LEGAL NEWS 09.07.2009

CJI to open Law College centenary celebrations

9 Jul 2009, 0433 hrs IST, TNN

PATNA: State’s premier Patna Law College is going to have a shot in its arm on July 11, as Chief Justice of India (CJI) K G Balakrishnan will inaugurate the centenary celebration of the college on the day. The two-day celebrations would begin from July 10.

Two other Supreme Court (SC) judges — Justice Ashok Ganguly and Justice Aftab Alam — would also be present. Among special invitees are former CJI L M Sharma, former SC judge B P Singh as well as acting Patna High Court Chief Justice Shiv Kirti Singh, said state’s advocate general P K Shahi.

Shahi was flanked by secretaries of human resources department (HRD) and information and public relations department (IPRD), Anjani Kumar Singh and Rajesh Bhushan, respectively, as well as Law College principal Rakesh Verma. “The alumni of the college have held high positions in judiciary, administration and politics. They are being invited,” he added. The other invitees include governor, CM Nitish Kumar and former CM Lalu Prasad.

Given the current national trend, a five-year course would soon be introduced to attract students. The future plans of the college also include new building construction at a cost of Rs 97.08 lakh, change of syllabus and several other activities to be taken up in the future, Shahi said.

Yet, the inaugural day would be hectic, when CJI would also participate in the lunch party hosted by the CM, high tea by HC, and cultural programme organized by the culture department. Winners of the Moot Court Competition would also be given awards, and the CJI would return to Delhi the same day, Shahi said.





Will time tell us?

Jul 8 2009  


 Its all about the argument Indian Parliament faced yesterday between Union Minister for Railways and an MP from the Opposition benches. Intentionally, I avoid the usage of the prefix, “Honorable” as no longer the people’s representatives are honorable.

 Obviously, the argument was highly unhealthy (one cannot expect healthy arguments from the present lot is another story). Indian citizens have been watching the biases approach of all the ministers when it comes to implementation plans.

 When Scindia became the railway minister, he made it a point to route almost all the trains through Gwalior even if it meant detour and waste of public funds. Jaffer Sherif went one more step ahead and to facilitate traveling of his daughter, who studied medicine in Vellore CMC, introduced a special super-fast train between Bangalore and Chennai as to suit the college timings of his daughter. Deve Gowda when became Prime Minister, routed the Chennai – Mumbai trains through Hubli although it meant additional travel time of 3 hours and wastage of time and public money. Nitish and Laloo did a lot to Bihar despite the fact that it is the UP and Biharis who are notorious for traveling in train without proper tickets and they respect a damn for reserved berths in trains.

 If Mamata is doing a favor or bias towards West Bengal in the project implementation of Railways, it is nothing new. For a few decades, we have been observing and experiencing such traits of minister extending favor to their local state. After all, they have to do politics in that state. No longer can we expect a pan-Indian approach from the present day politicians. Mamata, is more interested in Bengal (as her goal is to become CM of the state), she will explore all the possibilities to extend a favor for the state so that she can make attempt of taking the coveted seat.

 However, the worse part of the argument is, when Anant Kumar raised a question of extending undue favoritism to West Bengal, the minister retorted, “Don’t insult Bengal”. One fails to understand from where the statement of Anantkumar who suggested a pan-indian approach implied an insult to the Bengal state. Does Mamata mean taking a pan-Indian approach is an insult to West Bengal? Adding insult to injury is, Anant Kumar, instead of raising such a question replied, “then don’t insult Karnataka..”

 Are the politicians really leading the Country to a glorious future or a disaster? Time will tell us…

 In a democracy, might is right. Or at the least, one gets such a perception after going through the recent incidents. Only in the recent past, none other than the Chief Justice of India made a statement that a Union Minister is trying to influence the High Court Judge of Chennai. The issue was raked by every body and snow balled to the effect of sacking the concerned minister.

 Surprisingly, two days back, the same Chief Justice of India is now making a statement that no minister had called the High Court judge but only a lawyer conveyed such feelings to the Judge. Whom should the people of India believe now? To protect whose interest, CJI and the HC judge are back-tracking their statements?

 This issue raises few questions:

¨       After the sensational statement, more skeletons were pulled out of the closet in which the present case was being buried.

¨       With the withdrawal of the statements, it drives the people of India to have apprehension whether the investigation will be conducted in a transparent manner and will do justice to real justice?

¨       Whistle blowers in India are being murdered and none is worried. Will the justice bring in a solution to this?

¨       If we have to accept the recent statements of the CJI and HC judge, why did they mislead the people with such sensational statements in the past?

¨       If people of such cadre and caliber make such mistakes, what can we expect from common people?

¨       How can the CJI and HC judge invoke trust among the people and prove their integrity?

¨       Will I be sued for contempt of court because I raised such questions?

 Time will tell us…..





SC slams med colleges on hiking capitation seats

9 Jul 2009, 0117 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday gave vent to its outrage on private medical and dental colleges subverting merit by diverting state quota seats to the management quota in order to charge stiff capitation fees from students.

“Every year, this is happening. We know how these tricks are played on students every year,” said a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices P Sathasivam and J M Panchal as it proposed to initiate contempt proceedings against three private medical and dental colleges in Madhya Pradesh.

The outburst against the state of affairs in private medical colleges – which many parents say charge astronomical figures like Rs 25 lakh a seat – reflects issues raised by a recent TOI-Times Now expose on a capitation fee scam in two professional institutions in Tamil Nadu.

The observation against the Madhya Pradesh colleges came after the state government and students said that despite a clear direction from the SC on May 27 to these medical and dental colleges, they had refused to admit applicants despite their figuring in the merit list of the state conducted common entrance test (CET). The private colleges had sought to hike the number of capitation seats by misappropriating the state quota.

Appearing for the students, senior advocate Indu Malhotra told the Bench that the SC had split the seats into 50:50 for the state and the management after leaving out 15% of the total seats for management to fill under NRI quota.

Senior advocate Ravishanker Prasad said the three colleges — Modern Dental College and Research Centre, Indore; R D Gardi Medical College, Ujjain and People’s College of Dental Science and Research Centre, Bhopal — had filled up all the seats taking them as management quota and left nothing for those students who had cleared CET. “This is a clear overreach of the SC’s orders,” he said.

A furious CJI asked senior advocate A M Singhvi whether his client college had scrupulously adhered to the May 27 order of the SC. Singhvi, supported by other senior advocates, tried to pacify the CJI by arguing that earlier apex court orders wanted the colleges to complete the admissions by May 25 and because of this the seats were filled up.

But the CJI wanted a clear answer. “Did you (the colleges) scrupulously adhere to the May 27 order of the Supreme Court?” The Bench then passed the order saying the three colleges were alleged to have admitted students to more than their entitlement, that is 50% of the seats.

“This is apparently in clear violation of the May 27 order of this court. All three colleges will file their specific affidavits stating whether or not they have complied with the Supreme Court’s May 27 order,” the Bench said and posted the matter for further hearing on July 16.





SC issues notice to Centre on gay sex

9 Jul 2009, 1146 hrs IST, TIMESOFINDIA.COM

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the Centre and NGO Naz Foundation on a petition challenging the Delhi High Court judgement decriminalizing gay sex.

The court has sought the reply by July 20.

Clarifying that marriage laws had not changed, the apex court refused to stay gay marriages. Any interim order for staying gay marriages or their registration would be considered after hearing the Centre and other parties concerned.

The Supreme Court was hearing a petition filed by astrologer SK Kaushal challenging the Delhi High Court judgement on Section 377.

While mentioning the petition, the counsel, appearing for the astrologer, said that since the high court verdict, there have been seven cases of gay marriages, and raised several questions, which, he claimed, were likely to affect the institution of marriage, reported PTI.

However, the SC Bench said, “We have not changed the definition of marriage.”

During the brief hearing, when the counsel was pointing to what he claimed was the adverse impact of the judgement decriminalising gay sex among the consenting adults, the Bench said the police had not been registering cases in such matters.

It said though the law has been in force since 1860, there have been only a handful cases under the penal provision except those of paedophile cases.

For “gay sex, to my knowledge, no body has been prosecuted,” the Bench, also comprising Justice P Sathasivam, said.

The petition filed by Kaushal sought quashing of July 2 verdict of the high court legalising gay sex between consenting adults in private, which was earlier a criminal offence punishable with upto life imprisonment.

The petition contended that homosexual acts, by all standards, were “unnatural” and could not be permitted.

“No one can imagine the consequences of the unnatural acts. Even animals don’t indulge in such activities,” he said in his petition.

He said the high court judgement would result in spread of HIV virus as “it has been amply proven” that the infection was contracted through such sexual acts.

“We have to look at our own scriptures to seek guidance from them and they are against such behaviour in our society. If such abnormality is permitted, then tomorrow people might seek permission for having sex with animals,” he argued.





Two get lifer for murdering doctor, wife

9 Jul 2009, 2002 hrs IST, PTI

MUMBAI: A sessions court has today sentenced two persons to life imprisonment for murdering a doctor and his wife in 2002.

Dr Hanif Baig and his wife Zarina Baig were beaten to death at their residence in suburban Bandra on March 21, 2002 and cash, jewelery and other valuables were missing from their house. According to the police robbery was the motive for the crime.

Three days later, police detained two persons for theft. During their interrogation, Manoj Chaudhary (26) and Riyaz Qureshi (30) confessed that they had a hand in the robbery and murder at Baigs’ residence.

When the matter came up for trial in the sessions court, the prime witness for the prosecution was the couple’s son who was only nine years old at the time of the murder. His testimony was crucial as he was present at the time of the incident and the accused had threatened him with dire consequences after killing his parents.

The prosecution examined a total of 21 witnesses to built up its case.





90:10 reservation: ‘Govt didn’t follow HC’s observations’

9 Jul 2009, 0126 hrs IST, Prafulla Marpakwar , TNN

MUMBAI: A cursory glance over the Bombay high court order, which set aside the 90:10 reservation formula, indicates that the school education department, led by senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, failed to take note of the court’s observations in the percentile proposal while drafting the new system. Prima facie, it appears that neither Vikhe Patil nor the babus in his department had done adequate home work before embarking upon the new education policy.

“Had they carefully studied the court’s observations in the percentile case, they would not have proposed the 90:10 reservation proposal. Now, not only the department, but also the government has to face embarrassment,” a Congress minister said.

On August 25, 2008, the high court had set aside the percentile method for allocation of seats, resulting in inequality between SSC and non-SSC students

. In its 42-page order, the court observed that the 90:10 formula has been issued only to achieve political ambitions and to favour SSC students. “The golden rule of merit-cum-preference, which is the only acceptable principle for allotment of seats, has been violated,” Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice S C Dharmadhikari said.

The school education department has created an artificial classification when in reality, there is no distinction among students from different boards. The government resolution can barely be covered under any known canons of protective discrimination, the order stated. Further, it said, the students form a homogeneous class and were so treated for last 15 years. There appears to be no compulsive or rational basis for altering the practice, the judges said.

On the contention of school education department that the new policy was widely discussed, the court observed no record indicated that a matter of such significance was ever dealt with by the statutory board. Furthermore, after discussion with local colleges, government departments and some principals, a decision was taken to constitute a core group to examine the proposal.

On June 17, only six principals got together in absence of any appropriate authority from the government to discuss the issues relating to admissions. These principals decided to make the reservation of 90% seats in favour of SSC students, which resulted in the issuance of the GR. “This apparently is an act of undue haste by an incompetent body and in violation of the statutory provisions,” the court said.





26/11 court gets waterlogged

9 Jul 2009, 0131 hrs IST, Kartikeya, TNN

The heavy rains and consequent waterlogging on Wednesday morning did not spare the special court premises at Arthur Road jail where the trial of Pakistani gunman Ajmal Amir Kasab is being conducted.

Journalists and court officials had to wade through water to reach the courthouse inside the jail.

Only a few hours of hearing could be held and just one witness, a doctor, was cross-examined during the day. Judge M L Tahaliyani reached the courtroom at his usual time in the morning.

He was driven through the water to the courtroom.





New Era set to take battle to apex court

9 Jul 2009, 0038 hrs IST, Anahita Mukherji , TNN

MUMBAI: The management of The New Era School on Hughes Road is all set to appeal in the Supreme Court after losing a case against SSC parents in the Bombay high court on Tuesday.

An SSC school for more than 70 years, New Era was taken over by the Aditya Birla Group over a year ago. The new management introduced the International General Certificate of Secondary Education syllabus and announced plans to shift the SSC section to a new premise on D N Road. SSC students’ parents took the school to court after this.

A day after the high court directed the school to reopen on the original premises on Tuesday, school trustee Santrupt Misra announced at a press conference that the management would not reopen the school on the old premises under any circumstances.

The school management said it wanted to shift the school on the grounds that it was dilapidated despite a high court-appointed committee certifying the building safe.

“We cannot risk the lives of children. Our engineers have told us that the building is unsafe. The same parents who have gone to court against us will hold us responsible if anything happens to their children,” said Misra, adding that repair and renovation would be more time-consuming and costly compared to demolishing and reconstructing the building.

Parents have complained that the new premises on D N Road does not have a playground and opens onto the pavement. Misra said he was putting safety above convenience.

The management had earlier announced that the SSC section would be phased out one year at a time. It later said it would not close down the SSC section but shift it permanently to D N Road. Now, parents have been told that the shift will be temporary.

“We did not want to tell parents that the shift would be temporary as they would then ask us for a time-frame and, with building constructions, it’s difficult to complete work within a definite time-frame. But we have taken the D N Road premises on a three-year lease, which can be extended to a maximum of five years. After that, the children will be brought back to the old premises,” said Misra, adding that the IGCSE section would be temporarily shifted to Gwalior Tank. “While we informed the IGCSE parents that the shift was temporary, we did not do so with SSC parents because of the great deal of mistrust they had shown towards us,” he added.

The parents’ advocate described the move as “contempt of court and in very bad taste”. “The court has said that, subject to any competent authority passing an order, the school will have to reopen next Tuesday on the old premises,” advocate M M Vashi said. The parents have already filed a caveat in the Supreme Court.

The school has not yet reopened after the summer vacation. Parents believe that the institute is trying to arm-twist them into submission. “All SSC students, especially those in Class X, are undergoing a great deal of trauma. The management is playing with their lives by not abiding by the laws of the land,” said a parent.





2 decades after trial court order, HC upholds convict’s life term

9 Jul 2009, 0150 hrs IST, TNN

MUMBAI: It has taken a case two decades to reach its conclusion in Bombay high court.

A division bench of Justice B H Marlapalle and Justice S J Vazifdar last week upheld the life imprisonment of a person, who was sentenced by a trial court two decades ago, for wiping out his entire family.

The court expressed concern over the appeal, which had been left undecided for so many years and said that an “appropriate” mechanism should be adopted to prevent delay in hearing of the cases. “It is imperative for the bar and bench to work out an appropriate methodology to ensure that such appeals do not remain pending for more than three to five years in future,” the judges said.

The case dates back to June 22, 1987, when Daman resident Satish Agarwal, after suffering a huge loss in gambling, returned home and strangled to death his wife and two daughters; one of his daughters was barely eight months old.

He then reportedly attempted suicide by jumping into a river but was saved by some fishermen. The police subsequently arrested him and also discovered a suicide note penned by him in which he confessed to the crime. A sessions court held Agarwal guilty in 1989 and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

The high court, too, refused to show him any leniency and convicted him for the crime and, as he was out on bail during the pendency of the appeal, asked him to surrender to the police.





HC orders CBI probe in child ‘kidnap’ case

9 Jul 2009, 0154 hrs IST, TNN

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Wednesday asked the CBI to take over the case of a child ‘allegedly’ kidnapped by his grandfather. Expressing dissatisfaction with the probe carried out by the police as well as the state CID, a division bench of Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice Rajesh Ketkar asked the CBI to file a status report in the case in a month.

The matter concerned the case filed by Bandra resident Manpreet Biji (28), whose one-year-old son was `allegedly’ taken away by her father-in-law, Tinkusingh Biji, in January 2008.

The HC in April 2009 transferred the probe to the state CID.





No survelliance for those acquitted: HC

9 Jul 2009, 0512 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday pulled up the Delhi police for not being extra cautious before labelling a person as a historysheeter as it could lead to “adverse consequence” in the person’s life.

The court’s observations came while hearing the plea of a man who was acquitted in a criminal case few year ago but still was being bothered by the police as his number was under surveillance.

Directing the police to strike off the name of a person who had been under police surveillance for the last five years despite being acquitted in cases, Justice S Muralidhar said the police cannot keep a person under surveillance after his or her acquittal.

Justice Muralidhar said the police should take extra caution before labelling a person as historysheeter and to put his name in surveillance register as it has “grave adverse” consequences. “These decisions affecting the life and liberty of citizens must satisfy the constitutional mandate of Article 21 (read with Article 14),” the court said.

The court passed the order on a plea by one Deepak Solanki seeking direction to police to quash the historysheet opened in his name as it was causing hardships because of frequent visits by the police to his house. The court, after going through all records, found there was no evidence against Solanki.





Centre withdraws petition against DMRC chief

9 Jul 2009, 0513 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: The Centre has withdrawn its petition against DMRC chief E Sreedharan in the Delhi High Court challenging a single bench order directing it to grant pension of Rs 4,000 which it had illegally deducted from his salary when he was the head of Konkan Railway Corporation.

Within two months of filing the appeal, the government withdrew the petition on the second hearing of the case after a bench headed by chief justice A P Shah expressed displeasure over the Centre’s stand which had justified its action on the ground that the amount was deducted as he was re-employed after the retirement from Indian Railways.

Shreedharan, after retiring from railways in 1990, had joined Konkan Railway for five years. But the government, without informing him, had stopped his pension of Rs 4,000 on the ground that he was re-employed by the government under the Central government and therefore he was not entitled to get pension.

Following a single bench order, which directed the centre to pay the amount, it paid about Rs 10 lakh to Sreedharan last month. The centre, however, went to file an appeal against the single bench order. Shreedharans lawyer Tarun Johri said that the deduction meant that at one point, after all other deductions like income tax, provident fund, house rent allowance and car conveyance, he got Rs 1,080 per month. “The payment came with a rider. Although, the centre gave the money to Sreedharan, but it was subjected to the time that the centre could file an appeal against the single bench order,” said counsel Johri.

A division bench of chief justice A.P. Shah and justice Manmohan, while hearing the case were not satisfied by the contentions of the government and pulled up the centre for the step. The court also threatened to impose heavy costs on the official who gave the idea of filing an appeal.

As per the case, after retiring from the Indian Railways in 1990, Sreedharan joined Konkan Railway on a pay scale of Rs 9,000-10,000 for a period of five years. The Konkan Railway, however, deducted Rs 4,000 from his salary without his permission contending that it was a re-employment under the central government and he could not draw pension and salary from two government departments at the same time.





Two lawyers held for attacking judge

9 Jul 2009, 1619 hrs IST, PTI

NEW DELHI: Two lawyers were on Thursday arrested in connection with the alleged manhandling of a judge at a district court in the capital following a verbal duel during the hearing in a matrimonial dispute case.

Vikas Gupta and Rekha Sharma were arrested for allegedly attacking Additional District Judge (ADJ) Pankaj Gupta, who was presiding over the court dealing with the cases under the Hindu Marriage Act at Rohini district courts, a senior police official said.

He was allegedly slapped and manhandled by a group of lawyers on Wednesday.

Sources said the lawyers were agitated over a bailable warrant issued against a litigant by the ADJ.

A case of rioting, damage to public property, hurt and obstructing a government servant from discharging duty has been registered.





189 schools didn’t abide by freeship norms: Govt to HC

9 Jul 2009, 0512 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: The Delhi government on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that 189 private schools have failed to provide 15% freeship quota to economically backward children despite repeated directions from the court. Submitting a detailed status report before the division bench of Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice Manmohan, the Directorate of Education said that action was being taken against the schools which have not complied with the order.

“Out of 394 schools, 189 schools including Air Force Bal Bharati, Lodhi Road, DPS, Mathura Road, and Tagore International, East of Kailash, have failed to comply with the Court’s order for 15% freeship quota,” the report said.

The department also said 183 schools have complied with the order and 22 schools, including Modern School on Barakhamba Road, Spring Dales, Pusa Road, and Sanskriti School, Chanakyapuri, have failed to provide any information as to whether they have complied with the condition or not.

“Separate steps are being taken by the deputy director of concerned district to issue them to show cause notice and take action against them for violating directions of director of education,” the department informed the court.

Pursuant to the High Court’s 2008 order directing schools to comply with it from academic year 2009-2010, the department has sought the schools’ response.

The court was hearing a PIL, filed by social jurists through counsel Ashok Aggarwal, seeking direction to the government for action against those private unaided schools, which have obtained land at a throw away price from the government with a condition that they will provide freeship quota to the poor children, for not following the lease condition.





HC relief for DU prof

9 Jul 2009, 0514 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: Delhi High Court has struck down a Delhi University order, in a case of alleged sexual harassment, which barred professor Bidyut Chakrabarty from holding any administrative post for three years. The court ruled that the inquiry into the allegations was conducted without giving an opportunity to Chakrabarty to produce and cross-examine witnesses in his defence which was against the basic principles of natural justice.

A division bench, comprising Justice A K Sikri and Justice V K Jain, however, made it clear that it would be open to the respondents (Delhi University) to resume the inquiry. “It will be open to the respondents to resume the inquiry held against the petitioner from an appropriate stage, conclude it in the light of the observations made and the view taken in this order and thereafter take appropriate disciplinary action against him in accordance with law,” the court said.

The HC’s order came on a petition by Chakrabarty seeking quashing of two office memorandums as well as the inquiry report. In addition, he had also sought quashing of an order of the university whereby another teacher was appointed head of the department of political science and an ordinance of the university under which the apex committee was appointed.

The apex committee had constituted the inquiry committee following a complaint of sexual harassment by a woman official in the department against Chakrabarty, then head of department of political science, in 2007. Chakrabarty was also holding directorship of Gandhi Bhawan.

The university had issued the memorandums warning him and debarring him from all administrative posts and supervisory duties for a period of three years following submission of a report by the inquiry committee. The committee had found that prima facie a case of sexual harassment was made out against Chakrabarty. Meanwhile, the university also appointed another teacher as head of department.

Chakrabarty had approached the high court seeking quashing of these orders and pleading for reinstatement. While the HC set aside the order debarring him, it refused to entertain the pleas of quashing of the order relating to the appointment of another teacher and of an ordinance under which the apex committee was appointed.

“We are not inclined to quash the notification whereby Professor Achin Vinayak was appointed as head of department of political science and dean of the faculty of social sciences as we feel that such appointments are prerogative of the university and the petitioner cannot challenge the same….Since we have read the requirements of complying with fundamental principles of natural justice as implicit in the inquiry procedure, we need not strike down the relevant provisions of Ordinance XV-D of the University of Delhi,” the court said.





Trial court judge roughed up

9 Jul 2009, 0515 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: A trial court judge was on Wednesday allegedly roughed up by a group of lawyers at the Rohini district court complex following an argument. The incident has sparked strong protest from the judicial officers’ association which demanded security and action against the culprits. A case of rioting, damage of public property, hurt and obstructing a government servant from discharging his duty has been registered at Rohini police station.

Additional district judge Pankaj Gupta, who presides over the court dealing with cases under the Hindu Marriage Act at Rohini district courts, was allegedly slapped and manhandled by a group of lawyers, Delhi Judicial Officers’ Association said in a press release.

“One lawyer started obstructing judicial functioning when the judge was making an inquiry with regard to a fictitious petition. The judge called upon the lawyer not to interfere in his inquiry. The enraged lawyer went out and came back with a group of lawyers, who thrashed the court staff and then beat the judge,” the Association alleged.

The Bar leaders, however, denied the allegation. B S Rana, chairperson of Bar Council of Delhi, said, “According to my information, the judge was not assaulted. It was merely a verbal altercation.”

The judges’ body said it would seek an appointment with the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court to express “the insecurity felt by judicial officers and to request for appropriate remedial measures to avoid recurrence of such incident.”





Three get life term for killing NSUI activist outside college

9 Jul 2009, 1931 hrs IST, PTI

NEW DELHI: A Delhi court has awarded rigorous life imprisonment to three persons for killing a man, a member of Congress-backed student organisation NSUI, and injuring another outside a college here nearly 21 years ago.

“Despite all the odds and difficulty, the prosecution has successfully established on record the guilt of the accused,” Additional Sessions Judge M K Nagpal said.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 1.5 lakh each on convicts, Bijender Singh, Dipender Singh and Randhir Singh, all hailing from South Delhi, as the charges of murder and attempt to murder under the IPC were established.

The proceedings against another accused Joginder Pal Singh was stalled as he absconded during the trial and was declared a proclaimed offender.

Yadram, an activist of National Students Union Of India, was stabbed to death on the afternoon of August 31, 1988 when he along with Rajinder Singh, another victim who survived after being stabbed, had gone to meet victorious student leader Kapoor Singh Dagar of Aurbindo College.

The victims, who were invited by Dagar to join his victory celebrations, had gone to the college in South Delhi and inquired about the whereabouts of Dagar from the accused, the alleged supporters of a losing candidate.

The accused assaulted the victims. Later, the fight turned ugly as the accused stabbed them.

Yadram died in hospital while Rajinder survived and lodged the case against the accused.





HC stays APMC licence cancellation to Metro Cash and Carry

9 Jul 2009, 0429 hrs IST, TNN

BANGALORE: The high court on Wednesday stayed an order issued by authorities suspending APMC licence granted to Metro Cash and Carry Ltd.

“Authorities issued the APMC licence in May. Even before racks were fitted in the store, they issued a show cause notice, stating we’re not doing business,” the petitioner’s counsel said.

“After that, they charged Metro Cash and Carry Ltd of doing business with 12 unregistered persons. The authorities even told the company to explain within 48 hours why it was doing business with the persons,” the counsel told the court.

“After the company replied to the query, the authorities suddenly issued a 30-day suspension notice.”





Take politicians out of wakf board, HC told

9 Jul 2009, 0202 hrs IST, TNN

HYDERABAD: Muslim clergy in the state through its association of AP Sajjada Nasheens, Mutavallis and Khidmat Gizaran of wakfs on Wednesday told the AP High Court that it wanted a Muslim wakf board and not a Congress or TDP wakf board in the state. It also asked the court to scrap Section 14 of the Wakf Act which empowers the government to fill the board with MPs and MLAs.

Appearing for the petitioner association, senior counsel K Pratap Reddy told the court that since all the activities related to wakf are religious in nature, the government has no power to meddle with the religious independence of the Muslims under the Constitution. It can do so only on grounds of public order and morality. Under the guise of public order, you cannot take over the managements of all the wakfs, he said.

In fact, the counsel said, the Muslim personal law remains secular in matters such as marriage, divorce, succession, etc., and is religious only in matters related to wakf. Rulers had never spread the Islam’s great message of equality and it is only the Mutavallis that spread this and now the Wakf Act is seeking to marginalise them from the wakf board, the counsel lamented.

If the Mutavallis are accused of mismanagement in isolated cases, then the board can act, Pratap Reddy said.

Appearing for the central government, additional solicitor general Mohan Parasaran told the court that all that is done by the wakf board cannot be termed religious. If it runs an educational institute, it is education and not religion, he said. Mutavallis are managers of wakf properties and their functions are not religious ones, he said. Mere possibility of misuse cannot be a ground in itself for quashing the provisions of any law, he said. Moreover, the high courts of Karnataka, Gujarat and Madras have already upheld Section 14 of the Wakf Act, he said.

It can be recalled, the AP state government earlier allotted huge wakf properties in Greater Hyderabad to Lanco and other commercial establishments.The division bench comprising Justice Gulam Mohammad and Justice Vilas V Afzalpurkar which is hearing the case posted the matter to July 13 for further hearing.






Films can’t depict professions in poor light: HC

9 Jul 2009, 0345 hrs IST, TNN

CHENNAI: Film-makers are not justified in depicting various professions in poor light and then claiming that it was only fictional and imaginary, observed Justice R Regupathi, who hit the headlines last week when he revealed in the open court that a Union minister was attempting to influence him in a forgery case.

“There are good things and bad things in every profession. But you depict only the bad things,” he said, when a petition filed jointly by actor Vijay, producer A M Ratnam and director Perarasu seeking to quash a defamation case against them came up for hearing before him on Wednesday. The defamation proceedings were initiated by advocates, who felt offended by the depiction of advocates and the legal profession in the film Sivakasi’.

“A lot of advocates sacrificed their lives and resources for the nation. Even today a majority of politicians in the country are advocates. You cannot show them in poor light, as there is a limit to entertainment. Should not we punish those who made money by making such films?” asked Justice Regupathi.

Tamil Nadu Advocates Association (TNAA) president S Prabakaran, claiming that there could be an ulterior motive to such portrayal of advocates, said the film makers did not respond to letters requesting them to delete the offending portions in the film. “We sent to notices to the Censor Board as well, but there was no response,” he said.

Counsel for the film crew, however, said the offending portions of the film were deleted as soon as objections were raised in legal circles. The Censor Board did not think the release of the film would harm the sentiments of any section of the society, he said, adding that defamation proceedings would be justified only if direct imputations were made against people.

Justice Regupathi, making it clear that he was not issuing any directions in the matter, said Prabakaran could implead the Censor Board and ascertain details such as who were the members of the board and what was the duty cast on them. He then adjourned the hearing to July 16.





He helped govt discover state’s own 1966 RTI circular

9 Jul 2009, 0459 hrs IST, TNN

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat did not need an RTI Act to prove its commitment towards a transparent and citizen-friendly administration, according to Prabhudas Vaghela of Amreli. The man was responsible in helping Gujarat’s babus excavate two landmark notifications that made it mandatory in 1966 and 1979 that information sought in revenue matters should be given within seven to 15 days of the application, as against 30 days limit prescribed under the RTI Act.

Vaghela wanted to teach babus that when foundation of the state was laid in 1960, founders had envisioned a people-friendly administration. Vaghela, after filing at least four pleas for a copy of certifications pertaining to his land in Amreli under RTI Act, was denied the same by local collectorate officials.

“When officials denied me a copy of my land records, I wanted to remind the revenue department what their own department had envisioned about a people friendly administration 40 years ago. I then gifted them a copy of the 1979 notification which mandated that information pertaining to revenue records be provided within seven days. It was an eye opener for the department,” says Vaghela.

State information commission had ruled that Vaghela had done a service by helping fish out a copy of the circular, which according to local collectorate officials, was not in existence. Secondly, the circulars provided detailed procedure and imposed obligations on designated officers for providing information within the stipulated time. Further this circular was circulated to all talati-cum-mantri, mamalatdars and collectors of Gujarat.Quoting Vaghela’s example, salt pan workers filed another application demanding a circular dated August 16, 1966, under Regulation 137 (2) of Gujarat Land Revenue Regulations. It said that information be provided within seven days of application to citizens. “SIC had then imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 on public information officer for delay caused in replies and providing information,” adds Vaghela.





HC sets up panel to chase city’s troubles

9 Jul 2009, 0501 hrs IST, TNN

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat High Court, on Wednesday, appointed a committee to look into issues like illegal constructions, traffic snarls on city roads, Building Use (BU) permission and violation of fire safety norms in high-rise buildings.

The committee has been asked to submit its report within three months, along with suggestions and findings on how far the HC order has been implemented.

A PIL was filed by advocate Amit Panchal who complained that the civic bodies in the city -AMC and AUDA- have not implemented various orders by HC, directing authorities to remove illegal constructions, particularly from roads. The plea also asked for vigilance in giving BU permission and issuing clearance after checking fire safety systems in buildings and contended that the authorities have not complied with directions issued time to time.

A division Bench of Chief Justice KS Radhakrishnan and Justice Akil Kureshi, which was hearing the PIL, and which sought reports from AMC and AUDA on work being done by authorities. Not satisfied with ‘action taken’ report submitted by the civic bodies, the Bench set up a committee headed by retired judge of HC, Justice KM Mehta.

The committee will comprise five members -secretary of urban development department, AMC commissioner, AUDA chairman, joint commissioner of police (traffic) and CEPT’s assistant director, professor Shivanand Swami.

The court noticed, “This court has alerted the corporation on several occasions about illegal construction going at various places in city and nearby places and also highlighted the necessity of taking remedial measures like regulating traffic, stop unauthorized encroachment on public roads among other. However, no proper measures were taken. Many instructions given by court are yet to be implemented.” The court also observed, several buildings come up without building permit. The modus operandi is to start construction without BU permission and then go for regularisation. “This practice has to be deprecated,” the order said.





Expert panel, then HC to rule on tree-cutting

9 Jul 2009, 0259 hrs IST, TNN

PUNE: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday issued a revised interim order, imposing a series of restrictions on the permission granted by the Pune Tree Authority (PTA) of the Pune Municipal Corporation to fell trees in the city.

The high court said that the PTA cannot go ahead with granting permission to cut trees without first seeking the opinion of an expert panel and then the HC itself, following which a public hearing would be held.

Speaking to TOI, PMC’s legal counsel Sadhana Mahashabde said that in the case of tree-cutting permission for private development, the developer will have to approach the high court for approval after going through the regular process of PTA permission and seeking opinion of the expert panel.

Acting on a PIL filed by Pune-based environmentalist Deepak Vahikar regarding the felling of 1,522 trees by the PMC, the high court, on May 6, issued an order restricting the PMC from going ahead with tree-cutting in totality.

The PMC had then applied to the high court to modify the order. While hearing the application on Wednesday, the court expressed concern over the ecological imbalance and climate change, Mahashabde said.

“As per the court order, the PMC will continue to follow the earlier procedure for granting permission to cut trees. However, it has also been asked to set up an expert panel of botanists. If this panel says that permission to cut a tree may be granted, the matter will then go to the high court for further permission,” Mahashabde said.

The PMC counsel explained that for public development works, the civic body was required to seek the approval of the high court to cut trees. She, however, said that the PMC has been granted permission to trim trees or cut “dangerous” ones. She said that permission to cut trees on Paud road has already been granted to the civic body





HC squashes eviction order agains tenant

9 Jul 2009, 0548 hrs IST, TNN

PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa set aside a “perverse” order passed by its subordinate authorities evicting a tenant from a flat.

In 1987, a landlady, Iria da Costa, had filed an application before the rent controller praying for eviction of a tenant from a flat belonging to her on the second floor of a building in Mapusa.

Da Costa also stated that she owned another flat on the first floor of the same building that was gifted to her daughter in 1983 at the time of her marriage.

Saying that she had no other accommodation left in the city, da Costa sought an order for eviction of the tenant. After the rent controller ordered in her (landlady) favour, the tenant subsequently approached the administrative tribunal.

The tribunal upheld the order of eviction saying that the landlady was staying in her sister’s house and that da Costa had gifted one of her flats on the first floor of the building to her daughter.

The tribunal also noted that the landlady was not occupying any residence of her own and ordered the tenant’s eviction from the second floor flat.

Thereafter, the tenant approached the high court where the aggrieved party’s lawyer pointed out that the landlady, even after gifting the first floor flat in 1983 to her daughter, had executed a lease deed of that flat with another tenant in 1985.

“This shows that the landlady continued to be the owner of the flat on the first floor. This flat was vacated by the tenant in 1991. Since then, the flat has been locked and the landlady is in possession of it,” the lawyer argued.

“Her case that she had gifted the flat to her adopted daughter at the time of marriage, is a fact that cannot be easily accepted since the landlady had continued to be the owner of the same and, not only that, dealt with it as her own. The landlady also did not produce any document of transfer. She admitted that no gift deed was executed in favour of the said daughter,” the high court observed.

The court further held that the tenant herein had proved that the landlady had premises of her own and that too on the first floor of the same building. The court later observed, “The conclusion arrived at by the authorities is not only erroneous but also perverse.”





Justifications not part of info under RTI: HC

9 Jul 2009, 0550 hrs IST, Gauree Malkarnekar, TNN

PANAJI: An order of the high court of Bombay at Goa, stating that the definition for information under the Right to Information Act cannot include answers to the question “why”, which would be the same thing as asking the reason for a justification, has been circulated to Central ministries and departments.

Bringing relief to public information authorities, the high court of Bombay at Goa held: “The public information authorities cannot expect to communicate to citizens the reason why a certain thing was done or not done in the sense of justification because the citizen makes a requisition about information. Justifications are matter within the domain of adjudicating authorities and cannot properly be classified as information.”

The judgment was circulated by office memorandum dated June 1, 2009 to all ministries, departments and state information commissions of the government of India by the Centre’s department of personnel and training. The judgment has also been circulated in the Rajya Sabha, the Lok Sabha, and offices of the President and Prime Minister.

The judgment, dated April 3, 2008, came in favour of Goa’s director of education Celsa Pinto, who had challenged an order dated July 27, 2007 passed by the Goa Information Commission holding her responsible for furnishing “incorrect, incomplete or misleading information”.

Education department’s legal officer Avinash Nasnodkar said that the judgment appears to have brought relief to several government officials across the country. “Several copies of the judgment were picked up from us by all government offices in Goa and the judgment has now been circulated all over the country by the central government. At times officials are harassed using the RTI act for wrong purposes. They are expected to have an answer to anything and everything. At least now they will not be challenged or penalised for not justifying things they have no control over.”

The judgment states that section 2 (f) of the RTI Act defines information to mean “any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advises, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force.”

The case pertained to information sought by Milan Natekar, a government servant, seeking to know from the education director, in this case also the public information officer, “why the librarian from the engineering college was not considered for promotion for the post of curator in the Central library when it had fallen vacant due to retirement” of the person holding the position.

Initially, the director had replied “N.A.” to all questions posed by Natekar, and when the latter sought clarifications, the director replied that the abbreviation stood for “not available”. To the question as to why the post of librarian was not filled up, the director stated: “I don’t know”. Natekar then approached the Goa Information Commission (GIC).

Ruling in the matter, the GIC held that the education director was guilty of furnishing incomplete, misleading and false information and imposed a penalty of Rs 5,000 which was “liable to be deducted from her salary from the month of August 2007″.

Nasnodkar and advocate J A Lobo challenged the commission’s order in the high court. Lobo argued that GIC wrongly held that the director provided incomplete and misleading information.

