LEGAL NEWS 03.10.2013

Disclose reasons behind visa controversy on Peter Heehs: CIC

Government should disclose reasons behind the refusal of visa to American historian Peter Heehs, author of the controversial ‘The Lives of Sri Aurobindo‘, and its subsequent extension after controversy erupted, the Central Information Commission has ruled. 

The author of the controversial book was living in country for nearly 40 years during which he had been working on the digitisation and archiving the works of spiritual guru Sri Aurobindo in Puducherry

After the book sparked angry reactions from the followers of Sri Aurobindo, Heehs was told by Union Home Ministry about the decision that his visa would not be extended and he needs to leave the country by the middle of April, 2012. 

The decision was later reviewed after several eminent personalities wrote to the Government against the decision to not extend the visa. 

Following the episode, the appellant, Amit Bhargava sought to know from the Home Ministry the grounds of denial, review and the extension given to Heehs. 

The Ministry said it had provided only selective information on the episode severing the un-disclosable portions under the provisions of Section 8(1)(a) of the RTI Act which prohibits information pertaining to security of the country and other similar issues. 

Bhargava stated, “In the present case, public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests and therefore the CPIO be directed not to severe any information.” 

Agreeing with Bhargava, Information Commissioner Sushma Singh directed the Home Ministry to provide complete information along with file notings related to the episode. 

But she refused to pass a similar order for his request seeking information from Intelligence Bureau on the issue as it is an exempted organisation.






Sikhs for Justice engages Washington firm to serve summons on Manmohan Singh

IP Singh, TNN Oct 2, 2013, 11.15AM IST

JALANDHAR: US based rights group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) has said that it would serve summons of the US Federal court — issued on September 25 for Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh when he was visiting US — in India, according to the provisions of the Hague Convention on the service abroad of judicial and extra judicial documents.

SFJ has engaged Washington based prominent process server firm ‘Process Forwarding International’ (PFI) to serve summons on PM Singh in New Delhi. SJJ’s legal advisor Gurpatwant Sigh Pannun said that PFI was the official process server to United States department of justice and US department of state and had extensive experience in executing services related to process with relevant authority in foreign country using approved international law methods — the Hague Convention on the service abroad of judicial and extra judicial documents in civil and commercial matters.


“Due to the high security detail, the rights group could not serve the outstanding Washington court’s summons on the Prime Minister during the Obama-Singh meeting at White House and now we intend to serve these through Hague Convention,” Pannun said. He pointed out that Rule 4(f)(1) of district of Columbia superior court rules of civil procedure provided that service upon individuals in a foreign country could be effected by any agreed means reasonably calculated to give notice, such as those means authorized by the Hague Convention on the service abroad of judicial and extra-judicial documents.

The Hague Service Convention is a treaty which allows service of summons and other judicial papers between the signatory countries without diplomatic involvement. The Hague Service Convention was signed and ratified by India in 2006 while United States has been a signatory to the treaty since 1967. Under Hague Service Convention, a central authority has been established by the government of India for receiving and serving summons from foreign courts. Under Article 15 of the Hague Service Convention, once a copy of the summons and complaint is delivered to the central authority of India, the service is considered complete.

The 24-page complaint filed by SFJ on September 25 before Washington DC district court alleged that Manmohan Singh’s culpability in the crimes of torture and extra-judicial killings of Sikh community started in 1991 when he took the office of finance minister of India. Manmohan Singh approved and financed, as head of finance ministry, the infamous practice of “cash rewards” to members of security forces for killing Sikhs through extra-judicial means often in “staged and fake encounters” to curb the Sikh rights’ movement in Punjab, the complaint further alleges.

The complaint further alleged that during his tenure as PM (2004-present), Manmohan Singh actively shielded and protected the members of his political party who were involved in organizing and carrying out attacks on the Sikh population of India during November 1984, resulting in the death of more than 30,000 Sikhs.





CIC berates ex-DPI(S) for being narrow-minded

RAGHAV OHRI : Chandigrah, Thu Oct 03 2013, 00:48 hrs

For showing a ‘rigid and narrow mindset’ that ‘does not support transparency in the functioning of public authorities’, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has berated the conduct of Upkar Singh, former Director Public Instructions (DPI), schools.

So much so that the Chief Information Commissioner Deepak Sandhu recommended disciplinary action against Upkar Singh. The PCS officer has earned wrath of the CIC for denying information to a teacher demanded by her under the Right to Information Act.

Peeved with Singh’s conduct, the Commission has recommended his immediate removal from the post of First Appellate Authority (FAA), Education Department. The Commission has held that Singh needs to be given training under the RTI Act. Also, the Commission has imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on the UT Education Department for harassing her own teacher.

The directions have been passed on an appeal filed by Sangeeta Rani, a headmistress in a local school. Rani had sought information under Right to Information, on November 11, 2011 from the District Education Officer (DEO), Chandigarh Administration. Rani had sought information pertaining status of her case relating to anomaly in pay.

On Novemer 29, 2011 the DEO had furnished the requisite information. Not satisfied with the reply, she approached the DPI schools on December 12, 2011 who is the first appellate authority but to no avail. She then approached the Commission on January 25 seeking directions to decide her appeal.

The Commission in July last gave two weeks time to the DPI to decide Rani’s appeal. Much to her chagrin, her case was not decided. She again approached the CIC on September 17, 2012. Surprisingly, the Education Department in its defence took the ground that neither it had received Rani’s application nor it had received the Commission’s orders.

However, the department’s lie was nailed by Rani after she produced a copy of the receipt of e-Jan Sampark Centre and other documents to prove that her appeal and Commission’s orders were received by the department.

Rani further alleged that ‘in violation of directions of the Commission’, she was never called for hearing by the DPI. Shockingly, the DPI asked her to appear for hearing after a year, as alleged by Rani.

Recording contentions of both the parties, the CIC rubbished the ground taken by the Education Department that it had not received Rani’s appeal and Commission’s orders. The CIC has issued show cause notices to the concerned Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) and other official who received the RTI application to “show cause why penalty should not be imposed upon him/her for not having provided information within the time frame prescribed under the RTI Act”.

The concerned officials have been directed to appear before the Commission in second week of November. Commenting on the conduct of DPI, the CIC has ruled, “Such an approach is contrary to the true spirit of the RTI Act and is indicative of a very narrow and rigid mindset which does not support transparency in the functioning of public authorities.” Recommending removal of Upkar Singh from the post of FAA, the CIC ruled out that Singh be ‘provided training’ as per relevant provisions of the RTI Act. The Commission has taken strong note of the ‘mental and physical harassment suffered by the teacher’ and that she had to “run from pillar to post in order to obtain the requested information without any success for the last almost two years.”

Imposing a penalty of Rs 5,000 on the department, the CIC has directed that information demanded by Rani be furnished within two weeks.





RTI Judgement Series: Publish list ofpharmacists working in medical stores in Delhi

MONEYLIFE DIGITAL TEAM | 02/10/2013 04:47 PM |    

The CIC directed the drugs controller in Delhi to publish list of pharmacistsworking in medical stores along with their names and addresses on the department’s website. This is the 180th in a series of important judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi that can be used or quoted in an RTI application

The Central Information Commission (CIC), while allowing an appeal complaint, directed the Public Information Officer (PIO) and assistant drugs controller in the Department of Drugs Control in Govt of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD), to provide the information sought by the appellant and also publish the same suo-moto on its website under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.


While giving the judgement on 10 June 2009, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, “This will also help citizens to monitor whether medical stores are following appropriate measures and whether public authority is doing its job. Dr AK Singla, drug controller, will ensure that the list of pharmacists working in medical stores along with their names and addresses shall be put up on its website before 15 August 2009, and then send the compliance report to the CIC.”


Faridabad resident Rahul Sharma, on 10 January 2009, sought from the Public Information Officer (PIO) information regarding details of pharmacists working in Delhi. Here is the information he sought under the RTI Act…


1) Name, address of medical retail store along with name, address of working pharmacist in records of Drugs Control Dept, Govt of NCT of Delhi, to fulfil the requirement of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.


In his reply, the PIO said, “I am to inform you that the information sought by you is not available in the compiled form. The said information is available in the individual sales file of the firms. You may inspect the relevant files on any working days/hours with priorintimation in this department.”


Not satisfied with the PIO’s order, Sharma, the appellant, filed his first appeal. In his order, the First Appellate Authority (FAA) said, “I am convinced that the Link Public Information Officer of the Drugs Control Department had provided the information available with him and had even asked him to inspect the relevant files with regard to his queries.”


Sharma, still not satisfied with the PIO’s reply and order by the FAA, then approached the CIC with his second appeal.


During the hearing before the Bench of Mr Gandhi, the PIO stated that the details sought by the appellant (Sharma) would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority. Hence, he has offered inspection of the records to the appellant.


Sharma stated that as per Section 4(1)(b)(xiii) of the RTI Act, ‘particulars of recipients of concessions, permits or authorizations granted by it’ should be suo-moto disclosed.


The PIO told the Bench that they would be able to provide names and addresses of the medical (chemist) retail stores and at present, the data of the pharmacists working in these stores is not available in collated form.


Mr Gandhi felt that there was a need for this information to be provided suo-moto by the public authority since this was definitely a very important part of information relating tomedical stores in Delhi.


While allowing the appeal, he then directed the PIO to give the information about names and addresses of the medical (chemist) retail stores in Delhi to Sharma before 20 June 2009. The Bench also directed the Drugs Control Department to ensure that the list ofpharmacists working in medical stores along with their names and addresses shall be put up on its website before 15 August 2009.




High Court cracks whip, SMC seals ‘illegal’ structures

19 buildings sealed in Jawahar Nagar, drive to continue

Official panel has identified 2500 violations in Srinagar


Srinagar, Oct 2: Complying with High Court directions, the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) Wednesday swung into action sealing 19 out of 45 identified ‘illegal’ structures in Srinagar city. 
SMC said the enforcement team of the Corporation headed by Chief Enforcement Officer Hakim Aijaz Ahmad, sealed 19 structures constructed in violation of the norms laid down in the Srinagar Master Plan.  
“SMC today sealed around 19 illegal structures including a hotel, a stationary gallery and a clinic in posh Jawahar Nagar area of the city were sealed,” Masarat Yousuf, SMC’s Media Relations Officer (MRO) told local news gathering agency KNS.
She said the illegal structures at Jawahar Nagar had become a nuisance for the general public and the same were sealed with the help of police in presence of the executive magistrate. The sealing operation, she said, was supervised by Secretary SMC Hilal Ahmad Diwani.
Officials said the maiden operation ever performed in the City was started in coordination between police and the civil administration. The Corporation is likely to seal more structures tomorrow particularly in Hyderpora area, sources said. 
However, as the buildings were being sealed in the Jawahar Nagar area, locals tried to resist the move saying “only a few underprivileged had been targeted whereas the real big sharks remain untouched.”
“Why we alone are being targeted? Why were we allotted licenses for running hotels and shops in the first instance? Now we are left without livelihood,” proprietors of the sealed structures said.
But some residents of the colony on the other hand hailed the SMC move saying “commercialization of residential areas had taken away the charm of once serene localities like Karan Nagar and Jawahar Nagar areas where the illegal commercial complexes have mushroomed over the years.”
Though there was some sloganeering and stone pelting too, the government team went ahead with the task.  Secretary SMC Hilal Diwani who was a part of the team said as many as 17 buildings were sealed in Jawahar Nagar area alone till sundown when the they headed towards Karan Nagar where the buildings were being sealed when reports last poured in.
Officials said District Magistrate Er Farooq Ahmed Shah, SMC Commissioner Dr GN Qasba and  SSP Srinagar, Syed Aashiq Hussain Bukhari had “coordinated the operation at highest levels” while the district administration deployed four magistrates for the task.
Pertinently, on September 30, a division bench of J&K High Court comprising Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey asked SMC to seal as many as 45 illegal structures within the City that have come up, over the years, in violation of the Srinagar Master Plan.
The Court had directed the Corporation to swing into action and take appropriate steps for sealing buildings belonging to any violators as per the show-cause notices and the demolition orders passed (by the Corporation) on March 16, 2009 or thereafter. The Court had also directed Director General of Police (DGP) to provide help if required by SMC for sealing the illegal structures. The Court had also given a deadline of three days to SMC to seal these structures and file a status report with the Registrar Judicial on October 4.
The Corporation had pleaded before the court that show cause notices have already been issued to various violators on March 6, 2009 and demolition order passed on March 16, 2009.
During earlier hearings, Advocate General Mohammad Ishaq Qadri had informed the Court that there was gross violation of the Master Plan because residential areas are being used for commercial purposes and that there was no effective control exercised by the SMC. 
Pertinently, an official panel on Master Plan violations constituted by the state government in 2010 has identified around 2500 illegal structures in and around the Srinagar city falling in SMC and SDA local areas. 
The panel, comprising representatives from SMC, SDA, R&B Department, PDD and Revenue Department, has already submitted its report to the government. The committee was headed by then Additional Commissioner Kashmir, Ishtiaq Ahmed Ashai. 
The report, according to sources, reveals that of the 2500 identified illegal structures, around 1100 not only violate the Master Plan norms but are a major hindrance in the smooth flow of traffic on some key roads. With inputs from KNS






High Court asks whether DGP is afraid of Salim Raj


The Kerala High Court on Tuesday roundly rapped the Director-General of Police for forwarding a complaint against Salim Raj, suspended gunman of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, to the State government instead of ordering an inquiry into it. Justice Harul-Ul-Rashid also orally wondered why the DGP and other police officers were “afraid of this police constable.’’

‘‘Why the people are afraid of this police constable?’’ the court asked.

The court orally pointed out that it had never ever seen a DGP forwarding a complaint received by him to the State government. The complaint was forwarded to the State government and the Chief Minster issued a receipt after getting the complaint. In fact, the petitioners lodged a complaint against Salim Raj in the police stations concerned and later with the DIG. The forwarding of the complaint by the DGP to the government was against provisions of the criminal procedure code, the court orally observed.

The conduct of the DGP and other police officers came under fire from the judge when petitions seeking a CBI probe into the allegations that Salim Raj was involved in land grab cases came up for hearing. Salim Raj is under suspension following allegations against him in connection with the solar scam. During the hearing of the petition, the court orally pointed out that the police constable seemed to be getting complete protection from the State government. The court said that land mafia was suspected to be operating in the State. In fact, it wondered whether democratic governance was in place.

The court also pointed out that the government should not have filed appeal against the single judge’s interim order directing the DGP to seize the telephonic conversation records, including the voice records of Salim Raj and others, in connection with the land grab cases. In fact, the government could have brought to the notice of the single judge that the interim order was passed without making the telephone service providers as respondents in the petition.

The filing of appeal by the government on the every next after the single judge’s order came and the appearing of Advocate General K.P. Dandapani on behalf of the government were severely criticised by political leaders. The hearing was adjourned to September 10.





Bombay High Court lambasts EOW, ACB for shoddy probe into charges against Sunil Tatkare

Thursday, Oct 3, 2013, 7:48 IST | Agency: DNA

DNA Correspondent  

The Bombay high court on Tuesday rapped the Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Economic Offences Wing for failing to conduct a “fair and proper” investigation into money laundering and land grabbing allegation against state minister and NCP leader Sunil Tatkare.

A division bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MS Sonak said: “There has been no investigation at all. This is a complete failure on the part of EOW and ACB. The position of the person (Tatkare) in public domain is deflecting the fairness in the inquiry.”

The judges came down heavily on the investigating agencies after going through probe reports submitted by them following a court order in a public interest litigation filed by BJP leader Kirit Somaiya.

“Every page of the report lacks proper application of mind. Prima facie, the investigating agencies have virtually abdicated their duty to investigate fairly on the ground that the investigations will have to be done by the Income Tax department, the Enforcement Directorate and the Registrar of Companies,” the court said.

“This in our view would be no justification for the agencies to walk away from its obligation to conduct a fair probe,” the court said, directing the agencies to complete their investigation within three months and submit a final report by January 7, 2014.

The court added that if it was not satisfied with the investigation after three months, it would transfer the probe to the CBI. 

The bench observed that the ACB in its report had said since the allegations involve companies, the Registrar of Companies will have to conduct an inquiry. “The ACB report has not tried to find out the financial standing of Tatkare and his family members,” HC said.

Senior counsel Aspi Chinoy appearing for Tatkare sought dismissal of the PIL on the ground that Somaiya could file a private complaint in a magistrate court.

Kirit Somaiya, a BJP leader and former MP, in the PIL sought probe by the CBI into the alleged money laundering and land grabbing by companies floated by NCP leader Sunil Tatkare (in pic) and his relatives.

Somaiya has listed 51 companies formed by Tatkare which have his family members and friends as directors, and alleged they bought benami lands in state and indulged in money-laundering.

Tatkare has termed the petition as false, malicious and politically motivated in his reply affidavit.





Supreme Court sets aside Karnataka’s decision of removing SPP in Jayalalithaa’s DA case

PTI Sep 30, 2013, 11.53AM IST



NEW DELHI: In a relief to J Jayalalithaa, the Supreme Court today set aside the Karnataka Government’s decision to remove Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) G Bhawani Singh from the disproportionate assets case against the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.

Terming the decision as “malafide”, a bench of justices B S Chauhan and S A Bobde also asked the Karnataka High Court and the state government to consider extending tenure of the special trial judge as per the law.


“The extension can be given as per the law and in consultation with the high court,” the bench said, adding the trial court’s record runs into nearly 33,000 pages and the recording of statements of witnesses has also completed.

The apex court, on September 25, had reserved its verdict on the issue of appointment and sacking of SPP Singh in the case and also on the AIADMK Chief’s plea for extension of the tenure of the trial judge who is scheduled to retire today.

Earlier during the proceedings, DMK General Secretary K Anbalagan had opposed Jayalalithaa’s plea, saying that she and other accused were allegedly responsible for the protracted trial in the 17-year-old case.

Attorney General G E Vahanvati, appearing for Karnataka Government, had also opposed the plea of Jayalalithaa on the SPP and for extension of the tenure of the special judge till the completion of the trial.

The bench had deliberated on the political overtones on the issue of the appointment and sacking Singh as the SPP.

“Was there (in Karnataka) the same government? When did the government change,?” the bench had asked.

The Attorney General had said the new government came on May 8 this year but the appointment of Singh was done without any consultation between the state government and the chief justice of the Karnataka High Court.

The bench, which had perused the records, had noted Singh, who has been sacked as SPP in the case, was appointed without any objection by Karnataka government to conduct the trial in the 17-year-old case.

The court had on September 20 called for the entire record relating to the controversy surrounding the appointment and sacking of Singh for its perusal to ascertain the reasons for dropping him from conducting the proceedings.

Jayalalithaa’s counsel had alleged that removal of Singh came at a time when the criminal procedure in the case was at the final stage and was done with a political motive.

Bhawani Singh was appointed as the SPP following the resignation of former Advocate General B V Acharya, who was the prosecutor in the case from February 2005 to August 2012.

Karnataka government had on August 26 issued the notification withdrawing the appointment of Singh as SPP.

  The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) Chief is accused of amassing Rs 66.65 crore between 1991 and 1996 when she was the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

The case was transferred by the apex court from Chennai to Bangalore in 2003 during her earlier tenure as the Chief Minister for a free and fair trial.

Jayalalithaa had alleged the case was slapped on her by the previous DMK government for political reasons.

Jayalalithaa and three other accused Sasikala, Ilavarasi and V N Sudhakaran have also sought a direction to restrain Karnataka government from appointing a new judge for conducting the trial against them in a Bangalore court.

During the hearing on September 13, the apex court had objected to Karnataka government’s notification “misrepresenting” an undertaking given by it as an order of the apex court on the appointment of SPP.

The bench had on August 30 restrained Karnataka government from appointing new SPP in the case. The order was passed on a plea by Jayalalithaa challenging the removal of Bhawani Singh as SPP.





Supreme Court extends MBBS admission deadline by two weeks in Maharashtra

Wednesday, Oct 2, 2013, 20:29 IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

The Supreme Court has extended by two weeks the September 30 deadline of completing admission process for MBBS in medical colleges in Maharashtra, dismissing a plea by Medical Council of India.

The order was passed by the apex court considering the fact that some of the medical colleges in the state had enhanced the seats but were denied permission by the Medical Council of India (MCI) to take admission for extra seats as they fell few days short of the mandatory 10 years of completion of their functioning.

MCI had challenged the Bombay High Court order allowing two Government Medical Colleges–Indira Gandhi Government Medical College, Nagpur and Government Medical College, Akola to fill additional seats created by them though they were few days short of mandatory 10 years.

An apex court bench comprising justices K S Radhakrishnan and A K Sikri on Monday permitted the Director of Medical Education, Maharashtra to finalise the admission of students in view of the newly enhanced 100 seats to the two Government Medical Colleges by October 14.

Advocate Jugal Kishore Gilda, who has been appearing as amicus curiae in the matter, opposed the contention of the MCI whose Special Leave Petition (SLP) was dismissed.

“We find no ground to entertain the SLP. It is dismissed leaving open the questions raised in the matter to be decided in appropriate case.

“However, considering the peculiar facts of the case, we are inclined to give a direction in respect of all colleges in the state of Maharashtra to complete the admission formalities within a period of two weeks from today. We make it clear that this order shall not be treated as a precedent,” the bench said.

The apex court, a few years ago, had fixed September 30 as a cut-off date for completing the admission process in medical colleges every year across the country.

The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court had asked MCI to consider enhancement of 50 seats in each of the college in view of the policy of the Centre to increase 50 seats in each of the government medical colleges to augment the health services in view of the scarcity of doctors faced by the nation.





High Court scraps TRB Tamil exam, orders re-test

Published: 02nd October 2013 07:41 AM

Last Updated: 02nd October 2013 09:17 AM


Nullifying the Tamil subject examination conducted by the Teachers Recruitment Board (TRB) for recruitment of postgraduate assistants (2012-13) on July 21 due to multiple wrong questions, the Madras High Court (Madurai Bench) has ordered that a re-examination be held.

Delivering the judgment on a petition filed by a candidate called Vijayalakshmi, Justice S Nagamuthu observed that the TRB had forced him to order a re-examination because of its “indifferent” attitude.

The TRB had earlier in another case informed the principal Bench of the High Court that it would ensure there were no errors in future exams conducted by it. But the agency had failed to keep up its promise, the judge said.

During the hearing of the case, to avoid a re-examination, Advocate General A L Somayaji had made three suggestions to the court. One, grace marks could be provided to students who had attended the erroneous questions in Booklet B. Two, only 110 correct questions in Booklet B would be evaluated. Three, in all the four booklets (A, B, C and D), only questions with cumulative marks for 110 would be valued.

Justice Nagamuthu rejected all three suggestions saying that if adopted they would do injustice to meritorious candidates. Valuing the question paper for only 110 marks would not serve the purpose of conducting the exam. “In competitive examinations, all should be treated equals. No one should be affected due to the mistakes made by someone,” he said.





Madras High Court issues notice to Centre on proposed sale of warships to Sri Lanka

PTI Oct 1, 2013, 06.42PM IST



MADURAI: The Madras High Court today sought Centre’s response on a PIL against the proposed sale of two Naval warships to Sri Lanka.

The HC bench of Justices Jayachandhran and M Venugopal ordered issuance of notice and posted the case for hearing to October 8.

Petitioner K Stalin, a city-based advocate, had submitted yesterday that Minister of State in the PMO V Narayanasamy had recently stated that India was in the process of supplying two warships to Sri Lanka.


He alleged that the Sri Lankan Navy killed 500 fishermen from Tamil Nadu, while thousands of Tamils in the island republic were killed by its Army during the war against LTTE.

Stating there was a strong sentiment against Sri Lanka in Tamil Nadu, he said Tamils were angered and agonised by the proposal to sell warships as “these could be used against the fishermen from the state”.

Stalin said that he had filed the petition as there had been no response to his representation to the union government and the state chief secretary to drop the proposal.




Mangalore: High court grants interim bail to Rashid Malbari

Mangalore: High court grants interim bail to Rashid Malbari

Daijiworld Media Network – Mangalore

Mangalore, Oct 2: Rashid Malbari, who has been lodged in Mangalore jail since 2009 and was recently convicted of possessing illegal arms, has been granted interim bail by the high court.

The fourth additional district and sessions court had sentenced Malbari (42) and Mohammed Hashim to five years in jail and imposed a penalty of Rs 10,000 for possessing illegal weapons. The verdict was challenged in the high court.

The high court which heard the case granted interim bail to Malbari and ordered his release. However, as he is facing several other charges, he will continue to remain in custody.

The punishment for possessing illegal weapons is three years, and Malbari has already spent 4 years and six months in jail. Hence he has been granted interim bail, said his lawyer Purushottam Poojary.

Malbari and his gang were arrested at Chattanchal, Kasargod on March 29, 2009 by the DCIB police led by inspector H N Venkatesh Prasanna. The police had seized an 9 mm pistol and ammunitions from the gang. His accomplices Mohamme Hashim, Sayaf and Ibu alias Ibrahim are the others in custody.






HC seeks details from govt on closure report in land grab case

Thursday, Oct 3, 2013, 2:15 IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Urvi Mahajani  

Slain RTI activist Satish Shetty had filed complaints against 13 people in the case

Expressing its inclination to ask the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to re-investigate the alleged land grab case which was filed by slain RTI activist Satish Shetty in 2009, the Bombay high court on Tuesday has directed the state to file a detailed affidavit.

In October 2009, Shetty had filed a complaint with the Lonavla city police station against 13 people, including the CMD of IRB Infrastructure Developers, Virendra Mahiskar, and the sub-registrar of assurances in Lonavla. dna had reported on August 12 that the CBI has filed an application before the HC seeking permission to reopen and re-investigate the case in which the government had filed a closure report. “The CBI has also sought that the closure report should be set aside,” CBI counsel Hiten Venegaonkar said. Justice ML Tahilyani on Tuesday directed the government to file a detailed affidavit along with the documents on which the local police had relied while filing the closure report in the case.

“The detailed affidavit should state on what basis the closure report was filed, including the sale deed, revenue records and the correspondents between the revenue officers,” he said.

On Tuesday, the government conceded that prima facie the transfer of land seems fraudulent. The judge then asked, “…Then how did you file the closure report?”

The investigating officer, Sunil Tonape, had filed a closure report before the metropolitan magistrate Vadgaon Maval on September 28, 2011, stating that the police did not find any evidence to substantiate Shetty’s allegations. The magistrate had accepted the closure report on December 27, 2011. Tonape was then attached with the local crime branch, Pune (rural). Presently, he is assistant police inspector attached with the Walchandnagar police station at Indapur, Pune.

In 2009, Shetty had alleged that IRB had connived with government officials and others to conduct large-scale irregularities and purchase land at Taje and Pimploli villages near the Mumbai-Pune expressway. Following Shetty’s investigations and complaint, the Lonavla police on October 15, 2009, registered an offence (C.R.No.152/2009) against one Deepak Gadgil and 12 others, including the CMD of an infrastructure major, and the sub-registrar of assurances of Maval area in Lonavla. The case was registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code.





SC slaps contempt notice on V K Singh

Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN Oct 2, 2013, 12.24AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday sent a criminal contempt of court notice to ex-Army chief General V K Singh after finding his recent barbs at the apex court’s handling of his petition on the age issue prima facie scandalous and lowering its dignity.

Commencing contempt of court proceedings against the former Army chief, a bench of Justices R M Lodha and H L Gokhale noted in its order that the retired general had on February 10 last year withdrawn his plea after attorney general G E Vahanvati assured the court that the Centre would not be vindictive towards the then serving Army chief for his unprecedented action of moving court on his age issue.


Finding that Gen Singh’s remarks about the decision of the apex court was based on wrong premises as the court had not adjudicated upon his plea, the bench took suo motu notice of a newspaper report on September 22, which reported that the former Army chief had slammed the SC’s decision on his age issue while defending his comments about Army funding J&K ministers.

The bench’s initial recording of views on Gen Singh’s reported remarks bore the tell-tale signs of the seriousness with which the court viewed the entire controversy. It said, “Attribution of motive to members of the bench amounted to an attempt to scandalize the court. Prima facie the statement of General V K Singh amounts to scandalize the court and lower its dignity.”

Taking cognizance of the remarks under Article 129 of the Constitution empowering the apex court to ‘punish for contempt of itself’ and under the provisions of Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, the bench issued notices to Gen Singh and the newspaper, which carried the report about his remarks.

On February 10, the court’s reluctance to get drawn into the task of determining the actual date of birth of Gen Singh, who was seeking its alteration from May 10, 1950 to May 10, 1951, had forced him to withdraw his plea.

The court had recorded the AG’s statement, “The Union government had never questioned Gen Singh’s integrity or bona fides but contested his petition as a matter of principle, which did not cast any reflection on his ability to lead the Army.”

The court thought it was putting a controversy to rest and said it was proud of an Army chief like Gen Singh who had served in it for 38 years.

However, Justices Lodha and Gokhale had declined his counsel U U Lalit’s request to record that the date of birth row had been amicably settled as the Army chief was not pressing his petition in view of the court’s order that the date of May 10, 1950 would remain confined to his service records alone.

The bench had said, “As a matter of fact, the question before us in the writ petition is not about the declaration of the actual date of birth of the petitioner, but it concerns the recognition of a particular date of birth of the petitioner by the government in the official record.” The Centre had showed to the court repeated written commitments by Gen Singh to abide by 1950 as his year of birth.

Though the bench did not fault Gen Singh’s persistent attempts since 1985 to correct his date of birth, it had disapproved of the way he attempted to wriggle out of his commitment given to the his erstwhile Army chief and the ministry of defence in 2009 that he would accept 1950 as his year of birth and treat the controversy as a closed chapter. 





ACB suffers jolt in corruption cases in Ajmer

TNN | Oct 3, 2013, 06.42 AM IST

AJMER: The anti-corruption bureau (ACB) has received severe blows from the trial courts at Ajmer in almost every sensational case booked in the district in the past one year. The courts have observed that the ACB was unable to prove even prima facie evidences like a demand of bribe being made by the accused in these cases. The bureau’s modus operandi for traps in all these cases have been recorded mobile conversations, which are corroboratory facts and not primary evidences. 

The ACB cases in the district have been hitting headlines for a year, as even topmost police officers were caught on charges of demanding and accepting bribes. The alleged irregularities in recruitments at the district and sessions court, too, got highlighted as the bureau sleuths named a sitting judge there in the chargesheet. 

There have been five sensational cases from the district wherein the ACB claimed to unearth the corruption at the top levels. In four of these cases, the investigating agency has suffered sharp disapprovals at the primary stage of framing charges. The trial courts not only discharged two accused in separate cases, but also dropped grievous charges against the others. The fifth case, that of Narendra Tanwar of the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education, is yet to enter the trial stage. 

“Senior officials are studying where our teams lacked in the investigations so that corrective measures can be taken,” said a source in the ACB. 

Different ACB teams from Ajmer, Bhilwara and Jaipur worked on these cases with serious charges on top officials. The teams came up with chargesheets running into three to six thousands pages. “The court orders show that the ACB failed to collect primary evidences or witnesses and largely relied on mobile conversation recordings,” said a senior advocate practicing criminal law. 

In most of these cases there ACB could not come with strong evidences that a primary demand of bribe was made. “Not a single witness came in the notorious ‘police monthly extortion case’ that accused senior police officers of collecting monthly bribes at the police station level. ACB showed that the police station sent monthly collections to the SP and other officials, but the sources of this collection were not investigated by the agency,” added another advocate. 

In the case against IPS officer Ajay Singh, the court dropped corruption charges and framed him under IPC 384 and 120-B for extortion and criminal conspiracy. “This case was made up on the basis of statements of the complainant and telephonic recordings of conversation between ASI Prem Singh and IPS Ajay Sing,” a lawyer said. Similarly, suspended RPS Rajesh Meena’s brother Hitesh could not be linked in the corruption chain and the court discharged him. 

Court orders 

Case-I: Former deputy manager of Rajasthan cooperative dairy federation Surendra Sharma was sentenced to only two years in a case of amassing property disproportionate to known sources of income. The corruption case was highlighted as the ACB claimed to recover around Rs 2,000 crore from Sharma in 2010. The ACB was unable to produce evidences the misuse of office and taking bribe. 

Case-II: Businessman Rajkumar Lodhani was acquitted and some charges were dropped against suspended SP Rajesh Meena, ASP Lokesh Sonwal and accomplice Ramdev Thathera in thesensational ‘police monthly extortion’ case. The trial court put a question mark on the facts collected during ACB investigation. 

Case-III: Accused IPS officer Ajay Singh was discharged from corruption charges and tried only under IPC sections 384 and 120-B, which is for extortion and criminal conspiracy. The court made an examination that preliminary evidences which were produced by ACB do not connect with the bribe recovered from ASI Prem Singh in Ramganj police station. 

Case-IV: Hitesh Sharma was discharged in the District and Sessions Court recruitment corruption case. Charges of corruption were dropped against the accused Razak. Corruption charges were framed against court clerk Rajesh Sharma and advocate Hemraj Kanawat. Razak, Rajesh and Hemraj are also charged for criminal conspiracy.





Court recommends extradition of NRI to stand trial in UK


Delhi court has recommended to the Centre that an NRI facing charges of kidnapping and confining an Indian girl be extradited to United Kingdom to stand trial in the case. 

The court recommended extradition of Kulwinder Singh Uppal after he agreed to be extradited to UK to stand trial in the case. Uppal had fled UK and was arrested in Chandigarh on August 26 of this year. 

“I hereby recommend to the Union of India to extradite… Uppal to the requesting state i.E. United Kingdom,” Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Sudesh Kumar, said. 

The Centre, through its counsel NK Matta, had forwarded the request received from UK seeking extradition. 

It was stated in the request that the accused had fled UK after some other accused in the case were convicted by a Leicester crown court. It also said that an arrest warrant was issued against Uppal on January 29 by a court in Westminster. 

The court, while recommending the extradition, referred to a statement from Narinder Singh Soand, Leicestershire Police’s detective sergeant, before a court there in which he had provided details of Uppal’s offence. 

Soand had stated that Uppal had met a girl at a wedding in Jalandhar in India and asked her to come to UK to work as a dancer for him. The girl had reached UK in March 2010 and worked with Uppal as a dancer at Ilford and Bolton, he said. 

Soand also said that Uppal had forced the girl to engage in sexual activities with him and his clients. She was abused and threatened upon refusing to do so, Soand had added. 

The girl left Bolton with one Jaswinder Singh and came to Leicester on June 18, 2010, but Uppal arrived at her house on July 9 with some others and forced her into a car, he said, adding the girl was held hostage at a house for the whole day.






Supreme Court stays DCGI nod to 162 clinical trial applications

DIVYA RAJAGOPAL, ET Bureau Oct 1, 2013,

MUMBAI: The Supreme Court has stayed approvals granted to 162 applications for clinical trials in the country and asked the sector regulator to provide evidence that norms for drug-related research are being followed.

The order, issued on Monday, was in response to a petition filed by a health activist group. It is the latest in a series of measures the top court has taken following allegations of violation of clinical trial norms in the country. The DCGI has been given two weeks’ time to reply.


Between July and August this year, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) had received 1,122 applications for clinical trials, of which the New Drug Committee approved 285 and the regulator cleared 162.

“The court has said it will not allow clinical trials of new chemical entity until all the preparations are done,” said Sanjay Parikh, counsel for Swasthya Adhikar Manch, the NGO that filed the writ petition.

The court has also given the health ministry 10 weeks’ time to come out with a plan for implementation of the suggestions given by state governments and other stakeholders to strengthen the regulatory framework regarding clinical trials.

Biotechnology firm Biocon Ltd’s chairman and managing director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said the court order is a set back. “A black day for Indian science and a sad reflection on our judiciary. This is a pure Luddite approach which is killing progress,” Shaw responded to a query on twitter.

Public concerns over allegations of unethical clinical trials in the country gained momentum following reports of deaths due to drug study-related injuries in rural Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. As per reports, the victims were participants in a trial for a cervical cancer vaccine.

In the last one year, the drug controller, under the supervision of the Supreme Court, set up various committees and devised compensation guidelines for victims of clinical trials.

“The government council in July had passed a note that the drug controller had not approved any trials in the country since January, and then less than a month we see so many trials getting approved,” said Amulya Nidhi of Swasthya Adhikar Manch. “These speedy approvals indicate that the government is still not following proper norms.”





HC rejects IPS officer’s plea in date of birth dispute


Madras High Court has ruled that a decree passed by a civil court cannot be relied upon for changing the date of birth in the Service Register of an employee. 

Dismissing a petition by IPS officer M Ramasubramani, a Division Bench said that the alteration made in the SSLC certificate on the basis of the decree passed by the civil court can be ignored by central and state authorities as being void. 

The nullity of the decree can be pleaded at any stage of the proceedings and be even raised collaterally in other courts, the bench said. 

“If we ignore the said correction made in the SSLC certificate on the basis of a civil court decree, there is no other material to prove the petitioner’s date of birth as being July 3, 1958,” said Justices N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice MM Sundresh. 

The IPS officer had challenged a Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) order dismissing his application seeking quashing of a Government Order which had rejected his request for a change in his date of birth. 

As a DSP recruited through the state Public Service Commission, his representation in this regard in 1990 was rejected the following year. 

But the petitioner had pleaded that the above step was not in keeping with the Tamil Nadu State and Subordinate Service Rules. 

The officer later obtained a decree from Virudhunagar Munsif Court and submitted a representation to the Home Department, which rejected it, saying that the civil court decree was not binding on the department. 

Though his application challenging the rejection resulted in the setting aside of the order, the fresh plea with the government was again turned down. 

CAT rejected his second application on the ground that the date of birth as declared by a person in the application for recruitment shall be accepted by the central government and as per Rule 16 A (4). 

The date of birth accepted by the central government cannot be altered except where a bona fide clerical mistake has occurred. 

Relying on a Supreme Court judgement, CAT rejected the application of the officer.





HC seeks UP’s response on minority welfare scheme

The Allahabad High Court (HC) sought the Uttar Pradesh government’s response on a PIL seeking to know why only Muslim girls were being given benefits and financial aid under its minority welfare scheme “Hamari Beti, Uska Kal”.

A bench of the Allahabad HC consisting of acting chief justice Laxmikant Mohapatra and justice Rakesh Srivastava, while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) Tuesday, had sought a reply from the state government within three weeks on why girls from a select community were being benefited by the welfare scheme.

The PIL, filed by Ashok Srivastava of Siddharthanagar, alleges that the Aug 14, 2012 order of the Samajwadi Party (SP) government in the state had said that Muslim girls will be given Rs.30,000 for higher education and marriage and had claimed that this was in contravention to the right of equality enshrined in the Indian Constitution.

The petitioner had also alleged that the government was trying to divide the society on religious lines by doing so for political gains. The PIL cites the Supreme Court (SC) order in the Indra Sahini case wherein the apex court had said that no reservation can be granted on religious lines.

Counsel of the Uttar Pradesh government AK Goel, however, told the court that the state government was doing so as part of its mandated task of “minority welfare”.

He added that the grant was being given to all minorities, including Hindu’s. The “Hamari Beti, Uska Kal” scheme has been one of the most propagated schemes of the UP government and SP leaders, including the chief minister, miss no opportunity to highlight it as a major welfare scheme for the Muslims.





HC scraps 6% commission from Himachal Pradesh growers in Delhi

TNN | Oct 3, 2013, 05.46 AM IST

SHIMLA: In a major relief to apple growers from Himachal Pradesh, the Delhi high court has rejected the notification issued by the Delhi government to charge 6% commission from them (growers) in Azadpur Mandi for selling their produce. For the last many years, commission charged in Delhi market had remained a major issue in the state. Now, the HC judgment has triggered a race for credit among political leaders. The state government had taken up the issue with Delhi government with regard to enforcement of bylaw- 49 (3) — that though the commission be charged at the existing rate of 6%, it be taken from buyers and not farmers or sellers. 

After the Delhi high court judgment on Tuesday, while BJP leader and former horticulture minister Narender Bragta soon after claimed that his party was instrumental in taking up the issue whether it was in power or not. Not to be left behind, Congress on Wednesday gave the entire credit to chief minister Virbhadra Singh. 

Bragta claimed that in 1998, when he was the horticulture minister, he had raised the issue with then Delhi chief minister Sahib Singh Verma-led government, after which charging of commission was stopped. Later, when the Congress government in Delhi reimposed the commission, the HP government had approached the court, he added. 

Meanwhile, horticulture minister Vidya Stokes and chief parliamentary secretary Rohit Thakur claimed that the HC relief to farmers and horticulturists of the state was due to the efforts of Virbhadra Singh, who pursued the matter with the chief ministers of Delhi from time to time, regarding the brazen fleecing of the commission agents in Delhi. 

They said the high court decision was a welcome step as the Congress government had relentlessly pursued the case through the Himachal Pradesh State Agriculture Marketing Board even during its last regime. The chief minister was well aware of the issue of illegal commission being charged by the agents at Azadpur market, they said. As huge quantities of apples and vegetables from the state are sold through the commission agents in Azadpur, one of the biggest wholesale markets in Asia, the marginal farmers suffer huge losses. 

