Daily Legal News 24.09.2008

Madras HC rules in favour of Nalini
The Tamil Nadu government today told the Madras High Court that it was the sole authority of the state to consider premature release of a prisoner under General Amnesty Scheme.Arguing before Justice S Nagamuthu, hearing the petition filed by Nalini convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case seeking an early release, Advocate General G Masilamani submitted no one has the right to seek premature release unless the state decides to remit their sentence.”It is an executive power of the state whether to remit the sentence or not,” he said.He also submitted that the government is entitled to bring in certain classification for considering prisoners for premature release. It is open to the state whether to consult the Centre or not while granting remission to a prisoner who has been convicted under any Central act, he said. On Nalini’s counsel S Doraisamy’s contention that thegovernment had considered only ADGP (Prisons) recommendation while rejecting Nalini’s plea, Masilamani submitted that the government had taken the decision to reject Nalini’s plea only on the advice of the Advisory Board. However, he agreed with Doraisamy’s contention that only three members of the Board were present while taking a decision against Nalini’s plea, as against the stipulated seven. Nalini had moved the High Court seeking premature release early this year, after being in jail for the last 17 years. (Agencies)The death sentence awarded to her was commuted to life following an appeal by Congress president Sonia Gandhi on humanitarian grounds that Nalini had given birth to a girl in the jail. Priyanka Vadra had also met Nalini, lodged in the high-security Vellore prison, a few months ago.
9/24/2008 8:59:20 AM

Tapasi: Verdict on 1 November
CHANDERNAGORE, Sept. 23: The magistrate of Chandernagore First Fast Track Court deferred the judgement of the Tapasi Malik murder case, which was scheduled to be delivered today. It will now be pronounced on 1 November this year, said Mr Amar Kanti Acharya, additional district and session judge of the court said. Earlier, two accused in this case ~ former CPI-M Singur zonal committee secretary, Suhrid Dutta and his associate Debu Malik ~ were produced before the court amid tight security. Thousands, including supporters from both the CPI-M and the Trinamul Congress, gathered in the court premises to hear the judgement. At 2 p.m. today when Mr Acharya, announced in a packed court room that the judgement would be delivered on 1 November. Later both the accused were taken to Chandernagore sub-divisional correctional home under tight police protection. Trinamul Congress workers later took out a rally in the court compound demanding capital punishment for both the accused for the murder of Tapasi, an 18-year-old member of Singur Krishi Jomi Raksha Committee, who was charred to death inside the fenced-off area of the Tata Motors small car project at Singur on 18 December 2006, allegedly by five men. Citing lack of readability, the magistrate has instructed the CBI advocate and defence lawyers to submit before the court some case related papers that had earlier been submitted. Mr Partha Tapaswi, CBI advocate said: “We will submit the papers within 26 September”. Defence lawyers Mr Arindam Bhattacharjee and Mr Kishor Mondal, who were also present during court proceeding today, said they would submit the documents before the court within Friday.Earlier, the state government had ordered a CBI probe into the Tapasi Malik murder case in December 2006. Sleuths belonging to the CBI, later arrested Malik on 24 June 2007 in connection with the murder and were taken to Delhi for a polygraph test. Later Malik reportedly told CBI that Dutta had masterminded the murder. Dutta, an influential CPI-M leader from Singur who is also a CPI-M Hooghly district committee member, was arrested on 28 June 2007. The investigating agency had told the court that Tapasi was murdered for participating in the organised farmers’ movement at Singur. Chargesheet in connection with the case was filed before Chandernagore court on 15 September last year.
Statesman News Service

Khairlanji: Judgement Out..but something left!
Though the final judgement is out but the shadow of personal prejudices with respect to the Judgement in Khairlanji case is followes the Judicial system in India.
Wildly criticised, CASTE ANGLE TO the case is deeply and silently burried down with the final verdict, this will create a hUGE DEMOCRATIC DEFICEIT in the Indian society . The people of India should take congnigance of this and sensitise the systems to eradicate the Caste virus. Denying existance of such Virus will only help to prolifer the deadly inhuman desease.

Blockade outside CM’s further relaxed after HC intervention
IMPHAL, Sep 23: The ban on night time movement of civilian traffic on the eastern side of the NH-39 passing in front of the chief minister’s bungalow has been lifted from this evening even though the ban remained on the southern side of the road divided by the median on the road from state guest house to traffic island in front of Imphal post office. The High Court’s intervention has led to the opening of the road on the eastern side of the NH-39 section divided by the road median starting from the main gate of the 1st battalion Manipur Rifles gate up to the traffic island located in front of the Imphal post office for civil vehicular movement.The director of state transport has no authority to regulate traffic over the national highway portion. It is for the highway administration to regulate traffic over the national highways, said the ruling of the Gauhati High Court Imphal bench today while staying the order of the director of the transport regarding the prohibition.The court stayed the order of the transport department regulating the traffic over the eastern portion of the NH-39 section divided by the road median by the order of the transport department in a hearing to Writ Petition, PIL filed by advocate Khaidem Mani.According to advocate Mani, he had filed the PIL in the court considering the grievances faced by the general people due to the prohibition which has been in effect from the day of the blast inside the CM’s bungalow on September 1.The state principal secretary home, the director general of police and senior superintendent of police Imphal west were the respondents of the PIL.The PIL challenged the legality of the order passed through press release issued by the senior SP, Imphal west which regulated the traffic along the portion of the NH-39 purportedly for strengthening the security in and around the CM’s bungalow and VIP areas by prohibiting movement of civil vehicles on September 2.In the hearing, the state advocate general also frankly conceded before the court that the said order regulating traffic over the national highway was issued by the senior SP, Imphal west without jurisdiction and since it was issued without jurisdiction, the same is not sustainable in the eye of the law and it can be treated as non-est in the eyes of law. The said portion of the highway where the chief minister’s bungalow and VIP areas are located remained prohibited for civil vehicular movement from 6 pm till 7 am every day even though the western side of the median was opened.An order of the state transport department on September 20 had imposed the prohibition along the southern side of the road from traffic island in front of the Raj Bhavan to Palace Gate passing on the northern side of the chief minister’s bungalow.The order was issued partially modifying the earlier order of total prohibition of civil vehicular traffic on the section of the NH-39 from Moirangkhom to Raj Bhavan and road from Raj Bhavan to Palace Gate issued by the SP, Imphal west effective from the day after the blast, and was replaced by another order of the state transport department on September 19.With the stay on the order, the prohibition on the entry to the road has also lifted from this evening. But the restriction on civil vehicular traffic on the southern side of the road from state guest house to traffic island in front of the Imphal post office still remain.
The Imphal Free Press

Do not table part Nanavati panel report, pleads PIL; HC says no
Ahmedabad, September 23 Petitioner had sought quashing of part report, saying the panel should have filed a complete report
A division bench of the Gujarat High Court on Tuesday dismissed a joint Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking direction to quash the part report of the Nanavati Commission.
The bench comprising Chief Justice K S Radhkrishnan and Justice M S Shah observed that Section 3 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act did not prevent the Commission from preparing a part report, nor did it say whether a part report could not be filed in the state Assembly.
The PIL was filed by the Citizens for Justice and Peace and the Peoples Union for Civil Liberties and had also sought directions ordering the government not to table the part report in the Assembly during the Monsoon session starting September 25.
Representing the petitioners, advocate M M Tirmizi contended that the Commission was set up to probe the Godhra and the post-Godhra riots and hence could not split the inquiry into two parts. He pleaded that it should be a composite report of the complete inquiry.
He said the first part of the report dealt with the Godhra incident and did not reflect
on the role of the Chief Minister, other ministers and governmental officials in the ensuing riots.
“So, a composite report should be submitted to the state government and tabled in the Assembly after complete inquiry of the Godhra and post-Godhra incidents,” he added.
Referring to two Supreme Court judgements, Tirmizi further said: “It is an exercise by the state government for placing the part report of the inquiry of Godhra and the post-Godhra incidents.”
He added that the prejudicial role of the state government had been exposed following the Supreme Court order of a re-trial of the Best Bakery and the Bilkis Bano cases outside Gujarat. The apex court had also directed the state government to appoint another public prosecutor in the two cases on the suggestions of the victims, he said. He also referred to affidavits filed by former Additional Director General of Police R B Sreekumar about the role of the state in the post-Godhra riots.
He said the terms of reference appointing the Commission to look into the Godhra and post-Godhra incidents be looked in toto. Tabling one part of the report and making it public was detrimental to the public interest and amounted to splitting the terms of reference into two, he added.
As such, the state government should be restrained from placing it in the House on September 25, he said.
Express News Service
Posted online: Sep 24, 2008 at 0226 hrs

BMW case: Court seeks police response
NEW DELHI: Even as it set the ball rolling to hear Sanjeev Nanda’s appeal against his conviction in the BMW case, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday expressed its reluctance to suspend his sentence of five years of rigorous imprisonment. Nanda was handed the punishment for running over six persons with his BMW car, which HC said was a ‘‘serious’’ offence. Justice Kailash Gambhir, however, issued notice to Delhi Police and sought its response by October 3 on Nanda’s petition challenging his conviction and quantum of sentence. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Nanda, contended that the trial court had wrongly convicted him due to publicity in the media and he shouldn’t have been given more than two years of imprisonment. ‘‘The court relied on Alistair Pereira case where the accused was given three years of imprisonment for mowing down people sleeping on the pavement. On the other hand, in this case the accident happened because of the victim’s fault as they were standing in the middle of the road in the wee hours but Nanda was given five years of imprisonment,’’ Rohatgi said. ‘‘Nanda’s offence stands on a lower footing as compared to Pereira and he should not be given more than two years of imprisonment,’’ he argued. But HC didn’t appear to be entirely convinced with the contention and wondered, ‘‘Do you want to say that the car accident is not a serious offence. People standing on the road were run over by the car.’’ Seeking bail, 30-year-old Nanda contended in his petition that the trial court had accepted the testimony of controversial prosecution eye-witness Sunil Kulkarni which was not reliable as he was in Mumbai and not in Delhi at the time of the accident. Alleging that the police had delayed the recording of Kulkarni’s statement, the petition said that the court ignored the testimonies of the other defence witnesses. Nanda, who was sentenced to five years of imprisonment on September 05 by the trial court, said that the fact that he had paid a compensation of Rs 65 lakh each to the victim’s family was also ignored by the court. (toireporter@timesgroup.com)
24 Sep 2008, 0332 hrs IST,TNN

High Court extends gag order on govt, final verdict on Sept 26
Kolkata, September 23 The Calcutta High Court said it will pass its final order on September 26 on the Tata Motors plea for not allowing the state government to disclose contents of the agreement on setting up its small car plant. It also extended the interim gag order till September 30.
On September 12, Tata Motors had moved a plea urging for secrecy of the agreement. Justice Dipankar Dutta had passed an order staying the disclosure of the agreement for two weeks, which will expire on September 26.
Advocate Samaraditya Pal, counsel for the Tata Motors submitted that West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) had published a part of the agreement in their website on September 12, following a direction issued by the chief information commissioner (CIC). Pal termed the disclosure as “illegal”.
On Tuesday, Pal moved a plea saying that Tata Motors should have been given an opportunity to place its objections before the CIC before any order was passed on the disclosure of the agreement.
Counsel for Leader of the Opposition Partha Chatterjee, meanwhile, argued that once the agreement was read out on August 27 in a meeting of the standing committee, the people have a right to know the details of the project.
Express News Service
Posted online: Sep 24, 2008 at 0127 hrs

SC orders CBI probe into PF scam involving judges
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered a CBI probe into multi-crore Uttar Pradesh Provident Fund scam allegedly involving higher judiciary. A bench comprising Justice Arijit Pasayat, Justice V S Sirpurkar and Justice G S Singhvi directed the investigation agency to file a status report in three months. The court, however, did not pass any specific order at this juncture relating to the substance of allegations against sitting judges whose names have figured in the scam. Names of 26 members of judiciary, including an apex court judge, seven Allahabad high court judges, six retired high court judges and 12 judges from subordinate judiciary in Uttar Pradesh, have allegedly cropped up in the scam. The court said that 3 months time have been given to CBI to give its report but it will not stop the agency from going ahead with the filing of a final report before the stipulated period. “The court before which the final report or chargesheet will be filed will deal according to the law,” said the bench adding that the status report will also give details on how many persons from outside the Ghaziabad treasury were involved. In an elaborate order, the bench said that CBI will appoint an investigating officer, who will be incharge of the probe and it would be open to him to indicate to the Uttar Pradesh government about the officers/officials whose assistance would be required for comprehensive investigation. “The state government will place officials at the disposal of CBI so that effective investigation can be carried out,” the bench said taking into the consideration the plea of CBI. Solicitor-General G E Vahanvati appearing for CBI said that the premier investigation agency was not equipped with sufficient manpower. So, the state government should provide requisite manpower and infrastructure facilities in such a probe, said Vahanvati. To allay fears that documents may be tampered with, the court said that the investigating officer would take appropriate steps for preservation of original records of the investigation and subsequent proceedings. Further, the investigating officer will take charge of documents already in possession of the state police and reports of the probe conducted till now. All documents relating to the case will be microfilmed and deposited before the apex court, the copies of which will be handed over to the CBI and the Uttar Pradesh government, the Bench said. It said several other issues relating to the scandal will be dealt at an appropriate time. “Let us start of the process and at any point other suggestions could be considered,” the Bench said during the hearing. The state government has also given its consent to transfer the probe to the central investigating agency. Earlier, the Ghaziabad SP, who was probing the case, had expressed difficulty in carrying out the investigations into Rs 23 crore scam. The Ghaziabad Bar Association and the Indian chapter of the Transparency International had sought independent probe into the scandal saying that it would not be possible for the state police to carry out the investigation in a case allegedly involving judicial officials. Senior advocates Anil Divan and Shanti Bhushan, appearing for the Association and Transparency International respectively had submitted that retired judicial officers are not protected by any decision of this court which relates to serving judicial officers. Earlier, the scam was probed by the UP police on the direction of the Allahabad High Court. The state police had got prepared a questionnaire and got it cleared from the Chief Justice of India to go ahead with the investigation. Later, the lawyers association sought an independent probe by the CBI and the matter snowballed into a major controversy after Transparency International filed a writ petition and sought the recusal of the CJI from hearing the matter on the ground that he, in his administrative side, had already dealt with the case.

24 Sep, 2008, 0343 hrs IST, ET Bureau

SC wants law to protect owners from squatters
NEW DELHI: This Supreme Court move will bring cheers to those who have lost their house or land to squatters. On Tuesday, the court said it wanted a change in the law that gives ownership rights to the one who has usurped a property by squatting by taking advantage of the fact that the owners were have had little time to inquire about their property. Terming the ousting of real owners from their property by squatters as a serious human rights violation, a Bench comprising Justices Dalveer Bhandari and H S Bedi has requested the Centre to take a fresh look and suitably amend the land laws that recognise “adverse possession” as a means to acquire title over a property by ousting the real owners. The apex court was at loss to understand how the law could place a premium on dishonesty by legitimising possession of a trespasser and compelling the real owner to lose his title simply because the owner has not taken back his house or land within a stipulated time. “There is an urgent need of fresh look regarding the law on adverse possession. We recommend the Union of India to seriously consider and make suitable changes in the law of adverse possession,” said the Bench rushing a copy of its judgment to the law ministry and legislative department for appropriate steps in accordance with law. The case that prompted the court to do so related to a real owner losing out his title to a squatter. The Bench — despite the existing law — restored the property to the real owner, saying the trespasser had miserably failed to establish his title over it and said it was a pity that law recognised “adverse possession” as a means to take over property from a non-alert owner. Writing the judgment for the Bench, Justice Bhandari said: “The law of adverse possession which ousts an owner on the basis of inaction within limitation is irrational, illogical and wholly disproportionate…The law as it exists is extremely harsh for the true owners and a windfall for a dishonest person who had illegally taken possession of the property of the true owner.” The concern of the court was that law, which is meant to do justice, could not be seen to benefit a person “who in a clandestine manner takes possession of the property of the owner in contravention of the law.” Though right to property has been deleted from the list of fundamental rights and has been reduced to the status of a mere legal right, the apex court termed it as an important human right. “The right to property is now considered to be not only a constitutional right or statutory right but also a human right,” the Bench said, while observing that claim of adverse possession had to be dealt with keeping in mind this important right.
24 Sep 2008, 0243 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra,TNN

Don’t name sexual assault victims in judgements: SC
New Delhi (PTI): Judgements relating to sexual offences should not reveal the names of the victims, the Supreme Court has said.
Though penal provision did not restrict naming the victims in the judgements of the Supreme Court and High Courts, a Bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and M K Sharma suggested that courts should refrain from naming them in order to protect them from social victimisation.
“True it is, the restriction, does not relate to printing or publication of a judgement by High Court or Supreme Court.
“But keeping in view social object of preventing social victimisation or ostracism of the victim of a sexual offence for which section 228-A has been enacted, it would be appropriate that in the judgements, be it of this court, High Court or lower court, the name of the victim should not be indicated,” the Bench said and chose to describe her as only “victim” in the judgement.
The apex court was dealing with a case of sexual assault in which it arrived at the conclusion that the victim was not raped but her modesty was outraged by the accused.
While deciding not to identify the victim, the Bench referred to section 228-A of IPC, which makes disclosure of identity of victim of certain offences punishable.
It said printing or publishing name of any matter which may make known the identity of any person against whom an offence under IPC Sections 376 (rape), 376-A (intercourse by a man with his wife during separation) or 376-B (intercourse by public servant with woman in his custody) is alleged or found to have been committed can be punished.
It would also apply to cases under IPC sections 376-C (intercourse by Superintendent of Jail, Remand Home etc) or 376-D (intercourse by any member of management or staff of a hospital with any woman in that hospital), the court said.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008

HC order: Forest dept prepares to fell trees
Shimla, September 23 Three teams formed; trained manpower to help complete operation by end of the week
A day after High Court granted permission to fell 60-odd trees, which have been rendered dangerous, the state Government today prepared a strategy to cut down the trees.
The state’s Forest Corporation, which will be an agency to cut down the trees, has formed three teams and decided to take the help of trained manpower to complete the operation by the end of the week.
Additional Chief Secretary (Forest) Avay Shukla, who held a meeting with senior forest officials following the High Court order, told the forest officials to mark the trees that the High Court had allowed to be felled on the basis of photographs provided.
Ashwani Sharma Posted: Sep 24, 2008 at 0006 hrs IST

ITC moves HC against smoking ban
New Delhi (PTI): Indian Tobaco Company (ITC) Ltd, on Tuesday approached the Delhi High Court challenging the Centre’s notification banning smoking in private offices and other establishments from October two.
Under the curbs, those caught smoking in public places and other private organisations will be fined Rs 200 which may increase to Rs 1,000.
So far, smoking is banned only in public places and in private offices an area has been allotted as smoking zone for the cigarette smokers.
Besides ITC, two others petitioners including Indian Hotels Association have also moved separate plea challenging the May 2008 notification issued by the Union Health Ministry.
Earlier this month, Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss has said that the ban from the day coinciding with Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary would also cover hotels, restaurants and offices.
Besides this, the minister said the Government has also issued notifications to make pictorial warnings compulsory on all tobacco products from December one.
To begin with, the pictorial warnings would be those cleared by the Group of Ministers and would cover 40 per cent of tobacco product packets, but after about one year, more pictures can be brought in, he had said.
The Government is also making the fight against tobacco an integral part of the school health programme.
“According to a WHO study, around 14.1 per cent of school going children are using some or other form of tobacco, which is very worrisome,” Ramadoss has said.
The Government had notified pictorial warnings to be carried on tobacco products last month after clearance by the Group of Ministers.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Calcutta HC to pass final order on Tata Motors petition on Sep 26
The Calcutta High Court today said it would pass its final order on September 26 on the Tata Motors plea for not allowing West Bengal government to disclose contents of its agreement on setting up its small car plant while extending the interim gag order till September 30.
Justice Dipankar Dutta, after conclusion of hearing in the case, said he would deliver the judgement on Tata Motors’ prayer for an injunction on the state principal information officer’s directive to the state government to disclose the contents of the agreement.
Appearing for Tata Motors, counsel S Pal submitted that parts of the document were official secrets and should not be made public.
Concluding the arguments, Kalyan Banerjee for petitioner Trinamool Congress leader Partha Chatterjee, who had applied to the SPIO for contents of the deal, said the agreement could not be treated as a state secret as the land at Singur was acquired for public purpose.
Justice Dutta had on September 12 passed an interim stay for two weeks on operation of the order of the SPIO on September 8 that asked West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation, a nodal government agency of the state for the project, to make public the full text of the document.
Tata Motors, whose small car project is in limbo, has moved the Calcutta High Court and obtained the interim gag order on the West Bengal government.
A tripartite agreement was signed on March nine, 2007 among Tata Motors, West Bengal government and WBIDC, the nodal agency of the state for the project.
Press Trust Of India / Kolkata September 23, 2008, 18:17 IST

HC grants 4 months time to CBI complete probe
Kochi (PTI): Kerala High Court on Tuesday granted four months time to CBI to complete investigation of the SNC Lavalin case.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice A K Basheer said that some efforts have been taken by the CBI to complete the investigation.
Bench said that ‘we have some doubts regarding the progress made by the CBI but on perusal of the case diary volume six and seven, it is clear that progress has been made in the investigation after March 18, 2008.
Even though the CBI had asked for six months time, the court granted four months from today to complete the investigation and file the final report.
The CBI had produced the case diary and files relating to the SNC Lavalin case in sealed covers, before the High Court yesterday.
The case relates to alleged irreregularties in the award of contract for modernising and renovation of Pallivasal, Shengulam and Panniyar Hydel projects during the term of previous UDF and LDF governments.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008

HC gives student special status
AHMEDABAD: He is a student of Class XII who need not attend any academic sessions. Yet, he will be considered a regular student and will also be allowed to appear for his board exam. This special status was granted to a student of St Xavier’s School, Simardeep Singh Bhatia, by Gujarat High Court on Monday. HC was hearing a case dealing with Simardeep’s rustication. The student was suspended by school over disciplinary issues, after which he approached HC. Court ultimately came to the conclusion that since his presence was harmful for his classmates and demoralising for teachers too, school can decline his presence in classroom but can allow him to take internal school examinations. HC had earlier directed district education officer to initiate an inquiry into allegations and counter-allegations between student and school authorities. Last week, DEO office submitted a report recommending that the student should be allowed to attend classes in school, because he was not heard by school authorities before suspension. Based on this report, Simardeep moved High Court again demanding that he be enrolled in school again. However, school authorities approached court too challenging DEO’s report claiming that inquiry officer had not investigated the issue properly. When respective advocates argued for and against the issue on Monday, Justice Jayant Patel observed that education inspector who had been entrusted with investigation had only narrated the incidents, instead of finding truth. While ruling that student’s presence in school can be declined , court also directed school authorities as well as education officer to ensure that Simardeep’s form for board exam doesn’t get rejected for lack of attendance. Thus, Simardeep is now free not to attend any class, yet continue to be a regular student.
23 Sep 2008, 0504 hrs IST,TNN

HC stays resumption of Gopichand’s land
HYDERABAD: Justice N V Ramana of the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Monday imposed a stay on all the proceedings launched by revenue authorities who were moving forward for taking over certain portion of the five acre land allotted to badminton player Pullela Gopichand at Gachibowli. The player questioned the rationale behind the order of the revenue authorities to take back two-and-half-acres of land from him on the grounds of non-utilisation . Gopichand questioned it asking as to how the government would decide the requirements of this academy which was being set up in accordance with the stipulations of the Badminton World Federation. Justice Ramana gave the government time till Monday to respond on this issue.
23 Sep 2008, 0433 hrs IST,TNN

Lodge FIR in Asaram violence case: HC to cops
AHMEDABAD: Gujarat High Court on Monday directed Gandhinagar police to lodge an FIR on the basis of complaints of 22 residents of Motera in connection with the violence that took place on July 18 this year. The disciples of Asaram Bapu had allegedly beaten up the residents as well as mediapersons on the day. Acting on a petition filed by a non-governmental organisation Jan Sangharsh Manch for formation of a Special Investigation Team to probe the incident, a division Bench, comprising Chief Justice K S Radhakrishnan and Justice M S Shah, asked the district superintendent of police to look into the complaints. Despite earlier order by the HC to register their complaints, Adalaj police station officials named them as witnesses to the incident. The violence erupted during a bandh call given in protest against the mysterious deaths of two kids in Asaram’s ashram at Motera. The NGO has also sought directions from the court to the government to compensate those who were injured during the violence. The petition alleged that situation escalated not only due to police inaction, but they refused to lodge complaints against the ‘sadhaks’. A public interest litigation is also being heard by the HC demanding CBI probe in the incident of kids’ deaths and that the state government hand over investigation to CID (Crime). Moreover, one-member inquiry commission of Justice D K Trivedi will also probe the violence.
23 Sep 2008, 0505 hrs IST,TNN

HC comes to rescue of abandoned mother
HYDERABAD: Shocked by the incident of a Nizamabad resident abandoning his 85-yearold mother by packing her in a gunny bag and throwing it in thorny bushes, Justice T Meena Kumari of the AP High Court has directed the district authorities to immediately rescue her. Justice Meena Kumari, who is also the executive chairperson of the Andhra Pradesh State Legal Services Authority, gave this directive to the officials of the AP High Court and Nizamabad district legal services authority after the incident had been brought to her notice. One of the options entrusted to them is to admit the old woman in a state home. Upon their perusal, certain details about the woman came to the fore. Her name is Mallamma. She is 85 and belongs to Perkit village of Armur mandal. She has a son and a daughter who are also living in the same village. When the police questionned the son, Dantulayya, he began pleading innocence with them. “My mother has a habit of begging and it has been more than one month since she left the house and even I am searching for her,” was his reply. The mother, meanwhile, was apparently rescued by local residents and is recovering at a Armur hospital with both her daughter and daughter-in-law assisting her actively. “We will issue notices to the son under section 24 of the Act, but will go slow on actually enforcing the law,” D Subrahmanyam, secretary , AP High Court Legal Services Authority, told ‘TOI’ .
23 Sep 2008, 0435 hrs IST,TNN

“Spare presiding officers, let tribunal rule on defection”
Presiding officers should not be under judicial scrutiny: Somnath

For all amendments, the scourge of defection continues
Blanket exemption of splits, mergers defeats purpose of law: Hooda
CHANDIGARH: Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on Tuesday said the jurisdiction and authority to deal with “defection” as provided in the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution “need not continue to be exercised by the presiding officers.”
The “power should be conferred on some other authority like a special tribunal comprised of people well versed in law or on an authority like the Election Commission.”
Mr. Chatterjee was speaking at a symposium on the “Anti-Defection Law — Need for Review,” organised as part of the 73rd conference of presiding officers of legislative bodies here.
The judiciary had taken up cases challenging the decisions of the presiding officers under the Tenth Schedule and this jurisdiction was upheld by the Supreme Court. However, “to my mind, the exercise of power and jurisdiction by the presiding officer of any House should not be subjected to such scrutiny, which considerably affects the status and the position of the presiding officers…. With all respect to the judiciary, whose jurisdiction cannot be denied, it will be fit and proper and indeed desirable that the presiding officers do not continue to be under such judicial scrutiny which in many cases has given rise to avoidable tension between the two constitutional authorities.”
Mr. Chatterjee urged the presiding officers to consider the matter seriously so that suitable recommendations might be made by the conference to change the provisions of the Constitution whereby the presiding officers would be relieved of “an unwelcome jurisdiction.”
Mr. Chatterjee said the operation of the anti-defection law, 1985, over the years, indicated many grey areas in the Act. Breaking away with the support of one-third of the members of the parent party appeared easy and defections could not be checked, especially in smaller parties.
The Constitution was amended in 2003 through the Constitution (91st) Amendment Act to rectify what seemed lacunae.
However, the amendments omitted the provision relating to splits from the Tenth Schedule, and also provided that a member, disqualified under it, be disqualified for being appointed minister or for holding a remunerative political post during the period commencing from the date of his disqualification till the expiry of the term of his office or until he was elected again. Thus, the new law provided that a “split” would no longer be a defence.
However, Mr. Chatterjee said, the situation still remained largely destructive as defections motivated by power and opportunism continued to be one of the debilitating features of the Indian political system. He called for a concerted effort to see that political defections were totally banned or at least were not rewarded.
Grave challenge
Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal said political defections “betrayed the mandate of the electorate and posed a grave challenge to parliamentary polity.”
Wednesday, Sep 24, 2008
Special Correspondent

Daily Legal News 23.09.2008

Raigad SEZ: Maharashtra had ignored objections
MUMBAI: The state is planning to declare Raigad SEZ area a green zone if the referendum goes against Mukesh Ambani’s mega SEZ plans. The issue of land in the command area was discussed at length at a high-level meeting on February 2, 2006, including the fact that part of the land proposed to be acquired for the SEZ was in the green zone, the CRZ area and the area of the proposed international airport. The objections were ignored at that time, and the collector was asked to issue a notification for land acquisition. Meanwhile, a senior irrigation official has confirmed that due to the paucity of funds, the department has not been able to complete the canal work on the Hetwane dam which was approved in 1981 for Rs 15.36 crore. So far, the department has spent Rs 329 crore on the project, but no land in the command area has been irrigated. The dam was planned for irrigating nearly 7,000 hectares of land, but the water has instead been used largely for drinking and industrial purposes. The Reliance group has already challenged the opinion process, saying it has no legal validity. A writ petition challenging the referendum is likely to come up for hearing on September 23. “Since the referendum process is over, we have no comments to offer. We have filed a writ petition before the high court,” a Reliance official said.
23 Sep 2008, 0709 hrs IST,TNN

Contempt case against officials closed http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?artid=fw0M3ukH2Cc=&Title=Contempt+case+against+officials+closed&SectionID=vBlkz7JCFvA=&MainSectionID=fyV9T2jIa4A=&SectionName=EL7znOtxBM3qzgMyXZKtxw==&SEO=
CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Monday closed the contempt of court petition against the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) and the Regional Transport Officer (RTO), Kanchipuram. The court had sought to punish them for not obeying the court’s earlier orders.
According to advocate B Vivekavanan, the First Bench of the Madras High Court ,while passing orders on a public interest writ petition from S Sukumar of Nandhivaram village on April 1, 2008, had directed the duo to consider within six weeks, his plea for providing minibus transport facilities to his village. In view of the RTA cancelling the permit given to an operator, a division bench comprising Justice Prabha Srideven and Justice V Periakaruppiah closed the contempt case
BAIL REFUSED TO BANU: Principal Sessions Judge P Devadoss on Monday refused bail to N Banu Sridharan (38), the principal of Janaki Ramachandran Matriculation School in Vadapalani.
Banu was arrested in connection with the murder of Vijayan, a close relative of former chief minister MG Ramachandran.
The charge against Banu, Vijayan’s sister-in-law, was that she had masterminded the murder. The PSJ refused the relief since the investigation was at the preliminary stage.
QUO-WARRANTO AGAINST ANANTH FAILS: The Madras HC on Monday dismissed a quo-warranto writ petition questioning the authority with which Dr M S Ananth continued to hold the post of Director of Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
“The petitioner had moved the SC for a similar relief, with a similar set of facts and the same has been allowed to be dismissed as withdrawn.
Now the petitioner cannot once again re-agitate the same matter before this court, especially without obtaining the leave from the Supreme Court,” Justice K Venkataraman said.
LABOUR DEPARTMENT RESTRAINED: The Madras HC on Monday restrained the Registrar of Trade Unions and the Deputy Commissioner of Labour from approving and registering the amendments to the byelaws of the Simpson and Group of Companies Workers Union, unless the amendments were approved by the majority of the workers.
Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar granted the injunction while passing interim orders on a writ petition from A Lakshmipathi of Perambur, a member of the union.
Express News Service
23 Sep 2008 03:39:00 AM IST

BPL cell service gone haywire: Users
MUMBAI: If you have patched up with your girlfriend and still receive a nasty SMS from her, please check the date when the message was sent-especially if you are a BPL mobile subscriber. For all you know, that SMS might have been sent days before you made peace with her. For the past few days, BPL customers are finding funny things happening to their cellphones. On Sunday, this correspondent received an SMS sent to him by a friend on July 2, 2008. Another subscriber, A K Gopal, said: “When I send an SMS I get a report stating that it has been delivered. But the addressee doesn’t get the SMS for hours together. I wonder if SMS should be re-termed Snail Messaging Service.” Another subscriber said he landed up at a hotel for a party in a suburban hotel, but found no one. He checked his SMS invite and realised that it was a stale one. There are also complaints of bunching of SMSes, especially at night, when the mail traffic is less. “I wondered who this crazy guy was who was sending SMSes very late in the night, but then I found out that they had been sent during the day but delivered well past midnight,” another subscriber observed. A spokesperson for BPL, which has 1.5 million customers in Mumbai, insisted that nothing was wrong with the network. “BPL-to-BPL users are facing no problem,” he claimed, “the problem could be with other networks.” But sources in the company admitted that there were indeed technical problems. “We are upgrading our switches because of which we are facing teething problems. The problems should be taken care of by this month-end,” he said,a adding, “in fact we are thinking of sending a letter from our CEO explaining the facts to the customers.” Meanwhile, mobile users continue to face problems of call drops, network congestion, fall in voice clarity and suchlike irrespective of who their service provider is. Atul Shirodkar, a businessman, echoed the views of many when he said, “Using a mobile has become a frustrating experience these days. The companies are expanding their subscriber base without proportionately upgrading their infrastructure. I am planning a PIL against these firms.” balakrishnan.s@timesgroup.com
23 Sep 2008, 0723 hrs IST, S Balakrishnan ,TNN

Freedom fighters’ treatment: UT gets 2 mths to examine feasibility
CHANDIGARH: A miffed high court on Monday asked the UT administration to “examine the feasibility” of framing a scheme for freedom fighters to enable them to get the benefit of free medical treatment. The division bench, headed by justice Tirath Singh Thakur and justice Surya Kant, expressed surprise over the UT administration’s failure to put in place such a scheme even as UT of Pondicherry had already got one. Importantly, the Chandigarh Administration had stated in its reply that “there are no rules or instructions for providing free medical facility to freedom fighters”. The judges directed the administration to examine within two months the feasibility of framing such a scheme for providing free medical treatment in its hospitals to freedom fighters living in Chandigarh, said HC Arora, petitioner. The administration was free to draw from schemes framed in other parts of the country, including Pondicherry. The orders came during the resumed hearing on the PIL on the subject by HC Arora with the latter bringing it to the court’s notice that in Pondicherry, the freedom fighters and their spouses were entitled to free medical treatment, including hospitalization in class-A wards of state and central government’s institutions. This is not all. Pondicherry resident freedom fighters were are also given free passes for travelling in buses registered in Pondicherry.
23 Sep 2008, 0539 hrs IST,TNN

PIL seeking ban on acquisition of agricultural land dismissed
NEW DELHI: The Raigad referendum may have seen farmers casting their vote against acquisition of agricultural land, but that did not deter the Supreme Court on Monday from dismissing a PIL seeking a direction to the government to acquire only barren land for SEZs and other public purposes. Listing the repercussions of acquiring agricultural land, a PIL filed by one Donald Fernandez argued before a bench that the government be restrained from acquiring agricultural land and jeopardising foodgrain production. Unimpressed, the bench said the plea for acquisition of only barren land was fraught with practical difficulties. “If the government wants to establish a hospital or a post office and is allowed acquisition of barren land 100 km away from the locality, will it serve public purpose,” the bench asked. This means, the apex court refused to put any fetters on the government from acquiring agricultural land provided all other preconditions for such acquisition were met. However, the same bench refused to dispose of a PIL complaining of faulty agricultural policies of the government, arguing that they had led to a spate of suicides by farmers.
23 Sep 2008, 0327 hrs IST,TNN

Guj HC asks police to file FIR against 22 Asharam followers
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Monday asked the police to register FIR against 22 followers of Asharam Bapu who had allegedly attacked media persons and people living near the Ashram on July 18.
The order was issued by a division bench of Chief Justice K S Radhakrishnan and Justice M S Shah, before disposing off the PIL filed by NGO Jan Sangarsh Manch (JSM) last month.
The court has asked the police to register FIR against 22 people whose name were supplied by JSM as per its earlier directions.
It further ordered that investigation in the case be conducted by DSP Gandhinagar, under whose jurisdiction the Ashram falls.The PIL had asked for formation of Special Investigation Team to probe into the attack on media and people living near the ashram by supporters of religious guru Asaram Bapu during the bandh call given on July 18.
Incidences of violence were reported in the city during the bandh call given over the mysterious deaths of two boys, Abhishek and Dipesh Vaghela, whose bodies were found from the bank of river Sabarmati on July five.
The case is being investigated by state CID (crime).The government has also ordered an inquiry commission headed by a retired judge into the case.
Monday, Sep 22, 2008
© Copyright 2008 PTI. All rights reserved.

