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Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

SC finds MLA too young to contest

New Delhi (PTI): The Supreme Court on Thursday set aside the election of Bihar MLA Rakesh Kumar, who had generated controversy by becoming the “youngest” minister in the state, on the ground that he was too “young” to get elected.

The election of Rakesh from Parbatta constituency — who was dropped from the council of ministers on an objection from the governor — was set aside by a bench of Chief Justice V.. Khare and Justice S.B. Sinha.

The bench had allowed an appeal by defeated candidate Sushil Kumar, who challenged a Patna High Court order upholding Rakesh’s election.

Holding that Rakesh had suppressed his actual age, the bench relied on the age mentioned by him in an application in a criminal case, according to which Rakesh could not have been 25 at the time of the Assembly elections in 2000.

Under Article 173(b) of the Constitution, a person has to be 25 years of age to contest an election in an Assembly constituency.

Writing the judgment for the bench, Justice Sinha said although a person is entitled to vote on attaining the age of majority, the makers of the Constitution deliberately inserted clause (b) in Article 173 so as to enable voters to elect a person who has attained maturity and has experience in life.

“Only a mature and experienced person can represent the people and take steps which could be beneficial to the electorate,” the bench observed.

Abductor shot dead, girl saved

Jalandhar (PTI): Five-year-old Aashna Sonik, who was taken hostage by an unidentified gunman in a house in the Adarsh Nagar area here on Wednesday, was rescued after police shot dead the accused.

The man, armed with two pistols, had barged into the residence of advocate Ashok Sonik around 3 pm firing shots and took his daughter hostage after injuring his wife.

After waiting for over 10 hours, police swung into action and broke open the door of the house and shot the accused, who was standing near the bathroom, and rescued Aashna.

The accused, who is in police custody, is yet to be identified.

The incident started when Ashok’s wife Seema opened the door of the house after her two children returned from school.

When Seema stepped out of the house along with her son, the gunman got hold of Aashna and locked the door from inside.

No releases on Friday

Mumbai: There will be no releases here on Friday, reports our correspondent.

Desperate theatre owners are downing the shutters at 1,029 cinema halls in Maharashtra in protest against government policy. They have four main demands. Topping the list is reduction of entertainment tax.

“We want the entertainment tax to be reduced from 55 per cent in Mumbai and 50 per cent in the rest of Maharashtra to be reduced to 30 per cent,” said Nester D’Souza, president Cinematograph Exhibitors’ Association. He said cinema halls could not survive an entertainment tax beyond 30 per cent.

The other demands are raising the service charge on every ticket from Rs 2 to Rs 5; electricity charges at the lesser industrial rates and not commercial rates and permission to close down the hall and use the property for other business if the theatre is not doing well.

Harbour protest

kochi (PTI): Fishermen in about 100 fishing boats from Kanyakumari blocked the Kochi harbour on Thursday morning protesting the destruction of their boats by local fishermen, sparking tension in the coastal area.

Pilgrims looted

Nawada (PTI): An armed gang looted cash and valuables worth over Rs 2 lakh from pilgrims travelling in a bus at Mathaur village in the district on Wednesday night.

Rail traffic chaos

sonepat (PTI): Rail traffic on the Sonepat-Delhi section of Northern Railways was disrupted for about two hours on Thursday morning after the coupling joint of a goods train bound for Punjab separated between Dadli and Hlambi Kalan stations.

SC on mill wages

New delhi: The Supreme Court has slammed the Centre for not revising the wages of workers in National Textile Corporation mills across the country and has directed the government to work out pay-related relief within four months. The salary of mill workers, demanding pay parity with those in the NTC corporate offices doing the same kind of job, had not been increased for the last three decades.


Spectators sat spellbound as Indian Air Force planes performed acrobatics in a mega airshow in Jaipur on Thursday. Two air force teams — the Surya Kiran and the Dare Devils — participated in the hour-long show, held here for the first time.

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