A goal is a dream with a deadline.

THE HINDU Imp. News Feb.3rd 2012 Page-1 Supreme Court throws out 122 2G licences: Declaring the allocation of 2G spectrum by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government illegal and an example of the arbitrary exercise of power, the Supreme Court on Thursday cancelled all 122 telecom licences allotted on or after January 10, 2008 to 11 companies during the tenure of the former telecom minister, A. Raja. Holding that spectrum was a natural resource, the court said natural resources are vested with the government as a matter of trust in the name of the people of India, and it is the solemn duty of the state to protect the national interest, and natural resources must always be used in the interests of the country and not private interests. Allowing writ petitions filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation and others and Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy seeking the cancellation of the licences, a Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and A.K. Ganguly said: The licences granted to the private respondents Etisalat DB Telecom (Swan Telecom); Unitech Wireless; Loop Telecom; Videocon Telecommunications; S-Tel Ltd; Allianz Infratech; Idea Cellular and Aditya Birla Telecom (Space Communications); Tata Teleservices; Sistema Shyam Tele Services (Shyam Telelink); Dishnet Wireless; [and] Vodafone Essar South on or after January 10, 2008, pursuant to two press releases issued on January 10, 2008, and the subsequent allocation of spectrum to the licensees are declared illegal and are quashed. The licences cancelled include 21 of Videocon, 22 of Unitech Wireless Ltd. (Uninor), nine of Idea, 21 of Loop, six of S-Tel, 21 of Sistema, three of Tatas, 13 of Swan and two of Allianz. The Bench made it clear that the cancellation of the licences would become operative only after four months. Within two months, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) shall make fresh recommendations for [the] grant of licence and [the] allocation of spectrum in [the] 2G band in 22 service areas by auction, as was done for the allocation of spectrum in [the] 3G band. The Central government shall consider the recommendations of the TRAI and take an appropriate decision within the next one month, and fresh licences be granted by auction. While Etisalat; Unitech and Tatas who were benefited by a wholly arbitrary and unconstitutional action taken by the DoT [Department of Telecom] for grant of UAS licences and allocation of spectrum in [the] 2G band and who off-loaded their stakes for many thousand crores in the name of fresh infusion of equity or transfer of equity shall pay cost of Rs.5 crore each, respondent Nos. 4 [Loop Telecom], 6 [S-Tel], 7 [Allianz Infratech] and 10 [Shyam Telelink]
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shall pay cost of Rs.50 lakh each, because they too had been benefited by the wholly arbitrary and unconstitutional exercise undertaken by the DoT for the grant of UAS licences and allocation of spectrum in [the] 2G band. A blessing in disguise for Govt, old operators: Following the old first-come, first-served' policy in 2008, then Communications and IT Minister A. Raja, now in jail for his alleged involvement in the 2G spectrum scam, gave away 122 licences to eight operators, which included six new ones, at a throw-away price of Rs.1,658 crore for a pan-India licence. In its audit report, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) had stated that the government could have earned between Rs.57,666 crore and Rs.1.76-lakh crore had the spectrum been given via a market-driven process, while it realised only Rs.12,386 crore in 2008. But now the fresh auction of over 500 Mhz of 2G spectrum (cumulative in all 22 circles) would help the exchequer earn massive revenue. However, the revenue that the government would earn would depend on the demand-supply situation and the ability of companies to bid in view of the prevailing financial environment. Notably, the government surpassed all expectations when it earned over Rs. 67,700 crore by auctioning 3G spectrum in 2010. However, the old operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and BSNL that have not been affected by the judgment would benefit by adding those subscribers that will exit their operators who got licences in 2008. Thanks to the mobile number portability (MNP), over 7-crore subscribers of these eight operators can now move to any other operator. But one worrying factor would be loss of jobs if any of these companies decide to shut shop. For example, Uninor is said to have 17,500 workforce and 22,000 partners, while the SistemaShyam employees' strength is over 3,500. It would also put the brakes on proposed investments that companies were planning to expand their operations. Jail for 26 fodder scam case accused: This is the 41st case in the scam. The accused were charged with mishandling funds meant for buying cattle-feed. False receipts were produced and there was evidence Rs. 67.5 lakh was fraudulently withdrawn from the Sahebganj district treasury during 1991-1993 and 1995-1996. Judge G.K. Singh asked them to pay fine ranging from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 10 lakh. Among the accused are officials of the Animal Husbandry Department and their suppliers.

