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When will Delhi-Shimla flights start, asks Supreme Court, hoping there is nothing political about it

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Shimla Airport

SHIMLA- The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the “competent authority” to tell it if it was going to ensure air connectivity between Delhi and Shimla as it hoped that there was nothing political about the issue.

Asking the “competent authority” to tell it before next date of hearing when it was going to start air connectivity between Delhi and Shimla, a bench of Chief Justice TSThakur, Justice R Banumathi and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit observed: “We only hope there is nothing political” in a reference to Himachal Pradesh is ruled by the Congress.

Dispelling the apprehension of the court about any political consideration being in play, Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for national carrier Air India, told the court that there was no such thing as flights were operating from Delhi to Kulu and Dharamshala in the state.

The court was also told that government has included Shimla airport in category III airports thereby making it obligatory for private airlines to bring it on the map of their operations.

Under the licence conditions, private operators including Air India are obliged to operate 10 percent of their total flights at category I airports comprising metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkatta and others to category II airports at Lakshadweep, Port Blair, Srinagar and northeastern states.

At this, the court also sought details about the airports, both in categories I and II, where private airlines were flying.

Making it clear that it may pass order on starting air operations between Delhi and Shimla in the next hearing of the matter on May 4, the bench asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to issue directions to the private airlines to start flights to Shimla.

As Additional Solicitor General P.S.Patwalia, appearing for the civil aviation ministry and Airports Authority of India, said that they can’t give any directions to private airlines, the bench said:

You have issued guidelines, you enforce them.

The court also made it clear that its December 16, 2015 order putting on hold Himachal Pradesh High Court order directing Air India to start test flights between Delhi and Shimla would not come in the way of government asking private airlines to bring Delhi-Shimla route on the map of their operations.

Noting that Srinagar too have been included in Category II airports, Chief Justice Thakur how could Srinagar airport be equated with airports in northeastern states and Shimla.

How can you compare Srinagar with Shimla and North-East. Take out Srinagar (from category II airports). The very fact that you are comparing Srinagar with the northeast shows your intentions,

the court said pointing out that the situation in Kashmir had no bearing the status of the airport.

Contending that at one point Srinagar was comparable to northeast, Patwalia said:

We are not scared. We only wanted to respect the sentiments of the court.

He said that the including Shimla in category II airports was the best that could be done.

Seeing the court was insisting on bringing Shimla on the air map of the country, Patwalia urged the court to ask Air India to commence its operations as it had 42-seater ATR 42 aircraft.

But Ranjit Kumar told the court that Air India had three of these aircraft, one of which has got badly damaged and two others are in operation to Port Blair and the northeast and any diversion of flights would result in curtailing operations, to these areas.

He said all other private airlines had such aircraft and they could be asked to start Delhi-Shimla flights.

Photo: Tribune

Misc News/Press Release

HP Cabinet approves free Heli-Ambulances, filling up 1235 posts of TMPA with several others  

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Heli ambulance facility in Himachal PRadesh

Shimla: In its meeting held today on April 26, 2018, the HP Cabinet decided to introduce free Heli-ambulance services, which would be operated by Heli-mission Switzerland with the assistance of Lady Willingdon Hospital, Manali in District Kullu. It is expected to strengthen the health transport services and timely airlifting of the patients particularly of remote and tribal regions of the State.  

The Cabinet gave its approval to purchase 26 new ambulances under National Ambulance Service-108 as a replacement to facilitate the patients.

The Cabinet approved setting up health care transformation project viz: TATA Digital Nerves Centre Platform (DiNC) in Kullu district. DiNC is a service led platform model and facilitate to and fro communication between patients, hospitals and doctors irrespective of their geographical locations.

It helps to screen basic symptoms, facilitates doctor consultations and to send alerts for follow-up and manages records of the patients, the government said.

HP Govt Jobs

The Cabinet gave its nod to fill up 1235 posts of Transport Multi-Purpose Assistants (TMPA) in Himachal Road Transport Corporation.

It accorded its approval to fill up 200 posts of Clerks in H.P. Secretariat Administration Department (SAD) on contract basis through direct recruitment and 25 posts of Junior Scale Stenographer in H.P. Secretariat Administration Department (SAD) on a contract basis.

It decided to fill up 100 posts of Junior Engineer (Civil) and 20 posts of Junior Engineer (Mechanical) in Public Works Department on a contract basis.

The Cabinet decided to fill up 25 posts of Assistant Engineer (Civil) and two posts of Assistant Engineer (Electrical) in Public Works Department on a contract basis.

It gave its nod to fill up two posts of consultant and two posts of data entry operator under State Medicinal Plants Board in Ayurveda Department.

The cabinet approved to upgrade Civil Hospital Nurpur in Kangra district to 200 bedded hospital along-with creation of additional 42 posts of different categories.

It was decided to fill up seven posts of different categories for the establishment of Programme Management Unit in Ayurveda Department sponsored by Ayush Ministry, Government of India.

The Cabinet accorded its approval to open new State of Art Industrial Training Institute at Chhatari in Tehsil Thunag of district Mandi besides creation of requisite posts of different categories to man the institute.

It decided that the Gram Panchayat Veterinary Assistants (GPVA) who have completed five years of service will be brought under contract.  