Farmer suicides: SC to consider policy issues raised by PIL
New Delhi, Sept 22: Two years after a PIL was filed questioning the country’s agricultural policy in view of a spate of suicides by farmers, the Supreme Court today said it would consider the issues raised in it and asked the petitioner to respond to the stand taken by the Centre. A bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan also allowed the Centre to file additional documents in the matter. At the outset advocate Sanjeev Bhatnagar, who had filed the petition in 2006, said that the notice was issued to the Centre and four states — Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala — when it was pointed out that more than 10,000 farmers had committed suicide. Bhatnagar said that the gravity of the situation and the high number of countrywide suicides by farmers burdened with debts had been conceded by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi but no effective steps had been taken to stop the incidents involving farmers under distress. He submitted that though a notice was issued two years ago, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala had not yet responded. The petitioner had sought a direction to the government to modify its agriculture policy with greater focus on the interests of farmers to check suicides. The PIL said in the last five years over 10,000 farmers had killed themselves, and Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala were the worst affected. Farmers in various States were ending their lives unable to repay loans. Bureau Report

SC declines to entertain PIL on Indo US Nuke deal
The Supreme Court has said courts cannot interfere in the policy matters as it is the job of Parliament or the government to frame a policy.The position was clarified by a bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan while dismissing a petition seeking directions to the government to take Parliament into confidence before going ahead with the Indo-US nuclear deal.Other judges on the bench were Justice P Sathasivam and Justice J M Panchal. The apex court had on September 19 dismissed the petition filed by Manohar Lal Sharma, an advocate who had contended that it should be a deal between the two sovereign countries and the Hyde Act must be discussed in Parliament. The Left parties had withdrawn support from the UPA government at the Centre on the nuke deal and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had to take the Vote of Confidence in the Lok Sabha before proceeding further on the pact.9/22/2008

High court allows Himachal to cut dangerous trees
SHIMLA: The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Monday granted permission to the state government to axe trees that were posing threat to life and property of the people in Shimla town. However, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Jagdish Bhalla and Justice Deepak Gupta imposed a condition that for every felled tree, four trees would have to be planted by the government. The court refused to grant blanket permission to the government for felling 150 trees which were termed dangerous by the forest department. The state filed an affidavit wherein it had annexed the list of 414 trees by terming them as ‘green dangerous’, ‘green tilted dangerous’, ‘dry dangerous’ and ‘dry standing trees.’
23 Sep 2008, 0620 hrs IST,IANS

High Court upholds city school’s disciplinary action against student
Ahmedabad, September 22 Justice Jayant Patel of the Gujarat High Court on Monday upheld the decision of the St Xavier’s High School, Loyola Hall, not to allow Simardeep, a standard XII student of the school, to attend classes but allow him to appear as an internal candidate of the school in the final board examinations. The school would also make arrangements for ‘internal examination’ of the student.
Simardeep, who had been suspended from school for misbehaving with two teachers, had earlier moved the civil court levelling religious bias against him. The court, however, appointed the district education officer (DEO) as an arbitrator in the matter. The DEO ruled in favour of reinstating the student.
The school, however, did not implement the DEO’s order, owing to the serious nature of allegations levelled by him. Meanwhile, Simardeep moved the high court requesting that the decision of the DEO be implemented. The school also moved the court saying that it will not allow the student to attend classes.
In the meantime, both parties came to a mutual agreement. While Simardeep did not insist on being allowed to attend classes, the school agreed to allow him to appear as an internal candidate of the school in the board examination to ensure that his career is not in jeopardy.
Express News Service Posted: Sep 23, 2008 at 0344 hrs IST

High Court postpones hearing of 2002 riot accused till September 26
Ahmedabad, September 22 The Gujarat High Court has postponed the hearing on the bail plea of Bhavin Patel, one of the accused in the Deepada Darwaza mass massacre case of the 2002 post-Godhra riots, till September 26. Justice M R Shah pronounced the verdict on Monday.
Patel was among the eight accused booked for burning alive 11 people in a house in Deepada Darwza area of Visnagar town in Mehsana district in March 2002. Although he was granted bail by the High Court along with the other accused, another FIR was registered against him in March 2004 for threatening and intimidating complainant Iqbal Baloch to withdraw the case.
On Baloch’s complaint, Patel was arrested again, but subsequently released by the Mehsana district court. However, when the Special Investigation Team (SIT) was constituted to probe the 10 most heinous cases of the 2002 riots including Deepada Darwaza, Patel was arrested again in July this year.
After his bail plea was rejected by the Mehsana district court, Patel moved the High Court.
Express News Service Posted: Sep 23, 2008 at 0405 hrs IST

Hari Puttar: HC dismisses Warner Bros’ plea
NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 22 Delhi High Court says Harry Potter and Hari Puttar are like chalk and cheese. “To put it differently,” said the court, “the possibility of an unlettered audience viewing a Harry Potter movie is remote, to say the least. An illiterate or semi-literate movie viewer, in case he ventures to see a film by the name of Hari Puttar, would never be able to relate the same with a Harry Potter film or book.”
With this, the Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed the challenge thrown by Warner Brothers against the title of the Punjabi comedy Hari Puttar—A Comedy of Terrors, saying it was too close for comfort with their franchise Harry Potter, the adolescent wizard created by British author J K Rowling.
The multinational entertainment company had moved the court for an interim restraining order on the release of the Punjabi comedy, of which producers were “guilty of infringing the Warner Brothers trademarks” for choosing to name their movie Hari Puttar–a name “visually and phonetically similar to Harry Potter.”
Justice Reva Khetrapal, who heard the case on Monday, put the controversy to rest by pointing out that the target audience of Harry Potter books and films were quite different from the Indian film’s.
Krishnadas Rajagopal Posted: Sep 23, 2008 at 0142 hrs IST

No unconstitutionality in changing Tamil New Year, says High Court
“Expert committee could suggest changes in 60-year cycle of Tamil calendar”
MADURAI: There is no unconstitutionality or illegality in the State legislation to change Tamil New Year from the first day of the Tamil month of Chithirai (mid-April) to first of Thai (mid-January), the Madras High Court has ruled.
Dismissing a writ petition filed in the Madurai Bench by Tamil Nadu Muruga Baktha Peravai, Justice K. Chandru said that it was not new for the government to change its calendar or adopt a particular calendar for its working.
He recalled that the State government had adopted Tiruvalluvar Era as the basis of its official calendar only after the advent of the Constitution. Earlier, the land of Tamils had seen adoption of Salivakhana Era, Hijiri Era, Christian Era and Sakha Era.
“The present land in which the Tamils are living was overrun many times by different rulers professing different faiths. Depending upon the desire or decree by the rulers, the calculation of years by era had changed from time to time,” he said.
The petitioner had attacked the legislation on the ground that Tamils believed that Lord Brahma had created the world on the first of Chithirai. It was also submitted that the Tamil Hindu calendar with a cycle of 60 years followed ‘Nirayana’ vernal equinox.
To this, the Judge said it was “most unfortunate” that the petitioner had attempted to bring a religious flavour to the issue by claiming that the right to offer special worship in temples on the first day of Chithirai was an essential religious practice. “It should be proudly noted that Tamilians all over the world, irrespective of their religious affinity such as Hindus, Muslims, Christians and even non-believers celebrate the Tamil New Year without any discrimination or religious fervour,” he said.
Mr. Justice Chandru pointed out that there was great debate regarding the origin of the 60-year-cycle and how it contained Sanskrit names for each year.
“This had not been explained by any scholar so far. Therefore the debate is inconclusive.” He suggested that the government consider appointing an expert committee to suggest and make changes in the cycle of 60 years of Tamil calendar.
A majority of the people in the Indian sub-continent adjusted their linguistic calendars with a cycle of 365 days only after the entry of Westerners and the introduction of a calendar based on Christian Era.
“Even some months in the Tamil calendar were made to have 32 to 33 days in making such adjustments. But at the same time, they fixed the dates of festivals and rituals based upon the position of sighting of moon (lunar calendar),” he added.
Tuesday, Sep 23, 2008
Staff Reporter

Gopichand breathes easy high court stays order
Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh high court Monday stayed the state government’s order taking back three out of five acres of land allotted to badminton ace Pullela Gopichand for setting up an international badminton academy.
Aggrieved by the state government’s move, the 2001 All England badminton champion had approached the court, which granted the stay on the order issued last week.
The prime land in Gacchibowli area here was given on lease in 2003 by the then Telugu Desam Party government but the Congress government last week issued an order taking back three acres of land on the ground that it was not utilised by him. The government said it would use the land to start a sports college of its own to train players for the London Olympics of 2012.
Gopichand Saturday called on Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, urging him to review the order as he planned to use the entire piece of land for developing the academy. He had claimed that the chief minister responded positively.
The main building of the academy with eight courts is already operational and Saina Nehwal, who is creating waves in international badminton circuit, and other national players are undergoing training here.
When completed, the academy is expected to become the fifth best in the world to be run under the guidance of Badminton World Federation (BWF) and the best in Asia.
Gopichand said his dream project was yet to be completed. He clarified that cross training in other sports and swimming were integral part of coaching and denied that he was building a tennis court. His clarification came as government officials justified their action on the ground that that he was planning to build a play area for children, a tennis court and a swimming pool, which were not central to the academy.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 07:49 [IST]
Source : IANS

SC overturns Madras order on photos on condom packets
NEW DELHI/CHENNAI: ‘Sexy pictures’ on condom packs will remain, at least for the time being , the Supreme Court said on Monday. It stayed a Madras high court order which had virtually banned such pictures on condom packets, terming them as “indecent, obscene” and an affront to Indian ethos. The HC order had left Hindustan Latex, the largest manufacturer and marketer of contraceptives and condoms, so worried that it requisitioned the services of solicitor general G E Vahanvati to get it out of the sticky situation. Other private condom manufacturers were more than eager to join hands with the PSU in appealing against the HC order. The SG said, “To promote the usage of condoms in a customer friendly manner, Hindustan Latex has adopted the strategy of attractive sales and marketing policy, which has resulted in remarkable sales.” The Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices P Sathasivam and J M Panchal was quick to fathom the importance of the matter and the need to encourage use of condoms in a country battling against AIDS. The Bench wasted no time in staying the HC’s July 24 order , which had directed the Advertising Standard Council of India to scrutinise the ‘sexy pictures ‘ circulated with condom packets and had ordered that no picture would be carried on condom packets without the council okaying it. The films promoting condom sales also had come under the HC scanner. It had asked the Censor Board to discharge its duties while clearing films for condom promotion. The PSU, in its appeal before the SC, said, “The HC failed to appreciate that pictures on the packets of condoms manufactured by foreign companies are more explicit but are being legally imported and sold in India and the pictures on the packages of such condoms are neither considered indecent nor obscene.” Defending the pictures on its products, Hindustan Latex said, “On the retail packs, only a part of the picture is visible to the general public and the entire picture would only be visible to the person buying and opening the packets, which in any event are made available only to adults.”
23 Sep 2008, 0550 hrs IST,TNN

Anand, Khan let off lightly, says SC
NEW DELHI: Senior advocates R K Anand and I U Khan, punished for contempt in the infamous BMW hit-and-run case, will continue to suffer the ignominy of being barred from practising in the Delhi High Court and the lower courts in the Capital. The apex court refused to stay the punishment awarded to both — debarring them from practising in the HC and lower courts for 4 months and a recommendation to strip them of their ‘senior advocate’ designation. Worse, it hinted that they have got away lightly if the charges were actually true. ‘‘If the HC judgment is correct, then the HC has been very lenient towards them.’’ The two noted in the field of criminal law pleaded for a stay on the August 21 Delhi HC order, terming the verdict as extra-constitutional, in breach of natural justice and without jurisdiction. But it did not have any impact on a Bench comprising Justices B N Agrawal and G S Singhvi, which rejected their plea for stay of the HC order. It ordered listing of their appeals for detailed hearing on October 14, by when almost half of their punishment period would be over. Surprisingly, the arguments saw fissures between Anand and Khan, who were known in legal circles to be close friends for decades and who jointly argued many a case in the SC, HC and the lower courts. Appearing for Khan, senior advocate P P Rao read out portions of the transcript of the sensational TV sting operation, which was relied upon by the high court to nail the duo for contempt for influencing a key prosecution witness in the BMW case, and said the guilt culled out from the sting pointed to Anand and not to him. ‘‘There is nothing in the conversation in the sting operation to implicate Khan, who was the special public prosecutor. His case is completely different from that of R K Anand. The HC did not see the difference and painted both with the same brush,’’ Rao said making the court respond sarcastically that ‘‘you (Khan) enjoyed a very high reputation’’. Anand’s counsel, senior advocate Rajiv Dhawan, was least amused and did not betray his client’s feeling when he said: ‘‘Now that they (Khan) have attacked us, it would be better if the petitions can be heard separately.’’ Dhawan forcefully argued on three legal points — HC acted in excess of its judicial powers, did not follow the due process of law, and did not consider serious questions about the admissibility of evidence presented in the form of chips from hidden cameras. He said the senior advocate was condemned without a proper hearing and without proper evaluation of the admissibility of the evidence, especially when the TV channel which conducted the sting operation was not sure how many chips were there and admitted that they have been formatted. He said neither the SC nor the HC had any power to debar a professional from practising. ‘‘Suspending the right of a professional to practice is not recognised in common law nor is part of the contempt jurisdiction,’’ he said. ‘‘However, grievous or light, the offences under contempt laws may be, the SC or HC do not have power to take away from an advocate his right to practice,’’ he said citing rulings of constitution Benches of the apex court. The Bench said it was within its discretion whether or not to grant any interim relief, and posted it for hearing on October 14 while calling for all records pertaining to the case from the high court. (dhananjay.mahapatra@timesgroup.com)
23 Sep 2008, 0433 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra,TNN

‘Sexy’ pictures on condom packs to stay, orders SC
NEW DELHI: ‘Sexy pictures’ on condom packs will remain, at least for the time being, the Supreme Court said on Monday. It stayed a Madras high court order which had virtually banned such pictures on condom packets, terming them as “indecent, obscene” and an affront to Indian ethos. The HC order had left Hindustan Latex, the largest manufacturer and marketer of contraceptives and condoms, so worried that it requisitioned the services of solicitor general G E Vahanvati to get it out of the sticky situation. Other private condom manufacturers were more than eager to join hands with the PSU in appealing against the HC order. The SG said, “To promote the usage of condoms in a customer friendly manner, Hindustan Latex has adopted the strategy of attractive sales and marketing policy. This strategy has resulted in remarkable sales.” Simply put, Vahanvati was most guarded in letting out the trade secret — the ‘sexy pictures’ had increased the sale of condoms remarkably. But, the Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices P Sathasivam and J M Panchal was quick to fathom the importance of the matter and the need to encourage use of condoms in a country battling against AIDS. The bench wasted no time in staying the HC’s July 24 order, which had directed the Advertising Standard Council of India to scrutinise the ‘sexy pictures’ circulated with condom packets and had ordered that no picture would be carried on condom packets without the council okaying it.
23 Sep 2008, 0052 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra,TNN

SC asks Centre: Can STs skip med entrance test?
NEW DELHI: In what could open a flood of identical requests from socially backward classes, the Supreme Court on Monday gave four days to the Centre to respond to its question: “Can ST students be exempted from the rigours of entrance test for admission to MBBS and BDS courses?” The question to additional solicitor-general Gopal Subramaniam came from a Bench headed by CJI K G Balakrishnan after five ST students from the CJI’s home state Kerala said they had fared pretty well in the plus-two examination but had not been able to get even 40% in the common entrance test as they could not afford special coaching classes. It appealed to the Bench, which asked Subramaniam to get back to the court with a response from Centre whether ST students, could be admitted on the basis of their board marks.
23 Sep 2008, 0438 hrs IST,TNN

Governor rejected ex-CJ’s candidates for HC judges
CHANDIGARH, September 22 Just before he retired, Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice V K Jain recommended names of six District and Sessions Judges for elevation to the high court, a move strongly opposed by Punjab Governor Gen (retd) S F Rodrigues.
In his recommendation, Jain said that the senior-most judge, Justice J S Khehar, had reservations about some of the names, while the judge second to him in seniority, Justice Mehtab Singh Gill, felt no more appointments should be made in view of the lack of requisite infrastructure. However, he didn’t include a written record of their views.
Neither did Jain put in writing the views of the next two judges in order of seniority, Justice K S Garewal and Justice Ashutosh Mohunta, who he claimed agreed with his recommendations.
General Rodrigues also felt that when Jain was on his way out and Tirath Singh Thakur was set to take over as the new Chief Justice, he should not have made these recommendations.
RAGHAV OHRI Posted: Sep 23, 2008 at 0025 hrs IST

HC slams police in Riz case, asks CBI to chargesheet 7 accused
In remarks critical of the role of then Kolkata police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee in the Rizwanur Rehman death case, the Calcutta High Court on Thursday directed the CBI to chargesheet all the seven accused including three police officers.
Those to be chargesheeted are–industrialist Ashok Todi, father-in-law of Rizwanur, his brother Pradip Todi, their cousin A Saraogi, Pappu, a friend of Rizwanur’s family, then DCP (Detective Department) Ajay Kumar, ACP Sukanti Chakraborty and SI Krishnendu Das (of anti-dowry unit).
Computer graphics teacher Rizwanur, who was under tremendous pressure to get separated from his wife Priyanka, daughter of Ashok Todi, ever since their marriage, was found dead along a rail track on September 21, last year.
Taking a strong exception to Mukherjee’s role, Justice Dipankar Datta observed that he had not stated at his press conference the fact that Todi had met him and that Rizwanur and Priyanka had been called at the city police headquarters at Lalbazar.
It is conclusively inferred that the police had favoured the Todis and the then police commissioner did not respond with correct facts, Justice Datta said in his 120-page order.
Holding that the city police had taken a partial attitude and had failed to discharge it duty while handling the case, he said that the police power had been misutilised.
Rizwanur’s death had sparked off widespread furore following which the High Court directed CBI to conduct a probe into the case.
The CBI submitted its report on February 28 to the court stating that Rizwanur had committed suicide, but recommended action against senior city police officers including the then Police Commissioner.
The judge kept its order in abeyance for three weeks to enable the accused to appeal.
The judge also slammmed the CID, which initially probed the case, for going for a preliminary inquiry without filing an FIR.
The CID, he observed, wasted precious 14 days which was enough to provide favour to the accused and sufficient for tampering with evidence.
This was not in accordance with the law and thus the CID had acted irresponsibly which was not expected of them.
About the CBI’s way of initiating the inquiry into the case, the judge observed that it was absolutely legal because it had filed the FIR on the basis of certain writ petitions, affidavits and documents available.
However, the court criticised the CBI for recommending a departmental inquiry by the state government against the accused police officers.
Press Trust Of India
Kolkata, August 14, 2008

HC refuses relief to slum-dwellers on Mafatlal land in Kalwa
MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Monday refused to grant any interim relief to slum-dwellers who are occupying the land belonging to Mafatlal company in Kalwa, in neighbouring Thane. Slum-dwellers have filed appeal against the order of the single judge of the High Court, Justice R Y Ganoo, which allowed Thane Municipal Corporation to demolish slums obstructing demarcation between Mafatlal land and government land. Appellants sought stay to the demolition, but division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice A P Deshpande refused a stay, adjourning the hearing till September 24. Government claims 25 hectares of and total 60 hectares of the land which belongs to now liquidated Mafatlal Industries Ltd. Company was liquidated in 1999. Thereafter financial institutions, including Kotak Mahindra, moved High Court and got a receiver appointed for sale of land, to get back their dues. Government then filed petition, seeking to stop the sale of land which it claims. High Court upheld government’s claim. Thane inspector of land records filed report in the High Court last week saying that demarcation between government land and Mafatlal land was not possible without removing some of the slums. Therefore single judge ordered removal of these slums. There are around 9,000 slums on the land.
22 Sep, 2008, 2201 hrs IST, PTI

Uphaar fire tragedy: Day-to-day hearing commences in HC
NEW DELHI: A Delhi High Court judge, assigned the Uphaar fire tragedy appeal matter by the Chief Justice following a Supreme Court direction, on Monday started hearing the final arguments on a day-to-day basis. Atleast 59 people, including children and women, were killed due to asphyxia after a fire broken out in Uphaar theatre during screening of movie “Border” on June 13, 1997 afternoon. Appearing for Sushil Ansal before Justice S Ravinder Bhat, noted senior lawyer, Ram Jethmalani attempted to shift the blame on Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) for the mishap. He stated that the owners should not be held guilty for the incident as the DVB officers were responsible as they had failed to replace the defective transformer. The Supreme Court, in its September 10 order cancelled the bail of Ansal brothers and four others and asked the High Court Chief Justice to constitute an “appropriate” bench for the appeal proceedings. The trial court on November 20, 2007 had convicted the Ansal brothers along with three others under Section 304-A IPC (causing death due to rash and negligent act) and awarded two year jail term. Seven others, including Ajit Chowdhary and Nirmal Chopra, managers of the theatre, were convicted under Section 304 IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and sentenced to seven years imprisonment. Others convicted under section 304 IPC were — Radha Krishan Sharma, Manmohan Unniyal (cinema’s gatekeeper), Brij Mohan Satija, A K Gera and Bir Singh (all DVB officials). The High Court on January 4 had granted bail to the Ansal brothers and two other accused.
22 Sep, 2008, 2130 hrs IST, PTI

Madras HC grants bail to Sarvana Stores owners
Chennai (PTI): The Madras High Court on Monday granted bail to the owners of Saravana Vessel Stores, who had surrendered before a magistrate court following arrest warrants issued against them in connection with the fire accident in their stores in the city.
Two employees were charred to death in a recent fire mishap at the store in T Nagar here.
Justice R Regupathi ordered the release of S Yogarathinam, S Rajarathinam and Shanmughaduari on bail on each of them executing a bond for a sum of Rs 25,000 with two sureities each for the like sum to the satisfaction of 17th Metropolitan Magistrate, Saidapet.
The Court also directed the trio to report before the police daily for a period of one week until further orders.
Earlier, the High Court granted bail to the Sales Manager and Supervisor of the Store, who were arrested in connection with the incident.
Monday, September 22, 2008

Social Justice Ministry launches helpline for disabled
New Delhi (PTI): With a view to help families grappling with disabilities of their wards, the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment today launched a helpline.
Launching ‘Abiline’ along with Association for Rehabilitation under National Trust Initiative in Marketing (ARUNIM), former President A P J Abdul Kalam today asked for serious efforts to help disabled persons become contributing members of the society.
By dialling on the helpline number, parents can get all information regarding any disability problem and also get the knowledge of avenues for help to disabled persons.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Trust, Atul Prasad stressed, “Abiline is not like any other helpline. It’s a helpline with a lot of difference.”
A release of the ministry said that the helpline has been launched for the counselling of the parents of the disabled, NGOs and people with special needs.
Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment, Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan was also present during the launch.
Monday, September 22, 2008

Mangalore: Peoples Tribunal to probe attacks
Mangalore Sept 23: Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has constituted a Peoples Tribunal having Justice (retd) M F Saldanha as its chairman in order to conduct a private probe into the attacks on places of worship and Christians.
Addressing media persons after a fact-finding team comprising of PUCL Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and Arasarai Human Rights Organisation visited the violent-hit areas in and around the City on Monday, PUCL district unit president P B D’Sa said since they do not trust the judicial probe ordered by the government, they have formed their own team to conduct a private investigation into the incidents.
“We are not hopeful of the results of the government’s Commission. We even do not trust the retired High Court judge appointed by the State government,” Mr D’Sa said.
Justice Saldanha will arrive in Mangalore on September 27 and will meet various persons and places related to the incidents.
The ‘tribunal’ will finalise its fact-finding report within 5 weeks, he said.Tamil Nadu PUCL State Secretary Bala Murugan, who visited different affected places with his team since yesterday, said communal hatredness growing among the police is not a welcome development.
“The attacks on Kulashekhar and Permannur church are jointly done by Bajrang Dal and police. Panic and insecurity are increasing among Christians,” he said, adding that the Sangh Pariwar is not the sole representative of Hindu community.
He said since police are biased, the probe responsibility should be handed over to an independent and impartial agency.

Daily Legal News 22.09.2008

My first million: Success writ large

Being a criminal lawyer for about six years had perhaps sharpened his instincts. For, just when India began delicencing its industries and started allowing foreign direct investment to land on its shore, Rohit Kochhar decided to set up a corporate law firm. The move paid off. Industry—both Indian and foreign—got tangled in the mesh of myriad archaic laws and several new policies that were formulated to aid economic liberalisation, and lawyers specialising in company laws were destined to make a killing. It’s an irony that Kochhar had to hire a criminal lawyer to appear for himself recently. “Not that I can’t do the job. But I really don’t have the time,” he grins. Indeed his firm has grown several times since it was set up in 1994. His firm, Kochhar & Co has clients such as Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Apple, Ford, Mitsubishi, Caterpillar, Bloomberg, Avaya, Apollo group, United Health group and Textron group, among others. It is the only Indian law firm that has six offices in the country and three overseas. “We opened our first overseas office in Atlanta in 2002, which was followed by the Tokyo and Singapore last month,” Kochhar says. Kochhar and Co has also forged a JV with US-based Pinkerton C&I, a $8-billion revenue investigation company and a global leader in security to provide investigation support to large companies. Kochhar was born in amiddle class family. His father worked in Telco (now Tata Motors) with a modest salary. “The only time I borrowed money from him was when I purchased my first Maruti 800,” he claims. After graduating in law from the University of Mumbai in 1987, Kochhar practiced in the Delhi High Court for about eight years as an independent criminal lawyer—without following the norm of working under an established lawyer. It was a successful stint and Kochhar specialised in COFEPOSA (Conservation of Foreign Exchanges and Prevention of Smuggling Activities) matters.In 1994, he established Kochhar & Co in Delhi with two other lawyers. “The economy had opened up, I saw a good opportunity of getting foreign clients,” he says. “As a professional I had saved enough to pursue two dreams. I bought a sports car and set up the law firm with whatever remained.” His fascination for hot wheels is still intact. A six-door custom built Limousine, a BMW, a Merc and a red sports car adorn his home—a plush bungalow in south Delhi’s Sainik Farms. The transition from being an established criminal lawyer to finding a footprint in corporate law wasn’t a cakewalk and Kochhar was forced to go back to the books. Also, to court clients with established players like Amarhand & Mangaldas and Bhasin & Co around wasn’t easyeither. “In those days, beauty parades were uncommon so it was all the more difficult to convince them of our services. We were relatively new and small,” Kochhar says. “It was thorny. But I learned along the journey. I made a three-week marathon trip to Singapore visiting law firms and convincing them to give business and refer clients to my firm,” says Kochhar. The newly-established firm was able to bag big clients from the Singapore trip — MTV and Matsushita. MTV was setting up its India office at that time. The big push however came after the government allowed FDI into various delicensed sectors, especially telecom. Kochhar & Co added clients like Nortel Networks, GTE and Sojitz among others. “I earned my first million around that time,” he reminisces. The firm’s work includes regulatory approvals, joint ventures, foreign collaborations, mergers and acquisitions, company law, exchange control, general commercial transactions and corporate litigation. He advises numerous Fortune 500 companies that includes major US, Japanese and European corporations on a host of Indian law issues and sits on the board of Indian subsidiaries of such corporations. Any confessions? “Yes, I set my heart on my dreams, was determined, was geared up to persevere hard. I believe that zooms one off towards unprecedented success.” At present, his dream is to expand to ten more overseas offices getting a team of over 200 lawyers and reaching the Rs 100-crore mark turnover in a couple of years.
22 Sep, 2008, 0000 hrs IST,Monica Behura, ET Bureau

Court decision on Ambani dispute critical to gas sale

The sale of the critical natural gas component from Reliance Industries’ Krishna Godavari basin oil field hangs on a Bombay High Court decision on the dispute between the Ambani brothers.
The court is expected to take up the matter of the sale of gas by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries (RIL) again on September 30.
“The court would take a decision in the near future,” said PMS Prasad, president, E&P, Reliance Industries. “We just hope the people of the country go for what is right.”
Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) spokesperson refused to comment on the issue.
The dispute is about an agreement of supply and pricing of natural gas between RIL and ADAG’s Reliance Natural Resources Ltd (RNRL), which will require 40 mmscmd (million metric standard cubic metres per day) of gas that RIL would have to supply at a cost of $2.34 per mmbtu (million metric British thermal unit) for 17 years for all of it power generation needs.
Reliance Industries has objected to the terms and conditions (which include price, duration and quantity) of this gas sales agreement. It has refused to supply gas to ADAG saying that it does not follow the price notified by the government.
ADAG has gone to court seeking directions to force RIL into complying with its portion of the agreement.
Speaking on the price of the crude oil to be supplied to refineries, Prasad said that the company had found that the market price of crude is different from what the government has decided.
“At this point we are with the government. But we did a market survey, and the price of crude is higher than what the government is willing to pay us,” he said.
The first batch of crude oil produced from the KG basin is going to Hindustan Petroleum’s Kakinada refinery in Andhra Pradesh.
RIL may look at bringing in a partner at some future point for its operations at the KG D6 block. “If we see that there is value for us in form of participation in a foreign oil field, or something similar and if the partner too sees value in us, we may consider a partnership,” said Prasad.
“We can now confidently look forward to production from a series of other fields,” Mukesh Ambani said earlier.
HT Correspondent
Email Author
Mumbai, September 21, 2008

