimed to throw light on the tragic circumstances behind Nagappa’s death, alleged that the state government was not sincere to secure his release.

New Governors for two states

New Delhi: There has been a minor reshuffle in Governors with the appointment of Andhra Pradesh’s C. Rangarajan as chairman of the Finance Commission, reports our special correspondent.

Uttaranchal Governor Surjit Singh Barnala will replace him in Hyderabad. The hill state will have a new Governor in former Rajya Sabha secretary-general Sudarshan Agarwal. Rangarajan, a retired bureaucrat, is a favourite of chief minister Chandrababu Naidu. He had at one point lobbied to get Rangarajan into the Union Cabinet as finance minister.

Bus depot blast

Coimbatore (PTI): Unidentified miscreants hurled a petrol bomb at a transport corporation bus depot in the heart of the city, but no one was injured, police said. The assailants fled after hurling the bomb from a nearby flyover, the police said.

Airline bomb scare

Calcutta: A Delhi-bound Jet Airways flight was held up in Calcutta for about two hours because of a bomb scare, says our staff reporter. According to airport sources, the flight was to leave for Delhi at 8.10 pm when an anonymous caller informed the Jet airlines city office that a bomb had been planted in the plane. Bomb squad personnel and security agency officials rushed to the spot and searched the aircraft for the bomb.

Balloon from Pak

Jaipur (PTI): A hot air balloon carrying anti-India propaganda material from Pakistan was found in Bikaner, close to the international border, police said. The balloon with propaganda material on Kashmir and a small cut-out of the founder of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah was found in a field near Mudh village on Sunday, the police said. A farmer saw the balloon first and informed the police who took possession of it.

Criminals held

Lucknow (PTI): Ten members of a criminal gang were arrested following an encounter in Kotwali police station area of Shahjahanpur, police said. Three firearms, live cartridges, a stolen motorcycle and a television set were recovered from them.

Madhya Pradesh is working on a student-friendly software for Sanskrit to promote its revival as a base language. An official release said the interactive software will “help students understand better the nuances of the language”.

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