The court held that, “it is not possible to comprehend how the commission has come to this conclusion” and that it saw nothing wrong in the director’s reply that she does not know the information because “PIO cannot manufacture the information”.

The court also held that “it is not possible to accept the reasoning of the commission. There is no substance in the observation that merely because the director said not available’ and later on corrected her statement and said that she does not know and the petitioner provided incomplete and incorrect information.

“In this view of the matter, the order of the commission appears to suffer from a serious error of law apparent on record and results in the miscarriage of justice,” the court held.





Court suspends Bhardwaj’s sentence

9 Jul 2009, 0021 hrs IST, TNN

Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday suspended the sentence of three years’ rigorous imprisonment awarded to former Chandigarh judicial magistrate, Surender Singh Bhardwaj by special CBI court under Prevention of Corruption Act.

While ordering this, justice Lakshmi Narain Mittal also directed that the petitioner, if arrested, would be released on bail to the satisfaction of chief judicial magistrate. Bhardwaj’s appeal against his conviction already stands admitted though no date has yet been fixed for its regular hearing.

Bhardwaj was convicted and fined Rs 50,000 on May 16 this year by special CBI judge cum additional district and sessions judge, Jagdeep Jain.

Bhardwaj, 43, landed in CBI’s net on May 10, 2003, when he was caught accepting Rs 7 lakh at his Sector-22 residence here. The complaint was forwarded to CBI by GS Samra, who is at present cooling his heels in a Punjab jail. It was alleged that Bhardwaj had accepted this amount on behalf of the then district and sessions, Jalandhar, RM Gupta, in order to get an order passed related to bail application in Samra’s favour.





SIC orders action against principal secy

9 Jul 2009, 0336 hrs IST, TNN

LUCKNOW: The State Information Commission (SIC) took a strict stand against the principal secretary of public enterprises department, Sunanda Prasad and ordered disciplinary action against her for not taking the provisions of the Right to Information (RTI) Act seriously.

The order passed by information commissioner, Gyanendra Sharma, in one of the recent judgments stated that the official invited disciplinary action against her for interfering in the work of the public information officer (PIO) of her department, for not taking her role of first appeals authority seriously and for violating the provisions of the Act. This is for the first time that commission has ordered disciplinary action against an IAS officer of the rank of principal secretary.

The case pertains to an RTI query made by an applicant, Rajeshwar Prasad, to the PIO of the department on January 21, 2007, about the appointment and pay scale of one of the employees of the department, Neerja Krishna. After applicant approached the commission, the department was asked to submit the entire details (files) on the action taken by the department on the query of the applicant.

“The findings are shocking, the Act is three-years old in the state but even most of the higher level officials are ignorant about its existence…moreover, senior officials want to fail the system by way of which the Act is to be implemented,” is the observation made by the commissioner in the order.





HC orders revaluation of I PU answerscripts

9 Jul 2009, 2240 hrs IST, TNN

MYSORE: As directed by the high court, the education department has ordered reevaluation of answer scripts of the students who failed to clear I PU exams at Mahajana’s PU College.

The students of the college had moved HC, alleging irregularities in valuation. The revaluation will be completed before July 15.

The court has asked the deputy director of pre university, Mysore, to appoint examiners and conduct reevaluation. The official has been told to report to the court irregularities, if any, in valuation of papers by the college management and principal K Shankar.

The college management and the principal have been directed to provide all subject answer papers of the main exams to DDPU.

DDPU Chandramma told The Times of India that a team of evaluators has been appointed from outside the institution.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (Praveen Shetty faction) city president K Madesh told reporters that over 116 students have moved the high court seeking justice. However, the court passed the order for the first batch of 40 students on July 7.

Responding to a query, he stated that the orders for other two petitions of students group have been reserved for July 15.

Madesh said in all, 400 PU students who wrote exams failed to clear them in March. Then over 100 students passed in the supplementary exams conducted recently.





Tax consultant to pay compensation

8 Jul 2009, 2254 hrs IST, TNN

MANGALORE: The Dakshina Kannada District Consumers Dispute Redressal Forum has ordered the sales tax consultant, Prakash Bhat, to pay compensation for deficiency in service.

Krishnamoorthy, the complainant and partner Hotel Ganesh Prasad, on KS Rao Road, filed a case before the forum against Bhat in which he said that he had entrusted the work of filing the sales tax returns for the year 2006-07 to Bhat. As Bhat did not manage the given work properly, he had to pay fines to the department of sales tax. Krishnamoorthy demanded compensation from Bhat for deficiency in services.

But Bhat argued before the forum that he had not taken any work from Krishnamoorthy and said he had kept his payment pending. However, the forum found that Bhat’s license to work as sales tax consultant was cancelled in 2005-06 and he kept Krishnamoorthy in the dark about the cancellation of his license and thus the deficiency in services was proved. The forum directed Bhat to pay Rs 14,000 as compensation to Krishnamoorthy within 30 days, along with Rs 1,000 towards case-related expenses. Advocate KSN Rajesh argued on behalf of the complainant.





Court orders for arrest of S-I

8 Jul 2009, 2252 hrs IST, TNN

KANPUR: Taking a case of non-compliance of court order seriously, chief judicial magistrate (CJM) TP Singh on Wednesday asked SSP Kanpur Nagar to arrest sub-inspector Hardwari Lal Verma, presently posted at Anwarganj police station, and produce him before the court on July 14.

Sending a reminder to the SSP, the presiding judge said a letter to him was also sent on a previous date. SI Hardwari Lal Verma was an accused in a dacoity case in Akbarpur police station and a case under section 395 IPC was filed against him in 2001. The trial began in 2002 and since then seven years had passed and not much progress made.

The court had issued a non-bailable warrant against him on August 6, 2004 but he could not be arrested.

Sentenced: The fast track court number III of Kanpur Nagar on Wednesday convicted three persons under NDPS Act and punished them with six years’ rigorous imprisonment along with a fine of Rs 5,000.

The sentenced persons were identified as Saroj Kumar Verma, Ravi Kumar and Brijendra Singh, all residents of village Kasigawan, under Bidhnoo police circle.

According to case file, station officer of Govind Nagar police station Tejendra Pal Singh had arrested them near Parag Milk Board on July 18,2000 and had recovered 210 grams heroine from their possession.

In another judgment, special judge, dacoit infested area of Kanpur Dehat, Rakesh Kumar convicted two persons, Babu Thekedar alias Nasir and Anwar, a resident of Mangalpur, for kidnapping a youth and sentenced them to eight years’ rigorous imprisonment, along with a fine of Rs 5,000 each.

According to case file, the accused had kidnapped one Mazid, a resident of Paharganj area of Akbarpur tehsil, on April 9.1999. Mazid was a beetle shop owner.





PIL against SAIL chairman, BSL MD

9 Jul 2009, 0507 hrs IST, TNN

RANCHI: A PIL was filed by one Surendra Sao of Bokaro in Jharkhand High Court demanding a CBI inquiry against SAIL chairman, BSL MD and former Union steel minister Ram Vilas Paswan in connection with the expenses incurred during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to the state last year. The PM had come to lay the foundation stone of BSL’s modernization and expansion programme.

Sao has challenged the Rs 1.92 crore expenditure incurred by BSL during the visit of the Prime Minister on April 22, 2008. The estimated expense to be incurred by BSL in this programme was around Rs 11,000 crore.

The petition was filed on basis of information collected through RTI from SAIL. The report of alleged misuse of money during the Prime Minister’s visit to the state was first published in TOI.





Plea in HC for DA probe against Sahay

9 Jul 2009, 0507 hrs IST, TNN

RANCHI: An interlocutory petition was filed by one Bhuneshwar Tiwari in the Jharkhand High Court on Wednesday demanding a probe into the assets of Union minister Subodh Kant Sahay which was allegedly amassed through unknown sources of income.

The interlocutory petition was filed in the PIL that is being heard by the high court wherein the complainant, Durga Oraon, demanded inquiry into property amassed by former Jharkhand ministers Bandhu Tirkey, Bhanu Pratap Sahi, Kamlesh Singh, Enos Ekka and Harinarayan Rai.

Along with his petition Tiwari submitted documents related to sale and purchase of land and other moveable and immovable property made by Sahay during his tenure as minister in the Union Cabinet.

According to Tiwari, the high court has fixed the hearing of the petition for July 14. Tiwari claimed that he submitted sufficient document to nail the minister who allegedly misused his office to accumulate huge wealth by adopting unfair means.

Earlier, the state vigilance bureau filed an FIR against former state agriculture minister Nalin Soren and department’s director Nestar Minz at the local vigilance police station on Tuesday.

The case was lodged on directive of the local vigilance court on a complaint petition filed by one Vineet Kashyap early this year in which the latter alleged that minister and director had amassed wealth disproportionate to their known sources of income.

DSP SC Jha has been appointed as investigating officer of the case.





Security agencies may be brought under RTI Act

9 Jul 2009, 0256 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: The government is set to review the list of agencies that have been exempted from disclosure under RTI to assess if they can be brought under the purview of the Act.

Organisations like Intelligence Bureau, Research & Analysis Wing, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Narcotics Control Bureau and Central Reserve Police Force are among 18 central agencies that have been exempted under the RTI Act. Only matters related to allegations of corruption or violation of human rights pertaining to these agencies can be disclosed under the legislation.

In a statement to Parliament on Wednesday, Prithviraj Chavan, minister of state in charge of DoPT, said, “It is proposed to review the number of organisations in the second schedule to the Right to Information Act, 2005 and make rule for more disclosure of information by public authorities.”

States too can exempt agencies working in intelligence or security spheres.

The minister also said the government proposed to “strengthen” the Act by making changes in the law to provide for disclosure by government in all non- strategic areas.

The government has received representations expressing doubts about the proposed amendments. “Non-government organisations and social activists will be consulted on the proposed amendments,” he said, adding, “No timeframe can be fixed for completion of the process.”

The government has also conducted a study through an independent organisation to assess the key issues and constraints in implementation of the RTI Act. “The study recommended measures for improving awareness on right to information, improving convenience in filing information requests, improving efficiency of the information commissions, enhancing accountability and clarity of various stakeholders,” Chavan said.

NGOs are, however, opposed to this saying that the Act should not be tinkered with.





MD can be prosecuted if company’s cheque bounces: SC

9 Jul 2009, 0254 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN

NEW DELHI: This Supreme Court judgment will make companies become more careful about the health of their bank accounts before issuing a cheque.

For, the SC on Monday ruled that in case a cheque issued by the company is dishonoured, then its managing director, being in-charge of the day-to-day affairs, could be liable for prosecution.

Dealing with a cheque bouncing case relating to one issued by a company, a Bench comprising Justices R V Raveendran and Dr Mukundakam Sharma had to fall back on the Companies Act and read it along with Section 141(1) of the Negotiable Instruments Act to arrive at the conclusion.

Under Section 141, if a cheque issued by a company is dishonoured, then apart from the company, “every person, who at the time the offence was committed, was in charge of and was responsible to the company for the conduct of the business of the company” shall be liable.

The Bench, reading the Companies Act provisions along with Section 141, said “a managing director is prima facie in charge of and responsible for the company’s business and affairs and can be prosecuted for offences by the company”.

However, it clarified that “insofar as other directors are concerned, they can be prosecuted only if they were in charge of and responsible for the conduct of the company’s business”. There may be many directors and secretaries, who were not in charge of the business of the company at all, it said.

But, the Bench knew that unscrupulous elements could take advantage of the ruling and try roping in as many officials of the company as possible in a cheque bouncing case.

It said if a company had 100 branches and the cheque issued by one of the branch was dishonoured, then the officers of all the 100 branches could not be made accused by simply making an allegation that they were in charge of and were responsible to the company for the conduct of its business.

“As the trauma, harassment and hardship of a criminal proceeding in such cases may be more serious than the ultimate punishment, it is not proper to subject all and sundry to be impleaded as accused in a compaint against a company, even when the requirements of section 138 read with section 141 of the Act are not fulfilled,” the Bench said.





6 yrs’ RI for molesting, extorting Japan tourist

9 Jul 2009, 0325 hrs IST, TNN

GAYA: A local court on Wednesday awarded rigorous imprisonment (RI) to three criminals after pronouncing them guilty of molesting a tourist from Japan and extorting money from her four months ago.

Additional public prosecutor Ram Swarath Singh, who appeared for the state, said Mat Sukita, the 32-year-old Japanese tourist, arrived at Gaya railway station on March 18, 2009 and was accosted by three persons posing as tourist guides. Instead of taking her to her destination

Bodh Gaya, the fake guides took her to a house and molested her. She was kept in illegal confinement and was forced to withdraw Rs 35,000 from an ATM to pay her tormentors.

After several days of captivity, Sukita managed to flee to Varanasi from where she approached Gaya SP M R Naik. Showing rare promptness, the Gaya police completed the investigation into the case and secured the conviction of the offenders within four months.

Additional district and sessions judge K N Rai awarded six years’ RI and a fine of Rs 1000 to Mujahid alias Kaka, alleged to be the kingpin of the gang of trio. Raja and Shamim, the other two accused, were awarded three-and-a-half years’ RI and a fine of Rs 500 each.





Malegaon blast case: Sadhvi Pragya’s bail plea rejected

9 Jul 2009, 1948 hrs IST, PTI

MUMBAI: A bail plea by sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, one of the prime accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, was rejected today by a special court which refused to accept her argument that the prosecution had failed to follow certain provisions of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).

In her bail plea filed in January, Thakur had said that the prosecution failed to file its charge sheet in the case within the stipulated 90-day period and thus she is entitled to bail.

Under the provisions of MCOCA, the period to file the chargesheet can be extended to 180 days if the prosecution files a brief of the progress report in the investigation before the court within 90 days and seeks extension to file the charge sheet.

“When the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) filed its progress report in the case, Thakur had spent 95 days in custody and thus she was entitled to bail. Although the ATS has shown Thakur’s arrest date as October 23, she was taken into custody on October 10 and thus was illegally detained for 13 days,” Thakur’s lawyer Ganesh Sovani argued.

Special public prosecutor Rohini Salian, however, opposed the bail plea stating that the ATS had filed the report on the 89th day since Thakur’s arrest on October 23 and had thus not violated any provision.





26% posts of HC judges lying vacant

9 Jul 2009, 1759 hrs IST, PTI

NEW DELHI: About 26% posts of High Court judges are lying vacant across the country, according to Ministry of Law and Justice.

The highest number of posts of judges are vacant in Allahabad High Court which is functioning with only 55 per cent of its approved strength, Union Minister for Law and Justice M Veerappa Moily said in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.

According to the statement, 234 posts out of approved strength of 886 of High Court judges are vacant across the country.

Out of total approved strength of 160, there are only 88 judges in the Allahabad High Court and remaining 72 posts are lying vacant.

“High Courts of Allahabad, Andhra Pradesh, Bombay, Kolkata, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala and Punjab and Haryana are yet to initiate proposals for filling up all the posts that were vacant in 2007,” Moily said.

At present, proposals for appointment of 42 judges in various High Courts are under consideration of the government, he said.

Seventy vacant posts of judges were filled through fresh appointments during the period of January 1 to June 30 this year, he added.





Govt plans 71 courts to try CBI cases

9 Jul 2009, 0222 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: With a number of CBI cases pending in different courts for long, the government on Wednesday said that efforts were on to set up 71 additional special courts exclusively for trial of cases of the investigating agency in various states.

In a written reply to Lok Sabha, minister of state for personnel, public grievances and pensions, Prithviraj Chavan, said: “Appointment of competent and experienced Special Public Prosecutors and filling up of vacancies, including that of investigating officers, are some of the steps being taken by the government to expedite disposal of CBI cases in courts.”

He said: “The number of CBI cases pending trial is increasing every year. It is, therefore, the endeavour of the government to set up 71 additional special courts exclusively for trial of CBI cases in various states.”

The minister said that CBI, in a nation-wide drive against corruption in June 2009, registered 69 cases against public functionaries including one case of alleged corruption in the Railway Recruitment Board, Allahabad.

He said several measures have already been taken to strengthen the CBI, which include modernization and upgradation of the agency’s infrastructure and capacity building of its officers and staff.





Maya govt gets SC nod for eco park without statues or monuments

9 Jul 2009, 0235 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: After being asked to respond to a PIL questioning her government’s fetish for statues of herself and those of dalit icons, the Mayawati regime on Wednesday promised the Supreme Court that the high-tech ecological park in Lucknow would have none.

The promise recorded, a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices P Sathasivam had no hesitation in vacating an Allahabad High Court interim order staying the demolition of Lucknow Jail to make way for the preparations on ground for setting up the eco park.

The decks for the demolition of Lucknow jail that would clear 195 acres of land for utilisation of the eco park came after counsel for the state, senior advocate K K Venugopal apprised the court about the construction of a new jail with modern facilities on the outskirts of the state capital.

On Tuesday, another Bench of the apex court headed by Justice B N Agrawal had declined to grant stay on demolition of other buildings adjacent to the jail on the technical ground that they were not included in the petitioner’s prayer. And it had refused to pass fresh orders against demolition of the jail structure on the ground that the HC’s stay was already in operation.

The entire area being cleared would have, in addition to the eco park, Manyavar Kanshi Ram Sthal and Dr Ambedkar Sthal. The installation of statues of Mayawati and elephants, which is the election symbol of the ruling BSP, at various places in the state was questioned in the PIL. The state had told the court that no one questions statues of other leaders being erected, but when it came to dalit icons, many people have problems.

Appearing for the state, senior advocate S C Mishra and additional advocate general S K Dwivedi pointed out to the court that the existing jail was overcrowded as it was housing 3,632 inmates against a capacity of 2,010 prisoners. They said the nearly complete new jail with better facilities would have a capacity of 4,660 prisoners.





Madras HC issues notice to state, Centre to produce NSA dete

By : Nirav Pankaj Shah on 09 July 2009

The Madras High Court has issued notice to the State and Union Governments on a habeas corpus petition, seeking the production of a person detained under the National Security Act (NSA), before the court and set him at liberty.

A Division Bench comprising Justices S J Mukhopadhaya and Raja Elango, while admitting a petition yesterday, ordered notice to the State and Centre returnable within two weeks.

In his petition, R Ambedhgar of Krishnapuram in Perambalur district submitted that on coming to know that lorry loads of weapons were proceeding towards Kochi to be transported to Sri Lanka, his brother R Lakshmanan and others gathered near the Neelambur by-pass road in Coimbatore on May 2 to stage a demonstration against the supply of weapons.

The public stopped the army vehicles and there was a commotion.

Lakshmanan was arrested in connection with the incident and remanded to judicial custody. On June 4, he was detained under NSA by the Coimbatore District Collector. 

The petitioner said no material was placed before the detaining authority to show that the detenu indulged in any activity to attract penal provision or acted in a manner prejudicial to public order. The Collector had passed the detention order mechanically.

He sought a direction to the State Public Secretary, the Union Home Secretary and the District Collector, Coimbatore, cited as respondents, to call for the records relating to the detention order, quash the same, direct the authorities to produce the detenu, now lodged in Central Prison, Coimbatore, before the court and set him at liberty. 





SC reprimands UP govt for criticising Allahabad HC

By : Nirav Pankaj Shah on 09 July 2009

The Supreme Court today pulled up the Uttar Pradesh government for making allegations of bias against the Allahabad High Court.

A bench comprising Justices B N Aggarwal and G S Singhvi reacted sharply to the allegations made by Satish Chandra Mishra, former minister and close aide of Chief Minister Mayawati, when he tried to assert before the court that the High Court was passing orders against the state government.

The Judges said, “Such allegations should not be made against the High court. Passing orders against a party des not show animus or bias.” The Supreme Court was hearing an application, seeking to restrain the Mayawati government from demolishing the jail premises in Lucknow for construction of the Kanshi Ram and B R Ambedkar park in Gomti Nagar area of the state capital.

The apex court, refused to grant an interim stay against the demolition of jail as the High court has already passed an order of status quo in May, directing the government neither to demolish jail premises nor to reconstruct anything.

Mr Mishra, however, submitted before the court that new jail has already been constructed in Lucknow at a cost of Rs 300 crore and prisoners were being shifted to the new jail. The old jail was over crowded and not big enough to accommodate the increasing number of undertrails and other accused.

The apex court adjourned the hearing of the matter and directed that the matter will come up for hearing in the normal course.

Earlier, counsel for the petitioner pleaded for a blanket stay against all demolitions and constructions in Lucknow till the final disposal of the petition pending in the Supreme Court.

The Mayawati government was also seeking the transfer of all the petitions pending in the High Court to the Supreme Court for speedy disposal of all the petitions filled against the state government.

Senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi also appeared for the state government.

The apex court refused to pass any blanket order as the application contained prayer only against the demolition of the jail in Lucknow. 





SC asks CBI for status report on Aarushi murder probe

By : Nirav Pankaj Shah on 09 July 2009

The Supreme Court today directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to file a status report giving details of the investigation carried out in the sensational Aarushi-Hemraj murder case.

A bench comprising Justices Altamas Kabir and Cyrus Joseph issued the direction when Solicitor General of India, Gopal Subramaniam, appearing for the CBI, informed the court that the investigating agency will file a comprehensive status report in the case.

The apex court was hearing a PIL filed by Dr Surat Singh, an advocate, seeking directions to the government, to lay down some guidelines for media as well as for the police to ensure that the reputation of the victims and their families are not destroyed due to irresponsible reporting as well as disclosure of the details of investigation by the police to the media.

A student of ninth standard of Delhi Public School, Noida, Aarushi Talwar and the family servant Hemraj, were found brutally murdered at their Noida residence on May 15 last year.

The Noida police, as well as the CBI, have not been able to crack the case even after more than one year.

Dr Rajesh Talwar, father of Aarushi was arrested in the case, but was granted bail when CBI failed to collect evidence against him. The two servants, who were arrested, were also granted bail on the same grounds. 





SC stays court procedings on Union Law Seceretary’s extension

By : Nirav Pankaj Shah on 09 July 2009

The Supreme Court stayed till further orders all proceedings pending in Bombay High Court challenging the extension granted to Union Law Secretary T K Viswanathan on his superannuation.

A bench, comprising Chief Justices K G Balakrishnan and P Sathasivam, passed the order, when the matter was mentioned by Attorney general G E Vahanvati and Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium mentioned the matter for urgent hearing.





Gujarat HC Judge declines to hear probe plea against Modi an

By : Nirav Pankaj Shah on 08 July 2009 Email this | Print this

A Judge of the Gujarat High Court declined to hear a petition, challenging the probe by Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) against Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 62 others, allegedly involved in the post-Godhra riots of 2002.

Justice Harshaben Devani wrote “not before me” when the petition came up for hearing before her. 

The reasons are yet be ascertained as to why the judge declined to hear the petition.

The petition were filed by Kalu Madival, ex-MLA of Lunavada in Panchmahal district. Incidentally, his name figures among the 62 persons involved in post-Godhra riots of 2002. Madival had filed a petition in the High Court, challenging the probe by the SIT.

Mrs Zakia Jafri, wife of former Congress MP Ahsan Jafri, who was killed in the riots, had complained that proper investigation was not carried out in the Gulbarg society massacre, in which she lost her husband. 

Ms Maya Kodnani, a former Cabinet colleague of Mr Modi, and a senior VHP leader Dr Jaideep Patel were arrested for their reported involvement in the riots in Naroda area of the city. Ms Kodnani had to quit the Cabinet on the issue.

Several hundred people were killed and property worth several crores of rupees was damaged in the anti-Muslim riots across Gujarat following the train carnage, killing 59 Karsevaks returning from Ayodhya at Godhra station on February 27, 2002. 





Akal Takht, SGPC disapprove Delhi HC judgement on homosexuality

Press Trust Of India

Chandigarh, July 02, 2009

The Akal Takht, the highest temporal body of Sikhs, and the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) managing key Sikh shrines, today disapproved of the Delhi High Court judgement which legalised gay sex among consenting adults.

“This is against the law of nature and the Gurmukh Sedant (sikh principles). We will appeal to the Sikhs not to follow
this unnatural thing (gay sex),” Akal Takht head Jathedar Gyani Gurbachan Singh told PTI on phone.

He said not even in animals and birds such a practice was found.

“When this (gay sex) is not there in the species which are far inferior to us, why as humans should we adopt something
which goes against nature?. The creator of this universe created male and female but having the system (legalising
homosexuality) will be the first step towards destruction of this world,” he said.





HC sets up panel to chase city’s troubles

9 Jul 2009, 0501 hrs IST, TNN

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat High Court, on Wednesday, appointed a committee to look into issues like illegal constructions, traffic snarls on city roads, Building Use (BU) permission and violation of fire safety norms in high-rise buildings.

The committee has been asked to submit its report within three months, along with suggestions and findings on how far the HC order has been implemented.

A PIL was filed by advocate Amit Panchal who complained that the civic bodies in the city -AMC and AUDA- have not implemented various orders by HC, directing authorities to remove illegal constructions, particularly from roads. The plea also asked for vigilance in giving BU permission and issuing clearance after checking fire safety systems in buildings and contended that the authorities have not complied with directions issued time to time.

A division Bench of Chief Justice KS Radhakrishnan and Justice Akil Kureshi, which was hearing the PIL, and which sought reports from AMC and AUDA on work being done by authorities. Not satisfied with ‘action taken’ report submitted by the civic bodies, the Bench set up a committee headed by retired judge of HC, Justice KM Mehta.

The committee will comprise five members -secretary of urban development department, AMC commissioner, AUDA chairman, joint commissioner of police (traffic) and CEPT’s assistant director, professor Shivanand Swami.

The court noticed, “This court has alerted the corporation on several occasions about illegal construction going at various places in city and nearby places and also highlighted the necessity of taking remedial measures like regulating traffic, stop unauthorized encroachment on public roads among other. However, no proper measures were taken. Many instructions given by court are yet to be implemented.” The court also observed, several buildings come up without building permit. The modus operandi is to start construction without BU permission and then go for regularisation. “This practice has to be deprecated,” the order said.

LEGAL NEWS 08.07.2009

Bill on judges’ assets to keep info confidential

8 Jul 2009, 0337 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: The bill drafted by the law ministry for disclosure of assets by judges has little to do with judicial accountability.

On the contrary, it seeks to keep the information confidential and anybody who leaks it would be subject to prosecution and liable to imprisonment up to three years.

This is what a TV channel reported on Tuesday on the Bill that law minister Veerappa Moily had promised to introduce in the current session of Parliament as the beginning of a series of judicial reforms.

Prashant Bhushan of the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Judicial Reforms (CJAR) told TOI, “This is not a Bill for disclosure of assets but one for preventing disclosure of assets by making it a penal offence.”

All that the Bill reportedly does is to provide a statutory basis to the 1997 resolution adopted by all the Supreme Court judges to disclose their assets to the CJI from time to time. The Bill accordingly stipulates that the high court and Supreme Court judges should file declarations of their assets to their respective chief justices. The hitch is, that it proceeds to say that the declarations would be kept confidential and anybody who leaks them would be prosecuted
and punished with imprisonment up to three years.

This means that the declarations of assets by judges would be outside the ambit of RTI. The Bill is thus in tune with the reservations expressed by CJI K G Balakrishnan to the idea of making those declarations public.






Shiney denied bail, in judicial custody till July 16

8 Jul 2009, 1234 hrs IST, AGENCIES    

MUMBAI: A Mumbai sessions court on Wednesday rejected the bail plea of actor Shiney Ahuja. The actor will remain in judicial custody till July 16.

The court observed that it is a serious offence and a prima facie case has been made out against the actor. The court also refused to accept the defence arguments that the victim’s story of alleged rape is “doubtful and concocted.”

The incarcerated actor had pleaded for bail but the police opposed it saying the accused might intimidate her if he is released.

“The victim’s story of the alleged rape seems highly doubtful and concocted…If she had resisted, then the actor would have had more injuries on his body. But Ahuja has only two scratches on his hand,” his lawyer Shrikant Shivade said.

According to him, there was ample opportunity for the girl to run away from the room or she could have kicked him or even scratched his face.

“It is common knowledge that rape cases are easy to concoct, hard to prove and even harder to defend. The prima facie case has itself become a little doubtful,” Shivade said.

The prosecution opposed the actor’s bail saying that medical and forensic reports of the accused as well as the victim had been reported positive. “Circumstances and evidence point out that it is a case of rape and not consensual sex”.

The DNA test report of Ahuja confirmed that he had sexual relations with the victim. Earlier, medical reports had suggested that Ahuja’s maid was raped.

The actor has been charged under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 376 with rape, along with wrongful restraint and intimidation.

The police arrested Ahuja on June 15 after preliminary medical tests on the girl confirmed sexual assault.

Mumbai police claimed the actor had admitted to making a mistake by having consensual sex with the maid who has levelled allegations of rape against him.





Mhada seeks legal opinion

8 Jul 2009, 0216 hrs IST, TNN

MUMBAI: Mhada is seeking legal opinion on whether Slumdog Millionaire child stars Azhar and Rubina are eligible to take possession of the flats allotted to them.

While Azhar has moved into the flat in Santa Cruz provided by the Jai Ho Trust, it is looking for a place for Rubina and her family.

The two children were allotted 225 sq ft flats each in a Mhada colony at Malwani by the chief minister Ashok Chavan, after their huts, situated along the railway line in Bandra, were demolished by the civic authorities. But the two families had declined to take possession of the Mhada flats citing that Malwani was far off from where they used to live earlier.

Mumbai Congress president Kripashankar Singh said the party has completed all formalities for taking possession of the flats. “We wanted to hand over the keys to the families. But Mhada said as the Jai Ho Trust has also bought them flats, it will not provide them homes,” he said.

Singh said the legal opinion is expected in a day, adding Mhada has not cancelled the allotment yet.

Singh said according to the Trust secretary Neerja Matoo, the flat Azhar has moved in belongs to the Trust and not to Azhar or his family.

“The Mhada allotment is in his name and Mumbai Congress is just a custodian till he turns 18, whereas the trust has kept the flat in its name and will hand it over to him when he is an adult,” Singh said.

He added that if the allotment is cancelled, Mumbai Congress will give the money it spent for possession of the flat to the children’s bank account.






Plot to `kill’ Varun lawyer: Crime branch to grill trio

8 Jul 2009, 0240 hrs IST, Vijay V Singh , TNN

MUMBAI: A crime branch team left for Delhi to interrogate three of the six accused arrested for “planning” to kill BJP MP Varun Gandhi’s advocate.

Officers of the Delhi police informed their Mumbai counterparts about the arrest and told them to provide details of the accused. JCP (crime) Rakesh Maria said, “We have sent a team to question the accused about their Mumbai connection and collect related information. We can comment about their underworld links only after this is done.”

The Delhi police’s special cell arrested Jogeshwari-based Mirza Muktar Husain, Dilshad Hasan Sayyad and Nafizul Ansari last Friday. Meghwadi police officers are going through their records on the Delhi special cell’s request.

A crime branch officer said Ansari was arrested in January 2008 along with two others and sophisticated weapons were recovered from them. He was booked under MCOCA. Ansari and a hired shooter had killed the watchman of a hotel in Churchgate.

The city police will interrogate Ansari about his association with Chhota Shakeel and his involvement in crimes after his release from jail a few months ago.






HC says no to plan for redevpt of Tardeo agiary

8 Jul 2009, 0206 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN

MUMBAI: In a major victory for the Parsi community in the city, the Bombay high court recently dismissed an application seeking to commercially exploit a portion of the Kappawala Agiary (fire temple) at Tardeo.

Justice Nishita Mhatre upheld the order of the charity commissioner, which had denied permission to the Seth Shapurji Sorabji Kappawal Charitable Trust to demolish the agiary annexe building and construct a seven-storey highrise.

The community considers the Kappawala Agiary as very important as the last Zoroastrian saint, Dastur Jamshed Ervad Sohrab Kukadaru (1831-1900), was a priest in this fire temple. The fire in this agiary was consecrated in 1857 (the year of the Sepoy Mutiny) and the magnificent building was built in 1941 when the fire was shifted from Fort to Tardeo. The heritage committee declared the building a Grade II-A protected structure in 2008.

“The agiary has a sacred well and the proposed multi-storeyed building would have come up in close quarters of this sacred space,” said Anahita Desai of the World Alliance for Parsi Irani Zarthostis (WAPIZ), who along with temple trustee Behram Billimoria, spearheaded the opposition to the redevelopment plans. “The sanctity of the holy place would have been compromised. It is the duty of the agiary trustees to protect the temple, and they cannot be seen to allow it to be commercially exploited,” Desai added.

The court order caps a three-year battle to save the agiary land. In 2006, trustee Dara Nicholson sought permission from the charity commissioner to demolish the ground-plus-one-storey agiary annexe building occupied by lone tenant Rohinton Devlaliwala on the grounds that it was dilapidated. Devlaliwala himself won the redevelopment tender by offering to give Rs 60 lakh and a 800 sq-ft flat to the trust. The trust, in return, was to give him development rights of about 5,000 sq ft of the unutilised floor space index (FSI). The charity commissioner rejected the application in 2008 and Nicholson moved court.

In his plea, Nicholson said the building was in a dilapidated condition and posed a danger to the lives of the tenants as well as visitors to the agiary. The court did not agree.

“The charity commissioner’s order, citing structural engineer’s report, says all that the building needs is repairs. Further, any highrise coming up in the precinct of the temple will be a violation of the heritage law,” Desai said.





Couple moves HC to get out of India

8 Jul 2009, 0215 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN

MUMBAI: Seven months after they were acquitted in a drugs case, a Singapore national and her Japanese husband have moved the Bombay high court for safe passage out of India.

Zainab Yousuf (47) has another urgent reason to seek an early exit; she is suffering from breast cancer. A division bench of Justices Ranjana Desai and Rajesh Ketkar on Tuesday directed the Union government to file its response to the plea in a week.

Zainab and her husband, Tetsyo Hiryama (62), were arrested from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport by the Customs’ Air Intelligence Unit in November 2000. Officials claimed to have seized charas from one of the suitcases belonging to the couple. A special court had sentenced them to 10 years’ imprisonment. But in January 2009, the Bombay high court raised doubts on the evidence produced by the prosecution and acquitted the couple.

Their petition says the Foreign Regional Registration Office (FRRO) has ignored their applications for an exit visa and they have been informed that the Customs department is planning to file an appeal in the Supreme Court. “This is a violation of their fundamental rights as the period to file a special leave petition has expired,” advocate Ayaz Khan, counsel for the foreign nationals, said.

The couple has urged the court to direct the FRRO to issue an exit visa to return home and ask it to pay for their lodging, boarding and medical expenses pending a decision on the matter.





Courtroom drama: Soumya case accused in blade fight

8 Jul 2009, 0001 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: In yet another incident of security lapse in a lower court, an accused in the murder case of TV journalist Soumya Viswanathan on Tuesday attacked a co-accused with a blade in a packed courtroom. Ajay Kumar assaulted Ajay Sethi with a blade while they were being escorted out of the courtroom of metropolitan magistrate Sanjeev Kumar.

Ajay while appearing in the court along with key accused Ravi Kapoor inflicted blade injury on Sethi’s cheek around 12:30 pm before being overpowered by security personnel.

Litigants, who had thronged the court premises to attend their cases, panicked and ran for cover, a court staff said. Later, the police took the victim to a nearby hospital for a medical checkup and registered a case under the IPC relating to assault.

This is the third such incident in the past one year when undertrials have attacked each other or police officers on the court premises. These undertrials, who are brought from Tihar Jail, have been found with weapons like blades in their possession.





Charges framed against Salem

8 Jul 2009, 0006 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: A trial court on Tuesday framed charges against underworld don Abu Salem for allegedly making extortion calls to two city traders seven years ago.

CMM Kaveri Baweja framed the charges relating to extortion, criminal intimidation and criminal conspiracy against the gangster. “On the basis of material on records, it appears that the accused had committed offences punishable under Section 120 (criminal conspiracy) read with Section 387 (extortion) of the IPC. Accused is charged separately with Section 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC,” the court said.

Salem was brought to the capital’s Tis Hazari courts from Bhopal amid tight security. Barricades were put up in an around the court complex while extra security personnel were deployed at all entry and exit points.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and claimed a trial, after which the court adjourned the matter for July 21 for recording the statement of witnesses in the case. Salem, who was extradited from Portugal in November, 2005, has been booked along with three others for making threat calls to Puneet Khanna and Rajat Nagrath, owner of Delhi-based Allied Communication, demanding Rs one crore in 2002.

Meanwhile, Salem’s counsel Arvind Kumar Shukla moved a bail application for Salem under Section 436 (a maximum period of detention for which an undertrial can be detained) of the CrPC, claiming that Salem had already completed seven years jail term since his detention in Portugal in 2002.

Earlier, Arvind Kumar Shukla, counsel for the accused, claimed there was insufficient evidence to frame charges in the case. The prosecution on its part claimed Salem’s voice samples had matched with the intercepted calls in forensic test reports, which was a ground sufficient enough to proceed against the accused.

Salem’s counsel, who tried to raise questions regarding when and how the voice samples were collected, retracted when the court told him that these issues could be addressed during the trial.

Rajeev Mohan, public prosecutor, submitted that the court can easily go ahead with the framing of charges against Salem as the case fell within the conditions mentioned in his extradition proceedings with Portugal authorities.





Bill on judges’ assets to keep info confidential

8 Jul 2009, 0337 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: The bill drafted by the law ministry for disclosure of assets by judges has little to do with judicial accountability.

On the contrary, it seeks to keep the information confidential and anybody who leaks it would be subject to prosecution and liable to imprisonment up to three years.

This is what a TV channel reported on Tuesday on the Bill that law minister Veerappa Moily had promised to introduce in the current session of Parliament as the beginning of a series of judicial reforms.

Prashant Bhushan of the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Judicial Reforms (CJAR) told TOI, “This is not a Bill for disclosure of assets but one for preventing disclosure of assets by making it a penal offence.”

All that the Bill reportedly does is to provide a statutory basis to the 1997 resolution adopted by all the Supreme Court judges to disclose their assets to the CJI from time to time. The Bill accordingly stipulates that the high court and Supreme Court judges should file declarations of their assets to their respective chief justices. The hitch is, that it proceeds to say that the declarations would be kept confidential and anybody who leaks them would be prosecuted
and punished with imprisonment up to three years.

