LEGAL NEWS 02.04.2013

National Green Tribunal notice to MoEF, UP over Yamuna Hindon encroachments

Ayaskant Das, TNN | Apr 2, 2013, 01.46 AM IST

NOIDA: The National Green Tribunal on Monday issued notices to UP government and the Union ministry of environment and forests, among others, over allegations that there has been massive encroachment of the floodplains of Yamuna and Hindon by the land mafia. The notices were issued by the principal bench of the tribunal over an application filed by environmental activists of Ghaziabad.

The applicants have alleged that that the floodplains have been encroached with concrete and permanent structures that are bound to cause ecological havoc in the form of floods besides upsetting the natural hydrological cycle of the areas situated close to the two rivers.

“The river beds, considered highly eco-fragile, have been usurped by land mafia in connivance with administration officials. Colonies have come up on the river beds,” states the petition. Apart from the environment ministry and the UP government, activists have also held the union ministry of water resources and the governments of Delhi and Haryana for lapses that have led to the construction of concrete structures on the floodplains, thereby polluting the rivers.

Apart from floodplains along Delhi, it has been alleged that similar encroachments have been made by colonizers in Faridabad, Agra and Mathura, thereby leading to discharge of large amounts of solid toxic waste into the already highly polluted rivers.

“Yamuna and Hindon rivers, once found to be extremely rich in terrestrial and aquatic bio-diversity, had now lost much of it due to ever-increasing human influence on them in the form of encroachments by concretized farmhouses, plots and colonies,” states the petition.

Activists have further argued that with reduced dissolved oxygen, and high biological and chemical oxygen demands inside the Yamuna and Hindon, aquatic life, comprising diverse life forms of amphibians and vertebrates has almost ceased to exist.

Activists have demanded for directions to be passed to all agencies to prevent civic agencies from setting up any new concrete structures and registration of FIRs against violators who have trespassed the floodplain areas. Besides, the activists have also demanded for the constitution of a monitoring commission to ensure time-bound and transparent implementation of enactments specified in the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 to protect the rivers.





Cavrem locals want charges against them dropped

TNN | Apr 2, 2013, 06.33 AM IST

MARGAO: Cavrem locals demanded action against those who committed atrocities to them. They also demanded that the offenses the police filed against the locals be dropped. They also streesed that action be taken against those who attacked their local leader Nilesh Goaonkar.

Locals pointed out that the fact that atrocities had been committed has been recognized as theNational Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had issued directions to the state government to pay 5,000 to each of the 737 victims.

On April 23, 2011, a large number of Cavrem residents took to the streets protesting illegal mining and unregulated mining transportation, blocking all roads and disrupting mining transportation. Close to 100 villagers, including elderly people, were arrested and taken to the police station. The villagers had alleged that many of them were manhandled by the police to the extent that one of the women’s sari was torn and her mangalsutra lost.

“Why do the locals still have to face charges by the police during that incident. Not only should they get speedy justice but all the charges against them should be dropped,” said activist Judith Almeida.

The locals further raised the issue of Nilesh Gaonkar and are irate that no action has been taken. Gaonkar, an engineer by profession, was beaten up near the Verna industrial estate by unidentified people armed with an iron rod on his way to work on May 12, 2011.

He survived the assault and the grievous injuries on the head and two surgeries on a broken hand. He even lost his job at the company he worked 12 months at. The police case of attempt to murder has not seen much progress since.





Sterlite moves Green Tribunal against closure of TN plant

CHENNAI: Vedanta group firm Sterlite Industries today moved the National Green Tribunalchallenging an order of Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board directing closure of its copper smelter plant in Tuticorin in the wake of alleged noxious gas leak recently. 

In its applications before the Southern bench of the Tribunal, the company also challenged another order of the TNPCB disconnecting the power supply to the unit located in Tuticorin, which was shut down on March 30.

“The impugned orders have been issued in gross violation of natural justice and in unseemly haste…,” it contended. 

Making his submissions before the Bench comprising its judicial member Justice M. Chockalingam and expert member Prof.Nagendran, senior counsel for the company T R Rajagopalan submitted the orders have been passed without giving an opportunity to the Sterlite Industries. 

The matter was posted to April 9 for further hearing. The TNPCB, under instructions from District CollectorAshish Kumar had on March 30 issued a notice directing Sterlite to close the plant in the wake of alleged leak of sulphur dioxide in the area on March 23, affecting local people. 

Sterlite submitted before the green Tribunal that the company was meeting more than 55 per cent of copper requirement of the country and employed 1,000 permanent workers and about 3,500 contract labourers, besides providing 15,000 indirect jobs. 

All of them would be left in the lurch and without remuneration if the unit remains closed, it argued. 

Raising preliminary objection, Advocate General A L Somaiji said the unit had been functioning after getting directions from courts. In a case related to it, the Supreme Court is to pronounce orders. 

Even on Monday, the matter was mentioned before the Supreme Court and it said the TNPCB is well within the rights, he said. 

Somaiji said the District Collector had received several complaints from people of the locality that they experienced eye irritation, continuous cough and throat suffocation. 

Since it was a serious matter involving public health, the TNPCB ordered the closure of the unit, he submitted. 

After the submissions of counsels, the Bench directed the the District Collector and the TNPCB to file their counters to decide whether an interim order can be given or not.





House can invoke privilege to deny information: CIC

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 01, 2013

First Published: 22:48 IST(1/4/2013) | Last Updated: 23:37 IST(1/4/2013)

The decisions taken by the chairpersons of the two houses of Parliament were protected under Parliamentary privileges and therefore, are not covered under the transparency law the Right To Information (RTI) Act, the Central Information Commission has observed.

Country’s information watchdog, however, allowed the respective chairpersons to decide whether the information can be disclosed to RTI applicants or not.

The CIC delivered its views while deciding an appeal filed by RTI application Subhash Aggarwal seeking communication between Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar and Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj on appointment of Lok Sabha secretary general TK Vishwanathan.

The Lok Sabha secretariat had given the letter written by Swaraj to Lok Sabha speaker protesting against his appointment but what the speaker told the leader of opposition was not provided.

The commission said that the Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar should take a call whether the information should be provided or not. The privilege under which the information is denied should enlisted in the communication to the applicant, the CIC order said.

Aggarwal’s request for all communication between the Speaker and Prime Minister in the last three years was also denied on the ground of being privilege information.

The commission, in its order said that it agreed with the contention of Lok Sabha that drawing a parallel between the correspondence made available by the ‘Election Commission of India’ or the ‘National Advisory Council’ and the correspondence between the Prime Minister and the Speaker was not appropriate. Reason being a specific provision under section 8 of the RTI Act regarding breach of privilege of the Parliament or State Legislature, the commission said.

Therefore, the commission said only that information not attracting section 8 of the RTI Act should be provided.





Norms set for insurance JV by CICs


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), on Monday, said that any core investment company (CIC) registered with it needs minimum Rs.500 crore owned funds to set up a joint venture company for undertaking insurance business.

Non-performing assets

Among other norms, the RBI said that the level of net non-performing assets shall be not more than 1 per cent of total advances.

Further, it should have registered net profit continuously for three consecutive years, and “the track record of the performance of the subsidiaries, if any, of the CIC concerned should be satisfactory,” RBI said in a notification.

Adjusted net worth

These companies are required to maintain adjusted net worth which would be not less than 30 per cent of aggregate risk-weighted assets on balance sheet and risk adjusted value of off-balance sheet items.

The RBI said that no CIC would be allowed to conduct such business departmentally.

“Further, an NBFC (in its group / outside the group) would normally not be allowed to join an insurance company on risk participation basis, and, hence, should not provide direct or indirect financial support to the insurance venture.”

Within the group, the apex bank said, CICs may be permitted to invest up to 100 per cent of the equity of the insurance company either on a solo basis or in joint venture with other non-financial entities in the group. In case where a foreign partner contributes 26 per cent of the equity, more than one CIC may be allowed to participate in the equity of the insurance joint venture.

CICs cannot enter insurance business as agents and companies that wish to participate in insurance business as investors or on risk participation basis will be required to obtain prior approval of the central bank.





RTI Judgement Series: PIO at magistrate’s office asked to providecomplete information

MONEYLIFE DIGITAL TEAM | 01/04/2013 02:20 PM |   

The CIC issued a show cause notice to the PIO for not providing complete information within 30 days. This is the 67th 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 asking the Public Information Officers (PIOs) of the sub-divisional magistrate (Model Town) at Delhi to provide information, also issued a show-cause notice for not providing complete information within stipulated time limit of 30 days as per the Right to Information (RTI) Act.


While giving this important judgement on 5 April 2010, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, “…the complete information was not provided (by the PIO) to the appellant. The PIO is now directed to provide specific information like presentstatus of application along with file notings and correspondence available on the records and names and definitions of officer who have dealt with the file.”


New Delhi resident Neera Nashier, on 9 September 2009, sought information about a complaint filed with ACB on embezzlement of funds in 1996 from the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Ram Pura, Delhi. Here is the information she sought and the reply provided by the PIO…


1. Whether the Jat caste belonging to UP are covered in the OBC list for obtaining certificates from Delhi.         

PIO’s Reply: The information sought is attached with the sheet.


2. What relevant documents/proof is required to be submitted for getting OBC certificates?

PIO’s Reply: As above.


3. After applying for OBC in your office, what is the time frame to issue the certificate/reject the application?

PIO’s Reply: Normally 21 days.


4. If no rejection is issued after conducting all enquiries within the fixed time frame, then why not “deemed to be accepted” system can be considered? 

PIO’s Reply: The official is allowed for the seeking information under RTI Act, 2005, and there is no provision to make queries as to why, where, etc.


5. Let me know the status of my application which was received videacknowledgement No.82745. 

PIO’s Reply: Enquiry pending from parental address.


6. Also let me know the reason of delay in the issuing the OBC certificate.

PIO’s Reply: Do. (As above)


7. Provide appellant the name of the official responsible for this delay.     

PIO’s Reply: Do. (As above.)


8. Let the appellant know the provisions/penalties of action against the official(s) for causing wilful delay in not giving the certificate in time.

PIO’s Reply: Do. (As above.)


Nashier then filed her first appeal claiming that the PIO did not supply the desired information. In his order, the First Appellate Authority (FAA) dismissed the appeal stating that the information was supplied by the PIO.


Nashier then approached the CIC with a second appeal claiming that the FAA dismissed her first appeal without hearing her side.


During the hearing, Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, noted that both the parties were not present. From a perusal of the papers, it appeared that the complete information was not provided to the appellant.


He then directed the PIO to provide specific information about the present status of application along with file notings and correspondence available on records and name and designations of officers who have dealt with the file. The CIC also directed the PIO to supply photocopies of file notings and communications.


Mr Gandhi said, “from the facts before the Commission, the PIO is guilty of not furnishing information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of Section7 by not replying in 30 days”. The Commission then issued a show-cause notice to the PIO and asked him to give his written submissions as to why penalty should not be imposed on him as per Section 20(1) of the RTI Act.




Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2010/900396/7357

Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2010/900396


Appellant                                                     : Neera Nashier

                                                                     New Delhi-110034


Respondent                                                : PIO

                                                                     Sub-Divisional Magistrate (Model Town),

                                                                     Old Middle school Building,

                                                                     Ram Pura, Delhi -






CBI opposes Ashok Chavan’s petition in Adarsh case

PTI Apr 1, 2013, 04.49PM IST

MUMBAI: CBI today opposed the petition filed by former chief minister of Maharashtra,Ashok Chavan seeking to quash the case registered against him in the Adarsh Society scam. Chavan has sought the quashing of the FIR lodged against him by CBI; arguing that he was falsely implicated by political rivals.

The petition also claims that CBI has no jurisdiction to probe the case, as neither the high court nor the Maharashtra government had asked it to take over the probe. At the last hearing, HC had sought replies from both the state and the CBI.


CBI said in its reply-affidavit today that Chavan, as the chief minister, granted ‘undue favours’ to the ‘Society’, in return for which his relatives were allotted three flats. Chavan also asked the ‘Society’ to take 40 per cent members from civilian category, when it was originally meant only for war veterans, CBI alleged, adding that Chavan played a key role in the scam. As for the jurisdiction, it said that the defence Ministry had forwarded a complaint to it, which led to the probe. However, the Maharashtra government, in its affidavit, reiterated its stand that CBI had no jurisdiction to probe the scam.

The division bench of Justices P V Hardas and A R Joshi today sought copies of all the orders passed by other benches in the case, and affidavits filed by parties. The next hearing will be on April 12. Chavan’s mother-in-law Bhagvati Sharma, sister-in-law Seema Sharma and father-in-law’s brother Madanlal Sharma have flats in the ‘Society’.

CBI has filed chargesheets against the former chief Minister and 12 others for criminal conspiracy, cheating and criminal misconduct under Indian Penal Code and also under Prevention of Corruption Act.





In Punjab court, six-year-old describes torture by father

Press Trust of India | Updated: April 01, 2013 17:15 IST

Patiala: A six-year-old boy was allegedly singed with cigarette butts and slashed with a shaving blade by his father who inflicted injuries all over his body.

The harrowing tale of torture was narrated by the child himself in a local court, hearing a divorce case of his parents.

The court was shocked and dismayed to see injury marks on the body of the child and ordered the police to get the child medically examined in the local Government Rajindra Hospital.

The child told the doctors yesterday that his father Baljit Singh inflicted injuries all over his body.

There were about 16 blade cut marks on different parts of his body, doctors said, adding his back had burn marks caused by cigarette butts.

The parents of the child had filed a divorce case and the court had earlier given custody of the child to the father.

It also directed the accused that the child would be allowed to meet his mother once every month.

When the boy insisted on meeting his mother, the father was so annoyed that he started torturing the child.

A case has been registered against the accused Baljit Singh at the Patiala Sadar Police Station under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, police said, adding, efforts are on to arrest him.





Mittal moves SC against CBI court order

The special court had named Mittal, Hutchison Essar’s former MD Asim Ghosh and Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia as accused in 2G scam

Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal has moved the Supreme Court, seeking the summons issued against him by a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court be quashed.

On March 19, the special court had named Mittal, former managing director of Hutchison Essar Asim Ghosh and Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia as accused in the 2G telecom spectrum allocation scam. The court had asked Mittal to appear before it on April 11.

Bharti Airtel declined to comment on the development.

On March 19, the CBI court took cognisance of a charge sheet. In his order, judge O P Saini said Mittal, Ruia and Ghosh were the “alter egos” of their respective companies. “The acts of the companies are to be attributed and imputed to them. I find enough material on record to proceed against them.” Saini also said they represented “the directing mind and will of each company”.

On the same day, an Essar spokesperson had said the company was consulting experts and exploring all legal options and “will in due course take up appropriate legal proceedings to challenge the order.”

Citing its failure to find any private individual in the criminal conspiracy, the CBI had, in its charge sheet dated December 21, 2012, only named Shyamal Ghosh, then telecom secretary, and three private companies—Bharti Cellular (now Bharti Airtel), Hutchison Max (now Vodafone) and Sterling Cellular (now Vodafone)—as accused.

The CBI special court has summoned all the three corporate bigwigs to the court on April 11, with Shyamal Ghosh and the representatives of the accused companies. Consequently, the charges of criminal conspiracy and cheating under the Indian Penal Code will be applicable on the accused executives. Besides, Ghosh has been charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act, applicable only on government officials.

The 2G case involves former telecom minister A Raja and fifteen others. In this, CBI had alleged Ghosh was in conspiracy with the former telecom minister, Pramod Mahajan, who abused his position as a public person and showed undue favour to beneficiary companies, causing a loss of Rs 846.44 crore to the exchequer.

In his last hearing before the order, Saini had asked CBI to name the private individuals involved in the case, as “it takes two people to do a conspiracy and it cannot name only a government person”.





SC ruling on Novartis victory of humanity over commercial consideration: Bhaskar Narayana, Natco Pharma

ET Now Apr 1, 2013, 12.39PM IST

In an interview with ET Now, Bhaskar Narayana, Finance Director, Natco Pharma, shares his views on the SC judgement on Novartis’ cancer drug patent issue. Excerpts:

Your reaction to this announcement and what this means for generic makers in India?

Basically this stands out as a unique victory of humanity over commercial consideration, to put it very plainly. I think the element of innovation which deserves protection has been plainly lacking in the case of Novartis, which has been upheld by the Supreme Court. We are yet to see the full judgement, but nevertheless this is our immediate reaction.


In a nutshell how would this if at all impact Natco Pharma on the financials in the immediate front because I am guessing you get some forwards into drugs that you would seek to sell if not selling already?

No, no, we are already selling it. We are selling it from a long time, if I am not mistaken from 2003 onwards. So t has no effect on the company as such.

What is the market for this drug and how much does this benefit on an annual basis?

We garner about 20-23 crore of sales annually from this one drug.

Could you just highlight once again for the benefit for our viewers the price differential for this drug in the market?

The price differential is almost 10 times. The Novartis drug is ten times costlier than our own drug. So it simply puts that parity because Novartis has been selling it at international prices all over the world and whatever price it sells in the US, it sells at the same price in India, but our drug has been almost 90% cheaper than the Novartis drug.

Will you go ahead with the Glevi9c generic version at this point?

There is no question of it because we are already in the market where we have been selling this drug from a long time and we continue to manufacture and sell it. We have no legal restriction at all. The only thing is that our stand has been vindicated by the Supreme Court judgement.





Life sentence of two murder accused set aside

02nd April 2013 10:15 AM

The orders of the Additional Sessions Judge (Fast Track Court-I) in Erode, awarding life sentence to two persons for allegedly  murdering a watchman for gain in a temple in Uthukuli, were set aside by the Madras High Court on Monday.

“There is no evidence to link the appellants either with the death of the deceased or dacoity,” a division bench comprising Justices K N Basha and P Devadass observed and quashed the lower court conviction order.

Murugasamy was found murdered inside the Vetrivelayuthasamy temple situated at a lonely place in the hillock on January 27, 2004. Table-drawers and hundial were found broken. The deity’s coronet, chest-armour, feet-armour and hand-armour and a two-wheeler of Murugasamy were found missing.

Following a complaint from the temple priest, the local police registered a case and arrested Shankar and Ramesh. As some other accused were absconding, the cast was split into two and the case against Shankar and Ramesh was taken to the Sessions Court, which awarded, among other things, life term to the duo. Hence, the present appeals.

Appellants contended that there was no evidence to link them to the death of Murugasamy. The recovery of temple properties from their possession had also not been established, they added.

After perusing the records, the bench observed that the recoveries projected in this case were tainted, open to doubt, lacked credibility and it was a stage-managed show. When the very recovery evidence pressed into service had not been established, the question of raising presumption vide Sec 114 of the Evidence Act and no -offering of explanation by the accused as to the recovery during their examination under Sec 313 CrPC did not arise. The prosecution had not established the charges framed against the appellants, the judges added, and set aside the lower court order.





Youth and friend acquitted of charge of gangraping cousin

A youth and his friend have been acquitted of charges of abducting and gangraping his cousin last year by special fast track court here after the girl did not support the prosecution’s case. 

Additional Sessions Judge T R Naval acquitted Delhi residents Shoaib and his friend Rashid of the charges of abducting, gangraping and hurting the girl by giving her poison. 

“It is held that prosecution could not prove its case against both or either of the accused beyond any reasonable suspicion and shadow of doubt that they both or either of them committed offence of kidnapping, abducting or inducing women to compel marriage, offence of causing hurt by means of poison and offence of gang rape under the IPC. 

“Consequently, by giving them benefit of doubt, both the accused are acquitted for the said offences,” the judge said. 

According to police, the accused had abducted the 18-year-old girl in March last year and after confining her at several places, they had gangraped her by mixing stupefying substance in her tea. 

When the girl returned to her house after two months, she told the police that she had gone with accused Shoaib, son of her mother’s sister, and he had taken her to the houses of other relatives and friends. 

She had said that she accompanied her cousin Shoaib on her own will and she was having an affair with him for past few months. She had said that he made physical relations with her on the pretext of marrying her and had later dropped her to her house. 

The court, however, acquitted both the youths saying, “I come to the conclusion that prosecution has failed to prove its case against both the accused.” 

It also noted that the girl had said that none of the two accused had raped her. It said even the girl’s parents and brother, who were also witness, had failed to support the prosecution’s case. 

The court closed the prosecution evidence and did not record the statements of the accused saying there was no incriminating evidence against them.





Vijay Mallya moves court against lenders

Move aimed to prevent Kingfisher airlines creditors from selling shares in United Spirits, Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers

P.R. Sanjai 

First Published: Tue, Apr 02 2013. 12 40 AM IST

Updated: Tue, Apr 02 2013. 12 43 AM IST

Mumbai: Vijay Mallya’s UB Group, promoter of Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, petitioned the Bombay high court last week to prevent creditors of the grounded airline from selling shares in group companies United Spirits Ltd (USL) and Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd (MCF) that it has pledged as loan collateral.

The petition signals that the process of loan recovery could well be fraught with prolonged legal battles for the lenders to the airline. The petition will come up for hearing on Tuesday.

A consortium of 14 banks with combined exposure of Rs.7,000 crore to Kingfisher Airlines has started selling shares in USL and MCF that Mallya offered as collateral when the airline’s debt was restructured in 2011, according to two bankers who declined to be identified.

“We have started selling the shares. The group has moved court, but we are confident that we will be able to recover part of our money through the sale,” one of the bankers said.

Kingfisher Airlines has been grounded since 1 October, first because of staff protests over unpaid salaries and thereafter because of regulatory issues. Its flying licence expired on 31 December and a revival plan prepared by the airline to start limited operations this summer failed to convince the aviation regulator.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) would like to see no-objection certificates from airport operators, aircraft leasing companies, certificates of support from maintenance firms and spare parts vendors of Airbus aircraft and salaries paid before the airline can fly again, Mint reported on 16 January, citing a DGCA official who didn’t want to be named.

The move by UB Group to petition the high court indicates the legal uncertainties that creditors of the airline are likely to encounter in the process of recovering the money they are owed.

Mallya did not reply to a query seeking a clarification on the development, but a senior UB Group executive confirmed that a petition has been filed.

For their part, the lenders are preparing to file a petition in a debt recovery tribunal (DRT) against the airline under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act after recalling their loans.

This could happen before the end of this week. The Act allows secured creditors to move a DRT to recover their money.

Recovery cases at a DRT are cleared relatively faster than conventional legal means, but a borrower can move a higher court against decisions by a tribunal.

State Bank of India (SBI), the leader of the creditors’ consortium, has the maximum exposure at Rs.1,600 crore to Kingfisher, followed by Punjab National Bank, or PNB (Rs.800 crore); IDBI Bank Ltd (Rs.800 crore); Bank of India, or BoI (Rs.650 crore); Bank of Baroda, or BoB (Rs.550 crore); United Bank of India, or UBI (Rs.430 crore); Central Bank of India (Rs.410 crore); UCO Bank Ltd(Rs.320 crore); Corporation Bank (Rs.310 crore); State Bank of Mysore, an SBI associate bank, (Rs.150 crore); Indian Overseas Bank (Rs.140 crore); Federal Bank Ltd (Rs.90 crore); Punjab and Sind Bank (Rs.60 crore) and Axis Bank Ltd (Rs.50 crore).

Overall, their exposure is Rs.6,360 crore, with unpaid interest taking it up to Rs.7,000 crore .

Apart from shares in USL and MCF, the lenders hold two UB Group properties in Mumbai and Goa and two helicopters, besides the Kingfisher Airline brand as collateral in addition to a personal guarantee from Mallya.

“We are confident of recovering about one-fourth of our exposure through share sale and sale of properties and helicopters,” said the first banker cited above.

On Monday, USL shares lost 0.45% to close at Rs.1,889.45 each while MCF’s shares rose 13.52% to end at Rs.32.75 on BSE.

Lenders have turned up the heat on Mallya after Diageo Plc of the UK in November agreed to buy a 53.4% stake in USL forRs.11,170 crore, including an open offer to buy 26% from public shareholders.

Finance minister P. Chidambaram recently called upon banks to aggressively push for the recovery of bad assets and chase the “affluent promoters” of “sick companies”.

There are other lenders to Kingfisher outside the consortium. They are Srei Infrastructure Finance Ltd (Rs.430 crore), Jammu and Kashmir Bank Ltd (Rs.80 crore) and Oriental Bank of Commerce (Rs.50 crore). A debt fund operated by Kolkata-based Srei Infrastructure bought ICICI Bank Ltd’s exposure to the airline in July 2012.

The non-banking financial company and Jammu and Kashmir Bank have shares of USL and McDowell Holdings Ltd as collateral.

Another senior banker, requesting anonymity, said the consortium had empowered a core group formed to recover debt to take legal actions against the UB Group. The members of the core group are SBI, PNB, BoB, BoI, IDBI Bank and UBI.

According to consulting firm Capa, Kingfisher Airlines’ suspension of operations has had a knock-on impact on the global leasing and financing sector, highlighting some of the challenges facing aircraft financiers and lessors in the Indian market, besides raising concerns about regulatory safeguards with regard to international investment in the country.

“The continued delays by the Indian government to de-register Kingfisher-operated aircraft since it suspended operations in October 2012 is also expected to hurt other, still-operational, Indian carriers while also creating the impression that India is not adhering to the Cape Town Convention, of which it is a signatory,” Capa said in a report.

The Cape Town Convention is an international treaty aimed at standardizing transactions involving movable property. In this case, India will have to facilitate smooth transfer of aircraft to owners if an airline defaults in lease rentals.




Govt calls meeting of CMs, chief justices to bring down pendency

TNN | Apr 2, 2013, 02.46 AM IST

NEW DELHI: The government has called a meeting of all chief ministers and chief justices of high courts on April 7 to discuss strategy to bring down pendency of cases in different courts and initiate the process of largescale recruitment of judges. 

After the law ministry initiated the move last month, Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir had written to all chief justices of high courts asking them to strongly take up the matter of doubling the strength of judiciary with the state governments. He had sought an increase of the annual outlay by the state governments. 

The CJI had emphasized that state governments must be persuaded to double the number of courts in subordinate judiciary, along with the necessary infrastructure and staff at the earliest. 

The central government has set aside Rs 2,800 crore to set up fast track courts and for recruitment of judges. Sources in the law ministry said the CJI has set a target of taking the strength of the judiciary from the current 18,871 to more than 30,000 in the next five years. 

The National Court Management System (NCMS), chaired by the CJI, had last year decided to make the judicial system ‘five-plus free’, ie, free of cases more than five years old. An SC projection says the number of cases will expand to 15 crore in the next three decades requiring at least 75,000 judges. 




CBI seeks to dilute Salem case

Agencies | Apr 2, 2013, 12.25 AM IST

NEW DELHI: The CBI on Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking its permission to drop certain charges against gangster Abu Salem under TADA and Explosive Substances Act in view of its commitment to Portuguese government at the time of his extradition that he shall not be awarded death penalty or detained in custody for more than 25 years if found guilty. 

Appearing before a bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam, attorney general G E Vahanwati said the government was committed to its assurance given to the Portuguese court and government and sought the apex court’s permission to drop the additional charges framed against Salem by the trial court. 

“As a matter of fact, charges framed by trial court have been termed as additional charges by the Portuguese courts because of which the Portuguese courts have come to the conclusion that there has been a violation of rule of speciality. More so, the technicality on which the appellant has raised various objections/litigations/representations in India as well as in Portugal…” the agency said. 

The agency, however, clarified that withdrawing certain charges against Salem would not harm the CBI case. “It would also be pertinent to point out that offences for which Salem was extradited to India, are grave enough to award him the maximum punishment and therefore no prejudice would be caused to the CBI if the present application is allowed,” the application said. 

The agency sought withdrawal of charges under section 5 and 6 of TADA and sections 4(b) and 5 of the Explosive Substances Act. 





CBI faults CM for shielding Dharmana

TNN | Apr 2, 2013, 02.40 AM IST

HYDERABAD: Hinting at more important inclusions in the ‘soon-to-come’ final chargesheet in the Jagan disproportionate assets case, the CBI on Monday attacked R&B minister Dharmana Prasada Rao and chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and charged them with “behaving in a manner that is grossly unconstitutional in utter disregard of the rule of law.”

The CBI made these observations while opposing a petition filed by Dharmana in the high court seeking a stay on the proceedings in the Vanpic aspect of the Jagan assets case in the trial court. Dharmana’s contention was that since the state had not given a sanction to prosecute him, the court’s action in this regard was unlawful. After being named as accused No. 5 in the Vanpic case, Dharmana had put in his papers but continues to be minister as the chief minister is yet to accept the resignation letter.

However, after taking cognizance of the Vanpic case, the CBI court has been summoning the minister for all the court hearings along with other accused in the case. Now, the minister wants the high court to declare it as illegal and stay the proceedings of the trial court.

Appearing on behalf of CBI, senior counsel Ashok Bhan told Justice B Seshasayana Reddy of the high court that Dharmana should have quit his cabinet post owning the responsibility for doling out 18,000 acres to unscrupulous private enterprise in an illegal manner in the Vanpic case as revenue minister in the YSR regime. “He had even bypassed the empowered committee to do this and if any semblance of morality is left, he should quit because he violated the very oath he took as minister and as legislator. The chief minister too should have risen above cheap politics, accepted Dharmana’s resignation and allowed the prosecution to commence without any fetters. If the CM has got any respect for probity in public life, he should forthwith accept the resignation of Dharmana,” the counsel said.

According to Ashok Bhan, the protection available to a public servant under section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act is not available to Dharmana in this case because he is no more a public servant. of the Assembly 2004 to 2009

He perpetrated the Vanpic fraud as revenue minister of the previous government and should account for his past conduct. “He may be a public servant in his position as legislator but this can’t be his shield,” the CBI counsel said citing the judgment of the Supreme Court in Haryana’s Ajay Singh Chautala case who was prosecuted without any sanction from the state. Moreover, the counsel said, the CBI court has only taken cognizance of the offences committed under IPC provisions and we are urging the court to take cognizance of the case under prevention of corruption Act also because no such sanction is needed now.

Senior counsel B Kumar, appearing for Dharmana, said that the CBI court committed an error in overlooking the import of Section 362 CrPC which bars any criminal court from reviewing or modifying an order passed earlier. On September 13 last year, the lower court concluded that sanction under Section 19 of the PC Act was a necessary precursor to taking of cognizance of offences under the Act, he said.

The subsequent modified order affected the rights of the petitioner as it was passed without allowing the latter to be heard on the substantive question of law involved in the modification sought by the CBI. Such an order of review or alteration was in violation of Section 362 CrPC which states that the criminal courts do not have the power of review, he argued.

The judge adjourned the case to April 25 for further hearing.





DA case: Chautala skips court hearing, goes to hospital instead

PTI | Apr 01, 2013, 17:51PM IST

New Delhi: Jailed former Haryana chief minister OP Chautala was admitted to RML hospital here Monday morning and failed to appear for trial in a disproportionate assets case before a Delhi court which pulled up Tihar Prisons Authority for not intimating it about the development. 


The court also issued a notice to the jail superintendent seeking a report on the health status of 78-year-old Chautala. 


Chautala has been lodged in Tihar Jail after being sentenced to ten year imprisonment in the 2000 JBT scam and was to be produced before Special CBI Judge Manu Rai Sethi, who is conducting trial in a disproportionate case against the INLD chief and his sons Ajay and Abhay Chautala. 


Even as the case came up for hearing in the afternoon, the jail authorities had not informed the court about his hospitalisation for a “digestive disorder” and consequent inability to appear before it. 


“As per his counsel, accused (Chautala) was admitted in hospital in morning itself. Superintendent of Tihar Jail no. 2 (where Chautala is lodged) ought to have sent a written communication in this regard to the court in time. 


“He already knew that matter was to be taken up after lunch. This lax attitude of the superintendent is viewed with concern by this court. Let notice be issued to him with direction to inform the court of latest health status of the accused,” the court said. 


It was Chautala’s counsel who informed the court about his hospitalisation and later a police personnel from the lock-up told the court that a wireless message was received in this regard. 


A fresh production warrant has been issued for Chautala for April 12. 


On March 25, the court had rejected Chautala’s plea to get a pacemaker implanted at a private hospital at his own expense and instead referred him to RML Hospital here saying it has all the infrastructure and facilities required for his treatment. 


The court is hearing a disproportionate assets case registered by CBI against Chautala in 2010 on a complaint by Haryana Congress leader Shamsher Singh Surjewala who accused him of amassing assets worth Rs 6.09 crore, far exceeding his legal income between 1993 and 2006. 


Two such separate cases are also on against his sons Ajay and Abhay Chautala. 


Chautala and Ajay Chautala were sentenced to a 10-year imprisonment by a Delhi court on January 22 for illegally recruiting 3,206 junior basic trained (JBT) teachers in the state in 2000. 




Armed forces tribunal remains ‘toothless’ as serving officers stay outside its jurisdiction


PUBLISHED: 23:16 GMT, 24 March 2013 | UPDATED: 23:16 GMT, 24 March 2013


Facing stiff opposition from the three services, a parliamentary panel has stopped short of giving full powers of civil contempt to the armed forces tribunal, leaving serving officers outside its jurisdiction. 

The vice-chiefs of army, air force and navy had expressed reservations about the amendment in the Armed Forces Tribunal Act (AFT) seeking civil contempt powers. 

Currently, the tribunal only has criminal contempt powers, because of which it has been considered toothless. 

A parliamentary standing committee, which had considered the proposed amendments, has recommended that the civil contempt powers be applicable only to the officers of the defence ministry, other civilian organisations and retired defence personnel. 

The army told the panel that giving civil contempt power to the tribunal will have implementational problems as many of its officers are posted in inaccessible areas of Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East. 

“Most of these, so to say, civil contempt cases are cases by name against the senior commanders and commanding officers, who are responsible for all the administration and discipline in units and formations,” an army source said.

“Can you imagine a unit carrying out counter-terrorist operations without the commander who is missing because of summons from the court?” 


The air force and navy also felt the time was not ripe to grant civil contempt powers at this stage. 

But the defence ministry did not agree with the three services. It cited a 2006 case pertaining to Fayaz Khan, who was dismissed from the army. 

The tribunal had ruled in his favour but the order was not implemented by the army forcing the AFT bench to observe that it was handicapped in the absence of civil contempt powers.

The ministry said the Solicitor General of India, who appeared in the case in the Supreme Court, had also advised the ministry to amend the AFT Act to include the power of civil contempt expeditiously. 

The ministry claimed that the law ministry and the Attorney General were also in favour of this by amending section 19 of the AFT Act, 2007. 

Currently, the Act has only criminal contempt powers. It was meant to address grievances of the armed forces personnel but in the absence of full powers, it is facing problems in addressing the issue. 

The amendment will now be placed before the government for approval.





Police excesses: Supreme Court raps Punjab, Bihar for no replies

PTI | Apr 2, 2013, 02.00 AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday came down heavily on states which have not filed their responses to separate petitions seeking implementation of police reforms and recent police excesses in Bihar and Punjab.

“We normally do not summon officers. The governments think that they can play with the court’s orders. They must respond to what courts have asked them to respond,” a bench of justices G S Singvi and Kurian Joseph said.

“Sorry for the inconvenience. We will take up the matter for hearing on day-after-tomorrow,” Justice Singhvi said and asked the states, which have so far not responded, to file their affidavits by Tuesday evening after supplying advance copies to Attorney General (AG) G E Vahanvati, senior advocate Harish Salve and others.

“Those states/officers, who have not filed the affidavits, should understand that they have to file them by tomorrow evening or the court may have to summon senior officers to assist the court,” the bench said after the AG said only eight states have so far filed their replies.

The court had earlier taken suo motu cognisance of news reports on separate incidents in which a woman was beaten up in Punjab and some ladies teachers were assaulted in Patna during an agitation.

It had issued notices to the Centre and states saying the beating up of innocent and unarmed people was “animal behaviour”.

During the hearing, the Attorney General, who along with Salve and others, is assisting the court, said the affidavit filed by the Bihar DGP is “conspicuously” silent over the assault on womenteachers who were sitting inside a tent.

“It is just merciless. One can understand the use of force if there is unlawful assembly. But here teachers have been beaten up mercilessly when they were sitting in a tent,” the court said.

There is no explanation why women were beaten up, the court said and criticized the practice of justifying such incidents to the media by the officers concerned.

“The moment such wrong is committed, some police officers go on TV and try to justify the police action,” it said adding that even after 66 years of independence, “the helpless and ladies” are being beaten up.

“The ailment starts at the grassroot level. At the recruitment level, there is extraneous considerations,” the court said.

The court fixed the matter for hearing on April 3. Earlier, the court had slammed Bihar and Punjab governments for recent incidents of police excesses and issued notices to the chief secretaries, the home secretaries and the DGPs of all states and police commissioners of UTs on implementation of its earlier directions in the Prakash Singh case on police reforms. 





Environment Ministry amends rules regarding mining project expansion

PTI Apr 1, 2013, 08.50PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Environment Ministry has amended rules exempting expansion of mining projects from public hearing, sources said.

The rules have been amended in line with the decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) to end the prolonged delays in various projects including mining.

For one-time capacity expansion of 25 per cent or less, coal mining projects have now been exempted from public hearing provided it had taken place at the time of obtaining the existing Environment Clearance and the mining is confined to the existing lease area, official sources said.


It has been decided that “no fresh Environment Clearance (EC) shall be required for a mining project at the time of renewal of mining lease if EC was obtained under the EIA Notification of 2006,” says a fresh Ministry notification.





High Court orders supply of subsidised diesel to Kerala Water Transport Dept



The Kerala High Court on Monday directed the two public sector oil companies to sell high speed diesel to the State Water Transport Department at subsidised rates.

The interim directive comes close on the heels of a similar directive for supplying subsidised diesel to KSRTC.

Justice V.Chitambaresh issued the directive on a petition moved by the government department.

The State government gave an undertaking that it would pay up the differences in the prices of diesel to the oil companies if the writ petition was ultimately dismissed.

In its petition, the Transport Department said that it was not operating its boat service with the sole motive of making profit. It aimed to provide maximum service to the general public.

The oil companies were supplying diesel at non-subsidised rate, as the department had been categorised as a bulk consumer. The average consumption of diesel a month was 1.80 lakes litres. This entailed an additional expense of more than Rs 20 lakh a month.

The department was operating 733 numbers of services a day using 58 boats. A total of 60,000 commuters were dependent on its service. The department was forced to bear an additional burden on account of buying diesel at enhanced price, even as it was incurring a loss of Rs 26 crore a year. Therefore, the department was entitled to diesel at the subsidised price.

The petitioner sought to quash the Centre’s order directing the oil companies to sell diesel to bulk consumers at non-subsidized price.

Indian Oil Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation contended that while the Centre and the public sector oil companies were providing a subsidy of Rs 11.20 per litre of diesel, the State Government was levying tax to the tune of almost the same amount on every litre of diesel being sold to bulk consumers.

In fact, the levy of ad-valorem VAT rate of 20 per cent on diesel by the State Government had enabled it to generate incremental revenue in the wake of the hike in the basic selling price of diesel meant for bulk consumer.




High court upholds maintenance for kid born out of wedlock

Kanchan Chaudhari, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, April 02, 2013

First Published: 01:44 IST(2/4/2013) | Last Updated: 01:45 IST(2/4/2013)

The Bombay high court recently upheld the order of a Pune family court directing a 29-year-old man to pay Rs1,000 toward monthly maintenance to an eight-year-old boy born out of his illegitimate relationship with a woman, who had accused him of rape.

Justice Roshan Dalvi rejected the plea filed by Indrajeet Surve, a driver, challenging the family court order of July 12, 2011, contending that the child was illegitimate and sought to dispute his paternity.

Surve argued that the mother had filed a false case of rape against him with an intention to extort money and the trial court had acquitted him of the charge in November 2006.

The high court, however, rejected the challenge after finding that the child’s paternity had not been justifiably denied by him.

Surve had also challenged the quantum of the maintenance amount on grounds that it was exorbitant in view of his monthly income of Rs5,000 earned as a driver of a private vehicle.

On the other hand, the woman’s counsel, Pramod Pawar, pointed out that the 28-year-old unwed mother worked as a housemaid and the family court fixed the amount at Rs1,000 in view of statements made by Surve himself. Justice Dalvi refused to interfere with the family court order considering the amount was rather paltry and there was nothing erroneous about it.

Surve and the woman were reportedly in a relationship when she was residing at a village in Ratnagiri. The woman alleged that Surve made false promises of marriage and convinced her to maintain a physical relationship, and the child was born in February 2005. However, Surve later refused to marry the woman compelling her to lodge a complaint of rape.





High Court initiates PIL on out-of-school children



The Karnataka High Court on Monday ordered issue of notice to the State government while suo motu treating as a public interest litigation petition a report, “The glitches that dog RTE implementation”, in The Hindu on March 31 based on a State-level meet on the RTE Act held in the city recently.

The report said that during the meet, organised by the People’s Alliance for Right to Education (PAFRE), a facilitator of the organisation, quoting government’s figures, had stated that “54,000 children are still out of school…” “If the news item is correct, then it is a serious violation on a massive scale. About 54,000 children are not going to schools means that they may be engaged as child labourers and in other activities… their future is dark,” a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice B.V. Nagarathna orally observed during the hearing.

It has been pointed out in the petition that a large number of students being out of school would mean that provisions of the RTE Act are not being properly implemented.

The Bench directed the government to file its affidavit and also to ascertain details about the PAFRE so that it could be treated as intervener in the present proceedings to assist the court.

The court has appointed advocate Aditya Sondhi as amicus curiae in the matter.




Fungicide purchase: Punjab and Haryana high court issues notices to Centre, Haryana

TNN | Apr 2, 2013, 02.00 AM IST

CHANDIGARH: Punjab and Haryana high court issued notices to the Centre and Haryanagovernment on Monday on a PIL requesting a CBI probe into an alleged scam in purchase of fungicide from a German company. HaryanaIASofficer AshokKhemka, who is currently the managing director of the Haryana Seeds Development Corporation, had recently alleged that the fungicide, manufactured by a German company, was not the cure for treating a wheat seed disease for which it was bought for Rs 60crore and then further given to the farmers on 100% subsidy. A division bench comprising Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice R K Jain issued the notices while hearing a plea filed by BhiwaniSudhar and VikasSamiti, an NGO, through its president Pawan Kumar Anchal.

The petitioner had sought directions for a probe by an independent agency in the “arbitrary purchase of ‘RAXIL 2DS’ fungicide worth several crores by Haryana government for treatment of wheat seed including ‘Karnal Bunt’ disease in violation of the Insecticides Act, 1968.” The PIL stated that this particular fungicide was also purchased at higher than the market rates by officers of the Haryana government. According to the petitioner, on October 6, 2010, in a meeting under the chairmanship of Haryana chief minister, the decision to use RAXIL 2DS was taken without checking any scientific data.

The use of RAXIL 2DS was made compulsory for control of Loose Smut, Flag Smut and Karnal Bunt diseases in wheat seeds, before the seeds could be certified by the state seed certification agency, stated the petition. According to the petition, no scientific data or research supports the claim that this fungicide controlled or cured one of the three diseases – the Karnal Bunt disease.

“Even if it is presumed that the concerned research department of university had conducted credible scientific research establishing that said fungicide controlled Karnal Bunt disease in wheat crop, it was incumbent upon the manufacturing company to approach Central Insecticide Board for approval and registration under the relevant statute,” stated the petitioner. The case will come up for further hearing on April 12. Meanwhile, IAS officer Khemka, who had cancelled the mutation of Robert Vadra DLF deal had also recommended a criminal case against the German company for making “false claims to sell fungicide in Haryana”.





HC raps state for not resolving dump crisis

Rosy Sequeira, TNN | Apr 2, 2013, 03.28 AM IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Monday lashed out at the government for indulging in “lip service” and not doing anything concrete about solving the garbage dumping problem.

A division bench of Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice A P Bhangale was hearing a clutch of petitions regarding garbage dumping issues in various civic corporations and councils. The judges had clubbed all matters together saying they would pass individual orders. 

Government pleader S S Shinde said the state sought time for monitoring and ensuring compliance of rules and regulations under theEnvironment Protection Act, specifically the Municipal Solid Waste Management and Handling Rules. 

The judges said rather than assurance on paper and “lip service”, the court wants action. The HC said the state must show seriousness by identifying land available for dumping. “You don’t have to develop the land. You just have to acquire it and begin dumping immediately,” said Justice Khanwilkar. 

When a few advocates pointed out individual problems, the judges said they would concentrate on the general issue of making land first available and then go into specific violations. “Think of the common good, not an individual case. If tomorrow residential garbage is not picked by the corporation because there is no space, then how do you solve the problem,” asked Justice Khanwilkar. 

The judges said in the next hearing they would ask the state to identify land under the Town Planning Scheme within a fortnight and the pollution control board to grant clearance within 48 hours. They also warned of action against officials concerned for contempt of court. 






Don’t sell for profit, HC tells private blood banks

TNN | Apr 2, 2013, 03.44 AM IST

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat high court (HC) on Monday said that private blood bank cannot sell blood that is collected through donation for the purpose of profiteering.

The HC opined that since people donate blood with good intention to help the needy, their objective should be borne in mind by the blood banks and they should not make it a business of profit.

With this oral observation, the court directed the largest private blood bank - Prathama Blood Centre to deposit 10% of collected blood with the government hospital free and give 30% blood to the hospitals run by the civic bodies at a concessional rate. The court ordered so after petitioner Ashok Naik alleged that the blood banks do not supply blood to public hospitals and sell it off for profiteering resulting into blood crisis for patients in general hospitals. He also claimed that this arrangement has been made in the license terms, said petitioner Ashok Naik’s lawyer, Parth Contractor.

Meanwhile, Naik submitted an affidavit before the court stating that private blood banks have sold blood to the tune of Rs 11.35 crore in the last three years. Of this, eight blood banks have made 60% of total business and Prathama’s sell is nearly 25% of total blood sale to patients as well as drug manufacturing companies. Advocate Contractor made this submission after analysing affidavits filed by 142 blood banks revealing their sale of blood. The court later sought details from 52 blood banks that sell blood plasma to patients and drug manufacturers.

Naik also claimed in his affidavit that as per the guidelines, all blood banks are required to provide blood and its components free of cost to patients suffering from haemophilia and thalasemia and alleged that many blood banks do not follow this and recover charges from such patients.

The state government has also furnished a list of blood banks and laboratories that are qualified to sell plasma and provided details about the sale of plasma to private drug manufacturers.

Naik filed a PIL in 2011 questioning the profiteering by private blood bank through the sale of blood and blood components. He demands regulatory measures for collection and supply chain of blood and its components so that needy gets help in time in hospitals.

The bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala has sought all concerned parties’ opinion on the issue and kept further hearing after two weeks.





As lawyers fight in Gujarat HC, CJ offers his good offices for peace

Express news service : Ahmedabad, Tue Apr 02 2013, 02:59 hrs

The Gujarat High Court’s Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya on Monday offered to hear in his chamber a plea filed in connection with a lawyer being beaten up by his colleagues for disregarding a strike call on March 11.

The court observed that hearing the matter in open court would not be “conducive”.

It court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Amit Panchal, an HC lawyer, after one of his colleagues, Jal Unwala, was allegedly abused and beaten up in his chamber by some senior lawyers and office-bearers of Gujarat High Court Advocates’ Association (GHAA) for working on March 11 despite a strike call given by the association. Unwala had written a letter to the Chief Justice the same day seeking his intervention.

Unwala and senior counsel Saurabh Soparkar were also suspended from GHAA for conducting business on a day when there was a strike.

During the last hearing on the PIL, the division bench led by Chief Justice Bhattacharya had asked the parties concerned to resolve the issue amicably while referring the HC as a “family”. It had even asked advocate general Kamal Trivedi to intervene.

On Monday, senior counsel Mihir Thakore, appearing for Unwala and Soparkar, pressed for an apology from the GHAA members before an open court for the March 11 incident.

Subsequently, the Chief Justice asked the lawyers to resolve the issue outside the court. He, in fact, offered to conduct the hearing of the matter inside his chamber to resolve the issue before adjourning the matter.

He did not give any dates for the next hearing and asked the lawyers concerned to inform the court after arriving at some amicable solution.





HC notice to Punjab on overcrowding in Phagwara jail

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, April 01, 2013
The Punjab and Haryana high court has taken suo motu notice of the plight of 31 undertrials kept in the Phagwara sub-jail in a congested room of 12 foot X 21 foot dimensions and has issued notice of motion to the Punjab government. 
It was during an inspection visit by justice K Kannan to the Phagwara sub-jail on March 22 that he came face to face with the situation. In a communication to chief justice Arjan Kumar Sikri, justice Kannan said, “It (room) is too small to allow for the barest comfort of a civilised living. It is grossly inhuman to dump so many people in such a small room.”

Justice Kannan recommended that there is an immediate need for expansion of the jail premises and as an interim measure at least 25 inmates shall be transferred to Kapurthala model jail. Justice Kannan also suggested that issues of extension of remand for the transferred prisoners could be considered through video-conferencing.

The case would now come up for hearing on April 10.




Maharashtra CID to give HC custodial deaths probe update

Rosy Sequeira, TNN Apr 1, 2013, 10.55AM IST

MUMBAI: State Crime Investigation Department will give the Bombay High Court an update on its probe pertaining to two custodial deaths in the Central Police Station at Ulhasnagar in Thane district in 2011.

A bench of Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice A P Bhangale will hear a public interest litigation by social activist Hardas Tharwani regarding the death of 34 year old Sunil Shelke. During the hearing the court was informed that in same police station another man died in custody a month earlier.


According to Tharwani’s petition, Shelke was a tailor. On his wife’s complaint, he and his brother Yogesh were summoned to the police station on April 11, 2011. Shelke was asked to give a written undertaking that he will not trouble his wife. When he refused, the brothers were arrested and mercilessly beaten. Around 10.45 pm, Shelke began vomiting blood. He was taken to a hospital and brought back within an hour. Around 2 am on April 12, 2011 he complained of uneasiness and died.

On March 2, 2011 Narayan Rathod (38), an alleged murder suspect , was illegallydetained without any competent court’sorder. There were 25 injuries on his body. Following the PIL, six policemen were book for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and causing grievous hurt to extort confession. Additional public prosecutor Aruna Pai had told the court that out of six officers, three are suspended and departmental inquiry is on against the other three. The State CID, which took over the case in April 2012, is expected to give the court a status update on its investigations.





HC asks state to reply to new PIL on parking policy

Swati Deshpande, TNN | Apr 2, 2013, 03.46 AM IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay HC on Monday asked the state’s lawyer to take instructions from the Urban Development Department (UDD) headed by CMPrithviraj Chavan and reply to a new PIL that raised issues about “lack of transparency” in the state’s public parking policy on May 2. 

The PIL moved on Monday by Thane-based activist Pravin Wategaonkar, who had earlier filed a PIL on the Adarsh housing irregularities, said that an RTI query he made last month showed that no new approvals were given to public parking lots after June 2012. The files before June 2012 were burnt in the Mantralaya fire, the department had said. The query was to find out how many public parking lots were allowed since November 2010. 

A bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Anoop Mohta asked why he had sought details specifically from November 2010 to which Wategaonkar replied that the new minister took over the department at that time. The government pleader said that the state collected Rs 100 crore premium, with the BMC collecting an equivalent amount. Wategaonkar said the state ought to disclose whether it was collected before or after the fire. 

The PIL said developers benefitted from the policy which sought a ‘meagre premium’ from them compared to the eventual market price of additional buildable space. 

The PIL said: “In wider public interest, there should be a thorough investigation of proposals already cleared, and until the probe is complete, the state be restrained from sanctioning any new proposal. The GoM be directed to file under affidavit, list of public parking proposals cleared by the committee formed under DC Rules of BMC, as amended and yet to be sanctioned by the UD minister and CM so that they remain in public domain.” 

“Based on the outcome of these probes, the GoM be directed to propose a transparent and time-bound mechanism based on which future public parking proposals need to be cleared,” the PIL stated.





HC to hear PIL against toll on incomplete roads

Rosy Sequeira, TNN Apr 1, 2013, 10.54AM IST

MUMBAI: Bombay high court is slated hear on Monday a public interest litigation challenging the imposition of toll charges on roads which are incomplete.

A division bench of Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice A P Bhangale will hear public interest litigation filed by social activist Shashikant Changede against the toll charges on roads which are incomplete in Pune and Ahmednagar. His petition said the government must not allow the contractor to charge toll on such roads. At a previous hearing the judges have chided the State government asking why citizens should pay for deficient service.

The government’s advocate then had submitted that toll amount cannot be reduced but the time frame of toll collection can be reduced. The judges pointed out that a similar problem is faced by citizens all over Maharashtra and questioned how a citizen could be compensated by reducing the time frame of toll collection when he pays the full toll amount. They said the government must take a policy decision in this regard and warned that if it fails to do so, they shall stay collection of toll.

The hearing was adjourned after the government advocate sought time to take instructions on how the toll amount could be reduced.





LEGAL NEWS 23.03.2013

SC stays proceedings against Arun Nehru in pistol deal case

Last Updated: Friday, March 22, 2013, 21:

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday stayed till further order the proceedings pending in a trial court in a corruption case relating to purchase of pistols for the Army in 1998 in which former Union minister Arun Nehru and others are accused. 

A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir stayed the proceedings before the trial court which had fixed March 30 for commencement of arguments on charges in the case. 

Nehru had moved the apex court against the order passed by the Delhi High Court which had refused to stay the proceedings. 


Senior counsel Vikas Singh and advocate Sandeep Kapur, appearing for Nehru, told the apex court that the order on cognisance by the special CBI court was passed “in a casual and perfunctory manner” as the sanction to prosecute Nehru, a public servant, was not taken before proceeding against him. 

“It is pertinent to mention that the bar to taking cognisance under section 197 CrPC is operative even after a person ceases to be a public servant by retirement or otherwise and as long as the act complained of is related to his duties while he was a public servant sanction ought to be sought against the said person,” Nehru, in his petition, said. 

According to the FIR registered by CBI against Nehru, who was then a Minister of State in the Home Ministry, he along with two other senior officials had allegedly caused a loss of Rs 25 lakh to exchequer in a pistol deal with Czechoslovakia in 1988. 

The case dates back to 1985-86 when BP Singhal, the then additional secretary in the Home Ministry, and AK Verma, then director in the Home Ministry, allegedly conspired with Nehru, the then Minister of State (Internal Security) for Home Affairs, to execute the deal. 

However, proceedings against Singhal and Verma have abated as they have died. CBI had alleged that Nehru had ignored the guidelines for conducting the evaluation of 9 mm pistols. 

The trial court had taken cognisance of the 24-year-old case against the accused after rejecting CBI’s closure report which had contended that nothing incriminating could be found against Nehru during the protracted probe. 

Nehru, in his petition filed before the apex court, had contended that the high court had failed to appreciate that in “the instant matter cognisance has not been taken under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 but under Prevention of Corruption Act, (Act II), 1947, under which, there is no such bar on stay of proceedings.” 

CBI, in its probe in the case, had found that a policy decision to replace .38 mm revolvers with 9 mm pistols was taken on February 21, 1986, following which global tenders were invited and the deal was finally clinched with Czech firm Merkuria Foreign Trade Corp for purchase of the pistols. 

CBI had told the trial court that the investigations did not reveal any written instruction by Nehru. “No prima facie evidence has come (up) that the accused had committed any misconduct or had misused his office with regard to the deal,” CBI had said. 

It had also submitted that Nehru gave approval for the purchase on the recommendation of the then Home Secretary. 

CBI had filed the closure report on June 13, 2007 but the trial court had rejected it observing that a few documents reflected involvement of the accused in the case. 

The court had taken cognisance of the offences punishable under various sections of IPC including sections 420 (cheating), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and also under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. 






Geetika Sharma suicide: Supreme Court declines to entertain Gopal Kanda’s bail plea

Published: Friday, Mar 22, 2013, 21:44 IST 
Place: New Delhi | Agency: IANS


The Supreme Court on Friday declined to entertain the bail plea of Haryana lawmaker Gopal Goyal Kanda currently in judicial custody for allegedly abetting the suicide by air hostess Geetika Sharma and subsequently by her mother Anuradha Sharma.

The apex court bench of Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad and Justice V Gopala Gowda while declining to entertain the bail plea by Kanda asked senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi to approach the sessions court for the relief.

“You can go to the trial court. You have to follow the procedure as followed by others,” Justice Prasad told Rohtagi.

Unmoved by the persistent plea by Rohtagi to hear the plea, the court said let him (Kanda) to go the court seized of the trial and it would decide the bail plea on its merits.

Rohtagi told the court that the Delhi High Court had already rejected his plea for bail by going in the merits of the case and this would influence the trial court.

At this, the apex court pointed to the high court order which said Kanda was “reluctant” to go to trial court for bail.

The high court denied Kanda bail on November 19, 2012, holding that he might influence the witnesses and tamper with the evidence.

The high court was told by the prosecution that before surrendering, Kanda had destroyed the material evidence in the case.

Prior to surrendering before police August 8, 2012, Kanda was denied anticipatory bail both by the trial court and the high court.

Kanda, an independent legislator from Sirsa assembly constituency, was arrested on charges of abetting the suicide by Geetika Sharma August 5, 2012.

Geetika, in her suicide note, had accused Kanda and his employee Aruna Chadha of allegedly harassing her.

Six months after Geetika’s suicide, her mother Anuradha Sharma too committed suicide in February, for which she too blamed Kanda and his employee Aruna Chadha.

Both Kanda and Chadha have been charged under section 306 (abetment of suicide), 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 506 (criminal intimidation), 201 (destruction of evidence), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery with intention to cheat), 469 (forgery with intention to harm reputation) and 471 (using forged documents as genuine) of the Indian Penal Code and section 66A (hacking of computers) of the Information Technology Act.






SC to examine another PIL on age of offenders

New Delhi, March 22, 2013, DHNS:

The Supreme Court on Friday decided to examine yet another PIL relating to the determination of a juvenile delinquent’s age, contending that the rules framed under the Juvenile Justice Act took away discretion granted to a trial judge for the purpose.

A bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra issued notice to the Union government on the petition filed by Nisha Bagchi.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi appearing for the petitioner submitted that the rules framed under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, providing the determining factors for a juvenile, go beyond the provision, which has to be quashed. “The provision of the law provided discretion to the judge which has been taken by the rules,” he said.

The petition also challenged the methodology adopted by trail court under which the matriculation certificate is to be given first preference and second the birth certificate and at last ossification test for ascertaining the age of a juvenile. “Suppose a person is hefty and well-built, capable of committing rape and murder and does not seemingly appear to be a juvenile, but produces a matriculation certificate declaring him to be below 18, the judge is helpless,” counsel said. In that circumstances, the accused has to be given the benefit of the special law.

The bench said it would examine the issue and sought response from the government.
A number of PILs, including one by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy, has been filed in the apex court.

Court stays interview of victim’s friend

The Supreme Court on Friday allowed a plea made by Delhi police seeking a stay on a High Court order granting permission to December 16 Delhi gang-rape accused to use TV interviews given by a friend of the victim in their defence. A three-judge bench presided by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir issued notice to the accused on a petition challenging the March 7 order. Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran submitted that the interviews were not admissible and the use of a CD permitted by the HC in defence of the accused should be stayed.  The court decided to seek response from the accused on the petition. It said that the use of CD under the Evidence Act is stayed. The HC had allowed a plea made by accused Ram Singh (since expired) and his brother Mukesh against the trial court’s order declining them permission to use the interview during the recording of evidence.





Designate Kollam court as special court: Asaf Ali


Director General of Prosecution says this will help speedy trial

Now that the two Italians are back in India at the end of an unprecedented stand-off between the two countries, the marines will have to stand trial before a special court to be set up by the Union government in accordance with the Supreme Court’s directive.

The apex court had on January 18 directed that a special court be set up to try the marines accused of shooting to death two fishermen off the Kerala coast on February 15 last year. One of the main arguments of the Italian government for not returning the marines to India after their four-week stay in Italy had been that the Government of India had taken no step to set up the special court. The Italian media had criticised the extreme delay in the Indian judicial process.

When a special court is set up, now that the issue has grabbed international attention, the biggest challenge before it would be to complete the trial in a short period.


According to T. Asaf Ali, Kerala’s Director General of Prosecution (DGP), who had represented the State government in the Kerala High Court in the marines’ case, the best option before the Union government will be to designate the sessions court in Kollam as special court to try the sailors. “The best way for a speedy trial is to let the Kollam court try the case,” Mr. Ali told The Hindu on Friday. “For this, the Government of India has to designate it as special court on the basis of the Supreme Court directive.”

Mr. Ali pointed out that the police had filed their charge sheet against the marines before the Kollam court. All the records and evidences were now before this court. The police had already completed their investigation and the ship, Enrica Lexie, which was the key evidence, had long left the Indian waters. Moreover, if a special court were to be set up in New Delhi or elsewhere, the witnesses who were in Kerala would all have to travel to Delhi frequently to testify.


“Since the biggest challenge before a special court would be to complete the trial in a short time, designating the Kollam court as special court will be the best bet,” Mr. Ali said. In his view, the Kollam court could complete the trial in three months as all the records and evidences were already before it.

In its January 18 order, the Supreme Court had said that Kerala had no jurisdiction to try the two foreigners and asked the Union government to set up a special court, in consultation with the Chief Justice of India, to try them. The proceedings pending before the Kollam sessions court should be transferred to the special court, the court said. The January 18 order also allowed the marines to be moved from Kochi to New Delhi and let them stay at the Italian embassy.




Can we have an affluent promoter and a sick company? – NO


The other day, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram made no secret of his displeasure at the indulgence shown to wilful defaulters. These are people who have the capacity to repay, or are guilty of diverting loans for personal gain, or for purposes other than the ones stated in the loan applications.

The financial system indulges them through endless corporate debt restructuring. Canara Bank is wringing its hands helplessly after Deloitte reportedly admitted its inability to trace the loan of Rs 400 crore it extended to a Hyderabad-based media group. It is now knocking at the doors of the Debt Recovery Tribunal.

The media group’s dues to the Indian banking system are in the region of Rs 5,000 crore. Its promoter’s dalliance with cricket by sponsoring an IPL team is well known.

The rumour mill has it that the bulk of the money owed by the group has found its way into cricket investments, apart from investments in fancy cars. Another cricket aficionado and liquor baron, too, owes our banking system a whopping Rs 7,000 crore. For too long has the system winked at the shenanigans of wilful defaulters, sometimes going to the extent of converting the outstandings into equity at exaggerated valuations.

The Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act, 1985, made industrial sickness fashionable by extending several concessions to sick companies, including stay of coercive legal proceedings against their assets. There were many instances of contrived or feigned sickness, with the BIFR unable to tell between what was genuine and what wasn’t.

The indulgence to wilful defaulters has, predictably, spawned a slew of jokes. Such aphorisms as “you borrow in lakhs, you are in trouble with the bank; borrow in crores, the bank is in trouble with you” have become the stuff of folklore. Levity aside, the truth is the lot of the financial system is not hopeless; but only if it bestirs itself and goes for the jugular of the defaulters.


There is a view that promoters can take shelter behind limited liability. This is not entirely true because the financiers invariably take a personal guarantee from the promoters, be they individuals or corporates. Such personal guarantees should be invoked without the slightest hesitation. The institution of benami, of course, makes things difficult for financiers in India. The money trail is also often lost in the dizzying maze of shell companies acting as a buffer. Add the hawala route and the repertoire of tricks at the disposal of the wily defaulters is complete.

A frontal attack on benami brooks no delay. Vested interests have been scuttling it since 1988, when Rajiv Gandhi made bold to fashion a law that sent fear down their spines with confiscation staring them in the face. Inter-corporate loans need to be regulated more strictly.

(The author is a Delhi-based chartered accountant.)




Durai Dayanidhi moves HC


DMK leader M.K. Alagiri’s son Durai Dayanidhi has moved the Madras High Court bench here to modify the conditions of his anticipatory bail. Mr Durai was granted anticipatory bail on December 10, 2012 in the cases registered against him by the Keelavalavu police for alleged offences under Mines and Minerals Act and Explosive Substances Act in the multi-crore illegal granite quarrying scam. The High Court had asked Mr Durai to surrender his passport at the Judicial Magistrate Court, Melur and appear before the police whenever he was required for interrogation.

In his petition Mr Durai has sought the return of his passport considering the nature of his business. He owns a movie production house and has business interests abroad, making it necessary for him to make foreign trips frequently, he contended. “The petitioner has strong roots in the State and will not leave the country. He will cooperate with the legal process”, Mr Durai’s counsel John Satyan has stated in the petition. The case is expected to be heard on Monday.




HC allows 13 with criminal cases to turn policemen

A Subramani, TNN | Mar 23, 2013, 02.43 AM IST

CHENNAI: They faced rioting, causing hurt and criminal intimidation charges not long ago. But now, at least 13 police constable aspirants, who were denied the job because they were accused in criminal cases, are set to don uniforms, thanks to a Madras high court order asking the authorities to ignore the cases because they had ended in acquittals even before the selection process began. 

A total of 15 people had approached the high court saying they had been unfairly denied employment as police constables, because police verification before the appointment revealed they faced either criminal cases or had bad antecedents. Most of them faced charges like wielding dangerous weapons, causing hurt, rioting, criminal intimidation and destruction of public property. One person was charged with attempt to murder. 

The government issued a notification on March 22, 2012 for selection of candidates for 13,320 posts — 12,152 police constables, 377 jail wardens and 791 firemen. The written test was held in June 2012. These candidates had cleared the written test and undergone medical examination, too. The fact that they once faced criminal cases came to light during character verification by local police. 

Noting that 13 of them had been acquitted from the cases either on the ground of benefit of doubt or due to dropping of charges, they said their acquittals happened much before the selection process began. On the date of announcement of selection process, they had no cases pending against them and hence they should not have been denied jobs. Two of them, however, said they faced a minor punishment of imposition of fine and that they should not be deprived of the job merely because of a minor punishment. 

Justice Vinod K Sharma, allowing the pleas of the 13 aspirants on Friday, said: “In all these cases, the petitioners were acquitted much before the commencement of selection process. Acquittal in criminal cases means that the charges framed against the accused itself were bad, therefore it cannot be said that persons were involved in any criminal case.” 

As for Rule 14(b) of the Special Rules for Tamil Nadu Police Subordinate Services Rules, which says even acquittal due to ‘benefit of doubt’ would not absolve a person completely, Justice Sharma said: “Rule 14(b) can only be interpreted to mean that if cases, pending at the time of selection, end in acquittal on the ground of benefit of doubt, then a person can be denied the right of appointment. But not in a case where much before the start of selection process, the person is acquitted even by giving benefit of doubt.” 

The government submitted that the Rule 14(b), the validity of which was upheld by the apex court, held that a person acquitted or discharged by giving benefit of doubt or due to the fact that the complainant had turned hostile, has to be treated as a person involved in a criminal case. Hence, he can still be disqualified for selection to police service, it said.




HC rap gets woman victim of police brutality CRPF cover

TNN | Mar 23, 2013, 05.43 AM IST

CHANDIGARH: Within hours of Punjab and Haryana high court issuing contempt notice to it,Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on Friday provided security to Harbinder Kaur, who was assaulted by Punjab policemen in Tarn Taran town of Punjab earlier this month.

The CRPF had failed to provide cover to the woman despite HC orders issued on Tuesday.

Harbinder has been provided the security by one ‘section’ of the CRPF troops, comprising eight cops.

Earlier, on Friday morning, Justice Ranjit Singh of the HC had issued show cause notice to IGP (Chandigarh zone) of CRPF for not complying with the directions of the court issued on March 19.

The directions came about after the victim had moved the HC informing it that she was not being provided security by the CRPF despite court directions, which amounted to showing disregard to the judiciary.

Within hours after the HC issued the contempt notice, senior standing counsel of the Union government, Onkar Singh Batalvi, summoned one ASI and seven constables of CRPF and asked them to provide security to the victim and her family members.

After this, the CRPF troops left for Tarn Taran in their official vehicle along with the woman and her kin.

On Monday, Harbrinder had moved a petition seeking protection to life and liberty of her and her family members. She had also alleged that Tarn Taran police was exerting pressure on her to strike a compromise in the case.

Hearing her plea, the HC had ordered the transfer of seven cops, who had beaten her up, out of Tarn Taran district and ordered security for the victim and her family.

On March 3, the woman was thrashed in full public view by Punjab cops in Tarn Taran town after she had approached them with a complaint of sexual harassment.





HC order allowing TV interview as evidence in gang rape case stayed


Supreme Court order comes on plea of Delhi Police

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Delhi High Court order allowing the plea of one of the accused in the December 16, 2012 gang rape case to use as evidence a CD containing the interview of the victim’s male friend.

A Bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justices Anil R Dave and Ms. Ranjana Desai stayed the March 7 order after the Delhi Police submitted that the TV interview was inadmissible as evidence and issued notice to the accused.

Solicitor-General Mohan Parasaran appeared for the Delhi government.

The High Court had allowed the contention of accused Ram Singh, who allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar jail, and his brother Mukesh and set aside the trial court order by which they were not allowed to exhibit as evidence the CD of the interview telecast on January 4.

Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Singh are facing trial. The sixth accused, declared as a juvenile, is facing trial before the Juvenile Justice Board.

In its appeal, the Delhi government said that by the impugned order the High Court had allowed the interview to be used as a previous statement though the said interview was recorded after the statement of the complainant (an eyewitness to the crime) was recorded under Section 164 Cr.PC., investigation concluded and a charge sheet was filed.

It said the High Court had erred in not noticing the dangers of allowing media interviews as evidence in a criminal trial, especially when such interviews were taken after the filing of the charge sheet. Such a practice would have a direct effect on the administration of the criminal justice system as it would lead to an erosion of the sanctity of the judicial trial and would result in causing undue interference in criminal justice process.




Devise action plan to prevent custodial deaths: HC

Hindustan Times  Mumbai, March 23, 2013

Taking serious note of custodial deaths in Maharashtra, the Bombay high court on Friday directed the state to devise a plan to prevent the menace.

“The incidences of custodial deaths are continuing unabated in Maharashtra; what preventive steps have you taken?” the division bench of judges Ajay Khanwilkar and Ashok Bhangale sought to know while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by city NGO Indian Center for Human Rights and Law.

The bench directed the secretary (special), home department, to file his personal affidavit by April 1 disclosing what preventive measures were being taken to prevent custodial deaths.

The counsel for the petitioner, Rebecca Gonsalves, pointed out that during the last 10 years, more than 220 persons had died in police custody in Maharashtra. The PIL cites a report prepared by Asian Commission for Human Rights revealing that during between 2001 and 2009, 192 persons had died in police custody in the state.

According to an affidavit filed by the state government earlier, 24 persons died in police custody between January 2008 and March 2009, of which at least 15 deaths were attributable to atrocities committed by police personnel concerned or negligence on their part.





Delhi HC slams Censor Board over vulgar content

PTI  New Delhi, March 22, 2013

First Published: 20:04 IST(22/3/2013) | Last Updated: 20:20 IST(22/3/2013)

The Delhi High Court on Friday slammed the Censor Board for not doing its job “properly” and asked it and the Centre to respond to two separate PILs alleging vulgar content in Salman Khan-starrer ‘Dabangg 2′ and Saif Ali Khan’s ‘Race 2′.

“Nowadays, the Censor Board is not doing its duty properly,” a bench comprising Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice V K Jain said while asking the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, CBFC and producers of ‘Dabangg 2′ and ‘Race 2′ to file their responses by May 14.

While hearing the PIL of lawyer Sanjay Kumar seeking a ban of alleged provactive item number of ‘Dabangg 2,’ the bench ordered deletion of names from an array of parties of Kareena Kapoor Khan, on whom the song was filmed, director Arbaaz Khan and musicians duo Sajid and Wajid.

“Why you have made the actress a party? This is not a criminal complaint. File a fresh memo of parties. Delete the name of the actress, director and musicians…,” Justice Jain said during the hearing.

The bench, however, refused to stay the release of DVDs of ‘Dabangg 2′ and ‘Race 2′ and their further screening on TV channels. It, meanwhile, gave the petitioners liberty to approach it again if they receive information that the films are going to be shown on channels.

“We are not experts and have not seen the movies. How can we stay the films on the basis of photographs we saw here?” the bench said.

The other PIL, filed by social worker Teena Sharma, has sought an immediate ban on further screening of ‘Race 2′ in cinema halls and its telecast. It also sought deletion of explicit scenes and “vulgar” dialogues in the film.





HC notice to UT DC, MC for not reviving rickshaw stands

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, March 22, 2013

The Punjab and Haryana high court has issued show-cause notice to the Chandigarh deputy commissioner (DC) and municipal commissioner as to why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against them for not demarcating and reviving rickshaw stands in the city despite repeated court directions.

A special division bench comprising justice Surya Kant and justice Ajay Tewari on Friday issued the notices when it came to know that the Chandigarh authorities had failed to comply with the court orders and were passing the buck on each other.

The court was hearing a case pertaining to the introduction of eco-friendly cycle rickshaws and designating vehicle-free zones in Punjab, Haryana and UT.

Earlier on November 2, 2012, the court had directed the chief architect of Chandigarh to designate proper parking space for rickshaws in every sector.

The court had said it was interested in how to popularise non-polluting vehicles and also proper parking for them which would reduce traffic chaos and accidents on roads.

Whereas during the hearing of the case, the court was informed that chief architect Sumit Kaur had written a letter to the DC seeking details of demarcated rickshaw stands in the city but her letter had not received any reply till date and thus rickshaw parking places all over the city had not been specified.

Appearing for the Chandigarh administration, senior standing counsel Sanjay Kaushal informed the court that the administration was mulling levying congestion charges on vehicles in various parkings in the city.

Kaushal further reiterated that parking problem cannot be solved in the city and the ultimate option was to use the public transport system. He also informed the court that very soon the administration would also put its master plan on the website to invite objections from the city residents.

However, amicus curiae (friend of court) advocate Rita Kohli submitted that the administration had failed to properly utilise its existing resources to ensure proper parking space for vehicles, where thousands of vehicles could be parked.

The case would now come up for hearing on May 3.




Gujarat HC gives a go ahead for railway line in Kutch by APSEZ

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat high court on Friday gave a go ahead for the construction or railway line betweenMundra and Adipur in Kutchdistrict by Adani Port Special Economic Zone. The Court rejected a petition by a local resident objecting the company’s move claiming that it did not take the permission of local gram panchayat prior to constructing the railway line. 

On Ullasba Barach of Luni village in Kutch district had filed a Public Interest Litigation in the high courtclaiming that APSEZ cannot construct a railway track parallel to the existing railway line. She also objected the construction of a compound wall along the tracks without the permission of local gram panchayat. She further demanded that an under-bridge be constructed at Luni. 

The court said that under The SEZ Act, the company is free to construct a compound wall along the railway line which is part of SEZ. The court ruled that once an area is notified as a SEZ, local village panchayat does not have any authority over it. It said that once the plan is approved by the railway authorities, the court cannot interfere with the decision, whether or not to construct an overbridge.




Withdrawal of drug smuggling case against singer KS Makhan under HC scanner

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, March 22, 2013

The Punjab government’s withdrawal of a drug smuggling case against singer KS Makhan is under the scanner of the high court now. Taking up a public interest litigation (PIL) on Friday, the Punjab and Haryana HC directed the state government to produce details of the decision taken by the home affairs department.

The directions came from a division bench headed by chief justice Arjan Kumar Sikri on a petition filed by advocate HC Arora, who has challenged the withdrawal of the case that had been registered against Makhan, his relative Hardeep Singh and six other persons on August 1, 2006, under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. The chargehseet was presented in April last year, and additional sessions judge, Jalandhar, framed the charges on February 22 this year.

But when the case was to come up for prosecution evidence, the home department directed the deputy commissioner of Jalandhar to withdraw the case.

Arora informed the high court that under the directions of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission, the state police’s crime branch had even conducted an inquiry and concluded that the FIR had been registered rightly. Further, Arora said, in such cases where there is no specific complainant or victim, and the crime is against society at large, a public notice must be issued to invite objections against the proposed withdrawal. The case would now come up for hearing on March 26.

Know the case
KS Makhan and two other Canadian citizens, Lakhwinder Singh Lakha and Raja Boparai, allegedly used to receive heroin from Makhan’s brother Hardeep Singh, a resident of Shankar village in Jalandhar. It was alleged that Makhan, Boparai and Lakha used to send money through the hawala route to Hardeep to purchase drugs from smugglers in Jalandhar, Nakodar and Ludhiana.





Delhi HC issues order for setting up special court to try Italian marines: Sources

IBN KERALA, Updated Mar 23, 2013 at 12:02am IST


New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has issued order for setting up of special court to try Italian marines, said sources on Friday night. The two Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast reached Delhi on Friday after India gave an assurance that they will not face death penalty nor will they be arrested, bringing to an end a raging 11-day diplomatic row between the two countries.

The marines, Massimiliano Latore and Salvatore Girone, arrested in connection with the killing of the fishermen in February, 2012 returned late Friday evening in the company of Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Steffan de Mistura in a military plane.

The dramatic u-turn by the Italian government, which had earlier last week said the two marines would not be sent back, enabled the marines to meet the deadline set by the Supreme Court when it gave them permission to go for a month to vote in the elections there. With the Supreme Court acting tough and restraining the Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini from leaving the country, Italy sought and got assurances to enable the marines’ return.


External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, who denied any deal was reached on the issue, told Parliament that Italy had sought “clarifications” on death penalty and other issues which were a matter of “concern” to that country. “It (Italy) sought from India clarifications regarding the conditions applicable to the marines on their return and the provisions regarding the death penalty that could be applicable in this case which was an Italian concern,” he said.

“Notwithstanding the pending proceedings, the government has informed the Italian government that the two marines will not be liable for arrest if they return within the time frame laid down by the Supreme Court of India,” the minister added.

India also allayed Italy’s fears by saying that “according to well-settled Indian jurisprudence, this case would not fall in the category of matters which attract the death penalty, that is to say the rarest of rare cases. Therefore, there need not be any apprehension in this regard,” Khurshid said.

(With additional information from PTI)




HC orders govt staff benefits for teachers teaching disabled kids

In a significant judgment, the Gujarat High Court on Friday ordered the state government to regularise around 1,248 teachers who are teaching disabled children and grant them all the benefits and allowances given to government employees.

A division bench of HC passed the order while acting on a series of petitions that included a suo motu action taken by the court.

According to one of the lawyers who appeared for the petitioners, a sizable number of teachers are teaching disabled children in Gujarat and they are deprived of regular benefits by the state government. The HC had taken suo motu cognisance of the matter, said the lawyer who did not want to be named.

Subsequently, a number of such teachers had joined the litigation after they faced problems in getting salaries from the NGOs acting as a nodal agency for the scheme under which they were teaching the disabled students.

The lawyer stated that the teachers were appointed through NGOs under the Integrated Education for Disabled Children scheme of the Central government. The object aims at allowing the disabled children to intermingle with normal students. The scheme was being implemented by the state government.

However, due to this arrangement, there was no job security for the teachers, who also faced problems with payments of their salaries.

“The court held that under the provisions of the Right to Education Act and Disabled Children Special Act, the implementation of Acts is a responsibility of the state government. The court ordered that the teachers be absorbed as the regular teachers by the state government and entitled to all the benefits of a regular teacher,” the lawyer said.

Two killed in building collapse

Two persons were killed Friday when an old two-storey building collapsed in the city. The deceased were identified as Mahesh Kishor Ojha (43) and Natubhai Mochi (40). The incident occurred at Devsa na Pado, on Relief Road in walled city area of Ahmedabad. The police said the building was empty for last few months and it was under renovation.

‘Suspicious’ boat spotted off Porbandar coast

A “suspicious” boat moving towards Porbandar was spotted by a Coast Guard patrol in the Arabian Sea early Friday, sources said, adding that it changed course and headed towards Jamnagar when challenged. The Coast Guard and Marine Police have sounded an alert from Okha to Jhakau coast. “When the Coast Guard ship moved towards the boat, it escaped,” Coast Guard officials said.




HC puts stay on arrest of suspended DIG Alok Kumar

Last Updated: Friday, March 22, 2013, 17:

Patna: DIG Alok Kumar, suspended on charge of seeking Rs 10 crore extortion money from a liquor trader, Friday got a relief from the Patna High Court which put a stay on his arrest. 

Hearing an anticipatory bail petition of the DIG, Justice D K Singh put a stay on his arrest by the police. 

The court ordered police administration to submit case diary.


DIG’s advocate Soni Shrivastava who had filed an anticipatory petition on his behalf argued that the officer has been implicated in a case of extortion and pleaded the court to grant him anticipatory bail. 

The officer, who was put under suspension by the state government on February 5 last, was facing the possibility of arrest in the case. 

Kumar has been charged by a liquor trader Tunnaji Pandey of demanding an extortion money of Rs 10 crore as Deputy Inspector General of Police, Saran.

CID had recently raided his houses and found some papers related to purchase of land. Two of his associates have already been arrested. 

Kumar, who hails from Jammu and Kashmir cadre of IPS officer, had earlier served as Senior Superintendent of Police of Patna. 






Haryana recruitment exam under HC lens

TNN | Mar 23, 2013, 06.08 AM IST

CHANDIGARH: Punjab and Haryana high courton Friday ordered Haryana Staff Selection Commission (HSSC) to provide details of written test and final selection of mandi supervisors and assistant secretaries in view of certain “surprising features” in the selection process.

A single bench headed by Justice Rajesh Bindal also ordered to implead as parties in the case all the 21 candidates selected for the post of mandi supervisions and 15 candidates as assistant secretaries in Haryana State Agriculture Marketing Board (HSAMB) and issued them notice through HSAMB.

Justice Bindal expressed surprise over certain distinctive features of the result of written test, and noted down the argument of the petitioners’ counsel that out of 27 candidates shortlisted for interviews on the basis of written test, as many as 19 were from one particular examination centre, namely BN Senior Secondary School, Panchkula, and again out of 32 candidates shortlisted for interviews for the post of assistant secretaries, as many as 23 were from the aforesaid examination centre.

Thus, for the said post of mandi supervisors, only 8 candidates, and for post of assistant secretaries, only 9 candidates were successful from remaining 11 centres of examination in Panchkula. The HC expressed surprise that this was such a case where the number of candidates passing the written test was less than the number of posts, and even the aforesaid number of candidates were shortlisted for interview by giving grace marks.

The HC further directed HSSC to give information regarding candidates who were shortlisted for interviews from each of the 12 centres of examination and those who were finally selected and appointed.

The directions from the HC came in the wake of petitions filed by candidates Dinesh Beniwal, Mamta Rani and Bhupinder Kumar challenging the selection and appointment of persons to these posts. Now the case has been fixed for further hearing on July 10.




Gujarat HC wants action against cops who beat up dalits last year

The Gujarat High Court Friday came down heavily on police for its “high-handed, arbitrary and barbaric” assault on dalits in Rajkot last year and ordered a compensation of Rs 25,000 each to six of the victims.

The court also ordered principal secretary (home) to constitute a high-level inquiry into the entire episode and take necessary action, including criminal prosecution, against the erring officers.

The HC also said that the amount of compensation be recovered from the salaries of the erring officers.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala, apparently moved by the police atrocities, pronounced the judgment Friday.

The court had taken suo motu cognisance of a letter by a human rights activist addressed to the Chief Justice about the police atrocities on dalits in Rajkot last year.

It all started on June 24 last year when a dalit leader from Rajkot, Gunvant Rathod, was killed by some non-dalits. The next day, a funeral procession was taken out by dalits.

After the cremation, some in the procession staged protests, demanding arrests of the culprits, when police lathicharged them.

The letter sent to the Chief Justice also stated that policemen entered the houses of dalits at Ambedkarnagar and mercilessly beat them up. Those beaten up included children and women.

One of the injured, Rupa Sondarava (16), was allegedly kicked by police following which she sustained serious spinal injury that threatened to cause permanent disability.

The dalits lodged complaints against policemen but no action was taken.

Following this, one Dr Jayanti Mankadiya wrote to the Chief Justice about the police atrocities on dalits and sought his intervention. Photographs and a video CD as evidence of police atrocities accompanied the letter.Subsequently, the court appointed senior advocate Shalin Mehta as the amicus curiae in the matter.

The state government had defended the police action saying they were discharging their duty to maintain law and order. However, the court observed it was quite clear from the video clip that the policemen acted without any provocation and mercilessly beat up even those who were not part of the mob.

The court observed that in the video that “struck us with horror”, policemen were seen pelting stones back at the mob, which was not expected of them. “This was unheard of and unexpected of them (police),” it said.

The court also observed that policemen kept beating a man even after he was lying on the ground, as if he was “a bait before a hungry lion”.

Advocate Hemang Shah, who assisted Mehta in the case, said the court had ordered that the inquiry committee to be constituted by the principal secretary (home) fix responsibilities of the erring officers and take appropriate action against them, which included criminal prosecution.




Mani’s bail term: HC seeks government view

22nd March 2013 12:00 PM

The Kerala High Court on Thursday sought the view of the state government on a petition filed by M M Mani, the former CPM Idukki district secretary and the accused in the Anchery Baby murder case, for relaxing his bail conditions.

Granting the bail to Mani, the High Court had ordered him against entering the limits of Idukki district, except for reporting before the Investigating Officer in the case, between 9 am and 10 pm every Friday.

Justice S S Satheesachandran issued the order seeking to delete the condition of restriction on entry into the district and adjourned the case to Monday.

Mani was arrested in connection with the murder of Anchery Baby, a Youth Congress leader who was shot dead on November 13, 1982. He was arraigned as the second accused in the case registered at the Santhanpara police station. Mani submitted that for almost two month now, he had been forced to live outside his hometown. He submitted that as a known politician and social worker of Idukki, his presence was required in the district for carrying out his political and social obligations.

He added that his wife has been staying alone at the couple’s house in Idukki for long, and that he had to be in the district to take care of her.




peed up installation of CCTVs on e-way: HC

Bombay High Court (HC) directed the state government Friday to expedite installation of CCTV cameras on Mumbai-Pune Expressway and ensure heavy vehicles without indicators do not ply on the road.

Hearing a PIL seeking ambulances and quick medical aid, a division bench of justices A M Khanwilkar and A P Bhangale asked the government and Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) to improve surveillance on the expressway that has witnessed several accidents.

“Expedite the proposal and get it (CCTV) installed. This will reduce workload on police,” justice Khanwilkar said.

Advocate general Darius Khambata told High Court an MSRDC proposal seeking Rs 37 crore to install CCTVs would be submitted to the government soon.

“The plan is to install fewer cameras with high range to cover the entire expressway.

“The main control room in Lonavla will do the monitoring,” he said.

After it was brought to its notice that a majority of accidents on the expressway involved heavy vehicles plying without proper indicators, High Court asked the government to appoint dedicated officers at toll booths to check indicators of vehicles.

“In case a vehicle does not have proper indicators, do not let it ply on the expressway,” the court said.




Chief Justice of new Manipur HC to be sworn in tomorrow

Justice Ahay Manohar Sapre will be sworn in as the Chief Justice of the new Manipur High Court tomorrow by Governor Gurbachan Jagat. 

Justice Sapre, a former judge of Chhattisgarh High Court, was appointed on March 19 by President Pranab Mukherjee, official sources said today. 

Manipur High Court will have three judges including Chief Justice Sapre, the sources said. 

Judge of the Guwahati High Court N Koteswar Singh has been appointed as one of the judges of the high court. 

The third judge will be appointed soon, the sources said. 

The new Manipur High Court will be inaugurated by Union Law and Justice Minister Ashwani Kumar on March 25. 

Supreme Court Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh will be present at the inauguration ceremony, the sources added.




High court orders TMC to complete road projects

Nitin Yeshwantrao, TNN | Mar 22, 2013, 09.19 PM IST

THANE: The Thane municipal corporation invited the ire of the Bombay high court recently for its failure to undertake road projects approved in the city development plan but are at a cross purpose with rules of coastal regulation zone and forest.

Citizen activists Pradeep Indulkar had filed a PIL in the HC pointing out that the TMC had suspended the construction work on as many as 19 internal roads and three roads connecting Mumbai to Thane. This has greatly inconvenienced the citizens and put a strain on the vehicular traffic as the TMC was hesitant to proceed with the road project for fear of inviting action from environment and forest department.

The PIL came up for hearing before a division bench of Justices Ajay Khanvikar and AP Bhangle who then directed the TMC to take up the issue with the concerned departments and resolve it within two weeks.

The court is said to have expressed optimism that the civic administration would be able to convince the state departments about the need to improve connectivity and remove traffic bottleneck in the city.

The court said the Thane municipal commissioner will be personally responsible to ensure compliance of their directions to the administration to apply for permissions from state departments in two weeks time.

Indulkar pointed out that after laws pertaining to CRZ , forest and environment were strengthened after the development plan of the city was approved. Most of the roads displayed in the DP could not be taken up due to the stringent CRZ and forest laws, he said.

In quite a few cases, the TMC had taken up road widening work but had to abandon it in some patches as any conduction activity was prohibited due to CRZ or forest rules. Such obstacles have resulted in traffic congestions on the streets, he argued.

The court directed the state urban development department to look into the issue where three road projects connecting Mumbai and Thane were incomplete and also directed the BMC andTMC administration to ensure that work is undertaken and completed in specified time.





High Court knocks outs Sanjay Dutt starrer ‘Knock Out’

Subhash K Jha | Mar 22, 2013, 13:11PM IST

The Sanjay Dutt starrer ‘Knock Out’ which was locked in a copyright battle with 20th Century Fox  has suffered a  serious blow with the High Court ruling in favour of 20th Century Fox, thereby putting Mani Shankar into a position of deep embarrassment at a time when  he has just completed a very successful stint  with Gujarat’s chief minister Narendra Modi in using the holograph 3D technique to project Modi’s life-like image on stage in several cities of Gujarat simultaneously during the recent election campaigning.


So impressed is Narendra Modi by Mani Shankar’s technological panache that the Gujarat CM tweeted, “Gujarat Election Campaign 2012 becomes even more memorable with the 3D interaction  creating a Guinness World Record.”


Says Mani Shankar, “In truth it was the most challenging 14 days of my life with a 1200-men team spread over 53 locations. Over 100 checklists had to be got right in each location, a fresh crisis every hour, unbelievable team-work. It was exhilarating. I’d rather focus on the good work with Modiji than concern myself with a lawsuit that I had no hand in bringing about.”


Reluctant to talk about the copyright issue involving his film ‘Knock Out’ Mani protests. “None of my films so far, whether it was December 16, ‘Rudraksha’ or ‘Mukhbir’ has been remotely unoriginal. As far as I  am concerned ‘Knock Out’ was an original story with original characters. One could argue that it bears a rough similarity, and that too only in certain parts of the plot structure, to the Colin Farrell starrer Phone Booth. But I could also argue that another Hollywood film ‘Liberty Stands Still’ starring Weslet Snipes is uncannily similar to ‘Phone Booth’. Certain similarities with existent works are inevitable in the creative process. It doesn’t mean I copied any other film in ‘Phone Booth’. Anyone who has seen my other films would vouch for my penchant for originality. We are all inspired by what we see hear and read. But after all the reading and thinking is done, if what we create comes from within our hearts then it should be deemed original.”


Incidentally when the resemblance between ‘Knock Out’ and ‘Phone Booth’ became evident, Mani Shankar repeatedly told the producers of ‘Knock Out’ to talk to 20th Century Fox and settle the matter before it went to court.


One of the producers of ‘Phone Booth’ Amitabh Parekh passed away a month ago. And the other producer Sohail Makhlai refuses to comment. That leaves poor Mani Shankar to defend the film against charges of plagiarism.


We hear Mani Shankar now intends to seek Narendra Modi’s help in the matter.





CIC asks CM office to explain ‘Shrimant’ tag on Scindia road

NEW DELHI, Sandeep Yadav, March 23, 2013, DHNS:

Surprised to note that a monarchy title ‘Shrimant’ was prefixed to the road named after Congress leader Madhavrao Scindia in Lutyens Delhi, Central Information Commission has asked the chief minister’s office to provide complete information on the decision taken.

No other roads named after former rulers like Akbar Road, Aurangzeb Road, and Ashoka Road has a monarchy title attached to it.

Not satisfied with New Delhi Municipal Council’s reply that ‘Shrimant’ was added to the name of the road after a mere letter by chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s then parliamentary secretary Ramakant Goswami, RTI activist Subhash Chand Aggarwal had approached the CIC three days ago.

When CIC sought to know the reason behind adding the title of former rulers of Gwalior, NDMC produced a couple of letters written by Goswami to its then chairman Subhash Sharma. Goswami had initially requested to name a road after Madhavrao Scindia and NDMC informed him of renaming Canning Road as Madhavrao Scindia Marg. 

On February 26, 2002 he again requested Sharma to add ‘Shrimant’ before the name.
The CIC has directed NDMC to provide Aggarwal all papers in relation to the decision — whether it was Goswami’s decision or the CM’s order.