Stokes, too, is a prominent apple grower in Himachal Pradesh. Horticulture is a vital sector in the state’s economy as it generates more than Rs 3,200 crore annual income. Apple constitutes about 93% of the state’s total fruit produce. Besides apple, other fruits like pear, peach, cherry, apricot, kiwi, strawberry, olive, almond and plum are the major commercial crops of the state. 





HC upholds Jipmer stipulation on residence certificate



Earmarking of six seats for SC candidates in Puducherry not reservation but only concession: HC

The Jawaharlal Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Research (Jipmer)’s stipulation that Scheduled Caste (SC) candidates in Puducherry should obtain residence certificate from the territorial government as an eligibility condition for admission to MBBS under the Puducherry residents’ quota has been upheld by the Madras High Court.

A few SC origin candidates filed petitions challenging the clause in the prospectus, which required that a person claiming admission to JIPMER, a Central government institution, under the quota earmarked for Puducherry SC candidates, should have mandatorily resided continuously in the Union Territory for five years.

Out of the total 141 MBBS seats, 40 seats are for the residents of Puducherry. Of this number, six seats are for SC candidates of Puducherry origin. The grandparents of the petitioners, Santhosh Tamilarasan E and others, were residents of the Union Territory as on March 5, 1964, the date on which the President issued the notification relating to Puducherry. The petitioners are not residing at Puducherry at present.

In view of the condition, they would not be considered for admission to the seats reserved for the residents of the Union Territory. Therefore, they wanted the clause to be quashed and a direction to consider them for admission. The Standing Counsel for JIPMER, M.T.Arunan, said the seats earmarked for the Puducherry residents could not be treated as reservation. It was only a channel of admission. It was only to give an opportunity to local SC candidates six seats were earmarked for them.

Mr.Justice Sasidharan said the petitioners proceeded on a wrong notion that reservation of seats by JIPMER for the local SC candidates was in the nature of a constitutional reservation. The institution had already reserved 15 per cent seats for SC candidates. This reservation was not confined to SC candidates of Puducherry. To get admission against this quota, there was no need to fulfil the residential requirement. The earmarking of six seats was not at all a reservation, but only a concession for local SCs.





HC stays order dismissing trustee of Lilavati Hospital

Swati Deshpande, TNN | Oct 3, 2013, 02.52 AM IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court has stayed the dismissal of Prabodh Mehta as trustee of the upscale multi-specialty Lilavati Hospital in Bandra. 

The HC passed the order while hearing and admitting an appeal filed by Prabodh against a city civil judge’s order that dismissed him as a trustee. The appeal is among the long string of cases in a family dispute between trustees of the charitable hospital that was started by the late Kirtilal Mehta. 

On September 27, Justice A P Bhangale heard counsels Janak Dwarkadas and Prateek Sekseria for Prabodh and Pranav Badheka for permanent trustee Charu Mehta and ordered that the city civil order would remain suspended till the appeals are heard. 

The HC will now decide on the effect of a foreign conviction on qualification of trustees under the Bombay Public Trusts Act. Charu had moved the charity commissioner for removal of Prabodh, her brother-in-law, as a trustee of the hospital on the grounds that he was convicted in AntwerpBelgium, in 2007 and sentenced to six months in a case of alleged fraud, forgery and moral turpitude. He was thus disqualified to serve as a trustee, she had argued and the charity commissioner and later the city civil court had agreed. 

The HC said that it would decide if Prabodh was convicted for offences of moral turpitude, which would disqualify him as a trustee and also, whether a rehabilitation order would amount to erasing his conviction.





HC evicts Rs 50 per month tenant who refused Rs 1 crore offer to move out of old building

Shibu Thomas, TNN | Oct 3, 2013, 02.49 AM IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court has directed aJuhu tenant, the lone occupant of a dilapidated building, to vacate her flat within one month. The tenant, Esther Manickam, who has been paying a monthly rent of Rs 50 for decades, was offered Rs 1 crore by the owner to move out of old building but she had refused.

Justice Anoop Mohta refused to grant the tenant any relief against the demolition notice served by the BMC for the old building which has been declared dangerous.

“The structure if it is required to be demolished and as except Esther all have already vacated, there is no reason that the building in question (should) be repaired by the owner only to permit her to occupy one flat in question,” said Justice Mohta. The judge cited earlier orders of the court that allowed “the corporation to evict occupier/owner of dilapidated building even by force”.

The court said the tenant’s offer to repair the premises was of “no assistance as it would cause further complications and especially when no one else is occupying the other portions”. The court said it cannot direct that the building be maintained just because a lone opposing tenant wants to continue to occupy a dangerous building.

Esther, who has been staying in the Juhu flat measuring 340 square feet for decades and paying a monthly rent of Rs 50, refused to move out of the building despite the landlord’s offer of Rs 1 crore.

The BMC, earlier this year, had served a demolition notice on the building which had been classified as dangerous. A report by VJTI also said that repairs were not viable for the old building. But Esther rejected the Rs 1 crore offer and insisted on a flat in a new building on the same premises. The landlord and the developer refused to give her that saying that 13 other tenants of the building had accepted the same offer.

The court said it could not overlook the expert’s opinion and said that Esther’s claims in her applications were “contradictory, inconsistent and in fact self destructive”.

“Esther, though at her risk is occupying the premises alone and compelling the landlord/owner to maintain the whole premises/building in spite of the clear offer given to her, is unjustifiable,” said the judge.

“The owner of the property is entitled to deal with the property. Even otherwise, tenants cannot object to transfer and/or even to create third-party rights or interest in such property by the landlord. The owner, therefore, if he wants to develop the property, but for want of insistence to have permanent alternate accommodation in the same premises, (and hurdles are created) to the whole project, is entitled to oppose the action of the tenant,” the court said.

“The costs already incurred by paying a huge amount just cannot be overlooked merely because one tenant/occupant is opposing to develop and/or not permitting the owner to develop the property.” The court added that the owner of the property cannot be compelled to give a specific offer to a tenant.

The court refused to give Esther any reprieve from the demolition proceedings and allowed her four weeks’ time to vacate her flat on the condition that she files an undertaking to move out.





Madras HC directs police to allow fast over Lanka issue

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 01, 2013, 22:45  

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Tuesday set aside an order of the city Police Commissioner denying permission to a pro-Tamil outfit for holding an indefinite fast here to press for the expulsion of Sri Lanka from the Commonwealth of Nations and shifting a meeting of the international body from Colombo. 

Allowing the petition by K Thiagarajan of Thamizgh Thesiya Vidhuthalai Iyakkam, Justice KK Sasidharan said the authorities should consider the request in light of the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by the Constitution. 

Thiagarajan had sought permission from the police for holding the indefinite fast from today to press for the expulsion of Sri Lanka from the Commonwealth of Nations, besides shifting the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM) from Colombo slated in November. He also wanted to urge Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to boycott the meeting if held in Sri Lanka. 


Observing that though reasonable restrictions could be imposed on the exercise of such rights, the Judge said it was impermissible to prohibit (protest) without any rhyme or reason. He held that the Commissioner was not correct in denying permission to the fast and quashed his September 19 order. 

However, the judge, accepting the contention of the police that the Marina Beach venue proposed by the petitioner would cause traffic problems, suggested selecting an alternative location opposite the Government Guesthouse at Chepauk or Valluvar Kottam. 

The court put a series of conditions for the petitioner, including that he should give an undertaking that he would not induce violence during the protest and should cooperate with the police to ensure law and order. 

If any leaders supporting the cause wants to speak near the venue of the fast, a prior intimation should be given to the local police and permission should be taken by the petitioner, the judge said. 

It directed the Police Commissioner to grant permission by imposing necessary conditions. 






HC sets aside acquittal in cheque bouncing case

TNN | Oct 3, 2013, 04.37 AM IST

PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa has convicted accused Baswaraj Kedarji in a case of bouncing of a cheque amounting to 50,000 and directed the trial court to impose a sentence against him.

In this case, a judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) court at Panaji had in 2012 exonerated the accused Baswaraj Kedarji. The JMFC courtaccepted his defence that the cheque was issued by him towards purchase of sand and that the case was filed against him by the complainant Vithal Zalmi for not making payment towards the purchase of a vehicle as scrap.

The high court has convicted the accused Baswaraj Kedarji for dishonouring of the cheque for 50,000 and remanded the matter before the trial court to impose the sentence.

While convicting the accused, justice R C Chavan observed thus: “Faced with the prospect of being convicted and there being no other defence open, the accused may take the defence of this type and allege that the cheque was issued for something else. If such defences were to be accepted, it would be impossible to achieve the object for which Section 138 was brought on the statute book. The findings of the learned magistrate, therefore are thoroughly improbable and unsustainable.”

The high court noted that in view of the admission of the accused that he had issued the cheque towards purchase of sand, he was obliged to see that the cheque was honoured, irrespective of the fact that the complainant may not have been able to prove the purpose for which the cheque was issued.

As the accused did not appear before it, the high court directed the magistrate to enforce his appearance within one month and impose sentence after hearing the parties.

Advocate for the appellant, D Pangam argued that a complaint of offence punishable under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act cannot be tried as if it is a civil suit. Pangam stated that the trial court should have held that the accused was liable to pay as he admitted that the cheque was issued by him towards purchase of sand.

The complainant Vithal Tulshidas Zalmi had alleged before the trial court that he had sold his vehicle for scrap for 1.50 lakh to accused Baswaraj Kedarji. In this transaction, a cheque for 50,000 was given by Kedarji to Zalmi. However, the cheque was dishonoured .

During the hearing of the case in the trial court, the accused claimed that the cheque was issued towards purchase of sand and not for purchase of scrap of a vehicle. The JMFC court held that the complainant failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the cheque was issued towards the purchase of scrap vehicle. Aggrieved by the decision, the complainant filed appeal in the high court.





HC moved for protection to pilgrims visiting Tirumala

A petition seeking to protect Tamil Nadu pilgrims visiting the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara in Thirumala in Andhra Pradesh in the backdrop of continuing anti-Telangana stir has been filed in the Madras High Court

Petitioner, advocate Gnanasekharan, sought a direction to the Centre and the governments of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to take adequate steps to provide sufficient protection to the pilgrims en route Tirumala

He said the Centre’s announcement on July 31 last that a separate Telangana would be formed has triggered protests in more than ten districts, including Chitoor under which Tirupati-Tirumala falls. 

The anti-telangana protesters were indulging in violence and disrupting peaceful life. Pilgrims from Tamil Nadu to Tirumala were not allowed to visit the shrine, he charged. 

He submitted that he had been visiting the temple continuously from 1983 and the Freedom of Worship and Religious Practice which are guaranteed under the Constitution had been affected by the acts of trouble makers. 

The PIL is expected to come up for hearing on October 3.




HC dismisses plea on passing bill on judges retirement age

The Madras High Court has dismissed a petition which sought a direction to the Centre to enhance the retirement age for judges in High Courts and the Supreme Court. 

The First Bench, comprising acting Chief Justice Rajesh KumarAgrawal and Justice M Sathyanarayanan, rejected the petition filed by an advocate V Vasanthakumar at the admission stage itself. 

The petitioner had sought a direction to the Centre to take immediate and effective measures to pass “The Constitution (114) Amendment Bill 2010″ within a time-frame to be fixed by this court. 

Originally, under article 217(1) of Constitution of India, the age of retirement of High Court Judges was fixed as 60. By an amendment in the year 1963, it was increased to 62. Later in August 25, 2010, it was further raised to 65 by an amendment which had been referred to a Parliamentary Standing Committee, which he wanted to be passed. 

The Bench, quoting judgments of the Supreme Court, said no writ can be issued directing the authorities to introduce the above said amendment in Lok Sabah.





Allahabad HC to hear contempt plea against PM on ordinance

Submitted by admin4 on 1 October 2013 – 4:48pm


Lucknow : The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court would Thursday hear a contempt petition against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue of the ordinance to save convicted lawmakers from disqualification.

The contempt petition filed by social activist Nutan Thakur accuses Singh of “having openly defied the orders of the Supreme Court”.

The bench of Justice Ajai Lamba would hear the petition in which the petitioner cites the case of Lily Thomas vs Union of India & Others, wherein the apex court had struck down section 8(4) as being ultra-vires because it provides different dates of disqualification for sitting MP/MLA vis-a-vis those qualified to be chosen so.

Despite this, the prime minister, in a clear violation of the Supreme Court order, recommended the Representation of the People (Second Amendment and Validation) Ordinance, 2013 with minor amendment in section 8(4), Thakur told IANS.

“I have prayed for initiating action against the prime minister under section 12 of the Contempt of Courts Act 1971,” Thakur said.

The relevant ordinance seeks to override the Supreme Court’s decision on disqualifying convicted lawmakers. The ordinance, cleared by the union cabinet and awaiting President Pranab Mukherjee’s signature, was last week trashed by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi as “complete nonsense” and fit to be “torn up and thrown away”.




HC raps cops over Shetty muder case

Sunil Baghel

Posted On Wednesday, October 02, 2013 at 04:08:10 PM


While observing that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) did not require the Bombay High Court’s nod to investigate into city activist Satish Shetty’s murder, the court on Tuesday rapped city police for closing a complaint lodged by the late Right to Information (RTI) activist.

Referring to the case, Justice M L Tahaliyani sought to know from the prosecutor —“If the original owners of land acquired for construction of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway were compensated, then how can the name of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation’s (MSRDC) Executive Engineer be deleted and the original owners sell their land for a second time?” 

The court further asked, “Does it not amount to creating false documents? Does it not amount to forgery?” Shetty, in an FIR lodged in October 2009, had alleged that the name of one MSRDC’s Executive Engineer was deleted from revenue records. 

He also pointed out that several plots of land acquired by the State government for building the Mumbai-Pune Expressway were sold twice by their original owners to Aryan Infrastructure and Investment —an IRB Group company which constructed the expressway. 

Additional Public Prosecutor Deepak More responded by saying that the revenue records were ultimately corrected and the case was closed since there was no loss caused to public exchequer. Irked by the response, the court questioned, “On what basis have you come to this conclusion?” 

The court was hearing a petition filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), seeking permission to reopen and reinvestigate the case — based on complaints lodged by Shetty, which were closed by Pune rural police, terming it as baseless. 

Advocate Hitendra Venegaonkar, appearing for CBI, submitted before court that the investigating agency had arrived on a conclusion that the motive behind Shetty’s murder was connected to the complaints lodged by him. 

CBI has sought the court’s permission to reopen and reinvestigate the case. Thirty-eight-year-old Shetty had exposed several illegalities in the Expressway land deal, in and around Pune.
He was stabbed to death in broad daylight near his residence on January 13, 2010, when he had stepped out for morning walk. 

Justice Tahaliyani has now directed the prosecutor to file an additional affidavit explaining why the case was closed and also sought a set of investigation papers of the case. The case will now be heard on October 15. 




Delhi HC seeks status report from DDA on illegal construction in city

Oct 2, 2013

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has sought status report from DDA and other agencies of city government on a PIL alleging “rampant” illegal construction on public land in and around the capital. Seeking response from DDA and also from police, South Delhi MCD, DJB and BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd, a bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana in a recent order sought a status report by November 27. Representational image of a construction site. Reuters image The bench was hearing a PIL by Fraternity Against Corruption, a registered trust, alleging “rampant land grabbing, encroachment and illegal construction on DDA lands in and around Delhi which is open and brazen loot of public resources affecting public at large.” According to the plea, due to mismanagement of DDA, large chunks of land particularly in South Delhi are being misused and the land owning agency has failed to take care of them properly. “…The land mafia in connivance with corrupt officials of DDA grab the vacant DDA lands and then raise unauthorised construction over these lands. Their illegal activities do not end with this and they further sell these illegally constructed houses to innocent public and dupe them of their hard earned money,” the plea alleged. Referring to a high court’s decision in which the bench had ordered police to inform the concerned agency and also stop the illegal construction on DDA land, the plea said, ”…Delhi Police merely acts as a post office, they just inform this illegal activity to the public authority once, after that they just remain mute spectator to this brazen activities.” The PIL, filed through counsel Sunder Khatri and Dhananjay Tyagi, cited some areas where the alleged land grabbing by mafias had occurred in South Delhi. PTI



PIL urges HC to order sealing of cosmetic, health care goods


Public Interest Litigation has urged the Bombay High Court to direct the Government and local authorities to issue guidelines so to ensure that cosmetic goods, personal hygiene products, skin and hair care creams and lotions are sealed before being sold in the Indian market. 

The PIL said that currently such products are sold without seal and this results in contamination or adulteration of the goods which is harmful to the health of the consumer. 

Use of contaminated or adulterated products can cause skin irritation and rashes or other health hazard which should be prevented in consumer interest, the PIL, filed by advocate Geetanjali Dutta, contended. 

The petitioner said that a leading multinational company had in a letter replied that sealing of cosmetic products is not a mandatory requirement of India and hence it was not following the procedure to seal the goods before selling them in the market. 

The PIL, to come up for hearing tomorrow before a bench headed by Chief Justice, said the shopkeepers very often use the contents of the products in order to demonstrate them to the consumers and in the process they run the risk of contamination. This is very harmful to the health of people. 

Not just this, most of the time the weight or volume of the contents of the goods are not found to be equivalent to the quantity mentioned on the packet or tube because they are not sealed. The possibility of tampering is thus not ruled out, the petitioner argued. 

The Petitioner said she had written letters to several multinational companies to check whether they were sealing the products and found that this practice was not being followed because it was not compulsory. 

The PIL prayed that Public Health Department, Legal Meteorology (weights and measures) and Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Departments of Maharashtra Government may be asked to issue guidelines to ensure that such products are sealed by the companies before being sold in the market. 

The petition enclosed opinion of doctors and experts to support the contention that such products should be sealed. 

The respondents to the PIL include multi-national companies, Johnson and Johnson, Procter and Gamble, Hindustan Unilever Ltd, Colgate Palmolive (India).





DV Act: HC seeks case papers of complaint against Dimple Kapadia

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 02, 2013, 15:59

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has directed the city police to produce before it case papers pertaining to a complaint lodged by Anita Advani, who claims to have been the live-in partner of late actor Rajesh Khanna, against Khanna`s wife Dimple Kapadia and her family.

Justice Sadhana Jadhav was hearing a petition filed by Dimple and others seeking quashing of the case under the Domestic Violence Act.

“The respondent (Anita) has submitted some photographs and CCTV footages to substantiate her case. The prosecution shall produce all relevant case papers on October 11,” Justice Jadhav directed recently.

Soon after the death of Khanna on July 18 last year, Anita had filed a complaint in the Bandra metropolitan magistrate court against Dimple and her family, including her daughters Twinkle and Rinkie, and son-in-law Akshay Kumar, under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.

Anita had approached the magistrate after she claimed that the police failed to take action on her complaint.

In the complaint, Anita had included video and audio recording of Khanna`s signature being taken on a will forcibly and other footage to prove that she stayed in Khanna`s Aashirwad bungalow.

According to Anita, she was the actor`s live-in partner but was driven out of the suburban bungalow when Khanna fell sick. Anita had sought maintenance from Dimple and her family.

In her petition, Dimple contended that she was the legally wedded wife of Khanna and as such no other woman can claim share in the wealth left behind by her husband.





Madras HC slams lawyer for derogatory language in petition

Updated: Wednesday, October 2, 2013, 9:42 [IST]

Chennai, Oct 2: The Madras High Court on Tuesday slammed an advocate who used derogatory language in his petition while seeking to restrict relatives of politicians from contesting in polls, and imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on him. The court also directed that the fine should be paid to Mediation and Reconciliation Centre within two weeks. The First Bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal and Justice M Sathyanarayanan, dismissed the petition of advocate R Balasubramanian, who sought to restrict politicians’ relatives from contesting Parliament and Assembly polls and also a direction to the President, Chief Election Commissioner and Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer, to whom he had sent representations. On the advocate’s earlier petition, in which he had used derogatory language, the bench said it had not imposed costs on him, thinking that as an advocate he would realise his role and responsibilities and desist from doing so in future. However, he had not learnt his lesson, had taken a conscious decision not to mend his way and in his September 10 representation to the President and to authorities, used derogatory remarks against the sitting Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) elected from this state without any responsibility, the court said. Madras HC slams lawyer for language, fines him Rs 10,000 It said the court depreciated such a kind of practice by the petitioner, who claims to be practicing advocate. On the legality of the petitioner, the Bench said in the absence of any statutory right on the part of the petitioner with a corresponding obligation on the part of the respondents, such a kind of relief cannot be issued. The bench later dismissed the petition at the admission stage observing it did not find any merit in it and directed the petitioner to pay within two weeks Rs 10,000 to the Mediation and Reconciliation Centre, attached to the Court. If it was not complied with, the Chennai District Collector should treat it as arrears of land revenue and take appropriate steps to recover it and to pay the Centre, the court said. PTI



Resolve row, HC tells Yukta Mookhey and hubby

Shibu Thomas, Mumbai Mirror Oct 1, 2013, 12.00AM IST


The Bombay high court on Monday asked former Miss World Yukta Mookhey and her estranged husband Tuli to attempt to find a way to resolve their disputes. Justice Sadhna Jadhav met Mookhey and Nagpur-based businessman Tuli separately in her chamber on Monday evening and later held discussions with their lawyers. “The judge suggested some ways for the couple to deal with their disputes,” said a lawyer. The matter will be heard on October 14. Meanwhile, the HC has asked both the sides to sit and attempt to reconcile the differences.


The HC initiative came on an anticipatory bail application filed by Tuli, seeking protection from arrest in a criminal case lodged by Mookhey. In July, Mookhey had lodged an FIR accusing Tuli of committing unnatural sex and alleged that Tuli and her in-laws had subjected her to cruelty and criminal breach of trust.

The trial court had initially remarked that no case of harassment and cruelty under Section 498-A of the IPC had been made out. However,the HC did not agree to the view and said the trial judge did not seem to have considered the 15 non-cognizable offences, proceedings under the Domestic Violence Act and two other complaints filed by Mookhey.






Bar association protests against HC for delay in handing over land for lawyers’ chambers

Ranjana Diggikar, TNN | Oct 3, 2013, 04.23 AM IST

AURANGABAD: The High Court Bar Association of Bombay Bench at Aurangabad on Wednesday protested against the high court administration for delay in handing over the possession of 2.714 acres of land for construction of an eight-storeyed building housing around 1,200 lawyers’ chambers. The premises is touted to be the first of its kind in Marathwada.

President of the association president, S B Talekar, said, “The high court (HC) administration has been inept, indecisive and insensitive towards the cause of the lawyers. It has not been able to hand over the possession of the land, obtain a no objection certificate from Cidco and finalize the building plan received from architects from all over India. The president and secretary of managing committee of the bar association met the chief justice individually requesting him to expedite the process, but in vain.”

He said that it’s been about six years since the foundation stone for the building was laid by the then chief minister late Vilasrao Deshmukh. “We even made representations many times to the chief justice, HC registrar administration and the HC building committee, but to no avail,” Talekar said.

“The honourable chief justice of the Bombay high court had cleared the proposal to measure and hand over the land on August 2 this year. Thereafter, the land was measured and demarcated by the deputy superintendent of land records, Aurangabad,” he said.

“The registrar administration is asking the bar association to approach the chairman of lawyers’ chamber committee, who in turn is asking us to wait for the decision of the building committee. The bar association is running from pillar to post and has been making requests to expedite the process,” Talekar said.

“Almost three years have passed since the advocates deposited Rs 1 lakh each for the construction of the building. In the meantime, the cost of construction has gone up by more than 300%. Even the state ministry of law and judiciary had cleared the proposal in March 2013,” he added.

A S Sawant, secretary of the association, said, “The chambers for lawyers is the need of the hour. It would be nothing but an adjunct and extension of the high court. The association and the bench would be immensely benefited since the lawyers will be able to utilize not only internet facility and access almost all law journals and reports available all over the world.”

When asked about the issue, C V Bhadang, registrar general of Bombay high court, said, “The high court is actively considering the issue. We are aware of the urgency of the matter and a decision in this regard will be communicated to the bar association soon.”






HC orders CBI probe into ex-police officer’s assets

The High Court on Tuesday ordered a CBI probe against a retired police officer for allegedly possessing disproportionate assets worth more than Rs 10 crore. The investigation must be entrusted to an officer not below the rank of an SP in the Central Bureau of Investigation, it noted.

Justice B Chandra Kumar allowed a petition filed in 2008 by G Durga Rao, a retired employee of vigilance and enforcement cell in the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad, seeking directions to the authorities to register a criminal case against G Anjaiah, retired additional superintendent of police in V&E, MCH.

The petitioner alleged that Anjaiah was suspended three times on corruption charges when he was working as the Additional SP in the MCH and at the time of retirement he owned 35 acres of agriculture land in Medak district, 15 acres at Shadnagar and Medchal, two-storeyed  building at Begumpet and several other properties in the state capital. K Ravinder Reddy, the then inspector of police, ACB, who conducted an enquiry said that the allegations were incorrect.

The petitioner alleged that Anjaiah had tampered with his date of birth and got promoted as additional SP. When the issue was reported in the media, he applied for voluntary retirement and the government allowed him to retire from service without making any enquiry, he pointed out.

On the other hand, Anjaiah claimed that the allegations made against him by the petitioner were enquired into by the ACB and it was revealed that there was no truth in the allegations and that the state government also dropped further action against him.

The judge observed that the enquiry conducted by the said inspector was one-sided and that it cannot be said to be a full-fledged enquiry. The enquiry reports were also not submitted to the court, he said. While allowing the petition, the judge directed the joint director of the CBI, Hyderabad, to register a case against Anjaiah and conduct a thorough investigation.





PIMS fails to get HC’s nod for MBBS admissions

Sanjeev Bhalla, Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, September 30, 2013

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday denied permission to the Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) here to provisionally admit students for the fresh batch of MBBS.

With the last date of admission over on Monday, PIMS has lost the chance to admit a batch of 150 MBBS students.

Anticipating a favourable verdict from the court, the institute management had issued an advertisement in newspapers, inviting candidates from the state to fill forms, which were provided free of cost.

Nearly 1,000 forms were reportedly submitted in response to the advertisement by Sunday evening. The authorities had called the parents after 3pm on Monday for counselling.

Talking to HT, principal director Dr Kulbir Kaur said, “We have failed to get the court nod to admit students. The exercise done on Saturday and Sunday had been nullified. We were hopeful of getting relief, so we took a chance by inviting candidates. Today (Monday) was the last date of counselling also, as per instructions of the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot.”

On July 16, the Medical Council of India (MCI) had barred PIMS from admitting students for this session (2013-14) in MBBS, using its powers under Section 10(A) of the MCI Act, due to the institute’s failure to fulfil the condition of requisite infrastructure.

The institute started in 2011 and has admitted two MBBS batches so far. It was allotted to a society headed by Punjab rural development minister Surjit Singh Rakhra on a 99-year lease. In March-April, the institute had witnessed a series of strikes by paramedical staff, doctors and administrative staff over non-payment of salaries for months.





Revise contracts if costs escalate, HC tells govt

TNN | Oct 3, 2013, 04.39 AM IST

KOCHI: The state government should consider revising a contract granted for a public project if the cost of implementing the project escalated much after awarding the contract, the high court said. 

Justice A M Shaffique gave the directive while considering a petition filed by a PWD contractor, K I Poulose of Muvattupuzha, who, in January 2006, had taken up the construction of Chelachuvadu-Vannapuram Road in Idukki district. 

Implemented using Nabard’s rural infrastructure development fund, the contract was worth Rs 686 lakh. It was agreed by the contractor and the government that the scale of rates (SOR) applicable for the work would be that of 2004. 

However, the cost later escalated to Rs 14.49 crore, due to the extra work for excavation of earth, medium rock and hard rock. 

Though the work was supposed to be completed within 12 months as per the contract, it could be finished only in 2009 on account of delay in handing over of work site besides the extra work. 

During this period, the SOR had changed thrice while the contractor had undertaken work as per the 2004 SOR. He had filed four representations to the government, in February 2009, March, December 2010 and July 2011, requesting to make the 2008 SOR applicable to the contract. 

Through an order issued in September 2012, the government declined to grant 2008 SOR for the contract, citing that the contractor had specifically agreed to the condition that he would not claim any enhanced rate for the work done during the extended period. 

The contractor sought a review of the decision but was declined by the government in October 2012. 

Representing the contractor at the high court, senior counsel N Nandakumara Menon said the government had given enhanced rates to several contractors who had undertaken similar works under the Nabard scheme. 

The government’s counsel argued that the contractor was not entitled to make any claim as he had submitted an estimate on the basis of the 2004 SOR. 

According to the inquiry report of the chief engineer of the PWD administration wing, of the additional Rs 769 lakh sought, Rs 643 lakh was for excavation, which could not be verified as the work was already completed. 

Ruling against rejection for not being able to verify, the court pointed out that the contractor had submitted several representations making such a claim at different times and the government failed to take them into consideration. 

The government’s inter-office communication containing a statement of analysis of cost difference based on 2004 and 2008 SOR indicates that the contractor is entitled to a balance of Rs 4.97 crore, the court said. 

Quashing the government orders rejecting the contractor’s claim for revision, the court ordered the government to consider his representation afresh and pass an order within three months.






Make teachers’ transfer rules family friendly: HC

P Vasanth Kumar, TNN Oct 2, 2013, 04.49AM IST


BANGALORE: A division bench of the high court headed by Chief Justice D H Waghela on Tuesday asked the state government to re-visit the rules on transfer of primary and middle school teachers.

The bench made this suggestion, while hearing a writ appeal preferred by the state government. The appeal challenged a single-judge bench’s directive to the state government to post a teacher near Ramanagaram town and also increasing one per cent cap on such request transfers to five per cent.


“Rules are often framed in a hurry. There is no corresponding link between rules and the act. Rule is made with the intention to help the spouses, who are living separately. But now, practically, rules are separating them from each other. Rules should not be anti-family. They should be friendly to the family. Rules should be framed in such a way that it will give priority to the spouses,” the bench observed.

Advocate General Prof Ravivarma Kumar accepted the suggestion and sought some time to have a re-look at the rules. He was of the view that the state has to prepare a draft and then invite objections and finalize the rules. He also assured the court that by next academic year new rules will be in force.

However, the bench declined to give time till January and adjourned the hearing to December 29.

C B Lalitha, who was working as assistant teacher in Chikkakanagalu village, Alur taluk, Hassan district, had sought transfer stating that her husband Shashidhar, a practising advocate, stayed in Bangalore.





Sex determination plaint against SRK unfounded: HC

Mumbai Mirror Oct 1, 2013, 12.00AM IST


The Bombay High Court, on Monday, said these sex determination complaint filed against actor Shah Rukh Khan and his wife Gauri was “unfounded”. Social activist Varsha Deshpande had accused the couple of determining the sex of their surrogate child AbRam.

“Prima facie, the court is of the opinion that it is an unfounded complaint. I am not saying it is a frivolous complaint, but it is unfounded, meaning without foundation,” observed Justice SadhanaJadhav.


The High Court was hearing a petition filed by Deshpande seeking early hearing of the complaint filed by her in a Metropolitan Magistrate’s court. She had sought action against Shahrukh, Gauri, Jaslok hospital and its doctor under the Pre-conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act.

Deshpande’s petition said the Supreme Court says all cases under the Act concerned should be decided within six months. The HC enquired about the source of information with Deshpande’s advocate, Uday Warunjikar, who quoted a newspaper report dated June 14.

“The newspaper report does not include any statement of the actor couple. Don’t you think you should have put in some more effort to substantiate the complaint before making such sensitive allegations?” the court asked. The court also noted that while the newspaper report was of June 14, the child was born on May 27 and prior to that no report or statement was issued that the couple was havinga baby boy.

Suggesting that the parties should put an end to the matter in view of the Appropriate Authority’s conclusion, the court directed the BMC to submit by October 3, its report and other relevant documents before the magistrate.

Meanwhile, BMC counsel M P S Rao reiterated that the corporation had conducted inquiry into the allegations and has found that everything is in order and nothing is amiss.





Expedite process of implementing ‘citizens’ charter’ before winter session: HC

Vaibhav Ganjapure, TNN Oct 2, 2013, 03.10AM IST

NAGPUR: The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court sternly directed the Maharashtra government to take steps for early implementation of rules for the ‘Maharashtra Government Servants Regulation of Transfers and Prevention of delay in Discharge of Official Duties Act, 2005′ which is more commonly known as ‘citizens’ charter’.

“This court, expects the government to expedite the process, so that the draft rules for ‘citizens’ charter’ are placed before the state legislature in any case in the forthcoming winter session, for approval,” a single-judge bench comprising Justice Arun Chaudhari said, before adjourning the hearing by two months.


The directives came while hearing a petition filed by Vidarbha Taxpayers Association (VTA) secretary Tejinder Singh Renu who had originally filed the PIL on September 14, 2011. Earlier, he was allowed to knock off name of first respondent, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan.

While explaining about the current position of draft rules, government pleader Nitin Sambre informed that the process to finalize them has already been expedited. He pointed out that legislative committee after making some recommendations would place those before the cabinet.

While hearing the PIL, the then division bench comprising justices Dilip Sinha and Ashok Bhangale, on December 21, 2011, had directed the government to affix ‘citizens’ charter’ on notice board of all its departments. “It’s important to note that provisions of ‘citizens’ charter’ by the government’s administrative departments must be made known to the common man for whom it is meant,” they had observed.

The judges had directed all 29 government departments to affix copy of ‘citizens’ charter’ on the notice board to be placed at the front lobby or at a place, easily visible to visitors. They were told to complete the exercise within two months and finalize the rules to carry out purpose of the Act without further delay.

As the government failed to take steps in this regard, Renu filed a contempt petition after which notices were issued to CM along with principal secretary of state General Administration Department (GAD) KP Bakshi and his counterpart at Law and Judiciary Department VL Achaliya, who is also the senior law adviser.

During last hearing, Renu contended that the approach of the respondents, including CM, was very casual and lethargic in implementation and compliance of the 2011 order. Even the legislative assembly had convened many sessions but the issue not even came for the discussion and rules of the Act of 2005 were not framed till date.

He also argued that the directives to display the ‘citizens’ charter’ in each administrative department and all their offices in Maharashtra were not being complied with in its entirety. Despite repeated reminders and specific requests made by the petitioner from time to time to the respondents, no action was taken in this regard.





Don’t take action against Bombay Hospital, HC to BMC

Swati Deshpande, TNN | Oct 3, 2013, 02.54 AM IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court has restrained the BMC from taking any coercive steps againstBombay Hospital for recovery of enhanced property tax. The BMC recently served the hospital a bill of almost Rs 2 crore in property tax for 2010 to 2013. The property tax rose sharply after the BMC withdrew long existing exemptions granted to such charitable hospitals. 

The hospital dragged the BMC to court, challenging denial of exemptions since 2010. It questioned the “unlawful and exorbitant” demand. Hospital’s counsel Virag Tulzapurkar contended in the court last week that general tax could be levied for all buildings and lands in the city except those exclusively used and occupied for charitable purposes. They challenged the validity of the 2010 civic law that governs fixation of capital value of property to calculate property tax and said property tax for charitable hospitals cannot be calculated on the basis of capital value as a “separate category”. 

Considering the importance of the issue that would have an impact on other charitable hospitals too, the high court has sought a reply from the BMC. It adjourned the matter to October 23. It said restraining order against the BMC is subject to the hospital depositing 25% of the demand raised. 

“Instead of giving incentives to hospitals, especially private charitable hospitals doing excellent work, the BMC is taking away incentives one by one. This is most unfortunate,” said Subhash Kothari of Kanga & Co, the law firm that represents the Bombay Hospital. 

The hospital’s case is that under the guise of rationalizing the property tax structure in Mumbai pursuant to the requirement of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNUURM) for financial viability of cities, the BMC “abused the provision of the scheme”. The BMC framed a law, by itself a mouthful, called the Factors and Categories of Users of Buildings and Lands (Assignment of Weightages by Multiplication) Fixation of Capital Value Rules, 2010. The implementation of the law began in May 2013 with retrospective effect. 

The civic body, under the new rules, is calculating the taxes based on the age of the building, location, use and other factors and the hospital says, as a result, its property tax has shot up three times. For a hospital, there ought to be relaxations, said experts. 





Relief to Alagiri as SC declines to interfere with HC order


The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to interfere with a judgment of the Madras High Court refusing to recall the Returning Officer as a witness to adduce evidence in the election petition against former Union Minister M.K. Alagiri filed by P.A. Mohan through legal representative A. Lazar.

A Bench of Justices R.M. Lodha and Kurian Joseph, after hearing senior counsel Guru Krishna Kumar and counsel Balaji Srinivasan appearing for Mr. Lazar, dismissed the special leave petition against the High Court judgment.

In a brief order, the Bench said “Needless to say that the dismissal of special leave petition shall not be an impediment in challenging the impugned order in the appeal if the election petition is ultimately dismissed and the matter is carried to this court.”

In the election petition pending in the High Court, Mr. Lazar prayed for marking/exhibiting of documents already on record by the court’s witness, which were vital for adjudication of the petition by recalling the witness. However, the High Court rejected the plea holding that exhibiting the documents would require elaborate evidence and would delay the adjudication of the matter.

The appellant assailing the judgment said the documents were vital and required for prosecution of the case and the High Court had committed an error by rejecting his plea to recall the witness.

He prayed for quashing the judgment.




North Odisha lawyers fume over Naveen move on HC bench

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s letter to Union Law minister Kapil Sibal recommending benches of High Court in Southern and Western Odisha has left the lawyers in North Odisha agitated.

Stating that the decision of the Chief Minister was politically motivated, lawyers of Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts have threatened to intensify their agitation. They said North Odisha has always been neglected, be it the demand for a Government medical college or separate revenue division. 

Lawyers of Mayurbhanj on Tuesday staged an agitation before the district court. They decided to continue their cease-work till October 5 in protest against the Government’s indifferent attitude.

Balasore Bar Association president Niranjan Panda said unlike Western Odisha region, here lawyers have been resorting to peaceful demonstration by not hampering normal life. “But it does not mean that the Government would not consider our demand,” said Baripada Bar Association president Srinibas Pradhan.

While the lawyers of Mayurbhanj have demanded the circuit bench to be set up at Baripada, those in Balasore said they would support any place suitable for the people of the entire region comprising five districts including Jajpur, Bhadrak and Keonjhar.

The lawyers claimed that over 5,000 cases from the five districts of North Odisha were pending in the High Court which is much more than the total pending cases of any other region of the State.




Pay teachers pension, interest on dues, HC tells civic body

Oct 02, 2013 - Aamir Khan |

Pulling up the Brihanmumbai Muncipal Corporation (BMC) for withholding its teachers’ dues for the past 30 years and paying pension after deductions, the Bombay high court on Tuesday directed the civic body to pay their pension without any deductions. The court also said that the BMC is liable to pay 12 per cent interest on their dues.
A division bench of Justice S.J. Vazifdar and Justice K.R. Sriram was hearing the petition filed by two teachers — Hemalatha Varadan and Madhavi Pradhan. The retired teachers, in their petition, have stated that they were appointed as “trained teachers” in aided schools by the BMC.
The civic body, however, at the time of their retirement took a stand that they were not qualified and labelled them as “untrained teachers”, denying them proper pension, the petition states. The civic body is also in the process of recovering the difference in salary of a trained teacher and an untrained one by giving them a lower pension, it adds.
Appearing for the petitioners, advocate Rahul Walia informed the court that both the retired teachers were getting a meagre pension of `3,000 and even after around 30 years of service, they were denied their gratuity and other dues.
Taking cognisanse of the teachers’ plight, the court directed the BMC to pay pension without any deductions. “They (BMC) shall be liable to pay an interest of 12 per cent of gratuity and other dues in favour of the petitioners,” said the




Courts can question BMC on illegal structure notices

MUMBAI: In an important judgment, The Bombay HC has ruled that the civil court must consider facts and circumstances in each suit before deciding that it is barred from questioning the BMC’s power to issue notices or directions regarding unauthorized constructions.

Section 515A amendment was made to the BMC Act last year to take action against unauthorized constructions without intervention by way of stay usually obtained from city civil courts.


The HC’s ruling came on a petition by Abdul Mansoori, challenging the BMC’s August 1 notice under Section 354A (to vacate) of the BMC Act alleging that he had carried out an unauthorized construction on a plot in Bandra (W). Mansoori denied the allegation, saying the ground plus one storey structure has been in existence for several years. He said on August 5, the BMC demolished the first floor without giving him an opportunity to satisfy that the notice is bad in law. Mansoori then filed a suit in Dindoshi civil court, but taking note of the bar to the jurisdiction of the civil courts under Section 515A, he was denied interim relief. He then moved the HC. His advocate, Anita Castelino, expressed apprehension that the BMC would demolish the entire structure.

On September 13, a division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and Gautam Patel said the bar under Section 515A to civil courts to question any notice, order or direction under Section 351 (demolition) or 354A (to stop work) shall not be questioned in any suit or other legal proceedings “does not mean a suit before a civil court is per se not tenable”.

