Mrs Gandhi lost the first round in her arguments before the Shah Commission. Justice Shah overruled all the objections, barring one, raised by her counsel, Frank Anthony, and held that Mrs Gandhi was “bound to file a statement” in reply to the 11 cases referred to in the notice issued to her. Since she had not yet done so, Justice Shah said, “It is my duty to examine her on the 11 cases” to find out her version. Leaving the commission hall after getting a reprieve for a day to “consider Justice Shah’s ruling”, Mrs Gandhi told newsmen she would certainly attend the commission but did not know whether she would file a statement as directed by the commission. After giving Anthony nearly two hours to complete a reiteration of his objections, Justice Shah struck down all the objections except one. Anthony had claimed that since the proceedings were akin to a criminal trial and Gandhi was in the position of accused, she should not be cross-examined.
All 69 persons on board the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) carrier, M.V. Chandragupta, reported missing since January 6 are believed to have perished in the high seas 1,000 miles off the Honolulu coast. Rear Admiral Krishna Dev, managing director of the SCI, told the Press: ‘‘We just cannot find anything, neither the ship nor any survivors.” The temperature of the sea being very low and the time that had elapsed since the first SOS being very long, the chances of locating any survivors were slender, Dev said. He said the weather conditions had further worsened, making the search by surface impossible. However, till a definite identification of the debris be made, the US coast guard would continue the search by planes.
Bihar Cold Wave
The cold wave sweeping Bihar has claimed 101 lives, with 19 deaths reported from Nalanda and Nawada districts.