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July 28, 2001 - July 28, 2001

Ten kg charas haul by ATS in Baroda Saturday, July 28, 2001

By Our Correspondent, AsianAge
Vadodara, July 27: The Anti-Terrorist Squad has once again struck on the drug traffickers. After recent seizures of brown sugar from Bharuch and Ahmedabad this time the ATS sleuths have seized 10 kg charas worth Rs 10 lakh in the international market from the platform number one of Vadodara railway station.

According to highly placed sources in the ATS, the officials were in the trail of one Nisar Ahmed Rehmatulla Gadhwali who was carrying the deadly consignment. Nisar (33) is the resident of the Opera House area in Mumbai and he has been actively involved in the drug trafficking.

According to sources, Nisar was traveling in the Saurashtra Express coach number S-1. ATS was tipped off on Nisar’s movements and he was being followed from Ratlam railway station. An official at ATS requesting anonymity said, “we were waiting for the proper opportunity to strike, which we got at the Vadodara railway station around 5.30 am when he got down to have a cup of tea.”

Sources also said that though the value of the consignment was about Rs 2 lakh in the Indian market it would cost more than Rs 10 lakh in the international market. An official who was part of the raid said, “the information about the career was given us in advance and we were given the details about the consignment as well but we did not get proper chance till Vadodara.”

When asked about where the consignment was supposed to be delivered the official said, “we are yet to get details from Nisar but after the last three drugs seizures the situation has become alarming. We were aware of the entire route of the drug traffic but the quantity of the consignment has increased which is alarming.”

It can be recalled that the ATS along with Narcotics Control Bureau had seized seven kg of Brown Sugar from Varedia village of Bharuch district and than another brown sugar consignment of 35 kg was seized in the Kheda district.

News Source : The AsianAge Ahmedabad Edition [ The coolest Newspaper for city ]

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Amarsinh takes shot at Suresh for taking shot at CM Saturday, July 28, 2001

By Our Correspondent, AsianAge
Gandhinagar, July 27: Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, Amarsinhh Chaudhary on Friday attempted to take advantage of the chinks in the ruling BJP government and took a pot shot at parliamentary affairs minister and number two in the state Cabinet Suresh Mehta who had recently put pressure on chief minister Keshubhai Patel over the arrest of his close aide Rasik Mehta.

Speaking to reporters on day two of the Legislative Assembly session Mr Chaudhary said it has almost become a habit for Mr Mehta to take a shot at the chief minister by threatening to give his resignation before the commencement of each session of the Vidhan Sabha using some pretense or the other.

“However, what one fails to understand is what voodoo the chief minister performs on Mr Mehta that he is an obedient throughout the session defending all the weaknesses of the chief minister and the state government,” Mr Chaudhary said.

He further said the state government lacks the mettle to face the Opposition without the services of the parliamentary affairs minister and the defense that he provides. Mr Chaudhary said, Mr Mehta has been insulted time and again and despite being the number two and the minister in charge of Kutch he was entirely bereft of the powers at the time of the earthquake. “Even the arrest of his close friend Rasik Mehta had been without his knowledge and not even the officials had informed him of this,” Mr Chaudhary said.

He said, it is very difficult to understand that despite the unrelenting insults why Mr Mehta puts all his efforts in defending the state government. Later, Mr Mehta said it is difficult to read the intentions of Mr Chaudhary and the full implication of his press briefing.

News Source : The AsianAge Ahmedabad Edition [ The coolest Newspaper for city ]

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PIL against Tata pipeline plan Saturday, July 28, 2001

By Our Correspondent, AsianAge
Ahmedabad July 27: The Gujarat high court issued notices to state government, chief wild life warden of state, range forest officer, marine national park and Tata chemicals limited in a public interest litigation filed by Halar Utkarsh Samiti seeking direction against the state government and forest department granting any permission to Tata chemicals limited to put up pipeline in the marine park area of Jamangar district.

A division bench comprising Justice J.M Panchal and Justice H.H Mehta issued notices to and has kept the further hearing of the case on August 10. The petition also sought direction from the high court against regularising any such pipeline existing in the marine national park area.

Advocate for the petitioner Mitul Shelat submitted that coastal areas, situated within the vicinity of Mithapur, Okha and Sikka villages of Jamnagar district are declared as Marine National Park under the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 and thereafter, the government of Gujarat on May 19, 1999 declared the said area to be protected under the state Forest Act.

The incredible flora and fauna of the park are rare and need to be protected, the petition added. The petition further said that necessary inquiry was made by the revenue authority to determine the existing nature and extent of the rights of any person in or over the land within the limit of the park. The report of the mamlatdar of Dwarka dated April 23, 1987 stated that there is no claim of rights, title or interest in the said area.