According to Article 18 of Constitution, no title, not being a military or academic distinction, shall be conferred by the state.

Aggarwal told Deccan Herald that the CM should undo the wrong done by writing to the New Delhi Municipal Council to remove the word ‘Shrimant’.





Blackbuck case: Court frames fresh charges against Salman, Saif, others

PTI | Mar 23, 2013, 11.15 AM IST

JODHPUR: Fresh charges were on Saturday read out against actors Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre,Tabu and Neelam by a court here in the 14-year-old blackbuck poaching case.

Chief Judicial Magistrate Chandrakala Jain read out the charges under sections 9/51 and 9/52 of Wildlife protection Act and 149 of IPC and posted the case for next hearing on April 27.

The actors denied the charges read out to them by the judge.

Salman Khan was also supposed to appear in the court but failed to do so.

The high court had revised the charges against the actors in December 2012, charging Salman Khan with section 51 of Wildlife Protection Act and others including a local accused Dushyant Singh with section 51/52 of Wildlife Protection Act and section 149 of IPC.

They are accused of poaching two Blackbucks in the intervening night of October 1 and 2, 1998 in Kankani village near Jodhpur during the shooting of the film ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’.

Blackbuck is a protected animal and hunting or poaching of the same is a punishable offence under law.






LEGAL NEWS 22.03.2013

31 accused get bail in Suryanelli case


A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursday granted bail to 31 accused persons in the Suryanelli sex scandal case on stringent conditions after suspending the execution of the sentences awarded to them by a Special Court.

The Bench comprising Justice K.T. Sankaran and Justice M.L. Joseph Francis, while allowing the bail pleas, observed that it would not be just and proper to direct the accused to remain in jail till the disposal of appeals, particularly when they were on bail during the trial and the appellate stage. The court also noted that the High Court had earlier suspended the execution of sentence in 2000 and released them on bail during the hearing of the appeals.

The accused moved the High Court following the Supreme Court verdict setting aside the High Court judgment acquitting all the accused including three women accused, except Dharmarajan in the case.

Dharmarajan did not file any petition seeking to suspend the execution of the sentence and to release him on bail.

So, Dharmarajan, arrested recently from Karnataka, will continue to stay in the Central Prison, Thiruvananthapuram.

Dismissing the pleading of the prosecutor that the accused be directed to surrender before granting them bail, the Bench pointed out that the appeals had been posted for hearing on April 2. It would be possible to dispose of the appeal at the earliest .Therefore, it was improper to direct the accused to surrender before the trial court.




Onchiyam murder: witness deposes in trial court


Says he saw some of the assailants 9 days ahead of incident

A prosecution witness in the T.P. Chandrasekharan murder case told the trial court in Kozhikode on Wednesday that he saw M.P. Sanoop (accused number 22), along with T.K. Rajeesh (fourth accused), one of the alleged killers, on the Vadakara-Nadapuram road nine days before the incident.

Deposing before Special Judge R. Narayana Pisharadi, Special Additional District and Sessions Court (Marad cases), the witness, P.M. Pramod, said he had seen Sanoop arrive in the Toyota Innova multi-utility vehicle allegedly used by the assailants.

The case related to a seven-member hired gang hacking to death Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) leader T.P. Chandrasekharan at Onchiyam on May 4, 2012.

According to the prosecution, Sanoop, an activist of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), had gone with some of the alleged killers to identify the regular routes used by Chandrasekaharan between April 25 and May 4, 2012.

The accused had facilitated the murder of Chandrasekharan and voluntarily concealed the existence of the design to commit the murder, as per the charge sheet.

The witness said he had seen Sanoop arrive in the Toyota vehicle at the eastern side of the bus station near the AKG Centre on the Vadakara-Nadapuram road at 4 p.m. on April 26. At that time he was waiting at the bus station after some work at a furniture shop owned by one Ashokan, he said.

Pramod said he had particularly noticed Sanoop, who was his neighbour and friend, as he had arrived in a luxury car.

Afterwards, he went to a shop. A fat bald man was sitting in the front seat apart from the driver in the vehicle. Some others were also inside.

He came to know that through newspaper reports that the Toyota vehicle was used by the assailants.

He had identified Rajeesh through news reports.

During cross-examination, Pramod admitted that he was an activist of the RMP and he was named second accused in a case relating to the attack on P. Mohanan (fourteenth accused in the murder case), member of the Kozhikode district secretariat of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

He said he had been involved in two cases including an attack on Sanoop. One case had been settled. A case was also registered against Sanoop for attacking him, he said.

Special public prosecutor C.K. Sreedharan examined the witness while defence counsel B. Raman Pillai cross-examined him.

The prosecution also decided to give up examination of two other witnesses, P.P. Preejith and U. Rajan, after suspecting that they could turn hostile during trial.


The court ordered that the accused be released on bail on their executing a bond for Rs.50,000 each with two solvent sureties each to the like amount before the trial court.

The other conditions were that they should ‘not cause any annoyance to the peaceful life of the victim and her family members in any manner whatsoever, and they should ‘not leave the State without the permission of the court and should surrender their passports before the court.’




Court lifts ban on media coverage of Delhi gang-rape trial

Edited by Ashish Mukherjee | Updated: March 22, 2013 11:43 IST

New DelhiThe Delhi High Court has ruled that reporters from newspapers will be allowed to attend and report on the trial of four men accused of raping and murdering a medical student on a moving bus in Delhi in December.

The trial was being held in-camera or behind closed doors on the orders of the special fast-track court in south Delhi commissioned to handle the case. The media could not report on what witnesses said in court, for example.

Six men were arrested for the horrific assault on the student, which included violating her with an iron rod. One of them, a 17-year-old, is being tried by a juvenile court. Of the five adults, the alleged mastermind Ram Singh committed suicide earlier this month by hanging himself in his cell at Tihar Jail.

December’s attack on the student made international headlines and forged massive street protests in India, resulting in new and tough laws to punish crimes against women.

The laws – cleared by Parliament this week – recognise stalking and voyeurism as criminal offences and provide for the death penalty for extreme cases of rape which leave the victim dead or in coma.




Aashiana rape: Case sent back to juvenile board

TNN | Mar 22, 2013, 07.07 AM IST

LUCKNOW: In a relief to the main accused in the Aashiana gang rape case, a local court on Thursday allowed his appeal against the Juvenile Justice Board’s order which had declared him an adult at the time of the crime in 2005. The accused, Gaurav Shukla, had submitted that he was not allowed by the Board to produce evidence in support of his contention.
Additional Sessions Judge S N Agnihotri gave a month’s time to Gaurav to produce evidence and directed the board to dispose of the case in a month after submission of age proof. The other five accused in the case have already been convicted.

The victim, daughter of a scrap dealer, was 13 years old when she was allegedly abducted, assaulted tortured brutally and gang-raped by six brats on May 2, 2005. While the five accused in the case have been convicted so far, the trial of the prime accused could not begin due to dispute over his age. Significantly, while the prime accused is married and has settled in life, the victim is forced to live in hiding due to life threat and social stigma.

Gangrape victim’s quest for justice continues

On January 15 last, when the Juvenile Justice Board declared Gaurav Shukla, the prime accused in the Aashiana gang-rape case, an adult at the time of incident (May 2, 2005), the victim’s family was overjoyed that the justice, though delayed , has finally been delivered.

However, two months later, it found itself back to square one with additional sessions court sending the case back to the board on the appeal of the accused , who claimed that he was not allowed to put evidences in his defence, while deciding the age dispute.

The victim, Zahira (name changed), broke down after hearing court’s order, but thanked the court for fixing a time frame for disposal of the case. Zahira’s father said, , “We are back to square one. Why the Almighty has put us through such a difficult test…How long we will have to fight for justice.” Social activists supporting Zahira were also disheartened. State general secretary, All India Democratic Women’s Association , Madhu Garg, said the sequence of events and legal battle in the case show how difficult it is in India for a rape victim, particularly from a poor family to fight against an influential accused . She also drew attention towards the controversy, which had erupted last month when the birth record of Gaurav went ‘missing’ from the record room of the Lucknow Municipal Corporation . However, it was ‘discovered’ later when municipal commissioner RK Singh took a tough stand on the complaint of victim’s father. The LMC birth record is crucial evidence because on its basis, the Juvenile Justice Board had declared Gaurav adult at the time of incident.

To recall, the prime accused in the case is also nephew of mafia-turned-politician Aruna Shankar Shukla who is close to the ruling Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and party’s candidate for 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Unnao. Shankar, however, claims he has no relations with Gaurav’s family for last 20 years.

After gang-rape , the accused dumped the profusely bleeding girl on the roadside to die but she survived and lodged a case with the police. Before the arrest in the rape case, however, the prime accused was booked by the police in another criminal case in which he managed to get himself declared juvenile. As a result, he was declared minor in the rape case as well. But, after the victim’s family challenged the order, the district court directed the Juvenile Justice Board to re-examine the case on the basis of the medical examination reports and the documents produced by the victim. The legal battle continued for years before the board declared Gaurav adult at the time of incident on January 15 earlier this year, paving way for the trial to start.

The trial was to begin from January 21, but on January 18, Gaurav filed appeal against the board’s order before Sessions Judge KK Sharma. The appeal was admitted for final adjudication but the judge refused to stay the order. He, however, put a rider that the final verdict will not be delivered till the disposal of the appeal. Initially, hearings of the appeal and the trial of Gaurav were held in the Court of Judge Sharma. On February 4, however, Justice Sharma transferred the trial to the Court of Additional Sessions Judge Akhilesh Dubey. On February 5, after hearing the appeal for few days, Judge Sharma transferred it to the Court of Additional Sessions Judge S N Aginihotri. Justice Dubey fixed February 6, for the trial to begin.

Gaurav, however, moved an application against Justice Dubey requesting the Sessions Court to transfer the trial to another court. He said Justice Dubey had already convicted a coaccused Faizan, hence, the judge would be prejudiced and he had no hope of a “fair trial” . On February 19, the trial was shifted to the court of additional session judge ( CBI) Brijesh Kumar Mishra . But before the trial could begin , Gaurav filed a petition in the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court pleading that he had filed an appeal against the Board’s order, hence, trial proceedings should be stayed till its disposal. The court stayed the trial and issued order to decide the appeal within a month. Now, the Additional Sessions Court has sent the matter back to the board.




Convict had urged TADA court to drop “Kutta” tag

PTI : Mumbai, Thu Mar 21 2013, 17:04 hrs

A convict in the 1993 serial bomb blastsc, also known as “Salim Kutta”, had urged the designated TADA Court to drop the epithet as he found it derogatory.

Mohammed Salim Mira Shaikh, whose life sentence was today confirmed by the Supreme Court for his complicity in the 1993 serial bomb blasts case, had urged the designated TADA Court during the trial to drop the offencive epithet “Kutta”, which means dog in Hindi, from the court records.The convict was known as “Salim Kutta” in underworld circles because of his ruthless approach towards rivals as he used to pounce upon them like a ‘ferocious dog’. “Do I look like a Dog?” he politely asked the court once.

However, hearing his plea, designated TADA Judge P D Kode had passed an order dropping the word “Kutta” from the records after observing that every person had the right to live with dignity under the Constitution. Salim was leading a module working for the prime absconding accused in this case- Mohammed Dossa.

He had participated in the landing of arms and ammunition in Gujarat. Salim and his men had collected the weapons and RDX and distributed them to co-accused. These explosives were used in the 1993 blasts.

There were two other landings of arms and ammunition at Dighy and Shekhadi coasts in Raigad district of Maharashtra which were organised by another absconding accused Tiger Memon. Salim was convicted by the trial court for participating in the conspiracy leading to 1993 serial blasts and distribution of arms and ammunition used in explosions.





AP to challenge Supreme Court relief for SKS Microfinance on resuming ops

BV Mahalakshmi : Hyderabad, Fri Mar 22 2013, 10:16 hrs

The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to challenge the Supreme Court interim relief order given to SKS Microfinance for resuming loan operations in the state. The SC order says that the company has to adhere to the Andhra Pradesh Microfinance Institutions (Regulation of Money Lending) Act, 2011, with respect to new loan disbursements, interest rates and recovery practices.

Speaking to FE, Reddy Subramaniam, principal secretary, rural development, Andhra Pradesh government, said, “The interim relief came without any notice to the state government, which is the main party in the SKS case. We could have clarified if we were informed earlier as in any special leave petition (SLP) cases. Hence, we have decided to challenge the interim relief order at the earliest.”

Reddy clarified that there was no blanket ban on the company to stop operations. “We only suggested that the company has to abide by the state regulations to carry out their operations,” he said. “We have neither arrested anybody so far as claimed by the company and not stopped them from recovering their dues from borrowers,” he said.

The state law, the Andhra Pradesh Microfinance Institutions (Regulation of Money Lending) Act, 2011, defines that no company should use any coercive methods or any mode of harassment on borrowers.

More than 80 suicide cases have been reported in the state due to harassment by the microfinance institutions due to bad recovery methods. Incidentally, the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) had also cancelled the registration of SKS Microfinance in Mahabubnagar district for allegedly not following rules.

Recently, insurance regulator Irda also slapped a penalty of R50 lakh on SKS, which collected extra funds, apart from the premium, as a corporate insurance agent without proper disclosure to policy holders.

Recently, the Andhra Pradesh HC division bench dismissed the petitions filed by SKS and other microlenders against the Andhra Pradesh Microfinance Institutions (Regulation of Money Lending) Act, 2011. The company then moved the apex court. Also, the SC asked the AP government not to take coercive steps against the company.





Sadik encounter case: Guj HC refuses bail to DySP

Last Updated: Thursday, March 21, 2013, 23:26

Ahmedabad: Gujarat High Court today rejected the bail plea of Deputy Superintendent of Police Tarun Barot, one of the accused in the 2003 Sadik Jamal encounter case.

Justice A S Dave, while rejecting the bail application, noted that CBI, in its charge sheet, had prima facie found Barot’s involvement in the case.

The charge sheet says that Barot went to Mumbai in January 2003 and brought Sadik to Gujarat before the alleged encounter, the court noted.

Co-accused and former Mumbai journalist Ketan Tirodakar, who had claimed that Sadik was not killed in encounter but was murdered, too had given a statement against Barot, the HC noted.

Earlier, special CBI court in January rejected Barot’s bail plea, noting that as per the central agency’s case, “prima facie Sadik was taken from Mumbai by DSP Tarun Barot on January 3, 2003 and Sadik was last seen with him before he was killed in cold blood”.

Barot was arrested by the CBI on September 26 last year. The CBI has also said that he was a part of the police team which carried out the encounter. He is facing charges under sections 302 (murder), 120(B)(criminal conspiracy), and 342 (wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code.

Sadik Jamal, a resident of Bhavnagar, was killed in encounter by the Gujarat police in Ahmedabad on January 13, 2003.

Genuineness of the encounter came under a cloud after Tirodkar filed an affidavit before a Mumbai court saying that he was witness to Jamal being handed over to Gujarat police by “encounter specialist” officer Daya Nayak of Mumbai police.






Karnataka HC okays Wipro’s demerger plan; stock down

Wipro gained more than one percent in early trade on Friday after Karnataka High Court approved the demerger plan of the company, but the stock could not sustain its early gains.


At 09:49 hours IST, shares declined 0.64 percent to Rs 431.35 on Bombay Stock Exchange.


In a release sent to exchanges, Wipro said the “High Court of Karnataka has approved the Scheme of Arrangement for demerger of ‘diversified business’ of Wipro as provided in the Scheme”.


Last year in December, the country’s largest software firm Wipro had said its shareholders have approved the scheme of arrangement between Wipro (demerged company), Azim Premji Custodial Services Pvt Ltd (resulting company) and Wipro Trademarks Holding Ltd (trademark company).


The company had announced that it will demerge its non-IT businesses like Consumer Care & Lighting into a new company to focus exclusively on information technology.


Wipro will continue to remain a publicly listed company focusing exclusively on IT.


(With inputs from PTI)






Orissa HC orders eviction around Puri temple

Last Updated: Thursday, March 21, 2013, 23:36

Cuttack: The Orissa High court today gave its stamp of approval to Shri Jagannath Temple Administration in demolishing all encroachments within 10 feet distance from the boundary wall of the 12th-century shrine to retain its majesty and splendour.

A division bench of Chief Justice C Nagappan and Justice Pradeep K Mohanty directed all the parties concerned to be present on March 29 at 11 am in the office of the chief administrator for measurement to be undertaken by the district administration to demolish the illegal structures.

With this order, the High Court’s stay on eviction drive around the temple imposed last year is now vacated.

The order said all illegal structures should be demolished within 15 days from March 29 and Archaeological Survey of India would complete all repair works of the Lion’s Gate (Singhadwar) of the temple within three months.

The HC also made it clear that no structure close to the wall should have height more than the boundary wall which stands five meters tall.

Following an earlier HC order, the temple authorities had issued notices to Pratihary Nijog (a body of major servitors) in March last year to demolish its office which was close to the boundary wall and stands taller than it.

The Pratihary Nijog moved the HC challenging the notice stating that its office was about 27 feet away from the boundary wall. The HC had then stayed the eviction drive.

During the adjudication of the petition, two HC judges had visited the temple to ascertain if there was any threat to the Lion’s Gate as perceived by many, including ASI.

Puri district collector had also in a report said the Lion’s Gate needed immediate repair as it posed a threat to the devotees visiting the temple.

The report also mentioned that the boundary wall became unsafe by pressure from the nearby Badachhata Mutt.

The collector had suggested immediate demolition of Pratihary Nijog office located between the gate and the mutt for safety reasons. Similar views were expressed by various other agencies.






Bombay HC’s poser to Maharashtra Police on vacancies

Last Updated: Thursday, March 21, 2013, 20:

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday asked the Maharashtra Police whether it was geared to tackle the issue of vacancies that will be created due to retirements every year and suggested setting up of more training centres for the force.

A Division Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and AP Bhangale made the observation while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) highlighting large vacancies in police force.

“Every year there might be a percentage of police officers retiring from the force thus creating more vacancies. Are you (police) geared up to tackle this issue? You need to have more training centres so that the number of police personnel recruited after training is double than those retiring,” Justice Khanwilkar said.

Asked by the Bench as to how many police officers retire every year in the state, Additional Public Prosecutor Prajakta Shinde put the figure at 10 to 15 but this failed to convince the Judges.

“How can only 15 persons retire every year from a force with a strength of over two lakh. Ask some senior police officer to remain present on the next date,” the court said and posted the matter for further hearing on March 25.

The HC was informed two additional training centres will be set up soon and by December 2013 the number of posts lying vacant in the police department will come down to 4,900.

An affidavit filed last year by NM Shinde, Deputy Secretary, Home Department, stated that 26,985 posts of police officers were vacant in the state.






Seal polluting agarbathi units, says HC

Bangalore, March 21, 2013, dhns:

The High Court on Thursday directed the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to seal agarbathi units which have been disposing of chemicals into the drains and polluting the environment.

The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice B V Nagarathna gave the order, hearing a petition by Suvarna and others, all residents of Adarshnagar in Chamarajpet, seeking that the polluting agarbathi units be closed down.

The petitioners submitted that the chemicals used in making agarbathis were harmful and would lead to several health problems. When the government counsel submitted that the chemicals used in agarbathis were not harmful, the bench objected to it and said, “Even the chemicals used in the kitchen are harmful, how can you say that?”

The bench was surprised when it found that neither the BBMP nor the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board had submitted the list of chemicals used in agarbathis, except imposing several conditions in the manufacturing process.




HC seeks details of plans for litigants security

Saeed Khan, TNN | Mar 21, 2013, 06.18 PM IST

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat high court has sought a report from the state police on its policy and preparedness for security of the litigants on the court campus. Earlier, Justice Anant Dave had asked the cops to come up with a report on its policy in regards with the security of the high court campus.

The court made these queries during the hearing of a bail application filed by suspended police inspector F M Kureshi, who was in charge of the HC campus’s security. He was arrested by the city crime branch on charges of planting a crude bomb near the court campus and then raising scare by making a show of detection.

Kureshi allegedly planted and recovered the bomb to gain sympathy anticipating that an army officer would level charges of sexual harassment against him. These details he revealed during interrogation over the army officer’s rape complaint. He was booked under the Explosives Act.

After he was granted bail in the alleged rape case by a sessions court, Kureshi moved the high court seeking bail in the plantation of explosives case. Justice Dave asked the city crime branch to come up with a report on the specifications of the bomb Kureshi had allegedly planted, said his counsel Hardik Buch.

The court has sought these details by April 1, when further hearing on Kureshi’s bail plea has been kept.





HC notice to Centre over road construction in Mundra

Saeed Khan, TNN | Mar 21, 2013, 06.25 PM IST

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat high court on Thursday issued notice to the Centre over a PIL objecting to laying down of a road in the Adani Port Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) in Mundra block in southern part of Kutch district.

Petitioner Sulaiman Turk has questioned the construction of 9.6 kilometre long road from the Adani group owned Mundra Port to the National Highway No 8A. He has alleged that the road is being planned on fertile land of local farmers in order to save private land of industrialists and influential people. He has demanded that the authorities should make their plans clear about the direction and line on which demolition and green felling would take place.

The PIL contends that in the line of cutting, many date palm trees will have to be chopped off and local farmers would face heavy loss. He also raised the issue of local shrine belonging to Ashaba Pir, which might be demolished for construction of this 10 metre wide road.

The petitioner has claimed that the shrine has got many devotees in this part, and its demolition would cause a problem. Hence in order to avoid demolition of this shrine and other religious places as well as in order to mitigate the possible loss to farmers, the authorities should be directed to re-think their plans for this road.

The bench of Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala has asked the union ministry of commerce and industry to come up with a reply in this regard within a week’s time.





Plea in HC to frame rules to rename Corporation roads

By Express News Service – KOCHI

22nd March 2013 10:29 AM

A petition has been filed before the Kerala High Court seeking a directive to the Kochi Corporation to frame guidelines and procedures for naming and renaming the streets and roads in the city.

The petition was filed by C D Thomas of Thopumpadi and another person.

The petitioners said that their houses were located on a road names Pallichal Road. On the night of March 2, the Corporation removed the board stating the road’s name and erected another board re-naming it as V S Krishnan Bhagavathar Road.

The petitioner submitted that there were other instances of abruptly renaming roads.

There  was a strong lobby engaged in the task, and huge sums of money changed hands in the course of the procedure, they alleged.

There were no set criteria or guidelines for naming roads or streets under the Corporation limits, the petitioners said.




Feed hospital names in GPS of PCR vans: HC to govt

Press Trust of India : New Delhi, Fri Mar 22 2013, 01:53 hrs

The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Delhi government to feed the names of hospitals in the GPS systems of PCR vans so that policemen on duty are able to shift victims of rape and people injured in road accidents to nearby hospitals immediately.

“For effective implementation of our earlier order, the Information Technology department of Delhi government is directed to expedite the process to plot names and details of hospitals in the GPS of all PCR vans,” said a bench headed by Chief Justice D Murugesan.

The court also directed the Delhi Police to ensure within 24 hours that all PCR vans were supplied with the list of hospitals (zone-wise).

The counsel for Delhi Police assured that the zone-wise list of hospitals would be given to the PCR vans in the next 24 hours and once the names are plotted in the tracking units of PCR vans victims will be taken to the closest healthcare centre without any delay.

“… Without any further delay, details of the hospitals to be furnished to the PCR vans in 24 hours,” the bench, also comprising Justice V K Jain, said.

Meanwhile, Additional Solicitor General Rajeeve Mehra sought four week’s time for the Central government to consider the recommendations of Justice Usha Mehra committee, set up after December 16 gangrape, to make Delhi and NCR safer for women.

The bench fixed April 25 as the next date for hearing.

Taking suo motu cognisance of the December 16 gangrape of a 23-year-old paramedic student, the court had earlier directed the Delhi government to issue directions to all hospitals not to deny treatment to victims.

The court had taken exception to the act of police and other authorities for alleged delay in rushing the gangrape victim to a hospital, which was far away from where she had been dumped by her assailants.




Odisha to miss HC deadline on mine lease renewal

The state steel & mines department is set to miss the deadline stipulated by the Odisha High Court (HC) for disposing off pending applications for mine lease renewal.

In an interim order delivered on December 21 last year, the HC had instructed the state government to dispose off all applications for renewal of mining leases within three months.

“There is a huge volume of cases of mining lease renewal pending for disposal. These being quasi judicial matters, it is not feasible to dispose them off within three months. Hence, we have decided to request the HC to offer us some more time,” said a senior steel & mines department official.

As many as 323 mining lease applications are pending for renewal. Three officers of the steel & mines department were deployed to decide on renewal cases.

The HC had asked the state government to expedite renewal applications while hearing a petition filed by social activist Biswajit Mohanty, who prayed  for repeal of the Rule 24-A (6) of the Mineral Concession Rules (MCR)-1960 which allowed operation of mines under “deemed extension” clause in the event of delay in lease renewal.

The HC, however, declined to pass a stay order on the operation of the mines under deemed extension provision, saying it has to examine the constitutional validity of such an action.

The Odisha HC while admitting the PIL seeking repeal of controversial deemed extension clause of MCR-1960, had issued notices to the state and Union government for responses.

Under Section 24 A clause 6 of MCR, if a miner has applied for lease renewal a year before the lease expiry and the state government fails to expedite renewal applications within due date, then the miner will be considered to be operating the mine under extension of lease validity.

The petitioner said that many miners are operating under this provision with the connivance of state government officials and in some cases, the deemed extension period goes beyond 20 years after lease expiry.

Fifty miners were operating their leases under ‘deemed extension’. They include Tata Steel, Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL), Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), Essel Mining & Industries Ltd (EMIL), Mid East Integrated Steel Ltd, Ferro Alloys Corporation (FACOR), Rungta Sons and KJS Ahluwalia to name a few.




Raj HC pulls up govt on pending cases, anomalies in medical recruitments

DNA | Mar 22, 2013, 04:29AM IST

Jaipur: There are 18 cases pending with the government on which decision is yet to be made if prosecution sanction will be given. This was informed to the court by government on Thursday while division bench of justice NK Jain (I) and Meena V Gomber was hearing a PIL filed by Poonam Chand Bhandari. Government also informed the court that from February 1 , 2013 till now five such cases have been disposed off and out of them prosecution sanction in three have been given while in two it has been denied.


Court ordered the government to update it with the status of all other cases and deferred the hearing in this matter for four weeks.


Moreover, the Rajasthan High Court has ordered the state government not to appoint ineligible candidates in the medical officer recruitment 2012. The Court has also issued notice to the medical director and recruitment coordinator of Rajasthan University of Health Sciences (RUHS) and sought their replies. Single bench of justice Manish Bhandari gave this order while hearing the petition of one Dr Chandan Singh and others. The petition has informed the Court that advertisement for the recruitment of medical officers on 1,000 posts was advertised last year. As per the rules till the final stage it is an essential eligibility to get registered with Rajasthan Medical Council. The candidates who did not complete internship till written examination on February 17, 2013 are ineligible. Still such candidates were being chosen which resulted in eligible candidates being denied selection.


Again, in the matter relating to film actor Irrfan Khan allegedly smoking in public place, the complainant has been ordered by the city’s chief judicial to appear in the court and get his statements recorded on April 9. The court gave this order while hearing the complaint of one Anand Singh.




Phone call interception: Delhi HC issues notice to Central government

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Central government on a plea seeking to declare a legal provision on interception of telephone calls as violative of citzens’ fundamental rights.

The plea contended that the action of the government authorities in tapping the telephones of various law-abiding citizens disregarded fundamental rights including right to privacy and were unconstitutional and illegal.

A division bench of Chief Justice D. Murugesan and Justice V.K. Jain issued notices, returnable by May 22, to the department of telecommunications, the director general of ministry of communications and information and technology, and the home secretary.

The court’s direction came on a PIL alleging that the government machineries don’t comply with the existing guidelines, laid down by the Supreme Court, while issuing orders to intercept the telephones of individuals.

The plea filed through senior advocate S.K. Rungta said: “The orders for interception of telephones passed by the home ministry are always mechanical and stereotyped wherein one and all allegations in one bunch without applying the procedures laid by law are issued.”

The PIL sought an “order or direction declaring that Section 5 (2) of the Indian Telegraph Act is violative of the fundamental and statutory rights of the citizens, including their right of privacy…”

“And that the administrative action of governmental authorities in tapping the telephones of citizens, without adhering to the guidelines laid down by the apex court is also unconstitutional and invalid,” the PIL added..

Rungta said that under the act, the government can order for interception of phones after following two essential preconditions – occurrence of public emergency or in the interests of public safety.

“The action of telephone tapping affects citizens from all walks of life and it is neither convenient nor feasible nor possible for hundreds of affected persons, to individually approach this court for relief,” the plea said.

The petition citing the Supreme Court ruling on the issue said: “The apex court has laid down that right to privacy is an integral part of fundamental right to Life, and therefore it is imperative upon the legislature to suitably legislate to provide for constitutional safeguards against the arbitrary and indiscriminate exercise of power under Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, so as not to infringe upon the Fundamental Right to Life.”

After the Supreme Court ruling, Parliament ought to have amended the statutory provisions Section 5 (2) of the Act itself, it added.

HC notice to Collector, others on Sharmila plea

THURSDAY, 21 MARCH 2013 21:19


Madhya Pradesh High Court has issued notices to the authorities concerned on a petition filed by actress Sharmila Tagore and her family members demanding access to their 96-acre land in Bhopal which has been blocked by a footpath and its railings.

The notices were issued by a division bench of Chief Justice SA Bobade and Justice Rajendra Menon on Tuesday to Bhopal Collector, Lake Conservation Authority and Housing and Environment department on a petition filed by Sharmila Tagore, her son Saif Ali Khan and daughter Soha Ali Khan.

In the petition, it was alleged that following the construction of a VIP road and the footpath with railings by the authorities, access to their ancestral land situated along the road and facing Bhopal’s picturesque Upper Lake, had been blocked.

The land was registered in the name of Begum Sajida Sultan, mother of late Mansoor Ali Khan, also known as Nawab Pataudi, in the revenue records. After the death of Pataudi, his wife Sharmila and other family members were contesting the case.

Sharmila’s advocate Rajesh Pancholi said the bench had ordered the authorities concerned to reply to the notice within two weeks.

Earlier too, the family had filed a petition in the High Court demanding compensation for laying of VIP road on their land without legally acquiring it, following which the court directed the Collector to file a report in the matter. However, the Collector has not yet submitted his report, Pancholi claimed.





HC orders release of 73 prisoners

The Madras High Court today ordered release of 73 prisoners languishing in various prisons across Tamil Nadu even after having obtained bail, but unable to furnish surety.

Disposing off a petition, a Division Bench, comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and M Venugopal directed their release on bail after a self executed bond before the court concerned.

The prisoners to be released are from Puzhal (26), Vellore (six), Tiruchirapalli (17), Tiruchirapalli (Women-three), Salem (seven), Coimbatore (one), Palayamkottai (six) and Madurai (seven).

P Senthil Kumar, in his petition prayed for a direction to the authorities concerned to take necessary action to release on bail the prisoners languishing in prisons in Tamil Nadu for a long time, without insisting on any surety.

A Bench on Dec 23, 2011, had directed DGP (Prisons) to get details of the accused, who despite being granted bail, were still languishing in prisons due to non-furnishing of sureties to the satisfaction of the court concerned.

Accordingly, a statement was filed stating that most bail orders granted by lower courts were not followed by prisons concerned and details of such prisoners was also filed.

Following another order passed by the court on Jan 8, 2013, Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority and SPs of all prisons submitted that there are about 163 prisoners languishing in jail, even after grant of bail.

The bench cited many Supreme Court judgements and said that considering the gravity of offences, it is ordering the release of 73 prisoners on bail after a self executed bond before the court concerned.




HC orders issue of notice to Govt on appeal by IPS officer

: Karnataka High Court today ordered issue of notice to the government on an appeal filed by former Additional Commissioner of Police (Law & Order) T Suneel Kumar challenging the order passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal vacating the stay on his transfer as IGP and Commandant of Anti-Naxal Force, Udupi.

Suneel Kumar in his appeal had sought a stay of the CAT order.

When the appeal came up before a division bench headed by Justice N Kumar, the court ordered issue of notice to the government.

The CAT yesterday disposed of the Original Application filed by Suneel Kumar challenging his transfer, vacating the stay granted earlier this month and directed the government to follow the procedure (pertaining to transfer of IPS officers) as per the Karnataka Police Amendment Act in “letter and spirit”.




Supply subsidised diesel: Kerala HC to oil companies

Express news service : Thiruvananthapuram, Fri Mar 22 2013, 01:58 hrs

In an interim order, the Kerala High Court on Thursday directed oil companies to supply diesel at subsidised price to Kerala State Transport Corporation, which has been buying fuel at higher prices since January.

The corporation had petitioned the High Court, taking a cue from Tamil Nadu, which had last week obtained a court directive to get diesel at market price.

Advocate-General K P Dandapani told the court that the government would meet the loss that the oil firms would incur from subsidised sale of diesel, subject to the court’s final decision. Subsequently, the HC asked the oil firms to supply diesel at subsidised rate.




HC rejects plea to quash FIR against Mohanty

21st March 2013 12:01 PM

In a major blow to former minister Raghunath Mohanty, the Orissa High Court on Wednesday rejected his plea for quashing the FIR lodged against him and his family members including son Rajashree by his daughter-in-law Barsa Swony Choudhury.

The single judge bench of Justice Raghubir Das observed that since prima facie ingredients of the offences alleged were available in the FIR, it was not inclined to entertain the petition. The court had concluded hearing on the petition on Tuesday.

Raghunath, his wife Pritilata, daughter Rupashree and son-in-law Subhendu Kumar Madhuala had filed the petition seeking quashing of the FIR lodged against them and son Rajashree by Barsa alleging dowry torture. Rajashree has been arrested by the Human Rights Protection Cell (HRPC) of State police and kept in judicial custody.

While moving the petition, the counsel appearing for Mohanty had submitted that the former minister and his wife used to reside at Bhubaneswar away from the daughter-in-law. His daughter and son-in-law also resided in another place. Therefore, the allegations made in the FIR were false and baseless.

Indicating other circumstances and the law on the issue, they had appealed to the court to quash the FIR. They had also appealed to the court to pass interim order directing the police not to take any coercive action against them, which was also rejected along with the main plea.

The Government advocate had argued that as the petitioners had also filed an application seeking anticipatory bail in the Court, there was no need to pass any interim order in this case.




Lawyer moves HC for sacking Mayor

By Express News Service – HYDERABAD

21st March 2013 11:07 AM

The High Court, on Wednesday, admitted a petition seeking to set aside the appointment of Majid Hussain as city mayor.

Petitioner Nisaruddin Ahmed Jeddy, an advocate sought a direction in the nature of “writ of quo warranto” against Majid Hussain. The matter would be heard by Justice Noushad Ali next week.

The petitioner submitted that he had recently approached the mayor’s office to make a representation on the deteriorating condition of the poor and those who have taken to begging at every nook and corner of the city to seek immediate action for their rehabilitation.

He submitted that mayor Majid Hussain had promised to eradicate begging in the city and rehabilitate the beggers. The mayor behaved in a high-handed manner and summoned ‘goondas’ to physically assault, the petitioner said.




No one can deny treatment to swine flu patients: HC

TNN | Mar 22, 2013, 03.05 AM IST

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat high court on Thursday asked the state government to find out which private hospitals deny treatment to swine flupatients. Justice Anant Dave even inquired what action can be taken against such hospitals for such gestures.

Earlier this week, TOI had reported that various private hospitals refuse to admit patients down with H1N1 virus. The high court did not seem content with the measures taken to contain spread of H1N1 virus and the treatment provided to the affected. The state government and the corporations like AMC have been asked to come up with further details on what “concrete actions” they are planning to take to contain the situation.

Justice Dave has initiated proceedings in this regard after the high court received half a dozen applications from prisons, by which prisoners sought temporary bail so that they could manage treatment for their family members suffering from dangerous diseases like swine flu and dengue. The court sought a report on what action the civic bodies and the government have taken to contain the diseases.

The report was submitted before the court on Thursday, in which the government stated that 63% of swine flu cases have been registered in urban areas governed by corporations. The government submitted that a committee has been formed to take measures to contain the spread of the disease, and preventive measures are being undertaken by the state machineries on war footings.

The state government also claimed that only 6.3% of total swine flu cases registered in India have been reported in Gujarat. This shows that the situation is quite under control in comparison with states like Tamil Nadu, where 42% swine flu cases of the country have been reported this year.

However, Justice Dave expressed dissatisfaction over the report and made oral observation that the government should take concrete steps to check the death toll that is increasing by day. The HC has asked the government to come up with action taken reports on each district. Further hearing is kept on March 26.



LEGAL NEWS 21.03.2013

Sanjay Dutt gets 5 years in jail in 1993 Mumbai blasts case

Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN | Mar 21, 2013, 11.55 AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of actor Sanjay Dutt and has sentenced him to five years imprisonment. The actor has four weeks to surrender. The court said that the circumstances and nature of the offence was so serious that Dutt cannot be released on probation.

The apex court upheld the conviction of Sanjay Dutt under Arms Act in 1993 blasts case, but reduced the six year jail term given by TADA court to five years.

The apex court said it agreed with TADA court’s decision to acquit him of terror charges but offences under Arms Act were clearly made out for possessing and later destroying weapons of prohibited calibre.

Sanjay Dutt, who has already served nearly 18 months in jail, will now have to go to jail and serve the remaining term.

Dutt will not be able to shoot pictures during the remaining three and a half years of prison term, the apex court said.

The judgement was delivered by a bench of Justice PS Sathasivam and BS Chauhan. The judges only read out the excerpts of the voluminous judgement that lasted for one and a half hours.

Sanjay Dutt was sentenced to a jail term of six years for illegal possession of firearms acquired from terrorist acquaintances, who were responsible for the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts on July 31, 2007.

He was granted bail by the apex court on November 27, 2007.

A total of 257 persons were killed and 713 others injured when a series 13 coordinated explosions shattered the metropolis on March 12, 1993.

The blasts occurred at 12 places including Bombay Stock Exchange building, Air-India Building at Nariman Point, at Worli opposite Century Bazaar, Hotels Sea Rock and Juhu Centaur.






1993 Mumbai serial blasts case: SC upholds death sentence of Yakub Memon, calls him mastermind of terror strike

Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN | Mar 21, 2013, 11.35 AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursdayupheld the death sentence of Yakub Abdul Razzak Memon in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.

The apex court said Yakub, younger brother ofTiger Memon, was the mastermind of the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts.

The Supreme Court commuted the death sentence of 10 other accused to life imprisonment.

The court observed that the other 10 accused were mere ‘arrows in the hands of archers in the shape of Yakub, Tiger Memon and Dawood Ibrahim’.

The SC said though these 10 parked explosive laden vehicles at places in Mumbai, they were mere pawns and deserved life sentence.

The apex court severely criticized Pakistan for training and arming terrorists, who caused mayhem in Mumbai.

SC said Pakistan’s ISI was singularly responsible for training the accused and equipping them to cause the bomb blasts in Mumbai.

Islamabad owes an explanation not only to India but also to the entire world for the terror strike, the SC said condemning Pakistan’s role.

SC also severely criticized Mumbai police, custom department officials and coast guards for failing to check the transportation of sophisticated weapons and RDX into India.

Their greed and lack of honesty and integrity not only resulted in huge loss of lives but also caused a serious set back to India’s economy, the SC said.

The apex court awarded five years sentence to Yusuf Nulwala. The court allowed Samire Hingora to come out of prison as he had already served 6 and a half years, the sentence it imposed on him.

A bench of Justice PS Sathasivam and BS Chauhan read out in one and a half hours the excerpts of the vouminous judgement.

As many as 257 people were killed and 713 injured in the serial blasts that rocked 12 locations in Mumbai on March 12, 1993. Property worth Rs 30 crore was damaged in the terror strike.
The fishermen’s colony at Mahim Causeway, Bombay Stock Exchange, Zaveri Bazar, Plaza Cinema in Dadar, Century Bazaar in Worli, Hotel Sea Rock, Sahar Airport, Air India building, Hotel Juhu Centaur and a petrol pump opposite the Sena Bhavan were some of the places that were targeted.

According to the CBI, fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim, along with Pakistant’s ISI, engineered the blasts, and Tiger Memon and his brother Ayub were the main conspirators.

In 2007, a trial court held 100 people guilty while 23 were acquitted. Twelve people were sentenced to death, 20 to life and 68 were given various prison terms. Three of the convicts — one sentenced to death and two to life-died during the pendency of the appeal in the apex court, which held day-to-day hearings for 10 months before reserving its verdict in August 2012.





Naval guards issue: Bound by statute to obey Supreme Court order on Italian ambassador, govt says

Pradeep Thakur, TNN | Mar 21, 2013, 12.38 AM IST

NEW DELHI: Taking a tough stand on the Italian marines’ issue, the government has asserted that it was bound by the Supreme Court’s order placing curbs on the movement ofItalian ambassador to India, Daniele Mancini.

“Our constitutional mandate to abide by the apex court orders supersedes all other obligation,” law minister Ashwani Kumar told ToI in an interview. The assertion comes amid a raging debate over whether government will be violating its commitment under the Vienna Convention if it were to enforce apex court’s orders.

The Italian government had on Saturday told the ministry of external affairs that restricting Mancini’s movement at the behest of any Indian authority will be contrary to New Delhi’s commitments under the Vienna Convention: a stance that has been endorsed by both theEuropean Union (EU) and independent legal experts.

However, the law minister made it plain that the Indian government is duty bound under the Constitution to ensure and facilitate the implementation of the direction of the country’s apex court. “UnderArticle 144 of the Constitution all authorities, civil and judicial, in India must act in aid of the orders of the SC. This constitutional mandate must supersede all other obligation,” he added.

Kumar said that the government will make its position absolutely clear during the next hearing on the issue.

This tough stand of the government comes a day after Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi had said that “no country will be allowed to take India for granted”.

While the tough stand is seen as a political imperative in view of opposition’s keenness to embarrass the government, it is certain to aggravate tensions with both Italy and the EU.

“For the moment I can say that the breach of undertaking given to SC by the Italian government through its ambassador has created an unprecedented situation fraught with serious consequences in our bilateral relations with Italy,” Kumar said.

He said the question of extent and nature of diplomatic immunity enjoyed by Italian ambassador under the Vienna Convention ought to be considered in context of specific factual situation. The law ministry and the treaties division of the ministry of external affairs are studying the issues involved and the stand of government in the SC will be a studied response to the situation considered in all its dimensions, he added.





Katara murder case: Court moved against decision to transfer convicts

IANS [ Updated 21 Mar 2013, 09:10:26 ]


New Delhi, March 21: The mother of the murdered youth Nitish Katara yesterday moved the Delhi High Court against the state government’s decision to transfer some convicts, including those sentenced for her son’s killing, for the Tihar jail here to prisons in their home states.

Katara, in her plea, said that as per media reports, the Delhi government’s home department has written a letter to home secretaries of states for transfer of convicts, lodged in Tihar Jail, to their own states. 

A letter was sent to the Harayana home secretary seeking transfer of 55 convicts in the teachers’ recruitment scam to a jail in their state, and a similar letter was written to Uttar Pradesh home secretary for Vikas and Vishal Yadav, serving life sentence in Tihar for killing Katara.

The Delhi government made the requests to the two states on recommendation of the Tihar Jail authorities, the reports said, to cut the number of inmates in the “overcrowded” jail.

Katara sought the court’s direction to call for a report from the Tihar Jail authorities and the office of the home secretary and pass appropriate order if decision was taken on this issue.

It was pleaded that the Supreme Court had transferred the Nitish Katara murder case from Ghaziabad to Delhi on the grounds that Vikas Yadav’s father D.P. Yadav is a very influential person and there is an immense threat to the witnesses.

She further said that high court is hearing the appeal filed by both convicts against the trial court order that awarded life term to them, as well as the appeal by police seeking enhancement of sentence.

Vikas and Vishal killed Katara on the night of Feb 17, 2002 after abducting him from a marriage party in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad.

The trial court sentenced Vikas and Vishal to life imprisonment in May 2008.

PIL filed on Sahara advertisement ‘denigrating’ SEBI–PIL-filed-on-Sahara-advertisement-denigrating-SEBI-.html

Uttar Pradesh,Business/Economy,Immigration/Law/Rights, Wed, 20 Mar 2013IANS

Lucknow, March 20 (IANS) A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court Wednesday alleging a print advertisement given by the Sahara Group was “openly denigrating” market regulator SEBI.

The PIL was filed by senior police official Amitabh Thakur and his social activist wife Nutan Thakur.

“The full-page advertisement dated March 17, issued by the Sahara India Parivar and Subrata Roy Sahara is against the provisions of law as it accuses SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India), which is a statutory body established to safeguard the interests of investors and to act as the Market Regulator,” Thakur told IANS.

The advertisement, he said, has also criticised Justice (retd.) B.N. Agarwal’s conduct. The retired Supreme Court judge was appointed by the apex court to oversee its order to two Sahara Group companies for refund of investors’ money was obeyed.

“Both SEBI and Justice Agarwal are only performing their official duty, the matter is still sub-judice before the Supreme Court and hence these people could have presented their grievance there,” the petitioner pleaded.

“The act of criticizing SEBI through an advertisement prima-facie seems to be a criminal misconduct under sections 186 and 189 of IPC and provisions of Companies Act, 1956,” the PIL says.

The petitioners have also sought a complete ban on all advertisements where any constitutional or statutory bodies are criticised.

The PIL is expected to be heard March 22 by the bench of Chief Justice Shiva Kirti Singh and Justice D.K. Arora.

PIL on India role in ‘genocide’ LEGAL CORRESPONDENT
New Delhi, March 20: A PIL was today filed in the Supreme Court seeking a CBI inquiry into the alleged role of the Indian government in “collaborating” with the Sri Lankan security forces in the “genocide”of 40,000 Tamil civilians in the final phase of the war against the LTTE.The petition filed by a Singapore-based Sri Lankan Tamil, A. Kanesalingam, claimed that the alleged Indian collaboration had been clearly mentioned in the findings of a “panel of experts” appointed by the UN secretary general in fixing the accountability for the “genocide.”

Kanesalingam said he is a practising lawyer in Singapore and had been rendering humanitarian service to the Tamils affected by the armed conflict during the past 29 years.

The petitioner said under Sections 3 and 4 of the IPC a person residing in India who commits a crime outside the country can be charged and tried in India.

“The CBI is under a duty to investigate any complaint that there was collaboration between the two governments in a war which had mass killings of civilians,” the petition said, adding that the panel had found that there was evidence that 40,000 Tamil civilians were intentionally targeted and killed by the Sri Lankan armed forces.