“In other words, a civil court’s power to take on a civil suit, as much as scrutinize and verify the plaint, register it, is not taken away by such a bar, adding that for that bar to apply, the civil court is obliged to consider the facts and circumstances in each suit and then apply Section 515A of the BMC Act.” They said unless the plea of ousting the jurisdiction based on Section 515A is considered in each case, the civil court’s jurisdiction is not ousted. “To non-suit somebody and prevent him from approaching a civil court merely because there is a statutory bar is not a correct understanding of the law,” they wrote.

The court has permitted Mansoori to seek interim relief before the civil court that will consider his plea in accordance with law.





Unfair practices in pharma sector under CCI scanner

PTI Oct 2, 2013, 02.01PM IST



NEW DELHI: Emphasising that pricing aspects ofpharmaceuticals are critical for the general publicCCIChairman Ashok Chawla has said that some cases of probe into alleged unfair practices in this space are in the “pipeline”.

Competition Commission of India (CCI) has already slapped penalties on some entities, including chemists and druggists associations, for indulging in unfair trade practices.


“There are a number of cases, which have been dealt with. There are some (more) cases in the pipeline,” CCI Chairman Ashok Chawla told PTI in an interview.

According to him, the Commission has already looked into many cases on the pharmaceutical retail side, while penalties have also been imposed on entities for adopting restrictive practices and not allowing others to enter the trade.

“That is an important area from our point of view because pharmaceutical retail and prices at the consumer end impact a very large number of the population.

“That is something which is critical from both the competition law point of view and also the socio-political point of view,” Chawla said.

On healthcare sector, the Commission is looking at possible anti-competitive practices with regard to hospitals asking patients to take the services of a particular entity.

However, the CCI chief noted that pricing of services in the healthcare would not exactly fall under its purview.

“When there is tying in of supply of services, there are some cases we are looking at…,” he said.

Without providing specific details, Chawla said that one case is at an advanced stage where the allegation is that of insisting on going to a certain supplier of services by a hospital.

“… otherwise whether the charges are high or low, it is not really for us to see.

“We don’t interfere in fixing of prices and the actual movements in the market place. That is not our job,” he noted.

CCI ensures fair trade practices across sectors in the market place.





AIR soft on officer charged with gender bias, says CAT

The All India Radio (AIR) has been pulled up by the Central Administrative Tribunal for taking lenient action against an employee against whom charges of treating female employees unequally was proved.

In this regard, the order of transfer of the official from Chennai to Karaikal has been set aside by the tribunal, stating it was not the suitable action in the instant case.

The matter pertains to one V Vijayakrishnan, a transmission executive at the AIR. In February, he was transferred from Chennai to Karaikal. The official had moved the tribunal against the transfer stating that it was done with malafide intentions as he contested an association election.

In its reply, the AIR said a number of complaints were received from women transmission executives against Vijayakrishnan alleging sexual harassment. This was followed by the formation of a five-member committee to probe the allegations.

The committee found him guilty of unequal treatment of women employees. The AIR said, based on the report, the official was transferred.

However, setting aside the transfer order, the bench said that the authorities should have taken “suitable action”  instead of transferring him from Chennai.


Legal News India 30.08.2013

Murder case: NHRC raps BSF for shielding staff

Rakhi Chakrabarty, TNN Aug 26, 2013, 02.01AM IST

NEW DELHI: The National Human Rights Commission rapped the BSF in a case of attempted rape of a woman and murder of her father saying the prime concern of the court of inquiry of the border guarding force was to protect colleagues rather than upholding the law. Following NHRC’s recommendation, the home ministry paid Rs eight lakh monetary relief to four members of the victims’ family.

The NHRC’s observation was in the context of a November 2010 case where three BSF constables attempted to rape a girl near Amjadnagar border outpost in south Tripura, killed her father and wounded her brothers when they tried to save her. The victim and her family live in Tripura.

The NHRC found that the BSF’s staff court of inquiry (CoI) absolved the three constables accused in the case. On a stern note, the NHRC said, “This was almost invariably the case with the BSF’s court of inquiry, staffed by junior officers, whose primary concern seemed to be to protect their colleagues rather than to uphold the law.

When contacted, senior home ministry and BSF officers said they could not recall the case.

In December 2010, the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) filed a complaint with the NHRC against the BSF’s atrocities and human rights violations.

The NHRC had sent showcause notice to the Centre. However, the government of India did not respond to the NHRC’s showcause notice nor forwarded the report of the BSF’s CoI. “Therefore, the Commission presumed the Government of India had nothing to say in the matter and recommended payment of monetary relief to the victims,” said the NHRC spokesperson.

ACHR director Suhas Chakma said, “This is a classic case of how Indian security forces treat cases of violence against women, where all attempts are made to protect the culprits.”

He urged the NHRC to not close the case till the MHA informed about steps taken to ensure that the three BSF personnel are tried for the crimes they are accused of.

Earlier, the MHA paid Rs five lakh each to the kin of two men killed by the BSF in 2010 on the India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal’s Murshidabad following an NHRC recommendation.





NCW member wants age of juveniles lowered to 16

Himanshi Dhawan, TNN Aug 26, 2013, 12.40AM IST

NEW DELHI: The alleged involvement of a 16-year-old in the brutal Mumbai gang-rape has restarted the debate on the severity of punishment for juveniles who commit heinous crimes. A National Commission for Women (NCW) member told TOI on Sunday that she was in favour of reducing the age of juveniles from 18 years to 16 years.

NCW member Nirmala Sawant Prabhawalkar, who met the Mumbai rape victim and has been tasked to prepare a report on the incident, said, “The age of a juvenile should be brought down from 18 years to 16 years so if a person between 16-18 years is involved in a heinous crime like rape or murder, he or she should be treated as an adult.” Prabhawalkar said her views were personal.


The issue was part of a raging debate after it was found that one of the accused in the December 16 gang-rape in Delhi was a 17-year-old, just a few months shy of maturity. According to the Juvenile Justice Act, a person below 18 years can only be given a maximum of three years of punishment.

“With changing times, even a 14-year-old has a high level of awareness. It has now become a trend to use juveniles for crimes as they get away with lighter punishment,” Prabhawalkar said.

The NCW member said if juveniles were involved in petty crimes, they should be dealt with leniently as the crime was done because of poor socio-economic conditions. She said the same could not apply to involvement in serious crimes like rape and murder.

The JJ Act treats people below the age of 18 as children and provides for a chance at reformation.

Prabhawalkar will submit her report to the commission on Tuesday in which she is likely to recommend fast-track courts and quick investigation for the five accused. “We hope that the accused will be given life imprisonment,” she added.






HC denies Maudany bail for the third time

The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday denied bail for the third time to Abdul Nasir Maudany, leader of the People’s Democratic Party and an accused in the 2008 Bangalore serial blasts case.

Justice N. Ananda refused to accept the medical reasons put forward by Mr. Maudany seeking enlargement on bail for the purpose of securing better treatment for his ailments.

Mr. Maudany had claimed that his ailments had worsened as the prison authorities were not providing him proper treatment despite the directions of the High Court and the Supreme Court.

However, the prosecution alleged that Mr. Maudany was “deliberately magnifying and exaggerating” all his ailments to gain the sympathy of the court to get bail. Pointing out Mr. Maudany was refusing to take treatment, the prosecution presented a list before the court indicating that on 11 occasions between May and August 2013, Mr. Maudany had refused to get treatment at private hospitals.

After going through the medical records, the High Court refused to accept Mr. Maudany’s contentions.









HC rejects Abu Jundal’s plea against solitary confinement

Jundal petitioned the HC seeking to be transferred out of the cell and not be kept in solitary confinement

Observing that prison management and security as well as safety of inmates is a policy matter,the Bombay High Court today dismissed a petition filed by alleged LeT operative Abu Jundal, seeking a direction to jail authorities to not keep him in solitary confinement.

Jundal, who was arrested in June last year for his alleged involvement in the 26/11 terror attack and the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case, is presently lodged in the same cell where Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab was lodged in the Arthur Road prison in central Mumbai.

Jundal petitioned the HC seeking to be transferred out of the cell and not be kept in solitary confinement.

“The applicant (Jundal) has been kept in solitary confinement since six months. Due to this, he is depressed and thus not able to think clearly. Like all undertrials, Jundal should also be kept in common barracks and allowed certain privileges,” the petition states.

The Maharashtra government opposed the petition saying he was kept in solitary confinement due to security reasons.

A division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and G S Patel accepted the government’s contention and dismissed the petition.

“Is it the right of the accused to say where he should be lodged ? These are all policy matters. Some anxiety has been expressed and hence this decision has been taken to keep him in solitary confinement,” the bench said.

It added that the security of prison and its inmates and its management are all policy matters and the jail authority is solely responsible for it. “Any measure taken by them (authorities) cannot be interfered with by this court,” the court added.

Before the lower court, Jundal in his application had claimed that he was hallucinating about Kasab who was hanged to death.

The lower court had directed for a psychiatrist to check up Jundal. The jail authorities, however, said that Jundal was mentally sound following which the court rejected his application.Jundal then moved the High Court.




HC questions Chandigarh, Haryana over appointments to VAT tribunal

: Wed Aug 28 2013, 02:12 hrs

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday questioned Chandigarh and Haryana as to how they can make appointments to the VAT Tribunal without consulting the high court.

The query was raised during the resumed hearing of two public interest litigations, challenging appointments of chairman and members of the tribunal, filed by Advocate H C Arora. The petitioner sought directions to Chandigarh Administration to appoint the chairman and members of UT Chandigarh Vat Tribunal only after consultation with the high court.

The Additional Advocate General, Haryana and senior standing counsel for Chandigarh Administration were questioned as to how the chairman and members to the said tribunal can be appointed without consulting the high court.

Law officers of Haryana and Chandigarh Administration sought a short adjournment to explain their stand. The PIL will now come up for hearing on September 20. It is pertinent to note that the Chief Minister of Haryana had made the aforesaid three appointments to Haryana Vat Tribunal without consulting the High Court.

Likewise, the Chandigarh Administration had appointed its Advisor to Administrator as chairman of the UT Chandigarh Vats Tribunal, while the three posts of members are lying vacant.





HC questions Maha govt on safeguards against data theft

Emphasising the importance of issues covered under the Information Technology (IT) Act, the Bombay High Court today said the Maharashtra government should come up with a system to protect and detect data theft. 

A division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and G S Patel was hearing a petition filed by a private software company seeking direction to the cyber crime cell of the city police to investigate into its complaint against an employee for alleged data theft. 

“Is there a single system in Maharashtra designated as a protective system? Mumbai is supposed to be the financial capital with two stock exchanges. You (government) are sitting on a time bomb which may explode anytime,” the bench said. 

“What do you do when a bank or some other financial institution loses its data? These days almost everyone uses online banking where several personal details have to be provided. What steps has the government taken regarding protection and detection of data theft,” Justice Patel questioned. 

Justice Dharmadhikari suggested the police not to brush aside such complaints all the time. “Whenever a complaint is filed police looks at it with a narrow perspective. Instead the police should look at the whole Act,” the court said. 

“The IT Act is not about just Facebook and Twitter and other social networking accounts but also about misuse of financial information,” the bench said. 

The court has directed senior officials of the cyber crime cell to look into the issue and apprise the court on the next date of hearing on September 19. 

According to the petition filed by H R Mantra company, which provides software solutions to other companies, one of their employee Sneha Sahu had allegedly misused data regarding quotations and clients list and provided it to a rival company Synergy Software. 

“A complaint was lodged with the Charkop police on September 17 last year. A month later they asked us to approach the cyber crime cell in Bandra. In November, we forwarded the complaint to Bandra but after three months the matter was reverted to Charkop police. Following this we filed this petition,” advocate Ramprakash Pandey said.





HC dismisses appeal of retd forest ranger

: Madras High Court today dismissed an appeal filed by a retired forest ranger, challenging a single judge’s order, dismissing his plea for reinstatement on the ground that his date of birth had been wrongly entered. 

While upholding the single judge’s order, the First Bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal and Justice T Raja, observed that the documents and register were tampered with and the petitioner’s claim for correction in date of birth was rejected. 

R Mohanasundaram, who joined service in August 1981, submitted an application to authorities in April 1993, claiming his date of birth was wrongly entered as May 1952 instead of May 1956. 

Mohanasundaram, who retired from service in May 2010, contended that if the year of birth had been taken as 1952, he would have served four more years and retired before 2014. 

Prior to his retirement in January 2010, the Forest Department Secretary took up this case with Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, who ordered it to be investigated by an officer not below the rank of Deputy Collector. 

Meanwhile, Mohanasundaram was fighting for his promotion in court, which recommended an investigation into the matter. 

When the authorities perused relevant documents, it came to light that the documents pertaining to Mohanasundaram’s date of birth were tampered and his name conspicuously inserted in the register. 

A single judge before whom the matter was heard had concluded that the records were tampered and dismissed the petition against which Mohanasundram preferred an appeal.





Radia tapes: SC conducts two-hour-long in-camera proceedings

By PTI | 29 Aug, 2013, 12.14PM IST

NEW DELHI: In a rare case, the Supreme Court today conducted two-hour-long in-camera proceedings in the former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia phone tapping case for knowing the Centre’s stand and perusing “top secret” documents which formed the basis for interception of her calls. 

The proceedings before a bench of justices G S Singhvi and V Gopala Gowda, began from 10.30 AM and went on till 12.30 PM during which two additional solicitor generals, CBI, Income Tax Department and Home Ministry officers were allowed into the court room but all advocates appearing for different parties, journalists and others were barred. 

The bench concluded the in-camera proceedings and posted the matter for an open court hearing on October 1. 

The bench had on August 27 decided to hold in-camera proceedings in the case. 

Although in-camera proceedings are normal in trial courts in sensitive cases, in the Supreme Court this is the second time that such hearing is being conducted in recent years. The last time such a proceeding took place in the apex court was in the hawala case in 1996. 

The apex court had decided on in-camera hearing after it found that many controversial and sensitive information and names of people figure in the various reports disclosure of which in public domain could harm national interest and could tarnish the image of people till they were established. 

Today’s in-camera proceedings were confined to the bench perusing the government’s confidential report and the Centre’s submission on the issue. 

The conversations were recorded as part of surveillance of Radia’s phone on a complaint to the Finance Minister on November 16, 2007 alleging that within a span of nine years she had built up a business empire worth Rs 300 crore. 

The government had recorded 180 days of Radia’s conversations–first from August 20, 2008 onwards for 60 days and then from October 19 for another 60 days. Later, on May 11, 2009, her phone was again put on surveillance for another 60 days following a fresh order given on May 8. 

The apex court had ordered setting up of a team of investigators to examine the contents of the conversations. 

The court had perused the report and transcripts prepared by the special team of investigators and said that “some of the items highlighted will become the subject matter of investigation”.





HC stay result of NRHM exam for post of district programme manager

Bagish K Jha, TNN | Aug 29, 2013, 02.11 PM IST

INDORE: The result of exam for the post of district programme manager by National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), which was expected to be declared on Friday, will not be declared now. Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court has stays publication of result.

Around 10 students has field a writ petition in the court of Justice N K Modi on the ground that they were not allowed to sit in the examination held on August 25 for the above mention post. On this HC granted stay on the result which was supposed to be declared on August 29 and instructed state government to file their reply within seven days. Over 600 students from across the state has appeared for 29 posts.

Adv Upendra Singh, counsel of petitioner told TOI when some of the students reached at Medicab Institute of Technology and Management, one of the centre for examination, they were not allowed to enter inside.

He added that examination timing were from 10am to 11.30 am, petitioners were in queue at entrance gate along with their admit cards and I.D proof suddenly the gate of entrance were closed at 9.30am by security guard and due to lots of crowd there are few candidates (more then 60 out of which few of them are Petitioners) were not allowed to seat in examination. All those candidates try their best for entering in examination but nothing happen even the examination in-charge didn’t supported the students.

After this some of the candidates give a call at Bhopal NRHM head office and they assured them that a re-examination will be conduct for all of them at 12.30 pm. But no re-examinations were taken by NRHM at the said time. Later candidates went to Kishan Ganj Police station, Indore and an application were given by them regarding all this incidence but no action were initiated by the concerned police station.

Singh on this ground writ petition were filed and HC heard it on priority basis and stay were granted on result publication.





HC upholds infrastructure levy on builders

TNN | Aug 30, 2013, 12.55 AM IST

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government’s user-pay policy of imposing infrastructure and amenities (I&A) charges on builders and developers who construct residential and commercial structures received Madras high court’s nod on Thursday. 

The levy, which initially amounted to about 100 per sqft of built up area for new multi-storeyed buildings in the city, came into force in 2008 as the government thought private developers derived “appreciable gains” in development and hence they should share the cost involved in creating infrastructure of international standards in the state. The government reduced the rates a year later. However, some builders had challenged it in the court. 

Additional advocate-general P H Arvindh Pandian argued that massive developments were taking place all around the state and developers were not providing necessary infrastructure to residents of townships being developed by them. The government, instead, is forced to provide all necessary infrastructure for ensuring sustainable development and the financial commitment in this regard is substantial, he said. 

Agreeing with him and upholding the legality of the newly inserted provisions in Section 63 of the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning (Levy of Infrastructure and Amenity Charges) Rules 2008, a division bench comprising Justice R Banumathi and Justice T S Sivagnanam said: “Promoters develop properties without providing basic infrastructure. Under such circumstances, the user-pay concept is a solution for sustainable development. 

“Advantages enjoyed by builders are a special advantage and simultaneously there is additional burden on the municipal services. The state would be justified in levying infrastructure and amenities charges.” 

Noting that the right to develop a property is not unfettered but subject to restrictions, the judges said: “Merely because builders have acquired interest in vast extent of land, as a matter of right they cannot claim that they would be entitled to construct buildings consisting of any number of floors and compel the authorities to grant permission for such development. When such large-scale development of properties is done with several floors, the government thought it fit to consider those as special cases, and by taking note of the impact that would be caused to other parameters, decided to levy and collect I&A charges.” 

The levy was to meet the impact of development and for ensuring sustainable development, they added. 

The judges rejected developers’ submission that providing water and sewerage facilities to land owners and developers was a public duty, statutorily imposed on state agencies and hence no additional charges should be levied. They also rejected the argument that I&A charges would amount to multiple levy, as promoters already were paying water and sewerage charges under Section 59 of the Rules. “I&A is a levy with a distinct purpose, object and intent,” the bench held.





HC wants panel to ensure repayment to duped investors

TNN | Aug 30, 2013, 12.42 AM IST

GUWAHATI: The Gauhati high court on Thursday asked the state government to form a committee within a month to take necessary steps to ensure that investors who have been duped by 23 non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) get their money back.

The court’s directive has come at a time when the hearings of five PILs and two writ petitions filed by investors are going on in the HC. The government earlier stopped the operations of these NBFCs and seized their assets. In the previous hearing, the state government had informed the HC that a proposal is being prepared for facilitating return of the amount seized from the NBFCs to the rightful claimant.

Sources said that the state government will auction the seized assets of these companies and their officials to mop up the money to repay the rightful claimants.

“The state government has agreed to form the committee. This committee will monitor the various ways to return the money to the rightful claimants,” said M K Sarma, counsel of Uttam Chetia, one of the petitioners. The committee is likely to have retired judges in its panel. The panel members will verify the claims of the duped investors before they are returned their money.

Assam Police in an affidavit filed to the HC stated that 192 cases have been registered against 117 such illegal companies. The present set of petitions is against 23 of these companies.

The special investigative team (SIT) of police, which is monitoring and supervising investigation of the 192 cases, has arrested 273 persons and filed chargesheets in 12 cases. It has also submitted final reports in three other cases.

“A sum of approximately Rs 93 lakhs has been seized and bank accounts containing about Rs 24 crores has been frozen. Some immovable properly has also been seized and the court has been moved for attachment of some other property,” said the affidavit of Assam Police.





HC seeks Centre’s detailed report on rural health care course

The Centre was today directed by the Delhi High Court to file a detailed affidavit on the contempt plea filed against it to start a three-year “Bachelor of Rural Health Care (BRHC)” course for those practicing medicine in primary health centres in rural areas. 

Justice S K Mishra granted eight weeks to the Health Ministry to reply and sought a detailed affidavit indicating if steps have been taken in this regard. 

“Let a detailed affidavit be filed by the Centre. Further, steps, if any, have been taken by the government so far,” the court said and fixed December 5 for further hearing of the case. 

The bench was hearing a contempt plea, filed through advocate Prashant Bhushan, by petitioner Meenakshi Gautam who said rural people have no worthwhile access to medical help and face great risk to their lives due to lack of qualified medical practitioners in rural areas. 

Seeking an order to initiate contempt proceedings, she said a division bench of this high court had on November 10, 2010 ordered Medical Council of India to begin BRHC course, approved by the Health Ministry, by March 2011 but nothing has been done so far. 

The court had given MCI two months time to finalise the curriculum and syllabus of the three-and-half-year Primary Healthcare Practitioner Course, approved by the Union government, she added. 

The course was named BRHC, she said adding the court had given another two months to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for the endorsement of the course syllabus. 

“The course should have been introduced by March 2011 as per the time-line stipulated by the court in its order. No such course has been introduced by the Ministry as of February 2012. MCI had apparently opposed the course in 2011 and is not willing to notify, the petitioner said, seeking the court’s direction to begin the course.





HC upholds creation of new transport corporations in Karnataka


The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday upheld the State government’s 1997 decision dividing the Karnataka Road Transport Corporation and establishing transport corporations for Bangalore city, the North East, the North West and for other regions.

A Division Bench comprising Justice N. Kumar and Justice V. Suri Appa Rao passed the order while setting aside the July 2, 2007 order of a single judge, who had declared that setting up of new corporations for different parts of the State was not permissible in law while permitting the government to establish subsidiaries of the KSRTC as per Section 17A of the Road Transport Act.

The single judge set aside the government notification creating North West Road Transport Corporation to cover Dharwad, Uttara Kannada, and Bijapur districts; North East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation to cover Bidar, Gulbarga, Raichur and Belllary districts; Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation for Bangalore city; and KSRTC for old Mysore and other nationalised areas.


However, the Division Bench ruled that the government had the power under Section 3 of the RTC Act to set up transport corporations either for the whole of the State or for any part of the State and creation of these new corporations come under Section 3.




HC summons corporation chief in missing emerald lingam case

TNN | Aug 30, 2013, 01.48 AM IST

MADURAI: The commissioner of Madurai corporation has been summoned by the Madras high court bench here in connection with the case related to the emerald (maragatha) lingam that went missing from the Kunnathur Chatram, a century-old guest house for devotees of Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple. It was also alleged that the lingam worth several crores of rupees has been looted and smuggled to Singapore by the government officials and politicians through hawala agents.

On Thursday, justice N Kirubakaran passed an interim direction regarding the appearance of commissioner after hearing a writ petition filed by a Madurai-based advocate, who is also the president of inter-religious advocates association. The petitioner had said that the lingam kept under the custody of the corporation had gone missing.

He further said that no FIR was registered on his complaint filed at the Thallkulam police on August 27 in that regard.

Seeking various directions, including locating and recovering of the lingam that was donated by the Kunnathur zamin, a petition has been filed dragging the chief secretary and home secretary of state, Madurai’s collector and corporation commissioner, Indian ambassador to Singapore, as parties to the case.

Seeking direction to directorate of revenue intelligence, intelligence bureau and CBI to conduct investigation, the petitioner’s advocate told the court that the corporation removed the lingam from the Kunnathur Chatram during the demolition and reconstruction of the building in 2009.

When there was public outcry in 2010 that due to the politicians’ pressure the government officials had duplicated the lingam, the corporation confirmed that the lingam is very safe and it is in the corporation treasury, which also stated that the same is original and can be tested and proved at any point of time, the court was told.

The court was also pointed out that the priest who performed poojas to the lingam at that time had applied to the corporation under the Right to Information Act in 2010 about its whereabouts, but he went missing since the date of his petition.

Following it, justice Kirubakaran questioned the government about the whereabouts of the lingam. Is it (lingam) available?, asked the judge. To it, he was told that instruction has to be get from the corporation. Following it, the court gave interim direction seeking appearance of the commissioner on Friday and posted the matter.





Competition Commission okays Mahindra-CIE deal

Last Updated: Thursday, August 29, 2013, 21:54  

New Delhi: Competition watchdog CCI has given its approval to conglomerate Mahindra & Mahindra Group’s (M&M) proposed multi-structured deal with Spain’s auto-component maker CIE Group, saying the deal will not have adverse effect on competition.

As per the deal, CIE would consolidate its European forgings businesses with Mahindra Systech firms that comprises of Mahindra Forgings, Mahindra Composites, Mahindra Castings, Mahindra Investments (India), Mahindra Gears International and MUSCO, into one entity — Mahindra CIE Automotive.

In its order dated August 21, but made public Thursday, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said that “the proposed combination is not likely to have appreciable adverse effect on competition in India and therefore, the Commission hereby approves the proposed combination under…(Competition) Act”.

The Competition watchdog observed that the deal did not “contemplate combination of two existing players in the Indian auto-component manufacturing business”.

Further, after the implementation of the deal, M&M would continue to be present as a shareholder of Mahindra CIE with a holding of 20.04 percent, it said.

CCI also noted that CIE Group had no presence in the auto-component business in India as well as no investments in Indian firms invlved in auto-component businesses.

The regulator also noted that the technologies currently being used by the Mahindra Systech firms would continue to be utilised after deal comes into effect.

M&M and CIE Group had entered into various agreements on June 15, 2013 following which they had approached CCI for its approval.

The deal comprises a series of steps such as acquisition of stake in Mahindra Forgings, Mahindra Composites and Mahindra Castings by a CIE group company, Participaciones Internacionales Autometal.

Besides, Mahindra Overseas Investment Company would acquire 13.5 percent stake in CIE Group.

Following these acquisitions, Mahindra Composites, Mahindra Castings, MUSCO, Mahindra Gears International and Mahindra Investments (India) and CIE’s Participaciones Internacionales Autometal Tres would be merged with Mahindra Forgings, which would be then renamed as Mahindra CIE Automotive. 






Cairn India moves PM-led cabinet committee on investment to expedite investment

Rajeev Jayaswal, ET Bureau Aug 27, 2013, 06.02AM IST

NEW DELHI: Cairn India, the operator of the country’s biggest onland oilfield, has approached the prime minister-led cabinet committee on investment (CCI) to resolve regulatory hurdles that have blocked investments of $2.4 billion and sought its help in reimbursing about $1 billion it spent to develop the block.

The government has recently set up a special cell in the cabinet secretariat to assist investors facing regulatory delays. The CCI is directly monitoring progress of more than two dozens oil and gas projects worth over Rs 103,700 crore. Most of these projects are implemented by state-run companies, government officials said.





Supreme Court can award fixed jail term while commuting death sentence


Plea against 30-year sentence without remission misconceived, says Bench

The Supreme Court is competent and has the jurisdiction to fix a particular number of years with or without remission when it commutes the death sentence to life term while upholding the conviction of the accused under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, a Bench has ruled.

It rejected a writ petition filed by Gurvail Singh alias Gala for converting his sentence from 30 years in jail without remission to life imprisonment. He also sought a declaration that this court was not competent to fix a particular number of years (with or without remission) when it commuted the death sentence. The petitioner, along with the co-accused, was charged with killing four persons on the intervening night of August 20-21, 2000 and the trial court in Punjab awarded the death penalty and this was confirmed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

However, the Supreme Court commuted it to life imprisonment with a direction that the petitioner serve 30 years in jail without remission.

Rejecting Gala’s argument, the Bench of Justices B.S. Chauhan and S.A. Bodbea said the issue raised in this petition was elaborately dealt with by a three-judge Bench in Swamy Shraddananda case, in which it was held that life imprisonment could not be equivalent to imprisonment for 14 or 20 years, rather it always meant the whole natural life.

“This court has always clarified that the punishment so awarded would be subject to any order passed in exercise of the clemency powers of the President or the Governor, as the case may be. Pardon, reprieve and remissions are granted in exercise of prerogative power. The power to grant pardons and to commute sentences is coupled with a duty to exercise the same fairly and reasonably. Thus, such orders do not interfere with the sovereign power of the state.”

The Bench said: “This court issued orders to deprive a convict of the benefit of remissions only in cases where the death sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment and it does not apply in all cases wherein the person has been sentenced to life imprisonment.”





Court orders probe in cheating case involving Lokayukta’s son

A local court has directed the police to register a case on the basis of a complaint of cheating against employees and representatives of a real estate firm, which include the son of Madhya PradeshLokayukta. 

Complainant Abhijeet Tripathi told reporters that Judicial Magistrate R K Rawatkar directed the Aerodrome Police Station to register a case against the firm Emmar MGF Land Ltd and its employees under sections 420 (cheating) and 406 (criminal breach of trust) of the Indian Penal Code. 

The magistrate directed the police to finish the probe and file the final report by October 28. 

Tripathi said he had filed the complaint against the company and its representatives including Shrawan Gupta, Mehar Singh, Abhay Mishra, Ajay Nambiar and Siddharth Naolekar. Siddharth is the son of Madhya Pradesh state Lokayukta P P Naolekar. 

According to Tripathi, he purchased a plot at Indore Greens township and paid Rs 38,84,691 to the company. But, later he learnt through RTI that the firm had kept the plot as a collateral with the government, and could not have sold it off. 

Tripathi then sought his money back, but in vain. After the Aerodrome Police did not conduct any probe on his complaint, he approached the court. 

Meanwhile, when asked for a comment, the company spokesperson said “We have not received any such court order so far and we shall only be able to comment on the same once we get the order, if any”.





Malbari sent to five years in jail

Mangalore, August 29, 2013, DHNS:


The Fourth Additional District and Sessions Court on Thursday sentenced underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s hitman Rasheed Malbari and his aide Mohammad Hasim to five years’ rigorous imprisonment. It also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on the two terrorists.

In case they fail to pay the fine, they will serve an extra year in jail, the court ruled.

Judge B K Naik pronounced the judgement in the jam-packed court hall here. The court on Monday had convicted the two men for possessing illegal weapons, under Section 25 (1) (a) of the Arms Act. After hearing the final arguments and counter-arguments on Wednesday, the court reserved the pronouncement of the quantum of punishment for Thursday.

While prosecutor Manjunath Bhat Panne sought a maximum punishment of 10 years under the Arms Act, defence lawyer Purushotham Poojary prayed for lenience as possession of firearms had not been prohibited under the law.


Malbari, who has already spent 53 months in jail, will serve the remaining seven-month term in a central prison in Karnataka.

Malbari was arrested by the District Crime Branch Bureau and police officers of the Intelligence wing at a house in Chattanchal near Kasargod on March 30, 2009. His associate Hasim was apprehended in Talapady. The police had then seized a 9mm US-made pistol and five bullets from Malbari, and a 9mm pistol and five bullets from Hasim.

In the charge sheet, the police had accused the duo of conspiring to kill BJP leader Varun Gandhi and Pramod Muthalik of Sri Rama Sene. Though the accusations were not proved in the court, the accused were sent to jail for possessing illegal arms.

Speaking to reporters, Panne said he would decide his next move of filing a revision petition seeking further punishment after receiving the certified copy of the judgement. “There was provision for sentencing the accused to 10 years in prison,” he said.

Malbari told reporters that the court had convicted him without proper evidence. “I have been falsely victimised and they have punished me because I am a Muslim. I will appeal to the High Court against the sessions court judgement,” he said.He also alleged police conspiracy and the role of Hindu organisations such as the Bajrang Dal and the RSS behind his conviction.

‘I am not Malbari’
Abdul Rasheed Malbari on Thursday told Deccan Herald that his name was not ‘Malbari’ and that he neither hailed from Malabar in Kerala.
“My name is Abdul Rasheed Sheikh Hussein and I am from Hejamadi in Udupi district,” he said. He claimed that the Mumbai police who arrested him had named him Malbari because he spoke the Beary language the police might have mistaken for Malayalam.
It is very common in Mumbai as well as in West Asia to call people from South India ‘Malabaris’. Incidentally, many people who work in West Asia either belong to the coastal region of Karnataka or Kerala.





PIL filed in SC for court-monitored CBI probe in Asaram’s case

Aug 29, 2013

New Delhi: A PIL was today filed in the Supreme Court seeking a court-monitored CBI probe into an alleged sexual assault case involving self-styled godman Asaram Bapu.

The petition referred to the recent statement by Asaram’s son Narayan Sai that the minor girl was “mentally unstable” and said there was “low implementation” of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000.

 “Direct a Supreme Court-monitored CBI probe into the incident involving the rape of minor by Asaram Bapu in the Jodhpur Ashram premises …,” Chennai-based D I Nathan said in his PIL filed through advocate N Rajaraman.

It also said the Home Ministry should be directed for immediate scientific test for ascertaining the biological age of victims, who are children, and fast tracking of the probe so that evidence was not obliterated.

It also sought a direction to the Home Ministry to ask ”all district SP level officers across the country for objective investigation by a police team of female investigators sensitized to deal with the offences involving sexual assault of child or juvenile.”

The petitioner said the object of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 was “repeatedly violated and disregarded by the police, state authorities and the accused who are violating the privacy and the right to life of minor victims.”

It said sensitivity of the police investigating crimes against the juvenile victims and the media, which is reporting such crimes against the victims, were violating the purpose of the Act.

72-year-old Asaram, who is accused of sexually assaulting a minor, will face arrest if he fails to appear before the Jodhpur Police tomorrow. Asaram had sought extension in the date of appearance before the investigation officer of the case at Jodhpur citing he had various pre-decided religious fixtures lined up till September 19.






PIL seeks joint probe by CBI, IT, ED into IPL match-fixing

PTI | Aug 29, 2013, 07.18 PM IST

MUMBAI: Hearing a PIL seeking a joint probe by the Income Tax (IT), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and CBI into alleged match fixing and betting in Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches, the Bombay High Court ordered on Thursday that a copy of the petition be served to these agencies within three weeks. 

The order was given by a bench headed by Justice PV Hardas which heared a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar asking for probe by central agencies into alleged nexus of cricket players with bookies. 

The petitioner prayed that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) be directed to register a case of cheating against players and bookies who had allegedly developed nexus with vested interests for “fixing matches or promoting betting in IPL matches”. 

The PIL alleged that offences had been committed in the context of match fixing during IPL 2013 and also urged a direction to ED, IT as well as Mumbai police and Delhi police to co-operate with the CBI which should take up the role of co-ordinating these investigations. 

The petitioner said that on a request by the central government, the CBI had earlier conducted a preliminary inquiry into the alleged nexus of players with bookies. This report should culminate in the filing of an FIR if offences had been committed. However, this had not been done, the PIL said. 

When the IPL scam broke this year, some bookies’ names had cropped up during investigations conducted separately by Delhi police and Mumbai police, the PIL said, adding that a central and independent agency like the CBI must be directed to probe the alleged cricket match fixing and betting.





PIL on Justice K G Balakrishnan: Supreme Court seeks government reply

PTI Aug 26, 2013, 12.52PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to file its response on a PIL seeking initiation of removal process of former Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnanfrom the post of NHRC Chairman for his alleged “misbehaviour” and purchase of benami properties.

“At this stage, we are asking the Centre to file its response within three weeks,” a bench headed by Justice B S Chauhan said.


During the brief hearing, the bench said let the Ministry of Law and Justice apprise the court about the status of the earlier complaint filed on this issue.

“More than two-and-a-half years have elapsed since we made the complaint with them. The complaint was supported by documents also. This issue cannot be allowed to go on and on,” lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who has filed the PIL on behalf of NGO Common Cause, said.

“We want to know as to whether they (Centre) have disposed of the complaint or it is still pending with them,” the bench said.

The PIL sought the competent authority to make a reference to the apex court to hold inquiry against Balakrishnan.





PMO reveals graft complaints against CJI, AG

Manoj Mitta, TNN | Aug 30, 2013, 05.38 AM IST

NEW DELHI: In a remarkable instance of transparency, the Prime Minister’s Office made public under RTI a complaint which had been given to it leveling allegations of corruption against, among others, chief justice of India P Sathasivam, his predecessor Altamas Kabir and attorney general G E Vahanvati.

The PMO’s disclosure on August 23 of these as-yet unverified allegations complied with a statutory safeguard. The RTI reply specifically said that “the concerned third parties were given opportunity to make representations regarding disclosure of the documents” in accordance with section 11 of RTI.

Responding to a plea from RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal, the PMO added for good measure that it was enclosing a copy of the complaint, which had been sent by journalist M Furquan on May 5, “after completing the third party procedures”.

All this implies that the PMO decided to disclose Furquan’s complaint after notifying not only him but also the other “concerned third parties” – namely, the judges and law officer – who had been attacked by him. For, section 11 stipulates that no confidential information “which relates to or has been supplied by a third party” can be disclosed without observing the principles of natural justice.

Interesting, in the same RTI reply, the PMO declined to disclose another complaint, which was only against Kabir and had been filed on March 19 by chief justice of the Gujarat high court Bhaskar Bhattacharya.

The explanation given by the PMO for withholding it is telling: Justice Bhattacharya stated that “his communication was confidential in nature and is meant for constitutional functionaries concerning a particular subject matter. He has therefore requested that the contents of the letter should not be disclosed to any person/authority, who is not a participant in the process. In view of the submission made by the third party, the information cannot be provided.”

The grounds for withholding Bhattacharya’s letter, which had been written towards the end of Kabir’s tenure as CJI, make the disclosure of Furqan’s letter under the same provision all the more significant. In any event, it is contrary to the trend of being cagey about disclosing information relating to judicial accountability.

As for the action taken on Furquan’s complaint, the PMO said generally that it had been filed “as per guidelines for processing of public petitions in the office”. The six-page complaint attributed ulterior motives to several judicial decisions taken by Kabir and other Supreme Court judges. It also all alleged that there was an “unholy nexus” between Kabir and Vahanvati.


Legal News 09.08.02013

Supreme Court notice to Centre, Jammu & Kashmir on judicial probe into Ramban firing

PTI Aug 8, 2013, 05.07PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today sought response of the Centre and the Jammu & Kashmir government on a PIL seeking judicial inquiry into the BSF firing in Ramban district of the state in which four persons were killed and several injured.

A bench of Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justice Ranjana Desai issued notices to the Centre, the state government and the DGP.


The PIL also sought direction to provide security, lodging and medical facilities to Amarnath and Vaishnodevi pilgrims who get stranded during their journey due to imposition of curfew.

The PIL filed by Sudesh Dogra, political secretary of J&K National Panthers Party, said four civilians were killed and 44 persons including security personnel were injured on July 18 when a BSF team had opened fire at a mob that had gathered at its camp in Ramban district protesting against alleged manhandling of an imam of the area by the force.

The petition, filed through senior advocate Bhim Singh, said curfew was imposed after the incident due to which a large number of pilgrims got stuck on their way.

It also sought compensation of Rs 50 lakh for the family members of those killed in the firing and Rs 10 lakh for the injured persons.





Ishrat Jahan case: PIL in Gujarat HC against interference of PMO in the case


A Public Interest Litigation filed in the Gujarat High Court has demanded that `interference’ of Prime Minister’s Office in the probe into the Ishrat Jehan encounter killing be stopped.

A division bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala heard the matter on Thursday before adjourning it to August 16 for further hearing.

Kantilal Chavda, a local resident, has alleged in the PIL that the PMO, through Union Ministry of Home Affairs and CBI, is interfering in the investigation.

“Investigations have revealed, as reflected in the charge-sheet, that the then Director, Intelligence Bureau, was the main conspirator…despite this, he has not been arraigned as accused,” the petition says.

“It appears that the intention of the central government is to play a political game rather than unearth the truth”, it charged.

The charge-sheet filed by CBI claims the inputs about four `terrorists’ entering Ahmedabad in 2004 to assassinate Chief Minister Narendra Modi was provided by Rajinder Kumar, and weapons found on the dead bodies of the four were also supplied by him.

Ishrat, a Mumbai-based student, her friend Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, and their associates Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were gunned down by Crime Branch sleuths on June 15, 2004 near here. According to CBI, the encounter, a joint operation by Gujarat Police and Intelligence Bureau, was fake.




HC Rejects PIL Challenging Z Security to Mukesh Ambani

Observing that the Centre has the executive powers to analyse threat perception and provide protection to any private person or entity, the Bombay High Court today dismissed a PIL challenging the ‘Z’ category CRPF security given to Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sancklecha today dismissed the public interest litigation filed by two social activists Nitin Deshpande and Vikrant Karnik seeking quashing of the April 21 order of the Union government, which gave CRPF security to Ambani.

“There is nothing in the CRPF Act or rules that take away the executive powers of the central government to provide protection to a private person or entity. It is up to the authority to scrutinise and decide on demand for protection, ” the court said.

The court relied on a 1955 judgement of the Supreme Court which said the Centre can take executive decisions and need not wait for the Parliament to enact or amend the law.

“The executive powers of the central government are co-existent with the legislative power of the Parliament,” the High Court said today, quoting the apex court order.

The bench further said that the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) can be deployed for protection and prevention of crime.