Information Commission Has Jurisdiction To Issue Directions ALLAHABAD High Court
High Court of Judicature Of Allahabad, (Lucknow Bench)Landmark Judgement That Information Commissions Can Issue Directions Writ Petition No. 3262 (MB) of 2008Public Information OfficerVs.State Information Commission, U.P. and others.Hon’ble Pradeep Kant, J.Hon’ble Shri Narayan Shukla, J.(Delivered by Hon’ble Pradeep Kant, J.)Counsel for petitioner Sri Anil TiwariCounsel for Respondents Sri Chandra Bhushan PandeyFollowing two questions arise for determination in the present writ petition:(1) Whether the information disclosing the names of the persons including address and amount, who have received more than Rs.1 lac from the Chief Minister Discretionary Fund, can be given to the information seeker or it is an information, which stands exempted under Section 8 (j) of the Right to Information Act.(2) Whether the Chief Information Commissioner while considering the complaints under Section 18 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 is competent only to award the prescribed punishment, in case of failure of information being given as per the provisions of the Act or while dealing with the said complaints, any direction can also be issued for furnishing the information which has not been provided, though it is not found to be exempted under the provisions of the Act.Right to Information Act, 2005 (referred to as the ‘RTI Act’) enacted by the Parliament, received assent of the President on 15.6.2005, and which came into force w.e.f. 12.10.2005, is relatively a new legislation and, therefore, is having its teething problem giving rise to various issues, which require consideration by the Court. Needless to mention that the Act is not meant for creating a new type of litigation or a new forum of litigation between the information seeker and the information giver, but may be that some of the informations asked for, be inconvenient to the persons to whom it relates and, therefore, every effort would be made to refuse divulgence of such an information and for that matter either to refuse the information by delaying the process or passing a specific order of refusal, may be some time by taking shelter under the provisions of Sections 8 and 9 of the Act, which are the exemption clauses. The information covered by the aforesaid provisions is either completely exempted or it has been given limited protection i.e. though the information is otherwise exempted but can be disclosed on the satisfaction of the Public Information Officer, if he is satisfied that the disclosure of such an information is in larger public interest.Our Constitution establishes a democratic republic. Democracy requires an informed citizenry and transparency of information which are vital to its functioning and also to contain corruption and to hold Governments and their instrumentalities accountable to the governed. The revelation of information in actual practice is likely to conflict with other public interests including efficient operations of the Governments, optimum use of limited fiscal resources and the preservation of confidentiality of sensitive information and, therefore, with a view to harmonise these conflicting interests while preserving the paramountcy of the democratic ideal, the Parliament enacted the Act of 2005 to provide for furnishing certain information to citizens who desire to have it.RTI Act in fact, has been enacted to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority, the constitution of a Central Information Commission and State Information Commissions and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.’Right to Information’ is the right to obtain information from any public authority by means of, (i) inspection, taking of extracts and notes; (ii) certified copies of any records of such public authority; (iii) diskettes, floppies or in any other electronic mode or through printouts where such information is stored in a computer or in any other device. Information in this context means any material in any form relating to the administration, operations or decisions of a public authority. The Act provides for making information held by executive agencies of the State available to the public unless it comes within any one of the specific categories of matters exempt from public disclosure. Virtually all agencies of the executive branch of the government are required by the Act to issue regulations to implement the provisions of the Act. These regulations inform the public where certain types of information may be readily obtained, however, other information may be obtained on request, and what internal agency appeals are available if a member of the public is refused the requested information. The Right to Information Act is designed to prevent abuse of discretionary power of the governmental agencies by requiring them to make public certain information about their working and work product.Right to information or right to know is an integral part and basic tenet of the freedom of speech and expression, a fundamental right guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. It also flows from Article 21 as enunciated by the apex court in the case of Reliance Petrochemicals Ltd. vs. Proprietors of Indian Express Newspapers Bombay Pvt. Ltd. And others, (1988) 4 SCC 592. The apex court in this case while dealing with the issue of freedom of press and administration of justice, held that ‘we must remember that the people at large have a right to know in order to be able to take part in a participatory development in the industrial life and democracy. Right to know is a basic right which citizens of a free country aspire in the broader horizon of the right to live in this age in our land under Article 21 of our Constitution. That right has reached new dimensions and urgency. That right puts greater responsibility upon those who take upon themselves the responsibility to inform’. It is thus, a fundamental right, which cannot be denied, unless of course it falls within the exemption clause or otherwise is protected by some statutory provisions. The functioning of the State and its instrumentalities and functionaries under the cover of darkness leave the citizens ignorant about the reasons and rationale of any decision taken by the authorities or any policy made and the implications thereof, whereas the citizens have a guaranteed ‘Right to Know’. The legal and consequential corollary of the aforesaid right will be that a person getting the required information may move for redressal of the wrong done or any action taken, order passed or policy made by approaching the appropriate forum, as may be permissible under law. The purpose and object of the act is not only to provide information but to keep a check on corruption, and for that matter confers a right upon the citizens to have the necessary information, so that appropriate action may be initiated or taken against the erring officers and also against the arbitrary and illegal orders.The Supreme Court even before the advent of the Right to Information Act, 2005 had stressed upon the importance of transparency in administration and governance of the country and for that matter time and again has entertained writ petitions requiring the State to disclose the information asked for.Reference can be made to the case of State of U.P. vs. Raj Narain, (1975) 4 SCC 428. A Constitution Bench of the apex court in this case, considered the plea of privilege of not disclosing the information with respect to the tour arrangement of Smt. Indira Nehru Gandhi for her tour programmes of Raebareli and also the information disclosing any general order for security arrangement during the general elections alongwith disclosure of all correspondence between the Government of India and the State Government, and between the Chief Minister and the Prime Minister, and held unanimously that the informations asked for, are to be disclosed. The appeal against the judgement of the Allahabad High Court was allowed. His Lordship Justice Mathew, in a separate concurring judgement, in Para-74 observed as under:”In a government of responsibility like ours, where all the agents of the public must be responsible for their conduct, there can be but few secrets. The people of this country have a right to know every public act, everything that is done in a public way, by their public functionaries. They are entitled to know the particulars of every public transaction in all its bearing. The right to know, which is derived from the concept of freedom of speech, though not absolute, is a factor which should make one wary, when secrecy is claimed for transactions which can, at any rate,have no repercussion on public security. To cover with veil of secrecy, the common routine business, is not in the interest of the pubic. Such secrecy can seldom be legitimately desired. It is generally desired for the purpose of parties and politics or personal self-interest or bureaucratic routine. The responsibility of officials to explain and to justify their acts is the chief safeguard against oppression and corruption.”As a result of constant demand of disclosure of information and to make the people know about the functioning of the Government, its authorities and functionaries and the manner in which, decisions are taken or even policy made, including their implementation and to uproot corruption, redtapism and delay in functioning of the State functionaries, apart from decisions taken in individual cases the central legislation in the shape of Right to Information Act, 2005 has been enacted, which prescribes the substantive as well as procedural provisions for securing the information by any person, who seeks that information, without requiring him to disclose the reason as to why this information is being asked for.The Act obligates every public authority as defined in Section 2(h) to designate as many officers, as Central Public Information Officers or State Public Information Officers, as the case may be, in all administrative units or office under it as may be necessary to provide information to persons requesting for the information under Section 5 of the Act.Section 2(j) says that ‘”right to information” means the right to information accessible under this Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes the right to-(i) inspection of work, documents, records;(ii) taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records;(iii) taking certified samples of material;(iv) obtaining information in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts where such information is stored in a computer or in any other device,’ whereas Section 3 says that ‘subject to the provisions of this Act, all citizens shall have the right to information.’Section 4(1) obligates that ‘(a) every public authority shall maintain all its records duly catalogued and indexed in a manner and the form which facilitates the right to information under this Act and ensure that all records that are appropriate to be computerised are, within a reasonable time and subject to availability of resources, computerised and connected through a network all over the country on different systems so that access to such records is facilitated. (b) publish within one hundred and twenty days from the enactment of this Act-(i) the particulars of its organisation, functions and duties;(ii) the powers and duties of its officers and employees;(iii) the procedure followed in the decision making process, including channels of supervision and accountability;(iv) the norms set by it for the discharge of its functions;(v) the rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records, held by it or under its control or used by its employees for discharging its functions;(vi) a statement of the categories of documents that are held by it or under its control;(vii) the particulars of any arrangement that exists for consultation with, or representation by, the members of the public in relation to the formulation of its policy or implementation thereof;(viii) a statement of the boards, councils, committees and other bodies consisting of two or more persons constituted as its part or for the purpose of its advice, and as to whether meetings of those boards, councils, committees and other bodies are open to the public, or the minutes of such meetings are accessible for public;(ix) a directory of its officers and employees;(x) the monthly remuneration received by each of its officers and employees, including the system of compensation as provided in its regulations;(xi) the budget allocated to each of its agency, indicating the particulars of all plans, proposed expenditures and reports on disbursements made;(xii) the manner of execution of subsidy programmes, including the amounts allocated and the details of beneficiaries of such programmes;(xiii) particulars of recipients of concessions, permits or authorisations granted by it;(xiv) details in respect of the information, available to or held by it, reduced in an electronic form;(xv) the particulars of facilities available to citizens for obtaining information, including the working hours of a library or reading room, if maintained for public use;(xvi) the names, designation and other particulars of the Public Information Officers;(xvii) such other information as may be prescribed, and thereafter update these publications every year’.Apart from the informations aforesaid, the Act permits any person to seek information in the prescribed manner by moving an application to the Public Information Officer, giving the details of the information asked for and also depositing the requisite fee, as may be prescribed.Section 6 of the Act says that a person, who desires to obtain any information under this Act, shall make a request in writing or through electronic means in English or Hindi or in the official language of the area in which the application is being made, accompanying such fee as may be prescribed, to-”(a) the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, of the concerned public authority;(b) the Central Assistant Public Information Officer or State Assistant Public Information Officer, as the case may be, specifying the particulars of the information sought by him or her. Provided that where such request cannot be made in writing, the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall render all reasonable assistance to the person making the request orally to reduce the same in writing.Sub-clause (2) says that an applicant making request for information shall not be required to give any reason for requesting the information or any other personal details except those that may be necessary for contacting him.”Section 7 of the Act provides the mode and manner of disposal of request made, seeking information, which prescribes a maximum period of thirty days for providing such information from the date of receipt of the application on payment of such fee, as may be prescribed. It also says that the application may either be accepted or may be rejected for the reasons specified in Sections 8 and/or 9. The proviso annexed to Section 7(1) says that where the information sought for concerns the life or liberty of a person, the same shall be provided within forty eight hours of the receipt of the request. Sub-clause (2) says that if the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, fails to give decision on the request for information within the period specified under sub-clause (1), the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall be deemed to have refused the request.Section 7 in effect prescribes not only the procedure, which is to be adopted after receipt of the request of seeking information but also prescribes the time limit, in which such information is to be given, the payment of requisite fee and various other procedure, which may be required to be fulfilled while seeking and giving the information. The present controversy does not relate to the prescription of fee and the manner in which additional fee can be asked for, but is confined to the questions, formulated in the opening part of this order. If the information is not given within the time period prescribed for giving information, it would be deemed to have been refused, even if information is not specifically refused or denied. The information can be refused only in case there exists any reason specified in Section 8 or Section 9. Sub-clause (8) of Section 7, makes it mandatory to communicate the person making the request; (i) the reasons for such rejection; (ii) the period within which an appeal against such rejection may be preferred; (iii) the particular of the appellate authority.Section 8 provides exemption from disclosure of information and it categorically provides the specified informations, where disclosure of the information shall not be obligatory notwithstanding the provisions of the Act, 2005.A perusal of the aforesaid provisions of Section 8, reveals that there are certain informations contained in Sub-clause (a), (b), (c), (f), (g) and (h), for which there is no obligation for giving such an information to any citizen; whereas informations protected under sub-clause (d), (e) and (j) are though protected informations, but on the discretion and satisfaction of the competent authority, that it would be in larger public interest to disclose such information, such information can be disclosed. These informations thus, are having limited protection, the disclosure of which is dependent upon the satisfaction of the competent authority that it would be in larger public interest as against the protected interest to disclose such information.Sub-clause (i) protects the information with respect to cabinet papers including records or deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers, for a definite period after which protection umbrella stands eroded when the decision is taken and the matter is complete or over, provided further that those matters which come under the exemptions specified in this section shall not be disclosed. There can be no quarrel or any dispute with respect to the information which are completely protected or to say totally exempted from being disclosed as no citizen can claim a right to have such an information, but the dispute arises where exemption is being claimed under any of the aforesaid provisions of Section-8, but the question arises as to whether information asked for is covered by any of the exemption detailed in the said section or not.The controversy arises where exemption is claimed under limited protection provided under sub-clause (d), (e) and (j), and the information seeker requests for disclosure of the information, but the Public Information Officer refuses to supply such information on the ground that information stands exempted. In such cases, the role of the appellate authority or that of the Commission including that of the Chief Information Commissioner is very important, depending upon the jurisdiction exercised and the satisfaction arrived by such authority in deciding as to whether; (i) information asked for, at all stands exempted under any of the aforesaid provisions; and (ii) even if it is exempted, should it be disclosed in larger public interest as against the protected interest of the individuals.In case of third party information, the provisions of Section 11 are to be taken into account, which prescribe a procedure of affording opportunity to the third party to whom the information relates, or who has given the information and who has treated the said information in confidentiality, by giving him notice to have its views and, thereafter, it is to be decided as to whether the information should be disclosed or not, as per the satisfaction of the competent authority.In case of refusal of information either by specific order by Public Information Officer or under the deeming provision of refusal, the matter can be taken up in appeal under Section 19, before the first appellate authority as may be prescribed and further in second appeal to the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be.The provision of appeal has been made for third party also under sub-clause (2) of Section 19. The period for deciding the first appeal is thirty days with total extended time of 45 days. The limitation for filing the appeal is also thirty days, but this period can be condoned on sufficient cause being shown by the appellant, by the appellate authority. The second appeal has to be filed within 90 days from the date on which the decision should have been made or was actually received. The Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, may admit the appeal after the expiry of the period of ninety days if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal in time. In appeal, reasonable opportunity is to be given to the third party also, if the matter relates to third party.Sub-clause (7) of Section 19 says that the decision of the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may, shall be binding, and sub-clause (8) says that in its decision, the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, has the power to- “(a) require the public authority to take any such steps as may be necessary to secure compliance with the provisions of this Act, including-(i) by providing access to information, if so requested, in a particular form;(ii) by appointing a Central Public Information Officer or a State Public Information Officer, as the case may be;(iii) by publishing certain information or categories of information;(iv) by making necessary changes to its practices in relation to the maintenance, management and destruction of records;(v) by enhancing the provision of training on the right to information for its officials;(vi) by providing it with an annual report in compliance with clause (b) of sub-section (1) of Section 4;(b) require the public authority to compensate the complainant for any loss or other detriment suffered.(c) impose any of the penalties provided under this Act;(d) reject the application.”Section 19 (8) thus, authorises the Commission to require the public authority to take any such steps as may be necessary to secure compliance with the provisions of the Act, and sub-clause (c) also permits to impose any of the penalties provided under this Act. The penalty has been provided under Section 20 of the Act, which can be imposed in the given circumstances mentioned therein.Sub-clause (1) of Section 20 gives the circumstance, under which the penalty can be imposed and it permits a penalty of Rs.250/- each day till application is received or information is furnished, so however, the total amount of such penalty shall not exceed Rs.25000/-. Sub-clause (2) of Section 20 gives power to recommend for disciplinary action against the Central Public Information Officer or a State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, under the service rules applicable to him, in case the Central Information Officer or the State Information Officer, as the case may be, has denied the request for information or knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroyed information which was the subject of the request or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information. Section 18 is the provision for making complaint and lays down the procedure for entertaining a complaint and making enquiry.Section 18 reads as under:”18(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, it shall be the duty of the Central Public Information Commission or State Information Commission,, as the case may be, to receive and inquire into a complaint from any person-(a) who has been unable to submit a request to a Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, either by reason that no such officer has been appointed under this Act, or because the Central Assistant Public Information Officer or State Assistant Public Information Officer, as the case may be, has refused to accept his or her application for information or appeal under this Act for forwarding the same to the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, or senior officer specified in sub-section (1) of Section 19 or the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be;(b) who has been refused access to any information requested under this Act;(c) who has not been given a response to a request for information or access to information within the time limit specified under this Act;(d) who has been required to pay an amount of fee which he or she considers unreasonable;(e) who believes that he or she has been given incomplete, misleading or false information under this Act; and(f) in respect of any other matter relating to requesting or obtaining access to records under this Act.(2) Where the Central Public Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to inquire into the matter, it may initiate an inquiry in respect thereof.(3) The Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, shall while inquiring into any matter under this section, have the same powers as are vested in a civil court while trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), in respect of the following matters, namely:-(a) summoning and enforcing the attendance of persons and compel them to give oral or written evidence on oath and to produce the documents or things;(b) requiring the discovery and inspection of documents;(c) receiving evidence on affidavit;(d) requisitioning any public record or copies thereof from any court or office;(e) issuing summons for examination of witnesses or documents; and(f) any other matter which may be prescribed.(4) Notwithstanding anything inconsistent contained in any other Act of Parliament or State Legislature, as the case may be, the Central Information Officer or State Information Commission, as the case may be, during inquiring of any complaint under this Act, examine any record to which this Act applies which is under the control of the public authority, and no such record may be withheld from it on any ground.”Section 18 thus is a provision which is a consciously introduced section, so as to exercise complete control over the functioning of the Public Information Officers, at the time of receiving application, and at the time of giving information or during the appeal under the Act. Any applicant who has not been given a response to a request for information or access to information within the time limit specified under the Act, or who has been required to pay an amount of fee which he or she considers unreasonable, or has been given false information, and in respect of any other matter relating to requesting or obtaining access to records under the Act, may approach the Commission, who would enquire into the complaint, and while making an enquiry, it has all the powers as are vested in a civil court while trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), in respect of the matters enumerated therein. The Commission under sub-clause (4), which begins with a non obstante clause, during enquiry of any complaint under the Act, can examine any record to which this Act applies which is under the control of the public authority, and no such record shall be withheld from it on any ground.In the light of the aforesaid provisions of the Act, the matter in issue requires consideration. Learned counsel for the petitioner has argued that the information asked for, namely, names and details of all the persons who have received more than Rs.1 lac from the Chief Minister’s Discretionary Fund during the period 28.8.2003 upto 31.3.2007, cannot be provided as it stands exempted under Section 8(j) of the Act.The second argument is that the Commission while dealing with the complaints under Section 18, could not direct the Public Information Officer to supply the information within a specified time, regarding which complaint has been made, as under Section 20, it is only the penalty which can be imposed on the erring officer, but information cannot be directed to be given, as such a direction could be issued only in appeal, whether first or second and the present applicant having not preferred the second appeal, his prayer for disclosure of the information asked for, in proceeding under Section 20 could not have been entertained.Section 8 (j) of the Act gives limited protection. The information asked for under the aforesaid clause, can stand protected, if it satisfies, either of the following conditions:”(i) it should be an information which relates to personal information, and the disclosure of such information has no relationship to any public activity or interest(ii) or it would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual.”The discretion, which has been given to the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is to the effect that on their satisfaction that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information, the same may be supplied. It means that though the information asked for is otherwise exempted from being supplied, but it can be disclosed if larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information. Who will decide this larger public interest? It is not the applicant or the person, against whom the information is asked for, but the information officer or the competent authority, as the case may be. Of course, while deciding the aforesaid question, the views of both the parties can be taken into account or so to say have to be taken into account by the concerned authority under the RTI Act, for the reason that the person who is asking for the information, would say it is in larger public interest to disclose the information, whereas the person against whom the information is being asked for shall dispute the aforesaid fact.The information regarding the money advanced beyond Rs.1 lac to any person from the Chief Minister’s Discretionary Fund, apparently is not an information which could be said to be protected under the provisions of Section 8 and in particular Section 8(j) of the Act.The petitioner’s case is that if such an information is disclosed, it would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual. The individual means the person who is the beneficiary of such amount.Elaborating the aforesaid plea, reliance has been placed upon the application /objections filed by the petitioner before the Commission, wherein it has been said that the persons who have received or would have received the discretionary fund of the Chief Minister also have a social status and self respect and if their names are disclosed, that will be an unwarranted invasion in their privacy.For testing the aforesaid plea, the nature of such grant has to be seen and it is also to be tested, whether the Chief Minister’s Discretionary Fund is immune to any sort of scrutiny or audit or that such fund can be used or diverted in any manner, as the Chief Minister desires and that no limitation or restriction has been imposed under the scheme, under which this fund is to be provided or its disbursement stands protected under the provisions of Section 8.A keen look upon the scheme of Chief Minister’s Discretionary Fund, and the Rules which govern it, is necessary for dealing with the issue involved.In supersession of the U.P. Chief Minister’s Discretionary Fund Rules, 1989, Rules of 1999 were enforced by the Governor of the State in exercise of his powers under Article 283(2) of the Constitution of India.Article 283 (1)……..Article 282 and 283, which fall under Chapter-I, Part-12 of the Constitution dealing with finance, has been placed under the heading ‘Miscellaneous Financial Provisions’.Article 282 deals with the expenditure defrayable by the Union or a State out of its revenues, lays down as under:”The Union or a State may make any grants for any public purpose, notwithstanding that the purpose is not one with respect to which Parliament or the Legislature of the State, as the case may be, may make laws.”Article 283 is about the custody, etc, of Consolidated Funds, Contingency Funds and moneys credited to the public accounts, wherein sub-clause (2) provides that ‘Consolidated Fund of the State and the Contingency Fund of the State and the custody of public money other than those credited to such funds received by or on behalf of the Government of the State, their payment into the public account of the State and withdrawal of moneys from such account and all other matters connected with or ancillary to matters aforesaid shall be regulated by law made by the Legislature of the State, and, until provision in that behalf is so made, shall be regulated by rules made by the Governor of the State’. It is in pursuance of the aforesaid power vested with the Governor, the Rules of 1989 and thereafter, the Rules of 1999 have been framed.The Rules of 1999 were amended by notification issued on 22.11.2005, with respect to certain clauses and again vide notification dated 22.11.2006, issued by the Governor in exercise of his powers under Article 283(2) of the Constitution of India.Amendments/modifications made in the Rules of 1999 are only with respect to the entitlement category and the amount which can be awarded to the person entitled for such discretionary fund, rest of the Rules of 1999 are still in force.In the Rules of 1999, Rule-2 provides that the adequate or sufficient amount, with the sanction/consent of the Legislature of the State (Rajya Vidhan Mandal), shall be placed in the Chief Minister’s Discretionary Fund, which shall be granted to the individuals or to the institutions by the Chief Minister. The explanation given therein deals with the situation when there is President’s Rule in the State.Rule-3, lays down the conditions under which the grant/payment from the Chief Minister’s Discretionary Fund can be given. Sub-clause (1) says that the grant shall be made to such persons or institutions, who are eligible for such a grant from the State fund. Sub-clause (2) says that the grant shall not be recurring and it would not mean that it would be spent in any personal type of expenditure nor such an expenditure would be borne by the discretionary fund.Sub-clause (3) of Rule-3, lays down the category of persons to whom the grant can be made and also the maximum amount which can be paid to such persons including the institutions.Sub-clause (4) gives the discretion to the Chief Minister to award the amount in excess of the amount prescribed to any person in any special matter, as per his or her discretion, as the case may be, whereas sub-clause (5) prescribes for audit of the discretionary fund by the Accountant General, making it obligatory for the Chief Minister’s office, to forward him a copy of the order of grant made in favour of any person.Sub-clause (6)(Ka) and (6)(Kha) confers power upon the Chief Minister or the officer nominated by him to make inspection of the record of the person, to whom the grant has been made, if it is a grant of more than Rs.5,000/-.Sub-clause (6)(Kha) says that the District Magistrate shall make verification and shall certify about the utilization of the grant made and he will make relevant records available at the time of audit. The District Magistrate shall also ensure that the grant has been made to the eligible persons.Sub-clause (7) requires the beneficiary to give a certificate that he has not taken the benefit of any discretionary fund of any Minister and has not applied for any discretionary fund of any Minister and that in the relevant year, he is not a beneficiary of such a grant. It is only after giving such a certificate, the grant shall be disbursed.Sub-clause (8) says that the beneficiary has to utilise the amount of grant from the Chief Minister’s Discretionary Fund within the prescribed period and if he fails to do so, he will have to return the unused money in one go.Sub-clause (9) obliges the District Magistrate to give utilization certificate of the amount paid to the beneficiary, and sub-clause (10) says that the order of sanction form the discretionary fund and the account disbursed, shall be maintained in the Account Section of the Chief Minister’s office.Sub-clause (11) says that where the amount of such discretionary fund is more than Rs.500/-, the beneficiary will have to give a stamp receipt in acknowledgement thereof.By means of the amendment/modification by the notification dated 22.11.2005, sub-clause (3) which deals with the category of persons entitled for the grant and the amount which can be given to a particular person including institutions has been amended, enhancing the said amount to certain extent and lastly by the amendment of 2006, amendments have been made in sub-clauses (3), (4) and (6) to the same effect, i.e. the category of persons to whom the grant can be made from the discretionary fund of the Chief Minister and the maximum amount that can be paid to such persons, etc.The Chief Minister’s Discretionary Fund thus, is a part and parcel of the Consolidated Fund of the State, subject to all constitutional sanctions and statutory bindings. It is in fact the public money and, therefore, public has a right to know about it.The Chief Minister’s Discretionary Fund thus, is not and cannot be treated as personal fund of the Chief Minister, but it is the discretionary fund, which has to be disbursed, at his/her discretion, as the case may be, which disbursement again is governed by the Rules. The discretion has to be exercised in the manner as may be prescribed under the Rules.The amount of Rs.1 lac or more can be given to persons, who are enumerated in Rule 3(b) to 3(f).Rule-3 read as under:”(3)This grant may be given by the Chief Minister to the persons upto the limit mentioned below according to his discretion:(a) to helpless, Disabled, persons of poor classes or boys or widows: Not more than Rs.1,00,000/-(b) to institutions involved into social and cultural activities (other than institution based on caste or religion : Not more than Rs. 5,00,000 /-(c) to poor persons suffering from illness : Not more than Rs. 5,00,000/-(d) to for the construction of building of non governmental educational institutions : Not more than Rs. 5,00,000/-(e) to poor families whose earning member is killed in a brutal murder / crime or died due to accident, snake bite or drowning of boat: Not more than Rs. 5,00,000/-(f) to persons suffering from massive fire breakout, land sliding, snowfall or other natural calamities : half of the loss occurred on general standards or Rs. 200,000/- whichever is less.(g) to person seriously injured in (one) accident and is in need of money: Not more than Rs. 1,00,000/-(h) to needy person injured in (two)accidents: Not more than Rs. 25,000/-”The rules aforesaid thus prescribed the category of persons, who are entitled for the benefit of discretionary fund of the Chief Minister with the maximum amount that can be given to them, of course subject to discretion of the Chief Minister, who is authorised to give an amount even in excess of the prescribed limit, but it does not lay down anywhere that the discretionary fund can be given to persons not entitled under the rules. Even supposing (though the Rules do not permit) that the Chief Minister has the power to extend the benefit of the discretionary fund to any class of person/persons with discretion of any such amount being paid, none the less, it is governed by the rules and, therefore, if any amount is paid to a person, as enumerated under the rule or that the amount has been paid in excess of the amount prescribed, the amount paid even then cannot be treated to be an action of the Chief Minister or the Chief Minister’s Secretariat, which is not amenable to the public knowledge. The discretion which is governed by the rule cannot be treated as insulated with immunity so as to cover it up and not to make it known to the person, who is asking for such an information. No rule or provision, either constitutional or statutory has been placed before us to draw a presumption of secrecy with respect to the amounts disbursed and the details of such person or in other words, with respect to the disbursement of the discretionary fund from the Chief Minister Secretariat, to the persons who are the beneficiary of such disbursement.In the case of Coimbatore District Central Coop. Bank v. Employees Assn. (2007) 4 SCC 669, the court dealing with the doctrine of proportionality, a principle where the Court is concerned with the process, method or manner in which the decision maker has ordered his priorities, reached a conclusion or arrived at a decision, observed that the doctrine of proportionality has its genesis in the field of administrative law. The Government and its departments, in administering the affairs of the country, are expected to honour their statements of policy or intention and treat the citizens with full personal consideration without abuse of discretion. There can be no “pick and choose”, selective applicability of the government norms or unfairness, arbitrariness or unreasonableness. The very essence of decision making consists in the attribution of relative importance to the factors and considerations in the case. The doctrine of proportionality thus steps in focus true nature of exercise, the elaboration of a rule of permissible priorities. “Proportionality” involves “balancing test” and “necessity test”, whereas the former (balancing test) permits scrutiny of excessive onerous penalties or infringement of rights or interests and a manifest imbalance of relevant considerations, the latter (necessity test) requires infringement of human rights to the least restrictive alternative.The Chief Minister while distributing the amount to the persons entitled to have the benefit of the aforesaid public fund, has the discretion to make such grant to the eligible persons and while exercising the discretion, he/she as the case may be, has the discretion to enhance the amount as against the amount normally prescribed for each category, but the discretion to whom the amount under the discretionary fund should be paid and what amount should be paid also has to be exercised with caution and care and on a reasonable basis, e.g., in any special matter where the amount specified is found to be very low, so as to meet the exigency for which the amount is to be paid, the Chief Minister would have the discretion to make a larger payment which means that the discretion of giving enhanced amount is also circumscribed by the requirement of it being a ‘special matter’. For example, in case a poor person needs to have the medical expenses for kidney transplant, lever transplant, bypass surgery or any other disease like cancer etc. requiring huge expenditure in his treatment, the enhanced amount can be given. Illustrations aforesaid are not exhaustive, as there may be many more cases, under different entitlements, where the Chief Minister could exercise the discretion of providing any enhanced or increased amount as against the one prescribed. Whenever a discretion is vested with any authority to do or not to do a thing, it has to be done by exercise of sound discretion, as per the rules and guidelines given under the rules.When the Rules themselves prescribe the categories of persons to whom the benefit can be extended with the eligibility criteria, the maximum amount which can be paid to such defined persons, there being requirement of making audit by the Accountant General, U.P., of the Chief Minister’s Discretionary Fund with powers to the Chief Minister and District Magistrate to look into the records of the beneficiaries and verify that the amount has been received by the eligible persons, coupled with the fact that the beneficiary is also under the obligation to utilise the fund given to him within the prescribed period for the purpose it was given, failing which, unused amount has to be refunded in one go, it cannot be said that there can be any secrecy in the matter either with respect to the disbursement of the discretionary fund to any particular person or his/her entitlement for the same nor it would be a case of infringing any right of privacy of a person, to whom the benefit has been extended.There appears to be no reason for not making such information known to the public or atleast not making it known to the persons, who asks for such information, when the disbursement is made under the Rules notified by the Governor. Extending the benefit to the eligible and deserving persons, is a laudable object and a highly appreciative function of the Chief Minister and, therefore, also the disclosure of such an information would not affect the credibility of the Chief Minister’s Secretariat or its functioning, but would make the entire functioning transparent, which would enable the applicant to know that the discretionary funds have been properly utilized. In a democratic set up, every organ of the State including the legislature and the executive is answerable and accountable to the public. There cannot be a bar nor any impediment can be placed in disclosing such an information which relates to the benefits extended from the discretionary fund of the Chief Minister to the persons entitled to such benefit. Chief Minister’s Discretionary Fund is a name, but none the less it is a public fund and public money. The citizens have a right to know that in what manner, the said discretionary fund has been used and utilized. From the category of persons to whom this benefit can be extended, it is clear that it takes into account not only the destitute, disabled weaker section of people, widows, children, but it also prescribes the given amount for social and cultural organizations, poor person suffering from disease, for construction of the school building of any non-governmental educational institution etc. etc. That being so, there cannot be any plausible reason for not disclosing the information regarding disbursement of the discretionary fund to any person.The plea that if such an information is disclosed, it would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the person who is a beneficiary is concerned, the same is wholly untenable and devoid of substance. The person who is extended the benefit of discretionary fund does not compromise with his honour and prestige nor acceptance of such a benefit belittles his status. The Chief Minister while extending the benefit of the given amount from the Chief Minister’s Discretionary Fund, discharges his/her, as the case may be, social obligation, in consonance with the socio economic policy of the State to the person, who is entitled under the rules for having the said benefit. The extension of the economic assistance to the persons entitled, is a step towards discharging the functions of a welfare State by providing monetary help to the deserving under the Rules.The benefit is supposed to be extended possibly to the maximum number of persons, who fall within the category of entitlement, which care has been taken by providing the maximum amount against each category of person, which can be normally provided. This has been done with a view to meet the economic capacity and the amount, available in the Chief Minister’s Discretionary Fund. The amount appears to have been prescribed against each category, with a view to make the funds available to maximum possible number of people and not allowing the discretion to be exercised in a manner, so that it concentrates into the hands of few beneficiaries. Of course, those who are not entitled for the discretionary fund, may not be allowed the money from the said fund, if the rule or the law otherwise does not permit.The beneficiary of the discretionary fund cannot feel any inconvenience or discomfort, in case the information is given about the amount, that has been given to him under the said rule. Of course, if any undue advantage has been derived, it cannot stand protected by simply hiding or by not disclosing the information to the person, who asks for the same.The plea that if such an information is given, it would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual beneficiary is otherwise also not available to the petitioner or the Public Information Officer or the State nor to the department concerned, as it may be the individual defence, if at all available, to the beneficiary. The information asked for, is only to provide the information with respect to the discretion of the Chief Minister’s Secretariat, where the funds have been released to the beneficiaries, and not the information from the beneficiaries, as to what they have done to the funds given to them. In case, any such information is asked for, which relates to third person, namely, the beneficiary, and if, he or she had claimed confidentiality of such an information, and if such an information can at all be treated as confidential, only in that case, provisions of Section 11 would apply, but it would also not mean that such an information would stand absolutely exempted from being disclosed.It is to be noticed that when the beneficiary of the grant from the Chief Minister’s Discretionary Fund is under an obligation to use the money so paid for the same very purpose, for which, it has been paid with the obligation upon the beneficiary to return the unused money in one go, and that too within the prescribed period, for which utilization certificate has to be furnished by the District Magistrate after making necessary verification, it cannot be said that it is an information, which can seek confidentiality within the meaning of Section-11 of the Act of 2005 or can be treated as confidential by the beneficiary, treating it to be a third party information. One cannot forget, that the monetary assistance extended to the beneficiary is from the public fund.In our considered opinion, the information asked for regarding the names and details of the persons, who have been paid an amount of more than Rs.1 lac from the Chief Minister’s Discretionary Fund for the period in question, is not an information, which is covered under Section 8(j) nor it stands exempted otherwise.This takes us to the next question regarding the authority of the Commission/Chief Information Commission to direct the Public Information Officer to give the information asked for within a specified period, while dealing with a complaint under Section 18 of the Act.The petitioner in support of his plea, that the Commission cannot direct for supply of the information, in proceedings under Section 18, has relied upon the case of Reliance Industries Ltd. vs. Gujarat State Information Commission and Ors., reported in AIR 2007 GUJARAT 203. A learned Single Judge of the High Court of Gujarat in this case, while considering the effect of information asked for relating to third party, taking into account the provisions of Sections 11 and 19 of the Act, also had an occasion to consider the scope of Section 18 of the Act, wherein the Court observed that a third party information cannot be given unless the rules of natural justice are followed in the manner prescribed under the Act.The legal proposition as enunciated by the Gujarat High Court with respect to affording of reasonable opportunity to the third party to whom either the information relates or who had supplied the information and which information is being treated as confidential by such a person, is not only the tenet of the principles of natural justice but it also flows from the statutory provisions of Section 11(1) itself. In case where Section 11 applies, of course, due opportunity, as provided under the Act, has to be afforded to the third party and only after following its rules, the information can be supplied or refused and that too by giving reasons.We, therefore, are in respectful agreement with the aforesaid view of following the rules of natural justice, expressed by the Gujarat High Court.The view expressed otherwise in respect of locus standi of a person to seek an information and also on the scope of Section 18 of the Act, requires consideration.The Gujarat High Court while dealing with the aforesaid proposition of law, took into consideration the judgement of the apex court in the case of Ashok Kumar Pandey vs. State of West Bengal and others, reported in AIR 2004 SC 280, for holding that care has to be taken that the information is not asked for by the persons, who seek the information with an intention to blackmail the person against whom the information is asked for and that the nature of the information asked for and the person who asked for information are the relevant considerations.In regard to the observations of the Gujarat High Court, suffice would be to mention that the Court proceeded on the assumption that the right to seek information is like filing writ petition in the nature of public interest litigation. In a public Interest litigation, care has to be taken that it is not a petition for settling the personal score or satisfying the personal vendetta or is not a publicity interest litigation or pecuniary interest litigation. The essence of the grievance raised and the bona fide of the person in bringing the issue to the Court, are such key factors, which play an important role in the public interest litigation. The Supreme Court even in a petition of PIL has held in the case of T.N. Godavarman Thirumulpad (98) vs. Union of India and others, (2006) 5 SCC 28 and Vishwanath Chaturvedi (3) vs. Union Of India and others, (2007) 4 SCC 380, that even if the person bringing the cause to the Court has no locus standi to pursue the matter or he is not a bona fide person or a public spirited person or may have approached the Court with political reasons but still in such a case the grievance raised can be looked into and if found genuine and worth being enquired into, the same can be entertained.Under the Right to Information Act, the locus standi of the person is of no avail. Any citizen can ask for any information, which is not protected under the relevant clauses of exemption. The Public Information Officer is under the legal duty to supply the information so asked for.Sub-clause (2) of Section 6 itself says that an applicant making request for information shall not be required to give any reason for seeking the information or any other personal details except those that may be necessary for contacting him. This leaves no room of doubt that the information cannot be refused on the ground that the person asking for information is not a bona fide person and it cannot also be enquired from him as to why he is seeking the information.The view, therefore, expressed by the Gujarat High Court in this regard without adverting to the scheme of the Act, 2005 and without noticing the provisions of Section 2(j) and Section 3 of the Act, are contrary to law. Section 2(j), says that the right to information means the right to information accessible under this Act, which is held by or under the control of any public authority and Section 3, says that subject to the provisions of this Act, all citizens shall have the right to information. We thus find that the Gujarat High Court did not take into consideration the provisions of Section 2(j) and Section 3 and also sub-clause (2) of Section 6, which specifically prohibits from making any enquiry from the applicant for giving reasons for seeking the information or any other personal details except his address, where he could be contacted. Thus, the view expressed by the Gujarat High Court in respect of the locus standi of the applicant, asking for any information cannot be said to be a binding precedent. We, therefore, with utmost regard to the learned Judge of the Gujarat High Court, are unable to subscribe to the said view.Gujarat High Court also held that the information cannot be directed to be given under Section 18, but recourse can be taken in appeal for having the information, which has been either illegally withheld or has been specifically refused.For finding out the true meaning, import and scope of Section 18, we have to make purposive interpretation of the provision, keeping in view the object and purpose of the Act.On seeing the scheme of the Act, the relevant extracts of which, we have reproduced earlier, it is beyond doubt that the object and purpose of the Act is to provide information to the citizen (applicant), who makes a request for having such an information, which can be given under the Act and which does not stand exempted or so to say is not prohibited from being furnished under the provisions of the Act.Normal rule of interpretation is, to give such meaning to the provisions of the Act, which furthers the object of the Act and does not restrict its applicability so as to defeat its very object and purpose. The intention in making a provision, the principle which guided for such an enactment and the mischief which is intended to be rectified cannot be lost sight of, while discovering the true meaning and import of the provisions of the Act. While interpreting any statute, normally a literal construction of the provision has to be made and if the language is clear, unambiguous and meaningful, which forwards the cause of enactment, the Court would restrain itself from making an effort to interpret the provisions in any different manner, which would have the effect of amending the rule or rewriting the provision. The literal rule of construction is the normal rule of interpretation, which does not infringe upon the statute or the statutory provision and carries forward the intention, object and purpose of the Act. Any hardship to any person or any lacuna in the Act can also not be filled in, unless of course the provision militates against the object and purpose for which it has been enacted or leads to absurdity.In the case of A.N. Roy, Commissioner of Police and another vs. Suresh Sham Singh, reported in (2006) 5 SCC 745, the Supreme Court observed as under:”it is now well-settled principle of law that the court cannot enlarge the scope of legislation or intention when the language of the statute is plain and unambiguous. Narrow and pedantic construction may not always be given effect to. The Courts should avoid a construction, which would reduce the legislation to futility. It is also well settled that every statute is to be interpreted without any violence to its language. It is also trite that when an expression is capable of more than one meaning, the court would attempt to resolve the ambiguity in a manner consistent with the purpose of the provision, having regard to the great consequences of the alternative constructions.”In the case of Southern Petrochemical Industries Co. Ltd. vs. Electricity Inspector and ETIO, (2007) 5 SCC 447, held that only in case a literal interpretation gives rise to anomalous situation, purposive interpretation may be resorted to, and again in the case of S.B. Bhattacharjee vs. S.D. Majumdar, (2007) 10 SCC 513, it was said that for giving effect to the legislative intent in the face of draftsman’s unskillfulness or ignorance of law, the court must consider executive instructions or office memorandum as executive interpretation based on the doctrine of contemporanea expositio.In the case of Raghunath Rai Bareja vs. Punjab National Bank, (2007) 2 SCC 230, the Supreme Court held that the literal rule of interpretation really means that there should be no interpretation. In other words, we should read the statutes as it is, without distorting or twisting its language. The literal rule of interpretation is not only followed by judges and lawyers, but it is also followed by the layman in his ordinary life. The meaning of the literal rule of interpretation is simply that we mean what we say and we say what we mean. The first and foremost principle of interpretation of a statute in every system of interpretation is the literal rule of interpretation. The other rules of interpretation e.g. The mischief rule, purposive interpretation, etc. can only be resorted to when the plain words of a statute are ambiguous or lead to no intelligible results or if read literally would nullify the very object of the statute. Where the words of a statute are absolutely clear and unambiguous, recourse cannot be had to the principles of interpretation other than the literal rule. Even if the literal interpretation results in hardship or inconvenience, it has to be followed.The Supreme Court had an occasion to consider the principle of purposive interpretation in the case of State of U.P. and others vs. Jeet S. Bisht and another (2007) 6 SCC 586, wherein two Hon’ble Judges have delivered the judgement separately, but the out come of the petition is the same, though reference to Larger Bench has been made, on the reasoning given by them. In paragraphs 72 and 73, Justice S.B. Sinha, held as under:”72.With the advent of globalisation, we are witnessing a shift from formalism to a value-laden approach to law. In the contemporary scholarship, especially with the decimation of law as purely an autonomous discipline (with the emergence of cross-cutting realms such as Law and Economics, Law and Philosophy, Law and Society, IPR et al), we see that laws embody a goal, which may have its provenance in sciences other than law as well. It is no more the black letter in the law which guides the interpretation but the goal which is embodied by the particular body of law, which may be termed as the rationality of law.73. Law, in its value-laden conception, is not entirely endogenous in its meaning and purpose, the construction thereof also depends on the statement of purport and object. There is a spillover of the aforementioned shift in philosophy of law to statutory interpretation. Purposive interpretation, of lately, has gained considerable currency, which is relevant for the sake of maximising the efficiency in respect to the point behind the rule. There may be a situation when purposive interpretation is required even in the context of deciphering the constitutional mandate by invoking the notion of active liberty discovered by Justice Stephen Breyer of the American Supreme Court. This is the precise role which was exhorted by Bruce A. Ackerman in the famous Storrs Lecture.”Despite reference to Larger Bench, the rule of purposive interpretation, can still be made applicable to understand the provisions in the instant case.Section 18 of the Act is a provision, which allows the applicant who has been refused information or who believes that complete information has not been given, or who has been denied the information by simply delaying the information, to make a complaint to the Commission, Central or State, as the case may be, who would make an enquiry into the said complaint. Section 19(8)(a) is in general terms, which confers power upon the Commission, may be the Central or the State, to require the public authority to take any step as may be, necessary to secure compliance under the said Act including providing access in a particular form to the information asked for. This means that the Commission can direct for supplying the necessary information in such form, as may be required, therefore, there cannot be any dispute that in the appeal proceedings, the information which has not been given by the Public Information Officer can be directed to be supplied.What would be the position, in case a complaint has been made under Section 18 of the Act, regarding refusal of information etc. is a matter which requires consideration. Section 18 is a provision which gives a statutory avenue for vindicating the grievance of the persons, who asked for such information, but the same has not been given. To keep a check and control upon the functioning of the Public Information Officers, so that they may not go berserk and violate the statute, capriciously and arbitrarily, Section 18 has been enacted. In case the Commission finds that the concerned officer has violated the provisions of the Act, in discharging the duties under the Act and has illegally, wrongfully or malafidely refused the information, he can be subjected to a penalty, which may be, namely, Rs.250/- per day, till the information is provided or to a maximum of Rs.25000/-. In case the intention of the provision of the aforesaid Act was only to punish the guilty information officer, there would have been no occasion under Section 18(3) to confer powers upon the Commission, which are vested in a civil court while trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), requiring discovery and inspection of documents and requisitioning any public record or copies thereof from any court or office, and for specifically providing under sub-clause (4) of Section 18 that notwithstanding anything inconsistent contained in any other Act of Parliament or State Legislature, as the case may be, the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, may, during the inquiry of any complaint under this Act, examine any record to which this Act applies which is under the control of the public authority, and no such record may be withheld from it on any grounds.The obvious intention and the purpose of the aforesaid powers being vested with the Commission in the matter of enquiry is to confer all such powers upon the Commission, which can compel the erring officers to disclose and supply the information, which cannot be withheld for any reason whatsoever under the provisions of the Act. Of course, an enquiry on such a complaint naturally would mean to enquire as to whether the information was rightly refused, delayed or was incorrectly given, and for that matter, the power, as given in sub-clauses (3) and (4) of Section 18 the Act, have to be used and on finding that the information was wrongly refused or illegally withheld or was incorrectly or malafidely refused, the Commission cannot be stopped from issuing direction for giving the necessary information.The purpose of holding enquiry would be of no meaning if only punishment is given to the erring officer, as it would not serve the purpose of the Act and the power so conferred upon the Commission, requiring requisitioning of any public record or copies thereof from any court or office, shall also have only a limited purpose to find out as to whether the punishment should be awarded to the erring officer or not. This is not the intention of the Act or the provisions of Section 18.Section 20 which prescribes the penalties, takes into account both ‘complaint’ and ‘appeal’, says that the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, while deciding any complaint or appeal, if satisfied that the application has wrongly been refused from being entertained or the information has not been given for the reasons given therein, impose the penalty as prescribed, meaning thereby that at the time of either deciding a complaint or an appeal, the Commission has the power to impose penalty and that this penalty would be imposed till the application is received or information is furnished. This clarifies that the penalty can be imposed by the Commission while deciding the complaint or while deciding the appeal. Such penalty can be imposed for such term, till the application is received or information sought for is given, as the case may be, @ Rs.250/- each day, subject to a maximum of Rs.25,000/-. So far the power to issue direction for receiving the application or for supplying the information is concerned, it is for one and the same purpose, i.e., for supplying the correct information to the applicant, if it does not stand exempted under the Act. In this regard, there can be no distinction, when the Commission enquires into a complaint or hears an appeal under the aforesaid power.This view also stands fortified by the fact, that Section 20, which gives the consequence of enquiry being held under Section 18, on a complaint being received, says in sub-clause (1) “…… It shall impose a penalty of Rs.250/- per day, till the information is provided or to a maximum of Rs.25000/-”, meaning thereby that the penalty is to be imposed for compliance of the provisions of the Act.The aforesaid clause in inverted commas, means beyond doubt that the Commission on being satisfied about the complaint and while deciding any complaint or appeal, if it is of the opinion that without any reasonable cause, the application was refused, or the necessary information has not been given or the same has not been furnished within time or has been malafidely denied or the knowingly incorrect information has been given etc. etc., only then it shall impose the penalty aforesaid. Since the penalty of Rs.250/- per day is to be imposed till the application is received by the Public Information Officer, Central or State, as the case may be, if they had refused to accept application or the information asked for is furnished, it is apparent, that the very purpose of this penal provision is to make the officer concerned to supply the information.In a given case, where a complaint has been made that the information has not been furnished, the penalty of Rs. 250/- each day, shall be imposed till the information is furnished, to a maximum of Rs.25000/- , which means that even while dealing with the complaints, the Commission can ask for the disclosure of the information, otherwise, the provision would not have contained the phrase aforesaid, which prescribes the penalty of Rs. 250/- each day, till application is received or information is furnished, as the case may be. The intention of the provision is clear. The penalty is to be imposed for the period during which either the application is not received or the information is not given, but the moment, the application is accepted or information is given, as the case may be, the penalty cannot be imposed any further. Of course, the maximum limit of penalty is Rs.25000/-, but that does not in any way fetter the power of the Commission to issue a direction for furnishing the information. The maximum amount of penalty does not qualify the main substantive provision, which says that it shall be imposable till the information is given or the application is received, as the case may be.In a given case where no appeal has been filed or even after first appeal, the information has not been given and if no second appeal has been filed, but a complaint has been made, it would be the discretion of the Commission to pass appropriate orders for furnishing of the information, in case the Commission is satisfied and if it is established from the record that the information was illegally refused or not given correctly etc. etc.In the absence of any prohibition under Section 18 and there being no other provision, which puts any embargo or curtails the jurisdiction of the Commission to order for supply of the information not duly supplied, or to ask for receiving of the application, which has been wrongly refused from being entertained, the provisions of Section 18 has to be read in a manner, which does not have the effect of curtailing the jurisdiction of the Commission, which otherwise can be exercised under the provisions of the Act.Section 18 is a substantive provision regarding lodging and enquiring into a complaint, whereas Section 20 is the consequence of such an enquiry.The whole purpose of making an enquiry on a complaint being given by the affected person, shall stand defeated, if the two provisions are read in isolation or they are given a meaning which does not further the object of the Act. From a harmonious construction of the aforesaid provisions keeping in mind the purpose for which they have been enacted, it can be safely concluded that the powers of the Commission under Section 18 are not restricted only to make enquiry and award punishment, but they also extend for issuing direction for receiving the application or for giving the necessary information under the provisions of the Act. Any other interpretation would not be in consonance with the scheme of the Act and shall also amount to restricting and curtailing the power of the Commission by judicial interpretation.The Act contains two types of information; first which is to be suo motu provided without even being asked for under Section 4 and the other information, which is to be given when asked for. Of course, there is a third classification, which exempts certain information from being disclosed and a corollary to the said exemption is such information, which though stands protected, but can be disclosed by the competent authority, if satisfied that it is in larger public interest to disclose such information. Any interpretation to any of the provisions of the Act, if leads to absurdity or may lead to defeat the very purpose of the Act, has to be avoided. There is no attempt to twist the words or the phraseology used, but for correct interpretation of provision of Section 18, it cannot be read in isolation, but has to be seen in the light of the consequences of a complaint of Section 18, as given in Section 20 of the Act, besides also the purpose and object of the Act for which it has been enacted. It shall be a futile exercise in case the enquiry as contemplated, on a complaint is made, but remains confined only to the award of punishment with no consequence of furthering the object of the Act, i.e. without requiring the Public Information Officer to supply the information asked for. The meaning, intention and import, therefore, is clear that if a complaint is made and if the Commission is satisfied that the information has wrongly been withheld or has been refused, etc., then in addition to the penal actions prescribed it can also order for supply of such an information.We, therefore, with deep respect are unable to concur with the view expressed by the Gujarat High Court to the contrary in the case of Reliance Industries Ltd. vs. Gujarat State Information Commission and Ors., reported in AIR 2007 GUJARAT 203, with respect to the scope of Section 18.In view of above, we are of the considered opinion that neither the information asked for regarding distribution of the discretionary fund viz. in the instant case, information regarding the details of the persons, who have been given an amount of more than Rs.1 lac can be refused nor it stands exempted under Section 8(j) of the Act.We are also of the view that the Commission while enquiring into the complaint under Section 18, can issue necessary directions for supply/disclosure of the information asked for, in case the Commission is satisfied that the information has been wrongly withheld or has not been completely given or incorrect information has been given etc., which information otherwise is liable to be supplied under the provisions of the Act.Before parting, we will also like to put on record that all the information regarding the Chief Minister’s Discretionary Fund, including the information regarding the persons, who have been granted any amount from the discretionary fund with their category and the amount paid/disbursed, may be treated such an information, which requires to be made available to the public in terms of Section 4 of the Act. The public has a right to know about the disbursement of the Chief Minister’s Discretionary Fund to the persons and the amount which has been paid with a further information that whether the amount has been properly utilized in the given time or not. We, however, refrain ourselves from issuing any such directive, but we hope and trust that the State Government shall look into the matter and exercise its discretion, particularly when there are specific rules, duly formulated by the Governor, prescribing for audit by the Accountant General, U.P. of the discretionary fund and also other provisions regarding the entitlement and utilization etc., which we have already discussed above.We have been persuaded to make these observations in accordance with the provisions of the Rules of 1999, sub-clause (xvii) of Section 4(1)(b) and also sub-clause (2) of Section 4 of the Right to Information Act, 2005, which says that it shall be a constant endeavour of every public authority to take steps in accordance with the requirements of clause (b) of sub-section (1) of Section 4, to provide as much information suo motu to the public at regular intervals through various means of communications, including internet, so that the public have minimum resort to the use of this Act to obtain information.We, thus do not find any illegality in the impugned orders dated 12.12.2007, 18.1.2008 and 15.2.2008, contained in Annexure Nos.1, 2 and 3 respectively to the writ petition, passed by the Commission nor we find any reason for the petitioner not to supply the information asked for.
The writ petition is devoid of merits and is dismissed.

