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July 25, 2001 - July 25, 2001

Man gets 7-yr term for stabbing brother-in-law Wednesday, July 25, 2001

By a Correspondent, AsianAge
Ahmedabad, July 23: The additional sessions court has ordered seven years’ imprisonment to Tushar Vora for stabbing his own brother-in-law, on Monday. Additional sessions judge B.N. Jani observed that the accused was well aware of what he was doing at the time of committing the crime.

On January 19, 1996 Mr Vora stabbed his brother-in-law Pinakin Shah owing to matrimonial problems between him and his sister. Mr Vora stabbed Shah in the morning when he was going for office. The problem between the couple had increased to such an extent that his sister had left her Shah’s place and was living with her brother.

The judge, after listening to arguments of both the sides observed that the crime was committed intentionally and the accused should be punished for it.

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


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Report on Hosanna controversy Wednesday, July 25, 2001

By Our Correspondent, The AsianAge
Ahmedabad, July 23: The District Education Officer, Ahmedabad city, would submit report on Hosanna Missionary High School’s alleged bindi controversy to state education minister Anandi Patel on Tuesday.

The alleged bindi contorvery connected to the Gujarati medium of the school at Virat Nagar, Odhav, that sparked off last week had turned communal following which Ms Patel had ordered an inquiry into the matter.

The school management has been under severe criticism ever since it allegedly prevented the students and teachers belonging to other communities from putting a bindi on their forehead.

The Asian Age had earlier spoken to the school officials,who denied the allegations outright and informed that a teacher suspened from the school is responsible for the issue.

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


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Corporates find rebuilding Kutch not a cake-walk Wednesday, July 25, 2001

THE TIMES OF INDIA NEWS SERVICE
AHMEDABAD: 'Corporate Conscience' drove them to Bhuj in plane-loads and air-conditioned cars to survey the widespread devastation in the Kutch countryside after the January 26 earthquake. Villages were up for adoption and appeared that 'Corporate India' was rising to the occasion. There was a race of sorts to identify villages in clusters of 10, 20 or even 30 with the promise that all their needs of rehabilitation would be taken care by a particular industry or corporate organisation under the benevolent patronage of the Gujarat government.

But that was six months back. What the corporate sector did not visualise was the resistance they could face from the very people whom they took pity on and extended a helping hand. And the corporate conscience has come badly bruised after the experience in the rugged environs of Kutch.

As of today, only Larsen & Tubro from the private sector and the public sector giants Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) and the IFFCO are now left in the fray at the ground level as far as housing is concerned. Even the representative organisations like Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) are finding problems in persuading the villagers to accept the assistance they want to provide. "After the earthquake and successive cyclones, people have even lost trust in God , why would they trust these people whom they have never seen before in their life", explained a government official.

The biggest indicator of the credibility crisis that the corporate sector is facing with regard to the housing projects in the villages is the CII which had initially declared its intention of adopting 27 to 30 villages. The CII has drawn a blank because none of the villagers it wished to adopt passed the Gram Sabha (village committee) resolution required for permission to begin construction of houses under the package.

Said Kutch district collector H N Chibber "the NGOs with grass-root level network were much more successful in persuading the villagers, the corporate houses were not welcomed by the villagers by and large".

Significantly, while Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) used the services of CARE to strike a better rapport with the villagers and has succeeded in starting some housing projects with the Rs 116 crores (US $ 24.7 million) that it has already raised, the CII has drawn a blank as far as village housing is concerned. Instead, it has ventured into the less challenging area of infrastructure building (where the consent of Gram Sabha is not required) and plans to start the projects in some villages of Bhachau taluka.

In fact , there are reports that the industry and trade organisations have failed to muster the resources to fulfil all the promises they had made. Out of the nearly 400 villages that were up for adoption, the non-government organisations are involved in housing in only about 150 villages and the biggest withdrawals have been from the corporate sector.

P Pannervel, a senior official of the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority, said "a lot of these institutions came in thinking that the devastated villagers would welcome them with open arms , but that was not so because they had no bond with the people of Kutch." He said "some outfits were out of tune with the requirements of the situation, they wanted results instantly, they didn't have the patience of spending time with the villagers, share a meal with them, sleep in the tents and tin-sheds at night to win their confidence", he said.

Another senior government official gave the example of the CEO of a corporate body who seemed miffed by the fact that despite the crores of rupees that the company was willing to pool in for many a village, the villagers didn't seem enthused about it and had not even accorded him a welcome. "The attitude of some corporate houses was that the people should be grateful for what they were being offered and should lap up everything. This was a bit jarring for the people who still have their sense of self-respect in tact", said the official.

GSDMA head P K Misra said the corporate houses had realised that there were several problems about housing and they preferred to channelise their funds for rehabilitation through the grass-root organisations who had struck the right chord with the villagers. There were also outfits like Reliance Industries who, after the initial rescue and relief work, were now focused only on providing pre-fabricated office accommodation for the government knowing that rehabilitation of villages was a dicey proposition.

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


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Corporates find rebuilding Kutch not a cake-walk Wednesday, July 25, 2001

THE TIMES OF INDIA NEWS SERVICE
AHMEDABAD: 'Corporate Conscience' drove them to Bhuj in plane-loads and air-conditioned cars to survey the widespread devastation in the Kutch countryside after the January 26 earthquake. Villages were up for adoption and appeared that 'Corporate India' was rising to the occasion. There was a race of sorts to identify villages in clusters of 10, 20 or even 30 with the promise that all their needs of rehabilitation would be taken care by a particular industry or corporate organisation under the benevolent patronage of the Gujarat government.