“CRPF may be deployed anywhere in India not only for restoration of law and order but also for any other purpose as decided by the Centre,” Chief Justice Shah said.

The petitioners’ lawyer Ashish Mehta argued that in 2009, the CISF Act was amended so that they could provide protection to private installations like oil refineries.

“Similarly, if CRPF commandos are deployed for protection of private persons, then even the CRPF Act and rules should be amended,” Mehta said.

“If you (petitioner) do not have objection to CISF providing protection to oil refineries then why are you raising objection to protection given to the person who put these oil refineries?” Chief Justice Shah queried.

The court further said that it cannot entertain PILs filed for publicity and that the petitioner should specify some illegality and injustice therein.

The government had sanctioned security after Ambani’s office informed the Mumbai police about threatening letters purportedly sent by terror group Indian Mujahideen (IM).

Additional Solicitor General Kevic Setalvad argued that Ambani, who has been provided 25 CRPF commandos, is paying around Rs 15 lakh every month towards the protection.

According to the PIL, CRPF is constituted to tackle emergency situations, and not for day-to-day law and order duties.

“The service of the CRPF is required only when there arises situation of national emergency, terrorist attacks, internal disturbances, riots or otherwise which is beyond the control of the local police,” it states.

It further says that such security is given only to high-risk individuals including Cabinet ministers, chief ministers, Supreme Court and High Court judges, leading politicians and senior bureaucrats.






PIL on waterlogging: HC pulls up MCDs, NDMC, PWD and DJB

Last Updated: Thursday, August 08, 2013, 19:48   

New Delhi: Pulling up the civic agencies and other public bodies for their failure to stop water-logging in the city during this monsoon, the Delhi High Court on Thursday asked their heads to fix responsibilities on the officers and make them accountable. 


“We want results not the words. We are not impressed by the affidavits. There should not have been water-logging after the assurance given by the civic and other agencies to court on July 24….,” a division bench of acting Chief Justice B D Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bakhru said during an hour-long hearing of a PIL seeking steps to end the problem of water-logging in the national capital. 

The bench asked three MCD Commissioners to fix responsibilities on Deputy Commissioners to take measures to stop water-logging in their respective zones for short term-measures and in case of their failure, the heads will take disciplinary action against them. 

“MCD Commissioners to fix the responsibilities on Deputy Commissioners(DC) in charge of each zone to ensure that there is no waterlogging. In case, the DCs failed to carry out the mandate, the MCD Commissioners are to take disciplinary action against them,” the bench said. 

In addition, the court sought an affidavit within four weeks from the Corporations indicating the role played by the Municipal Magistrates and directions given by them time to time. 

Similarly, the bench asked the Public Works Department (PWD) to fix responsibilities on the Superintending Engineers in each circle to carry out the work. 





PIL on conservation of water bodies

STAFF Reporter
 GUWAHATI, Aug 8 – The Gauhati High Court today took cognizance of a Public Interest Litigation(PIL) filed by a number of eminent personalities including Dr Nirmal Choudhury and Homen Borgohain over protection and conservation of water bodies in Guwahati.

The Court also issued notices to concerned authorities including the Chief Secretary, State Environment and Forest department, Guwahati Development department, State Revenue department, Water Resources department, Chief Conservator of Forest, Guwahati Municipal Corporation, Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority and the Deputy Commissioner, Kamrup (Metro) to respond on the matter.

Ruing over the present state of water bodies, especially the Silsako and the Bondajaan water bodies, Dr Nirmal Choudhury told mediapersons that greed and ignorance of the people have pushed the water bodies towards near-extinction point.

Dr Choudhury, who headed the one-man inquiry commission formed by the Government ten years back, said, “I had made a number of recommendations regarding conservation of water bodies and on the ways to tackle the problem of artificial flood in Guwahati. Unfortunately, most of the recommendations remained on papers only.”

“A holistic approach is required from the Government to conserve and protect the water bodies which are so important for our eco-system. Of course, funds would be required but that would be worth an investment, especially in view of the future of the nextgeneration.

Eminent journalist and former president of Asam Sahitya Sabha Homen Borgohain said that although the Government had enacted a law in 2008 to protect and conserve the water bodies, it itself resorted to gross violations of the law by allotting the land for construction.

“Had the recommendations of Dr Choudhury inquiry commission been executed, the state of affairs would have been far better. Inquiry commissions formed by the Government have turned into gimmicks,” Borgohain said.

Borgohain said that the Government must evict the illegal occupants and also demolish unauthorized constructions in the prohibited (water bodies) areas.

“If immediate and concrete steps are not taken, the problem of artificial flood will never be solved,” Borgohain opined.


Legal News 08.08.2013

Supreme Court stays execution of Maganlal


The Supreme Court on Wednesday night stayed the execution of Maganlal Barela, who was sentenced to death for beheading his five daughters after an argument with his two wives. He was to be hanged today morning. Further hearing of the case is scheduled to take place at 10.30 am on Thursday.

The order of interim stay of execution was passed by the Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam at his residence around 11.30 pm on Wednesday night after senior counsel Colin Gonsalves approached him with a plea to suspend the execution scheduled for Thursday morning. Since the CJI could not call the two other companion judges to his residence at the odd hour, he passed an order staying the execution and posted the matter for further hearing as a first case on Thursday morning to be heard by a Bench headed by him.

Last month, the Sehore District and Sessions Court issued a black warrant for Mr. Barela’s execution after President Pranab Mukherjee rejected his clemency petition last month. His plea to commute his sentence to life imprisonment had been rejected by the High Court and the Supreme Court. Barela killed his five daughters, aged 1 to 6, with an axe in the village of Kaneria on June 11, 2010. He tried to hang himself after the crime, but was unsuccessful.





Supreme Court’s approval sufficient to probe corrupt officials: CBI

IANS | Posted on Aug 07, 2013 at 04:16am IST

The CBI on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that it did not require the government’s sanction for a corruption probe against public servants in court-monitored cases but the government disagreed with this.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told an apex court bench of Justice RM Lodha, Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph it would file an application seeking its go-ahead to begin investigating an officer suspected of wrongdoing in the allocation of coal blocks.

Senior counsel Amarendra Saran, appearing for the CBI, sought to keep the government away from the process of giving sanction for investigating public servants facing corruption allegations but Attorney General GE Vahanvati said the court could seek the stand of government on such a plea.





HC tells Mamata to ensure no forcible shutdown during GJM-sponsored bandh


In the wake of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM)-sponsored indefinite shutdown in Darjeeling Hills, the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday directed the West Bengal government to ensure there was no forced shutdown and asked it to submit a compliance report in seven days.

Hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking the court’s intervention against forced shutdowns, a division bench of Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Joymalyo Bagchi asked the state government to ensure that railways, offices and education institutions are not subjected to forcible shutdowns.

While pronouncing the order, the bench however, remarked “democratic aspirations of the people cannot be curtailed forcibly” and added that “such shutdowns are undemocratic”.

The court also asked the Mamata Banerjee administration to furnish a copy of the order to the representatives of the GJM.

The High Court earlier had declared bandhs (shutdowns) illegal.

Life in the North West Bengal hills has been crippled since the past week following the GJM’s indefinite shutdown to press for a separate Gorkhaland state to be carved out of parts of Darjeeling and its neighbouring Jalpaiguri district. 

The move came after the Congress and the United Progressive Alliance’s endorsement of statehood to Telangana.

Over 100 GJM supporters and activists have been arrested in the past few days for picketing or trying to use force to ensure the shutdown.




HC stays single judge’s order


Kerala High Court today stayed the interim order of a single judge directing police to take custody of telephone records, including voice records, of Salim Rajan, former gunman of Chief MinisterOommen Chandy

The order in this regard was issued by a division bench comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and justice A M Shafique on a an appeal by the state government challenging the legality of the interim order, passed two days ago. 

Justice V K Mohan had on August 5 directed Inspector General of Police to seize the telephone records of Salim Rajan and that of his relatives while admitting two petitions filed by A K Shariffa of Kochi and Premchand R Nair of Thiruvananthapuram seeking CBI probe into the activities of Salim Rajan and some of his relatives involved in dubious land deals. 

When the appeal came up, Advocate General K P Dandapani contended that the land transactions took place long back and and no criminal cases were pending against Salim Rajan and his relatives before any forum. 

The bench orally observed that petitioner has not preferred any complainant before any police station against the phone calls or seizure of telephone records. Instead, Shariffa had directly preferred a complaint to theDirector General of Police

According to the petitioner, she submitted a complaint to DGP due to “illegal influences, money and manpower’ by the Chief Minister’s gunman and no action was taken. 

In an unusual move, the government today approached the Kerala High Court challenging the order to seize the telephone records of Salim Rajan, who was suspended from service after it was found that he had made and received phone calls from Saritha S Nair, accused in the solar panel scam. 

The allegation against Salim Rajan and his relatives was that they had tried to usurp about 1.16 acres of land at Kalamassery in Kochi belonging to Shariffa and 45.5 acres of land at Thiruvananthapuram belonging to Premchand R Nair. 

The bench, however, declined to stay the order directing the seizure of revenue records relating to the alleged deals. 

Salim Rajan was suspended from service when the solar panel scam broke out and media reports surfaced that he had made and received calls from the accused Saritha.






HC says no to CBI probe sought over clean chit to Bishnoi

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 07, 2013, 20:27   

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today refused to direct CBI to probe into alleged malpractice due to which IPS officer K L Bishnoi cleared his LLB exam without appearing for practicals and also against other policemen who had conducted an inquiry and gave a clean chit to him. 

A division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and S B Shukre was hearing a petition filed by Chitra Salunkhe, former vice principal of Siddarth Law College, seeking a CBI probe against Bishnoi and other IPS officers for allegedly shielding him. 

Earlier, the High Court had directed former Director General of Police, K Subramanium to conduct an inquiry into it. The DGP gave a clean chit to all the officers but recommended advisory note to be issued to two of them for non-application of mind and casual approach while dealing with complaints filed by Salunkhe against Bishnoi. 


However, soon after the report was submitted, Salunkhe sought CBI inquiry alleging that the DGP inquiry was just an “eyewash”. 

The court today, however, observed that the inquiry conducted by the former DGP was not dis satisfactory. “We do not find any substance in the allegations of the petitioner. We found nothing in the report which would warrant us to direct for CBI investigation,” Justice Dharmadhikari said. 

The court further held that it does not find the DGP inquiry report “perverse or erroneous in law” and hence to falsify it at this stage was unwarranted. 

According to Salunkhe, Bishnoi had cleared his final year LLB examination with the help of then acting principal I A Inamdar, without appearing for the practical examination held on March 12, 2005. 

On Salunkhe’s complaint, seven IPS officers had conducted an inquiry into the matter. After Bishnoi was given a clean chit, Salunkhe approached the high court seeking action against the senior cops for submitting “false” reports. 

Besides Maria, the other officers who faced inquiry were Additional Director Generals of Police Pankaj Gupta and Mohan Rathod, Additional Commissioner of Police Sanjay Saxena and three Deputy Commissioners of Police – Naval Bajaj, Brijesh Singh and Vishwas Nangre-Patil. 




HC issues order aimed at reducing pendency of cases in UP


Allahabad High Court has asked district judges and police chiefs across Uttar Pradesh to work together to ensure that the backlog of over six lakh criminal cases where the accused “were absconding (or) not appearing before courts” for more than three months were “wiped out”. 

A bench of Justices Amar Saran and Dinesh Gupta also asked the state DGP, Principal Secretary (Home) and district judges to “send feedback to the HC registry by the 7th of each month” regarding the extent to which the above directions were being followed. 

In a May 24 order, the court had asked the officials concerned to “ensure the appearance of charge-sheeted accused within three months” who had failed to present themselves for hearings in courts across UP. 

The court noted there were 6.20 lakh cases across UP in which the accused had not appeared before the trial court despite submission of a charge-sheet. 

Fixing Aug. 30 as the next date of hearing in the matter, HC sought “further feedback and compliance affidavits” on behalf of the Principal Secretary (Home) and the DGP and ordered “senior officials capable of taking decisions and responding to the court’s queries” to remain present on that date.





HC forbears opening of Tasmac shop near Sivakasi

Officials proposed to open Tasmac outlet despite objections raised by villagers

The Madras High Court bench here has issued an order forbearing the Virudhunagar district manager of Tasmac from opening a liquor shop at Vadamalapuram village near Sivakasi.

“When the people of a locality are against the establishment of liquor shops, the democratically elected government should respect their wishes and consider them in proper perspective,” ruled a division bench comprising Justices N. Paul Vasanthakumar and P. Devadass in their order.

The petitioner, T. Paul Raj, a resident of Vadamalapuram, filed the public interest litigation opposing the proposal of the district manager of Tasmac to open a liquor shop in the village. In his petition, Mr. Raj alleged that the officials proposed to open the Tasmac shop despite the objections raised by the villagers.

“The Vadamalapuram village panchayat had passed a resolution on July 1, 2013 requesting the district collector not to permit the opening of liquor shops in the village. The villagers sent a communication to the officials on July 16, 2013 objecting to the opening of a liquor shop in the village”, contended the petitioner’s counsel G.R. Swaminathan.

According to the counsel, there was a high school in the village, which was attended by girl students from six surrounding villages. Having a Tasmac shop in the village would be a hindrance to them, he contended.

The counsel appearing on behalf of Tasmac, M. Muniasamy, contended that establishing a liquor shop in Vadamalapuram village would fetch more income to the government.

“We are of the view that the views of the villagers and the resolution of the panchayat should be given due consideration by the district manager of Tasmac, whose sole intention, according to his submission, is to fetch more income to the government”, the judges observed in their order.

The authorities were bound to respect the ‘sentiment and views’ of the villagers, they further noted.





HC seeks report on Delhi’s Kalkaji temple


Delhi High Court Wednesday issued notice to Delhi Police asking it to file a status report indicating security and safety measures in and around Kalkaji temple.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice B.D. Ahmad and Justice Vibhu Bakhru also asked the fire department to file a status report on compliance of the safety regulations within the temple.

The court’s direction came on a PIL filed by advocate Piyush Joshi seeking directions for Delhi Police to provide adequate security and safety at the Kalkaji temple and other basic amenities, including sanitation.

The bench also issued notice to the central government, Sri Kalkaji Mandir Prabhandhak Sudhar Committee, Delhi government, lieutenant governor, Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), police commissioner, police station house office of Kalkaji and Delhi fire service.

The petitioner said that he saw the prevailing deplorable conditions at the Kalkaji temple such as lack of proper hygiene and sanitation, mismanagement, lack of security, unauthorised occupation of the dharamshalas in the temple premises, lack of basic amenities like shoe storage facilities etc.

Filing the plea, the advocate said the conditions in the temple premises do not conform to any civic standards of sanitation, health and fire safety.

It added that no security measures are present at the temple to prevent untoward incidents.

“Poor sanitation conditions at the temple are breeding ground for diseases. No proper waste disposal system has made the temple premises unhygienic,” the PIL stated.

The plea sought directions for DDA to check and demolish illegal unauthorised construction in and around the temple and MCD to check all unscrupulous vendors who have raised unauthorised structure around it.

“There is encroachment upon temple property by unauthorised and unscrupulous persons who pollute the temple premises without taking any measures to depose of the waste and garbage, which is generated from their respective shop structures,” the plea said.





CWC begins questioning rescued girls

08th August 2013 07:59 AM

The 28 girls, who were allegedly sexually abused by a caretaker in a shelter home near Bagalur and rescued on Tuesday, were questioned by  the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) to find out what exactly happened in the shelter home.

The incident came to light when one of the girls wrote to her classmate’s parents, pleading to help her. The girl said that over the three months of her stay in the shelter, she was abused by the caretaker Samuel. Other girls at the shelter too were abused by the caretaker.

The caretaker was arrested and produced before the court by the Kothanur police. The police have written to the Child Welfare Committee seeking directions on where to send the girls.

“We are not sure whether to house the girls —in the same home or another place. We have written to the CWC seeking directions in this regard,” said an official at the station. 

The CWC has questioned eight girls. CWC member Vishalakshi said: “The investigation is still in the process. We have questioned 8 children so far,” she said. “We have also asked the police to include violation of Protection of Children from Sexual Abuse Act 2012 in the FIR against Samuel,” she said.





‘Dead’ boy comes alive, courtesy CWC

07th August 2013 10:00 AM

Parents of seven-year-old Vignesh (name changed) were speechless when they saw their son for the first time in 10 days at the Government Home for Boys at Royapuram on Tuesday.

After all, the boy, who ran away with his 13-year-old neighbour on July 26, was thought to have drowned in the Marina Beach and his parents wandered around various beaches hoping that his body would be washed ashore. But, Vignesh was rescued and officials of the Child Welfare Committee escorted him around Chennai to identify his residence as he did not know the precise details.

Officials said Vignesh, the son of Murugesan, a labourer and Papathi, a housemaid from Manapakkam, had skipped school and left with his neighbour on July 26 for sightseeing. They visited Guindy and later spent time at the Marina after which Vignesh went missing. His neighbour, who returned home, reportedly lied to Vignesh’s family that he had drowned. “We went to many beaches hoping to find  either him or his body. Every time, we heard about a young boy’s death, we got scared thinking that it could be our son,” a teary Papathi said.

However, Vignesh was rescued by the Juvenile Aid Police Unit from Guindy Railway Station and was produced before the CWC on July 30.

It took another six days to trace his parents as Vignesh initially told the CWC that he lived in ‘Kolapakkam’ near Porur. On Saturday, CWC staff escorted the boy to places in south Chennai and other suburbs hoping that he would identify his locality. “When he travelled in a suburban train, he identified the station where he had to get down and we found that it was not ‘Kolapakkam’ but Manapakkam. Parents and police thought he was dead,” said Agnes Shanthi, CWC chairperson.





124 criminal cases against Samaikyandhra protesters

TNN | Aug 8, 2013, 01.12 AM IST






No B-class facilities for murder convicts in jails

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh , August 07, 2013

Murder convicts in Punjab and Haryana are not entitled to B-class facilities in jails, while Punjab has also decided to deny such facilities to prisoners involved in “any kind of acid attack”.

This decision was conveyed to the Punjab and Haryana high court through affidavits filed on behalf of the states during resumed hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking the withdrawal of B-class facilities to convicts in murder cases.

In pursuance to the directions issued by a division bench of the high court on July 10, the Haryana jails department had issued instructions to the director general of prisons (DGP), on August 1 that murder convicts shall not be entitled to B-class facilities.

The circular clarified that the facilities shall also now not be available to prisoners involved in (i) Lurking house trespass or house breaking where death or grievous hurt is caused (under Sections 406 or 459 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC); (ii) offences against the state punishable under Section 121 to 124-A IPC; (iii) Immoral trafficking in minors (sections 3, 4, 5 of the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act; (iv) Offences under sections 17 (c) or 18 (b) of Narcotic Drugs and Psychiatric Substances Act.

An additional affidavit has been filed by Jagjit Singh, additional inspector general of prisons, Haryana, stating that as per instructions issued by the additional chief secretary vide a letter dated August 1, facilities provided to convicts in murder cases had been withdrawn.

The additional advocate general, Punjab, produced a August 6 communication of the jails department, Punjab, to the ADGP (prisons), conveying that the state government had decided that prisoners involved in “murder/culpable homicide/causing death by negligence or rash act” shall not be entitled to B-class facilities. The Punjab government has also deprived prisoners involved in “any kind of acid attack on the body of a person” from B-class facilities in jails. Besides, those involved in offences under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act have also been disentitled from B-class facilities.

B-class facilities

The inmate gets facilities of bedding, separately cooked food or home-cooked food, newspapers and magazines, exemption from hard jobs, can wear clothes other than prisoner’s uniform, and can have more visitors as compared to ordinary prisoners.

Chandigarh seeks more time

The standing counsel for UT Chandigarh stated before the HC that the matter was being considered by its home department. The HC, therefore, granted two more weeks to the Chandigarh administration for compliance of its order dated July 10. The PIL shall now be listed for compliance only for the UT on August 30.

Convicts challenge decision

Five inmates of the Gurgaon jail, undergoing life imprisonment for murder, moved an application for intervention in the PIL. They stated that the right to better-class facilities available to them under provisions of the Punjab Jails Manual could not be taken away by the issuance of any circular or notification by the state government.





26/11 accused Jundal files bail plea in sessions court

Mumbai Mirror | Aug 8, 2013, 02.38 AM IST

Mumbai Mirror Bureau

Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, alleged Lashkar operative and key plotter of 26/11 terror strikes, on Wednesday filed a bail application, saying though he has been in jail for the past one year, the trial in the case is yet to begin. 

“The respondent (state) is deliberately delaying the court proceedings and hence prolonging the trial with mala-fide intentions,” said Jundal’s bail application, filed by his lawyer advocate Ejaz Naqvi in a sessions court. 

The plea further says that Jundal is innocent and has been implicated. The court has asked the state to file its reply by August 20. 

Beed resident Jundal was deported from Saudi Arabia in June 2012. According to the Crime Branch, he was one of the key conspirators of Mumbai terror attacks of November 2008 which had left 166 dead and scores injured. 

In its 13,000-page charge sheet filed last October, the Crime Branch has alleged that Jundal was present with LeT chief Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi and others in a Karachi-based “control room”, monitoring the 26/11 terror strike. The cops claim it was Jundal who taught Hindi to the 10 Pakistani attackers. 

In Maharashtra, Jundal is also accused of involvement in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case, the 2010 German Bakery blast in Pune, and Nashik police academy attack conspiracy. 

The 32-year-old is currently lodged in Arthur Road Jail’s high security cell that earlier had housed Ajmal Qasab. He has filed many applications, claiming that Qasab’s ghost was haunting him in the cell and that he be allowed to stay with other prisoners. All the pleas were rejected.





Lakhan Bhaiyya encounter: Brother moves HC against Sharma’s

The family of Ramnarayan Gupta alias Lakhan Bhaiyya, a suspected aide of Chhota Rajan, killed in a fake encounter in 2006, today approached the Bombay High Court challenging the acquittal of encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma by a sessions court. 

Ramnarayan’s advocate brother Ramprasad Gupta filed a petition in the high court, saying, “The sessions court order acquitting Sharma is erroneous under law. There is evidence against Sharma.” 

The sessions court had last month acquitted Sharma after observing that there is no direct or circumstantial evidence to show his involvement in the case. 

The court, however, convicted 21 persons, including 13 policemen, and sentenced them to life imprisonment on charge of murder

The lower court had termed the prosecution evidence against Sharma as “weak” to come to the conclusion that he had led the police team that carried out the encounter. 

On November 11, 2006, a police team picked up Ramnarayan, along with his friend Anil Bheda, from Vashi in Navi Mumbai on the suspicion that he was a member of the Chhota Rajan gang, and shot him dead near Nana Nani Park in suburban Versova in Western Mumbai on the same evening. 

According to prosecution, Bheda was initially detained at D N Nagar police station in Versova and was later shifted to Kolhapur. He was subsequently brought back to Mumbai and was detained for about a month. 

Soon thereafter, Ramprasad Gupta moved the Bombay High Court, alleging that police had murdered his brother. 

In February 2008, the high court ordered a magisterial inquiry which concluded that it was a “cold-blooded murder”. 

In September 2009, the HC constituted a Special Investigation Team to probe the case. 

Pradeep Sharma had been arrested by SIT on January 8, 2010, along with 21 others for their involvement in Ramnarayan’s killing. 

According to investigators, Ramnarayan was killed at the instance of Navi Mumbai-based builder Janardhan Bange alias Janya Sheth, who had got in touch with Sharma to have Ramnarayan eliminated.





Vanzara wants 2 trials in same case

TNN | Aug 8, 2013, 04.20 AM IST







Special Cell gets dedicated court to hear its cases

Aneesha Mathur : New Delhi, Thu Aug 08 2013, 00:59 hrs

Four months after the capital was divided into 11 judicial districts, the Delhi High Court has agreed to grant the Delhi Police Special Cell a designated court to handle all the cases that the cell was investigating.

Earlier this week, the Delhi High Court passed an administrative order which stated that all sessions trial cases — except for those under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act — will now be tried by the court of the second senior-most Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ-2) at Patiala House Courts complex. The order also stated that the transfer was “with immediate effect”.

According to the order, all pre-trial proceedings — such as remand of accused, submission of chargesheet, etc. — of cases investigated by the Special Cell will be done in the court of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, New Delhi, at Patiala House Courts complex.

It, however, remains to be clarified whether the cases, which are in their final stage of trial as well as those in which judgments have been reserved, will also be transferred.

A huge number of cases, including the high-profile IPL spot-fixing case, the Delhi serial blasts case, the cases against the various alleged modules of terrorist outfit Indian Mujahideen, among others, which are presently being heard in various sessions courts in the city, will now be heard by a single judge.

The hearing in the Delhi serial blasts case, which was scheduled to be heard before the court of ASJ Narinder Kumar at Tis Hazari on Wednesday, was deferred to next week as the court was informed about the High Court order.

The hearing in the bail plea filed by seven accused in the IPL spot-fixing case was also deferred by the Saket court to Thursday, and will now be heard at the Patiala House Courts complex.

The Delhi Police Special Cell had in February sent a representation to the High Court demanding a dedicated special court to hear its cases, citing the sensitive nature of these cases.

The Cell said its cases needed to be transferred to a single court to ensure better security for its officers as well as the accused in the cases.

Advocate M S Khan, who is representing several alleged Indian Mujahideen members, said the move may delay cases further.

“The purpose of a dedicated court is to dispose of cases expeditiously. This would be defeated if you transfer 100-150 cases to a single court,” Khan said.






Delhi police pulled up for shutting eyes on lady cop’s molestation case

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 07, 2013, 13:35 

New Delhi: The Delhi Police has been pulled up by a court here for “shutting its eyes” on the complaint of its lady constable accusing a Station House Officer of molesting her in a police station.

The court also expressed its displeasure over a magisterial court’s refusal to order registration of FIR on her complaint. 

“It is very unfortunate that a department (Delhi Police), which is responsible to investigate every crime in Delhi, is alleged to have shut its eyes from the crime having been committed upon their own employee i.i. Complainant and that allegedly by their officer i.e. SHO, who was duty bound to prevent crime in his area,” Additional Sessions Judge Rajender Kumar Shastri said. 

The ASJ’s observation came on an appeal filed by a lady constable through her counsel Hena Shah against a magisterial court order refusing to direct lodging of FIR on her complaint against the then SHO, BS Rana of Kalkaji Police Station here, citing absence of independent witnesses to prove allegations. 

The Sessions court, however, sets aside the magistrate’s decision saying, “A prima facie case of cognizable offence was made out. In my opinion, it was contrary to law, not to direct the SHO to register FIR.” 

It also directed the complainant to appear before the trial court on August 12. 

The 22-year-old constable had said that in January 2012 while she was posted at Kalkaji Police Station, the SHO had allegedly molested her in a rest room of the police station. 


On making a complaint to her seniors, she was transferred to Sarita Vihar Police Station here. 

While directing the magistrate to hear the case afresh, the court said, “It is eerie that a young working girl could not get justice even from a court of law, which rejected her prayer, saying all the facts of the case were within the knowledge of the complainant and hence there appeared no ground to issue any direction to the SHO.” 

It also observed that “a young constable swearing on oath an incident of molestation at the hands of her boss, it was established during department enquiry that the complainant and respondents met together in police station in the night. 

“It is very hard to believe that such young official will level false allegation against her boss and a senior police officer like SHO and that relating to her own dignity,” the judge added. 

The court in its order also noted the complainant’s claim that she had lodged a complaint with the DCP concerned as well as to the Commissioner of Police, but no FIR was registered and she was transferred from the police station. 







Delhi High Court rejects PIL against Food Security ordinance

By PTI | 7 Aug, 2013, 06.08PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court today refused to entertain a PIL seeking quashing of controversial Food Security ordinance for alleged “misuse” of constitutional provision to gain political mileage, saying it was for Parliament to take a decision on it. 

“Parliament is in session and it is for the Parliament to take a decision… we refrain from expressing any opinion on the issue. The petition is dismissed,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice B D Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bakhru said. 

The court was hearing the PIL filed by advocate M L Sharma questioning the procedure adopted and claimed that an ordinance can be promulgated only under extraordinary circumstances which was lacking in the present case. 

The PIL was filed in the High Court after the Supreme Court refused to entertain it saying that it cannot examine the ordinance on the ground that there was political dimension or objective behind it. 

The apex court, however, had given liberty to the lawyer to move the high court for redressal of his grievances. 

“Prior to bringing the ordinance, the Food Security bill was brought three times before Parliament and the ordinance was brought in contravention of the constitutional mandate for gaining political mileage,” Sharma said, adding that he was not against the bill but was opposing the procedures adopted to bring it. 

It sought quashing of the ordinance alleging that the constitutional provision has been misused for pre-election propaganda and political gains. 

“We cannot decide it,” the High Court said. The petition alleged Article 123 of the Constitution that deals with the power of the President to promulgate ordinances during the recess of Parliament has been misused as there was no “emergency” situation. 

“There was no emergency circumstances exist to issue impugn ordinance hence it does not comply with the terms of Art. 123. Therefore, the impugned notification is unconstitutional and is liable to be declared unconstitutional and void,” it said.





HC seeks Centre’s response on PIL questioning CBFC functioning

The Centre was today directed by the Delhi High Court to file its response to a PIL alleging that the Censor Board (CBFC) in connivance with film makers is allowing “double meaning” dialogues, “foul language and sex scenes” to be exhibited in films. 

A bench of Acting Chief Justice B D Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bakhru asked Additional Solicitor General (ASG) to file an affidavit within two weeks making its stand clear on the issue raised in the petition on the functioning of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). 

In the petition, social activist Teena Sharma sought a CBI inquiry into the functioning of the Censor Board. 

She alleged that it was “working hand-in-glove with filmmakers, allowing double meaning dialogues, foul language and sex scenes to be exhibited in films.” 

Citing some Bollywood films, the petitioner said, “I demand a thorough explanation about how these movies are fit for public viewing under ‘U/A’ or ‘A’ certificates, as it is in clear violation of the Cinematograph Act, the Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act, and the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act.” 

The bench listed the matter for October 9.





HC seeks govt, police response on PIL against stunts by bikers

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 07, 2013, 18:00   

New Delhi: The city government and police chief were on Wednesday directed by the Delhi High Court to explain the steps taken by them to prevent bikers from performing stunts in public places including near India Gate, where a teenager lost his life during firing by cops on stunters last month. 

A bench of Acting Chief Justice B D Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bakhru issued notice to the Centre, Delhi government and the Police Commissioner and sought their responses by October 23 on a PIL seeking action against such bikers. 


“The police are to file affidavit explaining the measures which they adopt to stop such bikers from performing stunts,” the bench said. 

The order came on the PIL filed by Hari Kishan Dayal, a city-based retired professor, who said he was aggrieved by “lawlessness” in Delhi and the “vulnerability” of men and women here due to such bikers. 

Seeking strict action against them, the PIL said “every year these anti-social elements go on rampage on their bikes, by over speeding and performing stunts on roads and harass the general public.” 

“Inspite of prior information, the police do not make adequate arrangements to stop them from violating law and troubling the commuters.” 

The petition, filed through counsel Pradeep Arya and Monica Arora, said that due to the failure of the police to stop such bikers, a 19-year-old boy lost his life last month. 

The counsel said that incidents of bikers performing stunts on roads are on the rise and it is not only hazardous for them but also endangers lives of others on the road. 

The plea alleged that despite claims by the police, the situation on the ground has not changed since the December 16 gang-rape incident and police continues to be “insensitive”. 

“The environment in public places, roads and transport is as unsafe as ever and the criminals have an utter disregard for the law,” the petition said. 







New banks: CCI to prevent monopoly

Mahua Venkatesh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 07, 2013

At a time when the contours of the banking industry are set to change with several more lenders expected to come up in the country by year-end, while a few could be merged, the Competition Commission of India (CCI), the country’s fair trade regulator, has finally been given oversight powers to prohibit monopoly in the sector. 

However, in case of a merger of a failed bank with another healthy lender as in the case of bankrupt Global Trust Bank that was amalgamated with the state-owned Oriental Bank of Commerce in 2004, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would get full power to decide on the fate.

Earlier, any mergers in the banking space were kept out of CCI’s ambit.

“While any merger in the banking space would need the approval of the CCI, we would not play a role in case of a merger of a failed bank with another bank as in such cases there is no time for scrutiny because public money is involved and it needs to be addressed immediately,” Ashok Chawla, chairman, CCI, told HT.

The finance ministry has already indicated that it may initiate consolidation among public sector banks to create mega-banking entities to compete with foreign banks. Such mergers too may have to pass through CCI’s scanner.

“We understand the need to create banking behemoths to compete with the foreign banks but in case there are mergers among government-run banks, CCI would definitely go through the process,” Chawla added.





Competition panel penalises 11 shoe-makers



The Competition Commission of India has penalised 11 shoe manufacturers for indulging in collusive and restrictive bidding for a tender floated by the Ministry of Commerce for procurement of ankle boot sole.

Imposing a penalty of Rs 6.18 crore on the 11 firms, CCI asked the companies to ‘cease and desist’ from anti-competitive practices in future.

The Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals under the Commerce Ministry had approached CCI after finding a similarity in the bids.

It was found that the difference in quoted prices of different bidders was very narrow. Following an investigation by the Director General, which indicated collusive bidding, penalty rate was 5 per cent of the average turnover of the company. The estimates of the tender requirement indicated in the tender enquiry was valued at Rs 10.45 crore and consisted of 45 items of different sizes and colours.

“The Commission is of the view that the opposite party bidders by quoting identical / near identical rates had indirectly determined prices/rates in the rates contract finalised by the DG S&G and indulged in bid rigging/ collusive bidding in contravening provisions. Further, the opposite parties by imposing quantity restrictions for the RC period as well as per controlled/ limited the supply of the product in question and share the market controlled/ limited supply of the product in question and shared the market of the product among themselves under an agreement/arrangement,” CCI said.

The companies penalised include A R Polymers, Puja Enterprises, M B Rubber, Tirupati Footwear, H B Rubber, Rajkumar Dyeing and Printing Works, Preet Footwears, S S Rubbers, R S industries, Shiva Rubber Industries and Derpa Industrial Polymers.

(This article was published on August 7, 2013)






Advocates to access their case flow via smartphones

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 08, 2013

First Published: 02:15 IST(8/8/2013) | Last Updated: 02:18 IST(8/8/2013)


Advocates and litigants having mobile phones with Android Operating System-based internet connection can now easily access Supreme Court Display Board and know the flow of their case on any particular day.

Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam on Wednesday launched the facility at a function at the apex court in the presence of Law Minister Kapil Sibal, judges and bar leaders.

The CJI also inaugurated some other e-facilities, isncluding SMS on filing and registration of cases. This facility enables an Advocate on Record (who does actual filing of cases in the SC) and parties in person to receive instant update through SMS on their mobile on successful filing or registration of their case.

Details about filing and pendency of courts across the country will also be easily accessible with the inauguration of the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) by the CJI.

With the launch of the first phase of NJDG, case data of all the courts, including those at district level, will be available on a single website - The portal will have data from around 10,000 courts.

“Any visitor to this website can access the status of the case, the cause list of the district courts and in some cases, daily order or judgement of the case, searchable on the basis of case number, party name, advocate name etc.,” Justice Madan B Lokur, in-charge of the e-committee which was entrusted with the task of developing the portal, said.

CJI Sathasivam appreciated the effort and said this will go a long way in administration of justice as the Chief Justices of different high courts will have the actual idea of case status of different courts in the state.

Justice Lokur said the data of all the courts will also serve as a “backbone database” for the NJDG which is intended to become a case information storehouse for justice delivery system.

Law Minister Kapil Sibal said it will help in court management and will bring in more transparency.


LEGAL NEWS 14.07.2013

HC acquits 7 men awarded death penalty in honour killing case

PTI | Jul 13, 2013, 09.53 PM IST

ALLAHABAD: Due to lack of evidence, theAllahabad high court has let off seven persons, who were awarded death sentence by a lower court in connection with an alleged honour killing case of Badaun district in Uttar Pradesh.

A division bench comprising Justice Amar Saran and Justice Pankaj Naqvi on Friday ordered “the release of Natthu, Rakesh, Mahavir, Viresh, Jai Prakash, Pappu and Gulab Singh” holding that they “stand acquitted of charges they had been found guilty of”.

The appellants had challenged July 30, 2012 order of additional sessions judge, Badaun.

They were awarded death sentence for allegedly burning alive Deen Dayal and Anita in a village under Gunnaur police station of the district on the intervening night of May 22-23, 2006.

Anita was the daughter of one of the appellants, Natthu.

The girl’s affair with Deen Dayal was said to have been bitterly opposed by her family.

However, during the trial, Natthu denied his involvement in the incident and claimed that the remaining six accused had “resorted to this abhorrent crime to grab his property”.

The high court struck down the conviction of all the seven accused observing that the trial court had convicted them “on the strength of the statement” given by Natthu, which was “not a substantive piece of evidence which could have nailed the other set of accused persons”.

“The trial court was swayed by the fact Natthu in his statement … had admitted his presence at the scene of occurrence,” the court noted, adding “this approach was absolutely de hors the law.

The prosecution had failed to prove the case, in the mode and manner as alleged by them beyond a reasonable doubt.




HC comes to the rescue of job aspirant

Giving relief to a person whose appointment as Associate Professor in Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering in the school of Naval Architecture here was withdrawn, the Madras High Court has directed the Indian Maritime University to allow him to join duty.

Justice D Hariparanthaman, while passing an interim order yesterday, directed the Indian Maritime University to allow M S Ravi Sharma to work as Associate Professor and issued a notice to it directing it not to fill the post.

The petitioner Sharma, who resigned his job in the USA after his selection as Associate Professor, had challenged the University decision to withdraw the appointment order issued to him in this June.

The petitioner submitted that the University invited applications for recruitment of various faculty members in September 2012, pursuant to which he applied for the post.

Sharma further submitted that he attended the interview through Video Conferencing in November 2012 and an order of appointment was issued on December 4, 2012 asking him to join duty on or before March 3, 2013.

In the meantime the Ministry of Shipping, which constituted a Faculty Assessment Committee, kept in abeyance the joining of selected candidates and new set of directions were issued by it because of which he was not able to join duty, he stated.

Sharma contended that there was no deviation in the recruitment process, but on the basis of an order issued by the Ministry of Shipping, the university withdrew the appointment order on June 14 following which he challenged the decision.





HC restrains AI from making staff in south work longer

TNN | Jul 14, 2013, 03.33 AM IST

CHENNAI: The Madras high court has upheld its stay on Air India’s move to make its employees posted in southern region work longer than their counterparts elsewhere in the country.
The airline changed working hours to 44 hours per week for all its employees at airports, hangars and administrative offices in the southern region in February. But the new schedule was implemented only in southern and western regions. The western region, however, went back to the old schedule after the employees approached the Bombay high court against the new rules and some staff unions asked their members not to follow the revised timings.

But the southern region stuck with the new rules. The employees then challenged the increased working hours in the high court, which in May this year issued a stay on the new schedule. An affidavit filed by Air Corporation Employees Union, which opposed the move, said the airline decided to change work hours without amending the Indian Airlines (general employees) Service Regulations and without the consent of employees.

Rejecting Air India’s appeal seeking lifting of the stay order, Justice D Hariparanthaman, in an interim order on July 8, said the court could not accept the airline’s argument that the new work hours were introduced because the company was making a loss.

The issue has it origin in Air India’s decision to hive off ground handling and engineering sections into two subsidiaries. Ground handling employees were to be brought under Air India Air Transport Services and engineering staff under Air India Engineering Services. “A few employees were transferred while a few were sent on deputation. To ensure that the employees did not complain about the change in working hours, the management changed the timings for all employees,” said an employee.

“The new work hours force several employees to stay back for more than one and a half day though there is no work to do,” said another employee. More than 250 employees were affected by the new timings, he said. The airline follows two sets of work hours – 38 hours per week and 44 hours per week – because the nature of work for those at airport terminals, hangars and workshops and those in administrative offices are different. The different working hours are also linked to different incentives and compensations.




HC seeks info on panel to review cancellation of victims’ red cards

JSingh July 13, 2013Asia

Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday directed the Punjab government to inform about modalities for the formation of a high-level committee to review orders of the authority cancelling red cards of victims of the 1984 Sikh genocide .

The division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Augustine George Masih was hearing a bunch of petitions of Sikh genocide  victims taking up the issue of cancellation of their red cards illegally and also about cancellation of red cards of illegal beneficiaries. The state government had issued red cards to riot victims so as to avail compensation of Rs 2 lakh and other benefits in housing schemes and commercial booths as per the state policy.

Appearing for the state government, advocate general Ashok Aggarwal sought time from the court to seek instructions from the appropriate authorities regarding the constitution of the high-level committee.

Representing the riot victims in one case, advocate Mansur Ali said the Ludhiana deputy commissioner (DC) had in an arbitrary manner cancelled red cards issued to the petitioners despite the fact that the latter had submitted all comprehensive proofs to the authorities that during the 1984 genocide , they were displaced from various cities and states.