PIL For Ban on Junk Food in Schools: HC Seeks Govt Reply

NEW DELHI | MAR 20, 2013

The Delhi High Court today asked the city government if it had issued any direction to schools on regulating sale of junk food and aerated drinks in and around their premises even as the Centre said it would come up with guidelines on the issue by July.

Issuing notice to Delhi government on a PIL seeking ban on sale of junk food and aerated drinks in and around schools, a division bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice V K Jain sought its response by April 17.

“We want to know whether the Delhi government has issued directions to the schools here regarding sale of junk food and carbonated drinks under the Delhi Education Act,” the bench said.

Meanwhile, Additional Solicitor General(ASG) Rajeeve Mehra told the bench that the central government would finalise the guidelines by July this year to regulate the availability of junk foods and carbonated drinks within 500 yards of a school.

Earlier, the government had informed the court that the task of framing guidelines on making available quality and safe food in the schools has been assigned to AC Nielsen QRG-MARG Pvt Ltd.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said that in pursuance of the court’s earlier order, it has given the task to formulate the guidelines to the private firm after inviting proposals from various expert agencies who do similar work.

The report had stressed the need for guidelines saying besides the students studying in public schools, there are more than twelve crore children studying in government-run primary and upper primary schools in the country.

“There are several reported incidents of food poisoning in the schools due to unhygienic food served there,” it said adding that hence, it necessitated the framing of guidelines.

In January last year, the court had given six months’ time to FSSAI for framing guidelines on banning sale of junk food and aerated drinks in and around educational institutions in the country.

The court had also asked the FSSAI to consult the All India Food Processors Association (AIFPA) and restaurant associations for framing the guidelines.

AIFPA, in its application, had said that it deals with processing of fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, milk and milk products and also the manufacturers of biscuits and confectionery products and may give some precious pieces of advice to the FSSAI.

The court was hearing the PIL filed by Rakesh Prabhakar, a lawyer for NGO ‘Uday Foundation’ seeking a direction banning sale of junk food and aerated drinks in and around schools.

PIL Seeks Centre’s Reply on Phone Tapping Provision

NEW DELHI | MAR 20, 2013

The Centre was today asked by the Delhi High Court to respond to a PIL seeking scrapping of legal provision on interception of telephone calls, contending its “indiscriminate” use was violative of fundamental rights.

The petition also sought a court-monitored probe into alleged “rampant” illegal tapping of phones in violation of Supreme Court guidelines.

Issuing notices to the Ministry of Telecommunication, the Director General of Ministry of Communication and Information and Technology and Secretary of Home Ministry, a division bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice V K Jain sought their replies by May 22.

The court was hearing a PIL, filed through Advocate S K Rungta, which alleged that the government machineries don’t comply with the existing guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court while issuing orders to intercept the telephones of individuals.

“The orders for interception of telephones passed by the Home Ministry are always mechanical and stereotype wherein one and all allegations in one bunch without applying the procedures laid by law are issued,” the PIL said.

“Order or direction declaring that Section 5 (2) of the Indian Telegraph Act is violative of the fundamental and statutory rights of the citizens, including their right of privacy…. And that the administrative action of governmental authorities in tapping the telephones of citizens, without adhering to the guidelines laid down by the Apex Court is also unconstitutional and invalid,” as per the PIL.

The plea also said, “pass an order to prevent the use of indiscriminate telephone tapping by the government machinery illegally – resulting in the violation of the fundamental rights of the citizens as guaranteed under Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution.”

The petition alleged that the action of government authorities in tapping the telephones of various law abiding citizens, disregarding the fundamental rights including right to privacy and disregarding the constitutional mandate is “unconstitutional and illegal”.

The petitioner said under the Act, the government can order for interception of phones after following two essential preconditions — occurrence of public emergency or in the interest of public safety.

The PIL contended saying “the action of telephone tapping affects citizens from all walks of life and it is neither convenient nor feasible nor possible for hundreds of affected persons, to individually approach this court for relief.”

Citing the Supreme Court ruling on the issue, the petitioner said “the apex court has laid down that right to privacy is an integral part of fundamental right to Life, and therefore it is imperative upon the legislature to suitably legislate to provide for constitutional safeguards against the arbitrary and indiscriminate exercise of power under Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, so as not to infringe upon the Fundamental Right to Life.”

The petitioner said after the Supreme Court ruling, the Parliament ought to have amended the statutory provisions Section 5 (2) of the Act itself.

20 MAR, 2013, 08.11PM IST,

CCI clears RIL’s block for oil, gas production

CCI on Wednesday cleared Reliance Industries’ producing KG-D6 block and gas discovery area NEC-25.

NEW DELHI: In its first decision, the Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) today cleared Reliance Industries’ producing KG-D6 block and gas discovery area NEC-25 along with 3 other areas where the Defence Ministry had either barred oil and gas activity or put stringent conditions on that.

In all, 8 blocks including RIL’s Krishna Godavari basin KG-D6 block and gas discovery area of NEC-25 in the North East Coast (NEC) region, were declared “No-Go” zones for reasons like overlapping with proposed Naval base or being close to missile launching and Air Force exercise area.

Stringent conditions were put for another 31 exploration areas.

The CCI, which had in January-end asked the miniteries of petroleum and defence to sort out differences, cleared five of the “No-Go” blocks, official sources said. Three blocks will continue to be No-Go areas.

RIL’s KG-D6, which has been producing oil since September 2008 and gas from April 2009, was fully cleared for oil and gas activity with total area of 7,645 sq km reduced by 495 sq km to meet defence needs.

Similarly, its NEC-OSN-97/2, where six gas finds have so far been made, cleared after the portion of the block nearest to the coast was relinquished and the remaining portion was found to be beyond 100 km from the Chandipur Missle launch of DRDO and Balasore air-to-air firing range of IAF.

RIL’s KG-OSN-2001/1 was also cleared but the block had already been relinquished by the operator, sources said.

However, state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp’s (ONGC) KG basin blocks KG-OSN-2005/1 and KG-OSN-2005/2 and BG Group’s KG-DWN-2009/1 would remain “No-Go” areas as they fall directly within the boundary of the proposed naval base.

The CCI decided that the Oil Ministry will take steps for termination of the contract.

For Cairn India’s KG-OSN-2009/3 and ONGC’s KG-OSN-2009/4 blocks, only a small portion was cleared as the rest was within the impact zone of IAF’s Suryalanka Guided Weapon Firing Range(GWFR) and Machhlipatnam launch site.

Sources said, of the 31 blocks with stringent conditions, 15 where DRDO clearance was needed, were cleared with some conditions. 17 blocks for which Navy had given conditional clearance earlier have now been cleared by Navy without any conditions.

Further, out of the 11 blocks which were conditionally cleared by IAF earlier, five areas have completely been cleared and one block cleared with a 10 per cent reduction in area. The remaining five blocks have been cleared fully for exploration up to 2016 in portions overlapping with defence facilities.

Bank seeks to impound passports of DCHL honchos

TNN | Mar 21, 2013, 02.01 AM IST

HYDERABAD: YES Bank, which has been waging a legal battle to recover Rs 126 crore dues from Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd (DCHL) at the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT), Hyderabad, has now filed a petition urging the tribunal to impound the passports of DCHL chairman T Venkatram Reddy, directors Vinayak Ravi Reddy, P K Iyer and others to prevent them from leaving the country.

Interestingly, the bank has cited an October 2011 judgment of the Madras High Court that ruled that DRTs had the power to impound passports of defaulters. The bank brought to the notice of the DRT an order of a division bench of the high court comprising Justice D Murugesan and Justice K K Sasidharan that dealt with a petition filed by ICICI Bank, which had lent Rs 222 crore to Subhiksha Trading Services Limited. When the company did not repay the loan, the high court upheld the DRT’s powers to impound the passport of its promoter and said that the powers conferred on the DRT to pass interim orders in matters before them have a wider scope. YES bank is now urging the Hyderabad DRT to use its power under section 19(25) of the Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act (RDDBFIA) which confers on it the power to impound passports.

According to Yes Bank’s main petition, the bank had lent Rs 194 crore to DCHL in 2010 for meeting its financial requirements connected to the conduct of IPL-4 and IPL-5. DCHL is yet to pay an amount of Rs 126 crore to it, the bank said. Due to violations in the payment schedule and the unfolding financial fiasco in which DCHL is now embroiled, the bank recalled its loan on November 30 last year and sought repayment of the outstanding amount. Now, the bank has moved an additional application seeking impounding of the passports of DCHL honchos. The DRT posted the hearing in the case to March 28.

In another interesting development, the DRT attached the logo and trademarks of Deccan Chronicle, Asian Age, Financial Chronicle and Andhra Bhoomi newspapers and several other intangible assets of Deccan Chronicle, Odyssey and Deccan Chargers. The order to this effect was passed on March 18 after hearing the plea of Kotak Mahindra Bank which had lent Rs 100 crore to DCHL. The bank claimed the first charge over these assets and wanted the tribunal to restrain the IDBI from unilaterally auctioning them.

K R Raman of Tatva legal services, who is arguing the case of Kotak Mahindra Bank, told the tribunal that they will be put to irreparable loss if the auction is allowed to be conducted without them in the picture. IDBI trusteeship services too had launched a separate winding-up petition in the AP High Court against DCHL, aggrieved by the non redemption of Rs 100 crore to two of its customers, HDFC Bank and HDFC Ltd, which had bought non-convertible debentures of DCHL through IDBI.

When IDBI was planning to auction DCHL assets that were mortgaged to it, Kotak Mahindra bank moved this petition to restrain them from going ahead without taking its interests into consideration.

Court dismisses former Odisha law minister’s plea

Bhubaneswar, March 21, 2013 (IANS)

The Odisha High Court has dismissed the petition of former Odisha law minister Raghunath Mohanty seeking quashing of the first information report (FIR) registered against him and his family, alleging torture of his daughter-in-law for dowry.

Justice Raghubir Das, single-bench judge of the high court at Cuttack, about 26 km from here, completed hearing the petition Tuesday, but had reserved the order.

The judge pronounced his verdict Wednesday, a defence lawyer told IANS.
Mohanty had also applied for interim protection for his family and himself against possible police action. The court refused to grant any interim protection, the lawyer  added.

Mohanty, five-time legislator from Basta constituency in Balasore district, has remained incommunicado ever since he resigned from the state cabinet March 15, a day after his daughter-in-law accused him of torturing her for dowry.

Mohanty was holding the portfolios of urban development, law, and information technology.

In her complaint at the police station in the district headquarters town of Balasore, about 220 km from here, the victim Barsa Swony Choudhury, who holds a Bachelor of Technology (B-Tech) degree, March 14 alleged that she was tortured by her husband Raja Shree, both physically and mentally, ever since she married him June 2012.

She also alleged that her father-in-law Raghunath, mother-in-law Pritilata, sister-in-law Rupashree and other family member were also involved in the crime.

She claimed that her parents had given Rs.10 lakh at the time of the marriage, as was demanded, but her husband and family-in-law were unhappy and insisted that her parents pay Rs.25 lakh and also offer a multi-utility vehicle.

After a public outcry and protests by angry opposition parties, police Sunday arrested Raja Shree Mohanty, 28, and remanded him to 14-day judicial custody a day later, after his anticipatory bail plea was rejected.

His lawyer Gouri Kumar Barik said a fresh petition was filed in the district and session court and the hearing is expected Thursday.

The Odisha High Court has not yet taken up for hearing the anticipatory bail plea of Mohanty and his family members, the lawyer said.

Committee recommends amendments to AFT Act

New Delhi, Mar 20, 2013, Agencies:

In its report to parliament on Wednesday, the Standing Committee on Defence said that the defence ministry needs to amend the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007.

The committee said in the report that defence ministry has felt the need to amend the Act to provide the tribunal with stability and confer powers of civil contempt, jurisdiction and authority in respect of civil contempt as a high court.

The standing committee backed the proposal in the Armed Forces Tribunal (Amendment) Bill to increase the term of office of the tribunal’s chairperson and has asked the ministry to change provisions for giving civil contempt powers to the tribunal
for serving and retired defence personnel.

The report on “The Armed Forces Tribunal (Amendment) Bill, 2012,” said that views of all major stakeholders were in favour of increasing tenure of chairperson or member from four to five years and raising the age of judicial members from 65 to 67 years.

On the proposal to give civil contempt powers to the tribunal, the committee said “dichotomous views” had been expressed by major stakeholders.

“The committee is of the view that if unfettered civil contempt powers are bestowed on AFTs (Armed Forces Tribunal), the discipline would be compromised to a great extent,” the report said.

“Hence, the committee is inclined to give civil contempt powers to AFTs with regard to the cases of retired defence personnel but conferment of such powers with regard to serving defence personnel is not acceptable till the justice delivery system through AFTs is stabilised,” the committee said. The committee said no serving defence officer should be made to appear before the tribunal for civil contempt.

It asked the armed forces to develop a strong grievance redress system. The committee recommend that civil contempt powers proposed to be given to the tribunal shall be applicable to defence ministry and all other civilian organisations apart from retired defence personnel.

HC seeks report on security of litigants on its campus

Express news service : Ahmedabad, Thu Mar 21 2013, 02:39 hrs

The Gujarat High Court (HC) Wednesday asked Gujarat police on its preparedness to make sure the safety of litigants on its campus. The court did so while hearing a bail petition of suspended police inspector F M Qureshi who was arrested by Ahmedabad City Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) for allegedly planting crude bombs near the HC, raising scare and then “recovering” them to gain sympathy.

Qureshi was security in-charge of the HC when he was arrested by police in connection with an alleged rape case. During investigation, DCB officials discovered that Qureshi had planted the bombs near the HC and raised a scare and later he himself found the same.

He has been granted bail by a Sessions Court in the alleged rape case and has presently moved bail petition in the case where he has been arrested for planting the crude bombs.

During the hearing of his petition, Justice Anant Dave Wednesday asked police to submit a report on its preparedness to make sure safety of litigants at the HC campus. The court also asked DCB to submit a report on the details of the bombs that were planted and “recovered” by Qureshi.

The court reportedly also observed that it does not want a situation like the Delhi High Court when blasts took place at its gate. Further hearing in the matter has been posted for April 1.

Racy Bollywood leading youth astray, says HC

Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 20, 2013

Bollywood films are way too racy and if stricter censorship doesn’t kick in, there is a danger of children and youth going astray, the Delhi high court has said.

Hearing a public interest litigation for a ban on Saif Ali Khan-starrer Race 2 for “nude scenes and vulgar dialogues”,

the court on Wednesday said the need was all the more urgent as most films were on television within days of release. They were being broadcast without any editing for family viewing.

“You only think about your business and how to make more money. Now, you are also taking everything into the drawing room,” a bench headed by chief justice D Murugesan told the lawyer representing the film’s producer. “You’re teaching indiscipline to the children and youth. There has to be some mechanism in place for tougher censorship.”

The Centre should have the power to review certification given to a film by the Censor Board of Film Certification in case of complaints from the public, it said. The case will now be heard on March 22.

HC describes PIL as ‘motivated ‘, imposes cost of Rs 25,000

Mumbai, Mar 21 , 2013 (PTI)

Describing a PIL against police as “misconceived, motivated and not in public interest”, the Bombay High Court has dismissed it and imposed costs of Rs 25,000 on the petitioners, Prajashathak Samajik Seva Sanstha.

The PIL alleged that Kolhapur Police was “illegally collecting funds from people by coercive methods”.

Interestingly, this is the second time that fine of Rs 25,000 has been imposed on the petitioner on the same issue as it had filed a similar PIL earlier which was also dismissed.

The Maharashtra government opposed the PIL saying the petitioners had filed a similar PIL in 2010 which was dismissed by the Bombay High Court and also fined Rs 25,000 for filing “motivated” PIL.

The matter went up to the Supreme Court which also confirmed the High Court order and refused to entertain the PIL, the government informed the bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and A P Bhangale last week.

Hearing the government’s plea, the court noted that the petitioners, in the current PIL, had not disclosed that they had filed a similar PIL earlier and that costs of Rs 25,000 were imposed. Instead of disclosing material facts, they filed a PIL on the same issue again, the Judges noted.

There is substance in the grievance of respondents that the petition does not constitute a bonafide invocation of the jurisdiction of this Court in public interest, they said.

In the earlier PIL filed on March 19, 2010, even before it could come up for admission, the petitioner issued a press note mentioning that the Court had taken serious note of the issue raised in the petition. Accordingly, diverse reports were published in media about the contents of the petition.

The Judges had then noted “false statement has been recorded in the press release that the High Court had taken a serious note of the issue. At that stage, save and except for directing that the petition would come up for hearing on April 1, 2010, there was no such order of the bench.

“The petition is therefore not a bonafide attempt at ventilating a genuine grievance in public interest”.

The Court had also observed that “the attempt of the petitioner is to obtain publicity for itself and to malign the officers of the Police Department at Kolhapur. This Court must strongly deprecate the misuse of its jurisdiction by litigants such as the petitioner in aid of collateral ends”.

Accordingly, the PIL was disposed of and costs of Rs 25,000 were imposed.
Hearing the current PIL, the judges noted that the petitioner had failed to disclose the fact that they had filed a similar PIL earlier in which costs were imposed after it was dismissed.

S N Patil, Assistant Government Pleader, invited the attention of the Court to a document filed by the petitioner with a description that it is a copy of the synopsis of the work done by the Sanstha and/or contribution of the Sanstha to the public welfare at large.
“However, on perusal of the said document, we are in agreement with the submission of the respondents that it is finding fault with the opinion recorded by this Court in the earlier PIL and which was confirmed right up to the Apex Court,” the Judges, hearing the current PIL, noted.

Counsel for the petitioners, Manoj Patil, submitted that the said document is part of the Special Leave Petition filed before the Apex Court.

The Judges, however, noted “the fact remains that this Court has already declined to entertain PIL at the instance of these petitioners because of their conduct.

For the same reason and for additional reason of non-disclosure of those material facts in the present PIL, which came to be filed much later, on October 14, 2011, we have no hesitation in taking the view that the petitioners have not approached this Court with clean hands.”

Even the present petition ought to be dismissed as motivated and filed by persons unworthy of pursuing PIL. Hence it is hereby dismissed and costs of Rs 25,000 imposed on petitioners,” the judges said.

HC to hear PIL seeking AIIMS in Gorakhpur instead of Rae Bareli

Prashant Pandey : Allahabad, Thu Mar 21 2013, 03:19 hrs

The Allahabad High Court has agreed to hear a public interest litigation demanding that the setting up of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Rae Bareli be stopped. The PIL also demands that such an institute be set up in Gorakhpur first.

The court said it would hear the plea along with four other pending PILs regarding AIIMS institutions in cities like Gorakhpur and Allahabad.

Hearing the PIL on Tuesday, a division bench of Chief Justice Shiva Kirti Singh and Justice Dilip Gupta said, “Ordinarily, we are not inclined to add another PIL when one matter is pending consideration of the court. Learned counsel for the petitioner, however, submitted that in this PIL there is a different stand to the effect that setting up of All India Institute of Medical Sciences at Rae Bareli be stopped.”

It added, “Prima facie such negative prayer when the state is expected to set up such premier health institutions at maximum places does not appeal to us. However, let this writ petition be attached with. four matters pending from before.”

The court also said that it expected the Additional Solicitor General of India to represent the Union of India in these matters. The matter may come up for hearing again after three weeks, though the court has not yet fixed a specific date.

The PIL was filed by Jata Shanker Tripathi, a resident of Gorakhpur and activist, through counsels Siddhartha Verma and Hemant Kumar Dubey.

HC issues contempt notice to PSPCL

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, March 20, 2013

Last Updated: 19:13 IST(20/3/2013)

Taking up a contempt of court petition filed by a Nayagaon resident that Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) was not issuing electricity connections to many nagar panchayat residents despite HC direction, the Punjab and Haryana high court has issued notice of motion to the corporation.

The petition filed by Suresh Kumar of Kamao Colony in Nayagaon came up for hearing before the court headed by justice Rajesh Bindal, which directed the PSPCL to file its reply by the first week of May.

The petitioner informed the court that he along with other petitioners had earlier approached the court on the issue, wherein the high court by its order dated January 30 directed PSPCL “to provide temporary electricity connections to them subject to their fulfilling procedural requirements.”

But, the petitioner claimed, despite supply of a copy of the high court order, the corporation chose to willfully delay the matter which amounts to contempt of court.

The court was told that the petitioner had applied for the electricity connection in July 2012 but the officials were harassing him.

What HC order says?
Earlier, the high court order had said that after completion of paper formalities and deposit of the prescribed charges, the authority concerned shall sanction release of temporary electricity connection in favour of the petitioners within seven days. Within the next 15 days, electricity should be provided to the petitioners who shall have to pay charges for the power consumed as per the tariff prescribed by the competent authority.

The HC had made it clear that providing temporary electricity connections “shall not create any right for the petitioner(s)/applicant(s) either in the matter of regularisation of the construction raised by them or for grant of permanent electricity connection.”

Why electricity not provided?
The PSPCL was not providing electricity connections to the applicants on the ground that the high court orders dated May 28, 2012, had put a stay on the construction activity in Nayagaon. Thus, it argued, all activities, including supply of electricity, had been banned. The court was told that due to illegal constructions in the area, the high court had imposed the ban.

But, the high court in its orders of January 30 made it clear that there was no stay by the HC on supply of electricity to the applicants.

Requirement of NOC
The petitioner told the court that PSPCL authorities were asking for a no-objection certificate (NOC) from Nayagaon nagar panchayat. The panchayat counsel earlier told the HC that even the local body had written to the PSPCL in July 2012 that NOC was not required for the grant of temporary electricity connections for those residing in its jurisdiction and the connection was required to be issued at the PSPCL level.

HC hauls up lawyer for making allegations against judge

Vaibhav Ganjapure, TNN | Mar 21, 2013, 07.31 AM IST

NAGPUR: The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Wednesday made it clear that judges and lawyers are not superior or inferior to each other, but are same in the court of law. The court’s stern observation came while giving a dressing down to lawyer Arvind Waghmare, who had levelled serious allegations against a sitting high court judge and a lawyer. Waghmare was charged with contempt of court by the judges, but then let off when he tendered an unconditional apology.

A division bench comprising justices Bhushan Gavai and Prasanna Varale blasted the lawyer for making mala fide and scandalous allegations in a petition filed on behalf of his father Krushanji Waghmare. The petition was dismissed subsequently.

While issuing contempt notice to him amid high drama, the court warned him to withdraw the allegations that cast series aspersions against a sitting judge. He was asked why action shouldn’t be initiated against him, and told to be present in court after lunch hour. Even Waghmare had dared the court to issue a notice to him.

However, when the court resumed work post-lunch, Waghmare looked subdued, with his hands folded. The entire courtroom was packed with lawyers, court officials and visitors, standing even outside the room, to listen to the verdict.

The court began by sternly asking Bar Council of India memberShashank Choubey, who was assisting Waghmare in the contempt proceedings, to tell him to come in proper dress code. Waghmare wore his black gown and tendered an unconditional apology to the judges. He said that certain wordings were used inadvertently and out of emotions; it was not done with a mala fide intention. He added that he would be careful in the future, and also agreed to withdraw all offending words.

The court directed him to read out a Supreme Court judgment of 1955 in the case of Shariff versus Nagpur judges, while warning him of sentencing him to jail for six months for contempt. “This judgment of constitutional bench clearly states that lawyer’s duty is to advice the client and not to allow such allegations,” Justice Gavai said.

Further explaining the role of lawyers, the court said that their duty is first towards the court. “The judges and lawyers are part of an administration of justice where no one is superior. The judges are not in a position to explain to the litigants what is right or wrong and hence it’s the duty of lawyers to guide them properly. If the lawyers themselves indulge in such malicious, scandalous and unwarranted allegations, then it will adversely affect the faith of litigants in the judiciary,” Justice Gavai pointed out.

The court accepted Waghmare’s apology and warned him of not to draft a case on emotions or solely as per the client’s wishes. “We don’t decide cases of lawyers but of litigants, and don’t care who the lawyer is,” the court said.

HC issues contempt notice to Delhi govt officer

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 22:27

New Delhi: An incensed Delhi High Court today came down heavily on a senior officer dealing with night shelters in the city and issued contempt notice against him saying he has attempted to “interfere in administration of justice.”

A bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice V K Jain refused to accept the apology of A K Sharma, Director of night shelter in Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board, who earned the court’s ire for writing a letter to an NGO, which has raised the issue of conditions of night shelters before the court, asking it for information on how payment is being made to its advocate and other details.

“How many nights did you spend in the night shelters. Go and spend nights on roads in the winter then you will know the real situation. Sleeping in AC room, you cannot feel the plight of poor…. He has to face action now. He has to lose his job,” the court said lashing out at the official.

Issuing show-cause notice to Sharma, who was present in the court to attend the PIL relating to city’s night shelters, the bench sought his reply by April 10.

“When the court has taken suo motu cognisance of the matter and case is still pending with it, in what capacity he wrote the letter to the NGO,” the bench also said.

“In our opinion it is a clear case of interference in the administration of justice. We know hat is happening in the night shelters. He has to explain why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against him,” the bench also said.

Senior advocate Jayant Bhushan appearing for the NGO told the court that Sharma had on February 14 written the letter to the NGO asking it to explain how payment is being made to its advocate, adding that if information is not provided it will be presumed that advocate is being paid “unsystematically”.

To this submission, the bench asked Sharma why he wrote the letter to the NGO when the court is monitoring the case. “This court is monitoring very few cases because of the importance of the case… When we are monitoring the case why do you want the details ? We permitted the advocate to argue the matter, than how could you question his (lawyer’s) presence in the case,” the court asked Sharma.

Meanwhile, Delhi government standing counsel Najmi Waziri said that his conduct of the officer is “shocking”.

Sharma in his letter to the NGO, which is fighting case in the High Court for proving night shelters to the poor homeless people, said, “An advocate is appearing in the court on every date on behalf of Shahari Adhikari Manch. The payment of fee might have also been made either through cash or cheque and from the account of this organisation.

“This information may also be provided. In absence of the information, it shall be presumed that payment of fee to the advocate is being paid unsystematically by this organisation.”

Sharma’s letter further stated that the organisation is also providing some books, documents and other information through printing material from source of black money, adding that the information will be forwarded to appropriate authority for action in case the NGO do not reply.

It also sought name of the chairman of the executive committee, registration number of organisation.

The court had earlier taken suo motu cognisance of a media report about the demolition of night shelters set up by the NGO in December 2010 and the civic bodies doing nothing to protect the homeless from the cold.


HC notice to Bhopal admin over Pataudi family’s petition

Jabalpur, March 20, 2013

Madhya Pradesh high court has issued notices to the concerned authorities on a petition by actress Sharmila Tagore and her family members demanding access to their 96-acre land in Bhopal after the construction of a footpath with railings which is blocking the route.
The notices were issued by the division bench of Chief Justice SA Bobade and Justice Rajendra Menon on Tuesday to Bhopal collector, Lake Conservation Authority and Housing and Environment Department on a petition filed by Sharmila Tagore, her son Saif Ali Khan and daughter Soha Ali Khan.

The petitioners alleged that following the construction of a VIP road and the footpath with railings by the concerned authorities, access to their ancestral land situated alongside the road and facing Bhopal’s picturesque Upper Lake was blocked.

The land was registered in the name of Begum Sajida Sultan, mother of late Mansoor Ali Khan, famously known as Nawab Pataudi, in the revenue records.

After the death of Pataudi, his wife Sharmila and other family members were contesting the case.

Sharmila’s advocate Rajesh Pancholi said the bench has ordered the concerned authorities to reply to the notice within two weeks.

Earlier also, the family had filed a petition in the high court demanding compensation for constructing VIP road on their land without legally acquiring it following which the court directed the collector to file a report in the matter.

However, the collector has not yet given its report in the matter, Pancholi claimed.

HC seeks status report on PIL for release of grants to widows, destitute

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 21:49

New Delhi: The city government was today directed by the Delhi High Court to respond to a PIL seeking directions for release of pension for widows, divorced or destitute women as their pleas have been pending for past several months.

The court also asked the concerned department to file a status report on it by the next date of hearing.

A division bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice V K Jain sought a response from Delhi government’s Department of Women and Child Development and also asked it to file a detailed status report within two months.

“We direct the Department of Women and Child Development to file a detailed status report explaining the number of applications received by it seeking pension, how many applications has been rejected by it and also the reason of rejection,” the bench said.

The court fixed May 29 for further hearing of the matter.

The PIL, filed by Delhi Anusuchit Jati Vikas Sangathan, a registered society, said that to provide social security, Delhi government had started pension schemes for widows and also the grants by way of financial assistance to perform marriage of their daughters.

However, needy women were not able to get the benefits under various schemes on time and their applications have been pending with the department for months.


HC seeks report on liquor shops in City

Bangalore, March 20, 2013, DHNS:

The High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday directed the State government to conduct an inquiry and file a report on issuing licences indiscriminately for liquor shops/bars and restaurants across the City.

The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice B V Nagarathna has taken up a suo motu petition following a letter to the Chief Justice by Raja Rao, senior citizen and a resident of Bangalore.

In his letter, Rao has said that 50 per cent of the bars were operating in residential areas and that a majority of them have a second entrance allowing people to enter and exit even after prescribed hours, in collusion with the police.

He has claimed that grant of permission to bars was in violation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Pointing to the wine shops in Upparpet, Magadi Road, West of Chord Road, RPC Layout and Mysore Road, Rao in his letter has said that most of them were open till 4 am. “There are several instances of wine shops besides religious places. Shift the liquor shops or shift the temples,” the letter said. Complaint to officers in this regard will in turn result in harassment of the complainant, the letter said.

Government counsel R Devdas submitted that government cannot initiate action if the permits have been obtained from a competent authority. He stated the difference between commercial and residential areas was not clear.

BMW hit and run: accused moves HC for bail

Saeed Khan, TNN | Mar 20, 2013, 05.27 PM IST

AHMEDABAD: Vismay Shah, an accused in the BMW hit and run case in which two youths lost their lives last month, has approached Gujarat high court for bail. Two persons were killed in the incident.

He was denied bail by additional sessions judge B J Jadav on March 11. The rejection of his bail application was mainly based on three reports establishing that the luxurious car was speeding at more than 100 kilometre per hour, when it hit the motorcycle in Vastrapur area. The cops had obtained reports from from the forensic science laboratory, the BMW company engineers and the RTO. In rejecting Shah’s bail plea, the court took into account testimony of three eye witnesses also. The same judge refused to send Shah to further remand, as the cops wanted to question him in their custody for 13 more days.

Shah, 27, was allegedly driving his luxury sedan on February 25 when it rammed into a motorcycle near Lad Society in Vastrapur. The two youths riding the bike – Shivam Dave, 25, and Rahul Patel, 21 – died. Shah managed to escape from the spot and surrendered before police a couple of days later as pressure mounted from all sides.

After the incident, the cops invoked section 304A of IPC, but later booked Shah under section 304 Part II of IPC, which has provision of 10 years’ imprisonment. Shah’s bail plea may come up for hearing later this week.

Madras HC dismisses plea for reservation in coop polls

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 20:48

Chennai: Madras High Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition seeking its direction to authorities to implement reservation for SC/ST candidates in the posts of cooperative society presidents for the coming elecctions to the societies in Tamil Nadu.

A bench comprising acting Chief Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal and Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar said the plea cannot be considered by Election Commissioner of Tamil Nadu Cooperative Election Commission, as he is not the competent authority to reserve posts of President for SC/ST candidates.

“.. Even otherwise, the election process has already started and notification was issued on March 4, whereas the writ petition was filed only on March 12. After the commencement of the election process, this court cannot interfere with the same,” they said.

Petitioner A P Gowdhamasidharthan of the city had sought a direction to reserve 18 per cent of the posts for SC and one per cent for ST candidates.

Pointing out that there was no reservation for them in the posts of President of these societies, he said Article 335 of the Constitution must be considered for reservation for them in the said posts.


HC orders reinstatement of dismissed teacher

Making a grunting noise when the school Correspondent passed by was apparently one of the reasons why S. Peter Raj, a teacher of R.C. Middle School in Tuticorin, was sacked from job in 1998.

On Monday, a division bench comprising Justice Chitra Venkataraman and Justice S. Vimala upheld a single judge’s order directing immediate reinstatement of Mr. Peter with full back wages after counsels I. Robert Chandrasekar and G. Prabhu Rajadurai argued on behalf of the petitioner. Incidentally, Counsel Robert is one of the former students of the petitioner.

Mr. Peter was the Headmaster of St. Mary’s Higher Secondary School from 1985 to 1989. Later he continued service as a postgraduate assistant. “The Correspondent of the school denied me promotions, refused to sanction casual leave, deducted money from my salary illegally and harassed me before dismissing me from service on August 22, 1998,” Mr. Peter told the court.

Failing to produce his degree certificates at the school, suppressing facts about past service experience, misrepresentation of facts to the Joint Director of School Education and making a grunting noise when the Correspondent walked past the staff room were the reasons for which Mr. Peter was dismissed from service. Mr. Peter was then given compulsory retirement after he approached the High Court. Disposing of the case, Justice Vinod K. Sharma, in an order dated September 13, 2012, held that the punishment imposed on the litigant was “shockingly disproportionate” to the allegations levelled against him. He also ordered immediate reinstatement of the teacher in service and directed the school management to give him full back wages from the time his services were discontinued.

In a writ appeal, the school management contended that the punishment cannot be considered “shockingly disproportionate” to the misconduct of the petitioner.

The division bench dismissed the appeal and directed the management to immediately reinstate Mr. Peter in service.

HC issues notice to Raj, Ajit Pawar

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, March 21, 2013
The Bombay high court on Wednesday issued notices to the state government and MNS chief Raj Thackeray on a petition seeking to register a case against Thackeray and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar for allegedly instigating their party workers to engage in rioting.
The petition filed by activist Hemant Patil has sought direction to register cases against the duo, whose public criticism of each other allegedly outraged party workers, who engaged in rioting last month. It also urged the court to direct the government to recover the cost of damage to public property.

The court issued notices to all the respondents in the petition and scheduled the next hearing on April 25.

HC tells Govt to conduct local body polls before April 30

WEDNESDAY, 20 MARCH 2013 20:22


The Uttarakhand High Court has directed the State Government to conduct elections for local bodies in the State on time before April 30. The HC gave its decision here on Tuesday, in an appeal filed by the members of the Uttarkashi municipality council. As per the court directions, the electors’ list will be based on the 2001 census.

Talking to The Pioneer, Dehradun Mayor Vinod Chamoli said that the court’s decision had vindicated his allegation that the Congress had conspired to defer the local body elections in the State due to fear of defeat. “The Congress-led State Government was trying to manipulate the system in the hope of faring better if local body elections were held later. However, by directing that the elections be held on time, the HC has facilitated a welcome development because the BJP is strong and will do well in the local body elections,” he stressed.

Chamoli said that as per the directions of the High Court, now all tasks like delimitation of wards have to be completed before April 7. Since the tenure of the local bodies is going to be over on May 5, 2013, therefore, obviously these civic body polls have to be completed before May 5, 2013, he added.

Leader of Opposition in the Municipal Corporation of Dehradun, Ashok Verma, said that the BJP had misused power. Stating that the Congress respects the decision of the HC, he said that the party is politically strong and will do well in the election.

The matter of fact is that whereas the tenure of the civic bodies is going to end on May 5 this year, even  after upgradation of the Haldwani and Haridwar municipal councils into municipal corporations over a year ago, there is no elected representation in these aforesaid civic bodies. Therefore, resentment among local public representatives here is quite high.

They are of the view that after dissolution of the Haldwani municipal council over a year ago, there is no elected representation in the Haldwani Municipal Corporation. It is presently being run by the officials concerned of the district administration.

That is why they are of the view that since, civic bodies are directly related to the issues of common people, timely elections of the civic bodies is vital.

High Court slams Centre on failure to set up BIFR in western region



The Bombay High Court has pulled up the Union Government for not making any efforts to set up a Board for Industrial and Financial Restructuring (BIFR) in the western region.

The court was also upset over the failure of the Centre to inform the number of pending cases in keeping with its earlier order.

A Division Bench of Justices A.P. Bhangale and A.M. Khanwilkar on March 15 expressed its unhappiness over this issue while hearing a PIL filed by the Association for Aiding Justice.

“We are appalled to note that although this petition is pending since 2009 praying for direction against the Respondents (Centre) to set up BIFR in the western region of the country, no efforts have been taken by the appropriate authority. No reply has been filed to explain that position,” observed the judges.

“Not only that, even the basic information, desired by this court in terms of order dated November 14, 2011, of number of pending cases, has not been furnished to the court, which is completely unacceptable,” the bench noted.

“By way of indulgence, we defer the hearing of this petition till March 21, 2013 with a hope that at least the later information will be furnished to the Court before the next date of hearing,” the bench said.

As regards the issue of setting up of BIFR, the Judges said they may consider passing appropriate order/directions, as may be warranted, after considering the figures of pending cases that will be furnished to the court.

The matter would be heard tomorrow.

Make websites disabled-friendly: High Court to Centre, state

Published: Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013, 10:30 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The Bombay high court on Tuesday issued notices to several departments of the state and Central government to make their official websites disabled-friendly.A division bench comprising Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Anoop Mohta was hearing the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Indian Centre for Human Rights, an NGO working for the betterment of disabled persons.

The PIL states that “the internet has emerged as a critical medium for communication and dissemination of information by the central and state governments…to the citizens of India.”

It adds: “The internet, in conjunction with appropriate web design, can revolutionise and vastly improve the governments’ capacity to communicate and provide information to persons with disabilities. A range of assistive technologies exist, which enable persons with disabilities to access important governmental and civic information and enable avenues for civic engagement, on an equal basis with others.”

For instance, visually impaired individuals could make use of electronic screen readers, which read text out loud, while those with hearing impairments can access videos or audio with captions and transcripts. Those with motor disabilities can access web content through other tailored technologies.

However, oversights in design and web content development, like mouse-only based web navigation, uncaptioned audio and video content, as well as unlabelled graphics, needlessly hamper the access of persons with disabilities to information.

Although the National Informatics Centre, the Department of Information Technology, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, and the Government of India had formulated guidelines to standardise government websites to ensure they are disabled-friendly, the guidelines are not being utilised.

The PIL seeks that directions be given to various departments to make their websites disabled-friendly. It will come up for hearing after four weeks.


High Court stays single judge order on land registration

20th March 2013 10:58 AM

A division bench of the High Court on Tuesday stayed a single judge order that the registering officers across state should not refuse registration of lands only on the ground that they were included in the prohibitory lists, the re-settlement register (RSR) etc and they shall not insist on production of NOCs as a precondition for land registration.

The bench granted interim stay in a writ appeal by the state government challenging the single judge order. It adjourned the case for final hearing to April 15.

In Jan, the single judge allowed a batch of writ petitions by various individuals challenging rejection of their documents by sub-registrars and district registrars across the state on the ground that the RSR contains dots against the name of the owner, or the lands are assessed lands or belonged to religious or charitable institutions or local bodies. The judge specified several dos and don’ts for the authorities in respect of registration of land.

The single judge held that the court directions shall bind revenue authorities and registering officers and violation of the directions will be viewed as contempt of court.

High Court seeks report on steps to tackle potable water shortage

20th March 2013 12:02 PM

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to report details of the measures taken to tackle the acute drinking water shortage being experienced in the state as it has been declared drought hit.

A Division Bench comprising Justice K M Joseph and Justice K Ramakrishnan also asked the government as to “what precautionary methods were adopted by it to tackle the drought”.

The court issued the directive while considering a petition filed by Hanan Abdul Rahim of Kollam seeking police protection for drilling tubewell in his house compound.Counsel for the petitioner K R Sunil submitted that Hanan had obtained permission from the Groundwater Department and the panchayat.

However some people were obstructing the working of the tubewell. Hence, he sought police protection. The court also observed that disputes regarding installation of tubewell were on the rise.

Find alternatives to save trees while widening highways, says High Court

The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday asked the Karnataka State Highways Improvement Project (KSHIP) of the Public Works Department to come out with alternative ways to widen certain stretches of State Highways in Tumkur division so that all 4,153 trees identified need not be cut.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice B.V. Nagarathna issued the direction while hearing a public interest litigation petition initiated suo motu by the court based on a letter written by Arun Kumar G. from Tumkur complaining about felling of 4,153 trees in the division. The court in July last year had restrained tree felling.

“We do not like to come in the way of a development programme. But at the same time, it [development] should not be at the cost of environment. How can you replace old trees? You have not even submitted applications before the tree authority. Submit them first. Also, come out with an alternative plan to save as many trees as possible,” the Bench orally observed.

“You will also have to allocate money for environment management plan before taking up the project plan,” it observed while adjourning further hearing.

Court-appointed amicus curiae, advocate H. Srinivas Rao, had submitted his report indicating that some stretches of the state highways in this division will witness very less traffic movement and some stretches could be widened without cutting large number of trees.

‘IT camp office’

The High Court on Wednesday said that Section 131(1A) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, does not invest an IT official to set up a camp office at the residence of a person for the purpose of collecting evidence or investigation.

Justice Rammohan Reddy made this observation while disposing of a petition filed by Prakash V. Sanghvi, a resident of Mangalore. The petitioner had questioned the conduct of an Assistant Director of Income Tax (Investigation), Mangalore. The petitioner pointed out that the officer, G. Ramesh, had gained entry to the house in the guise of a salesman and later set up his camp office, from where the officer issued summons to the petitioner for production of certain documents and evidences.

It was also complained in the petition that the officer, “without any regard to privacy of women present in the house, searched every nook and corner of the house” without the help of any woman officer from the department.

While expressing displeasure over the manner in which the officer conducted himself, the court asked the department why it could not use women officers as the police department did in such cases.

CAT refuses to quash transfer of senior cop

Bangalore, March 20, 2013, DHNS:

The Central Administrative Tribunal on Wednesday refused to quash the transfer of T Suneel Kumar as Inspector General of Police and Commander of Anti Naxal Force, Udupi.

Suneel Kumar, who was serving as Additional Commissioner (Law and Order), Bangalore, had moved the Tribunal against the March 11 government order transferring him as the IGP and Commander of Anti Naxal Force. He had contended that his transfer was in violation of Section 20(B) of the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Act, 2012, since the government had not obtained recommendations from the Police Establishment Board before effecting his transfer. The Tribunal, which granted a two-week stay on the transfer, dismissed the petition on Wednesday.

“This tribunal can envisage that in certain contingencies the State government may have to issue orders of transfers and postings, particularly concerning assignments dealing with law and order and internal security on an emergent basis and it may not be possible to wait for the formal recommendations of the Police Establishment Board in such contingencies. But such occasion can only be rare and State government also may be required to record reasons for such emergent transfers,” The Tribunal noted.

When the Tribunal noted that it had passed an order a month ago in a similar case making recommendations by the Board mandatory, the government advocate submitted that the government was not intimated of the said order before effecting the transfer. The Tribunal stated that the government, in future, will have to comply with the direction.

T Suneel Kumar was relieved from charge Wednesday afternoon by the City Police Commissioner. He is yet to take charge in Udupi as Commander of Anti Naxal Force. Alok Kumar assumed charge as Additional Commissioner (Law and Order), Bangalore. Both the senior officers refused to comment on the issue.

Daily News 24.02.2013

Case against NGO for forcing woman to file false rape case

Aneesha Mathur : New Delhi, Sun Feb 24 2013, 00:26 hrs


A city court has asked the Delhi Police to conduct an investigation into the role of a prominent NGO after a “rescued rape victim” told the court that a worker from the NGO had “tutored” her and told her to falsely depose that she had been raped by her employer, a businessman.

Additional Sessions Judge Nivedita Anil Sharma on Saturday acquitted the businessman — a Punjabi Bagh resident — of the charge of rape.

The court also noted that though the NGO Shakti Vahini had been associated “in over a thousand cases”, this case was the first instance in which the NGO had gotten involved to the extent of filing an application for the cancellation of bail of the accused.

The businessman had been granted bail to conduct the last rites of his mother, after spending 72 days in jail. The NGO had filed an application seeking the cancellation of bail.

The court dismissed the application and noted that the NGO had no locus standi to file a petition regarding the bail of an accused.

During arguments, the court found that the woman, who was sent to the Nirmal Chhaya women’s home, had written to superintendent of Nirmal Chhaya and that her employer had not raped her.

The prosecution said the woman, who hails from Assam, was a minor and was “rescued” by the NGO and police from the Punjabi Bagh home of the businessman in October 2012.

It said the woman had told police that she was being forcibly kept at the businessman’s home for three years with very little pay.

The prosecution had chargesheeted the businessman for rape and under the anti-human trafficking and anti-bonded labour laws.

The chargesheet also said the woman had given a statement that she had been raped numerous times by businessman, who had also “given her some tablets” after raping her.

However, the woman testified before the court that she had made false allegations after the NGO worker had told her that she would receive a lot of money if she filed a complaint of rape against her employer.

The woman told court that she was over 20 years old and had come to Delhi to find a job, along with a person known to her, with the knowledge of her family.

The court noted that “more than normal interest” was shown by the caseworker, who according to her own testimony, and the woman’s statement, had remained with the woman all through the rescue proceedings as well as the medical examination, and had also remained present when police and the magistrate had recorded the statement of the woman.

Sahni’s advocate R N Vats told the court that the accused did not have any access to the woman at the shelter home and could not have manipulated or bribed her.

Noting that “instances of apparent nexus between the placement agency, the NGO and police have been noticed, where a poor tribal woman has been used by any or all three to extort money”, the court lodged a case of perjury against the woman.


LEGAL NEWS 10.10.2012


Tribunal upholds CCI’s clean chit to Microsoft

Press Trust of India / New Delhi Oct 10, 2012, 12:53 IST

Says Microsoft did not abuse its dominant position regarding sale of software license

The Competition Appellate Tribunal has upheld the fair trade regulator Competition Commission’s ruling that Microsoft did not abuse its dominant position regarding sale of software licenses.

The Commission’s order came on allegations that Microsoft offered software licenses at a lower price to original equipment manufacturers (OEM) while business houses had to buy the same at higher prices from the company.

“There is no question of any denial of market access for the reasons stated by us earlier to the effect that respondent no 1 (Microsoft India) was quite justified in refusing to sell the OEM to the appellant who was not the original equipment manufacturer. In short, we find no controversy of … For that matter any other provisions of the act,” COMPAT has said in the order.

Microsoft was represented by the law firm Amarchand & Mangaldas in the matter.

