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August 20, 2001 - August 20, 2001

HC scraps advance vehicle tax Monday, August 20, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat High Court has scrapped the state government's notifications, circulars and amendments on collecting advance tax, even from non-use vehicles. It has ordered refund in case of vehicles not in use, within three months.

The implementation of the decision has been, however, stayed by the court for a period of four weeks as the state wanted to appeal in higher forums.

A judgment to this effect was passed by a division bench comprising chief justice D.M. Dharmadhikari and justice K.R. Vyas in a petition filed by Akhil Gujarat Pravasi Vahan Sanchalak Mahamandal against the State of Gujarat.

According to the petitioners, because of the government notification, dated February 6, 2001, they were required to pay advance tax though they were not using their vehicles.

The petitioners lamented that the said notification had virtually wiped off the original statutory rules provided by the state government under the provision of the Bombay Motor Vehicles Tax (BMVT) Act, whereby the petitioners were ready to pay tax for non-use of the vehicle.

They contended that the notification and the circular, dated February 2, 2001, issued by the respondents are in contravention of the Act and rules; therefore, they should be declared ultra vires under Article 14 and 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution of India.

The court allowed all the petitions partly, and issued a writ of certiorari. It also set aside Section 3A(1) and (2) of the BMVT Act of 1958, and BMVT Rules of the 1959 incorporated in the notification dated February 6, as far as rule 5 only.

Declaring them as beyond the legislative competence, and, therefore, illegal, bad and without authority of the law, the court struck down the said provisions.

The court then directed the state government, its agents, servants or others not to implement the notification and not to recover the tax in pursuance thereto from the vehicles that are kept for non-use.

The court then, on the same reasons, also quashed and set aside the Amendment Act No. 11 of 2000, as well as Ordinance No. 3 of 2000.

The court then directed the state government to grant refund of advance tax already recovered from petitioners in pursuance of the Act, Rules, Amendment Act No. 11 of 2000, Ordinance No. 3 of 2000, impugned notification dated February 6 within three months from the date of the order.

The court, however, stayed the implementation of this order for a period of four weeks, on a request from the petitioners, allowing them to approach a higher forum.

News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]


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State-of-the-art hospital in Bhuj by Jan 2003 Monday, August 20, 2001

BY ANIL PATHAK, TIMES NEWS NETWORK
GANDHINAGAR: The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) has been selected as the main agency by the state government for the construction of a 500-bed general hospital and medical college at Bhuj for which the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has sanctioned Rs 150 crore.

The new hospital will be constructed after clearing the debris of GK Hospital building that had collapsed in the January 26 quake killing at least 70 people, including some doctors, nurses and patients.

The foundation stone of the hospital was laid by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee during his visit to Kutch last month.

The proposed state-of-the-art hospital will be the first of its kind equipped with all modern equipment for medical treatment ranging from primary health care to super specialisation. For all technical assistance, the government has signed an agreement with Larsen and Toubro.

State health minister Suresh Mehta reviewed the progress of the hospital and medical college project with senior officials at Bhuj last week. Mehta while talking to TNN said, "Our endeavour would be to provide a unique world class hospital and medical college here."

He said the construction of the new building would start by October 1. The first phase - that will see the hospital being equipped with 300 beds - would be completed in an year while the remaining was expected to be over by 2003.

As per the schedule worked out with various agencies involved in the project, the new hospital would be operational by January 26, 2003 in a record period of 18 months.

The hospital will be managed by the state health department, which maintained the GK Hospital. A team of officials, headed by health secretary S.K. Nanda, have been appointed to monitor and supervise the work of the new hospital.

The proposed medical college to run with the hospital will be as per the conditions laid down by the Medical Council of India. It will be the 11th medical college in the state and the first one to be set up in Kutch region.

At present, there are six government-run medical colleges in the state - in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar. In addition to this, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and Surat Municipal corporation are also running two medical colleges.

There are two other medical colleges managed by private trusts at Karamsad-Vallabh Vidyanagar and in Surendranagar.

News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]


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State-of-the-art hospital in Bhuj by Jan 2003 Monday, August 20, 2001

BY ANIL PATHAK, TIMES NEWS NETWORK
GANDHINAGAR: The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) has been selected as the main agency by the state government for the construction of a 500-bed general hospital and medical college at Bhuj for which the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has sanctioned Rs 150 crore.

The new hospital will be constructed after clearing the debris of GK Hospital building that had collapsed in the January 26 quake killing at least 70 people, including some doctors, nurses and patients.

The foundation stone of the hospital was laid by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee during his visit to Kutch last month.

The proposed state-of-the-art hospital will be the first of its kind equipped with all modern equipment for medical treatment ranging from primary health care to super specialisation. For all technical assistance, the government has signed an agreement with Larsen and Toubro.

State health minister Suresh Mehta reviewed the progress of the hospital and medical college project with senior officials at Bhuj last week. Mehta while talking to TNN said, "Our endeavour would be to provide a unique world class hospital and medical college here."

He said the construction of the new building would start by October 1. The first phase - that will see the hospital being equipped with 300 beds - would be completed in an year while the remaining was expected to be over by 2003.

