Hazare said allegations against his team were to divert attention from the demand for a strong Lokpal bill and if the Prime Minister feels that foreign powers are behind Team Anna, then it is necessary that he clearly tell the citizens who are those forces
Ralegan Siddhi (Maharashtra): Trashing allegations that his movement against corruption is foreign funded, Anna Hazare on Tuesday hit back at the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) daring Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to spell out which are the external forces behind it, reports PTI.
"It is wrong to call me anti-national. The government says I am a traitor. If I am, then put me in jail," he said.
Addressing a press conference in Ralegan Siddhi, Hazare said allegations against his team were to divert attention from the demand for a strong Lokpal bill and that if anti-corruption crusaders are viewed in this way, it is unfortunate.
"They (ministers) said that there are foreign powers behind Team Anna. They blame us but who are these foreign powers. They did not tell. What foreign power, which country, they did not tell. Such false accusations are not right," he said.
"If the Prime Minister sees the anti-corruption activists as anti-nationals, that is unfortunate for the country. If the Prime Minister feels that foreign powers are behind Team Anna, then it is necessary that he clearly tell the citizens who are those forces," he said.
Hazare said a common person levelling allegations was a different matter but when PMO levels such charges it is serious. "You have such a huge network of intelligence, why don't you work on it," he said.
Though he does not believe that Singh or his family took money in the coal bloc allocations, Hazare, however, added there will be "no smoke without fire" and whether the Prime Minister was "not seeing the smoke".
"It is clear from CAG report that there was huge loss and somebody has been benefitted. Who are they?" he said.
Referring to PMO letter which said Team Anna has not given any evidence, Hazare said the CAG has reported everything. "If there is smoke, then there is some fire. Haven't you seen the fire? You should have understood that there was fire when you saw smoke," he said.
"Punish me if I am guilty," Hazare said, asking the government to show proof of foreign funding in his movement. There is no foreign hand in our agitation, Hazare said.
Hazare denied the charge that his movement had not submitted accounts of expenditure. "We have audited our accounts and posted it on the internet. Your party also collects so many funds, why are you not giving the statement of accounts to the people," he said.
Hazare also rubbished allegations levelled by the MoS in the Prime Minister's Office, V Narayansamy, and ridiculed the minister's statement that he has no will to fight the battle against corruption.
"We were cheated in the standing committee and in Parliament over the draft of Lokpal Bill," he said.
"Two days ago, we were told by the PMO that there is no evidence to substantiate charges against the 14 ministers. We have also sent the files to Sonia Gandhi, so that she can also read it, to see what your ministers are doing," Hazare said.
Hazare said Government's intentions on coming out with a strong Lokpal are not genuine. "The government is dithering on a strong legislation to curb corruption. It's intentions are not genuine," he said.
"The PMO says the Lokpal Bill draft has been prepared in consultation with us, our colleagues. They are misleading people.
"Last year, our draft was ready, the government's draft was ready. They could have tabled both the drafts before the Cabinet. Why was time wasted? It is clear that they lack the will to enact a strong anti-graft Bill and are misleading the people," he said.
After 65 years of Independence, we still follow laws enacted by the British, he said. "What is the need of Official Secrets Act," he added.
"The government is saying... the PMO is saying that many steps have been taken to eradicate corruption. In a democracy, when a legislation is made, people should be taken into confidence. Here, the government is making the draft and also enacting the legislation," he said.
The electoral college for the Presidential poll is 4,896, constituting 776 MPs and 4,120 MLAs, including those from Delhi and Puducherry as well
New Delhi: Election for the next Indian President will take place on 19th July and the new occupant of the Rashtrapati Bhavan will be known on 22nd July, two days before the term of the incumbent Pratibha Patil ends, reports PTI.
Announcing the schedule in the capital, Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath on Tuesday said the notification for poll will be issued on 16th June.
Last date of nomination will be 30th June and date of scrutiny 2nd July, he said, adding nominations can be withdrawn by 4th July.
Polling will take place on 19th July and counting of votes will take place on 22nd July, Sampath told a crowded press conference.
The electoral college for the Presidential poll is 4,896, constituting 776 Members of Parliament and 4,120 Members of Legislative Assemblies, including those of Delhi and Puducherry.
The total value of votes is 10,98,882 with that of MLAs being 5,49,474 and that of MPs being 5,49,408.
Nominated members of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and state Assemblies are not entitled to vote.
The Delhi High Court said security clearance of an aviation company and its officers is required as the potential of an aircraft to carry out 'undesirable and dangerous activities' is higher than other mode of transport
New Delhi: the Government is entitled to withdraw its security clearance to directors of an NRI-held company or the firm itself in the interest of the country which has been subjected to repeated terrorists strikes, the Delhi High Court has held, reports PTI.
In an unusual sitting during vacation, Justice Vipin Sanghi, who is not among the two vacation judges, in his judgement pronounced on Monday, stayed 7th May order by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) suspending the permit of Ravi Rishi-led aviation firm Global Vectra Helicorp Ltd (GVHL) to operate its fleet of 23 choppers.
The court rejected the company's argument that only the directors and the chairman were required to get security clearance but not the firm.
"The requirement of security clearance of the managers-Chairman, Directors, etc of a company or body corporate, where the company is held by NRIs, is to safeguard against the presence of persons with doubtful credentials, who may act against the interests of India," the judge said.
The high court had yesterday stayed the order of the DGCA which had suspended the permit of GVHL to operate its fleet of choppers.
The company's clientele include oil companies and it also caters to tourist travels in northeast India.
The firm also operates flights to major shrines like Vaishno Devi and during the Amarnath Yatra.
Vectra Group is engaged in aviation, heavy engineering, real estate, information and technology and security systems.
The judge said, "India being subjected to repeated terrorist strikes by elements, who are sheltered beyond the boundaries of India, can be taken cognisance of, and, cannot be ignored. There is nothing in the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) to suggest that, apart from the specific officers of the company or body corporate, the company or body corporate itself would not be scrutinised for the purpose of granting security clearance."
The court was hearing Global Vectra's plea against the Union Home Ministry's decision to withdraw its security clearance, leading the DGCA to suspend its operation permit.
The high court said that the security clearance of an aviation firm as well as its officers was required as the potential of an aircraft to carry out "undesirable and dangerous activities" is higher than other mode of transport.
"The operation of any aircraft over the Indian territory is bound to involve internal security aspects. An aircraft has the potential to be used for anti-national activities such as the carrying out of unauthorised surveillance, espionage, attacks, smuggling of contrabands, and for transportation of persons, including fugitives.
"There may be several other undesirable purposes to which an aircraft could be put. The potential of an aircraft to carry out such undesirable and dangerous activities by its very nature, is higher than the other common mode of common transport...," the court said.
Citing some security-related situations, the court said, "Could it be said that the security clearance of such a company cannot be withdrawn, merely because its shareholders/ directors are not found to be of objectionable background, or because their conduct is not found to be objectionable from the public safety point of view? Once again, in my view, the answer has to be in the negative."
The court after going through the Home Ministry's files pertaining to Global Vectra said, "It would tantamount to a surrender of the sovereign power of the State, and failure of performance of one of its most fundamental obligations, if the State were not to act in any of the above situations, or any other appropriate situations, to withdraw the security clearance of the company/body corporate.
"Therefore, I reject the petitioners' submission that no security clearance was required to be obtained by, or granted to the company-Global Vectra, and the security clearance of Global Vectra could not have been withdrawn under any circumstance," the judge said.