‘7 new features, numbering system to check fake currency’

To check the menace of fake Indian currency, new notes, especially the Rs.1,000 and Rs.500 denominations, will have 7 new security features and a new numbering system, official sources here said on Sunday. The Reserve Bank of India subsidiary Bhartiya Note Mudran Pvt Ltd (BRBNMPL) and the state-run Security Printing and Minting Corp are both working to introduce the revised number pattern in currency notes, the source said.

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Estimated loss of Rs 25,000 crore due to strike

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) has estimated a loss of Rs 25,000 crore to the economy due to the all-India strike on Wednesday.

“Financial impact of the disruption of essential services might lead to an estimated loss of over Rs 25,000 crore to the economy thereby taking into account the numerous direct and indirect losses,” Assocham secretary general D.S. Rawat said.

“The strike is likely to hit industrial activity due to poor workers’ attendance, besides footfall in retail trading markets will fall as the walkout will severely impact public transport and with bank employees remaining on strike it will affect operations at the banks,” he added. Normal life was hit in many states on Wednesday as millions of industrial and blue collar employees struck work in the first nationwide protest since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power more than a year ago.

Leaders of central trade unions which called the day-long strike claimed “unprecedented success” as banks, insurance companies and state-run as well as private factories shut across the country. Transport unions and traders too joined the protest in many places, leading to the closure of educational institutions and thin attendance in government offices. “A big jolt would accrue to the export cargo thereby throwing crucial delivery schedule to haywire, besides with exports being under pressure, such things like strike would give a further setback,” Rawat said.

The industry chamber feels the poor daily wage earners will be the worst affected.

“Labour reforms are necessary and the government should intervene to come to an agreeable solution in the interest of the industry and the nation as a whole,” Rawat said.

The strike is in support of 12 demands, including withdrawal of labour law amendments, a minimum wage of Rs.15,000 a month and against privatisation of public sector units. Unions said about 300 million workers were involved in the protest.

“Somehow, the trade unions and other stakeholders need to get a feeling of reassurance that labour reforms are meant to enhance employment opportunities and not take away the jobs and that overall objective is to strengthen jobs because it is only through enhanced consumer power that the industry can grow,” he added.

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‘Sheena, Mikhail my children’

Indrani’s first ‘husband’ resurfaces

Siddhartha Das, who had a live-in relationship with Indrani Mukherjea arrested for murdering her daughter Sheena Bora on Tuesday claimed to be the father of the victim and her brother, Mikhail Bora.

Das, who now lives in Dum Dum on the outskirts of the city, admitted that he never married Indrani and said the “ambitious woman” dumped him and his children as he was not “well off”.

Though he feels it strange to believe if a mother could murder her child, Das said Indrani should be “hanged” if she really murdered Sheena.

Having met Indrani in Shillong through common friends in 1986, Das said he was in a live-in relationship with her till 1989 when she left.

“We did not marry; she was in a college in Shillong and lived in the city. Through common friends we came to know each other. Then we had a live in relationship and I stayed at her residence. Her parent accepted our relationship.

“Sheena was born in 1987 and Mikhail in 1988. Sometime later after our son’s birth, she dumped me,” said Das who later moved to Arunachal Pradesh and subsequently settled in Kolkata in 1998.

Describing Indrani as “highly ambitious”, Das said she dumped him as he could not afford the high life she yearned for.

Das, who last spoke to Sheena when she was in class 10, said he didn’t want to rake up the past as the reason for not keeping in touch with his children.

“I last spoke to Sheena when she was in class 10. I never interacted with Mikhail. I was settled in Kolkata, happily married, so I didn’t want to rake up the past,” he said.

“Shocked and heartbroken” over his daughter’s murder, Das, who came to know about the incident only through the media, said he wanted the murderers to be punished and offered helping out in the investigations.

“I am heartbroken upset. I want all those involved to be punished. I am ready to cooperate with the investigation. I have nothing to hide so I am more than willing to help the police,” he said.

Asked if he believed Indrani could murder, Das said, “It feels strange to believe that a mother can kill her child…But there is a possibility a person driven by greed for money can do anything. If she has done it then should be hanged.”

