Delhi Underground: A stroll turns taxing for minister

Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh last Tuesday ended up doing a more strenuous exercise routine than is normal for him.

Published: May 21, 2012 1:25 am

A stroll turns taxing for minister

Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh last Tuesday ended up doing a more strenuous exercise routine than is normal for him. Journalists waiting outside the closed gates of 2A Motilal Nehru Marg — official residence to A Raja — on the day the former Telecom Minister came out on bail from Tihar Jail were excited when they spotted Ramesh coming on foot. The cameramen immediately made a beeline to him. Hopes were raised,as Ramesh has strong ties with the South — though the Karnataka-born politician represents Andhra Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha,his mother tongue is Tamil. Some Tamil journalists even approached him for a quote in the language. As it turned out,an unsuspecting Ramesh had been out on his routine evening walk. The chasing cameras,however, made sure he had a good work-out.

Right questions,wrong syllabus

Teachers from Delhi University’s Ramlal Anand College raised the alarm last week saying the university had chosen questions from the wrong syllabus for a mathematics examination for geology students. The University Department of Geology later found that the college had been sent the correct question paper,but teachers had been teaching the wrong syllabus. “The college had taught the wrong syllabus. The approved syllabus is uploaded online on the University site but it seems the teachers did not notice. The same exam went on without any problems at Hansraj College,” a department official said.

Raising a stink over stench

Unable to bear the stench emanating from a public toilet complex,a Cabinet Secretary wants the complex to be shifted away from his residence. Apparently,the kin of the secretary are fed up of having a public toilet close to their South Delhi residence. Due to their persistent complaints about the “intolerable stench”,the secretary approached the civic body. He called up the Municipal Commissioner of the South Corporation,asking him to get the toilet complex razed.

Taking the headlines literally

Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital authorities were confused by a National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) notice issued over a media report on a teenager being operated upon for a clot in his brain without a confirmatory CT scan. The report,published in these columns,was titled: Teen operated “blind” slips into coma. It described the predicament of the doctors,with the CT scan machine dysfunctional for months. However,going by the title,authorities reportedly referred the matter to the Ophthalmology department,considering it was a case related to vision impairment. Even when the notice eventually found its way to the Neurosurgery department,the doctor had to explain that the boy had no problems with his sight. When asked,they laid the blame on NHRC — saying that it too had laid emphasis on the “blind” part.

Straight from the horse’s mouth

A Delhi Police sub-inspector was stationed near the barricade erected to stop people from entering the area where Myanmarese asylum-seekers were camping. He went at length to describe how the refugees were a “nuisance” and “polluted whichever area they settled in” oblivious to the fact that he was addressing a group of reporters. He assumed that the group in front of him was a bunch of concerned students who had come to distribute food and medicine to refugees. He even elaborated on how JNU students’ Union was only “making matters worse” by supporting the group’s demand to get refugee status from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

‘Lawyers bickering is nothing new’

A hearing on an important case involving senior Army officials at the Patiala House court complex took an unexpected turn when two lawyers started bickering. While the complainant was arguing,a lawyer standing in the courtroom stood up to say that the complainant’s case was false. He offered to give the judge a document to prove his point,saying he was doing this in his capacity ‘as a member of the public’. Later,it transpired that the said lawyer was representing the respondents in the case. “If he can tell lies,then I can assist this court as a member of the public” the first lawyer said. The lawyer for the complainant then asked the judge to take on record the fact that his rival was calling him a liar and maligning his image. The magistrate calmly pointed out that courts are not required to record trivial arguments. “Is this the first time two lawyers have argued and one has said that the other is a liar?” he said.

Lending an ear to too many problems

Right to be heard is considered to be one of the indispensable propositions of the principles of natural justice. Of late,however,this notion has been creating problems for Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri at the Delhi High Court. At least three persons,including two lawyers,show up in his court almost every day in the morning and right after lunch break to talk about a host of issues,related and not related to the proceedings. Justice Sikri at his patient best,kept nodding and waiting for them to finish so that hearings can begin. Justice Sikri is learnt to have requested the Bar Association to convince the trio not to waste the time of the court,and ensure others’ right to be heard is not hampered.

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