Bill On Emergency
For the first time since independence, constitutional protection is to be extended for the publication of proceedings of Parliament and State legislatures, except in cases where it is proved to be “malicious”. This is one of the important features of the new Constitution (45th amendment) bill, which seeks to remove the distortions introduced by the 42nd amendment to the Constitution. Another important feature of the bill is that Article 352 is being amended in such a way that proclamation of Emergency for internal reasons would still be possible. At one time, opinion in the Janata was for declaring Emergency only on the ground of actual or apprehended external aggression. In the new bill, Emergency can be declared even in the event of “armed rebellion” instead of “internal disturbance disturbance” as provided in the present Constitution.
Orissa Toll Nears 500
The Orissa government mounted relief operations in the tornado-hit Keonjhar district as the death toll stood between 400 and 500, according to latest reports. Only 158 bodies could be recovered till this afternoon.
Nanda Devi Fiasco
The decision to instal a remote sensing device with nuclear power-pack at the Nanda Devi was taken by the then government of the India and the US government at the highest level, Prime Minister Morarji Desai told Parliament. Work began in 1964 and three PMs (Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastrl and Indira Gandhi) were involved (from 1964 to 1968). Desai said the decision “at the highest level” had been taken at that time in the light of the “international situation prevailing at that time and scientific developments which were taking place both far and near.” Desai, however, sought to reassure agitated members that all aspects of safety, including possible hazards, had been taken into account at that time and conclusion was reached that no undue hazard existed.