‘Prevent Valentine’s Day celebration at public places’

Hindu outfits - Sakthi Sena Hindu Makkal Iyakkam and the Bharat Sena, Tamil Nadu - urged the authorities here on Monday to prevent young couples from celebrating Valentine’s Day (Wednesday) at public places.

Members of Sakthi Sena Hindu Makkal Iyakkam staged a demonstration in front of the Coimbatore (South) taluk office raising slogans against Valentine’s day celebration. District president of the outfit Kalidoss presided over the demonstration.

Similarly, a few members of Tamil Nadu unit of the Bharat Sena staged a demonstration in front of the Collectorate with the same demand. Later, the office-bearers of the outfit submitted a petition to the Collector.

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Children inherit not only assets, but liabilities too: HC

Court orders payment of compensation to family of sanitary worker

Observing that not only assets but also the liabilities of parents get passed on to the children, the Madras High Court has directed a litigant to pay compensation of Rs. 5 lakh to the family of a person who had died while cleaning a septic tank about 16 years ago when the litigant was a child and the house was owned by his father in Chennai.

Justice S. Vaidyanathan passed the order while disposing of a writ petition filed by A. Ravichandran alias Ravi of Kottivakkam near here challenging a communication sent to him by a zonal officer of Greater Chennai Corporation on August 21, 2017, asking him to pay Rs. 10 lakh for the death of Narasimhan, the sanitary worker engaged for cleaning work on August 26, 2001.

“The concept of pious obligation originated in Dharmasastras, according to which non-payment of debt is a sin which results in unbearable suffering in the next world. Just as Lord Rama was obligated to fulfil his deceased father’s promise to his step-mother, the petitioner herein is obligated to pay compensation to the deceased worker’s family.

“When a father’s assets are passed on to his sons after his death, so are his liabilities,” the judge said, and directed the petitioner to pay the amount to the legal heirs of the deceased within two months.

He directed the Corporation also to pay Rs. 2.5 lakh to the victim’s family within two months for having failed in its duty to prohibit manual scavenging.

The judge ordered that an amount of Rs. 7.5 lakh should be paid to the victim’s family through online bank transfer in order to avoid complaints of government officials demanding commission before handing over cheques to the beneficiaries.

Justice Vaidyanathan made it clear that the legal heirs, including the victim’s wife N. Adhilakshmi, would be entitled to claim the rest of Rs. 2.5 lakh if they were able to establish that the delay of 16 years in claiming the compensation was not because of any fault on their part as claimed by the writ petitioner.

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NRI moves High Court to quash case

He was alleged to be an accomplice of Abdul Nasser Madani

Noushad Thazhaith, 37, a native of Kozhikode, now a Non-Resident Indian doing business in Dubai, has moved the Madras High Court for quashing a criminal case registered against him by the CB-CID on charge of assisting People’s Democratic Party leader Abdul Nasser Maudany and his accomplices in planting a bomb on the Coimbatore Press Club premises in December 2002.

The petitioner claimed that he suffered 80% congenital loss of vision in both his eyes. Enunciating the prosecution’s case against him, he said the police had accused him of having accompanied Maudany’s wife to Coimbatore Central Prison on December 26, 2002 and picking a quarrel with the jailors for not allowing her to meet her husband.

“There is nothing on record to connect my name with the crime,” he said.

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Act against illegal bars: DMK MLA

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MLA N. Karthik has urged the district administration to act against all the illegal bars in the district.

In his petition, submitted at the weekly grievances meeting on Monday, he said even after the expiry of bar licence period on December 31, 2017, 237 bars, attached to as many shops, continued to function illegally in the district.

The Tasmac officials ought to have conducted auction in November-December 2017 for the bars.

The result of the bars functioning illegally was that the State Government lost Rs. 6 crore a day at Rs. 2.50 lakh a bar a month.

That the officials aided the illegal functioning of bars could be seen from the recent arrest of an Excise Department official in Coimbatore by Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption, he pointed out.

Besides, the bars functioned 24 hours a day when the government stipulation was that they should remain open only between noon and 10 p.m.

The district administration should, therefore, act against all the 237 bars by closing them, he said.

‘Withdraw bus fare hike’

The Communist Party of India’s Coimbatore Urban central committee petitioned that the Coimbatore Corporation had hiked the water connection deposits and also undertaken property tax revision exercise. It should give up both the exercises as there was no elected Council in place. The State Government should also withdraw the bus fare hike, as it burdened the common man.

And, the district administration should expedite the construction of flyovers and road over bridges on Pollachi Road as the area saw heavy traffic congestion.