This means that the declarations of assets by judges would be outside the ambit of RTI. The Bill is thus in tune with the reservations expressed by CJI K G Balakrishnan to the idea of making those declarations public.





HC widens scope of maintenance

8 Jul 2009, 0004 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: Giving a wider interpretation to the maintenance law

, the Delhi HC on Tuesday said maintenance amount granted to spouse should be

sufficient to lead a life with facilities which he or she was enjoying before separation.

“I am of the view that while granting maintenance under Hindu Law, the court does not have to grant mere sustenance amount as maintenance is meant to ensure that the spouse enjoys the same monetary status and facilities as he or she was enjoying prior to separation,” Justice Manmohan said.

The court passed the order on a plea by a man challenging a lower court’s order directing him to pay Rs 7,000 as maintenance to his wife.

Pradeep Sharma, contended that the maintenance amount granted by the lower court was higher and he was unable to provide it. The court, however, was not satisfied with his contention and dismissed his plea after it came to know that his annual income was more than Rs 6 lakh. “The order granting monthly maintenance at the rate of Rs 7,000 is neither in excess of the jurisdiction nor does it suffer from material irregularity,” the court said.

Reiterating an earlier order of the apex court, Justice Manmohan said that as the determination of maintenance is not governed by any rigid or inflexible rule, it gives wide power and discretion to the court to do justice.

Earlier, the apex court had ruled that a woman is entitled to claim maintenance from her husband if her independent income or earnings as a single woman are insufficient to maintain the standard of living she was accustomed to whilst living with her husband.

The order, passed by Justices Arijit Pasayat and Aftab Alam, gave wider interpretation to the phrase “unable to maintain herself” and said: “…it would mean the means available to the deserted wife while she was living with her husband and not the efforts made by her after the desertion.” The expression, the judges added, does not imply that the wife should be destitute before she can apply for maintenance.





Victim’s kin get Rs 6L over death due to pothole

8 Jul 2009, 0637 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: The high court on Tuesday came down heavily on the Delhi government for the poor condition of city roads that reportedly led to the death of a young scooterist. Holding the government responsible for the accident, Justice Sanjeev Khanna directed the NCT government to pay compensation of Rs six lakh to the victim’s mother.

Stating that the loss of life due to negligence of state violated the right to life and liberty, Justice Khanna in the judgment said, “It’s a violation under Section 21 of the Indian Constitution. The authorities should be conscious and aware of their duty to maintain roads and ensure that the road surface does not have pits so as to cause accidents, thus resulting in injuries and even loss of life.”

Justice Khanna directed the NCT government to pay Rs 6,28,000 within eight weeks to Madhu Kaur who filed a petition seeking compensation after her 24-year-old son Harpreet, a sales executive with a private company, died in a road accident on May 4, 2006.

“It is the responsibility of road-owning agencies to ensure that the roads are maintained properly and repairs undertaken on time,” the court said and directed the government to pay the compensation amount with 10% interest if it failed to pay the compensation within the stipulated time of two months.

“Even if the authorities have entered into a third party contract for maintenance, road users should not suffer injuries, fatal or otherwise, because of lack of maintenance, proper care and repairs,” the court said.

The court order followed a petition filed by Kaur claiming Rs 50 lakh as compensation for the death of her son. Kaur said on the night of May 4, 2006, her son was riding a scooter with his brother as pillion. At 9.30pm, the scooter fell into a pit on the road near Base Hospital at Naraiana, resulting in fatal injuries to Harpreet. Kaur blamed the government and its road maintaining agency MCD for the accident.





Repeal Rent Act, minister told

8 Jul 2009, 0636 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: A delegation of the Committee for the Repeal of Delhi Rent Control Act (CRDRCA) met the Union minister of state for urban development Saugata Roy on Tuesday. It asked him to stop all JNNURM funds to Delhi as the state has not yet repealed the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 even though it is one of the mandatory reforms that states have to fulfil before they can access JNNURM funds.

The committee has alleged that Delhi is being “favoured” as the same political party is in power in the Centre and the state. Roy, according to CRDRCA president Shobha Aggarwal, has assured them that he will look into the matter.

“…Delhi Rent Act 1995 passed by both the houses of Parliament and having received assent of the President of India on August 23, 1995 has not been notified till date. Besides, the Delhi Rent (Amendment) Bill 1997 is lying in cold storage for the past 12 years,” says the petition submitted by CRDRCA to Roy. Pointing out that the delay in repealing the act is a violation of the memorandum of agreement between the Union urban development ministry and the Delhi government and despite this money has been allocated both to the Delhi government and NDMC the latter for redevelopment of Connaught Place. The petition underscored the taxpayers’ right to know why his/her money is being allocated subverting set norms. It has also asked for the withdrawal of funds so far given.

The petition demanded a vigilance inquiry into the matter.





Lawyers’ strike over service tax

8 Jul 2009, 0635 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: A day after Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee proposed getting law firms under the ambit of service tax, lawyers of all five district courts in the capital on Tuesday decided to abstain from work on July 9 as a mark of protest against the move.

“Lawyers of India will not tolerate any attempt by the government to impose service tax on the legal fraternity and shall adopt all peaceful means to oppose such uncalled for and unwarranted taxes on lawyers,” the coordination committee of all bar associations of Delhi said in a statement.

As part of the Union Budget, Mukherjee had on Monday proposed imposition of service tax on advice, consultancy, or technical assistance provided in the field of law.

The coordination committee stated that the legal profession could not be considered as trade or business. It was exempted from service tax as it could not be equated with commercial activities and services provided by others for gaining profit, the lawyers body said.

“The government seems to be labouring under the impression that the advocates’ profession is a commercial activity. The fact is that the profession is noble and meant to advance promotion of administration of justice,” Ved Prakash Sharma, chairman, BCD, said.





HC keen on inquiry against DRT presiding officer

8 Jul 2009, 0445 hrs IST, TNN

HYDERABAD: Expressing dissatisfaction over the way the presiding officer of the Hyderabad Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) is functioning, the A P High Court on Tuesday sought to know if the central government wanted to conduct any inquiry into the complaints made against the officer.

The division bench comprising chief justice Anil Ramesh Dave and justice Ramesh Ranganathan, while hearing a petition filed by M A Aleem and eight others seeking an inquiry against the presiding officer, D Gopala Krishna for `destroying the institution of DRT with his whimsical ways’, clubbed two more petitions pending against him and posted the matter for hearing to Wednesday.

G Vidyasagar, counsel for the petitioners, told the court that the presiding officer of the DRT was promoting a coterie of advocates and delivering several erroneous orders. The bench, when told by the counsel that even banks were aggrieved in some cases, sought to know whether any of the banks had registered their protest so far.

Noting that the happenings in DRT were `certainly a serious matter’, the bench said it was exercising restraint in this case despite so much of evidence forthcoming just because it did not want to open a Pandora’s box. “Several similar petitions against other presiding officers with little or no evidence would be coming in and we do not want that to happen”, the bench said.

The creation of a corpus fund and collection of money for this through an unofficial association by the Hyderabad DRT are some of the allegations pending against the officer, the petition said. “Though we have asked the DRT authorities to file a report on this, it has not been done so far”, the bench remarked. The matter would come up for hearing on Wednesday again.





Do away with dry laws: Hooch probe panels

8 Jul 2009, 0312 hrs IST, Himanshu Kaushik, TNN

AHMEDABAD: Two commissions appointed after major hooch tragedies in 1978 and 1989 recommended relaxation in prohibition laws. Justice (retd) AA Dave, who headed the commission after 1989 incident where 132 died, went to the extent of suggesting, “In order to prevent sale of poisonous liquor it is desirable that government should start distilleries manufacturing liquor from mahuva, nira from toddy trees and sell them to poor labourers at reasonable price”.

He also said the prohibition policy has to be done away with or modified. The commission stated that if the policy was removed, the state would save Rs 200 to 300 crore annually and help curb corruption.

The first commission was headed by former chief justice NM Miabhoy after 101 people died after consuming hooch in Sarangpur, Ahmedabad. Both judges noted that prohibition had not been a complete success.

“But merely because prohibition is enshrined in the directive principles of the Constitution or Gandhiji recommended it, no useful purpose would be served by continuing it out of mere sentiment even when it is found that not only it does not do any substantive good but has given rise to corruption on a large scale, ” Justice Miabhoy said.

Justice Dave report also took a dig at the claims that girls were not molested because of the prohibition policy. “But to say that because drunkards do not move out, women are not molested would not be whole truth,” he said.





Fuel law blocks FM’s green push

8 Jul 2009, 0451 hrs IST, TNN

KOLKATA: Pranab Mukherjee’s proposal to abolish excise duty on bio-diesel is intended to promote green fuel. But biodiesel manufacturers in the state are worried that an existing order by the petroleum ministry to control unauthorized trade of motor spirit and high speed diesel could spoil the initiative.

Clause 3; sub-clause 5 in Regulation of Supply, Distribution & Prevention of Malpractices Order 2005, with the Amendment Order 2007 under Essential Commodities Act, states that “no person shall sell or agree to sell any petroleum product or its mixture other than motor spirit or HSD or any other fuel authorised by the central government in any form, under any name, brand or nomenclature for use as fuel in any type of automobile vehicle fitted with spark or compression ignition engines”.

State oil marketing companies led by Indian Oil Corporation has been citing this very clause for its inability to source bio-diesel from manufacturers and blend it in the fuel they dispense. “The legislation prevents sale of any other fuel than petrol to cars. Unless an amendment is done to include bio-diesel as a legitimate fuel for cars, it will be difficult to retail the blended fuel,” an oil marketing company representative said.

Once this road-block is removed, bio-diesel manufacturers are confident of a smooth drive. “Oil marketing firms weren’t keen to buy bio-diesel for blending as they did not have a tax incentive. But with companies now able to enjoy excise duty concession of Rs 2.5 per litre of diesel, they have reason to purchase bio-diesel for blending,” Coastal Energy chairman Ashok Kumar Bajoria said.

Though the Centre has laid down a bio-diesel roadmap that envisions 5-20% bio-diesel use by 2012, the country’s bio-diesel capacity of 10 lakh tonne per annum is just 2.5% of the diesel consumption of 40 million tonne per annum. Emami Biotech director Aditya V Agarwal said increased offtake would lead to rapid capacity expansion.

In Bengal, bio-diesel capacity is pegged around 800 tonne a day. “At present, we sell less than a day’s production of 300 tonne in an entire month. Once oil marketing companies start sourcing the bio-diesel from us, the demand will spur capacity growth,” he said.

Till new capacity is added though, Mukherjee has encouraged import of bio-diesel by slashing import duty from 7.5% to 2.5%. Industry sources said it would pave the way for oil marketing companies to import bio-diesel in bulk from Indonesia and Malaysia to achieve 5% blending.





Amendment is good, but how many can actually accept it?

8 Jul 2009, 0508 hrs IST, Devjyot Ghoshal, TNN

The law has changed, but not society. Despite the decriminalisation of homosexuality, the open demonstration of alternative sexuality on college campuses possibly the more liberal of spaces is still hardly tenable.

Not only are many members of the administration stuck squarely with their archaic sensibilities, the peer group, too, is barely amenable to the idea of homosexuality, past and present students feel.

“The amendment of the law is a good thing. But how many people can actually accept it? There is no change in the thought process. Today, I might be legally safe, but not socially,” Shree, former student of Gurudas college.

For years, she sat through classes watching her male homosexual classmates being targeted, trounced and teased by students and teachers alike. This fear of an averse reaction was the cause for her relative silence. “When I was in college, I could only open up to my close friends about being lesbian. Though the college can’t throw me out now because of my sexuality, I doubt if opinions will change. Few in the administration will be honest about their stand,” the 23-year-old adds.

Rather, the emergence of the homosexuality debate into the wider discourse could make it increasingly difficult for college-going queers, some feel.

“Now that our visibility has increased, the problems could increase too. If even my own parents lament the repeal of Section 377, I can’t expect the larger society to accept me as I am. If I’ve heard people saying I will beat up a homosexual if I see one in college’, then how can I come out in the open,” 18-year-old Pia of Meghnad Saha Institute of Technology said.

Her collegemate Neel, as she calls herself, continues to face catcalls and coarse comments despite ceasing to be an offender before the law. “There is open talk, but attitude hasn’t changed. Individuals and society at large need to be made aware,” she asserts.

Thus, with the enforcement of the law on campuses being integral to ending the days of discrimination, the onus is on the college administration. But few believe they can deliver.

“In spite of the sensitisation, the authorities are old-school. At best, they are indifferent and at worst, they lampoon homosexuals. Especially with the hierarchical snobbery present in many professional courses, the situation is less than congenial. People don’t have a personal commitment to the issue,” Subho, a homosexual student of Midnapore Medical college, said.

Individual opinions apart, the need for an impartial and evenhanded administration is apparent. Without it, the amended law could be left with little meaning.

“If someone comes out now, there is bound to be ragging and harassment. So far, there was hardly a way out. But now the college should be able to accept complains against these offences and do something. We need the mental support and the reassurance that we will be treated fairly,” Pia asserts.

(Some names have been changed)





Judge says Minister’s name was used to influence him

Published by editor India Jul 7, 2009

From S Murari, Chennai

Chennai, 07 July, (  Justice K Regupathi of the Madras High Court, who dropped a bombshell in open court on June 30 last that a Union Minister tried to influence him in a criminal case, has softened the blow by saying it was the petitioner who used the Minister’s name to get a favorable order.

 The judge, who rescued himself from the case relating to alleged tampering of the mark-sheet of a medico in the Puducherry University examination being investigated by the CBI, has said in a report to the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court that it was the petitioner who met him in his chamber and tried to pressurize him to grant anticipatory bail to the medico and his doctor father by claiming the Minister was interested in the case.

 Disclosing this, Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan to whom a copy of the report was forwarded by the Madras High Court Chief Judge, has said “from what Justice Regupathi wrote(to the CJ of the Madrs High Court), there is nothing to suggest that the Minister had called the judge”.

 While the judge did not name the Minister, AIADMK leader J Jayalalitha alleged that it was Union IT Minister A Raja of the DMK who threatened him to grant anticipatory bail to one Dr C Krishnamurthy and his medico son Kirubha Sridhar in a case relating to tampering of mark sheets in third year MBBs examination. She said not only did Mr Raja and Dr Krishnamurthi hail from the same Perambalur district, the two were also business partners. Mr Raja denied even knowing Dr Krishnamurthi.

 Narrating the sequence of events, Chief Justice Balakrishnan said the advocate for the petitioners met the judge in his chamber and told him that a Union Minister was interested in the case. He even called the Minister on his mobile phone and asked the judge to speak to him. Justice Regupathi refused to take the call.

 When the matter came up before the court, the advocate again tried to pressurise the judge. Justice Regupathi then said: “The other day you tried to influence me by using the Minister’s name. I don’t want to hear the case. I will adjourn it”.

 If the advocate had threatened the judge in his chamber by dropping Minister’s name, he is liable for contempt and even debarred from practice. But there was no mention of it by the CJI in his interaction with a section of the media. Further, if the advocate had made a call from his mobile phone, it can be traced by the investigating agency, the CBI, from the service provider even if he has erased it from his cell.

 Most intriguing is how the two accused are still absconding when the CBI, which took over the case six months ago, has nabbed two others, a section officer of the university and a middle man.  Reports from  Puducherry say the scandal covers not just medical but even engineering examinations and it dates back to January 2008 when Jayaraman, a data entry operator in the Puducherry University’s examination department stumbled upon tampering of marks and wrote to higher-ups.

 According to a petition sent on July 3 to the CJI by the Federation of People’s Rights, Puducherry, Jayaraman found out that two University officials were behind the marks scandal and they, in the presence of police in Kalapet station, pressurised him to own up the crime. His statement under duress was recorded by police. Unable to withstand pressure, Jayaraman attempted suicide in February 2008 and was admitted to JIPMER Hospital. The Kalapet police had recorded his statement in hospital in which he again named the two officials. Jayaraman was found dead in May 2008 and Kalapet police had registered a case of murder as post-mortem report said he was strangled to death.

 The secretary to the federation, Mr G Sugumaran, has further alleged Jayaraman’s brother has filed a petition in the Madras High Cour, seeking a CBI probe into the murder case.

 Mr Sugumaran in his petition, sought a CBI enquiry into Jayaraman’s murder “as Puducherry Police failed to make any progress in this case till date”.

-          Asian Tribune -





De-notified Act to keep Chhat village houses safe

8 Jul 2009, 0142 hrs IST, TNN

MOHALI: Providing much needed respite to the residents of Chhat village, the administration here has decided to de-notify areas there from Punjab Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1964. The step was approved in a meeting chaired by principal secretary Geetika Kalka on Tuesday.

The meeting was held to discuss Punjab and Haryana High Court’s directions to the state government for removal of encroachment from areas notified under the Act, said sources.

Around 700-800 houses in Chhat were facing the threat of demolition as they were in the area where the Act was in force.

During the meeting, officials pointed out that the houses were constructed before the Act was implemented and could not therefore be demolished.

The Act also applies to Manouli village area.

District administration got revenue officials to conduct a survey and also took help of satellite images to check the precise position of houses.

On matching the survey report and satellite maps, officials found that no encroachment was there.

After deliberations, it was decided that the Act would only be applicable to area around historic monument sites where excavations are already on.

Mohali deputy commissioner Prabhjot Singh Mand said the meeting was held to see whether any encroachment was there near the monuments.





Divorced from 377, gay couple in ‘fearless’ union

8 Jul 2009, 0212 hrs IST, Shimona Kanwar, TNN

CHANDIGARH: This could just be the first real indication of a persecuted community’s sudden faith in the law safeguarding their lives — and loves — post Article 377, and the beginning of a string of same-sex marriages in the country.

In perhaps the first gay marriage after the Delhi High Court in a landmark judgment read down Article 377, a law that made even consensual sex between adult homosexuals a punishable offence, two 18-year-old men, brushing aside protests from family and jeers from society, went to a temple near their house in Chandigarh and “got hitched for life”.

As a motley crowd of gays and a few well-wishers cheered the newly married couple, Amrit held his partner Jeeta close and said their union was possible only because of the rethink on the anti-homosexual section of IPC.

“I was so delighted after the court’s verdict that we both decided to get married,” said Jeeta, who fell in love with Amrit three months ago when he stayed in the latter’s house in Kajheri, Chandigarh, as a tenant. “We had been facing discrimination in public, at the work place and at home. But things may look up for people like us now.”

But the Monday night wedding at a Shirdi temple hasn’t made Amrit’s family too happy.

While his mother still refused to accept that her son is gay, Amrit’s brother hid his face under a scarf. “Who told you that my son is like that,” the mother growled. “He is fine and is employed with a pharmaceutical factory.”

Rakesh Kumar, who works in the Integrated Counseling and Testing Centre at GMCH-32 here and was a witness to the marriage, said, “Both looked very happy and free. The reception will follow in a few days. The marriage itself was low key as people may not be ready to accept such a thing so soon.”

Amrit, already looking forward to the reception, said he felt like he had inhaled a huge gulp of oxygen. “I feel so alive,” he said. “For the reception I will be calling a few selected friends who encouraged us in this bold step. But it will be open, with no fear of anyone. There are so many like us who secretly love each other. But few have the courage to get married. Maybe this step of ours can motivate the rest of the community to break the fetters of society.”





New PSEB secy: HC sets Aug 31 deadline

8 Jul 2009, 0137 hrs IST, TNN

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday directed the Punjab School Education Board, Mohali, to appoint its secretary by August 31.

Justice Permod Kohli issued these directions while hearing an application filed by the board itself seeking extension of time for appointing the secretary. Earlier, on March 10, the court had quashed the appointment of Pavittarpal Kaur made by the state government as secretary of the board and directed the chairman of the board to make temporary arrangements and appoint the secretary on a regular basis within three months.

However on Tuesday, the counsel informed the HC that Pavittarpal Kaur had already been removed from the post of secretary in compliance with the court directions. The counsel, however, sought six months more to appoint a new secretary.

But the HC directed that the time to comply with the judgment in its entirety was being extended up to August 31, failing which the file would be placed before the court for the initiation of contempt proceedings.





Accused seeks bail in college attack case

8 Jul 2009, 0126 hrs IST, TNN

PANCHKULA: In the case relating to an April 22 clash between two groups of students at Swami Devi Dayal Group of Institutes in Barwala, accused Chiranji Lal of Samdheri village moved a bail application in the court of additional district sessions judge Sanjeev Jindal here on Tuesday. Four MBA students of the institute have also been arrested in the case.

Lal pleaded that he had no role in this clash and college students had falsely implicated him.

He added in his application that the students, who were attacked, hadn’t named him in their complaint and his alleged role has also not been mentioned in the FIR registered by Raipur Rani police, sources said.

He added that he had been behind bars for a month-and-a-half and pleaded that he should be granted bail.

Public prosecutor NK Goyal said that police had recovered the knife used in the attack from Lal’s house. He added that granting bail to the accused would hamper the probe.

The judge reserved the order on the bail application till the next hearing. Lal had moved the bail application last month as well, which was turned down.

The four arrested students are Arun Kaushik, Gagandeep Singh, Praveen Rana and Sandeep.

Lal was arrested on May 21. He is not a student of the institute.

The students had allegedly attacked third-year student Amit Kadiyan and BTech second-year student Amit Bhola using sharp-edged weapons at the college’s main gate.

Institute’s other students had held a protest after the attack demanding proper security arrangements.

Panchkula police had also arrested the institute’s chairman Roshan Lal

Jindal for harbouring offenders. Later, he was granted bail.





Haryana to issue ordinance on PNDT Act

8 Jul 2009, 0221 hrs IST, Ajay Sura, TNN

CHANDIGARH: At long last, Haryana has decided either to bring forth an ordinance or issue a fresh notification to notify the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act with retrospective effect from 1997. Till date, the government has failed to notify the provisions of the Act in its official gazette.

Taking cognizance of TOI report on June 23, on how PNDT cases were falling flat because of the government failure to usher in the law, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had demanded information on the status of notification for PNDT Act in the state.

Following the court orders, the director health, Haryana, Narbir Singh appeared before the bench on Tuesday. Speaking on his behalf, additional advocate general (AAG) Randhir Singh said the government had only recently found out that the notification had not been published in gazette because of a technical glitch. To make amends, he added, it would either issue a fresh notification or an ordinance to give the Act a retrospective effect in the state from October 24, 1997. He also told the court that so far the state has convicted 13 people under the Act and that it was the first one in the country to do so.

After recording the submissions, the bench headed by chief justice Tirath Singh Thakur disposed off a long pending PIL, seeking action against some doctors of Haryana and Punjab involved in illegal female foeticide.

Coming down heavily on the Haryana government, it said the government appeared apathetic to the implementation of such an important legislation. It also directed the government to implement the Act at the earliest “to ensure that no person involved in such inhumane acts walks free”.

The bench ordered strict action against the four doctors indicted in the Gurgaon commissioner’s inquiry of a case in February 2009 wherein the accused, during their posting in the district, were found guilty for not taking any action against a quack of Pataudi village in Gurgaon district involved in foeticide activities.

The directions have been issued in the wake of a PIL filed by Gaurav Goyal, a local lawyer who apprised the court of a raid on hospital run by a quack, seven months after a complaint about foeticide cases. The raid by these doctors in June 2007 had revealed around 250 fetuses in a hospital tank. The HC had ordered an inquiry by the commissioner and found that these four doctors had ignored a big racket in their jurisdiction despite complaints.





Lawyers resent tax proposal

8 Jul 2009, 0357 hrs IST, TNN

PATNA: Advocates of the Patna civil court held a meeting on Tuesday under the banner of All India Lawyers’ Union to lodge their protest against the Union Budget provision to make professional service tax essential for practising advocates.

The advocates said the provision introduced by Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee will break down the constitutional framework of the country. They said the basic principle of democracy in our country is fair and balanced justice without any fear and pressure. But the Centre’s move will deprive people of justice as it will force lawyers to hike their fees and people cannot engage costly lawyers.

The lawyers said the provision will make justice inaccessible for the poor and appealed to the Union government to withdraw the provision of service tax for advocates.

The meet resolved to paralyse court functioning if the Union government fails to withdraw the provision.





RTI Manch activists protest functioning of SIC

8 Jul 2009, 0418 hrs IST, TNN

PATNA: With their mouths tied with black bands, activists of Bihar Right To Information Manch marched to the office of the State Information Commission (SIC) and staged a dharna their with charter of demands. Later, they submitted their memorandum to the information commissioners.

Manch convener Parveen Amanullah alleged that the spirit of the RTI Act has been gagged by the officials and people were running out of patience after not getting justice. She alleged that the legal procedures and the provisions of the Act were being thrown to the wind by the SIC and the petitioners were being harassed and process delayed with various unnecessary notices.

The memorandum said that notices are served and reply sought from the petitioners on three points, but hearing is done on only one point. The cases are disposed of without satisfactory action and replies. It demanded that information officers providing wrong replies should be punished.

Amanullah hoped that the SIC would take care of their grievances and not force the Manch to take the matter to the governor or hit the street in protest against the functioning of the SIC.





Kids of jail inmates, no longer prisoners of fate

8 Jul 2009, 0332 hrs IST, Vaidehi More, TNN

AMRAVATI: Pramila, a resident of Shendurjana Toli, a small hamlet in Amravati district, was despondent when her husband was sentenced to life in 2004. A mother of four, she was driven away by her in-laws after her husband was jailed. Now living with her parents, she ekes out a living by working as farm hand where she gets flimsy wages from Rs 20 to 40 per day.

But hope came in the form of officials of an NGO Voluntary action for rehabilitation and Development (Varhad) who handed her a cheque worth Rs 5,100, a princely sum for the poor widow. The money was part of a government scheme for children of jailed persons. And it was Varhad which was instrumental in getting such kids included in the Balsangopan Yojana.

Life for the children whose parent is in jail is equally torturous. Like abandoned children, child labourers, and kids of prostitutes, government aids kids of jailed persons. The families of jail inmates are often ostracised or treated badly by society. In such condition, it’s an ordeal for a parent to bring up a child. But inclusion of these children in foster care scheme has proven to be a boon for parents. Under this scheme, each child gets a monthly aid of Rs 425. The scheme has given lease of life to many children and secured their future.

Now, Pramila, who has got aid for two of her children, says she will spend some money on education of her children and will save the remaining amount. She also had given consent for sending her two children at residential school where she would not have to pay a single penny.

Roshani and Shraddha are unfortunate sisters as they lost their parents in early childhood. Their mother set herself afire in 1999 and their father was jailed for abetting the suicide. Fortunately, both girls were adopted by their paternal uncle but his financial condition is also not sound as he is a farm labourer. This scheme has supported him.

Talking to TOI, chief executive officer of Varhad, Ravindra Vaidya said that children of prisoners were a neglected group. “We felt that to protect the childhood of these children, they must covered under this scheme. After the strenuous effort of two years, government included these children in foster care scheme.” Around 280 children of prisoners in Amravati division have taken advantage of the scheme.





Law varsity to go hi-tech

7 Jul 2009, 2253 hrs IST, Vincent D’Souza, TNN

HUBLI: The newly set up Karnataka State Law University Law School will go hi-tech from its very first academic year. While laptops and combo cards


will replace the traditional textbooks and identification cards, AC classrooms, LCD projectors and digital boards, e-library, LPO centre, and others will give the campus a world-class touch.

KSLU vice-chancellor J S Patil told TOI that each of their student will use laptops in classrooms which are uploaded with the syllabus of particular courses, along with related study materials. The desks will have provisions to charge laptops. The text will also be taught through audio facility using 20 different voices and accents. The V-C said State Bank of India, which has opened its branch on the campus, has agreed to provide loans to students for laptops.

The multi-purpose combo card will act as an identification-cum-punching card using which the students can enter the classrooms and access the library any time. Patil maintained that it will be the first law school in the country with such features. He plans to network all 85 law colleges affiliated to the university. Special lectures by eminent jurists will be beamed live in all colleges in real time.

Discussions are on with global television network providers for a dedicated TV channel on the lines of IGNOU. The website of the university will be connected to TV once the system is ready, he said.

Admissions to begin soon

Varsity special officer Shruti A Shurpali said the admission process will begin from the last week of July while the classes will commence on August 17. The classes will be held on the premises of NS Infotech, a software company abutting the campus, as the university is still to have its own classrooms.

Khadi in law colleges!

The law colleges affiliated to Karnataka State Law University will look desi on Mondays. According to the new dress code, the students and staff of the affiliated colleges will wear khadi and sing National Anthem before the classes on Mondays, KSLU V-C J S Patil said.

“The decision taken to this effect at a law college principals’ conference in May has been been accepted by all. However, the respective colleges are free to choose the colour of the dress,” he said.

The students and staff of KSLUs Law School have chosen sky blue kurta and white pyjama. Women will wear chudidhar. Patil said this is in line with the university’s punchline `Indian roots and global heights’.





Nithari case hearing begins at HC

7 Jul 2009, 2234 hrs IST, TNN

ALLAHABAD: The hearing of the sensational Nithari murder case of Noida, began on Tuesday in Allahabad High Court.

The criminal appeal against conviction was filed by the two accused of Nithari case, namely Mahendra Singh Pandher and Surinder Kohli was taken up for the first time in the Allahabad HC before a division bench, consisting of Justice Imtiyaz Murtaza and Justice KN Pandey.

Both the appellants accused had been awarded capital punishment by the special judge, Ghaziabad. The court will now hear this case on July 13, 2009. Both the accused have requested the court to set aside the conviction and sentence and acquit them.

It might be recalled that Mahendra Singh Pandher and Surinder Kohli were convicted and sentenced for capital punishment by the special judge, Ghaziabad by a detailed judgment on February 13, 2009.





CJI: no Union Minister spoke to Reghupathi

New Delhi: Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan on Monday made it clear that no Union Minister directly spoke to Justice R. Reghupathi of the Madras High Court according to the report sent by the judge through the Chief Justice of the High Court, H.L. Gokhale.

Speaking to The Hindu, Justice Balakrishnan said: “I received a copy of the report given by Justice Reghupathi to the High Court Chief Justice. I have seen the letter and it is clear the Minister did not talk to the judge.”

(Last week the CJI reacted strongly to the news about the reported phone talk between the judge and a Union Minister saying “if the Minister had spoken to the judge, then it would amount to interference with judiciary.”)

Explaining the sequence of events, the CJI said: “The advocate for the petitioners seeking anticipatory bail went to the judge’s chamber and told the judge that a Union Minister was interested in the case and would like to speak to him. It seems the advocate suddenly took out his mobile phone and made a call to the Minister and wanted the judge to speak to him saying the Minister is interested in the case. Justice Reghupathi refused to take the phone call and did not speak to the Minister. Justice Reghupathi told the advocate that the matter would have to be argued on merits and he cannot pressure like this.”The CJI said when the case was taken up subsequently the advocate again tried to pressure the judge and Justice Reghupathi told the lawyer “the other day you tried to influence me by using the Minister’s name. I don’t want to hear the case. I will adjourn it.” From what Justice Reghupathi wrote “I can say there is nothing to suggest that the Minister had called the judge,” the CJI said.





HC stalls mayor’s arrest

7 Jul 2009, 2232 hrs IST, TNN

ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad HC stayed the arrest of Kaushlendra Singh, Mayor, Varanasi in connection with an FIR lodged against him with police station- Sigra, Varanasi on July 1, 2009.

The allegation against the Mayor was that he had used abusive language against Bhonu Ram, Nazir of Nagar Nigam Varanasi and had used caste name. The FIR was registered under the SC/ST Act.

This order was passed by a division bench, consisting of Justice Ravindra Singh and Justice NA Moonis on a writ petition filed by mayor, Varanasi. The contention of the counsel, appearing for the mayor was that he had been falsely implicated in this case.





Court orders FIR lodged against former minister

8 Jul 2009, 0633 hrs IST, TNN

RANCHI: A vigilance court in the Jharkhand capital on Tuesday ordered an FIR lodged against former agriculture minister Nalin Soren and former agriculture director Nestar Minz for their alleged corrupt practices in the department. Special vigilance judge Binoy Kant Khan asked the vigilance department to probe the charges of siphoning off public money amounting to Rs 46.10 crore meant for poor farmers to their individual bank accounts.

Mentioning some of the farmers’ schemes, a petitioner said that under Akasmik Fasal Yojana, an order of Rs 5 crore was placed to procure of HPS-III paddy seeds at a time when scientists were working on the seeds at a laboratory.

The petitioner further alleged that under Sabji Bij Utpadan Yojana scheme, Rs 50 lakh was sanctioned to purchase the seeds. Nalin Soren is the seventh former minister against whom an FIR has been ordered in the past six months.





Court adjourns hearing on Ekka bail plea

8 Jul 2009, 0630 hrs IST, TNN

RANCHI: Hearing on anticipatory bail petition moved by former minister Enos Ekka was adjourned by the vigilance court for Thursday after vigilance department sought time to file an affidavit.

Part hearing on the bail petition took place in the court of special judge Binoy Kant Khan. Counsel for Ekka argued that he was being falsely implicated by the vigilance department and the allegation that his client had not cooperated in the investigation was false given that he provided all details sought by the authorities concerned.

Counsel for the vigilance department countered the allegation and gave the details of the properties of Ekka and explained to the court how he has not cooperated in the investigation.

The counsel said investigations we in progress and each day new details regarding Ekka’s assets were surfacing. Hearing the arguments, the court asked the vigilance counsel to file the detailed breakup of the details of the assets by Thursday and adjourned the hearing.

Ekka filed an anticipatory bail petition on July 2, following a non-bailable warrant of arrest against him in the DA case. Ekka has been traceless since the NBW was issued and efforts by the vigilance sleuths to arrest him have failed so far.





Centre appeals against HC order on strays

8 Jul 2009, 0315 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: The Centre has finally shown that its heart too bleeds for the street dogs of Mumbai. After keeping quiet for eight months, it approached the Supreme Court on Tuesday formally challenging a Bombay HC’s order in December last year allowing the municipal authorities to eliminate the strays.

The appeal by the Animal Welfare Division of the ministry of environment and forests was a mere formality since the SC had in January this year stayed the HC order on the plea of various NGOs.

Attorney general G E Vahanvati apprised a Bench comprising CJI K G Balakrishnan and Justices P Sathasivam and J M Panchal that the Centre’s plea needed to be tagged along with the pending appeals. The Bench had no hesitation in so ordering.





Punjab Police refuse to vacate rented house; HC intervenes

Express News Service Posted: Wednesday, Jul 08, 2009 at 0327 hrs Chandigarh:

Around 25 years ago, the Punjab Police rented a house of one Harbilas Gangar in Mohali. The house, which was to be the official residence of the Superintendent of Police, Mohali, was later turned into an ‘office’.

When Gangar noticed that an office was being run from the house in Phase IV, he wrote to the Punjab Police and the Director General of Police (DGP), Punjab, seeking directions to get the house vacated.

In 1998, the Principal Secretary, Department of Home, Punjab, directed the DGP to vacate the house and hand over the possession back to Gangar.

However, 11 years on and the house still remained with the Mohali police, despite Gangar running from pillar to post.

Then on February 5 this year, Gangar sent a legal notice to the Principal Secretary and DGP, seeking directions to vacate the house.

In the notice, Gangar said despite assurance that the Mohali police would vacate the house, it hasn’t been done till date.





23 key Babri files missing, UP tells HC

Express News Service

Posted: Jul 08, 2009 at 0302 hrs IST

Lucknow As many as 23 files and not just seven as reported, relating to the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, were missing in the Uttar Pradesh Government’s records, according to an affidavit submitted by Chief Secretary Atul Gupta to the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday.

According to official records, the files were last taken away by an Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the state Home Department’s Communalism Control Cell way back in the nineties. The official later died in an accident.

The Bench had directed the government to produce seven documents on an application of the Sunni Wakf Board, the main Muslim party to the dispute.

The application was moved way back in 2002.

The Bench, consisting of Justices Rafat Alam, Sudhir Agrawal and D V Sharma, asked the government to explain by Friday what action it had taken. When the government failed to produce the documents despite repeated directions, the Court summoned the Chief Secretary.

Gupta submitted an affidavit along with a letter from the Home Secretary informing the Principal Secretary (General Administration) that 23 files kept at the Communalism Control Cell of the state Home Department were missing.

With the letter, dated June 6, the Home Secretary also sent a list of the missing files with their brief description.

The letter said, according to official records, the missing files and the register of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute files were taken away by former review officer in the Home Department, Subhash Bhan Sadh, after he was appointed OSD in the Communalism Control Cell.

The Chief Secretary informed the Bench that Sadh later died in an accident.

On Tuesday, the state government moved an application requesting the Court to ask the Sunni Wakf Board to furnish information regarding the source they had come to know of the documents.

“The court has given two days to file objections against the application,” said Board’s advocate Zafaryab Jilani. Additional Advocate General J N Mathur appeared on behalf of the government.

The litigation dates to December, 1949.

Lost in transit
* A telegram sent by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister G B Pant on January 15, 1950.
* Documents regarding action taken for the attachment of Babri Masjid in December, 1949.
* A letter by Faizabad Deputy Commissioner K K Nayyar to Chief Secretary Bhagwan Sahai on July 20, 1949.
* A letter written by Bhagwan Sahai to K K Nayyar on September 30, 1949.
* Two letters written by Faizabad Divisional Commissioner to the chief secretary on July 20 and September 3, 1949.
* Two letters written by the deputy commissioner to the chief secretary on December 26 and 27, 1949.




Implement tea e-auction, Kerala HC tells Tea Board


George Joseph / Kochi July 08, 2009, 0:32 IST

A single bench of the Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the Tea Board to implement e-auctions in tea trading at Kochi by implementing recommendations and findings of the report of the advocates’ commission appointed by the court.

Justice V Giri, the single judge, also directed the board to rectify various lapses in the new trading system based on the report of the commission. The judge also instructed Tea Buyers Association (TBA), the petitioner in the case, to approach the court if there are any practical difficulties in the conduct of the system after the implementation of e-auction.

The court had earlier appointed a commission of advocates to study the issue and submit a report. The commission had submitted its report and the single judge ordered TBA and Tea Board to file their counter arguments on the findings of the report.

