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Indain army chief sues govt: Matter of honor, not tenure

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January 16, 2012


The Army Chief VK Singh said it was a battle for honour and integrity not tenure.

Remember, this is the first time that an army chief has taken the government to court.

17:59   Army chief VK Singh takes govt to court over age row! :  

Just in: In first for this country, Army chief VK Singh takes the government to court over the age row controversy.  Singh filed a writ petition in court.  

The Army Chief has two sets of date of birth in official records. While the Adjutant General's branch records it to be May 10, 1951, the Military Secretary branch has May 10, 1950 in its data.

On December 30, the Defence Ministry had turned down Gen Singh's plea to change his date of birth to May 10, 1951 which would have given him an extra ten months in office. The Defence Ministry had dismissed the Army Chief's plea twice on the basis of three opinions given by the Attorney General.

17:55  Ramdev supporters clash with Cong workers outside AICC :  

If you haven't read the papers over the weekend, here's what you missed on Baba Ramdev.

Angry over the attack on Ramdev, his followers today gathered outside Congress headquarters here and threw black ink on Sonia Gandhi's poster, triggering a clash between Congressmen and supporters of the yoga guru. Some people under the banner of Yuva Bharat Kisan Panchayat gathered outside the Congress headquarters at 24, Akbar Road to protest the throwing of ink on the yoga guru here two days ago.

They shouted slogans against party chief Sonia Gandhi and leaders Rahul Gandhi and Digvijay Singh and said they will not allow anyone to defame religious leaders. Some of the protesters then threw black ink on a poster
with Sonia's image.

17:51  Mrityunjoy Kumar Jha on Twitter: PPP Sources: PM will appear in the court on 19th and unconditional apology will be given.
17:49  The Pakistan Supreme Court adjourns the memogate hearing to January 24 from the earlier date of January 19. Gilani will appear in the SC to explain his stand on Jan 19.
17:23  Nehru jacket on Time list of global fashion statement:  

The stylish Nehru jacket, made popular by India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, has been listed among the 'top 10 global political fashion statements' by Time magazine.


17:20  Chetan Bhagat's books better than sex?:  

Must be a first in Indian publishing -- Chetan Bhagat's erotic promotion of his book, Revolution 2020. Watch the video on

17:13  Babri demolition just an incident, nothing famous: SC:  

The Babri Masjid demolition is just an incident and there is nothing famous or infamous about it, the Supreme Court today said while listing CBI's plea for
levelling charges of criminal conspiracy against senior BJP leader L K Advani, Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray and 18 others to March 27.

"What is famous about it. It was an incident which happened and parties are before us. It is not famous or infamous," a bench of Justices H L Dattu and C K Prasad said when the Additional Solicitor General said at the beginning of
the proceeding that the matter is related to "famous" Babri Masjid demolition case.

17:11  Cruise ship rescue operations suspended for now:  

The search for survivors and victims aboard the partially sunken cruise ship Costa Concordia was temporarily suspended Monday because the vessel began to move, said the mayor of the nearby island of Giglio, Sergio Ortelli.

Read more on

17:06  'It was as if Gilani was expecting the court's order':  

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani did not seem surprised when TV channels flashed news of the Supreme Court issuing a contempt notice to him today while he was in a meeting with three opposition leaders. 

Gilani was holding a meeting with opposition leaders Qazi Hussain Ahmed of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao of the PPP-S and Mehmood Achakzai of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party.

Sherpao later told the media that Gilani did not appear to have been taken by surprise by the apex court's order when the news was flashed on TV news channels. "It was as if he was expecting the court's order," he said.

The opposition leaders told Gilani that he should implement the Supreme Court's orders and end the confrontation between state institutions, Sherpao said. 


Rezaul Hasan Laskar: PPP considering option whereby PM Gilani doesn't quit but apologises to Supreme Court. Qamar Zaman Kaira & Khursheed Shah of PPP & Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi tipped for post of PM if Gilani quits.

So far, Gilani met allies and president Zardari ahead even as the SC slapped a contempt notice against him.