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EDITORIAL Let India unleash its soft power: Wars kill in more ways than one, and the longer they go on the more do the ways multiply. The first war that proved this dictum was the Thirty Years' War of 1618-48 in Europe. Through rape, murder, pillage, disease and famine, it reduced the civilian population of southern Germany and the Lowlands by 25- 40 per cent. The economic devastation it wrought took a hundred years to repair. The American Civil war may have been the second for it killed 600,000 people (out of a population of 32 million) and so devastated the South that it took a hundred years to recover. And had it not been for the Marshall Plan, a similar fate would almost certainly have befallen Western Europe after the Second World War. Tragedy in Libya A similar tragedy is unfolding in and around Libya. Niger was being tipped over into famine by the return of 100,000 of its nationals as refugees from Libya. Today there are no jobs to return to, for Libya's economy lies in ruins. The bulk of its urban infrastructure is damaged or destroyed; its oil production is under half of the pre-war level. Since oil accounted for 75 per cent of the state's revenue, the new government is no longer able to fund the massive social security and subsidised food schemes that kept inflation below one per cent in Qadhafi's Libya. Inflation, destitution, starvation and a possible failed state stare many Libyans in the face. Need to do more India needs to do more not only because with the former hegemonic powers turning into predators a vacuum is developing from Pakistan to the Maghreb. It has a duty to do more also because it can do more. India is sitting on a food mountain, a part of which is rotting even as I write. At the beginning of this month, the Food Corporation of India held 54.8 million tonnes of food grains, This is 30 million tonnes more than its buffer-plus-strategic reserve requires it to hold. With a second year of bumper harvests in the offing, this can only rise further. A single tonne of wheat will fully meet the needs of three families of five for an entire year. A tonne of rotted wheat donated as cattle feed will keep their cattle alive for the same length of time. Are we so mean-spirited that we cannot spare a hundred thousand tonnes of wheat to save the people of Niger? And why only Niger? Can India not set up a permanent, half-million tonne wheat bank to be drawn upon by any sub-Saharan country in distress? We have been relatively slow to realise our full potential for the exercise of soft power. This could be because of our too-ready acceptance of a concept that was created by an American to address American foreign policy concerns. In Joseph Nye's original definition, soft power originated in the capacity to attract others to your country's culture, values and institutions. Indian policymakers have taken this to heart and relied mainly upon India's open society, democratic institutions, lack of aggressive intent and willingness to share the burden of U.N.

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peacekeeping and policing the global commons, to garner respect and support in the international community. India has reached out with increasing confidence to Bangladesh, Nepal and Africa. In January 2010, India created a line of credit for Bangladesh of $1 billion, giving it valuable leeway for managing its external account. Later in the year, Pranab Mukherjee announced a doubling of aid to Nepal from Rs.1,600 crore to Rs. 3,200 crore. At Addis Ababa in May last year, India added $5 billion to the $5.4 billion dollar line of credit it extended to African countries in 2008 to help them reach their development goals. All in all, India is soon going to be disbursing more than $3 billion in aid every year. This is around the same amount as Brazil. Contrast with China The contrast with China's methods of exercising soft power is instructive. Beijing is frequently criticised, and occasionally resented, for insisting on using its own enterprises, managers and workers, and transfer(ring) nothing to the country by way of knowhow. But Chinese aid is more effective than any that the world has seen so far. Projects get completed in record time, at record low costs and, most of the time, to stringent specifications. The locals may earn little directly, but no local politician, crony contractor, or middleman gets a bite of the cherry. Some of the results are mind-boggling: In Kenya, for instance, China has completed 1000 km of motorways and 500 km of regular roads in three years to European standards and transformed the lives and the economy of its people. Brazil seems to have taken a leaf from China's book. It has the largest official programme of aid to Haiti, amounting to $3.3 billion. And the private charity that brought by far the most aid to Haiti after the earthquake was a Libyan Trust run by Seif-ul-Islam-al-Gaddafi! The economic and moral decline of the West has created a hegemonic vacuum that presents both a challenge and an opportunity to emerging powers. China and Brazil are already beginning to fill some of it. India cannot afford to be left behind. Fruit of the poisonous tree: When the rot runs deep, partial remedies won't do. By cancelling the 122 licences for 2G spectrum that were the product of an illegal policy process that was contrary to public interest and violative of constitutional principles , the Supreme Court has struck a blow for justice, transparency and ethical business practices. For those business houses used to bending or breaking laws to rake in excess profits, Thursday's verdict is a lesson that will forever remain etched in their institutional memory. The present case may relate to the telecom sector but there is hardly any industry in India today where unscrupulous companies have not sought to use their nexus with elected leaders and government officials to get ahead in their quest for quick and easy profits. Influence peddling and rent seeking have been the bane of the Indian economy and reforms do not seem to have reduced their incidence. The lesson for corporate

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India from the Supreme Court's landmark judgment is that there is little to be gained lot to be lost from doing business this way.