Tea Board had implemented e-auction in Kochi trading, five to six weeks back which evoked strong resistance from traders. The auction created a lot of hassles for buyers and sellers and the trading was affected for 2-3 days.

Technical problems with the software used for e-auction, developed by NSE-IT, had affected the smooth conduct of the trading. The traders said that the implementation of the new system was to help big players and would create a lot of problem for medium and small traders. The court, then, directed to continue with the public outcry system for trading and appointed the commission.





Two docs move court over use of EVMS

8 Jul 2009, 0247 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN

MUMBAI: Two city doctors have filed a public interest litigation challenging the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) for polls in the country. The PIL refers to the reports of irregularities during elections in the United States as well as a ban on EVMs in Germany to support its claims.

The PIL, filed by former University of Mumbai senate member Tushar Jagtap, and Dr Jitendra Jadhav, is scheduled to come up for hearing in the Bombay high court on Thursday.

“EVMs do not instil confidence in voters,” the petition said. “They do not generate any proof or way of knowing that the candidate, the voter has voted for, is the candidate they want to vote for,” it added. The PIL contended that the EVM was not a fool-proof means for casting votes. “The voters have to trust and rely on officials without any proof that their vote has been recorded correctly and included in the final tally.”

“Even a simple malfunction of wiring can cause votes to be cast wrongly which can be crucial in closely-contested elections,” it said.

The petitioners referred to the example of Western countries which were trying to implement safety procedures. The PIL has submitted a judgment of the supreme court in Germany, which ruled that e-voting was unconstitutional because the average citizen could not be expected to understand the exact steps involved in the recording and tallying of votes.

During the US presidential elections when George Bush was elected, officials found that in a suburb at Columbus, Ohio, nearly 3,900 additional votes were added erroneously. A 2005 report of the US Government Accountability Office confirmed errors in EVMs and recommended paper trails that could be audited in any recount. Even the Lok Sabha used paper slips to record the votes of MPs, said the PIL.





PIL against religious sermons to voters admitted

Published: July 7,2009

Kochi , July 7 The Kerala High Court today admitted a PIL seeking a declaration that the acts of religious leaders exhorting their followers to vote or not to vote for any particular candidate or a political party were bad in law.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice S R Bannurmath and Justice Kurian Joseph admitted the PIL filed by Dr S Ganapathy of Kollam and ordered notices to state and Central Election Commissions, Nair Service Society, Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam, Kerala Catholic Bishops Council and Jamat-e-Islami.

The petitioner contended that going by the provisions contained in statutes, interference by communal or religious leaders in the election process by making statements directly or indirectly asking their followers to vote or not to vote for any candidate or political party was prohibited.

Respondents – NSS, SNDP, KCBC and Jamat – had canvassed for particular candidates in the last Lok Sabha poll, he said. The petitioner also sought action against the candidates for whom communal and religious leaders canvassed.

Before admitting the petition, the court heard the election commission&aposs counsel. The commission in a statement informed the court that as per Section 123(3) of the Representation of People&aposs Act, any appeal with the consent of a candidate or his agent to vote or refrain from voting on the grounds of religion, caste, community, was a corrupt practice. But the commission had no power to take action. Only a court or election tribunal can take action against such acts.

Source: PTI


LEGAL NEWS 23.05.2009

HC stays order on cricket body

23 May 2009, 0357 hrs IST, TNN

PATNA: A single bench of the Patna High Court presided by Justice R K Datta on Friday stayed the order of the member, Board of Revenue, which had set aside the order of IG (registration) cancelling the registration of Bihar Cricket Association (BCA).

The order was passed on the writ petition of Association of Bihar Cricket (ABC) headed by former India team cricketer and BJP MP Kirti Azad, who submitted that the BCA had in its petition before the member, Board of Revenue, did not make the ABC a necessary party.

ABC’s writ petition challenged the order of the member, Board of Revenue, restoring the registration and existence of BCA headed by RJD state president and MLA Abdul Bari Siddiqui.

Saran school teachers:

A division bench dismissed a bunch of LPAs filed by the state government challenging the order of a single bench to allow the continuance of the basic school teachers appointed in government high schools in Saran district in 1985 till a proper selection procedure is adopted to appoint only trained teachers.

The matter related to appointment of 264 teachers against 129 sanctioned posts in the government basic schools in Saran district by the regional deputy director of education with many appointed teachers having no requisite qualification of trained teacher.

The stand of the state government was that only trained teachers could be appointed in the basic schools and, therefore, the appointments were illegal.






Notice to BCI on age limit for LLB course

22 May 2009, 2249 hrs IST, TNN

ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad High Court has issued notice to the Bar Council of India (BCI) on a writ petition challenging its resolution passed on September 14, 2008, whereby maximum age for admission in three years LLB course has been fixed as 30 years.

Justice Arun Tandon has fixed May 28 to hear the case. Allahabad University and MJP Rohilkhand University have also been made party in the petition as respondents.

The writ petition has been filed by Neelita Jauhari. The petitioner has alleged that under the Advocates Act, standards can be laid down for legal education, but the BCI has no authority to fix maximum age limit for the admission of the students in universities. The petitioner said that admission in a particular course is a sole domain of the universities.






BSNL case: Nokia Siemens to move local HCs

23 May 2009, 0200 hrs IST, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: Global networks major Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) will now approach the Chandigarh High Court (HC) and may also appeal at the high courts of Mumbai and Hyderabad next week seeking a stay on BSNL’s network contracts worth $6 billion, which were awarded to Sweden’s Ericsson and China’s Huawei. This follows Delhi HC dismissing its petition on jurisdiction grounds.

On Thursday, NSN had filed a petition in the Delhi HC challenging BSNL’s decision to disqualify the company’s bid on technical grounds. During the proceedings on Friday, senior counsel Vikas Singh, appearing for state-owned BSNL, pointed out that the tenders challenged by NSN were floated in Chandigarh, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kolkata zones of BSNL and were outside the jurisdiction of the Delhi High Court. Following this, the division bench of the Delhi HC dismissed NSN’s petition, while adding that the company could approach the appropriate high courts, which had the jurisdiction on the issue.

BSNL also rejected Nokia Siemens’ allegations that it (BSNL) had failed to maintain transparency in the tender process: “The whole process is just to delay BSNL’s expansion process. NSN was aware that there was a shortfall in their technology. They were told by BSNL that there was a shortfall in their technology,” Mr Singh said.

The BSNL counsel also said that NSN itself admitted that they were technically not qualified for the tender. With regard to NSN’s allegations that BSNL had not informed the company of its disqualification, Mr Singh said that rules laid down by SC stated the shorlisted bidders need to be informed only in big contracts.

BSNL executives suspect that NSN is attempting to delay the telco’s expansion plans. The PSU is already facing capacity crunch across the country and any further delay in awarding the contracts will result in the company falling a long way behind private operators, as it would be unable to expand its services. BSNL executives point out that Motorola had filed a similar petition in the Delhi HC in 2006, which delayed its expansion plans by about a year. Later, Motorola withdrew the case.

Meanwhile, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who appeared for NSN, alleged that BSNL had shortlisted Huawei, despite security concerns. “Huawei is a Chinese firm and there are security concerns. Moreover, government circulars mention that you could not have an enemy power in telecom and aviation sectors,” he said.

But, BSNL executives maintain that they had opened the bids only after getting security clearance to award the contract to Huawei. Last week, security agencies had allowed BSNL to give contracts to Huawei only in the southern states, as this region does not share sensitive borders with countries, such as Pakistan, China and Bangladesh. BSNL executives also add that while Huawei was shortlisted in east and west zones, its bids for these regions were not considered due to security issues.

As reported earlier by ET, BSNL is also of the view that NSN’s allegations are baseless, especially considering that the company had refused to supply 9.63 million GSM lines in BSNL’s earlier tender, despite being given the contract. BSNL maintains that NSN’s failure to accept the orders for these 9.63 million lines had impacted its network expansion plans.







Haryana HC backs govt norms on brick-kilns

;Statesman News Service
CHANDIGARH, 22 MAY: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it clear that norms cannot be relaxed to allow brick-kilns to come up at a distance of less than a kilometre from village abadi.
Taking up a petition filed by Arati Brick Company, chief justice Mr Tirath Singh Thakur and Mr Hemant Gupta observed: “Manufacturing, sale and storage of bricks is regulated by the control order, known as the Haryana control of bricks supplies order, 1972, as amended by the amendment order 1992″.
“The petitioner appears to have obtained a licence from the director, food and supplies, Haryana, consequently upon an exemption granted by the government in its favour from the rigours of the control order”.
“The validity of the licence was assailed by the villagers residing in the vicinity of the kiln, which was allowed by a division bench via order dated 28 February, 2005″.
“Pursuant to the direction, the government passed a fresh order dated 4 May, 2005, declining any relaxation to the petitioner from the requirements of the control order”.
“The government has taken the view, that the proposed brick-kiln would violate the sitting norms stipulated in the control order in as much as the proposed brick-kiln would be at a distance of only 300 meters from the village as against one kilometre stipulated under the control order”.
Dismissing the petition, the Bench added “There is no gain in saying that a brick-kiln is a potential source of pollution for the village abadi.
“In a number of cases that have come up to this Court, the villagers have found fault with the establishment of such kilns in their neighbourhood. In the circumstances, the decision on the part of the government to strictly adhere to the norms stipulated under the order in the general interest of the public living in the vicinity and to prevent any hardship or health hazard for the residents, cannot be said to be either unwarranted, irrational or perverse to call for interference in the exercise of our extraordinary jurisdiction”.





No HC relief for SEZ in Raigad

23 May 2009, 0205 hrs IST, Swati Deshpande, TNN

MUMBAI: The Mukesh Ambani-promoted Mumbai Special Economic Zone Ltd received no relief from the Bombay HC on its plea that the collector should expedite the land acquisition proceedings at Raigad for its project. The vacation bench of the court disposed of the petition asking Mumbai SEZ to approach the SC where a bunch of related petitions were pending.

The land acquisition officer of Raigad, in fact, opposed the petition saying the collector had to follow the process laid down by law for acquiring land. “Any interim relief would jeopardise the long-drawn legal process and the petition should be dismissed,” he said.

The court order came after the Maha Mumbai SEZ Sangharsh Samiti, an organisation opposing the SEZ, informed it on Friday that a PIL relating to the project was pending with the apex court.

Land acquisition process started in June 2007, the government said. There were 45 declarations made for land to be acquired and, till date, no person had come to the collector, saying he had agreed to the terms for the acquisition.

“Any unilateral request by the Mumbai SEZ Ltd cannot be accepted unless land owners are heard out by the collector,” the government officer said.






Bahal is HC bar association chief

23 May 2009, 0145 hrs IST, TNN

CHANDIGARH: Sukhjinder Singh Bahal was elected the new president of Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association on Friday. He defeated his rival, GS Dhuriwala, by the margin of 308 votes.

The elections, which saw 2,169 of the total 2,525 votes being polled, passed off smoothly. SS Rangi was elected the vice-president. He got 1,030 votes as against his competitor, NK Banka, who polled 829. Gaurav Chopra became the honorary secretary by grabbing 1,099 votes. Rittam Aggarwal was elected the new joint secretary, while Amit Rana bagged the post of treasurer after defeating his rival Parveen Sharma with a margin of 539 votes. Talking to TOI, Bahal said his endeavour would be to ensure that the dignity of bar was maintained.






Ramabai Nagar firing case: Manohar Kadam gets bail from HC

Mumbai (PTI) The Bombay High Court on Friday granted bail to suspended SRPF officer Manohar Kadam in the 1997 Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar firing case and suspended the life sentence awarded to him by the sessions court.

While granting cash bail of Rs 50,000 to Mr. Kadam, a vacation bench of Justices Anand Nirgude and Rajesh Ketkar also admitted mr. Kadam’s appeal and suspended his life sentence, his lawyer Raja Thakre said.

Mr. Kadam was admitted to a hospital after the sessions court convicted him for “culpable homicide not amounting to murder” earlier this month. He was later sent to jail.

“His sentence has been suspended,” Mr. Thakre said.

Mr. Kadam, then sub-inspector with the State Reserve Police Force, was held responsible by sessions court for ten deaths in police firing on Dalit mob at Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar in suburban Ghatkopar here on July 11, 1997.

The mob was protesting the desecration of statue of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. Mr. Kadam headed the SRPF platoon that was sent to the spot.

A commission of inquiry as well as the sessions court held that firing was unwarranted.

Mr. Thakre argued before High Court that Mr. Kadam himself did not fire a single round and required sanctions were not taken before prosecuting him.






HC directs OPSC to conduct OAS main exam


CUTTACK: In a significant ruling, the High Court on Thursday asked Orissa Public Service Commission (OPSC) to conduct the controversial OAS main examinations-2006 once again.

The HC made it clear that the exams should be completed within next three months.

It was also clarified that all the 4,548 aspirants who have qualified in the preliminary examination, including the 3,770 aspirants who have already appeared the main examinations in May-June last year would sit for the same exam once again.

The Bench of Justice B.P. Das and Justice B.P. Ray which was adjudicating over the case since last year had reserved its judgment after completing the hearing in March this year.






HC comes to rescue of GPSC candidates

22 May 2009, 0458 hrs IST, Saeed Khan, TNN

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat High Court has come to the rescue of those lawyers whose candidatures for GPSC class-II posts for assistant public prosecutors (APP) were cancelled for committing an error in filling up forms. In a recent order the HC quashed this cancellation.

High court last year directed state government to conduct an examination for recruitment of APPs for 242 posts in courts across the state. GPSC conducted written test in January this year, and more than 5,000 lawyers took this examination.

However, after the list of candidates who cleared the test was declared, some candidates belonging to socially and educationally backward classes (SEBC) were communicated that their candidature was cancelled stopping them from appearing in the final interview. The reason for cancellation of their candidature was that they had submitted non-creamy layer’ certificate, but not in the required format.

Actually, production of such income certificate is necessary for SEBC candidate. And, there are two different formats of such certificates one is specific for Central government service, while the second is for the state government jobs. The aspirants for government pleaders’ jobs were required to attach a certificate in a format meant for state government jobs, but instead many of them annexed the format that is needed in Central government offices.

The GPSC decided that these SEBC candidates should be disqualified for interview for this blunder, and they were communicated accordingly. This led some of the lawyers move the high court claiming that it was a bona fide mistake not on their part only, but also on part of the authorities that granted the certificates to them.

After hearing the lawyers and GPSC, Justice MR Shah quashed GPSC’s decision to cancel the candidature of these lawyers. The court ordered the recruiting agency to call the petitioner lawyers for oral interview. However, the recruiting agency proposed to consider all candidates, who are similarly situated and whose non-creamy layer certificates were rejected on same ground.

The court has given one week’s time to all these SEBC candidates to submit their certificates in proper format to GPSC.






HC directs Orissa Public Service Commission to conduct OAS main exam


CUTTACK: In a significant ruling, the High Court on Thursday asked Orissa Public Service Commission (OPSC) to conduct the controversial OAS main examinations-2006 once again.

The HC made it clear that the exams should be completed within next three months.

It was also clarified that all the 4,548 aspirants who have qualified in the preliminary examination, including the 3,770 aspirants who have already appeared the main examinations in May-June last year would sit for the same exam once again.

The Bench of Justice B.P. Das and Justice B.P. Ray which was adjudicating over the case since last year had reserved its judgment after completing the hearing in March this year.

With Thursday’s HC ruling, the OAS exam-2006—for which the advertisement was made way back in August 2006 to recruit around 380 officers—would perhaps take another six months to complete.

What is more awful is that the posts were advertised taking all the vacancies created between 2000 and 2005.

That means a vacancy created in 2000 would now be fulfilled in 2010.

More shocking is the fact that an SC or ST candidate who was eligible for 2000 vacancy at the fag end of his age limit i.e. at the age of 31 and enters the government job in 2010, he would then have only 17 years of service left before he retires in 2027 at the age of 58.

In that case, the officer would not be able to receive final pension after retiring for no fault of his.

It may be mentioned here that the advertisement for the controversial exams came in August 2006 by the OPSC to fill up the vacancies created for the years 2000, 01, 02, 03, 04 and 2005.

It then took another year to conduct the preliminary examinations which were held on May 11, 2007.

And after nine months, i.e. on February 29, 2008 the preliminary results were out wherein the OPSC declared that only 3,770 candidates are eligible to sit for the main exam (written).

Alleging that the reservation ratio was not maintained and as per the norms, candidates numbering 12 times the number of posts advertised were not allowed to write the main exams, some aspirants knocked the court of law for intervention.

While the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) and the HC were hearing some petitions, the OPSC went ahead with conducting the main exams for 3,770 students from May 27 to June 24, 2008 without rectifying their mistakes.

However, following court directions, the OPSC was forced to publish the preliminary results once again allowing another 778 students qualified to write the main exams.

The second phase of the main exams was scheduled to begin from May 27, 2009 but it was cancelled after the HC stayed it just a day before the exams were to begin.

Challenging the veracity of the exam and questioning about maintainability of “difficult” level of the questions, some students moved the HC again. Disposing off these petitions, the HC on Thursday ruled that the main exams would be held again for the entire students and the same would be completed within three months.





Lawyers to suspend work on Monday to protest police atrocities  
Published: May 22,2009    
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by Anita Khandelwal, a criminal lawyer in the Rajasthan High Court, alleging the police for beating her husband and her in the compound of Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADJ)court, Sambhar.

A division bench of the Court comprising acting Chief Justice RC Gandhi and Justice GS Saraf has taken cognizance of the PIL and directed the ADJ, Sambhar to make an inquiry into the matter and file a detailed report in the court on May 29.

Police protection to the lady and her family was also ordered.

According to the petitioner, on May 18 she had gone to ADJ court to argue a case with by her businessman husband, who allegedly was mistaken by two cops as a client.

When she came out she saw Kajod Singh, Assistant Sub Inspector of Renwaal police station talking loudly to her husband. When she objected, both were allegedly roughed up by Kajod and Karan Singh, Station House Officer of Jobner police Station.

“In an emergency meeting we have decided to suspend work on May 25. We have requested the home minister for action. The culprit officers have been suspended but we are demanding their immediate arrest,” High Cout Bar Association members said.

Source: PTI







Philip Mathew gets management leadership award of KMA

Published: May 22,2009

Kochi , May 22 Philip Mathew, the Managing Editor of&apos Malayala Manorama&aposand&aposThe Week&apos, has been selected for Kerala Management Association&aposs management leadership award for this year.

The award, to be presented at a function here, is in recognition of the contributions made by Philip Mathew to the overall development of Kerala in general and to the management profession in particular, KMA president Dr K K Jayan said in a statement here.

With three decades of rich experience in the mass media, Mathew has contributed much to the development of journalism workdwide as vice chairman, International Press Institute (IPI), Vienna, and was elected twice as chairman of Press Trust of India and also the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC), the release said.

Presently, he is a member of board of directors in IPI, PTI and Press Institute of India (PIL).

Mathew has been successful in bringing the problems faced by mass media organisations in the Third world to the global attention using the platform of IPI, the release added.

Source: PTI

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HC asks Mumbai SEZ to approach Apex Court

Mumbai (PTI): The Bombay High court today asked Mumbai Special Economic Zone (SEZ) company to approach the Supreme Court with regards to the land acquisition process.

Mumbai SEZ, promoted by Mukesh Ambani, had moved the High Court saying that the formalities of land acquisition are not yet complete despite the State Government initiating the process two years ago.

The SEZ is coming up in neighbouring Raigad district.

The company wanted direction from the High Court to the district collector to expedite the process.

But Maha Mumbai SEZ Sangharsh Samiti, a local organisation opposing the SEZ today told High Court that a PIL related to this project is pending before the Supreme Court.

Therefore, High Court today asked Mumbai SEZ company to approach the apex court.





Activist pleads for green belt around Victoria

22 May 2009, 0404 hrs IST, TNN

KOLKATA: The creation of a green belt around Victoria Memorial Hall is urgently required to protect the monument from environmental degradation, environmental activist Subhas Datta told Calcutta High Court on Thursday.

Citing a report of National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) of July, 2007, Datta submitted before the division Bench of Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice Tapan Dutt that the institute pointed out several physical damage, such as cracks and black spots, that had developed at several spots of the monument’s external walls, which was direct evidence of harmful reaction product formation due to environmental pollution.

According to NEERI, this not only poses a threat to the aesthetics of the monument, but might also pose a serious threat to the long-term load-bearing ability of the marble blocks exposed to atmospheric pollution and rain.

Datta pointed out that NEERI had suggested the creation of green belt of 50 to 70 metre radius surrounding the structure, which could reduce pollution level and save the memorial. “On one hand, the pollution load due to some unavoidable factors has increased manifold surrounding the monument; on the other hand, the creation of a green belt around the structure has been kept unattended by the Victoria authorities. This situation might lead to irreparable loss to the monument,” Datta submitted.

Opposing NEERI’s recommendation to create a green belt around the monument, the Victoria authorities argued in the course of hearing of the PIL that creation of such a green belt around Victoria would obstruct air flow.

Being a petitioner of the PIL, Datta opposed the Victoria authorities’ plea for constructing a modern art gallery, museum and administrative buildings within the monument complex on the ground that it would create pollution and pled for shifting the administrative buildings and the new constructions elsewhere.

“If due to pollution, the structure is endangered and damaged, the question of preserving artefacts will not arise at all. So, survival and existence of the structure is more important than any other thing and must be given topmost priority by making a buffer zone surrounding the monument,” Datta said.

The matter will come up for hearing again on June 9.






Residents of suburbs to file PIL for underground Metro

22 May 2009, 0308 hrs IST, Chittaranjan Tembhekar, TNN

MUMBAI: Protests against the Metro rail’s second line between Charkop and Mankhurd via Bandra seem to have created a divide between the island city and the suburbs.

“Why is an underground route proposed only for south Mumbai and not for the equally important and densely populated western suburbs, between Bandra and Andheri?” said a resident of the suburb. Like him, many feel the elevated Metro section will result in environmental hazards, such as rise in pollution and felling of trees, besides other problems. They have decided to file a PIL against the state government.

“The MMRDA and the state have failed to respond positively to our demand. They have not even given any proper reason for not going ahead with the underground section. Now we will file a PIL,” said a member. Several citizens’ associations are involved in the protest.

However, MMRDA spokesman Dilip Kawathkar said they would not stop the ongoing tendering process and expected bidders for the Rs 7,660-crore second Metro line. “We have granted extension to bidders to submit their bids by May 31 and MMRDA will go ahead with the elevated plan, which has already been approved,” said Kawathkar.

Jayesh Thakker, a protesting resident, said principal secretary for urban development T C Benjamin had refused the underground section stating that it might affect the cost. But architect and a resident, Nitin Killawala, who offered an alternative to the MMRDA plan, said only the civic cost of constructing pillars and stations would change while the cost of rolling stock would remain the same.

A panel, comprising architects, shopkeepers, educational institutions and activists said the cost-in terms of environment hazards, widening of roads and livelihood-would be less if their proposal, rather than MMRDA’s, was taken into account.






No tree-felling without nod from authority


Bangalore: The high court on Thursday asked BMRC not to cut or remove any tree in Lalbagh area without obtaining permission from the tree officer or the tree authority under the BBMP.
A vacation division Bench headed by Justice N K Patil gave this direction before adjourning hearing on PIL related to tree-felling on R V Road stretch of the Metro project. The PIL also challenged grant of land inside Lalbagh Botanical Garden for a Metro station.
Appearing on behalf of the government and BMRC, advocate general Udaya Holla said the project belongs to the state and all required applications have been filed, seeking permission from the tree authority to cut trees wherever necessary. He said trees will be felled whenever permission is granted. “One cannot oppose every project under the notion of ‘green’. We will not cut any trees without getting permission,” he told the court.
“This is the fifth round of litigation on the same project. A division Bench of this court has already reserved its verdict on the main petition. The contention of the petitioners that KTCP Act has not been followed is inapplicable in this case. A Metro station is also a part of an alignment,” Holla told the court.

posted by The Bangalorean @ 5/23/2009 12:33:00 AM







NHRC seminar on “Right to Information, Human Rights ends

By admin on May 22nd, 2009 27 views

New Delhi, May 22 (ANI): A two day national seminar on “Right to Information, Human Rights: The Present Scenario”, organized by the National Human Rights Commission concluded in New Delhi today.


Addressing the concluding Session, the noted Hindi Litterateur Kunwar Narayan as Chief Guest observed that literature is a mirror to society and in this context it has close links with Right to Information.

He underscored the importance of Hindi in brining awareness about Right to Information.

Renowned Journalist and Special Guest, Prabhash Joshi stated, it is ironical that the country seems to be governed by the age old rules framed by the British and which have orientation for denying the information.

A change in the society cannot be effected with the introduction of a law, first the society has to accept it, he added. Recalling the efforts behind the enactment of Right to Information Act in the country, he observed that it needs to be implemented in a more transparent manner in which no institution remains beyond its purview.

During the two day seminar, several writers, academicians, Senior Government Officers, Members and Officers of the Commission participated in the discussions on the issue of Right to Information and human rights.

It was largely hailed that the Right to Information has brought in a change in the culture of the governance in the country.

However, it was also felt that unless the people in the governance and the society as a whole are sensitive about the need to be transparent, mere implementation of Right to Information will not be successful. (ANI)






26/11 trial: Court rejects Kazmi’s plea to inspect sites

Mumbai, May 21: A special court on Thursday rejected a plea of defence lawyer Abbas Kazmi seeking permission to inspect the November 26 terror attack sites and the marine vessel M V Kuber allegedly used by LeT terrorists to reach Mumbai shores from Pakistan.

Kazmi is defending prime accused Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist arrested during the attacks last year.

Judge M L Tahaliyani said that there was no provision under CrPc to allow lawyers to visit the place of offence but the defence lawyer was free to visit public places and permission in this regard was not required from the court.

However, in case of M V Kuber, permission cannot be given by the court because the boat has already been handed over to its owner on a bond executed by him, the judge said.

At this point, an inspection of Kuber was not necessary but if the court felt at a later stage that the visit was required it would give the permission to the lawyers, the judge added.

The court noted that evidence regarding murder of navigator of Kuber Amar Singh Solanki would be recorded shortly and at this stage it was not necessary for the lawyer to visit the boat.

Bureau Report

LEGAL NEWS 22-23.05.2009

HC go-ahead to PWC for entrance test

21 May 2009, 0354 hrs IST, TNN

PATNA: The Patna High Court on Wednesday allowed the plea of Patna Women’s College (PWC) to conduct the entrance test on May 21, 22 and 23 for admission to different self-financing vocational courses run by the college.

A single bench presided over by Justice Mihir Kumar Jha disposed of the writ petition of PWC and passed an order to this effect. PWC had challenged an advertisement issued by Patna University that all entrance tests for admission to different courses in the university and its colleges would be held in the month of June.

In its writ petition PWC submitted that it had issued an advertisement on April 11, 2009, for conducting the entrance test from May 21 to 23 for the self-financing vocational courses for the academic year 2009-10. But Patna University issued an advertisement on May 6 announcing that all entrance tests for admission to different courses in the university would be held in the month of June.

The plea of PWC was that after the entrance test it takes one month time to take admission and start classes, and if the entrance test is conducted in June then there would be one-month delay in starting the classes.





HC against cutting trees in Lalbagh area

Press Trust Of India / Chennai/ Bangalore May 22, 2009, 0:22 IST

The Karnataka High Court today directed Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation not to cut any trees in Lalbagh area without permission of the Tree Authority, in connection with a PIL seeking directions to change the alignment of Metro Rail, as it would pass through Lal Bagh.

Advocate general Uday Holla who appeared on behalf of the state government and BMRCL submitted that they had sought the permission of the Tree Authority to cut the trees and would continue the project after permission was given.

The petitioners, an environment support group Hasiru Usiru and others contended the ordinance promulgated by the governor on November 22, 2008 to earmark a portion of Lalbagh for metro and Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain Park, in Cubbon Park limits to widen the road had lapsed as the government failed to get assent to a bill to replace the ordinance.

Even as the ordinance lapsed, the government issued an order to Horticulture department to earmark 1135 square metres of Lalbagh area for the Metro rail project, they contended.

The bench, after hearing both parties, adjourned further hearing to next week.





BJP’s Kheda candidate moves HC, demands re-counting

21 May 2009, 1524 hrs IST, PTI

AHMEDABAD: BJP candidate Devusinh Chauhan, who lost the Kheda constituency in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections by a narrow margin, has moved the Gujarat High Court demanding recounting for the seat.

Chauhan has made the Election Commission of India (ECI), Chief Election officer, returning officers of Gujarat and Kheda as respondents in the case.

The BJP candidate had lost by 846 votes to Congress’ Dinsha Patel in a close contest between the two candidates.

When the counting began on May 16, Chauhan was leading against Patel. But towards the end, tables turned and Patel was up by a couple of hundred votes.

Due to a technical snag in an EVM of booth number 76 of Dholka Assembly segment, the declaration of results was stalled till late night, where Patel won by 846 votes.

Chauhan’s request for recounting was denied by the returning officer following which he filed a writ petition in the Court.

The matter came up for hearing yesterday in the court of Justice Z K Sayyed who posted it for further hearing on June 8.






HC refuses interim stay on plastic bag ban


Express News Service Posted: Thursday , May 21, 2009 at 0202 hrs IST

New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to grant an interim stay on the January 7 notification, banning plastic bags from public places in the Capital.

A Division Bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and A K Pathak, however, asked the Delhi government to consider the objections raised by plastic manufacturers. The Bench had earlier sought a response from the government on a petition filed by plastic bag manufacturers against the “blanket ban”.

The All-India Plastic Industries Association criticised the January 7 notification this year issued by the Department of Environment and Forests and Wildlife under the Delhi Degradable Plastic Bag Act, 2008, as “arbitrary”. The Association had argued that the present notification is contrary to earlier ones on June 2005 and May 2006, which allowed the use of degradable plastic bags in “certain places”.

HC seeks UGC response
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought response from the University Grants Commission (UGC) on a public interest litigation against a notification allegedly granting “university” status to institutions classified as “deemed to be”. A Division Bench led by Chief Justice A P Shah ordered the UGC and the Centre to file their responses by July 29, the next date of hearing.





In HC: NHRC agrees to probe Batla encounter


Express News Service Posted: Thursday , May 21, 2009 at 0136 hrs IST

New Delhi:

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday agreed to go ahead with an independent inquiry into the September 19 police encounter at Batla House that left two alleged militants and Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma dead.

The nation’s top human rights panel told a High Court Division Bench led by Chief Justice A P Shah to open the probe into the police action regardless of objections raised by the government to a magisterial inquiry. The Bench recorded the submission from NHRC and observed that it would pass formal orders on May 21.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by an NGO — Act Now For Harmony and Democracy — that raised doubts over police’s version of the encounter and sought a judicial inquiry.

Two alleged members of the Indian Mujahideen — Atif Amin and Mohammed Sajid — and Special Cell’s Inspector Sharma were killed in the encounter, which took place days after the September 13 serial blasts in the Capital.

“Time is passing — You (NHRC) have every right to do it. I don’t see any obstacle in it,” the court had earlier told the human rights commission.





Kalyan gets breather from HC


  Posted: Thursday , May 21, 2009 at 0435 hrs IST

The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday stayed the legal proceedings against Kalyan Banerjee, an adovcate and Trinamool MP from Serampore, in a defamation suit pending against him in the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court for his alleged derogatory remarks against CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

Justice Asim Roy directed that the proceedings be stayed in the defamation suit that had been filed against the Trinamool MP on May 4 by Mridul De, a CPM state committee member, who alleged that Banerjee had made derogatory remarks against Bhattacharjee in an interview to a private TV channel. After a hearing, S S Anand, the chief metropolitan magistrate, issued summons against Banerjee and the TV channel for appearance in the next hearing fixed on August 12, 2009.






Iranian moves HC against deportation

21 May 2009, 0246 hrs IST, Asseem Shaikh, TNN

PUNE: An Iranian national Mohammed Hadi Wayez Jahed Asadi, who is facing deportation for allegedly violating the visa rules and regulations, has moved the Bombay High Court in April end for stalling his deportation.

Asadi was running a hotel in partnership, which was in violation of the visa rules and regulations.

Asadi and his girl friend Nazeri Rodsari Shayad went missing from the city on April 7 after the foreigners registration office (FRO) had issued deportation notices to them.

Asadi was staying in Wadgaon Sheri and Shayad in Kalyaninagar. Both the foreigners, whose passports have been impounded, instead of complying with the notices, have managed to disappear.

The police had launched a massive hunt to trace them. Later, acting on a tip off, a police team traced the duo in Mundhwa and took them into custody on May 7 for completing the deportation process.

The Iranians were served with the restriction order under the Foreigners Act after they were nabbed in Mundhwa.

Shayad, who had taken admission to a city college on the basis of a forged bona fide certificate, was recently deported to Iran. However, Asadi moved the high court for extending his stay in Pune.

Speaking to TOI on Wednesday, senior police inspector Bhanupratap of the FRO said, “Asadi has filed a petition for seeking benefit of the Indian Constitution for extending his stay in Pune”.

According to Barge, “Asadi’s petition states that he wants to stay here till August end for completing education. Asadi has assured the court that he will go back to Iran on his own. Asadi has pleaded that he had become a partner in a hotel as he was not aware of the India law“.

After receiving the notice from the petitioner, “The FRO has filed a written statement in the high court for opposing the petition on the grounds that a foreigner cannot claim benefit of the Indian Constitution,” Barge said.

The petition will come up for admission before the high court on June 10.

The FRO had found several students overstaying in the city. Deputy commissioner of police (special branch) Ravindra Sengaonkar had launched a drive against people staying illegally in the city. The FRO has recently deported 200 such foreign students.





HC dismisses eatery’s plea against demolition

21 May 2009, 0221 hrs IST, TNN

MUMBAI: In a setback for the popular McDonald’s restaurant opposite CST station, the Bombay high court on Wednesday dismissed its application challenging a BMC order to demolish the kiosk and shelters it had put up in the compound.

A vacation bench of Justice A V Nirgude and Justice R G Ketkar, however, stayed its order for four weeks to allow Hard Castle Restaurant Private Ltd, the company running the McDonald’s chain in the city, time to file an appeal in Supreme Court.

McDonald’s is housed on the ground floor of Mahendra Chambers, a Grade II-A heritage structure. The restaurant had received a no-objection certificate from the corporation in 2005 to put up temporary shelters and a kiosk in the open space. Two years later, the BMC cancelled the NOC and ordered the restaurant to clear the area. On May 5, 2009, the assistant municipal commissioner gave the restaurant two weeks to remove the structures (PVC shelters and a kiosk).

“Under the guise of a temporary structure, the restaurant constructed permanent structures in violation of rules,” said advocate Janhvi Durve, counsel for Mahendra Builders (landlord of the property). The company on its part insisted that it had complied with all the rules.






HC for maintenance of decorum on court premises

20 May 2009, 2224 hrs IST, TNN

ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad High Court has stated that under no circumstances should the decorum be overlooked in the court. This remark was made by a division bench of the Allahabad High Court comprising Justices Amitava Lala and D K Arora when some office-bearers of the High Court Bar Association (HCBA) requested the courts to retire to their chambers as the bar had decided to abstain from judicial work and hence had not put on proper uniform.

The lawyers of the high court abstained from judicial work on Wednesday in support of the call given by the UP Bar Council to all the bar associations of the state to observe protest day against police inaction in a lawyer’s death case.

The lawyers of the court under the leadership of the president of the bar VC Misra assembled on the court premises and thereafter went into the court rooms and requested the judges to retire to their chambers. The courts, accepting the request of the members of the bar, retired to their chambers.

Thereafter, HCBA held a meeting and passed a resolution stating that the protests would continue against a Supreme Court judge till he withdraws his remarks made against the lawyers. HCBA also passed a resolution that the bar would make application for intervention in all the cases filed by Dr A K Bansal either in the high court or in the apex court.






Reinstate policemen or face contempt charges: HC tells UP Govt.

Allahabad (PTI): The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday warned Uttar Pradesh government that it will face contempt proceedings if it did not reinstate by May 27 nearly 18,000 police personnel sacked by the Mayawati regime for alleged irregularities in recruitment.

Holding that non-compliance with the order was prima facie tantamount to contempt of court, Justice Vikram Nath directed the Principal Secretary (Home), the Director General of Police and other top officials to appear before the court on May 27.

The order was passed on a petition filed by Pawan Kumar Singh and others who claimed that the state government was neither allowing them to resume duty nor has it taken any step for the screening of the dismissed police personnel despite the High Court ruling in this regard.





Jaypee Hotels gets HC nod of merger

MUMBAI: Jaypee Hotels on Wednesday said it has received the approval from Allahabad High Court for the merger of the company along with some of its group firms with Jaiprakash Associates.

The Allahabad High Court has sanctioned the scheme of amalgamation of Jaypee Hotels, Jaypee Cement, Jaiprakash Associates and Gujarat Anjan Cement with Jaiprakash Associates, the company said in a filing to the BSE. – PTI





Catching them drunk: new HC mandate for pubs finds few takers


Zahid Rafiq Posted: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 0142 hrs IST

New Delhi: The High Court’s proposal — to deploy mobile police teams at exit points of bars to check drunken driving— can hardly be washed down with drinks by customers in the city’s bars and pubs. For the owners, too, the news means a clear loss of business. While the police teams are yet to be posted, faces inside the bars have already drooped.

“We have already lost 30 per cent of our customers after the ban on smoking; now there will be more losses,” says Ajay Kaushal, manager of Qash Qai, a year-old bar at Connaught Place.

Reclining on a plush sofa, Amit Arya, employed with a multi-national company, says: “Why don’t they just as well say that only those with chauffeurs are permitted to drink? This will give the police more excuses to harass common people like us.”

While a recent Delhi Traffic police survey reveals that 80 per cent customers at high-end bars in the city drive back on their own, challans for drunken driving in 2008 show a 90 per cent increase over the figures of 2007.

At the posh Q’BA bar in Connaught Place in Central Delhi, Rajiv Sinha, a customer says, “This means I will have to pay a policeman Rs 100 or 200 to let me go. It all ends at corruption.”