The court was informed that after the high court directions on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the Sikh Danga Peerat Welfare Committee, P unjab, regarding illegal issuance of red cards to some people, the Ludhiana DC had ordered an inquiry into the case.

The high court had on February 13 stayed the Ludhiana DC’s January 29 order cancelling red cards issued to 20 victims of the 1984 genocide .

Source: The Tribune

Decide on controversial appointments in two months: HC to PGI director

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, July 13, 2013

First Published: 18:39 IST(13/7/2013) | Last Updated: 18:44 IST(13/7/2013)
Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) director to decide on the appointment of assistant administrative officers’ and other posts that have been challenged in a petition filed by a workers’ union of the institute, within two months.
The directions came from the division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Augustine George Masih on a public interest litigation filed by Adhoc Front PGI Employees’ Union.

The petitioner union had sought quashing of the selection of five assistant administrative officers namely Dinesh Kumar, Sanjay Trikha, Ankur Sharma, Surinder Kumar and Rajesh Kumar Saxena stating that these selections had been made in “utter violation” of rules and advertisements.

It was submitted that also the appointments to the three advertised posts of assistant accounts officers and lower division clerks had been made by violating the rules after 2006.

The court was informed that despite bringing the issue to the notice of the authorities concerned, no action had been taken so far and that needed to be probed.

After hearing the case, though the court questioned the petitioner’s counsel about the delay in filing the petition in the high court but since the matter seemed to be important, the court issued directions to the PGIMER director to look into the issue.





Treatment of SOL students: PIL in HC

14th July 2013 10:11 AM

University of Delhi has hit the headlines again. Now it is the turn of the open school which has been taken to court for its alleged ‘indifferent’ treatment meted out to the students.

A Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice B D Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bhakru of the Delhi High Court has sought responses from the Central Government, Delhi University, and its School of Open Learning (SOL) against a PIL filled by an organisation called Fight for Human Rights by September 4.

The PIL has alleged that the practice and procedures adopted by the SOL were extremely ‘arbitrary and discriminatory.’

“The students are treated as second-class citizens, which discourage the students to take admission for studies with SOL and this results in the defeat of the very purpose of imparting education to maximum number of citizens,” the PIL said.  The plea said that the SOL procedure while conducting annual examinations, rechecking and revaluation of answer sheets and treatment of students is arbitrary and discriminatory.

The plea pointed at the lackadaisical attitude of the school administration stating that the school declares result very late depriving students the chance to pursue higher studies. “The authorities concerned conduct the annual examination for the students of  SOL in May/June every year and declare results very late in November/December,” it said.

It added, “As a result, the candidates, who fail to clear any paper in their final year, are deprived of the chance to pursue higher studies because the result of supplementary examination conducted for failed students is announced very late when admission of all courses are closed by all universities,” it added.

The university, however, remains divided on the subject. Subhadra Channa, professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi says, “There may be disparity in terms of facilities, but this may not necessarily be termed as human rights violation. The biggest problem is that the number of students admitted in SOL are much more than that of regular students and so it takes time to deliver the facilities provided to regular students such as examination results.”





Bombay high court modifies order on St Mary’s School

Vishwas Kothari, TNN | Jul 14, 2013, 06.49 AM IST

PUNE: The Bombay high court has modified its July 1 order which stated that the St Mary’s School in Pune Camp “shall reserve” 25% seats for children belonging to weaker sections and disadvantaged groups of society as provided under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009.

The high court division bench of justices V M Kanade and K R Shriram stated in its modified order on July 11 that the word “reserve” is substituted by the words “keep vacant”. The movecame after it was brought to the court’s notice that the 25% seats ought to be kept vacant till it issues further orders on the writ petition filed by the school.

The earlier order read, “…the petitioner (St Mary’s School) shall reserve 25% seats for children belonging to weaker sections and disadvantaged group of the society as defined under the said Act.” Referring to this, the petitioner made an application submitting that it did not mention that the said seats should be kept vacant until further orders.

The bench has since ruled, “In our view, it is obvious that there is a typographical mistake in the said order and it is clarified that the petitioner shall keep 25% seats vacant. In the order, the word ‘reserve’ therefore is substituted by the word ‘keep vacant’. The order is accordingly modified.”

The matter is now expected to be heard on August 8, considering that the court has extended the returnable date for the notices issued to the respondents, including the Pune zilla parishad (ZP) education officer, by four weeks.

Representatives of non-aided minority schools here have expressed their satisfaction over the modified order as the high court – in another petition filed by the Bishop’s education society regarding its schools at Pune Camp, Kalyaninagar and Undri – is dealing with the question as to what constitutes “aid”.

This is in view of the Supreme Court’s ruling that the RTE Act is applicable to aided minority schools only and is not applicable to non-aided minority schools.

The St Mary’s School, relying on the high court’s May 15 order in the Bishop’s Schools matter, had pleaded for an interim stay on the ZP education officer’s May 5 order. The ZP order had directed the school to cancel its admission process for academic year 2013-14 for not adhering to the provisions of the RTE Act regarding 25% quota.

The Bishop’s education society has claimed the status of a non-aided minority institution and has argued that it is not bound by RTE provisions. However, the ZP, which had directed the Bishop’s Schools to cancel their admissions process for 2013-14 for not adhering to the 25% quota under the RTE Act, has contested the society’s claim.

The ZP has submitted in the court that the Bishop’s School in Pune Camp is located on land granted by the central government on lease at a concessional rate, while the schools in Kalyaninagar and Undri were receiving aid in the form of concession in property tax.

The court observed that whether concession in property tax could be considered as “aid” was a matter that required debate. It has since allowed the Bishop’s Schools to fill up 75% seats on a first-come-first basis, while admissions to the remaining 25% seats shall be subject to further orders. The Bishop’s matter is slated to be next heard on August 5.





High court asks Veer Narmad South Gujarat University to give admissions on 600 BCom seats

TNN | Jul 14, 2013, 12.55 AM IST

SURAT: The Gujarat high court on Friday asked Veer Narmad South Gujarat University (VNSGU) to give admission on 600 seats ofBCom at CJ Patel College (CJPC), Variav, which was suspended by it from the admission process. The university had suspended the college fromCentralized Admission Committee (CAC) in June end and did not allow admissions on the 600 B Com seats.

The university has now initiated the process for admission on the 600 seats of CJPC. “According to the court order, we will immediately publish an advertisement announcing admission on 600 seats. The CAC has also been asked to take necessary steps to include the college in the admission process,” said Dakshesh Thakar, vice-chancellor, VNSGU.

Earlier, the college was suspended from admission process by the university, saying that the CJPC had failed to deposit Rs 50 lakh with it as security deposit towards teachers’ salaries. Teachers at the college were not paid salaries as per the 6{+t}{+h} Pay Commission, the university claimed.

On the Rs 50 lakh deposit, the court order said, “Considering the issue involved in this petition, this court is of the opinion that the demand raised by the university on the basis of the resolution passed by the syndicate is not backed and/or supported by any rule or regulation. Prima facie, the respondents (VNSGU) are not able to establish that there is any legal basis for such demand.”

However, the court asked CJPC to submit an affidavit agreeing to pay salaries to its teachers as per the 6{+t}{+h} Pay Commission. “We are ready to pay salaries as per the norms but the teachers are not qualified. Hence, we are not paying them the full salary. The court is yet to decide the issue,” said Jagdish Tekrawala, managing trustee of CJPC, Variav.

The university argued that CJPC was allowed to collect fees from students to accommodate teachers’ salaries as per the 6{+t}{+h} Pay Commission. However, despite it collecting high fees, it was not paying salaries to its teachers as per the norms.





High court to aid of prisoner suffering from cancer

TNN | Jul 14, 2013, 02.12 AM IST

MADURAI: The prison authority, Madurai, has been directed by the Madras high court, Maduraibench, to provide treatment to a remand prisoner suffering by cancer at the Government RajajiHospital (GRH). The prisoner, Sownther aliasSownthrapandian, was arrested on June 17 in connection with a robbery and kept at theMadurai central prison.

Seeking treatment for Sownther at Adayar Cancer Research Institute, his wife, Karthiga Rani, 29, a resident of Thirunagar in Madurai, filed a writ petition before the bench.

Disposing the petition, justice S Manikumar ordered that Sownther should first be treated at Madurai GRH and be shifted to Adayar cancer institute, if necessary.

According to the petitioner, her husband is suffering from giant cell tumor (Grade II), for which he underwent three surgeries on his left leg knee during 2009 -2010 in a private hospital in Madurai. Doctors had advised him to undergo one more surgery.

The petition claimed that the Jaihindpuram police in Madurai had foisted a false case on Sownther on June 17. Sownther has been accused of robbing Rs 700 from a Meenakshi Sundaram at knifepoint. The police booked him in the case with the malafide intention of detaining him, the petition said.

Rani claimed that she visited Madurai central prison four times and found that he was unable to walk without help. She pleaded before the prison authority that he be allowed treatment on July 10. The writ petition was filed as there was no proper response from the prison authorities, Rani claimed.






Bad reputation can justify forced early retirement: Punjab and Haryana high court

TNN | Jul 14, 2013, 01.50 AM IST

CHANDIGARH: An employee may be forced to retire in public interest if his/her “general reputation” is not good even without tangible material to substantiate it, the Punjab and Haryana high court has said.

A division bench comprising Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Fateh Deep Singh passed the order on Friday while upholding the high court decision on premature retirement of Haryana Superior Judicial Services judicial officer Chaman Lal Mohal.

Mohal was entitled to work till the age of 60, but was forced to prematurely retire on January 29 after the court’s administrative judge declared his integrity as “doubtful”.

The officer appealed against the decision in February, arguing there was no material or the basis for doubting his integrity. He submitted that there was no complaint against him in 2011-12 nor any other material or report was ever communicated to him.

The court dismissed his petition and held that it was not necessary to limit the “material” only to written complaints or “tangible” evidence pointing fingers at the integrity of the judicial officer.

“Such evidence may not be forthcoming in such cases,” the bench said. It observed that if an authority bona fide forms an opinion that the integrity of a particular officer is doubtful, the correctness of that opinion cannot be challenged before courts.






Court orders winding up of Deccan Cargo



The Karnataka High Court has issued orders for winding up Capt. G.R. Gopinath’s Deccan Cargo and Express Logistics Pvt Ltd (DCEL), which operates under the ‘Deccan 360’ brand.

The High Court’s order indicates that DCEL, even after being given several opportunities, could not pay dues to the tune of Rs 39 lakh to Dubai-based United Aviation Services (UAS) and Rs 1.36 crore to Patel Integrated Logistics Pvt Ltd.

The court directed the winding up of the company in its June 11, 2013 order based on two petitions — one filed by UAS, which provided various facilities like permits, ground handling and fuelling in West Asia, Europe and Russia for DCEL, and another one filed by Patel Integrated, which had provided various logistic services to DCEL.

Now, the Court has ordered the Official Liquidator to commence the liquidation process. Last year itself, the court had prohibited DCEL from selling any of its assets following these two petitions.

DCEL had opposed Patel Integrated’s plea. It alleged that the petition for winding up was filed to avoid payment of court fee to launch a recovery suit under the civil laws, and to “pressurise the company (DCEL) to act in accordance with the dictates of Patel Integrated”. However, DCEL did not file any objection against the plea of UAS to wind up the company.

Both the petitioners knocked the doors of the court in 2011 after failing in their attempts to recover DCEL’s dues since 2009. It was pointed out in the petitions that DCEL had asked many of its 600-odd employees to either quit or go on long leave due to a serious financial crisis, and that it was selling its assets to clear its debts. As DCEL too had admitted its financial difficulties in making payments, the petitioner-companies had pleaded for the winding up of DCEL.

The court also noticed that though two separate public notices were issued in 2012 about the pleas for winding up, no objection was received against them.

Global Airport and Ground Services Pvt Ltd, JP Aviation Services Pvt Ltd, Lufthansa Tehnik Services India Ltd, Aegis Ltd, Dolphin Transport Corporation and Mindtree Ltd had also approached the court subsequently for winding up DCEL.

However, the court, in its various orders issued between June 12 and 28, has referred them to the Official Liquidator for claiming the amount due through the liquidation process.

DCEL was originally incorporated as Deccan Cargo Ltd in 2001 and later changed its name to DCEL in 2007-08. It launched operations in November 2009, two years after Capt Gopinath sold off his airline business, Deccan Aviation, to Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines.





Court agrees to hear plea to decongest Delhi road

The Delhi High Court has agreed to hear a petition seeking urgent measures to improve traffic flow on the busy Vikas Marg for reducing accidents and saving motorists’ time and energy.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bakhru, before which the petition came up recently, decided to hear it Aug 22.

Petitioner Sudhir Jain, an author, sought direction to the Delhi government and joint commissioner of police (traffic) to apply his suggestions to decongest the east Delhi road.

Jain contended that as per his proposal the traffic flow between ITO to Anand Vihar will become smooth and continuous during office hours.

He said he had surveyed the stretch and found that the techniques currently used by the traffic department to manage the vehicles were adding to congestion.

“The process (of traffic department) encourages lane changing, mixes non-motorised and motorised vehicle flow, creates traffic bottleneck and increases waiting at intersections. The effect, in turn, increases traffic congestion, air and sound pollution and wastes commuters’ time and energy,” the petition said.

He submitted that “the improvement in traffic flow on decongested Vikas Marg can be used as an example to simplify traffic management on all arterial roads, especially on which traffic at intersections is still managed by signals.”

The petitioner said he wrote to various authorities about the plan but they ignored his suggestions.





Supreme Court orders Rs 9.2 lakh relief for landowners

Yogesh Kumar, TNN | Jul 14, 2013, 04.01 AM IST




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GURGAON: Upholding a Punjab and Haryana high court judgment, the Supreme Court has ordered enhancement of compensation payable to several landowners whose land had been acquired to develop Manesar township, the industrial hub of Haryana, near Gurgaon.

Recently, a single bench of Punjab and Haryana high court had enhanced the amount of compensation payable to the landowners from Rs 28,15,356 per acre to Rs 37,40,000 per acre.

The state government and landowners had moved the apex court over the issue of compensation. After hearing a bunch of petitions, the apex court on July 2, ordered the Haryana government and HSIIDC to pay Rs 9,24,644 per acre to petitioners.

The two-member bench of Justice G S Singhvi and Justice S J Mukhopadhya, also ordered that the payment shall be made to the landowners and/or their legal representatives by following the procedure laid down in the interim orders passed by the apex court.

The landowners of dozens of villages near Gurgaon had been fighting a lengthy legal battle against low compensation awarded to them by the Haryana government. The petitioners included people whose land had been acquired in the past several years.

During the hearing the counsel of the landowner submitted that the high court should not have imposed a cut of one-fourth in one batch of appeals (petitioners) and 20% cut in the other batch of appeals (petitioners) as per the average sale price reflected on the ground that the area of the land acquired by the Haryana government was too large. The apex court held that in a matter like the present one, it cannot be ignored that the land was acquired for setting up an industrial model township in Manesar and after developing the land, the HSIIDC was bound to sell the plots at a much higher price to the existing or prospective industrial entrepreneurs.

Commenting on the criteria relied on by the high court, the SC held that in this scenario, the judges committed an error by applying one-fourth or 20% cut on market value determined for the purpose of payment of relief to the landowners. The high court had enhanced the amount of compensation payable to the landowners from Rs 28,15,356 per acre to Rs 37,40,000 per acre. After hearing all the arguments, the SC held that Haryana shall pay Rs 9,24,644 per acre to the landowners and/or their legal representatives along with all statutory benefits within a period of four months.






Court slams Delhi cops for shoddy probe

Smriti Singh, TNN | Jul 14, 2013, 04.23 AM IST

NEW DELHI: The lackadaisical attitude of Delhi Police in probing a criminal case has earned flak from a trial court, which called its investigations a “sham” and pulled up the cops for taking the version of the accused as “gospel truth”.

Chief metropolitan magistrate Ajay Pandey said, “The investigators believe the version of accused is gospel truth and do not bother to recover the misappropriated articles, or cheated money, or to find the nexus among the accused.”

The court’s remarks came on the investigation done by Economic Offence Wing (EOW) on a complaint of forgery, making a false document,criminal conspiracy, etc filed by a Korean national against nine people.

While the FIR was registered in March 2012, cops are still investigating the case. The court was appalled that police relied on the complainant to find evidence, and said if the complainant could have recovered the misappropriated article, there was no need for the court to order filing of the FIR.

Complainant’s counsel Vijay Aggarwal contended that police was shielding the accused and let the evidence disappear. The court directed the investigating officer to make all efforts to recover the embezzled articles and other evidence. It also asked police to submit a compliance report by July 20.





CCI orders probe against CIL – Report

13 hours 22 minutes ago


PTI reported that the Competition Commission has ordered another probe into the allegations that state run CIL and its subsidiaries abused dominant market position in supplying fuel to power plants.

The latest investigation against the country’s largest coal miner comes on a complaint filed by West Bengal Power Development Corporation.

The Commission has already ordered probe in the wake of five complaints against CIL and in at least three cases, the investigation reports have been submitted to the regulator.

Finding prima facie evidence of abuse of dominant market position, the Competition Commission of India on July 5th ordered probe against Coal India and its three subsidiaries. They are Eastern Coalfields, Bharat Coking Coal and Mahanadi Coalfields.

CCI said that “The Commission is of the opinion that the present case was a fit case for investigation into the allegations made by the informant about violation of provisions of Competition Act.”

As per the latest complaint, CIL imposed unfair conditions in the Fuel Supply Agreements for providing coal to thermal power plants.

According to the Commission, CIL is in a dominant position as it accounts for about 82% of coal supply in the country.

It said that “Taking advantage of their dominant position, the opposite parties were allegedly not adhering to the terms and conditions in the Fuel Supply Agreements and conducting themselves in a manner detrimental to the interest of the informant.”

It added that the FSA’s terms and conditions were being “heavily loaded in favour of opposite parties. the consumer had no alternative but to depend on them for fuel supply.

Source – PTI





Man gets life term for killing DU students’ union president

A man has been sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering a students’ union president of a Delhi University college 14 years ago by a Delhi court, which termed it as a “rare” case.

Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau sentenced Jitender alias Kalla for murdering Anil Badana, the then president of Satyawati College students’ union and made it clear that he would not be considered for any remission till he spends 30 years in jail.

“I am of a considered opinion that this case cannot be put on the same pedestal as other ordinary murder cases. It is also true that punishment in every case does send a message to the community at large.

“Thus besides a number of other factors to be considered one of the relevant factor… Is the sentiments of community or the message which may travel to the community at large and the fact that it may deter similar other such like offenders. The present case can be easily classified as a ‘rare case’ which calls for the exercising of alternative options by the court,” the judge said.

The court imposed a fine of Rs four lakh on Kalla, who is in jail from past over 13 years, and said if the amount is realised, Rs two lakh should be given to the victim’s family.

According to the prosecution, Kalla had shot dead Badana, 26, at a marriage function under Keshav Puram police station on March 10, 1999. Kalla was harbouring ill-will against Badana as he was going to depose against him in a criminal case, it said.

Kalla had also injured the bridegroom’s father Madan Lal Sharma while opening fire indiscriminately as those attending function tried to nab him, it said.

One of the eye witnesses Sumit Nayyar, who had informed the police about the incident, had to pay a heavy price as Kalla immediately went to his home at Mukherjee Nagar to kill him but when he realised that Sumit had not reached there, the accused pumped three bullets in the chest of his father to scare him away from maintaining his stand before the police.






SC tells NDMA to file status report on Uttarakhand rescue operations by July 26

The Supreme Court has asked the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to submit its status report on rescue operations in rain-ravaged Uttarakhand by July 26.

A bench headed by Justice A K Patnaik asked the NDMA to file an affidavit on the status of rescue operations within two weeks.

Meanwhile, the Uttarakhand Government informed the court that pilgrims who were stranded in the various affected areas of the state have been evacuated.

The bench posted the matter for further hearing on July 26.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by a lawyer, who has sought the apex court’s directions to the Centre and the state government to rescue people stranded in the flood-hit areas in Uttarakhand

Meanwhile, a team from the National Human Rights Commission-NHRC will visit the flood ravaged Uttarakhand on July 15 (Monday) to take stock of the situation.

The NHRC in a statement said that the team headed by the Director General (Investigation), Kanwaljit Deol, will hold meetings with senior officials of the State Government and Non-governmental organisations during their four-day stay.

The team will also visit the affected areas of the state and make assessment of various aspects including the number of deaths, relief camps, alternate arrangements for rehabilitation of affected people, restoration of infrastructure and monetary relief.






Mishap victim’s kin get Rs20 lakh compensation

Saturday, Jul 13, 2013, 1:05 IST | Place: Pune | Agency: DNA


The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT), Pune recently ordered the owner of a goods carrier and Cholamandalam General Insurance Company to pay compensation of Rs20 lakh to the relatives of a 30-year-old man who was killed in a road accident involving the vehicle last year.

The parties in the case had resorted to mediation and agreed to the amount.

The order was issued by MACT member and additional sessions judge SV Mane after the legal heirs of the deceased, Vinod Gorakh Kadam of Kiwale, filed a claim.

The petition named the goods carrier owner Sandeep Kute and Cholamandalam General Insurance Company as respondents.
Kadam used to work with a private firm and earned Rs20,500 per month.

On September 9, 2012, the goods carrier dashed his bicycle near Dehu Road at 2 pm, killing Kadam on the spot. The Dehu Road police station arrested the goods carrier driver for rash and negligent driving.

In December last year, Kadam’s wife Swati (27), son Shaurya (4) and parents moved the MACT through their lawyer Atul Gunjal, seeking compensation of Rs30 lakh.

The case came up for hearing before the MACT member VK Shewale. Later it was sent for mediation when both parties showed interest for settlement.

Within six months, the compensation amount was settled and the insurance firm agreed to pay Rs20 lakh considering the age and earning capacity of the deceased.





High court deals blow to prevalent illegal police practice

TNN Jul 13, 2013, 06.53AM IST

PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa has held that police cannot deny registration of a FIR by stating that the matter is of a civil nature when the complaint discloses the commission of a criminal offence.

The verdict comes as a blow to the illegal practice adopted by police of declining investigations of criminal cases and advising complainants to approach the civil courts for relief.


The high court passed the judgment on a petition filed by Chowgule and Company Pvt Ltd against Panaji police station. The company alleged that it was forcibly ousted from a premises in a building in Panaji.

A division bench comprising Justice A P Lavande and Justice U V Bakre stated that the law permits the victim to sue for civil wrong and at the same time proceed against the wrongdoer for having committed a criminal offence and hence it was incumbent upon the police to have registered a FIR.

The high court added that the facts stated in the complaint give cause of action to Chowgules to file a civil suit. However, the same, prima facie, also discloses the ingredients of many of the offences mentioned therein, some of which are cognizable, the court opined.

Chowgule claimed that it was a lawful tenant of the premises, however, the possession of the premises, except for one room was taken over clandestinely by business partners Tahir and Zeenat Isani. Later, the Isanis renovated, reconstructed and modified the premises and started using it for their business purposes.

From P1

On November 3, 2010, Chowgule lodged a complaint of house trespass, mischief and under other sections of IPC. On September 12, 2011 police informed the company that the matter was of a civil nature and requested it to approach the civil court for redressal. Later, when the petitioner approached a judicial magistrate first class court, it held that the report filed by the company before the police does not disclose criminal intention.

During the hearing of the case, advocate S D Lotlikar argued that Chowgule was restored possession of the premises by Rizvi Estates and Hotels Pvt Ltd following a consent decree passed in a civil suit in 2007. The Isanis criminally trespassed into the premises and dispossessed Chowgule, he stated. Lotlikar stated that no inquiry was conducted by police to treat the case as a civil matter.

On the other hand, additional public prosecutor M Amonkar submitted that the building owner had sold the premises to Tahir Isani by deed of sale dated April 24, 2007. He submitted that there was delay in lodging the report and that a preliminary inquiry was duly conducted by the investigating officer and found that the matter was of a civil nature.

The high court opined that the consent decree, reveals that Rizvi Estates and Hotels Pvt Ltd had restored possession of the premises to Chowgule and therefore, prima facie, there was ample evidence to show that Chowgule was in lawful possession of the premises.

The high court stated that when a report relating to the commission of cognizable offence is received by an officer in charge of a police station, he has to register a FIR in terms of Section 154(1) of CrPC.

The court observed that there can be no dispute that in appropriate cases a preliminary inquiry may be conducted before registering the FIR. It also noted that Panaji police station records pertaining to the case do not reveal that any preliminary inquiry was conducted to conclude that the case is of a civil nature and not a cognizable offence.

“In our view the report (complaint), prima facie disclosed the commission of offences punishable under Sections 447; 448; 453; 427 read with Section 34 of IPC,” the bench said. Stating that criminal intention is made out prima facie, the court has directed the police to register the offence. tnn





HP High Court in dilemma over defamatory suit against judicial officers


Shimla: Suing a judge for not acting diligently and in good faith, resulting in defamation of the petitioner, is something unheard of in India but the Himachal Pradesh High Court is confronted with just such an issue and has reserved its order for next week about whether to admit or dismiss such a suit.

Yesterday taking up the application moved under section 482 of Cr.PC, Chief Justice AM Khanwilkar heading the bench with Justice Kuldip Singh after issuing a stern warning to the petitioner in person, Deepak Khosla, about the nature of the relief sought, (compensation of Rs 1 Cr) said in open court that in all his career in the bar or as a Judge, he had not come across any such case where judges were intended to be sued. 

Showing preparedness for all judicial action arising out of moving such an application before the higher court, Khosla relied upon the Judges Protection Act 1850 and Judges Protection Act 1985, and stated in court that the 1850 Act granted judges immunity only in civil matters and the 1985 Act had not debarred higher courts from taking action against subordinate judicial officers.

However, the petitioner in court stated that no mala fides was being alleged against two judges of a district court arrayed by name in the application but alleges “implied malice” resulting from their negligence in diligently perusing the case materials before them in which Khosla is an accused.

Besides the two judicial officers of a district court in Solan, ten others, including police officers, public prosecutors and others have been named as respondents. The petitioner has also evoked Article 227 and section 397-404 of CrPC to make out a case.

To buttress his argument Khosla cited the10 April, 2013 judgment in  S.Velankanni v Chitradevi & others case of Madras High Court wherein immunity under the Judicial Protection Act was denied and Rs 1 lakh compensation was imposed on a judicial magistrate for wrongfully remanding a rape victim to judicial custody.

Leading the charge for the state and district judges in question, Advocate General Sharwan Dogra termed the application as an attempt to breech the protection judicial officers had under the constitution and the Judicial Protection Acts. “It could lead to a breakdown of the system,” he said.

Without going into the merits of the petitioners’ case, the advocate general sought outright dismissal of the suit and asked for exemplary treatment so as to discourage such litigation as it was an attack on the very institution under which the judicial system of the country worked.

Given a chance to respond, Khosla said that by entertaining his application, the court could, in fact, send out a positive message, showing that it was willing to entertain cases against judicial officers, rendering all, including judicial officers, equal before law.

The case which was initially listed for the morning session was postponed for the afternoon as the advocate general was not available earlier.

Argued for about two hours, the listed matter evoked much interest in court and was attended by many senior lawyers, before the bench reserved its order for next week.

Before moving to the next listed matter, Khosla, with the court’s permission bowed out saying in Hindi, ‘Gustaki Maaf’, to which the chief justice responded in equal measure, ending the serious proceedings with a smile on the face of everybody present.





Amendment to RTI Act, 2005 will be contempt of assurance given in Parliament: Lokesh Batra

RTI activist Commodore Lokesh Batra has written a letter to President Pranab Mukherjee in which he has said that amendment to RTI Act, 2005 will be contempt of assurance given in Parliament.

“On 05 July 2009, the then Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions had assured the Parliament in a written response to a question that the ‘Non-Governmental Organisations and Social activists’ will be consulted before any amendment to the RTI Act, 2005,” he said in his letter to President Mukherjee.

Commodore Batra told President Mukherjee there are media reports that the Government is contemplating to counter the decision of the CIC declaring six political parties as Public authorities which are subject to the Right to Information Act by amending the RTI Act, 2005.

“The representatives of all political parties have stated that they believe the CIC decision is unsound legally and hence they are opposing it. If they are being truthful, they can certainly go in a writ to the Courts. In the past CIC decisions have been quashed by the Courts,” said Commodore Batra.

“In the instant case I cannot see any reason which justifies any amendment to the RTI Act, 2005 by the Government and that too without consulting all the stakeholders/ Citizenry at large that include ‘Non-Governmental Organisations and Social activists’,” he added.

Commodore Batra in his letter requested President Mukherjee to communicate to the Government not to undertake any amendment to the RTI Act, 2005 without consulting all the stakeholders i.e. Citizenry at large that include ‘Non-Governmental Organisations and Social activists’, as assured in the Parliament lest it becomes contempt of assurance given in the Parliament.





Suspended cop, wife get 3 yrs jail

Jul 12, 2013 - Aamir Khan |

After 13 years of the matter being registered, the sessions court on Thursday held suspended additional commissioner of police Ajay Kumar Jain and wife Anita Jain guilty and sentenced the couple to three years imprisonment in a disproportionate assets case worth around `32 lakh. It also slapped a fine of `25,000 each.
In a separate case, Jain was earlier sentenced to five years in prison for seeking a `5 lakh bribe from a junior in lieu of protection in a departmental inquiry. He was out on bail that was granted by the Bombay high court.
While reading out the order, Special Judge V. A. Daulatabadkar said, “In the case of a default, both the accused will have to serve three months rigorous imprisonment. There is no need for a separate order for the attachment of the disproportionate assets.”
Terming an appeal for bail as Jain’s constitutional right, the court asked him and Anita to furnish a bail bond of `50,000 each.
The matter dates back to 1995 when an open inquiry in the matter was ordered. The state home department had received an anonymous letter in the year 1990 against Jain where it was alleged that a Kandivali slumlord by the name Birender Shukla had gifted Jain a Maruti car.
According to investigation officer of the anti-corruption bureau, Arun Wahable, Jain was involved in several cases of converting “black money into white”. “Jain and one Kasliwal, the owner of the fictitious ‘Coopergaon Estate’, were working in tandem. Jain and his family had flats in the building that existed only on paper. Kasliwal later filed an ‘eviction suit’ to which Jain gave his consent, but demanded `5 lakh,” said Mr Wahable, adding that Jain himself gave the amount in cash and asked him to return it by cheque.
“The common link between the two was their chartered accountant P.C. Lodha, who is an accused in the graft case against Jain,” said Mr Wahable.



LEGAL NEWS 13.07.2013

Govt contemplating an amended act to keep parties out of RTI ambit: Sources

CNN-IBN | Updated Jul 11, 2013 at 04:57pm IST

New Delhi: The government is contemplating an amended act, which will exempt all political parties from the ambit of Right to Information Act, sources said on Thursday. The government has faced a lot of flak for planning to bring in an ordinance to keep political parties out of the RTI ambit.

The Bill is likely to be introduced in the Monsoon Session of Parliament and most parties have agreed to be out of the RTI cover. In a landmark decision, the Chief Information Commissioner had ruled all political parties will come under the ambit of the Right to Information Act. The ruling provides for greater transparency in the working of the political parties as now the public has the right to get information about their functioning and funding.

However, political parties came out opposing the CIC’s order with the Janata Dal United and the Communist Party of India – Marxist slamming the decision saying the CIC exceeded its brief. Even the Congress hit out at the proposal with Minister for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari saying CIC’s order is “a bit of a stretch.”

FIR of rape lodged in a fit of rage, says Bombay high court

Shibu Thomas, TNN Jul 12, 2013, 03.58AM IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court while acquitting a rape accused Manesh Kotiyan (39) noted: “She had not cried for help and had not taken her resistance to a logical end. Hence, it would not be justifiable to hold that the consent was obtained by intimidation, force meditated imposition, circumvention surprise or undue influence.”

The court, however, upheld Kotiyan’s conviction on charges of cheating as he had failed to disclose to the victim that he was married and had children. Since he has served around three years in prison, the court ordered his release.

“There is no evidence that the accused coerced her and raped her,” said advocate Arfan Sait, who was appointed by the high court legal aid cell to defend Kotiyan. “He had always intended to marry her and had told her he would do so once the divorce proceedings ended.”

The case dates back to March 2010, when the victim girl who was four months pregnant lodged a case of rape against Kotiyan. The two had met when they were working at a stationery shop in Borivli. In November 2009, they had gone to Gorai to celebrate Kotiyan’s birthday, where according to the prosecution he forced her into having sexual intercourse. A sessions court in 2012 held Kotiyan guilty of rape and sentenced him to seven years rigorous imprisonment. Kotiyan filed an appeal in the HC. “It is clear from her deposition that she had lodged the FIR in a fit of rage,” said the HC.

3 CPI(M) leaders part of conspiracy, court told


Trial continues in T.P. Chandrasekharan murder case

Three leaders of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI-M] — C.H. Ashokan, former secretary of the Onchiyam area committee; K.K. Krishnan, member of the same committee; and C. Jyothi Babu, member, Kunnothuparamba local committee — were involved in the hatching of a conspiracy to kill Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) leader T.P. Chandrasekharan, K.V. Santhosh, chief investigating officer, told the trial court here on Wednesday.

Mr. Santhosh, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Dy.SP), Crime Branch, was deposing before R. Narayana Pisharadi, Judge, Special Additional District and Sessions Court (Marad Cases) here.

Chandrasekharan was killed by a gang allegedly hired by the CPI(M) at Vallikkad, near Onchiyam, Vadakara, around 10.15 p.m. on May 4, 2012. Special public prosecutor C.K. Sreedharan examined the main prosecution witness.


The officer said he had arrested the three CPI(M) leaders and the conspiracy angle came to light while interrogating them.

Both Ashokan (9th accused) and Krishnan (10th accused) were arrested on May 23, 2012 and Jyothy Babu (12th accused) on May 19, 2012.

They had conspired with the assailants to murder Chandrasekharan, he said adding that Ashokan expired on July 5, 2013.

Mr. Santhosh said he took over the case from Jossy Cherian, DySP, Vadakara, following an order by Additional Director General of Police (Crimes) Vinson M. Paul on May 15, 2012. He had secured the custody of C. Rajith (27th accused), P.M. Rameesh (28th accused), K.P. Dipin (29th accused), and M.K. Raveendran, aka Padayankandi Raveendran (30th accused), member of the Orkatteri local committee, at the Vadakara DySP office on May 15, 2012.


He said he had prepared the observation mahassar pertaining to disclosures made by Rameesh that he, along with Dipin, had initially concealed the weapons in a shrubbery near an orphanage and a double-storey house at Azhiyoor.

He had furnished a report in the court regarding the arrests of K.C. Ramachandran (8th accused), member of the Kunnummakkara local committee of the CPI(M),  M. Saneesh (41st accused), K.P. Dishad (20th accused), and P.K. Mohammed Faslu (21st accused). They were arrested by DySP A.P. Shoukath Ali on May 15, 2012.


Mr. Santhosh also submitted in court a copy of the lookout circular issued by Additional Director General of Police (Intelligence) T.P. Senkumar against P.K. Kunhanandan(13th accused), member of the Panur area committee member of the CPI(M), to all seaports and airports to prevent him from fleeing the country.

The officer said he had filed an application at the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court on May 25, 2012 seeking to record the statements of T.K. Sumesh, aka Kochakkalan Sumesh, Anshith Narayanan, and K.K. Subin to record their under Section 164 (recording of confessions and statements). Subsequently, the Nadapuram Judicial First Class Magistrate Court recorded their statements.

Blow to Mulayam, Mayawati: HC bans caste-based rallies in UP

PTI : Lucknow, Thu Jul 11 2013, 21:19 hrs

The Allahabad High Court today ordered a ban on caste-based rallies across Uttar Pradesh where major political parties regularly hold such gatherings. “We stay caste-based rallies throughout the state of UP,” the Lucknow bench of the court comprising justices Uma Nath Singh and Mahendra Dayal said on a PIL filed by a local lawyer Motilal Yadav. The bench issued notices to central and state governments, EC, Congress, BJP, SP and BSP which have been made respondents in the PIL.

The ruling comes against the backdrop of the BSP recently organising Brahmin Bhaichara Sammelan in 40 districts of the state, including one addressed by party supremo Mayawati in Lucknow. SP too had organised a similar event in Lucknow recently besides a Muslim Sammelan. The PIL submitted that there was a spurt of caste-based political rallies in the state. It said political parties were organising caste-based rallies in the name of different castes like Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishya.

The petitioner submitted while such events were causing damage to social unity and harmony, they were also vitiating the society, which was against the spirit of the Constitution.

High Court cracks whip on corporal punishment

Thursday, Jul 11, 2013, 14:19 IST | Place: Delhi | Agency: DNA

DNA Correspondent

Orders government, MCD to devise better ways to address beatings complaints at school.

The Delhi High Court has directed the city municipal corporations and the Delhi government to devise a mechanism to protect municipal and government school students from corporal punishment.

It has ordered both the parties to devise the mechanism by July 31 that will allow both students and parents to file complaints against beatings in schools.

The court order comes after several students from MCD and government schools had written postcards to the then Chief Justice of the HC on Diwali highlighting instances of abuse and assaults by teachers apart from other issues.

“Corporal punishment is banned across the country. However, it has been brought to our notice that such instances continue to occur,” said the court. “Put in a mechanism where the authority is not the school but a third party. Also advertise the new mechanism so that the students and their parents are aware of the same.”

Also questioning the available infrastructure in primary schools run by the MCD, the court further directed all the three municipal corporations to submit a status report detailing the standards prescribed, if any, for maintenance of infrastructure and other facilities by the next date of hearing.

In 2010, several students studying in MCD and government schools had written to D Murgesan, the then Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, raising issues ranging from corporal punishment to infrastructure and quality of teaching in the their  schools. The Court had then taken suo moto cognisance and converted the
postcards into a PIL.

Postcards to pil
The complaints included the following:
Window-panes are broken, exposing the children to the chilling winter-breeze

Desks are in a damaged state.

Mid-day meals are not provided in time.

Students’ toilets remain very dirty; only teachers’ toilet remains clean.

Students are asked to broom the classrooms themselves.

Some of teachers come to class but leave without teaching.

No access to drinking water facility.

High court summons CBSE official over IIT mess

TNN Jul 12, 2013, 06.25AM IST

HYDERABAD: Justice RameshRanganathan of the high court on Thursday directed a senior officer of the Central Board of Secondary Education ( CBSE) to appear before the court on July 17 along with records to explain how normalisation has been worked out and applied for IIT(Advanced) examination.

The judge was dealing with a batch of writ petitions filed by one L Sharat and others. They complained that while making admissions to the National Institute of Technologies (NIT), formerly Regional Engineering Colleges (REC), students who scored high marks in JEE (Advanced), were put to disadvantage in the name of normalisation. Gandra Mohan Rao, counsel for the petitioners, produced a bunch of mark sheets and comparative tables to demonstrate how, in the name of normalization, students of the state were being deprived of seats in premier institutions like NITs.

  • The judge sought to know how the normalisation process was being arrived at. Justice Ranganathan warned that the court will not tolerate any delay in filing counter affidavit. He said prima facie there seems to be something amiss.

Bombay high court bats for Class XII pupil with learning disability

Rosy Sequeira, TNN Jul 12, 2013, 04.03AM IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Thursday said it is a school’s duty to inform parents to get a certificate stating their child has a learning disability.

The HC also directed the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education to grant 20 grace marks to a Nerul student with a learning disability so that he could pass his HSC exam.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha heard a petition by Belapur resident Sonia Damle after the Board rejected her plea for grace marks to be given to her son Kartik (18) (name changed) who has a learning disability. A student of S S High School and Junior College in Nerul, Kartik had appeared for his exams in February 2013. He had passed all subjects except mathematics and statistics. A revaluation indicated there was no change in marks but he was referred to be assessed for learning disability. On June 14, KEM Hospital certified Kartik as having dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia.

The Board turned down Damle’s plea saying a copy of the certificate stating the boy had a learning disability, had not been submitted within the stipulated date of September 30, 2012, given on a July 2012 school circular. Damle’s advocate Sheetal Kumar argued that the school did not inform the parents about the circular. The school’s advocate said the circular had been displayed on the noticeboard on July 26, 2012, and students had also been informed of the same.

“It will be too much to expect students with learning disability to understand the purport and impact of the circular,” said the HC. It directed the Board to ensure schools are sent a copy of the circular and ordered school managements to send a copy to parents.

Govt washing hands of Sunil Tatkare probe, says Bombay high court

Swati Deshpande, TNN Jul 12, 2013, 04.19AM IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Thursday expressed serious concern about the inquiry against water resources minister Sunil Tatkare for alleged land grab, money laundering and his role in the multi-crore irrigation scam.

A division bench said the status report submitted by the economic offences wing (EOW) and the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) lacked depth and slammed the Raigad collector for “delegating” his job to a subordinate revenue officer. The HC directed a “proper inquiry” by the Enforcement Directorate, ACB, EOW, Registrar of Companies and the collector into allegations made in a PIL by BJP leader Kirit Somaiya (see box).