and a

Here was a case where Mr. Raja went against the stated advice of the Prime Minister. The fact that several companies were cherry-picked from the pool of spectrum applicants was known, as was the fact that some made huge profits by quickly disposing of the precious national resource they had been allocated so cheaply. Even if we accept that Mr. Raja took the UPA leadership for a ride, what is inexplicable and unforgivable is the government's failure immediately to investigate the scam despite its broad contours being so visible. Even after the Comptroller & Auditor General's magisterial report exposed what had transpired, senior ministers refused to accept the fact that there had been any loss to the exchequer. Not playing at a theatre near you: First Rushdie, then the cancellation of a seminar and film screening on Kashmir at a Pune college, now Taslima Nasreen. It seems there is no end to India's capacity for easy surrender when it comes to the freedom of expression. In each instance, religious extremists of one kind or another have got away with intimidating the organisers of the particular event while the government and its law enforcing arm all too quickly abdicate responsibility for protecting a constitutionally guaranteed right, on the excuse that the event threatened the maintenance of public order. In cancelling the release of Taslima Nasreen's autobiographical book Nirbasan , the Kolkata Book Fair was advised by the local police that a group called the Milli Ittehad Parishad had complained about the event. In Pune, it was both Hindu extremists and the local police who forced first the cancellation of the documentary on Kashmir, Jashn-e-Azadi, and then the entire seminar where it was to be screened. In another incident, even a seminar that was to be held in Hyderabad on the Rushdie episode and its implications for freedom of expression was cancelled under pressure from the police who feared it could provoke violence. All this is clearly unheeding of several Supreme Court verdicts, including the landmark Ore Oru Gramathile judgment, that public authorities must protect the freedom of expression, and cannot resort to bans in the name of upholding law and order. That such pusillanimity has come to the fore during elections in important States where political parties are seeking votes on communal platforms despite all the evidence that minority voters do not want to be treated in this way is a sad reflection on the condition of the world's largest democracy and its leaders. Under the benevolent gaze of the state, a disparate but highly effective Thought Police' consisting of religious reactionaries, moral guardians, and hypersensitive prigs have proliferated around the country. They have a diktat on every form of cultural and artistic expression. What is equally worrying, though, is the absence of collective resistance by civil society' to this growing intolerance. While thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest the corruption of the political class, the repeated assault on the right to free expression goes almost unchallenged, even though the two are linked in fundamental ways.

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OP ED Wholly arbitrary, capricious and contrary to public interest': 69. ...There is a fundamental flaw in the principle of first-come-first-served inasmuch as it involves an element of pure chance or accident. In matters involving award of contracts or grant of licence or permission to use public property, the invocation of first-come-first-served principle has inherently dangerous implications. Any person who has access to power corridor at the highest or the lowest level may be able to obtain information from the Government files or the files of the agency/instrumentality of the State that a particular public property or asset is likely to be disposed of or a contract is likely to be awarded or a licence or permission would be given. He would immediately make an application and would become entitled to stand first in the queue at the cost of all others who may have a better claim the duty of the Court to exercise its power in larger public interest and ensure that the institutional integrity is not compromised the State and its agencies/instrumentalities must always adopt a rational method for disposal of public property and no attempt should be made to scuttle the claim of worthy applicants. When it comes to alienation of scarce natural resources like spectrum etc., the State must always adopt a method of auction by giving wide publicity so that all eligible persons may participate in the process. Any other methodology for disposal of public property and natural resources/national assets is likely to be misused by unscrupulous people who are only interested in garnering maximum financial benefit and have no respect for the constitutional ethos and values. 70. The exercise undertaken by the officers of the DoT [Department of Telecommunication] between September, 2007 and March 2008, under the leadership of the then Minister of C&IT [Communications & Information Technology] [A.Raja] was wholly arbitrary, capricious and contrary to public interest apart from being violative of the doctrine of equality. The material produced before the Court shows that the Minister of C&IT wanted to favour some companies at the cost of the Public Exchequer and for this purpose, he took the following steps: (i) Soon after his appointment as Minister of C&IT, he directed that all the applications received for grant of UAS [Universal Access Service] Licence should be kept pending till the receipt of TRAI [Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of India] recommendations. (ii) The recommendations made by TRAI on 28.8.2007 were not placed before the full Telecom Commission which, among others, would have included the Finance Secretary. The notice of meeting of the Telecom Commission was not given to any of the non permanent members (iii) The officers of the DoT who attended the meeting of the Telecom Commission held on 10.10.2007 hardly had any choice but to approve the recommendations made by TRAI [or] they would have incurred the wrath of Minister of C&IT. (iv) In view of the approval by the Council of Ministers of the recommendations made by the Group of Ministers, DoT had to discuss the issue of spectrum pricing with the Ministry of
