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Monday, January 18, 2010

YSR crash: No foul play, says probe report

New Delhi: Foul play is learnt to have been ruled out in the chopper crash that killed CM Y S Rajasekhara Reddy and four others on September 2, 2009. The independent probe panel set up about three months ago to examine the crash submitted its final report to the government on Friday . It is reliably learnt that the panel has ruled out any foul play or mechanical failure and concluded that loss of control in bad weather led to the crash.

The probe panel, headed by Pawan Hans chief R K Tyagi, submitted the report to aviation secretarys office. Though exact details will be known once the government makes the report public, it is learnt that the chopper had lost its way in blinding rain and crashed into a hill at high speed. The Bell-430 had taken off from Hyderabads Begumpet airport on September 2, 2009, with YSR and four others for Chittoor. After taking off at 8.38 am, it remained in touch with ATC till 9.13 am. Then it lost contact. The choppers debris was found the next day at Rudrakodur hill, 40 nautical miles from Kurnool. This place was not on the choppers original flight path and clearly the Bell-430 had lost its way in blinding rain and crashed into the hill at a very high speed, the report concludes.

The findings come a week after a speculative TV report in a Telugu channel which claimed that there had been a conspiracy to kill the former CM. The report had led to violence following which two TV journalists were also arrested.
A ray of hope for 1.25L undertrials -Govt Gives Courts 6 Mths To Free Undertrials Languishing In Jails
Year 2010 could go down in history as a watershed one for undertrial prisoners, who for long have been the silent victims of apathy of the police , prosecuting agencies, prison authorities and judiciary. The UPA government is putting a six-month deadline starting from January 26 for the release of 1.25 lakh of the 1.7 lakh undertrials languishing in jail though booked for petty offences and despite having served a major part of the prescribed maximum sentence.

Law minister Veerappa Moilys mission to set right the state of affairs was reflected in his letter to the chief justices of all the high courts requesting them to do everything possible to facilitate the early release of these prisoners . The mission for early release of the undertrials languishing in prison for long years will be launched on Law Day on January 26 as part of the comprehensive legal reforms initiated by the UPA government, which held an elaborate consultation with the chief justices and chief ministers in August last year. India has around 1,500 jails having a capacity to lodge 2.5 lakh prisoners . But these house as many as 3.5 lakh inmates. As many as 70% of the jail population comprises undertrials, which means their number could be pegged at 2.45 lakh. As 70% of the undertrials are booked for petty offences, this category in jails would be 1.7 lakh.

The first target is to get those languishing in jails for years for petty offences and those who have either undergone the maximum punishment or major portion thereof without conviction out of prison by July 31, Moily told STOI from Bangalore.
Law does not require a citizen to be a coward: SC
At a time when terrorism and mafia pose a grave security threat to India, the Supreme Court has given a pro-active meaning to the 'right to self-defence' and said the law does not require a lawabiding citizen to behave like a coward when confronted with an imminent unlawful aggression. Nothing is more degrading to the human spirit than to run away in the face of danger , said a Bench comprising Justices Dalveer Bhandari and A K Ganguly. It laid down a 10-point guideline on right to self-defence , under which a person cannot be accused of committing a crime even if he inflicted mortal wounds on the aggressor. But, it warned against using it as a tool to settle scores or enmity. It also did not approve the use of force in excess of what was warranted to avert imminent danger to the life and property of the person exercising the right to self-defence . "The citizen, as a general rule, are neither expected to run away for safety when faced with grave and imminent danger to their person or property as a result of unlawful aggression, nor are they expected, by use of force, to right the wrong done to them or to punish the wrong doer of commission of offence ," said Justice Bhandari writing the judgment for the Bench. "The right of private defence is thus designed to serve a social purpose and deserves to be fostered within the prescribed limits," it said.
The Five Commandments of SC
Right to self-defence available to only one facing imminent danger

Mere reasonable apprehension is enough to put this right into operation

It is unrealistic to expect a person under assault to modulate his defence step by step with any arithmetical exactitude

Force used in self-defence ought not to be wholly disproportionate than necessary for protection of self or property

Person who is in imminent and reasonable danger of losing his life or limb may in exercise of self-defence inflict any harm even extending to death on his assailant either when the assault is attempted or directly threatened

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