Advocate general Darius Khambata handed over the status report in a sealed cover to the bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Suresh Gupte on Thursday. After going through it, Justice Chandrachud said: “Do you realize that they have washed their hands of the matter… the collector had also passed off his responsibility to the tehsildar from whom he sought information. It appeared that he was under pressure from very senior government officials.”

Justice Chandrachud was visibly dissatisfied with the reports which the HC had sought after the state assured that the EOW and collector were looking into Somaiya’s complaints. Taking up the EOW report that annexed one from the collector on the status of agricultural land owned by Tatkare’s companies, he said: “How can companies be agriculturists?”

The judge made it clear to Tatkare’s counsel Aspi Chinoy: “We don’t want to monitor the probe” but “there should be a proper probe”. The ACB is looking into the charges and the ED must probe the money laundering allegations, the court said, pointing out that the PIL has made specific complaints with land records and names of companies.

Earlier, Chinoy had reiterated his “preliminary objection” to the PIL being heard before other legal remedies of filing a proper criminal complaint was exhausted. He said an investigation is still on.

At this, Somaiya’s counsel Rajiv Kumar said since last July, the authorities have ignored complaints against Tatkare and hence, they were “compelled to approach the HC”. “It is obvious the investigation agencies are under the control of those in power in the state and not interested in carrying out a proper probe,” said Kumar.

The counsel added that the minister in his affidavit in reply has made “general evasive denial” whereas he “owed it to the public to explain each allegation against him of the irrigation scam and land grab”.

After the court was told during the earlier hearings the EOW would look into the allegations, Somaiya gave documents to the agency but said there had been “no response from the EOW since February”, it was submitted. The HC asked the agencies to come back with a proper report on August 14.

Supreme Court: Those in jail or police custody can’t contest elections

Edited by Deepshikha Ghosh | Updated: July 11, 2013 19:21 IST

New DelhiThe Supreme Court has barred those in jail from contesting elections, a landmark ruling that will prevent jailed politicians from contesting even if they are not convicted of any crime yet.

This judgement came along with the court’s verdict on Wednesday that MPs and MLAs convicted of a crime would stand disqualified from the date of conviction, and could not stay on even if they appealed to a higher court.

The top court has confirmed the 2004 order of the Patna High court, and agreed that “If a jailed person can’t vote, a jailed person can’t contest elections.”

“A right to vote is a statutory right, the law gives it, and the law takes it away. Persons convicted of crime are kept away from elections. The court has no hesitation in interpreting the Constitution and the Laws framed under it, that persons in the lawful custody of the police also will not be voters, in which case, they will neither be electors. The law temporarily takes away the power of such persons to go anywhere near the election scene,” said the Supreme Court.

Simply put, a person can’t contest if he’s in jail or police custody during the elections.

This could affect politicians like Jagan Reddy, who had been in jail for over a year in a disproportionate assets case.

The verdict is in response to a petition filed in 2004 by the Election Commission, which had been asked by the Patna High Court to strike off names of jailed persons from the voters list.

The poll panel had argued that the election process had already started, and it was too late to change the voters list. The Supreme Court had stayed the high court order at the time.

But experts say the verdict could be controversial, as it would bar jailed persons from contesting even if they have not been charge-sheeted. Many politicians say it opens a can of worms as it can be easily misused against political rivals.

Political parties had also been wary of the verdict disqualifying convicted MPs, since they feared it could be misused for score-settling, though parties like the Congress and BJP had officially welcomed it.



PIL filed in Madurai against BSNL discontinuing the telegram

Jul 11, 2013

Madurai: Against the backdrop of BSNL discontinuing the 160-year-old telegraph service from 15 July, a PIL was today filed in the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court here seeking a stay on the order.

A Division Bench of Justice Paul N Vasanthakumar and Justice P Devadoss directed the central government advocate to get instructions and posted the case for hearing tomorrow.

Seeking the court’s intervention to stay the order of BSNL senior GM discontinuing the service, the petitioner highlighted the various important roles played by telegram.

The petitioner, President of the Federation of Consumer and Service Organizations, M.Sekaran, rejected BSNL’s contention that there are no users of the telegram, alleging the service alone had faced step-motherly treatment.

If BSNL felt that it could not run the service, it could as well hand over the service to the postal department which was handling it efficiently from 1850 to 1990.

Robert Chandrakumar, another petitioner, also filed a PIL with the same prayers on the issue.

The petitioner wanted the telegraph service to be continued at affordable rates.

According to a recent circular issued by Shameem Akhtar, Sr General Manager (Telegraph Services) Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) Corporate office, New Delhi, the telegraph service is to be discontinued with effect from 15 July, 2013.


PIL seeks court’s help in setting up museum

TNN Jul 12, 2013, 07.19AM IST

MADURAI: A public interest litigation (PIL) filed before the Madras high court bench here had sought the court’s intervention in setting up a museum in Tuticorin district.

The petition has sought direction to the district collector to set up museum at the Adhichanallur Village Panchayat, as the district authority started its work to set up museum at another Karunkulam village panchayat.

The petition was filed by C Sankar Ganesh of Veloor-Adhichanallur, Tuticorin. The petitioner contended that the district authority’s action is against the notification issued by the department of culture and archaeological survey of India.

According to him, Adhichanallur village is located on the right side of the Tamirabarani river in Srivaikuntham taluk in the district and it is described as paleo-neolithic archaeological site.

The first extensive urn in village was discovered by Dr Jagor of Germany in 1876 and many things found by him are kept in Berlin Museum, Germany. In 1903, the French archaeologist excavated one more urn in 1903 and took his findings to Paris.

Thereafter, Alexander Rea, attached to Chennai museum, discovered a good number of urns, gold diadems and thousands of potshords from the village.

Besides, the ASI, Chennai resumed its excavation work at the village in 2004 and 2005 and found more than 160 urns involving Tamil Brahmi scripts.

Apart from this, the village also had the iron-age habitation site, which was discovered recently, the petitioner stated.

Following it, the authorities took steps to set up museum in the very same place of Adhichanallur itself and planned to exhibit the excavated things including the things kept in Chennai museum.

But, to shock and surprise, a place near Tamirabarani river in Karunkulam village panchayat was identified for setting up of museum.

Challenging it, the villagers sent a representation to the district collector on June 3, requesting him to set up museum at the original place where the excavations were made. But, there was no action on the part of the collector and construction work was started at the new place.

Hence, a writ was filed.

When the PIL came up for admission before the division bench of Justices N. Paul Vasanthakumar and P. Devadass on Wednesday, the bench ordered notice to the collector and superintending engineer of ASI, Chennai and posted the matter by two weeks.

HC relief for Kripa in land grab case

Jul 11, 2013 |

MLA and former Mumbai Congress president Kripashankar Singh on Wednesday got some relief when the Bombay high court dismissed a PIL seeking CBI probe against him in connection with property grabbing allegations.
A division bench of Justices P.V. Hardas and Mridula Bhatkar dismissed the petition filed by Tulsidas Nair, who had alleged that Singh and his son had usurped his properties worth crores of rupees, and were threatening to kill him if he did not vacate his house at Kalina.
However, the division bench noted that an inquiry conducted by a magistrate on the high court’s order had given a clean chit to Singh and therefore, there was no need for CBI investigation into the allegations.
“The magistrate’s report found that none of the grievances were genuine. The petitioner also had adequate remedies like filing private complaint under Section 156 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code. Therefore, the relieves sought in the petition cannot be granted,” the high court said.
Under Section 156 (3) of CrPC, a magistrate can direct the police to conduct investigation and register a case if there is substance in the complaint.
The high court, however, said police protection provided to Mr Nair as per an earlier order would continue, and if the police wanted to withdraw it, they would have to seek the court’s permission.
In November last year, the HC had ordered magisterial inquiry into the allegations. In its report, which was submitted in the HC in January this year, the magistrate held that Mr Nair did not produce any record to prove that he was forced to sell his properties because of the alleged threats and “torture”.
The report reads: “There is also no material to prove that respondent 6 (Kripashankar) had instructed police officers to implicate the petitioner in false cases. The name of respondent 6 appears to have been included in this petition after a PIL was filed by another person against the same respondent for disproportionate assets.”

Police tells HC that plans are on to ban processions and meetings on weekdays

TNN Jul 12, 2013, 06.40AM IST

KOLKATA: The Kolkata Police, in a report submitted to Calcutta high court, has stated that it is contemplating a ban on processions and meetings on roads leading to the central business district (CBD), College Square and Jadavpur on weekdays. Processions and meetings can be organized at a space earmarked by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) on weekends, the police have stated. Discussions on this have apparently been taken up with the urban development department and KMC.

The report is in response to directions on the police by the high court while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by environment activist Subhas Datta in 2003. In the PIL, Datta had submitted that citizens, particularly motorists and those availing public transport, face tremendous trouble due to processions and meetings on weekdays.

“While not hampering democratic rights, we should ensure that the rights of the common citizen are not infringed. Restriction on processions and meetings on the roads on working days in and around the commercial and office area of BBD Bag and Esplanade, the educational hubs of College Square and Jadavpur is being contemplated. Such meetings may be held in the space provided by the KMC on non-working days, so that the flow of traffic is not disrupted. The matter has been taken up with the urban development department and KMC,” the report signed by the deputy commissioner (traffic) of Kolkata Police states.

The police have also stated in the report that multi-level and underground parking facilities have been planned. “Multi-level parking or underground parking on tram and bus terminuses/depots, KMC stores or godowns, KMC parks as well as Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) land have been planned. The matter has been taken up with the transport department, urban development department, KMC, KoPT and public works department (PWD),” the report said.

On hawkers, the Kolkata Police has stated that no new encroachments are being permitted while a high-power experts’ committee of the urban development department is examining the issue of hawkers. It has also been stated that a process is on to install a large number of close-circuit television cameras with connectivity to the police control room in Lalbazar. Greater emphasis is being given on signals at intersections where the volume of traffic is heavy to avoid congestion.

Police have also stated the measures taken to attend to bad roads and healthcare provided to personnel involved in managing traffic.

“After going through the report on Thursday, the division bench of Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Joymalya Bagchi directed KMC to submit a report with its views within two weeks. The transport and urban development departments, KoPT and PWD have also been asked to submit reports within two weeks,” Datta said.

State, Centre refuse to pay NEERI’s consultation fee

Sumita Sarkar, TNN Jul 12, 2013, 05.33AM IST

NASHIK: The state and the Union governments on Thursday refused to contribute funds for the consultation fee of the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) which has been assigned the work of suggesting measures to control Godavari pollution to the Nashik Municiapal Corporation (NMC).

The case was heard at the Bombay high court by the divisional bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Gautam Patel.

At the hearing, advocate general of the state Khambata Darayas and additional solicitor general Kevick Settlewad of the cenral government said the state and Union governments refused to contribute for NEERI’s consultation fee.

“Darayas said that since the NMC was responsible for polluting the river, it should pay the entire amount. He said that if the state and Union governments paid for the NMC, then every corporation will end up asking for financial assistance from them. He also questioned where all the money collected as taxes by the NMC for the sewage treatment plants (STPs) went. Settlewad also gave similar arguments. They said, as per sections 66 and 67 of the Maharashtra Municipal Corporations Act, this is the responsibility of the corporations,” said lawyer of the petitioners Pravarthak Pathak, who pointed out that the petitioners had already stated this in the PIL.

The high court, on Monday (July 8) had ordered the additional solicitor general of the Union government and advocate general of the state government to be present on Thursday to sort out the issue of funding the consultation fee of NEERI. NEERI had been appointed by the court on April 18, on the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board’s (MPCB) suggestions, to give solutions to the NMC to control river pollution. The hearing was on public interest litigation (PIL) filed by non-governmental organisation Godavari Gatarikaran Virodhi Manch against government officials for failing to control river pollution.

On May 6, NEERI had presented a proposal of Rs 80 lakh to provide solutions to the pollution issue which the high court accepted. The court then ordered the NMC to pay Rs 15 lakh within two weeks and also ordered the central and state governments to contribute the remaining amount. Thereafter, NEERI visited the city, inspected the river and submitted its report to the high court on June 21 and the next hearing was scheduled for Monday.

On Monday, representatives of the state government said the Centre refused to pay for NEERI’s consultancy following which the court ordered the additional solicitor general of the Union government and advocate general of the state government to be present on Thursday for the hearing. The order was passed by the two-judge bench, Abhay Oka and Gautam Patel.

The next hearing has been scheduled for July 18 as the lawyer of the NMC was not present for Thursday’s hearing.

The petitioners have also submitted a rejoinder to their PIL, stating the NMC had not shown the pipelines of the STPs from where untreated sewage water entered the river to NEERI, due to which the issue did not reflect in the latter’s report.

Satish Verma files fresh plea in HC to clear name in 15-yr-old case

Express news service : Ahmedabad, Fri Jul 12 2013, 03:34 hrs

Senior IPS officer Satish Verma, who assisted CBI in the Ishrat Jahan encounter probe, Thursday filed a petition in the High Court stating that an inquiry report that cleared him in a case involving alleged fake police encounters and custodial deaths in Porbandar district in 1998 had been submitted in the HC long ago.

A PIL filed by a voluntary organisation has accused Verma, who was then Superintendent of Police in Porbandar district, of complicity in three staged encounters and custodial deaths.

The officer stated in his latest petition that the court had earlier ordered the then Special IG of CID (Crime), Hiralal, to investigate the case and that the latter had submitted a compliance report before the HC registry after which the matter was disposed of.

“We have moved the petition before the chief court (of the HC) to clarify that the report was submitted before the court and that the matter was disposed of. Hearing on the same is scheduled on Friday,” Verma’s counsel I H Syed said.

The case has seen several twists and turns.

Last year, Hiralal Shial, brother of Jasu Shial who was one of three people who allegedly died in custody, moved a petition in the HC claiming nothing was done on its order of investigation in the matter and sought fresh directions from the court.

A single-judge bench of HC, in April last year, ordered the state government to initiate a fresh inquiry and submit a report in three months.

Verma challenged the HC order in the Supreme Court, arguing that the then Special IG of CID (Crime), Hiralal, had held an inquiry and given him a clean chit in a report, a copy of which was available with him.

On its part, the state government claimed the report was missing from its records and raised doubts over the authenticity of the report produced by Verma.

The SC dismissed Verma’s petition on May 3 while directing him to approach the HC with a fresh petition. Verma again moved a petition before HC, which is pending.

Construction at graveyard: HC seeks reply

Press Trust of India : Mumbai, Fri Jul 12 2013, 02:40 hrs

Expressing shock at allegations of a graveyard in Pune being dug and skeletons removed for development and construction of five Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) buildings, Bombay High Court (HC) sought replies Thursday from Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and SRA.

A division bench of justices D Y Chandrachud and S C Gupte was hearing a PIL by Mushtaque Fakhruddin alleging a three-acre plot having a mosque and burial ground was fraudulently sanctioned for development by the civic body in connivance with developer Golden Constructions. He said the developer had started construction of five buildings on the land and was removing skeletons from the graveyard.

“It is shocking where we are headed. Hope skeletons are not being removed,” justice Chandrachud said. The bench directed PMC and SRA to file an affidavit by July 16 stating if construction was taking place at the graveyard.

Lost SC berth for opposing HC judgeship for CJI Kabir’s sister: Guj CJ

Maneesh Chhibber , Appu Esthose Suresh : New Delhi, Fri Jul 12 2013, 08:59 hrs

Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya has complained that Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir — who retires on July 18 — blocked his elevation to the Supreme Court earlier this year because, as a member of the collegium of the Calcutta High Court, he had opposed the appointment of CJI Kabir’s lawyer sister to the Bench, a decision he said was tantamount to “rape” of the court.

On September 13, 2010, the CJI’s sister, Shukla Kabir Sinha, was appointed to the bench of the Calcutta HC after the HC collegium ignored Justice Bhattacharya’s written submission on why she should not be appointed to the post.

CJI Kabir — then a senior judge of the apex court — was a member of the SC collegium that considered the HC’s recommendation. However, sources said he had recused himself from the meeting.

On March 19 this year, after being overlooked for elevation to the Supreme Court by a collegium headed by CJI Kabir, Chief Justice Bhattacharya, who was the third seniormost High Court Chief Justice at the time, sent a 10-page letter to the President of India, Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India.

Two other High Court CJs — Bombay High Court CJ Mohit S Shah and Uttarakhand High Court CJ Barin Ghosh — too were overlooked for elevation.

In his letter to the CJI, accessed by The Indian Express, Chief Justice Bhattacharya wrote: “As a human being, I have a reasonable basis to apprehend that the fact that as a member of the collegium while I was a judge of the Calcutta HC, I raised serious objections against the elevation of Smt Shukla Kabir Sinha, your (CJI Altamas Kabir’s) younger sister, is the real reason for making such observations against me.”

When contacted, the Prime Minister’s spokesperson said: “The letter was addressed to the Chief Justice of India, and the PMO had no role to play in it as appointments of judges are decided by the collegium.”

Justice Bhattacharya has asked that his letter be shown to all members of the collegium. He has also requested that he be shown “the material which led you (CJI Kabir) to take such a decision regarding my competence and character”. He has said that he will resign if he is given “justifiable reasons”.

Neither CJI Kabir nor Justice Bhattacharya could be reached for a comment. Questionnaires emailed to their offices elicited no response. Justice Shukla Kabir Sinha was not available for a comment. Law Minister Kapil Sibal declined to comment.

While rejecting the claim of the three seniormost CJs, the collegium had said that they were “not suitable to hold the office of Supreme Court judge and their elevation as such would prove to be counter-productive and not conducive to administration of justice,” according to a Hindustan Times report which Justice Bhattacharya has quoted in his letter.

Justice Bhattacharya has also given his reasons for opposing the CJI’s sister’s name for judgeship, including what he has called her poor practice, reflected in her annual income-tax statements.

“In my view as an advocate who at the age of 58 years is just capable of earning a net amount of Rs 88,000 from practice should in no case be recommended for judgeship. We cannot lose sight of the fact that a High Court chaprasi gets more than Rs 13,000 per month as salary which is equivalent to Rs 1,56,000 per annum which is almost double the income of Mrs Shukla Kabir Sinha from her practice as a lawyer,” he wrote in his note for the collegium, extracts from which are part of his letter to the CJI.

The letter also says that he had raised the issue of the CJI’s sister taking “four years for passing BA examination after clearing senior Cambridge and five years for getting MA degree after graduation, although the usual time taken for clearing these examinations is three years and two years respectively”.

“I don’t have a personal inimical feeling against Mrs Sinha who is just like my sister… However, as I treat the HC to which I belong for the full time-being as my mother, I earnestly believed that to elevate Mrs Sinha at the age of 59, there is no instance in the past of elevation of a Judge from the Bar at the age of 59 years… would give a wrong signal and people would lose faith in the judiciary and the collegium system… For the above reasons, I made my observations which, however, didn’t get the approval of the Chief Justice of the Calcutta HC and of Judge Pinaki Chandra Ghose, who was the other member of the collegium and who has superseded me this time,” the letter reads. “So far as I can remember, Justice Pinaki Ghose in his recommendation observed that if Shukla Kabir is elevated as a judge, she would be an asset to the judiciary.”

Justice Bhattacharya has also written, “When time came for selection of Smt Shukla Kabir Sinha as a Judge of the HC, I was pressured to agree to such a proposal as a member of the collegium, but I thought it would amount to committing rape of the Calcutta HC, which was like my mother and if I didn’t raise any objections that would amount to closing my eyes while my mother was being raped. As a result, I used rather strong words so that by looking at the nature of words used by me, the person responsible for sending such a recommendation would have a second thought… Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in resisting the rape of my mother in spite of my earnest endeavour. However, at the time of my death, I will not repent that I ever compromised with wrong for the sake of my career.”

‘Another incident’

* Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya also referred to “another recent incident” that he says could have made the collegium reject him.

* According to Justice Bhattacharya, a former Gujarat HC Chief Justice who is now in the Supreme Court withdrew an excess amount of Rs 54,650 as TA/DA which is not permissible without furnishing proof.

* “There are several other honourable judges who had withdrawn similar amounts in excess of the rules. After receiving such clarification from the Centre, I, as the chief justice of the Gujarat HC, placed the matter in the Standing Committee of seven judges and they unanimously resolved that the honourable judges… should pay back the excess amount,” his letter reads.

* As per the letter, when the judge, who is now in the Supreme Court, was requested to repay the excess amount, his office wrote to the HC registrar telling him “not to make any such unnecessary and unwarranted correspondence.”

* “As your younger brother, I seek advice from you as to what should be my duty as the present CJ if I find that a former Chief Justice of the High Court who is now judge of the SC is found to have withdrawn excess amount not intentionally but due to some ambiguity in existing rules?” the CJ asks the CJI.

HC: Chalk out policy to check pollution in rivers

TNN Jul 12, 2013, 06.14AM IST

JABALPUR: Calling for an immediate halt on illegal construction on the banks of Narmada river, Madhya Pradesh high court (MPHC) has issued directions to the government to formulate a cohesive policy to check pollutions in all rivers flowing across the state. A division bench comprising acting chief justice KK Lahoti and Justice Subhash Kekde has demanded a detailed action plan to be perused by the state by July 18.

The petition filed by Narmada mission had drawn courts attention to the practice of idol immersion in Narmada during major Hindu festivals which it claimed is leading to greater toxicity in the water. The chemical pollutants, the petitioner claimed, is not only endangering aquatic life but is also posing a major health challenge for the populace residing by the bank. The court had on April 5, directed the state to make alternate arrangement for immersion and follow the guidelines prepared by the Maharashtra pollution control board as per the directives of Bombay high court.

During the hearing of the matter on Wednesday, the court ordered municipal authorities to check release of polluted drain and sewage water into the river. Narmada, the bench observed, is the one of the few rivers in the country which has a comparative lower pollution level. The lifeline needs to be protected from pollutants and if the state government did not realize the urgency of the situation there would be a crisis of drinking water in next fifteen years.”

Taking cognizance of another petition filed by Satish Verma, the bench has banned construction within the 300 metres of the river bank.

HC upholds RTE provision which bans holding child back upon flunking exam

Last Updated: Thursday, July 11, 2013, 20:13

Mumbai: Observing that a child suffers an intense psychological trauma if he or she is expelled or continued in the same class upon failing in the final examination, the Bombay High Court on Thursday dismissed a public interest litigation challenging a provision in the Right to Education Act.

Under section 16 of the Act, no child shall be held back or expelled till completion of elementary school (standard eight).

“A child who is not allowed to progress to the next standard suffers from an intense psychological trauma resulting in loss of self-worth. Holding back for want of adequate performance assessed with conventional methods like examinations places the child in a position of disadvantage in relation to his or her peers,” the court said.

The division bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and S C Gupte was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Arun Joshi, director of a Solapur-based educational institute, stating that this provision had resulted in deterioration of educational standards.

The High Court, however, disagreed.

“The kind of pressure we put on our children these days… .At such a young age learning process need not be based only on exams. I was also a student and now a parent…I know how exams can be,” Justice Chandrachud said.

The court observed that while enacting the RTE Act the Parliament was aware of social realities. “Assessing knowledge merely in terms of performance in examination takes a very narrow view of the purpose of education. Education must emphasise the need to initiate the child into a holistic pattern of development,” the bench said, dismissing the PIL.


HC issue notices to ministry of youth affairs

PTI Jul 11, 2013, 10.48PM IST

CHENNAI: The Madras high court issued notices to ministry of youth affairs and sports, New Delhi, Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu and Indian Olympic Association on a petition filed by Dr Srinivasa Ragavan, Professor of Forensic Medicine, Chennai.

Raghavan prayed to take appropriate legal action against one PV Rathee of Chandigarh, P Prabhu of Chennai and Kulwinder Singh of Gurgaon for issuing bogus National Level Sports Certificates and declare the sports/merit certificates issued by them as null and void.

Justice K K Sasidharan sought reply from the Centre and state sports authorities by August 5.

Ragavan submitted that his son being an outstanding Gymnast at state and national level had an occasion to see the certificates issued by those persons the legal action sought by him.

He alleged that on an enquiry by him to Gymnastic Federation of India and Indian Olympic Association, it was revealed that the above persons were not recognised by Indian Olympic Association and Gymnastic Federation of India.

He also alleged that issuing certificates by them would amount to forgery and criminal breach of trust and cheating, and sought for direction from high court for appropriate legal action by the Central and state sports authorities.

HC: Frame charges against accused, including justice Yadav

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, July 11, 2013

First Published: 23:38 IST(11/7/2013) | Last Updated: 23:46 IST(11/7/2013)

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday directed the special CBI judge, Chandigarh, to frame charges against the accused, including former high court judge Nirmal Yadav, by July 21 in the August 2008 case of Rs-15-lakh bribe.

Taking up the application from special CBI judge Vimal Kumar, justice Paramjeet Singh granted the authority 10-day extension for framing the charges. In the application moved on July 6, the special CBI judge had mentioned that arguments for the framing of charges had commenced and would continue for some more days.

On May 13, the high court while disposing of justice Yadav’s petition, had granted justice Yadav 15 days to inspect the case record and ordered the trial court to decide the issue of the framing of charges within 15 days thereafter, after hearing both parties (petitioner and the Central Bureau of Investigation).

However, the special CBI judge in his application mentioned that in the meantime, justice Yadav had moved the Supreme Court, challenging high court’s order of May 13, so on her counsel’s request, the case had been adjourned to July 6. But on July 5, the Supreme Court had dismissed her petition.

The special CBI judge mentioned that it was on July 6 that CBI’s senior public prosecutor Anupam Gupta had commenced his arguments on the framing of charges. The case was then adjourned for July 8 and, after the arguments, posted for further arguments to July 15.

The case

In August 2008, a parcel containing Rs. 15 lakh allegedly meant for justice Nirmal Yadav of the Punjab and Haryana high court was delivered by mistake to justice Nirmaljit Kaur. On November 11, 2010, the high court gave the nod for justice Yadav’s prosecution. On March 1, 2011, the President granted the prosecution sanction.

HC puts an end to wait, to post daily orders online

RAGHAV OHRI : Chandigarh, Fri Jul 12 2013, 01:44 hrs

In a development which will not only benefit litigants, but also bring down “frivolous adjournments”, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has started posting daily orders on its official website.

Till now, one had to wait for days and in some cases, weeks to obtain copies of orders passed by the high court. But now, the court has made a special provision that will ensure that daily orders are made available online. Minutes after a high court judge signs a daily order, it will be posted online.

The development assumes significance as this facility was, a couple of months back, limited to lawyers and court staff on the high court premises. But now, the daily orders will be made available to all, including litigants.

One can access the orders by visiting the official website ( A separate tab under the head ‘daily order’ has been created on the website. The window has three fields – case type, case number and case year. One can fill the details of case type and number to learn the day’s development. Even, interim orders can be obtained.

This facility has been introduced by the high court for the first time. Till now, as per available information, such a facility was only available in the Delhi High Court.

Will reduce adjournments the process is expected to bring down the number of adjournments sought by lawyers. “Since daily and interim orders were difficult to access and one had to request for inspection of files, lawyers had to seek adjournment if an interim order was not available on the file. Plus, the entire exercise of seeking permission to inspect the file was cumbersome and time consuming. This has been done away with,” said a senior high court officer.

The court is also in the process of streamlining the facility, so that there are no technical glitches, while obtaining the daily orders. “We cannot afford to delay posting of daily orders online,” the officer added.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has already begun its exercise to be paperless. The court has initiated the system of e-filing, with an aim to put the justice delivery system on fast track and end the morass of paperwork.

SC stays proceedings in Andhra Pradesh High court on IIT admissions

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed all the proceedings related to admissions in Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in the Andhra Pradesh High Court which had directed the premier instutute not to fill four seats which were offered to students from the state but were denied on the ground of poor percentile.

A bench comprising justices K S Radhakrishnan and Pinaki Chandra Ghose issued notices and sought response within two weeks from those candidates on whose petition the high court had passed the order on July 8.

The appeal was filed by the organising chairman of Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) (advanced) 2013, IIT Delhi, seeking stay of the interim order contending that the high court completely ignored the terms and conditions of the JEE.

Senior advocate V Giri and advocate Madhu Smita Bora contended that the high court failed to appreciate that many deserving candidates would get adversely affected as a result of keeping four seats reserved for the respondent students who did not fulfil the minimum eligibility criteria for admission into the IIT.

The four students had contended before the high court that the prescribed condition of successful candidates being within “top 20 percentile of successful candidates in class 12th examination conducted by the respective boards in applicable categories” was arbitrary and unreasonable.

SC to hear plea against high court verdict on nursery admissions

PTI | Jul 12, 2013, 12.53 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a plea challenging the Delhi high court’s order that the Right to Education (RTE) Act is not applicable to nursery admissions in unaided private schools.

A bench of justices HL Dattu and Dipak Misra issued notice to Delhi government seeking its response on an appeal filed by an NGO, Social Jurist, challenging the high court’s order.

Advocate Ashok Aggarwal, appearing for the NGO, submitted that the high court erred in holding that the RTE Act applied only in the matter of admission of children between the age of 6 years to 14 years and that is not applicable to nursery admissions.

“The Delhi high court has clearly erred in law in holding that the provisions of Section 13 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, apply only in the matter of admission of the children between the age of 6 years to 14 years and are not applicable to the admission of children below 6 years in unaided private schools,” the NGO has submitted in its petition.

“Section 13 of the act was formulated in the context of rampant screening practices being adopted by the private unaided schools in nursery admissions which had resulted in a comprehensive round of litigation in the high court. It was to correct this mischief the said provision was incorporated,” the petition said.

The high court had passed the verdict on February 19, holding that the RTE Act and subsequent government notifications were not applicable to nursery admission in unaided private schools.

It had, however, asked the Centre to consider amending the act to include nursery education as well, saying that the schools could not be allowed to run as “teaching shops” as it would be “detrimental to equal opportunity to children”.

The high court had said, “Though we have held that the Right to Education Act is not applicable to nursery schools, in our opinion there cannot be any different yardstick to be adopted for education to children up to the age of 14 years irrespective of the fact that it applies to only elementary education.”

“It is the right time for the government to consider the applicability of the Right to Education Act to the nursery classes as well, as in many of the states admissions are made right from the nursery classes and the children so admitted are automatically allowed to continue from class I. In that sense, the provisions of Section 13 would be rendered meaningless insofar as it prohibits screening procedure at the time of selection,” it had said.

Centre to SC: Difficult to ban international porn websites

TOI Tech | Jul 12, 2013, 02.30 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Government’s attempt to put a ban on pornographic websites seems to have hit a roadblock. The central government has told the Supreme Court that it is difficult to block international porn websites in India.

In response, the apex court has advised the government to work with various ministries to find a solution for this issue.

Earlier this week, a Parliamentary committee decided to look into the aspect of cyber porn and ways to check it amid complaints that it is “distorting and distressing” the society. The Committee on Petitions of the Rajya Sabha has taken cognizance of a plea made to it, seeking a check on cyber pornography by amending the IT Act, 2000. The petition has demanded an amendment to the IT Act so as to make pornography on computer or mobile a crime, attracting severe punishment to the producers, distributors and viewers of such sites.

The committee sought opinion from stakeholders and public to help formulate its view.
In an order dated June 13, Department of Telecom (DoT) has directed internet service providers (ISPs) to block 39 websites. Most of them are web forums where internet users share images and URLs to download pornographic files. But some of these websites are also image hosts and file hosts, mostly used to store and share files that are non-pornographic.
While watching or distributing child pornography is illegal in India, watching adult pornography is not banned. The blocked websites are hosted outside India and claim to operate under the 18 USC 2257 rule enforced by the US. The rule specifies that producers of pornographic material are required to retain records showing performers were over 18 years of age at the time the video or image was captured.

Though IT Act doesn’t criminalize watching porn, the new rules notified in 2011 have certain provisions that show the government wants to dictate what people watch or do not watch on the web. For example, the rules ask an intermediary like an ISP to “inform users of computer resources not to host, display, upload, modify, publish, and transmit any information that is obscene and pornographic.”

(With PTI inputs)

HC orders second autopsy


After medical experts gave conflicting opinions on the cause of Dharmapuri youth E. Ilavarasan’s death, the Madras High Court on Friday ordered a fresh autopsy by a team of forensic experts from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.

The post-mortem examination will be done on Saturday and the body handed over to the Dalit youth’s father. The Bench, comprising Justices V.Dhanapalan and C.T.Selvam, directed the AIIMS Director to depute a team of three forensic medicine experts for the purpose of conducting the fresh autopsy on the body, which now lies at the mortuary of the Government General Hospital, Dharmapuri.

Ilavarasan was found dead near a railway track in Dharmapuri on July 4. A. Ramesh, his friend, filed a petition in the High Court for a direction to get the autopsy done by a team of doctors, along with a doctor of his choice.

The Public Prosecutor opposed the plea, contending that a post-mortem had been done and videographed. The Bench ordered that the body be preserved.

The judges viewed the video recording of the autopsy last Tuesday in the presence of seven medical/ forensic experts. As conflicting opinions arose among them, two more forensic medicine experts – K. Thangaraj of SRM Medical College and Research Centre, and P. Sampath Kumar of Sri Ramachandra Medical College – were directed to examine the body on Thursday. Mr. Justice Dhananpalan observed, “One has suggested that it was suicide while another has termed it otherwise.”

They noted that the two, who were only asked to find out whether a second post-mortem was needed, had “exceeded their brief”.

The Bench said: “We firmly express that we do not find any reason to suspect any wrongdoing in the conduct of the previous autopsy. Even so, when two experts appointed by us are at variance, it only would be appropriate to permit a second post-mortem. We add that the course we are adopting is not to be seen as any blemish upon the State.”

It felt that fresh autopsy be done by a team that is independent and neutral. Asking the registry to communicate the order to AIIMS, New Delhi, urgently, the court directed the State government to make arrangements for the travel and accommodation of the doctors

HC reserves order on admitting petition seeking compensation from judicial officers

Ravinder Makhaik, TNN | Jul 13, 2013, 05.25 AM IST

SHIMLA: Suing a judge for not acting diligently and in good faith, resulting in defamation of the petitioner, is something unheard of in India but the Himachal Pradesh high court is confronted with just such an issue and has reserved its order on whether to admit or dismiss such a case.

On Thursday, taking up the application moved under Section 482 of CrPC, Chief Justice A M Khanwilkar heading the bench with Justice Kuldip Singh after issuing a stern warning to petitioner Deepak Khosla about the nature of the relief sought, (compensation of Rs 1 Cr) said in the open court that in all his career in the bar or as a judge he had not come across any such case where judges were intended to be sued.

Showing preparedness for all judicial action arising out of moving such an application before the higher court, Khosla relied upon the Judges Protection Act 1850 and Judges Protection Act 1985 and pointed out that the 1850 Act granted judges immunity only in civil matters and the 1985 Act had not debarred higher courts from taking action against subordinate judicial officers.

However, the petitioner in court stated that no mala fides was being alleged against two judges of a district court arrayed by name in the application but alleges “implied malice” resulting from their negligence in diligently perusing the case materials before them in which Khosla is an accused.

Besides, the two judicial officers of a district court in Solan, 10 others, including police officers, public prosecutors and others have been named as respondents. The petitioner has also evoked Article 227 and Section 397-404 of CrPC to make out a case. To buttress his argument Khosla cited the April 10, 2013, judgment in S.Velankanni v Chitradevi & others case wherein immunity under the Judicial Protection Act was denied and Rs 1 lakh compensation was imposed on a judicial magistrate for wrongfully remanding a rape victim to judicial custody.

Leading the charge for the state and judges, advocate general Sharwan Dogra termed the application as an attempt to breech the protection judicial officers had under the constitution and the Judicial Protection Acts. Without going into the merits of the petitioners’ case, the advocate general sought outright dismissal of such a plea, asked for exemplary treatment so as to discourage such litigation as it was an attack on the very institution under which the judicial system of the country worked.

Given a chance to respond, Khosla said that by entertaining his application the court could, in fact, send out a positive message where it was willing to entertain cases against judicial officers, rendering all, including judicial officers, equal before law.

Argued for about two hours, the listed matter evoked much interest in open court, which was attended many senior lawyers, before the bench reserved its order for next week. Before moving to the next listed matter, Khosla, with the court’s permission bowed out saying in Hindi, ‘gustaki maaf’, to which the chief justice responded in equal measure, ending the proceedings with a smile on everybody present.

HC asks Maha govt if it knows national anthem

Last Updated: Friday, July 12, 2013, 19:08

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday asked the Maharashtra government if it knows India’s national anthem, while hearing a PIL seeking withdrawal of class X and XII text books in which the word ‘Sindh’ has been replaced by ‘Sindhu’.

A division bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and SC Gupte issued notice to the state government and the Principal Secretary of the Home Department and asked them to file their affidavit by August 02.

“Does the state government not know what our national anthem is? You (government) cannot start changing words in the national anthem. What do you propose to do?” Justice Chandrachud asked.

Additional government pleader Abhinandan Vagyani said nearly seven lakh text books have been printed and the government would soon decide on the issue.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Mulund resident Dakshata Shet, saying the latest Class X geography textbook of Marathi medium school printed by the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education mentions word ‘Sindhu’ in the national anthem.

Shet, who is also a volunteer for education for street children, says in her petition that the same error is reflected in Class 12 text books of Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics.

The PIL states that the Supreme Court, as well as the Bombay high court, have ruled that the national anthem should not be amended even if geographical changes take place in India. “These rulings are specifically in relation to the word Sindh,” the petition adds.

PIL prays that all the text books should be recalled from the market and be destroyed. Shet has also sought registration of offence against the concerned persons for exhibiting disrespect towards the national anthem and towards the nation as a whole.


HC dismisses pleas as advocate insists on arguing in Tamil

The Madras High Court bench here today dismissed two petitions after the advocate insisted on arguing in Tamil, holding that the Constitution clearly states that the language of the Supreme Court and High Courts “shall be in English”.

Justice S Manikumar said the court was constrained to dismiss the writ petitions “having regard to the constitutional provision and the binding effect of the Constitutional Bench judgment of the Supreme Court in Madhu Limaye Vs Ved Murthi Case in which the court held that the court language was English.”

The judge said when advocate Raj Narain insisted that he would speak only in Hindi, the Supreme court bench HAD pointed out that the Attorney General was opposing him (speaking in Hindi).

Some of the members of the Bench could not understand the arguments made in Hindi and the bench had observed that in the circumstances, it was futile to permit Raj Narain to speak in Hindi, the judge said.

The apex court had also given three alternatives to Raj Narain, including to argue in English, or allow another lawyer to present his case,or submit a written arguement in English. If Raj Narain was not agreeable to the options, there was no other alternative except to cancel the intervention (dismissing), the judge said quoting the apec court.

Similarly in this case also, Justice Manikumar said Advocate Bhagavath Singh had options which he could have taken, and dismissed the petitions.

Besides Art.348 of the Constitution of India clearly stated that the language of the Supreme courts and High courts “shall be in English”, the judge said.

One of the petitions dismissed today was by a woman Ayisha Banu had requested the court to direct the Ministry of Overseas Affairs to bring her husband back to India from Saudi Arabia.

The other was from Sundar Rajan of Kanayakumari who sought court’s intervention to direct the executive officer of Karunkal panchayat in Kanyakumari district to give plan approval for his house. The plea was also dismissed.

1984 riots: HC notice to CBI on convict’s bail plea

Friday Jul 12, 2013

New Delhi, July 12 — The Delhi High Court Friday issued notice to the CBI on the bail plea of former councillor Balwan Khokkar, serving life sentence in the jail after his conviction in a case related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Justice G.S. Sistani and Justice G.P. Mittal sought a response from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) by Aug 27.

Apart from bail, Khokkar also challenged the trial court’s April 30 order convicting him and sentencing him to life imprisonment.

The trial court April 30 acquitted Congress leader Sajjan Kumar but convicted five others, including Khokkar, in a case related to the killing of five people in Delhi Cantonment area during violence against the Sikhs following the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi on Oct 31, 1984.

The other four are former legislator Mahender Yadav, Kishan Khokkar, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal.


HC notice to Purti Group in tax case

Vivek Deshpande : Nagpur, Sat Jul 13 2013, 01:34 hrs

The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court has served a show cause notice to the sugar unit of the Purti Group as to why it should not be penalised for not paying income-tax.

The notice was issued on an appeal filed by the I-T department against an order of the Income-Tax Tribunal in December upholding a Purti Group’s plea against the penalty.

The tax was imposed on the company, which was in news last year for its association with former BJP president Nitin Gadkari, after it agreed to pay dues accrued after “revision” of returns.

The I-T department has sought to know from HC if the appellate tribunal erred in cancelling the penalty without appreciating that it was imposed after the assessee revised income following action by the department.

“The assessee failed to prove reduction in income shown earlier was bona fide,” the petition says.

The taxes are for five assessment years beginning 2001-02.

The default was noticed in documents seized during searches at Mehta Group of Industries in Nagpur in 2006. Purti Group claimed to have taken money from Mehta Group for capital expenditure and showed interest paid. The I-T department found the deal suspicious.

