· THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008 ·
Printed at Chennai, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Madurai, Delhi, Visakhapatnam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Vijayawada, Mangalore and Tiruchirapalli
ISSN 0971 - 751X Vol. 131No. 10448Pages
Chennai Metrowaterhas made installation of wa-ter ﬂow meters mandatoryfor all residential and com-mercial buildings with sumpconnections. They have beenasked to install the meters byMay 31.Earlier, multi-storied andspecial buildings had beenasked to install the metersand Metrowater started issu-ing notices from March. A to-tal of 38,500 structures,including individual houses,have already received the no-tices. The deadline for themended on Wednesday, but isbeing extended to May 31. According to aMetrowaterofﬁcial, the decision to coverall the buildings with watersump connections is in linewith the proposal to meter allconnections, barring supplythrough hand pumps.Out of the 38,500-oddbuildings identiﬁed, 9,668had ﬁxed water meters as on Wednesday. The monthlyreading for water metersﬁxed till now began in April.Several residentscom-plained that they found it dif-ﬁcult to purchase the meters.Residents such as C.G. Rat-nam of Anna Nagar said theﬁxed rate of Rs.15 per kilolitre was high for households,whose consumption was rela-tively less than that of multi-storeyed buildings. Making acomparison with similar sys-tems in Bangalore and Hyd-erabad (that follow the slabrate system), he said whilethe rate was Rs.12 for two kilolitres in those cities, it workedout to Rs.30 for two kilo litresin Chennai.
Water meters mandatory for all buildings
Water meters on display at T.Nagar ofﬁce of Metrowater.
— PHOTO: S.S. KUMAR
The Madras HighCourt has ordered notice tothe respondents on a plea byS. Nalini, who is serving lifeimprisonment in the case re-lating to Rajiv Gandhi’s assas-sination, seeking prematurerelease. The notice is returna-ble by June 10.In her petition, Nalini sub-mitted that the death sen-tence on her was commutedto life imprisonment. Underthe Cr.P.C. she had to com-plete 14 years of imprison-ment for premature release,for which she was eligiblefrom June 18, 2005, since shehad completed 14 years onJune 17, 2005. However, hername was not considered ei-ther in 2005 or 2006 or even2007. She submitted that the Advisory Board, Special Pris-on for Women at Vellore, didnot recommend her case. OnOctober 31 last year, the go- vernment issued an order re- jecting her request forpremature release on the ba-sis of the recommendation of the Additional Director-Gen-eral of Prison. It was againstthis she ﬁled the writ petition.Nalini said the rejection of her request by the State go- vernment based on the rec-ommendation of the Additional Director-Generalof Prison was arbitrary, illegaland without exercising therules framed in the “TamilNadu Prison Rules, 1983.” Without considering herearned remission, the prisonauthorities sent a report tothe government. Though theProbation Ofﬁcer on MarchJanuary 3, 2005 did not rec-ommend her premature re-lease, on July 1, 2007, he senta report that she could be re-leased prematurely with cer-tain stringent conditions.The report of the AdvisoryBoard of December 28, 2006and the subsequent order of the State Government wereliable to be set aside, the pet-ition said.In her interim prayer, shesought a stay of the proceed-ings of the Advisory Boardand the State government’sorder. When the matter came upbefore Justice P.Jyothimanion Wednesday, S.Doraisamy,senior counsel for Nalini, saidthe constitution of the Advi-sory Board itself was improp-er.In the present case alone,the Collector, the PrincipalSessions Judge and the Su-perintendent of Special Pris-on for Women, Vellore wereappointed Chairman andMembers respectively. As perthe rules, the Inspector-Gen-eral of Prison alone would bethe Chairman and thereshould be other six members,including the Regional Proba-tion Ofﬁcer and one or morenon-ofﬁcial members. The Additional Director-Generalof Prison had no say and hisrecommendation could notform the basis for the govern-ment to take a decision, hesaid.
Nalini moves Madras High Courtseeking premature release
Says Advisory Boarddid not recommendher caseRejection of requestby government‘arbitrary’
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45th extension forLiberhan Commission
The LiberhanCommission, set up toinquire into thecircumstances leading tothe demolition of theBabri mosque at Ayodhya,got its 45th extension on Wednesday. — PTI
Fast bowlerShoaib Akhtar’s careerwas on Wednesday lefthanging in the balanceafter a tribunal upheld theﬁve-year ban on hisplaying matches forPakistan. — PTI
Main Sports Page
One held for attack
As an Indiantaxi driver, victim of stabbing, battles for hislife, an Australian wasarrested on Wednesdayfor the attack. His lawyerclaimed that his client hadno memory of Tuesday’sincident. — PTI
Petroleum andNatural Gas Minister MurliDeora on Wednesday assert-ed that the Prime Minister’sOfﬁce (PMO) did not issueany order or instruction tohelp companies owned byShipping Minister T.R. Baa-lu’s family members.“Certain references werereceived from the Prime Min-ister’s Ofﬁce in a routinemanner without any recom-mendation on the basis of arepresentation made by Sel- vakumar Baalu, director of the company,” Mr. Deora saidin a statement he read out inthe Rajya Sabha amid pro-tests from the Opposition.“It may be stated that not asingle cubic metre of gas hasbeen supplied to the compa-nies [owned by Mr. Baalu’sfamily members]. Since theissue relating to supply of gasis pending before the DelhiHigh Court …, the matter is
” Mr. Deora said.He, however, accepted thatMr. Baalu met him on the is-sue. “Mr. Baalu met me andbriefed about the great injus-tice done to the workers andinvestors.”The Petroleum Ministryhad allocated 10,000 cubicmetres of gas a day to KingsIndia Chemicals CorporationLimited and 4.5 lakh cubicmetres of gas a day to KingsIndia Power CorporationLimited but the allocationswere cancelled by the previ-ous government on January14, 2004, Mr. Deora said.