RIL to await court verdict before production of gas:PMS Prasad
In the midst of the ongoing legal battle with Anil Ambani group firm RNRL, Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries today said it would wait for the court decision before starting gas production, while hoping for an early decision. “Since gas can not be stored and has to be sold as soon as it is produced, I am hopeful that there could be some solution.
RIL will wait for the court decision before starting production,” CEO and President of Oil and Gas PMS Prasad told reporters. After the announcement by RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani that the gas production would start from January 2009, Prasad was asked a number of questions relating to the gas dispute that is pending in the Bombay High Court.
“We are not in a position to comment on gas sales since the matter is subjudice. Somebody will have to take a decision,” he said.
Earlier, talking to Editors, Mukesh Ambani had declined to comment on dispute with RNRL, while a spokesperson for the group has termed the matter as ’subjudice’. There were however, indications that RIL is unlikely to have any out of court settlement with RNRL on the issue as it felt that there was nothing to settle.
Sources indicated that Mukesh is unlikely to meet Anil for the purpose. The Bombay High Court had said during a hearing of the case that the two brothers could explore out of court settlement and perhaps involve their mother Kokilaben.

High Court issues direction to VCI Secretary
Chennai, Sep 21: The Madras High Court has directed the Secretary, Veterinary Council of India (VCI), New Delhi, to consider and dispose of a complaint by a city advocate about ill treatment of his pet dog, resulting in its death, on merit and in accordance with the law.The court permitted the petitioner to send a copy of his earlier representation to the Council.
The petitioner, S Venkataraman from Chennai, said he owned an ‘imported’ breed of dog, which was registered with the Kennel Club of India. It was given an extensive training by a dog trainer from the UK and had won prizes in various shows.On March 6, 2006, the dog’s condition turned worse and it was taken to the Madras Veterinary College Teaching Hospital, Vepery, where Iyyappan of the Orthopaedics Department of Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University examined it. He suggested X-rays to be taken at the hospital and blood tests at a private laboratory on Periyar Salai,Mr Venkataraman submitted.The doctor collected the blood samples and gave it to the petitioner. The full test report was not ready.Armed with the report, he took the dog to the doctor, who directed that it be taken to S Prathaban, Professor and Head, Department of Clinics of the hospital.The dog was taken to an unhygienic treatment room, where left over dextrose drips were administered along with strong antibiotics, infected needles. The treatment was continued for two more days based on the incomplete pathology report.This resulted in tick infestation and the dog died on March 11,2006 the petitioner submitted.Mr Venkataraman said the death of the dog came as a shock to his family. The hospital was projected on the website as having all facilities for pathological tests, surgery and inpatient facilities.The two doctors had not discharged their professional duty in a diligent manner. His notice to the hospital should have been referred to the State Veterinary Council for any enquiry.However, it was not done, the petitioner.The Director had sent a reply stating there was no deficiency in service.The petitioner prayed the court to issue a direction to the VCI to award the appropriate punishment to the two doctors.Justice A Kulasekaran directed the VCI to consider and dispose of the petitioner’s representation dated January 27, 2007 expeditiously.UNI
Sunday, September 21 2008 13:38(IST)

To SC, ST add another SC, raise job quota over 50%: Ministry
NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 21 The Ministry of Social Justice is piloting an amendment in the Constitution to add denotified tribes as a new beneficiary of reservation with the job quota ceiling raised beyond 50 percent — the limit fixed by the Supreme Court — to accommodate them.
In a Cabinet note to the Ministry of Home Affairs this month, the Ministry has asked it to consider the proposal of the National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes to provide reservation to them by adding a new Article 342A defining the tribes as a ‘Scheduled Community’.
“Once a denotified tribe is notified as a scheduled community, delete it from the list of scheduled tribe, scheduled castes or Other Backward Castes, as the case may be… Reserve 10 percent of Government jobs for DNTs even if the ceiling of 50 percent is exceeded,” the Ministry restates the recommendations while pushing the First Stage Proposals for Action.
Other amendments proposed are providing electoral reservation to the Scheduled Community in Lok Sabha, state legislatures, Panchayati Raj institutions and urban local bodies as well as setting up a permanent National Commission for DNTs like those for SCs and STs that have powers of a civil court and monitor the safeguards of these sections.
Amitav Ranjan Posted: Sep 22, 2008 at 0134 hrs IST

Reliance Communications moves SC in a tax matter
NEW DELHI: Anil Ambani-promoted Reliance Communications has moved the Supreme Court challenging the imposition of VAT by the Andhra Pradesh government on its recharge vouchers and value added services. The Supreme Court will hear the plea on September 29. The telecom company has challenged an Andhra Pradesh High Court order that asked it to pay one third of Rs 43 crore, the alleged incurred tax liability, on or before September 30. The Andhra Pradesh government has imposed 12.6 per cent VAT on Get Started Kits (GSKs) and recharge coupons, and 4 per cent VAT on SMS, ringtones, and games by treating these services as ‘goods’. It has also asked Reliance to shell out more than Rs 42.93 crore under AP VAT Act. Though the single bench of the HC had stayed the recovery of VAT from Reliance, the division bench had modified the order to an interim stay. The bench held that the interim stay would continue only if Reliance pays one-third of the incurred tax liabilities on or before 30th September and the same would stand vacated in case of any default. Challenging the levy of VAT, Reliance said that GSKs are also paper vouchers like recharge vouchers and were meant to activate the account and connection of the subscribers. It becomes a waste paper after activation and, therefore, it was identical to recharge vouchers and hence cannot be treated as ‘goods’. Recharge vouchers and GSKs cannot be considered as ‘goods’ as the same are merely advance collection for the fee charged by the service provider and would not fall within the meaning of ‘goods’ as defined in AP VAT Act, according to petition. Value added Services like SMS, ringtones, games etc are pure services and beyond the comprehension of the term ‘goods’, it said.
21 Sep, 2008, 1834 hrs IST, PTI

Pricing issue: SC admits IOC petition
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court will decide whether the Union government notifications governing prices of petroleum products can be construed as law.
Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has raised the issue before the apex court, which has admitted and tagged the petition with a similar matter pending before it.
Oil India Ltd has challenged a Guwahati High Court ruling that upheld the arbitral tribunal’s judgment which held that notifications governing prices of petroleum products have a force of law.
Citing the apex court’s decision, OIL said that the executive instructions of the Centre cannot be construed as law as defined by Article 13 of the Constitution of India.
According to the oil company, the Assam Trade Articles (Licensing & Control) Order does not fix price of the petroleum products and the same is fixed by the ministry of petroleum vide executive instructions which cannot be construed as law.
“The expression having force of law in Article 13 of the Constitution applies only to customs and usages and not to notifications. If a notification cannot be construed as law then it is a mere executive instruction or order and the definition of law can not be stretched to include within its ambit such executive instruction,” it said in its petition.
Subsequent to a tender notification, OIL had entered into a contract with South East Asia Marine Engineering and Construction Ltd (SEAMEC) in June 1998 for carrying out drilling and auxiliary operations in Assam. – PTI

Judiciary overburdened with overwhelming cases: Chief Justice
Gulbarga: Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran today expressed concern over increasing cases while the machinery and infrastructure of the judicial establishment available for dispensation of justice were not growing proportionately.
Addressing a workshop on ”’advocates as resources person in legal literacy programme” organised jointly by the State Legal Service Authority and BAR association of Gulbarga here, the Chief Justice said common man was put under the impression that only the rich and mighty could afford to go to courts for getting justice.

Mr Justice Dinakaran said the masses were losing confidence in getting justice in time and a large number of people were not aware of their legal rights. He exhorted the legal service authority to create legal awareness and provide legal help to the people.

”Every pending litigation has got a relevant bearing on the socio-economic reforms on the country. Because one dispute leads to another disaster. It is essential to resolve the conflict the moment it raises its head” he said and asked the legal service authority and other relevant authorities to find solution, even at the pre-litigation state.

Allaying speculations that the judges of the Gulbarga Circuit Bench would be reduced, Mr Dinakaran made it clear that the strength of Judges would not be reduced and the bench would be elevated as permanent High Court Bench.

Former National Human Rights Commission Chairman and Former Supreme Court Judge Shivraj Patil said after setting up of High Court circuit benches, pendency of cases would decline.

Mr Patil suggested setting up of courts, irrespective of the number of cases.

High Court Judge justices S V Gopal Gowda, K L Manjunath, N K Patil, B S Patil also spoke on the ocassion.
© 2008 mynews.in
(MyNews Network)
Publication Date 21/9/2008 7:31:21 PM(IST

Khairlanji case: Judge says he received threats
BHANDARA: Additional ad-hoc district and sessions judge SS Das hearing the Khairlanji massacre case on Saturday expressed apprehension over threats and abuses he is receiving from unknown quarters. “Some persons are trying to interfere in the work of judiciary by using pressure tactics. But I want to make it very clear that judgment will be delivered on the merits of the case without favouring anybody,” the judge told the packed courtroom. Taking a dig at media and leaders of various organisations who have commented on his earlier verdict of naming eight accused guilty and acquitting three, the judge said that he was ‘deeply hurt’. “The people must have patience, instead they try to interfere in the work of judiciary. If people want to argue themselves, then I think I am not needed here,” Das remarked. He appealed to the media and leaders of different communities not to mislead the people. “The sentence will be announced in four days. Therefore, the people must have some patience and co-operate with investigating agencies,” Das said. The court closed the hearing on award of sentence to the eight accused after marathon arguments from the prosecution and defence sides. The sentence will be announced on September 24. To this, special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam tendered an unconditional apology and behalf of all those who allegedly ‘tried to influence the judiciary’. Both Nikam and defence counsels including Sudeep Jaiswal and Neeraj Khandewale appealed Das to initiate contempt proceedings against such persons and also the media, if it is involved. Nikam also submitted CDs and videotapes of speeches made by leaders of different organisations and their comments on the verdict to the court towards the end of hearing on Saturday. Jaiswal said that they were informed by the CBI that some unscrupulous elements may pelt stones at their vehicles. Commenting on the threats received by Das, inspector general of police (Nagpur) Shrikant Savarkar said that he has no information about it, but now that the judge has said it in the courtroom, his team will inquire into it
21 Sep 2008, 0300 hrs IST,TNN

HC asks Centre to put Rs 50,000 in Bihar Relief Fund
New Delhi (PTI): In a special gesture towards Bihar flood victims, the Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to deposit Rs 50,000, cost imposed on it in a case, to the state Chief Minister’s relief fund.
A bench headed by Justice Vikramjeet Sen pulled up the government for taking a stand against law and directing a co-operative society for repatriation of government equity in the society.
After going through the documents the court found that there was reversal of thinking on the part of government which had refunded the amount a long time after accepting it as part of the redemption of its shares.
“Since the stand taken by the government is found contrary to law and diametrically opposed to the written opinion of the Attorney General, the petition is allowed subject to the payment of Rs 50,000 as costs payable by the government in favour of Chief Minister Relief Fund, Bihar within two weeks,” the Court said.
The Court passed the order on a petition filed by Krishak Bharti Co-operative Limited challenging a government order directing the repatriation to the Centre the equity held by it in the society.
The Court after hearing both the sides quashed the government’s order.
Sunday, September 21, 2008

No maintenance for wives with high income: HC
NEW DELHI: A woman with sufficient income to support herself may not need a court order for receiving maintenance from her estranged husband, the Delhi High Court has said. The court’s observations came while setting aside a family court’s order to grant maintenance in a matrimonial dispute to a woman who was earning a salary of Rs 80,000 per month. “Where a wife has no income or is without any support for maintaining herself, the court has to pass an order considering the income and living status of the husband. However, where the wife and husband both are earning and having good salary, an order is not required,” Justice S N Dhingra said. On July 25 a city court had directed Satish Kumar (name changed), the woman’s husband, to give Rs 7,500 per month to his wife Sunita (name changed) as maintenance following their matrimonial discord. Setting aside the family court’s order, Justice Dhingra allowed a petition filed by Satish contending that the family court had wrongly granted maintenance to his wife despite the fact that her income was sufficient for self-maintenance and she did not have any other responsibility. The court accepted the wife’s salary slip of February 2007, according to which her gross salary was Rs 80,000 per month and said “a person who is earning this much of salary can very well maintain herself with such a standard which may be envy of many and under no stretch of imagination it can be said that the income earned by her was not enough to maintain herself.”
21 Sep 2008, 0956 hrs IST,PTI

Put Rs 50k in Bihar Relief Fund: Delhi HC asks Centre
New Delhi, Sept 21: In a special gesture towards Bihar flood victims, the Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to deposit Rs 50,000, cost imposed on it in a case, to the state Chief Minister’s relief fund. A bench headed by Justice Vikramjeet Sen pulled up the government for taking a stand against law and directing a co-operative society for repatriation of government equity in the society. After going through the documents the court found that there was reversal of thinking on the part of government which had refunded the amount a long time after accepting it as part of the redemption of its shares. “Since the stand taken by the government is found contrary to law and diametrically opposed to the written opinion of the Attorney General, the petition is allowed subject to the payment of Rs 50,000 as costs payable by the government in favour of Chief Minister Relief Fund, Bihar within two weeks,” the Court said. The Court passed the order on a petition filed by Krishak Bharti Co-operative Limited challenging a government order directing the repatriation to the Centre the equity held by it in the society. The Court after hearing both the sides quashed the government’s order. Bureau Report

School kid takes suspension row to HC
AHMEDABAD: Issue of school discipline is reaching courts nowadays. Gujarat High Court is faced with a case involving a student of St Xavier’s High School, Loyola Hall. The school has suspended the student on disciplinary grounds but he wants to attend classes. Both parties moved court with their demands on Friday. As per case details, class XII student Simardeep Singh Bhatia, was suspended after the school trust passed a resolution that his presence in class was disturbing to other students and he was involved in several skirmishes with schoolmates. There is a history behind the resolution. Simardeep was suspended last year too on the grounds that he bunked classes for a week without seeking leave and was involved in a scuffle with students. This infuriated his mother, Gurjeet Kaur, who filed a suit in city civil court alleging that her son was being victimised. In her petition, Kaur had alleged that by suspending her son, school management had shown “religious bias”, and her son was being targeted because he is a Sikh. Moreover, she also claimed that the principal had acted against Simardeep because his elder brother was beaten up by a teacher and the incident had brought disrepute to the school in media. The school, however, denied charges, and the civil judge appointed an arbitrator. The issue was referred to district education officer, who was in favour of reinstating the student. Now, Simardeep has approached high court requesting that DEO’s order be implemented. He has also alleged that the school is discriminating against him. School authorities too have moved court saying they will not allow him to attend school. School’s lawyer, Amit Panchal, maintained that the school would make arrangements for internal examination for Simardeep or he could appear as an external student, if he wished. But, he would not be allowed to attend classes, particularly after he had made serious allegations against the principal and teachers. Justice Jayant Patel has scheduled further hearing on Monday.
21 Sep 2008, 0432 hrs IST, Saeed Khan,TNN

Tenants need to vacate on expiry of contract: Bombay HC
MUMBAI: Getting a stubborn tenant evicted has been the pet peeve of flat owners in Mumbai. In a recent judgment that will come as a relief to flat owners who let out their premises, the Bombay High Court has held that a person who enters into a leave-and-licence contract has to vacate the apartment on the expiry of the agreement. Justice A M Khanwilkar refused to grant any relief to a city resident who had claimed tenancy rights over a sprawling apartment in Bandra on the ground that the owner had not asked her to vacate the place. The court also asked the petitioner to pay Rs 36,000 a month as compensation (double the monthly rent) till the time she hands over possession of the flat back to the owner. “The petitioners were obliged to vacate the suit premises on expiry of the licence period,” said the judge. The case relates to a sprawling 9,509-square-foot flat along with two car-parking spaces in Victoria Apartment, St Alexious Road, Bandra, owned by Mohammed Hussain Furniturewalla. He had signed a leave-and-licence agreement with one Parineeta Chaudhari for a monthly rent of Rs 18,000 in March 2003 for a period of 22 months. After the expiry of the lease period in January 2005, Chaudhari continued to stay in the apartment and even filed a suit for declaring her as a tenant. Advocate Mubin Solkar, counsel for the petitioner, pointed out the 11-month delay in filing the application for eviction. Under Section 24 of the Maharashtra Rent Control Act, if the licensee fails to vacate the premises at the end of the agreement, the owner can move the authorities to get the flat vacated. According to Solkar, the flat owner had not only failed to issue any eviction notice for 11 months but had also continued to accept the rent. The judge did not agree with this view. “That the owner continued to accept the monthly compensation after the licence period was over, or for that matter, did not issue any legal notice to the petitioners does not go against the owner,” the judge said.
21 Sep 2008, 0248 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas,TNN

HC looks at interim compensation for Blueline victims’ families
New Delhi, September 20 Blueline owners now have one more reason to caution their drivers against reckless driving. In a step which might prove to be the most “effective deterrent” against the rising accident graph of Bluelines in the Capital, the Delhi High Court on Saturday indicated towards a decision to award “immediate” interim compensation to victims’ families to help tide over the tragedy.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice S Muralidhar said Blueline owners will have to cough up Rs 1 lakh as interim compensation to victims’ families in case of fatal accidents and Rs 50,000 to those with grievous injuries or permanent disability as the result of the mishap. The court will pass written orders in the case on September 24.
The court has also asked the Delhi Transport Corporation to file a response on whether the public carrier would be amenable to having a similar scheme for accident victims as well.
The Bench views the interim scheme as a humanitarian move to provide sustenance in the form of financial assistance for Blueline victims and their families during the time the bus owner is tried in a court of law.
The case was heard after the High Court, in July 2007, took suo motu cognizance of the increasing number of fatalities involving Blueline buses. Explaining the scheme, the Bench said the Blueline bus would immediately be impounded after such an accident and released by the Metropolitan Magistrate only after the owner pays interim compensation.
“The Magistrate himself will take the deposit from the Blueline owner at the time of the release,” amicus curiae A J Bambhani said, “The compensation amount, whether in the case of death or grievous injuries, will be handed over to the victims or his family by the Magistrate himself.”
To receive the amount, the victim or his/her family will give a written undertaking in the court to file a motor accidents claim case in the Special Tribunal for a final decree on the compensation amount.
“The amount given by the Magistrate is only for immediate help to the victims— the final compensation will be given through the insurance claim on the vehicle as ordered by the Tribunal,” said Bhambhani.
The amount provided as interim compensation will later be adjusted with the final amount of compensation as ordered by the Special Tribunal.
“The interim compensation given by the bus owner will be reimbursed to him by the insurance company after the Tribunal passes its final orders,” the amicus added.
The court foresees a major role etched out for the Delhi Police in accident cases where the victims are from a financially weak background. “The police will immediately notify the Delhi Legal Services.
Authority (DLSA) which will provide free legal aid to victims seeking interim compensation from the Magistrate court,” said the amicus curiae.
Krishnadas Rajagopal
Posted online: Sep 21, 2008 at 0019 hrs

UPA dragging feet on tough anti-terror law issue: Advani
Ahmedabad, Sep 21 (PTI) The BJP today accused the UPA government of dragging its feet on the issue of tough law on terrorism despite the Administrative Reforms Commission’s recommendation for it.”The Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) has recommended for a tough law on terror. It’s one week since the bomb blast in Delhi but UPA government has still not decided on introducing a stringent anti-terror law. It seems that they are not serious about it,” Advani told mediapersons here.”They are simply playing vote-bank politics ahead of the general elections,” he charged.”The union government is yet to learn lesson from the serial blasts in the national capital and formulate a tough law to fight terrorism,” Advani added.Asked about his stand on GUJCOCA (Gujarat Control of Organised Crime Act), the former Home Minister said BJP would continue pressing for the Act.”BJP will continue to demand for GUJCOCA though it has been passed by the state assembly consisting of elected representatives of Gujarat,” Advani said.The Leader of the Opposition was here to take part in an executive board meeting of the Somnath Temple Trust, of which he is one of the trustees.”I began Rath Yatra on September 25, 1990 from Somnath temple to Ayodhya. The Yatra changed my life and the political scenario of the country. In remembrance of that historic rath yatra, I visit Somnath every year on same date,” Advani said. PTI

Kerala law reforms panel for legalisation of mercy killing
Thiruvanthapuram (PTI): In a radical proposal, Kerala Law Reforms Commission headed by eminent jurist justice V R Krishna Iyer has suggested legalisation of euthanasia and abolition of the clause, holding attempt to commit suicide an offence, through relevant amendment to the Indian Penal Code.
The proposal drawn up in the form of a draft bill by the Commission says mercy killing could be considered in cases where death is the only salvation and preservation of life would be medically impossible and visited with insufferable physical or mental pain.
The proposal, to be submitted to the state government, defined euthanasia as “deprivation of life by oneself, or by any other person at the instance of the person whose life is lost, or by medical practitioner doing any act or omission resulting in termination of life.”
“The victim of suffering and his closest relatives after taking responsible medical opinion about the irrecoverability of pain-free normality creates the right to euthanasia. Solace compassion, justice and humanism make euthanasia a legally permissible farewell to life in its misery and desperation,” the proposal noted.
It suggested that mercy killing should be carried out with the written sanction of three state-recognised doctors certifying that the patient under consideration is a fit case for euthanasia.
The panel also suggested deletion of Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code which held attempt to suicide as an offence.
Sunday, September 21, 2008

Four deposed Pak judges reinstated into Supreme Court
Islamabad (PTI): The ruling Pakistan People’s Party-led coalition on Saturday continued to selectively reinstate judges deposed during last year’s emergency by inducting four judges into the Supreme Court even as it virtually ruled out the restoration of former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to his earlier position.
Two deposed judges of the apex court, Justices Sardar Mohammad Raza Khan and Nasirul Mulk, and two deposed judges of the Sindh High Court were sworn in as judges of the Supreme Court by Chief Justice Abdul Hamid Dogar.
The PPP-led government has already selectively reinstated deposed judges of apex court and High Courts on Punjab, Sindh and North West Frontier Province who agreed to be administered a fresh oath.
The move goes against the demand of the opposition PML-N that all the deposed judges be reinstated in one go through a parliamentary resolution and an executive order. Some 60 judges were sacked by former President Pervez Musharraf when they refused to endorse the emergency he imposed in November last year.
Speaking to reporters after the swearing-in ceremony, Law Minister Farooq Naek said the government is committed to fulfill its promise to reinstate the deposed judges. “Almost all the deposed judges have been restored with their seniority and back benefits ensured,” he said.
Asked about deposed Chief Justice Chaudhry’s position, Naek said, “We have invited all the deposed judges with an open mind to take a fresh oath, but so far as the constitutional obligations and provisions are concerned, there can be no two Chief Justices.
“Justice Abdul Hamid Dogar has already taken oath under the constitution as the Chief Justice of Pakistan,” he added.
Saturday, September 20, 2008

NTPC threatens legal action against Russian equipment supplier TPE
NTPC Ltd, India’s largest power generator, has warned the Russian power equipment supplier, Technopromexport (TPE) of legal action if the later does not resume the work at NTPC’s power project in Bihar.
The dispute relates to NTPC’s Barh stage I project, where the Russian company is supplying boilers for three units of 660 of Mw each. Due to dispute between NTPC and TPE, work in this Rs 8,700 crore project has come to a standstill and is now running two years behind schedule.
“For the past few months, NTPC has been in dialogue with TPE to sort out the disputes over price and time escalations and get work resumed at the site”, according to a press statement issued by the ministry of power today. Further details were not disclosed.
With the disputes remaining unresolved, NTPC has given time till coming Wednesday, after which the state-owned power utility plans to start adjudication proceedings as provided for in the contract.
NTPC has already spent about Rs 3,000 crore in the project the total cost of which is Rs 8,700 crore.
The warning by the Navratna PSU to TPE was announced by Jairam Ramesh, minister of state for power while launching the stage-II of the Barh power project in Bihar.
The total capacity of the stage-II, which is another Rs 7,340 crore project, is 1,200 Mw and employs two units of 660 Mw each to be supplied by Bhel, the India’s largest power equipment manufacturer. The first 660 Mw unit is expected to be commissioned in March 2012 and the second unit in January 2013.
Bs Reporter / New Delhi September 21, 2008, 15:34 IST

Moily panel suggests Special Courts for quick terror trial
NEW DELHI: Keeping in view the doctrine of “speedy trial” as suggested by the Law Commission, the Veerappa Moily panel appointed by the Centre has come out strongly in favour of setting up Special Courts for quick disposal of terrorism related cases. The report on ‘Combating Terrorism’ has said a new comprehensive anti-terrorist legislation should have provisions for constitution of Special Fast Track Courts “exclusively for trial of terrorism-related cases”. The Second Administrative Reforms Commission pointed out in the report that the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) had provided for constitution of one or more Designated Courts for the trial of notified cases. TADA also had a provision that trial of any offence under the Act by such Designated Courts would have precedence over trial of other cases against the accused in any other court and would be concluded in preference to other cases. Even the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) had provided for constitution of Special Courts for trial of specified cases. With both TADA and POTA having been repealed, the 185-page Moily report said the present Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act has done away with such Special Courts. The report said the Supreme Court has also observed that to avoid “unreasonable delay”, the Government should constitute more Designated Courts so that the undertrials did not languish in jail indefinitely and the cases are disposed of expeditiously. Concerned over the slow pace of proceedings in several terrorism-related cases, the Centre has asked states to set-up exclusive or separate courts to deal with them expeditiously. In the backdrop of some major terror attack cases like the Samjhauta Express explosion and the Varanasi Sankatmochan temple blast pending before various courts for long periods, the Centre has asked state governments to set-up such courts in consultation with their respective High Courts. A whopping 2.92 crore cases were pending in various courts in the country as on December 31 last year. Of these, 2.54 crore cases were lying before district and subordinate courts. While 1.81 crore were criminal cases, 73 lakh were civil cases. Concerned over the huge number of pending cases, some Fast Track Courts were established and it has been decided to continue with them up to March 31, 2010. They said central assistance is being provided to states in respect of 1,562 Fast Track Courts reported operational as on March 31, 2005. An amount of Rs 509 crore has been provided for the operation of the scheme in the five year period from March 31, 2005. Approximately Rs 260 crore has already been provided to the states from 2005-06 to 2007-08, they said, adding that a budget provision of Rs 75 crore has been made for the scheme in 2008-09. As per information furnished by the states, Fast Track Courts have disposed of 18,57,098 cases out of 26,69,495 cases transferred to these courts since inception upto December 31 last year.
21 Sep 2008, 1021 hrs IST,PTI

Encroachments galore in Akalgarh market
Ludhiana, September 20 Although shopkeepers at the Akalgarh market have been told to remove their illegal encroachments, no action has been taken against them till date. This has been admitted by deputy commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar while submitting an affidavit in response to a PIL in the High Court. Gurjar has clearly stated that a three-member committee comprising of SDM (East), MC joint commissioner and the SP City had asked the shopkeepers to remove the encroachments from the market. The matter had been resolved but later the shopkeepers again made illegal encroachments in front of their shops.
In addition to this, the affidavit also states that there is no parking facility in the market, which has over 840 shops, a hospital running in a basement and a gurdwara. He also stated that it is the duty of the MC to issue notices to shopkeepers to remove such encroachments.
Meanwhile, Kartar Singh Patna, chairman of Akalgarh Market Bachao Sangarsh Committee alleged that no action is being taken against the violators due to political pressures.
Express News Service Posted: Sep 21, 2008 at 0208 hrs IST

Mathur named head of Armed Forces Tribunal
New Delhi, Aug 28 (IANS) A.K. Mathur, a retired Supreme Court judge, was Wednesday appointed the head of the newly constituted Armed Forces Tribunal, which will adjudicate on appeals against military courts’ verdicts on service-related matters.
“The tenure of the appointment of Justice A.K. Mathur as chairperson in the Armed Forces Tribunal will be for a period of four years from the date of assumption of the charge of post or till he attains the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier,” a defence ministry statement said.
Justice Mathur was elevated as judge of the Supreme Court on June 7, 2004 and retired Aug 6 this year.
The tribunal is the military version of the Central Administrative Tribunal that hears appeals of the government’s civilian employees against disciplinary or other action taken against them.
Some 9,000 appeals are currently pending in various high courts and the Supreme Court and they will be transferred to the tribunal once it becomes functional.
The tribunal will consist of a chairperson, 14 judicial members and 15 administrative members.
There is a tussle going on over the administrative members, in the rank of major general and above, that are to be selected from within the Armed Forces.
Defence Minister A.K. Antony had made it clear in a Gazette notification June 13 that the principal bench of the tribunal be set up in the capital by Aug 15, but the deadline was missed.
According to defence ministry sources, while the ministry has set up a selection committee headed by the defence secretary and the law secretary to short-list prospective members, the quarrel over the ‘quota’ for each service in administrative and judicial posts is holding up matters.
Officials say the army is also demanding ‘reservation’ of a few benches of the tribunal, including the one in Jaipur, only for army officers as majority of the legal cases pertain to its personnel in the region. This has also not gone down well with the other two services.

Justice Mathur chairperson of Armed Forces Tribunal
Supreme Court retired judge justice AK Mathur has been appointed the chairperson of the Armed Forces Tribunal for a period of four years from the date of assumption of the charge or till he attains the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier..

JUSTICE ASHOK Kumar Mathur, a retired judge of the Supreme Court has been appointed as chairperson of the Armed Forces Tribunal. The tenure of appointment of Justice AK Mathur as chairperson in the Armed Forces Tribunal will be for a period of four years from the date of assumption of the charge or till he attains the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier.

Born on August 7, 1943, Justice Mathur was enrolled as an advocate of the Rajasthan High Court in 1967.

He served as assistant government advocate and deputy government advocate and later as government advocate of Jodhpur from 1969 to 1978. He was appointed as additional advocate general of Rajasthan in 1981.

Justice Mathur became additional judge of Rajasthan High Court in 1985 and permanent judge of the same court in 1986. He was transferred to the Madhya Pradesh High Court in 1994, and was appointed chief justice of the same court in 1996. Justice Mathur was transferred to Calcutta High Court in 1999.

He was elevated as Judge of the Supreme Court of India on June 7, 2004, and retired this month.
CJ: Mineguruji , 27 Aug 2008

Daily Legal News 21.09,2008

Income tax clean chit to Mayawati challenged
The government on Friday challenged in the Delhi High Court the clean chit the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal has given to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on “donations” worth Rs.6.5 million she has received from her supporters.
Additional Solicitor General Parag Tripathi contended that the genuineness of donations and gifts worth the Rs.6.5 million allegedly given to Mayawati by her supporters could not be established.
He contended that the Income Tax Department found that many people, who allegedly gave her gifts worth millions of rupees, were not well-off.
The court, however, did not pass any order after Mayawati’s counsel contended that senior advocate Harish Salve, who had appeared for her in the case, was not available.
The court was hearing a petition by the Income Tax department challenging the tribunal’s decision Nov 30, 2007 give Mayawati a clean chit.
The high court had April 2 issued notice to Mayawati on the petition.
The tribunal had held that gifts amounting to Rs.6.5 million were given to Mayawati by her supporters “out of love and affection” and they could not be treated as taxable income.
Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, September 20, 2008

Montek Singh wants a tribunal for regulating energy sector
Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman, Planning Commission today called for setting up a tribunal for regulating energy sector.
A meeting of the Planning Commission chaired by Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh was held today to discuss the draft of Integrated Energy Policy. The draft is based on the recommendations of an expert committee constituted earlier under the chairmanship of Kirit Parikh, member (energy), Planning Commission.
The Planning Commission has now revised the draft and will propose it to the Cabinet for approval.
Bs Reporter / New Delhi September 20, 2008, 15:26 IST

High court notice to Madhya Pradesh on child deaths
(IANS) The Madhya Pradesh government has now been pulled up by the state high court for over 160 alleged child deaths due to malnutrition, a day after a Supreme Court panel reprimanded it for neglecting the health of children.
A division bench of Chief Justice A.K. Patnaik and Justice Ajit Singh Friday issued a notice to the government and sought a reply by Sep 25 while hearing a petition filed by the NGO, MP Right to Food Campaign (MPRTFC).
The MPRTFC had brought to the notice of the court that 163 children had died in Satna, Khandwa, Shivpuri and Sheopur dstricts in the past four months due to alleged malnutrition.
The court asked the government to give details of the immediate steps taken with regard to the child deaths and also long-term plans to ensure that such incidents do not recur.
Lawyer Raghvendra Kumar is pleading the case on behalf of the NGO, which had filed the petition in May 2007. The NGO’s petition said despite a high court notice in December, the state government had failed to file its reply till date.
It was brought to the notice of the court that the government had also not put forth its stand on the deaths in January and August this year.
The state government’s counsel Vijay Kumar Shukla told the court that officials were touring the affected districts and reports were being compiled.
Seema and Prakash of Spandan Samaj Sevi Sanstha, who have been working in Khandwa and are co-petitioners in the PIL, have said the child deaths were not sudden but were fallout of different factors like failure of the government to provide work to poor families under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS).
They also cited the reduction of the quota of food grain for below poverty line families from 35 kg to 20 kg in violation of a Supreme Court order.
Petitioner Sachin Jain has termed the deaths of the children as “state-sponsored” as the deaths are continuing despite several warnings to government regarding the situation.
He said during the last 40 months as many as 97,000 children under the age of one year had perished in the state. Jain said the government wanted to shirk its responsibilities but people and civil society organisations would force it to respond.
Earlier, in a letter written to State Chief Secretary R.C. Sahni, two Supreme Court commissioners who monitor the implementation of food and employment related schemes in the country have also pointed out the state’s failure to implement welfare schemes, particularly in districts where malnutrition deaths have been reported in the past four months.
Besides Satna and Khandwa, where at least 80 deaths have taken place in the past four months, there have been similar reports and complaints from Chhattarpur, Panna, Rewa, Tikamgarh, Sheopur and Shivpuri as well.
“The media reports have been even more grave, reporting much higher figures – the death of more than 125 children under six years of age in four districts of Madhya Pradesh since May 2008,” said the letter written by N.C. Saxena and Harsh Mander.
Sat, Sep 20, 2008

SC upholds sections of MCOCA challenged by train blast accused
Mumbai, September 20 Last month, while adjourning the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by 7/11 train blasts accused Zameer Ahmed Latifur Rehman, a division bench of the Supreme Court had observed that the judgment was due in the Bharat Shah case which also deals with the constitutional validity of the Maharashtra Control Of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) and it would have a bearing on it.
With a three-judge bench of the apex court earlier this month upholding Section 2(1) (e) of MCOCA, 1999, that refers to “promoting of insurgency” as earlier ruled by the Bombay High court, to be valid and not making inroads into the legislative powers of the Union Government, the stay imposed on the 7/11, Malegaon blasts case and the Aurangabad arms seizure case is likely to be lifted, legal experts feel. The next hearing in the Supreme Court in these three cases is scheduled for October 14.
According to the judgment, Section 2 (d), (e) and (f) of MCOCA, were in accord with the findings of the High Court that they were not ultra vires of the Constitution. The apex court said it did not find any reason to take a different view from that of the High Court while upholding the validity of these provisions.
Rehman had in his SLP, which had been rejected by the Bombay High Court, challenged section 2 (1)(e), stating that the state of Maharashtra did not have the legislative competence to enact the section which deals with “promoting insurgency”.
Mustafa Plumber
Posted: Sep 21, 2008 at 0100 hrs IST

HC allows prosecution of Raj Thackeray
Ranchi, Sept 20 (PTI) Jharkhand High Court has allowed a lower court to hear a case against MNS chief Raj Thackeray for his alleged remarks against north-Indians, rejecting the leader’s plea to transfer the case to itself or Mumbai High Court.Justice Amersehwar Sahay, who reserved his order on Thursday, gave permission to the court of chief judicial magistrate, Jamshedpur, yesterday to hear the cases against Thackeray under IPC 298 (hurting one’s religious sentiments) and IPC 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot).The directive came after Thackeray’s counsel pleaded for transfer of the case to Jharkhand High Court or Mumbai High Court.The petitioner, advocate Hameed Razza Khan, had alleged before the Jamshedpur court that the Maharastra Navnirman Sena president had hurt the sentiments of the people of Bihar by passing adverse remarks against them and challenging them to perform ‘chhath puja’ in the western metropolis.The High Court also directed Thackeray’s counsel to seek permission from the lower court for the transfer of the case.The petitioner field a complaint in Jamshedpur civil court in May against Thackeray seeking issuing of an arrest warrant against him for his failure to turn up before it even after issuance of a notice. PTI

HC refuses to grant stay order
KOLKATA, Sept 19 : The Division Bench of Mr S S Nijjar, Chief Justice and Mr Justice Maharaj Sinha of Calcutta High Court today refused to grant stay on the order of a Single Bench of this court, directing the CBI to file charge-sheets against Mr Ashok Todi, Mr Pradip Todi, Mr Anil Saraogi, Moinuddin alias Pappu. Three city police officers namely, Mr Ajay Kumar, Mr Sukanti Chakraborty and Mr Krishnendu Das were held on charges of abetting the suicide of Rizwanur Rehman. Rizwan’s lifeless body was found on the railway tracks near Dum Dum station on 21 September last year following which widespread protests of the civil society engulfed the city. The appeal regarding the matter would be heard after six weeks. On 14 August, Justice Mr Dipankar Dutta of this court had held that the CBI can proceed against the accused in this case. Ever since Rehman had married Priyanka, the daughter of Mr Ashok Todi last year, he had been subject to threats. He had been summoned to Lalbazar, the city police headquarters several times and threatened with dire consequences by men in uniform. Though Rukbanur Rehman, the deceased’s brother did not spell it out, the complaint he made at the local police station expressed suspicion that Rizwan’s in-laws had a hand in his death. Even if no foul play was involved in Rizwan’s death the interference was to break his marriage with Priyanka, it was contended. The death of the computer graphic artist led to sharp political polarisation and the humble dwelling of the Rehmans was marked by the footfall of none other than Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, chief minister and Miss Mamata Banerjee, the principal Opposition leader. Miss Banerjee’s visit, incidentally preceded that of Mr Bhattacharjee. Justice Mr Dutta had observed that Kolkata police was “unnecessarily involved in the matter and did not disassociate itself when they found that Priyanka was not missing, but legally married”. The complaints of the common man without any contacts are not given any importance, it was further observed.
Statesman News Service

Khurshid row: HC directive to DPS Society members
NEW DELHI: The Delhi HC on Friday, asked three members of the Delhi Public School society to help amicably settle the issues raised by senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid, who was expelled from the society for objecting to the style of functioning of society’s management. Justice Hima Kohli advised that Khursheed and society members, A R Kidwai, Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Sharda Nair meet and try to resolve differences between the society’s management and the former Minister of State for External Affairs. The court asked the counsel for the parties to inform it if any settlement is arrived at by September 30, the day from when Khursheed’s membership apparently ends. Khurshid, who challenged his September 1 expulsion order, claimed, that he had pointed illegal and irregular acts of the working committee due to which he was being shunted out.
20 Sep 2008, 0453 hrs IST,TNN

HC asks state to make Land Transfer Act effective
Kolkata, September 19 A division Bench of the Calcutta High Court has set aside a notification that made a 1993 Act on land transfer ineffective since its issuance in 1998.
During the hearing of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a Kolkata resident, Himangsu Haldar, the bench comprising Chief Justice S S Nijjar and Justice Sanjib Banerjee on Friday also directed the state Government to formulate rules and schemes to revive the Act again.
The West Bengal Land (Regulation of Transfer) Act, 1993, was introduced by the state government to regulate all kinds of land transfer in a legal manner. But the Act had become ineffective after the government issued a notification on March 23, 1998.
Advocate General Bolai Roy admitted that the notification was wrongly issued. He sought three months time from the court to formulate rules and schemes to make the Act effective, which was allowed by the Bench.
Express News Service Posted: Sep 20, 2008 at 0202 hrs IST