Based on the report of mamlatdar, Jamnagar district collector had declared on May 22, 1987 that no person has any right, title or interest in the area within the vicinity of the park.

However, the petition mentioned that as per the news paper reports on may 31, 2001, Tata chemicals has installed pipeline running through the park and on account of the leakage of the said pipeline huge damages had been caused to the marine life. No action has been taken by the government despite the repeated reporting of the existence of pipeline in the marine park area, it added.

The petitioners claimed that company has approached the state government for regularising the exiting illegal pipeline in the marine park area. The petition was filed to seek the intervention of high court in the matter, the petitioners added.

News Source : The AsianAge Ahmedabad Edition [ The coolest Newspaper for city ]

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Assistants to MLAs bill turned down Saturday, July 28, 2001

By a Correspondent, AsianAge
Gandhinagar, July 27: The House on Friday rejected a private member bill introduced by Congress MLA Daulat Parmar seeking privilege to allow a personal assistant to MLAs to accompany him during private tours with Congress member supporting the bill and the BJP rejecting it outright.

Seeking an amendment to the Gujarat MLA Salaries and Perks Act in the House, Mr Parmar said MLAs are normally allowed to be accompanied by their wives and two dependent family members during personal tours.

He sought to rationalise his views by pointing out that an MLA will be able to function more effectively the effectiveness of an MLA can increase if he is given the privilege to have his assistant while on a tour and that this will also help to serve the public cause better.

“The addition of a personal assistant will not add to any financial burden on the exchequer as the total number of members allowed can be restricted to four,” Mr Parmar said. He added that this will greatly enhance the facilities provided to the MLAs and that sometimes a personal assistant can be of more help while on a tour.

Mr Parmar was supported in his views by Congress MLAs Subhash Shelat and Laxmansinh Parmar who said this will lead to better assistance to MLAs when out on a personal tour.

Rejecting the very concept of the bill, parliamentary affairs minister Suresh Mehta said the facilities to give the perks of going on a tour was first provided to MLAs alone and latter extended to the spouse of the MLA and two dependent family members.

“This had been done with the intention of keeping the family of the MLA together when he is away from his house and representing his constituency at the Vidhan Sabha for a long time,” Mr Mehta said adding that the argument that one who can afford a personal assistant cannot afford the finances for his trip fails to hold water.

He said the people’s eyes are constantly on the representatives of the public and even during the Pension Bill the Congress had been compelled to change its stand after demanding it. “Moreover, the chances of misuse of such facilities are very high and an MLA should try and restrict his facilities as much as possible,” Mr Mehta said requesting Mr Parmar to withdraw his bill.

Former health minister Ashok Bhatt criticised the ideology behind the bill and stressed on the need to exercise restrain and control when it came to demand of facilities. “We should desist from giving an impression that we are out seeking facilities,” Mr Bhatt reprimanded. The bill also came in for criticism from BJP MLAs Gordhan Jhadafiya and Mahendra Mashru. Mr Parmar while saying that the idea was right and practical said although private member bills have been accepted he will withdraw the bill.

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

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Self-finance colleges’ issue to be referred to need committee Saturday, July 28, 2001

By a Correspondent, AsianAge
Ahmedabad July 27: Gujarat high court on Friday disposed the petition filed by Narhari Amin directing that the Gujarat University Act is followed by the university executive council’s decision taken on Friday to refer the affiliation of the 21 proposed self finance colleges to the need committee.

Justice Pradip Kumar Sarkar observed that affiliation of the colleges would now be examined by the need committee for the executive council of the university in accordance with the law. The petitioners should not have any grievances now, he further observed.

The Gujarat University executive council in a meeting on Friday had decided to follow the high court directive to follow set procedures and refer the matter of the affiliation to the need committee by a resolution.

Gujarat University advocate S B Vakil informed the court about the decision on Friday saying that the petitioner’s ultimate claim is for referring all the applications of these colleges to the need committee. The set procedure would be followed now and the two bodies of the university - the academic council and the executive council - would examine the affiliation of the colleges on the report of the need committee.

Earlier, the academic council of Gujarat University passed two resolutions on July 25. The first resolution was to withdraw its own earlier decision for the need of 21 self-finance colleges. The second resolution was pertaining to refer the affiliation of 21 self-finance colleges to the need committee by the executive council of Gujarat University.

Mr Amin, who is a member of the Gujarat University executive council, had filed a petition challenging to give all the powers regarding the affiliation of the self-finance colleges to the vice-chancellor. Mr Amin in his petition contended that vice-chancellor could not be handed over such powers as it was against the Gujarat University Act and only executive council of the university has such powers.

The high court observed that after withdrawal of power from the vice-chancellor and university authorities deciding to follow proper procedure, the petitioner’s grievances have been redressed and nothing remains in the petition.

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

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