Bar owners in Delhi say they usually have no means to stop people from getting drunk. “On several occasions I have asked customers that they have had enough to drink, but they usually reply that it is none of my business. This is my bread and butter and I do not want to incur losses in my business. It is the customers’ problem and they should be careful,” says Firoz Ali, manager of Q’BA.

There are others who are happy with the idea of policemen outside bars and pubs. Haresh Bhatta, manager with a multinational company, thinks this is the best way to prevent deaths due to drunken driving. “If you have to drive, do not drink. If you cannot follow that rule, someone else has to make you do it,” says Bhatta.

Gurgaon bars ‘not under Delhi HC jurisdiction’
Bar owners in Gurgaon say the proposal to have cops stationed outside bars will not affect them as Gurgaon does not fall under the Delhi High Court’s jurisdiction. “We do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Delhi HC,” S K Tyagi, manager at 32 Milestone on NH-8, said. Assistant manager of The Odyssey on MG Road Vineet Grover added: “We do not have any policemen bothering our clients.” DCP (traffic) Satbir Singh was of the same view: “A Delhi High Court order is not binding on us. However, we conduct regular checks on drunken drivers.” —ENS





Most junior lawyers in HC unhappy over working conditions


Adam Halliday Posted: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 0336 hrs IST

Ahmedabad: A recent survey on the working conditions of junior lawyers in the Gujarat High Court has once again highlighted the pathetic state of affairs they have to put up with. Most apprentice lawyers surveyed by the Ahmedabad-based NGO, Research Foundation for Governance in India (RFGI) admitted that they were paid little, if at all.

The findings further reveal that nine of the 10 junior lawyers are of the opinion that family connections in the legal fraternity matter much in terms of developing a career.

The study, using feedback from junior lawyers, their seniors and also judges, was specifically meant to assess the working conditions of junior lawyers.

Apparently, half of the junior lawyers are dissatisfied with their working conditions.

An instance is of one of the respondents, Sunil Kotia, a young lawyer at the High Court. A gold medallist at Bhavnagar University’s Law Department three years ago, he lived on the Rs 3,000 per month that he received as stipend in Ahmedabad. But with his family in Bhavnagar, he struggled to manage his food, lodging, transportation and other needs.

Kanan Dhru of RFGI said that the meagre stipends litigation lawyers receive during their apprenticeship, coupled with the absence of a legislation concerning this, is one of the reasons why many graduates from the country’s best colleges join corporate firms or work abroad.

The Advocate Act, 1961, the main legislation concerning advocates in the country, makes no mention of apprenticeship.

Several junior lawyers acknowledged that corporate groups pay much more. Pratik Thakar, who studied at ILS Law College, Pune receives a monthly stipend of Rs 5,500 from the litigation firm he currently apprentices under, while his former classmate earns Rs 1.3 lakh per month in a corporate law firm in Mumbai.

But many senior lawyers believe the initial low pay is part of the profession. They also believe that law colleges should restructure their curriculum to accommodate more time for internships and hands-on experience. They say most law schools structure their internships to coincide with their seasonal vacations.

Dharmistha Raval, an advocate and sister of late Kirit Raval, founder of the Gujarat National Law University, said: “It’s like learning how to drive. If you come for a week, take a month off and come back for a week again, you won’t learn anything.”

Raval believes that slowly working one’s way up is the norm for any profession, including law.

“You have to remain in the queue for a few years,” she said.

But not everyone share the same sentiment. Johnsey Macwan, who graduated from Gujarat Law Society, Ahmedabad, in 2006, said he is already thinking of leaving the profession. “I’m not satisfied with the pay,” he said, though he has no idea what other profession he should take up.





For reporters, HC puts bench in parking lot


Express News Service Posted: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 0149 hrs IST

New Delhi:

Four concrete benches on a dusty footpath in the parking lot outside the rear gate of Delhi High Court do not deserve a second glance. But a cheeky signboard recently put on to the high iron grills — declaring this to be space “for accredited journalists only” — has raised some eyebrows.

After “much consideration, a three-member judicial panel has reportedly decided to allot a temporary lounge for journalists in this parking lot.

“There is an acute shortage of space inside the High Court and we are finding it difficult to provide space even for court staff,” an HC official told the media on Tuesday. “That is why we had to put four seats outside — this is only a temporary arrangement.”

In contrast, the Supreme Court has a separate lounge for both accredited and non-accredited journalists, complete with telephone facilities.






ED seeks HC nod to quiz Rajus

20 May 2009, 0431 hrs IST, TNN

HYDERABAD: Aggrieved by the delay in granting permission for recording the statements of the accused in the Satyam scam, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a petition in the A P High Court seeking its intervention in the matter.

“The lower court is delaying its permission and hampering our investigation which is at a crucial stage now,” the ED’s assistant director L V Rao said in the petition filed on Monday. The investigation is under progress in accordance with the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, he said. Several properties worth hundreds of crores of rupees are liable to be confiscated from the possession of the accused as they were bought with scam money and this cannot be done without interrogating the accused and recording their statements, he said.

“We filed a petition in the fourteenth additional chief metropolitan magistrate court on April 2 this year and though some of the accused have no objection, the court below has been delaying the matter just because some of the accused are raising needless objections. In fact, the consent of the accused is not necessary here and in matters such as these, the court can straight away accord us permission because we only record the statements of the accused in jail,” the petition said.

According to the petition, section 50 of the Money Laundering act empowers court to grant permission even without seeking any objections from the accused. The petitioner found fault with the lower court which has posted the matter to June 1 for further hearing just because some of the accused have raised objections.

Taking advantage of this delay, the accused can direct their men to change the ownership of the properties, which could result in more third party tussles, the ED’s assistant director contended and urged the HC to accord it the permission to question the Raju brothers, former Satyam CFO Vadlamani Srinivas and the two PwC auditors. The matter is likely to come up before a vacation bench of the high court on Wednesday.

In fact, the CBI’s petition seeking the lower court’s nod for conducting polygraph tests on the accused is also getting delayed due to various reasons. One reason could be the the transfer of the magistrate concerned and the resultant administrative delay in paving the way for the new magistrate to take over etc, a legal source said.

Meanwhile, the bail petitions of the auditors will come up for hearing on Wednesday in the lower court.






HC to set up museum in its golden jubilee year

 Syed Khalique Ahmed

Posted: May 20, 2009 at 0339 hrs IST

Ahmedabad During its golden jubilee year that began on May 1, the Gujarat high court has planned to set up a full-fledged museum depicting judicial history of the state and aims to make at least one village in the state litigation free.

One of the most significant contributions of the Gujarat high court in its 50 years of existence has been introduction of judicial ombudsman concept in the country by the then high court chief justice D M Dharmadhikari which resulted into solving of 48,000 cases of earthquake in 2001.

Among various things planned to be preserved in the museum is the original copy of the first vakalatnama of the first case filed in the high court on May 1, 1960, when it became functional after its separation from the Bombay High court. The history of the Saurashtra high court before the region was merged with Gujarat would also be exhibited in the museum.

The museum will also have historical documents, old furniture and artefacts relating to judiciary. The high court authorities have set up different committees for the purpose, with senior most advocate K G Vakharia having been given the responsibility to provide historical background of the Gujarat high court and development of judiciary in the state since its inception.

Intending to conserve every minute detail of judicial progress in the state and maintain a record for the posterity, the high court authorities have planned a year-long programme including holding of seminars, symposia, workshops, lectures and felicitation of former judges and senior legal luminaries.

Chief Justice K S Radhakrishnan said he intended to make at least one village litigation free during the Golden Jubilee year of the high court.

Stating that the number of litigations indicated the degree of comparative peace so vital for the growth of any society, he said he did not want to stop at making only one village litigation free but take the task further and make at least a cluster of villages or a whole taluka litigation free.

In fact, he has already initiated a novel project of classifying cases for quick judicial delivery and bringing down the pending number of cases after he took over in September 2008. He said his aim was to reduce the pendency of the cases to the minimum in the state’s courts and bring it to a level where a case was disposed of within a year of filing it.

The growth
The Gujarat high court which went operational in its old building in Navrangpura on May 1, 1960, with mere four permanent judges and one additional judge has now a total sanctioned and working strength of 42 judges – 28 permanent and 14 additional judges.

The number of judicial districts, which was 15 in 1960, has now increased to 26.

The high court shifted to its new building spread over 34 acres in Sola village on Sarkhej-Gandhinagar highway in 1998. Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan also served as a judge in the Gujarat high court in 1997 before he was appointed as its chief justice in July 1998.





Mumbai SEZ moves HC over Raigad land buy

20 May 2009, 0514 hrs IST, ET Bureau

MUMBAI: Mumbai SEZ, promoted by RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani and his associate Anand Jain, on Tuesday moved the vacation bench of the Bombay High Court seeking a direction to the state government to quickly complete the process of land acquisition in Raigad district. The court, in turn, has called for a reply from the district collector’s office by May 22.

Janak Dwarkadas, the lawyer for the SEZ argued that two years after the state issued a declaration of “intention to acquire the land” for the company, the collector has not issued a final award.

The company intending to set up the SEZ, had already paid Rs 600 crore, apart from signing agreements with the land owners. “If the final consent award is not made before June 6, the whole process would lapse in line with the Land Acquisition Act,” he contended.

The government’s lawyer maintained that before the award is made, the persons “interested in the land” — this refers to the original land owners — must appear before the collector. This is to enable the administration to verify whether the land acquisition has been carried out properly. This logic was countered by Mr Dwarkadas who said Mumbai SEZ had, in place registered agreements for the sale of the land which, therefore, made any further verification unnecessary.






GU tribunal revokes transfer, suspension of clerk

 22 May 2009, 0500 hrs IST, TNN

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat University Service Tribunal has pulled up university authorities for transferring a clerk to another department following his union activities. The tribunal has also quashed university’s decision to transfer and suspend the employee.

As per case details, a senior clerk with the Physical Education Department at GU-Bhavin Dave was transferred to Saraspur Reading Centre last year by an official order. However, the director of the department didn’t relieve him claiming that he was not taken into confidence by the authorities before transferring Dave along with 10 other employees.

Since Dave was not relieved by the department, he could not resume service at the reading centre. The university in September last year suspended him for not following the order issued by the registrar and vice-chancellor.

Dave approached the tribunal against the suspension order alleging that he was removed from the service with malafide intentions only because he was active in union activity. Dave is the honorary secretary of Anyay Pratikarak Binshikshak Karmachari Sangh that is operative in Gujarat University.

Tribunal judge RA Patel commenced hearing in November and asked the university to show why Dave was transferred. But the university could not answer this, as the transfer order itself didn’t mention a reason. Authorities could not place the file on record which they claimed was the base of their decision to transfer 11 employees.

The tribunal took note of inadequate reasons forwarded by the university and also observed that the officials had provided factually wrong information during proceedings. Judge RA Patel set the university’s decision to transfer and suspend Dave aside and termed it “malafide”.

Moreover, when the university’s lawyer sought stay on this order for sometime so that university can approach higher forum, the tribunal rejected the demand stating that the judgement is on merit and doesn’t required to be stayed.





Regional language writers on human rights issues to be awarded

Published: May 21,2009

New Delhi, May 21 In a bid to spread awareness about human rights, the National Human Rights Commission has decided to give awards to deserving writers on the issue in 22 official languages.

The NHRC was so far giving awards only to Hindi language writers for their outstanding books and original manuscripts written on human rights issues under one of the schemes run by it for last 11-years.

“Henceforth, we have decided to give awards to the outstanding writers of human rights issues for their books and original manuscripts written in any of those languages enshrined in the Eighth Scheduled of the Constitution,” NHRC Secretary General Akhil Kumar Jain said during the inaugural session of the two-day seminar on” Right to Information, Human Rights: The Present Scenario”which began today.

This will help spread human rights awareness among the users of all these languages either, he added.

Source: PTI






Batla: NHRC gets 60 days

22 May 2009, 0508 hrs IST, TNN

new delhi : Delhi High Court on Thursday gave two months time to National Human Rights Commission to complete its inquiry into the controversial Batla House encounter case in which two suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorists and a police officer were killed.

“The NHRC is requested to complete the inquiry and file the report by July 22,” HC said, admitting the plea of the commission which had agreed to conduct the probe despite the government’s reluctance to conduct a magisterial inquiry into the case which is mandatory before initiating its own investigation.

“Having regard for the fact that nearly nine months have already passed since the incident and that any further delay would prejudice the inquiry, the commission is of the view that it would proceed with the inquiry into the case without insisting on a magisterial inquiry,” the commission pleaded.

LEGAL NEWS 18-20.05.2009

Varsity confers honorary doctorate on CJI, Yesudas Kottayam, May 19 : Kerala Governor and Mahatma Gandhi University Chancellor R S Gavai today conferred honorary doctorates on Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan, famous playback singer K J Yesudas and eminent Ayurvedic physician P K Warrier for their outstanding contribution to their respective fields. The Governor conferred LLD on the CJI, D Lit on Mr Yesudas and DSc on Dr Warrier at the university convocation held here. Mr Justice Balakrishnan, hailing from Kerala, was appointed as the Chief Justice of India in 2007. ‘Padmabhooshan’ K J Yesudas had recorded over 40,000 songs in different languages, since crooning for the first time on November 14, 1961. ‘Padmashri’ Warrier, as the managing trustee and chief physician of over a century-old Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala, had rendered yeoman service to the growth of Ayurveda by modernising its clinical, pharmaceutical, educational and research domains. — UNI Need to develop infrastructure in higher eductation: CJI Kottayam | Tuesday, May 19 2009 IST Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan today said there was need for developing infrastructure in higher education sector as in an increasingly competitive economy, the quality of education, especially the professional courses, depends on it. Delivering his acceptance speech after receiving the honorary degree of LLD from M G University Chancellor and Kerala Governor R S Gawai, he said thousands of government-run colleges across the country fared very poorly in this regard and similar problems had been seen in numerous private institutions as well. While it was not correct to make generalisations, there were legitimate concerns about the mushrooming of private educational institutions which charged considerably higher fees but did not provide facilities required for a sound academic learning, he said. Stating that there was need for some innovative practices to provide incentives to teaching career, he said teaching staff should also be actively involved in research activities. Eventhough educational institutions must be given a certain degree of autonomy with respect to curriculum setting and designing of courses, there was a clear governmental interest in making interventions against such profit-seeking behaviour, he said. It must be kept in mind that eventhough the Constitution mandates reservations for the some of the socially and educationally backward classes in private institutions as well, the overpricing of education could frustrate the objective of this affirmative policy, he said, adding if there were no controls over profit-seeking behaviour, candidates from the disadvantaged sections would be increasingly deterred from even applying to colleges and would face immense hardship. Underlining the need to rationalise fee structures in public institutions, wherein government subsidises education to a large extent eventhough students are capable of paying higher fees, he said the foremost objectives of higher education should be absorption of liberal values, capacity for critical inquiry and skills necessary for competing with the best in the world. — (UNI) — 19MS29.xml SC stays HC order on new polytechnics 20 May 2009, 0335 hrs IST, Vishwas Kothari , TNN PUNE: The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the Bombay high court order of May 7 that had restrained the state government from allowing any new polytechnic institution to go functional from 2009-10 without prior approval of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). The fate of 32 proposed polytechnics in Pune region comprising Solapur, Sangli, Satara, Pune and Kolhapur districts hangs in the balance in the wake of a PIL (No.80/2009) filed in the high court by the Teachers Association for Non-Aided Polytechnics (TAFNAP). When contacted, secretary to state department of higher and technical education J S Saharia said, “We will take a final call on this issue after a due consultation process with our legal counsel.” Saharia said, “I have been informed by my colleagues about the development in the Supreme Court. However, I am yet to receive a copy of the court’s order. We will weigh the pros and cons with the authorities concerned before deciding on going ahead with the new polytechnics process.” Among other things, TAFNAP had argued in the PIL that the state government had no authority to sanction new polytechnics because it was the prerogative of the AICTE. Besides, it contended that the new polytechnics were being cleared without proper survey and development plan for technical education. After a couple of hearings on March 19 and April 9, the high court division bench of chief justice Swatanter Kumar and justice S C Dharmadhikari issued an order on May 7 restraining the government from going ahead with the process of sanctioning new polytechnics without the AICTE approval. The high court, while posting the matter for next hearing to June 18, passed strictures against the government. “It is surprising that the state is willing to play with the career of thousands of students in granting admission to the courses irrespective of the fact whether such additional courses/additional seats have received approval of the AICTE or not,” the high court order states. The state government moved the apex court by filing a special leave petition (No.12368/2009) against the high court order, before the vacation bench of justices Markandey Katju and Deepak Verma. Following a brief hearing on Monday, the vacation bench granted a stay on the high court order and directed notices to TAFNAP, which has been given four weeks to furnish its written submission. The apex court directed the state government to file a counter-affidavit on TAFNAP’s submission, in the four weeks thereafter. The matter is likely to be heard by the Supreme Court in the third week of July. Now, the question remains as to whether the government will go ahead with the process of allowing new polytechnics to start from 2009-10. HC seeks details of chopper expenses CHANDRAJIT MUKHERJEE Ranchi, May 19: Jharkhand High Court today once again directed the administration to furnish all details of flights made on the state’s lone chopper to the accountant-general so that auditing of expenditure incurred due to flying can be done. A division bench of the high court directed advocate-general P.K. Prasad to ensure that details of as many as 894 flights on the state helicopter be submitted to the office of the accountant-general to estimate the financial expense of the state exchequer. The bench comprising Chief Justice Gyan Sudha Misra and Justice D.K. Sinha also ordered that a break-up of the expenditure, estimated to be about Rs 35 crore between April 2005 and November 2008, should be calculated and the accounts be produced before the court. The court gave the order while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) that exposed the unauthorised use of the chopper by politicians, bureaucrats and their relatives, and other VIPs by flouting protocol and other rules restricting the use of the helicopter. Petitioner Bindu Bhushan Dubey had alleged that the state had given a free hand to the ministers and their families to use the chopper in complete disregard of regulations. Dubey, in his petition, has said that the official chopper was used for pleasure trips by the former ministers of the state. For even small distances in the capital, the helicopter was pressed into service while cars could have easily travelled to the destinations. The chopper, which is at disposal for official purposes, has been hired from a private company, which is paid a hefty amount. According to the PIL, the expenses of using the chopper come to about Rs 35 crore. Earlier, while hearing the petition, the court was apprised by the office of the accountant-general that there seemed to be some discrepancy in the record of flights made on the chopper. The civil aviation department had been requested to furnish details as mentioned in the flight logbook. However, it is yet to give the details. The court had earlier directed the state to table all necessary documents and cooperate with the accountant-general, but no data has been provided yet. The matter will again be taken up for hearing again on May 26. Notice to BMRC, BDA, state govt, Centre 20 May 2009, 0418 hrs IST, TNN BANGALORE : The high court on Tuesday sent notices to BMRC, BDA, KIADB, state government, Centre and others on PIL challenging land allotment in Lalbagh for building a Metro Rail station. A vacation division Bench headed by Justice N K Patil posted the matter to Thursday; it asked the state government and BMRC to file affidavits explaining their activities in Lalbagh. In their PIL, Environmental Support Group and Hasiru-Usiru challenged an ordinance passed on November 22, 2008, seeking to amend the Karnataka Government Parks (Preservation) Act. They also challenged an order passed on February 25, 2009, which allowed BMRC to take over 1,135.18 square metre inside Lalbagh. According to the petitioners, the land in question was handed over without complying with provisions of the Karanataka Town and Country Planning Act, and also without bringing a suitable amendment to CDP-2015. “There is no proposal in CDP-2015 for alignment of Namma Metro within Lalbagh,” petitioners’ counsel said. “The November 22, 2008, ordinance has lapsed since it wasn’t placed before the January assembly session held in Belgaum. Also, the authorities issued land acquisition notification for that area on November 20 __ two days before the ordinance. Hence, they did not look into alternatives,” the counsel explained. According to the petitioners, 293 trees will be affected in the East-West corridor, 501 in the North-South corridor, and 412 trees in the 33-km project. BMRC: No commercial exploitation in Lalbagh area In a statement to the court related to another PIL, BMRC said it will not create parking zones and malls at Lalbagh Metro station or at any other station on this stretch. “There is private land acquisition on RV Road and Jayanagar Metro station areas,” BMRC said in reply to PIL by Mahaveer Ranka, who challenged tree-felling in Lalbagh. “Till March 31 this year, work on 75 milestones out of 151 have been completed and Rs 1,305,47 crore spent on the project. Also, 1,135.18 square metre is equivalent to 123 guntas and it amounts to just 0.12% of the 243-acre-large Lalbagh area,” BMRC stated. “The project was executed after taking into account relevant and detailed reports. It will provide a benefit of Rs 1,155 crore to the public. A total of 188 trees will be felled and 202 pruned,” BMRC explained. School order stayed The high court has stayed an order passed by the block education officer on April 8, asking authorities to closed down Infant Jesus Cottage School and transfer its students to another school. The school replied that it had obtained a no-objection certificate from the authorities to start a school based on ICSE. “There is no truth in the contention of authorities that we’re running 6th and 7th standards without approval,” the school claimed. HC to freedom fighter’s rescue 20 May 2009, 0150 hrs IST, TNN CHANDIGARH: PGI’s alleged refusal of free medical treatment to 85-year-old freedom fighter Joginder Singh, resident of Manimajra, came under the HC scanner on Tuesday following a PIL filed by lawyer HC Arora. A division bench comprising CJ Tirath Singh Thakur and justice Hemant Gupta, expressing complete sympathy with the freedom fighter, observed that HC would be too willing to issue directions to UT administration to release payment. The bench also asked petitioner Arora to arrange payment of all materials to the PGI and bring all the relevant bills before the HC on the next date of hearing so that appropriate directions for releasing payment of all those bills may be issued to the administration. Arora referred to various notifications issued by UT finance secretary (in pursuance to an earlier PIL filed by Arora himself) extending free medical treatment to freedom fighters and their spouses by hospitals, dispensaries under control of the Chandigarh administration. Arora asserted that the PGI, despite requests by UT administration, had not extended similar facility to freedom fighters. BMRC, others told to explain Lalbagh work WEDNESDAY, MAY 20, 2009 NGOs Still Pursue Tree-Felling Debate TIMES NEWS NETWORK Bangalore: The high court on Tuesday sent notices to BMRC, BDA, KIADB, state government, Centre and others on PIL challenging land allotment in Lalbagh for building a Metro Rail station. A vacation division Bench headed by Justice N K Patil posted the matter to Thursday; it asked the state government and BMRC to file affidavits explaining their activities in Lalbagh. In their PIL, Environmental Support Group and Hasiru-Usiru challenged an ordinance passed on November 22, 2008, seeking to amend the Karnataka Government Parks (Preservation) Act. They also challenged an order passed on February 25, 2009, which allowed BMRC to take over 1,135.18 square metre inside Lalbagh. According to the petitioners, the land in question was handed over without complying with provisions of the Karanataka Town and Country Planning Act, and also without bringing a suitable amendment to CDP-2015. “There is no proposal in CDP-2015 for alignment of Namma Metro within Lalbagh,” the petitioners’ counsel said. “The November 22, 2008, ordinance has lapsed since it wasn’t placed before the January assembly session held in Belgaum. Also, the authorities issued land acquisition notification for that area on November 20 — two days before the ordinance. Hence, they did not look into alternatives,” the counsel explained. According to the petitioners, 293 trees will be affected in the East-West corridor, 501 in the North-South corridor, and 412 trees in the 33-km project. SCHOOL ORDER STAYED: The HC stayed an order passed by the block education officer on April 8, asking authorities to closed down Infant Jesus Cottage School and transfer its students to another school. The school replied that it had obtained a no-objection certificate from the authorities to start a school based on ICSE. Won’t commercially exploit Lalbagh: BMRC In a statement to the court related to another PIL, BMRC said it will not create parking zones and malls at Lalbagh Metro station or at any other station on this stretch. “There is private land acquisition on RV Road and Jayanagar Metro station areas,” BMRC said in reply to PIL by Mahaveer Ranka, who challenged treefelling in Lalbagh. “Till March 31 this year, work on 75 milestones out of 151 have been completed and Rs 1,305,47 crore spent on the project. Also, 1,135.18 square metre is equivalent to 123 guntas and it amounts to just 0.12% of the 243-acre-large Lalbagh area,” BMRC said. “The project was executed after taking into account relevant and detailed reports. It will provide a benefit of Rs 1,155 crore to the public. A total of 188 trees will be felled and 202 pruned,” BMRC explained. TNN Patna HC allows BPSC to conduct its mains 19 May 2009, 2056 hrs IST, PTI PATNA: In a relief to students who qualified the Bihar Public Service Commission’s (BPSC) PT examination for 48th to 52nd combined competitive examination, Patna High Court on Tuesday allowed the Commission’s plea to hold the mains examination. BPSC’s mains examination is scheduled to begin from May 25. After hearing the arguments of both sides and going through the records, a division bench comprising Justice Sudhir Kumar Katriar and Justice K K Mandal observed that BPSC had acted in a fair manner and ensured all fairness in the process of examination. The bench on March 6 had stayed the single bench order which quashed the PT examination conducted by the BPSC and had directed it to hold the examination afresh. The single bench order of January 30 was challenged by the successful candidates of the PT examination and BPSC. The court today also allowed the commission to hold a separate preliminary test (PT) examination for 94 candidates who had first complained about the anomalies in the question paper before the publication of the PT results. BPSC had conducted the PT examination on May 25, 2008 and out of 1,76,984 candidates who appeared for it, 19318 were declared successful on September 18, 2008. About 150 unsuccessful ones who alleged irregularities in the examination and took the matter to the court. HC allows Jet Airways to lease out Boeing aircraft MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday allowed Jet Airways to lease out one Boeing aircraft to Turkish Airlines, in addition to three already leased. Justice Anand Nirude granted permission to Jet to give the aircraft on a dry lease for 25 months. Jet needed court’s permission as earlier High Court had barred the airlines from creating third party rights in its moveable assets, including 40 aircraft, until its dispute with Sahara India Commercial Corporation Ltd (SICCL) was settled. Last month also Jet had moved the court seeking permission to send three Boeing-777 aircraft to Turkish Airlines on a dry lease. SICCL had in March filed a petition, claiming that the Naresh Goyal-owned airline had defaulted on the installment amount du e as payment for acquisition of Sahara Airlines, now JetLite, hence it was liable to pay original deal amount of Rs 2,000-crore and not re-negotiated amount of Rs 1450 crore. High Court, at the last hearing, asked both the parties to seek out-of-court settlement. Court is expected to give ruling on the Sahara’s petition on June 12. – PTI Mumbai SEZ moves HC for speedy completion of land acquisition MUMBAI: Mukesh Ambani-promoted Mumbai SEZ, coming up in the neighbouring Raigad district, on Tuesday moved the Bombay High Court seeking speedy completion of land acquisition process by the district administration. The Court has sought reply from the collector’s office by May 22. SEZ’s lawyer senior advocate Mr Janak Dwarkadas said that two years after state issued declaration of intention of acquire the land” for the company, final award has not been made by the collector. If the final consent award is not made before June 6, the whole process would lapse as per the Land Acquisition Act, Mr Dwarkadas said. However, government’s lawyer said that before award is made, the persons “interested in the land”, i.e. the original land owners, must appear before the collector so that he could verify whether acquisition has been made properly. Mr Dwarkadas contended that Mumbai SEZ had registered agreements of land sale, and no further verification was necessary. “We have paid out some Rs 600 crore. We have paid consideration ten times the market prices,” he said. The vacation bench of Justices Anand Nirgude and Rajesh Ketkar however adjourned the hearing till May 22, asking government to file affidavit stating its stand. – PTI HC judge’s car burnt in suspected sabotage–s-car-burnt-in-suspected-sabotage/462482 Posted: Tuesday , May 19, 2009 at 1637 hrs IST Madurai: In a case of “suspected sabotage” by supporters of LTTE, car of Madras High Court Judge M Chockalingam was today found burnt inside the court complex in Karaikudi town of Sivaganga district, police said. Chockalingam’s driver Stephen, who went to collect the car from the court’s guest house where it was parked last night, found the vehicle burning and informed police. Stephen has parked the vehicle there on the orders of the judge, after dropping him home, they said. A case of suspected sabotage has been registered, they added. Meanwhile, DIG Ashok Kumar Dass and District Superintendent of Police Rajendran visited the spot and ordered formation of a special team to investigate the incident. HC to govt: Appoint info officials 19 May 2009, 0335 hrs IST, TNN PATNA: The Patna High Court on Monday directed the Bihar government to fill up the posts of chief information commissioner and two information commissioners of the State Information Commission within a month. A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Shivakirti Singh and Justice Mihir Kumar Jha passed the order on a PIL of Vikas Chandra alias Guddu Baba who submitted that the posts were lying vacant for several months. Additional advocate general N K Sinha submitted the state government appointed former Patna High Court Chief Justice J N Bhat as the chief information commissioner in October 2008, but he had not yet joined. HC directive on case against Lalu 19 May 2009, 0335 hrs IST, TNN PATNA: The Patna High Court on Monday issued a directive to a Muzaffarpur court to proceed in accordance with law in a case in which RJD chief Lalu Prasad has been charged with forcing the pilot of a helicopter to land on the national highway near Maniari in Muzaffarpur district during the 2007 floods. A single bench presided by Justice Jaya Nandan Singh issued the directive while hearing a criminal writ petition of a Muzaffarpur lawyer, S K Ojha. Petitioner’s counsel V K Singh submitted the pilot has given the statement that Lalu asked him to land on the highway. The reports of the DIG and SP also corroborated this fact, he said. Private, unaided schools to stick by HC verdict Bangalore, May 19: Several private and unaided schools management associations have decided to stand by the High Court ruling on medium of instruction. At a meeting convened by Karnataka State Private Schools Management Association, the different associations decided to fight it out with the government in unison. The meeting was presided over by H V Suresh, the secretary of the Association. Other organisations that participated in the meeting included Karnataka Unaided Schools Management Association (KUSMA), Karnataka Unaided Minorities Schools Association and Karnataka Association of Managements of Private Schools (KAMPS). H V Suresh said, “We will stand by the High Court ruling until the Supreme Court grants a stay on the order. The ruling of the High Court is law until there is an intervention by the Supreme Court and the law states that parents have a fundamental right to choose the medium of instruction.” He added that they will also file for contempt against the State government in the next few days for its failure to implement the HC ruling that gave it four weeks to sanction English as a medium for schools that had applied. The organisations present vowed to fight it out in the Supreme Court if it granted a stay. Although the government had sought a stay, the apex court had deferred the issue until the end of summer vacation. The organisations also decided to submit a memorandum to the Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri protesting against the government’s insistence on imparting primary education in the mother tongue. The representatives also unanimously agreed that Kannada must be taught as first language even if the medium of instruction was English. The Deputy Chairman of the legislative council A Puttanna of the Janata Dal (Secular) was also present at the meeting and endorsed the stand of the associations. He blasted the government for its hypocrisy and said that the government had no right to interfere with the medium of instruction. “If we do a study of where the children and grandchildren of Kageri and all these ministers and bureaucrats study, then the hypocrisy of these so called guardians of Kannada will be out,” he said. He urged the different bodies to stay united and said that there is nothing to fear. “Every government has to stay within the bounds of the constitution,” Puttanna said. Meanwhile, an individual by the name of M S Khan representing Modern High School, Ejipura has already filed a petition for contempt in the High Court against the State government. Contempt case against Kageri A contempt of court case was filed in the High Court on Monday by a private school management against Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri. The case follows the Minister’s statement on Thursday that the government was firm on pursuing the policy of providing primary education in Kannada medium and would not under any condition allow the schools to teach in English medium. M S Khan of Modern English School of Ejipura has sought the Advocate General’s permission to file a contempt case against Kageri. It may be recalled that the state government had filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court questioning the High Court’s decision to disallow the mandatory imposition of Kannada as a medium of instruction. The Supreme Court ordered a stay on the SLP. The applicant has argued that the government does not have the authority to deny them permission to use English as a medium, when the Supreme Court has granted a stay. DHNS HC raps govt for stalling recruitment 19 May 2009, 0427 hrs IST, TNN BANGALORE: The high court has pulled up the government for stalling recruitments to the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board. Justice B Abdul Nazeer, while quashing government directions to stall the process, noted that the state has no jurisdiction to stay appointments initiated by a statutory board. In July 2008, KSPCB initiated recruitment for vacant posts in the board. Some persons who were working on a contract basis for more than nine years also applied. The chief minister’s office issued orders to the KSPCB to stop the process. Four of the contract employees approached the court against the stay. The court has directed the government to complete the recruitment process within three months. HC seeks clarification on law varsity issue 19 May 2009, 0350 hrs IST, TNN JODHPUR: The Rajasthan High Court has issued notices to the secretaries of Ministry of Human Resources, Bar Council of India, Ministry of Higher Education, University Grants Commission (UGC), Convener of Common Law Entrance Test (CLAT) and to the Registrars of all 11 National Law Universities (NLU) across the nation seeking reply on the reservation given by the six NLUs for students belonging to their respective states. The court has sought replies with May 28 deadline from all the respondents in pursuance of the petition filed by Sagar Joshi of Law Prep Tutorial, an institute coaching students for the CLAT in Jodhpur. Joshi, challenging the provision of the reservation in the joint entrance test, CLAT, conducted by these six law schools, has demanded abolition of this provision. The first NLU was established in Bangalore in 1987 by the joint efforts of the Bar Council of India, UGC and Karnataka government with a view to launch five-year integrated law course of national standard. Encouraged by the overwhelming success of this initiative, Bar Council of India decided to launch more such universities across the country with the assistance of the state governments to elevate the standard of the law education in the country and prepare more qualified lawyers. These initiatives resulted in setting up of 11 NLUs across the country in the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andra Pradesh, Kolkata, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Kerala besides Karnataka. Out of these 11 NLUs, six kept the provision of giving reservation to the students of their respective states, which ranged from 20% to 50%. According to the petitioner’s counsel, P S Bhati, reservation so given is in violation of the Section 16 of the Indian Constitution, which forbids reservation to any student in any educational institution of national level on the basis of the birthplace. On the basis of this argument, the single bench of Justice H R Panwar of the Rajasthan High Court accepted the petition and issued notices to all the concerned respondents to give reply by 28 May. According to the petitioner Sagar Joshi, there are 1,500 seats across these 11 NLUs and after the reservation by the six NLUs of Bhopal (MP), Raipur (Chhattisgarh), Gandhinagar (Gujarat), Patiala (Punjab), Patna (Bihar) and Luknow (UP), only 1,100 seats are left for the students of other states, which is an injustice to them. He said that these are best law schools, which are known for imparting the best education. But provision of reservation in these schools is detrimental to the image and objective behind setting up of these schools, Joshi added terming it unconstitutional. HC summons senior health officials 18 May 2009, 2328 hrs IST, TNN times news network Allahabad: Taking serious note of the pathetic condition of Swaroop Rani Nehru (SRN) Hospital, the Allahabad High Court has directed principal secretary, medical education and director general medical health , Uttar Pradesh to appear in person before it on May 22 to explain why appropriate measures were not taken to improve the condition despite repeated court orders. The order was passed by a division bench comprising Justices Sunil Ambwani and Dilip Gupta on a PIL filed by advocate Satish Chaturvedi. The court also directed the medical authorities to allow advocate Akhilesh Kumar Pandey to visit the hospital and the offices of SRN Hospital, Children Hospital and MD eye hospital. New govt to continue offshore wealth recovery 19 May 2009, 1007 hrs IST, M Padmakshan , ET Bureau MUMBAI: In all likelihood, the new regime in power will follow up the work it has initiated in its last term to recover Indian wealth taken away to various offshore banking destinations. Quite a few reasons are there to presume so. First, the public interest litigation (PIL) being heard by the Supreme Court on this issue. Sources close to jurist Ram Jethmalani, who filed the PIL, said the legal pursuit will carry on irrespective of the governments. Also, more PILs on this issue may come up soon, as NGOs and other interested parties have decided to file PILs after the formation of the new government. The second reason for a continuance in the efforts will be the moral support from several international experts on Asian economies. Then, there is also the international consensus on the need to rein in tax havens, which can bolster India’s efforts to renegotiate tax treaties signed with other countries, including Switzerland and other offshore destinations. The UPA government’s view on this matter could be inferred from the affidavit filed before the Supreme Court. It said it had secured from the German government, details of Indians having deposits with LGT Bank, Liechtenstein, a well-known tax haven bordering Germany. It said the government received this information from Germany after a systematic and sustained pursuit. This was a reply to the charges in the PIL in which it was alleged that the government was not committed to secure information offered by Germany. The affidavit also answered charges levelled by BJP and CPM that the ruling party was indifferent to the German government’s offer. The Union government’s affidavit in the PIL has given details of the steps initiated, including telephone calls and emails sent to the concerned authorities in Germany. The government also told the Supreme Court that it had approached the government of Switzerland for a relook into the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) so that the Indian tax regime gets an easier access to information regarding Indian deposits in Swiss banks. Therefore, the government is under obligation to continue with the exercise of renegotiating the DTAA with Swiss authorities and also with several countries known to be having strict banking secrecy laws that prevent access to information on deposit holders, according to legal experts. Additionally, there is also moral support in favour of the government, coming from international experts and economists specialising in Asia’s economies. Joseph Tan, chief economist at Credit Suisse, the second largest Swiss bank, was quoted by international media recently as saying that India has to claw back every cent it can get. The prospect of revenue is the impetus to crack down on tax evasion and tax havens. The $85 billion stimulus package underway requires mobilisation of such resources, the report added. Indian initiative in this direction also coincides with international consensus on reining in on tax havens that reportedly conceal over $11 trillion stashed away from developing as well as developed countries. The G20 meet held in London last month too voiced its concern over continuing existence of banking secrecy laws that block any information on deposits held in these banks. HC restrains govt from allowing wine shop in residential area 19 May 2009, 0244 hrs IST, TNN LUCKNOW: The high court has restrained the government from allowing the opening of the new model wine shop at a residence in Indira Nagar locality. The order came from the bench of Justice Pradeep Kant and Justice SNH Zaidi. A high court lawyer, Sanjai Kumar and ten senior residents of the area had filed a PIL petition in the court submitting that a new model wine shop was being opened in the midst of the residential colony at house number D-2045 in Indira Nagar. The petitioners were residents of the adjacent houses to the proposed shop. It was pleaded in the PIL that UP Number and Location of Excise Shop Rules 1968 prohibits specifically the opening of a new shop in close proximity to a place of public resort, school, hospital, place of warship or factory or to the entrance to a bazar or a residential colony. The shop was being opened in violation of the said rules, argued the counsel for the petitioners, Sandeep Dixit, adding that even the apex court is of the view that no such shop should be opened in 100 metre radius of the aforesaid places. The state government has, however, reduced this 100 metre to 50 metre. The bench heard the matter at length and observed, prima facie, ‘we are satisfied that no such shop can be opened in terms of the aforesaid rules.’ However, the court allowed the shop owners to get their shop opened at a place, where the prohibition as stated is not applicable. Model jail shift need of the hour, pleads govt with HC 19 May 2009, 0245 hrs IST, TNN LUCKNOW: The government has filed short counter affidavit in the model jail demolition case. The bench of Justice Pradeep Kant and Justice SNH Zaidi posted the matter for Tuesday for next hearing. On behalf of the state government, chief standing counsel Devendra Upadhyay has pleaded in the affidavit that the decision to shift the model jail to Gosainganj-Mohanlalganj Road has been taken in public interest. He stated that against the present capacity of 2,010 prisoners at model jail, Nari Bandi Niketan and district jail, the present population is 3,632. The proposed capacity in the jail is to house 4,660 prisoners. The new jails would have better facilities for jail reforms and for welfare of the inmates. Upadhyay stated that the new jails would have high security barracks, a hospital of high efficiency, court rooms, video conferencing rooms, central watch towers, high mask light, modern common kitchen, better and more secure place for inmates, sewage treatment plants etc. Upadhyay further stated in the affidavit that the decision to shift the model jail has been taken considering the fact that jails in Lucknow have now come to a congested area and also the requirement of security of jail inmates as jails presently are not only housing under trials and convicts of various offences but also the persons accused of terror activities. He informed that the state government considered for the first time in 1995 to transfer the jail situated in congested areas of various districts and also the disposal of land and other assets of jails in case of their transfer. As on April 30, 2009, at least 78,806 prisoners against the existing capacity of 43,411 prisoners were housed in 61 prisons in the state. The physical infrastructure of jails has not kept pace with the changing requirement and heightened expectation and need of better prison management. This situation has necessasitated construction of new jails, pleaded Upadhyay. A local lawyer SL Pandey had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) petition against demolition of model jail. The court had restrained the government from demolishing the said jail premises and felling of trees as also shifting of jail inmates to other places. The PIL came up for hearing on Monday again. The bench asked how long it would take for the state government to complete the construction of new jails. Independent inquiry sought into state of affairs in Prasar Bharati Posted: Monday , May 18, 2009 at 1729 hrs IST New Delhi: The Chairman of Prasar Bharati Board on Monday sought before the Delhi High Court an independent, comprehensive and time bound inquiry into the “deplorable” state of affairs in the public broadcaster. In his affidavit, Chairman Arun Bhatnagar said the functioning of the Prasar Bharati has, “for quite some time now, been a matter of the gravest concern” for the members of the board. The affidavit was filed in response to a notice by the Court on a PIL which alleged financial irregularities in Prasar Bharati. Appearing for the government, Additional Solicitor General Parag Tripathi informed the Court that the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has been asked to undertake an internal audit of the broadcaster. J &K HC to hear PIL on polythene ban on June 2 5/17/2009 The Jammu and Kashmir High court will hear on June 2 the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the Valley Citizen Council (VCC) seeking the Court’s intervention to ban the import and use of polythene in Kashmir, alleging that some polythene-friendly lobby was preventing the state government from banning the major threat to environment. VCC general secretary Imdad Saqi, in the six-page PIL, has sought immediate intervention on the issue, alleging the state government has failed to ban the import and use of polythene which was a major threat to environment. He said two years ago the state government issued a SRO banning the use of non-biodegradable material. However, till date its implementation was awaited as the file is still pending before the concerned department, who show no interest because of reasons best known to them. Mr Saqi demanded action against the officers and officials responsible for keeping the file in the cold storage. He said as the implementation of the SRO needs a rule book for framing of procedures with regard to issues like imposition of fine and prosecution, the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) after completing the formalities, sent the file to state forest department two years ago for administrative wetting. However, till date it has not been done and the file is pending with forest department. He further said that the Housing and Urban Development Department was also responsible for not implementing the ban. He said three years before the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) had sent a resolution to the department to get the approval from the government, banning the use of the polythene. But, he said, till date there was no response from the department. Mr Saqi said every environmental problem in Kashmir is related to plastic and polythene. Even this has badly affected the famous Dal Lake and other bodies. UNI HC sets deadline for shifting steel market from Parrys Monday, 18 May 2009 TOI reported that cracking the whip on civic authorities for the delay in shifting of the iron and steel market from the residential areas of George Town to Sathangadu, the Madras high court on last Friday directed the agencies involved to complete the project by June 15th or face contempt of court proceedings. Mr PK Misra a division bench comprising Justice and Justice Mr Hariparanthaman said the market gave sleepless nights to residents of George Town area and that the court had to take an activist approach to issue several directions which it would not do in normal conditions. The bench was passing orders on public interest writ petitions filed by Mr KR Ramaswamy and Mr C Vadivelu seeking to implement the February 23rd 1999 order of the Housing and Urban Development Department to shift the market to Sathangadu. When the matter was taken up for disposal, the additional law secretary, who was present in the court, wanted six more months to issue final notifications pertaining to infrastructural facilities such as roads, electrical works, administrative and amenity buildings, auto workshops, lorry parking, telephone exchange, police station, petrol bunk, water supply, storm water drains, sewerage connections, public convenience and weigh bridge. The petitioners, however, opposed the plea, stating that no further extension of deadline need to be granted to complete these technicalities. Rejecting the officials’ plea for extension of deadline, the bench observed that “This court was pained to note that the order dated July 18th 2008 was observed more in breach as the process of shifting the wholesale trade in iron and steel to Sathangadu was to be completed at least before March 31st 2009. It was not complied with. However, the matter was adjourned giving a last chance to officials to furnish a status report relating to further action” The judges said that the case clearly indicated the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities in implementing the 1999 GO, adding that unfortunately, things moved at a snail’s pace forcing this court to issue several directions from time to time for the personal appearance of officials concerned for filing of the status report. (Sourced from TOI) HC stays order of disclosing answersheet to CA students New Delhi (PTI) The Delhi High Court on Monday stayed its order directing Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to provide certified copy of answersheet to its students under the Right to Information Act. A Division Bench of Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice N K Kaul stayed the operation of the order passed by a single judge bench on April 30. Senior Advocate Soli Sorabjee, appearing for the Institute, contended that students have no right to seek disclosure of their answer sheet and it does not come under the purview of the RTI Act. The single bench had directed the Institute to provide a copy of the answersheet to its students under the RTI Act saying it could not be excluded from the purview of the Right to Information Act and examination authority cannot deny answersheet to students. Observing that the Act confers positive power to a citizen which should not be hindered by authorities, the court dismissed the plea of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India challenging the CIC’s order to provide a certified copy of the answer sheet to a student who could not clear the exam. MP HC to observe vacation from May 18 5/17/2009 The Madhya Pradesh High Court will observe a month-long summer vacation from May 18. According to Registry source, Chief Justice Anang Kumar Patnaik has consented to cut down the summer vacation by seven days. The summer vacation at the principal seat of the High Court in Jabalpur and its benches at Gwalior and Indore would be observed from May 18 to June 13. The High Court Registry will function during the summer vacation and will accept cases of urgent nature for filing. Special vacation benches will sit on Monday and Thursday to hear urgent matters and matters of public importance, the Registry source said. The High court will again open and will start normal functioning from June 15. UNI SC upholds Delhi HC judgement on school bus tragedy 5/16/2009 The Supreme Court has upheld the Delhi High Court judgment enhancing the compensation to be given to families of 29 children, who were drowned in Yamuna river on the fateful morning of November 18, 1997, when their school bus fell into the river after jumping the railings of the bridge near Wazirabad. The tribunal had awarded a compensation of Rs 1.55 lakh each for the children in the age group of 10 to 15 years, Rs 1.65 lakh each for the age group of 15 to 18 years while for the children below 10 years of age, a compensation of Rs 1.05 lakh was awarded. The High Court, however, awarded an additional compensation of Rs 75,000 each for the families of the victim of the tragedy. A bench comprising Justices S B Sinha and M K Sharma refused to interfere with the judgment of the High Court holding that it des not suffer from any legal infirmities. The tragedy had allegedly taken place due to the criminal negligence of the driver of the school bus, who was driving the bus at a very high speed while crossing the Wazirabad bridge and lost control as a result of which the bus jumped the railings of the bridge and fell into the river. UNI HC slams MCD for delaying probe against councillor Express News Service Posted: Monday , May 18, 2009 at 0015 hrs IST New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has slammed the Municipal Corporation of Delhi for not cooperating with the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), which is investigating a case against a municipal councillor. In a recent order, Justice Kailash Gambhir asked the MCD to explain the over six-month delay in providing vital documents sought by the Deputy Commissioner of Police (EOW). “It is quite a shocking state of affairs that for the last more than six months the department concerned of the MCD has not been able to supply the requisite documents to enable the EOW to proceed with the inquiry,” Justice Kailash Gambhir said. The High Court has now directed the Director of the MCD’s Vigilance Branch to appear before it in person. “The Deputy Commissioner (Shahdara-South Zone) shall also remain present on May 25,” the court ordered. Justice Gambhir passed the order in connection with the anti-forgery section of the EOW’s inquiry, following a complaint by Harish Beniwal, a safai karmachari, against Praveen Massy, councillor from Trilokpuri, on recruitment to the MCD. Projects must pass green test: HC 18 May 2009, 0625 hrs IST, Vishal Sharma, TNN CHANDIGARH: Distressed by the shocking findings of enquiry reports on illegal mining in ecologically fragile lower Shivalik hill areas falling in districts of Yamunanagar, Ambala and Panchkula, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the state government to lay out an environmental impact assessment blueprint before pushing ahead with its “commercial enthusiasm” over mining in the region. Asserting that Haryana is a public trustee of natural resources and legally bound to protect the same from private encroachments and “commercial enthusiasm”, the HC has banned all non-forest activity, including the mining of major and minor minerals, in the lower Shivalik ranges duly notified as “forests” by the state government under sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA). In their 26-page order on May 15, chief justice Tirath Singh Thakur and justice Surya Kant advised the government to think beyond “commercial gains” and clarified that the Central notification of September 14, 2006, requiring “prior environmental clearance” for mining was not restricted to new projects alone but covered even those afoot. The court’s observation annihilated the argument put forth by Chandi Mandir Stone Crushers Consumers Company, one of the petitioners, that the 2006 notification was applicable only in cases where new mining activity was to be undertaken and that projects already underway were out of its ambit. Pointing out that even the existing mining activity in lower Shivaliks “cannot continue without environmental clearance”, the bench set a February 28, 2010, deadline for miners and government to get their act together. Next year onwards, Central clearance would be mandatory even for existing mining projects. Brushing aside the state government’s argument that the onus for getting environmental clearance for to-be auctioned mining sites lay on mining contractors, the judges drafted do’s and don’ts for it, listing preparation of environmental impact assessment report and appraisal of mining projects by environmental panel among others in it. The bench also called the government’s bluff of granting short-term permits by dividing the mining area into small zones so as to side-step environmental norms, saying even those could not be granted without due clearance. Under Central norms, environmental clearance is mandatory in cases where mining area is 50 hectares or more. Incidentally, the green order on Shivalik mining has come days before Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan reached in Chandigarh to attend a seminar on `Law and Environment’ being organized by Asia Pacific Jurist Association whose patron-in-chief and president are CJ Tirath Singh Thakur and Justice Surya Kant respectively. CJI for justice to poor CHANDRAJIT MUKHERJEE Ranchi, May 17: Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan said that 80 per cent of criminal cases in Jharkhand were lodged against the poor. Justice Balakrishnan, while laying the foundation stone for the state judicial academy at Dhurwa today, said: “The rich people know how to defend themselves, but it is the underprivileged ones who are trapped and languish in custody.” He added that the judiciary had to be more sensitised and should come forward to help the poor by imparting quick and proper justice. Among those who are in custody, the majority are those who are involved in petty criminal cases and are rotting there. The prosecution as well as the judiciary ought to be trained and equipped to handle and dispose such cases within a short span of time, Justice Balakrishnan said. Citing various odds against which the judiciary is functioning, he added: “The number of cases pending in the subordinate judiciary is 87 per cent as per the national data. There is an acute shortage of judges and infrastructure, which have crippled the pace of disposal of cases. Training of judges is imperative for delivery of justice. The judicial academy as a centre of learning is ideal for thought provoking and learning for the judges and new entrants in the judicial services.” “The judicial academy should, other than teaching laws, should also strive towards sensitising trainees to deal with situations in courts. Reaction of a judge towards a woman, juvenile, HIV patient should all be under the scanner in the academy. Moreover, a judge has to be trained to rise above his personal prejudices when it comes to delivering justice,” he added. A host of Supreme Court judges, including Justices S.B. Sinha, Mukundkam Sharma, V.S. Shirpurkar, Markandey Katju, Altamas Kabir and other dignitaries were present. Former Supreme Court and high court judges of Guwahati, Kerala, Patna and Rajasthan were also present for the function along with Chief Justice Gyan Sudha Misra and Justice M.Y. Eqbal of the Jharkhand HIgh Court. Supreme Court judge Mukundkam Sharma said that the importance of a training centre was essential to maintain the stock of judicial officers. The proposed judicial academy will be built over six acres near Dhurwa dam side, about 7km from the high court. The academy will have class rooms, libraries, hostels and a guesthouse for trainees. The judicial academy, at present, functions in an annexe building of the Administrative Training Institute.

