With sections of the media floating theories about different poisons that could have led to Sunanda Pushkar’s death, including a very rare radioactive isotope Polonium, even declaring that “traces” had been identified in her viscera samples at AIIMS, doctors at the institute’s forensic medicine department have been flooded with queries. A member of the medical board said later he was “pounced upon” by reporters while getting into his car a day after news of the murder case being registered became public. One reporter, the doctor said, forced his way inside his car. “Am I a magician? How can I find traces of Polonium… you think we are manufacturing it at AIIMS out of thin air? Do you want to look for Polonium in my car now?” the doctor was heard shouting before calling the guards.
Exam amid hearing
The Uber rape case was this week transferred to the special fast track court. On Day I itself, the court faced an unusual situation. The court, which wanted to hear the arguments on January 9, was requested by the defence counsel to hold the arguments on or after January 12 — as he had to “appear for an exam” scheduled on January 10. “I request the honourable court to hold the arguments on or after January 12.
I have to appear for the Haryana Civil Services Examination on January 10… the exam is very important to me,” the defence counsel said. The court replied, “There are other lawyers assisting you if you can’t appear on January 9. In any case, the exam is on January 10 and the arguments are fixed a day before. If you want to save more time, you bring written submissions of the arguments on charge.”
Not fighting fit
While the Congress has claimed that Delhi’s former MPs will be roped in to boost the party’s chances in the upcoming elections, senior leaders claimed the MPs in question had made it clear they were not interested. One former MP said, “We have just lost an election and lost badly, just because we are senior doesn’t mean we will win.”
With Amit Shah managing everything in the Delhi BJP, leaders are finding it hard to know who to approach for tickets. Many, who are even visiting Delhi unit chief Satish Upadhyay, are still clueless. One can even hear senior leaders make claims that Shah is gathering his own ‘intelligence’ on every candidate approaching for ticket.
With schools arbitrarily deciding on nursery schedules this year, many parents are taking training classes to apprise themselves of the admission process. The sessions, taken by a leading playschool, saw parents from across the city ask questions to “ensure a seat for their child in a good school”.
Far too much work
When a reporter asked new ASI Director-General Rakesh Tiwari why the CABA standing committee had not given permission to carry out excavation and exploration at Purana Qila, he calmly replied that a circle office had far too much work to concentrate on excavation. “A circle office in-charge has a lot of work, including daily maintenance of monuments, court hearings etc. Excavation needs concerted effort with the archaeologist being present at the site most of the time. So, it is not possible for a circle officer to devote that much time to excavation.” He added, “If you see, till 2010, ASI was being headed by IAS officers, who were administrators, not archaeologists. But we have spent most of our career in the field. So, we cannot be taken for a ride.”
No time to read
Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung said last week he was fortunate that he does not get “stressed” despite working 14-15 hours daily. “Fortunately, I don’t suffer from ailments like high blood pressure or diabetes, which a lot of people my age do.” He, however, said he does not get enough time to read like he did when he was the Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia. “I start reading a book, but then I quickly fall asleep,” he said.
When at least 30 young men sporting AAP’s trademark white caps entered a Congress press conference, everyone thought the AAP men were there to create trouble. But then, Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely announced that the volunteers “driven away by AAP’s false promises” were joining the Congress. After the announcement, the volunteers took off their caps and placed them in front of Lovely, chanting “Congress party zindabad”.
The AAP has set itself a budget of Rs 30 crore for the Assembly elections, but even this falls short in several areas. When some of the party’s 70 candidates call for extra funds, they are often turned away. However, a new informal system is now in place. If the party cannot part with funds for a specific constituency for some purpose, they are assuaged that they will be compensated with an appearance by Arvind Kejriwal. “Kejriwal himself garners a lot of votes for us, so the candidate returns happy despite the money proving difficult,” a leader said.
‘Mujhe babu bana do’
A senior DDA official was in for a surprise when a gardener approached him in his office and said, “Mujhe babu bana do”. When the official reminded him that he was only a gardener, the man replied that he now had an MBA degree. The man, who began working 27 years ago, explained that he pursued a management degree after a bachelor’s degree through correspondence. The official then assured him that he would find work for him as an office staff to begin with.