CHennai 20 February 2014 Thursday `3.00 pages 24 Late City edition CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BANGALORE ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELGAUM ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIMOGA ■ TIRUCHY ■ www.newindianexpress.com Day After, Jaya Decides to Set Them Free Announces three-day deadline for Centre to respond on release of all seven convicts in Rajiv case, including those saved from gallows by SC by T Muruganandham r a da r Compromise on Security? New Delhi: The massive cut on account of austerity measures seems to be having devastating effects on national security. Of 131 four-wheelers sanctioned, only 57 vehicles have been purchased by the states and Union Territories under a proposal to strengthen coastal security. P11 Jaya Gives Loans to Tribals Chennai: Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday presented loan cheques to tribal community members in the Nilgiris district for purchasing pumpsets, constructing toilets in 200 houses in the Kodanadu area and for the development of women’s self-help groups.P4 Trio Get Death for Rape New Delhi: Three young men were on Wednesday awarded the death penalty by a court here for kidnapping, gangraping and killing a 19-year-old girl. P7 Anna to Support Mamata New Delhi: Activist Anna Hazare on Wednesday declared his support to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and snubbed Arvind Kejriwal by saying he will not support the Aam Aadmi Party. P7 Chennai: After 23 long years of incarceration, all seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case are set to walk into freedom with Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday announcing the State government’s decision to grant remission and release them, irrespective of the Centre’s views. It comes a day after the Supreme Court commuted to life the death sentences of convicts Murugan alias Sriharan, Suthenthira Raja alias Santhan and Perarivalan alias Arivu. Others to be released along with the trio are Murugan’s wife Nalini, whose sentence was commuted to life earlier, Robert Payas, Jayakumar and Ravichandran. The latter three were awarded capital punishment by a trial court which was commuted to life by the Supreme Court. The decision on remission, which was left open to the State government by the apex court, was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by the Chief Minister. Announcing the Cabinet’s decision in the Assembly amidst thunderous applause, Jayalalithaa said that since the case was investigated by the CBI and tried by the designated TADA Court in Poonamallee, the Centre has to be consulted on the release as per Section 435 of the CrPC. “If the Centre fails to respond to the TN Cabinet’s decision within three days, the State government would go ahead and release the convicted — Suthenthira Raja alias Santhan, Sriharan alias Murugan, Perarivalan alias Arivu, Nalini, Robert Pyas, Jayakumar and Ravichandran — invoking the powers vested under Section 432 of the Criminal Procedure Code,” Jayalalithaa added. A couple of hours after Jayalalithaa’s announcement, Arputhammal, Perarivalan’s mother, called on the CM at the Secretariat and thanked her for the expeditious humanitarian gesture. Later, talking to mediapersons, Arputhammal said, “No other leader would have taken such a bold decision. I will be forever grateful to her for this gesture.” Referring to the request of DMK chief M Karunanidhi to release the convicts, Jayalalithaa said, “Karunanidhi has no locus standi to speak about (the convicts’ release) since he has been indulging in doublespeak on this issue.” More: P3 FULL COVERAGE ‘For me, Jaya is Goddess’ P2 Jail Erupts in Ecstasy P2 News Analysis P3 [ Karunanidhi has no locus standi to speak about (the convicts’ release) since he has been indulging in doublespeak... He failed to act when he was in power — J Jayalalithaa, Chief Minister Perarivalan’s mother Arputhammal thanks Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa for freeing her son in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, at the Secretariat on Wednesday Will a Common Man Get Justice When PM’s Killers Are Released, Asks Rahul by Santwana Bhattacharya New Delhi: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday expressed sadness at the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to release all seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. “My father became a martyr. I personally don’t believe in capital punishment as it won’t bring back my father. But it is not just a matter of my father or the family, it is the matter of the country,” Rahul said. That he was trying to turn the personal tragedy into a bigger debate was evident from the manner in which he linked the decision to set free the convicts to the larger question of justice. “If some person kills the PM and is released, then how will a common man get justice? It’s a point to ponder,’’ Hyderabad: State Bank of India, the country’s largest lender, may go slow on recruitments during the next two to three years, a top bank official said here on Wednesday. P15 Express News Service Car Makers Slash Prices New Delhi: The country’s biggest car makers, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) and Hyundai Motor India, on Wednesday reduced prices across product portfolios to capitalise on excise duty cuts in the interim budget and revive sales. P15 AIIMS Quota to Continue 24 pages, including 6 pages of City Express Indices 20,722.97 6,152.75 24 ct (1 gm): 3,078 22 ct (1 gm): 2,877 Sensex: Nifty: Gold Bar (1 kg): 48,755 Retail (1 gm): 52.20 US$: Euro: 62.12 85.16 Source: BSE, NSE, RBI websites express poll of the day Do you agree with the SC verdict commuting the death sentences of three Rajiv Gandhi assassins? Yes 42% (Clockwise from left) RLD members protest against the SP government after removing their kurtas in UP Assembly; a TDP MP tries to snatch papers from Secretary General Shumsher Sheriff in RS; and PDP P11 MLAs being evicted from the J&K Assembly on Wednesday. One PDP member slapped a marshal | PTI Express News Service Silver Exchange Blot on democracy Soon, Watch Top Flicks at Amma Theatres Markets no 58% Today’s question: After the New Zealand debacle, do you think MS Dhoni should be removed as Test captain? SMS TO 54646 www.newindianexpress.com Chennai: You will have more options for your weekend outings with family and it will be lighter on your pocket as well as the Corporation, in its budget on Wednesday, announced plans to boost the entertainment