Sunday, June 12, 2011

Supreme Court to hear Kanimozhi’s bail plea tomorrow

DMK MP KanimozhiThe Supreme Court will hear on Monday the bail pleas of DMK MP Kanimozhi and Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, accused in the 2G spectrum case.

Kanimozhi, the 43-year-old daughter of DMK chief M. Karunanidhi, and Mr. Kumar have challenged the Delhi High Court verdict rejecting their bail pleas.

A vacation bench of justices B S Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar will take up the matter which is listed as Item No. 16.

The High Court had on June 8 dismissed their pleas after observing that they have strong political connections and the possibility of them influencing witnesses cannot be ruled out.

Ms. Kanimozhi and Mr. Kumar, named as accused in the second charge sheet for allegedly taking bribe of Rs 200 crore, were arrested on May 20 after the special court dismissed their bail pleas in the case.

Both Ms. Kanimozhi and Mr. Kumar have 20 per cent stake each in Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd, which allegedly received Rs 200 crore through a “circuitous” route from Shahid Balwa promoted D B Realty.

Mr. Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal, who has been left out of the list of accused, owns the remaining 60 per cent shares in the channel.

Ms. Kanimozhi and Mr. Kumar had moved the high court on May 23 challenging the trial court’s order which had rejected their bail pleas, saying the offence attributed to them was grave and the possibility of influencing the witnesses cannot be ruled out.

CBI Special Judge O P Saini had on May 20 rejected the bail pleas of the DMK MP and Mr. Kumar and ordered their “forthwith” arrest. They are currently lodged in Tihar Jail

Mixed response to verdict on Samacheer Kalvi

News of the Madras High Court on Friday staying the operation of an amendment to the Tamil Nadu Uniform System of School Education Act, indefinitely postponing the implementation of the “Samacheer Kalvi”, evoked two extreme responses – one of joy and relief, and another of great disappointment.
P.B. Prince Gajendra Babu, general secretary, State Platform for Common School System, one of the activists campaigning for a common school system consistently, says: “We are delighted. While we have always clarified that Samacheer Kalvi is not just about a common syllabus; we feel that this is a good beginning. Four streams at the school level will definitely perpetuate inequality.”
While the State government's plan of action is yet to be known, he says: “We do not know if the State government will move the Supreme Court. The Madras High Court in its judgment has said that no material had been placed before it as to the manner in which the review of the Samacheer Kalvi syllabus was done, before it was deemed below standard. That is a crucial point which makes us optimistic.”


The State government's decision to defer implementation of Samacheer Kalvi followed a Cabinet meeting on May 22. The next day, tenders were floated to invite bids from prospective printers who could print textbooks as per the syllabus followed earlier. “It is virtually impossible to have studied the syllabus as per Samacheer Kalvi for classes I to X and in such a short span,” says Mr. Prince Gajendra Babu.
Private schools, on the other hand, seemed rather disappointed. N. Vijayan, general secretary, Federation of Matriculation Schools' Associations in Tamil Nadu, says: “About 28 lakh students going to Matriculation schools and their parents were happy when this government decided to revert to the original syllabus. It is sad that the excitement was short-lived. Students going to class X, in particular, will have to shift from taking an examination for 1100 marks to one for just 500 marks,” he said.


The reversal of syllabus now would mean that schools would have to source the appropriate textbooks. In an earlier order, the court had said private schools could buy the Samacheer Kalvi textbooks from either the Government or the Government-notified publishers. The government had printed about 9 crore books. However, the list of approved publishers is yet to be released.
“How are we to source the books,” asks R. Visalakshi, president, Federation of Association of Private Schools in Tamil Nadu. “There is hardly a week left for the reopening of the schools.”
The Co-ordination Committee of Parents' Welfare Associations has appealed to the State government to accept the court's decision and go ahead with the implementation of the equitable education system. As the syllabus had been implemented for the first and sixth standard students last academic year, the government should accept the court decision, keeping in mind the interests of those students.