16:49  Pak PM offers to quit ahead of crucial trust vote in Parl:  Just in: Pakistan PM Yousaf Raza Gilani has offered to resign after meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari. Gilani, post the meeting says he will quit if Parliament wants him to. The Parliament meets for the trust vote at 6 pm today.
16:45  Not one Dalit has benefitted from Maya's reign: Digvijaya:  

Amid the ongoing strategies adopted by the leaders of various political outfits to establish a firm reputation in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh on Monday charged state chief minister and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati of failing to protect the interest of the Dalits.

Digvijay Singh said Mayawati has lost her credibility among the Dalits because she has not done anything other than looting the people over the past five years.

"Not one Dalit has benefited in her reign. Moreover in her native village of Badalpur on one side, she is constructing her farmhouse in an area of 100 acre with walls as high as 25 feet and Dalits in the same area are still living in huts," he added.

16:38  Zardari biggest thief, govt sabotaging courts: Imran :  Calling President Asif Ali Zardari the "biggest thief', Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan said that the government is sabotaging the courts in order to hide its 'thefts'. Read
16:19  Rezaul Hasan Laskar: PM Gilani has met Pres Zardari; now chairing meeting with PPP's coalition partners, Pres Zardari has joined meeting too.
16:17  Gilani, Zardari stand alone, entire nation with SC: Imran:  

By the way, if you've missed it, this is what former cricketer and now politician Imran Khan says of the contempt notice on Pak PM Gilani. "The entire nation is with the Supreme Court."

Read the Dawn, Pakistan: Of messiahs and all...

16:11  Sania crashes out of Australian Open women's singles:  

In other news: India's challenge in the singles event of the season's first Grand Slam was over in just an hour and 28 minutes as Sania Mirza went down to Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova in straight sets in the first round of the
Australian Open here today.

Coming back from a knee injury, Sania showed glimpses of fightback against Pironkova but that did not prove to be enough as the world No. 105 Indian went down 4-6 2-6.


The all-party meeting in Pakistan is at 5 pm IST.

The Pakistan National Assembly (Parliament) meets at 6 pm IST.

16:06  The editorial on the Dawn: What lies ahead for Pakistan.
16:05  A blog on the Dawn that caught our attention: Perceived as evil: Pakistan, US, Israel & China. Read
16:01  Why India-China talks never make any progress:  On China's Special Envoy for boundary talks with India, Dai Bingguo, is in New Delhi for the Special Representative (SR) level talks with his counterpart, Shivshankar Menon. Read
15:59  Is it time to let get Twinkies disappear into the horizon?:  

For all of us who have grown up with Archie comics and advertisements of Twinkies Hostess cupcakes, here's some news: When Hostess filed for bankruptcy last week, many Americans fretted over the fate of their snack cakes. But knowing what we now do about processed foods, Steve Ettlinger, author of the book Twinkie, Deconstructed, asks: Is it time to let go?

The storyon the Daily Beast


On the army chief age controversy, read this story on the Telegraph, Calcutta: Lost, a year and a face.


15:52  Age row not affecting Def Min-armed forces ties: Navy Chief:  

The row over Army Chief General V K Singh's date of birth is not affecting the working relationship between the armed forces and the Defence Ministry
in anyway, Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma said today. 

"No, why should it.. I mean why do you have these doubts," Admiral Verma -- the senior most serving officer among the three services said today.

Asked whether Gen Singh had discussed the issue with him, Verma refused to comment saying, "Army Chief himself has made a statement saying that its a personal matter which he is pursuing as he deems fits."

The Army Chief has two sets of date of birth in official records. While the Adjutant General's branch records it to be May 10, 1951, the Military Secretary branch has May 10, 1950 in its data.

On December 30, the Defence Ministry had turned down Gen Singh's plea to change his date of birth to May 10, 1951 which would have given him an extra ten months in office. The Defence Ministry had dismissed the Army Chief's plea twice on the basis of three opinions given by the Attorney General.

15:29  Pak coalition partners meet with PM:  

Here's what the Dawn says:

A meeting of coalition partners was called by the government at the Prime Minister's House on Monday, DawnNews reported. According to sources, the meeting was expected to discuss the contempt of court notice issued by the Supreme Court against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.