The capital cost shown on paper initially by Purti Group was found to be inflated and was revised downward after the I-T department brought it to the notice of the company. This increased income. The tax it attracted was seen as evasion vis-a-vis returns filed earlier and hence the penalty.

HC tells Punjab to decide on Bhaniara’s book in 9 weeks

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh , July 12, 2013

Considering the request made by Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara to remove objectionable parts from his banned book, ‘Bhavsagar Samundar Amarbani Granth’, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday directed the Punjab government to take a decision on the matter in nine weeks.

The full bench comprising justices Surya Kant, Jitendra Chauhan and Surinder Gupta, while hearing Bhaniara’s petition, also made it clear that if the final decision in the case could not be taken by September 23, the case would be heard on a daily basis thereon.

The Punjab government had imposed a ban on the book on December 15, 2008. Baba Bhaniara had moved the high court challenging the state government notification imposing the ban. The book was opposed by many members of the Sikh community on the ground that the Baba was equating himself with the Sikh Gurus.

Also, in its report already submitted to the high court on June 3 last year, four members of the five-member expert committee constituted on the high court’s order had justified the ban on the book.

On May 13 this year, the court of the chief judicial magistrate, Ambala, had sentenced Baba Bhaniara and seven others to three years’ jail on the charges of promoting religious enmity for burning pages of Guru Granth Sahib in 2001.

HC gives interim protection to BSF man against transfer order

A BSF constable was today granted interim protection by the DelhiHigh Court on his plea seeking cancellation of orders asking him to move to Gujarat on the ground that he has to look after his wife who suffers from acute gangrene that has made her handicapped and completely dependent on him.

A bench of Justices Geeta Mittal and Deepa Sharma granted interim protection to Head Constable Subhash Chander and put a stay on his movement order till August 21.

Chander told the court that he was given movement orders even as his representation against being transferred was pending before DG, BSF and that the medical treatment advised to his wife is available only in Delhi.

Counsel appearing for BSF informed the court that the representation made by Chander against the transfer/ movement order is under consideration after which the court put a stay on the same till August 21.

Chander, working as a driver in the 25th Battalion of Border Security Force, had moved the High Court against the Centre and Director General of BSF seeking cancellation of order dated June 6 by which he was to move to Gujarat.

His counsel Kamal Katyan told the court that Chander joined BSF as a constable in March 1989 and has maintained a clean record since then.

He told the court that in April 2008, while he was posted in Punjab, his wife started complaining of acute pain in her legs and doctors advised that she be taken to Delhi for better diagnosis and treatment.

In November 2008, doctors at RML hospital diagnosed the disease as gangrene and performed surgery on her legs but it did not improve her situation and in February 2009, artificial arteries were inserted in her legs.

HC orders whistle-blower PCS officer to file report of inquiry

The Allahabad High Court today directed senior PCS officer Hari Shankar Pandey to file report of the inquiry conducted by him in the alleged Rs 1,400 crore scam in Uttar Pradesh Rural Engineering Department on July 17.

The Lucknow bench of the High Court, comprising justices Devi Prasad Singh and Vinay Kumar Mathur, gave the directions on a petition filed by Pandey challenging the departmental charge sheet served upon him by the government for “conducting inquiry in a wrong way”.

The court also directed the Uttar Pradesh government to file all records related to sending police force for serving the notice of departmental inquiry at the residence of Pandey.

The PCS officer had alleged that police force was sent to his residence for serving the notice of inquiry, which was against the norms, and demanded a compensation of Rs 5 crore from the government in this regard.

Pandey had also alleged that at the instance of senior IAS officer and Principal Secretary, Appointment, Rajiv Kumar, with whom he reportedly had some rivalry, departmental proceedings were initiated against him.

He had alleged that he was being continuously harassed by Kumar and other officers concerned with the scam and sought direction that penal action be taken against them.

On behalf of the state government, additional advocate general Zafaryab Jilani opposed the petition and filed documents before the court denying Pandey’s allegations.

Pandey had on July 1 opted for voluntary retirement in protest against the government order of filing a charge sheet against him.

HC notice to minister Anjaneya, 3 MLAs

TNN | Jul 13, 2013, 04.43 AM IST

BANGALORE: The high court on Friday ordered notice to social welfare minister H Anjaneya and three other MLAs in response to four petitions challenging their victory in the recently held assembly elections.

Justice HN Nagamohan Das ordered notice to the minister in response to a petition filed by Chandrappa challenging his election from Holalkere constituency in Chitradurga district.

The judge also ordered notice to Congress MLA Anil Lad representing Bellary city constituency in response to a similar election petition filed by T Parthasarathi, the defeated candidate. Both these cases were adjourned to August 7.

Similar notices were served to Sindagi MLA Bhusanur Ramesh and former minister PM Narendraswamy (Malavalli MLA by Justice L Narayanaswamy. These two petitions have been adjourned to August 5.

HC directs state to draft policy to ensure safety of tourists

Last Updated: Friday, July 12, 2013, 19:30

Mumbai: Observing that it was the state’s responsibility to ensure safety of tourists and students, the Bombay High Court directed Maharashtra government on Friday to draft a policy to keep tab on trekking camps organised by unregistered tour operators, within three months.

A division bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and S C Gupte was hearing a PIL filed by a city-based couple who lost their teenage son on a trek conducted by a private organiser.

According to the PIL filed by Anil Mahajan and his wife, their only son Harshal had gone for a trek organised by Pune- based group Sahyadhri Adventure Foundation in 2006 to Himachal Pradesh.

However, Harshal had health problems and died due to shortage of oxygen at a high altitude.

The petition claimed the tour operator was not able to handle the emergency medical situation.

The bench was irked when informed that despite a direction given to the government last year to draft the policy, no steps had been taken till date.

The court observed that tourism has increased, especially during the monsoon season, and steps have to be taken to ensure safety of tourists.


HC issues arrest warrant against Surankote Sarpanch

SRINAGAR, July 12: The High Court has issued arrest warrant against Sarpanch of Faisalabad village of Surankote after a girl wrote letter to Chief Justice seeking justice for her being allegedly raped by the Sarpanch who is out on bail.
Sources in the Court said that the letter was treated as a petition by the Chief Justice and the case was listed before Justice M H Attar who directed the police to arrest the accused Sarpanch forthwith.
On May 25, police had claimed to have booked Mohammad Riaz, 40, son of Mohammad Shafi Sarpanch of Faisalabad village of Surankote Tehsil in Poonch district for allegedly raping a minor girl, who was working and living as maid in his house for the last couple of years.
Police had said the domestic help Naiheda (name changed) along with her kin reached Police Station Surankote and gave a written complaint alleging the Sarpanch allegedly raped her for more than two months and when she became pregnant, he aborted her pregnancy by using some medicines.
Kin of the victim pleading anonymity had told Kashmir Times Jammu edition that the girl was living in the house of Sarpanch for the last couple of years. The girl was minor and was working as maid in the house of Sarpanch, who lured her and started allegedly raping her for last three months. According to him when the girl became pregnant he aborted her pregnancy with the help of some medicines. He claimed that Sarpanch threatened her with dire consequences if she disclosed it to anyone. The Sarpanch threatened to kill her along with her parents, he added.
The relative of the victim, who accompanied her to Police Station also claimed that last evening girl managed to escape from Sarpanch’s house and reached her father’s house where she narrated the whole story to her family. The family along with the girl came to Police Station Surankote and lodged a FIR against Sarpanch.
A case was registered under FIR number 55 under section 376 RPC at Police Station Surankote and police had raided various places to arrest the culprit. However, the culprit was still at large when the reports last came in.

IPL betting case: HC seeks to know if BCCI is probing players

By PTI | 12 Jul, 2013, 07.09PM IST

The Bombay High Court today sought to know from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) if it has initiated any probe against cricket players in the IPL spot fixing scandal.

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court today sought to know from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) if it has initiated any probe against cricket players in the IPL spot fixing scandal.

A division bench of Justices S J Vazifdar and M S Sonak was hearing a petition filed by the Cricket Association of Biharchallenging the constitution of the two-member commission set up by the BCCIand IPL Governing Council to probe the allegations of betting and spot fixing.

The petition alleged blatant bias by former BCCI president N Srinivasan in the light of mounting allegations against himself and in constituting the probe panel as he is the Vice Chairman and Managing Director of India Cements Ltd, which owns the IPL team ‘Chennai Super Kings’.

The bench was today informed by senior counsel Rafiq Dada, appearing for BCCI, that the commission was inquiring into allegations against official member of CSK team Gurunath Meiyappan, India Cements, Jaipur Cricket and Raj Kundra, who owns Rajasthan Royalsteam.

“What about players then? Spot fixing will include players’ complicity also. Is the BCCI probing players also,” the court queried.

Dada replied that the cricket board was inquiring into that angle also but it is being done separately and is not part of the probe being conducted by the commission. Dada also pointed out that the commission has already finished hearing arguments of all parties involved. “Written submissions will be handed over to the commission after which the panel would submit its report,” the senior counsel said.

Kerala HC seeks details of funds allocated to school libraries

13th July 2013 10:28 AM

The Kerala High Court on Friday directed the State government to file an affidavit explaining the details of funds allotted in the last three years for setting up libraries in government and aided higher secondary schools in the state. The Bench also issued notices to General Education department and the Higher Secondary director.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice K Vinod Chandran issued the directive on a petition filed by Manutious, plus one student of SNDP Higher Secondary School, Udayamperoor in Ernkaulam  seeking a directive to the state to ensure that libraries were set up in all the aided higher secondary schools in the State.

The Bench also directed that the details should include the amount allotted for setting up the library, buying books and posting librarians.     The petitioner pointed out that despite mandatory requirements under the Kerala Education Rules, the aided school managements were not setting up libraries and the students were thus deprived of their right to pursue their studies. Libraries were really an integral party of the studies and the post of librarian has been mandatory in the special rules, it was submitted.

The petitioners pointed out a government order stating that if aided higher secondary schools failed to set up a library and post a librarian, they should not be given permission to admit students in plus two courses.

Even a Division Bench had directed setting up libraries and posting sufficient librarians. However, no aided higher secondary school had set up libraries in their schools.

According to the state government, there were 672 aided and 769 government schools in the state. Hence 1441 librarians are to be posted in the schools. The financial commitment for the posts would be more than `20 crore.

It had given a direction to regional deputy directors to conduct regular inspection in all HSSs to ensure that the libraries were functioning in the school.

Geetika Sharma suicide case: Cops seek removal of adverse remarks

Last Updated: Friday, July 12, 2013, 21:25

New Delhi: Seeking expunction of adverse remarks by trial court against it in the former airhostess suicide case, the Delhi Police on Friday told the High Court that they amounted to “destroying the prosecution case before it begins.”

Appearing before Justice G P Mittal, Additional Solicitor General Siddharth Luthra read out certain remarks from the trial court’s order on framing of charges against former Haryana Minister Gopal Kanda and his employee Aruna Chadha.

“The trial court’s remarks that the investigating agency has chosen not to unearth further circumstantial or other credible evidence on this aspect to reach the truth (with regard to the sexual exploitation of the victim) is like destroying the case of the prosecution before it begins.

“What more evidence can we bring to support our case,” he said while pointing to the statement of various witnesses collected and the documentary evidence gathered by the police.

Luthra was arguing for a plea moved by Delhi Police objecting to the trial court’s remark dubbing the probe as “tainted and stinking” and seeking that the adverse remarks be expunged.

Luthra also said that if the trial court felt that more was needed to be done, it could have directed for further investigation.

The trial court had in its May 10 order said, “It appears that taking a cue from the victim’s post-mortem report dated August 6, 2012, the investigation progressed towards ascertaining sexual exploitation of the deceased. The disclosure statement of accused Aruna Chadha was recorded on August 10, 2012. The statement of the doctor (gyanecologist) was also recorded on August 12, 2012.

“Thereafter, it appears that for reasons best known to the investigating agency, further investigation in this direction has not been conducted to collect further evidence.”

The former air hostess, who was earlier employed with Kanda’s MLDR airlines, was found dead on August 5 last year at her Ashok Vihar residence in North West Delhi. In her August 4 suicide note, she had said she was ending her life due to “harassment” by Kanda, 46, and Chadha, 40.


Contempt case filed against DRT chief

13th July 2013 11:04 AM

The Madras HC on Friday initiated contempt proceedings against Desingu, president of the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) in Chennai, on the basis of a letter from the members of the legal fraternity dated July 11 2012. The first bench of Acting Chief Justice R K Agrawal and Justice M Sathyanarayanan, which initiated the proceedings, posted the matter for further hearing on September 3 and dispensed with the presence of Desingu in the court on that day. The July 7 letter allegedly explained the “questionable tactics of a  member of the Bar in approaching DRT presiding officer for certain favour”.

LEGAL NEWS 18.05.2013

Supreme Court directives re-ignite debate over IT act

Madhavi Rajadhyaksha, TNN | May 17, 2013, 01.11 PM IST

MUMBAI: The Supreme Court’s diktat to states to implement the Centre’s guidelines with regard to regulating online activity is welcome, coming as it does in the backdrop of arbitrary arrests made for derogatory posts on popular social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. 

The court like the Centre directed that no citizen should be arrested for any such online posts without the permission of senior police officials. 

The directives yet again bring to the fore the grey areas in the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 and need for review of the legislation. Take for instance, Section 66 A of the IT Act, which spells out as an offence any information sent through a computer or communication device if the material is “grossly offensive, has menacing character, is sent to cause annoyance, insult, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, ill will and enmity, hatred or for criminal intimidation”. The terminology used is very arbitrary and has in the past been used to quell dissent. 

The misuse was best illustrated when two girls on the outskirts of Mumbai (in Palghar) were arrested last year— for posting a comment on Facebook lamenting the shutdown of the city following Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray’s death and the other for ‘liking’ the post. 

Legal provisions that are couched in such generic language are open to misuse and interpretation that curb the fundamental rights of speech and expression. 





Promiscuous character of woman can’t be ground of defence in rape case: Supreme Court

Press Trust of India : New Delhi, Fri May 17 2013, 18:50 hrs

Promiscuous character of a woman is irrelevant in rape cases and a rapist cannot take it as ground of defence for his heinous act, the Supreme Court has ruled saying even a female of easy virtue has a right to life.

Holding that rape is not only an offence against a woman, but a crime against the entire society, the apex court said that courts should deal with such cases sternly and severely.

“Even if the victim had lost her virginity earlier, it can certainly not give a licence to any person to rape her. It is the accused who was on trial and not the victim. So as to whether the victim is of a promiscuous character is totally an irrelevant issue altogether in a case of rape,” a bench of justices B S Chauhan and F M I Kalifulla said.

The bench passed the order on an appeal filed by a rape convict challenging his conviction on the ground that the victim was of promiscuous character and had been habitual to sexual activities.

It, however, refused to grant relief to the accused saying that it is not material that the rape victim was accustomed to sexual intercourse.

“Even a woman of easy virtue has a right to refuse to submit herself to sexual intercourse to anyone and everyone, because she is not a vulnerable object or prey for being sexually assaulted by anyone and everyone,” the bench said.

“The courts should deal with such cases sternly and severely. Sexual violence, apart from being a dehumanizing act, is an unlawful intrusion on the right of privacy and sanctity of a woman. It is a serious blow to her supreme honour and offends her self-esteem and dignity as well,” the bench said.

“It degrades and humiliates the victim and where the victim is a helpless innocent child or a minor, it leaves behind a traumatic experience. A rapist not only causes physical injuries, but leaves behind a scar on the most cherished position of a woman, i.e. her dignity, honour, reputation and chastity,” it said.




Don’t play politics with cooperative societies, Supreme Court warns States


Supersession only in exceptional circumstances, not for extraneous considerations

The Supreme Court on Thursday decried the tendency of State governments superseding elected cooperative societies for political or extraneous reasons.

“Supersession of an elected managing committee/board is an exception and [can] be resorted to only in exceptional circumstances,” said a Bench of Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra.

Sending a warning to the States, the Bench imposed Rs. 1 lakh in costs on the Madhya Pradesh government, payable to the Madhya Pradesh State Legal Services Authority. The court ordered reinstatement of the Board of Directors of the District Cooperative Central Bank Ltd., Panna, forthwith and that it be allowed to continue for the period it had been put out of office by an impugned order which was quashed.

The Bench also imposed costs of Rs. 10, 000 on the Joint Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Sagar, who passed the order. The amount “will be deducted from his salary and deposited in the Panna DCB within two months.”

Writing the judgment, Justice Radhakrishnan said an elected committee should not be penalised for the shortcomings or illegalities committed by the previous committees, unless “there is any deliberate inaction in rectifying the illegalities.” The elected committee should be given at least six months to rectify defects, if any, pointed out in the audit report on incidents which originated when the previous committee was in office. “The Registrar/Joint Registrar is legally obliged to comply with all the statutory formalities including consultation with the financing/controlling banks, etc. Only after getting their view, can an opinion be formed as to whether an elected committee be ousted or not.”

The consequences

The Bench said the Registrar/Joint Registrar should always bear in mind the consequences of supersession, which had the effect of not only ousting the Board but also disqualifying its members from contesting subsequent elections. “The Registrar/Joint Registrar shall not act under political pressure or influence and, if he does, he will be subjected to disciplinary proceedings and also held personally liable for the cost of legal proceedings.” Taxpayers’ money should not be spent by the State government or the Registrar on unnecessary litigation involving disputes among various factions in a co-operative society.

In the instant case, the Joint Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Sagar Division, superseded the Board of Directors of the Panna DCCB without consulting the Reserve Bank of India. The Board challenged the order. A single judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court disposed of the writ petition, directing the parties to avail themselves of alternative remedy provided under Section 78 of the Act. But on appeal, a Division Bench set aside the supersession. Aggrieved, Madhya Pradesh filed the present appeal, which was dismissed.




Supreme Court says will not interfere in functioning of GoM on CBI autonomy

The Supreme Court has refused to interfere in the functioning of the Group of Ministers (GoM) examining the issue of CBI’s autonomy.

A two-judge bench comprising of Justices B S Chauhan and Dipak Misra on Friday declined to hear the plea of a group of CBI cadre officers who moved the apex court to restrain the Centre from framing new rules for the appointment of officers against the recommendation of the parliamentary committees which have suggested building of a strong CBI cadre and to reduce dependence of deputation.

The judges while noting that they cannot pass such an order, said the officers can approach the bench, which is seized of the matter pertaining to filling up vacancies in CBI after the court’s vacation, for redressal of their grievance.

“We cannot pass such order of mandamus to the government. We cannot pre-empt ordinance,” the bench said, adding, “Propriety says that it should come before the same bench.”

The officers, in their petition, have questioned the government for setting up of the Group of Ministers (GoM) and not implementing the recommendations in parliamentary committee reports.

They have submitted that the GoM must give them the opportunity to make representations before it.

“Under the garb of the direction of this court, the government which has deliberately disregarded and failed to take into consideration various reports of parliamentary standing committees, has arbitrarily set up a GoM,” Advocate Kamini Jaiswal, appearing for the CBI officers, said on Friday.

The petition has said, “Cadre officers have been deliberately kept away in the functioning of CBI as none of them in the last 50 years has even been appointed to any post in the organisation dealing with the administrative and policy-making decision.

“Under the garb of the direction of this court, the government which has deliberately disregarded and failed to take into consideration various reports of parliamentary standing committees, has arbitrarily set up a GoM ,” it said.

The GoM was set up after the apex court had asked the government to bring a law to give the agency functional autonomy and to stop interference in its functioning.

The apex court also is seized of the matter pertaining to large number of vacancies in CBI.





Petrofils land buyers accused of Rs 132 cr premium theft

TNN | May 18, 2013, 02.18 AM IST

VADODARA: Over a decade after it went into liquidation, a major theft has surfaced in the land sale of Petrofils Co-operative Limited (PIL). Investigations by the district administration have revealed that the state government has suffered losses worth Rs 132 crore towards premium during the sale of huge land owned by PIL. Thirty-four buyers didn’t pay any premium on the land that was sold off by the liquidator after PIL, a joint venture between Government of India and Weavers’ Co-operative Societies, went into liquidation in 2000.

District collector Vinod Rao has decided to act in the premium theft case citing flouting of rules under Bombay Land Revenue Code. According to the district administration, the buyers didn’t pay premium worth Rs 132 crore on the PIL land measuring over 1.17 lakh square metre. “The buyers didn’t pay the premium on the land and also didn’t get mandatory government permission required before transferring the land in their names,” Rao said.

The buyers may be sent notices for flouting rules and asked to reply as to why the state government shouldn’t take away the land that costs over Rs 226 crore. Of the 34 buyers, eight are major purchasers who have together bought land worth Rs 104 crore. Aspire Confra Private Ltdpaid Rs 84 crore for the land and is yet to pay Rs 42 crore towards premium.

Prestige Infra Pvt Ltd bought the land at Rs 3.92 crore and didn’t pay premium on it apart from Jyotsna Shah, who purchased five different plots but didn’t pay premium. The district administration has also decided to write to Vadodara Urban Development Authority (VUDA) to cancel the building permissions on the land. VUDA had given building permissions without required documents, said the officials.





Honey Singh booked for obscenity

Harpreet Kaur , Hindustan Times
Nawanshahr, May 17, 2013

Two days after the Punjab government got a rap from the Punjab and Haryana high court for not taking action against rapper Honey Singh, the Punjabi singer was booked at the city police station here under Section 294 (obscene acts and songs to the annoyance of others in public place) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

On Thursday, the police received directions from the under secretary (home), after which the first information report (FIR) was registered at 11:30pm.

Under Section 294 of the IPC, the accused can be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine, or with both.

“We have registered a case against Honey Singh and started an investigation,” said Nawanshahr senior superintendent of police (SSP) Dhanpreet Kaur.

The matter had reached the HC through a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Nawanshahr-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), Human Empowerment League of Punjab (HELP), through its general secretary Parvinder Singh Kittna.

The PIL had sought directions to set up an effective mechanism to curb the menace of lewd songs. The PIL, filed through advocate HC Arora, had submitted that all limits of decency were being violated by certain singers. The petitioner had particularly mentioned Honey’s song “Main hoon balatkari” (I am a rapist), stating that it had hurt the sentiments of all civilised citizens of the country. But for promoting rape culture, the song had no message to convey, the petitioner had claimed.

The high court bench comprising acting chief justice Jasbir Singh and justice Rakesh Kumar Jain, that heard the petition, had taken exception to the song and remarked that it was difficult to go through the whole of it. The bench, on May 14, had directed the Punjab government to take appropriate action against the singer for the vulgar song. It had also asked for fresh summons to be served on Honey for July 4 through e-mail as he had failed to appear for the previous hearing. The court ordered to implead the Haryana government as well as the Chandigarh administration as respondents in this case, asking them to take action in accordance with the law on the issue of vulgar songs.

Expressing satisfaction at the registration of the FIR, Kittna said other such “irresponsible” singers should also be taken to task. “The Punjab government is not taking the issue seriously. At a hearing, the government submitted in the high court that a policy was underway to check cultural vulgarity, but on the next date, it washed its hands of its responsibility by stating that obscene songs could be downloaded from any online source,” rued Kittna.

He alleged that the NGO’s complaint, submitted to the Nawanshahr police on January 1, was kept pending for several days before he was told that it had been forwarded to the Gomti Nagar police station in Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), where a case had already been registered against Honey.

“The dilly-dallying made us invoke the high court’s intervention under Article 226 of the Constitution,” he added.

The SSP claimed that it was not under any pressure that the police had not taken action when the complaint was submitted. “The complaint was referred to the police station where a case had been registered against the singer,” she said.






Madhya Pradesh High Court seeks reply from UP over state CM Akhilesh Yadav’s presence at minor marriage ceremony

Madhya Pradesh High Court on Friday sought a reply from the state government on a plea seeking action against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, his wife Dimple, who happens to be MP, and others for attending a mass marriage in which at least 20 minors tied the knot at Niwadi, Tikamgarh in MP on March 9 this year. Akhilesh and Dimple were chief guests at the function.

The mass marriage was organized by MLA from Niwadi, Tikamgarh, Meena Yadav and her husband MLA from Garrauthai, Jhansi, in UP Deep Narayan Yadav, the Public Interest Litigation (PIL), said.

A division bench of High Court comprising Acting Chief Justice K K Lahoti and Justice MA Siddiqui directed the State to file reply within four weeks on what action it has taken in the matter, after Gyandeen Ahirwar, a BJP activist, moved the PIL stating that police haven’t taken action against the organizers under Child Marriage Act.

He claimed that though he apprised officials present during solemnizing the marriage, they didn’t heed and abandoned the child marriages. The petitioner’s counsel Dinesh Upadhyaya told the court that police didn’t even receive the complaint of his client on the day of marriages or thereafter.

The petitioner has also sought direction for taking action against the chief guests and those attended the mass marriage function.

Furthermore, the petitioner has demanded action against Niwadi Police station incharge Priyanka Pathak for not taking action despite being in the know of the minor marriages.

There are provisions under Child Marriage Act to prosecute the organizers and persons who attended the mass marriage where minors entered into the wedlock, Upadhyay contended.

Akhilesh, Dimple, Deep Naryan Yadav, Meena, Tikamgarh collector, sub-divisional officer (Niwadi), the superintendent of police, sub-divisional officer police (Niwadi), Priyanka and Niwadi Family and Child Welfare project officer DK Dixit have been made the respondents in the PIL.




High court quashes circular on quota recruitments

Prafulla Marpakwar | May 18, 2013, 01.48 AM IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court has quashed a controversial circular issued by the general administration department (GAD) onrecruitments and promotions against reserved posts in the state government.

According to the circular, if a scheduled caste (SC) candidate is not available for a reserved post, then the GAD can fill up the vacancy by a scheduled tribe (ST) nominee or the next candidate in the roster, while a law enacted on October 27, 2004, provided that such a post should be kept vacant for a prescribed period.

“The circular issued by the GAD on October 27, 2008, is quashed being contrary to the Maharashtra Act of 2004, as well as it violates the Constitution,” Justice R M Borde and Justice T V Nalawade had observed in a 23-page order in their order last week.

The 2004 law was enacted to provide for reservation of vacancies and posts in public services in favour of persons belonging to SC, ST, de-notified tribes, nomadic tribes, special backward category and other backward classes (OBC). The act specifies that posts reserved for SC, ST, de-notified tribes, nomadic tribes, special backward category and other backward classes mentioned in the law shall not be filled in by other candidates not belonging to that caste, tribe, category or class for which the posts are reserved. It prescribed a specific procedure to be followed for filling unreserved vacancy if no suitable candidate is available.

It was submitted that in the event of non-availability of the candidates belonging to the SC, ST, de-notified tribes, nomadic tribes, special backward category and OBC, the posts shall be kept vacant for up to five recruitment years. Even then after making efforts for recruiting candidates from among the backward categories, if the post cannot be filled in, the same shall be filled in by interchanging reservation among the categories. But even after interchanging of reservation, if a candidate is not available, the post shall be declared to be available for general category nominees in the seventh year and a proposal shall be forwarded to the GAD.

For filling up vacancies through promotions, the act provided that in the event of non-availability of candidates, the posts will be kept vacant for three recruitment years and efforts would be made to fill the vacancies from among the reserved categories concerned.

The GAD circular on October 27, 2008, provided that if there is a difficulty in filling up the posts or candidates of a particular reserved category were not available, the post will be offered to the next roster point category within the reservation percentage.

But the petitioner contended that by doing sofilling up the vacancy in such a manner, the basic right of the candidate of a particular reserved category is taken away and thus, the circular is bad in law. “In fact, the new circular is a departure from the original law,” the petitioner said.

He pointed out that if the roster point prescribed for offering promotion to ST nominee and in the event of non-availability of a candidate belonging to ST, the reservation will be shifted to de-notified candidate or any other category. “This prescription is against the spirit of the original law,” he said.






Kerala high court declines to prevent Mani’s arrest

TNN | May 18, 2013, 04.22 AM IST

KOCHI: Kerala high court on Friday declined to prevent the arrest of actor Kalabhavan Mani, who moved the court seeking anticipatory bail in connection with the alleged assault on two forest officers at Athirappilly.

Hearing Mani’s plea, justice K Ramakrishnan also sought the view of the state government on the anticipatory bail. He later adjourned the hearing of the case to Monday.

The Vettilappara police had registered a case against Mani for the offence under Sections 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 294 (b) (utters obscene words) and 506 (i) (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.

Police registered the case after Mani had allegedly assaulted two forest officials on May 15. According to the police, Mani allegedly attacked them when they asked him to stop the car for checking. Mani had contended that he was travelling along with his friend Dr Gopinath and his wife Jaya when the forest officials asked him to stop the car. “Without any provocation, the officials showered abusive words and insulted the woman,” he submitted.

Police had also registered cases against the forest officials in connection with the incident.





Employment in PSU be not denied on ground of conviction: Delhi High Court

By PTI | 17 May, 2013, 08.18PM IST

NEW DELHI: Employment in a public sector organization shall not be denied to a job-seeker on the ground of conviction in a criminal case unless offences have an element of “moral turpitude”, the Delhi High Court has said. 

A bench of justices Pradeep Nandrajog and V Kameswar Rao said an inference should not be drawn about the antecedent and character of a job-seeker on the basis of his conviction in a criminal case. 

“The law declared was that every conviction for an offence would not require an inference to be drawn that the antecedent and character of the wrong doer is of a kind that public employment has to be denied,” the court said. 

Citing a previous verdict, the bench said “further, offences being classified as cognizable and non-cognizable, bailable as well as non-bailable, it was highlighted that only such offences which have an element of moral turpitude would warrant public employment to be denied.” 

The observations came while dismissing an appeal of Delhi police which was filed against the judgment of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT). 

The CAT had given the judgement in favour of a constable who was earlier convicted and fined by a criminal court after he pleaded guilty in a case lodged for rashly driving his motorcycle. 

Police had taken the plea that the constable used to drive four-wheeled police vehicle and after the conviction, he cannot be allowed to continue. 

The court upheld the judgment of the CAT. 




Meghalaya high court dismisses writ petition filed by CMJ university

PTI | May 18, 2013, 11.48 AM IST

SHILLONG: The Meghalaya high court on Friday dismissed the writ petition filed by Chandra Mohan Jha (CMJ) university against the order issued by governor RS Mooshary who is also university’s visitor directing the varsity to stop new admissions and to submit a fresh proposal for appointment of the Chancellor. 

Chief Justice T Meena Kumari said “this Court finds that the letter of the Secretary of the Governor as contained under April 30, 2013 has no legal infirmity and it need not be interfered with by this Court.” 

In line with the governor’s order, the Court directed the University to stop fresh admission till controversy is resolved. 

“It is also made clear that till controversy is resolved, the University shall not admit the students in the university,” the order said. 

On April 30, Meghalaya governor, RS Mooshahary who is also the visitor has directed the CMJ University to withdraw all the degrees awarded by it so far and to submit a fresh proposal for the appointment of the Chancellor.




Allahabad High Court reserves judgement on Talwars’ petition

Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013, 19:08 [IST]


Justice Rajesh Dayal Khare reserved judgement on the petition of the Noida-based couple, whose petition was filed on May 15, two days after they were ticked off by the Supreme Court for adopting “a wrong procedure” by approaching it directly without first having moved the High Court.

The Talwars have challenged a CBI court order on May 4 whereby their request for summoning and recording statements of 14 witnesses, including top IPS officer Arun Kumar who is at present the ADG (Law and Order) of Uttar Pradesh and was a Joint Director of the CBI during the probe, was turned down.


The initial suspicion went on Hemraj whose body was later found in the terrace at their residence in Jalvayu Vihar in Noida on the outskirts of Delhi.

The high-profile case was handed over to CBI after a recommendation to the effect by the then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, in the wake of outcry against alleged shoddy investigation by the police.

A closure report was filed by the CBI in December, 2010, wherein Rajesh Talwar had been called the sole suspect but lack of adequate evidence was also cited.

However, in February, 2011, the special court at Ghaziabad expressed the view that there was enough evidence against Aarsuhi’s parents and initiated proceedings against them.






High Court grants temporary relief to former PWD engineer

Mumbai Mirror | May 18, 2013, 08.22 AM IST

The Bombay High Court has directed the police not to file a chargesheet against a retired PWD engineer, accused of spending Rs 113 crore more than a sanctioned budget. The court has asked the police to wait until June 20, where it will hear the official’s petition.

A division bench was hearing a petition filed by Swamidas Chobe, who served in Maharashtra PWD as executive engineer from 2010 to January 2012, seeking to quash the case lodged against him by the Azad Maidan police last October. Chobe was booked for for alleged criminal breach of trust and issuing cheques to contractors well above the sanctioned budget amount.

As executive engineer, Chobe was required to look after maintenance and repairs of minister’s bungalows, Mantralaya, High Court building, judges’ residence building, MLA hostel, all government buildings and heritage buildings for which contractors were appointed.

Chobe’s advocates argued that in a number of cases, repair works are required to be carried out on a priority basis and considering the urgency, pending bills are cleared at the earliest and cheques are issued. PTI




Visit ex-CJ S S Dewan and his wife to ensure their safety: HC to SSP–and-his-wife-to-ensure-their-safety-hc-to-ssp/1117267/

Express news service : Chandigarh, Sat May 18 2013, 01:39 hrs

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday refused to enlarge the scope of the petition as demanded by former Chief Justice Shanti Sarup Dewan, finding averments raised by him apprehending threat to his life from his son, as “insufficient”.

However, keeping in view his “exalted stature and status”, the High Court on Friday directed the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of Chandigarh or any other officer to visit Dewan and his wife at their residence in Sector 11-B of the city. The court has asked the officer to visit the elderly couple within 24 hours to “take stock of the situation”.

Liberty has been granted to the police to take all necessary steps “as deemed fit to ensure the protection of life and liberty” of Dewan and his wife.

The court refused to go into the other demands raised by former Chief Justice Shanti Sarup Dewan wherein he had averred that special cells be created to deal with the complaints of senior citizens in the city.

Showing no conviction in the demand, the High Court held, “A legislation called The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 is already in place.”

“This is a comprehensive enactment covering the issues relating to maintenance of parents/ senior citizens,” it pointed out.

Dewan had petitioned the High Court alleging that his son and his daughter-in-law have “traumatised the petitioners and made their lives a living hell in the twilight of their life.” The petitioner alleged that at times their son and his wife use unparliamentary language while addressing them.




HC notice to police on Swamy’s plea to quash FIR

By PTI | 17 May, 2013, 02.55PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court today sought response from the police on a plea of Janata Party President Subramanian Swamyseeking quashing of an FIR lodged against him for writing an “inflammatory” article in a Mumbai daily in 2011. 

Issuing notice to Delhi Police, Justice Kailash Gambhir sought its response by August 26 on Swamy’s plea for quashing of the FIR on the ground that “whatever investigation has been done by the police in past 21 months, no material has been found which would cause communal disharmony in society”. 

A case was filed against Swamy in October 2011 by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police, on a complaint from the National Commission for Minorities, for writing in July 2011 the alleged inflammatory article which the complaint said was intended to spread communal enmity. 

Appearing for Swamy, senior advocate KTS Tulsi submitted before the court that, “In 2005, Swamy had written a book on terrorism in India and the content of the book did not cause any sort of communal disturbance but writing an article, which is based on the book, became offensive.” 

“The investigation is going on from past 21 months and no case has been made out so far,” the counsel also argued. 

To this argument, Justice Gambhir said, “These kind of expressions cannot be expected from you as you are a political leader, economist and also an educationist,” and issued notice to police. 

Swamy was granted anticipatory bail in January 2012 by the high court after he had given an undertaking in the court that he would refrain from writing such articles in future. 

Earlier, Swamy’s counsel had argued that this case was lodged to harass his client as he (Swamy) had exposed the 2G scam against the government. 




Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta is new Chief Justice of the AP high court

TNN | May 18, 2013, 05.27 AM IST

HYDERABAD: Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta of the Uttarakhand high court has been appointed Chief Justice of the AP high court. Following assent from President Pranab Mukherjee, the Centre on Friday notified the new CJ’s appointment. 

Born on May 7, 1953, and brought up in Kolkata, Justice Sengupta started his legal journey as a lawyer in April 1981 and practised civil, criminal and constitutional matters at the Calcutta high court. He was appointed permanent judge of the Calcutta high court in 1997. He also held the position of the executive chairman of the West Bengal state legal services authority and also the post of acting chief justice of Calcutta high court in October 2012.




CBI probe into Deccan Chronicle on: Canara Bank

CMD says action should be taken against the media companyThe Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has begun a probe into the debt-laden media company Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd (DCHL).

The investigation follows a complaint by Canara Bank of irregularities in the DCHL balance sheet when it had done a forensic audit of the Hyderabad-based company.

“There are irregularities in the books of accounts and, accordingly, action should be taken,” said Canara’s chairman and managing director, R K Dubey. “We have filed a case in the Debt Recovery Tribunal. We have also filed a case with the CBI and they have started investigation. Initial action has been initiated and every effort will be made to recover the money.”

He said the bank had written to CBI about three months earlier, after the forensic audit it had commissioned was found to be making no progress. DCHL, he said, owed Rs 360 crore to Canara; the former’s total debt liability was around Rs 4,000 crore.

The CMD was responding to a volley of questions, on his first visit to this city after taking charge of the bank.

“The purpose of the forensic audit was to know where the money had gone,” he explained further. “But that purpose was not served fully as the balance sheet did not reveal the true picture. The balance sheet did not contain all the loans lent by banks. That means there are several issues in the balance sheet itself.”

He said the forensic audit threw limited light on these things, as it was very difficult to find the end-use of the funds after these got transferred. He clarified that Canara was not a lead bank for DCHL and nor was there any consortium of lenders to the firm.  

Beside the absence of loan entries, the forensic audit also pointed to filing of wrong registration certificates, in a bid to take loans by mortgaging the same property with multiple lenders, he alleged. It was, he added, difficult to know as to what part of the security was available to whom.

“About 40-50 per cent of loans have been secured by current assets and receivables. There are multiple claims because the security charged to me is also charged to other banks,” he said, stating it was going to be a court or a judicial authority which would decide which secured lender has got what share of security.

Hopeful of recovering the money, he said the bank had taken all legal measures, including recourse under the Securitisation Act and multiple suits seeking interim relief.

On the demerger plan DCHL had referred to in its annual report, the Canara Bank chairman said it had not sent any proposals to the bank in this regard.





HC upholds govt’s decision forfeiting service of cop

The Delhi High Court today upheld the central government’s decision forfeiting four years’ service of a police officer for demanding bribe to bail out the driver and release the vehicle in a rash and negligent driving case in 1999. 

Allowing the appeal of Delhi government against the Central Administrative Tribunal’s (CAT) order, a bench of justices B D Ahmed and Siddharth Mridul set aside the Tribunal’s order in which the Home Ministry was directed to restore the four years of service of the officer and pay him all financial benefits. 

Observing that the disciplinary proceedings was initiated to bring out the truth, the court said the inquiry officer had conducted the probe within the rules prescribed under the Delhi Police (Punishment and Appeal) Rules. 

“We find that the Inquiry Officer was well within his powers to ask questions to the witnesses in order to establish the identity of the delinquent officer and his approach was in accordance with the procedural requirements contemplated under Rule 16 of the said rules….The impugned order (CAT) cannot be sustained. The same is accordingly set aside. The petition is allowed,” the bench said. 

“The Inquiry Officer has ample power to put forth questions to the witnesses to test the authenticity of their statements. Disciplinary proceedings cannot be regarded as adversarial in nature as the sublime philosophy behind these proceedings is a quest to unravel the truth,” the court also said.





House panel may suggest scrapping of Chit Fund Act

TNN | May 18, 2013, 04.08 AM IST

NEW DELHI: The finance standing committee of Parliament is likely to recommend scrapping of the Chit Fund Act, 1982, as the existing web of state and central regulations is so porous that preventing a Saradha-type scam was next to impossible.

After hearing finance, tax and stock market officials on Friday, committee chair Yashwant Sinha is understood to have been in favour of doing away with the law altogether so that chit funds were deemed illegal.

Sinha along with some other committee members like CPI’s Gurudas Dasgupta felt efforts must be made to ensure people who currently turn to chit funds due to lack of options are provided more trustworthy investment avenues. However, Congress’s Sanjay Nirupam asked for doing away with chit funds, saying that there are now enough financial instruments available.

Senior officials like economic affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram pointed to the problem of multiple regulators and lack of coordination between the Centre and states that allowed unscrupulous chit funds from taking investors for a ride.

MPs felt lack of banking services in many parts of the country, particularly in rural areas, helped chit funds present themselves as an attractive proposition with promise of high returns acting as bait.

Dasgupta is understood to have suggested widening the reach of options like postal savings to provide the economically vulnerable a safer bet instead of dubious chit funds.

BJD’s Bhartruhari Mahtab is learnt to have argued that existing laws must be made more stringent and all efforts be made to ensure that those guilty of scams like the Saradha case received exemplary punishment.