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Finance However, as the Minister of C&IT was very much conscious of the fact that the Secretary, Finance, had objected to the allocation of 2G spectrum at the rates fixed in 2001, he did not consult the Finance Minister or the officers of the Finance Ministry. (v) The Minister of C&IT brushed aside the suggestion made by the Minister of Law and Justice for placing the matter before the empowered Group of Ministers. Not only this, within few hours of the receipt of the suggestion made by the Prime Minister in his letter dated 2.11.2007 that keeping in view the inadequacy of spectrum, transparency and fairness should be maintained in the matter of allocation of the spectrum, the Minister of C&IT rejected the same by saying that it will be unfair, discriminatory, arbitrary and capricious to auction the spectrum to new applicants because it will not give them level playing field. He simultaneously introduced cut off date as 25.9.2007 for consideration of the applications received for grant of licence despite the fact that only one day prior to this, press release was issued by the DoT fixing 1.10.2007 as the last date for receipt of the applications. This arbitrary action of the Minister of C&IT though appears to be innocuous was actually intended to benefit some of the real estate companies who did not have any experience in dealing with telecom services and who had made applications only on 24.9.2007, i.e. one day before the cut off date fixed by the Minister of C&IT on his own. (vi) The cut off date, i.e. 25.9.2007 decided by the Minister of C&IT on 2.11.2007 was not made public till 10.1.2008 and the first-come-first served principle, which was being followed since 2003 was changed by him at the last moment through press release dated 10.1.2008. This enabled some of the applicants, who had access either to the Minister or the officers of the DoT, to get the bank drafts etc. prepared towards performance guarantee etc. of about Rs.1600 crores. (vii) The manner in which the exercise for grant of LoIs [letters of intent] to the applicants was conducted on 10.1.2008 leaves no room for doubt that every thing was stage managed to favour those who were able to know in advance change in the implementation of the firstcome-first served principle 71. The argument of Shri Harish Salve, learned senior counsel that if the Court finds that the exercise undertaken for grant of UAS Licences has resulted in violation of the institutional integrity, then all the licences granted 2001 onwards should be cancelled does not deserve acceptance because those who have got licence between 2001 and 24.9.2007 are not parties to these petitions and legality of the licences granted to them has not been questioned before this Court. 72. In majority of judgments relied upon by learned Attorney General and learned counsel for the respondents, it has been held that the power of judicial review should be exercised with great care and circumspection and the Court should not ordinarily interfere with the policy decisions of the Government in financial matters. There cannot be any quarrel with [this]. However, when it is clearly demonstrated before the Court that the policy framed by the State or its agency/instrumentality and/or its implementation is contrary to public interest or is
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violative of the constitutional principles, it is the duty of the Court to exercise its jurisdiction in larger public interest When matters like these are brought before the judicial constituent of the State by public spirited citizens, it becomes the duty of the Court to exercise its power in larger public interest and ensure that the institutional integrity is not compromised by those in whom the people have reposed trust and who have taken oath to discharge duties in accordance with the Constitution and the law 73. Before concluding, we consider it imperative to observe that but for the vigilance of some enlightened citizens and non governmental organisations who have been constantly fighting for clean governance and accountability of the constitutional institutions, unsuspecting citizens and the nation would never have known how scarce natural resource spared by the Army has been grabbed by those who enjoy money power and who have been able to manipulate the system. 74. In the result, the writ petitions are allowed in the following terms: (i) The licences granted to the private respondents on or after 10.1.2008 pursuant to two press releases issued on 10.1.2008 and subsequent allocation of spectrum to the licensees are declared illegal and are quashed. (ii) The above direction shall become operative after four months. (iii) Within two months, TRAI shall make fresh recommendations for grant of licence and allocation of spectrum in 2G band in 22 Service Areas by auction, as was done for allocation of spectrum in 3G band. (iv) The Central Government shall consider the recommendations of TRAI and take appropriate decision within next one month and fresh licences be granted by auction. (v) Respondent Nos.2, 3 and 9 who were benefited by a wholly arbitrary and unconstitutional action taken by the DoT for grant of UAS Licences and allocation of