As per the schedule worked out with various agencies involved in the project, the new hospital would be operational by January 26, 2003 in a record period of 18 months.

The hospital will be managed by the state health department, which maintained the GK Hospital. A team of officials, headed by health secretary S.K. Nanda, have been appointed to monitor and supervise the work of the new hospital.

The proposed medical college to run with the hospital will be as per the conditions laid down by the Medical Council of India. It will be the 11th medical college in the state and the first one to be set up in Kutch region.

At present, there are six government-run medical colleges in the state - in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar. In addition to this, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and Surat Municipal corporation are also running two medical colleges.

There are two other medical colleges managed by private trusts at Karamsad-Vallabh Vidyanagar and in Surendranagar.

News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]


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Dist court denies bail to accused Monday, August 20, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
VADODARA: The district court here denied bail to Nisarahmed Rahmatullah Gadhwale, who was caught with a haul of charas at the Vadodara railway station recently.

In-charge government pleader Raghuvir Pandya said that a prima facie case under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act existed against the accused. The case was heard by district and sessions judge C D Patel.

Gadhwale was caught with 10 kg of charas by the Anti-Terrorist Squad. The haul was valued at Rs 10 lakh in the international market.

News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]


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SEC tariff revision caught in legal quagmire Monday, August 20, 2001

BY AMIT MUKHERJEE, TIMES NEWS NETWORK
SURAT: It's been six months now but the Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission is yet to decide on the new tariff structure proposed by the Surat Electricity Company in June last year.

Though the issue of tariff proposal have been opposed for years together by the citizens, the commission had finished hearing the representations of the SEC and those opposed to it on January 15 and announced that the date of decision would be duly notified.

But following a letters patent appeal (LPA) filed by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation in April before the Gujarat High Court, which had challenged the competence of the commission to conduct hearing in the absence of all its (GERC) members, it might be a while before the SEC is granted a tariff revision.

With the final order on the LPA pending and the Surat's Citizen Council Trust pointing out that most of the hearing on the SEC's proposed tariff was done by an incomplete quorum of the commission in the absence of its chairman, the GERC has now kept the decision on SEC's tariff proposal pending till disposal of the LPA filed by AMC.

The court hearing the LPA had granted an interim relief whereby hearing by the incomplete quorum of the GERC in a similar tariff revision proposal of the Ahmedabad Electricity Company was stayed.

The LPA moved by the AMC, an AEC consumer, pointed out that the commission was functioning only with the two members on the quorum, without its chairman. But following the stay the GERC moved an application seeking vacation of the interim stay on the LPA. The High Court however dismissed the application and directed the state Government to appoint the chairman of the commission within a month.

The commission however continued the hearings on the AEC proposal after the new chairman Justice SD Dave was appointed on 6 July, 2001, but the citizens of Surat raised the validity of the hearings in the SEC case in wake of the High Court order.

The SEC had moved the proposal before the GERC for the revision of tariff in June 2000, where by apart from introducing changes in consumption slab and also proposed reshuffling of categories to enable better revenue collection.

As per the provisions, the GERC put up the proposal for public hearing before the citizens of the city on November 20, 2000. The full quorum of the commission comprising the then chairman Justice D G Karia and members B M Oza and R K Sharma were present to hear the proposals before the citizens of Surat at the South Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry Auditorium.

The citizens of Surat who were opposed to the proposal objected on grounds that the SEC, only a "sanction holder" had no authority to revise tariff "on its own". In case it chooses to do so it has to follow the structure of the Gujarat Electricity Board which had also sometime back come up with a new structure.

The Surat's Citizens' Council Trust was one of the parties opposed to it and its trustee Ishwar J Desai, an eminent city lawyer also, argued at length against the SEC proposal.

Unpleasant scenes amidst hue and cry against the proposal marked the first hearing date following which the GERC adjourned the matter till 7 December and with a decision that all further hearing will be held outside Surat.

The chairman of the GERC, meanwhile, had retired in the last week of November 2000, but despite objections raised by the SCCT on the issue, the commission continued with the hearing at Ahmedabad. The hearing was concluded against all odds on January 15, 2001, and the commission announced the decision would be duly notified.

Meanwhile, the commission continued its hearing on a similar tariff proposal moved by the AEC, in the absence of its chairman. The AMC, which is one of the biggest consumer of the corporation, however, raised an objection and subsequently challenged its competence to conduct hearing sans its chairman.

While a single-judge Bench passed an order in favour of the GERC, the AMC then moved an LPA before division Bench which stayed proceedings of the commission.

The commission subsequently moved an application before the Bench seeking vacation of the stay and interestingly the AMC lawyer had also moved an application seeking withdrawal of the LPA.

But the division Bench, observing that the matter was in great "public interest", rejected the AMC application to pull out. Also the GERC application seeking vacation of the stay was set aside, with the High Court Bench directing the government to appoint the commission chairman within a month.

While the hearings in the AEC resumed with the appointment of retired Justice Dave, the SCCT, pointing out that the hearing on the SEC proposal was done by an incomplete quorum, prayed that the matter be reheard all over again.

The date of August 8 was decided by the GERC for the hearing on the issue when it announced that it would await the decision on the LPA.

News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]


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