Trinamool Congress’s Sudip Bandyopadhyay is understood to have said the state government could not be held responsible for chit fund scams, while Dasgupta said the money investors lost was unlikely to be recovered.

While not all committee members are likely to support Sinha’s view — which he said in his personal capacity — the panel’s report could recommend drastic measures as the former finance minister felt chit funds are inherently risky.

Sources said the sentiment expressed by many MPs was that it will be hard to prevent gullible investors, particularly those from the economically less well-off sections, from falling for tempting chit fund offers.

The committee also briefly discussed its long pending report on defining the below poverty line population with members disagreeing on inclusion and exclusion norms.




NGO staffers arrested for raping 2 deaf, dumb girls

TNN | May 18, 2013, 04.34 AM ISTJAIPUR: Two of five orphaned hearing and speech impaired girls between the age of 15 and 17 years were raped, one molested several times for a year, and the others beaten up by some employees of an NGO based in the city’s Kanota area. 

These girls were staying in the hostel of the NGO – Awaaz Foundation – while learning to express themselves by speaking to some extent. The hostel warden, a security guard and a clerk raped two of them. One other girl was molested and two were beaten up. Police said the two girls were forced to have unnatural sex also. 

The police have rounded up the warden and the clerk for rape, while NGO in-charge, a woman, was arrested for hiding the crime and the clerk’s wife was nabbed for beating up the girls. The security guard had left the job about five months ago and is on the run. 

The shocking case came to light when these girls returned to the child shelter home run by the state government in Gandhi Nagar after completing the course and complained to the authorities there. 

The state government’s child welfare committee (CWC) investigated the case for a month on its own and then lodged an FIR on Friday evening. The police officers were recording the statement of the children till late night. 

Commissioner of police Biju Jorge Josheph told TOI that the victims are in the age group of 15 and 17 years. “They are orphaned, so they live in the child shelter home. The inmates study at various schools in the city. As the victims were hearing and speech impaired, the shelter authorities had sent them to Awaaz Foundation in Kanota area to learn to speak or express themselves properly. About 100 students, including girls and boys, were living in the foundation’s hostel and they used to return to the child shelter home during vacations,” the officer said. Police said the foundation was running since 2007. 

These girls had come to the shelter home in the first week of April and lodged a complaint with the shelter authorities. “The matter was brought to the notice of the CWC on April 13. Its members investigated the case on their own and lodged an FIR with the police on Friday,” the officer said. 

The police officials were shocked to hear the stories of rape and harassment of these girls. Two of these girls were beaten up for resisting rape and forced to have unnatural sex by the hostel warden, Ashok Prajapat, security guard Mahesh Mali and clerk Suresh Bairwa. 

“The girls had even complained about it to the foundation’s in-charge Alpana, a woman; however, she hushed it up. When clerk Suresh Bairwa’s wife came to know about the complaint, she severely beat them up,” the officer added.




Ambuja Cements gets stay on CCI penalty order



The Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) today granted a stay on the penalty of Rs 1,163 crore levied on Ambuja Cements Ltd by the Competition Commission of India.

However, Ambuja Cements has been asked to deposit Rs 116.30 crore, amounting to 10 per cent of the penalty, within four weeks.

In a communication to the stock exchanges, Ambuja Cements said the CCI had imposed the penalty of Rs 1,163 crore on it following competititon law proceedings that began in 2010 to investigate several prominent cement producers including Ambuja Cements. Ambuja Cements had filed an appeal in the COMPAT seeking stay on the penalty.

The company said COMPAT in an order issued today stayed the penalty levied against the company by CCI with a condition that it deposited 10 per cent of the penalty amounting to Rs 116.30 crore within four weeks from today.

Ambuja Cements shares were trading at Rs 190.65 (face value Rs 2), a gain of Rs 4.05, on the NSE at 1.40 p.m.





Setback for cement cos as COMPAT lifts stay on CCI fine

The Rs 6300 crore fine imposed by the Competition Commission of India has been approved by the Competition Apellate Tribunal. Cement companies will now have to pay the fine within a month.


The Competition Apellate Tribunal (COMPAT) on Friday directed the country’s top 11 cement manufacturers to pay up 10 percent of the total fine imposed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in its June order of last year against these firms. The list of affected companies include Ambuja Cement , Binani Cement, JK Cement , Jaypee Associates and seven others apart from the lobbying firm Cement Manufacturer’s Association. In this interim order COMPAT also ruled that if the companies fail to deposit the expected amount , their pending pleas against the CCI’s order would be rejected. CNBC-TV18’s Ronojoy Banerjee reports.


It is a conditional stay order granted by the COMPAT which means that their earlier stay order on the need for the cement companies to pay the cumulative fine of about Rs 6300 crore remains. However, as the COMPAT hears cases, the companies have now been directed to pay a token amount.


This is going to vary from company to company, cumulatively, this will come to Rs 630 crore, but it will vary from company to company depending on the amount of fine that was originally imposed by the CCI on each of these companies. For instance, in case of Jaiprakash Associates which faces the maximum brunt of the fine by the CCI, they will have to pay out in the range of about Rs 130 crore.


An interim order can only be challenged through a writ petition but according to the legal counsel of many of these companies, there is little taste for a battle with the government. Many companies are expected to pay, in fact, Ambuja Cements has agreed to pay about Rs 116.3 crore.


The next date of hearing is going to be in August. But not much of an impact on cement companies has been exemplified because the share prices did not react too much on this news as this is just a token amount.




Stop discharge of effluent to Upper Lake: Green Tribunal

TNN | May 18, 2013, 03.19 AM IST

BHOPAL: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the state government to take measures to ensure that there no discharge of effluent, domestic discharge, sewage or any solid waste disposal in the Upper Lake. The tribunal also directed the state government to file a report indicating the number of encroachments and buildings in the catchment area of the Upper Lakeand which do not have proper drainage system.

Acting on a petition filed by Dr Alankrita Mehra, a radiologist with the People’s College of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, the tribunal also directed for constituting a committee consisting of collector of Bhopal, member secretary of pollution control board (PCB), regional officer in charge of ministry of environment, Bhopal, conservator of forest and a senior officer from the department of housing, land and environment and department of urban development of Madhya Pradesh, which shall ensure that the said directions are carried out .

The petition mentions that “…the Upper Lake has shrunk appreciably as it has reduced from an initial area of 30 sq kms to 8 sq kms. The total length of the lake was 38 kms, but it reduced to 5 kms in 2009. Further large percentage of population depends on the groundwater which is severely polluted. That the situation is so disappointing as the state government and the local municipal Corporation is consistently ignoring their sewage systems that need upgradation and maintenance…”

Also, it states that the current trend of activities around the upper lake show deviation in land use has been noticed in several places on the banks of the Upper Lake edge.

Advocate for the petitioner Vivek Choudhary told TOI, “The pollution in the lake has now reached an alarming level “.

“Further no effective measures have been taken for making it pollution free. The lake water is used for drinking purposes and is adversely affecting the health of the people at large, aquatic animals, migratory birds and the quality of the crops and vegetables that are grown in this area,” he said.

The petition also mentions how “…tremendous pressure is placed on these water bodies due to the inflow of untreated sewage and other anthropogenic activity…”

The next hearing in this regard is scheduled on May 24.

Upper Lake woes

Reduction in storage capacity due to siltation

Dumping of sewage

Use of pesticides and fertilizers in agriculture

Eco-tourism activitiesadventure sports and leisure activities like boating, ferry etc

Immersion of idols

Encroachment on the catchment area-construction of marriage gardens, hospitals, educational institutions and others

Establishment and operation of commercial, educational Institutions and illegal colonies

Excessive growth of aquatic plants

Threat to aquatic life (bio-diversity)




Vasant Kunj project: Green tribunal lashes out at PWD

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 18, 2013

First Published: 00:02 IST(18/5/2013) | Last Updated: 00:04 IST(18/5/2013)

The National Green Tribunal on Friday tore into Delhi’s public works department for presenting wrong facts regarding the road-widening project in Vasant Kunj.

When a PWD executive engineer said no trees had been felled for the project, the tribunal said, “The forest department says 48 trees were cut (without its permission). How dare you lie before us?”

When the engineer could not produce any document to substantiate his claim, the tribunal asked the PWD lawyer, “Has he come here for a picnic?”

The NGT expressed anguish at the behaviour of the official and for trying to mislead the tribunal. “His statement in any case is rebutted by the stand taken by the forest department and photographs placed on record by the petitioner,” the NGT said.

The tribunal ordered the official to produce all records, including the layout plan and tender documents, related to the project by May 20, the next date of hearing. Till then, an interim stay on the project, ordered earlier by the tribunal, will remain in force.

The tribunal was hearing a petition filed by Sonya Ghosh, a resident of the south Delhi colony. She said, “We moved the tribunal when a large number of trees were felled without permission from the forest department.”

Her lawyer Parul Gupta said, “We have submitted satellite images of two periods — November 2012 and February 2013 — to show that trees had indeed been felled.” 

The tribunal said the grievance of the petitioner stands substantiated. “The project was in progress without the forest department’s permission,” it said.

The PWD’s plan is to widen the road from 16 to 30 metres to 75 metres. On completion, this will be the Capital’s widest road.

The tribunal on Friday said the PWD’s action was bound to have adverse impact on the environment. “Felling of trees in this manner violates the provisions of the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994 and Indian Forest Act, 1927,” it said.




Inspect closed water units: green tribunal


The National Green Tribunal, Southern Bench, on Friday, directed the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) and the Commissionerate of Food Safety and Drug Administration to inspect the 92 packaged drinking water units that were closed recently.

It has asked them to submit a report on May 27 after analysing water samples obtained from these units that are located in and around the city. Until then, the units should remain closed.

On March 5, the Tribunal Bench, comprising Justice M. Chockalingam and Prof. R. Nagendran, took note of an article in The Hindu revealing pollution and contamination in water packaged by some of these units. When served with a notice, authorities, including the TNPCB, filed replies.

It came to light that there were 121 packaged water units functioning in and around the city and, of them, only 23 had obtained valid consent from the TNPCB. Based on a direction from the tribunal, the TNPCB served closure orders on 92 units.

S. Balaji, TNPCB member-secretary, appeared on Friday before the Bench and filed an action-taken report stating electricity supply to 78 of these units had been disconnected. Power supply to the remaining units too would be discontinued shortly.

Taking up five applications filed by individual units and the South India Packaged Drinking Water Manufacturers’ Association, Justice Chockalingam and Prof. Nagendran said, “We are not against closure of water packaging industries completely. Our only concern is that procedures and norms must be followed while processing the water.”

Prof. Nagendran said, “We are making the TNPCB follow the norms. Water packaging should be done as per standard procedures.”

The counsel representing the units said the packaged water they had been supplying until now met the required quality norms. There was no illegality or violation of any procedure. They sought a stay on the closure orders.

S. Saravanan, TNPCB’s counsel, said the closure orders should continue until the quality of water supplied by the units was certified.




Punjab forms tribunal to probe Sarabjit’s death

our correspondent
Saturday, May 18, 2013 
From Print Edition


LAHORE: The Punjab government on Friday formed an inquiry tribunal, comprising Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi of the Lahore High Court, to ascertain the facts about to the death of an Indian death row prisoner confined in Kot Lakhpat Jail.


The tribunal will start its inquiry proceedings at the LHC principal seat and in the jail from the date to be notified later on and, if needed, in India.The government handout said that any person desirous of making submissions before the tribunal was required to register with registrar of the tribunal, Yousaf Aujla, and file written submissions along relevant documents, if any, accompanied with the copy of CNIC within seven days. The persons within India are required to get themselves registered with the tribunal at official URL at the following email address: “registrartribunalss@”.


All the state functionaries including all the officers concerned of the federal and provincial governments are notified to render full assistance and cooperation to the Tribunal and its authorized officers





P’kula MC can use Sec 23-25 for now; tribunal team to scout sites next month

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Panchkula, May 17, 2013

Providing some relief to the municipal corporation (MC) of Panchkula and the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), the National Green Tribunal, New Delhi, on Friday ruled that the dumping ground in Sector 23-25 could be used temporarily. However, a two-member expert panel from the tribunal would visit Panchkula next month and submit a report about the best-suited sites for garbage dumps.

The sites in contention include one in Jhuriwala, which already has environmental clearance for a solid waste management plant, besides the Sector 23-25 ground and the one located in Madanwala (Pinjore) suggested by the Hemant Sarin, one of the petitioners in the case. Sarin had raised the issue of fire in the dumping ground of Sector 23-25 that had made the life of residents difficult for many days. The MC informed the tribunal that an FIR had been registered in that regard. 

In an interim order on May 3, the tribunal had restrained both HUDA and MC from using the Sector 23-25 site, as its use was causing environmental pollution. After the order, in the absence of an alternate site for garbage dumping, the MC first stopped lifting the garbage containers, and later it dumped garbage in low-lying areas, even in the industrial area adjoining Zirakpur.

During arguments, the MC told the tribunal expressly that it did not have an alternative site to dump garbage while HUDA submitted that it was looking for one.

Thought the detailed order is yet to come out, it was conveyed to the civic authorities to use disinfectants and scientifically dispose of the garbage for the time being at the Sector 23-25 site. “We hope the MC and HUDA will respect the decision and keep in mind the inconvenience faced by residents,” said Sarin.





‘Free all trees of concrete by July 12 or face action’

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 18, 2013

First Published: 00:05 IST(18/5/2013) | Last Updated: 00:06 IST(18/5/2013)

The National Green Tribunal on Friday ordered various land-owning agencies and departments of the Centre and Delhi government to free all trees in the Capital of concrete by July 12 or face consequences. 

Hearing a petition filed by tree enthusiast Aditya N Prasad and others, the tribunal said the deadline was the “last opportunity” for the respondents, including the three municipal corporations, Delhi Development Authority, New Delhi Municipal Council, Public Works Department, Delhi Cantonment Board, Delhi Transport Corporation and the National Highway Authority of India.

Rajiv Dutta, the petitioners’ lawyer, said, “Central rules for de-choking of trees were issued in 2000. Since then, there have been two high court orders. But concretisation continued. Now the entire de-choking exercise will cost a lot of public money.”

“The story has remained the same for so many years. To date, except for some NDMC areas, not a single tile/concrete has been removed, not even from the trees whose photographs and locations have been annexed to the petition,” Dutta said.

Co-petitioner RL Mahanta said, “Back in 2007 and 2009, these departments assured the high court they would free trees of cement but nothing much happened. This shows they don’t respect the court. Even the tribunal’s order on April 23 to remove concrete around trees has failed to shake them. I hope there’s some action now.”

The laxity could be gauged from the fact even by Friday, many departments had not even responded to the petition. “Let the replies be filed within three weeks by way of last opportunity,” the tribunal said. 

“We express all hope that authorities will complete their work by the next date of hearing. In default, obviously, the consequences of the law shall follow,” it added.

AK Shukla, Delhi chief conservator of forests, said, “Tender documents for construction works continue to be prepared in the old-fashioned way. They don’t mention deconcretisation rules. We have taken it up with agencies concerned.”





Recruitment of district judges challenged in high court

L Saravanan, TNN | May 18, 2013, 02.05 AM IST

MADURAI: Challenging the notification to fill up vacancies for the posts of district judge, a writ petition has been filed before the Madras high court (Madurai bench). The petition filed by a differently abled person states that the government has issued the notification for these entry-level posts without reservation for thedifferently-abled people (DAP).

The government issued the notification without following a 2011 order of Madras high court in reply to writ petitions directing the government to give chance to the DAP in the next recruitment drive (ie the current one) for the district judges, the petition filed by advocate M Ponniah, who himself is disabled, stated.

A few days ago another petition was filed before the Madras high court principal bench by P Ramalingam, former president of TN Judicial Officers Association and retired district judge, challenging the same notification on the ground that the government fills up the vacancies without using the service quota (promotion should be given to the sub judges as district judge). On this petition, the court has ordered notice to the government and the high court registry.

After hearing the petition of Ponniah, the division bench, comprising Justices M Duraiswamy and T Raja, ordered notices to be issue to the chief secretary of the Tamil Nadu government, secretary of the public department and the registrar general of the Madras high court.

On May 1, the public department had issued the notification inviting applications from advocates with seven years of practice to fill up 23 vacancies of district judge in the Tamil Nadu State Judicial Service.

The notification also contained the details about distribution of vacancies, according to reservation, among backward classes (6 posts), general (8) scheduled castes (3), most backward classes and denotified communities (4), scheduled castes (Arunthathiyars on preferential basis) (1) and backward class Muslims (1). However, the notification did not provide for reservation for DAPs who are entitled for 3% reservation under the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995. Even though, the DAPs were selected to the post of civil judge (junior division), so far they have not been given a chance in the recruitment for district judge. After the Act came into force, two selections to the district judge cadre were made. In 2011, 17 candidates were selected to the post out of 2,541 applicants who appeared for the written examination. Prior to this, 11 persons were selected.

The recent notification aims to fill up 23 vacancies.

The current vacancy in district judge cadre is 51. According to the Act, one DAP should be appointed in the government service as one among 33 judges. As the government issued notification without giving reservation to the disabled, the writ petition was filed challenging the notification, the petitioner alleged.





Spot fixing: Sreesanth moves court for copy of FIR

By PTI | 17 May, 2013, 07.58PM IST

NEW DELHI: Indian pacer S Sreesanth, who is being quizzed along with 13 others in the IPL spot-fixing scandal case, today moved a Delhi court seeking a a copy of the FIR registered against him. 

Sreesanth, his two teammates of Rajasthan Royals franchise and 11 bookies were yeserday remanded to police custody for five days. 

The cricketer be supplied with a copy of the FIR for preparing his defence, the application, filed before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Lokesh Kumar Sharma, said. 

The court has so far not fixed a date for hearing it. The accused should be told about the grounds of arrest, Deepak Prakash, counsel for the cricketer, said. 

The accused is an international player and had no reasons to get involved in such acts, the lawyer said. 

While seeking seven days police custody for interrogation, the police had told the court that Sreesanth and his IPL teammates Ajit Chandila and Ankit Chavan, who were arrested in Mumbai yesterday, had betted and taken money for every ball and run in every over. 

Police had also sought remand for custodial interrogation of the cricketers and others to unearth the entire conspiracy relating to spot-fixing in three IPL matches involving Rajasthan Royals. 

Sreesanth and two other cricketers were arrested in a post-midnight operation in Mumbai on May 16 by Delhi police for spot-fixing in IPL matches for payments of upto Rs 60 lakhs just for giving away pre-determined number of runs in an over. 

It said the cricketers had indulged in spot-fixing in at least three IPL matches as per arrangements with bookies who have underworld connections abroad. 

The players, who have been suspended by the BCCI, have been booked under section 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.





High court orders cops to act on beacon misuse

TNN | May 18, 2013, 03.01 AM IST

KOLKATA: Think before you flash a red light on your car just for fun. The Calcutta high court on Friday gave the police power to combat the misuse of beacons in cars in the state.

The division bench of Justice Ashim Kumar Royand Justice MP Srivastav directed the director general of state police and the commissioner of Kolkata Police to act on the order.

If any person misuses the red light in the car, then the police can start cases against him or her under Section 419 of the IPC which reads as “cheating impersonation, the bench ordered. The court has also given police the power to initiate cases against the accused without taking the sanction of any authority.

The high court observed that common people should also be aware that use of red light in cars is a crime and the nearest police outlet should be informed in case they come across such misuse. Police will then take action against.

Advocate Jayanta Narayan Chatterjee had argued in the court that it was fashion to use red light in private cars these days. The state government had already issued a notification stating names of the people who are entitled to use a beacon on their car.

In spite of such notification people are violating norms by using beacons at their whims and fancies which should be dealt with strongly, Chatterjee added.





1993 Mumbai blast: TADA court issues NBW against 2 convicts

PTI : Mumbai, Fri May 17 2013, 18:56 hrs

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Mumbai serial blast case



The special TADA court today issued non-bailable warrants against two convicts of the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case as they failed to surrender within the deadline set by the Supreme Court.

Actor Sanjay Dutt, for whom yesterday’s deadline had been set by the SC, has surrendered before the authorities.

But the two fellow convicts, Sharif (Dada) Parkar and Zebunisa Kazi, today moved separate applications before the TADA Court seeking more time to surrender on medical grounds.

Sharif (Dada) Parkar, who is over 80 years old, had been hospitalised following chest pain, and doctors had advised him angioplasty procedure, his lawyer Farhana Shah told the Judge G A Sanap.

The lawyer of Zebunisa Kazi (75) said Kazi had been advised to take certain medical tests and she needed time till May 20.

The TADA judge, however, said it would not be possible for him to consider these pleas as the deadline had been fixed by the apex court.

While Parkar was to surrender yesterday, Kazi was to give herself up before the court today.

Prosecutor Deepak Salvi moved an application seeking non-bailable arrest warrants against the two for not following the Supreme Court’s order. The court accepted the plea and issued non-bailable warrants.

Parkar had played a role in organising the landing of arms and RDX in Raigad district at the instance of Tiger Memon. The RDX was used in the March 1993 serial blasts. He had also arranged a conspiracy meeting in Raigad.

Kazi was convicted for allowing the co-accused to keep some weapons at her house for a while.




HC upholds eviction notice to tenant for causing ruckus

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, May 18, 2013

The eviction order of a tenant for creating nuisance at a housing society in Thane by running a playgroup in a residential tenement, was upheld by the Bombay high court.

Acting on a suit filed by landlady Sudha Barve, a joint civil court junior division at Thane had, on July 29, 1999, ordered the eviction of  Ranjana Padhye, because of the nuisance created by 18-20 children at a crèche run by her and change of use of the residential premises without the consent of the landlord.

Three years later, a joint district judge at Thane reversed the order based on an appeal by Padhye and dismissed Barve’s suit. “If parents of the children come to the premises on scooters or by autorickshaws, some nuisance is bound to be created. However, this is not an actionable nuisance,” the joint district judge had said.

However, on May 10, the HC struck down the joint district judge’s order and upheld the order of eviction. Justice Bhushan Gavai struck down the appellate court’s findings after finding several witnesses supporting the landlady’s case. The judge also noted that the cooperative housing society had complained about the nuisance and requested Padhye to stop it.

Justice Gavai also upheld the trial court’s finding that the residential tenement had been put to commercial use without the consent of the landlady.

Further, HC also looked into the point of comparative hardship. In this respect, the trial court had ruled in favour of the landlady since she had a family of six and needed the premises for accomodating her family. Further, since Padhye owned a house at Dombivli, she could shift there with her family, the court had held. However, the judge rejected this approach of the appellate court to direct a separation of the landlady’s family.





Give fee, salary details, HC to private schools

TNN | May 18, 2013, 06.08 AM IST

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday directed all private schools of Chandigarh to provide complete information about their fee and salary structure and also told it to make payments to its teachers through account payee cheques only.

The directions come in the wake of a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking better facilities in government schools in the UT. However, during the hearing of the case, the Independent School Association moved an application requesting the high court to implead them as a party to assist the court in the matter.

A division bench comprising acting chief justice Jasbir Singh and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain directed the association to prepare a chart, comparing it with government schools, mentioning their fee structure and salary paid by them to their teachers. Directions have also been given to provide information about the qualifications of teachers serving in private schools of the city. The HC also asked private schools to provide information about the number of teachers dismissed by them in the past five years. The case would now come up for hearing on July 23.





Class 3, 4 contractual employees should be paid at par with regular staff: HC

Express news service : Allahabad, Sat May 18 2013, 01:01 hrs

The Allahabad High Court on Friday directed all the district courts in the state to ensure that all the Class 3 and 4 employees, engaged on contract basis, be given salary and other allowances at par with the regular employees. The court has asked the Registrar General of the High Court to communicate the order to all the district courts immediately for compliance. A single judge bench of Justice Sabhajeet passed the order in this regard on a petition filed by Mohammad Saeed and another. The petitioners were sweepers, engaged on contract basis in Jaunpur district court. They had sought wages equal to those of the regular employees. The petitioners had also submitted that they had been engaged since 2004 and were getting only Rs 2,000 per month as consolidated fixed salary.




HC notice to Kamal Haasan on film body’s plea

TNN | May 18, 2013, 04.53 AM IST

CHENNAI: On the 100th day of Kamal Haasan’s film ‘Vishwaroopam’, the Madras high court has issued notice to the actor on a petition filed by a film exhibitors’ body accusing the actor of submitting forged documents before theCompetition Commission of India.

A vacation judge, Justice M Venugopal, issued notices, returnable in four weeks, on a petition of R Panneerselvam, general secretary of the Tamil Nadu Film Exhibitors Association, on Friday.

The matter relates to a complaint lodged by Kamal’s film company, Raj Kamal International, against a non-existent Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners Association, alleging that the latter had adopted a resolution not to release ‘Vishwaroopam’ in Tamil Nadu in January this year.

As evidence, the actor had submitted a resolution printed on a letter head carrying the name of Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners Association, which is non-existent, but had the registration number and address of the Tamil Nadu Film Exhibitors Association. The commission has issued notice to the exhibitors.

Denying that it had ever adopted such a resolution, and stating that exhibitors had contributed to the success of the film, the association said its reputation had been maligned and that the complaint aimed at harassing the forum.

Since the Chennai city police had not taken any action despite a complaint, the present petition to direct the authorities to register a criminal case and proceed in accordance with law had been filed, said Panneerselvam.





State election commission challenges HC ‘consent’

TNN | May 18, 2013, 02.52 AM IST

KOLKATA: The state election commission filed an application in the Calcutta high court on Friday seeking deletion of the portion of Tuesday’s division bench’s ruling that records it as a “consent order”. But that is only a fraction of the application, where the state election commissionhas virtually challenged the division bench’s ruling on Tuesday, a rarity in the history of the high court.

The state election commission’s petition says that it disagrees with the government counsel over deployment of forces and categorization of polling booths – normal, less sensitive, sensitive and high sensitive. The state election commission also expressed dismay over the division bench’s order that asks the state government to meet any shortfall in security forces by requisitioning police from the Centre or other states, “as may be considered appropriate by the state government”.

The state election commission application submits that the bench, while passing the order, had said that the state would make the arrangements in consultation with the state election commission. The ‘consultation’ part is missing from the order that contravenes with the powers and functions of the state election commission as enshrined in the Constitution and also in the West Bengal Panchayat Elections Act, 2003, says the 800-page petition. State election commission secretary Tapas Ray filed it on Friday with annexures of the division bench ruling and the Justice Biswanath Somadder order.

The state poll body doesn’t agree with the division bench’s ruling that states: “The findings recorded before the single bench on merits shall not be treated as precedent …” The division bench of Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Joymalya Bagchi will take up the matter for hearing when the high court reopens after summer vacation on June 3.

By moving the application, lawyers say, the state election commission is keeping the door open to move Supreme Court with a petition to strike down Section 42 of the West Bengal Panchayat Elections Act, 2003, which doesn’t go with Article 243 K of the Constitution that provides for the supremacy of the state election commission in all matters concerning elections.

According to senior counsel Samaraditya Pal, the state election commission move won’t affect the panchayat poll process underway. The state election commission will only urge the high court to drop the opening line of Tuesday’s ruling that says: “Happily the disputes raised in this appeal between the state government and the state election commission with respect to holding of panchayat polls have been amicably settled and is being decided by the following consent order.” Pal took exception to this portion of the ruling on getting a certified copy of it and said he is “neither happy nor was his consent sought in the order”. Such a revision application is unique as it seeks a review or revision of the court order.





15 yrs on, HC acquits Pappu Yadav in MLA murder case

Ravi Dayal, TNN | May 18, 2013, 01.33 AM IST

PATNA: Fifteen years after the murder of Ajit Sarkar, CPM MLA from Purnia, the Patna high court on Friday acquitted former Purnia MPRajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, former MLA Rajan Tiwari and Anil Yadav of the charge of murder, giving them benefit of doubt.

Sarkar was shot by motorcycle-borne criminals when he was in his car in Khazanchihat in Purnia town on June 14, 1998. Pappu, then an RJD MP and known political rival of Sarkar, was arrested in 1999, and is currently lodged in the Beur Central Jail.

A division bench comprising Justice V N Sinha and Justice A K Lal set aside the judgment of a special CBI court which had awarded them life sentence on February 14, 2008. While allowing the criminal appeals filed by the trio, the division bench held the circumstantial evidence gathered by the CBI against Pappu, Rajan and Anil was not strong enough on which their conviction could be based.

After an FIR was lodged in the Khazanchihat police station, the case was handed over to the CBI. The investigating agency filed the chargesheet, maintaining Pappu hatched a conspiracy to get Sarkar killed by shooter Rajan. The chargesheet further said Anil was driving the motorcycle and Rajan was riding the pillion when he shot Sarkar.

The circumstantial evidence collected by the CBI was that after the murder, Rajan reached Katihar and talked to Pappu on phone. The CBI also produced three prosecution witnesses in the trial court.

The trio’s defence was that Sarkar’s bodyguard, Ramesh Oraon, who was sitting with Sarkar in the car when the murder took place, had not seen the prosecution witnesses.

The division bench had reserved the judgment on the three criminal appeals on February 26 this year. On Friday, it delivered the 273-page judgment.

CBI counsel Bipin Kumar Sinha said after studying the judgment, the investigating agency might move the Supreme Court and challenge the verdict of the division bench. He said Rajan had confessed in his statement before a magistrate that Pappu had hatched the plot to kill Sarkar.





HC slams civic bodies for not completing development works

TNN | May 18, 2013, 05.22 AM IST

GURGAON: Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday issued notice to the state government, director general of town and country planning (DTCP), Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG), Haryana Urban Development Authority(HUDA) and others for not completing the external and internal development works at residential colonies within the given time frame. The court has directed them to file a report before August 19.

The court issued notice on the basis of a petition filed by the Gurgaon Citizens’ Council (GCC) after the state government and other parties concerned despite the directions issued by the apex court issued tax demand to the petitioner.

President of the council, R S Rathee said in December while hearing our case the Supreme Court had directed HUDA and the private builders to finish the external and internal development within six months and hand over charge to the MCG so that it can start providing the essential services to those residing in private builder areas.

The private builder area residents have long been protesting against the way they are being made to pay twice – to the private builder for maintenance and to the MCG as property tax.

Even after inclusion of licensed areas in the Municipal Corporation way back in 2008 the MCG did not take over the licensed areas and did not provide any services but were very prompt in issuing public notice for imposition of tax and also issued individual notices to the resident without following due procedure as prescribed under the act, said Rathee.

Earlier GCC wrote to MCG commissioner to find out if it will be able to take over the private builder area within this timeframe and start providing us services. But when it failed to take over, GCC approached the high court and filed a petition against all three government agencies – HUDA, MCG DTPC for failing to comply with the Supreme Court order.





HC issues norms for Arya Samaj marriages

Milind Ghatwai : BHOPAL, Sat May 18 2013, 01:49 hrs

Holding that marriages performed without parents’ consent were creating social problems, the Madhya Pradesh High Court has issued detailed guidelines to Arya Samaj temples, a favourite place where couples in hurry usually tie the knot.

The Gwalior Bench said that it had come to its notice that teenage girls were getting married and Arya Samaj temples were issuing certificates causing tensions in


In his brief order, Justice N K Mody asked the Arya Samaj temple managements to take written applications from the would-be bride and groom and fix the marriage date at least a week later.

The management should inform both sets of parents by a registered intimation the date and time of the proposed ceremony as also to the police station and district collector in whose jurisdiction the would-be groom and bride reside.

The judge said that at least five relatives from each side should be present at the time of the marriage.

The order came on habeas corpus petition filed by a 28-year-old resident of Gwalior who wanted the custody of his 21-year-old wife.

The woman told the court that it was true that she married on April 5 at an Arya Samaj temple in Gwalior but insisted that it was “under undue influence”. She said that only a priest and a photographer were present but no relative or friend was present.




State challenges high court order on Dhaniakhali

TNN | May 18, 2013, 02.57 AM IST

KOLKATA: The state government on Thursday filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Courtchallenging the Calcutta high court division bench’s May 13 order handing the Dhaniakhalicustodial death case to CBI.

The order was a stinging indictment of the state’s premier probe agency, CID, which the HC blamed for “shutting its eyes to conspiracy angle in the case involving a police officer and the local MLA”. The HC had in its order cited six specific instances where it held CID could have probed better.




Bhubaneswar faces illegal temple demolition heat after Cuttack

Ashok Pradhan, TNN | May 18, 2013, 02.32 AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: Following mass demolition of temples on encroached government land in Cuttack, the spotlight has now shifted to Bhubaneswar.

Encouraged with the execution of Orissa high court’s January 6, 2011 direction to evict religious structures on government land in Cuttack, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) have also started consultation for a suitable process to end encroachments in the name of temples.

BMC commissioner Sanjib Mishra said the civic body has already decided to raze unauthorized temples on its premises. “We will remove all such intrusions. In fact, we have already decided to bulldoze the temple inside BMC Hospital. In case of two other temples, the HC has stayed the demolition,” Mishra said.

A team of enforcement squad of BDA on Friday went to Cuttack Development Authority (CDA) to learn about the modalities of eviction under the latter’s jurisdiction. “Because of religious sentiments, the government was earlier lenient while dealing with encroachments by places of worship. However, in view of the Cuttack example, we also have to gear up for such future action on temples here soon,” said a senior BDA officer.

Though the government has not prepared any comprehensive list of religious structures on encroached government land in the state capital, sources estimate the total number of such places would be around 150 in and around Bhubaneswar. The temples are on lands under the general administration, BDA, BMC and revenue department. Apart from giant structures on NH sides at Rasulgarh and Vani Vihar, there are temples inside Odisha Primary Education Programme Authority office, heads of department building, near Master Canteen and several police stations, among several other places.

Revenue divisional commissioner (RDC), central zone, Aravinda Padhee who is chairman of the committee overseeing demolition of places of worship in Cuttack, said the mass demolition in Cuttack is on the specific direction of the HC. “There is no such direction for other cities. However, the encroachments everywhere are being removed under the Orissa Prevention of Land Encroachment Act 1972,” he said.

One Abhiram Mallick has filed a PIL seeking demolition of temples on the premises of government establishments across the state. “The HC direction on the basis of which the demolition is being undertaken in Cuttack has cited an interim order of the Supreme Court. The same order of the apex court has also directed all the state governments to review unauthorized religious structures on a case to case basis and prevent future encroachments. We have thus prayed the HC to direct the state government to demolish all such buildings in the state,” said Mallick’s counsel Khirod Rout. Mallick has also pleaded for removal of photographs of deities from government offices and police stations to maintain a secular ambience in the offices.






L&T moves HC against KPCL over Bidadi power project

Bangalore, Chethan Kumar, May 17, 2013, DHNS:


The controversy surrounding the proposed Rs 2,184-crore 700-mw gas-based power project at Bidadi seems far from dying.

Larsen and Toubro (L&T), one of the shortlisted bidders for the project has moved the Karnataka High Court contesting Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd (KPCL)’s move to term its bid unresponsive without furnishing reasons for the same. KPCL, which had selected Alstom, one of the bidders as the lowest bidder (L-1) had come under severe criticism for not having followed the procedures. 

The matter was even taken up before the High Court by two of the other shortlisted bidders–L&T and Tata Projects earlier this year. The court had disposed off the matter stating that it was not an appropriate time for the petition to be filed as the contract was not handed over to anybody yet.

And, in its 322nd meeting, the Board had said: “As an outcome of the writ petitions filed by L&T and Tata Projects before the High Court, it was decided to form a sub-committee to examine the relevant issues and make suitable recommendations for expeditious finalisation of the tender of the project.”

Following the recommendations of the sub-committee, KPCL contacted all the four shortlisted bidders, Alstom, L&T, Tata Projects and BHEL to resolve the aforementioned issues.

The Board has noted that Alstom, vide a letter dated February 12, 2013 had expressed its inability to withdraw “such permitted, albeit unresolved, technical and commercial deviations on the terms requested,” which disqualified Alstom.

New controversy

In pursuit of a vendor, KPCL however got itself into a new controversy by terming the bid of L&T, which was the second lowest bidder (L-2) when Alstom was still in the race ‘unresponsive’, despite the company agreeing to withdraw all the deviations (technical and commercial) unconditionally.

L&T has since moved the High Court against this vide a writ petition (18607), the preliminary hearing of which is already complete and the matter is posted for hearing post vacation.

On March 4, 2013, KPCL communicated with L&T, inviting them for a meeting to resolve the deviations.

During the meeting on March 5, L&T was asked to withdraw deviations without any financial implications to KPCL and among the deviations mentioned were those relating to Auxiliary Power Consumption and Entry Tax.

L&T, KPCL sources said, had raised a clarification as these two things were not mentioned in the scheduled list of deviations in the tender document and that it did not qualify as a deviation. However, the Corporation was not willing to concede and eventually, sources said, L&T agreed to unconditionally withdraw all the deviations unconditionally.

In a surprising move, KPCL has termed L&T’s bid unresponsive, while, with the unconditional withdrawal of the deviations, L&T, which was the L-2 should have automatically qualified for price negotiations.

But, minutes before the Election Commission invoked the model code of conduct on March 20,  the then Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, who was also the Chairman of KPCL, awarded the Rs 2,184-crore contract for a power project at Bidadi to Tata Projects.





Kerala sessions court orders DNA test on Bitti Mohanty

PTI [ Updated 18 May 2013, 07:07:52 ]

Kannur (Kerala), May 18:  A Sessions Court here on Friday  ordered DNA test on Bitti Mohanty to obtain scientific proof for establishing his identity following his arrest in March this year after being on the run for several years.






Obliged to set aside orders obtained fraudulently, says SC

by F wire May 18, 2013

#NewsTrackerNew Delhi, May 17 (IANS) The Supreme Court has said that an order that has been obtained by an accused by practising fraud and suppression of facts could not be allowed to survive and it was obligated to set aside such an order.

“A victim of a crime has as much right to get justice from the court as an accused who enjoys the benefit of innocence till the allegations are proven against him,” said a bench of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice Dipak Misra in their judgment pronounced Thursday.

The court said this while setting aside the order of the Rajasthan High Court and that of an additional district and sessions judge, Jodhpur and restoring the order of the additional chief judicial magistrate summoning Prem Prakash to face trial in the wake of a complaint received by it.

In the instant case, on a plea by one Prem Prakash, the additional district and session judge, Jodhpur, quashed the order of the additional chief judicial magistrate taking cognizance of a protest petition and summoned him through arrest warrant. The judge quashed it holding that when the offences were triable by the session’s court, the magistrate could not have taken cognizance on the basis of a protest petition.

However, it was held back from the court of the judge, that another additional district and sessions judge at Jodhpur had, after hearing detailed arguments, July 27, 2009 framed the charges against the accused that included Prem Prakash.

Holding that it was clear case of suppression, the court said, “…though the respondent was fully aware about the fact that charges had been framed against him by the learned trial Judge, yet he did not bring the same to the notice of the revisional court hearing the revision against the order taking cognizance”.

“Any one who takes recourse to method of suppression in a court of law, is, in actuality, playing fraud with the court, and the maxim supressio veri, expression faisi, i.e., suppression of the truth is equivalent to the expression of falsehood, gets attracted,” said Justice Misra pronouncing the judgment.

Noting that as the order has been obtained by practising fraud and suppressing material fact before a court of law to gain advantage, the court said that it cannot be allowed to stand.

Invoking its powers under article 142 of the constitution, the court said that “cognizance of the offences had been rightly taken by the learned Magistrate and charges, as we find, have been correctly framed by the learned trial Judge”.

The court said that when an order of quashment of summons has been obtained by suppression of facts, “this court has an obligation to set aside the said order and restore the order framing charges and direct the trial to go on”.





70-year-old man gets life term for rape and murder

17th May 2013 11:58 AM

The Additional Sessions Court (Fast Track-III) on Thursday sentenced a 70-year-old man accused in the rape and murder of a 48-year-old woman, to life term rigorous imprisonment. Judge C S Sudha awarded the sentence to Egerios Michael of Thodiyilkizhakkethil, Padappakkara. Besides the life term he has been awarded with a fine of `1 lakh and 10 year RI.  The incident took place in Vellimon on 14 November, 2005, when the woman had gone for bathing and washing clothes at an unoccupied plot near her house. The elder sister of the victim went in search of her, after the latter failed to return home even after a couple of hours, only to find her body dumped in the nearby Kanjiracode Lake.  According to prosecution case, Egerios had reached the area in a boat, while the victim was bathing near a well located at the plot.  The accused brutally attacked her and subjected her to sexual assault. In an attempt to destroy evidence, the victim, who had fallen unconscious, was thrown into the lake nearby. He also robbed the gold chain weighing two sovereigns worn by the victim. The post-mortem report had confirmed that the victim died after drowning in the lake compounded by injuries in her neck.

 The accused was awarded life term and fine after the court found him guilty under IPC Section 302 (murder), seven-year RI under section 326 (rape), two-year RI under section 201 (destruction of evidence) and one year RI under section 379 (robbery). On failure to pay the fine, he will have to serve an additional term of one year.

 As there were no eyewitnesses, the prosecution had to rely on circumstantial and scientific evidence.







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