Implement NHRC recommendations on Salwa Judum, Supreme Court asks Chhattisgarh government
Commission report painful; it says the self-defence group is armed and committing atrocities . The Hindu reports.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Chhattisgarh government to implement some of the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission, which went into the activities of the Salwa Judum (self-defence group) set up by the State to tackle naxal menace.
Earlier, the NHRC submitted, in a sealed cover, a report to the court, which had asked it to probe the allegations that the Salwa Judum, which had been provided with arms, was committing atrocities on innocent people.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices P. Sathasivam and J.M. Panchal was hearing a petition filed by Nandini Sundar, Ramachandra Guha and E.A.S. Sarma. They challenged the setting up of the Salwa Judum which, they alleged, was indulging in killings and committing atrocities on tribals in the guise of countering the naxal movement.
The Chief Justice, who perused the NHRC report, told senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, appearing for Chhattisgarh, that the commission “has done a meticulous work. It has given a series of recommendations. It is very painful to read the report. It says there is arson and looting, people are armed and they [Salwa Judum] are committing serious offences. It says people who are subjected to serious problems are still afraid of coming out.”
The Chief Justice observed: “When somebody [Salwa judum] is given arms, he claims to be a pseudo police. Once he is given arms, he will commit an offence though he has no right to do any such act. Some remedial measures have been suggested in the report and the State may consider implementing them. Whatever is urgently required to be done, do it.”
Mr. Venugopal assured the court that the government would implement the recommendations “which are of immediate concern.”
The Bench asked the Registry to supply copies of the NHRC report to the parties and asked them to file their response, and posted the matter to October 23.
The petition said the Salwa Judum was launched to combat naxalites but in reality these activists conducted frequent raids on villages and attacked and killed suspected sympathisers of naxalites, torched their houses and looted livestock.
In defence of Salwa Judum, the Chhattisgarh government said: “It is not state-sponsored, but a people’s initiative to combat the menace of naxalites. The State is committed to resolving the problem of naxalism, and any peaceful movement which resists violent methods definitely gets support of States.”
Additional Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam appeared for the Centre and counsel Nithya Ramakrishnan, for the petitioners.
Saturday, September 20, 08
Posted by cpjc under News Reports, Salwa Judum

URA files plea against BMIC
BANGALORE : The Supreme Court on Monday admitted PIL filed by Jnanpith awardee U R Ananthamurthy against the BMIC Project. The PIL said some government officials in collusion with BMIC had allowed the company to get 8,000 acres of additional land that was more than necessary to build the Bangalore-Mysore expressway.
Further, the whole act was a fraud worth more than Rs 30,000 crore. A Bench of Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam ordered that the PIL be heard before a Bench headed by Justice Arijit Pasayat along with other writ petitions and contempt petitions filed by NICE Ltd. The hearing is on September 17.
2 Sep 2008, 0410 hrs IST,TNN

Export firm moves High Court for protection
BANGALORE : A Doddaballapurbased export firm dealing in floriculture and horticulture has moved the HC seeking police protection against threats from BJP workers. A JKM Research Farm Ltd official said the police ignored their pleas despite a request for protection. Another senior company official said BJP leader and former CMC president Hanumatharayappa and his men on August 23 threatened to “wreak havoc” on the farm premises. Justice N K Patil, who heard the matter , posted the case for Tuesday. Metro Rail hearing adjourned A division Bench has adjourned to September 19 the hearing on PIL challenging the Namma Metro project’s alignment on CMH Road.
2 Sep 2008, 0405 hrs IST,TNN

Infocity challenges state move in high court
AHMEDABAD: Creative Infocity Ltd has approached Gujarat High Court challenging the state government’s decision to oust it from Gandhinagar’s ‘Infocity’ , which it has developed. In its petition, the company has objected to the termination notice dated August 12 given by Gujarat Informatics Ltd, a state government department. The government has served a notice on the group, telling it that its concession contract and master lease agreement would be terminated on September 4. The company has claimed that the government had not given a hearing to them before deciding to cancel the contract and issuing the termination notice. The state has submitted that the department had written letters to the company, but there was no reply. Ultimately, the government decided that it cannot work with this company and issued termination notice. In April last year, the state had issued preliminary termination notice after some highly disputed facts in relation to contract.
However, in May, there were attempts from both the sides to reach to some amicable solution. After hearing both the parties, division bench of Justice R M Doshit and Justice S D Dave have kept its order reserved for Tuesday.
2 Sep 2008, 0535 hrs IST,TNN

Millers, U.P. govt move Supreme Court on cane price
LUCKNOW, India (Reuters) – Sugar mills and the government of Uttar Pradesh, a leading sugar producer, have filed separate appeals before the Supreme Court challenging lower court orders on sugarcane price.
The Supreme Court will hear both the appeals on Sept 8, a senior state government official and the secretary of the U.P. Sugar Mills Associaton said on Monday.
The first appeal has been filed by the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), a trade body, challenging an order of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court that directed the mills to pay 125 rupees per quintal to cane farmers for 2007/08 season.
The state government challenged another Aug. 18 order of the Allahabad High Court, that had asked mill owners to pay at the rate of 86 rupees per quintal.
In a third petition in the Supreme Court the state government has sought to set aside an earlier decision that upheld a High Court order that laid the price 110 rupees per quintal for the 2007/08 season.
“The conflicting orders of the (High) Court had created much confusion as most of the farmers had already been paid at the rate of 110 rupees in accordance with the Supreme Court’s order”, Uttar Pradesh Sugarcane Commissioner Harsharan Das told Reuters.
Uttar Pradesh Ganna Kisan Sangharsh Samiti (UP Sugarcane Farmers Action Committee) convenor Pritam Singh told Reuters over telephone from Meerut “we hope the Supreme Court will resolve this problem.”
Tue Sep 2, 2008 12:06am IST

SC ruling on MCOCA sections could’ve a bearing on 7/11 trial
Mumbai, September 01 The apex court ruling in the Bharat Shah case, setting aside a Bombay High Court order that had struck down certain sections of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), could have an impact on the stayed trial of the 7/11 serial train blasts case.
An accused in the serial blasts case, Zameer Ahmed Latifur Rehman, had filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) challenging a specific part of the Section 2(1)(e) of the Act, which talks about “promoting insurgency.” While the next hearing on the application is slated for October 14, a division bench of Justice L S Panta and Justice R V Raveendran had on August 26 suggested that the defence wait for a decision in the Bharat Shah case.
“It might have a bearing on the cases (in question),” the bench had said.
Special Public Prosecutor Raja Thackeray said: “If the apex court has upheld the constitutional validity of certain sections of the MCOCA which was quashed by the Bombay High Court in the Bharat Shah case, then it is not wrong to interpret that the application of Rehman also does not stand.
The claim made by Rehman is that the state does not have the legislative competence to enact a section on insurgency in state law. It was termed as a case of “colourable legislation,” since all anti-insurgency laws fall under the Central list.”
Thackeray, however, quickly added that since the detailed judgment of the apex court was not available it would be premature to comment.
However, defence lawyer Shahid Azmi who has filed the SLP on behalf of Rehman, says: “The charges of insurgency has not been argued in the apex court in Shah’s case. Only the sections 13 to 16 of MCOCA, which deal with telephonic conversations, were the bone of contention. Thus, if our appeal is looked in totality, the Shah case verdict won’t have any bearing on us.”
Meanwhile, the judgment is bad news for Shah as now the 32 alleged telephonic conversations between him and wanted gangster Chhota Shakeel which were earlier discarded by the special MCOCA court can now be used against him in the Bombay High Court where the state’s appeal is pending. The state government had appealed against the one-year sentence to Shah by the MCOCA court in 2003.
Special Public Prosecutor Rohini Salian said: “Now these transcripts can be used against Shah and our appeal will have more weight. Our claim that Shah was conniving with the underworld and using the ill-gotten money to make films can be proved now,” she said.
Express News Service
Posted online: Sep 02, 2008 at 0412 hrs

SC orders extended second counselling for medical students
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has decided to give a fresh chance to meritorious students, who had qualified the tough medical entrance examination but did not get admission to colleges. This was after the apex court discovered that many medical and dental colleges had not reported a substantial number of seats for the 15% all-India quota. There was virtually no hope for these students as the second counselling for the all-India quota seats in medical and dental colleges was over and there was no provision for a third counselling. But a petition filed by a number of aspiring doctors through counsel A D N Rao stated that colleges across the country have not contributed as many as 700-odd seats this year to the all-India quota depriving many students figuring in the common entrance merit list to get their desired course and institution. Appearing for the Centre, Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam agreed with the petitioner as the facts bore out the allegations of the petitioners — 70 out of 117 medical colleges and 22 out of 27 dental colleges have not furnished information about vacant seats. Ordering an extended second counselling on September 13 and 14 for the all-India quota seats, a bench comprising Justices B N Agrawal, H S Bedi and G S Singhvi said: “We do not find any justification as to why other medical and dental colleges have not furnished the required information which they were obliged to furnish.” It directed the Director-General of Health Services (DGHS), which conducts the counselling, to find out the number of vacant seats from each college latest by September 5 for this academic year. “By 12th September 2008, the DGHS will see that the entire information received is compiled and thereafter, extended second counselling is done on 13th and 14th September, 2008, at Delhi,” the bench ordered. This is the first time that the malpractice of hiding the vacancy position was brought up before the apex court. And this is also the first time that counselling is taking place for a substantial number of seats even after the formal completion of the second counselling for the all-India quota. The writ petitioners had stated that the non-reporting of seats has “led to an enormous situation wherein nearly 750 to 800 seats, which should have been part of the 15% all-India Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental quota, have not been made part of the same thereby resulting in depriving petitioners and similarly placed students from opting for the said courses/institutions”.
2 Sep 2008, 0330 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra ,TNN

HC rejects rehab plea of Sanjay Gandhi Park slum dwellers
Mumbai, Sep 01: The Bombay High Court has rejected the rehabilitation plea of around 10,000 Ketakipada slum dwellers living on the border of Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The state is already in the process of giving alternative tenements to the pre-1995 encroachers living inside the national park.In the ruling passed last week, Division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice A P Deshpande said that this scheme cannot be extended to fresh applicants, even if their claims were ‘genuine’. The Court, dismissing the petitions filed by Rajendraprasad Chaube and Ketakipada-Dharkhadi Nagrik Seva-sangh, held that “if everyday new applicatiion would emerge, despite the fact that this matter is pending before the court since 1995, it will be difficult to implement the (earlier) court orders. In 1995, Bombay Environmental Action Group had filed a PIL seeking removal of encroachments from the national park which occupies a large part of North Mumbai. Then the government identified encroachers inhabiting the park since before 1995 and came up with a scheme to provide them alternative tenement on payment of Rs 7,000 each. In the last three years, the High Court passed various orders, forcing the government to expedite the rehabilitation. Last such order was passed by the court on August 7, when the authorities were asked to remove all the encroachers. Court said that present applicants have given no proof that they were eligible for rehabilitation, and in any case the date for applying for the rehabilitation scheme lapsed long back. Bureau Report

Bangla apex court upholds HC order granting bail to Zia`s son
Dhaka, Sept 01: Bangladesh Supreme Court on Monday rejected a government appeal seeking to stay a High Court order granting bail to the son of detained former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia while his lawyers said his release was now imminent. “Pleas for staying bails to (Tarique Rahman) are refused,” chamber judge of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court Justice Mohammad Joynul Abedin said but asked the government to file regular appeal for full bench hearing of the Apex court. The Supreme Court, however, is now on a vacation and is due to resume activities on October 12. The government and the Anti-Corruption Commission had filed appeals against the High Court order that granted bail to 43-year old Rahman in 12 graft or criminal cases. “He is expected to be released later today,” Rahman’s lawyer Mahbubuddin Khokon said. Rahman, also the senior joint secretary general of Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), was arrested as part of a massive anti-graft campaign launched by the current interim government soon after its installation with crucial military support following the January 11 proclamation of emergency. His mother and younger brother Arafat Rahman Koko too were arrested later as part of the crackdown. Koko was freed on bail last month on a High Court order and was sent to Thailand where he is being treated for respiratory problems while Rahman was under treatment at a specialised medical facility with injuries on the spinal cord under jail custody. Zia earlier demanded release and treatment abroad of her ailing sons accusing the interim government of torturing them in custody amid claims that Rahman’s spinal cord was “broken”. The government earlier released on an “executive order” Zia’s detained archrival Sheikh Hasina of Awami League to be treated in the United States for hearing impairment. Several government leaders in recent weeks said a process was underway to release Zia and her son following the instance as analysts and media reports said the interim administration was trying to negotiate with BNP to ensure its participation in the planned general election December this year. But BNP said they wanted their leader be freed on a court ruling instead of a government order. Bureau Report

SC refuses to stay Allahabad HC’s judgement on cane price
NEW DELHI: Sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh will have to pay farmers extra Rs 1,480 crore following the Supreme Court’s refusal to stay the Allahabad High Court’s judgement that upheld the state price of cane at Rs 125-130 per quintal.
The additional sugarcane payment to farmers will also have to be paid by September 7, since a bench headed by Justice Arijit Pasayat did not give any extension of time sought by millers.
Earlier, East UP Sugar Mills Association and Mawana Sugars had moved the Supreme Court challenging the Allahabad High Court’s judgement that upheld the state-advised price (SAP) of Rs 125-130 fixed by the state for 2007-08 season.
The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court had asked the sugar mills to pay the difference of Rs 15 a quintal by September 7. The High Court while upholding the SAP had modified its interim order that asked mills to pay Rs 110 a quintal.
According to sources, the sugar mills in UP will have to pay an estimated Rs 1,480 crore to the farmers by September 7, after the apex court’s refusal to extend the time.
The Uttar Pradesh government had fixed Rs 125 a quintal as SAP for common variety sugarcane and Rs 130 for early variety canes for the 2007-08 season.
Sugar season runs from October to September. – PTI
Monday, September 1, 2008

A sick company can not escape from current liability: HC
Allahabad High Court in a significant judgment has ruled that where a industrial company continues its activities in spite of a reference pending before the BIFR and liabilities are incurred subsequent to the cut-off date those liabilities will have to be honored by the concerned company ,the court held that these liabilities will not become a part of the scheme or of the package of rehabilitation.
The court has further held that sugarcane is being purchased as a raw material subsequent to the cut off date, the price there fore will have to be paid.

Allahabad High Court in a significant judgment has ruled that where a industrial company continues its activities in spite of a reference pending before the BIFR and liabilities are incurred subsequent to the cut-off date those liabilities will have to be honored by the concerned company ,the court held that these liabilities will not become a part of the scheme or of the package of rehabilitation.

The court dismiss the writ petition preferred by the Dewan Sugar Mills Ltd located at Moradabad District Challenging recovery of sugarcane price and consequential proceedings on the ground that petitioner sugar mill is a sick unit registered under BIFR on 3rd Feb 2005, a draft scheme has been submitted on 21st April 2006 and Allahabad Bank has been appointed as a operating Agency.

The court has held that sugarcane is being purchased as a raw material subsequent to the cut off date, the price there fore will have to be paid. The above judgment has been passed by Chief Justice H.L.Gokhle and Mr. Justice. Vineet Saran JJ after hearing at length .Senior Advocate Mr Bharat ji Agrawal appearing for the sugar mill, Mr. S.P. Kesharwani for State of Uttar Pradesh and Mr. Ravindra Singh Counsel representing the concerned cane growers’ co-operative societies supplier of sugarcane to the mill.

Senior Advocate Mr. Agrawal submitted to the court that coercive measures be injuncted in view of provisions of section 22 of the Sick Industrial Companies (special provisions) Act,1985.The Cane commissioner of Uttar Pradesh on June 14th issued the recovery certificate for recovery of cane dues amounting to Rs 15.68 crores.

Mr. Ravindra Singh submitted before the court that under Sugar Cane Control Order ,1966, Order 3(3A), the factory has to make the payment within 14 day’s of the delivery of sugarcane failing which 15% interest per annum is payable for the period of delay. If the sugarcane is purchased, the company can not turn back and say that it can not pay and the farmers may go to BIFR. He submitted that Protection of section 22 is not applicable in the present case, as sugarcane purchase’s were made with full knowledge of the proceedings of SICA.

Agreeing with submissions of Mr. Singh and state counsel the court observed that there can not be any escape for preventing the recovery of the amounts of sugarcane by coercive method will therefore have to be rejected. The court took the note of the facts that sugarcane price was to be paid as per Luck now Bench order@110/per quintal and the Apex Court in appeal on15 th May 2008 directed that the rate fixed by Luck now Bench will be applicable(Now the petition in the Luck now Bench has been disposed off on 07.07.2008 and the SAP has been fixed at Rs.125/ per quintal .It is to be paid within two months from the date of the order.
(Ravindra Ssingh) Publication Date 1/9/2008 1:17:48 PM(IST)

Delhi HC issues notices to TRAI, I&B Ministry on cable fees
The Delhi High Court issued notices to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on a petition filed by a TV channel seeking directions to the authorities not to allow cable operators in Delhi to charge carriage fees from them.Justice G S Sistani issued the notices yesterday on the petition filed by Total TV. Sunder Khatri, lawyer for the TV channel contended that the carriage fees charged by the cable operators, multi-system operators (MSO), direct to home operators (DTH) and other distributors of channels was illegal and unconstitutional.He also cited one example in which a cable operator in Lajpat Nagar was charging Rs 18 lakh for three months as disbursement fee from TV channels as he had over 5,000 connections in his area.This fee was being charged forcibly from TV channels to relay their programmes on cable TV.The High Court has given four weeks time to the respondents to file their replies.UNI

HC relief for insurance firms in mishap cases
MUMBAI: Holding that the owner and insurer of a car can’t be held liable to pay compensation to the driver of the car who died in a road accident, which was the result of another oncoming vehicle driver’s rashness, the Bombay high court has directed that any amount paid by them can be recovered from the offending vehicle owner. A division bench of the high court on August 27, upheld an enhanced compensation of Rs 4 lakh awarded by a single judge to a car driver, who passed away in 1987 in an accident on the expressway after a truck rammed into the car. The accident tribunal had awarded a compensation of Rs 1.5 lakh to be paid by the insurer of the truck whose driver was found to be at fault. Not satisfied, the driver’s family went to the high court where a single judge upped the amount to Rs 4 lakh and the difference was paid by the insurance company which had insured the car. However, the car insurer challenged the order. The division bench headed by Justice Ranjana Desai held that though the car insurance company was not liable to pay compensation, as it had already been paid, it is entitled to get the amount back. The firm was at liberty to recover the amount from the truck owner, the bench said. The high court held that the truck insurer company’s liability was also limited to Rs 1.5 lakh. The car insurance company suggested that the court should direct the truck insurance company to pay them the amount and recover it from the owner of the offending truck. The high court held that, in all cases, if an insurance firm is not bound by law to pay compensation, then it can’t be asked to shell out the money and recover it. toireporter@timesgroup.com
1 Sep 2008, 0656 hrs IST,TNN

Insurance co not liable to pay 3rd party to driver: HC
MUMBAI : An insurance company is not liable to pay a third-party insurance to the driver of the vehicle which it has insured, the Bombay High Court held in a case recently. A third party insurance — which is mandatory under Motor Vehicles Act — places the responsibility of paying compensation to a ‘third person’ who is injured because of insured vehicle. Driver of the insured vehicle is not a ‘third party’, held division bench of Justices Ranjana Desai and R P Sondurbaldota. In the present case, a Maruti car belonging to M/S Traders Pvt Ltd was hit by a truck coming from opposite direction at Chembur in suburban Mumbai, in December 1987. However, the car’s driver Krishna Machivale died on the spot. The Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal held that the truck driver was at fault, and truck owner and its insurer must pay the Machivale’s family Rs 2.98 lakh in total. But Machiwale’s widow and other members of the family filed appeal before single Judge of High Court seeking compensation of Rs four lakh. They also claimed that the Oriental Insurance Company, which had insured the car for third-party claims, should also pay them compensation. Single Judge of the High Court raised the compensation figure to Rs four lakh. Moreover, the Judge held that not only the truck owner and truck’s insurer but the car’s insurer too was liable to pay a part of this compensation. Oriental Insurance, which had insured the car, challenged the order before division bench.
31 Aug, 2008, 1634 hrs IST, PTI

Daily Legal News 19.09.2008

PM justifies anti-terror law as global trend
NEW DELHI: With the government facing the heat over rising terror attacks, there is a buzz in political circles over the possibility of a minister of state for internal security being appointed in the home ministry to boost the government’s anti-terror credentials as shifting Shivraj Patil might be politically unviable as it would amount to accepting failure to combat terrorism. The reports of the new MOS post remained unconfirmed. The PM has said that his government’s move to add muscle to the “substantive anti-terror law” was in line with the “global consensus on the fight against terrorism”. Though he chose to point to an international context, a UN resolution had, in fact, urged member nations to consider anti-terror laws was adopted by United Nations (UN) soon after 9/11. The change in position was quite dramatic as UPA had rolled back Pota, legislated by NDA through a joint session of Parliament, with considerable emphasis. In doing so, Congress had bought into the argument that anti-terror laws are inherently draconian — in Pota’s case anti-Muslim— and are of limited utility. To now seek to be part of a “global consensus” indicates an acceptance that terrorism was at the political centrestage. With BJP’s broadside over the Centre refusing to bring a Pota-like law while also preventing a terrorism-affected state like Gujarat its own version hitting home after the Delhi blasts, the Congress leadership has revised its doctrinaire opposition to special laws. The party’s line that Pota did not prevent the Parliament attack has been wearing thin in the face of repeated serial bombings. The PM said that the ongoing debate has to do with procedural aspects of investigations and prosecution of terrorism-related offences and that this was under consideration with the aim of identifying provisions which could be made to strengthen the hands of law enforcement agencies. Keeping in mind the political sensitivities attached, he said that this would be done while addressing “apprehensions” that led to the repeal of Tada and Pota. The PM’s backing for a new legislation came as Congress officially backed the proposals of administrative reforms commission chairperson Veerappa Moily that tough anti-terror provisions could be inserted into the National Security Act. The proposal has been attacked by BJP on the grounds that NSA deals with preventive detention and is not a punitive law. Nor do the proposals cover admitting confessions as evidence — a key tool in establishing the conspiracy angle of terrorist crimes. While stating that the government had acted to tighten various laws like the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the PM said there was also a suggestion for central agency to investigate and prosecute all terrorist incidents. This need not be a federal investigative agency but can assist the states and could call on greater expertise with regard to terrorism. He stressed the need for cooperation between states as “there is a common strand running through each major terror incident”. In what can be seen to be a related change in political positioning, the PM also took a hard line on Pakistan arguing that “the role of Pakistan-based terrorist groups cannot be minimized”. Even though he accepted that involvement of local elements in recent blasts had added a new dimension to the terror threat, he said, ‘‘We have reports that certain Pakistan-based terrorist outfits are constantly seeking to set up new terrorist modules.” The direct references to Pakistan may well mean the burial of the joint mechanism on terrorism that the PM and former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf had agreed on when they met in Havana in 2006. His controversial remarks on Pakistan being a “victim of terrorism” now seem a distant memory as his assertion that terrorist bullets will not prevent him from visiting that country. The PM also echoed his national security advisor M K Narayanan in acknowledging that though attacks had been thwarted, “as recent blasts in Jaipur, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Surat and Delhi indicate, there are still vast gaps in intelligence. These need to be overcome”. In his briefings to the Cabinet, the NSA has pointed to the fuzzy and imprecise inputs provided by intelligence agencies and the poor state of Centre-state coordination. Singh said that there would be greater reliance on technology in preventing and acting against terrorists like the use of CCTVs in crowded public spaces. Keen to counter the charge that India had become more vulnerable under his watch, the PM said, “Let me say with the fullest emphasis, that there is no question of government being soft on terrorism.” He also pointed out that along with terrorism, Left wing extremism had become a significant threat with Maoists able to make use of a pool of disaffected persons in backward areas.
18 Sep 2008, 0244 hrs IST,TNN

Sacking Govt. easier than removing judges in India
The letter written by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) to the Prime Minister seeking his intervention in initiating impeachment proceedings against asitting judge of Calcutta High Court, has triggered a debate again regarding corruption in higher judiciary and its impunity. We have seen removal of governments and Prime Ministers so many times, butremoval of High Court and Supreme Court judges has not been so far heardafter the Constitution of India came into force in 1950.Independent India has, however, witnessed one impeachment, when Justice Shiv Prasad Sinha of Allahabad High Court was removed by the then GovernorGeneral of India, C Rajagopalachari in 1949 on the recommendation of theFederal Court. The Chief Justice has given detailed information about Justice Sen’s misconduct when he was appointed receiver by Justice AN Roy in Steel Authority of India versus Shipping Corporation of India case in 1993. The three-Judge panel comprising Madras High Court Chief Justice AP Shah, MP High Court Chief Justice AK Patnaik and Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice RM Lodha inquired into the charges leveled against Justice Sen and foundthem true. The panel submitted its report in February, 2008। On March 16, theCollegiums of the apex court comprising of Chief Justice BN Agarwal andJustice Asok Bhan asked Justice Sen either to resign or to opt for voluntaryretirement।However, with Justice Sen deciding not to comply with either of the twooptions, the Chief Justice was forced to resort to this unprecedented move।The move is unprecedented, because neither there is any provision in theconstitution about such recommendation nor before this, any Chief Justicehas taken such ‘extreme step’.In fact Article 124(4) of Indian Constitution provides for removal of HighCourt and Supreme Court Judges.The Article says: “A judge of Supreme Court shall not be removed from hisoffice except by an order of the President passed after an address by eachHouse of Parliament supported by a majority of the total number ofmembership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds ofthe members of that House present and voting has been presented to thePresident in the same session for such removal on the ground of provedmisbehaviour or incapacity.”There is no separate provision for removal of High Court judges and Article217(1)(b) provides for this and says, “A judge may be removed from hisoffice by the President in the manner provided in clause(4) of Article 124for the removal of a judge of the Supreme Court.”The processes of removal of High Court and Supreme Court judges are thesame. The above Article of the Constitution provides for impeachment,whereas; Judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968 determines the process of impeachment.According to this Act, the impeachment of a judge can be done only byParliament and impeachment can be initiated after a motion addressed to thePresident of India is signed by at least 100 members of the Lok sabha or 50members of Rajya Sabha.Such is the process and such is the impunity. Such Judicial impunity hasbeen conferred on Judiciary for the sake of its independence.The above provision is similar to the rule prevailing in England, since theAct of Settlement, 1701, to the effect that though judges of the superiorcourts are appointed by the Crown, they do not hold office during hispleasure, but hold their office on good behaviour and the Crown may removethem based on a joint address from both the Houses of Parliament.Any way the credit must be given to Chief Justice, who could take suchextra-ordinary step, because after all, extra-ordinary situation demandsextra-ordinary steps.But unfortunately, the government was sitting over it as it was written twomonths ago and could only be known to public through media.Before any debate on this issue, it should be clearly borne in mind thatabove cumbersome procedure of impeachment and other judicial impunities havebeen enshrined in the Constitution for making Judiciary independent.*Independence of Judiciary*The independence is guaranteed in our Constitution and the concept has beenborrowed from the US Constitution. Article III of US Constitution guaranteesIndependence and Supremacy of Judiciary in the US.Independence of Judiciary is the tenet of democracy and therefore, evenRussian Constitution of 1993 (Chapter-7 Section 120-122) also guaranteesindependence of Judiciary in the country.In fact section 124 of the Russian Constitution says, “Judges shall possesimmunity and criminal proceedings may not be brought against a Judge exceptas provided for by federal law.”In India, this independence and limited Judicial Supremacy are enshrined inthe Constitution and are expressed in the methods of appointment of judges;the process of impeachment; and the power of judicial review.Now, if all these provisions of the Constitution are analysed, inference caneasily be drawn that the problems lay here themselves and so do solutions.*The Appointment Rules*Articles 124 and 217 provide for appointment of Judges of Supreme Court andHigh Court respectively. They clearly stipulate that the appointments haveto be made by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice.The word ‘consultation’ has been always a matter of dissent and controversy.In fact, when AN Ray was appointed as Chief Justice after superseding threesenior Judges namely Hegde, Grover and Shelat, there was uproar in Judicialcommunity including the Bar council of the apex court.They argued that judges have been superseded owing to their judgement inKeshavanand case (AIR 1973 Supreme Court) which went against the government.Gradually the direction of Executive in matters of appointment of judgesstarted diminishing. In 1993, a land mark judgment came from Supreme Courtin ‘Advocates on record versus Union of India’ case.The apex court ruled that the recommendations for appointment of Judges inHigh Court and Supreme Court will be made by collegiums of three Judges andshall be in a way binding on the government.After a ‘presidential reference’, the number in the collegiums was increasedfrom three to five.This judgment was a landmark because it took virtually all discretionarypowers of the Executive in matters of appointment of judges in higherjudiciary. Thus, the word ‘consultation’ became ‘concurrence’.Some people in legal domain argue that it was a dangerous development andwas against the principles of the Constitution itself. How can a person or agroup of persons appoint themselves which goes against the ideas enshrinedin Article 311?They opine that there must be a transparent and justifiable procedure forsuch appointments. There are instances where persons from one family arebecoming Judges for two to three generations.The judicial community of higher Judiciary is becoming an elite club of few’privileged families’. Candidly, it is not what ‘independence’ meant for.*The Impeachment*The process of impeachment as discussed in the article above, clearlyindicates that it is a cumbersome process. No wonder then, not a singlejudge could be removed in India since 1949.It may be recalled that in 1991, the impeachment proceedings for removal ofJustice V Ramaswami fell flat on its face after members of the Congressparty decided to abstain from voting.The process of impeachment is laid down in Judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968 whichsays that even if the motion is accepted, the presiding officer of the Househas to constitute a three judge committee to further inquire into thematter.The process suggests that the motion will be put to voting once again afterthe submission of the report by the Judges’ Committee. However, unlike inthe case of a no confidence motion against a government, which requires asimple majority to survive, the impeachment motion against a judge requiresa two-third majority.That is why, it is truly said that it is easier to decide the fate of 100billion people by way of forming and toppling Governments in India thanremoving a Judge in the country.It is also but strange that the country which has seen many a ministers andbureaucrats being convicted on charges of corruption does not have a singleincidence of a judge being impeached.The ‘Transparency International’ in its report of 2007 has counted judiciaryas the third most corrupt institutions in India, an inference totally incontrary to the common perception that instances of corruption in higherjudiciary are not unheard of.The former CJI Y K Sabarwal himself is in the eyes of storm for hisjudgement pronounced in the ‘Delhi Sealing Case’, which allegedly benefitedhis son. When a report in this regard appeared in one Newspaper, a suo mottocontempt proceeding was initiated and the concerned reporter was sought tobe punished.The Contempt of Court Act, 1971, which itself is not yet codified, isanother tool which sometimes is used to gauge the voice of dissent.In another infamous case, the vigilance department of UP Police exposedmisappropriation of funds worth Rs 23 crore from the GPF account of ClassIII and IV employees of Ghaziabad Civil Court.One of the accused arrested in this connection, made startling revelationthat he has parted the money both in cash and kind, with one sitting Judgeof SC, ten Judges of HC and 23 Judges of lower courts.The investigation is not proceeding as Police cannot interrogate judgeswithout the consent of SC, though such protections are not given in Judges(Inquiry) Act. The matter is still pending with the apex court and the CJIhas to convince the nation, whether there is equality before the law or not.Not to forget the matter of the two Haryana High Court Judges whose nameshave figured in a case in which a law officer from Haryana has alleged tohave sent Rs 15 lakh to them. The Matter has been referred to CBI by theapex court.The list is long and result is dismally naught. And while one may agree thatit is easy preaching than done, the question being asked by common citizenis that who will judge the judges?*The Remedies*. The provisions of RTI should be made applicable to all components offunctioning of Judiciary. Accordingly, suitable amendments in RTI Act, 2005can be made॥ The procedure of selection of Judges should be made more transparentand justifiable. Panel of judges can be made well in advance beforerecommendation and be known to public by way of websites or media॥ Idea of setting up of a National Judicial Commission can also be madeinto reality, after all if you are required to go for a test for becoming aclerk, why does selection of judges not require any test. An all India testmight also be conducted to select judges of higher judiciary॥ The Government is sitting over the Judges (inquiry) bill, 2006 for morethan two years, therefore it should be passed, but before that necessaryamendments are required, because the concept of ‘brother judges’ doinginquiry has proved ineffective if not futile॥ The contempt of Court Act, 1971 should be suitably amended, becausehealthy criticism of any institution is generally beneficial for the systemitself in the long run. The Judiciary should prepare itself for listening toits criticism and bring about change by itself, a change though painful buthelpful.*-The opinion expressed in this article are of the writer and not those ofiGovernment*
Posted by Parivartan at 10:42 PM
Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kerala HC puts brakes on illegal parking
The Kerala High Court directed the state government to enforce rules prohibiting parking of motor vehicles on national and state highways and said steps should be taken to construct bus bays on the roadsides across the state within one year. A Division Bench comprising Mr Justice C N Ramachandran Nair and Mr Justice Harun al-Rasheed also directed the PWD and local authorities to paint speed breakers with zebra markings and provide sign boards within one year. The court issued the directions while hearing a motor accident claim appeal wherein a pillion rider on a motorcycle was killed after the bike hit a lorry parked on the roadside.The court directed the government to instruct the police and motor vehicles department to seize and remove vehicles parked on national and state highways, and on other important roads and release them only after collecting heavy fines. The drivers should be prosecuted. The government should also direct the authorities to ensure that goods vehicles, particularly container lorries were operated with proper indicator lights and reflectors.The court observed that a large number of accidents took place on account of parking of stage carriers on roads for taking and releasing passengers. This should be prohibited and bus bays constructed.To ensure that the directions were complied with, the court directed the registry to post the case every month for the government to give periodic reports. UNI

Allahabad HC changes suspension grounds for employees
The Allahabad High Court ruled that if any employee was suspended on ground of pendency of a criminal charge after his acquittal in the case, the said suspension would automatically come to an end and as an effect the suspension would be deemed to be non-existent.A two-judge bench, comprising Justices V M Sahai and S P Mehrotra said the of an appeal against the order of acquittal by state will not create any hurdle in the way to reinstate the employee ‘since the rule is confined only to the stage of trial and not to appellate stage.’ Allowing the writ petition of one Ram Khelawan Singh, the Court also directed the respondent to give all service benefit to the petitioner, including arrears of salary.As per facts, the petitioner while working as divisional manager, Bijjnore in UP Forest Corporation was arrested on July 13, 2001 on the charge of taking illegal gratification of Rs 5,000 for which an FIR was also lodged against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act. After this, the state government passed his suspension orders for on July 2, 2001 under Rule 4(3) of UP government servant (discipline and appeal) rules 1999.Later, the petitioner was acquitted by the trial court during the criminal trial on September 16, 2003. UNI

Allahabad HC directs filing of affidavit in Spurious Medicine case
In a matter of manufacturing and sale of illegal/spurious drugs and medicines, the Allahabad High Court today directed the state officials, including Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) and Principal Secretary (Home) to file detailed counter affidavits with in three weeks.Besides the DGP and the Principal Secretary (Home), the Court directed the UP Director General (Medicine and Health) and the drug controller to file the detailed counter affidavits, mentioning the number of raids that have been conducted in the past one year and the number of persons arrested.The order was passed by a two Judges Bench, comprising Justice Amar Saran and Justice S C Nigam on a writ petition filed by one Brahmaji, resident of Bihar against whom an FIR has been lodged at Padrauna police station, district Kushinagar for dealing in spurious or sub-standard drugs and medicines and had collected a huge stockpile of such medicines in Padrauna town.The petitioner had moved to the Court, challenging FIR lodged against him and to stay his arrest in the matter.The Court refused to stay his arrest and fixed October 13, 2008 for further hearing. Meantime, the Court ordered the arrest of the petitioner.UNI

Centre tells Madras HC in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, Nalini abides by its decision
The Centre informed the Madras High Court that Ms Nalini, life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, had neither challenged any decision taken by the Union Government, nor sought relief from it.A writ petition filed by Nalini, besides Robert Payas and S Jayakumar, came for final hearing, before Justice S Nagamuthu.Additional Solicitor General for South India, M Ravindran said, ‘No action of the Central Government is challenged. Also no relief has been sought from the Centre.’ Reiterating that he had received written instructions from the Centre, Mr Ravindran said the question of filing any detailed response on behalf of the Union government did not arise, as none of its decisions had been called into question in the present case.Tamil Nadu Advocate General G Masilamani said the State was within its limit to specify conditions for extending remissions.Reiterating that convicts were not seeking remissions with vested interests in mind, he said, the question of their challenging the validity of conditions des not arise, as the state government was entitled to follow certain self-imposed restrictions.Mr Masilamani said unless the state government action was shockingly unconscionable, the courts could not entertain such pleas.S Duraisamy, appearing for Nalini said, the advisory committee, which rejected her case was not properly constituted and the probation officer’s recommendation to release Nalini with conditions had been rejected without reason.NGR Prasad, representing Jayakumar and Robert Payas, said since the victim was a former Prime Minister, it had blinded the vision of the authorities concerned.The Janata Party(JP) President Subramanian Swamy, in his petition, has strongly opposed Nalini’s premature release on the ground that since her mercy petition was accepted by the state government and Governor S S Barnala commuted the capital punishment to life-sentence, she was not entitled for another mercy.Dr Swamy would continue his arguments tomorrow.UNI

HC to hear Uphaar case on day-to-day basis
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday said it would hear the Uphaar cinema fire tragedy appeal on a day-to-day basis from Monday.
Justice Ravinder Bhat will take up the case, in which real estate tycoons Sushil and Gopal Ansals have been sent to two years of rigorous imprisonment.
The Ansal brothers are lodged in the Tihar jail here after the apex court cancelled their bail.
The defence has begun the argument for Sushil Ansal.
The apex court, in its Sep 10 order cancelling the bail of the Ansal brothers and four others, asked the Delhi High Court Chief Justice to form an “appropriate” Bench for the appeal proceedings.
Thursday, 18 September , 2008, 18:39

Centre fails to take a stand in HC on homosexuality law
New Delhi, Sep 18 (PTI) The Centre has failed to sort out the differences between the Home and Health ministries over decriminalisation of homosexuality among consenting adults and sought more time today from the Delhi High Court to take a decision on the issue.Additional Solicitors General P P Malhotra, appearing for the government, told the court that the matter is under consideration and the cabinet will soon take a decision on the issue in view of the differences among the ministries.A bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice S Muralidhar, however, refused to adjourn the matter saying that the government can file its response during the pendency of the case.”Let the cabinet take the decision. We are not going to pass the order today,” the bench said.The Centre in its reply had taken a contradictory stand with Ministry of Home Affairs favouring the retention of the penal provision for homosexual acts while the Health Ministry was against the enforcement of Section 377 in cases involving consenting adults.”Indian society strongly disapproves of homosexuality and disapproval is strong enough to justify it being treated as a criminal offence even where consenting adults indulge in it in private,” the Home Ministry had said in its affidavit.”Deletion of the Section can open the flood gates of delinquent behaviour and be misconstrued as providing unbridled licence for homosexual acts,” it had said.The Ministry of Health, on the other hand, has not favoured the enforcement of the penal provisions against consenting homosexual adults.”Enforcement of Section 377 can adversely contribute to pushing the persons suffering from HIV underground which would make such risky sexual practises go unnoticed,” said an affidavit filed by National Aids Control Organisation (NACO), which comes under the Ministry of Health. PTI

HC reserves order on PIL against Raj Thackeray
RANCHI: The Jharkhand High Court reserved its order on Thursday on a PIL filed against Maharastra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thakeray accusing him of making provocative statements against Hindi-speaking people.
After completing the hearing on the PIL, filed by Jamshedpur-based advocate Hameed Raza, Justice Amereshwar Sahay reserved the direction on the petition.
Alleging that Thackeray had hurt the sentiments of ‘Biharis’ by passing adverse remarks against the Hindi-speaking people and challenging them to perform ‘chaath puja’ in Mumbai, the petitioner prayed for an appropriate action against him.
The petitioner had filed a complaint case in the Jamshedpur civil court against Thackeray in May. The court had issued an arrest warrant against the MNF leader for failing to turn up before it following issuance of a notice to him.
Later, Thackeray’s counsel approached Jharkhand High Court and pleaded for transfer of the case to the High Court. Taking up the case, the High Court had put a stay on the lower court’s warrant of arrest and started hearing the petition.
Thursday, September 18, 2008 18:28 IST

