Citizens' Issues
Patna High Court strikes down Bihar liquor ban
The Patna High Court on Friday struck down the liquor ban imposed by the Nitish Kumar administration in April.
 
A high court bench, after hearing a petition against the ban, termed it "illegal".
 
The court also criticised the stringent provisions in Bihar's new excise law.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Karma ensures that poetic justice doesn't just happen in stories (The Funny Side)
Uh-oh. My son, after spending his whole life in Mario world picking up rows of spinning gold coins, is about to step into the real world. I'm worried the shock may traumatise him. ("Dad, where's all the money? All the gold coins that are supposed to be lying around?" "Er, the Pokemon took it.")
 
Most adults fail to teach youngsters enough about reality. I make my kids watch old movies and explain to them that there were no special effects and we had to actually shoot, stab and run over bad guys all the time. "In the original 1977 Star Wars they had to blow up a planet, which is why old books list nine planets but new ones have eight."
 
One good thing about kids' appetite for movies and games is that they learn that bad guys always end up suffering poetic justice, something that those of us in the news business know happens remarkably often in real life, too.
 
In the newspaper recently was a report about a man in Pennsylvania who was annoyed that his neighbour's big old tree dripped sap on his car. The angry man used a chainsaw to chop the tree down -- and it fell right on top of his house, wrecking it. The formal scientific term for this kind of thing is "Karma strikes again".
 
Karma also seems to have been present in the case of a US prisoner who made a deathbed confession. Dying of a heart attack, James Washington of Tennessee told a police officer that he had "to get something off my conscience" and revealed that he had killed a woman 17 years earlier. Karma arranged for his miraculous recovery to full health for his new 51-year jail sentence for murder.
 
And you probably noticed that when Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt announced that they were getting divorced, his ex-wife Jennifer Aniston made one comment: "That's karma." She clearly believed that the God or more likely Goddess of Karma noticed that Ms. Jolie stole her husband 11 years ago and waited patiently to arrange an implosion in her family. It does seem to be true that cosmic justice can operate rather slowly; so my advice is to keep a list of hoped-for victims in case reminders are needed.
 
The interesting thing is that karma often uses human hands to do its work. An internet viral video shows the view from a motorcyclist's helmet. Every time she sees a motorist throw garbage out of a car window, she picks it up, zooms along the road to catch up with the driver, and throws it back in -- in one case, a bag containing the remnants of a fast food meal explodes satisfyingly over the driver's lap.
 
But the people who suffer most from karma are those who attempt to educate others. We are instantly punished for making any ill-judged remark. Me: "There's no such thing as a stupid question." Student: "Did snakes evolve from ropes?" Student 2: "Did Shakespeare write anything in English?" Student 3: "Is there gravity in Australia?" Me: "Okay I'm wrong."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Rs 20,000-cr plan to ease pressure on Mumbai suburban train system
Mulling major makeover for the much-stressed Mumbai suburban train system, the Central Railway is studying an ambitious Rs 20,000-crore plan to improve services. This includes acquisition of 150 new rakes, introduction of additional routes and provision of adequate parking lines.
 
Central Railway General Manager Akhil Agrawal told media at the Mumbai Press Club on Thursday that the Central Railway has already taken various steps like increasing frequency of trains and introducing 12-coach rakes. This has resulted in fall in deaths on tracks due to various reasons over the past eight months to 1,414 from 2,187 during the previous year.
 
Agrawal said he was studying the report of a committee on improving suburban services in the metropolis and will soon take an appropriate decision.
 
The committee, formed at the instance of Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu who was shocked after a video clip of an accidental death near Thane went viral, notes that 10 people die daily on CR tracks and the basic reason for this is the huge demand-supply gap.
 
The committee has warned that the situation with the existing stock can be "explosive" by 2030 as the number of casualties will multiply manifold due to open doors of tghe coaches. It has underlined the need for CR trains to have air-conditioning and door closers. 
 
The interaction was part of Mumbai Press Club Knowledge Series programme, powered by Public Relations Council of India (PRCI).
 
Quoting from the report, PRCI National President B.N. Kumar said CR works at 400+ per cent capacity on normal days and at times even exceeds 800+ per cent capacity. The committee called for additional exclusive platforms to handle suburban trains, new trains to bridge the gap, and stabling lines to help double the services.
 
The panel envisages that half of the projected investment is to go for acquiring new rakes, while the stabling lines or parking places for trains to reduce piling up of rakes -- akin to bumper-to-bumper road traffic -- will be developed on self-financing basis.
 
Responding to questions on parking or stabling lines, Agrawal said there was a space constraint in Mumbai city area. Hence the Railway is looking at areas like Thane, Kalyan and even beyond. "We are making provision for new rakes as we acquire them," he said.
 
Agrawal said punctuality on the suburban network rose by two per cent due to the improvement in the working of the system. "We are continuously monitoring and taking steps to plug loopholes," he said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
  

 

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