The complainant — law firm Singhania and Partners LLP — had alleged that Microsoft, with a market share of 90 per cent, was abusing its dominant position. It also alleged that business houses had to buy the overpriced volume licenses.

The Commission’s order, dismissing the complaint, had come on June 22, 2011.

The regulator did not find “prima facie” any substantial material against the claims that differential pricing strategy adopted by Microsoft raises competition issue.

Differing from the majority view, one of the Commission member had opined that Microsoft appeared to have exploited its monopoly in the software market and had asked for a probe by the regulators’ Director General.

The tribunal dismissed the petition along with the minority view of the CCI member.

The COMPAT bench, headed by its Chairman Justice V S Sirpurkar, said, “… We must express that we do not agree with the learned member in minority judgement”.

It also rejected allegations against Microsoft India that it maintains full control its various softwares through its licensing policy.




M J Antony: Quasi-judicial quibbles

The RTI judgment is not just about the race to grab retirement jobs

M J Antony / Oct 10, 2012, 00:02 IST


Setting up quasi-judicial tribunals has almost always been accompanied by squabbles over their powers and appointment of members. The friction started soon after the launch of the Constitution. The first was over the nature and duties of industrial tribunals. The Supreme Court ruled in 1950 that though the tribunal was very much like that of a body discharging judicial functions, it is not a court in the technical sense.

Since then, more tribunals have been set up to ease the workload on regular courts. There are over 60 tribunals at the last count. Tribunalisation has spread to all sectors, covering some 24 ministries and departments.

In recent years, the establishment of some important tribunals had been stalled by constitutional challenges. The Supreme Court has delivered major judgments in the matter of administrative tribunals, company law tribunals, money laundering tribunals and others. More recently, the Competition Appellate Tribunal was embroiled in a controversy for several years. The composition of these tribunals was the main poser before the court.

Draftsmen in various ministries had excluded judges in these tribunals and appeared to pack them with their own tribe. When this imbalance was taken to the court, the judges gave room to their own retired brethren, on the threat of striking down the law. From a distance, it looks as if the feud is over who will get the post-retirement job — the civil servants or judges?

The same issue arose in a petition challenging the Right to Information Act as the draftsmen excluded judges and gave a clear edge to the babus. The Supreme Court followed the principles laid down in its earlier judgments and made a judicial member compulsory in the information commissions. In this judgment, Namit Sharma vs Union of India, there were a few pages about how shabbily the law was drafted. For instance, “anyone carrying on any business or pursuing any profession” cannot be a member of the commission. Pray, how else can one make a living?

Though the court had merely applied basic principles enunciated earlier, commentators and the media have surprisingly batted for the babus this time. The public image of judges is far above that of bureaucrats, but civil servants got unexpected support from commentators. Judges, who do not normally approach or influence the media, cannot speak out in defence because of their position, and one has to read the judgment once again to find out what they say.

As held in the industrial tribunal case, and several decisions over the decades, tribunals lead a double life. They take not merely ministerial decisions, but have many trappings of a civil court. An information commission decides disputes brought before it after calling both parties. It adjudicates issues as a court does, and often follows the civil court procedure. It gives a reasoned order. A party dissatisfied by the order can challenge the finding and appeal up to the Supreme Court. It has to perform investigative and supervisory functions. It can impose penalty. The commission has to interpret fundamental rights like Articles 19(1)(a) and 21 of the Constitution, as the wide expanse of the Right to Information and Right to Privacy have to be balanced.

If a commission does all these and more, it is not a mere ministerial body. Retired chief secretaries and expert members, however brilliant they may be, are not fully equipped for this essentially judicial task. In addition, civil servants might have glaring conflict of interest. Independence of the judiciary, a corner stone of the Constitution, is also involved.

Moreover, the court’s precedents and consistent views cannot be bypassed for information commissions, while the rest of the panels follow them. The talents of judges, who retire comparatively young these days, should be tapped for public benefit; otherwise they will sell them to corporate goliaths and acquire wealth they missed out while watching lawyers make all the money.

The media has reported devastating consequences of the judgment. Though the court stated that the new framework will be effective only prospectively, many commissions in large states like Maharashtra, West Bengal and Rajasthan reportedly stopped work raising imaginary doubts. Without even reading the judgment, it was alleged that only in this country judges sit on information commissions. Judges have examined information laws in the US, UK and Canada. All these democratic countries have given due weight to judicial qualification and experience of members of these commissions.

It is reported that the government might come up with a review petition. This is an opportunity to clarify the situation, like the age issue. Members of the commissions retire at 65 and judges also retire at that age, creating a riddle. Moreover, there are hold-all phrases while prescribing qualification of members, like a person’s background in “social service” and “mass media”. Since the Act and rules do not define such expressions, the court has currently “read into” the provisions its own meaning. “Vague exclusions” and “uncertain inclusions”, as the court put it, mar the Act as it stands now. Meanwhile, the information commissions should start functioning.







NCW condemns atrocity on MP woman

Press Trust of India / Morena (MP) October 09, 2012, 21:45

National Commission for Women (NCW) has condemned as “shameful” the incident where a married woman was allegedly paraded naked in a village near here last month over a land dispute.

NCW member Charu Vali Khanna met the 50-year-old victim, a resident of Balalpur village in the district, yesterday.

Later, she directed the district administration to pay adequate compensation to the woman and submit the case for trial in the Court at the earliest.

The woman was assaulted and paraded naked by a group of men when she opposed them for beating her husband over a land dispute on September 30, Khanna told reporters.

The men had an old land dispute with the woman’s family.

Describing the incident as “shameful”, Khanna expressed displeasure over delay in police action against the accused persons.




Was there specific court order to probe Mayawati’s assets?

J. Venkatesan

On review plea, Bench to seek clarifications from her, Centre and CBI

The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Centre and the Central Bureau of Investigation on a plea seeking review of its judgment granting Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati relief in a disproportionate assets case.

A Bench of Justices P. Sathasivam and Dipak Misra issued notice to Ms. Mayawati also

When senior counsel Shanti Bhushan, appearing for intervener Kamlesh Verma, insisted on a direction to the CBI to continue the probe against the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, the Bench said it would seek clarifications from the respondents whether there was a specific court order directing registration of a first information report to probe her alleged disproportionate assets.

The Bench had on July 6 quashed the FIR registered by the CBI alleging that she acquired assets disproportionate to the known sources of her income, on the ground that there was no specific order for a probe into the disproportionate assets and that the court order was confined to irregularities in the Taj Corridor project.

Now Justice Sathasivam told counsel that the orders referred to by him were cited earlier also and the court took them into consideration while giving the July 6 judgment. Mr. Bhushan said that during the course of the probe into the Taj case, the CBI unearthed huge disproportionate assets and a separate FIR (No. 19) was registered.

Status report on FIR 19

Counsel read out the various orders passed by the Supreme Court and said the CBI had filed several status reports on its investigation. A status report in respect of FIR 19 was filed by the CBI on July 19, 2004 and that day the court granted it three months to complete the investigation. Finding no connection between the facts found in this case and the Taj Corridor project, the court also de-linked FIR 19 and granted the CBI liberty to proceed with the probe and take action on the basis of its investigation in FIR 19, he said.

Justice Sathasivam asked counsel: “Do you think this court is protecting her [Ms. Mayawati]? We only said there was no specific direction to probe her disproportionate assets. This does not bar the CBI from initiating fresh action independently if there is material. Is there an impediment to the CBI to undertake a probe?”

Justice Misra told counsel: “They can approach the Central government to take up fresh investigation against her. We never said that CBI has no power to investigate. There is no prohibition. It [CBI] can do so, but has to get sanction from the State government.”

Mr. Bhushan said: “When there is a specific order, the probe should be allowed to continue. No political party will give sanction against another political leader. It is only the court which can give a direction for conducting the probe.”

After Mr. Bhushan pointed out the relevant order passed by the Supreme Court for conducting the investigation against Ms. Mayawati, the Bench issued notice and told counsel that it would seek clarification on this aspect.





Cauvery water dispute: Karunanidhi asks Centre to dismiss Karnataka government


New Delhi: DMK chief M Karunanidhi has asked the Centre to dismiss the Karnataka government as the state has not released 9000 cusecs of river water to Tamil Nadu, defying a Supreme Court order. The Tamil Nadu government has said that it will file a contempt petition in the Supreme Court against Karnataka. Karnataka is also planning to file a review petition before the Cauvery River Authority.

Karnataka stopped releasing the Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu late on Monday night, hours after the state informed the Supreme Court that it was in no position to continue the water flow from Monday night, a senior official said. The five crest gates of Krishanaraja Sagar (KRS) reservoir in Mandya, about 80 km from Bangalore, through which Cauvery water was being released to Tamil Nadu were shut.

Hundreds of farmers gathered at the reservoir to try to prevent water release raised slogans welcoming the stoppage when Janata Dal-Secular legislator CS Puttaraju, who had led them, confirmed that water flow had stopped. Earlier on Monday, Karnataka Law Minister S Suresh Kumar told reporters in New Delhi that senior counsel Fali Nariman representing the state had informed the Supreme Court that the state was in no position to release the water from Monday night.

There was no comment from the court on this submission nor did Tamil Nadu advocates raise objection to it, he said. The submission was made when the Supreme Court was hearing Karnataka’s plea to immediately allow the state to stop water release to Tamil Nadu. Karnataka moved the court as it had on September 28 pulled it up for not obeying the September 19 ruling of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as head of Cauvery River Authority (CRA) that it should release 9,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu from September 20 to October 15.

Karnataka began releasing water on September 29 which had led to daily protests in Bangalore and Cauvery basin districts of Mandya, Mysore and Chamarajanagar – 80 km, 130 km and about 200 km respectively from Bangalore. Karnataka had also been pleading with the prime minister to review and stay his ruling.

The Supreme Court bench of bench of Justice DK Jain and Justice Madan B Lokur also clarified that their September 28 order “shall not in anyway be an impediment in the way of chairman CRA to take decision on review application by the Karnataka government”. Soon after the clarification, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar announced in New Delhi that the state would file another appeal to the CRA to withdraw the September 19 order.

Earlier, a delegation of central ministers from Karnataka, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna, who hails from Mandya, Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge and Minister of State for Railways KH Muniyappa met Manmohan Singh and urged him to immediately review his September 19 ruling. A team of 16 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parliament members from the state also met Manmohan Singh with the same plea.

However, immediate review by the prime minister was unlikely as the central government stand is that he gave the ruling as CRA head and only a meeting of CRA can do so. The CRA, headed by the prime minister, comprises central water resources minister and chief ministers of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry, all of which have a share in Cauvery water. Central Water Resources Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, who was present when the two teams met Manmohan Singh, reiterated the stand on Monday. He told reporters after the meeting that the prime minister had given the ruling on September 19 as head of CRA. It was not the decision of the prime minister but of the CRA and the CRA would have to meet to review the decision, Bansal asserted.

(With additional information from IANS)





HC notices to Speaker, MLA

Press Trust of India / Cuttack October 09, 2012, 11:07

State Assembly Speaker Pradeep Kumar Amat and Bonai MLA Bhimsen Choudhury were issued notices by Odisha High Court today asking them to file their respective counter affidavits in response to the writ petition filed by BJP legislature party secretary Karendra Majhi.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice B K Mishra directed the court registry to issue express notices to the Speaker and to the MLA by special messengers ordered to list the matter as soon as the counter affidavits are received from the respondents.

Majhi last month had filed the writ challenging the August 1, 2012 ruling of the Speaker in which the latter had rejected an application of BJP. The party had urged the Speaker to disqualify Choudhury as a member of the House since the latter had defied the party whip during the 2010 Rajya Sabha election voting.

But allowing Choudhury to continue as MLA, the Speaker had turned down the BJP application on the ground that voting for Rajya Sabha polls was not a proceeding of the House and the legislator was not inviting ‘disqualification’ for defying the party whip.

The Bonai MLA was elected on a BJP ticket but he has since been suspended from the party after the 2010 Rajya Sabha polling.

Maintaining that Choudhury had incurred disqualification for violating provisions of 10th Schedule of the Constitution, Majhi had filed the writ seeking to quash the August 1, 2012 ruling of the Speaker. The petitioner had also prayed the HC to declare Choudhury’s continuance as an MLA null and void.





Even Gandharv marriage legal if a child is born: HC

Vaibhav Ganjapure, TNN | Oct 10, 2012, 05.48AM IST

NAGPUR: The Bombay High Court’s Aurangabad bench has ruled that even Gandharv form of marriage could be legal one if a child is born to the couple. The court, while setting aside Family Court’s order that marriage was not proved between a farmer and his petitioner wife, asked the man to pay maintenance of Rs1,500 per month from June 2007 to her for entering into matrimony and subsequently cohabitating with for well over five years.

“The husband can’t be allowed to say that only for the purpose of having a son, he had kept relations with the present applicant by performing marriage in Gandharv form and he is treating his son only as a legitimate issue,” a single-judge bench of Justice TV Nalawade ruled. “The evidence of husband or the circumstance that he had first wife living, is of no help to the husband in view of the peculiar circumstances of the case,” he added.

According to Gauri Deshmukh, she had tied knot with Mangesh about eight years back as per Hindu rites and customs and had a son from him. After a couple of years, Mangesh allegedly started ill-treating Gauri and also forced her to bring Rs50,000 from her brother. She was later driven out of home as her brother failed to pay the amount. She lodged a police complaint and filed a case under Section 125 of CrPC for getting monthly maintenance from Mangesh in the Family Court. However it was dismissed as she failed to prove her relationship.

She then filed a revision petition in the high court contending that her husband had failed to provide her maintenance and she was unable to survive on her own. She claimed that her in-laws owned 35 acres of irrigated land and Mangesh’s annual income was over Rs50 lakh and demanded maintenance of Rs5,000 per month from him. Mangesh denied marrying Gauri with Hindu rituals and any relationship with her. He contended that he already had a wife but since he couldn’t get any issue from her, he entered into a wedlock with Gauri in Gandharv style.

While declining to provide her maintenance, Mangesh argued that Gauri was a vegetable vendor with sufficient income. He added that though he possessed agriculture land, he was not generating sufficient income to provide her maintenance. “Admittedly, there was cohabitation of more than five years and a son is born out of this wedlock. The husband is not denying the paternity of the child and on the contrary, he wants to treat him as a legitimate child. In view of these circumstances, this court holds that the wife has given sufficient evidence for proof of marriage for the purpose of proceeding under Section 125 of CrPC,” Justice Nalawade ruled and also imposed a cost of Rs1,000 on husband.

(Names of litigants changed to protect identity)







Sebi to move Supreme Court over SAT’s order on Jaiprakash Associates’ promoters

Sebi plans to move the Supreme Court, challenging a recent order passed by the Securities Appellate Tribunal exonerating Jaiprakash Associates Ltd’s executive chairman Manoj Gaur and his family.

MUMBAI: Capital market regulator Sebi plans to move the Supreme Court, challenging a recent order passed by the Securities Appellate Tribunal exonerating Jaiprakash AssociatesBSE 2.58 % Ltd’s executive chairman Manoj Gaur and his family from insider trading charges, said two persons familiar with the development.

Last week, the quasi-judicial body struck down the orders passed by Sebi against Manoj Gaur, his wife Urvashi Gaur and brother Sameer Gaur after it observed that the regulator was unable to bring any direct or circumstantial evidence on record to show that unpublished price sensitive information (UPSI) was passed between the Gaur family members and trading was done based on it.

The tribunal also observed that Manoj Gaur’s wife and brother traded in shares which were less in numbers compared to their holding in the company.

“If Mr. Manoj Gaur had passed on UPSI to Mrs. Urvashi Gaur and she traded on the basis of that UPSI she would not have traded in 1000 shares only,” the SAT order said. As on March 23, 2012, Urvashi Gaur was holding 59,045 shares of the company.

“We cannot lose sight of the fact that the company is a widely held listed company with a paid up capital divided into 212,64,33,182 equity shares out of which promoter group holds 44.44 per cent. It is a large infrastructure company engaged in highways,cement, power and education sector and the executive chairman of such company would not like to risk the reputation of himself and the company for 1000 shares,” SAT said.

The tribunal however upheld the charge of insider trading against two other company officials.

In January this year, the regulator had found Manoj Gaur,his wife Urvashi Gaur, brother Sameer Gaur, S D Nailwal, wholetime director of the company, and Harish K Vaid, senior president corporate affairs and company secretary guilty of insider trading and had imposed a total fine of Rs 70 lakh on them.





PIL against Ramni’s post in Sai Baba Trust dismissed

Press Trust of India / Shirdi/Mumbai October 09, 2012, 11:06

Observing that it was not inclined to hear the matter, the Bombay High Court has dismissed a PIL that sought to challenge the appointment of K V Ramni as Advisory Committee head of IT department of Shri Sai Baba Sansthan in Shirdi.

Ramni is Managing Director of Shirdi Sai Baba Trust, Chennai, and considered an expert in computer technology. He was appointed on this honorary post for a period of five years in October 2008.

Justices Naresh Patil and A B Chaudhari recently observed that petitioners had not made any representation to the respondent state in respect of the contentions raised herein.

“On the material made available before his Court as on today, we are not inclined to exercise our jurisdiction to entertain this public interest litigation. PIL is dismissed”.

Ramni had donated Rs 100 crores for construction of a tourist rest house ‘Sai Ashram’ at Shirdi. He had requested allotment of seven per cent rooms to him.

However, in October 2010, Shirdi’s Sai Baba Trust resolved to allot 20 rooms in the Ashram to Ramni, besides allowing him to open an office for his trust in the premises of Sai Ashram, the PIL alleged.

The PIL, filed by Shirdi residents, Sandeep Kulkarni and Uttamrao Shelke, has questioned the decision of Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan to allow Ramni to start the office of his Chennai-based Shirdi Sai Baba Trust in ‘Sai Ashram’ at Shirdi.

The PIL alleged that Ramni, by paying a huge donation of Rs 100 crore, had influenced the Sai Saba Sansthan to appoint him as the head of IT department of the Trust.

The PIL prayed that Ramni’s appointment in this post was illegal ab-initio (right from beginning) and was an outcome of an illegal resolution which was basically against the preamble and object of a special statute enacted by the government in 2004 for Sai Baba Sansthan.

The PIL further said the name of Ramni’s trust is deceptively similar to the Sai Baba Sansthan in Shirdi. Due to similarity in the names of the two trusts, there is a strong possibility of collection of donations from devotees by Ramni’s trust in Shirdi, the PIL argued.





Court rejects Salman petition for car sale

A magistrate court in Mumbai on Monday rejected actor Salman Khan’s application that stated he wished to sell the car he had driven at the time of a hit-and-run incident in 2002. The court passed the order on the application on Monday, said public prosecutor B B Yele. “Khan’s application stated he was no longer able to maintain the car and thus he wanted to sell it.”

In September 2002, Salman’s car had rammed into a bakery in Bandra, killing one person and injuring four. The trial in the case against Salman Khan, in which he has been booked under Section 304A (death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code is pending.

A public interest litigation (PIL) had been filed in the Bombay High Court soon after the incident by senior journalist Nikhil Wagle. The PIL, which has recently come up for hearing, demands that the punishment for the offence of death by negligence should be increased from two years to ten years.

Kin yet to get compensation

In 2002, the Bombay High Court had directed the payment of compensation to the kin of the person who died as well as those injured in the accident. The High Court was recently told that the kin of the deceased was yet to receive the Rs 10 lakh compensation, although it was deposited by Salman Khan.

Khan’s counsel Ashok Mundargi told Newsline, “There are multiple applications filed by several relatives of the dead person, Nurullah Sharif, which is creating difficulties in the disbursement of compensation.”

Mundargi had told the court that the delay in disbursement of compensation is due to a “dispute between the kin of the person.”

However, Nurullah’s lawyer Bhagyashree Jakhade said, “There is no dispute as such and there are only two applications filed for the purpose, both of which are pending. One of the applications was filed by Nurullah’s mother when his son was still a minor. That application was also filed on his son’s behalf. After his son attained the age of majority, he also approached the High Court’s legal services committee with an application. This is the only confusion in the matter.”






Sweeping powers for VC in Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology Bill

Ashok Pradhan, TNN | Oct 10, 2012, 05.01AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) Bill 2012, which was introduced in the assembly in the monsoon session recently, proposes to curtail the role of elected representatives in the varsity affairs while giving sweeping powers to the vice-chancellor.

If the Bill becomes an Act, incumbent vice-chancellor Debi Prasad Ray will automatically get a two-year extension after his current tenure ends in December. Ray’s re-appointment for a second term for three years from December 2009 had invited a public interest litigation, (PIL) which is still pending at the Orissa high court.

Consolidating the VC’s powers, the bill proposes to allow the VC to nominate three members to the varsity board of management (BoM), the apex decision making body of the university. As of now, the VC can not nominate anyone to the panel. Besides, the Bill proposes to include only one MLA in the BoM, contrary to the present custom of having two legislators on the panel.

“The BoM is the apex body to ensure checks and balances in the VC’s functioning. If he or she manages to have his own people in the apex body, there would be no mechanism to scrutinize his or her functioning,” said a former VC of the varsity on condition of anonymity.

According to Clause 24 (7) of the Bill, the VC will hold office for a period of five years or until he attains the age of 70 years, contrary to the existing provision of appointment for a period of three years or till the age of 65. According to Section 50 (2) (C) of the Bill, the incumbent VC would continue in his position for two more years. Ray’s current term ends on December 17.

Ray is at present enjoying his second term in the office. His first stint at the varsity was from December 2006 to December 2009. Challenging his second term appointment, advocate Madhusudan Panda had filed a PIL in the Orissa high court, stating that it violated the norms of University Grants Commission (UGC) and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). The UGC and ICAR norms prevent a second term appointment.

Dr Bhagirathi Senapati, a former OUAT VC, said the tenure of a VC should be uniform in all state universities. “OUAT should not be singled out to make the VC’s term five-year-long as it is three years in other universities,” he said.

When contacted, Ray said the new Bill was in accordance with the model ICAR Act. “The Bill has gone through various government departments and the state cabinet before being introduced in the assembly in the monsoon session. It is not as if I have manipulated something to get a further extension. I will leave the university after my current term ends,” he said.

When pointed out that the model ICAR Act 2009 doesn’t recommend VC’s nominees to the BoM, he said, “The government must have introduced the Bill after properly going through all the aspects. It is now up to the government to take a decision,” Ray said.

The Bill, which will replace the OUAT Act 1965, also proposes to abolish the post of ex-officio pro-chancellor, occupied by the state agriculture minister. “It is just an ornamental post with no executive role,” the VC said, justifying the move.

Contrary to the ongoing practice of two MLAs being made members of the BoM, only one law maker will be a BoM member. Bhubaneswar-Ekamra MLA Ashok Panda said when the matter would come up for discussion in the assembly, all these issues would be discussed. “I will place my views in the assembly. It is too premature to comment on the matter now,” Panda said.






Fake bail bond scam: CBI for scientific tests on RPF men

Press Trust of India / Mumbai October 09, 2012, 20:35

The CBI probing the fake bail bond scam involving Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel has sought permission from a local court for conducting scientific tests on the accused officials.

“We have filed an application before the magistrate’s court to conduct scientific tests as the accused are not revealing anything”, said a CBI official.

One out of the 12 accused whom the agency want to take the test has filed a reply against undergoing the procedure, he said.

The case is likely to come up for hearing next month.

A PIL in this regard was filed by activist Samir Zaveri, who alleged that a group of RPF personnel posted at suburban Kurla railway station extorted money from persons caught for violating railway norms by posing as magistrates and issuing fake bail bonds.

A division bench of Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice R V More had transferred the probe to CBI in August observing that the Government Railway Police (GRP) was conducting a “tardy and slow” investigation.

The bench was to transfer the probe into the scam to the State Crime Investigation Department (CID) but later sought information from CBI as to whether it was probing into any case pertaining to corruption by RPF personnel.

The court had sought the information after going through a report submitted by former Deputy Inspector General A V Jha of RPF stating that the CBI was seized of the matter regarding illegal gratification, in which, several RPF personnel were accused.

Zaveri, in his PIL had alleged that a head constable acted as a magistrate and granted bail to the offenders and the money collected was misappropriated by the RPF personnel.





Jaipur: Residents challenge collection of waste charges on power bills

DNA | Oct 10, 2012, 06:05AM IST

Jaipur: State government’s controversial decision to levy waste disposal charges in electricity bills has been challenged in the Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday.

Mansarovar Residents Welfare Society’s president Hari Singh Nathawat has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) questioning the logic of including waste disposal charges in electricity bills. “What is the link between garbage disposal and electricity consumption,” the petitioner asked in the PIL.

The state government through a notification on July 25 had included waste disposal charges in the electricity bills of consumers for door-to-door garbage collection and cleaning of roads and drainages.


Charges Rs 100 to 300 had been imposed on electricity consumption of Rs 1000 to Rs 10000.

Claiming this would an additional burden on the public, the PIL has asked for equal sharing between the central government, state government and consumer.





Religion-based education schemes violate Constitution: Guj HC

Oct 9, 2012, 10.18AM IST

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat high court on Monday held the Government cannot give monetary benefits to any community on the basis of religion as such a move will violate Constitution that bars discrimination on religious ground.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala made this observation while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), which sought directions to the Gujarat government to implement a Centre sponsored pre- metric scholarship scheme launched nationwide in 2008. The PIL was filed by a Congress leader from Kutch, Adam Chaki.

However, the Bench declined to give any direction since a contradictory view was taken by another Division Bench of the high court earlier on a similar petition.

Instead, it referred the issues raised in the PIL to a larger bench, which would decide if the pre-metric scholarship scheme for students from minority communities was violative of the Constitution and whether the high court can direct a state government to implement the scheme.

The Bench noted held that government cannot give monetary benefits to a community on religious lines as such a move was in violation of Article 15(1) of the Constitution.

“There cannot be scope of conferring monetary benefits based on religion,” it observed.

The Central scheme is targeted at pre-matric students belonging to religious minorities whose parents have annual income below Rs 1 lakh. Under it, the Centre gives 75 per cent of the scholarship amount while states have to bear the rest.

The Gujarat government had refused to implement the scheme, saying it was discriminatory in nature. The government had further said it was providing scholarships to poor students of all communities.

In 2010, a Division Bench had upheld the Centre’s funding of schemes related to minority welfare.






Kalpakkam has all facilities to deal with emergencies: Govt

TNN | Oct 10, 2012, 02.26AM IST

CHENNAI: The state government has rejected arguments that mandatory safety and emergency medical preparedness was lacking at the nuclear power plant at Kalpakkam, and said there were enough trained medical and administrative personnel to tackle emergencies.

A counter-affidavit to this effect was filed before the first bench of the Madras high court comprising Chief Justice M Y Eqbal and Justice T S Sivagnanam on Monday, when a PIL seeking compliance of guidelines pertaining to nuclear and radiological emergencies laid down by the National Disaster Management Authority came up for further hearing.

The PIL, filed by advocate M Vetriselvan, insisted on establishment of a super-multispecialty hospital and other amenities stipulated in the guidelines. Though the Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) at Kalpakkam started operation in 1983, these mandatory requirements were yet to be put in place, argued his counsel M Radhakrishnan.

However, denying the allegations, the government submitted that necessary off-site emergency network was available to deal with radiological consequences. Noting that the deputy director of health services in Kancheepuram district is the nodal officer for implementing protective and relief measures, the counter said protective and relief measures would be made available by the district administration.

Reiterating that the medical facilities available at Kalpakkam were fully equipped and geared up to handle radiation-related emergencies arising from the plant, the affidavit said that after the initial treatment at the first aid centre at the site and the Department of Atomic Energy hospital, patients could be treated at the Chengalpet government medical college hospital, and also at three government general hospitals in Chennai. If necessary, specialized hospitals such as Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Apollo Hospitals, which have burns wards and other facilities, would be put to use, it said.

As for facilities such as immunology laboratory, bone marrow bank and transfusion and stem cell harvesting, the counter said they were available at the two private hospitals. The PIL will be taken up for further hearing next week.






HC notice a shot in the arm for GP members

K Narasimhamurthy Kolar, Oct 9, 2012, DHNS

The Karnataka High Court notice issued to District In-charge Minister Varthur Prakash and Mulbagal legislator Amaresh is a positive development in favour of the Mustoor Gram Panchayat members.

The members had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the High Court against the State government and the district administration, complaining that the latter had failed to take action against unlicensed sand mining in Mulbagal taluk, regardless of repeated requests.

The divisional bench, which heard the case on Monday, sent a notice to Varthur, Amaresh and 20 officers. It has also strictly ordered that action should be taken against unlicensed sand mining and that a report on it be submitted by December 2.

A decision had been taken on July 2 to stop unauthorised transport of sand within the panchayat limits. The panchayat members had also submitted memoranda to the deputy commissioner on July 19, 20 and 23, requesting action against unlicensed mining, but the requests were ignored, the members detailed in the PIL.

N Venkataramegowda, former president of Mustoor Gram Panchayat, residents within the panchayat limits N C Jagadishwara, B N Changalarayappa, K Venkataramanappa, Shiva Parvathi Stree Shakthi Sangha president Radhamma filed the PIL, guided by senior advocate M Shivaprakash.

Other recipients

Notices have also been issued to the chief secretary of the State government; the secretaries of the departments for Industries and Mining, Small Irrigation, and Transport; the director of the Mining and Geology Department; the senior geologist in the Department; the joint director of the Irrigation and Mining Department; the executive engineer of the Department for Small Irrigation; the assistant executive engineer of the PWD; the Deputy Commissioner; the District Superintendent of Police; the Deputy Forest Conservation Officer; the tahsildars of Kolar and Mulbagal taluks; the police inspectors of Mulbagal and Nangali and the executive officer of Mulbagal Taluk Panchayat, among others.

There are three to 3.5 thousand residents in the Panchayat, which has about five villages. The residents depend on agricultural activities for their livelihood, using the land in Nagavara, Byatanur, Nangali and Mustoor.

The Gram Panchayat members complained in the PIL that the indiscriminate mining activities have been destroying the fertility of the soil near the water tanks in the villages and even reduced the level of underground water. In addition, the unlicensed transport of sand to Bangalore has affected agriculture, they said.

They added that officers in the Mining and Geology Department, the Police Department and the Revenue Department were fully aware of the rampant mining but chose to turn a blind eye to the illegal activities. “The officers have all fueled the development of the sand mafia. The Panchayat and the women’s forum members have continued to fight agains the sand mining, but have lost the battle having to face the power of position and wealth. Sand is continuously mined at 15 acres and 20 guntas of the Nagavara tank, 124 acres and 34 guntas of the Byatanur tank, and 210 acres of Mustoor tank,” the members said in the complaint.

“The rule that the Mining and Geology Department, Regional Transport Office and the Revenue Department should open check posts and prevent transport of sand mining has remained only on paper. The officers have clearly failed to fulfill their duties as defined by the Constitution,” they complained.

‘Act immediately’

Shivaprakash, who spoke to Deccan Herald on Tuesday, demanded that the concerned departments be instructed immediately to take necessary action against unlicensed mining of sand in the area. “A high powered committee should be formed to deal with the issue. It has also been requested that the officers personally recompense the farmers in Mustoor Gram Panchayat area, since the officers’ negligence and disregard for duty has caused the losses. The life of the people, natural conditions, underground water level and water bodies have all been wrecked because of the rampant mining,” he added.

Shivaprakash also demanded that all departments take action by December this year. “Varthur Prakash and Amaresh continue to make false promises at every meeting or function that the unlicensed sand mining would be brought to a halt and that crores of rupees have been released for the development of the district. We request them to consider the welfare of the district at least from now on.”





Atomic power station operated as per prescribed standards: TN

Press Trust of India / Chennai October 09, 2012, 22:15

Tamil Nadu government today submitted before the Madras High Court that safety features, security set up and emergency preparedness plans in the Madras Atomic Power Station, Kalpakkam, near here, are designed and operated as per the prescribed standards.

This was stated in a counter by the then Commissioner of Revenue Administration, K Gnanadesikan, to a PIL by one M Vetri Selvan, seeking a direction to the central and state authorities to implement the National Disaster Management Guidelines on nuclear and radiological emergencies in and around the atomic power station.

Gnanadesikan said the plant and site emergencies were handled by the site committee. The off-site emergency was handled by the district administration which included sheltering and evacuation. Offsite emergency drills were conducted once in two years to create and ascertain awareness levels.

All doctors and paramedical staff of the surrounding villages were imparted awareness training prior to carrying out the exercise. The last such drill was done on July 13, 2011 by the National Disaster Management Authority.

The official submitted that the guidelines on management of nuclear and radiological emergencies laid down by the NDMA were being implemented in a phased manner. The counter also detailed the medical preparedness of the plant as per the NDMA guidelines.



PIL seeks direction for probe against Vadra

Oct 9, 2012

A writ petition was filed today before Allahabad High Court’s Lucknow bench seeking direction for probe into allegation’s levelled by Arvind Kejeriwal against Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.


The petition was filed in the HC registry by Nootan Thakur who claims to be a social activist.

The petitioner sought a direction to the Prime Minister’s secretary for conducting an inquiry into the allegations related to transactions between Vadra and realty major DLF.






Block online access to controversial film: PIL in HC

TNN | Oct 10, 2012, 01.51AM IST

CHENNAI: Controversial promo of the movie – Innocence of Muslims – reached the doorsteps of the Madras high court, with a public interest writ petition being filed to block access to the material available online.

A division bench of Justice Elipe Dharma Rao and Justice Aruna Jagadeesan, before which the PIL filed by advocate K M Aasim Shehzad came up for admission on Tuesday, directed the registry to post the matter before some other bench for hearing.

When the matter was taken up, counsel for the petitioner Sanjan Pinto submitted that the material was still accessible in India, and wanted the court to direct the union ministry of communications and information technology, besides Google India Pvt Ltd to enforce blockade and ensure the film was not accessible in India.

In the petition, Shehzad listed the links where the offending material was available and pointed out that several countries had banned and blocked the promo. Noting that the film contained racist, anti-religious anti-Muslim hate speech, he said it was the statutory duty of the Central authorities to ensure that the fundamental right of citizens to freedom of religion was protected.





PIL seeks special buses for school children

Special Correspondent

A public interest litigation petition has been filed in the Madras High Court Bench in Madurai to frame special rules governing the transport of school children in government buses, autorickshaws and vans as it had been done in the case of private school buses.

A. Arunothayam Erskine of a non-governmental organisation based in Virudhunagar district had filed the case through his counsel R. Narayanan. The petitioner stressed that his plea must be considered seriously as more than 60 per cent of school students travelled in vehicles other than school buses.

Claiming that the State government had issued 27.2 lakh free bus passes to school children, Mr. Erskine said that most of them had to travel on footboard in congested buses and suffer humiliation at the hands of bus drivers and conductors for travelling free of cost.

He said that girls and physically challenged children faced physical as well as mental abuse from some unruly elements while travelling in public transport. Many a times, the government buses did not halt at bus stops thereby making the school going children run behind the vehicles for a long distance.

The petitioner suggested that the government could consider operating special buses exclusively for the use of school children on the lines of those operated for women alone. The drivers and conductors of those buses could be sensitized on the need to treat them properly and behave responsibly.




PIL alleges graft in land allotment in Noida, Greater Noida

TNN | Oct 9, 2012, 09.49PM IST

ALLAHABAD: A PIL has been filed in the Allahabad high court seeking CBI probe into the allotment of land in Noida and Greater Noida to hotel management and builders at throwaway prices between 2001 and 2011.

This intervention application has been filed in a PIL wherein posting of two senior IAS officers, Rakesh Bahadur and Sanjeev Saran, in Noida authority has been challenged.

Rakesh Bahadur is posted at Noida as chairman, while Sajeev Saran is the CEO.

The bench of Acting Chief Justice Amitava Lala and Justice PKS Baghel on Tuesday fixed to hear this PIL filed by advocate Renu Singh on October 17. This plea will be heard by the bench along with a PIL filed by Madhav Samaj Kalyan Samiti against these two IAS officers.

The PIL has alleged embezzlement in allotment of farmers land in Noida to the hotel management and builders.






SC asks panel to spell out stand on endosulfan

New Delhi, Oct 9, 2012, DHNS:

Apex court concerned at economic impact of ban

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked an expert committee to tell in definite terms if the use of pesticide endosulfan could at all be permitted in the country or it would be in greater human advantage to ban it in entirety.

A bench asked a slew of questions to the committee, including the exact quantity of all forms of endosulfan formulations available in the country.

The court also wanted to know if it was possible to permit the export of the pesticide in case its use was not allowed here.

The Bench sought the response within six weeks while clarifying that it would not give further time to the committee as the PIL petition seeking permanent ban has been pending for over a year.

The court passed the fresh directions after noting that the committee which consisted of, among others, Director-General, Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and Commissioner, Agriculture provided no “satisfactory answers.”

“Needless to say that the matter is pending for over an year, we want a definite stand of Union of India,” the court said. The interim order banning use and manufacture of endosulfan was passed on May 13 on the Centre’s support.

The committee was told on August 5, last year, to conduct scientific study if the substance caused health hazard or environmental and ecological damage.

During the hearing, the court observed: “If we allow use of endosulfan, it creates human crisis, if we continue with ban, it creates economic crisis.” The remarks came after it was pointed out that it about Rs 1,232 crore would be required for disposing of the existing stocks.

The court decided to add Director-General Health Services, one scientist each from Agriculture Ministry and ICMR and Joint Secretary, Plant Protection, Agriculture Ministry and Member Secretary, Central Pollution Control Board as members of the committee.

Senior counsel Krishnan Venugopal, appearing for PIL petitioner Democratic Youth Federation of India, submitted that when report of the committee emanated from the agriculture side, it tried to circumvent the order of the court banning the use of the pesticide.

The director of ICMR could not confirm that there was no consequence on human health due to its use, he said.

Framing fresh additional issues for consideration, the Bench told the committee to hold its meeting within one week and also inform it in case, the use of endosulfan was not permitted, if it was possible to destroy the available endosulfan and cost, required in it, along with economic ramifications of such a decision.

The court, while posting the matter for passing direction for November 20, said, “We make it clear we will not be inclined to give any further time to government on the matter.” The Centre had constituted the joint expert committee having members among others from National Institute of Animal Health, a group of epidemologists and immunologists to suggest measures on the issue.

The committee submitted its report on August 24 saying that, except in Kerala and Karnataka, the ban might not be imposed because no negative impact of this pesticide on crops, human and animal health and environment had been reported in other states.





Amit Jethava murder: CBI registers case

Express news service

Posted: Oct 10, 2012 at 0444 hrs IST

New Delhi The CBI on Tuesday registered a case in connection with the 2010 killing of Gujarat-based RTI activist Amit Jethava in which a state BJP MP is a suspect.

The agency started probe on the instructions of the High Court which had handed over the case to CBI and criticised the state police for their shoddy investigations in the murder in which BJP MP from Junagadh Dinu Bogha Solanki’s nephew Shiva Solanki was arrested for allegedly carrying out the killing but the MP was given a clean chit.

The agency has lodged the FIR against unknown persons under Section 302 (murder) of IPC, CBI sources said.

The team of special crime unit would soon be reaching Ahmedabad to initiate its probe in the case, they said.

A RTI and environment activist, Jethava, who had filed numerous RTI applications and a PIL against illegal mining in Gir forest region, was shot dead outside the Gujarat High Court on July 20, 2010.

The killing had sparked an uproar among the RTI activists across the country who raised concerns over the safety of such whistleblowers.

His father Bhikabhai Jethwa had sought a CBI probe alleging that Dinu Bogha Solanki was behind the murder.

In his plea before the High Court, Bhikabhai has alleged that state police had not properly probed the case and the state government was shielding the BJP MP.

The division bench of Justices D H Vaghela and J C Upadhyay, on September 25, while handing over the case to CBI had observed that investigation in Jethava murder case was “far from fair, independent, bona fide or prompt”.

The High Court had also rapped the state police for its shoddy probe.

“It has come on record that Shiva Solanki (nephew of BJP MP and prime accused in the case) and DB (Dinu Bogha Solanki) were living together in a joint family and no investigator could have been easily satisfied with the statements that they did not interact in respect of the conspiracy to commit a capital crime,” it had said.

Police had arrested six persons including Shiva and sharp shooter Sailesh Pandya, who had shot at Jethava but it ruled out any involvement of Dinu Bogha Solanki in the murder.

The court later directed the police to specifically probe the role of the BJP MP but Solanki got a clean chit again.

Jethava had filed several petitions in the Gujarat High Court including a Public Interest Litigation in connection with illegal mining in Gir forests in Junagadh district which is a protected area and last home to Asiatic lions.

The bench while conceding the demand of the RTI activist’s father Bhikhabhai, had severely criticised the investigation into the case conducted by Gujarat police.

“The commission of murder, in the facts of the present case, amounted to an affront to the judicial system and a challenge to implementation of an Act of Parliament, with national repercussions and has to be viewed seriously,” the bench had observed. It had asked the central agency to complete further investigation and file the report, preferably within six months.

“Murder of a petitioner in a PIL and an RTI activist, in front of the High Court, could be read as a clear message to the concerned citizens that they may have to pay by their lives, if they insist upon using the tools placed in their hands by law and approach the court for redressal of public grievance against some individuals,” it had said.






Not enough hospitals to deal with mental health issues: NHRC

Press Trust of India / New Delhi October 10, 2012, 17:25

Rapid changes in lifestyle and work pressure contribute more to depression, but not many hospitals in India cater to such patients due to lack of training in dealing with mental health issues.

This view was articulated by National Human Rights Commission Chairperson K G Balakrishnan who said such issues should be given priority by medical practitioners.

“There are about 43 hospitals in the government sector and very few in the private sector that deal with these issues. Also there are no specific courses in the MBBS too that deal with the issues of mental health, despite the fact that they are on the rise due to anxiety and depression in India,” he said.

At a seminar organised by NHRC to mark Mental Health Day here, a study said issues of mental health are not given as much priority as other health problems in the country.

Suggesting the need for an insurance cover for mental health patients, Dr Prahima Murthy from the NIMHANS, Bangalore said there are better infrastructural facilities available in the hospitals across the country as compared to ten years back.

But, she said, the number of trained professionals are limited.

In most cases, patients of schizophrenia and paranoia are subjected to in-human conditions and human rights violations since most of them are forced to be treated by their family members at various religious institutions, said Prof Nimesh G Desai, Director of Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences.

The NHRC has proposed enactment of several mental health legislations to increase awareness amongst patients and family members.






Stephanians take roll row to rights panel

TNN | Oct 10, 2012, 02.07AM IST

NEW DELHI: Stephanians do nothing by halves. They’ve gone as far as the National Human Rights Commission to reclaim for Rohtas the right to sell rolls from his dhaba on the college campus. A group of the college’s alumni – the Old Stephanian’s Association – has lodged a complaint with the NHRC after their online campaign and furious statement-issuing failed to elicit a response from college authorities. Their campaign was launched when the roll-ban was first discovered by teacher in mid-September.

The former students believe that the livelihood of Rohtas’ family – running the dhaba on the college premises for decades – will be severely impacted by the ban. The ban itself – imposed because the dhaba is allowed to serve only certain items (nimbu paani, gulab jamun) and not compete with the cafe – creates a situation in which it is no longer feasible for Rohtas to run the stall, argues Old Stephanian, Ashish Joshi. This, apparently, constitutes a “gross violation of principles of natural justice, human rights and denial of equal opportunity to Shri Rohtas, who along with his father late Shri Sukhia has been running the Dhaba in St Stephen’s College for more than fifty years,” as the note puts it. The college authorities had defended the move saying that considering Rohtas’ family does not pay anything for the space they occupy, they should not compete with the college cafe.

The Old Stephanians counter that Rohtas’ father once sold cigarettes and it was after the university banned cigarettes, “Rohtas was compensated for loss of income by allowing him to sell rolls etc.” Now that even that has been stopped, says the letter, “Rohtas has been economically deprived. Situation has been created that his small business would no longer remain viable and sustainable. Adverse conditions have been whereby he cannot run a viable and sustainable business.”

“At his age he cannot find another job,” continues the letter, “He will not be able to look after his family and the family will lose livelihood and hunger will stare at them.The treatment being meted out to Rohtas is at variance with humanitarian principles.”

Times View
The feeling of outrage at rolls being banned at this eatery may be entirely genuine, but surely it needs to be tempered with some sense of proportion. We very much doubt that the idea behind setting up the NHRC was to deal with violations of students’ rights to have the menu of their choice at college eateries. Raising this issue in such a forum only serves to trivialize the notion of human rights. The petitioners would be best advised to apologize to the NHRC for wasting its time and withdraw their plea.





Ban on tinted car glasses in Kokrajhar

TNN | Oct 10, 2012, 04.57AM IST

KOKRAJHAR: District transport officials along with the traffic police of Kokrajhar on Monday have launched a massive drive against the use of tinted glasses in car windows or windshields following a Supreme Court order. Kokrajhar is second to Guwahati in being a part of such a directive.

District transport officials and the Kokrajhar traffic police were seen carrying out the drive by removing tinted glasses from cars at several locations in the town. Apart from private cars, few government vehicles with tinted glasses were also hauled up.

Kokrajhar MVI inspector D Shyam said the drive is being carried out following the directives of higher authority which came after the Supreme Court order. The Supreme Court had issued a ban on the use of sun control films and tinted glasses on May 2. The order was in response to a PIL which alleged that vehicles with tinted glasses were increasingly used for criminal activities including sexual abuse. The law enforcing authorities believe this order will help them control crime and even nab criminals as they can now easily identify people sitting inside a car.

Public too has welcomed the order and feel many untoward and anti-social activities would be controlled through this. The ban is applicable to all vehicles including government and police vehicles.






Non-hygienic conditions at slum; HC asks sr official to appear

Press Trust of India / New Delhi October 09, 2012, 11:03

Irked over alleged inaction of civic bodies in ensuring “hygienic” conditions at a slum here, the Delhi High Court today asked a senior Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) official to appear before it and apprise it of steps taken in this regard.

“Do not make a person to come to the court before you (DSIB and MCD) finally act…Let the person concerned (Chief Engineer of DUSIB) appear in person next Monday,” said Chief Justice D Murugesan.

The bench, also comprising Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, asked the civic bodies to file a status report by October 15, the next date of hearing, on steps taken by it to ensure healthy living conditions at Indira Kalyan Vihar slum at Okhla in South Delhi.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by NGO Conference For Human Rights India (CFHRI) through advocate Nanita Sharma alleging South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and the DUSIB were “passing the buck” to each other, while shying away from their duty to ensure hygienic living conditions there.