“A petition was received byPrime Minister [ManmohanSingh] in May 2005, signed byT.R.B. Rajaa, Chairman,Kings India Power Corpora-tion Ltd., alleging that grossinjustice has been done tothem and that they have beenseverely discriminatedagainst. A discussion was heldin the PMO to ascertain thestatus; and the view of theMinistry of P&NG [Petro-leum and Natural Gas] that itwas not possible to give anyrelief to the petitioner wasnoted. Having failed to secureany relief from the govern-ment, the petitioner went tothe Madras High Court in2005,” Mr. Deora said.In October 2007, a single- judge Bench ruled in the com-pany’s favour. As the orderwas not implemented, thecompany ﬁled a contemptpetition. Meanwhile, the Ta-mil Nadu Power Producers Association and the Narima-nam Zone Natural Gas Con-sumers Association ﬁledappeals before a DivisionBench, which on February 19,2008 set aside the single- judge Bench order.The Division Bench direct-ed the government to decideupon the applications of theﬁrms on merit. A writ petitionwas also ﬁled by one indepen-dent Power Producers Asso-ciation in the Delhi HighCourt, which issued a stay or-der. The matter was pendingbefore the court.Earlier, as Mr. Deora wasabout to start his speech, thePrime Minister left. BJP and AIADMK members insistedon a statement from Dr.Singh, not from Mr. Deora.Led by Sushma Swaraj and AIADMK’s V. Maitreyan, theOpposition urged DeputyChairman K. Rahman Khanto ask Dr. Singh to make astatement. Amid the din, Mr.Deora readout the statement.
PMO did not issueany order: Deora
Makes statement in House on Baalu issue
‘Impropriety’ unexplained,says BJP: Page 14
A Himalayan feat
With just a hundred days to go for the August games, the Olympic torch is ona spectacular journey to the world’s tallest peak. Chinese mountaineers taking the ﬂame to Mount Everest spread a ﬂag with the Olympic logo at the base camp, at an altitude of 5,200 metres, in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region on Wednesday.
— PHOTO:XINHUA/AP (RUN-UP TO OLYMPICS: OP-ED PAGE)
A last-ditch attemptby the British government topush through new rules thatwould have discriminatedagainst thousands of overseasdoctors from outside the Eu-ropean Union collapsed on Wednesday when the Houseof Lords rejected its appealagainst a court ruling in theirfavour.It ruled that the new regi-me was unfair as it dashed the“legitimate expectations” of foreign doctors.For more than 10,000 post-graduate Indian medical stu-dents and junior doctors, whowould have been affected bythe rules introduced in April2006, the Lords’ judgmentmarked the end of a hard-fought legal battle led by theBritish Association of Physi-cians of Indian Origin(BAPIO).The ruling was particularlyembarrassing to the govern-ment as it had insisted on ap-proaching the House of Lordsdirectly despite being refusedleave to appeal by the AppealsCourt last October when itruled in favour of the doctors.It came barely three weeksafter the government suf-fered a setback in the HighCourt in its bid to alter rulesfor the Highly-Skilled Mi-grants Programme (HSMP),involving some 30,000 Indi-an workers. A Department of Healthspokesman said: “We are dis-appointed that the Lordshave ruled that our guidance[in relation to new rules] as itstood was unlawful.”BAPIO’s president RameshMehta said the ruling “vindi-cated” its position that thegovernment had acted “with-out thinking through the da-maging consequences” of itspolicy.The controversy, whichmade headlines around theworld, related to the govern-ment’s bid to apply retrospec-tively new rules barringhospitals from employing oroffering training posts tonon-EU doctors unless theywere able to demonstrate thatno suitable U.K. or E.U. can-didate was available.Some 16,000 doctors —mostly from Asia and Africa— who came to Britain underthe old rules, which allowedthem to train and work in go- vernment hospitals withoutneeding work permit, sud-denly found themselvesstranded.Many out-of-work Indiandoctors with no means tosupport themselves took toqueuing at local temples andgurdwaras for free food. Somedoctors were driven to takingtheir own lives.
Historic win for Indian doctors
Lords reject government move to push through new rules against non-EU doctors
Prime MinisterManmohan Singh on Wednesday said there wasno wrong from which heshould distance himself from the action of hisofﬁce in forwarding arepresentation made bythe company in which thefamily of Union ShippingMinister T.R. Baalu hasbusiness interests.Petroleum MinisterMurli Deora had explainedeverything and nothingunusual was done, Dr.Singh told reporters on thesidelines of a function.
Nothing unusual was done: Manmohan
Life-term for rape
A 32-year-oldhotel manager wassentenced on Wednesdayto life imprisonment by acourt here for raping aBritish journalist inDecember last year. Hewas also sentenced toseven years RI for housetrespass with an intentionto commit an offence. —PTI