HC reserves order on PIL against Raj Thackeray
RANCHI: The Jharkhand High Court reserved its order on Thursday on a PIL filed against Maharastra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thakeray accusing him of making provocative statements against Hindi-speaking people.
After completing the hearing on the PIL, filed by Jamshedpur-based advocate Hameed Raza, Justice Amereshwar Sahay reserved the direction on the petition.
Alleging that Thackeray had hurt the sentiments of ‘Biharis’ by passing adverse remarks against the Hindi-speaking people and challenging them to perform ‘chaath puja’ in Mumbai, the petitioner prayed for an appropriate action against him.
The petitioner had filed a complaint case in the Jamshedpur civil court against Thackeray in May. The court had issued an arrest warrant against the MNF leader for failing to turn up before it following issuance of a notice to him.
Later, Thackeray’s counsel approached Jharkhand High Court and pleaded for transfer of the case to the High Court. Taking up the case, the High Court had put a stay on the lower court’s warrant of arrest and started hearing the petition.
Thursday, September 18, 2008 18:28 IST

Allahabad HC suspends Session Judge
Allahabad, Sept 18: : The Allahabad High Court on Thursday issued a show cause notice to an additional district judge for having granted bail to two persons in the BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai murder case despite a Supreme Court stay on the trial proceedings. Justice Vinod Prasad issued the show cause to ADJ Shaileshwar Nath Singh of a fast track court in Ghazipur and asked why his termination not be recommended to the administrative committee of the High Court. The order came on a bail cancellation application moved by the CBI, which had alleged that bail was granted to Rakesh Pandey and Ramu Mallah, both of them associates of Mukhtar Ansari who is an Independent MLA and prime accused in the murder case on July 8, despite the apex court’s stay on proceedings of the case in the Ghazipur court. The court directed Singh to appear on the next date of hearing on September 29. Rai was gunned down along with seven others on November 29, 2006 in Ghazipur. Ansari, along with his brother and Samajwadi Party MP Afzal Ansari and several associates including Pandey and Mallah were named in the FIR. The case was later handed over to the CBI following a High Court order. Bureau Report

Prasad’s statement not abusive : Bombay HC
MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Thursday said that there was nothing abusive in the “controversial” statement of Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) K L Prasad. Prasad was quoted as saying that “Mumbai does not belong to anybody’s father” in apparent reaction to MNS threat not to allow screening of films starring anyone from the Bachchan family. The Court disposed off the PIL filed by advocate V P Patil, which had sought disciplinary action against Prasad for his remark. Patil withdrew the petition after Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar asked him, “What is abusive in this?”
Abuse is a well-defined term and these remarks do not fit into it, the Court observed. The Court, however, allowed Patil to approach the Maharashtra Government authorities to address this issue.
Thursday, September 18, 2008 16:11 IST

HIV-positive goes to SC; Centre, NACO get notices
New Delhi, September 18 The MNS’s whipping up of sentiments against non-Marathis seems to be spreading its tentacles. An HIV-positive person, in hope of getting Anti Retroviral Treatment (ART) from a leading hospital in Mumbai, was recently given a cold shoulder and was refused treatment on the ground that it was available only to a Marathi. The patient who is counting his days has now approached the Supreme Court.
Drawing the attention of a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, senior advocate Colin Gonsalves on Thursday sought an immediate intervention from the court, which sought response from the Centre and the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO). Issuing notices in this regard to the Health Ministry and NACO, the three-member bench posted the matter for further directions to September 29.
The senior counsel appearing for the patient, a native of Bihar, told the court that the state did not have the requisite drug and line of treatment for such patients. Coming to know of this, the HIV-infected person, whose name has been withheld, moved to Mumbai. But the city’s JJ Hospital refused to treat him on the ground that he was not a Maharashtrian, the court was informed.
The apex court is already seized of a PIL filed by an NGO — Voluntary Health Organisation — seeking direction to make available ART facility to all. Gonsalves, who’s the counsel for the NGO, brought the court’s attention to the present case and pointed how despite court’s directions, such discrimination is being followed, causing hardships to patients.
Express news service
Posted: Sep 19, 2008 at 0103 hrs IST

SC stays arrest of BIS Chahal till Sept 29
Chandigarh, September 18 Providing a reprieve to former media adviser of Captain Amarinder Singh, B I S Chahal, the Supreme Court stayed his arrest in any fresh case till September 29. The orders have been passed on the special leave petition (SLP) filed by Chahal.
In the SLP, Chahal had challenged the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court wherein the three-day prior notice, which was issued to Chahal earlier, was recalled by the High Court.
Chahal had raised the same demand from the Supreme Court apprehending false implication at the hands of Punjab Police.
Earlier, the High Court had directed the Punjab Government to issue three-day prior notice to Chahal before arresting him in any fresh case.
Express News Service Posted: Sep 19, 2008 at 0021 hrs IST

Krishnanand Rai murder: Judge lands in a soup for defying SC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Krishnanand_Rai_murder_Judge_lands_in_a_soup_for_defying_SC/articleshow/3500252.cms ALLAHABAD: Granting bail to two suspects in the high-profile Krishnanand Rai murder has landed Ghazipur additional district judge Shailendra Nath Singh in trouble. The Allahabad High Court on Thursday asked Singh to come to the court and explain why he should not be sacked. Justice Vinod Prasad ordered the judge to appear on September 29 after the CBI sought cancellation of the bail he granted to Ramu Mallah and Rakesh Pandey, who are co-accused in the murder case along with don-turned politician Mukhtar Ansari’s brother Afzal Ansari. CBI said Singh let them out on bail even after the Supreme Court stayed proceedings in the case. Tnn
19 Sep 2008, 0000 hrs IST,TNN

Delhi High Court S. Ravindra Bhat Bans Jayant and Rajat Agarwala’s Scrabulous In India Too
Jayant and Rajat Agarwala created a Facebook application called Scrabulous. The application was built around Hasbro game, Scrabble. Hasbro sued the Agarwalas to have the application removed. They removed it and relaunched it as a game called Wordscraper. The Agarwalas only removed the game from the U.S. market. But now the Delhi High Court judge S. Ravindra Bhat ruled that Hasbro can retain their trademark name.
The word Scrabulous cannot be used in any form, including links and source code. So basically the Agarwalas can keep Scrabulous running in India, but only as a different name. Spicy IP India suggests that the brothers rename it to Fabulous.
In March 2008 when Scrabulous was still growing in Facebook, the two brothers were making $25,000 per month. Facebook attempted to play a neutral position regarding the matter, but ended up complying with the decision to have Scrabulous taken down.
Amit Chowdhry Thursday September 18, 2008

PIL for Nano
Calcutta, Sept. 18: A PIL was today filed in Calcutta High Court demanding its intervention to ensure the Tatas stayed in Singur.
“The court should ask the Bengal government to take measures so that the Tatas do not abandon the Nano project or shift it to any other state,” Srirupa Mitra Chowdhury said in her petition filed on behalf of a Delhi-based NGO.
The petition said if Bengal lost out on the project, it would be detrimental to development of industry and job generation in the state.
Supriya also asked the court to direct the state government to take steps to ensure a “conducive atmosphere” for Tata Motors.
The case will come up for hearing on September 19.
Friday , September 19 , 2008

Blare your horn, pay Rs 2000: Rs 100 fine set to turn history
Mumbai, September 18 The penalty for excessive honking is set to be increased to Rs 2,000 for every offence. According to an affidavit filed by the State government before the Bombay High Court in response to a PIL filed by city-based NGO Awaaz Foundation on the issue of noise pollution, the State Transport Department is planning to increase the fine for honking in silence zones from the current Rs 100 to Rs 2000.
The proposal to increase the fine was discussed at a meeting held by Chief Secretary Johny Joseph to review the measures taken by various civic authorities and the police for reducing noise pollution. According to the minutes of the meeting, the fine for a first-time offender would be Rs 1,000 while for others it would be Rs 2000. The decision would require an amendment to the Motor Vehicles Act and a proposal has been sent to the Central government, the affidavit said.
According to the affidavit, the State government will allocate responsibilities to different government departments regarding the various aspects of noise pollution.
The affidavit states that various agencies like MMRDA and MSRDC would be given the responsibility of curbing noise from numerous infrastructure projects and traffic is to be regulated by the traffic police and the RTO. There are also plans to carry out noise mapping, which is to be done by various agencies.
The affidavit further states that since 2004, the traffic police have collected fines of Rs 26,80,700 for honking and registered 37,259 cases. Joseph directed during the meeting that the Home Department provide adequate number of decibel metres to the police.
As for fire crackers and loud-speakers, the police department has been directed to take action suo-motu, the affidavit says. The government will soon come out with the Bombay Prohibition and Regulation of Fireworks Rules, 2008, which has provisions for dealing with noise pollution due to firecrackers.
A Division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice A P Deshpande has now adjourned the hearing till November 28.
Express News Service
Posted online: Sep 19, 2008 at 0253 hrs

You better don’t dare to blare
If the state gets its way, then honk at your own peril. According to an affidavit filed in Bombay high court, the government is planning to increase the fine for honking from the current Rs100 to Rs2,000.
The affidavit is in response to a PIL, filed by the city-based Awaaz Foundation, regarding non-implementation of noise pollution reduction measures. As per the affidavit, the proposal to increase the fine for excessive use of car horns was discussed in a meeting held by state chief secretary Johny Joseph to review the measures taken by various civic authorities and the police for reducing noise pollution.
The transport department has proposed to fix the fine for a first-time offender at Rs1,000, and Rs2,000 for a repeat offence. This would need an amendment to the Motor Vehicles Act, and a proposal has been sent to the Centre, the affidavit said. It added that since 2004, the traffic police have collected Rs26.8 lakh in fine for honking and registered 37,259 cases. Joseph has directed the home department to provide adequate number of decibel meters to the police.
Citizens can also get some respite during the upcoming Navratri and Diwali festivals. The affidavit stated that the police department had been directed to take suo motu action in the event of firecrackers and loudspeakers violating pollution norms.
As per noise rules, loudspeakers cannot be used after 10 pm, and firecrackers exceeding 125 decibels are banned.
The government would soon be coming out with Bombay Prohibition and Regulation of Fireworks Rules, 2008, which have provisions for dealing with noise pollution due to fire-crackers. The PIL will now be heard on November 28.
Anshika Misra
Friday, September 19, 2008 03:41 IST

HC reserves order on PIL against Raj Thackeray
RANCHI: The Jharkhand High Court reserved its order on Thursday on a PIL filed against Maharastra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thakeray accusing him of making provocative statements against Hindi-speaking people.
After completing the hearing on the PIL, filed by Jamshedpur-based advocate Hameed Raza, Justice Amereshwar Sahay reserved the direction on the petition.
Alleging that Thackeray had hurt the sentiments of ‘Biharis’ by passing adverse remarks against the Hindi-speaking people and challenging them to perform ‘chaath puja’ in Mumbai, the petitioner prayed for an appropriate action against him.
The petitioner had filed a complaint case in the Jamshedpur civil court against Thackeray in May. The court had issued an arrest warrant against the MNF leader for failing to turn up before it following issuance of a notice to him.
Later, Thackeray’s counsel approached Jharkhand High Court and pleaded for transfer of the case to the High Court. Taking up the case, the High Court had put a stay on the lower court’s warrant of arrest and started hearing the petition.
Thursday, September 18, 2008 18:28 IST

Commutation of death sentence for Nalini vitiated by illegality: Swamy
She cannot apply for premature release under Section 433 A Cr.PC
CHENNAI: Strongly opposing the plea for the premature release of Nalini, a life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy on Thursday said the commutation of the death sentence on her was vitiated by illegality.
In his submissions before Justice S. Nagamuthu, Dr. Swamy said the Centre should have either adopted the Tamil Nadu government’s argument or answered some of the issues arising in the petition filed by Nalini.
The Centre on Wednesday submitted that it was not filing any counter to Nalini’s petition seeking premature release. On Thursday, it said it was adopting the State government’s argument.
In his written arguments, Dr.Swamy said Nalini had filed a mercy plea before the President, but she did not disclose its outcome in the present writ petition. But, according to her, after Congress leader Sonia Gandhi publicly stated that she had no objection to the petitioner’s death sentence being commuted to life imprisonment, she (Nalini) preferred an application to the Governor for clemency. This public statement was material evidence in the writ petition and hence the Centre should have filed a counter affidavit, and documented the statement and the reasons for the same. Failure to do so remained a mystery.
“Misconceived prayer”
Dr. Swamy argued that the prayer in Nalini’s writ petition seeking a direction to the respondents to order her premature release was misconceived. She could not apply for premature release from prison under Section 433 A of the Criminal Procedure Code. That provision would apply only if the original commutation of death sentence to life imprisonment had been made under Section 433 Cr.PC.
Discretion rests with government
Quoting a Supreme Court order, Dr. Swamy said unless an order of commutation under sub-section (b) of Section 433 Cr.PC was issued, life imprisonment meant imprisonment for life. Nalini could not claim as a fundamental right that the appropriate government should set her free after she served a 14-year imprisonment. The discretion whether to release her or not rested with the appropriate government even if an order was issued under Section 433 (b) Cr.PC.
In a review of the Swami Shraddhanand case, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the settled case law i.e., that a commuted sentence of life imprisonment meant imprisonment for the physical life of the convict unless the order of commutation of the death penalty specifically stated otherwise.
Rarest of rare cases
The Rajiv Gandhi assassination case was the rarest of rare cases and deserving of capital punishment that the Supreme Court upheld and reconfirmed on the review petitions filed by the convicts, including Nalini.
The apex court’s observations while upholding the death sentence were relevant in deciding the present writ petition.
Friday, Sep 19, 2008
Special Correspondent

Daily Legal News 17.09.2008

High Court, city court gore civic agency over moo menace on city roads
New Delhi, September 17 MCD excuse: Cattle owners’ backing; HC ‘surprised’
Think twice before you shoo off ‘stray’ cattle on Delhi roads. According to the MCD, the men who own them have “political backing”.
After eight years of litigation and three time-bound orders from the Delhi High Court to remove stray cattle later, this is how the MCD explained its inability to rid the Capital’s roads of bovines bit by wanderlust. Even worse is the civic agency’s experience, as narrated before a division bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice Muralidhar on Wednesday, during its attempts to “re-locate” dairy farms in the city. “Dairy owners beat up our (MCD) officers,” a senior panel lawyer for MCD said. “We have 21 FIRs for assault and other criminal charges registered against these dairy owners.
“These people have political backing.”
In 2002, the High Court had given MCD six months to remove all stray cattle from the Capital’s roads. The order was repeated in 2005 and late 2007 following complaints that the civic agency had not acted in response.
Meanwhile, the MCD’s submission about “practical difficulties” in rounding up cattle from the city thoroughfares took the court by surprise. The Chief Justice said, “I have never seen any statutory authority behave like this.”
The civic body’s counsel reacted, “I have only tried to apprise this court of the problems faced by the agency. We need help of other government agencies to remove these cattle and relocate dairies.”
To this, Justice Muralidhar retorted: “ (Do) you want the court to run the administration for you? Officers now find it very convenient to say that they will not talk to other government departments. They expect the court to do it.”
Meera Bhatia, counsel for Common Cause, the NGO which had drawn court’s attention to the problem, said: “The various departments continue to pass the buck from one to the other. The MCD’s stand is actually in contempt of the court orders.”
The civic agency, however, defended itself by claiming to have removed “18,838 cattle in the past two years”. The MCD counsel said, “We just need nine more months to remove all of them — 60 per cent of our work is over; only 40 per cent is left.”
The court directed all government agencies, including MCD, NDMC and Delhi Police, to file a joint status report on cattle menace within the next two weeks.
Krishnadas Rajagopal
Posted online: Sep 18, 2008 at 0103 hrs

Let appeals against tribunal order go straight to Supreme Court, suggests Law Commission
This proposal will ensure speedy justice, and save time and money for government servants
New Delhi: For speedy disposal of cases filed by government servants before administrative tribunals, the Law Commission has suggested that appeals be filed directly in the Supreme Court and not in the High Court.
Chandrakumar’s case
State and Central Administrative Tribunals were constituted pursuant to the 1985 Administrative Tribunals Act. As per this Act, appeals against the tribunal orders could be filed directly in the Supreme Court. However, after the judgment in L. Chandrakumar’s case in 1997, appeals would have to be filed first in the High Court concerned and then before the Supreme Court.
The Commission, headed by Justice A.R. Lakshmanan, in its report to be submitted to the Centre, has recommended to the government that it request the Supreme Court to refer the matter of filing the first appeal for adjudication by a larger Bench.
The report said it was necessary to reconsider the judgment in Chandrakumar’s case in the interest of Central and state government servants to achieve the object of the 1985 Act, to provide speedy and less expensive justice. “If this proposal [to reconsider the judgment] is taken up in the right perspective, it will reduce not only the heavy expenditure by way of fee, etc, to counsel but also the time.”
The Commission noted that the very purpose and rationale of the tribunals would be defeated if all cases had to go to the High Courts concerned again. In view of the delay in the disposal of the appeals in the High Courts, some States abolished the State tribunals.
Amendment will help
The Commission said that by an amendment to Article 227 (4) of the Constitution, it would be possible to include the Central Administrative Tribunal side by side with the Armed Forces Tribunal (which provides for direct appeal to the Supreme Court) so that appeals against tribunal orders could be filed in the Supreme Court. This would prevent explosion of cases in the High Courts.
An alternative
As an alternative, “if there is an impression that there has to be at least one appeal provided against the orders of the tribunal before the matter reaches the Supreme Court, an intra-court appeal, similar to the one provided in every High Court, can be provided under the 1985 Act itself.”
Create zones
The report said: “The decision of a single Bench can be challenged before a Bench consisting of three or more members.
“For this purpose, four zones, North, East, West and South, can be made where appeals from various Benches may be filed.
“After the decision by an appellate Bench, the matter can be taken to the Supreme Court.”
The Commission recommended to the Centre that it take up the issue with the Supreme Court in the larger public interest.
Thursday, Sep 18, 2008
J. Venkatesan

Is your petition of public interest, asks High Court
If not, the petitioner who alleged that land for project-affected persons in Navi Mumbai had been allotted to a private firm, stands to lose Rs 5 lakh
Filing a Public Interest litigation (PIL) ‘purely for public interest’ proved expensive for a Mumbai-based citizen who had filed a petition claiming that land in Navi Mumbai meant for project-affected persons (PAPs) had been allotted to a private company.A division bench of the Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the petitioner to deposit a sum of Rs 5 lakh to prove his bonafide. The court observed that if the petition was not admitted, the money will be donated to a relief fund. To file a PIL, petitioners only need to pay a stamp duty of Rs 250, as against a huge amount which needs to be deposited by a common petitioner while filing a writ in the court. The division bench of Justice J N Patel and Justice K K Tated, while hearing a PIL filed by Anil Rajgour, a local citizen, who works in Rocky Hills complex in Malabar Hill, directed him to deposit the money with the HC registrar in four weeks. Interestingly, as soon as the court directed the petitioner to deposit the amount, his advocate urged the court to allow him to withdraw the PIL, which the court declined. “You said the petition has been filed in public interest, then you must deposit the amount. The money will be returned to you if your petition is admitted, else we will assure that the money will be used for the Bihar Relief Fund,” observed the judges orally. The court while dictating the order also observed that the petition will be heard only if the petitioner deposits the amount. Anil Rajgour, had in 2007 filed a PIL challenging the allotment of a plot in Nerul in Navi Mumbai. According to the petition, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) had in 2004, leased out a plot in Nerul to the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC). “The said plot, admeasuring 24,010 sq metres in Nerul/Sarsone area was later sold to a M R M Associates, a private company at a much higher price,” says the petition. Rajgour, has in his petition further claimed that the said plot was allotted to MIDC to construct houses for project-affected persons of the Kukshet village, near Nerul and by handing over the said plot to a private company, the MIDC has grossly violated the law. “Being a citizen, the petitioner has filed the PIL in public interest and he has no personal interest in it,” the PIL further says. Rajgour has urged the court to hear his PIL under the provisions of Article 226 of the Constitution, which ‘gives power to the HC to issue certain writs’. The court, after hearing the submissions by the petitioner’s counsel directed him to deposit the amount in four weeks.“I have filed this PIL for public interest, the court should consider the same and should not implement such a high cost,” the petitioner’s counsel argued.• You said the petition has been filed in public interest, then you0 must deposit the amount. The money will be returned to you if your petition is admitted, else we will assure that the money will be used for the Bihar Relief Fund Posted On Thursday, September 18, 2008
Hetal Vyas

High Court quashes restriction on show timings in cinemas
High Court quashes restriction on show timings in cinemasBANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday lifted restrictions imposed by the State Government on cinema timings when it quashed a Government Order restricting cinema shows between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m.Three of Bangalore’s well-known cinemas had moved the court against the order. The cinemas — Rex on Brigade Road, Navrang in Rajajinagar and Pradeep in K.R. Market — had challenged the legality and validity of a notification issued by the District Magistrate of Bangalore restricting the number of shows in a cinema to four a day.The cinemas said the notification arbitrarily and unilaterally restricted the shows and said that there should be a mandatory break or interval between the shows. This meant that not more than four shows could be held in a day.They said the State had cited Rule 41 (A) of the Karnataka Cinemas (Regulation) Rule, 1971, to restrict the number of shows.They said the State had made it mandatory for cinema halls to have a break of 30 minutes or more after each show.Defending the regulation, the Government said there was a need to give 30 minutes break between shows to ensure that the cinema halls were kept clean and tidy.The Government said the other restrictions under the Act were imposed in the interest of public safety.Justice N. Kumar struck down the regulation (notification) saying that it was illegal and not as per the provisions of the law.
Posted by The Bangalorean @ 9/18/2008 06:31:00 AM
Staff Reporter
Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rape accused set free by SC
NEW DELHI: Vigilante justice, which has seen many get lynched in the past, had a different fallout in the Supreme Court. Injuries inflicted by a village mob on a man accused of rape-cum-murder of an 11-year-old girl virtually helped him to get acquittal in place of death sentence. The benefit of doubt went to the accused as the police failed to explain how he got injured badly. Under the law governing evidence, the police is bound to explain injuries on the body of an accused at the time of his arrest, otherwise it would be presumed by the court that a confession was extracted from him under torture. A village mob severely beat up accused Raja aka Jalil in Barabanki in UP and extracted an extra-judicial confession from him that he had attempted to rape and then killed the 11-year-old girl, whom he had allegedly lured to the paddy fields to cut the crop. A Barabanki sessions judge convicted him on the basis of circumstantial evidence and awarded him death penalty. The Allahabad high court, finding the prosecution evidence lacking in credibility, acquitted him. Rejecting the appeal of the UP government against the acquittal, an apex court bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat, P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam said, “the high court has rightly noticed that the alleged extra-judicial confession was extracted from the accused by assaulting him severely”.
18 Sep 2008, 0057 hrs IST,TNN

TN CM made bald claims for dropping contempt, AIADMK tells SC
New Delhi (PTI): The AIADMK on wednesday told the Supreme Court that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and Union Transport Minister T R Baalu have made bald claims and contentions to escape contempt proceedings linked to a bandh call allegedly given by them over the Sethusamudram project.
Countering the claim of the DMK leaders that they made sincere efforts to call off the bandh in deference to the apex court order, AIADMK said there was nothing on record to suggest that instructions were issued to call off bandh announced by the ruling coalition Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA).
“A bandh did infact take place on that day (October 1, 2007). Not only that no material has been produced in support of the claim that instruction has been issued.
“Indeed one would have expected the Chief Minister to issue proper, specific and clear written orders/directions to the officials more so in the wake of his alacrity in almost instantaneously announcing the holding of fast on October 1 instead of a bandh by reason of the orders passed by this court,” the opposition party said.
Responding to the counter-affidavit filed by the Chief Minister, Baalu and other senior state officials, against whom the AIADMK has filed a contempt petition, it said the instructions given by the state government for only allowing the citizens to undertake a day-long fast so that general public was in no way affected was only for the purpose of the case.
The AIADMK termed the speech of Baalu on October 1 last as an open attack on the judiciary.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008

SC to fix date for considering plea for CBI probe
The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it would fix on September 23 an early date for examining the question of ordering a CBI probe into the multi-crore rupee Uttar Pradesh provident fund scam involving judges and other VIPs.
A bench headed by Justices Arijit Pasayat, decided to fix the date after the UP Government’s additional advocate general Shail Dwivedi sought advancement of the hearing for considering the issue.
The apex court had earlier asked the State Government whether it was open to a CBI probe in the wake of the disclosures by the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Ghaziabad stating that it was “impossible” for the local police to investigate freely.
The bench, while slamming the UP government for concealing the SSP’s views on the issue, had asked the Mayawati Government to file its reply in an affidavit in two weeks and had posted the matter for further hearing to October 22.
But now in view of the UP Government’s plea for advancement of the date, the apex court said it would decide an early date on September 23.
The apex court was furious after the official letters written by the SSP to the DGP for being relieved from the case, and recommending transfer of the case to the CBI to ensure a free, fair and impartial investigation into the scam was brought to its notice by senior counsel Anil Divan, appearing for the Ghaziabad Bar Association.
Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, September 17, 2008

Militants write to HC judge
Seek protection of their associateSrinagar, Sep 17: Jammu and Kashmir Bar association has filed a writ petition in the High Court regarding a Pakistani militant who has been kept at an interrogation centre in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district from last nine months. The revelation regarding the presence of the militant, Sarfaraz Ahmad son of Muhammad Salim of Karachi Pakistan came to light when two Pakistani nationals wrote a letter to justice Hakeem Imtiyaz, seeking the well being of Sarfaraz. Making the letter as the base, the Bar association president Mian Abdul Qayoom filed a petition (No 491) seeking relief from the court. The bar association has also endorsed the letter by the Pak nationals identified as Aijaz Ahmad Khokar and Malik Shahnawaz both undergoing imprisonment at jodhpur jail of Rajasthan.In the letter, the Pakistani duo has said that they met Sarfaraz while they were shifted to the center from Jodhpur Jail in connection with a case pending before a court in Kupwara. It has been learnt that since the arrest of Sarfaraz Ahmad on 26 February police has not produced him before the court for seeking remand. “I am apprehensive that I might be killed in custody after I saw a prisoner being killed after three months of detention,” the Pak duo quoting Sarfaraz wrote in the letter. In the petition the Bar association has termed the detention of Sarfaraz Ahmad as “illegal” and asked the government to “show any law justifying the fact that any one could be kept in the interrogation centre without seeking remand from the court.” PBI

Death of children at TN school: HC orders compensation
Madurai, Sept 17: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the Tamil Nadu government to pay Rs One lakh each as compensation to the parents of four children who died when a state-aided school gate on which they were swinging collapsed. Justice K Chandru, allowing petitions by the fathers of the children of Sri Rama Elementary school at Rajapalayam in Virudhunagar district, directed the Secretary of Education and the Director of School Education to pay the compensation. The kids had died on April 29, 2005. Chandru also directed the president and secretary of the School committee to pay Rs 50,000 to each of the petitioners. The Judge said when the children of tender age were sent to a state supported school, it was the responsibility of the school and state to take care of their safety. They should have prevented the children from playing on the gate. The school had not submitted any details about the gate’s strength and stability. Even for argument sake if 15 children had been swinging on the gate, their total weight would not have exceeded 450 kg. “It is unthinkable that the gate could collapse, unable to bear the weight,” he said. The Judge rejected the contentions of the management that the school had no funds for paying the compensation and the accident had taken place after the school hours. Terming as “ironical” the Chief Educational Officer’s statement that the incident was an “act of god” and not due to negligence, he said the CEO, by his affidavit, had given a clean chit to the management as if it was not responsible. The petitioners had submitted that death of the children was due to the negligent act of the school management. Bureau Report

Punjab HC stays custodial interrogation of Amarinder Singh
A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has stayed the custodial interrogation of former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in connection with a graft case registered by the State’s Vigilance Bureau.
Justices Adarsh Goel and Ajay Tewari also issued notices to the Punjab Assembly through its Secretary and directed him to file the reply on or before October 31.
Last week, the Bench had reserved its judgment on Singh’s plea seeking a stay in the case and on his expulsion from the Punjab Legislative Assembly.
Further, Singh was directed by the bench to file a rejoinder on or before November 15 and admitted the case for final hearing on December 1 before a regular division bench.
However, the court allowed the Vigilance Bureau to carry on with its investigation into the case registered against the Congress leader and seven others in connection with irregularities in the Amritsar land deal.
Last week, Singh had moved the High Court challenging the Assembly’s September 10 decision to strip him of his membership and declaring his Patiala seat vacant after a House Committee indicted him and three others in the case.
Singh has been charged by the House Committee of releasing 32.10 acres of Improvement Trust, Amritsar land for development by private colonisers in violation of rules.
Congress leader Bir Devinder Singh had raised the issue in the House during Singh’s tenure as Chief Minister between 2002 and 2007 and made a complaint on the same.
Besides Singh, former Local Bodies Minister Jagjit Singh, former Amritsar Improvement Trust (AIT) Chairman Jugal Kishore Sharma, two employees of AIT and two builders have been named in the FIR registered in Mohali. (ANI)
September 17th, 2008

Nanda case: Delhi HC notice to police on Gupta`s plea
New Delhi, Sept 17: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to city police on a petition filed by one of the convicts in the Sanjeev Nanda BMW hit-and-run case, Rajeev Gupta, sentenced to one-year imprisonment for destroying evidence. Justice Kailash Gambhir asked the police to file its response by September 30 when the matter would taken up for further hearing. Gupta, a 63-year-old businessman, along with his employees — Bhola Nath and Shyam Singh — were sentenced to a simple imprisonment of one year on September 5. However, the court released them on bail till the time of filing of their appeals. Prime accused Sanjeev Nanda, son of arms dealer Suresh Nanda, was sentenced to five years imprisonment for killing six people, including three policemen, under his BMW on January 10, 1999. Filing the appeal, Gupta alleged that the trial court judge has convicted them without any cogent material as evidence against them. The judge has passed the order solely on the statement of police witnesses, he added. Pleading before the court to suspend the sentence and confirm the bail already granted by the sessions court, Gupta said that he is a heart patient and has undergone by-pass surgery four times. He is a diabetic person and his blood pressure remains unstable, Gupta said. According to the prosecution, after the accident Nanda, presently lodged in Tihar jail, had driven down his BMW car to 50, Golf Links, the house of his friend Sidharth Gupta. Bureau Report

HC orders Govt to fit Speed Governors for vehicles
Bangalore Sept 17: Karnataka High Court has ordered the State Government to register transport vehicles only after fitment of Speed Governors as prescribed in its notifications issued earlier.
A release here today said Karnataka Commissioner for Transport, Bhaskar Rao had stated that with the High Court order it is mandatory for all the transport vehicles to be fitted with Speed Governor in this month.
Mr Rao said stern action would be taken against erring vehicle owners. It may be recalled that transport operators in the State had resorted to agitation earlier against the use of Speed Governor. Reacting to the High Court order on the issue, Karnataka Transporters Association President Shanmugappa said the movement of vehicles in the State will be halted from October one, as it would be well-nigh impossible to fit the Speed Governor to the transport vehicles.
The Association representatives will meet Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa to find a solutions to the problem, he added.

SC upholds acquittal of man sentenced to death
New Delhi, Sep 17 (PTI) The Supreme Court has upheld the acquittal of a man sentenced to death by a sessions court for allegedly murdering a minor girl after she resisted his attempt to rape her.A three-judge bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat, P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam, concurred with the views of the Allahabad High Court which had earlier acquitted Raja alias Jalil on the ground that the extra-judicial confession of the accused was not voluntary and the circumstantial evidence was not sufficient to confirm the conviction.”It is fairly well settled that when a case rests on circumstantial evidence, a complete chain of circumstances which rule out every other possibility except guilt of the accused has to be established,” the apex court observed while dismissing an appeal filed by the UP Government.It was the case of the prosecution that Raja on October 17, 1994 took the 11-year-old girl away from her mother Sushila Devi on the pretext of seeking the girl’s assistance in the paddy fields.The prosecution alleged that Raja tried to sexually assault the girl who resisted him but was killed by the accused.Raja is reported to have confessed his guilt after being beaten up by villagers. He was handed over to the police who claimed to have recovered the deceased’s body from the field on the basis of the accused’s disclosure.Based on the extra-judicial confession made by the accused, the Sessions Court sentenced him to death. But the High Court on reference acquitted the accused on the ground that the circumstantial evidence did not form a complete chain to fasten the guilt on the accused, upon which the State Government appealed in the apex court. PTI

Expressway promoter trying to extract land: Karnataka to SC
New Delhi, Sep 17 (PTI) The Karnataka Government today told the Supreme Court that the Bangalore-Mysore Expressway’s promoter corporation was trying to extract more land from it for the completion of the project.In an affidavit filed before a bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat, P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam, Karnataka rejected the allegations of the Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises Development Corporation that it had committed a contempt of court by creating hurdles in the Bangalore-Mysore Expressway Infrastructure Project.According to the State Government it was the promoter corporation which had deviated from the original alignment of the land fixed by the Karnataka Government in a judgement dated September 21, 1998. It said the promoter was trying to seek more land from the Government to complete the project.Even the Karnataka Pollution Control Board (KPCB) had refused permission to the project in view of the deviation from the originally sanctioned plan, the Government said.”They (Nandi) are trying to change the alignment of the road and seek more land than what is specifically set out in the said judgement. The present application (contempt) is one such attempt to pressurise the officials to submit to this illegal demands,” the affidavit filed by the State Principal Secretary, PWD had said.Karnataka submitted that it had called upon the promoter to come forward to take up the 20,193 acres of land as originally conceived.”However, the petitioner (Nandi corporation) refused to do so and insisted upon larger extent of land being given to it. This is one of the circumstances that prevented the project from proceeding further, for which the petitioner has to blame itself,” the affidavit said. PTI

Google, Microsoft pull gender ads after India legal threat
NEW DELHI – Internet giants Google and Microsoft have pulled adverts for gender selection products and other services considered illegal in India after being threatened with legal action, activists said on Thursday.

India’s Supreme Court had last month asked the two companies plus Yahoo to respond to a complaint that they were illegally advertising do-it-yourself kits and expensive genetic techniques to find out an unborn baby’s gender.
Activists said the products — which have not been scientifically proven to be accurate or safe — damage efforts to stem mass abortions of girls because of a traditional preference for boys in India.
“Sponsored links in Google have come down considerably. They have disappeared from Microsoft India search,” activist Sabu George, who filed the petition, told AFP.
A random search for “gender selection” on Yahoo, however, produces links to resources and clinics offering to help people choose the gender of their child.
Yahoo India was not immediately available for comment.
There are 927 females for every 1,000 males in India compared to the worldwide average of 1,050 females. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says India loses 7,000 girls daily through abortion.
Google said it will “review the petition carefully.”
(AFP)18 September 2008

Court to hear Archbishop’s plea today http://www.hindu.com/2008/09/03/stories/2008090355861200.htm
CBI probe sought into the killings of Christians in Kandhamal district
New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear on Wednesday a writ petition filed by the Archbishop of Cuttack for a CBI probe into the killings of Christians and damage caused to churches and other institutions in Kandhamal district of Orissa.
A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice J.M. Panchal took the decision when senior counsel Colin Gonsalves sought early listing.
When the CJI asked Archbishop Raphael Cheenath to approach the Orissa High Court, Mr. Gonsalves said he could not go to the High Court as he faced a threat to his life. He submitted that the situation in the area was tense and it was difficult for him to freely move in the State as he had received threatening letters.
He said after VHP leader Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati, head of a local math in Orissa, was killed on August 23, “his supporters are saying that since you [missionaries] have killed our head we will kill your head.” Counsel said the State was not properly deploying Central forces.
Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanian, who intervened, assured the court that the Centre would fulfil its responsibilities and take necessary steps for deployment of adequate forces in the area. He said he would take up the matter with the Home Secretary and inform the court on Wednesday about the steps taken.
The Archbishop said the petition was being filed in public interest, challenging the failure of the State government to maintain law and order in Kandhamal district and protect innocent people whose human rights were being violated after the killing of Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati and others by some Maoists.
The petitioner alleged that inadequate compensation was being provided and said arbitrary and irrational methodology was employed in choosing recipients for financial assistance. There was a deliberate attempt to exclude churches and institutions run by the church and direct victims for any financial assistance and relief.
He said in the communal violence following the swami’s killing, hundreds of homes were burnt down, many churches and institutions were completely destroyed. Thousands have been rendered homeless.
The sequence of events would indicate that the attacks were not isolated incidents but part of a well-orchestrated conspiracy which had the full support of the State government, he submitted.
Wednesday, Sep 03, 2008
Legal Correspondent

SC bench sneers at PIL filed to strengthen Bhimnagar barrage
NEW DELHI: At a time when the Centre and states have joined Bihar government in tackling the floods caused by Kosi river, a PIL in the Supreme Court on Monday sought urgent measures to strengthen the embankment on the Bhimnagar barrage in Nepal to prevent recurrence of the breach that caused inundation of vast areas in several districts. Even before the counsel for NGO Yuva Shakti could complete his submissions on flood relief and other measures, a bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices P Sathasivam and J M Panchal sneered at the PIL and termed the petition as a “publicity stunt”. “Can the court, by giving an order, prevent floods,” the CJI asked, refusing to pass any interim order on the petition at the mentioning stage and directing its listing on September 15. When the counsel requested the court to seek a status report from the Nitish Kumar government on the flood relief measures, the bench said the state government appeared to be doing its best to tackle the situation and “you want only publicity”. The petitioner said that more than 30 lakh people were affected by the flood that was caused by a breach in the embankment of Bhimnagar barrage in Nepal and the government of India should send technical experts to work with the Nepal government in repairing the breach to prevent recurrence of similar mishaps.
3 Sep 2008, 0149 hrs IST,TNN

HC rejects plea against Gokhale Hall demolition
CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has dismissed a public interest writ petition that sought to prevent the demolition of the 94-year-old Gokhale Hall on Armenian Street in George Town, but stayed the demolition of the building for a week. Justice P Jyothimani, passing orders on a writ petition filed by T C Shankar Raju on Tuesday, asked the petitioner to approach a civil court and said, “It is made clear that if the petitioner approaches the civil court within seven days, the court shall take up the matter and pass appropriate orders.” If the petitioner fails to approach the civil court within seven days, then the management of the society would be free to take action as per law. The matter relates to the Young Men’s Indian Association’s decision to raze the Besant Memorial Building, which was the venue of Anne Besant’s Home Rule Movement . The movement was meant to denounce the British rule in India and achieve the national demand for self-governance . After the present set of office-bearers decided to demolish the building and entrusted the demolition work to a private party, Shankar Raju, a life member of the YMIA, filed the petition to save the structure. While admitting the petition on August 11, Justice A Kulasekaran had stayed the demolition works. However, even before the order could be communicated, a portion of the building had been razed and much of the interiors and wooden fixtures had been removed. Referring to the shoddy work at the YMIA’s Mylapore building, Raju said an inquiry had been instituted against some members of the governing body. “Unless that inquiry is completed, it is not safe to allow the same group of persons to handle huge money of a public interest,” he said, seeking a stay on the demolition process. timeschennai@timeschennai .com
3 Sep 2008, 0540 hrs IST,TNN

Unauthorised structures: PIL against officials
CHENNAI: A public interest writ petition to punish “delinquent officials” who had failed to remove encroachments in T Nagar , was filed in the Madras high court on Tuesday. When the petitioner, Traffic K R Ramasamy, mentioned the matter before the first bench comprising Chief Justice A K Ganguly and justice F M Ibrahim Kalifulla, he was permitted to file the PIL. Referring to the August 2006 order of the high court quashing three regularisation schemes introduced by the state government, Ramasamy said the court had ordered removal of encroachments in busy streets like Ranganathan Street, Natesan Street and Madley Street. It had directed police and civic authorities to coordinate the encroachmentremoval drive, he said, adding that none of these directions had been implemented. Pointing out that clutter of shops on Ranganathan Street hindered movement of firefighting engines on Monday morning, when fire was raging at Saravana Stores, Ramasamy said many lives would have been lost had the fire occurred during daytime. Blaming civic authorities for non-implementation of court orders, he wanted the court to direct the director-general of police to hold an inquiry and file a report about the loss in the Ranganathan Street fire. The corporation should be asked to hold an inquiry against officials responsible for the non-implementation of rules, Ramasamy said.
3 Sep 2008, 0533 hrs IST,TNN