Some schools, though in favour of Samacheer Kalvi, insist that a detailed review of the syllabus be taken up anyway. “We are not against this uniformity. But the textbooks [as per Samacheer Kalvi] appear shallow. The Class X science textbook, in particular, needs to be improved if the students' foundation has to be strong,” says Uma Ramesh, Principal, TVS Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Madurai.
“In principle, we are for Samacheer Kalvi with a good syllabus at least from the next academic year,” says S. Vijayalakshmi, Headmistress, Masathiyar Corporation Girls Higher Secondary School in Madurai.
Headmaster of Jayaraj Nadar Higher Secondary School, Madurai A.Balachandran says: “The results of IIT and AIEEE prove that our standard has to be raised. It is good to have uniformity but the syllabus followed should be one we are proud of.”

Jayalalithaa re-opens textile processing mill in Erode

Virtual launch: Chief Minister Jayalalithaa re-opening the Tamil Nadu Co-operative Textile Processing Mills Limited in Erode through video-conferencing on Friday. Photo: M. Govarthan
Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Friday re-opened the Tamil Nadu Co-operative Textile Processing Mills here through video-conferencing from Chennai.
The unit was closed early this year as it did not reportedly comply with pollution control norms.
The Chief Minister said about 300 workers and their families would benefit from the re-opening of the mill that was closed during the previous regime of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
The Tamil Nadu pollution Control Board (TNPCB) ordered the closure of the mill in December 2010 and demanded a penalty balance of Rs. 1.11 crore for the delay in the implementation of the Reverse Osmosis and Reject Management System during 2007-2008.
The mill was first closed in December 2010. The mill management approached the Madras High Court by filing a writ petition and got an interim stay on the closure order of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board.
The mill resumed functioning in January 2011.
Subsequently, the High Court dismissed the writ petition and the mill was closed again in February.
The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board insisted that the mill management comply with its orders.
The mill had paid the balance penalty recently and the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board permitted the mill to operate from June.
The mill processes yarn and fabric from the Tamil Nadu Handloom Weavers Co-operative Society Limited (Co-optex) for government uniform schemes, weavers' co-operative societies and private firms.
Processing activities, including bleaching, dyeing, mercerizing, printing and finishing of cotton and synthetic blended fabrics are carried out in the mill.
Public Works Minister K.V. Ramalingam, Handlooms and Textiles Minister B.V. Ramanaa and senior officials were with the Chief Minister when she re-opened the mill.
Collector R. Anandakumar, District Revenue Officer Kumaravel Pandian and senior officials attended the function held on the mill premises here.

DMK general council to meet in July

IN DISCUSSION:DMK president M. Karunanidhi, general secretary K. Anbazhagan and treasurer M.K. Stalin at an emergency meeting of party high level committee at Anna Arivalayam on Friday. Photo: R. Ragu
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's general council will meet in July. The decision was taken at the party high-level committee's emergency meeting on Friday.
DMK president M. Karunanidhi, who chaired the meeting, later told reporters that it was customary for the general council to deliberate on issues regarding the party's tie-up with other parties.
When a reporter asked whether the announcement on the general council meeting could be regarded as a deadline for the party's relationship with the Central government, he retorted: “Why are you so intent on us fixing deadlines for the Centre?”
To another question on the party's defeat in the Assembly elections, he said it was due to the “efforts of some Brahmins.” He emphasised that the 2G spectrum allocation issue was not responsible for the defeat.
The party committee, in one of its resolutions, described as soothing the verdict of the Madras High Court on Equitable Standard Education. It thanked the court and called upon the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government to implement it.
The committee said that if the State government failed to provide immediately a suitable accommodation to the library of the Central Institute of Classical Tamil, it would take further course of action with the support of Tamil scholars.
The party also criticised the AIADMK government for its decisions on the merger of Anna Universities of Technology and withdrawal of the move to revive the Legislative Council. The committee adopted 10 resolutions.