LEGAL NEWS 16-17.05.2009

HC seeks MCD explanation for not supplying documents to police

Published: May 17,2009

New Delhi, May 17 The Delhi High Court has sought an explanation from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi for its failure to supply to Delhi Police documents related to probe into an alleged corruption case against a sitting councillor.

“It is quite shocking state of affairs that for the last about more than six months the concerned department of the MCD has not been able to supply the requisite documents to enable the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) to proceed with the enquiry,” Justice Kailash Gambhir said in an order.

The HC sought the Director of Vigilance Branch of MCD to appear before it in person and explain as to why the relevant documents have not been supplied by the Corporation to the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police, EOW, till now.

Director Vigilance MCD shall remain present in the court. The Deputy Commissioner ( Shahadara-South Zone) shall also remain present on May 25,”the court said.

Justice Gambhir passed the order in connection with the anti-forgery section of EOW&aposs enquiry following a complaint of a&apossafai karmachari&apos Harish Beniwal against Praveen Massy, Councillor from Trilokpuri, on some recruitments in the MCD.

Beniwal alleged that the Councillor managed to appoint 21 of his relatives as sweepers in the MCD&aposs sanitary department by influencing officers of the civic body.

Police initiated an enquiry into the case but for further investigation they needed to go through some MCD documents.

Source: PTI






No mining in Shivalik range without clearance, rules HC


RAGHAV OHRI Posted: Sunday , May 17, 2009 at 2343 hrs IST

Chandigarh: In a significant judgment, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered against any mining activity in the areas of Shivalik range of the Himalayas, including those falling under Panchkula, without prior environmental clearance.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur and Justice Surya Kant has directed the Haryana government to implement the Central government notification dated September 14, 2006, to ensure land is protected from illegal mining.

The Bench has directed that no public auction be held and no licence/contract/lease or right for extraction of minerals from the Shivalik range be granted by the Haryana government until an ‘Environment Impact Assessment Report’ is prepared and made available as a public document to prospective bidders. The report will be prepared by an expert appraisal committee (EAC) which will look into all aspects of mining and preserving minerals. The committee will also seek suggestions from the public before preparing the report, the court has ruled.

Every successful bidder will also be required, and be under a legal obligation, to apply for prior environmental clearance and abide by the terms and conditions imposed by the EAC. Seeking prior clearance will help keep a check on illegal mining and erosion of soil, water and other resources.

The Haryana government has also been directed to refer to the EAC to get the Environment Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) prepared for the entire mining area falling within the fragile Shivalik range and then complete the process of public consultation. The state government will submit the application before August 31.

The project proponents/ successful bidders have also been asked to apply for prior environmental clearance within one month from the date of auction. The EAC has been directed to prepare the final report within six months from the date of receipt of the application. Thereafter, the clearance can be granted or rejected within two months.

Giving due consideration to the probable hardships the public can face, the Bench ruled: “Having regard to all the attending circumstances and to obviate varied hardships caused to the general public, labour and the state, we direct that mining activities may continue till February 28, 2010, however, only on the basis of the contract/licence granted to the highest bidders through a transparent ‘public auction’ held after wide publicity”.

The petition was filed by three members of the District Bar Association, Panchkula, in public interest seeking direction for investigation into the ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘callous’ mining operations in the lower Shivalik hills in the district. The petitioner had sought orders to direct the Haryana government to obtain prior environmental clearance from the Government of India as enumerated in the notification dated September 14, 2006.

The petitioners had further alleged that the entire area has become a den of the mining mafia who operate under the alleged political patronage and minerals worth crores of rupees are illegally extracted in connivance with the enforcement staff, including the district administration.





JNU student alleges Bihar Chief Minister for plagiarism

May 16, 2009 

New Delhi: Atul Kumar Singh, a Ph.D. student from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), has alleged Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for plagiarism.

Nitish Kumars’ book “Special Category Status: A Case for Bihar” has reproduced major portions from Atuls’ paper under the same name.

Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) based in Patna is publishing the 80-page book by Mr. Kumar.
Economist Lord Meghnad Desai released it on Friday.

Atul, who is doing his research on “Role of State in Economic Transformation: A Case Study of Bihar“, was initially a faculty member at the Centre for Economic Policy and Public Finance being run by ADRI.

“A PIL was filed last year in the Patna High Court, insisting for grant of special category status to Bihar. The Central and State Governments were respondents in that case. I was asked to write a document to help the State Government in preparing its response to the PIL by the Director of the Centre,” asserted Atul, who contested Bihar State Assembly elections as an Independent in 2005.

“Few days back I came to know that my work was being re-produced under the authorship of Nitish Kumar. Surprisingly my name figures in the list of acknowledgments in the book,” he added.

“Atul has sent a notice to ADRI and the Bihar Chief Minister on the same issue,” said his lawyer Sanjay Parikh on Thursday.






Gujarat HC directs Modi govt to disburse compensation to riot victims


A division bench of the Gujarat High Court asked the state government to disburse compensation amount of Rs 262 crore to about 29,000 victims of the state-wide riots following the Sabarmati train carnage at Godhra on February 28, 2002.

The bench, comprising Chief Justice K S Radhakrishnan and Justice C K Buch, ordered disbursal of the amount received from the Centre within eight weeks, after hearing a writ petition by an NGO.

Two social workers, Gagan Sethi of Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) and Yousuf Shaikh, had moved a petition in the High Court urging it to direct the state government to disburse the compensation among some 29,467 riots victims.

In all, 1,169 people lost their lives and 2,548 people were injured, while property worth crores of rupees was destroyed in the state-wide riots after the train carnage. Unofficial sources put the toll on higher side.

The petitioner claimed that the Central government had sanctioned Rs 50 crore as part of the compensation for the victims in 2006, but the state government did not distribute it. Instead it asked for Rs 212 crore for the compensation package from the Centre, which later released the amount commenting that how the state can ask for further installment of the package, when it had not disbursed the first installment to the victims.

The petitioner claimed that the Centre, on September 11, 2007, had announced a revised relief package for victims of the 2002 communal violence and wrote a letter to the state government on September 20, intimating it of providing ex-gratia towards relief and rehabilitation of the riots-affected people.

On September 24, the state government adopted a resolution for disbursement of the amount among the affected, a list of whom is with the state. But, Mr Sethi and his team conducted a survey and found that many victims, who suffered loss of life of kin and their residential, commercial and industrial properties, had not received this compensation.

Last year, acting on the PIL filed through advocate Amit Panchal, a division bench comprising Chief Justice K S Radhakrishnan and Justice Akil Kureshi directed the government pleader to apprise the court of present status of disbursement of revised package.

Mr Sethi, along with Antarik Visthapit Hakk-Rakshak Samiti, conducted extensive studies and collected data regarding riot victims. They submitted a list of riot victims who have not received any relief from the government, requesting release of the amount.

Despite this, when nothing happened, the PIL was filed.





Parcel bomb case: HC acquits ex-armyman


Krishnadas Rajagopal Posted: Saturday , May 16, 2009 at 0108 hrs IST

New Delhi: Torn pieces of typescripts, an expert who destroyed his case notes as it was his “usual practice” and a star witness who toed the CBI line, saw the end of an almost three-decade long murder case on Friday.

Though observing that it was “unfortunate that a crime is going unpunished”, the Delhi High Court today acquitted Lieutenant Colonel (retired) S J Chaudhary for the murder of businessman Krishan Sikand with a parcel bomb on October 2, 1982.

Chaudhary was found guilty by a trial court for the murder and sentenced to life imprisonment on April 28, 2008.

According to the prosecution, Chaudhary was caught in a matrimonial dispute with his wife and disturbed over the victim’s purported plans to marry her.

He had posted the parcel bomb to Sikand’s Sunder Nagar residence in South Delhi, the prosecution alleged. The bomb exploded when Sikand opened the parcel, killing him instantly.

The 98-year-old father of the victim, H D Sikand, had also approached the High Court seeking death penalty for Chaudhary.

A Division Bench of Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Aruna Suresh absolved the 73-year-old former Army officer for lack of “legally admissible evidence”.

The judgment blamed the prosecution for evidence that was not strong enough to stand in court. Primary among them are “mutilated” samples of typescripts lifted from a typewriter allegedly used by Chaudhary to type the addresses on the package which contained the bomb — a Pakistan-made hand-grenade.

The second is a statement made by S K Gupta, an expert witness who analysed the typescripts. Gupta failed to produce on record any of his case notes or expert observations on the probe. He, interestingly, told the court that he had destroyed all of it as it was his “usual practice”.

“Crucial evidence — the notes and observations of the expert — were not available before the court,” the Bench remarked on the insufficient prosecution evidence.

The third element which crippled the prosecution case was the “inchoate” statement given by N D Sethi, the owner of the typewriting school, where Chaudhary had allegedly gone to get his address typed out.

Sethi had testified in the trial court that Chaudhary had come with a “manuscript address” and an envelope to him. He said he had referred the man to one of his students, a beginner, who did the favour free of cost.

The Bench today dismissed Sethi’s testimony, observing that it was given under the influence of the CBI. It is difficult to believe Sethi would remember a trivial customer at the typing school, the judgment mentioned.

The Bench justified the verdict stating “we cannot hang any person for the crime unless our judicial conscience is satisfied that the evidence on record conclusively establishes the guilt of the person charged for the offence and brought before us.”

“Our decisions have to be based on legally admissible evidence properly brought before us and analysed on the known principles of law,” the Bench observed.

Sanjay Sikand, the victim’s son, said the family was shocked with the verdict.

Chaudhary’s Defence Counsel Ankur Chawla said, “If there is no evidence in law, the inference is that Chaudhary is not guilty. The court has also exposed the shoddiness of the CBI probe. It is now clear that somebody else had committed the murder.”

Chaudhary’s family, meanwhile, said they were pleased with the judgement.






Follow master plan on tricity periphery: HC to govt


Express News Service Posted: Saturday , May 16, 2009 at 0315 hrs IST

Chandigarh: To ensure that no haphazard construction is allowed in the periphery of the tricity, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Punjab government to strictly implement the Master Plan prepared for the areas under it.

The court has also directed the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) to immediately take action against those who have carried out the construction against the Master Plan notified by the Punjab government.

The directions were passed by a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur and Justice Hemant Gupta on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Lawyers’ for Human Rights International (LFHRI), an NGO run by advocates.

After a fact finding inquiry, the NGO moved the High Court alleging some influential persons, including IAS and IPS officers, had grabbed the land of the poor farmers in Kansal. It was further alleged that PUDA, under the influence of the developers and influential persons, had come out with a scheme regularising unauthorised construction in the periphery of the tricity.

The petitioner stated that the land of poor farmers was first encroached upon and then through threats and influence of security personnel, the landholders were forced to stay away from their land. Subsequently, real estate developers erected barbed wires around the area of their choice and with the help of officers and politicians, farmers were forced to sell their shares. Advocate Navkiran Singh, counsel for the petitioner, had vehemently argued that the nexus between influential bureaucrats and police officers has led to encroachment on the land in the periphery of the tricity.

Showing little conviction in the averments raised, the Bench held: “Encroachment at the hands of high rank officers is alleged to be in the property of proprietors. Such proprietors do not satisfy the description of categories for which public interest litigation (PIL) can be invoked.”

Examining the question of public interest raised by the petitioner, the Bench observed that the grievance raised is not in respect of a class of persons, who by reasons of poverty, helplessness or disability or socially or economically disadvantaged position, are unable to approach the court for relief.

The Bench remarked that the proprietors of land in question are “neither poor nor economically or socially backward. Such land owners are competent to espouse their cause against any legal wrong committed by any person, howsoever high he may be, approaching the courts, which occupy unique position in our Constitution, independent of bureaucratic or political influence.

Therefore, we do not find that the petitioner has any legitimate cause to espouse the grievance of proprietors, who have their individual rights to vindicate. There is an effective remedy available under law for the affected parties”.

The court also refused to believe the allegations of forged power of attorneys and sale deeds by a few influential persons.

“The fact whether the vendors were forced to execute power of attorneys and/or the sale deeds and the power of attorneys are forged and fabricated documents, cannot be examined in the present proceedings.

The disputed questions of fact can only be examined before a proper forum. None of the vendors are party to the present proceedings. The allegation of forcible possession is again a disputed question, more so when it is not the case of the petitioner. It is not the case of the petitioner that such vendees are in possession of excess of the share purchased by them,” the court ruled.

With this, the court dismissed the PIL.






HC stays builder’s bail in fraud case


Express News Service Posted: Saturday , May 16, 2009 at 0429 hrs IST


The vacation judge of the Bombay High Court on Friday stayed the bail granted to builder Rashmikant Shah who was arrested at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport while allegedly trying to flee to Dubai on May 12.

Vacation judge A R Joshi had refused to grant any interim relief in the anticipatory bail application filed by Shah on May 12 and posted the case for hearing before the regular court on June 16. The same night, Shah was arrested by the police at the airport.

After his arrest, Shah complained of high blood pressure and was admitted to the JJ Hospital without being produced before the magistrate and was sent to police custody till May 16.

On May 14, the state government moved an application before the magistrate in Thane to convert the police custody to judicial custody as Shah was in hospital and police could not proceed with investigations. The same day, Shah filed a bail application and was granted bail of Rs 15,000. Shah is wanted in a Rs 80 crore fraud alleged in a complaint filed by another builder Mahendra Shah. Vacation judge A R Joshi said that the facts and circumstances in the case were peculiar. The court has also asked for the hospitalisation papers of Shah.





Remove encroachments in Kalka by May 22: HC

16 May 2009, 0158 hrs IST, TNN

CHANDIGARH: Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday gave two days to National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) for removal of Kalka encroachments, if any, in terms of a report submitted by the authority before the high court. The division bench of justices JS Khehar and Uma Nath Singh said if any encroachments were ‘still remaining after May 17’, NHAI should make arrangements to remove the same and the entire process should be completed by May 22. Meanwhile, petitioners were given the liberty to move an application under Section 23(3) of Control of National Highways (land and traffic) Act, 2002, and NHAI was asked to consider the same in the right earnest. HC said if such an application was moved before NHAI, the encroachment should remain stayed till NHAI disposed of the same.

Importantly, the HC order came in the wake of submission by Anil Kumar Dahiya, NHAI project director, who was present in the court, that there were still some encroachments in the area even as petitioners asserted that there were none.

As for the dispute regarding encroachments beyond the drain lining Kalka-Parwanoo highway, HC said NHAI was free to demolish the same by May 29.

Supreme Court had, in its recent order, made it clear that the encroachments into the drain on both sides of the road could be removed but not the buildings till High Court’s final decision.





HC restrains TNPSC from issuing orders to candidates

16 May 2009, 0318 hrs IST, TNN

CHENNAI: A vacation bench of the Madras high court has restrained the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) from issuing appointment orders to candidates who first wrote their Group I examination in December 2007.

However, considering the importance and public interest involved in the matter, the bench comprising Justice P Jyothimani and Justice T S Sivagnanam recommended constitution of a special bench to hear the case immediately after the court reopens in June.

After a gap of about 10 years, the TNPSC invited applications for 172 Group-I posts in August 2007. A total of 85,913 candidates wrote the preliminary examination in December 2007, and 1,796 were declared eligible for the main examinations. Soon after, writ petitions were filed claiming that at least 40 out of 200 questions were wrong. After a couple of rounds of litigation and as per the court direction, the TNPSC then constituted an experts committee to verify the claims of candidates. The committee found that a total of 21 questions were wrong as incorrect answer keys had been given.

On April 30, Justice V Ramasubramanian said that in all 125 candidates came within the zone of judicial consideration and of those only 25 qualified for the main examination. Of these 25, only two candidates cleared the mains and became eligible for the interview held in December 2008.

Conceding that a lot of questions were either disputable or debatable, Justice Ramasubramanian said it was “too late in the day to cancel the entire selection process…Cancellation would be highly frustrating and demoralising for the whole lot of candidates.” He then dismissed a majority of the writ petitions.

Now, five candidates including Balasubramanian of Nagapattinam, filed a writ appeal before the vacation court, stating that the judge had failed to realise that the fraud had vitiated the entire proceedings and that striking down the entire selection process was the only solution. Challenging the “partial relief” granted by the judge, the appellants said that at least 25 out of 200 questions had wrong answer keys, and that it constituted a very significant percentage enough to vitiate the whole selection process.

Justices Jyothimani and Sivagnanam said the validity of the examination had not been gone into by the single judge while dismissing the writ petition. Referring to the TNPSC’s submission that appointment orders were ready but had not been issued to candidates, the judges said, “we are of the view that the TNPSC must be directed not to make any appointments till the disposal of the appeals.” However, the Commission can go ahead with evaluation of answer sheets as directed by the single judge.





HC slams MCD over condition of roads

16 May 2009, 0301 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: Concerned over the city’s potholed roads ahead of next year’s Commonwealth Games, the Delhi High Court has slammed MCD saying “it’s a nightmare for citizens to drive on these uneven roads”.

Directing MCD to carry out a survey of existing roads, the court suggested the civic body make plans to upgrade the roads on par with international standards and implement a scheme in a time-bound manner. “Much needs to be done so as to ensure that before the Commonwealth Games are held, the roads look better, matching international standards with proper greenery on both sides,” said Justice Kailash Gambhir.

The order came after an MCD contractor, Rakesh Tyagi, filed an application for anticipatory bail challenging a lower court’s dismissal order. Tyagi allegedly used sub-standard material in carpeting of a road in October 2003. Turning down his plea, the HC took a serious note of Tyagi’s alleged nexus with MCD officials in getting tenders worth crores.





HC tells Sabarmati jail to improve conditions


Express News Service Posted: Saturday , May 16, 2009 at 0122 hrs IST

Ahmedabad: A division bench of the Gujarat High Court comprising Chief Justice K S Radhakrishnan and justice C K Buch on Friday directed the Sabarmati jail authorities to implement the amicus curiae Shalin Mehta’s suggestions pertaining to health, security and other issues within six weeks and submit an action taken report on July 3.

The directions were issued in connection with a suo motu public interest litigation initiated by the high court after an undertrial Suresh Kakadia (25) was stabbed to death by a 26-year-old convict Mahendra Vala over a monetary dispute within the jail premises on March 1 this year.

After issuing notices to jail authorities, the high court had appointed advocate Shalin Mehta as amicus curiae and asked him to submit a report about the conditions in the jail.

Mehta visited the jail twice and submitted his 21-point report to the court. The amicus curiae had pointed out the provisions of the jail manual with regard to security and separation of undertrials and convicts were not followed.

The amicus curiae also brought to notice an earlier judgement of 2005 of Justice Jayant Patel with respect to security of prisoners in the Chetan Battery murder case. Justice Patel had directed to ensure separate stay arrangements for undertrials and convicts but it was not implemented.

The other flaws pointed out by Mehta include inadequate medical facilities in the jail hospital. According to Mehta’s report, even basic medicines like cough syrup were not available in the jail hospital.

A large number of prisoners, according to the report, suffered from dental problems but there was no facility to provide them dental treatment. The staff in the jail hospital was also inadequate, stated the report.

As a result, the report said, the prisoners were taken to the Civil Hospital. Mehta submitted that this practice of taking prisoners to hospitals outside the jail for minor ailments be stopped in the interest of security.

Following amicus curiae report, the high court has asked the jail authorities to submit their reply in the form of an affidavit. On Friday, the jail authorities came out with a 20-point programme, mostly covering the observations of amicus curiae on improving the conditions in the jail. The bench has also asked the authorities to implement them within six weeks and submit the report on July 3.





HC queries NGO’s need to take up case for affected villagers

16 May 2009, 0145 hrs IST, TNN

CHANDIGARH: Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday questioned the locus standi of Lawyers for Human Rights International (LHRI), an NGO, in seeking its intervention in a matter relating to alleged land grab by high-ranking officers in Kansal village.

It disposed of the NGO’s plea while observing that the land owners whose properties had allegedly been encroached upon were neither poor nor socially backward and were capable of approaching courts on their own.

In plain terms, the NGO’s effort to project the whole issue as a public interest matter backfired with the division bench of chief justice Tirath Singh Thakur and justice Hemant Gupta categorically stating that LHRI had no legitimate cause to take up the grievance of people ‘who had their individual rights to vindicate’. The judges also stated that the law offered an effective remedy for the affected parties, indicating that civil courts should have been moved in the case.

The order comes as a shot in the arm to many officers, including Punjab vigilance chief Sumedh Singh Saini, IPS officer CSR Reddy and IAS officers SS Brar and IS Bindra whom the NGO had accused of land grab. Interestingly, Saini and Brar were never even issued notices by HC. Saini never tried to conceal his four acres in Kansal, the ownership of which he consistently declared in his property returns over the years.

The NGO had alleged that villager Sampuran Singh’s land was grabbed by property dealers working for some influential people. Sampuran and some other villagers had contacted the NGO and told it that 377 kanals in Kansal had been ‘unauthorizedly (sic) occupied’.

The NGO also stated that Punjab Urban Development Authority was acting under the influence of colonizers and helping encroachers.

However, the division bench observed in its 14-page order that disputed questions of facts, like authenticity of sale deeds, etc, could not be allowed to be raised in writ proceedings and affected parties were expected to bring evidence for adjudication on such issues.






HC initiates suo moto proceeding with regard to hookah bars


Press Trust of India Posted: Saturday , May 16, 2009 at 0125 hrs IST


Raising concerns over the hookah bars flourishing in the city the Gujarat High Court on Friday initiated suo moto proceedings and made the state of Gujarat, AMC (Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner) and city police commissioner respondents in the case.

A division bench of Chief Justice K S Radhakrishnan and Justice C K Buch which initiated the suo moto proceedings, cited some vernacular newspaper reports on the activities carried out in the hookah bars of the city. They also pointed out other reports that said that dance bars, which had closed down in Mumbai, were shifting base to Ahmedabad.

The city police commissioner said in a statement before the court that all the hookah bars in the city have been closed and strict guidelines have been issued for those wanting to continue operating them as also for those desirous of opening similar ventures.

The court put the statement of the police commissioner on record and posted further hearing in the case after four weeks that is after court vacation, which begins on May 18.

On Thursday, the police commissioner had issued an eight-point guideline for hookah bars in addition to the notification earlier issued in December 2005.





CJI appeals to PM for creation of more family courts

Published: May 15,2009

New Delhi, May 15 Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan today appealed to the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers of all states to create more family courts in the country to settle matrimonial disputes amicably.

“I would appeal to the Prime Minister and I am thinking of writing to all Chief Ministers to facilitate the creation of family courts in all districts in the country,” Justice Balakrishnan said.

Inaugurating the first family court of the capital at Dwarka district courts premises here, he stressed that marriages should be protected like an institution.

“We should work together to bring a change in society. Marriage is institution which should be protected,” Justice

Balakrishnan said.

Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Justice A P Shah, who was also present with other Judges, said that as many as 15 family courts would be set up across the capital by July.

The matter would be taken up with the Government to create a total of 35 such courts as required in the capital, he said.

Source: PTI





High court seeks reply from govt

16 May 2009, 0242 hrs IST, TNN

PATNA: The Patna High Court on Friday directed the state government to give reply to a PIL alleging embezzlement of crores of rupees meant for collecting water samples from 2.25 lakh water sources to test their purity.

A division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Shiva Kirti Singh and Justice Ravi Ranjan passed the order on a PIL of Binod Kumar, which made principal secretary and the engineer-in-chief of the public health and engineering department (PHED) respondents for giving clean chit to M/S Environtec East Private Ltd which had allegedly not done the full survey and sample tests.

Petitioner’s counsel Anjani Kumar submitted that Environtec East Pvt Ltd was given a contract of Rs 5.80 crore to carry out sample tests of water collected from various sources and give report to the engineer-in-chief, PHED. But the latter prepared sample test reports on the basis of little work or no work in many cases, the counsel added.

The petitioner claimed that PHED engineers, including the executive engineer of Biharsharif, had reported that the sample collector had not reached by May 5, 2009, while the engineer-in-chief on May 6 recorded that water samples were collected and tests done.

He submitted that the water sample reports seemed to be fabricated as some reports said that the water content in Gaya district did not contain fluoride beyond permissible limit while the earlier reports were to the contrary. Similarly, the report regarding arsenic content in water in five districts in the state was vital but the survey report was not clear on this count.

In the absence of accurate reports of water sample tests, people affected due to the presence of arsenic, fluoride, iron etc. in water beyond permissible limits have no respite, the PIL added.