The PIL has sought a direction to the civic bodies “to ensure clean, hygienic living conditions of the inhabitants of the slum at Indira Kalyan Vihar” as all drains in the area were found open and clogged.

“The whole slum colony stands by thick swarm of flies carrying germs of all types of diseases and posing risk of outbreak of an epidemic…

“Apart from the flies, what could be more infecting for the slum dwellers is a flurry of buzzing mosquitoes in every nook and corner of the slum, posing a great risk of outbreak of a lot of deadly diseases like malaria, dengue, chicken guinea, etc,” the petition alleged, adding that no action has been taken so far by the authorities.




Road rage victim brings Facebook campaign to real world

Nitasha Natu, TNN Oct 9, 2012, 12.37PM IST

MUMBAI: A south Mumbai-based advocate, who had flagged off an online campaign against errant motorists, brought the battle offline on Saturday with a first-ever meet of all members to discuss how they could make an actual difference.

Armin Wandrewala, who founded the group Sanity on our Roads (SOOR) on Facebook, was herself the victim of a road rage case two years ago when a biker knocked her down as she chided him for breaking a signal. Following the incident, the Bombay Bar Association pursued the matter, which led to the filing of a PIL in court.





Why are residents of Raheja Gardens still thirsty: HC to PMC

PMC, which entered into dev agreement with many builders that latter will provide drinking water for projects, says consumer court is an option

Vijay Chavan

Posted On Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 08:35:11 AM

It’s an undertaking that is un-civic at best, and shady at the other end of the spectrum. While the Bombay High Court has directed the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to reply to it over not providing clean drinking water to nearly 5,000 residents of Raheja Gardens housing complex in Wanowrie, the civic body itself is fighting shy of taking a stand.

The PMC gives the go-ahead to housing projects in areas where the civic body clearly states its inability to provide clean drinking water after the builder undertakes to provide the same. However, in case of violations of the undertaking by the builder, there is little the PMC will do for the aggieved flat owner apart from some friendly advice.

PMC superintending engineer (Water Supply) Narendra Salunke said, “In case there is a violation of the undertaking (to provide water) by the builder, the flat owners can approach a consumer court.
If the complaint comes to us, we can take action, like withholding building permission for future projects by the offending builder after verifying the charges. We have not maintained records of how many such societies have been built based on this undertaking.”

One of the oldest housing complexes in the city, Raheja Gardens comprises 945 flats.

The residents had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on February 21, 2012 after it was revealed via an RTI query that Raheja Builders and PMC had signed a development agreement, which stated that the construction of the scheme is allowed on the condition that it was the builder’s responsibility to supply water to all buildings in the layout, instead of the PMC.

The PIL named the municipal commissioner, Raheja Builders Group, the superintendent engineer of PMC’s water supply and drainage department and others as respondents in the case.

In their petition, residents have claimed that although they are paying water tax of Rs 12 lakh every year, PMC is denying them their basic right. On July 19 this year, the HC had directed Raheja Builders to look into the matter and take appropriate steps.

However, residents are now alleging that the builder is still supplying contaminated water, mixing it with PMC-provided potable water. They also furnished a laboratory analysis of the water, which stated that it is not fit for drinking.

Prakash Walde, a petitioner and resident, said, “I have purchased a water filter twice in one month. When the first purifier broke down, the company changed it during the guarantee period. When I insisted that the machine be changed again, the sales manager inspected the machine and told us that the water quality is very bad and no purifier will sustain in such water.”

A resident of Dahlia Society in Raheja Gardens, Mohammed Sayeed Merchant, said, “Water supplied by the builder is not potable. I buy mineral water for daily consumption as I have small children. It’s very expensive to buy water everyday.”

A J Mistry, secretary of Lily Society, said, “The water provided by the builder is so filthy that water purifiers break down. The builder’s new system to chlorinate it is also not appropriate. It is our basic right to get clean drinking water. We are the highest taxpayers here and are paying water tax too.”

The petition stated the PMC has not been supplying water though it is its responsibility as per the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporations Act, and that Raheja Builders hid the fact about the development agreement at the time of handing over possession.

The PIL further stated, “The source of water is by an underground stream, which has seepage from a nearby sewage canal. It is an open canal where dogs, cats, pigs urinate. Solid waste including sanitary napkins, animal carcasses are dumped in it. The same water is alleged to be ‘treated’ and supplied to the residents of Raheja Gardens Complex.”

Advocate for the petitioners, Shirin Merchant, also a resident, said, “We have prayed that the court be pleased to issue a Writ of Mandamus under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, 1950, directing the respondent PMC and Raheja Builders to immediately start supplying adequate potable and pure drinking water to all the residents of the said Raheja Gardens Complex.”

The PIL prayed to direct the PMC to permanently refrain itself from sanctioning building plans based on undertakings given by builders and developers that they shall supply water to flat buyers.

It urged to direct that the civic body make it mandatory for such builders to annexe a copy of such undertakings to the flat booking agreements, to ensure that flat buyers are informed about such an undertaking.

The builder should regularly issue public notices in this regard in leading local newspapers, as well publish the names of such constructions on its websites permanently to be viewed by prospective flat purchasers.

The PIL urged that the PMC should refund the water tax that it has been collecting from the residents of Raheja Gardens Complex since its inception, showing the amounts received from each tenement.

A Peerzada, project manager with Raheja Builders, Pune and Sanjay Shinolikar, general manager, said they cannot comment on this issue as the matter is sub-judice. “The court will decide the further course of action. We have been providing clean water right from the first day,” Peerzada said.

Salunke added, “We’re yet to receive a copy of the HC order. We’ll submit to the court that we are ready to supply potable water after the existing water supply network is adequately expanded. As per the undertakings, till date the responsibility of water supply is with the builder.”

Advocate Aroona Nafday, convenor, Pune Forum for Flat Owners (PUFO), said, “There is no provision in any Act or in the DC rules that water cannot be supplied to residents. It is mandatory that the PMC supply water, as it is a basic right.

We’re hopeful the decision will be in favour of the concerned residents. Sanctioning of building projects should not be given if there is a water crisis. The concerned builder and PMC engineer should be slapped with criminal cases, as this is cheating.”





SC quashes liquor vend re-auction that ‘favored’ Ponty in 2004

TNN | Oct 10, 2012, 05.41AM IST

CHANDIGARH: In a major setback to the Punjab government, the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday dismissed the appeal filed by Punjab government against a seven years old verdict of the Punjab and Haryana high court, which had quashed the re-auction of liquor vends in various major cities of the state held in November 2004.

Re-auction of the vends conducted in November 2004 was found to be conducted in violation of Punjab Liquor Licence Rules, 1956 to benefit firms of Ponty Chadha at the cost of the state exchequer.

In its November 11, 2005 orders, a division bench comprising Chief Justice D K Jain and Justice Hemant Gupta of the HC had set aside the auction/re-auction done by the excise department and also directed that the amount deposited by Sanjeev Bhandari, an unsuccessful bidder, Rs 6.07 crores be remitted with interest.

In its order, the bench had also ordered action against all the government officials for conducting the re-auction in breach of rules and their failure to carry out the mandate of liquor rules and to safeguard the interests of the state.

Aggrieved, the Punjab government had moved SC in appeal to quash the said judgment.

However, contesting the state government’s appeal, senior advocate Mohan Jain had argued that the state exchequer had suffered a loss of Rs 11.78 crore in the re-auction process, which was done to favour Ponty of UP because it was conducted by changing the reserve price arbitrarily in contravention of the liquor rules.

Advocate Mohan Jain, who had appeared for Sanjeev Bhandari, had also contended that the excise department lowered the reserve price to Rs 75 per bottle so that the bidders, who belonged to the Ponty group, could take advantage of it. After the re-auction, he said, the authorities announced a loss of Rs 17.79 crores and then claimed improvement by reducing the loss to Rs 11.78 crores through negotiations with successful bidders.

After hearing the arguments, the appeal filed by the state of Punjab has been dismissed by the SC.

Box: Impact

The Punjab government will have to take action against all those state government officers involved, because of whom the state exchequer had suffered a huge loss. The state will have to return Rs 6.7 crores to Sanjeev Bhandari with interest from November 2004.






SC may allow tiger tourism in core reserve areas

Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN | Oct 10, 2012, 12.35AM IST

NEW DELHI: With the season of festivals and holidays drawing near, the Supreme Court on Tuesday served some good news for wildlife enthusiasts by indicating that it would lift the two-and-a-half month old ban on tourism in core areas of tiger reserves next week.

After additional solicitor general Indira Jaising informed that National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) would notify new guidelines permitting regulated tourism in core areas within a week, the court fixed further hearing on October 16 and said on that day, it would “modify or vacate” its July 24 interim ban order.

A bench of Justices A K Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar realized that the court could not have passed the July 24 order on a special leave petition challenging an interim order of Madhya Pradesh High Court and said, “The Supreme Court could not in these proceedings either put a stamp of approval on the NTCA guidelines or quash them.”

After the interim ban, the NTCA revisited its guidelines on tiger reserve management, made a U-turn, and framed fresh guidelines giving importance to public participation in efforts to conserve tigers and recommended limited tourism in 20% of core areas under strict supervision of forest officials.

Given the legal status of the guidelines framed by NTCA under its statutory obligations, the bench said, “NTCA may therefore issue the formal notification notifying the comprehensive guidelines in accordance with the Wildlife Conservation Act. The additional solicitor general appearing for the NTCA submits that the requisite notification will be issued within a week. List the matter for further hearing on Tuesday, October 16, for consideration of the prayer for vacating/modifying the interim order.”

The SC’s July 24 interim order banning tourism in core areas of tiger reserves had cut off access to popular tourist destinations like Dhikala in Corbett National Park. It had brought politicians and environmentalists together in citing the importance of tourism in core areas for protecting the endangered big cat from poachers.

What the court was concerned about was rampant commercialization of buffer and core areas of tiger reserves without proper demarcation of these two important areas in protected forests. Its interim ban had shaken the NTCA to shed its lethargy and consult stakeholders before framing fresh guidelines on a war footing.

On July 9, the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) had filed the ‘Guidelines for Ecotourism in and around Protected Areas’ in the apex court and said, “Any core area in tiger reserves from which relocation has been carried out will not be used for tourism activities.”

The guidelines were based on key recommendations of the Tiger Task Force (2005) and were in sync with Section 38(v) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (as amended in 2006), which defined core/critical wildlife habitats as such areas that needed to be kept inviolate for tiger conservation without affecting the rights of Scheduled Tribes or forest dwellers.

On September 26, the NTCA submitted new guidelines to the SC and said tourists were permitted to visit only 20% of core areas of tiger reserves and it was well within ecologically permissible levels.

Taking into account the court’s concern for tiger conservation, the NTCA had said conservation efforts must have public participation and regulated tourism was an effective and invaluable tool to harness community support for this purpose.

It had said, “With the importance of tourism in tiger conservation in mind, it is recommended that a maximum of 20% of the core/critical tiger habitat usage (not exceeding the present usage) for regulated, low-impact tourist visitation may be permitted.”

The core area is kept free of biotic disturbances and forestry operations, where collection of minor forest produce, grazing and human disturbances are not allowed. The Act defines buffer zone as the area peripheral to the critical tiger habitat or core area providing supplementary habitat for dispersing tigers, besides offering scope for co-existence of human activity.





Man ordered capital punishment

Press Trust of India / Sambalpur (Odisha) October 09, 2012, 11:02

A local court ordered capital punishment to a man today for the murder of a minor girl after raping her last month.

District Sessions Judge Bibhu Prasad Routray ordered that Pradip Dalai be hanged till death for mercilessly killing the 7-year-old old girl and rigorous life imprisonment for raping her.

Dalai (27), a driver, was also convicted for tampering with evidence (section 201) and kidnapping (section 366) under the IPC.

The court had convicted the man October 1 and pronounced the death sentence today.

The girl, a standard two student, was playing with her friends on September 2 afternoon when Pradip lured her away on the promise of treating her to chowmein.

When the girl who called Pradip, a father of two, ‘mamu’ (maternal uncle) did not return even after night fall her family members launched a search and found her body in a bush in the early hours of the next day.

The girl, daughter of a daily wage earner, was found to have been raped and then strangulated during autopsy.

Pradip was arrested and forwarded to court the next day and chargesheeted within seven days.

Pradip is the sixth person to be awarded the death sentence in Odisha’s Sambalpur district in 58 years. One person was awarded capital punishment in 1954, followed by two in 1993 and another two in 2009. So far only the 1954 death sentence has been executed.

Dhananjoy Chatterjee was the last man to have been hanged to death in the country in 2004. He too was charged for raping and murdering a minor girl in Kolkata.




Man who staged wife’s murder as suicide gets life

Press Trust of India / New Delhi October 09, 2012, 11:03

A man who had killed his wife by hanging her from ceiling and attempted to stage it as suicide has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a Delhi court.

Additional Sessions Judge Narinder Kumar convicted Feroze considering, besides other circumstances, the medical opinion which confirmed that the hanging was not suicidal but “homicidal”.

The judge also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on Feroze.

Feroze’s mother Mehrunisha was, however, let off by the court due to lack of evidence.

Feroze was found guilty of murdering his wife Tarannum, whom he had married in 2007, by hanging her from ceiling of their room on the intervening night of August 11-12, 2010.

Tarannum’s brother told police and the court that Feroze and his mother used to harass and beat her but it nowhere transpired if it was for dowry.

The court arrived at the conclusion that it was a case of murder and not suicide, considering the medical evidence that all injuries of the victim were fresh and death was due to asphyxia caused by homicidal hanging.

On the question as to who killed Tarannum, the court held Feroze guilty as he had deposed that he was sleeping with his wife in the same room and he found her hanging when he woke up late in the night.

“In the given circumstances, it was for Feroze to explain as to how did Tarannum suffer fresh injuries on her person. This goes to show that scuffle took place prior to Tarannum was hanged. The doctor has categorically opined that it was not a case of suicidal hanging,” the judge said.

The court also noted that Feroze’s conduct in not rushing to his mother to inform that his wife has hanged herself and not calling the police goes against him.





Transfer bail proceedings to Mumbai: Pandian to HC

TNN | Oct 10, 2012, 05.17AM IST

AHMEDABAD: One of the accused cops in the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, Rajkumar Pandian has requested the Gujarat high court to shift the court proceeding on his bail plea to Mumbai.

Pandian’s application came after the Supreme Court transferred the fake encounter case outside Gujarat on the request by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Justice R H Shukla adjourned the case till October 16, said the CBI counsel Yogesh Ravani.

Pandian argued in this case as party-in-person, and the local CBI court has now declared that the accused would not be in its custody as it was to hand over case papers to the high court for further transfer of case to Mumbai.

The suspended IPS officer has filed a bail application before the special CBI court on Mirzapur court campus. His earlier bail applications were rejected by the sessions court as well as the high court.

Last week, the high court refused to entertain a bail application filed by another accused cop, N K Amin. The high court did not act on the bail plea citing jurisdiction issue, particularly after the transfer of the case.

As per the chargesheets filed by the CBI as well as CID (crime), it was the former ATS SP Pandian who had gone to Hyderabad to abduct Sohrabuddin. However, apparently he made the trip as he had gone to inspect a bomb-blast site in Andhra Pradesh. He has also been accused of playing key role in elimination of the gangster and his wife Kauserbi after they were brought to Ahmedabad.

Pandian has also been named an accused in the Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter, which took place a year after Sohrabuddin’s encounter. However, Pandian was never arrested by CID (crime), though he has been in judicial custody in another case for more than five years.





Twin murder case: Double lifer for six accused

Express News Service

Nearly a decade after two men were murdered in Kollakodai in Ponganur village in Jawadhu Hills, Additional District Sessions Court-III in Tirupattur on Monday sentenced six persons to double life imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 13,000 each.

Judge M Prakasan found the six accused, Jayabalan (34) and Thirumurugan (29) of Athimur village,  and Bala (alias) Balasubramani (21), Mosh (alias) Moses (21), Murugan (21), and Manikandan (19), all from Polur, guilty of the crime and sentenced them to double life imprisonment under Section 396 (dacoity with murder) of IPC and slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 each. He also awarded them seven years rigorous imprisonment and penalty of Rs 1,000 each under Section 395 (dacoity), seven years (RI) and penalty of Rs 1,000 under Section 302 (murder) of IPC and two years RI and Rs 1,000 fine under Section 201 (disappearance of evidence) of IPC, said Additional Public Prosecutor A Dilli Babu.

Jamunamaruthur Police registered a case against the the six accused and arrested them on December 21, 2002. Police investigations revealed that the accused had strangled Poochi (40) and Chinnapillai (37), who were on night watch at a farm, in the late hours of December 17 and robbed them. After dumping their bodies in a nearby well, they went to Poochi’s house in Ponganur assaulted his 15-year-old son Babu and escaped with gold jewellery from the house.






Sessions Judge acts on letter of imprisoned man for bail

Mandi (HP), Oct 9 (PTI) Acting on a letter written by a prisoner lodged in Sub Jail Mandi to Sessions Judge, Mandi, the court granted him bail and asked him to furnish bail bonds and two sureties before a lower court.

Laxmender Pandey, a resident of Kalka (Haryana), wrote a letter to Virender Singh, Sessions Judge Mandi, seeking bail.




Court acquits youth of charges of kidnapping minor girl

Press Trust of India / New Delhi October 09, 2012, 17:05

A Delhi court has acquitted a youth of the charges of kidnapping a 14-year-old girl and forcing her to marry him, relying on her testimony that she was in love with him and had accompanied him of her own free will.

Additional Sessions Judge J R Aryan freed Bihar-native Sillan Kumar Das after considering the girl’s statement that she knew him for the past five years and had willingly gone to Bihar with him in December last year where they had married.

The prosecutor had argued that as the girl was less than 18 years of age, there was no question of her consenting for being taken away from her parents’ custody.

However, the court said, “Even if the girl was a little less than 18 years of age but if she has got married to accused and had accompanied him by her sweet consent and wish then offence of kidnapping or graver charge of kidnapping intended for some illicit purpose cannot be held to have been made out from the evidence of the girl and other evidence.

“Rest all witnesses in this case were formal and were only of supporting nature. Accordingly, prosecution case was closed. Accused is acquitted of the charge.”

According to prosecution, the girl’s parents had lodged a complaint that there minor daughter has been kidnapped by accused Das on December 29 last year when she had gone out.

The police said that the girl was kidnapped with an intention to force her into illicit relationship.

After the girl was rescued from Bihar, she was brought to Delhi in January this year and she told the court that she was in love with Das and had married him in Bhagalpur in Bihar with her consent.




Court awards lifer to duo for murdering cop


Kupwara, Oct 9: A local court here on Tuesday convicted a duo for murdering a cop and awarded life term to them.
Principal Sessions Judge Kupwara, Shahzad Azem convicted Shabir Ahmad Bhat of Maratgam Handwara and Mushtaq Malla of Shatgund Maratgam after they were found guilty of murdering a cop, Abdul Gaffar Mir of Maratgam Handwara seven years ago.
After hearing arguments of the counsels representing the State and the accused, the court had on Wednesday last reserved its judgment on the petition which was announced on Tuesday.
The prosecution examined 14 witnesses during the trial and all of them corroborated the contents of the First Information Report.
The prosecution was able to prove the guilt of the accused under Section 302 (murder) of RPC and under section 7/25 of Arms Act, who were accordingly convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by the court with a fine of Rs, 50000 each.
The court directed that Rs 30000 from the fine of each accused be provided to the next of kin of the victim. “In case of default the convict will have to undergo a further imprisonment of six months,” the court said in the 86-page judgment.
Emotional scenes were witnessed in the court room, when the judgment was being pronounced. The family members of the victim family hugged each other.
Reacting to the verdict of court, Zainab widow of the victim said “justice has been eventually done to us. We were waiting for the day when the killers would get the lifer”.
The constable Abdul Gaffar Mir of Badugh Kralgund Handwara was killed on September 6, 2006. A case under FIR under sections 302 of RPC and 7/25 of Arms Act  was registered in Police station Kralgund against the accused.
After concluding investigations, the police had apprehended the accused and chargesheet was presented in sessions court on August, 22, 2008.
The State was defended by senior public prosecutor Ghulam Muhammad Shah.
while the convicts were represented by counsels, Bashir Ahmad Dar and Mir Bashir Ahmad.





TP murder case transferred to Kozhikode court

TNN | Oct 10, 2012, 01.16AM IST

KOZHIKODE: Vadakara judicial first class magistrate has committed the T P Chandrasekharan murder case to Kozhikode district and sessions court. Magistrate M Shuhaib transferred the case to the higher court as the procedures in the magistrate court had been completed.

The principal sessions judge, Kozhikode, will take a decision on the court where the case will come up for trial. The principal sessions judge himself can try the case or will forward the case to some other court.

Sources said there was very little chance for setting up a special court for the trial. “If the charges are framed by the court and the schedule fixed, trial can be finished within months,” a source said.

Meanwhile, Vadakara magistrate rejected the bail pleas of the accused, including P K Kunhanandan and K C Ramachandran. The accused argued that the chargesheet in the case was incomplete. But the court accepted the prosecution stand that only the larger conspiracy behind the case needed to be investigated.






Panel to look into sexual harassment cases within SC premises created

TNN | Oct 10, 2012, 01.12AM IST

NEW DELHI: It took 15 years and a petition by 63 women lawyers for the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) to set up a committee, as mandated in the apex court’s judgment, to look into complaints of sexual harassment within the premises of the highest court.

A month back, the women lawyers had petitioned the Supreme Court seeking implementation of its 1997 judgment in Vishaka case mandating that every office, including in the private sector, constitute a committee comprising mostly of women, to look into complaints of sexual harassment at the workplace.

The petitioners had said, “There is no forum in Supreme Court, or the courts below, for women to address the issue of sexual harassment experienced by them frequently at the hands of their colleagues and persons in whose contact they come in while discharging their duties as advocates.”

The issue was raised on Tuesday at the Supreme Court Bar Association’s executive meeting by assistant secretary Gaurav Bhatia and the body constituted a five-member committee to look into complaints of sexual harassment of women lawyers in the Supreme Court premises. It comprised senior advocates Altaf Ahmed and Pinky Anand and avocates Meera Bhatia, Kumud Lata Das and Sharbani Chakravarthy.

The women lawyers in their petition had said, “In order to sub-serve the ends of justice towards the women advocates who require protection from sexual harassment in court precincts, there is an urgent requirement that SC gives further directions in this regard.” They had requested the court to make them a party in a pending case relating to alleged physical violence against a female advocate in Delhi High Court.

As per the guidelines laid down in the 1997 Vishaka judgment, a committee headed by a woman and with a majority of women members had to be set up in the apex court, each HC and trial court so that such cases could be addressed and resolved, the women lawyers had said. “At present, there is no such forum and in the light of the case before the Supreme Court, such a committee is the need of the hour and should be immediately set up,” they had said.




Angry words prompting crime not abetment, says court

NEW DELHI The Supreme Court has said that anything uttered in a fit of anger resulting in another person committing an offence or taking his life would not amount to abetment or instigation.

“The words uttered in the fit of anger or omission without any intention cannot be termed as an instigation,” a court bench of Justice BS Chauhan and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla said in a judgment.

“The offence of abetment by instigation depends upon the intention of the person who abets and not upon the act which is done by the person who has abetted. The abetment may be by an instigation, conspiracy or intentional aid as provided under Section 107 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),” said Justice Chauhan who pronounced the judgment.

Holding that the instigation had to be gathered from the circumstances of a particular case, the court said: “No straight-jacket formula can be laid down to find out as to whether in a particular case there has been instigation which forces the person to commit suicide.”

Referring to a scenario where in a case there may not be direct evidence of abetment, the judgment said: “In a particular case, there may not be direct evidence in regard to instigation which may have direct nexus to suicide.”

Having pointed to a situation of no direct evidence, the judgment said: “Therefore, in such a case, an inference has to be drawn from the circumstances and it is to be determined whether circumstances had been such which in fact had created the situation that a person felt totally frustrated and committed suicide.”

“More so” the court said: “While dealing with an application for quashing of the proceedings, a court cannot form a firm opinion, rather a tentative view that would evoke the presumption referred to under Section 228 Cr.P.C. (Court of Criminal Procedure)”

The Section 228 of the Cr.P.C. deals with the filing of charges says that a judge before committing a case for trial have to be satisfied that there are grounds for presuming that the accused has committed an offence.

Under the Section 228 Cr. P.C. the charges have to be read and explained to the accused and the accused shall be asked whether he pleads guilty of the offence charged with or claims to be tried.

The court said this while dismissing an appeal by one Praveen Pradhan who is accused of abetting the suicide of one Anuraj Singh.

In the complaint filed by the deceased Anuraj Singh’s brother, Ambreesh Singh it was alleged that Praveen Pradhan had been compelling his brother for long to indulge in several wrongful practices at the work place, which he resisted. In retribution Pradhan allegedly started making illegal demands, which were not complied with.

As a consequence Pradhan on one occasion sought to disgrace Anuraj Singh in front of the other staff members by saying that “had there been any other person in his place, he would have died by hanging himself”.

Soon thereafter, Anuraj Singh on October 6, 2005, narrated the incident to his relatives and next day on October 7, 2005, committed suicide after  leaving behind a note holding Pradhan responsible for his extreme step.





Five realty firms ‘encroach’ on defence land, booked

Pradeep Gupta, TNN | Oct 10, 2012, 02.35AM IST

MUMBAI: The Hill Line police in Thane on Tuesday booked five Mumbai-based construction companies for allegedly encroaching and constructing on land belonging to the Indian Air Force. The land in question is at Nevali village in Ambernath taluka of Thane district.

According to the complaint filed by Air Force official Ravindra Ahire, the five companies forged documents of survey numbers 94,109 and 113 and constructed illegally on the land.

Sources said the land is around 40,000 sq ft. The Nevali plot, situated around 50 km from Mumbai, was one of the busiest airbases of the British during World War II. Post-Independence, the ownership of the land was transferred to the ministry of defence. -Pradeep Gupta

“The companies have been booked under sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), and 34 (common intention) of Indian Penal code and Section 52 (penalty for unauthorized development) of the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act,” said senior inspector N V Jadhav.






Dowry Thrives In India In Gold Or Hard Cash

By Saraswathi Muniappan

NEW DELHI, Oct 9 (Bernama) — The skyrocketing gold price has not deterred the practice of giving dowry in India, instead families have become more innovative in meeting the dowry obligation.

Gold, which is traditionally given by the bride’s family as dowry, seems to have lost its luster especially after the commodity’s price breached Rs 32,000 (RM1,747) per 10gm recently.

Nowadays, Indian families seem to have moved away from gold to hard cash or properties or a combination of any of the two or all three.

In a modern India, the dowry system seems to have withstood the test of time and legislation barring the practice. In fact, it is thriving though many view giving dowry as a diabolic practice.

Fat Indians weddings and dowry as a precondition for marriage is a norm and glamorously reported in the media though dowry is blamed for many of the cruelties against women.


Dowry, known as Stree Dhan, is actually gift items usually given to the bride by her parents and relatives at the time of marriage.

In Hindu scripts, the Vedas, dowry is mentioned as Kanyadaan (gift of the maiden), said Nitasha Agarwal, chief manager of Smile Foundation, an NGO working for women’s welfare and empowerment.

“As the daughter in a family is not entitled for equal share in the family property, they are given gifts in the form of dowry but sometimes it is offered to entice the groom’s family.

“This has obviously worked against the women and their basic rights,” she said.


It is common knowledge that in most communities in India the amount of dowry given is nothing less then 100 sovereigns of gold and when a girl is born the family starts saving for her wedding immediately.

“Thus girls are considered liability, therefore female foeticide and infanticide prevails,” she told Bernama in an email interview.

Bollywood actor Aamir Khan in his Satyamev Jayate (Truth Alone Prevails) talk show brought to light that 80 per cent of bank loans were taken by people to meet dowry demands.

Moreover, the dowry demands continue even after marriage and failure to fulfill the demands lead to harassment, physical and mental torture and the horrific practice of ‘bride burning’ .

“One woman dies every hour in India in dowry related cases,” Aamir revealed in his show.

Nitasha also blamed on the misplaced societal perception that if a girl is married at an early age, a small amount of dowry would work but if the girl is educated then the family has to pay a high dowry to seek a bridegroom of same status.

Therefore, the dowry system to a great extent is also to be blamed for child marriages, neglect of daughters and sexual harassment.


Meanwhile Dr Rizwana Parvin, a practicing lawyer in Delhi said that India has sufficient laws to protect women but has not been enforced properly and do not fully take into account several gender sensitive issues.

Dowry is even banned under the Dowry Prohibition Act 1961 and Section 498A of Indian Penal Code (IPC) while a host of other laws protect women against domestic violence, rape, and prohibit gender selection tests.

However, there is a lack of awareness about these laws. Also, it is the fear of social stigma that stops women from seeking divorce when they suffer domestic violence due to dowry demand or any other reason.

“So, women to some extent tolerate such harassment either not knowing the existence of laws that protect them or due to the mindset of how the society will look at them when they seek divorce,” she told Bernama.

“I have handled a few matrimonial disputes (related to dowry and otherwise) and the women found proper justice and their needs were well taken care of.

“The fact that dowry-related violence and deaths have shown no abatement in the past two decades only indicate that the existing laws have not been implemented properly and therefore failed to serve as deterrents,” said Rizwana.


Thousands of women are killed every year in India over dowry. The cases of dowry-related torture are the highest accounting for 32.4 per cent of crimes against women in the country.

Among the recent cases were a young woman being brutally killed allegedly by her husband for dowry in Vijapore village of Navsari district, Gujarat and a woman from Punjab claimed she was tortured by her husband and in-laws for giving birth to a girl and bringing ‘inadequate’ dowry.

And such cases are not restricted to poor or uneducated segment of the Indian society.

Early last month, a 28-year-old homemaker was allegedly murdered by her engineer husband over dowry at Motilal Mallick Lane in Baranagar, Kolkata. While the husband was arrested, the victim’s mother-in-law fled.

Dowry deaths continue and their perpetrators consistently go unpunished, despite a considerable amount of activism both globally and domestically and the availability of international and domestic laws, said Nitasha.

A report quoting the National Crime Records Bureau’s statistics indicate a crime has been recorded against women in every three minutes in India.

Every 60 minutes, two women are raped in the country. Every six hours, a young married woman is found beaten to death, burnt or driven to suicide.

“Gender subordination is among the reasons for such violence against women as they are generally considered as secondary compared with men in terms of education and career,” said Nitasha.

Others were institutionalisation of dowry system all across society-caste, class and religion as well as turning dowry into opportunity to make gains and as a marketing exercise. The problem is made worst by the lack of stringent action against dowry law violators, she pointed out.

“Women are trying hard to save their lives and dignity with the support of legal amendments, media, serious activism, and heightened awareness. Despite of all these protests, India still could not shed the dowry stigma,” she said.


The mechanism to stop crime against women should be strengthened further by making the authorities, such as police to be more sensitive in handling gender issues, said Nitasha.

Firstly, there should be a proper system to report on crime against women, active and properly functioning women police cell as well as crises centres.

Shelter homes had to have competent counselors and proper rehabilitation approach, she explained.

Capacity building among young girls, boys and local leaders to say no to dowry is another method of weeding such problem from young.

She said civil society organisations and individuals should also work on changing perception of family and society towards girl, especially parental perception towards their child and her upbringing, rights to property and awareness on laws and protection policies.

“We have encourage people to start thinking positively, because when our social relationship is dictated by religion, caste and creed, we follow all that exists within. Yet when we come out from the closet, we see others as humans in our social relationship,” she said.






3/7: ‘Yasin Bhatkal planted bomb at Dadar’

October 10, 2012 01:13 IST

An accused in the July 13 Mumbai [ Images ] serial blasts last year has confessed that fugitive Indian Mujahideen [ Images ] chief Yasin Bhatkal planted the bomb at suburban Dadar that left one person dead and 14 others wounded.

The bomb had exploded atop a bus stop in Dadar. The main objective of Bhatkal behind hatching the conspiracy and planting the bomb was to trigger communal conflagration in Mumbai, IM member Nadeem Sheikh said in his 25-page confession.

The confession was recorded before a magistrate’s court in March under section 164 of CrPC (recording of confessions and statements) and opened last week, sources said.

Twenty-seven people were killed and 127 injured when three near-simultaneous explosions ripped through Dadar, Zaveri Bazaar and Opera House on July 13 evening.

According to Sheikh, the conspiracy to trigger blasts was hatched in February 2011 after Bhatkal arrived in the city and introduced him to planters of the bombs at Opera House and Zaveri Bazar, Waqas and Tabrez respectively.

Sheikh said Bhatkal along with Naquee Ahmed, Waqas, Tabrez, and a person identified only as Munnabhai [ Images ] worked out the details of the plan in a secret meeting held on July 7.

It was after this meeting that Bhatkal asked Ahmed and Munnabhai to steal two-wheelers and hand them over to Waqas and Tabrez who planted the bombs, Sheikh said in his statement.

The locations were chosen after much deliberation so that the planters can not be identified.

The ATS had arrested Naquee Ahmed, Nadeem Shaikh, Kanwar Pathrija and Haroon Naik in the 13/7 case while six other IM members including Bhatkal are absconding.

The ATS had filed the first charge sheet in the case on May 25 against 10 IM members under the stringent provisions of the Maharashtra [ Images ] Control of Organised Crime Act, Indian Penal Code, Explosives Act, Explosives Substances Act, Prevention of Damage to Public Properties Act and Unlawful Prevention of Activities Act.

Among the wanted accused are Riyaz Bhatkal, Yasin Bhatkal — top operatives of the home grown terror outfit — Waqas Ibrahim Sad, Danish alias Tarbez, Dubai-based Muzaffar Kolah and Tehseen Akhtar Shaikh.

As per ATS investigations, Bhatkal, Waqas and Tarbez had rented a third floor flat in suburban Byculla’s Habib building where they allegedly assembled explosives used in setting off the explosions at Dadar, Zaveri Bazaar and Opera House on July 13, 2011.

The ATS filed an additional charge sheet against Mohammed Qafeel Ansari on August 14.





Lawyer moves court against Jairam Ramesh’s toilet remark

Press Trust of India

Lucknow: A lawyer has moved a court here seeking a direction for lodging an FIR against Union minister Jairam Ramesh over his comment that there were more temples in the country than toilets. The court on Tuesday fixed October 12 as the next date of hearing on the plea.

Chief Judicial Magistrate Rajesh Upadhay also called for a report from local Alambag police station regarding the plea. The lawyer, Yaduvansh Mani Singh, has filed the plea alleging that the statement of the Union Rural Development Minister is an offence under Indian Penal Code and FIR should be lodged against him in the matter.

The Rural Development Minister earlier had said that toilets are more pure and holy than temples.





Drunk driver gets seven years in jail

Soumittra S Bose, TNN | Oct 10, 2012, 05.47AM IST

NAGPUR: With drunk and reckless driving on the rise, the court has finally cracked the whip. Apart from sending a drunk driver to jail for mowing down three persons and injuring a few, the court also directed the police commissioner to be vigilant so that mishaps can be averted and violators could be booked.

On Tuesday, ad hoc additional sessions judge KL Vyas sentenced Deepak Gedam (23) to seven years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs5,000. The incident occurred on the Mecosabagh flyover on February 15. After being hit by Gedam’s matador, one of the victims flew off the flyover.

The court has also directed Jaripatka police to confiscate the killer matador and auction it so that the proceeds could go to the kin of the dead and the injured. The auction will take place in the presence of the judicial magistrate within two months.

The city police chief has also been directed to inform the regional transport office (RTO) about the conviction so that Gedam’s licence can be cancelled under the motor vehicles act.

Additional public prosecutor Deepak Kolhe said the court took a stringent view of the entire episode as it felt that reckless driving has become a social evil with many teenagers riding or driving vehicles without licence. Kolhe was assisted by SP Rode.

Gedam was convicted under section 304 (II) of the Indian penal code (IPC) for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Gedam was also sentenced to two years in jail and slapped with a fine of Rs1,000 for causing grievous injury and endangering lives.

Gedam was also convicted under section 427 of the IPC for causing mischief. Under section 427 of the IPC, Gedam was sentenced to three months in jail, a fine of Rs500 and additional imprisonment for seven days in case of a default.

Under section 181 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, Gedam was slapped with three months of imprisonment and a fine of Rs500 for violating safety rules.

He will also have to undergo imprisonment for six months and pay a fine of Rs1,000 under section 184 of the Motor Vehicles Act for dangerous driving. The court has also convicted Gedam under section 185 of the MV Act 1988 sentencing him to a jail term of six months and a fine Rs2000 for driving under the influence of alcohol.

“The government doctor, who testified before the court, said that Gedam was so drunk that he was not in a position to sign. He did not even have a licence, a fact confirmed by an RTO official,” said Kolhe.






Briton to depose via video conferencing

TNN | Oct 10, 2012, 06.21AM IST

PANAJI: The state children’s court recently allowed an application filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking examination of a British witness, Michael Mannion alias Masala, through video-conferencing in the trial of the two accused charged for allegedly killing 15-year-old Scarlett Keeling at Anjuna beach in 2008.

Sources said that the court on October 8 passed the order granting permission for ‘video examination’. The premier investigation agency had filed an application in March 2012 to examine the witness through video conferencing facility, which is available in the court hall. The prime British witness had refused to travel to Goa to depose before the court. Mannion had informed the CBI that he would be able to give his deposition from England through video conferencing. The court is likely to hear the case further in the month of November.

After taking over the investigation from the Goa police, the CBI had filed a supplementary chargesheet against the accused, Samson D’Souza and Placido Carvalho, before the court in October 2009. The voluminous chargesheet filed by the CBI, after conducting investigations for 16 months, charged the accused for allegedly committing culpable homicide not amounting to murder, sexual assault, destroying evidence and some other sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Goa Children’s Act. The court has framed charges against the duo.

Revealing the circumstances in which the British teenager was killed, the CBI alleged that the victim was seen intoxicated in front of Lui’s Cafe during the night before her body was found on the beach on Feburary 18, 2008.




To nail websites, Centre seeks extradition course

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, October 09, 2012

Appearing before a city court on Tuesday, Union home ministry under secretary Amar Chand suggested initiating extradition proceedings to secure the presence of some US-based websites, including Facebook and Google, in a criminal case launched against them for allegedly hosting “objectionable


Metropolitan Magistrate Jay Thareja said he would not take any coercive steps against the websites at this stage, but directed Amar Chand to assist complainant Vinai Rai’s lawyer in completing the formalities for serving summons to the websites concerned.

“In the present case, all the accused are corporations/juristic personalities. It is appropriate that they be served by way of summonses. Therefore, advocate for the complainant has been directed to complete/fill the forms supplied by Amar Chand in response to the summonses sent on June 12, 2012.” The matter will come up for hearing on October 18.

The complainant, Vinay Rai, brought a criminal case against 21 websites under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including Google, Facebook, Orkut, YouTube, Yahoo, Blogspot and Microsoft.

He sought the removal of alleged objectionable content from the websites, and their prosecution for allegedly committing offences such as circulating obscene materials as part of a criminal conspiracy.

Referring to the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) between USA and India, Amar Chand said instead of issuing summons to them, the court should initiate extradition proceedings.

According to the treaty, even if the court issued summonses to these websites, the legal process would take a lot of time.





Man faces action for letting Kejriwal restore power

New Delhi, Oct 9, 2012, DHNS & Agencies

BRPL files case under Act which bans tampering with power cables

Two days after Arvind Kejriwal launched his attack against the city government by restoring power supply in some houses, BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd filed a police complaint against a man, whose connection was restored on Sunday by the activist-turned-politician.

During protests across Delhi as part of his ‘bijli-paani satyagraha’, Kejriwal had visited the house of a labourer on Sunday at Tigri Colony in south Delhi and reconnected the power line cut off by the discom.

BRPL on Tuesday filed the case against the labourer with Neb Sarai police station in south Delhi.

In the complaint against Banna Ram, the discom has invoked Section 138 of the Indian Electricity Act, which states that it is illegal to interfere and fiddle with the electricity network. The discom said unauthorised power connection is a punishable offence that may attract imprisonment up to three years. Ram got a power bill of Rs 15,000 last month, and since he was unable to pay it, the discom cut off electricity to this house.

On why a complaint was not filed against Kejriwal, discom officials said action has been taken against the consumer who has been given the connection. State power minister Harun Yusuf had accused Kejriwal of trying to spread “anarchy” and “lawlessness” in the city.

Case against BJP leader

The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) of Monday filed a case under Sections 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of duty) and 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code against state BJP leader Vijay Goel for protesting outside the DERC office. DERC filed the case with Malviya Nagar police station, under whose jurisdiction Goel and his supporters had protested and disrupted hearing of the agency.

Police said BJP supporters surrouned DERC chairperson P D Sudhakar in his office. Police came an hour later and removed the protesters. Police said India Against Corruption activists had a minor scuffle with policemen when they tried to enter DERC office in Malviya Nagar.




HC rap govt on failure to curb drunken driving

Press Trust of India / Mumbai October 09, 2012, 11:03

The Bombay High Court today came down heavily on the Maharashtra government for failing to comply with orders passed a decade ago in connection with measures taken with regard to drunken driving, following the 2002 road accident involving Bollywood superstar Salman Khan.

A division bench headed by Justice D D Sinha was hearing a public interest litigation filed by journalist Nikhil Wagle, seeking enhancement of punishment awarded under section 304 A of IPC for causing death by rash and negligent act and increase in compensation awarded under the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act.

The scribe had filed the PIL soon after the road accident involving the 46-year-old actor.

On September 29, 2002 an inebriated Salman’s Toyota Land Cruiser run over five persons sleeping on a pavement in Bandra. He was arrested the next day and booked under sections 304 A, 337 and 338 of IPC. However, he was released on bail of Rs 950 immediately at the Bandra police station as all the sections were bailable.

The High Court, had in October 2002, directed the actor to deposit Rs 19 lakh as interim compensation to the deceased’s family and the four injured in the mishap.

The court had also asked the state government to file a report on what measures it proposes to take regarding such incidents and the union government to file an affidavit on increase in punishment under section 304 A.

However, till date no reply has been filed.

“Why has the state and union government not filed their affidavits ? This is a question of an order passed long time ago. Why has nothing been done yet,” Justice Sinha questioned.

Giving the State and Centre four weeks time to file their affidavits, he said, “The state government’s affidavit should say what measures it has taken to tackle drunken driving incidents and the Centre’s affidavit should clarify its stand on section 304 A.” (MORE)




State gets HC rap for applying Foreigners’ Act in case of ‘Indian’

Rosy Sequeira, TNN | Oct 10, 2012, 02.52AM IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Friday rapped the state for applying the Foreigners Act to a Pakistani national while claiming that he is an Indian.

A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Sadhana Jadhav was hearing a petition by Wadala resident Siraj Khan who entered India at the age of nine. He has urged for a directive to be deported to his home in Manshera in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. The judges observed that after the chargesheet was filed against Khan, the state government had made a statement that POK is part of India. “Do you want to contend that he is an Indian citizen? Look at the situation that emerges because earlier you made a statement that POK is a part of India. If this statement is accepted, then why have you prosecuted him under the Foreigners Act? The prosecution must go,” said Justice Oka. The judges also noted from the petition that Khan was sent to a remand home in Ahmedabad and asked the police to verify it. The case will be heard on October 16.





Varappuzha sex scam: High court raps police for not arresting accused

Express News Service

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday criticised the police team probing the sensational Varappuzha sex scandal case after the court found that an accused in the case was not arrested even after repeated orders of the court for the last one year.

Justice P Bhavadasan observed, “It is distressing to note that there has been no sincere and conscious effort of the police to arrest petitioner Muhammed Haneefa, of Bekal in Kasargod, the 52nd accused in the Varappuzha case. Almost a year passed since the first order of this court which directed the petitioner to surrender.” The court passed the order while dismissing the anticipatory bail plea of Muhammed Haneefa.

“The court is compelled to believe that even after the dismissal of three anticipatory bail pleas, the  investigating agency does not do anything against the accused.  The agency is being influenced or is working hand-in-glove with the petitioner,” it said.

The court also said that the delay in arresting the accused is a typical instance of either incompetency or inefficiency of the investigating agency. The court also observed that there is no change of circumstances, while the callous and indifferent attitude of the petitioner to the orders of the court could not be omitted.

The conduct of the petitioner in flouting the directions of the court and his ability to keep the investigating agency at bay speaks volumes about the influence he can wield.





Govt seeks HC nod to open 19 sand quarries

TNN | Oct 10, 2012, 01.51AM IST

CHENNAI: The state government has sought the Madras high court’s nod to open 19 sand quarries in Trichy, citing rocketing retail sand prices in the state.

In a review petition, asking for a re-look at the court’s order dated August 3, the secretaries of industries and public works departments, said the government intended to operate 19 sand quarries for which applications had been submitted to State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA).

In the impugned order, a division bench comprising Justices R Banumathi and G M Akbar Ali ordered the closure of five-year-old quarries in Cauvery-Kollidam river beds, and stipulated that all new quarries in the region must obtain SEIAA clearance.

Government pleader S Venkatesh, representing secretaries of public works and industries departments, director of geology and mining and the Trichy district collector, submitted that before the August 3 order, there were 48 sand quarries in the region accounting for 6,454 lorry loads per day. After the order, the number of quarries reduced to 21 and lorry loads went down to 4,012 per day. Consequently, the price of sand per load had risen from 4,000 to 8,000 in Trichy, from 6,400 to 12,000 in Coimbatore, from 6,000 to 8,000 in Chennai and from 8,000 to 14,000 in Madurai, Venkatesh said.

Pointing out that the court had set a three-month deadline for the functioning quarries to obtain the clearance, the pleader sought more time, as the clearance might not come within three months due to procedural implications.

Venkatesh said the applications had been pending before the collectors of Thanjavur, Karur and Trichy and that they were being processed when the impugned judgment was delivered.

Hence, the new stipulation that new quarries must get clearance from the SEIAA would cause hardship and affect government’s welfare schemes, he said. Noting that quarries in the Cauvery-Kollidam river beds was the main source of supply to western and southern areas of the state, he requested the court to review its order and permit the government to operate the new quarries.

The bench has adjourned the matter by one week for further hearing.

After the August 3 order, sand prices per load rose from 6,000 to 8,000 in Chennai, 4,000 to 8,000 in Trichy, 6,400 to 12,000 in Coimbatore, and from 8,000 to 14,000 in Madurai.





Jangpura FOB delayed, HC issues notices

Express news service : New Delhi, Wed Oct 10 2012, 02:16 hrs

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the Chief Secretary of the Delhi government, the Transport Commissioner and the general manager of Delhi Integrated Multi-Model Transport System (DIMTS) to explain why they have not constructed a foot overbridge near the Jangpura Metro station within the stipulated time period.