But that was six months back. What the corporate sector did not visualise was the resistance they could face from the very people whom they took pity on and extended a helping hand. And the corporate conscience has come badly bruised after the experience in the rugged environs of Kutch.

As of today, only Larsen & Tubro from the private sector and the public sector giants Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) and the IFFCO are now left in the fray at the ground level as far as housing is concerned. Even the representative organisations like Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) are finding problems in persuading the villagers to accept the assistance they want to provide. "After the earthquake and successive cyclones, people have even lost trust in God , why would they trust these people whom they have never seen before in their life", explained a government official.

The biggest indicator of the credibility crisis that the corporate sector is facing with regard to the housing projects in the villages is the CII which had initially declared its intention of adopting 27 to 30 villages. The CII has drawn a blank because none of the villagers it wished to adopt passed the Gram Sabha (village committee) resolution required for permission to begin construction of houses under the package.

Said Kutch district collector H N Chibber "the NGOs with grass-root level network were much more successful in persuading the villagers, the corporate houses were not welcomed by the villagers by and large".

Significantly, while Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) used the services of CARE to strike a better rapport with the villagers and has succeeded in starting some housing projects with the Rs 116 crores (US $ 24.7 million) that it has already raised, the CII has drawn a blank as far as village housing is concerned. Instead, it has ventured into the less challenging area of infrastructure building (where the consent of Gram Sabha is not required) and plans to start the projects in some villages of Bhachau taluka.

In fact , there are reports that the industry and trade organisations have failed to muster the resources to fulfil all the promises they had made. Out of the nearly 400 villages that were up for adoption, the non-government organisations are involved in housing in only about 150 villages and the biggest withdrawals have been from the corporate sector.

P Pannervel, a senior official of the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority, said "a lot of these institutions came in thinking that the devastated villagers would welcome them with open arms , but that was not so because they had no bond with the people of Kutch." He said "some outfits were out of tune with the requirements of the situation, they wanted results instantly, they didn't have the patience of spending time with the villagers, share a meal with them, sleep in the tents and tin-sheds at night to win their confidence", he said.

Another senior government official gave the example of the CEO of a corporate body who seemed miffed by the fact that despite the crores of rupees that the company was willing to pool in for many a village, the villagers didn't seem enthused about it and had not even accorded him a welcome. "The attitude of some corporate houses was that the people should be grateful for what they were being offered and should lap up everything. This was a bit jarring for the people who still have their sense of self-respect in tact", said the official.

GSDMA head P K Misra said the corporate houses had realised that there were several problems about housing and they preferred to channelise their funds for rehabilitation through the grass-root organisations who had struck the right chord with the villagers. There were also outfits like Reliance Industries who, after the initial rescue and relief work, were now focused only on providing pre-fabricated office accommodation for the government knowing that rehabilitation of villages was a dicey proposition.

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


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Mobile courts to settle pre-litigation cases at doorstep Wednesday, July 25, 2001

THE TIMES OF INDIA NEWS SERVICE
SURAT: Soon there will be mobile courts in the state to bring justice at the door steps of litigants to sort out disputes at the pre-litigation level itself. For this, proposals by the Gujarat State Legal Services Authority (GSLSA) have been forwarded to the National Legal Services Authority (NLSA), New Delhi and to the state government for provisions of infrastructural facilities.

GSLSA executive chairman Justice J N Bhatt told 'The Times of India' that to begin with there would be three mobile courts to settle the pre-litigation cases. Detailed study have already been worked out in this regard, and both NLSA and the state government have been requested for assistance in this regard.

Prompted by the success of Lok Adalats in the state, now there is an attempt to give justice by settling the cases before they are brought to the courts, Bhatt said.

While speaking with this correspondent on Sunday in the city, Bhatt said that in the last two years since he took over as the head of GSLSA, nearly 12 lakh cases have been disposed off through Lok Adalats in the state. Apart from this, around 36,000 cases related to earthquake relief and compensations were also dealt with in the last few months.

A team of seven retired judges of High Court are associated with the GSLSA as consultants and around 72 lawyers, law students and others assist in its functioning.

Bhatt informed that out of 7,900 cases related to quake relief and compensation from Kutch, nearly 7,000 cases have been settled so far.

Not terming the Lok Adalats at par with or substitutes for courts, he said that the attempt is to establish the ancient system of judicial delivery, so that disputes at pre-litigation stage itself get settled, thus lessening the burden on the courts.

Nobody can dispute that the present judicial system is cumbersome, time consuming and a costly affair, he remarked. Average life span of a case in our system is more than 10 years and one would be happy to get the case solved in a span of even 15 years, he added.

Moreover, post-litigation cases are also time consuming, as it takes years to get the reward based on the outcome of the court verdicts, Bhatt stated. Around, 3,500 such cases have been settled in a short span of two years by GSLSA, he informed.

To help access to judicial process, a permanent legal services clinic is being run by GSLSA in Ahmedabad where legal assistance to anyone is available free of cost round the clock, Bhatt said. Cases are being taken up by a panel of 25 senior lawyers.

At the legal clinic in Ahmedabad, there is one legal ambulance as well, so that if required it can reach the needy also, he said. For logistic and functioning, it gets financial support from the state government and the NLSA, Delhi, Bhatt informed.

To create awareness among the general public, around 70,000 legal literacy camps have been held so far in different parts of the state, Bhatt informed. There is a need to have speedy delivery of justice and for this, attempts should be to help the litigants to get their disputes settled at pre-litigation level at their door-step itself, he said.

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


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