spectrum in 2G band and who off-loaded their stakes for many thousand crores in the name of fresh infusion of equity or transfer of equity shall pay cost of Rs.5 crores each. Respondent Nos. 4, 6, 7 and 10 shall pay cost of Rs.50 lakhs each because they too had been benefited by the wholly arbitrary and unconstitutional exercise undertaken by the DoT for grant of UAS Licences and allocation of spectrum in 2G band. (vi) 50% of the cost shall be deposited with the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee for being used for providing legal aid to indigent litigants. The remaining 50% cost shall be deposited in the Prime Minister's Relief Fund. (vii) However, it is made clear that the observations and conclusions contained in this order shall not, in any manner, affect the pending investigation by the CBI, Directorate of Enforcement and others agencies or prejudice the defence of those who are facing prosecution
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in the cases registered by the CBI and the Special Judge, CBI shall decide the matter uninfluenced by this judgment. Justice G.S. Singhvi, Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly (New Delhi) Real-life Dickens characters traced: Bill Sikes and Scrooge are among the most well-known characters in English literature but rather than being figments of Charles Dickens's imagination, their names were derived from real people and new research has pinpointed the writer's sources of inspiration. Detective work by Ruth Richardson has revealed that a trader named William Sykes sold tallow and oil for lamps from a shop in the same bustling east Marylebone street in which Dickens lived between the ages of 17 and 20. Richardson, the author of Dickens and the Workhouse , published to coincide with next week's 200th anniversary of his birth, described the number of fictional characters she has linked to Dickens's neighbours as breathtaking . Inside the camps that foment terror: Syed Salahuddin, supreme commander of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), reaffirmed his organisation's healthiness last Tuesday, telling Kashmir News Service that HM's infrastructure is intact and that J&K will be freed soon. He made a similarly convincing statement last May, claiming to possess hundreds of training camps where he could freely recruit and train the mujahideen. Salahuddin knows that his group's strength must be seen before it can be disbelieved. So long as Pakistan's evolving terror apparatus remains shrouded in secrecy, he is at liberty to exaggerate HM's muscle. At its peak in the mid- to late-1990s, HM's physical infrastructure was primarily concentrated in PoK, with a few camps and offices located in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (then the NorthWest Frontier Province), and Islamabad. While the experiences of individual militants vary significantly, any recruit who spent more than a few months in Pakistan would likely encounter several such facilities. After crossing the border into Pakistani territory, often with the help of a guide on the Inter-Services Intelligence's (ISI) payroll, recruits were typically housed in an HM office in Kotli or Muzaffarabad. Since both towns hosted ISI offices, it was easy for newcomers to acquaint themselves with their patron representatives. Once these preliminary introductions were complete, recruits were sent to one of a few possible locations depending on the functions they were to assume, and the specific type of training they required. In addition to its training and base camps, HM established a media office on Rawalpindi's Murree Road, not far from the branch office of the Jang Group of Newspapers. In Islamabad, apart from its administrative office in the Khanna neighbourhood, HM previously used one

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office to store photographs and computerised biographies of all its militants, and another to administer computer courses. In order to maintain regular contact with active operatives on the Indian side of the border (or LoC), HM also established wireless command stations, including those in Zafarwal (Punjab) and Samani (PoK). The facility in Zafarwal was run out of the staff quarters of a rural health centre, allowing HM wireless operators to communicate with militants in Jammu and Kashmir's Doda and Kathua districts, and in parts of Udhampur district. The second facility was situated on the outskirts of Samani, providing communication links with militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir's districts of Rajouri and Poonch, and parts of Udhampur district. Continuously mounting international pressure since 9/11 has compelled the ISI to reign in many terrorist camps under its watch. As a consequence, HM's infrastructural presence in Pakistan and PoK stands diminished. Aside from its peripheral offices, the organisation currently runs two training camps, each targeting a distinct demographic. The Garhi Habibullah Camp is located in Mansehra district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and caters to trainees from Pakistan. The Sensa Camp lies in PoK's Kotli district and is geared towards youth from PoK. Both camps have strict orders: recruits from India's side of the border are unwelcome at least for the time being. INTERNATIONAL Sweden presses for Assange extradition: Dense legal arguments over the validity of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) marked the second and final day of the hearing in the Supreme Court here of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's appeal against extradition to Sweden to answer allegations of sexual misconduct brought by two women. Gilani hauled up again in Zardari graft case: For the second time in a month, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani was ordered by the Supreme Court on Thursday to appear before it to be charged with contempt for repeatedly refusing to reopen corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. The apex court's decision came just as the beleagured PPP-led government had begun to breath easy on the memo scandal case where the Supreme Court had given it some reprieve and triggered a fresh round of speculation about a possible clash between institutions. If convicted, the Prime Minister faces imprisonment and loss of office. Merkel calls on China to use influence' on Iran: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called on China to make better use of its influence on Iran to resolve a looming stand-off with the West over the country's nuclear programme. China