Justice Rajiv Shakhder directed the respondents to file a counter-affidavit within four weeks and a rejoinder, if any, within two weeks. In April, a division bench of the court had given the government six months to construct the foot overbridge.

The court’s deadline came on a PIL filed by the Jangpura Residents’ Welfare Association, seeking direction to build the bridge as residents of nearby colonies face the risk of accidents while crossing Lala Lajpat Rai Marg.

In a fresh petition, the welfare association told the court that they had tried following up with the Transport department as work on the bridge had not started despite the High Court order. They said the department had set the deadline for its construction to July 2013.

The petition further asked for contempt proceedings to be initiated against the respondents and for exemplary costs to be imposed upon them should they not complete construction of the bridge by October 24.




HC notice to CBI over bail plea by Janardhana Reddy

By DNA Correspondent | Agency: DNA Published: Tuesday, Oct 9, 2012, 13:18 IST

The high court on Monday issued a notice to the CBI concerning a bail petition filed by former Karnataka Tourism minister G Janardhana Reddy, an accused in the illegal mining case. It may be recalled that CBI court had rejected his bail petition on September 25. Reddy, the owner of Associated Mining Company (AMC), is the key accused in the illegal mining case.

The CBI had registered cases against two mining firms, including AMC, following raids at Bellary, Bangalore and Davanagere.
The raids were carried out after the Supreme Court had issued orders directing the CBI to investigate illegal mining in the state, on the basis of a Central Empowered Committee report.

Student’s death: HC rules out plea for CBI probe
The High Court on Monday dismissed the plea of Shambunath Prasad seeking a CBI investigation into the death of his son Aditya Prasad, an engineering student.

The 22-year-old student of RV Engineering College and a hosteler was on August 14, 2010, found dead at a house in BEML layout, Rajarajeshwarinagagar, belonging to one Padmashri. The police had initially registered a case under section 302 of IPC, but later submitted a B report before the lower court, stating that Aditya had committed suicide.

As a protest memo, Shambunath had contended that the deceased was murdered by Padmashri and had sought a CBI investigation. His counsel had argued that the statement of the neighbours, college students and teaching staff were not recorded and there were serious lapses in the investigation.
The high court observed that a combined reading of the medical report and the statement recorded by the investigating officer established the fact that deceased had committed suicide. There was no other material on record to draw a different conclusion, it added.

HC relief to BU students
The high court on Monday directed Bangalore University’s Directorate of Correspondence Courses to recognise the admission of students who have forwarded their applications online or through study centres for the admissions made for 2011-2012. The students should be made to pay fees within a short period, if not already paid, it added.

The study centres across the state were permitted to provide admissions to undergraduate courses only for second and third year and for post graduate courses only for final year. This was challenged by the study centres.

The high court observed that these writ petitions were disposed off and directed the university to communicate the recognition of admissions and also issue admission tickets through study centres or online to the students within a day or two, so as to enable them to appear for exams at the Bangalore centre.

The court, however, said that in future the university should take steps to conduct examinations at the nearby district headquarters, based on the strength of the students. They should also fix CCTV cameras to curb malpractice at such study centres, it added.




HC refuses to quash FIR filed against T D Naidu

Press Trust of India / Chennai October 09, 2012, 23:05

The Madras High Court today refused to quash the FIR filed by CBI against T D Naidu, Chairman and Managing Trustee of Deen Dayal Medical and Educational Trust, and dismissed his petition in a bank cheating case.

According to the FIR filed by Superintendent of Police, CBI, Bangalore, Naidu allegeldy entered into a criminal conspiracy with Branch Manager of Andhra Bank and others and dishonestly and fraudulently obtained term loan of Rs 41 crore from the bank.

He had furnished fake documents of qualifications, financial status and discrepant financial statements and caused a wrongful loss to the bank to the tune of Rs 57.64 crore, it was alleged.

According to Naidu, he had passed the final year MBBS exam held in January, 1981 and was declared competent and authorised to practice medicine and general surgery.

But on verification, it was found that the certificate he produced was “only fake.”

Justice T Sudanthiram in his order said “the allegations made in the complaint by the General Manager, Andhra Bank are strengthened by materials collected during investigation made so far.”

“The contentions raised by the senior counsel for the petitioner to quash the FIR are totally unacceptable. Hence, the petition is dismissed,” he said.




Bombay HC judge made Madhya Pradesh Chief Justice

Express news service : Wed Oct 10 2012, 03:27 hrs

Justice Sharad Bobde of the Bombay High Court was on Tuesday elevated as the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. He is likely to be sworn in on October 16.

Justice Bobde was appointed as an additional judge of the Bombay High Court in March 2000, two years after he was designated as a senior advocate. He is known for his sound legal acumen and sharp wit.

He has heard several high-profile cases including the Adarsh housing society scam, the PIL against Lavasa Corporation Limited, the Maval firing incident and the residential tower near Hindustan Petroleum Corporation refinery, Chembur.

Justice Bobde, who completed his education in Nagpur, enrolled with the Bar Council of Maharashtra in September 1978 and practiced as a lawyer mainly before the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay HC. In his 21-year career as a lawyer he also appeared before the Bombay HC’s principal bench in Mumbai as well as the SC. His father Arvind Bobde was the former Advocate General of Maharashtra.





Police not following HC order: NDMC

Abhinav Garg, TNN | Oct 10, 2012, 02.24AM IST

NEW DELHI: In a fresh development in the controversial Akbarabadi mosque case, New Delhi Municipal Corporation has blamed Delhi Police for ignoring the Delhi high court’s order.

NDMC, in an application filed before the court, has urged it to direct police to grant protection to the staff who can implement court orders and demolish illegal structure in Subhash Park area.

Filed through its standing counsel Ajay Arora, the application recalls HC passed an explicit order on July 30 this year, asking the agency to take action against the structure that came up illegally at the earlier Metro site.

“NDMC was always keen and still is, to ensure compliance of HC orders by way of removal of unauthorized structure which has come up on public land in violation of rules procedure and law of the land,” the corporation says, adding it is being unfairly blamed for deliberate inaction when in reality it is hobbled by complete non-cooperation by police.

The agency said that initially cops said they couldn’t provide enough force in August as it had to make security arrangements for events like Baba Ramdev’s agitation, Independence Day celebrations and Ramzan. Now that all the events are over, police should have cooperated. But now, they are taking refuge behind an application filed by cops seeking modification of the HC demolition order, NDMC argues, urging the court to intervene.

Citing communication exchanged with the police top brass between July and September, the agency says though HC has not granted any stay order on the modification plea of Delhi Police, the latter is being extremely restrained and has refused to extend any cooperation to enable NDMC to carry out court orders. HC will take up the plea on Thursday.





HC stays DGCA order to revoke approval of Ravi Rishi’s firm

Pulling up DGCA for a “hasty” decision, the Delhi High Court today stayed the aviation regulator’s order withdrawing operational safety clearance to repair and maintenance firm Indocopters Private Ltd (IPL), a group company of Ravi Rishi-led Global Vectra Helicorp Ltd.

Source: PTI

Pulling up DGCA for a “hasty” decision, the Delhi High Court today stayed the aviation regulator’s order withdrawing operational safety clearance to repair and maintenance firm Indocopters Private Ltd (IPL), a group company of Ravi Rishi-led Global Vectra Helicorp Ltd.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher also issued notices to DGCA and Ministries of Civil Aviation and Home Affairs (MHA) and asked them to file replies by October 10, the next date of hearing.

The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had on September 18 revoked Approved Maintenance Organisation (AMO) approval and the Continuing Airworthiness Requirements (CAR) certificate of the IPL after the MHA raised security concerns and withdrew the clearance accorded to Ravi Rishi-led firms.

Ravi Rishi-led Global Vectra Helicorp Ltd, to which IPL is a sister concern, is the largest shareholder in Tatra Holdings owning the Czech truck manufacturer Tatra that is facing CBI probe for allegedly supplying trucks at exorbitant price to the Indian Army.

During the hearing, Justice Shakdher took a strong note of the “hasty” decision of DGCA to revoke the approvals of the IPL saying “why you did not wait till October 18?” The court is slated to hear the case of Global Vectra Helicorp Ltd on the same issue on October 18.

IPL runs a helicopter repair and maintenance base. The counsel for the Aviation Ministry, however, said the decision to revoke AMO approval and the CAR certificate to the firm has been taken following the withdrawal of security clearance by the MHA.

Senior advocate Atul Nanda, appearing for IPL, said “the revocation of AMO approval and the CAR certificate can only be done as per the rules prescribed under the Aircraft Act after serving a notice… and it cannot be done due to withdrawal of security clearance.”





HC gives three days more to DCHL for giving bank guarantee to BCCI

PTI Oct 9, 2012, 07.03PM IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Tuesday granted three more days to Deccan Chronicles Holdings Ltd (DCHL) to give an irrevocable and unconditional bank guarantee of Rs 100 crore to the Indian cricket board regarding IPL franchise Deccan Chargers.

DCHL, owners of IPL team Deccan Chargers, were on October 1 directed by the high court to submit by October 9 the bank guarantee which would be in force for a period of one year.


The direction was passed by Justice S J Kathawala while hearing a petition filed by DCHL challenging BCCI’s decision to terminate the contract of cash-strapped Hyderabad franchise.

BCCI had in September taken the decision to terminate the contract after an emergency IPL Governing Council meeting in Chennai.

DCHL on Tuesday filed an application seeking extension of time to submit the bank guarantee which was accepted by the court. The company will now have to give the bank guarantee by Friday.

The court had earlier ordered that DCHL shall bear all expenses for IPL series-6 including making payments to BCCI towards franchise, players and support team costs. Besides, DCHL shall also bear the costs of conducting matches and other expenses, the judge had ruled.

In the event of any default on part of DCHL, BCCI shall be entitled to invoke the bank guarantee to the extent necessary, Justice Kathawala said.

The court had on September 26 appointed retired Supreme Court judge C K Thakkar as arbitrator to resolve within three months the dispute between BCCI and DCHL over the termination of Deccan Chargers franchise.

However, pending arbitration proceedings and making up of an award by the arbitrator, the judge asked the BCCI not to act on the termination of the franchise agreement for a period of seven days, if the award is in their favour.

The judge clarified that this order would immediately cease to be in effect if DCHL fails to furnish the bank guarantee.





HC gives govt two months to solve water-logging issue

New Delhi, October 10, 2012

A Delhi High Court bench comprising justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Vipin Sanghi on Tuesday granted two months to the Delhi government to find “short- and long-term” solutions to the problem of waterlogging in the city.
The breather came after the government’s standing counsel Najmi Waziri submitted that the third meeting of the 15-member coordination committee was scheduled to be held on Tuesday to prepare an action plan.

“Various agencies, including the municipal corporations, will come forward with measures to handle the water-logging problem. The committee will also look into suggestions from IIT professors,” Waziri said. The bench sought a status report from the government and fixed December 14 as the next date of hearing.

Contempt notice

In fresh trouble for the government, Justice Rajiv Shakdher of the high court directed it to respond to a contempt plea, charging the authorities with non-compliance of the court’s previous order to build a foot overbridge (FOB) near Jangpura Metro station in six months.

Issuing contempt notices to the chief secretary of the Delhi government, the transport commissioner and the general manager of Delhi Integrated Multi-Model Transit System, the court sought their replies by December 18 on the contempt plea filed by Jangpura Residents Welfare Association.

Respite for employees

The Delhi High Court came to the rescue of nearly 1,000 employees of the ailing shopping cooperative Super Bazaar and stayed its recent notice asking the workmen not to report to duty.

Justice Suresh Kait also issued notices to Cooperative Store Ltd Super Bazaar and Writers and Publishers which is managing the cooperative’s affairs.





Ladhar’s arbitration fee: HC seeks reply from Centre, Punjab

TNN | Oct 10, 2012, 05.49AM IST

CHANDIGARH: Taking cognizance of a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking action against senior Punjab IAS officer Sucha Ram Ladhar on retaining the arbitration fee instead of depositing it with the government, Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday sought the response of the Union and Punjab governments as well as Ladhar on the matter.

Division bench of the HC, comprising Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice R K Jain, issued the notice after hearing a PIL filed by lawyer H C Arora.

The petition sought criminal/ departmental action against Ladhar, for fixing charges for arbitration in various cases of disputes between private parties and the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and keeping the sum of Rs 1.5 crore collected in this way.

The petitioner also prayed that the entire amount be recovered from him along with interest at the rate of 2% per annum.

He also submitted that Ladhar had acted as arbitrator in his ex officio capacity as divisional commissioner, Jalandhar, forcing the private parties as well as the NHAI to pay his arbitration fee by inserting a clause in his orders/ awards that a certified copy of the award be given to the parties on depositing his arbitration fee in equal share (50:50), failing which his award shall stand suspended automatically on expiry of 30 days.

However, since the NHAI had opposed the clause regarding arbitration fee, Ladhar subsequently included another one that initially the total amount of arbitration fee shall be paid by the private party, which it may recover from NHAI, along with amount of compensation, at the time of execution of award.

Petitioner also referred to an order dated March 4, 2009, issued by Ladhar, directing all 629 private parties, whose dispute was decided by him on January 28, 2009, by a common award, to pay the arbitration fee at Rs 4,100 per case to him. In this way, Ladhar demanded Rs.25.79 lakh as his arbitration fee. According to the PIL, Ladhar has collected approximately Rs.1.5 crore as his arbitration charges in various cases. Petitioner also referred to Rule 13 (8) of the All India Services (Conduct) Rules, which says that no member of All India Services can charge any fee for any work done by him for any private party, or a public body, without permission of the government.

However, Ladhar did not have any such permission from the government.





HC rules in favour of RGV

VICKEY LALWANI, Mumbai Mirror | Oct 10, 2012, 09.41AM IST

The failure of Department had led toablamegameandconsequent rift between Sanjay Dutt, Dharam Oberoi and Ram Gopal Varma only to later see Dutt and Varma patch up, leaving Oberoi in the lurch.

A miffed Oberoi went on to file a case against Varma for non payment of dues amounting to Rs 50 lakh. He took the battle a step further by seeking a stay on the October 12 release of the film Bhoot2 directed by Varma and produced by Alumbra Productions Pvt Ltd.

Oberoi’s contention was that Bhoot 2 is a film owned by Varma, and Varma owes him Rs 50 lakh for the movie Department, co-produced by both ofthem.However,themattercameup for hearing before the Bombay High Court on Tuesday and the court refused to grant the stay on Bhoot 2′s release.

Varma and Alumbra Productions Pvt Ltd were represented by lawyer Ajay Vazirani of M/s. Hariani & Co., Advocates & Solicitors. Vazirani told TOI, “Our victory will set an example in the industry for many who try and stall the release of films a few days prior to their release date in an attempt to extort money from the filmmakers.”

Oberoi however declined to comment. All we can say is while RGV can heave a sigh of relief for now as Bhoot 2 will hit theatres on October 12 as preordained, the war between Oberoi and him looks like it is far from over.






Rajneesh Goel tells HC: We’ll pick up dry waste twice a week

TNN | Oct 10, 2012, 05.38AM IST

BANGALORE: BBMP commissioner Rajneesh Goel on Tuesday submitted before the Karnataka High Court that dry waste would be collected twice a week and not once as planned earlier. He told a division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen there is no problem with further increasing the frequency.

He was replying to a query posed by the court after GR Mohan, city advocate who has filed a PIL, claimed that collection of dry waste once a week will not help the cause.

The commissioner promised to speed up other measures for collection and disposal of solid and wet waste.

The court was further informed that the new measures by way of fresh tenders would result in 40% reduction in spending on garbage collection and disposal in segregated form. “The dry waste is 40% and is straightaway money. This will reduce the cost of transporting it to landfills 50kms away. There is good demand for composted wet waste as it can be used as manure. If we remove 40% bulk waste, we have to deal with 1,500 tonnes of wet waste, 700 tonnes of dry and 300 tonnes of inert waste per day,” he explained.

The commissioner admitted there are some constraints regarding collection of waste and hoped the new system of “no littering” would address this issue. He also said that relaxed tender conditions have enabled more persons to participate in the process resulting in competition. The bench directed BBMP to submit a status report by November 6.

The bench adjourned to Thursday the hearing on petitions by garbage contractors challenging the new tenders.

You’ll have to be superseded: HC

The high court on Tuesday morning warned the BBMP of supersession if it did not change its ways. A division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen directed the BBMP commissioner to appear in the afternoon session to answer queries on the garbage issue.

The bench asked why the BBMP should not be superseded as per the KMC Act for failing to address the problem. “Obviously you are not interested in solving the problem. Everybody is hand in glove. Supersession is the only way out. We have to do it. If you cannot solve the problem, you have no business to be there,” it observed.

The PIL by GR Mohan sought a specific direction for superseding the civic body for failing in its duty.

The bench observed that citizens can’t wait till the dispute between BBMP and contractors is settled. The bench indicated it wouldn’t hesitate to send officials to jail if they mislead the court. “Our patience is also running out. Some of your officials must be sent to those landfills,” the bench observed.





HC rejects plea for policy against female feticide

TNN | Oct 10, 2012, 04.01AM IST

JAIPUR: The Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday disposed of without any directions the three applications wherein it was requested that the state government be asked to take certain policy decisions to curb female infanticides.

The applications were filed with the public interest litigation (PIL) already pending with the court on the subject of female foeticide. The division bench of chief justice Arun Mishra and justice SS Kothari disposed of the applications saying the petitioner, advocate SK Gupta should make a representation before the state as the demands raised by him were a subject matter of the government policies. Gupta had pleaded that the government be directed to grant pensions to parents who have two daughters only. The court was told that the Madhya Pradesh government was already paying the pension such parents in its state. The second application related to government playing a role in dispelling the religious belief that last rites of dead person can be performed only by a son. It was suggested the government should provide incentives to daughters who perform the last rites of their parents.





HC seeks state’s stand on ownership rights

TNN | Oct 10, 2012, 01.05AM IST

KOCHI: The Kerala high court on Tuesday ordered the state government to inform its stance on ownership rights over the Halcyon Castle, popularly known as the Kovalam Palace.

The directive was given by a division bench comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice AM Shaffique on a public interest litigation filed by Jana Samparka Samithi secretary Dhanan K Chettiancheril.

The society, which claims to be working towards a corruption-free society, said the palace had played a significant role in the state’s history and it should be deemed as a monument according to the provisions of Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act of 1958. It said the government was bound to preserve the palace and it did not have the right to dispose it or to hand over its management to a private party.

It contended that private groups shouldn’t be allowed to use public monuments for their business interests. Political leaders are unnecessarily accommodating business groups and the government’s decision to lease the palace out is the result of such corrupt practices, it said. Following media reports on the state decision to hand over the palace and the accompanying 4.13 hectares to RP Group on lease, the group had told the media last month that it is the legal owner of the palace besides revealing that it is willing to hand it over to the state to avoid litigation.




HC nod for RJIL merger with RIL

BS Reporter / Mumbai/ Ahmedabad Oct 10, 2012, 00:45 IST

Following the merger, entire businesses and the undertaking of RJIL would be transferred to, and vest with, RIL

The Gujarat high court has allowed the meger of Reliance Jamnagar Infrastructure Limited (RJIL) with Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) the 100 per cent holding company of the former. The nod has been given under the Sections 391 to 394 of the Companies Act for Scheme of Arrangement of the nature of amalgamation.

RJIL, a 100 per cent subsidiary of RIL, had sought High Court’s permission for merger with the holding company with a view to optimise profitability, administration, efficiency of operation and optimal utilisation of available resources.

Justice Abhilasha Kumari on Monday granted the scheme of arrangement saying that grant of scheme would ultimately benefit the company and would not affect anyone’s rights.

While granting the scheme, the court also dealt with the objections raised by Regional director, ministry of corporate affairs.

The court noted that they were duly taken care off. The court further held that it has the jurisdiction to decide the issue.

RJIL is presently developer and operator a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Jamnagar and was into business of infrastructure development. Whereas RIL is India’s largest private sector enterprise, with businesses in the energy and materials value chain. It is a Fortune Global 500 Company, with activities spanning to exploration and production of oil and gas, petroleum refining and marketing, petrochemicals and textiles.

Following the merger, entire businesses and the undertaking of RJIL would be transferred to, and vest with, RIL.



HC reserves verdict in land scam case against Kumaraswamy

Press Trust of India / Bangalore October 09, 2012, 17:45

The Karnataka High Court today reserved orders on a petition by JDS state president H D Kumaraswamy seeking quashing of a case filed against him for alleged illegal denotification of government land in 2007 when he was the chief minister.

Justice H N Nagamohan Das reserved his judgement after completion of arguments on the petition.

The case was filed by Lokayukta police on a private complaint by one M S Mahadevaswamy before the Lokayukta court alleging illegalities in denotification of three acres of government land here by Kumaraswamy for “pecuniary gain”.

Police filed the charge sheet against Kumaraswamy on April 16 accusing him of offences under various IPC sections and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

During the arguments, senior counsel Hazmath Pasha appearing for Kumaraswamy had submitted his client had “not played a corrupt role and the order of denotification of the said land was not intentional.

He had also contended that the order of cognisance by the Lokayukta court “is without any jurisdiction as no sanction has been taken (by the designated authority)”.

Counsel for the respondent Palakshaiah argued there was no need for any sanction for offences committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Besides Kumaraswamy, former minister C Chennigappa and two others, the erstwhile owners of the land, have been charged under various sections of IPC.




HC asks Jharkhand govt to ensure welfare of para teachers

Press Trust of India / Ranchi October 09, 2012, 22:25

Jharkhand High Court today directed the state to initiate proper steps for welfare of para teachers, who were appointed on contract, and demanding regularisation.

Hearing a petition filed by a forum known as Swarojagar Sangh, Chief Justice P C Tatia and Justice Jaya Roy also asked government not to stop mid-day meals for students in the schools.

The Sangh had filed against the frequent strikes by para teachers despite shortage of staff primary, middle and high schools, disrupting studies in the schools.

Praying for a ban of strikes by para teachers, the petitioner said para-teachers were appointed on contract by the block and the district officials of the education department and their strikes stopped the mid-day meal programme as well.

Praying regularisation of their services, the association of para teachers submitted that they were appointed just like other teachers, but were getting only Rs 4,500 while other (regular) teachers were drawing Rs 20,000.

The court would hear the petition in November for which date has not yet been fixed.




Should banking M&As come under the CCI?

It is the only body skilled enough to check anticompetitive practices but it has no role in facilitating the banking consolidation process

Business Standard / Oct 10, 2012, 00:04 IST

It is the only body skilled enough to check anticompetitive practices but it has no role in facilitating the banking consolidation process

Secretary General, CUTS International

 “In order to address the overlap and conflict issues among our regulators and competition agency, the amendment Bill makes it mandatory for mutual consultation on all such issues”

One must compliment Palaniappan Chidambaram to be able to rise above narrow considerations and support the jurisdiction of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) as the sole body to review mergers in not only banking, but all sectors. Thus, he has promoted the integrity of the economic governance system, which is imperative for the success of economic reforms.

All countries empower the competition regulator to oversee competition issues in all regulated sectors, including banks, purely because of their skills. The only exception vis-à-vis banking mergers is Turkey, but there, too, the central bank has to use the competition law to review mergers. A variation of this exists in the US, where the Federal Reserve and a few big state banking regulators oversee banking mergers, but the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice can also intervene to check the competition angle.

In many countries wherever competition issues arise in regulated sectors, including mergers, the competition agency has to mandatorily consult the sector regulator. The proposed Competition Amendment Bill cleared by the Union Cabinet on October 4, 2012, has provided for such a coordinated approach. The process itself has a chequered history, which is relevant to the discourse. To begin with, the proposed Banking Regulation Amendment Bill, which is pending before Parliament, ousted the CCI’s jurisdiction on mergers. When the proposal on the Competition Amendment Bill came up before the Cabinet sometime in July, then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee sought blanket exemption for banks. Mukherjee’s position was echoed by Kapil Sibal – the communications minister – who wanted an exemption for telecom mergers because the Department of Telecom has its own merger guidelines. Chidambaram, then home minister, opposed it, and the matter was conveniently referred to a Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Mukherjee. After Mukherjee became president, Chidambaram was appointed the chairman of the GOM and also as the new finance minister. He continued with his earlier stand in the GoM and the Cabinet, fortuitously, did not change the tune.

In order to address the overlap and conflict issues among our regulators and competition agency, the amendment Bill makes it mandatory for mutual consultation on all such issues. This paradigm has also been captured in the proposed National Competition Policy (and the Planning Commission’s National Manufacturing Plan), which will now go before the Cabinet for adoption.

We have faced many such conflicting situations in which there are ambiguities in our laws that create parallel jurisdictions for different regulators. They end up creating unpredictable legal environments, a lawyer’s paradise but an investor’s nightmare. Clearly, the law ministry sleeps and promotes such incoherent ambiguities, while the line ministries push their own versions, tinged by coalition politics, ignorance and dichotomies. The latest row is on the draft notification issued by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) on competition issues in the electricity sector in August, 2012. It is empowered to do so under the Electricity Act, 2003.

Mind you, all regulatory laws are required to promote competition, but it is only the CCI that is empowered to check anticompetitive practices in the whole economy. Even our courts have not been able to appreciate this fine distinction. In the case of a complaint against an aviation fuel cartel, the Delhi High Court erroneously stayed the proceedings before the CCI on grounds that the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) is the authorised body. Under its own law, the PNGRB is required to promote competition and consumer interest, but not check anticompetitive practices. But the PNGRB does not have any competition regulations.

Why was the CERC sleeping when it could have and should have drafted the competition regulations long ago? Since the recent debate on banking mergers, CERC realised that it, too, should flex its muscles. In any event, once Parliament clears the Competition Amendment Bill and the Banking Regulations Amendment Bill, ambiguities in other laws will also need sorting out.

Partner | National Leader – Global Financial Services, Ernst & Young

“Risk management practices and financial strength are more crucial to the sustainability of the sector. So, the commission should perhaps rely on RBI’s approval framework

In a free or competitive market economy, the prices of goods and services should be determined by demand and supply. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) was established to prevent practices having adverse effect on competition, to promote and sustain competition in markets, to protect consumers’ interests and to ensure freedom of trade carried on by other participants in markets. Any monopolistic or restrictive trade practice aimed at controlling supply or prices would be detrimental to the overall economy by reducing the economic efficiency leading to externalities and costs. Given the current regulatory framework and powers of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), is there a role for CCI in the banking consolidation process?

Our banking system comprises 86 scheduled commercial banks, 82 regional rural banks, 1,645 urban cooperative banks (53 scheduled cooperative banks) and 95,765 rural cooperative banks. The business in terms of assets is dominated by scheduled commercial banks. Unlike manufacturing or other services, a critical aspect in the banking and financial industry is risk management and financial stability of the entities. The stringent regulatory and compliance requirements on capital adequacy and risk management practices lend to the stability of the banking system.

For financial products and service providers, the size of their balance sheets lends them financial stability and economies of scale. At any given instance there may be a variety of risks that are carried in the banks’ balance sheets. Larger the size, the better able a bank is to hedge and disperse the concentration as well as other risks within the portfolio. Size also provides banks with the ability to tide over unfavourable business cycles. The prolonged period of high interest rates over the last couple of years has adversely affected many sectors as well as economic growth. The banking sector, though facing a deteriorating asset quality, has been able to absorb the shock with steady return on assets and increase in operating income.

Size also allows banks to cross-subsidise products and pricing. Social banking has been one of the thrust areas in recent years and given the fact that financial inclusion in the country is around 50 per cent, the size of banks will be the key in the expansion of banking services. Banking regulations require banks to keep aside about 28 per cent of funds in cash reserve ratio and statutory liquidity ratio. Any bank without size and a business model focused on financial inclusion will struggle to stay afloat. The costs of social banking have been prohibitive for banks due to lack of branches and distribution infrastructure. Even with effective leverage of technology, the small size of financial inclusion portfolios makes it difficult to generate profits.

The experience in other geographies shows that a pyramid structure has evolved over time through consolidation and amalgamations. It is based not just on size but also on the customer segments serviced. For example, in China the four large banks have approximately 50 per cent market share and in Australia the big four banks control 77 per cent of the market. Experience in many other geographies shows a similar trend. Meanwhile, the Indian banking industry is highly fragmented with the largest bank along with its associates having a market share of about 23 per cent, the second and the third-largest banks have 5.7 per cent and five per cent share respectively. Importantly, the size of Indian banks is pale in comparison to global banks. Though on some levels it might be felt that fragmentation would drive competition and better pricing and service for customers, smaller sizes have excluded banks from achieving economies of scale.

Another aspect to consider is whether consolidation would lead to monopolistic and unfair trade practices. The industry follows a base rate system for pricing that takes into account the cost of funds, operational costs and margins to arrive at a price. The high level of transparency and grievance redressal mechanism precludes unfair trade practices.

The industry may, in effect, benefit from consolidation, given the current fragmented state, helping improve economies of scale and ability to cross-subsidise products and pricing. Additionally, appropriate risk management practices and financial strength are more crucial to the sustainability of the sector. Considering these factors, the commission may perhaps rely on RBI’s approval framework.




CCI rejects complaint against Supertech


New Delhi, Oct 9:

The Competition Commission today rejected a complaint regarding alleged abuse of dominance by real estate developer Supertech, as the fair trade regulator did not find any evidence to support the charges.

There is nothing on record which gives any evidence of dominance of Supertech, the regulator said in an order dated October 4.

The Commission said that it finds that no prima facie case has been made out against Supertech for violation of the provisions of the Act and referring the matter to Director General for investigation.

“Therefore, the dominant position of the opposite party (Supertech) in the relevant market is not made out under section 4 of the Act. The question of abuse of dominance, therefore, does not arise,” it added.

The complaint was moved by Shivang Agarwal and Shubham Agarwal, who had booked one flat each on payment of Rs 51,000 each.

The Commission said the grievance of the informants apparently shows infringement of contractual terms ad idem.

According to the informants, even though they were informed that no preferential location charges would be levied on flat on 12th floor and above, the realty firm raised demand for the same.

They alleged that Supertech was arbitarily deciding the price and raising demand contrary to the agreed terms.




ACB names 4 officers in ‘Adarsh of suburbs’

Abhijit Sathe and Yogesh Naik

Posted On Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 02:06:42 AM

Even before the dust settles around the Adarsh society scam, which cost a chief minister and several top IAS officers their jobs, four senior officers, some of them now retired, are again under scrutiny for bending rules to divert land reserved for the dishoused in Bandra to build plush apartments for high court judges.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau has sought the government’s approval to start an open inquiry into the role of former chief minister late Vilasrao Deshmukh and the four officers in de-reserving a piece of land near Gurunanak Hospital in Bandra (east) and allotting it to Nyayasagar Co-operative Housing Society which has several serving and retired high court judges as members.

While the ACB will drop Deshmukh’s name, the officers facing the heat are — former additional chief secretary, urban development department, Ramanand Tiwari; former additional chief secretary (revenue) Rakesh Chandra Joshi, who is now a member of the Central Administrative Tribunal; former Mumbai district collector Chitamani Sangitrao; and CEO, Slum Rehabilitation Authority, Sambhaji Zende-Patil.

Both Deshmukh and Ramanand Tiwari were also probed for their role in the Adarsh society scam.

The ACB in its request for a go-ahead to launch a probe has said all the four officers held important positions in revenue, urban development department and the collector’s office when the Nyaysagar file was cleared and that they misused their powers for financial gains.

State ACB’s director-general Raj Khilnani told Mumbai Mirror on Tuesday, “Even if Vilasrao is no more, our probe against officers will continue.”

A public interest litigation is also pending before the Bombay High Court on the same issue.

Five sitting high court judges, one sitting Supreme Court judge, and the chief justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court are among the judges allotted apartments in the building.

At the heart of the controversy is a 2,494-square-metre plot which, as per the development plan, was reserved for housing those displaced because of public projects in the city.

In 2002, some sitting and retired high court judges wrote to the then chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh seeking allocation of land for a housing project. Two such societies, Nyaya Sagar and Siddhant, were formed and land allocated to them both a year later.

According to the ACB, the then chief minister and his bureaucrats issued a letter of intent to Nyayasagar in 2003 even though the Bandra plot was then reserved for project-affected people. The change of reservation in the development plan took place only in 2004.

There are close to 2.5 lakh families likely to be displaced because of the projects to be soon launched by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation, the  Indian Railways and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. The state government obviously does not have enough houses to rehabilitate these families.

The collector’s office also went out of its way to allot the land to the judges’ housing society. In March 2003, almost a year before the reservation was changed, it gave a provisional allotment of land to the society. The reason assigned for the haste was that the collector’s office wanted to prevent encroachment on the assigned plot.

None of the four officers in the dock remember anything clearly about the case. All of them say that they had nothing to do with granting permissions to Nyaysagar.





HC to hear Centre’s plea challenging warrant against secretary

Swati Deshpande, TNN | Oct 10, 2012, 02.55AM IST

MUMBAI: The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in Mumbai has issued a bailable warrant against R S Gujral, who, till August this year, was secretary revenue in the central finance ministry, and is now secretary, expenditure. The warrant was issued recently to secure Gujral’s presence before the tribunal in connection with a case filed by Nitish Ray, a 78-year-old retired joint commissioner, Customs & Central Excise, over his promotion as additional commissioner based on a government order in 2002.

Ray had retired in the mid-1990s but moved the CAT in 2010 for his “rightful post dues” as his lawyer Sandeep Marne said. The tribunal passed orders in March 2011, accepting Ray’s petition. But when the government failed to implement its orders for over a year, Ray filed for contempt in June this year. The tribunal directed Gujral to appear in person on October 3 and when he failed to do so, issued the bailable warrant. But between June and October, the Centre moved the Bombay HC to challenge the March 2011 CAT order. On September 24, the HC gave the government liberty to comply with the tribunal’s order in six weeks.

On October 3, the government lawyer V S Masurkar argued that Gujral was under the impression that he need not appear since the HC had passed orders giving the ministry six weeks to consider Ray’s case.

The tribunal said, “The respondent was conscious of the fact that he had to appear to explain why action for contempt should not be initiated against him.”

The tribunal has sought a compliance report from Gujral within a week.

On Tuesday, the Centre moved the Bombay HC to challenge the bailable warrant on the grounds that the CAT order was “illegal” as the HC had already passed orders giving six weeks to the Centre. Besides, it said Gujral had vacated the post and was now a secretary of another department. In the interim, the government filed a report, saying it had considered Ray’s case and had rejected it as he was held ineligible for promotion.

CAT refused to recall its order of bailable warrant and posted the matter for further hearing on October 15. Now with the government rushing to HC, the HC bench of Justices D D Sinha and V K Tahilramani on Tuesday said it would hear the matter on October 10.




LEGAL NEWS 08.10.2012

Have a heart for poor offenders: Supreme Court

Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN Oct 7, 2012, 05.09AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has frowned upon the sentencing system which forces poor petty offenders to remain in jail even after serving their sentence because of their inability to pay the fine imposed on them along with the period of imprisonment.

“Have a heart for poor petty offenders” was the message sent out by a bench of Justices P Sathasivam and Ranjan Gogoi when it ruled on Friday that trial courts should use their discretion and not impose hefty fines as defaulting in payment of the fine entailed additional long period of incarceration.

“Where a substantial term of imprisonment is inflicted, an excessive fine should not be imposed except in exceptional cases,” said Justice Sathasivam, who authored the judgment. The bench ruled that imprisonment for defaulting payment of fine was not a sentence. “To put it clear, it is a penalty which a person incurs on account of non-payment of fine,” it said.

“On the other hand, if sentence is imposed, undoubtedly, an offender must undergo unless it is modified or varied in part or whole in the judicial proceedings. However, the imprisonment ordered in default of payment of fine stands on a different footing,” the bench said. Advising the trial courts not to impose “harsh or excessive” fines, the bench said, “It is the duty of the court to keep in view the nature of the offence, circumstances in which it was committed, the position of the offender and the other relevant considerations such as pecuniary circumstances of the accused person as to character and magnitude of the offence before ordering the offender to suffer imprisonment in default of payment of fine.”

The court probably had in mind the pitiable condition of the poor prisoners who had no means to foot the fine and prefer to undergo the additional sentence specified for non-payment of the penalty.

Over seven lakh under-trial prisoners facing charges in petty cases were released on personal bail bonds in two years from 2009 after then law minister Veerappa Moily worked hard to convince most of them were facing bailable offences but were not released because they had no means to furnish bail bond.

In several cases, the under-trial prisoners had served a term which was the maximum sentence that could have been imposed if s/he were found guilty at the end of the trial. The bench relaxed the prison term in default of payment of fine in a case under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Prohibition) Act, where two people in Gujarat were handed out 15-year imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1.5 lakh.





Schools to arrange for basic facilities of water, toilets

MANOJ MORE , Atikh Rashid : Mon Oct 08 2012, 03:42 hrs

With the Supreme Court making it mandatory for schools, either pubic or private, to arrange for enough toilet blocks and proper drinking water facilities on their premises, civic bodies, Zilla Parishads and Cantonment boards have sprung into action. If civic activists are to be believed, several schools — be it civic, cantonment and private — have either inadequate number of toilet blocks or the water tanks are located in unhygienic conditions.

According to a PMC school board official, though civic schools have proper drinking water facilities, it will have to construct enough toilets and urinal blocks to meet the state government norm.

In a directive issued on Wednesday, the Supreme Court set a six-month deadline to create proper drinking water and toilet facilities in all the schools irrespective of their status — minority or non-minority.

According to Shubhangi Chavan, PMC Deputy Education Officer, “almost all” 300 civic body-run schools have both these facilities but the number of toilet blocks are not as per norms set up by the state. The norm states there should be one toilet block and three urinals for every 100-120 student. In a number of schools there are no separate toilets for girls and boys in schools which operate in two shifts with girls in morning shift and boys in the afternoon.

“With a couple of exceptions, there are toilet facilities in all the schools run by the PMC. But we will have to construct more toilet blocks. The Building Construction Department which is responsible to maintain cleanliness in schools has sprung into action and we will construct the required number of toilet blocks and urinals before the SC deadline,” said Chavan.

Of the Rs 2 crore budget allotted for sanitary facilities at civic schools for 2010-11, only Rs 21 lakh was utilised, officials said. School board officials said at the schools which do not have toilets, for instance one in Kokate Vasti, the PMC is facing trouble to construct them as these schools are built on rented land and the PMC does not have the owner’s permission to build the toilets.

In Pimpri-Chinchwad, education department officials said they have adequate number of toilets and water facilities in schools, but these need to be strengthened. “Following the SC directive, we have drawn up a plan to improve the water and toilet facilities in all our schools,” said PCMC education official Vishnu Jadhav. The PCMC has 134 primary and secondary schools with a student count of 60,000. Jadhav said PCMC will next week issue directives to private schools to ensure they put proper water and toilet facilities on their premises. Pimpri-Chinchwad has over 200 schools with a student strength of 2.60 lakh.

Deputy education officer of Pune Zilla Parishad P H Mahajan said till last year many ZP-run schools in the district did not have toilets and urinal blocks but following an HC order, all these schools have been equipped with required number of toilets and urinals.

Parents have welcomed the SC order. “In one of the private schools in Pimpri, toilet blocks are located at the entry gate which spreads stinks in the entire premise. Students suffer in silence. Now, some sense will prevail among the management of private schools whose main focus is increasing fees,” said a parent, Ikhlas Sayeed.






No lie, says CM; sticks to his stand

October 8, 2012

PANJIM: Chief Minister ManoharParrikar on Sunday told HERALD that he stood by his stand that the State government had not been a party to the writ petition filed in the Supreme Court through the PIL of the Goa Foundation and therefore the apex court had not been made aware of the actions taken by the State government in the aftermath of the Shah Commission Report.
Parrikar said now that notices had been issued by the apex court to the State, the government would instruct its counsel to place before the Court the “series of actions following due procedure” taken by his administration on the illegal mining issue.
The chief minister clarified that despite the State government being named as a respondent, State authorities had not received any copies of the PIL and “we therefore had no way of knowing what the averments made in the PIL were in the run-up to the hearing on Friday”. Asked why, in that case, the four senior advocates recorded as present on behalf of the State (including the State Pollution Control Board) in the Supreme Court on Friday had not taken the opportunity to inform the Court of the actions taken by his administration, he conceded they had not been instructed to do so.
“That’s because unlike our legal officers based in the State, our standing counsel and other senior advocates representing the Goa government in the Supreme Court cannot always intervene immediately as they may have insufficient knowledge of the actions taken by the administration. Now that we have been provided copies of the PIL and have been given a time-frame within which to respond, we will be briefing our lawyers to submit to the Court the actions taken by my government against illegal mining which I reiterate are on the lines of what the Honorable Supreme Court itself has directed,” the chief minister told Herald.
Parrikar disagreed with the “interpretation” that the State was a party to the case and it was on the basis of precisely that locus standi that its lawyers had appeared in Court on behalf of the State government and itsvarious departments.  “Yes, our lawyers were present but they were not appearing in the case. They were there, led by our standing counsel, as representatives of the Goa Government and to observe the proceedings and respond to any questions or observations the Bench may have had regarding the State government.”





Petition opposes redevelopment of land of Raymond Mills

Last Updated: Sunday, October 07, 2012, 13:34

Mumbai: A petition opposing redevelopment of land belonging to Raymond Woollen Mills in nearby Thane has been converted into a PIL by the Bombay High Court.

A bench headed by Justice A M Khanvilkar had on October 4 ordered the petition to be converted into a PIL and placed it for hearing before an appropriate bench.

The petition, filed by Kamgar Utkarsha Sabha and local MLA Pratap Sarnaik, contends that Raymond Woollen Mills has 4,63,000 square metres of land at J K Gram in Majivra Ovale, which is proposed to be used for redevelopment by the company.

The petitioners contend that land is currently being used for industrial purpose as it has been granted exemption under the Urban Land Ceiling Act. Under the Act, one can hold huge tracts of land only for industrial use.

In 2007, the Urban Land Ceiling Act was repealed and a new Act came in. In November 2009, the Mill submitted proposal to Thane Municipal Corporation for redevelopment.

If it gets approval, it would be against the interest of public and workers, petitioners say, adding that intention of the Act was to utilise the mill land for industrial purpose and it would be defeated if the land was allowed to be redeveloped to earn profits.

Though the Urban Land Ceiling Act has been repealed, the condition of holding vast tracts of land for industrial use remained in force under the new Act, it added.







HC upholds conviction of couple

Express news service : Mumbai, Mon Oct 08 2012, 03:30 hrs

Bombay High Court (HC) has upheld the conviction of a couple that committed a murder in 2001 at Sakinaka. The order was passed by a division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and S P Davare on September 28, nearly nine years after the trial court judgment.

The murder came to light after a police constable discovered the torso of a female body in a steel tank covered with a cloth in Andheri-Ghatkopar Link Road area. The limbs were later found in a dustbin by the roadside. A chopper and a razor was also found in the bin.

While holding the couple guilty, the court said, “In our considered view, it is not possible to interfere with the finding of the trial court that the guilt of both appellants was proved beyond reasonable doubt.”

Accused Mohammed Iqbal Ansari alias Raju Chakravarty was arrested by police after they found his name written on the tank. His wife Deepa Ansari was subsequently arrested. While searching their house, police reportedly found bloodstains on the floor and in a tank in the room.





Student moves HC against PhD registration cancellation

TNN | Oct 8, 2012, 06.05AM IST

KOZHIKODE: A research scholar has moved the high court against the cancelation of her PhD registration by the Calicut University. The complainant, Shahana V A, had earlier approached Malappuram police’s women’s cell, accusing the vice-chancellor, M Abdul Salam, of shouting and verbally abusing her in his office.

Shahana had pursued Masters degree in library science before qualifying for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF). She joined the doctoral programme in Malayalam, but the varsity expelled her on grounds that she was simultaneously pursuing two courses. It was also pointed out that she had not obtained transfer certificate (TC) from the library science department.

In her petition, Shahana claimed that she was a victim of vindictive action by the varsity for filing a complaint against the VC with the woman’s cell. She alleged that the VC shouted at her and used abusive words when she went to his chamber on July 10 with a group of students to submit a memorandum against the varsity’s decision to charge a fee from students for using the Seminar Complex.

On receiving the memorandum, the varsity served her a show-cause notice, seeking explanation on why disciplinary action should not be taken against her.

In the petition filed before the high court on Saturday, Shahana has said that she was victimized and the action of the VC cancelling her PhD registration was ‘biased, prejudiced and without any legal basis’.

She said the she had not obtained the TC from the department of library science since it was not mentioned in the list of documents to be submitted along with the PhD application. Shahana claimed that she had applied for TC from the department on July 12, but it was not issued to her till date.

“Even otherwise, nowhere in the CU statutes it is stated that submission of TC is mandatory for the students who get JRF to register for PhD and none of my fellow students had produced the TC before joining the programme,” she said. The high court will take up the case on Monday.

The VC refused to comment when contacted on Sunday.






HC rejects PIL against President’s decision

New Delhi, Oct 7, 2012, PTI:

The Delhi High Court has dismissed a PIL challenging a decision of the President to appoint Saryu V Doshi as one of three members of a search committee, constituted to shortlist three names to head Lalit Kala Akademi.

“As the ultimate decision is left to the President of India, such a decision cannot be found fault with unless a nominee is not eligible to be nominated in the Search Committee,” chief justice D Murugesan and justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said.

The courts decision came on the PIL filed by Prasanta Kalita, an artist who has been working with the Akademi here for the past 10 years. Kalita had claimed that under the rules, Doshi, a former pro-term chairman of the Akademi, cannot be appointed by the President as one of the members of the search committee, formed to shortlist names of three persons.
“In terms of constitution/memorandum of association, only a past chairman could be nominated as one of the members of the search committee,” the PIL said, adding Doshi was only the pro-term chairman of the Akademi.

Out of three shortlisted candidates, one would be appointed as the chairperson of the Akademi. The judgement said, “The Memorandum of Association empowers the appointment of a pro-term chairman who will be entitled to discharge, inter alia, all the functions of the chairman in terms of Clause 5(iv). The selection process began by appointing members to the search committee to shortlist three names, out of them, one would succeed Ashok Vajpayee.”

“Out of three members of the search committee, the petition challenged Doshi on the ground that she was only a pro-term chairperson. The role of the committee is only to draw up a panel of three names and submit the same to the President who shall appoint one of them as the Chairman of the Akademi,” the court said.