quotient in the city with ‘Amma Cinema Theatres’. The Amma Cinema Theatres, which were a highlight of the budget, have been planned to provide affordable entertainment for the poorer and middle-class segments of the city. The theatres will be built in unused Corporation lands and buildings and will screen new Kollywood releases, bringing multiplex entertainment to the general public. Announcing the scheme, Mayor Saidai S Duraisamy said, “Cinema theatres are operated in commercial complexes and it makes them out-of-the-reach of the poor and middle class people. This scheme will help labourers and other down-trodden people to reduce their depression.” The Corporation informed that the plan will most likely materialise within this year and currently feasibility studies for places where the theatres can be established are underway and ticket prices will be decided according to the maintenance costs of the complexes. Shopping too has been given much attention in the budget. Soon, private shopping complexes will not be the only ones adorn- ing the T Nagar skyline as the Corporation has planned to construct a 12-storey shopping complex with 2-level mechanical parking on Usman Road. It will have a built-up area of 75,000 sq feet. Parking in T Nagar will also get a boost as a special 4-level building with 40,000 sq feet area will be constructed on Sivagnanam Street in the existing Corporation Health Centre. Also, the Corporation will construct a commercial shopping complex at Shenoy Nagar. Everyday shopping will also get an upgrade with the ‘Amma weekly market’ scheme, under which mobile markets will be held in the 200 wards. They will have products from women self-help groups, among others. corpn budget: P5 Personal Law No Bar for Adoption by Muslims: SC Express News Service New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that Muslims can adopt a child under the Juvenile Justice Law as its enforcement could not be impeded by the Muslim personal law. An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam said the rules framed under the Juvenile Justice Law were an enabling provision which is applicable to all religions and communities and the same could not be frustrated by personal mum. “The people who said that the terrorists must be hanged during the case of Afzal Guru, are silent now,” Sibal said. Giving a more nuanced response, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said, “If they walk free, they walk free after 22 years in prison. If the court decides that 22 years of imprisonment is sufficient, then that’s it. I don’t see this as cynical politics.” Kiran Reddy Quits as AP CM, Telangana Stalls Rajya Sabha SBI to go Slow on Hiring New Delhi: Law Minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesday said reservation for faculty in the superspeciality section of AIIMS will continue. he said at a village in Amethi. Rahul’s disappointment was palpable. “In this country even the PM does not get justice,” he said with a bit of an emotional finality. Shortly after Rahul’s comment reached the Congress circle, the party officially denounced the TN government’s decision as “irresponsible, perverse and populist”. Law Minister Kapil Sibal, meanwhile, targeted the BJP for keeping religious beliefs. “Personal beliefs and faiths, though must be honoured, cannot dictate the operation of the provisions of an enabling statute. We would like to say that an optional legislation that does not contain an unavoidable imperative cannot be stultified by principles of personal law which, however, would always continue to govern any person who chooses to so submit himself until such time that the vision of a uniform Civil Code is achieved. The same can only happen by the col- lective decision of the generation(s) to come to sink conflicting faiths and beliefs that are still active as on date,” the bench observed. Disagreeing with the Personal Law Board’s contention that Islamic Law does not recognise an adopted child to be at par with a biological child, the bench said Islam also does not prohibit a childless couple from taking care of and protecting a child with material and emotional support. “While it is correct that the dimensions and perspectives of the meaning and con- tent of fundamental rights are in a process of constant evolution... elevation of the right to adopt or to be adopted to the status of a Fundamental Right, in our considered view, will have to await a dissipation of the conflicting thought processes in this sphere of belief in the country,” the bench said. The court said this on a petition by activist Shabnam Hashmi, who had sought the framing of guidelines on the adoption of children by people belonging to all religions and communities. Hyderabad/New Delhi: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Wednesday resigned from office, the Congress and the Assembly “in protest against the Centre’s highhandedness in bifurcating the State”. His resignation was immediately accepted by Governor ESL Narasimhan, perhaps paving the way for a spell of President’s rule in the State. The expected move came even as the number of his supporters dwindled drastically in the last few days, leaving him isolated and wondering whether to float a new political party. Meanwhile, in Delhi the Rajya Sabha could not take up the Bill for the formation of separate Telangana as the confabulations between the government and the Opposition continued till late in the evening to reach a consensus over amendments in the Bill. The Upper House witnessed several adjournments and high drama over strong protests from Seemandhra MPs, AIADMK members on the Tamil Nadu fishermen issue and other matters. After the House was adjourned for the day, Minister of State for Parliament Affairs Rajeev Shukla said, “We tried our best to bring the Telangana Bill in the Rajya Sabha today. But there were certain issues which were pointed out by the Leader of Opposition. We are trying to pursue them and I am hopeful that the Bill will be tabled tomorrow.” Kiran Reddy toyed with the idea of forming a new party to cash in on the Samaikyandhra sentiment. But with the Lok Sabha passing the Telangana Bill on Tuesday, he is said to be having second thoughts. According to his close aides, he is considering two options. One, to go into ‘political hibernation’ for a few years. Two, to float a party. As Kiran has resigned from the Congress too, some of his supporters said he now has no option but to launch a new party. More: p11
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