Sunday, September 25, 2005

Apex court stays criminal case against Lapierre / Indian girl's one-rupee suicide / Money power dictated Delhi power privatisation'

Apex court stays criminal case against Lapierre

Legal Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the criminal proceedings
initiated against Dominique Lapierre, French author of a book on the Bhopal
gas disaster, and his publisher Shekar Malhotra by Madhya Pradesh
Director-General of Police Swaraj Puri. A Bench, comprising Justice K. G.
Balakrishnan and Justice P. P. Naolekar, issued notice to Mr. Puri and
Javier Moro, France-based publisher of It was Five Past Midnight in Bhopal,
on a petition from Mr. Lapierre and Mr. Malhotra seeking transfer of the
complaint outside Madhya Pradesh.

They said Mr. Puri was holding a powerful position and could influence
witnesses.

On his criminal complaint against Mr. Lapierre and Mr. Malhotra, a Jabalpur
court issued summons to the publisher to appear before it on September 26.

The complaint said the writer had not portrayed the incident properly as
well as the police role in the right perspective.

Civil suit

Mr. Puri also filed a civil complaint seeking a $20-million compensation and
to restrain the publishers from printing, selling and circulating the book.
The Jabalpur court issued notices to the author and the publisher on this
petition also

--

Indian girl's one-rupee suicide

Half of India's children are malnourished, a UN report says
A 12-year-old Indian girl committed suicide after her mother told her she
could not afford one rupee - two US cents - for a school meal.
Sania Khatun lived with her mother in a village north of Calcutta under a
tarpaulin sheet provided by the state.
Sania normally ate nothing at school but on Friday saw classmates eating
rice and asked for one rupee.
Her mother scolded her and when she returned from work found her daughter
hanged from the ceiling with a sari.
"She wanted just one rupee... but her mother could not give her the money
due to poverty," government official Nakul Chandran Mahato told the Reuters
agency.
'Snapped'
The mother, Jainab Bewar, is a widow who works as a maid in the village of
Paraspur, 200km (125 miles) north of Calcutta.
She normally fed her daughter with food she could get from the houses she
worked in.
India's Telegraph newspaper said Sania was tempted by the sight of
classmates eating puffed rice and oil cakes.

---

Money power dictated Delhi power privatisation'

DAMAGING INDICTMENT: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit at her residence on
Wednesday. - PHOTO: PTI

NEW DELHI: In a severe indictment of the Delhi Government led by Chief
Minister Sheila Dikshit over the whole process of privatisation of the power
distribution network in the Capital, the Public Accounts Committee of the
Delhi Legislative Assembly has accused the powers that be of bending all
rules and colluding with business houses to "accrue monetary benefits'' to
them.

It has alleged possible involvement of one or more members of the Core
Committee set up by the Delhi Government for power privatisation in
favouring the conditional bidders for "monetary consideration'' by effecting
major modifications in the transfer scheme.

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