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Major News and Events of 30 April 2013

What Happened on 30 April 2013

Sarabjit "clinically dead"; family to return to India

Sarabjit Singh has been declared "clinically dead". His family is supposed to return to India tomorrow.

The Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi had earlier urged Pakistan to take a sympathetic view on Sarabjit and offered medical assistance so that Sarabjit could come out of the critical condition. External Affairs Minister, Salman Khurshid expressing sadness over this news stated: "We have urged Pakistan to allow a judicial committee, with four retired judges, to have access to him to have a more reliable account (of his condition)."

Opposition leader Sushma Swaraj said the government was not firm in dealing with Islamabad on this case. Raj Kumar Verka, vice chairman of the National Commission for the Scheduled Castes, stated in Amritsar on Tuesday that Sarabjit's sister Dalbir Kaur had informed him that doctors have told her Sarabjit was "brain dead".

He was apprehensive whether Sarabjit died earlier and if the Pakistan government allowed the family to visit him in Lahore when he was already dead. He said Sarabjit's sister's permission was sought to remove him from the ventilator. 

SC criticises government for vetting CBI report

The government's interference in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the coal blocks allocation has been severely criticised by the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

The apex court also asked the CBI director to file an affidavit specifying the changes made in the draft report vetted by Law Minister Ashwani Kumar. The court emphasized that the affidavit filed should be "absolutely complete and truthful".

An apex court bench headed by Justice R.M. Lodha stressed upon the fact that there was need for the  CBI to be free from extraneous influences.The court also wanted to know the names and other details of the officers involved in the investigation into the allocation of coal blocks.

The hearing lasted for nearly two hours, during which the court asked whether Law Minister Ashwani Kumar had the authority to ask for status reports from the investigating agencies.The court also stated that the way in which the probe had been interfered disturbed the very independence of the investigating agency.

CBI chief Ranjit Sinha has made a statement that it was not an "independent organisation", but it was "part of the government" that had sought the report findings.

Sajjan Kumar acquitted in 1984 riots case after 29 years

A Delhi court acquitted Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a case linked to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. This resulted in anguished protests and grief. District Judge J.R. Aryan convicted the other five accused in the case, Balwan Khokkar, Mahender Yadav, Girdhari Lal, Kishan Khokkar and Captain Bhagmal for the killing of five people in the Delhi Cantonment area after the assassination of Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.

Amid the protests, a shoe was hurled at the judge inside the courtroom in the Karkardooma complex by All India Sikh Federation president Karnail Singh Peer Mohammad who was arrested and booked under sections 186 (obstructing public servant from discharging duties) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The court order led to outrage amongst members of the Sikh community who had hoped that Sajjan Kumar would be brought to justice. There were slogans against the Congress and some people tried to get into the complex by climbing over the barricades. 

Sajjan Kumar was facing trial along with other five for allegedly conspiring and instigating a mob against the Sikh community. Kumar, who is a former Lok Sabha MP from Outer Delhi, is also facing trial in another 1984 riot case.

In yet another case against Kumar, the Delhi Police has filed a closure report stating no evidence was found against Kumar to implicate him. Balwan Khokkar, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal were found guilty for the offense of murder under section 302 (murder) of the IPC which means the death penalty as maximum punishment while Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokkar were convicted for the offense of rioting only.

Balwan Khokkar, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal will be taken into judicial custody by the court. May 6 has been fixed for hearing the arguments on quantum of sentence in the case.

Finance Bill for the 2013-14 passed in the Lok Sabha without any debate

The Lok Sabha passed the Finance Bill for the 2013-14 fiscal along with minor amendments on Tuesday.

The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) walked out of the house in a protest against Coalgate. 

12 minor amendments were made on the bill.This marked the completion of the budgetary process which started with the budget speech by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on February 28. The bill will now move to the Rajya Sabha and then to the president for his approval.

Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram is of the opinion that the financial process is not over as there are a host of other bills including the Pension Bill and the Insurance Bill which have to be passed. He was also hopeful that there would be some debate and discussion in the Rajya Sabha regarding the Finance Bill for the 2013-14 fiscal and it will not be passed as was done in the Lok Sabha - without any debate and with agreement between the government and the opposition.

Kohli nominated for Arjuna Award, Gavaskar for Dhyanchand

Middle-order batsman Virat Kohli was nominated by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the Arjuna Award for 2012.

Kohli, who at present leads Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the IPL 6, has been successful with the bat in every format of the game.

The first batsman to make 10000 runs in Test cricket, the legendary opener Sunil Gavaskar, has been nominated for Dhyanchand Award for his lifetime achievement in cricket.

In the last season, no top international cricketer of India was nominated for the prestigious Arjuna Award for their performance as there was supposedly a major communication gap between the sports ministry and the BCCI. Even though India won the World Cup and Virat Kohli was one of the top run-getters in ODI cricket, BCCI had not sent any names in 2011.

25 years of QSQT, special screening on the occasion

There was a special screening of the 1988-super hit movie Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (QSQT)  to mark 25 years since its release.

On its silver jubilee, lead actor Aamir Khan with his family members, and the movie's crew were present. The film's leading lady Juhi Chawla was also present though she arrived late. Aamir's wife Kiran Rao, brother Faisal Khan, nephew Imran Khan and his wife Avantika and Aamir's former wife Reena Dutta was present at the screening. Director Mansoor Khan, actor Makarand Deshpande and singers Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan also attended.

Aamir was very happy that the entire cast of QSQT was there. Imran Khan, who cried at the climax of the movie, said it should never be remade as it was a special movie.

Micromax launches Canvas 3D A115 priced at Rs 9,999

Micromax has launched its first smartphone with 3D screen, Canvas 3D which comes at Rs 9,999.

The user will not need 3D glasses to view the content as the technology required to convert standard images into 3D format is embedded into this smartphone. Features of Micromax Canvas 3D A115 include a 5-inch display, Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) platform, dual-sim, 1GHz dual-core processor, support of 32GB memory card for storage expansion. The RAM and internal storage have not been specified yet. The phone has a 5MP camera on the back, a VGA unit in the front. The phone is enabled with  Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and microUSB. The 2,000 mAh battery of this smartphone will enable a talk time of up to 4.5 hours.

The user will have access to Micromax 3D Space, which has 3D videos and games. From the first week of May the phone will be available in the market. In India the only other phone which has a 3D screen is LG Optimus 3D, priced at Rs 26,400.

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