Memorial for bomb

blast victims

Bharat Sena urged the district administration to grant permission for erecting memorial to honour those killed during the 1998 Coimbatore bomb blasts. In its petition, the Hindu organisation said 58 innocent lives were lost in the blasts. The Bharat Sena had been demanding, almost every year, a memorial to honour the victims. But thus far, there had been no permission. At least this year, prior to the bomb blast anniversary, the administration should accord permission, it reiterated.

‘Check illegal mining’

Tamil Nadu Farmers Association, affiliated to the AIKS, has urged the district administration to check the illegal mining of natural resources. In its petition, the Association said though the officials of the Department of Geology and Mining had maintained that action had been initiated every month against illegal mining, it continued unchecked in Karamadai, Periyanaickenpalayam, Perur, Thadagam, Madukkarai, Mettupalayam, Sulur, Pollachi and a few other parts of the district.

The Department had said that it had granted only 160 permits, but even those permits were misused.

The Association also drew the administration’s attention to the smuggling of gravel and sand to Kerala via Palakkad, Chittur and Kozhinjampara and sale at a price that was twice that in Tamil Nadu. The demand, therefore, was to act against errant officials and stop the illegal mining of resources in the district.

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Bus services likely to get a tech upgrade

Card system, electronic ticketing, real-time updates planned

In the aftermath of the bus fare hike, the State Transport department is considering a few plans for improving services. Among the proposals are a common card system, introduction of electronic ticketing machines and work on projects to provide real-time information on bus timings.

A senior official of the department said that until the fare hike was effected, the State Transport Corporations (STCs), which were suffering losses of Rs. 9 crore daily, were short of funds and could not take up any development work.

But with the hike, there would be money for some projects.

Banks, which were earlier reluctant to fund projects, are now showing interest, he said.

The official said the infrastructure development projects were being planned on a step-by-step basis.

“Very soon, an Expression of Interest (EoI) for technology upgrade in issuing tickets through electronic ticketing machines will be called for. Already, the process is under way with talks being held with banks for issuing the EoI to purchase the machines.”

The official also said the department was planning to develop a common card system for the benefit of those travelling by Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) buses and the Metro Rail.

Public-private projects

Regarding grievances about the lack of real time data on bus timings and the unwillingness of the MTC to share data, the official said two projects in the public-private partnership mode would be implemented to provide information to the public.

The first step would be to enable the fleet with GPS devices and connect it to the servers.

He said, “At present, only static data of bus timings is available but once the GPS devices are installed and linked to a server in real time, bus timings can be made available to the public through apps.”

Banks which were earlier reluctant to fund projects are now showing interest

Transport department official

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Beware of social media, Commissioner tells women

Everyone is being constantly monitored in some way or the other, he says

“In the world of technology we live in, everyone is constantly monitored in some way or the other and hence there is a need to be cautious,” said Police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan here on Friday.

He was speaking at ‘Women’s safety awareness programme’ at Tidel Park.

“In the film Ocean’s Eleven , Julia Roberts says, ‘In your hotel, there is always someone watching.’ That's how it works now. There are CCTV cameras everywhere and in a way, this kind of a technology helps us arrest the accused,” he said.

In social media too the situation was no different. “You have to be very careful about what you do and what you share on social media. What you write on social media remains there forever,” he added.

“Stalking and eve-teasing are the other issues that women often face. Stalking is unfortunately glorified in some films and it should be condemned,” he said.

He noted how sexual harassment at work place should be dealt with and women should carefully discuss and come forward to complain to either the office or to the police.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Rohit Nathan Rajagopal said the IT industry had helped many people from rural areas move to the big cities, and they were suddenly brought face to face with corporate culture. “For instance, a person may be the first graduate in the family and may have joined work in the city, but a casual hug in an informal team activity or gathering can sometimes be mistaken. Often, personal and professional lives get blurred. So, companies have modules or training for new recruits so that the transition is easier for them and there are no issues,” he said.

Garima Tyagi, Diversity and Inclusion India Head, Verizon, said, companies should also have regular sensitisation programmes on sexual harassment at work place.

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HC to look into anomalies in MBBS admissions

Many secured seats despite possessing multiple nativity certificates: petitioner

The Madras High Court has decided to delve deep into the validity of admissions made last year in MBBS with respect to students who had obtained nativity certificates from revenue authorities in Tamil Nadu as well as from other States in order to try their luck in securing a medical seat in either of the places. Justice N. Kirubakaran has directed the High Court Registry to list for hearing on Monday a batch of cases related to the issue. The order was passed after holding a brief hearing through video conferencing from the Madurai Bench on Thursday. In the meantime, he directed a Special Government Pleader (SGP) to produce relevant files.