The court said that the state must give priority to safe drinking water. Government pleader Arvind Kumar submitted that the state reply would be filed.

Election petition dismissed:

A single bench of Justice Ajay Kumar Tripathi on Friday dismissed the election petition of a JD(U) candidate from Patna teachers’ constituency for Bihar legislative council, Janardan Prasad Singh, who challenged the election of Nawal Kishore Yadav of RJD.

Singh had challenged the election of Yadav alleging that the electoral rolls (voters’ list) in many cases were fake and so the election of Yadav be set aside. Yadav’s counsel, S N P Sharma and Amarendra Kumar Singh, submitted that the election petition was not maintainable as any allegation regarding the electoral rolls being fake has to be heard by the Election Commission and not by the court.

Graveyard encroachment:

A division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Shiva Kirti Singh and Justice Ravi Ranjan directed the state government to give reply to a PIL of Sabban Sah alleging encroachments of many graveyards across the state.





Plea for dual-purpose tankers dismissed


Express News Service Posted: Saturday , May 16, 2009 at 0425 hrs IST

Mumbai: Dismissing a PIL seeking portable oil tankers-which can carry both oil and other cargo thus cuting operation costs-the Bombay High Court recently pulled up petitioner Manohar Scindia for disparaging remarks against the court. He had written to the Chief Justice of India against certain judges for not entertaining his plea regarding the PIL.

Scindia, in the PIL, had said that government-run oil companies— such as BPCL, IOC and HPCL— should use portable tank system for transporting oil from refineries to retailers.

He stated that tankers are used at present carry oil one way— from the refinery to the petrol pump— but they travel empty on the way back thus wasting thousands of litres of fuel.

Scindia had proposed oil companies and the petroleum ministry to introduce portable tanks. According to him, oil can be transported from refineries to dealers, and on the way back other goods can be loaded. He said after offloading the fuel at retail shops, the portable tank would be lifted to accommodate other goods. Scindia claimed many western countries used this system.

In 2000, another bench of the High Court ordered various ministries to form a committee to study the proposal. The High Court had then asked the central government to prepare a prototype of such a tanker. Following this, the committee had sought the help of P Vasudevan, an IIT professor, to examine feasibility of the idea.

Vasudevan, in his report to the court, said Scindia’s proposal, though sound in principle, was not practicable.

Vasudevan had concluded in his report that the idea won’t help save much fuel and it would involve a lot of expenditure to alter the tankers for this purpose. After going through the report, a division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice S C Dharmadhikari dismissed the PIL on May 7.

Scindia is likely to face contempt proceedings for the derogatory references and accusations he made against the High Court judges in his letter to the Chief Justice of India. The court has taken notice of Scindia’s letters that reportedly made derogatory references against certain judges for not entertaining his pleas during the PIL hearing .

The judges have now issued notice to Scindia saying that his remarks may amount to contempt of court.






Disqualify Gaikwad, demands Mohite

16 May 2009, 0434 hrs IST, TNN

PUNE: Padminiraje Mohite, who had contested the civic election against NCP corporator Surdas Gaikwad and had later filed a PIL about his illegal constructions, on Friday, demanded that the Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal commissioner should disqualify the tainted corporator.

Speaking to the TOI, Mohite said, “A corporator must for the development of the village, but instead he constructed illegal structures on the plot reserved for a primary school. As the area needed a primary school, I had to turn to the High Court for justice.”

Mohite had filed the case against Gaikwad in the Bombay high court in September 2008.

NCP corporator Surdas Gaikwad could not be contacted for comment despite repeated attempts.






PIL against civic body over misuse of public money quashed


Express News Service Posted: Saturday , May 16, 2009 at 0121 hrs IST


The Gujarat High Court on Friday quashed a PIL against the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) over the misuse of public money for a trip abroad to Leicester, UK, by its officials and office bearers.

In response to a PIL filed by Praful Desai, president of the Vadodara-based NGO, Senior Citizen Services Trust, the RMC on Friday filed an affidavit saying that the local body did not bear the tour expenses.

At present, Deputy Mayor Narendra Solanki, Standing Committee Chairman Kamlesh Mirani and Officer on Special Duty Alpna Mitra are on a 15-day tour to Leicester. Rajkot signed a twin-city agreement with Leicester in 1996 for culture and technology exchange.

So far, five delegations of the RMC have visited Leicester as part of the twin-city agreement study tour. This is the sixth delegation to UK. A delegation of the Leicester Municipal Council has visited Rajkot thrice.

Except for an energy theme park at Race Course, which according to the RMC, was based on technical expertise sharing with the twin partner, Rajkot city has not seen any other project under this agreement.

This time, the delegation is supposed to study technicalities of a flyover and slum relocation project.

In the PIL, Desai had challenged how could office-bearers like the deputy mayor and the standing committee chairman be authorised to go on a tour on public money.

According to the PIL, only experts should be allowed to go on study specific projects which can be translated into results back home. The PIL filed on May 11 came for hearing on Friday when RMC filed an affidavit.






Gutkha ads: HC seeks explanation

16 May 2009, 0411 hrs IST, TNN

Ahmedabad : Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) will have to give explanation to Gujarat High Court about why they have continued to give out advertising space on rent for gutkha and tobacco products on buses.

Acting on a PIL filed by former parliamentarian Amarsinh Chaudhary, a division Bench headed by Chief Justice KS Radhakrishnan on Friday issued notices to chief secretary, state transport department, GSRTC and municipal commissioner asking them to file their replies before June 18.

The PIL has contended that despite laws formulated by government to discourage tobacco consumption, GSRTC and AMTS have continued to rent out advertisement space to gutkha manufacturing companies. The petitioner has demanded to put an end to this practice.

Arguing for petitioner, advocate VD Parghi claimed that after legislation prohibiting smoking in public places came into effect, state government in 2008 formed a high-level committee for implementation of the Act. Moreover, government is expected to take measures to discourage tobacco consumption. Instead, buses have become means for advertising tobacco products for earning profit.






Bhim not seeking change in number of seats


Delimitation case hearing deferred to May 22

Rashid Paul
Srinagar, May 15:
While rebutting the arguments of Kashmir High Court Bar Association (KHBA), Panthers Party chief, Prof Bhim Singh on Friday told the court that he was not seeking change in the number of Assembly seats in his delimitation petition, but was only asking readjustment of territories of the constituencies.
As he failed to put forth his argument in refined legalities, the court decided to hear the matter again on May 22 at Jammu.
The Panthers Party chief, who had filed a PIL in the State High Court against the 29th amendment of the state constitution by National Conference government in 2002 that bars the delimitation of assembly seats till 20026, said the amendment is ultravires (beyond the powers) of the constitution affecting the democratic rights of the people of the state.
He told the court that he was not seeking change in the number of seats for the assembly, but only re-demarcation of their boundaries.
The division bench headed by chief justice Barin Gosh initially briefed the petitioner of the arguments of the KHBA and asked him to come up with his point of view properly and assist the court in the case.
As the court felt that Singh was dragging the matter without touching the specifics of the case, the Chief Justice announced the court will hear the Panthers Party in the case again at Jammu on May 22.
Countering the contention of KHBA that his PIL is not maintainable according to rules as it has been filed by a party not an individual, Singh said his petition was accepted by Supreme Court in 1981 when the resettlement Bill passed by State Legislature was referred to the Supreme Court.
To this the Chief Justice cited the references of the Supreme Court judgments alluded by KHBA which say that Public Interest Litigations of political nature by parties cannot be entertained by courts.
Singh, pointing to the international dimension of the Kashmir raised in the context of the petition by KHBA, said United Nations resolutions have lost their relevance and the constitution of the state was a valid document. He said UN resolutions have asked for complete withdrawal of troops from Muzaffarabad (Pakistan Administered Kashmir) while as in this part of the Kashmir India has been asked to retain some troops till plebiscite is held.






NGO files PIL in JK HC seeking ban on use of polythene

Published: May 15,2009

Srinagar , May 15 An NGO today filed a PIL in the Jammu and High Court, seeking a ban on the use of polythene with immediate effect.

Petitioner&apos Valley Citizen&aposs Council&aposdemanded a complete ban on manufacturing of polythene in the state and its entry and sought a direction to the state government to enforce the ban on procurement and sale of polythene for packing and distribution of food, beverages and drugs.

The court listed the PIL for hearing on June two.

Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to put a partial ban on use of polythene in the state.

Initially the ban on use of polythene bags would be imposed at health resorts in the state. Rules would be modified shortly for the same,” Chief Secretary S S Kapur said at a function here.

Source: PTI






Depts told to submit reports to NHRC in time

15 May 2009, 0442 hrs IST, TNN

PATNA: The state chief secretary, in view of the directive of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), has asked all government departments concerned to submit the desired departmental reports to the commission in time.

The commission, in the context of the Article 13 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, serves showcause on departments for giving interim relief to any person appearing before it. If the showcause is not replied to, then the commission takes the decision suo motu to award interim relief to the person concerned, the note of the chief secretary sent to the departmental heads concerned has stated.

The chief secretary has pointed out that the state government, in that situation, has no option, but to comply with the order to give interim relief to the person concerned, even if the government has any reservation with regard to the award given. Accordingly, the departmental heads have been directed to comply with the commission’s demand for its report on the showcause served.

LEGAL NEWS 14-15.05.09

Indian court orders charges dropped against Varun Gandhi


 Updated at: 1538 PST,  Thursday, May 14, 2009
 NEW DELHI: India’s top court Thursday ordered charges dropped against Varun Gandhi, an estranged member of the Nehru-Gandhi political clan, for inciting religious hatred while election campaigning.

Gandhi, 29, had been on parole for a month following his arrest under the stringent National Security Act by the Uttar Pradesh state government in March. He was taken into custody after being filmed telling supporters at an election rally that he would “cut the heads of Muslims”.

“The state government shall forthwith withdraw the detention order against Varun Gandhi under the NSA (National Security Act),” ruled a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, according to the Press Trust of India news agency. The court had initially ordered Gandhi’s release on April 16 on the condition he refrain from making any speeches that could inflame communal tensions in Hindu-majority India.





HC directs DTC to file report on low-floor bus accidents


Express News Service Posted: Thursday , May 14, 2009 at 2348 hrs IST

New Delhi:

Two months ago, a low-floor DTC bus caught fire. Over 70 passengers trapped inside had to break the thick glass of the bus windows and jump to safety on Mandir Marg in Central Delhi around 7.20 pm.

The passengers later complained to the police that the doors of the bus refused to budge despite several attempts by the driver, making the burning bus a veritable death trap. Fire officials said the bus was completely charred by the time they managed to douse the fire.

The incident, however, found no mention on Wednesday when the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) confidently told a High Court Bench, led by Chief Justice A P Shah, that accidents involving the new fleet of low-floor buses are almost impossible.

The DTC counsel told the court only two accidents involving these have occurred in the city, when a total of 625 low-floor buses — meant to give an image makeover to the city’s public transportation — ply the roads.

The DTC’s claim was, however, promptly challenged by amicus curiae Kailash Vasdev, who countered that a total of 14 accident cases have been reported involving these buses. The Bench then directed the DTC to file a status report on July 1.

The government has already ordered 2,500 more low-floor buses. Earlier, the court had directed the installation of GPS systems in all such buses to prevent accidents and traffic violations.




HC forms team to probe negligence case at Safdarjung Hospital


Express News Service Posted: Thursday , May 14, 2009 at 2347 hrs IST

New Delhi:

In a case of alleged medical negligence, the Delhi High Court has constituted a team of medical experts to examine a report of the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate against the doctors in Safdarjung Hospital.

In the case, an 11-month-old boy’s leg was amputated due to the alleged negligence by doctors at Safdarjung Hospital in January 2007.

In a recent judgment, a Division Bench of Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice Sanjiv Khanna constituted the team, which comprises the Head of the Department of Orthopaedic, AIIMS, or his nominee and surgeon J S Arora. The Bench has directed them to examine the report and the patient and submit their opinion within five weeks.

The HC order came after the ACMM submitted the report, which didn’t have any firm finding. “On one hand, it is stated that no definite finding can be given with regard to medical negligence but at the same time it is stated that there was some lack of skill or medical acumen in applying hip spice or diagnosing the condition…” the Bench observed.





HC rejects Mancic’s plea to stay in Goa

14 May 2009, 0643 hrs IST, TNN

PANAJI: With the high court of Bombay at Goa rejecting Polish national Adam Mancic’s plea that he shouldn’t be removed from the state, he will be taken to Delhi for extradition soon, crime branch sources have said.

Vacation judge U D Salvi observed on Wednesday that “the right of the petitioner to contest the request of extradition has not been taken away by the state”. “As a matter of fact, the production of the petitioner before the additional chief metropolitan magistrate, New Delhi, will enable the petitioner to effectively agitate his right to contest the extradition request,” observed the judge.

Mancic was arrested in Goa after a warrant was issued against him by the Tiergarten magistrate, Germany, for shooting dead a businessman in Germany on November 3, 2008. The arrest warrant was issued through Interpol.

Mancic had subsequently, approached the high court for interim relief with a prayer that his detention by the state government, which was beyond a period of 60 days, was in breach of Article 14 (4) of the extradition treaty between the Republic of India and the Federal Republic of Germany and was illegal and therefore, he deserved to be protected in terms of requiring an embargo on his movement in Goa.

His counsel, K Paulekar submitted that the breach of the said Article comes into being as the petitioner had been detained in custody for over a period of 60 days and the state government had not received the request for extradition and documents specified in Article 12 of the extradition treaty.

Public prosecutor C A Ferreira however, argued that the order dated May 5, 2009, passed by the Government of India, required the production of Mancic before the additional chief metropolitan magistrate, New Delhi for contesting the request made by the government under section 15 of the Extradition Act, 1962.

He also pointed to the petitioner’s criminal background and said that it is the obligation of the government to initiate action under the Extradition Act to extradite the petitioner to the country were he has to stand trial for the commission of an offence of murder.

After hearing both sides, the judge observed that it would be too hasty to conclude that the Government of India had not received a request for extradition along with the documents specified in Article 12 of the extradition treaty.





HC asks IGIMS to file reply

14 May 2009, 0431 hrs IST, TNN

PATNA: The Patna High Court on Wednesday issued a directive to the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences

(IGIMS) to give reply to a PIL which submitted that it had not provided a green cover over one acre of land on its campus to check pollution caused by its biomedical waste disposal plant.

A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Shivakirti Singh and Justice Ravi Ranjan issued the directive on the PIL of Chandra Bhushan Rai. IGIMS has been asked to file reply by July 6.

Petitioner’s counsel Kalyan Shankar submitted that the biomedical waste disposal plant on the IGIMS campus was causing environmental pollution in the vicinity as the green cover on the hospital campus had not yet been created to check pollution.

The PIL annexed a report of an expert which said that the environment pollution spread by the biomedical waste disposal plant may cause cancer, skin diseases, immunity deficiency and some other diseases to the people living in the adjoining areas.

Ashiana accused bail term extended:

A single bench presided over by Acting Chief Justice Shivakirti Singh on Wednesday extended by four months the provisional bail term of the former officer-in-charge of Shastrinagar police station, Patna, Samsi Alam.

Alam is an accused in a case related to the killing of three youths in a fake encounter on December 12, 2002 in a market near Ashiananagar locality under Shastrinagar police station in Patna.

Alam had been granted provisional bail for six months on January 14, 2009 by the high court.





HC directive to Pul Nirman Nigam

14 May 2009, 0433 hrs IST, TNN

PATNA: A division bench of Patna High Court on Tuesday directed the Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam to file a counter-affidavit to a PIL of Rajendra Narain Singh wherein he sought direction to the Nigam to protect the necessary utility services, including water supply lines, sewer lines and underground phone cables, that have gone underneath the 18-inch thick reinforced concrete cement (RCC) road on a stretch leading to Kurji from Polytechnic Mor in Pataliputra Colony in the city.

The petitioner’s counsel Vivek Prasad submitted that the RCC road was being constructed on the main road leading to Kurji Mor but it had also covered the road flanks under which the water supply lines, sewer lines, and phone cables run. Due to this, any defect underneath the RCC road flanks would lead to water contamination, waterlogging and delinking of the phone cables, submitted Prasad.

He added that there appeared to be no coordination among the Pul Nirman Nigam, civic agencies maintaining the water supply and sewer lines, BSNL and other phone operators whose phone cables are laid underneath the RCC road flanks.





Gujarat HC asks state govt. to pay Rs.262 crore compensation to riot victims

By admin on May 14th, 2009

Ahmedabad, May 14 (ANI): The Gujarat High Court on Thursday asked the Government of Gujarat to pay a compensation of Rs.262 crore to victims of the riots that followed the burning of the Sabarmati Express in 2002.


The High Court order said that sum was allocated for the riot victims by the Central Government in 2007, and therefore, it was only right that the state government should distribute it to the victims.

The High Court order was pronounced on the basis of a complaint filed by the riot victims against the state government.

Thursday’s order comes six days after the High Court designated nine judges for as many special fast track courts to carry out the trial in the 2002 post-Godhra riot cases being probed by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT).

Out of the nine special courts, four will be in Ahmedabad, two each in Mehsana and Anand, and one in Himmatnagar of Sabarkantha district.

According to the court’’s order, additional sessions judge P R Patel has been designated to conduct the trial in the Godhra train carnage case that will be held in the premises of the Sabarmati Central Jail here.

Judge S H Vora and additional sessions Judge Jyotsna Yagnik will be presiding over the trial of Naroda Gam and Naroda Patiya cases respectively.

Judge B U Joshi has been designated as judge for the special court dealing with the Gulberg Society massacre case, where Congress ex-MP Ehsan Jaffery was killed.

Justices B N Kariya and S C Srivastava will handle the two cases in Mehsana district.

Judges S Y Trivedi and R M Sarine will conduct the trial in two cases in Khambodaj and Ode of Anand district respectively.

Judge H P Patel will oversee the Prantij taluka riot case of of Sabarkantha district where some British nationals were also killed. The special court will be based in Himmatnagar, the district headquarters.

On May 1, the Supreme Court ordered day-to-day hearing of the Gujarat riot cases by fast track courts in the state.

While vacating its stay order of November 21, 2003, the apex court directed that witnesses be provided security for their safe passage and if necessary at their place of living during the trial.

The court said the SIT would act as a nodal agency to decide as to which witnesses in the case should be given protection and relocated. The apex court also gave liberty to the SIT to recommend cancellation of bail if it is considered necessary. (ANI)





HC for NHRC probe into Batla case

15 May 2009, 0705 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Thursday favoured a full-fledged inquiry by National Human Rights Commission into the controversial Batla House encounter while keeping the petition filed by the accused pending before it.

“Time is passing, almost eight months have passed,” a bench headed by chief justice A P Shah told the commission, asking it to respond by next hearing if NHRC would like to go ahead with its enquiry.

The court’s suggestion came after the NCT government continued to be reluctant in proceedings with its enquiry till a magisterial inquiry into the matter is first conducted.

Two alleged members of terror outfit Indian Mujahideen and Delhi Police inspector M C Sharma were killed in the encounter on September 19 last year in the aftermath of serial blasts at Batla House locality in the national capital. The court said the legal issue, whether the Commission’s guidelines of holding a magisterial inquiry is mandatory for the government or not, can be decided at a later stage.

“We would empower you (NHRC) to conduct the inquiry and we would make appropriate observation in the order so that you would be assisted by other agencies in holding inquiry. At the same time we would keep the petition open to decide legal issues,” the High Court said while adjourning the matter for May 20. The Court’s observation came while hearing a PIL filed by an NGO, Act Now For Harmony and Democracy seeking a judicial inquiry into the September 19, 2008, encounter. The incident took place a week after serial blasts had rocked the national capital killing 26 people and injuring 13.

Responding to the petition the government, however, refuted all the allegations and additional solicitor general Gopal Subramanium contended that this is not a case where a magesterial inquiry is needed. The government and the National Human Rights Commission were at loggerheads in the case as the ASG contended that the Commission can’t force the governemnt to hold a magisterial inquiry into the incident. The Commission, on the other hand, submitted it required a report of a magisterial inquiry to proceed further as it was not possible to conduct the probe all over the country in all such cases in which people are killed in encounters.





HC nod to Lokayukta probe

15 May 2009, 0704 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: The Delhi government on Thursday received a jolt after the Delhi High Court refused to restrain the Lokayukta to go ahead with his inquiry into a complaint pertaining to purchase of low-floor non-AC buses by the administration, and to summon the records.

A division bench of chief justice A P Shah and justice Neeraj Kishan Kaul set aside the single judge’s order restraining justice Manmohan Sarin, heading the anti-corruption body, from seeking documents for investigation in the deal relating to purchase of 625 non-AC buses.

HC said the office of Lokayukta is a statutory body and it has full authority to conduct the preliminary inquiry into any complaint received. Following HC’s green signal, the Lokayukta, later in the day asked the government to produce the files before him on Monday.

Giving the go-ahead to the inquiry, the Bench said the Lokayukta can call for the documents for investigation and directed the Delhi government to supply the ones sought for. HC also made it clear that the government has no locus standi to raise any objection to the act of Lokayukta. The Court was hearing an appeal filed by the Lokayukta challenging the single judge’s order restraining him from seeking documents for investigation. On March 13, the single judge had issued the Lokayukta cannot seek documents for preliminary inquiry and added he should settle the rules and procedures before going ahead with any complaint of such nature.

In an order on January 28, Lokayukta justice Manmohan Sarin had served an ultimatum to the state’s transport secretary to personally produce documents relating to purchase of buses. The anti-corruption body presided by justice Sarin warned the government of action under IPC, which prescribes imprisonment of six months or fine. Justice Sarin, a former judge of Delhi HC, passed the order while hearing a complaint filed by former BJP MLA Vijay Jolly in October last year. Jolly has alleged the Congress government has purchased 625 low-floor non-AC and CNG buses at an inflated price and cited that Tamil Nadu government had purchased the same buses for Rs 24 lakh less on each for the state. On Delhi government’s appeal against Lokayukta’s order, the single judge had passed the order, which was challenged by the office of Lokayuta before this division bench.





It’s better late than never, say riot victims on HC order–say-riot-victims-on-HC-order/459749


Express News Service Posted: Friday , May 15, 2009 at 0134 hrs IST


Petitioners and victims of the 2002 statewide riots welcomed the interim order of the Gujarat High Court directing payment of compensation to the victims within eight months from the date of order.

“Better late than never,” was what Gagan Sethi of the Centre for Social Justice, said after Thursday’s order on his joint petition with Yusuf Sheikh of the Anatanrik Visthapit Hak Rakshak Samiti (AVHRS). They had sought compensation for the properties damaged during the riots.

Sethi, who is also a member of the monitoring committee on compensation to the victims set up by the National Human Rights Commission, said the good part was that he was able to bring to fore the human rights issues involved in the whole episode. “To get compensation for the hapless victims is my biggest achievement,” he said.

Sheikh said the victims could now hope to get the full compensation in one go, thus helping them to make better use of the money. He said that if they got the compensation in instalments as was being done earlier by the Central and state governments, it would have been meaningless because the small sum could not be used for buying properties.

Razzaq Khatri, a riot victim whose house was destroyed completely at Noorani Mohalla in Vadodara and now lives in an one-room apartment in KGN Nagar, said he could now hope to buy a small house of his own.

“I am happy that the court ordered early payment of compensation,” said Muzaffar Makrani, another riot displaced, living at Rajgarh in Panchmahals district.






Mulayam moves HC for stay on arrest

Vijay Pratap Singh

Posted: May 15, 2009 at 0217 hrs IST

Allahabad Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav filed a writ petition in the Allahabad High Court on Thursday, seeking a stay order against his possible arrest in connection with an FIR against him in Mainpuri constituency.

The FIR was lodged under Sections 147, 332, 353 and 131 of the Representation of People Act on May 11. Among them, Sections 332 and 353 are non-bailable offences. Yadav has challenged its validity in the High Court, claiming it was politically motivated. He is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Mainpuri.

On May 11, the SP chief had allegedly tried to enter the prohibited area of a booth during re-polling and manhandled security personnel. He allegedly entered into an altercation with an Election Commission (EC) observer. The incident took place at booth numbers 227 and 228 of Parsana centre after villagers complained to Yadav that the EC observer was not allowing them to vote. The observer had detected three voters with fake ration cards. A furious Yadav took up the issue with the observer and argued that the ration cards were genuine and duly signed by the district supply officer of Etawah, parts of which are included in the Mainpuri constituency.





Clear position on half-way home, HC tells UT

15 May 2009, 0409 hrs IST, Ajay Sura, TNN

CHANDIGARH: Conversion of a Sector 47-based half-way home (centre for rehabilitation of mentally-challenged persons) into Aashreya by UT administration has come under judicial scanner as Punjab and Haryana High Court issued a notice to UT on Thursday. The HC has reportedly urged secretary, medical education and research, to clear UT’s position on the issue.

Headed by chief justice Tirath Singh Thakur, HC division bench issued the notice after taking cognizance of a writ petition filed by parents and guardians of some mentally-ill persons, who demanded that the half-way home should also provide residential facility and retain its original purpose to serve only mentally-ill people. During the resumed hearing, the bench also expressed concern over replacing the foundation plate of half-way home with another one, in which ‘Aashreya’ was inscribed by UT administration.

Importantly, in their writ petition, the petitioners had urged the HC to restrain UT administration from changing the original purpose and functional intent of the half-way home at Sector 47D (behind Ram Mandir), Chandigarh. Besides this, the petitioners also urged HC to discontinue the practice of rehabilitating persons other than the mentally-challenged as the facility was especially meant for the mentally-ill under the Mental Health Act, 1987. Counsel RS Bains stated that UT administration had opened the half-way home exclusively for mentally-ill persons under the District Mental Health Programme in April 2002.

While the first inauguration was done by the then UT administrator JFR Jacob (Retd), another formal opening ceremony was held in December 2008, when the centre was re-named as Aashreya. The counsel further argued that petitioners, 68-year-old OP Asija, and his wife, who is suffering from cancer, have two mentally-ill sons, who are admitted in psychiatry department of GMCH-32. He stated that the future of patients like these will face grave uncertainty if the centre did not take up their responsibility.

Citing various SC rulings, counsel urged HC to issue directions to UT administration for a residential facility for the mentally-ill, as was originally conceived. The bench has fixed UT to file its reply by July 30, which is also the next date of hearing.





HC stays demolition of Model Jail in city

15 May 2009, 0524 hrs IST, Pervez Iqbal Siddiqui, TNN

LUCKNOW: A division bench of the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court on Thursday stayed the demolition of Model Jail and also the felling of trees on the jail campus. The court pronounced these orders after hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a local lawyer on Thursday.

The bench has also directed the government not to shift the inmates of the jail anywhere else and also ordered the government to put before it details of what it proposes to bring up at the site. The court fixed May 18, 2009 as the next date for of the case.

The Times of India, in its edition dated May 7, 2009, had carried a front-page story highlighting how the government was planning to vacate the premises of Model and Women Jail so that 80 acres of land occupied by it could be vacated for extension of Kanshi Ram Sthal and construction of a research centre in the name of Baba Saheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar at the site. A photocopy of the news report has been used as the basis of the PIL.

The PIL was taken up by the division bench comprising Justice Pradeep Kant and Justice SNH Zaidi and filed by Sangam Lal Pandey, a lawyer residing in Azad Nagar area of Alambagh in the vicinity of the said site.
The petitioner has drawn the attention of the court towards its historical importance submitting that the premises to be demolished is over 100 years old and was occupied by a number of freedom fighters during the freedom struggle.

In 1985, a minister in the state government Raghuveer Singh Yadav even inaugurated a memorial on the jail campus in the memory of the freedom fighters.

On behalf of the state government, chief standing counsel Devendra Upadhyay argued that the decision to demolish the model hail and shift it was a policy decision and hence the High Court should not intervene in such matters. Explaining the sequence of events on the basis of which the policy decision was taken, Upadhyay said that a special committee headed by chief secretary recommended on October 10, 2007 shifting of the inmates of nine jails in the state including the model jail.





HC poser on keeping non-Victorian art pieces at Victoria


Express News Service Posted: Friday , May 15, 2009 at 0337 hrs IST


The Calcutta High Court on Thursday questioned the authorities of Victoria Memorial on keeping articles and paintings that are not related to Queen Victoria in its museum.

A Division Bench of Justices Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Tapan Kumar Dutta asked the counsel of Victoria Memorial to explain whether those articles could be kept in the Memorial in accordance with the provisions of the Victoria Memorial Act.

Last year, the memorial authorities had filed a petition seeking court’s permission to construct a building for setting up a museum as they required additional space to keep the valuable articles.

This was, however, opposed by environmentalist Subhas Dutta whose counsel argued that a lot of articles like paintings, photographs that have nothing to do with Queen Victoria have been kept in the museum.

He cited the example of a Jamini Roy painting and photographs of Rabindranath Tagore to make his point and added that such articles should be shifted to some other place.

Dutta pleaded that no more construction be allowed inside the premises of Victoria Memorial due to environmental hazards. The next hearing is due for Tuesday.






HC sets aside termination of health dept staff

15 May 2009, 0447 hrs IST, TNN

PATNA: The Patna High Court on Thursday set aside the termination of five health department employees.

The court also took exception to the wavering attitude of the authorities concerned as regards the appointments.

A single bench presided over by Justice Navin Sinha said that an earlier order of a single bench of the high court presided over by Justice Narayan Roy setting aside the termination of irregularly appointed health employees Shree Narayan Singh and others is still valid.

The order was passed on five writ petitions. Earlier in June 2006, a division bench of the high court had modified the order of Justice Roy with a direction to the state government to constitute a three-member committee to examine whether the appointments of around a hundred health employees made during the period 1976 to 1982 were “irregular or illegal”.

Justice Sinha on Thursday remarked that it appeared that the state health officials had unfortunately created an industry for appointment and termination of employees. He expressed surprise why no action was taken against the appointing authorities under provisions of the Indian Penal Code, Bihar Service Rules and Bihar Pension Code.






II PU students can change college: HC

15 May 2009, 0726 hrs IST, TNN

BANGALORE: Thousands of students who have been promoted to II PUC this year and want to change their college can heave a big sigh of relief. The Karnataka high court on Thursday stayed the application of the circular issued by the Pre-University Education department as far as students who have joined I PUC in 2008-09 are concerned.

However, any affidavit filed by parents and students who have joined I PUC in 2009-10 will be subject to the final decision of the court, vacation judge A N Venugopala Gowda said.

The circular prohibits a student who joined PUC in 2009-2010 academic year from shifting from one college to another when they move into second year in 2010-2011. But it doesn’t cover students who joined PUC in 2008-09 and go to II PUC this year.

When the PU department officials admitted in the court that they were implementing the circular from this academic year itself and that there were about 10,000 applications seeking change of college, the HC didn’t appreciate their contention.

“How can you prohibit like that? If a college has zero result, how can you prevent a student from seeking change of college to get better results?” the judge asked the PU officials.

Apart from prohibiting change of college for II PUC, the circular also insists the educational institutions obtain an affidavit from parents and students who are admitted for first year PUC in 2009-2010 that they will not seek change of college in the second year.

“In the absence of any notice to the members of the petitioner association and in total disregard to the rule of law and principles of natural justice, this circular has been brought out,” G R Mohan, counsel for the petitioner Karnataka state minorities’ educational institutions managements federation, told the court.

The PU department officials say that due to computerization of records of every student at the time of admission to I PU by way of OMR sheets, change of colleges in II PU will add problems to the educational, examination and administrative business of the department.






Advocate withholds information on appeal from client, to pay Rs 50,000 compensation for service deficiency–to-pay-Rs-50-000-compensation-for-service-deficiency/459669


Express News Service Posted: Friday , May 15, 2009 at 0030 hrs IST


The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed an advocate to pay Rs 50,000 as compensation to a Hoshiarpur-based resident for failing to render proper service.

Advocate Suraj Mal Bhatia has also been directed to pay Rs 1,18,916 for losses incurred by the complainant, Sunil Kumar, in addition to Rs 11,500 charged as fees and Rs 2,000 for other expenses. The total amount has to be paid within 30 days of the announcing of the order, said the forum.

In his complaint, Kumar said he had purchased property on Jalandhar Road, Hoshiarpur, but the sale deed was disputed. It was alleged that the tehsildar had imposed a stamp duty of Rs 1,18,906 in addition to Rs 10, which was against law.

With an aim to move the court, Kumar met advocate Bhatia who assured him that the filing of a writ petition was not required, and suggested to file a revision in the court of Financial Commissioner Revenue (FCR), Punjab.






Police need autonomy to fight terror: J S Verma

15 May 2009, 0357 hrs IST, TNN

PUNE: There should be a strong political will and complete autonomy on par with independence of judiciary for the police force if terrorism is to be eliminated from India, said former chief justice J S Verma on Thursday.

Verma, who is also the former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, was speaking at a seminar Terrorism and its challenges to Indian society’, which was organised by the Pune police, at Ganesh Kala Kreeda Rangmanch in Swargate.

Verma said, “We need to have a proactive and holistic approach while dealing with terrorism. We need to have a credible law enforcing agency. And if the police force is to be given autonomy, corruption must be rooted out.”

He said that the root causes of terrorism must be identified, resources used for its funding must be dried up and the police force’s infrastructure should be strengthened to obtain optimum results.

The former CJI said that unaccounted money worth $ 476 million was lying in Swiss banks, this money should be retrieved by India or it may be used for funding terror activities.

Terrorism is an international problem. The state and Union governments should work together to end this menace. But they have not done much even after the 26/11 attacks. States are also not sharing intelligence information. The problem is compounded due to the lack of political will and weakening infrastructure, Verma said.

Criticising the states for not implementing the police reforms, he asked the state/Union governments to understand the practical difficulties faced by the policemen. He said that the state governments must utilise the services of retired police officers who have a vast experience in the field of counter-terrorism.

The former CJI felt that there was no need for a stringent law to deal with terrorism as there were enough provisions in the Indian Constitution and ordinary laws to tackle this menace. Make stringent laws if necessary, but use the existing laws faithfully and amend them if there are any deficiencies, he added.

The seminar was also attended by state director general of police (DGP) S S Virk, police commissioner Satya Pal Singh, retired DGP K P S Gill, leading lawyer Ram Jethmalani and retired Lt Gen D B Shekatkar.





Numbers game: President bones up on precedents

15 May 2009, 0455 hrs IST, Himanshi Dhawan, TNN

NEW DELHI: President Pratibha Patil may insist on proof of support in case of a neck-and-neck contest between political parties post-May 16. With Rashtrapati Bhawan set to be called upon to play arbiter, Patil is busy examining the advice followed by past presidents in forming the government.

Pollsters have so far given Congress an edge over its rivals in government formation but have also been quick to point out that numbers between the two national parties may be too close for comfort. In a scenario where the Congress is willing to stake claim to form the government but does not have the requisite numbers, the President may see it fit to ask for letters of support from allies to shield the highest office from any criticism of favouritism.

The President, sources said, was weighing all options and would take a decision after consulting several independent legal experts. Officer on special duty (public relations) Archana Dutta said, “The President is studying previous practices and precedents and will be guided by accepted convention and constitutional provisions. As the situation unravels, the President will consult legal experts.”

It is reliably learnt that the President’s office has lined up names of legal luminaries and would give preference an independent opinion rather than one from within the government. Highly placed sources said names of former attorney general Soli Sorabjee and former CJI J S Verma were being considered.

A source said, “Past experiences are being looked at and the President would like to stay clear of any controversy. Her responsibility is to invite the leader who has majority support.”

Sources also said that legal opinion on past precedents was under scrutiny. While President R Venkatraman favoured the rule of inviting political parties according to strength, the same yardstick did not hold true when President Shankar Dayal Sharma invited A B Vajpayee to form the government in 1996. Within 13 days, the Vajpayee government — faced with a lack of numbers — had to step down.

President K R Narayanan handled the exercise of a hung Parliament very differently in 1998, insisting that only the leader of a political party or a combination of parties that could command majority support for a stipulated time had the right to form government.





HC dismisses PIL against Yogi

14 May 2009, 2249 hrs IST, TNN

ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad High Court has dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking registration of an FIR against Yogi Adityanath and Ramakant Yadav, BJP candidate in Azamgarh byelection, for delivering inflammatory and communal speeches in Azamgarh last year.

The petitioner, Rajiv Kumar Yadav, in the PIL had requested the court to direct the Election Commission of India to decide his application, seeking action against Yogi Adityanath and Ramakant Yadav.

The order was passed by a bench comprising Chief Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad and Justice Dilip Gupta. The counsel for the petitioner, SFA Naqvi had contended in the court that both the leaders had made inflammatory speeches against a particular community.

The counsel appearing for the Election Commission of India had opposed the PIL saying that both the leaders were not made party in the PIL. The bench dismissed the PIL after hearing the counsels of both sides.





HC orders Guj to disburse Centre’s riot package in 8 weeks


Agencies Posted: Thursday , May 14, 2009 at 1624 hrs IST

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court ordered the state government to disburse within eight weeks the Rs 262.44 crore it received from the Centre as relief package for 2002 post-Godhra riot victims.

The order was passed by division bench of Chief Justice K S Radhakrishnan and Justice C K Buch while hearing a PIL. The PIL was filed by Gangan Sethi, a member of Special Monitoring Group appointed by the National Human Rights Commission, and Yusuf Shaikh, convener of Vadodara-based NGO Antarik Visthapit Hakk-Rakshak Samiti.

The PIL filed in December last year had contended that Gujarat government has failed to disburse the Centre’s relief package to family of over 1,169 people who died during the riots and over 2,549 victims who were injured in post-Godhra violence.

During an earlier hearing the state government had submitted before the court that it has got instructions from the Election Commission not to disburse the amount among riot victims till the elections was over.

The Centre had released 19.05 per cent (Rs 50 crore) of the total amount at the end of 2008, following which the state government had ordered all district collectorates in January 2009 to disburse the amount within a month to the victims.

During the hearing the Centre had maintained that it had withheld Rs 212.44 crore because the Gujarat government had not reported utilisation of the first installment of Rs 50 crore that were released in 2008.

The Centre had announced to provide additional ex-gratia towards relief and rehabilitation to victims of 2002 communal riots in Gujarat on September 11, 2007.