15:24  Gilani meets Zardari ahead of trust vote drama in Parl :  

Pakistan PM Yousaf Raza Gilani, who was served a contempt notice by the Supreme Court is meeting President Asif Ali Zardari to discuss the notice ahead of the crucial trust vote in Parliament today.

The PM also met the Opposition before the meeting with Zardari.

15:21  'India to exercise nuke option only if attacked by n-weapons':  

Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma today said the country will exercise the option of carrying out nuclear strikes if somebody does the "foolhardy" act of
attacking it with atomic weapons. 

"Only time this (India using nuclear weapons) could happen is when somebody who possesses nuclear weapons does something as foolhardy as to use them. That will be the only occasion when our country would be involved in (its) utilisation," the Navy Chief said today.

15:09  On Twitter: Ashley Judd [actress]: So glad to read all the love the great Morgan Freeman is recieivng after his Cecil B DeMille Award. Divine man, gifted artist, icon.
15:08  120 rescue personnel dive into wreakage of luxury liner:  

Updates on the shipwrecked Costa Concordia at Italy. Rescuers have been braving cold and darkness to scour listing cruise ship. Read more on


Also read: What caused the cruise ship disaster?

15:02  George Clooney mocks injured Brad Pitt at Golden Globes :  

George Clooney poked fun at an injured Brad Pitt, who is also a fellow Golden Globe Awards nominee. Before presenting a clip of Brad's movie Moneyball, the actor hobbled on stage with a walking stick, and was met with raucous laughter from the audience, the Daily Mail reported.

He had been mimicking his pal Brad, 48, who has had to walk with the aid of a cane since acquiring a knee injury. "I have to give it back to him," Clooney joked while using the black cane in jest. "He can't make it to the bar otherwise," he said. Both actors are up for honors in the best actor in a drama category.


With due respect, Meryl Streep did look like she was going to have a stroke when her name was announced as the winner. The sad thing about actors is you never know when an emotion is real.

14:59  How do the ladies of the Golden Globes drip in diamonds?:  

Every actress at the Golden Globes today took her best friend along -- diamonds. Neckalces, earrings, bracelets, nominees and winners dazzled and not just for their wit on stage. Yet, most of them don't own those stones. For everyone who wants to know how those jewels land on the red carpet, click here.

And on Who were the most beautiful women at the Golden Globes? Vote!


Pic: Charlize Theron at the Globes

14:45  On the New York Times India blogs: Why a severe shortage of faculty members could put the brakes on education. Read
14:37  Must read: Why there are better targets for outrage than Jeremy Clarkson -- the Dirty Picture -- for instance.  
14:25  Priyanka battles for UP with secret code, flying squads :  

Here's what happened during Priyanka Gandhi's tour of the Congress strongholds Amethi and Rae Bareli today.

Priyanka today told party workers to bury internal differences for the party's success while making it clear that groupism will not be tolerated. To keep a watch on groupism, flying squad teams would be constituted at the village level which would be known by a secret code, Priyanka, who began her three-day tour of Amethi and Rae Bareli, told the workers of Tiloi Assembly segment.

"Time is very short, party workers should reach people in villages and inform the electorate about welfare schemes of Congress and UPA government and muster support for party candidates," she said.



Is scarcity making women more valuable? On the WSJ.


Rush of reads from the Wall Street Journal:


Is India's $50 computer tablet really getting shelved?


Also see: A refreshing take on Aakash by's Syed Firdaus Ashraf: Why I regret buying the Aakash

14:02  Madhuri Dixit-Nene: Had fun flying kites with the kids for Makar Sankranti!

Farrukh Khan Pitafi tweets: Here starts the chorus of orgasmic screams. O bhai it is a notice not a verdict on contempt.


On the Pakistan SC contempt notice to Pak PM Gilani.

13:57  Mayawati cleans up dirty picture: Drops 100 sitting MLAs:  

In other news:

Under attack from opposition parties over the corruption issue and to present a clean image before voters, the BSP has denied tickets to nearly half of its sitting MLAs for the coming Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls. 