During the course of hearing held on Thursday, counsel representing one of the writ petitioners brought it to the notice of the court that a prospectus issued for MBBS admissions for the academic year 2017-18 had clearly stated that nativity certificates of the candidates should have been issued by the jurisdictional Tahsildars.

“Yet, hundreds of students had produced nativity certificates issued to them by Deputy Tahsildars and the selection committee constituted by the Director of Medical Education too had accepted those certificates issued by the subordinate revenue authorities and granted admission to all those students. This is ex-facie illegal,” he contended.

Though the revenue officials ought to have conducted an elaborate enquiry with respect to the nativity of every applicant before issuing certificates to them, the counsel claimed that no such enquiry had been conducted which was evident from the fact that the certificates had been issued within a few days from the date of application.

In reply, SGP T.M. Pappaiah contended that the Revenue Manual empowers the Deputy Tahsildars also to issue nativity certificates and sought time to produce all the records for the perusal of the court. He disputed the allegation of many students having obtained the nativity certificates fraudulently by bribing the revenue officials.

After hearing them, the judge said that he would prefer to hear the case in detail when he comes down to Chennai on Monday.

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E-way bill mandatory from today

In a move aimed at facilitating hassle-free movement of goods, the Department of Commercial Taxes and Registration said on Wednesday that the e-way bill system would be mandatory from February 1.

According to an official release, goods falling under the purview of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act, irrespective of whether they are taxable or exempt, and whose value exceeds Rs. 50,000, while being transported, shall be accompanied with documents prescribed under the GST Act viz., invoice or bill of supply or delivery note along with a copy of an e-way bill or an e-way bill number.

“This system shall work on a self-declaration model. E-way bill can be generated either by the supplier, the recipient or the transporter. It can be generated on the portal (www.ewaybillgst.gov.in) or through mobile app or SMS. The necessary rules relating to the e-way bill (Rules 138 to 138D of the Tamil Nadu Goods and Services Rules) have already been notified,” stated the release.

As per the GST Act, from February 1, 2018 onwards, all tax-payers should ensure that the e-way bill is generated from www.ewaybillgst.gov.in at the time of the transport of goods, and that it is accompanied with an invoice or bill of supply or delivery note.

Further information can be obtained by calling 044-28290962 or 1800 103 6751 or e-mailing helpdesk@ctd.tn.gov.in.

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App to help in speedy verification of passports

Police personnel will be trained in using mobile tablets

Police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan on Wednesday inaugurated a new system to speed up police verification process (PCC)for the issuance of passports.

Mr. Viswanathan inaugurated a training programme on ‘mobile passport’ App by distributing tablets to personnel of the intelligence section. Regional Passport Officer P.K. Ashok Babu was present.

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CM-led delegation to meet Siddaramaiah over Cauvery

To press for release of water to save the standing samba crop in the State

A delegation of Ministers from the Cauvery delta districts of Tamil Nadu, led by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, is planning to meet Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to seek the release of Cauvery water so that the standing samba crop could be saved.

The decision was taken at a meeting of Ministers chaired by Mr. Palaniswami at Fort St. George here. An appointment has been sought with Mr. Siddaramaiah to fix a convenient date for the meeting.

According to an official release, the decision by the delegation to meet the Karnataka Chief Minister in-person was taken considering the poor inflow into the Mettur dam, which had left the authorities unable to provide adequate quantity of water for irrigation to farmers in the Cauvery delta districts.

Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and Ministers Dindigul C. Sreenivasan, K.A. Sengottaiyan, P. Thangamani, S.P. Velumani, D. Jayakumar, R. Kamaraj, R. Doraikkannu and O.S. Manian participated in the meeting. Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan, Finance Secretary K. Shanmugam and other senior officials were also present.

The two neighbouring States are involved in a litigation over the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, which is pending with the Supreme Court.

The Cauvery delta region comprises Thanjavur, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur and parts of Karur, Ariyalur, Pudukkottai, Cuddalore and Tiruchi districts. Agriculture in the State depends, in large part, on irrigation through the Cauvery system.

Precedents

The last time there was a meeting between the Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka was in September 2016, in the presence of Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti.

In 2012, the then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, called on her Karnataka counterpart Jagadish Shettar in Bengaluru to discuss the water sharing dispute. A senior official said the meeting of the CMs was arranged following a suggestion made by the Supreme Court in this regard. Former Chief Ministers M. Karunanidhi and M.G. Ramachandran had also called on their counterparts in Karnataka over the issue in the past, he added.

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