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has recently voiced opposition to further sanctions as well as to a ban on the import of Iranian oil backed by the U.S. and European Union. Iran is China's third biggest source of foreign oil. Football bloodbath turns the heat on military in Egypt: A bloodbath at a football stadium in the Egyptian city of Port Said has triggered cascading protests against the ruling military authorities and the security forces, which are being accused of plotting the tragedy. At least 74 people were killed and hundreds wounded when a large group of spectators wielding knives, sticks and clubs, and apparently backing the winning Al Masry club from the host city, attacked supporters of the rival Al Ahly team, which had travelled from Cairo. This is the worst violence at a football stadium after the 1996 carnage in Guatemala City, in which 78 people died. BUSINESS Shocked telcos may go for review: The companies have said that they have been unfairly treated claiming that they simply followed the government process for acquiring licences. Sistema-Shyam is still awaiting the full text of the judgment... The company would like to state that being a law abiding organisation, it reserves the right to protect its interests by using all available judicial remedies, SSTL said in a statement. Uninor expressed shock on the verdict and said, We have been penalised for faults the court has found in the government process. The new licences bundled with 2G spectrum were issued by former telecom minister A. Raja in January 2008 for Rs.1,651 crore for a panIndia licence. On this, the government auditor CAG had assumed a presumptive loss of revenue of up to Rs.1.76-lakh crore to the Exchequer. According to estimates, cancellation of these licences may free about 500 Mhz of 2G spectrum which may be auctioned by the government. Don't worry, TRAI tells consumers: In future, all licences will be Unified Licences. This has been discussed by the Telecom Commission as well it is at an advanced stage of consultation in the government. All these issues will be discussed and decided shortly, Mr. Sarma said. SBI has Rs.4,500 cr exposure to affected telcos: State Bank of India (SBI) on Thursday said it had an exposure of Rs.4,500 crore in the telecom companies whose licences had been cancelled by the Supreme Court in connection with the 2G scam.

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The other lenders including Punjab National Bank, Corporation Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce too have exposure in these telecom companies. I don't think we will be affected much by the verdict. We have a fund-based exposure of Rs.1,100 crore in five accounts, while another Rs.3,400 crore are non-fund based, which is based on a guarantee of roll-out. Now that the licences are cancelled that guarantee is not fulfilled, SBI Deputy Managing Director Santosh Nair said. For the Rs.1,100 crore, all the accounts are from corporate houses with whom we have long term relationships. The corporate house behind the licensee will help us or we also expect them to bid again at the time of the new auctions, which can secure our funds, Mr. Nair said. Punjab National Bank said its exposure for roll out under 2G was limited to Rs.508 crore. However, the bank had not given any loan for seeking licence. Largest private sector lender ICICI Bank said it was unaffected from the cancellation of 2G licences. ICICI Bank does not have any exposure at risk on account of cancellation of 2G licenses, the bank spokesperson said. Facebook files for historic IPO: Social networking giant Facebook has filed an initial public offering, which could raise as much as $10 billion and could value the company between $75 billion and $100 billion. However, the company said it planned to raise $5 billion in its stock sale, the largest public offering on the history of a web company. Also, Facebook, for the first time, gave potential investors a glimpse into its financial structure. In 2011, its income was $1 billion, an increase of 65 per cent from 2010. Facebook derives 85 per cent of its revenues from advertising, and the rest from social gaming and other fees. Founded in 2004 by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook now has some 845 million active users, who in all upload 250 million photos a day. SEBI guidelines set stage for disinvestment: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Thursday permitted promoters of top 100 companies to quickly dilute their shares through a separate window on the BSE and the National Stock Exchange, which had to be completed within a day. All listed companies are required to have at least 25 per cent public holding while in case of state-owned company the limit is 10 per cent. All promoters or promoter group entities of top 100 companies based on average market capitalisation of the last completed quarter, it said. The guideline said that minimum of 25 per cent of the shares offered shall be reserved for mutual funds and insurance companies.