According to the state government, as many as 29,467 families were affected and 11,237 houses got damaged in urban area while 18,230 residential properties were either demolished or damaged in rural areas across the state during the post-Godhra riots.





PIL filed against politicians’ visit to UK

14 May 2009, 0017 hrs IST, TNN

Ahmedabad : A public interest litigation has been filed in Gujarat High Court requesting the court to restrain elected members of Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) from flying to UK for the purpose of study, if they are visiting Britain at the cost of public money.

Based on an article published in TOI, an NGO Senior Citizens’ Service Trust has filed this PIL urging the court to cancel the visit of mayor, deputy mayor and chairman of the standing council to Leicester. The delegation from RMC is scheduled to visit UK to study flyovers and relocation of slums in Leicester as part of a sister city pact inked in 1996.

The NGO has raised objection to this visit because the RMC delegation has already visited Leicester at least thrice, and similarly delegations from Leicester have come to Rajkot equal number of times. The petitioner’s objection is that the elected members, who are politicians, should not be allowed to fly to foreign countries when they are doing so at the cost of money raised by the civic body through taxation.

The petitioner, Praful Desai, secretary of the NGO, who appeared party-in-person, has contended that if experts go abroad for such purpose and public money is spent for enrichment of their knowledge, it should be encouraged. But, there is no point in politicians flying to foreign country for such a study, and that too repeatedly to the same destination.

Upon this PIL demanding cancellation of RMC delegation’s visit to Leicester, scheduled next week, a division bench of Chief Justice KS Radhakrishnan and Justice Akil Kureshi on Wednesday issued notice to the municipal commissioner asking him to explain the issue within two days. The court has ordered the notice to be sent through speed post, and kept further hearing on Friday.





HC poser on airport user fee

14 May 2009, 0637 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: The Airport Development Fee (ADF) levied at IGI Aiport on departing passengers was challenged before the Delhi High Court in a PIL on Wednesday. ADF consists of Rs 200 cess on all outgoing domestic passengers and Rs 1300 on international ones since March 1 2009.

Acting on the PIL, a division bench headed by the chief justice asked the centre, Airports Authorty of India (AAI) and DIAL to file their responses on the allegation that the fee was being charged without any legal basis. The court however, refused to grant any stay on the fee charged by DIAL nor did it issue notice.

Apart from alleging that the money being charged for airport development work was “placing undue burden on travelling public” the PIL also argues that in return for the payment the passenger is not being offered any extra facility or value by DIAL. “There should be some co-relation with the value being offered to public in return for ADF” the petitioners contended.

Praying for an immediate stay, the PIL also urged HC to create a separate account of the fee collected till now and freeze it so that in case this PIL succeeds in having that levy termed illegal, it can then be refunded to those who have paid up the money.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had said the fee, which came into effect on March 1, 2009, would be collected for 36 months. On their part the respondents defended the fee being charged before HC, saying it had been duly cleared by the ministry of civil aviation that had permitted DIAL to levy the money for modernization of the airport in the capital. HC will now take up the matter on July 8.





CJI administer oath to two new judges
Chief Justice (CJ) K G Balakrishnan today administered oath of office to two new judges of the Supreme Court.

Justice Deepak Verma has been elevated from Rajasthan High Court to the Supreme Court while Justice B S Chauhan has been promoted from Orissa High Court.

Justice Verma was the Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High court while Justice Chauhan was the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court.

The Union Government had recently increased sanctioned strength of the Supreme Court from 26 to 31 judges including CJ.

The decision is yet to be notified despite the fact that it has been approved of by the President Pratibha Patil.

The present sanctioned strength of the Supreme Court is 26.






HC declines to hear PIL against 19 RAW officials

Press Trust Of India

New Delhi, May 13, 2009

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to hear a PIL seeking action against 19 senior officials of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s external intelligence agency, for allegedly leaking confidential information which was subsequently passed on to the United States.

The Court refused to pass any order after the petitioner R K Yadav, an ex-employee of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), failed to produce any evidence to substantiate his allegations against the senior officials.

“Your complete petition is nothing but hearsay. You have no authenticity and without any evidence you are asking us to initiate action against the officers,” a two-member Bench headed by Chief Justice A P Shah said.

Yadav pleaded in his petition that 20 RAW employees were involved in leaking the information but CBI filed a complaint only against Ravinder Singh, a senior officer of the RAW, who was declared as proclaimed offender(PO) by a court here.

The Court, however, was not satisfied with his contention and said “if you have prima-facie evidence against the officers, we will issue notice or else we can ask them (Centre) to look into the matter.”

Giving a list of 19 senior RAW officers, Yadav in his petition alleged five senior officers had helped Singh to flee from the country and rest had supplied classified information to him, who in turn had allegedly passed on the confidential documents to the United States.

HC orders promotions of employees in subordinate courts


Rising Kashmir News
Srinagar, May 14:
Jammu and Kashmir High Court has ordered promotions of Assistants, Senior Assistants and Junior Assistants working in the Subordinate Courts of Kashmir Division.
Hafizullah Najar, Head Assistant is temporarily promoted as Section Officer in the grade of Rs 7450-11500.
Jawad-ul-Malik and Abdul Aziz Dar Senior Assistants are temporarily promoted as Head Assistants in the grade of Rs 5000-8000.
Saba Qazi, Fatima Syed Nazki, Surya Jan, Pervaiz Ahmad Bhat, Bilala Bano, GuIzar Ahmad Shah, Muzaffar Ahmad Malik, Ruksana Habib, Noor Muhammad Ahangar, Khalid Shahnaz Mir, Shazia Ahmad Munshi, Pir Faiz Mohammad, Shazia Hamid, Wajahat I
Hussain, Iftikhar Hussain Dar, Trilok Nath Pandita, Wilayat Hussain Khan, Shagufta
Habib, Bashir Ahmad Bhat, Farooq Ahmad Wani, Muhammad Yousuf Bhathangi, Mehraj-ud-Din Rather, Mubashir Hussain Dar and Muhammad Abas Mir all Junior Assistants are temporarily promoted as Senior Assistants in the grade Rs 4000-6000.
Consequent upon such promotions Section Officers, Senior Assistants and Junior Assistant Kashmir Division have also been ordered.
Nasir Hussain Khan, Section Officer Principal District and Sessions Judge Court
Pulwama has been transferred and posted as Section Officer, Records, Principal District and Sessions Judge Court, Srinagar against an available vacancy.
Hafizullah Najar, Head Assistant (Nazir), Principal District and Sessions Judge
Court Budgam, upon his promotion as Section Officer has been transferred and posted as Section Officer Principal District and Sessions Judge Court Pulwama vice Nasir Hussain Khan.
Showkat Mehmood Makdoomi, Head Assistant, Munsiff Court Bandipora has been transferred and posted as Head Assistant (Records) Principal District and Sessions Judge Court, Srinagar against an available vacancy.
Muhammad Sharief Beig, Head Assistant (Nazir), Munsiff Court, Ganderbal, has been transferred and posted as Head Assistant (Nazir), Munsiff Court, Bandipora vice Showkat Mehmood Makdoomi.
Azad Ahmad Makhdoomi, Head Assistant (Nazir), CJM Court, Handwara, has been transferred and posted as Head Assistant (Nazir) Munsiff Court, Ganderbal vice Mohammad Sharief Beig.
Jawad-ul-Malik Mir, Civil Clerk, Additional District Judge Court, Pulwama, upon his promotion as Head Assistant has been transferred and posted as Head Assistant (Nazir), CJM Court, Handwara vice Azad Ahmad Makhdoomi.
Abdul Aziz Dar, Senior Assistant, lncharge Library, Principal District and Sessions Judge
Court, Pulwama, upon his promotion as Head Assistant has been transferred and posted as Head Assistant (Nazir) Principal District and Sessions Judge Court, Budgam vice Hafizullah Najar.
Bashir Ahmad Wagay, Head Record Keeper, Principal District and Sessions Judge Court, Baramulla has been transferred and posted as Head Record Keeper, Principal District and Sessions Judge Court Islamabad vice Mohammad Akbar Magray.
Bashir Ahmad Shah (Nazir) Head Assistant Munsiff Court, Dooru has been transferred and posted as Head Record Keeper, Principal District and Sessions Judge Court, Baramulla vice Bashir Ahmad Wagay.
Muhammad Akbar Magray, Head Record Keeper, Principal District and Sessions Judge
Court, Islamabad has been transferred and posted as (Nazir) Head Assistant, Munsiff Court Dooru vice Bashir Ahmad Shah.
Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, Head Record Keeper (Head Assistant) Principal District Judge Court, Kupwara and Ghulam Hassan Akhoon Head Assistant (Records) Principal District Judge Court Budgam shall swap their place of postings.
Farooq Ahmad Shah, Head Record Keeper, Principal District Judge Court, Baramulla has been transferred and posted as Accountant, Principal District Judge Court, Budgam vice Mushtaq Ahmad Shat.
Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat, Accountant, Principal District Judge Court, Budgam has been transferred and posted as Head Assistant Records, Principal District Judges Court, Kupwara vice Abdul Hamid Shah.
Abdul Hamid Shah, Head Assistant Records, Principal District Judges Court, Kupwara has been transferred and posted as Head Assistant Records, Principal District and Sessions Court, Baramulla.
Saba Qazi, Copyist, Sub Registrar Court, Srinagar upon her promotion as Senior Assistant has been transferred and posted as Civil Clerk, Principal District and Sessions
Court, Ganderbal against an available vacancy.
Fatima Syed Nazki, Copyist, Additional District Judge’s Court, Srinagar upon her promotion as Senior Assistant is transferred and posted as Civil Clerk, CJM Court, Gandcrbal against an available vacancy.
Suraya Jan, Assistant Keeper, Record Principal District and Sessions Court, Srinagar upon her promotion has been transferred and posted as Reader, Munsiff
Court, Chadoora vice Muhammad Shafi Pandit.
Parvez Ahmad Bhat, Civil Clerk 3rd Additional Munsiff, Srinagar upon his promotion as Senior Assistant has been transferred and posted as Civil Clerk, Principal District and Sessions Court, Bandipora.
Bilalo Bano, Copyist, 2nd Additional Munsiff Court, Srinagar, upon her promotion as Senior Assistant is transferred and posted as Rent Clerk, Judicial Court, Chief Magistrate Canderbal vice Peer OH Rasool.
 GuIzar Ahmad Shah, Civil/Criminal Clerk Munsiff Court, Shopian upon his promotion as Senior Assistant has been transferred and posted as Civil Clerk, Additional District Court, Islamabad against available vacancy.
Muzaffar Ahmad Malik, Civil Clerk, Munsiff Court, Kangan upon his promotion as Senior Assistant has been transferred and posted as Civil Clerk, Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, Sopore against available vacancy.
Rukhsana Habib, Assistant Record Keeper, Principal Srinagar, District Sessions &
Judge Court, senior, her promotion upon as Assistant has been transferred and posted as Misc, clerk Principal District and Sessions Court, Budgam vice Imtiyaz Ali.
Noor Mohammad Ahangar, Civil Clerk, 1st.Additional Munsiff Court, Srinagar upon his prornotion as Senior Assistant has been transferred and posted Nazir (Sr.Asstt) District as Mobile Magistrate (Traffic) Court, Islamabad vice Shabir Ahmad Nengroo.
Shabir Hussain Nengroo Nazir (Senior Assistant) District Mobile Magistrate (Traffic) Court)
Islamabad has been transferred and is posted Misc. Ahlimad, Principal District & Sessions Court, Pulwama vice Mehraj-ud-Din Lone.
Mehraj-ud-Din Lone, Misc. Ahlimad (Senior Assistant) Principal District & Sessions Court, Pulwama has been transferred and posted as Reader-cun1-Nc.1zir, Addl. District Judge’s Court, Islamabad against available vacancy
Khalid Shahnawaz Mir, Civ H/ Criminal Clerk, Sub Registrar Court) Srinagar, upon his promotion as Senior Assistant, has been transferred and posted as Criminal Clerk, Additional District Judge Court, Islamabad against available vacancy.
Shazia Ali Munshi, Junior Assistant, 3rd  Addition District Judge (TADA), Srinagar upon her promotion as Senior Assistant has been transferred and posted as MACT Clerk, Principal District & Sessions Court, Budgam vice Syed Aijaz Hussain  Rizvi.
Peer Fayaz Ahmad, civil clerk Assistant is transferred and posted as Reader CJM Court, Shopian against available vacancy.
Shazia Hamid, Copyist, Special Judge (Anticorruption Court, Srinagar, upon her promotion as Senior Assistant is transferred and posted as Reader, Munsiff Court, Budgamn vice  Ghulam Mohammad Ganai.
Syed Wajahat Hussain, Copyist, CJM Court Srinagar, upon his promotion as Seniol
Assistant has been transferred and posted as Nazir, CJM Court, Budgam vice  Abdul Rashid Wani.
Iftikhar Hussain Dar, Civil Clerk, Forest Magistrate Court, Srinagar upon his promotion as Senior Assistant has been transferred and posted as Civil Clerk, 1st. Additional District Judge Court, Bararn ulla, against available vacancy.
Wilayat Hussain Khan, Civil Clerk, Munsif Court, Qazigund upon his promotion as Senior Assistant has been transferred and posted as Criminal Clerk, 1st. Additional District Judge’s Court, Baramulla against available vacancy.
Shagufta, Copyist, Special Anticorruption Court, Srinagar, upon her promotion as Senior Assistant has been transferred and posted as Reader, Munsiff Court, Sumbal vice Muhammad Ashraf Shah-II.
Bashir Ahmad Bhat, Civil Clerk, Munsiff Court, Shangas, upon his promotion as Senior Assistant has been transferred and posted as Reader Court-cum-Nazir, Additional District Judge Baramulla against available vacancy.
Farooq Ahmad Wani, Criminal Clerk, Munsiff Court, D. H. Para, upon his promotion as Senior Assistant has been transferred and posted as Civil Clerk, Additional District Judge Baran1ulla against available vacancy.
Muhamma Yousuf Bathangi, Typist, Principal District and Sessions Judge Court,
Pulwama upon his promotion as senior assistant is transferred and posted as Criminal Clerk Addl. District Judge Court, Baramulla against available vacancy.
Mehraj-ud-Din Rather Copyist, Sub Judge Court, Kulgam upon his promotion as Senior Assistant has been transferred and posted as Reader, Munsiff Court Qazigund against available vacancy.
Mubashir Hussain Dar, Copyist, Sub Judge Court, Bijbehara upon his promotion as Senior Assistant has been transferred and posted as Reader, Munsiff Court, Shangas, against available vacancy.
Abbas Ahmad Mir, Criminal Clerk, Sub Judge-J Court, Kulgam upon his promotion as Senior Assistant has been transferred and posted as District Record Keeper, Principal District and Sessions Court, Baramulla against available vacancy.
Peer Ghulam Rasool has been transferred and posted as Civil clerk, City .Judge court, Srinagar vice Shamima Akther.
Ghulam Nabi Sofi, Nazir, (Senior Assistant) Passenger Tax Magistrate Court, Srinagar and  Reyaz Ahmed Rather, Civil Clerk (Senior Assistant) CJM Court, Islamabad Shall swap of their place of postings.
Mohammad Ashraf Shah-II, Reader Munsiff Court, Sumbal has been transferred and posted as Misc. Clerk Principal District & Sessions Judge Court, Baramulla against available vacancy.
Latifa Jan, Additional Reader, Additional District Judge (Bank Cases) Court, Srinagar has been transferred and posted as Reader, Sub Judge Court, Pulwama against available vacancy.
Muhammad Shafi Wani, (Senior Assistant) Civil Clerk, Principal District & Sessions Judge Court, Shopian is traIlsferred and posted as Reader, Sub Judge Court, Bijbehara vice Afroza Sultan.
Bilal Ahmad Bhat Bhat (Senior Assistant) Judicial Clerk, District Magistrate Srinagar has been transferred and posted as MACT Ahlimad PR. District Judge Court Pulwan1a vice Haider Ganai.
Haider Ganai MACT Ahlimad, District Judge Court, Pulwama is transferred and posted as Nazir Reader, 1st Additional District Judge’s Court, Baramulla vice Abdul Rashid Bhat.
Abdul Rashid Bhat Nazir, Reader, 1st. Addl. District Judge’s Court, Baramulla has been transferred and posted as Nazir, Spl. Mobile Magistrate (Reaffic) court, Srinagar vice Rouful Mushtaq.
Shamima Akhter, (Senior Assistant) Civil Clerk, City, Judge’s Srinagar has been transferred and posted as Nazir, Munsiff Court Chari-i- Sharief against available vacancy.
GuIzar Ahmad Paray, (Senior Assistant) Cr Clerk, PR. Distt & Sessions Court, Islamabad is transferred and posted as Addl. Reader, Addl. District ,-Judge Court (Bank Cases), Srinagar vice Latifa-Jan.
Muhammad Sultan Ganai, (Senior Assistant) Nazir / Reader, Munsiff Court Kupwara has been transferred and posted as Rent Ahlimad, Chief Judicial magistrate Court, Bandipora against available vacancy.
Abdul Rashid War, (Senior Assistant) Cr Clerk, Principal District & Sessions Court, Kupwara has been transferred and posted as Reader, CJM Court Bandipora against available vacancy.
Bashir-ud-Din (Senior Assistant) MACT Ahlimad, Principal District & Sessions Court, Kupwara has been transferred and posted as Nazir, Mobile Magistrate (Traffic) Sopore, against an available vacancy.
Muhammad Shafi Pandit, (Senior Assistant) Reader, Munsiff Court, Chadura has been transferred and posted as MACT Clerk, Principal District and Sessions Judge Court, Rashid War, Kupwara.
Syed Aijaz Hussain Rizvi (Senior Assistant) Budgarn has been transferred and posted as Accounts Clerk, Principal District & Sessions Judge Court, Srinagar against available vacancy.
Abdul Rashid Wani, (Senior Assistant) Nazir, CJM Court, Budgam has been transferred and posted as Cr. Clerk, Pr. District Judge Court, Islamabad vice GuIzar Ahmad Parray.
Ali Mohammad Malla, (Senior Assistant) Reader, Addl. District Judge Court, Srinagar and Syed Abid Hussain, Civil Clerk, CJM, Budgam shall swap their place of postings.
Bashir Ahmad Malik, (Senior Assistant) Civil Clerk, Addl. District Judge Court Srinagar and Bashir Ahmad Pujoo (Senior Assistant) Civil Clerk, Principal District & Sessions Judge Court, Baramulla shall swap their place of postings.
Showkat Ali Khan, Nazir (Senior Assistant) Sub Registrar Court, Srinagar and Raja Mohamnlad Ali (Senior Assistant) MACT Ahlimad Principal District & Sessions Judge Court, Islamabad shall swap their place of postings.
Rouful Mushtaq (Senior Assistant) Nazir, Spl Mobile Magistrate (Traffic) Court, Srinagar has been transferred and posted as Reader/Nazir Munsiff. Court, Baramulla against available vacancy.
Javaid Ahmad Dar (Senior Assistant) Munsiff Court Dangiwacha (Rafiabad) and  Ali Mohammad Kumar (Senior Assistant) Nazir Munsiff Court, Boniyar shall swap their place of posting.
Ghulam Mohammad Dar (Senior Assistant) MACT Ahlimad, Pr District Judge Court, Baramulla and Manzoor-ul-Hassan (Senior Assistant) Nazir, Sub Judge Court, Kupwara shall swap their places of posting.
Asiya Sami Andrabi, (Junior Assistant) Civil Clerk, Passenger Tax Magistrate Court, Srinagar and Syed Muhammad Shah, Copyist, CJM Court, Budgam shall swap their place of postings.
Syed Mumtaz Ahmad, Registration Clerk, (Junior Assistant) Sub Registrar Court, Srinagar is transferred and posted as Criminal Clerk Munsiff Court, Chadoora vice Syed Mehdi Shah.
Ghulam Qadir Ganai, Cr. Clerk, Munsiff Court Char-i-Sharief has been transferred and posted as Registratlon Clerk, Sub Registrar Court, Srinagar  vice Syed Mumtaz Ahmad.
Syed Mehdi Shah, Criminal Clerk, Munsiff Court, Chadoora has been transferred and posted as Criminal Clerk, Munsiff Court ,Char-i-sharief vice  Ghulam Qadir Ganai.
Manzoor Ahmad Najar, Judl. Clerk Executive Magistrate Court Cantonment, Srinagar has been transferred and posted as Civil Clerk, Munsiff Court, Bandipora vice Ovais Ahmad Shah.
Ovais Ahmad Shah, Civil Clerk Munsiff Court, Bandipora has been transferred and posted as Criminal Clerk, Munsiff Court, Budgam vice S Satnam SinGhulam
S Satnam Singh, Cr. Clerk, Munsiff Court, Budgam has been transferred and posted as Copyist, Addl District Judge court, Srinagar vice Fatima Nazki.
Naseerna Akhter, Judl. Clerk, Tehsil Court, Chacloora has been transferred and posted as Copyist, Special Judge Anticorruption Court, Srinagar vice Shagufta Habib.
Bilal Ahmad Bhat, Typist (Junior Assistant) Principal District & Sessions Court, Kupwara
Has been transferred and posted as Criminal Clerk, 2nd Addl. Munsiff Court, Srinagar against available vacancy.
Bashir Ahmad Lone, Judicial Clerk, District magistrate Court, Budgam has been transferred and posted as Civil Clerk, Forest Magistrate Court, Srinagar vice  Iftikhar Hussain Dar.
Showkat Ahmad Mohjoo (Junior Assistant) Cr. Clerk, Sub Judge Court, Pattan has been transferred and posted as Cr. Clerk, Munsiff Court, Dangivacha Rafiabad vice Aftab Ahmad Naikoo.
Aftab Ahlnad Naikoo, Cr. Clerk Munsiff Court Dangiwahca Rafiabad has been transferred and posted as Cr. Clerk M unsiff Court, Boniyar vice Tysar Jan.
Tysar Jan, Criminal Clerk, Munsiff Court, Boniyar has been transferred and posted as Copyist, Principal District Judge Court, Baramulla vice Masarat Jan.
Masarat Jan, Copyist Principal District Judge Court Baramulla has been transferred and posted as Copyist, CJM Court, Sopore vice Aatif Hussain Bhat.
Aatif Hussain Bhat copyist, CJM court, Sopore has been and posted as Cr. Clerk,
Mobile Magistrate (Traffic) Court, Sopore vice Mubashir Hussain Kirmani.
Mubashir Hussain Cr. Clerk, Kirrnani, mobile (Traffic) Court, Sopore has been transferred and posted as Criminal Clerk) Sub Judge Court, Pattan vice  Showkat Ahmad Mohjoo.
Abdul Rashid Pala, Copyist (Junior Assistant.), Munsiff Court, Sumbal has been transferred and posted as Civil Clerk, Munsiff Court, Magarn vice Muzaffar Ahmad Khan.
Muzaffar Ahmad Khan, Civil Clerk, Munsif Court, Magam has been transferred and posted as Civil Clerk, 1st. Addl. Munsiff Court, Srinagar vice Noor Mohammad Ahangar.
Hamidullah Wani, Criminal Clerk (Jr Asst) Munsif Court, Pulwama and  Bashir Ahrnad Kumar, Civil/Criminal Clerk (,Junior Assistant) l\JIunsiff Court, Kulgam shall swap their place of postings.
Maqsaood Ahmad Wani, Copyist (Junior Assistant) Munsiff Court, D.H.Pora and Nazir Ahmad
Rather, Crimnal Clerk, Sub Judge Court, Vailoo shall swap their place of postings.
Mehraj-ud-Din, Copyist, Sub Judge Court, Kulgam and  Fayaz Ahmad Shiekh, R&D Clerk, Principal District & Sessions Judge Court, Pulwama shall swap their place of posting.
Mohammad Amin mir, Copyist (Junior Assistant) Mobile Magistrate (Traffic) Court, Islamabad has been transferred and posted as Copyist, Munsiff Court, Sumbal vice  Abdul Rashid Pala.
S Pupinder Singh, Cr    Clerk    (Junior Assistant) Sub Judge Court, Uri has been transferred and posted as Copyist, Munsiff Court, Tangmarg    Vice Showkat Ahmad Malik
Showkat Ahmad Malik, Copyist, Munsiff Court, Tangmarg has been transferred and posted as Cr. Clerk, Sub Judge Court, Baramulla vice  Mubashir Hussain.
Mubashir Hussain, Cr. Clerk, Sub Judge Court, Baramulla has been transferred and posted as Criminal Clerk, Sub Judge Court Uri vice S. Pupinder SinGhulam
Manzoor Ahmad Khan, Judicial Clerk, (Junior Assistant) Tehsil Court, Pattan has been transferred and posted as Criminal Clerk, Sub Judge Court, Kupwara against available vacancy.
These promotions are made temporarily in officiating capacity subject to reservation quota and representations, if any, to the seniority list and shall not create any vested right in favour of any individual employee. It is made explicitly clear that if the posts do not make themselves available after assigning of categories to these posts, the individual promoted employees shall have to revert to the previous substantive post.
The case of Mohammad Saleem Bhat, Junior Assistant (Under suspension) ‘.for promotion was considered. His promotion is directed to be kept in abeyance till outcome of contemplated regular enquiry against him.  
The promotion of Iftikhar Hussain Dar, Junior Assistant is directed to be subject to the outcome of enquiry presently being conducted by Registrar Vigilance.
All the Presiding Officers have been asked to implement the order with reasonable dispatch and in any case relieve the transferees latest by 27 May 2009. In no case shall transferees be retained beyond the said date. Any violation shall indicate lack of control over office and viewed seriously.




25 bonded labourers rescued from Uttar Pradesh brick kiln

By ians on Thursday, May 14th, 2009

New Delhi, May 13, Twenty-five bonded labourers, including 12 children, have been rescued from a brick kiln in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Budh Nagar district, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said Wednesday.

While the brick kiln owner had earlier been given a clean chit by the district administration, an enquiry by the human rights commission finally helped in nailing the guilty and rescuing the labourers.

An NHRC official said: “With the assistance of an investigation team sent by the NHRC, the sub divisional magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar district identified 25 bonded labourers at the Raja Brick Kiln in the area. Incidentally, twice on earlier occasions, the district administration, on the basis of an inquiry by officials of the Labour Commissioner’s office, had given a clean chit to the brick kiln owner.”

“However, investigations by NHRC finally located the two complainants – Bhagwan Das and Kartar Singh – along with their families confirming their status as bonded labourers in the brick kiln,” the official said.

The labourers, who hail from Aligarh district, were issued their release certificates and sent back home earlier this month. The district administration has assured them of rehabilitation.





Summer vacations in state tribunals


 2009-05-13 20:58:00

Gujarat Global News Network, Ahmedabad

The Gujarat state co-operative tribunal and Gujarat Value Added Tax tribunal will have summer vacations from May 18 to June 14. During this period the registrar office of both the tribunals would function normally.

According to a government release the registrar office of co-operative tribunal would accept applications and would admit new matter. Besides, there is vacation in Gujarat Revenue Tribunal from May 11 to June 9 and its office would also remain open. Except reference cases of Gujarat High Court and applications for early hearing no other case would be taken up.






Bilal’s endless wait for ‘disappeared’ brother
News Agency of Kashmir

5/12/2009 10:21:13 PM


Tawqeer Hussain/Doru (Anantnag), May 12(NAK): Still waiting for justice to prevail, Bilal Ahmad brother of Fayaz who is missing since August 1994 wish to have a glimpse of his brother who according to him was picked up by troopers from his residence in Zamalgam village of Doru Shahabad.

Fifteen years after his arrest, the whereabouts of Doru youth is still unknown. The agency which affected the arrest has denied any knowledge about him and the National human rights commission when approached by the family members believed that the youth might have joined the militant ranks.

According to the family sources, Fayaz Ahmad Sheikh son of Late Mohammad Yasin Sheikh resident of Zamalgam Doru was picked up by the 1 Rashtriya Rifles(RR) during the intervening night of August 29/30 1994.

Narrating the woeful tale, the mother of the missing youth said, that night he was sleeping at his grand father’s house close to them, the soldiers of the RR1 came at about 10:30 PM and picked him up on the pretext that he will show them the house of Namberdar.

Next day he was brought to the village, he was in bad shape. They searched the house but could not find anything, he was taken back and this was the last time when I saw him’’ she added with tears roll down her face, narrated his brother.

Due to this trauma we lost our father also in 1996, added Bilal Ahmad, the younger brother of the missing.

“We rushed to the camp and requested the troops for the release of Fayaz, but the soldiers denied his arrest”, he added and said even police refused to register the case.

It was only due to the intervention of court that police registered a case. “We approached the court to seek its judicial intervention in 1995”. Bilal said adding the high court directed the concerned SSP to ensure the registration of the case and an investigation into the disappearance.

Accordingly FIR NO.62/99 under section 364RPC was registered in police station Doru.

A petition was also filled in the State Human Rights Commission. The commission issued notice to the state police. In its communication no., GB/EG/2001/7083; DATED March 27, 2001 addressed to DC Anantnag, the SSP said, “the report sought from the concerned SDPO reveals that there is nothing adverse against the subject’’. The SHRC recommended the ex-gratia to the next kith and kins of the missing.

Meanwhile the disappearance also filled in National Human Rights Commission. The NHRC in postal letter to the family members informed them that the commission sought a report from the Defence Ministry. The Defence ministry in its report admitted the arrest however it reads he was then released. The letter further stated that the subject might have joined the militant ranks.

“I have been appointed at the sheep husbandry department under SRO 143, but I don’t need the job I only want to see my brother’’ said Bilal Ahmad. (NAK)





K’taka asked to pay Rs 3 lakh to wife of custody death victim

New Delhi, May 12: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Karnataka government to pay a monetary relief of Rs three lakh to the wife of a person who allegedly was beaten to death by police while in their custody in Bangalore in 2005.

The Commission also directed Karnataka Chief Secretary to submit a compliance report along with proof of payment of the monetary relief by May 26.

Abdul Rauf died in police custody on May 9, 2005 at Jayanagar police station in Bangalore. Police had arrested him in connection with a murder case.

NHRC noted that a magisterial enquiry into the circumstances of Rauf’s death concluded that he had died due to beating by police.

The post-mortem report revealed 41 external injuries on the body of the deceased and the autopsy doctor opined that Rauf died due to “shock and haemorrhage as a result of multiple injuries”, rights panel observed.

A criminal case was registered against three policemen and later a charge sheet was submitted against them in the court.

“Abdul Rauf may have been suspected of murder but that could be no justification for inflicting as many as 41 injuries on him. The circumstances of the case indicate that the police acted in flagrant breech of the Constitutional guarantee to life,” the Commission noted.

Bureau Report





Tribunal upholds TRAI order to scrap access deficit charge


Quashes appeals filed by BSNL against the regulator.

Our Bureau

New Delhi, May 12 The Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has rejected petitions by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd challenging abolition of the access deficit charge (ADC) by the telecom regulator.

ADC was a levy imposed by the TRAI on private telecom operators for funding rural telephone connections. Since BSNL operates more than 95 per cent of the rural phones, almost all the money collected through this levy was being pocketed by the PSU. The levy was introduced in 2003 and removed in 2008 by TRAI.

Social obligation

BSNL had challenged the decision to do away with the levy on grounds that it had to fulfil social obligation and, therefore, continue to need subsidy support.

Dismissing petitions, the TDSAT bench headed by Mr Justice Arun Kumar said: “As regards ADC, we hold that the appellant (BSNL) has no legal right to ADC; that the ADC has rightly been designed as a depleting regime; that the ADC was rightly terminated in the year 2008-09 and that the manner of calculating ADC each year was fair and reasonable, given the facts available with TRAI.

Contention rejected

“We do not find any basis to support the contention of the appellant that the mobile termination charges have been wrongly fixed by the authority.”

The tribunal also rejected BSNL’s contention that TRAI was wrong while calculating ADC and relied on faulty data.

It further said that BSNL did not have any reliable data over the quantum of loss suffered by it for its rural obligations.

“We find no impropriety or irrationality in the authority in not having entered into detailed calculations regarding ADC. The counsel for respondent (TRAI) pointed out that the total amount of ADC received by BSNL all these years far exceeds the costs incurred by it. There is reason to believe that this could be so.

“Without determining this specific aspect, we hold that the authority was right in the manner of arriving at the quantum of ADC each year,” TDSAT said.





Court transfers engineer’s murder case to Lucknow

May 11th, 2009 – 2:02 pm EST By Sindh Today

Lucknow, May 11 (IANS) The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court Monday transferred engineer Manoj Gupta’s murder case from the Auraiya trial court to Lucknow on the pleas of the alleged killer’s wife, as well as the government’s counsel.

A single judge bench of Justice Saroj Bala also directed the Lucknow sessions judge to ensure that the trial is concluded within six months.

Gupta, an executive engineer with the Public Works Department (PWD), was allegedly brutally killed by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislator Shekhar Tiwari December 24, 2008 in a government guest house in Auraiya. Gupta had reportedly refused to shell out a huge donation demanded by the legislator for Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s birthday celebrations January 15.

Interestingly, the request for transferring the case was made by the legislator’s wife Vibha Tiwari, who is a co-accused in the case as she is believed to have erased vital evidence related to the murder. However, while she had sought the shifting of the case from Auraiya to Kanpur, the high court decided to transfer it to Lucknow following a supplementary request made by the state’s special counsel, I.B.Singh.






SC flak for NHRC interference in Human Rights violation of murder convict
The Supreme Court has strongly disapproved of the action of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in the name of so-called violation of human rights of a man convicted for murder in Assam.

The apex court disapproval was expressed in a case where the Assam Governor had commuted to life imprisonment the death sentence of a man convicted for murder.

The Assam Cabinet in 2002 had asked the then Governor of Assam, Lt Gen (Retd) Srinivas Kumar Sinha to commute the death sentence of Rajnath Chauhan alias Ramdeo Chauhan, a man convicted for murder to life imprisonment on the interference of NHRC.

The death sentence of Rajnath Chauhan was confirmed both by the Gauhati High Court as well as by the apex court.

A bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and A K Ganguly put a pertinent question to the NHRC, ‘who has violated the human rights of Chauhan?’ The apex court, while setting aside the order of the Governor, yesterday noted, ‘The recommendation of NHRC is without sanction of law.

‘The proceedings initiated by the apex Human Rights body were not in line with the procedure prescribed in the NHRC Act. That being so, the recommendation, if any, by the NHRC are non est.’ The decision of the Governor was challenged in the apex court by the family members of the victim.

The apex court directed the state Governor to reconsider his decision in the light of an earlier judgment of the Supreme Court relating to exercise of constitutional power on clemency.

The Court, in its earlier judgment had laid down that arbitrary and illegal use of power of clemency either by a state Governor or by the President is subject to judicial review.

The court termed the response of the NHRC, as evasive, which had said, ‘when any action violated the human rights, there can be violation of the human rights,’ The apex court concluded by holding, ‘such a situation is not conceivable and the cause of the alleged violation of the human rights was the Supreme Court judgment awarding him death penalty.’ The apex court also pulled up the NHRC for unnecessarily interfering in the judicial sentencing system by making uncalled for recommendations to the Assam Governor.







Probe ordered into Madhya Pradesh’s poor high school results


May 11th, 2009

BHOPAL – Shocked by the declining pass percentage in Madhya Pradesh’s high school examinations, state Education Minister Archana Chitnis has ordered a high-level probe to find out the reasons for the poor results, official sources said.

After reaching a record high of 57.88 pass percentage last year, only 35.33 percent of regular students passed the 2009 examination, conducted by the Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education (MPBSE).

The performance by private students was even more dismal, with only 8.9 percent of them passing, compared to 25.07 percent last year.

The probe committee has been asked to submit its report within a fortnight.

Soon after the declaration of results Saturday, Chitnis chaired a departmental meeting to find out the reasons for the poor show and even directed officials to initiate a process to exclude teachers engaged in board classes from election duty, an official present at the meeting told IANS on condition of anonymity.

‘The minister held election duty of teachers in both assembly (in 2008) and the current parliamentary elections responsible for the poor results. She said for the next year books had been made available in all government schools before the commencement of the session from April 1, and thus the results are expected to improve,’ the official said.

Chitnis is also said to have apprised Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan of her decision.

MPBSE secretary in charge Snehlata Srivastava straight away blamed the prolonged election process and insufficient training for teachers in accordance with the changed syllabi for the decline in the pass percentage.

‘Teachers were asked to appear in different kinds of election-related training which largely affected regular studies in schools during the academic year when the course curriculum was changed and it seemed that teachers were not trained enough for dealing with these changes,’ she said.

However, a large number of school principals claimed the fall in pass percentage was due to the board’s decision to permit students having less than 65 percent attendance to appear in exams.

Others like Nandkishore, a parent, attributed the interrupted power supply and lack of adequate number of teachers in schools for the poor show by students.

‘Also, the session was curtailed so that fresh academic session could be started from April 1 (which did not happen) and this left little time to conduct regular classes which had already got disturbed due to assembly elections,’ he said.





NHRC asks for appropriate action in overcrowded Orissa jail

Published: May 10,2009

New Delhi, May 10 The National Human Rights Commission has asked the IG (prison) of Orissa to take appropriate action on a complaint which alleges that more than 250 inmates are lodged against its capacity of 34 at the Kendrapada district sub-jail in gross human rights violations.

The rights panel has issued the directive to the state prison official acting on a complaint filed by a Supreme Court lawyer here.

Seeking intervention from the human rights watchdog, lawyer Radhakanta Tripathy had claimed that inmates at the”over populated”sub-jail in Kendrapada district of Orissa had also been fighting to get basic amenities.

More than 250 inmates are packed like sardines in the Kendrapada sub-jail that has a capacity of only 34,” Tripathy claimed in his petition.

“The inmates are served with poor and unhygienic meals. They have to queue up before the unclean toilets for long or attend to nature&aposs call in open air inside the jail campus that further worsen the environment,” Tripathy claimed.

The only well available in the Kendrapada sub-jail has dried since a couple of weeks.” Inmates have been fighting for drops of water. They are tortured by jail officials in case they protest to get adequate water at least to satisfy their thirst. Many of the inmates have fallen sick,”the lawyer claimed.

Source: PTI

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