"The party has dropped around 100 sitting MLAs, including ministers, from its list of candidates released by party supremo Mayawati yesterday," a senior party functionary said.

13:47  Explain why you defied court orders, Gilani told:  

Update on the story of the contempt notice on Gilani: The order was issued by a seven-judge bench led by justice Nasir-ul-Mulk that today began hearing the case related to the apex court's orders for reopening high-profile graft cases against Zardari and over 8,000 others.

The bench directed Gilani to personally appear in court to explain why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him for deliberately disregarding the court's orders.

The bench noted that the Supreme Court had issued directions to the government several times to implement its orders regarding the reopening of graft cases. However, the government had deliberately not acted on these orders, it contended. The court's order is expected to lead to a fresh confrontation between the government and the judiciary at a time when the ruling Pakistan People's Party is engaged in a bruising row with the military over the memo scandal. 

A Supreme Court-appointed panel is also probing the memo issue and held a hearing today that remained inconclusive. The Supreme Court issued the order against the premier after the government's top law officer informed it that he hadreceived no instructions regarding the order to reopen the corruption cases.

13:38  Hit-and-run Pereira surrenders, to begin 3-yr jail term :  

Just in: Alistair Perira has surrendered before the a Mumbai court. On January 12, the Supreme Court upheld the three-year term awarded to him for mowing down seven people in 2006 when he was driving in an inebriated state.

Details of that case on

13:26  SC orders contempt charges against Pak PM Gilani:  

Just in: Pakistan PM Yousaf Raza Gilani has been slapped with a contempt of court notice by the Supreme Court. Hew will have to personally appear before the court on January 19. A repeat of what happened in 1997 when Nawaz Sharif was the PM.

Gilani has refused to implement the SC order to reopen graft cases.


Our Delhi correspondent also tells us that four former chief election commissioners have jointly asked the UPA2 leadership about the workings of the Election Commission that have been torn apart by innumberable controversies including that of a nonbailable warrant against a deputy election commissioner in charge of Uttar Pradesh. They also suggested an eminent persons group select CEC as being done in the case of CVC. 

13:09  BJP may field tainted duo Yeddy, Kushwaha for Rajya Sabha:  

Our Delhi correspondent writes in to say that the BJP will host a makar sankranti lunch for its leaders where the media is also invited. At 3 pm today, the BJP will release its list of candidates for Uttar Pradesh. Political circles are rife with rumours that that the BJP might field B S Yeddyurappa and Babu Singh Kushwaha to the Rajya Sabha in March from Karnataka and UP respectively.

As an aside, a union Minister has sent an email to Vice President Hamid Ansari asking him to avoid attending a function today organised  by a leading English daily newspaper. 

13:03  No place in lifeboat for us, say surivivors of Italian cruiseship:  The survivors from the Costa Concordia came from many different countries including Britain, France, South Africa and the USA. Many of them have extraordinary stories of how they escaped. On the Watch
13:02  Fourteen still missing from Italian ship disaster:  

Update on the cruise shipwreck.

Rescue workers searched the half submerged hulk of a capsized Italian cruise ship for 14 people still missing Monday, more than 48 hours after the huge vessel capsized, killing at least six and injuring more than 60.

More on reuters

12:54  Ashton Kutcher tweets about sleepover with new girl :  

In other news:

Ashton Kutcher has instigated dating rumors after calling screenwriter Lorene Scafaria "my girl' in his latest tweet. The 33-yer-old's publicists had dismissed reports of a relationship between the two last year after Kutcher took Scafaria to Pisa, Italy on vacation shortly after his wife Demi Moore announced their marriage was over.

The screenwriter, who had previously dated The OC star Adam Brody, also spent time with Kutcher at the Yellowstone Club ski resort in Montana last month and they were spotted holding hands over a romantic lunch on Christmas Eve.

However, Kutcher's spokesperson had insisted, "They're just friends.'