Jurong committed to Science City project
Major industries minister J Geeta Reddy said that Jurong International Company had written to the government informing that it would take up the Odyssey Science City project in Anantapur district after the court dismissed public interest litigation (PIL) as per the agreement.
Replying to a query by P Raghunath Reddy of TDP, she said the company was keen on completing the project in 10 years. It stopped works after a PIL was filed against the project in the high court.
The company management communicated that it would resume works immediately once the case was dismissed. She said the company had already deposited Rs 10 crore in the account of APIIC, the nodal agency for Science City project. It would deposit the remaining Rs 40 crore after the PIL was dismissed, the company had said. TNN
3 Sep 2008, 0558 hrs IST,TNN

Post cash-in-bag , it’s slow on pleas
Chandigarh: Litigation and loads of it is not only a matter of bread and butter for lawyers but also ensures them a high degree of visibility across the spectrum. However, such has been the impact of the cash-in-bag row that a vast section of high court lawyers are shying from filing fresh cases, waiting for the storm to tide over. To put it rather bluntly, they asserted that their faith in the system had taken a battering and it would take some time before things become normal again. And this is no hyperbole, a cursory glance at court registers makes it clear that there has been at least 30% reduction in fresh litigation. “While at least 1,000 cases used to be filed a day on an average earlier, post the cash-in-bag controversy, the number has come down between 500 to 600,” claimed Vinod Sharma, a lawyer. Even PIL filing has taken a steep nosedive as evident from the CJ’s court register . Two months back, there used to be nearly 50 urgent cases before the first division bench headed by chief justice, but now there are barely six to 10 cases, a majority of which are just applications relating to previous cases only. In fact on Tuesday, there were only five urgent cases, all of which were applications and none were fresh cases and neither there were any PILs. The same was the story on Monday that saw 14 urgent cases, of which only four were fresh filings while nine were applications (called civil miscellaneous applications) and one was an appeal plea. However, there were some lawyers who asserted that the reduction might be superficial as the roster had been changed recently which ensured more equitable distribution of work. Nevertheless, they admitted that lawyers were a bit apprehensive about filing fresh cases as they weren’t expecting apositive outcome owing to the controversy. Echoing lawyers’ concern, HC bar association president Rupinder Khosla said, “Everything is based on factum of people coming to high court for redressal of grievances. When they find that the judicial system had gone haywire, they tend to abstain from coming forth with litigation.” Atul Lakhanpal, another lawyer, too stressed that the reduction in filing was symptomatic of erosion of faith in the functioning of judiciary. However, the latter was said to be of the view that reduction , if any, was a temporary phase and would have no implications on the integrity of the institution.
3 Sep 2008, 0726 hrs IST, Vishal Sharma,TNN

HC pulls up govt over mining lease
BANGALORE: A division Bench of the high court on Tuesday pulled up the state and central governments over the grant of a mining lease in forest land in Bellary district. “If a common man encroaches five cents of land for raising a humble dwelling, the government makes it a big issue, whereas acres of lands are granted left and right. There are contradictions in maps and details. How can they grant lands for a mining lease in a reserved forest at the cost of natural and national wealth? We are all planting trees, you are all cutting them. “If you destroy entire forests, what is that you leave for the next generation? Ultimately, everything goes out. The governments can’t work like computers, they have to apply their mind,” the Bench observed. It asked both the governments to place on record all relevant records before the court by the next hearing and also conduct a joint survey of the area. The case pertained to grant of lease in a 10-hectare area near Sandur. Notice to state and KIADB A division Bench ordered notices to the government, KIADB , former Maddur MLA D C Thammanna and several former directors and engineers of KIADB on a PIL filed by G Madegowda, former MP from Mandya. The petitioner sought a CBI probe claiming excess compensation was awarded for acquisition of 427 acres of land for Toyota-Kirloskar Motors Ltd near Bidadi. The probe request was also for follow-up action on a report which indicated Rs 17.97 crore excess payment in excavation and levelling of that land. Women in bars: ruling reserved Justice D V Shylendra Kumar reserved his order on petitions filed by bar owners and a few women challenging provisions of state excise rules which prevent employing women in bars. toiblr.reporter@timesgroup.com
3 Sep 2008, 0700 hrs IST,TNN

18 of 32 PILs filed on environment
PANAJI: Of the 32 public interest litigations filed against the government from 2005 to 2008 in the high court of Bombay at Goa, 18 are in respect of environmental matters. In these 18 PILs, either the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) or Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) has been made party by the petitioner. While 13 PILs have the GCZMA as respondent, only 5 have the GSPCB as respondent. Of the 18 petitions, 12 have been disposed off by the court and 4 are still pending. These figures were revealed at the recently concluded Assembly. The PILs against the state government have increased from 4 in 2005 to 15 in 2007. In this year itself 5 PILs have already been filed. However, it is pertinent to note that there was no PIL filed in the high court in respect of environment matters in 2005. In 2006, there were two PILs filed regarding environmental issues, which shot up to 13 in 2007. In 2008, three PILs were filed and two of them had the GSPCB as respondent.
3 Sep 2008, 0327 hrs IST,TNN

Encroachments galore at Akalgarh market in Chaura Bazar
Ludhiana, September 02 Ten feet shops in the Akalgarh market have encroached encroachment around 20-feet space outside their shops. Some have either displayed goods outside their shops while others have given the space on rent to a private vendor.
The market, which has around 750 shops, does not have any space for free movement.
Fed up with this arrangement, about 15 shopkeepers of the market have filed a PIL against the encroachers for which the status report will be presented in the court on September 19. An MC team had visited the market in the past two weeks and issued warnings to the erring traders but to no avail.
The members of Akalgarh Market Bachao Sangrash Committee, who have also filed this PIL, said,” Because of the encroachments at the ground floor, the shopkeepers at upper floors get no business. Moreover, goods can no longer be taken upstairs as there is no space to walk around in the market.”
Kartar Singh Patna, Chairman of the committee and general secretary of Lok Jan Shakti Party, Punjab, said,” We did bring the issue to the notice of the MC authorities long ago but then they were not interested. They often used to give an excuse that it is a private market. On August 29, erring shopkeepers were told to remove their goods from the site. However, nothing has been done till date.”
Manpreet Singh Bunty, another member, added, “The traders who have their shops on the first floor have no business. Many of them are planning to sell their shops as they are finding it difficult to survive in the market.”
Not more than 20 shopkeepers have encroached the two main entrances of the market as they get hefty rentals between Rs 2,000 and Rs 20,000.
Raakhi Jagga
Posted online: Sep 03, 2008 at 0337 hrs

Court slams the high and mighty for hijacking criminal trials
New Delhi, September 2: The issue of the high and mighty hijacking criminal justice delivery system by winning over crucial witnesses on Tuesday came under the scrutiny of a Delhi court which convicted Sanjeev Nanda in the BMW hit-and-run case.
“The entire criminal justice system should sit up to find effective ways and means to tackle a situation where wealthy and highly-placed persons are able to thwart the entire course of justice and later claim benefit of the doubt as a matter of right,” Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Kumar said.
The court said “Such trials posed greater questions as to what was the meaning of fair trial and how should the court proceed when the witnesses are being won over and the trial is being hijacked by the high and mighty.”
Dismissing a plea of Nanda seeking benefit of the doubt in the event of key witnesses turning hostile, the court said “The principle of weighing cannot be applied here because this was an example where the entire trial has been hijacked by the rich and influential accused persons.”
It also slammed the investigating officer for “deliberately indulging in perfunctory investigation which caused serious prejudice to the prosecution case.”
Praising the media, the court said, “This is a trial in which the entire criminal justice system crumbled, though a hope for justice still remained because of the watchful eyes of vigilant fourth estate.”
Posted online: Sep 02, 2008 at 2104 hrs

HC tells RNRL to submit part of gas supply pact
Following Monday’s discussions on the ‘family agreement’ or the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ambani brothers in the case between Reliance Industries (RIL) and Reliance Natural Resources (RNRL) in the Bombay High Court, the court on Tuesday has asked RNRL to produce a portion of the MoU relating to the gas supply master agreement (GSMA). This is since it’s difficult to produce the entire copy of the MoU.
RNRL is ready to produce part of the MoU that deals with the proposed gas supply master agreement, its lawyer Ram Jethmalani said. The hearing has been now adjourned to September 30.
However, the RIL lawyer said that RNRL must file a separate application if it wanted to produce the MoU—not part of the record until now—and only then will RIL take a stand on it. While RNRL contends that the terms of the MoU are binding on both the parties and have a bearing on the scheme of the demerger, RIL disputes this position.
The MoU was signed by the two Ambani brothers and their mother Kokilaben prior to the split-up of the Reliance group between the two brothers. In the course of the argument on Tuesday, the division bench of Justice JN Patel and KK Tated remarked that, “a part of the MoU may be made available to the court.” However, the court did not seek it immediately.
The court, while adjourning the hearing for September 30, asked the parties to make submissions as to whether the MoU could be admitted as an evidence at this stage, when it was not a part of the record before the earlier judge.
RIL is set to begin gas production from KG-D6 from
September, at an initial rate of 25 million standard cubic meters per day, climbing up to 40 mmscmd by March 2009 but with the court restraint, it has not been able to enter into sale contracts.
Corporate BureauPosted: Sep 03, 2008

Judicial officers cannot be prosecuted : HC
Madurai, Sep 2 : The Madras High Court Bench here today held that judicial officers could not be prosecuted for any wrong judgement as they enjoyed legal immunity in respect of their judicial work.
Justice K Chandru made the observation while dismissing a writ petition seeking sanction to initiate prosecution against a Judicial Magistrate and an Additional District Judge for a ‘wrong’ judgement resulting in imprisonment of the petitioner.
The judge said judicial officers had been given protection by Judicial Officers’ Protection Act, 1850. The Petitioner, by filing a criminal case against the judicial officers for having discharged their judicial work, could not invoke the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code to prosecute them.
The petitioner had already failed to get sanction for prosecution (of judicial officers) from lower courts and hence could not approach this court with a prayer for the same.
If the petitioner felt that he was maliciously prosecuted, the remedy open to him was to sue the persons who were in charge of investigation and prosecution and not the judicial officer who determined the case.
There was hirerchy of courts to correct the errors committed the lower judiciary and the petitioner himself was a beneficiary of revisional powers of the high court, he said.
The Judge said the only way the peititioner could seek some relief was to complain to the Chief Justice against such judicial officers who had acted injudiciously in any matter.
Petitioner J.Selvaraj submitted that a magistrate convicted and sentenced him on the charge of mischief and criminal intimidation. On appeal, the Sessions Judge modified the sentence. But, the high court acquitted him. – Agencies
Published: Tuesday, September 02, 2008

HC takes serious note of attendance records at IP University
New Delhi: Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU) has been summoned by the Delhi High Court regarding the attendance records of law students. The apex court has also issued a contempt notice against the institute.The Court said that the varsity had disregarded the rules laid down by the Bar Council of India (BCI) and the guidelines issued by the court earlier.A contempt petition was filed by two professors, who claimed that the university had promoted students whose attendance was less than 66 percent, the minimum criteria affixed by the BCI.An explanation from university officials including the Vice Chancellor, Dean, Registrar and Controller of Examination has been demanded by Justice S.N. Dhingra over the mater.”The university should file an affidavit stating the names of students who had not fulfilled the attendance criteria and what was their attendance at the end of the semester before taking additional classes”, Justice Dhingra said.Defending its move, the university said that extra classes had been arranged for students whose attendance fell short of 66 percent so that they could make up for the lost sessions.
September 02, 2008

HC : Convene panchayat meeting
Madurai, Sept 1: The Madras High Court today directed the Tiruchendur Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) to convene the Udangudi Village Panchayat Council meeting within three weeks, to enable the councillors to proceed with the no confidence motion they have submitted against the Panchayat Chairman on Jan 14, 2008.
Justice K Chandru said the meeting could be convened under provisions of the Tamil Nadu Panchayat Act, 1994, after quashing the RDO’s order rejecting the no confidence motion.
The petitioner C Gunasekaran, a councillor, submitted that the elected members of the panchayat initially proposed a no confidence motion against the Chairman, who had been indulged in irregularities on November five, 2007.
However, the Tamil Nadu government brought an amendment which said that any no confidence motion pending before the authority against the Chairman or Vice Chairman of a village or district panchayat should be abated and no confidence motion could not be brought in the first year itslef.
Hence the RDO said the no confidence motion of the councillors stood abated.
When the councillors brought the second no confidence motion on Jan 14, 2008, the RDO rejected the same on the ground that it was the second no confidence motion in a year’s time.
The judge said as the first no confidence motion had been abated, the second no confidence motion should be taken as the first one after a period of one year – Agencies
Published: Tuesday, September 02, 2008

HC reserves order on women bartenders plea
Bangalore: The Karnataka High Court today reserved order on a batch of petitions, seeking a direction to the state government to permit women to work as bartenders in the state. The petitioners Roopa and Anasuya submitted that the Excise Act, prohibiting women being employed in places where liquor is served, should be amended and women be allowed to work in bars and restaurants. Sanjay and Jayaram, owners of bars and restaurants, in their petition contended that they have no objection to provide jobs to women if permission was granted. Justice Shailendra Kumar, who heard counsel for the parties and also the state s advocate general Udaya Holla, reserved his orders on the matter. Holla said the matter involved security concerns for women if they were allowed to work.Source : PTI
Tuesday, September 02, 2008 22:22 [IST]

Daily Legal News 17/16.09.2008

Cong takes U-turn on terror law issue
New Delhi, Sep 17 (PTI) Taking a U-turn, the Congress today said it was in favour of a strong law on terror with sufficient safeguard.”We need a strong law on terror and also a federal agency to investigate into the cases of terror,” Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan told reporters here.Earlier, the UPA government has been of the view that the existing laws were adequate to deal with terrorism and crimes having inter-state links.The demand of Congress comes in the wake of a similar calls for stringent law against terrorism by several parties including the BJP, which raised the issue during its recent national executive committee in Bangalore.The Administrative Reform Commission (ARC) chaired by Congress leader M Veerappa Moily in its reports too had recommended for a tough law on terror. PTI

Shopkeepers allowed to demolish illegal structures
CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Tuesday said unauthorised constructions by the members of the Ranganathan Street Merchants Association should be demolished by shopkeepers themselves after the Chennai Corporation marks the area as unauthorised.
This followed a writ petition by the association, represented by its secretary, N. Sukumar, in which it was submitted that the Corporation had orally instructed Asma Stores, Afsan Dresses and Suresh Watch Co, members of the association, to demolish the shops on the ground of encroachment without giving notice to them. The said shopkeepers had not made any encroachment. If at all any encroachment had been made, it was by one foot. The shopkeepers were willing to demolish the portion of the building which they had encroached as they feared that the Corporation would demolish the entire building, causing loss to the shopkeepers.
The petitioner said the Corporation’s threat to demolish the buildings of the shopkeepers was illegal and arbitrary. The authorities had failed to consider that a writ petition regarding encroachments on Ranganathan Street, T.Nagar, was pending before the court.
The association prayed the court to direct the corporation not to demolish the buildings of the three shopkeepers and the other members of the association. Disposing of the petition, the First Bench comprising Chief Justice A.K.Ganguly and Justice F.M.Ibrahim Kalifulla said the authorities would mark the area which had been unauthorisedly constructed and would ask the petitioner to demolish the same immediately. Thereafter, the petitioner should demolish the same on its own within two days.
If that was not done within the period, Corporation officials could demolish the offending structures.
The same direction would apply in respect of signboards and other such things which are protruding on the road. The said signboards should also be demolished on the basis of the direction, the Bench said.
Wednesday, Sep 17, 2008
Special Correspondent

SC Throws Out PIL on Flood Issue
The Supreme Court on Tuesday threw out a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) earlier filed by an NGO Yuva Shakti seeking a probe into the alleged criminal negligence by the Bihar government that led to the breach in Kusaha dam on Kosi resulting in this year’s devastating flood.Chief Justice K. G. Balakrishnan and Justice P. Sathasivam, after asking the lawyer of the petitioner if a preliminary investigation was conducted to establish the charges prior to bringing it to the Supreme Court, dismissed the case when the lawyer answered in negative.Since the allegations are based on some newspaper report with no facts to support them, the court deems the case without any merit and therefore would not entertain it at this time, the Court said.
Patna: Sept. 16, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008

SC rejects PIL against Bihar officials on Kosi floods
The Supreme Court dismissed a PIL seeking an investigation into the alleged criminal negligence by the concerned officials and bureaucrats of Bihar to fix responsibility for the devastating floods in the state, which uprooted millions of people.A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam refused to entertain the petition of Yuwa Shakti, an NGO, holding that the Court cannot interfere in such matters.The Court asked the counsel for the petitioner whether the petitioner made some investigation to find out if the state administration was negligent.The apex court also told G P Singh, counsel for the petitioner, that the petition was based only on press cuttings.The Kosi embankments had given way on Nepal side on August 18, leading to devastating floods which left hundreds dead and about 30 lakh people marooned and homeless in 15 districts of Bihar.Mr Singh, however, demanded an independent inquiry, alleging that the chief engineers had informed the state government authorities well in advance on August 6 that the embankments had been badly damaged and might give way any time. Notwithstanding that, no necessary steps had been taken.UNI

Code of conduct for lower court judges
MUMBAI: District court judges and other subordinate judicial officers may have to watch what they do when High Court judges and the Chief Justice of a High Court come a-visiting. Prompted by the embarrassing multi-crore provident fund scam that broke out in a UP court, the Chief Justice of India (CJI) sent out a 12-point ‘model code of conduct for subordinate judicial officers in connection with visits of Chief Justice and judges of the High Court,’ with a request that all high courts adopt and enforce it. The Bombay High Court, in its full-house judges’ meeting recently adopted the unprecedented disciplinary code as it is. As a result, among a dozen ‘donts’ no judicial officer shall now “receive, see-off or visit a visiting Chief Justice or high court judges during court hours.” Significantly, the CJI has had to spell out that ‘no judicial officer or court servant will offer or provide any gift or hospitality to a HC judge or CJ.’ Also ‘No district court judge or magistrate will arrange any private trip, including excursions or visits to religious places for visiting HC judges or a CJ, nor will they arrange for any hotel, food or transport for such visiting HC judges, their staff or security personnel.” Just last week the UP police identified 34 sitting judges, including an SC judge, as among those allegedly involved in the embezzlement of provident funds of class IV employees of Ghaziabad court. This development, just last week led Solicitor General Goolam Vahanvati and senior advocate Anil Dewan to cite falling standards and question the desirability of continuing the immunity judges enjoy from prosecution. A three judge SC bench hearing a plea on the issue observed that “the rot has set in” and that it was time to stem it wondering, however, whether the existing mechanism could still be effective.
17 Sep 2008, 0227 hrs IST, Swati Deshpande,TNN

Arrest BMW crash driver if need be, says HC
New Delhi, September 16 Five days after management student Utsav Bhasin, 21, allegedly rammed his BMW on two youths, which left one dead on Saturday, the police today told the High Court that it had framed a non-bailable charge under IPC Section 304: culpabale homicide not amounting to murder.
Bhasin is accused of hitting Anuj Aditya Chauhan, 25, and friend Mrigank Srivastava — Chauhan, riding pillion on Srivastava’s bike, succumbed to injuries at AIIMS on Saturday.
Arrested day after the accident, Bhasin secured bail within hours since the police had booked him only for rash driving and endangering human life by causing “grievous hurt”. If found guilty under these provisions of IPC, Bhasin would have faced a maximum of two years in jail. Now, though, the maximum imprisonment can be up to 10 years under Section 304 IPC — the same charges under which Sanjeev Nanda was booked.
“We have amended the FIR and added Section 304 against the accused. Now it is for the trial court to decide under which section he is to be prosecuted,” the Delhi Police’s counsel submitted before Justice Veena Birbal.
The court, in turn told the police that they can “always arrest him (Bhasin) — it is a non-bailable offence. The respondent (Bhasin) can approach the court for bail.”
The High Court has already sought a response from police and the accused on a petition filed by victim’s father Rajender Singh, seeking cancellation of Bhasin’s bail.
Bhasin moved the court of Additional Sessions Judge Brijesh Garg for advance bail hours after the hearing at High Court.
His counsel Ramesh Gupta told the court, “There is no need to arrest the accused because all procedural formalities, including his medical tests, have already been carried out by police.”
ASJ Ravinder Kaur will take up Bhasin’s application on Wednesday.
The victim’s father, meanwhile, said “We are satisfied with the court’s intervention. We are hoping for justice — both from the courts and the police.”
Express News Service
Posted: Sep 17, 2008 at 0014 hrs IST

Ex-Gurkhas take immigration fight to London court
LONDON (Reuters) – Former Gurkha soldiers from Nepal demonstrated outside the High Court in London on Tuesday before the latest round of their legal bid to win the right to retire in Britain.
To the sound of bagpipes, they carried a portrait of Queen Elizabeth and waved Union Jack flags and banners demanding “Justice and Equality” as they gathered with hundreds of supporters.
The famed regiment of Nepalese soldiers has fought for Britain since 1815, most recently in Iraq, Afghanistan and the former Yugoslavia.
The soldiers, first recruited by colonial rulers in India in the 19th century as a “martial race” known for their bravery, have mounted a challenge against a ruling that means those who retired before 1997 have no automatic right to live in Britain.
Lawyer Edward Fitzgerald, representing five retired Gurkhas and the widow of a sixth, said four of the soldiers were barred from entering Britain because their headquarters were in Hong Kong and they lacked strong ties with this country.
“To say this is to ignore the history of the Gurkhas. And it is to ignore the special debt this country owes to all Gurkhas, past and present, whatever their brigade’s location, and whatever their date of discharge,” Fitzgerald told the court, the Press Association said.
All other foreign soldiers in the British Army can settle in Britain after four years’ service anywhere in the world. About 2,000 Gurkhas are affected by the current rules.
The hearing is expected to last two days, although the result is unlikely to be announced for several weeks.
The Gurkhas have also struggled for years for equal pension rights which, for those who retired before 1997, are about a quarter of the level paid to those who served after that time.
© Thomson Reuters 2008 All rights reserved
Tue Sep 16, 2008 5:10pm IST

SC upholds judicial recruitment in UP
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has upheld the legality of judicial recruitment in Uttar Pradesh in 2008. A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Justice P Sathasivam and Justice J M Panchal said, “ going by the information submitted by the high court (Allahabad high court) regarding the 2008 selection, we are satisfied that the rules have been complied with.” The court upheld the legality of such selection which were made in accordance with the UP higher judicial service rules of 2007. The members of the Uttar Pradesh judicial service and up judicial officers association had moved the apex court challenging legality of such selection giving retrospective effect to the amended rules. Rejecting the plea of petitioners, the court said, “we do not find much force in the contention advanced by the petitioners especially in view of the information furnished by the high court as regards the recruitment that had taken place in 2008.” Prior to the amended rules, for filling up vacancies of higher judicial service there were only two sources — 85% of the posts would be filled up by promotion based on the principle of seniority-cum-merit and 15% of the vacancies were to be filled up by direct recruitment from members of the bar. But the state government in pursuance of an apex court order had amended the rule. According to it, there were three sources of recruitment — 50% of the vacancies to be filled up by promotion from civil judges (senior division) on the basis of principle of merit-cum-seniority and passing a suitability test; 25% by promotion strictly on the basis of merit through a limited competitive examination of civil judges (senior division) having not less than five years qualifying service; and by direct recruitment from among advocates of not less than seven years experience. Though these rules were notified on January 9, 2007, it was given effect to from March 21, 2002. The petitioners had said that had the vacancies been filled up on the basis of the unamended rules, at least some of them would have got promotion as of right and not based on the principle of merit-cum- seniority which is incorporated in the amended rules. Further, prior to the commencement of these rules, 85 % of the vacancies could have been filled up by promotion, he contended.
17 Sep, 2008, 0331 hrs IST,Sanjay K Singh, ET Bureau

Long tenancy no protection from eviction: SC
NEW DELHI: In the latest among a series of pro-landlord judgments, Supreme Court has ruled that long years of tenancy cannot be a shield against eviction from shops and houses when the owner’s need for using the premises is bona fide. The judgment, handed down by a Bench comprising Justices C K Thakker and L S Panta, is expected to empower landlords in driving home their bona fide needs before the rent control authorities to dislodge tenants who have been citing long years of tenancy and absence of alternative. “It is no doubt true that the tenancy (in this case) was created about 50 years back but that should not be a ground for depriving the landlord for doing business if the requirement of the landlord is bona fide and reasonable,” it said. The court also held that to resist eviction, a tenant had to show that he made sincere attempts to find alternative accommodation. It could be that a tenant might have to pay a higher rent if he shifted to a new shop, but “that would not preclude the landlord from getting possession of the shop once he had proved genuine need of the property”, the Bench said. The judgment comes on the heels of two significant verdicts given early this year by the apex court. The first ruling came in February and gave a landlord the right to evict a tenant if the latter had sublet the rented premises without owner’s consent. The second one, in April, struck down a 50-year-old restraint clause in the Delhi Rent Act and gave landlords the right to evict tenants holding on to shops and business establishments in prime commercial areas while paying a pittance as rent. In addition to these rulings, in December last year, SC had put two onerous conditions on tenants if they wished to continue in the premises — they must behave well with the landlord and take reasonable care of the premises. This current case came from Dehradun and saw the tenant citing all possible grounds to continue running a shop from the rented premises. The landlord, Shamshad Ahmed, had sought eviction on the ground that he was retiring from government service and wanted to open a readymade garment store in the premises with the help of his wife and daughter. The tenant said he had been running a grocery store from the premises for nearly 50 years and eviction would mean unimaginable hardship on him.
17 Sep 2008, 0118 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra,TNN

For promotion, merit matters more than seniority: SC
NEW DELHI: Pitching strongly in favour of the meritorious, the Supreme Court has ruled that for promotional posts to be filled on “merit alone” basis, seniority of an aspirant is of no avail as the number of years of service loses its weight completely in the face of merit. This means, if two government servants holding the same post — one junior and the other senior — aspiring for promotion through the “merit only” channel to the next rank having one vacancy, then the junior could be promoted if he is found more meritorious than the senior. The ruling came in a case pertaining to the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) which was accused by one Ayodhya Prasad Mishra that though he secured more marks in the examination conducted by the departmental promotion committee and placed in the Executive Engineer-I category, he was not promoted to the post of Superintending Engineer, which went to a senior despite the latter having secured less marks and placed in the Executive Engineer-II category. Dismissing UPPCL’s appeal against an Allahabad High Court order, a Bench comprising Justices C K Thakker and L S Panta said: “There is no doubt in our mind that if any executive engineer who has been placed in category-I and is available for the promotional post of superintending engineer, no executive engineer who is included in category-II can be considered for such promotion even if the latter is senior.” Justice Thakker said it was well settled that Article 14 of the Constitution, which guaranteed right to equality, prohibited a person or a class of persons from being singled out from others similarly situated or circumstanced for discrimination.
17 Sep 2008, 0015 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra,TNN

HC takes serious note of sale of spurious drugs in UP
Allahabad, Sept 16: Taking a serious note of the sale of spurious drugs in Uttar Pradesh, the Allahabad High Court today sought a detailed affidavit from state authorities on the steps taken in the last one year to curb the menace. The court has asked Director General of Police, the Director General (Medical and Health) and the Drug Controller, to give a detailed account of measures taken to deal with sale of spurious drugs. The order was passed by a Division Bench comprising Justice Amar Saran and Justice S C Nigam, which fixed October 13 as the next date of hearing in the matter. The court was hearing a writ petition filed by Brahmaji, a resident of Bihar who runs a medicine shop in Kushinagar and against whom an FIR had been lodged accusing him of dealing in spurious drugs. The court, however, refused to provide any relief to the petitioner and ordered that he be arrested immediately. Bureau Report

Sanjeev Nanda BMW case: Three co-accused file appeal in HC
New Delhi, Sept 16: Rajeev Gupta and two of his employees, sentenced to one year imprisonment for destroying evidence in the high profile BMW hit-and-run case, on Tuesday filed their appeal in the Delhi High court challenging the trial court’s conviction order. Gupta, a 63-year-old business man, along with his employees — Bhola Nath and Shyam Singh — were sentenced to a simple imprisonment of one year on September 5. However, the court released them on bail till the time of filing of their appeals. Prime accused Sanjeev Nanda, son of arms dealer Suresh Nanda, was sentenced to five years imprisonment for killing six people, including three policemen, under his BMW on January 10,1999. Filing the appeal, Gupta alleged that the trial court judge has convicted them without any cogent material as evidence against them. The judge has passed the order solely on the statement of police witnesses, he added. Pleading before the court to suspend the sentence and confirm the bail, already granted by the sessions court, Gupta said that he is a heart patient and has undergone by-pass surgery four times. He is a diabetic person and his blood pressure remains unstable, Gupta also said. According to the prosecution, on January 10, 1999 early morning after the accident Nanda, who was on driver’s seat and is presently lodged in Tihar jail, had driven down his BMW car to 50, Golf Links, the house of his friend Sidharth Gupta. Sidharth, son of Rajiv Gupta, and Manik Kapoor were allegedly travelling in the BMW car at the time of the accident. When at about 6.30 am, the police reached 50 Golf Links following the oil trail from the accident vehicle, they found that Rajiv Gupta had engaged his employees Bhola Nath and Shyam Singh for washing off blood stains from the car. Bureau Report

Punjab and Haryana HC admits petition of Capt. Amarinder challenging expulsion
The Punjab and Haryana High Court while pronouncing its order reserved on September 12 admitted the writ petition filed by former Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh and fixed December 1 as the final date of hearing.The writ petition challenging his expulsion came up for hearing before the division bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Gel and Ajay Tewari. The bench while pronouncing its judgement issued notice to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha through the secretary to file its response to the petition on or before October 31 and the rejoinder that might be filed by the petitioner by November 15.The Bench, however, ordered an interim stay on the direction of the Vidhan Sabha which said that custodial interrogation of Capt Singh and others was essential in the Amritsar Improvement Trust land scam case. The Bench made it clear that this interim order did not prevent the investigating officer to conduct custodial interrogation in accordance with law if considered otherwise necessary. Capt Singh was expelled from the Vidhan Sabha for the rest of its term on the last day of the monsoon session, September 10 after a House Committee found him guilty in the 32.10 acre land scam case that took place during his chief minister ship tenure. Besides Capt Singh other indicted in the land scam were former ministers, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh and late Raghunath Sahay Puri and former Amritsar Improvement Trust Chairman Jugal Kishore Sharma.A resolution adopted by the Assembly also recommended registration of a corruption case against Capt Singh and others and a probe by the state Vigilance Bureau. The Vigilance Bureau already registered a case under various sections of the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act against Capt Singh and six others at Mohali.UNI

Nissan Motors appeal rejected, HC to hear Chowdhury case
Kolkata (PTI) : The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by Nissan Motors challenging its jurisdiction to hear a prayer by fastest circumnavigator of the globe and Indian record-holder, Saloo Chowdhury, who has sought Rs 122-crore compensation from the Japanese car-maker.
A division bench comprising Justice Pinaki Ghose and Justice S P Mitra rejected the appeal upholding Chowdhury’s right to file the case here.
Chowdhury has claimed that Nissan had used pictures and details of his circumnavigation in a Nissan Sunny car in pamphlets and advertisement features without his permission.
Alleging breach of trust and privacy, Chowdhury, has sought damages of Rs 122 crore from Nissan Motors and moved the Calcutta High Court.
Nissan challenged the prayer claiming that no Indian court had jurisdiction as the company was not registered here. It also claimed that the prayer was frivolous in nature.
A trial court had rejected the plea, following which Nissan Motors moved an appeal before a division bench.
The suit by Chowdhury seeking damages would now be heard here.
Saloo Chowdhury had in 1994 circumnavigated the world in 39 days using a Nissan Sunny car, which he had personally bought, his counsels Jayanta Mitra and Ranjan Bachawat said.
“This is a world record and I did it defeating a British army team,” Chowdhury said.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008

BMW accident: HC notice to police over bail granted to accused
New Delhi, Sept 16 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today said the offence of Utsav Bhasin, accused of mowing down a person with a BMW car on September 11, is non-bailable and issued a notice to the city police on a petition seeking cancellation of bail granted to him.Delhi police submitted before Justice Veena Birbal that additional charges under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) have been framed against Bhasin after the death of victim, Anuj Singh, a BPO employee, who succumbed to his injuries on September 12.The court, after hearing the contention, said police can take appropriate action as the offence is non-bailable.”You (Police) can always arrest him (Bhasin). It a non-bailable offence. The respondent (Bhasin) can approach the court for bail,” Justice Birbal said while asking the police and the accused to file their replies on the petition filed by Rajender Singh, the father of the deceased.Singh had approached the High Court seeking its direction to cancel Bhasin’s bail alleging that he might tamper with evidence.Police had already seized the Bhasin’s passport on the direction of the Delhi High Court. PTI

HC asks mother to live with daughter, son-in-law
Mumbai, September 15: The Bombay High Court on Monday asked a woman to stay with her daughter and son-in-law, in a bid to save the daughter’s marriage.
Division bench of Justice B H Marlapalle and D B Bhosale earlier persuaded the husband to resume living with the wife for their handicapped son’s sake.
The husband, S Mashelkar, obtained divorce from wife on the ground of mental cruelty two years ago. The wife, however, challenged it before High Court.
The couple has a five-year-old son, who suffers from hearing and speech impairment.
When case came to the High Court, court asked the husband if he was willing to live with the divorced wife, at least for a few months, so that court may decide on child’s custody issue. Wife is currently living in husband’s rented flat.
Mashelkar said he was willing to give it a try. Court then asked wife’s mother to move in with the couple, so as to help their rapprochement.
Court also asked husband to approach the court immediately if there was any trouble from wife’s side.
The court directed that the child be examined by doctors and a report be filed in the court in six weeks. After that court will pass order regarding his treatment and the custody.
Posted: Sep 16, 2008 at 1026 hrs IST

Silence doesn’t absolve accused of guilt, says HC
MUMBAI: Holding that an accused in a criminal trial must explain his conduct and that his silence is no defence, a division bench of the Bombay high court has confirmed life behind bars for a man charged with murdering his wife. A lower court had awarded the life term in January 2007. Aziz Khan was the only person present with his wife Sajedabi when she died of drowning in a well. Khan remained completely silent on the circumstances under which she died and said nothing in his defence to suggest if it was an accident or a suicide. Justice N V Dabholkar and S S Shinde noted that “there was no eyewitness to the incident and the exact manner in which the husband killed (the) wife could not be brought on record by the prosecution.” They also observed that because of his silence, Khan had failed to advance “some other possible hypothesis’ ‘ to suggest that he did not murder Sajedabi. “Silence of the accused is more eloquent than a lengthy speech,” the judges said. Khan, a resident of Aurangabad, got married to Sajedabi in 2000 and the couple had a one-year-old son. Their marital life was smooth until six months before Sajedabi’s death on February 23, 2004. Her relatives alleged that Khan had started demanding Rs 25,000 to pay for the sinking of a well and often ill-treated her on that count. However, the defence pointed out that no actual complaint of harassment was lodged by Sajedabi or her family. Khan also said Sajedabi’s relatives had deposed against him because he had not met their demand for money. Barely half-an-hour before Sajedabi’s death, a neighbour called Karbhari met her and Khan and exchanged pleasantries with them. Later, Karbhari told the court that there was nothing in Sajedabi’s manner that day to suggest that she was disturbed or wanted to commit suicide. The high court also considered that the well in which Sajedabi drowned had a parapet wall around it and the possibility of an accidental fall could be ruled out from the evidence at hand. The judges said the onus was, therefore, on Khan to explain the unnatural death of his wife. “On this aspect, he has observed total silence,” the court said. Khan did not say whether he had a fight with Sajedabi after they met Karbhari and she rushed to the well to commit suicide or if there was an accident. kartikeya.tripathi@timesgroup.com
16 Sep 2008, 0639 hrs IST, Kartikeya ,TNN

It’s easy to delay trials in India: CJI
NEW DELHI: With a whopping 2.5 crore cases pending in trial courts, of which more than 1.8 crore are criminal cases, this statement from Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan — “it is easy to delay criminal trials in India” — would fan misgivings about the snail-paced justice delivery system. This damning observation — more of a confessional one — came from the CJI, when he, sitting with Justice P Sathasivam, was dealing with a PIL seeking to fast-track cases against the high and mighty. The CJI was reluctant to fast-track cases on the basis of personalities involved in the crime. He was for identifying serious offences, especially those being investigated by CBI, and entrusting them to special courts for expeditious trial and disposal. Appearing for petitioner V K Ohri, advocate Prashant Bhushan said if the cases involving important public functionaries — like MPs and secretaries — were put on the fast-track, and the high courts started monitoring the progress of trial in the subordinate courts, the pendency could be tackled in two years time. Disagreeing with Bhushan, Justice Balakrishnan said: “Criminal trials are getting delayed because the accused challenges every order of the trial court in the HC and fights it even up to the SC. It is very easy under our system to get trials delayed. What can HC do?” An exasperated Bhushan, stung by the unusually candid statement from the CJI, said: “If it is very easy to delay the trials, then we need to do something urgently to address this.” When the counsel kept pressing for fast-tracking the cases involving the high and mighty, the CJI said: “There are a large number of corruption cases investigated by the CBI. The fast tracking is not done on the basis of personalities involved but on the seriousness of the crime.” However, he made public his decision to write to all state governments to create more CBI courts to make possible faster disposal of cases investigated by the agency which were generally of serious nature. “In most of the states, there is only one CBI Judge. I have written to the governments and the high courts for creation of more CBI courts — at least five or six — headed by a special judge to allow speedy completion of pending trials,” the Bench said.
16 Sep 2008, 0316 hrs IST,TNN