HC for mechanism to inform complainant abt status of complaint

Press Trust of India / Mumbai October 07, 2012, 12:55

The Bombay High Court has suggested that Maharashtra government set up a mechanism whereby police can inform complainants that no ‘cognizable’ offence is made out in a case.

Cognizable offence is any serious offence where police have to conduct probe, without court’s order.

“If the police, after applying its mind, feels that no cognizable offence is made out from the complaint, then it should communicate this immediately. This will then allow the complainants to pursue other legal courses,” division bench of Justices A S Oka and S S Jadhav said.

“Why not consider setting up a machinery for this,” the court added.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by a person seeking direction to Thane police to initiate action on a complaint-letter sent by him in 2009. He had alleged cheating by a relation.

The police informed the court last week that it conducted inquiry and found that it was a civil dispute between family members, and no cognizable offence was made out.

“People write complaints to the police and do not get a response for years and then finally they approach High Court seeking relief. We have to tell them to adopt other legal remedies like filing private complaints (in Magistrate’s court). If you (police) feel no case is made out, then why can’t the police themselves inform the complainant? It is the police’s obligation,” Justice Oka said.





HC orders immediate repairs of Vikhroli court building

PTI | Oct 07, 2012, 18:19PM IST

Mumbai: Observing that the condition of two Metropolitan Magistrate Courts in suburban Vikhroli was very bad, the Bombay High Court has directed the authorities to carry out repairs immediately.

Division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Nitin Jamdar passed the order on two PILs, after a report by HC Registrar said that immediate repairs were needed.

Assistant Government pleader Smita Gaidhani submitted last week that Public Works Department had not maintained the building on the ground that the property had not been taken on the ‘Property Register Book’.

High Court directed that PWD Secretary and Superintending Engineer, Mumbai Circle, be made respondents, and these officers should take steps to bring the Court premises on the Property Register Book before October 11.

Further, the HC said, the officers should inspect the Vikhroli Court premises before month-end and take a decision on repairs. These directions would not come in the way of taking up construction of a new court building on the adjoining land, HC clarified. Any encroachment on that land should be removed, with police protection, if needed, it said.

Shivshankar Joshi, one of the petitioners, had said encroachments by shops and commercial establishments had made it difficult for litigants and lawyers to enter the premises.

The High Court has now asked Assistant Municipal Commissioner to submit a report by October 18, the next date of hearing, about the encroachments, and take action.





CAG should be given more powers, says Bombay HC’s retired Justice Suresh

Press Trust Of India / Mumbai/ Ahmedabad Oct 08, 2012, 00:22 IST

Justice Hosbet Suresh, the retired Bombay High Court Judge, has advocated for giving more power to all the constitutional and statutory bodies like CAG and inquiry commissions.

“Statutory bodies like CAG and Commissions should have more than recommendatory powers, their recommendations should be made binding for Governments and these institutions should also have powers to take penal actions against defaulting governments or its departments,” said Justice Suresh while addressing media here on Sunday.

He was here on Sunday on an invitation from PUCL (People’s Union for Civil Liberties), Gujarat, to release a book ‘Gujarat CAG report: A public hearing of discussion’, a compilation of opinions and suggestions expressed by more than 150 activists during a public hearing held in the month of June, on the state CAG report.

“The way governments are treating CAG reports for past so many years, it has become imperative to give more teeth to these constitutional and statutory bodies,” he said. He also emphasised that the different Commissions set up either by state or central governments should submit their report within a set time frame and their recommendations should also be made binding on the governments.

“We have examples of Justice Srikrishna and Justice M S Liberhan commissions. And in Gujarat, Justice Nanavati commission has not submitted its final report even after 10 years of its probe,” he said. He also took a dig at the Modi government on neglecting CAG report, which he termed as a critical organ of the democracy.

“It is very unfortunate that Modi government tabled 2011-12 CAG report on the very last day of the budget session of the Assembly and it made sure that no discussion should take place on it,” he said.

He said that people outside Gujarat “have a very wrong impression” that Modi government has done a commendable job with widespread development.

“It is a myth which CAG exposed and hence the government intentionally avoided a debate on it on the floor of the House, which is essential in democracy,” he added.

Justice Suresh was part of an independent fact finding committee, under the chairmanship of Justice Krishna Iyer and People’s Tribunal on 2002 Gujarat Riots. “We will be submitting a memorandum to the President with our demand to give more powers to CAG and other constitutional and statutory bodies,” said Gautam Thakar, the general secretary, PUCL Gujarat chapter.




HC directs govt to seek Satish’s expertise in Ishrat case
The Milli Gazette
Published Online: Oct 08, 2012
Print Issue: 1-15 September 2012

Ahmedabad: A bench of Gujarat High Court comprising Justices Jayant Patel and Abhilasha Kumari directed the state government to ensure Satish Verma’s assistance while investigating the Ishrat probe. The CBI had sought permission to obtain Verma’s help. The court directed the government to provide Verma’s expertise for a period of four months. CBI had appealed against the police enquiry undertaken so that the central agency could continue the probe with Verma’s assistance. This will bring several vital facts to light.





Election Commission bans Atal Bihari Vajpayee bags in Himachal

Press Trust of India | Updated: October 08, 2012 08:31 IST

Shimla: With the model code of conduct in force in poll-bound Himachal, the Election Commission on Sunday asked the state government to stop distribution of carry bags, free of cost, to PDS consumers with picture of former Premier A B Vajpayee inscribed on them.

The scheme to distribute free carry bags to 16 lakh PDS card holders, launched on August 15 last, had been put on hold till the model code of conduct was in force in the hill state, Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath said.

Mr Sampath, who was in Shimla to review arrangements for the assembly election, said “henceforth, no bags will be issued to PDS consumers with pictures of any political leader inscribed on them.”

He said the Commission had received a complaint in this regard and no such free bags would be distributed from today.

The Commission had also received complaints regarding violation of the model code of conduct by the ruling BJP and these would be looked into and action taken, if warranted, the CEC said.

He, however, expressed satisfaction over arrangements made by the state government for the assembly election slated for November four.

Mr Sampath said the Commission had received complaints about “bias reporting” by local Doordarshan Kendra and would take up the matter with the Union Information and Broadcasting ministry.





Kingfisher staff wife’s suicide: NHRC admits plea Vs Mallya

The National Human Rights Commission has admitted a plea against Kingfisher Airlines Chairman Vijay Mallya. The plea urges the rights panel to initiate a case against him in the death of a Kingfisher employee’s wife.


The National Human Rights Commission has admitted a plea against Kingfisher Airlines Chairman Vijay Mallya. The plea urges the rights panel to initiate a case against him in the death of a Kingfisher employee’s wife. Kingfisher store manager Manas Chakravarti’s wife in her suicide note mentioned that she couldn’t take the financial stress caused by non-payment of salaries.

In her suicide note, 45-year-old Sushmita wrote, “My husband works with Kingfisher where they have not paid him salary for the last six months. We are in acute financial crisis and so I am committing suicide”. The couple has a son who’s studying in an engineering college.

The victim’s body was discovered when her husband, who was at work, alerted the neighbours as she wasn’t answering her phone. When the neighbours broke in to the house, they found her hanging from the roof. She was rushed to a nearby hospital where she was declared brought dead.

She had also expressed fear that the company may be closed down and her husband may lose his job. In the note, she had also said that no one else was responsible for her taking the extreme step.





Child rights commission to pull up Haryana Govt on rape cases

Press Trust of India

‘You have seen the sex ratio as well. There are only 830 females to 1000 males.’

New Delhi, Oct 7:

Concerned over a spurt in incidents of rape of teenaged girls in Haryana, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on Sunday said it will seek explanation from the State Government in each case, including action taken against culprits.

The Commission also said the recent incidents with regard to women in Haryana have emphasised the need to focus on several issues, including the skewed sex ratio in the northern State.

“Ten girls have been raped so far. There have been molestation charges. Our Commission will ask them what has been done in each case. Have all of the accused been arrested? What proceedings have been done?” NCPCR chairperson Shanta Sinha said.

She was reacting to reports on a teenage Dalit girl immolating herself after allegedly being gangraped in Jind district of Haryana.

After allegedly being raped by two youths in Narwana sub division of the district, the shocked girl sprinkled kerosene and set herself afire on Saturday, adding to a series of such horrific crimes against women in Haryana during the past one month.

“We feel that in Haryana, it is not the sole issue which is coming to the limelight. You have seen the sex ratio as well.

There are only 830 females for 1000 males,” she said.

Sinha also stressed the need for a public awareness campaign in favour of girl children.

“There should also be a fear amongst the ones who indulge in such activities. They should be punished so that the girls are safe,” she said.






OC recommends suspension of Suresh Kalmadi, Lalit Bhanot

Last Updated: Monday, October 08, 2012, 12:19

New Delhi: In a major blow to the aspirations of Suresh Kalmadi, V K Verma and Lalit Bhanot ahead of the elections, the Ethics Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has recommended that the tainted trio be suspended from all their functions within the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) with immediate effect.

The Commission also observed that in view of their tainted history, the trio`s candidature for the upcoming elections of the Indian Olympic Association was “not possible”.

The Ethics Commission`s recommendation came after IOC president Jacques Rogge asked for its view following IOA vice-president Jagdish Tytler`s query on the position of these three officials ahead of proposed IOA election on November 25 this year.

The IOC President had asked the Ethics Commission for its opinion in order to know whether it is possible, according to the Code of Ethics, for Kalmadi, Verma and Bhanot to stand as candidates for positions on the IOA Board at the upcoming elections.

“Point B.5 of the IOC Code of Ethics, in the `Integrity` chapter, states that `The Olympic parties shall use due care and diligence in fulfilling their mission. They must not act in a manner likely to tarnish the reputation of the Olympic Movement.

“Messrs Kalmadi, Verma and Bhanot were all tried by a criminal court pursuant to the law on corruption linked to a sports event (2010 Commonwealth Games). The court even sentenced them to preventive detention for several months. For his part, Mr Kalmadi was released, but banned from leaving the national territory unless agreed by the court,” chairman of the IOC Ethics Commission, Youssoupha Ndiaye said in his reply.

“Although, owing to the application of the principle of presumption of innocence, the Ethics Commission cannot take any final decision on the situation of Messrs Kalmadi, Verma and Bhanot, it must however recommend a provisional measure to protect the reputation of the Olympic Movement”, the Ethics Commission said.

“In view of this analysis of the facts, the IOC Ethics Commission is of the opinion that it should recommend that Messrs Kalmadi, Verma and Bhanot be suspended from all their functions within the IOA until the final decision by the competent court in India.,” he said.

“That, in consequence, any candidature from these three men for any position within the IOA is not possible.”

The Ethics Commission also came hard on the IOA for keeping the IOC in dark over the positions of Kalmadi, Verma and Bhanot irrespective of repeated reminders.

“At no time, and in spite of numerous reminders and requests from the IOC, did the NOC (IOC) clearly make any statement regarding the situation of these three officials nor take any provisional measure concerning them,” it said.

All the three officials were jailed and subsequently released on bail in connection with the Commonwealth Games corruption scandal.

Kalmadi was the chairman of the Organising Committee while Bhanot was the Secretary General. Verma was one of the Director Generals of the Organising Committee.







Mamta Sharma: In the line of women’s fire

Head of National Commision for Women clears the air about comments

By Nilima Pathak, Correspondent

Published: 21:44 October 7, 2012

New Delhi: The National Commission for Women (NCW) headed by Mamta Sharma, has, over the last few months, come under fire. And surprisingly, it is the women activists, who are finding faults with Sharma and want the Commission scrapped, claiming it has failed women.

Sharma has sparked a row over her remarks now and then even as the government is ready with the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2012, to slap life imprisonment terms on people who commit sexual assault and acid attacks on women.

The chairperson says: “I am least bothered about opposition to my work and will remain straightforward in my approach. My mission is to see that we deal with crimes against women with utmost importance and provide results in the shortest possible time.”

She is focusing her energies into seeing that only women police officers investigate rape cases all over the country and they do so with great sensitivity. And whenever a bail matter is listed for a rape accused, the lawyer of the Commission should be informed immediately.





Green Tribunal rejects Centre petition

Oct 08, 2012 | New Delhi

The National Green Tribunal has rejected a petition by the Union ministry of environment and forests seeking to review an order that asks the government to adhere to the Gadgil report.

The tribunal headed by Justice A.S. Naidu maintained that the ministry should grant environmental clearance to the developmental projects in Western Ghats region only in consonance with the provisions made in the Gadgil report. This could mean that green signal for the Athirapally hydel project is unlikely.

Seeking review of the tribunal’s interim order passed on July 25, the MOEF had stated that the direction “causes prejudice to the MOEF as the (Gadgil) Report has not attended finality and is still under consideration of the ministry.”

However, the tribunal noted that this “review petition does not satisfy any of the mandatory requirements and that the reasons assigned for reviewing the order are unacceptable.”

“While taking decisions (on environmental clearances), the ministry shall adhere to the (Gadgil) Report, if the same has not been varied till date,” the tribunal stated while disposing of the review petition.





TDSAT asks BSNL not to hike infra charges retrospectively

Last Updated: Sunday, October 07, 2012, 15:00

“The increase in the rate could have been effected only at the time of renewal of the agreement, i.e., with effect from April, 2013,” said TDSAT.

TDSAT’s order came over a batch of petitions filed by – Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Tata Teleservices, Reliance Communications, Aircel, Vodafone South and Vodafone Digilink.

The tribunal said, “They (operators) have made out a strong prima-facie case in their favour”.

Infrastructure charges are paid by private telecom firms to BSNL as rental and maintenance fees to station their link equipment such as terminals and antennas in the premises of the state-owned companies to get connected in their NLD (domestic) and ILD (international) networks.

BSNL had on August 23, 2012 increased the infrastructural charges retrospectively from April 1, 2009 based on a classification of cities by the government in 2004.

The move was challenged by the operators, who had entered into an interconnect agreement with the PSU after 2001 contending that they have already paid infrastructural charges in advance for the financial year 2012-2013.

According to them, it was a commercial agreement between them and BSNL can not do unilateral revision.

However, BSNL contended that as per the clauses of the interconnect agreement, BSNL can alone prescribe the charges from ‘time to time’ besides laying down the terms and condition.

TDSAT bench headed by its Chairman Justice S B Sinha observed BSNL’s decision was based on classification by the government, which had actually divided into six tiers instead of four and said,” prima-facie, we have no doubt in our mind that the Respondent (BSNL) was required to take a fresh decision”.







Ranbaxy ex-director Kaul guilty of insider trading says SAT

The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) has upheld insider trading charges against VK Kaul, a former independent director of Ranbaxy, and his wife Bala Kaul, accusing them of insider

Source: CNBC-TV18

The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) has upheld insider trading charges against VK Kaul, a former independent director of Ranbaxy , and his wife Bala Kaul, accusing them of insider trading.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) had alleged that VK Kaul, who knew in advance that Ranbaxy’s arm Solrex is going to buy shares of Orchid Chemicals, traded on behalf of his wife ahead of the transaction. While Kaul has been fined Rs 50 lakh, his wife Bala Kaul has been handed a fine of Rs 10 lakh, Sebi said in two separate orders.

The case relates to the sale of 6.5 lakh shares in Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals (OPCL) by Bear Stearns in March, 2008.

The scrip saw a huge fall in the last half of March, 2008, but then recovered significantly. Several alerts were generated at the NSE and BSE and the scrip was taken up for joint investigation by the exchanges on the basis of which a report was submitted by them in April that year.

Bala Kaul had bought shares of OCPL from stockbroker Religare Securities on March 27-28, 2008, just prior to the start of share buying by Solrex, a Ranbaxy holding company, on March 31, 2008.

She bought a total of 35,000 shares at an average price of Rs 131.71 and sold them on April 10, 2008, at an average price of Rs 219.94, the Sebi said in its order.

VK Kaul was at that time serving as an independent director in Ranbaxy Laboratories.






COMPAT rejects FTIL’s plea of impleadment

Mon 8 October 2012 10:12   Pawan Singh   New Delhi

The Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) has rejected an impleadment plea by Financial Technologies India Ltd (FTIL), in NSE’s appeal against a Rs 55.5 crore penalty imposed by competition watchdog, Competition Commission of India (CCI).

In its application FTIL , seeking to be a party, had contended that there are some allegations raised by NSE in the appeal which are directly against FTIL hence it is entitled to be impleaded to refute the same.

NSE opposed FTIL plea on the ground that as it was not a party in the original proceedings before CCI and was therefore not entitled to join before the Appellate Tribunal.

“In   view   of what   has   been   stated   before   us, we   do   not find any merits whatsoever in the contentions raised before us in support of the application for impleadment. We, therefore, dismiss the same,” a three-member Compat bench, headed by its Chairman Justice VS Sirpurkar held.

The CCI direction came on a complaint filed by MCX Stock Exchange (MCX-SX).  MCX-SX in its representation to the CCI had accused NSE of abusing of its dominant market position.

National Stock Exchange (NSE) had earlier challenged the order dated 23rd June, 2011 wherein the CCI has held that the appellant-NSE has engaged in the exclusionary conduct in the aftermarket for exchange related software in the Currency Derivative Segments (‘CD Segment’).

FTILis engaged in the business of developing and supplying software to various stock exchange and commodity exchanges. It also provides software solutions for brokers and other market intermediaries.





Pathribal encounter: Army asks dead to depose, victims’ families shocked

Mufti Islah, CNN-IBN

Srinagar: The Indian Army is under fire for summoning dead persons in the probe into the Pathribal encounter that took place in the Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir in March 2000. The families of the victims are shocked at the callousness. They demand that the trial court be shifted to Kashmir if the Indian Army wants them to attend the proceedings.

The furore started when the Army served a summons in the name of Amirullah, who died in 1994, six years before his son Juma Khan and four others were killed in the fake encounter in Pathribal. Shakoor Khan, Amirullah’s grandson, said, “The summons that they sent us are in the name of my grandfather who died 20 years ago. We cannot go there.” The family members have decided not to attend the court-martial proceedings if the venue at Nagrota near Jammu is not transferred to Kashmir. They have also demanded security and counsel of their own choice.

Roshan Jan, wife of slain Juma Khan, said that she could not understand any other language except Gojri and hence was unable to attend proceedings. She added that she was unwell and not in a state to talk. She too demanded that the venue of the trial be shifted to Kashmir. Abdul Rashid, Juma Khan’s son, questioned the need for a probe. He said, “The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has already said they were killed in cold-blood and charge-sheeted. What is the need to do a probe again? I fear for my family.”

Their demand is backed by the political parties in the valley. Mehboob Beg, a National Conference (NC) MP, said, “The CBI has already confirmed those were murders. It is time for action and not to go into technicalities.”

Five youths were killed in the Pathribal fake encounter in March 2000, a few days after the Sikh massacre in Chhattisinghpora, again in the Anantnag district. Earlier this year, the Army told the Supreme Court it will court-martial the accused officers, following which a Defence Ministry spokesperson reached out to the families of the slain men saying that the Army was committed to a fair and transparent trial and “witnesses would be given reasonable time to record their statements”. Since the Pathribal trial is being taken over by the Army, it should ensure that justice is done. For the victims who are awaiting justice for 12 long years, the patience is running thin.






Attending court a day akin to day’s simple imprisonment: Court

Press Trust of India / New Delhi October 07, 2012, 11:55

Attending court on each date may be considered equivalent to simple imprisonment of one day, a Delhi court has observed, while letting off a man on probation after holding him guilty of assaulting another man in a trial spanning 11 years.

Metropolitan Magistrate Jagminder Singh let off South West Delhi resident Lalit Kumar on probation also on grounds of being the sole bread winner of the family and that he had apologised for his behaviour.

“The convict submits that he is facing trial since 2001 ie, for last about 11 years and continuously appearing before the court. Attending court on each date may be considered equivalent to simple imprisonment of one day,” said the court, letting off the convict on probation on ground that he faced the trial for 11 years.

The prosecution case dated back to September 10, 2000 when Lalit, a teacher by profession, had abused and assaulted Bihar native Mohan Kumar.

The prosecution had told the court that Lalit abused and assaulted Mohan with a dangerous weapon when the victim had gone to his cousin’s house where the accused too was present.

The court convicted Lalit for beating up Mohan but held that there was not sufficient evidence to conclude that a dangerous weapon had been used by him to injure the victim.

It noted that the convict has a child and wife to look after and he is the only earning member of his family.

“Keeping in view the reformative theories of punishment, court thinks that the convict does not deserve any further substantial imprisonment behind the bar. Benefit of probation is given to the convict,” the judge said.





As backlog leads to overcrowding in jails, security concerns abound

Mateen Hafeez & Rebecca Samervel , TNN | Oct 8, 2012, 05.34AM IST

The snail-paced disposal of cases in Maharashtra’s courts has not just kept the pendency rate high but also caused overcrowding in jails. In most prisons in the state, the prisoner population is considerably more than the permitted capacity, leading to law-and-order problems.

In the state’s southern region, where Mumbai falls, three of the four prisons were overcrowded in the last week of September. Arthur Road jail has a capacity of 804 but housed 1,995 inmates. Thane jail can accommodate 1,105 inmates but its population was 1,984. Kalyan jail is meant for 505 prisoners but held 1,122.

To tackle just such overcrowding, the chief of the National Human Rights Commission had earlier this year recommended creation of night courts on prison premises to at least dispose of cases relating to petty crimes. Jail authorities appreciate the suggestion but point out that its implementation is the government’s prerogative. “Although it will help speed up trials, the idea has to be accepted by the law and judiciary department and the directorate of prosecution,” said a jail officer. “There have been times when inmates were not taken to court for hearing due to shortage of escort staff.”

No wonder then, undertrials out on bail as well as those acquitted support courts in jails or nearby. “It will save time and manpower,” said an inmate who was recently granted bail. They note that, partly due to overcrowding, the state of most of Maharashtra prisons is abysmal. This has resulted in fights among prisoners and riots. Recently, an inquiry was set up when a group of inmates assaulted policemen in Taloja jail.

Officials argue that prison understaffing compounds problems spawned by overcrowding. Not infrequently, inmates flee from police custody while being ferried to court for hearing or back. A few years ago, four undertrials slipped away while being transported back to Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai from a sessions court in Mumbai.

The suggestion of night courts in jails finds backers among prisoners and prison officials but not among many legal experts. Public prosecutor Neelima Kasture maintains nights courts are “not the solution” since they would add to the burden of judges and lawyers. “We need judges who will not give repeated adjournments . Unlike earlier, several district judges now focus on procedural technicalities, which cause unnecessary delay. They must hear the matter every day and dispose of them quickly. Another problem is lawyers who survive on adjournments . This practice should be curbed,” she said.





Man gets 2 years in jail for molestation

PTI | Oct 8, 2012, 02.20AM IST

NEW DELHI: A Delhi court has sentenced a man to two years in jail for outraging the modesty of his employer’s minor daughter. Additional sessions judge Madhu Jain held Aatik Alam guilty of outraging the modesty of the five-year-old girl, but acquitted him of rape charges.

The court also offset Alam’s sentence against the jail term already served by him during trial.

The case dated back to September 9, 2010. It was registered on the complaint by the girl’s mother that Alam, who used to work as a helper in her husband’s tea shop in south Delhi, had taken her daughter to a nearby railway track and raped her. Alam was arrested by the police the same day.

The court, however, acquitted Alam of rape charges on the basis of medical evidence. Alam had refuted the allegations, saying his employer had implicated him.






Court frees youth charged with kidnapping minor to marry her

Press Trust of India / New Delhi October 07, 2012, 10:45

A youth accused of kidnapping a minor girl, who was months away from turning an adult, and inducing her to marry him has been acquitted by a Delhi court on the testimony of the girl that she went with him on her “own free will”.

The trial court quoted a judgement of the Supreme Court in a similar case to rely on the statement of the victim in the present case who was just four months away from attaining the majority age of 18 years.

“In the present case also that there was no word in the deposition of the prosecutrix from which it could be inferred that she had left the house of her father at the instance or even at the suggestion of the accused.

“She had constantly stated before the court as well as in her statement under section 164 of CrPC before Metropolitan Magistrate that she had gone with accused with her own free will, which, by no stretch of imagination could be said to be the accused having taken her out of the keeping of lawful guardianship,” Additional Sessions Judge Gulshan Kumar said.

Delhi resident Akhtar Ali was freed by the court saying the prosecution has also failed to prove that accused had abducted the girl with intention to marry her or to have an illicit relationship with her.

“I am of the view that prosecution has miserably failed to prove on record that on March 16, 2012… Accused (Ali) abducted the prosecutrix, minor girl from the custody of her lawful guardians and with an intention that she may be compelled to marry against her will or with an intention to have an illicit intercourse with her.

“Accordingly, accused is acquitted of the offences under section 363/366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her for marriage) of the IPC, he was charged with,” the judge said.

The girl’s parents had lodged a complaint alleging that on March 16, 2012 the accused had abducted the girl from the custody of her lawful guardians with an intention to marry her and have an illicit relation with their minor daughter.

Ali was arrested three days after the missing report of the girl was lodged with the South Campus police station in Saket area.




Man given 6 months jail term for possessing heroin

Last Updated: Sunday, October 07, 2012, 11:53

New Delhi: A man caught with around 15 grams of heroin this year has been sentenced to six months in jail by a Delhi court.

While convicting Central Delhi resident Satish under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, Additional Sessions Judge Narinder Kumar also imposed a fine of Rs 500 on him.

“This court finds that the prosecution has established its case against the accused… He was found in possession of 15 gms of heroin.

“Having regard to the quantity recovered from the convict (Satish) and that he is a poor person and not a previous convict, I hereby sentence him to imprisonment for a period of six months and to pay fine of Rs 500,” the judge said.

The Delhi police sleuths had arrested Satish in January this year at Nabi Karim area in Central Delhi after suspecting him of carrying some contraband drugs.

According to the police, 15 grams of heroin was recovered from him after a formal search was conducted.

Seeking leniency for the convict, Satish’s counsel told the court that his client is a poor person, having the responsibility to look after his aged mother and children.

He added that Satish had already served a jail term for about three months during investigation of the case.

The court, while handing down the punishment, set off half his sentence against the three-month jail term already served by him.






UK promises to bring Brar’s attackers to justice

NEW DELHI, Oct 7, 2012, DHNS:

India to ask UK, other nations to curb pro-Khalistani groups

Even as the United Kingdom has assured India that it would bring to justice the perpetrators of the attack on Lt. Gen. (retired) K S Brar in London on September 30 last, New Delhi is likely to cite the incident to nudge British and Canadian Governments to keep tab on Khalistanis active in both the countries.  

In a letter to External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that the UK Government was determined to bring the perpetrators of the attack on Indian Army veteran to justice and London would keep New Delhi updated about the progress of the investigation.

New Delhi, however, is likely to urge both London and Ottawa that extremists should not be allowed to take advantage of freedom of expression guaranteed by local laws to spread fanaticism. India is also set to ask both UK and Canadian Government to probe if the pro-Khalistani elements in both the countries had any links with Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence.

The London Police arrested 10 men and two women in connection with the attack on Brar, who had led the Operation Blue Star that the Indian Army had carried out in Golden Temple to flush out the Khalistani militants from the Sikh shrine in Amritsar in 1984.

Though Brar said that his “strongly built, bearded and tall” and attackers were “pro-Khalistanis”, London Police did not disclose identity and ethnicity of none of the 12 persons it arrested so far, but most of them were from Wolverhampton, Bromwich and Hillingdon – all known for significant population of Sikhs. Nine of them were released on bail, while three others are still in policy custody and being interrogated.

Sources told Deccan Herald that New Delhi had been receiving intelligence inputs over the past couple of years about the ISI’s efforts to revive Sikh militancy in India and to support Babbar Khalsa International, Khalistan Zindabad Force and the newly-formed Khalistan Tiger Force through International Sikh Youth Federation and its offshoots in European and North American countries. A senior Punjab Police officer had on September 15, 2011 briefed top security officials in New Delhi about the intelligence inputs, suggesting that the ISI had asked the BKI, KZF and KTF to do some “spectacular actions” to announce their revival.

Notwithstanding the protracted probe into the 1985 bombing of the Air India’s Kanishka aircraft by Sikh militants in Canada and the subsequent much-publicized trial of the accused, pro-Khalistani elements and groups are still active in the North American country. Krishna last month took up with his Canadian counterpart John Baird the issue of Khalistani radical elements’ continued presence and activities in the latter’s country.

Baird assured him that Ottawa would do “everything it could possibly do under the law to combat radical extremism by such groups in Canada”. He also told Krishna that Ottawa would look forward to inputs from New Delhi to revise and update the list of the Sikh militant groups that had been tagged as terrorist organizations in Canada in 2003.






20% of undertrials are from Maharashtra

Rebecca Samervel, TNN | Oct 8, 2012, 02.40AM IST

MUMBAI: The judicial backlog in Maharashtra is edging forward to intractable levels. By the end of last year, statistics show, the state accounted for one in every five undertrials booked in the country under the Indian Penal Code.

According to data released by the National Crime Records Bureau, 31 lakh undertrials were awaiting verdict in Maharashtra in 2011. Of these, just 2.4 lakh witnessed their cases conclude during the year. The remaining 28.6 lakh undertrials had to wait for their fates to be decided another day. Compared to the rest of the country, the figure was the highest of all states. And within Maharashtra, that amounted to a pendency rate of 92.1%.

Legal experts said the mountainous backlog has necessitated changes in the legal system. If the growing problem has to be arrested in the state, “good judges” must be appointed, the number of courts as well as manpower increased, and unnecessary delays in hearings curbed.

The NCRB statistics show that by 2011-end the country had 1.38 crore undertrials. Maharashtra’s tally of 28.6 lakh accounted for 20.6% of the staggering figure; it was followed in the ignominious list by Gujarat (16.1 lakh), Bihar (15.5 lakh), Madhya Pradesh (12 lakh), and Uttar Pradesh (8.6 lakh).

“One of the main problems is that criminal cases are rising greatly and we don’t have sufficient judges. The authorities should examine this issue seriously. The number of courts must be increased,” said lawyer Majeed Memon. He added that the judicial backlog has left multitudes of undertrials languishing in jails endlessly—which is contradictory to constitutional assurances.

As an instance of the inordinate delay in disposal of cases, lawyers cited the 2006 Lakkhan Baiyya fake encounter. The case is yet to conclude and thus the 22 accused, including13 policemen, still awaiting verdict.

Special public prosecutor Rohini Salian explained that judicial delays are often caused by cumbersome procedures. “Even if there 40 matters are listed, each case is called out, the presence or absence of people recorded and roznama marked. Many of these matters are then adjourned.”

Salian said that courts accord preference to cases where the accused are in custody and not to those where the undertrials are out on bail, leading to prolonged delays in the latter. “Also, courts hear bail, revision and miscellaneous applications. This leaves many courts with just half a day to hear trials.”





Enforcement Directorate attaches City Group Swiss accounts

TNN | Oct 8, 2012, 01.00AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate has attached the Swiss bank accounts of Sayed Mohamed Masood, chairman of City Limouzine, and other group companies which are being investigated for alleged financial fraud, sources within the ED told TOI. This is the first such move under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and possibly marks the dismantling of the Swiss wall of customer confidentially.

Experts say the move could also have implications for the fight against black money.

The Enforcement Directorate is investigating the City Group and Masood for alleged money laundering. The group had floated investment schemes offering high returns, as much as 48% in some cases.

ED sources say that they were able to convince Swiss authorities that the funds in some of the Swiss bank accounts of Masoos were “proceeds of crime”. They said Swiss authorities were convinced and cooperated in freezing some of the bank accounts. The PMLA adjudicating authority now has to confirm the attachments and once it is done ED will take possession of the funds, the source said. If the conviction goes through in the case, the funds will be brought back to India, the source said.

ED is conducting investigations into the money laundering in countries abroad in the case. Sources said the investigations so far have revealed that Masood maintained bank accounts in Switzerland in his name and the name of his companies.

ED has now attached these bank accounts which had a balance of $ 1.25 million. Investigations have also revealed huge transactions in foreign bank accounts and further probe is on in the case. The ED sources say more domestic and international attachments are likely soon.

According to the ED, City Limouzines (India) Ltd., City Realcom Ltd., its chairman Sayed Mohamed Masood and other directors of the companies have allegedly duped thousands of investors across the country of funds to the tune of hundreds of crores.

Police across the country are investigating Sayed Mohamed Masood, and City Group of Companies for cheating and criminal conspiracy under sections 120-B and 420 of the Indian Penal Code, the sources said.

ED sources say investigations have uncovered huge money laundering in India and abroad. During the course of investigations, the Enforcement Directorate has issued 14 attachment orders attaching movable and immovable properties in

India with a market value of over Rs 130 crores which were registered in the names of City group of companies, Masood, his wife, daughter, son and other directors.

The PMLA adjudicating authority has confirmed all the attachment orders and ED is in the process of taking over these properties, the sources said.






Kanda’s offensive SMSes forced Geetika to commit suicide?

Published: Sunday, October 7, 2012, 13:40 [IST]

Posted by: Nairita

New Delhi, Oct 7: Delhi police indicted former Haryana Home Minister Gopal Goyal Kanda and his close associate Aruna Chaddha regarding Geetika Sharma suicide case. Police on Saturday, Oct 6 submitted charge-sheet to a Delhi court and accused Kanda and Chaddha of harassing Geetika.

The cops in its charge-sheet said that Kanda’s offensive messages (SMSes) had compelled 23-year-old air-hostess Geetika Sharma who had worked in now defunct MDLR airlines owned by Kanda.

Following Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Information Technology Act, the investigative officials charged criminal conspiracy, destruction of evidence, forgery and sending offensive messages against Kanda.

Charges against Kanda and Chaddha said that the duo had abetted the suicide of the former sir-hostess through “malicious and wilful acts of mental torture, threat, blackmail and stress and criminal intimidation spread over two years” that forced young Geetika to end her life.

The charge-sheet also accused Kanda and Chaddha of “harassing, conspiring, intimidating and creating an atmosphere of terror and continuous pursuit.”

Delhi police also added, “By sending forged and false e-mails and by making Geetika use forged No-Objection Certificate when she left MDLR [which she had no reason to suspect to be forged] and joined Emirates Airlines, Gopal Kanda had created an atmosphere of suspicion and distrust around Geetika in which she was not able to hold her head high and face her colleagues. She resigned to save her dignity… She rightly feared that she would be viewed with suspicion and distrust by her colleagues, friends and future employers and becoming extremely distressed and depressed, she decided to end her life by hanging herself.”

Geetika committed suicide in her apartment in Delhi on Aug 5. In her suicide note, Geetika had alleged that Kanda and Aruna Chaddha were responsible for compelling her to end her life. The police have booked Kanda under abatement to suicide case. He was forced to resign from his post following his alleged role in Geetika’s suicide case.

Police arrested Chaddha but failed to take Kanda into their custody as he absconded. Later he surrendered himself and was sent judicial custody.

The suicide case hogged limelight when Kanda’s alleged involvement with Geetika was revealed. The former minister allegedly had an extra-marital affair with the former air-hostess. However, Kanda’s wife rejected to accept such allegations against her husband.

Many other shocking facts were also reported when a Bollywood starlet Nupur Mehta stated about Kanda’s relationship with another woman Ankita Singh with whom Geetika had a bitter relation.

Soon after Geetika’s suicide, Nupur, an ex-employee of now defunct MDLR airlines, stated that Kanda married Ankita and both of them have a love-child.

Geetika had filed a legal case against Ankita who had trespassed into Geetika’s apartment in Goa and threatened the former to resign from Kanda’s company.

OneIndia News





Convict gets 31-year jail in Naroda Patiya case

AHMEDABAD A special court awarded 31 years of rigorous imprisonment to a convict in the 2002 Naroda Patiya case on Friday.

Terming Suresh alias Shehzad Netalkar as one of the main conspirators, special judge Jyotsana Yagnik sentenced him to 21 years life imprisonment after serving 10 years under section 326 (voluntary causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

On August 29, 2012, Netalkar was held guilty of murder, conspiracy and other sections of the IPC among 32 accused, including BJP MLA and former minister in Narendra Modi government, Maya Kodnani.

As Netalkar had jumped bail and was declared an absconder, the court had reserved the pronouncement of quantum of punishment till he could be brought before the court.

Judge Yagnik had also directed the Supreme Court appointed special investigation team (SIT) to form a special team to nab Netalkar.

Following a manhunt in more than six cities of Maharashtra and tracing his movements on the basis of his mobile phone locations, the special team finally nabbed him on Thursday from Nandurbar in Maharashtra and produced him before the court.

Netalkar repented his acts of 2002 and told the court that he jumped the bail because he had to make arrangement for his son and daughter’s marriages.




SC overrules decision on cheques

M J Antony / New Delhi Oct 08, 2012, 00:56 IST

The Supreme Court has overruled its own judgment regarding the law on bounced cheques. The Supreme Court as well as high courts have been following the wrong judgment in several cases under the Negotiable Instruments Act. Now it has turned the law around. In this case, the payee did not issue notice to the drawer when the cheques bounced for the first time. He presented them again, and they bounced again. Then only he initiated proceedings under the Act. There were contrary views on whether the proceedings were valid if the payee did not act for the first time. Therefore the question was referred to a larger bench. The issue was “whether the payee or holder of cheque can initiate proceedings of prosecution for the second time if he has not initiated any action on earlier cause of action?” Settling the law, the Supreme Court, in the latest case titled MSR Leathers vs S Palaniappan, stated that prosecution based on the second or successive dishonour of the cheque is also permissible. It overruled the 1998 decision in Sadanandan Bhadran’s case and now ruled that prosecution based upon second or successive dishonour of the cheque is also permissible.

 Third parties in arbitration
The Supreme Court has held that even non-signatory parties to agreements can be referred to arbitration under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. The expression ‘person claiming through or under’ in Section 45 would mean multiple and multi-party agreements, though in exceptional case. The judgment in the case, Chloro Control Ltd vs Severn Trent Water Purification Inc, explained that even non-signatory parties to some of the agreements can demand and be referred to arbitration. The Bombay High Court ruling in this case was upheld and the disputes between various parties were referred to arbitration which will be conducted according to the rules of International Chamber of Commerce.

Award must be given to party
The Supreme Court has ruled that the service of a copy of an arbitral award on the agent or a lawyer of a party did not amount to service on the party itself, according to the provisions of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. In this case, Benarsi Krishna Committee vs Karmayogi Shelters Ltd, the copy was available with the lawyer, but not the firm itself. This caused some delay in challenging the award in the Delhi High Court. A single-judge bench held that if the lawyer or agent got the copy of the award, that would amount to the party itself getting it. However the division bench negated this and insisted that the award should be served on the party itself. On appeal, the Supreme Court upheld this view and stated that the expression “party”, as defined in the Act, clearly indicated a person who is a party to an arbitration agreement. The definition is not qualified in any way so as to include the agent of the party to such agreement.

More liability on insurance firms
The Delhi High Court has ruled that a general insurance company must pay the victim of a road accident even if the terms of the policy have been broken. In this appeal case, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company vs Savitri, the firm argued that since it had successfully proved the breach of the terms of policy, it was entitled to be exonerated of its liability and the motor vehicles accident tribunal was wrong in fixing the liability on the insurer and then allowing it to recover the amount from the owner of the vehicle and the driver. The high court asserted that the insurer’s liability to satisfy third party liability has been decided by the Supreme Court in several cases. “Even if a conscious breach on the part of the insured is established, the insurer has a statutory liability to pay the compensation to the third party and will simply have the right to recover the same from the insured person,” the judgment said.

Firm buying flats not ‘consumer’
The National Consumer Commission last week dismissed a complaint moved by Singhal Finstock Ltd against Jaypee Infratech Ltd complaining of deficiency in service in allotment of apartments. The crucial question, according to the judgment, was the purpose of buying the flats — whether it is for commercial purpose, to earn profits, or for self-use. If it is for commercial purpose, the former company would not fall in the definition of ‘consumer’. The judgment stated that though the firm and its directors asserted that the flats were for providing residence to the executives, they have not proved that it was not for commercial purpose or as investment. In fact, they declared that they were investors and the memorandum of association stated that they were in the business of real estate and other related commercial activities. Therefore, the commission stated that the complaint was not maintainable under the Consumer Protection Act.






Judges� vacancies make collegium system suspect

Rakesh Bhatnagar | Agency: DNA | Monday, October 8, 2012

A ruling party can suffer debacle at the polls due to anti-incumbency factors but there’s no recourse for the people who have been aggrieved by the grave injustice done to them due to undue delay in dispensation by the institutionally weak judiciary.

The backlog of undecided court cases keeps piling up but there’s has been a laxity in filling up the posts of subordinate court judges, and one might argue that its also due to the collegium system that vacancies in the Supreme Court and high courts are only going up.

In fact the Supreme Court in 1993 deprived the executive of its power to appoint and transfer judges and bestowed this job on a select panel of senior most judges called ‘collegium’.

There’s only one judgment that describes the authority of collegium and that’s come from the Allahabad high court, the oldest high court which is infamous for high backlog and maximum number of vacancies, 76 or more.

“It’s certainly not the discretion to delay in making recommendations,’’ it said and added the process of appointment must be initiated at least six months before a vacancy arises. It further said the court “must have all the judges in place equal to the number of sanctioned strength at all times, failing which it is not fully constituted.’’
“All the constitutional functionaries involved in the process of appointment have to ensure that the vacancies are filled up, as early as possible,’’ it added.

But the situation remains unchanged. However, there’s been a mounting pressure for having a relook at the collegium pattern of top judicial appointments. With judiciary maintaining a stiff posture for protecting the self-designed mechanism, the government has often talked about evolving an alternative method either by way of a Judges Accountability law or National Judicial Commission or All India Judicial Service.

As government stresses on the need for such enactments to infuse accountability and transparency in the most visibly respected institution among all others, recently retired Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia has expressed apprehension regarding the efficacy of the government maneuvers. “We need to conduct a detailed study before we tinker with the Constitution,” Justice Kapadia said and warned thatany disturbance in the balance of power among the legislative, executive and judiciary would damage the Constitution for all times to come.

But a multi-member parliament’s committee headed by Shantaram Naik feels that an appraisal of the vacancy position of Judges in both SC and HCs “is disheartening’’.

It makes also a dent on the judges chosen system saying one major factor affecting this vacancies appear to be the procedure of appointment and the current proactive of the collegium system also raises apprehensions.

The judicial incumbency has been felt by former SC judge and jurist V R Krishna Iyer. “The whole process is almost privatised, personalised and innocent of governmental comments. Persons are chosen, privileged groups get priority, reconsideration is often rejected.’’

He adds:“The collegium has an unscientific methodology and its selection has given rise to much criticism. Therefore, the collegium, as a system, must go.’’

Assuming a law is enacted to perform the onerous job of filling up judicial posts, would it ensure that dispensation isn’t affected due to shortage of manpower?

Perhaps, answer is in the negative given the prevailing scenario in different tribunals, PSUs and expert panels which can be filled up with suitable persons by the government alone.

It’s time that the government realised the importance of manning all the institutions in time otherwise it would also be blamed for justice dispensation paralysis.




Low conviction rate in cases relying on circumstantial evidence: SC judge

TNN | Oct 8, 2012, 04.39AM IST

JAIPUR: There are unprecedented challenges before the judiciary today and the biggest among them is the conviction of accused solely on the basis of circumstantial evidences. Even after having codified laws, criminals go scot-free and the conviction rate is very low. This was stated by Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra, judge, Supreme Court here on Sunday.

Speaking at the valedictory session of a three-day judicial conference on administration of criminal justice, she maintained that judges are put to great moral and mental test in the course of delivering justice. “It is a daunting task to provide justice to the victim and giving the criminal his due right to reform and resettle in the society,” said Justice Mishra.

The conference, jointly organised by Rajasthan High Court, the national judicial academy, Bhopal, and the Rajasthan state judicial academy, Jodhpur, was addressed by former Supreme Court judges C K Thakker and A K Ganguly among others.

Justice Mishra also pointed towards the trend of increasing number of bail applications reaching the apex court. “I feel that there has been some doubts in the minds of the judges that the bail application requires interference. In the olden times, whatever happened in high court was final. But today Supreme Court is flooded with bail matters,” said Justice Mishra.

Taking the point forward, she added that nowadays cases of circumstantial evidence ends up with very low conviction. “By the time the case reaches the apex court, it is bound to happen that the accused will be released. We must come with a visionary justice in such cases,” she said.

Mishra advocated for going into greater details in high profile cases or those having big repercussions on the society. She also said that judges are not blind and well aware of what is going around and happening in society.

Chief Justice Arun Mishra of the high court also pressed for quality justice and called for efficient lawyers to be provided to poor and needy. “We cannot permit our system to become a mockery. We will have to revise our methods. Legal aid should have efficient lawyers. If the situation and case demands, amicus curie should be provided by the courts,” he said. He also asked fellow judges to take the old cases on a priority basis to reduce the pendency.






J&K CIC direct officers for prompt disposal of applications

Last Updated: Sunday, October 07, 2012, 23:21

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) G R Sofi on Sunday directed officers for prompt disposal of applications of RTI cases in the state.

Sofi, who held a detailed interaction session with Public Information Officers (PIOs) and Assistant Public Information Officers (APIOs) in Poonch district, said “officers should promptly dispose of applications of RTI cases”.

Speaking at the session, Sofi said that each individual of the state have the legal right to obtain certified copies of information regarding official status of any matter from a PIO of concerned department by tendering a written application accompanied by prescribed fee.

He said that the officers are under obligation to provide the information sought under RTI unless debarred by law.

The CIC appreciated the measures taken by the district administration in disseminating awareness regarding various provisions of Right to Information (RTI) Act.

As many as 319 RTI applications were received during current fiscal year till ending September, out of which 280 application were disposed off, whereas rest applications are under process of disposal, the CIC was told.






SEBI to act against non-compliance on share capital reconciliation

IndiaEconomyTanvi Shukla, Bloomberg TV India .Oct 8, 2012, 09:40AM IST

At its board meet, capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has approved to amend the law to act against non-compliance on share capital reconciliation.

Earlier last week, Bloomberg TV India had highlighted how the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and National Stock Exchange (NSE) faced over 900 cases of discrepancies on share capital reconciliation.

The SEBI board has decided that debt mutual funds will be allowed to invest in securities issued by housing finance companies (HFCs) and that starting 2014 FIIs will be allowed to re-invest 50% of previous year’s debt holding.

The regulatory body will also prepare draft for uniform guidelines for different types of foreign investors and will resolve issues regarding minimum shareholding norms.

Moreover, now listed entities coming out with follow-on public offers (FPOs) need not meet profitability criteria and SEBI will provide powers to depositories to take action on issues.







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