12:45  Inflation in 2-yr low means your food bill should fall:  

Headline inflation fell to a two-year low of 7.47 per cent in December 2011 on cheaper food items, a factor which may prompt the Reserve Bank to cut
policy rates in the upcoming review. Headline inflation, as measured by Wholesale Price Index (WPI), had stood at 9.11 per cent in November. It was 9.45 per cent in the same month of 2010.
The latest numbers are the lowest since December 2009 when headline inflation was at 7.15 per cent.

12:26  Polls = Priyanka. Cong wields brahmastra in UP:  

The Congress pulled out its trump card today with Priyanka Gandhi beginning her tour of the party strongholds Amethi and Rae Bareli. She met with party workers to devise a strategy for the upcoming UP Assembly polls.

Priyanka, who arrived this morning, is holding parleys with workers of her brother Rahul Gandhi's constituency at the Sanjay Gandhi Hospital Guest House here. 

She is meeting workers upto the block level and assembly segment wise to devise a strategy for the coming polls, Congress sources said. Besides party nominees, block and nyay panchayat level workers, youth Congress, Seva Dal, Mahila Congress workers are taking part in the meeting. 

Priyanka, 40, who is expected to take over the campaign in these two areas as Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi would be busy electioneering elsewhere, would be finalising the party strategy for the polls in the state, she said.

12:16  Move forward, Mr Dhoni...:  

Advice for MS Dhoni and team after their spectacular Test series loss in Australia from Andy 'Brien in the Telegraph, Calcutta: The Let go of that cockiness and arrogance, accept what is obvious & move forward. Read


Incidentally, Andy, who use to work for Sportsworld, then edited by Mansur Ali Khan 'Tiger' Pataudi, has a younger brother, the Trinamool MP Derek.

12:07  Italy cruise tragedy sparks memories of Titanic:  The first interviews of survivors -- and the first impressions of people across the world -- of the ill-fated Costa Concordia cruise liner that ran aground and tipped over in Italy are yielding predictable comparisons to another tragedy. Read on the Huffington Post.
12:03  Just in: Headline inflation drops sharply to 7.47 per cent in December 2011 against 9.11 per cent in November.

Watch: Nicole Kidman, Freida Pinto... on the Red Carpet at the Golden Globes, on Click here

11:41  6th body found in shipwreck off Italy, 300 Indians safe :  

Update on the Italian shipwreck. Debabrata Saha, Indian enovy to Italy says all 300 Indian passenges are safe. The toll so far is 6 dead, 15 missing. The company operating a cruise ship that capsized after hitting rocks off western Italy on Friday says the captain may have "committed errors".

He appears to have sailed too close to land and not to have followed the company's emergency procedures, Costa Crociere said in a statement. Capt Francesco Schettino is suspected of manslaughter, but denies wrongdoing, reports the  

11:38  Must reads on the Pakistan crisis:  

Just in: Hussain Haqqani's lawyer sayy US businessman Mansoor Ijaz will not be coming to Pakistan.

Right now, the Pakistan memo commission is holding a hearing on the memogate scandal.

Read: Najam Sethi's piece in the Friday Times, Pakistan: Three days that shook Pakistan


Also read...

Bad blood, defiance and acrimony: The Pakistan government has landed itself in a situation where the army, the judiciary, the opposition and Imran Khan have a common interest in its exit. By Imtiaz Gul in the Friday Times.

11:30  6th body found in shipwrecked liner, all 300 Indians safe :  

Just in: Italian news agency reports a 6th body found in cruise ship shipwrecked off the Tuscan coast.

Also see our 11:14 am post: Was the captain of shipwrecked cruise liner showing off?

11:22  Just in: The Allahabad High Court has reserved its verdict in the Bhatta Parsaul case till March since the order could become a poll issue.  
11:20  BlackBerry refuses to share memogate data with Pak govt:  

Right now, the Pakistan memogate commission is meeting on the scandal that this threatening to push the country into further chaos.

While Mansoor Ijaz's counsel says he is getting threat calls, there are claims that his lawyer may not even have a formal letter authorising him to act on behalf of Ijaz.

Meanwhile, BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has said it will not release data regarding a memo that said President Asif Ali Zardari had feared a military coup last year, it was reported here.