Attack against Indian culture and media’s role- III
Media, nowadays has become so irresponsible that they show everything and anything that they want to show. Even before the court holds a person guilty, the media begins its own trial and labels him/her as the accused..
Indian Saints or Indian Culture?
IF ONE diminishes an image of a saint then it would definitely have an impact on his followers and their belief in that saint gets shattered. In turn, they will get divided and may select a wrong way. These people get vulnerable and can be easily molded. Hence, anti social elements, in turn, will become successful in destroying our culture. Bapu has millions of followers and if they succeed in their attempt then they will divide millions of people. Hence, by attacking popular saints, one can easily divide the unity between their followers and in turn can break the Indian culture. They want to take dharma out of this country and wants to weaken this country. Wise, sensible and intellectual people know that this country cannot survive without dharma. Dharma is the only thing that is uniting us and guiding us in many ways and showing us different ways to live life and become successful. Now the people/group/agency who wants to break the integrity of this nation has a soft target in front of them and that is to attack religious saints. They know that because of them, most Indians are united and are following religion and doing good things in life and are being part of India’s success. They want us to consume coke, pepsi and these kinds of things so that it weakens our health, which makes one stunted both physically and mentally. That is the reason when Swami Ramdev openly condemned the use of soft drinks, he was then attacked as per the plan. Major reason was that due to the popularity of Swami Ramdev, the sales of these companies dropped very heavily. Just for your knowledge, the quantities of contents that are included in these soft drinks in India are much different from what it is in America or other Western countries.
Hence, it is a very broad issue and it needs to be investigated religiously. The attack is not only against our saints but also against our culture, which is the strongest in the world.Role of the media
The role of media is also very suspicious in this matter, which again raises many doubts in our mind. If you recollect, when the allegations against Shankaracharya were made then it was the breaking news for almost all the news channels and they were focussed on the issue for almost about a week. They completely tried to diminish the image of Shankaracharya claiming that he had an affair with a woman and charges of sexual assault and murder were slapped against him. At that time, people said that he should not get bail and instead should get life sentence. However, after the court proceedings when he was proved innocent, no media channel showed that he is innocent. Have you ever thought why?
Same thing happened when nothing was found in Swami Ramdev’s medicines. The media hyped the issue so much as if he has committed some murder and again it was a breaking news for them. However, later when nothing was proved then the news channels did not even say that the Swami was innocent. Media never telecast the good deeds that are being done by Babu’s various ashrams spread all over India. Free clothes, food, money, which are distributed by the ashram on regular basis to poor people all over India have never been showed by the media. The cent percent result of the gurukuls has never been reported by the media. They just know how to diminish the image of religious saints and that too without any evidence and without knowing the facts.
Media or trial courts
Media, nowadays has become so irresponsible that they show everything and anything that they want to show. As per the law, media has to show the version of the person against whom they are showing/writing in their respective channels/newspapers. However, they hardly follow this law. It seems that media has now become our country’s new judicial arm. Without knowing the facts they start their trial on the person and accuse him/her for the crime.
Even the Chief Justice of India (CJI) KG Balakrishnan had mentioned in one of the programmes that ’media trial’ of pending cases is a wrong practice. Reporting unverified reports by newspapers and TV news channels poses a danger to free and fair constitutional judicial process. The manner in which modern media and telecommunications intrude into a person’s life causes embarrassment to that person. The media trial, conveying public opinion in favour of one side or the other, particularly in criminal matters, has become increasingly frequent in recent times. Even before the court trial begins, the accused is shown as guilty. This questions the very premise on which the judicial system is based upon— the right of every party involved in a court proceeding to have his case adjudicated in a free, fair and unbiased manner.
It is the responsibility of every person associated with the media to act responsibly with a sense of duty towards society and the nation. In fact, journalists are ’vigilant watchdogs of civil liberties’. The right of the media to report court proceedings emanated from the right of the citizen to know. The media also has the duty to report fairly, objectively and accurately. CJI also mentioned that the media should be wary of allowing itself to become a vehicle for exerting ’mass pressure’ as opposed to a ’mere expression of mass opinion’.
Food for thought
What I strongly believe is that nothing concrete will come out in the false case against Swami.
Media is unnecessary hyping this issue to increase their channels’ television ratings points (TRP) and once the issue gets resolved they will find another story to feed on. Their only motive is to show what they want to show and diminish the image of saints. Are they doing it under somebody else’s guidance? Is there a nexus of these people? These questions are for us to think about and let us pray that an unbiased investigation gets done in these cases and the real picture comes out. I also hope that this whole episode will turn into a blessing for all of us and results in a more powerful and strong Indian culture. At the end, we should also not forget Newton’s law that for ’every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction’. Hence, one should not test our patience level.
CJ: Gautam Mehta ,

No SC stay on HC order debarring Anand, Khan
New Delhi: For Senior advocates R K Anand and I U Khan, facing the ignominy of being barred from practising in the Delhi High Court (HC) after being held guilty of contempt of court for trying to influence a BMW case witness, this stinging observation from Supreme Court (SC) on Monday did not augur well.
Hearing advocate K K Jha ‘Kamal’, who is challenging a Jharkhand HC order debarring him from practising before it for his repeated contemptuous remarks, a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam said, ‘‘Every court has a right to debar any advocate from practising before it if he repeatedly indulges in contemptuous activity. If we do not have such power, then we can be abused by any lawyer.’’
When Jha argued that the Bar Council of India (BCI) was the sole regulator for lawyers and was the authority for cancelling the licence for practice, the Bench said, ‘‘The court cannot cancel your licence, but it can debar you from practising before it. You can go to other courts to practise.’’
When the lawyer persisted that the BCI was seized of the matter and the HC order restraining him from practising there was akin to punishment before determining the guilt, the Bench said, ‘‘If you misbehave, the HC has the right to debar you from practising. If anything happens in the court, the latter should not be powerless pending the inquiry by the BCI. The BCI gives you only a licence to practice provided you show proper behaviour and etiquette in the court.’’
In the court adjacent to the CJI’s, a Bench comprising Justices B N Agrawal and G S Singhvi heard the petitions filed by senior advocates Anand and Khan challenging the Delhi HC order debarring them from practising for four months in the HC and sending a recommendation to the full court for stripping them of the ‘senior advocate’ status. Senior advocate R S Sodhi, who before his retirement as a judge in the Delhi HC had heard Anand in several important cases, appeared for him and sought a stay on the ‘wrong’ order of the HC debarring his client from practising. He said there was a precedent in SC judgment that restrained any court from recommending stripping of a lawyer of his ‘senior advocate’ tag.
The Bench, which also heard Khan’s counsel, senior advocate P P Rao, was unimpressed and refused to grant interim relief when it was cited that in a ‘‘similar’’ contempt case against lawyer Rajeev Talwar, who was handed down an identical sentence by the HC, the sentence was stayed by the apex court.With the Thanks from the Time of IndiaSource:- The Times of India 16 Sep. 2008 P.6For any query:- legalpoint@aol.in
Posted by Deepak Miglani at 14:56
16 September, 2008

India: Insider Trading Finding, Fines Upheld by Supreme Court
In India last week, the Supreme Court upheld a sectoral tribunal’s ruling that found the CFO of Wockhardt, Rajiv B. Gandhi, and others guilty of insider trading. The court rejected Gandhi’s plea challenging the judgment of the Securities Appellate Tribunal, which had in turn refused to set aside a penalty imposed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for insider trading violations. Gandhi argued that he had not executed any trade and could not be held liable for insider trading, according to the Business Standard.
SEBI found Gandhi, his wife, and sister guilty of insider trading and imposed a penalty of Rs 5 lakh on each of them “on the ground that they had traded in the scrip of Wockhardt on the basis of unpublished price sensitive information and the same was not available to the investors in general.” SEBI alleged that as company secretary and CFO, Gandhi had access to the material information pertaining to the financial position of the company.
According to this conversion chart, Rs 5 lakh converts to approximately US$10,888.
September 16, 2008 at 9:03 am

No legal hitch in commodities transaction tax, says Income Tax officials
Even as the government is yet to finalise the time for introduction of commodities transaction tax (CTT), senior Income Tax officials today said that there is no legal hitch in framing the rules.
“I can’t say when it will be notified. The decision has to be taken at the highest level. There is no legal hitch,” Ajai Singh, member of Central Board of Direct Taxes, told reporters on the sidelines of a conference.
On February 29 this year, Finance Minister P Chidambaram had announced the introduction of a commodities transaction tax on exchange traded commodity futures and options.
Bs Reporter / New Delhi September 16, 2008, 12:44 IST

Lal to appeal against judgement
For the first time ever, a Major General of the Indian Army has been dismissed from service on charges of molestation. It’s an unprecedented move for an officer of his rank to be sacked in this manner. It seems Major General A K Lal has made history for all the wrong reasons – being attributed as the first serving officer of his rank to be dismissed from service for alleged sexual molestation.Lal’s case made headlines across the country after a lady officer alleged, that he misbehaved with her when conducting yoga classes at his house. Lal, a former Commander of Leh-based 3 Infantry Division, has now been charged guilty by the Indian Code of Law.TIMES NOW went looking for Lal for his side of the story. But after knocking on Lal’s door in Delhi’s Cantonment area, the TIMES NOW crew found an empty house. On enquiring about Lal and his family’s whereabouts, the channel was informed that Lal along with his wife and daughter have lately shifted to Bathinda.A picture of the Lal’s reveals his close knit family ties – a family that has always stood by the Major. As Major Lal’s wife states, “Major General A K Lal is such a dignified man, and he’s had 32 years of totally unblemished service. One fine day, a young girl just comes and raises her voice, then how are we supposed to believe it?” Echoing her mother’s sentiments, Lal’s daughter too affirms, “We are fully with him, completely with him on this.”Lal is now likely to appeal in a civil court against the verdict of the court martial. Major General A K Lal, a former Commander of the Leh-based 3 Infantry Division, faced a general court martial in Bathinda after a previous inquiry found evidence against his alleged sexual molestation of a lady Army officer. Captain Neha Rawat of the Corps of Signals, had filed a complaint against Lal last September (2007), alleging that he had misbehaved with her while conducting yoga classes at his residence. Lal is the senior-most officer in the Army’s history to be awarded such a sentence on charges sexual misconduct.
9/15/2008 8:32:47 PM

General category will get vacant quota seats: SC
The anti-quota petitioners claimed that 432 seats have remained vacant in the IITs after the implementation of the OBC quota law
New Delhi: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday ruled that seats remaining vacant after implementation of the 27% quota under a Parliament-enacted legislation would go to students of the ‘general´category.
“There is no no confusion about our judgement that seats which remain vacant after the implementation of the 27% quota will go to the general category,” a bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said.
The bench had on 10 April upheld the validity of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admissions) Act.
The anti-quota petitioners drew the attention of the bench that even after the implementation of the law – the Central Educational Institution (Reservation in admission) – the seats have remained vacant and there was confusion.
“What is the confusion? Both the judgements have clearly stated that the vacant seat will go to the general category,” the bench said referring to the two judgement, one written by Justices Arijit Pasayat and C K Thakker and another written by Justice Dalveer Bhandari.
“This is very clear that the intention was that not to leave the seats vacant. The intention was to give better education,” Pasayat said.
The anti-quota petitioners claimed that 432 seats have remained vacant in the IITs after the implementation of the OBC quota law.
Solicitor General G E Vahanvati said he will get back to the Court after seeking instructions from the Centre whether seats are vacant or not.
The bench posted the matter for further hearing on 29 September.

Suniel Shetty gets notice over eatery
Suniel Shetty gets notice over eatery The high court issued a notice to actor Suniel Shetty, among others, in response to a PIL challenging the construction of a restaurant at Girgaum Chowpatty. The PIL claimed that the construction of Salt Water Grill violated coastal zone regulations. Shetty has been named a respondent as he is a stakeholder, said Y P Singh, the petitioner’s lawyer. Govt team visits kin of dead child In the wake of media reports about the death of a sixmonth-old infant from Akrachibhatti in Kandivli, a state government team from the ICDS visited the tribal family on Monday. TOI had earlier reported about how malnutrition had resurfaced in Kandivli and Aarey Colony this monsoon. Civic staff clean up city beaches A day after Mumbaikars bid farewell to Lord Ganesha, civic employees were busy trying to push away the remnants that had come to the shore. The beaches and water bodies were being cleaned throughout Monday. This year, the city saw a total of 1,76,035 immersions. City doctors leave for Bihar Doctors from some hospitals in the city left for Patna on Monday to help the residents of flood-ravaged areas in Bihar. The members, who belong to a voluntary organisation, Doctors For You (DFY), will be at the relief camps for two weeks. ‘Grover murder not premeditated’ A sessions court on Monday heard arguments on the bail plea filed by Kannada actress Maria Susairaj in the Neeraj Grover murder case. Defence advocate Harshad Ponda told the court that the crime was not premeditated. Citizens’ team off to Mangalore A citizens’ delegation, led by film director Mahesh Bhatt and Dr Abraham Mathai, vicechairman of the Maharashtra Minorities Commission, will visit Mangalore on Tuesday to get first-hand report of the violence against Christians. Sena holds brief for fishermen The Shiv Sena wants the farmers’ loan waiver scheme to be extended to fishermen. A delegation of Sena members met the CM on Monday and pointed out loopholes in the government’s relief package for fishermen. Hotelier survives suicide attempt Anil Singh (44), a hotelier who attempted suicide by shooting himself on Sunday, has survived. Singh had taken the step following differences with his wife. He is said to be out of danger. Disabled girl gets admission Saroj Yadav, a physically handicapped student, has been given admission to Nair College for a PG course in MD radiology. This was stated by the MCI in the HC on Monday. PIL on DGP appointment The Bombay HC has reserved its judgment in a PIL challenging the appointment of A N Roy as DGP. It claims that seniority was bypassed while appointing Roy. HC ruling on minor’s marriage The HC on Monday granted custody of a minor married girl to her mother-in-law , instead of her parents.
16 Sep 2008, 0618 hrs IST,TNN

Lottery playing havoc with society: PIL
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Centre, and Delhi, Punjab, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh on a public interest litigation petition seeking a ban on lotteries run by these States.
The petition was earlier listed before a Bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan but as the petitioner, Satyavir Singh, wanted to argue in Hindi, it was posted before Justices B.N. Agrawal and G.S. Singhvi, who issued the notice.
Mr. Singh said lottery was creating havoc in society. Persons who engaged themselves in it became slaves to the lucrative but devastating game. “Their families become the greatest sufferers,” ultimately leading to the “total ruination of the family structure in the lottery game. Their children suffer as their education goes into the doldrums.”
The sufferings were the result a misconception that whatever one invested in lottery, one would back many times more.

Tuesday, Sep 16, 2008
Legal Correspondent

SC refuses to pass direction on Bihar flood
New Delhi, Sep 15: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to pass any direction relating to flood caused by river Kosi in Bihar, saying that the court cannot interfere in such an issue. “What this court can do?” a Bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan said when the PIL filed by advocate Praveen Chandra made an attempt to clarify that havoc caused by the flood was not a natural disaster but a man-made calamity. “Have you made any investigation?” the Bench, which also comprised Justice P Sathasivan, asked and said it would not rely on the newspaper report which formed the basis of the petition. “Your relief cannot be granted,” the Bench said, dismissing the PIL. Another PIL on the issue filed by an NGO Yuva Shakti also attracted the same fate with the bench dubbing it a publicity seeking litigation. The apex court which had heard the NGO’s petition on September 2 had said the Centre and Bihar government were carrying out their part of work in the flood-hit districts of the state. The floods caused by the river Kosi have been declared a “national calamity”. The Bench also wanted to know from the NGO about the probe done by it relating to the floods. The NGO had sought appointment of an independent committee headed by a retired apex court or High Court judge to assess the nature of casualty. It suggested the inquiry could even be handed over to the National Human Rights Commission. Bureau Report

PIL seeks action against senior cop K L Prasad for outburst
Nearly a week after he made a filmy statement to the media, criticising the act of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray’s reaction to Jaya Bachchan’s comments at a film function, Joint Commissioner of Police (JCP) Law and Order has more than the ire of Thackeray’s men to deal with. Lawyer V P Patil on Monday filed a PIL against Prasad for making “lawless and disorderly statements, while he was on duty and in his uniform”. The PIL has been filed specifically mentioning the comment by Prasad, while he was addressing the media, after the MNS-Jaya Bachchan incident last week. “Mumbai kisi ke baap ki nahin hain,” (Mumbai does not belong to anybody’s father), Prasad had said in reaction to MNS threat of not allowing the screening of films starring anyone from the Bachchan family. “The respondent was in his uniform and was on duty. It’s a misconduct on part of a high ranking government officer and strict action needs to be taken against him,” the petition said. Prasad said, “I don’t know anything about the PIL. I can’t comment on it.” The petition will be heard next week.Cops deny help from MNSThe verbal fight between Prasad and Raj Thackeray, has snowballed into other avenues as well. Police in south Mumbai denied any favours from MNS volunteers during the arrangements of Ganesh immersion. Arvind Gawade, Vibhag Pramukh of MNS’s South Mumbai had asked for permission to distribute food packets among the police on duty for the day. However, he was denied permission from the police. Gawade said, “The police are standing on roads since morning and don’t find anything to eat, as the eating outlets are closed on the day. Raj had asked us to provide food to the policemen, but V Nangre Patil, zonal DCP denied the permission. I offered him to accept the packets without MNS’s banner, but they still refused it.”
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Mumbai Mirror Bureau

Supreme Court stays High Court order on UP police recruitment scam
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday stayed a judgment of the Allahabad High Court directing an enquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the alleged police recruitment scam in Uttar Pradesh during the erstwhile Mulayam Singh Yadav regime.
A Bench of Justice C.K. Thakker and Justice D.K. Jain stayed the judgment on a special leave petition by the Centre stating that due to lack of infrastructure facilities it would not be possible to take up the investigation. The Bench issued notice to the UP Government on the SLP and Amit Kumar Shukla, petitioner before the High Court, to file their responses on the Centre’s claim.
Solicitor-General G. E. Vahanvati said it would not be possible for the CBI to take up the investigation as it was preoccupied with various other investigations. He pleaded for stay of the impugned judgment.
Soon after taking over as Chief Minister in May 2007, Ms. Mayawati had constituted a committee to look into allegations of massive corruption in the recruitment of about 23,000 police constables during the previous regime.
Based on the report of a one-man committee, Ms. Mayawati had cancelled the selection of about 17,400 recruits on charges of “irregularities in the selection process”.
During the hearing of a batch of petitions in the Allahabad High Court, the Centre had turned down the request for a CBI inquiry citing inadequacy of staff.
However, on June 5 the High Court turned down the Centre’s submission and ordered a CBI probe into the scam.
The present appeal by the Centre is directed against this judgment.
Tuesday, Sep 16, 2008
J. Venkatesan

High Court stops Muhwezi, Mukula trial
THE High Court has ordered Buganda Road Chief Magistrates’ Court to stop the trial of the former health ministers. This followed an application yesterday by the accused’s lawyers to halt the proceedings until a petition filed in the High Court is disposed of. The accused filed the petition in the High Court last year challenging their trial by Margaret Tibulya, the Chief Magistrate of Buganda Road Court. Former health minister Maj. Gen. Jim Muhwezi and his deputies Capt. Mike Mukula and Dr. Alex Kamugisha together with Alice Kaboyo, a former State House aide, are accused of misappropriating sh1.6b donor funds. Muhwezi and his co-accused expressed fears that their trial would be unfair because Tibulya is related to Faith Mwondha, the Inspector General of Government who is prosecuting the case. They also challenged the powers of the IGG to prosecute them as opposed to the Director of Public Prosecutions who is mandated to do so. Yesterday, Justice Augustus Kania was due to hear the petition, but was informed that Buganda Road Court was carrying out a parallel trial despite a petition filed at the High Court and another at the Constitutional Court in which the accused are contesting their trial. Kania ordered that the matter at the lower court waits until the petition in the High Court is disposed of.
By Charles Ariko and Edward Anyoli
Monday, 15th September, 2008

Court refuses to stay Amarinder’s expulsion
CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday refused to stay the September 10 resolution of the Punjab Assembly through which it had unseated former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh after a special committee of the House indicted him for corruption and irregularities in granting exemptions while transferring 32.1 acres to a private developer during his tenure at the helm.
Handing down an interim order, the Bench comprising Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Ajay Tewari that admitted the petition filed by Capt. Singh said that stay on expulsion would “amount to grant of final relief without hearing the other side”.
The case would now come up for hearing before a Division Bench of the Court on December 1.
The Court, which had reserved its judgment after the last hearing on Friday, issued notice to the Punjab Assembly through its Secretary to file a reply by October 31. Capt. Singh would be allowed to submit a rejoinder by November 15.
Both sides were granted permission to submit any other document by November 30.
However, the Court stayed operation of that part of the Assembly resolution which directed the State Vigilance Bureau to subject the former Chief Minister to “custodial interrogation” after registering a case.
Capt. Singh is currently in Britain for a medical check-up.
The Court order said, “We are prima facie of the view that resolution of the Assembly about the need for custodial interrogation cannot be treated as binding. Accordingly, by way of interim order, we direct that there will be a stay on the direction that it is essential to have custodial interrogation.”
“We, however, make it clear that this interim order does not prevent investigating officer to conduct custodial interrogation in accordance with law if considered otherwise necessary,” it added.
Tuesday, Sep 16, 2008
Special Correspondent

SC threatens sealing resumption http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/SC_threatens_sealing_resumption/articleshow/3487285.cms
NEW DELHI: To the discomfiture of the Sheila Dikshit government gearing up for Assembly polls, the Supreme Court on Monday threatened to order resumption of the sealing drive in regularized colonies being angered by the alleged breach of its earlier orders banning regularization without providing for all basic providing basic infrastructure. It also took to task the DDA for effecting as many as 37 modifications to the Master Plan-2021 within a span of one and a half years, virtually regularizing all illegal constructions and violations of the building bylaws and declaring residential areas as commercial zones. What annoyed a Bench comprising justices Arijit Pasayat, C K Thakker and L S Panta was, more than 1,400 unauthorized colonies were given legal status under the garb of ‘‘provisional regularisation’’. In its February 14, 2006 order, the court had said: ‘‘In case the state/authorities are not in a position to make available services whereof it is admitted that there are severe limitations, there shall be no regularization of unauthorised colonies. In other words, regularisation should be made only if it is possible for the respondents to make available the services.’’ Adding to the woes of the urban development ministry was the precise identification of woeful infrastructure in Delhi by amicus curiae Ranjit Kumar, who read out a government affidavit narrating the problems of water, electricity, sewage, solid-waste disposal, public transport and parking lot in the Capital. The Bench asked ASG Amarendra Saran and P P Malhotra to file an affidavit stating why the authorities did not seek modification of the February 14, 2006 order prior to embarking on the exercise of regularising the unauthorised colonies. On the 37 amendments to MPD-2021, the Bench asked DDA whether it had invited objections to the proposed changes to the master plan and whether it had held public hearings on these issues before effecting the modifications. ‘‘It appears that the changes were made for political reasons,’’ the Bench said. When the DDA counsel replied that all procedures were duly followed, the court asked the authority to file an affidavit detailing the need for the changes, the objections that were received and the manner in which they were disposed of. Kumar accused the government for not carrying out the sealing drive against those unauthorised structures which did not enjoy benefit of the relief. dhananjay.mahapatra@timesgroup.com
16 Sep 2008, 0330 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra ,TNN

PF scam: SC seeks Centre’s response on CBI probe
NEW DELHI: In no mood to show leniency to the ‘black sheep’ in judiciary, the Supreme Court on Monday sought the Centre’s response to a recent UP government recommendation for a CBI probe into the infamous Rs 23-crore illegal PF withdrawal scam, allegedly involving 34 judges from all three tiers of courts. This question assumes significance as the UP police, despite revealing that it had strong evidence on the alleged involvement of 34 judges — one in Supreme Court, 8 in Allahabad High Court, one each in Uttarakhand and Calcutta HCs and 23 lower court judges — had cited ground level difficulty in continuing with the probe with a suggestion that it should be given to CBI. Pursuant to this disclosure in SC on September 9, the Mayawati government had sent a request to the Centre recommending handing over of the probe to the CBI. A Bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and M K Sharma, before hearing the Japanese surrogate baby Manji’s plea for travel documents to go back to Japan, asked solicitor general G E Vahanvati whether the Centre was willing to order a CBI probe into the PF scam as per the UP government’s request. “If the CBI is willing to do it, then we can hear the petitions and dispose them of as early as possible,” the Bench said. The petitioners — Ghaziabad Bar Association and Transparency International — had sought a CBI probe into the scam, which the local police had been probing with the Allahabad HC monitoring it. “Take instructions from Centre and let us know. Then we will post petitions for an early hearing,” Bench said.
16 Sep 2008, 0400 hrs IST,TNN

Manji plea to go home: SC leaves decision to Centre
NEW DELHI: Two-month-old Japanese surrogate baby Manji appears to have inched closer to a ticket to her home in Japan as the Supreme Court on Monday favoured leaving the decision — whether to give a passport or travel documents to her — to the Centre ready to treat her case compassionately. Shifted out of Anand in Gujarat, where she was born to a surrogate Indian mother and a biological Japanese father, baby Manji Yamada — who all along had been in custody of her grandmother — soon got embroiled in a PIL in the Rajasthan high court with an NGO petitioning to block her flight to Japan. When the grandmother petitioned the SC, it had refused to pull out the baby from her grandmother’s lap, but sought assistance of Solicitor general G E Vahanvati on the tricky questions raised by the NGO’s counsel Abhinav Sharma about her nationality and the grey legal areas on surrogacy. Leaving the question of granting travel documents to Manji for flying home to the Centre, the bench reserved its order.

16 Sep 2008, 0403 hrs IST,TNN

Vacant OBC seats to go into Gen category:SC
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday said that the seats remaining vacant after the implementation of 27% OBC quota in central educational institutions, including IITs and IIMs, will go to the general category candidates. ( Watch ) The court further said that it would be desirable not to have a wide difference in cut-off marks between the reserved and general categories of students for the purposes of admission. A five-judge Constitution bench comprising Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan, Justice Arijit Pasayat, Justice C K Thakker, Justice R V Raveendran and Justice Dalveer Bhandari said that there was no confusion on both the issues. The anti-quota petitioners had moved the court saying that after the implementation of the law — the Central Educational Institution (Reservation in admission) Act 2006 — seats have remained vacant and there was a confusion over it. Senior advocate K K Venugopal appearing for anti-quota petitioners referred to the two judgements, one written by Justices Arijit Pasayat and C K Thakker and another by Justice Dalveer Bhandari, to buttress the stand that the seats added in the 27 per cent OBC quota which remained vacant after implementation of the Act cannot go waste. “What is the confusion. It was clarified in the judgement itself that the seats remaining vacant will go to the General Category,” Justice Pasayat said. “Both the judgements clearly said that such vacant seats will go to the general category,” added Justice Bhandari. At the outset when Venugopal said there was a need for clarification on the aspect of vacant seats, Justice Pasayat said, “This (wasting of seats) cannot be allowed. It will go back to the general category”. “The reservation was not for ensuring that even if they (OBC) are not there, it will not go to others,” Pasayat said adding that “it is very clear. The intention was that don’t leave the seats vacant. The intention was to give better education.” The anti-quota petitioners claimed that 432 seats remained vacant and if the Ministry of Human Resource was not adhering to the apex court judgement then it was inviting contempt. “Despite the fact that the judgment of April 10, 2008 makes it clear that the vacant seats will revert to the general category, the confused position manifested by the Directors of the institutions was further enhanced with the Ministry of Human Resource Development refusing to “de-reserve” the seats, and instead directing that the cut-offs be lowered so that more reserved category students be accommodated”, said anti-quota petitioners relying on media reports. It quoted a report of The Times of India in stating that permission needed to be sought from the government to “de-reserve” the vacant seats to have them filled by students of the general category. However, Solicitor General G E Vahanvati said he will get back to the court after seeking instructions from the government whether seats are vacant or not.The bench posted the matter for further hearing on September 29. The issue of cut-off marks also came up for discussion during the brief hearing in which Venugopal said merit should not be totally sacrificed. He said while Justice Pasayat and Thakker were of the view that the difference in cut-off marks between the two category cannot be more than five marks while Justice Bhandari had extended it to 10 marks. Both the judgements clearly stated that “don’t deviate from merit”, the senior advocate said.
16 Sep, 2008, 0236 hrs IST, ET Bureau

Mother could give child SC status
http://www.mumbaimirror.com/net/mmpaper.aspx?page=article&sectid=3&contentid=200809162008091602304082976495d8 New Delhi: A child with either of the parents belonging to a scheduled caste (SC) could be considered a member of the community, if a proposal for an amendment to the Constitution gets the government’s nod.Under the present statute, only a child with an SC father is deemed to belong to the scheduled caste community. If only the mother belongs to the scheduled caste, the child does not get the status.The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has mooted a proposal for an amendment in the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 to make the provision “gender neutral”, a senior official said.“The proposal is in circulation at the Union Cabinet,” an official said. “We have a male dominated society. And so, children get the status of the community/caste their fathers belong to, regardless of the community the mothers belong to.”Consequently, child of a non-SC father in cases where mother is a member of the SC community remains devoid of the benefits accorded to SC community, he said.
Posted On Tuesday, September 16, 2008

HC quashes Govt order on GMC council
GUWAHATI, Sept 15 – In a major ruling, the Gauhati High Court today quashed the State Government order dated May 26, 2008, that had dissolved the elected mayoral council of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC). “…the entire action on the part of the Government towards dissolution of the Corporation was contrary to the laid-down procedure and in violation of the Constitutional mandate,” the court order said, adding that both the Secretary of Guwahati Development Department (GDD) and the GMC Commissioner acted not applying their “sound discretion but to implement the hidden agenda as was instructed to them.” The petitioners, the erstwhile GMC councilllors who otherwise would have continued in their posts up to January 2009 but for the dissolution of the elected body by the impugned order, had invoked the writ jurisdiction of the court assailing the legality and validity of the government action. Justice BK Sharma, while delivering the verdict in the case WP (C) No. 2,193/2008, held in his order that the Government’s contention that the general body of the GMC council did not reverse its earlier resolution to open tollgates was “totally perverse in as much as the general body did not get any opportunity to reveres or revise its decision pertaining to tollgates as the show-cause notice was never placed before it.” “The show-cause notice and the reply there to confined in-between the Government and the Commissioner, GMC, and the same was never brought to the notice of the general body,” the order read.The order said that apart from non-compliance of the Constitutional mandates envisaged under Article 243 U of the Constitution of India, there was also violation of the provisions relating to reasonable opportunity of being heard by way of a show-cause notice to the offending body. The court further noted that with the decision to dissolve the Corporation, “it is not understood as to what was the necessity to take resort to the show-cause notice, etc. It added that nothing was discernible as to what prompted the Guwahati Development Dept (GDD) Secretary to furnish the note dated April 17, 2008 followed by the decision of the Minister concerned to dissolve the general body. The court also held that although much was emphasized on the situation that occurred following the resignation of 27 councillors, there was “nothing to indicate that with such resignation the Corporation became non-existent or functionless. Reacting to the judgment, the opposition councilors welcomed it, and said that justice had been done not just to the councilors but also to the people in general. They will be meeting the GMC Commissioner tomorrow demanding holding of mayoral polls within three days.
Staff reporter

HC grants custody of ‘married’ minor girl to mother-in-law
The girl, a Hindu, had eloped to marry her Muslim lover and did not want to live with her parents
Mumbai: In a unique decision, the Bombay High Court today granted custody of a minor married girl to her mother-in-law, instead of the parents.The girl, a Hindu, had eloped to marry her Muslim lover and did not want to live with her parents.The High Court adjourned the case for six months, as the Supreme Court is currently hearing a case involving the issue of marriage of a minor person. The High Court will pass the order only after the apex court gives its ruling.The girl, who is now 17 years old, went missing from residence in Malvani area last year. Her parents filed complaint against Firoz Shaikh, 22, who lived in the same locality, for kidnapping her.When she could not be found despite police complaint, her parents moved High Court, saying that police were not probing the matter seriously.The case was then transferred to Crime Branch. Last week, Crime Branch sleuths found Shaikh and the girl from Kashimira area in Thane. Shaikh told them that they had married and returned to Mumbai when they learnt that police were searching for them.When the girl was produced in the court, judges asked them if she wanted to go back to her parents. But the girl told them that she had married Shaikh and she did not want to talk to her parents.Finally, since the apex court is seized of similar issue and the girl is still a minor, court granted her custody to Feroze’s mother, Khalidabi for six months. © Copyright 2008 PTI. All rights reserved.
Monday, September 15, 2008

Proper interpretation of rules helps to set right things: CJI http://www.ptinews.com/pti/ptisite.nsf/0/6C8ADE2CB9AE0251652574C5003945C4?OpenDocument
Bhopal, Sept 15 (PTI) Chief Justice of India Justice K G Balakrishnan has said that generally rules are correct but most important is their proper interpretation as it helps in setting things right.”Rules are generally correct, but their proper interpretation is most important as any misinterpretation of rules leads to odd situations while correct interpretation greatly helps in setting things right,” the CJI said at a function here last night after releasing Madhya Pradesh High Court Rules 2008 at the National Judicial Academy, an official release said.Justice Balakrishnan said that it is a matter of happiness that new rules of the M P High Court have come up after 72 years.He stressed the need for imparting training to the officers discharging various important responsibilities in the High Court about the rules for ensuring proper adherence to the rules.The CJI said the new rules would help to avoid inordinate delays in various matters.However, there should not be any hesitation in making amendments to these rules if any discrepancy or lacuna is brought to notice, he said.Earlier, the Chief Justice of M P High Court Justice A K Patnaik dwelt at length on the background of the new rules.He said that new dimensions and contexts have emerged in legal field following which it was imperative to have a new set of rules. PTI MAS YRM SCY 09151544 DEL

Former CJI P N Bhagwati blamed Judiciary for allegations of corruption against Judges
Former CJI P N Bhagwati has blamed the judiciary for the present state of affair in which allegations of corruption against judges are being exposed. Justice Bhagwati in a recent TV interview has also backed the idea of setting up of National Judicial Commission to check the increasing incidents of corruption in the judiciary. Presently, 36 judges including sitting Supreme Court judge and 11 High Court judges are facing allegations of corruption in Ghaziabad district court GPF scam and 2 Punjab and Haryana High Court judges are under CBI scanner in Cash-at-Judge-door scam. Justice Nirmal Yadav has already proceeded on leave.Justice Sen, who is without judicial work since November 2006, is getting full salary and all perks in view of cumbersome procedure for removal of a sitting High Court judge.Justive V Ramaswamy, who was also without judicial work for a long time, retired only after completing his tenure after impeachment motion against him failed in Parliament.Committee for Judicial Accountability headed by former Union Law Minister Shanti Bhushan has been demanding transparency in the appointment and removal of High Court and Supreme Court judges. Committee for Judicial Accountability has three former Union Law Ministers and three former CJIs as its members.UNI

Who should appoint judges to rid judiciary of black sheep?
What Chief Justice of US Supreme Court John Marshall said two centuries ago applies to the present situation that the Indian judiciary finds itself in. He had said: “Power of judiciary lies not in deciding cases, nor in imposing sentences, nor in punishing for contempt, but in the trust, confidence and faith of the common man.” Indian judiciary, by and large, enjoyed the “trust, confidence and faith of the common man” for decades. Today, it finds itself mired in accusations. Scams pointing to venality of judges are chipping away the judiciary’s carefully crafted and painstakingly preserved image that once evoked blind public faith in its integrity, impartiality and independence. In such times, it was natural for a concerned PM not to beat around the bush. In the presence of Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan at a recent book release function, he drove home the point that “the time has come for introspection to ensure that judicial appointments at all levels live up to the exacting standards.” The CJI is seen as taking some drastic measures to rid the judiciary of black sheep — recommending impeachment of a High Court judge and allowing CBI to examine two more HC judges. These are at best remedial measures warranted by the situation to assure the public not to lose faith. To address the ‘black sheep’ problem and stop their breeding, the time has come to test the efficacy of the existing mechanism for appointment of judges to the HCs and the Supreme Court. For, it is a matter of pride and respect of an institution in which a billion people repose faith. If one wants to fault the 1993 apex court judgment in SCORA Vs UOI [1993 (4) SCC 441] conferring primacy on the judges collegium headed by CJI to appoint judges to the HCs and the SC, then he can cite examples of Shamit Mukherjee, Soumitra Sen and many others. Majority of these tainted judges resigned when the collegium headed by the CJI threatened to recommend their impeachment after the in-house inquiry process found them guilty. Prior to 1993, when the executive had the major say in judges’ appointment, judges did resign. Who can forget the resignation of Justice H R Khanna immediately after being superseded by a junior judge for the post of CJI. He was being punished by the executive for refusing to be pliant and penning the lone dissenting judgment, invalidating the brutal Emergency powers. Justice Khanna was not the only victim of the executive. Many competent, bold and upright judges were superseded with impunity. Most swallowed the bitter pill and continued, unlike Justice Khanna. And, Justice V Ramaswamy, who was the first to face impeachment proceedings in Parliament, was also appointed at a time when the executive had the final say in judges’ appointment. If the present ‘judicial primacy’ appointment system produced some tainted judges, then we did see ‘executive primacy’ system making some pliant judges occupy and muddy the high constitutional offices. What the PM said for judiciary — ‘ensuring that appointments live upto the exacting standards’ — holds good for executive and legislature too. Keeping faith in the PM, would it be prudent to revert to the pre-1993 system of judges’ appointment? The MPs are chosen directly by the people, but not the ministers. They are chosen by the PM. But, given the nature of present politics, it becomes his compulsion to accommodate even the tainted in his council of ministers.
15 Sep 2008, 0231 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra,TNN

Treatment cant be denied to patient citing lack of resources – CJI, Justice Shri Balakrishnan
Success of programmes depends on commitment and sensitivity CJ, MP Justice Shri Patnaik, Workshop on ‘Right To Health’ concludesBhopal:Sunday, September 14, 2008:
Chief Justice of Supreme Court Justice Shri K.G. Balakrishnan has said that no government can deny medical treatment to a patient citing lack of resources in hospitals. In this connection the Supreme Court had conducted an enquiry.
The enquiry committee had recommended that facilities should be increased in hospitals and such a dialogue process should be started there through which medicare, doctors’ services, medical equipments and ambulance can be ensured for a patient in time. Justice Shri Balakrishnan expressed these view while addressing the concluding session of a workshop organised by Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission here today on the subject ‘Right to Health’. Justice Shri A.K. Patnaik, Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court, Chairperson of Madhya Pradesh Human rights Commission Justice Shri D.K. Dharmadhikari, retired Supreme Court Justice Shri P.P. Navlekar, M.P. Human rights Commissions members Justice Shri Narain Singh ‘Azad’ and Shri Vijay Shukla and the judges of M.P. high Court were present on the occasion.

Justice Shri Balakrishnan said that the International Declaration of Human Rights lays down to ensure food, clothes, air and social as well as medical services to every individual and his family to maintain good health. A human being has to be healthy so that he can continue to enjoy his right to life in the face of unemployment, handicap and old age. He said that the Supreme Court while delivering decisions in various cases has recognised right to health as essential. While disposing of a case the apex court has observed that no doctor or hospital can refuse to treat an accident-hit person in his medico-legal case. This would be tantamount to violation of medical code of conduct. The apex court has ruled that such an act is violation of right to protect life and freedom. With this decision of the Supreme Court, people have now got the right to emergency treatment. Citing another case, Shri Balakrishnan said that now the treatment meted out by charging fees has been brought under the purview of Consumer Protection Act. Action can also be taken against the doctor or hospital for indifference or shortcoming if the treatment is provided by charging fees. This legal provision will go a long way in protecting patients’ interests.
Justice Shri Balakrishnan said that during the last many years, various state governments have mobilised considerable resources. Medical services are also being provided in the private sector. But all these facilities have been confined to affluent people. The government must devise such ways that can extend benefit to poor sections of society as well. Justice Balakrishnan said that media has highlighted trafficking of human limbs. Similarly, activities of quacks and unsafe traditional medicines’ use have also come to light. The governments must undertake legal as well as administrative recourse to curb these shortcomings. He said that many contagious diseases are spreading from one to another country. Some years ago mad cow, sarce and avian flu. HIV/AIDS is also not coming under control. Under such circumstances, the declaration of human rights cannot be underestimated. Government as well as private agencies must undertake steps to check spreading of diseases from other countries by ensuring best services of specialists. He said that right to health will have to be recognised at the global level.
Madhya Pradesh High Court Chief Justice Shri A.K. Patnaik said that right to medical treatment is an innovative thinking. Shri Patnaik said that it is a moral concept that no one can lead a good life without health. He said that the International Declaration of Human Rights envisages freedom and dignity of human being. Shri Patnaik enumerated the provisions of law available about better health. Justice Patnaik said that denial of treatment to a patient by hospitals is violation of right to life of a person. He informed that good health is directly related to clean environment since people’s health will suffer if they live in an unclean environment. Shri Patnaik referred to a judgement in which the Supreme Court had directed that a slaughter house should not be set up there, if it affects the human health. He said that no programme can meet with success which is not implemented with dedication and commitment. Shri Patnaik said that the government should give attention of death of children due to malnutrition in Satna.
Chairperson of Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission Justice Shri Dharmadhikari said that large number of people are now coming to Human Rights Commission seeking justice due to expensive, time-consuming judicial system and complex administrative process. All possible efforts are made by the commission for redressing such people’s problems. Shri Dharmadhikari praised state government’s positive attitude towards M.P. Human Rights Commission. He said that the commission not only solves the individual problems but also tries to form public opinion a variety of public interest issues like drinking water, food and health. Shri Dharmadhikari said that the state Legal Service Authority has also extended considerable help in the cases referred to it by the commission..
Commission’s Inspector General of Police Shri Sushobhan Bannerjee highlighted the objectives of the workshop while Deputy Secretary Shri Vijay Chanra conducted the proceedings. Those present on the occasion included D.G.P. Shri S. K. Raut, commission’s principal secretary Dr. A.N. Asthana, Principal Secretary, Health, Shri Devraj Birdi, Professors of National Judicial Academy, trainee judges, district court judges, senior advocates, distinguished citizens and senior administrative and police officers of the state.
Sep 14th, 2008 By Yasha Sharma


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