Das also said he never kept track of Indrani after she left him.

“Since 1989 when she dumped me and my children, it has been a close chapter. I made no efforts to know what she was doing. To whom she was married.

“My wife and son are now aware about my past but they have said they are not bothered by it,” added Das.

Das’ wife claimed that she had no knowledge about her husband’s past life.

“I have been married to Das for 16-17 years. I didn’t know anything about his past and I have nothing to do with his past,” she said.

Indrani, wife of former media honcho Peter Mukherjea, Sanjeev Khanna, her ex-husband and her driver are behind bars for the murder of Sheena Bora.

Meanwhile, Mumbai police are expected to grill Das for more clues to the Sheena Bora murder case that has created countrywide buzz.

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SC stays CBI probe against Arunachal CM

The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the Gauhati High Court order directing a CBI probe against Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki for alleged corruption in awarding state contracts to his family members.

An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice H.L. Dattu also issued notice to the Arunachal government and the private party on whose PIL the high court had directed the Central Bureau of Investigation probe.

The court’s order came as senior counsel Harish Salve, appearing for Tuki, sought to question the high court’s August 20 order.

It has been alleged that Tuki awarded contracts without inviting tenders when he was the minister for works.

HC poser to Dispur: What have you done to curb bandhs?

The Gauhati High Court has asked the Assam government to submit an affidavit on the steps taken to curb bandh culture in the State.

Hearing a PIL, a division bench of Chief Justice (acting) K Shreedhar Rao and Justice PK Saikia asked the State government to submit the affidavit to the court on or before Friday, senior advocate Bhaskar Dev Konwar said.

Several PILs have been filed in the court against the prevailing bandh culture which has infringed on the fundamental rights of citizens.

Taking up two such PILs in January, 2010, the Guwahati High Court had declared as illegal all bandhs in Assam and Meghalaya, saying it is violation of the fundamental rights of citizens.

A division bench of Chief Justices J Chelameswar and A C Upadhyay had passed the judgment on two PILs filed in Guwahati and in Shillong.

The bench had directed the Assam Government to take steps for preventing infringement of fundamental rights of citizens on account of bandhs.

Assam has witnessed a never-ending succession of bandhs for the last two decades. Almost every other day, some or the other part of the State has been under the purview of a bandh.

In 2012, the High Court had asked the state government to set up a consistent policy to deal with the prevailing bandh culture in the State.

The High Court order came on a PIL filed by a businessman. The petitioner had pleaded for the State government to set up a compensation fund for people who had suffered loss and injury to person or property due to bandhs.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had often pledged to enforce the guidelines of the Supreme Court on bandhs and to take effective steps to compensate for the damages incurred by bandhs, but in reality nothing of such sort has happened.

(Source) The Sentinel Assam – The Largest Media group of North-East India — focused on news publishing. Combined circulation of the group is over 120,000 newspapers per day, making it the largest newspaper group in the region. The Sentinel is the only English daily in the Northeast India with five editions published simultaneously from Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Shillong, Silchar and Itanagar. For all local, news from Assam, national and international news please visit  http://www.sentinelassam.com/

Dispur finds work culture ‘unworkable’

Jatin Hazarika Commission’s report gathering dust for a decade

The lahe lahe work culture in Assam has often raised the hackles of many in the State. But the Tarun Gogoi-led government seems to be least bothered in changing the attitude of government  employees in improving public services.

Ten years after the Jatin Hazarika Commission of administrative reforms submitted its report, several recommendations continue to remain in the file, even as poor work culture in the State continues to hold back and negate government work in different sectors.

The intent of the State government, while constituting the Jatin Hazarika Commission in 2002, had appeared good. But when it came to implementing the recommendations, which were made in 2005, the government developed cold feet.

Nearly a dozen recommendations made by the commission have not been implemented in the ten years that have passed, including some pathbreaking suggestions that could have had a far reaching impact on the functioning of State government offices.