The meeting was chaired by the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.

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CBI’s official statement on how it solved Shimla’s Gudiya case

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how cbi solved kotkhai gudiya case

Shimla: Amid the chatter among the people regarding the authenticity of the arrest made after an investigation in the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl, a resident of Shirgul in Kotkhai Tehsil of Shimla district, Central Bureau of Investigation has released an official media statement regarding the case.

The CBI is gathering a lot of appreciation in the national media as it told the media that it was a painstaking and sensitive case and that CBI teams worked day & night for the last nine months to finally crack the case.

The case was filed under the Police Station of Kotkhai.

The agency claimed it arrested the accused, who was identified as a resident of Baijnath Tehsil of Kangra, on April 13, 2018.

After thorough interrogation, on April 25, he was produced before the Designated Court and was remanded to Judicial Custody till May 2018, said the official statement.
In the instant case, it was alleged that the victim had left Government Senior Secondary School, Mahashu on July 4, 2017, at about 4:30 PM. She did not reach home and her dead body was recovered on July 6, 2017, from the forest area of Hailalla, Kotkhai.

CBI said it instituted an elaborate investigation and also announced a reward of Rs.10 lakh to anyone from the general public for providing credible information resulting in the arrest of real culprits.

After taking over the case, CBI formed separate teams including SP, ASP, DSP, Inspectors, and other supporting staff who were continuously camped in the region, the agency said.

The team started by thoroughly combing the various areas including forests where the body of the victim was found and questioned over one thousand people in this sparsely populated region.

The CBI said, its team collected around 250 blood samples and its CFSL experts conducted various scientific tests including DNA profiling by using advance techniques of percentage match’ and ‘lineage match’.

After thorough examining of these scientific tests, the DNA profiles extracted from samples seized from the scene of the crime were matched with the DNA samples.
The area of investigation included Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir and Uttarakhand etc.
It was also alleged that the arrested accused did not carry any mobile phone and was not in touch with his family but CBI kept watch on certain people whom he could call from public phones or phones of the other people.

The agency further claimed that subsequently, the suspect was tracked and apprehended from a Village near Hatkoti.

The agency maintained that the Director CBI, Alok Kumar Verma has been monitoring the progress of the case from day one. He expressed satisfaction at the work done by the investigative team and forensic experts of CFSL, CBI, for solving a sensitive and difficult case.

The agency said the further investigation into the case would continue.

Other Details Regarding the Case

CBI had registered two cases on July 22, 2017, on the orders dated July 19, 2017 of Hon’ble High Court of Himachal Pradesh, in CWPIL No.88 of 2017 and taken over the investigation of FIR No. 97 of 2017 dated July 6, 2017, under Sections 302, 376 of IPC & Section 4 of POCSO Act registered earlier at Police Station, Kotkhai, District Shimla relating to rape & murder of a minor girl.

The agency took over another FIR No. 101 of 2017 dated July 19, 2017, U/S 302 of IPC earlier registered at Police Station, Kotkhai relating to the custodial death of one of the accused arrested by Local Police in connection with the investigation of said FIR No. 97 of 2017.

The Himachal Pradesh Police had earlier arrested six accused in this case. Out of these six, one had died under alleged mysterious circumstances in police custody for which separate FIR No. 101/2017 was registered by local police, the agency said.

After taking over the investigation, CBI had arrested nine Police officials of Himachal Pradesh including then Inspector General of Police, Southern Range; then SP, Shimla; then DSP (SDOP), Theog; a Sub-Inspector & then SHO, Kotkhai; an ASI; three Head Constables and one Constable, all working in Himachal Pradesh on 29.08.2017 in a case relating to custodial death of one of the then accused Suraj Singh.

All the said arrested accused are presently in Judicial Custody.

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Accused arrested in Kotkhai Gudiya case sent to 14-day judicial custody

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Kotkhai Gudiya case update

Shimla: While all eyes will be on the status report to be submitted in the Himachal Pradesh High Court in Gudiya gangrape and murder case, the only accused arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation on April 13, 2018, was produced in a special court in Shimla. The accused was sent to a 14-day judicial custody.

Officially, the sleuths have not revealed the identity of the arrested accused and are maintained a distance from all media person. The face of the accused covered while he was brought to the special court today morning.

However, media reports are identifying the accused a Neelu of Mandi district.

The agency is also supposed to file a status report in the state High Court during this afternoon. The people are expecting the agency to make identity and findings of the probe public.

They could face disappointment as the agency has made only one arrest in the case. The arrested accused is being speculated to be a woodcutter.

The people do have hope to get justice for Gudiya, they are equally sceptic about the arrest in the absence of any clear clue about the story of Gudiya.

It is pertinent to mention that the High Court in this March had expressed extreme disappointment with the CBI’s pace of investigation and had directed the CBI Chief to be personally present in the court during the next hearing.

However, right after the hearing, the CBI had suddenly announced that it has got its hands on a strong forensic evidence against the real culprits.

Prior to it, the CBI was empty-handed and had even announced a reward of Rs. 10 lakh to anyone who provides it with any substantial clue about the culprits.

After about 10 months of investigation, the agency had in March claimed that it will expose the accused by April 25, which is today.

 

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