Geo News reported that the BlackBerry maker has refused to release data related to the memo that led to the stepping down of the country's US envoy Husain Haqqani and a festering row between the military and the political leadership.

The phone manufacturer, based in Canada, has said that their privacy laws prohibit disclosure of a customer's data to any other party without the consent of the parties concerned, hence Pakistan cannot have the information.

11:14  Was the captain of shipwrecked cruise liner showing off?:  

Disturbing claim that cruise ship sailed close to rocks to salute a fellow officer on shore.

The captain of the ill-fated Costa Concordia was delivering a 'salute' to a friend on shore when he  sailed into disaster, it was claimed last night.

Francesco Schettino, 52, has been arrested on suspicion of multiple manslaughter and abandoning ship when the cruise liner ran aground after sustaining a 160ft gash in the port-side hull -- leaving at least five dead and 15 missing.

Italian investigators are working on the theory that the 390million vessel sailed close to the island of Giglio to greet an officer from the Italian merchant navy who was friendly with those on the Concordia.

More on the Daily Mail

11:08  Subramanian Swamy questioned in inflammatory article case:  

Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy was today questioned by Delhi Police in connection with a case of writing an "inflammatory article" in
a newspaper. 

Swamy, accompanied by lawyers, reached the inter-state cell of Delhi Police's Crime Branch here at around 11 am.

The Janata Party chief has been granted interim protection till January 30 by the Delhi High Court against his possible arrest in the case. Delhi High Court had on Friday last granted interim protection to Swamy and asked him to give an undertaking that he would not write such articles in the future. The court also
issued notice to the Delhi Police, seeking its response to Swamy's anticipatory bail plea. 

Delhi Police had on October three registered a case of spreading enmity between communities against Swamy for his remarks suggesting revoking of voting rights of Muslims.

11:05  On Twitter: Rezaul Hasan Laskar: It now emerges that Mansoor Ijaz's lawyer may not even have a formal letter authorising him to act on behalf of Ijaz.
11:04  Meanwhile, former telcom minister Sukhram and two others have got bail in a 1993 telecom scam.
10:56  Memogate bizman Ijaz seeks time till Jan 25 :  

Controversial Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, who triggered a storm in the country's political circles by making public the secret memo, has sought time till January 25 to testify before the commission. 

Tensions between the government and the military reached a peak last week after Gilani said the army and intelligence chiefs had acted in an "unconstitutional and illegal" manner by filing affidavits on the memo issue in the Supreme Court without getting the government's approval. 

The military rebuked Gilani, saying his remarks could have "grievous consequences".

Gilani retaliated the same day by sacking Defence Secretary Lt Gen (retired) Khalid Naeem Lodhi, a confidant of Kayani, saying he had created  misunderstandings over the memo issue.

10:47  Headlines this morning:  

Army chief: Nuclear weapons only for strategic deterrence (The Times of India)

While India has a declared commitment of "no first-use", its nuclear doctrine does hold that "nuclear retaliation to a first strike will be massive. Read


Day of reckoning: SC may decide fate of Zardari, Gilani (The Times of India)

The fate of Pakistan's embattled leaders, including president Asif Ali Zardari, could be decided when the supreme court takes up the memo scandal and high-profile graft cases tomorrow even as the beleagured government turned to parliament for support, amid indications that the powerful military would rally behind the apex court. Read


Delhi High Court to hear Google-Facebook petition (Hindustan Times)
The Delhi High Court will hear the petition filed by Google and Facebook challenging the trial court's order to prosecute them for objectionable content. 21 companies faced legal action for offences of promoting enmity between classes after the government granted sanction to prosecute them on Friday. Read


George Clooney, Meryl Streep best actors at Golden Globes (Hindustan Times)
The 69th Golden Globe Awards this year had some starry names like George Clooney, Kate Winslet, Meryl Streep and Madonna landing major honours and 'The Descendants' taking home the Best Motion Picture prize. Read


India-China talks today, Tibet holds key (Indian Express)
Delhi and Beijing understand territorial dispute is inextricably intertwined with Tibet question. Read

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