Some of the key suggestions that remain on papers till date are:

*     Giving of awards and certificates to proficient employees

*    Provision for Annual Confidential Reports in sync with ISO 9000

*    Display of list of employees in the offices along with names of their seniors to whom they are answerable. And every day, the employee must interact with his senior (the person he is answerable to ) at least once directly

*    A job chart of all employees to be displayed in the office

*    The total number of second and fourth Saturday holidays should not exceed 90 days in a year (currently it is 104 days)

*    Introduction of the desk-office system which will stipulate the maximum time a file can be in a particular table.

*    All processed files can be made available to the service-seeker at the Gana Sewa Bhavan in front of the State secretariat.

*    Decentralization of power till the block level

*    Incentives for employees posted in border areas.

*    Upgradation of the border areas development directorate to the level of a commissionerate.

It is clear the Tarun Gogoi government has neither the will nor the sincerity in imposing discipline and work culture in the State government workforce. Government employees therefore continue with their merry old ways, most of them shirking work and being accountable to no one. This is making a mockery of public services which people of the State are entitled to by right.

(Source) The Sentinel Assam – The Largest Media group of North-East India — focused on news publishing. Combined circulation of the group is over 120,000 newspapers per day, making it the largest newspaper group in the region. The Sentinel is the only English daily in the Northeast India with five editions published simultaneously from Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Shillong, Silchar and Itanagar. For all local, news from Assam, national and international news please visit  http://www.sentinelassam.com/

Include the poor, ensure speedier trials: Gogoi

“Our Constitution has guaranteed every citizen the right to Justice – Social, Economic and Political. Here lies the importance of an efficient justice delivery system. Unless we ensure proper justice delivery to our citizens, we will not be able to harvest the fruits of democracy,” said Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi at the Joint Conference of Chief Ministers of the States and Chief Justices of the High Courts, organized by the Ministry of Law and Justice, Department of Judiciary at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on Sunday.

Welcoming the initiative to bring in synergy between the Executive and the Judiciary, Chief Minister Gogoi underscored the need to create an atmosphere where the two pillars of the Government work in tandem ‘to ensure justice delivery to our citizens and fulfill the basic aim of our Constitution to secure justice to all’.

Gogoi stressed on the need to ensure the marginalized sections of the society get access to justice. “Any attempt to improve the justice delivery system without giving emphasis to accessibility by the marginalized sections of society is itself an injustice. We must ensure that the poorest of the poor can access the doors of justice even at the highest level,” he added.

Expressing concern over the alarming rate of pendency of cases owing to delay in delivery of justice, he said, “Our synergy must be directed towards innovation of new ways that will enable clearing of backlog of pending cases and ensure speedy justice to our citizens.”

The Chief Minister, while emphasizing on quality judgment, called for proper training of judicial officers. In this context, he laid stress on time-bound implementation of e-court project to ‘bring about sea-changes in the justice delivery system.’

Gogoi underscored the need to bring in innovative legislations, both operational as well as structural in the Judiciary, to cater to the needs and aspirations of the society in tune with changing surroundings. In this context, he welcomed the recent initiative to bring in the Commercial Divisions and Commercial Appellate Divisions in the High Courts and Commercial Courts Bill, 2015.

Dwelling at length on the slew of initiatives taken by the State government to strengthen judicial infrastructure and manpower that include sanctioning of 36 new courts, converting 20 ad-hoc fast track courts to regular courts, sanctioning of 54 new fast track courts for trial of offences against women, and doubling the number of courts at subordinate levels, Gogoi said the new infrastructure in place has resulted in steady decline in the pendency of cases over the years. “Pendency of cases is steadily declining even though there is increase in the institution of fresh cases. This is definitely an encouraging sign. However, there is no scope for complacency, as we have a long road ahead to deliver justice to the litigants by disposing of cases in a time-bound manner,” he added.

Chief Minister Gogoi urged the Central government to grant a special package to Northeastern States, including Assam, for overall development of justice delivery system in the region.

(Source) The Sentinel Assam – The Largest Media group of North-East India — focused on news publishing. Combined circulation of the group is over 120,000 newspapers per day, making it the largest newspaper group in the region. The Sentinel is the only English daily in the Northeast India with five editions published simultaneously from Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Shillong, Silchar and Itanagar. For all local, news from Assam, national and international news please visit  http://www.sentinelassam.com/