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

Video link-up in Kunal Saha case

New Delhi: The National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission on Wednesday ordered recording of evidence through videoconferencing in the Anuradha Saha medical negligence case in which several top Calcutta-based doctors and a medical centre are accused, reports our legal correspondent.

Commission chairman M.B. Shah ordered recording of evidence of US-based doctor Kunal Saha from the office of the NGO, People for Better Treatment, he started in Calcutta. Saha had moved the commission against the decision of the Calcutta district consumer forum president, who refused to videoconference the evidence.

This is the first time that videoconferencing to record evidence of a US citizen has been ordered after a recent Supreme Court judgment allowing such a procedure.

Saha’s wife Anuradha died allegedly due to maltreatment at the AMRI medical centre in 1998. Two doctors, Sukumar Mukherjee and Baidyanath Haldar, have already been convicted by the Alipur trial court.

Saha had moved the national consumer commission claiming a compensation of Rs 77.77 crore, the highest ever in the history of Indian medical jurisprudence. In this case, his evidence was to have been recorded last month when he was in India. However, as it did not take place, he had requested the commission to record his evidence through videoconferencing.

Although cross-examination through the Internet was earlier fixed for November 5-7, as ordered by the commission, the Calcutta commissioner refused to conduct the live recording on the ground that he did not receive the order and other documents from the national commission.

Jaya turns liquor heat on DMK

Chennai: Jayalalithaa on Wednesday defended her government’s decision to take away the retail sales of foreign liquor and Indian-made foreign liquor from private hands and entrust it to the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation and cooperative outlets, reports our special correspondent.

The move had been made to break the back of the retail liquor sales cartel, the chief minister said.

Speaking in the Assembly today, she termed the move a “well-considered, bold decision” which would check huge revenue losses and help eliminate “spurious liquor and seconds” that escape the revenue net.

Jayalalithaa rebutted DMK chief M. Karunanidhi’s criticism of the government decision, adding that only “jaundiced eyes” would regard the liquor policy as “tottering”. She seized on Karunanidhi’s phrase - “policy-stumbling” – by countering that “people know who is really stumbling in Tamil Nadu politics today”.

Police raid NGO office

Madurai (PTI): The office of the city-based People’s Watch, a UN-recognised human rights organisation, was raided on Wednesday by police on suspicion that an accused was hiding on its premises. The NGO, however, alleged it was an attempt to “threaten” human rights activists.

A team of over 30 policemen from Virudhunagar, armed with a warrant issued by the local judicial magistrate, carried out the search. The accused was not found.

Train driver looted

Kanpur (PTI): A driver of the Rajdhani Express was robbed of his belongings worth Rs 5,000. Police said Mohammed Ashraf was attacked on Wednesday by three unidentified persons. He was admitted to the railway hospital.

Criminal shot

Guntur (PTI): A history-sheeter, wanted in several cases of robbery and murder, was shot dead by police on Wednesday near Guntur when he tried to escape. The police said R. Lakshmi Prasad, 36, had been taken to Hyderabad for interrogation. On the way back to Guntur, he tried to flee. The police opened fire, killing him instantly.

7 held for fraud

Mumbai (PTI): Seven persons have been arrested by the Mumbai crime branch for allegedly defrauding banks of Rs 45.19 lakh. Sleuths said they submitted forged papers of properties bought in the names of bogus persons to secure home loans.

Anti-terror squad

Bangalore (PTI): The Karnataka government will soon form an anti-terrorism squad to tackle “extremist elements”, especially in the border areas, chief minister S.M. Krishna has said. “We are in the process of giving final touches,” he said.

Dacoits kill woman

Nagpur (PTI): A 72-year old woman was killed by a gang of 20 armed dacoits who fled after looting valuables worth around Rs 21 lakh.

Fire in rail office

Lucknow (PTI): Eighteen rooms of the administrative wing of the Research Design and Standards Organisation of the Indian Railways were gutted in a fire on Tuesday.


Nandkishore Dahekar, a cyclist from Indore, will try to cover 993 km on bicycle from New Delhi to Indore in a 52-hour non-stop journey from November 8. Dahekar is out to improve his earlier record of covering the same distance non-stop in 59 hours.

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