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Page 2 New mobile radiation norms coming: Come September 1, India will have stricter new regulations to check electro-magnetic radiation emission from mobile phones, a step that would address health concerns and also streamline the handset manufacturing industry. Accepting the report of an inter-ministerial committee, the Central Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will notify the new regulations in next few days. DoT formed an inter-ministerial committee that recommended that mobile handsets have SAR value of 1.6 Watts per kilogram averaged over a six-minute period and taken over a volume containing a mass of one gram of human tissue. The existing norms are those standardised by the International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) for mobile handsets with SAR limited to 2 W/kg. As education becomes costlier, weary parents dig deeper: This year, parents will keep aside an average budget of over Rs.2- 4 lakh before the primary school session begins due to the heavy fee charged by private schools, says a new survey conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM). The cost of education is increasing every year, parallel with inflation. The parents' annual income on an average has risen by 40 per cent over the past six years, but on the other hand the cost of education has increased by over 200 per cent over the same period, says the survey. Page 3 Himachal to become carbon neutral by 2020: Dhumal: Taking yet another step towards sustainable development of environment, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on Thursday announced that the State would be the first in the country to become carbon neutral by 2020 by undertaking carbon smart growth. The carbon footprint per capita in Himachal Pradesh has been assessed at 1.4 tonne per capita in comparison to national average of 1.57 tonnes per capita,'' Mr. Dhumal said addressing the 12th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit in the Capital. The summit with the theme Protecting the Global Commons: 20 years Post Rio has been organised by The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI) headed by noted environmentalist R. K. Pachauri. Power tariff much lower than in other States: Haryana: The Haryana Government has gone on the defensive dispelling the impression that the electricity tariff in the State is more than in other States and the technical and commercial
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losses of the power distribution companies are higher than those prevailing in other States. Power Minister Ajay Singh Yadav issued a detailed comparative statement late on Wednesday. He disclosed that the domestic tariff, including electricity duty (ED), in Haryana was Rs. 3.76 per unit against Rs. 5.59 in Maharashtra. And the effective commercial tariff in the State, including ED, was Rs. 4.66 per unit against Rs. 7.10 in Delhi. Moreover, in neighbouring Punjab, the domestic consumers had to pay Rs. 5.08 per unit; commercial consumers Rs. 6.28 per unit; LT industrial consumers Rs. 5.59 and HT industrial consumers Rs. 5.59 per unit. Page 5 Wide-ranging applications for Pluripotent Stem Cells : While applications of induced Pluripotent Stem Cells in stem cell therapy may be limited to a few diseases, its applications in drug discovery are wide-ranging, and many more diseases can be targeted, says Shinya Yamanaka, Director of the Centre for iPS Cell Research and Application, Japan. The Japanese scientist, whose breakthrough was the creation of embryonic-like stem cells from adult skin cells, believes that the best chance for stem cell therapy lies in offering hope to those suffering from a few conditions, among them, macular disease, Type 1 Diabetes, and spinal cord injuries. On the other hand, there are multiple possibilities with drug discovery for a range of diseases, and Prof. Yamanaka is hopeful that more scientists would continue to use iPS to study this potential. He currently serves as the Director of the Centre for iPS Cell Research and Application and as Professor at the Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences at Kyoto University. He is also a Senior Investigator at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)-affiliated J. David Gladstone Institutes. Page 9 Justice Ganguly, noted for frank and forthright views, retires: Justice A.K. Ganguly retired on Thursday from the Supreme Court on attaining the age of superannuation. He was given a warm farewell by the members of the Bar and the Bench at a function organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association amid standing ovation from lawyers. Justice Ganguly was appointed Judge of the Supreme Court in December 2008. During his tenure spanning a little over three years, he rendered landmark judgments on various branches of law, in particular criminal jurisprudence, constitutional and human rights issues. Justice Ganguly, who wrote the judgment, said:

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There is no doubt that the majority judgment of this court in the ADM Jabalpur case violated the fundamental rights of a large number of people in this country. The instances of this court's judgment violating the human rights of the citizens may be extremely rare, but it cannot be said that such a situation can never happen. We can remind ourselves of the majority decision of the Constitution Bench of this court in Additional District Magistrate Jabalpur. The majority opinion was that in view of the Presidential order dated June 27, 1975 under Article 359 (1) of the Constitution, no person has the locus standi to move any writ petition under Article 226 before a High Court for Habeas Corpus or any other writ to enforce any right to personal liberty of a person detained under the then law of preventive detention (MISA) on the ground that the order is illegal or malafide or not in compliance with the Act. Justice Ganguly, while quashing the allotment of land made to the former Indian cricket team captain, Sourav Ganguly, in Kolkata by the West Bengal government, said We are sorry to hold that in making the impugned allotment in favour of the allottee, the State has failed to discharge its constitutional role. The said allotment was made by the government admittedly without verifying whether the allottee had surrendered the previous plot allotted to him. Such action of the government definitely smacks of arbitrariness and falls foul of Article 14. On Hindu law, he held that under the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA), illegitimate children would be entitled to all the rights in the property of their parents, both self-acquired and ancestral. Interpreting Section 16 (3) of the HMA, he said: Such children are only entitled to the property of their parents and not of any other relation. The relationship between the parents may not be sanctioned by law but the birth of a child in such relationship has to be viewed independently of the relationship of the parents. A child born in such relationship is innocent and is entitled to all the rights which are given to other children born in valid marriage. This is the crux of Section 16 (3). Justice Ganguly made it clear that the President or the Governor exercising the power of pardon in granting remission of sentence to a convict could not encroach into the judicial domain and give a finding on the guilt of the convict. If such a power was exercised arbitrarily, mala fide or in absolute disregard of the finer canons of the constitutionalism, the by-product order could not get the approval of law and in such cases, the judicial hand must be stretched to it. Taking a serious view of the former Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, at present Union Minister for Science and Technology, interfering in a criminal investigation against a family of a Congress MLA, he imposed an exemplary cost of Rs. 10 lakh on the State government. Coming to the rescue of hawkers, he held that they had a fundamental right to carry on with their business. He asked the Delhi government to enact law to regulate their trade keeping in mind the right of commuters to move freely and use the roads without any impediment.
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On personal liberty, he said that in preventive detention cases, the representations received from the detenus must be disposed of expeditiously and every day's delay must be properly explained and accounted for. The representations should be very expeditiously considered and disposed of with a sense of urgency and without any avoidable delay. New tactics to flout Election Commission rules on paid news Even as it is tightening the noose around the media-candidates' nexus to thwart paid news instances through its district media committees and expenditure observers, the Election Commission has come to know about new strategies worked out by them to break the rules. We have received reports that such paid news' transactions had taken place in some instances in the current Assembly elections in five States well before the filing of the nomination by prospective candidates, said Commission's Director-General Akshay Raut. Informed sources said since the election expenditure account of a candidate, including the spending for media publicity, would come under the scrutiny of the expenditure observers only from the day his candidature was accepted by the Returning Officer, some of them, in collusion with a few corrupt' journalists/media houses, do all transactions and reach unsigned understanding for providing publicity or write in their support well before the papers were filed. Page 20 India has a vital stake in evolving climate change response: Manmohan:L As a developing country in the frontlines of climate vulnerability, India has a vital stake in the evolution of a successful, rule-based, equitable and multilateral response to climate change, said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the inauguration of the 12th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) 2012 organised by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) here on Thursday. TERI Director-General R.K. Pachauri said: The issue of the global commons has been part of global consciousness for half a century now. The global commons can be protected only if there is a commitment on the part of nation states to realise the tragedy inherent for all of us if we do not carry out proper protection of these. We hope this Summit and the official Rio+20 event in June of this year will mark a watershed in perceptions and priorities by which we work collectively towards a more environmentally and ecologically secure future for coming generations. Dhaka book fair releases Taslima's Nirbasan: A day after the organisers of the 36{+t}{+h}Kolkata International Book Fair refused to release the seventh volume of Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen's autobiographical series Nirbasan (Exile), the book was launched at the Amar Ekushey Book Fair in Dhaka without a hitch. It is very good news that my book was released at the fair in Dhaka without any controversy. But it
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is strange too, given that I had been forced to leave Bangladesh for my writings 18 years ago and have not been able to return there since, Ms. Nasreen told The Hindu over the telephone from New Delhi. Neither the Bangladesh government nor the fundamentalists in that country who have been after me because of my secular beliefs and my struggle for people's liberties could stop the release of the book. This is indeed very encouraging , she observed.

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